Friday, February 27, 2009

North Carolina Legislators Attempting to Pass Anti-Gay Bill

Monday, State Senator Jim Forrester, along with 21 co-sponsers (including mine from Mecklenburg County), introduced The Defense of Marriage - Senate 272, a bill to add this sentence to the state constitution: "Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."

I urge everyone who opposes this, to contact their NC State Senator and Representative. (Instructions for identifying your representatives are at the bottom of this post).

With the budget shortfalls that the state is facing, the talk of increasing class sizes in the schools, and everything else going on, the fact that Sen. Forrester is pushing to have this on the Nov. 2009 ballot is simply unfathomable to me!

In a statement on Monday, Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of NC4Marriage (an organization started simply to fight for the passage of this ammendment) made this statement:

“Today is an exciting day for the citizens of North Carolina. Legislators are taking a stand for marriage and for the right of North Carolina citizens to be afforded the same opportunity as voters in 30 other states to vote on whether to include the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one union in our State Constitution.”

First of all, how is this a stand for marriage? Is this going to do anything to improve North Carolina's divorce rate of 3.8 per 1,000 persons (source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008)? Does this do anything to protect the thousands of women and children abused in heterosexual marriages across our state (total of 44,086 females and 6,640 male victims in 2004 according to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence)? Will this do anything to protect the thousands of children who are abused every year by their heterosexual parents (24,597 in 2006 according to NC DSS)?

The bottom line is it does nothing to truly defend marriage! What it does do though, is deny US Citizens their constitutional right to the persuit of happiness! This country is founded on a separation of church and state and the 14th Amendment strickly prohibits the making of any laws "respecting an establishment of religion" which, in my not so humble opinion, this is. This bill would hold all NC residents to a law estabilished by the Bible, thereby holding all NC residents to a biblical standard regardless of their religious beliefs. I by no means believe that the Federal or State government should require churches to perform or sanction same-sex marriage. But a resident of NC and a citizen of the US should be able to go to their local Registrar of Deeds and be issued a CIVIL MARRIAGE LISENCE regardless of their sexual orientation.

Secondly, if school integration or inter-racial marriage had been put on a ballot to be voted on by the general electorate, then I'm sure they would have been banned as well. Sometimes the majority is not the best group of people to decide what the rights of the minority should be. One of my favorite quotes says:

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority. Ralph W. Sockman

So, please contact your legistators!

First identify your NINE digit zip code via:

Then put that into this website:

Then let your legislators know how you feel about this issue! Trust me, my Senator who co-signed the bill, got an ear full from me this mornig! Let's show California how it's done!!!! ;-)


Monday, February 23, 2009

Archiving Blogs

Hey you guys.

My myspace account is totally wigging out! I don't know what's happened to it, but I've decided that since the only thing on it that I'm really worried about losing is the blogging I've done over the last 3 years or so that the simple solution to that would be to archive them here. So, if you start seeing new post pop up on your readers or RSS feeds that seem like they are old, don't worry. You have not been sucked into a Startrek like time warp. It's just me trying to shore up the safety of my writing. Also, feel free to take a browse through the archives in the next few days and check out some of my older stuff. It's amazing how far a girl can come in just a few years.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Protest

I would like to introduce you to the face of the Radical Gay Movement.


No really. This little one was there with her dad and was the life of the party. I can only image the stories she will be able to tell when she grows up. Her dad said that by the time she grows up he hopes that she'll be appalled at the way the LGBTQ community was treated.

Ok, to start at the beginning.

This weekend there was a Focus on the Family conference called Love Won Out. This conference promotes the "negative" effects of homosexuality and "helps" those who want to "change" their sexual orientation using what they call Reparative Therapy. If you know me at all you know that I find this to be highly offensive. I believe that any negative effects of homosexuality has to do with the rejection of it in general society, and these type of organizations only promote that rejection.
Not to mention the American Psychology Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association of Social Workers, the American Medical Association, and all other major mental and medical health professional associations have declared homosexuality to NOT be a mental disorder of any kind.

If a fully informed adult decides that they are not happy with their sexual orientation and they find their faith to be helpful then I say, more power too you, but so many of the participants at these conferences are children drug there by their parents who want to "cure" their sexual orientation. I have a friend who went through one of these ex-gay therapies in college. Not only did he emerge still gay, but he lost his faith in the process, a faith that was very important to him.

