Hair Brained

When I was younger and I'd do anything I considered out of the ordinary I'd worry I was the only person in the world who did that particular thing. As I got older I realized that no matter how strange your habit, you aren't the only person who does it. To prove my point, there is now actually a show on television called "My Strange Addiction". The previews alone are enough to keep me away. They show clips, for instance, of a lady driving down the road munching on a roll of toilet paper, picking off pieces and popping them in her mouth like they're cotton candy. I've heard of people that have a compulsion to eat paper before, but she decided to put herself out there and show the world. Maybe she could get professional help with the money they paid her. She'll probably just buy more toilet paper with it, though. I think a quick and easy way to get her to break that habit would be to only supply her with pre-used tissue. Another clip showed an adult woman who can't stop sucking her thumb. So, when I noticed that every time I styled my hair I would wonder if it was the look I want for our wedding, I knew it wasn't too out of the ordinary. It hasn't become an obsession because I'm not constantly styling and restyling my hair, just trying a few different things to see what the results will be, and then only when I need to style my hair to begin with. I've looked at literally hundreds of hairstyles, and so far nothing has made me say, "That's it! That's exactly what I want. I need look no further." I guess the best way to find what's right for me is to actually have the style on my own head with my own hair. I have ended up with frizzy nightmares several times, so I can check those styles right off my list. If, after a few more months of trial and error I still don't happen across anything I want, I'll do what those poor folks on "My Strange Addiction" need to do - seek professional help.


Rah, Rah!

I feel like being a cheerleader today and telling Jerry what a wonderful man he is. He always thinks of me first, always cares about what I'm thinking or wanting to do. If he sees I'm having a stressful day he makes me laugh to ease the tension. I've told him that I couldn't have special ordered anyone more perfect for me if I'd had a menu to select from like they do at sushi bars where you can check off exactly what you'd like. Just last night he was my hero. Marilyn got a car that we purchased from my nephew. I wanted to take Jerry to a Chinese restaurant he'd never been to before, so I had him follow me in his car. Good thing, because he noticed one of the brake lights and the turn signals was out. I've never been pulled over (knock wood), and would hate to start now. After we ate we drove over to the Auto Zone where Jerry went in, told them what I needed, then borrowed the tools they have available and fixed my problem. I noticed that lots of people have car problems, as evidenced by the full parking lot. And it wasn't just old, beat up junkers in there getting new parts. I saw someone I went to school with who owns a new Volkswagen Jetta in the store. I overheard her talking to the clerk about how she took it into the shop like her owner's manual said and $200 she still had the problem. Even if he hadn't been able to fix the car, I hope Jerry knows how lucky I am to have him back in my life, for more reasons than there are stars in the sky.


I wonder when the panic sets in.

I've signed up to get emails from a couple of wedding sites. I've talked about the Martha Stewart one before; they send out a daily wedding idea about invitations, decorations, destinations, etc. I've also registered with They send out emails and they also have a way for you to keep track of ideas you like. You just enter in your email address, name and the wedding date and location and you're ready for your daily emails. I don't check it all the time; I wait a couple of days and then look at them all at once because more than likely I don't want to read an article about Atlanta vendors (because my hiney isn't driving 4 hours for anything I can find nearby with a little searching) or 10 Things Your Guests Will Hate You For. Okay, that's not the real title, but that's the gist of it. It seemed like the biggest gripe guests had was the couple didn't have an open bar. "How dare they think I'd actually enjoy sharing in their very special day without an endless supply of liquor!" I don't think the venue we're planning on using even allows alcohol, so if you've decided to come because of free booze, don't bother. Off the top of my head I can think of one couple who, if reading this, has just decided to send a gift instead. And that's okay with me. Go out and party afterwards if you need to. I just don't want to be responsible for contributing to a tragedy on my wedding day. The scariest thing on the entire site, though has got to be their ticker that tells you how many days you have left until your wedding. Just today it said "151", but I'm not worried yet. There have to be women out there who see that number dip below 200 and think they don't have enough time to get everything organized. And if you'd like to have a little more to panic about, try using their "To-Do List", which has about 300 things you'll need to get in order before you can possibly walk down the aisle. I'll give them credit, though. They really have thought of almost everything possible to get taken care of. Thankfully a lot of it isn't stuff I need to worry about, like finding a dress, getting the first fitting, getting the final fitting. I think the only thing they left off that list is "find time to relax."


