Rocket Mom!

It’s homecoming night for Catholic High, and I’m in full Rocket Mom mode. Well, I will be around 2:00, anyway. I’m not going to the game, but I’m sure Rader will. I volunteered to help set up. The alumni association is providing burgers and dogs and drinks for everyone. Kinda cool, really.

The Arkansas State Fair starts this weekend. I’m sad I won’t be going this year because the boys and I had tons of fun last year sampling all the fried food on a stick. I really could go for a corndog and a fried twinkie. And I do love me some people watching. Wow. It’s even better than people watching at an outdoor concert by the river!

Here’s some fair pics from 2008:

 Connor and Rader. Can’t believe these two kids are now 6ft+ tall.
 Bacon and Chocolate. Gross.
Fried Twinkie. Divine.
Here’s some pics from 2011:

Heh. Too fun. Dammit Janet! I want a corn dog!

R.I.P Baby Bear

I’m so glad the boys and I got a chance to love you. You’ll be missed. 15 years is a good long life, and I hope you enjoy your forever spot underneath the shade tree. Chicken Nugget will be sure to visit often and keep you company.

ETA: for those who don’t know, Baby Bear was El Jefe’s puppy for 15 years. He was a full-sized lab on little-bitty legs and he loved kids, cats, and El Jefe. He also loved chicken treats and after the move, loved the Compound.

dmv and high blood pressure


I go to the DMV today to tag my car and switch my MS license over to AR. Because I want this to be as painless as possible, I do my research.

Back in June, I tried to switch my license over, so I went online to find out what the requirements were. I found out all I needed to do was bring my license and my social security card. However, when I get there, I am told that they no longer accept social security cards as a form of ID (even though their website clearly states that’s all I need). Thanks to homeland security, my birth certificate is required now.

Okay fine. I go online and order a replacement birth certificate because it would take me weeks/months/years to find which box the one I have is stored in.

Birth certificate arrives. I go back to DMV very proud that I now have everything required to get my license. Except that I don’t.

Dude behind the counter, who apparently has a problem with enunciation, says:

dmv: Your name don’t match.

me: sorry?

dmv: your name don’t match.

me: (clearly exasperated) what do you mean my name don’t match? Here is my birth certificate as I was told to bring. Here is my MS DL… what’s the problem?

dmv: you weren’t told by me.

me: Sigh. No I was told by another lady that this was what I needed to change my license over.

dmv: yeah. but you need your marriage license too. So your name will match.

Okay, I don’t explode (proud?) I go home and tear up my house for the marriage license…which I finally find. I make myself some cookies and eat about a pound of cookie dough before I head back to hell the DMV.

I stand in line again. And of course, I wind up with Mr. lack of Enunciation.

me: (smiling because I have to) I’m back! Here’s all my stuff.

dmv: (eying both the marriage and birth certs carefully. He walks over to the copier with the certificates and my DL…then turns to me and says) Your name ain’t the same.

me: sorry?

dmv: your name is spelled different on the birth cert than it is on the DL.

me: yes. they misspelled my name on the birth cert. But everything else is right.

dmv: might be a problem. (he makes the copies then comes back to desk) You had a license in AR before?

me: yes.

dmv: under what name? You got both Francis and McKenzie and McKenzie Francis.

me: under both names

dmv: (gives me the raised eyebrow to fuck with me look)

me: I was born here. My first license was McKenzie. I got married here, so it switch to Francis. It’s now legally McKenzie Francis no hyphen)

dmv: (pulling up prior license) We gotta problem.

me: (totally exasperate) Oh? what’s that?

dmv: Your name is wrong. Your not McKenzie Francis in our system. You’re just Francis.

me: I didn’t change it on my SSN until about 5 years ago, but it’s McKenzie Francis now. Promise.

dmv: Hm. So which name are you now? cuz when I put you in, if you don’t match, there’s a problem

me: you have my MS DL in front of you! That is my legal name. THAT is what I want. THAT is who I am.

dmv: But it isn’t in our system like that.


dmv: Okay. so which name?


he does his thing. I take my piccie (actually kinda cute) then I ask him about voter registration.

dmv: I can register you. Which name?

