Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Queen of Filters

I'm a little late posting today... but I did manage to get Goober enrolled in Pre-K so we're all good. :) Priorities, my friends.

Today is Thursday and I'm happy to join in on the Sincerely 'Fro Me To You Carnival hosted over at We Are That Family.

Today's story is about the first time I decided I would make it on my own. I had recently withdrawn myself from classes at the University of Florida because I had pretty much screwed up and wanted to save my GPA. I didn't, however, want to tell my poor father who had paid a lot of money for me to go to college that I had withdrawn. I tried to hide it for a while, but alas, I was discovered and dad pretty much told me to get a job and take care of myself or come home and go to the community college.

Being that I was a stubborn brat and wanted to prove I could make it on my own, I decided to get a job. I scanned the newspaper for job openings until I found the right ad. It read something like this:


Which I interpreted as $1500 a month all for me!? I'll be RICH and be able to pay my $400 rent and bills and have plenty of money for BEER!

So I called the number and went for my interview. The interview was sort of odd. It wasn't just me and an interviewer, it was an interviewer and about 15 other hungry ex-students who also thought $1500 a month would be sweet cash.

The interviewer talked a lot about how much money we could make and how we would even be able to make MORE than $1500 and how we were going to be helping people. I swear butterflies and rainbows began shooting out of his mouth and all 15 of us ate it up.

After the interview I received the call back that I had gotten the job. Rock on! I'm rich!

I was to report to work the following Monday at 8 AM.

I arrived promptly, still really having NO CLUE what it was I was going to be doing at my new job. Heck, I didn't really care, I was going to be RICH and HELP PEOPLE!

After a few days of "training" I learned that this product, this amazing product, could do everything. It could filter the air better than any air filtration product on the market, better than the legendary HEPA we had all heard about. It could take smells out of the air and put yummy smells back in, it could clean the floor, it could clean the drapes, it could clean the chairs. It could suck dust mites right out of my pillow! Holy jack! I totally needed this thing!

The 8 or so of us in the training class kept saying to our trainer, "It's a vacuum cleaner, right?"

"No! Vacuum Cleaners are DIRTY, NASTY, GERM INFESTED things. This is a Filter Queen home purifying system!"

And we all commenced with our brainwashing. By the end of the week I could have sold my Filter Queen to a homeless man on the side of the road (if he could qualify for financing) because I was so darned excited about the thing it was incredible.

It was just before Christmas and our boss told us it was to be our "Friends and Family Weekend." We were to take the Filter Queen home and practice on our friends and family. We were to show them our demonstration, the one we had spent the whole week learning, and just practice so when we went out into the field we'd be pros.

Filter Queen for Christmas

My poor father, who has supported me in everything I've ever done even when he disagrees with me, shelled out about $1500 for the Filter Queen. Both of my sisters became absolutely horrified at the prospect of dust mites in their houses that one of them borrowed the thing for a couple of hours to clean every surface in her house she could manage and the other one called up a week later to buy one. She had been having dreams of dust mites smothering her in her sleep.

Back in Gainesville I actually proved to be quite a good Filter Queen salesperson. I was selling those suckers like hot cakes, earning little gold pins proclaiming me sales person of the month and getting mentioned at our quarterly conventions. Those Filter Queen people sure knew how to throw a party, too. We went to New Orleans and Panama City and there was much drinking and partying to be had. Never mind that I wasn't actually legal to drink in New Orleans... I guess they don't care much about age on Bourbon Street.

Anyhow... at some point I just stopped being so enthusiastic about it. I actually started referring to it as a (the horror!) vacuum cleaner. It was about then that I just couldn't sell them anymore. I'd go to people's houses and I'd show them my demonstration... but my heart just wasn't in it. And so is the way with sales, when you stop selling, you stop making money.

It wasn't too long before I called my dad and asked if I could come home. He was more than happy to have me back.

Now, over 10 years later that Filter Queen that my dad paid so much cash for sits in my house and is used regularly. My mom never really liked it. :) Thanks Dad!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Love IS all I need

Today I've been feeling a little... I don't know... meh.

Statcounter says my traffic STINKS today. There was no Works for me Wednesday to play. I had to start my day by shipping out a bunch of packages to people anxiously awaiting their stuff. (Book a week winners, I suck, I know, your books are coming!) My kids are driving me nuts and not getting along again even though I haven't given them any sugar. Oh, and I forgot to go register Goober for Pre-K this morning and now have to do it tomorrow. So all in all, I was feeling sort of yucky. Shall I pull out my yucky picture again?

Of course I should.


But then something really really nice happened.

I clicked over to For the Love of Pete and I got some love! That's right, Karen gave me LOVE. I instantly felt so - much - better.

I feel warm and squishy inside. Like I imagine those hearts in those hands might be. :)

So now I'm going to share the love with some of the bloggers I read each and every day.

Apron Strings & Angst
Around the Island
Bio Girl
From the Planet of Janet
The Only Thing I Know
Raising A & C
See the Woods and the Trees says The rules of this award are: SHARE THE LOVE!!! Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog. **All I ask, is that you include a link to this post with the award and ask your recipient to do the same**

So let's all play by the rules and pass on the warm fuzzies to more bloggers!

Don't ever talk about religion or what?

I've never been too obsessed with politics. I've said before that I come from a pretty conservative family and it was always pretty much beat into my head that the "right way" was the Republican way.

So when the first presidential election came along that I could vote in I voted dutifully for Bob Dole on my absentee ballot surrounded by my super liberal friends in my college apartment. The most I knew about Mr. Dole was that I felt bad for him when he fell off some stage during the campaign.

For the rest of the votes I went with the "when in doubt, vote Republican" motto that my mother had uttered so many times before. I had no CLUE what I was voting for and I can't say I cared.

I can't say I've ever really cared too much. I read a blog post not too long ago, I wish I could remember who WROTE it, but the basic idea behind it was that the election doesn't really affect our day to day lives as Americans. Whether McCain or Obama are elected, things will pretty much stay as they are for the majority of people. We'll still be able to shop at Walmart and give our dollars to the evil that lurks there. We'll still be able to drive our gas guzzling automobiles and watch porn and drink beer on Sunday.

