Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My wishes for you (and myself) this New Year

My usual New Years Wishes for the bloggity blog....

May you tread lightly on the Earth
May you see the glass as half full
Know that others have it worse than your worst day
Commit random acts of kindness, so that you may receive them
Smile, even when you feel like crying
Scream when you feel like screaming
And know that tomorrow is yet another day, you have the power to choose how you will react to the day...choose to be happy
Last but not least...JUST BREATHE!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Weather Advisory my Ass

What a HUGE disappointment! All the weather stations told of forecast wintry mix, lots of ice and snow...not even a school delay, let alone snow day. Bummer. What we did get was some cold temps and slickery wet roads. boooo-hissssss!

While waiting for SNOW, I did complete a few items!
For your viewing pleasure...

Flip Top Mittens for Boy Wonder~
Teen Queen has decided that she also needs a pair! Apparently, they are quite a hit. Even Boy Wonder says that kids at school are liking them and are jealous of his kickin flippin mitts!

More Socks for Soldiers, Inc socks!~
These are actually Team Knit with a CSM knitter from TX. She made the legs on her machine and I hand knit the heel, foot and toe. In fact I completed 2 pairs of these and they have been shipped out!

Friday, December 12, 2008

RIP BETTIE...missed but never forgoton

Take the Quiz... Which Famous Pin Up Are You???

You Are Bettie Page

Girl next door with a wild streak

You're a famous beauty - with unique look

And the people like you are cultish about it

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Two of My Favorite Things...


I know, again with the aprons! I cannot help it; it is a new obsession after all!

Much like my last apronista post, this time it is MAPLE LANE!!!

Holiday apron giveaway. Adorable aprons, both half and full. My faves are the coffee time full apron as well as the candy cane full know in case you are wondering what to get me! *hint hint*

Photos are clickable and take you straight to the shop!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why, yes I have been crafting!

I totally dropped the ball on posting these!

Teen Queen wanted to be Lil Red Riding Hood, well actually Lil Dead Riding Hood. You know, after the wolf attacked! She needed a red cape. Momma to the rescue!

Taken right after it was completed. Red Boucle yarn. Crochet. No pattern, I just winged it.

Taken just before heading out for Halloween!

Next item is the Woolly Wormhead Meret aka Mystery Beret.

Work in Progress~ Yarn: Noro Cash Iroha
Completed Hat! I love it. Although, the next one I make I will do an extra clue 2 set to make it a bit slouchier. I knew I was taking a gamble since I was using yarn in my stash, rather than getting the recommended yarn.

Next up is my very first completed pair of Socks for Soldiers, Inc Socks and Beanie! I am thrilled that it took me just over a month to finish these up! I have already cast on a desert sand beanie while I await more sock yarn to arrive.

Pattern is SFS copyright, members only
Socks Yarn is Regia Stretch
Beanie is KP Essential

Freshly completed. Literally in one day. Only due to the fact they are crocheted and used thick yarn *wink*

Ribbed Scarf
(not so much a pattern as it is make a chain then SC in back loops only until desired width)
Yarn lion brand wool ease thick n quick in denim
P hook

Finally, but certainly not least...
Lion Brand Earflap Hat
Yarn ~ wool ease TQ charcoal, simply soft gray, patons classic wool merino in Autumn
Q hook

Since the weather here got chilly fast, the kids have requested the scarf and hat. Much like last year's fingerless mitts and gnomie hat. I have also cast on for convertible mitts! I hope they turn out well.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Newest Obession!!

Being the Wicked Happy Homemaker that I am...I have discovered that I do not own enough APRONS!

Yes, you heard me.... I said.... A P R O N S.

I have always loved the tvs shows of the 1940's and 1950's. Puttering about in the kitchen, making home baked and home cooked goodness. Very comforting to me. While I do not wear my high heels and pearls while cooking, aprons are quite useful! I have ruined far too many shirts to mention by splattering foods and or grease stains. Being a good cook does not mean one must be a tidy cook! Never trust a stain free cook... or a skinny cook for that matter!

One of my newest bloglines additions is THE APRONISTA!!! They often have fabby giveaways. This time it is a Originals by Lauren Giveaway. My fave apron is the plus size Michael Miller apron. It has fruit and bottles of wine. Very Tuscany if you ask me. Of course I am a huge fan of the Retro aprons as well!

