Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day

Please remember and teach your kids what Memorial day is all about. Never forget some gave all for freedom and liberty. Listen and watch HERE.

Some gave all.
Billy Ray Cyrus

I knew a man called him Sandy Kane
Few folks even knew his name
But a hero was he
Left a boy, came back a man
Still many just don't understand
About the reasons we are free

I can't forget the look in his eyes
Or the tears he cries
As he said these words to me

All gave some and some gave all
And some stood through for the red, white and blue
And some had to fall
And if you ever think of me
Think of all your liberties and recall
Some gave all

Now Sandy Kane is no longer here
But his words are oh so clear
As they echo through out our land
For all his friends who gave us all
Who stood the ground and took the fall
To help their fellow man

Love your country and live with pride
And don't forget those who died America can't you see

All gave some and some gave all
And some stood through for the red, white and blue
And some had to fall
And if you ever think of me
Think of all your liberties and recall
Some gave all

And if you ever think of me
Think of all your liberties and recall, yes recall
Some gave all

Some gave all

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” — George S. Patton

Amen to that.

Friday, May 28, 2010

And That's When The Fight Started...

Joke #1:

My wife and I were watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed.

I turned to her and said, "Do you want to have sex?"

"No," she answered.

I then said, "Is that your final answer?"

She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying "Yes."

So I said, "Then I'd like to phone a friend."

And that's when the fight started....


A woman was standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror. She was not happy with what she saw and said to her husband, 'I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.'

The husband replies, 'Your eyesight's damn near perfect.'

And that's when the fight started....

Joke #3:

After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security. The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver's license to verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later.

The woman said, 'Unbutton your shirt.' So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair.

She said, 'That silverhair on your chest is proof enough for me' and she processed my Social Security application.

When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office. She said, 'You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability, too.'

And that's when the fight started....


A few minutes before the church services started, the congregation was

sitting in their pews and talking. Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of

the church. Everyone started screaming and running for the back entrance,

trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.

Soon the church was empty except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in

his pew without moving, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God's ultimate

enemy was in his presence.

So Satan walked up to the man and said, 'Do you know who I am?'

The man replied, 'Yep, sure do.'

'Aren't you afraid of me?' Satan asked.

'Nope, sure ain't.' said the man.

Don't you realize I can kill you with one word?' asked Satan.

'Don't doubt it for a minute, ' returned the old man, in an even tone.

'Did you know that I can cause you profound, horrifying agony for all

eternity?' persisted Satan.

'Yep,' was the calm reply?

'And you're still not afraid?' asked Satan.

'Nope,' said the old man.

More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, ' Why aren't you afraid of me?'

The man calmly replied, 'Been married to your sister for 48 years.'

LOL--That was funny! :)

Everyone have a good Memorial Weekend!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What Would you Rather... come Par-Tay!

First off, I wanted to say THANK YOU publicly to our Guest Contributors this week CeCe Savage and Gucci Mama (Click on their names and check out their posts if you missed them, GREAT reads)! What incredible posts and please come back and write for us anytime! I'm sure everyone agrees with me!

What Would You Rather

Would you rather marry a DREAMER or a REALIST?


What would you rather have a good marriage (or love life) or good paying career?

Now I know you can have both but the fun of the game is to choose one and why you would choose it!

Come play along! :)

Leave a comment, comment on other people's comments, and twitter and facebook the post! Let's make this a party!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I've worn this fat suit like armor... Gucci Mama writes.

Okay for today's Guest Contributor I don't know HOW I didn't know about her before. The girl is not only a great writer, but witty to boot... she's right up the alley of what kind of blogs I like to read! After reading this post you should go check her blog out. She's quite literally... awesome.

I was so, insanely hot when I was twenty. I was lean and curvy and perky. My hair was shiny; my glasses made my look like some kind of naughty fantasy librarian. While I have always prided myself on my intellect, I was also a big, fat idiot when I was twenty. Not only did I not realize what I had (I was very good at imagining my physical flaws) but I took the beauty I did recognize for granted. I thought the attention from men, especially my (soon to be) husband wouldn't fade.

Fast forward several years to miscarriages, pregnancies, bed rest, laundry, and about forty tons of pasta and I want to travel back in time and kick my twenty year old self square in the throat for a.) not having myself dipped in bronze and b.) not taking a little better care of myself so I didn't have to work so hard now to feel like a woman again instead of some kind of dowdy housekeeper/caretaker of children who just fades into invisibility in the eyes of men, especially my husband.

Oh, he loves us. I know he does. He tells us and he shows us. He's a good father, an excellent provider, and a really great...roommate. Somewhere along the road of being married for the better part of a decade we've lost our spark. Living with him right now is like living with my best friend. We laugh together, we talk about our day, we plan for our future, we raise our children, and sometimes we bicker. But gone are the days where he sweeps me into an impromptu dance in the kitchen or steps into the shower behind me. Infertility/pregnancy loss turned sex into a procreation mission instead of an expression of love and desire and commitment. After my second successful pregnancy sex became a distant memory, something other people do.

Because I'm so good at it anyway, of course I blamed myself. First of all, it was my baby rabies that could only be cured by a second child after the first one was so difficult to produce. Then it was my broken, failure of a body that put me on bed rest first at home by week 16 of my pregnancy and then in the hospital by week 28. It's on the bed rest that I blame the weight gain. Well, that and the twice a week ordering of pizza while I was in the hospital because the cafeteria food was so horrifying. I certainly can't blame the weight gain on my baby, since she weighed all of three pounds. It was me and my stress eating.

After my little, tiny daughter was born things were quite stressful. Life with a sick little preemie does not exactly lend itself to a stress free existence. I believe I mentioned I'm a stress eater. So I fell into this cycle of feeling like shit, eating my pain, feeling worse for having done so, and then eating my pain again. It's not something I'd recommend.