One project down, one million more to go!

I hope it isn't bad luck to say that I've completed a project. I have officially made 150 flowers out of tissue paper, coffee filters, felt, buttons, ribbons or some combination of the above. If I make decorations, it won't be any flowers, but maybe huge pom poms out of tissue paper made in the same fashion. While counting I discovered the majority of the flowers are some sort of paper, which is good because they are much larger than the other flowers and will help to make the bouquets full. Although I love the way the button flowers look, it'd have taken me a lot more time (not to mention money) to have a bouquet made solely out of them. I've already added in this cost in my last recap of spending. I guess 50 flowers for me, and then 25 for both girls, my sister and then the one to toss. Does that add up to 150? I hope so, because I've told myself I've finished making flowers!


Handy Tip for the Lazy Crafter

Okay, not much to talk about today. I've been trying to finish up my flowers. That's when I ran into a problem. The hot pink ribbon I take off of the Victoria's Secret shopping bags is always wrinkled. It's because the ends are tied in knots to secure the ribbons like handles to the bags. What's a crafter to do, use wrinkled ribbon? Nope, not me. Also, not being one who'd like to break out the ironing board and huge iron, I tried to figure something else out. I got out the hair straightener and plugged it in. After about 5 minutes I timidly ran the first piece of ribbon through it. Some of the wrinkles came out, so I did it again, this time pressing a bit harder. The ribbon was wrinkle-free! Now I can finish this project. If you try it, test it first, but it definitely worked for me.


Dressed Up

If you follow this blog, you know I've already purchased dressed for my daughters (at $10 each). They're pretty plain strapless A-line dresses in honeysuckle. That's the color; the dresses aren't made of flowers. Honeysuckle also just so happens to be the "color of the year" for next year. What were the odds of that happening? Of course, I purchased these dresses months ago, just in case you think I'm a slave to trends. I've decided to give the girls a budget of $20 each (extravagant, I know) to give their dresses a little personality. I think the first thing Erin will want to invest in is some sort of straps, or an addition to make the top not so, in her words, "boobalicious". Please note that "boobalicious" is not the same as "Bieberlicious", a word I made up to tease probably the only 2 young females who aren't infatuated with Justin Bieber. For example, we'd see a boy in the mall with that silly haircut you apparently have to swing your head all the time to make stay in place (hey, ever heard of hairspray?). I'd say, "Look at that boy. You could date him - he's Bieberlicious." I get the eye rolls and the moans and then the laughter, which is what I'm after to begin with. Back to boobalicious - that is not where she wants attention focused, so we'll be finding a way to make it more modest looking (not that it's immodest to begin with). I imagine her finding a black fishnet long-sleeved shirt and putting it on underneath, which again is fine with me. It might be cute for her to punk up the dress. That's very fitting with her style and personality. Marilyn, on the other hand, will want to glam hers up. We'll probably be adding some black lace to hers, either at the waist, along the hem or at the top. She also likes big sashes, so that might be what she ends up having. I think it will be fun for them to play designer and have a finished product that's something they could wear again.


What can I say?

