Archive for the ‘My Sisters and Me’ Category

Happy Turkey Day!

I’ve had a good one.  Slept as late as I could manage, alas, I was still up around 7:30ish. Which, when you consider I usually start work at 7:30, isn’t that bad. Of course, I’m talented at sleeping until the very last possible moment on a work day, rolling out of bed, throwing on clothes, brushing teeth & hair, and running to the car. So maybe 7:30 isn’t that great, either. Oh well, it’s better than tomorrow.

Tomorrow the incomparable Izzybella and I are going to be at Half Price Books at 7 a.m. You see, HPB is giving away tote bags with $5 gift cards to the first hundred customers, and one of those hundred will instead receive a $100 gift card in the tote bag. Izzy and I hope that that lucky person will be one of us. Doesn’t matter which, because we’ll share. Plus, HPB has a really good coupon special tomorrow: $15 off a $50 purchase, or if you’re only buying one or two items, 40% off the highest priced item. Your choice. Seriously? Izzy and I can do a lot of damage at HPB, so we’ll have fun.

What else is on our schedule, you might ask? Well, we shall be going to Enchanted Forest, the awesome metaphysical shop I described earlier this month. We shall be eating out somewhere, I’m thinking Spiral Dinner, so I hope Izzy is in agreement with that. And we shall also be going to see a movie: Breaking Wind–oops, I mean, Breaking Dawn. And we always go to World Market and Target in the afternoon on Black Friday. Not necessarily to buy anything, just to go.  And we need to go to Hobby Lobby to purchase items with which we shall be making some Very Special Christmas/Solstice Gifts for some Very Special People (Jehara and Amethyst, I’m looking at you). And I guess other than that, we’ll do whatever the heck we feel like doing, which will mainly include staying as far away from malls as is humanly possible.   Oh, yeah, and Izzy has to renew her driver’s license. I’m hoping the DMV will be far from crowded tomorrow. Somehow I don’t really see people lining up to get their licenses renewed on Black Friday.

Since it is Thanksgiving, I suppose I should tell you what I’m thankful for.   I’m thankful to be approaching this holiday season about 65 pounds lighter than I was this time last year. I’m thankful that the incomparable Izzybella is my sister, and that CCJames, Jehara, and Amethyst are my soul sisters. I’m thankful for my mother and for my dad and my stepmonster, whom I adore madly. I’m thankful for all of my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews. I’m thankful for my little Emmylou Who. I’m thankful for Joe, who loves me even when I’m distinctly unlovable (but don’t worry–I love him when he’s distinctly unlovable so it goes both ways). And I’m thankful that I had Molly and Scout for as long as I did, and I’m missing them hard. I’m missing Chase. The world just isn’t the same place without him, although he has visited me in dreams a couple of times, and the last time he was being a real stinker. Hope I gave you a good laugh, Chase!

So I’ll check back in tomorrow night when I will be exhausted beyond belief, and glad that I don’t have to do it again for another year. And Izzy’s birthday is coming up soon, and I’m excited about that.

Peace out!

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Today’s prompt was about a piece of music that changed my life forever. Honestly? There’s no one piece of music that changed my life forever. Although I will say that Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the single worst earworm in the history of earworms, and now I’m going to go back to my current earworm which is irritating enough.

It’s always nice to get things in the mail that are neither bills, catalogues, nor junk mail. And yesterday I was really blessed. I got a box of clothes from Coldwater Creek, and I got a fat envelope from Jehara with a truly gorgeous journal in it. Yay! Jehara, in case I haven’t already made this abundantly clear, is one of my very favourite people in the whole world, and anyone who doesn’t know her, well, let’s just say I feel truly sorry for you.  She’s vibrant and loving and creative and quirky. In fact, it was she who started the Quirky Girls Read blog, and I love being a part of it and love getting to know the other quirky girls even better. If you haven’t checked us out, click the link on my sidebar under booky goodness.

So I’m working Wednesday, off Thursday (of course), and working Friday morning. The incomparable Izzybella and I talked for a good while last night planning out Friday afternoon. We’re going to meet at my house, go see breaking dawn, eat somewhere, go to Enchanted Forest, go to World Market, and go to Target. And hang together, because she is the most awesome of sisters. Anyone who doesn’t know her, well, let’s just say I feel truly sorry for you. (That sounds familiar. When have I said that before? Hmmm.)  She’s genuine, a true friend, loving, creative, a brilliantly brilliant actor, creative and–dare I say it–quirky. In fact, she is one of the Quirky Girls.

