Giveaway: Win VIP Tickets to Taste of Home Cooking School!

I love to create adventure in the kitchen. I get cookbooks from the library, from friends, I ask for them as gifts and of course find all sorts of recipes online! I have always enjoyed a good cooking show (tho they make me HUNGRY!)

I am very excited to share that I was blessed BIGTIME with two VIP tickets to our local Taste of Home Cooking School at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana this coming Thursday October 6th! I get to get the star treatment with yummy food and a tour of the cooking stage and I get to meet Eric Villegas the Culinary Specialist for the night!

He has a cooking show and focuses on LOCAL food which is right up my alley. I'm also getting a big swag bag (recycled & reusable too which I appreciate!)with $50 worth of coupons and goodies and a subscription to the Taste of Home magazine.

Can you tell I am stoked? I am taking my husband John with me...he really wanted to go so it will be a date night extraordinaire! I was asked to share about the show with my readers and to pass along the other pair of tickets and I am delighted to do so. You may have already read the Taste Of Home magazine.


You can go too! I was given two pairs of VIP tickets (selling for $95 EACH!!!) I get to keep one and I get to give one away, isn't that awesome? I will pick one winner for the other pair of tickets Tuesday morning October 4th randomly from the comments. Here is how to enter to win:

To enter leave a comment on this post.
Tell me what you like to eat or what you like to cook!

Extra entries (leave an additional comment for each one)

Check out the Eric's blog and tell me which recipe looks good to you.

Share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter (Share This button to right of the post.)

Follow @ericvillegas on Twitter

Follow me @Farbrent on Twitter

Here is more information on the Taste of Home Cooking School Show. You may also have seen the big announcement in the NWI Times Newspaper

I will pick one winner for the pair of tickets Tuesday morning October 4th randomly from the comments. I sure hope to see you there. Good Luck and EAT UP!

Haiku Challenge Thursday



A group of friends and I did this many years ago when I was toiling away at a desk. We called it Haiku Challenge and someone would start with three words and we would all Haiku our hearts out using those three words in our haiku. It was tricky, consuming and TRES hilarious.

A Haiku is a three line poem with 5 syllables the first line, 7 syllables the second line and 5 again for the last line. My Dad is a BIG Haiku guy, he loves them and many of us have encouraged him to publish them in a book. I do it randomly and rarely but always enjoy the process. It usually starts with an idea or a moment in life I want to capture.

Haiku Challenge participants...just write your haiku in the comments of the relevant post!

Please email me a Haiku Challenge if you would like to be a Guest Challenger. Include the three words and your starting Haiku poem.

Here is this week's challenge Haiku:

parting is such sweet
oh heck who am I kidding
I'm glad you are gone

Your three words are: parting, who and glad.


Let's hear your haiku!

How To Have A Perfect Husband (Or At Least Get Closer) in 5 Steps

Listen to the NPR audio version of this here.

My husband is incredible. As I lie awake thinking about how he lives for me I feel so loved and satisfied that I can barely sleep. Well I cannot sleep actually, it is three o'clock in the morning right now.
John is as close to perfect for me as I could imagine. He loves by being patient with me when I get excited about something and prattle endlessly; often repeating myself in my desire to be heard and understood. He actually listens or does a fine job of looking like he's attentive. He looks at me. I mean really looks at me and reaches out to touch me often during normal daily doings.

He is an active and in love father.

He changes dipes. Even the NASTY ones that make me wonder if we can throw them out with the baby who made them. He washes those (cloth) dipes, too. John leaves the house *gasp* with children and without me almost bravely. He gets up with our baby often and especially now that we are trying to discourage her (several times a) night nursings. And did I mention he is the one who leaves the house to work?

He keeps us secure financially with his hard work, financial planning to live under our means, and his tireless balancing of our moolah.

He checks in with me to make sure I am happy, that I have what I need in a variety of ways. He rubs my feet almost without rolling his eyes. He never complains when I do not make any dinner. At times the Tiny Red Kitchen is closed. Like last night when the whole chicken was STILL frozen after spending lots of quality time in the fridge. He knows I work hard some days and validates what I do in our home which means so much to me as a stay at home mama.

