Friday, September 29, 2006

Yesterday I Saw a Double Rainbow

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Look hard: can you see it?

It's really hard to see, but if you look to the right of the more obvious rainbow, I promise it's there....

How about now? Can you see it now? Just barely, maybe....

Oh well, I tried. Either way, I hope your weekend is filled with beautiful stuff like double...or regular...rainbows, and happy moments

Dedication of the Song

The more I listened to the song "Put your Records On," the more I thought of Neicy and Jessie and Amy.

The words of the song made me feel like Corinne was singing to them.

"You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow."

I really believe that, Neicy.

So, that post is for you. Go ahead, let your hair down. ;)

AND the song I like by Corinne Bailey Rae

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Song "Over My Head" that I was Telling You About

This is the song I was telling you of the only songs the kids and I have ALL agreed on lately. ;) Wonders never cease.

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Have you Heard this Song?

There is this song that I've been hearing lately...and then I realized that it was an itunes free song a while back ago, because it's in my (huge) music library already. It's nice of itunes to remind me of the fact that I already have it in my library when I try to buy it. Anyway, it's called "Over My Head" by a group called "The Fray." I don't know much about this group, but I love this song. It stays in my mind. I also like their album artwork.

A few weeks ago I was in to this song called "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae. I found out, much to my delight, it was also an itunes free song some time ago. Also a tune that stuck with me. She has a lovely voice. Could it be that people out there in radio land are actually LISTENING to their itunes free weekly song, thus making the free songs popular? Because I am doing things backwards. I'm hearing the song on the radio, going "I like that song!" Then I go to itunes and try to purchase it, only to be told "it's already in your library, goofball!" (Only in a much more polite, computer generated manner.) ;)

Anyway, here is the album art I like so much from the album, "How to Save a Life," by the Fray:

I don't know what makes me like this picture so much, but I guess that's what makes :) A print of this album cover would look good in my living room. All brown and black and darkish colors. It would match my couch. ;)

A Drive in the Country

On the way home yesterday, I decided to take some pictures. These scenes are on the two country roads I have to drive to get home. Sometimes when I'm driving, I get aggravated that it takes so long to get to the little city where I work. Other times I REALLY open my eyes and I think, "this is a gift." I take cornfields and rolling countryside views for granted. When I pause for a moment and take a closer look, there is beauty all around me.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Glorious Sunrise

This morning I was driving to work just as the sun had inched its way into the sky. I was amazed at the beauty before me. I stopped at the first stop sign, which is about a mile from my house. I tried to take a picture then, but in my rearview mirror, I saw four cars lined up behind me. I think they were ready to pull me out of my car and stone me while chanting, "Learn to drive, Sunday driver!" So, I pulled over by a barn in a nearby field. I let the cars pass and took these pictures.

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I started thinking that there was a time (boy do I feel old) that there was so little traffic in my little village that a child could play four square out in the middle of the road without being interrupted for hours at a time.
Even in my teenage years, I could stop at the stop sign, fiddle with the radio, check my makeup, make a phone call, have breakfast and style my hair and still no traffic would arrive. Now? Stop at the stop sign for two minutes and Lord have mercy, a riot practically breaks out. Geez!
Oh well, I got my pictures...without incident. I'm blessed.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Month in Pictures

Pictures can say so much, dontcha think?
I love to take pictures. Back when Josh and Jess were babies, I had a 110 camera. My one luxury was to buy a roll of film every week, and have pictures developed. I took pictures of my babies every day! It was something I really looked forward to! I loved seeing my little babies turn to toddlers in person and on film.
When Jess was about three years old, I got a JVC VHSc camcorder, which we still have to this day, and it still works fine. We used it primarily for Christmases and birthdays and times like that. I do have some regular day-to-day stuff on my tapes, but a lot of it is holiday footage.
Looking over the last month's picture folders in my computer, there are some good pictures I haven't shared here.
I've decided to remedy that, so here are some of my favorite shots from August and September:

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On Jess' birthday, we all went to Build a Bear again. Jess got a bear, Jo got a monkey, Jess' friend got a bear, and I got a "Mom on the Go" bear. We had a great time! That is how we celebrated Jess' 14th birthday. That, and cake, which I will also show later in this post. The picture above is of all four bears that we made that day.

Here's Jess' friend, Cassandra's bear. My memory is fuzzy on what they all named their bears. I loved the cute little foo-foo slippers on this one! ;)

This one is of Jo-Jo's monkey. I think he named him Monty. He really looks like one cool monkey. Jo-Jo suprised me. I thought he was going to go for a Cleveland Browns Bear. Maybe next time.

This was a bear themed birthday celebration from start to finish! Jess loves Care Bears, so I bought her a small cake (chocolate) with Care Bears on it. Then I bought her a REALLY small cake (white) that was plain. She doesn't like chocolate, (she can't be MY child) so I made sure she had a cake she would eat as well. ;)

This picture is of some flowers I've been enjoying for the last couple of weeks. They are now starting to die away, but they will live on in my blog. A coworker received them, and wanted them to be out in the front office for all to enjoy. I was happy to oblige, since the front office/foyer is part of my office. They have been a nice touch as fall gets underway.