So, CRANE, the Charlotte Rainbow Area Network for Equality, an organization recently formed to promote equality in the Charlotte area organized a protest of the conference with Wayne Besen of Truth Wons Out. We had a nice turn out.


We had one true counter protester. He had a huge sign that had a LONG passage from Revelations that said something about "whoremongers" being thrown in the "lake of fire". At the beginning the hire security from Central Church (yes they had hired security for the conference) came and made him move further down from us. He kept making his way through our group though. But I didn't mind that much because his sign had too many words on it to be read by anyone driving down the street and therefore he was just going to be assumed to be with us. :-) You can see him at the very end of the line in this picture.


We had a few others who wandered through the crowed and tried to stir things up. Thankfully, they were met by people in our group who could take them on. I had a really nice girl try to talk with me, but at that point I wasn't sure if we were really trying to have a silent protest or not. So, I humored her for a few minutes and then excused myself to see my friend. I really wasn't the right person to talk with anyway, being NOT a christian and NOT gay. :-)

Here is one of the anti-gay guys talking with Wayne. I think they talked for about an hour and then Wayne passed him off to Wade who could easily take him on scripture by scripture.


Other than those couple who very argumentative and borderline hateful (and the one guy who flipped us all off when he drive by), everyone was very pleasant on both sides. Some people came by from inside they conference and there was some very honest, yet respectful exchange of ideas.

Here is Patrick having an unexpectantly pleasant discussion with a gentleman.


By the way his sign says, "God Loves Me (even though I'm a lawyer)" Hehehe!

It wasn't the only great sign, though. There were many! I used my amazing Cricut machine to make mine, but amazingly got no pictures of it. Hopefully some fellow protesters will post some and I'll be able to steal one.




The two men holding the "stop signs" in the foreground have been together for 20 years! I know a significant amount of heterosexual couples who cannot say that! They were so nice to me, and we had such a wonderful conversation.

I can tell you that it is interesting to be on the other side of the sexual orientation bias. In the general population, one is assumed straight until told otherwise, but at these protests, you're assumed homosexual until told otherwise. I use to feel like I needed to tell people so they wouldn't think I was trying to be something I'm not, but then I realized that it really shouldn't matter because we are fighting for the same thing. Not to mention, being married it doesn't matter one way or the other because I've already found the most amazing person in the entire world that I look forward to spending every day of the rest of my life with!

There were also a couple of gay affirming church leaders there. One from Charlotte and one from Concord. That was so encouraging to see!



So, it was a great protest. I really enjoyed raising my voice for a cause I feel very strongly about, and I met some awesome people who I hope I can continue to fight side by side with toward realizing equal rights in America, so that the young one at the protest will be amazing by how much things have changed in her lifetime!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Freedom to Marry Week

I've been working on this post for almost a week! Unfortunately, I'm a little late getting it posted for Freedom to Marry Week, but I think think it's important to get this information out there and to start discussions.

This week, Feb 8-14, is Freedom to Marry Week and is intended to generate discussion and understanding of the issues surrounding equal marriage.

This is a very important issue to me, not because I'm lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or queer (LGBTQ) myself or even because I have someone very close to me who is, but because I feel that this is the civil rights cause of our generation. I truly wish that I had been around during the 50's and 60's and could have participated in the freedom rides and the marches. I would so like to think that I would have been courageous enough to stare down the water hoses and the tear gas in an effort to win my fellow humans their equal rights. I so admire the amazing people who put their lives on the line to fight for what is right. Dr. King is one of my heros. I only wish that I could be as charismatic and courageous as he. But one of the things that I always note in the pictures from that time is the small number of caucasion folks in the mix. I truly admire these people as well, because they were not going to benefit from the changes in policy or society. They would in fact be giving something up... giving up some of the power and privileged that they benefited from, justly or not. So why did they do it? They did it because it was the right thing to do! Because as the saying goes, "No one is free, when others are oppressed!"

So, to begin the discussion, I will layout some of the reasons why I believe that marriage should be an equal establishment under federal law regardless of the sex of the applicants.

