Friday, October 31, 2008

I've been down-in-the-dumps for 2 days.

And the fact that I got a flu shot on Wednesday is most likely the reason I feel so absolutely blaaaaahhhhhhh. That really wiped me the heck out. At one point Wednesday night my husband just looked at me and laughed as I stood in the middle of the kitchen staring into space. Then I remembered that my body is trying to fight off the flu shot and it is taking all of my energy so I'd better just go to bed.

Anyway, I forced my family to see 'High School Musical 3' last night after dinner (I made pancakes and scrambled eggs because I just couldn't get myself to actually make a meal) just to cheer me up.

After the first hour my husband and step-son were ready to kill me and my step-daughter was lovin' me. I enjoyed it and it did feel good to do something fun with the family.

The men just don't realize how much a high-spirited youthful musical lifts up a girl's spirits.

Anyway, food has been on my mind a lot too. I've haven't had much of an appetite after the diet episode last week.

I've been wondering what I would eat if I knew it was going to be my last meal.

I'm not too sure yet about the entree, maybe lobster, but I know I would eat all the Hagen Daz Coffee Ice Cream I could.

How about you, what meal would you eat if you knew it would be your last?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why I Should Have Stayed in Bed

Wednesdays are my day off. A day to catch up on the laundry, cleaning and errands.

Yesterday I planned on going to the dentist to have him put back the crown that fell out before my wedding, then get my nails done (finally), then go for a routine check up and then go get a few things from the grocery store.

The dentist's office was interesting. He told me that because I had waited 3 months to come in, my teeth shifted and the crown no longer fit. He used a diamond head drill and made it fit, but before he permanently cemented it in he tried it out first. When he saw that it did indeed fit he tested to see if dental floss would fit between the neighboring teeth.

That's when I heard him shout, "OH NO!!!!".

The crown had catapulted down my throat as he pried the floss out.

However, I saved the day by sitting up quickly and coughing the thing up.

Dainty, yes, I know.

Immediately from there I went to get my nails done. After an hour of the most detailed and exact laying on of nails I've ever experienced, the nail technician managed to get her whole hand glued to a metal aerosol bottle.

I took a long time for the other nail technician to remove it.

There was a lot of laughing going on, so she really was fine.

So what was supposed to be an hour at the nail salon actually took 2 1/2 hours.

But I'm not complaining because - I HAVE NICE LOOKING NAILS AGAIN!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is it a Crime?

Living with an 11 year old boy has been an eye-opening experience.

It has been a long time since my sons were that age and I don't remember them being so, well, so typical boy-energy/loud/playful/rough/messy/adamant-ish.

My stepson is a handful at times and at other times he is the sweetest, most loving child.

And there are the times when I just can't figure him out at all.

For instance, last Saturday we took a drive to Albany (2hrs away) from Connecticut to drop off my daughter's dog. We had been dog sitting all week while she was in Las Vegas at a wedding.

We stopped off at Burger King to get some lunch and since I wasn't eating lunch, I told the family that I was going to take the dog for a walk in the grassy part of the parking lot.

"NO, NO, THERESA, YOU CAN'T DO THAT HERE!!!", the boy screamed as he grabbed the dog's collar and tried to get him back in the truck as quickly as possible.

"Why not?", I replied.

"We are in Massachusetts, this is PUBLIC. You can't let the dog pee in PUBLIC in Massachusetts!!!!!", he screamed in a panic.

Me and my husband gave each other an inquisitive look are were trying not to laugh.

And the boy continued repeating the same thing over and over until we convinced him that it was okay to let your dog pee in public in the state of Massachusetts.

But his rationale....still remains a mystery.

He still can't explain it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I Understand Now

Sometimes I forget that I have medical issues.

I go about my life acting and thinking that I'm just like everyone else...I can do anything physical, I can stay up late and not get enough sleep and I can eat anything that comes my way - even though I had half of my colon removed five years ago.

And sometimes it all catches up with me as my body screams, "ACT YOUR AGE NOT YOUR SHOE SIZE!!!".

[My shoe size is 5. Add a zero to that and that will be my age in December.]

I thought I could go on the Sacred Heart Diet - where eating lots of veggies and fruit helps you lose weight fast.

