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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

I have some announcements and resolutions I’d like to put in writing before I start this picture post. I’m going to number them because that’s how my brain works.  Oh, and before you start reading please be warned that this is a boring ass post with pictures of my cat and family. Here goes..

  1. I’m on my way to becoming a vegetarian. I’ve decided to completely revamp my lifestyle and I’m committed to making myself as healthy as possible. I already eat all organic, but now it’s time to take it a step further. My body is a temple.
  2. To go along with the healthy eating, I have a strict workout schedule that I will be following starting today. I want to get my body back. The body I had years ago when I was magnificent. I will be doing 2 hours of yoga on Sundays and Saturdays; running Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays; bellydancing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Oh, and 30 minutes of yoga first thing in the morning on weekdays.
  3. I have given up on my blog Coquettishly and From My Knees. I can’t keep up with all of these blogs. And I feel like I need a break from talking about sex. I’ve decided to put my clothes on around here. I know I’ll still be frank and uncensored about things, but I’m just so damned tired of the subject of sex. Seriously.
  4. Fresh Air Lover, this here blog, is NOT going away. I planned on deleting this blog and moving on, but I got a lot of emails asking me not to. I can’t tell you how humbled I was by these emails. I really didn’t think people cared that much. So, I’ll keep this here blog alive and well. And after thinking about it, I find that I need this space more than I thought.
  5. The Home Cook will stay where it is for now.
  6. I’m currently writing a book. Yeah, fun huh. The rough version will be available on a new blog called Too Many Brambles and Too Few Mulligans. The book is about my life, from start to now, and I have decided that for the time being I will allow people to read this blog but not to comment. Not yet, anyway.

I think that’s all. Here are the pictures.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/xmas%202007/roslin.jpg” alt=”
My pretty baby girl, Roslin.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/xmas%202007/tree.jpg” alt=”
My little tree. Don’t you like the tapestry I got when I was in South Africa? Yeah, I’m looking for a picture to replace it cause I’m sick of it.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/xmas%202007/stellastocking.jpg” alt=”
Yes, I hang stockings for my cats. What of it?

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/xmas%202007/roslinstocking.jpg” alt=”

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/xmas%202007/mystocking.jpg” alt=”
My stocking.

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Hallway decorations.

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More hallway decorations.

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My festive kitchen.

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Stella and Roslin being nosy about the gifts.

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Don’t the gifts look pretty.

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My nephew, Colin, in his santa hat.

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My mom’s dog trying to get his presents.

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Connor with his truck.

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My favorite picture of this Christmas, my mom and Morgan.

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My nephew, Rylee, with one of his gifts.

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Time for a nap.

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Colin keeps rubbing his tongue against the teeth that are coming in and it’s adorable.

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He’s so cute, I can’t stand it.

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So, I’m in TN and the visit with my aunt is going quite well. To be honest, I can’t wait to get back home. I miss my bed and such.

Christmas as great. I reconciled with my father and sisters, so the holiday was especially nice. My younger sister looks absolutely adorable pregnant. She has that glow. My other sister looks horrible. I wish she’d start taking care of herself, but what can we do. She’s going to live her life the way she wants.

I spent Christmas Eve at my father’s and then Christmas Day at my mom’s. It was exhausting and wonderful. Everyone loved the gifts I bought them and it was so much fun to watch them opening their gifts. I love that part of Christmas. It takes me forever to pick out gifts for people and I just love when I hit it on the head perfectly. I bought my mom a gorgeous silver watch and I couldn’t wait to give it to her. She told me months ago that she wanted one, so all I did was hope that she didn’t buy it for herself. She didn’t.

Of course, I was spoiled as usual. I mostly get things I need, but some surprises were thrown in. I got the following presents:

  • a new digital camera
  • a wok
  • Japanese cooking ingredients
  • a cheese serving set in a Tuscan theme
  • a vacuum
  • house phones
  • clothes
  • gift cards
  • books
  • food processor
  • a deep large skillet
  • makeup
  • closet organizers
  • two beautiful rings
  • a wine rack
  • wine

I think that’s it. I’m totally spoiled and I should be ashamed of myself, but I’m not really. I gave $100 to St. Jude’s and $100 to American Cancer Society for Christmas. I also bought toys for Toys for Tots and I even bought a whole food order for a family in need. I think I did more than most people, so I shouldn’t feel too guilty about the gifts I received.

