Cousins are the BEST

I’ve had a fine day. Really fine.

I left Louisville at the butt-crack-of-dawn early because my Mother said I had to come home and help in the sweet corn patch. No big deal, except I drove at excessive speeds to span the 150-miles under two hours only to get here as the pickers were done picking, the last ears of corn were boiling, and the cutting-off had begun. I did assist in the silking process though, so it wasn’t a total wasted effort on my awesome driving abilities.

If you don’t have a clue about what I just said, just nod your head and smile.

Bless your heart.

Anyway, by early-afternoon I called my cousins in the big city towndot-on-the-map of Onton, located outside of Sebree.

Earlier this week, I promised Lindsey that I would prepare a meal for her birthday if Miss Jill would allow me the pleasure of getting to use her fancy-schmancy kitchen appliances.

Imagine for a moment the commercial with Kelly Ripa and the Electrolux appliances. You know that stove that supposedly boils water in 90 seconds or less. Well, the less part is true. That stove is AHHHHHHH-MAZING. I want one. Problem is, I have a drop-in glass stove top and separate double ovens. I don’t know if those models are available. And, heck, even if they were, I’d have to sell kidney or my ovaries to afford them.

I digress.

Lindsey and I are second cousins. Her mom is Jill, or Miss Jill as I always called her when she drove a school bus. Lindsey’s father, Jim, and my father are first cousins. They all live in Onton and have a fabulous backyard complete with a HUGE swimming pool and gorgeous landscaping.

Lindsey’s engaged to Josh. He’s super-tall and a cutie-patootie who FINALLY proposed a while back…..their wedding is September 24. I’m planning to attend the wedding – plus, it’s another reason to come to Kentucky.

*Photo courtesy of Rachel Mathew Photography*

After swimming, Super-Tall-Josh and I began dinner. He grilled the pork tenderloin while I tended to the fresh green beans, homestyle mashed potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, and bread. Josh and I made a great team! Supper was dee-lish.

I couldn’t eat the dessert options, but I know they had to be tasty and Lord knows there were enough candles on that darn thing. Geesh, Lindz, you’re old! Actually, Jill put about 8 packages of candles on the cake, I guess she was going for ambiance in the dining room.

Yes, there’s a chunk of dessert missing. Obviously, somebody did NOT wait for the candle-lighting ceremony.

Want more proof we’re a crazy bunch?

Who has a swim party, birthday dinner, AND spa session?!?!

WE DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is Jill’s mom, Granny Jane, getting beauty-fied. All of the girls got pampered tortured with a brow wax before the festivities concluded for the evening.

If I go missing or am unresponsive for an excessive period, check the whereabouts of this crew because I know they’re going to whip me for putting this picture on my blog ~ but I don’t care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Simply put, this afternoon was splendid. We swam, we ate, and we laughed out loud.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, some photos I took of the gorgeous flowers around their pool and deck. Jim is a part-time beekeeper as well, but several hives have been swarming lately and I didn’t want to take any chances getting stung – so I stayed clear of the bee area.

Hummingbirds were all over the place……until I got my camera ready.

This cardinal bird stayed perfectly still while I took his picture.


I have a thing for dragonflies now.

delicate pink flower

I love this picture. You can see the tiny little fibers, or hairs, on the leaves and petals.

Kentucky has seen plenty of rain this year, which means the grass is green and lush. But growing along the perimeter of the deck and pool areas are these striped grasses. I think they look really cool. It’s as if somebody took a brush and painted white spots on the grass!

working on my camera’s “aperture” settings here – notice one petal is in focus while the other is not…….I’m trying my best to figure out this camera!

definitely have the subject in focus and the background blurred here….pretty nice shot

butterfly in the grass ~ told you the grass was really green here!


Sunday Celebrations

Mom and I went to church yesterday morning at Webb Memorial UMC in Clay, Kentucky ~ the church where I spent the majority of my teens and young adult life, as well as the spot where I married Husband. I always love going back to Clay and seeing the people who mean so much. Going back, though, makes me miss home even more AND it reminds me just how old and grown up I’m supposed to be. Bummer!

