Camera Critters #34 - School Picture

Look at the camera, Elvis!
Say "Cheese"!

He was not posed like this. He had been watching Bear play football on the xbox (typical male, loves the tv, hee!) when we noticed how he was sitting. I adore it and hope you do as well! :)


Why, Hello There!

I just realized that I've been absent all week long. No particular reason, the first part of the week I've been working on Christmas presents. I so wish certain people (cough Bubba's Sis, Lamb, Big D cough) didn't read this blog. I'm excited about presents but can't share just yet!

The middle part of the week was filled with cooking. I abhor cooking. But, I can whip up a pretty yummy holiday meal. Either that or the family knows better than to complain. It was a nice day even though it was spent with in town family. Just reread that. It sounded bad. I mean, we didn't have any other family come visit and obviously we didn't visit family. It was basically just another day, but filled with gratitude. I am extremely thankful for Lamb's helping spirit, Bear's generous spirit, and Big D's spoiling spirit. I am a lucky duck, I am.

The end part of the week was spent on shopping. This is a hard-knock Christmas so I've had to be creative. I have scrimped, saved, sent in rebates, & tutored for money. Presents will be sparse, but they'll be meaningful. This has forced me to really think about what people want and not just splurge on everything I see.

So shopping today wasn't bad at all. We knew exactly where we wanted to go and exactly what we wanted to buy. We walked in each store, found our items quickly (& didn't browse because that's what gets me in trouble), and spent maybe 5 minutes in line. Of course, we avoided the mall and we didn't start until after 7am.

And tonight I found my mojo! For some odd reason, I looked over my crochet directions again (maybe not so odd since I've been trying to figure out why it looked so different for days now). Lo and behold! I was able to understand it. So, yeah, roughly 7 hours of work done completely WRONG. Sigh. Sweet Bear tells me to not worry about it as it matters not to him. Lamb agrees. My anal heart is going crazy. But 7 hours is a Long Time to just undo all that work. What to do, what to do?

That's my week. I'm excited about tomorrow's Camera Critters. I have a funny one! And I plan to visit all of you too. I hope each of you had a blessed, fun, and yummy Thanksgiving! Tah!


Kids These Days!

I got this in an email from my Auntie W. Thought it was so cute that I had to share! Enjoy, my fellow 8o's peeps!


When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears
with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were
growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning

... Uphill...

BOTH ways

Yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up,
There was no way I was going to lay a
bunch of junk like that on kids about how hard I had it
and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of
Thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.
You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my
childhood, you live in a Utopia!

And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you
don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know
something, We had to go to the library and
Look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write
Somebody a letter, with a pen!
...Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the
mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to
Steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it
Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd
usually talk over the beginning and screw it all up!

We didn't have fancy Call Waiting! If you
Were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's
And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either!
When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school,
Your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent,
Just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video
Games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games
Like 'Space Invaders' and 'asteroids'. Your guy was a little
square! You
Actually had to use your Imagination!! And there were no multiple levels
Screens, it was just one screen
And you could never win. The game just kept getting
Harder and harder and
Faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that
Was only m-net And there was no on screen menu and no remote
You had to use a Little book called a TV Guide to find out what was
On! You were not able to channel surf! You had to get off
Your bottom and walk over to the TV to change the Channel and there was no
Cartoon Network either!

You could only get cartoons
On Saturday Morning. Do you Hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL
For cartoons, you spoiled
Little brats!!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat
Something up we had to use the stove ... Imagine that!

If we wanted Popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing
And shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids
Today have got it too easy.
You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted
Five minutes back in 1980!

The over 30 Crowd


A Post about a Movie You Might Have Heard About: Twilight

Last year, I kept hearing about this book series called Twilight. Because I'm a curious sort and I love books AND love to read, I bought the first one. And there it sat on my nightstand for months. Did I really want to read a book about a vampire? Fantasy isn't really my genre (altho I do adore that Harry Potter). But people kept talking and finally my curiosity got the better of me.

Once I started, I couldn't stop. Just like Harry Potter is more than a book about wizards, Twilight is more than a book about vampires & werewolves. I promptly bought the 2nd, then the 3rd. I had to wait All Summer for the 4th. I let Lamb read them after me. She was even more hooked than I was. I have hooked more people on the series since Lamb.

