Thursday, August 30, 2007

We will be funnin' for the next few days so my web attendance will be very sporadic. I hope many more of you give your "two cent's worth" on my last post. Thank you to all who have replied. I love your heartfelt responses.

Karri, your email may have me pegged, definitely something I had not considered. ( :

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Angst

I have a wonderful husband. He does not understand me but he is soooo patient and he tries. He does the things I ask him to do and he is a wonderful father to my children. He cannot understand why I stay so frustrated. I can't explain it. It is very frustrating to do and do and do, yet make no progress. To work my rear off one day, only to have it all undone by noon the next day. My brain fully understands that we are a busy homeschooling family of five that is always living in our home. My spirit and pride however, continue to be disappointed in my lack of progress/neatness. I can tell a huge difference in most of my rooms. Decluttering has made large strides to my ideal. It just seems to be endless. Now I am sorting through clothes without end, Amen.

So my bright idea is this: get a very part-time job. I would love to work somewhere again. To go in and do a job well, be appreciated and come home with my ego inflated. I have given up my Pampered Chef career because I could no longer maintain it. Running my own business is just more than I can handle. Plus, I kept earning more and more free stuff I did not need or want. It is a wonderful job that requires a consistent amount of work everyday. I was inconsistent and unprofessional. Time to walk away. A job where I just show up and work and then leave at the end of my shift appeals to me. I am seriously debating, but the family is not in favor. I don't have to go to work, I just need to accomplish something. Making some extra money for Christmas would be nice too.

What do you think, internet friends?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Stormy weather is still on here, thanks for prayers. I can feel them and I love you for it. Now I am posting something I am looking forward to. A blogger swap and I just can't wait. If you want to sign up too, go here. You must be a flicker member though!! Click on the image that looks just like the one above on her blog and it takes you somewhere!!
Today is a hard day. I have reached an all-time low. Please pray for me and my family.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

This one is for you Shellie!

There was a friend I met in high school who changed my life forever. I was a "smart" kid. I loved school and I always had. School came easy for me, I could have studied and had a 4.0, but I chose to live life, have fun and have a 3.8 instead. I was involved in every club I was allowed to be in. I wrote for the school paper, was very active in FFA and LIVED for school. I had alot of friends. Most of them were very smart too. I had one friend in particular who was smart, but really disliked school. Church was it for her. She lived and breathed Christ and church. (still does!) I was intrigued by her. A friend that did not REALLY care about her grades was so unusual. Because I was in honors classes, most of my peers were shooting for valedictorian or salutatorian. It was very odd to meet someone so different. Someone who did not love school but loved people so much. She loved everyone. With the love of Christ. She was always friendly and always inviting people to church, to Christ.

I had always gone to church, but having seen so much church related trauma and unloveliness, it was hard for me to be excited about it. I would NEVER have invited anyone to our church. I was embarrassed to be there myself. Two of the board members were having an affair and everyone knew it, yet no one seemed to care. In the youth group, we stood around and talked about all the places we would rather be. We sat in cars and played Prince tapes and learned all the bad songs. When I got a car and was able to drive, I went to church with this friend. I was loved and accepted immediately. I was invited to her home anytime I needed to be there. I was there alot. It was a sort of sanctuary for me. I'm sure this family might have liked more alone time than they got-but they were never unwelcoming. If it was a burden to have me so much of the time, they never showed it. They opened their home, their refrigerator, their cupboards everytime I came around. They were a special family. They were Christ to me. I can never express what is was like or how it changed me, but it did. My homelife was horrendous. This family taught me all families aren't awful, some homes are soft places to land. Some moms are nurturing even when they are exhausted. Some Dads care about their daughters and also the friends of their daughters. I felt loved, honored and important at their home. Did I mention I was there alot? I don't suppose I ever missed a church youth event or class. God used this church to teach me what it was to be a Christian. God used this friend to show me how to be real. I still slipped away from God, but the fact that I came back had alot to do with this family!!

This friend was Shellie and I love her so much for loving me back when I was the biggest struggle of her life. I grilled her and teased her about God and church relentlessly. I said and did things that shocked her. I asked her questions she could not answer and did my best to shake her faith. She did not always know the answer-but that did not shake her one bit. She just kept on loving me, loving God, and discreetly passing me her glasses so I could read the chalkboard. (Long story-but my mom did not believe I needed glasses. I was blind all through school and when I was finally working and making decent money, it was one of the first things I bought myself.) She was a rock and a spiritual anchor for me then. Her parents were ministers at her church, but oh my were they involved in the lives of their church. They were the best example I have ever seen of Godly parenting. I'm sure they had flaws. I'm sure they had struggles. I just never saw it. I never saw anything but 4 shiny halos and the love of Christ when this needy teenager came around. Let me tell you, it was completely one-sided too. I was broke and broken.

God still ministers to me through this family. I am so thankful to know them even though I don't see them as often as I used too-really hardly ever. I don't think any of them know the pedestal I have them on either. Always did, always will. Shellie made a point of telling me of a very private, scandalous thing her family went through. She did not have to. I know it was hard to tell me. She knew it would come through the grapevine and she wanted me to hear it from her. It was shocking. I felt horrible that I could not be there at such an awful time to love this family through it as they had done for so many. The devil is very cunning and none of us are immune. They were not rallied around and supported. They were scorned and shunned. This is wrong. They are still ministering for Christ. They are still on pedestals in my book too. Not in a worshipful kind of way, in a "this is what it means to LOVE GOD" mentoring kind of way. Shellie, Chandra, Mark and Sharon, you helped God help me and I love you forever for it.

Shellie, I am so glad you were able to visit with me and even gladder to see our children hang out together. I am glad to know we serve a God who brought you and your family to a little po-dunk town to touch the lives of so many, mine included. Thank you.

Friday, August 24, 2007


The yard sale had so many positive things I'm trying hard to remember them all!! First off, I did not slave away for hours upon hours. I spent about 2 and a half hours putting tags on in assorted piles on tables and called it done. I tried to price it so cheap, I would buy it again (even though I wouldn't). I got up this morning a little after I wanted to, but at 6:ish it was still a little dark for my taste so I snoozed a bit longer. I would say I still got signs hung and sale started by 7:ish. First sale was a leaf blower that hubby reluctantly decided to sell, probably cause we haven't used it since he started mowing the leaves. But he did and I am so proud. If only he would sell all the things he hasn't used in 6 years...

