Monday, June 30

Akasha, Queen of the Damned

Vampires, a fascination of mine since childhood. As you have noticed, my blog URL is akasha-queen of the damned. I have used this name in the gaming world for over ten years. It started with an online game called Everquest, to Heroes of Might and Magic and following me in recent years to another online game called Unreal Tournament. Akasha, from Anne Rice's novel, Queen of the Damned is said to be the mother of all vampires according to Rice's writings and very popular vampires series.

Anne Rice is the most wonderful spinner of vampire tales I have yet to find. The fact that she has written so many vampire based books over the years, couldn't thrill me more. I will not tolerate a "bad" vampire book and unfortunately there are many more of those out on the market than ones worth reading.

I admit the dark underworld of a vampire lures me from some dark place I don't normally go. While I could never go goth, I love the look people capture when they do. I am a huge fan of horror and science fiction, because you see, in these realms, anything goes. No rules apply and the unthinkable can and will happen. The darker, the better. (This said, I did cry at the end of My Dog Skip, with the excuse that I was pregnant with Spencer.)

I don't believe vampires exist, at least not in the way folklore has taught us. Yet if one, particularly tall, dark and handsome, stopped by my bedroom window one night, who's to say what might happen...

I used this signature for Unreal Tournament when I posted on forums.

Gary Oldman, was in my opinion, the sexiest Dracula to date. This is from Bram Stoker's Dracula.

My costume last Halloween for work. I look like a had a blood popsicle! I was disappointed in my colleagues. Halloween is a time for spooks and a professional two piece snowman outfit won the contest!

Now you know the rest of the story...

Sunday, June 29

Weekend Bliss

You know it was a good weekend when I haven't blogged for two whole days. Weekends whiz by much too fast in my opinion. I took a poll at work once to see if we could work weekends and have the week off, with the same pay of course. Didn't go over too well as you can imagine. I may have to look for a company with a more open mind when it comes to employee concerns.

Anywho, I have had much stress at work lately due to a market coming up AND a new price list being published. This price list, or as I have named it - Go Away Already, has thousands of formulas within it's 100 pages that I am solely responsible for. My boss, also the Vice President, helps by checking it's printout for me but that is the extent of my help. The market I mentioned takes place in Las Vegas in generates much needed business for us. I try to help our product, upholstered furniture, to sell by making up specials for our salesmen and saleswomen to use. I also make a very detailed list of the product along with pricing for them to use. I make tags that are displayed on every piece of furniture so our dealers visiting the showroom understand our newest product. I love doing this but not both items at once. Some days I feel like ripping off my clothes and running screaming from the room. This of course would cause all employees to quickly vacate and all hopes for help would be gone.

Weekends are my lifeline. Like a lily pad to frog, blood to a vampire or Will Smith's navel to my dreams..., essential and needed...I digress...

My cutie at the park today. He is very excited in talking up a storm here.

Mom, you are in my way!

He is such a polite boy. He is waiting permission to slide down.

Really working his arms to get up those steps. Therapy will like to hear this.

Oh, and Xander says, "What up, ya'll?"

Thursday, June 26


The past few days here it has been extremely humid. The only one not complaining is Xander. Tree frogs thrive on humidity, so he is in his glory. The rest of us move in slow motion and wear as little clothes as possible. This is scary on some parts of our street. Some of my neighbors should not wear spandex. It should be a city rule. I think Speedos and thongs should be outlawed as well. Speedos should never have been manufactured, I don't care who you are (courtesy of Larry the Cable Guy). Thongs are ok, when I don't have to look at my neighbor's as she meticulously paints her deck.

Spencer sheds his clothes on the living room floor as soon as he gets home for the day. Diaper attire is fine by me. It's when he decides the diaper has to go that we run into some issues!

I love his little belly. There was a day when I would have given anything to see that. So glad he has maintained a healthy weight.

This is what he does when I try to get a nice photo of him smiling. He really has the art of ignore down pat. He stays like this only blinking as I dance, sing and yodel around the room to get a response.

He finally has mercy on me and gets up and makes eye contact. Of course this involves not one but two balls flying at me. As I put the camera down to catch the balls, what happens. The cutest smile ever. Figures!

He often falls asleep like this. As if he is running and suddenly decides he is tired. I love the night mode on my camera. Better lighting than if the light had been on!

