Scenes from the lake

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This weekend was amazing. I can’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed.

Rader and I hung out in the hammock on Saturday. I read, he talked. We had to actually put him on mandatory Quiet Time on the way home last night. Seriously. That kid just yammers on like he’s got something to say. LOL

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This Spider is not real. However, you don’t know that when you pass by it. Trust me.

 

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WE’RE ON A BOAT!

Da Godfodda was our water taxi driver. We enjoyed Saturday afternoon on the lake after the rain moved on.

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A rare sighting! El Jefe!

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It really was a wonderful weekend. I read. FOR PLEASURE, all weekend long. I can’t remember the last time I did that!! Honestly, if it weren’t for the 2 hour drive there…Laura and Mac would never get rid of us. LOL

I did somehow manage to get eaten alive by chiggers on the entire left side of my body. Ugh.

El Jefe discovered evidence that Anacondas have a lair at Greers Ferry Lake. Giant snake skins…but no snakes to go with them. Because they’re hiding. Watching. Waiting…

I hope your weekend was as magically delicious as ours!

Melf unplugged

The fellas (minus Ian because he’s a working man now) and I will be heading to the lake tomorrow for a full day and night of fun. And then we will rinse and repeat on Sunday. I am so ready for a break.

Which means, I’m unplugging this weekend. Sure I’ll have my phone on me (because I can’t NOT take pictures!!) but I am not gonna be online. Yup. Even Facebook. (maybe) (probably) (possibly) (hopefully) (not much). At. All.

Try not to miss me!

In other internet news… There has been a couple of really fantastic discussions on one of my favorite blogs. If you’re interested in seeing how internet discussion SHOULD work, check out this blog post over at Raising Kids Without Religion.

Actually, there are two pretty great discussions going on right now:

God as a placebo
Children Taking a Different Path

I really enjoy reading the well thought out discussions and the respectful way they are conducted. Religion (and politics) can be such divisive topics that they are rarely discussed without anger and condescension. It is so refreshing to know there are places on the internetz that allow for these discussions without all the child-like behavior. Who knew that could exist? I never leave that website wanting to yell MOM! SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET AGAIN!

Okay my bitches! I leave you with your moment of zen…which will also give you an idea of what I will be doing all weekend long…

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#RWA13 I miss y’all!

Here are some pics of the Ghosts of RWA Conferences Past. Me and Maria Geraci in order: Dallas 04, Atlanta 06, Dallas 07

Mel_Maria Dallas

Mel_Maria.ATL 06

07RWA

Then here’s a pic of us in Orlando: 09 (this is actually the RT convention.)

RT09RWA was in DC in 09 and I was there, too. Here’s a link to the most awesome night ever…. Drag Queen Karaoke

I can’t find a picture of me and Maria together in DC. I know there is one…but, this will have to do as a substitute:

DC 09I miss my people! I vow to attend next year, no matter what. (she says, hoping that her empty wallet and dry writing well will fill up soon…)

In Compound Bootcamp Bootyville news, I rested last night. Will be doing major lower body damage to myself this evening. It will be painful and tomorrow I will be using a walker. With hot pink tennis balls for feet.

To all my friends in Atlanta, I miss you. I’m thinking about you. And if you do Drag Queen Karaoke night…PLEASE SEND ME ALL THE PICTURES! Also, good luck to you, my dear friend Maria! Bring home that RITA and make momma proud!

When a woman of substance becomes one with her substance

OMG y’all! I did yoga on Saturday. Well, I did “yoga”. It wasn’t exactly pretty, but it wasn’t a total fail either.

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I’m obviously so at peace. Right? (Helpful hint #1) fresh pedicures are very important for yoga, otherwise you may or may not obsess about your gross, callused, bootcamp feet the whole time… )

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OK. So my friends Crystal and Charity (the twins) both attend this class and they volunteered to be my photag for this adventure. They did a fabulous job. But let me go on record to say that the ‘close up’ picture of the above shot WILL NEVER BE SEEN IN PUBLIC. I kinda look like a beached manatee. So sexy. And I know the purpose of yoga is to free your mind of the external bullshit and love yourself and your body…but trust me when I say, if I look at that close up too much, there will never be any yoga ever again in my future.