The kids had cookies and drinks to sell and I got the brilliant idea that they should work in shifts so I did not have to experience fighting. They had to do school when they weren't working. We got school done and I got one-on-one time with all three. many. times. chatty. chatty. times. Hubby is gigging tonight and it is a good thing, because for the first time EVAH, I'm out of words-spoken, that is! They each made $6 from their work including the Mom tip. I got lots of EXCELLENT feedback from strangers about my homemade snickerdoodles which beats the crap out of what I got from the family. ("They smell like throw-up."...WHAT? That is cinnamon!!!Whose kid are you anyway? "Chatter chatter chatter.", oh yeah, mine.)

Lilly learned money today. It took her ten seconds and she mastered who is who in the coin world. We've been teaching it for a long time, but today-it clicked. My other two were in public school for coins/money and it took them FOREVER to master money. We were doing real money at home and I blame it 100% on the fact that they used PICTURES at school. Give me a break. Whose bright idea was it to photocopy coins and test children on them. When we brought them home, our remedial money class was this: Count it correctly and you get to keep it. Less than a hour folks, less than an hour. Counting back change is taking longer, but I will only accept full mastery of that skill. Most kids(and a lot of grown-ups too!) have no idea how much change they should get back. How sad is that? The girls said at school, kids would keep their dollar bills but give change away or *GASP*, throw it away because it was too much trouble to keep up with. All I can say is, in this family we will stop to pick up a penny...'nuff said.

One person stole from me...that I know of. It has never happened to me before so I was a little shocked. She stuffed a necklace in with a bracelet and tried to pass them off that way. Busted. She tried to convince me a shirt was stained-it wasn't, so hard to pull that off outside! Busted. Then she paid me in all quarters and tried to not pay enough. Busted. She did get the price tag swap by me though. I did not catch that one till later when some crappy shoes had a $1(I distinctly remembered pricing them at 25 cents) on them and then I remembered some really good shoes bought by her having a quarter on them. What kind of scuz steals stuff at yard sales? Be nice to me and I will give it to you. She needs to take her bleachblonde heavy-smokin' grandma butt somewhere else because if you lie, steal or act rude, I will put it in the trash first. That is some Christ-likeness I have there!! It is sort of turning the other cheek, heehee.

All in all it was a good day. We made about $50, shut her down about one. We still have our Saturday left. I boxed up two boxes of "good" stuff for the keepers sale and hauled off 3 trash bags and two boxes to the salvation army. It was hot, but our hill is shady and there was a breeze all day so it was nice. Best of all though, the broken computer desk( heavy piece of crap) is gone. They knew it was beyond repair but figured they could use the parts for other things. A little voice told me the little pick-up pulling the trailer would be interested and yet again, the voices in my head served me well. I am a happy momma. I've had a long soak in a bubble bath and I am clothed in Land's End cotton and kicked back for some serious nothing time. ( :

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I DO NOT want to have a yard sale tomorrow. I think yard sales are not worth the time spent unless you are doing it with other people, then it is fun, fun, fun!! Since ours is so last minute, there isn't anyone to join with for it to be fun. Hubby will be here too and he hates yard sales. However, we have a small house (I think I have mentioned that before) and our garage is overtaken with junk. Our new club is having a yard sale to raise funds, but I would be humiliated to back up the dump truck and unload all these boxes. I want to take 4 or 5 boxes of stuff, not 20.

Hopefully we pare our crap down considerably tomorrow and then I can do round 100 of decluttering and probably come up with another 10 boxes. Come on by if you are local. Brace yourself though, I have finally consented to letting my kiddos vend refreshments.

Off I go to a garage as hot as Hades to price some "STUFF".

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Random & Odd

*I made it through co-op today with an abundance of energy despite going to bed at 2AM. Thank you makers of VAULT! and large size fudge rounds(the 25 cent ones). It is the breakfast of champions. I had Total cereal yesterday and not an ounce of energy all day.

*I discussed alcoholic drinks with my preacher today. He complimented my "smarts" and I talked about whiskey sours and pink squirrels. There we were in the same room, a former bartender and a man who never drinks. Irony?

*If I did not love my church and my church family soooooo much, I probably would not get my feelings hurt so often. I guess I'll take the hurt feelings, because my church family gets "it". Some of them even "get" me and that is "neat".

*Tobalicious is the coolest dog. He keeps getting smarter and smarter. The kittens are getting to be so cute and he does not attack when that littlest tabby furball hisses at him and makes all her fur stick out. He doesn't like them but he is good. We have two boy kittens and three girls. They are getting really cute. I'm still not tempted.

*We are planning one more yard sale. This FRIDAY. We may also wash our cars. We are doing our part to end the drought.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Sounds like such a simple word. They come in every shape, size, color and price range. WOW. I have never gone shopping for them before, so I had no clue what we were in for. I had the mistaken thought that I would go to a furniture store, find one I like and call it a day. We went to three places, one of which was Lowes and they no longer carry furniture. (I may have saved some reader a trip with that tidbit.) The other two were furniture stores and I gotta say, bookshelves in furniture stores are a wee bit overpriced. On the other hand, they are actual furniture, not the particle board, assembly required items that I am trying to avoid. We paid good money for a computer desk that broke and broke and now is junk. Very heavy junk. I have no clue how we can salvage it and it works out to have been a very poor investment. I want to get bookshelves once and know they are rugged enough to at least handle being moved from one side of the room to the other without the particle board ripping away from the anchor screws, rendering it junk.

So, even though we were just looking, I thought it would all be different. I imagined finding what I wanted and then saving up an planning for the day it could be purchased. Instead I realized some really freaky stuff is in style now, our budget was way too low for this endeaver, and even if I spend a lot of money I am still not getting what I really had pictured in my head.

I won't even start on the disappointment I felt for the entertainment center selection. OR the fact that Toyota Tundra truck cost OVER $40,000. YIKES!!! We were a tiny bit tempted to at lease look by zero interest-alas no further temptation is possible.

Anybody know anyone getting rid of a five-shelf bookcase or two, matching?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sanctification Or God ain't done with me yet!

