UPDATE: Princess Cara's Garden

> The garden is making great progress. We have green beans forming,
> about 10 tomatoes, squash & zucchini looking fab...even the
> watermelon is doing good.
> Go Garden Go


Happy 23rd Anniversary to WP Class of 1987

Today is the 23rd anniversary of West Point Class of 1987 Graduation Day! Most of us were not even that old the day we graduated...and here we are. Congratulation to my classmates. Thanks for all the wonderful memories and friendships.

...and as a side note...in 10 days The FireMarshall and I will also celebrate 23 years of marriage. 1987 was a great vintage!

Happy Anniversary!


2010 USNA Herndon Monument Climb

We are very honored to be a sponsor family to a couple of midshipmen every year. When The FireMarshall and I were Cadets at West Point, our lives and sanity were saved on numerous occasions by the sponsor family we were assigned. They were a Godsend.

Well, we don't live close enough to sponsor West Point Cadets but we are close enough to the Naval Academy and when I found out they they have a Sponsor Family Program, we signed up. We always ask for 4 kids and every year only about 1-2 of them end up coming around. That's okay - the ones that don't ever come around - ya'll sure do miss out, 'cause you know we be the "KoolAid Momma House". We know how to have a great time over here.

This past year we were assigned 4 Midshipman and only one, Mohammad Kahn, ever took us up on the offer to hang out...and he does a lot. We love it.

Mohammad was over last weekend and he invited us to come and watch the Herndon Climb. I have heard about it for years; saw it on the news; but have never seen it for real. I packed up the camera bag and trekked out to the Naval Academy.

I got there early, got a great spot and waited TWO HOURS for the thing to start...TWO HOURS for a climb that took 2 MINUTE & 5 SECONDS. Why so short this year...cause they didn't even grease the dag on thing. Why, you ask, did they forgo YEARS of tradition...cause the Superintendent was dissatisfied and concerned with the possibility of injury associated with the climb and wanted to stop the whole tradition. BAH HUMBUG to the Vice Admiral. HUMPH. Sounds a tad wimpy and whiny to me.

N.E.Way...it was fun to watch and to see the joy on all the plebes faces that they were "Plebes No More".

Congratulations USNA Class of 2013 on officially making it to the end of plebe year.


Happy 45th Birthday to The FireMarshall

Today is my knight in shining armours 45th Birthday. Yeah, yeah...I'm always calling him my Knight - CAUSE HE BE. Now sometimes his armour is a little rusty and dented and his white horse is a tad dirty, but Ron is and will always be my Knight! THE FIREMARSHALL ROCKS! I had some classmates that he really enjoys seeing over for a little BBQ last night and we had a blast. Tonight is the 24 on the 24th Series Finale Party so we are just hanging with our friends.
I made this video for The FireMarshall's 40th Birthday...Enjoy.


I'm Gonna Go Broke...

...playing the gosh darn Tooth Fairy.


Tooth Fairy Economics

Princess Cara lost another tooth today. That sucker was hanging by a "thread" for days but she refused to let us get it out. Today, she had a grilled cheese for lunch and it came out. There was much fan fare and hoopla at the school as we had to go to the school nurse who had these little plastic treasure chests to put the tooth in so we could safely bring said tooth home.

Of course, Princess Cara came home squealing with excitement..."Mom! Call the ToothFairy!!" Followed by incessant questions..."Did you call? Is she coming? When will she come?" Sigh. I can't believe I am still at this kid game.

Then I started to get the serious questions...What is the going rate for a tooth these days? I hadn't the faintest idea...so I went to Google and after playing a couple of rounds of Pac Man (50th Anniversary) I found The Official Fairy Poll and the TFI (Tooth Fair Index):

With the announcement of the 2010 Official Tooth Fairy Poll ® , the “Tooth Fairy Index (TFI)” is showing that the value of a lost tooth is closely related to the U.S. economy. Much like the Punxsutawney Phil’s Groundhog Day weather prognostication, the Tooth Fairy Index is an indicator of the direction of the economy. Through the past decade, the Tooth Fairy Index has closely resembled the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s yearly trends. The graph below shows the historical look at more than ten years of history.

GTFOOH! Now I know. Now we all can know.

The National Average is $2.16/tooth. Thus, we have decided that since the cost of living is higher here in the DMV we would round up to an even $3. And since Princess Cara is a spoiled little Diva with GMa's running amok...she gets double. The Queen Mother has spoken and she added to the loot. She has a total of $6 now for that single tooth. Jeeze Louise.

And just in case you wanted to know about Global Tooth Fairy Giving around the globe. Check out the chart below.
The internet is a beast when inquiring minds want to know.