I sneak a quick kiss before I leave the room. He is too cute not too.

Wednesday, June 25


I love to decorate and upgrade my home and it's contents. Each room in my home has a theme. Without themes I am afraid I may just collect a plethora of things I like with no relation to one another and therefore create more of a variety store atmosphere than a room for myself and those who visit me to enjoy. This is fine for those who like and use this look, it isn't for me is all.

Spencer's room is sport's themed until he can tell me what he would like. My bathroom is retro with spots and stripes of brown and green. My bedroom is in shambles. Oh wait, that isn't a theme. I hope to decorate my bedroom in a soft teal blue and brown look. My living room is very modern with all black furniture and black and white prints on the walls of various flowers. My kitchen is currently tropical and while it took me a few years to find all that it holds, my darn sister at posted some really great photos of decor styles and her favorite sites/magazines to look for such things. Of course, I looked, I liked and an idea that I wanted something updated and different wouldn't leave my head.

I decided I would like a more "herbal" theme. I love plants and the color green so this is perfect and will be fun for me. I will need to take this in small steps for not only financial reasons but because I am picky and cost honestly means little to me in such matters. While I don't like to spend a fortune on things I don't actually need, I don't mind $200 or $2.00, if I like it, I NEED it!

I have been looking and forming ideas for a little over month now and here is what I have done so far.

My dining table - BEFORE

My dining table - AFTER
I found these dishes at Kohl's online from Food Network. They are ironically called Herbal Garden. The large bowl is a leaf. I have a smaller one and some larger platters with the herb leaves on also.

They look great on the table filled with yummy food too! Shrimp Scampi and Cheddar Bay Biscuits are not included.

Tuesday, June 24

Love My Frog

Xander told me tonight that he is feeling left out of the blogging world. Ok, he didn't tell me anything since contrary to Spencer's Dora and Diego movies, frogs cannot talk. And definitely not Xander. In fact, Xander doesn't do much of anything. He sleeps all day, sometimes in the oddest places and positions. All you see is his chin bobbing up and down and if I talk to him, he might move his head in my direction. I leave his light on in his tank for 12 hours a day. It is important he has night and day in his world too. I shut the light off around 7:30 each night and then give him dinner. He comes out only long enough to enjoy a few crickets and then hides again. Most nights I shut all the lights off and wait for him to come out and "play". He loves to take baths in his water dish but he is so slow getting there, that most nights I give in and go to bed.

He really is a very neat and low maintenance pet. I just adore him and watch him most nights by pulling up a chair and sitting next to his tank. He does react to the sound of my voice and that only makes me adore him more. In fact, if John talks next to his tank, he hides even further. A frog after my own heart! He is interesting and has a mellow personality. He is so cute that he looks almost like he is a toy instead of a living breathing animal, if that makes sense.
Christine held him for a bit during her visit last week.

These are the spots on his back that I fell in love with right away.

This photo looks a little gross but really he is far from gross. When you hold him, you hardly know he is there, he is so lightweight and his body temperature is very close to ours. He is not slimy in any way, although he looks like he would be. This is how he slept all day yesterday. Just stuck to the side of his tank. Didn't move a muscle for over 12 hours. What a life!

He is hiding out after his dinner tonight. I had to use night mode and zoom in pretty far with my camera. He'll have to hide better than this to elude me!

Monday, June 23

When God Smiles Upon Us

Spencer tests came back today NEGATIVE for cancer!!!!!!

Spencer is tested for cancer every six months. This is a time of mixed emotions around our house. As the date gets nearer, I am distracted, tense, nervous, overly happy and quieter than usual as I contemplate what the results may be this time around. Recently, due to the length of time that Spencer has been free of cancer, he no longer needs the grueling CT scan he has endured for the last four years. He needed to drink awful amounts of contrast, sometimes through a nasal feeding tube, and then be sedated. He is not cooperative enough to go un-sedated and the poor little guy tried his hardest to be brave and helpful but no chances could be taken that he might get up off the table during the middle of a scan.

This time around he only needed an ultrasound and a chest x-ray along with some blood being drawn. What a HUGE difference this makes in his day! I find it bittersweet that he accepts all these tests as part of his life. He is the bravest little guy you have ever seen. He makes me so proud to be his mom when I see him take a deep breath and just give in to what the nurses are asking. Today he hardly put up a fight and even sang some songs during his x-ray.

