December 10, 2012

weekend wrap up

This past weekend started off with a bang. The Divine Miss O's mouth isn't so divine, so her weekly orthodontic visits began. This first process of putting an expander on her chompers takes a few weeks. She was a pro I was told. Maybe watching her big bro suffer through the process first has served her well.
My mom drove up to pick up the kids and take them home with her. I treated her to a manicure as payment. No photos were taken. But, I can tell you when the kids rushed off the bus that afternoon and we loaded them up into Grandma's car, a happy dance coupled with nonrhythmic clapping and several "oh yeahs" came over me.
Mom took the kids for the weekend mostly so Mr. Hawthorne and I could whoop it up at Mr. Hawthorne's work party. And, whoop it up we did. We stayed up way past our bedtime. We enjoyed some spirits. And, took part in a music scene that was completely new to us. Daydream Vacation (above) was one of the many bands and DJs that graced the stage.

Picture ops with life size scary dudes happened too.
On Saturday, we overslept a teeny bit and barely made it out to brunch with out-of-state friends. I was so glad the restaurant we met at is literally just around the corner because I would have been sad to miss seeing my peeps. We spent the rest of the day running errands and organizing our Christmas gift purchases. Aside from my living quarters being a complete wreck, I feel totally on top of the season this year.

Sunday morning I got Mr. Hawthorne out of bed at 5:30am so he could register to run in the Jingle Bell 5k with me. Even though he was getting over a cold, he agreed. I enjoyed some extra time spent with the hubster and I even shaved fourteen minutes off my 3 mile race time. Toot, Toot!

 Afterwards, we loaded the pups up into the car and hit the road to retrieve the kids. Nobody loves road trips more than these two I tell ya. We ate dinner with the parental units and then drove home in the dark, rainy night.

December 3, 2012


You know what I hate more than anything? Going to the dentist. Oh those routine cleanings are ok and my dentist is nice enough. It's the "work" that has to be done that bothers me. The "work" I had been trying to avoid as long as possible. Being the end of the year is near and the flex account money needed to be spent, I had to bite the bullet and go. So, I went. This morning.

I'm now writing this post with half of my face lacking any feeling while comically trying to take sips of a warm beverage. Don't worry, I didn't have any teeth pulled or cavities. I just had some old fillings removed and replaced with fancy new ones. And, with that, this gal should be completely done with any further "work"....forever. Thankyouverymuch!

Also, in case you were wondering, my goal of having the house in tip-top, Christmas shape came and went. It still looks a mess. Piles here. Piles there. Forget about trying to use the dining room table for it's main purpose of eating meals. Nope. It's not a desk, storage and gift wrapping station. Why is it when you try to organize something, you end up making a bigger mess than you started out with?

Bits of the abode have been organized and rearranged but it still feels like a work in progress. The season is sliding in and the unwanted junk and clutter is moving out thankfully. One can actually walk through the garage without hurting oneself. Can't say the same for the hallway upstairs however. The most exciting part of this past weekend was when the ginormous, as big as it was wide, TV from the year 2000 left the building. I swear we gained twenty-five square feet in the living room just by walking that sucker out the door. It was cause for celebration I tell ya.


I step away from the computer for two seconds and then *POOF* the entire day is gone.
And, what do I have to show for it? Nothing really, except for a sore cheek (thank you dr. dentist) and Christmas cards half way stuffed, labeled and stamped.

What's more?! This post is really about nothing. Absolutely nadda. I have no idea where I was going with it when I started and I have no clue how to wrap it up. So I just keep on rambling. Somebody needs to shut me up. Or give me a topic.

More importantly. I can now feel my face again. My tongue isn't bouncing around in my mouth like a swollen, numb noodle anymore. Plus, I was able to eat some very delish bean soup. Look out family!!

