Neighborhood Watch

One of the things that I really love about our little town is that everything is so close to us. We are within a one mile radius of the post office, the library, the grocery store, the pharmacy, two dollar stores (yee-haw), my hair dresser and the elementary, middle and high school. I love the proximity.
When McDaddy and I decided to purchase a home, we looked for two years. Each Sunday morning before church, we would scan the Real Estate Guide and plot our course for our house hunting extravaganza. We preferred to moved closer to our church because we spend a lot of time there and because most of our friends from church live out this way.
We found this house months before we ever considered buying it because the owners were asking way more than what we wanted to pay. Even so, I fell in love with this house the minute we stepped through the front door. Ultimately, we were able to purchase this house and have lived here for almost seven years. We have great neighbors and we live on a dead-end street. With the exception of the ginormous hill that we live on, we absolutely love our neighborhood.
My sweet Alex and I were having breakfast at our neighborhood Tudors one morning after dropping Stevie off at school. Tudors is another one of those close establishments I mentioned earlier. They serve a mean platter of biscuits and gravy and no doubt my arteries are worse off because I have to pass Tudors to get to my house. We ran into one of our neighbors there and he mentioned to me that another neighbor of ours had been robbed a few days earlier.
I sucked in a breath and mentally counted the number of houses between ours and his – six to be exact.
Whoooaaaa… that means that the above mentioned robber was within sight of our house. Yikes.
First off, the thought of someone being in our home without our permission makes me physically ill.

Next, there are plenty of times that McDaddy is off fulfilling business commitments for Honeywell or the WV Air National Guard (ahem!) which leaves me here on the home front to care for and protect our boys.
Often, when McDaddy is out of town, I sit up in my bed thinking about what I would do if a robber would make his way into our home. I have a plan formulated in my head and have no doubt that I could pull it off if it meant protecting this mama bear’s little cubs.
There are no guns in our home, with the exception of my wooden majorette rifle (which happens to be covered in shiny blue and silver metallic tape.) But even though it may not contain bullets, don’t think for one second that I wouldn’t use that thing to wallop the would-be burglar on the head with it if I needed to.

If robber guy comes through our basement, I could see him coming up the basement stairs WAY before he would see me and I wouldn’t hesitate to knock him out if needed.

And, if I couldn’t get to the gun, there is a Louisville Slugger in our bedroom. I’d throw that thing over my back and make my way toward the noise. Let me assure you, there is nothing worse than a determined mama wielding a wooden baseball bat. Throw in the fact that I’d be screaming like a lunatic and ole’ boy would probably decide it wasn’t worth the hassle or the hearing loss. It’s doubtful I’d even have to swing the thing.
The irony of all this is that on that very day that I found out about the burglary, The Charleston Gazette featured an article on the front page. It reported that the House of Delegates just passed a bill that safeguards those protecting their home with deadly force. It is waiting to be signed by the Governor.
Deadly Force…. Yeah, I’d be using deadly force alright. As much as I could muster. And, I’m not sure I’d have to have a bill protecting me if someone came in this joint. I’d wallop now and ask for forgiveness later.
At any rate, you better believe hawk-eye (me) will be on the lookout for the white car that parked within feet of Mr. B’s house and went to the front door.
That’s right. I said white car.
A couple of neighbors were walking their dogs on that fateful day and they watched this guy walk right up to the front door. It was memorable to them because most people use Mr. B’s side door. Just after the neighbors passed the house, the robber broke into the house and stole some antique money.
It’s doubtful that Mr. White Car will read this blog. But, it is possible, that someone that knows Mr. White Car will read this and remember his recent acquisition of “old money” and put two and two together. In the meantime, this gal will kick her nose into overdrive. These eyes are newly lasered and I can see for miles. This neighbor will be on watch.
Hopefully, I will never have to use the gun or the bat.

But if push comes to shove, I’m prepared to shove.

And knock the guy plum out.

Thursday Thirteen – 13 Things That Tick Me Off

Yeah, I guess you can tell by the title that this is going to be bad.

I threatened to do this post two weeks ago but thought my loyal blog fans (both of you!) might not want to partake of my drama.


Which I can be the queen of. (Or so they say.)

Anyway, let’s just get right to it.

1. Down time on this here blog – If you happen to depend on From Inmates to Playdates for your daily dose of crazy, I apologize for the spotty service which has been random. At best. Hopefully the WordPress Powers That Be have this site moved to a more dependable server which should equal less down time. (BTW – Dreamhost -You Suck!)

