...i am a princess on the way to my throne...


Me and My Big Mouth 

It seems I have a case of 'foot-in-mouth' syndrome. I hope I can find the cure, and soon!

To make a very long post short: no, I don't think the sender of the e-mail is any of the wonderful British BBers whom I know and love. Please, no one think that! I'm not going to go any further into my previous comments, because it would just further dig a well that I would have to spend the next two entries explaining and re-explaining. Cat has had a recent bought of animosity from someone who is indeed British, and that was where my comment came from. That's all. I was wrong to even imply anything, because now I've got people upset. My attempt at teasing cheekiness has taken a huge nose dive into the Atlantic and my tongue-in-cheek career has died before it even began. No, I don't know who sent the letter and no, I shouldn't have speculated. For all I know, it's some dumb American taking advantage of a strained relashionship between Cat and someone else. With that, I apologize for any confusion and close my big fat mouth on the subject.

Consider me appropriately humbled.

Sigh. I'm tired. I was going to post about the Board Wars I see in the near future, but I'm just too weary to bother. I swore I was going to limit my board intake, but like a collapsing star I felt myself being sucked into a blackened vortex that I had no power to run from. You know the scenario: "okay, so what if it's midnight, just one more thread!" Gag me with a spoon. If I can't excercise a little self control on my time then I am indeed dead meat.

Thank goodness it's weight training day. I need to work off some of this stress and pray for people, myself included. The good Lord knows we need it.


Editor's Disclaimer 

Just a quick note before I'm off and going:

I re-read yesterday's entry, and I can see how it could have been mistrued I was referring to the Bard in regards to Cat's hate mail. While I do think the guy is extremely eccentric, I don't think for a moment that he would waste his time sending hate mail to someone he doesn't even know, albeit hate mail filled with run on sentences and abysmal spelling. My apologies to any misunderstandings!:)

I have my own opinion on the anonymous sender, but seeing as it is just that - an opinion - I'll keep it to myself. After all, I could be wrong.:)

Until later...


The Twilight Zone Meets Shakespeare 

Okay, yesterday was weird. By the end of the day, I just stared blanky into space and asked myself, "Was I just catapulted into the twilight zone, or am I still on this plane of reality?"

I'm still not sure where I reside, but wherever it is at least my stitching is with me. Hey, I can be content anywhere as long as I'm surrounded by a rainbow of fabric and a healthy dose of Kreinkis.

I won't completely rehash what transpired on the bulletin boards yesterday, for you really had to be there to appreciate the surrealness. In one corner we had The Bard, a self-proclaimed purveyour of words and his wife, Indian Princess (by the way, Shakespeare's nickname per sae was 'the Bard', and he was also a purveyour of words. Coincidence?). While a little different in demeanour than your average stitcher, I didn't find them particularily offensive: a tad odd, but not offensive. Of course, nosy woman that I am, I *had* to go take a peak at their own board, and it seems 'The Bard' had a thread regarding the "invasion" of a "stitching board". I admit, I just had to smile. He and his wife remind me of some of my old friends from my theater days. Of course, I doubt very seriously I would be welcomed at such a place, for I am a Bush supporter and waaaaaaaaaaay too conservative for these colorful, 'legalize-it-hemp-is-your-friend' characters. My bong days are long gone, thank you very much.:)

Now, in the other corner we had Cat and her "love letter", a hate mail she recieved during the course of the day. She doesn't know who sent it, but she has a supsicion. I wanted to ask if perhaps it had a British accent, but that would have been a little too cheeky, not to mention it could cast suspicion on an innocent party. Of course, what I did ask was probably no less secretive, but that was the mood I was in at the time. So sue me. We all have punchy days, and after all the bannings of 'The Bard' and his crew (not all of them belonged to him, but they all surfaced around the same time), the cross posts, the stitchers miagrating into Bard territory, and then the hate mail, my head was simply spinning. And just think; two days ago I said I was taking a break from the boards, and here I was with multiple browsers open, watching posts fly back and forth like maniacle ping-pong balls.

