Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'll Take What I Can Get

Today I got a text message from Josh around lunch time. It said, "How is ur day going?" I sat in stunned silence for awhile. At first I was sure that he erroneously texted me instead of one of his friends. (He's quite popular; he's likeable and friendly with his peers....the temper he has he usually reserves for those of us at home.)

But when I texted him back with "Fine. U?" he replied back again. It seems the text was meant for me after all.

Shocking. At this point, I was sure he only thought of me when he needed a paper signed or when he needed a ride from practice or if he needed lunch money or if I got on his nerves by asking him to help carry in groceries. Hmmm.

Perhaps there is hope for our relationship yet.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What's Happening on This End

I really don't know where to start writing or what to say. It seems like if I let a few hours slip by, what I would have said in my post changes. Since Monday- when I was more than a little melancholy....which was a contrast from the good feelings I had about my moods have fluctuated more than I care to think about.

Yep, it was a good weekend. I think that's three in a row. I know the weather played a huge role in how I felt about the weekend. I spent some time Saturday with my friend, Sheila and later on in the morning with Holli. Both visits were great and I felt blessed to have spent some time...albeit brief but quality time with both. The rest of the day I spent working in the yard, doing laundry and hanging out with Jess and Jo.

All day Sunday I worked in the yard, then after Jess came home from church, she and I spent time grooming the animals. That was fun. The dogs and cats alike ate up the attention. I probably worked a total of 12 hours outside that day. And managed 4-5 loads of laundry in between. I felt accomplished-and bone weary-by the end of the day. Plus I got a little sun, which helps my energy levels. I was thankful that I didn't have any back pain at all despite the hard day's work.

Monday I was a bit down because of Josh's birthday. I can't helped viewing my current relationship with him as severely flawed if not borderline failed. We did have a good night Monday night, and his mood was positive. We had cake and ice cream, laughing and joking and being silly. I couldn't find any actual birthday candles for his cake, so I put sixteen tea light candles on his cake. We all cracked up laughing about it. We always give our older two kids money for their birthday, and they get to pick what we have for dinner. Robert made shrimp, Josh's favorite food, and we had a nice night.

Tuesday morning we started out the day with Josh snapping at me and generally being hateful. It was all over laundry and I finally decided to put my foot down. From now on, Josh does his own laundry. He's put me down, snapped at me, argued with me, complained and bickered about everything laundry related. It's alternated from me not doing his basketball uniforms soon enough to suit him or him not having his favorite kind of socks or him not being able to find where I put a certain shirt to me accidentally putting one of his t-shirts in with Jess' clothes. At this point I told him that since he is so obviously unsatisfied with my laundering of his clothing, that from now on I will no longer touch his clothes. He will wash his own or they won't get done. He immediately quit talking. I think that's one problem solved.

Tuesday afternoon was his first session with his counselor. I had to go in first and spend time filling her in on what I feel is going on with Josh, his medical history, and his ongoing issues. That took 45 minutes, conservatively. She then called Josh in, who was in the room with the counselor alone for all of 15 minutes, at most.

When Josh came out his face was beet red and he was visibly angry. He refused to discuss what was said in that brief period of time, but he kept saying, "I hate that woman, I can't stand her. She makes me so mad."

I tried to talk to Josh about it, ask him questions on the drive back to work, but he shot down all my attempts with, "I don't want to talk about it." Finally I said, "I guess you'd prefer that I don't talk to you at all after these sessions. Am I right?" He said, "That's what I'd prefer."

So, I said nothing else. We drove the ten minutes across town in silence. Right before we pulled in to the parking lot at work, where Robert had just got off work and was waiting to meet us, Josh said, "It's not you. It's her. I can't stand her. She asks me the same questions over and over. I answer a question, and she asks me again. It's stupid."

From there, I turned Josh over to Robert and went back to work. I talked a little bit with Bipsy about how it went, then kept working.

They want to see Josh every week for at least six months. They have set up an appointment with their psychologist (first available) to get him on some ADHD meds. The counselor thinks that he may be angrier and more frustrated as he gets older because his ADHD has been untreated. I took him off his meds for ADHD back when he was in sixth grade because he wouldn't eat, couldn't sleep and became a straight A zombie. I didn't want that for him. He lost so much weight he looked like skin stretched over bone. I couldn't justify the risks. The counselor says they now have a lot of newer medications, including non-stimulant meds that they could try with Josh. They have meds that stimulate appetite as well. So, we'll see how that goes.

The original assessor said Josh would "probably be seen once a month, probably would not need to see the doctor and probably would not be medicated." Pretty much everything she said has turned out to be the opposite.

I don't know how I feel about all of this. Frankly, I don't even know how I feel about Josh anymore. Some days I don't even want to see him at all. Some days I wish it was 2 years from now and he was 18 and I could say, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out of here." Then there are days I want to reach out to him and hold him and cry and tell him everything is going to be okay. Some days I feel sick with guilt for being a bad mom....I feel like I must have been or he wouldn't be so angry with me. Then there are days I feel like he's an ungrateful jerk who has two good parents that he takes for granted, and doesn't deserve us. Sometimes I feel like a battered wife, in fear of a man's volatile emotions, but it's not my husband. It's my own son. I can't just walk away from him. I feel so confused about the whole thing. Any given day I can assume these feelings, depending on so many factors. I'm not sure I'll ever truly get over this.

Last night Robert, Josiah and I went to have Mexican food at El Dorado's (my favorite restaurant AND Holli's) after a bit of shopping. The food and service was great as usual. Prior to dinner I got a couple of lawn chairs, some organizational items for the kitchen and a new garden hose. It felt nice to get some outdoor household stuff...spring is all around and I felt like celebrating its arrival a bit.