We can get all up in arms about the issues. There are women's rights, gun control, and taxes. We can go on and on and go round and round about them all. Frankly, though, I think you're going to be pretty hard pressed to convince a pro-life person that it's your body and your choice. I doubt you're going to convince my NRA member neighbors to give up their guns.

So what's the point? Why is everyone arguing for the sake of arguing? Wouldn't it be nice if we could just see what the candidates believe without all the bias and opinion shoved down our throats? It seems like every time I turn around I've stumbled upon someone else willing to give me their opinion and sway me to vote the way they want me to.

Frankly, when someone starts talking politics usually I start hearing Charlie Brown's teacher in my ears and my eyes glaze over like I've just taken a heavy narcotic. I go to my happy place and nod and smile.

Maybe that's uneducated of me and maybe that's irresponsible of me... but it is what it is. I find that my energy is best spent elsewhere in my life. I have a family to feed and take care of and I have my own personal path that I am following. I can align myself one way or another regarding the election, but getting myself all upset arguing one way or another isn't going to amount to a hill of beans when it comes to my life or my family.

I'm pretty sure what candidate I'll be voting for in November, but I don't really think it's anyone else's business to know. This time I'm making the decision on my own and so far I feel pretty comfortable with it. Things could change between now and then and I'll do my best to make an educated vote. I hope y'all will, too.

But if not, here are some tips.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A panel?

So I've been thinking... and usually thinking gets me into trouble, but we'll ignore that for the time being.

I was chatting with Bio Girl and Raising A & C about the Little Fish thingie. I was saying that I would really like a more impartial way to choose the winner.

I mean, how narcissistic is it that I just choose the blog I think is the best and that's the winner and that's the end. Yanno? So I'm thinking of putting together a panel of sorts of people who agree to actually read the nominated blogs for a period of a few days and then vote on their favorite. What do y'all think? Would anyone be interested in joining a panel such as this and helping out with choosing the weekly Little Fish?

I would probably limit the amount of nominees per week to 8 or less because it is difficult to read them all if there are too many.

*Updated* If you'd like to be a part of the Little Fish Panel, please go here and set up a profile. Once you've set up a profile, click "Groups" and you should find the Little Fish Panel! Put in your 2 cents there, but make sure you read all the nominated blogs first!

Organic Cradle Bedding and more!

I won a giveaway!

I'm so happy about this, too, because my best friend is expecting her first baby in December and I wanted to win this for her.

I never win anything!

Check out Naturally Good for a kajillion great natural products.

Speaking of natrual stuff... I've decided to use a more natural approach to feeding my kids for the time being. Yesterday after Munchkin lost her mind all day we discussed that perhaps the high amount of preservatives and sugar in her diet was causing her to have a hard time behaving.

So we agreed to lower sugar intake drastically and cut out as many preservatives as possible.

Before they would have had Gogurt, JIF and grape jelly on Dandee bread, fruit snacks, chips and some KoolAid. A sugar and preservative OVERLOAD.

Today I baked whole wheat bread from scratch, ya'll. And I served Smuckers Natural peanut butter and Simply Fruit on it. They've eaten natural potato chips and no sugar added yogurt today. They had apple juice and milk to drink.

I hesitate to believe it's working this quickly... but I haven't heard ONE fight yet today. No one has hit anyone else, no one has told me I'm the worst mommy EVER, no one has stolen anyone else's toys, no one has cried hysterically when I left for a minute to run up to the store by myself. Could it really be working THAT quickly?

Introducing the newest Little Fish

So y'all nominated a bunch of awesome blogs this week and I really feel like the Little Fish idea may be a success. I've had the opportunity to read some amazing blogs that I might not have found if it weren't for your nominees and I'm so happy for it. I have no idea how I'm going to keep up with all the blogs I want to read!

Here were this week's nominees:
Growing Older But Not Up
Aff The Fang
Deanna's Corner
I know where you can find it!
Muthering Heights
See the Woods and the Trees
Story Telling Mama
Our Moments, Our Memories
For Such A Time As This
The Jason Show

This Little Fish thing was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, honestly. I thought I'd just read some blogs for a week and be able to easily pick the one that would speak to me. That was NOT the case. Every single one of these blogs is worth subscribing to, I'll tell you that much. They are all well-written and real and I can see right away why they were all nominated.

However there was one that really sticks out. You know how there are those certain blogs that you just have to read? The ones that you click over to immediately when you realize there is a new post? This one is one of those blogs. I have laughed so much reading this blog and more importantly I found myself identifying with the writer.


I hope you'll all click over and read katydidnot because she is a well-deserved winner of the Little Fish award. It seems to me that she won't be a Little Fish for long.

Here's your code, katydidnot! It's not a requirement, but I hope you'll wear this badge proudly. I really enjoy your blog. :)

Please nominate new Little Fish in the comments section of this post! I can't wait to read some new blogs this week!

Qualifications for Little Fish:
1. Must have an Alexa rating of over 1,000,000
2. Must not be listed on Alltop

Nominees are closed now! Thanks for nominating.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Petunia Pickle Bottom!!

Just a quick note! It's Petunia Pickle Bottom time again at Regents Secret.

For those of you that don't know about Regents Secret it's a site where you can get closeouts of designer merchandise for heavily discounted prices. The current sale is Petunia Pickle Bottom - amazingly cute super trendy diaper bags and baby stuff.

If you need an invite to get in, please consider using my email (spaz AT domesticspaz DOT com) to get in.

Those terrible sixes?

Munchkin is going through what some people might call a difficult stage. She, at almost 7 years old, is convinced that her parents are against her. She is very vocal about this and she is very very stubborn.

Munchkin thinks the world is against her

I am told I am the worst mommy EVER at least twice a day, every day. I really am at a loss as to how to get her through this nasty phase she's in. I thought maybe she just needed more attention, being the middle child and the only girl, so I tried special time with just her and I - and though she's great during that special time, she just comes home to rub it in her brother's faces and go right back to being Princess Petulance.