My daughter slowly gained strength, my life resumed a much more normal order, and I set out on a mission to find myself again. I'm still walking the road, and from my perspective I'm doing it largely unsupported. I don't want to be twenty again, and I don't want to make radical, sweeping changes in my life (though at times the idea does hover at the edge of my mind and seem to have some merit) but I do want to be valued for more than my ability to make meals and read bedtime stories. I know my husband would say that he does value me for more than that, but it doesn't feel that way.

I want to feel like a woman again.

It's not about the weight and it shouldn't be. There is so much more to me than my appearance, and that's what he fell in love with so many years ago. So I'm left wondering what happens now? I'm getting my body back, but that scares me. It scares me that I might have just been the hot rich girl twelve years ago when we met and now that she's gone (well, her hotness anyway) there's nothing left. Where did my confidence go? Did the stretch marks and shelf ass kick it to the curb? And if so, was it really confidence in the first place or just vanity?

I've worn this fat suit like armor to protect myself and by shedding it I feel like I'm throwing myself on a double edged sword. On the one side, I want to be beautiful and desirable again. On the other side, I want to be beautiful and desirable in the eyes of my husband even when I'm overweight and I haven't worn make up in three days and my hair is in a haphazard pony tail because my children aren't interested in waiting for me to do my hair before we go to the park.

It's very difficult, at least for me, this learning to be a mother and a wife. I'm not sure why it's all up to me, yet it seems to be. Clearly I should just have had myself dipped in bronze and called it a day.

Gucci Mama also blogs at her personal blog Mama Still Wears Gucci

And she has a cause... go help her out!
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Monday, May 24, 2010

FaceBook, Blogging, Social media and CeCe's Relationship!

CeCe was one of the first responders to our Guest Contributors post. I am so happy she did respond. It has been great perusing their blogs and getting to know these people more. Take time to click her links if you like what she says here. I loved what she wrote and I think you guys will also. Enjoy! And thanks CeCe for writing for us today! :)

First off, thanks so much to Sage and Shelle for letting me do this post. It is my first guest post and I'm super excited! Second, I haven't been blogging for the purpose of people actually reading it that long, so I'm still working on my natural wit coming through on a computer screen... Third, it's shameless-plug-of-my-own-blogs time! A Researcher of Life My Life's Love Medley
This blog post is going to be specifically about my current relationship (informed by past ones). I think that all this social media (or the lack of it) has been fantastically wonderful for my relationship. Fantastically wonderful might be over-reaching, but I stand by it.

The guy I'm currently seeing is different from previous guys. Some differences include: very busy; very involved in his career; divorced with a kid; slightly older. These things make it a bit difficult for me, as I am used to being is somewhat consuming relationships. This guy, we'll call him PT, doesn't have the time for (and probably doesn't want) a consuming relationship.

BLOGGING. There is a big adjustment factor there for me. When I want to see him or talk to him and he can't get back to me for hours or maybe even days, I begin to think mutinous thoughts. I think out entire monologues worth of rude voice mails designed to evoke unpleasant images. I plan (out loud) entire tomes of rude e-mails designed to express my frustrations like he's never heard before. But then I don't do it. I blog. I type out my frustrations, realize they sound bitter and sad, and fix them so they only sound a bit that way. It buys him some extra time to get un-busy without knowing I have an all-consuming person lurking underneath the surface. And I'm becoming less that way as I read back some older posts. All I can think is, "who is that person??" and "no wonder I'm not married yet!"" But blogging about the bad stuff makes blogging about the good stuff feel all the much better.

Why not just tell him I want more time and see if he can fix it? Because I want to do things different with this guy. I don't want to demand more from him than he can give. And he's only been divorced for about two years. I think he could use a break from someone fussing at him and pointing out his flaws for a while. So, blogging helps me to be a better half of the relationship and gives him more time to do him.

FACEBOOK. I had a Facebook account, he didn't. This was great! I didn't have to see pictures of him with his ex, all hugged up and super happy. I know I can't be alone in loathing that first glance at the Facebook page of the new man in your life. And because he didn't have an account, I didn't have to worry about the content on mine. There's nothing too bad on my page, but there were a couple of things I was glad to not try to pre-emptively explain. You know, why I'm sitting on that guy's lap and the picture is dated a month after we started dating. It's easily enough explained, the picture is older than that, but the person just now posted it, and besides that guy is just a friend. I've heard stories of these convos way too often to want to engage in them. It's the same with MySpace. He doesn't have a MySpace account either.

SKYPE. Best. Invention. Ever. I figured it would suck to date someone who lived in a different city than myself. But PT suggested Skype as a way for us to still see each other. The hopeless romantic in me immediately began envisioning internet "dates" where we make the same meal and sit down and eat together, drinking wine and talking. Or when we just have Skype up and are talking and also doing other things, just to feel like we're in the same place. It hasn't nearly lived up to those sky-high standards, but it's been a useful tool to actually see his face and spend some time learning his reactions. It was nice to know what he looked like when he got sleepy, turned on, amused, and distracted. I learned all of this before we had even been on a proper date because we met right before I went back to my town for a month and a half.

OTHERS. Even though it's not officially social media, instant messaging, texting, voice mail, and e-mailing is the saving grace of our relationship. Seriously. It has allowed us time to get to know each other. My favorite is when he instant messages me from work whenever he sits in on a class. It's an interesting running commentary. If only his students could see what he was typing. And we text when we're busy just to say hi. And I have a very intimate relationship with his voice mail. Interestingly, I've never checked to be sure that he actually checks his voicemail? That could come in handy in case I ever do leave a mutinous voice mail one day...


Friday, May 21, 2010

Chores Schmores, and Underwear

I couldn't find any clean underwear this morning.

