Not Me! Monday - If NOT ME....Who?

Visit MckMama for more NOT ME! Monday posts!

Last week, we had 2 little foster kittens at the house.
Then I got an email from the head of the rescue group.
There was a mommy cat and 5 beautiful, still-nursing kittens at the shelter
who really deserved a shot at life.

Could I pick them up and foster them? NOT ME!

Would I add 6 more animals to the zoo? No way, NOT ME!

Would I give this sweet Mama a chance to live and raise her babies? NOT ME!

Would I give this wild man a chance to have a happy, cozy home? NOT ME!
(he's just meowing, I swear!)

Who would give these sweet babies a warm, safe home until they can be adopted and bring their love and joy to another family? NOT ME?
If not me...who?

There are nowhere near enough homes for them all.
There are also not enough foster homes for them all.
Do you have room in your home and your heart to foster even one kitten?
Do you have a tiny bit of extra time to save a life?

It doesn't take much. Most rescues pay for everything....food, litter, vetting, etc. All it costs is love and a very small amount of time, picking up the kittens and then taking care of them (feeding, watering, changing litter).

Summer is "kitten season". (the kitten in that pic looks just like one of our fosters!!)

I can promise you that your local shelter, Humane Society, ASPCA, or rescue group(s) would JUMP at your offer to foster kittens right now.

Can you help save a life?
If NOT YOU...who?


Wordful Wednesday - A Boy and His Cat

Wordful Wednesday
A while back, one of the nurses with whom I work asked me if we could take in a cat. She had found him as a kitten, injured on the side of a road, and nursed him back to health. For several reasons, she felt that it was best that she rehome him. We decided to take him into our zoo home and that he would be Andrew's cat.

At first, Wall-E was very scared and timid. He hid a lot, especially from Lilly, the Evil Ruler of the Cat World. But now, he's really come out of his shell and he LOVES Andrew.

When we were watching movies the other night, Wall-E came over to Andrew to get some cuddles.

(I love this picture. The smile of contentment on Andrew's face says it all.)

And in other news...Charlie, who is Elayna's cat, has come out as a cross-dresser.
He was proudly carrying my purse!

Good thing we're open minded in the DysFUNctional household. He can let his freak flag fly!

Go visit Angie for more WordFUL Wednesday posts!

**Please excuse the terrible quality of these pictures. My digital camera broke and I still haven't replaced it. If you're tired of looking at these crappy photos and would like to send me a new digi, I will be happy to provide you with my mailing address!! =D **


Weekend Wrap-Up 5.26.09

When the weekend ends late, the Weekend Wrap-Up shall be posted late. So it is said, and so it shall be.

We had a super weekend. John was off for five days and I will really miss him being home. We had so much fun together, just the two of us (it was our no-kid weekend).

Saturday we just went shopping and thrifting. Scored some GREAT deals and had a good time together.
Sunday, my niece and her boyfriend were going to St Augustine for the day and asked if we wanted to come along. Um, YEAH!!! So we spent the day there. We hit the beach & downtown, did a lot of hanging out and a little shopping.

I hate feet, but I love toes-on-the-beach pictures.

Me & John in front of Fort Matanzas.

Me & John on the Pier at Anastasia Island. The sun was setting behind us.

And this is me and my niece on the Pier. Sorry for all that boob I'm flashing. ;o)

We met a little crab scurrying around the beach. He was cute!

Then on Memorial Day, John & I slept late and then had a picnic lunch at Lake Alice. We usually see alligators there, but yesterday we only saw turtles and fish.

That evening, the kids came home and we had a movie night. We watched Mrs. Doubtfire, which cracked us up because John's Grandma looks and talks EXACTLY like Mrs. Doubtfire. (she even wears a wig, but I did not tell you that!!)
It's hilarious!

Only two more weeks of school and then the kids are out for summer vacation! WOOHOO!!

Hope y'all had a great, long weekend.


Simple Pleasures Sunday

The Big Things are great. Weddings, vacations, holidays.

