A List Of Things

As you may recall, last week, I totally surprised the audience with a whole list of things that I learned while watching my mortician friend embalm a “client.”

This list of things will be nothing like that list of things.

You Are Welcome.

Not that I wouldn’t love to talk more about the embalming because seriously, it was a learning experience I will never forget as well as the chance to offer up some really good blog fodder mark another thing off of my ‘things I want to do someday’ list. I know all of you are just dying to see that list. (Ha! I kill myself with sarcasm!)

Maybe someday I’ll publish it.

But not today.

Because today is What I Learned This Week.

Not Things I Want To Do Someday.


Let’s see.

1. My pajama pants were made in Cambodia.

Cambodia are you kidding me? Thousands of people here in the Great United States are unemployed and we go to Cambodia to find folks to sew together pajama pants for Sam Walton to sell in his Mart of Walls? Cambodia? What’s in Cambodia anyway?

2. Tom-Tom has his own Nascar. (McDaddy, did you know that your GPS guy had a Nascar? Nah, I didn’t think so.)

3. The iPhone has so many perks and quirks, I might never figure them all out.

4. The Toobz game on the iPhone is a great way to waste pass the time.

5. When your DELL laptop goes on hiatus and dies, it might be a good idea to check out the power cord for ‘rips’ instead of calling on the folks at your church to start the prayer chain.

Oh, calm down.

I kid.

6. The Arbonne Sea Salt Scrub can do wonders for your dry, cracked, nasty, feet.

7. The Airport Tram in the Detroit Airport is a wonderful way to kill an hour if you have a six-year-old and a three-year-old.

8.  The Toobz game on the iPhone may cause your What I Learned This Week post to be shortened because, hello? There is a high score to beat.

That’s all.

My bed iPhone is calling.

Oh, before I forget. If you are looking to learn some more stuff from some more people, stop by Musings Of A Housewife today. The list of stuff may surprise you, especially if someone watched an embalming this week.

Searching For Stuff

I actually typed this post several weeks ago and filed it away for a rainy day.

Or in this case, for a day when my laptop decided to lay down and die.

Did you hear me?

I said the words. Laptop. Lay down. And die.

In the same sentence.

I am sitting here ready to burst out into uncontrollable sobs at sister-in-law’s desktop hammering out a prelude to this post and somehow  I feel like the mere mention of my laptop woes may somehow bring the thing back to life. 

I’ve done all I know to do.

Which includes unscrewing all of the little hatches on the back of the laptop blowing the dust out and replacing them. (That sentence alone is probably making McDaddy shudder!)

And while I did feel like some sort of techno genius, I’m sad to say. Still no laptop.

So, I wait with eager anticipation for an e-mail from McDaddy that I thankfully WILL be able to access from my iPhone that will surely include instructions about what to do to make it all better. Because that’s what McDaddy does. 

He fixes things.

Until then though, I’ll release this post out into the blogosphere from SIL’s desktop and hope like heck that McDaddy can give me something that will aid in my fixing this thing.  Hey McDaddy! If you’re out there, give me a call.

Pretty please.


I am constantly amazed at the things that people type in the search window at Google to land there at front door here at Inmates. It happens to be one of my favorite things about this little blog.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve done one of these posts, but some of these are just too good to pass up. I sometimes laugh out loud (I am not a fan of the LOL thing by the way!) as I read them in my feedjit window.

Let’s start with this one from West Covina, California….

West Covina, California arrived from google.com by searching for neighbor keeps insisting on a playdate after i’ve already said no.

  • Hello West Covnina. Stick to YOUR guns. If the neighbor child is not your first choice of a playmate for your sweet angel, then employ whatever methods necessary to put the smack down on their continual requests.

Baltimore, Maryland arrived from google.com by searching for funeral home dead body what happen.

  • What’s up? Baltimore. A month ago, I could not have answered that question. However. My mortician friend invited me to watch an embalming and I can tell you with certainty that you probably do not want to know. If you are a freak curious person like me, you can check it out right here at Inmates in a post titled What I Learned At The Funeral Home. That should tell you all you need to know.

Kingsland, Georgia arrived from google.com by searching for unleashing your wife’s freak.