It's an ugly picture, but I'll paint it anyway: Me, in the buff. Freshly primped and primed for the day, wandering around my bedroom looking for something with which to gird my loins. I checked the usual spots, like in my dresser drawer. Nope. I looked on my recliner next to the desk in the corner of the room where stacks of laundry usually end up sitting for a week or two. Nope. Only t-shirts and a pair of shorts that I don't remember wearing, at least not recently, because the hems are tearing out. So I peeked out the bedroom door and found some - the maroon ones that are boxer briefs and aren't all clingy and binding - tucked in the bottom of one of the three laundry baskets stacked in the hallway with clean clothes in them. Everyone's clean clothes. There were Tinkerbell shirts and Guitar Hero pajama bottoms and bras - training and seasoned - and other assorted items, all neatly folded, for the most part, and just waiting for safe passage into Dresserland.

Someone didn't put the laundry away. Again.

This is par for the course, people. For around my place, chores aren't really chores at all, but rather things that eventually get done when the need arises. And only maybe then. After all, isn't it just as easy to get a clean coffee cup out of the dishwasher, or to find one in the sink and rinse it out, as it is to search for one in the cupboard? Same for laundry. I mean, if you want laundry, check the laundry basket, right?

To put it as simply as possible, we all have other things to do. Yeah, it's chaos, but it's an organized chaos. A routine that has grown as comfortable as a favorite pair of underwear. There are six of us, and we are, for the most part, not children. And if you want something done, you generally end up doing it yourself. This, of course, requires two things: 1) a keen awareness, whereby one notices that this or that task needs done, and 2) a willingness to chip in on occasion to ensure that said tasks don't pile up. It's not perfect. It's not the Brady Bunch. It doesn't translate well onto a dry erase board mounted on the wall or a checklist on a Post-It note slapped onto the fridge. And it can lead to occasional frustrations.

Like when you can't find underwear.

But we aren't an easily frustrated bunch. As I said, par for the course.

But the question remains: Is there one gender-specific task that I do that I wish my wife would do instead? In all honesty, I can't think of a single thing. At least not one that would be considered a chore. Like getting the oil changed. This, of course, only comes up when the light starts blinking in the van. About that time, I start getting the Why-Don't-You-Swing-By-Walmart-And-Get-The-Oil-Changed speech. No dear. Why don't YOU swing by Walmart and get the oil changed. It's not like it's hard or anything. They have all the information right there in their handy little computer thingy. Just nod your head and smile and sign in the little box. And then you'll have that rare and glorious opportunity to schmooze with the garrulous and smiley octogenarian guy at the service desk who uses the word "vehicle" instead of car when he pages you. What joy! What fun! I hate him. So you, my dear, can do it this time. And the next time. And the time after that.

You get the picture . . .

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just Jules- Chores

What is one chore you do based on gender roles that
you wish your spouse would do?

I do the things in and around the house.
He does the things outside of the house- as in work and business.

Lawn work, house work, garbage, and minor car things are my responsibility.
Kids, pets, and minor broken things mine.
Why? Because he is gone. Never home.
Working - teaching from 7-3:15, our business until about 10 pm or later this time of year.
How can one do things around the house when they are not here? I've discussed this before, but with that comes a lot of unassumed things like chores. Since I do most of the chores I can not pick by gender, rather I will pick the one I appreciate the least.....the garbage and recycling.

I grew up with my dad or brothers taking care of the garbage. To me it was a "guys" job. I wasn't really raised with guy and girl roles per say- in fact I aced driver's ed (which was part of the curriculum back then) because I was the only one in class that knew how to change a tire and was willing to demonstrate it.

The garbage though used to be a thorn in my side. We did not discuss before getting together who would do what, and we kind of fell into our roles. He got off easy I am afraid because I was trying to prove something - I wanted to show him how much I could do. Big Big Mistake ;)

Just because I can do them does not mean I want to!!!!! Not all the time anyway.

Garbage day rolls around now and I am scrambling to get the house trash collected, litter box emptied, kid's rooms gone through for trash, a quick look through the fridge to get any spoiled food (which I leave in a pile in the back until garbage day so the dogs don't get into it in the trash) and I am running out to the end of the dirt road to get the cans there before the collector comes.

This in itself is a luxury- one I have afford myself just the last few years. Up until that point I collected it all and took bi-monthly trips to the dump -which is free. After gas prices went higher it was no longer worth the long drive to the dump and the collection was cheaper (and easier).

My best friend still jokes about garbage day - "What delightful outfit did the garbage men see you in today Jules???" she jokes. This is because I am usually dragging cans in my pajamas- bottoms falling off, no bra, hair astray! a mess really.

Then there is the recycling. The garbage man does not take this. I can fill the back of the van every other week with our paper and container recycling. We recycle all paper and all possible containers. This is a trip into town and through the industrial park to the bins.

Sigh.............. so, if I had to chose a duty for my man to take over it would be trash duty - cuz after all THAT IS a guy's job right??

You can find me most days over HERE
at Just Jules (although it has been hit or miss lately)

p.s. I am finding a fix to this. I have three boys - yep three. They are getting old enough to take care of the trash~! Hallelujah!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Group Therapy: STD

Welcome To Group Therapy:

We had someone write in a question! Please Please everyone, DO THIS--We WANT you to write in your questions and concerns to bring to Group Therapy! And do it Anonymously...or not.

Here you go:

"Question--anonymous please

The decision to have sex/relationship with someone with an STD.

I have known a girlfriend of mine for many years and she has an STD, herpes.
I am fully aware of her sexual indiscretions as she is of mine. She pulls in more sexual encounters than myself without an STD.

How does one make the decision to have sex with someone risking exposure to themselves?

I know there have been plenty of suitors who didn't even care and didn't want to even use protection with her. I can't even comprehend that. NO CONDOM NO SEX!!!!! I would NEVER have sex with anyone knowing they had any kind of STD, would you? (Maybe I am a bit critical)

So when is it appropriate to present this information to a mate when starting a courtship, in the immediate beginning or after things get more serious?

If you tell someone at the beginning and they can't deal with it then there was no chance to see where things could have went and if you wait you still run the chance that they walk after feelings are involved.

