petition for cousin Henry

Please take a moment to click, read, and sign this petition that seeks justice regarding the death of our cousin, Henry. His family is hopeful that a large number of signatures on the petition will encourage investigators to continue to search for the truth and will shine light on the circumstances surrounding his violent, young death.

dirt and stuff

Oh my goodness, it’s a glorious day outside. I wish every day of summer could be like today: lush, green, balmy, unbuggy. It’s been raining cats and dogs (though we were spared the tornadoes that rocked a lot of the southeast) so there’s still some standing water in places, but it’s not too terrible.

Rainbow and I set off on our morning walk, said our hellos to the usual suspects downtown, checked the mail, and then headed to the park. Ahhh. The knockout roses around Ward’s statue are in full bloom. Gorgeousness.

After we’d been there a little while, a grandma and her little 3 year old granddaughter came to play. Rainbow was all excited, and the little girl definitely wanted to chat and to play with “that boy.” So sweet. They climbed the playstructure for awhile, and then headed for the swings.

Watch out for the water! Grandma fretted. Don’t get wet! She seemed pretty dang uptight about water puddles, but whatever. The little girl and Rainbow swung in the toddler swings for a long time and had a blast. Then they wanted to explore.

Watch out for the grass! It’s wet! Don’t get dirty!! Stay on the path!!!

Sheesh, Grandma was all bent out of shape. It was just bizarre. Rainbow wanted to run in the grass, and the little girl wanted to chase him, but her grandma successfully corralled her. Then they started off on the walking trail, and Grandma kept trying to call the little girl back. It was awkward; like, what’s my responsibility here? I’m sure not going to discourage Rainbow from walking on the trail, because that’s what we do. We walk on the walking trail. And I’m not going to fuss at somebody else’s kid to go back to their grandma, especially when she was being a very good girl and staying on the trail.

Grandma gave up on keeping her close to the playground, and very grumblingly let her throw some rocks into a puddle for awhile with Rainbow (while the little girl kept her feet safely on dry asphalt) before they went home.

I was trying to sort out the weirdness of that whole encounter, figuring that there must have been some special reason that the little girl had to stay pristine.

And then two more little girls came to the playground, and it was the same deal. One of the little girls fell on her knees in the moistly dirty mulch and – I KID YOU NOT – the mom said, Ugh, you’re all dirty, hold on while I get some diaper wipes, while the little girl stood stock-still with her palms out and an icked-out expression on her face. Then Mom came to the rescue and thoroughly cleaned the little girl’s knees with wet wipes. I felt like I was in the twilight zone.

It’s a playground, people. Kids play outside here. Dirt is okay.


Is it a little girl thing, I wonder? Is that how moms of some little girls are? It feels very… foreign, compared with all the boy stuff (read: earthworms, beetles, lizards, upturned-rocks-to-see-what-writhes-beneath) I’ve encountered during my mama-ing.


an update on cousin Henry’s case

Katie is fighting tirelessly for justice after Henry’s violent, horrible death. This blog post gives a great current summary of the main problems she has with the authorities’ investigation into her son’s death. It’s a tragic, excruciating situation in just every way, and I remain hopeful that those persons legally and morally responsible for Henry’s death are brought to justice.

spring break trip #1: a coupla more pics

So, another very sweet mom, L, was at Amicalola State Park during our little spring break trip with her family and friends. She took a couple of pics of the big boys and me and emailed them. I’m SOOO glad she did, because the computer ate all the pics I took. We had such a fantastic time, even given the fog and the getting sort of lost and the cold, uncomfortable beds. And it was terrific to meet the other families there. Thanks so much, L! 🙂

I still need to get Daddy J on the case of getting Brad’s ipod video uploaded onto the computer. It should be some funny stuff; he was filming just as we were starting to panic about getting lost.

Ha ha ha.

Spiderbite Chronicles III: THE END


I went to our local doctor, who’s also a friend, this morning. After a steroid shot, Mucinex, and starting a round of antibiotics, I’m feeling much better. Turns out I had fluid in my ears, a reddened throat, enlarged neck glands, and a “yucky” infected-looking inside of my nose. Bleh. Not 100% better, but definitely on the mend over here. So, that’s good. Brad appears to be coming down with it, which definitely isn’t good, but I dosed him with some children’s nighttime cold remedy and he was asleep by 9:00.

