My mom and James came to visit for a while today, and tomorrow she is leaving and taking my brother and sister back home with her for about 3 weeks. The best part of the (short) visit, besides the free dinner, and getting to see our guests was our visit to the Monaco Pines Alpaca Ranch. If you haven't been to an alpaca facility, you MUST go. They are so great. Cute and soft and they only have bottom teeth. I don't know why I think that's cool, but I do. Here are some pics, and there are more on my Flickr (there's a link to the right).

If you don't know, alpacas are kind of like hairy llamas. Except that they're the softest thing int he world. You can tell the difference between them because llamas are bigger with thicker necks, and longer, banana-shaped ears.

(This is a llama.)

(This is an alpaca.)

Steven and a llama.

Justin feeding an alpaca.Stacy and a whole bunch of alpacas.

The ranch also had miniature donkeys. I think they look like muppets or something else from Jim Henson's imagination.

Here's my mom with the mini-donkeys.
I don't know why I don't have any pictures of James at the ranch. It was hard to get pictures because we all really just wanted to feed the animals. So fun.

Terrible Moments From Childhood II

When I was in elementary school, my best friend Meredith lived at the opposite end of the cul de sac from where I lived. It's just a block, but to a little kid, it's a pretty long walk. Everyone in the neighborhood was friends, and since we were kids, it never occurred to any of us that we should call before heading off to play.

One sunny summer morning I started walking off to see Meredith. Somewhere in between my house and hers I realized that I had to pee. It wasn't a disaster, I was only a few houses away from hers and I could just go when I got there. I got to the door and they weren't home. Well now, this is a problem. Now I'm a little stressed out about the lack of a nearby bathroom, but figure that someone will let me in, after all, it's a small town, and everybody in the neighborhood knows me, and who turns down a 7 year old in need of a toilet?

(This picture looks wildly appropriate for this story, but I'm actually playing hopscotch, not preparing to wet my pants.)

About three houses down from Meredith's was my friend Courtney's house. There was a car in the driveway, and with great relief, I knocked on the door. Her mom answered, and was very weird about me being there. Courtney wasn't home. I asked if I could come in to use the restroom anyway and she said no! Who does that? Seriously, if there was a child (especially one you knew) doing the potty dance on your front porch would you tell them to keep on walkin'? No way. But she did and it totally serves her right that I wet my pants and her driveway.


Our corkscrew has gone missing. I think Justin wandered off with it and that it will turn up under his bed or in his medicine cabinet or on his bookcase. He thinks I threw it away. In any case, it is gone, and this is Not Good. We enjoy wine with our dinner and with popcorn on Netflix Night, and I really do not want to resort to boxed wines. -shudder-
I called my dad last night to see if they had a corkscrew we could borrow. He said that he did, so I headed over there. As definitive proof that the people in that household DO NOT DRINK, he handed me, not a corkscrew, but a cork, from one of Sussan's "decorative" wine bottles. (Read: wine bottles left over from wine consumed by the heathen children.)

Justin, having anticipated my parents' lack of a cork removing device, already had a Plan B. He used a screwdriver to put a screw into the cork, then used a hammer to pry the screw, with cork attached, out of the bottle. That, my friends, is The South's contribution to society: the redneck corkscrew.

[Editor's Note: Justin says that he prefers to think of this device not as a redneck corkscrew, but as a MacGyver corkscrew. It not being made out of a rubber band, paperclip and duct tape, I'm sticking with the original name. Also, if you search Youtube there are about a hundred clips of this procedure, all labled "Redneck corkscrew."]

Three Years

Justin and I have been married for three years today. Here's how we manage to get through it:

1. Justin puts up with my idiosyncrasies better than anyone else ever has. And there are a lot of them, and a lot of them that I know are really hard on him. He's tougher than most, let me tell you.

2. He understands my need (and seems to have the same) for my own space.

3. When I'm feeling bluesy, Justin dances around and sings silly songs to make me smile. Sometimes, he even manages to get a laugh.

4. I -know- that he loves me. There are lots of people who probably do love me (some of them only because they have to), but Justin is the only person who I know is a sure thing.

5. He indulges my need to go into stores, put a dozen things in the cart and then change my mind and leave without actually buying anything.

6. He thinks I work much harder than I do, which will be useful for when I'm actually working very hard and need someone to appreciate that.

7. He lets me tickle him mercilessly until he screams 'Whooo!!'

8. He encourages my addictions to shoes, books, diet soda and fancy cheeses.

9. He thinks I'm beautiful.

10. He does his own laundry most of the time.

11. He works very hard at school so that, soon, we will be able to live a better life in a city that I love, even though he can be happy pretty much anywhere.