Number One:

I am a huge advocate of the separate of church and state, and although the exact phase is not in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, the concept is a corner stone on which our nation was built. The founding fathers had fled persecution, and did not want to allow it to fester in their new state.

The First Amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This can be interpreted different ways. Some would say that this statement keeps the state out of the church but not the church out of the state. Some say that our country was founded on "the freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion". But in my opinion, one without the other nullifies the whole concept. Freedom of religion must include the freedom to practice no religion or it is meaningless.

In the Treaty of Tripoli ratified in 1797 (just 21 years after the signing of the constitution) the United States Senate says:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. source

*emphasis added.

If that's not a declaration of governmental religious tolerance, I have no idea what is!

In an entry in Madison's papers from August 15, 1789, he says, "“Mr. Madison said he apprehended the meaning of the words [of the First Amendment] to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience....” source

For me the key here is the "Congress shall not... enforce the legal observation of [religion] by law" part. This says to me that I as an agnostic should not be mandated by law to observe the rules of the Bible or the Koran or the Torah. The Law of the Land, the law that governs everyone should be based on a logical, scientific (if possible), objective look at what is best for society. Now if a law happens to be both objectively good for society and in line with a particular religion, then even the better. For instance, murder is illegal according to our civil laws. The reason why it is illegal is because of the impact that unpunished killing has on a society (just look at the horror and devastation when a genocide is sanctioned by a government like in Hollucost Germany or in Bosnia, or when there is a weak government like the Darfur region of Sudan) not because the Judeo-Christian Bible says "Do Not Kill."

Now this does not mean that religious people are required to leave their religion at the door of the public debate. But as then Senator Obama put it, when discussing faith in a pluralistic society, "religious people need to translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values". source

Number 2:

From what I have heard of the debate, the biggest points have to do solely with a religious opposition to homosexuality. What I hear the most is, "Well the Bible says ...". Well, we've just established that when it comes to the federal government and the laws of the land, that there must be some more universal and not "religion-specific" reason for denying rights to US Citizens. Now, the opinion that homosexuality is wrong should be tolerated just as all other opinions, and just as the First Amendment dictates, the government would never require a particular church or religious organization to acknowledge the marriage of a homosexual couple, just as the Catholic church does not recognize the unions of those married outside the Catholic church, similarly with the Mormons. I'm sure most church would not recognize my marriage because it was not performed in the name of god. But society at large should not have to be held to a strictly religious standard. Since, Christianity is the dominate region in the US, I suspect that it is easier for a majority of people to accept laws based on the Bible because it is something they have at the least grown up around. I wonder how the population in general would feel if the standard stopped being the Bible and started being the Koran. I can only imagine the uproar when headscarves are required! It's funny, how violation of church and state is perfectly fine as long as it's your church.

So, is there any non-religious-specific reasons to deny marriage rights and adoption rights to the LGBTQ community. For a look at this, we'll turn to the American Psychological Association's website. In an article titled Lesbian and Gay Parenting, by Charlotte J. Patterson, Ph.D, the APA's opinion on this subject is laid out.

"Certainly, research has found no reasons to believe lesbian mothers or gay fathers to be unfit parents (Armesto, 2002; Barret & Robinson, 1990; Bigner & Bozett, 1990; Bigner & Jacobsen, 1989a, 1989b; Bos et al., 2003, 2004; Bozett, 1980, 1989; Patterson, 1997; Patterson & Chan, 1996; Sbordone, 1993; Tasker & Golombok, 1997; Victor & Fish, 1995; Weston, 1991). On the contrary, results of research suggest that lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive home environments for children." source

Similarly, in their Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Marriage they quote:

"Anthropological research on households, kinships relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide[s] no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution" (American Anthropological Association, 2004)"

Additionally they state that, "Psychological research on relationships and couples provides no evidence to justify discrimination against same-sex couples (Kurdek, 2001, in press; Peplau & Beals, 2004; Peplau & Spalding, 2000).

And finally, "Therefore be it resolved that the APA believes that it is unfair and discriminatory to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage and to all its attendant benefits, rights, and privileges."


Number 3

This is not the first debate where the Bible has been used to try and deny rights.

