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Friday, March 29, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday



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I'm sorry I didn't get the WTHW post up this week, it's been a really crazy week.  I hate saying that because I know we're all busy, but it is what it is....

Friday, March 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday


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Good grief!  I didn't think I would ever get blogger working correctly.  Apparently, I'm not the only one that doesn't want to work today.
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Rain rain go away....  Francie wants a nice Spring day!  I hate this cold, rainy weather.  It's the perfect weather for staying in your jammies which, of course, is not possible.  I owe, I owe so off to work I go.  Speaking of owing......

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What the Heck Wednesday

It's been another busy week so far.  It's Spring Break for my kids.  Do you all do anything special with your kids for Spring Break?  A few years ago BTB (before travel baseball), we took a family vacation during Spring Break.  We didn't go anywhere extravagant, we just explored some things around Arkansas that our boys had never seen.  I mentioned The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs yesterday.  It's one of the things my boys loved.   

Now, we save vacation for baseball tournaments, World Series play, etc., then tend to use up any surplus time before year end.  Unfortunately, my company has a use-or-lose-it policy.  The boys spend their week at camp going on various field trips or maybe a day or two fishing with Granddad.  At least they get to do some fun things while Ben and I are stuck at work.

Today is the first day of Spring, despite what the temps may be.  Late last week we had temps in the mid 80s, yet late this week, we're expecting highs in the 40s.  UGH!  Punxsutawney Phil needs to be put out to pasture.  His prognostications are pure poppycock!!  (HA!  See what I did there?)

Anyway.....  The colder temps have me bummed a little because I'm sooooo ready for summer.  As they say, laughter is the best medicine, so let's see if we can find something to make us laugh a little. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Random Things

I thought I'd share a few random things I've learned over the past few days.

I learned something new when I took the boys to get their teeth cleaned this morning....  if you are a mouth breather, more likely than not, you have bad breath.  In addition, mouth breathers are more prone to plaque built up.  Apparently, when you breathe through your mouth, you suck in all kinds of nastiness.  The answer?

Friday, March 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday



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Photo:  Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
It's with joyful gratitude that we celebrate the election of Pope Francis.  "O God, mercifully look upon Your servant, Pope Francis, whom You have chosen as the chief Shepherd to preside over Your Church.  We beg You to help him edify, both by word and example, those over whom he has charge, that he may reach everlasting life together with the flock entrusted to him.  Through Christ, our Lord.  Amen."
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It seems that the moment I hit 40 years of age, I started falling apart.  Seriously.  Now that I'm knocking at the backdoor of  my 40s, I don't know my body anymore.  I never know how my body will respond these days.  What's going to go wrong today? 

Thanks to years of abuse from wearing heels, I have problems with my feet.  One thing in particular is bursitis in the joint of the big toe in both feet.  Have you ever had a cortisone shot between your toes??  NOT FUN!  Well, I found out I had bursitis a few years ago when I wore a nice little pair of espadrille wedges very similar to this.  In fact, I think the heel on my pair was actually a little lower.  My feet never really hurt while wearing the shoes, but when I woke up the next morning, both feet hurt, but I couldn't put any weight on my left foot.  My GP at the time referred me to a specialist for just about everything, so off to the podiatrist I went.  I left there in a walking boot which I had to wear for a little more than 8 weeks.  IN AUGUST.  IN ARKANSAS.  OMG!  I was so miserable.  At that time, podiatrist told me that I needed to quit wearing heels and wear more supportive shoes.  No heels, no flip flops, no flats, no going barefoot, etc.  Basically I should be wearing either tennis shoes or an orthopedic shoe at all times.  Okay, I don't like tennis shoes because my feet get too hot.  And orthopedic shoes?  Ummm.... NO!  Not happening!  I am sooooo not ready for this....

So, stubborn girl that I am, except for the sky-high heels, I basically wear the shoes I want to wear and as soon as I get home, the shoes are off!!  Over time I've learned the signs that I'm tempting the foot fates, so to speak.  I know when I need to go back into my tennies for a bit.  Well, over the past few weeks I've developed a new pain in my left foot, and I finally consulted my new GP fearing that I might have plantar fasciitis.  He said that I might have plantar fasciitis, but he thinks it's more Achilles tendonitis.  I left his office with stretches to do and was told I must wear supportive shoes.  If I wear flats, they must have a good arch support.  So, I'm basically back in my tennies until I can get good inserts for my flats. 

