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comma splices and cupcakes

Posted by christelpistol on April 9, 2009 at 12:13 PM Comments comments (1)

maybe it's because it's spring.  maybe it's because lauren made the words "us.  write.  book.  Numbers."  maybe it's because it's been in the back of my mind.  but i am rife with ideas.  i need a stenographer for the voices in my head.  i have mentally written about three chapters for the Numbers book while driving to the corporate office in south austin and driving from WIO's house to work.  i zone out and come up with some of the most wonderful phrasing and when i finally get my fingers to a keyboard and open the gates, nothing comes out.  and yes, a notebook would be a fantastic solution, but do you know how hard it is to text and drive?  much less write a book chapter in rush hour on MoPac? 


needless to say, there are words.  but they are stuck.  no, not stuck, just hiding back in the recesses of my brain.  i am excited at the prospect of "the Book"  even the little stuff not even related to writing.  like the dedication.  and chapter titles.  and thanking everyone in the back of the book like liner notes.  and the title.  oh lord, the title.  how do you get 5 women to agree on a place to eat, much less a title?  and format, and who goes first and when it comes to the story of how we all met, do we all write OUR version or collaborate?  i mean cause i met Lo first and Mary last.  not all at the same time.  if we ALL write that story, then wont it be repetitive?  SO MANY QUESTIONS.


but another reason for inspiration is the book signing i went to last week.  trust me, THAT was inspiration.  what is better than reading a book where a grown woman uses the words, "Fuck" and "Vagina" as if they were as common as "The" and "Water"?  actually HEARING that very same grown woman say "Fuck" and 'Vagina" to a crowd of women in a fantastic bookstore in downtown Austin with a microphone and delicious husband in tow. 


i have read Heather B. Armstrong's blog, for roughly 4 years now.  i have no idea how i stumbled across it, and very few blogs have sucked me in after reading a few entries like hers has.  i have read about her now five year old daughter and the dog that doesn't act like a dog.  i have chortled through stories of the inability to poop and a love of pop tarts.  and i am ashamed to say it, i feel like if given the opportunity, this woman and i could be fast friends. 




when i read that Heather was coming to Austin for her book tour, i was ecstatic.  when i read that she was coming for SXSW i was excited too, but more excited when she "twittered" that she wanted chocolate cupcakes while she was in Austin.  i formulated my plan then to take this woman chocolate cupcakes at her book signing.  i was thrilled! 


in the interim of her leaving Austin for SouthBy, and returning for her book tour,  WIO and i have done some major overhauling to his house, i have fallen OFF the wagon,  i have gained a room mate, and had a brother in town for a week.  needless to say, i've been busy.  and flighty. 


that Tuesday i had to be at the corporate office at 8am.  then to work.  and knew after work i needed to go see Ian while he was getting his new tattoo and get cupcakes and then make my way down to the bookstore for the signing.  the signing that i have spoken tirelessly about.  the one i tried to back out of for dumb reasons.  the one where i realized i had nothing to wear except work clothes and went and bought and ENTIRE outfit for during my lunch hour.  to recap: up and out of the house by 7 am.  at work by 9.  shopping at lunch.  leave work at 5:30 and get cupcakes.  drive one more block and check in on inking brother, get BACK in the car and drive to bookstore.  using my GPS to navigate my way there, i sat at the light at Lamar and 6th waiting to "turn left.  your destination is on your left"  had i LOOKED to the left, i would have realized that the bookstore was RIGHT there.  instead, i drove through the light, cussing, and turned around 8 times and considered about 11 illegal u-turns in order to get back to the place i should have been in the first place.  once i got there, and did one last lip gloss check, i got out with my box of cupcakes and smoothed my clothes and headed in.  i was shocked at how i was able to score a front row spot and really didn?t think too much of it.   i walked around for a bit trying to get the lay of the land and then found the giant pile of Heather?s books for sale.  as i was purchasing the book, i asked if the book signing was upstairs.  the guy looked at me as if i was speaking Dutch.  as the wheels turned and gears clicked he and i both came to the realization at the same time, that the book signing was NOT on that night.  it was the next night. 


after i let forth a string of expletives that would have needed their own special locked section of the bookstore, i gathered my pride, my book, and my box of cupcakes and left.  holding back the tears of exhaustion, anger, and defeat. 


