Friday, February 29, 2008

On being a slacker...

A few minutes ago I heard my cell phone ringing in the other room. Since I can never, EVER reach the thing in the time allowed for it to ring it went to voice mail before I got to it. When I picked up the phone and looked at the caller ID I knew the ominous phone number immediately. The school... oh no, did one of them throw up? Did one of them crack their head open? Oh please tell me Munchkin doesn't have bugs in her hair!

I press the "Voicemail" button on the phone. It rings.

"You have one new voicemail."

Yes, yes, I KNOW lady... that's why I'm calling!

"New voicemail. Received at eight..... twenty..... four..... AM"

I swear, that's how slow this automated chick talks.

"Hi this is the school nurse at Highly Pretentious Elementary. Bug came down to the office to let me know that he forgot his jacket today. Thank you."

Forgot? Um, no. Deliberately did not take it? That's more like it.

As my blog implies, I am a slacker mom. My approach to parenting is pretty laid back. I try to instill good values into my kids, let them know right from wrong, the golden rule, all that stuff. I also make sure they are fed healthy enough food to keep them growing strong, get enough sleep most of the time, and know not to take candy from strangers.

I do, however, let them make mistakes. I let them make the wrong decision sometimes when it's not going to hurt them too much. This is how they learn.

Right now, in sunny South Florida, it is 54 degrees outside. I dropped my precious little monsters off at school about 45 minutes ago. As we were leaving, I reminded both monsters to bring a sweater or a jacket because it was chilly out. Munchkin, fashionista that she is, took this opportunity to accessorize her outfit and grabbed an adorable beige and pink sweater hoodie. Bug took one step outside, declared it not cold enough for a jacket, and scampered off to the car.

"Are you sure you're not going to be cold?"

"No, it's not even a little bit cold today." He replied, matter-of-factly.

So I shrugged and let him go.

Now, I did check the weather forecast today and I know that by 10:00 am it'll be almost 70 degrees outside so I know Bug isn't going to freeze. Yesterday I did make him bring a jacket because the high was barely 60, but today I'm a lot more relaxed about it. Who am I to say that the kid feels hot or cold, right?

I'm sure the nurse expects me to drop what I'm doing (blogging in my nightgown, of course), get dressed, and run up to the school with my little precious Bug's jacket. I think not. This is one of those mistakes he'll have to learn from. Just like I did back in my day. ;)

Fighting the Frump! Quiet Time Challenge

It's Friday and that means we're Fighting the Frump with Fussy today!

Today I'd like to take a moment to talk about something that most of us don't get nearly enough of. At least I don't. :)

Quiet Time.

For me, I call this meditation and it's something I like to try to do at least once a day. I even have a wonderful meditation cushion set that The Man purchased for me for Christmas to keep me comfy. It's almost March and I've used it exactly five times.

It seems from the moment we wake up until the moment our heads fall exhausted on the pillow we're going.

We're thinking, we're listening to something, we're talking, we're watching, we're cooking, we're cleaning. What has to get done? What needs to be bought? Did I wash school clothes? Do I have something to make for dinner? I need to update my blog, I need to respond to those comments, why aren't more people reading my blog? Did I RSVP to Jimmy's birthday party? What present should we buy for Jimmy? I need to get the oil changed. I want to watch American Idol. I want to get my hair done. I sure could use a pedicure. When was the last time I scrubbed the toilet? I think I might be coming down with something. I don't have time to come down with something!


It has to stop! We're running ourselves absolutely ragged and worrying about yesterday and tomorrow so much that we've forgotten to stop and focus on the NOW. Stop and take a breath and quiet your mind and just let the present embrace you.

So that's my challenge to help you fight the frump... once a day if you can or once a week if you can only do that, just take a break for yourself and be quiet. Stop thinking and stop doing... just for a few moments... just be.

You'll feel better, be more focused, and in turn be a lot less frumpy!

