Tag Archives: ties-that-bind


Last Thursday evening, my daughters finally had time on their hands to allow their mother to take them to a beauty store, Ulta Beauty™. Little One is now turning 14, and wanted to get some make-up. I figured we would go in, get her the stuff and come out in 30 minutes.

Boy, was I wrong.


We walk in, and immediately feel the familiar disorientation. So I do what any normal mom would do: walk around aimlessly until something familiar comes into view. YAY!! LIPSTICK!!! Not only do they have almost every brand of make-up known to Womankind, they had sections for every type of make-up as well. But I was there for my kid, not me. Fine….FINE!! We go in search of the Bare Escentuals™ line, since she prefers the expensive stuff mineral make-up, and find her a kit that she likes (she is my picky child). And slyly she adds, “Mom, it doesn’t come with lip gloss…” Well, what kind of a mom would I be if I didn’t get her lip gloss? A SMART ONE!!! But she had Eldest on her side on this and I was weakened by my want need of new lip colors, so I relented. And thank goodness that Ulta™ had their lip, eye and nail colors on sale for 50% off, because that meant that I could get some lipsticks by Lipstick Queen™, which I am not ashamed to say I have been coveting for about five years now.

I understand this is not about me, but work with me here.

We saunter over to the haircare section to get some hairclips, and spy the sale bins. This place is not for the weak-minded. They had nail colors and eye quads and since they were reasonably priced I piled some in the bag decided to get some for the girls so they could experiment with them. Rounding the next corner we see the facial washes and treatments and both girls pipe up that they are out of their stuff. It was almost synchronized. But you must have a clean canvas in order to paint a masterpiece, right? Sigh…

By now what started as just four “need” items has grown to far, far more. Besides the kit, there are mascaras, eyeliner, seven bottles of nail polish, lip glosses, lipsticks, facial washes, hairclips, hair treatments, and numerous eye shadow quads. In a haze, I tell the girls that this is enough for now, because Ulta isn’t going away any time soon. So I go up to the cashier, a lovely young lady who asks me if I wish to sign up for their rewards card. My first instinct is to say no, since I seldom do that anywhere. But then I take stock of everything on the counter and tell her yes, please. With an understanding glance, she signs me up, rings up my purchases and gives me a few unexpected discounts, and tells me to enjoy my evening. I carry their behemoth-sized bag out to the car while the girls chatter along happily. Inwardly I am cringing at the bill, but the girls are happy and bonding together, something that seldom happens. And that makes up for it, no pun intended.

And that was my experience at Ulta™. Suffice it to say, Hubby took it in stride, not even batting an eye. It helped that I threw my kid under the bus told him that Little One needed a lot of new stuff. Hey, if I am going down for this, I’m taking them with me. They are enablers of the highest caliber 😉

Softly Call the Muster

To my brother Draco,

My heart grieves as it grips with your final goodbye. You were more than just a brother-in-law. You were a big brother, a buddy, and a friend. No matter what, you always knew you could come to me with anything, and often did. There were times when you made me pull my hair out in exasperation, but there were also times when you helped me in my troubles.

Just like a brother would.

I find myself listening to your voicemails, reading your texts and your messages. Hearing your voice again makes me smile, remembering the private jokes and the camaraderie we shared. This past year was not easy for you, but you made the best of it while you were here with us. We got to have you in our lives for eight months, and that in itself was a blessing from God. We still have the paracord bracelets you made, and the martini glasses you “acquired” for us, the beers you left behind, and the bottle of vodka you bought as a “thank you”. That bottle remains unopened on the shelf, waiting for the day when we can gather to celebrate you, Rottie style.


Yes the heart grieves, but it also remembers, and that will be the balm to comfort us. Rangers do lead the way, and you have never failed to do so. You lived more in your 48 years than most people do in two lifetimes. I pray you are at peace, and hope that in slipping the surly bonds that tethered you, you are now free. God bless and keep you, hermano. I am still, and know that you are with us.

No Words

I’m sorry, but I had no idea on how to write this.

