October 23, 2006



It’s a strange phenomenon, really, to have a blog for four-and-a-half years, (well, 7 now) never even bother with an “About” page, and then realize once you do bother with an “About” page that you’re completely tongue-tied and shy about it all. Which is ridiculous, considering some of the ground I’ve covered here, lo! these many years now. Nevertheless, that’s the position in which I find myself, blushing and hesitant, like a bride suddenly modest after the wedding night.

It’s weird.

Uhm. Let’s see. Perhaps to start, I should just try to make this page useful to new readers. So to help you in reading the blog, here are some definitions of terms and identifications of people who appear on this blog:

~ MB: My Beloved, my husband, Hottie McHottingham. Everyone around here now calls him MB which I think is rather sweet.

~ Piper/The Peep: Adorable niece, my sister’s youngest kid.

~ Older Nephew (a staggeringly original name): He is — believe it or not — my older nephew and Piper’s older brother. He’s now in college and we all try not to think about it except when I’m texting him lame crazy aunt stuff during his Statistics class.

~ Younger Nephew: See above explanation for “older” and substitute “younger.” Girls follow him around school. I totally understand.

~ The Banshee or Original Banshee: My brother’s oldest daughter, my niece.

~ Baby Banshee: Her little sister.

~ Banshee Boy: Their little brother as of February 2011. When he was around 3 months old, I apparently decided that he not only talked to me, but did so in the voice of a Russian mob boss — based on his pose in this photo here. You can find this ongoing series of perplexing posts starting here.

~ Tee Tee: The name Piper calls me because she couldn’t pronounce “Aunt Tracey.” It just stuck. Now The Banshees use it, too. Story about it here.

~ Names of actual people are always changed in my posts. I have never fully identified anyone — even myself — and I never will. For various reasons, I’ve found it prudent and safer never to use a full identity online.

~ The word pippa: Uh, well, it means “people,” I guess, and I think I stole it from one hapless auditioner on “American Idol” who inexplicably auditioned with “Go Down, Moses” singing “Let my pippa go … let my pippaaa go …….” Somehow, it stuck. My peeps are now “pippa.”

~ I like to do the occasional “Nosy Survey” on this blog. I learn so much from what people say and those comment threads are always hilarious. We have one about public bathroom habits that is scary revealing.

~ One day, in a comment thread, I invented what we now call The Sudden Yurt Commune. Our little community here is a bit in love with our little fantasy Amish hippie community. We all hope to make it real some day. We firmly believe we will. Oh, yes, we do.

~ On a more serious note, we do not have children and it has forever changed me. There’s an infertility category in the side bar, for the interested or similarly hurting. If you are in that position and just need to talk, please feel free to email me. (Email address is in the low side bar. Hold your mouse over it.)

~ I’ve lost family members to terrorism. There’s a category in the sidebar about that topic as well called “that plane crash.” I don’t openly name the event on the blog because it’s too Google-able and in the past, it brought people of strange sensibilities out of the woodwork. So the posts are password protected, for that and other reasons. If you’re interested in the password, please email me and please be polite. Simply using the words “please” and “thank you” will make a HUGE difference in my willingness to give that information to you. It also couldn’t hurt to throw in something like, oh, “you’re obviously brilliant” — just as an off-the-cuff example of how to score some brownie points. But it’s not just a brownie points thing. It’s a basic courtesy thing. I’ve had random strangers with too much perverse curiosity and minimal social skills simply email me and demand the password, which doesn’t exactly bewitch me, you know?

~ I’m a Christian and I realize that might be a dealbreaker for some people. It’s kind of a dealbreaker for me, which doesn’t make sense to some, I suppose. I don’t try to characterize myself as someone who knows it all or has it all figured out — because I absolutely don’t — nor do I ever characterize the Christian life as some kind of perky Disneyland. It’s not. If you’re looking for a Christian who sounds like a cheery bumper sticker or an inspirational coffee mug, you’ll be bitterly disappointed with me. I’m not a Care Bear, although, sadly, many Christians I’ve know do seem more like cutesy stuffed animals than human beings. Me, I’m just a cuddly little crankypants. Honestly, I’ve known plenty of Christians — good, bad, and ugly — so I definitely understand that lots of people don’t like Christians. I don’t like them sometimes either.

~ Also, a fair warning: I sometimes employ the biblical words “damn,” “hell,” “ass,” “wanker,” and an occasional “bitch.” Please don’t email me about it because, damn, I hate that. And I’m pretty sure “wanker” is in Leviticus. Honestly, though, not everyone or every Christian shares the same level of conviction as to what constitutes “swearing.” If it bothers you to the point that you feel you must email me, may I suggest you simply skip the email and click elsewhere on the Internet?

