Got Some

It’s a very special Wednesday here in Sluiter Nation!  Today’s recruit is WAY special.  But first you probably need to know what a Recruit is, so go here.  I’ll wait.

So this week’s Recruit is so close to me that he actually sleeps with me.

That’s right.  This week I am bringing you the words of my sweet husband, Cortney.  Did you know he blogs?  Well, he sort of blogs. OK, he has really good intentions of blogging.  Alright, he started a blog.  It’s called Tasty Buttered Toast.  Sometimes he puts his thoughts there.  But not as often as I wish he would. Because people?  He is a damn fine writer when he wants to be.

He started his blog when he was unemployed, and now that he IS employed…and back to school…and bowling league…and a dad of a toddler…and husbanding a pregnant wife who is carrying his next son…well, he is a bit swamped.

Plus he was the one who encouraged my words.

And because I love his words (and his cute booty), he is here today.

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I was asked to be a “recruit” over a month and a half ago… at first I thought I was a neat idea.  Write for the blog that I encouraged, nay, convinced Kate to write.  And here we are, how many hundred posts later, more readers than she could have ever imagined from parts of the world she’s never traveled.  Anxious to read those comments from so many of you, most of which she has never met in person, but talks about so often you’d swear she just got home from having lunch with them.

For me this blog is more than just an outlet to share the goings on of our little family, but it’s a chance for my darling wife to vent her frustrations, share her successes, and probably most importantly get support from her “fan base” to get her through those rough patches… and you all know we have had our share of those.  A HUGE thank you, and you know who you are, for being there when we needed that little extra something to get us through a rough spot.

So, back to this recruit thing… at first I thought it was a neat idea, not to mention a great way to give me a chance to put my mark on her little slice of the blogosphere pie.

It’s an interesting position to be in… I feel as though most of you already know so much about me already, what is there new to share?  What is there that I want to share?

Well, let’s see… I’ve hit a hole-in-one, bowled a 300 game.  I wonder why there is so much spitting in baseball, even by the players that don’t chew or eat sunflower seeds.  I don’t understand why some people with a NASCAR sticker in their back window choose to drive under the speed limit.

At one time in my life I was an avid pro-PC geek… back then, it was mostly just to antagonize my pro-Mac friends.  Truth be told I haven’t had enough time on a Mac to know that I don’t like it, I just know that the stuff I do on a PC would be different on a Mac; and change at this point isn’t a good choice.  I have a pretty good feeling that at some point, there will be an Apple product in this house (other than an iPod).

I’m not much of a cook, but I pride myself on putting out a solid spread at breakfast time… all credit to my late father for those skills.  He could grill just about anything, but breakfast, specifically omelets; were his specialty.

Well there you have it.  Not too shabby for my first post on the blog with my last name in the header.  I must say, I’m quite proud of the little space that Kate has created, built, and maintained on her own.  Thank you for your continued support of her writing and well-being.  Your comments and site visits make my heart smile.

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He doesn’t have a ton of posts, but he has some that I really love.

When his Grandpa Sluiter passed on Christmas last year, he wrote this:  Parting Ways

His take on lullabies:  Squeeze Box

And every post he writes about his dad gets me.  This one is from last year:  And I Walk the Long Road

I know he hasn’t posted over there since August, but when he does write…man does he write.  I can’t wait until he writes about being a dad someday.  I know it will be fabulous since he is so wonderful at it.

the anchor and the helms wheel

I asked him on our way if he was nervous or scared.  Surprisingly–to himself–he was not.

He sees flashes of his dad in pictures of himself, in the laugh of his son, in the smiles of his aunts and uncles, in the gait of his brother.

The design he had emailed back and forth on for months–even years–with his best friend and graphic design artist rested in the space beneath the radio in the dash.

He can feel his father on the breeze off the lake, in the waves lapping against the beach, in the embrace of his grandmother.

I had joked with him earlier if he needed to shave his leg himself  and if he was ready for the fun of stubble on his calf as the hair grew back.

There is an emptiness in the dark of night when he wonders what it would be like to have his dad around to help with basement remodels and yard projects and son-rearing.

He is remarkably calm and even jovial as he cracks jokes with the artist and gets settled on the bench.