  • Kingsland, you are making me blush. I’m not sure why you are attempting you unleash  your wife’s freak, but might I just say, Rock on! I hope that something you read here at Inmates gave you some great ideas for achieving your tasks. (I’m sure my sweet McDaddy is smiling just thinking of the possibilities!)

Navarre, Florida arrived from google.com by searching for FASHION FOR STAY AT HOME MOM AGE 35.

  • Greetings Navarre. I would love to be able to say that you’ve come to the right place for fashion tips. However, I keep it real around here. For that reason, I must warn you that my fashion expertise is limited to Tommy Hilfiger t-shirts and Yoga pants. If that’s what your in the market for, then I’m your gal. If not, then you might want to visit Big Mama’s place. She is a fashion guru and could probably give you some fantastic fashion advice.

Gilbert, Arizona arrived from google.com by searching for paper gown at the gynecologist.

  • Hello Gilbert, Arizona. I am chuckling because I clearly remember the post I wrote about my experience at the gyno. I’m still not real clear about why you’d be searching for the words paper and gown and at the gynecologist, but then again, why do any of us search for what we do when we’re going down Google Ave? (I do KNOW that I use way too many run-on sentences.) Hopefully, you got your questions answered. Please feel free to stop back at anytime.

Brooklyn, New York arrived from google.com by searching for milia self extraction successful.

  • Hi! Brooklyn. What’s up? In the past few weeks, another milia sucker has popped up. I was pretty sure I would attempt to extract the thing myself but the more I’ve thought about it, the more hesitant I am to use a sharp extraction tool on my face. I’m thinking that I should probably just call the dermotologist. However, if you are gung-ho on the self-extraction, here’s the tool you will need. Be sure to stop back by and let me know how that goes for you, would ya?


Stony Brook, New York arrived from google.com by searching for what was the word that paula stumbled on in the top 11 2009.

  • Hello my new American Idol friend in Stony Brook, New York. What are you trying to go clog up my friend, Google? We all know that Paula makes up words and stumbles over words. Its one of the reasons I watch AI. If my memory serves me correctly though the word you are referring to is authenticity.

Montclair, New Jersey arrived from google.com by searching for Why do flowers smell like a funeral?

  • Howdy Montclair! Is it just me or do I have more than my fair share of funeral related posts? Flowers often remind me of a funeral home too, and in my humble opinion the funeral home stinks. For that reason, I have left specific instructions for McDaddy to purchase the a solid mahogany casket haul my hind-end out the road to our lovely little church so that I can be displayed in all of my dead glory instead of the stinky funeral home when my time here on earth is done. And no, that is not a lot to ask when you’re speaking of one’s last wishes.

Ayr, South Ayrshire arrived from google.co.uk by searching for acrylic nails breastfeeding.

  • Whoa. South Ayrshire. You got me there. Not sure I’ve ever included those three words together in a post but I guess anything is possible.  I hope your nails look fabulous and that your having a successful run at breastfeeding. It can be a little tough at first, so hang in there. You should know, however, that the girls will NEVER be the same.

Gainesville, Texas arrived from google.com by searching for suddenlink phone service always down.

  • Gainesville, Texas! Welcome to Inmates. Before I get started on this rant little tale, let me go grab a picture to show you.


Those happen to be two Suddenlink trucks and that also happens to be my driveway. You can’t tell it from the picture, but this is two of four trucks that paid me a visit one Spring day in an attempt to fix my internet connection.

I spent precious hours of my life that I can NEVER get back dealing with Suddenlink’s internet mess. The Suddenlink man in my area probably spent more time at my house than he did his own, HOWEVER, a sweet VP named Mr. A stumbled across my blog, read about my dramadifficulties and got his Suddenlink peeps on the stick. It took some time but eventually they were able to provide reliable service at the McResidence. I will not agree with them that the service is faster than Verizon because honestly, it seems slower than ever before in the history of our internet service, BUT, it is reliable and dependable. Once McDaddy gets back, I plan to have a meeting of the minds to determine if Suddenlink is indeed the best solution for our internet needs.


See, I told you that would be fun.

Now, I’m off to perform another surgery on my poor, pitiful DELL laptop.

Wish me luck!