I have been feeling really good about spring. Robert has decreed ;) that he wants to start going back to church on Easter Sunday. We've long talked about how the toy shop knocked us out of the habit of going to church. Since the move to the country, Robert hasn't joined me in going to church at all. I probably went with the kids five or six times and then just quit going. Jess started going to John's church every Sunday and she's gotten quite involved. So, I was happy to hear that he is eager to start back to church and we both agreed on where we want to go. So, that's been something I've looked forward to.

As I type this post, I've felt better and better. I know that a lot of good things are happening in my life, just as a lot of stressful things are happening. I look around me and I see such renewal in the cows and colts nestled up to their mommas in the fields surrounding my home. The tree in front of the office is starting to blossom. I always enjoy that sight. The tulips and marigolds are starting to peak through the earth at home. Every place I look there is life.

Right now Bipsy is going through an extremely difficult personal situation and I have been investing a lot of my energy to helping her through it. She is a caring, giving person who has helped me through more pain and sorrow than I could ever repay. I'd like to ask for prayers for her and her family as she endures some difficult times over the next few months. Right now her pain is my pain. We work that closely together, and my heart breaks for her as she is coping with some serious issues in her life.

Today it's raining and gray, but I trust that soon my mood will emerge as sunny and full of joy. Good things are on the horizon. Do you feel it? Can you see it? We're going to make it through and be stronger for it...all of us.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Josh

Sixteen years ago on a cold March afternoon, Josh entered the world. I was eighteen years of age, turning nineteen in July.

Josh was born on a Tuesday. The following weekend was Easter weekend. The day we left the hospital, (which I think was Thursday) Robert came bearing so many gifts that he had to make two trips to get them all. There was a huge Easter basket for me, a bunny, candy and flowers (tulips), and a card that said, "You did good, Mommy." There was a tiny stuffed lamb and a card for Josh. I still have the card in his baby book.

I'll never forget what the card said.

On one side it said, "What a parent says....." and the other side said, "What a parent means."

What a parent says: "Are you going out without a coat?" What a parent means: "If you go out without a coat you might get sick and die and then I'll miss you." What a parent says: "Did you finish your homework?" What a parent means: "If you don't do your homework you might fail school, drop out, end up homeless and get sick and die and I'll miss you." It was a cute card. In the center it says, "What a parent says: I love you. What a parent means: I love you." :) Still makes me smile just thinking about it.

On my way home, it was snowing. There was snow on Easter that year.

Being so young, I was full of energy and pep after Josh was born. I went to pick up a prescription the day I was released from the hospital. I ended up getting fussed at by a lady in line at the pharmacy. I remember her telling me that I should not be out "galavanting about" just "days" after I gave birth. I wondered what the big deal was. I felt great! Those were the days.....

That's my trip down memory lane.

Happy Birthday, son. Here's hoping for better days ahead for us.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I've Had Days Like These, Have You?

This one REALLY cracks me up!

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Traveling for Business

The company I work for has a sister company in Tennessee. It's a small company, but it's recently come to our attention that it needs all manner of human resource training, safety training, accident reporting training, etc. Actually, we've known for awhile that it was going to need some training. Recently, the company's general manager retired, and we feel this is a good time to get down there and get some programs in place, while everyone is still adjusting to the change.

So, Bipsy and I will be taking several weekend trips down to do training. I am looking forward to it just because this is something I don't usually do. My job here is pretty routine. I could do it in my sleep.

About five years ago I changed offices, jobs, and primary responsibilities when we downsized our staff. Now I deal mostly in billing and customer service. Unless Bipsy is out, and then I do it all. Prior to my move, I did a personnel newsletter, a lot of human resource work, worked with employees on vacation changes, did payroll, payroll taxes, accounts payable, etc. We no longer have a personnel newsletter, and I miss that. I loved assisting with personnel training. It was interesting to teach people about diversity, harassment and subjects like that.

So, we'll go down on a Friday night, stay in a hotel, get up Saturday morning, set up, do the training, pack what we have to bring back, then spend the night at the hotel and head back Sunday morning. It's around an 8 hour drive. We think it will be productive and fun, since we won't be working on Saturday evening. We'll have dinner, relax, chat, and maybe even scrapbook if we have the time. Hopefully we can get a hotel with a pool and enjoy some pool time at the very least.

Other than my initial classes when I started working here almost 9 years ago, I haven't had to travel for my job. I think this is going to be good for me. Good for my resume, too. Good for my kids to have to function without Mom for a change. Good for Robert to miss me a little. ;)

I'm not sure when these trips are going to start, but I hope soon. I could use a little warmer weather and a brief respite from Ohio's moody weather patterns.

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

Monday, March 19, 2007

It's cold, rainy and a Monday, but other than that, it's good

Hey, how are you on this yucky Monday? Things aren't terrible here. Just kind of blah. I did have a good weekend, though. How about you?

Yes, two good weekends in a row. Is that some sort of record? I dunno.

Friday night, as mentioned, Robert and I went out to the comedy club. It was a lot of fun. Then, after the show, we went out to a late dinner at a Mexican Restaurant...not the one we usually go to...but the service was great as well as the food.

Saturday I ended up doing a favor for a friend that benefited both of us. My friend Sandy, asked me to set up her CM products at a church. The girl who usually does it is now working a second job, so she doesn't have time. I got a percentage of the sales, and it ended up working out to be $25. All I did is go with Jess, set up, work on my own scrapbooking while people browsed. I invested about 4 hours total into the event, set up and drive time included. I thought it was fun. I got to chat with some new folks as well.

