Grandma And Her Secrets

I am not a big fan of laundry.

I mean I don’t mind folding it, but I hate the whole gathering it, changing the loads around, carrying it up the stairs, or putting it away.

But, like I said, I don’t mind folding it.

Another thing I kind of enjoy about laundry is the whole stain-fighting gig. With two boys in our house, plus a big boy who spends 80% of his non-sleeping, non-working hours in the garage playing with a heap, er I mean, Jeep. As you can imagine, the stains are plentiful around these parts.

In the past, I have used whatever stain remover happens to be on sale the week that I run out. Regardless of their claims, not all stain removers actually remove stains. Big shock, I know.

I was in Michael’s two days ago looking for the 412th time for a little baggie of scrapbook posts. While that venture was again unsuccessful, I found a stain remover that worked really well on all but one of the five stains that I used it on. While there are no ingredients listed on the bottle (probably because it’s a secret) it works beautifully.

So far, it has removed blood, grass stain, spaghetti sauce and some sort of unknown blue stain.

Grandma and her secret stain remover works for me!

What works for you? Kristin’s place is sure to be full of ideas.

American Idol – Top Seven


Those four little words bring me so much joy each week. I could scream with glee. And speaking of Glee? What’s all the hype about? Twitter and Facebook have been buzzing today with chatter about Glee and Madonna and OMG!…. Did I mention I hate the whole OMG thing? Well, I do! But you get the point, right?

Sorry. I know I get off topic so easily.

Anyway, my Words With Friends folks are going to have to keep their pants on because I need to focus tonight.

Tonight’s theme is “Inspirational Themes” with Alicia Keys mentoring. Should be a great night. I would bet the ranch that at least one of these jokers will sing Josh Groban’s ‘You Raise Me Up’ because seriously? What kind of night of inspirational night will it be without it?

Casey James (Don’t Stop) – Not a big fan of the song, but he’s doing a good job on it. He’s pretty consistent, but I’m not real sure the performance will be remembered once Crystal and Lee sing. He is easy on the eyes though.

Lee DeWyze (Boxer) – Y’all know I’ve been pulling for Lee since Week One. I love Lee and his big ole’ raspy voice. Never heard this song, but as always Lee is delivering a sound performance. I love the orchestra, too. Great performance and a great night for him.

Tim Urban (Better Days) – What? Huh? Oh sorry? I think I fell asleep for a moment. Where was I? Oh, Tim. Well two words for you – BOR & ING. Not sure he’ll be sticking around after that. Strangely the lyrics say “tonight’s the night the world begins again” but , um, not so sure about that Timothy. Sorry. I just didn’t get it. But I like you though.

Aaron Kelly (I Believe I Can Fly) – How did I know this song would show up here this week. Puh-leaze, with sugar on top, do something big with this song. I like Aaron and I want him to do well, because y’all he is just a babe. There were a few notes in the middle that just didn’t sound good to me, they were either flat or sharp, or maybe both for all I know. He seemed to give it his all, but I’m just not sure he has what it takes to go the distance.

Siobhan Magnus (When You Believe) – I’ve been over Siobhan for the past five weeks or so. With the exception of the squeal, or whatever you want to call it, I’m not a big fan. Not to mention I still haven’t learned to spell her name in all these weeks.  And oh. my. word. what in the heck is with the flower sticking out of the side of her head? And maybe a butterfly? on her shoulder. Oh man. I’m not sure I get the whole thing. It was just ah-right for me, but I’d never buy that mess on iTunes.

Michael Lynch(Hero) – Let’s see what ya’ got Big Daddy. Before he starts, let me just say that I love Hero. I thought this was going to Mariah Carey’s version, but I guess not. Whatever version it is, he’s singing it beautifully. As always. I would have loved hearing him sing Mariah’s version though and I’m bettin’ he would have knocked it’ out the park.

