Weekend Wrap-Up 6.29.09

We had another great weekend at Casa de Dysfunction!

Friday night, we went to the Free Friday Concert again. By we, I mean me, John, all four of our kids, my friend Heather, and her 2 kids. We threw down two blankets, snacked, had a blast, and listened to Black Violin. They are awesome! We bought their CD. They did a lot of Michael Jackson tributes, which we enjoyed. Tim got their autographs on his CD. Very nice guys! All of the kids really enjoyed themselves.

Saturday, we watched my friend Heather's daughter, Savanna, while she worked. We dropped off two of our foster kittens at Petsmart, and one of them, Smudge, got adopted! Yay! The kids played on the slip & slide, and we filled the little pool that we bought for the kids. That evening, we went to a bar-b-q sponsered by Mike Peterson of the Atlanta Falcons. He put on a Family Fun Day. He paid for everything including the food. There were bounce houses, bouncy swing things, face painting, you name it, they had it. He grew up in our town and it's one way that he gives back to his community. What a great guy! I forgot my brand new camera (go ahead and say it - DUH!!) but my friend took pics. I'll have to post them later. Mike posed for pictures with us and was very friendly. It was great!

Sunday, the kids mostly played in the pool all day. John and I tackled laundry & house cleaning. Later in the evening, my friend Heather came over again, and we had dinner together and the kids played in the pool some more. Then we watched movies.

Here are some pics from the Family Fun Day. Hope y'all have a great week!


Savanna and Elayna

Savanna on that crazy swing thing, getting strapped up

Savanna in the air

Andrew in the air


Dumping Mah Brain...

Hola, mi amigos!
It's Friday and it's time to dump mah brain into Friday Fragments.
*** My boys rock. Today, while I slept, they not only took care of themselves, they:
~went to the library
~made their breakfast & lunch
~ cleaned up after themselves
~ washed dishes
~cleaned the floors (they swear they mopped, I don't see it but hey, I'm not complaining)
~fed/watered/let out pets
~let me sleep all day!
(Sorry, they are not for sale or rent. Today. Tomorrow, I may be singing a different tune. You never know!)
*** Tonight at work, in addition to all of my normal responsibilities in this hospital intensive care unit, I've been fielding calls from a psycho ex-girlfriend! Her ex-boyfriend has a relative here in our unit. He has asked us not to put her calls through to him. Well...girlfriend does NOT like that. Not one bit. So, she calls over and over. Then, she cursed out our charge nurse.
Not a good move on our part. So, I've also been chatting with hospital security and the police department tonight. Girlfriend will be getting a call from the po-pos. Let's hope girlfriend stops calling an INTENSIVE CARE UNIT harassing people! Seriously, what is wrong with people?
*** I am reading a wonderful book right now. It's called Same Kind of Different As Me. And I highly recommend it!
*** Smudge and Tailz, two of our foster kittens, are going to get spayed/neutered today. Then they will be up for adoption this weekend! We need good adoption vibes for them. I love them, but they don't like to let me sleep. They like to bite me. In the face. While I sleep. They can haz loving adoptive homez? Plz?
OK, if I dump mah brain any more, it will be totally empty. Have a great weekend!
Go visit Mrs.4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time to join in or see more Friday Fragments!


My Random Tuesday Thoughts

* My son got his driver's license last week. Yesterday, he started his first job. Here's what I feel like these days.

* I FINALLY got a new digital camera! I am so excited it's ridiculous. Expect some halfway decent pictures to appear in this spot!

* My mini-van is broken. Irreparably broken. RIP, mini-van. I shall now buy your replacement!

Nice, no?

And now for some random LOLs that made me LOL this week.

Peace out, friends, and for more Random Thoughts, visit The Unmom.


The Best Father I Know

Happy (Belated) Father's Day to all of the Fathers out there.

A special Happy Father's Day to all the good stepfathers out there. To those of you who have stepped up to the plate, and may not always get the recognition and appreciation you deserve. A special thanks to you.

And an extra special Happy Father's Day to the best Dad and Step-Dad I know.

I love you, honey. Thank you for everything you do.