But the simple, day to day pleasures can be absolutely wonderful.

My Simple Pleasures....

...... a flower, picked by one of my children, and proudly presented to me.
...... candles burning and filling my home with their lovely aroma.

...... sleeping while it's raining outside. Or even better - storming.

...... one of my cats purring on my lap.
...... my sweet old dog Suzie sleeping curled beside me.
...... a hot, hot shower.

...... tending to my flowers and watching them grow.

...... sitting outside in the evening with John and the kids, sipping sweet tea, and waving at the neighbors as they pass by.

What are your Simple Pleasures?


Poop, F-bombs, and DysFUNction.

Mostly, I try to keep things really positive here on my blog. I do believe in positive thinking, and I'm just not one to dwell on the negative, in any aspect of my life.

But sometimes I wonder if I give the wrong impression.

In my world, everyone actually isn't a pony. And we don't eat rainbows or poop butterflies.

Trust me. They forget to flush a LOT. That stuff ain't butterflies.

So, I thought I'd blog about a few not-so-pretty things.

* I yell. I'm a yeller. I used to SCREAM, though. That was ugly. Now I just yell. Much better! (seriously, it is.)

* I am one of the most impatient people you will ever meet.

* My sense of humor is totally dark & disturbed.

* I'm a procrastinator. Why do today what I can put off until next week?

* Although I do tend to not stress out much, we do have our share of worries. Such as...

- aging parents/grandparents. (and an aging dog - my little shadow, Suzie, is 16!)
- loved ones overseas in the military.
- recession, pay cuts, $$$$!!
- an old house which we LOVE but is also a temperamental old beast.
- old cars which we also love (especially the fact that they're paid for!) but are also temperamental.

* I am a temperamental old beast.

* John and I never fight. We rarely even disagree. What's the negative, you ask? How the heck are you supposed to have makeup sex when you never fight?! We're going to have to work on this.

So, there you have it. The dark, dysFUNctional negative side of my life.

Have a wonderfully dysFUNctional weekend!!!


WordFUL Wednesday ~ Cute Edition

Holy Wednesday, Batman! I can't believe it's Wednesday already, and I haven't posted in forever.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that we picked up 2 new kittens last week. Not surprisingly, they are CUTE as buttons!! One of them had to have his tail partially amputated because it was degloved. If you don't know what that means....don't look it up. It's sad. =(
Now he has a little half tail and it is SO FREAKING CUTE!! I just love him. He's a little timid. The other one is fearless and bad to the bone.

It's really interesting to see the distinct personalities in such tiny kittens. They are so new to this world, but they have minds of their own already!

So, here they are.

This one is the one with the half tail. We call him Tails.

This is the feisty one. He has a cute little black mark on his nose, so his name is Smudge. (although more often he's called "GetBackHereYouLittleShit!")

And one more fun shot...this is me and Elayna last week when I had lunch with her. I love her snaggle-toothed grin!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, my friends!
For more WordFUL Wednesday posts, visit Seven Clown Circus.


Whoever said life would be easy....

....lied. Don't believe that for a moment.

It IS what you make it. It IS good. But easy? It's not.

Especially when you are nine years old and have more on your plate than most adults can handle.

My stepson, Andrew, has ADHD (phsycian-diagnosed). He also has anxiety (me-diagnosed). He also has many yet-undiagnosed issues.

He also has a "mother" who has serious mental issues, and has deserted him completely at this point. He has only seen her once since October, and that was for 10 minutes. On the rare occasions that she calls, he refuses to talk to her. He's terrified of the thought of seeing her. The one brief time of his life that he lived with her full-time was horrible. He tells us things about that period that fill us with a combination of rage and utter sadness. He told us that her name is the worst curse word in the world. This is totally unprompted by us, we don't even bring her up. But occasionally he remembers something that he feels the need to tell us about. The most recent was a story about her making Andrew walk their husky. He was a very large and strong-willed dog, and he got away from Andrew. His punishment? "C" took one of Andrew's favorite possessions, a Build-a-Bear that he'd made with us, and ripped it to shreds.