Hailey, Hunter (with his eyes closed!), "MaCo" and Hilary

Hilary, Hailey, and Hunter were three-years-old when I started babysitting them. At the time, they were the only set of triplets in Clay ~ there are now two sets and I kept both of them! In a couple of weeks, the Fords will be SENIORS in high school. Oh my, “MaCo” is getting old. (*my babies are all grown up*) (*tear down cheek*)

This is how we spend a Sunday afternoon at home on the countryside……

BAHAHAHAHA – as I was taking photos of Mom and Dad and their gardens, I couldn’t help but think of the photo with the Farmer and His Wife. Well, I found it and just had to have some fun. Before I leave, I’m going to recreate the scene but until then…..I love you Mom and Dad!

Mom and Dad

Dad says this is some of the best looking – and tallest! – corn he’s ever had in the garden….I’m sure it’ll taste awesome too!

Dragonflies are becoming a new interest of mine when I’m taking pictures. They fly all around but if they land and stay still for a second, you can capture a great shot.

Here’s a sneak peek at the sweet corn. It’s not ready, but it will be in another week or two. After I took this picture, I ate the evidence. It’s good, but it’ll be better later.

For the longest time, Benjamin thought his name was Been Ben because Dad would always ask, “Where have you been, Ben?!” Benjamin loves to get eye-level to everybody, even if that means jumping on the hood or roof of a vehicle. I love this dog. He was saved from the pound and he is so grateful to be alive. When he runs, his ears flop and he has a grin on his furry face.

Ben also enjoys riding on The Mule….and he’ll stick his tongue out at you if you try to take his picture.

Across the road from Mom and Dad is Kaleb, Heather, and Adalee. They’re on vacation this week, so Mom and Dad have the “task” of feeding the fish in the lake. Another neighbor, Lil’ Miss Emma, likes to supervise and make sure the fish are fed correctly. There’s an art to fish-feeding, didn’t you know?!

It’s all in the wrist action, as Emma demonstrates!

These are some seriously BIG catfish.

Here’s the lake house, complete with a fully stocked beverage center.

Supporting “International Harvester” of course. Go Big Red!

After Emma fed the fish, she drove herself home….she also introduced me to the Sutton Bloodhounds.

I don’t know who’s who, but the crew includes Scooby, J.R., Daisy, and Ella-Mae. Of course, one of the four decided they didn’t want their picture taken. I don’t know why not….with a face like that, I’d be showing it off!

That’s about the cutest darn thing I’ve ever seen…..kissin’ hounds.

I made the mistake of challenging Dad to another round at the Shootin’ Shed. He accepted.

And gladly beat me with an awesome four-shot round.

I did better……

but I can’t beat Ol’ Dad with at the target range. My four-shot round turned into six. I kept getting closer and FINALLY on the sixth shot I hit the bulls-eye. Finally!!!!


Just another day in paradise.

If you’re worried about Husband home alone in Texas, I talked to him yesterday and he’s just fine. He’s got plenty of food left and lots of clean clothes too. He’ll survive….and I’ll keep checking on him!


This is how I know I’m a better writer than photographer…the following is from the journal I had with me today and both events occurred during my travels today from Texas to Kentucky. My camera was in its bag easily accessible, but at the particular moment I had to write my emotions, instead of capturing it in a picture. I hope you enjoy. I’ll post pictures for the Weekly Photo Challenge and other nonsense later; this is too important NOT to share.


Flight from Austin to Dallas/Fort Worth

While standing in line to proceed through TEA security, I noticed a uniformed man standing next to a woman holding a very small baby. Once I boarded the plane, I saw the man again. He was sitting in first class. Prior to take-off, the pilot announced the military man’s presence on our flight and the entire cabin erupted in cheers and applause. He was returning to Iraq to continue his second tour of duty. He had come to Texas to be with his wife as they welcomed the birth of their first child, a baby girl. This soldier left the war zone in the Middle East to meet his daughter, born on the Fourth of July.

