Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ant Repellent, tried and true

Wednesday morning I came downstairs bleary eyed to make coffee and start on the preparations for the day the last thing I expected to see was the army of ants who had invaded my counter tops during the night. I went to war, spraying and squishing until each and everyone was dead and I was able to claim victory for a short period of time, and then the next army came along, walking up to the bait traps but smart enough not to go in and take sips of the poison residing inside and then I remembered a friend had shared a recipe for an ant repellent on Facebook so I looked her up and found it. I was dubious at first but asked Marc to please go out and purchase the one ingredient that I didn't have on hand.. Boric Acid.
Later that night whilst cleaning up from a day of festivities I looked over and sure enough hundreds of ants were covering my counter tops again and this time I went to war with a new ammunition and oh boy it was like a miracle. It didn't work as my friend had described, they didn't climb up the jar reaching in to take sips and then taking back to the colony, instead I watched in awe as they retraced their footsteps all the way back to the crack in the window ledge from where they first came, so I have to believe the mixture gives off some pretty toxic fumes that only an ant can smell.
So without further ado here is the recipe for you, so you can go to war as soon as you see the first army march on into your home.

1 cup sugar
1 cup Boric acid
3 cups warm water
Cotton balls
2 x 1 pint Mason jars

Mix the sugar and Boric acid together, add water and whisk.
Fill both jars with cotton balls
Pour mix in jars until cotton balls are almost covered
Set where major ant traffic is.

Warn all children and unsuspecting adults what is in the jars so they don't touch the foam that sits on top  or even choose to drink it .

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Post Worthy

I've really struggled lately with what is really post worthy and well apparently I decided nothing really was whence the lack of posting but then a special man walks into your life and you know you have to share him with the world especially when you find out he's on the endangered species list and he literally just walked across your path without a care in the world, so let me introduce you to this amazing male species because it would be selfish not to share and you may never get a chance to view him again.
Meet Sphodros rufipes doesn't he sound exotic ? Now for his not so exotic name The Red legged Purse Web Spider..

I captured him just long enough to take his picture and then find out what he was, once it was determined he wasn't going to hurt any household member we let him run free back to where we found him in hopes that he'll find a mate and live happily ever after.
Pretty cool huh ?

Friday, April 27, 2012

I need your help

My oldest daughter has just been diagnosed with Celiacs Disease, I have to get my other 2 kids tested for it because they are both showing symptoms of it and if one person has to go gluten free then I've decided that we all will, in the long run I'm pretty sure it will benefit all of us. But here's where I need you, I know there are a lot of people going GF now for one reason or the other, if you're one of them could you share some recipes and cook books along with pointers such as what flours are better, tapioca or potato, are some GF crackers better than others ? what salad dressing do you use ? what about broths and noodles ? a staple around here is homemade chicken noodle soup, but my recipe is going to have to be tweaked a bunch I'm thinking.
If you could help me in this process I'd be so appreciative xox

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Frugal Crafter

I love it when I can go through my supplies and come up with a meaningful gift that ends up costing pennies. This week was one of those times, I'd seen some gorgeous fabric at Hobby Lobby that I had to have, the best part was it was on clearance, I bought 1/2 yard for $2.50.  I decided to make a clothespin bag out of it and it turned out beautifully , once one of the teachers at Reagan's school saw it she too fell in love and said it would be perfect to put baby socks in and it would match the new nursery perfectly, she wanted it.  I had a very small amount of the fabric left and figured I'd make her a little something out of the rest, I looked around my stash and found the perfect supplies, a small amount of white minky and some bright ribbons for a ribbon blankie, a Birdseye cloth diaper (unused) to fancy up into a burp cloth and some super soft white flannel to back the very last teeny tiny bit of pretty fabric and turn it into a newborn bib.
So for $2.50 and some extra supplies laying around my sewing room I came up with this ensemble, pretty sweet huh ?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This boy

