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  • Behold the turtle.
    He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.
  • Two and a Half Feet


    two and a half feet
    That’s all I really have to say about that.
    (Rather, that’s all I really can say about that.)
    Have a gloriously happy, springy Friday!

    Don’t Swallow The Goldfish


    This fish was in the middle of our table at the Military ball Saturday night. It didn’t even occur to me that he could be ingested by the end of the night, but once it was brought to my attention, my protective instincts kicked in. I borrowed a camera to take this pic of him, thinking it would turn into a memorial. Thankfully, he was quickly swept up with his other centerpiece buddies before the real party began, so (I hope) they all made it out alive. Those military boys are crazy, I’m telling you.

    None of you may have noticed that in our photo, Mark is missing some stripes on his right sleeve. I know I didn’t know they were missing until I saw others and asked what they were for. If he had stripes there, he would have four, and they would represent the number of years over his military career that he’s spent in combat. On his left sleeve, the stripes represent the years of service, times three – or divided by three, depending on how you do your math. He’s got 5 stripes, 15 years in. In 5 more years, he can retire. His panel of ribbons – well, there’s a whole bunch and I’m not sure what they all mean, but it’s impressive, eh?

    I did spend a lot of the evening asking questions. “What do those swirley things on their sleeves mean?” and “how come his stripes go all the way around his arm?” and “What’s the star mean in the middle of his rank?” You’d think after 17 years, I’d know some of this stuff, but honestly this was my first Military Ball and I’d never seen so many dress uniforms all in one place. There were military men there who commanded respect, they had so many stripes and such a large panel of ribbons. Blue lapels, special cords – these are the men who have dedicated much of their lives to serving our country. It was humbling to be in a room full of men who stood at attention without hesitation, “hooah’ed” in support of their unit and eachother, and you know that they’d pack their bags and leave their families to go to war and serve their country in 10 minutes or less.

    The evening was steeped with National Guardsman traditions, of which I knew none. There was a grog, which is this wicked combination of drinks that they pour into a hat – then the two commanding offers drank a toast from the mixture – consisting of burbon, whiskey, wine, beer – and I think one other thing but I can’t remember now. But iew? That had to taste bad.

    Dinner was nice, the award ceremony was interesting, the toasts required a reply from the guests, so I’m glad I had a script. :P We were about 5 feet from the dessert buffet – so do I need to mention that I had dessert first? And also last. Because I was too close, and should have sat further away.

    We sat with some really great guys and their wives, people that Mark spent a lot of time with in Iraq. I met a lot of them for the first time, and a few that I actually remembered meeting before. Dusty Hill was there, he looks amazing and it was so good to see him, smiling and having a good time.

    All in all, it was a whirlwind of an evening, and I think I’m caught back up on sleep now. Put a bunch of military boys, beer and wives together, and what you get is a night with a lot of hemming and hawing and not a whole lotta sleep. It’s sortof like a fancy family reunion.

    Fancy Schmancy Couple


    national guard ball portrait

    Having A Ball


    military uniform ball black tie ribbons

    Fancy Schmancy


    silk beaded metallic fabric dress ensemble gown military ball

    I couldn’t believe my luck yesterday when I started browsing the racks at Dillard’s. First, I found the skirt. I loved the skirt! Long, a-line plaid in iridescent burgundy with metallic gold, cream, red and black pattern. I loved it. It drapes all the way to the floor and it’s just stunning. The top, on different rack across the department – a copper metallic 3/4 sleeve wrap, transparent sleeve and gorgeous feminine cuffs, looked amazing and brought out both the gold metallic stitching and the iridesence of the skirt. Across the store, I found this tank for the shell, beaded neckline that’s so gorgeous I won’t need anything around my neck. Metallic gold stitching just pulls the whole ensemble together, and it’s beautiful.

    Every piece was on sale, clearanced down to next to nothing. I paid less than half than I would have paid for an evening gown.

    Now I gotta find shoes. (eek!)

