Is it really THAT big a deal?

So right now we should be on our way home.  However, I'm sitting at my husband's desk at the auto shop he manages because even though I drove our car all the way from my work to his work to pick him up he says we have no brakes.  *I* didn't have any problem. 

He says I and then once I picked him up, we...  could have died.  *Pfffffffft*  Drama King. 

 So we're leaking a ton of brake fluid.  Just top it back up and let's be off.   But no, he was *insistent* he put the car in the air and find the problem.  So a hose was deteriorating and finally today...  at some point... it blew out a hole.  Meh.  Whatever.  Slap some epoxy on it and let's get going. 

But not my husband, no,  Mr Wants to Live Through the Ride Home has to replace the hose.  Now.  And so here I sit.  Blarg. 

I swear, lets just throw some WD-40 on that crap and let's go home.  What?  WD-40 doesn't fix everything?  Contrary to what you...  and my husband my say...  I beg to differ. 

If you ever want me to fix your car...  you let me know.  I've got my WD-40, duct tape, and can rustle up some chewed gum whenever necessary.. just need to find my hot glue gun.

So, apparently we'll be murdered...

In the car on the way home from work today:

Tom:  When we have a son we're going to name him Thomas William the Second and Third.  That's what they'll go by  Second and Third

Me:  What like two sons with the same name except the Second and Third?  And we'll CALL them that?  Yeah, ok.  THAT won't lead to any feelings of inferiority.

Tom:  No, one son.  He'll be the Second & Third.

Me:  Like him and his undeveloped conjoined twin?  Like popping out of his shoulder?

Tom:  No, head.  In fact we could just get like a latex prosthetic thing to put on his head.  We could call it Phil.

Me:  I thought we'd call it the Third.

Tom:  Well, that would be his GIVEN name, but we'd call him Phil.  We should DO IT.

Me:  You have PTSD over your parents taking a picture of you in a Groucho Marx nose and glasses when you were 5 but you want to put a prosthetic undeveloped conjoined twin on our son's HEAD?  You STILL haven't forgiven your parents for that and you're 32...  what would OUR kid think of US at 32 if we did that??

Tom:  He wouldn't think of us at all since he would have brutally murdered us while we slept 9 years earlier.

Me:  So our son would be in prison and it would be our fault.  Nice.

Tom:  Don't worry, he'd get off.  I mean, his parents made him wear a prothetic undeveloped conjoined twin on his head.  I see "Not Guilty" in his future.


Maybe this is why we shouldn't have kids...  like ever.

Living Healthy

I've started a living healthy forum.  We have 11 members just since last night.  Whether you want to lose weight...  gain a stronger sense of self... or just maintain your current healthy lifestyle...  JOIN!!   It's going to be great and a place where we can share our struggles and our successes in a friendly, FREE, supportive environment.


What Amy's Been Reading...

Ok, so I've gotten several requests via email and comments asking what I've been reading since I've been reading a ton in the last year and a half or so since I've been leading an online book club (which is always accepting new member, btw).   So here's a rundown...

Henry's Sisters -  This may be, in my opinion, the best book I've ever read.  It's a story of 3 sisters and their brother...  Henry, obviously... but mostly the three sisters.  At first they seem to be pretty stereotypical characters but before long you grow to love them so dearly.  And their brother... you adore.  It's a seriously dysfunctional family and the book takes you through their past and you get to see why.  It is a page turner, no doubt.  Have tissues handy.

Confessions of a shopaholic - Entertaining I guess...  Funny in parts.  However my overall opinion of the book?  Vile dreck.  Both in the writing and in the story.   I'm sorry but a book in which the main character has SERIOUS personality flaws and yet... apparently... learns nothing?  Just awful.  I didn't like it one bit and wouldn't suggest anyone waste their time on it.

The Help - I thought this book was brilliant.  I thought the writing and the emotions rang true throughout.  The story of what it was to be the hired help in the early 60s.  Most specifically the maids.  Some of whom risk everything to sit down and tell their stories to a newly graduated journalism major who doesn't quite fit in with her society friends.  Some who treat the help respectfully and others who treat them like utter garbage.  It is a thought-provoking book.  And one that will have you turning the pages as quickly as you can to find out what happens next and please God, to find out if everyone stays safe.

