Monday, February 26, 2007

One of My Favorite Songs Set to One of Robert's Favorite Movie Genres

I'm not big in to hard rock or metal....but I love this song....and Robert loves Japanese movies...Gamera, Godzilla, Ultraman. He's also big in to Japanese animation...cartoons with names I can't spell. ;)

The official video to this song, "Epic" is not one of my favorites, so I decided to go a different route. Here's a song I love coupled with scenes from a movie Robert loves.

Friday, February 23, 2007

If I Were A Super Hero, I'd be "Bounceback Girl"

You know, I think I've been to hell and back....and part of the irony of being in that hell is that some of it I created for myself.

I went to court on Tuesday. The waiting room was packed at first, and then a bailiff came in and announced, "Everyone that is here for traffic court at 5 p.m., follow me." The room cleared. I sat alone for about ten minutes. Gradually, since I had to be there at 5:30 p.m., the room filled up again. The same bailiff came in and announced, "Everyone that is here for court at 5:30 p.m., please follow me."

We were in a smallish court room. All of us crammed together on wooden benches, and we got the "privilege" of listening to all the cases before us. One thing I realized quickly is that there are a lot of people with a lot of problems in the world.

Some people (like truck drivers) had to come from 300 miles away to attend court. Some lost their jobs over their accidents or tickets. Some got their drivers' licenses taken away. One guy had a two speeding tickets in January: One was for going 35 miles over the limit in a 65 mph zone! The other one he got in February for going 31 miles over the limit in a 65! I was thinking, "This guy has a death wish for sure!" Anyway, I was the only one in this group that was there for anything non-traffic related.

As I sat there, my anxiety mounted. By the time it was my turn to stand before the judge at the podium, I was nauseated and sure I was going to pass out. I didn't. I went up, plead guilty, answered a few questions, and in the middle of the questions, started crying. This judge is notorious for being tough and I wasn't sure I could handle a lecture from her.

She didn't give me one. She said, "You're obviously very upset about your dogs. I'm giving you the minimum sentence of $25 per ticket and court costs. It sounds like you've had a rough year so far. Good luck to you."

Off I went to pay my fine, which was $237....$162 of it was court costs.

I had been trying not to cry in the courtroom, but once I got to the cashier, I started crying uncontrollably. I had been trying to contain my anxiety too long. By the time I got to the car where Robert was waiting for me, I was nearly hyperventilating.

I sobbed for at least 45 minutes, while Robert drove around, listening. He didn't seem upset about the fine, he didn't ask me why I was so upset, he just listened. He kept saying, "The worst is almost over. You've gotten that out of the way. We'll make it through tomorrow. I'll be there with you. You won't be alone. It's not going to be nearly as bad as today. You'll see. The worst is behind you now. Go ahead and cry and get it all out. You need to. You need to let it out. You've been keeping it in too long."

Finally, we pulled over at Super Walmart and I got myself together. I had to pick up a hair care product for Jess that she'd been asking for.

I went in, and ended up seeing my half brother, Tony. We talked for 45 minutes. He was funny. I was standing by the photo printers and I kept seeing this guy look over the top of the paper rack. I could only see his hair and his glasses. I would look down, and then I'd notice someone looking at me, and I'd look over, and he'd look down. Finally, he walked over. He said, "Wheh. Thank God it's you. I was afraid it wasn't you and then I'd try to explain to some strange lady that I thought you were my sister and she'd say, 'yeah right' and I'd feel stupid." ;) Tony and I have the same birth mom, but have different dads. His dad is black, and he and I don't look anything alike. He's tall and trim with a beautiful dark complexion and dark eyes with chiseled features; I'm short and fair skinned with reddish hair and green eyes and nothing is chiseled about my features. I cracked up. I could imagine anyone would doubt his story.

It's been awhile since I'd seen Tony, so we had a good talk. We said the usual, "Let's stay in touch this time," which I hope we do....we have good intentions but we both know how much life gets in the way. We parted ways, then Robert and I went to pick up a few food related items. There we ran in to Robert's uncle and we ended up talking to him for about 45 minutes as well.