I have heard good things about Dansko Professional Clogs.  Have any of you worn them, and if so, what are your thoughts?  I've heard several people say that although they are pricey, they are well worth the money.  So, I thought I'd check in with you all too. 
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No baseball this weekend.  What on earth are we going to do?  Well, first of all I need to catch up on the household chores and my 40 bags in 40 days.  Temps are supposed to be almost 80 today and tomorrow, so I'm excited.  Maybe the males in my household will work outside, and I can stay inside and clean.  We all know that cleaning with the kids there (and let's be honest, hubby too) is like trying to herd cats.
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We heard the other night that we may not have a baseball tournament to play in next weekend.  We are a 9 year old team, and we're currently signed up to play 10 year old teams next weekend.  However, we were told that several of the teams have said that if they have to play us, they will pull out of the tournament.  Last year, as 8 year olds we were forced to play in the 9 YO division because the other 8 YO teams didn't want to play us.  It was a challenge, but we faced it head on and it made our team even better.  Now the 9s we played last year are 10s, and they don't want to play us either.  When does it stop?  I really don't understand this.  Yes, our team is good.  We work hard.  If any of you parents are reading.... Instead of running, play us!  Give your kids some credit.  Maybe they'll lose, but maybe, just maybe they'll step up to the challenge and play better than you think they will.  When you run from a challenge, you're doing your kids no favors.  Think about the message you're sending them.  There will always be someone bigger, faster, stronger and smarter.  What then?  What you should be teaching them, in my opinion, is to work hard, try your best no matter what AND always be gracious, win or lose. 

Our boys have been challenged more times than you can imagine, but these amazing boys don't whine or give up - they step up!!  That my friends, shows the heart of champions!

  
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I'm sorry I'm on my soap box today.  Finding out about next week's tournament and few recent  Facebook posts have really hit a nerve.  I just don't think parents nowadays are doing their kids any justice.  I know I'm going to sound like granny sitting in her rocker..... BUT so many kids now are not taught respect, or a work ethic or personal responsibility.  I see things on a daily basis that really cause concern for my kids' future.  People think their children can do no wrong. If they get a bad grade, it's the teacher's fault when in reality, their kid didn't do the work.  So and so robbed this business because he is broke and "really felt he had no other option."  I'm calling B.S.! 

Lord, help me - I'm trying my best not to judge, but this really concerns me.  As a parent, I know how it is.  I hate to see my boys struggling, hurt or upset.  BUT, we have to teach them life isn't always easy or fair.  They have to work hard for what they want.  Life has its ups and downs, and they have to learn to deal with the good and the bad.  They need to learn to make their own decisions AND deal with the consequences of those decisions.  Ben and I won't always be here to protect them.  But while we are here, our job is to pass on the knowledge and skills they will need to become decent, God-centered human beings and productive members of society.

Things would be so much easier if everyone would just fall in line with my parenting philosophy.  LOL!

Okay, I'm stepping down off my soap box now.
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Based on my rant, I suppose I have something else I need to talk about in confession.  Please pray for my priest, I may be in there a while. 
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If you're here locally, it's beautiful outside.  Go outside and enjoy!

TGIF!!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What the Heck Wednesday

Hello, my name is Francie, and I'm addicted to shoes and purses.  At least, that's what my hubby says.  He's probably right.  I know most women have a thing for purses and shoes, and I think I know why.  No matter how much weight you gain (or lose), shoes and purses still fit!!  Am I right?  I've featured shoes before, but I don't think I've ever really done anything on purses.  So, today is the day!

So let's get started.

The Couture Barbie Bag, and yes, you read that right - $625 USD.  If you pay $625 for this bag, you're either Paris Hilton or you have more money than sense.  Wait, those would be the same thing, right?

This was a lovely retro purse until the chicken feet were added.  Why??
The blue jean purse.  This is a perfectly acceptable purse to carry.  If you're 8.

My grandmother would love this purse.  She retired from the phone company back in the 80s. 
I've been known to carry a big "mom purse," but I think this is a little ridiculous.  When the purse handles are made using hula hoops, the bag is a little too big.  I guarantee that bag is empty or that scrawny girl wouldn't even be able to carry it.
Oh look!  A European Man Bag.  Whatever, dude!  It's a purse!!  Deal with it.  You don't want to admit you carry a purse?  Carry a backpack.  Problem solved.
The Dolce & Gabbana granny square purse.  Again, this is for the person who has more money than sense.  Not only is it ugly, it costs almost $3,000.   What genius stole their granny's afghan and thought it would make a good handbag?  Blech!!  Those afghans are only good for cuddling up on the couch on a cold winter day.  They're warm, but stylish?  Nope!!
The Kate Spade flamingo clutch.  I like a little whimsy, but really?  We're adults, right?  How about a cut little bow or maybe a little bling somewhere?  Why do we have to have animals or characters on our stuff to make it cute and whimsical?  UGH!

While I'm on Kate Spade - take a look at these two monstrosities!  A straw armadillo bag AND a bag made with AstroTurf or maybe indoor/outdoor carpeting.  Who knows!  Both ugly!!  I generally like Kate Spade bags, but these three?  Uh uh!

