Friday, September 28, 2012

I humbly accept this award.... The Versatile Blogger

Today I woke up and received a great honor. I was nominated for The Versatile Blogger award by none other than Julie Deneen, the mastermind behind Life According to Julie. Not only was it a great day because it was a Friday, but now I have been nominated for an award. I couldn't shout loud enough and I could barely contain my excitement. So immediately, I went ahead and prepared my speech.


Today I would like to thank everybody who showed up to see me receive this award. I want to apologize in advance, you see, I wasn't prepared so I am going to wing this little speech.
First off, I want to tell you how excited I am. But mostly, I want to say thank you for the nomination, Julie. It means so much coming from such a wonderful blogger. I have learned so much from you already and while I have only known you for a short amount of time, I am pretty sure we are twins from another mother. More often than not, I have read your work and thought you have hacked into my brain - I have thought the same thing. You make me laugh, you make me cry and you make me want to push harder at my writing. (Insert tears here and gracefully wipe them away with one finger that shows yourself being dignified!)
I believe I was born to be a writer. Today, after receiving this award, I know that what I have always thought must be becoming reality. I have been recognized. Sadly however, as I graciously accept this award, I must pass it on to other bloggers who deserve a mention.

So without further delay: 

Here are the list of bloggers I would love to give a shout out to!

How to Be a Real Housewife - This women is amazing and is relatively new to the blogger community. However, I have known her for awhile now and we immediately became friends. Our friendship actually started through writing on Hubpages. There is only one word I can say to describe her - Awesomesauce!

Speaking of Awesomesauce, I have to include Pictimilitude in my nominations as well! Not only is she a writer but she is also an amazing photographer. She can tell you a story through both means and you will definitely not be disappointed!

In the writing world, there is never a shortage of people that you can relate to. With that, I present you TToombs08; A misplace Alaskan. I know the feeling of being misplaced since I was born and raised in Wisconsin, but reside in California! But mostly I love this woman because she takes you down to the nitty gritty of life and always speaks her mind! She is hella funny and tells you like it is!

Here is another blogger to give a shout out to. She is all things mommy. Don't forget to check out Janine Huldie: Confessions of a Mommaholic. While I haven't been following her long, I know that she has got a bunch of cool stuff to say!

Now here is a rather new blogger that I just met, however, I can already tell that we are going to get along well. The first post of hers that I read immediately had me relaxed, and we all need that once in awhile. I mean - I have kids. I deserve it. So here is a shout out to Grab The Good Life!

As a newbie to the blogging world, I thought it was great that I got mentioned for this world. As a writer, we all want to be seen. And this shows me my words are being heard! So, while my list is short of bloggers I want to pay it forward to, I look forward to meeting many more. Writing is a constant journey and I am glad to have other writers beside me for the ride. It definitely makes the trip more exciting.

So now that I have done my part to nominate others, her are the rules for those of you who have been nominated.

  • Thank the person who gave you the award. 
  • Include a link to their blog, if you can figure out how to do it.
  • Select up to 15 blogs/bloggers you have discovered or you follow.
  • Nominate these bloggers for the Versatile Blogger award (and naturally tell them to read your blog!)
  • Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
  • If you got the award, you can paste it on your sidebar proudly!

A little about me...

  1. The summer after I graduated from high school, I left for the military. I loved my job. I was a photojournalist. This gave me a list of invaluable skills. Not only was it a great way to start my writing career, but it expanded my joy of photography as well as taught me a bit about making graphics. It amazes me how much I still use these skills today. However, the main reason I actually took this direction in my life was not because I felt the need to serve the country, but because I was burnt out of trying to be so smart. Basically, I didn't want to go to college - I didn't want the hassle of filling out all those applications!
  2. I met my husband the first day I arrived at my first duty station in Fort Drum, New York. We were engaged before in less than 6 months and before we even had our very first official date. We have been married for 12 years already. I guess it was meant to be!
  3. Two out of the three kids I have were born while on birth control. Because we traveled a lot, (my family lives in Wisconsin and my husband's is from California) I wanted a small family. We are now parents of three wonderful kids. I wouldn't change it for a minute. I guess each pregnancy was not only a miracle, but also fate!
  4. I have never had my own birthday. My oldest sister, who is 2 years older than I am, were both born on the same day. However, our due dates were not the same. I came a day early and she came a day late. So I have always had to share my birthday.
  5. I got my first cavity when I was 30 years old. I was so upset because I have never had a cavity before that I refuse to go back to the dentist for fear that I might have another one!
  6. I am a game board geek. I love playing board games. One of my all time favorites is Aggravation. I can almost guarantee you that if you offered up a board game night, I would not refuse. We have so many board games that I actually filled all the cabinets in my husbands garage with them. Sadly though, not many people like to play board games like I do so our games collect more dust than actually getting used.
  7. My Ipod contains a variety of music. I have tastes that range from Pop and Top 40, to grunge and depressing, to rap, to musicals, to songs that I just find annoying. If you can stand my music, then you are one of the rare ones. My husband thinks it is funny how one minute my Ipod will be playing Fastball and the next it will be playing the Mighty Mouse Theme followed by Michael Buble. What can I say, I don't limit my tastes! 
So, now it is time to pass this award on. I hope you take a chance to check out some of the other bloggers mentioned here and hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me! Now pass it on and let's spread the blogging love!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Disconnected from the Digital World - Oh no were is my Internet

What - No Internet! That is enough to make
anybody mad!
We have been living in our house for the last year. That being said, we have come to the decision it was time to change service providers for our TV and Internet. When we first moved in we went with the provider who could provide us the quickest and best price. I have kids and frankly, I NEEDED access to cartoons or I would lose my sanity! At the time, it was Time Warner Cable.