The lump in my throat has NOT gone away.

How did you celebrate the holiday? I think I moaned and complained about the weather. My experience today provided a brand new perspective to freedom, independence, and priorities.

God bless the men and woman in uniform ~ every single one of them. I’m not, by any stretch of the imagination, a political person and I don’t give much thought to the multitude of reasons or causes of the war in the Middle East. I don’t try to understand the political-ness of the situation. However, the human-ness of the reality is that there are men and women away from their loved ones fighting for the freedom I take for granted. While I’m grateful to be a citizen of the U.S., it comes at a high price. The soldier I saw today got to spend 12 days with his baby girl, he won’t be home again until her first birthday.

To all of the men and women in uniform, all I can say is thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

An Act of Kindness

I arrived at DFW from Austin (yes, I drove south to fly north again – long story…) and had 40 minutes until the flight to Nashville departed. I grabbed a smoothie (peach sunset made with peaches, banana, strawberry, and orange juice – pretty tasty) and found a seat next to the window to people watch, one of my favorite things to do. Anyway, when I sat down there was another flight that had landed and passengers were beginning to walk into the gate area. An older gentleman, whom I immediately recognized as blind, was assisted by an airline employee. They stopped at the ticket counter so the employee could telephone a shuttle-cart to take the man to his connecting flight, departing from another terminal.

Now, I’m not blind and certainly able to transport myself through an airport, but DFW can be tricky, especially if your connecting flight is in a different terminal. Obviously, this man needed assistance. I was close enough to the ticket counter that I could hear them talking. I heard the blind man say,

I would prefer to walk instead of sit here and wait for someone to pick me up. You know, my eyes don’t work but my legs are fine.

While the employee was on the telephone, a woman approached the counter and offered to assist the blind man. I could hear her explain that her flight had been delayed and she had plenty of time to take the man wherever he needed to go. Of course, he jumped at the opportunity and was very appreciative. His face lit with joy and it warmed my heart.

These two strangers left the gate area as new friends. The woman was slightly ahead of the man but stayed closed enough so the man could keep his hand on her shoulder. He carried a white cane with his free hand. As they walked away from me, he stood so tall and proud, I’m sure he had a huge grin on his face. His joy was radiant, I couldn’t help but smile too.


My mom and I had made tentative plans after she picked me up from the Nashville Airport, but because of a delayed departure from DFW and a late arrival to Nashville, those plans were squashed. You know, that’s OK. We’ll have other opportunities…….it will be OK.


To top off the evening, I’ve already seen good friends and shared a delicious meal at one of my favorite places with Mom and Dad. We’ve told stories and laughed until we’ve cried. This is going to be a great visit, looking forward to what the next 14 days will bring.

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ OLD-FASHIONED

I’d consider myself to be pretty old-fashioned when it comes to some things…….I am NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, fashion forward, politically involved, or up-to-speed on the latest celebrity gossip.

There is one thing, however, that I am very old-fashioned about ~ and that’s food and cooking.

I believe every single kitchen in America would be a happier place if there were at least one rooster on display, a jar of bacon grease in the fridge, and plenty of homegrown goodies in the pantry.  

Speaking of garden goodies, here is my Weekly Photo Challenge submittal, what do you think?!

L to R: plum preserves, pickled beets, green beans, pear preserves with jalapeno, pulp-y tomato juice, and corn relish.....all made with love and sealed with a "Kiss From Kentucky"

I think it’s pur-dee darn delicious looking. Thanks to my wonderful, awesome, thoughtful, and VERY generous parents in Kentucky, they grow all of this in their GIGANTIC garden. Then, they share it all with me, their favorite (and only) daughter. I’m one lucky girl!

I have personally helped make all of these creations except for the pickled beets…that’s my Mother’s doings. I personally don’t like beets so I say, “Mom, knock yourself out!” (figuratively, of course)

So, there you have it. Homegrown delicious-ness that you CANNOT buy from the grocery store. When I open a Mason jar, that “pop” is a Kiss From Kentucky. Boy, it’s a wonderful kiss!

