Saturday, May 31, 2008

MNO -- Moms Night Out

Each month the mommy group I belong to (Mocha Moms) has an event for -moms only-, (no husbands, and no kids allowed). Its a great opportunity for ladies to get out and nurture their girlfriend relationships, and each month I look forward to it. I don't make it every month, but I try. In my chapter -South Dekalb, GA- we generally set the calendar date as the third weekend of each month, but this month I was hosting, and that weekend wouldn't fit my schedule, so I planned for the fifth weekend. This year of course that coincided with the opening of Sex and the City. And thus the "Sexy in the City Moms Night Out" hosted by MM Shanta was set. Location: Atlantic Station We attended the 6:40 show so that we could have dinner afterwards (at Copelands Cheesecake Bistro) and talk about the movie. The latter did not occur because some in our party didn't purchase tickets ahead of time, (although I had advised so in the Evite).

Of course you can imagine, I went slightly over the top. Carrie Bradshaw had to be paid homage. So I wore my fabulous white with blue strap Dave Chappelle dress (called thusly, because I made it to wear to a Dave Chappelle concert with my husband), and a pair of 4 inch Python stilettos - (no one ever complains when the leather comes from snakes) -a striking combination. My fellow moms were equally sexy.

We all enjoyed the movie and felt that it ended on a strong note. Some felt Jennifer Hudson was trying just a little too hard, but that was my first time seeing her act, as I have never seen Dreamgirls, and I don't watch American Idol, so I had neutral feelings. But I wasn't there to see her anyways, it was all about Carrie and Big for me. And they delivered in classic fashion. There was "coloring" in spades and high fashion at every turn.

Now the anticipation for this movie was off the charts, and to see all the other ladies out, dressed like we were going to glamorous parties with all our girlfriends was phenomenal. It was just lovely.

My group and I called it wraps around midnight and put the perfect cap on a wonderful evening with friends. Now the theme that I built this evening around, is what made it so cool for me. But it is so important for all of us to continue to build relationships with our girlfriends, even after marriage and children. Sometimes moreso once you have children. You just need that adult interaction, that "girl talk". Ladies wherever you are plan a MNO of your own. I guarantee it will be a night to remember.

Be Safe.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What's Your Favorite Thing About Summer

Well my angel LaVerna wants to know. And I suggest you go over and leave a comment, because she is giving away some great prizes.

Well here's my list:

  • My birthday
  • lightning bugs
  • tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, anything from my garden
  • laying on a blanket and looking up at the sky
  • playing outside at dusk
  • fruit stands on the roadside
  • honeysuckle
  • and a whole host of others

Now go on over to LaVerna's and try to win yourself a prize.

Be Safe.

A Little Bit About Me

So... I've been tagged by Heather to do a little survey. Usually I don't do such things, because I say I don't have time, but I know exactly what I can do when I use my time "wisely" so I won't make any excuses. Besides, I think it will be cool to let my "cyber friends" get to know me a little better. So here's how it works:

"The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themself. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 0r 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves a comment letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answer."

Sounds easy enough. Enjoy the trip...

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
  • Let's see 10 years ago I was working at UM College of Engineering summer programs as a Residential/Academic facilitator (I watched kids in class, and in the dorm for the summer). I was going into my second year at Michigan and having fun. Still trying to figure out what I was going to do in life, and making back-up plans just in case. (Neither one of them came to fruition). Not too many complaints, just enjoying my time with Michael. Life was good.
2. What are five things on my to do list for today?
  • clean girls rooms
  • repot lilies (that didn't happen)
  • let flooring people in
  • clean bedroom
3. Snacks I enjoy...
  • baked goods (rolls, cinnamon buns, muffins, cookies, cakes)
  • yogurt
  • peanut butter
  • fruit
  • popcorn
  • ice cream
  • cream cheese pastrami dip with crackers
  • mild cheddar cheese on town house crackers
  • food in general
4.Things I would do if I were a billionaire...
  • start an endowment for girls in science
  • develop green communities
  • fund research for alternative fuels (I've always thought using water to run cars was "smart")
  • start an organic farm co-op so people could have healthy foods (specifically in the MS delta where obesity, and diabetes are rampant) but in a great deal of outlying communities
  • start a camp for girls and their moms
  • set up trusts for my kids, "so they have enough to do something, but not enough to do nothing"- Warren Buffett
  • buy land in communities for use as green spaces
  • Buy a "ranch" with cows, horses, chickens, an orchard, huge garden, etc.
  • Make sure my mom is taken care of
5. Places I have lived...
  • Vicksburg, MS...until I was 7
  • Camp Lejuene, NC...8-12
  • Chicopee, MA
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Ypsilanti, MI
  • Westland, MI
  • Lathrup Village, MI
  • Conyers, GA
  • Athens, GA
  • Lithonia, GA
6. What jobs have I had...
  • Library aide (in 3 different libraries at 3 different times)
  • Little Caesars
  • Telemarketer (don't hate me, I was in school and the hours were flexible)
  • Espresso Royale ( I was a barrista :))
  • Mail room messenger
  • Residential / Academic Facilitator
  • Residential Leader
  • Residential Co-ordinator
  • Mom
  • Wife
  • Jewelry Designer
  • Events promoter

