Photo Story Friday

Photo Story Friday: Three Blind Mice

Oh look! Another wonderful excuse to scan old pictures and bore you to tears!! Yay!

I’m the mouse in the middle. WHY I felt compelled to wear funky shorty-shorts with multi-colored geometric shapes on them AND black tights, is beyond me. I’m sure we had some sort of plan in mind when we decided to go that route.

Three Blind Mice - circa 1988

This was back when I worked at the bank … 1988 maybe? I remember the gal’s name on my right, Diane, but I can’t for the life of me remember the gal on my left.

We all three worked the lobby windows so we became fast friends. Since we all worked together, we thought it would be cute to dress up as a threesome: the customers loved it! We were three blind mice behind bars so it was quite a sight when people walked into the lobby.

Kevin worked the drive-thru and he dressed up as an older gentleman. He was so convincing, our older lady customers hit on him!!! We all gave him such a hard time about that for weeks afterward! It was truly hilarious.

The rest of the bank dressed up as: Raggedy Ann and Andy, Charlie Chaplin, clown, wicked witch of the west, the bride of Frankenstein, joker, catwoman, and a spider (complete with eight creepy arms!)

We had so much fun working together – I miss those days.

Friday Fun

Seven Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 7)

7_quick_takes_sm Seven Quick Takes Friday is hosted at Conversion Diary.

Let’s get started …


I think I’ve found a solution to our dog issue.

You have to admit, it’s a pretty cute solution.

Now any time the guys get the urge to have a dog, I’ll just direct them to the above link. 😉


We don’t go to the doctor very often, but when we go, it’s always interesting to hear what they have to say as opposed to what we THOUGHT was wrong – because we’re the sort of people who exhaust all natural alternatives before breaking down and seeing a doctor.

Case in point: Kevin has had sleep issues his entire life. And it’s quite safe to say, he’s tried everything under the sun to try and make himself sleep better.

But nothing has worked.

He finally, after the 22 years I’ve known him, admitted defeat and made an appointment to see a doctor. He wanted to bypass the general doctor and go straight to a sleep clinic, but the way our health care industry is set up, we have to jump through several hoops before that can happen.

His doctor did a complete physical on him and declared him very healthy. (Thank you, God). Kevin told the doctor my suspicion of him possibly having sleep apnea – there are periods of time the man stops breathing.

But the doctor disagreed given his physical build. He suggested, instead, it might be his sinuses. So, he’s supposed to schedule an appointment for him with an Ears, Nose and Throat doctor.

Fine. We’ll see. I HOPE it actually ends up being something to do with his sinuses as opposed to an apnea condition – that just sounds less serious. But what do I know, I’m no doctor.

In the meantime, the doctor prescribed Kevin some sleep aids, something called Zolpidem. Listen to these side effects;

Diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness (duh), “drugged” feeling, dry mouth, headache, nausea, nose/throat irritation, sluggishness, behavior changes, chest pain, confusion, difficulty swallowing, fainting, fast or irregular heartbeat, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts.

Good Lord.

He was off work Monday and Tuesday so he went ahead and took half of a pill Monday night. Tuesday, he was a different person. I didn’t even know him, his personality was completely changed. He later told me, when he was somewhat back to normal later Tuesday,after the drug had worn off, that had a severe headache, had a dry mouth and he definitely felt like he had a hangover, but he DID sleep.

But the side effects weren’t worth it to him and he hasn’t taken anymore since that episode. He said he would rather be sleepy all the time than feel like that.


Did you read about the massive computer worm that is set to be released April 1st?

Yeah, as in April Fool’s day? Is this a hoax? Or is it real?

All I know is, don’t give these a-holes the satisfaction of scaring you. Just make sure you have your anti-virus software running in the background, all of your Windows updates are current, you’ve made backups of precious files and be very careful where you click and what you download.

Knowledge and preparation is 3/4 of the battle.


I finally made the decision to make a separate blog for my fiction. It’s called Fiction Fix.

One of the biggest reasons I decided to go ahead and do a separate blog is because my fiction voice is often nothing like my Write From Karen voice. Whenever I write a story, I stay true to my characters. So, if the characters would curse in real life, they’re going to curse in my story. If the story demands physical intimacy between the characters, then it’s going to happen.

I often times feel apprehensive about posting my fiction here on this blog because I don’t want to offend anyone. And I will certainly continue posting stories on this blog, but I’m going to save the more risque stories for Fiction Fix. If you would like to keep track of Fiction Fix, you can find the RSS feed here, or sign up to receive the stories in your email box here.

I must warn you though, if salty language or mild to risque (not x-rated) sex scenes make you uncomfortable, Fiction Fix is probably not for you.


The service guys came and fixed our gas leak. For those just tuning in, Kevin went under the house to seal some new pipes he put in for our sump pump and while down there, smelled gas. He used his gas detector tool and pinpointed where it was coming from – a joint had come loose and it was spewing gas every time the hot water heater or the dryer kicked on.