Okay, can I just tell you, that man is lucky to still be alive? Seriously. It actually goes on from there, but I just can’t relive it. There’s not enough booze in the house to get me through.



happy nose-pierce-iversary!

That’s right, 1 year ago today, I had my nose pierced.
And I can’t imagine my life without that little gem. Seriously, it’s like I’ve always had it.

So happy nose-pierce-iversary to me!

I got my navel pierced for my 35th birthday. My nose done to celebrate my first book sale…and this year’s milestone…a tattoo.

I was supposed to get my first one in SF this year at the RWA Conference with the same group of Divas who kidnapped me and took me to get my nose done last year. But that wasn’t meant to be. First of all, I had to cancel my trip. Too expensive under the circumstances. If my book was going to hit the shelves this year, I would’ve figured out a way to afford the trip, but it’s not, and there really is no reason for me to go. Secondly, Fishdog has designed my tattoo but it needs a little tweaking. The tattoo isn’t going to happen until the design is ready.

But it will happen sometime before March. It’s my turning 40 celebration.

Do you do anything special to celebrate your milestones?

the british are coming!

Many of y’all will remember two years ago when we hosted our first set of soccer coaches. Grant and Simon swooped in and ate us out of house and home and stole our hearts in the process. We also ended up ‘adopting’ all the coaches by the end of the week. I’m still in touch with all the gang and a few more member of the self-proclaimed “Dream Team” that we met throughout the summer.

Last year, we had two other coaches. Del and Rob. Del and I exchange emails some. He’s in California and enjoying it tremendously.

Well, now that’s it’s summer and we’re no longer in Oxford, we’ve had to find a new soccer camp. As luck would have it, Maumelle hosts the Challenger Soccer camp every year, and apparently it’s one of the best ones around…So we signed the boys up. And we asked to host.

And guess who’s coming?

My wee lad Grant! I haven’t seen him in two years. We email quite a bit and he calls us every few weeks to check in, but we’re going to get to see him live and in person now! Yippee!!!

We spent the day yesterday with the Maumelle Soccer club doing a 3 v 3 tournament. What a warm and friendly group. Fishdog and I are going to let the boys try out for their classic soccer team. We really like the sense of community that club had. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. It was a nice change to the Little Rock club, which I think has just grown too big to be friendly.

Anyway, today we’re tidying the house and getting it ready to be destroyed by the coaches. We have Grant, and 2 other lads from Manchester. I’m stoked. Should be a great (and very tiring) week.

For more pics and “lad” related blogs”

Hey Audrey! We’re gonna miss you!!!

recapping my weekend

Luau pictures are 2 posts below. We had about 50 people and kidlets overall. I was a bad photog and forgot to start taking pictures until about 4 hours in. I’ll never be a paparazzi.

Sunday we woke in a haze. It was hot, humid and our house looked like a Frat Bomb had exploded in it. And we’d even straightened up some the night before. We cleaned a little but mostly we just lounged around then took Ian to Wild River Country and Rader to see Indiana Jones. (Okay, is there anyone out there who DIDN’T see IJ this weekend?) Fun movie. Definitely not the best of the series, but totally entertaining.

Monday we finally decided to head up to the lake. I took loads of pictures. It was a gorgeous day but the water was just too cold for my liking! We had a great time soaking up the sun and relaxing.

The house still isn’t back to normal but honestly, I don’t care. LOL It is going to have to wait.


Ian has been running track this year. First year to give it a go, and he seems smitten with it.

His last track meet was last week. He did the long jump, shot, and the 100 meter dash. He was supposed to run in the 200 meter, but he hurt his leg in the long jump, so he scratched.

Here are some piccies:

owned by a cat

Meet Ginger. We often call her “Up High Cat” because she loves to find the highest possible point in the house and sleep there. As a matter of fact, she loves the attic. She will stand in the hall, underneath the attic pull down and squall until we let her up there to explore.