So, yesterday my mom, my aunt, and I drove an hour to Franklin, TN to see the Carlton Plantation and the McGavock Confederate Cemetery. I had just finished reading the book Widow of the South and was so moved by it that when I heard that I was only an hour from where this novel takes place, I had to see.

The book is fiction and based on the famous Battle of Franklin and Carrie McGavock, at the end of the American Civil War. I’m not a huge Civil War buff, but reading this book and now seeing that place…I find the subject to be highly fascinating.

Anyhow, the Battle of Franklin was a huge blow to the Confederates. Of the 10,000 casualties, theirs counted for 7,000. You see, one of the Confederate generals decided that he would get together 22,000 troops for a full frontal assault on the Federal Army, whose numbers were about 23,000. The battle only lasted 5 hours and more people died in those hours than in any other battle in U.S. history. This includes those who died on the beaches of Normandy. The battle is also unique in that it was fought mostly at night and there was much close range and hand-to-hand combat. Crazy, huh?

There was a plantation house less than a mile from this battle, named Carnton. This is where most of the book takes place. The house was used as a field hospital and at one point there were about 300 injured men in the house. Amputations were done in the downstairs parlor and the removed limbs were thrown out the window. It was rumored that there was a huge rotting pile of limbs in the backyard and piles of bodies in the garden. You can still see blood stains in the upstairs bedrooms of the plantation house. You can see the outline of buckets and there is one spot where it looks like a doctor was standing and the blood was just dripping off onto the floor. It’s a huge circle with drops everywhere.

Two years after the battle, the field where roughly 2,000 soldiers were buried in shallow graves was in danger. Many of the grave markers were being used for firewood and some of the bones were being dug up by animals, so the McGavocks (the family that owned Carnton) deeded two acres of their land to be used as a Confederate cemetery. It took three weeks to move the bodies and each was put in a pine box and buried in a numbered plot in the cemetery. A book was kept with the list of names. This book is still in the house. Amazingly, they were able to identify 60% of the bodies.

Word started getting out about this cemetery and letters started pouring in, families asking about their sons, husbands, fathers, etc. The first family members started showing up about 3 years after the cemetery was completed and from then on, Carrie McGavock (the woman the book Widow of the South is about) would go out to the cemetery with the families and mourn with them. And when the families couldn’t find their loved one, she would still mourn. They say she mourned for all of the unknown soldiers because they had no one else to mourn them. This is why they called her Widow of the South.

What a story! I took some pictures of this place and I hope you enjoy them. And you should really go visit this interesting place in our history. It’s quite remarkable that the place is still very much intact and preserved.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton020-1.jpg” alt=”
The front door of Carnton.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton001-1.jpg” alt=”
The back porch of Carnton. It’s said that 4 Confederate generals lay on this porch dead.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton023.jpg” alt=”
A better picture of the back porch.

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The foundation where the old house used to be and the smokehouse. When the big house was built, they made the old house into the kitchens. It was destroyed when a tornado hit it in the early 1900’s.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton019.jpg” alt=”
Another view of the porch and smokehouse.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton017.jpg” alt=”
The slave quarters.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton018.jpg” alt=”
The spring house where they kept perishables like eggs, milk, and fruit. The water would come up about 2 feet and the evaporation would keep these items fresh longer.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton002-1.jpg” alt=”
Cemetery sign.

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Carrie (Widow of the South) and John McGavock’s headstone.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton014.jpg” alt=”
The family cemetery.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton007.jpg” alt=”
Confederate Cemetery sign.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton008.jpg” alt=”
The cemetery.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton010-1.jpg” alt=”
Information about the cemetery.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton009-1.jpg” alt=”
One of the markers indicating which company is buried there. The cemetery is organized by the company of state for which the men buried fought.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton013-1.jpg” alt=”
Another marker.

<img src=”http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/freshairlover/Carnton/Carnton012-1.jpg” alt=”
A nice picture of the cemetery with the house behind it.

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I’m tuckered out. I’ve been busy all weekend. Seriously busy. Christmasy busy. Therapeutic kind of busy, you know.