Found another thing I can worry about, which is good because I never seem to have my worry plate quite full enough. Vows! Holy crap, the more I thought about it the worse it got. I'm not a public speaker, as anyone who took Speech with me in 6th grade can attest. Although I'm no longer afraid to do it, I still don't like it. Nor am I a speech writer. This blog is more like a bunch of rambling. Lots of people write their own, and good for them. I've heard some truly awful vows, though. "I promise not to give you the Dutch oven or ask you to bring me a beer when I'm watching sports unless it's the Superbowl". She should have taken that opportunity to turn to her family, say, "Look at this winner!" and run far away. It's going to be a day when I've got a million things running through my head, so even if we did write our own vows I'd probably forget them. I've already purchased waterproof mascara because I know I'm going to be emotional, so anything much more than "I do" might make me lose it. Nobody wants to see a bride with that "ugly cry" face, especially not me in photos later! Jerry's a brilliant writer, but I know if he recites anything he's written I'll just start blubbering. This leads me to think we should have the officiant read something. We don't want the typical "thee and thou" vows, so I guess we need to find something suitable. I think it'd be too much to ask Jerome the Elvis Tribute Artist to come up with something, and then I'd want to approve it beforehand anyway. Just to let you know what that might sound like, I did a search for "Elvis Wedding Reading". Here's something from a site I found. It actually said this:
'Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to witness before family and friends the exchange of solemn vows between (first and last name) and (first name) "WHO LOVES YA, BABY?" (last name).
If there be any suspicious minds present in the audience doncha think it's time to speak now or never - their love won't wait.
(First and last name), repeat after me:
It only took one night to get stuck on you,and now my wish came true, you big hunka hunka burnin' love!I thought you were nothin' but a hound dog, cryin' all the time,but now I know you're my teddy bear'cause tigers play too rough and lions ain't the kind you love enough.So kiss me quick and love me tender for I can't help falling in love with you.
(First name) "WHO LOVES YA, BABY?" (last name), repeat after me:
It took a hard headed woman to make me king of the whole wide world.I thought you were the devil in disguise but you turned out to be my puppet on a string.I used to live in the hotel down the end of lonely streetbut now it's viva las vegas 'cause I need your love tonight.
Please take this moment to exchange your gifts of love.
By the powers vested in me I now re-pronounce you "husband and femme" but remember, there is no return to sender. You may kiss your cousin. Please join me in welcoming Mr. AND Mrs. "WHO LOVES YA, BABY?" (last name). Folks, this has got me all shook up, so please love me tender.' That would be funny, but wasn't it Telly Savalas who said, "Who loves ya, baby"?

Of course, this goes from being vows to being a reading. All you have to do is Google "wedding readings" and tons of sites come up. Some actually want you to pay, but plenty have free samples typed right out, including poetry, Bible verses, song lyrics, etc. I started thinking about some of my favorite songs, and they really don't fit the bill. Even the classic, "Nothing Compares 2 U", although the title is right, a song about a person that's dumped you just doesn't seem appropriate. Maybe I could ask Jerry to find something just right. He's so well-read, I'm sure he'd do much better than I would. The search is on, but don't be surprised if we can't come up with something and you see our Elvis tribute artist channeling Telly Savalas.


Sit On It!

I know I complain a lot about how my head hurts. Enough about that. Now I'm going to complain about my back and legs hurting. It all comes from having to sit for more than 8 hours a day in a chair doing my work. I make a point to get up once an hour and walk a little, but it really isn't helping all that much. My right leg seems to be the sufferer of most of the pain; I figure that's because it got damaged in a car accident 14 years ago. I really haven't been able to do ballet like I used to since then. Okay, since I was 7 actually, if you want me to be more specific. That was when my Russian-born former ballerina ballet teacher in Salina, Kansas saw my huge potential and pulled me out of the class of 6 & 7 year olds and threw me in with the 10 to 12 age group. I kept up just fine, but then grew bored. Mom then signed me up for tap classes and baton twirling. Just for a bit of trivia, although I am left handed, I can only twirl a baton with my right hand. Of course when I got a little older I wondered, if I had been born in Communist Russia instead of the U.S., would I have been forced to become the world's best ballerina? We'll never know, especially not since that car accident. Anyway, back to my bitching. I don't know how a person is supposed to find a good computer chair. I've gone through quite a few and none of them seemed to work very well. My problem is, I'll sit in them in the store,they feel just fine, I fork over the hundred-plus dollars they all cost, and within a couple of weeks I know that I have yet another crappy chair. I sit on pillows, use those bruising massage things you put against your back, adjust the height, and nothing works for long. I need to find a way to work in zero gravity.


Treat or trick?

