So, I've managed to grab myself a piece of the winter-sickness action and have been thoroughly enjoying a nasty cold/flu for the past week and a half. I'm hanging on tight to the notion that viruses usually last 10 days -- for the love of all things holy, could someone please confirm that this is, indeed, the truth?!

I have been reduced to a very un-ladylike state, complete with coughing/hacking issues, more mucous than this body knows how to deal with (no, seriously... I've woken myself up being unable to breathe cause my airway is totally choked up) and all the sundry aches and pains that go along with feeling like a piece of turd. If all this and the red, chapped nose to go along with it wasn't enough indignity for one bout of illness; I also have been blessed with the voice of Marge Simpson to boot.

Clearly I am a mess; the likes of which has not been seen around these parts for awhile. And clearly, I am not above being teased by two smart-arse offspring about my cracking, raspy, cartoonish voice.

The only upside to all this is that I have discovered the Hot Toddy method of sickness management. :) Ten days, people. I'm trying to hang on.


Just wondering...

If I drink alcohol with my Midol... will that help it kill the industrial-strength cramps my body is cranked out on right now?

Womanhood is for the birds, man.


Me Likey. A lot.

Just a few things I'm loving the crap out of, lately.

Say MMM.

I'm just beginning to explore this website and enjoy all the features. It takes a little bit of work to get set up, but it is everything I ever DREAMED about finding in terms of menu/kitchen/grocery planning. I'm totally geeked about all the features -- I was literally bouncing in my seat as I watched the demo video. Literally, Every. Single. Thing. that I had ever wished for while sitting and planning menus and grocery lists, etc. was covered. Sweet!!! I'm sure I'll post more about this little gem in the future. Until then, go check it out!

Earth Therapeutics.

Specifically their Cracked Heel Repair product. The all-natural ingredient list caught my eye as I'm always looking for something to treat the Kid's dry skin. He gets painful bumpy rashes on his legs -- really, his whole body at times -- it's like super dry, itchy skin. He's been tested for allergies to no avail; so I just try and find the magic thing that will work. We had been using Burt's Bees hand salve with some success, but this little stick has brought him the most relief. It actually cleared up some of the worst patches within the week and feels nice once applied (Burt's Bees was pretty oily and sticky). The ingredients are completely pure and natural, mostly coconut oil and shea butter along with some other essential oils. It's a bit pricey (especially seeing as we're using it on his whole body, not just "heels" like it was designed for), so I'm going to try and make some of my own this week. I think I should be able to do it no problem... famous last words, maybe??


I've been loving this little online radio site. XM radio suddenly stopped their online services to clients unless you pay more (BOOOOOO!) and I was left without my online music fix. Thankfully I stumbled on Air 1 and now have something that tops my XM choices for good, positive music. (Cause XM's "The Message" was kinda a little "light" for my tastes, to be honest) Air 1 plays a lot of Christian music, but also some singles you would hear on Top 40 radio, so long as the message is positive and reflects good morals. The playlist does have all the mainstream pop-type Christian acts, but adds enough of the alternative/rock and hard rock genres to keep me tuned in. Go check it out! It's definitely a station I don't mind the kids listening to or having on when people come over.

Bissel Green Steam mop.

Found it. Love it. Wouldn't live without it. Love the easy-push trigger (not like the one I used at a friends' place which made me believe in "Carpal Tunnel") and the super-easy-to-use features. Love the streak-free clean and how easy it is to change cleaning pads. Oh, and did I mention Streak Free Clean? Cause yeah, there's that. I don't have hardwood, per se, but the flooring I do have looks like perfection when I'm done using this. Also, it does not need any cleaners, soaps or chemicals. The steam cleans and disinfects and I love that my floors don't have any icky chemical residue... especially now that we have a little doggy whose favorite past-time is scavenging for crumbs.

Super-Cute Egg Clock

This is clearly just pushing the limits of timepiece cuteness, here. Case in point: it wobbles. WOBBLES, people!! It also changes format -- and incidentally, LED colors -- with just a little pop on it's wobbly little top.

All that would be enough to grant it a spot on my Things I'm Loving The Crap Out Of At The Moment list. But it also has a super handy little feature. A timer. Which, on my cute little Egg is set to a 15 min increment. So, with just a perky tap, tap, tap on the top of this Cutey, I have a timer which helps me get SOOOO much done. Putting something off cause I think it's gonna take FOREVER to do it??? Hit the timer and vow only 15 mins on task before I take a break. Surprise. I'm usually done that "forever" job in 15, or at least on my way to getting it done. Need to motivate the kiddos to finish up something? Why, hello timer!! It's perfect. And it's cute. What more can I say?


All Hail Mr. B.

Well, the penetrating oil didn't do the trick... I suspect the threads on my tee nut were slightly stripped (Bad, bad Flutterby, I won't do that again!!) and I just couldn't get any kind of grip on the round, flat head of the tee nut to even do any brute force stuff. Which is laughable anyway, when you consider the state of my biceps lately!!

