30 October 2010

Intimacy & Marriage

I have to laugh at the young couples today.  They seem to be under the impression that sex is the cornerstone of a marriage... it is what makes a marriage work.  They call it intimacy but those of us who have been around the block a few times know that there is more to intimacy and marriage than just sex... I mean seriously, these kids today are so off base it isn't even funny.

How do you define intimacy in your marriage?  It was a question I posed in a one of my forums.  Many people define it as making love to their spouse but it is so much more than that really.  Intimacy comes in a million forms and very few involve a sexual act... although many couples don't take the time or spend the energy getting to know their spouse on such a deep and meaningful level - and it is a shame.

My husband and I are completely intimate - in a million different ways.  Yes, we have a wonderful sex life but we also know each other completely.  We have long, deep conversations about everything and nothing.  We have promised to take the time to learn all the facets of one another and we are living up to that promise.  As you grow older, the sex will fade (it's true and it's natural) but the intimacy that you created will keep the spark in your marriage... if you've taken the time to build that intimacy.

What is more intimate than knowing what a sigh means, a glance or a habit?  What is more intimate than being able to anticipate your spouse's needs before they even know they needed it?  Two shall become one - that phrase is not dealing with sex at all.  It deals with two halves knowing one another so completely that they become a whole.  While sex is great and fun and has it's purpose in a marriage - it isn't the core of intimacy at all... the heart is and to truly know that is to be completely intimate.

I'm Sorry

I have been ill all week but rest assured, I broke down and went to the doctor today. He gave me some medicine and I should be right as rain tomorrow or Sunday. I will try get a post up this weekend.  In the meantime, stay outta trouble and I'll see you soon!

Oh and if you feel the urge, my knitting is right over here... there are a few Christmas projects that could use some attention... goodness knows that they haven't been getting it from me lately.

26 October 2010

New Fangled Trend

There is this new fangled trend nowadays to call people names that they really aren't and I just don't understand it.  I have tried to be avant garde and hip to the scene, as they say (or at least they say that in my head) but I just can't do it any longer.

Please note, I mean no offense by this post but yet again, I am sure someone will get their knickers in a twist over it.  I'm just stating my position, it's early and my coffee is just now kicking in - so I'm going to 'go there'.  Are y'all ready?

Our Wedding Day
If you aren't married, he isn't your husband and she isn't your wife... using those titles is simply a lie.  There.  I said it.  I don't really care what the situation is, the bottom line is that unless you have gone through the proper steps and followed the rules, you can't honestly use the title.  You aren't his Mrs and he isn't your Mr... you're simple two people who are playing house and lying to the universe.

There are a ton of people who wander around claiming to have joined together in holy matrimony - even to the extent of wearing rings - but who haven't done a thing in reality.  The reality is that they live together.  They like each other a whole lot.  The excuse is that they don't need a piece of paper to solidify their love for one another.  In their eyes, they're married.  All of that is well and good - but you still aren't married.  If one of you has a horrific accident, the other is screwed.  Sure, they may know all of your wishes but they have no power to execute them.  It's an awful example but it is the truth - just one of many.

So I am just curious - if you love one another so much that you are claiming to be committed to them for all of eternity then why not actually do it?  If that little piece of paper means nothing to you then why not just write the check and get one?  No one is asking you to frame it and hanging it over the mantel.  No one says that you have to have some big lavish ceremony.. I'm just saying that if you are going to claim the title, why not take the appropriate steps to earn it?

I hold my title as wife very dear to my heart.  I waited for many years to find the perfect one for me because marriage is sacred... to me.  I didn't want to be a live in girlfriend or a 'baby mama' as the phrase is turned today.  I wanted to be a wife... and my husband loves, respects and honors me enough to want the same thing.  Pokey is proud to call me his wife and I am equally proud to call him my husband.  We couldn't wait to tell the world we were married - because it is a symbol of our undying love and commitment to one another.  It is legal.  It is binding.

I am his and he is mine... and it isn't just words or playacting.. it's the truth.

25 October 2010

"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!" from MARY POPPINS on Broadway

Rock On Freak Hair

I say that every morning to the mirror - Rock on Freak Hair, rock on - because if I can't laugh at the monstrosity that is my hair since the butchering, who can.  I'm stuck with this insane style until it grows out - probably won't even be 'normal' for close to a year so I might as well embrace the freak hair, right?

I had made a bet with Peanut when the school year started, and I had long hair, that if she got straight As on her report card that I would put hot pink highlights in my hair (underneath, hidden by my long wavy luxurious mane).  Today is report card day and I admit to a bit of trepidation as I went online to see what she would be bringing home.

With eyes closed, I hit the link to her online report card... afraid to look at it full on, I peeked.  First one eye barely open and then the other... 2 Bs.  I was saved by two Bs.  Thank you baby Jesus!  Don't get me wrong, part of me was actually looking forward to having funky pink highlights for Halloween but let's be serious... freak hair can only handle so much before it can't 'rock on' any more.

I have 8 weeks to mentally prepare myself again for the hot pink highlights.  Let's face it, she really wanted to make me do this so I know that those 2 beautiful Bs will be annoying As in 8 weeks time.  The things I do to motivate my children to excel... everyone chant with me - Rock on Freak Hair... rock on!