For a while there I was feeling pressure (admittedly from myself) to write a blog every day. I was talking to Jerry about it, how sometimes I just can't come up with anything to talk about, and he said, "Just write when you're inspired." That sounds like a pretty good idea. Takes the pressure off. I still haven't thought of anything profound to discuss, so I decided to tell a short cautionary tale instead. Jerry's been in a play, and the Friday before last I went with him and then stayed overnight at my sister's. I left the girls with Mom and made sure they had plenty to snack on. One of the snacks I purchased was dried plums (you know, they used to call them prunes but I guess it got the label of being old folks' food so they changed it). I know my children are smart, and I know they know about the power of prunes. Or so I thought. At about 11:30 that Friday night I received a phone call. "Mom, I'm sick! My stomach is messed up. " I told her to take some Pepto. "I've taken it twice." I told her maybe it was something she'd eaten. "Did Memaw take you out to get something fried for supper? That might do it." I was informed that no, they ate at home. "I ate about 6 dried plums, though," she said. I tried hard not to laugh, "That'll do it. Don't worry about the Pepto. You'll be fine. Don't you know about prunes?" "Yes, but I didn't think it would be like that!" So, the lesson here is, be specific about telling your children about the wonderful powers of different foods. She still eats them, but no more than 2 a day. "They're delicious but I don't trust them," is what she says now. And no, I'm not going to specify which child this is - they'd be embarrassed enough to know I actually talked about this at all.


Film Festivals

An idea occurred to me this morning so I thought I'd look into the matter a bit further. What if we went somewhere for a honeymoon where the town was holding a film festival? That might be fun! Jerry's been to plenty, but I never have unless you count the time the whole family sat around my grandparents' house when I was a kid and watched old home movies. First step's first, so I did a search "film festival" 2011 and "Memorial Day weekend". Quite a few items popped up. If we're looking for SciFi, the Balticon in Baltimore, Maryland, is having a short film festival then as part of their science fiction/fantasy convention. I'm not sure being around hundreds of Trekkies would be the most romantic destination. How about comics? We could go to the Phoenix Comicon Film Festival. There's also the Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride, Colorado. Or maybe we could try the Waterfront Film Festival - Saugatuck
Saugatuck, MI. The website didn't have many details available, so I've got no idea what it's about. Besides, it's in Michigan. I lived there when I was 5. It's the only place I've ever gotten beat up. How about the 36th Annual Seattle Film Festival. True, it lasts 25 days so we wouldn't get to see everything, but I've been to Seattle and it's beautiful and there's plenty of other stuff to do there as well. For instance, there's also a horror festival going on at the same time. Decisions, decisions. Guess we can sleep on it, but I hope I don't start having dreams about the horror convention!


To see or not to see

That's the question I've been pondering lately. I wear glasses to keep things in focus. I discovered I needed them in my mid 20's while driving. There was a speed limit sign up ahead but I couldn't read the speed. To be fair, it was dusk and the sign was dirty, but at the point where I could usually read those large black numbers it was fuzzy. Everything finally came into focus, it just took a little while. I can never remember if far sighted means you can see far or can't. Anyway, I can't. It isn't too bad, but stuff isn't really in focus if it's far away. I do like the look of my frames, and when I get my eyes rechecked in the spring I'll probably get another pair just like them. I just don't think I want our wedding photos to have me wearing glasses. I'd rather be frame-free. Just wear contacts is what most people would tell me to do. Oh, if only I could find a pair that didn't irritate my eyes. I hate having anything touch or even come close to touching my eyeballs. I can put on mascara and eyeliner, but when I try applying a contact lens it looks as if my hand is possessed by someone else, someone trying to force a foreign object into an eye that clearly has other ideas. Even when I hold my eyelids open with my other hand, my eye somehow manages to blink just as the lens comes in contact with it, thereby shooting the contact into the sink. After wrestling with myself for about 20 minutes, the end result is always the same - one eye is able to see clearly with the lens and the other one is fighting the irritation the lens is causing, blinking, watering, trying to focus while I feel as though an eyelash is in there trying to poke my eye out. No matter how much eye juice I apply, the scratchy feeling never goes away. I just end up taking the suckers out (another wrestling match with myself) and putting my glasses back on. So, there's my dilemma. Do I wear my glasses or attempt contact lenses? Maybe I'll just go without vision correction entirely. I can see everything close up just fine. I can even type this without my glasses and read everything on the page. I'd like everything to be in focus, though. This spring when I get new glasses, I guess I'll get the contact lens exam at the same time. That way I'll have a sample pair of contacts I can try to wear. Maybe I can keep my glasses in Jerry's coat pocket for emergencies. Otherwise, if you see me scrunching up my face I'm not trying to be cute, I'm just squinting so I can see!


