Evil Joy Speaks

Spawning the next generation of evil genius, one misadventure at a time

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Music is ….

Music is Love. Music is Fun. Music is Sad. Music is Inspiring. Music is Memories. Music is…. Life.


This is kitchen speaker. This speaker plays music of all types – Classical to Kayne, Indie to Kiddie. I love music. Recently I wrote about music having a deeper meaning to me. It’s my life line to sanity some days. Music is my inspiration to pound out one more mile when I run. It’s the thing that keeps me awake when I’m driving. Music gives me confidence when I’m terrified of the mountain in front of me. Music makes me feel all the things I would shy away from – do shy away from – without it. Joy, exhilaration, fear, sadness, hope.

I went to a concert with my daughter as an early birthday gift. The Naked and Famous. If you haven’t heard of them – GET ON THAT! Three of my favorite songs are Higher, Young Blood, and No Way. I play those on repeat when I write. This morning as my speaker blasts a play list I created from the songs performed at the concert, I am transported to being THERE. To standing right in front of the wall of speakers, my arm around my daughter, my husband’s hand on my arm. Once again, getting chills as I hear chord progressions. I imagine my daughter bouncing up and down to the beat and the look of pure happiness as she belts out the lyrics she knows by heart.

Music brings my family together. If I think about it, music created my family. I met my husband at band camp (insert corny joke.) And I play flute (laugh a little harder! Truly it’s okay – I love telling everyone. This one Time…at Band Camp…) There are songs that we all connect on. It doesn’t happen often but when it does happen it’s magical.

And my kitchen speaker brings us that wonderful music.


What brings you happiness?


This post was part of a Secret Subject Swap. This week 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My prompt was submitted by the amazing Karen of Baking In A Tornado. My prompt was : Pick any item in your house, show us a picture of it and tell us why you have it and what it means to you.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:


Baking In A Tornado                    http://www.BakingInATornado.com

Not That Sarah Michelle            http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

The Bergham Chronicles            http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Spatulas on Parade                 http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com

Confessions of a part time working mom     http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver     http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html

The Lieber Family Blog                 http://thelieberfamily.com

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy        http://dinoheromommy.com/

Southern Belle Charm                        http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Climaxed                                          http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

A Little Piece of Peace                        http://little-piece-of-peace.blogspot.com

Never Ever Give Up Hope                http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Evil Joy Speaks                            http://www.eviljoyspeaks.com




Music moves me in a way not everyone understands. I connect memories, feelings, emotions, and even movement to music. 

Tonight we took one my daughters to see The Naked and Famous. One of my favorite bands and  It. Was. Amazing. 

When I’m working on a new article, post, or chapter I listen to one of two TNAF songs on repeat – “No Way,” and/or “Young Blood.”

Tonight they played both. And I’m so excited to write while listening to those songs with my new memories of tonight. 
What moves you?

There is a lot to say….

There is a lot to say…..

I’m not sure I’m ready to say it tonight. But I’m getting there. 

November brings with it a host of emotions. Two of my children have birthdays. Several of my siblings have birthdays. Thanksgiving. Usually the start of snow – which leads me to my happy place. 

And the reason I found my happy place. That reason still – five years later – sometimes makes me cry. 

And that’s okay. 

So tonight as November presents itself once again – I’m saying a bit. I’m saying life is good. I’m saying it’s okay when it isn’t. And it’s okay when a day….is just a day…..or when it’s a DAY. 

Tonight. I don’t have much to say. But it’s a start. A start to finding the voice I’ve lost the past few months. 

I Failed At Soup : A Tale Of Mush

You know when you try to a good thing? I tried.

I failed miserably.

Soup. I failed at soup. How does one fail at soup you ask? Let me tell you.

I should have known things would go south from the start. The chicken was simmering as I sautéed the vegetables. I prepared the spices and noodles – although my normal noodles were hiding so I grabbed the closest ones I could find. I got everything ready to assemble into the crock pot and quickly realized I had no stock, broth, or base. None.

Well crap. I guess a store run is in order.

