Braking Bad

When you’re a blogger, blog posts tend to take shape in your head. Or at least that’s the way most of my blog posts start out. For instance, there was the time that I was driving along in the Jeep with a friend and the transfer case fell off the Jeep and right onto the road. That blog post? Written in my head by the time my anxiety-ridden self returned home.

And then of course, there was the time that Stevie swallowed a penny.

The same thing happened the time I had to take Alex to my annual PAP smear appointment.

As you can see, the best blog posts generally write themselves in my head while they happen.

Most recently, I was driving home with the boys, my friend, Linda (Hi, Linda!) and Bentley. We had dropped Bentley off at the groomer and then hit Hobby Lobby and grabbed lunch before picking him up to head home. This particular day, I had opted to drive the “back road” instead of the interstate. I typically hate the “back road” because most recently, I’ve been getting a tad car sick thanks to the twists and curves of the road. This day though, *I* decided to take hang a left onto the “back road” as opposed to staying on the three lane busy interstate as I typically do.

I now know why.

The boys were in the back seat going on with some kind of nonsense as they typically do, Bentley was whining because he wanted in the front seat with his Momma and Linda and I were discussing the fact that we would be parenting TEENAGERS this year.

As if that’s not enough to bring a person down, it was during this conversation that I noticed something funny about the brakes on the truck.

Yes, I drive a truck.

You may recall that I drove a Minivan for many years, but then McDaddy went and decided to sell it because HELLO SATURN SKY!!! I drove the Jeep for several months after that, but then McDaddy went and raised the stupid thing another three or so inches making it tough for me to get all of this up in there, so I  decided to start driving the truck, instead.

Anyway, back to the brakes. As Linda and I were driving, I thought the brakes were acting weird, and by weird, I mean I would press the brakes to the floor, and they would barely even slow the truck down. In the midst of conversation with Linda, I said something like, “My brakes are acting weird. I don’t think they are working.” A sentence like that several years ago would have caused me unknown levels of anxiety, but somewhere between the transfer case falling off (or is it out?) of the Jeep and the gas pedal getting stuck on the Minivan, I’ve learned a thing or twelve about scary situations involving the automobile.

Either that, or McDadddy is trying to kill me.

Thankfully, traffic on the “back road” was scarce that day and my Paxil had apparently kicked in, because I was – in my own words – handling the brake situation like a boss. I pulled off at a cemetery parking lot and pumped the brakes a couple of times. Then, I turned the truck off and then back on, because anytime there is a *situation* McDaddy always asks if I’ve done this, as if I’m supposed to somehow know that turning the vehicle off and then starting it back up will somehow fix the situation. In this particular case, it did nothing except turn the truck off and then back on. I asked Linda if she was okay with me driving the rest of the way home, because it was hot and the thought of waiting on someone to come rescue my friend, my boys, my dog and me was more than I could process at the moment. Linda said she was fine if I wanted to drive home, and so, we drove the final seven or eight “back road” miles very slowly and prayerfully, and with my emergency flashers on.

Thankfully, we made it home safely and got parked without crashing into anything.

After a little online research, McDaddy discovered that Chevy Silverados are known for rusting brake lines. And that, lots of people experience this same scenario where the brake-line just busts and decides not to work.

It’s a small miracle that I’m still alive.

Hopefully, McDaddy can get the new brake line on without issue when we return home. We have one more small trip planned before school starts back two weeks from now.

Honestly, where did summer go? I can’t bear the thought of answering to my stupid alarm (Crickets are my main method of torture these days) for the next 180 school days. Have I ever mentioned I am a crazy person in the morning? Well, if you ask McDaddy, he’d tell you I’m crazy all the time, but if there is ever a time that the crazy is at an all-time high, it is early morning – or as I like to call it, the worst hour or my day.