I had totally forgotten to ask about the rashy bite on my rear end (and wanted to see if ringworm, as JenniG had suggested, might be the culprit) and let the doctor leave, but had the nurse who gave me my steroid shot ask her to come back in when she could. I waited, and waited, and waited. She was with another patient, and I almost gave up to go get my meds at the pharmacy, but then she came back to the exam room.

I described the whole deal: the presumed spiderbite (but with no critter ever found,) the bullseye rash, the itching, the blisters, the disappearance, the reappearance, the disappearance, the reappearance…

She checked out the remnants of this most current episode, now in the healing phase, and said,

Yeah. It’s shingles.

Which I totally thought was a weird old person disease that we don’t really get any more nowadays, like scurvy or rickets. Not a good thing by any means, but sort of relegated to older people who grew up with some sort of vitamin deficiency or incomplete vaccination schedule.

The shingles explains the shooting pains down my leg, which I had thought were from spreading spider venom or damage from said venom. I’m glad all the guys have had chicken pox vaccinations, since shingles both originates from a past episode of chicken pox and can give someone chicken pox if they’re not immune, although they’d be unlikely to have contact with the shingles on my tush, anyway. It’s a drag in that I guess it will be a recurrent thing, but won’t actually hurt me if it stays on my bum and doesn’t pop up on my face, where it can cause blindness if untreated.

I can see my shingles and my osteopenia cackling like old biddies in rocking chairs on the front porch of my bodymind, waving the next visitor up to join them there.

Who’s next? Arthritis? Cataracts? Gout?



Bullets!** Because a lot has been going on, and I’m feeling about as sharp as a wet cotton ball because:

* I’m sick. Lousy, crummy, FINE I’LL GO TO THE DOCTOR sick. On Friday, I woke up feeling like my throat was full of hot dryer lint, so immediately thought STREP!!, but then crazy prolific nasal congestion followed, so I was all, Cold. Fine. Then yesterday was just full-on bodily miserable, tired and sore and with mucus production in overload, plus both glands in my throat hurt a lot. Doctor appointment’s in a hour.

* Rainbow’s going to preschool tomorrow. (!!!) It’s a place about 10 minutes away. Rainbow, Papa J, and I visited on Friday, and it was great. Very clean, small, well-run, safe. I think Rainbow will love it. Right now we’re set up for Tuesdays and Thursdays, although I may reassess in the fall and go up to three days a week. It will be his first time (since the ill-fated venture at the church preschool) away from me, but I think this time he’ll do better this time around, and I’m sure I’ll prefer this place. He’s older and more into playing with other kids. I think it will help with his picky eating, and that child LOVES to play with other kids.

(Yes, I’m totally dreading the emotional freak-out he’s going to have. Yes indeed I am.)

* Daddy J went to scope out an auction on Saturday morning and came home all addled and wonky. I asked if he’d had a wreck, and he said, Well, you won’t believe what happened, which sent my cold-medicine dulled self into adrenalin rush panic. He was parking in a field at the auction (which is what one does at rural auctions – that’s where people have to park! – and the Nissan Armada is built on a truck frame, so WTH, Armada?) and the airbag deployed.

I knew that it wasn’t funny when airbags deployed for no reason, no matter what comic effect they get in movies and whatnot, but it turns out it’s a big deal. He said that he heard a huge explosion and the world went white, and he thought, Well, that’s it, I’m shot in the head, and passed out. He came to a few seconds later with the deployed airbag in his lap. Daddy J is no lightweight; he works out and is pretty buff, and it really rang his bell. We (his dad is EMT trained) checked for whiplash and we were on pupil-dilation concussion alert for the rest of the day.

I’m curious how this will turn out, since it’s, like, a thousand bucks to get your airbag reinstalled. The insurance company says they only pay for it if there was a collision or rollover (which is when the airbag is supposed to deploy) and that otherwise Nissan should pay for it, since it’s a mechanical error. So, it’s probably a no-brainer, but I sure hope we don’t have to argue and work to get Nissan to do the work. Daddy J’s dropping off the car now and getting a loaner.