I got Jess' product and headed home. I went in the bedroom to look for something and I heard Jess arguing with Robert. She was, apparently, mad that I had picked up what she considered the 'wrong' hair care product and was throwing a fit about it. (Wrong brand.) I heard Robert say, "Do you know what kind of day your mom has had, Jess? Do you know that she was determined to stop crying long enough to go in to the store so she could buy you that? She could barely get it together, but she was still thinking of you. Stop and think of how your mom feels. Don't say another word about this. I mean it."

I was touched by this and felt grateful to have his support. He treated me with a great deal of compassion, which I appreciated.

Then, Wednesday was what the court calls an "initial assessment" to get Josh in to counseling/treatment.

It went very well. Robert had to go straight to the meeting from time to go home to shower and change, but he went, anyway. He works in a foundry, so he is always covered with black dust, but he knew how important this meeting was. He explained that and apologized for his appearance. I was proud of him for being there.

We talked, the "assessor" asked a lot of questions of all of us. We filled out a stack and a half of paperwork. She had Josh sit in the waiting room while she asked us a bunch of questions. By the time we got done talking, it was close to the end of the scheduled two hours. Josh got about ten minutes to answer some questions as well, without us in the room.

When we were done talking, the lady looked at us and told us what her impression was of the family.

She said in all of her years in the court system, she had never been quite so amazed with a family as ours. She said she could tell we were very close. She said that it is usually difficult to convince one parent to come to meet with her regarding a child, let alone two parents that obviously care so much for their child. She said that as she watched us talk, we huddled together, joked, laughed, touched each other's hands, and that is not the body language she is used to seeing from families. She says usually they scoot their chairs apart and if they do look at one another, it's to give each other dirty looks or make sarcastic remarks.

She said that we were all pretty much in agreement about Josh's problems and his strengths. She said, again, that it's usually hard to get families to agree on anything. She said she is extremely optimistic about Josh's success based on these observations of us. I was as honest as I could possibly be, as was Robert. Josh was quiet but not argumentative, which was good.

Her plan is to start with what she called the most "benign" diagnosis possible and go from there. With teenagers, the agency starts out simple and they work their way up if they HAVE to. She is giving Josh an initial diagnosis of something like "transitional anger dysfunction" or something like that. In layman's terms, he doesn't know how to back off when he's getting mad. He doesn't have the tools or maturity to calm himself down when he's getting worked up, and he gets out of control. He is not normally a real violent person. Sometimes when he's mad he can walk away. Other times, he can't. Factors in his environment, his hormones, whether or not he is tired, whether or not he is overwhelmed, whatever...these factors play a part in whether or not he can tone down his temper and walk away.

We came to the conclusion that, like his mom, ;) he gets his feelings hurt easily. However, when I get my feelings hurt, I cry. I walk away and go take a nap or pray or write or blog. He gets angry and lets it fester until he explodes.

So, that's what we're going to start out with and strategies will be devised to help him learn how to manage his anger. If he gets in any more trouble during his probation and counseling, there may be a reevaluation of his diagnosis. For now, that's what we're looking at.

After the meeting we went out to eat and just spent some time together, just the three of us. It was a good time.

I had all this anxiety about those two days and they ended up being tolerable experiences. I was drained emotionally on Thursday, but today I am feeling good. Bipsy and I did the "Leslie Sansone 3 Mile Super Challenge Walk" yesterday after work, which made me feel tired but on track with my goals. (And by super challenge, they aren't kidding, btw!) I think my choice to do that workout impacted how I feel today. I have energy, I am smiling, I am positive, I am at peace. The sun is out and I think that is helping immensely as well.

One cool and ironic thing that happened this week is that I have reconnected with all three of my 1/2 siblings; Tony, Todd and Tami. I didn't actively seek out any of them. I explained about seeing Tony. Todd, who moved to Hawaii, instant messaged me on Tuesday, I believe it was. We hadn't talked since the fall. We've had some great chats this week. Then, he passed my email address on to Tami, and she instant messaged me as well. She's 8 months pregnant! She has two boys who are 8 and 5, I think. She's been told that they are pretty sure this is a girl! This will be her last child, so she is very hopeful that they are right.