Who of these days I may have to try the high heels and pearls with my aprons to complete the look!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sack Lunches

This was sent though one of my online groups Socks for Soldiers, Inc. Being a military wife I feel the need to re post it here!

The Sack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned

It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read
Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all
the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation. 'Where are you headed?'

I asked the soldier seated nearest to me. 'Chicago - to Great Lakes Base.
We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Iraq'

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches
were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached Chicago, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned
to buy lunch.

'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably
wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to Chicago' His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to
the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.'

She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she
thanked me.

'My son was a soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were
seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?'

'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the
front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. 'This is
your thanks.'

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for
the rest room.

A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here,
take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the
aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, an said, 'I want to shake your hand.'

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a
booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone
bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when
applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man
who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake

He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed in Chicago I gathered my belongings and started to deplane.

Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put
something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word.

Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to
the base.

I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take
you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow

As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.

These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a
couple of meals.

It seemed so little...

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life,wrote a blank check made
payable to

'The United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no
longer understand it.'

Monday, November 03, 2008

Hey! Check This Out!!!

No, it's not knitting. Although I have been doing plenty of that. I am *so* close to completing my first pair of SFS. I have also been working on the Mystery Beret from Woolly Wormhead at Rav.

While I was perusing my usual blog haunts ... I came across THIS! Wholly Cow!!! It would be super great to win this computer. I would immediately gift it to my teenage daughter. She is going to need her very own computer one of these days.

Feel free to check out the awesome photography within the website... you can even enter to win the computer.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Shawls to be put on hold...due to the war

This past year I have become a Mystery Shawl addict, I am well aware of it, and it is no secret that I have a love of lace. However, I have soooo many of these KALs saved to my computer. Simply due to the fact there are not enough knitting hours in my day for lace knitting. With all the kid corralling I do, I need portable knitting. Lace is not very portable. I have many mystery lace projects in different states of done-ness (if that;s even a word). With so many lace WIPs lying about Wicked Manor, it has taken every fiber of my being to *NOT* sign up for any more lace shawl Kals, free or otherwise.

The making of Rambo's socks, I felt the need to make more! Not just for him but for others. Not just others, but other soldiers. I have been yearning to add charity knitting to my list, but had not found one I could be committed to. Then it came to me... SOCKS FOR SOLDIERS!!!

Partial Description from the site~ Socks for Soldiers, Inc.
This organization is about sending gifts of love to our soldiers in the Middle East. We are not interested in the politics in this war, but in showing support to our troops by each sending love in a special thoughtful way. When we knit a pair of socks for one soldier we are sharing part of ourselves. "Support our Troops" means more than a yellow bumper sticker.

With my Special Forces Rambo man off doing his thing for duty, honor, and country... I need to do my part. Well you know, besides running the home and kids of course!
I may not be Rosie the Riveter... but I can be Wicked, the Special Forces Sock Knitting Wife! I am passionate about this, and will be blocking off a good portion of my knitting hours to this charity.

You do not have to know or even care about the reasoning or agendas behind the war/s, you do not have to be a Democrat or like Republicans, you do not have to even know a soldier; to show those who are deployed and putting their lives on the line everyday and night that you care about them and are thankful for their duty. I have met many people who thank Rambo for what he does. I have also met many people who thank Me and the kids for what we do and endure as a military family. Support the troops means also supporting the troops families. There are families attached to those soldiers. These families who continue on with their day to day activities while their loved ones are half a world away. If you should come across a military family in your day to day activities, thank them. Offer help for anything at all. It could be something as small as mowing the lawn. It could mean much to them and one less chore on their plate. (anyone who loves painting eaves and overhangs... boy do I have a job for you!*wink wink nudge nudge*)

All joking aside. It used to really tick me off during our first war deployment, when people would give all the praise to the soldier, without even taking into consideration what the military family left behind goes through while the soldier is off fighting the fight. So many people are effected by the war deployments, and yet; so many people, day to day while out grocery shopping, or driving through Starbucks for their daily venti latte forget that we are a country actually at war.

It is not fame, glamor, power, political agendas, or wealth that made this country great, it is honor, duty, courage, and love of country.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Girl Effect.... Girl Power like you have never thought of...

There are a lot of charitable organizations out there. All clamoring for your money. All wanting in on your cash. Even though you can't give to all, perhaps choose just one. With the US economy as it is now, gas and food are probably taking up all your extra money.

