Thursday, April 27, 2006


i did the word cloud as suggested by lotus, by way of guinnessgirl. here is how it turned out:

i wish i could make out all of the words on it, even the hi-res version they emailed me was not entirely readable. i'm not sure i want a tshirt made out of it (the site's ultimate goal) but i did enjoy the fact that it captured the essence of my life.

some of the words that got strung together formed little phrases... some drunk on alliteration. like, "married mean melissa," "home husband illustrator,"complete content cool darling daughter," "muddy multi night objectionable old one," and "busy carolina children." pretty funny stuff! and random!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

stepping stone

hello to all the faithful readers who couldn't sleep at night for the image of that potty burned into their brains! and thank you to mr. l for making me laugh until i cried YET AGAIN! hahahah! christmas card! *sniff*

for more poopie humor, please refer to the unrated version of 'team america: world police' which had me howling and pounding the floor, my tears blinding me until i had to rewind twice to get the whole story. it really is a brilliant satire of the world we call home, if you can tolerate the 'south park'-like insults. i'm not a particularly pc person (if you couldn't already tell), so i found it hilarious.

s made a stepping stone yesterday with the kit that was given to her by our good friends in milwaukee, jill & john. sorry for the nudie pic... it's hard to keep clothing on my daughter. the stone turned out really pretty, and i placed it by the patch of iris near the swingset where she can enjoy it. h has a matching kit, so maybe we'll have two pretty stepping stones out there soon.

i knew y'all were clamoring for more kid crafts! :)

feline sprawl

Monday, April 24, 2006

more phestival photos

thought i'd share a few more photos from the grassroots festival of music and dance at shakori hills! we spent most of the day sunday wandering through the grounds. we saw woodwork roadshow and marched in the paperhand puppet intervention parade. we ate delicious ice cream in still-warm waffle cones. we wandered past the vendors' booths where my 2 boys bought me a gorgeous pair of earrings. i included a photo of the art by a chainsaw artist... every time they set up their wares at the festival, and every time we wish we had a couple hundred dollars to drop on a sculpture. maybe someday we will feel justified in doing so!

today the kids went back to school, so t and i went to the gym, the grocery store and the gas station together, then came home and took care of some of the things we had neglected in the past week while playing with the kids. isn't that the best excuse for neglected housework??!

anyhow, if you want to see the picture of the most disgusting port-a-potty EVER that had me laughing until i was in tears, click this link. however, i will warn you... IT'S GRAPHICALLY DISGUSTING. so i don't recommend it for the easily offended or the faint of heart. consider this as your disclaimer.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


dianthus, iris and azalea in my yard.

two posts in one day! can you handle it??

i want to do another post about shakori hills tomorrow, i got a bunch more photos. one of them is (honestly) a picture of the most disgusting port-a-potty i've ever seen. so gross i was laughing until i cried. really, i'm laughing right now just thinking about the grossness of it, and putting it on this blog. i'd probably get flagged it's so disgusting! so here's the question... nothing is funnier to me than poopie humor, but should i post the disgusting potty pic? or no??? i really should link to it, but i don't know how (total confession of blog ineptitiude there).

shakin' at shakori

since thursday we've been spending a good bit of time at the festival and again, i don't have many photos. perhaps i'll have enough foresight to take some today, and we are heading out soon. at left is the hairdo that my darling daughter gave me while the "asshat" (thank you for the apt adjective, j!) film students were interviewing me about being the wife of a cool guy. honestly, they are nice guys, but i was steaming the other day over their lack of sticking to schedule. all important when young children are involved, don't you think? well, i wore my hair in evil jimmy neutron style for the rest of the day and i think s might have a future as a stylist.

the festival has face painters, but who wants to wait in line when mom can do it at home? the girl wanted to be a dalmatian yesterday and a border collie today. h wanted to have 'tenchi' stripes (a japanese animated character) then nothing today. i did get a shot of my 2 border collies together, but the canine one wasn't being all that cooperative. i had to use all the stern commands i know from dog obedience class just to make her sit, terrified, in front of the camera. vaccuums and cameras are her problem areas. most dogs are afraid of thunderstorms... and this weekend has been riddled with them!... but not jane. oh, no. just cameras and vaccuums.

here's a morning-after-camping shot from friday. h is on the far right, and our friends that braved the campsite with us are on the left. it wasn't good sleeping, that's for sure. i swear, once the zydeco stopped playing, the rooster (no joke) started crowing. the kids did better than the adults, but everyone needed a nap, whether they thought so or not. our tent is really quite large and homey, and has been nice for hanging out in the evenings... reading ghost stories... having a drink or two... all good for the essential family bonding.