Let’s Talk About Me

I don’t normally post on Saturdays, but its late, the kids are asleep and I am wide awake. I was visiting some bloggy friends and found this meme over at Heather’s place. It looked like fun, so I thought I’d play along.

I am.. very lonely without my sweet hubby.

I want… this 6-month deployment to be OVER.

I have… 2 very different, but very sweet boys.

I wish… I knew more about html code.

I know… some sign language.

I hate… olives.

I fear… lots of things, but I try to place my trust in God.

I hear… a clock on the wall ticking.

I crave… our family being together again.

I search… for things I misplace. Most recently it was a tracking number from Fed Ex.

I always… wanted to ride in one of them fancy hely-copters  (Sorry, my boys quote from the movie CARS daily!)

I usually…  talk WAY! TOO! MUCH!

I am not… your average gal as was proven recently with this post.

I miss… my friend Jon. (And of course McDaddy!)

I love… God.

I never… can keep the little green bench in our room cleared off.

I rarely… do anything without making a list.

I cry… at the drop of a hat these days.

I lose… my patience daily. (It’s no wonder I take a blood pressure pill)

I should… get to bed earlier every night.

I worry… a lot less than I used to. (Thank you, Jesus!)

I dream… about having a Saturn Sky.

I was… 25 pounds heavier this time last year.

I need… to lose 25 more.

I can… waste ridiculous amounts of time on the computer.

There you have it.

All about me!

Enjoy your weekend.

To The Grumpy Old Man At The Manchester Airport

To: The Grumpy Old Man At The Manchester Airport

From: A Sweet Gal From West Virginia

Date: Today

Re: Your Stupid “For Sky Cap Use Only” Cart


Dear Grumpy Old Man:

You may or may not remember me.

I will probably never forget you.

On Saturday, June 20, 2009, I arrived on a plane at the Manchester Airport five hours late with my two little boys, three backpacks and two huge suitcases.

I attempted to use your cart to haul our suitcases, our backpacks and my two sleepy, grumpy kids just outside the door to wait on my sister-in-law to pick us up. I had every intention of returning your cart to the middle of the floor as soon as I unloaded it.

You approached me out of nowhere just as I got everything loaded onto your beloved cart and informed me that I was not allowed to use the cart unless I was willing to pay you to roll the cart 19 inches out the door.

It was 3:34 am.

Are you friggin’ kidding me?

I was by myself with two boys, three backpacks and two big, honkin’ suitcases containing everything but the kitchen sink. Do you think I could juggle those with two sleepy boys hanging off of me?

It was 3:34am for pete’s sake.

There was not another soul within a forty- mile radius who needed or wanted to use your stupid cart.

Just me, my two boys, our three back-packs and two ginormous suitcases.

Because after all, did I mention it WAS 3:34 am?

Oh, and can I just say that you sounded like a putz when you read the side of the cart to me. I could plainly see the words,  “For Sky-Cap Use Only.”  For some reason, I just assumed that surely to goodness even a grumpy, old man would have compassion for a mommy travelling with her two boys and allow the precious sky-cap cart out of his site for five minutes.

Sadly, I was mistaken.


You need to be nicer or you need to retire.

Oh, and if by some chance you stumble onto ‘From Inmates To Playdates’ today, please know that I think you could seriously use an anti-grump pill.


The gal from WV who is still thinking about your grumpy disposition and your stupid cart.

Has Anyone Seen The Sun?

When I read that this week’s YOU CAPTURE challenge was Summer, I might have twisted my face all up and scratched my head.

Because Summer?

What is that?

We haven’t seen much Summer so far.

While it rained in WV, we travelled to Guantanamo Bay.


This week we left WV and travelled to Candia, New Hampshire.


We’ve seen lots of rain.

And wind.

But not much Summer. It seems that Summer is missing in action wherever I happen to be round these parts. So with that in mind, the Summer pictures are few and far between.

Let me see what I can pull out of my proverbial hat.

This was taken during our recent trip to Guantanamo Bay. We were hunting for “glass” on Glass Beach.

And this one was captured at the playground. As I recall it was the hottest day and we’ve had this year. I might mention that it rained the morning this picture was taken and the evening it was taken.