23 October 2010

Kenny Chesney - There Goes My Life

It Can't Be Time Already

Today was the day - my baby took her ACT test.  I can't believe that we have reached this stage in our lives.  When I look at her, I still see a little girl with braces, glasses and pigtails asking to go splash in the mud.  I don't see a young woman who is about to embark on an incredible journey filled with magical milestones.  She's going to graduate high school this year.  She's going to go off to college 1639 miles away.  She's going to live away from home and family will be in different states.

She's living a life full of firsts while I'm living a life full of lasts this year.  It can't be time for this already - I wasn't prepared.  Don't get me wrong, I knew this time would come but I don't recall stepping over to the express lane for it.

22 October 2010

Those Dreaded Words

"Mommy, my tummy hurts".  That was my alarm clock at 5:30 this morning.  Needless to say, neither one of us was a happy camper.  Hobbit couldn't really explain how it hurt and I couldn't figure out what "it's just crampy" translated into before even envisioning a cup of coffee.

After a couple of tears and cuddles, my brain started working on the information it stored in the "Oddness" file from yesterday.  At the eye doctor, Hobbit said her tummy hurt a little and went to the potty.  Peanut took her while I signed her in and was given a report of rabbit pellets.  Raising one with tummy issues and having them myself, I knew what rabbit pellets meant but with the hectic evening we had, I forgot to head it off with some raisins for dessert.

So here I was at the butt crack of dawn with one constipated little girl.  Pokey got up, bleary-eyed and less than raring to go, and headed to the pharmacy to get something for little tummies.  He came home with some OTC assistance.  I had made his lunch and got his coffee cup together just in time to get him and Peanut out the door for their days.  I sat down, after giving Hobbit her medicine, to write her teacher and let her know that she will be out today but please have her homework waiting at the front office.  I am pretty sure it won't be ready but that's for a different post.

A medicated little girl with raisins and water in hand curl up on the sofa - I thought it would be safe to get a shower... I thought wrong.  All of a sudden, at the most inopportune time possible, I hear "Oh Mommy, this isn't going to be good".  I got out as soon as I could, hollering directions coupled with attempts at calming her down the whole time.... only to be greeted with a mess to clean up and a hysterical Hobbit.

The funny part is that a few minutes later she was asking for some toast with cinnamon and sugar.  I guess even our bodies will come up with 'creative solutions' in order to fix challenges... I just wish it had better aim.

21 October 2010

Artsy Fartsy Day!

I wake up like this a lot but the majority of the time, Life decides that it is more important than my desire to create... but not today!  Life and I had a discussion over our morning coffee and we agreed that if it let me play today, I would be responsible tomorrow.  Wasn't that sweet of Life?  Granted, I do have to take Hobbit to the Pediatric Ophthalmologist today but hey, Life is full of compromises.

So what have I done thus far with my free pass for flowing creative juices - I took pictures, of course.  Now, as soon as I share my photos with you, I'm going to work on my bunny slippers.  I love Artsy Fartsy days... enjoy!

(since this is the internet, you know I have to say it - © peppermintmochamama - all rights reserved... blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda)

20 October 2010

Negative Nelly

Y'all might be able to help me understand this - what is the point of grousing about everything?  I know everyone can't be Mrs. Suzy Sunshine every minute of every day but some people don't even try.  Why?

Do you think they feel better being so miserable?  I can't imagine that being true but I guess it's a possibility.  There is this one lady I know, we'll call her Dotty, and she is the most miserable old sot I've ever had the displeasure of being acquainted with... honestly.  Dotty takes being cantankerous to a completely different level.  Let's just say that if it were an Olympic sport - she would be the most highly decorated Olympian in history.

Now I know what you're thinking - if she's so miserable then don't associate with her.  I try very hard not to but she is in a woman's group that I belong to and we both hold 'positions'.  Granted, technically I 'outrank' her and could have a Come To Mickey meeting about it but I honestly just don't want to... for one, it would feed into the constant grousing that she does and two, she sucks the life out of you quicker than a Dementor.

I have,  however, tried two subtle tactics.  One was that every time she said something depressing, I would counter with the most cheerful alternative I could conjure up.  The other was to simply ignore her.  Neither of which worked, by the way.  Here is a great scenario - recently Dotty was feeling under the weather.  It is coming on cold and flu season so I offered some sound 'home remedies' to help her on the road to recovery.  They weren't good enough and did I know that she had to put in umpteen thousand hours of work this week - in the weather no less, being graded by a boss who hates her and wants to find a reason to fire her, and they're short staffed... oh and she has to do the work of 4 all by herself because they can't find people to hire.  My response was something along the lines of  "Wow, you sound busy.  I would suggest some hot tea, a bit of rest and a sunny disposition always seems to brighten things up"... all of which was said with a caring smiled plastered on my face.  It was met with a "humpf" of disapproval and she turned on her heel to go grumble to someone else who would possibly actually commiserate with her.

I guess I just don't see the point... but do you know what I did see - she looks a million years older than me!  Granted, I am younger but only by 2 years.  All of the negativity has aged this woman - she wears it all over herself.  I have always been a bit of an oddball and not let things bother me.  If I can't fix it, what is the point in grumbling over it... if I can fix it, then just hush up and do it.  That has always been my mindset.  It annoys some and delights others.  So my outlook is generally cheerful... and it shows on my face.  I don't have wrinkles except for the happy little crinkles you get by your eyes when you smile.  My skin is youthful and my eyes are bright.  Dotty is one step away from looking like an upright walking, English speaking hairless Shar Pei.