Thankfully, I have a Friend in High Places. A cobbler, actually. And while he may not necessarily think of me as a friend, it remains that I am filled with fuzzy warm feelings when I think of the times he has lent a hand and got me out of headaches with removing clinch nails and the like and thusly... I will think of him as a FRIEND. Cause he helps me. And has tools that I don't have!!! I totally realize that pushes the boundaries of CREEPY... but I don't care as he once again came through for me and within a matter of minutes and the judicious use of a bench grinder, had freed my project from it's tee nut standoff.


So, my hat's off to you, Mr. B. Now, back to work!


Excitement! Anticipation!!! PUKING!!!!

OK, so there's not been puking, just yet. Lots of the other stuff, though.

After a lot of thought (two years on the back burner and a month of deliberation... I think that counts as "a lot") we've decided to pull the Kid out of public school and homeschool. Or, as I'd rather say... educate him at home.

See the difference? I say "homeschool" and people automatically picture, oh gosh, who knows what they picture, but it usually isn't good judging by the looks on their faces and the silly questions they ask. So, I'm finding different ways to say "homeschool". Potato, Potahto, I know... but it's important to me. I'm a smart lady who is more than capable of educating my children -- certainly better than the school system has attempted to with my boy -- and I can't stand being looked at like I've suddenly sprouted buck teeth, a pinafore dress with bonnet and shotgun when this topic comes up.

Anyhow, our curriculum supplies have arrived and I had to clear out two whole bookshelves to make room for the most of it, with more that still needs a home. Can I just say that I am geeked out beyond all belief at the books?! THE BOOKS!!!!! Not textbooks with dry facts and dates and bullet-pointed items to commit to memory, but real, living books with compelling, well-written stories that will engage my little boy's mind in epic points of history. So many award-winners and classic stories. Books for him to read alone and books for me to read aloud. I. Am. So. Excited. :)

The Kid is really excited, too. Not sure that he yet appreciates all the awesome stuff that we will be doing and reading and experiencing, but the prospect of being relieved of the stress and anxiety that school was causing in his life at this point in time, well, it's really been kind of wonderful to see. When he talks of homeschool I see his body get relaxed and he becomes so cheerful. I'm so happy to be able to do this for him, and very glad that we live in a country that allows different modes of education.

I have had brief moments of panic (hence the "puking" in the title) where I've wondered just how I'm going to manage my business while schooling my son, but I think it will work out in the end. There's always a solution to every problem and I'm sure this is not insurmountable.

Fresh Outlook?

Well, at least it's a fresh look.

After an evening complicated by tee nuts and jack screws misbehaving and a last minute Hail Mary with some penetrating oil which may or may not work... I have some time on my hands. My blog has been badly neglected this past year. Hahahha -- neglected doesn't even begin to describe it! I'm sure if there existed a Blog Protective Services I would be cited on multiple counts of neglect, abandonment and be facing some sort of jail time.

I do want to blog. This little corner of the internet has been a lot of different things to me at different times. Part shrink couch, part diary, part community... I've enjoyed blogging and definitely have enjoyed "meeting" those of you who comment and share your blogs with me.

Things are changing here in my little world, hopefully I'll have some things to write about! (besides derby!)


Is this bad??

A few months back, I flip-flopped and transformed my 'do from a cocao-black color with a swatch of blonde, to blonde with a stripe of pure black in front. I know, right? *eye roll* I think my hair would boycott me if given half a chance.

Which may have been the case yesterday when I went in to go a few levels lighter into the "Platinum" range and get my roots touched up and walked out of the salon with a completely numb scalp. Now, say that again in a booming announcer-type voice... COMPLETELY NUMB SCALP. No... not NUMBSKULL. Numb Scalp.

Truthfully, when I discovered this fact while driving home from the appt -- the windows were down and I reached up to brush some windblown hair from my forehead and tuck behind my ear -- I will admit I got a wee bit panicky. Because it felt super strange! I mean, until this has happened to you, you can't know how strange it felt -- like I was reaching up and touching a rubber swim cap or a wig or something. Creeped me OUT!

A few phone calls and a Facebook Intervention later, I was relieved to find out that my scalp likely was NOT going to fall off my skull in bloody chunks, nor would the numbness creep down and leave my face inadvertently botoxed like a mannequin. Phew. However, after two showers, four shampoos and an application of a holistic chemical burn treatment and a full 24 hours later... my lil scalp is STILL kinda numbish. I'm taking solace in the fact that it is a bit better than yesterday and hoping that my head can make peace with this process -- cause I REALLY, REALLY love my new platinum shade. *sigh*


Mission Accomplished!

Flutterby's Weekend To-Do List:

- Eat Cheezies and make insipid That's What She Said jokes with some of the coolest girls I know while geeking out on Regional Derby Tourney games on PPV? DONE.

- When giving yourself a pedicure, discover that skating has trashed your formerly cute little feet? Check.

- Rescue said feet, rock the black toe polish in 5 inch black leather/leopard print/studded heels? DONE.

- Cause your son to question your sanity because he just saw Mom scream at the TV. "HELP YOUR JAMMER!!!!" Yes.

- Continue to watch Regional Derby Tourney and attempt to rope son into watching with you. Checkity Check. Attempt failed. Game rocked anyway.