For more Fight the Frump posts visit Fussypants!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

eBay questions answered

Dot at Somewhere Over the Rainbow asked a few questions about my eBay post and since I can't think of anything else to blog about I'll be happy to answer them here. ;)

I started this post with a very long detailed description of my whole process and then realized no one really wants to read all of that so here's the condensed version.

How do I organize my eBay business?

Currently we're going through a bit of a reorganization to keep track of our inventory. When I only had a few hundred items listed it was easy to sort of just know where everything was and get it to the right person every time. Now we have over 1000 items listed at all times and are listing more so it's necessary to change the way we do things. I now log everything into an Excel spreadsheet and keep it updated so I always know where everything is, if it is listed, when it sells, and how profitable it was. Now I can look quickly and know what kind of items my customers are buying and what I should try to keep in stock.

Where do I store my items?

Some of my inventory is stored in the closet that is located in my office. With over 1000 items, however, we quickly outgrew the closet and had to look into other options. Now, the bulk of our inventory is stored in airtight bins and labeled with a number that helps me to find the inventory when it sells. These bins are lined up in the hallway leading to the children's bedrooms in my house and also in my office. This is probably the most irritating part of the business. :) The inventory has taken over my house!

How do I deal with difficult customers?

The vast majority of my customers are wonderful people. They're friendly, they pay on time, and they communicate well. However, there ARE some that can be quite nasty. I try to always be professional and communicate with considerate language... even when I would much rather use not so considerate language. ;) The most important thing I have had to do is to have policies in place to deal with situations that inevitably will come up. Mostly this deals with payment terms and return policies. If I have a potential bidder who sends up red flags, like they have a lot of negative feedback or they are rude in their emails, I will block them from bidding on my auctions. Sometimes there are customers that just can't be pleased... I just try to be nice, block them from bidding in the future, and take the hit. It's impossible to please everyone all the time.

Where do I get my shipping supplies?

I get almost everything from the United States Postal Service. I ship almost exclusively with Priority Mail and the shipping supplies can be sent to me straight from them. I also try to keep bubble wrap and other shipping supplies that I receive from packages and I purchase sticky labels for my printer online.

I hope I've answered everything you asked, Dot! If you'd like to know any more, I'll be happy to answer.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Little girl pageant pictures found online:

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

This is what people consider beautiful???

Here's my Little Miss:

I wouldn't "retouch" a thing on that beautiful face.

Dr Seuss

Today I had a comment left on my blog from Tootie's Place which prompted me to wander over to her blog to see what she was all about. I do this for pretty much anyone who leaves a comment, even though I don't always comment back. I try not to comment if I don't have anything real to say.

But I digress.

The reason for this post is because Tootie had a quote on top of her blog and I found it to be wonderful. I've read the quote before and even the whole book the quote is taken from... just call me Ms. Literacy. Today, though, the quote really struck me and I felt the need to repost it.

"Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." ~Dr. Seuss

How darned perfect is THAT??!? I mean, what more does one need to hear to realize they're living in the NOW and their life is in their hands. I love it and I think I might write it on post it notes and stick it throughout my house. Perfect. Thanks, Tootie!

WFMW - I Sell on eBay!


It's Works for Me Wednesday and I'm going to talk all about my job.

When people find out I sell on eBay there are so many questions... how did you start?, what do you sell?, can you sell something for me?, can you teach me how?

The truth is that selling on eBay is my full time job and it is a LOT OF WORK.

I work on my eBay business harder than I have ever worked at any job in my life. I don't take lunch breaks and the time I would spend commuting from home to a job, I spend answering emails. I am constantly at the mercy of eBay's new policies which can be scary sometimes... especially lately!

It all started back in 1999 when I was pregnant with my 1st child. I had a good friend who started cleaning out her closet and selling everything on eBay and she was making a ton of cash. Since finances were tight and about to get tighter I decided to try it, too. At first it was just the designer wardrobe I had outgrown, silver jewelry I didn't wear, and some odds and ends around the house. I was HOOKED. Everything sold for more than I could have dreamed to get at a garage sale and I loved my new access to instant cash. Watching auctions close began to be my nightly addiction.