This is Ben (the big one not the little one) in case you didn't know Ben is my son, the little he is cradling is his nephew (my Grandson ;) ) Ben is 14 and Ben makes his Momma proud.
I don't write about him a whole lot because well he's 14 and I like to put pics with my posts and often when he's getting his picture taken he looks a lot like this
Nice huh ? Cracks me up though because he's generally really smiley, but point the camera in his direction and it's all over, whence I don't take many pics of him, add that to the fact that he's 14 and what 14 year old do you know who is going to approve of his mother writing about him on a public blog ? But sometimes you've just gotta  do whatcha' gotta do and he's such a great kid (most times) that I wanted to brag on him and have something to read on the days he drives me nuts to remind me what an awesome person he is behind the teenage hormones that can raise their ugly heads at any given time.
Ben now towers over me, he's 5ft 8 inches, I'm a mere 5 ft 3 inches and he likes to rub that in my face whenever he can, it's very odd to have a son who is so much taller than you are, it's even odder to have to shop in the men's department for your 14 y/o son, very odd indeed. He may tower over me and it's obvious he's going to get much taller if his feet are anything to go by, size 11  people, but he's my gentle giant. He's so 'nice' I can't think of a better adjective to describe him and I think that's his best quality. I don't know how many times I've had friends tell me that they saw Ben at the mall with his friends and how he spoke to them, not embarrassed to be seen talking to his Mom's friends but will go out of his way to talk to them and not walk in the opposite direction, he's nice to little kids, he's kind to his younger sister (most times)  and her friends, he'll talk to them, play with them, he's nice to his teachers both past and present, PTA meetings last twice as long if I take him with me because we have to walk around and say hello to every teacher he's had in the past and every time they'll tell me the same thing, he's so nice, he's also funny and brings humor into the classroom, yes there have been times that he was the class clown and needed to be reprimanded, even received a detention one time, but for the most part he's nice, funny and smart. Smart, oh boy is he ever and he takes his schooling seriously, a far cry from his oldest sister, he's in all AP classes and next year as he starts High School he'll be taking Honors classes, his favorite subject without a doubt is Latin, where he gets his love of foreign language and ability to pick it up so quickly I have no clue, perhaps his Grandfather who can speak fluent Spanish as well as English. We'll be going places and he'll see a word in Latin on something and have to take a picture, even if it's on the T-Shirt that his drum teacher is wearing, he gets extra credit for things like that, and extra credit rocks, right ?  Talking of his drum teacher, yes he plays the drums, he loves to play the drums and some days it drives this Momma crazy and I have to send him out to the garage to practice.
He's already getting his ducks in a row to play in the symphonic marching band in High School, it's not going to be an easy task, there's an audition process and only the best get in, so he's putting in extra practice, going to all the band camps and introduction sessions offered and asking his private drum tutor to help him go over things, I'm keeping everything crossed that he makes it. Will you send some prayers his way that he gets in, it would mean so much to him ? Auditions are June 2nd and he's pumped.
Ben is not a Momma's boy but he tells me he loves me every time he leaves the house to go somewhere and he's not ashamed to say it in front of his friends, he tells his sisters, Dad, nephew and soon to be brother-in-law the same thing, family is really important to him even though he's 14.
He's polite to everyone even strangers, last weekend we were out shopping, I walked into a store in front of him, I turned around to say something and he wasn't there, he was stood at the door keeping it open for some women who were on their way in, that made my heart swell so much I thought it would burst out of my chest, yes my son with the skater hair cut and clothes knows how to be polite.
When you ask him what he wants to do when he graduates college he'll tell you several things, "I want to go in the army and fight for my country, then I want to come out and teach history to elementary kids" Or he'll tell you he wants to work in law enforcement "To get the crap off the streets."
Don't get me wrong he's not perfect far from it, just this past Saturday he got grounded and had all privileges taken away for a week for mouthing off to his dad about doing yard work, he hates to do yard work unless it's sitting on the tractor mowing the lawn, but Saturday was pick up sticks and nothing will get his ire up more than having to pick up sticks, there was yelling, screaming, 2 y/o temper tantrums, door slamming the whole 9 yards. It was embarrassing (neighbors were out working in their yards) it was frustrating and infuriating that such a huge fuss was being made over something so innocuous, but that's life right ? Nothings ever perfect, not even a 14 y/o hormonally charged boy no matter how proud he makes his family.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Long time no see. When I open up my emails and see subject lines that say "Hello" then I go to a message board and a subject line is "Helllloooo" and then I come over here and see that somebody actually misses me not blogging I get the feeling that perhaps I should come out from hibernation, it is Spring after all.
So hello friends and fellow bloggers
Hello Running shoes, it's nice to meet your acquaintance again, I promise to visit with you daily and retire you to garden shoes in the Fall. How does that sound ?
Hello Daffodils and Azaleas, it's so nice to see your smiley faces again.

