Friday, February 29, 2008

More Than A Minivan Mom

This is my friend Tracey's blog.

She’s part of that Early Birds group I mentioned last week in my post about Jodi.

I’ve actually met Tracey in person. I had a business trip a couple of years ago that took me to Hartford, CT and Tracey lived in RI. Another girl from the same group, Karen, lived in MA and we all decided to take advantage of this opportunity. Tracey graciously offered to meet at her house. Brave woman to invite 2 strangers to her house. However, we weren’t really strangers as we had been “talking” on the internet, exchanging gifts, cards and e-mails for years at that point.
It was a wonderful visit. I drove to her place in my rental car. It was my first time up in that part of the country and I thought it was absolutely beautiful. I wish I had had more time but it was a quick business trip. It was so great to finally meet her (and Karen) in person.

Tracey is a wonderful human being. Warm, funny, wickedly smart. She’s got 3 great kids and a wonderful husband.

Her blog is at times hilarious. She also has a very serious side and does not hesitate to right wrongs and stand up for what she believes in. She’s invested in Heroes for Children and I admire the hell out of her for being so involved.

I really look up to Tracey and admire her convictions. I don’t always agree with what she believes in (she’s way more liberal than I) but I respect her ideas and beliefs.

If you get a chance, you need to check out her blog. The link is listed on the right side of mine and it’s called More Than A Minivan Mom.


Mama Dawg

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blowin' Off Steam

I had to take this certification test here at work. It’s completely voluntary and the corporate office pays for the test once a year.

I’ve entered into a new field of work. I used to work in personal lines insurance and with the move and all, I had to quit that job. I found a new job here in the new state and it’s a decent job. The pay sucks, but I’m starting at the bottom.

Along with the certification, you get a $1 an hour raise. Now, I haven’t been paid by the hour in about 8 years, so starting over is kind of hard. I need this raise just to cover my bills.

We got this huge ass book and a study guide and were told that although the study guide is a good “guide”, it shouldn’t be all that you study.

O.k., so I studied the big book.

Well, not really.

I started reading it the week of the test. We had had the book since before Christmas.

Yes, I’m a procrastinator. A proud one.

I didn’t finish reading the book. I only got about half way through. I even took a half-day of work off just to study.

Instead, I watched Dr. Phil and Oprah. That was the Dancing With the Stars edition of Oprah and it was soooo cool.

I digress.

I was still studying on the day of the test. I gave up on the big book and instead skimmed through the study guide. When I say skimmed, I mean skimmed. I hit the highlights and moved on to the next section.

I knew I was going to fail. I was fine with that. It gave me a chance on the company’s dime to find out what the test consisted of and then I would go back in a couple of weeks and pay $75 and take the test again and pass.

Everyone in my little office was panicking and quizzing and going over the book and study guide. I ignored them all and worked and blogged and read Perez Hilton.

We were allotted 2 hours to take the test. It was supposed to start at 1 and end at 3. We got the test around 1:15. I was out of there at 1:40. It was 100 questions long and I totally winged about 50% of it. When I say that, I’m not exaggerating, I really did guess on about 50% of it.

I’m a big believer of the “if you don’t know it, guess and move on” method and the “don’t second guess the answer you did pick” method.

You needed either a 70 or 75% in order to pass and get certified and get the $1 raise.

I firmly believed I was not going to pass.

21 of us took the test. 17 from our place of business and 4 others from a sister place of business. Included in the 21 was our big boss who was taking it just to get the certification (obviously she wasn’t going to get $1 raise).

3 people passed.

I was one of them.

I was the only one in my room that passed.

The big boss passed and a lady that sits in another room passed.

Hmmm…….what does this say about my co-workers and me? Seriously, what does this say?

One of the girls in my office was claiming “it was rigged” and “guess we know who’s in with the bosses” and “it was an un-professional test” and “they should have given it to the ones who came close to passing” etc……


I almost decked her because whether she knew it or not, she insulted me. Hell, I’ve only been at this company since October. It’s way tooooooo early to be brown-nosing and getting in good with the boss! LOL!!! I was angry, though. I was getting ready to get up and say something to her but my co-worker shook her head and told me it wasn’t worth it. She’s right. I still want to punch the bitch, though. About 20 minutes later, she tried to justify her nastiness by saying that I was smart and that I had a photographic memory and it was because I read so much. Even with this “compliment” she still managed to make it sound nasty and like it was my fault she didn’t pass. Whatever…….

I have all sorts of mean thoughts going through my head. Thoughts that are mean and nasty and just flat out wrong.

However, I’ll take the high road and just ignore the meanness and nastiness and go eat my lunch.


Mama Dawg

Shred-It Guy

At our office, we have these squared off recycle bins that have a lock on them for disposing of private personal medical records and bills. It’s a company called “Shred-It” that owns and dumps these containers.

The Shred-It Guy comes about once a week to empty it out.

It’s not always the same guy. But it usually is.

He’s hot.

Not O.C., Gossip Girl, Friday Night Lights kind of hot.

Normal, regular guy kind of hot. Bright blue eyes, beautiful smile. He’s got a normal body shape. Probably needs to hit the gym more than he does (not that I’m one to judge). Sexy, deep southern voice. Big hands, stubble on the face, strong looking.

He’s also married.

Sigh.....wonder if the UPS man is married?


Mama Dawg

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Light of my life is getting ready to turn 8 pretty soon. It’s that time of year again for the birthday party. Sigh. It’s so much more fun to attend than plan.

Before she reached school age, it was easy on the invites. You just invited the kids you wanted to come. Period.

When she reached kindergarten, she was attending a school in a different state from which we normally lived. Not only did she have to attend school for the first time (I don’t count pre-school because she attended pre-school at her daycare), but it was in a new place with new people. She did fine and made friends.

I decided to have her party at Chuck E Cheese. Now, I love me some Chuck E Cheese. I think I like that place more than she does.

Anyway, in her backpack that morning (about 2 weeks before the party), I sent the invitations we had addressed to just a handful of kids.

Later that afternoon, after I picked her up from after school care, I found a note from her teacher in her notebook.

It said something to the effect that if we were going to invite just a few kids from her class, I needed to find a way to do it outside of school as it was school policy for invitations to be given to every kid in class.


Same thing happened her first grade year. Different school, different state. Same story.


What if I couldn’t afford to have a party for all those kids? What if light of my life hated some of the kids in her class? What if I prepared (or bought) a bunch of food and trinkets for the goody bag and games and drinks, etc….and only 3 people showed up?

I’m supposed to take on the responsibility for feeding and entertaining 21-25 kids whom I don’t even know? I, as a single mother with a limited income and a tight budget, was supposed to dole out between $100-200 for food and junk on the off chance that every kid would show up? Such a waste. Cause you know that not everyone is going to show up and since they didn’t RSVP that they wouldn’t be there, you didn’t want to run the risk of running out of food or goody bags. Cause that would show what a shitty hostess you are. LOL!!

Believe me, putting RSVP on the invite means jack shit to most people out there today. So much for a courtesy phone call stating “yes, we’ll be attending” or “no, we’ll not be attending”. Really, is it that hard to pick up the phone? Drop an e-mail? Hire a carrier pigeon? Make a smoke signal?

When I questioned why, I was told that it would hurt some of the kids feelings if they weren’t invited.

So effing what?!?!?

Life happens. You don’t get invited to every party. Growing up, I KNOW I didn’t get invited to every party and yes it hurt to be excluded. But so what? It taught me that I didn’t have to be included in EVERY LITTLE THING that went on in the universe and it also taught me who my real friends were.

Kids today are too coddled. Everything’s geared towards not hurting their feelings or making sure that they feel included.

In order for these kids to carve out some kind of normal life in today’s society, you need to let them feel the sting of rejection and the hurt of exclusion. Believe me, if they don’t start getting a harder shell now, it will hurt 100% worse when they’re older and feeling it for the first time. Kids at this age are so reslient and get over things far better and quicker than older kids and teens do.

I am so thankful that this new school she attends has no such policy. She can invite whomever she wishes.

And she will.


Mama Dawg

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Weird News-Tearless Onions

They're developing an onion that doesn't make you cry.

There's this vegetable geneticist that's trying to prevent diseases from occurring in onions and during the course of their manipulations, they discovered that they can block the gene that mixes with another gene in the onion that causes tears when you cut it up.

Apparently (this is new to me), there are two genes that, separate, don't cause a reaction. However, whenever you cut into the onion, the two genes mix and this causes the enzyme to make you cry.

Here's a quote by Dr. Colin Eady:

"“Through RNAi, genes can be specifically shut down or turned off. By shutting down the lachrymatory factor synthase gene, we have stopped valuable sulphur compounds being converted to the tearing agent, and instead made them available for redirection into compounds, some of which are known for their flavour and health properties.”"

In plain English (not plain smack), by blocking the LFS gene, they can let the sulphur in onion get redirected to help out the flavor and health properties of the onion.

