My most precious Christmas present. Ever.

Happy Birthday Abigail! My girl is 6 years old today!
(Note: The previous sentence originally read "My baby is 6 years old today" but at the request of the Birthday Girl I have changed baby to girl. *sniff sniff*)


A Gift From Emily

Christmas Haiku
merry bells jingle
elves wrapping green presents, shine
red holly berries
By Emily




Trying to shake like a dog in the shower when you are out of clean towels is not an effective way to dry off. Neither is shaking your groove thang.


The Pristine Machine

I need a budding entrepreneur who has the capabilities of creating a machine for me. Here's the deal: I'll give you the idea, you give me the finished product. Since I've come up with the idea I'll split the deal 60/40. That's only fair, isn't it?

The "Pristine Machine" will be my greatest gift to humanity (outside the obvious gift of my two girls who will continue to contribute to society as functioning adults). This machine will make roughed up snow pristine again so it looks as though it's just fallen and untouched by the mailman, playing children and running dogs. It will also have the capability of ensuring that shoveled snow looks perfect as it will do it for you but only if you upgrade your model.

Any takers?


Spotted on the back of my husband's shampoo bottle: "Has a Fresh Clean Masculine Scent"

When I think of a masculine scent I generally don't associate 'fresh' and 'clean' with that term. Usually it's 'sweaty' and 'stinky'.
Disclaimer: this does not apply to my husband, who in fact does smell fresh and clean. Especially once he's out of the shower.


I'm a fish killer

I didn't mean to kill the fish, really I didn't. After all, who would intentionally do such a thing this time of the year?

Apparently me. Okay, so it wasn't intentional. But I did know the risks. And so I chose to ride on the wild side. I chose to be bold, to throw caution to the wind.

As a result, our last few fish went belly up... literally. What, pray tell, did I do that was so egregious that it ended the lives of our three little swimmers?

I finally cleaned out the fish tank. And the shock of it killed them. *sniff*

Now then... who's up to a trip to the pet store?


Tee Hee!

After my last bit of news I felt I should liven things up around here a bit.


I think I'm going to hyperventilate.
I just checked my school email to see if my final in nutrition had been graded yet (I took it this morning at 9 a.m.) and there it was, an email from my instructor simply titled "final grade".
*deep breath*
I had dreaded this moment ever since I handed in my test. I barely studied, really. If I totally bombed--and I was pretty sure that I had--then it would strictly be my fault for not putting as much study time into it as I should have (there was that annoying job, home and family that was always getting in the way). I was annoyed that we were testing two chapters (vitamins & minerals) that we had already tested on. Come on, already! Don't these people know about the "data dump"?! Cram everything into your head for the test then dump it out for the next round of information? (Disclaimer: this theory should never be practiced by those entering the field of oh, say, neurosurgery.) I was feeling less than confident about my final.
But I got an 83.
My final score for the class? N I N E T Y T W O B A B Y ! ! ! !
And now, the happy dance!!!
I may actually pull off a 4.0!


Keeping up with the Kringles

I'm not going to even try to do it this year. I can't afford it.

What on earth am I referring to, you ask?

I'm referring to spending outrageous amounts of money on Christmas cards. Yes, those expensive Christmas cards, either with foil or without, with happy holiday designs on them that draw you in and whisper loudly, "Show your friends and family how you REALLY like them with such an elaborate card such as myself! Ten in a package!"

You know what speaks to me this year? $2.49. Yep, that's right. Two dollars and forty nine cents. Plus tax. For 18 cards.

If your lucky I might put a candy cane sticker on the back of the envelope, a la Hallmark (when you care enough to send the best you can afford). If your really lucky I'll include recent school pictures of the girls. If you totally rate I'll even through in a few X's and O's.

I didn't purposely set out to be cheap this year. Last year I bought really cute (cheap) holiday cards with funny cartoons of reindeer and snowmen. But let's be honest here: I send you my Christmas card. You tape it on your wall, or arrange it in a fancy thingamabober that you bust out once a year and then you throw my card away as soon as the holiday lights get taken down and stored in the basement. I don't blame you for throwing it away but you do. That's money people! Do you realize how much money we throw away each year?

