June 30, 2005

Oh, Happy Day!

First of all, many, many thanks to all the well wishers for my birthday!

Usually, I let birthdays slip by with nary a word or thought. This is the first birthday I've had as a blogger and I have to say, I am so proud to have friends like each of you out there.

Your well wishes are very much appreciated. Thank you, all!

Now, I must be a special girl because someone who gives a damn about me noticed I posted one of my favorite recipes last week.

(Sadie, don't look, honey, it's meat!)

Here's what I had for dinner tonight:

Damn Good.jpg


Oh, and let's not forget, my dearest friend, Susan (aka "The Bodyguard" who accompanied me to Jekyll) had this delivered to my door today!

Gift from Susan.jpg


No spankings, as of yet!

There's still (hope?) time.

Posted by Christina at 07:46 PM | Comments (10)

Yeah, Right

Okay, so it's my freakin' thirty-eighth birthday.

How did I spend the day?

What did I decide to do?

Did the girls (or anyone else) awaken me with breakfast in bed?

Did I check into the local spa for the full beauty treatment and gourmet lunch?

Was there a romantic evening planned with the man of my dreams?


First off, the girls and I headed to Wee One's penultimate swimming lesson.

Oh, joy! (sarcasm)

She's still sinking, but she has learned to do so with a smile. While I have made it to the third step into the pool to fish her out (and gotten the edge of my shorts wet), I still have not yet had to dive in after her, despite the presence of trained instructors and two other life guards.

There's always tomorrow, I guess.

Sweet One being the dear child she is, decided to help me this morning and packed the beach bag with towels, sunscreen, Wee One's paraphernalia, and all sorts of crapola we need for a day at the water park.

Oh, yes, you read it correctly, I spent my birthday at the ever-lovin' water park with thousands of others.

Have I mentioned I'm not too keen on crowds, particularly when I'm barely dressed?

The plan was to leave swimming lessons and go straight over to the water park for a day of fun in the sun, at least for the girls.

Swimming lessons are early morning. Because I do not want sunscreen all over the leather seats in my new car, I usually sit in the shade and goop up Wee One with sunscreen after we arrive at the pool.

This morning was no different, except, Sweet One packed the beach bag instead of moi.

What does that mean?

Well, there is sunscreen and there is sunscreen.

I prefer the 50 SPF in the non-oily cream that looks like nothing more than lotion once applied.

Wee One prefers the colored stuff that goes on very bright blue and fades over time. I have to admit, because she is quite fair skinned, I prefer to use it on her so I can ensure we have not missed any spots. Better safe, than sorry as they say.

Well, Sweet One packed the bright blue stuff and not my sunscreen.

So, sporting my brand new red swimsuit with grommets up most of the front replete with ties so I can bare or not what natural attributes the good lord has blessed me, I was forced to burn or use the bright blue crap.

Decisions, decisions...

What to do?

Suffice it to say, for a good half hour after the park opened, there were reports of a giant blue smurf in a red bathing suit lurking the grounds.

While my children and most everyone we encountered who dared to ask were quite amused, I was not.

One would think I would learn. Last year it was bright purple.

No one can argue I don't love my children.

We are home taking a break and will head back to the park in a little while with our all day passes.

So tell me, how was your day?

Posted by Christina at 12:46 PM | Comments (39)

June 29, 2005

Slap Your Momma Chocolate Cake

Kris at Anywhere but Here is hosting this week's Carnival of the Recipes!

Would you believe, I have chocolate on my mind??


Slap Your Momma Chocolate Cake

1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup water
3 large eggs
2 - 16 oz containers chocolate frosting
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp Amaretto
1 cup sweetened and flaked coconut
1/2 cup toasted, chopped almonds

For the cake combine the mix, cocoa, mayonnaise, eggs, and water in a large bowl. Beat for two minutes, first on low, then on high. Pour into greased and floured 8 or 9-inch round pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, until done.

For the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine frosting, sour cream, and Amaretto.

Transfer approximately 1 1/2 cups of the frosting to another bowl and stir in almonds and coconut. This is the filling.

Once the cakes have cooled from the oven, use the filling between the layers, then frost with the remaining frosting. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, split each layer in half and use filling in between for a torte-like cake.

After serving, store remainder in the refrigerator.

This one is slap your momma good.

Posted by Christina at 06:21 AM | Comments (5)

June 28, 2005

Summer means fun, right?

Seriously. How many times have you heard the saying: "Summer means fun."

Must have been a child or child-like mind to have coined that phrase.

Summer means hot, damn hot.

Summer means the little ones are out of school with oodles and oodles of pent up and misguided energy.

Summer means endless discussions of when we are next going swimming. The kicker is, those discussions usually begin on the way home from swimming. Sheesh.

Sweet One has now gone to and finished tennis camp and her week-long girls' camp. Tomorrow she begins a baby-sitting course. Now, don't roll your eyes, she wanted to take the classes and they will be teaching CPR.

Wee One has been in gymnastics and is in the second week of swimming lessons.

Gymnastics has been great.

Swimming lessons...hmmm...let's see...shall I say she swims like a rock? More accurately, she sinks like a rock.

I have now been on the verge of leaping into the pool three times to save my sinking child.

The four-year-old to life guard/swimming instructor ratio is two and one-half to one. Not bad, but Wee One has this incredible sense of confidence. She honestly believes if she thinks she can do something, she can actually do it. Forget that she does not know how to do it. That's a mere technicality, something with which she has very little concern.

Just this morning, Wee One and the other little munchkins were handed kick boards and encouraged to hold them in front with loose arms to practice their kicking. Wee One was less concerned with holding the thing in front of her as she was precariously crawling on top of it.

As a result, the inevitable happened. While both instructors were occupied with other children, Wee One flipped off the kick board, let go of it and promptly sunk. I kept waiting for her to hit the bottom, kick off from there, and pop back up.

As I said, I kept waiting...waiting...waiting...

No Wee One.

Jumping up, I ran to the edge of the pool and one of the instructors finally looked her way as I started to dive in. She snagged the sputtering and slightly blue Wee One.

She was fine, a bit water-logged, but it hardly dampened her enthusiasm.

Of course, I was far worse for the wear.

Ten minutes later, my bone-headed child did it again. This time, when I noticed she had gone "unnoticed" I made far more noise than the first. My nerves just could not take it.

Again, she was plucked from the depths of the pool.

At the end of class, I inquired of the director as to the number of casualities sustained over the last twenty years from these classes. I was informed not one single child has ever been lost.

In reply, I shook my head and added: "I'm not talking about the children, it's the parents I'm worried about. How many parents have you lost?"

Posted by Christina at 12:23 PM | Comments (11)

Going to the Show

What to see? What to watch? Who decides?

One of the typical activities for a date is dinner and a movie.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, the movie of my choice for dates were those involving love and romance. To my inexperienced and immature mind, subjecting my date to such tender novelties would surely influence his thoughts and feelings about me. Because, as they say, it was all about me, anyway, wasn’t it?

After I grew up a bit and fell in “love,” my attitude changed. I was so nuts about the guy, I was happy to watch whatever he wanted to watch because I enjoyed spending time with him. The really nice part about that was: He cared about me and was interested in watching what I wanted to watch. For a long time, we just switched off. He chose the movie one time and the next, it was my turn; however, I will say, I tailored my choices to take into consideration his likes and dislikes. The movies themselves became secondary for the opportunity to just spend time together.

While I still like the typical “chick flicks,” I find I enjoy them so much more when I go to the movies with a girlfriend or group of ladies. First of all, the movies are a great excuse to get together with the girls and catch up sans children and significant others. We can all really let our hair down and talk about the stuff we really want to talk about without interruption from little ones or testosterone fueled rolling of the eyes. Also, we can freely and alternately gush, weep, and laugh to our hearts content.

These days, my children are the ones who dictate what feature films I watch. It is more about what they will enjoy and what is appropriate for them. To have a man accompany us to the movies is a testament to his affection for us and his willingness to put the girls ahead of himself.

It has become my experience one can tell a great deal about a man by the movies he chooses to watch and the company with whom he watches them.

For a host of different perspectives regarding this topic, be sure to check out the ladies: Silk, Kathy, Sadie, and guest-poster and Divaesque Lady Margi, as well as the gentlemen: Phin, Minister of Propoganda, and Puffy.

Our favorite Wizard has announced life’s demands have taken precedence over the blogworld and he will no longer formally be part of the Men’s Club; however, he will still be blogging (Thank Goodness!) and popping in to check on us as his time permits. He has been a wonderful addition for the past several months. He is definitely a gentleman’s gentleman.

More news: Beginning next week (July 7th), the Demystifying Divas and Men's Club will be moving to Thursdays!! Can you stand it? See you then.

Posted by Christina at 06:29 AM | Comments (4)

June 27, 2005


This Friday, July 1st, Take Two is WIDE OPEN.

Anyone and everyone who would like to participate is welcome to do so.

If you are a blogger and would like to take a stab at it, just email the hyperlink.

If you have already participated and would like another bite at the creative apple, please feel free to give me all you got.

If you are not yet a blogger, email me your story and I will post it here.

On Friday, I will showcase all stories.

Here's the scenario:

Two people are seated at a diner in the early hours of the morning. One passes the other an object under the table. Without touching their coffee, first one leaves, then the other. After the parties part ways, the recipient of the object is struck by a vehicle. Someone else retrieves the object...


All entries must be 1000 words or less!

Posted by Christina at 08:47 PM | Comments (4)

On the Ball!!

These ladies are on top of all the latest happenings.

My girlfriend Oddybobo of Bobo Blogger discusses one of the recent United States Supreme Court decisions in From My Cold Dead Hands . . .

Beth has a lot of interesting things to say about Debunking the anti-Rove blogswarm.

Janette and I share a pet peeve with the one known as Geraldo Rivera.

Jody makes a sincere and heartfelt plea for the Susan Torres family. Thank you, Jody, for bringing this to our attention, I had not seen it.

Tomorrow's Cotillion ball will be hosted by these intelligent and outspoken women:

Not a Desperate Housewife
Maxed out Mama

Posted by Christina at 07:55 PM | Comments (3)

June 26, 2005


It was just as he remembered.

From the blazing sun and sweltering heat to the oppressive humidity, not even the air conditioner in his Lexus could deny, it was August in Mississippi once again.

Slowly negotiating his ride onto the narrow streets of his small hometown and despite the many years he had stayed away, with each moment that passed as he surveyed the depression era buildings, he was gradually transported back to his childhood.

