Sunburn, Garlic, and Pesto

Right now in central Florida there is a huge strawberry festival going on. If you love strawberries, this is the place to go, in Plant City, where you can eat all kinds of horrible food. I love strawberries, but sadly (or perhaps happily, for my stomach) Mr. Hottie and I decided to skip the strawberry festival in favor of the Renaissance Festival.

Actually, we were going to go to MegaCon but the prospect of seeing boobs my kids boobs outdoors in a boobs fun boobs atmosphere outweighed boobs seeing Ray boobs Park again, who is really the only boobs one we wanted boobs to see anyway boobs. Oh, and the Ren Faire has corsets which equal boobs on a shelf. Need I say more.

We forgot sunscreen.

Thankfully, the anklebiter was wearing a hat and was in shade most of the time and thus only got a light pink across his nose and cheeks, and the spot on his forehead where his hair wasn’t. Mr. Hottie got a good dose on the back of his neck but not too bad for the most part. I got the reverse-raccoon/lobster effect. I think I’ll be staying inside the next few days. I’d post a picture but I’m feeling extra lazy right now.

While we were there, aside from paying an arm for a green beer for Mr. Hottie, and a leg for a small cup of mead for me, I spent a bunch of money on a sticker and plastic bead necklace. I threw a knife at a fence and hit the target. Go me! I also rode my first horse in about 14 years, under the premise of letting Little Man have his first warhorse ride. It made me really, really miss horseback riding, and of course the boy loved it.

We also bought overpriced pulled pork sandwiches and baby back ribs which were really too fatty, but the sauce was delicious. I also got to traumatize my daughter some more by putting her on the spot with the Fiddle Fairy. I swear I’m going to have to put that girl through therapy. She really, really needs some confidence boosters. We were only there about 4 hours but it was a good trip. Unfortunately, thanks to the wonderful world of I-4, it took us about an hour to get there, and FIVE HOURS to get home. Seriously? What the hell, Orlando? WHY DO YOUR ROADS SUCK SO BAD. We left the Ren Faire at 2:30 and pulled in just after 7:30. It took me five hours to drive about 80 miles.

I made several heads of roasted garlic the other day, and somehow managed to eat three of them before I realized what I was doing. Hey, the bread was -right there-. Anyway, roasted garlic is delicious, especially when smooshed with some butter and spread onto a warm piece of French bread.

I’ve successfully not killed my basil. In fact, my basil got so happy I was forced to trim a bunch off so it wouldn’t outgrow the pot. Of course, not wanting to waste the basil, I decided to make some pesto. I just happened to have some pine nuts from a sale a couple months ago, so I had everything I needed for the recipe I was using. It ended up being really, really tasty. Even I liked it, and I’m not much of a pesto person… well, not much of a dry-packet-of-powdered-crap-that-makes-pesto-flavored-stuff person. Even my kids ate this, though. I’m keeping an eye on my basil for the next batch, and I may have to re-pot soon.

My kidlet is in the early stages of potty training. I wish I could say that he’s taken to it like a duck to water, but that’s so rarely the case. Mainly I’m not exactly sure what to do. My mom has a suggestion, the diaper websites have suggestions, the baby websites have suggestions… It’s nuts.

I’m slacking school pretty badly. It’s hard to focus again. I wish the damn tax return would get here already.

So Very Small

Every time I read one of the recent posts by Fatty, I want to come here and write something profound. But each time I try, it ends up being hollow, forced and/or fake.

How do you tell a total stranger how much your heart aches for his wife and family? How do you tell someone how moved you are, not only by what he’s going through, but by sharing it with us, the faceless internet?

My thoughts and prayers are with Susan, Fatty, and their children.

I can’t say more than that.

I am a Gamer Geek (not really)

I’ve pretty much been focusing on the Little Man, and life in general, my health and things like that in this blog. But I feel like I really should be writing about all aspects of myself. I do tend to censor a little because I’m not totally comfortable with the idea yet, but I’m getting there. My last post was a HUGE step for me, and probably one of the hardest.

Yesterday I saw something about an upcoming Prince of Persia movie (actually it was a picture of Jake Gyllenhaal all buffed out). Yet another video game movie, but this one has promise. It’s NOT directed by Ewe Boll.

