Monday, September 30, 2013

Who is AM~Erica Becoming?

So anyway...

In the last few days, my hubby & I have been laughing about where our mindset is at nowadays. As time goes along, it's so interesting to figure out where we see our wants & needs...and what things actually get us excited. You know, if someone were to ask you to make a wish list (like for Christmas or birthday), your list probably looked much differently 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago, and even 5 years ago.

Back in my days of office & early parenting, my sights were set on gift cards for work clothes & shoes, stuff to listen to music with, things that would help me teach get the idea. Being domestically challenged in oh-so-many ways, I would have no use for 50's housewife excitement over shiny appliances. They didn't make a lot of sense to me. Some might appear on a shared list between for my hubby & me, but you wouldn't see any on mine!

When some of the vintage/retro housewife stuff started becoming popular again, I was giggling at their crazy excitement in the old ads over things that would help them with housework!

See? They are ridiculously excited for these things!!! It's pure insanity!!!!! However...

When hubby & I went to Best Buy the other day, we walked by the large appliances. And we slowed down at some fancy-schmancy washers & dryers...and then we found something like this:

Larger Front

Isn't it so amazing?? We were like kids in a candy store & drooling over this one. Not that we could even afford it right now, nor would it fit in our kitchen unless we got REALLY creative, it makes me think it should be advertised like this:

Yeah...all space-age-y & stuffs!

But that's us dreaming right now. See? Excited over a refrigerator that looks like it could blast off into space at any moment! It's so weird...and glorious!

At the same time, with my favorite time of year setting upon us, Autumn is the perfect time to break out the ol' lazy cooker for some yummy & wholesome dinners. And, even though it still works just fine, our lazy cooker was a wedding gift for us back in 1996. It's round, simple...and pink. With us starting to finally use the thing quite a bit more last year (I think we could count on 1 hand how many times it was probably used before then using 10 fingers & have some digits leftover), the more we are gonna use it, the worse it is that there's a handle falling off & stuff. So I've been "dreaming" of a new lazy cooker: a fancy-schmancy lazy cooker! An oval one with buttons & know, all space-age-y & stuffs!

My hubby found one on sale at Target, so we went to check it out. We didn't get the one we found on sale, but instead, I got excited over this outer-space gem:

Bella 6 Qt Programmable Slow Cooker  - 6 quart
I want to say that I love this lazy cooker. I've only used it once when I made chicken & noodles (my recipe HERE). And my hubby has only used it once. But whatever! I'm gonna follow this amazing piece of appliance into the future, baby!!! To infinity & beyond! Amm-i-rite??

And I was so excited about this purchase that I proclaimed to my hubby, "Well, I guess I can take that new lazy cooker off my Christmas list!" And? I wasn't kidding.

WHO AM I??? I'm not gonna say what else I have on my wish list, but I feel ridiculously like those stupid ads featuring over-the-top housewives about their household item wants. Oh wait...and sometimes I look like 'em, too! (case-in-point HERE)


Well...if it makes any difference...I am still very domestically challenged...and you definitely will never see me iron or asking for one...

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Why AM~Erica Celebrates Pretty Much Everything

So anyway...

Not too long ago, an article had been put out there by a mom who was frustrated with Pintrest moms. You know the ones that seem like they want to be the Martha Stewarts of every party, every meal is perfect, every "small gift" looks like $50 bucks was spent on know: the one-uppers! And this mom was venting about how Pinterest has ruined the simplicity of the school parties, costumes, teacher gifts, snacks, etc.

Believe it or not, as much as I love Pinterest for ideas, I mostly agree with her.

Yes, yes, yes...I hear you!
"Hey! She posts things up of new recipes & crazy holidays. Who does she think she is?"
(totally said in my best Jim Gaffigan voice)

Here's my deelio:
I'm sure you might be shocked to know that I have a theatrical background. I understand your shock. And sometimes I love having the theatrics in real life, too. Holidays give me that opportunity. And I guess I'm along the lines of a "method actress." I will research & dig to get inspired on how to play out a part...or serve a meal...or wear an outfit/costume.

In doing these things, not only do you learn more things because you force yourself to research, but you may find that you can add to the mundane dinner menu rotation for the family!

Personally, I love to keep things as authentic as I can, but add a bit of a pun or quirk to it.

* A lot of this started in 2001. A little before then, too, but it really kicked off then. It was with Halloween coming & I came up with my Vulcan, T'Rek. Find out how that went down HERE!

The (half) Vulcan, T'Rek, circa 2001

* I learned about fashion & makeup from the 60's when I took an old internet quiz years ago about which supermodel I was most like. When it came up Twiggy...I started digging more into more about her.

* I learned about fashion, makeup & the times of the 50's when I was part of a diner theater (yeah...I said "diner") at our church, "Uncle Phil's Diner."