Since I have been posting on bars, drinking, bad words and other non-lovely items, I thought I should now clarify some things. I do not believe it is OK to get drunk nor do I think it is wrong to have a drink. The Bible is crystal clear on this and also consistently talks of drinking wine in an innocent way all through the new testament. And, despite what some think, they were able to drink the water. (I give you the woman at the well, she gave Jesus a drink of...water.) It also warns against the evils of drunkenness.( I second those!) I will never support anyone's right to get drunk, it is sinful. So is gluttony-or overeating-a very common church sin. They are equal, drunkenness and gluttony and gossip and murder. Sin is sin and we all do it. However, eating is eating and having a drink is having a drink. I believe moderation is the key, but also a slippery slope for some people regarding some things! (me and cake, for instance)

With that said, I also believe that God is sanctifying each one of us in a very personal way. When he convicts us, we need to pay attention. Gluttony is a daily struggle and I often fail. Sometimes God makes us struggle through to find freedom from our sins. That is where I am and it is soooo stinking hard that it makes it hard for me to judge other people enmeshed in their own struggles (speck versus plank!). Sometimes I still manage to judge, another struggle.

My point, and I do have one is that what seems clearly wrong for one person, may not be so clearly etched for another. Some people have a drink and it is no big deal. Other people give the devil a foothold if they even think about a drink. The same way I give the devil a foothold if I make a pan of brownies when everyone else is sleeping. Or buy a 10-pack of mini candy bars. We all have struggles with sin. Some people make their sins "less wrong" than other's sin. Clearly this sanctification stuff is very complicated and personal. I don't have all the answers, I recommend studying the handbook God gave us with a little direction from the Spirit. If allowed, God speaks clearly and individually to all of his children.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Me thinks...

I am a whirlwind of emotions today. As is common with me, many outings means many episodes of getting my feelings hurt. I wish I had the ability to not take things so personal, but I don't. I get hurt and then have to take time to reflect on the hurts and decide if I am making a big deal out of nothing or if that person needs to be blown off the planet for being so insensitive. Heehee. I had something happen to me at the church dinner and while I was still reflecting another humdinger after church today. Usually Erik helps me sort out if I am making mountains out of moehills or not. Usually I am, today he agreed, both were sort of going out of their way to "snub".

I am doing the only thing I know to do. Praying for them and praying for me to be less critical and also less sensitive. I know I probably hurt people all the time and don't even realize it and I have to assume that is where these people are as well. Even though my heart is telling me otherwise. My heart is usually irrational and overly emotional.

Do you ever get your feelings hurt at church? Is it just me? Maybe my expectations of my church family are way too high.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I'm much too young to feel this D--n OLD!

This song has been running through my head all day. I keep reminding myself I am 35 not 25. Big difference. It all started Thursday night. We had a nice meeting about our new keepers of the faith club. Of course, then we had to go out to restaurants that never close, be all goofy, laugh and talk for hours about nothing and everything. Then Friday night, going to be my husband's biggest fan when I should have been catching up on sleep. Today we put the whipped topping on the tired and weak Janice sundae by going boating with Marla, Alyssa, Kelsey and all of us. It was so much fun in the hot sun. After that, two celebrations-Erik and the girls went to his parents for ribs to celebrate his big siss's birthday and I went to a church dinner that celebrated the clean slate of a member. Now I am back home to find that I am whipped. I am going to bed. I wouldn't trade the memories of the past few days for anything-friends and family are tops in my book. If I could though, I would've stretched the days out a bit over the week instead of them being all smushed in a row!!

Erik, my hat is off to you as you are drumming again tonight. You are an awesome drummer and provider for your family. I love ya , baby. I am praying you bursts of sustaining energy and a restful day tomorrow.

Groupie Again?

Some of you who know me well may worry when you read this post and the margarita post too. My life does not have all the typical "trappings"(for lack of a better word) of a Christian life. I am not a legalistic person. I believe the title is all about relationship with Christ, not being "good". Of course, I do try to be good. I just probably have a looser definition of what that means than other people I know. I don't think saying a "bad" word or drinking a margarita will send me to hell in a handbasket, but I love to joke about it with friends that I know really do kind of believe that.

Anyhoo, last night my sister-in-law and I went to a bar. She is visiting from Ohio with her teenage daughter and niece. I thought perhaps her children could come over and hang out here while my kiddos slept and she and I could go out. It is a local bar with a beer garden and really we weren't dying to go out and go to a bar. It was kind of weird, actually. I called her up.

Me: "Do you want to go to Skinny Bill's(name changed to protect the guilty) tonight? I was thinking that Alyssa and Kelsey could come over here and hang out and then my girls could just already be in bed?"

Marla: "Yeah, that sounds good. What time?"

Me: "We could leave at 9:30?"
Marla: "Wow, that's late."
Me: "I know."

Marla: "I don't have anything to wear. "

Me: "It isn't that kind of bar, it is casual. Anything goes. (Oh boy, was that the understatement of the night!!)

Then I proceeded to straighten the house a little, got the kiddos tucked away in dreamland and started getting ready to go out. Wow, it has been a long time sice I went out. I wanted to look good for a certain man, but invisible to all others. That, my friends, is a tall order. So she got here right about 9:30 and after we all oohed and ahhed over the gorgeous kittens, we headed off. I found a parking spot on the street and had to parallel park. I did ok.

We giggled about how funny it was to be going out. I talked about my bar-hopping days when I was 19-20 and she just smiled. She did not go to bars before she was old enough. She was a good girl. Then I laughed and said, "Well of course I was a bad girl, I married your brother." We laughed again. We make our way into the bar which is smoke free and totally uncrowded. Wonderful, I think. Then we go out into the beer garden. Oh, here is where all the people are. The band is on break and the drummer comes over and plants a big old smooch on me. He was HOT!!( and a little sweaty. heehee.) Then we are greeted excitedly by the entire band and ushered to THE table to be known as table one all night-not because of anything other than the people seated there. We hollered and clapped after each song and for the band member intoductions.

We got our drinks, diet coke for her and water for me. We had way more "scenery" than we had signed on for. We got much more info from a certain band member than we ever wanted. We had our table bumped by a very inebriated couple holding each other up-I mean dancing. She got to see a woman beating her man about the face (I missed it, facing the wrong way-story of my life). We got to see two very pretty girls dancing together seductively. We also were close enough to know they were just up there to have a conversation and just touched alot to make the boys a little crazy(they were).All these people out having "fun". The "fun" they have is sad. I remember well when I was having the same "fun" and it brings back feelings that ought not be resurrected.