Sunday I went to my friend's house that just had twin baby boys. I spent around 3-4 hours in the afternoon just chatting, feeding and holding the babies. (And burping them!) I tell ya, I guess you never forget how to do that...;). They are the cutest little guys. Their personalities are already so different! Jo went along. He played video games and then later held one of the babies. He was so good at it that Jo ended up rocking the little guy to sleep. It was sweet.

The only drawback to the whole weekend was that I did something to my back. Bending over is such a strain on my back, I try never to do so at all. I try to squat and lift, but every now and then I forget. I was struggling with my dog, Maggie, Saturday night. She kept barking a lot, so I decided to put her in the basement so we could get some sleep. She decided she didn't want to go and I was trying to push her to the door, while she was bracing herself against it. It probably was a sight to behold. She weighs far too much to pick up and she is very stout. I finally had to call Robert, who just picked her up and placed her (easily) on the top step of the basement.

Sunday morning I woke up and I couldn't move my head from side to side without extreme pain. My lower back hurt as well.

Today I'm doing a lot better thanks, in part, to an otc pain patch and some ipubrofen.

Okay, I'm out for now. Hope your Monday, if it isn't painless is at least passing by quickly. ;)

The Album Version of "Gangsta Folk"

This is the song I wanted you to hear. It's funny....a bit off color...but this is the guy, Pat Godwin, that Robert and I went to see on Friday. He was funny!

There doesn't seem to be any images on this "video," just a blank screen and the song playing. I found this on Pat Godwin's myspace page. Hope you get a chuckle.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Pat Godwin video "Gangsta Folk"

I can't find this song on youtube other than in this format. The actual recording of the song is funnier to me, because there are the most hilarious background singers helping him out that sound like a barber shop quartet. I swear, though, he's just goofy. He's not politically correct, but he makes us laugh. We have reservations to see him at the eight o'clock show. He's a regular guest on the radio show, "Bob and Tom," which Robert listens to every day. Bob and Tom are a little too rowdy for me in the early a.m., but I have enjoyed some of their guests, like Sean Morey who does "the Man Song."

More Vague Friendship Rambling

I'm happy to report today that I decided to email my friend that I was having the issue with. I thought out, typed out the email novella, read and reread it, sent it, and I immediately felt better. I am not one of those people who often send short emails. I think fast, type fast, and I am far better at saying things on paper...virtual or hand written....than I am talking things out. Any of you that get emails from me know I'm serious! ;) Although, I love to chat in person, serious issues are easier for me to organize my thoughts on when I write or type them out. So, I wrote a tactful, caring but direct email and sent it. I felt the stress fall away.

You see, I didn't do anything wrong. I wasn't in the wrong and I knew it. In fact, she wasn't really in the wrong, but she was coming across as bitter and whiny about a situation that I felt was supposed to be a blessing to her. I wasn't asking for rose petals to be thrown at my feet. Just a little less complaining.

I think what really irked me is that the complaining had been shared with a mutual friend, who admitted to me that she knew about the issue. She felt like she was getting brought into the whole thing against her will. I felt like this third party should have never been involved without my friend coming to me first. I was angry.

I got a response back from my email, and it was apologetic, caring, and filled with the gratitude. It helped heal the erosion that was bubbling around in my soul. I never did mention that I knew she was discussing the situation with our mutual friend. I didn't feel that would be fair to the 3rd party, who had reluctantly admitted her knowledge. However, I am going to try to figure out a way to "drop a hint" that I would prefer she come to me in the future instead of going to someone else first. Although she may have just been looking for this person's take on the issue, needing a sounding board. I dunno. She's not usually a gossiper.

My friend means a great deal to me. There is no way I'm letting this thing come between our decades old friendship.

I am so glad I didn't let it go. I'm never good at that. I handle things are much better when I address them right away. Why let things fester?

Fester, fester, rot, rot, rot. Never healthy. ;)

Okay, I'm out of here for now.

I think I'm done confusing you with my vague attempts to work this out on my blog. I hope.

I hope to post again later today.

Hope you're having a great Friday!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Promised Pictures of Cool Goodies

I promised to post pictures of the stuff Bipsy brought me back from her cruise. The first picture is of my tote bag. I love the colors!

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Here's the night shirt...front view. I love the little people!

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Here's the back view, with even more cute little people!

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She really does bring me back the neatest presents!

How Can it be Thursday Already?

This week is going by really fast. I think it might be the Daylight Saving time thing. By the time I fully wake up, it's one o'clock in the afternoon. :) Makes for a fast work day.

I've had so many thoughts...both good, bad and indifferent....jumbled in my brain these last few days that it's hard to pin down a thought long enough to blog about it.

However, I'm going to try to focus. So, my friends, lend me your ear for a moment, while I vent:

One of my oldest and dearest friends (who doesn't read this blog) is driving me nuts. And let me tell you, that's a short trip to start with. I'm halfway to nuts already! :)

Eventually, if she gets a computer and has time, she may read this blog and if she happens upon this post, I hope she will not recognize herself in this post. Maybe she will, maybe she won't. I do have a lot of friends. Old and new. So I will attempt to remain vague.

She isn't TRYING to drive me nuts. She's actually a very loving, caring person. She just IS driving me nuts.

This isn't the first time she's driven me nuts over the years, as we are close like sisters, so it is, I suppose, inevitable that we would get on one another's nerves from time to time.

I've told her, in a round-a-bout way how I feel, but I have to be delicate about this, because like me, she's hyper-sensitive. I found this out years and years ago as youngsters when I yelled at her for something and she still brings it up to this day.

I can't go in to details, but I just want to go into a sound proof room and scream REALLY loud and then be done with it.