Now, I’ve never played the Prince of Persia games. I’ve looked over Mr. Hottie’s shoulder while he’s been playing them, but I tend to not play that kind of game. In fact I haven’t played a lot of the games that are out mainly due to the fact that we didn’t have a TV until last December, and we don’t own any consoles. Yet. (I have big plans for a 52″ Aquos with PS3, Xbox, and Wii). So my gaming experience lately has pretty much been City of Heroes and whatever random Popcap game sucks me in for the week. However, I can appreciate a good game flick.

Prince of Persia looks like it might be a good game flick, just based off a few things. One: Jake Gyllenhaal. Two: Jerry Bruckheimer. Three: NOT Ewe Boll.

There’s not much available to check into. I can’t find what I’d consider to be a ‘real’ trailer, so the only things out there are a couple of interviews and on the set teasers. Still, it looks like it could be very good.

I started a Netflix trial the other day and immediately found one of the movies I grew up on. I swear I used to watch this thing at least once a month, and I remember my dad letting me stay up late to watch it. Yellowbeard! Truly a classic Monty Python people but not Monty Python brand movies. I highly recommend it to anyone with a warped sense of humor. I plan on introducing my kids to it when they visit again. Mua-hah-hah!

Take A Deep Breath, Let It Out…

Several months ago a wonderful woman by the name of Maggie started a blog called Violence UnSilenced. In it, survivors of domestic violence and abuse would tell their stories. Some were from people who were already in a better situation, some were from people who had to stay anonymous to protect themselves.

I read the stories with mingled horror and admiration. Some stories even brought tears to my eyes. These women and men were so strong, so brave. It took several days of soul-searching before I decided to send in my story. This was back in February. I think it’s a testament to the welcome nature of the site that it was finally posted today.

Read my story here.

Those of you who have come to my blog from that post, thank you. Thank you for your kind words, and your support. When I started re-reading my own post, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, and narrowly avoided having a panic attack. Your words calmed me, soothed me. I wonder if my mother may stumble upon this post. I still haven’t told anyone except my husband, and you faceless, wonderful people of the internet.

I’m mainly writing this post because I wanted to share the letter that I wrote about. I’m not sure that I need to say much about it, the words speak for themselves.

7/27/06
I have tried for years to say I’m sorry. I’ve imagined it, I’ve said it out loud yet the whole time my shame takes me to the place of the unforgiven. I have tried for years to give back to you what I took from you, with anger of my own making. I had no understanding at the time who I was or why I was. It’s funny how the past sews itself into the now and never lets you forget even when you try. We all find ways to cope and yours was the most beautiful. A true forgiving. You were always calm in my storm and my storm sometimes never ended. I finally found the reason and made amends with it. I made myself whole again and you have always been there, the one person I owe a world of thank you’s to, a world of apologies. I live with my regrets but no sorrow of the time we spent together. I came looking for you but never found you. Then out of nowhere google sent me here. I hope you’re well. I hope you have all the happiness in the world. I’m sorry to disturb you if the past is not a fair place to spend any time.

I wrote him back, of course. I won’t post all the emails here, but here is another excerpt from his second email.

I hate to harp on the same subject but I’m trying to find how, in words, to tell you that I healed thanks to you. I went to anger management, psychologist, psychiatrist, the works. All because I couldn’t live with myself for what I did to you. I feel like an alcoholic saying that I haven’t had a drink in ….. But I found peace and haven’t had a relapse of anger EVER. I am grateful that I only have you to apologize to. It’s not fair that we can be hurt so young and hurt other who are innocent, who only want to love us. I sorry from the bottom of my heart. There hasn’t been a week go by that I haven’t thought about you and hoped that I didn’t scar you.

I know I am so lucky, and I can only hope that other people in my situation see themselves and act. I can only pray that the givers of pain, the abusers, recognize themselves and -stop-. It’s a far cry, but it happened in my situation, I have faith that it will happen in others.

Thank you for listening.

Beating My Head Against The System

When Hottie and I got married, I opted not to change my name at the time. I had my reasons, none of which I can remember right now except for the “I’m not so sure I like my first name with your last name” one, and the “maybe I’ll use an awkward and unwieldy hyphen-name instead” one. Hottie didn’t care one way or the other, and gradually I started using his last name on more and more things (bills, internet things, checks, etc) until finally, after two years, I decided to do the big social security card name change.