My husband John is God's best gift to my life, even over my children. (And oh! I love them chirren so much.) He meets my weakness with his strength and his life choices are usually inline with mine. He is selfless more often than I am. He is smart, wise and pretty darn handsome to boot.

So I've felt this way for the four and a half years we have been married. My mother in law jokes that my friends must be sick of me and my unusually happy marriage. I do not think my husband is actually perfect and could give you a list of what I'd love to see added, but John is perfect for me.

So this got me thinking about how other women could have a perfect husband.

It is simple really: Be a Perfect Wife!


Ok, Ok stop laughing...I don't want you to choke on your breakfast there. I am as far from perfect as it gets so please do not take me literally. I am selfish and bossy and controlling and fickle and I can help the national debt with one trip to Target for milk. I am also not a PhD on relationships and haven't written any books on marriage. I simply struggled to find a good mate for me and finally married him at 36 years old after a lengthy romantic history of tumult. I learned some hard lessons through my previous relationships and I believe that helps me the most in this final and most important relationship. What I mean by "be a perfect wife" is look at what you want in your mate, and then consider what he might want in his mate.

A funny thing happens when a spouse starts being the sort of spouse they want. Many times they will start getting the kind of spouse they want.

Do Not Expect Him to Be Your Everything
A spouse is a BIG DEAL in our lives. We sleep next to them, share money and things and living space with them. Some of you gross folks even leave THE door open during your "magazine reading time". They say to choose your spouse carefully because from them will come all of your happiness or all of your woe. I say yes and no. We women especially like to put any neediness we have on the man we love. We want them to make us feel smart and pretty and important endlessly.

I realized early on that John was was a real person who got grouchy or tired or bored or distracted. I could not base the temperature of our relationship on how he reacted to me any given day. He can be quite distant when focused on something pressing. I know he loves me and do not jump to any conclusions when he is quiet. I also tell myself I look fabulous. He doesn't' criticize me when I look like a homeless person and haven't showered for a day. Or Two. This is PRICELESS in a husband. But the flip side is he won't exactly do cartwheels and layer on compliments when I do put on a little mascara. You mamas know how it is. You doll all up and hit the door way for the "Ta Da!" and they just smile like you said "The coffee is ready". So I tell myself how foxy I am and have my girlfriends to admire my preening. I do not expect him to be my personal validation. I know God made me pretty awesome and I get immense satisfaction in that.


You are Not the Boss of Him
This one is really hard for me because I know the best thing for him and the right way to do everything related to our home, our life, our social adventures and our children.
Nagging doesn't work. The word itself sounds horrible, why do anything that could even be called n a g g i n g? Your husband is a grown up man over 21 with a drivers license. He doesn't want or need you to tell him what to do or remind him (however helpful you mean to be) about what needs to be done. He might not do what you think needs to be done and the world will not end. Even if you are right. Offer your husband respect as an adult to live his own life within your marriage.


Ask Him What Matters Most
I used to assume my husband wanted me in makeup and nice clothes with a gorgeous dinner over which I told him hilarious and engaging stories from my day and the world at large. In our clean house perfectly decorated. I thought scheduling fun activities throughout the week like art openings, concerts, fish suppers and local festivals was adding to his daily joy. I was wrong. I get filled up by activity but my husband gets drained by it! When I finally asked him what I could do to make his life better, he said I could schedule less stuff in a week. Turns out I become a bit of a stress ball with all that extra debris on our calendar, and (imagine that!) he doesn't' love it. I have heard a lot of versions of this from my married friends so I believe it is quite common. Ask him!


Learn his Love Language
Gary Chapman put out a series of books on Love Languages. They made a big difference in my personal girlfriend relationships, so I definitely applied them in my marriage. The concept (if somehow you have not already become familiar with this national bestseller!) is that people communicate their love and affection to others using one or more of five love languages. If you are expressing your love for me in a language I do not speak, I cannot hear it. I miss feeling loved by you even though you are really doing things to love me well. The five love languages are: Gifts, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation. I didn't write the book, so to learn more go here.