Once you have decided to accept ALL of this person and things go sour, then what? Assuming at some point you stop using condoms.

She was always open about it but also lost good people because of it. My heart always went out to her because it would go both ways and I could see her hurting.


I hope this never happens to me!"

***Well there you go guys. What is your opinion? Let them know. Feel free to comment anonymously if you feel more comfortable doing so. Comment and then follow or feel free to come back and comment on other peoples comments.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Chief Crew and Travel

Duke and I love going on the same types of vacations!


We go on cruises.


Because with 4 people in the family to please, cruises are the easiest way to make everyone happy at least SOME of the time.

  • With a cruise you don't have to drive and believe me, you don't want to be out of town with Duke trying to find a place with a map.

  • You don't have to cook :)

  • They have babysitters

  • Every day you wake up at a new location.

  • While ashore one day you can take turns doing just about anything you can dream of.I like culture, Duke likes the beach, the boys like to barter at flea markets and do the adventure excursions. Everyone gets a little of what they love and everyone is HAPPY!

Plus we all love to watch the drunk people make asses out of themselves! We sit on the lawn chairs and use it as a learning lesson for the boys as to why we choose not to publicly intoxicate ourselves...

So every winter, rest assured you will find "the Chief crew" boarding a vessel headed for the Caribbean.

Check me OUT! at Macaroni Kid! Especially if you are a Utah peep! It will be the greatest discovery you will make all year! subscribe to win tons of amazing stuff!

Chief also blogs on her personal blog :

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Discretionary Tale

Today's topic: Money. Money that we spend on ourselves. Money that is burning a hole in our chinos and gets spent on something we maybe really don't need per se but rather on something we want.

Some call it "discretionary spending."

Here's how it works in my house:

1) I get paid.
2) I buy what I want.
3) And then pay the bills.

I kid. But only a little bit.

I'll readily admit, right up front, that spending more than I should on the little luxuries of life is part and parcel of being me.

I blame a bunch of people for this.

My grandmother used to give me some folding money and then tell me to spend it on whatever I wanted. If I considered buying something for someone else, or getting something I needed, like new underwear, she'd have a Guernsey. Birthday or Christmas money that wasn't spent on baseball cards or Hot Wheels cars or a new Atari game was money put to no good use at all. Seldom, unfortunately, did I see the other side of the coin (pun intended) where she and grandpa saved their money, paid their debts, and lived financially-responsible lives.

Also my dad. He sent me to do some real work as soon as it was legal, and then often "borrowed" money from me come payday if he needed it. For what, I never knew. I only knew that the money I earned wasn't always going in my pocket. To spent however I wanted. So when I had some money left over? You guessed it. I spent it on whatever I wanted. Movies. Fast food. LPs. And I never sat any aside because I didn't want to have to eventually give it up to The Man. Never mind the fact that the money he "borrowed" probably went to put food down my gullet and clothes on my ample backside.

(I blame them for being fat most of my life as well.)

Not much has changed. I make the money now. I do clothe and feed my children when they've been good, but mostly I just spend it.

Video games. CDs. New shoes. (I have more pairs of shoes than my wife.)

Speaking of my wife. She is the frugal one. Which is why we have a joint checking account. She doesn't work. (For money, anyway. Truth be told, she works way harder than I do!) Hasn't since the oldest boy was born. It was a decision we made long ago and we don't regret a moment of these past 15-or-so years. It hasn't been easy. We aren't keeping up with the Joneses. But we've never wanted to live that way. She scrapbooks for fun, and loves to read, so together we see that her playtime is stocked with the stuff she needs. And occasionally we splurge for a want or three. Soon we will be springing for her to take a Master Gardener class through the local university extension office. She wants to do this, so we'll see that it happens.

Where am I going with this tale? I don't know, really. I could suck my thumb and wax all melancholy about how we don't have the huge nest egg or seeded rainy day fund that most of you probably have set aside. Or how we don't drive the fancy cars with the GPS and the doohickeys that tell when you're about to hit something when you're backing up. Or how we've never been to the Poconos or Disney Whatever. Nope. I won't go there. Instead, we have our habits and hobbies and hangups, and we're doing alright, thank you very much.

And if, one day, the bottom falls out? Then I'll just look for someone else to blame . . .

Friday, May 14, 2010

Meet the Blogger: Just Jules


Name: Jules (My name is Julie)

Age: 36 and feeling better then when I was 30

Kids #, age & sex: 4 -- boy (10yr), girl (9) , boy(7) , ohhh boy(5)

Maritial status:

1. How many years in your current relationship: married 12 years-- together for 15 total

2. Have you ever been divorced?: No

***If so how many times?:

3. What do you do for work: Small business co-owner - dock and boat lift sales, repair, installations and removals.

4. Education: Not enough. I almost finished college (4 classes left) with my Elementary Education degree but quit to follow my then ex-boyfriend (now husband) to SW Colorado. I don't really regret that decision.

5. Blogs you contribute to:

main blog: Just Jules

Also - RWVM

And my PROJECT for my town.

My Children's blogs - Trans-Atlantic learning Adventures ( and The Adventures of an Up North Boy (

6. Religion: I was raised Catholic, married a Methodist, joined an Evangelic Free Church

7. Political affiliation- (republican, democrat, libertarian): I lean toward Republican but do not commit to a party 100%. I voted Rep, Dem, and Lib. on my last ballot. (Sage will probably never talk to me again ;)

8. Basic philosophical leanings (liberal, conservative, confused): Confused by the question.

9. What is your motto in life?: I guess it is to find a motto.... hmmmmm. Truly my motto, if I had one, would have to be - Be Genuine

10. Who has had the most influence in your life?: My dad I suppose. He was the one who would hand out the things to think about. But from that I did most of it on my own. I remember working very hard on who I was and how I acted when I was in college - I watched those around me and learned both the good and the bad, copied the good and learned from other's bad.