Hello new work room, you're rather nice to work in, perhaps I'll fit you out with a sewing machine tomorrow.

Hello annoying dog you sure do sit pretty but you need to decide what side of the door you want to be on today, I need to go back to aforementioned room and start working again.
Short and sweet but it's a start right ?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Snow and Soup

Snow and soup, the two go hand in hand right ?
This is what I was looking at this time yesterday
So I knew for dinner my kids would be wanting soup and biscuits, we've overloaded on chicken this week so it was time for some red meat and I wanted to fix something a little heartier than the regular chicken noodle so with a little tweaking here and there as I went along I came up with this beef vegetable soup that is to die for. Campbell's soups are now a thing of the past in this household.
Beware I am not a food photographer, the soup tasted so much better than this picture depicts and Victoria who isn't a big beef / soup eater dropped by, tried some and ended up eating a whole bowl.. SCORE !!

                                                     BEEF VEGETABLE SOUP

You can fix this is in your crock pot or stove top, I did stove top, my measurements are also very approximate, I didn't measure anything. For the veges, you don't need canned or fresh, frozen will work fine, I just did what I had on hand.


1lb beef cut into bite size pieces
1 onion, sliced into small chunks
5 small potatoes chopped into small pieces
2 handfuls of baby carrots or several cut into pieces
2 cans V8 vege juice ( key to a good hearty flavor)
1 cup water
2 beef bouillon cubes.... (you could use 1C beef broth and omit the bouillon and water)
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Now the easiest part.... throw it all in together. If using a crock pot you'll want to set it on low and cook for about 10hrs or high for 5 hours. If doing stove top bring it to a boil and then let simmer for about 2 1/2 hrs. For us that was perfect, the meat was so tender it melted in your mouth but the veges still had a little crisp to them which my kids like, mushy veges = disaster.

Serve with biscuits or rolls.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Great friends and good food

I have learnt over the years as a SAHM and now a WAHM it is a lot harder to make friends, especially when your kids are older than it was when you were either out in the work place and thrown together with lots of people or you have little kids that are in playgroups and all the mommies get to talking and eventually friendships generally form. So when we moved to MD I was especially happy to find a Moms Group that were very open to having newcomers, didn't matter the age of the kids or the size of your house or your husband's paycheck they were welcoming to everyone, a far cry from the little town I had just moved from where you were 'voted' in to become part of a 'Birthday Club'  learnt that at dinner one night when a 'friend' had invited me to go for dinner around my Birthday with her and 10 others, as dinner proceeded I learnt that I had been the topic of their emails and phone calls for a couple of days discussing whether I should  be invited to dinner and when should they share with me that this was a club ? at the end of the meal I was officially welcomed to 'Birthday Club' .... it was a little weird, actually, a few days later I got news that after discussions were concluded I was invited to join a playgroup, never did make the cut for Dinner Club and my first year there I was a reserve for Bunco, took me a year to reach the A List, oh well can't win them all. Can I tell you just how ecstatic I was when we moved away from there ?
Anyway I digress, here I found a great Moms group and many days they are my salvation, they are who I go to when I have good things to share and where I go when things aren't so good and need support, they're up for a night out or a brunch in. Within that group area group of us who love to craft, it's often what makes us sane and so between us and a couple of others from different parts of the country we have formed a Craft Exchange Circle, one where we make crafts for each other and then exchange them, Feb was our first month and I'd say it was a success, to cut down on postage us local girls decided to do a brunch to exchange our gifts and share some good food, it was such a good time, I have some talented friends let me tell you in both the craft and food categories.
Here are some of the awesome gifts I received, each one lovingly crafted by the hands of a friend
And here's one of the dishes we shared, the best thing (other than a couple of friends) that came out of my 4 years spent in the town mentioned above.
Peanutty Chicken Salad... Delish