If you’re interested, go to and click on “Do something”.

Change the course of history... CHANGE THE WORLD!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Toe Up Campfire Socks for Rambo

Toe Up Campfire Socks
Originally uploaded by Wicked Stitch
Started and completed in the same week!

*WOW* So that's what it feels like to be monogamous with one project!?!?!?

Too many things on the needles these days, too far behind in mystery shawl KALs and pretty far behind in my holiday giftie knitting as well.

What's a girl to do?
Guess I will just keep knitting!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sitting on my ass, watching tv...

Yes, there I was watching CNN as Ike barreled his way toward the gulf coast.  This was Sept 10-12.  

Sunday the 14th he whooped up on KY and IN for a while.  No one expected that so much damage would have been caused so far inland.  Sure some winds... but 60-70 MPH gusts all damn day?  Debris flew for HOURS.  Trees snapped, others were uprooted, some just had the tops bust off, branches and downed lines everywhere.  That day, one death due to a branch falling on a young boy mowing the lawn.  Since then, many more due to trees and branches falling on people and electrocution.  

We of course were not to go unscathed.  Nothing fell through the house, so that's always good.  The top of one of our pine trees, the size of half the tree itself,  snapped off.  It busted through a portion of our privacy fence.  The one small area of our brick home on which we have siding... yah, it flew off and INTO MY CAR!  Paint is scuffed and dings are all over it from debris smacking into it.  Insurance had better come in handy, I  cannot have my 2009 Camry looking like poo!  The power lines that go between our home and right side neighbors snapped when one of his trees uprooted and went into the lines and another tree on the fence-line.  BOOM!  And just like that we had no power.  Much of Jefferson county was without power.  By Sunday evening everyone was out assessing their damage and wielding chainsaws in an effort to help cut out cars that had been gushed, and clean up yards that are now trashed by mother nature and her tool Ike.  In the days that followed; Rambo, the kids and I were cleaning up our yard, fixing the fence and re attaching the siding.  The car is still not happy.  (Waiting to hear back from ins adjuster)  Hundreds of dollars worth of food was tossed out and into the trash.  Before we knew it, it was time to leave to take Rambo to his mobilization for deployment.  *UGH*  Not exactly the ideal last family week we had planned.

Seven hours later we are in a hotel room that has power.  We, being the dumb-asses we are, totally forget to plug in the cell phones.  Funny how you get used to not having power!  Days later, Rambo is safely at his starting point and the kids and I are on the way home... to a house with no power.  As of Saturday, 9 days later there are still 53,000 people without power.  Drained from the workhorse week of clearing debris and chopping trees, and now emotionally drained from seeing Rambo off , yet again; I get all psyched up for a 9 hour drive home.  No matter how many years we do this deployment thing, it never gets any easier.

So, there I am zooming along, thinking of how much ass my home is going to smell like after not having any power for ten days, how the kids are going to get ready for school in the dark, write absence notes, pay bills, how I need to call the insurance adjuster about my car, and about a gazillion other things....

**woooooooooooooo**  Flashing lights.... are you effing serious?  

Yah... no matter how much suck can happen to us... the universe is always there to remind me how much more it can suck! 

Highway Laser Happy Cop~ Ma'am do you know how fast you were going?  
Me~ I am gonna guess, 80?  
Highway Laser Happy Cop~ I have you lasered at 74.
Me~ Fabulous.
Highway Laser Happy Cop~ Can I ask why you are in a hurry?
Me~ Just trying to get home after dropping off my husband for deployment, sir.

(hand my info over and Highway Laser Happy Cop walks off to his cruiser)
Highway Laser Happy Cop is in his vehicle for what seems an eternity....

Highway Laser Happy Cop~ Here are your documents, your ticket and your warning. I have your court date set for .... 

~~This would be where I blank out... thinking to myself oh shit I have to go to court?

he continues, the warning is apparently for not signing my registration.  

~~ again to myself, really???  I'm supposed to sign my registration?  How come I have never heard nor done this before???

Highway Laser Happy Cop~ Ma'am are you ok?  

Me~ Yes sir.  ( I must have either looked really confused or sick to my stomach)

Highway Laser Happy Cop~ Be careful pulling out into traffic.

Me~ quietly to myself... yah in order to do that, I have to drive FAST!