She's in her room right now for pinching her brother. It's been about 10 minutes and she has not stopped yelling the injustice of her situation throughout the house yet.

"You're AGAINST me!"
"No one LOVES me!"
"I HATE Bug and Goober! This is ALL THEIR FAULT!"
"I want to COME OUT!"

and so on and so on.... I can't wait for school to start.


Today's writing prompt from Absolutely Bananas is about heartbreak. There's only one time I can truly think of that my heart has been really broken. Sure, there were plenty of times that I felt a little twinge of heartbreak... but there was one time that surpasses all the others. One time that still makes my heart squeeze just a little bit when I think of it.

I was only 17 when I met Bob* and there was something about him that drew me to him. It wasn't that he was overwhelmingly handsome or a smooth talker, because he wasn't either of those things. He simply didn't care what people thought about him and that made me love him. It probably was a good defense mechanism for him, actually, because most people didn't like Bob. I'm not going to go into clinical diagnoses or anything because I'm no doctor, but there was something about that boy that just wasn't right.

Meeting Bob

Regardless, I fell in love with him fast. My friends hated him, my family hated him - and I didn't care. I spent as much time with him as I possibly could. If it wasn't with him in person, we were on the phone. We were inseparable as any high school romance is. After a year and a half of dating it was time for me to go on to college. Bob must have loved me, too, because he followed me to college. He got his own apartment and I had my dorm, though I can't remember actually sleeping in it. Now I could spend all of my time with him.

Dad hates Bob

In my sophomore year of college I got my own apartment with two other girls and I discovered that there was beer in college. Not just beer, but keg parties... and other boys. Who were interested in me. I wanted to stay faithful to Bob... I loved him so much... but I was 19 and loving the parties and Bob wanted to stay home and take over the world from his personal computer. That, and he really didn't fit in with all my new keg party friends. So we broke up.

Partying without Bob

I think it hurt him more than it hurt me at the time. He had to sit and watch while I went out and partied constantly and then came home to call him up in a drunken slur and ask him to come over to stay with me just because I didn't want to be alone. He did come over, and he did stay, and he listened to me, and he loved me... even though I was breaking his heart.

After a year or so of being on and off with Bob, me dating other guys and always running back to him, Bob had finally had enough. I could tell he was distancing himself from me and I think that must have been what caused the big bright light bulb to go off in my head. Bob wasn't going to take any of my crap any longer. Bob was moving on.

Bob was moving on? Bob wasn't going to be there for me anymore? But... I loved Bob! Truly, Bob was the only one I really wanted! I would stay with Bob, I would be with Bob, I would devote every ounce of my being to making Bob happy and not being a stupid little twit any longer!

Crying for Bob

Unfortunately, it was just too late. Bob had met another girl who wouldn't be a stupid little twit. And Bob had fallen in love with her, and moved away with her, and eventually married her.

My heart broke to know that he was gone. I cried like I have never cried before. I walked around for months in a foggy haze of pain. I couldn't listen to the radio because every song brought back the pain. I couldn't see my friends with their boyfriends because it just hurt so bad. It physically hurt to get up in the morning and to try to make it through each day.

I missed him. I loved him. I knew I would never love anyone as much as I loved him and I had ruined it. I had no one to blame but myself... though I tried. I tried to hate his new girlfriend/wife but it wasn't her fault that I had ruined it. I relished everything I heard about her that was negative. I hoped they'd get divorced and Bob would come running back to me, the one who really loved him.

That didn't happen. Bob and his wife had three children and lived what appeared to be** the picture perfect life, according to their website with the sickeningly sweet name. Eventually, I moved on. It took about a year before I could listen to the radio alone without crying, before I stopped thinking of him every day, before I could bury the regret and guilt.

Then I found my true love in The Man. A love that soars high above anything I ever had with Bob... and I'm so thankful that my path changed directions back then. I'm thankful for my heartbreak because it taught me how to love the right way. I'm thankful for my loss because it opened the right doors for me. I learned so much about myself and love and relationships from all of that pain, and I am so glad.

The Man & me

*names have been changed to protect the innocent. :)
**Bob and his wife are divorced now and Bob has been through a whole slew of problems that have made his life more difficult. When I heard they were getting a divorce (the thing I had hoped would happen back then), I genuinely felt only sadness for both of them and their children.
***Stick figures were made at, though I did edit them for my own purposes. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Today's laugh out loud post of the day goes to Jason of The Jason Show.

If you don't read Jason's blog yet, go subscribe to him NOW. He writes from the heart and cracks me up frequently along the way.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Whole New Way To Procrastinate - Digiscrapping!

I have a new obsession. And it's all her fault.

See, yesterday she innocently twittered for advice on sites about digiscrapping. Because I was bored procrastinating avoiding work curious, I googled it.

A whole new world has been opened up to me. I don't know why it didn't occur to me sooner, actually.

I don't know if the scrapbooking aisle of the craft store has ever called to you before. The scrapbooking aisle of Target calls to me, for goodness sakes. We stopped into this ritzy new craft store that opened up near us recently (can craft stores actually be ritzy?) and The Man had to pry me from the monstrous scrapbooking section that was within. There were glittery papers, y'all. GLITTER. I can't help but be lulled by the pretty papers, adorable stamps, sweet little lettering kits. I have often had the urge to snatch them all up. In fact, I actually have snatched them all up before and then when I did a quick mental calculation of how much I would be spending on this new hobby I knew I just could not get involved. Pretty papers, yes... but at a dollar a sheet that hobby was going to add up quick!

So I have steered clear.

Until now. Of course I could do it all with Photoshop! And now I have discovered that there are people out there selling digital kits all filled with the sweetest little digital papers and digital stamps and digital lettering sets. It is simply FANTASTIC.

So I've downloaded a kajillion freebie kits to get myself started. I've had a blast. In fact, I've wasted spent the entire day creating my first digital scrapbook. It is a beautiful tribute to the summer my children have spent thus far.

