OK, people. I have been out there, reading your blogs (commenting here and there) and generally catching up on your lives.
So, before I update you on *my* life... I'm going to update you on what I have learned!
My self-imposed assignment: "What I have learned from reading (in no particular order) your digital lives"
My personal favorite blogger is my daughter. Twinks has (again) changed up her blog. New layout, new title... you know how kids these days are... Check out her new profile pic. Very grown up looking. :::sigh::: She's going to be in college before we know it.
Ericka had a toxic Admin... "had" being the operative word, because she is now busy being a fancy-pants Consultant at another company. Oh, and I still love all of her pots and cups and bowls. Amazing! She just bought a new car - Petunia is her name, and it looks like Ericka is very happy with her indeed! :)
The Caustic Bunny celebrated 5 years of disseminating his particular brand of joy and information via Blog. Bunny On, indeed!
Shane Nickerson and his lovely wife have welcomed Nickerbaby #3 into the world. And she is just gorgeous!
Dream Mom and Dear Son finally got to go on their long-awaited Make A Wish trip! From the pictures alone, you can tell they had a wonderful time! :) Although he battled pneumonia (again) recently, Dear Son is back at school! :)
Tamara, whom I originally met through MM, started off at The Straight Poop, and then she created Modern Gear TV. Now, she's at the helm of Delish Magazine. And I couldn't be happier for her! Issue #2 is out and ready for you to read. (just remember to come back here when you are done!)
Flip, aka Caleigh (because she's growing up right in front of us, and so she is using her Real Name now) continues to be an amazing artist. Someday, I'm going to be able to tell the world that I remember when she was a little kid with a big ol' art blog!
Alpharat, who is also a guide at About.Com (Punk Rock division) has been busy as a contributor in book - responsible for an entire chapter! "Punk Rock Saved My Ass". Worth buying for the title alone. Do him a favor, and click over to his About.Com site - if it's like it was when *I* was a Guide there (many moons ago... waaaay different topic!) he needs all the clicky-love we can send his way!
Stu is offering to Skype for money... Wait, that sounds like something it's not! Anyway... Stu is a writer/editor, and is setting up Skype audio/video sessions aimed at helping people who are struggling with their own writing. I wonder if I could just put him on retainer? Stu is also still busy over at GNMP, which is a great site where I can easily spend hours.
Fabgrandma is, as always, fabulous! Great recipes, GORGEOUS quilts, and always always always wonderful pictures from wherever they happen to be on the road. They are headed back to 'Bama for the winter now - travel safely! :)
AmyL and her amazing boys seem to be doing just fine over at Earnest Parenting. Except she mentions limping? What did I miss? Amy, are you OK?
Wil Wheaton went to PAX East, and not only gave an impassioned keynote, but changed lives. There's also a picture of him sitting in Sheldon's spot on the couch (from "The Big Bang Theory"). Evil Wil, you are so sly! More Cons, (GenCon & PAX Prime) including Phoenix. Oh, and a new doggie (Seamus) for the family! "Evil Wil Wheaton" will be back (again!) (YAY!) on our fave sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" on November 11th. (CBS, Thursday nights, don't miss it!)
Over at Whippy Curly Tails, the big news has been the addition of a DOG... Over the summer, there was much planting and gardening going on, although mostly supervised by the older kitties... And then of course, there was the arrival of the DOG. Did I mention that a DOG is living with the Whippy Curly Tails? Hey, that's big news, if you are a cat! ;)
Chuck from Beyond the Cheddar Curtain (I found out that if you say that: "Beyond the Cheddar Curtain" in a kind of spooky-Halloweeny voice, it sounds really cool! LOL!) has been busy, as usual. Chuck & TW both work in the same industry, so I'm always interested when he reports about his work. Chuck has also been beset with car troubles lately. Having gone down that road myself a few times, I can certainly sympathize! Where he lives, there are DANGEROUS CURBS that apparently actually jump out and EAT YOUR TIRES while you are driving down the street! Scary stuff, indeed! ;)
Daughter, from Taking Care of Mom and Dad is someone I hope you all get to know. I met her over at the Alz.org Caregiver forums, where I try to read (and sometimes post what I hope are allegedly "helpful" nuggets of wisdom) every day. That forum, and the people there - like Daughter - have helped me maintain my sanity through the many, many dark days and nights that we have had with my Mom lately. (Mom's diagnosis is VaD - Vascular Dementia, but since the symptom set, medications and research are all so closely related, the nice folks at Alz.org let us VaD caregivers hang out there)
Daughter has BOTH of her parents with her now, although it seems her Mom is struggling much more than her Dad with the move, and the loss of "freedom". Like so many Alzheimer's patients, Daughter's Mom does not realize that she is sick (a condition that is called Anosognosia) and so she resists the changes required for her safety and care. Daughter's Dad recently required heart surgery, and has now had a "mini-stroke". Her Mom is still struggling through some of the toughest parts of AD - that time when they simply refuse to believe that there is *anything* wrong with them - it must be you! I hope you'll join me, Dear Reader, in sending up prayers for Daughter, and both of her parents.