The kids are slightly freaked.  They have heard stories of their momma getting busted by the coppers for her infamous lead foot.... however, this was the first time they were to experience it with their very own eyes!  I tell them not to worry about it, I just have to pay a fine.  I have yet to get REALLY busted hard and go to jail!  With that levity, we laugh and turn on the radio and head the very small distance home.  ( I got nailed just across the river in Jeffersonville, IN... I could see the Louisville skyline!)

We drive up to the neighborhood and see a few lights... does this mean we have POWER???
Into our driveway, and porch lights are on!  Sa~Weeeeeeet!   We DO have power!  

Perhaps it was the universe's way of giving me a little back?  Yanno since I have handled this whole shitty month with such a superb sense of humor and gusto!?  

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Getting Into the Swing of Things~

As many of my friends with school age kids are just starting school this week, we have begun the fourth week.

We are still not fans of waking up at the crack.

Sporting scene... 
Teen Queen~ Magic Softball has wound down until spring training for next year.  High School Field Hockey is going strong.  Runner up in the Apple Tournament, and so far undefeated in regular season play.  Season runs all the way through October 10th. 
High School Fall Ball (fastpitch softball) also begins this week.  

Boy Wonder~ Fall Ball (baseball) begins this week.  In October he will try out for his Middle School team.

Busy time again for the Wicked/Rambo family.  As we brace ourselves again for mobilization.  Here's hoping the ride is not quite as wild as last time!  Not sure how much excitement I can handle in one lifetime!

With Ravelympics over, I have been able to catch up on some regular ole knitting.  
For Halloween~ Nothing like dressing up the kitchen with some Spooky Dishcloths

Green is a bat, Orange is a Jack o Lantern, Black ones are Cat and Raven (even though it is impossible to see in the photo).  The duo color ones are called ball band dishcloths.  I have named the black and green one "franken-cloth"

I have also cast on for Terra.
It is my dream to be able to make and wear it to CT this fall.
My yarn is Beaverslide Dry Goods McTaggart Tweed in Mountain Mahogany. Unfortunately, being the tight knitter I am... my gauge is off and I have since had to frog out the ten inches in this photo!  Chatting with the designer, I will have to go up another needle size or so.  

I would rather frog it, and be able to wear my hand-knit pullover this fall. 

Below is some lace knitting!  Secret of the Stole 3.  
Size 3 needles circular of course, yarn is knit picks shimmer; color is called cumulus and I am using silver lined crystal clear beads.

Close up of the stitches and beads, using flash.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

School Starts TOOOO Early Here

The kids have been in school since August 12th. It has been sheer craziness getting the supplies, clothes, orientations all organized and taken care of. Both Teen Queen and Boy Wonder are LOVING school this year.  Sure, the 'honeymoon' phase is to be expected the first few days of school.  Last year it did not even last a week.  This year, we are heading into our 3rd week and they are still over the moon about their new schools! 

However, getting used to the early morning schedule sorta sucks ass for all involved... especially with the Olympic coverage being televised so late at night.  AND... if you want to watch women's softball action; then you will be staying up until around 3am! (if you know this family, then you know that we were not going to miss softball and were absolute night owls as a result) Which is no easy feat when I have to be up and getting the kids up and ready for school.  

Busy chauffeuring them around as ever! With school, tutoring, field hockey, baseball, travel competitive softball and soon high school fall ball... games and practices, we are one very busy family! Life REALLY gets interesting when Rambo is out and about training all over the place.

Teen Queen's high school freshman field hockey team took 2nd in their first tournament of the season. Pretty great!

In between driving the kids all over, keeping up with laundry and feeding the athletes I have managed to get some knitting done.  

Ravelympics 08 FO's... Knitting for Team LSG. Events I participated in were Hat Dash and WIPs Wrestling.  I am a Ravthlete  *lol*



hat dash medal

After the Purled Beret, came the Frivol Hat for Rambo
Pattern mod: I left out the bobbles.

Frivol Hat without flash

Pattern Amanda Hat


WIP gold medal

12 point starghan complete
Completed objects = 

LSG win blog badge
Projects not even touched... = 

lsg failblg badge

Items not completed include: 2nd sock to my Crazy Monkeys at Sea (wips wrestling), Divine hat and Madly Marguerite hat. Which makes me both a winner AND a loser.
yaaay TEAM LSG 
LSG winner gold
Now, I need to get to some selfish knitting! I have yarn and pattern for a hoodie that I want to bring to CT this Autumn for reunion.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hark... A Completed Object...for Ravelympics


What can I say... so much of my online time is spent on Rav. LOVE DA RAV!