i drove home deflated.  having let everyone know that i was a moron and don't know how to read a calendar and considered shoving all four of Heather's cupcakes into my mouth at one time. 


my twitter that night was "I feel like Jack McFarlands mother doing a dry run. But cupcakes instead of a casserole dish. And clenched teeth instead of buttcheeks."  (yeah about 5 of you get that)


so.  dry run.  ok.  no big.  we will do it again the next day.  but NOW i know where im going.  but insert the guilt of taking Dooce NOT-FRESH cupcakes!  oh,  the horror. 


the next morning i got up and was prepared this time.  book, CHECK.  clothes, CHECK.  cupcakes wrapped in 4 sheets of saran and hermetically sealed, CHECK.  i had to be BACK at the corp office down south for training and while waiting for the class to start, i was catching up on facebook (or MyFace as it's called around here) and saw that someone posted something about having the ACTUAL book receipt in hand in order to get my book signed.  of COURSE i do.  and where is that receipt?  on my kitchen counter.  so i drove from SOUTH austin to round rock (40 miles for the non-locals) to get my receipt.  i would be prepared if it killed me. 


finally it was time to leave work and go BACK downtown to the bookstore.  i was wearing cute clothes.  i had cupcakes, Heather's book, AND my receipt.  i just hoped i didn't need to know a secret handshake or have actually given birth to be able to gain entrance.  i got there at 6 ish and the parking lot was way more packed than the day before.  (WELL DUH, IT WAS THE RIGHT DAY NOW) and i went upstairs not knowing what to expect.  i was stopped by the wristband lady and she didn?t even ask for my receipt.  of course she didn?t.  i found a seat and waited.  and held my bladder and texted with KimmyDarling and fidgeted and wriggled in my seat.  finally.... FINALLY i saw ankles.  i saw ARMSTRONG ankles as Heather and Jon descended the staircase to the podium where i would finally get to SEE and HEAR this woman speak.  let me just say, Jon Armstrong is delectable.  and they are adorable together. 


Heather started off with some anecdotal stories and then did a reading from her book.  she talked about the first time she and Jon were able to have sex again after the birth of their first child.  and to live in a world where a woman can say "vagina" and "fuck" into a microphone in a bookstore with children walking around is a world i want to live in.  while she read, i imagined myself and the other Numbers sitting at a table with five microphones doing the EXACT same thing this woman was doing.  i imagined the excitement and electricity before we all took our places at our microphones and a hush would fall over the crowd.  i imagined people hanging on our every words and laughter erupting from the crowd as we told stories and read from OUR book.  and the part about holding my bladder became more difficult.  when i snapped back to reality, Heather was telling a story about how some guy in Portland heard her tell the same story and during the Q and A, he felt the need to let her know that "he didn't know who she was, nor had he read her book, but the story she just told scared the ever-living shit out of him".  THAT is making a difference, people. 


she then read her favorite story this year from her blog.  it was the one where she and the family took their miniature Australian Shepherd to "sheep-herding" school.  after she was done, she did Q and A.  and here was my FAVORITE thing from the whole adventure.  while leading into the answer for a question, she asked a crowd of over 100 people in a bookstore, "Have I told you the story about..." (i cant remember what the story was, i suck.) which struck me because it was if she was asking some friends or guests sitting in her living room all drinking wine, not as if she was addressing an entire sea of strangers.  i thought that was the most awesome display of being down to earth. 


the Q and A was fun, and i asked if she and Jon had any off-limits things they made SURE she didn?t mention in her blog.  what i imagined is a closet in their house where all the things that DONT go in the blog live.  and that thought has to be worth hours of entertainment. 


we finally got to line up for the book signing.  i stood and fidgeted and wiggled and tried to hold my shit together.  not because i am that big of a fan, but i am that big of a nerd that i have absolutely no ability to be cool when meeting anyone famous.  i rehearsed what i was going to say so that the only that thing that spilled out of my mouth was NOT, "i carried a watermelon" cause i would totally be that girl.  when it was my turn i said to her, "a good southern girl doesn't show up empty-handed.  a GREAT southern girl shows up with food."


