Thursday, September 29, 2005

You Scratch My Head, I'll Not Eat Yours.

Not sure of the origins of this photo,
and I can't verify that is real....
That detail aside, it is rather touching to me.
The child looks like he has done this a million times.
Almost as if it is morning ritual at their home,
and there's a lot of love happening between these two.
I especially appreciate how the child's little hand is cradling the serpent's large head so he can really give it a good scrub.
Pure kindness.
I'll bet Mr. Snakey doesn't get a lot of offers for this sort of affection.
(Thanks Sheri)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Take this test Harvard Implicity Test and learn more about yourself than you maybe wanted to know.

There are many different categories to select from, it's enlightening, and each test only takes about ten minutes.
The tests deal with issues such as age, race, sexuality, politics, gender, weight, religion.

Thanks Anne for sharing the link.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I have seen this test on a number of blogs over the past day or so....
Here are my results. Not that surprising really...
and at the end of the test you get to make a law of your own.
Pretty cool.
May favorite part of the test which is not shown below is the famous persons chart.
My little icon popped up right between Ghandi and Hillary Clinton.
Strange bedfellows to say the least.
At least it didn't pop up next to Darth Vader or the Unibomber, both also on the chart!

You are a

Social Liberal
(76% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(18% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Time Heals all Things.... Even the Jiggles.

As you guys may know, Mark and I have been on a health kick for the last 3 months or so.
Running on the treadmill and watching what we eat during the week.
Due to our new lifestyle, Mark has lost about 20 lbs and I have lost 7.5.
Needless to say, we are feeling very good about our new slimmer bodies, and are wondering how we failed to realize how out of shape we were only a few months ago.

This bit of weight loss reflection reminds me of another time we decided to go on a diet. Back when we were much skinnier than we are today. Mark will kill me when he reads this, but here goes...

Morning has broken and it is a glorious Saturday morning on Bayly Avenue in 1995.
Mark and I crawl out of bed and get our day started. After a few half-zombied minutes of fumbling around with hairbrushes and toothbrushes Mark is ready to get the party started.

Mark: (In an awesome mood) Hey Hon, I'm going to run down to the coffee shop and buy a newspaper and a coffee. What can I get you?

Me: (Yelling from the upstairs bathroom) Thanks honey--- Would you get me an iced coffee and a chocolate chip brownie, please?

Mark: (Standing at the front door, beaming) Man, it's GORGEOUS outside....
Hurry up and get dressed and lets do something's going to be a great day!

Me: (Me looking down the steps at him and slipping on my favorite blue t-shirt) Alright, happy boy--- Will do!

Mark: (Checks his pockets for change and walks out the door) See you in a few...**smile**

Me: (Feeling lucky to have married such an enthusiastic man) Bye... **smile**

I look from the bedroom window and chuckle to myself. Mark is so elated on this particular morning he is practically skipping down the street. I continue getting prepared for our big fun-filled day and about 15 minutes later I see Mark walking back up the street...but how something's changed.
He is now obviously sullen and downtrodden.
My happy boy has vanished.

Me: (Concerned, I rush to the front porch and fling open the door) Honey, why the long face? What's up. What happened.

Mark: (Shakes off my question) Nothing.

Me: What? You were practically skipping a minute ago....really, what happened?

Mark: (He plops down on the couch defeated, quiet and frowning) Look, I said nothing. Here's your coffee and the Arts Section.

Me: (Miffed) Whatever, if you don't tell me what happened I'm not going to do anything fun with you today.

Mark: (A few minutes pass and the happy Mark we all know starts to resurface) Well....first off, I was not skipping...let's get that straight.
And I really don't really want to tell you...but...
(he pauses for a long moment, looks as me doubtfully, and wonders if he should proceed...
luckily for you, my dear readers, he does)
Well, I was walking down the street and I was very happy. It's beautiful out there today, you know...

Me: Yes, I know, I watched you from the window you were skipping.

Mark: (In full denial of the skipping accusation) Hey now...I may have had an extra spring in my step, but I certainly was not skipping.
I do not skip.
Anyway, I was almost to the coffee shop.
I was just walking, enjoying myself, feeling good, feeling alive....
that's when I realized I was.......
I was...... jiggling.

Me: (Amused) What? What was jiggling, honey?

Mark: (Staring down at the sports page...mumbles) My chest.