Date your Husband
I don't mean just make time for date night although that is very helpful in creating a strong happy marriage. I mean act like you did when you were dating. It is hard to recreate the passion of a new relationship, but what about the respect? We get married and then take for granted our spouse's presence in our lives. We yawn at his work stories, glaze over when he acts silly and stop dressing up or doing our hair everytime we see him...because we see him all of the time.

Many affairs start simply because the person doesn't feel important or valued by their spouse anymore. Someone new finds him fascinating and so he becomes fascinating and is in turn fascinated with the new woman. Can we be the new woman? Surprise him with a night off to go out by himself or with friends instead of putting kids to bed. Buy him a small gift that he will enjoy and is perhaps impractical. Look at him, really look at him when he talks. Remember that everyone wants to feel important, and you are his first and best source for that validation.

Tiny Red Kitchen: "What Not To Wear"

Oh yes. This is "What NOT to Wear" in the kitchen: Tiny, red, or otherwise. Frankly My Dear, if you were wearing something tiny AND red in the kitchen, there may be fire but not much cooking happening.

Oh. Got sidetracked there(you know us Desperate Housewives).

Ahem.

OK, I do not know about you all, but when I end up cooking in my kitchen too early in the morning my wardrobe can become quite a conversation piece. Take this morning for instance. The baby FINALLY slept through the night (thought she was dead, glad husband checked) and I was well rested. I did get up at 5:00AM to festoon the place in crepe paper for my Husband's 40th birthday. Then I went back to bed. And slept until EIGHT O'CLOCK! That is like noon to me.

Nice to have the sleep but I had a pineapple upside down cake to bake.

Most of the recipes I found just used a box cake mix: NOT in MY Kitchen!
(Unless I am being super lazy just absolutely do not have time.) You may be able to see all my translated measuring and the additional cake recipe scrawled in my illegible writing. I must have gotten it right, the cake was awesome. But this isn't about the cake, is it?

Or the french onion dip pizzas I adore even though I dislike onions (Rachel Ray ROCKS. Find it Here.)

Or the buffalo hot wings that were actually Morningstar Farm vegetarian and I didn't tell anyone! (SUCKERS!)

This post is about what I WORE in my Tiny Red Kitchen.

I got up late, showered and breakfasted with the Birthday Boy and then started my party preparations a bit late wearing this:
I have placed this picture nice and big so you can fully appreciate my beauty. Let's start at my bare feet: Marvelous. Then there is the black and white nightie...which accidentally but fashionably complements my apron.

Yes, I have a baby back there. Baby Libby loves to be worn and I love wearing her. She totally cranes her little neck around me to look at what I am doing. That girl loves her food. With the tiny kitchen babywearing can be a bit tricky as she is an Octopus and a Grabbits all rolled into one. I usually just give her a knife to play with to simplify things.

Then of course we need to address the turban. Not my best look. Most folks aren't fortunate to catch a glimpse of me in it. It is actually a "Turbie Twist Hair Towel" and you can get one just like it here. Because you know you want one. It is actually fabulous for drying hair on the go even if it isn't the most smashing fashion choice in the kitchen.

When I caught a look at myself in the mirror, I realized this getup had to be confessed and acknowledged. I figured someone else should get a laugh out if it if nothing else. (Frankly in the early morning I often end up cooking 'al fresco' (and we ain't talkin' bout food, kiddies). But the in-laws were coming, the kids were up and my neighbor is a tiny bit nosy.) So this is a fine choice for the kitchen in the wee hours, probably better than this:
which I can explain. The birthday party (unbeknownst to the Hubs) had a pirate theme and this was my pirate costume. I might need to add something to the costume before Halloween, any suggestions?

Despite this crazy look, at least I am wearing red lipstick right? Here is a blog that listed ten VERY cute options to spice up your kitchen looks. My fav is the Retro Housewife one from Momo's Retro Fashions. My rubber dish gloves wouldn't look so silly!

I try to be kind in my life, both in real life and in the blogosphere so forgive me folks for saying I would NOT wear these. Ever. Can we do something about this sadness right here? Let's look at more stuff from Momo and Apronologie!

I'd LOVE to see some of your crazy kitchen attire.