The real thing we came to see though was Erik, my husband, her brother, our favorite drummer. He did not disappoint. It was as though I was seeing him for the first time. (It was really the millionth time.)He was so happy and full of energy. He was doing something he was made to do. He doesn't really even look up. He just smiles alot and is totally engrossed in the music and the other musicians. It was the first time I have ever really seen him in that light. He was great. He knocked my socks off. He is a really good drummer and he loves it. I was so proud of him and proud to be his "groupie". Yet, the surroundings were so awkward. It is so hard to overlook the boobs, butts, groping, drunken slurs. I wish there was another way for him to be this good and this happy without all the "scenery".

Friday, August 17, 2007

A few pics of the process. Once upon a time I thought rubbermaid containers=organized. As I emptied them I realized what a crock that was! Soon, the after pictures!!

This essay is a contest entry for a give-a-way at KERFLOP's blog.

What brings me joy?

The greatest sources of my joy, other than God, of course, are also my greatest sources of frustration. My husband and children bring me untold joy and unspeakable frustration. A typical day in my life will run the gammut of "I can't possibly haul my butt out of bed today and do it all over again." all the way to, "Oh my goodness, I have never laughed so hard in my life, my sides ache." This motherhood journey is no small task. It is totally impossible to describe. I smile when I see a lady pregnant with her first child. She is excited, but she has no clue. The laundry, the paper chases, forms, meals to prepare, dishes, art-both supplies and finished "projects", outgrown clothes, seasonal clothes and on-my-goodness, all those stinkin' shoes!!

I came into mommydom completely clueless. I am the baby of four girls. We lived with only my mom for my "formitive" years and we all pitched in all the time to keep up with housework. When I got married, I was so determined to be the best wife ever, do everything myself and make the perfect home for my perfect man. Ahem, what was I thinking!! Crazy alert. Fast forward to three kids, two cats and a dog. I would still love to be the best wife ever, but I fall quite short of that title hourly. Managing a household is huge. I burned my supermom cape years ago.

I do not love the drudgery that is housework and all the things that must be kept up with. As a homeschooling mom, it is hard to keep clean that which is ALWAYS being lived in. I have spent the last two years slowly and painfully(it hurts, it really does) decluttering our home. We have rooms that we can clean now. It is a freedom I had never imagined. It also awakened in me something I did not know existed. The organizing side of my personality. I never knew I had a side like that. I went from being a neat-nick (in the closet and drawer stuffing way) to being a total slob, and I now am slowly evolving into- a "place for everything" momma. S.L.O.W.L.Y.

I no longer bargain shop for useless crap. I can give things that are nice and new to charities if we have no use for them. I can give sacks of perfectly good clothes to friends. I have told people "no" to used furniture offers. I think long and hard over new purchases and try to really think about where it is going and what it needs to do/store. I have thrown away trash bag after trash bag of papers that we simply don't need and will never need. Now, as we seem to be down to a functional level of stuff, it is time to start a new chapter. The one where we make places for our stuff.

Right now in our dining room, we have a hand-me-down china cabinet that serves as "homeschool central". It is going this fall. We have planned and discussed that what we really need are nice floor- to- ceiling shelves, two units with a small simple desk/table between the two. In a perfect world, some of those shelves will have doors. We have not begun to shop for this until I am at a different stage, done with decluttering (I know no one is ever "done" with decluttering, but closer). We are planning one last yard sale as we retire from accumulating. I look forward to working this fall on getting our important papers in order, they are now, but it isn't a functional order. I like simple functional. I like pretty too, but that doesn't always happen.

As we slowly progress in taming the clutter of five people, I realize I am breaking a cycle. My mom can't find anything. She often even loses bills. You would never know it in her neat-as-a-pin house, but she doesn't have a good system. I'll take a little mess with alot of oganization over that any day. I hope to pass the organizing bug onto my children as well. No one can truly enjoy the life God has given us when constantly searching our homes for some lost thingamajig. Getting organized makes me feel good. It makes me look forward to the day instead of dreading it. Yes, it brings me joy.

I have drank more in the last 3 days than I have drank all year. I am a total lush, let me tell you. I bet I drink 10-12 drinks in a year. Tuesday night, I asked Erik to get the fixins for margaritas as I was craving one. I had two that night. Then two the next night after church. I had none last night but tonight I am thinking of having another.

I blame this stupid(it is not really stupid, very effective as my heels are not cracked for the first summer ever) Margarita foot scrub I have. It smells just like the real thing and I have been using it all summer. I love the scrub and the drink, but I don't think one should crave drinks all summer long. I think I will not get this particular brand again. Maybe a nice cinnamon scrub. Oh maybe not, Hot D*amn! cinnamon schnapps was an old favorite in my younger years. Best not to tempt myself.
My Apologies!!

When I created my blogroll, it was people I read everyday and didn't know all of them. I now have a much larger reading list and don't read a couple of people on my list. So imagine my dismay when a friend calls me to let me know I have p*rn on my blogroll. My list is adjusted accordingly and I am in shock. I hope none of you clicked down my list on a bored day and got the eye-opener she did!!
Cost of meal at Steak and Shake (with coupon): $7.70
Cost of tip for too-chummy waitress: $1.75 + gas $ to go away from her
Cost of drive to IHOP from Steak and Shake: $ .78
Cost of a cup of coffee at IHOP: $1.69
Fellowship and laughter: priceless

I had a blast and I am thankful to have other friends locked away from the world on a daily basis with three children who can make going out for a burger and coffee so much fun.

Steph S-You are gone but not forgotten. I hope you have at least one friend in TX who keeps you out past midnight. And makes you snort a little when you laugh.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I just won blingo!! I just won blingo!! Click on my sidebar to sign up! Use it when you search and you can win too(and so will I if you do). I have $5 off Amazon or I could have gotten a movie ticket. Something for nothing, love it!!


I was told a story one time that I cling to. I will attempt a paraphrase here. It was that all women are like roses, delicate and beautiful. Capable of doing things that bring joy to everyone around them. However, all roses have thorns, sharp and cutting. Just as working with roses will eventually lead to pain, so will working with women. Each of us has within us the ability to be lovely and the ability to injure. Each of us will bless and hurt. If we do our best to offer grace when cut by the thorns of others, we can hope grace will be extended to us when we cut others with our thorns. Only then can we appreciate the true beauty of the rose.