Finally, this last picture is of a little gift I received from my Aunt and Uncle last Friday. It's an angel that came along with a note. My Aunt Pat said it was to watch over me and keep me safe while we are apart. I thought it was so sweet and pretty, and wanted to share it. I have it hanging beside my computer monitor to remind me of them all day long.

That's it for now! Hope to have some more pictures to share later in the month!

It's Tuesday Morning and All is Well!

It is Tuesday morning, and although I didn't sleep but a couple of brief hours last night, I am feeling good. I received a huge, huge blessing yesterday from my friend Sheila and her husband, Terry. I am not going to go in to details here, but I just have to mention that it was a really big deal.

I tossed and turned thinking about it, alternating between feeling blessed and wondering how I could ever repay their kindness. I am bleary eyed today, but I am realizing that I sometimes get to be the giver and sometimes I have to learn to be the receiver. That's how this friendship thing works.

Although Sheila is unable to be a regular follower of my blog due to limited computer access, I want to shout, "thank you!" here to them and to God for blessing me in the way they did. I pray that they will receive back blessings overflowing a hundred times for their kindness.

I have truly amazing friends. Truly. I am continually in awe of this fact.

Hope you're having an awestruck Tuesday where you are.

Friday, September 22, 2006

To Answer Ellie's Question: What is a Crop?

I've been using the term "crop" in my blog for awhile. I've never paused to explain what exactly a crop is.

The word "crop" in scrapbooking can mean two different things. To "crop" a picture is to alter a picture by cutting it out, cutting the corners into shapes or designing it in a decorative fashion. Just like photo editing programs alter pics on the computer, it's hand editing a picture instead of "cropping" it digitally.

Then Creative Memories, I think, came out with a term based on the premise, "Crop 'Till you Drop." I've heard this term used throughout scrapbooking in general. I am not sure why they ended up getting called "a crop," instead of, say, "scrapbooking workshops," or something, but here's what we do at a "crop:"

We bring our current album making projects, photos, etc. Often the person who is in charge of the event brings their cropping tools to share with the group. Some people, like my friend, Sheila, brings all of her own tools as well. So, since I hate toting all that extra stuff, I always sit by her and use her tools.

There are tables and chairs set up everywhere to chose from. Sometimes seats are assigned, sometimes it's first come first served. Everyone sits down and works on their books.

With the 12 hour crops, there are breaks for food and games. There are often hourly prizes and little give-a-ways for getting a certain number of pages completed. There are freebies just for coming. There are sometimes areas set up for photo ops. New products are shown and passed around. Often the mood of the crop depends on how large the crop and how many participating consultants there are.

My upline, Sandy, has informal monthly crops at her house that aren't filled with hoop-la and all that. Those are just bring your stuff and work and get a hot meal that night type of thing. They are still fun because I love to socialize with my friends, but they generally only last four hours at max.

So, that is basically what takes place at a crop. There is a lot of encouragement on getting albums done, and lots of new people to meet at the bigger events. It's just group scrapbooking, basically.

Hope that makes sense, Ellie.


Wow, if I've ever been thankful for a Friday, it's today.

*A side note: Holli, I've not been ignoring your offer of smoothies and/or coffee's just that Rob and I are supposed to go to the $3 movies... a cheap date night. Hey, does that mean I'm a cheap date? I'm not sure, but we're talking again, which is good. Anyway, if rain checks apply in this situation, might I have one? I love both coffee AND smoothies, and I love hanging out with you, therefore I'd LOVE to take you up on that. Just let me know when Tim works seconds again, and if our schedules mesh, I'm there, sis! *

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled post:

We've hammered out some details at home that have made our lives much more peaceful. Calm has returned, tempers have subsided, and life is semi-normal again. Wheh. I can't stand tension. Ugh! I think both of us had a lot of misconceptions about stuff we said. Basically, he thought I thought he was a disappointment and a failure.... (?) and I thought he thought I couldn't do anything right. It was a mess. I am so glad we're talking, not yelling at this point.

Tomorrow evening is a fun event that I always look forward to if I'm able to attend. Twice a year my scrapbooking friends have a 12 hour crop. One in the spring and one in the fall. I often have to miss these events because of having a second job or sometimes the kids have stuff to do. Sometimes I show up in the evening for a few hours if time permits. When my grandmother was in the hospital/nursing home, I didn't get to go to any of them.

Anyway, this crop goes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and almost all of my scrapbooking group will be in attendance. I think I am able to make it from 2 in the afternoon until around 7 in the evening. I decided not to work the second job I had lined up, so I am free to be a part of this event.