So, the hell I was putting myself through was just that. The hell I was putting myself through. None of my trials ended up being as difficult as I had built them up to be in my mind.

The program assessor gave me some really logical thoughts to ponder about myself. She said some things that made me think. I will share them here at some point. I think my self esteem came up a notch just from that one meeting alone, and we weren't even talking about me, per Se. I have a lot of hope that everything is going to be fine, fine, fine. ;)

I hope things are fine with you, too. I know some of my friends out there are sick, tired, discouraged, and unsure of which way to turn. Remember, you are loved and you are important. You are stronger than you think you are. You can and will get through this. Keep believing, okay?

Have a good weekend.

The Lyrics to a Song that Seem Fitting Right Now

I'm broke but I'm happy
I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five
I feel drunk but I'm sober
I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, yeah
I care but I'm restless
I'm here but I'm really gone
I'm wrong and I'm sorry baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be quite alright
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette
What it all comes down to
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving the peace sign
I'm free but I'm focused
I'm green but I'm wise
I'm hard but I'm friendly baby
I'm sad but I'm laughing
I'm brave but I'm chicken s**t
I'm sick but I'm pretty baby
What it all boils down to
Is that no one's really got it figured out just yet
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is playing the piano
What it all comes down to my friends
Is that everything's just fine fine fine
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is hailing a taxi cab...

The Song I Can't Get out of My Head This Week

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Two! Count 'Em...Two Poems on my Poetry Blog!

At this rate, I'll win a Pulitzer Prize yet! ;)

Anxiety Inspired Poetry

I will admit I am totally not coping well with my stress right now. Not by my standards. I haven't gone screaming down the road yet. I haven't turned to illegal drugs or alcohol. I haven't went off the deep end and had my head shaved in public. I haven't used a machete on my coworkers. ;) (Although I did dump upon one coworker rather harshly and kind of unfairly earlier in the week.) I haven't flipped anyone off or went into a tirade of profanity. Yet.

However, I must say the anxiety is at a high level, brewing and bubbling around inside of me. I am doing what I can to keep it at bay. I'm breathing. Listening to mellow music. Finally, the darkness has inspired me to write poetry. I am most creative when I am down. I can barely write a word when I'm bubbly and joyful.

Therefore, I've posted one poem to my oft-neglected poetry blog. Something tells me there will be more to follow.

It helps. It really does.

The Fog

My friend, Bipsy, took this photo on her land this morning as she prepared to leave for work. It is still foggy at nearly 11 a.m., but gradually getting better. The ride to work was challenging this morning. On a positive note, a lot of the snow and ice is going away.

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Thought I'd share this. I hope to post again later today.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Oh, For a Remote Control!

If I had a remote control, I think I'd be tempted to fast forward through this week.

I've been coping with things the best I know how, but I guess the most accurate way I can describe how I'm feeling is this:

I'll be walking along, doing housework, feeding the dogs or whatever and suddenly anxiety will hit me like a punch in the gut. It will almost knock the wind out of me. I'll immediately get a sinking feeling in my stomach, thinking about having to go to court, or having to go to the psychological exam with Josh or about some financial issue....

It's as if I'm driving along on the road of life, nothing eventful happening; just cruising at 55 mph, and out of nowhere my transmission slams down to first gear. My car jerks and sputters then settles in to a mere crawl. My first reaction is shock, and then once I realize what's happened, I am able to start to shift out of first and resume speed. That's kind of what it feels like. It's the strangest feeling.