- Attend league's year-end awards bash, looking as smokin as can be for a 30-something mom. Done.

- Win leagues' "Mother Hen" award. Check.

- Wish it was MVP award (HA!!), but be happy anyway cause it says something good about who you are in the league. DONE!

- Party like it's 1999, dance till my feet are dying and enjoy some karaoke success. DONE!

- Watch mind-blwoing amounts of Regional derby. Lose mind over two of the closest called, hardest-played games ever seen and chew nails to shreds over the last 5 mins of the Championship game. Yep. Yep. and Yep.

- Clean up stock room and plan for completion of two custom skate mounts this week. DONE!

I consider this To-Do list OWNED, baby! And, also? I think I discovered the secret to feeling very accomplished. Make your to-do list AFTER the fact. It's an automatic 100% completion!!


So Many Choices, So Little Time.

I have effectively ignored a two-sided TO-DO list for the whole evening. There are important and time-sensitive items on said list; things relating to my business and the kiddo's school and other stuff that I'm sure should occupy my mind more than what actually HAS been utilizing the greater volume of my brain cells.

Call it high-precision procrastination if you will, but my lil head has been sent spinning on a mission of higher calling. For this Saturday, in a mere 30 or so hours, I will be attending a party. A real, fun, grown-up party. Which, in addition to all the things which normally send girly-girls in a flap; like choosing an outfit, shoes, praying for a good hair night, makeup, etc, etc... also involves KARAOKE! Yes!!!! KARAOKE.

It's going to be wildly fun and raucous and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm also stressing about it. Because, "WHAT WILL I SING?" "WILL I REMEMBER THE WORDS??" "WILL THE SONG BE IN MY RANGE???" "WHY AM I SHOUTING QUESTIONS AT MYSELF AND USING EXCESSIVE PUNCTUATION????"

...whatever. You get the picture.

And so tonight finds me youtubing a growing list of Songs I Could Possibly Pull Off and wondering all the while if other people are as ridiculous as I am about this. I've got a short list, and my "Ambitious" song, which I might just try out if the Force is strong with me.

Paranoid -- Garbage
I Wanna be Sedated -- The Ramones
One Week -- BNL

**extra points if you guess which one is my Karaoke Force Song.**

Any suggestions? What are your favorite songs to sing along to?


*le sigh*

OK, Blog... let's you and me try this again.


So Random.

Always a good way to jump back on the blogging train... random fun stuff!

I can't believe I watched this. Twice. Hey, 3 million viewers can't be wrong, right? Oh, yes they can be. I thank my lil bro for ruining my corneas and any chance that I can ever look at process cheese the same way again.

Warning: This is not for the squeamish. Once seen, you can not erase this from your brain.

Derby boot camp. One broken tooth. Three torn MCLs. Broken wrist. Thankfully NONE of them were mine. Although I did get a blister on my foot at the 80s Prom Night Dance. :)

Summer. My kids have been counting down the last days of school. But let me also fill you in on something... I started counting down WAY before they did. My lunch lady gig is coming to an end and I couldn't be happier. Actually, I will be really sad to say goodbye to the kids in my classroom, but I won't be sad at all to no longer have to interrupt the tasks in my day to get to the lunchroom in time. I am looking forward to an awesome summer break with my own kids!

Mechanic's Hands. Anyone have a remedy for calluses? I'm loving building skates and doing all this rad stuff that I am so excited about. But my fingers are now callused from handling bolt threads and tightening nuts, etc. Me no likey. I'm thinking of getting some of those blue nitrile gloves???? Or should I just embrace the tool jockey inside of me?


Time Flies When You're Not Looking At Boiling Water

...errr, or something like that.

I see it's been pretty much a month since I've felt the bloggity urge. I'm sure all my three readers are wondering where I've gone to!! lol (And thanks, Cocotte, for the little nudge. It was very sweet.)

I do have stuff to blog about... hopefully I'll have some time in the next little while to bang them out on the keyboard. But, for now... a quick synopsis of The Life of Flutterby.

- My internet business is taking off as planned... slowly but surely and with the appropriate amounts of hiccups and frustrations that one might expect of starting something from the ground, up. I've encountered some really great people along the way. My web developer, for one -- who has gone far beyond the call of duty, and what I'm paying him, to create a great site. Check it out at www.eocskates.com It's a work in progress, so put on your hard hat and don't mind the dust.

- The grommets are doing really well, overall. I'm grateful to have two really enjoyable, funny kids who most of the time make my job pretty easy. We had a small issue over parent-teacher interviews with the Kid, but hopefully there will be some better reports ahead with all of us working together. The Princess just received her first ever Grounding (NO!! You didn't!!! Why yes I did.) today. After heading to a nearby park with friends, she didn't arrive home when expected and, when I went to pick her up? Nowhere to be seen. 5 mins of driving and three phone calls later, I found out she went to her best friend's house to get a drink and they Lost Track Of Time. (and oh, how thankful I am that at this age that phrase really just means what it says!! Be still my Mommy-heart.) Let's just say that she's been on first-rate behavior all night. I have not seen a more pleasant, ingratiating, loving little girl. I should ground her more often.

