Thursday, 24 May 2012

Travel Rewind: Inbetween Days

Between leaving Pennsylvania and going to Kentucky, we stopped in West
Virginia. This was a hard time for us as a family and me personally.
This is when I was crying and saying "I want to go home! I don't need
to see any of these things!". We had been rained on too many days. It
was starting to get cold. 2 nights before we had stayed at one
campground and during the night a bear was sighted in the dumpster.
This gave me a panic attack that lasted for days on end. How do I keep
my baby safe from a bear? Everything we do to be safe, suddenly didn't
feel safe enough. In Greenville, you sometimes hear about a bear being
in the city and climbing up someone's tree and usually it's ushered
back to safety or makes its own way. To me, it's something else
entirely to be in the bear's environment. I felt very vulnerable with
only a tent around us.

The next night we found a campsite that reassured us there were no
bears. It was hard enough getting into the campsite tho, because there
was a storm coming and it was after 8. Griff begged and finally the
let us in so we could set up. We quickly got the tent up and our bed
settled. I asked Griff to drive me up to the restrooms because I
didn't want to try and find it in the dark when I didn't have my

The bathroom was on par with the one from Trainspotting. I came out
retching and gagging. The rest of the night wasn't easy either. The
loudest thunder storm I have ever heard came right on top of us. The
thunder was so loud I was coming out of my sleep in a panic.
Amazingly, Oz slept thru the entire thing.

The next morning we packed tent and headed out towards West Virgina.
We stayed at what was called a State Park Resort. Confused? Me too. It
has camping and trails, but also a hotel, spa and golf course. And
marina. And signs warning about deer, possums and BEARS. Good Grief.
It was during our stay here I thought I was going to lose it. We went
out to breakfast and a sign on the wall said something along the lines
of "Don't wait for the storm to pass, but try and find joy in the
rain". We smirked and tried to realign our thinking.

Instead of trying to figure out where were would be going day to day,
I sat down and mapped our journey all the way through to Seattle. I
said I wanted to do KOA's for a few nights, instead of just trying to
find somewhere, also day to day. I wanted from there on to know where
we would be sleeping that night and have the tent up before dark.

That night was our coldest ever. Griff and I slept hardly at all
between freezing and making sure Oz was warm enough. Of course he was.
He has the warmest space in the bed, cuddled right between Griff and me.

Since then, we've done pretty well. Obviously. I had my cry, and we
trucked on. We found a KOA directory and I have been pretty great at
aligning our stops with their campgrounds. They are hardly ever
scenic, but they are convienent, and for that I'm grateful that they
exist.I'm hoping I will be over my bear anxiety soon enough so we can
do a few more scenic places. I feel like it would be wasteful
otherwise. We'll see tho. Right now we're just enjoying ourselves.

 On reason for the cold, was that we were right on the water. 

 Another reason, the tent had to be on this platform and the wind would blow in off the water and then come right up through the deck. It was absolute hell.

GRIFF: Thank you again for my hat.  This has been the coldest night of the entire trip (If I looked carefully with the torch, I could see Oscars breath while he was asleep in the tent) and the hat and gloves and thermals that you insisted I buy made a HUGE difference.

Travel Rewind: Groundhog Day!

 We went to Punxsutawny, Pennsylvania. The Weather Capital of the
World. If you are so inclined to take a visit, make it a stop. We did
and we did everything worth doing there in an hour. That's not to say
it's not a nice place, but if it's not Groundhog Day, the small town
doesn't have much to offer, entertainment wise. Unfortunately, the
film also made it look a lot cuter than it is. It sounds like I'm
dissing Punx, and I'm not. I'm justs's small. And you can
do it in an afternoon.

 GRIFF: Groundhog Day is one of my favourite films, so we had to visit Punxsutawny (I'll trust Ashleys spelling) and it was fun, but it seems like the touristness of the town is exclusively set up for just a weekend or 2 each year and would be a lot more fun during that time.

Monday, 21 May 2012

SO the whole time I was living in England I never ever watched a single episode of Dr. Who.

I asked Griff about it a few times. Should we watch? Had he watched it? He always said he didn't like it really and so I never pushed the issue. Whatever...we watch enough TV. I didn't *really* need a new show. But there ya go...

So I'd noticed it was on Netflix and a fair few people I know watch it. I couldn't take it anymore and asked Griff if we could PUH-LEASE try watching Dr. Who. I had to know what all the fuss was about.