The thing of it is, I don't think the situation is going to get any better, and I think eventually I'm going to have to have a talk with her about these issues. Stuff is just building up and building up until I'm to the point now where I don't want to see her at all, just to avoid any potential conflict. And that just chaps my caboose (boo-yah, J.F.!), because we have such a good time together...usually.

I value our friendship, and I was told by many a wise folk a while back ago to avoid this situation at all costs, that for the sake of any close relationship, I should avoid this particular course of action, but I was trying to help my friend and her family. I really didn't have any choice at all but to reach out, and when I did she seemed quite grateful. It justs seems like where gratitude once was, irritation now rules. And that irritation is irritating me.

I make a habit of trying to look at things from all sides...."How would I feel in this situation." But man, the more I think about it, the more I think I would just be grateful and I sure as heck wouldn't be so nitpicky!

UGH! Say a prayer for me, would you? I'm confusing myself here, and dragging you along with me. ;)

Despite this particular plight, I am having a pretty decent week.

Jo had his tooth removed today. We arrived at the oral surgeon's office at 7:58 a.m., for his 8 a.m. appointment. We walked out of the office, tooth in tow at 8:20. Talk about quick! It was so much easier than either of us thought it would be! When the tooth was gone, the surgeon said, "You're all done." Jo, who was loopy from laughing gas, looked around, puzzled. He said, "It doesn't FEEL like I'm done!" ;) He's so cute, I swear!

Last night Jess and Jon and I sat around writing our, "Ten things I like about you" list. We had such a good time with that! I'm going to try to remember to bring them in and scan them so I can share them here. I think they'd have more impact if you saw them in our handwriting.

Josh is on the track team (sprinter) and is putting in applications for a job. I am thrilled about that, because this course of action delays him getting his driver's permit. He won't have time to work, run track, lift for football and take driver's ed at the same time. He has some court costs to pay and some damages to pay for in the house, then he will have to work on paying for track fees. That was the deal. We'll allow him some of his check, but the majority, starting out, will go to his obligations. Basketball ended up costing us so much in gas, fees, sponsorship, fundraising, etc., that we said he can only run track if he pays the fees himself. Fortunately, practice is right after school, so we will not have to drive 20 minutes to take him, then 20 minutes back, then 20 minutes to pick him up and 20 minutes back. That was monotonous.

Robert and I are going to try to go see one of our favorite comedians "Pat Godwin" here at one of our local comedy clubs this weekend. It's been awhile since we've gone to the comedy club, and I think we could both use a laugh right now. Pat Godwin has a song that just cracks us up called "Gangsta Folk." If I can find a video on Youtube, I'll post it here. We'll see what I can come up with.

Okay, that's it for right now. Nothing else major going on.

How's life treating you? Good, I hope! Only one day 'till Friday! Hang in there!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Lovely Day

I had a good weekend; how about you?

At Holli's suggestion, Robert and I went to see "Wild Hogs" on Friday night. It was hilarious! We didn't make it an official date, just went to the movie and back home. We had grabbed a bite to eat before we left home.

Saturday, I came in to work when Robert did, at 6 a.m., so I could get some stuff caught up. Last week was a bear here at work. Seems like it's picking up around here (I hope) and with Bipsy gone, I managed to get behind quickly. I made a big dent in the pile, but it seems like it's working its way back to mayhem today.

Anyway, I came in and worked Saturday morning until 11ish, and then ran a couple of errands. From there, I picked John, Jess and Jo up and we went to Bipsy's house. I took some laundry to do while I was there, as well as some scrapbooking. I also brought stuff to make lunch and dinner.

We had a lot of fun. The kids watched t.v., we got in the hot tub, I scrapbooked, we sat around talking, we ate, and I napped. I got a couple of loads of laundry done. I call that a good day. We didn't get home until around 9:30 that night. Robert had gone to the movies to see "300" after he got off work. When he got home, he and Josh spent the rest of the afternoon watching movies at the house.

Sunday the kids and I worked on the yard a little. It was 60 degrees most of the day and very sunny. I feel such a sense of renewal from the sun's rays. Jess and I scrapbooked (I'm so glad she's getting back in to it) and I did some light cleaning.

Even with the time change, I have felt energized all day. I feel like the sun warmed me straight to my soul. It's a sunny 62 degrees today, and I'm loving it. I only wish I were outside, not stuck inside on the computer. ;)

Bipsy brings back the best souvenirs from her trips. And she travels A LOT! She got me a cute night shirt and an adorable bag from the Virgin Islands. I think I may even use it to tote my scrapbooking stuff around. I'll try to post pictures later.

This has truly been a peaceful last few days. I thank God for this type of peace. It's a good respite, and much needed after some of the painful events I've seen in 2007 so far.

I hope you're having a great week so far.

Ellie, Happy Commonwealth Day. Please share with us what the holiday means to you and how it's commemorated. I'd love to hear what you, my personal ambassador to Canada, has to say. :)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Last but Certainly Not Least....Pat

I must confess that reading Pat's blog, Child Lost, has sustained me through a lot of what I've gone through with my Josh. P.J. clued me in to her blog. P.J. posted a prayer request for Pat's family on her blog, and I followed the link. Since that first day I read it, it has never ceased to inspire me. Child Lost is about her son, Josh's, struggle with drug addiction. If you ever get a chance, and you haven't stopped by her blog, I encourage you to do so. Here's my list of ten things I like about Pat:

  1. You have weathered the ongoing storms in your life with unparalleled grace.
  2. Your unwavering commitment to researching your family's heritage is admirable.
  3. You aren't afraid to speak the truth, even if the truth isn't always pretty.
  4. You aren't ashamed to admit your weaknesses.
  5. You may have felt like quitting, but you've kept on blogging about your pain partly because you know it's a lifeline for others.
  6. Some of what you've got through would have emotionally crippled other folks. You've endeavored to maintain your own mental health and strength through the biggest obstacles. I am reminded of your perseverance on the days I don't feel like getting out of bed at all.
  7. Your faith is're still trying to find it...but it's sustaining you. It's right there, along with the love that's coming back to you that you've given day after day, year after year.
  8. You give to us every day by giving us a glimpse into your heart, your humor, your hurt and your heritage.
  9. You are a darn good "MomMom" to your two (and a half) grandchildren....and a Mom who's willing to open your home when it would be easier to turn away.
  10. You have taken the biggest risk of love again when your heart is still healing....a risk that I know will be richly rewarded in the long run.

