Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's Blog Day 2008! Let's Celebrate!

Blog Day 2008

And how do we celebrate this special day? Well, those of us who have participated have searched far and wide to find five new blogs to list and recommend. The idea of Blog Day is to have bloggers all around the globe clicking away to blogs they've never been to before, and possibly making new friends along the way! So let's see who I've found in the great big blogosphere to introduce you to!

1) The first blog I found to share with you, I found through Blog Around the World, and immediately it had my attention. What American wouldn't want to read about a fellow countrywoman who is now living in the beautiful country of Scotland? Mary doesn't have a huge readership, but I hope that after today she will! I read her entire blog and it's fabulous and filled with the most beautiful pictures! Visit her and her adorable hubby, Luis, at My Life in Scotland.

2) I found Stephanie at Mama Still Wears Gucci. Stephanie lives in the beautiful state of Montana and has a wonderful, funny, witty writing style that immediately sucked me in. She's got one post up about swimming through a pool of portobello mushrooms. Yep, this is my kinda chick!

3) I don't know about you, but I don't know anyone online from India! Jill from The Perlman Update lives there with her husband and kids, and I bet we could all learn a lot from her about an alternate culture. Again, she's not a native so it could be really neat to look at India through her eyes.

4) Mylene's blog, The Sotelo Family looks brand spanking new, but just a glance at her beautiful family was enough to put her on my list. I bet she's got some great family stories to tell!

5) Now how cool is this? Ralph and Donna are retired, full-time RV'ers! Join me in reading Adventures with Tassie (the RV's name) and tagging along on all their RV'ing adventures. Now this should be fun! Who knows where they'll go next!

I hope all of you take the time to visit these beautiful blogs I've found, and leave them a message that Justine sent ya by! And happy Blog Day 2008 to all!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Love to You

Earlier today I got to thinking about how much this blog has come to mean to me. Yes, I mostly write about the silly things that happen to me and my family, but it means a lot more than that to me. It's a way to document my life, and that of my friends and family in a way that should be around for years and years to come. It's my very personal, but very non-private diary. I have no talent for scrap booking, so this is my way of collecting my thoughts, my stories, my emotions and yes, my pictures. It's a way for people to get to know me better than they would just by writing emails back and forth. It's so that relatives and friends from afar can keep up with me daily and join in on laughter and tears. My blog is my creative outlet because I love to write but do not have the talent to take it any further than this, my short stories of everyday life.

But one of the very best things that has come out of blogging has been getting to know so many beautiful and funny people that have touched my life in one way or another. All of you are so different and that's part of the charm. Every morning I wake up and get to read your latest stories of life where you live. I get to learn what's most important to you, what makes you feel good, and sometimes even what makes you feel bad. When one of you goes on vacation, I get to experience it through your blog and pictures. When one of you is hurting I take a moment to pray for you and then think of you often until your storm has passed.


So, while I was pondering all this today I thought to myself, "Why not make my own award to give to the special ones?" And that's just what I did. Now this is going to get long and drawn out, but I hope you stick with me and see exactly why I've chosen the people that follow. It's to these bloggers that I give this award (in no particular order) from the very bottom of my heart:

Tootsie: One of the sweetest chicks out there, and so very talented in the garden. This woman could grow daisies out of her butt if she really wanted. Always has the time for a friend or a gardening question.

Buffie: Ah, what can I say about sweet Suzanne? She's always there to make me laugh and has a heart as big as her home state of Texas. She's still got stars in her eyes after 29 years of marriage to Mike, and it's so heartwarming to witness.

Shelia: Oh sweet Lord in heaven, how I adore this woman! There's not a time I visit her blog when I don't leave it smiling. And oh how I love her Bathroom Diva shots! Shelia's a hoot!

Cindy: She's got a gorgeous family and now a new grand baby! Cindy loves to relate family stories to us, and just cracks me up with her obsession for Kiefer Sutherland.

Kady: If you know her, you adore her, simple as that. She's got a love of nighties that are silky and younger men, two of which happen to be her sons. And her daughter is recently engaged! You never know what Kady's next blog will be about. She runs the gamut from bra size to life as a single mom.

Dot: Ooh, she makes me squeal like a sissy girl! I'm sorry Dot, but I love that line of yours and have to steal it every now and then! I don't think I've ever come across a person that so fully embraces life and praises God in quite the same way Dot does. Her heart is huge and so sensitive to those around her. A better mama I cannot imagine.

Bridget: She's become one of my very closest friends in the past 6 months or so, and I can't imagine my days without her. She's beautiful, talented, intuitive and giving. A girl couldn't ask for a better friend.

Gail: For all things British, it's Gail I turn to! She found me a few months ago while planning her vacation to my neck of the woods and we became fast friends. I even got to meet her and her gorgeous family face to face a few weeks ago! She's on a plane right now, and I hope they all get home safe!

Becky: You want someone to tell you it exactly as it is? Call on Schmecky Girl! Another one of my good buds, Becky is always there to call me on bad spelling and grammar and give me a giggle or two at the same time. Big mouth, big heart!

Penny: She's another one that has one of those blogs that just make you feel good. She loves Angelo Surmelis, okra, Clay and her dog Ginger. Not in that order, I hope!

Artie: He's a man of many talents and sweet as pie too! He can garden, he can decorate, he can write like no body's business and make you laugh till you're crying. It seems to me that his greatest joy in life is doing things to make others happy, although I don't think even he realizes this. Scott is one lucky man to have him! Did I mention he's gorgeous?

Donna: She's adorable, has three great kids, a close-knit family and a new found talent at photography. I'm anxiously awaiting pictures of her family room finished! Go Donna, GO!

Kathy: I and others call her Brit Kathy because she comes to us from California, via England. This woman can TRAVEL! And lucky us, we get to read all about it. She's got a gorgeous daughter, Hayley who still lives in the UK, and a son who is the spitting image of Jack Black. I shit you not.

Raquel: Now Raquel is unique because she lives on the Caribbean island of Trinidad and brings a spicy flavor to blogland. She's now in the process of "Trinifying" all of us bloggers and I can tell our journey to Carnival Mas is going to be a hoot!