Just goes to show that a little sweetness can add years to your life - and take years off your appearance.  So don't be a Negative Nelly (or perhaps I should say Doubting Dotty)... Mrs. Suzy Sunshine looks a lot better and people actually enjoy her company.  It's not hard to do, I promise... when you wake up simply say "I choose to be in a good mood".  Yes, it is that simple.  I dare you to try it - you just may surprise yourself.

19 October 2010

Don't Worry Be Happy

Why Not Just Say No?

I really dislike it when you ask someone for help and they say "Sure, but I'll need your help" and then never do it.  Keep in mind, you've asked repeatedly for weeks on end for this simple task to be done and the response is always "I will" or "Okay honey"... only to have it still incomplete and not even thought about - so why not just say no?  Seriously, I would rather someone tell me honestly and politely that they don't want to do something than to hem and haw over it for months on end.  If I wanted to wait months, I would not have asked.

Case in point - I wanted the garage organized.  I asked my husband to help on one of  his days off in which the initial response was "Sure, but I'll need your help".  Now, had I have known that that particular phrase translates into "I don't want to and I am going to put it off for forty forevers until you get so ticked off that you'll do it yourself", I wouldn't have asked for help.  Being the sweet and patient wife that I am, I waited.  After all, he does work 40 hours a week with an hour commute each way to feed, clothe and shelter this family.  The least I can do is not harp on him about something as trivial as the garage.

Needless to say, it didn't get done that week... or the next... or the one after that and so yesterday I just did it myself.  I wheeled the huge TV out to the curb and a neighbor wheeled it on down the block to his house for his son's room.  I put the old sofa and love seat up on Craigslist to be sold and it was gone before my husband got home for supper.  I managed to reorganized the garage in a manner of two hours and surprisingly, it all worked out to where my husband didn't have to lift a finger... but had I have known the translation of the aforementioned phrase, I would have known this, wouldn't I.

Now, it has happened again with the computer-kitchen pass through counter.  It seems to be a catch all for mail, papers and miscellaneous junk.  Everyone in this family has been warned that if it doesn't get picked up, I will simply throw it away and not think twice about it.  I asked Pokey, once again, for help with the area since I never use it and it was mostly his stuff.  This morning, when I mentioned the counter again, I received the response that I have since learned to translate so instead of waiting another couple of weeks, I simply grabbed a grocery sack and tossed it all away while he went to pick up Peanut from school.  It took me all of 10 minutes to complete because I attacked it with the mindset that if it was so important that he needed it, he should have put it away to being with, right.

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband with every fiber of my being.  We just have different ideas regarding when things need to be done.  I am more of a "let's do it and get it over with" kind of girl and he's more of a "it's not bothering me so I'm not worrying with it" kind of guy.  I can either sit around and stew over the fact that he is this way or I can simply do it myself... I chose the later.

One must always remember to look at the flip side - for as much as I find him to be a procrastinator, he finds me to be high strung and slightly OCD... and he loves me anyway too.  I guess we'll just go through life shaking our heads and smiling at the quirky things that make us who we are and give us just another reminder of what we love about one another.  I motivate him to do things and he teaches me not to sweat all the small stuff.

I just ask that please, in the future, if you don't want to do something to simply say no so I can go ahead and have it done so we'll both be happy.

18 October 2010

Bunny Slippers - I Think

I want some bunny slippers.  I used to have a pair when I was kid and I have the most vivid memory of them.  I received them as a little happy from my mom after I broke my arm on Halloween.  I had a cast that ran up over my elbow and almost to my shoulder, I was not a happy camper to say the least.  Now my mother starts shopping for Christmas around July so she had some presents in her closet already - these bunny slippers were supposed to be for that but she felt they better suited my needs then and she was so right.

So, now that I am almost 40, I feel it is time for another pair of bunnies, only this time I am going to make them.  I have started the pattern with my Mama Slipper pattern - only appropriate I think - and have worked out the ear situation.  Please note, I have yet to actually make these but my calculations are logical and sound - at least according to Spock as those are his words... lol.

So here you go - My Bunny Slippers.

Follow the pattern for My Mama's Slippers.  Once you've finished them, go back and pick up 5 stitches in the center of the right side top.  This will be the placement of your ear so it is more of an 'eyeballing' than exact science.  Got it?  Alrighty, time to make some ears!

PU 5.
Sl 1, K4
Sl 1, P3, K1
Sl 1, K2, M1, K2
Sl 1 P4, K1
Sl 1, K2, M1, K3
Sl 1, P5, K1
Sl 1, K4, M1, K2
Sl 1, P6, K1
Sl 1, K7
Repeat last 2 rows.
Sl 1, P2, P2tog, P2, K1
Sl 1, ssk, k2tog, k2
Sl 1, P2tog, K2
Sl 1, K2tog, psso

You should have an ear now - all you have to do now is make the exact same thing on the other side.  Sew on your bunny face, add your pom-pom tail and vawahla... Bunny Slippers!

17 October 2010

What Happened To Men?