P.J. up to Bat:

I'm skipping Trish, not because I don't follow her blog, not because I don't think she's awesome, and for the record she does occasionally check in on me....but because lately her blog is more about her scrapbooking extravaganzas and not really a personal blog anymore. So, I'm skipping her at this point, but reserve the right to return to her later. :)

So, on to P.J. now:

  1. Your love for God is deep, and I am in awe of your testimony.
  2. You are giving of yourself, of your time, your energy.
  3. You challenge yourself to forgive when it's downright hard, and I admire that.
  4. You are gifted musically.
  5. You aren't afraid to stand up and share your faith, whether through singing or writing or counseling.
  6. You obviously care deeply for your friends.
  7. You're a fellow cat lover.
  8. You have remained committed to your husband when other women may have jumped ship. I think that says something about your character.
  9. You crack me up; it's nice to know a person who knows that just because you're a Christian, doesn't mean you have to be a stick in the mud. We all need to laugh.
  10. I like that you're honest about your personality and that you are willing to say, "I messed up" or "I need to work on this area in my life." Oh, if only more people were like that, the world would be a better place.

Okay, last on the list will be Pat.

This has been fun. I hope you having a good time with it, too.

The Spotlight is on: J.F.!

Contrary to his claims that I will become ill again trying to figure out ten nice things to say about him, I find it difficult to limit my lists to ten with ALL my blogger peeps. ;) So there! teehee.

Okay, here we go:

  1. You are a true "Renaissance" man. Your interests are so varied that it keeps your posts interesting.
  2. You have the best eye for fashion that I've ever seen any (straight) guy have!
  3. Your sense of humor is great!
  4. You are down to earth, a quality I respect.
  5. Any guy who can appreciate a woman with a short hair cut must be a nice guy. ;)
  6. You obviously care about your friends, striving to keep relationships going, even when times get tough.
  7. You have expanded my musical horizons. That says a lot, because you should hear some of the stuff on my ipod shuffle! Aside from country music, the sky's the limit.
  8. One thing I like about you, I think, is a quality that reminds me of myself. You can write a lot in any given post, and then other times you drop a quick line. You are a versatile writer.
  9. You get knocked down, but you get up again. :) You aren't a quitter!
  10. You are talented musically and artistically. We're all hoping we can say, "We knew him when...." one day.

These lists may be the easiest blogging I've ever done! I am really blessed to know some super cool people with a lot of great characteristics!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

A Break from the Lists

Omg, I don't know what's up but since around noon my stomach has gone haywire! I don't know if it's from the sinus infection (drainage) or if it is the extra medication or what. I'll be fine and then all of a sudden I'll feel nauseated and the worst pain will hit my stomach. I've been sipping on diet coke, which I think is helping. My boss has had to answer phones for me off and on all afternoon. If this keeps up, I'll reach my goal weight TODAY. ;) lol. Actually, I think I'm sick from having to say all this nice stuff about people. HAHA!!! Just kidding.

Before I get back in to the "Ten Things" lists, I have to say I was soooo thrilled yesterday.

Anyone who follows my blog knows I love my camera. I also love my Kodak Easyshare printer dock, which I've had for about 15 months. I use it constantly. It prints my pictures, charges my digital camera battery, etc. When I want to print a photo to scrapbook, there it is. No driving to pick up digital pictures from the nearest printing outlet. It was right around $150 when I bought it, and has been well worth the investment. The picture quality is quite good in my opinion, but the convenience is my favorite part.

So, to my chagrin, the printer jammed up a few weeks back. I took it apart and found the problem, but then a little part broke off while I was "unjamming" it. So then I couldn't get the (brand new) printer cartridge out of it. I was bummed. I haven't completely given up hope on it, but I figured it was time to start looking for a new one. I have several extra picture kits for it so I wouldn't run out of supplies, and I didn't want to be stuck with them.

I started looking around for printers just like mine, and I found out they are discontinuing them. (No suprise there.) Kodak came out with a new all-in-one scanner, copier, printer. But it doesn't use the cartridge system mine does, and it doesn't charge the camera battery.

Most places I went to look for the type of printer I have, including Best Buy, are sold out. I went to three different places looking for them yesterday. Finally, I went to Walmart...not the one I usually go to...and I had just about given up on finding one. I walked up to Robert, who was looking at some clearance dvds in a locked case, when I saw two printer docks just like mine (with just a few more features) on clearance, locked in the case. $80! I was so thrilled! I had practically given up finding one, and then when I did, it was almost half what I had to pay for it originally! Talk about thrilled!

Then I was glancing around, and to the right was a digital hand held camcorder for $140. I've been looking to buy one for a couple of years now, and could never justify the price. It just so happened that we had the money to buy them both, so I got the camcorder, too. Granted, I'll be "allowance-less" for at least the rest of the month, but I think it was worth it.

Okay, that's that.

Right now I'm enjoying a calm time with my stomach. Let's hope it lasts. I'd like to get on with the business of telling my blogger peeps what I like about them. It's fun!