I'm pathetic. But at least I'm an entertained pathetic.

I did manage, however, through all the drama to get a rotation set up and (hopefully) I can implement it tonight.

Behold la rotation:
Woodland Fairy without the wings (Mirabilia)
Arthur and Guinevere (Vermillion Stitchery)
Royal Holiday (Mirabilia)
Gaelic Banner (Dracolair)
Scent of Old Roses (Mirabilia)
Carousel Fall Horse (Teresa Wentzler)
Le Nouveau Sampler (Mirabilia)
Watergarden (Chatelaine)
The Kiss (Mirabilia)
Lady of Shalott (Teresa Wentlzer)

Hmmm, whose Prin's favorite designer? One can only guess.

I'm not going to rotate these every ten hours, for sometimes I fortunate to even get in 15 minutes a day. Instead, I am going to rotate them every ten days. It will make it easier for me to track, and that way I don't have to 'pinch pennies' where my minutes are concerned.

Well, that's it for me today. A rather insipid entry, I agree, but considering my mind feels like a fried egg on a stale piece of toast you kids are doing good to get even this from me. It's been a long week and I'm looking forward to total mind vegetation.

Later gators. See you on Monday!



Can I Have A Little Cheese With My Whine? 

Me yesterday:

"YOWZA, girlfriends, I am da WOMAN!!!!I am AMAZON!!!YEA, no man can touch ME, jack, I am POWERFUL!!!These weights weigh NUTHIN'!!!They are FEATHERS, I tell you, MARSHMALLOWS!!!I am BEAUTIFUL!!!I am BUFF!!!I am going to put bodybuilders to SHAME, I tell you, I am a WEIGHT-TRAINER!!!Whooooooo!!!!Wheeeeeeeee!!!BaybeeeEEEEeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Me today:


Needless to say, my bravado somewhat lessened today once the reality of my weight lifting session was recognized. Ah well, as the irrepressible Whiz once shared with me, 'no pain, no gain'.

Hah. I stick my tongue out in her general direction::b Although she's right, you know: 'no pain, no gain' is a hard truth and I know I'm going to be thankful for this in a year or so. Right now, however, I'll just dream about ice-packs for the legs to soothe screaming muscles.

On another note, I'm not going to be able to go to the Georgia Get Together on Saturday. My pastor is out of town and Robert is preaching for him on Sunday morning, so he needs to have Saturday free to plan and organize. I'm chomping at the bit for another GTG before Christmas, which I believe Cindy has offered to host.
I'm bummed about missing this one, for Val, Cris, Maria and I were supposed to go visit Ginny in the hospital. I have grown to care very much for these women, and I cherish the time I get to spend with everyone of them. They are all very, very dear to me.

Especially Valerie. Val has become as dear to me as a sister. We just 'connect', you know? We have similar tastes, similar personalities, and a similar sense of humor (heh heh!). She even stems from a Pentecostal background, so she's not afraid of those "wacky tongue-talkers" like myself. When she came down for the prayer vigil my church had the night before David was found, she just got amongst it all without skipping a beat. She has forever cemented herself as a dear friend in my book for her selflessness during that time, and I'll love her forever.

Ah well...there's always the pre-Christmas GTG. I'll just have to bide my time until then, I suppose.


A Baby Step to Becoming Buff 

I feel pretty good. No, that's not accurate; I feel great.

I've just finished my upper body weight training, and it was awesome. I am a veritable weakling in that I can only use the 8 pound dumbbells with success, but believe me when I tell you I am going to be sore. It feels great to get back on track, but what feels even better is the fact that I actually have goals.

For those enquiring minds, here are my Gettin' Fit goals for the rest of 2004:
1) Maintain a consistent weight training program of upper body/lower body alternates every other day.

2) Eat clean during the week with one free day.

3) Achieve a fourteen pound weight loss by December 20th.

4) Move from an 8 pound dumbbell to a 10 pound dumbbell by December 20th.