I am currently working on a big project for my mother-in-law, Shirley. Her 60th birthday is in October. I am doing an album of her life and family. I'm sending out photo safe "journaling boxes," which are lined papers we use in our albums. I'm sending several to her siblings and kids and extended family members. I'm asking that they record their sentiments/birthday well wishes on the papers and send them back to me. Then I will decorate the album, arranging the journaling boxes with the pictures and present the album to her on her birthday. Shirley truly loves her family, so I want to let her know that her love is returned with interest. I'm excited about this project, and hope to get a lot done on Saturday.

Well, off to work I go. Hope you all have a lovely weekend. Right now it's dark and rainy here...but if I'm inside scrapbooking tomorrow, let it rain! I'll cross my fingers for a sunny day Sunday.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

TAG! You're It!

I've been tagged, by Pat, so now I'm tagging you, my blog reader. If you don't have a blog of your own, comment on my blog and answer this most personal question:

What is in your purse?

Here's what's in mine after taking inventory: (Keep in mind, my "purse" is actually a shoulder bag given to me by my uncle from Georgia. So it holds A LOT of stuff.)

1. A letter from my second cousin, Jesse, from Georgia.

2. My camera and camera case.

3. My newest "Lasting Moments" magazine (Creative Memories scrapbooking magazine.) I just got it. Yay!

4. My wallet, containing all manner of credit cards, library cards, coffee punch cards, preferred shopper cards from every store known to man, my driver's license, etc.

5. My CM "Star Performers" magazine. Just got that, also.

6. My pill case. I only take one prescription med, but I have otc allergy meds and vitamins in there.

7. Cel phone case & cel phone.

8. Ipod shuffle and headphones.

9. Pack of thank you cards that I meant to put in my desk drawer here at work, and this survey reminded me to do just that.

10. School portrait package order form for my records.

11. A scrap of paper with some phone numbers on it.

12. Three horse items that Josiah got from a bday party he went to that he deemed too girly to keep: a horse pen, a horse book mark and a horse sticker. He gave them to me because I am a girl.

13. 1 bank statement.

14. 1 credit card statement.

15. 1 letter from my friend, Wyn.

16. My Greyhound ticket that I plan on putting in a scrapbook once I scrapbook about my trip to Georgia. I'd better take it out before it gets too wrinkly and mashed up.

17. A reminder card from the vet's office, stating that in October Taz is due for a refill on his Interceptor (heart worm) pills.

18. A tube of concealer.

19. Some napkins.

20. A Rhinocort aqua sample bottle.

21. A magnetic neclace.

22. A sample size deodrant.

23. 2 pens.

24. A Walmart receipt.

25. A grocery receipt.

And that's it! Think that's enough?

Survey from Ellie's Blog

Are your parents married or divorced? The people who adopted and raised me stayed married until death. My birth mother is deceased. My birth father is still alive. My birth parents were only married 5 years total before they divorced.

Are you a vegetarian? No.

Do you believe in Heaven? Yes.

Have you ever come close to dying? Depends on how close you think close is.

What jewelry do you wear 24/7? None at this point. Metal allergy. If I do wear jewelry, it is usually plastic or just for a few hours at most.

Are you eating? No.

Do you eat the stems of broccoli? Yes.

Do you wear makeup? Yes.

Would you ever have plastic surgery? Yes. And plan on it one day.

What do you wear to bed? Depends on the season.

Have you ever done anything illegal? Yes. I cut the tags off of mattresses all the time. ;) I have never seen a joint in person, and I have never drove after having a drink. I didn't even have a drink until I was 21 or 22. I've never even had a parking or speeding ticket. I'm such a square.

Can you roll your tongue? Yes.

Do You have a boyfriend or girlfriend? A husband.

Do you believe in Abortions? I believe they exist, but I wish they didn't.

What is your Hair color? Reddish brownish blackish blondish reddish.

Future child's name, boy and girl? If I have any future children, it will be a miracle of epic proportions, so I would name a boy Moses and a girl Angel. ;)

Do you smoke? No. I am very allergic to cig. smoke.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Any tropical island.

Do you sleep with stuffed animals? Sometimes I think my husband is one. Haha. No, just kidding. Dust mite allergy. Can't do it.

If you won the lottery, what would you do first? Tell a lot of people exactly what I think.

Gold or silver? Gold.

Hamburger or hot dog? Hamburger.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Rice.

City, beach or country? Country.

What was the last thing you touched? My mouse.

Where did you eat last? At my desk.

When's the last time you cried? Last week.

Do you read blogs? Yes.

Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex? I once went as Boy George for Halloween when I was like 13.

Ever been involved with the police? Yes. But not for something I did wrong.

What's your favorite shampoo/conditioner and soap? I have to use this shampoo called Nirzal or something like that because my skin is so sensitive. (Yes, allergies!) I also use black shea butter soap. (Same reason.)

Do you talk in your sleep? Robert says I do.

Ocean or pool? Pool.

What's your favorite song at the moment? Gavin Degraw's "I Don't Wanna Be."

Have you ever had a cavity? Yes.