11. Why did you start Blogging? (100 words or less):

*What is the most favorite post you have written on any blog you contribute to?:

I started blogging to get my friend off my back. She kept telling me I needed to blog because I would "blog" to her on the phone everyday. But now I do it for myself. It has been a wonderful outlet and a great way to make some very good friends. Plus, it is entertaining

Favorite post ever-

12. Tell us in 100 words about your current relationship:
I am married to a High School Math Teacher. He is also the Co-Owner in our business. He is the one who does the labor. He also teaches at a juvenile center in the summer. I mention all of this for this reason - he is gone a LOT. Our relationship is one defined by our separation. We have been through many trials in our lives and have made it through when the stats say we shouldn't have. He is the straight line to my curvy swirly one. He tends to keep me grounded.

13. BONUS or OPTIONAL: Tell us something we need to know about you that we haven't covered above. 50 words or less: I don't like to do what other people are doing. I lose interest in something very fast if it becomes "the thing" to do. I prefer to be outside and while I look at home in a large group because I can "work a room" I prefer to be in a small group. I have 3 true friends as I eliminated everyone from my life that took more than they gave or were not genuine. I am happier for this (and I can't be contained in 50 words)

Shelle Edit: I think the thing about Jules is that she's not afraid to be vulnerable. She is at a point in her life where she has taken a step back to look at who she is and she shares her vision of herself and her relationships through her writing. It's open and honest and beautiful. Another thing about her writing is that you can see her heart in it. She just has this amazing way of making everyone feel like she understands them, yet, she gets her point across. Jules also shares her love of photography and this is where I relate to her most. Thanks Jules for being a part of this website you add so much to it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Adam w/ Guest Blogger Vodka Logic:: What do I say

Vodka Logic Says:

Do you stammer when you children start asking you those questions? Have you thought about how you would answer them when the tough questions come up? I know I didn’t and for the most part I have not been asked them and I am not referring to the “how are babies made?” questions or “if Daddy has a penis, what does Mommy have?” questions. I am referring to “Did you have sex before you were married?” or “Mom have you ever smoked pot?” questions. The ones aimed directly at you, that may make you inhale deeply and wonder “now what do I say?”

Do you answer honestly, evade the question, or do you lie? Of course it could depend on what is the real answer. Would it change the way your children think of you if you did use drugs in college [or the past]? Maybe it would depend on the drugs involved. I am not going to go into what I have or have not done in my past but I don’t think I would tell my children about any drug use. If they were very young when they asked I would definitely lie to them, as they may not be able to understand completely. For example when my daughter was young we were talking about drinking and driving with another family and she chimes in “Mom you drink and drive”. I promptly said, “I do no such thing” and it turns out she meant coffee. A very different thing of course but you see my point.

If my child was a teen or older, I probably wouldn’t lie out right but perhaps circle around the answer, again if the answer was yes. The setting is important too, are you joking around or having a serious tete a tete.

There is an exception. If my children were suffering due to drug use of their own it may help to share some experiences. They may need to know they aren’t alone in their experimentation or use. My main agenda in this post though is just the questions that may arise not a family deep in alcohol or drug use. I am sure there are families where the questions don’t need to be asked, the children know from observed behavior.

The question of sex for me is easier. I have children obviously I have had sex and from a young age they know that. I got all the “how are babies made?” questions like most of us get but I have never been asked about premarital sex. As my children are older now, aged 15 3/4 and 21 this month the sex topic is easier. My youngest [both children are girls] winces at the thought of her parents having any sort of intimate relations and the older just laughs. I have had discussions with my older daughter about sex such as don’t forget condoms or please be safe all those parental concerns. I have also told her I don’t expect her to be a virgin when she gets married, most people aren’t these days. It’s her choice of course but as she navigates the dating world and gets closer to possibly finding the one I feel these discussions are more necessary.

I guess I did go off topic in that last paragraph but the point is the sex question probably won’t come up. The question I don’t feel I need to answer is “was there anyone before Dad?” Again, none of their business, if it doesn’t affect [or is it effect] them it isn’t necessary to tell them. I don’t have a problem telling them either, to mind their own business. What happened BC [before children] stays BC.

Adam says:

So what am I supposed to do when my lovely little 8 year old grows up and she is looking for guidance? Do I tell her the right thing or the true thing? The answer should be an easy one, but my counter-part here is having some struggles searching for the answer.

This shouldn't be a hard question to answer. I'm gonna pull a Freud and answer a question with a question. What if you child found out the truth to the question you decided not to spill the beans on?

When looking to someone for guidance, help, or coaching you are assuming that the person who is giving you the advice is truthful, and also walks the walk. I have had bosses tell me what to do, without understanding what it is they are asking. I have seen parents tell their kids not to smoke as they choke on a puff from their Camel Lights. I have seen politicians say one thing, yet do another.

Why is it we need to do the same thing as parents? I have seen parents straight up lie to their kids about their pasts, just to justify two self-serving things. 1. It's not their business and 2. to save face and maybe ridicule from their teenage kids.

Why wouldn't you tell your kids? What are you afraid to say? Are you scared that if you tell your kids the truth, they might actually go out and follow suit?

We are so scared to tell our children the truth, but didn't your parents tell you not to do drugs, or not to have premarital sex? We see how well that might have worked out. Why would you expect your child to actually listen to you, when you yourself defied you parents wishes against it? This is the typical Catholic thing to do. We want to tell our kids what to do, but not actually equip them to make the right decisions. You cannot honestly tell a teenager that having premarital sex is bad, knowing they are going to do it anyway, and not at least tell them what a condom is. I know Vodka Logic said some things to this nature that this is not a problem. My school of thought on this whole idea is, don't hide behind your [self proclaimed] mistakes and let them be a chance to learn and use them to illustrate a point to your kids.

We live in a world of lies. Everywhere you look. The television and movies make having sex for the first time downright glamorous. Little do our kids know that the first time sucks, but it will get better. Or when you take the first hit off the bong, you're going to cough, but the second hit will be better.