He has no idea how much he is his dad right now.  Facing pain with a smile and a joke.  Making those around him comfortable in the presence of what will be HIS pain.

He is deep in thought as his wife and the artist chat and joke and discuss the process. It’s good that she came.  It’s good that she is there with him for this.

Even in the pain he can feel his dad.  Each week, in the same arm, a needle was stuck.  But it was not infusing ink under his dad’s skin.  It was poison that was being injected.

Sooner than later–after winces, but no sound–it was over.

His dad is his guide.  Even in spirit.

His anchor and his helms wheel.

His Pops.

This week’s prompt was to tell a story–fiction or non–about a tattoo in 300 words or less.  This is a true story from my imaginationFor a picture, go here.

For the Love…Of Blogging Q&A Thursday

We are wrapping up the…uh…”informational” portion of For the Love…Of Blogging today with a Q&A post.  Both Miranda and I are interviewing our husbands about living with wives who are addicted to into the social media world.

My husband, Cortney, has been what I think of as a “tech geek” for as long as I’ve known him. He builds computers (as a hobby.  ok he did it once), and he runs our “network”, AND he has been in and out of the online nerd tech forums longer than I knew they existed.

He got me involved in MySpace (yes, I just admitted that.  No, I don’t still have an account) and eventually persuaded me to join facebook.

So in reality?  I blame Cort for my obsession with social media.

And with that said, I interviewed him about my obsession with social media.

Me: So you’re married to a social media addict.  What’s that like?

Cortney: Well, it has its pros and cons.  Being able to meet and build new relationships with online friends is pretty cool.  I never would have thought that we (you) could know so many people all over the country / world.  I’m pretty sure if we went on a trip and needed a place to crash, there would be someone within reasonable distance that would put us up for the night.  That is pretty cool considering we haven’t met most of those people in person.

A downside is home life sometimes takes a back seat to the tweeps and blog rolls… but since they can be your support structure when I can’t, it can be an even trade at times.

Me: mm.  yes.  my attachment to my laptop.  So you’ve noticed that, huh? Ok, but you are involved in social media as well.  I am sure your interests are different than mine since you don’t seem that excited when I tell what other people are tweeting in regard to Red Carpet fashion.  What do you primarily use social media for?

Cort: I enjoy the use of social media to meet some interesting people all over the world as well… many through your connections… but mostly I use it to ask for advice on technical projects / personal product reviews.

I also enjoy the ability to spout off my opinion or random thoughts on whatever floats in to my brain… with the hope of a smart ass reply that hopefully leads to some interesting banter between friends.  On twitter especially, it makes me smile when someone lets me know that my dumb comment made them giggle or put a smile on their face.

Me: Yes, you are a witty fella.  You have a blog, yes?  Tell my lovely readers about it.

Cort: I DO!  My blog is called TastyButteredToast and it’s my own little corner of the internets.  I can honestly say that there really isn’t a theme or specific purpose to my blog other than for the occasional vent, opinion, or thought that happens to move me to write and publish it for the blogosphere.  I’ve posted about the loss of my father, the birth of my son, a rainbow, the difficulties on landing a job, and my adoring wife.  So the subject matter really runs the full gamut.  I’ve even asked twitter what they wanted to know about me… I have yet to find something that I’d rather not post…but I’m sure it’s out there.

So if there’s something you’d like to know my opinion on or something about me, just ask.  I love a good blog prompt…

Me: Nice. Wait.  Why did you name it “Tasty Buttered Toast” of all things?

Cort: Well, when thinking about a name for my blog, I wanted something that everyone could relate to. something that…when you thought about it,  (he is nodding like I should know what he’s talking about here) you’re like….”mmmm…tasty buttered toast.  I like buttered toast.”  And if naturally you like buttered toast, then subconsciously you will like my blog as well.

I’ve actually gained followers because my blog had the word “buttered” in it.

Me: ok.  that is sort of weird.  but whatever.  So anyway, why did you start your blog?

Cort: I had originally thought  the blog would give me something to do while Short Stack (Eddie) was sleeping or between job hunting sessions… and to stroke my massive ego.  Just knowing that millions of readers out there had been patiently waiting to see what my next thought or opinion was finally had a vehicle to get the word out.