Wait!  Here's another gem from Kate Spade.  The Under the Sea change purse.  Whatever happened to the classic small leather change purse?  For example:
It's simple, elegant and will go with any handbag you choose to carry. 
Betsy Johnson's Loco bag.  What is wrong with women now a days?  Are we all still 10??  Tell me this is one of those fashion pieces created for the runway that no one actually ever buys.  Please, tell me....
This clutch is actually quite nice until you close it and Aaaaah!!  It looks like it's being eaten by a dehydrated alligator.  Think this was made by some swamp people?  "Choot 'em, Liz'beth!  Choot 'em!"  Knock the gator head and arms off, and I'd carry this.

A holiday bag.  Yay..... Holiday sweaters are a no no, and so are holiday purses.  Want to carry something different to a holiday party?  Try a nice clutch in a red or black velvet.  Not "holiday" enough for you?  How about this?
For Pete's sake, don't carry a bag that looks like you dismembered and stuffed Santa!!

Again, want to be known as the crazy cat lady?  Carry this purse.
Although this bag does not compare to any of the previous bags, I think there comes a point when you need to just stop and say less is more.  Mary Frances has some beautiful bags, most of which are entirely too embellished to really be used, in my opinion, but beautiful nontheless.  Take a look at the shoulder strap (is it a shoulder strap or wrist strap?  I can't really tell.)  Beads are sewn into the strap which means those beads will bite into either your wrist or shoulder.  Lovely, but not practical.  Take the beads off the strap and weave in some satin or silk ribbon.  Just my two cents.
I'm all for recycling and re-purposing, but..... I really don't think I could carry an inside-out soccer ball for a purse.  Just sayin'.
How about a treat for the real girly girl (not me)?  A cupcake bag.  This might actually look okay with the right evening gown, but this obviously isn't something you'd carry every day.

The Judith Leiber Juliet Dachshund clutch.  I love my dachshund just as much as the next doxie owner.  However, I would not carry a dachshund purse ESPECIALLY one that retails for over $6,000!  Yikes!



Modalu Pippa Grab Bag in Toffee

This is actually my kind of bag.  I would love to have one of these - a Modalu Pippa Grab Bag.  It was named after a famous royal relative who seems to own this bag in virtually every color.  This bag or a Michael Kors Hamilton would be AWESOME!!  (Hint Hint!)


Michael Kors Hamilton Satchel in the color Luggage

Okay, I realize my handbag preferences are a little boring compared to the other choices I posted, but I can live with that.  Quite frankly I don't have the budget for either of my choices, but a girl can dream, can't she?  What's the saying:  "Champagne taste on a beer budget?"  Yup - that's me.  (That Pippa is reaaaaaalllly calling my name.)

That's it for today folks.    Happy Hump Day, ya'll!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday


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I've already mentioned that my son's team played ball in freezing temperatures this past weekend.  Well, it's still cold here, and I'm so tired of it!  I know you northerners probably don't understand and have no sympathy, especially with the snow the northeast is getting now.  However, for a southerner, we're not used to the cold, and most of us don't like it!  I'm ready to start griping about how hot it is!!
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I can't seem to remember to take my allergy shots regularly.  I did great for two months, then I got sick and had to take antibiotics, and I don't think I've taken the shots regularly since then.  I'm basically allergic to the outdoors, and my allergies are really starting to kick my behind right now.  I feel horrible, and I WANT TO SLEEP!!  Among other things, I'm allergic to oak trees, and well.... have you ever been to Arkansas?  We have a bazillion oak trees here with a few other kinds of trees scattered around.  Yes, I counted!  I noticed this morning that the oak trees have buds on them.  Soon everything will be covered with a layer of yellow pollen, and we'll be forced to sweep up what I call the oak tree worms.  I really prefer the warmer temperatures, I just wish it didn't come with all of the allergy issues.

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Since my allergies have gotten me down, my house is a wreck, well even more so than normal.  We came home from Fayetteville and basically dumped our bags and all of the winter clothing in the living room floor.  I have emptied the bags and washed most of the dirty clothes, but no one has put their clean clothes away yet.  So, destroyed.... yup, that describes my home, and I'm feeling just too crappy to deal with it right now.  I saw one of those memes everyone posts on Facebook that describes what I'm thinking perfectly.

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My 40 bags in 40 days Lenten challenge has been a struggle.  Not that I don't have well over 40 bags that I can clear out, it's finding the time to sort through and prepare the bags.  I'm sure at the end of Lent I will have 40 bags, it's just that they may all be assembled on days 38 and 39.  For others who have participated in this challenge or are doing it now, how are you managing? 
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Over the past few days, there has been a radiothon for the Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH).  Unfortunately, most of the day I tune it out otherwise I'd spend the entire day in tears.  The stories from the families who have used this phenomenal facility provide a roller coaster of emotions from heartbreak to joy and back again.  I've used the facility a time or two mainly for the after hours pediatric clinic, and I'm so very thankful that we have not needed ACH for something more serious.  However, we as Arkansans, are truly blessed to have such an amazing facility so close.  If you're able, please donate now.



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See a penny pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck.  We've all heard that rhyme before.  The other day my father in law posted a sweet story about picking up pennies that you find on the ground because they are sent from a loved one in Heaven so that we know they are with us.  So, lately anytime I see a penny, I've picked it up and blown a quick kiss and thank you to my Papaw.

Another family member sent me another take on the whole penny thing.  In the story she sent me a wealthy man sees a penny on the sidewalk amongst the trash and cigarette butts.  He stoops to pick it up and smiles before placing it in his pockets.  He was observed picking up the penny, and thinking it odd that a wealthy man seemed so pleased to find a penny on the ground they questioned him about it.  His reply was:  "The coin says, 'In God We Trust,' and if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin.  Whenever I find a coin, I see that inscription.  It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it!  God drops a message right in front me telling to trust Him.  Whom am I to pass it by?  When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment.  I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him.  For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold.  I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me.  Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!"

I'm a worrier.  I often worry about things I can't control.  I even worry when I don't have anything to worry about.  Now when I see a penny, it serves as a gentle reminder to just let it go and trust in God.  I pick it up and think: yes, God, I got the message.  Like the story says, "Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!" 

Oh, and I also still blow a quick kiss to my Papaw.
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Whew, made it through another week!  TGIF!! 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What the Heck Wednesday

I don't seem to have a clever opening today (as if any of my openings have been clever, right?).  Apparently my brain is still thawing from this past weekend.  Either that or the dementia is setting in much too soon.  For example, last night I was anxiously waiting for a load of laundry to finish washing because I needed to make sure Gabe's uniform was clean.  I checked on the washing machine, and I discovered the lid had been left open so the load never finished washing.  Surely, I didn't leave that lid up.  I walked back into the living room, sat down on the couch and looked up to see the kitchen cabinet door standing open - the cabinet I just opened to get a packet of cocoa mix.  UGH!  See?  I think I'm in trouble.

So, let's get on with it before something else happens.


Have I talked about this little gem before?  I can't remember.  Well, if I did, it bears repeating.  NO!  Just don't.

Is the hem of this dress attached to the sleeves?  I can understand that with a wedding dress with a long train, but this dress?  Ummm.... no.  I would surely raise my arms for some reason and flash the world.

I'm really hoping this cammo outfit is for the group of women who like to hunt, but have chosen to wear dresses and skirts exclusively.  If you actually think this is fashionable and is street worthy, you must be a redneck.
This is described as a sexy sweater.  To me it's creepy. It reminds me of the Masonic all-seeing eye.

This is a "holiday sweater."  I'm guessing it's called the holiday sweater because someone had a little too much egg nog when they made this.
Another pair of drop-crotch pants.... why?  They look horrible, and I can't imagine they're comfortable.  I just don't get it.  Can someone explain this to me?
This party dress looks like it was cut out of a large trash bag.
A snake print leggings outfit - Ahhh..... I remember it well.  This outfit would be worn with gold mules by someone named Edna, who applies her makeup with a putty knife and wears her hair in a platinum or black beehive.  Oh, and she moved from New York or Jersey down to South Florida.  I saw outfits very similar to this almost every day when I lived in Miami.
Great!  High-heeled jellies.  Now I can really slide around in my own puddle of sweat, rub blisters clear down to the bone AND break my neck at the same time!  Good times!

Add a removable cape to this and change the pants to bell bottoms, and you have a new Elvis-style suit!  Viva Las Vegas!!
This picture may be a little to grainy to see much detail, but pay close attention to the heel.  I love an old-fashioned pair of saddle oxfords, and I've even owned a few pair in my life time.  But these, well, although they look like a regular pair of oxfords, there is a clear wedge under them that is the actual heel.  I suppose you would look like you're walking around on your tip toes when you wear these.  Just bizarre, in my opinion. 

Themes again?  Look, not only are there cats on this jacket, there appears to be raindrops as well.  No wonder the cats look ticked off!  Why are there so many pieces of clothing with cats on them?  Constantly wearing crap like this is why you will be referred to as the crazy cat lady by the neighborhood kids.  Just don't!
This outfit looks like a toddler decided to try on daddy's clothes.  I'm sure she has a tiny little figure drowning somewhere in that get up.  You can be comfortable without looking like a street urchin.

Wow... I have absolutely no idea what to say.  Imagine that!
Perfectly nice, albeit a little dated, cardigan, right?
BAM!!!  Applique strikes again!  Whoooo keeps doing this?  Ha!  Sorry, couldn't resist. 

Okay, I'm so tired, I'm getting silly.  I better stop here.

Happy Hump Day, ya'll!