So, what is your The Tooth Fairy's going rate for a tooth around your way.


The Garden is coming along...


A Whirlwind Weekend

The madness that was this weekend started on Thurday with Princess Charlee's 18th Birthday. Unfortunately, I had to attend a workshop that evening so the Queen Mother and Princess Erin held down the fort with an evening of sushi & cake.

Prince Jordan, Heir to the Empire, arrived home from his first year of college (a solid 3.3 GPA mind ya) as well and by time I walked in the door that evening, he had his boys and a young lady (NOT FATAL ATTRACTION - thank God) all posted up in the home theater watching movies.

Wasting no time.

Friday night was Princess Charlee's Senior Prom and I was like a mad woman running all over town picking up groceries, wine & decorations for the Arch for the Pre-Prom Getting Ready & Prom Picture Party. I know I looked crazy when I walked back in the house. And to top it off, the kids decided that they didn't want to go out to dinner since there would be some food on the boat (The prom was held on the Star of Baltimore) and wondered if I would prepare some lite fare and/or dinner for them. Despite the fact that I cursed, fussed and mumbled under my breath, I whipped out some stuff and made a chicken & rice casserole and some mango salsa w/chips. I also made a pitcher of Side Cars to gird my nerves.

They didn't even eat. Sigh.

Saturday morning I got up and made Huevos Rancheros Omelets & Mimosas for the prom goers that managed to come in around 5:30am from the Post Prom Party at D&B. They ate that like savages. The rest of the day was preparations for Charlee's 18th Birthday Bash that was to go on that evening in my basement. Umm Yeah.

The party went off without a hitch. The music was WAAAYYY to loud for my taste, but then again I'm old and can't party like I used to. She had a DJ & a friend of Princess Erin acted as bouncer again. Shame when you need to have a bouncer...just in case. All was going well, they shut the party down around 1am and then...well...somebody just HAD to get all violent and loud. Some guy decided that he wanted to put his hands on some girl - the girl & her possee decided that they was gonna get loud w/some neck-popping and talk about whoopin some guy azz. The Prince was trying to corral people and get them to take it down about 20 notches. The bouncer was dealing with another crazy group on our front lawn....AND THEN...

It was time for The FireMarshall. Lawd Jeeeezus! The FM jumped outta the bed, put on a pair of flip flops & a baseball cap and went outside in his friggin pajamas and went all LOUD & OLE SKOOL on these kids. He yelled & cursed so loud bout getting the F$#K off his GOT DAMN LAWN, bout getting da HE -double L off his MFn' property, walking back & forth, throwing his baseball cap on the ground, practically foaming at the mouth - that a hush came over the crowd as if Moses had just parted the Red Sea. Teens started scrambling, fight didn't even get off the ground, all was okay. Prince Jordan's posse (Kevin, Kenny & Garrett) are standing behind the FM (with dey played to much beer pong selves) saying "Yeah Mr. Steptoe! We got your back! This is some buullshyat! Deyz ignorant!"

Umm, yeah boys. Stay back. Let the crazy black man do his work.

The FireMarshall comes back in the house and the posse, Prince Jordan & Princess Charlee's top mafia regaled stories about how they thwarted the rumble in the country.

I'm telling you right now, it was the BEST HOUR OF REALITY TV EVER!!!!! Pure dramady.

This morning I made CornBeef Hash Omeletes w/a Spicy Ketchup Sauce - served with hash browns & bacon and we all told stories from the weekend adventures.

I now have a short break until Princess Charlee's Graduation (June2), the Graduation Party (June4th) and playing Den Mother again for Senior Week in Ocean City starting on June 5th.

Kill Me Now!

So...how was your weekend?


...Socks is NOT the Baby Daddy

Sometimes I just have to get off the phone with The FireMarshall cause he is just a mess. He says things with such a dead pan way and it is so damn funny and ridiculous at the same time. So, The FM is on the highway to Indiana to pick up the Prince (who, btw, had a fabulously successful freshman year...but I digress) and I call him up to tell him about the latest Character Drama unfolding here at True Blessings - we ARE TNT - we KNOW drama.

TravelDiva: You won't believe this, but that stray cat that has been coming around visiting with Socks went and had herself some damn kittens and they are under our sunroom.

FireMarshall: What? Da Hell You Say. Call Animal Control and don't be feedin dem babies, ya here.

TD: Ummm, okay...but they are so KEEEEUTE.