When I first heard this bit of news yesterday on NPR (yes, I listen to NPR, shut up), I was astonished. I thought, "how incredibly lazy and weak are humans to want to genetically alter onions so you won't cry for that whole 5 minutes when cutting up onions" but then when I read that it's not being done for that reason but for helping out the health properties, I changed my mind. It's just a good side effect of the genetics altering.

However, that brings up the question of genetics altering in the first place. I've been hearing on the peripheral of genetics altering in vegetables and animals. As a whole, it freaks me out. When they start breaking down why they're doing it, it kinda makes sense. However, overall, I'm a "don't mess with Mother Nature" kinda gal.

Makes you think.


Mama Dawg

Distantly In Love by Jimmy Buffett

Pay phones all were ringing as the crowd went roarin' by
Lovely dancers swaying to an island lullaby
Beside the southern ocean taking stock of what's to be
Writing you this letter that you'll probably never see

But I can't help but be
Ruled by inconsistency
Not unique just distantly in love

Tried to phone from Paris thinking
Things could be arranged
Me and you could rendezvous
But I found your number changed
So I drove to San Remo where
The crazy painter dwells
And toasted our old photographs
Still up there on his shelf

But I can't help but be
Ruled by my antiquity
Not unique just distantly in love
I can't be the one to fill
Your times and all your places
I can't be the one to fill
Your blanks and empty spaces

I heard it from a friend of ours
I saw in Timber Bay
That you had a new lover who had
Stolen you away
That could be be the reason that
I never got in touch
And may present slight problems
If he loves you half as much

As I who can't help but be
Ruled by my antiquity
Not unique just distantly in love
You know I can't help but be
Part of my own philosophy
Not unique just distantly in love

Monday, February 25, 2008

Just Call Me Rambo

Man, I had a good weekend.

Friday night, we went to the neighbors for some relaxation.

I had to take a test at work earlier for some certification, so I was wiped out by Friday night. Went over and had a nice relaxing evening. Hung out for a bit but then came home and watched some Friday Night Lights.

Slept in until 10:30 on Saturday morning. I haven't done that in FOREVER, so it was nice. Got up and farted around for a while. Did some light cleaning. We had to make the Wal-Mart run so we got dressed and hopped in the car. On the way to Wal-Mart, we had to stop by a neighbors house. Remember that church I told you about that has the rummage sale? Well, I had done some massive cleaning out of light of my life's room and we had a crapload of stuff to donate. The neighbor is someone that my mom went to high school with and she hadn't been to visit with her yet. Well, this neighbor is a talker (in a good way). She invited us in after we unloaded the car and stayed and visited for about an hour. I heard some good stories that I'll share here one day.

Anyway, we finally got to Wal-Mart about an hour and a half later. Keep in mind, this Wal-Mart is about 30 minutes away from the city where we live.

Not even 5 minutes after arriving, we saw our neighbors B, M and C. While I was standing there talking to them, we caught sight of my aunt and she told us we just missed my other aunt and grandmother! It was so funny seeing all these people in Wal-Mart at one time.

After Wal-Mart, we stopped by a near-by BBQ place and picked up a catfish platter and a BBQ sandwich with slaw on it. Man, that stuff is GOOD. That tarter sauce with the catfish platter is to die for.

We went home to unload the groceries and to eat dinner. After we ate, we went over to the neighbors (again!). The girls hung out while B, L and I watched "National Security". It was sorta....blah. Not good but not necessarily bad. I wouldn't recommend it except as a time waster. B and I ended up doing a couple of shots of Jagermeister. It made me pleasantly buzzy. Not that hyper buzzy, but the nice lazy kind.

Got up on Sunday and went to church. Mom had gotten a panini maker for Christmas and wanted to try it out (K, if you're reading this, that was the best gift you've given makes wonderful sandwiches). We used to go to this little cafe back where we used to live and they made these wonderful sandwiches with turkey, swiss cheese, bacon and ranch dressing on rye bread. I had forgotten how much I love rye bread. Anyway, mom re-created this sandwich and used the panini press. They came out delicious.

Went to visit my aunts and grandmother. We had a nice visit with them.

When we returned, I had told B and L I wanted to come over and walk their land. They live on a lot of land that has 2 ponds on it. I wanted to walk it to 1) see the land and 2) take some pictures.

The light wasn't that good due to it being overcast and close to 5 pm. B and I went walking anyway. I saw the little pond (perfect for parties) and the larger one. We walked a bit and when we came back around to the little pond, L met us on the 4-wheeler.

He had his pistol with him and offered to teach me to shoot it. I had been wanting to learn to shoot for a while, so I was all game for it. I got to shoot it in the water (don't worry, no fish were harmed in the telling of this tale). We then found a target for me to shoot at but I couldn't hit it to save my hide! I didn't do too bad though.

We walked back up to the house and when we got there, L told me we'd do some target practice. Apparently, he had enough confidence in my shooting abilities that I was granted another lesson right then and there.

He brought out an empty water bottle and tossed it up in the air. Wherever it landed was where I was to shoot. It landed about 4 feet in front of the water main. I made L move the bottle because as a novice gunslinger, I wasn't about to be responsible for them being without water while repairs were made to the shot-up water main.

Anyway, I got practice shooting some more. After I emptied the first clip (see, I'm already all over the gangsta talk), I went over to check out my progress as I had never hit the bottle (I nicked it a bit, but it just fell over). Turns out, I wasn't hitting that far from the target. One was about a foot and a half beyond it, but most were 6-10 inches all around it. Not too bad for a newbie.

I went back and got a second clip and practiced some more. On this one, I HIT THE TARGET!!!!! It went straight up in the air and landed about 5 feet behind it's original position! This pistol is a Ruger and it had a short barrel on it which makes it harder to hit what you're aiming at. But I HIT THE TARGET!!!!! L then let me open up and wanted me to take consecutive shots. I didn't really open up that much but I discovered that for the most part, I can can keep hold of the gun and not let it kick up.

I had so much fun. I thought I'd like shooting (really, there's not much I don't like) but I didn't know that I'd love it as much as I did. Granted, it was only this one time (so far) but I got such a rush.

I didn't know emotionally how I'd be when shooting a gun. I'm not a NRA member but neither am I a gun-control freak. I didn't know if I'd freak out after shooting or what, but I didn't. It was such a rush.

I can't wait for my next lesson.

Just call me Rambo.


Mama Dawg

P.S. for those of you who know me personally, light of my life was safely tucked away inside B and L's house watching TV and playing her DS Lite. So don't panic! :)

Killer Elmo

I heard on the radio this morning that some lady in Tampa had bought her son one of the new Elmo dolls. It was one of those that could teach your kid the ABC's, numbers, etc....Anyway, when she changed out the batteries, something must have gone wrong with the circuits or something because afterwards, all it would say is "Kill James".


Gimme a good ol' Cabbage Patch doll or Pound Puppy anyday. Toys are getting too high tech these days.

I can remember having one of those Chubbles. They were this alien looking thing that kinda looked like an Ewok. When you waved your hand in front of its face, it would make this like bird chirping noise. It was motion activated which I guess was the point of the toy. Anyway, it would freak me out because after I had had it a while, it would start to go off when it was way across the room and no one was walking in front of it or waving their hand in front of its face or anything like that.

Killer Elmo......heh.


Mama Dawg

Friday, February 22, 2008


I “met” Jodi back in the summer/fall of 1999. I got pregnant in June of 1999 and decided to go online to look up info about babies and pregnancy and all that jazz. I was still new to the Internet at that time. We didn’t have good access to it at work but we did have it at home. This was after my (now) ex-husband moved in with me but before we were married. He had a laptop and I used to sit on the couch just roaming sites. I stumbled across I was checking out the site and found out that you could join a “group” based on whatever criteria you thought you fit. I found one called March Early Birds (I think that’s what it was called. It was so long ago, I can’t be certain) and I joined that group. There were quite a few women in that group and we all became friendly. As time went on, we quickly discovered that we wanted to move the group away from babycenter and to our own group on Yahoo. We moved the group and just renamed it the “Early Birds” since about half of us ended up delivering in February and half ended up delivering in March.

Jodi was a member of the original group and followed over to the new one as well. There were over 30 of us at one point that all contributed on a daily, almost hourly basis. Over the years, we’ve eventually dropped down to about 10 or 11 now.

Several of us have met but most of us have not.

Several of us have started our own blogs. Jodi is one of them.

You can catch both of her blogs over on the right site. She’s known as blog-o-licious and teev-o-licious.

I haven’t met Jodi in real life yet….but can’t wait til the day when both of us are at Disney World at the same time so we can! Or if I win the lottery and find my way up to Regina!

Anyway, I love Jodi’s blog. The main reason is because I get to keep up with her life this way. She’s also a good writer and very witty. I love reading about the different customs, politics and sports (curling, anyone?!?!?!?) Canada has.

I can feel her excitement when she talks about her boys’ hockey accomplishments and her heartache when she talks about Avery’s seizures.