Once again, he was the little boy walking barefoot down the back streets holding onto the hem of his grandmother's worn cotton apron as they made their way to the general store so she could barter her eggs and what little produce her family did not consume for dry beans, cornmeal, flour, and a little coffee. While she had had more than one of those aprons over the years, they were all basically the same: rough and thick to the touch with the lettering and design from the flour labels blurred and faded from many, many washings and bleached from days drying on the line.

He was his grandmother's baby. She was the one to whom he had always turned for comfort and direction. He knew his mother and he knew she was his mother because she had bore him, everyone told him so; however, the woman he knew as mother was a sepia colored picture tucked in the family Bible. Her face was fine with high cheekbones, a rather broad nose, full lips, and dark luminous eyes. It was her eyes that haunted him.

She looked very much like his grandmother, only younger and without his grandmother's fire and vitality.

While it was never spoken and no one had ever really told him how he came to be, he just knew. He knew not to ask of his father and certainly no one ever questioned him. It was simply understood.

As a young woman his grandmother worked the fields picking peppers and chopping cane. However, in their small community she had garnered something of a reputation for being a fine cook, especially of pies, and was eventually hired in one of the big houses along the river.

For many years she worked for the Beauchamps. Proud of her position in that household, his grandmother shared her skills with her daughter and only child, Rose.

It was in the house of Beauchamp his mother came of age and blossomed into a young woman. He had heard it tell time and again what an attractive girl his mother was and how many men sought her favor under the watchful eyes of his grandmother.

It was his grandmother who had had high hopes for her only child. She had wanted Rose to learn not only how to cook a proper meal and prepare baked goods that would be remembered long after the last bite, but to run a household so she could eventually gain a post as housekeeper in one of the big houses.

His grandmother's loyalty to the Beauchamps was sadly repaid with violence upon her baby. A spoiled and rabid teenage son of that family fancied the young Rose and shamed her with his unwanted attention. His grandmother heard her daughter's cries and came running only to find her beaten, bloodied, and ravaged. She was dared to confront the young savage and fired for disrupting the household.

Within months, Rose was heavy with child. Not a strong woman before her rape, she became a shell after. She was only fourteen when John was born. Her body weak and fragile, she never recovered from his birth. She lingered for just over a week before the second grave was dug under the trees at the end of the garden.

Over the years he had studied the picture of his mother, then studied his own reflection in a mirror to discern some resemblance. Instead of eyes of deep brown characteristic of both his mother and grandmother, his eyes were topaz, almost golden in color and hue with flecks of green sprinkled sparingly around the center.

Just as his eyes were light, so was his complexion. Looking down at his hands, he did not see the strong long and tapered fingers neatly manicured and buffed, instead, he only saw their light tan coloration, a stark contrast to those of his grandmother and mother.

There had been no men in his early life. His grandfather had toiled in the fields and ultimately laid down and died just where he had worked, long before John was born. To him, his grandfather was a wooden cross made of pickets under a live oak and a pecan tree at end of the garden behind the three room shotgun shack where he was born and lived the first years of his life. There were no letters or words to denote the man he had been.

Perhaps, John thought, that was somehow fitting. He had been told his grandfather knew no words or letters and was only able to make his mark with an "x" when he signed for goods at the mercantile.

His grandmother was the smartest woman he had ever known, but like his grandfather, neither could she read or write. His earliest memories of her were sitting on the front porch in the evenings, just as dusk was falling, holding that Bible in her hands.

He loved her and he loved those times with her. While she was unable to read, she knew the good book and told him with conviction: “Son, these are the Lord’s words. These are the lessons by which good men live.”

She would then captivate him with stories from God’s book, just as she had heard them. They were always the same, every word, every pause, every inflection of speech and tone. He knew those stories in his heart and whenever he needed to feel close to her or searched for the strength to carry him through whatever task faced him, he thought back to those evenings with her and somehow he knew, just knew, things were going to be all right.

Unlike her hopes for her daughter, Gram's dreams for John included an education. She cleaned houses, she picked peppers and peas, she raised chickens, she baked pies, she did whatever she could possibly do to scrape by so John could go to school and not have to work the fields.

He remembered the pride and delight in her eyes when he began to read to her from that Bible. As he grew, it was she who sat captivated with him at her feet as he read the words of God to her. After almost every sentence, she would softly exclaim: "Amen" or "Thank you, Jesus." Even now, his heart swelled and tears pricked his eyes when he thought how happy she was when he read to her.

Watching the folks of this small Mississippi town carrying on their business in the mid-morning sun, he wished he could go back and spend just a few minutes with his grandmother.

He was sixteen when she died. At the time, he did not think there could be a pain more intense or a greater loss felt. She was his world.

When he was a junior in high school he had made the varsity track team. She had encouraged him to try out and made whatever sacrifices were necessary to ensure he stayed in school. He had wanted to work more to help her support them, but she had insisted he not only stay in school, but excel in both academics and sports. She had even given her thin gold band, the only jewelry he ever saw her wear or own, in exchange for a proper pair of running shoes for him.

Back in those days, segregation was suppose to have been a thing of the past with those battles hard fought the decade before, but while the laws had changed, attitudes had not and there were few people of color who participated in organized sports at any school.

One Saturday John had returned home after a spring track meet. He had done well and wanted to show his grandmother his ribbons. As he made his way down the lane to the house, he could see her figure sitting on the porch as the long shadows of the afternoon sun stretched across the front yard. Her dark face was cast in those shadows and he could not tell whether she was awake. He knew it was not her practice to sit down during the day, only in the evening just before bed time.

By the time he reached the edge of the yard, his instincts told him something was terribly wrong. With heart in his stomach, he sprinted to her side completely unprepared to witness her lifeless form. He stopped abruptly before her and dropped to his knees. His voice cracked and his hand shook as he gently nudged her shoulder and spoke her name: “Gram.”

The slight motion released the Bible which had been resting on her lap and it landed on the porch with a resounding thud.

He knew she was gone. Wrapping his arms around her waist, he buried his face in her lap and cried. The one person he loved in the world was gone.

Much, much later, after the preacher was alerted, Gram was laid out on the kitchen table. The preacher's wife and the other ladies had gently cleaned Gram and dressed her in her Sunday go-to-meeting clothes. Half dollars rested on her closed eyes. One of the deacons had volunteered to stay the night to sit vigil over her and arrangements were made for a simple service the following day.

John must have dozed because when he next looked around, Gram's small house was bright with morning light. He last remembered sitting next to the table and Gram bathed in the inky darkness of night, but awoke in his own small pallet on the floor next to her empty bed. The few short steps to the kitchen revealed Gram was gone.

Looking out the screen of the back door, he saw a simple pine box on the ground near the live oak and pecan tree. There were a couple of shovels leaning on the trees. Eyes fixed, he stripped his shirt off and walked straight to one of the shovels and began digging. He was joined shortly by a rotation of men he knew who all respected his grandmother. Several offered to take a turn with his shovel, but eyes down, he continued his work. Something told him: "Tis better to move than think or feel."

The sun was hung well high in the sky when the preacher stepped into the hole and put a firm hand on John's shoulder. With a forceful shake, he silently bade the young man to look at him. John did.

Then he spoke: "That's enough, boy. You done good. Now clean up and we’ll lay this fine lady to rest."

Slowly nodding his understanding, John climbed from the grave and did as he was told.

Within a few minutes, he emerged from the small house with his Sunday best, one of the three sets of clothes he owned, and joined the small gathering under the mighty trees.

A few words were spoken. A few hymns were sung. With a final goodbye, his grandmother, in her plain box, was lowered into her place between her husband and her only child. Physically tired and emotionally spent, John stood and quietly wept as those around him replaced the dirt over her.

Less than a full day since he had found her in her chair, she was gone, they were gone, and he was all alone.

A woman of very, very few possessions, all he really had of hers was that Bible.

Reaching for a large manila envelope from the leather briefcase in the passenger seat, John opened it and pulled out that Bible, her Bible. Two days prior it had reappeared in his life, some nine years since he had last seen it.

It was the catalyst for his return.

To be continued.

Posted by Christina at 12:30 AM | Comments (7)

June 25, 2005

Four is the new Fourteen

Wee One is just a piece of work. I have never before encountered a child who is so very opinionated or so very strong-willed. At least, she is that way with me.

Conversely, at day school her teachers tell me she is a delightful child and a quiet leader. When she misses a day or so, her presence is missed by her little friends, as well as the teacher.

I just have to wonder what is it about me that brings out that little demon.

Most of today we were out and about running errands and doing a little shopping. At one point, Wee One found the music we were listening to objectionable. She covered her mouth and asserted she was going to throw up if I did not turn it off.

Now, I know both of my children have a tendency toward car sickness. I suffer the affliction as well; however, for me it may well be a control thing because when I’m driving, I never get sick.

Needless to say, I was not persuaded by her argument or her tactics. I did not see the correlation between the music and her alleged upset stomach.

Thus, I simply ignored her and turned the music up a notch and instructed her if she was going to throw up, please do so in the Ziploc bag in front of her. Further, if she missed, she was going to have to sit in it until we got home.

She was not happy. Still covering her mouth, she decided to up the ante a bit and argued: "Momma, turn the music off or I will throw up in your NEW car! I'm warning you!"


SHE's warning ME!

As calmly as I could, I turned to her and told her: "That's TWO! When I get to THREE Mr. Wooden Spoon is going to warm your ass. Are we clear?"

For the remainder of the drive home I heard grumblings and mumblings from the back seat to the effect: "I don't love you anymore. You're mean. I want another Mommy. I want my Daddy." Hell, it was very clear she wanted anyone, but me.

After a few minutes of that, I asked: "Are you talking to me?"


Me again: "I said: 'Are you talking to me?'"

Wee One with a major pout uttered under her breath: "No, Ma'am."

When we finally pulled into the garage, Wee One popped out, ran to the bathroom, and promptly threw up.

Well, hell. I still don't see the correlation between the music and her stomach.

Knowing her as only a mother can, I'm beginning to think she can do that on demand.

Posted by Christina at 04:28 PM | Comments (15)

Liv's Take Two

Despite being on vacation in a tropical paradise, Liv has posted her 1000 words for Take Two!!

She did a fine job of capturing THAT moment. You know the one, THAT moment. In fact, as I told her, I think I'm in love.

As noted below, Michele, Llama Robert, and Lippy have already posted.

My girl Sheilah is still MIA (she has a new job and has been really, really busy); however, as soon as she posts, I'll update.

To each of these extremely talented writers, please take a deep bow, you have earned it.