And stupid me, I HAVE BEEN MISSING OUT. It's fantastic (albeit, we are only watching the new series available on Netflix. I am going to have to search out the old ones). Anyways,  it's a bit of a different choice for Music Monday, but I love the theme and yeah, I've been hearing it a lot lately.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Wishlist Wednesday: Tea Time

I should stop lying. "Wishlist Wednesday" is really becoming "Fuck it! Let's just buy it! Wednesday".  Threadless is currently have a t-shirt sale, and if there's 2 things I love it's 1-Threadless and 2- Tshirts.  So I bought 1 for me, 2 for Griff. My mom bought one for Oz and my sister bought another for Oz (and one for herself). They only had a few left of this on in my size and I have been eyeballing it FOREVER. So now it's is mine. Off the wishlist and into my closet!!!!

Friends of the Library

If you pay attention, you can actually find a fair few things to do in Greenville. But like I said, you have to PAY ATTENTION. For example, by checking our local library's website weekly, I discovered that the Friends of the Library book sale was coming up. It immediately went on the calendar. It was a three day event, and the opening sale day was only for member of Friends of the Library. So we joined. (Didn't want to miss a day of sales, now did we?). 

By the end of the weekend we had spent close to $100 on few boxes of books. Truth be told, Griff and I probably could go a year or 2 with all the books we have that we haven't read yet. Maybe next year (yeah, right.). I'd be curious to know what we spend a year in books. I'm getting off subject...

Oz picked out these 2 books and chucked them in a box. Neither of us noticed until we got home and Griff put them in my pile of books, and then I was all "Why are you putting your books in my pile?". Eventually we figured out what had happened. When Griff was standing in Sci-fi, Oz picked these ones out. And they are both hilarious.  Footprints of Thunder says it's what would happened if you combined Jurassic Park with The Twilight Zone. Uh....yes, please!!
Castle Perilous I haven't read the back of yet. But the cover is hilarious. There's a castle, some mythical creatures, a couple dinosaurs...and golf. There are people golfing. The guy on the right in the yellow shirt is actually holding a glass of wine. I have no idea what this book is about.

This was Griff's score of the weekend. He was so overjoyed finding this collection of Norby books. They are a children's science fiction series written by Janet Asimov (for the most part) with a little help from Isaac Asimov. I know that as soon as Oz is a bit older, Griff will start reading these to him.

Here is Griff's overall collection from the sale. He always does so well. But he reads a lot of sci-fi, math, science books, so there is a lot to cover. Lately he is very interested in the history of maths.

Here is my modest collection. On top is Five Fortunes which I read back in high school and loved. I'm curious if I will still enjoy it. It popped into my head a few weeks ago, so I was happy to find it. I also found A History of the Wife, which I had taken out at the library a few times. I think I was originally reading it in England, and then took it out at the library again when I got to the US. It's history, and a bit slow going, but I love the information so NOW, I own it and get through it at my leisure.

And if you notice on the bottom right stack, I found a copy of the GRE study guide. I am hoping to take the GRE in the next few months. I have a lot of anxiety about it. I am horrible at math. I tried doing a basic algebra problem in front of Griff the other day and I was so embarrassed at how wrong I got it. He is happy to tutor me, but he is very smart. I find it ridiculous that I have already earned a degree, but I have to take a test to be considered for a Master's program. I start to have a lot of anger at myself for not pushing through with the course I had been accepted to in England. Could-a, Would-a, Should-a. I'll keep you posted on the GRE....

And sadly, I only picked out 2 books for Oz. It was just crazy in there, and with children's books you really have to sit and go through them. Especially when they are second-hand, as I find you usually come across scrawling and torn pages. The other small stack are the "cross over" books Griff and I will both read. As you can see, we don't read a lot of the same stuff.

Travel Rewind: I'm Nobody, Who Are You?

I do not understand a lot of poetry. In high school, like most angsty
teens, I took a try at writing some. But there are people who play at
poetry and then there are poets. My sister, Deborah, is a poet, and
she also loves Emily Dickinson. So, for her, I went to Amherst to see
Emily Dickinson's Home. I didn't pay to tour the house, if I could
take photos inside I would have. But instead, I toured the gardens and
took photos for my sister.

The gardens are to some extent, maintained the way Dickinson kept
them. Knowing that a great deal of her poetry deals within nature and,
I couldn't help myself, I was taken in by it all.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Music Monday: It's only Make Believe

I am so freakin' obsessed with this song right now. I think everything about this song is simply incredible. Also? Check out that hair! You know it doesn't move. EVER.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Wish list Wednesday

I think this may go from "Wish List" to my closet this week. I did something crazy. I bought a pair of skinny jeans this past week. Yes, yes...I have mocked them in the past, but damn if they didn't look cute on! And I think this shirt would look awesome with them. To be honest, I could spend a small fortune at . For me it's a nice hippy-adult mix.