Love and hugs until later!

Ellie is the Next Contestant.....

What I like about you, Ellie:

  1. I think your enthusiasm for your country is admirable. I have learned so much about Canada from you!
  2. You've been your mom's advocate through her struggles. You've remained compassionate, despite all the ups and downs with her. You're to be commended for that.
  3. You are willing to try new and different things. Foods, hobbies, etc. I seem to always eat the same exact thing when I go out to eat. I wish I could get out of that rut. ;)
  4. Your choice of music demonstrates a depth of character that I respect. You have expanded my musical horizons.
  5. Your loyalty to Chris and your love for him is noteworthy.
  6. I think it's cool that you enjoy reading comics and watching Buffy and other super hero type movies.
  7. I like that you're open minded, accepting of all people from all walks of life, including me. :)
  8. I think you're a strong woman who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go for it, even if it means saving hard and sacrificing to get there.
  9. You take commitment seriously, not backing away when the road ahead gets bumpy.
  10. You have a great sense of humor, evident in your whole "machete the coworker" posts, for one example. ;)

Btw, I have to pause between these posts a lot because I'm having a really busy day at work. It doesn't mean I'm having to think harder about what I like about some people than I am others! :) I may have to stretch these posts out over the next few days to get them all done. So bear with me.

Holli's Turn

Okay, Holli, here we go:

  1. Your energy is phenomenal! I wish I had half the energy you do!
  2. You exude enthusiasm for whatever you do.
  3. You are not ashamed to speak up for what you believe in. I truly admire that.
  4. You give of your time selflessly for others.
  5. You are willing to stand and fight for what's right where others would walk away.
  6. You are a lot of fun! You crack me up, and your laugh is catching!
  7. You are a great mom.
  8. Your committment to fitness is something we can all learn from.
  9. You have a deeply abiding faith.
  10. You are a hard worker with a great work ethic. I think that can be a rare quality with us "Generation X-ers."

Okay, there ya go. That's ten things I like about Holli.

In "Link Order," starting with neicybelle

I figured I'd start my "Ten Things I Like About You" posts in "link" order, which is how folks appear on my "Blogs I Like to Read" list. Right now I'm limiting this to folks that I read their blog, they read mine. See how selfish I am? :) Then I'll go from there. I know that it's going to be really hard to limit these lists to ten only. So, since I don't have any idea what some of you look like, out of fairness, I'm going to stick to things I like about my blogger peep's personalities. Okay? Here we go:


  1. I like your passion for nature. It's contagious!
  2. I think you are a great mom and it shows!
  3. You have a spirit of perserverance, which I admire.
  4. I respect that you are an honest woman. That's a rare quality these days.
  5. You are adventuresome. I wish I could be more advenuresome myself!
  6. I think it's so cool that you work at a radio station. What a neat job!
  7. You have a wonderful imagination; the art and pictures you share on your blog inspire me!
  8. You are very giving and generous at heart.
  9. You have a unique and beautiful spirituality.
  10. You are gifted at cultivating relationships and nurturing them to maturity. It's one of my favorite things about you.

Okay, that's my first blogger peep. I just want to say if you feel so led, take this idea to your own blog. Kindness begats kindness. Ya never know, we may get something started here. The world can use a little extra kindness, dontcha think?

Three Hundred and Counting

This is amazing to's my three hundredth post here on my main blog. Who knew I had that much stuff to ramble on about? ;)

This blog has been helpful in many areas.

  • One thing is, I love to scrapbook, but by the time I get around to doing a yearly album, sometimes I've forgotten what happened that year. I can always look back on my blog for details. I've done roughly 15 albums since last year, including several gift albums. In the process, I got behind on my year to year books. The last one I got fully completed was 2004. Recently, I decided to combine 2005 and 2006 in to one big book. I turned to my blog to figure out "what happpened when." That was great.
  • It's a coping tool. When life gets tough, I can vent here. It truly is my therapy tool.
  • It's a praise tool. When good stuff happens, I can give God credit here. I don't forget what I am thankful for or how prayers were answered, because it's here in black and white.
  • It's a way of keeping my local friends/family informed on my life. I have a couple of "silent" readers, who keep up on my ever changing life just by reading my posts.
  • It's a way of communicating with my beloved blogger peeps. I think that's been one of the most amazing aspects of having this blog. Who knew such bonds of friendship could form over the miles like this? I'm humbled, and grateful.

So, for this, my 300th post, I had an idea of what I wanted to do.

My Jess inspired this post.

She and her boyfriend John care about each other. It's obvious. They've been dating for going on a year now. Before that, they were neighbors and friends. Robert and I care about John as well. He's with us on many family outings. We're so used to having him around. He's been a blessing in our lives. He's shy, a straight A student, very well mannered, cautious, handsome, and humble. He wouldn't knowingly hurt a fly.

This is in sharp contrast to Jess' "run 'em over and ask questions later" mentality. She is so sweet, but when she gets mad, look out! She will tell you like it is in short order. For months, we've watched Jess order John around, demand her own way, and basically run the show. Why? Because he lets her. Robert and I have been trying to counsil Jess on better ways to communicate with John...and everyone else for that matter. We want our daughter to be confident, but we have cautioned her that John is a sensitive kid. She needs to tone down her attitude sometimes, because he gets his feelings hurt, as anyone would.

So, lately John has seemed really sad, Jess said. He has been speaking up to her occasionally, and I think this stresses him out. Life can be hard for him, with some of the prejudice he has to endure due to his Mexican heritage. So, when he gets sad, he gets quiet, and the more Jess presses him to find out what's wrong, the quieter he gets.