Elizabeth: She's got another one of those eclectic blogs where you just don't know what she'll be talking about next. It could be health issues, the history of blog awards, or just a daily pondering. I think out of all the bloggers I know, Elizabeth is the most active in blogland. If there's a MeMe, a contest, or a tea party, this woman is THERE!

Nikki: Heeheehee! I love to embarrass Nikki by constantly telling her how gorgeous she is. If you've been to her blog, you know what I'm talking about. She's got one of those striking faces that just makes you suck in your breath for a moment. But more than that, she's a walking, talking vintage doll! You've GOT to see some of the outfits this chick goes out and about in. Simply stunning and so much fun!

French: Okay, her name is really Lisa, but to me she'll always be French. As a matter of fact, remind me to ask her why she goes by French because I never have inquired. French loves to pose intriguing questions for us to answer, but hmmm... I don't think she ever answers them herself! Ooh, have I mentioned that her hubby is hot stuff? It drives her crazy that I drool over him, but hey, at least I'm being honest, right? Yummy!

Kathy: Have you all met "the artist" Kathy? She's a complete hoot and a totally whacked-out woman, which is why her blog is so much fun. She can suck you into a sad story until you're in tears, and then after you've read the whole thing she informs you she made the whole thing up. Nothing was true! Crying for nothing!

Lisa: She's the mother of two sweet and adorable girls and the wife of one hubby with a broken leg that just won't seem to heal. Every week she does "wordless Wednesday", which I find to be such a cute idea. She doesn't write a word... just posts recent pics of her girls.

I hope you're all still with me! Maybe you could take a few minutes to ponder what your blog means to you, and how other bloggers have affected your life. It's a huge world out there, but here in Blogland it feels nice and cozy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why Am I Suddenly Craving Live Mice? (Plea added to end)

Maybe because I woke up this morning looking like a reptile! Yes, there is more flaking and shedding going on today, and I just knew you'd want to see pictures of it. It was explicitly stated in the instructions NOT to pick at any peeling skin, but I ask you this: If you had little tiny flaps of skin hanging all over your face, flaps that you saw when you just looked down slightly, would you be able to leave them there? I'm having a hard time not picking! I've been good and haven't tried peeling the skin off, but it's another matter to just pick off a hanging piece here and there to get it out of my eye sight.

I can tell there's quite a ways to go, but here's what we have so far today. This first pic was taken soon after I'd woken up.
Photobucket See how puckered and crinkly some parts of my skin are looking? I think that's a precursor to the peeling.

This afternoon it got a little bit worse after showering so I took a couple more pictures. Why are my sunglasses on? I haven't a clue myself! Maybe I was just trying to look more mysterious.

And here's a slightly scary straight-on shot. In this one, you can not only see the peeling, but also can see up my nose enough to recognize a very crooked septum. (And yes, that is some mustache stubble you're seeing. Gimme a break, I'm Italian!)PhotobucketAnyway, the septum is one of the things that will be repaired when I finally get the surgery done. Right now, I'm in the process of making an appointment to have an overnight sleep study done. Ooh, joy! Someone gets to hook me up to dozens of wires and then listen to me and watch me sleep! Someone remind me not to eat any gassy foods before this test!

The possible outcome of this test? Well, I may have to be set up with CPAP machine, which basically forces oxygen up your nose all night whether you want it or not. Doesn't sound too bad, right? WRONG! Have you ever seen one of these things? I swear it's like something out of a sci-fi movie. But wait! I have proof! Not long ago my mom was diagnosed with sleep apnea and was equipped with a CPAP machine. While visiting one day she decided she wanted to model it for me and I snapped some pictures of her with my phone. Hey Dot, is that a frogie my mom is wearing? Oh my, I do so hope my mom doesn't see this post (not that my parents read it, dammit) because she'll probably hit me with the wooden spoon if she sees herself plastered all over the blogosphere looking like this. Oy! I'm taking a bit risk here people!

Is that not the funniest, scariest thing you've ever seen? But it gets better, because after that Mom decided she was going to "pose".

That's it! I'd better hunker down and go into hiding for at least a few days.

Hey Bloggy Buddies?  Yes, you out there... the ones I adore so.  If you have any kind feelings toward me, please tell your friends, tell your family, tell your coworkers... ANYONE, to go to SITS Girls and vote for me!  I'm lagging behind cauliflower and turkey sloppy joes and I am none too happy about it!  Help me out here my most beautiful bloggers!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I've Often Been Told I'm a Flake...

It's that time! Time for an acid peel update! So far, the results are not what I had hoped for. I had visions in my head of huge flaps of skin peeling off like a skinned tomato. Obviously, I'm not going to get those results with this strength acid peel!

Yesterday my face was feeling tight and like I had a slight sunburn, but not too terribly uncomfortable. Keeping Neosporin on it definitely helped. Today my face was definitely showing signs of something going on. A lot of red blotchiness and some crinkly looking areas too, especially at the apples of my cheeks. I had a tiny bit of dry skin-looking flakes, but nothing to write home about. But after I had showered I saw a lot more peeling going on, but I would put it on par with the results of a very slight sunburn. I don't see how this small amount of peeling is going to do anything for the acne, hyperpigmentation, or brown sun spots that I have. Yes, I was hoping it would peel off several hundred layers of skin! Who could blame me?

Here's a picture I took of the side of my lip/chin/cheek area earlier today.
Photobucket You can see just a bit of flaking under my lower lip. This was before I took a shower and washed my face.

Now this is what the side of my face looked like after my shower.

That doesn't look too bad, but look at my poor chin!
Everywhere you see white, that is peeling skin. And the crease of my chin is more red/purple than usual from the acid drying it out. That's a huge acne area for me too. Little tiny pimples that you don't even see unless I stretch my lower lip over my teeth.