November 30, 2012


Why is hair so important to us gals?
We agonize over it. We color it. We envy other's. We hide it. We blow it out. We curl it up. We buy product for it. We spend hours looking at it. And, if someone pays us a compliment over it, we tend to respond with a lackadaisical "ohhh, thanks" while we shrug our shoulders. But inside, we are SCREAMING "Yes, someone noticed how GREAT my hair day is officially made!"
Here's the thing. I've never had much luck with my mane. It's this crazy texture. A mix between curly and not. Frizzy and wavy. Fine but thick. Not to mention, I posses one of the meanest cowlicks known to man. People actually think I have straight hair. I do not. I spend mucho face time in front of the mirror with my friends, the blow dryer and the flat iron.
For a year now, I've been sporting variations of a pixie cut. I do love this short hair thing. That is the truth. I've cut my blow drying and flat ironing time by more than half.  
But, still. I have this mop on top of my head that needs grooming and with short dos the amount of times you visit the stylist's chair goes up. I've been super frustrated with the amount of money these frequent visits cost. Sure, I get a nice cup of something warm. The stylists semi gets my style right. We make chit chat and she/he pretends to be interested in my job as a full time mother. And, in the end, I've never been completely, 100% satisfied with the outcome. Forced to shell out between fifty and eighty smackaroos. Only to hold my breath and cross my fingers the next time.
Yet it never fails, with every new stylist at the next, new, hip spa-like joint my hopes are raised. Thinking, maybe, this time I will immediately fall in love with my perfectly coiffed hair. Only the next time, is exactly like the last time. I'm never completely satisfied no matter how much the stylist fakely smiles and tells me how cute everything is. I know, they know, that I know, that they totally effed up and how they only are allotted an hour per costumer and my time done runned out.
I'm not over exaggerating people. Really I'm not. This is the truth. I have hard hair. I admit it. And, I'm not just whining.
Unwilling to go through the pain of making an appointment and draining my bank account just for my stupid hair, I happened to find myself in front of a Great Clips this afternoon. Yes, Great Clips. It was right next to Radio Shack. Two places I have long stopped going into since the eighties.
I always sorta assumed Great Clips are those establishments only men, children and older folks get their hair did at. But, there I was peering through the window watching the three Asian women shuffle one gentlemen after another. I took a chance. I walked in. I confidently gave my name.
Five minutes later I was in a chair trying to explain my style as simply as I could to my 'English as a Second Language' stylist. She made quick work of my head. We didn't make small talk. I wasn't offered a beverage. And, she barely dried my hair. Which was totally OK by me, because I came home right after and styled it myself. The best part, however, I was charged only sixteen dollars (plus five for shampooing) for just maybe one of the best haircuts I've had in a year.
Who knew!
Great Clips!

November 29, 2012

birthday boy

Hard to believe I met this guy a mere nineteen years ago. Something cosmic made me stop at his cubical in our university library one fall afternoon. A brave move on my part I might add. We've been "together" ever since. I love the way he loves me and I appreciate his loyalty to our family. So, on this special day, I wish my Mr. Hawthorne a very Happy Birthday!


November 28, 2012


The four day, Thanksgiving weekend came and went. Everyone was healthy and happy. Monday morning rolled around and all my hopes of getting more crap done with everyone out of the house was squashed by this chick. She woke barking like a seal and suffering from random nose bleeds throughout the day. We ventured out today for a quick visit with the doc only to find out sickie doesn't suffer from anything that they will treat with medicine so we are forced to just wait it out.
In other news, my house continues to thrive in a constant state of clutter and mess. It looks like a moving company and a laundromat came in and threw up. Everywhere. My mind-set started out with moving a couch to make room for the Christmas tree. However, it's resulted in a full scale rearrangement of almost every room. I do not have OCD. Sadly. I tend to bounce from one room to the next starting projects only to be interrupted by some other project. In fact, I'm sitting here writing this post when I should be working on (and finishing) one of my many projects. I annoy myself. Maybe I have ADD instead.
My goal is to have everything in tip-top shape by the end of this week. I've got two days left.
Wish me luck.

November 25, 2012

tree farm 2012

Every year my wee family and I trek to our favorite tree farm nestled on the side of a mountain. And, through the nine-ish/ten-ish years we've been doing so, this little farm has turned from a quaint little cabin in the middle of a forest of Christmas trees, to a full scale operation. Every season there have been changes and this year wasn't any different. We were surprised to see a huge pole barn standing behind that little cabin complete with fancy heat lamps. But what hasn't changed is the camp fire, free hot cocoa, Santa Claus, the old fire engine and the trees of course.