Up High Cat also loves to explore our basement area. It’s a 3/4 finished space with a French drain and shelving, and a big mound of dirt for her to roll in. Since she’s an inside cat, this is her one place to go hunting, gathering, and exploring.

Monday, she found this:

Notice how small the opening is. (btw, that’s above the door frame. I can’t get photobucket to cooperate with rotating the pic)Yes, she’s a small cat–but she’s not that small. However, she was up for the challenge.

Monday afternoon Fishdog comes upstairs and asks “Have you seen Ginger? I swear I hear her mewling, but she’s not under the house.”

Nope. Hadn’t seen her.

So we start searching. We looked outside. Maybe she popped through a hole a screen and was on the roof or in a tree. Nope. We looked in every up high nook and cranny and even under the beds. Nothing. We searched in the dryer, in all the cabinets, in all the closets. Nada.

But we could still hear her faint mewling.

We were very still, listening intently. That’s when we realized it sounded like she was here:
Yes, she was in the drop down ceiling. Sigh.

We tried to coax her out with food, but she couldn’t seem to make her way to the opening. And the longer we listened to her mewl, the more we realized she was no longer in the ceiling…she had fallen down the wall.

So, guess what we did Monday afternoon? Here, let me show u it:

ah. the things we do for love…

So, who wants to caption my LOLCat Picture. The one in the wall would be a perfect choice, don’t ya think? The winner will get full credit on my blog and win a copy of Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Night and MarelyMarley Gibson’s (aka Kate Harmon) Zeta or Omega.

Caption away.
ETA: I’ll choose the winner on Cinco de Mayo! That’s Monday y’all!

a mel-o-dramatic mélange

So, where were we? Ah yes, yesterday’s list–updated

  1. Finish revising proposal, send to DK. check
  2. Start plotting new book idea. partially checked
  3. Clean off disgusting desk, partially checked. Finishing now.
  4. Hang anniversary present over desk.
  5. Vacuum and dust.

I could’ve told you yesterday that #5 would still be on the list. Guess what, it will probably still be on the list next week, too. Why hast thou forsaken me, Alice?

Next on my blog topic list? Today was weigh in day. I am officially down 11.5 lbs in 5 weeks. I’m pretty stoked. I worked hard this week, because Sunday we had a birthday party for my nephew and I accidentally ate chicken fingers, pizza, cake and ice cream. I made sure I busted my ass at the gym and walking. Plus all my yard work. I had to make up for all that accidental gorging.

I had hoped to be -15 for my trip to Boston next week, but I don’t think I’ll quite get there. I supposed I could do a Biggest Loser workout, and hit the gym twice a day, every day, for 4 hours or so. Heh. Who am I kidding. I’ll try to lose this week, maybe I can get to -13 before I head to Bean-town.

I really can’t wait to go. I’m gonna hang out with my friends and celebrate Marley Gibson’s (writing as Kate Harmon for this series) debut release! Beta Zeta or Omega? is available for pre-order now!

While in Boston, I’m going to get a chance to meet fellow TKA Sistah and blog-friend, Kwana Jackson! Yippee! I’m also gonna hang with my cps and BFFs, Louisa and Maria. And hot glamazon Kristen Painter. I mean, could my life be any better? I think not. Oh wait! There’s more! Marley and I share an agent, so yes, life could get better, because the lovely Deidre Knight will be there, too! Go ahead. You can be jealous. I’ll let ya.

Have I missed anyone? I’ll let you know when I return. With pictures.

Let’s see. What else did I want to talk about? Oh yeah. Top Shit Chef. Can I just say I’m disgusted that Jen went home? I really liked her. A lot. Sniff.

Okay, I think that’s it for today’s blog-o-plenty. Have y’all had a good week? Anything going on that I need to know about? And have y’all seen any cute shoes that are comfy that will go with my cute black dress? Let me know…

Oh and before I forget: Amanda has a fantastic post on Cyber-stalking/Cyber-bullying over at Fictionistas. Check it out. There are some CRAZIES out there!