Thursday Thirteen – Smiles

I have six or seven drafts ready for Thursday thirteen but each Wednesday when I’m deciding which one to use, none of them seem to grab me. So, today I thought we’d talk about thirteen things that make me smile.

1. When dropping Stevie off at school this morning, the gym teacher commented that he wished all kids “were as good as this one is.” Oh sweet Moses, my heart swelled. I often wonder what I ever did to deserve such a sweet blessing.

2. Mike and Molly – If you haven’t seen this show, YOU NEED TO. It comes on Tuesday nights on CBS. In last week’s episode I laughed because Mike’s mom – as she was preparing for surgery – sat down to discuss her final wishes with her son. Low and behold she pulled out a casket brochure and explained to Mike that she wished to have a solid mahogany casket. I laughed out loud because she is my people. As you may recall that is the casket I’ve picked out too. I cracked the heck up and wondered to myself if the Mike and Molly writers read my blog.

3. My new kitchen rugs. My new rugs are from K-mart and they make me smile because they remind me of spring and becuase they match my kitchen beautifully. AND because they are not soiled with spaghetti sauce or syrup. YET.

4. ‘Words With Friends’ friends – I can’t remember what I ever did with all my free time before there was such a thing as Words With Friends in my life. Most of the ‘friends’ I play are IRL (in real life) friends. The others are URL friends consisting of blog readers or blog friends. One opponent is a person I ‘met’ through twitter. I am thankful for these folks, especially the ones I can count on to make plays in a timely manner. I smile even bigger when I make a 161 point play – the word jeez in case you’re wondering – against a player who admittedly wants to mule kick anyone beating him by 100 points or more.

Yes, I said mule kick.

5. My chair.

I know y’all are so tired of hearing about the chair, but I must tell you I smile each and every time I look at it, sit in it, or move it. My favorite thing about the chair is that it can easily be turned to face the television or turned to face the couch and love seat. It makes me all kinds of happy and was worth every bit of trouble I went through to get it. (Oh, and see that door back there? The yellow door? It is now blue and you can read all about that, here.)

6. Homemade Valentines – I saw this cute Valentine project several years ago and forgot all about it until my URL friend Becca posted them again on her blog. I daresay I am officially in the running for mother of the year.

7. The Gym – It takes all I can muster to hit the gym but once I get there I give it 110% until my foot falls asleep and starts burning. Still, I know my heart thanks me and I know that I’ll be smiling when I start seeing major results.

8. My three special fellas – Sometimes I feel like I’m the luckiest girl alive. I am blessed beyond measure.

9. American Idol – I have been a fan since the very first season. I loved the Simon, Paula and Randy tenure, but I’m loving this new family just as well. I’m excited for another great season.

10. 80 degrees – OH MY GOSH it has been so long since we’ve seen an 80 degree day here in WV. I PINKY SWEAR PROMISE I WILL smile at the first sign of it. I’ve heard all I want to hear about the cold and the snow and the ice and the winter storm advisory and the wind chill and the slick roads and the blah blah blah…

11. Facebook – I know it sounds lame but Facebook makes me smile daily. The information that people choose to share on a public forum fascinates me and I am just nosy enough to check it all out.

12. Breakfast with the girls – Once every couple of weeks I get together with girlfriends for breakfast. Some days there are just two of us, but some weeks the stars align and all five of us get together. We most generally ALWAYS go to iHop where I have the pancake platter with eggs over medium and buttermilk pancakes. I also request that they don’t burn my hash browns because I hate burnt stuff.

13. Is there any question about this one?

No I didn’t think so.


My favorite things giveaway ends today. Have you signed up yet?

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!

Inmates, Embalming, and Minding Your Own Business

Over in my side-bar I have a Feedjit box that tells me who’s visiting, where they came from, and how they arrived.

I often chuckle at the things that people search for on Google. Don’t get me wrong, I am one of those people. I Google frequently and have no problem admitting that I look for lots of things over there. My favorite thing to Google is myself. My last trip to Google Lane revealed a federal lawsuit where I was named as a defendant and a jail inmate was named as the plaintiff.

I had a good laugh about it, especially since the suit was dropped by the court system. I was sued several times during my five years in jail, so it wasn’t a big surprise.

I thought it would be fun to share the things people are searching for at Google when they show up here at my doorstep.

London, England arrived from on “Ghetto Martha Stewart” by searching for martha stewart of the ghetto.