A Witchy Hat

I started and finished this hat while we were in Salem. I love the "witchy" colors, and I made it to keep my head nice and warm at night when camping. Super comfy, it did it's job well. 

Travel Rewind: The Witch Is In

 I love Salem, Massachuesetts. I loved every single bit of witchy tourist tat they had going on. We spent 3 days there (probably 2 more than we expected) and I spent my birthday there. We went to every single witch museum they had and enjoyed different things about each one. All gave historical accounts of the Salem Witch Trials, but they all had very different interpretations of how to represent the word
"witch". And while at one would give a sympathetic approach to the story of Corey Giles, the 80 year old man who was pressed to death, by the end of all the museums both Griff and I found him to be a bit of dick who had sold his wife out as being a witch (that said, he still shouldn't have been pressed to death!). So long story short, we enjoyed them all and I didn't have a favorite.
 Our stay at the campground in Gloucester was also really nice and quiet. It was also the first time I had a run in with a snake. Alright, a dead snake (it's head had been run over), but I saw a snake! So I spent some time trying to find out what sort of snakes are in Mass and whether or not they are poisonous. The one I saw, was not. Hurrah!
 GRIFF: Salem was fantastic, and it was fun going to 5 witch museums.  They all had a different take on the history, but did repeat things a bit.  We also went to a pirate museum which was really good.  The tour guide was very into it which always helps. (Although it was a little awkward as we were the only ones in the tour group)

Monday, 7 May 2012

Music Monday.

St. Baldrick's Day.

How many times had I thought before "It would be so cool if I could shave my head". We've all said it. Especially on bad hair days. Finding out about St. Baldrick's Charity gave me a nudge in the direction of feeling like it was something I could do. I could cross an item off my "What if..." list AND raise money for a good cause. I had mentioned the idea publicly a few times, so when it came time to sign up it was Truth Time. Either Put Up or Shut Up. My mantra has always been "It's only hair. It'll grow back". What did I really have to lose? My hair has hardly been my glory. I've been dying it since I was 15, so it is well over processed. I hadn't had it cut since before Oz was born (seriously, the last haircut I got was a few weeks before I found out I was pregnant. If you watch my prego photos, you can also watch my hair grow!).  

So I signed up and started asking for donations. About 98% came from online donations. If you want to restore your faith in humanity, find a cause and watch people want to help. The generosity of others is humbling and a beautiful thing. I have surrounded myself with giving people. Good people. So many times I was moved to tears by generosity. Absolutely amazing. 

What was also amazing was how the day approached I kept getting asked if I was nervous yet. And it just wasn't happening. I just kept getting more and more excited and ready to do it. Either my head would look hilarious and we'd all have a good laugh over my bald head, or it would be awesome and I would rock the Sinead O'Conner look. Regardless, a lot of money would be earned for charity and that is wins all around.

So here is me on the morning of, about to get in the car and head down. My hair is currently up in a twist and pulled back with a head band. I think I had been rocking this look for over a year. It was my go-to "Mom" look. I kind of miss it. Just kind of.

I wish we had measured how long my hair was. When I pulled it down, there were a few gasps of surprise from the crowd. I was by no means the first woman up there to get her head shaved, but to that point, I had the longest hair to lose (later some other long haired ladies shaved too!). The woman shaving asked if I wanted to donate my hair to Locks Of Love, but unfortunately, my hair was just way too damaged with color to donate. There was still a lot of bleach and pink in there...grown out several inches from the root.

My whole family came right up front to the state to cheer me on. A few older ladies from the crowd gave me a great big "YOU GO GIRL!". A gentlemen walked up to the stage and gave me a small applause and said "Good for you". My biggest concern at that moment tho was to make sure that I looked like I was having a good time. I at no point wanted Oz to see me scared or nervous or think that I was being hurt. So I put on a lot of big faces and smiles and laughs to let him know that Momma was a-okay and having fun.

I knew the shape of my head may be funny. It's a risk you run, no one really knows what it looks like until you do it. At some point early into this I looked at my big sister, Deb. She had tears in her eyes and she said "It's just beautiful". I knew then my head was going to be okay. If I was a lumpy mess she would have laughed and that would have been fine too. The good thing about sisters is that they will tell you the truth. They don't worry too much about hurting your feelings, in good times and bad.

It felt very weird to hold my hair in hands. I remember someone asked me if it was heavy and I said "No". My hair is very thin, so it just felt...light.

