Where’d You Come From?

I am often entertained by that little Feedjit box over in my sidebar. It tells me where my readers come from, what search engine they used to get here, and get this – the words they type into the search engine that lands them here. Folks, there are some crazy, crazy people out there.

Over the past week, here’s what people searched for, that landed them here at my bloggy house.

Lafayette, Indiana arrived from google.com on “Who Do We Have Here?” by searching for Amish candles ear.

  • What’s up, Lafayette, Indiana? With the help of my friend, Jessica, I used the Amish ear candles on one occasion. After the candling, my ears felt better, but I’m not sure they really worked. My ears felt better afterwards, and there was obvious, um, nastiness on the end, but sadly, it did nothing for my inner ear eczema, as I had hoped.

De Kalb, Texas arrived from google.com on “Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Things In My Purse” by searching for applying hand sanitizer on fever blisters.

  • Welcome, DeKalb! Um, hand sanitizer on a fever blister. Really? I do get fever blisters from time-to-time, and I must admit, I’d try a lot of things if I thought they would work, but I’m not sure about the hand sanitizer. Thanks for stopping by, though. 

Ashland, Kentucky arrived from google.com on “Thursday Thirteen – The Letter K” by searching for Hamor Street Townhouse Flatwoods KY.

  •  Aw, hey there Ashland, Kentucky! McDaddy and I lived at Hamor Street Townhomes (#6 – the one with the wreath) in Flatwoods (Home of Billy Ray Cyrus!) during our first year of marriage. It was a wonderful place to live, and the townhomes, back in 1998 were new. Oh, and on an unrelated note, our phone number when we lived there was 606-836-8365.

Perth, Western Australia arrived from google.com.au on “One Of Those Dreaded Christmas Letters” by searching for Free happy Christmas letters.

  •  G’day, Mate! I always love to see International Visitors show up here at From Inmates To Playdates, Inc. I hope you found some great ideas for your annual Christmas letter while you were here. Yes, I am one of those people who send out an annual letter every December.

Borger, Texas arrived from google.com on “Who Do We Have Here?” by searching for milia removal.

  • Welcome, Borger, Texas! A few years back, I had (a) milia removed from my face. It was quick and painless, and I was told by the dermatologist that a tool is available at the Wal-Mart for do-it-yourself milia removal. I recently tried to convince McDaddy that I could remove his after watching her remove mine. He declined my offer.

San Diego, California arrived from google.com on “Broken Jaws” by searching for Are jaws broken during embalming?

  • San Diego, I’m so happy that you’ve stopped by. It may surprise you to know that a funeral director friend of mine invited me to watch an embalming a few years back. The jaw is NOT broken during embalming. It is, however, wired shut for all of eternity during the embalming. The mouth is closed either by tying the jaw together with a piece of suture string or by a special injector gun. [Bryan, if you're reading this, please remember that if I happen across your embalming table that I don't want to be wired completely shut.] My jaws were wired shut for six weeks after mandibular surgery when I was a senior in high school, and I have no desire to be wired shut ever again.

 Monroe, Louisiana arrived from search.mywebsearch.com on “Letters To Crazy People – From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for Letters people have wrote to their ex dealing with his new wife.

  • Monroe, how are you today? I giggled when I read the whole “letters people have [written] to their ex dealing with his new wife” thing. While I write plenty of Letters to Crazy People around here, I don’t have an ex, and I’ve never had to deal with a new wife. But if I were dealing with a new wife, you better bet there would be plenty of letters to her around these parts. 

Florence, Kentucky arrived from bing.com on “A Little Bit Of Gross! — From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for How to get my wife to get a little bit nasty but not gross nasty.

  •  Florence, Kentucky, I have no words. And that doesn’t happen often.

Espoo, Southern Finland arrived from google.de on “Kinky In Helsinki” by searching for kinky in Helsinki.

  • Well hello Finland! I guess by now you know that I didn’t really get kinky in Helsinki. In fact, I’ve never even been to Helsinki. In this case, Kinky in Helsinki is, in fact, a pretty pink nail polish color.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all!

Hope to see you again real soon.

Twenty Years

In approximately five weeks, McDaddy and I are scheduled to attend our twentieth reunion.

It doesn’t seem possible that we’ve been out of school for twenty L-O-N-G years. That means that this girl is almost forty. Not that there’s anything wrong with being forty, because age is just a number.

Mostly.

I can’t help but think about how my life has changed over the past twenty years.

1992

I was a senior in high school. I had just recovered from mandibular surgery (broken jaws), and as a result I lost tons of weight because my jaws were wired shut for six weeks.

