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10 Ways to Spend More Time in Nature

You might dislike nature. It’s the home of mud, bugs, and sunburns. It’s also the home of beautiful views, fresh air, and wonderful fragrances. You might dislike nature, but on the other hand, you might love it. Whatever your feelings about nature, you know you should be…

What To Post About On Your Mom Blog About Your Family’s RV Trip

If you run a mom blog, you should know full well that a family RV trip is far too big of an opportunity to pass up to write about.

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Adorable flower girl dresses to choose from

As the music rises and your guests’ heads start to turn, they’ll be delighted to see the cutest little members of the wedding party start making their way down the aisle.

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American Idol came in the very nick of time, if you ask me. Which nobody did, but whatever. With the writers strike ruining all my current television addictions the little sanity I had left was in tatters. In Minnesota the winters are long and dark and full of viscous cold snaps and cyclical mental instability. Nightly television viewing is one of the 7 food groups up here and without our daily dose we tend to get a little loopy. My body sugars were getting dangerously low and if I had to watch one more Bruno vs American Gladiators Power of the Choirs I was going to hurt someone. I was already starting to sharpen up my pointy implements in case I wanted to indulge in some self mutilation to pass the winter doldrums away - and now just like that - I don't have to! I can just tune in on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and get my beta carotene lift and more importantly learn how to smile again.

We love Idol around here. (Of course saying we love it means we are blatantly ignoring the part of American Idol they bash the mentally impaired and the fatties for a month, which last year caused us all to take a solemn oath while huddled around our make-shift Idol stage with our karaoke microphones crossed over our hearts: "We will hereby never watch the first three weeks of Idol again. Simon is too mean! We must stand up for those who cannot stand for themselves. But, you know, we'll do it next year for sure, but not this season, since we're already half way through and everything.")

But with Chuck off the air and I can't see where the Journeyman went to, I could honestly care less if Simon called every moron who auditioned a halfwit with twelve heads, bug eyes, no fashion taste and in need of loosing a few pounds. In fact, it would be gladly welcomed. With entertainment a scarcity and the long winter nights stretching into oblivion it's a wonder what I wouldn't laugh at. Big, icky guy in a Cleopatra outfit getting his chest hair waxed is fucking hysterical. I've never seen better. Watching Paula Abdul try not to vomit while talking to him was priceless. Old guy in a leopard print smoking jacket singing a homemade song about not having sex. Awesome. Sparkly-eyed weird girl giving the home audience the finger while doing creepy impressions of Gene Simons. Absolutely perfect.

Well, maybe not that girl. There was something decidedly wrong about her. She was off her rocker. Simon actually told her she should be a singer in a 70's cover band and she went nuts. Then after all she put us though the head honchos at American Idol said, "Hmmm, she looks great. Let's go film her at home." What? Then they go there and she shares a shuttered studio apartment with her mother, two cats and a dog? How many ways can you depress me? Hello? I'm going into the kitchen to get my scissors now. Note to American Idol: Crazy people make us feel uncomfortable and worried. Please don't go into their homes anymore.

But you have to admit Simon has been tamed a bit this year. Maybe they threatened not to let him wear his favorite t-shirts anymore if he wasn't nicer to the poor crazies. He summed it up well when he said something close to, "In America people are genuinely happy for someone else's success, I could never do that." Maybe Simon has a heart after all, but since he was raised on foreign soil where all the rules are different and every bloke is out for himself, our standard rules of playing fair just don't apply. I've decided he's terribly misunderstood. But he better be nice to the fragile ones.

Nobody has blown me away yet and I always look forward to that. You gotta have someone to root for, someone to dream about, I mean, root for. The first year someone knocked a sock off in this house was the year Constantine Maroulis came onto the scene. He didn't have a killer voice, but every time he came on TV my 9 year old daughter would position herself 7" from his face with her mouth open. It was quite a sight. Then he sang that Queen song. That vision still calms me down when I get worked up.

Then there was Bo. Grovelly, hair-flying, rockin' Bo. We loved Bo. Then there was Chris Daughtry. We loved him in the beginning and then there was just something diva-y about him and we had trouble keeping our fists in the air when he came on to sing, so we switched to Katherine McPhee. She was pretty and not a total spaz like Taylor. Too bad she didn't go anywhere. Maybe if she dropped the creepy 45 year old man and started clubbing in LA she may get some much needed exposure.

I can hardly wait for this Tuesday! Who knows what the auditions will bring. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get a glimpse of a warbling transvestite who is so good they'll have to let s/he go to Hollywood, or a rocker who sings Lips of an Angel even better than Hinder. Hey, it could happen. Whatever you do, though, don't call me at 7:00 'cause I won't answer. I'll be putting all my pointy knives away and popping some popcorn, getting my karaoke microphone out and praying that some crazy person has the nerve to come on stage dressed as Sweeney Todd and sing a musical version of You Shook Me All Night Long.

And by the way, the reason this was late today was because the kids had off of school. Again. For the 17th time. Another day in which to shout meaningless threats about no dessert and extra chores. So we went to Alvin and the Chipmunks instead. It wasn't nearly as stupid as it could've been, but that's not saying much. Simon would've ordered Alvin and pals off the stage with a shake of his head and a comment close to, "If you honestly think that voice will fly in the human race you've got another thing coming, and mate, you need to gain a few pounds and loose all that fur."

Come for some fun!

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