I think perhaps it's a side effect of all this stress that I'm suppressing, trying to cope with all at once. I am doing very well at getting out of the "gear" quickly, but I am really tired. I want all of the stress to just abracadabra away. I want to go pay the fine and be done with it. I want a magic wand to make my son a happy, well adjusted young man. I want a money fairy to pay all of my bills....ones I know about and future ones...with a mere sprinkling of fairy dust. They could do my taxes, too, while they were paying bills. I want everything all neat and prepackaged and calm and....easy. I guess that's what it boils down to. I just want my life to be easy for a change. Ha! What I want and what I get are two vastly different stories.

I guess I'm just a bit overwhelmed at this point. I find myself getting that way from time to time. I like my life 9 days out of 10. 9 days out of 10 my life is not overwhelming stressful. Yes, it's busy. But usually not overwhelmingly stressful. But on that 1 day out of 10 that the stress hits me, it can really be a doozy.

I'll get through this. I always do. In the meantime, hope you are having a good Monday, and that you had a great weekend. It's supposed to warm up! Let's cross our fingers!

More later.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Maxine Cartoons To Match My Mood ;)

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Having a bad Friday

I'm having a bad day. I found out that the animal control officer either lied or didn't know what he was talking about. He said I could just "call the court and make arrangements to pay the ticket without going to court." I called the court number given to me today and found out that I actually have to go to court and appear before the judge on Tuesday evening regarding the tickets I got for my dogs. Huge sigh. Major headache. I'll still pay the fine. I would have paid the fine, even if I didn't go to court. So why waste the court's time and my time? UGH!

Then Wednesday afternoon is Josh's two hour initial psychological evaluation held at the juvenile court facility. I have to leave work early, and Robert and I both have to go. We're going to have the pleasure of rehashing the whole incident all over again. UGH!

This has been a difficult year so far with smatterings of joy interspersed. I'm having a difficult time remaining positive today. At this point, I'd just like to go to bed and put the covers up over my ears and pretend the world doesn't exist. Ever felt that way?

UGH! Double UGH! Triple UGH!

Here's to hoping the weekend is better for all of us! Stay warm!

I Think I have "Cathyitis!"

I like this Cathy cartoon a lot, because it is so typical of my past thinking. I'd swear my scales were off, my doctor's scales were off, I was retaining water, my jeans were heavy, whatever. I used to jokingly ask the nurses before I got on the scale at the doctor's office if I could just hold my purse and have them subtract 20 pounds for its weight. :) I think it's called "Denial." ;)

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Another Cute 'Toon

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Had to Share This One

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New Editions

Just want to send out a hearty "Congrats!" to my friend, Tracy, who gave birth to twin boys on Monday! Robert took me to see her at the hospital last night. I waited for two days to venture out, because the roads are still bad in some places, and the hospital is a decent distance from our house. I am still a little gun shy from my "Dukes of Hazzard-like" stunt last week when I sailed off the road and into some poor neighbor's yard. (YEEEEE-HAW!) So, Robert drove me. I didn't get to see the babies, as they are still in the premie i.c.u., but I had a nice hour and a half visit with the proud mommy.

Welcome to the world, boys!

This Could be Construed As Bragging....Okay, I'll Admit It. It IS Bragging.

I have to confess that I do have a wonderfully romantic spouse. He goes out of his way to spoil me every chance he gets. Sometimes money has been tight, but he always finds a way to make me feel special. You know, I don't expect him to do it, and he says that is one reason he does it. He just seems to like making me smile. He's very selfless that way. Always has been. I theorize that it is because he is the oldest of all the boys. He took care of them a lot while his (single) mother worked. He developed a wonderful sense of nurturing. He truly is one person that has an easier time giving than accepting gifts.

So, here is what he got me for Valentine's Day:

He went to Build a Bear and made me this bear. Jo wanted to "stuff" it, and Jess advised him on the outfit, but he picked it out pretty much all on his own. He bought me two types of Build a Bear valentine cards, also.

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Aren't the feet adorable?

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A good choice of shoes, I thought:

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Also, six roses:

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A card and a candy filled mug:

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He also got me 3 cds: John Mayer's latest, Nickelback's latest, and Rob Thomas' latest. (No pictures.)