Then we found out there was a movie coming out. Movies are rarely better than the book. Sometimes, they are a huge disappointment. But, sometimes, it is so fun to see the characters "come to life". We hoped that would be the case with Twilight. There was controversy on the actors playing Edward and Bella. To some, they didn't fit the images in their mind. I was ok with Edward, not to sure about Bella. Same with Lamb.

I figured it would just be Lamb & me going to see the movie. Big D surprised me by saying he wanted to see what had Lamb all a twitter when the name Edward is mentioned. I knew better than to suggest he read the book.

Bright and early yesterday morning, the four of us hit the movie theater. Lamb was all giddy with excitement. She laughed. She forgot to breath. At one point, I thought she might be having a heart attack. All signs of a well done movie. ;)

The biggest surprise was Big D & Bear. They both enjoyed it. Big D can't wait for the sequel. Again, I knew better than to suggest he read the book. ;) Bear has decided HE wants to read the series. I told him while he could read the first one now, the others had to wait a few years. While he is wise beyond his years, there are some things best left alone right now.

Four big thumbs up from the D Squared Family! Bring on New Moon!


Camera Critters #33

Corpus Christi,Texas March, 2008
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Where's My Mojo?

I am not a crafty person. I can't sew. I can't paint. I can't decorate. I'm not clever nor inventive. I am not a crafty person.

Once upon a time, I did cross-stitch. And while I don't consider it a talent, I was pretty dang good at it. My backs were ones to envy. ;) When I was pregnant with Lamb, I cross-stitched her a baby blanket. It was never used because it was not soft in the slightest.

By the time Bear came along, I had no desire to cross-stitch another blanket. As a matter of fact, my desire for cross-stitching had pretty much run out completely.

He has always moaned & groaned about the fact that HE doesn't have a blanket made with love. Not that he guilted me into it or anything, but I decided to crochet him a blanket.

That's all fine and dandy except I didn't know how to crochet. Many a person had tried to teach me but I never could figure out how to get a 2nd row.

That's kind of important when making a blanket.

No problem tho! This time I was determined. I picked a pretty orange. Got a book. And taught myself. I was so thrilled when I figured out how to make another row.

So I'm crocheting and thinking: "Dang. This is going to take a Long Time to crochet." See, sometimes my lightbulb doesn't shine very bright. I was not following a pattern. I was simply making single chains. He only wanted one color. Oh heavens. I'm slow.

When I realized what a daunting task I had undertaken, I quit. I put it away. Just for a bit.

Three years later, I have picked it up again. Only thing is, I have forgotten how!! I read my book again. I don't understand it! Things aren't going as smoothly as they did three years ago. My stitches do not look as pretty as three years ago. I still only know how to make a simple chain. I worked on it for an hour Tuesday night. Thought I did it wrong so I undid the whole entire row. Only to realize that I was doing it right after all. D'oh!

I asked Bear how important it was to have a blanket. Could he just have a very long and wide scarf? Because at the rate I'm going, it'll be his firstborn's blanket. I'm betting you know his answer.


Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - That's Your Mom? Edition

Here I am, approx. 8, being very lady like picking my toes. We are at my grandparents house visiting with an aunt or uncle or both. And that little girl sitting in the chair behind me? That's my mom. I was floored when I found this picture. I knew she was a young mom, but I didn't realize how young she looked.


Longest Day Evah!

  • 6:30 - wake up, make sure kids are up & ready
  • 7:05 - leave for work
  • 7:30 -3:30 - work
  • 3:30 - 4:30 - tutor in math
  • 4:30 - pick up Lamb (thank God my friend picked her up from school for me)
  • 5:00 - grab a bite to eat (also thank God I didn't have to cook tonight)
  • 5:30 - take Bear to his book club with his teacher (She is amazing. She has four book clubs. Two on Sat. and two on Tuesdays. Boys & girls separated.)
  • 5:45 - Lamb & I head to Target where I buy David Cook's new cd and part of Lamb's BFF's Christmas present
  • 6:30 - grab Bear
  • 6:45 - 7:30 - go back to the school for Math Night
  • 7:55- HOME again
  • 8:00 - have to chase down Ty in the back. He got loose from Bear. Luckily, he was busy barking at another (contained) dog so I was able to step on his leash & grab him.
  • 8:30 - finally able to take off my shoes but too keyed up to relax
  • 8:35 - Calgon take me away!