For instance, when I first get out of bed, I wander around in the dark for a solid five minutes before turning on any type of light or opening the curtains. If that means I plop down on a closed toilet, then so be it – I’d rather do that than have light shining in my eyes. And, honestly, don’t start with the glad tidings of great joy at that hour, either, because there is nothing glad or joyous about that hour of the day. And, by all means, do not, under any circumstances, call my house before 9 AM unless you are bleeding or dying or calling about someone who is bleeding or dying. In my honest opinion, ringing someone’s phone before 9 AM on any day, should be against the law.

Now, if only the blog post would have a clear ending…

Have a great Tuesday, y’all

Idle Chatter

So, here I sit behind my laptop trying to figure out the best way to welcome all eight of you back to From Inmates To Playdates, Inc. It’s been several weeks since I’ve spent any time around this joint, and the best excuse I have is that I’ve been busy and tired. VERY TIRED. As in, every time I sit down for any length of time, I fall fast asleep. Which, as you might imagine, makes blogging kinda tough.

I think I might be better now. Or either I’m going to bed earlier. Or my body is adjusting to this stupid auto immune thing. Either way, I am feeling better. And for that I am thankful. Of course, now that I think about it, we are smack in the middle of summertime which means NO STUPID ALARM waking me up at  O’Dark Thirty, so that might be it. At any rate, I feel better and I feel rested, so here I am.

And not that I’ve got that out of the way, here’s a few things I’m pondering today.

1. Several months ago, McDaddy asked if the kids and I would like to accompany him to Houston. He had some business there and would be there for two weeks. And of course, I was all like, sign me up. We were scheduled to go to Houston with him last summer, but then my stupid ear decided to have it’s fit and medical professionals in the Emergency Room advised that the air pressure could damage my ear further, so we cancelled that trip and stayed home. When we first discussed the trip, I suggested to McDaddy that we take a detour through West Monroe, Louisiana and visit Duck Commander. We all love the show and I knew the boys would be excited to go there. We decided to spend the night in West Monroe and attend their church, thinking that we might get to see and / or meet a couple of them. I think it’s safe to say our visit to West Monroe was successful.

2. I am still having ear trouble. I was hopeful that once I started Methotrexate that I wouldn’t have flare-ups. That has not been the case. Since I began ingesting the poison once a week in February, I’ve had two flares. Folks, Relapsing Polychondritis does not play.

3. I am back on a Pinterest kick. I really don’t remember what we did before we had Pinterest. I read a lot more blogs and searched Google more, but honestly, Pinterest makes things so easy. It excites me to see all of the ideas I didn’t even know I was looking for.

4. And speaking of Pinterest, if you are a blogger, you should put your blog title into the search engine to find out who is Pinning your posts. It still amazes me that even eight of you show up here to read these words.

5. Do you remember this little fella?

He is all grown up now. And if Photobucket wasn’t being a brat, I could show you a more recent picture of him. He weighs ten pounds and will celebrate his first birthday next month. He has brought a lot of joy to our family (I think even McDaddy loves him, though he won’t admit it!) and I’m so glad to be his Momma. He fits right in with all the noise and the crazy up in here.

Ok, so that’s all for today. I promise I’ll be back here very soon.

Have You hEARd?

It was six degrees when I drove the boys to school this morning.


As in 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. SIX.

Otherwise known as CRAZY, FRIGGIN’ COLD.

So cold in fact, that it makes me cantankerous.

I have to keep the crazy reigned in when it’s so cold outside, because it makes me want to cuss.

And I don’t even cuss.

It’s supposed to be in the low 20’s tomorrow, so hopefully my mood will rise with the temperature.

Have you hEARd about my ears?

My ear is still giving me fits. These past two flares though have involved my right ear. You know, as if, the left ear is tired of attending the party all by itself. On top of that I had a biopsy today. Basically, the ENT made a small incision on the back of my ear and retrieved a small piece of cartilage. The goal is for the small piece of cartilage to show inflammation of the cartilage instead of inflammation of the skin as the last biopsy did. If the biopsy shows inflammation of the cartilage, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be put on a life-long medication called methotrexate. If the biopsy doesn’t show inflammation of the cartilage then we are back at square one and will treat the flare ups as they come with prednisone and pray that the flares will happen a lot less frequent than they have been. Oh, and we’ll have to keep a close eye on my nose, trachea, heart valves and joints because they can all be effected by the condition I have called Relapsing Polychondritis.