He gained a little over two pounds and 3/4 of an inch in height. This is over six months time and the best ever he has done. All blood tests came back normal also.

I pray often and sporadically before and after his tests. I am so grateful God has again answered my prayers!

In the waiting room before his ultrasound. He sang Itsy Bitsy Spider to the lady next to him also waiting to get in. I think it made her day!

He is being a goofball. What a kid!

Waiting for the ultrasound technician to tell us we can leave.

This is my good luck charm I wear for every test Spencer has. My nephews got this Mickey Mouse necklace with my birthstone in it for me when they went to Disney World. I don't leave home without it on these days.

Sunday, June 22

A Lesson in Drunk Driving

**WARNING** You may find the pictures below disturbing. While not gory, they are certainly not pretty. Imagine someone you care about, love even, being in an accident like this and what the result would be.

These are the pictures of Pam’s best friend and her brother’s car accident. This accident was caused by the fact that Naomi, the driver, had far more than the legal blood alcohol content in her bloodstream. Add in an argument and you have a lethal combination…

Think on this for a moment, if you will. The different emotions this may bring to your train of thought right now. Sympathy, anger, exasperation perhaps? Are you pointing your finger at Naomi for her foolishness, her carelessness? I think that if she were conscious right now instead of in a hospital bed fighting for her life, she may feel the same. I think the people with her that night will be riddled with guilt for a very long time on how THEY could have prevented this, if only…

Here is a lesson for all of us to learn from. While there may be those of us that feel we have the right to judge Naomi and point our fingers at her in disgust, I feel we should reserve our judgement, as hard as it may be, and pray for her instead. Swallow our harsh words and instead use this as a wake up call. If not for you, then possibly someone you know.

Drinking and driving is so easily avoided and so foolishly done by many people. People who think they are in control but are in fact in control of nothing. In an instant, you can change so many people’s lives. Cause so much heartache and grief. Take away someone’s sunshine or destroy a once whole and happy family.

This post may hit home harder for some than others. Faith, is on my mind when I say this.

I guess what I am trying to say here is this. We all are in control and the bosses of our own selves. What we choose or choose not to do at any given moment, depends on us and us alone. While our reaction may be based on what others have said or done around us, we still make the decisions on what our reactions will be. Naomi chose to drink and drive and the harsh reality is she may lose her life as she has known it for that decision. While it would be so much easier to judge her for this, I choose to instead learn from it and hope beyond hope she will too. I want to put my positive energy towards her recovery and the mental recovery of those who think they could have stopped her. My heart goes out to all of them…

Friday, June 20

John's Last Night

John has worked in Safety and Security for our local hospital for over five years. His main station is at the front desk in the ER area. His job is widespread and contains so many different elements that his job description could fill a whole notebook. He not only makes sure the hospital is secure, from locking doors to ensuring fire procedures, but he also has to deal with the drunk and disorderly patients, sometimes being a bodyguard to both patients and doctors, to assisting police officers and dealing with any emergency that should arise, often times unloading the helicopters that come in. He has received many awards and recognition statements from his superiors over the years.

John is a popular person in his job, not only due to his engaging personality but to his physique as well. He stands 6'5", when he is not wearing my heels, and when he shaves his head, is a force to be reckoned with!

In the past John has also driven ambulance for the Spirit of Marshfield which is an advanced ambulance service due to it's equipment and intensive care capabilities (life support) that an average ambulance does not have. This means, he got all the worst case scenario calls all over the state.

John's real love involves computers, however. He is a self taught geek. Seriously, since the five plus years I have known him, his ability to know almost anything computer related has grown ten fold. He is a natural. He is often pulled from his normal duties at work to help others in the technical/digital world. This was not lost on his superiors and over the course of the last few years, John has taken some training courses computer/security related. He designs websites for a second job and has taken many coworkers computers home for a reformatting. Again the word spread of his talents. Late last year, he was asked to design an inventory software program for the hospital and did a wonderful job for them.

Due to his proven abilities, tonight is his last night on nights! He will start days next week and continue to take on more projects with designing software and whatever else comes his way. His hard work and dedication allowed him to move up among his peers. He has waited years for this type of promotion.

I think he deserves a big congratulations, don't you!?

Spencer and I thank him for his hard work and for taking care of us too...

The ambulance John used to drive when on call.