Jodi and I also have a lot in common when it comes to TV. We both like almost all the same shows and feel the same way about the characters or in the case of reality shows, the contestants.

If you get a chance, check out her blogs.


Mama Dawg

Here It Is

This was taken on Decatur Street in New Orleans, LA. The cat was sitting in a bar window. He looks like he owns the place.


Mama Dawg

Incredible News

OMG, you guys!!!! (I feel like a 13 year old just typing that)

I checked my e-mail yesterday afternoon and found out I'm a semi-finalist in yet another photo contest. I entered both contest on a lark and got to the next stage in both. The earlier one, I'm a finalist. In this one, I'm a semi-finalist. If I win this stage, I get $1000 and am entered into the finalist stage for a grand prize of $10000.

Just like the first contest, I'm going to be published in an anthology. That's 2 different books in which I'm going to be published. I'm so thrilled!

I get published and am the finalist/semi-finalist for both contests regardless of whether I buy the books or not. I checked that out first thing. I've not had to pay any money for anything to date and from what I've read, I won't have to unless I want to (ie. buying the books, plaques, etc...)

I'm so thrilled. This is a hobby for me right now. I would like to venture out to selling my pics but didn't know if the quality was good enough or not.

I've done research on both of these contest and the websites and they are credible, legit companies that do have a toe-hold in the photographic industry.

I'm not getting my hopes up because I've seen some of the other photos entered, but I'm just glad to be included.

I'll post the pic in the next post.


Mama Dawg

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Heart Rigs

I love Tim Riggins. I mean, LOVE….scratch that, maybe I should say LUST.

That boy is gorgeous.

In case you have no clue who I’m talking about, just go to and check him out under Friday Night Lights.

He’s a character on this phenomenal show.

If you have not seen it, RUN, don’t walk to your nearest Wal-Mart store. They have the first season on DVD for $19.99 plus additional scenes on a separate DVD for $5.

My friend Jodi has been watching this show and has talked about it on her own blog. (Thanks Jodi, for mentioning this repeatedly on your blogs as it reminded me to not only get the DVD’s but to watch them….you also inspired me to try out “Dexter” now that it’s on the local channels on Sunday nights…..I love this show).

I have the movie on DVD. I bought it before the show was on the air. I got it for a few reasons:

1. It’s about football.
2. It starred Billy Bob Thornton
3. It was directed by Peter Berg

I love all three of those things. I should have put Peter Berg first since he’s the real reason I bought the movie. I adore Peter Berg.

Anyway, when I heard they were making a TV show out of this movie (and book), I knew I had to watch it.

When I found out that Kyle Chandler was starring as Coach Taylor… was a must see. I’ve loved Kyle Chandler since Homefront. Remember that show? It was set in WWII days? He was so beautiful then and is even more so now.

Then, I found out that it was coming on opposite of a show that I watched. I forget what it was now. They’ve moved this show around a couple of times. I chose to watch the established show instead of catching this one. Then they moved it again and I still couldn’t watch it.

By now, I had missed the whole first season. I never even started watching the second season due to other things happening (moving, trying to get settled, football games, etc…).

I finally bought the DVD’s at Wal-Mart and just started watching it last week.

The first episode was….I don’t have the words. This show is so real. The reactions that the actors have, the camera work, the average-ness of the people. I can’t even begin to tell you about the first episode. It would take 10 pages just to describe it.

The actors are well chosen (except for Minka Kelly as Lyla….she sucks). The actors are able to portray so much with just a look or just a few actions. The complexities of the characters are what make this so rich. I know people like this. For anybody living in a small football town, you can “see” a real person you know in each of these characters.

Coach Taylor has this enormous weight on his shoulders. It’s not just about winning games for the sake of winning games. The town EXPECTS him to win games and to take the “boys” to State. The Mayor herself gives the football players and the coaches’ advice and veiled threats of what would happen if they don’t win. This coach is hit from every angle by people who have advice and ideas and threats. How he keeps from hitting everyone that comes up to him, I don’t know.

Matt Sarencen is so understated but spot on as the nervous and socially awkward new QB1. You can actually see him grow in each episode.

Tim Riggins can take control of a whole scene with just one look.

Just as an example of the realism in this show. There’s one scene in an episode where he’s in the kitchen talking with his brother and they’re getting pissed at each other. He’s standing up eating something and starts talking with his mouth full. In most TV shows, they want you to be able to speak your words so the viewing audience can catch every one. Here, they show what people all over the world do every day. Talking with their mouth full. I know that’s corny and that’s it’s really small, but it’s just one example of the details they put into this show.

Peter Berg nailed this show.

I now watch 3-4 episodes a NIGHT. After light of my life goes to sleep. Which is at 9 pm. This means I’m up til about 1 am every night watching this show.

Needless to say, I’m exhausted.

But it’s so worth it.

Go to to find out what you can do to save this show.

It’s endangered because of some idiots in upper management of NBC.

Don’t get rid of my Coach Taylor or Tim Riggins. I don’t know what I’ll do.

If there is going to be a third season, you better believe it will be a priority show for me.

Check it out. You won’t be sorry, I promise.


Mama Dawg

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Trumped by a Thumb

This past weekend, we had a full one. We went to the big city on Saturday and ended up spending all day there. Went to the mall, Old Navy, Hobby Lobby, etc....Ate at the food court in the mall for lunch and then ate at Cracker Barrel for dinner. I love Cracker Barrel. Especially their french toast on sourdough bread with maple syrup and turkey sausage. Yum.

On Friday, we went over to the neighbors to say "Hey". We ended up staying til about 10, so it was a long "hey" that included dinner. L makes good hamburgers and he burned the hot dogs just for me! Yay, L!!! I don't know why, but I love burned grilled hot dogs, sausage, etc...I guess it's the "grilled" flavor that I like. Anyway, it was B, L, their two kids, mom, light of my life and my landlord's daughter, H.

For some reason, we got on the topic of babies being born. L had a funny story about C being born. They were told that they were having a boy. Like most parents, I'm sure that they knew it wasn't 100% until the baby came out, but everyone was pretty certain she was a boy. B had the baby and when L got to see it, they had told him they had had a girl. He didn't believe them and told them to take the diaper off to prove it. It was a funny story (it's funnier to see L tell the story) and we all laughed. L was feeling pretty good about his funny story but then a 13 year old girl was actually able to top him.

H said that when she was born, the doctor held H in his hands. One of his hands was holding her by her bottom. He had his four fingers on her rear and the thumb was sticking up between her legs in the front. H's dad, Ch, whooped and hollared because he had a baby boy!!!! He was so excited until the doctor calmly said, "Son, that's my thumb". We all busted out laughing. Ch is this big strapping lumberjack looking guy and to picture this story in our head was more than we could handle.

Poor L. His story, funny in its own right, was trumped by a thumb.


Mama Dawg

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jolly Mon by Jimmy Buffett

There is a tale that the island people tell
Don't care if it is true 'cause I love it so well.
Jolly Mon sang for his supper every night
The people fed him well 'cause he treated them so right

Oh Jolly Mon sing
Oh make Orion ring

And they wanted him to sing on the islands near and far
He always found his way by Orion the lucky star
He'd tell them of their joys, he'd tell them of their woes
They'd love to see him come and hate to see him go

Oh Jolly Mon sing
Oh make the music ring

He was making his way home on a dark and stormy night
When he heard a cry for help, he saw a flashing light
When he reached the other boat and offered him a hand
They said, "Give us all your cargo." as they took a pirate stand

Oh Jolly Mon sing
Oh give them everything

"Jolly Mon we know you - Sing your last song very well"
They tossed him in the ocean cause their hearts were made in hell
Came along a dolphin, he said, "Jolly Mon Hello"
"I've always loved your singing - climb on board and don't let go."

Oh Jolly Mon sing
Oh make the oceans ring

The night was filled with magic as they bid the sea goodbye
They swam into the heavens - they stayed up in the sky
And all the island people when they wish upon a star
See the dolphin and the Jolly Mon who tell them where they are

Oh Jolly Mon sing
Oh make the heavens ring
Oh Jolly Mon sing
Oh make the magic ring

This is by far, my favorite Jimmy Buffett song. It tells such a sweet tale of the Jolly Mon. I can just picture this story happening. The lyrics are sweet but when you hear it put to music, it's so beautiful. If you can find this on-line to listen to, please do so. I wish I had known about this song when light of my life was small. I would have played this for her every night before she went to bed. Keep in mind, this is my favorite song. It's not one of his most popular but I just love it.



Mama Dawg

Jimmy Buffett Reminds Me of Lazy Days in Florida

I am a huge Jimmy Buffett fan. I even go so far as to call myself a Parrothead although I’m not as gung ho as many out there.

I love all his work. His old stuff and his new.

However, the old stuff still holds a special place in my heart.