and as i handed her a box of 4 enormous chocolate cupcakes, she said "i was hoping someone would bring me cupcakes!"  i told her that when i read about her wanting them, i knew i had a mission.  i also insured her that i didn't poison or spit in them.  she said she would eat them anyway.  we chatted about GEORGE! for a minute or two and i knew i had to leave.  i wanted to sit and talk to her for about 3 days.  but that's just creepy.  so as i was walking away i realized that i forgot to get my picture taken.  i pulled out my phone and hit the camera button and saw six words that almost reduced me to tears.  "BATTERY TOO LOW FOR CAMERA USE" it was that damned texting with Kimmy!  (luhyourfaceoff) i put on a brave face and was going to walk away defeated, the girl behind me said, "i will take a picture and then send it to you if you like"  SWEET GIRL!  i knelt beside Heather and mentioned that when i told people what shirt i was wearing i was told that the picture would HAVE to be my Christelmas card this year.  i then grazed her shoulder with my boob and made an awkward comment about it.  as you can tell by the picture, it was snapped about a third of a second after that incident. 


notice how her left arm is tucked behind her.  yeah.  i strategically forced Dooce to get to second base!  YES!  and the shirt, the SHIRT... OH the Irony is Delicious!


that was my story.  i did it.  finally.  phew.  and she even mentioned the cupcakes in her blog.  now it's not as cool as being mentioned by name, but i know and she knows that "enormous chocolate cupcakes" is code for "we could totally be BFF now.  and i know we could.

beat the drum and hold the phone, the sun came out today.

Posted by christelpistol on April 6, 2009 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (3)

Dear John Fogerty,




Its been since September 28th since i have heard your voice.  i purposely do not listen to Centerfield during the off-season.  it's sacred.  but today, TODAY, i listened to you sing "put me in coaaaaach," 5 times on the way to work today.  and the only other song that can elicit such a chill during the first 10 seconds of a song is "Into the Mystic"




its been a long 6 months.  but now, it is baseball season once again.  and i will admit, when i went to the UT home opener several weeks ago, i felt like i was cheating.  it was clandestine baseball.  i felt like i should have been wearing a trench coat and fedora and big sunglasses.  but, in my defense, they have installed astroturf type nonsense on the UT ball field.  so i was unable to smell the grass.  and smelling the kentucky bluegrass is baseball.  having hotdogs is baseball.  drinking 9 dollar beers is baseball.  feeling the tingle of the excitement of a stadium full of baseball fans is baseball.  hearing "Centerfield" is baseball.  wearing my Reds shirt under work clothes is baseball.  the smell of pine tar is baseball.  diving catches, grass stains and red clay dirt is baseball.  i am ready.  i have been ready for 6 months.  and as Susan Sarandon says as Annie Savoy in Bull Durham, "the only church that feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the church of baseball"




let's play ball!









sun ray and barn red and the D.O.D.

Posted by christelpistol on March 25, 2009 at 11:17 AM Comments comments (2)

k.  so some of you know that i am moving in with WIO in a few months.  and i am SO excited. 


we've decided to repaint some rooms.  we spent Sunday at Home Depot picking out paint colors.  we couldnt decide what color we wanted to do the hallway.  he wanted to do the kitchen burnt orange.  i have always wanted a scrambled farm egg yellow kitchen.  i suggested we paint the bathroom orange.  we picked 4 colors.  Sun Ray (yellow), Falling Leaves (orange), Planetarium (blue), and Topiary (green).  we made 4 squares on each wall of the room we wanted to paint with Kilz.  and sat on our hands for an excruciating hour while it dried.  every few minutes or so, one of us would look at each other and squeal with impatience and excitement cause we wanted to put some paint on the damned walls! 


when it was FINALLY time to paint the swatches, we could hardly contain ourselves.  we grabbed 2 small jars of paint and each painted 2 squares in the kitchen, hallway, and bathroom. 


we agreed on yellow in the kitchen (SUCCESS!) and burnt orange for the bathroom (ANOTHER SUCCESS!) and the green for the hall.  no.  nothing is going to match.  (i will have to let that go...) but it's been SO much fun so far.  there have been a LOT of "BABY!  WE'RE PAINTING!!!!  BABY!  BAAAAABY! LOOK!  WITH THE PAINT AND THE WALLS AND THE PAINTING AND THE WE AND THE US!"  it's gotta be nauseating for the outside world. i'm sure it is.