So as of right now, would I consider this acid peel a success? Hell no, unless it was an acid flake treatment! I'll probably do this a few more times in the next several months and see if repeat treatments make a difference. I can also do a double layer of acid, where you put on the first layer, wait five minutes, then put another layer on for another 5 minutes. Supposedly this gives you a 25% stronger peel. We'll see! Maybe I should just throw this stuff out and buy a sandblaster!

While I have all of you here, let me say a huge thank you to everyone who went to the SITS Girls Recipe site and voted for me. Right now I'm in the lead, but you never know when one of those inferior recipes is going to sneak up and bite my hiney! Keep your extremities crossed for me!

Monday, August 25, 2008

My FACE! It's Melting! Melllllllllltinggggggggg!

Just kidding! But I bet I had ya there for a second, eh? Oh look, I turned Canadian again for a moment. Maybe next time I'll do the upper mid-west and do a "don'cha know?" for you. Okay, back to the issue at hand: My face. Against the judgment of many of my blogger friends, I went ahead and did the TCA 12.5% acid peel today, and look! I'm still alive and able to blog about it! Now I'll admit, there were a few moments (and I take this from Dot, with respect) when I wanted to squeal like a sissy girl, but did I? No, I did not.

Now I haven't forgotten that I promised you video of this event, no I did not. Tiney came through for you, although the quality of the video is hideous. I turned down the dpi on the camera in order to be able to take longer video than it normally would, hence the grainy picture. In retrospect, this may be a good thing because I was not exactly looking my best! Naked face, hair pushed back with a headband, and oops! I forgot to put on a BRA! Yes, you heard me. I'm coming to you from my messy kitchen with the "girls" free and floppy. But hey, what more would you expect from me? And just to make the sound quality worse, we taped while Jimmy was mowing the back lawn. Uh huh, this is a professional job here.

But before I grace you with video coverage, first let me show you a macro picture I took of one side of my face before I did the peel. This is, one, evidence that I truly do have skin issues, and two, a baseline to judge if this peel actually does something to improve said issues.


And here we go with video! This is just a quick intro, with Mikayla in charge of filming. Oh, what was I thinking?

Now we get down to the hard-core peel-o-mania, and then get cut off right at the end by the camera saying, "I've got no more room for this nonsense!"

And here I am, halfway through the waiting process of five minutes. I look like I've got my head bowed in prayer, but really I was just trying to take a quick nap.

It's approximately 5 hours post-peel now, and my skin is feeling a little tight and uncomfortable, but nothing major. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like when you're at the beach and have a slight sunburn and the saltwater has dried on your face.

Ya know, sometimes I surprise even myself with how far I'm willing to go to entertain all of you. You guys have seen me at some of my very ugliest moments... that one shot of me standing in front of my car in the mud for example, was disgusting!... but I just keep doing it over and over again, coming back for more! What does that say about me? Do I have no self pride? Am I twisted and sadomasochistic? OR! And this is a good one... Is it that I'm so comfy with my own self esteem and self worth that it doesn't bother me to be viewed poorly once in a while? Oh, I think I definitely choose the last, whether it's true or not. And while I have your attention, who is it that voted on my poll that my blog is just fluff? Show yourself you lousy traitor! Just kidding! We're all allowed our opinions on the Froggy Bloggy, even if I now hate you I don't agree with them!

Okay, I think I've covered everything for now. Just keep checking back for updated pictures of what my face may or may not be doing in the next week or so. It will be really interesting if it actually does start peeling off!

One more thing before I go. Please please please, don't forget to visit my previous post about the SITS Girls Recipe contest, and vote for me! All you have to do is click the SITS button and it will take you right to the poll! I want to win this so badly!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

OMG! I'm In The Semi-Finals!!!!! Go! Run! VOTE!!!!!!!!

Oh my, this is sooooooooooooo exciting! I entered a recipe contest at SITS recipes, and I've made the semi-finals of the contest!!!!!!!!!!!! Now it's up to all my beloved bloggers to click on the button and vote vote VOTE for ME!!!!!!!!! It's Justine's Garlic and Spinach Bowtie Pasta! Goooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I promise, I'll love ya forever and ever!

I wonder if you can vote more than once? Heeheehee! Who's up for giving that a try?

A Wordle and a Word About Buffie and Mike

It's a Wordle! Hey, don't blame me this time for the goofy post. This time it's all on Gigi's head for showing me her newest blog toy. And because I find myself ultra bored this a.m. (no blogs to read people!) I decided to hop on over to Wordle and make my own. Bridget did it one way, by just putting in her blog's URL address and letting Wordle pick her most used words. I went one step further (ooh, surprise!) and copied and pasted text from some of my favorite posts of the past and let Wordle do its thing.

This is what it came up with, and with just a tiny bit of aesthetic tweaking from me and a whole bunch of saving help from Bridget.

This was a fun little project until I realized I couldn't save the darn thing to my computer no matter what I did. Not sure if that's a MAC thing, or a Wordle thing, or I'm- an- idiot thing. In any case, Bridget swooped down off her perch and helped me out once again. Thanks Gigi! Love ya girl!

And let me take a moment to give you a quick update on our beloved Buffie and her hubby, Mike.  As of yesterday, Buffie's best friend Janet (who is a major sweetie pie) kidnapped Buffie from the hospital (at Mike's request) and brought her home for a good night of peace and relaxation.  According to Janet, Buffie was dead on her feet, both from tending to Mike and not getting any sleep at all for two nights running.  It's no wonder that a sleep-deprived and loopy Buffie left the hospital WITHOUT her laptop, which is why we haven't heard from her today.  Mike, although in pain, is doing remarkably well.  Here's a picture of him 24 hours post-op, standing up before taking a stroll of the hallway.  Amazing!  GO MIKE!  I love ya, you sexy thang, you!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Interview with Jill and Mikayla. How Do I Look?