And because I love you all, I absolutely must share a few of the pages with you. I'm so darned proud of myself.

Scrapbook Cover

Scrapbook Page 2

Scrapbook Page 7

Scrapbook Page 8

I'm inwardly squeeing! I'm also wondering if I can somehow turn this into a business that will make a gajillion dollars. Ya think?

The kit used here was downloaded at Andika Designs who has so many nice kits that I think I might have to have The Man block her website so I can actually do some work instead of spending my whole life creating pretty scrapbooks!

**Update! The code until July 31st is CRAVE and now you can get 70% off! That's only $3 for a $25 certificate.**

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bart Simpson has junk

After the kids got home from my wonderful mother in law's house yesterday they were all a bit crabby. Figuring that Grandma must have kept them up playing with them all night I sent them all off to take a nap. They all went with no arguments (shocking!) and took a THREE HOUR NAP. It was amazing.

Since they didn't wake up until after 7 we had a late dinner and then decided to have family movie night. The kids weren't going to be able to just go right back to sleep so The Man and I figured that would be a nice way to get them ready for bed.

They brought out all their pillows and blankets and stuffed animals, I popped popcorn, and The Man queued up the movie. We had decided on The Simpsons Movie.

I didn't actually check the rating on the movie because I'm pretty familiar with The Simpsons and the kids have watched the TV show many times. Sure, there are some adult jokes that generally fly right over the kids heads, but nothing too shocking. What harm could Homer and Bart do? I mean, I don't really go overboard protecting the kids for everything that might be inappropriate. Reality exists, kids. That being said, there were a few moments in the movie that I was just plain uncomfortable watching with the kids.

Let me just say this... Bart's junk makes it's premiere in this movie. That's right... his junk. It may be poorly drawn cartoon junk... but it was still junk.

I mean, sure, I know Munchkin has seen Goober running around naked before and this was in no way as graphic as that but STILL. I was shocked. There were some other moments that may or may not have reached the kids grasp... perhaps Bug is starting to get a little bit of what was going on... but the junk is what really shocked me. I guess I just didn't expect any full frontal in The Simpsons.

Other than those few uncomfortable moments, it was basically a very long episode of The Simpsons and it was entertaining. I'm not sure if I would have chucked out almost a hundred bucks to take the family to see it at an actual theater, but with it being on demand it was worth every penny. :)

A Giveaway Extravaganza!

Since I'm not hosting the Book A Week Giveaway this week I figured I should feature some other great giveaways I've noticed around the blogosphere. So here are 9 10 giveaways I thought y'all might really love. :)

1. Apron Strings and Angst is offering an awesome back to school giveaway that not only includes a ton of supplies that every mom of every school aged kid is going to have to buy next month, but a $25 gift card for a new backpack! Sweet!

2. dkMommy Spot is hosting a giveaway for organic cradle bedding from Naturally Good. I'm entering this giveaway for my best friend's new baby who is due in December (I can't wait!)

3. Owlhaven is offering a Lands End backpack and has a free shipping code there for everyone. So everyone's a winner. :)

4. Artfulife is giving away a gorgeous one of a kind hand painted illustration that can be personalized for your child's room. Gorgeous!

5. Oh Fransson is hosting a giveaway for the sweetest little zip handmade zip wristlets!

6. Every Day Baby Steps is offering a giveaway for a Mary Kay Satin Hands Set! This giveaway doesn't start until Wednesday but I have to mention it anyhow because if you haven't ever tried the Mary Kay Satin Hands stuff you absolutely MUST try it. That stuff is amazing.

7. Win Gloves In A Bottle!!!The Ivy Kitchen is hosting another hand friendly product as a giveaway and made a cute little button to go with it. I'm a sucker for buttons.

8. Scrapscene is giving away a kit of scrap booking papers and embellishments that will be PERFECT for documenting your summer vacation!

9. You can get an awesome Doodlebag over at So a Blonde Walks Into a Review. A bag with a chalkboard in it? I'm sold!

10. I found another one! Manic Mommy is giving away a $25 Target Gift Card!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kittens and Gansta Rap

Last night my mother in law offered to keep the kids overnight for The Man and I. It's been a long summer, y'all, and I was more than happy to just have a night off from being a mommy.

We went to Outback for a late dinner after the gym and then I took The Man to look longingly at kittens through the window of the vet's office and pleaded "Can we PLEASE take one home? PLEASE??!?"


He is heartless. Or maybe he just has a brain that is ruled by reality. I'm allergic to cats and I sell women's clothing from my home. Women aren't particularly fond of cat hair on their new purchases.

Woe is me. Those kittens were cute.

When we got home the first thing I wanted to do was play music with explicit lyrics on high volume throughout the house. Then I realized that was the first thing I always wanted to do when I got rid of my parents as a teenager.


Life comes at you full circle sometimes.

Who puts pictures of kittens and NWA in the same post!?! That's right, I'm CRAZY like that!

More nominees for the Little Fish award, please! Notice I put a nifty little Little Fish corner over there in the sidebar for linky love. ;)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I love my dripping pots

This week I'll be showing you one of my favorite things about my kitchen. Every time I use this particular feature of my kitchen I'm just so happy about it. Here it is:


No, it's not my sink. It's the hooks those pots and pans are hung upon right above my sink. When we bought a new set of pots and pans The Man put these nifty hooks up there so I wouldn't have to stack them on top of each other in the cabinet and scratch them all up.


I LOVE it and I thank him for doing it frequently. Now I can just wash the pots and pans and stick them right up there to drip dry into the sink. It's FABULOUS.

Totally works for me.

Bonus to anyone who can point out two other things in that first picture that I've blogged about before! I don't know what the bonus is... how about a long distance pat on the back?


OMGOSH - isn't that the most annoying thing ever?! But seriously, if you know of any bloggers you'd like to nominate as the Little Fish of the Week, please let me know here. I'm really hoping to be able to feature a lot of smaller bloggers like myself but I need to know about them from you! So please, please go nominate someone!