If you’re one of our facebook buddies, go check out the photos I’ve posted the last couple of days. There’s one of Jehara, Amethyst, Izzybella, and me on opening night of the last Harry Potter movie. And one of me being totally goofy, and one of my husband looking like a rock star, and one of my mom, and a few of the Autrey family being their goofy best.

Have a great hump day! Hump proudly!

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Miscellaneous Thoughts:

Toddlers & Tiaras exists only to give people a feeling of moral superiority. At least, that’s my opinion. Because when I watched that the other day, I felt rather smug to know that I would NEVER do such things to a child.

Dogs in a hotel room: the farther away from the training pad, the messier the poop. I’m just sayin’.

Summer in Texas: why do people hope this summer breaks the records set in 1980? Because seriously, I’d be thrilled if it suddenly turned 84 degrees for a high.

Shopping: When you have no clothes, you must go shopping for clothes. You may think you’d enjoy that, but if you’re me, you’d be wrong. You enjoy spending time with your sister. But the actual trying on of clothes isn’t so fun. It makes you sweat. And when there are bajillions of people in the mall, you get a little testy.

Mall Food: If there are too many people in line to feel like going anywhere, at least at Grapevine Mills, just walk along the perimeter (I think I spelled that wrong but don’t feel like checking) and take a free sample from every place that’s offering one. That should be enough to hold you for a while.  And the blended coconut almond joy frappe is disgustingly sweet, so don’t even bother.

Rose quartzes: They are lovely, as are the sisters who give them to their sisters.

Forever 21: They have plus size clothes! Woohoo! They’re junior plus sizes, which means if you’re a women’s plus size, you have to go up a size to have it fit you, but they’re very cute. And yes, they have a lot of things that are too young for me, but they also have plenty of things that are not. And they’re cheap.

Weight Loss: Somehow I managed to drop 4 pounds since the housefire. I’m not going to complain about that, trust me.

Oatmeal: Some chocolate chips and walnuts make it almost edible. As in I had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, with chocolate chips and walnuts. And some brown sugar. And milk. Because I’m thinking of going veg again.

That is all. You may now return to your regularly scheduled life.

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It does appear as though the direction we’re taking is rebuilding the house. Joe was there yesterday evening with the adjusters and mooring company, and they’re going to be gutting the house either tomorrow or Monday. And instead of it taking 2-3 months, as they originally estimated, it’s now looking more like 4-5 months. In other words, we’ll be lucky to be home by Christmas.

Joe got my wedding ring out for me, as it had been left in my jewelry armoire that will have to be replaced. And he got SGB’s manuscript off my brand new dresser that will have to be replaced. Are you sensing a theme here? Yes, the furniture is going to have to go. Even the brand new stuff that we got last Saturday. Less than a week ago, it was, and yet it seems a lifetime.

On the positive side: the hotel is just 10 minutes from my office. I can only hope the apartment they put us into next will be as close. Another perk of being in the hotel: free breakfast. Someone else doing the linens and making the beds. Clean towels every day. That’s good, right? And we get to have the dogs with us. (Poor babies–they’re so discombobulated they don’t know what to make of things. And how do you explain it to them? I’ve tried, but you know, they’re dogs, probably not understanding anything I say.)

Other positives: I get to go buy new clothes. And shoes. And at least one more handbag. My house on the inside will be all new. I get to buy new furniture. Yes, I’ve already started looking. (Hey! Stop laughing! Yeah, it may be 4 or 5 months until I get to go buy that new furniture, but if I start looking now, I’ll have a good idea what I want and where to find it when the time comes.) And new makeup. Sephora, here I come! And a new piano.