Sounds like fun, huh?

As McDaddy says, “It could be worse.” And, I know he’s right. It’s just hard to admit that sometimes.

I am thrilled that the new season of American Idol started last night. I think these three particular Judges seem so down-to-earth and fun. I was glad to find out that they all signed on for another season. After the Carey/Minaj mess, I was holding my breath waiting to see if the trifecta would be returning.

In other news, we still love this furry fella.

Isn’t he precious?

He is currently sacked out right beside me on the big, blue, bloggy couch as I compose this post. I am so glad he’s ours!

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Some Stuff and Some Things

1. I absolutely love Big Brother. I am rooting for Derek and Caleb to be the last men standing. Derek has played an almost flawless game, and Caleb, well Caleb is so cute, and funny, and well, a competition beast.

2. Dancing With The Stars will start next week. Though if I’m being honest, there are a lot more NO NAMES than there are stars. I only recognize seven of the stars. I’ll be watching each week from big, blue, bloggy couch and rooting for Sadie Robertson and Lolo Jones.

3. Oh, and what in the name of Heaven is a YOU TUBE star? Is this what we’ve come to?

4. I have been crazy busy spray painting anything that isn’t nailed down this week. I’m so excited about how they turned out.

Just look at the difference a can of yellow spray paint, $4.99, and about 15 minutes makes.

[Pay no mind to the subpar photography  and the crazy shadow on the right.]

5. And have a look at my new menu board.

6. And now I’m thinking I might need to paint the chalkboard frame yellow too since the menu board sits on the wall above they yellow cabinet. What say you?

7. You have no idea how much this menu board has helped ease the daily “What the heck am I gonna fix for dinner today?” craziness. Plus, it’s adorable and fun.

8. And also, there are these:

9. Why are Middle School students so mean to each other? Just this week, I’ve heard of four different incidences of bullying. It is frustrating and disheartening.

10. I love fall, but I hate the humidity that comes with it.

My Fillings About The Dentist – Take 2

More than six years ago, I wrote a post titled “my fillings” about the dentist. (And if you happen to take a trip into my archives, please excuse those stupid squares you see strewn about that post. Y’all, the crazy characters are making me crazy to the point that I don’t want to even go back and look at old posts, because I can’t stand to see them.) And before you suggest that I go in and edit the characters to remove them from the post, I can’t do that. I can’t do that because while installing my new blog design, Heather my technical team sent me a text that said, “Working on those characters now. DO NOT go in and edit any posts that have those characters…. just trust me on that one.”

And since I trust her with my bloggy life, I do what she tells me to do regarding matters of the blog.  And then I come here every evening and complain about the characters, because THAT is something I can do.

Do you see how easy I get off track?

Where was I?

Oh, right, the Dentist.

My Dentist recently left the Dental practice he shared with two other Dentists to open his very own office. Today was my first visit to the new office. Since I’ve never been big on change, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about his fancy new office on the Boulevard.

For starters, this was the view from my dental chair

The previous office was dark and drab and boring.

On top of this spectacular view of the Kanawha River, there was a television at each new massaging dental chair.

Yes, you heard me right.

I said, massaging. dental. chair.

Can I get a HOLLA?

The only thing missing was an ocean breeze, sea-gulls squawking and a fruity drink with a little yellow paper umbrella.

As I sat in that massaging chair, all sprawled out, watching “Let’s Make A Deal” it dawned on me that I could have invented that massaging dental chair because I have remarked to McDaddy on several different occasions that a massage chair would take the dental visit to a whole new level.

Or something like that.

And as is usually the case, I was right.

On top of all that newfound dental fabulosity, I didn’t get the dreaded floss lesson and subsequent place of honor on the “Need To Floss More Wall Of Shame” which is a miracle, because I – unlike McDaddy – do not faithfully floss every single day like I should. But, I am getting better.