They were in and out in two hours but at $60.00 an hour, per person, we had to pay the rather hefty price tag.

But in a situation like that, what can you do? It’s better to fork over the cash and have it fixed than to have our house blow up at some point.

Safety first, right?


I took GD down to the Department of Motor Vehicles to take his driver’s permit test Wednesday. He was pretty nervous, especially as he didn’t feel like he was adequately prepared but I had warned the boy, several times, that we were going to go down there this week so he had plenty of time to read the manual.

He looked it over, but didn’t really read it.

So, we get there. And we walk through the waiting room, full of other nervous parents, and enter a room. GD fills out his information (we had to sort of guess on his height and weight, but the officer helped us out – he’s about 5’8, 120 pounds and has hazel eyes – what?! His eyes are almost so dark brown, they are black, we’ll have to get that corrected on his permanent license) and he gets his picture taken by a webcam.

The officer then says to me, “Okay mom, you can wait out outside.” He then turns to GD and says, “And you can grab an open computer and begin the test.”


I wait out in the waiting room for about twenty minutes. And in that time span, several other kids come and go, one gal is pretty depressed because she didn’t pass the written test. Another kid comes back from the actual driving test – he failed. So, I half-heartedly listen to other parents either console, or rejoice, with their children.

For a small pocket of time, I felt like a member of a small, and exclusive, parents’ club.

I noted that the kids who passed, all came out carrying a piece of paper. The kids who did not pass, were empty-handed.

GD finally emerged from the room. He looked shell-shocked, but he was carrying a piece of paper. He passed the test. He only missed two of the questions.

We were instructed to go up to the second floor. So, we endured the impossibly small elevator and stepped out onto the second floor and into a group of smelly people. (Why do government buildings always smell like sour body odor?)

We grabbed a number (we were 92 – it was currently on 77) and sat down to wait.

I always hate this part because the entire time we’re waiting I’m wondering if we’re even in the right area to begin with. Government buildings, at least in my limited experience, are never really clearly marked so you end up sort of following the crowd and hoping everyone else is there for the same reasons you are.

I noticed that a lot of people had the same piece of paper as GD, so I forced myself to appear confident in front of GD (when I really wasn’t) and we waited our turn.

Thirty minutes later, our number was called. We presented his passport, his social security card and his savings account bank statement (remember that, mom?) to prove his residence.

He signed some papers, I vouched for him and he got his picture taken. Two minutes later, we left with his very first, and very official looking, driver’s permit.

GD is not a very emotional being. At least, he’s pretty good at keeping his emotions inside. But I could tell, by the way he kept touching the card and looking at it, he was excited. He was an “official” member of society. When I asked him if he “felt” any older, he gently smiled and said, “yes.”

We had debated on whether we should “make” GD do this – if he wasn’t ready, he wasn’t ready. But when I saw how he conducted himself throughout the process and saw how proud he was of himself after it was over, I’m convinced, we did the right thing.

We had to go to Wal-Mart to buy ice cream for MK’s party later that night anyway, so while there, we bought GD his very first “official” wallet.

He walked out of the store with his head held just a little bit higher. He’s growing up before my very eyes.

Stay tuned for some hairy driving experiences – I’m sure it’ll be interesting blog fodder.


We took MK to a Japanese restaurant for his birthday. It was one of those where they cook in front of you and give you WAY more than you can eat. But I was shocked to see MK devour everything on his plate.

He’s always been a very picky eater and has never really eaten that much his entire life, but here lately, he’s been eating more than me and sleeping a lot more, too. His voice has gotten lower as well and … well … he’s becoming a man.

After paying the tip, our bill came to $82.00. *BLINKBLINK* THIS is the very reason we don’t eat out very often. It just sickens me to spend that much money on food – we literally ate $82.00. I can’t believe some people spend that much money on food every night – it’s insane. But it was a special occasion and MK’s such a great kid that it was worth it.

My in-laws went out to dinner with us. After dinner, we all came back to our house and we had cookie cake and ice cream. MK took his brand new saxophone out and played several songs for the grandparents – they were duly impressed. I know I keep saying this, but the kid’s a natural, he really is. It’s hard to believe he’s only been playing for 2 1/2 years.


Happy birthday, you big goofball. *kisskiss*

Friday Fun

Friday Craft: Decorating for Easter

Easter is nearly here! Time to break out the pastel colors and the plastic eggs!

Believe it or not, my boys still participate in Easter egg hunts. Shh. Don’t spread that around – they’ll get cranky. *grin* My parents host an elaborate Easter egg hunt over at their house every year; the boys end up finding about 30 eggs a piece before it’s all over. My mom, er, the Easter bunny also hides one huge golden egg for each boy to find which is definitely the highlight of the hunt!