I was good up until the third day where you are instructed to eat all the fruit and veggies you can all day.

I had some fresh pineapple for breakfast, vegetable soup for lunch and as I was ferrying across the Sound (NY to Connecticut) I enjoyed an apple. Apples do not digest for New York Babe.

The pain was not unlike being in labor.

I stopped the diet, and when all was said and done I had lost 7 lbs.

And since I wasn't allowed to drink my usual few sips of Pepsi in the morning, for the first time in my life I tried coffee.

I have never in my entire life drank a cup of coffee.

Why have I waited all this time? I don't know, but I liked it.

And after a few sips I felt like my eyes were bigger than ever.

And just think of all the new possibilities:

I can meet friends for a cup of coffee.

Whenever I stop in at a convenience store I can go to the coffee counter with all the cool people.

I can invite people over for coffee.

So I have learned many important things about myself during this diet. And I will be more aware of how I take care of myself.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Since August I've been without a dishwasher.

I haven't complained, but I am getting a bit tired of washing, rinsing and drying ever single dish and utensil.

Because of our budget, or lack thereof, I've had to stop getting my nails done. I've always had acrylic pink and white...I believe I might have been born with them on.

So, in order to protect my now thin, damaged nails, I purchased yellow rubber gloves and I've been wearing them to do the dishes.

After two months, my nails look worse then ever.

That is not the gloves fault though. My nails and cuticles look like they belong to a bricklayer, not a female paralegal from New York.

The thing with the rubber gloves is that every single time I go to put them on, they are laying on my counter in a rather insulting position.

If you lean towards the paranoid side, as I sometimes do, then you will understand how I could possibly assume that someone in my household was trying to tell me something every time I went to put the gloves on.

But after a brief investigation I figured out that it was me who left them that way.

At first I wasn't aware that I took them off by pulling on the middle fingers and then laying them down with the rest of the fingers folded in.

Hence, the unintentional insult.

So, if my stepchildren didn't think I was weird enough before I asked them if they were trying to tell me something while showing them the position of the gloves, they certainly do now.

And my husband took a look at my manly hands yesterday and told me that he insists that I get my nails done...even if it doesn't fit into our budget.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


100 days ago today, I married the man of my dreams.

Happy Anniversary Capt, I love you.

Also, 100 days ago today, I weighed 10 pounds less than I do today.

I don't have a calculator on hand, but I can assume that at that rate, he's gonna have to build a bigger door entrance for me soon.

Just sayin'....

Seriously, I am going to start the Sacret Heart Diet, anyone want to join me? Someone at work, who didn't even look like she needed to diet, lost 14 lbs the first week and now, 6 months later, eats whatever she wants in moderation and lost a total 35 lbs.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why Leaving the Toilet Seat Open Might be a Good Thing.

6:00 am Saturday Morning:

Pookie, age 13: "Theresa, first of all I want you to know that I am totally serious, okay?"

YewNorkBabe, age 49 and holding: "Okay, what's up?"

Pookie: "Really, really, really, I'm not kidding about this."

YNB: "Okay, just tell me."

Pookie: "There is a dead mouse in my bathroom toilet."


Pookie: "Theresa, what should I do?"

*silence* as Theresa tries very hard not to take an emotional decline.

Pookie: "Theresa are you okay?" (She knows how freaked out I get about rodents, especially when they are in our house.)

YNB: "Just go wake your father and tell him that a mouse committed suicide in the toilet."

I heard laughter and then a flush.

It seems that all our neighbors are getting mice in their houses. They seem so matter-of-fact about it. I, on the other hand, am ready to move to another house.

I am not handling this well.

Even though I am strongly against hypnotism, I am seriously thinking about getting hypnotized into thinking that mice are cute or something.

I wonder if there are hypnotists that do that sort of thing.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Color of Love

A while ago my insurance company approved us for a new kitchen floor, since the old floor had buckled from the dishwasher leak.

Even though they approved $15,000 worth of work, I was only allowed to spend $1.50 per square foot on the flooring.

And the flooring had to be vinyl tile, nothing else, since that was what the previous flooring was.

If I was going to upgrade, it would have been a big deal. And I have not been in the mood for a big deal. And our household budget wasn't in the mood for a big deal.