Window seat or aisle seats? Window seats.

Ever met anyone famous? Yes. When Amy Grant was married to Gary Chapman he had his own CMT show, and I got to wait on him when I was a waitress trainer. The party left me a $100 tip!

Do you feel that you've had a truly successful life? I've been very blessed, so in many ways, yes I do.

Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it? Twirl.

What is your fav. sport to play? Tennis. I received my three year varsity letter in tennis in high school.

Basketball or football? I love to watch football. I'd rather play basketball.

Do you drive a stick? No.

Cake or ice cream? If I can't have both at once, I prefer not to eat either.

Are you self-conscious? Depends on who I'm around.

Do you like any of your close friends? No. I hate all of my friends! (?!) That's why I call them "friends"...because I like them!

Have you ever given money to a bum? Yes.

Have you been in love? Yes.

Where do you wish you were? On a tropical island, sipping a marguerita, in a lounge chair in the sun.

Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? No.

Can you tango? No.

Last gift you received? My lovely neighbor, who is a Mexican lady, sent me two skirts over yesterday via my daughter. They are beautiful!

What occasion did you recieve your gift? She thought I would like them. She was right!

Last thing you spent lots of money on? School pictures.

Where do you live? Southwestern Ohio.

Last wedding attended? My mother-in-law's best friend's wedding.

Favorite restaurant? El Dorado's (Mexican).

What is your favorite kind of car? My dream car is a 1972 yellow slug bug with a convertible top.

Most hated food(s)? Pecans, asparagus, and sour kraut.

Most loved food(s)? Rice, chicken. Also all the lovely Italian foods like pizza and spaghetti and all that stuff I can't eat anymore because, yes, you guessed it, my stupid (tomato) allergy.

Can you sing? Yes.

Person on your mind? My neighbor who gave me the skirt because she's moving Friday and it makes me sad.

What's your least fav. chores? Handwashing dishes.

Favorite drink? Caffeine free Diet Coke.

Currently have a Crush? Nope.

How long was your longest drive in a car? 14ish hours to Boston, because AAA sent us the scenic route and we thought we'd never ever get there.

I think that's it. Did I get them all, Ellie?

P.S. In conclusion, I am boring and have allergies. :) teehee.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Just in Case....

And just in case you reached out to me over the last week or so and thought I didn't care, you are WRONG big time. I heard all of the caring concern...took to heart the emails, offers of prayer and friendship...and they buoyed my spirit when I was feeling too down to see straight.

And that means YOU: Holli! Leah! Denise! Sandy! Sheila! Bipsy! Deb! John! etc., etc., etc. You ARE major blessings in my life and I am thankful for you daily! As well as my other friends that aren't mentioned here because I've been hiding all this from them, too. :)

Can't Stay Sad when Fall is in the Air

Today is such a gorgeous day. I woke up to the news anchor repeating over and over, "Get your jackets out! It's going to be a chilly one today!" I can already see some of the leaves changing colors on our maple trees in our front yard. I am ready for some turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie and whipped topping. Sigh. I love fall.

I've got to give you the synopsis of what's been going on lately:

Rob and I have been arguing since I came home from Georgia. Due to stress overload and simple frustration, we've taken to our own corners for now. Neither one of us can stand another argument at this point.

What is the main topic of angst? Money. Money. Money. Money. To paraphrase a Jeff Foxworthy point: Most couples don't fight about money at all. They fight about LACK of money. When have you ever heard a man come home and say to his wife, "What have you been doing all day? I'm tired of coming home and tripping over all of this money! Why don't you get off the couch and sweep it into a pile before someone kills themself falling over it?!"

Nope. Usually, as is our case, it's differing opinions on how to manage the tight budget we have right now.

We all sat down and talked last year. My grandmother had passed away. Her house...a cute two story home on one fenced in acre in the country would have to be sold. It had been in the family since the 1950s. We were already three years in to a five year land contract on a house in town, which was less than a mile from our places of employment.

Our city house had two bathrooms. The country house had one. The city house had no storage to speak of. The country house had an attic, a basement, and a barn size shed. The city house was a work in progress. The country house just needed basic upkeep. My grandfather built the country house from practically the ground up. Charms included wood floors in many of the rooms, and hand crafted cabinets made lovingly by my granddad, and a screened in front porch. The city house had very few charms indeed. A large laundry room, very large bedrooms and a new bathroom off the master bedroom were its highlights.

So, we debated all these pros and cons. The kids would have to change schools and go into a radically different school system. We would no longer be able to have high speed internet or a zillion cable channels. Only dial up would be available in the country, and the only cable available would be 27 channels in total. (Technology moves decades slower in the middle of nowhere.) Gas would cost more. We would no longer have a water bill, because we would have our own well.

Back and forth we debated. In the long run, emotions decided the vote. Losing the country house would be losing a part of me. It would mean re-grieving the loss of my grandfather who passed in 1995, and mourning my grandmother in the process. It would mean saying goodbye, releasing my childhood home, which meant stability in my strangers.

