Archive | March, 2010

Ugly Shoes & BLT’s

13 Mar

This week I have really embraced my inner nerd, catalogued all my books, and learned myself a few things.  Being Velma isn’t all that bad.

First, I can’t stop painting.  My house will never be completely painted.  It’s a little bit of an obsession or maybe it’s a compulsion, probably a twisted mix of both.  I just know that eventually I will require intervention.  Someone will need to stand on my porch with a megaphone and tell me to “Put the brush down and step away from the can.”  Two days of sunshine and I already broke out the spray paint.   Maybe I need to buy some white overalls and go into business.

I am also seriously considering painting my floors the color of mud.  Does anybody feel the need to talk me out of this?  If you do, now’s the time.  Benjamin Moore makes a floor paint in a very deep chocolate-brown.  I can’t afford new floors, but white was a very poor choice of floor color.  It’s fine for my bedroom; however, downstairs is a disaster.  Only paint your floors white if you plan on evicting your family, killing your dog, and cutting off your feet.

Also, the next time I mention painting my banister and all the twenty-six spindles that line each step, remind me to rip the entire staircase out and use a ladder.  Painting spindles is worse than painting pickets.  Thankfully I’ve run out of paint, so I am taking a break.  My brush needs a rest.

I know you want pictures and I promise you’ll be the first to see the completed design.  I am just holding out for one of those dramatic before and after photos.

Second, I had no idea the pig is the animal of choice in home remedies.  I’m not sure I’ll wrap myself in a slab of raw pork, but I will definitely eat a BLT the next time I feel under the weather.  If you missed Doctoring Without a License, click HERE.  The comments are interesting.

Third, grass isn’t the only thing that grows in Springtime.  My children both outgrew all of their shoes and boots after one week of temps above freezing.  If we lived in Florida, they would be giants with boats for feet.  We went on an all out shopping spree in Wally World.  Yes, I am cheap.  My kids already know that if it doesn’t have a red clearance sticker, we can’t buy it.  Thankfully we found a lovely pair of pink and white sneakers for $5 and some dark manly colors for $10.

I know.  Why am I telling you this?

It is because I really needed a hybrid that walks between the boots and flip-flops.

$7 incase you’re wondering and not worth a penny more.  When you live in North, you become so desperate for Spring that you’ll wear a garden on your feet.

If anyone feels the need to nominate me for “What Not to Wear,” I am ready.  Bring on the cameras!

From a blogger with bad taste in shoes,

The Perfect Woman

11 Mar

Warning:  This is a post where I get all ‘spiritual’ on you and maybe even a little bit preachy.  I understand that not all of my readers believe exactly like I do and I love that.  I just want to remind you that all’s free in blogland.  If you don’t want to read today’s post, you are free to click the ‘x’ in the upper right hand corner.  I won’t be insulted one little bit as long you’re not insulted that I occasionally choose to write about my beliefs.   Fair?  So either you can share your thoughts in the comment section or I’ll see you tomorrow, but there are no hard feelings either way. ;-)

I once had the pleasure of meeting the perfect woman.

She showed up at the park with a starched dress and four spit-and-shined children wrapped in matching outfits, not an unruly hair to found on the five of them.  After talking to her for minute, I found out that she never fights with her husband, has children who don’t lie, and actually retouches her makeup at night in order to look her best for bedtime.

As I listened to each charm laced word that slipped from her polished lips, I found myself slinking further into my mac & cheese stained sweatshirt.  You see , my crying lying kid just wiped her runny nose on my arm and left a buggery shadow of humanness as a reminder.  We are not perfect.  Not any one of us in my family, including my sorry excuse for a man’s best friend.

Selfishness has been known to slither its way into my heart and cause chaos in our home.  My marriage is a union of two strong-willed and slightly pig-headed individuals who need to work on submitting ourselves to one another every day.  Even my children sometimes make foolish choices, use their tongues instead of their minds, and act before considering the consequences.  In fact, they are over-energized, smaller versions of ourselves.  We are a human bunch and sinful too.  Forgiven and striving to live holy lives pleasing to our heavenly father, but sinful just the same.

We have not yet found perfection.

In a way, I way rejoice in these human deficiencies of mine, because I know God is still working on me.  I’m not so tidy that He can’t clean me up and make me shine for Him.  I still go to His Word because I need supernatural strength and wisdom beyond my capabilities.  I don’t have it all figured out, but I know the one who sees the beginning from the end.  He looks down on my very human, sin-scarred self and sees the righteousness of His son, the only truly perfect one to walk this earth.