8 Split chicken breasts, bone in and skin on

Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1lb asparagus, ends removed, cut into 1/3s diagonally
2 red bell peppers
4 whole scallions, sliced diagonally
2T white sesame seeds, toasted


3/4 C vegetable oil
1/4 C High quality apple cider vinegar
1/3 C Soy sauce
3 T Dark sesame oil
1 T Honey
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1t Fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 T White sesame seeds toasted
1/2 C smooth unsweetened peanut butter
 1 t ground pepper

To toast sesame seeds, place seeds in a dry saute pan over medium heat, swirl until slightly browned, about 5 mins.

1) Pre heat oven to 350"

2) Place the chicken breast on a sheet pan and rub w/ olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper Roast 35 - 40 mins, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

3) Remove meat from bones, discard skin and shred chicken into large bite sized pieces.

4) In a pot of boiling water, blanch asparagus for 3 - 5 minutes, until crisp - tender. Then plunge into ice water, drain. (Today I used frozen, but it really is better fresh)

5) Cut peppers into strips about the size of the asparagus pieces. Combine the shredded chicken, asparagus and peppers in a large bowl.

6) Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and toss w/ chicken and sesame seeds.

                                                              ENJOY !!!!

BTW: For those of you doing WW I worked out that per large serving, ie, if you ate a whole chicken breast w/ dressing, it would be 6 points.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

So Ugly She's Cute ?

I hope my niece can see beyond the ugly, this doll is either going to send her into fits of giggles or running to her bedroom never to return until the doll that gobbles up felt animals is disposed of, it'll be interesting to hear what she thought about it.
This play set was definitely a labor of love and I learnt that I am definitely a sewing machine gal, hand stitching all of those little pieces together was not as relaxing as my friends that hand sew led me to believe but I have to admit I'm pretty tickled as to how the whole set turned out, hope her Mummy and Daddy don't think Auntie Penny was cheap because she didn't buy a plastic doll from the local Mart ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

True Love

We are a family that has quite a lot of traditions, all 3 of my kids have them so ingrained into them that if I want to skip one one year it's like the Apocalypse is about to take place. This past Christmas I tried to get away with not putting pillowcases on the ends of their beds... HELLO !!! What was I thinking ?
Along with those traditions comes a lot of opportunities for celebrations and along with celebrations comes a lot of food. I have one kid who is a 'Foodie'. Reagan LOVES a celebration of any kind, she loves to cook, she loves to make up new recipes and she loves to look on the calender in order to find out if it's someones birthday or a special celebration day. Last year when she saw that it was my brother's Birthday despite him living 3,000 miles away we made his favorite Birthday cake, put candles on it and video taped the kids singing Happy Birthday to him. See what I mean ? Any excuse to celebrate and eat.
That all brings me to today.... Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras Day. In the past I've always made crepes for dessert on this day, it's a tradition I was raised with, but then last year Rea's teacher took in King Cake for the kids to try and guess who had to go look for one after the school day ? and guess who came up empty handed ? Yes, that would be me. Guess who has a memory like an elephant and begged today "Mommy, it's Mardi Gras Day today please remember to buy a King Cake ?" Yes that would be Rea. So dutifully I went off after dropping her off at school and bought my first ever King Cake. My first cause for alarm was this
There's a baby inside the cake ? For real ? and since when were babies edible ? I googled the reason behind this, apparently the person with the baby in their bite of cake hosts the next Mardi Gras Party, huh, who knew ?
My second cause for concern was this