Promise Kept

i promise to love you forever. Pictures, Images and Photos

After literally a lifetime of being yelled at, called names, and put down, it was pretty commonplace to me. My dad had always done it, my mom to some extent, and then my ex-husband.
After I started dating John, all that changed.
I remember sitting outside with him one night, after we'd been dating several months, just talking. And I said to him, 'You know, we've been dating since May, and you have never once even raised your voice to me."
And John looked at me, and very simply said, "And I never will."
It made me feel so good, so safe.
And to this day, my husband has never, ever raised his voice to me. On the very rare occasions that we disagree, we simply discuss things like two rational, adult human beings. We never put each other down, call each other names, belittle each other. We have respect for one another.
Being treated with dignity has raised my self-esteem, and I no longer allow anyone to treat me in the way I used to be treated. If they try, I walk away, hang up the phone, or do whatever I need to do to make it stop. Immediately.
Because my husband kept his promise, and made me see that I deserve better.


Things I'm Into Right Now

I originally stole this idea from my friend, Irregular Tammie.

It's summer time and hot as hell in Florida. As the seasons change, so do the things I'm 'into'.

These are the Things I'm Into Right Now.

~~Sweet Tea...ok so I'm always into that, but especially on these hot summer days & nights.

~~~~~grilling out...hubby does the cooking and the house doesn't get all heated up. Win/win! And I LOVE food cooked on the grill.

~~Butterfly Flower body spray/lotion/wallflowers/room spray/etc. from Bath & Body Works. It smells AMAZING.

~~~~~lying on a blanket with Elayna in the backyard, looking for falling stars.

~~Free Friday Concerts, which I mentioned in this post. This weekend a reggae group will be performing. Yeah mon!

~~~~~sitting on the porch, relaxing with good drinks and good friends.

~~Twitter and my CrackBlackberry. The addictions go hand in hand.

~~~~~Spirit Jumping. This is a wonderful organization that lifts the spirits of people who are suffering with cancer or other major health problems. It's a wonderful group to be a part of!

What Things are You Into Right Now?


Weekend Wrap-Up 6.15.09


We had so much fun this weekend! And it was all free, or cheap, family fun.

It started out Friday night with a free concert. Every Friday night, the city we live near has a free concert on the lawn of the courthouse. It's a very easy-going, laid-back atmosphere. People from every walk of life attend these concerts. People throw a blanket on the grass or bring lawn chairs, and settle down for a great time. This past Friday's band was an R&B group. They were great! We all enjoyed ourselves.

This is Elayna blowing bubbles at the concert.

Saturday, we got up bright and early. My friend Heather brought her daughter Savanna over while she worked. (this is the friend I ran into on that crazy Friday)
We all went to the Horse Sanctuary. We had a good time but it was VERY hot. We cut the visit a little short and promised to come back in cooler weather.

This is Savanna and Elayna.

Shelbie and Savanna. Their faces were so red from the heat!

Elayna was SO proud of herself...this
was her first time feeding a carrot to a horse!
Before, she was too scared.

We'd planned to go to the Springs Saturday afternoon, but a storm came in and nixed those plans. Instead, we sat around chatting and the kids played on the slip & slide. They all had a blast. We grilled out under the carport in the storm, and later took a walk to the park.

Sunday, after running a few errands, we all (including Heather & Savanna) went to the Splash Park. We took a picnic lunch of fresh veggies, dip, fruit, and chips. The kids played and munched and had a blast.

My kids went to their dad's house on Sunday evening. For the first summer ever, we'll be alternating full weeks with the kids. It's going to be weird for me!

My friend Heather went with me to drop them off. Then she stayed over and we sat on the carport, drinking and talking for hours. It was so nice and relaxing.

Altogether a fantastic weekend! Hope yours was, too.


If You Give a Kid a Camera 06.11.09

Yesterday, Elayna decided that it was high time she take some random pictures. She grabbed my Blackberry and started shooting. Naturally, since we live in a 'zoo', she captured mostly our pets. This time her focus was on cats.

This is Tailz. He is not of the nursing litter, of which we have now lost TWO kittens. =( He's the one who had an unfortunate tail accident and is left with a little half-tail. Thus, the name Tailz. He is super-cute and sweet.

This is Smudge, and this is a totally weird picture. I did not retouch this picture in any way, it's straight from the Blackberry's camera. The funny thing is, he's in the basket where we keep Wii controllers. I think he thinks he IS a Wii controller! Look Mom, I haz sensorz!

Close up of Smudge....so cute.

He looks so innocent.