Shortly after my son was born the company I worked from home for underwent some big changes and I lost the marketing position I was in love with. I sent out my resume and went on interview after interview but found myself in a position I hadn't found myself in before. I was now a mother. Employers were wary of hiring a mother with an infant and I was wary of leaving my new little Bug in the care of someone else during the day.

It was then that I decided to give eBay a full time go. I started out by begging my friends and family (and my family's friends) to clean out their closets and let me have the loot. I lived for months on that before I had to actually source my own inventory. I learned where and how to find barely used clothing that would sell. I learned name brands, what couture was, how to tell counterfeit from the real stuff.

Eight years later I'm still selling on eBay (with small breaks throughout the years while I tried other things) and I've learned to adapt to all the changes that have been thrown my way. Now, The Man and I are a team and he, being the computer genius he is, has streamlined our business so we can maximize the amount of items we can offer.

Because of eBay I've never had to put my children in day care, I've never had to ask my boss for a day off to spend taking my kids to the zoo. When one of my little monsters is sick (and when I inevitably come down with the bug, too) I can spend the entire day feeling foreheads and cleaning up vomit and I don't have to worry that my job is in danger. Sometimes I don't put shoes on all day. I don't even own a business suit or a pair of panty hose and I do my grocery shopping at 10:00 AM.

So that's why eBay works for me! :)

For more Works For Me Wednesday posts, check out Rocks In My Dryer!

**Yes, I have linked my eBay store about 500 times in this post... shameless, I know. ;)**

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Laundry Woes

I'm giggling at those of you who said I looked organized when viewing the points system post. Tee hee. Blogs are sure deceiving! :)

The truth is - I'm so very unorganized that I have to put a very organized system into place for the kids in order to keep myself from going absolutely mad. Right now their rooms are the cleanest parts of the house and I'm contemplating giving them even more responsibility so as to compensate for my severe lack of domestic ability.

I'm thinking of teaching Munchkin how to use the washer... 6 years old is old enough to learn... right? No? Not unless I want suds all over my laundry room floor and mildewy smelling clothing?

The laundry really is a serious problem in this house. There is so much of it. In fact, there is a large mountain of it (I'm serious, the kids can literally climb it) in the laundry room. I'll never get it tackled because I hate doing laundry so I keep just picking out the pieces we absolutely need and washing them. Last night I was washing school uniforms at 11:00 pm so the kids would have clothes to wear today.

I really should just donate it all to Goodwill but I feel bad donating it without washing it first so it sits there. Now I'm thinking I might go out there and just divide it all up into colors and whites and towels and everything and load it all up into the van (I'll probably have to take the seats out) and go at 1:00 am to a 24 hour laundromat and do it all at once. It will probably cost us $300 in quarters but it would be done. Then I could sort it into donate piles right there at the laundromat and just donate it before I even got home. Sounds like a plan, eh?

I wonder it that would save me on the electricity bill. I wonder if I can blog at the laundromat!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Points System

It's Works For Me Wednesday! Today we'll be talking about The Points System.

We had implemented this last year but it does take a bit of diligence on the parents part and we let it fall to the wayside. However, it was working great at the time so we've implemented it once again.

Here's the basic idea... kids are given a list of chores and daily tasks and every task is assigned a point value. Here's an example of what our 8 year old's list looks like:


Our 4 year old's list is similar - but a little more basic:


Then all three have a list of rewards they can buy points with and a list of punishments that points will be taken away for:


Then the points are all charted on the wall where everyone can see:


When we implemented the system last year we used poker chips to represent points but it was a lot more difficult for us to keep track of. I'm really hoping this way works a lot better.

Anyhow - that's what (hopefully) works for me!

To see more WFMW posts, check out Rocks In My Dryer!

Someday I'll be organized... I swear it

Yesterday I spent the entire day with my little monsters cleaning their rooms. Munchkin's room went from a health hazard to a pretty little girl's haven. The boys den of doom was transformed into a land of legos, trains, and soccer balls. Even Goober, at four years old, was so excited he picked up all his toys today while playing without me telling him to!