There is a passage in the Bible that says this:  highlighted phrases are definitions of possibly unfamiliar words

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified [declared innocent or guiltless] freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [the act of appeasing wrath] through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  Romans 3:23-26

Instead of feeling guilt and defeat in my humanness, I want to rejoice.  If I never yelled at my kids, threatened the dog with death, thought that my husband can just eat dirty snow for dinner, allowed a foul mood to darken my face, or offended a church lady, I would not see my sin.  When I fail, I know exactly what area of my heart, mind, or body needs to be yielded to His control.

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  Romans 6:13

I don’t want to be so strong that I have no need to lean on the rock, but I don’t want to be so weak that I forget I am more than a conquerer in Christ.

At times I think we women are on the quest for perfection rather than Godliness.  We want to project the image that we’ve got it all under control, even if God has no control.  Sometimes we get so consumed with what others are seeing and saying that we forget about what God is seeing – our heart.

The Bible states in 1 Samuel 16:7 that “the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

Our heart, it’s what God really desires from us in the first place.  He wants it more than he wants us to look nice, or keep our floors mopped, or sing in church on Sunday, or iron our kid’s clothes.  Maybe with a lot of work we can appear to be that perfect woman, but it means nothing if God doesn’t have our hearts.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret…Sometimes it’s easier to look perfect than it is to be holy.

If you would like to read similar types of posts, you can click on the links below.

Playing God

What I’m Learning About Faith

My Last Starbucks Coffee

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Call me Velma

10 Mar

FringeMan thinks that I look like a librarian.

He claims this is sexy, but in reality, it’s a lot like being called Velma.

It could be worse.  I could look like Scooby-Doo.

Doctoring Without A License

9 Mar

FringeKid may become the first professional in my family to practice medicine with a license.  I am thrilled with the idea of free medical care, because I know that one day I will find myself using Bengay more frequently than deodorant.  Now she is not the first female in my family to be drawn to medicine.  The matriarchs of the FringeFamily have passed down the ‘white lab coat’ chromosome for generations.  Unfortunately a license is not immediately gifted upon birth; however, we have not allowed national regulations to stop us from diagnosing and treating common illnesses.

I wanted to be a doctor until I started losing my hair over math tests, so I got a degree in English.  Although I use words more than a stethoscope, I can hear a wheeze from three blocks away.  When my daughter was only two, I impressed the pediatrician with my ability to diagnose a breathing problem.  She told me that I had detected what many doctors would miss.

One day FringeMan came home complaining of a possible heart-attack.  I carefully examined him and diagnosed an asthma attack.  He scoffed, but two weeks later (let’s hope it wasn’t his heart), the doctor confirmed my diagnosis and prescribed the same medicine that I use myself.

The primary difference between the doctoring of my ancestors and my own medical skills is that I merely diagnose.  When I was a child, my family used treatments that would make a witch doctor proud.

If my throat hurt, my grandmother would open the freezer.  Before I knew what was happening, a dead pig would wrap my pained throat in hopes of drawing out poison.  I wonder if Dr. Oz uses salted pork to cure sore throats?

I spent at least half of my childhood with an elevated alcohol level.  It’s shocking that I have not used Chardonnay in my kid’s sippy cup.  Have you read Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay?  Me either, but the title is catchy.  At the first sign of cough, a Tupperware container would appear and you would get a spoonful of a sweet and warming home concoction.  To this day, I am unsure of the ingredients, but I know it included honey and a shot of something that came from a bottle hidden on the top shelf of a dark cabinet.  I subsequently slept through the first ten years of my childhood.

My kids have no idea what they have escaped.

Needless to say that while blood poured from a young man’s head and pooled on the floor of an examining room, I did not expect my daughter to say, “You know, I think I’d like to work in the Emergency Room.”

Those Trauma ER shows are some of my favorite to watch and while my son turns his head in horror, my daughter sits perched and waiting to see a live surgical procedure.  I am so happy.  If I can get her past second grade spelling, she may just make it through medical school.

Did your family use any home remedies?

What do your kids want to be when they grow up?

A Little Spring and A Lot of Nothing

7 Mar

My weekend began with hopes high on the first sign of Spring – a baby fly; however, Mindy quickly squelched my joy by reminding me that flies are adult maggots with wings.

I killed the fly, but my hope lives on.

The sun has been shining so much that my eyes are actually growing accustomed to light.  My empty vitamin D vat is filling and once it’s warm enough to shed some layers, color may return to my now see-through skin.  The snow is melting and I have never been happier to see small patches of dead grass.  There is life after February.

I am inspired to paint walls, wash windows, and return to a regularly happy post-winter state of mind.  It only took eight months for me to decide what to do with my entryway and staircase, but I’ve been short on cash and low on ambition.  However, my decision is final and baby steps have been taken to turn my ugly hallway into a cheery and welcoming space.  It will look like the hallway in this photo except it will be in my house, so it will never be that neat and the floor will be different.