Many thanks!

Posted by Christina at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

Oh, Oh, Oh, MY

The saucy and sexy Sadie has the 25 Word Challenge up and running.

Scully felt nervous with anticipation while waiting for her dinner companion. Buzz! She slipped into strappy stilettos and opened the door to a sheepish Mulder.

Her instructions?

Let the unresolved sexual tension commence...

Why are you still here?

Go Here. Now.

Posted by Christina at 07:19 AM | Comments (1)

June 24, 2005


Well, it had to happen sometime.

As I mentioned in the comments to this post, new car shopping has not always been a pleasure for me.

Several years ago, I was in the market for a new vehicle and drove up to a dealership. Before I barely exited my car, a salesman descended upon me and asked if he could help me. I told him I was looking to buy a new vehicle.

While I was wearing my wedding ring at the time, I doubt he had had an opportunity to spy it and replied with a snide smile: "Do you have your husband's permission to buy a new car?"

Instant rage.

I was so absolutely farookin' furious, I was incapable of speech.

I merely turned around, got back in my vehicle and drove away.

In fact, I drove straight to the husband's office and unloaded on him, the poor guy. He understood the slight, but for whatever reason found my anger wildly amusing. THAT my friends, was NOT a good thing.

After I was finished with the husband, I made my to another dealership and within a couple of days purchased my new SUV.

Being a total bitch, before I drove the damn thing home, I felt compelled to drive back over to the first dealership. As I parked, I saw the same jackass salesman begin to make his way over to me.

When he stopped in front of me, I had two questions for him:

1 - What is your name?

2 - Where is your sales manager?

Equipped with the appropriate information, I located the sales manager and asked him to step outside. I showed him my brand new vehicle and told him I would have loved to have bought one from him, but jackass pissed me off. With that, I told them both: "Have a nice day!"

Well, this go-around, I decided to do things a little differently. Instead of going alone, I invited one of my attorney girlfriends to accompany me to test drive and shop for vehicles.

Rest assured, nothing makes a salesman more nervous than dealing with not one, but two outspoken attorneys, particularly women.

I had already decided that while I loved my Tahoe, I put way too many miles on a vehicle to justify spending that kind of money on something I would literally wear out in a few short years, not to mention that much on gas, even if I was getting 18 miles to the gallon.

On my list were the following: Chevy Trailblazer, Toyota 4 Runner, and Nissan Murano.

They are all very nice vehicles, but of the three, the Nissan was a car (rather than a truck) based SUV and the easiest on gas and with Sweet One three years away from her driver's license, I opted for the Nissan with the thought it will be a good first vehicle for her when the time comes.

So, I bit the bullet and bought a new vehicle. I have a new ride.

There's only one thing. Out of all the options (leather, etc.) I wanted, there was one thing I did NOT want: Satellite radio. Unfortunately, to get the other things I wanted, I had to take the XM radio, too.

Understand, it was not that I had anything against satellite radio at all. I knew, I just knew, if I ever got it, I would be hopelessly addicted. Well, I had the Murano for a few days before I even bothered to turn the satellite radio on. Within an hour of driving around I realized it had happened.

I'm addicted.

My life will no longer be the same. I anticipate having one of those little portable thingys in the very near future, after all, I turn thirty-eight on Thursday. So what if the car was an early birthday present. It's not like I actually got it on my birthday.

Posted by Christina at 11:14 AM | Comments (10)

Take Two, Part III

Amazing, simply amazing.

The creativity and imagination of my fellow bloggers is just amazing.

Michele, Michele, Michele. That Meanderings woman is a fellow Louisiana girl. If we had not already met or were not from the same great state, I would really have to wonder about her. As we say back home, she ain't right, but she can tell a damn good tale!

The Llama Butcher Robert has managed to stretch his 1000 words into not one, not two, but four different story lines. He has me wanting to crawl into his brain to see just what else he has going on in there.

Lippy of Wired JAFA is one of our international contributors! She is a woman of humanity and compassion. For her story she reached down deep and did an outstanding job of creating quite the convincing character.

We have two more to go. Shielah and Liv have been out living life right and as soon as they post, I will update here!


For next week, there will be something a bit different.

Friday, July 1st marks the beginning of a long holiday weekend. With that in mind, I did not want to saddle people with a writing assignment if they had plans.

So, next Friday will be Take Two WIDE OPEN.

Anyone and everyone who would like to participate is welcome to do so. If you are a blogger and would like to take a stab at it, just email the hyperlink. If you have already participated and would like another bite at the creative apple, please feel free to give me all you got. If you are not yet a blogger, email me your story and I will post it here.

On Friday, July 1st, I will showcase all stories.

Here's the scenario for July 1st:

Two people are seated at a diner in the early hours of the morning. One passes the other an object under the table. Without touching their coffee, first one leaves, then the other. After the parties part ways, the recipient of the object is struck by a vehicle. Someone else retrieves the object...

Coincidentally, this was the sketch I originally sent out inviting people to participate.

For July 8th we have another very exciting and talented line up:

16. El Capitan of Baboon Pirates
17. John of Thirty Second Thoughts
18. Moogie of Moogie's World
19. Tanya of Redsugar Muse
20. Alexandrine of Ravynstone Abbey

Posted by Christina at 06:13 AM | Comments (3)

June 23, 2005

Looking for me?

Mark of WitNit has turned over his place to the lovely, intelligent, and refined Divas while he is off galavanting in Asia.

I've just posted some stories regarding more of my mother's butchering of the English language. I think they are rather amusing.

Hope to see you over there.

Posted by Christina at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

Boubon Whiskey Cake

The ever delightful and perky Dana of Note-It Posts is hosting this week's Carnival of the Recipes!

Boubon Whiskey Cake

1 yellow cake mix
5 eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 c. coconut
1/3 c. bourbon whiskey - Jack Daniels, if you please
1/2 c. or 1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 c. chopped pecans
12 oz. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix all above ingredients together on high speed for 5 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Place in greased and floured Bundt cake pan.

Bake 45-55 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Garnish with a dusting of confectioner's sugar.

Posted by Christina at 04:20 PM | Comments (2)

Beef Tenderloin with Mushrooms

This week's Carnival of the Recipes is being hosted by Dana of Note-It Posts!

Beef Tenderloin with Mushrooms

1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves minced garlic
1 bunch chopped green onions
1/4 c. melted butter
1 (6lb) beef tenderloin (see your butcher)
4 oz. bleu cheese, crumbled
1 (8 oz.) bottle red wine vinegar and oil salad dressing
1/4 cup crushed peppercorns
Tony Chacherie's seasoning

Saute sliced mushrooms, garlic, and onions in butter until tender.

In the tenderloin, cut a pocket on one side while leaving a 1/4 inch or more uncut at each end. Season meat lightly with Tony Chacherie's (as well as other seasoning of your choice - lemon pepper or cayenne, etc.).

Spoon mushroom mixture into pocket, then sprinkle in bleu cheese. Close the pocket and secure with heavy string (use toothpicks, if no string available).

Place the tenderloin in a gallon size ziploc bag and add the salad dressing. Marinate at least overnight or twenty-four hours.

When ready to cook, drain the tenderloin and cover with peppercorns.

Grill, covered, over medium heat for 35 minutes.

This tenderloin is so tender it practically melts in the mouth. Yum. Yum.

Posted by Christina at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2005

Vegas on my mind

When I was growing up we took family vacations at least once a year. While we often hit tropical climes such as Acapulco, Grand Cayman, and Belize, we spent a great deal of time in Vegas and Tahoe.

I do not recall exactly whether my parents had an agreement that every other year one of them would be able to choose the destination, but it certainly seemed that way. You see, my mother loves to play Blackjack and I grew up in Louisiana in the years before casinos and gambling were allowed on Indian reservations.

Oh, my, the stories I could tell (and probably will) of going to the Vegas strip as a teenager with my mother and sister after we waved dad off on yet another drive and tour of Hoover dam.

Fortunately for me, after about age fourteen, I did not look fourteen and never had any problems entering casinos or playing Blackjack and the slots. In fact, the year we were in Tahoe, I was fourteen (not quite fifteen) and my sister had just turned eighteen.

When Sister and I checked on Mom, she gave us a bucket of chips to cash and sent us on our way to do a little shopping. We spent her winnings and returned. Again, she gave us a bucket of chips and suggested we convert them to quarters and go play the slot machines until she was ready to go to dinner.

Dutifully, sister and I split the earnings and began playing the quarter slots. Initially, we played side-by-side.

After just a few moments, two security guards, one male and one female, walked up to my sister and began questioning her: "Are you staying here at the Sahara Tahoe? Are you enjoying your stay? How old are you? May we see some form of ID?"

Throughout the questioning and her stammering responses, I moved down one machine at a time. By the time I rounded the corner, I saw that they were escorting her out of the casino.

For those who are unaware, my sister and I both have dark hair and dark eyes; however, the resemblance ends there. At eighteen she was not quite five feet tall, very petite in a China doll way, and weighed around 85 pounds. At the time I was five feet five or six inches tall and probably weighed 110 pounds.

A few minutes passed and the male security guard walked up to me. He was cute and very nice. He began to question me: "Are you staying here at the Sahara Tahoe? Are you enjoying your stay?"

As I answered him, I began collecting my things in anticipation of being escorted out of the casino myself; however, he then asked me: "Do you have plans for dinner?"

Ha! That is one I have YET to let dear older sister live down!

The last time I was in Vegas I was twenty years old. My mother missed me and wanted to spent time with me, at least that is what she said. She arranged a trip just for the two of us over Spring Break.

Have I mentioned my mother loves to play Blackjack?

Just checking.

When she plays, she likes to sit to the right of the dealer and is the last person to whom cards are dealt. I assume it is because she likes to see what cards come up before it is her turn.

Me, I am not a patient human and really do not give a flip about what any of the other players are doing. My preference is to play one-on-one with the dealer or to sit in the chair to the left of the dealer and receive my cards first. For the record, my mother wins a lot more than I do.

When my mother and I play at the same table, she has the very annoying habit of chattering incessantly and then trying to tell everyone what to do before it is her turn. Because my mother is delightful and very, very funny, most other humans do not take offense at her or her behavior, in fact, they typically encourage her.

The second night of our trip, Mom and I were sitting in our appointed seats at a Blackjack table. As was her wont, she was chatting with the dealer, the pit boss, and everyone else in speaking distance. Being a very proud mother, she went to great lengths to inform anyone who would listen as she indicated toward me: "That's my daughter. She's in law school. She's twenty."