Dear Mr. Sunshine:

If you happen to be reading my blog today, please feel free to show yourself at anytime. The rain is getting old. You are a slacker. Puh-lease. Do us all a favor and SHINE!

Love, Julie


Next Week’s Challenge: Photographer’s Choice

Visit I Should Be Folding Laundry for more You Capture posts!

Thursday Thirteen – This Time It’s T’s Turn

I am writing this week’s Thursday Thirteen from my sister-in-law’s house in Candia, New Hampshire.

Me and the boys are enjoying our visit and most of all my boys are pre-occupied with their cousins most of the day which leaves me ample time to blog and snack on bon-bons and Dr. Pepper.

Because of that I have been able to stay two or three days ahead of the bloggy boat which is why I am composing my Thursday Thirteen for this week on Monday. (Except for those last three words!)

If my memory serves me correct, we should be on the Letter T.

1. TALKING – I was wired to be a talker. In elementary school, I pretty much always received an “X” in the “Listens attentively” column. What can I say? Well, apparently a lot. –  Still. love. to. talk.

2. TiVO –  I have always been very fond of the television. The invention of the TiVo has become a necessity in my household, especially since so many of the shows that I love are not fit for viewing by my boys. Some of my favorite shows are The Young And The Restless, American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, Desperate Housewives, Greys Anatomy and The View.

3. TEMPERATURE – I am very particular about the temperature. My ideal temperature would be 85 degrees with zero humidity. Humidity makes me cranky.

4. TIARA – I don’t wear one, but I would should. I would pick one like this one from tutu.com.

5. TONSILS – Had mine removed in the 6th grade. The only part I remember is the enema.

6. TRUCK – McDaddy would like to trade our 4-Runner for a truck. I would pick this one for him. A 2009 Chevy Silverado SS. Not that I know the first thing about trucks, but surely the whole ‘SS’ thing means something cool like Super Special. (It probably means Super Sport now that I think about it.)


7. TWINS – I have twin brothers that are four years older than me. My cousin, Sarah gave birth to twin boys in January. Multiples are proof that God has a sense of humor. I lovingly refer to these guys as Scrubby and Stubby.

8. TEXAS – McDaddy and I spent two weeks in Houston, Texas so that he could attend some type of control system guru training. When he goes to training, I scrapbook in the hotel room. While we were in Texas we drove to Galveston for an afternoon. We have been blessed to travel quite a bit on his company’s dime.

9. TARGET – I go there occasionally, but, I prefer the Mart Of Walls any day of the week.

10. TATTLE – Something I deal with on a daily basis with my boys. It is tough deciding what should be tattlable and what shouldn’t be.

11. THE MAN – This one came to be as I was talking to McDaddy on the phone last night. I assume he was referring to himself because in my book, he IS the man. (Hi McDaddy! I miss you!)

12. THANKFUL – So very thankful for all of the blessings in my life. Especially for these two happy, healthy little boogers. (Disneyland – 2008)

 13. TOW MATER – Up until now, Lightning McQueen has gotten all the attention here at Inmates. I thought it was high time I give Mater his five seconds of fame. Our boys have just about every frazzlin’ CARS toy ever made. Except that the big-wigs at Disney are so very clever. They discovered that if they take a black sharpie to Lightning McQueen they can market it and call him Tar McQueen. Or, they can color some green on and call him Cactus McQueen.  Or they can take off two wheels and call it Finish Line McQueen. Disney folks, you should be ashamed of yourself. Instead, you are laughing all the way to the bank. Because my boys? They totally fall for your Lightning McQueen scam. Because of that we have 416 versions of Lightning McQueen wearning various paint jobs and tires. And this guy? All he gets is the shaft.

Mater. Stand up and be noticed.

Now, wasn’t that fun?

A special shout out to McDaddy for helping me come up with my last three “T” words this week. (Even for the one I didn’t use!) 


Happy To Be At Home hosts a weekly Thursday Thirteen. Head over there and tell them I sent ya!

iLove My iPhone

If you’ve spent anytime roaming the halls of ‘From Inmates To Playdates’ you know that I have mentioned several times that I really want an iPhone. And, if I mention it here on the blog, you can bet the farm that I have aggravated the ever-livin-daylights out of McDaddy about it.

However, that was not the case with the iPhone. (ahem!)