However, over the last year, my husband and I began to loathe their services. More often then I care to admit, our service has been dropped because of a mess up on their end. So many times have I felt that I was living back in the stone age, half expecting to hear the "Pshhhkkkkkkrrrrkaking kakingkakingtshchchchchchchchcch
dingdingding"  from the internet dialing up. (At times - it really was that slow. Dial up might have been the cheaper - and maybe even faster - option!) And don't even get me started on the TV services, which meant I had a huge compilation of all these channels, yet their was only about a handful even useful. Yep - I was paying for the same channel to be displayed 5 different times - regular, HD, spanish, spanish HD, and maybe an extra language I didn't understand and possibly one in hieroglyphics. And the final strike - they didn't even have the ability to broadcast the Packer games!

Ok - so I am probably exaggerating just a little. We all know how it goes... a million channels and yet not a thing on! And even more honestly, other than a handful of channels, what is on TV never really bothered me. I am more about the Internet anyway. (And did I mention how painfully slow it was!)

So on Tuesday, I decided to price out Verizon FIOS only to be twirled into a whirlwind domino effect. Suddenly, before I knew it, I was setting up an appointment to have everything set up. Oh my! I just wanted a quote. It was part of the plan anyway, it was just a matter of time.

So we all know what happens when they come over to turn on the internet and TV services. They turn off the services first. As someone who lives on the Internet - what was I going to do in that long long couple of hours. No Internet - No Cartoons - Oh MY! What is a girl to do?

And that is just what I asked... So I came up with an idea. 

Housekeeping was the first thing knocked off. Just because I was already being tortured by a lack of internet connection shouldn't mean I should have to pursue more torture by cleaning! (Ok - so my house was clean anyway!)

Taking a nap wasn't going to happen. HELLO - strange guy in the house and a two-year old on the run!

I thought about being crafty but let's be honest here... if you saw what happened yesterday... crafty didn't work. But I thought maybe I could get a hand on crocheting some cupcakes or something. (After all, that does sound more delicious than gloves!)

Last year I had the bright idea to teach myself guitar. A
year later, I am trying again. 
I even had plans of strumming away at my guitar. Yesterday I mastered a C. My fingers are still sore since I am still learning. But I can strum out a darn good impressive C!

Then I decided I should start working on my book. After all, a lack of an internet connection surely would keep me from getting distracted! And I really needed to find a good strong name for my main character. I already have one that I used, but I decided I hate it and it needs to be changed.

So, sounds like a big list of things I can do! Maybe this lack of having an internet wouldn't be so bad after all!

So now, let's see what really happened:

The Verizon FIOS guy rang the doorbell. I gave him a tour of the house so he could get to all the TVs connected and then I introduced him to my main computer. He got to work. I checked my phone. (Obviously being detached from the digital world was already tugging at me!)

So, no luck with the phone. Obviously my phone's Wi-Fi wasn't going to work with the internet being shut off! DUH! (Slap forehead here!)

These are pudding shots! Really, if you haven't tried them
yet, you really should. I have made them several times
and gotten alot of people hooked on them!
So, I sat down to complete the menu plan for this upcoming weekend's birthday party. I got the menu completed. I even wrote down the names of all the confirmed guests so I could guess how much food to make. I even wrote out all the drinks for the menu and mentally focused on how many pudding shots I myself would end up consuming! Then I mentally pictured making an Ass out of myself. (Note to self - don't make too many pudding shots!)

By this time, all this thought about food made me hungry... so I ate a banana! And then I feebly attempted to check Facebook on my phone again. Still not working! Stupid cellphones!

Then I went and looked back at my list and it was bugging me. I felt like my menu was missing something. Anybody who has been to my house for a party probably knows I either overdo everything, or don't do enough. I can never find that happy medium. So I started searching for something else to put out for my guests. However, after paging through about 5 cookbooks, nothing seemed appealing.

By this time, the Verizon FIOS guy was all done. He showed me how to work the TV! (Yep - I really do need instructions on how to use a remote!) And I jumped backed on the Internet to see how fast I could fly! And aside from making my menu plan and a short grocery shopping list, I didn't get anything done that I thought I could in that very long couple of hours!

Yep - it was torture - can't you tell?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I tried to be crafty and the only thing I got was a headache

I like to think I am crafty. I mean well. But the reality is, I really am not that crafty when it comes to certain things - mostly the ones like knitting, sewing or my personal favorite - crocheting.

Over the past few years, I have been attempting to teach myself how to crochet. I can make a scarf.  I am not sure if people will wear it, but I can do it. The stitches are not even and it kind of resembles a piece that look like it was shit out of a skein on a really bad day! Yep - that is what my projects look like.

I don't really know how to do anything special and I haven't really figured out how to follow directions. (Shhhh - no smart comments on that one!) Yet I keep coming back for more torture. I really want to learn how to crochet. I got a book from the library on how to teach myself visually. I even had a friend dumb down the instructions of a project for me so I could understand what I was supposed to do.

So today I tackled another project. I wanted to make these vintage looking fingerless gloves. I know - I know! A really hard project for someone very much a beginner!

This is what I ended up with!

Doesn't look like much does it?

Yep - that was about 2 hours worth of work. I don't even know how it is supposed to resemble a glove. My arms are tired and it was at that point I realized I screwed up. (I did further research on Youtube so I could get more visual instructions!) I needed to do a slip stitch to attach the ends. Now I have a good understanding of what I need to do so I will probably give it another go. But for now, the only thing this craft project got me was a pile of unraveled yarn and a headache!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

NFL Disgraced -True Packer Fans still Stand Tall and Proud!