Today I spent the day putting together charts and lists to put a system of discipline and chores back in place with the kids (which I'll post about tomorrow for WFMW) and I'm exhausted. Work has suffered but I'm feeling a lot more at peace with the kids.

I think...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fight the Frump! Facial Hair Edition


Today is Friday and that means we're Fighting the Frump! I'd like to talk today about something I see a lot of women sort of let go by the wayside. Something that, when under control, can make you feel like a whole new woman.

Today we're going to discuss body hair. From head to toe we're plagued with it and as we get older it's tougher to deal with. I don't know about you, but in the past few years I've noticed strange dark hairs popping up in the oddest places. It's gotten to the point where I don't even leave the house without my trusty Revlon Tweezers. (Seriously, these babies are the best - I have at least 5 pair.) I can't imagine what I might look like if I wasn't constantly plucking.


Maybe you don't realize you have a stache. The blond ones really glisten nicely in sunlight, but maybe not so much in your bathroom at home. Perhaps you read somewhere that thick eyebrows made you look younger.


This may be so... but we must draw the line between Brooke and Bert...


Get yourself a good magnified mirror with a LIGHT. Something like this one. Get yourself some tweezers and some Nair for face and get rid of that hair, you sexy thing!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Regents Secret

So.... I was informed today about Regents Secret. I don't know if y'all have heard about this site... maybe I'm just way behind the times... but it appears to be a site that rotates certain designer stuff at pretty heavily discounted price.

Right now they have Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bags up for insanely low prices. I bought a couple of the touring bags for only $50 and let me tell you, girls, that is a rockin' price.

If you'd like to check it out it's invitation only so you have to be invited by a member which I have recently become. ;) You can put in my email address (spaz AT domesticspaz DOT com) and I'll get 5% of your purchases. Cha ching! But seriously, I'm not all about making cash - I really am impressed with the deals. They're having an Ed Hardy sale starting Saturday and you can BET I'll be checking that one out.

UPDATE ALERT! Regents Secret has evidently gone with the wind. And they totally owe me like $60, too. Bastards.

Happy LOVE Day!


This is Google's picture for today. It makes me feel warm and gooey inside. :)

Yesterday The Man sent me flowers. The note he enclosed with them literally made me cry. This is the man who makes fun of the romantic parts of movies, the man who rolls his eyes at mushy stuff... and he wrote the sweetest card. I won't disclose what it said... just suffice to say you could have knocked me down with a feather.

The flowers were from FTD and they are sort of beautiful. :) They came wilted and are still wilted... but they still take my breath away. Six purple roses and purple lillys. He knew just what I would love.

I feel very lucky today.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I can't watch this commercial without thinking "WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH SPAGHETTI SAUCE AND THAT WHITE DRESS???!!!???"

60 Things

I'm stealing this from Dawn because I couldn't think of anything to write and it's been since Friday that I updated so I feel like I should. :) She said to feel free....

60 Things You Possibly Didn't Know About Me

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
You mean in the cavernous insanity of the minivan? An empty shopping bag, a hairbrush, several Webkins, a Bratz doll with no feet, crumbs and assorted wrappers for things that make crumbs, a styrofoam kid cup from a restaurant, crayons, three garbage bags to take to Goodwill along with a box of hangers. Last week my friend literally picked a half a granola bar out of the back of the van to feed to her rats. She was so excited to find it and I was horrified.

2. When was the last time you threw up
It was a long time ago... I can't remember. I don't throw up often, thank goodness. Ask me when the last time I cleaned UP throw up, though. That's much more recent.

3. What's your favorite curse word?
I don't curse much. I love the Orbitz commercial where the guy says "What the French Toast?!"

I say that a lot.

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today?
The Man, Goober, and the weather channel guy who said it the low would be 57 tonight.