I was having trouble with Trigonometry (no big surprise there!) and I was hot on McDaddy’s trail. We had been good friends for three years and I’m gonna admit something here on the blog that I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned.

I was actually after his best friend.

Crazy. For sure.

I was applying to college and wondering where the next four years would take me. McDaddy left for bootcamp shortly after graduation and so I spent that summer listening to Mariah Carey sing, “I’ll Be There” and counting the days until Boot Camp and Tech School would be over.

2002

We moved into our current house in January of 2002. In March, we found out that we were expecting our first child. I was working at the jail, and spent most of my days scheduling contact visits and parole meetings. Not one to embrace change, I often wondered what it would be like when the time came to trade in my walkie-talkie for a baby monitor. The nursery was taking shape and my blood pressure was off the hook.

At 32 weeks I was put on bed-rest and I lasted about three days before convincing myself I was going stir-freakin-crazy. Four weeks later, an eight pound baby boy was extracted from my body and in an instant I was a changed person.

2012

As I sit on my couch watching American Idol composing this blog post, I look at that picture up there and wonder how in the heck my sweet boy survived with me as a mama. I was over-protective, over-bearing and high strung.

Bless his heart.

It’s a small miracle that he can make a decision for himself.

As for that girl up there?

She is so different from the one that sits here today.

The one sitting here today is a Jail Counselor turned PTA fund-raising extraordinaire. She is loud, crazy, and opinionated. And no big surprise, she is still over-protective, over-bearing, and high-strung. Oh, and don’t forget that she loves to laugh.

She is a stay at home mom who rarely stays at home.

While she has no idea what the next twenty years will bring, she plans to live every day to its fullest.

And she considers it a privilege to be doing it alongside these three beautiful people.

 

Happy New Year, friends!

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful New Year’s celebration with your favorite people. Me? I ate my weight in the white chocolate heavenly crunch stuff and threw my neck out dancing to “A Little Less Conversation” while playing Just Dance on the Wii.

As it turns out, the song “A Little Less Conversation” is aptly named because it is difficult to talk when one is hyperventilating.

And having a heart attack.

As a result I have made a renewed commitment to the gym. It will be a fierce battle between my will, the Dr. Pepper, late night eating binges and my social calendar. I MUST. STICK. TO. IT.

Hear me! I MUST!

There is no better time to begin a new workout regimen than the start of a new year.

That’s part of what I love about a new year. A New Year brings a clean slate to the party, along with a brand spankin’ new calendar (which excites me by the way!) with endless possibilities. The past year was a one here at FITP, Inc. and I’m happy to report that my blog is still alive and well which is surprising when you consider the fact that I have a short attention span and that I get bored very easily. As I always do this time of year, I have been reflecting on life in general – which kinda sounds like I’m gonna go and get all philosophical, but alas, I am not. I just mean that no one is more surprised than me that I’m still at this bloggy thing.

I thought it might be fun to share some of my Twenty Ten (which I never say, by the way because I am a Two Thousand Ten kinda girl) bloggy statistics with you. But first, I’d like to thank those of you who have a Direct Link to From Inmates To Playdates. If you stop by here each and every day for a daily dose of crazy – which just happens to be enough of you to keep me going – I appreciate you!

And before you get it in your head that I was up all night pulling my hair out calculating a few statistics for the benefit of my readers (not that you wouldn’t be worth it mind you) you should know there is a site that does the work for me. Google Analytics is full of statistical blog information that matters to no one on the face of the planet, except me.

And maybe you over there and you back in the corner.

I find the information fascinating, mostly because I’m nosy, but also because it allows me to know a little bit about my readers and visitors.

And because I’m nosy.

But enough about me.  

My Top 5 Referrers for 2010:

1. We Are THAT Family
2. My Charming Kids
3. I Should Be Folding Laundry
4. Musings of a Housewife
5. Boo Mama

Top 10 Search Engine topics that sent people to my little corner of the blogosphere:

1. From Inmates To Playdates (duh!)
2. Bus Trip Games
3. Letters To Crazy People
4. Exciting Questions
5. inmates to playdates
6. what i learned this week carnival
7. cute Christmas letters
8. Games to play on a bus trip
9. wet t-shirt contest
10. from inmates to playdates blog

Other interesting facts about my 2010 visitors:

1. 453 people showed up on my blog by searching for “broken jaws” and their average stay on my site was 1 minute 47 seconds.
2. 49,423 visits were made to From Inmates To Playdates in 2010
3. 54.61% of my visitors use Internet Explorer to get here.
4. Monday, July 12, 2010 was my record traffic day with 538 visitors popping in.
5. Sunday, July 4, 2010 was my lowest traffic day with 25 visitors

Here’s to another great year at From Inmates To Playdates!