The TCA acid peel is here, and I'm nearly ready to go! I just did my patch test and will see how my skin does in that area overnight. But in the meantime, I decided I would conduct a quick question and answer session with Jill and Mikayla, getting their personal opinions on my face. Last week Elizabeth asked if maybe I had something which I think she called Facial Dysmorphia and it truly gave me a giggle. She was describing a syndrome in which a person looks at their face and sees something totally different than what is really there. Kind of like how an anorexic always sees a fat body when they're nothing more than skin and bones. I assure you, I have no such syndrome. I'm just blatantly honest about what I see when I look in the mirror. Nothing wrong with that, especially if there are products out there that can possibly help with my issues.

So I asked both Mikayla and Jill their personal opinions on 7 different questions regarding my face. Here we go!

1.  How old do you think I look?
Mikayla:  I think you look 38.  (Well, that's good consider I AM 38)
Jill:  35

2.  On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst, how bad do you find my droopy eyelids, and under-eye puffy circles?
Mikayla:  7.  Your lower circles are very big and puffy.  Upper lids look dark to me.
Jill:  2.  They're just not that bad.  You're out of your mind.

3.  What are your thoughts on my sperm brows?
Mikayla:  They're getting bushy!  Must trim them!
Jill:  I hate them!  They're short, too far apart and look like a big check mark.

4.  How would you describe the texture of my skin?
Mikayla:  Unknown.  But you do have a big dot on your forehead.
Jill:  Alligator-ish.  Just kidding!  Bumpy like mine.

5.  How severe would you say my acne is?
Mikayla:  Not that bad.
Jill:  Moderate.  Needs some sand-papering.

6.  What about discoloration?
Mikayla:  You skin looks speckled with brown and red dots.
Jill:  You're blotchy and Indian-like from the dot on your head.  Should be replaced with a rhinestone.  Much more attractive.

7.  Do you think I'm crazy for doing a TCA acid peel?
Mikayla:  Well, you're not a professional, so kinda, yeah!
Jill:  Yes, absolutely, because you're going to burn your friggin' face off.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What If?

Just thought we would have some more fun with "What If" questions. I'm choosing ones I found online that I find most interesting and would love to see how all my blogging buddies answer too! Feel free to join in!

If you had a chance to choose a poor (man/woman) as a (husband/wife) from your culture or a rich (man/woman) from another culture, which would you choose?
Do I really care if my spouse is from a different culture?  Nope, not even if he were poor, so of course I'll take a rich foreigner.  I've seen some pretty hot guys from Japan. And besides, any time you can expand on your knowledge and learn more of another culture, that's a good thing.  I'm guessing that Scots aren't really considered a different culture, right?  Dang, 'cause those accents really turn me on.
If you got into traffic accident, what would you do at first?
Besides panic?  Well, if I found myself to be in one piece, I'd probably want to check on the other people involved, but I guess I should call 911 first, eh?
If you could be God, what would you do for humanity?
I would never want to be God, but if I had a bit of God's powers, I think the one thing I would do is take away all sickness, from the simplest cold to the most horrible disease.
If you could receive praise from a person, what person would it be?
Anyone can hand you praise, but I think it's the person who you least expect to give it to you that would mean the most.  In my case, Jimmy.
What kind of praise would you like to receive?
Two things that come to mind, and again, involving Jimmy.  One, that he would praise me for being a good mother, and two, that he would admit that I'm funny.  I'm not holding my breath for either!
If you were a color, what color would you be and why?
I would definitely be red, because it's bold, which is probably a good description of my personality.
If you had time machine and you could be transported to any time, the past or the future. What time would you choose?
Oh wow, this one is intriguing, and one I think will tickle Nikki.  I know it didn't work out very well for Marty McFly or Peggy Sue, but I would so love to experience the mid 1950s.  It was such a simpler time when being around your family was valued more than the TV and the latest video game.
If you could have dinner with anyone (dead OR alive), who would you choose, and why?
Right now I'd love to sit down and have dinner with Buffie, but I'm assuming this was meant to be someone famous.  In that case, I'd have to say Nora Roberts, if only to thank her for the hundreds of hours of enjoyment her books have brought me over the years.
If you could live forever on earth as it is now, would you? Why or why not?
If I had my health it's something I might consider. But... would everyone else I love get to keep living too?  Because if it was just me, going through lifetimes and losing the people I loved it probably wouldn't be worth it.
If you could have a free chip put in your brain so that you would automatically be able to speak and understand another language besides English, which language would it be and why?
Vietnamese, so I'd know what the nail techs were saying about me while giving me a pedicure. Just kidding! Probably Italian, since it's my heritage and I'm ashamed that not one person in my family can speak or understand it besides my sister-in-law.
If you were the Queen or King of Britain for a day, what would you do?
Ban the preparation and eating of steak and kidney pudding!
If you were down on your luck, would you seek the advice of a palm reader?
I AM down on my luck and I haven't stuck my hand out for anyone to read yet.  If I could meet John Edward I would be happy for him to channel my dead relatives though!

Fay is Here and So Am I!


For days now I've waited to get a bit of the bad weather from this storm. Yes, I am a storm junky. Absolutely love them, aside from anyone getting hurt. It's such a rush for me to see trees bending over, and rain coming down in buckets! But, so far this storm has been a big ol' wussy and hasn't done much more for my area than make the power go out every once in a while. We're probably up to about 7" of rain by now, although since I haven't turned on the tv, I couldn't be sure. Areas south and west of me were absolutely pummeled with 25" and more of rain. Sounds unbelievable, doesn't it?

At this very moment, the rain seems to be lightening and the wind isn't as bad. Boo hoo! Gimme some action! I know, crazy!

In a side note, please please please say a prayer for Buffie and her huband, Mike. Mike just had major back surgery yesterday, and came through it fine, but is in a lot of pain. Our poor Buffie is at his side but is exhausted and in need of prayer. Thanks bloggers!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sucked Down and Mired in the Mud

Oh, it was another wonderfully shitty amusing day for me. First I bring Simmie to a new vet because I've heard through neighbors that this guy is good and doesn't charge an arm and a leg. Not only was I there for well over an hour, but my sugar crashed and I thought I was going to flop to the floor like a dying fish at any moment. Sweat pouring down my face, the whole works. And during all this, watching him scoop disgusting stuff out of a very bacterial-infested ear. Oh, the joy! I knew this was going to cost me. And then they had to wash out the ear. Then take two different slide tests under the microscope to see exactly what was going on in there. Oh, and more blood tests for her very hyperactive thyroid, and then all the medication for said thyroid and icky ear. I almost wet my panties when the receptionist said, "That will be $315.00 please!" Oh yes, this vet is MUCH more of a scam artist cheaper. Jimmy's going to love this one. It's a toss-up who he'll throw out the window first, me or the cat.