then on monday, we went to go BUY the paint we wanted.  and MORE adventures at the Home Depot... did you know that they can tint the kilz a lighter shade of the paint youre going to use so that it makes it more better.  we decided to do that for the burnt orange.. cause its a rich color... and when they were done tinting it, we realized its the EXACT same color that the bathroom is NOW!  sheesh. 


so we left there and were talking about shelving for the pantry... and WIO suggested we go to Habitat for Humanity to the ReStore and see if they had anything.  and you KNOW THIS CauseHead was ALL for that!  we looked at doors and fans and tiles and as we were passing the water fountains (i HAD to put my foot down on THAT one) we spied desks. as far as the eye could see.  we HAD been talking about a new desk.  so we looked.  and we found one we liked.  it was on its top on another desk, but it was a solid looking desk.  we couldn't find the price, so we went to get someone to help us out.  it happened that WIO knew the guy (of course.  he knows EVERYONE).  we asked the guy how much the desk was.  he asked us what we wanted to pay.  WIO said, "eh... fifty, sixty bucks?" the guy tore off a piece of tape and wrote "$20"  DONE! SOLD!


WIO asked me to go get the truck so they can load it.  and THAT... THAT is when we realized that the desk is made of elephants.  Paula Deen fed elephants.  it took 4 grown ass men to get it into the truck.  no, seriously.  at least it's solid.  WIO told me that night when he was driving home that he had to slam on the brakes and ended up with splinters in his gallbladder because it came crashing forward with such force. 


meanwhile.  we have paint.  and paint stuff.  and a new desk.  and NO WHERE TO PUT IT.  we were all hopped up in the great deal we got for a fantastic desk, that we didn't really think it through.  it has NOW been dubbed the Desk of Doom.  or D.O.D. for short.  last night we got 3 of his buddies to come get it OUT of the back of his truck and we put it on the back porch and covered it with a tarp.  ya know... until we take out a wall and rent a crane and lay down a concrete foundation upon which to sit it, that is where it will sit. 


look at how couple-y and domestic we are.  just LOOK! 


that's the FIRST coat of kilz.  ya know... for painting.. and us.  and US PAINTING ... TOGETHER! (check out that taping job!)


now.  speaking of space.... and having to play Two-House Tetris... where ARE we going to put the other STUFF?  like MY couches and christmas decorations and and and.  the smart in us kicked in and agreed that we would be better off to BUY a shed that rent a storage unit.  and we have hemmed and hawed about what kind and how much and where to put it.  well today... TODAY we pulled the trigger.  WIO likes red barns, so we got a barn Red Shed. 





if THAT isn't commitment, then i dont know what is. 

i am so excited i cant stand it. 

Mimi's Memos

Posted by christelpistol on March 24, 2009 at 9:56 AM Comments comments (1)

my mom is an entrepreneur.  she has created many ideas and businesses as long as i've known her (i LOVE using that phrase about myveryownpersonal mother)


she has done marketing for businesses and sewn some beatiful runners and curtains and tablecloths.  she has assisted my aunt with managing and maintaining a very lucrative health business.



and her newest amazing project....  MIMI'S MEMOS.

     In 1996, I wanted to make my mother a special gift - you know, for the woman who has everything. I’m not a knitter or a great seamstress. I’m not a potter or a painter. I am a great cook, but Mom lived too far away for me to cook her something wonderful. At the time I owned my own marketing company – designing marketing tools and plans for people in business. So…

     After much thought, Mimi’s Memos came to life. I selected photos of all her grandkids, along with some of my sister, my Dad and me. I created memo cards with funny little captions and packaged them in cute bundles, tied with ribbon. To my delight, our “Mimi” was tickled pink with her very personal and special memos. Everyone who saw them, loved them.

and this is JUST in time for Mother's Day.  i am SO excited about this new business of hers.  she has used some great pics.  even some that are similar to LOLCATS.  which crack me directly the F up. 



so go check it out.   she's doing a 10% off Grand Opening Special right now....  so hurry!




making a difference

Posted by christelpistol on February 26, 2009 at 2:44 PM Comments comments (1)

i got this email from Mama B today.  it makes me SO happy that i am making a difference. 