Last week's winner of This Body for the Book A Week Giveaway is Dawn from Snakes and Snails and Sugar and Spice! This week I'm taking a break from the give-away but I'll be offering something else up next week so come back to check. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just a bunch of little fish in a big old pond

Little FishSo last week some time I was chatting with Michelle at Life With Three and we threw around the idea of having a place for the "little fish" of the blogosphere. You know, "little fish, big pond", and all that. There's so much excitement surrounding those big bloggers, you know, like her and her and her and them, too. Then there's All Top which every time I turn around some other blog I read is being added to and I just want to know... what about us? What about us little fish who have great blogs - even better blogs sometimes (well, not better than any of the aforementioned bloggers... seriously, I love them all)? What about us?

I realize there is All Mediocre and I'm totally not trying to steal the thunder that is All Mediocre. I just want to do it a little differently. I'd like to feature a Little Fish blogger every week but I'd like you to nominate the fish. Because I want to read some new blogs that I don't find all over everyone's blogroll, yanno?

And the traffic wouldn't suck, either.

To qualify as a little fish, blogs should have an Alexa Rating of over 1,000,000 and not be featured on All Top.

I'm going to start out by giving the first Little Fish award to none other than Michelle at Life With Three. Now, Michelle is going to think I'm in looove with her after this because it wasn't very long ago that I bestowed upon her the Arte y Pico award which another blogger gave her around the same time, as well. All the more reason she's a worthy Little Fish, don't you think? That and she helped me come up with the idea in the first place. So really, she should get the credit.

Michelle's constantly making me laugh. Have you checked out her most recent post? I swear, I was actually laughing out loud while reading it. Not only that, but she posts some really helpful stuff! Michelle's blog is never filler. When she posts, there's content there. Michelle rocks. Go check her out and give her lots of comment love.

Here's the code for your Little Fish button, Michelle!

OK, so please, nominate some blogs you think are great in the comments here (they don't have to be mom blogs) and I'll pick at least one to feature next week. If it works out well this week, I'll keep it up. :)

**Nominees are closed for this week! Thanks!

Today is not the greatest...


I'm sort of not in a very bloggy mood today. I'm much more in a "take a long hot bubble bath and then crawl into bed with a nice book" mood today.

Unfortunately that won't be happening.

School starts in less than a month and I cannot wait.

Goober will start Pre-K, I'll be forced to wake up a decent hour, we'll all be on a normal schedule. Life is good when there is structure.

I should probably be figuring out a way to cherish this last month I have with my children before they all head off to school. Is it wrong of me that I don't feel like sitting down and doing crafts or planting gardens with them? I'm a terrible mother, I know.... but that stuff just isn't my thing.

They want me to take them to see Space Chimps which looks positively horrid. Bug can't stop thinking about it, though, and asks me at least 5 times a day if we can go see it today!?!?

I have a serious case of the yuckies though so it doesn't look like it'll be happening today. Today I'll be listing auctions and doing more laundry. Because the dirty laundry has definitely outnumbered us and I think it may be organizing a revolution to take over the house. I'm pretty sure it has figured out how to reproduce.

Monday, July 21, 2008

You can't make this stuff up... Oh wait, I guess you can.

For the past several days I have been involved in some drama you would not believe.

Crazy stuff. Soap opera stuff.

I'll have to start at the beginning.

I have this very good friend. We'll call her Chloe. Around the beginning of the year, Chloe began talking to a man a lot. We'll call him Richard.

Richard had two daughters named Anna and Audrey. Anna had leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant so Richard had to fly up north because he could be a donor. To make matter's worse, Anna had her own two daughters named Naomi and Renae. Naomi, at only 2 years old also had leukemia and was very sick.

Richard flew there, went through the painful process of being a bone marrow donor, and struggled with the sickness of both his daughter and his granddaughter. He cried to Chloe nightly on the phone. Chloe was there for him, talked with him, helped console him. Eventually, over the course of the next six months, both Anna and Naomi died from the leukemia. Very tragic.

Richard came back down to Florida and wanted to see Chloe. She's not sure exactly why, but Chloe kept Richard at arm's length. Chloe has children of her own and a busy life and wasn't ready to involve someone so heavily into it. She felt sort of heartless, but couldn't seem to let herself get close to Richard. However, she continued to speak with him and console him over the death of his daughter and granddaughter.

Then, on Thursday, the unthinkable occurred. Richard sent Chloe an email that informed her that Audrey and Renae had been in a terrible car accident and both were killed. He again had to fly up north and was again devastated.

Chloe was heartbroken. She felt terrible that she had kept this man at arm's length and vowed she would not do it again. She would be there for him as she knew she should! She could not believe the heart break this man had to go through!

So Chloe talked with Richard while he was up north helping his ex wife, Theresa, deal with the death of all of their children. Chloe consoled him again. Even though Chloe had plenty of her own problems to deal with in her life, she set them aside and tried to be there for Richard.

Richard sent Chloe many emails while he was away. At one point Richard was so distraught that his ex-wife actually sent Chloe an email from Richard's computer telling her what he was going through and how she would need to be strong for him and not to turn her back on him again.

At one point, Chloe asked Richard if he would send her some pictures of Anna and Audrey and the babies because she hadn't seen them and she wanted to put a face to the stories. Richard sent pictures of Anna and Audrey first. They were beautiful girls. One was a wedding picture. It was stunning.

A little later Richard sent Chloe pictures of the babies, Naomi and Renae.

And they looked like this:


This is when Chloe raised an eyebrow. This is when the investigation began.

Chloe, The Man, and I spent the better part of last night playing private detective and unraveling a tailspin of lies we could not believe.

It began when I used a wonderful little thing called Google Image Search and entered the married name of Richard's first daughter. Lo and behold, on the first page was the wedding shot he had sent earlier. But oddly enough, Anna's last name did not match Richard's last name. Strange, no?

Upon asking Richard, he said that Theresa had remarried another man, Greg, after they had divorced and the girls had taken his last name. But there was another problem.... a Google search of Anna's maiden name turned up a baby, Mary, that she and her husband had welcomed into their family that Richard had never mentioned.