And finally, the biggie: A 1/3 c. diamond ring. This, he said, was my 15th wedding anniversary gift/Valentine's day gift, which got delayed last year due to tight finances. It is amazing!

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He really outdid himself. We went out to dinner last Friday, because of the pending weather. He did all of his shopping Monday before it got bad out...except for the roses and card, which he brought to my job on his lunch break yesterday.

You know, I am starting to think this guy is really in love with me, or something. :)

Winter Splendor

I guarantee that these pictures do not do justice to the majesty that surrounded me as I drove home this week. Everything looks like crystal and glass. It's amazing. I hate the road conditions, but I tell you, these breathtaking scenes, in person, almost make the inconvenience worth it. The fences all look like icicles. I wish I could capture it more accurately for you, but here is my best effort:

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Monday, February 12, 2007

The Unintentional Compliment of the Week Goes To.....

.....our neice, Courtney, who is three.

Some background on the lead up to the compliment:

Saturday was an impromptu reunion of sorts with my husband's family. Uncharacteristically, all of his siblings were going to be in town this weekend, with most of their kids present as well. We haven't seen his one brother in about five years. Still another brother is in the Navy, so we only see him when he is on leave. So, we all congregated at my sister-in-law's house. Robert ended up cooking breakfast for the whole shin dig (how'd he get conned in to that one?) and I did the dishes.

When it was time to go, Courtney and her sister, Carly, who is six, our neice Jasmine, her brother, Fred, and our ever present neice, DeeDee, all begged me to take them home. We had a blast! What a housefull we had! Jess and Jo were with us, and Josh stayed with two cousins at my mother-in-law's house. Robert, who used to love having his neices and nephews around, hid out in our bedroom. I think that was even a bit too much for him.

Anyway, Courtney can be a little meddlesome. She is totally adorable, but she gets in to stuff in a heartbeat. We haven't kept her overnight since she was a few months old, so it was an adventure! Jess, Jasmine and DeeDee are all older girls, so they helped watched their michevious cousin. Anyway, I was in the living room, and I guess Courtney got in to something in the sitting room. I heard Jess tell her to go to the living room and behave herself.

She came huffing in to the living room, pointing at Jess, indignant. She said, "Aunt Kris, your sister is being mean to me!" ;) Talk about an ego boost!

I'd better go for now. We're supposed to get a nasty snowstorm, and I'm trying to get tomorrow's work done just in case I don't get in tomorrow.

Have a good week until I can post again!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Day 26

It's day 26 of the "Notebook" plan, and I am still on track. With all the stuff that has gone on of late, I haven't abandoned the plan. I'm proud of myself about that. You would not believe how many times I wanted to drive through McDonald's for a Big Mac or some fries when I was stressed out. But I am happy to report I did not do that!

Since I started the plan,

  • The Josh incident took place
  • I wrecked the car
  • and the dogs frolicked around the countryside, leaving us worried sick and eventually, with a lighter wallet

However, I am still putting one foot in front of the other.

Some "revelations" along the way:

  1. I am ME and what works for someone else might not work for me.
  2. Moderation, moderation, moderation is key for me. If I totally cold turkey a food group or sweets for example, I'm likely to jump right back on the train to nowhere. I didn't gain this weight overnight, and extreme measures aren't my friend. Slow and steady wins the race. I am trying to make better choices, eat fewer processed foods and more fresh veggies. However, I am still allowing small portions of "fun" foods in my life. That's the best course of action for me and I'm going with it. I do avoid fast food, but mainly because I know I am unlikely to make wise choices once I'm in the drive through lane, staring at the menu.
  3. The "moderation" statement above includes working out for me. I can't start out on overkill, or that's what will happen. I'll overdo it, hurt myself, and give up. I am excited that I did a two mile high calorie burn yesterday and felt like it was a breeze. It involved a slight incline, and I wasn't winded afterwards. Yay!
  4. I am going to have a couple of "down" days here and there. The key is having a down day, then getting right back on track the next day. Beating myself up mentally doesn't do me (or anyone else) any favors.
  5. I can tell I've lost weight by my chin first, then by my shoes and finally by the roominess of my jeans. I don't need the scale to tell me I am living a healthier lifestyle. The scale will be an eventuality for me.
  6. I have so much more energy than I did eating fast food! And I have more money in my pocket! A twofold benefit!
  7. I am pleasantly suprised that my immediate loved ones are EXPECTING me to succeed. They have all said, "We've seen it before. When you put your mind to something, there's no stopping you." I feel good about knowing that.
  8. I am stronger than I thought I was!
  9. I can do this!
  10. To borrow a cliche: I AM worth it!