Once upon a time, I believed myself incapable of hurting others. HAH! Now I see that it is a frequent thing so I better be really free with the grace I extend to all the people in my life, male and female.

Anyway, as I journey along in life, I keep this illustration in mind. Lord, surround me with people who accept me for my loveliness that is you. Help them overlook the thorniness that is all me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A give-away! is giving away a JOYS organizing system. JOYS stands for "just organize your stuff". I want to win real bad since my system of organizing files really does not work. Well, maybe a little. But it isn't pretty. In fact it is butt ugly. I hate it.
The first pic is my "active" filebox. It contains things I use often. The second pic is one of my drawers in my two drawer file cabinet where all our stuff is filed. The other drawer is identical. The last pic is my stack o' stuff lying in wait for me to get a round "tuitt".

Wish me luck. Go enter. Good luck. If we don't win, I guess we can save up for it.

Updates, Y'all
  • That first picture is Toby in action. My bedroom floor. You can see he loves toilet paper, flip-flops(pink and black, he has no color preference) and a new thing, Dad's hat. He is chewing everything in sight. So far we are down two pairs of flip flops and now a postal hat. He usually is very good about chewing only his toys. We are trying to be very diligent about keeping all things picked up and put away. Declutter motivator.
  • The kittens are growing. Everyone has their eyes open. We all have a favorite again but we will not be keeping one this time. Two cats is plenty. I miss my snuggly little gray gray. She comes out frequently to be loved on, but she is a good little momma and spends most of her time snuggling her babies. We will get her fixed ASAP. One week after the last little meower has moved on.
  • We just finished breakfast at 11:07. We are on a crazy mixed-up schedule and I don't like it one little teeny tiny bit. Lunch has been cancelled for today and we will sup as soon as the mailman gets home. No one has plans for tonight. Ahhhh-it's been weeks since we were all home at the same time. Having supper together on a cleared off table.
  • School work is 87% finished. YEAH! I finished my teacher stuff yesterday! Go anti-procrastination!
  • Our new club starts in Sept. I am so excited!! We have fantabulous moms who are also excited and we will all co-lead together. HAPPY am I!! We have our main meeting this Thurs. and we will iron out all the details. I am so excited to have good friends along with new friends making up this club.
  • My head is throbbing and I wake up every day with a back ache. I also have hormones raging out of control. Every morning, I wonder who will wake up needing to go pee first, me or Toby. I won today, but he was willing to go as well. Usually it is the other way around. At my physical this year I will have many questions and concerns. My thyroid seems to be out of control. My medicine has been upped the last three times it has been checked. I think we may need a new plan or something. I am researching here hoping to figure something out?? No clue what. My body is going somewhere the proverbial handbasket. As long as my soul doesn't follow, I guess.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Homeschool Curriculum!

I wanted to jump on the late bandwagon of the curriculum posts. Her link will trace you back to the original link which I am not linking because I read Sandy. Anywho, I don't have the homeschool longevity that Sandy does, I only really have about two years in-but in that time I have two tried and trues that I love.
Shurley English
I believe everyone should have a very strong grasp of language arts. I believe that even if you choose not to follow all of the rules all the time, you should still know what they are. This course starts at grade 1 and continues through grade 6, then it switches gears at grade 7. I love it because it starts small every year and builds all the parts of speech in. Kid learn and learn and learn some more. It also throws in some vocabulary and writing to make it a TP-total package.
Spell To Write and Read
I could go on and on about this program, but I won't. We have been taught all of our lives how words in English don't follow rules. This is not true. English words follow English rules. We just have alot of foreign words in our language and that makes things difficult. This course is preK-12 and starts with sounds letters make and turns your child into the best speller ever. It forces you to slow down and THINK about each word and the sounds made, not just sound it out blindly(and incorrectly). The true beauty of this plan is that it only takes about 15 minutes a day. GLORY! Plus, older children benefit from teaching the younger kids, not that this is a possibility in our home, but works for other people I know.
Lastly, a new and wonderful jewel. Marvelous. If you have a preschooler or early reader, go there right now. Choose the appropriate level and let your kid play(learn) there right now!!
Random and Odd

*My butt is kicked. I am so tired, exhausted really. Summer is still going and yet school is started too. It is all too much when coupled with the fact that I was a single mom all last week while Erik was out of town and then he had gigs this weekend, ran all day yesterday. I want to stay at home today but as there is no food in the house, a trip out is essential.

*We are the proud owner of an organ. Seems hubby did not get the decluttering memo. Just kidding, we are excited to have Lilly loving music so much. We have a friend who loves this type of organ, so he can help us clean it up and get it going if it needs help. We got it free off of free-cycle and we are scared to try it without him. It is in beautiful shape though. Since it was free, we expected a "project".

*We have decided we must have a yard sale, it seems that will be the quickest, easiest way to get our garage cleaned out of all the things I have parked there. Except now there is an organ kind of in the way.

*I read a great book this weekend. "Mixed Signals" by Liz Curtis Higgs. I really enjoyed it. My friend Sherry recommended her as a fiction author. She actually recommended some of her fiction based on the old testament, but this book had a cooler cover...Sometimes I do judge a book by its cover. This time it turned out well.

*Our scales have been without a battery for several weeks. I have been unable to weigh in because of this. Today, I put batteries in and I was so excited that maybe I had dropped down while I was scale-less. Nope, I weigh the same.

*Erik's aunt who is my age and originally from Thailand, came to visit this weekend. She now lives in Fort Pierce. If you recall, Erik's uncle-her husband-passed away last year leaving her with two very young children. (3 and 5) Well after she got over the shock of him dying and also got adjusted to handling money (he left her alot of money but she did not even know how to write a check), she became very lonely. Since she is from Thailand, she had no idea how to meet someone, so she went to Phil does a commercial for them!) This time when she came to visit, she brought a friend that she wanted us to meet and give our blessing. He was fabulous, he helps her with the kids, very intelligent, good job, his daughter is 17. He is in his 40's. The family gave a big stamp of approval and I have a whole new respect for online dating. They sure are a good match. I am so glad she has a new friend and most importantly, that he is so much closer to her age. Her parents were younger than Uncle Ted.