I did laundry on Friday night. I had….ready for it….9 loads of laundry to do. Wait, make that 10 since I had to wash my winter comforter. So yeah. Did I ever tell you all that I love to do laundry? Well, I do. I enjoy the mindlessness of it. The physical washing the smells, dirt, and sweat from the previous weeks. Starting over. The smell.

After laundry, I ran to the grocery store because no matter how many lists I make out I still forget some damn thing. I had to make candy and cookies this weekend, so I need the stuff.

By the time I got home and put all of my clothes away it was 10PM. I didn’t sit down to eat until then. I was exhausted, but I still had to strip the bed and put my winter comforter and bed skirt. Oy! I collapsed around midnight.

Saturday proved to be a marathon. I tore my apartment apart and cleaned it. Like, hospital cleaned it. Like, OCD cleaned it. I then decorated for the holiday. I took pictures and I’ll post them tomorrow or something. I then made candy. Loads of fucking candy. I’m giving little packages of candy as gifts this year. Cause I’m kind of poor. Seriously, I’ve already spent about $500 on Christmas already. So, I made some candy: spiced pecan and triple chocolate bark, white chocolate cherry bark, and dark chocolate cherry bark. Should be good, right?

Anyhow, I…AGAIN…didn’t sit down until about 10PM. I showered and collapsed.

Up again today to make cookies for “Cookie Day” tomorrow at work. I made pistachio/cranberry biscotti iced with white chocolate. I’m never making these again. Seriously. Fuck Giada DeLaurentis. These were the most difficult things I’ve ever made. I’d rather make bagels. I hope people like them at work because I freaking worked hard on them. I also made chocolate chocolate chip cookies.

I still have to buy some more presents and then wrap everything. I’m exhausted thinking about it. Tis the season.

Oh, and I’ll be in TN again at the end of this month. My mom and I are visiting my aunt. I can’t wait to see her and give her a huge hug.

One other thing and I’m going to lie on my couch like a blob. Do you know what is very unattractive? Men in low rise jeans. Now, don’t confuse this jeans riding low on a man hips. I like that. But men’s jeans cut really low for fashion’s sake. Just too hipster. Too deliberate. Too trying too hard. That’s all.

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Wow. This is the first time I’ve turned my computer on since Thursday. It was awesome.

My Thanksgiving was wonderful. How was everyone else’s? Did you eat too much? I did. I need a sugar detox and some cardio. Seriously.

Wednesday, I went to my mother’s house directly after work to help her chop and prepare some of the meal for Thursday. I then went home and made an apple pie from scratch. Yeah, that’s right. A double crust apple pie from scratch.

I went to bed early that night because I was fucking exhausted. Work was really busy and I felt like I was a lightbulb left on too long. I was close to going out. I was getting tired just thinking about Thanksgiving Day.

I got to my mom’s and help her a bit. She had everything pretty much under control, so there wasn’t much going on. My sister and my baby nephew arrived about 2 hours after I did. God, he is gorgeous. He came in the house with a giant smile on his face. We played.

My dad called me and I actually picked up the phone. He wished me a happy Thanksgiving and then asked me why I wasn’t returning his phone calls. He’s only called me three times since June. Yeah, that’s love huh. Anyhow, I told him I was mad at him and he asked me why. Now, anyone reading this blog who knows the situation knows why I’m angry with him. I’m sure he’s read why I’m angry with him. I’ve told him why I’m angry with him and yet…duh. So, I reminded him and he started his shit about how I can’t write whatever I want to on this blog. I told him I was going to hang up if he continued with this crap. It really fucking irritates me.

Dinner was delicious. The conversation was good and everyone was laughing and enjoying themselves. The pie was fucking amazing, if I can say so. The apples melted in your mouth. Yum.

I got home stuffed and exhausted. Just like one should on Thanksgiving Day.

I got up on Friday at 4 AM to go to Target. I wanted some electronic picture frames, a DVD player, and a vacuum cleaner. I got there are 4:30 AM and there was already a huge line. By the time they let us into the store, the line was around the shopping center. But, I got everything I needed. I was home by 6:30 AM with my loot.

Needless to say that I went back to sleep. I watched movies all day and chilled.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is when my mom and I hit the stores for Xmas shopping. I spent 5 hours with her and I’m almost finished my shopping. All I have to get is presents for the kids and presents for my friends, both internet and real-life friends. Although, I think of my internet friends and real-life friends but you know what I mean.