- I just participated in a two-day derby bootcamp with our league to bring in our Regular Season. It seems like we've waiting six months for this! Wait. It has been six months. Six very. very. very. loooonnnnggg months. We skated for 7 hours each day. Constant pack drills, hitting drills, and scrimmage scenarios. Finished off with a full-on bout after each day. Exhausting. Draining. Painful. And unbelievably, heart-poundingly exciting! I feel like I learned so much. We brought in a Coach from the Terminal City Roller Girls of Vancouver, BC and she was amazing. I'm tending a few bruises from it all and have not been this sore and tender in a long while. Tomorrow is our league's All-Star tryouts... I hope I'm ready!

- I spent last week in Pittsburgh (actually, the rural area around Pittsburgh) working with a remarkable and very generous gentleman. I mentioned previously how I had engineered an apprenticeship with a custom skate builder and it all came to fruition and was definitely a worthwhile experience. I wasn't able to take many pictures. I had packed my camera, but didn't realize that the battery was dead -- and I had forgot to pack the charger for it. So my little cell phone camera took a few snaps and that's it. I'll try to upload them sometimes soon and share.

Wish me luck for tryouts tomorrow! I'll post about the experience when it's all said and done.


Vacation by the Numbers

6 -- Roller coasters, which really?... involved very little actual "coasting", so what's up with that, people? False advertising is what's up with that. Seemed like a lot of jet-propulsion or warp-speed involved. Maybe that's just me, however.

1 -- Roller coaster that actually made me think I might die.

2 -- the amount of times I thought I might puke.

0 -- the amount of times I did puke.

3 -- the number of times I was asked if I wanted to buy weed at Venice Beach.

1 -- conversation with my kids about what weed is and why Mommy won't be buying any.

2 -- Jam skaters we watched skating in the bowl at Venice Beach.

5 -- packs of Orbit gum. Currently finishing up some Mint Mojito. Luvs it.

4 -- the number of ridiculously expensive, cruddy-tasting meals of questionable quality we had at various theme parks.

6 -- the number of mornings I wished I could grab a Tim's coffee cause the coffee in our hotel sucked rocks.

0 -- the number of Tim Horton's in the state of California.

1 -- excuse for sniffling and tearing throughout the Shamu show. Not sure whether it was the awesome size and majesty of the creatures and their willingness to interact with humankind; or the fact that they were captive in the equivalent of a paddling pool.

347 -- pictures taken.

5 -- breakdowns of a Kid nature; 2 of which made me ponder never taking children on another vacation, EVER. Word.

5 -- the approximate gallonage of ride-water that managed to find it's way to the Princess' and my particular area of the River Raft on Grizzly Mountain. Let me just say that a 4 km hike in water-logged shirt, jeans and panties did not make for a happy Mom. But I kept that all inside, trust that.

2 -- the number of Sea Bands that I ended up buying mid-trip as I wallowed with a ride hangover and children still ready to rumble on all sorts of pukealicious attractions. One for each wrist, baby.

2 -- IHOP pancakes of the Strawberry Cheesecake variety which made me vow everlasting loyalty to all carby breakfast foods.

1 -- stolen iPod from the Princess' bag, which had been stowed under the bed. Still trying to work that one out with the hotel.

4 -- connecting flights; subtotals? 1 ridiculously expensive chocolate bar, four packs of complimentary corn chips and approximately a five hour layover in no-man's land.

1 -- Airport Emergency Door alarm which the Kid set off by opening a door he shouldn't have.

5 -- minutes spent waiting for Airport personnel to arrive on the scene and disarm the (very loud and annoying) alarm while we waited like dutiful citizens who would very much like the ground to open up and swallow them.

1 -- boy who thought he may die or go to jail.

2 -- parents who possibly let him think that for just a moment before we let him off the hook.

For all this and more, I thank you, Disney Vacation. :)

Other things for which I'm thankful: Pilots who knew not to crash their planes -- always a good thing. Cherry Coke on tap! Hoo-ah! Live music on the streets. Screaming until my eyes watered. Collapsing in giggles with the Princess after the Jurassic Park ride. The Kid letting me hold his hand when we walked down the streets all week cause he was in someplace strange and needed a bit of comfort. Billy Hill and the Hillbillies -- great show that made me laugh and clap so hard. Getting to read THREE books just cause I had time in-flight. Belting out the Indiana Jones theme song with the Princess during our last Indy ride at Disney. Sitting OUTSIDE the Tower of Terror ride waiting for Mr. F and the kids to finish... cause OMG... I couldn't do that ride without puking, I'm certain. Swimming in the OUTDOOR pool knowing that temps are below freezing back at home.

And last but not least, coming home. :)



It's about time I lowered the standards in this joint and pulled together a disjointed, entirely random post. Lower the curve and all... What? It's already a straight line around here? Huh, how about that?!