Me as Miss Donna Lee in "Uncle Phil's Diner", circa 2008

* I love using St. Patrick's Day to dig into some of my Irish background. So I try to keep it authentic. And I love learning how much we actually get wrong in overall celebrations. Check out some of my discoveries HERE.

* I love, I love to set my brain loose when celebrating that Dr. Seuss! Outfits, foods & rhyming galore; each March 2nd we try to do more. If you'd like to know which way to steer, check out what I've done before HERE!

Dressed for Dr. Seuss' birthday...a pic from last year & again today! I did the striped shirt on my own, the spotted scarf & feathers set the tone! Blue on the neck & in the hair really give that Seussy flair!
March the 2nd is the date; a Seussy day to celebrate!

* Aye! Me loves to take in & talk like a pirate! Each September 19th, we set creative ideas to sail a course of the day! Check out what I've done before HERE!

* I love marking the Ides of March & Pi Day, too! Check 'em out HERE!

But I'm also a shortcutter. If my kids need something for a school party, I will totally just send the valentines of their favorite character. I don't need to have a pencil or a Hershey's kiss/hug attached to it. Or if my kid has "hat day" at school, I'll offer up a brightly colored stovepipe hat, but am fine when they just choose a baseball cap. Eventually if they want to do more, I'll support them & help them...but if not, as quietly sad as I might be on the inside, I am still glad that they are willing to participate in something beyond the ordinary.

I'm not a Martha Stewart. I use Pinterest & Google to get inspired for things, but I am not (usually) going to put tons of money into what I'm doing if I don't need to. It's about setting an ambiance. It's about making memories. But it's not about killing myself to do it. It's not about being a one-upper. I do what I love to do. And if it inspires someone else to try something, that's awesome! It's never about setting some bar super high to prove no one can top it! Trust me...anyone can top me. I just know how my brain works. And then I go with it.

At times, I'm sure my family gets frustrated with my crazy ideas...but sometimes it proves to be fun & OK. Even if they roll their eyes...they will still be talking about it quite some time later...and might even ask if we will get to do it again!

And if you offer up any sort of creativity like that with your kids, it encourages them to think about what they would do, too. I've even had my kiddos start to make suggestions for some of these special days! And the ideas are often good ones. hubby helps with the ideas sometimes, too!!

So where there is a semi-revolt against increasing hype for other holidays, I say go for it! Start small. Do what you can. If you think you need to one-up anyone, then you're doing it wrong. Just up your own creativity & dig into research for yourself. You will enlighten yourself & it will rub off on your family. It will be amazing to see what happens when you change up a couple of things while you have a history & explanation behind it.

You know what? Being that shortcutter allows me to find the quick way around fixing things up...where it's more about the presentation. I still want things to taste good, too...but I'm not above throwing some store-bought stuff together. I'm willing to fake it til I make it. can, too. Trust me.

So go out there, have fun, celebrate, and just challenge yourself a little bit. You'll be amazed!

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Friday, September 20, 2013

Cap'n AM~Erica Be Talkin' Like a Pirate

So lubbers...

If ye haven't heard be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, mateys!!

How have ye been participatin'?

As ye know...this pirate can bee seen dressin', eatin', an' you be knowin' I be speakin' like one. Arrrr...


OK, OK...I started this post last night, but there were so many distractions that I couldn't finish it! We had some company & had to watch the Chiefs go 3-0 against the Eagles (which may be a whole post by itself)! And...I wanted to get a recipe on the food blog while it was in my head. More on that in a moment...

So, did any of you celebrate TLAP Day?

If you haven't figured out, I certainly had to dress the part...but there was a hitch in my original plan on how to dress. You see, a I mentioned, the Chiefs were playing! I had to work in my red & gold...

And since my hubby took the day off, due to the insanity this week became, we treated it like our usual Friday date day. So we went out to Barrel. We wanted to look at the adorable country store to see what fall & Halloween stuff then might have out. But...e,at first!

As we were seated, we were told that Uncle Herschel's Breakfast was on special. Then hubby & I began to scan & investigate the menu to see what might sound good after ordering our coffee, of course. I began to look over the highlighted special & there was an option on there that led me to choose the breakfast of Uncle Herschel...
Not only did my grits & the biscuits with gravy, I could choose apple butter, too! (Duh! Fall!) I got my eggs over hard, got the fried apples (Duh! Fall!)...and my meat of choice was...wait for it...catfish. No, really!

YUM! Grits & fried catfish for breakfast!
I think my hubby thought I was crazy...but did he totally miss how I was dressed sitting across the table from him? *snort*

After our bellies were filled, we looked around the Christmas items! About a quarter of the store was Christmas! I think there were about 4 trees up & decorated! It was crazy. Oh...there was a little bit of fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving stuff in there, too.

Then we needed food for the week & for what I planned for the TLAP dinner. So we made our weekly run, just a day early, and it threw off our regular cashier. hehe

Once we got home & put away the groceries, we loaded up to set a course to take the Sea-Sick Crocodile (yeah...that's what I named my ship last year...and I love it) to sail over to finish up our shopping to pick up a few things we couldn't get on the 1st run.