Yesterday Jess called me and asked me what she should do about this. I thought for a few minutes, and I said, "I think you should tell him what you like about him." She said, "Like, I don't know, that he makes me happy?" I said, "That's one thing, Jess, and that's a good idea. But what I mean is, what specifically do you like about him? What are some good traits that he has?" I said, "When people are sad sometimes they feel better if they know they are appreciated and why. For example, do you think he's got a good sense of humor? Do you like his smile? What about him is special to you?" So Jess said, "Okay, I'll try that," and hung up.

A few minutes later, my cel phone rang. "Mom!" Jess gushed, "I can't believe this! I told John that I like his smile and that he is a really great boyfriend. He cheered up right away. He didn't even want to talk before that, but after I said that, he said he'd call me after dinner. Thank you for the advice!"

First thing, it isn't often that a teenager THANKS their parent for advice, so I was feeling mighty wise and full of myself. :)

But afterward, I thought: "You know? That would make a really good post. EVERYONE likes to be appreciated." So, I decided to do a series of "Ten Things I Like about You" posts here. Dedicated to my blog those who follow my blog daily or weekly or occasionally.

What do you think?

I think YOU need to know what I like about you.

Look for me to single you out here real soon! ;)

Until then, have a great day!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

You Can Hear a Pin Drop

Geez! It's so quiet around here. Everyone left by 3:00 this afternoon. Don't get me wrong, I get a lot of work done around here when it's quiet like this. It's almost eerie, though. There isn't even any noise out in the plant. It reminds me of that Arby's commercial, "Where'd Everybody Go?!?!?!" that was on a few years back. Remember that one?

Okay, I've got too much work to do to be blogging. Lots and lots of work do to. So, hi and bye for now. Hope you're having a swell Wednesday.


This is for the Birds

If the movie "The Birds" freaked you out, you would not like hanging out at Bipsy's place. For a while there were like 30 turkey vultures hanging out in her trees. It was like the swallows landing at Capistrano, only vultures.

Here's a close up I got of two of them in the trees:

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I got one flying off into the sunset:

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Finally, here's the neatest thing....they decided that I was getting on their nerves taking pictures, so they flew to Bipsy's neighbor's property and they all picked a fence post to perch on. They sat, staring up at her house, like they were collectively going to keep a keen eye on me. Yesterday when I went up, they had moved on. Not one of them were anywhere to be seen. They had been there for a couple of weeks, but it must have just been a temporary rest stop. The coolest thing about them is the sound it made when they all took off flying at once. Like the rushing of a thousand wings. I tried to get it on video, but it was not meant to be.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What's Good For Me

This has been a pretty good day as Tuesdays go. I started coughing today, which is good for me. I usually don't cough, and what happens is I don't do myself any favors NOT coughing. Coughing helps get rid of all that junk down in my lungs, and I always feel 100% better once I do start. It hurts, but it's healthy, if that makes sense. I know I'm getting ready to get over an illness once I start coughing. The only time I ever have to use my inhaler is when I get a cold or flu or infection of some kind. Then it becomes my best friend. I can go a year without using it and then use it constantly through an illness. But I feel a lot better. I think that Cipro is some good stuff as antibiotics go.

Today after work I picked up some pictures, went home and got Jess, John and Jo. We went to Bipsy's house and hung out. She's on a Carnival Cruise to the Caribbean, so we are taking care of her kitty cat. We also tested the hot tub water to make sure that was a-okay. :) That's a perk of house/cat sitting. Plus I live only 4 miles from her home, which is nice. If I didn't have to take John home, I think I would stay the night here. I am so tired. Ugh! One of the allergy meds the nurse practitioner gave me samples of is keeping me up at night. One thing about me is I NEED my sleep. I like to sleep. Sleep good. Insomnia BAD. I NEVER EVER have trouble sleeping, no matter how difficult life gets.

Okay, with the Josh incident I woke up once, emotional and in pain and cried for like twenty minutes. But Jo heard me crying, came in and hugged me and said, "Mommy, it's going to be okay." And I went right back to sleep. I don't know what I would do without Josiah. He has one of the kindest souls I've ever had the privelage of knowing.

Anyway, I theorize that my blood pressure has never been high because sleep is my coping strategy. If I'm stressed, I nap. I usually get 8 hours every night without fail.

So, I made my point. I like to sleep. Since Friday night, I have been up until twelve, one, sometimes two in the morning. I've read. Boy, have I got a lot of reading done! Usually, I'll zonk right out within ten minutes of reading in bed. Not this week! I tried to think sleepy thoughts. Etc., etc., etc! To no avail. The weird thing is, this is the first day since this started that I've been super tired from lack of zzzzzzs. I took my last Cipro this morning, and I am going to skip the Singulair tonight to see if that's it. Possibly, using the albuterol inhaler could be making me wired. Sometimes I get jittery after taking it, so it could be that. We'll see. As sleepy as I feel right now, I think I will sleep tonight. Hallelujah! Eventually I will get REALLY grouchy from fatigue. Nobody needs to see that. ;)

I have been having the most delightful talks via instant message, complete with web cam, with my sister, Tami. I am so blessed to have reconnected with her. She is so hilarious! Her sense of humor keeps me in stitches! She is such a beautiful woman. She looks like a latino beauty these days. She's biracial, but some days she looks Native American (which we do have in our history, as our mother's mother was Arapaho, raised on a reservation) and other days she looks latino. She has long dark hair and beautiful skin. Sigh. Oh, for a nice olive complexion. Why, oh why did I get the Irish genes? HMMMM? ;)

On top of that, my brother Todd, has sent me three postcards from Mililani, Hawaii, where he lives. They are some lovely postcards! He may end up outdoing me in the card sending department. That's rare for me, because I love to send cards! Now, if I can only get him to send me a plane ticket to go visit him...... ;)

My cousin, Linda, sent me a card, but I have been carrying it around in my purse since I got home from work. I like reading her cards when I am alone, because they are so thoughtfully written and usually full of interesting news. She is a retired world famous ballroom dancer/dance instructor....she's my dad's first cousin, so that would make her my second cousin. My grandmother was her favorite aunt, so we've stayed in touch since Grandma died. Linda's life has been so exciting, but she is one of the most down to earth women I know. I cherish our talks and correspondence. I always feel like I learn something from our time together.

