Vlogemotions: Relief

A video carnival?!

I’m SO on it!

This video carnival, aptly named Vlogemotions (get it? Video + blog + emotions = Vlogemotions) that focuses on one specific emotion per week is brought to you by Fort Thompson – a blog I recently discovered and have been glued to ever since.

Here is my emotional contribution for the week:

(Hey! I sound like an infomercial! Aaaand, I’m a fast talker. Can you keep up?)

And did I mention that if you participate you’ll be elgible to win a nifty video camera?!


Oh, well never mind. Forget I said anything. Because if I HAD told you about that, it would have reduced my chances of winning and considering this blog is all about me and my self-indulgent nature (*snort*), I want to win this little puppy for myself. 😀

Seriously, play. It’s so much fun to not only make a fool of yourself, but make a fool of yourself ON FILM.

By the way, in case you’re curious, I visited TJ Maxx and Marshalls for the first time – ever – today and I was pleasantly surprised by not just their selection but by their awesome prices. I will be shopping there again.

I also went to Sears (hello cute sporty stuff!) and bought my leather flip-flops, for half price at Shoe Carnival (because mom bought a pair of shoes for herself and they have a buy one, get one for half price thing going).

Man. If I could just hit pay dirt like I did today every time I was forced to go shopping, I COULD become a regular shopper.

Now there’s a scary thought. And I think I just heard the *THUD* of my husband passing out in the next room.

Abundant Life

Don’t Blame God – Part Two

Swine flu. It’s on everyone’s mind right now and though we should absolutely take precautions, we should not be afraid.

And we should not blame God for what is happening right now.

It really upsets and angers me when I read how events like the swine flu is somehow God’s fault – that it’s somehow God’s mysterious will to condone sickness and death.

I’m here to take a stand for God – it is NOT God’s will that bad things happen.

I’ve written an in-depth post about not blaming God before and I’d like to post the second video from the Truth or Tradition ministry that once again drives home the fact that evil things? Are not from God, but are instigated by Satan.

As Christians, we must remain strong and steadfast in our beliefs, trust God and be proactive in protecting ourselves and our families.

(I am not a theologian. I can not, and will not, pretend to understand every aspect of this subject. I can not, and will not, debate this subject with any naysayer or non-believer and for this reason, the comment section is closed. All I can do is share what I believe with you – you have the freedom of will to choose to accept, or deny, the information).

(You can view the first part of this series here).

I’m sorry. I don’t mean to sound preachy, but this is a hot topic for me and one I think needs to be brought to attention. Our God is good and He loves us – He is not the author of sadness or death.

The swine flu will pass and God will still be here with open arms.


Reflections: Parent Traits

I love these question-type books because so often we’re so focused on the future that we place the past on a shelf to gather dust and/or be forgotten. I think it’s important to document our lives, not only the special times, but all times because life is too important, and too short, to forget. Answering questions from the The Book of Myself, are my way of remembering my past and passing those special times on to my sons, husband and you, dear blog reader. Remembering the past helps us understand the people we’ve become.

One of mom’s traits I admired was …

Her patience. No wait, her kindness. No wait, her positive attitude. There are a lot of traits about my mom that I both admire, and wish I possessed. Though I could say I have a positive attitude (most days), I certainly do not have patience and I’m kind … welll, okay, I’m kind most of the time, too.

I can’t think of a single person who dislikes my mother. She’s one of those people who people gravitate to because she listens and she truly cares about people. She’s always the first to help out when needed and she always manages to find the good in people, even when it’s not readily apparent. She bakes and makes things for her co-workers and really does go above and beyond the call of duty.

If I had trouble with mom growing up, it was in in this area:

She was wishy-washy and a bit of a push over. Go on, ask her. She’ll agree with me. As mentioned, my mother has a kind heart, so it was really hard for her to say no to me, my sister or brother sometimes. I’m embarrassed to say this, but I often took advantage of this “weakness” and manipulated her on more than one occasion.

One my dad’s traits I admired was …

His determination. His intelligence. His steadfastness. His ability to dissect situations and choose the most logical path.