Here’s a view of the infamous garden ~ this is just part of ONE of the gardens though….there’s another one behind their house and you can’t really see the true size of the garden, nor the rows of sweet corn either.

This ain't your grocer's produce section.

I’ll be heading to Kentucky later next week to enjoy myself some fresh picked produce and drink some of my Daddy’s homemade wuh-ine!!!!!!

Thanks Mom and Dad for the delicious garden goodies (and Neenie for the extra green beans!), Husband and I are extremely grateful ~ so are our bellies!!!


“frugal, festive and fabulous”

I’m stealing borrowing this “frugal, festive and fabulous” craft project idea from Kate, the Centsational Girl.

I’ve been searching for inexpensive cake plates, cupcakes stands, and general food servers for our dining room table. I found this very creative DIY post from Kate and it’s just what I was looking for. The decorative ware is colorful, inexpensive, and can be customized to fit any decor. I especially like the fact that you could have multiple colors and heights to meet your needs for a large party or buffet server. Plus, you can coordinate colors by season, holiday, or a specific occasion (i.e. Fourth of July, bridal shower, or Christmas).

My best friend, Kim, thinks I have an addiction obession to decorative textiles, specifically placemats and kitchen hand towels. You see, I have multiple sets for every major holiday and season. While our table does not currently have any place-settings, the double-ovens are adorned with festive towels for Fourth of July. They’re so purr-deee.

I digress so easily.

Back to craft project……Colorful Display Stands

As soon as I saw Kate’s DIY post about creating colorful stands from items purchased at the local Goodwill store, I was hooked. Once again, here is another prime example when I scratch my head and scream at the top of my lungs…


Lucky for me, there’s a Goodwill store just minutes from the house. I wouldn’t say I’m a frequent customer, but I will stop occasionally to scout a good bargain. I went a couple of months ago and found several pairs of work pants and t-shirts that I am taking on the Haiti mission trip next month. I love a good sale and discounted prices are one of my most favorite things in life. Who cares if it’s someone else’s trash………it’s my treasure now!

So, I’m on a mission this week to create some of these decorative pieces for all the wonderful and amazing parties I don’t host and people don’t attend. If you read my post, Hostess with the Leastest you’d understand this statement. Perhaps decorative plates will encourage people to show up ~ hahaha!!!!!

Anybody want to have a party at my house?!?!

I’ll cook……..and decorate the table all nice and pretty!

Rain, Rain, come & stay!

From the horses’ perspective:

Dearest Rainmaker,

This nonsense has to stop.

You know better than we do that our owners (King and Queen) are cheap and don’t like the excessive costs of buying and hauling hay for us to consume and poop a few hours later.

The grass in the pasture is dry and disgusting. We want our oats sweet and grass green.

Thank goodness for the Queen’s mother in Kentucky. Bless that woman’s heart for sending us bags of treats flavored with oats, apples, and sorghum. We know they’re an annoyance to the King, because we get all up in his grill and sniff his jeans pockets, but we’re looking for those deeeeee-lish treats. Please tell Mother of the Queen that she can come for a visit anytime…..or send more treats.

Anyway, we’re in need of rain in these here parts of Johnson County, Texas. PLEASE send rain to the pasture we call home. Our feet are dry and beginning to crack. Come to think of it, the Queen recently painted our toes with a conditioning treatment and the King later complained about the cost of that product too. Something’s gotta give, and it ain’t gonna be us.

One more thing, could you turn down the thermostat and slow the wind? We don’t like grazing in 40 mph winds and accidentally chewing your mane is gross. 


Curtis & Blue


The days of green, lush grass seem to be over. The photo above was taken last spring after I had mowed the front yard. Husband was on the tractor and forgot to shut the gate leading to the pasture and barn. The horses didn’t mind – they enjoyed the freshly mowed grass.