Eventually I set sail on a solo cruise to Krispy Kreme to score some loot of a dozen doughnuts for being dressed like a pirate. Now, in my last post about it (HERE), I showed you what their guidelines were to score some free doughnuts. So I changed my outfit up a little bit to try to cover my bases:

I added a hat, and skirt so I could wear
my striped knickers to flash if needed.
My Broadway Babies peeps might remember these! hehe

As a waltzed into the Krispy Kreme destination, I was prepared to have them try to keep up with what I was wearing to see if I would get to do this:

But, alas...I think if you put effort into your outfit, you got the loot. All I did was walk in there & they gave me a dozen from under the counter...either that, or they were terrified of me. Let's pretend that was the deal, OK? Thanks.

However, since a peg leg & a costume hook is on their list of items to have, I thought about walking in with a plunger & telling them that I plundered it from Pee-Wee while using the poop deck so I could come get some doughnut loot. Maybe next year...

I wanted to take in the free fish from Long John Silvers, but hubby & I were so full!!! And our time was really short. Plus, I couldn't wait to try what I had in store our pirate dinner!!

Eventually we got ourselves together, I got changed back into my 1st outfit, and we began to prep for dinner!!

Let me give you a rundown of our menu:

Planked TiLAPia (recipe HERE)
Fish Planks
Chicken Planks
"Seaweed" Salad
Golden Potato Quarters
Goldfish Mac & "Cheese"
Sea Salt Rice Crisps
Lemon & Black Pepper Rice Crisps
Pirate's Booty Puffed Snacks

Because of how my brain works, I eventually came around to thinking up have grilled fish on a plank. And, since it was for TLAP brain jumped to the pun of TiLAPia. *SNORT* Yeah...I went there! So...that's what we did! So I had my hubby grill up the tilapia with some lemon & rosemary. It was SOOOO good!!! He'd never grilled fish...and definitely never used planks. He did researching, I did researching...and we came up with this winner, winner, plank-fish dinner!

We also made sure to serve up some store-bought battered fish in case the grilling didn't go so well. And we had the chicken planks (tenders) for the kiddos who sadly don't like seafood.

To get some greens in there, I found a mix of baby spinach & baby kale. It was very reminiscent of seaweed, so I was sold. I tossed it in a splash of lemon juice & some sea salt. Plus, leftovers are going to be just wilted enough to put into an omelet the next morning!

I also fixed up some golden potatoes, cut into quarters & delightfully boiled in butter, sea salt & a splash of lemon juice to keep their golden color & to give 'em a good flavor. Any leftovers can be smashed/mashed or fried up...maybe with that omelet with the wilted greens!

I came across some Goldfish (yes, like the crackers) brand Mac & Cheese. I didn't have any, it was more for the kiddos. They were very unsure about it. Only one of them was really fine with it. So...not doing that anymore. So, just FYI...just stick with the Goldfish crackers.

I also needed some kind of bread. I didn't have time to make hard tack (but I will next time), so I dealt with crackers! Cuz we all know that Polly would want some, amm-i-rite? So I found these rice crisps that would work really well: one of them was sea salt flavored, and the others were lemon & black pepper flavored. They were perfect!!

And of course, I had to get some Pirate's Booty puffed corn snacks. Not only because of the brand, but they always make me think of my friend RENEE. I miss her. And I think she would've gotten a kick out of all of this. Even better? My youngest ate half of one of the bags. I think we have a winner!

Did you notice that there's a lot of sea salt & citrus (mostly lemon) involved? Yeah, that was on purpose. Sea salt should be self-explanatory; the citrus is to keep the scurvy at bay. Amm-i-rite? *snort*

We followed up the meal with the free doughnuts, of course.

To drink, we just served some semi-sweet iced tea & some lemonade. Yes, we probably needed rum...but have you seen how expensive that stuff is? But I worked up a drink for myself that sufficed a bit:

I call it "Cap'n Arnold Palmer's Grog"! Remember when I played with the Arnold Palmer drink before? (recipe HERE) This time, I added a splash of rum flavoring, poured the lemonade about half-way up the glass, then topped it off with the tea.

And we finished off the night with storms-a-brewin' & a crazy football game that resulted in a KC Chiefs' win taking them to 3-0!

What was a crazy-adventurous day was actually a really great one.

Looking forward to setting sail on the Sea-Sick Crocodile again...

I'm sorry...I missed it. What did you do? I would really love to hear!!

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

AM~Erica Working on Pirattude

So anyway...

We are just 2 days out, mateys! The 11th voyage of International Talk Like a Pirate Day is about to set sail! Have you prepared your masts & sails...outfits & speak??

Click HERE for some of my other posts about preparing & celebrating this fun holiday that is gaining speed.