Bodacious Blog of the Week: The Bearded Iris

My friend Laura reminded me about this marvelous bloggity blog. She said Iris reminds her of me. I think that is a compliment if she means her charming sarcastic wit and warmth and intelligence. IF Laura means Iris talks about poop with the best of 'em...well...I guess I'll feel flattered anyway. I don't have much going on today.

Read some fun from The Bearded Iris HERE!


I'm not the only peoples who likes the chick either! She is nominated for Babble.com's Top 50 Bloggers.
Here is her p.s.:
PS – Have you voted for The Bearded Iris yet at Babble.com’s list of the Top 50 Mom Blogs? I’m gaining on the top ten! Help me get there and I’ll do all your chores for a month.


I did vote for her, but haven't gotten the call from her about when she is coming to do my chores. Huh.

Haiku Challenge Thursday



A group of friends and I did this many years ago when I was toiling away at a desk. We called it Haiku Challenge and someone would start with three words and we would all Haiku our hearts out using those three words in our haiku. It was tricky, consuming and TRES hilarious.

A Haiku is a three line poem with 5 syllables the first line, 7 syllables the second line and 5 again for the last line. My Dad is a BIG Haiku guy, he loves them and many of us have encouraged him to publish them in a book. I do it randomly and rarely but always enjoy the process. It usually starts with an idea or a moment in life I want to capture.

Haiku Challenge participants...just write your haiku in the comments of the relevant post!

Please email me a Haiku Challenge if you would like to be a Guest Challenger. Include the three words and your starting Haiku poem.

Here is this week's challenge Haiku from GUEST CHALLENGER John Novak:

The afternoon stretch
Economic impact talk
my eyes glaze over


Your three words are: The, economic, my.

Tiny Red Kitchen: Size MATTERS!

As I grocery shopped today and hemmed and hawed about which things to spend more moolah for to get organic, I saw something quite odd. You can see it too. Go shopping and hold an organic kiwi up to a regular kiwi. Ditto the apples.

WHOA!

Now, I knew organics would be uglier. But lookit the sizathatthing!

We bought a juicer last week and I'm sending us straight into debt with all the stuff I'm stuffing into it!

I'm so grateful to have enough money to buy all the food we need. Thank you God. May all of us have all the food we need, much of the food we want, and may we all miss out on some food just to keep us balanced in mind and body.

Eat up!

Giveaway WINNER of Let Love Grow T-Shirt is...

And the winner is...JILL BAKER! Jill, accepting yourself for who you are and recognizing your value is a very strong way to live your love out loud. Unless we are filled up, we have nothing to give to others. Keep living your love out loud Jill, and keep changing the world around you by being present in it.

Thank you all for reading my blog and sharing your stories, it means a lot.

Special Target Store Edition of Haiku Challenge Thursday, but on FRIDAY!


To learn the vaguely amusing story behind Haiku Challenge, read this.

A Haiku is a three line poem with syllables byline broken down to 5-7-5, or five syllables in the first line, seven in the second....hopefully you have caught on already.


Target stores have a "Haiku-pon" (Hi, Coupons!) ad campaign designed after my Haiku Challenge! Well, it COULD be designed after my Haiku Challenge. (You don't know, you don't know!) This brochure came in the mail and each set of coupons is a haiku! Here are just a few:

guess what's in my hand
it's a treat worth begging for
sit, shake, roll over

(and for those of us who love bathroom humor)

a soft, cushy roll
is a cozy, happy joy
sweet squares of heaven

(never before thought of my tp as cozy....huh.)


Since we all love a trip to Target, I am honoring them with this BONUS haiku challenge. Maybe I will get a gift card? OOOH! Maybe a gift card giveaway? (Target, are you there, it's me, Heather!)

Here is this week's challenge Haiku:

buying my small joys,
money leaves me happily.
Target Store delights



Your three words are: joys, money, Target


Haiku Challenge participants...just write your haiku in the comments of the relevant post! Better yet, send me a tweet too!

Please email me a Haiku Challenge if you would like to be a Guest Challenger. Include the three words and your starting Haiku poem.


Let's hear your haiku!

Haiku Challenge Thursday



A group of friends and I did this many years ago when I was toiling away at a desk. We called it Haiku Challenge and someone would start with three words and we would all Haiku our hearts out using those three words in our haiku. It was tricky, consuming and TRES hilarious.