I wish I knew where this photo came from so I can give proper credit. I think it may have it's origins with Country Living Magazine, but I am not certain.

Friday night I purchased 8 sheets of coordinating scrapbook paper and framed them.  They will hang on my wall above my shelf.  It’s called cheap art.

The last time I scrapbooked was back when I was lactating and people were still using construction paper and scratch and sniff stickers.  There just weren’t many choices.  Now scrapbooking is an art that necessitates four aisles in Michael’s.  You can create a ten-dollar page complete with 3-D stickers and embellishments faster than I can snap a picture.  I’m going to have to win the lottery before I can start scrapbooking again.

But that’s neither here nor there, because I found the bed of my dreams.

I have no idea where this photo came from...I was entraced in joy and just hit save.

This bed makes my heart swell, my eyes drip tears, and my heart flutter.  Seriously, I am in love.  FringeMan likes it too and has agreed to make it for me; however, we must do one thing at a time.  I will wait.

Currently FringeMan is snoring very loudly.  I am downstairs.  He is upstairs in bed with the door shut and I hear him.  He has pneumonia.  Poor dear.  He’ll be ok, because he has horse pills, but he would appreciate a prayer and a warm wish.  Of that I am sure.

What do a writing desk and a raven have in common?

Absolutely nothing and you would know that if you went to see Alice in Wonderland this weekend.

You must see it!  It’s possible that I enjoyed it more than my kids, and I have been known to sleep through entire children’s movies in the theater.  I figure the price of entrance is worth a nap, but not this time.  Alice’s dresses make me want to run around in ruffles and fluff and have tea with the Mad Hatter, a character I fully enjoyed.  I will tell you no more.  Go, follow the rabbit, buy your popcorn and enjoy.

The grand finale to a nearly perfect weekend was puddle-jumping with FringeKid.  We walked clear across town and back and she never ran out of words. Not for a moment!  I’d like to tell you that I heard a bird chip, a child laugh, or a train roar by in the distance, but I did not.  I heard my eight year-old chatter in my ear non-stop.  She never even took in air.  It was amazing and scary and lovely.

Tell me about your weekend please.

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Crate Training

6 Mar

Because I have crate trained my dog, whenever I get mad at her, I merely hold out my arm with my finger pointed in the direction of her crate and say, “Go to your box!”

She quickly runs into her box and that’s it.

It finally occurred to me that maybe I should have just crate trained my kids.

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Remembered Surprise

5 Mar

I sat cross-legged on the two foot square patch of floor I called my living room.  The clock ticked away the minutes without my realizing the time.  Putting together these Christmas baskets consumed me.  They were a mixture of hokey holiday crafting and wedding memorabilia.  Unfortunately every member of my family would end up with one these masterpieces and I’d be inspecting to make sure they didn’t trash my gift after the new year.

Just as I put the finishing touches on my last basket, my new husband burst through the door, a package hidden under his coat.  Jumping up to greet him and trying to catch a glimpse of the bag, I leaped the entire length of both the living room and dining room, but he was quicker yet.  I was kissed by a slammed door.

After what seemed like minutes hours of pestering, my husband finally opened the door and silenced me with his lips.  With his breadth still hot on my face, I looked into his eyes and asked, “Is it the snow globe from Saks Fifth Avenue?”

That was the first of many times FringeMan wanted to kill me for ruining his surprises.

I have spent my entire life honing my gift guessing skills and have become quite efficient at the squeeze, shake, and sniff.  FringeMan quickly learned to keep my gifts under lock & key until Christmas morning.  Almost nothing I do can make him angrier than when I guess a gift.

Well, tonight’s light situation came close, but that’s another story…


Click the button for more great Flashback Friday stories.  This weeks theme is ‘Surprises’.  Link your story!

If you’re bored, here’s another surprise I got because of friendships.  CLICK HERE

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Contest – $250

4 Mar

Recently I wrote a review on eShakti, the online women’s clothing store that offers customized styles for every woman who is a size 0-26.  To read my complete review and learn more about the company, click HERE.

eShakti is now hosting a great contest that you’ll want to enter.  The prizes are worth your time!  Here are the details:

1.  Who is the eShakti Woman?  (Describe the eShakti Woman in 25 words or less.)

2.  Mention 3 items of eShakti clothes that you feel best represents eShakti for you.  (30 words or less)

3. One entry per person.


First Prize:  $250

25 Second Prize Winners:  $50 each

Every entrant will get a $10 gift certificate to eShakti


Contest valid until March 31, 2010

To enter this contest, please click on the following link.  CONTEST ENTRY FORM

For my review and learn more about eShakti, please click HERE.