FireMarshall: I don't care how cute them kittens are. Socks ain't they baby daddy so it ain't our 'sponsibility. See. Now I know why that ho been coming round trying to hook up with Socks. Saw his crib; all living in the lap up luxury and whatnot; eating on gourmet cat food and ish - thought she was gonna get in on some of that action. That right there is some kinda gold diggin cat.

TD: I'm done with you.

FM: Uh, Huh. I know the score. Thought she could come over and try to hem Socks up with a litter of babies. HUMPH. But I got her number. Socks is fixed. HE IS NOT THE BABY DADDY to those kittens. We not raising no stray kitty babies. Call Animal Control and don't go all soft on me with it ain't dem babies fault - they gotta eat - business. Get em on the phone.

TD: I'm hanging up now. How you know that cat is a gold diggin ho, anyway? You wrong.

FM: *I can feel him looking over the top of his glasses as he says this* Socks IS NOT the Baby Daddy.

TD: I'm going to introduce you to mister click up. Bye now. Click.

You know The Royal Cat just looked up at me like "He right ya know. Them ain't my kids and I'm not sharing."

Animal Control asked me to leave a message and they would get back to me. Uh Huh. What to do? What to do?


Just one of Those Days...

It's just been one of those days, maybe even a series of days where shyt was just happening and it wasn't all hunkie dorey.

My headset to my phone broke. Just up and died. While to some of you who think that a head set is rude and unnecessary, I think it is an absolute necessity in order to be hands free; in order to utilize my iPhone to the max without holding it up to my damn head; in order to hear the dag on thing ringing in the nether regions of my purse - cause I got kids and ish. Yep, I'm essential personnel and a broke headset just pissed me da hell off.

After 15 years of use, my treadmill just decided to up and fuggin die - right in the middle of speed work. It really does hurt when you go from 8mph to ZERO instantaneously after the moter decided to say fugg it and stop. Pretty sure I'm gonna have a mark. Mad about it.

I'm about sick and tired of some of my family - you know, those people considered biologics - gonna get all serious & huffy and start talking bout all the "things" they have done for "their" kids. GTFOOH!!! Just GTFOOH!!! Exactly what have you done? When? No, SHUT THE FUGG UP and cough up that $50 we asked for to spend at the prom. SAY NOTHING. Just dig in your damn wallet and fork it over before I find me a blow torch and a pair of pliers.

Sigh. Relax Relate Release.

I am mad about it that the coach wouldn't believe that I would send a check so the Prince could bring home his lax gear. I had to transfer 2 cnotes as a deposit so he could bring his gear home for the summer. (The Prince is hoping to coach some lax camps this summer). Ummm, I'm going to need a full ride coach. FULL RIDE.

I have dandelions instead of grass...Princess Cara keeps picking them and bringing them to me as a bouquet of flowers. Damn

The Royal Cat lost his friggin mind and decided to spray his essence all over my damn antique hope chest that my maternal grandmother gave me. That little fugger was just about to go to the damn pound, PDQ.

Today is trash day. Guess there were too many rib bones from the Graduation party this weekend. All of our trash cans were knocked over and the bags ripped asunder all over the gosh darn yard. I had to get a pair of gloves, pick it all up and put it back in the trash before they came to pick it up. Disgusting. I was mad about it.

And people wonder why women self medicate...my vice of choice: A Side Car & cigar. Happy Hour don't get here fast enough in the day.


Happy Mother's Day!

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My Mother

This is one of my most favorite pictures of my mother and I. May 24th, 1987 - Graduation Day from West Point. The first time I put on my Army Greens. My first salute. The day I realized that my mother and I were more than mother-daughter: we could finally be friends.

My mother was never big on that whole "be a friend to your daughter" thing. When I was growing up we didn't hang at the mall together, I didn't call her by her first name (it was Mom or Ma'am), I didn't sass her or talk back (especially if I wanted my permanent teeth to remain permanent) - my mother was god. I respected her. I feared her. I did as she expected me to do.

I tried my mother on many occasions - especially in high school. I may have been top of the class but I ran the street with the best of them...yet, my mother JUST KNEW how to handle me. She was the master of psychological warfare. No yelling, no hitting. NOPE. I would come in 3 hours past the time she set...she would be sitting in the dark at the top of the stairs, just waiting. I'd get to the top of the stairs - she would be sitting there. She would say NOTHING. Mom would just stand up, go into her room and shut the door. The next day, week, sometimes a month (depending on how long I could hold out) she would not speak to me, let alone look in my general direction. I used to yell at her, "Would you just beat me, please!?" Nerp. Silence. Disappointment. Shame.

I would snap to and behave just so she would speak to me again.