*I have to get off of here. I have a list of errands about a mile long. Run, run, run. AND. A list of homework 2 miles long. Fun, fun, fun.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Well, today makes it official. All three of my kids can outswim their momma. Lilly jumped off the diving board today at Uncle Danny & Aunt Wanda's pool. She did great and did it many times. She is 6. Erika and Kayla are jealous that Lilly is doing it so much younger than they are. They were 9. If you recall, last year was my first time-jumping in, no diving board. Today, as I was mentally bracing myself just to jump into the deep end of the pool, I asked Erika and Kayla what they would do if I didn't come up. They thought out a plan and before they finished, I jumped in and swam up. "Just so you have a plan.", I said.

One of my big fears was that somehow I would pass on my fear of water to them-or one of them. Instead, I have worked dilligently to expose them to as much fun in the water as possible and prayed they would be safe and love it. Having a Dad with a love of boating, swimming and no fear has also been a big help.

Perhaps lifeguarding might even be in their futures. I always thought that would be such a cool job. Oh wait, for a moment there I was living vicariously.

Friday, August 10, 2007


A friend emailed this to me. Jokes are funniest when you share.

As the bus stopped, and it was her turn to get on, she became aware that her skirt was too tight to allow her leg to come up to the height of the first step of the bus.Slightly embarrassed and with a quick smile to the bus driver, she reached behind herself to unzip her skirt a little, thinking that this move would give her enough slack to raise her leg. She tried to take the step, only to discover that she couldn't.So, a little more embarrassed, she once again reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little more, and for the second time attempted the step.Once again, much to her chagrin, she could not raise her leg. With a little smile to the driver, she again reached behind to unzip a little more and again was unable to take the step. About this time, a large Texan who was standing behind her picked her up easily by the waist and placed her gently on the step of the bus.She went ballistic and turned to the would-be Samaritan and yelled, "How dare you touch my body! I don't even know who you are!" The Texan smiled and drawled, "Well, ma'am, normally I would agree with you, but after you unzipped my fly three times, I kinda figured we was friends."

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I kind of feel a little like Lilly must feel all the time, because I had a wonderful day. We went to a waterpark with our homeschool group and I had so much fun. I did not realize just how fast a family tube can go! Or how hard one can laugh while going so fast. I won't go into all the details, because, well, you just had to be there. And even then, laughing at yourself is much funnier than laughing at someone else so it still couldn't be as funny to you as it was Mia and I. We also had the perfect passengers, because I don't think they understood at all why we were laughing sooooo much, they just joined in and enjoyed the ride.

Mia is a blessing in every way. I know God sent her to me to be a precious friend and I am so thankful. I only hope to reciprocate the blessings! I hope she doesn't hate me too much for making her stay until the park closed. It had to be done.

After writing my high school meme, I did a search for my long unheard from best friend and finally located him...maybe. I sent him a quick email that was very non-commital because it could have not been him. After I got home today, he had emailed back and it was him. We were able to catch up a bit until my cell phone died. I am so glad to hear from him and catch up a bit. He's a DR. now, not MD, PhD. I am impressed and happy for him. He is teaching at a university in Florida. I feel certain he will come to his senses and move to Colorado soon though. He is more of a mountains guy than a beach bum. Good thing I called and told him this. Saving the world one person at a time, I am. He may read this blog and comment...I'm afraid. Be kind.

Then I got a call from hubby and had a nice conversation with him. He told me about the great steak he JUST. COULD. NOT. FINISH and I cried a little as I scrambled eggs and warmed up left-overs. Not just any steak, but an OUTBACK steak, which is the best steak ever. Life is so unfair sometimes.

My friend Jennifer called and we caught up on our day. We rely very heavily on phone calls-short or long-to get through most days. We can discuss if we are crazy, how wonderful our cats are and just take a little break from refereeing. For some insane reason, she did not join the waterpark fun today and soooo, we had to chat up the day a bit.

Then my friend Harold Ann called and we had much laughter over the antics of the preschoolers we taught together Sunday. We shared excitement over the fact that I have a teacher for Sunday and we need not repeat the experience. We did have fun though. Maybe the kids did too...heehee.

So I give this day an A. I have had a little "me" time. I've been surrounded by water and water sounds all day. (For some reason this calms me-especially if it isn't deep) I have used up all my words with wonderful friend conversations. I have had a whole bunch of live people conversations and I am going to bed before midnight. If my other half were in there to snuggle with, it would be an A++ day. I miss you honey and TGIF (tomorrow) will a never be truer!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Parenting Process

Gruelling! Constantly changing to suit the needs of my constantly changing kiddos. First, a tidbit about co-op and the change in my teaching style. I am still loving my class of boys. I have them twice, once for english, then again for science. Today, I walked into a paperwad fight. Last year I might have stroked out. This year I said, "Okay guys, that was fun. Now it's time to pick them up, throw them in the garbage and take a seat." They did. We had a great class. I am learning these are kids that just need a little tension breaker here and there. (me too!) It is hard to sit in a seat for a whole hour. If we can begin the class cutting up and then tone it down and get started, it works. I am super strict and they know it-but I am nice about it.

K-1 is a whole other ballgame though. I am glad to only be the helper. I may enjoy my 3rd-4th graders even more because I had preK-K last year. They want to sit still, it is just so hard. Plus they are tired. Crabby is hard to love. (right Erik? heehee)

The change in me is that I had the realization that kids are people too. Thinking, feeling people that will grow up into adults that will always remember how I treated them. What do I want my legacy to be? It occurrs to me that the most important thing is for the kids to feel loved, not to have excellent behavior. They won't remember what they did to make me scream at them, only that I often screamed at them. Do I want that to be their teaching/parenting memories? I am so sad to just now be learning this with my own. Kids are LEARNING to behave, they haven't mastered it. How you love a misbehaving kid sends them a message that will make a huge impression, good or bad. I was a mean teacher/mom before. Bossy and demanding. Don't give an inch. Now I realize that this doesn't bear the type of fruit I want. Instead, it plants seeds of rebellion that grow into a pretty mean plant.