  • What’s up, London? First, I’d like to say welcome. Second I’d just like to point out that Martha Stewart spent some time in a federal prison in Alderson, West Virginia, though I can’t imagine that’s anything like the ghetto. Not sure if you hit pay dirt with your search, but I’m sorry to say I don’t have any knowledge of Martha being in the ghetto.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin arrived from on “What I Learned At The Funeral Home” by searching for watch a person being embalmed

  • Hello Milwaukee, I once visited your fine state when McDaddy took me to The Mall Of America for our 10th Anniversary. We enjoyed a beautiful weekend in Minneapolis and took a drive into Wisconsin just to say we had been there. It’s a sad shame y’all couldn’t have gotten the MOA gig. I’m sure that joint brings quite a few visitors to Minnesota annually. I had a big-eyed time there and will never forget the weekend we spent together, or the beautiful Sunday afternoon drive we took in Wisconsin while we were there. But enough about the Mega Mall. As far as the ‘watching a person being embalmed’ thing, I must point out that not everyone is cut out for the ‘watching an embalming gig’. It is disturbing, to put it mildly. First of all, you must get past the inital shock of seeing a dead body. I must admit I hadn’t fully prepared myself for that part upon arrival. Next, there’s the blood. Lots and lots of blood. If you are the least bit squeamish about weird smells and blood, you might want to consider doing something else. After that there is the whole trocar needle thing which you can read about in detail here. If after reading that mess, you think you’d like to watch an embalming, have at it. And if you DO end up watching, I’d love to hear what you think.

Perris, California arrived from on “Bloggity Fun – From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for funny items to send inmates.

  • Hi there, Perris. How are things in Cali? I remember a song from back in the day that says, “I’m going back to Cali, Cali, Cali, I’m going back to Cali, no I don’t think so.” Do you ever sing that song? I’ve been to Cali and I’d love to get back there some time, so we’ll see. Where was I? Oh, the funny items to send to inmates thing, the first thing you should know is that most items you send to inmates will not be given to your inmate because people have a tendency to send things like, oh, I don’t know shanks, and drugs, and escape tools, oh my. So, your best bet is to send a money order so that your inmate can buy some things from the commissary. Thanks for stopping by FITP, Inc.

Henderson, Texas arrived from on “Wet T-Shirt Contest” by searching for wet tshirt post.

  • Henderson, Henderson, Henderson, I’m sure you were disappointed when you discovered that my wet t-shirt post isn’t at all what you were looking for. We’re just a group of Christian girls at a Ladies retreat who played a game that included thawing a wet t-shirt that had been frozen solid and putting it on faster than the other team. I must say though the words wet and t-shirt have sent many a nosey pervert person my way. Just kidding, just kidding. Kinda.

Dothan, Alabama arrived from on “From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for cute inmate blog.

  • Hi Dothan. I’m so glad you stopped by. Cute inmate blog, huh? Well, that’s flattering, if in fact you were looking for my cute little inmate blog, From Inmates To Playdates, only it’s not so much an inmate blog. Still, I’ll take the traffic regardless.. I hope it was me you were looking for because I can’t hardly imagine there is another crazy person out there some other person that has a ‘cute inmate blog’. Thanks for looking me up.

Carrollton, Texas arrived from on “Nosiness” by searching for what does the bible say about nosiness?

  • Oh Carrollton, if there is one thing I know, it’s that God never meant for us to be nosey. In fact, you need only to look at 1 Thessalonians 4:11 – “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you”  Ahem! That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Feedjit works for me! Check out other things that might work for you over at THAT family.

Feeding Me A Line!

I am nosy by nature.

So, that might explain why it is that I love to know stuff. No matter how silly the stuff, I want to know it. As you might imagine, I was tickled to find out I could place a widget within my side-bar that would track who visits my blog and how they found my blog.


Some of the things people google are off the hook.

See for yourself….

  • Dubai arrived from on “Top Then Things I Learned at Santa’s Worshop” by searching for three things I learnt from a school workshop.

Welcome, Dubai! If I’ve “learnt” anything at all, it would be to spell correctly in my google searches or else my spelling mistake might show up on a blog in West Virginia. Just sayin’.

  • Washington, Pennsylvania arrived from on Thursday Thirteen – 13 things that “D”elight Me by searching for donut connection; chocolate iced rings.

What’s up, Washington? Not real sure why you’d be googling the donut connection or their chocolate iced rings, but I can already tell we are kindred spirits. While I love the donut connection like nobody’s business, I can assure you that I haven’t darkened their door for months. It makes no sense for me to go there because there’s this weight that I need to lose. When I go to the Donut Connection, the weight just follows me around and I can’t lose it. So, Washington P-A, enjoy one for me, would ya? Thanks!

  • Mountian Home, Arkansas arrived from on “Unleashing My Inner Latin Freak” by searching for how do you say freak in latin?