We've all been reminded of late that no matter how young and full of vitality a person may seem, abusing the body has dire consequences. My mother was a prime example. For years, she looked young and beautiful and didn't show her age. She abused her body with alcohol and prescription drugs and the resulting inactivity for so long, it caught up with her. Same with her mom, who also died young.

God gave me just one body. If I die young, it's NOT going to be for lack of taking care of myself. It's going to be that it was my time and I got hit by a beer truck. :) Just kidding about the beer truck part.

Thanks for letting me share these thoughts with you.

I hope you have a lovely weekend! Let's all hope it warms up a tad! ;)

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Potential case of Hypothermia of the Gluteus Maximus Region

Ha! Got your attention with that title, didn't I? But it almost rang true for me this morning, and I thought you might enjoy a chuckle at my expense today.

"How, what, when, why?" you may ask...This is something that could only happen to me, really. I'm notorious for having goofy things happen to me. ;)

Yesterday I made a quick stop at our local Dollar General or Family Dollar or whatever it is. I purchased several items, including a bottle of Febreeze.

On the way home, it started smelling REALLY good in the car. I thought, "Hmmm...wonder what that great smell is?" When I checked it out, to my chagrin, the bottle of Febreeze had tipped over on the passenger side seat, and was open. Some of the liquid was still in the plastic bag, but most of it was soaking in to the seat. There wasn't a drop left in the bottle.

I decided to go in to the house and get some paper towels to soak it up with. However, once I got inside, the phone rang and I forgot all about it.

This morning, it was 5:30 a.m. when Robert and I left the house. We ride share when road conditions are iffy, because the van handles poorly on snow or ice. So, Robert was driving, and I plopped down on the passenger seat, and off we went.

Right away I noticed the seat seemed extra cold, but I didn't think too much about it. About a mile down the road, my butt felt like it was going numb. Within a few miles, my pants were soaking wet and I was shivering.

Then, it hit me. The Febreeze! The pool of Febreeze had frozen in the seat and was now turning my butt into a frozen (but very pleasant smelling) popsicle! The initial heat from my butt had unthawed the liquid, but it was still frigid!

So, what was my first act of the day? Blow drying my butt! Oh what fun! That's a sight to behold, let me tell you!

But I bet you the seat of my pants smells better than yours does right now! HA! ;)

Hope that gave you a laugh! ;)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Anyone Have Any Toothpicks?

I am so tired! I need some toothpicks to hold my eyes open! Ugh!

We got the dogs after work last night, ended up getting 3 fines for a.) them getting loose- "failure to confine" and b.) for them chasing the cattle....aka "cattle menacing." It's okay, I was happy to pay the money to get my boys back. I'm just going to have to assume they can get out of our fence and that they can't be trusted to come in and out of the house without strict supervision. They're like having toddlers that you can't take your eyes off of! ;) I am just happy that no animals were harmed in the making of their adventure!

But otherwise, they were happy to see us and good as gold after we got them home. I spent a good part of the night cutting burrs out of Carlito's coat. As usual, he fell asleep while I was cutting his hair. He weighs about 85-95 lbs, so it's amusing to try to work with him limp like a noodle. I take his front and back paws and use them to flip him over. He doesn't budge. He has a really bad hair cut, but it's not too short. Some of the burrs were really irritating him.

Today there is a Level 2 snow emergency. I guess the only reason they want people on the road is for them to go to work or urgent travel. The kids are off school for the third consecutive day. Monday and Tuesday they were out due to below freezing temperatures.