If you wonder how I know that Andrew has anxiety....the two biggest clues are his non-existant fingernails which he has chewed away, and the bald spot on his head from where he was literally pulling his hair out. He's also terrified of being away from his family, except for at school. Twice he's been invited to join friends in very fun activites. Twice they've left, only to have to turn around and bring him home, because he was close to having a panic attack.

He has told us that he never wants to see his "Mother" again (he refers to her by her first name, "C"). He wants to go back in time and change biology and for me to have given birth to him. His feelings towards her caused my friend, a nurse with extensive psych knowledge, to say "What in the HELL did she do to him??"

He needs counseling, and we're working on that. My insurance company failed to add him to my policy as I requested, so now we're jumping through hoops while paying out of pocket for the very expensive medications he requires. We're doing our best; we have a lot on our plates. But it doesn't compare to the burden that this small child is carrying.

His issues are not easy for us to deal with either. Even though we know it's not his fault, and know what he's been through, we are only human and it's hard not to get frustrated at times. He also needs discipline, in fact he craves discipline; the normal, healthy kind.

My Mother-in-law recently called Andrew's "mother" about some paperwork that we need. "C" casually said to my MIL, "Well, I guess I'll never see Andrew again." MIL explained to her that Andrew is doing well, that he is healing from all of the things that SHE put him through, and the best thing she can do is let him continue to heal. But by this time, "C" was on to a different topic already.

So, I received the Mother's Day presents. When my in-laws took him shopping, he shopped for me. When he made cards and crafts at school, they were for me. He very proudly presented them to ME.

And when "C" took time out of her busy life to call on Mother's Day, which was also her birthday...he refused to talk to her.

You reap what you sow.

His life will never be easy. We worry about his future. But at least he has us to help him along the way.


Weekend Wrap-Up 5.11.09

I hope you all had a great Mother's Day Weekend! I definitely did.
Friday night, we went to the Crawfish Boil in St Augustine and had a blast!!

Saturday, we went to St Augustine beach, the fort, and shopped & had lunch along St George's street. It was great!

Then I ended up not feeling well so we went ahead and left Saturday afternoon. We spent the night with the in-laws. Other than that, we had a really good time overall, and I felt much better Sunday morning.

Sunday was Mother's Day, of course. Hubby had given me a single red rose the day before, and woke me up with a massage. Ahhh! We picked my kids up from their dad and headed over to my parents' house. Andrew came over with the in-laws. We had a very nice time and I got some beautiful gifts. I also got some of the best cards ever! The one from my MIL was especially nice. Also, Tim and Shelbie bought Mother's Day cards themselves for me, and they were both great. The Littles made cards for me which were super-sweet!

Also on Sunday, I found out that a reader of my blog adopted one of our Foster Kittens!! The kittie were at Petsmart this weekend with the rescue group. Astaryth had emailed about them after realizing we live not terribly far from one another. So Saturday, she visited Petsmart and took home the little black and white girl! I'm thrilled that I'll get to watch her grow through Astaryth's blog! There are still four left...is there anyone else nearby out there looking for a kitteh? =)

*ETA: I almost forgot to tell you ~ I am 36 years old today! We celebrated yesterday but hubby is making dinner for me tonight. Gotta love him!

Hope your week is great!


Yo Mama!

So, what are you doing for Mother's Day?
Our recent Mother's Day celebrations have gotten a little less ordinary and more fun.

We always celebrate my birthday on Mother's Day, because it's always close to the day and sometimes falls on Mother's Day. Several years ago I started the tradition of making lasagna every year. We all meet up at my parents' house and have a good time.

My ex's mother passed away many years ago, so until I met John, sharing the day was never an issue. But now we both have mothers to celebrate. So last year, I got a great idea. Since my parents and his family really like each other and enjoy one anothers' company, I invited his family to just come join our celebration. They did, and we all had a great time!