Would y’all give Mountain Home, Arkansas a big WV welcome. Um, I should start by saying that I took German in high school. I didn’t see a reason to take Latin. Or French. Or Spanish. You know, because Spanish wouldn’t be the least bit helpful to me in my adult life. Nosiree. It was German for me. Because that’s how I roll. So sorry to break the news to you, but I have no idea how to say freak in Latin. Or German for that matter. But I am so happy that you stopped by and do hope you’ll pop in from time to time.

  • Oakley, California arrived from on “Making Things Happen” by searching for make things happen or say what just happened.

Oakley, California, I’m so glad you’re here! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are three types of people in the world. Those who make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those who stand by and say, “What Just Happened?” I tend to think I am a one of those people who make things happen. And Oakley, I sure hope you are too. Nobody likes a slacker. So keep your head up and keep making things happen.

  • San Diego, California arrived from on “Oh Yes, It’s Almost Time!” by searching for “Apolo Anton Ohno stupid headband.”

Hello, San Diego! Welcome to my humble abode! If you’ve spent anytime here at From Inmates To Playdates, you would know that Apolo Anton Ohno is my boyfriend. And when you’re a hottie, like my boyfriend, you can wear a stupid headband and look good while wearing it. So there.

  • Bangor, Pennsylvania arrived from on “my funeral” by searching for gynecologist, coopersburg, pa.

Howdy, Bangor, P-A! If you’re looking for anything to do with a gynecologist, or a funeral, you just might find it here. Because for one, I have serious opinions about my funeral, and for two, I have written about my visits to the gynecologist on more than one occasion. What can I say? That’s just how we roll around here. Thanks for stopping in and I do hope you found the answers to your questions here at From Inmates To Playdates.

  • Allendale, Michigan arrived from on “A Little Bit Of Gross!” by searching for removing milia from the lips.

Oh Snap, Allendale! I’m not so sure I’d attempt to remove milia from my lip. The little tool to remove the milia doesn’t look at all pleasant and so I’m not sure I’d attempt that if I were you. I had (a ?) milia on my face and I have to admit that I did briefly consider removing milia myself, however, I thought it best that I leave the milia removal to the professionals. If you did attempt the extraction though, I’d love to hear all about it. You know, because I’m nosy and all.

  • Macomb, Michigan arrived from on “Nosiness” by searching for “saturn sky red line collectability.”

Macomb, Michigan, ahem, first let me say that if you have a Saturn Sky Red-line and you’re looking for a home, or a babysitter, look no friggin’ further. I would be more than happy to assist you. On the other hand, if you are someone looking for a Saturn Sky red-line, I’m afraid I can’t help you. I write about the Saturn Sky Red-line frequently in the hopes that someone from Saturn will get a whiff of this here blog and send one of the suckers my way! Unfortunately, I could be waiting awhile. Especially since Saturn put the smack-down on the Sky after the unfortunate automotive collapse on 2009. Double dang. I’m still crossing my fingers.

  • Seattle, Washington arrived from on “From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for Apollo Ono, headband, ears.

Seattle. What is it with you jokers who constantly attempt to bring a good man down just because he wears a headband? Seriously, have you nothing better to do? And what’s the deal googling Apollo’s ears? He’s cute. And so are his ears. Get off of it already. Oh, and thanks for stopping by.

I think it’s safe to say I really enjoy feedjit.

It feeds me a line at a time and I read every. last. one. of. them.

Feedjit works for me!

Find out other things that may work for you over at We Are THAT family.

A Nosey Gene

Y’all know I was born with a nosey gene or ten.

Not sure why I was blessed with one, but I was.

Perhaps that’s why Facebook appeals to me.

The stinkin’ status updates keep bringing me back for more.

Where else could I find out that a friend ordered a new computer, or that my friend Becky needs a nap before watching Lost, or that my neighbor is getting a new kitchen floor, or that another friend wastes her time begging for supplies for her stupid imaginary farm, or that my ex just ate an awesome slow roasted turkey sandwich.

I mean, seriously.

Just today, I discovered that my bloggy buddy had a successful first day of potty training, a junior high school friend had a first date with her hubby 19 years ago on THIS DAY, another friend is at a Padres game, and Stevie’s 1st grade teacher just posted that they’d be doubling classes up tomorrow due to flooding.

Facebook is a great way to nose in people’s business stay connected.

And THAT works for me!

Check out other things that might Work For You over at We Are THAT Family.


Oh, but first head over to my giveaway page and get entered to win an 18×24 poster print of your favorite photograph.

Pretty please. With sugar on top.

Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Things I Could Do Without

I seriously considered telling you about 13 things I want for Christmas, but coming up with thirteen things I’d like to have seems like a lot of work at this hour. My time would be better spent placing the gold beads (garland) on my Christmas tree so that it would be complete. I am kicking around the idea of attempting it solo because McDaddy is not here. While it may seem like an easy job for one person, perhaps I should let you know that our tree is 9 feet tall which means I would have to stand on a bar stool which means that danger is imminent because, well, I am clumsy enough without climbing onto a bar-stool and attempting to balance myself without falling off or tipping the stool.


I have a condition called Iwantitdonerightnow, so it looks like I’ll be throwing caution to the wind and climbing on that bar-stool here directly.

Wish me luck!

But for now, may I present 13 things I could live without, in no particular order except the order they fly out of my head.

1. Olives – I don’t get it. They stink, they taste bad and they are expensive. That’s a triple whammy in my book.

2. Gnomes – Again, I don’t get it (them!) They are ugly and useless. The very fact that gnomes made this list, makes me shake my head wondering what made me even think of gnomes.

3. My Phone Ringing Before 9:00 am –  If you are not dead or bleeding, or calling about someone who is dead or bleeding, you should not be calling the McResidence under any circumstance. Period. Thank you, and Amen!

4. GEICO commercials featuring those stupid cave-men –Who came up with this marketing campaign? Whomever they are, they should be fired immediately. The caveman thing is the dumbest commercial campaign EVER!

5. LOL– I triple hate the whole LOL thing. You will never, and I repeat never, see my name associated with any LOL or OMG or TTYL or LMBO. They are showing up more and more on The Facebook. I do use these 🙂 from time to time, or even this 😉 but never a three or four letter combo. 

6. ICY ROADS– I am a scaredy cat when it comes to icy roads. I have no confidence and I live on a big, freakin, hill, so, icy roads + me = danger!

7. CAPPUCCINO – I know I’m going to rile some feathers with this one.. Why anyone would spend $6.00 on a ridiculously high calorie hot beverage is beyond me. I like a good (cheap) cup of hot chocolate from time to time, but those expensive, over-priced (not the same thing!) high calorie hot drinks do nothing for me. I even tried a (very expensive) cup of hot chocolate at Starbucks one time. It was the worst cup of hot chocolate I ever drank and after two sips I tossed it in a garbage can. Big. Waste. Of. Money.

8. SPRITE and 7-UP – I don’t remember ever hating these lemony-lime drinks, but now that I’m an adult, I’d just as soon drink water than try to force this crap down my throat. If its a day or so flat, it’s ten times worse. Complete nastiness!

9. DUST – Sweet mercy, where does it all come from? The very second I dust the TV and its stand, particles land right back on the silly thing. The attempt almost seems useless.I don’t mind cleaning. I really don’t. I do mind dusting.

10.  HACKERS– With all of my heart, I firmly believe there is a special place reserved in a really hot place for those individuals who get their kicks from hacking into other people’s computer accounts. It’s no secret that I am as nosey as the next gal, however! However, those who hack into Facebook accounts, bank accounts, e-mail accounts, and any other account out there need to be banned from the internet for life. Even someone as nosey as me knows that there are limits.

11.  BLOGGER COMMENT BOXES WITHOUT THE NAME/URL OPTION– Okay, if your blog is hosted by Blogger, I have a question. When I try to leave a comment on a blogger blog without the name/url option, I get an error message telling me to please sign in to Google or something I can’t remember right off. I’ve signed (logged?) in to Google about three trillion times and it never ever remembers me. I get the same stupid message which I wish I could remember because I’ve been wanting to make this plea for a long time! So, my question (and you thought I’d never get to the question) is why do some of you opt not to allow the name/url option? (And yes, I am totally going on the search right now for a comment box like the one I speak of!)

Okay, I found one. It says Choose an Identity. GOOGLE ACCOUNT and has a place for a user account and password. It also has an option for Open ID. Only once you click on Open ID, there is no Open ID option. 

When presented with this screen, I have no idea what to do. 

If you are still reading, bless your soul, because I know its possible you might not be understanding any of this Number 11. 

Comments are hard to come by and I think bloggers should make it easy peasy for readers to leave comments. When I see that option, I just mumble something and go on my merry way!

Have you ever noticed that the further I get into my list, the lenghthier the commentary?

12. DIAL UP INTERNET SERVICE – Thankfully, we are blessed with The DSL here at the McResidence, however, there are still those who must deal with the ridiculousness of the Dial Up. It is beyond me how we can put a man on the moon or how we can offer shoes buy one get one free but we can’t find a way to provide DSL to every neighborhood in America.