Religion and "natural order" were regularly used to oppose the Suffrage Movement that ultimately gained women the right to vote.

Reverend John Williams of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church of Nebraska said, "God meant for women to reign over home, and most good women reject politics because woman suffrage will destroy society." source

In a paper prepared by J. B. Sanford, Chairmen of Democratic Caucus entitled Against Women's Suffrage, 1911, Mr. Sanford states that:

"The mothers of this country can shape the destinies of the nation by keeping in their places and attending to those duties that God Almighty intended for them." source

One Anti-Suffrage activist is reported as saying:

"The most convincing reason I have heard given was the one offered by Miss Pearson 'We want the ballot, and we want it when we want it.' That is the old story-of woman-Eve she got it and we've had trouble ever since." source

The same is seen during the fight for Inter-racial Marriage Rights:

The ground breaking case in the fight was Loving vs. Virginia, a court case in which a White man and a Black woman married in the District of Columbia where it was legal. They then moved back to Virginia to live, where inter-racial marriage was illegal. They were charged with violating the ban on inter-racial marriage. When suspending their sentence of one year in jail on the condition that they would leave Virgina and not come back, the trial judge said:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." source

The Lovings eventually took their case to the US Supreme Court where the Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to deny marriage rights based on race and therefore overturned all State laws to the contrary.

I truly believe that in 50 years we will look back on the opposition to Equal Marriage as just as silly and discriminatory, as the arguments presented above.

Number 4

Now I have a feeling that the same thought is flashing through the heads of all my conservative christian friends. "But women's right to vote and inter-racial marriage are not strictly prohibited in the Bible. Homosexuality is!"

Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Leviticus 18:22

If a man has sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman, the two of them have committed an abomination. They must be put to death; their blood guilt is on themselves. Leviticus 20:13

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

Ok, I can see that point. However, divorce(except under one, questionably two, circumstances), fornication, and adultery are also prohibited.

I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel. Malachi 2:16a

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. Matthew 5:3

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery. Matthew 19:9

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." (1 Corinthians 7:1-2, KJV)

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.(1 Corinthians 7:8-9)

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Hebrews 13:4)

Thou shalt not commit adultery Exodus 20:14

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

And here is that 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 passage again. But notice this time that homosexuals are not the only ones that god says will not inherit the kingdom, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, nor slanderers. Which of us has not stolen a pen or stapler from our office, who has not been guilty of being greedy, I hardly know a single person who hasn't been drunk at least one good time, and I don't think any of us can claim to have never gossiped.

First of all we've already established that the bible is a wonderful moral compass for individuals who choose to see it that way, but it is not an adequate compass by which to set civil law. Secondly... here's my question... Why this issue? Why Equal Marriage. Why not take up a campaign to abolish the no-fault divorce laws, or strengthen and encourage the prosecution of adultery or ban marriage for couples who have lived together prior to marriage? I have my theories, but I'll let you draw your own.

I'll leave you with a couple of great quotes:

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority. Ralph W. Sockman

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. Friedrich Nietzsche

Now you know my thoughts. Feel free to share yours.

Peace y'all!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

OMG! I'm Practically Famous!!!

Ok, so just a few minutes ago, I was browsing around the flair application on Facebook looking for "flair" which is basically digital buttons to send to friends and put up on my own board. And what did I see???? ONE OF MY DESIGNS ON THE 4TH PAGE OF THE "RECENTLY POPULAR" SECTION!!! I was shocked! Now, my name is no where on it, and there's no way for anyone to find out it was made by me, but I know it, and that's enough for me! But I did have to show everyone, because this is really exciting for me! I know that officially makes me a geek, but it's the first time I've seen something I designed displayed and apparently other people like it too.


Woohoo! Go me! CA Magazine, here I come!

A Tupperware Party Get-Together

This past Saturday, I was invited to attend a Tupperware party by April and her mom. Now just as a refersher, April was my BFF until we were about 8 or 9. So, it's been close to 20 years since we saw each other. Her mom, Debbie, was my second mom growing up. It was so wondeful to see everyone again. And I felt so at home there, just like when I was little.

Unfortunately, it was dark in the house and my flash wasn't doing very well. So, in trying to shoot without a flash, I got mostly fuzzy, blurry, nothing pictures. But there were a few that turned out pretty well. So, I hope you enjoy.