Me: What, baby? Your chest? Your chest was jiggling?

Mark: (Having become quite impatient with my questioning, he comes clean with the whole story)
Okay, you want me to say it? Fine!
MY BREASTS! My breasts were jiggling!
I have grown fat and now I have MAN BOOBS!
Are you happy now? Ugh!
It ruined my walk.

silence for a very short moment and then I bust into laughter that will last a decade or more...

Me: (I am laughing so hard tears are streaming down my face) Mark, honey, come on now...
You DO NOT have man boobs. Honey, really..... you are one fine, handsome man...
It was just probably skin jiggling from skipping.

Mark: Oh, just drop it. Quit being smart. I shouldn't have told you.

So I tried to stop laughing and drop it.
I tried so very, very, very hard to drop it because I could see it had really sent him for a spin.
He was upset and now I was making him mad.
I could see it...and I should have been a more sympathetic wife.

Unfortunately, being a highly visual person I could not shake the image of that moment.
The image of the moment our happy boy noticed his jiggling breasts...
The exact moment his jubilant skip turned into a downtrodden trudge.
The very unlucky, yet humorous, moment his comedy turned to tragedy.

What a curious sight that might have been to onlookers.

Now, many years later, it is absurd to think that we thought we were over-weight and jiggly back then.
Funny how time brings tolerance and acceptance with one's body.

In conclusion, I should mention,
Mark never has had MAN BOOBS in his life...
and although I have seen him skip, he DOES NOT SKIP.

Just a funny bit of dramatica that took place,
on a beautiful day,
many years ago...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

New Painting for Silent Auction

Just Finished Today
I just finished this today.
It is for a silent auction next week to raise money for displaced hurricane victims, at the Four Rivers Performing Arts Center.
Here's a little more information: Silent Auction Link
I'm very happy with the way it turned out and it came together so easily.
I hope it gets some good bids.
I'll let you know what happens.
Just for the record, it's 16"x20" done in oil.

Self Portrait Tuesday

self portrait tuesday
self portrait tuesday,
originally uploaded by Anessa.
I did it anyway.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Morning Quickie...

Hello friends.... and regular lurkers...

(I know you lurkers are out there...let me know who you are sometime.........
when you're comfortable, of course.)

Mark and I
DSC00346have been in Louisville for a fabulous DSC00367
and glamourous wedding
DSC00327 and just got home last night--
Just wanted to let you know I haven't been abducted by aliens and I will get something posted soon.

(Something besides another Tuesday self portrait...I'm getting a little burned out on those anyway, The Me Show, that is.
DSC00315 I'm sure you are, sick of looking at so much of me, too.)

Speaking of photos, lots of new flicker photos to post....from not only the wedding, but a fun little get together
at my friends, Shawn and David's, home.

We had a great time in Louisville.

Made us more than a little homesick.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to see everyone we wanted to,
but we saw folks we didn't expect to see
in their place.
Went to an art fair, had a wonderful brunch, spent the night at the beautiful Seelbach Hotel.
Danced, got in a hot tub, ate home-made chili....and maybe even came up with our next adventure on the ride home.

Now, I am off to pick up my loyal pooches from the, I mean, camp!
I missed my furry children.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

Self Portrait Tuesday

Monday, September 12, 2005

Fitness is Fun!

We have a new prop for getting fit and boy, is it fun!

Not sure how it is for actually working out...
but here's a short clip of Mark breaking it in
just moments after inflating it for the first time.

Later he caught me trying it out...
not very successfully, I might add as it truly did go
"straight to my hernia!"

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Yet another Reason I Love my Husband

The scene: Mark is watching a movie on TV and I am surfing the web.

Me: (Interrupting his movie watching) You know, if we ever go to Burning Man I would like to dress up like a unicorn.

Mark: (Talking to me while still half watching the movie) Um....What are you wearing to Barry Manilow?

Me: No, honey, I said I want to dressed like a unicorn if we go to Burning Man.

Mark: Oh, I thought Barry Manilow was coming to town. (pause) That's too bad, I wanted to go dressed as Copa Cabana.
copa cabana

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Green Eyed Tizzy

Once upon a time, I was little girl.
A little girl that was very afraid of things that went bump in the night.
Especially afraid of things that went bump in the night at summer camp.
And especially, especially afraid of the Green Eyed Tizzy,
who lived in the backwood hills of Estill County,
in creepy old cabin,
at my summer camp.