We jumped at the break in the rain as it's been a monsoon up in these parts. The farm was a bit sloshy because of it. But, the weather wasn't too cold and the hot cocoa was aplenty, so we enjoyed kick starting the holiday season together.

A friend told me not too long ago that her goal for the holiday was to have everything Christmas done by the first of December. That way, the season can be slowed down and enjoyed. Instead of rushed and stressed. I've sorta/kinda been trying to do the same.

Mr. Hawthorne had this week of Thanksgiving off . We enjoyed taking a major chunk out of our Christmas list shopping together while the kidlets were in school.

Consequently, I feel totally on top of this holiday thing this year. Gift shopping is almost complete. Tree has been cut down and brought home. Photos for the Christmas card have been taken. And it's not even December first yet. Booya!

Here's hoping your season is merry and bright.

Happy Holidays!

November 16, 2012

anam cara

There is a belief in Ireland that if we're lucky we will find a soul friend, or anam cara. I believe I have found mine in Kelly.

We met while working at the same department store some eighteen years ago. She worked in lingerie, I was in sportswear. We were fast friends! Young and silly.

She even held court as my matron of honor when Mr. Hawthorne and I married.

Kelly now lives in Michigan and I don't get to see her (in person) often enough. But through modern technology we often chat on a daily basis which I love.

Today is her birthday and I wish I could celebrate her awesome-ness right along aside her while we "cheers" over mango mojitos. Since we can't be together in person, this long distance wish will have to do.

So, my dearest friend! Paco! My bestie! Kemosabe! My anam cara! I wish you a very Happy Birthday! I miss you much! xoxo



November 7, 2012

four more years

The election of twenty-twelve is, for the most part, over. Halle-freaking-lujah!! The ads on the television was enough to bug the crap out of me. I mean really! They were/are ridiculous! Not to mention every single time one was broadcast across my small screen, I could only think about the amount of money that was wasted.
I don't pride myself to be the most current on all things politics. I pay attention here and there. I form opinions when I've read/researched both sides. And, I ignore the negative banter. I've never written about my views here. Because I don't want to deal with any negative backlash. Who has time for an online, mud slinging, comment war anyway. Not me! That said I plant my feet firmly when it comes to the political views I do posses. 
One thing I know for sure, I will never give my vote to someone who even hints at trying to take the right to choose away from women. Long story, short: I've taken some form of oral contraceptive since I was about twelve years old until I had a hysterectomy in 2008. Not because I was trying to control births but because it was a medical necessity to function and maintain a quality of life. And, thank goodness, I've always had some form of insurance to help make it possible to deal with the cost of my medical needs. However, the contraceptives themselves weren't always covered and I was shelling out thirty to fifty bucks a month back in the day. Which back in the day, was a lot! Actually, still is, methinks!! 
I whole heartily feel it is more than just whether abortions should be legal or not. It's more than planned parenthood passing out free birth control. It is about valuing WOMEN as human beings that can make medical decisions for themselves. Period.
Not only that, I truly believe if the shoe was on the other foot, and a hard fought right of men was being debated. (GASP!) It would NEVER get a second thought. EVER! It would be squashed. Just like that. Never to be brought up again. I hate that this war on "women's right to choose" is constantly battled. It infuriates me in fact!
So I stand, not only for myself but mostly for these two.
I hope you are too.

November 1, 2012


The themed, matching Halloween costumes are a distant memory. Instead, I present zee vampire, the mime and the five foot zombie hunter.

October 29, 2012

careful, I might write a song about you

I've never been one of those people who have lightening tongues and super fast comebacks when being confronted. I seem to stand there looking like an idiot while my insides turn molten and my face a shade of bright red. It's only after the incident I'm able to reflect on the confrontation and think of all the fantastical comments I could have/should have said to shut the confronter up. Never to be given a second chance to redeem myself. It's all rather frustrating.

My only recourse, besides spewing profanities afterwards, is writing my thoughts down. I don't fancy myself a writer. But, I must admit there is something about the written word that is powerfully cathartic. Nothing feels better than artfully forging your thoughts down and then clicking "publish". An instant proverbial weight lifted. Not to mention, there is a sense of gratification peppered with a little bit of "gotcha back!" Even though my disdain for a certain blonde songstress is strong, I do, in a way, relate to her need to pick up a pen and passive aggressively scribble out a tune.