These may seem like small goals, but that's fine with me. It's the discipline and consistency I'm looking for, and as I am no longer in a mad rush to drop weight "just like that" I feel this is a healthy goal I can actually achieve.

Go me!:)

The weight training exercises (for those who are interested in this sort of thing) I did today were the Dumbbell Flyes (chest), Seated Dumbbell Press (shoulders, One-Arm Dumbbell Rows (back), Dumbbell Extensions (triceps), and Seated Dumbbell Curls (biceps). I am using one set of weights for them all, working four sets/12 reps per exercise. This is a little different from the way I was doing them on BFL, but it works for me better. This is the first time I've ever worked with the 8 lb weights consistently, and while they are still so light in comparison to serious weights they are much heavier than the 5 lb weights I was using just one week ago. So, see? Progress has already been made!:)

I've already decided I'm going to ask for some barbells and a bench for Christmas. It's strange, you know, this fluffy little pink princess getting a total kick out of weight training. Go figah!

Stepping back into clean eating and weight training has shifted my desire to prioritize. The truth is I spend far too much time on the internet. It's addictive, and not necessarily heathly for my well being. One of the boards that started out as a bang that I frequent is fast fading into something I don't want to be around. General threads are becoming controversies and being moved, including one I chose to post in. My answer was rather tongue-in-cheek, but I guess I was depending on the subject maintaining a light spirit. Not so, Kimosabbe. It got controversial pretty quick, and swept off to a more appropriate place for the road it had taken. I see this happening more and more with threads, and frankly it saps my spirit. People are just too edgy for me lately. So, I'm nixing that place for a while until either I become so calloused that nothing petty bothers me anymore, or I simple lose the desire to go back. Either way, I'll bide my time.

To be fair, however, I am cutting all my bulletin boards down to four. I'm also choosing not to frequent the 'net on days until after 12 noon, leaving my mornings totally open to the care of my children and my home. I also need this time for me, and not worrying about who said what on the boards.

There is one thing, however, that I vow to improve on and that is my shameful e-mail etiquette. Sometimes I go for days without even checking my e-mail. This is scandalous. I promise, I will do better and try to check it everyday.

Well, my arms, although still looking like cottage cheese, are starting to feel suspiciously like jell-o so I think I had better wrap this up. Oh, wait, did I say wrap? As in Greek Gyro wraps, loaded with shredded beef, cheese, and lettuce? The one that are dripping with ranch dressing that accentuate the many Mediterranean spices that make the durn thing so succulent?

Now I'm hungry. Big le sigh...



Out of the Mouth of Babes 

It's Sunday afternoon, and I'm feeding my children a most tantalizing dish of tater tots desguised as chicken nuggets. As my toddler daughter gums one of the delicacies in blissful delight, my eldest looks at me and asks with the upmost sincerity, "Mama, can I be Texas in a blanket?"

"Sure," I replied, dipping a tot in ketchup, "as long as I can be Hawaii in a sarong."

Kids...gotta love 'em.


The Silver Lining 

After my boo-hoo session yesterday, I woke up feeling even more depressed than before. Eee-gah.

I stumbled to the computer after making a pot of vanilla-flavored coffee, and after starting and restarting and restarting once again (finicky computer) I was able to connect to the internet. I chose to browse Krista's site a little more, in an effort to cement down a weight training schedule that was flexible and structured at the same time; I need it to be flexible because I have small children and structured because if it isn't then I won't stick with it.

Well, freaky dahlings, it happened...after perusing the site I felt more depressed than ever. Color me pathetic.

Do you want to know why I was depressed? Because I have been needing to weigh myself to see where I am, and I've been afraid. Afraid to get on the scale and see where my total nearly-two-months eating splurge has gotten me. Afraid I've blimped up all the weight I've worked so hard to lose. After everything that's happened, it would bum me out to no end to see I've gained everything back.