Hablo Ingles?

When I look in the mirror, I see a Caucasian girl. Nothing exotic.What do I look like to you?When some others look at me, they see something else. In my life, I have been mistaken for French, Italian, and, most often, quite often, Hispanic.

Just the other day, Big D & I were in Verizon getting our free phone upgrades. Our person made the comment that the phone Big D was looking at had a Spanish feature. Weird, but I thought nothing of it.

As we left, Big D commented that he thought she thought (lovely wording, no?) I was Spanish speaking. Surely not, I said. But then as I thought about it,maybe so.

However, once I open my mouth, there's no mistaking my culture.


Camera Critters #32

Despite not having Priscilla (Valarie!), Elvis is adjusting to life in our Jungle Room quite well. He has found a favorite spot, on the window ledge behind the love seat.

He is learning that our food is NOT his food. Nor are our drinks HIS drinks.
I think he has decided that he rather likes this place.
If you are wondering about Cleo, she is slowly adjusting. She will now be in the same room as Elvis, still ignoring him. He has been sleeping on our bed. Her spot. At first, she'd sleep on the floor. I guess she decided enough is enough because the other night, I felt her slink her way to my side when Elvis was on my other side. And since Elvis has displaced her, she's decided to displace Ty.
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Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - Make Your Mama Proud? Edition

My Bear is a mess. He's a clown. But I pray this isn't a glimpse of my future with him. Rebel without a cause? Rock 'n Roll is here to stay?
Those are magnets on his ears.


Elvis Has Left the Building?

This afternoon I received a text from Big D: I couldn't find Elvis.

What that meant was Elvis was not in Graceland. He was unprotected from the baddies out to get him. He was without food. I figured we'd walk in and he'd be waiting at the door for us.

Nope. There was no hide nor hair of him. I began to wonder if he jetted off to Las Vegas for a show. Or was he headed for Blue Hawaii? Then my thoughts took a darker turn.

What if Cleo had him disposed? Would Ty do her dirty work for her?

Right as we were all beginning to panic, Lamb found him. Behind the washer! I would have taken a picture, but, um, gross. It's pretty dirty back there. Definitely The Ghetto of the house. Before I could check for myself, I had to ask Lamb if he was still alive and unharmed. Luckily, the answer to both was yes.

After making us panic so, he gave a big stretch and sauntered out (once the washer was moved out of his way). Silly kitty. We led him to his food where he lived up to his name with a powerful attack of his meal. It wasn't a fried peanut butter & banana sandwich but it probably tasted like it to him!


Our Unexpected Surprise

Big D is a big ole softie. Sure, he might claim the pets annoy him. He might declare that he wouldn't miss them if they were gone. But, deep down, he loves them. They entertain him when he's bored. They love on him when he's lonely.

During the course of our twenty years together, we've had numerous pets. And, all but one, were sweet gifts from him. Saturday, he did it again. We were out doing errands, which included grocery shopping for the animals. On weekends, animal control has animals for adoption on display. There was an adorable black kitten who was really selling herself to Big D. Following him around, climbing up the cage to grab his attention, meowing to him. She wanted to come home with him. As we were walking back to the car, he said that after our errands, he wanted to come back to see about her. Uh, what? Seriously? Ok!

Cleo is supposed to be Lamb's pet. Sadly, I am the only person she's nice to all the time. I am her big, soft, squishy pillow. It always makes Lamb sad. I tell Lamb that it's her daddy's fault. Oh, and her brother's too. It's little comfort.

So, we do go back. And the little black kitten is still there. While we were waiting for the adoption volunteers, another couple asked to hold our kitten. Big D was disappointed. If it was meant to be, they'll put her up, I told us. In the meantime, Big D was looking at the other kittens. He found this gray one who was slightly older and already neutered. By the time the couple had put down our black kitten, Big D had changed his mind. I loved the little baby but I was also ok with getting an older one & having the peace of mind of it already being fixed.