So, when a man, I've never met, happened on my front porch a few evenings back, lunged right into harassing me without introducing himself and lacking any civil niceties while one (or more) of my children stood behind me. I, as you can imagine, was gobsmacked. Why was he on my porch? Apparently, my dogs had been barking 'incessantly' (his word) even though they are indoors majority of the time and crated at night and when we aren't home. My dogs are NEVER left outside, alone, for hours upon hours. I value myself as a very responsible pet owner.

We love our Franklin and Mavis wholeheartedly. Their terrier breed runs deep as they are feisty and protective. Do they bark? Yes. They bark at deer and furry rodents when they are in our yard and people passing the front of our house when they happen to be outside. You know, because dogs bark. Does it annoy us? Yes, at times it does. Do they bark incessantly? No, they do not. How could they when they aren't outside incessantly?! As neighbors, we are all expected to tolerate a certain amount of noise during the day time hours. Lawns being mowed, construction on houses, radios being played, cars being washed, road work near by, children laughing/playing, garbage trucks rumbling, celebrations being had and, YES, even dogs barking. GASP!

Currently, we do not have a privacy fence around our backyard so Frank and Mavis can see the street in front of our house. And, due to the road work being done just outside our neighborhood, our little street has seen a major increase in foot and car traffic. Together, this adds up to a good amount of 'stuff' for the dogs to bark at. However, I will reiterate! My dogs are NEVER outside for long periods of time and NEVER at night. That said, there are several other dogs currently living in our neighborhood that make plenty of noise all by themselves. Like the neighbor right next door that leaves his poor girl outside ALL NIGHT LONG to howl repeatedly under my daughter's window. Another example, the neighbor that walks her foo-foo pup up and down my street several times a day while it practically hangs itself at the end of its leash while barking its little head off, never to be corrected by its owner. Or, the house down the street where two noisy pups live but like mine, are indoors majority of the time. And, there is a dog somewhere that I've heard barking after hours for good stretches of time. All different animals mind you. Therefore, I believe, since my pooches are the most visible, we got the blame. And that, ladies and gentlemen, really pisses me off.

Let me backup a bit ... back to the "Jerk"... since I had never met this man on my doorstep I didn't know who he was when I opened my door to his aggressive tone and repeated questions. Being that it is prime election time, I assumed it was solicitor hawking something about marriage rights or making weed legal. It took me a few out-of-body moments to recognize his car park cockeyed in my driveway, judge his age and mannerisms and recall incidents of other neighbors' run-ins with him that I gathered who he even was. And, when I summed it all up, concluding this man was none other than Mr. 417, the one I have heard so much about, I slowly started closing my door in his face. To which he arched his body and aimed his head into my door jam to repeat the same questions yet again.

At this point, you might be thinking to yourself "incidents of other neighbors"?? Yes, this dude when he's not wintering in Palm Springs or volunteering for the Sheriff's Department thinks his poop is unstinkable and therefore is allowed to run around our neighboring streets, park his obnoxious car in our driveways, trespass onto our property, harass us in our homes, confront our children and make threats against our pets.

But this time. Mr. 417 done knocked on the wrong neighbor's door. I will not tolerate his behavior and I will not be bullied! I am not only standing up for myself but also for my fellow neighbors as I quietly form my counter against this ridiculous person.

I've written my song, I'm doing more research and I will talking to people who are actually on the payrole for the local law enforcement very soon. And, in the mean time, I will continue to care for my dogs just as I always have.

October 21, 2012


Frankie-Stien and Lady Mavis

Although I favor my Irish roots, I do love me some Scots!

October 9, 2012

a pumpkin picking we will go

The weather has been gorgeous. Perfect Fall days. Chilly at night and in the morning, and in the low 70s during the day. I could totally get used to this!

We took the kidlets to the pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins, buy pies and freezer jam, and celebrate the fun Fall time. It's also an excuse to take pictures cuz I love me some pumpkin patch photos!! I think pumpkins, Christmas trees and the beach are my favorite photog locations.


Happy Fall!!