When are lifetime driving bans appropriate?

Drunk Driver Arrested

On July 14, 2012, 63-year-old Elizabeth Sovis and her husband of 34 years, Edmund Aunger, were biking along a road in Prince Edward Island, Canada while on a cycling vacation from Alberta. They were on their way to the bed and breakfast where they were staying. Aunger’s wife never made it to the B&B. She was struck by a 49-year-old drunk driver (who was found to have a blood alcohol level almost three times the legal limit of .08). She died in her husband’s arms by the side of the road.

This week, the driver was sentenced after pleading guilty to impaired driving causing death.

According to a news report last Friday, the Crown asked for an 8-year prison sentence along with a lifetime driving ban. The Defence however proposed a 3 to 4-year prison sentence but asked that the driver be allowed to get his license back at some point because he operates a plumbing and heating company.

*In my most sarcastic voice* Oh the hardship!!!

On Tuesday I was very happy to read here that the judge heeded the Crown’s suggestion (somewhat) and sentenced the man to six years in prison and did indeed ban the man from driving for life.

Hallelujah!

In delivering his decision, the judge talked about the man’s four previous impaired driving convictions as aggravating factors in the case given that he had his license suspended four times and that still didn’t stop him from drinking and driving the day he killed the cyclist.

YA THINK!??!

The judge did mentioned the driver’s cooperation with police and immediate guilty plea as mitigating factors (ok…I will give him that…he didn’t drag this family through a lengthy court battle) and acknowledged that the driver battles with alcoholism. That being said, the judge also remarked that although alcoholism is a disease, the driver did exercise his free will and choose to drive while drunk…period!

One of the saddest parts of the story is that in his victim impact statement, Aunger said he partially blames himself for his wife’s death because he was riding ahead of her at the time of the crash when normally he would have been riding behind her.

That is what this man is left to live with. He went on a cycling vacation with his wife of 34 years and returned home grief stricken and full of self-blame.

Who’s serving the life sentence here?

Y’all know I am for harsher prison sentences when it comes to impaired driving causing death. I believe we should have a minimum sentence of 10 years (at least). I am somewhat pleased with the six years since it’s definitely higher than the 3 year sentences we’ve been seeing.

But where I really want to commend the judge is on imposing a lifetime driving ban.

I believe this should also be part of the minimum sentences when a person is convicted of impaired driving causing death. When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk and you take someone’s life, you should never be given a second chance to do it again. Not to mention, since the family has to serve a life sentence of grief, it would be fair, if not a smidge comforting, to know that the perpetrator also has to serve something of a life sentence.

For me, to often people convicted of impaired driving cause death are released from prison after serving next to no real time. And then after completing their programs and parole, they go back to life as usual. Yes, they suffer some consequences but at some point, they can put the entire experience behind them and move forward like it never happened. I mean, depending on the sentence type, they can even apply for a pardon after 3 to 10 years.

It’s not right.

It’s not fair.

It’s certainly not justice.

Driving is a privilege, not a right!

If you choose to drive drunk and you take someone’s life, I believe you should have to feel the consequences of that decisions for the rest of your life. And not just in your heart but to experience a physical hardship for the rest of your life.

My question is, why does there have to be aggravating circumstances? In this case, the lifetime driving ban was due in large part to the escalation factor of the drunk driver’s record with four prior DUIs. Why? Why must a lifetime driving ban only occur when there is a prior record?

Isn’t killing someone aggravating factor enough?

And what strikes me as even sadder still is that it was apparent that this guy was a perpetual drunk driver. And it took someone dying before we got him off the road permanently. What could have been done to ensure it didn’t get to this stage?

What do you think? When are lifetime driving bans appropriate? Are they ever? Should we impose them before a drunk driver escalates to the point of killing someone? I’d love to hear your thoughts?

Although I’ve stated my position pretty firmly, I want you to know that I am open to hearing from the other side of the coin so don’t be shy…if you disagree; you are more than welcome to voice your opinion and know you’ll be respected!

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Urban Word Wednesday (Special Holiday Yum Edition): French Lace Cookies

Welcome to Urban Word Wednesday! New words, phrases, and sayings I am learning (and using in my day-to-day life) brought to you by ME…and the Urban Dictionary. You are gonna love these!

