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Showing posts from November, 2010

Wealth of a Child

Vicbowin's school work came home last night with a small three page play she had written called "The Sweet Life of Meg & Kellci." (We'll discuss her creative spelling of Kellci later.)

It is always a delight to see what she has created. Her writing voice is very strong (albeit untamed), so strong in fact that I think she will outstrip my abilities by the time she hits her teens. Already her teachers tell me how, when reading her papers, they can hear her speaking as if she were standing right next to them reciting the answers.

The other strong trait of her writing is her perception of life. This is where the real fun of her work comes in. At nine years old she hardly understands the profundity of her words. She see's the world through some very clear lenses, but her age has yet to allow her the power to comprehend exactly what it is she is seeing.

Back to the play she wrote--in Scene II Meg and Kellci are discussing what they wish they could have (and what the…

To Be Human Again

As many of you may already know, my dear Ralexwin is in law school. Now I know about the stereotypes (like on seriously-so-blessed) that say I should be brimming with joy at this time of our lives and glowing with the potential jobs my husband may be able to line up--but let's talk reality here. Law school is expensive.

Very expensive.

So where does that  money come from? It comes from sacrificing of those things that may be wanted but not needed (and loans... lots and lots of loans). Wanted things like new clothes, new blankets, new carpeting, which are all things you think you need but in reality can survive without.

We're on our last year now (only one semester left) and you know what I want to do the second we have money coming in?

I want a hair cut. A nice, well  executed hair cut. It's been so long that I can barely remember the feel of all this thick, heavy hair falling to the ground around me.

I can't wait for the day that I can lay back and have someone wash m…

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday.

There's no stress over what presents to buy or how much money you're going to spend. There isn't any massive amount of decorations to put up and a tree to keep an eye on for the next month. There's no being pummeled by Santa Clause and the kids letters that will never be fulfilled.

It's just simple goodness.

A day when every body you care about, and sometimes mere acquaintances, get together to enjoy good food and great company.

I enjoy spending the entire morning cooking and prepping the house. Then spending the afternoon eating and luxuriating.

The kids all seem to know there's something special in the air and are on their best behavior. They play by themselves and wait for their favorite Thanksgiving food to be set on the table.

I love nibbling on potatoes as I cut, cook and hand mash them (which is the only way to do it). I love sneaking pie-crust dough from the bowl and running away before my hand gets sma…

Life In a Musical

Design*Sponge has this themed post they do called 'Living In' where they take a movie and then they find fun things that look like they came right out of the movie. The problem is the things they find are usually expensive, and as I've mentioned before... expensive isn't up my alley right now.

So then I was watching Mary Poppins last night with the kiddos and I was thinking to myself--'That's cute!' or 'Wow, I bet I could make that.'-- and I realized I could do a 'Living In' style blog post that uses the myriad of tutorials and ideas that the great blogosphere has to offer. I could do for the meek and humble what Design*Sponge does for the wealthier. :)

I'm nervous that perhaps I'm stealing their idea. I don't want to be accused of taking their idea, I'm merely bowing to the genius that is them and adapting to my own needs and wants.

That being said, lets get this party started.

What first caught my eye was Mrs. …

True Me Tuesday

Originally these posts were supposed to be a way of me to show you that I'm a normal person, with failings and problems and imperfections.

But sometimes that's a bit exhausting to come up with a failing of my own once a week (I can't imagine why).

So today I'm going to give you a few more things about myself... oddities that make me who I am. I think I'll intersperse these with my failings so as to save my precious ego.


1. I can't stand yams, but I'm not sure I've ever eaten them.

2. The color combination of red and black always makes me think of Native Americans.

3. I totally connect with Belle (in Beauty and the Beast) up until she falls in love with an animal.

4. I hate glitter so much it might be slightly OCD.

5. I think Cumin smells like sweat, and yet it's one of my favorite spices.
6. I eat cake, graham cackers, or pie in a bowl with milk poured over it.
7. I've never set foot in California.
9. I like eating cherry pie filling out of …

Ramblings of a Complainer

Boy did I have one of those weekends. The ones where you actually wish for Monday to roll around, but then when Monday does roll around it's just as rough as the last few days and you really wish you could climb into your covers and hide away for awhile.