we ended up getting to see the never, shannon o'connor, a little of donna the buffalo, and lots more in passing. today we may get there in time to see woodwork roadshow.

the other highlight of the fest is the food. i've had amazing greek and fabulous curry. s and t had homemeade ice cream. i could eat all day. well, i guess we'd better get going. already excited for the return of the grassroots festival next fall.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

at the lake, at the lake, where i made a great mistake

i remembered the snacks, the drinks, and even remembered the squirt guns. i remembered the sand toys, the water wings, and even remembered a book. i got the towels, the blankets, the warm, dry clothes for apres-swim. but what i forgot was the camera, my great mistake, so our first trip to the lake this season has gone woefully unrecorded. we will have to keep it in our memories instead.

the day was supposed to be 77F and partly cloudy, with a 0% chance of rain. unfortunately, it turned out to be 66F and totally overcast, with a few sprinkles here and there. me, personally, i think those make for the best beach days, but that's probably from my upbringing on the shores of lake michigan (summers) where most days are cloudy and cool!

we'll remember the damp, earthy smell floating in off jordan lake. we'll remember the odor of pine and barbeque wafting in from the woods and picnic shelter where a large family was celebrating spring break. we'll feel the cold tile of the changing room on our bare feet, and the rough clay-sand of the beach. h will remember the clumps of native clay he found while digging a hole. s will remember the uncrustable sandwich she ate.

our friends nicole, vincent and hollyn joined us, and together we played on the playground, dug a lake with dams; teeth chattering the whole time from wet bodies made blue by cool wind. all in all a successful day and far more relaxing than the day previous.

today is spent in preparation for shakori hills grassroots music festival! we have 4 day passes, and will attempt camping there tonight. in case of rain, snow, sleet, hail or scared children in the dead of night, it's always good to be a mile from home. ;)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

death to pez

this is the unfortunate state in which i found the fuzzy teddy bear pez dispenser this morning. there is no question in my mind which child perpetrated this heinous crime against candy. it was our daughter, who normally is an animal loving child, but obviously saw fit to heartlessly stab the bear RIGHT where the candy comes out with a santa claus pencil. ah, the horror of it all.

i honestly don't blame her, as yesterday turned into a pretty frustrating day for all of us. it's spring break, and since we are not vacationing, i promised the children a plethora of enticing activities for their enjoyment. upon awakening yesterday, we kept discussing our myriad possibilities for the gorgeous day... but t informed us that the unc students who are filming a documentary about him would be here 'sometime after noon' to film some footage of the family. well, that ruled out an all-day excursion, which is almost ANY excursion from home, as we live so far in the country. we bided our time through the morning, growing increasingly restless as we picked up yard toys and swept the drive. at noon time we drew pictures, ate lunch and played board games while champing at the bit. around 2 the poop hit the fan when h 'accidentally' pushed s off my bed, and each child was sent to a separate room to read books for 1/2 hour to chill out. at 3, when the students weren't here, i started making other plans, and took kids and dog for a long walk around the 'hood.

at 5:15, when they STILL weren't here, i took the kids off to the theater to see the new disney flick 'the wild.' the whole way there i was imagining those students apologizing to me for never showing up, and me saying, 'oh, that's okay! you can come by tomorrow and entertain the natives all day long and wonder if and when i'm ever going to show back up to take them back!' bad, bad melissa for thinking such evil thoughts. the movie... well... let me just say that i can't even BEGIN to tell you how badly it sucked. i am a big fan of disney, animation, fantasy, you name it, but i felt like we've already SEEN this movie 100 times! haven't we SEEN the lion king? madagascar? why make it again?

anyhow, the kids loved it and were put straight to bed upon re-entry. today promises to be better as we're going to the lake, and we're going EARLY and we're spending the WHOLE DAY there. wahoo! we love the lake.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick...