12. He loves my family and thinks of them as his own.

13. He doesn't mind driving me places that I'm perfectly capable of driving to myself, because he knows that it scares me.

14. He lets me be who I am.

I love you Justin. I know that I'm difficult, and exhausting, and intense; I'm so grateful that you're willing to put up with these things (and sooo much more). Thank you for wanting to keep me enough to make it legal.


I love the work of Alfons Mucha. You probably don't know him by name, but chances are, you've seen his work:
It's very frequently used on tarot cards and in advertising. Lots of guys have Mucha girls tattooed in various places...Anyway, I like them because they look like something that would have come out of the 6os. It's appears to be very hippie dippie, flowerchild, LSD inspired. Actually Mucha produced most of his work between 1900 and 1925.

And now, thanks to the Power of the Internet (insert intimidating echo here), we can see what I'd look like as a Mucha girl. Sort of:

It's fun, go try it!


Today is my birthday. I briefly considered making this the year that I start counting backward to 25, but I've always really looked forward to 30. Based on my current time line, 30 is the year that my real life gets to start, so the quicker I can get there the better. Here's to 28!

Photo credit: Schmutzie


My period is late. Not incredibly late, but late enoughto be concerned. My breasts were tender in the middle of the month. I chalked it up to ovulation. The emotional roller coaster, sad, mad, manic, all over the map for a few weeks, I blamed on readjusting to some pills that I had been without for awhile. Breakouts, could definitely be blamed on stress, new products and my workouts, which make me sweat. All of those things added together with a late period though, equal trouble.

Every day for a week I've been actively waiting for my period, a little spotting, anything. No dice.

I hold my breath as we drive to Wal-Mart. The only thing open this late. I look terrible. A few seconds before leaving the house, Justin says to me, "don't worry, worst case scenario, we have a baby!" I DO NOT WANT A BABY. My face crumples and he tells me that he's joking, but I know he's not. Justin would be thrilled if we had a baby, but the fact is, it would ruin my life. I wouldn't be able to go back to school. I'd be a mom, for the rest of my life. Weight, which I'm just beginning to lose, back plus more. Stretch marks, money spent on diapers instead of shoes, 10 hour of sleep at night, just a distant memory. No, I do not want a baby.

As I walk into the store, I see a guy that I new in high school. We were friends, and I was happy to see him, even though, you know, I'm a wreck and dressed badly and have quickly braided hair and red eyes. We speak and he asks me all the usual questions: Married? Yes. Kids? No, actually we (I, anyway) don't think we want any. I take his question as a bad sign.

We get home and I pee in a cup. (The size of the stick makes me doubt my aim.) The package says to wait 3 minutes for a result, which seems ridiculous. Shouldn't something that's so important be much faster than that? I'm very into instant gratification, especially when it counts.

I wander the house, put up groceries, text Aaron. Finally.

There is only one pink line. I'm so relieved I could faint. Instead we break out the Crunch 'n Munch and vodka.

Girl Talk

I love this picture of Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

I would -really- like to know what the First Lady said to make Mrs. Sarkozy cover her mouth like that, but I bet it was seriously funny. If you click to see the picture full size, you can see her expression, which is great. I also love that Carla (we're on a first name basis y'know. ptth) has just thrown her, probably very expensive, jacket on the sofa behind her. The only thing that would make this better would be if they were both on the same sofa in pajamas. With popcorn.

Can you tell that I really want some girl-talk time? Aaron, Shannon, Terroni, couldn't any of you move to Texas? Please?

The Official White House Photo Stream can be seen HERE.

Back to School, Etc.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know this already, but I'm posting it here anyway, it's been awhile. I'm officially going back to school in the fall. I think that I want to teach English, and my education in theater just won't cut it for that. I'm excited, but also feeling slightly overwhelmed and scared that it's something I won't be able to handle. I'm trying really hard to keep from getting discouraged enough to change my mind, because I really, really want to do this.

Justin seems to really like working at Toys 'R' Us, although, today he has a really long day, so I guess he may change his mind. The best part about that, besides the fact that we need the cash, is that even though it's a part time position, they offer pretty good insurance, which we need. Justin's officially been accepted into nursing school, as I mentioned, and so between now and August there are about a million things we need to do, including various vaccinations and physicals, so the insurance will help with that.

Also, I just found out that Dolly Parton is producing a Broadway version of Nine to Five. I'd do just about anything to see that. Hopefully there will be a tour.