French Lace Cookies: A type of cookie. Delicate. When you hold them up to the light, you’ll see why they’re called lace cookies. The thin batter is transformed, in baking, into a crisp round with open spaces resembling lace. The rolled-up version is popular in Sweden; cooks there roll the warm cookies around a piece of broom handle.

Examples Of Use:

It’s my turn to take a kick at the Holiday Yum can and I thought what better way than to have some Urban Word Wednesday fun with it. Hubby and I went to see the movie Lincoln on the weekend and I enjoyed telling this family story much to the amusement of those around us.

Hubby: so what’s with the French Lace Cookies for the Holiday Yum blogfest? What’s the story there? I didn’t think you baked? So full of surprises…

Me: you know how I am slightly baking challenged with mishaps and “incidents”?

Hubby: that’s putting it lightly. You are more than a little challenged? You nearly qualify for disability when it comes to baking.

Me: well…it’s genetic! Growing up, Mom did a ton of baking. And especially at Christmas time. And she had some solid recipes that she’d mastered like butter tarts and meat pies. But let me tell you, we also had us a few adventures and baking mishaps that elicited a few temper tantrums. Dishes were thrown out. Swear words were spoken. It was duck and cover.

Hubby: so you do come by it honestly….

Me: oh yes…and one of those times was when Mom decided to try baking these French Lace Cookies. We’d never had them before and Shawn and I were instructed to help. We measured. We mixed. We anticipated. We knew from the photo they were supposed to come out like this:

French Lace Cookies

But they came out more like this:
hockey puck

Hubby: oh lord…your Mother must have lost her mind….

Me: actually…she wasn’t too bad but I think it was because Shawn and I ate the darn things anyway. Ya just had to suck on them for an hour or so first to soften them up. ROFL!!

Hubby: interesting…so that’s where you developed that remarkable little skill….sorry, I digress…so what happened? What went wrong? Did she try them again?French Lace Cookies - rolled

Me: yip…she realized she had used 2 cups of flour instead of one…LOL…and she did try them again and they turned out perfectly time and time again. And Shawn and I had a ton of fun rolling them up and making them into rolls, fans and whatever shape we could think of. They are a deliciously light and crunchy cookie.

Here’s Mom’s recipe taken straight out of my family heirloom (stories and recipes) book. From my family to yours; I hope you enjoy them for years to come!

French Lace Cookies - Recipe

Ever had French Lace Cookies? What baking mishaps have you had? When things go awry in the kitchen, do you blow up or stay calm, cool and collected? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Merry Hubby’s Corner XXX-mas!!!

HC Logo

Like most people, you’ve likely spent years making Xmas all about the children; making them as happy as possible for Xmas. Whether you agree this is the intension of the Xmas holiday or not – most would agree it’s the thing that makes Xmas most special.

Creating traditions, putting together toys into the wee-hours of the night, putting extra attention in the wrapping of the presents, putting together special yummy treats all the while experiencing the ultimate gift of giving….the moment their eyes bulge out of their head as they throw their arms above theirs heads and wiggle in their undies as they SQUEE with delight.

AND like a lot of other people, Natalie and I now find ourselves with a child that is grown and moved out on his own, living his own life, leaving us in the empty nest. Traditions forcibly changed, making Xmas a lot different from before.

Well I say NO MORE!!!

Hubby Claus and his ‘lil elf’ want to pass along how you can put the XXX back into Xmas this year. I say an empty nest is the perfect opportunity to have a little adult fun over the Holiday Season. Check out the following ideas for you and your spouse’s holiday excitement.

Let’s check out the buzz over at the holiday night stand at Chocolate Fantasies.

Glass-Candycane

Don Wand Glass Candy Cane Dildo

This beautiful glass dildo is shaped like a candy cane and will electrify any Xmas tryst making your holiday spirit bright!

pinkcandyCaneVibe

The Candy Cane Vibe

Whether you are looking to give yourself the ultimate gift or looking to shake things up, this bad boy is another Holiday treat that will leave you anything but minty fresh!

Now that we’ve got the buzz, let’s check out wrapping supplies:

xmas-Tuggie

The Xmas Tuggie

And if the real thing is more your style, what better way to wrap your gift than with the Xmas Tuggie (inspired by Jenny Hansen’s Undie Chronicles)

unwrap-Me

Unwrap Me Satin Bow Teddy

Your man will want to tear into this package with excitement and vigor!