2. Spotty Internet Service – McDaddy made a switch in our internet service just before exiting the country for six months because it was cheaper and faster. Cheaper – maybe. Faster – not so much. In fact, it seems M – U – C- H – S – L – O – W – E – R. It may be just because my patience level is at an all time low. Who knows? At any rate, slow or not, it ticks me off when it just stops working. The laptop said I was connected. I was however, not connected. After a useless hour rant to McDaddy, a 20-minute tech support phone call requiring me to demonstate my technical expertise and the problem was fixed. Still it ticks me off big time.

3. Pee-pee on my bathroom floor – My sweet Alex is doing really good on the potty. There are times however when he is either too slow getting to the bathroom or too stubborn to aim his gun and it shoots all over the floor. Ridiculous. And sure to tick me off every single time. 

4. Something that doesn’t work properly – Sweet Hallelujah, things are not worth having if they are not going to work properly. Nuff said.

5. Rude Drivers – This is especially true when I have my blinker on and I am trying to switch lanes. It ticks me off when people just speed up so they can get in front of you instead of taking the four seconds it would take to let you over.

6. Down time on this here blog  – What? I’ve already said that? Oh, I guess so. It’s happened so much here lately it’s worth repeating and it really ticks me off.

7. Needing gas when the temperature is, say, 20 degrees with high winds – Oh my goodness it ticks me off when I need gas and its freezing cold outside. As I stand there shivering, I think back on all the days in the past week when it would have been ideal to pump gas. I could kick my own hind-end for waiting till its below freezing and its either stop and get it or stop and push.

8. Temper Tantrums – Sweet mercy. Hardly nothing can register my tick-off meter quicker than a good old fashioned temper tantrum over something stupid like socks. Yes. I said socks. Believe me, it happens.

9. American businesses with non-English-speaking customer service reprsentatives – If you own an American business, I feel you have a responsibility to hire customer service reps who can speak clear and consice English. Otherwise they should be in the back stocking something, emptying the trash or filing papers.

10. American businesses with those stupid answering machine in leiu of an actual person – As bad as I hate talking to a non-English-speaking person when trying to conduct business here in the S – I hate a stupid answering machines even more. These goofy things (Press 1 for english, press 2 for more options) should be outlawed. Period.

11. Annoying telephone calls telling me to hold on to speak to a customer service representative about a very imporatant matter – Um. Hello. Do not ring my phone if you are not ready, willing and able [to speak English] to talk as soon as I pick up the phone. Seriously. I have been known to call these places back (usually unsuccessfully). Receiving one of these calls is enough to make me want to pull each and every hair out of my head.

With tweezers.

12. Our garage – The sorry sap that built our house, skewed our garage slightly off center making it nearly impossible (for everyone but McDaddy) to park a vehicle straight in the garage on the first try.  I think of  Glen’s spotty calculations each and every time I back into the garage [crooked].

13. Wow! I’m already at 13 – My alarm clock. I have this clock.

Which is a great clock except that every time the electric goes out, it automatically sets itself for Pacific time. Which wouldn’t be such a bad thing if I lived in the Pacific time zone. I have yet to figure out how to change the default time to Eastern time zone. I have had to start setting the alarm clock on my trusty razr phone as a back-up. I don’t put a lot of requirements on a clock. In fact I only have one requirement – displaying the right time.  It also ticks me off because this clock shouldn’t be smarter than me.

There you have it.

Believe me, I could go on and on.

And on and on.

But, I’ll put me out of my misery and stop there.

Do have yourselves a great Thursday. I’m off to get this blog back in order.

I’ll probably have a whole ‘nother list by the end of the day. Oh, and you can feel free to share things that tick you off too. I’d love to hear someone else’s drama.

Y It Works For Me!


It all started when I bought my mom a cute pair of capris for her birthday last year. They were the wrong size so I had been to five different stores looking for the right size.
That same week, three of my sisters-in-law and I went to the YMCA on guest membership passes so that our kids could play on the indoor play gym.
Because it was 47 degrees outside.
In May.
While we were there, I inquired about a gym membership and pondered it for a few days while clearing the cost and idea with McDaddy. .
So, while I was making one last futile attempt to find those capri pants for my mom, I got the sign I had been waiting for.
I was in JC Penney and I saw it.
The big “save an additional 50% off on all sportswear sign.”
My 50% radar went off and I knew this was it.