Debbie's mom, Debbie's sister, and the hit of the party, Anna's youngest!


Mama and baby


Mama, Baby, and both Grandmothers


Grandmother (Anna's mother-in-law) and the most beautiful baby ever!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weekend Preview and Hump Day Video

Well, I had a wonderful time in the mountains this weekend! Spending time with my mama is always wonderful, and given my grandmother's age (85) and health condition, I consider every moment with her a blessing. Plus, like the cherry on the top, I got to spend time with my oldest brother Levi on Sunday when we took mom out to eat for lunch! I've never met anyone as talented and funny as my oldest brother. He played us some of his newest music which is always a treat. And one of these days I'm going to be the older sister of a famous musician and song writer and I'll be able to say, "I remember when we use to go over to his house and he'd play his newest song for us!"

I haven't had a chance to get the pictures off my camera yet. I was so exhausted when I got home on Monday that I fell asleep at 7:30pm. And last night I had a DVHP meeting that lasted until after 8:30pm. Hopefully tonight, I'll be able to start pulling those off and posting about the different events. I wish I'd gotten more pictures in the mountains but I didn't. I totally forgot to take the camera on our birthday outing, and am kicking myself for not getting a picture of my grandmother showing me some crochet tips. But c'est la vie.

But before I got to any of that, I wanted to share with you a video/song/artist that I was introduced to this weekend. Matt Stillwell is a good old country boy from the Bryson City area. His younger twin brothers went to school with one of my cousins. Now's he's in Nasheville with a video being played on CMT! He's an awesome guy with amazing drive. He decided to forgo the record companies and simply started one of his own to promote his music. He also organized a music festival in the gorgeous Fontana area really so that he would have somewhere to play. Note that most of the video is taped in the Fontana area.

So, to help everyone over this mountain of a hump day, I present Matt Stillwell's Shine

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Song...

I'll be in the mountains this weekend celebrating my mom's birthday with her.



So, there probably won't be many post until the first-middle of next week due to there being no internet at my grandmother's house. I know that you all will feel so neglected, but know that you will be in my heart! ;-)

But before I go, I want to leave you with a wonderful Friday afternoon song. I refused to download it for a long time because it was just too popular, and since I hadn't really heard it that much, I didn't know what the fuss was over. But this afternoon I broke down and got it off iTunes. It's been on repeat ever since. And since you guys aren't here to enjoy hearing it played over and over and over and over.... again, I figured I'd post it here for you all to enjoy.

So often we get caught up in things that don't matter, and lose sight of the things that are vitally important. I have to admit, that if I made a list of all the simple things that make me happy it would be very similar to Zac Brown's... Fried Chicken (boneless and dipped in honey mustard, please), A pair of jeans that fit just right, the look Jay gets in his eyes when I walk through the door, the love of my family, the love i have for my child(ren) who aren't even here yet, the men and women making sure I'm free.

Anyway, watch the video, read the lyrics, and make a list of your own (feel free to share it with us in the comments), and I'll be back with some post about the weekend and my trip to the mountains next week.

Happy Friday everyone and have a great weekend!


You know I like my chicken fried
Cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up
Well I`ve seen the sunrise
See the love in my woman`s eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother`s love

Well I was raised up beneath the shade of a Georgia pine
And that`s home you know Sweet tea pecan pie and homemade wine
Where the peaches grow
And my house it`s not much to talk about
But it`s filled with love that`s grown in southern ground

And a little bit of chicken fried
Cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up
Well I`ve seen the sunrise
See the love in my woman`s eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother`s love

And its funny how it`s the simple things in life that mean the most
Not where you live or what you drive or the price tag on your clothes
There`s no dollar sign on a piece of mind this I`ve come to know
So if you agree have a drink with me
Raise you glasses for a toast

To a little bit of chicken fried
Cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up
Well I`ve seen the sunrise
See the love in my woman`s eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother`s love

I thank God for my life
And for the stars and stripes
May freedom forever fly, let it ring.
Salute the ones who died
The ones that give their lives so we don`t have to sacrifice
All the things we love

Like our chicken fried
Cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up
Well I`ve seen the sunrise
See the love in my woman`s eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother`s love

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Poor Jay

Yes, poor Jay never knows what to expect when he comes home from work on Wednesdays (which is usually my extra day off). For instance, yesterday he opens the door to the hum of my ancient, dusty sewing machine that hasn't seen the light of day in almost a year, since the wedding.