The Mists of Avalon - Not a book I would have normally read.  I'm not a big EPIC NOVEL type of reader.  But this took us back to the King Arthur legend days and told it from the perspective of the women.  Full of sorcery and paganism and adventure it spans 3 generations of women.  It's a good read.  The first part...  I really thought it was very blah and I almost stopped... however once part 1 starts to wrap up and begins to segue into part two, it really picks up and after that you just have to keep going.  Written in the 70s, the material doesn't feel dated in any way, other than the fact that it's a period novel.  It's quite good and worth the time.  Just don't get discouraged during part 1.  Parts 2 through 4 make up for it in spades.

Sarah's Key - This was a tough read.  It was very good...  but just hard to get through.  It bounces back and forth between present day and during the darkest period in French history.  The roundup of Parisian Jews and their transport to the Velodrome d'Hiver and eventually to Auschwitz.  Sarah, in order to keep her baby brother safe locks him in a secret cupboard in her home when she hears the police coming and keeps the key with her...  hence Sarah's Key... little does she know what awaits her and her parents.  Present day, Julia Jaramond is writing a story on the anniversary of that dark time and she slowly starts to unravel the story of Sarah and is shocked to find that as she learns more Sarah's story starts to intertwine with her own.  A story that needed to be told and done very well.  It's not a book you will forget anytime soon.

Friday Night Knitting Club - Needing a light book after reading Sarah's Key, the book club took on The Friday Night Knitting Club.  A group of women, completely diverse, just happen to all start coming by the yarn store right around closing Friday nights.  It becomes something they look forward to.  Something they depend on.   the story centralizes around the store's owner, her daughter and the girl's father.  But all the characters play important roles and they learn about each other and more importantly, themselves.  Friday Night Knitting Club is one you'll wish was real and want to join.  It was a light and easy read, but still pleasant without being too elementary.

The Murderer's Daughters - The story of two sisters whose mother was killed by their father and the resulting aftermath.  The sisters were affected in dramatically different ways and it's intriguing to read of their two different lives and how they've reacted to their tragic past.  One grew up, got married, and never speaks of the past and in part blames herself.  The other works with paroled criminals to help them adjust to life back in the real world.  I did not enjoy this book as much as some, but it was still a page turner and lead to a couple late nights of reading not wanting to stop.

The Thirteenth Tale - A fledgling writer is summoned to the home of a reclusive aging and ailing writer, Vida Winter, who wants to finally have someone write down the truth of her life.  Something she has never told any interviewer ever.  She's spent her life making up stories because as a fiction writer...  that's what she does.  She thinks the truth is more interesting.  There are twists and turns as she tells the story of twin sisters growing up under unusual circumstances.  This book keeps you guessing and even I...  a usually intuitive reader...  didn't guess this one.  I, of course, felt stupid after...  kind of like watching the Sixth Sense...  of COURSE he's DEAD... DUH!!  But yeah, I didn't see it coming.   Some others in the club did.  But not me.  I fully admit it.  It's worth a read for sure.

The Wish Club - This is a lighter book as well.  Which was needed after the thinky, twisty turny of The Thirteenth Tale.  A book club reads a book about witches and decided, jokingly, to try their hand at spell casting.  But then they make rain stop...  supposedly... and make a candle go out.  After that they decide, some reluctantly, to try for other things.  Uncomfortable with the thought that they were practicing witchcraft, they decide to call it wishing.  Hence The Wish Club was born.  One wished to have a child, one for more free time, one for more money, one to lose weight to fit in with the society friends she's been thrust into and one to be inspired by the perfect man in order to further her art.   They all get more than they bargained for in a sometimes funny sometimes poignant story that goes back to the time old adage of "be careful what you wish for".  Overall an entertaining book that culminates to a climax that will have you unable to put the book down until you've read the last word.