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
Driving home from dropping the kids off at school in my pink Christmas nightgown and The Man's raincoat. Yeah... I'm a looker. ;)

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Laying down being a "Mommy" sandwich between Goober and The Man. It's nice to work from home and it's one of those rainy days where you just want to hole up in bed and cuddle.

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now?
Hmmmm.... probably watching Oprah while shipping packages and telling kids to do their homework and fixing cups of milk and snacks, and putting some laundry in, and solving miscellaneous kid disputes.

8. Have you ever been to a strip club?
Tee hee.

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
"That's nice, honey." - in reference to Goober telling me that bananas are not phones.

10. What is the best ice cream flavor?
ooohhh... Chocolate Marshmallow. No nuts. Oh... so delicious. Though now I am a vegetarian and don't eat marshmallows. So probably just plain chocolate.

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
water... that Evian is good stuff. Did you know it's naive spelled backwards? Those Frenchmen are laughing at us, I know it.

12. What are you wearing right now?
my pink Christmas nightgown. ;)

13. What was the last thing you ate?

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?
Not for myself.

15. When was the last time you ran?
I think I was chasing Goober in Epcot.

16. What's the last sporting event you watched?
the Super Bowl

17. (Dawn's skipped number 17... I had to find it elsewhere. :)) What is one thing you could totally live without doing? Cleaning, Working... I can only pick one?

18. Who is the last person you emailed?
an eBay customer

19. Ever go camping?
yes, and I hope to go again some day when we get a blow up bed that doesn't make sleeping a living hell.

20. Do you have a tan?
compared to who?

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw?
if the waitress brings me one. :)

25. What did your last IM say?

26. Are you someone's best friend?
I think so... unless she's lying to me.

27. What are you doing tomorrow?
I think I'm picking up chocolates and a mushy card from my mom to my dad... which is kind of disturbing. But whatever. Then I'm working and later I'll probably give the Man some lovin cause it's Valentine's Day and all. Not that we only do it once a year... why am I telling y'all this?

28. Where is your mom right now?
Her house, I guess.

29. Look to your left, what do you see?
a bunch of dresses hanging up

30. What color is your watch?

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia ?
costs a lot to ship stuff there...

32. Would you consider plastic surgery?
Heck yeah!

33. What is your birthstone?

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit thedrive thru?
Drive through... that's the only reason I go to fast food places.

35.How many kids do you want?
I guess I'll keep all three.... why, does someone want to take one?

36. Do you have a dog?

37. Last person you talked to on the phone?
does my voice mail count? If not, it was the customer care representative at Comcast.

38. Have you met anyone famous?
yes, I met Jewel a long time ago.

39. Any plans today?
I haven't even started...

40. How many states have you lived in?
Just Florida.

41. Ever go to college?
yeppers... a few of them!

42. Where are you right now?
in my house... at my computer... where else would I be wearing my pink Christmas nightgown?

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
customers who don't read shipping charges before committing to buy something and then complain because they've crammed a 2 pound dress into a flat rate envelope BEFORE and got away with it!

44. Last song listened to?
a clip of "Forever and ever, Amen" by Randy Travis. It was to torture The Man.

46. Are you allergic to anything?
yes, but I'm not sure what it is...

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
Target Flip Flops... I'm obsessed. First I got these: Photobucket and then I gave them to my neice because she loved them. Then I got these Photobucket and then I loved THEM so much that when I saw these Photobucket I had to get them, too.

48. Are you jealous of anyone?
for moments at a time... :)

50. Is anyone jealous of you?
if only they knew.....

51. What time is it?
1:45 PM

52. Do any of your friends have children?
yes... but most of them don't.

53. Do you eat healthy?
I try... really, I do.

54. What do you usually do during the day?
tell children they can't have, can't eat, can't do, or can't watch something

55. Do you hate anyone right now?
no... hate's a pretty strong emotion. I don't have room for that.

56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?

58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
31 and it's only 10 days away...