You know I can't post one of these without telling the whole story so here goes...

While trying to catch up on our pathetically, embarrassingly neglecticed laundry situation yesterday, I got this burr under my saddle about redecorating my table for valentines day. Now if you have read some of my recent posts, you'll know that I'm not a cheesy kind of decorating person. I have to come up with something creative and beautiful without resorting to cliches.

So, once a load had been put in the drier, and one in the washer, and I knew I had at least an hour before I could do anything, I put on a ball cap (because I'm surely not going to get dressed up to go to Target on my day off), and hit the road. I started at my old staple Target, but had remarkably little luck, although looking at my receipt you'd hardly get that impression. I swear I can't get out of that store for less than $60! I bought a beautiful night gown which I'll wear on valentines day to serve dinner (and no I'm not worried about spoiling the surprise because I know Jay doesn't read this, but noone better tell him!), some X and O cookie cutters, some heart shaped ice cube trays (LOVE me some shaped ice cube trays), and some new pillows since Jay has been complaining for a while. Plus I knew the pillows would justify my trip without tipping him off that I was planning something.

Unfortunately, they didn't have any type of tablecloth or runner that I liked. Everything was either not valentine-y at all or totally cartoon-y hearts and crap! So, while walking around, I got the idea that I might be able to make something. I knew I didn't want anything fancy. My simplistic, minimalistic design style really helps out when it comes to the pocket book, so I decided to head to walmart to look at fabric.

Now, I must say that Walmart is like my least favorite place in the entire world, and I do my best to avoid it. Target is by far my preference so that's why I started there. I could have gone to Hancock fabrics but that was all the way in Matthews and I had to get back to the laundry. So, I guess, just like I'm always yelling about, I sacrificed my ideals on the alter of low prices and convenience. Oh well, no one's perfect. :-)

ANYWAY! After picking up some candy hearts (totally off the subject but I love those darn candy hearts! I know they have to be so bad for you, and if nuclear holucast were to happen the only things left would be cockroaches, those scary easter bunny shaped peeps, and valentines candy hearts, but I still love them.) ANYWAY! ... candy hearts and dark read taper candles, I headed to the fabric section.

I really wasn't holding my breath because, really, this is walmart. But there it was, the holy grail! The most beautiful toile print fabric I'd ever seen, and at $5.50 a yard I couldn't pass it up. So, I grabbed 2 1/2 yards just to be safe and headed home to hide the secret stuff and get started playing with my fabric. I'd already summised that I could probably just fold the fabric in half and sew it together, but wasn't sure exactly how I was going to make it work. I looked at patterns, but they were all too ruffely, fuffy, duffy, for me. I just wanted something simple so I figured I could figure it out for myself.

Once I got home and hid the surprise stuff under the bed, yes, I'm not a very imaginative hider, I cleaned off the table which was a mess as usual. One of these days I'm going to have a crafting room where I can have everything layed out, but for now our dining table has to multiple duty as crafting space (when I'm not working in the middle of the living room floor), table for company (we eat on the couch in front of the tv), and general crap catcher! Once it was cleaned up, I layed out the fabric to see what I was looking at, and realized that not only did I have enough fabric for a runner, but I had enough for an entire table cloth.

So, I measured off the amount I wanted to hang off the ends, and trimmed it up straight. Then I ironed and pinned down a half inch hem and sewed it down. Thankfully, I remembered how to use the machine. I tend to forget how to thread it and get this really funky rats nest on the underside, but after just two tries I figured it out again.

So just $14 and an hour later, we had...


Not the best picture, I know. But there's only so much I can do when its dark when I get home.


I love it so much. It's perfect and exactly what I was looking for. Then this morning when I was trying to explain what toile looked like to a friend of mine, I came across this...