SO that covers gifts and wrapping supplies…now check out these decorations:

Pornamentpornament-gingerbread-Femalpornament-gingerbread-man

s-n-M-SnowsexChristmas-Buckpornament-Breast-Ball-Brown

And instead of keeping the mistletoe PG this year – nothing gets the party started like a little XXX mistletoe:

51KbcnNu+HL__SY450_

Now that the place is decorated – how about some Holiday treats:

ginger_boy_pop ginger_girl_pop

So you see – even though the kids might be doing their own thing – thanks to Hubby’s Corner you can still spend the night…

Creating traditions, putting together toys into the wee-hours of the night, putting extra attention in the wrapping of the presents, putting together special yummy treats all the while experiencing the ultimate gift of giving….the moment their eyes bulge out of their head as they throw their arms above their heads and wiggle in their undies as they SQUEE with delight.

MERRY XXX-MAS TO ALL & TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

Hubby Claus!

How do you and your empty nesting spouse plan to celebrate the Holiday season? Any new traditions since the kids moved out? How do you spice things up at Xmas? For those with small children, how do you keep the triple xxx in your Xmas? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Losing a loved one to impaired driving

Mamma K

It’s hard sometimes to explain to people how losing a loved one to impaired driving is different from losing someone in a way that doesn’t involve a criminal act. I say that because I was one of those people who had no idea. It never dawned on me. And not because I’m not a sensitive or empathic person, I most certainly am. But until you’ve experienced it, you can’t know what you don’t know.

I lost my Dad in a car accident in 1991. An oncoming driver hit a piece of black ice, spun out of control and hit my Dad head on. He was killed instantly. And although it was devastating, our family always knew that it was an accident. We knew that the driver wasn’t negligent, he wasn’t on the phone or texting, he hadn’t been drinking, and he wasn’t on drugs. What happened just happened. No one could have predicted it or prevented it. And in that “knowing”, the family had peace and never blamed the driver of the truck that hit Dad. We grieved, we mourned, we were devastated but we were able to heal, grown, move on and rebuild.

When an impaired driver steals a loved one from your life (or injures them), it’s very different. It’s someone’s fault. Someone made a choice, a conscious decision that resulted in the death or injury of a loved one…that resulted in your pain and suffering!

When Mamma K was killed and The Dude injured on August 1, 2009, we were told almost immediately that the police suspected the driver was impaired and that a blood sample had been sent away for analysis. That was in August. We waited months (6 months in fact) after Mamma K was killed to finally get official notice that the blood sample came back from the lab and that the offender would be officially charged with impaired driving causing death.

The emotional toll of waiting MONTHS to hear this verdict was devastating. The family couldn’t move forward. Everything was suspended in time. The wound was open and festering while we wondering if salt was about to be poured on it or not. There was no healing. There was no growing. It was an opened, angered pain waiting to erupt at any moment…for months on end.

It was like watching a thriller movie where you are sitting on the edge of your seat, the terrifying music building and building as you know the “jump” scene is coming at any moment and then BAM! You leap from your seat with almost relief to have the building tension finally over. Only ours lasted for months….

When the driver was finally charged with impaired driving causing death, everything became real in the blink of an eye. All of a sudden we were stricken with a deep and profound knowing that this didn’t have to happen. That it had been preventable. Mamma K didn’t have to die and The Dude didn’t need to be injured and emotionally scarred for life.

Suddenly, we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt (court or no court) that someone knowingly and consciously made the choice to put the lives of innocent people at risk and we were the ones that lost his gamble. You have no idea how that consumes you. How it permeates through your entire being. How the pain and anger curses through your veins…every moment of every single day. There was intense and all-consuming anger, pain, hatred, revenge, blame, unfairness, and disgust that now couples in with your grief. Suddenly….someone has DONE this TO you.

How do you swallow that? How you come to terms with that? How do you accept that someone killed and injured someone you love?

Let me tell you…you don’t…ever!

And then, to make matters worse, starts the endless sea of court dates and the emotional roller coaster of that experience. Ours was 20 months and well over a dozen court visits.