While I may have mentioned one, or two, or ten times that I really would love to have one of the suckers, I assumed that me and my beloved pink RAZR would sail into the wild blue yonder together in spite of all of the new fangled cell phone options and technological advances. And that for eternity, we would have a bond because seriously? Why on earth would I acutally need an iPhone?


I do excel at talking.

And it is a fabulous phone.

To my surprise, I arrived home a few weeks ago to find a box on my porch.

I sliced the tape on the top of the box open and was excited to see what my new phone would look like. I really had no idea that my sweet McDaddy had ordered me an iPhone.

I squealed and fell in love all over again. I triple puffy heart love the iPhone.

I think it might have surpassed the TiVo as the best invention of my time.

There is pretty good chance that I will spend the better part of the next five years getting aquainted with the thing becuase there is so. much. to. learn. But, sweet hallelujah, it is the coolest gadget evah.

My iPhone looks like this one except the outer shell is white.


I especially love the touch screen.

And the facebook application.

And the CheckPlease application.

And the fact that all of my iTunes songs are at my fingertips.

And the fact that many of the applications are free.

And MOST ESPECIALLY Words With Stinkin’ Friends.

I met Words With Friends a month of so ago. We’ve been great friends ever since. In fact, you could say I’m a Words With Friends, addict. It entertains me at the Doctor, on the airplane, in the bathroom, in line at the bank and late at night just after I hook the phone up by my bed to the charger. 

One more move inevitably turns into thirty minutes of me waiting for the other player to make their move.

I’m like a little kid getting his DS fix.

I love the iPhone.

It works for me.

And I promise to never ask for another phone ever, ever again as long as I shall live. 

Now, my question to you, what is YOUR favorite iPhone app? 

And, what is your favorite kid’s app?

As if I need one more app to zap my time.

And as if I ever give up my precious long enough for anyone else to play a game.

It happens.

Just not often.

Check out the eclectic mix of Works For Me Wednesday posts over at We Are THAT Family.

What I Learned At The Funeral Home

Ok. So.

If you are reading that title and scratching your head, let me just say that this post will not appeal to all of you.

In fact, some of you who might be first time visitors to ‘From Inmates To Playdates’ will know without a shadow of a doubt, that yes indeed, I am a little different crazy.You will get no argument from me and this post will certainly prove that yes, I am a rare bird.

For many months, I have been begging bugging a mortician friend of mine to let me watch an embalming.

True Story.

A few weeks ago, I was at home and received a phone call from him. My mortician friend asked if I was available later that evening.

To watch an embalming.

Was I available?

Sweet mercy I would make myself available. My dad, who happened to be at my house when the call came agreed to watch the boys. I changed my clothes even though I had no idea what to wear to an event such as this and tried to prepare myself for the um, event. I was a little nervous when I arrived at the funeral home, unsure of what I had gotten myself into. Upon my arrival, my mortician friend handed me a lab coat to wear, I guess on the off chance I happened to go all mad-scientist on him. I was a sight.

The first thing that shocked me was entering the room and seeing the body on the embalming table. Now one would think I would have been totally prepared for that, but I’m not sure if one can ever be totally ready to see their first dead body.

It was so final.

And cold.

The embalming process viewing experience was really cool and I would suggest you stop right here if you have a weak stomach. If you are nosy like me though, you just keep right on a truckin’. And just to be clear, I would do it all over again if my mortician friend ever called.

If you are interested in the actual scientific procedure, you can read all about the gory details of embalming here. I don’t know enough about the process to get into the scientific portion of it, but I will share my experience with you.

You know, mainly because it is Tuesday, and it is time for another edition of What I Learned This Week. Because where else might you ever hear about a real, live embalming?

I say it all the time people. This blog is about so much more than just cheap entertainment.

Brace yourselves. This could get bumpy gory.

1. Embalming the human body takes just over an hour. (Probably less if you don’t have to stop and explain every. single. thing. you are doing to a weird gal who just happens to be standing over your shoulder asking approximately 3,617 questions.)

2. The mouth is wired shut during the embalming process using an injector needle. Yes, I said wired SHUT.(McDaddy, please promise me you won’t let them wire me completely shut!) I once had my jaws wired shut for six weeks. It was not fun. At all. And the thought of my mouth being wired shut for the better part of eternity is more than I can handle. I have asked my mortician friend to leave me a little “breathing room” if I happen across his embalming table.