So, my husband and I went looking for flooring at $1.50 per square foot in our area. By area I mean the 50 mile radius around the one traffic light town in the boondocks where we live. In other words, Home Depot....the only place around these parts.

It was impossible to find anything, so I called the restoration company and asked them if they had any ideas. They sent me to a flooring warehouse in Milford, CT. And one Wednesday afternoon, I took the long drive there alone. The gentleman that I had an appointment with was shocked to find out that I traveled such a long way to pick out such a low cost tile. I told him that I was from New York.

That satisfied his curiosity.

He showed me a few samples and I quickly picked out an ugly one that wouldn't clash with the oak floors that surround the kitchen and left. You see, even though I am a woman, I am a tad bit color blind. Just a tad. I can't distinguish between pastel colors, purple and blue look the same to me. I've mistakenly worn one black/blue shoe and one brown shoe/boot/sandal to work too many times to remember.

Later that night Capt and I had open house at Pookie's middle school. There, right under our feet was the same tile I had just chosen for our kitchen. Uggh. "You see this right here?", I point out to him, "This is our new kitchen tile." He didn't comment. But he did roll his eyes.

The restoration company came on Tuesday for a projected three-day job of removing the granite counter tops, cabinets, flooring, etc. and laying the new floor.

State Farm told me to go out and eat at any restaurant with my family during the renovation and they will reimburse us. So for the first night we decided to go to the kid's favorite place, Boston Market. But the second night was going to be a real fancy place.

When we got home from Boston Market, the kitchen was finished. Rats!!!! No more free meals.

But I believe a miracle happened.

The flooring brightens up the kitchen and I'm loving it.

I wish I could show you some pictures, but I'm having great difficulty.

My husband says that now, whenever I want to upload the pictures from my camera, I have to use the Dazzle and they automatically go onto the F drive which can be found by......and all I start to hear is "Blah, blah, la, la....., something important, something important...configures...blah, blah...." and then I see something shiny in the distance and I'm totally gone.

So, I don't have a clue what I'm doing with my pictures.

There is some more good news though, the restoration company broke the granite counter top. That was expected. So now, I have to pick out new granite and if I can't match the old granite (there is black granite on all sides of the kitchen) to the granite that is still intact, then I get to pick out new granite.

So this morning I was in the master bathroom with Capt, attempting to tame my unruly hair as we were discussing the kitchen granite situation and he began to brush his teeth with my green toothbrush. (We bought new toothbrushes last month.)

"Hey, that's my toothbrush, ewwww.", I say.

"Ewww, no, Babe, this is my toothbrush, see, it's green, don't tell me you've been using my toothbrush this whole time!!!!", he says.

"Yes I have because yours is the red one in the holder and green is my favorite color", I say.

"Look carefully at the red one, Babe, IT'S PINK, do you think I'd be using a PINK toothbrush?", he said.

"Oh Darn, I did it again, that's just gross".

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I won this award over at Nancy's Blog, thanks Nancy.

I love reading Nancy's Blog for many reasons but mostly because we are in similar situations in our lives and, when I'm going through tough times, reading about all the fun things she is doing with her family and friends makes me a feel like I'm not alone in all of this and that there is hope that in a while all will settle down.

I'd like to give this award to a few people that I love:

Mimi over at Beachy Mimi

Wendi over at Because Wendi Said So

Jessica over at Oh The Joys

Liz over at LooneyBin4sure

Nadine over at Just Being Me

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy 2 Year Negative Anniversary

My daughter and future son-in-law picked a wedding date.

October 10, 2010. Ten-ten-ten. Cute, eh?

I'm so excited that my daughter is getting married. Excited for her, excited for him and...well, excited for me because this is one step closer towards me becoming a grandmother... someday.

(Hey, I'm not getting any younger.)

So Happy Two-Year Negative Wedding Anniversary Jen and Jay.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Props Where Props are Due

This past Friday I got the kids off to school, dropped off their transition stuff to their mother's house, did some various other errands and drove to Boston, all by myself.

My husband had his monthly Drill Weekend. I know, I know, it sounds painful, but there are no dentist drills involved during Drill Weekend. I've asked.