I feel for the horses, I really do. I went to the barn earlier and they were looking at me with these awful, pitiful eyes as if to say, “Would you please stop walking and kicking up dust!”

Curtis and Blue, I’m really sorry the weather sucks and your pasture is dry. I’ve suggested on numerous occasions that I should bring you both inside the house where it’s nice and cool. I think you’d nap like rock stars if you were under a ceiling fan and soaking up the A/C. But we all know Husband won’t allow it. Y’all know how he is, he’s an ornery ol’ fart. But we love him anyway.


Yep, there’s Joshua, Texas. Right smack-dab-in-the-middle of a huge storm system making its way through North Texas. What a lousy load of horse manure that is. I’m just a little upset we didn’t get a decent shower from this system that FINALLY broke through the FREAKIN high-pressure cap that sits atop North Texas from mid-April to mid-forever.

I have moments of rage and times of resentment towards living in Texas.  THIS is one of those times.

I don’t remember the last time I saw rain at our house. The counties north of us got a thirst-quenching rain storm the last two nights. There were a few storms that produced large hail and damaging winds, but, to my knowledge, there have been no reports of injuries. I watched and listened to various weather reports PROMISING rain to our area but ohhhhh noooooo, it had to skirt above, below, left, and right.

Life. Is. Not. Fair.

I want rain. Not the feast-or-famine kind of rain, but soaking rains to decrease drought conditions and fire dangers, improve foliage for livestock, fill lakes and rivers, and replenish the water content needed in our home’s concrete foundation.

Honestly, I don’t ask for rain for myself. It’s not that I don’t want relief for my chapped lips or sweaty armpits, but I really want rain for our horses and pasture. My feelings are hurt when I watch them eat. Unfortunately, weather conditions are not cooperating.

I used to mow the yard twice a week or more. The last time I cranked the lawnmower, I had to use jumper-cables on the battery because it was dead. I’m willing to bet the same will be true if I ever mow again.

(stepping off soap box)


Today’s high hopes and epic failures

I had a long list of to-do’s to do today.

Gosh, that’s a lot of t-o-d-o. I’m so sorry.

I was supposed to clean the kitchen, empty the dishwasher, do loads of laundry (yes, plural on the laundry), de-clutter the living room and dining room tables, vacuum, mop, and dust the furniture.

I’m hosting a dinner party Friday evening for the Haiti mission team members and other guests, about 15 people in all. I’m not concerned about the food prep or the cooking or even setting the table, but my house is a mess and I desperately needed to get my butt in gear. Afterall, I didn’t have to go to work today!

To the n-th degree, I am an excellent list-maker. However, I’m an epic failure in the business of completing to-do lists.

I’m adding this to my Bucket List. Need to work on that.


First, I slept till 10:34 am. Then, from the bed, I went straight to the couch to log-in to Facebook and Twitter.

I like to pretend I’m THAT important…yeah right.

About noon, I warmed up the leftovers and enjoyed my very dee-lish pot roast. After lunch, I unloaded the dishwasher and started the dryer (for the third time, with the same clothes inside). Then, I spent the next two hours gawking (literally) at for recipes and dishes to make Friday evening.

My contributions for Friday’s dinner: several appetizers, mixed-grill kabobs, cupcakes (with sprinkles, of course), iced tea and soft drinks. Everyone is supposed to bring a vegetable or salad, potluck style. Nothing fancy, but you know me, I’ll try to play hostess-with-the-mostess.

I’m hoping Friday’s get-together will go better than the last one.

At 3:00, I got bored so I took a shower AND folded the clothes in the dryer. I started the washer too. (Wow, my productivity level just soared a gabillion-zillion levels.)

While Kevin was feeding the horses, I went outside to water the ferns and saw a really bright green and blue bug flying around the chaise lounge-chair. I went inside to grab my fancy-schmancy camera. Don’t know what it is…but he was bright and colorful.