I got the missing broth and finished making the soup – the same way I do every.single.time.  My family loves this dinner – we all eat it all – including the leftovers. It’s a standard fare in the winter – probably twice a month. Lucky for me (and the teachers) I decided to give it one last stir before packing it up for school. It smelled amazing but the color was a tad off.

As I stirred I realized I didn’t see the nice, firm noodles I was accustomed to finding. But I did find mushy, gross, floury like strings of stuff.


I now had an exceptionally large crockpot full of crap. Total and complete crap. It was terrible. I only had 20 minutes before I needed to leave and deliver the offending soup to school. What to do???

The fact that I have ton of children played in my favor. I tend to triple recipes….one for dinner, one for left overs, and one to freeze. There was still a pot of broth, veggies, and chicken left uncontaminated by noodles. I had just made a ton of brown rice for my lunches for the week. I grabbed that crockpot, threw in the rice, and packed it up for school. Good enough right? Let’s get this show on the road.

Dr. Evil was on travel and I was driving his beloved car. Let’s just say I thank God for those plastic, made to fit, awesome floor liners. The soup did NOT travel well. I finally got this soup concoction to school, cleaned his car up, and went to the gym.

I vow to never make soup for school again. Ever.

Sour cream in a container from the store?  Sign me up for that stuff.




Time to Grow Thicker Skin

The time has come to grow thicker skin. I’m trying – I really am.

Normally I post and share what I want. But this election season has me questioning each post. While I feel EXTREMELY strongly about a lot of topics I find myself unwilling to share a lot of things I’d normally share without concern. 
I love discussion. I love debate – when it’s done properly. I love that EVERYONE gets to have their own opinion and should be able to have it without being attacked or attacking when they share. Honestly I love when people have  opinions different than mine. I am willing to learn and have my eyes opened to the other side of an opinion. That means sometimes I change or alter my stance and other times I don’t. I believe strongly in agreeing to disagree, not taking away one’s voice, or silencing another. That’s one of the things that makes our country great – we can say what we want, what we FEEL. 
Along with the rest of the world, I’ve watched a disturbing trend. On-line when people disagree, not only do they disagree, they attack each other. The mask of the internet makes people think it’s okay to behave in completely unacceptable ways. It can be – it has been – frightening. Receiving messages or comments that are threatening is scary. And there is where my skin isn’t thick enough.
I’m in awe of many of my friends who post what they want, when they want, regardless of the comments or actions of others. There are so many things I feel passionate about but have stifled what I want to say. I don’t have a thick enough skin at this point in my life….
But … maybe it’s time to grow that thick skin. 

Won’t Be Bothered

I wrote this is early September and have been sitting on it. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s a bit out there. Maybe I’m scared. I’ve decided scared is good. Here goes…


I just read a bunch of my old blog posts. Ones where I stated my opinion. My take on things. My view.

In those posts, I didn’t worry about perception, who might take offense or approve of what I’d written, or even who would be reading what I’ve written.

Right now I’m sitting on my deck, having a beverage, listening to my ABSOLUTELY favorite song, “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” by deadmau5 and others including “No Way,” by The Famous and Naked.  And thinking.  I wonder when I lost the ability to write without caring what anyone thought? When did I start to care what anybody thought about my writings?

So tonight…fueled by music, a weekend at home, and maybe a bit of liquid courage I’ve decided to be more authentic. I hate all the awful things that have happened. Brock what’s his face being let out early. That is so wrong I can’t even begin to address the issue. I am saddened and relieved for the family and friends of Jason Wetterling. I’m overcome by the devastation in West Virginia and Louisiana because of flood waters. My heart and all the healing thoughts go out to the poor player injured in a local football game Friday night. All of these things … each and every single one …. bring me to tears. Real tears that I try to hide, tears I try to pass off an a sneeze or allergies for fear of looking weak or too soft hearted.


I’m sad and angry about a number of things. The state of politics in this amazing country is awful. The social injustices. The simply WRONGNESS of so many, many things.

But…there’s always a but…

I chose to find happiness where I can. I do what I can to make life better for those around me. And I feed my body and soul when and where I can….watching a movie about incredible snowboarders, cuddling with my kids, driving hours and hours to the mountains, flying to see friends, and talking to those friends I don’t get to see often.