Finally, we concluded: This would mean a huge tightening of the budget for 1 1/2 years. But could we manage it? Yes. If we were disciplined.

We could not rent or sell the city home under the terms of our land contract until it was paid off in February 2007. Until then, we would have two house payments. Things would be extremely tight.

Along the way, we had some bumps in the road. My Taz ended up with Parvo. That cost me an arm and a couple of legs to save him. In retrospect, I made some unwise decisions bringing new animals into our lives during this extremely tight time. My heart is too big for my own good sometimes. That was a setback. I ended up having to put most of his care on credit. I'd managed to avoid using credit in the past, but I was desperate to save my little guy.

Of course, as much as we'd like to discourage them, kids like to eat. They grow, daggone them, and they need new clothes. :) These are expenses good parents can't avoid.

We have not taken any real vacations, and when we did travel, we made every effort to do so cheaply. We went to Chicago for business, and made it a family thing. Then I took the bus to Georgia, but I went so far as to pack food and refill my water bottles at drinking fountains there and back to save cash.

Just as Murphy's law dictates, each vehicle we own had to have repairs. $300 here, $200 there. I ended up buying an old 1995 Mercury Cougar for $700 from a friend on payments during the fall of last year. We realized that out in the country, to be stuck with no spare transportation isn't fun. So, we had the Mercury as back up.

Then, of course, gas prices soared, leaving us scrambling around to keep our budget in tact. It became impossible. I was falling behind and barely keeping ahead of the energy bill and phone bills.

Basically, we've been living on this tight budget for one year. It's not like we were independently wealthy before that time, but at least we could go out to dinner or treat the kids to a day at an amusement park without wondering what bill would have to go unpaid.

I think both of our nerves are on edge. I've worked two jobs off and on, and he's put in extra hours at both his regular job as well as additional effort at making his toy shop work.

Yet, when he gets down, he gets the urge to spend money. He loves dvds. He doesn't see that $50 here and $65 there adds up. He feels he works hard enough and deserves to buy something he enjoys. Under normal circumstances, that wouldn't be a problem.

So, lately, we end up bickering constantly.

"If you didn't have all these animals, maybe we could get ahead!"

"I'm not the one who owns every dvd known to mankind!"

"Well, whose idea was it to buy this house in the first place? In fact, whose idea was it to buy the other house even though it needed a thousand repairs?"

"I guess we were supposed to rent for the rest of our lives? Is that what you wanted?"

Back and forth, this same conversation over and over again until I think both of us have become exhausted and sick of each other...and ourselves.

His strategy is sit down and figure it out, and in the middle of the discussion, get mad and stomp off. Mine is to ignore it, pretend all is well, and get through it day by day. He prefers to see the glass half empty...I prefer to pretend the glass doesn't exist.

So, that's where I'm at. This has caused me to struggle heavily with depression. Normally, my depression just manifests itself through physical symptoms. I get tired, or lack energy. Lately, add to the fatigue and lack of energy the following: feeling like crying, the urge to hop a bus to nowhere, a perpetual eye twitch, feeling helpless and hopeless, not feeling like doing the stuff I usually enjoy like scrapbooking, not wanting to socialize with my lovely group of friends, etc., etc., etc. There are days I don't feel like going home or even getting out of bed in the first place. Sometimes I can't keep a train of thought going for more than a few minutes because of the stress. I try to read, and I lose interest quickly. It's just overwhelming.

Fortunately, as usual, my blood pressure remains low. It always has been. I'm not losing any weight right now, but I haven't gained too much, either.

This beautiful day helps. The sun hasn't stopped shining just because I'm having these problems. After all, in twenty years, will I be worrying about two house payments and trying to raise teenagers? No. So why waste my life worrying about stuff I can't change, anyway? I'm really good at talking myself out of moods, so I have been working on that. With Rob and I not talking right now, it's easier to do positive "self talk." Sometimes I can't hear myself over his anger. So, I'm trying to pull away and allow some healing to begin.

I'm also thanking God again for giving me the need to work things out through poetry. One thing that has kept me going lately is entering poems online at I've enjoyed entering their daily contests and various events. If I happen to win any of the money prizes, great. It can't hurt. But in the interim, I'm working out my hurts and keeping my mind on something positive. It's just fun, and I need some (free!) fun right now.

You know, the urge is sometimes there to go pick up a bottle of alcohol and have a drink to calm my nerves. I haven't, because I don't want that to be a coping strategy that I begin to rely on. My birth parents were both alcoholics, and I know that puts me at a disadvantage. The stronger the urge to have a drink, the less likely I am to give in to that. I am not against having an alcoholic drink on occasion. What I am against in my own life is having one to cope.