My oldest two were always very well behaved as youngsters. I made sure of it. I never took my eye off of them. Constant rebuke and correction. I was exposed to a couple of parenting "experts"(self-proclaimed) that were all about establishing authority to the max. These guys were and still are so outspoken about how everyone should parent, I am not sure they even see their own kids. They preach good parenting is making your child know who is boss and making them toe the line. Not having much parenting myself, I latched onto that theory and have used it right up until now. Now I look at the fruit of that theory (their kids all grown up) and I am sure I DON'T want that!!

I am so thankful I have time to back-pedal a bit and show my kids a little more love and compassion. God is the perfect parent, he disciplines us in a huge way, but always with love. The punishment always fits the crime. I was also exposed to some really effective parenting that wasn't as showy or boisterous. These people did not stand before the masses and brag on their parenting styles, they just are quietly raising good kids. I look at the fruit and think, "Wow, those are the kind of kids I want." No, they aren't perfect. They make boatloads of mistakes-AND learn from them. I don't want perfect kids because I know it is a smokescreen for rebellion done privately. I'll take a teachable screw-up over a superficial perfect any day. Just like my Father(Heavenly, that is).

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

These pics are as close as I can get to a picture of my first car. I am sure they have all been crushed by now. I thought it was a 1974 Volare, but it turns out it was a 1976-since that is when they started making them. Mine was gray with Maroon interior. It was crappy 70's paint that was rough and never really looked clean. It was a good first car-no glamour, but it got me from point A to point B and only cost $400.

My high school meme:
1. Who was your best friend?Jon Braddy

2. Did you play any sports? No, but sometimes I wrote about them in the school newspaper.

3. What kind of car did you drive?1976 Plymouth Volare, and then a 1984 Ford EXP

4. It’s Friday night. Where were you? Working at Chong's or at a play at Market house with Jon if I'm off.

5. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir? NO.

6. Were you a nerd?Yes, a card carrying "smart girl". In Senior English class, no one turned their papers in until I proofed it. My skills have waned since then. I was also in FFA, so that made me a little less "nerdy", or at least in the pre-Napolean days it did. I blame those jackets.

7. Who was your favorite teacher? Senior English-Mrs. Simpson An A in her class was nearly impossible. I got one. Mrs. Watkins for Biology 1 and 2-she was great.

8. What was your school mascot? The Eagles

9. Did you go to the Prom? Junior year I did-had a great time but not enough to go again, senior I did not, but I did go to the prom bash-it was a mock casino and I won a truck(It was an old beater truck and I took money instead. Erik dies a little when I tell that story. I don't even know the make and model. He married me despite this horrible skeleton in my closet.)

10. If you could go back, would you? Never. I had great fun, made lots of mistakes, and learned alot.

11. What do you remember most about graduation? A whole lot of us hid silly string in our gowns and when we threw our hats we also sprayed silly string. It was so pretty. I wish I could've seen it from the bleachers.

12. Did you have a job your senior year? Oh yeah, from age 15 on I worked as much as I could. Summers, I worked about 3 part-time jobs.

13. What did you do after graduation? I went to PCC for three years, first majoring in nursing(HATED it), then communications, then met Erik and lived happily ever after. I should've gotten that communication degree-I could use it now!

14. What year did you graduate?1990

15. Are you going/did you go to your reunion?We have had a five year and that is all. I went, it was fun but way too soon. I hope we have more, but with our officers, it is doubtful.

TAG, anyone that will.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Crazy from the heat

Or maybe it is all this blasted clutter. I am milling through it all slowly. It is torturous and dreadful. And stacked in a corner of the garage. Yard Sale seems unavoidable. Our new club is having a yard sale, but I think my 75 boxes might be a little intimidating for other people to work through. I figure I can do a sale and still have plenty more for the next sale. Especially since there is still more cleaning out to do, but it has to wait until the other stuff is gone before I can add more to the pile. Hard to believe how much crap I have accumulated in such a small area.

Fun thing this morning-my house is a special kind of trashed reserved for de-cluttering. IT is never super because I am not much of a flybaby, but it is usually somewhat decent. My in-laws popped in for a quick visit. Oh my my. That is a fun surprise. Now my mom would be bad, she wishes I were neater. But Erik's parents are just so neat. I have never seen them have a mess. Ever. Erik often tries to share her cleaning tips with me. The look from hell usually stops him mid-sentence.

Today is my oldest daughter's birthday. We are going out for dinner and fun times after that. We could have done fun stuff today as well but between the smart-alec back talk and the boatloads of homework, we have been little worker bees instead. They are taking a little break to photograph the kittens. I love digital cameras. They can take all they want and I can just delete any I don't want. Love it.

Happy 11th Birthday, Erika.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I had a post for today...but then I read Kerflop's and she pretty much wrote what I was thinking. Just fill-in "cleaning out my girl's rooms" and "my homeschool shelves" where she has her "closet". And subtract any help by anyone else.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Once a year, usually on the hottest day of the year, my family joins for a family reunion to celebrate my Grandma's birthday. She is no longer with us yet we still maintain the date. It is the worst weather KY has to offer, always hot and humid. August is a time to go away from KY, maybe north to Chicago or Michigan. Instead, we have people from Florida, Illinois(Chicago) and Michigan make their way down to Hell's kitchen for a potluck and sweaty hugs. Sometimes you can also add Missouri and California to that list as well. Today was the day. The heat index was around 100 which makes it a perfect day for hugs (we are such a hugging family-even guests get hugged) . I am a huggy person and many times today I just stuck out my hand. Very out of character for me, but I was hot and sweaty and just done with the whole hug thing.

The kids had a great time, they always do. They played until they were ordered in for a "cool-down". Then we turned off the tube and sent them out again after there faces were no longer beet red. After all, porch sitting is the order of the day. You can cycle in and out of the air-but much porch sitting is required. It always starts off slow, but pretty soon the catching up and reminiscing starts and it is nice. I love my cousins, aunts, uncles. I am glad people keep showing up each year. Some years are bigger than others. Travel for some of those out-of-towners ceases to be a priority now that Ma has passed on. They now come every few years instead of every year, however, several of them have missed very few years if any. Some people have good excuses not to travel-like my cousin who is 8 months pregnant.