At which point I had to interject pointedly, "No, mother, I am twenty-one, not twenty."

I was twenty, but the legal gambling age was twenty-one.

"Oh, no," my mother asserted. "I was there when you were born, I know how old you are. You are twenty."

Then, it was my turn to finally get escorted out of a casino.

Thanks, Mom.

For my mother's birthday a couple of years ago, my sister and I were visiting my parents when my sister suggested we take Mom to one of the land-based casinos some thirty-five miles from their house.

My mother was all excited, then asked what we were going to do with my nephew and my two daughters. I told her I would keep an eye on the kids because the casino had a playroom/day care area and she and my sister could gamble.

My mother was appalled with that suggestion, she said: "I don't want my grandchildren hanging around kids of those gambling moms."

I merely told her it was no worse than those mothers dragging their underage teenage daughters to Vegas and teaching them how to play Blackjack and slots. She failed to see the humor or the irony.

What are the odds of that?

Posted by Christina at 12:07 PM | Comments (13)

June 19, 2005

This Week

There's a lot going on this week.

For various personal reasons, I am going to take care of some business right off the bat.


Here is a preview of the this week's Take Two, Part III for Friday:

An individual is walking down a street, he/she glances over to an open-air restaurant and sees people enjoying their evening meals. Adjacent to the restaurant is an alleyway. As the individual passes he/she hears a slight wimpering in the darkness. At first, it almost sounds human...
Our brave and creative writers are:

11. Liv Not a Shrinking Violet
12. Sheilah Sheilah's World
13. Lippy Cat Wired JAFA
14. Michele Meanderings
15. Robert The Llama Butchers


This week the Daring Demystifying Divas and the Quartet of Gallant Men's Men will be tackling a rather controversial subject. Standing in for me will be saucy and intelligent Sheila O'Malley and this week's guest Diva-esque lady will be Miss Twisty.

Tuesdays are Twofers and the dynamic hostesses of this week's Cotillion Ball will be Crystal Clear, A Mom and Her Blog, and our very own Mistress of Fistful of Fortnights.

For those who have been in blog solitary confinement, The Cotillion is the brainchild of Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Janette of Common Sense Runs Wild, and Jody of Steal the Band Wagon.

To give you an example of what these women are about, see Beth's post on Why the Blogosphere Usually Sucks, Jody's thoughts on Using My Gender to My Advantage, and Janette's discussion on Framing Howard Dean.


If you have not been reading Joe over at Cadillac Tight, take a few minutes today and head on over. His is a well reasoned and sane voice regarding what is going on in the world around us. He's also a damn nice guy. Do me a favor and tell him I said "Hi!", too.

If you would like a challenge in thinking "outside the box," then the erudite Ruth over at Chaos Theory should definitely be your next stop. She is a New Zealander who knows more about what is going on in America than half the population in the U.S. She's no intellectual slouch. As a bonus, she has a great sense of humor.

If you have your thinking cap securely on after visiting those two, head on over to Jack's place. Be sure not to miss this post regarding Setting standards, and staying faithful to them wherein he relays a commencement speech by Tom Brokaw to students at Dartmouth. While Jack is unafraid to tackle the very tough issues of the day, let's not forget he has a keen eye for irony, as well as humor.



Regular readers should know by now that I love food (and as it sticks around awhile, I assume it loves me, too) and I love to cook. I think I'm going to go all out this week and throw out what I consider to be the perfect meal, i.e., it would be my choice for the perfect to meal to spent with someone I loved.

Michele has last week's Carnival of the Recipes up and she did a FINE job.

This week, the lovely SarahK will be hosting at Mountaineer Musings.

Also, I would be remiss if I did not thank Beth Donovan at She Who Will Be Obeyed for being the Master Mind behind the whole Carnival of Recipes to begin with.


Fridays have become Fiction Fridays around here. As noted above, we have the third week of Take Two with a strong line-up of creative individuals. I am wondering how our lone male will fare in the company of all these ladies...

I am working on a short story of my own and hope to have it finished by the end of the week. I guess we'll see how the week goes.

Last, but certainly not least, as a result of a couple email conversations with this fine gentlemen, I am thinking of adding a section regarding Damn Lawyers and regaling you guys with tales from the bar.

If that does not float your boat (and it probably does NOT), the man writes beautifully and with great depth of emotion regarding non-fiction, real life, every day events. See for yourself: Devotion, Where Hope Goes to Die, and A Moment Observed.

Posted by Christina at 07:10 PM | Comments (7)

A Man's World

Rule #1: It's a man's world.

Rule #2: Not only is it a man's world, "good ole' boys" outnumber "gentlemen" three to one.

At least, that has been my experience.

I was barely twenty-six when I left "the firm" to hang out a shingle of my own. At the time I was practicing in the rather rural area of central Louisiana where there were some, but few other female attorneys.

While there were "gentlemen attorneys" about, the vast majority were just "good ole' boys." I distinguish the two by noting the latter group used each and every opportunity to gain advantage for themselves and their clients by openly undermining women personally and professionally.

In those days, most of the cases I handled were family law-related and dealt with divorce, child support, and custody.

To say emotions ran high with these types of cases was certainly an understatement. In addition to the conflicts and issues between the parties themselves, there was a great deal of distrust of the attorneys and the court system as a whole.

Ever the bull in the china closet, I attempted early on to foster my client's trust in me by dealing with them and having them see me deal with opposing counsel in an open and forthright manner.

Three weeks into my practice as a solo attorney, I had a client and her mother in my office. Local rules required counsel for both parties to a child support, visitation, or custody hearing to communicate with one another prior to hearing to exchange specific information.

As I prepared my client for hearing, my secretary buzzed me to say opposing counsel for the client before me was on line two. This particular opposing counsel was someone I had not yet spoken to or met.

Instead of picking up the receiver, I hit the button for the speaker phone and answered by identifying myself: "Christina (surname)."

The deeply male and booming voice on the other end repeated my name slowly, identified himself, then said: "Are you nekkid?"

Mortified, I grabbed the receiver, quickly said: "I'm sorry, I'm afraid you have the wrong number," and hung up.

Anyone care to guess which group that jackass fell into?

Posted by Christina at 12:47 AM | Comments (10)

June 18, 2005

I promised

Guy S. of Snugg Harbor tagged me with a book meme.

I promised him I would oblige, so here goes:

1.Total number books I own:

Oh, Lord. I have no clue. There are books overflowing from bookcases, on night stands, and in boxes in both the garage and attic. I collect cookbooks and books on needlework, not to mention the girls' books. A cursory glance of books within easy reach and the number 863 popped into my mind; however, Rain Man, I am not and that would be aguess.

2. Last book(s) I bought:

According to my Amazon.com account, these are the last two books I ordered; but neither has been released yet: Eldest (Inheritance, Book 2), by Christopher Paolini and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6), by J. K. Rowling, both for Sweet One.

3. Last book I read:

The Moviegoer by Walter Percy because this gentleman recommended it to me several months ago when he and I had a discussion of Florence King. It was an excellent recommendation. Thanks, Will!

4.Five Books Of Notable Influence On Me:

Bless The Beasts And Children by Glendon Swarthout is a book I read in the sixth or seventh grade. The story has remained with me ever since, as do the emotions of shock and sadness I experienced when I read it back then.

In the eighth grade I read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. It had a profound effect on shaping my perspective and thought processes for many years. I've read it several times since and each time I find something different to carry with me.

Also, in the eighth grade, I read Watership Down by Richard Adams. I remember having a strong emotional reaction to that book, as well, but I cannot recall exactly why.

Florence King's Southern Ladies and Gentlemen is probably my favorite book. It's irreverent and funny, funny, funny. With King's "guidance" I've learned to accept those Southern idiosyncrasies and appreciate them for what they really are.

My brain must not be functioning that well this evening because I cannot for the life of me think of another book. I have not read The Bible from cover to cover so listing that would certainly be disingenuous of me. So, only four it shall be.

5. TAG, you are it!

While I am instructed to tag five others, I believe my "tagging" days are over. If anyone would like to take it and run with it, please feel free to do so.

Posted by Christina at 11:41 PM | Comments (7)

Bad Example Challenge?

Sissy of the Bad Example Family is hosting this week's 25 Word Challenge.

They were quiet; lost in each other’s eyes as she waited in sweet anticipation for what he might say next. He was thinking to himself...

It's already taken an interesting twist.

Be sure to head on over!

Here's the rest of the schedule:

June 25 - Sadie at Fistful of Fortnights

July 2 - Moogie at Moogie's World

July 9 - ME at Feisty Repartee

July 16 – David Spence of Fishtown Chatter

July 23 – Lippy Cat of Wired JAFA

July 30 - Mark at WitNit

August 6 - Kate at KateSpot

August 13 - Tincanman at Tincanman

Posted by Christina at 07:40 PM | Comments (1)

An attempt...

to lighten the mood around here, as well as my own, I've been thinking of mother-in-law stories.

There has to be a reason mothers-in-law are so often the object of ridicule and countless jokes.

My children's paternal grandmother is many things. In addition to being a wildly creative artist with paint, she is a fabulous cook, hostess, and all things Southern.

While a lady, she has had her moments and when fired up is the queen of the one liner.

One evening, her second husband rushed home from work so they could go to a cocktail party, a party she knew he was not keen on attending.

The purveyor of most things bad and particularly untimely, Murphy was in command of the traffic situation on that day and he was late coming home; however, with haste they still had time to make the party.

The mother-in-law was not happy by the husband's tardiness and had already opened a bottle of red wine to calm her nerves prior to his arrival.

When he walked through the front door, she was standing naked at the top of the stairs with empty wine glass in hand.

As she descended those stairs toward him, hapless husband inquired: "Why aren't you dressed yet, honey?" and she responded in scathing fashion: "I would rather eat a cockroach than go anywhere with YOU."

Posted by Christina at 12:53 PM | Comments (4)

At a loss

The news is almost never good when the phone rings in those hours before the break of the day. This morning, the message was death.

Another friend was lost in the night.

Miss Mary was in her seventies. An intelligent, well-read, compassionate, and genteel lady she left this world not in the peaceful guise of slumber, but at the hand of a drunk psychopath holding a pistol.

I have no words of comfort or encouragement for those around me. I know not what to say.

Rest in peace, Miss Mary.