I bought this cute outfit in three colors because it was sportswear and because it was on sale. 
So, you can imagine how cute I looked when I mozied up to the counter to purchase a family membership.  All the while I’ve got a two-year old hanging off my leg hollerin’ he wants his juice.
And a snack.
And my keys.
I was a sight alright. And, I had a full workout standing right there at the help desk.
I signed the kids into the play room and made my way to the fitness center.
For starters, I had no idea where to start.
The gym attendant was a guy I graduated from high school with and I just couldn’t bring myself to ask him where to start because I was sure he’d inquire about why I didn’t start sooner.
Instead I sashayed to the elliptical machine as if I owned the place. That, and because I heard the elliptical burns more calories than the treadmill and it is much easier on your knees. I set the timer for ten minutes and opened the latest edition of US! magazine. I did awesome.
For the first two minutes.
Then the burning started.
I continued for about five more minutes and thought it best if I moved on.
The treadmill.
It felt really good and I stayed on it for twenty minutes.
Granted, I wasn’t running at light speed, but, I could feel my heart rate soar and noticed that beads of sweat had gathered on the back of my neck
I decided to try one more thing before leaving.
I made my way over to the stationary bikes, plopped down on one and wondered why my legs felt like they were still moving. The bike looked like it was designed by someone a lot smaller than me. It had a wee little seat.
I glanced at the two people who were riding to glory on the stationary bikes.
It was me.

And them.
The woman looked like she had just stepped off the cover of Cardio Magazine (is there such a thing?) and it was obvious she meant business. The guy was in his own little world and I didn’t see one drop of sweat. That should have been enough for me to shag out of there. 
Instead, I mounted that monster.
And, started off slowly.
The girls My thighs felt the pain within mere seconds, but, I stayed steady at level 3.
I looked down to make sure I didn’t see flames. After about three minutes, I remembered I left my bottle of water in the diaper bag that I left with the kids in the play gym. I decided it really didn’t matter because the 16 ounces in the bottle would not have been enough. 
I needed a keg.
Or a water-hose.
Kill me. Just kill me now.
I’ll cheat high blood pressure right out of it. And kill over right here.
Meanwhile, Barbie and Lance Armstrong upped their game.
My butt started burning.
Which made perfect sense, seeing that the seat was about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide! I wondered how much an ambulance would charge to drive my dead hind-end to the Ville.
I slowed the bike down. And tried to breathe.
I felt really good afterwards. I felt accomplished.
Maybe it was the new outfit.
Or knowing that I was doing something I should have started years ago. After my hour workout, I felt good. And free. And after I caught my breath, I made my way to the door without collapsing. (The thought did cross my mind.)
I wasn’t sure either of the sorry saps on those bikes would have stopped long enough to pick this ole’ girl up off the floor.
My new outfit was soaked. The girls were burning.
But ohmyword! I felt fabulous!
Which is Y I went back the next day and the next day and the next day.

9 months later I have lost 25 pounds.

And that works for me!!!

Visit Rocks In My Dryer to find other things that might work for you too!

Sink Or Swim

Man, oh man. Do I have a lot to share this week.

It seems when the hubby leaves town for six months you have two choices.


Or swim.

I seriously felt like I was sinking this week. And I still might. Especially after the night I’ve had. For the sake of my loyal readers (both of you!), I should really close my laptop and call it a night. But, I heard somewhere that it’s not really good to go to bed mad, so while I’m waiting for my blood pressure to reach a normal level, I may as well pluck out this post of things I’ve learned this week.


When the hubby gets the bright idea (like that light bulb up there) to switch your internet service from Verizon to Suddenlink because it is cheaper and faster STICK! TO! YOUR! GUNS! Seriously. This is especially true if said husband is leaving the country for six months which means you will be the one dealing with the mess that is the faster (ahem!), cheaper, unreliable internet service brought to you in part by Suddenlink.


When (notice I said when, not if)  you do find yourself in need of technical support because the cheaper, unreliable internet service is not working, you will be thrilled to discover an English speaking American on the line and even more thrilled to find out they could fix the problem in about twenty minutes.

This little problem with the internet will remind you that you did indeed win a PEEK this week and even though it is going to be a long six months without the hubby around to fix this and anything else that will go wrong, you will at least have a brand new black cherry PEEK with unlimited texting and e-mail at your service.

Which apparently means that Number 7 is my lucky number.

And lastly, I learned that when potty training, your sweet three year old may not know when he is completely done doing number two. For that reason, it is always a good idea to make him sit two more minutes or else you might find yourself changing a dirty pull-up ten minutes later. Apparently, there is a reason it is called potty. training.


I can sleep now.

And hopefully not sink.

Stop by Musings Of A Housewife for more “What I’ve Learned This Week” Posts.