This is Wall-E, lounging on the kitchen table. At least he's laying on newspaper.

And Lilly, following Wall-E's lead.

Charlie, the kitten of the family (fosters don't count), who has gotten so big. He's on the bench just below the table.

And of course, Elayna had to get one shot of herself. I have no idea why she chose to include her brother's wallet and some mail in the picture. Artistic license?

Have a great Thursday!


DysFUNctional Mom and the Crazy, Surreal, Bizarre, Horrible and Wonderful Day

Let me tell you about last Friday.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are wondering if you're having a dream, or a nightmare? Things are so bizarre that they just don't seem real? That was my day Friday.

To begin with, I had just worked a 12 hour shift. I was a little tired. It was the kids' last day of school, and I was allowing Shelbie to spend the day with friends, but she hadn't been picked up yet. I walked into the room where the mama cat & her 5 babies stay, to check on them, feed them, etc. When I opened the door the first thing I saw was a tiny kitten lying limply on the floor. I picked him up and saw that he was alive, but in bad shape. He was clearly dehydrated, so I tried to get water into him. I ran into the living room and said to Shelbie, "DON'T LOOK!" She is SO tenderhearted, I knew she couldn't handle seeing him like that.

He wouldn't drink, but I got water into him with a straw and he was able to swallow. He even started meowing, but not really moving. I called the rescue director but got her voice mail. After giving him more water and still seeing no improvement, I decided to go to the Feed Store and buy kitten formula. Meanwhile, a storm had began and the rain was coming down in BUCKETS. I wrapped the kitten in a dish towel, and Shelbie and I ran out into the torrential rain. (I swear, I'm not exaggerating for effect. I was considering building an ark.)

The feed store is only about 2 blocks away. We ran in through the rain and looked for someone to direct us to the kitten formula. My eyes lock in on someone wearing Feed Store shirt....then I look at her face. It's one of my BEST FRIENDS, who I'd lost touch with in the last 2 years! We met in high school, and have been in touch off and on since then. She's the one who got me the job cleaning houses with her after my ex and I seperated. Then I worked in the day care and took care of her sweet daughter. I could not believe it was her! And...she has worked at that feed store, 2 blocks from my home, for the past SEVEN MONTHS.

Surreal. I'm standing in a feed store, holding a critically ill kitten, hugging one of my best friends! So, we get the formula and I immediately start trying to get it into the kitten, but at this point, he wouldn't even swallow. So I decided to get him to the vet. Shelbie had given my friend, Heather, my phone number & written down hers, while I was attempting to feed the kitten, so we promised to call and ran out the door.

When I got to the van, I looked at the kitten, and realized that he was no longer breathing. He had died in my arms.

I slowly drove home and Shelbie said "What are we doing?" I told her that there was no need to go to the vet, and we both started crying.

I had never had an animal die in my arms before. It was so, incredibly sad.

Later in the day, to add to the total weirdness, I'm standing in line at the grocery store near my house, and someone walks up behind me and says "You've got to stop following me around like this." I turn around and am face to face with my high school BOYfriend! My first 'real' boyfriend. We chatted for a minute and then he left. While I was paying for my stuff, he walked back in, handed me a slip of paper, grinned, and walked away. I opened it when I got in the van....it was his phone number! I was cracking up. It went straight to the trash can!

So, in one day, I reconnected with a friend who I dearly love, had a sweet baby kitten pass away in my arms, and then ran into my old boyfriend. Totally random and bizarre.

I keep wishing I'd found the kitten sooner, had formula on hand to give him, on and on, but I am trying not to feel too guilty. The rescue director said sometimes there's just one kitten out of a litter who doesn't make it. You do what you can but sometimes they just don't survive. Maybe something was wrong with him from the beginning, we'll never know. We buried him in our front yard and put a decorative stone over his grave.

As for my friend, we visited her Saturday night and got to spend time with her darling daughter, and we're planning on getting together again this weekend! Good times.