I loved my mother and I wanted her approval. I wanted her to be proud...and I know she was.

My mother is a woman of few words. She leads by example and just does.

My mother STANDS. Stands in the door. Stands strong. Against the wind. Against Adversity. She STANDS.

I believe I get my strength from her. My fierce Independence. My sometime twisted sense of humor. My ability to STAND myself when all seems to be lost...I get from her.

That day at graduation, 10 days before I was to be married - we became friends. Nothing formal. Nothing spoken. It just was. I was an adult. She felt she had did all she could. She had done well and now...let the party begin.

I am blessed that my mother is still around. She lives under the same "roof" with us. (We live in the old & busted section of our home - she lives in the new hotness section). I see my mother everyday. We travel, decorate, plant, plan & plot together. At my lowest moments, I am blessed to have her here - even if it was just to have her sit with me while I cried. More importantly, she is here to revel with me in our success.

She doesn't say much - doesn't interfere or give her opinion unless I ask for it - but she is always here for me...for us.

I love my momz.

I know sometimes she feels that she missed out on some things and life has dealt her some hard blows. Yet she STANDS. But as God is my witness, I have tried my darnedest to create some experiences and moments that make great memories...and we still have more to come. I promise!

I love that picture of us...some 23 years ago. We have the same eyes. The EXACT same smile. I am my mother's daughter. I believe I am what my mother wanted me to become. The daughter she worked so hard to raise.

I love my momz and I hope she knows and feels it.

Happy Mother's Day, Sandra. May All Your Days Be Blessed.


DC Confidential

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in a fabulous event with a group of fun and lovely women.

...and that is all I can say about it right now until August since we signed our lives away to the stricktest confidence until then.

Trust that it was fascinating and a complete blast. I'll be back with more pics, details and film in August. Stay Tuned.


Happy Cinco De Mayo

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Race for Hope - DC

Today, about 8 of us joined Gladys in running the Race for Hope:DC - a 5K run to raise funds in the fight against brain tumors. This was the first time Gladys had ever run a race - and ever RAN 3 miles non-stop. She had set a goal to run, joined a group that trained beginner runners and today was the day to put all that training to the test.

Now, when I signed up, I did it quickly and didn't really look at the information regarding the purpose of the race. I just wanted to get registered so I could be there to support Gladys. When The FireMarshall and I arrived to pick up my race bib, we noticed a West Point Tent. We went over to investigate - thinking that maybe there were some cadet team entered. Come to find out, it was the tent for 2 Class of 84 grads who lost their son to a brain tumor.

Hence, Race for Hope - Make a difference in the fight against brain tumors. My father died 10 years ago from a brain tumor. I hadn't thought about it much lately - and it just hit me. This race suddenly took on even more meaning for me. I found a "In Memory Of" bib and The FireMarshall helped me put it on.

We were off and running. We never left Gladys and she ran the WHOLE WAY...the WHOLE WAY.

I know I can speak for everyone else in the group - We are so proud of Gladys and her achievement of her goal. GO GLADYS!!!

Enjoy the video of the race...


Princess Cara's Garden

My girlfriend Terri has been on me for years to start a garden. The FireMarshall's father tells us every time he see us that we should start a garden with Princess Cara. HUMPH. I've always said to both of them..."Come build it yourself."

Terri was gracious enough to send me a book on container & box gardening and I've been leafing through it. Not as much fun to read as, say, Goat Husbandry - you had to have been there for my reading of this riveting tome - but my interest was peaked.

Finally, after Princess Cara brought home a bean that she had started sprouting at school and just went on and on about her plant, I broke down and decided to start a container garden. Momz and I trekked out to Bi.gL.ots and got a bunch of large planters and some top soil and then we stumbled on Bi.g.Joh.n's Farm and picked us up some plants. I spent a total of $13 dollars at this place and got 2 tomato plants, 1 market pack of watermelons, 2 market packs of green beans, 2 of yellow squash, 1 broccoli and 1 of peppers.

I had NO IDEA how much hard work it was to plant some damn containers. Four hours of work and I was absolutely exhausted. Princess Cara supervised and watered after every container was done. It is done.

Now, I need to get Terri on the phone and coach me through this "growing stuff" thing. Ummm, how do I keep the deer out my plants? Miracle Grow? What else should I know to get this stuff to grow and actually have something to eat? ...and if it all does grow...who da hell is gonna eat all of this stuff or did I plant just the right amount for us? HELP, TERRI, HELP! What da heck did I get myself into. Sigh.

Still, there is a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in "building" this...and right now, all Princess Cara can talk about is her "garden". It makes the exhaustion all that more exhilarating.