John and his dad. (John in his work uniform)

He has received awards for some of the situations he was involved in when offloading patients from this helicopter.

At a conference in Las Vegas last year. Notice he is playing with the toys instead of attending the courses!

Thursday, June 19

Prayers Appreciated

For those of you that pray, please say a prayer for Pam and her family. Pam's brother and his girlfriend (who is also Pam's best friend), were in a terrible car accident earlier this week. Pam's brother is recovering and has been released from the hospital, her friend, however, is not fairing as well. She has some head trauma and is not functional enough to know how severely she was injured. She has a long recovery ahead of her. She also has a young daughter that could use some prayers. I am hoping Pam won't mind I posted this, but I firmly believe in the power of prayer and know every one can help. Their names are Chris and Naomi.

Wednesday, June 18

Spencer's Therapy Session

It was decided that Spencer would benefit from some occupational therapy this summer while out of school. Every Wednesday morning, he will have one hour of therapy. Work is allowing me to do this, no questions asked. My boss, also the Vice President, is a great guy to work for and didn't even let me finish explaining before he said yes. This was Spencer's second week. He skipped the whole way to the therapy center and sang songs in the elevator. No guessing if he wanted to go or not! One key factor in him liking this so much is his therapist, Patti. Patti has been involved in Spencer's life one way or another ever since his first surgery at four months old. She brought him through some very tough times while in the hospital and recently found us a larger stroller so Spencer can be comfortable during our walks. She is beyond wonderful and Spencer is so eager to please her during his session that I just sit in wonder at the things he can do for her.

One of Patti's many goals for Spencer is to help him use his mouth for something other than chewing and "teething" every and anything he can get his hands on. He is overly oral with strings almost to the point of obsession. Patti is using one of those toys that when you blow in the pipe, it hovers a ball over the little net on the end.

Spencer is copying her mouth movements here.

Here he is teasing her with the ball when he caught it!

I am probably not a good person to have included in these sessions. I try to sit quietly and not influence Spencer. Here Patti took out a doll, gasp and a naked one at that, for shame!, and pretended to feed it a cup of tea. She did this a few times and then asked Spencer to feed the baby. Every single time, Spencer took the cup from her, turned it over and placed it on the baby's head. I sat in the nearby chair and held my giggles in. Personally I would do the same if someone asked me to feed a naked doll! She needed some clothes first...

Needless to say, Spencer amazes me almost every minute during these sessions. He really does know how to do so many things I never realized and this is a time for me to learn also. I take mental notes on all the things done so I can do them at home too. Thank God for woman like Patti!

Tuesday, June 17

Christine & Tommy

Christine is my cousin. Her mom and mine are sisters. Chris and Tommy have been a couple for a few years and recently married. Tommy fits right in to our family and we are happy to have him! They are a fun loving and easy to be around. They came by tonight for a few hours. It seemed like only a few minutes! I don't get to see family very often and what a treat it was for both John and I to have some adult company. Tommy had tears in his eyes from laughing probably half the time they were here! Christine is always a HUGE hit with kids. She has a love for children that most immediately recognize when they see her. Spencer is no exception. He hasn't seen her for over a year and jumped in her arms as soon as she was through the door. Unfortunately he didn't have a nap and was over stimulated. The combination makes for a very moody boy. While he wasn't "terrible" he certainly was not on his best behavior.

We had such fun with Chris and Tommy and can't wait to see them again next month. We ordered in from El Mezcal and I think all of us ate way too much food. We hope to do it all over again soon!

Christine, an uncooperative Spencer and Tommy.

I love my boy's kisses!!

This is a close up Chris took. She had Spencer laughing so hard, he could barely stand up straight!

Monday, June 16

Diner Dash

About a month ago, while playing around online, I came across a forum for Diner Dash and Playfirst games. I decided to try the trial version and was instantly hooked. I look forward to playing this game every night after Spencer falls asleep. The basics of the game are that you have different types of customers with different needs and you need to reach a certain score to move to the next level. You are a waitress. You can dress your character, Flo, to fit the many different themes of the restaurants. I am playing the newest version and have even purchased a few of the extension restaurants because I can't quit playing this game!!!

I have tried Wedding Dash also and while I like it, Diner Dash is the bomb! Go give the trial version a try, it is really a fun game!

This is a screenshot of the Romantic Rendezvous restaurant I am currently playing.

Here is Flo's closet. She needs a new designer!