The moral of this story is, now that there’s a massage chair, my “fillings” about the Dentist have changed.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Some Random Stuff

McDaddy and Stevie are two hours away from home at Scout Camp. Alex and I are here at home splitting our time between the ball field and being lazy. We’ve enjoyed lying in bed until 11 AM and eating whatever we choose, whenever we choose. For instance, right now, it’s almost midnight and he’s on the couch watching a Redbox movie and eating Doritos while I am pecking out this post and sipping on a Coca-Cola classic.

As bad as I miss my other two fellas, I’ve enjoyed this week focusing my time and energy on one kid who has clung to me like glue, slept in my bed and told me loves me about 418 times in the past five days. Not to mention, we’ve driven the SKY almost 300 miles this week. HOLLA!

But chances are you didn’t show up at FITP, Inc. to hear about how lazy I’ve been this week. Rather, my loyal readers (all 8 of you!) more than likely showed up here hoping to read about the latest, greatest fashion trends along with my newest kitchen recipe creations. Or something like that, right?

Here are some things that you might find interesting or helpful.

1. For starters, I’m sure you’ve noticed that my blog is wearing a fancy, new party dress. I haven’t mentioned it here yet, because my bloggy designer friend, Heather has been trying to figure out a way to remove the crazy characters (in this latest case, squares!) from past posts and I thought I might wait until after that was done before mentioning my new design, but alas, we are having some difficulty finding a solution. And by we I totally mean her because Lord knows I am WordPress illiterate. If any of you out there in Blogland have any earthly idea how to remove the characters from past posts, please, by all means, let me know immediately in the comments because they are driving me nine kinds of crazy.

A few weeks ago, I saw this pair of flip-flops,

on a gal who was having lunch (with a friend of mine) at a Mexican restaurant. Instead of me doing the totally normal female thing and offering up a compliment about the flip-flops along with a question about where she bought them, I came home, scoured the internet for seemed like hours for the suckers – mostly by searching Google for black- flip- flops-and bling. Do you have any earthly idea how many different pairs of black flip-flops with bling there are available online?

Rest assured, there are A LOT.

My search was pointless. And as is usually the case anytime I see something that I really like, I couldn’t get them off of my mind. After days of unsuccessful shopping online, I texted my friend to ask if she would text her niece to ask where she bought them.

Within minutes, I received the text “She got them at Buckle”.

Which explains why I have never seen them.

The one and only time I ever stepped foot in Buckle was when my sweet, hip, sister-in-law went in there to shop for jeans that were priced so high I almost swallowed my tongue. Not to mention, nothing in that store screamed 40 YEARS OLD  to me. During a recent trip to the mall I popped in there because – like I said – once I get something like black flip flops with bling in my head, I just can’t let it go.

Buckle was sold plum out of the size 10 Sanuk flip flops that I can’t live without, but thankfully, I found them online. I need another pair of shoes like I need a hole drilled right into the side of my head… I am expecting them any day and I’ll be sure and let you know all about them once they are on my sweet, little feet.

Mission accomplished.

Since ordering the flip-flops, they pop up on every website I visit, which is stupid because I’ve already ordered them. Where were those advertisements two weeks ago when I scoured the internet looking for them?

2. Plus, I found this other cute pair of Sanuk black flip-flops with colorful bling.

3. And speaking of feet, check out my pedicure.

I just love being a baseball mom.

Someone on Facebook asked if my feet had been sprayed with Silly String. These cute sandals came from Payless and they are every bit as cute as they look, not to mention comfortable.

4. While hanging out on Facebook recently, one of those “Suggested Pages” showed up on my news feed. It featured an APP called Two Dots. Normally, I click on the the I don’t want to see this button, but in what can only be described as a moment of weakness, I installed the APP. I’m like a kid with a new iPod trying to beat each level before I run out of lives. I mean it’s not like I don’t have 712 adult things to do around here. What is it about a game requiring you to connect two or more like colored dots that fascinates seemingly rational, educated adults like me? It’s absolute craziness, yet, at this moment, I’m counting down the 13 minutes until my lives fill back up to take a stab at level 29.