Forget it. I'm sick of being scared of my weight. I'm tired of letting 'it' control me. So, I squared my shoulders and went to the bathroom, prepared for battle. Wiping the cobwebs off the scale with a flourish, I stepped on it and after a quick prayer peeked over my not-as-ample-as-it-used-to-be stomach to see how much fat I'd aquired.

I blinked. Everything was the same. No weight gain. Nothing nada zilch. El zippo.
The 27 pounds I had sent a few months earlier to Hawaii in search of some skinny young thang's hips apparently liked it there and had not come flying home. Thank You Jesus!! This truly is amazing, because all I have to do is look at a cheeseburger and gain weight and here I am, many Burger Kings later, and I'm holding strong.

Awesome. Totally awesome. I am completely chuffed. I can start where I left off with no worries. Now, it's just a matter of focus.

To wax eloquence, I will leave you with this declaration of joy: "EEeeeEEEE-HHhhHHAAAaaAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!"

Gotta luv it.:)


Stressed and Depressed 

I just did our bills. My strength is sapped.

It seems David's little two day adventure is going to cost us $600.00 extra dollars that we do not have. Our electric bill nearly topped the charts at $300.00, what with people in and out, doors staying open, etc. The phone bill was $250.00, but fortunately over $100.00 of that belongs to my in-laws. The ambulance bill was $325.00 and the hospital bill was $190.00, but hopefully my insurance will pay for those. We have submitted the claims and are waiting to hear more information.

Needless to say, we're broke. Of course, Jesus was broke when He was on earth so I guess we're in good company; at least that's a perspective that I can deal with.

On a totally untangible level, I feel like a thread-killer on the boards. I feel invisible. Perhaps I'm just PMSing. Yep, that's probably it. PMSing while savagly craving peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate and floating in a sea of marshmallow creme. Hmm. On second thought, I'm either PMSing or I'm pregnant, but I'll pray for the former thank you kindly.

Hey...I can only handle one emotional strain at a time, and right now the bills definitely take precedence.

You know what, though? God is so good. I've got my son back home and safe, my husband adores me, my daughter dimples when she sees me, and I still have a roof over my head. Okay, so right now I don't have any money; some people should be as lucky as I.

I'm going to put on some Enya, thumb my nose at the devil, and stitch. Nyah nyah nyah.


Another Weighty Entry 

I'll be doing my first lower body workout since May. My arms are hurting more today from the upper body workout I completed two days ago, and considering I'm using dumbbells they will also be involved in today's excrutiating exhilarating workout.

Please pray for me...


Just Call Me She-Hulk 

Yes, freaky dahlings, you heard correctly: I am weight-training once again. I hurt, I ache, and I feel like my arms are about to fall off, but I'm back in the saddle, jack.

Thanks to the a la fabulous Erica, I have stumbled across a web site that has rekindled my long-lost love for Getting Fit. After a two months-plus hiatus from the Body-For-Life world, I am back full swing but this time I'm doing it to get fit, not just to 'lose weight'.

The truth is that I had developed a bit of a mental eating disorder back when I first started the whole weight losing gig. I had gotten so obsessive about weighing that 'certain number' that Robert actually threatened to take the scale with him in the mornings and return it only on Saturday, my 'weigh day'. I didn't care what I looked like, I just wanted to weigh 140 pounds, man! Who cared that my arms were jiggling like last Tuesday's Jello-mold, or that my stretch marks could rival the deep etches of the Sahara, I was losing weight, by jollies!

Okay, fine. I was losing weight; 27 pounds of blubbery, lose, jiggly weight at that. What I was not doing, however, was necessarily getting fit. I had abandoned my weight training for excess cardio because I thought, quite frankly, that 'I knew better'. I would put on my little exercise outfits and whirl around the room with Richard Simmons or walk a mile or two with Leslie Sansone, both of which I highly recommend if you want great cardio workouts. The problem, however, was that I thought weight training would only benefit me "after I lose the weight". I saw no place for it in my finely constructed exercise routine. Newsflash: Aerobics increases your heartrate, which burns calories and eats up fat. Weight training builds muscle, which burns calories and eats up fat. Hello? Light bulb! Both work in conjunction to make us mean, lean, weigh-loss machines.