If I can change the world in some small, positive way…I’ve succeeded. If I fail….at least I tried. And I won’t be fearful anymore of the opinions of others when I write what I write, regardless of what it is.

And as I wrap up….Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff comes on again. It’s a sign. Go get your happy. Be authentic. Be real. Do it. Make a difference.  YOUR WAY!

What is your authentic? What’s your happy?



The Call Of the School Bus

I wrote this post during the last bit of summer….and decided now that school is in session it’s time to share it…….




The bus is coming! The bus is coming! Summer is ending and I’m DANCING with excitement! The constant cacophony of noise, the odor of all things kid, and the Pig-Pen cloud of mess will be heading out the door and leave! The chaos of my house will be relocated to school and I will have approximately 30 seconds of peace. That’s how long it will take my children to walk down the driveway, get on the bus, and disappear around the bend. I will see them off and breathe a sigh of relief that we ended summer with the same number of children which with we greeted summer.

Then I will wonder, “What the hell am I supposed to do with the 7 minutes and 45 seconds I have ALONE in my house for the first time in 11 weeks!?”  In the short amount of time before I need to leave the house I will ponder the importance of each possible action and activity. The if/then result of every decision will cause tension in my neck. These few minutes are golden. I must not waste them.

Shall I clean the milk out of the sink? Load the dishes properly into the dishwasher? Wash the outside of the dishwasher? Clean the soap dispenser in the dishwasher? Tidy the area where the dishwasher soap lives? OMG the possibilities are endless…and I’m only working with about 3 square feet of my kitchen! When I think about the remaining area of the kitchen I can’t catch my breath. Then the thought of the entire house enters my mind – all three floors – and ass over tea kettle I go. There goes 30 seconds of my free time while I collect myself, inspect the floor for dents…and find crumbs that MUST BE CLEANED.

It’s too early for a glass of wine. It’s too hot for coffee. I’m obviously far too excited to choose an appropriate beverage. Summer was awesome but the school season is my jam. Oh! Tea and toast with jam. I’m down to 5 minutes.

Once I realize I am still in my pajamas, have a trail of jam down my shirt, and my hair resembles something akin to a bird’s nest, my 5 golden minutes vanish like a hoagie in front of a teenage boy. I take care of things and head out for my day. Only to prepare for the renewed joy of seeing my people when they come home excited from the first day of classes.


One of toughest battles I fight as a mom is the need to fill every possible second with something. Whether it be a duty, playtime, sport, job, or even concern, I struggle with the need to fill time. Because if there’s free time, I have a)forgotten something b)forgotten someone c)dropped the ball on a commitment or d)had too much wine and no longer care about a,b, or c. Well, maybe b.

Summer accentuates the battle of the busy. I have to re-learn each year to enjoy the summer’s moments. There’s counting kids, a calendar with commitments, and the running of forgotten things to forgetful kids. I remind myself I don’t have to fill the gaps, that downtime is acceptable and okay.

During the school year, summer calls to mothers with a siren’s voice. That voice starts shrieking by August. A voice only silenced by the calm of an empty house on a September morning. I have to go. The bus is coming!

Short Girl, Long…


I forgot to go to the doctor for a checkup.

For the past five years in a row.

I take my children to the doctor for physicals, illness, and injuries – on schedule and as the need arises. I get after my husband to keep up with his checkups given all that transpired a few years back. But for whatever reason I have neglected to go for more than getting my a1c checked for the past five years. It wasn’t intentional, at least not consciously.

I’d reached the point in time where the doctor office would no longer refill my prescription without an office visit and I couldn’t schedule an office visit without scheduling a physical. A Full Physical.

For the men here – or those more proper than myself – I’m about to talk about medical exams required for women. While this may not impact you personally, it is important for everyone. You have all someone you love – a spouse, mother, grandmother, daughter – and you need to encourage them to care for themselves. That being said, be prepared because l’m going to talk it about it my way which may make you uncomfortable. It may also cause you to laugh – and I hope it does because if we can’t laugh at the things we’re required to do …. then … well…. yeah.