I attended my first Jimmy Buffett concert when I was 9 years old. I can remember sitting there by mom at the concert and being ecstatic that I could actually say the word “damn” since it was in a Jimmy Buffett song (“Margaritaville” for those of you not in the know). Yes, I know, it’s silly, but when you’re 9, that’s cool.

I mostly liked his songs because my mom liked him so much and would play his music in the car and at home. We didn’t listen to him constantly, but enough that I knew a couple of his songs.

When I was about 13 or so, I really started to get into his music. I was living in Florida then. I didn’t get any tapes (this was before c.d.’s were prolific) of his until I was about 15 but of course, the first one I got was “Songs You Know By Heart”. It has his most famous songs (up to the release date of the tape/c.d.) which includes “Cheeseburger in Paradise”, “Brown-Eyed Girl”, “A Pirate Looks at Forty”, “Margaritaville” and others. The title of the album is spot on as all Parrotheads know ALL these songs by heart.

I’ve attended probably half a dozen Jimmy Buffett concerts in my 30 years. I know that there are others out there that have attended much more than I have, but I’m not a big concert person. It’s too expensive and usually the seats are not worth the money.

However, this is one concert that I will gladly pay money for. Jimmy is renowned for putting on a hell of a show. He has yet to disappoint.

I’m such a fan, I even wrote a college paper on him. I got an A.

My hands down all time favorite album is “One Particular Harbor”. It was probably the second c.d. I bought but it touched me like no other album has. I can’t put my finger on what it is about the album that touches me. It’s like coming home. Actually, all his music does that to me. I just feel complete when I listen to it. If I’m agitated, it calms me. If I’m in a good mood, it enhances my good mood, if I’m in a bad mood, it immediately uplifts me.

His music takes me back to Florida. Anytime I hear his music, I conjure up images of beaches, Hawaiian shirts, Corona beer, palm trees, clear water, boats, sand, sand dollars, tropical fish, alligators, etc….

His songs are so true. If you really listen to the lyrics and the music that accompanies them, it just……I can’t even explain it. His songs are sweet, funny, sad, honest…just awesome (do kids these days still say that?). They tell stories, they make you think, they make you laugh….they make you feel.

There are very few “things” in life that I can truly call my favorite. I’m all over the board when it comes to the types of movies, music and books that I enjoy.

I can say, without any doubt or hesitation, that Jimmy Buffett is my favorite recording artist….period.

Once a week, I’ll post the lyrics to one of his songs. If you’re not into Jimmy, that’s fine. Just skip the post that day. If you’ve never been in to him before but like the lyrics, you can go on line and check him out.


Mama Dawg

Monday, February 18, 2008

Boobies and Butts

I swear, what is the fascination with these two body parts?

I'm not just talking about men, either. I mean both genders and of all ages!

When I stop to think about it, I can kind of deconstruct the fascination but it's still just so weird to me. Especially since most women think of them as bits of fat on/in our bodies that we can't get to stop growing no matter what we try to do to prevent it. Well, at least for the butt part. The boobs, well, you have two camps on the boob issue. Either too big or too small. Don't even get me started on the sagging post baby. Blech.

I used to love my boobs. They were a perfect 34 C. Just big enough to garner attention from the opposite sex (in a couple of cases from the same sex as well, but that was just in passing and I simply accepted the compliment and moved on) but still small enough that a bra was not necessary about 90% of the time. Man, I loved going bra-less. Not for the attention but because of the lack of constraint. I hate bras. I swear a man invented this horrible contraption but according to the all-knowing internet, it's a contrversial subject regarding missed patents and several proto-types that could all be considered the "first-bra". Blech. All this talk about bras makes me want to take mine off.

Anyway, after the birth of light of my life, they dramatically changed. For the worse. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. But, that's life. It's not like I'm in a position where I have to show them off to anyone on a regular (or even semi-regular or occasional) basis.

As for my butt, well, it's gotten a little bit bigger, but not much. Mostly due to excess weight than by having given birth. In fact, after I lost all my baby weight after I gave birth, I was able to fit into my old pants and skirts, etc.....because my hip bones didn't spread like most women's do at the end of a pregnancy. Of course, that was 3 sizes ago and almost 8 years ago.

As for the deconstruction.....I guess the fascination for babies on the boobies part is because!

For men, well, I'm still not sure about that fascination. Maybe it's just that ol' "they're fun because we don't have them" type thing. Although, honestly, I've seen some men with much bigger ones than mine. Can someone say "moobs"?

As for little girls (light of my life and her friend M) I guess it's just that they're on their way to having their very own pair. Light of my life is already starting to get little pockets of fatty tissue in that area. I think she's too young, but apparently, body maturity is starting at a much earlier age these days. According to Dr. Oz (yes, the same one on Oprah, not that I watch Oprah but my mom does), it's due to weight issues. Light of my life is a bit overweight (like 5 lbs, not 30!) but appears to still be in her "allowed" growth area. I don't know. I just don't remember being this fascinated with my body at that age.

Before people start complaining about me saying my child is overweight, I don't talk about this in front of her. Maybe in a later post I'll talk about what we're doing to prevent any weight problems, but not today. It's much too complicated an issue.

Any men want to chime in on the boobs and butt issue? Explain the fascination? Feel free.

Happy Monday, everyone.


Mama Dawg

Friday, February 15, 2008


I had just decided that about once a week, I was going to do a post on some of my favorite bloggers.

I had every intention of starting out with one of my friends and would save the “pros” for a later date.

However, I just went to and read the following:

Seriously? I snorted water all over my computer screen and then had to spend the next 5 minutes explaining to my co-workers what I was laughing at. They didn’t get it but I sure did.

I’ve been reading this blog for over a year now and I’ve seen pics of her kid and the dogs. I could just “see” this scenario in my head.

That’s how great of a writer Heather is. She is amazing. Her photos are even better. Her photos are what I aspire to. Her story about how she came to be what she is today is just amazing. You really have to go back to the beginning to get a sense of her. I promise you, it’s worth it.

Her sense of humor cannot be matched.

I totally have nothing in common with her but something about her writing just strikes a chord in me.

Anyway, if you ever get the chance, check out her site. She’s definitely one of a kind.

Everyone have a good weekend. I plan to!


Mama Dawg

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Or, as most wee ones call it, Happy Valentime's Day!

No big plans for us in the Dawg house.

The only tradition we have is that light of my life gets a basket of goodies. I had a white basket that I decorated years ago with red ribbon, flowers and beaded hearts.

I'm one of those shoppers that if it's on sale (and I mean more than 25% off), I'll buy it and stock pile it. I have 5 boxes under my bed with potential gifts. I keep them on hand for birthday parties, Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas, etc....It's mostly for light of my life or girls around her age. I have tons of stuff from Claire's since they seem to constantly have that 10 for $10 sale and I once got a poopload of purses for girls/tweens. Some are nice enough to save for when she starts attending dances and/or fancy parties/gatherings.

Anyway, since I've been doing this for years, I would notice that some of the stuff would start "age" while stored away. By "aging" I mean light of my life was starting to or would soon grow beyond the appropriate age of the item. You know, those ages 3 & up items vs. ages 8 & up.

So, I had to come up with a way to get rid of this stuff while still being able to justify spending the money in the first place. Trying to kill two birds with one stone here.

Wait a minute, exactly who do I have to justify my spending to anyway? Hmmmm.....thoughts for another time.

Anyway, this is when I created the Valentine basket.

Our tradition is that she gets to go through it in the morning. However, this morning, we were running late. Boy, did she get pissed when she didn't get to dive right in. I told her we'll do it this afternoon.

Mom bought her a dress at Wal-Mart that's actually quite pretty. It'll be for Easter.

I just got her a couple of Barbie outfits, one of those singing hamster things. She already has one that sings "Kung Fu Fighting" and has the nunchucks. I love that thing! Makes me laugh every time. The one I just got her sings "It's Raining Men".

I also got her a High School Musical c.d. of 6 songs by Troy and Gabriella. Some gum, candy (I know, I know, she's on'll keep), lipgloss, a bracelet and a purse. I got her one of those musical cards that plays "Who Let The Dogs Out" when you open it. She loves that song.

I told her I'd cook her favorite dinner tonight. So, we're having chicken alfredo pasta. However, she'll only eat it if it's made with bow-tie pasta. Otherwise, it taste nasty.....this is coming from the same girl that says that says that she doesn't like a cake for her birthday but she'll eat her weight in cupcakes. I can't figure that one out, either.

So, when I get home, I get to make bowtie pasta with alfredo sauce and chicken. I add pesto to mine. I'm getting hungry just talking about it.

Anyway, have a good Valentine's Day.


Mama Dawg

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

De-Lurk Yourself

I know that I'm getting some traffic from people I don't know. I know that sometimes it's just because they stumble across the blog based on what they plugged in when doing a a Google search and they never come back to the blog again.

However, if you are one that occasionally reads this blog and have never left a comment, please stand up and introduce yourself. Give yourself a big ol' shout out!!!

As you can see on the right side of my blog, I do have blogs that I read on a daily basis. Most of these are ones that I've been reading for a very long time.