A couple of hours later it was time to bring Mikayla to her new school's orientation. Oh yes, I was so in the mood for this by now. If you've ever had your blood sugar dip really low, the effects stay with you for quite a while. I wanted to just lay down and bury myself in a blankie and suck my thumb. But no, motherly duties were a' callin', so off we drove to the school. Certainly not enough parking for the entire 6th grade and their families so the cars were lined up all along both sides of this fairly busy two lane road. The first avaiblable space was at least a half mile from the school's entrance, but what choice did I have? So, as soon as I could, I pulled off onto the shoulder like everyone else, car leaning precariously over toward the ditch. I was fine with leaving it there (after all, so had a billion other people), but oh no, Mikayla wouldn't hear of it. "Mommy, you can't park here. The truck is going to flip over! Find somewhere else!" So I looked across the street and the drainage ditch did look much more shallow over there, so I decided I'd just do a big U-turn in the street and park on the other side.

The ditch was much more shallow. Only problem was that I accidentally drove a wee bit too far down into it, not realizing it was a muddy bog. Rut roh, I think we're stuck. Mikayla: "Mommy, are we STUCK???" Me: "Shush, I can do this!" Mikayla: "No you can't! We're STUCK!" Well holy shitkabobs, she's right. I was well and truly stuck and when I got out to look this is what I saw.
Photobucket Well dang, this isn't looking too good, but I figured I'd keep trying until some nice family going to the school would stop to help me. Mud was flying all over the place, and no matter what I did the car just wasn't going anywhere. One family did stop... for a millisecond... just enough time to snicker and then walk away. Hmm... nice.

I then realized I had a big bag of kitty litter in the back. That could work as traction, no? NO! It did not. All I did was make a rather nice potty for the next stray cat to take a crap.
At this point I was feeling a bit crestfallen, and wondering if I'd have to stoop so low as to call AAA because of my own stupidity. (I can't believe I'm posting this hideous picture of myself!)
And then, like two angels being walked by their dogs, came my new best friends. Mary and... errrr... I never did get her name, but I love her now anyway! Not only did these chicks stop to help a fellow human being, but they actually got themselves MUDDY and tried pushing my car while I had it in gear. All their sweat equity came to naught, but Mary quickly gave me her name and phone number and told me to go to the orientation; she'd be back with her husband and his truck when I was done.

The orientation was almost over by the time we got there, and the room too crowded and hot to stay in, so we just walked back to the car and waited for Mary in the air conditioning. I had called Jimmy on my trudge back to the car, waiting for him to yell at me for my stupidity, but he surprised me by only saying, "Don't break the car!" Then as I sat there I decided to email Buffie a picture from my phone with the words, "Help meeeeee!" Little did I know she'd freak, thinking I was in a wreck. Oh yes, the first thing I'd do after being in an accident is email Buffie a picture of it! The girl makes me laugh even when she's not meaning to!

Oh boy, this side looks even worse!

And doesn't Mikayla look thrilled to be sitting in the middle of a ditch?

But ooh, what's this? A big honkin' truck with my best friends, what's- her -name, and Mary, plus Mary's husband! Give this man an award! He had me pulled out and back on the street within 3 minutes flat! I wanted to get out and hug all three of them but didn't want them to think I was completely psycho in addition to being stupid, so I refrained. But I did get a pic of Mary! Looky here, ain't she cute?

I wrote down my blog address for Mary, and I sure hope she remembers to come by and say hi so I can thank her all over again! If nothing else, I probably owe her and what's-her-name a new pair of sneakers! THANK YOU MARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And off to the car wash we went where all signs of my misadventure were erased. I think I'll stick close to home tomorrow.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Beware! I'm on Another Facial Mission! This Could Get Ugly!

As you all know, I've recently become obsessed with having the perfect brow. Leaving behind the swimming spermies and grabbing anxiously at that elusive perfect arch. The last three weeks have been trying to say the least. Each time I grab my plucker and look in the mirror it's all I can do to keep myself from snagging those new-growth hairs and send them flying. It's only my dream of having those perfectly proportioned arches that keeps me from doing it. I must have them. I covet them. I watch TV and find myself jealous of every women who has perfect brows.

As you can plainly see, I'm far far away from having what I so desire. The hair that I need to grow closer in to my nose is coming in sparsely and standing straight up at attention. I couldn't even fill in with pencil or powder at this point. I'd look like a freak! I swear, I'm thinking of buying some Rogaine to get these suckers growing.

But alas, this is not the only facial issue I have right now. I'm aging! Yes, you heard me, I'm getting older by the day and do not like the way my face is responding to it. If all I had to deal with was the slightly drooping upper lids and a few fan lines here and there, that would be fine. But those big bags under my eyes are outright grotesque! Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about them at this point, nothing but glare at them in the mirror and lightly pull my skin back to see what I'd looked like 10 years ago. Thanks Mom, for the heredity you've passed on to me!

But wait, it gets worse. I have acne! As a teenager, I had the most luminous, clear skin, not a blemish to be found. I used to get complimented on my skin. Then I had babies! That was it for my face. Out popped the babies, and out popped the zits! Thank goodness I'm not talking about some huge pustules that ooze all over the place. No, I have your average garden variety bumpy zits that don't even appear to have a head on them. But there are millions of them and no amount of exfoliating with baking soda has helped. And once in a while, I'll get one of those huge, hard ones that stay buried under the skin, hurting like a MoFo and stretching the surrounding skin until it starts to peel right off. I have one on my chin right now that's about the size of a baby Lima bean. I shit you not.