Breathing room. I crack myself up.

3. An artery (usually the carotid) is used for the entry of the embalming fluid. A vein (usually the jugular) is used for the bodily fluids to be drained from the body. There is LOTS and LOTS of blood.

4. Once the blood leaves the body, it goes right down a drain and into the sewer.

Weird, but also true.

5. Eyecaps (which look like contact lenses with grooves on one side) are used to hold the eyelids closed. [It makes me sad to think that one of my best features won’t even be visable at my last hoo-rah!]

6. After the arterial embalming, another process called cavity embalming is necessary to preserve the internal organs. If not, you would rot from the inside out.

You’re welcome.

7. Cavity embalming is achieved using a really cool device called a trocar.

OH MY SWEET MOSES. It was all fun and games till he busted the trocar out.

The cavity embalming is the most overwhelming part of the process. It is achieved by driving a trocar into an organ as if one is stabbing a piece of meat. And yes, it is just as gross as it sounds.

I still shudder when I think about it.

[Side note: In my search for an image of a trocar, I found these earrings on a site called PushinDaisies dot com. If you’re looking for a gift for that special funeral director in your life, you should go there when you leave here. They even have a shirt that says Support your local funeral director: DROP DEAD! Can I just say that IF I were a funeral director, I would totally buy one of those shirts!]

trocar earrings

8. As I watched my mortician friend, I prayed for the family of the person being embalmed.

9. The face is shaved to give the make-up a more natural look.

10. In most cases, the mortician applies the make-up. [Y’all. I was totally impressed with his make-up skills.]

11. Morticians must learn methods of embalming without the use of electricity in the case of a power outage. [For some reason, I was fascinated by this fact. Who thinks of this stuff?]

12. Even though I have talked at length here on the blog about my funeral and my desire for a solid mahogany casket, I learned that a wood casket is only a good option IF you have a water-proof vault.

[Did you hear that McDaddy? I need a water proof vault! Don’t roll your eyes at me. I. am. worth. it.]

13. If you watch an embalming, there is a good chance it will stick with you for days weeks months to come. Plus, it will get you thinking about your own embalming and wondering whether or not your mortician friend would be willing to suck out some gut before putting you on display in all your glory.

(Is this possible, B?)

14. The embalming process is an interesting thing to watch and I have it on good authority that an embalming after an autopsy is a lot different than a “normal” embalming. I’d be up for watching that, too my friend. 

I know. I know. I told y’all I was crazy. If this don’t prove it, I don’t know what does.

There you have it.

Fourteen more things than you ever wanted to know about embalming.

Head on over to Musings Of A Housewife for Things that other people Learned This Week, most of which probably have nothing to do with embalming.

A Wild Night With Two Cute Guys

Not Me! Monday is a blog carnival hosted by MckMama over at My Charming Kids. I thought I’d play along last week, only no one else was playing. So, don’t think that I recycled this Not Me! Monday post from last week.

Not at all.

Just in case you were wondering please know that it was not me that had two cute guys hanging off of her in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday.

It also wasn’t me who found herself in need of a cold drink during that same time because she felt clausterphobic and panic stricken. And since it wasn’t me who had the cold drink, it probably wasn’t me who was sitting on the side of the road waiting for a ride just after 3am.

And since none of that happened to me, I probably wasn’t the one crawling into bed at 4am, barely able to hold her head up.


Not me.

No way.

Unless your talking about our flight from Detroit to Manchester, New Hampshire.

THAT flight was delayed for three hours because of thunderstorms and the wait resulted in my boys sleeping all on top of me while I sat on the hot, absolutely packed airplane sipping a little plastic cup of water because that’s all the attendants would give and finally, the plane took off well after 1am and arriving in Manchester at 3:30am. And, since we arrived in Manchester so late that also means that we had to wait on the sidewalk at the airport for our ride because the grumpy, mean old security guard who would not allow me to use the ‘for skycap only’ cart wanted to lock the doors for the night morning.  

And if that’s the situation you are referring to, then THAT was most definitely me and my two cute little guys.