When Chloe asked Richard about this baby, he explained that this baby had died very young due to a heart condition. Ah, another tragic death! Of course.

The next big clue was an obituary found from just this past February for Theresa's supposed second husband, Greg. This obituary clearly stated that he had been married to another woman for the past 23 years and was survived by his daughters Anna and Audrey, and granddaughter, Mary.

What the french toast, RICHARD?!

Before long The Man was pulling up property records, marriage certificates, domestic court records, etc. The Man (aka Super Sleuth) could not stop. The sleuthing went on till the wee hours of the morning and Chloe kept confronting Richard. Richard's stories kept getting crazier and crazier! We had practically an entire family being killed off in tragic circumstances, VC Andrews like affairs between step siblings and hushed broken marriages.

It was all very interesting.

Finally, Chloe got off the phone with Richard, a soap opera swimming in her head at past 3 in the morning. We had determined with property records that Richard and Theresa were married not before, but AFTER Greg and Theresa. Anna and Audrey were not Richard's daughters, but his step daughters, and both are alive and well. Naomi and Renae never existed but the sweet little Mary does and is happily thriving with her parents who are both very much alive.

This morning Chloe received an email from Richard dumping the whole truth in her lap. The whole truth that the three of us had uncovered ourselves last night. Chloe is a little dumbfounded today, understandably so. The Man and I are a little dumbfounded ourselves.

We're not 100% sure why Richard would have fabricated such an intense tale. To get sympathy I suppose? Perhaps he has a career in dramatic fiction? Who knows?

Anyhow - Chloe is glad to get on with her life and The Man is glad to get some sleep. I'm just glad to have something to blog about.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Man is good, The Man is great

He fixed the pictures my computer ate!

Seriously, y'all... I don't know how he does it. Those pictures were GONE.

But because he is a super techie genius, he managed to rescue them from the deep depths of whatever my computer did to them and they were happily on my computer this morning.

Which means I can share with you the iguanas.


Yesterday we went to a picnic and these iguanas were all over the place, much to the delight of the kids. Iguanas are not native to South Florida but they thrive here. In the 80s and 90s they were very popular pets. Unfortunately when they got too big, many people released them into the wild. So now we have iguanas in South Florida.

A lot of people in South Florida are all in a tizzy about the iguanas and I don't really understand why. Sure, they're not native and that always causes an imbalance in the ecosystem but these little (sometimes big) guys aren't causing too much harm.

They eat tropical plants and their poop can carry salmonella... these are the big complaints. As for the tropical plants... hello? We're RIDDEN with tropical plants. There are more than enough for the iguanas to eat. And the poop? You bring raw chicken and eggs INTO your kitchen. Are you planning on bring iguana poo into your kitchen? No? Then explain your concern to me.

Sure, they can look a little scary, but I'm a heck of a lot more afraid of alligators who are CARNIVORES than these innocent lizards who just want a hibiscus and a nice warm place to sun themselves.

The kids thought it was hilarious to chase them into the water. The party at the pavilion next to ours actually tried to catch this large one I took a picture of. I cheered when he got away. There were a lot more younger ones hiding in the trees and darting across the grass occasionally. It was a lot of fun to watch them.

I got sun BURNED at the picnic. I feel like a fried egg today. Thank goodness for Aloe.

Happy Sunday, y'all!

Woe is me

I took a ton of pictures this weekend.

I had pictures of the kids playing at the park. I had pictures of the big iguanas at the park. I had pictures of the ducks. I had pictures of Goober playing guitar on The Man's lap. I had pictures of my 14 year old niece and her new friend that I wanted to send to my sister.

Somehow my SD card has been corrupted and they are ALL GONE.

I'm hoping The Man can save them somehow.

I want to go cry now.

I only had one glass...

Big cup holds lots of wine

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Post Office Blues

The Man's computer died last week. Power surge, bad battery back-up, motherboard... I don't know. Whatever. He was not happy.

He's been using my our laptop this week while we waited for his new motherboard to make its merry journey clear across the world from China.

Today I went to pick it up from the post office. We live in an interesting area. It's podunk that is sort of not as podunk as it used to be and now becoming sort of a populated area. Our post office is still podunk, though. We don't have fancy automatic postal machines or vending machines for stamps. We have a line and a counter with two less than thrilled postal employees behind it.

Podunk Post Office

So I stood in the line and observed the people. One of the postal employees was busy weighing and stamping about a kajillion identical looking envelopes for one mom whose fourish year old son looked like he was going to lose his little head if he had to wait one - second - longer.

He tugged on her, he stood on his tip toes, he sat on the floor, he jumped up and down, he looked at the people in line, he picked his nose. His mother corrected him.

"Get up, Johnny. Stop that, Johnny. Do you want a sticker? Don't pull on me, Johnny. Can I have my pen back, Johnny?"

The other postal employee was trying to be polite to a woman in scrubs who was rudely ignoring her. She was carrying possibly the most irritating fake Coach bag I've ever seen and browsing through a tabloid magazine while standing at the counter. The postal worker kept asking her things like "Would you like this to go Priority for $5.45 or First Class for $3.42?" and she would just barely hear her and make her repeat herself and then nod or "mmhmm..." her answer.

I wanted to smack her and her fake purse from the line. But I try not to be judgemental.

Finally, she was done. The postal worker said "Have a nice day!" and she said "mmhmm..." and picked up her fake bag and left with her Star magazine.

We moved up in line.

Johnny was still antsy.

The next woman was very concerned that she was taking up too much time because she needed boxes and CD mailers and had to address everything. She fretted. I wanted to tell her it was no big deal. I felt bad for her.

She didn't take as long as she thought she was taking. Johnny's mom was still there.

After a few more patrons it was my turn. I showed identification, I signed my name, I printed my name, I verified my address, I offered my first born, I gave them a vial of blood... and then finally they released The Man's brand new motherboard.

I told her to have a nice day and waved good bye to Johnny, who looked longingly at me with a "Take me with you..." look.