If you have a blog of your own, plug it! I'm always looking for others to read.

I use Stat Counter to track traffic on my blog. It's a pretty good system. I can get it down to city and state. It's so cool. Some I can figure out on my own (if it's from Canada, it's Jodi) and I found out that if it's Atlanta, it's actually my friend K down in LA.

The coolest ones I've gotten so far are from Trinidad and Tobago and from Norway. I know absolutely no one in either place. The Norway reader was actually Googling Harry Connick Jr and stumbled across my blog cause I mentioned his name. The other one, it had no referring link. Who knows that's about.

Anyway, drop a line, plug your blog, stop by and say hi, ask me questions....etc.... I'd love to hear from you.


Mama Dawg

Starbucks Mug

Light of my life is currently on candy restriction. She’s not allowed to have it at all….period…..end of story. She can’t bring it home and she’s not allowed to have it. I know I can’t control her eating candy when I’m not with her and I accept that.

At church this past Sunday, before the sermon, B’s brother in law talked to all the kids (see one of the prior posts). They leave the pew and go to the front of the church and stand around while he tells them an amusing story that relates to something about God or Jesus or stories in the Bible. They all then get a piece of candy and go sit back down with their parents.

Well, since light of my life is on candy restriction I had remind her before she went up to the front that she couldn’t get any candy. Well, that pissed her off. She flounced back down in the pew and announced that if that was the case, she just wouldn’t go up there. Oh, boy. That was the wrong thing to say. I reminded her that the reason she went up there was not to get a piece of candy but to listen to what Mr. K had to say. The candy was just an extra. I made her go up there. After he got finished with what he had to say (again, see one of the prior posts), he mentioned that he had some special Valentines’ candy for the kids. Man, oh, man….did I feel like a heel then. Light of my life looked back at me with such longing in her eyes that I so badly wanted to reverse my decision and give in. However, I had to remain firm. I shook my head no and she pouted her way back to the pew. She actually sat there and cried while in church. My heart was breaking but I couldn’t do anything about it. She was crying silently so unless someone was watching, you didn’t even know she was doing it. I just let her cry.

Now, this is the amazing part and this is just one of the many, many, many, many reasons why I love and admire my daughter so much.

She kept pulling away from me on the pew and wouldn’t allow herself to lay down on my lap like she normally does during church (yes, I know, bad mommy). However, she didn’t pull away from me rubbing the back of her neck or stroking her hair. She also eventually stopped crying (without any prompting from me) and laid down on my lap. She started playing with my fingers and snuggling a bit.

She did all of this without me prompting or encouraging her. I thought that showed huge signs of maturity that she managed to get over the whole situation without me having to have a discussion with her or threatening her or punishing her.

I also thought I showed incredible signs of maturity by letting her work it out on her own instead of having a discussion with her or threatening her or punishing her.

I’m so proud of us. I think we’ll be fine. Of course, I say that now…..I can only imagine what it’ll be like in a few years when she hits 13.

She later went to Wal-Mart with M, C and their grand-parents while mom and I went traipsing through a daffodil field. I had gone to the bank to get some money for her lunch and her allowance (I never keep cash on me) and was only going to give her a $10 but decided to let her have the whole $20 to spend. I advised her that she had to buy her own lunch but that she could keep the change. She was so thrilled.

Know what she did with the extra $10 she had?

Spent it on me.

She bought me a Starbuck’s coffee mug with Starbucks hot chocolate and marshmallows. It was one of those special Valentine’s combo present things. I’m not a huge fan of hot chocolate but I do like Starbuck’s hot chocolate and I had been contemplating buying one of their mugs. It was a great present.

I just could not get over her generosity (albeit with my money).

I am so proud of her.


Mama Dawg

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bad Mommy

I am such a bad mommy.

I had an ok day yesterday. Not bad, not good. Just normal.

I work in a hospital. Once a year, we have to have a TB skin test. They stick a needle in your arm and inject this stuff that bubbles up and then you come back in 48 hours for them to test to make sure that you don’t have TB. I just got tested back in October when I started here but because it’s a new year, I had to do it again. It’s no big deal. I’m not scared of needles and I never have reactions to shots (except the flu shot).

I had to stop by Wal-Mart to pick up some things we forgot the day before or that the Wal-Mart we normally go to didn’t have. While I was at Wal-Mart, I started feeling faint and just completely out of it. I didn’t know if I needed to chalk it up to the TB test or if it’s just Wal-Mart. I get that way sometimes in Wal-Mart. I get dizzy and overwhelmed and feel lightheaded. I don’t know why, but it just happens.

Anyway, when I was leaving Wal-Mart, my car didn’t want to start. I tried cranking it 3 times and it didn’t want to work. I started to panic. It finally turned over on the 4th crank.

I had meant to go by Home Depot to pick up some scrap wood but due to the car incident, I didn’t want to take any chances.

I came home and mom and light of my life were outside. I had invited M and C over to eat dinner with us. We had been over there on Sunday night and I had taught the girls how to play rummy. They all liked it so much that I told them to come over for dinner last night and we would play some more rummy. C also wanted to work on jewelry.

I had been craving tilapia for a long time. Mom had been resisting cooking it for some reason. While at Wal-Mart I had picked up some asparagus to cook for dinner along with the fish and rice. I was glad to come home and find out that dinner hadn’t been cooked yet. I was afraid mom had either cooked something else or not cooked the fish the way I wanted it cooked.

The girls were in the house playing and I was starting to cook. Light of my life asked me something and whatever it was, I either denied her request or I didn’t answer her question to her liking. She started storming away. I could tell by the way that she was stomping that she was about to get in a snit and would be difficult to deal with for part of the evening.

You know how you just know your child? Inside and out? Well, I know her and I know when she’s about to get in a snit.

I heard her in her room and she cried out “ouch” and started to cry. I just sighed in exasperation and kept on cooking. M asked me what was wrong with light of my life and I said, “nothing, she’s just in a snit” and I continued to ignore her. The crying didn’t sound serious, neither did the “ouch”. I didn’t hear from her for a few minutes so I went to check on her. She was sitting down in the middle of the floor holding her foot and crying silently.

I asked her what had happened and she told me something along the lines of stubbing her toe or hurting her foot. I asked her my usual questions to ferret out the BS injuries. You know, “is it broken, is it bleeding, are you dying” types of questions. She didn’t answer yes to any of them so I just told her to get over it (that’s my usual response to imagined injuries). She has a penchant for drama, hence the sharpness of my response. She usually bounces back when she realizes I’m not going to pay attention to her dramatics. This time, she didn’t. Instead, unbeknownst to me, she went to my mom to complain to her that I was treating M & C better than I was treating her. She was claiming that I seemed more concerned about C & M when they were play fighting (one of them at one time said “ouch” and I asked them if they were o.k.). Light of my life took this to mean that I cared more about them than her since I asked them if they were o.k. She also claimed that she didn’t feel she was part of the family and that I’m never concerned enough when she gets injured. In my defense of asking if the other girls were o.k., I don't know them well enough to know when they are fake hurting or have a serious injury. That's why I asked if they were o.k.

Mom took it upon herself to “have a chat” with me about this and to push off some unwanted and unasked for advice. I informed her that I didn’t want to discuss this with her and that she needed to not talk to me about this since it actually makes matters worse, not better, for her to be a go-between. If she could remain objective, I might be able to handle it, but she can’t.

Light of my life continued to have an attitude for a little while longer and I was getting sick of it. I kept on her about her attitude. I was more than aggravated at this point. All these little things were happening all at once and I wasn’t able to recover from one thing before another issue would come up.

I felt pretty justified with my aggravation and didn’t feel the need to apologize to anyone since they were all doing this TO ME!!! (I'll later regret those feelings!)

Everything gets smoothed over and we finish dinner. C was going to spend the night over at a friend’s house so we had to hurry up to work on her jewelry.

I had promised light of my life and M that I would play rummy with them. I’m feeling like crap at this point (physically, emotionally and mentally).

Light of my life at one point was lying on the back of the couch and rolled down to the seating part. She didn’t stop there and ended up rolling to the floor. She hit the coffee table and actually did get hurt. I saw this happen but even if I hadn’t, I could tell by her cry that it actually hurt. I jumped up and ran over to her. I cuddled her and checked out the injuries. I got her to smiling again and things were fine with us for the rest of the night.

Here’s when I start to realize that was I being a bad mommy.

It turns out that light of my life really did hurt her foot. I was the bad mommy that didn’t check further regarding injuries. It was a minor cut, but it was an injury. So, everything I did after not believing her about her foot, was wrong. Including getting mad at my mother (although I still feel justified for being pissed at her interference).

After light of my life fell off the couch, I whispered to her that she could sleep in my bed with me that night and that if she wanted to, we could even take a bath together. I desperately needed a bath to relax and to try to make my headache go away and she loves to take a bath with me. Light of my life' s face lit up at that suggestion.

Here’s where I started to feel like utter CRAP.