~ I don’t edit people’s comments for swearing either. I’m not a tyrant. I’m just a benign dictator.

~ Also, another head’s up: Any first-time comment goes into moderation so you won’t see it immediately until it’s approved. I mean, I first need to Google you and track your IP address and analyze your DNA to make sure you’re not a nutter, right? This just makes good sense. 😉

~ Sometimes the blog is lighthearted, sometimes completely silly, sometimes serious. It just runs the gamut here and I like it that way. I run the gamut, I guess, so I write about whatever strikes my fancy in the moment.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you stick around and join our little family here.

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected


  1. I would love to read your “political post” you mentioned in today’s blog about your cousin. Can I have that password, please? Your writing brought me to tears, as I have several family members with Down’s Syndrome and know how beautiful and special they truly are.

    Comment by Jean Malkiewicz — September 11, 2008 @ 8:10 am

  2. Who is the artist you use to decorate your blog? I love the style.

    Comment by Daniel Cooksey — September 11, 2008 @ 1:15 pm

  3. Jean — I will send you the password.

    Daniel — Thank you for asking! I love him, too. His name is William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905).

    There’s a fairly extensive gallery of his work over on Wikipedia, for starters, but I prefer The Art Renewal Center, which has a fabulous online gallery of virtually every artist imaginable. Here’s a link to Bouguereau’s gallery over there. You can literally lose yourself for hours at that site. I love it.

    Comment by tracey — September 11, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

  4. Tracy — Thank you for the response. I can’t wait to dive into his work.

    Comment by Daniel Cooksey — September 12, 2008 @ 2:39 pm

  5. Thank you for your post about your DS relative meeting Gov. Palin. It made me cry.
    Mom of 3 boys- one who has DS

    Comment by Jennifer Varanini — September 24, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

  6. This has got to be the prettiest blog I’ve ever seen. Love the design!

    Comment by Lilah — May 30, 2009 @ 10:00 pm

  7. Hey, this is a fairly good “About Page.” I once saw someone who put their “About Me” on the sidebar. In its entirety: “Who am I? Just a hockey fan. Why are you here? You must have gotten lost on the Internet.” That was it. Finito. Then there’s my “About Page,” which doesn’t exist. (Maybe for my five-year blogiversary…)

    Trust me, you’re ahead of the game here.

    Comment by nightfly — June 3, 2009 @ 7:21 am

  8. You’re right this is terrible! LOL. Just kidding. The picture is beautiful.

    Comment by Lynne D. — June 3, 2009 @ 9:24 am

  9. Hi there, pretty pale lady.

    I was thinking about you today–
    knowing you kept a link to my defunct blog…

    gives me hope.

    Thanks for sticking with the blogging, even though there are weirdos out there who try to make you regret it.

    Truth to power, girlie!

    And look! I made it to the end of your about page, entirely cringe-free!

    Comment by roo — June 4, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

  10. Tracey, I love your About page; I can’t understand why you have such doubts about it.

    Keep on Keepin’ On…..you know?

    Comment by Maura — June 7, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

  11. hmmm by the way, did you know that “beyond the pale” was used during the plague to refer to those *with* the plague who were kept … out.

    Comment by Dan — February 20, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

  12. Dan — That sounds about right. 😉

    Comment by tracey — May 19, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

  13. Hi. Love your blog, and the artwork – both original, genuine. – I arrived here when googling the word “ooging” — you are one of the few people in the world who has also used it, apparently, but differently than I do. I mentioned it to my son in commenting on his baby not crawling yet, when I asked, “is he even ooging?” My very educated son replied, “what does that mean, mom?” – I explained that, to me, it was slang for scooting along, doing the army ground crawl exercise, etc. — but I have no idea where it came from (and could be spelled “oojing” too, or maybe it’s family slang…) – so my googling didn’t help much. Can you offer any comments on your usage of the word? I’d be most appreciative of any help in solving this mystery! My best to you and yours ~ Susan

    Comment by Susan — June 12, 2011 @ 11:19 am

  14. p.s. to above comment: Mystery solved! –

    The word I was apparently using somewhat correctly but had ‘heard’ wrong at some point, is “ooching,” not “ooging/oojing” — it’s a term originally used in sailing, and means to make a forward movement then suddenly stopping (in an effort to add momentum to a sailboat…not allowed in racing!). So the secondary meaning is to move forward cautiously and slowly, which would describe a ‘baby crawl’ ~ learn something every day, I say! ~

    (p.s. to this note: I went to the artist’s gallery online and looked at his work ~ loved it; thank you for that too ~)

    Comment by Susan — June 15, 2011 @ 10:09 am

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