After I found Krista's site, I spent the better part of the night pouring over the pages. Allow me to share with you one of my favorite quotes:

"Here's one of the best things about weight training: in the long run having more muscle mass increases your basal metabolic rate (BMR), or how many calories you burn going about your daily activity. Your body has to work harder to keep that muscle up, so a muscular person just sitting on the couch will burn more calories than someone with low muscle and high bodyfat. Competitive bodybuilders have to eat like crazed hippos to keep their muscle mass from disappearing... 4000-6000 calories a day for these guys is not uncommon. Although this is a challenge we will probably never have to face ("My Gawd, I have to eat this whole wheel of Brie and then wash it down with some fried chicken! Oh, the humanity!"), the principle is nevertheless applicable to us. Simply put, a greater relative muscle mass equals a faster metabolism and thus easier maintenance of a lower relative body fat. Got lots of muscle? Then you can eat more food than your sedentary sisters."

Eating like a crazed hippo. Heh heh. O, the imagry!

After careful reading, the only thing I don't agree with her on is her deal against pink dumbbells. I would absolutely froth at the mouth to get anything over 10 lbs in a shocking shade of flamingo. Of course, I love pink and I could care less about the "oh-my-goodness-it's-a-pink-dumbbell-how-dare-they-that-suggests-I'm-*only*-a-woman!" complex so many chicks deal with. Hey, what can I say, I'm not a feminist...give me pale pink and turquoise in iron any day over dull metal grey.

I've gotten back on track with my eating, although I will never be one of these "French-Fry, Get Thee Behind Me!" kind of fanatics. Don't I wish. The truth is, I'd rather wallow my fat butt in a huge bucket of pizza rolls any day over whole wheat bread and fresh tuna. That's just the way I'm made. I know, however, that trying to live on a staple of fried foods is only going to get me where I am currently am, and that is Fatsville. Okay, fine, so I'm fat...but I'm on the way to being Fit. Can't beat that as a mind set, now can you? The only thing, however, that I absolutely refuse to give up beyond any amount of persuasion is my coffee, the way I like it; two to three cups a day, loaded with fat-free creamer, Splenda, and (of course) fully caffeinated. I'll give up my Oreos, I'll suffer through fried chicken-less nights, I'll even turn over my chocolate moonpies, but if I can't have my coffee the way I want it then I might as well pack this thing up and go trade candy bars with Michael Moore.

On second thought...that's incentive in itself to get fit, knowutimean?



Someone Toast Me A Marshmallow, I Need A Fire! 

Okay, what is my problem??? Last week I was fussing about how blasted hot is was in this house when my turkey air conditioner was out swilling down virgin margaritas in the Poconos, and now I feel like I'm living in the North Pole. My bare feet are like ice blocks, my hands are chapped, and I have icicles hanging off my nose. Even my nose hairs have frostbite. The last time I was this cold was back in 1986 when I visited communist Russia and could not comprehend how one place could actually be that cold. Yeesh, what is my thermostat set to, anyway???

Trust me, I'm not complaining. No way, I'm not complaining. I'd rather throw on an oversize sweater and don footies than go through the sweltering heat I went through last week. I never did tell you what Mr. Monosyllabic said to me, did I? He said (after a grunt or two), "If we had installed the good stuff you would still be under warranty, but as it is your 1 year warranty is expired."

Eh?? Excuse me??? You mean to tell me this is junk??? Junk that you put in last June, the junk that cost nearly THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS??? That kind of junk??? Jeeze, I'd hate to see what he would have charged if it had not have been garbage!