  • Girl Scout leader
  • Mocha Moms treasurer
  • Sister
  • Daughter

7. Peeps I want to know more about...

Okay it's you all's turn.

Be Safe.

So Much Here

Wow, this will be like a little digest. ( Heather you must put me in the direction of the "help" for 'JifNotes' they seem quite handy. ) OK, to the meat, or the filling, whichever. Let's see: I've been tagged to do a survey, it seems like fun, and that being said I've forgotten everything else. (You know if I don't write most things down, they are gone for... long periods of time, usually forever.)

Oh yes, for those of you new to the blog, welcome, and for the not so new, how do you like the changes. It took me the better part of two hours, because I finally changed over to the new layout Blogger has, and didn't save a copy of my template before I began, so I had to go and export everything back here. Ughhhh, that was frustrating, I had to go to help, more than before when I could just copy paste directly into the template editor. At any rate the page is pretty much the way I want it, which is pretty much the way it was before, but with prettier colors (in my opinion). [Heavy usage of the word "pretty", someone get this gal a thesaurus] Actually the way it was before, there was no color. I like the green, it reminds of being earth friendly, -which I try to be 24/7. Blue is my favorite color though, just in case anyone was wondering. However I digress.

Here's the Meat----- I got a RAK gift today. It was some great purple cotton yarn. I was very appreciative of it. Thanks Angel4ever, getting that package was really something special for me. It just brightened my day, honestly. Especially since my girls are in MI visiting grandparents. The baby is still here, but since she speaks only when she wants I'm kinda on my own during the day. Add on we're having work done on the house, and it makes for a homebound mommy, missing her girls big time. So the yarn was a real boost.

I have yet to send out one of my RAK's, (anyone know where I can find Cherry Twizzlers?) Strawberry are all over the place.

In closing, Heather, I am definitely going to do the survey in the morning; right now, I'm just beat. Looking forward to getting to know more about all of you.

Be Safe.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What a 1/2 Year

My gosh...what a year its been. It's been one big thing after another, and the year isn't even half way over. My oldest daughter turned 7 and it hit me like ..."Whoa!, oh my gosh, in three years she's going to be ten, then thirteen and boys and mean girls, and I hope she's not the mean girl." (You all know how I can jump the gun.)

Well today my 4 year old "graduated" from Pre-K. Wow! What a milestone. It was fabulous. the class performed two songs and a dance; and they did a great job.

All this activity, moving on to the next phase...it's natural yes, but somewhat unsettling. My kids are reaching the time when they have their own opinions, and they know enough to back up their arguments. Its so _______ (fill in the blank). I honestly don't have words for it. It's like a pinch, saying "wake up; they aren't meant to be kids forever". On one hand I don't want them to grow up, but on the other I don't want to be cleaning up after them forever.

So many mixed emotions. I can't even get my thoughts together. Suffice it to say, I am so happy for my girls and really am looking forward to the next chapter and whatever it brings.

Be Safe.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I Didn't Know That...


"According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of Americans over 50 who are infected with HIV have grown over 5 times (16,300 people in 1995, to 90,600 in 2003). While seniors represent about 14% of people with HIV, senior women represent 18%. Read more at this site. "


I did know this..."The numbers of women with infections are even higher for American women of color, and come in at a staggering 47% when looking at world HIV infection rates. That means that just under half of all HIV infections are found in women worldwide."


We are living in a time when being uninformed about an issue such as this, could mean the difference between life and death. I grew up in a time when education about preventing STD's and the spread of HIV/AIDS was much better than it was for my mom, because the knowledge of how it was spread had been studied and researchers had better information. I knew that it couldn't be spread by kissing, but by co-mingling of body fluids. Unprotected sex, was definitely a NO-NO and birth control pills, diaphragms, and IUD's didn't protect against it. Interestingly enough, I grew up knowing this, but for all the sexual education classes they supposedly have in schools these days, more and more young women are becoming infected than ever before. Its a scary reality, but women have got to begin to take control of their own sexual health. Accidental pregnancy is not the only thing we should be trying to protect ourselves against.