Crystal Bowersox (People Get Ready) – Yes, if her past is any indication, we, the people should get ready for her to knock our sox off. Sans instruments tonight, mind you. Miss Crystal is in a league all her own. Tears and all. Bless her heart. Moving performance. Best of the season. In fact, I’m rewinding the ole’ DVR right now. And I’d buy it from the iTunes right now.

Best of the night: Crystal

Worst of the night: Siobhan

Should and Will Go: Siobhan

It’s time, Siobhan. You’ve been on borrowed time for weeks.

What I Learned This Week

It’s time for another edition of What I Learned This Week, which is always such an easy post for me because my fountain of knowledge will never, ever run dry. There are lessons to be learned at every turn. For that reason, the words just flow.

I’m sitting here in my big, blue, bloggy chair watching Dancing With The Stars and debating whether or not I should take a couple of aspirins. I rekindled my relationship with the treadmill today and my calves are crying out each time I move. I haven’t been to the gym for like, oh, I don’t know, forever

The first thing I learned is that eating a greasy, fat biscuit with egg, sausage and cheese ON THE WAY to the gym is never a good idea.


So, with the least amount of movement as possible, here’s the short list of things I learned this week.

  • The apple cinnamon jelly at the iHop that I snarl my nose at is actually really, really good. One should try new things from time to time.
  • Diet Dr. Pepper? It ain’t so bad neither.
  • Apparently 484 is my lucky number. And by lucky, I mean REALLY lucky because the odds were um, not in my favor, but still I won a really great prize over at the Ultimate Blog Party.
  • Spatchcock chicken is chicken that has been flattened by cutting the backbone, and then opened up flat for grilling. Just saying that word cracks me up!
  • When you spend 33 minutes on an exercise bike burning a measly 240 calories, you will hesitate to eat for the rest of the day.
  • I want need an iPad.
  • Ziti, the frozen kind from SAMS, will allow you to have ONE SINGLE DINNER with no one bartering about how many bites or how much more they have to eat. Hallelujah. And Amen.
  • If by chance Metro 911 system ever reconfigures every. single. address. on your street, you can expect a great deal of aggravation.
  • And speaking of aggravation, you should be very careful when posting to a social networking site from the iPhone because as I’ve mentioned several times here at FITP, Inc. the little keyboard is not conducive to fat fingers therefore causing words like ‘list’ to come out as ‘lust’ and ‘post’ to come out as ‘pist’.

Now, how’s that for a random list?

If you’re linking up this week, please remember to link back here to my blog AND be sure to link to your actual WILTW post and not your blog in general. Pretty please.

Mkay, thanks!


Hook Up With Me!

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon. McDaddy took Stevie to a Scout activity and my sweet Alex is on the couch giggling at the antics of Tom and Jerry. He spent the last twenty minutes wollerin’ me in my big, blue, bloggy chair.

Am I the only one out there that uses the term ‘wollerin’?

When that game got old, he asked if he could watch Tom and Jerry, so I figured I should get started on my Not Me! Monday post so I’m not up half the night blogging after church. (As if I ever stay up half the night blogging, ahem.)

-First, it WAS NOT ME who TOTALLY FREAKIN’ FORGOT to link up to Not Me! Monday last week after being Number one and Number two the previous two weeks. Instead, I was Number 58.

-I will not be up half the night blogging because I will be up half the night selecting some songs from iTunes for my new work-out playlist that I will use STARTING TODAY IF IT KILLS ME in the gym, because I did NOT drop my jaw at my annual appointment on Friday when the scale laughed at me.

Stupid scale.

-I’m not real big on the whole self-diagnosis thing, so there’s no way I mentioned to McDaddy that my ear was infected, or my eardrum was busted. All I know is that somethins’ not right.  (The grammar police have a big time over here at FITP, Inc.)

-Minutes later, I did not ask McDaddy to “look under my chin and tell me if that red place look like poison ivy” because I’ve not been anywhere to actually ‘get’ poison ivy. Still its an aggravation and I’d almost bet the farm that it is, in fact, poison ivy.