  • Will he get charged?
  • What will he plead?
  • Why did he plead not guilty?
  • Will he get off?
  • Will the defense’s arguments stand?
  • Will the prosecution’s arguments stand?
  • Wait and see….
  • OMG, the defense won and that evidence is out. Devastation. The man who did this will get off.
  • But wait…there’s another possible way to get the evidence in….
  • More arguments on both sides….more waiting…
  • The decision that the other evidence is in. Elation!
  • The guilty verdict. Elation.
  • Closure? Nope.
  • More pain. Writing and reading victim impact statements. How do you put into worse the impact of losing your loved one and seeing your step-son profoundly injured? You try. But somehow you never feel like your words quite capture it.
  • Sentencing.
  • Closure? Nope.
  • Jail notification – he got day parole.
  • Jail notification – he went to Moncton for something.
  • Jail notifications keep coming – for this that and the other thing.
  • Jail notification – he’s up for parole.
  • Jail notification – do you want to submit new victim impact statements, do you want to read them aloud, do you want to attend his parole hearing, fill out forms upon forms upon forms.
  • Drive to attend parole hearing.
  • Bite your lip as you watch his mother defend him…as he defends himself…as he demonstrates no remorse or accountability.
  • Parole denied…elation.
  • More pain knowing he’ll get statutory release after serving only 2 years for killing Mamma K and injuring The Dude…devastation.

It goes on and on…

Our impaired driving case has been going on for nearly 4 years. Even though he was found guilty and sentenced to jail, it doesn’t stop there. It’s like this never-ending emotional roller coaster. How do you ever put it behind you? How do you ever find closure when it’s like a gaping wound, open and festering being poked over and over again?

After my Dad died, yes it was hard. Yes it took time. Yes it was horrific and devastating and awful but we were able to grieve…heal…and move forward with our lives. We weren’t entangled with this massive thing called the criminal justice system that seems to do anything but provide justice…that seems to re-victimize the true innocents over and over again. After Dad died, we weren’t reading the Criminal Code of Canada, talking to lawyers and prosecutors, researching other drunk driving cases and the like for days and months and years. We were able to grieve and move on. Period.

This…is so much more!

I share this with you not so you feel sorry for us. Not so you send hugs and love (although I know you do and they are gratefully appreciated). I share this with you all so that you know.

  • So when you hear of an impaired driving story where someone has died or has been injured, you can have a better appreciation for the process that family is embarking on.
  • So when you see a suspected impaired driver on the road, you won’t hesitate to call 911.
  • So when you host a party this holiday season, you will be diligent in having alcohol-free options and will insist everyone have a safe and sober plan to get home.
  • So when you hear of someone talking in passing about having driven drunk, you won’t hesitate to speak out.

Because…now you know. You know the devastation. You know the risk is way too high. You know the cost is much too high. And the more of us who are out there, who know and who spread the message, the greater the chance that one day we will win this battle and will stop impaired driving once and for all….

Losing a loved one is tragic and devastating enough on its own – knowing someone’s negligence and choices were responsible just makes it that much worse.

Please…share our story! Help save a life!

How has the lost or injury of a loved on impacted your life? How do you cope and heal? How do you plan to spread the awareness of the dangers of impaired driving this holiday season?  I’d love to hear your thoughts?

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 2: Estee Lavitt’s Latkes
  • December 5: Yours truly with French Lace Cookies
  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Urban Word Wednesday: Walk Blocker

Welcome to Urban Word Wednesday! New words, phrases, and sayings I am learning (and using in my day-to-day life) brought to you by ME, hubby…and the Urban Dictionary. You are gonna love these!

Walk Blocker: A person that suddenly stops when they are walking right in front of another.

Examples Of Use:

Although it wasn’t technically Black Friday in Canada, a lot of the stores in the mall had what I like to call fake Black Friday sales all weekend long. I call them fake because they aren’t really that fantastic a sale (saving $25 is not worth lining up for 3 hours people!!!) but they seem to elicit a shopping frenzy anyway.

Normally we’d avoid the mall this weekend but hubby signed up to do racquetball and he needed some new shorts and sneakers so it was off to the mall in the midst of the fake Black Friday insanity. You should know, hubby and I can get a little tense in large crowds…especially large crowds of morons. We were at the local sports store paying for our purchase when we enjoyed this convo.

Hubby: WTF…if one more person walk blocks me I am going to lose my shit!

Me: what is it with walk blockers anyway…like get out of the road if you need to stop for something.

Hubby: I think it’s the new digital age…people gotta stop where ever they are to see what’s on the phone.

Me: I agree…but what is it with people who just stop and conglomerate in the middle of an aisle to talk for an hour walk blocking the whole area?!?! I don’t get it…like step out of the aisle and enjoy your convo. I near rolled up on over some tweens back there who stopped to talk to their gal pals dead center of the aisle. I was going a good clip and nearly didn’t get stopped?! Like…WTF??? Oblivious!