Okay, I'm too tired to keep typing. That's it for now.

Have a good night. More later in the week, I hope!


Friday, March 2, 2007

Unposted Friday Thoughts Morphed Into a Monday Post

I started to post this Friday and never got around to it:

I am going to be leaving here in the next few minutes to go the doctor. I'm feeling crummy, have a fever, and don't want to wait to see a doctor until I get worse. With my asthma, if it's bronchitis coming on, I don't do myself any favors by waiting around to "see if I get better." Bipsy is on a Carnival cruise next week, and I sure as heck don't want to be dragging myself in here, wishing I had been smart enough to get to the doctor before she left. Getting out of the office for any reason is tough when she's gone.

Jo was out of school two days this week due to strep throat, and I had him with me here at work. He camped out in the conference room. That is one thing about my job that I consider invaluable. I am needed here. I can't be off unless it's an emergency. Therefore, bringing Jo to work with me when he's sick is something I am able to do. There's a couch, a t.v., dvd player, desk, etc., in the conference room, which is rarely used these days. I am so blessed to be able to work and be there for my sick child at the same time.

I'll be having Jo here with me a bit more over the next month. He's got to have a twelve year molar surgically removed. He had it drilled, filled, and capped when he was about three. Recently, the cap came off, the filling fell out, and the tooth broke off partially under the gum. So, our regular dentist can't remove it. Thankfully, the oral surgeon we use (who cut out my wisdom teeth) now has an office in the same town that I work in. So, that's a time saver.

It has been a hectic week here, as it has been for many of you with month end/new month beginning. Fun! The phone is also ringing off the hook today. But, keeping busy means the day goes by faster. Usually.

That was all I got written Friday.

Now for Monday:

I went to the doctor (actually, nurse practitioner) Friday and got the 4-1-1. I have sinusitis, swollen glands and an ear infection. I've been using the saline nasal spray (just as I advised Holli to) and I didn't have a full blown sinus infection. Just irritation. Also, no strep! Yay! I was given Cipro (antibiotic) after my tests revealed a kidney infection, so that should kick any other bacterial infections that might be brewing right in the butt.

I got lotsa samples. The nurse practitioner said, "Are you still on all these allergy meds?" When I responded that I was not, she wondered if it was my allergist that took me off of them. I said, "Nope, it was me." Basically, I explained that at one point I was paying over $200 a month for prescription copays, not to mention the copays for the office visits themselves. I told her that I am now managing my allergies with all otc stuff. Needless to say, I left her office with samples of all my "former" meds, including my new inhaler (albuterol has been banned for usage by the EPA), Nasacort and Singulair. I don't know if any of the stuff is working yet, but right now I sound like I have a cold and I can't hear very well. Other than that, I feel good.

Saturday I "stripped" my wood floors and scrubbed them. I'm preparing to sand them and refinish them. A friend pointed out, "How come when you're down sick, you take on the biggest cleaning projects?" ;) I don't know the answer to that, but I was wiped out by Sunday. All I did was laundry, lay on the couch, read and watch movies.

Friday was so scary on the way to the doctor's office! I almost forgot to blog about this one! My doctor's office is in a town about 15 minutes away, but it is a straight away from my job. It's on the same road, basically, with one turn. I was zipping along, when I encountered a "Road Closed Due to High Water" sign. However, there was no detour information. So, I turned left at the road prior to the sign, and figured, "Hey, I'm a smart girl, I'll figure it out."

So, anyway, I'm driving forever, and I turn right (in the general direction that I SHOULD have been traveling prior to the sign) and all of a sudden, my car starts blowing practically off the road! There were trash cans in the street everywhere, downed limbs, and I could barely keep my car in between the lanes! There was some guy in a truck behind me, tailgaiting, who passed me and flipped me off. I was freaking I stopped the car, got out to see if maybe something was wrong with my tires. I swear, I almost got blown in to the road! I walked to the right of the car, off the road, and I was pushing with all my strength just to stay upright, the wind was blowing so hard.

Finally, I got back in the car, called Bipsy, asked her where I was (I wasn't too far from the doctor's intuition was right, but my familiarity with the area was poor) and I made it to the appointment on time. I swear, ever since my "Evil Kenival meets Dukes of Hazzard" incident in January, my driving confidence is shot. I used to always say, "I've driven these country roads in snow, sleet, rain, ice, high winds, etc., and never have wrecked." Now that I can't say that anymore, I am a little gun shy. Wheh! That was weird, though. I've had wind blow our van, but never our car. Creepy!

Other than those events, nothing much is going on. Hope you're having a good week so far, and that this update finds you and your family blessed. I'm thinking of and praying for all my blogger peeps! Love ya!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

A Quick Quote

I am a huge Ron Pearlman fan...having been addicted to the t.v. show "Beauty and the Beast" back in the late 80s. Anyway, I like the movie, "Hellboy," because he plays the lead character, and it's based on the comic book.

Anyway, I was watching it last night, and I caught the following quote, which I thought was right on target:

"My father said we like people for their qualities but love them for their defects."

I will try to post again tomorrow. (I hope!)