I am from Green Bay - so the obvious thing I have on my mind today is the Packers, especially after last night's game. Then again, it doesn't seem to me only Packer fans are ranting and raving over the spectacle last night - it is everybody. After all, what happened last night was a true disgrace to the entire NFL!

Now, I will admit I am a casual football enthusiast. I do get excited when I see the Packers play! But I am from the area and grew up a Cheesehead so what do you really expect! I do scream and shout and yell when something bad happens. I cheer for them when they score and I party when they win.

However, when it comes to the ins and outs of the games, I will admit I don't understand all the nitty-gritty rules and guides and plays. To me, it is a bunch of guys in tight pants, large shoulder pads throwing a ball around. If they are wearing the Green and Gold - I am a happy camper. I know what an Touchdown is - I know what happens when the guys get tackled - I know fumbles - I know downs - and I sure as hell know what an interception is. I don't need to know specific plays to just enjoy the game. (Although I kind of know what a Hail Mary is!) I guess that makes me casual football fan.

So now into the whole dirty disgrace of what happened last night. I am a person who gets the big picture of the game of football, and often times I don't even question the refs because logic tells me they know more than I do... but seriously... anybody could see the last play was an interception!

 So what is the Replacement Refs problem?

Can't you see who has secured the ball - looks like a
Packer to me!

Last night I was joined by a big bunch of people flooding the social networking scene with very colorful language about the Packer's being "%$#!&$" by the refs. The sad thing is, I don't believe this is going to change anything, except skew the stats for this years football teams. It isn't going to rush the NFL in their negotiations with the real refs. It probably won't even stop people from watching the games because they still want to support their team! The Packers went from being the leader in the division to dead last. I am not saying they haven't been struggling, but a win is a win no matter how close it is. Maybe it shouldn't have come down to that last play! Maybe if they would have played better in the beginning there wouldn't have even needed that play to determine the game. However, the play is what won the game. And it was an unfair call!

After all, how many times have you seen a Packer catch the ball and get a score for the opposing team?

Yet, even today, angry as I may be about how the Refs handled that last call, I stand proud and tall to call myself a Packer Fan. Last night during the press conferences, Coach Mike McCarthy showed himself to be a classy guy, while the Seahawks bragged about their win. As Tate stated, it was the competitive nature and applauded their team's efforts. Now I am all for competition. But there should have been a flag on the play... unnecessary roughness or even defensive pass interference.... anyone else agree? And as far as I am concerned, competitiveness and cheating don't go hand and hand.

Shame on you Seahawks for accepting that victory. I would be ashamed and embarrassed to a member of that team and even a fan.

So while the ruling of the game is unfair, I thought the Packers showed true sportsmanship. To me, that is a sign of a real winner! And because of that - I will stand tall and proud as a true Packer fan!

Monday, September 24, 2012


They often times say that it isn't appropriate to ask a lady her age?

Lucky for you, chances are good I am not much of a lady. Besides, I am just going to tell you anyway. Yesterday, I turned 33 years old!
There are 33 candles on this birthday cake - but no need to
worry - there is room for a whole lot more!

Funny, I never realized how young 33 was until I actually turned 33. I remember when I was in the midst of my teenager years. I couldn't imagine ever being 30, much less turning 33! I mean - that was old! I was pretty sure I was going to be dead before that time.

However, that isn't the case. I have turned 33 and I am very much alive. I am not old either, although my gray hairs that keep poking through might give you other thoughts. Luckily for me I have been trained in the art of covering gray hair, although I fear I might never be able to return to my natural hair color anytime soon!

Now obviously my teenage-self is looking at me thinking that I am old! However, with age comes wisdom and these are a few of the things I have learned along the way!

Can you believe it -
still having fun
at this age!