Oh gag me now !! This is what my child the 'Foodie' wants to eat tonight, really ?  I'll humor her this year, I'll be more prepared and bake my own next year and I have all the fixings for crepes on hand for those poor souls not brave enough to test out that blob of doughy, covered in frosting (goodness ?) w/ the chance of baby inside.
But before we eat that mess we'll be eating some good old Cajun Jambalaya and in case that sounds good to you and you're wondering "What's For Dinner ?" on this here most Cajun celebrated day of the year I'll share my favorite recipe, might not be how the real Cajuns fix theirs but it works well for this family and leaves a lot of empty plates on the dinner table
2 tsp Olive oil                                                                  3/4 tsp salt
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size        1/4 tsp ground black pepper
8oz Kielbasa, diced                                                         2 C uncooked white rice
1 onion, diced                                                                  3 bay leaves
1/2 C celery, diced                                                           4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 green bell pepper, diced                                                2 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 Tbs chopped garlic                                              A healthy helping of your favorite cajun spices (optional)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper                                                     
1/2 tsp onion powder

1. Heat oil in lrg saucepan over med high heat. Saute chicken and kielbasa until lightly brown, about 5 mins. Stir in onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Season with cayenne, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cook 3 mins or until onion is tender and translucent.
2. Add rice, stir in chicken broth, bay leaves, worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce (Cajun seasoning if using). Bring to a boil, reduce, heat, cover and simmer 18 mins or until rice is tender. Discard bay leaves before serving.
                                                        Enjoy with some crusty bread !!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

Are you having a wonderful day ? I'm having the best :)
It started off by being greeted by this cutie... how'd you like the shirt ? I whipped that up in about 15 mins last night after I realised I'd neglected to buy her a Valentines shirt, thank God for always having plain T's on hand
She's always wanting chocolate chip pancakes for Breakfast so of course that's what she had but HELLO it's Valentines day, so that calls for heart shaped pancakes and strawberry milk.
Then it was time for school and what better lunch to send them off with on Valentines Day but you guessed it PB&J cut into a heart, heart shaped snack cakes, 1 for her and 1 to share with a friend, the rest had to be red or strawberry, got to keep with the theme right ?

Then it was back home and time to get aquainted with the tea kettle my BFF gave me for my Birthday, it was perhaps my favorite gift this year, not only does it boil water super quickly and has a nice loud whistle to tell me when it's done it's a bright cheery red too... PERFECT !!
After a quick cup of tea
                                                     It was time to start the baking frenzy
And bake up desserts to finish up a day of celebrating not only Valentines Day but my first borns special day. Happy Birthday Victoria, I love you to the stars and back xox 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Choco Burrito

A lot of people watch family comedy shows not us, we live them.
In the last 12 hours I have been kept awake by a dog whining and whimpering and pacing the house constantly while his female counterpart sleeps in her crate totally oblivious to the fact that he is going CRAZY because he can't 'get with her'. (Before any of you jump down my throat she was set to be spayed next week but came into heat first) I think he settles down for maybe a couple of hours because I'm getting about 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep right now, but that was until 3am today when I was rudely awaken to crashing, banging and a whole lot of yelling and cussing coming from our bathroom. The cussing led me to believe that nobody (Marc) was mortally wounded so I stayed in bed and waited for him to return back to bed before I asked what happened. Well I shouldn't have asked, because it led to a fit of the giggles on my behalf and a really ticked off husband who I think would have slept in the spare bed if we had one. He had gone to the bathroom in the dark, finished his business and gotten disoriented, instead of walking towards the door (and he walks fast) he walked towards the bath tub, stubbed his toe and fell into the tub head first, and just writing that sends me into fits of giggles again, I'm a horrible wife.
Needless to say when the alarm went off this morning I wasn't quite ready to get up, but with kids needing to head out to school  and be fed breakfast etc, I needed to. Reagan asks for chocolate chip pancakes just about every morning and today was no exception, I poured the batter, let it bubble, flipped it and then "Oh crap, I forgot to add the chocolate chips." So Mommy Genius grabbed the chocolate chips, poured them in the center of the pancake and rolled it up like a Burrito. Just as Rea was about to take a bite 'Whoosh' Momma swept in, grabbed the plate and ran upstairs to take a pic, (because it might just turn into a blog post) and I had to get to the camera with the pancake Burrito in one piece so had to take it with me as opposed to running upstairs to grab the camera and bring it down to take the picture like normal people do. Reagan gave me an incredulous look when I returned her breakfast and said "Wow Mom, you really took my breakfast upstairs to take a picture ?" Yep, sure did.  A couple of seconds later I heard a muffled "I need wuba" Huh ? what, was that ? turned around and there was an 8 y/o, mouth full of melted chocolate indicating to the glasses, did you know that melted chocolate chips on a pancake is the same consistency as peanut butter ?
If you didn't, you do now, be warned. So I grabbed a glass, poured the water, she chugged it down and then looked at me with tears streaming down my face... I'm sorry it was funny and all she could muster was "Wow Mom, really ?"  Yep I'm a horrible mother too. I adore my family and thank God every day for all the comic relief they bring me. Who needs Modern Family when you've got the real thing going on all around you ?