Kevin ate dinner and I pretended to be The Next Food Network Star. I found some tilapia filets in the freezer and sautéed them in a pan with a splash of olive oil. Alongside long-grain rice, drizzled with a nice sauce, the fish made for a quick, simple, and tasty meal. I’ll have leftovers tomorrow too.

Oh gosh, tomorrow will be here really soon.

Why am I still up? Am I crazy?

Don’t answer that.

Not only do I have to complete all those things on today’s to-do list, but I must go to the grocery too. How will I find the time?!

Wish me luck…I’m gonna need all I can get!

Super Simple Pot Roast

Summer has officially started. HIP HIP HOORAY!!! To celebrate, I fixed one of Kevin’s favorite meals (what’s up with that?!): pot roast and mashed tators. It’s not at all summer-y, but the A/C is down, the ceiling fan’s on high, and it’s kinda chilly in here!

I chose this particular meal for its convenience. Today was the last day of school for teachers and I was hoping I’d get home early but I honestly didn’t want to cook. As it turns out, Kevin got home and before he even came inside, he cranked the Dodge and loaded Blue into the trailer. Husband or no husband, bon appetit to me!

I went to bed last night later than I should have. To make matters worse, I had to be at school for an extra-early faculty meeting and then a day of hurry-up-and-wait. I won’t bore you with the mundane details of my day except for this: I survived my first year of  teaching middle school. I’m celebrating with a hearty dinner and an evening of controlling the TV remote by watching The Housewives. It’s good to be me!

This pot roast is SUPER easy. If you can plug-in a Crock-Pot, you can make this meal.  

This post isn’t a formal recipe. Prior to leaving this morning, this was my routine (note: I haven’t been to the grocery in two weeks, so these are all “staples” in my pantry):

  • plugged in the Crock-Pot
  • add one large carton of beef stock and one large carton of chicken stock
  • one package of Knorr’s vegetable seasoning mix
  • splash or two of Whats-this-here sauce (that’s what I call Worcestershire, don’t hate me)
  • teaspoon of minced garlic
  • teaspoon of beef base
  • couple of teaspoons of cornstarch
  • add the roast
  • set the Crock-Pot to LOW, cover, and let the magic begin

As soon as I got home, about 7-8 hours later, I set the Crock-Pot to WARM. The meat was falling apart, which is perfect. I boiled potatoes for mashed tators, made gravy, and baked biscuits. Just as the husband was clankety-ing (boots + spurs + tile floor = clankety clank clank) out the door to the roping pen, I enjoyed dinner.

It was deeeee-lish.


Drum roll please…….

Whomever said Friday the 13th was unlucky obviously did NOT enter my giveaway contest.

I’m so excited to announce the BIG WINNER for my FIRST GIVEAWAY.

(drum roll)

How ’bout them apples?! Jan at TDE (that stands for The Diamond E – don’t worry, I didn’t think of that all by myself…I deserve zero credit) is one of those whodathunkit buddies. She has a fabulous blog (click here) that I found and whodathunk that we live within 30 minutes of each other. Such a small world.

So, what has Jan from TDE won????

Jan, over at The Diamond E (I like saying this, can you tell?!) has won the grand prize: an all-expense paid vacation around the world including airfare, lodging at a super-sweet resorts, five-star meals, fun and games, and a lovely t-shirt that says

Wheeww!!! That was a scary moment for my checking account. Instead, Jan, at The Diamond E, will be receiving her selected choice:

Sorry Jan, no around-the-world trip for you, but I hope you enjoy the H20 Sea Salt Skin Smoother headed your way. I already have your mailing address so I will place the order today and it should be in your snail-mail box within a couple of days for you to enjoy.

With this being my first giveaway and all, I want all y’all (that means all of you, just checking to see if y’all are awake) to know that I did not cheat in this contest. First, I took all the comment entries and listed them in numerical order, in the sequence they were received.

Then, I went to for a number generator and this is what it selected.

To the rest of y’all: Please stay tuned for other giveaways and contests. This was really fun and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I’m nearing 5,000 site visitors AND my 100th post in the coming weeks. I think that calls for a celebration where my visitors can win a fabulous something (obviously, not a trip around the world but something a little more practical…seriously people, let’s me real).