  • Age only improves beauty. It has taken me a long time to really see that. I have abused my body by having kids, constantly being on a weight loss roller coaster, and just living life. However, my body tells a story - stretch marks, scars and all. I have come to love the story I have lived and loving it has greatly improved my body image. I have worked hard to get where I am today, not just physically but mentally as well, and I know I am beautiful on the inside as well as the outside! As women - we are always looking at what the media tells us is beautiful. Well, it is time we start ignoring what they give us to picture in our mind and start looking in the mirror instead!
  • Good friends are hard to find, but they are definitely worth the wait. I have a lot of friends. Now there are different levels of friendships. Some of those friends are the kind where nothing changes even if it has been months since you have talked to them; it will be like you have never been apart. They are the ones who love you for everything about you and they don't judge. You don't feel like you need to hide behind a mask or walk on eggshells just to impress them. These friends are far and few between. But when you do find them, they are absolutely priceless. While I love all my friends, it is these friends who I call family. It is these friends that make life worth living. It is these friends who I share my deepest and most personal thoughts with!
  • Practice happiness to be happy. I hate to admit it, but I can get rather grumpy. Unfortunately, the grumpier I am the worse it gets. So while it may be hard, remember to smile. It might possibly change your outlook on the day and make you happier all around! My husband has teased me in the past for wearing a happy mask. Yet, I wonder, when I put on the happy mask, am I really hiding behind true feelings or am I really just trying to improve my mood?
  • Your children are listening to you! This should be a given. Not only do they listen to you they often repeat all the bad stuff you have said. I will admit that I have a bit of a potty mouth. I try to keep it at bay but sometimes I can't help it. My kids have occasionally peeped out a swear word. It makes it hard to punish your child for doing something wrong when they are just following you! Although I will admit it is hilarious when my son spits out, "Holy Shit!" when he sees something unbelievable. I will punish him after I am done laughing and then go wash my mouth out with soap!
  • Love unconditionally and forgive like tomorrow is your last day. I have never been a touchy-feelly kind of person. In fact, if you get too close to my bubble, you will see me start to cringe. I like my own space. However, my kids are changing that a little bit, especially since they always love to jump in my bubble and knock me out of my comfort zone. But also, I watch how they act. They love unconditionally. It doesn't matter whether I just grounded them or made them eat some gross vegetable. They forget, forgive and still love unconditionally. As an adult, it seems we learn how to hold grudges when someone has us do something we don't want to do, or someone says something we didn't want to hear. We keep the anger inside of us. Frankly, isn't it time we became a little more childlike and learned once again how to love unconditionally, forgive and forget. Life goes way to fast to cut yourself off from the kind of happiness you get from those three actions!
  • You are only as old as you feel! You would never guess by looking at some of my pictures and how I act that I am actually 33 years old. It looks like I am either drunk - or never matured. I must say though - it is really more on the never matured part. I don't need alcohol to make me act crazy. I just like to have fun. And when I am with friends, it is easy to let loose and get a little crazy. When you stop loving life and having fun, that is when you get old. So, as long as I keep doing what I am doing - I guess I won't be getting old anytime soon!
Do you have the drive to live life
to the fullest?
33 years is a long time to live and while I have learned a lot of life lessons so far, I know there are a lot more to come. So just remember, to get out there and live life, love lots and smile for no reason at all. We only have one life to live so we might as well make the best of it!

So what life lessons have you learned so far?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Laundry - The Chore That Never Ends

Today was laundry day. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate laundry. It is my most loathed chore. Not that I really enjoy any chore but there is just something about laundry that I just despise.

So, as the load was scrubbing in the washing machine and tumbling in the dryer, I got to thinking. For a chore that mostly does itself these days, why do I hate this chore so much?

1. Because dirty clothes! Yes - that is right. You need dirty clothes to do laundry. If all your clothes were clean you wouldn't have to worry about washing the clothes. This is an obvious thought. What you probably haven't thought about is you have to touch all those dirty clothes when you are sorting out the laundry. While that isn't an issue with my clothes (because frankly if you can't touch your own funk there is something wrong with you!) But, there is nothing I hate worse than unrolling my husband's stinky socks.

2. Stain treatments. I have three kids. While my two older ones aren't too bad, my son is a dirt magnet. And frankly, buying him a new outfit everyday is not an option. This means I have to stain treat. That also means we go back to reason number 1. Once again, I am all up in everybody's dirty laundry... this time as a detective trying to find the littlest stain. You know the one. The one that if you missed it that shirt can never be worn again. Now searching for stains is bad enough, but after all is said and done, if you went through all that work and stain treated and the stain didn't come out - well you lost the battle anyway!

3. Folding all the clothes! I used to be really picky about the way I folded clothes. Everything had to be folded perfectly and in a certain way. It had to be nice and neat. I had a certain way that I folded shirts, a certain way to fold pants, a certain way to fold socks and underwear and bras and just about every single article of clothes. Then I had kids. Suddenly, I realized that it didn't really matter how I folded the clothes. When my kids put them away, they got shoved into a ball anyway. So now, I just fold casually. It doesn't look as neat but it saves me a lot of time. Now the socks... well that is a whole new problem. A subject all in its own. I once just kept buying new socks instead of trying to match them. I ended up with an overwhelming amount of unmatched socks!

4. Putting away the laundry. For the most part I have kids to do this. However, refer back to the previous reason and you will understand why I silently cringe at the thought of having the kids put the clothes away. Well I got over it really quickly when I realized how long it took for me to put them away by myself. Now the problem is to get them to put their clothes away and not end up washing clean laundry the next week!

5. Ironing. Really - does there need to be an explanation. I personally don't iron anything. I would rather wear it wrinkly than turn on an iron. After all, I spent 5 years of my life painfully pressing lines in my BDUs (battle dress uniform) for the military. I hated ironing so much, I actually convinced my husband to do it instead! Now, as ironic as it seems. I stay home with the kids and I iron his work clothes. So much for not doing the ironing!

When I look back at it, laundry doesn't seem so bad, at least the part involving the washer and the dryer. Because while the machines are doing all the work I can sit around and act like I am actually doing something.

However, knowing that laundry is a chore that can never be completed, makes the chore even more disappointing. Unless you are running around naked it will only be a few hours before once again you have dirty laundry to do all over again. Add a couple of people to the mix and suddenly your whole chore is ready to be started in just a short amount of time of you finishing. Talk about killing your motivation to complete something. This is one chore that will never be finished!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Enough! This is what healthy looks like!

Today's media has a big pull on how women view their bodies. But the reality is what we see in the media is a result of some very fortunate positions. People who can afford a chef that cooks the best meals with no limitations on family food budgets; those who can afford personal trainers to do the workouts which are the most effective; and of course, the added help of technology such as photo editing programs that can remove those stress zits or stretch marks. And even if those didn't exist, there is always cosmetic surgery. Why not? After all, if they can afford it then why shouldn't the be able to look the best that they can look.

I have no problem with this. However, I have a problem with their images being posted as what every women should look like. Frankly, that is not possible. We are all designed differently. We are not cookie cutters. So when we see these pictures of super skinny models (who only ate a piece of celery!) we start thinking we are not good enough. And as women, we are teaching our kids this exact same attitude. Well this is what I say to that!