Posted by Christina at 06:30 AM | Comments (17)

June 17, 2005

Take Two, Part II

This week's sketch is wide open to infinite possibilities. It begins with a subway ride. Let's see where it takes us:

A person gets on a subway then nods off only to waken just before the appointed stop. When this person exits the station, the surroundings are completely unrecognizable. Individual then realizes he/she had not seen another human since getting on the train.
First stop is New Zealand with everyone's favorite Tincanman. With his 1000 words he has woven quite a poignant tale.

The masterful Velociman has proven yet again there is no task he cannot tame or bend to his will. His story speaks to men on a very different level. Damn.

Next stop is Sunshine! This tale is provided by none other than the delightful Margi Lowry. She hits it home to me with this one. Additionally, that would Margi with the fantastic news.

The Darling Blog Daugher Amelie has certainly outdone herself. She takes a walk on the psyche side with her story of love...lost. It's dark, but well done. I'm so proud of her!

Sistah Sadie churns the deep well that is her mind and imagination. She has caused me to think this morning. I leave you with a quote from her story: "Not many could endure the truth, even in other worlds."

Lady Silk does not disappoint. She captures a moment which I think each of us will one day face. She has captured it very well.

Take a bow folks, you have earned it, right along with my gratitude.


Bloggers are very much individuals, proud individuals with their own thoughts and words, as well as their own forum for displaying their talent and uniqueness.

While there are critics and naysayers wherever one goes in this life, I certainly appreciate the spirit in which each of these writers has so willingly participated in these fiction projects.

Call me naive, but I believe each of us, particularly those who participate, enjoys the written word and the expression of thought and feeling that can be evoked when those words are crafted well.

To my critic, this weblog is a hobby, not my life. I do this to express myself and for the interaction with my readers and fellow bloggers, many of whom have become real friends.

If you cannot see that, Rob, I pity you.

Posted by Christina at 06:40 AM | Comments (15)

June 16, 2005


This week's Carnival of the Recipes is hosted by the saucy Michele of Meanderings.

Decadently sinful, but oh, so very easy to make! One bowl, one spoon, and a pie shell. What could be easier than that?!


1 c. sugar
1 tsp Amaretto
½ c. flour
1 c. chopped pecans
2 eggs, beaten
1 (6-oz) pkg. mini chocolate chips
1 stick butter, melted
1 unbaked pie shell

Mix sugar and flour. Add eggs, butter, nuts, chocolate chips and Amaretto. Pour into pie shell. Bake for one hour in 350 degree oven. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream

Posted by Christina at 09:13 PM | Comments (1)

Chicken in Wine Sauce

My good friend, the lovely Michele at Meanderings is hosting this week's Carnival of the Recipes.

Here's a simple recipe for chicken with a twist. Enjoy!

Chicken in Wine Sauce

1 whole chicken breast, split, boned, and skinned
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 tsp dry white wine
¼ cup cashews (optional)
salt to taste
1 tsp cornstarch
ground nutmeg
2 TBS melted butter
¼ lb. fresh mushroom, quartered
2 TBS minced onion
Hot cooked rice

Sprinkle chicken with salt and nutmeg; brown each side with butter in a heavy skillet. Add mushrooms, onion, cashews, and 2/3 cup wine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove chicken. Combine cornstarch and 2 tsp wine; mix well and stir into skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Chicken and sauce to be served over hot rice.

Posted by Christina at 09:04 PM | Comments (1)

All in a Name

During lunch the other day, the ladies and I swapped stories from our Southern childhoods.

My children’s paternal grandmother grew up in northeast Louisiana, right along the Mississippi River not far from Vicksburg, Mississippi. Her father was a farmer on some prime delta farm land where the Mississippi once flowed, but had long since abandoned its path.

One of the ladies with whom she grew up also came from a farm family. When her father died, in addition to the land, sheds, and well-patched equipment, she inherited the loyal family work hand, an elderly man known as Bominitious (pronounced just as I attempted to spell it: Bo-mi-ni-tious). Bominitious had been a fixture on this farm since before this lady was born in the mid-to-late 1930’s.

One Friday afternoon, Bominitious came by the main house to collect his week’s wages. The lady apologized to him and told him she had not been able to go by the bank and pick up cash and asked if she could write him a check. Bominitious was a kind and gentle man, he smiled and told her a check would be fine with him.

The lady started to write the check, then stopped and asked him how he spelled his name.

Very slowly, he replied: “R. J. Jackson.”

A bit shocked, the lady wrote out the check as instructed and handed it to him. Before he could turn to leave, she asked him: “If your name is R. J. Jackson, why have we always called you Bominitious?”

He smiled and explained: “I was fifteen when I first came around here asking your daddy for work. Your daddy asked me right off what I go by. I told him I go by my initials.”

Posted by Christina at 12:28 PM | Comments (6)

Ring, Ring! Ring, Ring!

Do you hear that?

It's NOLA calling!

New Orleans blogmeet is the weekend of July 22, 2005.

A block of rooms have been reserved in my name; however, Wednesday, June 22, 2005 is the last day on which to reserve with special rates. After that, you are on your own.

Reminder, if you do reserve a room with your credit card, you have until 72 hours before to cancel without penalty, if something comes up.

For more information, feel free to drop me an email or my partner in crime, Sam over at The Brier Patch!

See y'all there!

Posted by Christina at 08:00 AM | Comments (3)

June 14, 2005

Shoulda been a commercial

Wee One is one of three little girls in her gymnastics class. At four, she is the oldest and the tallest.

The smallest child is not quite four. She has cherubically chubby cheeks and a riot of tight brown curls on her head. She's adorable and completely without fear. Hailey is her name.

Wee One's favorite activities are flipping herself over the bars and bouncing around the trampoline.

The balance beam is Hailey's joy. She scampers across it forwards, backwards, and sideways at break neck speed.

Yesterday, Wee One was in front of Hailey on the balance beam. She made her way half-way across the beam, then stopped to give a regal wave accompanied by a sweet smile and: "I love you, Mommy!"

Not to be outdone, Hailey ran half-across the beam, stopped abruptly and screamed: "Yo, Mom. Can we go to McDonald's after this?!"

Posted by Christina at 07:58 PM | Comments (11)

Is that skin you are wearing?

This week's daringly demystifying diva topic is particularly timely with the long days of summer upon us.

What is appropriate swim wear?

Well, unless you are a man swimming with little inquisitive fishies in open water which like to nip at certain unmentionables, irrespective of how small or benign appearing, I do not believe a swimsuit is actually necessary to swim; however, if one is lounging, sun-bathing or otherwise wandering about a body of water, some form of cover up is required in most circumstances.

I realize some of you out there might actually be between the ages of nineteen and twenty-two and have bodies that look fabulous in whatever you choose to wear or not wear; however, we are all not so fortunate. I will be thirty-eight at the end of the month and acknowledge that my body is infinitely more appealing if certain parts of it are covered, at least in the harsh glare of the noonday sun.

As such, please let me say, thongs and speedos are attractive on a minuscule percentage of the population at large. If you have to ask another living soul: "Does this make my butt or stomach look big?" You are not in that percentile. Thank you.

The girls and I have access to one of THE premier water parks in the world. For years I have insisted their father take them because the thought of parading around all day in a swimsuit with several thousand other humans did not sound much like a glorious activity. Last summer I finally broke down and allowed myself to be dragged through the water park.

What did I find?


Well, for one thing, that place is an absolute blast!

Secondly, while there were nubile young thangs running around with wild abandon, particularly in their choices of swim wear, there were far more staid individuals letting it all bulge out, hang out, and down-right flop for all the world to see.

After the first ten minutes of absolute shock, I spent the rest of the day singing quietly to myself: "I feel pretty, oh, so pretty..."

My advice on swim wear: Be yourself. Wear what makes you comfortable, both aesthetically and physically. There will always be more attractive and less attractive humans wherever you go.

For those naturalists out there, good for you.

As the ladies and dashing gentlemen cohorts in crime chime in, I will update with their thoughts on the matter. The delightful Kate (who had a birthday yesterday) will be guest posting as a Diva-esque lady.

Who knows, we may even see pictures.

Diva-esque Lady Kate takes on some key factors: age, weight, and grooming and even links to some (maybe not work-safe images!)

The Sassy Diva takes on Teensy Weensy Man Thongs? Ummmm, with pictures!

The Foreign Minister of Naked Villainy may well have the quote of the day: "I much prefer what is in the swim wear than the garment itself." And, there's more.

The Fabulous Kathy makes that saying of "Great Minds..." come to mind.

Phin swims by with The Right to Bear Arms...

Soulful Sexy Sadie says it all with Teeny Weenies

Posted by Christina at 06:58 AM | Comments (13)

The Cotillion

cotillion graphic.jpg

This week's hostesses of the Cotillion Ball are Girl on the Right, Darleen's Place, and Denita's Who Tends the Fire.

There is a ton of great stuff these lovely and conservative women have put together!

Many, many thanks, ladies!

Posted by Christina at 06:48 AM | Comments (2)

June 13, 2005

Funny Things

This handsome and devilish man gave me a call last evening. (Yes, ladies, I have met him in person and he is Tall, Dark, and Handsome, just ask Sadie, Key, Kelley or Moogie.)

As usual, he was a delightful conversationalist and the topics covered were wide and far ranging.

One of the subjects addressed was Moms. I shall refrain from divulging his stories regarding his mother, but, as we all know, I have no problem dishin' on mine.

For a brief period in my early married life, the husband and I actually lived in the same town as my parents. I knew my mother was having great difficulty letting go early on.

The husband and I had been married less than two weeks and had just returned from the honeymoon. About 7:30 on a Sunday morning we heard a knock on the front door. When I hastened out of bed to investigate, I found my mother standing at the door with coffee (for the husband) and fresh donuts.

Very shortly thereafter, at the insistence of the husband, I carefully explained to my mother that neither the husband, nor I, were really interested in entertaining anyone before noon, even on the weekends. I also added, we would appreciate her calling before dropping by.

Her feelings were obviously hurt, but it was necessary to establish certain parameters.

A short time later, the husband and I moved into a house on a corner lot with a huge chain-link fenced area in the back. At that time we had an inside dog and a large German Shepherd-type dog in the back yard.

One morning I got up early and was standing at the sliding glass door to the back yard when I saw my mother's Cadillac pull up alongside the back fence. As I watched, the German Shepherd ran over to the fence alongside her car. Then I saw her roll her window down, throw something to the dog to eat, and drive away.

Due to the time, I knew she had obviously been on her way to work. I called her later in the morning and told her what I had witnessed. She explained: "I drive by the front of your house every morning to make sure the lights are on and you are up. Then, I turn down the side street to check on the dog. You know, she's so very lonely back there, so I feed her a little something."