Now, I recognize that I know very little about the infrastructure of the internet, however, (man, there are lots of howevers tonight!) I know that someone somewhere has the means and the money to make this happen.

13. ENERGY SAVING LIGHTBULBS I’m just full of myself today.. don’t ya think?  I know there are a few of you out there who will not agree with me on this. Remember about ten (very long) paragraphs ago when I mentioned that I am a “wantitdonerightnow” kind of girl. That means that when I flip a switch, I expect the light to come on full force immediately. Not three minutes from now.

My word. I’m aggravated just thinking about these thirteen things.

Enjoy your Thursday, y’all!

An Update About My Status

I am unemployed, however, I am busier than a raccoon in a trashpile most days.

I feel like I should be on somebodies payroll by now because I don’t feel like I EVER have a day to do nothing.

Between the PTA, church stuff, domestic duties, my fellas, the PTA, the blog, the e-mail and the facebook, I! NEVER! STOP!

And speaking of The Facebook, do y’all find yourselves spending ridiculous amounts of time on there catching up with the stinkin’ status updates? Seriously, it is enough to keep me coming back for more.

And I check in often.

Because I was born with a nosey gene.

And because some of them are just great.

For instance, my current status update on facebook says, JMC is watching Grey’s Anatomy with McDaddy and writing tomorrow’s blog post which oddly enough is about status updates…

Intriguing? Yes, I think so. It would be enough to make me click over and see what the blog was all about if I were them.

Some of my prior status updates say,

Love Dare: Day 14 – purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse. Do something he or she would love to do or a project they’d really like to work on. Just be together.

Is headed to Revival after a fun-filled hour with the Cub Scouts!!! The boys had a great time scrapbooking!!!!

has given away the sippy cups, the high chair and the potty seat… just about every trace of baby has been removed from our house…. *sigh*

4 years ago today at 11:29am I gave birth to a 10 pound,5 ounce baby boy. The nurses Nick-named him King because he was the biggest boy in the nursery! Happy Birthday Alex Ryan!!!!

Some of the other updates (and my mind) say….

A is back from California. The week went by too fast! (What did you go to California for?)

D is wishing I had an episode of House DVRd that I haven’t seen at least 3 times already.

S – How could you cheat on Fergie? Josh Duhamel is an idiot!!!

G – Eating fresh figs. What could be better?

J – is watching Gilligan’s Island. (Rock on! Party at your place, huh?)

J is counting down the minutes until parent- teacher conferences are over. There’s never a mad rush to talk to the music teacher. I did get some things caught up in the meanwhile.

J – is hoping Scooter feels better soon. (Me too!)

A – just received rave reviews and praise during C’s parent/teacher conference. Atta girl! (I think all of us went to parent teacher conferences tonight! The world over!)

B – happy day…such a happy happy day. (and why is that?)

M Squared – Getting ready to drive to AB; weirdly excited to talk about orthopaedic injuries.

W – Finishing up the yard work tomorrow…. One last time until spring. I like the snow, not just “cold” weather! The holidays are great because of the joy it brings to my loving wife A… 🙂  (Oh, me too! I love the holidays too!)

See, it’s all so very intriguing!!! My noseyness just loves it!!!

What about you? What would your status update say right now? I’d love to hear from you!

C’mon, speak up!

They Come From All Over!

I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me and I have about 4,387 things on my to-do list.

Next week, doesn’t look much better.

I need about three good days with nothing to do.

Anyone? Anyone?


Okay, I didn’t think so.

Anyway, I was looking at my feed yesterday and I noticed quite a few new ‘direct’ hits. A direct hit means that folks come to ‘From Inmates To Playdates’ because they have me listed in their favorites and they click right on my web address.

So, I’d like to give a shout out to Vail, Arizona,  and Leavenworth, Kansas who stop by Inmates just about everyday. I feel like I know y’all! I sure do appreciate that you share part of your day with me! Same goes for Shelbyville, Kentucky (Hi Bill and Deb!) and Blountville, Tennessee.

Howdy also to the peeps who stopped by yesterday to read the post where Stevie talked about our their JEEP.

I enjoyed meeting the rest of y’all too. You know, the ones. The ones who happen upon Inmates searching for stuff. Stuff like embalming, swallowing pennies and latin freaks. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Google sending people my way. Really, I do! It makes me smile!

Take this one for instance…

  • Atlanta, Georgia arrived from on “A Penny… For Your Thoughts : From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for something funny to say when a child swallows a penny.