The Enough Campaign was started by a fellow blog writer Julie DeNeen. It was after seeing a photo of Maria Kang on Facebook. The problem wasn't of the photo, which showed Maria Kang with her 3 children and her six pack abs. The problem was with the caption. It showed her youngest was 8 months old and she had her body back... so what was your excuse? That caption captivated everything wrong with society. It showed that if you can't get your pre-pregnancy body back you are obviously making some sort of excuse!
Are  you brave enough to bare your belly?

Now everybody who knows me, knows I am a super crazy fitness nut. I am all about NO EXCUSES! However, I have had ENOUGH as well. I will continue to work out... but I will do so because I enjoy working out. I will continue to count my calories until I get to my goal. However, if I have a cheeseburger and a milk shake along the way or if I eat more calories than what I am allotted, I am not going to use it as an excuse. I don't need to compare my body to anybody else's body and I shouldn't feel ashamed by the way I look because it has taken me 3 years after giving birth to my son to get as far as I have.

I don't have my pre-pregnancy body back and chances are good I will never look like I am that young teenager again. But the good thing is, I don't want to. I am an adult. I have a body of a women who has endured 3 pregnancies. I have a body with stretch marks given to me by my wonderful children. And I wouldn't change it. Why, because I am who I am. And that is not an excuse!

Teach your children how to be healthy - not to be obsessed with skinny!

I am not skinny. I have never been skinny and I never will be skinny. But, I will say I am healthy. I am more toned and I am stronger than I ever have been before. But all this is the result of lots of hours spent working out. This is my "ME" time. Others however, might not want to spend their "me" time working out for endless hours in the day. To me, it made me feel happier and healthier and a whole lot less cranky which made me a better parent.

However, with my excessive workouts, I realized I might be sending a wrong message to my children. With two older girls who are right around the corner of being obsessed with their weight, I wanted them to understand why I was working out. And the only way I could do that was to talk to them.

Being healthy is not about six pack abs. It is not just about moving and exercising and eating healthy. It is about setting a good example. If your children see you working out, they might actually join you. Often times as a family, we go on evening walks to burn off our dinner. It is about eating your fruits and veggies so they want to try them to. But most importantly, it is about having a positive body image. If you love your body - your children will follow.

Show the world that you aren't afraid to bare your belly - that you too believe that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. The norm is not stick thin models - it is us. The women who have a little junk in their trunk. Those who have cellulite and stretch marks and maybe a little pudge her and there. Be proud of who you are and be proud of what you look like.

Show your kids that this is what healthy looks like! 

Because you are beautiful!

If you want to check out my other writing - feel free to check out Barbergirl28 on Hubpages!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Being an Ass is only Acceptable when your a Donkey

Today I lost my temper.

I really couldn't help it. You see I am a big fan of communication. I even like to be sarcastic at times. However, I have been dealing with an overwhelming amount of rude and unacceptable comments on some of my postings and status updates. I guess that is what happens when you live in the world of Facebook.

For me though - I prefer to keep my Facebook account as drama free as possible. So, if one of my friends says something inappropriate that I may find somewhat offensive, I have a tendency to ignore them. Yet, when their interactions with my other friends start to get heated, that is were I finally have to step in. Today, that is what I did. I shouldn't have to feel embarrassed to be associated with someone.

I am a writer. I do a lot of communicating through the digital world. This means not only do I work online, but I also share the work of my other writer friends. We often times joke around. However, there is one thing we have to do. We have to learn the difference between a person that you can joke with and a person that gets offended.

Me - I don't get offended easily. However, I do have a long fuse with a short temper. Once that fuse is severed - things will blow. So repeatedly crossing the line will get this kind of reaction. The one were I lose my temper and basically have to reprimand you in the view of all my other Facebook friends.

So here is a few things you must keep in mind when interacting online:

1. When dealing with writers, constructive criticism is welcome. However, being rude is not. Each and every writer puts themselves in a very vulnerable spot when they put their writings out there. Be respectful of that.

2. Unless you are in a private message, be mindful of how others that may not be in the conversation may perceive your words. The internet is like shouting in a room full of people. Everybody can see what you say. That doesn't mean you necessarily have to censor yourself, but you should be aware of how others might begin to see you.

3. Keep in mind why you are friends in the first place. It is a digital world in Facebook land. While some of your friends might not be people you have met in person, others you will probably know in real life. Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with others. However, if you are constantly saying things that are rude and unacceptable you may just sever a real life friendship.

4. Being an ass is only acceptable when you are a donkey!

Note from the author: I am saddened that I should even have to post something like this. I really enjoy the interaction I get with others from crazy Facebook status updates and even posting some controversial topics found online. However, there are some invisible buttons that get pushed and frankly I have had enough. This doesn't necessarily mean I am too sensitive or that people have to walk on eggshells around me. I like to joke around as much as the next person. I may even have the occasional (ok - I have alot) sarcastic remark. But as adults, sometimes we have to realize when we have taken things a little too far. Best rule of thumb - remember to respect others. Not everybody will view the world as you do.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Do These Wings Make My Ass Look Big???

When it comes to undergarments, I am not partial to one particular store or brand. After all, who am I really showing off my underwear to! (If you are assuming my husband you are wrong! If I am comfortable enough in front of him to fart - then I am comfortable enough with him to wear my granny panties!) So, when it comes to my underwear, I have a tendency to buy what I want and what I think is comfortable.