So, that's what's going on. I hope that I will continue to feel better and make good choices. I want to eventually get back on track with doing devotions and having a set time for that in my life. So what I ask is for your prayers and positive energy, which I already feel at work in my life. I want to be 100% again so I can be the best me...the best mom, friend, coworker, and person I can be. I know I'll get there again.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Going Through Some Stuff

I'm going through some stuff that I can't really blog about right now for a number of reasons. First of all, I just want to say "I'm okay, nobody get alarmed." I'm going to be okay, eventually, but in the interim, I'm working out this stuff on my poetry blog. It's my therapist. Although I'm starting to think I could really use a real one. ;)

If you feel like jumping over to read some of my rambling, super! If not, that's cool, too. My link is off to the side of this blog under, logically, "my poetry blog."

Have a good night, all.

Reno Balloon Race 2006

When I saw this, I thought of Neicy. It's pretty cool, dontcha think?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Filling in the Blanks

Just a quick update post:

Bipsy's granddaughter is at home now and doing fine. She was pretty dehydrated, but once she was re-hydrated, she was fine. She is up and playing and not even coughing much. I'm so glad about this, because it's just so scary when little ones are sick.

I'm a little sad today. My guinea pig, Lilly, had a miscarriage yesterday. There were two premature babies. She seems to be doing very well today. I have never had something like that happen with any of the guinea pigs I've had previously. I'm not sure what went wrong, but right now I'm just giving her lots of extra treats and keeping an eye on her. I'm not even picking her up much, and am discouraging the kids from handling her until she's had time to heal.

Work has been pretty busy of late. I'm scrambling around a good portion of the day, trying to keep up. I like keeping busy, it makes the day pass by faster. However, I get far fewer chances to check up on my blog friends. So, if you have been seeing fewer comments on your blog from me, that's the reason. Duty calls.

On that note, I'm out of here for tonight. Hope you have a nice evening.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Sweet Card From Aunt Pat

I got this really sweet card from Aunt Pat and I felt compelled to share it. I have missed them more since I went down and came back...but I know the timing was perfect. We had such a great time.

I've felt my urge to write poetry returning since my trip. I've updated my poetry blog a bit since my return. There's something about unconditional love that renews the human spirit...
Anyway, hope you're having a great Tuesday.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Because She's Goin' to the Chapel and She's Gonna Get Married........

Go Ellie, go Ellie! She did it! She popped the question! If you want to know what I'm talking about, go to:

This is one cool gal! Only thing I want to know is, do I get a virtual invite to the wedding? Oh yeah, and when IS the wedding? Just kidding. Had to say it. Felt compelled. :)

That was good news on an otherwise somber day. It's hard not to be sad today with all the memorials and tributes to the fallen on this the 5 year anniversary of September 11th. It was foremost in my mind all day long. I think it changed us all somehow in America. Some for better, and some for worse. Like all of us, I remember exactly where I was when it happened.

My boss and I were working away in our office. At that time, I still worked in her office in accounting/payroll. She was listening to a news station (BBC?), like she always does, and there was some announcement about a plane entering a no-fly zone in New York City. We rushed to the conference room to watch the news unfold on the television.

Just as we turned on the t.v., the first plane hit. I still remember the feeling of shock and disbelief. When the second plane hit, then the news came in about Washington D.C. as well as the Pennsylvania flight going down, I think we all wondered what was next. There was such uncertainty at first. The grief came later. How truly, truly sad and so unnecessary.

I still can't believe Josh was only 10 years old at the time. My baby was 4. It was so hard to explain to them. I still can't explain it to myself.

So, my thoughts have been with the families and loved ones left behind today. September 11th...9/11....after 2001, it was no longer just another uneventful day on the calendar.

Before I close today, I request the following:

Please say a quick prayer for Bipsy's granddaughter, who is in the hospital today. She's only two years old and has pneumonia. She's very listless and sleeping constantly. She's been sick since Saturday.

To top it off, Bipsy had to have her horse put down last night. He broke his leg, and because he was 25 years old, she was left with no choice. She's just having a tough time of it.

I am calling it a night and heading home. I've had a rough time with my allergies today. I spent a good portion of my weekend cleaning, so this is payback. When will I ever learn to wear a mask? The weather is so nice, the temperature is very moderate, so this is my favorite time of year to clean. Hopefully this flare up won't last long. I hates me some allergies! :) Just call me Kristi the Red Nosed Admin.!

Have a good night, all. More later.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Something I Just HAVE to Say...

I don't usually talk about entertainment or celebrities or anything, but I really have to say this:

The whole Steve Irwin getting killed thing really, really made me sad. It made me sad to the point of getting a huge lump in my throat and fighting back tears.

In fact, I can't even count the many people I talked to about it this week that teared up when trying to talk about it.

Was he in a dangerous line of work? Yes. Did he often take unreasonable risks? Yes. Am I partly sad because he left behind a loving wife and two young children? Yes.

I think even more than that, I am sad for a couple of different reasons:

1.) I think he seemed like the type of rare person who had a really good heart. A heart of gold. An extremely REAL person. I admire people who are themselves, even if people criticize them because of it.

