today is the day for breaking free

Last year I learned about a new ministry that my church wanted to support–Breaking Free.  Learning about the reality of sex trafficking so close to home in America and even closer in Minnesota,  was surprising. Learning more about domestic and international human trafficking broke my heart and turned my stomach.  Since learning about the truth I have killed many cheerful conversations telling anyone I can about the injustice that is occurring right under our noses. Many people believe that prostitution is a choice. In some cases it is, but in others (perhaps most) women and children are tricked, drugged and stolen into a life of prostitution. My church is partnering with Breaking Free, and I’m proud to be a part of a church that is taking tangible and practical steps to helping women start a new life. Today is the big day.

I pray for success and perseverance.  I pray for a warm welcome into a new home and a new family.


July in pictures

  1. Family reunion (the cousins–some of them)
  2. School buddies
  3. Fishing
  4. Carlitos Brown
  5. Visiting the “sick and shut in”
  6. Making books
  7. Discovering gooify
  8. Miss Kitty and Super Baby
  9. Bedtime Stories–The Chronicles of Narnia
  10. Learning about density
  11. Backyard raspberry harvest
  12. A unique wedding cake

500th post


I logged on to tell you all the tale of my bad day and how I ended it in a home all alone with a meal of egg rolls, root beer, and coconut cake while watching a chick flick–Love Happens.  It was surprisingly not cheesy. I think a guy could make it through that one. I also tend to hold a special place in my heart for characters that mirror my own relationship in the most superficial of ways (i.e. a suit wearing guy and a creative, free spirit chick that isn’t a pushover).There is only one kiss in the movie, and the guy is only dashing in theory (both are positive critiques).  The story is about him, not the girl. There are some potty words, but all in all I would say it’s cute enough to watch. There were enough novel elements to keep me interested.

Chick flicks are not my favorite genre. In fact as far as art/movies go I have a lot of negative things to say about current Romantic Comedies (though this one was only called a Romance–I think), but I do like to watch them. I mostly find myself looking at what the female lead is wearing and allowing my emotions to be played by simple, predictable plot lines. I usually cry even when I know what’s going to happen. I try to spare myself the embarrassment my husband and watch them when he is away. This way we can enjoy a nice action adventure movie together because we both really like those.

So, I was going to tell you about how I spilled a can of paint on our sidewalk that we are renting while wearing nice heels, slacks, and ten minutes behind schedule, but then I saw that this post would be my 500th post and I can’t spend the entire time talking about my bad day. Instead I marked this event with a bit of rambling.  Because I like ramble writing, or stream of consciousness writing.  Whatever it’s called.

Hooray!  500 posts! Thanks for sticking with me.  Blog readers rock!


…that’s how you spell that evil sound villans make when they have captured their victim.  I made that sound on the way back from the garage sale I just went to.  Literally made that sound. I bought two wool sweaters for $1 each. mmwwaa!

I’m just going to cut them up, but they are ugly so it’s okay.  I consider it my good fashion deed for the day. In thrift stores, wool sweaters are always lots of thriftstoremoney because they are wool and because the smart thrift stores know that people like me buy wool just to shrink it and make things from it.  For those of you that came to this blog because I claim to sew, it really is true.  I’m just kind of busy trying to be a productive member of my household.  Maybe I can produce some goods later tonight.  I think it’s a movie night.  Sewing will be done. Although watching a movie while I sew is pretty much pointless because the machine is so loud.

So anyway. Enjoy your weekend!  What do you have going on?

my kids think it’s mean that i did this to them

come closer, let me confuse you with my Irishness

I recently met a woman who was absolutely baffled when she heard my last name.

“Now your last name is ______? But I thought _______ was an Irish name. My son-in-law  has that same last name.”  

She was really confused.  I could tell she was wondering, “how could a black person possibly have an Irish last name? Maybe it isn’t Irish in other countries.” She paused for an uncomfortable amount of time, then I realized she wasn’t putting the pieces together.

“It is Irish,” I said.

[Crickets chirp]

“It’s my married name,” I say as I point to my children and my ring, “I am married.”

[add laughter and a smile here so she doesn’t feel stupid or think she offended me]

“So where are you from?” She asks because there can’t possibly be any black people that are actually from Minneapolis.

I almost told her that I am from Ethiopia, but I could tell she was really having a hard time with all of this so giving her a hard time would be a bit much.  Black woman, Irish name, two kids, married, in Minnesota?  I think it took some of my family a little while to get it, so I had grace for this perfect stranger.  Smoke was just about to come out of her ears and her head was about to start spinning. Until…

“I’m from Memphis.”

Whew.  Aww, now I get it.  Hearing that I was from the South made it all come together.

Aside from the from the possibility of it being my married name a couple other possibilities ran through my head while she was talking: either I or my spouse could be adopted and there are black Irish. I also could have made up the name just to confuse her.

should i be concerned?

One of our neighbors had an “Antiques, primitives, and gifts” sale.  I love that she used the word primitives. Anyway, yesterday everything was for sale and I got a table for free that was priced at $8 and it is made of cherry wood. Today the sale was over, but she left a FREE box by the side of the road.  I let the kids rummage through.  Noah was pretty adamant about being able to look in the box across the street without me hovering over him.  So I came home.

Noah’s loot was an ashtray.  I don’t know what was in that box, but I did not expect my son to come home with an ashtray. I was not sure I really wanted him to have an ashtray. He assured me that it was “just to put stuff in, Mom.”  I told myself it’s fine, and that having an ashtray would not automatically turn him into a smoker, and I guess it is good for holding stuff. Then, as I was preparing supper I heard Noah, “I want a square. I really, want a square.”


My worst fear had come true.  Not only did having an ashtray make him want a cigarette, it was also teaching him slang. Just as I decided that the voodoo ashtray must go, Noah walked into the kitchen with the sweetest look on his face holding a Now and Later right next to his big, brown puppy eyes and asked,

“Mom, can I please have a square? Please, I really want a square.”

“No, Noah. No you cannot.”