-I’m not an emotional type, so it couldn’t have been me who constantly wiped tears this morning as we were reminded of God’s grace and God’s blessings throughout the twenty year history of our church. We ARE for sure blessed!

-On the way to church this morning, there is no way that we drove half-way there before realizing that we left the dessert and salad for the homecoming dinner at home on the counter.

-I keep three (hear me, THREE) calendars, so it makes no sense that anyone with THREE FRIGGIN CALENDARS would arrive 45 minutes EARLY for youngest child’s Doctor appointment and then be scrambling to get out of there in time to pick up the oldest kid from school because the appointment was scheduled for 1pm instead of 12pm.

Seriously, no sense whatsoever.

And yes, I said friggin.

Don’t judge.

-And just when I didn’t need ONE MORE THING to occupy my time, there’s no way I went and let myself get hooked on Twitter. If you too, are hooked on Twitter, you can hook up with me at @JulieAtInmates.

-I most certainly never complain when McDaddy is out of town on business, but if I did, I’d be complaining because he is gone again this week.


– And speaking of Twitter, it WAS ME who dropped her jaw on Saturday morning when I clicked on Twitter to discover that I had won a prize at the Ultimate Blog Party sponsored by 5 Minutes For Mom. A really cool prize that my boys will love!

That’s enough stuff I didn’t do for one week. Head over to MckMama‘s place for more Not Me! Monday posts.

Letters To Crazy People

Dear Springtime, I’d love for you to stick around. Can you kick the cold weather to the curb? Pretty please?

Ready to wear flip flops,

A “TOE”tally great gal in West Virginia

Dear Major Network Television Stations,

While I do have a TiVo and am able to skip out on the commercials most of the time, there are times when I am forced to watch a live show, or unable to operate the TiVo remote to fast forward through the commercials. Could you please, (and I’m asking nicely here) please adjust the stinkin’ volume on the commercials? Seriously, it’s annoying that the commercials are so much louder than the shows.



Dear Tweet Deck,

It would be awesome if you could add a column for alphabetical listing for followers, and another for my profile. While it is entirely possible the column possibilities are hiding out there in Twitville, it would be nice if you could make them a little more obvious for those of us who are twitterly challenged.

 Mkay, Thanks!


Dear Kelloggs,

I am writing this again in hopes that you jokers will end up here on my blog (because sometimes THAT does happen!) and hear me when I say PLEASE BRING THE STINKIN’ CHOCOLATE VANILLA CREAM POPTARTS BACK IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE THE COOKIES AND CREAM REPLACEMENTS ARE GROSS! Ahem!

Okay. That. is. all.,

A Poptart fan in Charleston, West Virginia.

Dear Stupid Redneck ‘Parents’ at the McDonalds on Wednesday,

I, (along with every other parent in the playpark, mind you) was appalled that you would allow your little boy to physically harm other children without one word from you about appropriate behavior toward other children. You are not doing that sweet boy any favors by letting him act like a bully. 

Trust Me On This One,

A ‘Semi-Retired’ Jail Counselor

Dear Lady in The Pick-Up/Drop Off Lane,

Has it occurred to you, that when you fail to follow the pickup/drop off rules you look like a putz and wreak havoc on the process. Seriously, why do that?


The Mommy In The White Van

Dear Facebook People,

You could learn a lesson from your friend, Twitter. If you limit the number of characters allowed in the status box to say, 140 or so, it would prohibit those people from POSTING A PLAY BY STINKIN’ PLAY OF THEIR DAY. Sheesh.

Keepin’ It Short and Sweet,

A loyal Facebook User

Dear Joy Behar,

Obviously, you are entitled to your view, but I’m just curious about one thing. Regarding the evolution gig…I get that you think we came from monkeys. What I don’t get is where you think the monkey came from.