5. Have I mentioned My Favorite Things board on Pinterest? There are any number of great things on there, including a great new chopper I recently bought in the Amish Country, along with all of the cute black flip flops with bling I found while searching for the ones I ended up buying.

Have a great weekend, y’all!


Not Topless This Time!

It has rained on and off for several days. Last night, Stevie’s game was called in the fifth inning due to lightning and we high-tailed it to the car just before the sky opened up and dumped torrential rains down on us. I was thankful that we made it home without incident because at times, the visibility was bad.

It rained on and off throughout the night. And then again, throughout the afternoon. I was sure that Alex’s baseball game would get cancelled, but with the exception of sprinkling just a teeny tiny bit, the rain stopped early in the evening. The temperature was perfect and it was a glorious evening.

I absolutely love being at the ball field. During games, I am typically in the dugout because I am the bookkeeper for Stevie’s team. Because All-Stars is a totally different ball game (see what I did there?) I get to sit in the stands, and visit with the other moms while we watch the game.

After the game was over, I was in a big way of talking (something my Granny always says when she’s in the middle of a story) laughing with some parents when my foot sank into a deep mud hole.

I knew I was going down.

.3 seconds later, my butt and right leg were buried in three inches of muddy water.

My butt cheek was bruised.

And, so was my ego.

Stevie said, “Man, I wish we could’ve gotten that on video for You Tube.”


The ground was wet and soggy and so was I. My Crocs flip-flops did little to help the situation. I couldn’t get up because my wet feet kept sliding in my flip-flops. And there was no reason to get up because I knew there was a 98.4% chance that I would fall again.

The only thing to do was crawl out.

And laugh.

Dang, what a klutz.

As my wet feet sloshed in my wet flip-flops on the way to the car, I tried to figure out what the best course of action would be for the one minute ride home. The thought of hopping into the Jeep in these muddy ‘draws’ was more than I could bear. I knew what I had to do.

And for the first time in, well, ever… I went bottomless in the Jeep instead of topless.

Enjoy that thought and your Thursday!

50 Fun Summer Activites For Kids

Looking for simple, free, fun summer activities for your kiddos this Summer?

Here are some ideas…

  1. Fill the bathtub with water, measuring cups, squirt bottles, and bubble bath.
  2. Pack a picnic lunch and go to the park.
  3. Research a landmark in your city. Then visit it.
  4. Visit your local public library and check out books.
  5. Use sidewalk chalk to play Tic-Tac-Toe and Hangman on the driveway.
  6. Teach your kids how to bake cookies.
  7. Hook up the water hose and spray away!
  8. Ride bikes
  9. Visit a farmer’s market
  10. Make a comic book
  11. Play in a local creek
  12. Write a letter to an out-of-state relative
  13. Water gun battle
  14. Tape paper plates to non-breakable objects and use them for Nerf gun targets
  15. Have a sleepover
  16. Play a game of baseball
  17. Have a bubble blowing contest (Use a bottle of bubbles or bubble gum)
  18. Make a packing list for summer vacation so the kids don’t forget their favorite items
  19. Sit for fifteen minutes and talk about something really interesting to your child.
  20. Host a toy swap with neighbor kids (Each kid brings three toys, each kid leaves with three toys)
  21. Rent a movie from your local public library
  22. Check your area for free summer movies at local theaters
  23. Play a board game
  24. Find a Lego creation on Google – have your kids build it.
  25. Visit your local pet store or animal shelter
  26. Go to a school playground
  27. Paint rocks
  28. Set up a bird feeder – try to identify the birds
  29. Schedule a play date
  30. Send your kids a letter in the mail. When your letter arrives, explain how the mail works.
  31. Have lunch at McDonald’s – play in the play park while there.
  32. Play a game of kickball
  33. Watch home videos
  34. Visit your State Capitol building (ours happens to be about ten minutes from our home)
  35. Create a scavenger hunt
  36. Download “HEADS UP” APP on your electronic device and play with your child
  37. Decorate white t-shirts with sharpies or paint
  38. Collect newspapers from neighbors and take them to the local animal shelter
  39. Make homemade cards and send to out-of-town cousins / relatives
  40.  Make ice cream sundaes
  41. Learn how to Geocache
  42. Schedule a play date
  43. Camp out in the backyard
  44. Go on a hike
  45. Visit Toys R Us to get birthday / holiday ideas
  46. Make a time capsule
  47. Go to You Tube and learn origami
  48. Play tug-of war
  49. Make a fort
  50. Attend Vacation Bible School

Have a great summer!