Every time I read an entertainment article or see something on the news about today's hottest stars, I noticed a common theme - there aren't any 'manly' men any more.  All the boys look like girls.  Seriously, they do... no wonder we have a generation of sexually confused individuals - the boys are so uber feminine that you begin to wonder if they are even male.  Don't believe me - here is one who is supposedly the 'hottest young male lead of our time' all because of some poorly acted vampire series...
Does he look at all masculine to you?  Nope, me neither.  He looks like a teenage girl in need of some electrolysis and hair care tips.  Men are supposed to be strong, protective and give off an air of confidence... at least, they did but if this is what the next generation has to offer, I worry for our future.  I am sorry, but he looks too much like what the media are claiming to be the sexiest female celebrity...
In case you have no clue - she played "13" on House... oh, and here's an interesting twist to the character she played - she was bi-sexual.  I guess they did that because apparently she also looks like the 'sexiest' version of male celebrity as well... sure, give her a wider fan base then.  They both look alike - who can tell and since she was sleeping with everything on two legs what a great way to further the cause and confusion.

I'm sick and tired of this androgynous world.  Men should look and act like men.  Women should look and act like women.  There are roles that we were meant to play in society and when you muddy the water and blur the line, society falls apart.  I would like a leading man who actually is a man - virile and testosterone filled.  I would like a leading lady who is actually a lady - sweet, feminine and demure.

Our kids emulate these people, whether we want them to or not, and the next generation seems to be so sexually confused and disoriented that they have no clue what to do.  Take back gender roles, be proud of being a man or a woman and let's get society off this downward path... let's get everyone back on track.. and for the love of Mickey - let's get some manly men back in Hollywood.

16 October 2010

The Lady Can Cook

Most people have someone who inspires them in the kitchen.  Granted, y'all know of my love for Gordon Ramsay but sometimes his food is too poncy for me.  I love comfort food.  Things that spark memories - either in the making or bringing them back.  Tastes that give you a hug and tell you 'welcome home honey' - Gordon's food speaks volumes but not in my tantalizing southern accent.  No, that is left up to me and my girl - Paula Deen.

I have said a million times, and my husband will attest to this, that when I grow up, I'm going to be just like dear, sweet Paula Deen.  She is just sunshine with legs - could be her megawatt smile or her bubbly personality... I can't put my finger on exactly what it is but I can tell you that I love every bit of it.  She doesn't take herself seriously.  She's just a mama who loves her family and makes good home cooked eats for everyone to enjoy.  Nothing poncy.  Nothing posh.  Just food.  Normal, every day food that you would find in a normal every day kitchen - with sinful ingredients and satisfying results.

So when I grow up and have my Aga, which will probably be when my hair is just as beautifully snow white as Paula's, I will be sure to holler out the door to all my friends and family - megawatt smile intact - 'y'all come eat'... because that would truly be heaven on earth.

15 October 2010

Victory Will Be Mine

As you all know, I was a victim of hair homicide yesterday.  My loving family, especially my wonderful husband, allowed me to mourn the loss of my locks for the rest of the evening.  My husband has yet to actually see my haircut - I had a hat on when he got home and I went to bed with a knit hat last night.  He has to be the sweetest and most understanding man in the universe.

Well, I woke up this morning bound, bit and determined not to wallow any longer.  I got a shower and came up with a three step plan to move on.  I knew I had to do something because sitting around the house crying until it grew into something presentable was not an option - it's annoying, messy and rather pathetic really.

Step 1:  Change my perspective. ~ Sounds simple right... wrong!  I can read a billion articles on how the trendiest looks for Winter 2011 are uber short hair but that really doesn't make me feel any better about the butchering that took place yesterday.  I still need to work on presenting myself as more a trendsetter instead of unnatural disaster.

Step 2:  Cute accessories. ~ A girl never knows how fabulous her friends are until she gets a bad haircut... and my friends have been angels!  A common theme, which I honestly would never have thought of because my hair is now so flipping short, was headbands.  I found one of the girls' sparkly pink headbands in the bathroom and popped it on rather sarcastically and surprised myself.  Instantaneously, my look went from catastrophe to cat's meow.  It was amazingly cute and I actually smiled at my reflection.

Step 3:  Dangle earrings.  ~ Why not... they're hanging out for the world to see so I might as well dress up my ears too, right.  Just because my hair is now super short doesn't mean that I can't still be super feminine... and what better way to show that than through some beautiful earrings.  Better yet, it will be money well spent because people will actually be able to admire them now that my hair isn't blocking the view.

So, I'm still a work in progress but the good news is that I am indeed progressing.  Tonight, my sainted husband is taking me to get a couple headbands and pair of earrings or two while my eager to please teenager is going to watch my always loving, though sometimes brutally honest, kindergartner.

Just as those posters from WWII used to read ~ "Your courage, your cheerfulness, your resolution will bring us victory" and victory will be mine... oh yes, it will be mine.

14 October 2010

I Love Autumn

I needed something to lift my spirits... doesn't this spot look comfy for knitting!

Worst Haircut Ever!

That is what I now possess.  I left the salon with high hopes.  I figured I would reserve all judgments until I could wash it and see what happens... half way home the tears started flowing because I wasn't fooling myself.  This was the worst haircut ever.