So yesterday I was reading Buffie's blog, or I should say, watching her videos of her at-home facial. What was that she had in her greedy little hands? Was that a glycolic acid peel? The REAL stuff? Oh yes it was, and she even told us bloggers where she gets it from! My fingers moved like lightning over the keyboard to get to that site! And oh my word, not only had a glycolic peel, but also something much stronger called a TCA. I read the description, then read it again, and decided I had to try this. I owed it to my skin to try this!

Here is just some of what the site had to say on this product...

Trichloracetic Acid - TCA - is the primary ingredient in the Obagi Blue Peel.
Noticeable peeling will be realized, with some down-time that will vary from client-to-client, dependent upon your skin type.

Our TCA Home Peels are excellent for softening deeper wrinkling,
reducing/removing less severe facial lines, improving sun damage, fading hyperpigmentation (freckles, "age" spots), reducing scars (not keloid scarring, however), reducing acneic conditions with/without scarring, reducing and/or completely removing upper lip lines. Improved skin coloration/brightness will be seen after peeling, with a fresh, more refined texture to the skin.

***TCA peels typically tighten the skin and provide a lifting effect.

***Begin with either our 8% (lightest/beginner's kit) or 12.5% peel if you haven't used TCA's previously. Once you have become accustomed to using TCA's at home...and should you feel you need to use a stronger percentage...graduate-up to the 15% or 18%.

21% should *only* be used by clients who have tolerated the 18% very well. 21% is *very* strong and not for the beginning/novice TCA user.

I got the 12.5% peel, and this is supposedly considered a "light peel", but after reading more about this, my skin really is going to slough off. Isn't that just too disgusting? I've seen it on Extreme Makeover and it's a scary sight for sure! In fact, I'll have to use Neosporin over my entire face for 48 hours after I do the deed! Can you just picture me walking through Wal-Mart with huge flaps of skin dangling off my face? The very thought gives me the giggles, because you know I would do it, and if I could drag Jill with me, all the better!

Now you know what's coming next, right? Oh yes bloggers, I'm taking you on the journey of the acid peel with me!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you excited, or what? I will make sure Mikayla is available to take pictures of me as I apply this stuff, so she can capture my reaction when the burning pain kicks in. From there, I think a daily photo diary will be in order, so you can all enjoy the various stages of this journey. Will I post it day by day? Or make you wait until the end and do it all in one post? That's something even I don't know just yet, but ooh, can you feel the epidermic excitement? It will be at least a week before I even receive my product, so don't hold your breath in anticipation just yet. Ooh, this should be interesting!

P.S.  Don't forget to leave your reaction answer down below!  It's a new gadget of mine!  Have fun!

Crap on a Cracker! Another One!

Ya know, you guys had better watch out or I'm going to get a swelled head, receiving two awards in one day! But who wouldn't be thrilled to receive an award that basically thanks you for making someone smile? This one was given to me by the oh so sweet Donna, over at Donna's Story. Donna is a single mom of three extremely gorgeous kids, one who happens to be extremely accident-prone and worthy of more than one blog post, plus a new sofa! Donna shares with us her love of her family, her sorrows of losing a loved one too soon, and most recently, her quest to find the perfect sepia-toned pictures for her family room! Go over and give Donna a hug and see the great pics she's taken!

Now, of course as with any blog award, there are RULES. We just can't escape them no matter how hard we try. And here they are:

THE SMILE AWARD here are the rules:
1. The recipient must link back to the awards creator (click on the award to go to the originator's website!)  Since that doesn't work, go here, The Babblings of Mere.
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must choose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award (see below.)
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.
Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude. (not necessarily at all times--we are all human).
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes.
4. Must learn from other.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life.
7. Must love kids.  Is it okay if I just love SOME kids?

And the five people I would most like to give this blog to are:

1) Artie, at Color Outside the Lines. Not only is Artie the sweetest guy you'll ever talk to, but he's just brimming with all different kinds of talent. The man can garden, he can decorate like no body's business, and just recently we found out he can WRITE, and is hysterically FUNNY! Love you, Artie!

2) Kady, at Life on Bonnie Lane. This woman just cracks my ass up, and when I'm least expecting it. She's one of those examples of "don't judge a book by its cover" kind of chicks. Just when you think you've got her pegged as absolutely normal, she'll post something that makes you think twice about that!

3) Buffie, at My Left Foot. You know her, you love her, you realize she's missing a few vital brain cells! You want funny? You go see Buffie. Even when she doesn't mean to be funny, she is! Lately she's on a video kick, doing things as mundane as mowing the lawn and giving herself a facial. Hysterical!

4) Nikki at the Scarlett Rose Garden. Nikki's blog is spectacular to me, just because she is so different than anyone else I've ever come across. What makes Nikki so different? Well, she's obsessed with all things vintage, and takes it quite a few steps further than just decorating in bygone eras. She dresses in the fashions of her favorite eras, which seem to be the 40s and 50s, I believe. Now, she doesn't do this every day, but when she does, VA-VA-VA-VOOM! The woman is a knockout of pinup proportions! She's vintage from the tips of her toes up to the tippy top of her flaming red hair. You've GOT to check out her blog!

5) Cara, at Rock Starr Mom. Cara is one of the newest on my blog roll. I don't even remember how I found her blog, but I love it because the woman is addicted to makeup and makes no secret about it. Let me put it to you this way. She's on vacation in the beautiful state of Oregon, and what does she blog about? Finding a Sephora store in the mall there!

Now while we're all in the award mode, I would like to pass on the "commenter" award that I received today, to the top 3 commenters on my blog. Just scroll down to the post before this one and grab your award. No rules with this one!

Shelia, come on down sweet lady, because YOU are the number ONE commenter on the Froggy Bloggy!

Bridget, come on down you wonderful hunk o' woman! You're currently number two on my list!

Buffie, you hot crazy mama, come on down! You're number 3 on my list (but not in my heart).

Me Gots Another Award!