In the meantime, I have joined POLYVORE to help envision some of these outfitting ideas. I have a PIRATTUDE COLLECTION dedicated to pirate dressing! Most of them are based on non-Disney pirate characters. When you look thru the very awesome Disney Bound, whether on the TUMBLR SITE, on the POLYVORE PAGE, or finding it on PINTEREST, there is a lot of everyday outfits put together with many of the well-known pirates right now. Most of them happen to be Disney pirates...go figure: Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, Captain Jack Sparrow (and any other pirate character from "Pirates of the Caribbean").

I decided to put together some looks for those non-Disney pirates that don't get as much recognition. So be sure to check out my collection to get more ideas. And if I've forgotten any non-Disney pirates, please let me know!

Now that's out of the way, be sure you know how to dress properly if you are wanting to get those free Krispy Kreme Doughnuts!

If you want your free glazed doughnuts, here's their guidelines:

See that? Must have at least 3 of these items!! However...I just want to carry in a hook & peg leg just to let them know that I took out another pirate just to get those doughnuts. *snort* 
OK...I wrong...I know...but it's how my brain works sometimes... the meantime, Krispy Kreme does have these super cute, marshmallow-filled pirate doughnuts! You know..."while supplies last"... *wink-wink* my week as been turned all topsy-turvey...we are still working out our meals for TLAP Day. Because, on top of the craziness that unloaded, we also have the Chiefs game that night to watch, too! And you all know I GOTTA ROOT FOR MY CHIEFS! Amm-i-rite?
But I digress...
I am still pushing for fish planks & chicken planks of sorts. Still gotta work it out. But you know I will let you know.

Hopefully some of these last several posts have inspired you to take in some fun stuff! And it makes me wonder if the more participation there is world-wide...the more promotions & sales might come out it in the future...
Just something to think on!

OK...brush up on your Piratese (that's my new term for pirate-speak), your attire, and what you might at Long John Silvers! Right?

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

AM~Erica Hears the Bells

So anyway...

I have thought process today. And the process surrounds the events of 12 years ago.

I'm not going to completely go back into where I was at during that fateful day, but you can read about it HERE. It's when I posted about it last year. But there's something about this day that rings a bell...

Maybe I shouldn't be, but I am a fan of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. I'm not the only one, but the ones that know & get his work has got to have something not quite right with them. It's one thing to appreciate the work & try to understand it...and then it's the understanding it &/or having it have some meaning to you is another...

A few months ago, I had the privilege to take in a one man show (well...2-man show counting the music) at the Coterie Theater. An incredible actor, Hughston Walkinshaw, played Edgar Allen Poe in the reciting & interpretation of a few of Poe's works while trying to give a view of what might have been happening inside EAP's head. It was amazing, bone-chilling, terrifying & mesmerizing. It was called "Tell Tale Electric Poe", and there was haunting electric guitar sounds as background & filler music, as well as used as sound effects. It was 50 minutes of psychotic weirdness with only the rhythms & rhymes of the words taming the chaos. (read about when Teen Girl & I saw it in March HERE)

Hughston Walkinshaw as Edgar Allan Poe

One of the pieces done was "The Bells". If you have never experienced the poem of "The Bells" should. This poem brilliantly shows the chaotic mindset of Poe. It really shows that he really was all over the place in his head. And he tells it thru the different forms of bells.

He focuses on happy jingly bells, mellow ringing of wedding bells...then moves into frightening alarum bells...and then the toll of funeral bells.

I got thinking that these bells that EAP wrote about are telling of different parts in his life. They tell chimes on a clock or in a bell tower.

As I witnessed hearing tolling of bells today, it made me think about this poem.

Twelve years ago, today, there were frantic bells being rung!

Hear the loud alarum bells,
          Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
    In the startled ear of night
    How they scream out their affright!  
      Too much horrified to speak,
      They can only shriek, shriek,
          Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,  
      Leaping higher, higher, higher,
      With a desperate desire,
    And a resolute endeavor
    Now—now to sit or never,
  By the side of the pale-faced moon.  
      Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
      What a tale their terror tells
          Of Despair!
    How they clang, and clash, and roar!
    What a horror they outpour  
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
      Yet the ear it fully knows,
          By the twanging
          And the clanging,
      How the danger ebbs and flows;  
    Yet the ear distinctly tells,
          In the jangling
          And the wrangling,
    How the danger sinks and swells,—
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells,  
          Of the bells,
    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
          Bells, bells, bells—
  In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!

I can only imagine the fire alarms, the emergency sounds, the bells at fire stations, the dispatching sounds, and the sirens coming thru on radios all thru New York. It breaks my heart & leaves me near claustrophobically breathless. The fright in the eyes of dust-covered people of all walks of life running or frozen in shock. The horror of the clanging & twanging of the bells that tell of danger is horrifying. Watching it on TV, keeping up on the computer, listening to the radio...the horror, the crying, the resonated so loudly over the country & the world.