It wasn’t until a few days into having a blog that I realized that I actually had very little to say… that was a bit of a bummer considering I’d like to think of myself as a fairly interesting person.  I mean really, if I find myself interesting, why shouldn’t everyone else, right?

It also occurred to me that Sluiter Nation was only telling one side of the story, I wanted an outlet to be able to put my side of the story out there when needed.  To show my massive following that it doesn’t always happen the way you describe and I have a point of view as well.  Little did I know you would get it right more often than not.

Me: You have lots to say, I hope you know that.  And if you would sit and blog it out?  It would be wonderful.  Speaking of wonderful, do you read any of the blogs that your lovely wife authors?

Cort: I read all of my lovely wife’s blogs.  I like to see all the wonderful things she has to say about me… massive ego, remember?

I find her to be a fantastic writer and knowing the sound of her voice, when I read the words I can “hear” them as though she was saying it… and I also think that sometimes she uses the blog to talk about topics that she wouldn’t or would have difficulty talking about in person.  I know she has found a huge support circle out there to get advice and positive vibes when things are low, and to celebrate when good things happen.

Me: Awe.  You are sweet.  Do you think it’s good or bad that we are so into each others social media lives?  that we know pretty much all of each others biz-nas?

Cort: Yes, I do.

Sometimes I think it would be good to have an anonymous slice of the internet pie to voice whatever I wanted without worry or concern about who was offended or what was said… not that I have a lot to say that would be that controversial, but everyone has those days where they want to swear at the world regardless of who is listening.

On the flip side, I think that by being able to put your name to feelings and topics can open up additional dialogue offline that maybe wouldn’t take place otherwise.  The blog can be a great ice breaker for difficult topics, it can give one the ability to get their entire thought out without being interrupted.    A therapy of sorts, with all the readers being unlicensed therapists, giving their support and advice.

Me: I agree with that 100%.  So, do you have anything else you want to dazzle our readers with?

Cort: Did you ever notice that the word therapist is “The Rapist” without the space?  Interesting coincidence don’t you think?  The raping of your brain / emotions / thoughts?  Hmmm… I just blew your mind.

I would like to say that I am genuinely happy for the success that Sluiter Nation has experienced over the last couple years.  Followers, friends, occasional commenters… all these people add a little sanity to our more than insane lives.  It’s good to know we’re not the only ones out there having to deal with strife, loss, joys, and sorrow.

Viva Sluiter Nation!

Viva Sluiter Nation, indeed, Cort.

I must plug my husband’s blog here.  He doesn’t post all that regularly, but what he says is wonderful.  I love this post about what makes a lullaby.  Or this post where he tells about why cancer sucks. Or this beautiful post he wrote after his grandpa passed this past Christmas.

And with that said, you all may use the comment section here for comments or more questions on anything we talked about this week.  No linky today…just discuss.  Although if there IS something you would like me to look at, feel free to let me know that in the comments!

I had so much fun here, you guys.  Even with my crazy busy schedule, this was good.  No, it was more than good.  It was amazing!  Thank you SO much for participating.

To thank you?  Tomorrow Miranda and I will have giveaways ALL. DANG. DAY!

Starting at 9am est  until 5pm est, there will be one giveaway per hour here. and Miranda?  Also has a bunch!  just to say THANK YOU to you all!

Because this wouldn’t have been possible without YOU.

Cancer? Oh it Sucks!