I particularly like putting a hooded sweatshirt on (hood up) and crawling under my covers. That way my head is as buried as the rest of me. I sure do love hoodies.

But a mom can't always do that, so she (I) endure it all by reading a 300 page book in less than 24 hours. That's because my options are to focus on the story or focus on my boiling, writhing, cramping stomach. I hate the stomach flu. Hate it, hate it, hate it. In fact I hate anything that has to do with me throwing up.

So that was this weekend. I finished the book and woke this morning to discover I'm actually hungry. I decided to run some errands. Except that it's raining outside right now... and it's 25*F.

Have you ever dealt with freezing rain?

I'm So Mad I Can't See Straight

Plinky Prompt: When's the last time you lost your temper in public?

This is a very common problem in my family (siblings not spouse). In fact, I grew up with the threat of a public displays of aggression (PDA) looming over my head. When your family is prone to yelling at complete strangers you learn to work in a certain way. You avoid long lines, large groups, traffic, persons of authority... the list could go on and on.

I hate PDA's and am proud to say that I can't remember the last time I actually had one.

Unless of course you count those times I've lost it on my children at Wal-Mart. Like when Vicbowin went to look for a toy she wanted to buy and the Mischievite took off after her without even pausing for my "No." I don't consider those PDA's though. They're more like PDP's (public display of parenting).

I'll tell you a story of an odd PDA that happened some years back when I was living with my brother.

Star Wars #1 had just come out an…


I threw out my back the other day. It's not as bad as some of the times I throw it out, but whenever I feel that familiar twist in my lower back muscles a sense of immense fear races through my being. Fear for the pain that I know will soon be upon me. Pain that leaves me sprawled on the floor sobbing and begging my dear Ralexwin to 'please make it go away!'

Nothing so horrible has happened yet, but I am taking great care to not push my limits.

Ironically Remewin threw up repeatedly last night and is being a giant cuddle bug today.


Maybe the powers that be will smile upon my selflessness and protect my back from further damage.

Until then I have a pile of laundry the size of K2 and grocery list as long as the Nile.

I wonder if I can fit a visit to the chiropractor in to my day.

First Kiss

I was taking my doddling kiddo's to school today when I spotted a couple of teens walking down the street toward the high school. They weren't kissing, they weren't even holding hands, they were just enjoying each others company.

As they walked the guy bent his head down a little to listen intently to what she had to say, then his face lit up and he smiled happily. It was a very sweet image that got me thinking about my own children.

Well, about life in general, but about how I love to hear stories about first kisses and first loves. I wondered to myself if I would ever know about my daughters first kiss.

As the mom, I'm not on the top of her list of people to regale that story to, and that makes me sad.

When I was a teen I wouldn't have told my mom any of that to save my life. In fact I hid it from my mom. I doubt she knows now that my first kiss was when I was 15 and that I thought it was the grossest thing in the world. Further more, I know nothing about my mom&…

True Me Tuesday: Don't Get In Any Cars!

Conversation between Vicbowin and me as she leaves for school:
"Have a good day! I love you baby girl." I wave at her retreating bicycle.
"Love you too Mom." She hollers back.
"Be safe, and don't talk to anyone."
"I know." Her voice is controlled patience.
"And don't get in anybodies car, no matter what they say!" I shout at the last minute... just in case.
"Moooooom!" Her patience is lost and she mutters imprecations under her breath. She hates it when I talk like that.

The truth of the matter is I'm terrified I'll never see my children again and I have good reason, when I was thirteen I knew a girl who was kidnapped and murdered.

There... I said it and now you know.

It's not really one of those things I dwell on, but as the children get closer and closer to her age I can't help but pray that they will never meet her fate. Her name was Jeralee Underwood and I had known her family my entire life. I was in …


10 things you didn't know about me but wish you had  ... or maybe not.
1. I had my first child when I was 21. (My second when I was 22).

2. I suffer from extremely violent nightmares that my husband usually has to wake me up from.

3. I have never taken a Geometry class (not even in high school).

4. My first memory consists of me climbing out of my crib and then promptly knocking a bookshelf full of canned foods on top of myself.