We need to give our kids the knowledge so they can make an informed decision. This is something I was taught at a young age. I was never told NOT to have sex before marriage. I was never told that I shouldn't do drugs. I learned about them, I talked about them, and to say the least, I am drug free and I have only had 2 sexual partners. It isn't because the adults around me weren't scared to tell me the truth when asked a simple question. I mean they aren't asking you to smoke up then and there with you. They just want some guidance.

So where do you stand? Pre-teen kids, teens, grown children, will you lie? Will you tell the thruth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Karma's Delicate Kick in the Butt

I had a tumultuous relationship with my college girlfriend. Not during our romance, but after. We were together for most of my junior year before I decided that I was ready to move on and unceremoniously dumped her. If that sounds harsh, it was. Although I was good with romance part of relationships, I was not so good with ending them.

Even though we broke up, our friendship lingered. We clung to each other because we didn’t really know what else to do. She still loved me and I wanted freedom, but didn’t really want to be alone. That’s how we ended up spending a rather uncomfortable drive across the country together. My fondest memory of that trip was driving through the breathtaking scenery of the Grand Canyon…fighting with her the entire time.

There were other incidents between us, which I won’t elaborate on here. Let’s just say that I didn’t treat her well. Most girls have a story or two about a guy who was a total jerk. I’m afraid this is how she will always think of me. In that regard, I guess I had it coming.

After graduation we had both moved out to California. Some time had gone by without any contact, when suddenly she called me. She said that she didn’t like where we had ended things (with her yelling at me for being a jerk) and she wanted to make it up to me. She had been taking some classes and her graduation was coming up. She told me it would mean a lot to her if I went. I told her that I would be honored.

She picked me up and drove me to a non-descript building out by the airport. She led me to a small, windowless conference room and rushed off backstage. Something felt off as I sat there in a stiff plastic chair in the middle of nowhere. When the ceremony started it quickly dawned on me that this was not the graduation ceremony of a continuing education course, it was a pyramid scheme disguised as a self-actualization course. I had been dragged to a sales pitch. And because she had driven me, I was stuck there. I was pissed.

That was the last time I saw her.

After the anger subsided, I felt bad for her. She’s a sweet girl but was not being approached by Mensa anytime soon. I can’t blame her for being sucked into something that was so obviously designed to lure suckers away from their wallets instead of truly helping them.

It was quiet as we crept our way through the traffic back home. I was silently seething but decided not to say anything and let it go. I had put this girl through enough crap over the years to realize that this was my karmic payback for the mistakes I had made with her.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Like any relationship things change.

So is the blog.

Well kind of.

When I began this blog my vision was for it to be an outlet for people to write about their relationships. I still want that, but people are shy about it. I've always stressed that it is okay to be anonymous, writing under a pseudonym, but it has morphed into being more about the core contributors and their relationships rather than a community of people sharing stories and giving advice, or just empathizing with each other.

My Core writers are still the base of what holds this blog together and will remain that way. Their honesty and beauty in which they write make the foundation of this blog. But we are still missing our community.

We want to involve you in our clique, where everyday is a gathering of minds and opinions, everyone welcome.

So every so often I am going to write a TOPICS post. This post will have a list of topics that I would love to have addressed with two different opinions.

This is where YOU the reader come into play. I want these topics covered by GUEST CONTRIBUTORS, that means YOU!!!

I need your guys' help and stories. I want to learn from you. Some topics will have already been covered on the blog, some topics will be new, and some topics will come from other posts where I feel we need to delve down further on a subject.

Here's the skinny. Step-by-Step.

First the Topics: (Remember every topic can be related to any relationship, doesn't just have to be a normal married one. Could be parental, siblings, children, friends.)

1. How has blogging, facebook, twitter effected your relationship. I need a "Good for my Relationship" and a "Bad for my relationship" perspective.

2. When raising your children are you a united front or divided? (This could also work for those divorced with children because you still have to parent together).

3. How do you make religion work in your relationship, when you don't have the same religious beliefs? Do you sweep it under the rug or give it a good effort to work together.

4. How do you work through the awkwardness of making a relationship go from online to real life? (This could mean blogging friends or single dating)

5. Who is in control of your finances and how do you stay independent while also working together or do you feel you can't have it both ways, it's either HIS and HER money or OUR money?

6. Does your spouse play music you despise when on a road trip? how do u deal?

7. "Personal grooming" your spouse hates yours or you hate theirs.

8. My partner loves animals, I don't, how do you cope or don't you? Does it effect the relationship?

9. My spouse puts hobbies above me it seems (TV, computer, etc)?

10. My partner can't get enough of me and I could do with out. How do you work through that as a couple? Or do you?

11. Are there things you aren't interested in, in the bedroom, but your spouse is really curious about? Do you deny them or do you give in? How do you deal with that?

12. I or my Spouse is a scheduler and I am not. (That could be a co-worker, boss, friend, etc...)

13. My spouse and I continue to keep our relationship first by doing ________ ? (that could work with family or friends also)

14. The relationships I learned from to get to the "perfect someone" for me--your story.

15. My spouse or I deal with depression. How it effects the relationship. What we do. How we cope or not.

Next what we are going to ask you to do is email us if you would like to Guest Contribute on any of these topics. Let me just reiterate here, we WANT YOU to Guest Contribute, if either of us were any good at begging we would be doing that also!

 Shelle (The Queen Bee Venus Perspective) at Put in the subject line: GUEST CONTRIBUTOR and then tell us what you want to write about.

Then I will tell you "OKAY the topic is yours" or "Sorry that one is already being covered, don't pass go, don't collect $200.00", or we will just ask you to please please please choose another topic.

Then you will get a calendar invite of the day we would like to post, when we figure out when that will be.

I would prefer that each topic have a MALE and FEMALE perspective but it isn't necessary.

After that, it is up to you to write the post and send it in so that we can get it scheduled.