* Easter was actually wonderful, even in my sicky state. We had planned initially on going to my mom’s, but I had a sleepless night of anxiety last week and realized that I just can’t take Rainbow there right now. Her lake house is where Ward’s accident was, and to go there on a pretty day with people playing outside would be way too much for me to deal with. I just have no desire whatsoever, ever, to walk down to the dock again, or even see the lake from her back porch, and I would be terrified the entire time that Rainbow would slip away down there alone.

SO! Easter at our house. Daddy J totally stepped up and cooked an awesome lasagna so that I could have a hearty veggie option, and my family brought a feast of ham, potato salad, corn pudding, broccoli and rice casserole, rolls, multiple cakes… Mom brought cookies on a stick for Rainbow, which delights him no end. And it was one of the best times I’ve ever had, just hanging out with my mom’s family. Everyone was in a great mood and Rainbow was so dang charming with his aunts Sandy and Lissa. He also was pretty adept at walking on the knee-high tightrope in our backyard when his hands were lightly held on either side.

* Scarlett’s digging out of the backyard was successfully thwarted by Daddy J’s installing an electrified wire along the bottom of the fence. She’d get zapped, yelp, run off, and then go back to yap at the fence in irritation. Heh. Little stinker. She seems to have learned her lesson.

** And I don’t see how to actually create html bullets, so we’ll just be going for asterisks with this post. But I’m keeping the title, because I kind of feel like I’ve been knocked upside the head by a superhero right now.

Pacifiers – pro or anti?

My new article on describes how I went from militantly anti-pacifier with the first three boys to enthusiastically pro with Rainbow. It’s really funny how much Binky is a part of our lives now, when it NEVER was with Brad, Rockinrolla, or Wardie. Rainbow loves that Binky.

Please take a second to leave a comment if you do read it. It means a lot to me. 🙂

Rockin’ the Sun-In in the 80’s

Here’s a piece about the joys (and perils) of Sun-In hair lightening spray on Like Totally 80’s, including some choice pics of me with my naturally blackish hair turned light orange with dedicated use of the stuff. DIY is fun!

Spiderbite Chronicles II: The Reawakening

She was casually getting ready for bed, and felt an itchy spot on her posterior. “Mosquitos already,” she thought irritably, and gave the spot an absentminded little scratch. Instead of a boring old mosquito bite, she felt a raised patch of bumps. “It couldn’t be!” she gasped.

Craning around to look in the mirror confirmed her fear: the blistery bumps were in the SAME SPOT as her affliction of so many months ago. It was incongruous, intrusive, inconceivable.


*cue psycho music*


Daddy J checked it out and said, Huh, yeah, there ya go. Maybe it was a brown recluse, and the poison is reactivated for some reason.

And I’m all, HAHAHA, flesh-eating bacteria/need a bun cheek-ectomy/hatching a creepy mini-me/alien transponder site. HAHAHA.

But it’s just so bizarre.

Why would spider bite poison like, LAY EERILY DORMANT only to wake up and be all blistery and itchy again? What’s up with that? I mean, I’ve seen this movie before, and I DO NOT LIKE IT. Especially not after three months have elapsed. What bit me ANYWAY? And did it die when we sprayed for spiders???

Daddy J thinks I’m a bit of a hypochondriac and this certainly doesn’t help matters. For now, anyway, it’s nowhere near as bad as it was in January. No bullseye pattern, and not painful, just mildly itchy. Still weird, though.

I just hope the HazMat guys don’t show up with Mulder and Scully to whisk me away as soon as I hit Publish. HAHAHA

(looks over shoulder)

What’s on your 80’s summer mix tape?

Here’s my dream summer mix tape from the 1980’s.

While you’re at it, take a few minutes to go revisit the awesomeness that that was A-ha’s Take On Me video. It’s so perfect in every way – the dreamy vocals, the amazing visuals. Why isn’t anyone from American Idol covering this song?

Side note: I just realized that the Take on Me video is a heckuva lot like the ending to Altered States. Which looks much scarier than I remember it being. However: the hallway, the painful birth from one state to another, the back to normalcy thing, the romantic hug.

Interesting, no? Although the A-ha guy was way cuter than William Hurt.

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