"Tick is the common name for the small wingless arachnids that, along with mites, constitute the order Acarina. Ticks are external parasites, living by hematophagy on the blood of mammals, birds, and occasionally reptiles and amphibians. Ticks are an important vector of a number of human and animal diseases. "

yes, thank you 'free dictionary' for that lovely description of the current bane of our existence. don't get me wrong, ticks are a regular part of our lives for about 9 months of each year, but for some reason this year they seem particularly ferocious. maybe it's an old wives' tale, but i've heard it said that the little buggers are rampant in years in which there was no hard winter freeze. that, folks, would be THIS YEAR.

we first notice the bloodthirsty vermin in late february or early march, usually on one of the animals. this means it's time to put frontline between their shoulderblades once a month to keep them from becoming warm-blooded tick vessels carrying ticks from the OUTSIDE to the INSIDE of our house. also, we start spraying the kids' limbs with 'off' when they go out to play. usually these precautions pretty much stifle the tick problem, but NOT this year.

i've never gone to such drastic measures as granular insecticide on the lawn, but this is all out war. frontline on the cats & dogs is supposed to last a month. NOT this year. after 2 weeks i started seeing ticks again on the animals. the 'off' isn't even beginning to keep the ticks 'off' the kids. we've all pulled at least one off of our bodies... poor boy had one stuck to his scrotum. each day my daughter wakes up and says, "is today bug day again?" sadly, yes, every day is bug day.

i generally don't like a ton of pesticide and herbicide floating around where the kids play, but tell me: which is worse? poison or rocky mountain spotted fever? poison or lyme disease? i don't know the answer, but i'll give the sevin crystals a try. on the bag it says it MIGHT even last for 30 WHOLE DAYS before the tick life cycle begins again.

at night, i'm waking up, feeling imaginary (or sometimes real) ticks crawling up my legs, in my ears, on my scalp. i run to the bathroom at 3 AM, blind myself with the lights, and scour myself from head to toe, paranoid that one is just beyond my vision. if a psychiatrist saw me, they'd probably take me away right then claiming paranoia. i don't know why i'm so wound up about this!

so, we're getting the blood sucked out of us by vampirical ticks. what about YOU??

Saturday, April 15, 2006

we dyed on our anniversary

yes, today is our anniversary! and what are we doing?? thankfully, not paying taxes... we've got a couple more days this year to think about writing THOSE checks. no, we are dyeing our eggs for easter instead of frolicking at a planned easter egg hunt because the girlie one is still sick. we're all pretty tired, too, after a long night last night. but i digress. the egg process went fairly smoothly this year, each year it gets easier and easier to do these projects as the children get older and older. we did some wax-resist eggs, and some two tone eggs. now we will be eating egg salad and casseroles with eggs for the next week. and that's OKAY!

we did have a minor explosion earlier... s came in from outside --after being TOLD not to touch the bug repellant-- screaming that she had gotten some in her eyes. i panicked and flushed them thoroughly with water, then put her on the bed to rest her eyes for a minute. still shaking, i came downstairs to check on the boy, and immediately we heard hysterical, maniacal, panicked screaming from back upstairs. i honestly thought my daughter was in the throes of a painful and agonizing death from the tone of her voice. i dropped everything and bolted up the stairs as fast as i could... all the possible scenarios flashing through my brain as i skipped 2 stairs at a time. dog bit her face off? electrocution? black widow spider bite?????? man, the multitude of horrors that can go through your mind in that split-second when you think your kid is in danger! i found her in her room, and there was a bug in the window. that was it. all that screaming panic for a little bug. i almost lost it at her. seems we have a cry wolf problem in our family.

hopefully t and i will be able to get out and celebrate 11 years of wedded bliss tonight. heather is maybe going to come watch the kids and then i can decompress with a niiiiice glass of mommy juice. won't that be niiiice?

Friday, April 14, 2006

misc friday photos

my boy, not doing a very good job in front of the camera

jane trying to get the tennis ball from my hand

sick cat princess sleeping the hot summer day away

evil bipolar tibby looking more gorgeous than he acts on top of the latest house industries mailer

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Darling Mummy

on the left is only an example of ONE of the adorable tees and accessories at Darling Mummy. i had to buy this t-shirt, it's just too appropriate for words!

if you order and enter the coupon code uump, they'll ship free (although only in the us, i think).

check out some of the sassy sayings, stylish belts, and cool bags on their site. i'm so impressed, i wish i would have thought of this stuff!

i've been needing lots and lots of mommy juice lately while slogging through the remainder of tax season, pta meetings, and deadlines. it's one of those times when i'm trying to get all the things that have been weighing on me FINISHED so they'll be out of my brain forever (to be replaced by other pressing things, i'm sure) rather than procrastinating. today is the last of my intermediate dog obedience sessions, so i'll be able to take a big red marker and put a CHECK next to "TRAIN DOG" on my list of things to do. and boy, does that feel good. liberation, here i come!!!! oh, wait... next week is spring break! well, maybe by the time we head to england i'll have the weight off my shoulders.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

muddy buddies

there is nothing, absolutely nothing, as perfect for a kid after school as a warm spring day, a big puddle of mud, a swimsuit, and some friends. bliss, joy, satisfaction... you name it. it was amazing to watch. ah, to be a kid!