At home I presented The Man with his new toy fancy piece of hardware. When he opened it his eyes lit up. So happy. :) After a few hours of work I'm happy to say that The Man is back in business.

Stop the Horror of Fake Bags!

There's one thing I know that will truly make any woman look frumpy. The fake handbag.

Your Bag Is Fake

Perhaps you think your bag looks as real as can be. Perhaps you've even fooled 99.8% of the population with it. Perhaps the stitching is perfect.

But face it, you're carrying a fake bag. It's not Coach, it's not Prada, it's not Kate, it's not Louis. It's fake. You know it and believe me, there's someone else out there that has seen you with it and she knows it, too.

So maybe you don't care that you're carrying a fake bag. You like the way it looks and you think it's insane to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for a bag and you refuse to do it.

That's fine. There are plenty of really nice imitation bags (not FAKE bags) that have the same look as the big designer bags and you can get them for a song. XOXO makes some that look a lot like Louis Vuitton, I've seen some that look a lot like Kate Spade, Dooney, and Coach. But they don't try to SAY they're Kate Spade, Dooney, or Coach.

Here are some reasons NOT to carry a fake bag:

1. The quality is just not there. While the stitching on your fake Louis Vuitton might look good now, it's going to look like heck after a couple of months. Once that baby starts fraying it's like a red alert that you're carrying a fake. That gold piece on your Prado purse starts chipping and it screams fake. Blech.

2. It's illegal! This should probably be #1. It infringes on the designer's copyright. Just like if some other blogger came along and stole all your words, that counterfeiter is stealing Coach's design. Sometimes - I see this all the time with Kate Spade bags - it's not even a copyright infringement. The counterfeiter makes a completely horrendous bag and then slaps a Kate Spade label on it. The horror!

Chanel Blasphemy

3. Chances are you're supporting some sweat shop in some rural part of China where children not much older than your toddler are working. Is that what you'd like to support?

4. It makes you look like a fake. If you really must have a designer bag, save your pennies and get one. You'll love it even more knowing you earned it.

How to tell if a bag is fake:

Fake Bags

1. Check the fabric. The leather should feel soft and supple, the dye should be smooth and even. The stitching will be tight and even.

2. Check the labels. A lot of fake Kate Spades have the exterior label just glued on. If you can pull it off it's FAKE. Beware of bags with "Made in China" labels. Some designers are making them there - but most aren't.

3. Linings on authentic bags will look like high quality bags. If the lining looks cheap it's probably fake.

4. If the bag is supposed to be new but it's damaged, it's probably fake. Authentic bags that have been damaged are destroyed - not sold.

5. Authentic designer bags are not sold at purse parties. Ever.

Fake Coach

If you must have a designer bag RIGHT NOW, look into renting one! If you just like the look of the bag but don't care if it's designer, there are a lot of really nice replica bags available.

Check out Mrs. Fussypants for more ways to Fight the Frump, and don't buy fake bags!

Hey! Margaritas make you feel less frumpy, too!

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Friday, July 18, 2008

What The FRENCH TOAST Headlines?!

I don't even know why I try to read the news. It's so depressing it makes me want to shut the blinds and crawl back into bed for the day.

These were our local headlines today.


Today I'll be spending the afternoon lounging by the pool with my cousin-in-law watching our six kids swim and drinking a bottle of girly wine. Then I'll head to the gym to meet my sister and come home to have a Margarita Party over at the place for my peeps.

I guess that's all worth not crawling back into bed.

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Partying like there's no BlogHer.

I found out from It's A Schmitty Life about Kelby Carr's BlogHer 2008 Pity Party Contest and since I'm totally bummed to not be attending BlogHer this year I thought it was a great idea. The winner gets a ticket to the BlogHer Reach Out Conference Tour of their choice and 100 free Moo Cards.

Sweet, eh? Here's the kicker.... You can't enter if you're going to BlogHer 2008. Rawkzors! See? I knew I didn't go for a reason.

It was all about the Moo cards.

And the Margaritas.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

The post where I beg you to subscribe

So I'm setting a goal. It's good to have goals, right? This one is a little bloggie goal. I want 100 subscribers by the end of August. Oh, and I want to lose 50 pounds. Either one would be good.

I also would like to learn to not go insane when my children are stuck inside due to rain and are chasing one another through the house, definitely not using their inside voices.

But back to the my 100 subscriber goal. I'm really far away from it. Really, really, REALLY far.

But it's good to have goals, right? Oh wait, I already asked that.

If you haven't subscribed, please do. I'll do my best to keep you entertained so you won't regret it.


You might notice that I'll be begging for subscribers at the end of every post. I'm shameless. I can't help myself.


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Margaritas Anyone??

Chocolatey Goodness

Bug & the Slim Fast

I think I should make the "Never leave a child unattended... ever" pictures a series. I seem to have a lot of them!

This one was taken quite a few years ago back in 2001. It was one of those moments when it just occurred to me that my almost 2 year old had been very quiet lately. Surely Rolie Polie Olie wasn't keeping him that interested.

This is what I found. So much for that diet.

I think this post earns me that "We are THAT Family" button there on my sidebar - don't you? :)

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I was a horse crazy adolescent girl

*Pictures for this post were taken directly out of my teenage scrapbook, hence the look. And OMGOSH you have to love the way I labeled them. I used the word "spiff"... seriously, why does no one use that word? Ah, to be 15 again.*

It all began when my friend, Heather, moved into our neighborhood. She was horse crazy. I think one of the reasons her parents even chose to move into our neighborhood was because of the zoning that allowed people to have horses. We must have been in about the 5th grade when Heather's parents bought her a horse. His name was Crockett and we loved him.

Crockett & Heather & Me

Crockett was a Quarter Horse and he let us abuse him however we pleased. We rode him all over the neighborhood (which was a very large and rural place), through lakes, across canals, over haphazard overturned logs in the woods he would jump with both of us on his back. Crockett was perfect.