A Haiku is a three line poem with 5 syllables the first line, 7 syllables the second line and 5 again for the last line. My Dad is a BIG Haiku guy, he loves them and many of us have encouraged him to publish them in a book. I do it randomly and rarely but always enjoy the process. It usually starts with an idea or a moment in life I want to capture.

Haiku Challenge participants...just write your haiku in the comments of the relevant post!

Please email me a Haiku Challenge if you would like to be a Guest Challenger. Include the three words and your starting Haiku poem.

Here is this week's challenge Haiku:

Sweat and whining both
present on my treadmill but
excuses are gone!

Your three words are whining, my and gone.



Let's hear your haiku!

Tiny Red Kitchen: Lazy Mama Chicken

Do you have any idea how brainwashed we are into the whole skinless, boneless chicken breast as way of life? How many of you have actually purchased any other form of chicken in the past six months? I used to always buy boneless skinless chicken breasts in a freezer bag. Once I bought some from a butcher and thought they were really scrawny and nasty looking. Turns out, that is NATURAL chicken. Whodathunkit?

Do you know about the freaky big chicken breast growing dealie?

If you want unprocessed food I don't think you have to go as far as raising your own chickens (unless you are into the whole *ahem* chicken choking feather plucking thing) but if less processed is better lets go back to the whole chicken. I'm horrible with math, can any of you tell me how much per pound y'all pay for skinless boneless chicken boobies vs. split breasts on the bone with skin? I don't mean to soapbox here, but it is ridiculous.

So.

The other night I was super wiped out from wiping (precious) butts and (adorable) noses and just wasn't into culinary adventures. I also am trying to save money this month for some decorative things I do not need, so I wasn't going to order dinner in. Thus Lazy Mama Chicken. This is it.

I used Smart Balance spray for the baking dish, rinsed the boobies and dropped them in the dish. Then (wait, this is the tricky lazy part) sprinkled thyme (my new favorite spice thanks to Bob via Biggest Loser roasted cauliflower) and Emeril's Chicken Rub. Baked for about an hour at 350. It was just fine and finely lazy. We cut it up for salads, soup and yummy wraps. Yep we ate it too fast to get an after picture for you. Sorry. It IS called LAZY MAMA CHICKEN for a reason!

My other favorite Lazy Mama chicken is from Hillbilly Housewife. The original recipe I saw had you slice one onion and lay on top and shake 15-20 drops of hot sauce on all of it. (It never came out spicy!) I think it did taste like rotisserie chicken, but of course you throw out the skin, it is nasty looking. Which is good for my girlish figure of course. Give me baked chicken skin and I'll eat mine and yours too if you leave it for too long unattended.

You can thank Lazy ol me anytime. Eat up!

Popcorn Festival Randomness

My Dad is a beekeeper and had a booth during our local Popcorn Festival to sell his honey. My hubs and tots and I all spent time shlepping honey (or eating it ourselves-Pooh Bear has nothing on us.) and wandering the festivities.



There was a parade.



There was a free crafty deal at out super cool Collective Edge Art Shop.




There was the random wall behind our honey booth that probably makes my girls look unloved and unattended.

I ended the day exhausted and happy. I may have mentioned before that I love where we live. Yup. I sure do.

Bodacious Blog of the Week: All Thingz Related

The Bodacious Blog of the week is All Thingz Related where I found great printable labels for my homemade Cleaners. The site offers great pictorial catalogue of Food and DIY & Crafts so have fun perusing!

Giveaway: One Less T Shirt!


Last month I wrote about buying one less of something and using that money to bless someone else or to donate to a charity you care about. I got a lot of responses from the post and the www.valpolife.com website picked it up too. I have been stopped several times by kind folks who really felt the same awkward impact I did from the experience and wanted to thank me for sharing myself even when it wasn’t the prettiest sight!

I did buy a shirt to support my friend Lovelyn's work to adopt her two new Ugandan sons. In fact I bought two and decided to give one away here instead of just giving it to a friend. It is an XL lavender tunic with that haunting quote:


Would you be proud to wear it? Would one of your friends enjoy it as a gift? I really enjoy mine, both for it’s comfort and style but also as a reminder to myself of how I truly wish to live. I wear it to remind myself that to live my love out loud I need to be giving and loving and investing in other people every day I live.