Monday, April 10, 2006

true colors

Thanks, sruthi, for the diversion.

it turns out i'm brown. find your color!

You're brown, a credible, stable color that's reminiscent of fine wood, rich leather, and wistful melancholy. Most likely, you're a logical, practical person ruled more by your head than your heart. With your inquisitive mind and insatiable curiosity, you're probably a great problem solver. And you always gather all of the facts before coming to a timely, informed decision. Easily intrigued, you're constantly finding new ways to challenge your mind, whether it's by reading the newspaper, playing a trivia game, or composing a piece of music. Brown is an impartial, neutral color, which means you tend to see the difference between fact and opinion easily and are open to many points of view. Trustworthy and steady, you really are a brown at heart.

brown like poop and dirt.



here's a lovely shot of the sunrise off the side porch for you this morning. it was even lovelier in real life, with the crisp morning air and my breath coming out in steamy puffs. after this i had to face real life again, but it certainly makes a monday morning a little nicer. i need to pay bills today and if i don't get back to the gym my stress level is going to cause an implosion in my brain. so there you have it.

my loving husband's stress is significantly decreased over the purchase of his new baby. he's so phenomenally over-excited about this silly thing with two wheels... it might be catching if i weren't stewing over the impracticality of it all. his argument was gas mileage. you know, with gas prices being so high. my comeback was what you save in gas you make up for in insurance and property tax! but whatever. he's in heaven and promises to get healthier within the next year or i can put the bike on ebay. and this is written proof of the agreement! right?

Thursday, April 06, 2006


the following is an actual conversation between me and my 4 year old daughter today in the car. we were discussing safety, and the subject of strangers came up.

me: are your teachers strangers?

her: no!

me: is daddy a stranger?

her: no!

me: is austin's mommy a stranger?

her: no!

me: am i a stranger?

her: sometimes!

and here i thought i was hiding my dr jekyll and mrs hyde personality SO WELL.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

i'm a mess

some of you may want to dim your monitors for this post which is dedicated to BETH who actually had to see me like this a few hours ago (the image is burned into her brain forever). and of course, she was wearing an adorable matching track suit.

we'll start at the top of the heap of the mess that is me.

Hair: short hair and bedhead DO NOT MIX. take precautionary measures.

Face: indecipherable in this photo (courtesy t) are the splotches of smeared mascara under each eye and the big bulbous zit on the bridge of my nose, right between my eyes.

Shirt: everyone needs a supergirl jammie shirt in pink. plus, it hides the sunburn (yes, SUNBURN. in april.) that i got on my back & shoulders at the park on sunday.

Track jacket: that still smells like the dog treats that were in the pocket for a training session. it's also never been anywhere near an actual track.

Pants: navy blue terry cloth, need i say more?

Shoes: brown suede gap flats with little tassels that really tie the whole look together, don't they? whatever's sitting by the front door is whatever goes.

i'm missing my customary hand-painted coffee mug, i guess i already drank it. i'm also missing my big magenta polarfleece bathrobe. the newspaper is partially chewed by the dog "helping" me get it each morning. it's a comedy of errors each day getting jane to "drop it" and "leave it" before the news is in shreds.

in my defense, i'm really only grabbing for whatever clothing may still be on the bedroom floor each morning in the dark. you really can't blame me for not turning on the light. but the poor bus driver! she sees me in some semblance of this outfit every morning. when i show up to school looking NORMAL, she kind of looks creeped out, like, 'i know what you REALLY look like.' either that or she doesn't even recognize me.

Monday, April 03, 2006

just life.

oh, i was doing SO well for a while there, wasn't i? a post every day or every other day! sorry it's been AAAAAALLLLLLLLLL weekend since i've posted, i've fallen off the blog wagon.

maybe that's just because there isn't too much to discuss in my life that's of any interest in the blogosphere. would you like to hear the one about how i spent all day saturday with my friend beth on the neighborhood petition to fight redistricting? we drove around the 'hood, gathering data... figuring out which volunteer would get which houses to sign the petition... BLAH!

or perhaps the one about how i shirked my petition duty on sunday to go to the park with my children for a birthday gathering? NAAAAHH!

and today is the most INTERESTING of all my busy days. accountant's office, kinko's, dry mounting place, DMV. the best part of this is i stood in line at the dmv until i couldn't wait any longer to go to the bathroom, thus losing my place in line. i didn't have the heart to stand there AGAIN. and i went to walmart! ohh, what a life of interestingness.