59. Have you ever been to Six Flags?

60. How did you get one of your scars?
I stepped on a computer case and sliced open my big toe. It was pretty gnarly... I got 8 stitches and made doctors squeamish... rock on.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Fight the Frump!


It's the first edition of Fight the Frump with Fussy!

Yesterday I spent my entire day with a four year old shopping for inventory and trying to find my sister a birthday present at the same time. After Goober had an accident in his pants in the middle of Marshalls and I still hadn't found a gift for my beloved older sister I knew I needed to spoil myself a bit.

I ventured over to the perfume display and found myself this beautiful bottle of Tumulte by Christian Lacroix:


For the bargain price of $5. How could I say no?? I mean, I love Mr. Lacroix's fashions (though I've never had a chance to wear any of them) so I would probably love his fragrance, too. Besides, nothing makes a girl feel prettier than a new pretty scent.

I tried it on as soon as I got in the car and changed Goob into his new Cars underwear and jeans. At first it was a little fruity but as it dried it turned into this lovely rich exotic scent with a hint of patchouli. Not the kind of patchouli scent that wafts out of a 15 year old Honda Accord with Grateful Dead stickers all over the back,


but the kind that invites you to have romantic interludes in places like this:


Yeah, that kind. ;)

So instead of grabbing the chocolate when you've had a bad day, instead of lashing out at the people you love the most, grab yourself a new perfume. Or heck, grab yourself a perfume you already have and love and just smell pretty.

This concludes this week's edition of Fight the Frump. Check out Mrs. Fussypants blog for more frump fighters!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It really IS a Good Search!

Kelley stopped by my blog today and left a comment. In turn, I stopped by her blog today and read a little. Her WFMW post made me so happy!

She posted about GoodSearch and GoodShop, neither of which I had ever heard of and both of which I will be using from now on.

Don't get me wrong, Google, I do still love you (even though I know you're taking over the world in true Pinky & the Brain style)... but you're not donating money to charities every time I click. Not just any charity, either, I can pick whatever one I want my clickies to benefit. I've chosen Hope for a Cure in honor of my mom but it seems that just about any charity is eligible - even your kiddo's school!

I was even able to add it to my Firefox Searchbox which was previously set to Google and I use it ALL THE TIME. So now I can be helping Hope for a Cure instead of Google AdWords. :)


They even have cute little banners for you to put on you blog to spread the word. ;) Nice. I'm adding one just as soon as I post this.

Thanks Kelley!

Agave Nectar

(psst... if you're looking for my Fight the Frump post click here... darned prefilled forms!!)


I'm sort of cheating on WFMW today because I already posted this at my other blog, Meatless Munchies. But every day I drink my coffee I feel like I should be shouting this off of the rooftops how wonderful this stuff is. So I'm posting it here, too. :)


I had a dilemma. A sugar dilemma. We all know sugar is bad. Not just for our bodies but for the fact that most of it is processed through animal bone and that makes me sort of feel icky. (I did learn, though, that Florida Crystals which is the company that provides most of the sugar in my area and I can literally drive a mile to bask in the endless fields of sugar cane they grow does not use animal bone to process their sugar. Yay for them!) So I'm trying to decrease the amount of processed sugar I take in.

Then there was Equal. Aspartame. I've heard so many evils about aspartame I could write a book. In fact, I think people have written books. Oh look, yes they have. So that was out.

Next I looked into Sweet N Low. Saccharin. Cancer causing saccharin. What a deceiving little pink packet! Who coats cancer in baby pink?

Then we have Splenda. Sucralose. My current chemical of choice. Sucralose has been found to cause a shrunken thymus gland and therefore lower immunity and also enlarges the liver. Yipee... next.

There is also Stevia which evidently isn't bad for you but I find the taste to be nose scrunching.

So yesterday while shopping I noticed this Blue Agave Sweetener located next to the honey. I figured, what the heck? It's even vegan! It does have calories but a really low glycemic index (27) so definitely not bad like sugar.