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See that adorable pixie in the blue yoga pants? That’s Brandi Soucy. She was our instructor. She’s amazingly gentle and adorable. And so bloody flexible!

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I believe it was at about this point I said “AM I SUPPOSED TO BE SWEATING LIKE THIS? WE’RE JUST STANDING HERE!” apparently the answer is yes. Yes, you sweat in yoga.

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Here I am with Charity (left) and Crystal (right). Yes. I’m talking about the actual women, not my boobs.

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However, they seemed to be very impressed with the girls. I have to brag, I did NOT suffocate during downward dog and that makes me very happy. I strapped my girls in very well.

 

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Sweet Brandi! I think I’m going to attend class again. I may try to do 2 classes a month for a while. I’d like to do it weekly, but I’m just not ready for that yet.

My experience was amazing. And let me just add, that two hour nap I took afterward? It was like a coma.

Thank you ladies for a fantastic experience and for not making me feel like a manatee out of water!

Happiest of Hours

We had an impromptu happy hour at the compound yesterday afternoon. It was lovely.

Before the gathering, I soaked up all the vitamin D possible. I pretended I was on a beautiful beach in the Caribbean, being served lovely, strong island beverages by handsome young, shirtless men.

Don’t you wish you were me?

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LET’S PLAY FAIRIES!

My niece Double A.

My niece Double A.

When I was a little girl, my favorite thing to do on the 4th of July was play fairies.

You don’t know how to play 4th of July Fairies? What is wrong with you!?

You light up sparklers for each hand and you “fly” around the field yelling “I’m a fairy!” I taught Double A this game last night, and we spread our fairy sparkle far and wide at the compound. I’m pretty sure it’s still glowing out there.photo 3(7)

Ian and Ben and my brother Mike bought ALL THE LOUD FIREWORKS KNOWN TO MAN and we blew shit up for hours. Well, they did. I lasted about 30 minutes. The skeeters like my sweet blood way too much. They apparently don’t even care if I bath in Off or Skin So Soft or Gasoline. It doesn’t matter. The want to suck me dry.  photo 1(9)

For a while, the entire county sounded like we were at war. I thought maybe the British were actually returning…and Paul Revere fell down on his job. But by 11:00, the bang, bang, booms had stopped and the world was quiet again.

I think everyone was excited we weren’t under a burn ban. I can’t remember the last time it sounded like that. I bet it’s been since I was a kid.

OMG. we used to have the best 4th of July celebrations when I was younger. Bonfires, roasted weenies, s’mores and lots of booms and bangs. This would have been the perfect year (weather wise, especially) to have brought back the Compound Celebrations, but with Jefe still down with the plague, it just wouldn’t have been the same. (you know he doesn’t feel well when he didn’t even come outside to blow anything up!)

Today, the kids are coming back to test out the waterproof fireworks in the pond and to blow up old toys. Good grief. We have created monsters! (Monsters of awesome)

I still have some sparklers left, so I shall play fairies one more time.

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Have a fantabulous weekend, bitches. I will be sparkling and fairying all weekend long. If you need some extra awesome, just stop by the compound. I have plenty to spare!

 

 

whew! what a weekend.

photo(122) See how tired Ruby is? Poor girl, she just can’t keep her head up.

(You should have heard her heavy sighs and puggly growly noises…)

So Friday I got to take Rader Tater to Oxford! Which means I got to see some dear friends and have a low-key dinner at a new-to-me place: The Bar on North Lamar…which is officially The Lamar Lounge.

The food was great and the atmosphere was chill and a good time was had by all.

Saturday morning, Drea and I walked to another of my favorite places, The Honeybee Bakery. Excellent brunch…but one of the weirdest experiences ever. For some reason, they thought it was appropriate to ask us to remove our hats! Um, no. This is not some ‘chi-chi’ swank place in New York. This is a bakery.  So we told them, yes we minded (OMG, we had just walked over a mile to get there, it was hot! And our hair was a mess under our hats) and we asked if we could sit outside to eat our brunch. They approved our request and we enjoyed our quiche and our hats.