It’s just that when you try to sit down and think of everything that you’ve lost, it can be very overwhelming. I was making lists yesterday, and they only covered the bare minimum of what was in any given room. All my junk jewelry–cheaper to replace than to try to clean. The 3 or 4 fascinators I never got to wear–will the smoke smell ever come out of them? A basketful of scarves. My books. Notes from my Shakespeare & Chaucer classes (just in case I ever decide to teach English). Journals. Blank books. Note cards, stationery, books where I’ve scribbled down favourite recipes. Cookbooks. Beautiful leather-bound very expensive books about the Crusades and various medieval writers. All my numerous copies of The Canterbury Tales. Notes from my Dante class. My grandmother’s journals (which I devoutly hope are in our storage unit but I’m afraid they might not be). Photographs. Holiday decorations. Mostly things that others would attach no value to, but to me are priceless. The clothes that I was planning to pass along to the incomparable Izzybella or Sarah-bear. The clothes I’ve been saving as I’m on my journey to smaller sizes.  All my beautiful shoes–the cream brocade grannie boots, the black lace guess do-me heels, my bitch boots, all the wedges and heels I’ve been purchasing over the last 6 months or so. And my handbags–most of them comparatively inexpensive, but still hard to replace.

Heck, even my bathroom scale! I don’t know how I’m doing weight-wise, because I haven’t been able to weigh myself since last Sunday morning! I know I’ve been doing some stress eating, but compared to what it would have been pre-banding, it’s absolutely nothing. But I like seeing the numbers on the scale every day. It keeps me focused.

The ugliest bridesmaid dress ever, that I was going to take to the cleaners and then sell on e-bay. Now I guess I’ll just stomp on it and let it be thrown away. The most beautiful formal that Izzybella got some years ago, and that I swore I would someday wear. The baby christening gown and blanket made by my grandmother years ago, that I was planning to pass down to my niece when she’s old enough to have children, that my stepsister’s daughter was blessed in, that Izzybella was blessed in. That I won’t throw away, of course. I will make every effort to have it restored because that, too, is priceless.

And the most treasured things of all are the memories. Memories of Molly, when we first brought her home, with her adorable afro, lying on the floor doing the Molly Flop. Stan gnawing my shoe that was bigger than he was. Molly burying full bags of Joe’s Christmas candy in the back yard. Chase putting on Joe’s heavy gloves and heading for the fireplace, startled when he was stopped, and explained, “I Joe!” Chase seeing me pour out the dregs of a milk carton for his brother, and started bellowing, “Milk! Milk!” and not calming down until he saw me take a full milk carton out of the refrigerator. Alannah and Kyle climbing the tree in our back yard. Chase wandering around nakey after his baby pool-soaked diaper fell off. Christmas Eves with Ben & Janine and their kids. Clover coming to give me a shot in the butt when I was doing IVF trying to have kids. Danny and I, staying up all night after watching Blair Witch Project because we were too spooked to turn the lights off. Crying my heart out in the long days after the IVF failed. Molly peeing on an area rug right after we told Joe’s friends from Australia that she was a good dog and never tinkled in the house. Christmas after Christmas after Christmas. Joe making huge pots of mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner. Joe making huge pots of mashed potatoes for the two of us, and danged if we didn’t manage to eat every bite. Molly being incensed at Mom’s being allowed in the then-yellow room, when she wasn’t, and defiantly going in there to tinkle the day Mom left. The bathroom door constantly coming out of its hinges. That Christmas morning when I sent Molly in to wake up Izzybella, and she enthusiastically complied, jumping onto Izzy’s stomach and kissing her face. The day I drop-kicked a multi-pack of Wolf chili because I was in a snit, and dang near broke my toe. Joe playing guitar so loudly that I could hear it from the inside of my car as I pulled into the driveway. MoMeNTuM meetings. Jehara bringing me my beautiful awesome wonderful zen box that’s now smoked out. Dancing in the living room with Joe. Dancing in the living room with Molly. Having Molly join me when I was practicing yoga in the living room. Spending three months sleeping on the recliner in the living room after having had knee replacement surgery. Laughter, tears, arguments, hugs, kisses, joy, sorrow–the soon-to-be-torn-down walls of our home are replete with the emotions and events from the past 13 years. Those things can’t be replaced. But the new walls will be erected, and in 13 years, we’ll have 13 years worth of memories to look back on.

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Day 29 – If you could live anywhere for one month this summer,  where would it be and why? Would you ever unplug from the internet for a month  or longer to go on such a trip?

Read more:  31 Days of Blog Juice at Creating Motherhood http://creatingmotherhood.com/2011/06/28/summer-camp/#ixzz1ShFuIb1D

Honestly, if I could live anywhere in the world for one month this summer, I would seriously like to go to New York. I want to see all the shows and just hang around the city and explore the museums and parks and shopping and soak it all up. For it to be the ideal vacation, Izzybella would definitely have to be with me, and it would be loverly if Jehara and V. and D. were there as well, with as many of our other friends as could join us.