My brother-in-law, LC Draco, is in the hospital, in very serious condition due to a cranial bleed and having suffered several strokes. My heart grieves because he has been my older brother for 25 years. I humbly ask for your prayers, good thoughts and vibes, and karma for him.

Draco is a warrior, through and through. He has defied many odds and is still going strong. His road will be a long one, but he has a very loving family who will not let him walk alone.

Thank y’all for your patience, and your prayers.

Choosing Wisely

This is not a philosophical post. Unless you are into wine. Then it qualifies.

While I was on vacation, I had the opportunity to spend time with my sister, Reno Queen. Her family is now back in Texas, and relatively closer to us. I say “relatively” because three hours is a lot closer than fifteen. Anyway, as we were out playing mini-golf (which was really cool under black lighting) we got to talking about birthdays and how we hate that day we are just not ready for middle age. She insists she will live to 120, because 60 is the new middle age.

I’ll be 47 this year. I forgot to have my mid-life crisis. So in a way, she has a point.

Moving along, we were talking about what to get each other for our birthdays. She had wanted to get me a really cool necklace, which I would never wear because I just don’t go out anywhere. And I was at a loss as to what to get her, because her home is still being built and she is in an apartment with limited space. And she has plenty of jewelry. I know this because I have contributed to her stash. But then, while looking at her social-site-with-faces link, we got a brainstorm.


We headed right over to the Hallmark™ store, and she chose hers, and I chose mine, after a time. I must say, my sister knows what she wants pretty well. No waffling with her. But I was torn between the new Butterfly Kisses glass, and the Wine Snob glass.

Sis: I do like the summery colors of the Butterfly glass.

Me: I KNOW! I have a thing for butterflies, but the colors of the Snob glass are gorgeous.

Sis: (compares the two glasses) Uh, the Wine Snob is bigger, and holds more. Get that one.

Me: Good point (heads over to the cashier).

This is my birthday gift from my sister!

wine snob glass

And so my friends, this is how you choose, wisely 😉

What a Difference a Weekend Makes

This weekend we traveled up east to visit family. It had been almost a year since we had gone for a visit, and we were chomping at the bit to get there. I have always found cousins to be the ties in families, and this was no different. All in all, my aunt- and uncle-in-law  hosted two of their kids, and their families, two of their nephews, their wives, and their seven children, along with other family friends. And I won’t lie: it was mostly my aunt-in-law! She not only did this at the last minute, but with a gracious heart and plenty of laughter. I’m sure by Sunday she was completely exhausted.

lewis lake

It doesn’t get better than that, huh? Relaxing by a lake, watching them fish and enjoying the sounds of kids playing and laughing. And that was the ONLY time we slowed down. The rest of the time was occupied with visits and cooking and eating and playing games and generally having fun. Sometimes being busy is the best way to unwind.

And I can’t wait to do it all over again 😀

Time to Work on Little One’s Room

I’m sure y’all remember the amazing transformation I did to Eldest’s room. If you don’t, go ahead and click on the link. I’ll wait.

*waits a few minutes for the awesomeness to sink in*

Amazing, isn’t it? Well, she has done a great job of keeping things pretty organized. So far. But now it’s time to do something special for Little One. And that will NOT be a picnic.

My youngest daughter has very specific tastes. Very…. interesting tastes. Anyone who smiles while watching Rear Window or The Birds has interesting tastes. That’s what I call it, anyway. What can I say? She’s a chip off the old block(head). Thankfully, her room is painted, and she wants to keep the furniture and drapes. So not a lot to do, really. But one of the things she wants in her room is a reading nook: her own chair, her own chandelier (I did say chip off the old block, and meant ME, you know), vanity area, etc. She’s growing up, and wants to make sure WE know it.

bubble chandelier

Like this, only waaaaay cheaper.

I don’t think I’m ready for that.

But she is. She is just a bit…. stubborn when it comes to getting rid of certain things. So today we will be rearranging her things and moving stuff around. The screaming will be epic. But I am sure she has ear plugs for that 🙂

Happy Father’s Day!!

And as usual, it’s a bit chaotic around here.

First, Minecraft™ must be played.

Second, chocolate chip muffins must be devoured.

Third, go zip-lining.