The drive along the way to Boston was full of beautiful foliage. And, when I arrived in Boston, more civilization than I've seen in quite some time.

There was both hustle and bustle going on.

There were people and buildings...oh my land! I was so very excited to see so many cars...and not a pickup truck anywhere. Nor cows, or horses anywhere for that matter. Not that I mind the cows and horses in my town, it's just that whenever I see any type of urban civilization I get all nostalgic and excited.

Capt had printed me out a coupon for 25% off on parking at PreFlight Parking. Let me tell you that the people over there were wonderful. As soon as I got out of my car the shuttle bus pulled up to whisk me off to the airport. Bach was gently playing throughout the bus....Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major to be of my favs.

(Youze didn't know I was so kultured n' stuff, did ya?)

When I arrived back to Boston from my whirlwind of a trip to SC another shuttle was there as I stepped out of the building. There was no waiting at all.

This bus was calming too. In fact, a couple sitting next to me made their upcoming wedding arrangements on a cell phone during the 15 minute trip back. I know where they are getting married, the ceremony details, the flowers and their music choices. Entertaining, yes.

I got a ride directly to my truck and when I drove through to pay the cost for three days of parking was a mere $35 !!!

When I go to NYC that's what I pay an hour for parking.

It was a fun-filled, jam-packed weekend and I must say that I was very impressed with PreFlight Parking and how easy and affordable the parking was for me.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Self Destruction Opera, the Review

The play was brilliant.

Every performance was sold out except the matinee, which was the one we all went to (my mom and dad, my daughter and future son-in-law).

Usually my son is nervous during his plays, but this time he seemed more at peace. Saturday night's performance was being reviewed by some bigwigs from NY. I wasn't there for that performance....I can't wait to read the reviews.

As usual, most of the intricate meanings and messages and representations that my son peppered his play with flew right past my understanding. But that's just me, most things like that fly right over my head.

But the story of how a 20-something year old young man gets through his past, a past that defines him, and becomes a man who can obtain what he wants and overcomes what he doesn't like about himself is a story that I can understand.

After the play, members of the audience were talking about how brilliant it was and how talented my son is.

And I am so very proud of him.

The actors were fantastic, I couldn't get over how down-to-earth they were and how professional they were. And when I got to meet them after the play I was surprised that many of them had strong Southern accents. The play was set in NY City and they had the accent down perfectly.

My son Tom,David and Jen's little brother, the computer programmer- IT guy, doesn't like plays, so he doesn't come to see David's plays anymore.

David knows this and understands this, but still feels frustrated about it, as if it is a challenge. So, whenever he writes a play he says he thinks of Tom and tries to make the play interesting for someone like Tom, a non-play going person.

And in ALL of David's plays somewhere along the storyline he has a brother murdered.

David says the carnage will continue until his brother attends one of his plays.

Yes my family is odd.

But it's my family and I love them.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Self Destruction Opera

I'm flying out of here in a few hours to see my oldest son's play, "Self Destruction Opera" in South Carolina.

The proudness I is overwhelming.

This morning Pookie asked me what I am ever going to do with all the flight time I'll be experiencing (a whole 1 1/2 hours). I told her that I'd be most likely bothering the person sitting next to me about how my son is a playwright and how wonderful he is and how he was reading at a 3rd grade level at the age of 18 months old and how he has a brilliant mind and how I'm on my way to see a big production of one of his magnificent plays and how I'm not going to let this person, whomever he or she may be, get a word in edge wise because I'm so excited about my son DAVID.

Here is where you all might want to say a prayer for that poor person that is going to be sitting next to me.

I do find it funny though that Pookie gets all concerned when I have a few moments of nothing to do. In her world - No IPod, no Laptop, no GameBoy....well, what on earth does one do then?

Oh teenagers.

Here is what was written about my son David Jacobi's play:

CLEMSON — After starting with superheroes and capes, young David Jacobi graduated from comics to gritty graphic novels, like “Watchmen.” By the time he was a teenager, he was knee-deep in film noir, Stephen King and “The Twilight Zone.”

Jacobi, now a 28-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y.-based playwright, continues to chase shadows. His “Self Destruction Opera” is a dark comedy twisting together two separate plots — one: a 1940s-style drama; and the other: a modern tale of horror.