I had to take M back home. When I got back, I told light of my life to go get her p.j.’s so we could take our bath and go to bed.

She asked me “did you like what I did in the bathroom” and so help me God, my first thought was “Now what? What the hell happened now?”. I went into the bathroom to check out the situation and what I saw made me want to cry.

She had laid out my favorite robe; she had pulled the shower curtain back, gotten one of her Pirates of the Caribbean bath fizzies out and laid out our towels. She followed me in there and asked me if I wanted her to get us some rolled up towels to lay our heads back on and offered to go find my magazines for me to read while in the tub.

All this after the way I acted.

I felt like shit. I cannot believe that it took the kindness and thoughtfulness of my 7-year-old daughter to make me realize what a shit I had been. I shouldn’t have been that way in the first place.

Later that night, when we were in bed together, I quietly apologized to her and she accepted my apology. I fell asleep with my arms around her and her hand in mine. Needless to say, my headache and heartache disappeared.

No wonder I call her the light of my life.

I think I’ll take her out for a picnic this weekend. That way, we can be by ourselves together and reconnect.

We need to go to Wal-Mart anyway to replace the dead fish, so maybe we can do that on Saturday.


Mama Dawg


I have an e-mail subscription to a newsletter regarding Disney matters. This is an excerpt from the most recent update. See if you can spot the funny.

Welcome back to Amy Moorby, our Disney bride. In this installment of Amy's wedding planning articles, the couple finally arrive in Florida for the big day. Amy highlights the pre-wedding activities and shows some amazing gifts for their guests -- including some really clever T-shits.

In each issue we like to answer questions from you -- and right now is a perfect time for you to ask. Those who email in questions that are chosen for our two March editions will get Magically Speaking luggage tags- the perfect thing to distinguish your suitcase from the crowd. So, are you wondering about a certain attraction? Are you curious about a resort or cruise? Do you have some nagging little trivia question that you are just dying to know the answer to? Now's the time to send them to us. We have a great team of Disney experts and sleuths who would love to answer your questions! If you have a question, send it to us at

Remember that if you would like to get a message to any of our editors, authors, or feature writers, or if you have a tip or question to share, we can be reached at at any time.

If you would prefer to view the HTML newsletter online, just click here:

Thanks for reading and happy new year!

Carol, Erica, and Kate Editors


Mama Dawg

Monday, February 11, 2008

Barbie Dollhouse-for all two of you that might be interested.....

This is the first section of the house that was built in 2005. My favorite room is the lower right hand one. It's the dining room and it's painted gold with tea-stained balsa wood flooring.

As you can see, the top right is Barbie (and Ken's) bedroom. The next one is the baby nursery, the lower left is the living room and the last one is the dining room.

This is light of my life when she was 5 and this thing was first built. Look how small she is in comparison to the house!


Mama Dawg

My Weekend

This weekend was so nice. First of all, the weather was BEAUTIFUL!!! Just stunning. I love these kinds of days. It was a bit chilly in the morning but then it heated up enough during the day to get into a short-sleeved t-shirt.

Light of my life wanted M to come spend the night Friday night, so after we visited with B & L for a while, I brought them back to the house. It was close to 11 at this point, so the girls went straight to sleep.

We all woke up around 8 or so. Mom cooked pancakes (she makes the best pancakes, hands down), eggs and sausage. I cleaned a bit. The girls were in the playroom playing with Barbies.

I had to go to the vet to get some flea meds for the boys before they closed at 11. When I got back and took care of the cats, I informed the girls that they needed to get dressed and go outside to play. They wanted to play with the baby doll stuff outside so I dragged out all the baby doll beds (three), the highchair, playpen, swing, light of my life’s princess table and chairs, a quilt for them to use, clothes for the baby dolls, toys for the baby dolls and the kitchen stove. Yes, the kitchen stove. Of course, it’s a plastic Playskool kitchen stove that’s filled with play kitchenwares and plastic food, but you can’t set up house without having a kitchen.

They played this way for at least 2 hours. It was good for them to get outside.

Now, before you ask what I was doing during this time, I’ll go ahead and let you know.

I decided to take this opportunity to drag out my work table (an old dining table top on top of 2 saw horses) and my big masculine power tools. I had a couple of projects to work on that required my circular saw and my jig saw. Since the day was gorgeous, I figured it was as good a time as any to work outside.

I have a shelf that I need to put up in the bathroom to put all the laundry detergent and stuff on. Right now, it all sits on top of the dryer and it takes up so much space (that could be otherwise used for other random miscellaneous crap). So, I had gone to Home Depot earlier in the week and got a white shelf. It was 5 feet long but I only needed 3 ½ feet or so. Instead of getting them to cut it, I decided to do it myself. I’m sure I could find somewhere to hang the other 1 ½ foot of shelf that’s scrap.

I got that cut and then moved on to the Barbie dollhouse.

See, a couple of years ago, I got a bee in my bonnet to build light of my life a Barbie dollhouse. However, I didn’t just imagine a quaint little four room house. Nope, I had grander ideas. Barbie was going to have a mansion. Nothing short of 16 rooms for that b*tch. This required me building 4 separate 4-room houses. I drew out the plans (like they were real hard, it consists of 4 rooms that are 14”h x 16”d x 16”w). I actually managed to get one section built. It’s custom painted (each room), I cut out windows, made curtains, made some furniture, made flooring (out of tea stained balsa wood), placed down carpet (real carpet remnants were used), etc…..My goal was to wait a few weeks and then start on the next section.

Then our world went black. Our life was disrupted for well over a year. Decisions were made and we packed up our worldly belongings and moved. During all this time, I was never able to get back to building the other three sections. I promised myself that I would get it finished before this summer. I went and bought the wood about a month ago and I actually did some work on it Saturday. I got the exterior built of another section. All I need to do now is put in the interior floors/ceiling/walls, paint the rooms and put in flooring.

Then do the same thing for 2 more sections.

Ambitious, I know. But it will be completed…..just in time for light of my life to declare her love for Barbies to be over and done with.


B came over while I was in the middle of all this. We visited for a while. I kept on working on the house while we visited. The girls had gone in by that time and like most kids, could sense that I was enjoying a nice adult conversation and decided to some outside at that point. They wanted to show off their house to B, so she went along and entertained them for a while. She invited light of my life to come over to play, so they left and I finished up what I was doing.

I went over later to visit and to collect light of my life.

As you can tell by previous posts, we are over there all the time!

On Sunday, we got up and light of my life got ready for Sunday school. B normally picks her up and takes her with them since she teaches a Sunday school class. However, I got a phone call from H that morning (H is the landlords daughter, she’s 13 and is friends with B’s girl C). She told me that B wasn’t feeling good and wasn’t going to church. H asked me if I’d take her to Sunday school when I took light of my life. Being the good neighbor that I am (or am trying to be) I said it was fine. And it was. However, unbeknownst to me, B had made arrangements to have her mother come pick up light of my life since she was already having to pick up B’s girls to take them to Sunday school. We got it all straightened out and made it to Sunday school on time.

At church, before the sermon, B’s brother in law talks to all the kids. They leave the pew and go to the front of the church and stand around while he tells them an amusing story that relates to something about God or Jesus or stories in the Bible. This Sunday, he was talking to the kids about Valentine’s day and was trying to tie it in to Jesus loving you forever and all that jazz. Now, M is his niece and she’s up there with light of my life and other kids. M is a sassy little thing (not in a bad way, but in the wholesome, positive, extremely HILARIOUS way) and she doesn’t let adults get by with much. She loves her uncle to pieces. Her aunt (B’s sister) is sitting in the pew this whole time. Her kids are sitting with her as well and her mom and dad are there, too.

The story he was trying to relate to the kids is that when he was younger, he had a crush on a girl named Michelle. He gave her a special Valentine (one of many that this girl received….apparently she was a popular girl) with a big ole’ smiley face on it and asked her to be his. This girl returned the Valentine with a big ole’ frowny face and declined his request.

The point he was trying to get across was that if you gave your heart to Jesus, you can bet he won’t return it and he will keep it and protect it and cherish it forever.

However, I think the kids missed this point. Why? Well….it's all because M loves her aunt and felt the need to defend her honor.

See, uncle, when he started the story, told the kids about loving this little girl. M got indignant on her aunt’s behalf and raked him over the coals for loving someone that is NOT HIS WIFE!!! She had the whole church rolling. The choir was chiming in, the congregation was chiming in, and the other kids were chiming in. It was hysterical.

You gotta be proud of M for standing up for her aunt. It was truly touching. I just wish someone could have taped the whole thing. B could have won some money on America’ Funniest Home Videos or whatever it’s called now.

That girl is a trip.

The rest of Sunday was nice and relaxing. Mom and I went to see my grandmother and we went driving. My aunt thought she knew of a field where some daffodils were growing and wanted to show them to us. I brought my camera along, of course.

We then made the ubiquitous trip to Wal-Mart and came home.