I would absolutely be willing to unplug from the internet for such an amazing trip.

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Day 20 – What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you? Did you repay the kindness? Did you blog about it?

Read more: 31 Days of Blog Juice at Creating Motherhood http://creatingmotherhood.com/2011/06/28/summer-camp/#ixzz1SfZHmM6H


There have been many kind things that people have done for me, and I hope I repaid the kindness. I think I did, whether it was to that person or through paying it forward.

There was Clover, who came over to my house when I was doing the IVF, to clean it and give me shots in the fanny every day. Who cried with me when I lost the babies. Who remembered me and my pain weeks after others had stopped commiserating with me. Who shares her kids with me. Who’s been the most amazing friend a girl could ever hope to have.

There’s Jehara, who conspired with my sister Izzybella to get me through the legal mechanics of getting my name changed. Who gave me a chance to act in front of an audience. Who gave me the opportunity to help write a play. Who’s there for me any time I need her.

There’s the incomparable Izzybella, of course, who has been there for me every day of her life since she was the greatest birthday present I ever got.

And I’ve blogged about it all. I am aware of how blessed I am in my family and friends, and hope they always know it.

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But first, you must see our beautiful gorgeousness from the Harry Potter movie.

(from left to right: Chauceriangirl (aka Bellatrix Lestrange); Jehara (aka Luna Lovegood); Amethyst (aka Professor Sybill Trelawney); and the incomparable Izzybella (aka Nymphadora Tonks Lupin).

Yes, we had an absolute blast. It was so wonderful to get together with the girls and yak our heads off, and enjoy each other’s company, and catch up on what’s been happening.  I think that Jehara needs to seriously consider moving back this way, because I reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaallllllllllyyyyyyyyyyy miss her. I’m just sayin’.

Now back to summer camp:

Day 16 – How many friends of yours blog/tweet/actively facebook? Has social media helped or hurt your friendships?

Most of my friends and family do blog or actively facebook. I’m not sure about tweeting, because I quit twitter quite a while ago. I was growing obsessed and I already have enough obsessions in my life.    However, I do appreciate facebook. There are family members that I now am able to be closer to just by virtue of staying in contact via facebook. I get to see my brand new nieces and nephews not too long after they’re born, and it’s such a treasure. So I’m pro facebook (in moderation). I don’t have a problem with my 10 minutes a day on facebook.  And I love staying in touch through blogging. Of course, I don’t know what my friends/family would say about it. I do tend to go on and on and on and on; TMI could be my middle name.
Day 17 – What is your favorite thing about the weekend? Do you take a break from blogs or is this when you catch up?

Oh, I love not having to get up so early in the morning.  Normally I leave for work by 6 a.m., so getting to sleep even a little late is nice. And I love not having to go to work. No offense intended; I love my job, and I know how blessed I am to have such a great job and work for such a great team.  I love getting to slouch around in shorts. I love taking naps with my snuggle buddies (aka Scout and EmmyLou). I love going to dinner & movie with my honey-bear. I love getting to see my family for Saturday breakfast and Sunday lunch. I love getting to set my own schedule and do what I want to do.

And whether I take a break from blogs or not is solely dependent upon my own wishes. I do make sure to read Post Secret and Cake Wrecks on Sundays, though. Couldn’t miss those.
Day 18 – How do you feel about astrology? What’s your sign, baby, and do you think it matches your personality?

I don’t believe in astrology, so there aren’t any intense feelings one way or another. I am a sagittarius. Does it match my personality? Hang on–let me go to Google (Google is my friend). BRB….

  • Traveling  – YES
  • getting to the heart of the matter  – YES
  • Freedom  – YES
  • Laws and meanings  – MEH
  • the general ‘feel’ of things – YES


  • Off the wall theories  – YES
  • being tied down domestically
  • Being constrained  — YESYESYESYESYES
  • cooling your heels  – YES
  • bothered with details  – YES

So I suppose so.  But I also suppose that you could take any other sign and find that it would fit you.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


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Jehara is in town. Always cause for celebration.

Amethyst is coming. Always cause for celebration.

Izzy is coming. Always cause for celebration.

We have a hotel room for tonight and tomorrow night, so we can have our slumber (ha!) party. Always cause for celebration.