I see the commercials for Gardasil (the HPV vaccine) and I think to myself, I don't think I would let my daughters get it. HPV (human papillomavirus) is an STD which in its "low-risk" forms can show itself or not, but can be seen (if it presents itself) as genital warts. In its "high risk" form, about 10% of cases, it can present as cervical cancer. HPV generally has no visible signs, and a person can have the virus, and not even know it. I don't think I would let my girls get the vaccine, because I will be advocating abstinence to them; and having them get a vaccine for an STD to me is sending a mixed message. You don't need to be protected from a sexually transmitted disease, if you aren't having sex. Right?


There are so many ways to protect ourselves. One of which is condoms. Honestly I would prefer everyone save themselves for that one true love, but I'm grown and I'm married, and I know "bliss" and I pass judgement on no one. What I want to get across is to "be safe". I sign every post with that, and it means everything to me. Pay attention to what you are doing, your surroundings, buckle up, don't drink and drive, use your head.


I try to be a positive person, but self-preservation is a very strong impulse, and if you are having sex, you need to do a few things: 1. ask the other person what their status is, have they had a test recently, (within the last six months). 2. make sure that you are protected, (carry your own condoms) don't leave your health in someone else's hands--you don't ask someone else to carry your toothbrush. 3.say NO if you aren't comfortable performing some act (even consensual sex can push the boundaries of safety) 4. Don't be shy -its your health- ask all the questions you need to until you feel comfortable. Before I was intimate with my husband, I wanted to know his full history, ( I kid you not) every girlfriend, if they'd ever not used protection, what was his status, what was hers? Have you EVER had an STD? Any drug use in the past? (You have to ask), and if you can't you shouldn't be having sex. That's my personal opinion of course. But I think its a pretty smart concept.


Why this topic. I ran across a project and said hmmmm? I wanted to learn more, and boy did I ever. I have a mom and a mother -in-law, both of whom are over 50 and divorced. My mom was married for over 20 years, so quite a few things have changed, since she last dated. I don't know what her sexual life is or isn't like. We haven't grown so much that we talk about that type of thing. However I hope if she is pursuing a life post divorce that she is informed and asking the pertinent questions. In addition I have younger sisters, significantly younger (the closest is 9 years my junior). And unfortunately today's climate promotes oral sex as "not really sex". The chance to spread an STD is still present, yet young women are performing such acts with the thought that I can't get pregnant, there is not penetration, so no risk for disease. Not to be vulgar, but any orifice on your body is literally an entrance for a potentially harmful virus to enter.


My whole point, I hope people are being safe, protecting themselves, asking the pertinent questions, not being cavalier with their lives. Read this knowing that I don't know you personally, but I care about you and your welfare, and hope you do as well.


Be Safe.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Anxiety

I know that I should be anxious for nothing, but I am human, I am falliable. I am ME! Occassionally I tend to obsess. And currently I am projecting so far out into the future, thinking how I am too disorganized to add one more thing to my plate, and I'm nowhere near knowing if the thing I'm dreading will even come to fruition. Yes I have issues.

Point in case: I should be filling out my paperwork for my financial aid, (to see if they'll even give me any) but instead, I've been moping about thinking that it'll be too much for me to handle, that I haven't do anything at all. What do you ask am I trying to do? Well that would be finish my degree. But (start the violins) I've got the girls, and Michael, and I'm the troop leader, and the treasurer for my mommy group, and blah, blah, blah. Yeah I know I need to get off mykeister and do what I have to do.

So that being said; I'll let you all go now, so that I can do what needs to be done.

**** Okay it is 12:40 AM and I have now completed my FAFSA and filled out completely my daughters school committment form. ****

Be Safe.

Monday, May 12, 2008

One More Please

WOO HOO! I've got my first angel for my Pay It Forward Exchange. Thanks Laverna, I'm so excited. And my second is Andi of Mystic Spiral (a ceramic bead artist she is). How cool is that?

Now I just need one more person that I can bless with a lovely handcrafted something or other. I am really looking forward to this opportunity to brighten someone else's day. Just spread a little love and let another person know that they are thought about and loved, even by people they have never met. Isn't that profound? Someone you never met cares enough to send you something they made with their own hands. To me crafting is an outward expression of my love, because I took my time to get it right, just for you, so you would feel special. I hope you feel at least a little warm and fuzzy when you get my gift.

Both ladies found me on the Random Acts of Kindness group on Ravelry of course. I've selected my RAK recipients for May. Only four people, and simple things, because I'm on a limited budget right now. Saving up for Father's Day. (I have no idea what to get my husband, so I need to have a little put aside in case I decide to splurge). It is so great to give to people. It's great to be a blessing.