5. The laundry turn-around-time in my house is about 1 month.

6. I don't have any TV channels and don't ever want any.

7. I have had a blood transfusion. (Half of you just rolled your eyes because you know I love to mention that).

8. Once, when I was a teenager (16 or 17) I ran away from home in my mom's car, got lost and then ran out of gas. I ended up having to hitch a ride to a pay phone to call home for help. It was a pride-killing moment.

9. When I was 18 I kissed a 27 year old Italian guy (whose name I think was Gigi) in a little town just ou…

Comment Party

Let's spend some time today discussing publicity of a blog.

According to my statistics there are:

107 of you who 'Follow' me.

135 of you who 'Feedburn' me.

68 who 'Facebook' me.

And yet on those same stats it says that I get less than 30 hits on my blog a day.


What's the trick?

What does a girl, a blogger, need to do to lure in more people?

I've tried link parties... they don't seem to be so popular.

I've done the whole comment on other blogs thing.

And yet after three years of blogging that is all I have to show for it.

Don't get me wrong. I love, love, love, love, love blogging.

But I would also love, love, love readers.

So today I'm going to do a comment party, a call for attendance if you will.

It's not hard and it will only take a minute of your time. You answer one (or all) of four questions:

1. What is your blog all about? (link please)

2. What can a person do to drive up readership? Great link right here

3. How can I …

Repost--Warning: It's All Being Graded

Due to the fact that I am grumpier than should be humanly possible (and I've scratched out about four potential posts) I've decided to do a re-post. Since I have so many new readers this shouldn't be a big issue. Hopefully tomorrow I will be more cheerful. :)

Sept. 9, 2009:
Being a parent is a struggle. Don't get me wrong, it's an adventure as well, but it's an adventure with many bumps in the road.

Like when you find poop smeared on the bathroom wall and begin wondering whose hands are clearly not clean. That's definitely up there on the list of "Things I'd Rather Not Deal With."

Other list makers would be the toy in the unflushed toilet, the soaking-wet roll of toilet paper sitting on the counter, or the wet toilet seat in the middle of the night.

You might be thinking that all parental struggles are centered around the bathroom. This assumption would likely land any babysitter in a heap of trouble.

Anticipating the unanticipatable is the true…

Some More Kids Funnies

Albowin:I don't like toast.

Elizabeth: This isn't toast, it's a grilled cheese sandwich.

Albowin: Still, is the bread cooked?

Elizabeth: Yeah.

Albowin: I don't like cooked bread.

Mischievite: Do you want some of my gum?

Me: Sure.

Mischievite breaks off some of his ABC gum and gives it to me... I plop it in my mouth.

Me: There's no flavor left in this.

Vicbowin: Are you eating his gum?

Me: Yeah.

Vicbowin: Um, Mom... he found that on my floor.


Albowin: You almost made me push my eye in!


Albowin to Mischievite: No coffee isn't when you cough... its something that some people drink.

V: I'm not going to school looking like a person who doesn't have Squinkee's!

True-Me Tuesday: The Camera Never Lies

When I get bored I take pictures.... .... .... of me.

It's really just a matter of trying to get the best picture I can. One without a frown, without squinty eyes, without a double chin, and without a cheesy smile.

It's sort of a game for me. Except the outcome is that I have a lot of pictures of myself on my computer--like some sort of narcissist.

Ralexwin teases me about this sometimes. Vicbowin rolls her eyes (and then borrows the camera).

But I can't help myself. When I've posted all my blogs, done all my chores, read all the pages I can read in a day and taken that nap I sometimes take, I inevitably end up pitting myself against the camera.

The sad part is that the camera usually wins.

It's shameful I know. What sort of grown woman spends her time playing with a camera?!

Well, me actually. I'm just glad technology has advanced enough to encompass digital cameras... the price of all that wasted film was getting a little out of hand.

What do you do when you&#…


Have you guys ever heard of Tumblr?

I honestly hadn't until like three days ago, and I've decided it's the best internet spot on earth... besides here.

It's like twitter, blogger, and facebook all in one and the best thing is you can feed all of those things into each other using Tumblr.