Then, it hit me this morning during some coverage of live memorial events going on:

Hear the tolling of the bells,  
          Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
    In the silence of the night
    How we shiver with affright
  At the melancholy menace of their tone!  
    For every sound that floats
    From the rust within their throats
          Is a groan.
    And the people—ah, the people,
    They that dwell up in the steeple,  
          All alone,
  And who tolling, tolling, tolling,
    In that muffled monotone,
  Feel a glory in so rolling
    On the human heart a stone—  
They are neither man nor woman,
They are neither brute nor human,
      They are Ghouls:
  And their king it is who tolls;
  And he rolls, rolls, rolls,  
    A pæan from the bells;
  And his merry bosom swells
    With the pæan of the bells,
  And he dances, and he yells:  
  Keeping time, time, time,
  In a sort of Runic rhyme,
    To the pæan of the bells,
        Of the bells:
  Keeping time, time, time,
  In a sort of Runic rhyme,
  To the throbbing of the bells,
  Of the bells, bells, bells—
    To the sobbing of the bells;
  Keeping time, time, time,
    As he knells, knells, knells,
  In a happy Runic rhyme,
  To the rolling of the bells,
    Of the bells, bells, bells:
    To the tolling of the bells,
  Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
        Bells, bells, bells—
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

It was breaking my heart, as it should, to hear these slow, methodical bells. They are there for remembering particular times &/or people. They are often used during Memorial Day or All Saints Day in remembering those who have gone before us. And then, today, they strike a large iron-sounding brass bell at particular times of the morning:

at the exact time when the 1st of the Twin Towers was hit

at the exact time when the 2nd of the Twin Towers was hit

at the exact time when the Pentagon was hit

at the exact time the plane crashed in Pennsylvania

at the exact time of the collapse of the 1st Tower

at the exact time of the collapse of the 2nd Tower

Each and every one of these tolls is gut-wrenching.
Each and every one of these tolls breaks a thick, somber silence.

It's the telling of time in a clock that seemed to stop a long, long moment that didn't seem to have an end to it.

Each of those bells still chokes me up & gives me chills. As I know it does throughout an entire nation.

As we hear these bells at significant points of time in our lives, they wake up those an alarm clock that just goes off annually.

My hope for these tolling bells now is that it wakes us up as to how we felt toward each other right after the alarm bells went off initially. Because we could not be further from those times than we are now. Like a face ringing a bell, we need to think back to our patriotism that came after that. We've lost it. We need a wake-up call...but hopefully without the turbulence of sirens & emergency bells to do it. Because it happened on our own emergency number of 911 when it happened 12 years ago.

I have pointed it out before that on September 11, 2001, the terrorists changed the course of how we live. In that sense, they succeeded. And in the midst of it, we have turned against each other.

In this moment, a toll of a large, iron bell clangs in the memory of shared patriotism. The good news is that patriotism can be resurrected...if we allow it.

Are you doing your part to bring it back in togetherness...or crashing it in your own ideals?

Do you hear the bell?

Never, ever, ever forget, fellow Americans...ever.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica (<<<=== still meant wholeheartedly)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

AM~Erica Just Making You Aware

So anyway...

I'm still here. I'm still here. Some days I cannot grasp that I'm still here.

And today is one of those days when I look in a mirror & realize it's OK to be a failure.

Yes...I said it. I'm a failure. And I'm OK with that today.

If you're horrified right now, it's OK. I do understand. I really, really do. But I have my own reasons for being a proud failure. Today.

It's a hard thing for me to share. I SHARED IT LAST YEAR. But it always bears repeating. Why? Because there's so many of you...of us...who need the constant reminder.

That's what this week is all about. September 8-14 is Suicide Prevention Week. Today, September 10th, is World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day. And it's so important!! It so important for so many.

I have a friend that I know from high school who has started something so important...and sadly it's the support from the aftermath.

If you or someone you know has lost a loved one from suicide, I highly recommend what she does. Her name is Jenn, and she has SOLOS ~~ Survivors Of Loved Ones to Suicide ~~. Please checkout her passion for these people. She is one of these people. You should read her heartbreaking story that has brought her to this place. She has a calling. And it's beautiful. And she has helped be a rock for me.

Sometimes you see signs from people when they seem to be going downhill. Sometimes the signs are hard to see. I was so sad & shocked to find out another friend from high school recently died by suicide. He had some hard things in his life, but never realized what a toll it must've taken on him. Just heartbreaking. But I know several other high school friends who stayed very close to him & are still deeply affected by the loss of him.

Jenn is very involved in the survivors' side of things. There's a series of walks she helps with & participates in called "Out of the Darkness." Please check out her Facebook page (the link is above) for details for that. Seriously.

Now then, last year, I MADE A COUPLE OF T-SHIRTS for Suicide Prevention Week. It began with the design that I put on my wrist & went from there. Well I've updated the design...