Come back tomorrow for a thought provoking What I Learned This Week post and I’d LOVE it if you’d link up!

http://frominmatestoplaydates.com/2011/01/mostly-because-im-nosy/

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.

Thursday Thirteen – The Letter O

It’s Thursday and that means another clever edition of Thursday Thirteen.

It’s time for the Letter O.

Let’s get this thing going.

1. OLIVE GARDEN – One of my favorite restaurants. I ALWAYS order spaghetti with meat sauce. And, I always eat more salad and bread sticks than I should.

2. OCEAN – The McFamily is currently in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The water is breathtaking.

3. OFFROADING – One of McDaddy’s favorite things to do in his heap (ahem, I mean Jeep).

4. OATMEAL – Brown sugar and cinnamon please, with a piece of toast to dip in it.

5. OUTLAW – As in the Dancing Outlaw. If you have never heard of the Dancing Outlaw, I would suggest you go to YouTube and check him out. He is from wild, wonderful West Virginia. He is definitely wild, but not sure about the wonderful part.

6. OFFICE – The Longaberger Home Office is one of the most unique buildings I have ever seen.

7. OCCUPATION – Before becoming pregnant, I was a correctional counselor in a jail. This was my last day in that capacity. I miss my jail friends.

8. ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY – Otherwise known as Operation-fix-my-overbite – When I was a senior in high school, I had corrective surgery to fix my overbite. My jaws were broken and wired shut for eight weeks. Sweet mercy, can you believe I survived? The first few days after surgery were tough, but it was worth the pain.

9. OUTBACK – I love to eat at Outback. Unless I’m feeling frisky and try something new I always order Victoria’s Filet. That Victoria sure knows how to make a mean filet. And, I love, love, love the side salad. Their croutons are delightful!

10. OLYMPICS – I am an Olympic junkie. My favorite events are swimming, gymnastics, ice skating, beach volleyball, trampoline, diving, speed skating and bobsledding. I wish they were held every year. Oh, and just in case you hadn’t heard, Michael Phelps is my boyfriend.

11. ORGANIZATION – I am big on organization. Yesterday, I made the mistake of attempting to organize all of the photos in my photobucket account into individual folders. I should have left well enough alone because once you move a photo from its original location on photobucket, the link changes and it leaves a big white “IMAGE HAS BEEN MOVED OR REMOVED FROM PHOTOBUCKET BOX” in the place where the picture was. If you are looking at Vintage Inmates To Playdates and you see the big white stupid box instead of a real picture, please bear with me. It will take me a few days to restore all of my photos into their respective posts. GRRRR….

12. ORANGES – Not worth the mess.

13. ORGAN – I hope to save a life one day. If all else fails, I am an organ donor.

Thursday Thirteen – The Letter J.

Short and Sweet.

Thursday Thirteen.

The Letter J.

Off we go.

1. Jelly – I prefer grape, but will also eat strawberry.

2. Jaw - I had extensive orthognathic surgery to correct a serious overbite. Both of my jaws were broken, repositioned and wired shut for eight weeks. Sweet hallelujah, can you believe I survived.

3. Jeans – I was never a big fan of jeans until I found the perfect jeans at Dress Barn. It seemed that in order for them to fit my hips (ahem!) they were always to big around the waist. Westport Jeans fit as if they were tailored for me. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of them on-line anywhere!)

4. Jewelry – Two words. Love. It. I have always loved jewelry. I wear 2 rings, a watch, a bracelet and two pair of earrings everyday. If I’m feeling frisky, I also wear a necklace. I would love to be one of the thirteen women sharing a necklace. It is a beautiful piece of jewelry and an incredible story. In my opinion, a girl can never have too much bling.

5. Juice – I’m not a big fan, but I do have a glass of orange juice upon occasion. My boys LOVE apple juice. It is their favorite drink.

6. Jimmy – Meet my daddy! I am a daddy’s girl and I appreciate my dad so much. He sometimes comes to my house just to “hang out” with us since my hubby is gone. My boys love their papa!

7. JEEP – I know McDaddy will be expecting to see this one. Here’s a picture of his heap (ahem! I mean JEEP).

And, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t add this JEEP picture…

8. Jury - I’ve been called to Jury Duty on two different occasions. I wanted to sit on a murder/mayhem jury, instead I got insurance malpractice. Still, I took my civic duty as serious as I could at the ripe age of 20 years old.

9. Jesus – There is so much I could say… My Redeemer. My Savior. My Friend. My Help in time of trouble. I will meet Him someday in Heaven!!!

10. Jump - I have a world-class jumper living in my house. His name is Alex and without fail, he will find the highest point of any piece of furniture so that he can “make the biggest jump ever!”