So, we made that our new tradition. This year we'll have all three of the women over who helped make my husband the awesome man he is today; his mother, aunt, and grandmother.

I'll make the lasagna, we'll exchange gifts, and hang out and have fun.

(and my mom's not mad at me at the moment, woohoo!)

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Mother's Day!

How will you celebrate?
Do you have any traditions?


Random Friday Fragments

These could also double as Random Tuesday Thoughts, because they are totally random, except, well, it's Friday. So you get Fragments.

~ I took the foster kittens to the UF Vet Clinic to get spayed/neutered yesterday. When I picked them up, I had to take the Littles in with me (that's what we call Andrew and Elayna). The place I take fosters to is the surgical area, and I'm sure they prefer that kids don't go back there, but I had no choice. So I made it out like a field trip for them. Elayna currently says she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up (and I SOOO would love it if she stayed on that course!), so I told her that it was the place she'd learn to be a vet, if she goes to the UF. They got to see the skeletons of a monkey, ostrich, & iguana. They also got to see 2 surgeries in progress, although they couldn't see the animal, just the vet's hands, instruments, etc. They did great, touched nothing, and had fun! And the kittens did very well with the surgeries. They will go to Petsmart for potential adoption this weekend, so at the end of the weekend we could bring home anywhere from 0-5 kitties!

~ I'm already really tired of reading about the Jon & Kate + 8 cheating scandal. But I just have to give my .02. The comments about her deserving it, and it being understandable because she's such a bitch? Piss.Me.OFF. Yes, she is most definitely a bitch. But cheating is not justifiable. If he was so miserable, he should've LEFT. Cheating is the cowardly act of a gutless liar.

~ I'm also tired of the Swine Flu hysteria. My friend Tonjia at One Step Forward said it best. I hate how people spread panic over illnesses that are not anything to freak out over. And I just love this pic from A Thorn Among Roses.

~ My friend Rocksee over At the Porch Swing is having a contest for a very good cause. Check it out!

~ I have 99 followers. 99, people! Who's going to be #100? Come on, give me that silly little thrill. lol!

~ We are going on a much-needed mini-vacation this weekend. It was planned at the last minute when we found out that this event was taking place at our favorite place in the world, St. Augustine. We rushed around and made plans. Happy Early Birthday to me! I can't wait to eat some crawfish, get my drinks on, and watch some awesome bands perform! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!!!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, too!


Free and Fun. That's My Kinda Party!

Our little town is growing and I really love some of the things they do. Yesterday was our 2nd Annual Town Center Festival. They had four bounce house type things, pony rides, a petting zoo, train rides, games, contests, rock climbing, sumo wrestling, pizza, hot dogs, ice cream, snow cones, chips, sodas.....plus more. And EVERYTHING was free. Oh yeah! My parents, aunt and uncle briefly came also. It was a fun evening! The kids went home dirty and exhausted.

This is Elayna at the petting zoo, petting a goat (one of my favorite animals!).

Andrew petting the goats...

...and Elayna riding a pony.

And, since I'm being wordful anyway, I'm going to give a few shout-outs.
First of all, my friend at Tiaras & Tantrums wrote an excellent post about Blog Manners.
It's a great read!
Also, I have some old friends who are new(ish) bloggers and I wanted to invite you to check out their bloggy homes. Go Deep in the Heart of Texas, bow at The Queen's New Throne (oh, how I love all that purple!!), and then you can review some Books, Bags and Bon Jovi. And of course, check out more WordFUL Wednesday posts at Seven Clown Circus!
We're trying to plan a last minute trip to St Augustine for this event this weekend. Wish me luck! It looks like a blast.
Leave me some of your words this Wednesday! ;o)


I Believe....

I believe....that homes with children should have their driveways decorated with sidewalk chalk drawings.

I believe....that the Toilet Paper Fairy visited my house Saturday night, because nobody in my house EVER replaces the TP roll except for me, but somehow, a new roll appeared IN THE HOLDER that night.