Hello, Atlanta. Welcome to From Inmates To Playdates. As much as I’d love to share something funny to say when a child swallows a penny, I can’t think of anything right now that would be funny. Because seriously, if your child swallows a penny, it will be anything but funny. It will be crappy. Because remember? I had to poke through poop for ten days looking for the penny and then after ten days, I never found it and then we did the x-ray only to be told that the penny was gone. Um, nothing funny about that. Sorry. But thanks for stopping by! I wish you all the luck in the world with that penny.

  • Fargo, North Dakota arrived from on “A Man With A Plan : From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for doolittle’s mashed potatoes nutrition .

What’s up Fargo? I remember the post about Doolittle’s and their yummy mashed potatoes. I have only thing to say about Doolittle’s. Go. There. Now. and enjoy every stinkin’ bite of those yummy mashed potatoes because they are to die for. Okay, not really die. But they are delish. Oh,  and thanks for stopping by!

  • Rockford, Illinois arrived from on “Nosiness : From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for the positive of nosiness

What’s shakin’ Rockford?  Um, if you find the postive of nosiness, would ya mind sharing it with me? Because McDaddy rats on me all the time for being so dang nosey. Or is it nosy? I never know. Shoot. All I know is that there probably isn’t a postive to it unless you can count that I could pretty much tell you some really weird stuff because of my ‘condition.’ I was wired that way. What can I say?

  • Bombay, Maharashtra arrived from on “Just So You Know : From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for i am tired of your tantrums letter to my boyfriend.

Hey Bombay, I’m so glad you’ve stopped by. I have two words for you. RUN. FAST. If your man is having tantrums as a boyfriend, girl, it will only get worse when he’s a husband. Kick that cat to the curb. And don’t help him up. Good luck to you.

  • Terre Haute, Indiana arrived from on “Nosiness : From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for where can i take sexy pictures in terre haute for my husband as an anniversary gift.

Um, Terre Haute, there’s one in every crowd. I would suggest you moverightalong because um, me and McDaddy, we don’t take those types of pics around here. I’m not saying McDaddy wouldn’t like it (ahem!) I’m saying it doesn’t happen. Um, and I wouldn’t have a clue about Terre Haute, so I’m sorry to say you won’t find the answers here at Inmates. Unless you’re looking for pictures of that sexy Saturn Sky and if that’s the case, you will find them in abundance, because hello? I triple heart the Saturn Sky.

  • Fleetwood, Pennsylvania arrived from on “From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for swollen eyeball mouse feces allergy.

Welcome, Fleetwood, Pennsylvania! I do remember writing a post about a certain rodent helping himself (herself?) to our snack basket. But um, I don’t remember mentioning the eyeball, the feces or the allergy. I hate that for you because seriously, it sounds very painful. I wish you the best as you search for the whole healing the swollen eyeball mouse feces allergy. Man, that’s a mouthfull. Thanks for coming by!

  • Reidsville, North Carolina arrived from on “What I Learned At The Funeral Home : From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for cut eyelids funeral.

Reidsville, North Carolina, what’s up? Um, I did watch an embalming and there was lots to talk about, but I know nothing of cut eyelids. Actually, the mortician will put a contact lens in your eye with little grooves on it to keep the eye from opening. You can read all about that over here. It was all very interesting.

  • Bryan, Texas arrived from on “Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Things Stevie learned in Kindergarten” by searching for lessons u learned in kindergarten and first grade.

Hello, Bryan, Texas! I can tell you that I have a little one in first grade and I learned something from him today. Johnny Appleseed’s real name was Johnny Chapman. I did not know that. I must have been talking asleep the day they taught that in first grade. Stevie brought home a drawing he did just today about Johnny Appleseed. I found it interesting that I’ve lived 35  years on this earth and didn’t know that. My six year old on the other hand, well, he taught me something today.

  • Huntsville, Texas arrived from on “What Deployment Taught Me” by searching for symbol for deployment.

Hi, Huntsville. We just went through the whole deployment thing. If I had to choose one symbol for deployment it would probably be a teardrop. We did a six-month sentence deployment and I cried approximately 168/180 days, but I’m a big cry-baby, so maybe you should talk to someone else about a deployment symbol.

Google, I appreciate you sending these fine folks my way! It makes me smile to find out what people are searching for. It reminds me to write about some weird stuff from time to time.

Enjoy your weekend, y’all.

Thanks for stopping by!

Another Weird What I Learned This Week Post

I’m afraid this is going to be another weird “What I Learned This Week” post.

And no!, before you ask, I did not watch another embalming.