I was astonished. Then I asked: "Just what are you feeding the dog?"

Her response: "Oh, your father loves those little bite size Milky Way bars. I always have those around. Sometimes I give her Butterfingers."

As it was then, it remains still today: inexplicable.

Posted by Christina at 06:37 AM | Comments (12)

Failure to Communicate

"Stamps may stick, but they are NOT stickers!"

Wee One: "But they are pretty and they stick to anything. SEE!"

Yes, she is still breathing.

Why do you ask?

Posted by Christina at 06:26 AM | Comments (3)

June 11, 2005


This weekend I am guest posting over at Soul Sistah Sadie's.

The sexual muse struck a chord with me today and I addressed the issue of Female Orgasms.

I can't quite believe it myself.

Posted by Christina at 08:56 PM | Comments (3)

Get Ready World

My mother was widowed about six months ago. With the death of my father, she has learned for the first time in her life to live alone.

My father was a dominating figure, in stature and presence, as well as personality. Despite the problems in their relationship, Mom has been adrift and horribly depressed since my father died.

Only in the last couple of weeks have I noticed that she has finally begun to get her feet back under her. Last week I said something to make her mad, but instead of taking it quietly, she came back and took me on. I was never more pleased to see her spunk was returning.

A couple nights ago, one of the outbuildings on my Mom's property was broken into and vandalized. Alone, my mother heard the commotion, but was so frightened she did little more than huddle in a corner, too scared to even turn lights on indoors or out. The morning light revealed the damage done and things were stolen.

I was concerned this might "break" her spirit and send her even further down the road to despair and depression. Against my nature, I resisted the urge to jump in, take over, and tell her what I thought she needed to do. I merely kept quiet and waited to see what she would do.

Mom has never liked guns. They have always frightened her.

My father left all his weapons to me and on my last trip home I retrieved the last of the rifles and a shotgun. My mom had already sent a suitcase full of handguns with me on an earlier trip.

Well, a phone call from mom today left me tickled and completely delighted. It appears the little ole' gal is ready to exchange her trademark machete for a pistol. She has signed up for a handgun course with the local sheriff's department.

I could not be more pleased.

I'm trying to decide with what she should be outfitted. My father carried a Browning 9 mm with him for the twenty-something years he was overseas. It is way too much firepower for her. Ditto with the .357 mag. We won't discuss the .45.

My .22 mag Derringer is really loud and extremely difficult to hang onto once discharged. It's also not the most accurate weapon with which to learn. I also have a .22 six shooter that is easy to load and operate. It has a rather long barrel for a pistol and just may fit the bill.

I'm seriously considering sending Sweet One to Louisiana for a week or so to avail herself of the same training.

I know a lot of you guys out there have a lot more experience with this stuff. Any suggestions?

Posted by Christina at 07:48 PM | Comments (27)

25 Word Challenge

Stacy at House of Snark is hosting this week's challenge!

She has a very interesting take set up:

Tom and Katie sat down in the green room after their appearance on Oprah. "Do you think they bought it?" Tom asked. "Was I convincing?"

Very creative. Head on over there!

Our line up continues:

June 18 - Sissy at And What Next
June 25 - Sadie at Fistful of Fortnights
July 2 - Moogie at Moogie's World
July 9 - Me at Feisty Repartee
July 16 - David at Fishtown Chatter
July 23 - Lippy of Wired JAFA
July 30 - Mark at WitNit
August 6 - Kate of KateSpot
August 13 - Tincanman of The Tincanman

If anyone would like to host, please let me know!

Posted by Christina at 08:13 AM | Comments (1)

June 10, 2005

Take Two...

Is off and Running!!

Remember, this is the sketch they were all given to start with:

Group of kids are playing a pick up game. The ball flies over the fence into the forbidden lands. The smallest child is "elected" to squeeze through a couple of loose boards in the fence. With apprehension, the child goes to retrieve the ball.

First up to post/bat is the cool Average Tobacco Chewing Joe at Cadillac Tight. He came in at exactly 1000 words (there should be a prize for that) and tells a very descriptive story with a definite curve ball ending.

Guy S. over at Snugg Harbor has a interesting take on our ball players. He did a fine job of developing the relationship between the characters and sent "Tadpole" on a little journey that left me with goosebumps!

Dash at The Boiling Point told me when I approached him he was not much of a writer and that he has never even attempted to write fiction before. I think he's wrong. He is quite the story teller. His little hero, Jake is another one who packs a lot of courage in a small frame.

I love them all!

That 1 Guy over at Drunken Wisdom has told me he will be posting tonight. He and his "editor" may be having "creative conflicts." I never pictured him to be such a diva! (big smile and I am merely poking fun at him)


Alrighty then, That 1 Guy has his story up and it comes at the starting sketch at a one hundred and eighty degree angle. It's chilling.

One more to go!

I have faith that my suave Greek friend Dystropoppygus will be posting soon and will update as soon as he does.


We are now complete for the week. Konstantin of Dystropoppygus gives us something completely different and totally unexpected. His perspective on a "pickup" game is based on his own experiences in his native Greece. His powers of description are nothing short of remarkable.

These gentlemen have done a fabulous job. I could not be more pleased.

What an excellent beginning to this exciting project.

My heartfelt thanks to each of you!

Please stay tuned, next week brings a new line up and even more adventure.

Posted by Christina at 06:41 AM | Comments (10)

June 09, 2005


I am NOT one of these individuals who changes vehicles at the drop of a hat.

My ride is a 2000 Tahoe I adore, but it has 145,000 miles on it.

I was content to keep it until it reached 200,000 miles.

However, the damn CD player is acting up.

I do have my priorities, ya know.

Posted by Christina at 06:20 PM | Comments (13)

What can I say?

The girls and I had supper at a little Mexican restaurant close to home last night. The waitress was brunette and had great difficulty taking our order.

After I repeated it for the fifth time, she finally got it and walked from the table.

Rather than get mad, I just rolled my eyes a bit at Sweet One and smiled because she (the waitress) was a very nice young woman.

Sweet One laughed and said: "Mommy, she's not even blonde."

Whereupon Wee One chimed in: "I'm blonde, I'm four, and I got it!"

What can I say? My children are monsters.

Posted by Christina at 06:17 PM | Comments (3)

Uneasy Topics

The other day Key over at Key Issues discussed taking her nine-year old to see the new Star Wars film that is rated PG-13. In her own words:

This is my public service announcement to anyone else who wonders about the rating...

No worries, tis fine. There is a birth scene, but no copulating. Lots of people die, but no blood and guts (although Vader did get really yucked up, as expected).

I'm giving the okay for kiddies eight and up. (Of course, if you have a five year old boy who likes to set frogs on fire, I'm betting he can get through it without any major nightmares.)

In the comments, Jack of Random Fate said:

I think it depends on the criteria. Why is sex so bad for a child to see but seeing a man lose three limbs and then catch on fire OK?

Personally, I'd rather have any children of mine see two people being affectionate, loving, and yes, having sex than people hurting, maiming, and killing each other.

What lessons do you think seeing each situation teaches?

But that's me....

Jack said what I have long felt about a very sensitive issue.

At the risk of applying labels, I am typically very conservative on most issues; however, I also consider myself a practical human being.

When Sweet One was seven, almost eight, I was pregnant with Wee One and had to address her questions regarding: “Where do babies come from?”

To be perfectly honest, I had literally no clue how to address those questions because I was unsure how much information I should reveal.

The very anal book-loving girl I am, I headed straight to a book store and found age appropriate material for her. There was one book in particular that gave a cursory overview of the differences in anatomy between men and women and discussed how a connection was required for the male sperm to become ONE with the female egg.

I bought that book and the next time Sweet One brought up THE question, I snagged it and showed it to her. I then gave her an opportunity to read it on her own and we eventually sat down and went through it together. She was completely without embarrassment or self-consciousness while I was a bundle of nerves. After all, I was thirty-three at the time and MY mother had never discussed any of that with me.

She seemed to understand the differences between men and women and bought into the sperm-egg deal, she only had one question: Just how did the sperm get to the egg?

Scrambling for an appropriate answer, I asked her: “Well, what did the book say?”

Sweet One flipped to the appropriate page and showed me the sentence which explained when men and women got close the sperm passed from the male to the female.

Taking the coward’s way out, I pointed to the book and told her: “Well, there you have it. It’s when mommies and daddies get CLOSE.”

I just could not bring myself to divulge additional details for fear she would go to school and “educate” her classmates which, in turn, might bring Child Protective Services to my door.

Four years have passed since then and as Sweet One has grown and matured, I have become more relaxed about the subject.

I believe my children need me to be their mother, not their best friend. As a result, I want them to be comfortable, know, and believe they can ask me anything and I will give them the information they require to make the best decisions for them. If I do not well know a topic, I will help them research it.

The last two months of this past school year Sweet One was required to take a class on sex education. Further, I was required to actively participate in her homework with her and discuss each and every thing covered in the class. While I have become more comfortable with the topic, she is much less at ease at twelve, than she was at eight. This is understandable.

When I say we have covered everything regarding this topic, I mean to say, we have covered everything. Rather than take to my soap box and preach of hellfire and brimstone should she engage in pre-marital sex, I laid things out as practically as I could. I tried to explain what role hormones play in how young women typically associate the warm fuzzies of “love” with sexual intercourse while for young men it is usually “just physical.”

We talked of pregnancy and I gave her my thoughts on abortion. I told her when she was older and at eighteen or nineteen decided she wanted to have sex, while I may not approve or be very happy about it, I would ensure she had what she needed to protect herself from possible pregnancy, as well as the host of STDs out there.

These are NOT conversations I thought I would ever have with a twelve year old, particularly MY twelve year old daughter. However, for her sake, I thought it was necessary.

Sex is natural and we are all sexual creatures.

One of the biggest things I can do for her is to give her the information she needs so in the years to come she can make the best decisions for herself. I also want her to feel good about herself and (in the FUTURE) her sexuality.

Should her father see this, he is soooo going to kill me.

Posted by Christina at 11:12 AM | Comments (15)

Zabaglione – Italian Dessert Pudding

News from the Great Beyond is hosting this week's Carnival of the Recipes.

The romantic in me dictates this is the kind of dessert I would prefer to literally feed to the man who makes my heart flutter, one decadent mouthful at a time; however, it is a really easy and fabulously wonderful end to most any meal.