I believe....that I should be able to drink all the Sweet Tea I want with no unpleasant consequences.

I believe....that you should do what you love, and love what you do. And if you don't, make a change.

I believe....that a good book is a very valuable thing.

I believe....that I should have more time for blogging.

I believe....that we should count our blessings, even when it's hard. ESPECIALLY when it's hard.

I believe....that I have made the most amazing friends in the world through the internet. Including my husband. Including my Moms at Home group, a group of women I've known for years now. Including my wonderful bloggy friends.

I believe....in things that some people DON'T believe in. And I don't believe in things that other people DO believe in. And that's ok. Coexist!
I believe....that there's no such thing as a Perfect Parent...but if you act out of love and want what's best for your kids, you'll be ok.
I believe....that if there's something you want to change, you should try to change it. Even if you think one person can't make a difference...try.
What do you believe?


Is That a Light I See? At the End of the Tunnel??

I just have to share my relief. I have been uber-stressed lately. So stressed and so focused on the present that I didn't realize that hope was just around the corner.
I've mentioned that night shift has been kicking my butt and I was looking for a day shift job. I was feeling that even more today, after sleeping half of the weekend away. I didn't get to do half of the things I'd planned to do with the kids. I felt terrible.
But the downside to switching to day shift is financial. I get a nice shift differential for working night shift which I'd obviously lose by switching to days; plus I'd have to find after-school care for the little kids, which means less money coming in and more going out. Not good for the budget which is already stretched pretty thin!
So on the way to work tonight, I was thinking about the situation, and finally my mind wandered down the path of the future, and it occured to me that the school year is almost over. Only a few weeks left. Andrew is going to spend most or all of the summer in the Keys with MIL and MIL's sister. My kids will spend every other week with their father. Which means a LOT more sleep for me. A huge difference in my daily routine right now. Even when the kids are at home with me, I will still be able to get more sleep and have a far less hectic schedule.
And as for when school starts back, this year I will put the little kids in after-school care. I've done it before, but in the interest of saving money and spending more time with them, we didn't do it this year. And it's been tough. I really think Andrew would benefit from a structured after-school program, and Elayna will enjoy it. And I NEED the sleep. Sometimes I feel guilty about that, but I'm pretty sure nobody who works days and sleeps at night feels guilty, so why should I feel guilty for needing more than 4 or 5 hours of sleep per day??
So...I feel as if a weight has been lifted off of me. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it's coming up right around the corner!


Friday Fragments 5.1.09

It's Friday. My thoughts are Fragmented. Thus....here we go.

~ My birthday is in 10 days! I will be 36 years old. I love that I have accepted and embraced my age. I'm proud of it! Frequently, when I pick up Tim from school (he's 16 and in high school), his friends ask him who I am. :snicker:

~ My hubby was so awesome, taking care of me while I was sick this past week. He even took a day off to stay with me. I heart him.

~ The new Butterfly Flower scent from Bath & Body Works is fabulous, and they are not paying me to say that!

~ I'm so looking forward to this weekend...no plans, just relaxation with the kiddos.

~ I just learned that Bea Arthur died. So sad. Vern Gosdin passed away this week as well. I loved his amazing voice. May they Rest in Peace.

~ Hubby's new thing is asking if I'm going to blog about everything. It cracks me up. The other day he told me that the zipper on his shorts kept unzipping, so he Gorilla Glued it up! I fell on the floor laughing, and he asked me if I was going to blog about it. I told him no...but here I am!
I'm trying to talk him into Tweeting, but he hasn't taken the plunge yet. Everyone Tweets!

~ I have high hopes of getting some good blogging time in this weekend. Very high hopes!

~ I'll leave you with a couple of photos of my daughters after having some fun girly time together. They did each others' hair and makeup. They are growing up so fast and getting SO beautiful that it scares me!! (Elayna's wearing her Sparkies vest, getting ready for Awanas.)

Have a Wonderful Weekend!