My boys and I returned home from spending two weeks with McDaddy’s sister and her family in New Hampshire. We had a great visit and aside from the fact that Angie’s baby girl decided not to make her appearance while we there, the whole visit was wonderful. My granny would put it like this, “there wasn’t a cross word said between us!” My granny is a hoot. Maybe I’ll introduce you to her sometime.

Anyway. Where was I?

Angie tried her best to convert me to Arbonnism while I was there. Arbonne is a company that makes skin care and cosmetic products that are pure, safe and beneficial.

A product that Angie happens to use.

And sell.

And you know how those direct sells people can be.


Pure pressure, people.

Oh, I kid.

I was skeptical because the products are a little pricey. Throughout the entire two-week-visit Angie would pop into my room and hand me yet another product to try. Folks, I exfoliated, rubbed, sampled, cleansed, hydrated, scrubbed, doused, brushed, massaged, smelled, tested, sampled, experimented and showered with Arbonne products.

My skin thanked me which is more than I can say for my wallet when it was all said and done.

One day, we were standing in her kitchen talking about all manner of cosmetics. And by ‘all manner’ I mean that she mentioned two words that changed the way I will forever look at my cover girl eyeshadow.

My Maybelline mascara.

And my clinique blush.

Animal. and Rendering.

I had never heard those words before and had no idea what she was talking about. In fact, I shook my head and puckered my face up in disbelief.

I’ll give you a second to google the animal and the rendering.

Or You-Tube it.

The thought of animal rendering grosses me out. I made the mistake of watching a nine-minute You-Tube video this morning on Animal rendering. It probably would not have generally bothered me, but as luck would have it, I had just finished eating blueberry waffles slathered in butter and syrup.

If you have a weak stomach or are just generally grossed out by the site of gross stuff, I would totally suggest you forgo the whole You Tube animal rendering experience.

Unless of course you don’t plan to eat for the next week.

Or are just as nosy as me and can’t stand the thought of not seeing what all the animal rendering hype is about.

Let me be the first to say that I am more than happy to wear a pair of new shoes or carry a fabulous handbag made from one of these unfortunate bovine friends. But seriously, the thought of that grinded-up innerd stuff being used in cosmetics and hand lotions.

Um. Not so much.

On the off chance that you’d like to check out the ingredients in your Clinique, Cover Girl or Revlon stuff to see if the animal rendering is used in the making of those products, here are some of the words that are associated with animal rendering: tallow; keratin; collagen; elastin; carmine; oliec, palmitic, stearic, myristic and linoleic acids;

In the meantime, I’m googleizing all of my cosmetic products because Googling is what I do.

I should totally make some type of clever connection between the embalming, the make-up and the animal rendering at this point.

But I’ll spare you.

‘Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline’

And just maybe they should list the product ingredients on their site because I’m just dying to know what’s in there.


Click on the cute “What I Learned This Week” button to visit Musings Of A Housewife for more WILTW posts.

A Man With A Plan

A year ago at this time, I was so excited I could hardly stand it. McDaddy and I were preparing to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. McDaddy was busy planning a surprise anniversary trip for us which may or may not have been the result of months of hinting whining on my part  to do something really special to celebrate ten years with this patient, loving man.
We have been fortunate to travel extensively over the past 16 years. In addition to a tour of Europe, we’ve visited Mexico, Bahamas, Canada, and thirty-two states. Some of those trips were actually business trips for McDaddy, but we always find a way to squeeze in some fun. We also have fun relaxing together in our summer home camper at various parks around our state.

Because of the extensive travelling, we’ve spent as many anniversaries apart as we have together. In fact, he was out of town on buisness for our first three anniversaries.
I had a few ideas in my head about how I wanted to celebrate our 10th anniversary, but I wanted him to do all the planning. His plan started to crumble when he found out that plane tickets for our ‘get-away’ were going to be outrageous.

To that, I quickly replied, “I’m worth it,” even though I still had no idea what he was planning. Then, on our way home from Target one evening, he proposed two choices. 1. We could either head out of town for a romantic weekend get-away OR 2. we could buy a new 50 inch plasma TV.
Stop the press.
The TV addict fan in me thought about that for about ten seconds. A new television would be something the whole family could enjoy when I wasn’t hogging the remote and watching one of the many shows on my daily DVR docket. The other part of me? The other part was ready to hit the road.
Especially when he mentioned that this surprise get-away was all about me!

Sweet mercy! I love the sound of that.

Part of the excitement of the trip was the element of surprise. My nosey gene worked overtime trying to figure out the destination, but in reality, I didn’t want to know where we were going. I had no idea what to pack or how many pairs of shoes I would need. 