So we did it. We crazy kids came home with a new pet. The kids were flabbergasted. They never in a million years thought we'd come home with a new family member.They begged their daddy to not rough-house with this one. They want him to be their cuddle bug. He's a wily one. Right now he's more interested in exploring and hiding from the big guy than cuddling. He's also interested in PEOPLE food. I've never had a cat who wanted what we eat. He about attacked Bear for his poptart. We gave him some of his food to appease him. Don't worry, he won't always eat on Bear's lap.It was a rough first night. First, we had to name him. That was difficult (cough, cough, Bear who would only agree to Julius which none of us liked). We went from Spartacus to Marc Antony to Caesar (homage to Cleo) to Bob (as in Bob Cat) to Buddy to his final name: Elvis. You know, because he looks a tad lion-like and the lion is king of the jungle. We are from Memphis and Elvis is the king of rock 'n roll.

It was also difficult because he was terrified of Ty. Ty was wanting to teach him the rules. Elvis wanted Cleo to love him. Cleo wanted No.Part.Of.This.Beast.

Elvis has now accepted Ty, somewhat. He'll consent to touching noses, but he still won't cuddle nor play.For Elvis's protection (& because he isn't 100% trained) he sleeps in the kids' bathroom at night. We call it Graceland. Saturday, he was perfect. Last night? Not so much. We were wondering if he could meow before Sunday night. He's a strong, loud little thing. Sure can't tell it by looking at him.
Cleo? Well, sadly, we haven't seen too much of her. This has pretty much been her look since we came home Saturday. Elvis just wants to be her friend. She lets him know in no uncertain terms that he needs to back off her. She's a diva. She might come around.In ten years or so.


Camera Critters #31


Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - Honeymoon Edition

Big D and I couldn't go on our honeymoon to Panama City Beach, Fl. until a year and a ½ after the wedding ceremony. This was the age before digital cameras. When what you took is what you got. There was no telling how the picture would turn out.

Here is a prime example. We were young and had no clue about picture taking. We wanted the ocean behind us so we set the camera on a tripod and posed. Who knew that the light behind us would create such darkness? Obviously NOT us. I was so sad to see this picture.
Of course, I never learn a lesson the first time.Now we are a little more knowledgeable about photography and we live in the wonderful world of Photoshop. I'm still learning but I'm bound and determined to make this a good shot. I've been able to clean up both pictures some. Look at how thin Big D used to be! Look at his pin rolled acid washed jeans with the lovely holes. And why am I so much more dressed up than him? I remember we were going out to eat at Capt'n Anderson's. Did he not bring some nice clothes? Good grief. ;)


Tag! I'm It!

Forgetfulone and Texas Tanya both tagged me for a Six by Three Meme. Or, in my case, a Six by Two meme. ;)

Six Things I Value
1. God
2. My family and friends
3. Children
4. Chocolate
5. Air conditioning
6. Having enough

Six Things I Don’t Support
1. TAKS testing
2. Bad manners
3. Hogging the right lane at a stop light if you don't plan on turning right ;)
4. Beans in chili
5. Mean People
6. Destroying our children's (especially our girls') self image


Is That a Light I See?

It's dim, but it's there!

Big D and I are fixing to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary in December. Of those 19 years, Big D has worked nights for about 13 of them. He's had varying degrees of hours but all of them at night. When the kids were younger, it wasn't a hardship. We just had a different lifestyle.

Once I started working and Lamb went to intermediate school, it became torture for Big D. He's a family man. He'd rather spend time with us than anyone else. It kills him to only see us for 30 minutes to 1 hour a day. It bothers him to not be able to help Bear with baseball, miss his games, & not help coach. He hates not going to parent night to meet Lamb's teachers. I think. I might be lying on that one. I know it kills me having to go alone.

But all of that is about to change in the near future. Big D is training for a position that WILL be daytime hours. He's thrilled! It's darkest before the dawn however. Right now, his hours will be noon to ten for a couple of months. That means we won't see him At.All. Well, I will but the kids won't.