Ravelympics 2008...Your challenge should you choose to accept it, is to start and finish a project during the 2008 Olympic Summer Games.

Event is Hat Dash - - Team is LSG of course!

Hat pattern is Last Minute Purled Beret

Photo are ... now - - >>>

My medals - - ->>>

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Last Roadtripping with Wicked...the IA edition

July 24th-28th

Ok, so home for like 2 days and it's time to pack it up and head on out again!

This time to IOWA! It's time for our annual golf open, which we unfortunately we do not get to every year. This year, however we are so there!

Uncle Leo: Where's my eff-ing ball? It is insanity at it's best! Tons of people come to take part in the golf open. They all golf, drink, and have dinner afterwards. It's not just family either, it's the locals who all know my father in law and family out there. We make no money off it. The proceeds are barely enough to cover the greens fees, cart rentals, bar tab and food. It's all just for fun!

This year Boy Wonder wanted to golf. This would be his first time out on a course. He has been to the driving range a few times. Teen Queen was my golf cart chauffeur for the day. She just drove around behind them as I worked on a crochet bday ghan. Many people were amazed that this was Boy Wonder's first time on the course. He was often out driving the men on his team.

It was a beautiful but long day out there.

Sunday the kids wanted to go fishing. They had gotten 'hooked' on it a couple of years ago when we all went down to the creek not too far from the old farmhouse in IA. Nothing too strenuous, just bluegill, the occasional catfish, and sunfish. Usually bring a couple back to the house to feed to the farmcats. I was feeling artsy with the camera.

Monday it was time to get back in the car and head back home...9 hours.

It is amazing to me that after all that car riding time that my poor car was not smelling like all kinds of ass!

Part Three Roadtripping with Wicked...the High School story

July 22nd-23rd
After arriving home from what seemed to be the trip to FL that would never end we slept and slept fast! We had a morning meeting with the principal of the high school we had been trying to get Teen Queen into for months.

Where we live they have this Traditional Program for schools, along with the resides schools as well as your school clusters. It's all enough to make your head spin. When I had to tour schools to determine which kindergarten I wanted my kids to go to, I felt as if I was scouting out colleges!

The Traditional Program dictates that if you go to this Traditional Elementary School, then you will automatically feed into this Traditional Middle School and when the time comes, this Traditional High School. While we have had issues with the elementary school at times in the past, the middle school was a great experience for our daughter and our son is heading there this year. The High School, however I have had doubts about from the beginning. From it's location so far away and it's less than desirable surrounding area, to the sporting facilities, to the overcrowding. Needless to say, the more time I spent at said HS, the less I wanted our kids to attend there.

In 8th grade our daughter was able to play softball up at the HS level. I saw more of what we didn't want for our children. Also, in 8th grade they had to choose their locker buddies. With the ovecrowding, this school has 2-3 kids sharing a locker! I do not know about you, but when I went to HS, I could barely stuff all my junk into my very own locker! SHARE IT??? Are you kidding me?

We had filed an application to the Board of Education to our next choice of High School. One which is closer, has far better academics, sporting facilities and location. We were told to apply for a transfer. OK. Transfer request submitted. We were denied, without reason. We file an appeal...again, denied without reason. At this point we are pissed off and frustrated beyond belief, that the system has failed us. We have resigned ourselves to the fact that our daughter will have to do freshman yr at less than ideal high school, and try for a mid year transfer to our choice high school. Doing this, she would not try out for any team sports. For the fact that should she play ANY time at all playing varsity, and transfer to another school...she would become ineligible to play for the new school for a full year. If by some miracle we did get to transfer her, we wanted her to be able to play her sports at our choice school.

Living at the ballparks as we do and speaking with other parents, they told us to contact this coach, who also happens to be the head coach at our choice high school. Now, we have never been fans of the 'it's all about who you know' way of doing things. But, in all fairness we had followed the proper steps and proceedures and it failed us...and this was for our daughter afterall!

Rambo got in touch with and sent off an email to this coach before we left for FL. While on the road the coach called and wanted to set up a meeting with us, himself and the principal as soon as we got back.