The Forgotten Garden - This is the most recent completed book the club has read.  All I can say is wow.  This book lead to a LOT of discussion on the club forum.  We all loved it, but saw different things about it as far as the central theme.  Was it a love story?  Was it a tragedy?  Where was the true love story and how did characters actually relate to each other beyond what was on the page.  It starts when a 21-year-old girl is told the truth about her past.  She was found at 4 years old on a pier in Australia alone.  She was taking in and ultimately raised by a kindly couple and always thought that she was the oldest of a group of sisters.  Upon learning the truth she set upon a quest to unravel the mystery of who she was.   The story jumps between 3 time periods...  the far past when everything actually happened and we get to learn the story, the more recent past where the story of the woman trying to figure out who she is takes place and present day when after her death her grand-daughter learns about her grandmother's past and sets upon a mission to finish finding out the truth that her grandmother had to give up on once she went to live with her.  It is, truly, a fantastic book and I would recommend it to everyone.

Before I Go to Sleep - I won'[t go into this one too much, as this is our current book and though I finished it yesterday - I like to stay on top of things as the group leader - I've asked the club to start it tomorrow so that everyone had a chance to get the book by whatever means they get them.  A few of my readers here are book club members so yeah.  I'll just say that the book is the story of an amnesic who awakes every day 20 years older than she thinks she is and is lying next to a man she doesn't know.  She finds out... everyday... that his name is Ben and she spends every day adjusting to the shock.  At the recommendation of her doctor she starts keeping a journal.  She looks at it one day to find the words "Don't trust Ben" written in the front.  I was skeptical of this book when the club picked it (the club selects the books out of a choice of three via poll) but I will admit I was sucked in.  It gets to the point that you, as the reader, along with the main character, Christine, don't know just WHAT to think and what is real.  I will say no more.  But yeah, good book.

I've read a few outside of book club, too.   Sometimes we break around the holidays and since I read the books quickly to try to get done before the group I'm left bookless.  So to fill the gaps here are some I've read on my own.

Water For Elephants - For the 3 people who haven't read this book.  Go read it.  It's fantastic.  I haven't seen the movie, so I can't speak to how it compares.  I figure the movie doesn't hold a candle as is usually the case.  It flips between an old man in a nursing home.  He's going a little senile in his old age, but he constantly drifts off to the past where he tells of the time he spent on a circus train back when such things existed.  It is a tragic and beautiful tale.  Some times, many times actually brutal and others beautiful.  It is a lovely well-written story.  You feel every suspenseful moment as if it is YOUR life that is at stake.  It's great story that I was sad to turn the last page of.  Just read it.  If you've been holding out because you don't want to read a book just for the simple reason that everyone else has...  like me with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo... stop being such a stubborn fool and read it.

The Hangman's Daughter - Takes place in the olden days of horses and carriages and when being accused of witchcraft was punishable by death.  An innocent midwife is accused of murdering children by unnatural means as dead kids start being found in the village.  The Hangman's Daughter starts out terribly gruesome, so for the weak stomached...  skip the introduction.  You don't miss any of the book except part of the hangman's childhood when he helped his father the current town hangman with an execution that goes awry.   He vows never to be a hangman.  But back in those days the butcher's son became a butcher, the blacksmith's son became a blacksmith...  and the hangman's son became a hangman.   Albeit a compassionate one.  This book was full of the suspense and in my opinion also full of the awesome.   The hangman and a young physician must unravel the truth before the midwife's time runs out.

Favorite - A brother and sister live on their own while their musician father tries to "make it" with his band and whose mother disappeared years ago.  This was a short book.  It kept moving and though the plot and final outcome were highly unlikely...  it was compelling.  The sister is attacked and to make amends the attackers mother offers college funds for both her and her brother.  They end up diving into a sinister world where nothing makes sense and culminates into a shocking discovery.  If you're desperate for something to read.  Go for it.  IF not...  skip it.  Favorite though it may be called...  it wasn't one of mine.  It just seemed way too implausible.

The Dirty Parts of the Bible - Don't take the title for what it seems.  It's not blasphemous in any way.  It is an amusing tale of a son sent by his father to find the family's fortune when it looks as though he may die.  Entertaining from start to finish.  Not long and an easy ready.  A great coming of age tale.