Ohio winters! Gotta love them! Darn that groundhog that said we'd have an early spring! I think he was disoriented by the flashbulbs! ;)

I'm trying to keep on task so I can get my work done. The sun is out, and it's not snowing, so I think that is a positive thing.

I hope you're managing to stay warm and safe! Just think, we're halfway to the weekend already! Yay for that!

More later.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

2007: Early Tough Times, and Miracles

Okay, Friday was fine. The game went well. Josh played the whole fourth quarter. He had two steals and two points. That was great. I got it all on video thanks to my 2MB memory card, which lets me take over an hour and a half of video with my digital camera. Yay! I spent the better part of the JR. varsity game AND varsity game, talking to Josh's friend, Beckah. She is a delightful girl. I enjoyed talking to her a great deal.

Saturday was pretty fun, though crowded in our little house. The weather has gotten too cold for our two big dogs to be outside, despite the luxurious dog house (aka small bedroom) that they have. The dog house was custom made by a local farmer for his 6' long German Shepard. It is constructed with double insulation, a ramp, it's on blocks, has a roof, insulation then another roof. It's filled with straw and pine shavings. When the farmer's dog died of old age, we got the dog house, because I knew the family. It took four of us to move it, with a dolly and a lot of strained muscles. Wheh!

However, I wouldn't want to be outside even with those type of accommodations, so all the dogs were in the house. We had so much fun! I bathed them, gave them a smell-good treatment, and their monthly flea treatment. They were very well behaved. At night they slept in our enclosed porch, which is somewhat climate controlled, although not as warm as the house. It stayed about 35-40 degrees, despite the below zero weather. Their water doesn't freeze and they are out of the blowing snow. They all have bean bag beds to sleep on, so they're pretty content.

Sunday I did laundry and played "The Incredibles" for X-Box with Jo all day. Together, we beat the whole game! Boy, was my thumb puffy and red from all that pushing of buttons! What happened to an old fashioned Atari joystick? Geez!

Sunday night we watched the Superbowl, which was fun. Yay Colts!

Then, I went to take John home, whose house is about 1 mile from ours. That's when the weekend went downhill fast. Literally.

We were traveling along, going along at about 40 mph, when we suddenly hit a stretch of black ice that went on and on, going downhill about 1/4 of a mile from the house. I tried not to over correct, and went to one side of the road and back and back and forth for like 1/16th of a mile. I thought if I could ever hit a spot in the road that wasn't pure ice, I could regain control. No such luck.

Finally, I told John (Jess' boyfriend) to hold on, that we were going to go off the road. I tapped the brake, and we started spinning. We were originally headed east and we ended up in a yard, pointed west. It was a loud impact, but aside from a crunched bumper, lots of broken plastic, grass and mud in the grill and our front license plate breaking off, we weren't hurt and the car seems structurally okay.

God was looking out for us for sure! On John's side was a big oak tree, just a few feet away. Yesterday I drove down to see if I damaged anything in the yard I landed in. Indeed, I had knocked down a section of chicken wire fence and left some pretty nasty ruts in the yard. The homeowners are a smart couple that actually go to Florida for the winter. I left a note in their door, indicating who to contact when they return. I let them know I will happily repair their fence, and apologized for the inconvenience.

Further, yesterday Carlito and Gideon disappeared. We have a fenced in yard (tall chain link) all the way around, and we bungee the gates so when we let the dogs out to go to the bathroom, they won't get out. However, that didn't work. Somehow, the escape artists found a way out. When the kids went to let them back in from their bathroom break, they were gone.

After work yesterday, Robert and I took separate vehicles and drove all over the place, looking for them. We called and called them to no avail. We are right in the middle of two counties. I called both counties' dog wardens and described Carlito and Gideon. Neither had heard anything about two loose dogs.

Last night, Jo and I prayed. The biggest concern I had was neighboring farmers. Many will shoot dogs who get in with their cattle or sheep. I prayed that God would protect them from any angry farmers and the bitter cold.