I really credit the fact that I have common sense to my dad. I’m grateful that I have the ability to look at a situation from all angles, am able to see the big picture, and plan accordingly. Sadly, a lot of people do not seem to possess any, if very little, common sense. And, in my opinion, that’s one of the most important ingredients to a successful life.

If I had trouble with dad growing up, it was in in this area:

Probably his aloofness. We were a traditional family in that my dad went to work everyday and mom stayed home. So, I didn’t really see my dad a lot growing up. And on the weekends, he holed up in his shop in the basement, either catching up work (he was a TV repairman), or experimenting with electronics (which would explain his current position – he writes, and teaches, electronics for an online school).

My dad was an authority figure growing up. He was the one who put his foot down when we started to get out of control. Mom would want to give in, dad would not allow her to give in. He was pretty firm with us, but for me (and I can’t speak for my siblings), it was the best thing. I was rather a wild child in high school and had to learn some pretty hard lessons when it came to living by my parents’ rules. Dad is the one who made sure the rules remained rules; mom wanted to bend them.

For example: Curfew. When I was a senior in high school, I thought I was too old for a curfew. So, I simply did what I wanted to and shrugged off the curfew rule. My parents, being thoroughly sick of my arrogant attitude, took my house keys away from me. So, if I didn’t make it home by curfew, I had to find someplace else to sleep.

Being the stubborn person that I am, I of course tested them on this. And sure enough, the first time I didn’t make it home in time, I was locked out of the house. I tried to rent a hotel room, but for some reason (I’m thinking it was because I wasn’t 18 yet), I wasn’t able to. So, I ended up sleeping in my car. This happened a few times. But the last time this happened was when it was frigid outside and I didn’t have any sort of blanket or heavy coat or anything. I slept in my car and very nearly froze to death.

I went up to the door of my house and first demanded to be let in. As the night wore on, I then pleaded to be let in. My mom was crying and wanted to let me in, my dad refused to give in. So, I spent the night in my car, shivering and hoping my blood wouldn’t turn to ice before morning.

Though this sounds cruel, it was necessary. I needed to learn a lesson and trust me folks, I learned it. I was never late getting home after that. And I firmly believe that experience taught me to be more responsible and respectful today.

Could I do that with my own kids? Yes, I think I could. If I thought the experience would teach them a valuable life lesson, then yes, I would most likely do the same thing with my kids. When you’re a parent, you have to know when to draw that line, and then you have to stick to your side of the line. Think of the negative connotations if you don’t.

I can only pray I don’t have to teach my kids a hard lesson like that. I can only pray that my sons are not as hard headed as I was.


Don’t Let Fear Win

fear Say it with me:

I will not live my life in fear. I will not allow current events to take over my life. I will not allow the media to scare me into submission.

I will trust God. I will be proactive. I will stay positive and embrace life, even when everyone around me tries to convince me otherwise.

It always amazes me how easily people allow fear to rule their lives. And that fear grows and manifests itself into full-blown panic and before long, people are buying what the media tells them, lock-stock-and-lie. They’re doing what the media suggests they do and shutting themselves off from the rest of the world because they are too fearful to step outside anymore.

It’s mass hysteria and I simply don’t understand it.

The world has been, and will always be (until Christ comes back) a scary and chaotic place – and that’s exactly how the Devil likes it.

A few years ago, it was the West Nile virus. And wasn’t last year the bird flu? This year, it’s the swine flu. Next year, it will be something else. And every year thereafter, some new and terribly dreadful disease (or dark looming event) will be scaring us into acting like timid rabbits.

Look. I’m not saying we should shrug off these scary things, or discount them, or even ignore them, I’m simply saying, stop, breathe and step back from the media frenzy and crazy rumors and look at the situation logically and rationally.

Stop. Breathe. Think. Fear is a powerful emotion and it manipulates people into doing, and saying, all sorts of crazy things. Dealing with problems, or in this case diseases, requires rational thinking and confident actions – not mass hysteria and crazy predictions.

We’re a pretty healthy family. In fact, it’s safe to say, we haven’t had so much as a sniffle, any of us, in over a year. (Of course now that I said that …)

Here are some things that we do to stay healthy – maybe it will help you to stay healthy as well:

1. Boil your toothbrushes once a week. (Don’t keep the toothbrushes in the water for too long though, or they will melt. I usually just swish them around for about ten or fifteen seconds).