Once again, I was on the road this weekend bringing derby goodness to a neighboring league. Busy, busy, busy and lots of fun as well. I have to say that I'm not really used to being away from my kiddos this much -- I'm glad that things will settle down shortly, cause it's hard on this Mommy's heart to wipe the tears away from her little guy's eyes the night before she leaves. The logical side of me is all, "He's pulling out the stops, now..." but the softy part of me pretty much was reduced to quivering goo. Which The Kid sensed like a shark within a mile of blood and only made him amp up his assault (sorry, I calls em like I sees em) to record levels of PatheticHeartwrenchingSadness. *sigh*

I have been a faithful, workout machine for... ummm... err... two weeks, now. I know, right? This was not a good trend for me. Not the new working out trend -- the sitting on my butt trend that preceeded it. Gosh, that trend felt so GOOD at first. Telling myself it was "off-season" and I could eat cookies. (mmmmm....cookies.) But it kinda ended up kicking me in the teeth and making me hate myself for getting a lil bit plushy. Luckily, it's all good and changeable, so change I will.

I've got one of my girlfriends who is on mat. leave coming over in the mornings and we're working out together in my basement. Let me tell you, I am loving these Insanity workouts. Besides being a terrific workout plan that is whipping me back into shape, the trainer is totally jacked and says the most awesome things. Like, when at the end of the workout everyone is dying and crumpling to the floor in a pukey heap (including him) he says, THIS SH*# IS BANANAS, YO. Best. Workout. Line. Ever.

Last night I finally had the chance to observe the Kid at his Hapkido class and I loved every bit of it. He really has taken to this class and the instructor working with him was totally awesome with him. I've never seen the Kid work so hard and be so FOCUSED at something before. He really, really wants this and I have to say, he is pretty awesome at it, thus far. The dojo Master even noticed and commented a week or so ago that he has never seen a kid that age be so persistent and committed to perfecting the work as the Kid has been. You know, I've said and believed all along that every one of those intense qualities the Kid has also has a positive spin. It was really, really, REALLY nice to actually see it, though. And I'm so happy for my boy to have finally found that thing that he ROCKS at!! Gosh, I'm tearing up just typing this and thinking of him doing his thing. :)

In related dojo news... I believe I further confirmed the fact that I have the impulse control of a small child when, arriving at the dojo early and finding it entirely deserted, I was rendered brainless upon seeing the array of Muay Thai kick bags hanging from the ceiling. I promptly set up for a killer roundkick. Which promptly almost broke my foot in half. It didn't help that mid-kick I remembered that Muay Thai bags are much more solid than a heavy bag and are supposed to be hit with your SHIN and not the topside of your foot/ankle as you do when doing blocker drills or heavy bag work. Nice work, Poseur. Luckily my foot is OK, if just a bit on the sore side today. I pulled back enough in that split second to not break anything... just not soon enough to not look really, really stupid when I had to take a couple hopping steps and blink back tears after cracking my foot against that bag. Good thing the gym was empty.

And yes... I still have the martial arts bug. I wanted to train with the Kid's class. And, when his class ended and the next group of Muay Thai fighters came in... yeesh... I wanted a piece of that action SOOOOOO BAD!!! Nevermind the fact that I like my face in one piece. Nevermind that cauliflower ears don't look so hot on girls. I wanted to be working drills and kicking and hitting stuff again. And you KNOW that I most definitely wanted in on that BOXING SHORT action.



Interweb, I love you.

I love the random bits of Stuff that get passed around the internet. This morning I found somethingin my inbox that just may Change My Life.

See? How awesome is that? Am I the only one who has labored and cursed over peeling boiled eggs whose shells just wants to STICK to the eggs like they were superglued on?

Unreal. I think I'm gonna go make some egg salad. Right now. Just cause I want to try this out. :)


Need You Now.

EDIT: Decided to forego the competition. Funny how putting something in writing kinda reveals your true feelings about it. Not my thing right now, I guess.

But I'll keep Lady Antebellum's song up cause it's pretty and moving and I love the duet harmonies.


This Road Trip Brought to You by the Letter "W" and Orange TicTacs

Yesterday I set out on the open road to bring a Wheel Demo Event to neighboring derby league. Well... "neighbors" who are about 500kms east of me. It really was a whirlwind of a trip. I packed up and loaded the truck down that morning and was on the road by noon: the event went from 9pm to midnight or thereabouts, I caught about 5 hours of sleep and then was back on the road to come home.

But I have to say it. I did have fun.

At first I was a little grumpy about not being able to take my very own Rocket. I love that car. But Rocket did not love all the STUFF I had to take along.

It was a lot of stuff. And Rocket just wasn't meant to haul the payload. I was really feeling kinda crabby about driving Mr F's SUV. Not that it's not nice, but it's weird to park and back up and just didn't feel at all the same as my peppy and familiar as my lil Civic. But, I soon found myself warming up to the old truck... Mostly because of this bit of Saving Grace.

Oh yes... the dance party was kicked up in thurr. I got all low and gangsta with X 20 and then hit the way back tracks on XM 8 and a little bit of 9. And the Hair Band station was a quick stop in between a little bit of Country on XM 16 and the "good" music on XM 32. I am officially a HUGE fan of satellite radio. NO COMMERCIALS!!! How sweet is that? Let me tell you, it's about as sweet as the Sweetness That Saved Radio. Cause commercials make me want to stab myself in the eye with a dull pencil. True dat.