Think about pricey wrapping paper. You spend a ton of money on paper that gets ripped apart! In mere seconds! (My best friend's sister, Heather, is notorious for spending 20 minutes carefully unwrapping each present that she's ever received in her lifetime. She's the exception, not the rule. Heather spends more time doing this than her sister Jennipher does putting on makeup... and that's saying a lot!) One blogger posted that we spend 2.7 billion dollars annually on wrapping paper and the like (bows, ribbons, etc.). I don't have any idea if that figure is accurate but can you imagine??? Spending all that money just to ball it up and pop it into the trash! (Side note: If you are in the habit of throwing money away mindlessly please contact me via email and I'll be happy to provide you with my home address. I accept cash, personal check with valid i.d. and all major credit cards.)

Here's an idea. Let's move away from the commercialization of Christmas and remember what fostered this holiday in the first place. You don't have to a Christian to enjoy spreading goodwill toward others. Here's another idea... bake a batch of cookies, pop some into a tin and carry it with you on a trip to the mall. Hand it to the stranger who opens the door for you or the cashier who rings up your purchases. I did this one year and it was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. You have the power to make a difference in someone's life. Do that a few times and the Kringles will have one heck of a time keeping up with you!


The weather outside is frightful

and working with it is a nightmare.

The "weather event" that the Midwest went through yesterday caused a lot of problems for a number of states, and two airplanes slid off of a runway and a taxiway. Thank goodness no one was hurt in those mishaps.

From an operational standpoint, trying to keep an airline functioning in that type of weather environment is next to impossible. For example, we were trying to get a couple of airplanes out of Chicago O'Hare (ORD) for hours. We were completely at Mother Nature's mercy and she wasn't inclined to be merciful. (Maybe she was hormonal?) At any rate, for a long time ORD was reporting moderate freezing rain at the airport. We can't take off in moderate freezing rain. If it's reported light, then yes, we can take off. But that's only if we meet our "holdover" times for the anti-ice protection that the airplanes are doused in before they leave the gate. If we can't get in the air before the time limit on that protection expires we have to go back to the gate to get squirted down again. And then wait in line to take off again. Notice the never ending cycle? A day like yesterday cripples an airline and the only way to recover from it is to stay away from the cities that are causing problems and this equates to cancellations. We canceled a total of 28 flights yesterday. Had it been a weekday we would have canceled far more (we have a reduced schedule on Saturdays).

I have to go back in to work again today.
More icy fun is on the horizon.
Please send warm thoughts.



Having procrastinated to the nth degree, I have been sitting here at this computer for hours. Hours, I tell you!

As a result, I definitely finished my sports psych paper on--of all things--burnout. (I wonder why on earth I would have picked that topic?) I have had this assignment for ages. I started writing the paper on Friday (it's due tomorrow) and was fairly confident that I would complete an A paper in time.

But then I have to work up a Power Point presentation on it and deliver it tomorrow as well.


I'm seriously dragging my feet here. Looking for distractions. Checking out what's going on in the world with point and click news (no matter what the day there's always something depressing). Checking Facebook. (MySpace is so yesterday) Checking the news again. Anything but focusing on this presentation.

'Cause I'm burnt out, people!

Well, it looks like putting together this entry killed a good 8 minutes. Back to work.


Black Friday

I'm curious. (This statement usually gets me into trouble, but I'll forge ahead anyway.)

What person in their right mind lines up in the middle of the night just hours after stuffing themselves silly with turkey and all the fixins' to buy this:


Bunny slippers! I gotta get those bunny slippers!

And the craziness is not left to terrestrial stores, either. Check out this message when I tried to browse Macy's at 12:17 a.m.: "It's a little crowded in here right now, and to make sure everyone enjoys shopping with us, we're asking new visitors to wait here a few moments while other shoppers finish up. We'll refresh your browser and welcome you in momentarily. Thanks for your patience!"

I realize that some stores offer deals for the early bird shopper...but it would have to be an AMAZING deal to get me up before the crack of dawn. What would get YOU up to trek out to the local department store at such a crazy hour?

Oooh! Steak knives...



Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving!