Went to B & L’s for hamburgers and hot dogs. Came home and went to bed.

I love living up here.


Mama Dawg

Mardi Gras Madness part 4

This is the last Mardi Gras entry. I swear!!!

Mardi Gras Day. This is a daylong event that started at 5:30 in the morning. That’s when I got up. C and I packed the car and got on the road by 6:15 or so.

Our usual parade site on Mardi Gras day is not located in New Orleans proper. In fact, we celebrate Mardi Gras day out in Jefferson Parish, not Orleans parish. For those of you not familiar with New Orleans vernacular, a parish is like a county.

On Mardi Gras day, the Krewe of Argus rolls in Metairie. Following it are two other parades but they are not professionally decorated floats. Instead, it’s comprised mostly of families and friends who get together and decorate a truck float. It’s called a truck float because the floats are pulled along the parade route by 18-wheelers instead of tractors like traditional floats. There are prizes involved and a whole lot of “political” stuff regarding the Krewes, but it’s all good fun. The truck floats consists of at least 70 floats PER PARADE. That means at least 140 floats plus Argus rolled on Tuesday. In actuality, it was more like 160+ in addition to Argus that rolled.

The Grand Marshall’s of Argus were Hoda Kotbe and Al Roker. Mom actually caught a cup that Al Roker threw to her! Well, she tried to catch it but it fell. I saw it fall and grabbed up a folding chair, folded it up and stood on the barricade to “draw” it in so I could pick it up. Mom actually has a cup touched by Al Roker. She can now die a happy person.

I’m totally joking about the reverence in which it sounds like my mom has for that cup. In reality, it was just a passing moment of coolness after which, the cup was promptly lost. It’s probably still on Severn or in some big landfill somewhere.

Anyway, it…again…was a great day. The weather was perfect. A little hot but not too unbearable. Tons of sunscreen was rubbed on tender body parts but I was able to stave off sunburn on both light of my life and myself.

We did have a bit of excitement that morning. C and I were the ones who were going ahead to secure our daylong parade site. When we got to Severn (we always stay in the neutral ground on Severn at Vets), we found a spot that seemed ideal. There were two people sleeping on a blanket but the area to the side was completely free of anything.

Background info: when you save a spot for your friends and family at parade sites, it’s customary to either rope off the area (and pray the cops don’t come to cut it down) or surround the area with fold up chairs or lay a blanket down on the ground. We usually do a combo of all those choices (usually not a rope but it’s been known to happen).

Back to the story: We unloaded EVERYTHING. I left C with the stuff and went and parked the car. When I walked back, I started helping C set up. The a$$hole work up and started complaining because we were setting up in HIS spot. I wanted to deck that mo-fo so bad, I could taste it. I calmly (how on earth I pulled that off, I’ll never understand) explained that I could not see anything that “claimed” the area as his. He countered back that the barricade that he pulled over was his way of claiming the spot. O.k., first things first, those barricades belong to Jefferson Parish and the cops WILL get pissed if you mess with them. Second, because they are police issued barricades, how the hell were we supposed to know at 6 AM and with them sleeping and not awake to shoo off interlopers, that the barricades were not put there by the JPSO but by them. Huh? Can you answer me that, oh Amazing Kreskin?

Long story short, I decided to back off the argument. For two reasons: one, even if I had dug in my heels and forced the issue, it would have made for a miserable day and that’s not the point of the whole day. Who wants to be miserable on Mardi Gras? Two, we found a better spot closer to Vets.

So, we moved. And enjoyed the day. As usual.

That wraps up Mardi Gras 2008. I hope everyone enjoyed the trip.


Mama Dawg

P.S. I think I've got B and L convinced to join us next year. I think they (and their girls, of course) would have a blast as they've never been before.

Mardi Gras Madness part 3

Monday was a great day. We got to sleep in, which I always like to do. The first parade wasn’t until later that afternoon. Mom and K decided not to go. They wanted to stay home and get ready for the next day.

C, V, light of my life and myself decided to leave the house around 1 pm or so. We were going to catch the parades at Napoleon and Chestnut. A friend of mine lives on Chestnut and my aunt’s old apartment (the one she lived in after Katrina) was right around the corner from my friend. I knew we could probably get parking somewhere around there. They live about 4 blocks from the parade route so it wouldn’t have been too far of a walk.

We got there around 1:45 or so (after stopping at Target to get some new Van like shoes since my boots were killing my heels and to get some lunch). We got to Napoleon and barely anyone was set up. It was wonderful. We parked our butts right there at the corner of Chestnut and Napoleon. We took the ladder and 4 chairs plus stuff to keep us occupied while waiting. We also had a small cooler w/some water, beer and soda in it. We got set up quick and I went to park the car. I actually found a spot about a block and a half away. That’s a miracle but considering we were able to find a good parade site so easily, I shouldn’t have been surprised.

We sat our butts down and ate lunch. I was still reading my Stephen King book. While I sat there and read, C, V and light of my life played football and walked around for a while.

The first parade that night was Proteus (one of the oldest parades) and they lined up about 4:30 or so with a roll time of 5:15. The lined up further from where we set up, so we missed the first couple of floats (we knew that going in). The riders aren’t technically supposed to start throwing until the beginning of the parade route, but they really don’t care. We caught lots of stuff. Light of my life got 4 stuffed Proteus fish, a light up seahorse necklace, some regular seahorse necklaces, some beer cozies, cups, doubloons, etc…..

C had gone down to the corner bar and gotten himself a Crown and Coke and got me a Bloody Mary. Man, it was good and spicy. I think it was actually a Cajun Mary, but no matter. It was GOOD and STRONG. My favorite kind of drink! LOL!!!

One of the riders hollered out at me “Hey, Bloody Mary” and I stupidly asked him “Who me?”. I felt so stupid but I’m blaming it on the heavy-handed bartender who made my drink. ;) He was just trying to get my attention to throw me some beads.

The parade that followed was Orpheus. It is one of the most beautiful parades. The floats are full of details and are just stunning. Their theme this year had something to do with cocktails so all of the floats were designed around drinks. There was a Mint Julep float, a Screaming Banshee float, a Fat Frog float, etc….most of the drinks, C and I were looking at each other and going “What the hell?”. We had never heard of most of them. We came home later that night and looked up the ones we could remember and sure enough, they were legit cocktails.

C was so thrilled. Sean Payton was on one of the floats and C was holding up one of the signs that had a target on it. Sean threw a bag of beads right at the target and C caught them. That was the highlight of the parade for him, having Sean Payton throw him a bag of beads.

Light of my life got a Beanie Baby thrown to her from one of the guys from the Real World. He was trying to specifically get her attention and when she turned to him, he threw it right at her and she caught it, while standing on the ladder! That’s my girl. Of course, she had no clue who he was. Neither did I for that matter! It was still cool, though.

The rest of the parade was uneventful…..except for our beloved klutz, V. She managed to fall off the cooler she was standing on. She fell all of 18 inches. However, she did manage to spill all of the ice that was in there keeping the beer cold. For that, she will never be forgiven!

Just kiddin’, V, you know I love you.

After the parade (we actually managed to find a way out of all the traffic and got home a lot earlier than I expected), we went to La Madeleine’s for tiramisu, French Roast coffee and an éclair and then to Baskin Robbins for ice cream.

A good night was had by all.


Mama Dawg

Friday, February 8, 2008

Mardi Gras Madness part 2

After settling down from all the excitement on Saturday, we all got to sleep relatively early and got to sleep in a bit on Sunday.

We were invited to a party at a house that was one block off the parade route for Thoth. K and mom (and me as well) used to work for the same company and this was one of the attorney’s that also worked for the company. He was having some people over for a pre-parade and after-parade party. We parked in Audubon Park and walked to the house. There was delicious food all set out (which included some Italian sausage meatballs with red pepper jelly). We all chowed down. After eating, we grabbed a couple of beers and some bottles of water and made our way to the parade site. C had to work that day so he could only stay for a while. He managed to stay for almost the entire parade.

The parade started late but that wasn’t an issue since we were right on the street. I loved this parade because it wasn’t too crowded and you could walk right up to the floats if you wanted to. No barricades or anything like that. It was HOT as well. I forgot to bring sunscreen so we all got a bit red but it wasn’t too bad.

We caught a lot more than we had expected to catch (we have never gone to this parade before). We've been given an open invitation to this party from now on, so I know what we'll be doing on the Sunday's before Mardi Gras from here on out.

We got back around 3 or so to K’s house. Bacchus was rolling that night on the Uptown/Downtown route. The tradition is that C, V and I go downtown to catch Bacchus. Mom, K and light of my life stay home while the others go to have some “adult” fun. When I say “adult” fun, I just mean being able to walk down Bourbon Street without having to cover little people’s eyes so they can’t see all the “clubs” and “stores” they have on Bourbon. For C and V, this is a relatively new experience. This is also the area (Bourbon Street) where you’ll see what most people associate Mardi Gras with. The flashing boobies and wee-wees. It’s a trip to watch though.