Most people take Tylenol when they have a headache. Tums when they have heartburn. Sudafed when they have a cold.
Why then, is it so controversial for people to take medications for mental illnesses?
Just because you can't see the symptoms of mental illness (disorders, syndromes, etc.), doesn't make them any less real.
Why do so many people scoff at mental illness and call it an excuse? Sure, it is sometimes. But it's not always. People who are truly in the grips of a mental illness do not always have control over what they are doing.
Mental illness is so tragically misunderstood in this country. Many people just have zero sympathy for an illness that does not have physical symptoms.
I'll be the first to admit that it's hard to figure out if someone is truly mentally ill or just a flawed personality. This is a huge issue with Andrew's "mother", C. She has claimed several different mental illnesses in her lifetime, whatever seems to fit the occasion. Sometimes she says she's on meds, sometimes she says she's not. I have no idea what the truth is. I used to have so much sympathy for her, and blamed most of her problems on her illness....but you have to wonder at some point, is that just a crutch? Is she just a screwed up person claiming illness to shirk responsbility for her own actions? I don't know.
I do know that mental illness needs to be better understood. And people shouldn't judge until they've walked in someone else's shoes.

"Madness is tonic and invigorating. It makes the sane more sane. The only ones who are unable to profit by it are the insane." Henry Miller

"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity." Edgar Allen Poe

"I am not, strictly speaking, mad, for my mind is absolutely normal in the intervals, and even more so than before. But during the attacks it is terrible - and then I lose consciousness of everything. But that spurs me on to work and to seriousness, as a miner who is always in danger makese haste in what he does." Vincent Van Gogh


Crazy Eights

I saw this meme over on one of my most-est favorite-est blogs, A Thorn Among Roses. She is a daily must-read for me. I admire her so much, she's funny, and she and her whole family are just adorable!!

OK, so here are MY Crazy 8's.

8 things i am looking forward to:

- summer break. I have this crazy idea that I'll get more sleep. I'll probably look back on that & laugh, come July.

- going camping over the summer.

- going to the springs over the summer.

- going to the beach over the summer.

- upcoming changes at work.

- upcoming changes at home.


- Father's Day.

8 things i did yesterday:

- went to the doctor.

- got diagnosed with a UTI & referred to a urologist.

- filled several perscriptions.

- went home and curled up in a ball and wished to die.

- woke up to pick up the kids.

- went back home, curled back up into a ball, and wished to die, while the children ran wild.

- slept all day.

- got up to come to work at 11pm.

8 things i wish i could do:

- sew.

- win the lottery.

- juggle school along with work & family.

- sing like Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland.

- sleep more.

- work less.

- go on vacation.

- write a book.

8 shows i watch:

- What Not to Wear

- Jon & Kate Plus 8

- Medical Incredible

- Mystery Diagnosis

- all the shows on Discovery Health & TLC, basically.

- so I'm kind of cheating on this one.

- deal with it.

8 fav fruits:

- pineapple

- golden delicious apples

- oranges

- granny smith apples

- grapes

- strawberries

- FRESH peaches

- tangerines

8 places i would like to travel:

- England

- Australia

- Cozumel

- Jamaica

- Florida Keys

- California

- Pennsylvania to meet some internet friends!

- BlogHer

8 places i've lived:

- home with my parents

- with my sister at her former home

- with my (now) ex-husband, several different places

- with a friend & our kids at her home

- by myself, with my kids at our home

- with John & the kids at our home

- all of these places were either in my hometown or small surrounding towns

- I have never lived anywhere else, so I cheated on this one too!

WAY too tired & lazy to tag anyone, so if you want it just grab it!

Have a great Thursday...the weekend's almost here!


WordFUL Wednesday ~ Spring

We moved into our current home in the fall. Spring has brought many beautiful surprises into our yard. There were so many plants that we couldn't identify, and some that died and we wondered if they would come back.

They did! Our yard is an explosion of color.

These look like morning glories....but they bloom all day.

They're on vines that cover my sanctuary.

Little red flower that's growing wild behind the sanctuary.

Beautiful explosion of purple!

Also looks like morning glories, but again, they bloom all day.

Gardenias! One of my favorite flowers. They smell amazing!

Butterfly-attracting flowers. We planted these.

Hydrangea, one beautiful bush.

Close up...their colors are so vibrant.

Yellow butterfly flowers.

I LOVE caladium. We had some growing in the front of the house and we planted bulbs on the side of the house. It was my first time planting bulbs and they did great!

(yeah, I know, I need to clear the bed out!)
Who knows what next Spring will bring...I don't know if we'll be in this house to see them bloom again. Big moves may be happening in our future....big changes. More to come. =)
See more WordFUL Wednesdays over at Seven Clown Circus!