My Uncle Vern, now the most senior member of the family-that's him in the pic with Lilly and Bethany(notice how red their faces are!)-and my cousin Cheryl come from Mich. every year. Sometimes other members of the fam come along with them. My cousin Jerry makes it most every year from West Palm Beach. My cousin Cindy and her Mom and Dad(That's a pic of them) make it from McHenry, a suburb of Chicago. They have never missed. She usually brings her fella, Chuck as well but he had to work-we missed him! Others that attend are not as regular in attendance so it is a bonus year when even more make it in. I am so happy that we all still gather. My sisters and I really enjoy it. I wish I had taken more pictures. For some reason I only took 4. I'm blaming the heat.

Many many years ago, my Dad's third wife divorced him in a very hideously ugly divorce. Ugly even for divorce. It was a hard time. We all worried the reunion would be no more. Then we prayed every one would still come because Dad needed it. Everyone still came-but it was oh so forever changed. Barbara was such a gracious host-looked forward to the reunion. She planned, saved, cooked and made the reunion such a fantastic thing. The house was bursting with people, love, laughter and food. It is different without her. My Dad really tries to pull it off, but the rest of us really have to pitch in a whole lot and then we still only scratch the surface to what it was with Granny Barb. My dad very simply lacks hospitality. He does not know how to welcome even though in his heart I know he is so happy everyone still comes. He might appreciate the things Barbara did now that he has hosted alone for a while-but I don't think so. Plus, living alone all these years has made him really enjoy his solitude. My sister Linda and I noticed many times throughout the day that he seemed to be "done". The house was full of flies and kids running in and out. Annoying. The adults were running in and out to. 'Cause it was hotter than a $2 pistol.

I keep hinting as to how nice our May and Late September weather is. I don't think anyone is listening though. 100 degrees tends to make the brain shut down. So next Aug, we shall sweat again. And, thank God for family willing to travel to Hell's kitchen for hugs and a potluck.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Growing Up

No this is not my darling oldest returning from camp, but setting out on a new adventure a mere 8 hours after returning from camp. A new gut-wrenching adventure. An adventure that I have debated all summer long. I have interviewed people and worried and wondered and supposed.

This picture is Erika joining the youth group. She is now officially in the youth group as a middle schooler. (All that stuff is for a Back-to-school lock-in) I talked to a few people regarding this decision and then came out with a different one. They waited until 7th grade. I chose not to. Many factors weigh in, but one just kept hitting me in the face more than any other. She needs it. She needs to get out there and make an identity for herself. She needs to be the oldest child and everyone know it, not assume her little sister is because she is taller. She needs to let people see who she is.

She thrived at camp. She earned every badge which earned her The Outdoorsman Award, the highest honor in this system of camps. I am so proud. I did not earn it when I went there. Erik did, but it took him two(or 3, I can't remember) years. Approximately 950 out of 6000 earn it. I had already made up my mind that we would give youth group a trial run, but then I felt her camp success was an affimation that it was the right decision. It is still a privilege that could be revoked easily. She knows it is dependent, not automatic. I am hoping she takes it serious, learns from wonderful teachers and begins emerging into the wonderful christian young lady God wants her to be.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I am cleaning my eldest daughters room OUT while she is gone. This is what I found under her bed. Must've happened yesterday while we were all gone all day. I wish I had been here for the births. Aren't they sweet. Five little cuties. I was worried there would be 15 because Gray Gray was as big as a house. Of course I did not find them in this posh cat box, but moved them there from the pile of stuff they were on under Erika's bed.
Did we ever get around to getting our cat spayed? That would be a no. Tobilicious is though so that is something, right?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Too much to blog...

Bullets 'cause there is too much floatin' around in my brain for a coherent post.

  1. Co-op was something I have been fretting over since it ended last. So many things about co-op freak me out, yet I need it and love it. It has been really good for me. The built-in accountability has pulled me up in a way I can't explain. However, this year, I have two classes of all boys. I was sweating bullets because I know girls and have no boys. I loved it. Those boys were great. I think I may have to say boys are easier. They fidget more. They want to see who can talk the loudest more-but they respect one another and me. I didn't have to lay down the law or be their best buddy. I had it at hello. WOW. Girls are not easy. Girls are mean and you have to prove yourself and sometimes they really think they know more than you. A room full of girls? Conflict times ten and I only had 5 last year in the classes I taught. There was disrespect and pecking order all over the place.****(EDIT-my girls were right smack in the middle of the disrespect and pecking order-didn't want anyone thinking it was just other peoples kids-it is all girls in my experience!!)**** I think I would like to teach K-1 or all boys from now on.
  2. We stalked our kids at camp this afternoon and actually got to see one of them. It was Erika and she has earned three badges and I am so proud. She also caught a fish. I know she is having lots of fun. We were screaming across a lake-but I could hear how much she is loving it. Unfortunately, she is not the one I am worried about. Erika makes friends easily and is kind of like teflon in the conflict department. She can hang with a group of girls and not get lost in the aforementioned crap. Kayla is a very loyal black/white girl. Rules are rules and you follow them. She does much better with a group of guys. She loves fashion, clothes, and all things girl except most other girls. She has very few girls she wants to be friends with. She has maintained the friends she has though since birth. Not quite, but friends are for life in her world. I hope she is having fun. She is at a learning camp though and I am sure she has 5 or 6 new counselor friends.
  3. Lilly today, walking to the playground at a Marina we boated to. "This is the best day of my life. I love this playground." She gets to the playground and one piece of equipment she loved is gone. Strike one. She is scared to slide down the pole and Mom and Dad won't help her. Strike two. She goes over to the climbing thing and there is a cicada. Strike three. (Even though I walked over and swatted it away with my shoe-after we discussed how they are different this year from last, why that is, and how even though it looks big and scary, it pretty much reproduces and dies-nothing to fear. Teachable moments, you gotta seize them.) She comes over and sits between us. "I don't like this playground...blahblahblah.....what else can we do I don't want to stay here.........complaincomplainblahblah. A golf cart pulls up with a little boy in it. Big smile. "Someone's here!" She then goes over makes friends, slides down the pole after him, tells him all about the bug and then they play pirates. In addition to drama queen, I am pretty sure she is a people person.
  4. I am way too tired to be blogging. Goodnight.
Back to School

Today is the day for back to school. Lilly and I are both excited. Big girls are missing it. They will have fun make-up work. Lots to do this morning so not a lengthy post.

If you read my post on Fat, my apologies, I meant to hit save but I pushed publish. It wasn't ready and had alot of angst in it. I have deleted it because it was just a little too raw. If you did not read it-good.