Ah, modern medicine!

Ever have the kind of headache that moves around your skull? It's as if it decides that giving pain in one area just wasn't good enough so it moves on to try someplace else. That's what I woke up with this morning. It started feeling like a sinus headache just over my left eyebrow. After getting the girls off to school I decided to lie back down, hoping it would go away if I could drop off to sleep. No dice, it stayed around and kept me awake. Once I got up, though, it decided to move around to the back of my head. Nice! Guess it changed from being a sinus type of headache to a tension one. There was a time when I was having after-effects from chemo. I'd get the most horrendous headaches but they wouldn't let me take anything for fear of damaging my liver. I'd suffer for several days with intense pain across the entire front of my head. The only thing I could use was Head On, but it really didn't do anything but make my forehead feel minty fresh. Now that I'm back to normal (or as close to normal as I'll ever be) I'm a firm believer in, "If it hurts and they make a medicine for it, take the medicine." I took a Goody's Powder (orange flavored, of course) and tried to be patient while it did it's magic. The wait just got to be too long, so I slid my hand up the back of my neck and grabbed a fistful of hair at the base of my skull and pulled. For some reason this helps relieve the pain. Maybe the new pain distracts from the old, but whatever the reason it does make the headache less painful. I held on for several minutes, then gradually released my hair and the Goody's Powder had kicked in. Oh, hallelujah! Now I can get on with my day. Thank goodness it's my day off. Maybe I can go back to sleep. If Goody's ever needs a product endorser I'd be more than happy to do it. They can even pay me in product.


Don't Look!

I have a confession to make. It's the embarrassing kind, the kind you'd rather nobody know. Gonna share my story anyway; maybe we'll bond. Work has been going slowly again, so we've been told to work when it's there, be flexible, and just come and go throughout the day. I had to run to Wal-Mart because Marilyn was out of eye juice (that's what we call contact lens fluid). First of all, it's freezing cold outside lately. This skinny girl needs Cuddle Duds to keep her warm, because jeans alone just don't do the job. I search all through the closet, and none are found, even though I know I own a pair of white ones. The girls were wearing the 2 pair of black ones we have, but that last pair were just gone. Dang! Well, at least my feet will be warm in my socks and boots. But where are my boots? Why, they're off at school on Marilyn's feet! I don't like her boots - they come up to the knee and just don't look right on me. Now my wardrobe was gonna be cold jeans and ballerina flats where the entire lower half of my body will be frozen solid on the walk from the parking lot to the door. Suddenly my standards drop. It is now more important for me to stay warm than look presentable. I'm already wearing long, baggy, warm, fleece exercise pants. Guess they're staying on. I throw on the Cuddle Duds top I found and layer it with another long sleeved shirt. Then I pull some over-the-knee socks out of the drawer. Aah, cozy! I put Marilyn's Nike sneakers on, throw my hair in a ponytail, grab my super-warm jacket and head out the door. After pulling into a parking space I glance at myself in the mirror. Oh, what's this world coming to when I decide I should step out without any makeup? I walk through the store doing my shopping, wishing I wouldn't look conspicuous if I kept my hood up the entire time. I feel as though I had joined the ranks of the People of Wal-Mart. Is that what happens? Do people just decide it doesn't matter what they look like? Unlike me, they seem comfortable with their shopping wardrobes and hairstyles. At least I didn't get any pointing and staring, nor did I catch anyone whipping out their cell phone to grab a picture and post it online. Maybe I pulled off the "harried lady stopping by on her way home from yoga class" look. That's what I'm going to imagine, anyway.