I'm not sure what was so funny at this point, but something was. I think it is a good photo of how great that day was.

My happy little family. 

 So this is what my head looks like. It's amazing how hair helps maintain your body's temperature. Without it, you feel heat on your head intensely, and cold like no other. I needed a beanie to go to the supermarket because otherwise I was just too cold and miserable. The first few weeks were interesting. Some people will avoid eye contact with you at all costs. Others make a point to look you right in the eye and smile at you. It's amazing how much more quickly you can get ready when you don't have to worry about your hair.

I've loved having my head shaved. I'm actually about to do it again. The first time, I could tell people "I did it for charity". This time, I will have to concede, "I did it because I like it". And I do. My husband thinks it's beautiful (how lucky am i? I have a husband that will happily shun the standard convention of beauty because he finds beauty in me). My son loves it too. Sometimes he will just give my head a good rub. Maybe this will be the last time for awhile. Maybe not. I haven't been terribly keen on the growing out process and I'm thinking I may buy a wig for this awkward stage next time. I don't know. We'll decide that when we get there. All I know is, this has been an awesome experience. I hope other people find something that scares and excites them and try it anyways....and if it can earn money for charity, well then, really...what's keeping you?

Friday, 4 May 2012


I love thrifting. My husband loves it to, so we usually have a lot of fun on our adventures. We found these 2 owls on our road trip and I *had* to have them. They were just too cute and since they didn't have a price on them, they sold them for $5. STEAL.

We found them on our road trip in Lawrence, Kansas (which, by the way, has some AWESOME thrift stores. I could have furnished a house with all the things I found. But we weren't traveling with a moving van, so unfortunately, only these owls could come home with us). 

 I named them Sam and Dean. 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Wish List Wednesday (but I might mix it up and try some WORDS Wednesdays as well). This is simply an extension of Pinterest really. But who doesn't spend a large majority of their time looking at things they WANT on the internet?

If I were clever I would link the pillow itself, but I don't know how to do that sort of witchcraft so, here is the link to the Tramp Needlepoint Pillow. It's pricey, but you rarely find such a neat Charlie Chaplin object. I think it's beautiful and is something I wish I could splurge on.

Wish On....


SO I'm on a bit of a music kick at the moment. I posted this song on facebook the other day and no one commented and we all know that comments = love. I was driving to kindermusik yesterday and heard this on the radio and my mind was just BLOWN. Also? Why hasn't this been on Supernatural yet? It's a perfect song for the show. Well, during season 3 or 5 anyways.

So I went to Itunes to buy it (because I'm the idiot in the world who BUYS their music. *sighs*) and you can't buy it! What sort of witchcraft is that?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Travel Rewind: BAA-HAA-BAA (Bar Harbor)

 It was a cute little place to visit. It was a bit monotonous to see
shop after shop selling Bar Harbor tat on their main street. I think
of all the wasted opportunity for shops, but if it keeps them going so
be it. We ate Maine Lobster and came to the conclusion that eating
something that still has its eyes freaks us a bit out. But I've done
it, so it's checked off the list.

GRIFF: It wasn't the eyes for me, I just didn't really like the taste.  I've had lobster before and never been all that keen.  At least I had a fresh Maine lobster in Maine.
 We debated about whether or not to do a whale watching tour. It would
have cost $60 per person, which is a lot, but how often do you get to
see a whale? This debate came up again in Massachusetts. Ultimately
we decided not to. We will get to whale watch again, and it will be
more fun and special when Oscar is older to know what we are seeing.

GRIFF: This one was actually $100 each with 'a reasonable chance' of seeing a whale.  We were just thinking how we would feel paying $200 for a 4-hour boat ride.  They'll be plenty more chances.
 We spent one afternoon hiking up Cadillac Mountain. And by hiking, I
mean, we drove the car up. It was great. Oz had a good long nap and we
enjoyed the scenery. Although, note to self, next time, camp in the
State Park. The campground we stayed at had a mosquito problem that
had me on the verge of tears.

We also found a small bookshop and had a wander. The owner was a bit
of a dick, but whatever. When Griff asked if he had any editions of
'Salem's Lot he told us that at the moment no, but he sold a first
edition for $800 last week. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. I was excited and
saddened all at the same time. He then had the smart-ass comment of
"Well they don't grow on trees, do they?". Asshole. I'm glad we didn't
have to give him and his douchey haircut our money.

I hope it's not just me who sees a heart in this tree. I thought it was beautiful.

****The Yarn Shop****
I've been finding so many independent yarn shops on our trip. I wish I
could buy something in every single one, but alas, it turns out I'm
not made out of money.