Today I sort of forgot I bought it actually. I had my first cup of coffee the way I always do. Splenda with Fat Free Creamer. Bring on the chemicals! But then I went for a second cup and as I was reaching again for the Splenda I remembered. So I grabbed the new Agave stuff.

I squirted a bit into my cup... probably about 1/2 a tablespoon so only 30 calories. I stirred, I tasted.

It is heaven. I didn't even need the creamer. The syrup took all the bitterness out of the coffee and made a nice smooth sweet beverage. Delicious. I can't wait to try it in other stuff!

To see more WFMW stuffs check out Rocks In My Dryer!

Monday, February 4, 2008

I'm not supposed to talk about this...

I try not to discuss Religion and Politics. Both are things I am sort of still finding my way with. I'm breaking my rule today and I'm going to talk about Buddhism because I feel the need to explain myself a bit.

I was raised sort of Catholic. Sort of because I wasn't ever made to go to Catholic school or even go to mass very often. We went on Christmas Eve and for weddings and sometimes Easter or when a mass was dedicated to my grandfather who passed away when I was eight. I was christened but never had my first communion. See, my father was sent to Catholic schools and made to go to mass every Sunday and pray the rosary and all that. My sisters (they're 10 and 11 years older than I am) were sent to Catholic elementary schools and had a strong Catholic foundation as well. By the time I came along my mom and dad decided they didn't want to force any religious dogma down my throat and wanted me to decide for myself.

Throughout my twenties I was constantly searching to fill that spiritual side of me and it wasn't an easy process. I have always had a hard time with the Christian idea of faith and I had a hard time blindly putting my trust in Christianity. Believe me, I tried... I wanted to believe in all of it... my life would be much simpler. I went to church, I researched, I tried different forms of Christianity. I studied the Bible, I asked for forgiveness, I prayed. I asked Jesus Christ to enter my heart in tears... I wanted to have that faith, I wanted to find peace.

It just didn't happen for me. I moved on to different religions but everywhere I turned there was this mysticism that didn't make sense to me. It wasn't until I really discovered Buddhism that something finally made sense.


There is a lot of mysticism in today's Buddhism. Some of today's Buddhism, that is. But when I stripped away all of that mysticism and looked at what the Buddha actually taught I felt like I had found home. I finally found something that made perfect sense... something that I didn't have to blindly follow... something that actually taught me to open my eyes and make my own decisions. It wasn't about golden statues, self-deprivation, and the lotus position. What the Buddha taught was the Middle Way. He taught his followers to open their eyes and make the right choices. Not the easy choices, not the safe choices, not the popular choices... the RIGHT choices. He taught his followers not to follow him! He taught them to see things as they really are, to learn compassion, and to say what they truly mean and never lie. Sure, it's a little more detailed than all that but essentially the Buddha taught his followers to stay away from extremes and to do the right thing. All the time... even when it's hard.

My family seems to be a bit confused about my choice to study Buddhism. I have to think it's because they don't understand it. Unfortunately, I get a bit tongue tied when confronted with their questions. Hopefully this post can help me explain to them a bit... or maybe I'll just have them read it. ;)

Friday, February 1, 2008


I was reading Manic Mommy's post about Curious George snuggle time and I was inspired to dig up a picture of our youngest with his "Georgie"... this was taken a little over 2 years ago. We were on a vacation on the Disney Cruise and Goober insisted on bring Georgie everywhere we went. We strapped them together so Georgie wouldn't get lost and we brought him all over the Bahamas. :)




I tried to quit coffee this week.


and Failed.

It started with the juice fast. No coffee on the juice fast. Then I thought... what the heck, let's just try to stop this dependency. So every day I woke up and walked past my coffee pot. Every day I just said NO to Javanilla. Every day I felt terrible. Sluggish, like my energy had been depleted, like I was being weighed down by one of those lead aprons you get at the dentist's office.

Today I decided "I'll just have one cup."

Let me tell you, friends, I have never felt better. I'm smiling, energetic, I can't wait to take on the day!

I'm sorry, Coffee, I will never leave you again. It was wrong of me to think I could go without you.