I think this is a good time to point out my Amazon wishlist there on the sidebar. I love presents.

After the marathon shopping, I came home and collapsed. I didn’t get up until the evening when I made a chocolate cake that I cannot stop eating. It might be the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had in my life. I made it from scratch and will post the recipe sometime this week. But, the thing is…I’m just picking at the cake all of the time. I have a fork and I keep picking. Everytime I go into the kitchen. I gave some to my neighbors, but I still keep picking. You can see the evidence below…
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And that’s all. I haven’t done a fucking thing since. Except if you count eating cake.

Stay tuned this week for some exciting news and usual banter.

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Happy Halloween! This is my favorite holiday and I’m going to celebrate on here by posting a performance by one of my favorite musician’s of all time, PJ Harvey. Her new album is fucking brilliant and I can’t stop listening to it. It makes me all wet in the panties. I love her. Seriously. I have said it many times, but I’d turn gay for her. She just simply rocks my world. Enjoy.

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Do you want your fortune?

I’m going to a Halloween party tonight as a gypsy. My hair is rolled so that it will be massively curly. I have scarves. I have tarot cards. I have a skull. I have jewels.

I plan to drink heavily.

I plan to shake my money maker. Hard.

I haven’t eaten all fucking day, because I plan to eat whatever I want tonight.

Have fun y’all. I might have pictures, but don’t count on it. I might be having too much fun to bother with a camera.

Peace.

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Thanks for the well wishes. The migraine is extinguished.

Ready for my holiday story? It’s a fun one. But before that, here are some pictures of my sister and my nephew, Rylee.


Rylee at karate.


My sister, Rylee, and Max the dog.


My sister’s belly.

I last spoke with you all at length on Saturday. I ended up doing a hip-hop aerobic class on Fit TV and then showered and started on the drinking. Around 11 PM, I answer my ringing phone and it’s my sister. She’s hysterically crying. Her husband, I’ve told you all he’s a bit of a bastard in this post, freaked out an hour after I left and started screaming at her and throwing her things away. Remember, Friday night she was bleeding and I took her to hospital where she was told to relax and rest. She tells me that as he’s throwing everything out he’s telling her that she’s lazy and doesn’t know how to clean (she’s not supposed to be cleaning). And then she tells me he said the following statement, which makes me mental. Ready for it? Sit down first. Okay, here it is. He told her that if something happens to the baby he’s going to sue her. That he doesn’t give a shit if she dies, but that baby better come out healthy.

**crickets**

When I regain my composure, I tell her I’m on my way to get her and to hurt him permanently. She tells me that she’s fine, she’s locked herself in her bedroom. She then tells me that my dad had called whilst they were in the middle of the argument and that the bastard told my dad that he (the bastard) was being a dick and asked my dad what he was going to do about it. Un-fucking-believable. I tell my sister that I must go for a minute and that I’ll call her back.

I call my dad because I figure he’s on his way to her house ready to beat the every-loving shit out of the bastard. To my surprise though, he’s watching a movie on the couch. What? So, I ask him quite meanly why in the name of all that’s holy he isn’t in his truck on his way to save my sister. He says that he spoke with the bastard and that he had a little episode. You girls worry too much, is what he said to me. I could have kicked him in his balls.

I call my sister back and the bastard answers the phone. I tell him I want to speak with my sister and he starts giving me a bunch of shit. He says that I need to calm down because he was just letting go of some steam. I say the following, “Motherfucker, I don’t care what you were just doing. I told you to put my sister on the phone and if you don’t I’m calling the Lancaster police department and they can see what the fuck is going on up there, how’s that?” I hear the word bitch before the phone is picked up by my sister. We talked a bit and when I felt calmer I hung up. I’m still worried for her, but I know that she’s going to have company all week. My mother and stepdad when up today to see her and I believe my mom is going to tear the bastard a new asshole.

Sunday (Christmas Eve) morning, I got up early to make gravy for the lasagna and to make two batches of spinach artichoke dip. After the cooking, I got myself ready and went to my dad’s house to celebrate the holiday. As I was unloading all of the presents out of my car, I got injured. It was really windy and the car door swung closed and hit me hard in my arm causing a real nice bruise. See the picture below.


Nice, huh?