The boys had decided to get their dad another frog item or a goat item for Father’s Day. (He has a thing about frogs and goats) We talked about a wind chime or something to hang up in the yard. I was given permission to do the frog hunting for them, since they weren’t able to get together and go themselves like they did for me. There is a new garden store on the west side of Oxford called The Barn and I found a really cool wrought iron and stone frog and the boys approved.

While we were out shopping, I finally got to try on a pair of MONKEY SHOES! I’ve wanted a pair since forever, and finally spoke to someone who was able to help me find the right oneW3333s to suit my needs. I really want to use them for my run/walks…I’ve always been a barefoot girl at heart, so I figure these shoes will be perfect for me.  (btw, the ‘real’ name of these shoes is Five Fingers, but whatever. They’re MONKEY SHOES!)  I can’t wait to order me a pair.  Probably next month! YAY ME!

I drove back to LR on Saturday, and watched The Dark Knight Rises with El Jefe and Ian. Then Sunday we had a cookout at the Compound with Lynne and Stacey Jay and her fam. Burgers, dogs, watermelon, guacamole, wine! It was an awesome day.

The weekend ended with the return of TRAINWRECK TV…also known as True Blood.

Oh, and Jefe is so damn sweet. He bought me some plant food for my maters and black out curtains for the boys’ rooms because he is so full of awesome.

Stay tuned for a letter to Walgreens…because after last Friday…we are NEVER, EVER, EVER getting back together.

feeling swell

First off, thank you for all the wonderful comments about yesterday’s post. Many of us had a nice discussion on Facebook and I also received a couple of private messages that meant the world to me.  We all have stuff that lingers from our past, and we all have different ways to cope. In high school, my coping mechanism was to be happy no matter what in public. I ignored all the ugly remarks about the size of my butt, BUT, they never went away.

“She’s so chunky, you have to eat her with a fork.”

“Chunky, chunky 2 by 4, can’t get through the kitchen door.”

I made myself believe the people who said those things to me were just ‘ribbing’ me. Like they would one of the guys. And so then, I became one of the guys. Because THAT was the safest thing to do. If you’re one of the guys, then you don’t expect to get a boyfriend. You’re not going to, anyway. Boys don’t like curvy girls. So I threw a football better than most dudes, I played all the sports and became better friends with the boys than I did with most of the girls. I also threw myself into every extracurricular activity I could, from Student Senate to Class Officer. I was the most unpopular popular kid in high school.

It’s funny, our perceptions of each other growing up. I felt like nobody knew me, like I was just so-n-so’s sidekick, I was the fat friend with a good personality, the pity date, the third wheel.  So when I went to college, I still had this weird, self-perception.

But now, 30 years later, even though I fight those old feelings, I actually feel pretty fucking swell. I’ve got some amazing friends, a super amazing boyfriend and my kids–I survived high school so I could be the kind of mom I am today. And I wake up happy everyday (even when I don’t want to get out of bed because the sleep won’t leave my face!) It’s nice, this swellness I have on my inside parts.

I think that’s why I get so bent out of shape about bullying these days. And I’m not even talking about mean kids being mean. That sucks and it needs to be stopped. I’m talking about adult bullying kids but calling it ‘parenting.’ If your kid goes through life feeling worthless because you called her a whore for wearing too much makeup to a party or an inappropriate dress or you tell her girls with those size thighs can’t wear those skirts…or girls with no boobs shouldn’t put on boob dresses….then you’re being a bully. You’re not parenting, you’re shaming. My parents are amazing grandparents, but when I had the boys, I made it very clear to them… they were never to feel shame for asking questions or wearing something that looked horrible but they picked it out themselves. They were never to be called names EVER. Because shaming is not good parenting. Luckily, I broke free of that pattern, but a lot of kids grow up to be the same kind of parents… It’s not fair to their kids.

/soap box for the day

Have I shown y’all my summer look? Or what I PLAN to be my summer look?

b565857d7fcc88210771ed351333ced1I’m gonna rock this look all summer long, and sparkle while I’m doing it…

This picture inspired me… :

480900_451243814958361_1530752660_nHow to get a bikini body: PUT A BIKINI ON YOUR BODY. Yeah yeah, that’s actually a 2-piece not a bikini. I’m confident but not THAT confident. LOL

Anyway, y’all do something kind for yourself today. And smile. You know smiling is contagious…right?

smoooove

So, I’ve been on an eternal quest for a healthier lifestyle…for oh, let’s say, eternity.