2. Vacuum often. (And this includes the blinds, ceiling fans, and anything else that catches dust).

3. Drink lots of juice (specifically, orange juice.)

4. Stay away from soda and too much caffeine. (Caffeine breaks down your immune system – drink lots of water).

5. Get lots of sleep. Seriously. It’s important.

6. Cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm.

7. Wash your hands. A lot. (Parents, make sure the kids wash their hands after school – school is TEEMING with germs).

8. Use nose spray. (It cleans out your sinuses – but use in moderation).

9. Take a Zicam at the first sign of illness (scratchy throat, etc).

10. Take a big swallow of something hot and burn the back of your throat. (No really, this isn’t a joke. The heat will kill any lingering bacteria).

11. Wash your pillows every few weeks.

12. Stop thinking about becoming sick. (You’d be surprised how powerful the mind is).

This stuff? Works for us. Like I said, none of us have been sick, truly sick as in bed-ridden, in quite some time.

And I plan on keeping it that way.

I will tell you what I tell the boys all the time: Relax. All we can do is deal with it.

In My Opinion

In My Opinion – Take Nine

In My Opinion: Weekly Video meme from

If you played, please insert the DIRECT link to your video response in the Mr. Linky box below. I’ll convert these links tomorrow so Google and Technorati will pick them up.

Welcome to the ninth In My Opinion!! Did you answer the questions? I hope so!

Here are the questions for this week:

1. One of dad’s traits I admired is/was …

2. A question about your significant other: Long before you met, what did you picture your future mate would be like?

3. Who is the closest friend you’ve ever had? Describe that relationship.

And here is my video response to these questions:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "In My Opinion – April 29 on Vimeo", posted with vodpod

(RSS readers – I don’t think Vimeo videos show up in readers. Please click over to my site to see the video. Sorry about that!)

I had too much fun taping this and I hope you had fun watching it; I also hope my children/grandchildren treasure it someday. Because really, that’s what In My Opinion is all about – leaving a bit of you behind.

Ready for next week’s questions? Brace yourself …

May 6th Questions

1. Happy Mother’s Day! Tell us what being a mother means to you.

2. What was your favorite pastime as a child?

3. Do you normally eat dinner as a family? How important do you think family dinners are?

Need to know more about this video meme? Check this entry out.


Follow me on Twitter I’m on Twitter – a lot. You can find me @writefromkaren. Please follow me? I’m lonely over there.

Twitter Messages

Twitter-esque: Recent Tweets

twitter-social-icons1 Are you ready? Here are the last dozen or so tweets I’ve Twittered in the past 48 hours listed from newest to oldest.

Why am I doing this? Because there are a lot of people who aren’t interested in doing the whole Twitter thing but might find what I’ve been documenting to be interesting.

At least, that’s what I tell myself. 😉


# Really interesting comments. RT: @evelester Gay Marriage | The Daily Harold
(By the by, I don’t agree with gay marriage so I really appreciated the opposing comments).

# @Zakalx Speaking of laundry, I should move the Mt. Everest that has been occupying our bedroom floor for three days now. Oh Maid! *snort*

# @JenWelton I had waffled back and forth and when I finally decided to go one day, it was sold out. Are you going?

# RT: @the_gman It’s Not the Recession, You Just Suck

# RT @aplusk I think everyone needs to chill out on the flu thing. Inject some certainty, pray for those who are suffering, stop the fear game.

# One thing about warmer weather and running around barefoot – I keep my tile floors cleaner. Who wants to walk on sticky crumbs? Exactly.

# In My Opinion video meme will post tomorrow: Did you record your answers?

# Munching on dry, syrup-less pancakes.

# omg! I just remembered! The library book sale is tomorrow! I can’t wait to shop till I drop! (as if I NEED more books!!) Woot!

# Making enchiladas for dinner. Hoping I don’t burn myself (always burn myself with splattering grease because I’m a dork that doesn’t learn).