Fourth, stop praying after the zip-lining.

Fifth, enjoy the rest of the day.

vader bbq

Happy Father’s Day to all the Sith dads, and the not-so-Sith 🙂

Graphic courtesy of Tiberius.

Pomp and Not Much Circumstance

Well, it’s final. Eldest has graduated from high school, and now the hard part begins.

The ceremony went without a hitch, and was very well co-ordinated. The speeches weren’t very long. The kids— well, the graduates didn’t fidget much, and for the most part, the young children in the audience behaved quite well. All in all, a very pleasant experience.

And now what?


She has plans, and will be working this summer as a guide and work her way up to canopy and high wire challenge expert. I have no idea what that is, but she’s excited about it. And then she goes off, into the wild blue yonder. And I am left wondering what the heck just happened!!

One down, and two to go. I just hope they will be easier to handle than this one was. 😀

When You Find The One

I dread that question. I know it’s coming, but I don’t want to hear it. To hear it means to answer it, and it won’t be easy.

When will I know if he or she is The One??

It’s a tough question to answer, isn’t it? On one hand, you want to tell them that HE (OR SHE) WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR MY BABY!! Then again, part of you wants to make sure they find the happiness you did. I remember Eldest asking me a long time ago how I knew Hubby was the man for me. I told her a simplified story, but the truth is, he was the one that made me laugh at everything. That was how I knew. It took years for us to adapt to each other as one, but I knew.


I never asked my parents that question, probably because I was afraid of the answer! But it boils down to what he or she is willing to sacrifice for the other. Seeing the imperfections that make them perfect in the others’ eyes, and knowing that at the lowest point, they will help carry the burdens.

I can’t pick their soulmates. I can only guide them through that minefield. But if one day, my daughter texts her boyfriend about how bored she is in her History class, and ten minutes later he bursts into the room, screaming, “THERE’S A TROLL IN THE DUNGEON!! Thought you ought to know…” and pretends to faint in front of the class, I will let her know that he is a keeper 😉

Channeling Alice Cooper

For the first time in like forever, I am looking forward to school ending and summer vacation. For most Stay-At-Home mothers, “summer” means “jail”. But honestly, this time it will be a reprieve from the almost constant deluge of school functions, meetings, concerts, and ROTC events. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being involved. But there is only ONE of me, ok?? It is extremely difficult to be everywhere at once with the Laws of Physics refusing to bend to my every need. Every. Single. Weekend. PEOPLE!! It would have been fine if only all three kids had their activities in the same frickin’ town. But no…. THAT would have been waaaaaaay too easy.

Only the best back-to-school ad EVAH!!

Only the best back-to-school ad EVAH!!

But even I know summer can be a pitfall. It can unravel faster than a cheetah ripping through the yarn aisle at JoAnn’s™. So, a few rules MUST be implemented, observed and enforced in order for Mommy to not escape inside a bottle not lose her mind.


The term “I’m bored!” is banned. If uttered, even in a whisper or under breath, the culprit will have earned five hours cleaning the outside windows with newspapers and vinegar. Yes, I am old school.


You are responsible for your own breakfast AND lunch during the weekdays. Asking me for it will earn you an extra set of chores, to include attic cleaning.


TV will be limited to only three hours per day (not counting evenings). This does include any videogaming. Breaking this rule will have earned the perpetrator three hours of outside activity. Pooper scooper may be involved.


The query, “Why?” is no longer valid. End of discussion.


Any schoolwork for the summer will be done the FIRST two weeks of summer vacation, and not the last 20 minutes of summer vacation. As an addendum, any schoolwork that requires math or physics is solely the responsibility of Daddy. Mommy was told there would be no math.


Music while doing chores or for the joy of it is fine, as long as it is within the accepted parameters: no screamo, no alternative, no techno pop. Also, it must be played at a level consistent with my ability to keep my sanity, so nothing above 1,200 decibels.

So far these are a few of the solid rules. I shall be printing these out and posting them on the refrigerator, as well as on each of their doors. And quite possibly the bathroom mirror. Obey these rules, and you don’t get hurt. It is that simple.

Disobey, and deal with your father 😉