It wasn't too long, though, before one horse and two girls didn't seem to make much sense anymore. So Heather and I looked for another option. That's when I started shoveling poo. Down the street was a large barn of Arabians owned by a wonderful lady named Pam. Heather took lessons there and Pam let me ride her trusty lesson horse, Rama, as long as I took good care of her and mucked stalls a bit. Thinking back, Pam was a saint to let me do it. If I could find her right now I'd write her a letter of thanks.

I wish I had a picture of Rama, but I don't. She wasn't beautiful, though she may have been when she was younger. She was an old chestnut mare who was patient and kind to me. She could be stubborn, but she was smarter than the average mule and kept me out of trouble. It was on Rama that I took my first lesson, paid for out of the kindness of Pam's heart.

After I had advanced a bit, Pam decided I needed an actual horse to show. That was when I started riding Butch.


The two of us never really got along. He had no respect for me and I didn't care for him much either, but we were forced to deal with each other. Pam insisted I ride in a show and Rama just wouldn't do. So Butch and I dealt with each other.

Horse Show

Here we are at the show. It was a Dressage Show. Butch and I entered the ring and started our routine... but then I'm not sure what happened. I was nervous, he hated me, he jumped out of the ring.

I was so mad I couldn't see straight. I made him jump back INTO the ring and I finished our routine. Pam said she'd never seen me ride so well as when I was mad at that stupid horse. Needless to say I didn't win the blue ribbon.


After that show I started riding Lindo. She was a beautiful black Paso Fino and she and I had a great time together. There was no pressure. The only horse shows I entered with Lindo were fun. She was gaited so she didn't bounce and we won every Halloween fun kid show where we had to balance an egg on a spoon or hold as much water in a cup as possible. She liked to run and I liked to let her run as fast as she wanted to go until sand started to blind my eyes and I'd have to nestle my head down close to her neck to block it. She could fly and I loved her.

I guess it was when I started to become interested in boys... or when boys became interested in me... I'm not sure. I started going to the barn less and less and finally I just stopped altogether. It's one of my biggest regrets. I miss the feeling of becoming one with that animal. I miss Lindo and how I could let her do whatever she wanted, go where she wanted to go, and just see where I ended up.

Some day I'll ride again. :)

For more Sincerely 'Fro Me To You posts, check out We are THAT Family.

PS - Want to be a part of our "I'm not going to BlogHer Margarita Party?" Sure you do! Grab the button in the sidebar, check out where we'll be chatting (cause I'm totally proud of it) and join in! (Button displaying isn't necessary... just neat. :)

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Peeps! I have created a place for you!

Well... The Man has anyhow.

I mentioned before that he was thinking about putting up a sort of chat thingie on He did... and it's even prettier than I ever imagined. I'm sort of sniffly about it actually. It's more than a chat... it's a place for my peeps. Really, it's beautiful.

I'm planning on playing with it throughout the day, but if you get a chance, please go check it out and make a profile and say Hi!

And come back for Margaritas on Friday!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I wonder what he's thinking

Pensive Bug

Working from home Works for Me!

(First, can I just preface my entire post by saying that being number ONE on the Works for me Wednesday post is what REALLY works for me??! How the heck did I manage that? Do I get a trophy?

That's all I have to say about that... on to my real post!)

*This is a reposted entry from a previous Works for me Wednesday. :) I thought it was worth revisiting and reworking a bit.*

**Don't forget to scroll down for the Book A Week Give Away!**

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's 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 is spent answering emails. I am constantly at the mercy of eBay's policies which can be scary!

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 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 (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 my work from home job choice 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.

Nowadays people are making a great living selling on eBay, but it's no cake walk. It takes a lot of self-discipline and time management to do well. That can be difficult, especially when blogging is so much more fun! However, I do know that anyone can do it. It just takes time to learn the ropes, like any job.

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

PS - for all of you wonderful Works for me Wednesday readers that used the coupon from last week's entry and got 50% off, I got a NEW code this week. If you enter ALLSTAR at checkout you can get 60% off your order until the 20th.

PPS - if anyone is interested in an "I'm not going to BlogHer" Margarita Party, please let me know here. The Man is looking into setting up some chat apparatus for this weekend and I'm just wondering if anyone would show up to chat. :)

PPPS - Okay, he actually DID create it! And it's BEAUTIFUL. You just have to go see. :)

Book A Week Give Away

Last week I gave away This Body to Shirley at My Army of Five. This week I've got another book to give away. This week's Book A Week selection is Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio. I read this a while ago and I absolutely loved it. It was truly heart breaking and heart warming at the same time.

From Publishers Weekly
The diagnosis of Tourette's Syndrome isn't mentioned until the last pages of Rubio's sensitive portrayal of a young girl with the disease. Instead, Rubio lets Icy Sparks tell her own story of growing up during the 1950s in a small Kentucky town where her uncontrollable outbursts make her an object of fright and scorn. "The Saturday after my [10th] birthday, the eye blinking and poppings began.... I could feel little invisible rubber bands fastened to my eyelids, pulled tight through my brain and attached to the back of my head," says Icy, who thinks of herself as the "frog child from Icy Creek." Orphaned and cared for by her loving grandparents, Icy weathers the taunts of a mean schoolteacher and, later, a crush on a boy that ends in disappointment. But she also finds real friendship with the enormously fat Miss Emily, who offers kindness and camaraderie. Rubio captures Icy's feelings of isolation and brings poignancy and drama to Icy's childhood experiences, to her temporary confinement in a mental institution and to her reluctant introduction?thanks to Miss Emily and Icy's grandmother?to the Pentecostal church through which she discovers her singing talent. If Rubio sometimes loses track of Icy's voice, indulges in unconvincing magical realism and takes unearned poetic license with the speech of her Appalachian grandparents ("'Your skin was as cold as fresh springwater, slippery and strangely soothing to touch'"), her first novel is remarkable for its often funny portrayal of a child's fears, loves and struggles with an affliction she doesn't know isn't her fault.

If you'd like to win my pre-loved copy of Icy Sparks, leave a comment here asking me to enter you and I'll draw a name on Tuesday! Please make sure there's a way for me to get a hold of you, though, or I'll have to leave you out of the drawing. :(

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