My life will have to be readjusted. Remember me whining about having to wake up early? I'm a tad ashamed to admit that I haven't had to do that yet. My hubby who loves me so has been waking up to take Lamb to school then going back to bed when he comes home. I know, I know, I am spoiled loved. When the new hours start, my free ride stops. We also have to readjust ortho, dentist, & doctor visits. And the t.v. But that's probably a good thing.

The biggest thing to adjust is Lamb. She now gets out of school an hour before we do. I am blessed with my friends. I have a great one (Anonymous Lisa) who picks up Lamb when she gets her son and then drops her off at my school when she picks up her other son. Score! She is so good to Lamb. One day Lamb thought she had play practice. It was canceled. So Lamb sat outside for an hour waiting until I could fetch her. I was upset that she was outside that long and because I missed a baby shower of my ex partner-in-crime. Lisa made it clear that Lamb should call her next time it happened. She didn't mind going back for her. It is such a weight off my mind to know I have people I can count on to help us out.

Of course, the biggest thrill for me? (besides having Big D at home with us) Baseball practice. Big D should be home in time. Woot! Come on daytime hours! We've missed you!


Ty & Me - Camera Critters #30

We always knew when we moved into a house that we'd get a dog. I wanted a small companion dog. Big D wanted a big dog. He won for the protection factor. I admitted that a big dog would make me feel safer while alone at night. He researched and researched. Finally decided that a Belgian Malinois would be the dog for us. And, as luck would have it, there was a year old rescued dog not too far from us. After an application process & home visit, we were approved. That weekend, we drove to Tyler, Texas to bring our new family member home.

Recently, I read the youth version of Marley & Me by John Grogan. As I was reading about Marley, so much of it reminded me of Ty those first couple of years.

  • We only had Ty a week when get ran out of the house without a leash. We called and called him only to have him ignore us. We'd get close to him and he'd run away. I think I need to mention that this was in June. It's hot in June. Big D took off after him while we wrung our hands at home. After an incredibly long time, a furious Big D came home with a happy-go-lucky dog. Big D chased him all through the neighborhood & by a busy street. Just as Big D decided to give up & head home, Ty's herding instincts kicked in & he herded Big D home.
  • He chewed up everything in his path. Everything. That includes mini-blinds.
  • When Lamb was in 6th grade, it was a rare time that Big D worked days. Intermediate schools start at 9am which is an hour after my school starts. At the time, the only choice we had was for her to ride the bus. Ty could not handle watching her walk down the street by herself. He knew it wasn't right. What's a dog to do when he sees his charge doing something "dangerous"? Why, tear up the blinds & door frame to get to her, of course. So we had to crate him. And, sadly, it was up to Lamb to do the crating. He never gave her any problems.
  • When she was in 7th grade, a dear friend of mine with a daughter Lamb's age moved close to us. We had a car pool arrangement so Lamb would not have to ride the bus. Ty had no problem with Lamb getting into a car with someone else. The crate days were over.
  • Periodically, Ty would get loose. He's a bad doggie and doesn't come when called. However, we learned that if we opened a car door, he'd come running home & hop in.
  • He gets in the garbage. Repeatedly. He also eats kitty litter which completely grosses me out. We had to get Cleo a hooded, private bathroom.
  • When we go out of town & he has to be kenneled, he always comes home with a scratched nose. He tries to nose his way out of the crate and he whines for us.
Yes, all those memories came flooding back as I read the book. And they are memories, for the most part. After the hurricane, I thought to myself: So glad those days are over. Why, I bet if he got outside now, he'd come right to us when called.

Silly, naive me. Last night, Lamb was coming outside with me and Ty, pretty as he pleases, pushed her out of the way & came barreling out. Down the street he went. I called and called. He ignored me. I opened the car door. He ignored me. Bear went after him and he ran from him. I told Bear to walk away, hoping Ty would try to herd him. He didn't.

He darted across our busy street. Bear with a terrified voice begged him to listen and come to him. Ty kept running. Finally he passed a fence (an actual, honest to goodness fence) with a dog in the backyard. The dog started barking so Ty had to halt and tell him who's the boss. It gave Bear enough time to reach him. With me hot on the trail, Bear grabbed his collar and we got the leash on him.
Yes, I almost could have written that book myself.