I woke up wanting a change.  I wanted something short, feminine and sweet.  I found the perfect cut and showed it to Mo - the 'professional' I was entrusting my soon to be gone long mane to for the procedure.  I am at a disadvantage because I have to remove my glasses for a haircut so it's always a surprise when they're finished, whether I face the mirror or not... but this was more along the lines of a horror movie scene than anything else.  All along the floor my poor hair lay butchered in beautiful curls... the image in the mirror is one that closely resembles a sheered sheep than a short, feminine, sweet haircut.

When I got home, I did what I said I would do... then I called the salon and cried like a child about how heinous my hair was now.  The manager was shocked and asked that I come in so she can see... then she was floored when she actually saw it.  I have to wait at least a month for there to be enough hair for her to rectify the situation... a month!

In the meantime, I guess I will be knitting one of my chemo caps but it will be for myself - since that is what I currently look like with the amount of hair Mo left behind.  I mean no disrespect, my hair is that bad. 

I keep telling myself it's only hair.  It will grow back.  It isn't who you are... all the same things I would tell my kids... and just like my kids, I think I'm only saying it to make me feel better but I don't believe a word of it either.  *Heavy sad sigh**sniffle*

My Mind Wandered

I was going through Ravelry looking at patterns and I started to notice people's screen names and began wondering - why would you pick something like that?

A screen name is a snapshot of your personality.  It is who you are to many people who will never know you - it speaks volumes in a very mute online world.  A screen name holds your identity, people's perception and expectations of you, your unspoken view of yourself... yes, it does all that and much more.

Now that we all understand that unspoken importance of a screen name, let's try and figure out why some would choose the names they have... such as Domesticly Blissless, Perversia, Neurotic Nelly and many more that I won't put up because of the derogatory nature or blatant use of foul language.

Domesticly Blissless - you're telling the world that you hate your life.  There is no joy in your home.  Did you realize that when you picked your name?  Thanks for sharing, we won't be inviting you to any chats any time soon.

Perversia - yeah, your name says it all and I'm not saying another word.  Good luck with that.

Neurotic Nelly - wow, deep therapy sessions are probably in order.  Why would you label yourself neurotic?  We all have quirks and oddities that make us who we are but a neurosis takes it to a whole other level.  You are no longer quirky... you're certifiable.  Have you met Perversia?

My name is a great representation of me.  I am a mama.  I love coffee - especially peppermint mochas.  My screen name tells a story that is completely in focus.  I am proud to wear my screen name.  Do you think some of these people feel the same way... and if so, especially with these examples, why?!?  Even the names that make me blush - why would you want that to represent you... better yet, why do you feel that represents you?  Are you truly a witch with a 'b'... if not, then why add it in your name.  Unless you are a gangster, stripper or prostitute then why make the insinuation in your screen name?  I just don't understand.

I was always told that you are known by the company you keep - If these names are any indication of the types of people I'll be running into, I think I'll keep to my own company than, thank you.

13 October 2010

Kathy's Question

My friend Kathy, whom I met on CafeMom, is in a couple of the same groups as I am and in one of them, she posts a Question of the Day every single day - where she comes up with them, I have no idea, but I love it.  Well, today's question was "what is the one question you hate to be asked?" and I gave a bloggish type response so I figured, why not actually post it here for all to share.  Here you go, my response to the QotD from Kathy:

Okay, this is going to sound silly but it's "Is that all?" when I'm at a drive-thru window for a meal.  I am always polite - to the point that it makes my friends laugh at me.  Here is an example:

Worker:  Welcome to [random food place], may I take your order.
Me:  Yes ma'am/sir.  May I please have [random food order].
Worker:  Do you want that super-sized.
Me:  No thank you.
Worker:  What to drink.
Me:  Sweet tea please.
Worker:  Is that all?

Now, to me at least, this sounds rude.  I believe something much nicer could be used.  "May I get anything else for you today" or perhaps even a simple "Does this complete your order" would be better than a curt and less than enthusiastic "is that all".  It always sounds as though I have the nerve to interrupt their day and request something of them... that I am bothering them and they are inquiring if I am done with the pestering for now.

Many people that I have run across who are working in the fast food industry do not seem  happy with their station in life or current employment situation.  They come off as believing that they are 'better' than where they are - but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't have pride in what they do.  The difference between me and these types of people is that I view the situation as an opportunity and I would dare say that they do not... but that is a rant for a different post.

Speaking of Famous People...

The other day there were three movie stars at my husband's work filming  ~ Harry Connick, Jr., Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman!!

Pokey was so excited but he never got to actually see them.  They were upstairs filming in the Bay News 9 studios for an upcoming moving called "Dolphin Tale" - it's about Winter, the local dolphin who doesn't have a tail, over at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium... fascinating  story and sweet animal.  We've gone to visit her several times and she truly is amazing.

You know, for all the fussing I do about living here, there are some pretty cool things around.  After all, God himself was here and he keeps some pretty cool company in Harry Connick, Jr., if you ask me.

12 October 2010

The Packing Peanut

Why does this item still exist?  Given all the advancements in technology, manufacturing and shipping - why do some companies still rely on the packing peanut?

Peanuts on the prowl
I was curious about these little buggers, as they are now laying siege upon my living room, so I thought I would do a little research.  I found out that they are a product of the 1960s from Dow Chemical Company and everything you see today is true to form as from the original model that is practically half of a century old.