We do have some boundaries and rules to how explicit you can get with your writing and what choice of words are allowed, but other than that we basically want you to write however it is that represents you and your perspective best.

That's it!

Pick a topic and email us!!!


P.S. I can't believe I forgot. Feel free to send us topic ideas or even a topic that you would like, need, or want to write on. That would be awesome!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My spouse has changed since we got that good or bad?

This is an interesting topic and I wanted it because of how I viewed things growing up...and I get to share that with you.

When I was young and naive, I thought that people change because they got married; as if they went through some sort of metamorphosis, just like caterpillars becoming butterflies. As I got older, I changed that to "they change because they were made to do so".

And now that I got to experience firsthand of marriage? It's a bit of both with a heaping of love and a dash of adjustment. I thought it would be hard to adjust to the idea of being married to someone. I had it almost right..."being married to someone", but I learned it was more like "being married to someone who has own ideas and beliefs".

My wife has changed since we got married, and so have I. We changed with the times, with the arrival of our first child, second child, jobs, and everything in between. To answer the question, I must say "Both good and bad". Adjusting to each other was hard but nothing beats surprises like learning about your wife's fondness for "Superman" movie. ;)

She changed through love and sacrifices and so did I. Mutually benefitted each other. Worked against each other. Who said being married is easy? We both know that we must work on our marriage all the time and if we must change, then we change. For better or for worse.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Expensive Hobby

When this topic was brought up, I noticed that it didn't take any time at all for someone from the Mars distributors to snatch it up for post their perspective on it. I think it was floating around for a while before I finally decided to take it. Hmmmm, I wonder why that is. Is it because most likely women are the ones who spend the most money, maybe?

So the questions posed were does your spouse have an expensive hobby and how does it affect your relationship?

Well, I have a ton of hobbies, I'm actually participating in one of those hobbies right now. And being a stay-at-home mom, I can find the time to enjoy said hobbies. But adding up the cost of all the hobbies I have money wise, I have come to conclusion that I didn't spend anywhere close to what my hub spend on his hobby.

See, one of the major factor of us living in Hawaii is because my hubby loves the ocean. He loves everything about it so his hobby does revolve around the ocean. He does almost everything a person does with the ocean...he swims, surfs, boogie boards, fish and kayak. He's purchased whatever equipment needed to do those things mentioned and it is pretty costly.

When he took up fishing and I don't mean line fishing where he throws his fishing line in the water and then sits on the shore to wait for the bait to catch something. No, this is underwater spear fishing. Yes, he had to dive underwater with spear in his hand to spear those suckers. That hobby doesn't bother me as much since he practically learned to do that for my benefit. What bothers me was all the different kinds of spears, masks, fins, snorkels...seriously people, those fish do not care what kind of spear a person is using when those sharp metals are piercing through their bodies or eyes. And lets talk about boogie boards...does it really matter what color or how wide or narrow, long or short a boogie board is? They all look the same to me and pretty much serve the same purpose.

In our bedroom right now, we are literally bunking with a couple of surf boards. People, the man hardly surf except for when our friend is taking our boys out for a bit of surfing lessons. And can anyone tell me what is so fun about having to sit on a surf board waiting to catch nice wave for a couple minutes of wave riding or surfing? Those surf boards, they are really not cheap. For a frugal man like my hub, I am actually surprised to see him actually spend money on those things. His latest and most expensive purchase was on a kayak. I think it may have been a huge issue for us that he spends so much money on his hobby if the kids and I don't benefit or enjoy some of this stuff. I guess if he chose another hobby like golfing, I'd seriously go nuts. Or if he were spending every dime he makes on his hobby and neglecting our bills, and if his family doesn't actually enjoy some of those water activities otherwise he seriously would have one nagging wife on his hands. Smiley In fact I'm thinking, maybe, just maybe I'll encourage him to move on to something bigger, like a jet ski? Smiley

So, what about you guys? Does your spouse/SO have an expensive hobby? How does that affect your relationship?

Scarlett Made Me Do It!

The difficulty in life is the choice.

~ George Moore (1852-1933)

My name is Brian, and I am a smoker.

A damn good one, I'll readily admit. Nothing cuts short a harsh, early-morning phlegm-letting like a cup of French Vanilla coffee and a Camel Turkish Silver. Thirty per day is my average, though if I have nothing better to do besides sit in my garage and write, I can easily polish off two packs plus change before hitting the hay. Type. Take a drag. Repeat. I will smoke more than half a pack before this post is finished.

In the car, my trusty 1987 bright red Honda Prelude with the Pioneer 10" pumps in the back, I smoke one after the other to a soundtrack loud and aggressive, scattering ashes and butts out the window with an authoritative flick of the wrist. I am badass. I don't care what you think.

I started late in life, the result of a perfect storm of circumstances. First there was the Roux-en-Y, a radical rearranging of the innards that led to both the shedding of an enormous number of pounds and the upsetting of long-established habits. I was a Type A grazer with more than enough storage space, my fingers constantly stained with Cheetos dust. Each bag or box of this or that was not only symptomatic of my tendencies toward insecurity and impatience but also a convenient, logical stepping stone between meals. I was a damn good snacker. But when I traded in my industrial-grade forty-six cubic foot stomach for one the size of a medium egg, my snacking days went the way of the dinosaur. Suddenly I needed something else to do with my hands.

And then, on the heels of Bill Murray's embarrassing loss to that overrated putz Sean Penn, I rented Lost in Translation. Here's this guy whose life is shit. His marriage is shit. His career is shit. Everyone is shorter than he is. He's reduced to hawking overseas whiskey. And into the winter of his discontent walks Scarlett Johansson, this pensive, leggy, mildly-effervescent tonic, with just enough bubbles to smooth the edges of his hacksawed existence. And into the dorsolateral prefrontal association area of my brain camped a three-dimensional image of what it would take to be cool. All it needed was time to become a fourth-dimension reality. A choice.