This was on William and Sonoma for $95!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woohoo!!!!! Talk about Thriving on less. Plus, I like my pattern better. :-)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hoping to Make a Little Boys Day

This morning I put the pictures from my trip to April's on Facebook. She commented right away and said that Elliott loved this one and was so proud of his Jedi pose.


All day, I kept thinking... I can do better than that. So, I did a quick google search and apparently I'm not the only one who has tried to make a Jedi Lightsaber in photoshop.

So, here we have Jedi Elliot!


A Very Girlie Weekend

This past weekend was wonderful! It was chocked full of laughing, shopping, catching up, and lots of girl talk.

It started out with Jess and her friend Molly coming up Saturday for what we thought would be a very productive wedding planning day. Molly was legally married right before her husband deployed, but they are planning a large ceremony and reception after his return. The WE channel was hosting a bridal expo downtown. We figured with Jess and Molly planning Molly's wedding, and me helping Aimie plan her's it would be an awesome time. Unfortunately... not so much. The show was SO small. There were probably 20 venders there total.

We stayed long enough to watch the bridal dress runway show. Well... when I say watch, I really mean critique. With Jess and I being former dancers, we're all about stage production and management, which this show was seriously lacking. Oh well, it at least produced some laughs and entertainment, even if it wasn't the kind they were hoping for. :-)

So, after sitting in traffic for, I kid you not, a half an hour trying to get out of the parking deck, we decided to head over to SouthPark mall for some lunch and light shopping. With the girls living in Fayetteville, they were very excited to see a full size, nonmilitary town mall.

First things first... lunch.

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Then it was on to the shopping. There was one store that was hands down everyone's favorite! I was excited to introduce the girls to it as they had never experienced the awesomeness that is Anthropologie. I could literally outfit myself and my entire home in their products if everything wasn't so dern expensive. I mean, $70-80 for a top and $30 for a candle might not be unheard of for some people, but for a die hard Target girl, that's a freaking lot of money.

But we did take advantage for the wonderful things for a photo session.

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Then it was off to my favorite place in the world, Paper Source. Were we decided to have another photo session.

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Note: all pictures taken by Jess as this ding bat forgot her camera

That was such a fun trip! We got lots and lots of ideas, plus picked up some awesome things, plus had so much fun showing each other our favorite finds.

But, my dear Cinderella, it was getting late, and the girls had a 3 hour drive ahead of them. So it was back to my house before they headed off for the teaming metropolis of Fayetteville. (Sense the sarcasim).

But this was only the first half of the girly weekend!

Saturday morning, after dragging Dan and Shannon out of bed for an extremely early breakfast at 11am, ;-), I headed out to the Monroe area to see a very dear friend. April and I were literally BFF's until the age of 9 or so. We lived across the street growing up and if I wasn't at my house, I was at hers and visa versa. She, and her family, are a staple in our family photo album, from birthday parties, to dress up parties, to simply hanging out or torturing my under brother (and trust me we did that!)

But unfortunatly, with many tears, her family moved an hour away when we were about 9 years old. Now it doesn't seem very far, but at 9 when you have no control over where you go, when and how, then it's very hard to stay in touch. We talked on the phone for a while but it just wasn't the same. Eventually we lost touch. My mom attended April's wedding in 1998 while I was living in Jacksonville, FL dancing. Other than that and the rare sighting every once in a while, there was no contact.

Until about two weeks ago when we found each other on Facebook. And after 20 years, we met up yesterday afternoon at her house. Since there were 5 of them (She has 4 kids and a husband which makes 6 but he was out of town yesterday), and only 1 of me, we figured that was the easist thing.

She truly has a beautiful, charming, and welcoming home.

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And beautiful children, who (all but one) were not at all camera shy and let me take lost of pictures of them.

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April and I had such a wonderful time catching up, and trust me there was lots to catch up on. She is also a homeschool graduate and is now homeschooling her children as I will, so there was lots to talk about that. We spent about 3 hours together, and could have spent many, many more. I am looking forward to renewing this relationship and it once again becoming very important in my life.

Since I had Jay's camera with me, and it's hard to take myspace style self portraits with it, we only got one picture of the two of us and it was with my crappy cell phone. (But I can tell you that my mom was very excited to get a real time picture of the two of us hanging out). But I will leave you with these images.

Cheers to the past, hopef for the future!