Do you know that these little beauties come in three different colors and the colors actually have meaning?  Oh yes, they do - green for environmentally friendly, white for 70% recycled content and pink to reduce static when shipping things electronics.  I had no idea that one of the most annoying products on earth has had such an interesting, and colorful, life thus far.  Now that we are almost done finding all the electrically charged wanna be snowflakes, I have learned that I can take them to any shipping facility, even my local post office, to be recycled or reused.

It's amazing what happens when you utter the phrase "Who in the world would created these little monsters and an even better question would be why"... and then actually look it up.

I'll be back later but I wanted to tell you good morning before I got too far into the day!

11 October 2010

Rascal Flatts - I'll Be Home For Christmas

Wow... that's all I can say... wow.  If this doesn't put you in the spirit, nothing will!

Feeling A Bit Befuddled

Roughly three months ago, Pokey & I took the plunge and invested into a more expensive coffee pot.  We generally kill the little $20 pots within 3 months so we have deemed them as 'disposable'.  We, or should I say "I", didn't take this purchase lightly either.  Hours were spent researching all the different brands, bells and whistles to make sure that we purchased the perfect pot - because with the amount of money we were planning on spending, this pot was not going to die any time soon... or so we thought.

The time to make our purchase was upon us and there was more investigating to find the lowest price on the perfect pot.  Once that was located, we, or should I say "I", drove in to town and made the purchase.  Walking out of the store, I was filled with delight and trepidation - I had never spent so much money on a simple coffee pot before - oh but wait, this wasn't just a simple pot, was it.  It had a thermal decanter.  It did not have a heating element, as none was needed.  It had a cleaning cycle.  It was pretty.  It was the Rolls Royce of coffee pots and it was going to live on forever in my kitchen... or so we thought.

The first month we are in the honeymoon phase with our coffee pot.  It kept coffee warm up to 5 hours in that nifty little decanter.  It brewed a 10-cup pot in record speed.  It was still pretty.  Oh yes, we were so in love... until it came time to run the cleaning cycle.  We, or should I say "I", followed the cleaning instructions perfectly with anal retentive precision.  This was, after all, the Rolls Royce of coffee pots.  During the cleaning cycle, when it was supposed to pause for thirty minutes and then finish up, my coffee pot protested with a loud noise that could wake the dead.  It was a teeth shattering, high pitched, nonstop, ear-piercing tone that would be an excellent spy torture device to learn secret plans.  Immediately, I unplugged the coffee pot and called the manufacturer.  How could this be - it's only been a month and I followed all the directions for every aspect of operation.  I was so heartbroken.

The manufacturer was kind and understanding.  They sent us a replacement coffee pot within the week and while it may have looked identical - our love affair was jaded.  No more adoration was felt for the beauty of the machine, the nectar of the gods that it brewed or the speed at which it performed.  Oh no, instead, all of the normal feelings of love were replaced with dread for when the month was up and we would have to clean it.  Would it do the same thing?  Will we, or should I say "I", be on the floor in submission, spilling any and every secret plan that I could conjure up?  The answer came today... and the answer was a tearful yes.

I was prepared this time.  I did what I was taught - prepared for the worst, prayed for the best... but apparently I didn't pray hard enough.  So with phone in hand, I called the manufacturer.  While the customer service experience was wonderful - honestly, it was top notch fabulousness incarnate - the end result has me feeling a bit befuddled.  You see, the original pot was valued at $80 and this replacement one is only $75.  The original one was thermal without a heating element and this replacement one is glass and has a heating element.  Granted, the original one was only 10-cup and this one is 12-cup... but the original one was pretty - this one is not.

Replaced without any hassle.  Superior customer service representatives.  Inferior replacement product second time around.  Yeah, I'm a bit muddled with this.. we'll see how it goes in six to eight business days when it arrives.

Why... No Really, Why?

Why would you own a dog if you are simply going to put it outside and let it bark for 10 hours a day?  Are you mentally deranged - what am I say, of course you are!  This is the opening of a conversation that I would love to have with my neighbor.

You see, about 5 years ago, they bought a basset hound.  I'm guessing they aren't basset hound people because this poor animal spends 10 hours a day outside and she does nothing but bark... nonstop... the entire time she is outside... for 5 years.

Now, I'm no animal expert but it sure sounds (literally) like abuse and neglect to me.  Leaving the poor animal, who is obviously unhappy as displayed by the constant barking, in the sweltering heat or freezing bitter cold without food or water (at least none that I can see) is just cruel.  All the ding dang dog wants is some attention.  No one ever plays with her, takes her for walks or even talks to her.  How would the so called 'owners' feel if they were treated in such fashion?

I am at my wits end because for the past year, since we've been watching my folks' house, I have had to listen to the animal day in and day out.  I finally broke two weeks ago and went to speak to my HOA, who sent a letter and nothing was done.  I called Animal Control last week but nothing seems to have been done.  I just got off the phone with the HOA again who could actually hear the dog through the phone so we'll see if anything happens now.

Why adopt an animal if you aren't going to be an active participant in it's life.  Why... no really, why?