11. Jive – Boy, would I love to pull one of those out. I am a big fan of Dancing With The Stars and if I had my pick, I’d do the jive with this cat….

 

Can you say hot? I think we would we look great doing the jive together?

12. Junk – I have my share of it. Could get rid of a truck-load and still have more. Just thinking of all the junk around here makes me want to get busy and get rid of it.

13. Jackdaw – You wouldn’t believe how difficult it was to come up with 13 “J” things. I had to hit up my friend, Google because I didn’t want to use January, June or July. I thought Jackdaw was a fun word. A jackdaw is a little black bird.

Listen folks, you just never know when you might find yourself on Jeopardy needing to know what a jackdaw is.

Enjoy your Thursday, ya’ll!!!

Over My Dead Body

I am so happy to report that all manner of Christmas decorations have been stowed away in our loft for another year and my big, blue, bloggy [BBB] chair is back in place at the McResidence. I am coming to you from the BBB Chair and tonight I thought I’d write a post about my funeral.

Yes, I said funeral.

Quirks?

Why yes, I do thank you very much. 

On top of that I am a control freak. (Yes, I am a joy to live with.) So, while I’m still living and breathing and controlling stuff, I thought I’d take this time to outline my wishes for my funeral.

It will be one final attempt to have full control over a life. Even if I no longer have it. 

That, and because one can never be too prepared.

Oh, and in case I kick off, could one of y’all remind McDaddy about this post?

First, I want the best coffin they make – perhaps mahogany.  Expensive? Well sure… but, look at it this way; a coffin will be my absolute last gift. And you won’t have to buy anything else for me…. ever, so please don’t be cheap when picking out my final resting place.

My primary choice would be a Longaberger Basket Casket, but if the Longaberger’s haven’t yet designed that bad boy, then a top-of-the-line solid mahogany casket will be fine.

This one is perfect.

 

 

Remember, I said solid and mahogany, not pressed and wood.

When it comes to flowers, I prefer brightly colored gerbera daisies. Lots of them in all different colors. And stink a candle down in the middle for ambiance and so the place will smell good.

While I have mentioned in the past that I would like to be buried in orange, I have since then surveyed my closet and changed my mind. There are four pieces of orange clothing in my closet and none of them are fitting for me to be displayed in all my glory at my last hoo-rah.

With that said, I would like to be buried in red. Red is an attention getter and I want attention on that day. If I am to have all manner of friends and family weeping over my dead body, I want to look good. And whatever you do, I am pleading with you to give me a squirt of Romance – my favorite perfume – by Ralph Lauren. I do not want to smell like corpse.
 
This next one is a biggie!

Please, please, please whatever you do…. do not display me in a funeral home where it smells of flowers and musk. I worship at a wonderful church with my family. I want you to haul my hind-end out Route 21 and roll me right into the sanctuary. There is ample parking for the huge crowd that will surely be there and it is a beautiful place that is special to me.

I have already talked to my mortician friend with strict instructions to NOT wire my mouth completely shut. I watched an embalming one time and I made it clear to him that I needed a little bit of slack in that wire. The thought of having my jaws wired shut for all of eternity is more than I can handle. Sweet hallelujah, they were wired shut for six whole weeks when I was a  senior in high-school and it was not pretty. Not pretty at all.

The musical selections are very important.

I’d like piano or saxophone music played during my viewing. Something soothing – Kenny G or classical piano hymn selections. I want people to feel welcome and comforted. The music will aid in this. During my actual funeral I would like for our choir director or his son to sing,  “It Is Well With My Soul” because, well… it is well. I would also like for someone (Chris) to sing “I Can Only Imagine,” because one can really only imagine what they will do when their day comes. I can’t imagine what it will be like, all I know is that I’m ready.

For good measure and because I want to drag this thing out as long as possible, I would also like for you to play Selah’s Take My Hand, Precious Lord and Lead Me Home.

As the mourners are walking out I like to have “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” blaring (from my favorite movie, Dirty Dancing) because well, I have had the time of my life.

Since so much money will be spent on that mahogany casket, it will be necessary to spend a little extra so that I can have a place in the wall. 

That’s right, folks. No ground burial for me please.

I do not want people walking all over me. I’ve had enough of that during my living years. Instead, I’d like to be inside – in the wall – so that I can be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. And preferably at eye level so my nameplate is easy to read.

I’ve lived a good life, have wonderful friends and an awesome family, and I am ready to meet my maker. As you stand over my dead body in that fabulous mahogany casket, enjoying the smell of my sweet perfume, I want you to think about our good times. In other words, celebrate me!

Okay. I think that’s all. For now.
 
Any special wishes your final hoo-rah?