Yep, I have to say, that little statement of his (and the most words I heard him string together during his entire stay) really fried my bacon. We live in a lovely modular home, which must be a code name for "oh, it's only a mobile home on cement, so we can charge all kinds of higher insurance and put in all kinds of junky appliances cause it's not going to be around forever, you know". I kid you not, that seems to be so many people's attitudes concerning our home. Never mind this same house has been on this same spot for nearly thirty years and we are only the third family to ever live here (actually, we are only the second; my brother lived here for only a little while, so that really doesn't count). This home is more stable and stronger than the new home we owned across the bridge, which we just about junked to the ground in the four years we lived there. It was pretty, but very cheaply made. This house is sturdy, I tell you! Ain't nothing short of a fire going to take this baby down! And Mr. Monosyllabic has the nerve to tell me he didn't put in the "good stuff". Gag me with a screwdriver. It sure cost enough to be the good stuff, Bucko!

Needless to say, I won't be using him anymore, not if I can help it. But at least he fixed my air conditioner, and for that I'm eternally grateful.

Now if I could just get someone to install a fireplace, I'd be set to go.:)


Back from the sea of Animation Shop Pro. 

I have finally come up for air from the vast ocean known as animated gifs. Not only have I made my fair share over the past four hours, but I've found I actually have a 'style'.

Good gravy, I need a hobby. This thing will consume me unless I channel this urge to create elsewhere.

Wait a minute...I do have a hobby. I cross stitch. Oh yes, I nearly forgot about that. Silly me.

Apparently my obsession in Blinkie-Land has really kept me out of the loop. My niece called yesterday, and it seems her dad (my brother) went to an art convention this weekend, and guess who he got to meet? None other than Craig Parker aka Haldir himself. How super cool is that?? I'm so envious I'm seeing emeralds. I didn't even know he was in town! Obviously, I have to get out more.

The conversation then swerved to the afford mention of her in my blog a couple of entries back. She informed me that she was quite happy to see I actually did not go through with the "Haldir Rules Legolas Drools" blinkie. My initial instincts were right; she would not have forgiven me has I created such an abomination. She and I have this friendly rivalry regarding these two characters; she is completely enamored of Legolas (duh, like what 15 year old isn't), and I think Haldir is the coolest thing since flavored coffees hit the mass market. I promised her I would make her a very fine Legolas blinkie all for her very own and, wonderful aunt that I am, I complied.

Behold la Legolas blinkie for Brynna:

Heehee. I'm so dead meat.

Oh, calm down, Bryn...your real Legolas blinkie can be found here.

Okay, everyone, I'll get off the blinkie craze now. I'll still be making them, but I'll be uploading any new creations to the set blinkie page and try to keep them here down to a dull roar. I've got some stitching related ones I'm working on, so those should be fun.

I'll check back with you all later. I heard a rumour that The Shire Review was putting out its second issue soon and I want to be sure and get a copy.




I feel like 'I Dream of Jeannie'.

I sit here tonight, eyes glazed over and rimmed red from spending all day at the computer. My mind is ablaze with little blinking lights and visions of glitter-plums dance in my head.

I am in blinky-overdrive.

Here are the latest fruits of my labour:

Don't we all?

This one turned out just too cute.

Better than the first one. Nice and nervous.

Yes! I am a powder-puff-pink girlie girl!

I wanted this to say "I read The Shire Review" but I couldn't fit it all.

I like it, but I couldn't get the alignment to work right, so it's almost as nervous as the new 'fully caffeinated' one.

Another, more sparklier Autumn Queen.

Sister Spring. I love the spring leaves!

Soothing blues for summer lovers.

Icy hues for winter. I'll have to make a summery winter one for our Australian and New Zealand sisters.:)

Okay, that's it. That's over 20 blinkies in 24 hours. I'm spent. Tomorrow I'm going to set up a seperate blinkie page where I can display all the ones I've actually created, as well as those I've adopted. I can't tell you what fun they are to make.:)

So, while you get nothing witty from me in the form of the written word, you at least get lottttts of shiny, shimmery, blinkie things to blind you and hopefully not give you headaches. I can't tell you how jazzed I am to see some of them on other blogs, for it's as if a little bit of me is visiting. How majorly cool.

Later gators.



I Blinkie... 

...Therefore I Am.

Yes, freaky dahlings, it's true: I am so easily amused.