Christel, thank you for sending the knit-a-square link.
I have just come from my principal's office, asking if I can sponsor a 6th grade recess knitting group--I can teach kids to knit, and we can start making squares once or twice a week. Next year I may even be able to pull in some moms or volunteers from Sun City to expand this if it takes off--right now I don't feel like I can have more than 10 kids or so at a time. I am also going to send the link home to all of my students families, asking for donations of needles and worsted, and inviting them to participate at home. My principal was very supportive and will get back to me as soon as he can bounce this off the powers-that-be at Central Office. Cross your fingers!
They didn't let me run the UNICEF collection this year because of money issues, but I feel it is really important to get kids to think outside of themselves, and this really appealed to me.
Love and hugs,
i have finished 4 squares so far.  it takes 40 squares to make one blanket.  i am personally challenging myself to knit 40.  i am having so much fun with this project!


Posted by christelpistol on February 20, 2009 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (3)

several years ago, Allie taught me how to knit.  and i think she taught Lola how to knit as well. 



since then i have knit many gifts and had a lot of yarn left over. 


then i started knitting for Project Linus.  but that is time consuming and not something that can be knocked out in the span of a movie or 2. 


but in my email this morning was a link HERE! 

Knit a square to help keep a cold child warm

Knit and send just one square (or more) and it will join thousands of other knitted squares from around the world to be joined into blankets for these children, many of whom are affected by HIV AIDS.


so i'm calling all KNITTERS.  let's do this. 










too bad DESSERTS won't fix STRESSED

Posted by christelpistol on February 18, 2009 at 10:11 AM Comments comments (7)

i am stressed out.  and i don't know why.  i can feel the tension.  i can hear the shortness in my voice.  i am not quite to the non-sleeping place.  but i'm getting there. 


here's what i think it COULD be:


  • my house is cluttered and messy
  • work is starting to become boring and monotonous
  • my clothes don't fit right
  • i'm in a rut
  • lack of patience with dumb things
  • my teeth STILL hurt
  • relationship jenga*
  • need to take ACTUAL time off instead of a day here and there where i catch up on OTHER stuff
  • may NOT be going to boston

and i'm sure there is a litany of other things too, that are small and insignificant, but added up make a good ole stressball. 


i am not sure how to fix it.  i just am aware of the indicators that SOMETHING needs to change.  the BIG indicator was yesterday when i was apparently speaking a different language to EVERYONE in my world.  i had to repeat and rephrase and pick and choose my words with customers and friends.  it was frustrating, to say the least, but also was a giant neon sign that when i am getting snippy with customers its time to take a step back.  we don't want a repeat of the last few months of when i lived in SC.  i was NOT a nice person. 


so i've recognized it.  now.  how do i fix it? 


i'm thinking a mini vacay and a margarita or eleventeen.  but i don't drink.  so.  how do i fix it?






*relationship jenga

the feeling that the foundation is fine and dandy until some major issue gets talked about instead of assuming that everything is ok and it takes a block out and shakes the tower.  the foundation is great, parts get wobbly when we BOTH dont use our words.  and i will take a HUGE chunk of responsibility for that since i am the one that's getting into Stress Monkey mode. 


blah blah Valentine's day

Posted by christelpistol on February 14, 2009 at 11:32 AM Comments comments (3)

i honestly couldn't care less about Valentine's day. 


no really.  sure i have on heart socks and have bought valentine candy and even bought a little something for Kiddo.  but yeah.  i am not big on VDay. 


no need for the rant on why.  let's just chalk it up to i think i do a fine job of showing the people i love that i love them all days of the year.  no need to commercialize my love. 


but i AM still excited about today.


know why?  wanna know why?  GUESS! WHY!





know what that means?????  it's almost SPRING TRAINING!!!



baseball?  baseball.  BASEBALL!


Ang and i are going to *whispers* Fenway for our Annual Angela and Christel Baseball Trip this year.  the reason i whisper it, is it if you say it TOO loud Angela starts to hyperventilate when she thinks about it too long.  i kinda do too.  i am SO ready for it to be baseball season again.  i am ready for the shit-talking and the smell of the grass and the over-priced ballpark food and trying to wrangle Kiddo during the UT ball games and hopefully another trip to Houston or Arlington, grass stains and hoping and praying that my boys pull it together THIS year, even though Kenneth, Adam, Ryan, and Javier have left empty places where they used to be. 


but i digress.  yes, it's Valentine's Day.  but WIO got me Pitchers and Catchers.  top THAT!

the one where i grew 4 heads.