Thanks again to everyone that visited my blog and entered my first giveaway, I really appreciate you reading all the crap that’s in my head. I hope you’ll visit again…and invite your crazy friends.

Now, I need to finish getting ready for a lunch party at my house that I’m afraid no one is going to show for. Such is my life.

Let me just through this little tid-bit out here:

I sent CUSTOM invitations with HAND-WRITTEN addresses on the envelopes to 24 people. I also sent an eVite to everyone, just in case they don’t check their snail-mail boxes in front of their house. (you never know ’bout people these days) The theme of this party is Recipe Swap and Potluck. Basically, everybody brings a prepared dish to share with the group, including copies of the recipe. In theory, lots of people will attend and we’ll all share lots of good food and leave with lots of recipes for our own collection. I am using simple plates, cups, and bowls in a variety of bold and bright colors (on a white tablecloth) and fresh flowers are scattered around the house just for good measure. My favorite “extra touch” are the eight – yeah, count them, EIGHT – gift bags (also in a variety of bright colors) each filled with recipe-inspired gifts for the lucky winners to take home. There are also two bags filled with spa-inspired goodies to encourage those lucky winners to pamper themselves and one bag contains a couple of goodies from Starbucks®.

K.H. (who stayed the night with us) says I should have lived in another era. She’s probably right. At least she brought her recipe (on a magnet no less, proudly displayed on my fridge already) and enjoyed a glass of sweet tea. S.M. – who had a c-section last Tuesday – said if nobody shows up she’ll bring the crew (including N, H, and C) and supplies (breast pump and burp clothes) over. How sweet is that deal?! Actually, that’s kinda pitiful and pathetic on MY part. If nobody shows up to play in my sandbox, I gotta call post-prego lady with breast pumps.


If anybody’s hungry or thirsty, I got enough strawberry lemonade and chicken salad to feed an army. C’mon over.

My apology to the housecleaning fairy

Dear _________,

I am soooooo sorry my house is a mess, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Anyway, thanks for coming on such short notice, I really appreciate it. (you can leave the key under the black mat by the side door)

Love, Nicole

Seriously? (note to self: you say seriously too much. Seriously.) Who does this? Apologize for a messy house? Tell the housecleaning fairy you love her? What’s wrong with me?

This is the bottom of my hand-written (on personalized, even monogrammed, heavy stock stationery) apology note to the Housecleaning Fairy. I obviously have two problems: keeping a clean house and an obession with fine writing materials. (note to self: you say obviously too much. Obviously.)

I really do love the Fairy. I really appreciate her and I’m extremely grateful for her too.

When she works her magic and the house is spotless, you can see your reflection in the stainless steel sinks, perform (and pass) a white glove test on all the furniture, and the smell is absolutely the best. It’s the kind of smell that only comes after a wonderful Fairy has swept, mopped, polished and dusted her way through your hideous mess you call home.

My house hasn’t been cleaned since the last time she was here. That was seven (gasp!) weeks ago.

I’m appalled. I’m embarrassed. I’m disappointed in myself. I’m supposed to work harder at keeping the house cleaner. I think my Mom calls this “maintaining” your house? I’m supposed to do more laundry through the week, instead of letting it pile into huge mounds to be tackled on the weekend. I’m supposed to clean the kitchen every night before going to bed.

I’m supposed to do a lot of things. But I don’t.

Before I went to bed last night, I picked up the dirty clothes off the bathroom floor (and stuffed them in the already-overflowing hamper “hidden” in my closet), unloaded and re-loaded the dishwasher (emptied this morning and loaded again…..heavy sigh), and finally moved the clutter from the dining room table to a “neat stack” in another closet.

In the Best Wife for Housekeeping contest, I get a big fat F.

Thank goodness for the Housecleaning Fairy. She kicks ass and takes names.

I’m willing to bet my name is first on her list of Asses I’d Like to Kick.

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