A Clemson University production of the play will make a six-day stand at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, Sept. 30 – Oct. 5. Clemson Theatre Director Mark Charney is helming the show.

“‘Self Destruction Opera’ is based on the idea something happening to one person can also happen to someone unrelated at the same time,” Charney said. “The two stories consistently overlap. It’s very contemporary, and suggests even in the worst of times, we’re all connected.”
Sundry characters populate “Self Destruction Opera,” which centers on the lives of two principals: suicidal landlord Bobby Newmark and chemically addled chef Franklin Pinkerton. Newmark finds the love of his lifetime, while Pinkerton buries his murdered wife. There’s a soul devouring demon — or is it a tormented brother? — calling from the super’s basement. (I told you it was dark.)

Jacobi began writing the play in China during summer 2007. At the time, he was studying language and culture at Beijing University and exploring the local theater scene. While laid up sick in his hotel room one morning, Jacobi hammered out a 10-page skeleton script. He fleshed out the entire story upon returning to the U.S. and his classes at State University of New York; as per a writing class assignment, Jacobi finished a full version in 48 hours. He recalls the whirlwind session as “exhausting” and “painful.”

Charney became aware of “Self Destruction Opera” when Jacobi submitted the script to WordBRIDGE, a cutting edge Clemson theatre initiative giving young playwrights access to real-world production resources. Out of 100 entries, Jacobi was one of seven writers selected for WordBRIDGE 2008.

“I loved the script. I’d rarely seen something so dark yet with so much hope,” Charney said. “There are two compelling stories coming together in a completely original way.”

At WordBRIDGE, Jacobi showed a willingness to experiment with his play and shift things around. After a pair of stellar auditions for the narrator, the role was split into two.

Like other WordBRIDGE playwrights, Jacobi was offered access to big-shot dramaturges, choreographers and other pros. The experience jolted his text.

Said Jacobi: “The play would not be where it is without WordBRIDGE. I was given unlimited research and was able to work with people I already admired. It’s absolute paradise for playwrights and writers.”

Now, a 12-person Clemson Players student cast is making Jacobi’s words reality. The production is ambitious for a collegiate project. A wall of light. Trap doors. Spiral staircase. Four-level stage. A pregnant woman spewing confetti from the womb.

It’s all in there.

“I think ‘Self-Destruction Opera’ is a play trying to be a movie,” Jacobi said.

In a small New York production of the play, Jacobi even rolled credits on a screen before the actual show.

“Theatre is kind of too smart for its own good. I don’t want to dumb it down, but I want something entertaining to bring people in with kind of a film mind. Theatre offers intimacy, but I wish it had more of the accessibility of cinema,” Jacobi said.

Charney compares the play to films from bent auteur David Lynch, like “Blue Velvet.” And while Jacobi will cop to the influence of filmmakers, including Quentin Tarantino, he also said Irish playwright Nick Donohue casts a shadow.

A stint as a sous chef also shaped “Self Destruction Opera.” Jacobi said, “I wanted to see two things like film noir and horror fit together, how they would complement each other and what the similarities were.”

Currently, Jacobi is collaborating with a New York writers’ collective, Heart/Punch. Although the tone of his next project is yet to be determined, for now Jacobi is basking in the smoldered contours of dark comedy. Jacobi said his connection with the genre expanded after reading the work of novelist Kurt Vonnegut.