Well, wait, not really. I’m getting ahead of myself. A few weeks ago I sent out for some information from various online colleges to see about going back to school. After a horribly amazing crash and burn failure at University of Phoenix, I’ve been very leery of starting back up again. (It was college math 2, by the way. Math is my nemesis, and anything beyond simple addition and subtraction makes my brain explode.)

Instead of simply getting some information from Kaplan University, I found myself being herded (much like University of Phoenix) into enrollment and registration and class starts next week and holy hell aren’t you guys even going to buy me dinner first?

Needless to say, I dug in my heels a little bit. I just wanted INFORMATION. I wasn’t sure I was ready to go back to school yet. After much harassment and many calls from one of my advisors I finally got around to doing the paperwork necessary to start my GI Bill up again. Except, whoops, there’s something wrong with my last name! I enrolled and sent all my various paperworks (transcripts and DD-214) with my ‘new’ last name. My GI Bill is attached to my social, which is attached to my ‘old’ last name.

See, I really didn’t decide to get my social security card changed, it was kind of decided for me. No problemo! I was willing to do it now since I’d been using Mrs. Hottie for the past year or so. Except I couldn’t find our marriage certificate. We -are- married, right? I’ll just get a copy from the office that’s way downtown and hey we only have one vehicle now but I really don’t feel like traipsing all over town to get this stuff done right now so I’ll wait until tomorrow.

Or the next day.

Meanwhile, my advisor is calling me daily wanting to know if I’ve gotten my paperwork taken care of because I’m supposed to start on the 25th. “Yes,” I say, “I can’t do it today because the social security office closes stupid early and I don’t have the truck.” So finally, today Hottie braves downtown (bless him) to go pick up a copy of our marriage license, comes home, and then I take him back to work and head down to the social security center.

Tangent: My former boss married us in his office. True story.

I get to the center (the one that closes at 3:30) thinking this is going to be an in-and-out situation. I didn’t even bring the diaper bag. As soon as I walk in I realize how wrong I was. The place is packed. Wall-to-wall people. It’s so noisy I can’t even hear myself think, and my vision starts to narrow a little.

I should mention here that a few years ago I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, one of the reasons I wanted to go to school online. I do okay in small groups, but as soon as the number of people starts to become more than I can count easily, I start having problems.

It’s so confusing that all I can do is go and get an application and retreat, clutching it in one hand while I try to make the fastest exit possible while hiding behind my son. I sit in my truck for about 5 minutes before I’m calmed enough to drive. I even called Hottie and told him, “I can’t do this. I can’t, there’s too many people. I’m just going to mail it in.” Fate was laughing at me at that point. HA HA HA.

When I got home I looked up the social security information to find out what I needed to send, etc etc. Then I spotted this little gem:

Take (or mail) your completed application and documents to your local Social Security office.  If you live in the New York City metropolitan area, Las Vegas NV, Orlando FL, or Phoenix AZ you may need to apply in person at your local Social Security Card Center. 

Guess which one of those areas I live in. And did I mention that the card office I went to is the ONLY one in the area, and they service 3 counties? On top of that, after I apply, I STILL need to wait for the application to be sent to the main office in Baltimore, and then get approved and all that jazz. So it’s still not going to be a fast process.

I call my advisor and leave a message saying that I don’t think I’ll be starting school next week.

I think I need a beer or three.

I’ll be going first thing Monday morning, this time with Hottie so he can be my bulwark against all those people. I’m so lucky to have him to combat all my neuroses.

As a total aside, WordPress does NOT like the word “with”. It keeps trying to make it “WI th”.

WordPress vs… ?

It’s 5 AM. I have already resigned myself to the fact that I’m not getting any sleep tonight, and probably not today either. Yet, despite this, I will still be unable to go to sleep at a decent time tonight.

I can’t wait to wean Little Man, yet at the same time…

I’m on twitter now.

There are many different blog sites out there, and sometimes feel I use a less-common one. I think “maybe I should have gone with blogspot” or “Hmm, maybe I should go ahead and get (yet another) .com” but then I would probably just end up sticking WordPress on there anyway.

I need to make $400 a month to keep us afloat.

I have no idea how I’m going to do this.