The Truth Is…

The truth is….

… when I pick up produce in the grocery store, and feel it, I don’t really know what I’m supposed to be checking for.

… I have no idea how to apply bronzer, or why one even applies bronzer.

… I have been slacking on my exercise the past few weeks.

… I have no patience for bratty kids.

… I have lost two earrings in the past two weeks.

… Guacamole makes me gag.

… I get really aggravated when things don’t work properly.

… when the Vietnamese nail techs speak to each other in their native language, I always suspect they are talking about me.

…. I don’t eat strawberries because I don’t like the taste of them.

… my favorite part of school being out is sleeping in.

… there was a young girl (Middle School age) at the nail shop this evening wearing shorts SO short, her butt-cheeks were peeking out.

… parents who let their children dress like hoochie mommas deserve to be slapped upside the head.

… parents who lose their mind at the ball field should be banned from the ball field.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, folks!

We Are Not Fancy People

We had two baseball games on the schedule this weekend, but they were both cancelled. Because of that, I spent a good chunk of the weekend cleaning. My bathroom is cleaner than it’s been since we moved in here eleven years ago. And, after several hours of cleaning out closets, drawers and shelves, Stevie and Alex’s rooms are beautiful, straight, and neat. And if I had any sense, I would have taken a picture because in all likelihood, by tomorrow at this time, their rooms will not look like they do now.

On Saturday evening, my fellas and I got all gussied up and we celebrated with McDaddy’s brother, Dave who was inducted into Alderson Broaddus University Hall of Fame.

I’m always leery when we attend a fancy event because, well, WE ARE NOT FANCY PEOPLE, and because there are typically more forks than I know what to do with.

And, also because our boys are eleven and eight and the last thing eleven and eight year boys are interested in, is the fancy.

They picked out these outfits for Easter and I think they look handsome and grown up. Unfortunately, I did not oversee every detail of their pre-fancy dinner preparation, and Stevie ended up wearing one blue sock and one black sock. Alex on the other hand, was wearing white, ankle length, athletic socks.

So funny.

Only NOT.

First, there was an informal reception with hors d’oeuvres (which is a stupid word, by the way!). Several minutes before the reception was scheduled to begin, we lost track of Stevie. The room wasn’t crowded, so it only took a few seconds to spot him. He was standing, plate in hand, at the food table and he was helping himself to cheese cubes.

After a quick discussion about asking before helping ourselves, we had a good chuckle and helped him get rid of the cheese cubes quickly, which was a mistake because the pepper-jack cheese was H-O-T and he hadn’t had time to also grab a drink before we could get his attention.

It’s a good thing they are charming.

For dinner, we were served a chicken breast (with peas and a lemon slice on it), red potatoes and green beans. I was skeptical because who puts a lemon on a chicken breast? And also, because the green beans were the fancy type of long green beans and I was pretty sure they hadn’t been cooked in bacon grease like the ones I make here at home. Alex took a big bite of the green beans and within two seconds, he was dropping the green beans out of his mouth and back onto his plate.

Heaven, help me.

Thankfully, I don’t think anyone else at our table saw the green beans make their way back onto his plate, but I was still mortified.

Other than that, the fancy dinner went well (Except when a grape tomato flopped off of my salad plate and onto the table as I was cutting it up in my salad) and I’m happy to say we made it through without too much of a spectacle.

Like I said, NOT FANCY.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening and I enjoyed spending time with McDaddy’s parents, his siblings and their spouses.

Have a great week, y’all!