In March, I added a new skin care regime, because as I lose weight, it is highly possibly that I’ll get wrinkles. And as a woman of 44 years, who still gets carded on a regular basis, the last thing I need or want is to get wrinkles. At least, not yet.

I’ve been using Meaningful Beauty for 3 full months now, and this is me today, without any makeup on and no filters.

Today: No makeup. Fewer laugh lines and crows feet

Today: No makeup. Fewer laugh lines and crows feet

Not too bad for a 44 year old broad, huh? I was trying to find a good comparison picture. I found 1 that would work, but I have full makeup and glasses on so it was difficult to see the difference around the eyes. However the difference around the mouth is pretty significant.

Now, I purchased this product, so MB isn’t paying me anything to review it. Here’s what I have to say.

Yes, my skin looks fantastic and feels SMOOOOOOVE like a baby’s bottom. I’ve noticed a definite fading of crow’s feet and my laugh lines (which I actually love) are noticeably less prominent. I have no issues going without makeup (even though I need new lashes ASAP. Has anyone seen my eyes? Yeah, me either.)

I’m not a huge fan of the cleansing lotion. It doesn’t foam or bubble up, and I feel like I’m having to use more of it than I should. The kit doesn’t come with a night cream, so I use the day cream at night. That’s a huge disappointment. You have the option to ‘customize’ your kit and can add the night cream that way.

I also do not like the “club” set up, however, I have my automatic delivery for 20 weeks, which I can change at any time if I run low. That’s a nice option. Most “clubs” force your into a 90 Day /12 week automatic delivery.

The price point isn’t bad, especially if you set up your delivery for 4 months or more. I don’t need to use a lot of product, one little dab will do ya… or at least it does me. I’ve decided to keep using the product for at least one more round.

In Eating Cleaner news:

I fired up the grill and loaded it with some awesome locally grown veggies this weekend. Sweet potatoes, asparagus, okra, squash, green beans, tomatoes. I also grilled some pineapple, which was oh so yummy. We ate very well this weekend, let me tell ya.

I walked every day for an hour. Monday was hard because Sunday I had some girlfriends over and we enjoyed muy wine. I’ll have you know, I still did not go over my calories for the day, thankyouverymuch.

In OMG how awesome news, I met Ian’s friend-girl this week. (OMG, she’s adorbs). I’m not sure if they’re going to officially ‘date’ or not, it’s really not my business yet (it won’t be until it’s her birthday or Christmas, and then I’ll need to know if I need to buy her a present or not. Haha) But anyway, we were all hanging out on Wednesday and we were talking about parents and parenting styles etc., and I made a comment that sometimes parents have really high expectations of their kids and no matter what they accomplish, it won’t be enough because they expect more. (this is a concept I don’t understand as a parent, but I understand as a kid of those parents.) I said, “for example, I’ve published two young adult novels with a very prestigious publisher, and sometimes I think my mom still thinks I could do better.” She stopped and looked at me and said, “Wait. You’re Melissa Francis? As in BITE ME AND LOVE SUCKS Melissa Francis?”

Me: Yep.

Friend-Girl: OMG I LOVE YOUR BOOKS!! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE THAT MELISSA FRANCIS.

Me: Happy happy joy joy can’t stop smiling.

And in other O517I1Qi7nnL._SY300_MG Awesome News…I got to see my Stacey Jay this weekend! Have you pre-ordered her latest book yet? WHY NOT?

OF BEAST AND BEAUTY

order it. devour it. review it. and email Stacey and tell her she is made of awesome. (because she totes is).

Find Stacey on Facebook

Stacey on the web

Stacey on Twitter: @stacey_jay

Okay, there’s my weekend recap. It was a great weekend. The boys enjoyed Riverfest. Jefe and I enjoyed each other and the beautiful weather, and I also enjoyed my girl time with some of my besties. Life doesn’t suck.