A [grand] Parent

Dear Lady at Top Spot Restaurant:
You may or may not remember me. I will most likely never forget you.
I am the gal who was sitting in the booth closest to the register. I was joined by my mom and my sweet, little boy.
Do you remember me now?
As I was waiting for our lunch, minding my own business, talking with my mom and holding my sweet ittle guy on my lap, you had the nerve to ask me if my sweet boy was my grandson.
Are you freakin’ kiddin me? I am 35 years old for goodness sake. Born in 1973, I was 31 when I had my sweet boy in 2005. 
As I gave you the look of death, I was attempting the math in my head. While I guess it is mathmatically possible for me to be Alex’s grandma, that scenerio would have required me to have a child when I was 17 and for that child to have had him at age 15.
Possible. But not probable.
I am rarely ever without words, but at that second, I could not speak due to the ridulousness of your question. I am assuming that when you saw my eyebrows drawn to an angle they were not meant to be drawn to, you realized how stupid your question was. I was this.close to hopping over the bench and clobbering you.
While I am a grand parent, I am not a grandparent.
Yours Truly,
A 34 year old [grand] Mother

What Do Eye See?

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2




I was dreading today.

It is Valentine’s Day and it seems to weird to be excited about Valentine’s day when my Valentine happens to be 1,400 miles away.

Very early this morning – and by very early I mean just after 9am – there was a knock at my door.

It was a delivery man and he handed me this….

[Kissing Bears Picture Goes Here! ARGHHH!!!]

 Those are kissing bears complete with a “squeeze the hand” button that makes a SWAK sound.

He also handed me these…

[Picture of Valentine’s flowers goes here]

 Do you see those beautiful gerbera daisies?  Gerbera Daisies happen to be my favorite flower.

I appreicate and LOVE my sweet husband so much. He is more than I could have ever hoped for in a husband. He is the LOVE of my life and I am am thankful that he is mine.

I smiled when the flowers and bears arrived even though it reminded me that we are apart again. Between his full-time job and his military career, he spends a lot of time away from home. I miss him when he is gone, but I am thankful that we have a wonderful relationship and that our home is filled with joy and LOVE.

Everyday with him is special.

I would have been content with the Valentine gifts that my sweet hubby sent to me, however, I was even happier when I found out today that I won this from Musings of A Housewife….


Ya’ll, I squealed with delight.

I was jumpin’ up and down, hoopin’ and hollerin’ – (yeah, that’s pretty much the way I talk most of the time) – and then I was sad again because McDaddy wasn’t here to share in my good fortune.

So, guess what I did?

I did the only thing I can do these days to contact him.

I e-mailed him!

To tell him I had some good news to share when he called.

And, when he called me an hour later, I was still wearing the big smile on my face.

I can’t wait to get this booger in the mail. I love a new gadget. I don’t typically know how to use them, but I’ll do my best to figure it out.

My exact words to McDaddy were, “It’s pink. It has buttons. And, it has e-mail.” Seriously ya’ll. You can’t understand my excitement.


Happy Valentine’s Day to me!!!

Thanks, Jo-Lynne. These words made my day!

This contest is closed.  The winning number is #7 – congratulations Julie From Inmates!!!  I hope you enjoy your Peek!

Oh, and I can’t wait to get a peek at my new PEEK. I’m sure I will LOVE it!

Kristen over at We Are That Family is hosting a Valentine’s Carnival honoring the men in our lives.  What a great way to let McDaddy know how much I love and appreciate him. The Carnival post is supposed to be about how we met, our first kiss, or how we plan to spend Valentines Day.

We met in high school on the first day of band camp. Nothing memorable or magical but we were immediate friends.

Our first kiss happened on his 16th birthday when he was tutoring me in Trigonometry. The Kiss was memorable and magical but we were still just friends.

I would love to say that we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day together.

Instead, we are 1400 miles apart. He is fulfilling his duty and responsilbility to the US Air Force. I am fulfilling my duty and responsibility here on the home-front. That will make it tough to celebrate together.

I will be however, celebrating in my heart. My heart has not been the same since he stole it in 1992.

The truth is I am married to the most patient man on the planet. He is an awesome dad and the perfect husband for me.

He is sweet. He is understanding. He is romantic  He is funny. He is brilliant. He is hot. 

And most of all, he is mine.

And that makes my heart happy.

So on Valentine’s Day, I will celebrate our love.

Our commitment.

Our life.

And our future.

That is certainly something worth celebrating.

Happy Valentine’s Day McDaddy. I Love You!


A Valentine message for the love of my life!

It’s Thursday… Let’s go with 13 reasons why I love the gym.

1. It provides me with a blissful uninterrupted hour of peace and quiet with no one needing to potty, a phone answered or a nose wiped. Hallelujah and Amen.

2. It is a great place to people watch and I do more than my fair share of it. I love to watch me some people. There are all kinds of people. And, I do  mean all kinds.