    You can see the three fabrics together in my photoblog.

    A Keeper.


    I captured this video to keep for future reference. You know I’m going to be digging it out of my archives in about 12 years, when she’s screaming at me that she can’t stand our rules (blah blah blah) and is going to run away.


    Me & Mine


    My mom & me

    My sis & me

    Just a couple more pics that we took yesterday during the visit with my family. I put a few more up in my photoblog, they’re pretty sweet.

    Knot Nosed Sandwich


    sandwich bag doodle art
    Every morning, I doodle on the girls sandwich bags. I’ve done this since the beginning of the school year, and the girls still giggle when they open up their lunches to see their sandwich bags all doodled up just for them.

    This morning, Catybug was having issues. Hair issues. In trying to save time in the shower, she opted out of conditioning her hair today, and paid dearly in front of the mirror with the hairbrush and comb. Nothing was going to get those knots out, and she was not a happy girl. She’s determined, and would have ripped every strand in her little head right out if it meant she’d never have another knot, so I had to intercede with a post-shower leave-in conditioner application.

    Girls. And their hair.

    So, when I started making lunches, I doodle the most prominent thing that comes to mind when I think about each of them. Today, it was knots. I started drawing the knot, and had no idea what was going to come next, but for some reason “Snot Nose” came to mind, and I ran with it, creating “Knot Nose”.

    There you have it, the story behind the doodle.

    (She rolled her eyes at me, and huffed a little. Then she thought it was a little funny, and then I was in the clear. Phew.)

    Good Stuff


    I received the best gifts this year. I got to have breakfast and spend time with my bestest bud ever (Paige), who traveled up to the frozen tundra from her tropical climate just to have brunch with me. (I wish!) I was so happy to spend a handful of hours with her, her man and their son – who just happens to be my Godson (and just came to realize I rock, with special thanks to John Deere). There’s never enough time, and there are never enough visits. I need to make more time for those special friendships – lesson learned.

    The girls woke at 6am Christmas morning, squealing and giggling over the gifties under the tree. I design journal covers every year, this year Chickeymonkey got her first doodle pad. “Oodlez of Doodlez by Chickeymonkey”. Catybug’s cover design is based on her Smilly Girl (and family). They are already putting them to good use, young imaginations are going crazy around here! I found them resting later on Christmas morning attached to their Pengies and Monkeys.

    Even Tuckerhead scored this year. He was a happy puppy when he saw a pressie in the middle of the floor, and he was a GOOD DOG when he just sat there and didn’t. even. touch it. Yeah! Merry Christmas to me! I untied the bow and opened it up so he could see something was in there, then he sniffed around until he pulled out his very own squeaky frog. In 10 minutes (or less) the poor thing lost an eye. (the frog, not the dog.)

    soft coated wheaten terrier photo wheatie
    soft coated wheaten terrier photo wheatie

    Now all the youngin’s in our house have their cuddly cozy stuffies and although the two larger ones aren’t pulling the stuffing out of theirs with their teeth, they are enjoying them all the same.

    I didn’t even get to finish the 12 days of Christmas sandwich bag doodles – heck I spent two days in hypertension mode shipping and then waiting for word on delivery of the GTO painting (final scan coming soon). I just kept picturing the package lying on a tarmac being run over by a package cart, sqwished and forgotten. I kept hoping Woody and Buzz might find it and lasso it and throw it on a plane for me. At least my wild imagination kept me entertained, huh? Oh – and yes, the painting arrived, intact, on Christmas Eve. (A day late, but it got there!)

    To my sweet, dear, wonderful friends who sent me all the Harry and David packages, I sure hope that these will be followed by 4 week supply of nutrisystem meals. Good grief. (Note to self: complain more about wide spread and thunder thighs.) I still love you, though, I do. Keep in mind that I say that from the bottom of my pure cane sugar and cocoa buzz. Here’s hoping eggbeaters sustain me after the first of the year. Again.

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