Crow Lake - I read this one some time ago.  It was not picked for book club, but I found it interesting enough to read on my own.  A mother and father are killed leaving three kids.  One is old enough to take custody of his younger brother and sister... another is brilliant... and the youngest hightailed it out of Crow Lake at her earliest opportunity.  Not for a lack of love for her two brothers...  but just in a desire for more than Crow Lake can offer.   It's an in-depth look at how we perceive others and how or perceptions influence our relationships no matter how incorrect they may be.  Like I said I read it ages ago.   But I remember I liked it very much and left me wondering about my own perceptions of other people and how relationships with them could be better if I would just get my own preconceived notions out of my head and get out of my own way to see them for who they are and not what I think they are.

So that's the list....   this may be the most time I've ever spent on one blog post so I hope you all read it and get a book or two off of it you'd like to read.  And if you do I hope you enjoy them!!  And if this has conjured up any interest in you of joining my online book club...  just let me know!!

Happy reading!!!

Support Our Veterans

Hi Everyone...

From 6/17/2011 (tomorrow) to 6/19/2011, I will be donating 50% of my profit from my online sales to the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center.  Their website is here .  They help veterans and their families and the focus right now is getting the veterans returning home now the tools they need to find jobs in this economy and virtually closed up job market.  What they do MATTERS.   It's important stuff and it makes a difference.  Even if you're not in the Philly area - veterans are veterans and have served us all no matter where they live. I would encourage you to shop.  Avon has items for as little as .99 and every little bit helps. .Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I would love to be able to donate a good bit.  The link to my online store is below.  So tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell anyone you can.  This is a big deal.   We're the land of the free BECAUSE of the brave.
*Orders are shipped direct to you and orders over $30 have free shipping.   Shop hard, friends!!  

Thanks, guys.

The thing about reading blogs...

I read a lot of blogs regularly.   A few of the people that write them I've gotten to know.   Most?  Not at all.   The thing that has been weighing on my mind lately is that I read these blogs...  I care what these people have to say and care about what's going on in their lives.  Meanwhile, they don't know me from a hole in the ground and probably don't really give a hoot about what's going on in my life.  That's understandable.  Why should they, you know?  I am no great writer.  The things I say aren't particularly engaging, witty, thought-provoking and, really... most time?  Interesting.   So why should they know me or know what I have going on.   Yet, by the same token...  sometimes I want to reach out to these people and actually have them CARE about what I have to say to them.  Rather than being one of 85 comments or a single email out of hundreds.   I want it to matter that I have thoughts about their life.  I mean, I feel like I KNOW them.  And I know lots of bloggers hold back the most personal stuff.  So while I feel like I know them...  I really don't.     That being said...  I want to comment here about some of what they've been saying.   So here goes.

To this blogger (and her husband) - You don't know me...  well, the husband does just a little.  He knows me as the girl whose husband is converting his Delorean into a Back to the Future Delorean.  But that's about as far as it goes.  I've been noticing something about your writing...  both of you.   Feelings of guilt, regret, anger at yourselves, seem to be plaguing you a bit more lately.   Namely this post and this one...  they broke my heart into a million little pieces.   There is no way you guys could have known what was coming.  It's the unspeakable...  the unimaginable.  A nightmare that you can't wake up from and that even the brightest sunshine can't drive away.  And this isn't to say I don't understand your feelings.  I mean, not completely because I think your feelings are ones that no one can understand unless they've been through the same thing.  But though you don't know me...  I love you guys and while I know that you will always grieve your daughter and that pain will never ever subside...   she's in everything you are...  the feelings of regret and guilt and self-anger...  please don't let them take over.  Would you have done things different if you'd known?  Of course.  But you just can't let yourself feel that additional pain of guilt for something you had no control over and no way to know was coming.  It's like saying if I knew my grandfather was going to kill himself this past November, I wouldn't have cut that last visit short and went home early so I didn't miss whatever it was I wanted to watch that night.   And I don't remember what it was.  It was so unimportant that I don't even know what it WAS that made me leave early.  But I did.  I could NOT have known that it would be the last time I'd see him alive...  or at all actually... his funeral was a closed casket (obviously) and I never saw him again after that night that I HAD to leave to watch my show.  It's those things that we can't even fathom of.   And can't beat ourselves up over.  You will always grieve...  but release the guilt.