I still shiver as I type her name.

Yes, every summer I would get blissfully shipped off to Camp Mary Breckenridge at The Cathedral Domain.
The Domain was an Episcopalian church camp that didn't seem to mind that I was christened Catholic,
raised Baptist and had developed my own unusual brand of superstitious behavior on top of that.
They welcomed all kinds.
They loved all of us.
And in return, I always loved going to camp.

To me, Camp seemed like another country.
It was a lush wonderland of sassafrass trees, teaberry leaves, walking sticks, rattlesnakes, campfires, starry nights and...
the aforementioned, Tizzy.
Tizzy was a witch that lived in the hills behind the camp ground.
Not the good kind of witch, either.

Everything seemed so magical back in those woods, I didn't see any reason to believe that this said witch could not exist.
So I feared her.
The mere thought of her would make the hair on the back of my neck stand straight out.
Apparently, still does.

Legend had it that she would wait just beyond sight in the trees, and if any camper should wander too far off the hiking trail she would snatch you up, take you to her ramshackle cabin and eat you for dinner.

A most horrible death for someone who had a smiling Ziggy on her t-shirt and slept in a Snoopy sleeping bag, such as I.

The counselors explained to us, as we listened wide-eyed and slack-jawed,
that unfortunately, there really was no warning to let you know you were about to be snatched up.
However, there were stories from campers long ago that if the light was just right, and if you sat quiet and still long enough, you may see her glowing yellow-green eyes as she sought out her next meal.
The glowing eyes would be your only warning.
Some claimed to have seen her wearing ragged clothes, with long white hair, moving quickly through thicket of saplings, at the far side of the pond.

I made it a point to stay away from that side of the pond after that.

I had not thought about the Green Eyed Tizzy for many years...
until this Tuesday evening while having a big family dinner at Mark's Grandmother's home in Melber.

Nanny, lives out in the country.
Where, as you know, witches like to live.
And on this past Tuesday night there was an apparent witch spotting by four little girls.

Mark's nieces, Madison and Abbi and two of their friends, Mason and Kayla were running around the huge yard doing cheers and acting silly like girls do. When they disappeared to the back yard for a while no one seemed to worry much.
There's nothing to raise concern in the back yard at Nanny's.
Or so it would seem.
When the pink and sparkly flip-flop crew came back to the front porch a few minutes later,
a breathy and frantic tale was told about a witch they were certain they had just seen in the old vacant trailer in the back acre of the yard.

As they shrieked, pushed each other and double dog dared one another to go back to the trailer, Mark's step brother Jeff decided to play a trick on them and quickly devised a devious plan.
My role in this covert operation was to divert their attention for just a few minutes and then convince them to go back to the trailer.

I knew exactly what to do and I began to tell them the story of the Green Eyed Tizzy.
They were eating it up and nodding their pigtailed heads in absolute disbelief.
That's when the littlest one said, "I think I saw green eyes in the trailer."

"Are you sure?", I replied.

A tiny whisper was uttered, "Yes."

"Well let's go check it out. I'll walk back there with you."

As we walked back towards the trailer, I realized that I had not only scared the girls, but my
retelling of the Tizzy legend, had also scared me quite a bit...
And it was getting dark really fast...
Darkness always helps my active imagination to whirl out of control.

As we got closer the fear grew and Mason and Kayla decided that there was really no need to go up on the porch.
They could see just fine from the grass.
I stayed there, in the grass, with them and held their tiny sweaty hands.
Madison and Abbi, staying true to the game of sibling rivalry, raced up the stairs each one trying to beat the other to be the first to get their nose pressed up against the glass pane.

That's exactly the moment Jeff's plan came to full effect.

You see, while I was scaring our small friends quite thoroughly on the front porch,
Jeff had gone inside the trailer, cleared the cobwebs and was hiding.
As soon as he saw the tiny faces peering through the glass, he jumped toward the door yelling and making a racket and banging on the walls.

Needless to say, we witnessed the sisters performing a gravity defying levitation act while screaming their tiny lungs out.

Actually the plan was so well conceived and carried out,
it not only scared the sisters on the porch...
but it also scared the hell out of the three of us standing in the grass.
We let out a triple scream, loud and strong.