So, there we were, fresh off the road trip, with denial papers and appeal letters. We met with the head softball coach who took us to meet with the principal. He listened to us, was shocked to hear about our denials with no reason given. Even more shocked that he was never even contacted about this. He said it was a pleasure to meet us and that he was going to make a call and we should know by Thursday. We were 2 steps out of his office, when he approached us and welcomed us to his High School for the next 4 years. They were also quick to ask if she has any siblings. We told them to expect Boy Wonder in about 3 yrs. We filled out some papers in counseling for school change and register her for classes. About an hour later, the softball coach calls and says, “Oh yeah, I spoke to the Field Hockey coach and she wants you at tryouts today 4-6.” Talk about moving fast! It is refreshing to see a coach who encourages his players to participate in other sports and be willing to work with it. The field hockey coaches were THRILLED to see Teen Queen. Not only because she is a goalie, but they have seen her in action with her former middle school. Her team had only one loss last year. The tryouts was a 3 day process, we missed Monday. She must have made such an impression on them that they told her they would be ordering new goalie equipment for her for this season.

The principal was apologetic about the fact we followed the proper (legal) steps to have our daughter transferred and it failed us twice. Oh, and he told her that she will have her very own locker. Needless to say this makes for one VERY excited family!

Sometimes, it IS all about who you know!

Second part of road tripping with Wicked...

July 19th -22nd

After the softball games were done and our team was out it was time to get things packed up and ready to head on out the door in the morning.

checkout of condo.... so long beach

I did not sleep very well. I am pretty sure it was due to knowing full well the weirdness we had to next encounter. The weirdness, of which I speak; is going to my mother's place. Since moving to FL in 1990 (I think it is) she has not left the state. Well, ok she did come to GA for our wedding in 92 and to NC in 94 to see Teen Queen at a couple days old...but other than that? NO WAY, NO HOW! Not even when there are statewide evacuations for hurricanes!!! They have never been to our current home of 12 or so years, last saw Teen Queen at less than 1 yr old and have never met Boy Wonder.

The relationship between my mother and I is an odd one to say the least. We are not close but not fully estranged either. I have a deep respect for my mother and how she ever managed to raise my sister and I alone is amazing. While I don't agree with how she did some things raising us, she did the best she could with what she had. After having my own kids, I found out that they do not pop on outta there with little how to manuals! I also learned that some things that I may not agree with helped to make me who I am today. Which I am pretty cool with who I am and how I turned out. I have to add that my making conscious choices to change certain behaviors and things in my life have added to my ultimate cooooolness.

My sister on the other hand...well we won't get into that! Suffice it to say that some things you just cannot make up.

At 9am we packed up the car and were heading the 1 hour to mother’s.
My mother… to describe? She has not changed at all with the exception of a couple more wrinkles and has darkened her hair. She still has the same basic hairstyle she has had forever; she likes her some big ole hair with lots of spray. She still has super long nails, still wears short skirts, as well as tops to showcase the ta tas, still tan and she still wears heels 24/7. Bob is still Bob, just older and shaggier. Back in the day, he did not have facial hair. They are a cute couple, she is still hot stuff and he is still dapper. They have a dog, a miniature pinscher, Max. Max was not fond of having guests in his lil world. oh yeah, and he isn't very fond of cameras either!

Everyone had a good visit. They enjoyed seeing the grandkids and hearing about what they have been up to. The grandkids enjoyed meeting their Florida grandparents and seeing their place. I think their favorite place was on the dock. Years ago, the 'rents had a very large sailboat. I think it was something like a 46 ft Catalina. Which is why they bought the condo they did with it's own dock.

and one of my favorite photos

After a couple days, it was time for us to get back on the road and on our way home.

Family Photo Op...get it while the gettin' is good!

The main purpose for the visit, since we were down that way; was to pick up some family furniture. They are downsizing, realizing that they do not need 2 guest rooms, they are turning one into an office/exercise room. I inherited my mother's 1940' solid maple bedroom suite, an antique tea table, drop leaf table and a couple boxes of antique glassware. They were considering giving/selling it to strangers. HELL NO! That's MY family stuff. Stuff that I grew up with, stuff that should be handed down; not sold off to someone who has no bond to it.

The uhaul place did not have the smaller truck that would have more suited our needs, so we had to go larger... not only cost us more to rent, but every 200 miles Rambo would stop to put gas in it… $85.00. It’s a 700 or so mile trip. That’s a lot of gas! Especially considering that the Hybrid Camry only took one tank of gas enroute. Started with a fullish tank and had to fill it one time on the road. $42.00 SWEEET!