2.) One of the only channels that I watch that we get out of our measly 27 cable channels is Animal Planet. I watched Crocodile Hunter all the time, as did the kids. Hence, he almost seemed like a cousin or long lost friend or something.

3.) He educated me in a way I will remember what I learned. He had an exciting, enthusiastic way about him...the accent helped...but he had a way of drawing people in and leaving them amazed. "She's a beaut!" and "Danger! Danger!" were things he said that made me roll my eyes but smile all the same. He really seemed to love life.

4.) Finally, I love animals, too. No, not to the degree he did. I'll never tromp through swamps to save a crock from certain doom. Although I have been known to brave the dirty looks of my husband to feed yet another stray kitten. I think his level of commitment was something I admired and saluted.

I'm sad about his death. For those reasons. Anyone else feel the same way?

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Blogger Boredom

I don't know what's up with me lately, but I seem to have blogger boredom....with my own blog, anyway. I usually love to blog, but here lately I just feel like reading other people's and not posting to mine. My poetry blog is sorely neglected. I know I've been out of town, so maybe it's just fatigue from all the traveling. I'm sure the feelings of boredom will fade. I hope so, anyway.

I do have a funny story to tell about my trip. Keep in mind, my husband is black and my children are biracial, so any of the descriptive words used below are simply to tell the story exactly as it happened. Some folks might have gotten nervous regarding the events that occured. I, on the other hand, found the events quite amusing...fodder for future story telling.

On my way to my uncle's house, I had to switch buses in Atlanta. Atlanta was my last bus change until Athens, Georgia. My uncle and aunt were to meet me at the Athens terminal.

The Atlanta terminal is huge in comparison with all the other terminals I saw. It was ten times bigger than Dayton's bus station, at least. One thing that I learned early on, even at the smaller stations, was that it is always a good idea to line up quickly at my assigned gate, so that I could have a good choice of seats on the bus. So, this is what I did in Atlanta. I lined up quickly, boarded the bus, and looked for a seat between the front and middle of the bus. I like having a window seat, so I found an empty seat by the window behind a black man, who was, at the time, staring out his window quietly. There was no one sitting on the aisle beside me.

Shortly after I chose my seat, a young white girl walked up and asked me if the seat beside me was taken. I assured her that it was not taken, and she gratefully sat down. Later I introduced myself, and found that the young traveler's name was Kayla. Kayla was 18 and from Jacksonville, Florida. She was traveling alone for the first time as well. She was on her way to South Carolina to see her boyfriend.

So, Kayla and I chatted, waiting for the bus to fill up. People got on, found their seats, and minutes passed.

While this was taking place, the gentleman in front of me began to talk to himself. At first, he chattered quietly under his breath, looking out the window. Gradually, his voice grew louder and more noticeable. A few passengers surrounding Kayla and myself began to glance nervously at the man. Kayla and I exchanged glances, and we both decided to put our headphones on. I listened to my Ipod and Kayla listened to her c.d. player.

The man became louder still. He seemed to enjoy his own company, regaling himself with stories and adventures from days gone by.

Then, out of nowhere, he took a break from his talking. It was during this time, a gentleman, he himself a man of color, boarded the bus and sat down by the chatterer. He certainly didn't know what he was in for.

Minutes later, the chatterer began talking again. This time, he seemed to start arguing with himself....almost like he was having an argument between two personalities. I couldn't always hear exactly what he was saying, but he was extremely animated and was using a great deal of profanity. Here is an example of some of the dialogue:

"I said to him, WHAT THE H*ll?"

"Yeah, yeah, I did! I got a piece of that a**!"

"And he said to me, "H*ll yeah, mother f****er!"

"I can't believe he said that s***, man! Can you?"

"H***, no! That was wild!"

Nearly everything that came out of the man's mouth was laced with profanity. This type of nonsense went on and on for about twenty to thirty minutes. It got louder and louder by the minute.

Kayla and I were stifling laughter. I decided to call my friend and coworker, Bipsy, on my cel phone.

I whispered, "Bipsy, you have got to hear this to believe it!" I held out the cel phone a bit so she could hear the rambling. She was cracking up laughing when I put the phone back to my ear. I quietly explained what was going on, but of course the man was talking so loud he couldn't hear anything but the sound of his own voice.

Just then, while still on the phone with Bipsy, the bus driver started talking over the loud speaker.

He announced, "Okay, you two back there: If you can't carry on a conversation without disturbing your neighbors, then I will put you off this bus! And NO SWEARING on the Greyhound!"

Bipsy said, "Did he just say, 'No Smoking on the Greyhound?' or what?"

I laughed, "No!" I whispered. He said, "No Swearing!"

So, at that point I whisper to Bipsy, "I'd better go. I think he's getting kicked off the bus. I'll call you later."

Just as I hung up the phone, the poor hapless guy beside the weird guy starts protesting to the bus driver: "It's not me! I haven't said a word! I don't even know this guy! He's been talking to HIMSELF ever since I got on! He's CRAZY!"