Hubby: I am going to get a cart and get my Christmas plow on. Gonna just drive over those walk blockers. Maybe I should get sign for my cart that says “comin’ thru bitches!”

Me: and a horn…and lights…and definitely a t-shirt!!!! 

What is it with walk blockers? Ever come across them? How do you handle it? Ever been one??? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 2: Estee Lavitt’s Latkes
  • December 5: Yours truly with French Lace Cookies
  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Driving while…shaving?

There is a strong likelihood that most of you have heard of this story considering I believe it came out in 2010 but it’s so insane, it bears repeating! Thank you Trudy for sending it my way! And thank you Celia Rivenbark for your witty take on the story. ROFL! 

Now y’all know I am all about keeping my nest lean and mean but while driving?

Don’t get me wrong, I understand wanting to be “good to go” but was her date honestly going to tear a piece as soon as she walked through the door? Couldn’t she have just packed her razor and shaving cream in her purse and took a little bathroom break prior to getting her groove on? You see it in the movies all the time…the woman excuses herself to powder her nose and unmentionables, right?

Bloody insane…there’s no way I’d put a razor down by my girlie parts going 75 miles per hour trying to run the gas, brake and steer! I have enough issues trying to get a straight line and avoid razor burn shaving the girl in the shower where I can spread eagle, use a mirror and bend into a pretzel. Can you imagine taking a swipe sight unseen? Yikes.

And let us not forget her ex-husband, the real hero of the story. I mean, have you ever heard of such a gentleman before? He actually steered the car while she shaved her hooha in preparation for a date with another man. Then tried to take the blame by claiming he was the one driving after the accident…and they say gallantry is dead? I think not! This guy is a real peach. Why he is her ex is beyond me? She obviously had a real keeper in her midst. Slipped through her fingers…dang!

Given her long (and recent) criminal driving history, my only question is this…why wasn’t the ex driving? I mean…wouldn’t that have just made the most sense?

Although this story is meant to be entertaining, y’all know how serious I am about driving sober and alert. Enjoy the giggle but let’s all remember to driver sober and to put our phones (and razors) away while driving.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done while driving? Or what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen or heard about someone doing while driving? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

Our tentative schedule looks like this:

  • November 17: Jenny Hansen’s Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Meal – talk about an extravaganza!
  • November 19: Kathy Owen’s Spiced Pecans – OMG I so want to try these.
  • November 26: Ellen M. Gregg’s Chocolatiest Chocolate Cake Evah (and lemonade) – how will I EVER follow a diet now?
  • November 28: Jenny Hansen’s Almond Roca…I hear it’s to DIE for!
  • December 2: Estee Lavitt’s Latkes
  • December 5: Yours truly with French Lace Cookies
  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Stay tuned for link updates as posts go live and for more to be added to the schedule. Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

OMG…we are all going to eat like Kings and Queens….

Urban Word Wednesday: Typerventilating

Welcome to Urban Word Wednesday! New words, phrases, and sayings I am learning (and using in my day-to-day life) brought to you by ME…and the Urban Dictionary. You are gonna love these!

Typerventilating: sending messages through instant messaging in rapidly sequential intervals.

Examples Of Use:

If y’all follow me on Facebook (and if you don’t yet…wasssup???) you know hubby and I had a little date night last Thursday night.

Well, to ensure we actually saw the movie and got good seats, we went to an older theatre about 30 minutes away and went an hour+ early. Yeah…we…along with about a hundred+ people…had some time to kill. I got jiggy with my Blackberry.

Hubby: who are you blackberrying with? You are binging and pinging like a rockstar.

Me: you know how it is…I posted the pic of the beautiful bauble you spoiled me with *pauses to admire the sparkle* and now the peeps want the deets???

Hubby: good lord…you are practically typerventilating…aren’t your fingers cramping?

Me: I have 6 conversations on the go at once…no time for cramping! 

Hubby: 6 conversations?!?! I have no idea how you keep it all straight. Only in my dreams could I type that fast…on a regular keyboard let alone my phone…

Me: what can I say…my fans need to know…and I can’t let a fan down…

Hubby: you are a true star….

Me: fabulous…then could you be a peach and run and get me some popcorn…I just got another text and need to give the deets…can’t let a fan down, now can I?!?! 