To this blogger -  I just want to let you know that if I don't have time to read any other posts on any particular day from any other blog... I read yours.  I adore your family.  I think your wit is beyond measure and your stories of being a mom and a wife bring joy to my heart and make me want to be a mom.  The post you wrote yesterday had me in tears and ones like this and this just make me laugh and I love it.   I love you and your family.  If you've written a post today.  I'll have read it before I lay my head down tonight to sleep.  You are a wonderful individual, you life should be a TV show that doesn't get cancelled once I get interested.  And your outlook should be inspiring.

And to this one - Like I said...  I read a lot of blogs.   Yours makes me FEEL more than any other I read.  Your words convey your feelings in a way that some days leaves me filled with joy and others... completely devastated.  Like yesterday's that made me shed tears for a woman I didn't know, but cared about because YOU cared about her.   You have such an honest way about you and it constantly draws me in and makes me want to read more.  There was a brief time when I took a step back from blogs.  Thinking maybe I needed to focus more on living my life than reading about others doing it.  Until I realized that I AM living my life the way I want and I'm happy, my husband is happy and my animals are happy and so be it...  but in that BRIEF time I came back and BAM!  You were pregnant again and had all this other news and I missed it just by being gone for just a little bit.   All of your posts matter.  I envy that.  I really do.

And there's so many more.   Maybe I'll make this something I do every once in awhile...  because just of the top of my head I've missed you and you among others.

And if I know you enough that I've communicated with you outside of my blog...  or expect to... Jess...  then you won't ever see yourselves here.   I feel I know you well enough that if I want to say something...  I'll just say it.  And that means I also feel I know you well enough that you won't just gloss over my email and let it blend with all the others.   And thank you for that.  :)

Want to be my pal?

Penpal, that is?  I was reading Jessica's post today.  She was talking about penpals and how wonderful they are.  And I want one.  I don't know how good I'll be at it, but I won't know if I don't try.  So... Who wants to write me letters and get letters back from me?  That's how it works, right?

Not quite a post...


So I was going to post tonight about LeBron hate and Heat Hate and how it's ridiculous and how I hope they win.  How I feel bad for LeBron that the masses seem to be holding on stupid decision (The Decision, to be exact) against him.  He had every right to leave Cleveland and most sane people should understand that.  I mean, the Cleveland fans don't, but I get that.  I understand fanhood and that they now are obligated to hate him forever.  But everone else?  Get over it.  Yeah, the WAY he left Cleveland...  very poorly handled.   But how people are equating that to him being a bad player...  and the HATE?  I just don't get it.  I mean other than the grand show he had last night where he was less King James and more the king of just standing there...  he's phenomenal.  If he continues on this path...  again aside from last night...  he will be the best player we've seen...  ever.   And aside from that asinine hour he spent on ESPN that one night...  he's a decent person.   You know what?  I like him.  You know what?  I like the Heat.  You know what?  I hope they win.  And lastly, you know what?  I hope they do it in grand style winning the next two and LeBron having 35 point nights.  Yeah, that's right you Heat Haters and you LeBron Haters.  In your face.

Hey look at that.  I guess I do have a post.  With a picture and everything.

Good night.   And yes, tonight was infinitely better than last night.  No one puked...  no one got attacked...  no one got diarrhead on....  and the Phillies won.  It was a good night.

Not the relaxing night I'd hoped for.,,

So tonight I had plans.  Big plans for a relaxing night.  An hour or so of the Phillies game...  which quickly turned into watching SVU since when I turned on the game it was 4 to 1 Phillies losing.   And then at 9,  game 4 of the NBA finals that I'd watch for an hour on the couch and then the rest in bed.  Which, by the way, can you tell me why they put the games on at 8 during the weekend and at 9 during the week??  I think that's just...  rude.   But anyway,  that was my plan.  I was looking forward to it.

And then?  A crisis.   My dogs like cat litter, it's gross, but there it is.  And while we keep the box clean...  there's always something in it bcause I don't follow my cats with a pooper scoop.  So the bathroom, where the litter is, is open all day when we're at work.  It's closed for the couple of hours at night when we're awake and the dogs are out.  Then it gets opened back up at night when we're in the bedroom and the dogs are in there with us.