To win the shirt, please follow my blog and leave a comment below about how you choose to live your love out loud. Maybe you chose “One Less” recently and can share what you did instead. Maybe you sucked it up on a day you’d rather not and helped a friend or a stranger in need. I’ll pick a winner from the entries by Friday the 16th of September. Thanks for sharing yourself too. You matter!

Haiku Challenge Thursday



A group of friends and I did this many years ago when I was toiling away at a desk. We called it Haiku Challenge and someone would start with three words and we would all Haiku our hearts out using those three words in our haiku. It was tricky, consuming and TRES hilarious.

A Haiku is a three line poem with 5 syllables the first line, 7 syllables the second line and 5 again for the last line. My Dad is a BIG Haiku guy, he loves them and many of us have encouraged him to publish them in a book. I do it randomly and rarely but always enjoy the process. It usually starts with an idea or a moment in life I want to capture.

Haiku Challenge participants...just write your haiku in the comments of the relevant post!

Please email me a Haiku Challenge if you would like to be a Guest Challenger. Include the three words and your starting Haiku poem.

Here is this week's challenge Haiku:

little feet upstairs
didn't I put you to bed?
Go the F to sleep!

Your three words are little, put, sleep.

This is a nod to a highly inappropriate children's book "Go the F to Sleep" although they spell it out. For all you parents out there, no matter how polite you may be, you will be able to relate. I had the GREAT fortune to here the YouTube narration of the book done by none other than SAMUEL L. JACKSON! Unfortunately it is pulled now. Bummer. (Forgive the language Dear, but it is late and I have lost my glasses.)

Let's hear your haiku!

Bodacious Blog of the Week: 15 Minute Lunch


For caustic funniness check out Fifteen Minute Lunch.

http://15minutelunch.blogspot.com/

Some language...but isn't that even funnier at times?

Tell me what you thought, especially what your favs were. His JC Penney catalog post went viral, methinks.

Tiny Red Kitchen: Epi Loaf and Chili

I love cooking and thought I might share some culinary adventures and potential catastrophes with you. My fanny is actually bigger than my kitchen, thus we are calling it "The Tiny Red Kitchen". My favorite option was "Barely Fitting my Ass in the Kitch Again" but I do love my body, try not to swear and I adore cooking in my tiny space. Really.



I had a big suburban kitchen and do not miss it. Much. This is easier to keep clean to work fast and to cook lots of stuff at once which is how I create. Here is my assistant this afternoon.

Today is day one and after making Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day almost weekly for the past few months, I FINALLY remembered to try creating an Epi Loaf. I munched my way through several crunchy delectable Epi loaves from a bakery below my work eons ago. It was so nifty to break off a chunk of bread nicely. Plus if you are a crust girl (My grandma always said it would give me curves...wasn't she right?) you got more of that each time since each chunk was like an individual roll on the loaf. I found the clearest most gorgeous instructions here. After reading several trickier descriptions this one fit my bill. Here is the loaf ready for the oven.

I am also cooking up a pot of chili! We had A LOT of ground beef left over from tacos and needed to use it. We didn't have pasta so no sense in making pasta sauce! Here is what went into the chili: Ground beef, one green pepper, two cans diced tomatoes, one can tomato paste, half a tiny can of diced mexican peppers, one onion four HUGE cloves of garlic from Valpo Farmer's Market, shot of wostershire(tried lots of spellings cannot figure it out without going and looking and too lazy) sauce, cumin, garlic powder, tablespoon coca, and some pulp action from a failed blender-as-juicer attempt involving things far too healthy to list here and sound tasty. That might be it. Here is the bubbling cauldron.

Does chili ever really look good on the stove? *sigh*


Here is the bread! It appears pretty dark because I bake with whole wheat bread. I didn't cook it too long. Right?

We will eat it as a snack because for chili you have to have cornbread. Right? At least that is my excuse. Eat up!



What is Thong With This Picture?