Hubby: I’d love to…typerventilate away…but when the movie starts and into the night know that your fans will need to wait cause you are mine!

Me: ohhhh…I love it when you get all BRUTE on me…hell yes!! One last message and I am yours…

Ever have some gossip so juicy that you start typerventilating as you relay it to a friend? Or maybe someone ticked you off so badly you just had to typerventilate the story to someone? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

International Mens Day: who are you celebrating?

Today is International Mens Day. This is a day to celebrate the men in our lives and all the amazing things that they are and do. This year’s theme is “positive male role models.” And to commemorate this uberliciously fabulous day, I’d like to take today’s post to honor two very special men in my life; hubby and my step-dad (who I refer to as Dad now). Both of whom have been a major positive role model in my life.

Hubby…my hero!

Y’all know how much I adore hubby. Just this past weekend we celebrated 8 years together and he spoiled me with an incredible bauble…just the kind I like all sparkly and beautiful. He took me out to dinner and to see the Twilight Breaking Dawn Part II.

But hubby is so much more than the ultimate gift buyer and movie goer. He is more than urban word Wednesday fun. He is so much more than the guy who spoils me with new clothes and a panty drawer overhaul. He is an incredible person, best friend, husband, lover, role model and father.

Hubby has taught me how to love and trust in relationships and life again. When he came into my life, I was pretty skeptical. I had lost my father in a car accident 13 short years earlier and the mark of that devastation and lost was firmly tattooed on my heart and soul. I was paralyzed by the fear that any man I loved was going to leave me; one way or another. That fear of abandonment dominated my life and left me unable to love, trust and experience healthy relationships.

When hubby came into my life, there was no doubt I was in the best place I had ever been. I had taken months on my own to build up my self-esteem and self-love but I was still unsure of how to translate that into a relationship…and I wasn’t sure if I even could.

But when he came into my life, hubby took his time. He was patient, open, kind and loving. He shared with me. He bore his soul to me. He showed me what it was to be vulnerable and to put your heart in someone else’s hand with no expectations for the future. He had enough faith in love and “us” for the two of us. And with him as a constant, I began to see the light. I began to fall in love and shared myself in a way I had never done before. For the first time in what felt like a very long time, I was able to let go…and with complete abandonment, love!

With hubby…I finally became whole…and found myself.

But before hubby, came another defining relationship in my life that I believe was instrumental in my healing. My Dad.

My Dad…my other hero!

My Mom had been a window and single for 8 years before my Dad came into the picture. Mom and I had lived together as roommates for most of that time and we had a very close relationship. I knew she was ready to start dating and I really wanted to see her happy. I mean come on…8 years had passed. She was a vibrant, incredible woman in the prime of her life…she deserved to find love again!

It shocked me how upset and angry I was when she did actually start dating and falling in love with another man. In my head, I knew it was a great thing and I knew the man was perfect for her…but my heart was another matter. I couldn’t seem to get passed it. For years, my relationship with my Dad although positive and loving on the surface, had an underlying current of distrust and hurt. I loved him. I was happy for her. But I struggled to truly accept and love him wholeheartedly.

For years, I called my Dad by his first name and held him somewhat at arm’s length. I married my first husband and moved out of the house and a few years passed.

It was when I left my first husband and moved back home that my relationships with my Dad totally changed. Of course, Mom was there for me for hours of counseling and talking but she was also working a lot so it just so happened that my Dad and I were home together, a lot. I was struggling to find the answers to how I had made such a mess of my life and my Dad was there for me at every turn.

All these years he had never pushed or tried to force a deeper relationship with me. And here we found ourselves talking for hours on end. He helped me through the pain and devastation. He taught me about love, acceptance, and self-love. He helped me to take accountability for my choices and decisions that had led me to where I was. He showed me what it was to listen, to be heard, and to feel understood. He enabled and empowered me to figure out who I wanted to be going forward. And in those weeks and months, he became a father to me in every sense of the word.

Without knowing or trying, we became a father and a daughter and in that…a piece of my heart that I thought was permanently broken with the death of my father, healed. I became whole again. And I started calling him Dad…because that’s what he had become.

Hubby and Dad…these two men who came into my world later in life but both have played critical roles in helping me shape and define who I am today.

So today…on International Mens Day…I celebrate you hubby and Dad…the two most influencing men in my life. Two of my greatest joys. Two of the most incredible men I’ve had the honor to know and love. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and for everything you continue to do. Without either of you, my world wouldn’t be the same.