The clincher? Philosophy. Scarlett's character was a philosophy major. I am a philosophy major! What do philosophers do? We sit around in our Cartesian armchairs and think shit up. And we smoke. Roughly half of my fellow philosophy peers are smokers. We get together twice a year at The Chair's house, sit on his deck, drink German beer, talk about how much we hate Wittgenstein, and smoke. Sartre, the great existential atheist philosopher I've become quite fond of in recent years, was a smoker. As one reviewer of The Faber Book of Smoking put it, "[t]he cigarette, for Sartre, is a means of possessing the world: an entire way of being is crystallised in the "little crematory sacrifice" of his chubby Boyard. For the smoker, the universe exists as something to be experienced while smoking." And then there's this timely little nugget of wisdom from the New York Times, originally published February 15, 1866, in which it is claimed that the Reverend S. W. Bailey endorsed the use of tobacco, for it "makes youth manly, refines taste, excites emulation, and engenders self-reliance." He concludes that smoking may also possibly, one day, should you ever visit a remote and savage land, save you from the cannibals as well. Shit, I'm all about not being eaten.

So I smoke.

I've tried to quit several times. I'm new(ish) here so you don't know all the details. But regular readers of The Cheek know. They've read it over and over and over again. I didn't even bother writing about my most recent attempt at quitting. It lasted two weeks. An eternity in which I walked nearly sixty miles around my rural haunts, listening to books on .mp3, marveling at all that glorious Indiana corn, fighting with every fiber of my being the urge to swing by the local trading post and pick up a pack. In a moment of weakness I bought some snus, but my wife threw them away. Said I was compromising. Her and the kids rejoiced that for a time my butts didn't litter the driveway, or her little garden filled with bright orange marigolds and purple zinnias, where I usually flick them as I sit and write. My wife hugged me more. Said I didn't smell like an ashtray. And that my breathing seemed less congested as I slept. And my kids, all four of them, liked that I didn't buy any Camels when we stopped at the gas station for Slushies. I played catch more often. We went swimming. And I passed more days indoors, playing Guitar Hero with the boys, reading with and to the girls, instead of hiding away in the garage.

I didn't post anything of significance for those two weeks. Didn't visit the blogs of my friends. Leave comments. Check in. Instead, I languished, decidedly checked out. Distanced from all the things I usually do while smoking.

Why am I telling you all this? I don't really know. Shelle always says, "Be yourself!" And I write for me. Always. So maybe this is therapy or sorts. With listening to one's own bullshit comes a modicum of ownership. I see through the haze of smoke I blow. I am not cool. Far from it. And trying to think that I am is becoming more difficult with each passing puff. Now it's just something I do, for lack of an equally-appealing alternative. Or maybe I'm just being passively stubborn. Raging internally against all the mistakes I've made and the circumstances I've failed to confront with each flick of my Bic. I am a narcissistic, fucked up little man.

I am Brian, and I am a smoker . . .

I wrote this for a different website several months ago, but there isn't much cross-traffic between the two so I thought I might share it here. As it relates to relationships, do you have any nasty habits that you often feel the need to justify? Any habitual thing that holds you back, or comes between you and your spouse/significant other? Or are we all simply human and this sort of thing par for the course? Your thoughts are welcomed and appreciated . . .

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Group Therapy: Did I over react?


This is where people write in and ask for advice. So read and please comment.

Saturdays are all about the kids dance classes, I'm a taxi and I love it. It’s my day to be proud I don’t see it as a chore.

The last of the classes ended and we headed home, it was about 6pm. The son was playing out and the husband enjoying a beer watching footy. At 6.30pm I asked what time the son had to be back, (he is only 6 years old and whilst you got to let them have some freedom it comes with boundaries and controls. The ones I set are no further than the park and if he goes in a friends house we have to know which one and agree times to come home).

"He is due back soon" hubby says, I continue to prepare tea. At 7pm I ask "who is he with?", “I dunno” was the reply “a little guy on a bike” . What time did you say he should be back “he couldn’t find his watch so I didn’t say when”.

I grab my bike and get the girls to get their’s and do a lap of the estate and he is no where to be seen.

I go into mild panic but control and strategy are also present. I go back to ask the husband "is he on his bike his scooter or what?" “why you all mad at me” he says “I’m not the one who’s late”.

Using carefully chosen language that I shall not repeat “it's about finding him right now not your ability to act as a responsible parent” he said “more like you are being neurotic, he will be fine, he will come home soon”.

Really would you sit at home waiting to find out or would you knock on every friends door until you found him?

I did, he was in the 6th house colouring in Ben 10 posters.

When we got home and I had a calm chat with the son about being specific about where he was and who he was with he said, "I told Daddy I was in Lewis’s house and he said ok". The husbands memory instantly returned and he said, "yeah the little guy was called Lewis!"

All he had to do was take some responsibility and remember some basic info and none of that would of happened. Instead he told me I was being unreasonable and dramatising something that didn’t need to be.

Or was I over reacting?


Heels X

Monday, May 3, 2010

Me? Over-scheduled?

Sports practice and games (for my kids), school activities, PTA volunteer, working out (recently added to my schedule), freelance writing and editing, cleaning house…oh, and a full-time job.

Yes, I over schedule, but I think that is just part of who I am. I like to be busy and productive. I tend to do this so much that the people at work expect a huge list of things when they ask what I have planned for the weekend…and that’s what they usually get. It’s odd that I keep doing this to myself since just talking about what I need to do makes me tired, but I have a difficult time just sitting. If I stop moving, I fall asleep.

What does my hubby think of this? Let’s ask him…."Well, you over schedule so much that you don’t make time for yourself. You put everything else above yourself…until you push it so much that you break down. It only becomes a problem when you’re so exhausted that you crash when you get home.” Hmmm…. I think he’s saying that I need to take more “ME” time. I might just have to take him up on that.

I’m not sure who said it first, but it seems to fit well here…“

~ If Momma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy ~

How do things work for you?

Domestically Disabled