(See, we's got all gangsta for realz, brah...)

Here are some highlights from my trip; in pictures.

This was actually the first picture of my trip. The point where I got so bored that I thought of the camera in my purse and had the trippy little thought that I should document the boredom. Good idea, Flutterby. Let's drive dangerously while smiling for the camera and see if that picks up the excitement level any. I am genius.

And this my dear readers... is why I was bored.

These babies are MINE, now!! Part of my trip involved a quest for decently priced socket/rachets/whatever they're called. Cause I needed 10 1/2" sockets. I scored a sweet deal at Peavey Mart on double sets of 3/8" and 1/4" drive rachets. Problem was... good luck finding 1/2" sockets for a 1/4" drive rachet. Two cities later I found the adapters I needed at a Princess Auto (and I won't even tell you how freakin cool I felt when I figured out what I needed). I know, I amaze even myself.

I may or may not have eaten 100 orange TicTacs on this trip. Yummm... me loves some orange TicTacs

I also may or may not have sorta trashed Mr F's truck. I promise I will clean it up. (Special thanks to Mr. Tim Horton for helping me not eat icky fast food this trip. FYI, I am not counting the Boston Cream donut as fast food cause all the icing stuck to the bag and everyone knows all the bad stuff is in the icing. The inside is pure, healthful goodness... just saying)

More boredom. Sortof. I actually enjoyed the drive. It's nice, kinda curvy highway which makes one feel a bit like a racecar driver. (*SIGH* Rocket, come back to me...) Just could have done with a bit less of it by this point... 10 hours total on the road in less than 24 hours.

Officially have OD'd on the urban vibe. Throwing up hoods and gang signs at passing cars. I think I may have scared an elderly lady. Almost home.

OK... I will admit that things got dicey on the way home. A girl can only take so much open road on her own. I was on the verge of talking to myself.

The Wheel Demo was a huge success, though. Good sales and absolutely awesome PR. I really enjoyed my time with the girls and look forward to doing another one soon. Maybe just a little bit closer to home this time.


You win some, you lose some.

I am a compulsive hair-changer -- lately it seems that a hairstyle doesn't last on me for more than a month or two. But I may have done it this time. **EEK** Flutterby goes Thug Lite and WAY TOO SHORT for her chubby chipmunk cheeks.

Oh well, it's hair, right? I can always change it next time.

Now off to work to see what the grade 3's have to say about Lunch Lady Red. ha!


Hey, Soul Sister

Needed a pick-me-up today. Train's newest single is a little song that's put a smile on my face. Love the catchy melody and rollicking beat. And watching the lead groove to the lyrics is worth a second smile.

And with lyrics like "So gangster, I'm so thug.", how can you not love it? And have it stuck in your head all day...


Heavy Hearts

Sad news today of humanity's condition befalling a man I respect and admire. My heart aches for those touched by this news.

We all fall sometimes. I hope that this man -- a counselor who greatly helped me reach towards healing and reconciliation in my own marriage -- will walk once again. And I hope that somehow, the testimony of God's mercy and grace will win out over the destruction.

A wise man once said that there is good in the worst of us and evil in even the best hearts.

It can be scary to peek inside the dark places, but I think it's needed.


Deep Thoughts on a Friday Afternoon

This school year has gone by so very, very quickly. It seems that the older these kids get, the more time speeds by. I remember my Mom talking like this when I was younger. Those years, coincidentally, felt like they were CRAWLING along to my way of remembering. It seemed to take forever to get around to my next birthday, the next summer's holidays, etc. when I was young.

By and large, things have gone very smoothly. The Princess is truly a star at school. She LOVES her teacher and classmates and puts so much quality effort into her work. It really gives me joy to see her working hard at her projects and homework... cause I'm not so sure that I was like that at her age. I hope that school continues to be a place where she thrives and feels challenged, where she grows in confidence in her abilities and talents. So far, so good and I count my blessings that this is the case.

The Kid, however, is struggling. This has been a cause for concern for a while now. I think I perhaps even posted about things last year. He does very much enjoy his teacher. She is a lovely lady with a gentle disposition and he really wants to please her and do well. He has lots of friends (although I will say that the playground dynamics for little boys are sooooo foreign to me -- they're worse than girls, for sure!!!) and seems to be well-liked by the kids around him.

The Kid has always struggled with aspects of his temperament which nicely place him in the "spirited" category of children. He is persistent, distractible (and yes... those two qualities CAN be found in one child. I am a witness to it every day), emotionally intense, sensitive and physically active.

I have spent the greatest part of these past seven years growing in appreciation for my boy; as well as learning ways to help him master the difficulties of his temperament. It is a constant work in progress and some days we do better than others. He needs routine and sleep and rigid boundaries... all things which are easy enough to plan, but sometimes hard to follow through on.

He's experienced minor difficulty in the classroom since kindergarten, really; trying to get a hold of his predisposition to be distracted, to control his impulses to chat or blurt out whatever intensely interesting point crosses his mind at any given moment. But, as the years have gone on, the expectations of classroom behavior have risen. And his growing awareness of his internal struggles have increased, as well.