10 October 2010

20 Years... Really?

1990 Senior Portrait
This was the weekend of my 20th Class Reunion.  I have been graduated from W.P. Davidson High School (Go Warriors!) for twenty years... I can't believe it.  I don't feel like I'm 20 years older.  I certainly don't act 20 years older.  How can it be that so much time has passed from when I graduated to this present day?

A friend of mine went to the reunion and posted the photos on his Facebook page.  It was so nice to see all those smiling faces.  Some hadn't changed at all and some I could not find the friend I knew in years past.  That is neither good nor bad, it is just an observation.  I am sure if I had gone, others would have had the same feelings about me.

2010 version of me
I didn't attend the reunion this weekend for many reasons, some good and some not so good.  My husband and I don't drink so hanging out at a bar, no matter how swanky it may appear, is not appealing to us.  Spending a lot of money for a weekend where not all activities are family oriented wasn't our cup of tea either.  The few people that I truly desired to see would not be there and making polite conversation with people that I did not really associate with in school wasn't high on my list of things that I wanted to do.

We all know how these things go anyway - old cliques get back together and the pettiness begins.  Let's look at who got fat, who is balding, who has had plastic surgery, blah blah blabbety blah.  I didn't enjoy such things when I was actually in high school and I know I would not care for them now.  We have all gotten older, some of us have gotten wiser and I pray that all of us are happier with who we are and what we have become in life.  I know I have and I pray that others feel the same contentment in their own skin.

So here ~ enjoy a "then" and "now" moment on me and consider it my attendance at our 20 year class reunion.

08 October 2010

Lookie Lookie

So today I had a surge of creativity and made an online store devoted to all things regarding this blog.  Sounds silly to some and inspirational to others - I think I'll hang out in the middle so that I can inspire silliness.

You may have noticed that over to the right there is a little 'widget' that says "My Zazzle Store" and it has products flipping through it.  I made all of those items today!  I was feeling creative and I thought about comments from my friends, most of whom are constantly urging me to write a book about the goings on in my life.  My standard response is that I could never do that... my life is boring.  I'm a housewife.  I'm a mommy.  No one could give a flying fart in space about that stuff - I blog because in my world, it's just a diary.  These things I write are sitting out in the cosmos for all to see but I have no delusions of grandeur that anyone is actually 'following' me... and then I dared myself to think those two little words... "what" and  "if".

Oh yes, 'What If' entered the pictured and gave my brain a one way ticket on a flight of fancy.  We landed in record breaking time, complete with movie and book deals I might add.  Make no mistake, when it comes to making 'magic', I am a professional.  Since I had been on the "What If" Express and was proudly wearing the t-shirt I bought there, I thought it would be cool to make some for others - you know, my cosmic followers.

I would like to welcome you to the grand opening of the Peppermint Mocha Mama Online Zazzle Store - please feel free to browse around, leave comments and shop for the holidays.  I will work hard to keep items fresh and new.  I am currently focusing on knitting and coffee - go figure, right.  Perhaps in the near future I will branch out into baking and cooking, who knows.  The possibilities are endless and if you have any suggestions, by all means, please share!  I'm really excited by this and I hope you enjoy it. 

While you're browsing, I'm just gonna sit here and ponder who will play me in the movie version of Peppermint Mocha Mama... I'm hoping Amy Adams is available.

Perhaps I'll Market It... Nah!

I would like to pay homage to my alarm clock.  It has a gentle gradual waking system that involves the aroma of fresh soap, the softness of kisses on my forehead and the patience of a saint.  It tickles just slightly due to the fuzziness of it.

While I may be enjoying my peaceful slumber, it is wonderful to wake up to such a handsome alarm every morning... way better than the crass "beep, beep, beep" of conventional models.  It has the added bonus feature of bringing perfectly prepared coffee and placing it on my bedside table.

I was thinking of marketing it but then I though - nah, it's my alarm clock and I'm not sharing.

07 October 2010

Poor In The Pockets, Rich In Love

That is a phrase that a friend of mine uses and I love it.  I will be the first to admit that sometimes I get too wrapped up in the things we are missing and how financially destitute we are at the moment but those are not the most important things in life.  Our kids have no clue about the trials and tribulations we are currently facing - because everyone's perception is their own reality.

Homemade items don't mean that we don't have the money to purchase store bought - it means you are loved more than anything in the universe and this was made specifically for you.  Cookies and treats from scratch don't mean that it wasn't in our budget to purchase sweets - it means memories of times spent in the kitchen together creating delicious goodies are more precious than gold.  Comfort foods like meatloaf, soup and such don't mean that we can't afford dining out - it means we'd rather have the quiet of our own home to sit together and talk as a family while we dine.

It isn't always about what we can get - it's about appreciating what we already have.  No, I don't have pocket money or disposable income.  Yes, I float bills and squeeze blood from a stone.  Sure, we've got our belts tighten to the point where we can hardly breath but none of that matters.  In the big scheme of things, none of that matters.  I have a husband who adores me.  I have kids who light up my life.  I have parents who are loving and supportive.

So while others are out shopping til they drop, eating out til they burst and filling voids with items - I'll stay as poor as a church mouse and happy as clam, thank you very much.

It is truly wonderful to be poor in the pockets but rich in love - I pray you are wealthy too.