All together, five honestly fear filled screams were heard,
in Melber, Kentucky,
on Tuesday night,
all because of the legend of a very scary witch with glowing green eyes.

Still believing in magic,
I suppose it's possible that those screams could have been carried on the wind
to the hills of Estill County.
And it's possible that they could've wafted in through the busted out window of that old ramshackle cabin,
and maybe, just maybe, upon hearing these far away screams,
that old Green Eyed Tizzy smiled.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Have You Hugged Your Pet Today?

Below is a letter I want to share with you from my friend Mandy:

Hi everyone,

I was made aware of this avenue of hurricane relief from my stepsister but this is not a chain letter. This is from my heart.

I am sending this out to my friends, my family and acquaintances in hopes that you too will feel compelled to help to start to put a dent in the mountain of devastation America is suffering right now. As has been reported, some rescuers (certain Coast Guard units) are willing to allow hurricane victims to bring their pets into rescue helicopters, others will not allow it. I understand that none of the relief shelters will allow pets. Today, a CNN reporter described seeing a pack of Labrador retrievers roaming the streets of New Orleans together, clearly in distress and unsure where to go. He gave the dogs some water, but said it was very sad because there was nothing he could do to help them.

The Humane Society is authorized to go into the Hurricane stricken areas and rescue animals and take them to shelters in Houston and elsewhere. They are collecting donations on their website to help them with this effort. The link is

I have put my money where my mouth is and have made a donation to this cause. I hope everyone else will do the same. I am not suggesting that you donate to the animal rescue fund instead of donating human relief supplies or money. I'm saying we can not do enough. I'm saying this is a great place to start and this is a great place to pick up if you have already been participating in relief efforts.

We have to be diligent and focused. There is so much work yet to be done and every little bit will help.

Thanks and I hope everyone is well with friends and family safe and sound,

Mandy West

Please do what you can to help. I realize we want to help the people first and foremost,
but what if this was your pet?
The Humane Society will take donations as small as $10.
The cost of 2 beers plus tip at your local bar.....or a People Magazine and a bag of Rasinettes.
Don't assume other people will make donations enough to go around,
because they may not.

It is up to you to do what you can to help.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

Self Portrait Tuesday
Feeling girlie in my lipstick and pink tee.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Woo-Hoo! Video, Git-tars, and Hurleys!

This is a short clip taken at the Carson Park Flea Market and Picnic Labor Day Celebration at the end of our street.
The kids were so cute and talented...I was blown away with their musical skills. Git-tar, fiddle and banjos galore.
So cute and so country.
Many of them play at the Kentucky Opry, I was told.
So upon arriving back home, I looked up the Opry online and who did I see is playing this weekend?
My awesome girlfriend Lori's awesomely funny and talented Dad, Carl Hurley.
Sounds like fun! I would love to check it out...
Hope the weekend unfolds the way I am envisioning.

Also, can you believe I now have video on my blog?
Oh boy....things will never be the same!
You may be getting really sick of me and Mark really soon.

Friday, September 02, 2005

You need a kitten, don't you?

Dear friends and family,

Below you will find a desperate plea from my neighbor, Donna Maria. She discovered a very nice picnic basket full of 5 kittens, a bag of kitten food, and new cat toys on her deck late last night. She has no idea who left it/them there, but it going to try and find homes for all of them. She is willing to keep them for two weeks, then they will have to go the to a shelter...(where they will most likely be put to sleep.) I got a chance to see their sweet little faces and love on a few of them last night. Even Mark thought they were awesome and said if we didn't already have 3 elderly pets that need constant care we would have to have one.
If any of you are interested, just let me know and we can work out the details for pick -up or delivery of these absolutely adorable and teeny tiny kitty cats.
I have more photos if you are interested!

Plea from Donna Maria:
Someone left a basket of kittens on our back deck last night between
the hours of 8 and 10pm. We are very upset over this, and were up
until 2am bathing and de-flea'ing them. They are litter trained and
eat solid food. I took them to the vet this morning and they are very

We cannot keep these kittens as we have 6 cats and a dog. If you are
interested in adopting one (or more) of these babies, email me and
we'll set up a time for you to come over to see them.

If we don't find homes for them in the next 2 weeks, we'll have to
take them to the shelter. We just can't do this.

Thanks for your help.

Free Kittens!
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