Dearest Sweet Child Woman With Your Thong Hanging Out Last Night,

You are a beautiful woman; blond, slender and shy of fortyish in your years. Maybe you fancy yourself sexy, and maybe he does too: great! God knows as a married Mama of two babies under three I struggle to find my sexy most days. Red lipstick and a shower is how close I get some weeks. But even when going for sexy vixen(probably-sans-kids-requiring-TV-turned-on-and-door-locked-for-a-toss-because-we-are-too-tired-before-or-after-sleeping), the rest of us really do not want to see your loveliness. Or at least your loveliness in the derriere department.

It makes us laugh awkwardly. It makes us feel sorry for you. It makes us check our own bra straps, waistbands and hems. It upsets us more on your behalf because we could be you. We might have been you another night out. It upsets us because we are laughing so hard at your fashion misstep that we forget to care about you as another woman, another human being. Instead we only look at your thong. All four inches of your thong hanging out over the top of your pants. We could understand if it was a simple sliver of lacy satin. We could forgive that and perhaps even allow it to remind us of our own sexiness. You did tug your shirt down in the back a few times as all ten of us watched morbidly fascinated. You must have felt the breeze one of us said. So maybe it was unintentional. But four inches of skin and thong above your pants feels more Britney Spears intentional than Marilyn Monroe accidental.

Do you know what we think this says about you? That you need to dress that way to feel good. (Unless it was a total accident, which I cannot imagine.) It says you have no idea how beautiful you truly are. It tells us you do not know you have value beyond your beauty. It says you do not know any one of us would be lucky to be friends with you. Or at the very least it says you do not check out your whole outfit in a mirror before you leave the house. Thank you for reminding us to do so more frequently. I think I will seek the great fashion advice for anyone and Mamas in particular here. And here.

I asked my friends if there was a way to tell you. I said "Should we tell her? How could we help her?" I was ashamed of myself even as I took your picture sneakily over my shoulder. I sent it to my husband and to two of my friends sitting at the table to lengthen the joke. I'm ashamed to admit that. The text message was the same as this post title. "What's Thong With This Picture?" I was so overcome by the social humor and I think I felt better about the prim length of my skirt or the fact that I had showered for the first time that day only an hour earlier. I put makeup and perfume on for my girlfriends and I wonder if my husband wished I was perched on a barstool next to him with a thong hanging out instead.

I love Jesus and try to see people like he sees them but I am pretty sure He wouldn't have made fun of you, Dear Sweet Child Woman with your thong hanging out. I am upset with you for that too. For unwillingly creating the scene where my worst character traits ran rampant. I'm a weak person and I love a good laugh. I had one at your expense last night and I rather wish I hadn't. Why was I so thrilled to double over laughing at you? What a sad thing that says about me. I was particularly convicted in my email inbox this morning by this.

Let me ask you readers, what should we have done? Should we have said something? Will you forgive us for being so unkind? We didn't mean to hurt Thong Woman as a person and yet even with our exchanges at our table I wonder if we hurt ourselves? Or as my friend Laura says is it ok to make fun of someone who could "help it"? She doesn't make fun of truly unfortuneate people or situations. This women who truly should know better or did know and thus opens herself to our scorn amusement, Laura says people who should know better and could help themselves are open season. What do you think? Have you found yourself in a similar situation and whatever did you do? What do you wish you had done?

NOTE: I do not speak for any of my ladyfriends. I use 'we' as in the "Royal We", meaning my opinion is so important (or I fancy it so) that it could be extended to everyone around me. Which is not at all true.

Haiku Challenge Thursday


A Haiku is a three line poem with 5 syllables the first line, 7 syllables the second line and 5 again for the last line. My Dad is a BIG Haiku guy, he loves them and many of us have encouraged him to publish them in a book. I do it randomly and rarely but always enjoy the process. It usually starts with an idea or a moment in life I want to capture.

Haiku Challenge participants...just write your haiku in the comments being sure to include the THREE WORDS for the week.

Please email me a Haiku Challenge if you would like to be a Guest Challenger. Include the three words and your starting Haiku poem.

HAIKU TWO:

Good Lord I love food!
Bacon, blue cheese, chocolate
(But not together?)

THIS WEEKS WORDS TO INCLUDE ARE: love, blue, not