Rambo and Boy Wonder back there in the Uhauler

Teen Queen Making the Most of Having Whole Back Seat to Herself

yes I took it while driving!

Got home just after midnight I think...have to get up early to meet with principal at desired choice of high school for Teen Queen....

Family Downsizes from SUV to Hybrid...

Here is my gushing on RoofBag. In fact, this is the 'testimonial' email I have sent to the company.

These day's easy to find a company or person to gripe or bitch about; they are EVERYWHERE!!! People have lost their manners, as well as their sense of accountability. I often bitch about these bufoons in my daily life. When one comes across a company which has shown excellence in customer service as well as offering a great product at an affordable price...well it's brag time baby!

my letter:
For the past 8 years or so I have either had a van or an SUV. Having extra space for road trips was never an issue for this family. This past March we traded in our Chevy Trailblazer LT 4x4 for a Toyota Camry Hybrid. We knew we would lose extra space, but the savings at the pump would be worth it.

In July we had a road trip to FL for Fastpitch World Series. Quickly my thoughts went to lack of space and how to get a family of four, ten days worth of belongings per person, pillows, towels, blankets as well as our daughter’s gear bag. Being a catcher her bat bag is jam packed with catchers gear, bats, mitts etc. Her bag alone takes up a good portion of the trunk. One thought was to unload her bag and pack it all individually into the trunk, then place everything else on top. Would that give us enough space, without having to flood the kids with stuff crammed into every nook in the backseat? Another thought was a roof top carrier. We used to have a hard shell carrier when we owned the Trailblazer; but now no roofrack, and on a HYBRID!?!?
I quickly went to one of the Hybrid forums I belong; to ask if anyone had traveled with a rooftop carrier on their hybrids, how it worked out and what kind of soft carrier did they use. Most of the carriers talked about, when more info was found by taking a good close look, are made for and recommended for use *with a rack*. This posed an issue for me, as I did not like the thought of using a bag not made for use without rack and having my family’s belongings scatter all over the interstate!

A quick search online brought ROOF BAG to my attention. Specifically, for use with or WITHOUT a rack! After browsing your site and all of your products, I knew I had found what we needed. Now the question was which size and would it get here in time? I sent off and email to inquire about which size would be best for my car. To my amazement, a reply was sent 2 hours later with advice and size recommendation. WOW! Now that’s service! I placed my order immediately, knowing that we would be on the road in 2 days. I ordered the 11 cu ft CrossCountry in gray, storage pouch, protective mat and set of 3 duffle bags. Even with overnight shipping the cost was far cheaper than most hardshell carriers on the market. offers a large variety of shipping options.

Happily, my order arrived on time as stated online. When it came time to pack, it was a breeze. The duffle bags made loading and unloading quick and easy. It was super simple to attach and load onto the car. The kids loved that they actually had space in the backseat and did not have to be squished for an 11+ hour trip!

The RoofBag did not shift once during the trip. It’s ability to not shift was put to the test, when wildlife crossed our path late at night and dodging and hard braking became necessary. It was also completely waterproof, as I drove through quite a few rain/thunder storms during the trip.
The fact that once we reached our destination, we removed the RoofBag and folded it into it’s little drawstring storage bag and tossed it into our trunk is an added bonus. As we drove around the ballparks and surrounding areas for the next week; I saw many roadtrippers driving around with their hard shell carriers still attached to their vehicles. This left me feeling pretty smug for having RoofBag.

We are super happy with the customer service as well as our RoofBag! You can bet that we will be recommending this to everyone! Thank you for offering such an amazing product at such an affordable price!!!

Friday, August 01, 2008

What Was THAT Sound???

Oh yeah, that would be the sound of July WHIZZING by!

A whole month without a blog post *eeek*

No joke, one day we have an entire month ahead of us....the next, it's flipping AUGUST and school begins in less than 2 weeks! WTF!?!?!?

Been Wicked busy around here! Wanna know what we've been up to???