Well, praise report: I just got a call from our county's animal control. She said, "We have your boys!" They were found by a farmer about 3 miles from our house, chasing their cows. The farmer, knowing they belonged to someone, took the dogs into his barn, fed and watered them, and gave them a warm place to sleep for the night. The farmer has pregnant cows, so the dogs being in with the cows was creating a dangerous situation for his livestock. This morning the farmer called animal control, and they picked them up. Right away, by the description I gave them, they knew these were the dogs I called to report missing.

Thank the Lord! Jo is so excited that they are safe! He is excited, knowing prayer works, because the two things we asked God to do, He did. He sent them to a kind farmer who gave them shelter from the extreme cold and did not shoot them! Wheh! I am so relieved!

So, that's my news today. I hope your stories all have happy endings this week!

Promised Photos

My Latest Build-A-Bear: Limited Edition Spring Bear:

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What a cute foot!

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Up Close and Personal:

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The Slippers:

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Friday, February 2, 2007

Friday at Long Last!

I am ready to sleep in tomorrow! Anyone else feel like hibernating?

I'm feeling pretty good today. I'm still on track with my working out/eating right. The drama that took place last Wednesday seems like it happened forever ago. Is that a coping mechanism? Weird. I feel as if perhaps it never happened at all or that it happened to someone else. Almost like I watched a movie, but wasn't personally involved in the situation. I am so grateful that the emotional sting has subsided.

Yesterday my mother-in-law called me, because the incident had filtered its way back to her. She wanted to know the facts about what happened. Robert doesn't tell his family much. In fact, I talk to them more than he does. For years, my mother-in-law and I were extremely close. We're not as close as we were, but we still care about each other a great deal.

She was there the first time this happened, so she has seen Josh's temper at its worst. I told her what happened this time, in short, and she was very supportive. She said she is glad he's getting some help, but that she is shocked that he would do such a violent thing. She said that I've been a good mom, and that he just doesn't know how "good he has it." She said she thinks whatever the courts give him, he deserves, even if it means future jail time if he regresses. She agrees that he needs therapy and medication.

It was nice to know that she supports me, because Josh is her first grandson. She kept him a lot as a baby while I was at work, and they were quite close up to his elementary years. She's been concerned, as I have, about his temper over the last several years. It's nice to know that she feels I've been a good parent, because often mothers-in-law aren't their daughters-in-law's biggest fans.

But things are starting to seem normal again in my life. I went to a crop last night. Afterwards, I had to pick up some stuff at the store and get gas in the van, so I didn't get home until around midnight. Then I couldn't sleep, so I stayed up reading until 1ish. I'm kinda sleepy today, but not entirely wiped out.

Last night's crop was good. Both Sheila and Bipsy made it, and a fellow cropper that I've been enjoying talking with over the last few years was there. She missed going for awhile when she had her second child, and I missed a lot when Grandma was sick. Now we're both coming pretty regularly, and we always enjoy talking. I think we talk more than we work, but that's half the fun. I understand she's moving back to Chicago...her husband is still in the military, though she didn't reinlist...and they have to go where his job takes them. If she does leave, I will miss talking with her.

Tonight is Josh's teams last home game. Ironically, they will be having, "Thank you, Mom" night. It entails each Mom standing up in the gym and each son handing their mom a rose. It is truly a sweet sentiment. Ironic timing. Nice sentiment.

I thought I'd try to post some pictures of my last Build-A-Bear that I promised to post a few weeks back. I'm really tired of the depressing direction my blog has recently headed in. I use this blog to deal with life, but I think the worst is over now. I can find a happier topic to post about for awhile. :)

Like I said, it's Friday at last, so have an awesome weekend! Hope it's just as relaxing and fun as you need it to be! If you're watching the Superbowl, enjoy! I'm pulling for the Colts, myself. I'm not a big fan but I want to see Peyton get a win. And Coach Dungy, who's had it rough the last few years. So, Go Colts! ;)