Everyone around us nodded in agreement. A couple of people chimed in, saying, "Yeah, he's arguing with himself!"

Just then, the crazy chattering guy raised up in his seat and points to Kayla and I. He yells, "It's not me! It's the WHITIES! The WHITIES have been picking on me since Chatanooga! That's the only reason I'm p***ed off!"

I think Kayla and I both looked equally shocked.

"WHAT?!" Kayla laughed. "We're just sitting here, minding our own business!"

Again, all the people around us chimed in to validate our point.

"No sir!" said the normal guy in front of us. "They've been quiet ever since they got on in Atlanta."

Taking in all the comments, the bus driver then instructed the crazy guy to either quiet down or he would put him off the bus. At that point, the now irrate crazy guy stomped to the back of the bus and found an empty seat.

Kayla and I shook our heads and resumed listening to our music. At the front of the bus, everyone muttered and chuckled and everything calmed down.

Not five minutes later, voices started raising at the back of the bus. Soon, we could hear the familiar voice arguing with himself all over again.

A young black woman soon stomped to the front of the bus, and proceeded to tell the driver all about the latest excitement. I couldn't exactly hear what she was saying, but we all knew she, too, had an altercation with the once benign chatterer.

Our next stop was Athens. I called my uncle to tell him about the excitement. I told him that I was sure that the driver was going to put the troublemaker off the bus at that stop. Sure enough, the police were waiting for the man when the bus came to a stop. The driver called the man to the front of the bus and made him leave before anyone else was permitted to exit. I passed the police talking to the man on my way out. Apparently, they made the man forfeit his bus ticket. His final destination was Augusta, but Athens was as far as Greyhound would take him. I'm not sure what happened to him from there.

I found my uncle, we chatted a minute, and off we went. They took me out to dinner, and we then made the 1/2 hour drive to my aunt and uncle's home. Relieved to be off the bus and with my relatives, I began to settle in.

About an hour after arriving there I got notification on my cel phone that I had a voice mail. Sometimes when my cel phone is in my purse, it goes straight to voice mail.

The message went something like this:

"Hi, Kris. It's Bipsy, you know your friend and coworker? The one you were talking to when some crazy guy in front of you was making a scene? Remember me? The one you said you'd call back? Ummm, yeah. It sure would be great if you'd give me a call back and let me know you're okay. I've been waiting for like an hour and a half now, and I just thought I'd call you back and make sure you're safe. Okay. Call me. Bye."

Oh, what a laugh! In all the excitement, I left Bipsy hanging. Oh well. It's not every day I get called "Whitey".....To my face, anyway. The whole thing kinda threw me off my game. :)

This is a story I hope to tell my children's children. What a hoot!

Hope you're having a great day. More later.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Georgia on my Mind

I am back from my trip. I had quite a few adventures along the way.

In general, the bus trip was pretty good. If you're a person who loves cultural diversity and thrives on our differences, you would love taking the bus! I have so many stories and met so many great folks!

In particular, I met a man named Scott from Australia. He was traveling around the US for the summer. Last summer, he traveled around the UK. He says he ships his luggage, then flies to his summer destination. He was a really cool person to talk to. I didn't sit by him on the bus, but talked to him in each terminal. We rode the same bus from Dayton to Atlanta.

I also met a lady named Pearl from Buffalo, New York, who rode with me on my return trip from Atlanta all the way to Cincinnati. She was a beautiful, tiny woman with greenish/gray eyes, lovely tan skin and long dreadlocks. She was Polish/Irish/Indian/African-American. She was one of the most interesting people I have ever met. She said she sat by me because she could tell I had a kind spirit and a good heart. We had the most wonderful time chatting away over the miles. Meeting her was a major highlight in my travels.

On several legs of the trip on the way down, many young college girls asked to sit by me. I think that I looked safe to them; they felt comfortable with me. That was a blessing to me as well, because listening to them tell about their lives helped pass time and made me feel less homesick. I think they were feeling nervous, and by me being there for them, I gained confidence in myself.

My visit with my uncle and aunt was so wonderful. They are such a sweet couple, and made me feel welcomed and loved. My cousins came to brought pizza and homemade cookies to share. My cousin, Stephanie, has a daughter named Jesse, who I got to spend a great deal of time with. She is the same age as my Josiah. Jesse is a ray of sunshine. She drew pictures for me, asked me all kinds of questions about Ohio, and was simply a delight to be around. We are going to write back and forth to one another. She wants me to send items from Ohio that she can share with her class during show and tell.

It's late in the day, so I thought I'd share some photos I took. My uncle and aunt have some wonderful foliage on their 1/2 acre of property. Their property is completely fenced in, and is a little oasis of calm in their community. Hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I did:

Their magnolia tree:

The underside of their magnolia tree:

Close up of the magnolia leaves:

A Wild Rose:

The Bamboo that Grew From out of Nowhere:

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So, that's about it for today. I'll write more later on in the week. Hope everyone out there had a super weekend!