Zabaglione – Italian Dessert Pudding

6 eggs yolks
6 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons Amaretto
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup whipping cream
Fresh strawberries
Dark chocolate, shaved

Combine egg yolks with sugar in top of double boiler and beat with a wire whisk until frothy. Add Amaretto and grated orange peel.

Place over gently boiling water and beat continuously until smooth.

Remove from heat, still in boiler top, over ice cubes in bowl to cool.

Then whip cream and fold into cool custard with a rubber spatula.

Pour into individual serving cups and chill.

To garnish, drop a couple fresh strawberries into each cup and sprinkle with shaved chocolate.

Posted by Christina at 06:58 AM | Comments (1)

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Trout

This week's Carnival of the Recipes is being hosted by News from the Great Beyond.

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Trout

3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, separated
2 TBS melted butter
2 TBS lemon juice
6 oz. crab meat
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion salt
Lemon pepper to taste
2 scallions, chopped fine
salt and pepper
4 trout, dressed (about 1/2 pound each)
8 bacon slices

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Season the cavity of each trout with salt and pepper.

Mix remaining ingredients except egg white and bacon. Beat egg white stiff but not dry. Fold into stuffing.

Stuff each trout with the bread mixture, dividing it evenly among the
fish. If necessary, secure the openings with wooden toothpicks.

Wrap 2 bacon slices around each stuffed trout. Arrange in a baking
dish, in one layer.

Bake until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and the bacon
is crisp, 35-40 minutes.

Posted by Christina at 06:43 AM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2005

Something New

The dog days of summer are approaching, unless you live where I do, then they are already here!

Summer is typically the time most people are out and about, taking vacations, and enjoying themselves away from the computer. Thus, a commitment for writers and readers alike may be too much to expect over the course of several weeks.

With that in mind, I thought the next big serial fiction project (Blog Noir Sequel) could wait until after Labor Day; however, I've become somewhat addicted to fiction on Fridays and have asked a number of wildly creative and talented bloggers to participate in a new experiment.

This one is called Take Two.

The concept is simple. A brief scenario or sketch is presented, then interpreted by each of the writers who, in turn, write a short story based on the sketch that is not to exceed 1,000 words.

At first blush a thousand words might seem a daunting task, but I think most will find it somewhat challenging to tell a story, his or her story, well within that thousand words. A thousand words typically takes up two typed pages.

On Fridays, I will showcase a blurb from each of the writers with links directly to their stories.

I anticipate it will be incredible to read how very different each of the storylines will unfold. I'm very excited about this project and hope you are, too.

Here are the scenarios and line ups for Friday, June 10 and Friday June 17.

Group I - June 10th

Group of kids are playing a pick up game. The ball flies over the fence into the forbidden lands. The smallest child is "elected" to squeeze through a couple of loose boards in the fence. With apprehension, the child goes to retrieve the ball.

1. Konstantin - Dystropoppygus
2. That 1 Guy - Drunken Wisdom
3. Guy S. - Snugg Harbor
4. Joe - Cadillac Tight
5. Dash - The Boiling Point*

Group II - June 17th

A person gets on a subway then nods off only to waken just before the appointed stop. When this person exits the station, the surroundings are completely unrecognizable. Individual then realizes he/she had not seen another human since getting on the train.

6. Silk - Just Breathe
7. Margi - Margi Lowry
8. Amelie - for a breath i tarry
9. Tincanman - The Tincanman
10. Velociman - Velociworld
10A. Sadie -Fistful of Fortnights*

See you on Friday!

If ANYONE would like to paricipate, please let me know!!

*Slight change in schedule to accommodate the writers.

Posted by Christina at 11:10 AM | Comments (1)

June 07, 2005

Mrs. Robinson

Who doesn't remember Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate: "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?"

Anne Bancroft died yesterday of uterine cancer. She was seventy-three.

While she had a varied and distinguished career, she will be remembered most for her portrayal of Mrs. Robinson.

She viewed the character as having unfulfilled dreams and having been relegated to a conventional life with a conventional husband. She added: "Film critics said I gave a voice to the fear we all have: that we'll reach a certain point in our lives, look around and realize that all the things we said we'd do and become will never come to be -- and that we're ordinary."

Anne Bancroft: September 17, 1931 - June 6, 2005.

Cross-posted at Ranten Raven.

Posted by Christina at 08:22 PM | Comments (6)


Sweet One is eight years older than Wee One.

A myriad of things arise from this discrepancy in age.

Two of the most pronounced are the responsibilities Sweet One "naturally" undertakes as an older child and my seemingly laid-back approach to parenting, particularly when compared to my behavior the first time around.

While still very anal and overprotective of both my girls, I notice I have mellowed (God, I hate that word) and do not take the small things quite as seriously as I once did. With Wee One, I am more likely to let her test her wings and learn those life lessons without interference from me.

With Sweet One I hovered constantly and did everything I possibly could to protect her from everything. Both girls have benefitted from this bit more relaxed approach.

As to Sweet One assuming some responsibility for her much younger sister, I am aware she is still a child in her own right, but a certain amount of "caring" for others is good for her. Likewise, too much responsibility may threaten to rob her of her childhood.

Ever aware of that balance, I try to temper my requests of Sweet One in relation to the four-year-old.

Yesterday, Sweet One and I sat on the mezzanine over-looking the gym floor while Wee One was in her gymnastic class. Wee One was infectiously cute as she jumped on the trampoline, bopped along the balance beam, and tumbled from one end of the huge mat to the other. She was also cognizant of our location and frequently looked over with a wave to ensure we were watching.

In those moments I was unexpectedly overwhelmed with love for both my children. Sweet One watched her sister with pride and delight. She took great pleasure in the little one's antics and accomplishments.

The sheer adoration on her face for Wee One is not something I hope to ever forget, regardless of what days I have left on this earth.

No matter what challenges face me, I am truly blessed.

Posted by Christina at 01:02 PM | Comments (12)

Fan those Flames

This day's topic is a consideration of whether the old flame of a friend is forever off limits.

I do believe the operative term in this scenario is old.

Current flames of our friends are definitely taboo!

The easy answer is to adopt the cavalier attitude that there are plenty of other fish in the sea and put the former loves of friends into the taboo category; however, as fleeting as love may sometimes be, I say embrace it almost anywhere you find it.

While awkward, if you are genuinely attracted and interested in your friend's former love and the feelings are mutual, then move slowly. Be well advised this situation has the potential for misunderstanding, insecurity, and hurt feelings for all parties involved: you, the love interest, and the friend.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding their breakup, as well as your relationship with the friend, it is possible to remain friends while also exploring and cultivating the couple thing. Success is probably the exception, rather than the rule.

A key to this success is the relative maturity of all parties involved. Tact will be required and all comparisons need be kept tightly under wraps.

When I was in law school, men far out-numbered women. One of the women in my class "dated" quite a bit. There was one man she was particularly enamored of and after they dated briefly, he dumped her. Shortly thereafter, one of the other women began going out with him.

While the first woman was rather bitter over the dumping, I sat in awe late one evening as she regaled a few of us with a particularly intense romantic moment she had had with this guy. It was definitely the stuff dime store romance novels are known for and thoughts of what she described caused a general swooning among those of us listening.

I remember thinking at the time: "Why is she doing and saying this?"

It became clear days later when the guy's second girlfriend caught wind of his "escapades" with the first girlfriend. Apparently, she had been left wondering why he had no thought so much of her to engage in similar acts. Second girlfriend dumped the poor guy not long thereafter.

For further intrigue and enlightenment, please see the Disarming Diva, Snarky Diva, Sassy Diva, and Guest Diva-esque Lady Kelley, as well as the Wizard, Puffy, Phin, and Smallholder of Naked Villainy.

Posted by Christina at 12:14 PM | Comments (3)

The Cotillion

cotillion graphic.jpg

This week's hostesses of the Cotillion Ball are An American Housewife, Merri Musings, and The American Princess.

For those uninitiated, the Cotillion is a celebration of the diverse voice that is the conservative woman. Not just one person can speak for us, and no one person should have that obligation. There are so many of us here and willing to share our thoughts and our ideas that it seems a shame that woman in the blogosphere have been outshined by the men. ~Jody

Posted by Christina at 06:40 AM | Comments (8)

June 06, 2005

Oh, Man

This has been kind of a good news, bad news kind of day.

The good news: Wee One had a blast at her first gymnastics class.

It was a joy to see her bouncing around on the trampoline, bebopping her way across the balance beam, and tumbling here and tumbling there.

The bad news: The pro from the tennis camp where Sweet One is suppose to be next week just called. He suggested Sweet One change weeks for camp, if possible.

After I explained we were pretty much booked for the summer and this was the only week she could attend, I asked why.

He told me and my heart initially sank.

Those registered for next week's camp are all boys between the ages of twelve and fifteen. Not one girl other than Sweet One is scheduled to attend.

She was mortified when I told her.

Then, I got the giggles.

My baby can hang.

I've taught her well.

She immediately got her feet under her and told me: "I can't lose. If they beat me, I'm just a girl. There's no glory in that. If I beat them, I AM a winner."


(I have no doubt some of the gentlemen out there are cringing, but that's the brakes, guys...)

Posted by Christina at 09:13 PM | Comments (7)

Memories Meme

WonderWoman she is, she done popped me again!

Five Things I Miss From Childhood

1. Skinny Dipping when I could not care less what I looked like naked.

2. Riding bareback on my paint mare with my dog running by my side.

3. Homemade Ice Cream.

4. Afternoons spent fishing on hot summer afternoons.

5. Actually believing there was nothing in this world I could not do.

The rules:

Remove the #1 item from the following list, bump everyone up one place and add your blog's name in the #5 spot. You need to link to actually link to each of the blogs for the link-whorage aspect of this fiendish meme to kick in.

No Government Cheese
Villainous Company
Pirate's Cove
Fistful Of Fortnights
Feisty Repartee

The next four on the list are: Pammy, Kate, Ruth, and Moogie

Posted by Christina at 07:33 PM | Comments (0)

Rubens Calling

Junebugg and Pammy are onto something I've been asking about for years.

I have always heard men preferred voluptuous Rubens-esque type women; however, American culture seems to inundate us with these images of wispy women with often boy-like figures.

Well, which is it?

Both Junebugg and Pammy have images and further discussions on their sites. Check them out, then let me know what YOU think.

Posted by Christina at 11:02 AM | Comments (7)

June 05, 2005

Pick YOUR Feisty

Sophisticated and Savvy Sadie has been busy behind the scenes working her magic.