Mom dropped V & I off at Esplanade and Decatur later that night. We walked down to the parade site. We wanted to get there early enough to get a good spot. No problems there. We were able to get on the neutral ground near Magazine almost right up on the barricades. We had brought a sign that said “Can U Hit This” with a bulls-eye in the center. After we went and bought some drinks (Coke for V and Cherry Coke for me as well as a bottle of water and some sort of Green Apple alcoholic thingie for me. I forget what it was but it was yummy and since I wasn’t driving, I felt it was ok to have one), we went to sit and wait. It was about 8 or so. We knew the parade wouldn’t hit us until about 9 or 9:30 so we just sat there talking. While talking about college and stuff, V all of a sudden said “OMG” and I turned to where she was looking. Some guy was yelling, “Call an ambulance” and we could see some guy on the ground seizing. A couple of cops came running (one of them was trying to hop the barricade like some big-deal TV show cop but couldn’t handle it, he had to settle for climbing over….I know that’s a random thought but it’s what I remember). Anyway, a few minutes later an ambulance shows up. During that time, the guy had quit seizing once and then seized again. By the time the ambulance showed up, you could see him moving around (I breathed a sigh of relief as I thought maybe he had died). It was such a surreal scene because one of the people helping him was dressed in a hot pink wig a la Britney Spears and had 4-inch heels and was just generally dressed up for the celebration. It took about 20 minutes from start to finish, but it was just so strange.

On a side note, you can tell how callous the world is getting these days. While the cops were standing around trying to control the scene while the paramedics worked on the poor guy, idiotic people kept coming up trying to ask the cops how to get to Bourbon Street or how to cross the parade route or whatever the hell they were asking him. A man just seized in public on the street where you can still see his blood all over the place and these people were getting pissed because the cops wouldn't tell them where Bourbon Street and instead was telling them to move away from the scene. Seriously, have a little respect. Even if you don't know exactly what was going on, you can pretty much assume that the ambulance with the swirly lights on it was not there as part of the parade. Especially when people standing around were trying to wipe blood off their hands and a woman was standing there crying. Gimme a break. Heartless, souless people.

Because Bacchus fell on the same night as the Super Bowl, the Marriott and the hotel across the street from the Marriott had the game playing up against the outside of the buildings so the crowd on both sides of Canal could watch the game. I was standing in line at the port-a-potty in front of Arby’s when I saw the Giants win. Man, the sound that came from the crowd was deafening. I’ve never seen so much excitement. I got all caught up in the celebratory crowd. Eli managed to pull it off. Go Eli!!!!!!

Normally, the first float in a parade is either the celebrity float or the king’s float. This year, it was a float in honor of the Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, Harry Lee, who recently died. It was such a sweet honor as he was really into Mardi Gras. In fact, he was so into it that he designs and throws his own magnets. The first sets of magnets were of the fat Harry Lee. He ended up losing lots of weight and after that, the magnets were of the skinny Harry Lee. He managed to get this last one designed before he passed away. I managed to get some Harry Lee magnets and doubloons. They'll probably be collectors items sometime in the future. The float was cool as well. It was shrouded in black tulle and it was rider less float. A couple of tourists near me were wondering why there were no riders and I had to explain to them what was going on.

The parade was fun. We caught more than we had expected to catch (once again). It was Bacchus’s 40th year celebration so the floats were themed after the decades. It was kinda cool. I caught 2 footballs including one of Bacchus's grape footballs that had the 40th anniversary written on it.

After the parade, V and I decided to walk down Bourbon Street on our way to Café du Monde for some beignets and café au lait. Whoa, Bourbon is always an eye opener. V is this cute, little (4’9”) 16 year old wearing a tank top (yes, it was that warm) and tight jeans. She has long dark brown almost black hair and dark brown eyes. She is adorable. Everywhere we went, she was getting hit on.

Some random gay guy that was standing near us at the parade route told her “I’m sure you get this all the time, but you’re adorable!”. Another random guy (not gay) saw her walking down Bourbon and came over and asked her if he could pick her up. I mean, literally pick her up. H was 6’ something so it was a funny picture. V let it happen. I have a pic somewhere and I’ll post it later. V mentioned later that while she was standing in line at the same port-a-potty that another random guy literally picked her up as well. This was after she declined to do "something" to earn some big Spiderman beads the guy was offering. Good girl.

When we got towards the end of the street before we had to turn off to go get our midnight snack, another random guy stepped off the sidewalk and asked if either one of us wanted to thumb wrestle him. He claimed he was from Chicago and asked where we were from. V said “here” and that thrilled him to no end. He said that it would be the ultimate showdown between Chicago and New Orleans. He was drunk off his ass so V easily beat him. I have pics of that as well that I’ll post. He kept asking if we were Hispanic or Latin. V kept trying to tell him that she was Italian but he was too drunk to really listen to anything we had to say. His drunk friend kept telling me he wished he knew me better so he could get me to send him copies of the pics. I chose not to even respond.

After that, we called K and mom and they came and picked us up. We got home a bit after 1 am.

All in all, a blast. I love going to Bacchus.

That’s it for part 2. I’ll write about part 3 and post it on Monday.

Have a good weekend, y’all.


Mama Dawg

Thursday, February 7, 2008

More Pics From Mardi Gras

This is the Sphinx float at Thoth. You can see some beads flying through the air.

Here's light of my life up on the ladder I bought at Home Depot. We had left our ladder at home in the storage unit so I decided to get a new one. I left it at K's house for them to use when it's not Mardi Gras time. She seemed pleased with that arrangement!

Here's the King of Thoth. Underneath that beard and wig, I'm told he's a hottie!

Here's light of my life and myself at Endymion. We were killing time by taking photos of ourselves. I have major hat head going on.


Mama Dawg

Some Pics From Mardi Gras

This is a picture of some random boy sleeping at the parade. This was in the afternoon when the crowd was getting loud so I'm not sure how he was able to sleep through it, but here you go. This was taken at the Endymion parade.

This is the crowd at the Endymion parade. If you're familiar with New Orleans, this is at the intersection of Canal and Jeff Davis.

This was a vendor selling all that crap you don't really need. Those popper thingies, funny hats, glow in the dark necklaces, silly string, etc... I thought his T-Shirt was hilarious.

This is our gang at Thoth. This was a surprisingly good parade. We had a blast. We got real hot, though.

This is a Jester float at the Thoth parade. I love the vivid colors and you can see the costumed riders to the side.


Mama Dawg

List Thingie

1. I've come to realize that my butt: is still on the backside of me.

2. I've come to realize that when I talk: my mother doesn’t listen.

3. I've come to realize that, if I love someone (not family): they must be practically family.

4. I've come to realize that I need: more time and more money.

5. I've come to realize that I've lost: too much alone time with my daughter.

6. I've come to realize that I hate it when: people talk about things they know nothing about.

7. I've come to realize that if I'm drunk: I must be having a bad day/week/month/year. I rarely get drunk. Buzzed, yes, drunk, no.

8. I've come to realize that money: is something I’m constantly in need of.

9. I've come to realize that: I’m happier living in the country than the city even though I have a lot less stuff/money/anonymity.

10. I've come to realize that I'll always be: Light of my life’s mom, no matter what (and I'm happy about that).

11. I've come to realize that I have a crush on: Johnny Depp.

12. I've come to realize that the last time I cried was: when my cat was sick (at the end of December).

13. I've come to realize that my cell phone is: something I have to have but something I don’t want to have to have.

14. I've come to realize that when I wake up in the morning: I forgot to make light of my life’s lunch the night before (yes, I do this about 90% of the time).

15. I've come to realize that before I go to sleep at night I: need to make light of my life’s lunch but I don’t want to get out of the bed to do it.

16. I've come to realize that right now I am thinking about: how to pretend I am working.

18. I've come to realize that when I get on Facebook…can’t answer this one as I don’t know what Facebook is.

19. I've come to realize that today I will: eat leftover smoked mozerella pasta and broccoli crunch salad from Whole Foods.

20. I've come to realize that tonight I will: get to watch yet another season of Survivor and I will be rooting for Ozzie the whole way.

21. I've come to realize that tomorrow I will: going to work, yet again.

22. I've come to realize that I really want to: work at Disney World again.

23. I've come to realize that the person who is most likely to repost this is: Who knows.

24. I've come to realize relationships: are comforting.

25. I've come to realize love: is best when it’s coming from a child.

26. I've come to realize my best guy friend(s): are funny and surprisingly thoughtful.

27. I've come to realize my best girl friend: is just that….the best.

28. I've come to realize food: is delicious and tasty and yummy and…….(insert positive descriptive word here).

29. I've come to realize, when I'm a girlfriend I: am more helpful.

30. I've come to realize girls/boys: are very different.

31. I've come to realize over the summer: that I hate the humidity that comes with living in the south.

32. I've come to realize heartbreak: can make you stronger.

Yes, I'm aware there is no #17.


Mama Dawg

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