I wanted to try to keep this blog separate from my other online identity, but the more I think about it, the more I think I’d like to change that. I also wanted to try to keep this strictly on a “what is going on with me as a mommy” than the rest of my life, but it’s hard to filter my brain. When I write, it just kind of falls out of me in a oozing, nasty, gloppy mess, with occassional gems buried in the muck. I’ve been trying to polish the gems before I share them, but I think now maybe just giving the muck would be better.

Every morning, every day.

Every morning I wake up (usually due to Little Man talking in my ear or snapping my bra strap) I wonder if today is the Day That Makes A Difference. You know, that magical day when suddenly enough’s enough and you have enough motivation to clean the house, write the great American novel, change the batteries in the bouncer AND shed 60 lbs all at once.

Every day the first thing I do when I wake up is groggily change my son’s diaper, stagger out into the living room and set him down on his blanket and somehow manage to get a bowl of cereal together without spilling either the cereal, the milk, or the completed pair on my way to the computer. Then I read Other People’s Blogs while I eat my cereal. And I think, “Okay, it’s been 2 months since I posted. I should post. Why haven’t I posted lately?” But I never actually post anything.

So I’m making today the Day That Makes A Difference, at least in my posting habits. Nothing fancy, really. Just try to get something out at least, oh, twice a week. That’s easy enough. I post more than that on my dA site. In fact, I should transfer posts from there to here and backdate them so I don’t have a huge gaping hole in my “previous” calendar, much like the huge gaping hole in my head.

And my torso, where they finally removed my offending gall bladder. The scars are pretty neat, though.

The snugglebug is just shy of 8 months old now. He doesn’t sit up yet, he doesn’t crawl, he doesn’t like being stood up on a lap and bounced, he’s not eating finger foods, and he can’t tell the difference between 7 am and 8 am, which is the hour that I need to go from muzzy-headed to take-on-the-world. I’m a little worried, but I know from experience that kids develop differently. I know that pretty soon he’s gonna figure out how to get around and I’ll realize that I don’t have enough room to put things to actually babyproof the bottom two feet of my apartment. Then I’ll get that playpen out and put him in that. Nothing like a little portable jail cell for your babies.

Later on I’ll try to fill in some of the 2-month gap. Maybe.

What a weekend. Oy.

I’m just too tired to post the full extent of the weekend right now. Suffice to say that my kids stayed the night with me for the first time ever. It’s a long story involving divorce and custody, but I’m finally in a position to host their overnight. It was both the best and most gruelling weekend I’ve been through in a long time.

I stuffed myself at Texas de Brazil tonight for Mother’s Day.

Snugglebug also laughed for the first time today.

I’m pooped. I’ll update this tomorrow after I’ve had some sleep.

There’s Always Something

Seems like every time I try to sit down and write I get sidetracked. Lately it’s been with the money. Hottie’s paycheck was NOT direct deposit this time and I jumped the gun on the address forwarding, so his paycheck is in postal limbo right now. Needless to say this is more than a little nervewracking.

Working again is nice, though I can tell I need to redo my computer setup once we move. I can’t keep having my head turned to the right to see the monitor. My back is aching abysmally.

The spawn is doing well. He’s trying to laugh but all that comes out is kind of a cross between a hiccup and a sneeze. I’m sure he’ll figure it out soon enough.

I just can’t focus on this right now. I have two shifts tomorrow, and stuff to move, AND it’s free comic book day. I’m going to be pooped tomorrow night.

Ex Haus Ted

Today was my visitation day with the kids. We managed to steer them away from spending lots of money at the mall or movies, and took them to a park to run crazy. Well, they ran crazy with Southern Hottie and I sat in the truck with all the windows down feeding Little Man. I’m sure they had a great time.

It’s time to shave my legs. I have one leg up under my desk with my knee just barely touching, and at first I thought my knee was going through cobwebs, but it’s actually my knee hair brushing against the back of the desk.

I just got wind of a site that buys books and pays for the shipping. I’m going to try it out and see if it’s any good. I have a bunch of books to get rid of, and I’d rather sell them for a couple bucks than lug them over to the new apartment. That’s right, NEW APARTMENT. We got a place in the same complex a couple buildings over, and it’s ALL ours. It’s been a while since Southern Hottie and I lived without roommates. Mostly I’m excited because I’ll be able to walk around naked if I want to. Ahh freedom.

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