I've spent the better part of last night and this evening playing with Animation Shop Pro, creating none other than --yep, you guessed it-- blinkies!! Whahootie!!

Actually, they are not that difficult and quite addicting to make. Once I'm working on one ideas for another will flood my mind and I'll have to make that one as soon as I'm done with the one I'm making, etc., ad infinitum. Most of the ones in my sidebar were not created by me, but I've interspaced the ones I have made amongst the others.

Here's a glimpse of those created by moi:

I love greens and felt this would go great with my self-description.

Describes my inner-being.

Another ode to chocolate. This is one of the first blinkies I ever made, and I love it.

I feel this one turned out very well. It's simple and was very easy to make, but it's quite effective.

Although the font is a tad dark, I love the autumn leaves in the background.

Yes, I really am this much of a geek. I originally wanted it to say, "Haldir Rules and Legolas Drools" but I did not think my teenage niece would ever forgive me if I did.

Blog name. Duh. It turned out okay, but not my favorite.

I *love* the way this one turned out.

Heh heh. I needed something that really pegs some of us on those kinds of days (more of which I seem to be having lately, but I'll just blame it on the coffee).

This is my absolute favorite. Very classy.

The newley minted tribute to my favorite needlework designer.

So far that's it, but keep your eyes peeled for later additions. I'll be adding a "Medieval Momma" and "Chatelaine Addict" sometime soon, and perhaps a "WIP Tart" will crop up there. You never know.

Oh, I have one more to share:

This is a little custom one for Erica. I felt that Moira, her gorgeous black cat, was just too darn cute not to be gracing a blinkie. Besides, I don't think I know anyone whose as nuts about blinkies as I am than Erica, and she needed one just for her:).

Feel free to use any of these you want (except Erica's, of course!:)), that's what they are here for!:)

Ciao! Have a safe Monday!


Tales From The Freezer 

Well, I am back. I'm currently wearing a shirt of wintry material, sporting icicles on my nose and ears, enjoying lit scented candles, and entertaining thoughts of hot coffee spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.

And I like it that way.

Yes, dear ones, I have AIR CONDITIONING!! Once again I am reveling in the convenience of cool air. We fought, we persevered, and we survived; I can now buy the T-shirt and flaunt it with confidence.

I want to extend my thanks to everyone who worked through this drama with us. It was not fun, it was not pretty, but you all were there as we all waiting with bated breath for Mr. Monosyllabic to finally return and complete The Job. When he did return Thursday morning, he brought with him The Apprentice, a face I never did see but whose existence my husband witnessed. Perhaps our sassy air conditioner was too much of a challenge for the Monsieur to face on his own, and he felt he had to bring in some reinforcement. Either way, things are kicking once again and we are all cool as ice cubes in Sweden in the dead of winter.

I also want to thank Gandalf and the gang at The Shire Review for helping me out. Weren't they great sports? Yes, Haldir did moan and groan a little bit about having to come in to work on his day off, but he really does have a soft heart. They all helped me out in a jam, and I really appreciate that. From what I understand, they were pretty much a hit with the readers as well, so I found it in my heart to help them out; you can find their bi-weekly reviews at The Shire Review, a place of their very own to scrutinize whatever issues their little hearts desire (I even moved their first issue over there). Be sure to stop by and let them know what you think. Be sure to tell them I sent you.:)

Well, I've got company coming so I must run; these are two very dear friends that we have not seen in years. You all have a good weekend and I'll see you on the flip side!


The Shire Review 

Welcome, fair journalers, welcome! I can see you are surprised
to find me here instead of the normal fare, but I assure you everything is decent and in order. The young Stacey finally has her air conditioner back in top working order and is currently camped out, face down, in front of a vent in a state of ice-cold bliss. She implored me to take over her entry for today, and I most willingly accepted. It will no doubt be a daunting task, but I'm sure we are up to it.