A Child Of The King,

Princess Julie

P.S. Oh, and for your sake soul, you better hope you’re right.

Dear Dr. D.,

Today is our annual meeting. You know, the one I spend all year dreading, and the one where you spend 42 seconds doing a quick excavation. Um, the whole IUD thing was a lot more than what I bargained for and ended up being a total disaster, so I guess we’ll have to try that other thing you mentioned. As bad as I hate the thought of it.


The gal in Exam Room #4.

Dear Kate Gosselin,

Girl. I like you, I really do. As bad as I hate to say this, it must be said. You are straight up strugglin’ on Dancing With The Stars. It makes no sense why you would spend your time quarreling with Tony instead of allowing him to work his magic during rehearsals. You could rock this thing. We SAHM’s are cheering you on and would LOVE, hear me, I said, LOVE for you to win this thing. Seriously, less whine and more shine.

Just a Thought,

Maks’ Real Girlfriend.

What would you say if you wrote a letter today?

Thursday Thirteen – Such A Turn On!

As I made 4,382 trips up and down my stairs yesterday in an attempt to bond with the washer and dryer, it dawned on me that I hadn’t come up with a topic for this week’s Thursday Thirteen.

I thought it might be fun to come up with thirteen things I’ve turned on this week.

So, I sat in my big, blue, bloggy chair and I composed this post. And then I smiled because I’m goofy like that and sometimes I crack myself up when I write. And then I went to bed.

And then the next day, my BFF left a comment that said,

Where is Thursday Thirteen slacker?

And I was all, “It should be there. It was a really cute post about things that turn me on things I turn on.”

And then I remembered I forgot to post it.

But better late than never, I suppose.

So, in the words of Simon Cowell, off we go.

1. My Van – While it might not be the coolest ride in town, you cannot beat it’s versatility or the space that it affords. Not to mention it has a sunroof, ya know, kinda like the Saturn Sky, but not really, because the Saturn Sky is a sleek, sexy, sporty, little ride THAT I ONLY FREAKIN DREAM ABOUT.

2. The Stove – Yes, indeed. My stove got a workout over the weekend thanks to the Easter holiday. It is once again clean and resting until the next time the urge hits me to cook.

3. My Best Friend Beloved iPhone – The nice guy at the AT&T store suggested it is wise to completely turn your iPhone off every single day and reboot it. And because I am one that always does as she is told, I do it. So, if your phone is acting a bit quirky or zonky, I would suggest you try it. I suspect it would fix your problem.

4. The Television – I don’t watch nearly as much television as I did years ago, but I do enjoy the occasional reality show, drama series, soap opera, news broadcast, and reality series. Sometimes all in the same evening.

5. McDaddy – Sorry, I just couldn’t let this one slip by me!  (I won’t say anymore because my mother-in-law? Happens to be one of my 8 faithful readers!)

6. The Bathtub – Our boys love to take a ‘play bath’. I typically clean the bathroom while they are playing because I have to be in the bathroom while they are bathing, and I am never one to pass up an opportunity to multi-task.

7. The Washer / Dryer Combo – I’m not sure who’s done more running this week. Me. Or the Dynamic Duo. On Tuesday alone, I did SIX loads of laundry. And, in a strange turn of events, the laundry was put away immediately.

8. The Air Conditioner – Okay. If I’m being completely honest, actually, McDaddy turned on the Air Conditioner. But, after the long, treacherous, cold, dangerous, aggravating, stupid winter we experienced here in the hills of West Virginia, I was tickled to actually be hot for the first time in a very long time. As in hot enough to warrant the air being turned on. Thank you sweet Jesus!

9. A Movie – Since purchasing our van in 2007 (or whatever year it was, I’m sure McDaddy will correct me if I’m wrong!) I rarely drive anywhere without hearing, “Mom, can we please watch a movie?” In fact, the question usually comes up before I make it out of the driveway. It’s a bit of an aggravation to hear the same question 14 times a day, but the DVD player sure comes in handy on long trips. The movie CARS has probably been viewed hundreds of times over the past few years.