# It feels like someone removed my eyeballs, rolled them in sand and put them back into my skull. Dang allergies.

# Eight fans injured after Carl Edwards’ spectacularly scary wreck in yesterday’s sprint cup race.

# RT: @Shikamika Son, if you really want something in life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.

# @evelester My pleasure!

# @evelester Sorry, you want a dropper tool: try this one:… (scan for viruses before installing first!)

# @evelester I use Color Schemer:…. I hope this helps!

# Okay, is it weird for a 43 yr-old woman to like head banging? Oh, if only my guys could see me now. *grunge pose*

# @DebMomOf3 Only if you promise to drop a few bills here and there. *G*

# @evelester The more I think about that, the more disturbed I get. Unbelievable!

# I just opened the door to the dryer to take out some clothes and $25.00 dropped out! I should do laundry more often! Score!

# I’m telling you right now, if this ever happened to either of my boys, I would go BALLISTIC and heads would ROLL!

# Just found a cute little word count progress meter to post on your site:… Mine’s already on my blog.

# It’s 10:00 a.m. and I’m ready for a nap. What in the world ..? I think I’ll mop the floors and wake up. Clearly, I’m feverish, too.

Please feel free to comment on anything you read here.

And if you’re on Twitter, please let me know! I follow, and I respond, because I love me some Twitter conversations. 😀

Tuesday Stuff

Want My Clothes? Here Take Them. Please.

So, the whole crying on Sunday thing I alluded to yesterday…

If there is one thing that I CAN NOT stand to do, and I mean, I avoid it at all costs, is clothes shopping.

I absolutely, positively, can not stomach shopping for clothes.

I have no problem shopping for my boys or my husband, but for me?


And one of the biggest reasons I DON’T shop for myself? Because I’m a tall Amazon woman and the numb nuts in the fashion industry simply DO NOT design clothes for my body frame.

Here are my biggest problem areas:

I have football shoulders. Seriously, they are wide. And I have thick arms, which accounts for my current obsession in whipping these logs into shape before summer because they’re just hideous.

And I have a long torso. And a long, er, inseam.

And I find it nearly impossible to find anything that fits me.

So, I hang out in t-shirts because they are the only thing that even remotely cover my huge frame and they’re comfortable.

But let’s be honest, t-shirts? Ain’t sexy. And my poor husband would like to have a wife who exudes just a little bit of sex appeal. It’s an ego thing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I look at clothes. In fact, it’s safe to say, I’m almost obsessed with looking at clothes. But I’m worse than the Chandler character on Friends: I pick everything apart and nothing is ever good enough for me.

The sleeves are way too short and will highlight my thickness. (Seriously. What asshole designer thought that cap sleeves were EVER a good idea for a woman??)

Shirts/blouses are never long enough and end up hitting me at high waist. And if I’m lucky enough to FIND something that is long enough, it inevitably shrinks in the wash so I MIGHT be able to wear it for a grand total of two times before that happens.

I can’t wear boatnecks, halter tops or thick-strapped tank tops because it draws attention to my linebacker shoulders and makes them look even wider – if that’s even possible.



Any pants that I buy? Have to be specially hemmed in order to be long enough (Thank God for Land’s End or I’d be walking around in high waters my entire life).

So, even though I can wear Misses size clothing, I can’t. Because of the reasons stated above. So, I shop Tall – only, the Tall selection? Not so good. Think fugly maternity clothes – limited selection and what is up with the fabric choices?!

In a nutshell? Clothes are my Achilles heel. When I’m lucky enough to find something that fits me, I tend to hoard it, and only wear it on select occasions because I’m terrified of washing it too many times for fear it will shrink.

But when I wear it, I feel confident that it looks good on me.

And then, I find out that something I’ve been wearing and feeling good in? Makes me look pregnant.


It was a company picnic. And I wore this cute little top with 3/4 sleeves (hide the fatty arms), that draped to my hips and plunged low enough that I wore a cami underneath it and showed just a hint of cleavage. In my eyes, this baby did a good job of covering up my flaws – even the color suited me.

But Kevin told me over the weekend (and this picnic was last summer!!), that someone asked him when I was expecting!?!