Monday, January 30, 2012

The best gift around

I love to spend time with my family but I also like to spend time with me doing what I like to do and sometimes I need it and Saturday I needed it and so redeemed one of my time slots and it was blissful, I ran errands alone and nobody asked me for candy or soda at the checkout, I ate leftovers for lunch and nobody complained because we'd just eaten that same thing the night before, I watched a movie without any interruptions, I ate good chocolate and didn't have to share and I got to do some fun sewing just because I wanted to, it was blissful and by 6:30pm I was ready for my peeps to come home and welcomed their commotion with open arms. So next time your significant other asks what you'd like for a gift I'd highly recommend a coupon booklet with several of those coupons in it.
Here's what I was sewing, it's for my niece's Birthday and I'm going to pair it up with the board book 'There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.' If you're looking for fun, imaginative and relatively easy sewing projects I'd highly recommend ordering from Buggabugs. She has a lovely selection of items to make, I've already bookmarked some for upcoming Birthday and Christmas presents.

I Know An Old Woman - PDF Doll Pattern (Doll, Fly, Spider, Bird, Cat, Dog, Goat, Cow, Horse)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Letting go

If you came here to read something funny, to get a good recipe, to find a new tutorial or some new Etsy goodness, please come back again soon, today isn't that day. If you're ready to hear a Mothers rant, and are prepared to perhaps feel a little perplexed when you are done, then hang around.
I'm going to start off with this... I know that Public Defenders have a job to do and there are times when innocent people who are seeking justice get it because of them, but this isn't one of those stories and I am hoping that putting my thoughts and anger into words will lighten the turmoil I've been carrying around and help me close this chapter that has been going on for far too long.