Short version:
We've been to FL for Softball World Series, been to visit my mother and step father in FL, drove back home in 2 vehicles, one of which was a uhaul truck, met with high school, got Teen Queen into school of choice, teen queen tried out and made Field Hockey team, laundered clothes to pack up again and be back on the road in 2 days to IA for family golf and visiting. *whew*

L-O-N-G Version (may take a couple postings, one for each stretch of the trip)

Saturday July 12th - July 19th

Saturday July 12th Boy Wonder's baseball team has their Championship Game 10 am. They WIN and not only take their league, but also their division..Double WIN. They ended their season with 20 wins and 1 loss. Pretty damn impressive for 10 and 11 yr olds! Boy Wonder led the league in Homeruns. By season's end he had thumped TEN of em over the fence; 2 of em were GrandSlams!

Game was done, trophies handed out and we were on our way back to the house. Boy Wonder needed to shower, Rambo and I had to finish packing and load up the car, and Teen Queen...well she had to pace herself. Before we knew it we were all set and on the road. Panama City Beach, here we come! Along with thousands of other softball teens and their families! Panama City Beach, FL is where we were headed for the FastPitch World Series (B). There were about 102 teams in the 14U division including Teen Queen's ~ Louisville Magic.

This would be my beloved new Camry Hybrid! Well, new since March...does that still count as new? Having downsized from the Trailblazer LT 4x4, and having to lug Teen Queen's batting and catching gear around, extra space was required for this 11 hour road trip. This is where RoofBag comes into play! I will have to do a post entirely on RoofBag. I cannot recommend this product enough!

Brown Park, Panama City, FL... a very different landscape than home. No palm trees in KY!

It was just go, go, go in Panama City. There was never a whole day off, always something somewhere. We did get in a lil beach time as well as pool time, so that was good. The girls lost the first pool play, which is ok. The pool play games are really just warm up games and do not count towards the bracket games or standings. They then won their next 2 pool play games.

This is an evening view from our 13th floor condo.

Next came the bracket play. 2 games, if you keep winning, you keep playing til you win the whole thing or lose 2. We had to be at a park about 20-30 min away, an hour before the game. Which means we woke up at 5 and were at the park and girls were warming up by 6 am. *ugh* That’s ugly early!

We played a team from TN who promptly kicked our butts. After which we had a gift exchange.

Later, we find out that their pitcher was all-state and they have 6 high school girls on the team. Our girls held their own for a bit against this team for a few innings. While at another park; we found out that this team comes to a B class tournament to warm up for the class A tournament. That’s just wrong.

There was a 5pm game, so much better than 7am! The girls won with ease. We had met our first goal of playing further than last yr.

Sunset at Callaway Fields

Our next game would be against a local team that we play every week. We all laughed that we had to drive all the way to FL to play a team that lives about 20 min away! Since each of us had lost 1 bracket game, this meant whomever lost this game was going home and the other would live to play another game. We wanted to send them home BAD. Beating them would provide us with local bragging rights, our second goal!

Both teams wanted to win to send the other KY team packing. After no score in allotted time it goes to extra innings in an international tie breaker; in which each team gets one more at bat, with a runner already on second base. We managed to score a couple runs. I was already feeling pretty nauseous due to the heat and the game situation. Then to add to my ack, Teen Queen was up! Our girl smacked an out of the park grand slam homerun!!!!!! Talk about screaming fans! From both sides. Rambo was so excited he started banging the fence and managed to crack the crystal in his watch! That's DAMN funny! The next girl up hit a homerun too! By the time we got our 3 outs, it was 9-0 and the OC was up to bat. They managed to get 4 runs.

No still shots taken, I was taking video of the whole game! Yeah, on the Teen Queen's grandslam clip all you can hear is me, screaming and cheering like the ass, er umm... I mean proud momma that I am. Clearly, I will have to edit that clip!

We had won! Not only playing farther than we did last yr, but also beating a local team. We lived to play another game. Little did we know that it was at the next field over and it was NOW! The girls had about enough time to pee and that was it. Time to take the field. Our girls had put everything they had into that previous game. It was super hot and humid, they were exhausted and the opposing team had been resting the whole time our team was playing. The Magic played their hearts out and were beat by this team. It did not matter one bit. We could not have been more proud of our girls.

Everyone: parents, players and coaches were so thrilled that we had met our goals that losing this one just did not matter.

It was now early evening on Friday, we went back to the condo swam a bit in the pool with some of the team. The beach was very mucky, lots of algae and seaweed. We packed up our stuff and got ready to check out Saturday morning.

Post 2 of next stretch coming soon....
but first; my gushing about roofbag