I have brought with me today some of the panelists from The Shire Review, a column of significant proportion in the embryonic stages of its first season. It is there that we are given a topic to review and each panelist share our thoughts and opinions on said subject. Each panel consists of different members, and today I have brought with me some of our finest.

Panelists, would you be so good to introduce yourselves?

Good day to you all. I am Aragorn, and it is my honor to be here this afternoon.

Hi, everyone! My name is Arwen, and I'm with Aragorn. I don't leave home anywhere without him. He is the most stunning, amazing, handsome, dreamy, loyal, faithful...

:::clears throat:::

Hmm? What? Oh, I'm so sorry...what was the question?

Moving right along...

I am Haldir, Elf-Extraordinaire. I would like to say I'm happy to be here, but I don't exactly know *why* I am here
except I got a call from Shire Review telling me I had to come into work today. So...why is it, exactly, that I'm here on my only day off?

Because Stacey has been so good to you by giving you such free publicity during the Secret Stitchers round, and she actually defends your position that Peter Jackson was an absolute flake for even thinking about having you at Helm's Deep, for if he had stuck with the book you would not have died and, ergo, would not have cut considerably into your scenework. Does that reason ring a bell?

Hmph. :::sniffs::: Well, since you put it *that* way...

C'mon, Haldir, stop being so selfish. We are helping someone who needs it and you know it. I realize this is
difficult for you to comprehend, but please try not to be so irritating.

Phah. Get off my back, you half-baked, horse-balancing hero...

Grow up, you overstuffed, overblown Enya boy...

:::le sigh ::: Here we go again...

Alright, alRIGHT, boys! This is not a turkish bazzar! Can we please maintain some decorum? This is not our home, we are guests here and we must behave accordingly. What do think the Fully Caffeinated readers are going to say about this if we come in here and make a mess?

Oh...fine. Legolas, I fogive you your absolute mental brutality.

And I forgive your endless whining ways.

Good. Now...on to the topic at hand! ::: pulls a scrap of paper out of his hat, puts on glasses, and reads it ::: Today's topic for review is: Politicians!

:::groans and applause from the panel:::


Politics??? Oh ew!

Bring it on.

This could be interesting...

Okay, here we go! Politicians! For some countries this is an election year, and passions surrouding politicians stirs very hot. Are politicians really necessary? Do they serve a purpose? Do they really have the good of their country in mind, or are they all money-grubbing, over-zealous power hungry mongrels? Aragorn, we will start with you.

Those are some interesting questions, Gandalf. I think there are those who are, indeed, leeches, bent of sucking the blood out of every live body they come across, but I do believe there are those who have honest hearts and who truly want to help their constituents thrive in the best possible political environment.

Interesting. Arwen?

Ew, as if I know! None of them look good anyway, so I really don't care.

Haldir, would you care to comment?

They're all money-grubbing, over-zealous power hungry mongrels with a deplorable lack of taste in clothes. What's that one guy, the one everyone is saying got partly elected to his seat because of his 'great hair'? Puh-leaze. Somewhere a mangy cat is walking around bald and shivering.

Do you have anything to add, Legolas?

I do. As usual, Haldir is over-simplifying. To villify all politicians is to take the easy way out, revealing a mind that refuses to think fairly. Besides, that senator you are referring to doesn't wear a toupee'. That happens to be his real hair...

It does? Well, that's even grosser.

That is real typical of you, Haldir. I happen to agree with Aragorn on this; there are good and evil in every profession, and politics is no different. I choose to believe the good in everyone surfaces eventually...

Oh sure, take the *king's* side, you butt-kissing, brown-nosing...

You snobby, arrogant, jaded, pompus...

Aragorn, I'm bored...

I think it's time for the final analysis for our final question: Are politicians good or evil?

Depends on the politician.

Ew. So tedious.

Spawns of Satan.

Hearts of gold.

Well! There you have it! That concludes another episode of The Shire Review! Thank you all for joining us today, and tune in tomorrow as Stacey resumes her regular scheduel with her newly minted "Tales From The Freezer", courtesy of Mr. Monosyllabic.

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