On December 11th 2010 my then 13 y/o son and 3 friends (ages 12 and 13) went to our local mall, they all took something that portrayed them and were planning on getting a picture made with Santa. Ben had taken his skateboard. While the 4 of them ( 2 girls, 2 boys) were standing at their meet up point they were approached by an older man, long straggly hair and beard wreaking of alcohol. The first person he spoke to was Ben asking for his license and registration for his skateboard, Ben didn't think too much about it, and pretty much ignored him, he then went on to ask the kids their names, ages and what schools they went to, he stroked Ben on his arm and squeezed his shoulder, telling him to enjoy the pretty ladies now and that it wouldn't be so easy to get women when he got older, at that Ben told his friends to come on and he started to walk away, seconds later he heard one the girls yell "Ouch" as they all went to walk away this man grabbed one girl by her wrist and tried to pull her away with him, the other kids walked back towards them and with that the guy let go and started to walk away telling the kids "Merry Christmas, be careful what you wish for because you might just get it." Needless to say they were shaken up, pics with Santa never took place instead it was calls to parents to go pick them up and then later on phone calls and interviews with the Police. Ben was able to tell the Police of a very telling tattoo the man had on his arm that read 'Doug' and it was that tattoo that led to the arrest of the offender. Days later a Police Officer went to the kids school and had them look at pictures of long haired , long bearded men that had been in custody and try to ID the perp.
Fast forward to January and we received a subpoena, the defendant was being held and a court date was scheduled for the end of the month, that day came and we all went to court, all 4 kids and their parents, as we walked into the court room we noticed an older man keep eyeballing our kids from across the room, the kids became uncomfortable and told us "That's him, that's Doug." didn't matter that he was now clean shaven and had had a haircut, they knew it was him. As the kids anxiously awaited what was to come the attorney for the prosecution came up to us and told us that a jury trial had been requested, that we would receive a new date in the mail and that we could leave. The trial date was set for May 5th, we all showed up again, the states atty came out and told all of the kids that because of them a potential pedophile was going to be locked up that day, because of them our town had become a safer place. The Defendant was pleading guilty and was looking at spending anywhere from 5 - 15 years behind bars. The kids were told because he was pleading guilty they didn't have to testify and they could leave or they could go and see the justice system at work and see justice been served. They all chose not to go into that court room, not one of them wanted to see him ever again. We all left relieved and happy, and then 3 months later I heard a knock on my door it was a sheriffs deputy with another subpoena for Ben, the defendant had changed his mind and had asked for a continuance which was granted because the witnesses had left, the next court date for a jury trial was set for November, so off we all went again, we waited and waited and waited.... the defendant didn't show up and a bench warrant was put out for his arrest. He was arrested 2 weeks later and was locked up until the new trial date which was this past Monday. We all went back to court again, this time knowing there was going to be a trial, the kids were going to have to get up on the stand and speak replaying all that had happened that afternoon over 1 year ago.
We walked into the court room, there was the defendant, bald and clean shaven looking smug and eyeballing the kids again, the jury was selected, the kids were asked to leave the court room and the trial commenced.
Long story short the defendant walked away, able to go back to his old ways and do who knows what to other children. The jury was never shown the photos of the bruises on the one girls arm, the defense claimed they hadn't seen the photos and hadn't had time to prepare. The Defense atty showed the photo of the man the children had identified, the man with the long hair and beard asking how the children could possibly be 100% that that was his client, because the prosecution hadn't told the defense they were going to ask Ben to identify him via the tattoo that was disallowed, the defense atty was the same atty that was going to get up on the stand in May with his client and tell everyone his client was pleading guilty.... this atty KNOWS the man is guilty of this crime, this atty KNOWS this mans criminal record, he KNOWS the man spends more time in prison than out (Which at this point is a saving grace) The defendant never got up on the stand, he didn't have to say a word and he walked out of that court room a free man. At the end of the day there were 4 children left scared and wondering what they could have said or done differently to have changed the outcome, parents angry and pissed knowing their children lost an innocence at the mall that day that they can never claim back, that a man who is a nuisance to society and a very real threat to our children is out walking our streets and a defense atty who had done his job and I guess you could say he did it well, but what I don't understand is how someone who has just done everything he can to ensure his client can walk out of there a free man can possibly look at himself in the mirror and like what he sees, how can he sleep peacefully at night knowing that he allowed this man to walk away and prey on other innocent people, I just don't get it and these are the thoughts keeping me up at night. I don't know how we can protect our loved ones when the legal system has loop holes such as what we have here, loop holes in that a man who knows his client is guilty, is a danger to society, a very real threat to our children and yet he in order to do his job well has to pretend that his client is a man misunderstood and misidentified.
I just don't get it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What's your word ?

Have you chosen a word to live by yet for 2012 ?
I was thinking about this last week and the word running in my brain over and over was Balance. By the end of 2011 everything was out of balance even our diet became unbalanced as I tried to juggle too many things. My business grew and grew and grew some more and for that I was encouraged, grateful and humbled, but as it grew my house grew dirtier, meals became quick and hurried things to throw together and were hardly ever balanced, Hamburger Helper even got served twice for the first time ever and it'll be the last, that stuff is NASTY !! Christmas shopping was put off until Christmas Eve, Christmas cards didn't get mailed out, cookies for Santa were baked at 10pm Christmas Eve, instead of a tin of his favorite cookies being added to his pillow case it was a package of cookie mix for Ben.
There were a lot of firsts and none of them were firsts I'd want to repeat. I didn't even get my white Christmas tree in my kitchen decorated, that's generally one of my favorite things to do in the Christmas season. So this year I will be taking some deep breaths and long looks around me and find a new balance. Try to figure out the things to let go of and the things to hang onto, learn to say "No" again.... I'm doing better but there's still room for improvement but it's all baby steps right ?

So what's your word ?

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