This was the coupon I found. While it is no longer available,
I just couldn't pass up the deal to get some free underwear!
So a few months back I was trying to become an extreme couponer. While the couponing adventure didn't really work for me in the long run... (I found I spent more money on things I didn't need trying to save. I got a pretty good supply of hand soap now!)...However, I did come across a coupon for a free pair of undies at Victoria's Secret!

Now, I don't typically shop there, but I will go anywhere for a deal. And free underwear - now that is a deal. And it was perfect timing too. You see, I lost a lot of weight last year. Needless to say, when your underwear starts falling off with your pants, chances of something embarrassing happening are more likely. So, it was time to get some new underroos.

And free - I couldn't pass it up.

This is where things went horribly wrong. I went into Victoria's Secret for the free pair of undies. However, this was only free with a small purchase. So, I had to decide what small thing I was going to purchase. Anybody that knows my decision making abilities already knows this will be a long process. After almost an hour of shopping, I almost got a pair of underwear that cost me 100 bucks. But I was strong and eventually I put everything back. Instead I found the smallest bottle of body spray and for about $5 I got my underwear and body spray. Not to bad of a deal for name brand stuff.

Yet, when I went to collect my free panties, I realized I didn't know my size. So I guessed. That really didn't work out well for me and when I got home, those little undies didn't fit my big fat butt! But, you can't beat free so they stuck it out in my personal drawer for the last couple of months.

Today, I am happy to say they finally fit. However, these free undies come with one cleverly cute, looks better in the drawer design. There are these cute angel wings on the butt. As I looked in the mirror all I could think of was...

"Do these wings make my ass look big?"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Proud Parent of a Band Geek!

I remember when I was in 5th grade and I got a chance to join the band. Due to the cost of the instruments, my parents gave me the option of either the flute or the clarinet. If I kept up with my side of the bargain - which was basically playing throughout high school - I would be able to keep my instrument.

Originally I wanted to play the flute. However, my mouth was not shaped right and my band teacher told my parents it was a good chance I would get frustrated and quite before I really began. So, I went with the clarinet instead. I was not happy with the decision, but I really wanted to play an instrument. Funny, for not really wanting to play the clarinet, I sure went far with it. I guess I wasn't too shabby, and the instrument eventually grew on me. But I will admit, I had my fair share of squeeks and squawks, especially in the beginning. I bet my parents don't miss those days.

Well, now it is my turn...

Now a proud flute owner!
The band program here is much different then what it was where I grew up. I guess I was lucky because I never knew how fortunate we were to have this class included as part of our school schedule. My daughter won't have the same experiences because of the lack of funding for this age level.

Now, my daughter Abby is very musically talented. She is in the choir and she is also learning the piano. So for her to want to play in the band was no surprise. She had been talking about playing the flute all summer. When the permission slip came home she still wanted to play the flute. Then one day, she decided she wanted to play the clarinet. Why? Because she thought it would be easier!

So she narrowed down her instrument choices to the flute or clarinet. Since I had the clarinet, I allowed her to give it a squeek. I also have a friend who still had their flute. Therefore, we could see what she would be comfortable with. After trying the clarinet, she realized it wasn't as easy as she thought. While the flute also wasn't easy either, she did decide the flute was the instrument for her.

So next week she starts band. Today we went to pick up her instrument and instruction book, and as long as she sticks with it, I will make the same deal with her that my parents made with me. I am really proud she wants to dedicate time to music, but a big part of me is scared of KARMA. After all, I remember all those long squawky duck sounds I used to make for my parents.

It seems to me payback is just around the corner.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mario is a Bad Role Model

My son is almost three, He plays Mario on the DS almost better than I do. I don't really remember when it started. I think one time he found his sister's DS and started playing it. Yet he usually just pushed buttons. Today I was watching and he has graduated from button pushing to actually playing the game. He still gets frustrated, but it is because he can't reach the coins or what he deems as "candy."

So as we are walking to school to get his sisters, we had an in depth conversation all about Mario.

"I love Mario!"

"Oh really Max, you love Mario?"


"Well, what about Luigi? Do you love Luigi too?"

"NO! I Love Mario!"

"Well what about Yoshi or Princess Peach?"


So he was very certain about his feelings for Mario. He loved how he jumped and he loved how he swam in the water and he also mentioned something about lava. Although I am certain it was a love for lava! Then somewhere through his toddler ramblings, he mentioned how candy made Mario big. I don't always understand everything he says, but this was loud and clear.

"So Max, candy makes Mario Big?"

"Yes. Eat candy and get big. I love candy!"

Now naturally, I know he is referring to the mushrooms and the flowers that give Mario his super powers. Earlier in the day he asked me to help him get the candy. I never really looked at them like they were candy. So, I tried to change my little boy's perspective.

"That's not candy, those are vegetables! See, if you eat your vegetables you will get big!"

Needless to say, he didn't believe me. Mario still eats candy to get big!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9-11 - One of the Lucky Ones!

Never Forget!
As I look outside in my neighborhood, I see
a cloudy day; possibly a storm heading in. It
seems perfect for the anniversary of 9-11!
I woke up this morning and it was cloudy and bleak. It seemed to fit the day as many people are remembering the attacks on September 11. It was a horrific day, and almost anybody you run into has a version of their story.

For me, the weather showcased a perfect setting for such a sombering day. If I think really hard, I don't think there has been even one anniversary of the attacks where the weather hasn't been cloudy and overcast. Maybe it isn't necessarily the weather; maybe it is more my mood.

I have relived the experiences of this day over an over again in my head, and in that time, I have realized it is important to Never Take Tomorrow For Granted!