In addition to finding candy in their eggs, they also find money, which is a HUGE hit with four teenage boys. Though they grumble and roll their eyes whenever grandma “makes” them participate in the hunt, they really have a good time and Easter at the grandparents will always hold a special place in their hearts.

I’d like to pass along some cute and interesting Easter crafts that I found over at Family Fun:

Tie-Dyed Egg


For this decorating trick, use any unwanted neckwear from Dad’s closet, or buy silk ties from a thrift shop. A bath in hot water transfers the tie’s patterns to the eggshell with magical ease.

Old silk necktie
Raw egg
2 rubber bands
Long-handled slotted spoon
Paper towel

Time needed: Under 1 Hour

1. Cut 5 to 6 inches off the wide end of the silk necktie and unfold the fabric.

2. Snugly wrap the fabric, right side against the egg, and secure it with the rubber bands.

3. Place the wrapped egg in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes.

4. Take the egg from the pot with the spoon. When the egg is cool enough to handle, unwrap it and set it on a paper towel to dry.

How clever! I wonder if this would really work?

Rock-a-Bye Birdies


For a centerpiece your family will flock to, anchor a tree branch in a pot of sand or pebbles, then dangle a bunch of these little swingers. We glued on some green tissue paper leaves for an extra touch of spring.

Egg carton
Hole punch
1/4-inch-wide ribbon
Colored tissue paper
Pinking shears or decorative-edge craft scissors
Blown eggs
Glue stick
Colored feathers
Colored card stock

Time needed: About 1 to 2 Hours

1. For each, cut a cup from the egg carton and punch 3 holes as shown.

2. Cut 3 pieces of ribbon, each about 9 inches long. Thread an end of each piece through a hole in the carton and knot it, then tie the other ends of the ribbons together.

3. Cut two 2- by 6-inch rectangles of tissue paper, one with the pinking shears. Lay the pinked rectangle on top of the other. Wrap the papers around a blown egg so that the pinked edge peeks out from behind the straight edge. Secure with the glue stick.

4. Place the wrapped egg in the cradle. Use the glue stick to attach a small tuft of feather and a card stock beak and eyes to the egg. Make pupils on the eyes with the marker.

We have an indoor (fake) tree in the corner of our living room. This would be so cute to hang the birdies from!

Fancy-Feathered Friends


With a snip of your scissors and a bit of paint, ugly-duckling cartons blossom into graceful swan cups. Use colors that match your dyed eggs for a simple but beautiful display.

Egg carton (paper-based works best with paint)
Acrylic paint
Tacky glue
Colored feathers
Small, black seed beads
Dyed eggs

Time needed: Under 1 Hour

1. For each egg holder, cut a cup from the egg carton as shown.

2. Paint the cup inside and out. Let it dry, then paint on the beak.

3. Glue on the tail feathers and bead eyes and put a dyed egg in the cup.

NO excuses not to recycle the egg cartons now! 🙂

Washcloth Bunny

(All of these crafts reminded me of the time I made a bunch of washcloth bunnies for the boys’ preschool class. They are super easy to make [they are much cuter than this picture] and they have a space to insert a plastic egg into them. The kids loved them!! Super easy, fun and cheap to make.)


Here’s the great little bunny craft that everyone loves to make from a washcloth.

You Need:

* White Washcloth
* Pipe Cleaner
* Small Pink Pompom
* Small White Pompom
* Two Wiggle Eyes — 10mm
* Scrap of Craft Foam
* Low Temp Glue Gun, or Tacky Glue


Lay the washcloth on the table diagonally so it looks like a diamond. Beginning at the top point, roll down the washcloth to the middle. Roll the bottom up to the middle. Fold it in half so you have a long strip.

Fold the strip in half. Bunch up near the ends to make a head, tying a pipe cleaner around the bunch to make a head. Fluff the ends to make ears.

Glue on wiggle eyes, pompom nose and foam strips for whiskers. Glue on pompom tail.

Fluffer Bunnies


Mold marshmallows into sweet mini bunnies that are a treat to eat.

Food coloring

Time needed: Under 1 Hour

1. Using scissors, make a diagonal cut in the upper left corner of the marshmallow.

2. Gently lift the corner and make a snip down the middle.

3. Use your fingers to separate the ears and angle them outward.

4. From the point where the first cut was made, snip to the middle of the marshmallow.

5. Pinch the cut end slightly to form a rounded tail.

6. For the bunny’s face, make an 1/4-inch horizontal cut midway between the base of the ears and the bottom of the marshmallow.

7. Create the feet by making a diagonal cut in the lower left corner of the marshmallow. Divide the feet as shown.

8. Using a toothpick dipped in food coloring, draw on the eyes, nose, and whiskers.

**I also just found some great links to some Easter fun tips on Parent Hacks.

Have fun!