Not only is there 'LOVE' there, but I made the 'O' into a heart-shape that reflects the appropriate ribbon colors, but still the red color of a heart. I also incorporated the semicolon. Why? There was a beautiful push for the ';' to be put on wrists to remind those hurting that it may only seem like the end, but there's more to come. That gives me chills & makes me well up thinking about it. Simple & poignant. So I incorporated it, too.

So...I am about to put it on a yellow t-shirt. And I still have the other tees to work in thru the week, too.

I'm not going lie...I have hidden posts. Not so much "hidden"...but more like "unshared". I do have some HARD-HITTING SOAPBOX MOMENTS, but these are different. They are dark, frightening...and maybe that venting saved my own life. I don't shout from the mountaintops when I'm feeling lonely & hurting. I pray, too. A lot. I pray to be a failure in this sense.

So far, I'm a failure. And it's good to share that. Because of it...I am here to share my part of what do go thru from time-to-time. I've been there. I end up there. I don't like it there...but sometimes, in a horrible's a comfortable & familiar place. It's easy to head back there. Would you know if I was there?

Now the question is whether or not you would actually know about the others around you. Would you know if they were in a deep, dark place? Might it be the last time you see them because of it.

I found this to be an interesting full-circle moment:

Almost 2 years ago, Kansas City lost a very popular meteorologist to suicide. Apparently Don Harmon had been fighting depression for a long time. The one morning I didn't tune in to the Fox 4 KC newscast (and I'm not sure why I missed it), but apparently he was acting not-quite-right. So much so, that viewers were asking about how Don was doing & if things were OK. Sadly...later that day...Don took his own life. The next morning, the anchors just kept saying that once they had more information, they would let everyone know. It was so odd. It was because they were trying to let all family know.
It was so sad to find out what had happened. I remember watching the morning newscast as they were crying & laughing & sharing memories. I'm still choked up thinking about it.

Today, September 10, 2013 marks the 1-year anniversary of the new meteorologist brought in to Fox 4 KC. I found that interesting. World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day marks the 1 year since they brought someone in to officially fill the absence of Don with Michelle Bogowith. But that's my own observation. She is a good addition & is completely different from Don...which was a good call.

But these are some things to think about as we continue this week. Take care of yourselves; take care of others. Encourage this kind of failure.

And I am thinking of my friends that came to me privately last year with their own struggles. And there was more than one of my friends who shared their struggles with me. And I was surprised by those who privately came forward. But I hope you all are still doing OK. I think about your struggles, too.

Stay tuned;

God Bless, AM~Erica

Monday, September 9, 2013

Allow AM~Erica Help You Ready Yourself for T'nLAP

So anyway...

As you probably know, I am strangely stupid-stoked for the prep of TLAP Day!

I am continuing to gather event & promotional information for you all to be able to join in more easily & really enjoy a holiday like this!

Do be sure to read my previous post, HERE, to help get some ideas & read about some of the things happening already. But I do have some updates, and some other ways to help you brush up for the day.

As for those who may be in the Champaign, IL area on September 19th, my fabulously pirate wench friend got back with me about their GYPSY ROSE PIRATE SHIP! For the 2nd year in a row, the Gypsy Rose (landship) will be making an appearance at the University of IL there. And believe me when I say it's something you do NOT want to miss!

And I've been waiting for the announcement from the REAL PIRATES EXHIBIT at Union Station in KC. They have something planned for Talk Like a Pirate Day! However, they have not yet gotten back with I will update this post once the information is shared! I hope it's worth the anticipation...
I will share it with you either way & let you decide.

As for Krispy Kreme, the "official participation list" does not include all participating stores! My hubby was so sweet this morning to surprise me with pumpkin donuts & a pumpkin spice latte from there! YUM-YUM! And then he did say that our local store (which was not on the official participation list) has the decals & fliers up in the store for TLAP day! Looks like they are participating again! Woo-Hoo! So if your store was not on the "official list", call or double check with your particular store just to make sure.

Now then, I had to share that I had the most hilarious email come to me from my Long John Silvers inquiry. I did get a surprisingly fast response from the VP of Operations, Tony Lukasavage (What a great pirate name...amm-i-rite?):



Thanks for your interest in Long John Silver’s and yes, we will continue to celebrate “Talk Like a Pirate Day” every September 19.  You’re invited to come to your local LJS and give us your best “Arrrr!”