Ribbon Princess Instructions

Here's my way of making ribbon princesses. I decided to demonstrate with Cinderella, since I needed to make another one for Erin's friend for Christmas anyway. I hope these are easy to follow. First, you'll need 3/8" ribbon in flesh color, bright blue, light blue and yellow. I also got 1/4" flesh colored ribbon for the arms (and if you're making Pocahantas, legs) because it isn't as bulky as using the wider ribbon. Also, I wouldn't recommend this as a craft for kids unless you are there to do a certain part, or you pre-cut all the ribbon and heat seal the ends yourself before they begin. That might be a better idea, anyway, so they won't see you playing with fire and think it's okay. To heat seal, and you'll need to do this on every piece of ribbon you use so it won't come unraveled, just flick a lighter and hold the ribbon near it, rotating it so as to seal the entire end. It will get hot and can burn you, so please be careful! I got some Aleen's Tacky Glue, which costs a whole lot less than FabricTac but seems to do a good job. I also use those little snap barettes to hold my ribbon together while the glue dries so I can move on to something else. The drying is the longest part of this process.

1. Cut a 3" piece of flesh colored ribbon (remember the heat sealing!). Put a dab of glue on one end and fold it over to make a loop. Secure until dry. This will be your princess's head.

2. Cut a 1-1/4" piece of bright blue ribbon. Place a dab of glue on the back of the body just below the head area and glue one end of the blue ribbon here. Put another dab of glue on the back of the blue ribbon you just glued down and wrap the ribbon around her front, securing it in back. This will make her top.

3. Cut a 1-1/2" piece of the 1/4" flesh colored ribbon. Round the edges a bit, then heat seal to make the arms. Fold this over in the middle and secure with glue. These will be the arms. Glue this to the back of the bodice.

4. Cut a piece of light blue ribbon about 1" long. Seal the ends then cut in half lengthwise and seal the cut sides. Wrap these around the top part of the arms where they meet the bodice and glue. Now you have sleeves.

5. Take 2 pieces of 3" bright blue ribbon. After sealing, place close together lengthwise, add glue to one end and fold around to make a loop. Then take 2 pieces of 2-1/2" light blue ribbon, placing on the outsides of the longer blue pieces and secure in the same place on the tops of the bright blue ribbons, making the sides of her skirt.

6. I fold the skirt so the edges of the ribbon don't show, then glue it down on the body.

7. The hair is a little involved. After sealing the end of 3" yellow ribbon, I folded over a little piece and glued it into place for bangs. Once that was dry, I tied a knot close to the bangs, then twisted it until it was how I liked it, then glued this hair into place. It held better when I clamped the bangs down in front and the back end down as well with a separate barette to get it to stick to the curve of the head.

8. Sew on a pin back or glue it to an alligator hair clip and you're finished!

This Just In

Jerry and I spent the weekend together, and it was great. The one bad part about it is whenever it's just the 2 of us time flies by so quickly. Once when we were off on a trip I actually lost a day and was shocked when he told me it was Thursday. "No, that's impossible! It's only Wednesday. Where did Wednesday go?"

I realize I haven't blogged in a few days, first because I wasn't home and rarely on my computer, and then yesterday I actually had work to do all day. Sometimes it's hard to come up with something to talk about. Today I thought I'd just update a couple of things I've been working on.

First, the Epislim does seem to be working well. I'm not sure if that's because of the combination of the Smooth Effects deodorant or just the machine itself, but the results are very nice. I've either gotten used to the pain or it actually doesn't hurt anymore. Will I post a picture? Probably not. Sounds kinda strange, "Hey, honey, will you take a picture of my armpits for my blog?"