Well I've got to go, I've got two kids home today and they need my attention.

Be Safe.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day


I hope you've had a great day and that is was filled with all the love and joy you deserve. Mothering is a job, definitely, but it is the most rewarding one I have ever had. I wouldn't trade the time I've had with my kids for anything in the world, even what I thought I wanted my life to be like. God has blessed me exceedingly and abundantly over all I could ever have asked; my children are healthy and happy and well-behaved. I can't ask for more.

Unfortunately there are mother's that won't get a call today, and there are children that don't have anyone to call. My message to you is that this season shall pass and it won't hurt afterwhile. Soon enough you will have fond memories of the day, and the love will be back again.

Be Safe.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pay It Forward Exchange


Okay so you all know that I LOVE Ravelry and all things associated with it. So when I saw this group, I was very impressed. Who hasn't been touched by the premise of the movie "Pay It Forward"? Its such a noble concept that anyone can engage in. And since I love crafting and giving what a better way to put my talents to use. Following is an explanation of what's got me totally abuzz.

Pay It Forward Exchange I'm SO EXCITED to be a involved in the Pay It Forward Exchange! I found out about it from Warmharte!

Let me tell you about it, these are the instructions: "It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based of the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

I will now Pay It Forward to you THREE, I wonder who you will be?! Please, be a PIF! You will enjoy it just as much as we do!"

And, remember...you have 6 months to get your gifts done! Come on, you know you would love to be one of my angels. Then, one day, but you don't know when....you will get a gift that I have made especially for YOU!

Please remember, you don't have to knit or crochet to participate, anyone who can make a nice handmade gift is welcome to join :)

I am so looking forward to starting. Can't wait to see who joins me.

Be Safe.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Distractions

Sometimes there is so much serious stuff going on around you that you just want to escape for awhile. Well, I have found the perfect distraction. ==> See my Meez. Isn't she cute? I think she's adorable. And when I'm not on Ravelry or working, I'm dressing her up and changing her background. I love it. I saw one on Smariek Knits and I just had to have one for myself.

I went to the site and signed up, it was easy enough and best of all FREE! Mindless entertainment is always best when there's no charge. There are a ton of styling options, (backgrounds, clothes, hair, make-up, shoes, etc..). It's really a blackhole i.e you get sucked in--albeit a slow one, sometimes the server can be a tad slow. But I'm guessing its a small operation so some lag time can be expected. It still gets the job done for me, because I'm not going there to play the games they have, just to dress up my Meez. It's like playing dolls on the computer, I love it!

The knitting animation I purchased with my coinz, but the clothes and background were free. Which the majority of items are, but since I didn't pay for the coinz, it (the animation)was really free too. You earn coinz when you sign up and by subscribing to the newsletter, and when you refer others. BTW my Meez name is hayessl, just in case;)

I really like my little shirt, especially since Mother's Day is coming up.

Speaking of mother's...be kind to yours and give her a call on Sunday, it just might make her day. Comcast has been running these commercials, where all these moms were getting calls from their kids, and passing out. I was like "who wouldn't call their mom on Mother's Day?" At which point he gave me a very close and personal example, and I said "oh, yeah." So even if it may give her a coronary, go ahead and give your old mum a call this Sunday. You never know where it might lead.

Just FYI, I love my mother very much and was not the person used in the example. However I have yet to mail her gift, because the "simple bookmark" that I have been making to go with the book I bought has turned out to be not so simple; so I may be driving it up on Saturday. I'll post a pick when its finished.

Be Safe.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Today, I Teach the Kids to Knit... Finger Knitting Anyways

So here I have a craft that I can share with my daughters, very little danger involved, no hot wax, or sharp pliers. Just their own fingers. I've been wanting to teach my oldest daughter to knit for several years now, (even bought her her own needles and some fabulous yarn). But we hadn't made any progress, because she's left handed and I'm not, and I wanted to teach her in way that would be most natural to her. Well, I've seen tutorials online for lefties, but they confused me, and well it's never good for the "instructor" to be adled.

So finally last night I was on Ravelry and I found a group for teaching kids to knit, and low and behold a forum for teaching left handers. Yeah!!!!!! Lots of great discussion and a whole host of valuable information. Most notably teaching beginners to "finger knit". So using a few suggested links, SkaMama's method we're going to start finger knitting today.

That is of course after we finish folding the laundry and I clean the kitchen. Gotta learn early no crafts until work is finished. At least that's what I'll try to teach. Leading by example can be hard. Who wants to fold laundry when there's knitting to be done.

Be Safe