Posted by christelpistol on February 6, 2009 at 11:16 AM Comments comments (6)

well sports fans, its been a WHILE since ive had a good rant.


wanna hear it?  here it go.


 i went to the McDonalds in Wal-Mart this morning to get breakfast.  one half of the menu was unlit.  i asked the "Manager in Training" (aka the MIT) if it was blacked out because they were out of those menu items or if it was just burned out.  he looked at me as if i had sprouted 3 more heads and started to speak Russian.  he then started to mumble something in Spanish and looked at the ACTUAL Manager with fear and confusion in his eyes.  i thought to myself, "how efficient is it to have a manager of a retail food store that has a very limited knowledge of the english language?"  when he looked at her, his eyes twitched as if to say, "did you HEAR what this 4 headed white woman just asked me?"


the manager then asked me what was wrong.  i asked again, "are you out of those items or did the light just burn out?"  she said, " we arent like a regular McDonalds.  we dont have the mcmuffins and bagels.  we just have biscuits and burritos"  i said, "I KNOW that.  what i ASKED was..." and repeated the question slower.  she NEVER turned around to see what i was talking about and said, "we have everything."  i asked, "so the light is just out?"  and she said, "the light's not out."  i said, "uhhhhh.... ok, but... from here... uhhhh nevermind."


i placed my order and waited patiently for something else to happen.  surprisingly there were no other issues. 



so, my point is this.  why do they let ANYONE be a manager of a McDonalds?  why do they always fuck you in the drive thru?  why are there idiots in the world that DO NOT LISTEN? 





organized alphabetically

Posted by christelpistol on February 2, 2009 at 8:52 PM Comments comments (2)

 was telling a friend on Saturday night that i was doing "No ABC's"

No Alcohol

No Bread

No Cigarettes.

and i made it a month.  YAY ME!

and have decided to continue the theme.  at first i thought i would alternate it from NO to YES.  since i didnt want this year to REALLY be two thousand nein.  get it?  nein?  as in No?  as in i'm giving up a ... ahh screw it.  I thought it was funny. 

anyway... i thought, "since i said NO to ABC in january, i can say YES to DEF in february" but couldn't think of anything cool to say yes to.  dates? (the fruit, honey) diets? drugs? diving? exercise? eating? elephants? fitness? fritos? friends?  i was getting nowhere. 

until today.  i went for my consult to get my wisdom teeth yanked so i can make room in my mouth for when i get braces.  teeths gotta have room to move, yes?  and when the good doctah gave me my "dental plan of action" my DEF became clear.  February is YES to Dentist - Extractions - Fillings.

momma's got a LOT of work that needs to be done.  he will only take out my top wisdoms too because the lower ones are essentially lodged somewhere in my hips.  i'm thinking they would be too much of a pain in the ass to get to.  and since they haven't "erupted" yet, no need to dink with them.  so.  next monday i have fillings and one extraction.  then in march i have the other side.  and then i have scaling and major cleaning.  and THEN... THEN i can go see the orthodontist to see what HE thinks about braces. 

they handed me the sheet with the menu items of things i need done and i about fell out of the chair.  its gonna be $997 AFTER what insurance covers.  YEEEOUCH.  at least i dont have to pay for it all at one time.  but still.  as long as the end result is an ACTUAL shit-eating grin i dont mind photographed, then it will all be worth it.  right?  right?  amiright?




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To Do list

  • stop smoking
  • lose 5 pounds
  • lose 10 pounds
  • lose 15 pounds
  • lose 20 pounds
  • learn to quilt
  • pay off Target card
  • pay off Capital One
  • pay off HSBC card
  • yard sale
  • Canned Food Drive Party
  • 40 squares for Knit To Give
  • new glasses
  • wisdom teeth yanked
  • braces (?)
  • apply for financial aid
  • get my last college credit
  • teach Ashton how to knit
  • teach Maggie how to knit
  • vacation with WIO
  • vacation with Angela
  • donate to CAFB
  • 30 days of sobriety in January
  • 30 days of Sobriety in February
  • Sober till St. Pats.
  • blanket for Project Linus
  • etsy shop