He's not a "bad kid" -- at least, I don't think he is, nor have I heard anything to make me question. He generally does not make poor choices nor does he treat other students with disregard or meanness. He is not mischievous or looking to create trouble for the teacher. However, he is one of those kids who is sitting at the front, in easy reach of the teachers eyes and ears -- positioned, with forethought, away from his friends who may bring extra temptation his way. And whenever I touch base with his teacher, she always makes mention (in a kind way) of his difficulty listening and how easily distracted he is... and I can tell that he is the student who challenges her the most in that manner.

Wow, I'm being long-winded.

Bottom line, is I am beginning to question whether or not it would be good to get the Kid some extra help, some diagnostic tools or whatever. It pains me to see him become aware that he is not the student he wants to be, that he has a sense of his inadequacies in the eyes of his teachers.

I fully realize that, outside of perhaps some special -- or "stronger" -- temperament issues, that mostly his biggest problem is just being a BOY in a school system that is designed to work against everything that makes boys the wonderful little boogers they are.

I guess that my question is simply where to draw the line. When does the benefit of striving to grow and change in an area of Challenge become diminished by the back-bowing crush of being disappointed in your best efforts?

I want my son to learn that personal change and growth is important. That people will have expectations of his behavior his whole life through and that he should be and *is* capable of working towards all kinds of improvements in life. I want him to become a productive, contributing member of society who does not make excuses for his lot in life or his behavior in it. But I don't want these lessons to come at the cost of his sense of person, his value or worth in my eyes or in the eyes of others.

We've decided to enroll the Kid in a Hapkido school in our city. I had a hunch it would be right up his alley. A Korean martial art which focuses on ground work and wrestling, joint locks and disarms... it plays right into my little guys' love for tearing around wrestling on the floor. And he has loved it so far. He is by far the youngest student in the class and he made us very proud with his respectful behavior and attention to his sensei. I hope that this can become something that will FEED his sense of self, instead of take away from it as school sometimes can. And, I hope that he doesn't follow in his Daddy's footsteps and become a street brawler... I trust that he will have better guidance in his life and discipline to handle his strength and temper than Mr. F. did.

And if not, his "reformed" Dad will have to teach him a lesson, I guess. ;)

I've started working with him a bit more intensively at home; trying to help him key into those moments of distraction before they hit his chatter-button.

And I've considered taking him for ADD testing, too... but I'm really hesitant to go down that road. I'm sure there's enough reasons to slap some acronym on him. But I have no intention of drugging my boy at this point; and so I'm not sure what good any kind of diagnosis will do.

Any suggestions, my internet friends? I'm all ears.


The Weekend That Wasn't.


Boo for weekends that don't turn out. At all.

My crew was scheduled to leave for Medicine Hat early Saturday morning. Things were looking iffy on Friday as warm temps, slushy snow and rising winds were creating havoc on the highways. A few carloads of teammates that left on Friday, texted back messages telling us that the highways were in horrible condition and that no one should follow.

All fine and good except that things only got worse. At 7:00a.m. there were lots of stretches of highway which the provincial hotline was advising not be traveled due to icy conditions and the forecasted blizzard that night. Now, I am a good winter driver, I feel confident handling all kinds of snowy/drifty conditions, blowing snow, whatever. But ice scares the crap out of me, and after a quick breakfast meeting with my teammates, we decided to abandon our travel plans and live to derby another day.

Good choice, especially seeing how as of today... all my teammates who did make the trip are now stuck in Medicine Hat. Sections of highway have been outright closed yesterday and today. It's not looking good for them to get home any time soon and I'm glad that's not me.

But I did promise pictures. So, here is what my yard and neighborhood look like after a snow storm.

Winds have been averaging about 60km/hr for the last two days and there are some huge drifts in our back yard. For scale, that section of fence in the back yard is about 7 ft tall.

It's hard to appreciate the depth of this one. And you can clearly see that I left my deck a bit messy for the winter. I have yet to perfect my outdoor winterizing schtick. Somewhere at the side of the house is a garden hose and sprinkler set, as well. I suck. This snowdrift is about 6 ft tall and covers over 8x12 ft. Can anyone say SNOW FORT? Oh yeah.

Drifted up taller than the fence.

On the street in front of our house.

Across the street, our neighbors ended up with drifting in front of their houses. 5 - 6 ft high against the garage doors.

I can only imagine what this looks like from the inside.

Mr. F was out shoveling twice yesterday just to stay on top of the blowing snow... not to mention the SNOWBLOWING done by our neighbors, which neatly cleared their driveways but added inches more to ours. Honestly, people don't even use their brains.


It's ON!!

Another whirlwind weekend in the works. I will be filling my truck with rad derby girls at the arse-crack of dawn on Saturday morning and we will hit the open road for Medicine Hat, AB where we will proceed to lay the HURT down on the track.

All. Day. Long.

Three games. One day. It's gonna be a gooder!

Which means that today is crazy-full of stuff to do. Ack! I'll be sure to take lots of pics and try to throw something together when I get back that more entertaining than THIS. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!