10. My iPod – If you spend any time here at FITP, Inc. you know that I love any product that includes an “i” in front of it. They could make an iPuke and I’d probably buy one. I love my iPhone and my iPod and I turn both of them on regularly. When I clean house, I crank the iPod up and go to work. I’ve been known to listen to Puff Daddy, Selah, The Fugees, Kenny Chesney, Natasha Bedingfield, and then Jeremy Camp. My iPod is a diverse little booger. Great tunes I tell you.

11. The Blood Pressure Cuff – Remember when I recounted the Long Windy Tail about my Mirena IUD and my blood pressure? Well, six weeks later, I am still measuring the blood pressure. While it is much better, I still have to check the blood pressure periodically. Yesterday on Twitter, a tweep tweeted a link to a blog post written by Kristin detailing her trouble with Mirena. While her complications were much different than mine, I feel her post is worth reading if you are considering the Mirena IUD. To be fair, for every person that I’ve talked to who has experienced complications, there are just as many who have had no problems with the device.

12. The little boom-box in my Pioneer Clubs room – Every Wednesday evening, I have the privilege of teaching eight sweet little children about Jesus. One of the first things we do at our meeting is listen to the theme song of Pioneer Clubs – Thy Word – by Amy Grant. My little class was wound up like eight-day-clocks tonight. We always have a good time.

13. The Dishwasher – Every single day of my life I empty and refill the stinkin’ dishwasher. It’s much better than washing dishes, but man, it is never ending.

What have you turned on this week? I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Thursday, y’all.

A Fresh Start


When I read that this week’s You Capture challenge was fresh, I immediately wondered what in the heck I could capture that would fit the challenge. My first thought was food, of course. 

Then, on Saturday, I attended a wedding.

A ceremony bringing two lives together.

The start of a beautiful journey.

A fresh start.

It reminded me of my own fresh start back in 1998 when I married McDaddy.



 And nothing screams fresh start like tulips blooming to announce that Spring has sprung.

 Or the first fresh daffodils of spring. 

 And speaking of a fresh….

I’m going to need a fresh start in the gym after eating one of these suckers.


I can’t wait to see how others interpreted fresh. Visit I Should Be Folding Laundry to check it out.

Customer Service

I have always been the type to voice my opinion.
Shocking, I know. It’s just another of my quirks.
I have very strong opinions and I have no qualms about sharing them. Whether solicited or not. Doesn’t matter. I’ll give it to you straight. Or crooked. Whatever. With that in mind, it probably will not surprise you to find out that I have no problem making a complaint, if I feel it is justified.
You may remember the on-going saga I had with Suddenlink while McDaddy was deployed. I have to say that in the end, Suddenlink came through in a mighty way and I mention their wonderful customer service to anyone who asks.
 And some who don’t.
Most recently I contacted Carters (kid’s clothing) to report a broken pull-tab on Stevie’s jacket. Likewise, I made a call to Roomba when mine decided it was the little engine that couldn’t do anything but travel in a circle.
 It might shock you to discover that in both cases, the companies were eager to work with me to rectify the situation. In the case of Carters, I sent the jacket back to them, they fixed the pull tab and reimbursed shipping charges. In the case of Roomba, (which took a little more work, mind you), they sent me a brand spankin’ new Roomba as a replacement.
 There are some days when I have nothing better to do than quarrel beg some corporate folks to replace their faulty merchandise. It may take some effort. And patience. And maybe even the mention that you are a blogger. In the end though, it’s all worthwhile if you hang in there.
And now, I would be more apt to purchase products in the future from Roomba and Carters because of their care and service.
So, yeah, perserverance, and effort, and patience? They work for me!
Check out other things that might work for you at We Are THAT Family.