I was thrilled & entertained! But I also got this hilariously crazy email from a more general LJS account a couple of days later. It was from LJSCARES (which I totally read as 'LJ Scares'...but whatever). And this is exactly how it came thru to my inbox:


'Ahoy Erica! You'll be glad to know that "International Talk Like a Pirate Day" is celebrated annually on September 19!  Participating LJS restaurants  will again have the free fish offer this year!  Here be some "Piratey" Expressions that ye need know if ye want to not be mistaken for no landlubber!
* Ahoy Used to hail a ship or a person or to attract attention.
* Arr! / Argh / Arrgh! / Yarr! / Harr! etc. A general piratical term - can be used with anything.
* Avast! Used as a command to stop or desist.
* Belay Used in the imperative as an order to stop.Belay there!
* Blimey! Used to express frustration.
* Bucko A friend.
* Dead men tell no tales Phrase explaining why pirates leave no survivors.
* Gangway! Used to clear a passage through a crowded area.
* Hang the jib To look ill-tempered or annoyed. To pout.
* He's gone to Davy Jones's locker He is dead. (Davy Jones's locker is also the bottom of the sea)
* Me hearties My Comrade; boon companion; good fellow; a term of familiar address and fellowship among sailors. Captains often refer to their entire crew this way.
* Shiver me timbers! An expression of surprise.
* Sink me! An expression of surprise.
* Smartly Quickly.
* Splice the Mainbrace! To have a Drink, or perhaps several.
* Yo-ho-ho Completely meaningless, but fun to say.



See? Fun...but so crazy!

However, I just need to point out that "Arrrr" (or any form thereof) is used in the affirmative and an in general response. If you add the 'G' to the end of it, it becomes the negative response or showing discontentment. So take note of that.

If you want more in brushing up on some pirate speak, you can head over to the official & original INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE site! You'll find some help in this area, like:

Pirate Speak in ENGLISH; in GERMAN; in DUTCH (not sure why Spanish isn't here yet)

Here's also an ENGLISH-TO-PIRATE TRANSLATOR (although, it didn't help me out as much, but fun)

And don't forget to get some PIRATE PICK UP LINES for the unattached buccaneers

Now that you got some ways to sound like a pirate, but you don't want to TOTALLY dress like a pirate, but still want to look the part? There is a way I can help! I have some inspiration for you from a thing call Disneybound! The chic on this tumblr site helps put together everyday street wear to reflect & inspired by Disney characters, and has branched out into other brands, too.  So I give you some of the inspired pirate outfits, via Pinterest, to help inspire your September 19th look (click each picture to take you to the Pinterest layouts for inspiration):


OK...if these are not enough for you, click HERE for a wider Pinterest Disneybound selection of ideas; click HERE for a more general Pinterest selection of inspiration. Or you can go right to my own Pinterest board collection of PIRATEBOUND outfits. 

Hopefully this will at least get the creative juices working for how you would work pirate wear for the everyday wear. Or...go all out like I do! *snort* can just throw on a skull/jolly roger t-shirt, throw on a ruffle shirt, put on a hoop earring &/or wear a bandanna on your head. Whatever. Just have fun!

So do you now have plans working for September 19th? How do you plan to celebrate this fun holiday?
Need some more inspiration? I have a Pinterest board just for TLAP DAY IDEAS!

And if you know of any events happening in your area, please share with the class! 

In the meantime, I will keep working on readying my ship: the Sea-Sick Crocodile. (But, of course!)

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

********** UPDATE **********

First, in KC & in Philly should be interesting as they play the featured Thursday Night Football game that night. Time to incorporate some Chiefs in the ol' pirate wear. But I digress...

I finally heard back from the Real Pirates Exhibit at Union Station! Here's is what they are offering for TLAP Day (directly from the email sent to me):

Union Station Kansas City and Krispy Kreme Doughtnuts® are teaming up to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Visit any local Kansas City Krispy Kreme location onSeptember 19 and enjoy special savings!
Talk Like A Pirate
Give your best pirate impersonation and receive one free Krispy Kreme doughnut and $2 off regular admission to the Real Pirates exhibition at Union Station.*
Dress Like A Pirate
Come dressed in your best pirate garb and receive one free dozen of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and $5 off regular admission to the Real Pirates exhibition at Union Station. 
Three pieces of pirate attire required.
*Krispy Kreme Doughnuts® offers only valid September 19, 2013. Real Pirates coupons valid for regular adult and child admission September 19-22. Valid one per person. Not valid with any other offers or discounts. 

~~ So...there you have it! Start brushing up on your Piratese, find your attire, figure your grub & grog, and set sail for a fun-filled day!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

AM~Erica Be Preparin' for Int'l TLAP Day

So anyway...

The countdown be goin' thar, mateys!

Are you preparing for the upcoming holiday? You know which one, right?
          Well, it's on September 19th every year...
                    It would be International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

*confetti cannons*

This entertains me so much...*giggles*

That's right. A whole day totally dedicated to talking & dressing like a pirate. Fun, amm-i-rite?

Well, this will be year number 11 for the day that actually began as a joke! A couple of guys convinced humor writer, Dave Barry, to do a piece on this fake holiday.

I've been attempting to do my part. I love celebrating odd DR. SEUSS' BIRTHDAY, PI DAY and THE IDES OF MARCH! You can click right HERE to see how I celebrated TLAP Day last year.

Since it's still kind of an obscure holiday, it's hard to find places that really do things to celebrate it! Last year, Krispy Kreme & Long John Silvers had things working. Krispy Kreme really made theirs known. Long John Silvers only put it out there if you knew where to look; we just accidentally stumbled upon their promotion.