From Elizabeth

And this time the award is for flapping my gums on people's blogs! Or should I say tapping my fingers? Well, in any case, I just received this neato award from Elizabeth over at Thoughts of an Evil Overlord, and I couldn't be happier! If you've never stopped by Elizabeth's place, please do so now. She's got a great blog going, one that I find interesting and eclectic. One day she'll talk about something nice and light, and the next she might write something that really has you thinking. She's got a wonderful attitude toward life and always has a positive outlook. Elizabeth is a proud cancer survivor, but is now going through a disease related to the CURE for her cancer. Never do hear this chick complain though. She's wonderful!

So anyway, I truly do try to keep up with all the comments that are left on my blog, and visit the peeps I have yet to meet and tell them that I appreciate their stopping by. Of course I'm not perfect, and once in a while I'm going to forget to recheck my comments, but you all can blame that on five lovely ladies whom I have an email loop with. That's right. You try keeping up with reading every blog on your blog roll, keeping up with comments, and reading up to 400 emails a day. That, on top of having two kids that sometimes need/want/demand my attention, a new and serious addiction to the Twilight series, and my overwhelming need for daily naps. Factor all that in, and I think I'm doing fairly well!

Thanks again, Elizabeth!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Seriously Sucky Saturday

Ooh bloggers, I'm not going to go into details, but just suffice it to say I'm not having a great day. I feel pissed off at the world and I'm literally shaking with anxiety. Have you ever had one of those days that anything a person says to you rubs you the wrong way? Well, that's me today, and it's not just one person like usual, but a few. There have been a few breath-stopping moments when I thought I just might put my fist through the computer screen, and it's at this point that I just grab another cigarette and puff away. Bwaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! (Inside joke)

I squished my meatloaf into oblivion (no Alpo this time, Buffie!) and have thrown the evil eye to Jimmy several times in the past few hours, but still I'm filled with rage. What's an angry girl to do? I may have to go shopping by myself after dinner. I think I need some retail therapy. Of course this could just produce more evil- eye- swapping in the house, but ask me if I care at this point! Nope, don't.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Let Me Clarify

I was so upset earlier today while writing my other post that I didn't take the time to explain exactly why the surgery was canceled at the last minute. And no, it wasn't because of my weight.

Days prior to my surgery, my ENT and the anesthesiologist discussed my case and thought it would probably be safe to go ahead with the surgery. But, upon doing a mini exam, the anesthesiologist looked at the teeny tiny size of my airway and changed his mind. His concern was not so much how well I'd do under sedation, but that the post-operative narcotics they give you for pain would increase the intensity of my sleep apnea. Without us being quite sure how severe I have the apnea, he would not have been comfortable sending me home with pain medication.

His recommendation is that I have a sleep study done first, to determine the severity of the apnea. If it's not completely awful then surgery can be scheduled. If it is on the severe side, I'd have to be outfitted with a breathing machine to use at night, to force me to breathe. Surgery would then also be a go, because even with the post-operative narcotics, the machine would force me to breathe even though I'd be slightly sedated.

The only problem now is that the local hospital my doctor is affiliated with does not take the Humana PPO insurance I have, so he has to find me another sleep study facility that will accept it. For any of you out there considering signing up with Humana, do NOT do it. The money you may save is not worth the aggravation of this poor coverage.

Blogger friends, I'm sorry for another crap post, but figured you may have been wondering about the details. It's been a dismal, depressing day for me, and the worst part is that Madison woke up with a 101.7 fever this morning and was just diagnosed with strep throat. My poor baby!

Until next time, Justine :o )

THIS JUST IN: Anesthesiologist Cancels Surgery...

...Un-named patient flies into rage and destroys surgical center. Suspect is on the lam and has not yet been located. Upon investigation of the facility, detectives found Dr. Asshole, anesthesiologist, in a custodial closet, wrapped up in IV line and strapped to an IV pole, naked. Said physician was also found with surgical tape wrapped around his privates, which later had to be removed by an R.N. Consequently, Dr. Asshole now has a nice Brazilian look. Dr. W, who was to perform un-named patient's surgery was unable to be reached for questioning.
If anyone sees a rather large woman in a hospital gown anywhere in the greater Jacksonville area, please contact your local authorities. Do not approach this woman, as we have every reason to believe she is armed with various medical equipment and can be dangerous.

Tiney's Under the Knife and SCARED! Pray For Me, Bloggers!

While you're reading this, I'm probably at this very moment deep under anesthesia (at least I'd better be or there will be hell to pay!), having my sinus innards manipulated, cut up and rearranged. In all my 38 years I've never had surgery and the very thought of it makes me quiver. I'm not so afraid of what's going to happen while I'm out or even any consequential pain I may feel afterward. I'm most afraid of how I will react to the anesthesia. If you know me, you know I have a horrible phobia about puking. Dr. W assures me that the medications they use today are far superior to ones used years ago, and that they can also give me something else to lessen the chances of my becoming sick. Uh huh. I'll believe it when I see it. But who knows, maybe while you're reading this I'll still be at home, not being prodded with scalpels and other disgusting instruments. The nurse from the surgery center said I'm just on the borderline of being too fat for surgery (okay, she didn't say it like that) and it will be up to the anesthesiologist to make that determination.

Here are some pics that Mikayla took on my pre-op visit to see Dr. W. In the waiting room, me and my sweet sweet baby, Madison.

Sitting in the exam chair, waiting for Dr. W.
Me looking at Madison

Dr. W looking up my nose to see what's going on up there.
Looking up the nose

Close-up of the shirt I was wearing. Cute, no?

I'm sure you're all wondering what I'm having done? Full body liposuction, and an upper and lower brow lift.

Only kidding!!!!!!! heeheeheeeeeee! Don't I wish? Really though, I'm having a septoplasty (cutting up and rearranging the septum in my nose so that it lies straight), an adenoidectomy (mine are ginormous and adults don't even usually have them), tubes put in my ears, turbinate reduction (cutting away parts of my sinus passages to make them wider), and having cysts behind my cheekbones removed. Sounds quite ghastly, doesn't it? Waaaaaaaaaaaa! I don't wanna do it! I don't wanna!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I've already instructed Jimmy that if I get through the surgery okay and I'm not sick, he's to take pictures of me in the recovery room. These will undoubtedly be very embarrassing pictures indeed, but I'm nothing if not daring, right? According to Dr. W. there should be no outward signs that I've even had a surgical procedure done. No swelling or anything like that. Again, I'll believe it when I see it.