Hope you have fun and good luck!

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Jail Time

2 Mar

This post is linked to Tuesday’s Unwrapped @ Chatting at the Sky.  Visit for more stories.

Yesterday began innocently enough.  FringeMan turned on his lovey-dovey voice, gazed into my eyes, and said “Do you want to come to work with me today?”

I’m wise to his game.  He doesn’t want me around for company any more than he wants the dog tagging along.  Turns out, he had wallpaper that needed to be stripped for a kitchen renovation he’s doing.  I find it ironic that he’s renovating another woman’s kitchen while I am left counterless; however, he’s not giving her the things that I need – cabinet doors and countertops.  She only gets lights and sheetrock from him, so I’m not whining.

Unfortunately I was a wretched wife wrapped in the sleepiness of her bathrobe and I told him that I had a lot of important things I HAD TO DO.  Today.  I gave him a kiss and my best tips for removing wallpaper and sent him on his way.

Lest you think I am always so heartless, I will prove you wrong.  There have been many a cold day that I have helped run service wire on top of a mountain in order to get somebody’s electricity hooked up.  I hung vinyl siding while pregnant and my neck is permanently cricked from holding boards of sheetrock on the ceiling while he screws them in.  I work with him, just not this day.


He came walking back in the door two minutes later telling me the woman called in sick with the swine flu and he had to reschedule.  Suddenly I was awake and ready to work.  Nothing was so important that it couldn’t be put off until tomorrow.

I was dressed in five minutes and talked him into taking me out.  Since we hung signs that said ELECTRICIAN – INSURED & PHONE # in every town between here and the closest good pizza place (a forty minute drive – we’re picky), it was more of a work date, but I’ll take what I can get.  These signs, made of corrugated plastic, are fabulous.  They are red and white and can be spotted a mile away.  They were also my idea.  I had 100 signs sent straight from Texas.  I figure I deserve a paycheck since now I’m not only working as a ‘helper’, but also a publicist.

We tacked signs to every visible telephone poll between here and Canada.  Ok, not quite that far, but far.

Sure enough, during dinner FringeMan’s phone starts ringing.  You can imagine his surprise when it was the police department informing him that he is currently violating town ordinances and his name could potentially show up on America’s Most Wanted.  I could just imagine him being pulled over while on a Sunday drive and spending the night in the local slammer, because that would happen.  Make no mistake.

It would also appear in the paper and need explaining come Sunday morning church.  Preachers doing jail time are not in vogue.

I’ll just say he was less than pleased to retrace his miles and remove the signs, but I am happy.  I went out and had pizza.

I know what you’re thinking and yes, my life really is that lame.

Today I am thankful for the gift of a good husband – one who will exhibit self-control and not murder me for the giant box full of signs sitting in his office.  A husband that takes me for pizza even when I refuse to remove another woman’s wallpaper.

There’s a verse in the Bible that says, “He who findeth a wife findeth a good thing.”  Sometimes it’s the other way around.

If you’re new to the domestic fringe and have not yet met my husband, please click HERE.

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Bad Mommy Bonanza

1 Mar

According to my children’s stories, I am the queen of mothering catastrophe.  This crowning glory comes at a price.  Every pediatrician I’ve ever met thinks I am parental knucklehead at best.  I’m not sure if storytelling is an inherited trait, but when the doctor asks the simplest of casual questions, my kids embark on a graphic word tirade that makes me cringe and the doctor laugh, eyebrows raised in my direction.

I once had to promise on my grandmother’s Bible that I was not feeding my son squirrels every night for dinner.  Seriously, I can barely cook beef.  What would I do with a squirrel?

Not only that, but my son ate his first Twinkie in school last month.  Am I even an American?  Could I possibly have withheld Twinkies from my son for a full ten years?  I’m not sure if I should be proud or repent?

So last week when I brought my son to the doctor for his annual checkup, I knew that I was going to spend twenty minutes laughing at my kid’s antics.  I was not disappointed.  The theatrics began before the doctor even entered the examining room.  My son clutched his stomach, began groaning, and begged for help because he was bleeding to death.

This is what the audience of doctors and nurses heard.

“Hhhelp! *gasp* I, I’m bleeding… *gasp* I’m cut and I’m gonna die. *gasp*

Because we just moved, this was a new doctor.  I guess we may as well make a good first impression.

The doctor asked him if he was enjoying his snow days and he said, “Not so much today.  My mom made me shovel all day.”

Hello!  I endured the pains of labor so I could birth a son to shovel for me.  It’s the least he could do!

Your turn.  Spill the beans.

What do your kids say about you?

Am I the only one who has kids who tell bad mommy stories?

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