3. The leg press. It is my favorite apparatus. (Don’t you love that word, apparatus? – It reminds me of the Olympic Games and my beloved US gymnists).

4. New workout clothes. One of the main motivators for joining the gym was the purchase of several new outfits to kick off my weight-loss effort. They are so very comfortable and I wear them pretty much everyday.

5. The stationary bike. I spend about 25 minutes on the bike and I spend that time reading the book (or rag-mag) of my choice. The main YMCA in our town replaced their old bikes with new, video-game type stationary bikes complete wth handles that actually steer and a choice of 40 different courses based on your level of difficulty. It was way cool.

6. The treadmill. I only spend 10 minutes on the treadmill, but, it’s a hard 10 minutes and it feels good to know that I have increased the slope and the speed over the course of 28 weeks. I actually run about half of the time.

7. Knowing that everyday I put in time at the Y, I am one day closer to my 50-pound weight-loss goal.

8. My iPod – I look forward to my vast musical selections when I work out. When the right song plays on the iPod, it gives me some pep in my step. I have everything from Natasha Bedingfiled, Selah, Whitesnake, Warren G, Elton John, TLC, Kenny Chesney to Kutless. I told you it was vast! My little iPod has been with me every step of the way.

9. The Scale – Although I really try to make this more about feeling better instead of losing weight, I would be lying if I said the weight-loss didn’t matter. It does. On the weeks where I don’t lose the pound (as suggested by my medical Doctor), it makes it difficult to keep on keeping on. Every tick of that scale means I’m one number closer to my goal.

10. The idea of it – Going to the gym was a long-shot for me. I had no experience and no knowledge of the equipment or apparatuses (is that even a word?). The fact that I have made it work on my own (without the help of a personal trainer) is a great feeling.

11. The Magazines. Now that I am working out, Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears and Jennifer Aniston don’t make a move without my knowing about it thanks to US! Entertainment Weekly, People and OK!

12.  My sweet Alex loves playing in the play room and I don’t have to worry about his well-being while I’m there.

13. The way I feel when my workout is over. It is unexplainable, but it feels

Unleashing My Inner Latin Freak

I am a dancing fool.
Or, maybe just a fool who likes to dance.
Either way, dancing is something that I have always enjoyed. I spoke about my love of dancing with the stars here. I might have even hinted about my desire to be on the show.
So, it should not surprise you to find out that I ordered Cardio Dancing With The Stars.


Oh yes I did.

My initial thought was that I would do this workout on my off days from the gym. (I’ll let you know how that works out when I actually start doing it regularly because oh. my. word. it is a workout!) When I ordered the DVD, I was excited about learning basic steps of the Cha-Cha (don’t you love that word), Samba, Paso Doble and Jive while at the same time gettin’ the ole ticker elevated. (Oh, little jive, please be easy on me.) I’m also seriously hoping my klutzy tendencies don’t get in the way of a fun time with Ashly, Kym and Maksim (who by the way abandoned any thought of stealing me away from McDaddy last month when he proposed to Karina Smirnoff.)
I am however, starting to rethink the whole dancing thing.
I don’t think anyone has ever died while doing Zumba, but the first time I did it, I was quite sure I was going to make history. On top of that, I was wondering if I would even be able to stand upright after my first Zumba class.
We did some fabulous moves. Moves that required some serious hip shaking. Moves that required me to flex muscles that have probably not been flexed since my days as a majorette when I did toss illusions. Which was like 20 years ago. And, might I add that just because you have the hips, that doesn’t mean they will do what you tell them to do.
I’m just sayin’
Google had this to say about my Zumba….

Zumba is the new Latin dance fitness craze that is sweeping across North America. High energy and motivating, Zumba incorporates Latin dance moves into a sequence of workouts done to the beat of fun, hot, pulsating Latin music. Zumba utilizes the principles of fitness interval training and resistance training to maximize caloric output, fat burning and total body toning. It is a mixture of body sculpting movements with easy to follow dance steps. Workouts often incorporate merengue, samba, salsa, flamenco, calypso, bachata and the tango. You get a full workout, burning 500 to 800 calories during a one-hour class.

In other words, it will help you unleash your inner Latin freak.

Oh, and in between dancing and working out at the Y, I’ve lost 24 pounds in 28 weeks.

Between my new DWTS DVD and Zumba, don’t be surprised if you happen to be flipping through the channels and see me cuttin the proverbial rug on Dancing With The Stars some night. Until then, I’ll be off practicing my moves and flexing my muscles.

After all, a dancing fool and her hips are soon parted.

And losing these hips would totally work for me!!!

Find out other things that might work for you at Works For Me Wednesday over at Rocks In My Dryer.