When we arrived at the airport, we headed to the ticket counter. Upon check-in, I found out we were headed to Chicago. When we landed in Chicago, McDaddy and I walked hand-in-hand toward another gate. When we arrived at the gate marked LaGuardia, we fell in line behind the other passengers who were waiting to board. Just before reaching the front of the line, he pulled me aside and led me down the long corridor. We went through that whole routine at the gate for San Juan, Puerto Rico. By this time, I didn’t care where we were going. I was enjoying my husband and his creativity.
He led me to a waiting area between two gates. The destination for the gate on the left was Ft. Lauderdale and the gate on the right was marked Minneapolis/St. Paul. We got in line at the Ft. Lauderdale gate and were almost to the ticket agent, when he pulled me out of line and we sat down.

I loved it.
Hear me. I loved the suspense.
And, usually suspense makes me crazy. 
But, I decided to go with it.
We sat there for what seemed like forever. Then, he took me by the hand and we proceeded to the other gate. This time, we actually got on the plane. I was still a bit uncertain about our destination because we could have been headed for another lay-over.
Once our plane landed, we headed to baggage claim to retrieve our bag.
Yes, I said, one bag. We only needed one bag because we left the kiddos at home. And it felt good this one time, to fly footloose and fancy free without fear of fits, tantrums or dirty diapers.
After that, we proceeded to the rental car place. I just knew that McDaddy had a beloved Saturn Sky waiting for us. That would be the cherry on top of the already exciting cake he had made for us. As it turns out, McDaddy had tried his best to rent a Saturn Sky, but calls to all eight rental car places in the area yielded no Saturn Sky.

Now if I’m being honest, picking the rental car from the Emerald Isle was probably the high point for McDaddy on this trip. They had a lot of choices and it didn’t matter to me what he picked. He chose a Toyota Rav-4 and the only reason I am mentioning the rental car is because McDaddy reads my blog and he will ask me why I didn’t inlcude that minor detail in this post.

Literally, within five minutes of pulling off of the rental car lot,  we were pulling into the Holy.Crap.This.Place.Is.Huge Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I was squealing ya’ll.

Squealing with delight.


On top of that, he handed me cash.
Shut Up!
We spent five glorious hours at the mall. The flip-flops proved to be a bad choice in light of the vast amount of walking that we did. I was in so much pain, we decided to find our hotel and then find some dinner.
We trusted the GPS to offer up a dinner suggestion. The GPS sent us to Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill. I had the barbecue chicken with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables. Let me just take this chance to say, if you are ever in Eagen, Minnesota and you have the chance to eat there, do not pass up the chance. It was delighful. In fact, I’m sure the whole dinner including bread only had about 5000 calories.
Totally worth it.
May the chicken rest in peace.
We enjoyed a romantic dinner. McDaddy and I sat across the table from one another talking about how our lives have changed over the past ten years. We talked about the years we spent travelling the world before kids and then we talked about this exciting road we were travelling together called parenthood. The lights were dim, the music was subtle, the food was delicious and my husband was the hottest guy in the place.
Yeah, I said hot. And, he is.

Even with the ten gray hairs that have taken up residence on the left side of his head (he claims there is one for every year we’ve been married), he is such a gentleman. As I sat across the table from this man, I thought about how very special he is and how blessed I am to share his life. 

The next day we returned to the mall and did it all again. We stopped for lunch at the Coldstone Creamery where I chose That’s How I Roll.

I have two words for That’s How I Roll.

Pure. and Bliss.

The guy behind the counter started with vanilla ice-cream. He piled on yellow cake, cinnamon, and pecans. They mashed it all together to make the best ice-cream I have ever put in my mouth. And, I’ll just go ahead and tell you that the 40 minutes I did on the treadmill and elliptical machine did not even come close to burning the calories from this cold treat.
Tomorrow would be another day.
After that, we rode a couple of roller coasters – there is an amusement park in the center of the mall – and then we headed to the movie theater on the top floor where we watched a goofy movie called Harold and Kumar escape from Guantanamo Bay.
On Sunday, we decided to drive into Wisconsin. We happened to be just 30 miles from the state line and we wanted to add Wisconsin to the proverbial “States We’ve Visited” belt. After our drive to Wisconsin, we drove back to the mall, grabbed lunch and then returned the rental car. We headed to the Minneapolis Airport and boarded the plane for our return trip.

As our 11th anniversary approaches, I am prepared to spend another anniversary alone.  I am thankful for the wonderful life that McDaddy and I share. I love sharing his life, his kids and his name.

McDaddy, I miss you more than you can know. I love you and appreciate you!

Oh, and with all that free time on your hands, you could totally be planning another trip for us to take once you return home. (ahem!)