AARGH!! He said it was because of the empire waist, that it ballooned out just enough to make it look like I was hiding a poochy belly …

which I sort of was, but that’s beside the point.

I love empire waist tops. I just think they’re cute. They are tight around the bodice but billow out around the waist so that a woman can hide the rolls and back fat. A win-win situation, apparently.

Kevin? Hates empire waists – on any woman, because he thinks it makes them look pregnant.


Kevin told me this right before Bible study on Sunday and I’m ashamed to admit this, but I didn’t pay attention to anything that was discussed during Bible study because I was too busy feeling incredibly angry about this stupid clothes situation. Apparently, I can not find a healthy balance between something that fits and is sexy. It just frustrates me to no end.

And when I get that frustrated? I cry. And if you ever see me crying? Do. Not. Approach. I will savagely tear you to shreds because I can’t stand to cry and I can’t handle people seeing me cry.

I shut myself off in the bathroom after Bible study and had a really good cry. The hard, silent, uncontrollable cry that only happens to me once every ten years.

I know it seems silly to cry over clothes, but this is something I’ve struggled with my whole life. It’s an ongoing battle that is never far from my mind.

AND the reason I loathe spring and summer so much because I’m forced to wear more revealing clothes that do not flatter me.

After I got over my crying bout, a red-hot searing hatred for everything in my closet consumed me. So much so, in fact, that it motivated me to clean out my closet and stuff nearly every article of clothing that I own into trash bags and give away to the Goodwill.

Five 1/2 trash bags, to be precise.

tackle-tuesday And that’s where Tackle it Tuesday comes in. (Finally).

I shut the bedroom door and I ripped into the task with a vengeance that kind of scared me, if you want the truth. I was purging on a frantic, animal level. If I hadn’t worn the article of clothing in the last year, it was out. If it was borderline, it was out. If I had been hanging onto it for the past several years thinking I would wear it again once I got a job outside the home where I was required to wear something nice, I got rid of it.

I went from this:


To this:


In an hour.

And it felt GOOD. I felt FREE. And then immediately felt an overwhelming wave of sadness.

Now what?

Even though it would thrill Kevin for me to walk around naked all the time I’m pretty sure it would scar the boys for life. Not to mention scare small children and make otherwise complacent animals turn rabid.

AND, did I mention that we’re going on a cruise in June?

Hello?! Vacation pictures!! *insert banshee screams here*

If I ever needed convincing that I have the best husband in the world (which I don’t), this would be the point where I realized it. Kevin saw how upset this whole clothes thing was to me and he went through a JCPenney catalog and marked everything he thought would look cute on me.

Of course, I shot down everything he marked (the sleeves are too short, it’s not a size tall so the waist won’t be long enough, the color won’t flatter me, etc, etc), but it was the thought that melted my heart.

Because I was in one of those rare moods to actually HEAR someone give me constructive criticism, we went online and searched several shops for clothing that met my criteria.

He offered his opinion, and I listened. We volleyed back and forth on various options (and I’m sad to say, there weren’t many) and our conclusion?

I look best in sporty-type clothes. Dainty feminine stuff? Just looks ridiculous on me. And if anyone in the fashion industry happens to come across this post? How’s about making some clothes that flatter tall women?!

Here is what I DO look good in:

3/4 sleeves – seriously, I was made to wear this length. But it’s not exactly ideal when hanging out around the equator – have I mentioned that I exude three football players’ worth of sweat every single waking moment??

Spaghetti straps. I mentioned that I can not wear tank tops, but for some strange reason, I can carry off spaghetti straps. So, here come the camis.

Sleeveless turtlenecks. I can’t wear sleeveless in any other style because once again, those damn football shoulders.

V-necks and regular t-shirt collars are okay but square necks, or boat necks are OUT.

Pants that flare at the bottom – straight legs bring attention to my wide load, otherwise known as my hips and butt.

I can wear low-waisted pants, but only if I wear a top that comes to my hips. Remember the whole long-waisted problem? This way, it all blends.

And that’s it. Everything else? Doesn’t work for me.

My options are limited. My wardrobe is boring.

And I’ve given up on trying to be sexy.