Most people that read this blog know that we lost Cort’s dad to cancer five years ago.  I have blogged about that many times, and this year?  I will let Cort blog about it over at his own blog.  Steve was his dad, and since the five year anniversary (usually I think of anniversaries as happy…but what else to you call it?) is coming up next week AND there is a cancer sucks blog hop going on, it really is his story to tell.  So check out Tasty Buttered Toast since I believe his plan is to talk about his dad’s birthday (on Monday, Aug 9) and his passing (Saturday, Aug 14).
ALL cancer is terrible.  No matter what type someone gets it reeks havoc physically on its victim, and it terrifies and devastates family and friends.   Not only did we lose Cortney’s dad to lung cancer, but many  of our aunts and grandmas have had to battle breast cancer.  And earlier this year, I found out a friend from high school, Lynette…someone MY age…has been thrown into this bit of hell called breast cancer.
Back in June I shared that Cort and I felt strongly that we wanted to do something for Lynette, so we signed up to run the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure 5k in September. 
I thought I would take a second to update you on our progress.
First of all, you can read about Lynette’s fight and how great she is doing on her blog. She claims she is not as strong as she sounds, but she is for sure amazing.  We weren’t that close in high school, but somehow a tragedy like cancer puts things into perspective.  She is my peer.  She is a fellow momma.  She is a wife.  She is a fighter.
So as you can see, all of Sluiter Nation has the “Fight Like a Girl” Tshirt to support Lynette’s fight.
Cortney and I have also been training for the 5K using the Couch to 5K training program.  We started out pretty strong with our new gear and a pile of enthusiasm.
Then I got a stupid knee injury.  I did something painful and awful to the ligaments in my left knee.  I actually had to have physical therapy!  I felt so dumb…like it wasn’t a REAL injury.  I felt like it was a “fat, out of shape” injury.  But I worked that PT and got better in only 5 sessions (my PT was actually quite amazed)!
So I am back at it.  
Cortney is on Week seven of nine.  He is currently running for 25 minutes straight.  He is a machine, I tell you. He enjoys tolerates early morning runs–around 6:30am–before it gets super awful walk on the sun hot outside.
I am on week four of ten (we are both doing Couch to 5K, but there are variations of it).  I am currently running for a whopping 7 minutes straight.  I do my running on the treadmill since it’s easier on my knees.  And usually I get my run in around nap–after my lunch digests.
By September 25?  We both want to be able to run the full 5k.  I clearly have more work to do.  Eek!
We have also been raising money for the Race for the Cure.  We both have pledge pages.  Recently, we upped our goals.  We started out with goals being $250.  We blew those out of the water within a month of fundraising (which means we get to wear the pink ribbon when we run!  Yay!  Because WHO WHO will not wear the ribbon!  Seinfeld anyone?  No?  Ok then…).  So we have both now RAISED our goals to $500 each! 
Can you imagine Sluiter Nation being able to raise a THOUSAND dollars for cancer research?!?
Plus if we do that, we will each win a New Balance gift card, which I will be in turn giving away here on the blog…to thank you all for your support!
So help us help kick cancer in the face, butt, and gut! 
Click on the above pictures to get to either mine or Cortney’s pledge pages for the 5k.  
We appreciate your support and generosity. 
You can read more about my journey with training for the 5k on the blog, Running Between Tweets.  A group blog started by a bunch of online people I “know” who are all doing the Couch to 5k program.  Read about all of our struggles and victories!
And Cortney talks about his ups and downs with running (and life in general) over on Tasty Buttered Toast.

Click on the links below to read more cancer sucks stories.  I can’t promise you won’t cry…even at the ones with happy endings.  But they are powerful, powerful stories.

Sluiter Nation Spin Off

You know how spin-off shows can either be a super great idea or a total flop?

For example, Cheers was a GREAT show.  When it went off the air, NBC created the spin-off Fraiser.  Another HUGE show.

More recently the wildly popular show Grey’s Anatomy had it’s own pretty successful spin off, The Practice.

Then you get the spin-off’s that just KEEP spinning off like All in the Family.  That spun-off shows like Maude and The Jeffersons which in turn created each of THEIR own spin-offs: Good Times (successful) and Checking in (not so much).*

Anyway, what I am trying to say with all this spinoff talk is that Sluiter Nation has sprung a spin off.  That’s right, Cortney has joined the blog-esphere with this tasty nugget:  Tasty Buttered Toast.

While Sluiter Nation concentrates on what our little family is up to and thinking about, Tasty Buttered Toast is more about what Cortney is going through lately:  being a laid off, stay at home new dad, while going back to school for an entirely new career.  I must say, he has wit coming out of his ears, and he definitely looks at things differently than I do, so it’s a great read.

Please feel free to add it to your blog roll or google reader or bookmark list.  You won’t be disappointed!

*Nerd Alert:  If you like to remember spin offs like Just the Ten of Us (spun off from Growing Pains), totally go here!

By the way, please take a moment to “follow” Sluiter Nation over on the left.  Thank you!

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