This and That.

My morning routine usually involves running the kids to school; each to their own entrance if time permits. This morning, after saying goodbye to the Princess and watching her cross the street safely; the Kid shakes his head thoughfully and marvels, "It's hard to believe that next year she'll be 12 and in Grade 7..."

What an old softie.


I should know by now that minute I brag to the internets that I've been super-duper healthy all winter that I've pretty much jinxed myself.

Last Monday I went and got my H1N1 shot (long story, but let's call it peer pressure and leave it at that) and ended up feeling flu-ey and sickish for a few days. By Thursday, though, things were looking up and I decided to go to derby practice. Two hard-skating hours and a good sweat later, I knew I was in a bit of trouble. Woke up the next morning with a sore throat and things have been downhill since.

My throat is super-killer from all the coughing I'm doing and I'm kinda worried I'm in for a bit of a replay of the HackingCrudIllness of '07 (which I would link to, except it's not there anymore). Tonight I have a date with some hot tea and an early bedtime, for sure.


Adventures in skate building! Yes... I took on my first challenge and, all things considered? Success!!

My girlfriends skate plates (the metal brace under the sole which supports the suspension) had been installed improperly from the store she purchased them from almost two years ago. A quick inspection and I saw that, not only were they mounted too far back on the boot, but that one of the plates was over 1/4" off centerline. Yeesh.

So, drill and tools in hand I set to dismantling, positioning and re-mounting my first set of skates. I won't even lie to you. With over $400 of someone else's gear in one hand and a drill in the other; I was pretty much feeling shaky and pukey. But I was also grinning like a lil fool cause, well... I was doing it.

Fast forward FOUR HOURS (cause I'm apparently a big fan of the OCD school of "Measure 30 times, drill once" thought) and I was able to present my girlfriend her skates. And if I must say so... I've not seen a sweeter centerline-forward mount. I was some proud, to be honest. And even happier when she skated in them and for the first time in over two years of skating, didn't break stride over her front wheels or fall due to tipping over those wheels.

I learned some stuff along the way. I need some different tools. And I don't think I'll be doing that again until after I start apprenticing with the Doc. But, it was a cool experience that will hopefully be the first of many.


Big Kid.

I just got myself a new toy...

~ Cordless
~ Variable speed
~ Comfortable no-slip grip
~ Powerful battery
~ 1 hour charge

Anyone care to guess??




You have not...

...because you ask not.

Or at least that's what I was thinking when I put my fingers to the keyboard to write a most audacious email.

I chose my words carefully as I wrote a man I highly esteem. His over 30 years of experience, mechanical knowledge and innovative style have won him much accolade in the skate world. He is one of the most-sought after custom skate builders in North America.

I pressed SEND and I waited. And I could not believe my eyes when I received my response.

He has agreed to mentor me and this spring I will be crossing two provinces and seven states; about 2000 miles, to work with him. Something which I think will be the highlight of my year -- and, yes, I know the year is young, but some things just glitter with promise -- and set me on a course I am very, very excited about.

So, here's to asking. And receiving.


Just Breathe

I've always love Vedder's voice and artistry. I'm loving one of his latest and adding it to one of my all time favorites -- a sweet, sad hymn of love.


Variations on COOL


I just signed up for a burlesque dance class. I'm kinda expecting some kind of belly dance stuff, but I really have no idea... who knows what my girlfriends got me into?!? But I love them for it, I'm sure it will be fun -- if only cause I've got great company during the classes!


Knock on wood, but I just realized that I've gone over half the winter and not gotten sick. At all. I've had some crappy feeling days and a time or two I had to knock some sense into my wonderful sinuses. But seriously? I'm liking this trend. Add to it the fact that the whole flutterfamily hasn't really been sick, either? Sweet sweetness. I'm down with that.

Tied for second place is my new workout plan I'm starting. And, if USPS would make me the happiest girl... I'll have it in my greedy lil hands tomorrow. Crazy combos of plyo and military-based stuff and killer cardio intervals. It's gonna hurt me bad, but I will love it, cause I need it.


I've been working feverishly on getting a lil project off the ground. I'm launching an online skate store, which I'm pretty stoked about. The website goes live by the end of this week (I hope!!)and I cannot BELIEVE how much work I have to do. After launch, I'm doing a league circuit which means I'll be on the road just a bit, meeting girls: doing info sessions with them and letting them try out some really sweet products I've got. I'm really excited about my business plan and I hope it rocks Western Derby's world. That said, I don't need to conquer the world... just want to do a good job with something I love. I've been cramming my head full of info and stuff and within the next few months will be getting cozy with some power tools and doing custom mounts, as well as trying to track down a mini-lathe that won't cost me my arm and a child.

OH, and I can't forget this. This, which made our children screech and holler. This, which will entirely deplete our carefully saved AirMiles account. But, yay, AirMiles!!! Cause, yeah... Yay, Disneyland!! February, baby! Me and the Mouse are chillin like villians and I don't know who will enjoy it more... the kids or the adults.

So far 2010 is off to a wild start, I'd say.