While it is good to learn lessons from these types of tragedies, it is also important to be thankful for what might have happened.

Now I don't suggest we live in the past. However, for someone like me, an Army Veteran, there are so many other ways this day could have turned out. For that, I am grateful. You might even say, I am one of the Lucky Ones!

Right before the attacks, my sister got married. I was at the wedding in Wisconsin for the weekend. However, it was only a short weekend which meant I had to back in Colorado Springs fairly quickly. My plane left Monday after the festivities. Ironically, I almost missed the flight because traffic due to construction and I couldn't bear leaving my new cell phone behind. If I would have missed my flight, I could have potentially been on a plane on September 11! Or, I might not have been able to get back home at all. I could have been stuck in Wisconsin or I could have been stranded between flights. It is strange how things worked out. Imagine all those who were traveling on that day. Some where stuck in the middle of their trip. Can you imagine being stuck and not being able to get home to your loved ones during such a tragic event?

I was also lucky. I was pregnant the time of the attacks. This meant my oldest daughter could have potentially been my savior. I was in the military and being pregnant kept me from being deployed. Yet, while it kept me safe, it did not keep my husband safe. He was still vulnerable. More so then me since he was in a combat unit.

The day of the attacks are very clear in my mind. I was still on leave so I watched the attacks from home as security tightened on post. My husband was at work. I knew nothing so while my family called to see what was going on, I stood in the dark just like them. My husband left that day. He was on assignment. He had to stand guard and protect our country. He is lucky. He came home.

Within a year of the attacks my husband got out of the military. His unit deployed but he was lucky enough to have gotten out beforehand. His crew chief was killed over there. My husband would have been with him. For that, I consider myself lucky. I am not a part of a family broken because of the War on Terror.

There have been a lot of deaths because of those attacks. Not just on the day, but the days and months and years following. The death toll keeps rising. Yet, we need to stand tall and we need to support our country. We need to support those who protect us. We need to thank those who have given all and the families who have suffered. We need to take the time to tell our loved ones how much we love them. When you think about it, my memories of September 11th could have been very different.

But I am one of the lucky ones. My husband is also one of the lucky ones. 
We will never forget!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Where is my plug?

He is tough to the bone... until it comes to his plug!
My son is about to turn 3 and because of his age, my husband has been insisting he has his plug taken away. I however insisted he was welcome to do it under one condition: It had to be done on a weekend and he had to send me off to a spa retreat. Therefore I would get to relax while he dealt with the world's crankiest kid! Win-Win - well, for me anyway!

In a perfect world that is how it would have went. However, it didn't really work that way.

In a way you can say I almost fought for his plug as much as he did. After all, I didn't want to add something else disrupting my days. He alone was cranky enough. And without his plug, my little angel of a two year old was bound to be a bear! And by angel, I meant he was really hell on two little legs. But what did I really expect. He was the youngest and he has learned how to get what he wants. After all, patience starts running short after the first couple of kids....

Just about a week ago, the plug went missing. I am not really sure where it is. My theory is my husband stole it, cut it to pieces and threw it in the trash. He is however hiding this secret and won't admit to it!

No plug - no problem! Out of sight - out of mind!

His plug was with him everywhere he went!
No Plug - No Problem
It didn't really go down like that!
But that wasn't the case. And buying more wasn't an option. Mr. Max was going through them very fast because he used them as a chew toy. So this time we stuck to our guns... No More Plugs!

The first day he screamed! Then he whimpered. He woke up every hour on the hour begging for it. (Needless to say, Mommy didn't get much sleep!) But then it seemed to be forgotten about. He no longer mentioned it. That was until last night!

Last night I was exhausted. We headed to bed and I fell asleep pretty quick. Unfortunately it was like one of those sleeps where you don't really feel like you slept. Suddenly my eyes were wide open. Just in time too. I heard a door squeak open, tiny footsteps walking to the light switch and then the light interrupting the darkness from under my door.

I waited....

Then in he walks. Slamming my door open and demanding his plug. My husband grunts and rolls over.

Apparently he still hasn't forgotten about it!

I got out of bed, although I did contemplate kicking my husband first and demanding he take care of this since getting rid of the plug was originally his idea. So I went to tuck my little boy back in bed and explained to him he no longer needs his plug and offered him a drink. Surprisingly, there really wasn't much of a fight. I guess my little boy really is growing up!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Are You Ready For Some Football!!!!

Ah... It is finally here... Football Season.

What can I say, I am super excited about today. Today is the start of regular season. However, that isn't the only reason why I am excited. Today I also get to watch my team play - The Green Bay Packers! Ok - so they really aren't "my" team. I don't own them or anything like that. I am just a fan. And like any other dedicated Packer Fan I have claimed my piece of them!

But you may be wondering why I am so excited about watching them play. Well frankly, I haven't been able to really watch them much over the last two years. It is sad. Coming from Green Bay, this is nearly considered a crime to not watch a game. (Second behind living in Green Bay and liking some other team like the Vikings or the Bears! Shudder!)

But it was out of my control. We moved to Southern California and sadly most of the games have not been broadcast for us to see without going some place special to see them. (And how am I supposed to do that with 3 kids in tow - they frown upon bringing them to a bar!)

So today is a happy day. I get to watch my team play. Ironically though, the game before hand (Washington and New Orleans) ran over their scheduled time - so I missed a good half hour of the first part. Then, it seemed as if the refs were trying to hit a record by how many flags they could throw in the first half, most of which were on the Packers. Either way - win or lose - I am still excited to be able to watch them play.