“I think there’s something cathartic about laughing about something horrible, whether it’s your own fault or a tragedy. Vonnegut would say these things — ‘isn’t this world a terrible place’ — but place them in a light and humorous fashion. There’s something very calming about that.”
Production Staff
Director ......................................................... Mark J. Charney
Assistant Director.......................................... Clint Boswell
Stage Manager .............................................. Kirsten Head
Scenic Designer ............................................ David Hartmann
Lighting Designer ......................................... Tony Penna
Costume Designer ......................................... Rebecca Eastman
Sound Designer ............................................. Jeff Russell
Music Composed by ..................................... Jeff Russell and Robert Allen
Technical Director ........................................ Richard Cowan
Dramaturg ..................................................... Anna Chovanec
Assistant Stage Manager ............................... Teresa McClernon
Asst. Costume Designer ................................ Corinna I. Miller
Fight Choreographer ..................................... Paul Savas
Fight Captain ................................................. Ryan McCrary
Properties Designer ....................................... Corinna I. Miller
Makeup Artist ................................................ Corinna I. Miller
Bobby/Franklin .............................................. Ryan McCrary
Rebecca/Penny ............................................... Erin Lovelace
Gerald/Detective Moon .................................. Andrew Christian Herrera
Beth/Anne ...................................................... Maxine LeBron
Abraham/Killer .............................................. Shayan Shojee
Bastard Operator/Chorus ............................... Jazzma Pryor
Jesse James/Chorus ........................................ Bradley Zellars
Mr. Rictus ....................................................... Nick Mazzuca
Walter/Chorus ............................................... Harry Averett
Carl/Chorus.................................................... Michael Jasper
Jimmy/Narrator/Chorus ................................. Miles C. Ware
Narrator/Chorus ............................................. Kristi Laffler
Greg Bateman, David Williams, Charlie Jenkins, Megan Dorris, Andi Stone

Did I mention how proud I am of him?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

M is for Meme

Yesterday I was tagged by RR Mama for a meme.

If you haven’t read her blog you should go over there right now and check out the pictures of the damage to her home from Hurricane Ike.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

So, here are the rules:

1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you.
3. link back to this parent post.
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all.
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them.

Here is how blogging has affected me…

1. Friends -

By now youz (NY for Y’all) must be sick and tired of me talking about my relocating from NY to CT together with the ‘empty nest syndrome’, so this is the last post on all of that.

I can’t promise, but it will be my goal.

During this past year it has been the encouragement, prayers and kind words of wisdom from my blogging friends that has gotten me through some of the most difficult times of my life.

I have talked on the phone with some of these friends, emailed some and IM’d a few. I’d love to meet some over a cup of coffee, or Pepsi someday.

It has been a comfort to know that I have many friends in the blogging world that I can meet with each morning while I drink my morning Pepsi (lots of ice and a lemon wedge). And you all accept me for that.

2. Vulnerability-

One of my biggest issues in life used to be letting myself be vulnerable.

If I can’t be vulnerable, no one really understands me….my self-erected walls don’t break down….no one can get too close to me.

Reading other blogs, especially Christian Women Blogs, and seeing that other women are opening up and discussing things like depression, anxiety, loss of spouses, loss of children, etc. has given my more courage to express who I really am. And not only to other bloggers, but also to my other-than-internet life.

I may not be able to always relate to the exact problems that are being posted, but I am able to relate to having hidden fears, secrets and concerns.

I have learned that bringing out the things that are hidden into the light takes the darkness away.

Whenever someone shares about their problems, I admire them, pray for them and look more closely at myself.

I cannot thank you enough for that gift.

3. Focus-

My life gets CRAZY sometimes. Having two younger children again that have been brought up in a different time, different environment, with two parents who co-parent together makes my head spin sometimes.

My step-son can be a handful sometimes and knowing what to do and how much to do is confusing for me. And although I love them both with all my heart, it can get absolutely CRAZY around here.

Having the ability to go sit alone with my laptop and go down my blogroll helps me to pull myself together, get my faith up and running faster and helps me focus on my new family again.

4. Sharing-

One of the biggest things that I love about blogging….and I know that this is kind of selfish….is that when I do something that I am proud of, like making a gourmet meal or an amazing pie, or my wedding, I can post pictures and get all you to ooohhh and ahhh over them. I just love compliments.

5. Confidence

For all the reasons mentioned above, blogging has given me more confidence in who I am in God’s eyes, in my husband’s eyes and in my children’s eyes. And it has given me confidence in being the unique person I am.

Enough said.

I am going to tag:
My Home Sweet Home Newly added to my blogroll
Insight to Lala's World -just because she's so busy and probably needs a break from her busy life right now.
Looney Bin 4 Sure - just because I said so.
The Farmer Files Newly added to my blogroll.
Fordy Days and Nights Newly added to my blogroll.

Thanks. I hope you don't mind being tagged. And thanks to my new blog friend RRMama.