And at 12:01 tonight we will be sitting with hundreds of other people in crowded movie theatres, watching the last Harry Potter movie. Sort of cause for celebration, although its being the last of the movies is a sad thing, too. We’ve watched the actors grow from really cute kids to grown-ups, with some good acting chops. We’ve been with Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they’ve faced ever increasing powerfully evil forces, always fighting for what’s good and true and pure. We’ve been with J.K. Rowling ever since the first book came out, an unassuming little book that, had it not captured the public’s fancy in a serious way, might have been easily missed.

Always cause for celebration.

I love my sisters, all of them, and I’m so excited to have them here. There are some who aren’t able to come, and I’ll miss you.

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Monday Joe and I went to see Transformers with my bestie Clover and her family.  As the trailers were playing, suddenly a familiar logo came on the screen and I gasped audibly. 

I’ve been diligently staying away from any photographs, trailers, snippets, interviews etc. until after I’ve seen the movie. So this was the first trailer I had seen for the last Harry Potter movie, and it was COOL!

Jehara is coming from Arizona, and D., Izzybella and I are all going to see the movie together. If you’re local and want to join us, please please please let me know!!!!  We’ve got a hotel room for Thursday night and Friday night. There will be British themed noshes, and everyone has to dress up, including the incomparable Izzybella who, despite being a fantabulous actor, dislikes dressing up.

I am going as Bellatrix. I have a cute black maxi from Torrid that has a skull near the bottom, and I’m going to get some accessories at Hot Topic, and try to figure out how to get a death eater henna tattoo on my forearm.

My name is Chauceriangirl, and I’m a dork.

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Don’t underestimate the benefits of a good session of retail therapy, especially when it’s in the company of your sister.

The incomparable Izzybella and I went out on Saturday evening for ice cream and a long gabfest (note to self: Get your ice cream in a cup, not a cone, because when you don’t eat it all the cup won’t drip all over the floor as you’re carrying it to the bin!).

Then she forcibly dragged me to the threading place (thank goodness they opened one in the strip mall so I don’t have to venture to the mall) where they mercilessly ripped the hair from my eyebrows and my upper lip while I joked about being a hairy beast (note to self: don’t go three months before getting threaded again. It just makes the pain worse, in addition to making me look like a hairy beast).

Then to Lonestar Comics, where I bought an adorable Wonder Woman doll to sit on my desk at work (note to self: bring Wonder Woman to work so she can sit on my desk and inspire me).

Then we went to Avenue where we tried on various articles of clothing. I ended up buying a display outfit (note to self: just assemble the items from the display outfit myself and leave the display outfit where it is, so you don’t annoy the sales clerk).

Then Ulta where I got a hairband so I could use the $3.50 coupon. (Note to self: verify the price so you don’t have to send Izzy off to find another item to make the $10 minimum so you can use the $3.50 coupon.) It worked out okay–I got a hairband and Izzy got some really cute eyeshadow.

Then Lane Bryant where we tried on yet more clothes. Here’s where I have a beef with the sizing: I tried on a pair of size 20 shorts, and they fit beautifully.  Then I tried on a pair of size 20 denim shorts–I wasn’t chuffed about the cut, and they were just a little snug around the waist. Our awesome sales associate had routed out a variety of sizes of those denim shirts out of the back room. I tried on the size 22, thinking they would be a little more comfortable; however, the size 22 shorts were a little bit snugger than the size 20’s. Can you explain that to me?  And my new tank tops are size 14-16, which would be great except that I am most assuredly not a size 14-16. Is it any wonder that I have no idea what size I truly wear? (Note to self: it doesn’t matter what the size is on the label. What matters is how it fits and how you look in it.)  I ended up with one pair of shorts and a handful of tank tops, and thanks to the $25 off coupon, it wasn’t too painful.

Then dinner, where I ate a taco and we had more gabfest time. Then I got a freezoni from QT–I was craving Dr Pepper, but they were out.  And when I got my Coke flavour, I somehow managed to make a HUGE mess. It was embarrassing. (Note to self: put the lid on BEFORE you start dispensing the Freezoni. Less mess will occur that way. And make sure the lid is on very securely. Less mess will occur that way.)

So even though life is still extremely difficult right now, I have to count my blessings. Way high up there is my sister, my best friends, and a couple of cute outfits for the summer.

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