Yesterday when I was at a party we were talking football. I thought it was odd because since I moved to California, football just doesn't seem to be as big of a deal. It is nothing like living in the Green Bay area, where you live and breath football for the entire year! Here you have scatteredness. It is like a football melting pot - everybody likes a team (not necessarily the one in their state) but they just aren't like us Packer Fans! We are all about the team! The one and only team - at least in our eyes.

So yesterday, we were asked the question... Are you true fans? Well of course I am a true fan. I am not going to turn my back on them just because I move; or if they are losing; or if one of my favorite players is no longer around! I will support the Packers any where I go and there is nothing you can say to change my mind.

Now I don't mind the other teams in the NFL - as long as they are not playing the Packers. For instance, I grew fond of the Detroit Lions because one of my clients from The Barbershop - A Hair Salon For Men - was a fan of theirs. Naturally, I only followed them so I could have ammo to tease him with when he came in for his haircut! It worked. That year was a really, really bad year for the Lions.

It is sad to think that now I don't really get to watch my football team. Makes me homesick. But at least today - I guarantee I have a little bit of home - right on my TV! :)

Disclaimer: When it comes to controversial topics, football and the team you support is right behind Politics and Religion. So regardless of what team you root for, these players are great athletes. Let's remember that and remember that it is all for the fun of the game. So let's support our team, but show good sportsmanship while doing it!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lifting The Writer's Block From My Shoulders

I have been writing online for awhile. The money I make, well, can almost afford my family a night out at McDonald's once a month. Needless to say, I wouldn't give up this hobby for anything, even though I feel like sometimes I put more into it than what I get out.

I started to stress a little bit when this whole writing thing started to become a "job", or at least something that resembled a job. The long hours, the constant need to make sure I kept my followers happy, the constant pressure of trying to come up with ideas. I realized the stress began shortly after I received my first payout.

YEAH - I am rich! Where's the celebration! Oh - nevermind, I can't afford the party! It was only 50 bucks and it took me forever just to earn that!

Well, when I managed to get two payouts in a row, I was psyched. I started envisioning myself as a paid writer and I started imagining all the stuff I could do with this cash that I was earning from a hobby. I might be able to pay for vacations; pay off bills; put money into savings...

So I started to push it. I wanted to make sure I could write and read and keep the earnings up. Well, I also realized the more I pushed, the less I wanted to write. To me that felt funny because I have never felt the lack of "want" when it came to writing. I always wanted to write. I was once told I could interview a tree and make it sound interesting. Yet suddenly, I have nothing to write about.

It is a funny thing to think about but I do believe I actually got burned out by a hobby!

So when it came to opening up my own blog, I procrastinated. Why? Well that is an easy question to answer. If I couldn't come up with something to write on Hubpages, how would I ever manage to update a blog regularly enough to actually get a following. I know a blog is a lot of work. And if you are serious about it, it isn't something you can do only once in a great while. It takes a lot of time and a lot of ideas and it all needs to be mixed together in an interesting enough way that people crave it regularly. I procrastinated because I was screwed. I didn't know if I could do it. I was out of ideas and I was already busy.

So yesterday I accidentally opened a blog. I was just seeing if I had to use the name I have become known by - Barbergirl28 - or if I could change the name to what I really wanted - Ramblings Of An Undiagnosed Mad Woman. If I couldn't go with the name I had been planning on using for the last two years, I wasn't going to do it. I just wasn't going to make that leap. And it just happened. I started my blog. I guess it was meant to be.

So I spent a good portion of time playing around with the settings and making the headline graphic. I was trying to make it pretty! (I am still getting the hang of this so bear with me!) And since I opened the blog, I started becoming intoxicated with all these ideas. Suddenly, I felt like writing again. I had to refrain myself. After all, I didn't want to do 100 postings on the first day!

Then I realized what had been happening all along. This writer's block I have been dealing with was purely because of the pressure for writing for Hubpages. Don't get me wrong. I don't plan on quitting. However, this "blog" type writing is what I have always been about.

I don't want to feel the stress of wondering if Hubpages wouldn't approve of my article. I don't want to worry about getting the proper keywords so I can eventually hit payout. I want to write. It is simple as that. And while that might mean I get pennies to the dollar, I am fine with that. After all, I love to write and the added stress was starting to take away the very thing I used as my "Getaway!"

With that realization suddenly I felt much lighter. It was as if the Writer's Block had been completely lifted off of my shoulders!

Friday, September 7, 2012

So I decided to open a blog....

I am new to this whole blogging thing. Don't get me wrong. I am not new to writing. It is the blogging thing that has me confused.

So here is the start of a new adventure. I have been writing on Hubpages for awhile now. Almost two full years. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer. If not, well I have proof. I used to be in the military and I wrote then for real money. Ok - I also exercised for real money too. I was a soldier. But writing was my job. Now it is a hobby with hopes of making money.

So I was contemplating whether or not I should set up a blog. I was weighing the decision very heavily for the past couple weeks as Hubpages decided to introduce "Sleeper" hubs. The Sleeper Hubs didn't bother me. What bothered me is suddenly I had to jump through hoops just to link to these hubs and get traffic to them. So, I figured if I had my own blog, I was the only one that could tell my writing to sleep. And why would I do that. I want to get my writing out there. I want it to be seen and most importantly I wanted it to be read.

Then comes the hefty decision. Where do I go? The two main platforms being Blogger and Wordpress, I was torn. I have a hard time making decisions. However, Blogger won out. Why? Because I want to make a few pennies and I didn't have that option at Wordpress.

So here I am. Crazy as it may seem I have decided to start a blog.

Virtual Mirror