Please note the "Choose A Feisty Look" button to the top of the left hand column. There are now three selections: Feisty Classic, Feisty Sketch, and Feisty Elegance.

Take your pick and feel free to set it as your default.

Kudos and many thanks to the lovely and talented Sadie!

Posted by Christina at 09:14 PM | Comments (11)

Hanging out with the Beasties

All manner of creature reside at the House of Feisty.

The other night there was a wild thunderstorm which graced us and this little monster came out for a droplet to drink:


For perspective, the dimensions of that brick are 2 1/2 x 9 inches. The picture is a bit hazy because Mr. Tarantula was up on the soffit and I've heard tell they jump. Suffice it to say, I kept my distance because if he had jumped on me, I would have died.

Below is a picture of the gentle giant of a Golden Retriever Skeet. He's a good boy. He allows both the pesky Cairn Terrier Riley and Voodoo the cat to torment him. Good Boy, Skeet!

As you can see in the far right of this picture, Voodoo is making his approach.
Under attack.jpg

This is the miscreant Riley, a Cairn Terrier.

Riley 1.jpg

Here's Riley again. If you look closely at the edge of the cabinet, Voodoo is about to attack.

Attack 2.jpg

Unfortunately, the beasties were far too fast for me and the camera and I was unable to capture either of the ensuing melees.

After he vanquished both dogs, here's what Voodoo thought of the whole thing.


Posted by Christina at 07:02 PM | Comments (12)


The House of Feisty is three sodas short of becoming a Diet Coke Free Zone.

Let me tell you, that totally sucks.

However, that little gem is merely the cherry (as someone I adore once told me) on a shit sundae as far as some things in life are going at the moment.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have had more than my fair share of blessings and I am grateful for each and every one.

So, for various reasons, mostly migraine-related, the following is the short list of items now (some have been for a while) verboten in the House of Feisty, at least as far as my personal consumption is concerned:

Alcohol – including wine

A quick review of that list has me wondering, just where the heck are my vices?

I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I can’t eat chocolate, and now I can’t even have my beloved Diet Coke. That winnows the list of acceptable vices down considerably.

Ever compulsive regarding my lists, please observe my new obsessions:

Tea. Some time ago this lovely lady wrote about beautiful tea pots that really turned me on.

Thus, say hello to one of my latest acquisitions.

Anything worth doing, is certainly worth doing well. Besides, brewing tea in that baby is so much more refined than popping a top on a soda can.

I’ve done it before, I can live again sans the Diet Coke.

Yoga. There are those intelligent and beautiful women out there who have suggested life’s little stressors could better be tamed with yoga.

Well, I'm all about taming, at least taming anything and everything except me. But, I fear, my time is coming.

I’ve done yoga before, several years ago. I enjoyed the stretching, but really never got into the zen-like freeing of the mind bits that were required. The competitive human (I was and am) was more interested in pushing my body to “perfect” the poses.

Yes, I know, I missed the boat on that one.

There's hope though. Assuming I can regain that almost double-jointed flexibility I had not too long ago, the exertion may prove beneficial in one of those unmentionable vices that is also quite stress-relieving.

Wee One is scheduled to begin gymnastics on Monday. I see an opportunity to study yoga again and I’m dragging Sweet One along with me to ensure I receive equal doses of humility and humiliation.

Oh, joy! I can hardly wait.

Seriously, I can wait.

My good friend Jack said the other day that I am not a cynic. He is right. I am not a cynic.

There may be a lot of lemons hanging around my house. In addition to lemonade, I plan on using them in my tea.

Feel free to stop by and join me, there's enough sugar and honey to go around to sweeten both, my friends. Just stop on by. I love the company.

Posted by Christina at 12:14 PM | Comments (8)

Good Stuff

While I love men, I am a proponent and admirer of smart, articulate women.

Via the Cotillion, I have been fortunate to discover a host of new great women writers.

Kate over at Small Dead Animals the Roadkill Diaries is one.

She's one Canadian with lots of interesting things to say.

Posted by Christina at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2005

Blog Western Chapter Seven

And then there were Seven.

This project began as an idea.

The thought was to create a western with a couple of twists: include a romance of sorts and each of the seven deadly sins.

A request was made of my friends in the blog world to give this idea life. The good people they are, they did not fail me.

They jumped onboard with enthusiasm and excitement.

Thank God.

For those who have not personally undertaken such a task, let me assure you, it is both challenging and exciting.

With a certain amount of anxiety and apprehension, as well as a great deal of talent and creativity, each one of these fine writers came together to give us the pleasure of the Blog Western:

Dax's Chapter One
Moogie's Chapter Two
Mark's Chapter Three
Kelley's Chapter Four
Eric's Chapter Five
Pammy's Chapter Six

Velociman's final and seventh chapter is UP!

As I told him in a comment:

"I am in awe.

There is such a thing as greatness. I believe you just achieved it.

A stunning and fitting end to a spectacular endeavor by all.

I am in your debt."

Thank you ALL!

Posted by Christina at 08:19 PM | Comments (9)

June 02, 2005

Growing Pains

Sweet One is twelve.

She’s a beautiful and sweet girl who is very much a young lady.

She’s five feet six inches tall now and weighs 110 pounds. I’m five feet six inches tall and weigh more than 110 pounds.

She’s been invited to an end of the year pool party this evening from 6:00 to 9:00.

In her new bikini she looks all of nineteen.

Damn, I am feeling old.

There will be NO boys at the pool party tonight, just her girlfriends from school.

Phone calls have revealed no less than four adult parents will be in attendance throughout the entire evening.

Damn. I am really feeling old.

Posted by Christina at 12:25 PM | Comments (17)

June 01, 2005

Wide Open!

With my blessings, Yabu of Bad Bad Juju has pulled the trigger early on the 25 Word Challenge.

He's taking a walk on the dark side.

Here's what he has to say:

The Voodoo Priest was in a trance. He sensed danger, and not surprisingly; Danger stepped out of the shadows. Her parents had named her appropriately.

Head on over and see how creative you can be in adding to this storyline.

Posted by Christina at 07:42 PM | Comments (0)


Christina is taking a much-needed break at the moment and asked me to write a little something to fill in for her. I must confess, though, that it is a daunting task to fill in for someone, a friend and colleague, who is larger than life and as wonderful as life itself, and who is also quick witted and humorous. But, seeing her hobble in to work Saturday from the "beneficial" effects of massage led me to wonder about resilient ideas about the self, resistance to admitting of an experience that promises to challenge those defenses, and submission, and I don't mean submissiveness.

I had never rock climbed. I grew up under the shadow of one of the premier rock climbing regions in the U.S. - the Shawangunk Mountains in the Hudson Valley in New York, about 75 or so miles north of NYC. Not only did the rock climbers spidering their way up the cliff faces look like they were an impossibility, I never SAW myself rock climbing. Never imagined it. Couldn't picture it. Ipso facto, it would never happen, even on a camping trip decades ago at Seneca Rocks in West Virginia, well known then for rock climbing.

January 2005, San Antonio, Texas, and a meeting with an ex-Ranger and avid rock climber. My husband, Edward, decided that after all these years, he would try to tackle rock. Off he went to Enchanted Rock, a notable geologic formation, an orange/red granite bald-pated dome, and a mecca for rock climbers. Edward was hooked and our house quickly became festooned with carabiners, rope, climbing shoes, harness, rappel device, slings, runners, nuts, chocks, cams, quick draws, chalk bag, hexes, and tricams. Books on knot tying, magazines, and articles on extreme (read: insane) climbs litter every room.

Then in April I found myself nuzzling rock.

A good friend was visiting us from Japan. She had heard of Enchanted Rock, referred to by the cognoscenti as E-Rock, and wanted to see it, wanted to try climbing. So off we three went along with a bag of goodies containing three pairs of climbing shoes and a chalk bag on the absurd notion that I would meet up with rock. After hiking to the top of the dome, around the base, and up an exposed portion of cliff face that plunked me into the “scary zone” of acrophobia, Edward led us to the Dairy Farm, a group of boulders used for, appropriately enough, bouldering, which I was to learn, is climbing with just shoes, chalk, crash pads, and spotters on rock that usually no more than 30 feet high.

To be honest, even though we had talked of bouldering, I had agreed just to please my friend who had traveled several thousands of miles to visit. I didn't really think I would actually try it.

The time had arrived. I faced the rock. I listened to instructions. I reached out. I put a toe on a tiny nubbin that protruded from the boulder. I hauled my frame up. My hand inspected the boulder for another and higher nubbin. My foot waggled about in search of what might pass as a foothold. I repeated this action several times and, mirabile dictu, I had reached the top. The impossible had happened. I made the return trip down. Then, on to another boulder face with a different set of challenges, a layback, particularly counterintuitive since I was supposed to push away from the face with my legs while gripping the rock lip. Then onto a third. The nubbins here were negligible and the face was almost smooth. After a failed attempt and a whine of “I'm too tired,” we took off our shoes and prepared to leave. But, suddenly we realized the experience had not been memorialized. Back on came the hiking shoes, the camera was fished out of a knapsack, and we all agreed to “pose” as climbers.

I was first. I faced the boulder and posed. Then, quite without plan or intent, I found myself reaching, searching, hitching up the boulder. Another hand and foothold found but I was foxed by the paucity of holds. Edward then chaulked likely grab areas, I followed those, I “stuck” to the wall, and made it almost to the top. I came down.

I was exhilarated. I was amazed. I was pleased. I was exhausted. I was proud. It was tremendous. What had happened? The obvious is that I did something that I had loudly professed over the years simply would not happen, tried, and succeeded. The less obvious is the rock, warm and aromatic in the hot sun. On that boulder there was only the boulder. Full throttle attention to the texture and line of the rock. Full focus on locating a likely grab or foothold. No thought at all. Just feeling the rock, its curves, its jutting edges, and my legs and arms moving in conformity to its contours. I had to trust the boulder, trust my body, trust that Edward would catch me. The boulder demanded full and unreserved commitment and submission, an utter “nowness.”

I had finally experienced that hackneyed-into-risibility phrase, a Zen moment. I had studied Zen, practiced on and off in a temple in Japan for several years, but had before only glimpsed the sensation of entering that proverbial space.

As we were preparing to leave, we saw a large, green lizard scampering effortlessly across the very face I had inched up on. Added to the Zen moment was a deep sense of humility.

Humility, however, will soon be joined by humiliation once those photographs are developed, revealing embarrassing shots of a derriere wide enough to nearly fill the frame. Sigh.

Posted by Cynthia at 10:54 AM | Comments (9)