Mikayla is pretty savvy with the camera, so Lord only knows what kind of havoc she'll wreak on poor old mom while I'm all drugged up. Will I blog about it and post pictures? Damn straight bloggers! I sure will! I don't know when I'll be up to actually blogging but I'll surely get to it as soon as I can! Wish me luck, say a prayer, and cross all your extremities. Oh, and for this to work properly, you must do all three simultaneously.

Until next time, Justine :o )

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Brits and The Yanks Meet and Take Over Local Restaurant! Edited with 2 new pics!

Okay, okay, we didn't really take over the restaurant... we were actually very well behaved for the most part.  We ate at Mango Mango's in St. Augustine and it was terrific.  Tiny little place, nothing fancy, but the food was fabulous and the wait staff friendly and attentive.


My gang arrived a little late (but we did leave word with the restaurant) and I walked in there feeling anxious and excited.  I was being polite and waiting for the hostess to take us to our table, but Jimmy was feeling bold and just walked right in, scanned the crowd and locked eyes with Gail.  Don't know why he did this as he's never even seen a picture of her, but she's seen pics of Jimmy and knew him right away.  So, off I went to follow.  First impression?  Gail is absolutely adorable with this wonderful smile and huge, gorgeous blue eyes.  Her new haircut looks awesome on her and the slimy bitch woman actually looks good with only a tiny bit of eyeliner and blush on!  I felt like an absolute clown next to her.  There she is, looking all beachy- natural, and there I was with my hair slicked here, sticking up there, and a full face of makeup that would probably make Tammy Faye proud. (Minus the mascara tears, thank you very much)

Her children, Alexander (5), and Jordan (15) are both gorgeous boys, and although Gail warned me that Jordan tends to be moody and closed-mouthed, he was very talkative and friendly. I did have a hard time understanding him half the time, between the restaurant being noisy and his very thick "Geordie" accent. Gail doesn't talk exactly like him because she grew up in a different area of England and has moved around a bit. I have to say, I was in awe of the color of Jordan's hair. A color I don't think I've ever seen before. Blonde with red in it, but not quite strawberry blonde. His hair is almost peach colored. Here he is.
See? He doesn't look moody at all, does he?
Alexander was super quiet through most of the meal, entertaining himself with his PS2 and Star Wars men. It was only after he ate that he popped out of his shy little shell and started acting like a rambunctious little boy, making believe he was shooting all the diners in the place. Too cute! Here's a pic of him.

On to M/M/J. That's what I call Gail's husband. The story behind that is that his true name is Julian Michael, but for most of his life he went by Mick. But when he got older he decided he wanted to be called Michael. I don't know why he's never used his real first name... it's still a mystery to me, but I just call him M/M/J. Jimmy mistakenly called him Mike, but we corrected that at the end of the evening. What did I think of M/M/J? Very friendly, gorgeous smile and incredible eyes, and cute cute CUTE! Did I mention I think he's really good looking?

Doesn't he look so British here?

But oh my goodness, I haven't shown you a picture of Gail yet! I have to apologize for the quality of some of these pictures. Mikayla was the photographer tonight and I didn't want to take the time to crop any of the pics. Plus, she forgot to take pics of me and Gail together! (Probably because she was being a social butterfly and didn't shut her mouth for more than two seconds at a time!) Egads! Here's a picture of Gail holding up the frame I bought her. It says Friends and then on the upper right has a butterfly. I told her she has to print one of the pictures of us together for the frame.

And look! I got goodies too! Lots of them in fact! Some that really made me laugh, some that made me laugh and cringe at the same time. Look at the cute bag she brought my "prezzies" in!

Here are the assorted goodies.

Shelia, look what she got me! Pie Birds! That is what they're called, right? Look at how cute they are!

Ewwww... but check this out! And Dot, this is not the same "Ewwww" that I gave to your BBQ spaghetti. This one takes on a whole new meaning of "Ewwwwwwwwww".
"Pudding" is another word for dinner in their part of the world, and yes, that says steak and kidney. In a can! But no, Jordan corrected me. "That's not a can, that's a capsule", and capsule sounded more like "capsyool" in his accent. But as if having steak and kidneys in a capsule aren't bad enough, these are referred to as baby heads! Oh my word!

I've been told that I have to try each and every one of these food items and Mikayla will review them on her blog. Because Gail is forcing me to eat animal organs, I made her try a small piece of my conch fritters, after I explained to her that a conch is the huge snail that lives in those big shells you put up to your ear to listen to the ocean. She didn't hate it, but she wasn't in culinary heaven either.

These chips were really good, and pretty to look at too! No organs or slimy sea creatures here!

Here are just some random pics of the gang. Look at how blue Gail's eyes look here.


Mikayla, savoring her hot fudge chocolate cake.

Me, holding up a huge piece of fried fish that both looked humanoid and like Patrick from Sponge Bob. Totally blurry.
Ooh, just stole this pic from Gail's blog. Much better picture of my fish!

I so wanted Gail and I to go to the potty together to take some Darling Bathroom Diva shots, but it was a small, one-person affair with only one oval mirror. It wasn't easy to get shots, but I did it and I know Shelia will be proud of me! Isn't my shirt cute?

Ooh, look at my gorgeous TP scarf! Trying to get artistic here and failing miserably! See those scratches on my arm? Kitty gone wild in the middle of the night and catapulted off my arm! OW!


There now, that's better. Looks much prettier tied up in a bow on top of my head, don't you think?

And hey, my makeup doesn't look Tammy Faye at all, does it?

And that, my friends, is the end of this episode of "Meet that Brit". It was a wonderful experience and just confirmed my belief that you really can find beautiful people and true friends online.

Until next time, Justine :o )