I had a great night. I got totally surprised by my dad and his girlfriend, as they got me a professional grade standing mixer. I love kitchen gadgets and have been asking for this mixer for about 6 years knowing that no one would buy it for me because it’s very expensive. I got all of the attachments; the meat grinder, the pasta maker, and the ice cream maker. I actually cried. It was just so nice. I never get gifts like that. I also got some books and a pretty lamp for my bedroom. The day was great, except I wished my sister could have been there.

My little sisters (the twins) look great. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned how they fought and beat a drug problem, but they have. I’m so proud of them. They’ve been through a lot. They are themselves again and look amazing. They were fun to be around and I hope that they stay healthy.


My new mixer.

I talked to my sister after I got home from my dad’s and she said that the bastard’s mother got there and got a hold of the bastard and let him know that he needs to learn how to treat his wife. I felt better knowing she wasn’t there alone with him.

Christmas morning, I got myself up to visit my ex sister-in-law (from now on I will call her my soul sister or SS) and my niece and nephew. You see, I really couldn’t care less about my step-brother (her ex-husband) as he’s a first class motherfucker. Trust me on this. I’ve spoken of some of his antics before. Anyhow, I pull up to her house and I see my brother’s truck in the driveway. I knew he was going to be there when the kids got up, but I didn’t expect him to still be there. I called my mom to see if they were on their way and she informs me that she and my stepdad are circling the block until my brother leaves. Apparently, he called my stepdad the night before and cussed him out about going over to SS’s house and told him to go fuck himself. He also said some horrible things about my mother. My brother feels that because he’s divorced from SS that we shouldn’t consider her family anymore. She’s been in our lives over 15 years and he cheated on her, mentally and physically abused her, and lied to everyone in his family. Oh, and did I mention she’s one of the best people I’ve ever met in my life. She’s all goodness.

So, I tell my mom I don’t care if my brother gets pissed that I’m there (but really, he doesn’t care about me at all so why would he care about if I was there) and I hang up and go up to the door. He’s coming out as I’m walking up and I say in my ‘Debbie is a bitch voice’ MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! and he doesn’t even look at me. Good, I think.

I go in and have an absolutely wonderful time with the two stinkies (aka Morgan and Connor, my niece and nephew). They are just lovely. Morgan got a microphone stand and thought she was a star, which she is. At some point, she put every scarf she and her mother had on her microphone stand and we started calling her Steven Tyler. Hilarious. I stayed for a few hours and then had to leave to assemble my lasagna.

I got to my mom’s and my stepsister’s were already there. They were pleasant enough. My one stepsister still looks like she’s 50 years old (she’s 33) and anorexic, but I did see her eat something so that’s good. My stepbrother didn’t show up with the kids. He didn’t call. Nothing. The gifts just sat under the tree and my mom and stepdad kept looking at them. You could see how hurt they were. My stepdad said he may forgive my stepbrother for doing this, but he would never forget this day. I was sad for them. I want to remove my brother’s balls from his body with my bare hands. I think I could do it.

Anyhow, bad news and drama aside I had a lovely time. I got a new microwave, which I really needed. I also got a beautiful red purse, a pair of foxy fuckme high-heel knee-high boots, and lots of clothes. I also got lots of books, which I really wanted. Of course, even though I told everyone in my family to go by my wishlist on Amazon (to the right–hee hee) nobody did got me anything from there. Well, except two friends from the blog world and I thank you with all of my heart for those.

Yesterday, I had the day off from work and I rearranged my kitchen. I have so much counter space now because my new microwave is a lot smaller than my old one and it looks so clean and organized. I LOVE that. I’m such a neat freak. I then went to Target to spend my gift certificates.


See how big my old microwave was?

Well, that’s all I have right now. This post is very long and I hope you haven’t fallen asleep reading it. I have some cool ideas for the new year and I have some special posts coming up the next couple of days, so please stick with me.


Stella, because she’s a pretty kitty.

Okay, I have one request before I leave. If you can be so kind, please offer me some topics to cover for Coquettishly. If you want to be anonymous, please email me. You don’t have to ask a question or anything like that, just let me know what topic would make a good post. I really appreciate it.

Have a nice night.

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Merry Christmas!!!

I had a wonderful Christmas. I’m too tired to describe it, but I’ll tell the whole tale tomorrow. I promise. There was joy and there was drama. Oy!

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Hugs and kisses to every one of you. I love you all.

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