I love you both more than words could ever say!

What men do you celebrate today? How have they shaped you and your life? What man has been the greatest role model in your life and why? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

How do you give back to your community?

I was blown away when I watched MADD Canada’s latest PSA entitled “Impact — Victim Support“. Its goal is to let the public know that MADD Canada has victim support services available. MADD Canada’s mission isn’t just to stop impaired driving. It’s also to support the victims of this violent crime. The organization and its hundreds of chapters and volunteers across Canada offer support to those who have lost a loved one or who themselves have been injured in an impaired driving crash.

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It’s timely that I watched it now because while you are reading this, hubby and I are embarking on a 5-hour drive to Windsor, Nova Scotia to take the weekend-long Level II training to become MADD Canada Victim Service Volunteers; otherwise known as a VSV.

VSVs are there to offer support to victims of impaired driving. To become a certified VSV, hubby and I have to undertake two levels of training. First, we had to complete an online training course that took about 10 hours to complete and was designed to increase our sensitivity and knowledge of victims’ issues. We had to receive a “gold” standing to be invited to take the next level of training, which we did – woot woot.

Level II, which we are taking this weekend, is an advanced face-to-face training course. Once we successfully complete this training, as well as meet other screening requirements (criminal background check etc), we will then officially become MADD Canada certified VSVs.

As VSVs, our role in the community will be to provide emotional and practical support either face-to-face or over the phone to victims. As requested, we will offer victims support such as information, a list of relevant resources, advice on how to obtain accident and/or collision autopsy reports, guidance on communicating with crown attorneys, investigating officers, probation officers and/or parole officers and other services as appropriate to victims. We might also be asked to assist victims with the criminal justice process and civil litigation such as court accompaniment or helping them to write a victim impact statement.

As well, we’ll be able to bring them information on many of MADD Canada’s national services such as the National Memorial Wall, traveling wall and On-line Tributes as well as the National Conference for Victims of Impaired Driving and the Annual Candlelight Vigil.

I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to think about giving back to others in the same way that we were supported as a family. It’s sort of like coming full circle. To have the opportunity to offer support to someone in a time of tragedy is both an honor and a privilege.

Keep your fingers crossed that we pass…especially now that I put it all out there.

How do you give back in your community? During times of crisis or tragedy, what kind of support have  you benefited from and/or has surprised you? If you have lost a loved or were injured by an impaired driver, what kind of support has really helped you? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

  • World building intimidates me but Fae Rowen’s post on Writers in the Storm on with world building techniques made it sound way more doable!
  • After reading Patricia Sands interview post with Nicky Wells, I am dying to read her books!
  • FAB guest post by Tamara Ireland Stone on Janice Hardy’s blog about using writing prompts. I definitely filed this one away to use.

Urban Word Wednesday: Kennie

Welcome to Urban Word Wednesday! New words, phrases, and sayings I am learning (and using in my day-to-day life) brought to you by ME (and hubby)…and the Urban Dictionary. You are gonna love these!

Kennie: the name for the inner ring of muscles surrounding the anus.

Examples Of Use:

Now I know you are all wondering how in God’s name this term, in this context, happened to come up between me and hubby. Buckle up peeps. It’s hubby’s last name. We were at breakfast on the weekend when we enjoyed this conversation…

Me: alright Kennie…you ready to go?

Hubby: did I mention I looked up what Kennie means in the Urban Dictionary.

Me: you searched your last name???

Hubby: I was curious, what can I say? And I was not happy with what I found.

Me: do tell!  

Hubby: Kennie is the inner ring of muscles in the anus!

Me: seriously?!?! OMG that’s perfect. *ROFL*

Hubby: I didn’t find it very funny!

Me *between giggles*: really??? Because I find it kind of suiting…you can be quite the ass…and it turns out you technically are one. How perfect!

*thought the waitress ringing in our check was going to fall over*

Hubby: you are disturbing!

Me: OMG the fun I am going to have with this. Come on Kennie, let’s get you home so you can relieve yourself. How are you feeling today Kennie…super stretched or tight as a drum? What’s coming down the pipe Kennie? O.M.G this is fabulous!

Hubby: I regret telling you already!

Me: you know you love it. Now get your ass together and let’s go…

Ever google or urban dictionary your first or last name? Any deranged meanings? Any nasty (meant with the greatest of love) pet names for your significant other? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

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