Rurality, she of the handmade soap, the game cam and the amazing photos... She got to go the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham for an Indy race! I am *so* jealous! She had Orange Goo day in April. Then she got sick :( I hope it wasn't related to the Orange Goo! Rurality hasn't posted since June, so I'm hoping she's OK!
Michelle, who is allegedly The Surly Writer, really isn't so surly. I know this for certain. She is actually very nice, and very funny, and very smart. Sorry, Michelle - your secret is out! ;) As usual, she has been posting some very interesting fiction. Alongside some rather tasty bits about her real life! Michelle is in cahoots with Sully (see below) on just about every topic, including one that is near and dear to my heart: "Thanksgiving Comes First".
MM (aka Magazine Man) has, as usual, been a busy kid. The Eclair, who reigns benevolently over us all as The Queen Baby has turned *3*, despite my efforts to stop time from advancing. And Art Lad (who is known to answer to the name "Thomas") has started the 6th Grade. This factoid alone was enough to make me feel very old indeed! Thomas is A Neat Kid, which is not surprising, given his parentage. The Brownie has had her *9th* birthday - less than a year to double digits! She grows to be more like her amazing Mom every day; capable, smart, and gorgeous. :) Watch out, Daddy MM - she's a PRE-TWEEN now! And Blazey Bellow Hoska Boo Boo Ba Doo is patrolling the new apartment, protecting the family, and generally being charming. The Magazine Mansion (West) has finally sold - good news! More good news - MM has left what sounded like a rather toxic environment at his last magazine, and found a new posting. At a different magazine. Where, one presumes that grown-up people do actual work, without tantrums. With any amount of luck at all, we will be seeing his name on the masthead for many, many more years to come.
Last, but never, ever least is Sully.
Sully always has a special place in my heart. He and his amazing WIFE are two of my favorite people in all of the Blog-O-Sphere. It is my wish (and in fact my entire families wish!) that someday we get to sit and enjoy a lovely evening (and maybe some fruitcake?) with The Sullivans.
Now, on to what young James and HIS WIFE have been up to. First of all, Dear Poochie made a return in April, after a wildly succesful run in March. We were all thrilled, especially since Poochie gives such excellent advice. Next, JIM'S WIFE had a birthday. And I missed it. :( I am SO sorry, and I hope that she will be gracious enough to accept my (tremendously belated) Happy Birthday wishes. Sully talked about quitting smoking; however it seemed that what quit first was the washer and the dryer!
There was a lovely Mother's Day tribute to Jim's Mom, a touching tribute to his Dad (who we lost in 1994) and (forgive me, Jim) a LOT of baseball and softball stuff. A LOT of softball stuff... ;) I do read it all - I'm nothing if not a loyal friend! The SWINGERS lost their shot at a playoff berth in August... And the BOMBERS almost went all the way. It was still a good season, right? There were a *few* re-runs of previous posts, but that's OK, because they were all good enough to read again! Then, somewhere along the way, Jim bonded with Phineas & Ferb.
Things get serious when Jim works on quitting smoking. I say "works on" because it *is* hard to quit. Tremendously. I used to smoke - from my college years, until I knew I was pregnant with Twinks - and I know how hard it was for me to quit. TW had smoked for almost 30 years when he finally was able to quit via a heroic effort. It's no small deal. There are still times when - I kid you not - if there was a cure for cancer, I would be down at the corner store, paying for a pack of Virginia Slim Ultra-Lights.
I watched my Dad die - 20 years ago this month - from lung cancer. That's the primary reason why I'm still "not-a-smoker".
But this is about Sully, not me. And Sully might bite me if I don't stay on topic! Lord knows, he has the chompers for it now! Yes, in my absence, Sully got the last of the dental work done, and he now has beautimous-looking teeth! He also put them to good use on his trip to Chicago with HIS WIFE earlier this month. Finally, Our Boy James has just posted his impassioned "Thanksgiving Comes First" campaign post for this year. It is a cause I am fully on board with (you'll see the link to my page year-round on the side bar, that's how much I believe) and I hope you will take a minute or two to find out how YOU can help spread the word!
I'm caught up!!!
Next post: What *I* have been doing! And get ready, kids... It's going to be a LONG one!!!