I prepared for my physical. Yes, this is a thing. I showered and shaved. I packed socks in my bag because…stirrups.

I’m so on top of things I got to bring my soon to be grade 6 student with me. She needed shots to enter middle school and I completely forgot since I’m so organized I simply called to see if she could be seen directly ahead of me. She had her appointment, got her shots, and got kicked out to the lobby.

I get my gown and am instructed to undress. Gown is supposed to open in the back. Or was it the front. Shit, this isn’t starting off well.  I hop on the table, covered my back side as best as possible given the opening being in the back, and cover myself with a paper blanket. I keep fidgeting with the gown because my back, therefore my backside, is somewhat facing the door.

Doc enters. We chat, talk about the blood work I forgot to do scheduled and any concerns.

It’s time for the scoot. Women – you know what I’m talking about. You have to lay back, and then scoot your bum to the edge of the table. Just a little more. Just a touch more. And a bit more. I’m sure every doctor wants to say, “Move your ass down and quit making me ask you to move closer to me. We both now what’s going to happen so let’s get on with it.” But the fear exists of a) being asked to move back up the table b) falling off the edge of the table c) causing the whole damn table to flip forward, killing both you and the doctor. Imagine the medical examiner, “Cause of Death? Crushed by a table, Speculum impalement, Suffocation by crappy hospital gown.”

The exam begins. It seems to be taking longer than I recall however it’s been five years so maybe my memory has blocked the time required for a pap smear. Then I hear, “How tall are you?”

“I’m 5’3″. ”

“Short Girl. Long vagina.”

I laughed. Because what can you do?


For the days when you’re done, over it, whipped, emotionally tapped out….

Tomorrow isn’t far away.

For the nights when you can’t sleep, fret over words or actions, or are anxious….

Tomorrow isn’t far away.


I’m done today. Just done. Nothing bad happened to me or those I love. I am just feeling pulled in too many directions, dropping too many balls, and beating myself up over all of it. I’ve created this bar that is so high I’ll never meet it. Today the bar zoomed into space and it was all I could do to make it through each thing I needed to without crying. I can’t keep up with the demands I’ve placed on myself. Tonight I find myself working on emails and deadlines, writing checks and checking budgets, and washing and folding laundry…and getting absolutely none of it done as well as I’d like.

I’ve decided to let “done” be good enough. And that the things “not-done” will have to be okay. Tomorrow is another chance at getting it right. And making the demands a little more appropriate and obtainable. Remembering I don’t have to do it all, be perfect in what I do accomplish, or feel bad about any of it.

I know this was the last day of summer for my kids. We did a couple of fun things. I said a few harsh words. I keep thinking, “I should have…” But at the end of the night, I know when they went to bed they know they are loved and that I’ll be there for them no matter what. And tonight…that has to be enough.

Tomorrow isn’t far away.

Pay Attention

IF ONLY THIS TIME – Pay Attention.

Louisiana needs our help.

The devastating flooding has left 13 dead and tens of thousands with damaged or destroyed homes.

Here is one link to help.

Baton Ridge Area Foundation


In 2008 there was massive flooding in Iowa. My parents’ home was nearly part of a forced buy-out and houses just down the road were bulldozed down and empty lots stand there still today – 8 years later. Cedar Rapids was underwater – so many towns, villages, and cities were wiped out. While I didn’t experience it directly, we went down to my hometown as soon as we could for the “All Calls for Help.” We tried to adopt an surrendered animal and donated what we could.

I can only imagine what life is like right now. I can’t grasp the depth of despair of losing your home to unforgiving water. The home I grew up in flooded twice in the years I can recall. I vividly remember watching my Barbie dog float by wondering what I should do with him. But to loose everything…I can’t even…

So I’m going to do what I can. Share the link with you. Send what i can. Spread information as it becomes available. Support as best I can from a far.

While the devastation is overwhelming, I hope the people affected can feel just a touch of the love, support, hope, and dedication from those of us in other parts of the country.

Louisiana…we are here for you.


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