04 October 2010

"Up Close & Personal" Challenge

I belong to a photography group on CafeMom and that is this week's challenge.  I am having a blast with it - here's what I've got so far... I am sure there will be more later - I do admit to being a shutterbug. All photos are © peppermintmochamama... sorry, it's the internet and I have to say it.  Enjoy! 

Heads & Toes Chart

Head Size Chart - knitted or crocheted hats should be made about 1- 1 1/2" smaller around than the head circumference, as the hats should stretch and sizes are not an exact science! If you make it, someone will fit into it.

* Height given is measured BEFORE the brim is already folded up - from the base of the un-folded up brim to the center top of hat. They can be made taller if you want a larger brim to fold up. On newborn hats I plan to fold up about 1" for a brim, on adult hats I usually figure 2" or so for a brim, but this varies according to personal preference.

I have been told by many NICU nurses that this is an ideal hat to knit for preemies and newborns because it has so much stretch.

1 -2 lbs
Baby's Head Circumference is 9" - 10" (so hat circ. should be about 7.5" -8") Height of hat should be 3.5 - 4"

2 - 3 lbs
Head Circumference 10" - 11 1/4" hat circ = 8.5" - 10" Hat height = 4"

4 - 5 lbs
Head Circumference 11 1/2" - 12 1/2" hat circ = 9" - 11.5" Hat height = 4 to 4.5"

5 1/2 - 6 lbs
Head Circumference 12 1/2" - 13" hat circ = 11" - 12" Hat height = 5 to 5.5"

Head Circumference 13" - 14 " hat circ = 11.5" - 13" Hat height = 5.5 to 6"

Baby - 3 to 6 months
Head Circumference: 14" - 17 " Hat height= 6.5 - 7"

Baby 6 to 12 months
Head Circumference: 16" - 19 " Hat height = 7.5"

Toddler - preschooler (12 months - 3 years) Hat height = 8"
Head Circumference: 18" to 20 "

Child (3 - 10 years) Hat height =8.5"
Head Circumference: 19" - 20 1/2"

Pre-teens and Teens Hat height 9-10"
Head Circumference: 20 1/2" - 22"

Adult Woman
Head Circumference: 21.5" - 22.5" Hat height = 11"

Adult Man
Head Circumference: 23" - 24" Hat height = 11"-11.5"


Foot Size Chart for babies
1-2 lbs
Foot Length 1" - 1 3/4"

2-3 lbs
Foot Length 2" - 2 1/2"

3-5 lbs
Foot Length 2 1/2" - 3"

5-7 lbs
Foot Length 3" - 3 1/2"

7-9 lbs
Foot Length 3 1/4" - 3 3/4" (most needed size for newborns)

For older kids and adults, feet vary so much in size, you will need to measure each persons foot to be more accurate.

3 -6 months
Foot Length 4" - 4.5"

6 months - 1 year
4.25" – 4.75"

18 months - 2 years
Foot Length 4.5" - 5.5"

2 years - 4 years
Foot Length 5.5" - 6"

5-8 years
Foot Length 6” - 7"

12 years
Foot Length 7" - 8.5"

Adult Woman
Foot Length 8" - 11"
(My friend wears a size 9.5-10 womens shoe and her foot measures 10.5" not standing on it.)

Adult Man
Foot Length 10" - 12"
(Her son wears a 12.5 shoe and his foot measures 11.25" long not standing on it.)


That's the temperature outside right now - 61 degrees.  There is even a slight breeze.  It is wonderful.  I am head over heels happy.  I know people who are bummed about the dropping temperatures and while I may adore them to no end, I will never understand how anyone could be depressed about this particular event.

Change like this is wonderful.  It puts a spring in my step and a song in my heart.  It makes me more appreciative of the little things around me and I actually want to be outside to soak it all in.  I promise, as soon as the yard crew is done with our yard this morning - I'm parking my tushy in the swing and knitting.  If I could trust that our animals weren't going to be special and fall out of the screened windows, I would open the whole house up.  It is just fabulous today.

I can't wait for the few traditional trees in the area to figure out that it's autumn and being to change their colors - we had a nice wet summer so the colors should be spectacular... if only palm trees did the same... that would be the icing on the cake.

03 October 2010

My Mama's Slippers

My mom has always made us slippers, ever since I was little. I love getting them and I've made a few pairs for others myself.  I am posting the pattern on Ravelry for all to enjoy.

Detailed look at finished slipper
I love to embellish these little cuties with ribbons, bows, pompoms and even jingle bells for the younger folks.  Color combinations are endless and this pattern is so quick and easy, you could make everyone you know a pair and still want to make more.


Crafty Kids

Yep, that's right - I have a couple of crafty little kids and I have been sitting here this morning remembering all the times I sat around with my brother and mother, making seasonal decorations out of construction paper and taping them to the front windows.  Snowflakes.  Leaves.  Pumpkins.  Eggs.  Paper chains.

I think today I will go through our crafting supplies in the garage and see if we have any of the necessary articles.  I think it's time to introduce Hobbit to the joy of construction paper decorations.  It's coming on Halloween and we haven't a single festive item to display.  I know Peanut will have a blast, being the art geek that she is, so Hobbit will follow suit, idolizing her big sister as she does.

Yes, ghosts and goblins beware - we're 'spookifying' our windows today and making memories to last a lifetime.

**Edited to add a photo for all to enjoy... and yes, that is a Mickey Pumpkin.**
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