I have been checking around to see if these places will continue with their TLAP fun. I've been contacting them since there is nothing out there right now. So I'm doing some work for you. You're welcome.

Imagine my shock when I heard back for the VP of Operations at LJS! He emailed me back at after 11:00 at night. However, it brought a message of great news: Long John Silvers knows it's a perfect fit with Talk Like a Pirate Day & will annually offer free fish fillets if you order in pirate-speak...or at least add, "Arrrrr," to your verbiage. So maybe go order a drink & some hushpuppies while talking like a pirate, and then you'll have a full meal for possibly cheaper. (reheating the fish was a little meh; the more you know...) READ OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE HERE

And, it appears that Krispy Kreme will be DOING THEIR PROMOTION AGAIN this year! It was not said if it would be annual, but we will take it a year at a time! Amm-i-rite? Just take note that it may not be at all locations, so check with your local store first. But there will be the free offrin's of grub fer ye crew!

~~ UPDATE: Not seeing participation from any Missouri or Kansas locations on the list! Hope that changes...
If it doesn't...we may have to declare war and plunder the doughnuts...
...or not...since it's all illegal & stuffs...

Now then, if you want a different idea for dinner, I have some ridiculously fun & delicious ideas for you to do at home:

I thought maybe working in some seafood. Now I just giggle when I think about how my brain works sometimes, but...


~ Have tuna fish in a salad or in a casserole! Have the Pirate Booty puffed corn as a great side or topper!

Pirate Booty Snack Logo
~ How about grilled or smoked fish, like salmon or TiLAPia (see what I did there? *snort*) on a plank! (See what I did there, too?) Fun, fitting & good for you, too!

~ Got the little ones, or feel like these options are a bit too adventurous? Fix up some fish sticks!

~ You or your kiddos don't do seafood? How about chicken planks (aka - fillets or tenders)?

~ I saw where you can get a health food snack of seaweed chips. Those can be served as a side.

~ Seaweed chips sound weird? Try a salad of dandelion greens (See? Weeds! *snort*) with Thousand Island dressing, or even spinach in vinegar (it looks like seaweed), if that's your thing. Cooked spinach in vinegar is not my thing. I'll do the salad.

~ How about fixing up some Yukon Gold Potatoes sliced into medallions? Oh yes...

Rum Cannon Balls
~ Serve up fruit wedges & consider them fruit boats. Add a toothpick with a mini mast on it. Throw in some melon balls for the cannon balls.

~ What about dessert? How about banana boats (either grilled/baked with toppings or as a banana split sundae)? You can even do Rum Cannon Balls (recipe HERE)!

~ As for what to quench your thirst with, rum is a near automatic go-to (Captain Morgan clearly being the appropriate option), but what about a grog? Yes, there's usually rum in it, but you can substitute the rum for rum flavoring, like the above rum ball recipe! Or you can do a rum & cola.

~ For some other options, do a clam or cod chowder or a lobster bisque! It's getting time to possibly be in that chilly weather with fall coming right afterwards! So stick it in a lazy cooker so you can get other stuff done that day.

~ And for the junk food lovers, pull out the Swedish Fish and gummi worms. Cheese balls &/or Whoppers for cannon balls. Goldfish crackers or pretzel rod "peg legs". You get the idea...
          Too bad Nestle no longer makes their chocolate Treasures. Those would've been PERFECT!

~ If you don't work out Krispy Kreme for breakfast, how about a bowl of Cap'n Crunch? Or make cereal bars with the cereal for a dessert or snack!


So...has the idea ship set a course in your heads? I can't wait to hear if any of you will do anything or might have been inspired by any of this!

Now...what are some activities to do besides eat? Looting & pillaging, though fitting, is frowned upon...and illegal. Sorry.

However, I do know that there is a pirate exhibit happening at Union Station in Kansas City! It is called "Real Pirates". All I know is there will be something offered up on September 19th at the exhibit. However, it's not being revealed until next week. So keep your good eye peeled for that one (for the pirates out there wearing their eye patch).

I am also trying to get some information from my lovely friend in St. Louis about their pirate ship, The Gypsy Rose. So, if I find out anything, I'll let you know that, too.

For anyone else around the nation or internationally, if you know of any events going on around your area, please share! There are several Pirate Festivals (spin off of Ren Fests) that take place. If you know of any of these in your area, please share that, too! St. Louis had one in Wentzville, but not sure if it is still running.

Otherwise, brush up on your pirate speak, get into your pirate garb & let's get some more popularity around this day!

Until then, be sure to check out Cap'n Slappy & Ol' Cumbucket at the original INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE site!

Cap'n Slappy & Ol' Chumbucket
originators of International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Who's in? Just 2 weeks from tomorrow...let's get our ship ready! I'm prepping the Sea-Sick Crocodile...

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica