Tuesday, April 30, 2013



Guess what happened last night!!  Little Man slept in his very own bed for 8 hours straight!!  Oh, yes, 8 glorious hours without a whimper or cry or tiny little feet kicking me in the face!  If I seem a little too excited about it; it’s because I am!

You see, Baby Girl and Monkey Man were excellent sleepers.  They both slept through the night consistently from two or three months of age.  So, while I sympathized with Mommies whose little darlings didn’t sleep well, I’d never truly experienced prolonged sleep deprivation before Little Man joined (took over) our household.
sleep zzzs
Photo Source

Don’t get me wrong, it’s all worth it and I wouldn’t trade Little Man for a good nights’ sleep in a million-gazillion years.  But it sure was nice to wake up at 5:30 this morning and realize that he was still asleep in his own bed!

(I really hope I didn’t just jinx it by telling you all about it!!)

It’s April 30th; this is my final installment for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!

  It’s been great writing nearly every day.  So, I’m stepping up for another challenge in May!  I’m joining Jenni at Story of My Life for her Blog Every Day in May Challenge!  She’s chosen a subject for each day of the month for us to share our thoughts on and then link up our post.  I’m excited about some of the posts and hope that I can keep up the writing habit!



Some days, I wish I had a time machine.  I wish I could go back in time and change certain things about my life.  The scary, dark things.  The secrets I kept.  The things I believed about myself.  Some of the choices I made.  The choices that were taken away from me.


Many days, I really want to change how it turned out when I decided to tell the secret and thought I would get help.

Most days, I really wish someone had asked me to tell the truth and had believed me when I did.

 Every day, I really want to understand why the cries for help were ignored.
If I could change the beginning of the story without changing the ending, I would really want to be able to be young without the burdens I’ve carried for as long as I can remember.
I know I can’t.  I know changing any small circumstance could change the entire path.  And as appealing as those big changes seem to me now, I know full well that it would mean sacrificing all that I love about my life today.  I just wish I knew how to be at peace with the past.  I wish I knew how to let go and let it float away like a helium balloon instead of allowing it to weigh me down like a lead weight.



Hugs & Kisses

For as long as I can remember, XO has represented a “virtual” hug and kiss sent to me from someone I love.  And, while virtual hugs and kisses are good, real ones are better!


For the last several weeks, Little Man has started showing affection for us, rather than just a tolerance and expectation that we will meet his every need/want/whim.  The affection started with random hugs and has morphed into the sweetest little combos of hugs and kisses!  If he knew the power those little kisses hold, I’d be getting a LOT more of them!

Each morning when Little Man awakes, we bring him into our bed in the hope of a few more minutes (or hours) of sleep; often this transition occurs at 3 or 4am!  DH starts out snuggling Little Man as the crib is on his side of the bed.  Usually around 6am, Little Man moves over and sprawls his tiny frame across my chest (and sometimes my face).  Eventually, Little Man tires of using me for a mattress and climbs over to DH and insists they get up!

But lately, Little Man has been showing appreciation for our morning snuggle time.  He’ll wriggle his whole body as if he’s somehow going to be able to sink further into me by doing so, and as the wriggling ends he’ll let out a little sigh.  All the while he has the sweetest little grin on his face; it captivates me!  And then, once he’s good and comfortable, he’ll turn his head back toward my face and push his lips against mine.  No pucker, a little slobber as a bonus, and my heart just melts.

It is a good thing that this little boy doesn’t know the power he possesses!  He could rule the world with those little arms and itty bitty little kisses!


Monday, April 29, 2013

Co-Hosting Facebook Frenzy #7


Facebook blog hop 


Facebook Frenzy hop #7

Let's keep it growing! Last week we had a total of


Participants link up their Facebook pages with us! We have new pages every week and so many different pages to explore. What a blast!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Unicorns, Vegetables, WHY?–The life of a procrastinator…

I really meant to post the last two days, but I’ve had a craptastic attitude and didn’t want to spew my ugly feelings out on the interwebs for all to enjoy.  Seriously, my U-themed post was going to be “UGH!” – thank me that you were spared!

So, today I play catch-up!  Don’t expect greatness and we’ll get along just fine!  Also, don’t expect this to flow smoothly; this is three separate posts in one.  The only connection is me – and I’m a weirdo whose brain travels paths much like the kids in those Family Circus cartoons used to.



Unicorns, the mythical creatures that resemble a horse with a single horn protruding from their forehead.  Wikipedia states that during the Renaissance unicorns were known as “an extremely wild woodland creature, a symbol of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin. In the encyclopedias its horn was said to have the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness.”


Back in the 1980s I was an elementary school aged kid whose parents decided taking my brother and I to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus to see “the Living Unicorn” was a good idea.  I remember being sorely disappointed that it was just a goat with one horn.  I’m glad I didn’t know about the controversy surrounding the ‘creation’ of the unicorn.

All of that aside, when I think of a unicorn an entirely different image pops into my head.  I belong to an internet discussion and support group where the term “unicorn” is used as an adjective to describe a person who is convinced (and tries to convince others) that there is good in every person, regardless of their actions that prove otherwise, and that the bad behaviors of relatives should be tolerated simply because they’re faaaaaamily.  It is an agreed-upon fact that unicorns shit rainbows (click the photo below for a recipe for unicorn-poop cookies).  I used to be a unicorn.  No longer; genetics is no longer a free pass into my life.  I will not tolerate hurt, betrayal, manipulation and abuse for the sake of genetics.




“Not until you eat your vegetables!”

veggies first1(2)_thumb

Many a mother has threatened her children with growing old at the dining table if they refuse to eat the vegetables they’ve been presented with their meal.  I know many people, mostly men, who do not like vegetables and consider eating french fries their attempt at a balanced diet!

I grew up with fresh vegetables out of the garden.  I don’t remember ever disliking vegetables; in fact, I love them (with the exception of boiled okra)!  The majority of the vegetables I ate as a child came fresh from the garden or were home-canned from the garden.  Deliciousness!


There’s really very few vegetables I won’t eat.  And I always try them.  As a result, my children grew up eating vegetables as well.  I have little tolerance for picky eaters.  In almost all circumstances, I feel picky eaters are created by their parent’s bad attitudes toward variety in food.  To be fair, though, I understand that some children have medical conditions that lead to an aversion to certain texture foods as well as an inability to consume vegetables.  These are not picky children; they are children with legitimate health-related dietary restrictions!

If your kid doesn’t have medical reasons to have a limited diet, throw some sweet peas or some green beans on their plate!  Smile while you’re eating them!  Vegetable consumption, and a healthy attitude toward food, is taught at the family dinner table!


The question I ask most often – why?

Why did they do that?  Why do they think that?  Why can’t I?  Why me?  Why them?  Why didn’t they do what was right?  Why did they choose that?  Why don’t I understand?


My world is full of WHYs.  Lack of understanding has impacted my life in immeasurable ways.  Wondering WHY has consumed more hours of my life than I would ever want to admit.  It’s not always good for you to ask the question.  It’s certainly not healthy to dwell in the place of wishing to understand.  Some things are so bad and so evil that even if you were told why, the answer would never be sufficient.

The problem with “WHY?”, and the belief that there must surely be a reason behind everything, is that it’s flawed thinking.  I know that I don’t always have a reason behind my actions, so why do I think that others must?  There I go with the WHYs again!  And that’s the other problem with “Why?”:  even when an answer is given, the answer seems so insufficient that it is followed by “But, why?”


The WHYs haunt me.  As if somehow knowing the reason I would suddenly be free to erase all of the aftermath.  It can’t be erased; it needs to be faced.  But the WHY is standing in the way like a wall holding me in place.

And really, that’s the biggest problem with WHY:  being held back from moving on.  And I need to move on.  No answer will ever be good enough.  So I need to learn how to live beyond the aftermath.  I need to leave the WHY behind.

Now that I’ve typed that all out, I feel like I need to apologize for the direction that last section took.  Turns out the funk is still lingering.  Sorry.  I’ll try to get rid of it before my next post!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Twitter

a-to-z-letters-t is for Twitter!

It’s time I come clean.  I’ve tried to pretend, I’ve done some research.  But it’s all for naught…



I just don’t get it.  I’m trying to convince myself that the reason I don’t “get” it is because I don’t have a smart phone.  If I had a smart phone with all those apps, surely I would understand!  Right?  I mean, I used to call myself “Gadget Girl”.  I used to have all the latest techie tools and was fairly up to speed!

But, life has slowed down.  I live in the boonies; I raise chickens and strategically plan my trips into town!  I have had the same cell phone since I was forced to upgrade when Alltel was forced to sell our coverage area to AT&T; at least two years ago.  I don’t like AT&T and I don’t like giving them my money, but their cell service was the only service that would work out here (it might still be).  I refused to buy into the iPhone and shell over even more of my hard-earned money to AT&T!  So, here I sit:  with my semi-smart phone.  I mean, at least it has a touch screen!  And I can get on the internet if I have to…it just isn’t a great phone for accessing the interwebs.  And so, I tell myself that my phone is to blame for the lack of loving and understanding I have for Twitter.  It certainly isn’t because I’m getting OLD and out of touch! (Sweet Cheezits!  PLEASE, tell me it’s not because I’m getting old and out of touch!)

Day 1 - Coffee
My semi-intelligent phone.

Hopefully someday soon, when the internet decides to make me rich and famous, I’ll be able to afford a smart phone!  Until then, I’m relegated to using Twitter on my PC.

Lately, I’ve read a lot of the helpful information Twitter and the internet offers to people with this particular “just don’t get it” affliction.  Here’s some info I found useful:

Can you explain Twitter to me?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Co-Hosting Tuesday's Tea Party #24

We all know blog hops are a great way to gain more followers, meet other bloggers and help each other grow. Don't forget to return the favor to those who follow you. Every Tuesday you can be sure this shin dig will be going on, so be sure to come on back.

Sewing for Earth Day

a-to-z-letters-sewing for Earth Day

This post is so late because I’ve been busy today!  I finally unburied two of my sewing machines and made myself busy!  It feels so great to make some progress on the sewing projects I’ve been mentally planning for a while!

First up was reacquainting myself with my embroidery machine.  It’s a great little computerized gizmo that was a totally entry-level priced but lots of bang for your buck machine.  What really makes it work for me is this added little gadget my mom gave me years ago that allows me to use my computer to program a memory card that goes into the embroidery machine, thereby expanding the designs it can create infinitely!

Programming the sewing machine

When I first dug everything out, though, I was faced with some challenges.  See, my plan was to create a brand logo for the sewing creations I’m working on so that I would eventually be able to embroider my logo on items I create and (hopefully) make a few extra bucks selling on Etsy and perhaps a few local shops.  When I started out I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it because I had forgotten that I don’t own the software required to digitize images and create embroidery patterns from the images.  A little lot of poking around in the internet and a bunch of research later, I had found a free software that allows me to design my own embroidery patterns!

CHill Creations logo 1Stitching the Logo

I spent a lot of time creating and designing a logo and then testing each one to see how it would work.  It’s not easy to create small logos on an entry-level embroidery machine!  But, at the end of the day, I’ve got a logo I’m happy with!

Logos complete

Because today is Earth Day, I’ll share with you the Up cycled and reusable shopping bags I’ve started making.  These are made from the woven plastic feed bags my chicken feed comes in!  I’ve been raising chickens 4 years now; I’ve got a LOT of feed bags that need to be re-purposed!  I really love these bags because they’re really sturdy and can hold more than most reusable shopping bags!  They come with 50 pounds of feed in them, so I know they can hold at least that much weight; and they're waterproof!

Upcycled Shopping Bag 1Upcycled Shopping Bag 2

Did you do anything special for Earth Day?

Co-Hosting Facebook Frenzy Hop #6


Facebook blog hop

Facebook Frenzy hop #6

Let's keep it growing! Last week we had a total of


Participants link up their Facebook pages with us!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Recognition, Rules and Random Facts


Lately I’ve been pretty amazed to watch this little blog, that I never actually expected anyone to read, grow!  With it’s growth, I’ve been amazed to receive recognition from fellow bloggers; saying that they like what I’m doing and want to encourage me to keep doing it!

In the past two weeks I’ve been nominated by two fellow bloggers, Darla at Mom’s World and Ginger at The Wild and Wonderful World of Gingerssnaps, for two different awards!  The first, from Darla, my second Liebster Award.  And the second, from Ginger, the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  Since the rules for both sort of overlap, I’m going to address both in one post!

Darla and Ginger, thank you so much for your encouragement, support and recognition!


Liebster Rules     VIB Rules

a-to-z-letters-random Facts About Me

According to the rules of the two awards, I owe you 18 random facts about myself.
  1. When I was a kid, eating green apples would sometimes give me a rash that ran across my cheeks from my mouth to my ears; I ate green apples anyway!
  2. I taught myself to knit by watching a YouTube video and buying a beginners knitting book.  I’ve made scarves and a hat for Little Man.
  3. While at a PTA meeting at Baby Girl and Monkey Man’s elementary school, I accidentally volunteered to become PTA President; I remained PTA president until they were both out of elementary school – 5 years later!
  4. DH and I went to New York City in September 1999 for two friends’ wedding.  While we were there we visited the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty.  I still have our ticket stubs for the WTC and the receipt for the Statue of Liberty.
  5. I accidentally ran over the first live armadillo I had ever seen (just after remarking how all the armadillos I had seen were dead).
  6. For a really long time I thought purple was my favorite color.  Turns out, while I like purple OK, my favorite color is actually blue.
  7. When I was a kid I really wanted to have long, beautiful hair (I had a short Dorothy Hamill-style haircut).
  8. My best friend as a kid was also named Crystal; she lived next door.
  9. I have one tattoo near my right hip.
  10. There aren’t many foods I refuse to eat, but boiled okra is an absolute no-go!
  11. When I was a kid we were visiting my step-grandparents and went out to eat.  My hamburger came out with a bite taken out of it – right through both buns and the meat!  We sent it back and they put the same meat on a different bun and brought it back out.  My step-grandmother said I had complained enough and to just be quiet and eat it!  I swore I would never go to that restaurant chain again and I haven’t!
  12. When I was a young teen, my parents would leave my brother and I home alone while they traveled.  During one of their trips my brother and I taught our dog to answer to a new name.
  13. For a few years as a teenager, I was a “cutter”; my parents never noticed.  Not once.
  14. When I was a teenager I wanted a third ear piercing but my mom wouldn’t let me.  I pierced my own ear with a safety pin and my mom didn’t notice until a week later.
  15. On January 28, 1986 I was at home sick by myself, watching TV, when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded.  It was the first shuttle launch I had ever watched.
  16. When I was really little my parents let me get a cat.  I really wanted a girl cat, but for some reason I got a tomcat.  I named him Lucy and called him a “her” his entire life.  I loved that damn cat!
  17. After I was 10 years old, whenever I was sick, I stayed at home alone while my parents went to work.  I figured out that I could stay home two days before my mom took me to the doctor.  I felt “good enough to go to school” after two days home A LOT.
  18. When Baby Girl was born, I decided that we had to have a “real” Christmas tree every year for as long as there were kids in the house.  We haven’t had a “fake” tree in the 21 years since!
Darla’s  Liebster Questions:
  1. Favorite ice cream? Plain old vanilla soft serve ice cream
  2. Favorite song from the 90s? Music in the 90s was AWESOME and it’s really hard to pick just one.  I’ll go with Alanis Morissette’s "You Oughta Know" with the disclaimer that asking me tomorrow will yield a different answer.
  3. Favorite cartoon? The Simpsons
  4. Favorite actor/actress? Emma Stone
  5. Favorite restaurant? Yamatos Hibachi Restaurant
  6. Favorite sock color? plain ol’ white
  7. Favorite shampoo? Suave Professionals Rosemary & Mint
  8. Favorite car? Jeep Wrangler
  9. Favorite color? Blue
  10. Favorite animal? Cat
  11. Favorite season? Fall


Each award calls for nominating other bloggers.  Here are the blogs I would like to pass these awards forward to:
liebster2 Very inspiring blog award

My Liebster Nominee Questions

  1. What do you have on your feet right now?
  2. What color are your toenails?
  3. What’s your secret talent?
  4. What is your favorite food?
  5. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  6. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
  7. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  8. If you could own any vehicle in the world, what would you own?
  9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
  10. Do you have a nickname?  What is it?
  11. Would you rather be rich or good looking?  Why?

You should take the time to check out all of my nominees!  They're great blogs that deserve encouragement and recognition!
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