So, that's what I've done. I have all of my blogs (askcannwin, literarysoundtrack and here) all feeding into Tumblr which feeds into my Twitter account--that up until now was getting 0 use.

I can click on a little button in my bookmarks bar and insta-share anything I love online... quotes, photos, websites, even videos.

I'm still trying to figure it all out, but if you were wanting a little more about who's the who behind this blog you should go check me out over there.

Then follow me (or however it works over there). Maybe I'll keep up with an account, maybe I won't, but it seems like a pretty hands off site and I'm perfectly okay with that.

Now, as for my w…

How-To Pretend You Work For Anthropologie

The problem with Anthropologie is that they cost way too much money. WAY TOO MUCH! I mean, come on--these book boxes:

Cost $68-$188!

Do you have that kind of money?

I don't, but you know what I do have? I have a library with a cart full of free books that no one really cares about! So guess what I did... I made my own (and then I gave them away because I really don't have anywhere to put them).

Here's how.

What do you think?

Yoga- Oh! Guh!

In the mail last week I found (to my delight) a new catalog--I love catalogs--from Athleta.

Now, first, lets just clarify that I've never purchased anything from these guys before, but I imagine that Gap sold them my address. I'm okay with that... I like junk mail.

But here's the point. As your strolling through the catalog you come across a yoga section with what I can only describe as some of the worst marketing I have ever seen.


Because the photos clearly and decisively distracted me from the product.

Let me give you an example:

I'll wait... go ahead click on it. ::cleans fingernails::

Yes. You see. I'll bet you're not even reading the rest of this post. You're trying to figure out how the he** she's doing that. If you're anything like me you've taken a moment to try to put your hand on the floor next to your leg... forget lifting anything, you can't even put your hand and leg on the floor at the same time, can you!?

Because I sure ca…

Dear Posterity

Plinky Prompt: Write a note to a relative who lives 100 years in the future.

To Whom It May Concern:

If you are reading this I am dead. Alright, alright... if you are reading this 100 years from now then I am dead.

Unless, of course, modern medicine has improved to the point that I'm not dead, in which case please shoot me.

So, what is it like to live in 2010? Well, we haven't found a cure for Cancer yet. We haven't found a cure for AIDS and we haven't discovered a cure for a myriad of other diseases and ailments, but medicine is far better than it was 100 years before us. You may think it archaic, but for us we are at the peak of scientific discovery and knowledge.

We are in the middle of a recession that no politician wants to admit is actually happening. Jobs are hard to come by and education is not the commodity it used to be. People are graduating with PhD's to find that they don't have the experience that companies are looking for in new employees. It's a …

Something To Blog About

Plinky Prompt: Share an embarrassing experience.

Once, way back when (four years ago) when I was pregnant with the Mischievite I decided I needed some new clothes. It had been a long time since I had been pregnant and maternity fashion had changed considerably (from tents to tanks). I was pretty desperate for something to wear that made me look young and spry.

Enter the Arizona Mills Mall, the closest mall to where we lived and, conveniently, an outlet mall... that happened to have a Motherhood outlet.

It was a tiny little shop with lots of racks of clothes and lots of extra large bellies trying to scooch around each other. In the far back corner I spotted what I was looking for--"70% off"--and made a beeline for the overstuffed rack.

Music softly played in the air above me, women chatted quietly about different colors or fashions, and the employees smiled their skinny people smiles at all of us large, uncomfortable, potential customers.

The rack I was interested in hung fro…


I've decided that when we are done with school and actually have money coming in I'm going to buy a housekeeper.

The problem is that when I really started to think about what I would have someone clean I realized that I needed to make a list.

This is where you come in. What would you have a housekeeper clean in your house? What do you think would be worth your money?

Here's my list so far:

*Clean the bathroom's (toilet and shower/tub)
*Wash walls & doors
*Wash windows
*Scrub floors especially corners
*Clean off shelves/ books shelves/ tops of things
*Sweep non-commonly swept places
*Clean behind appliances (and infrequently moved things)
*Deep clean tables and chairs.

I'm sure I'm missing something. Do tell me!