Second, I actually did find time to start making those Disney princesses out of ribbon. It is a little time consuming (mostly because of waiting for the fabric glue to dry), but it's fun, slightly relaxing and the end result is really cute. Since there's no work for me this morning, I may try and take time to photograph some step by step instructions on how to make them since it's hard to find directions for them online without paying for them. Or I may opt for a little nap instead. These are my own way of doing them, just coming up with things that look right as I went along. Pocahontas was the easiest, I think.

Finally, after realizing I'll need a toss bouquet, I made a few more coffee filter flowers, a button flower and a tissue paper flower Friday while Jerry was rehearsing his play. By the way, he was so great! He didn't look like somebody just standing there reciting some words he'd memorized - he was that character. Pretty good considering he had only joined the cast 2 weeks before the show started and everyone else had been rehearsing for months. He never ceases to amaze me.


A More Serious Note

I have a relative, the child of one of my first cousins. I'm not sure if that makes her my second cousin or my first cousin once removed. To keep things simple, I just call her my little cousin. I have quite a few little cousins, children of my first cousins who are 10 years or so older than me. These little cousins are all around 20-25 years of age. This particular one has a thing for punks. You know the sort - skinny white guys with tattoos who listen to rap music, walk with some kind of strange limp they think makes them look all gangsta when all it really does is make them look like George Jefferson. They wear backwards baseball caps, baggy pants and if they have a shirt on it's a wife-beater. They call women ho and bitch. You know, a classy guy with lots of potential. The kind of guy you'd be an idiot not to marry. Well, she showed everyone - she married him last year. He probably did it because he'd joined the Army and didn't want to be alone when he moved off. The only time he doesn't ignore her is when he wants something from her. He treats her like crap, takes the car and leaves her stranded at home all the time, drinks constantly, calls her names, even physically assaults her. This comes as a surprise only to the little cousin - everyone else knew he was a bad seed. Funny thing is, this macho man is really a mamma's boy, calling her every day, telling her how horrible his wife is. And is his life insurance beneficiary the military issues his wife? Nope, it's his mom. Seems my little cousin has finally come to her senses lately and is ready to leave him. Good for her, I say. I know people always say, "Don't get involved. If you say something bad and they go back to him, they'll hate you." Well, life's too short. She asked my opinion and I gave it to her. She whined about it being hard because she loves him, and I told her he obviously doesn't love her because he treats her so poorly. I gave her an example - "You know he loves his mother. Would he ever treat her like he treats you? Nope!" She had never actually thought of it that way before. I hope she stays strong and will find a way to get enough money to pack up her stuff and go back home to her Memaw, who really does love her and will take her in. If she stays, she may hate me for a while for being honest, but I really think if that's going to be the situation, then the next time he's a jerk she'll know she can turn to me. All I have to do is think about the way Jerry treats me and know that is how a man should treat a woman. He always wants me to be happy, and values my opinion, wants to spend time with me, and is concerned about how I feel. For whatever reason, so many women never know this kind of love, and it's heartbreaking.


Wakulla Springs

This wouldn't be a normal honeymoon destination. I started thinking about it quite by happenstance. Someone on Facebook posted a link about something called Creature Fest, which is a film festival held by the Tallahassee Film Society (I had no idea that even existed) at Wakulla Springs, Florida. Why a national park? Because that's where they filmed The Creature from the Black Lagoon. They also filmed all those old Tarzan movies starring Johnny Weissmuller there. Made me start thinking it might be a nice place to spend a couple of nights, what with the pretty hotel and the movie history. I went to the park's website and browsed. It's very pretty, and they've got nice accommodations. They even have lots of weddings out there. Curious, I sent them an email asking about prices, etc., and if they still had the Creature Fest because I didn't see it on their site. I was informed that they no longer held that film festival there, so that was disappointing. Then I got the price for wedding rentals. It was $875, and that included cleaning fees, but no food. And you had to use their catering, so there's no telling how much that would come to. Suddenly the thoughts of a romantic location with "abundant wildlife" transformed into an expensive place with lots of snakes and alligators around. Then Jerry brought up a good point, "May is mosquito season!" Nothing like plaguing all of your guests with West Nile as a wedding favor. The idea of playing Tarzan suddenly sounded more like, "Me Jerry, you crazy!"