Well, this usually works A-OK with no problems.   Tonight?  Not so much.  My husband left to go running at the park and our one cat let out a mournful meow.  I asked her what was wrong and she came over to be petted, so I thought she just wanted some love.   Then?  She peed on the floor.  Poor thing.   I had that bathroom shut so it was my fault.  I didn't have the heart to be mad at her.  UNTIL...  I came back into the room armed with a wad of paper towels and she was...  squatting.   I said no no no no and I grabbed her and started to run to the bathroom.  And that's when she shot diarrhea all down my pant leg.  Y'all, nothing will make me puke faster than being pooped on.  I can hardly wait to be a mom what with the projectile pooping and the atomic diapers.   Anyway...  I tossed the cat down to the floor.  Figuring they always land on their feet and right there in the den I stripped off my pants and undies.  I've never undressed so fast.  I was like a horny teen on prom night.  But without the terrible sex and instant regret.

Then disturbed by my yelling and gagging and the dogs running around like idiots, one of my other cats just freaking FLIPPED OUT.  He was arching his back and growling and hissing.   I managed to get the one dog out the back door.  The other dog tried but the Insta-Devil Cat blocked the way.  So the other dog I got into the bedroom but on the way PsychoCat attacked her from behind so she ran into the bedroom howling.   But she was in there...  so all was well.  I just had a crap ton of crap to clean up.   Which, oh my gosh, I do NOT handle well.  At. All.

Then suddenly I heard the dog in the bedroom going buck wild yelping and whining.  So I go in and she's in her crate backed up to the back of it.  Our bedroom cat - he lives there because Psycho Cat hates him and wants him dead, don't worry...  our bedroom is HUGE with lots of windows and cable.  He's a happy cat.   But anyway, so the bedroom cat is standing in the entrance way of the crate...  probably just to say hi to the dog I put in the bedroom because they're buds...  but my dog was like "OMG CAT!!  YOU'RE ALL EVIL TO ME NOW!!"  and she was just having a frenzied CONNIPTION FIT.  So I got bedroom cat away from Scaredy Dog and shut the crate.  THEN I continued on my endeavor to clean the poop.

I called my husband and was like, "I need you home now."  He wanted to know what was going on...   I told him that Easygoing Dog was outside, Scaredy Dog was in the crate and might be hurt, Psycho Cat was slowly getting back to normal but was still meowing in that weird, "I'm barely holding my crap together" way that means he's walking a fine line and Sick Cat was nowhere to be found, could be hurt from me throwing her down and wherever she was, she was probably still pooping.

My husband did another 8/10ths of a mile and came home.  What a guy.  When he got home I had all the crap cleaned up, my pants in a trashbag and down the laundry chute and Psycho Cat was normal.   Scaredy Dog as still in the crate, Laidback Dog was still outside and Sick Cat was still MIA...  and probably still pooping.  Not to mention the house stunk to high heaven.

I'm happy to report that Sick Cat was found and is unhurt and didn't poop anymore....  Scaredy Dog is unhurt and the only bad side effect is that Psycho Cat and Scaredy Dog are no longer friends.  Which sucks, but we'll deal.   So after all that I sat down to watch the NBA game that had been on for 20 minutes at that point and promptly spilled my soda all over the power strip where everything is plugged in.   Good times.

I think it's time for bed.


Ok.  Everyone who was friends with me on the Hamlet's Mistress Facebook page...  I'm now HERE.    Please please please join me there.   Loves!

Shop my AVON store!

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Six Word Memoir

I'm not tired.  I'm just lazy.

          Mama's Losin' It

My pre-pubescent self is somewhere heartbroken...

Maybe this is old news and maybe I'm just way behind on this...  But Jonathan Knight is gay.  GAY.   Now, don't get me wrong...  I have no issues with people being gay or homosexuality in any way...  but WHY, JON??  WHY?   Man, he was totally the New Kid on the Block I was going to marry.  So introspective, so quiet, so understated and underrated.  He was perfectly gorgeous and perfectly mannered.  Not flamboyant like the rest of them.  Cool, calm and reserved.  And he was going to be my husband.  Sigh.  C'est la vie, I guess.



It's shocking to me.  Because really?  I'd have guessed Jordan all day long and twice on Sunday...

[caption id="attachment_926" align="alignnone" width="199" caption="Can you blame me?"][/caption]

Now if you'll excuse me, my 12-year-old self needs to go eat a pint of ice cream.