3 days and counting

There is a certain website that I found myself visiting all the time. It's one of those celebrity gossip deals and not altogether very nice. As I found myself reveling in the problems (self inflicted or otherwise) of certain people it suddenly occurred to me that my life may not look so great if it were to be analyzed under a paparazzi's camera lens either. God forbid if the nation suddenly decided to debate my mothering skills, my occasional beer on the weekends, my less than stellar wardrobe or my water weight gain after pizza night. Whoops, was that one out loud?!

So I'm going to take the higher road and stop visiting this website. I don't want to be a part of this obsessed culture that's more interested in who wore what and who did what to whom and who is in rehab this week rather than focusing on what's important in their own lives. And if I'm going to teach my children values I had better reassess my own.


I need your help

Have I lost my mind? Am I overreacting? I'll let you be the judge.

Yesterday the fam and I were at Target doing what I do best. Wink I happened to notice that a young kid was walking around the store with a scanner gun in his hand. While I tried to figure out why this kid looked like half of a young couple registering for wedding gifts I noticed his sister, also armed with a scanner gun, standing by her parents looking at a movie. And then it hit me.

These kids are scanning what they want for Christmas.

Is this what technology does for us? Or is this pure laziness or parental indulgence? Whatever happened to making a list and hoping to high heaven that Santa sees the reason in owning a Red Ryder BB Gun? (for those of you who get the movie reference I'm giving you a high five)

I'm annoyed. Baring teeth


Keep your streptococcus pyogenes to yourself, please

These wee beasties are presently attacking my daughter. Poor girl! Abby came down with strep late last week and was sidelined for a couple of days before we could get some antibiotics into her.

Now that I've got a minute to think about it all... I'm annoyed.

We do our best to teach our kids about good hygiene (washing after potty breaks, sneezing into the crook of your arm and not into your hands, etc.) and for the most part our kids have been very healthy. But Abby picked up this bacteria from somewhere. These kids that are coming to school with snotty noses and fevers need to stay home so they don't infect my kids with their germs!


Ok, that's my rant for the day. A pretty mild one at that, I'd say.


It was so much fun the first time...

Remind me to be nicer to my cat!


I can't get enough of this cd

Alison Krauss and Robert Plant Duet for Raising Sand


One word:


*Photo removed at the request of my daughter so she can fall asleep at night.


She kills me

The level of cuteness in this picture is at critical levels. Take cover!


Buy this book

Over the course of the last year and a half I have been studying exercise physiology, biology, strength and fitness training, and biology of nutrition. I'll be happy to espouse to anyone all the nifty tidbits I've learned in that time with detailed descriptions of how your body converts the food you eat into the energy you use to move your muscles during every day tasks but that might get a bit dry after the fourth lesson.
So allow me to suggest, nay, DEMAND(!) that you click on the link above and order You on a Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management by Dr's. Mehmet C. Oz and Michael F. Roizen. These guys have wrote the book that I haven't had the chance to write just yet (hardee har har) and the same vein that I would have wrote it in (i.e. with lots of wit and humor). They explain why the body does what it does when it comes to eating, digestion, exercise and why you should pay attention to it. This is not just another diet book (Lord knows that there are a TON of those out there!) but it's a tool that gives you the knowledge to make better decisions about your health. And when 65% of Americans are overweight (31% percent of those are obese, double the number since 1980...I'll let you guess why) it is more important, now more than ever, to get this information out to the masses. Everyone can benefit from this book.



I dare you to watch this and not be a blubbering idiot.

I double dog dare you.


I found a gray hair!!!!!

Quick!!! Someone call Miss Clairol! Or my stylist!!!!


Uh oh!

Guess who may have your number now? The Do Not Call list needs to be updated or telemarketers may be breathing down your... er... phone. Under one email addy you can register up to 3 phone numbers.


This is what happens when you have nothing to blog about

This is a short essay that I wrote for a class. Feel free to read it if you have nothing better to do.

No Walk in the Park

To say that being confined to a wheelchair limits your accessibility to the world is an understatement. And to be an able-bodied person in a wheelchair, albeit briefly, is to look into a world generally ignored and under appreciated.

I never had the illusion that being confined to a wheelchair was a cakewalk. But surely getting into, out of, and around in a brand new building built to meet ADA requirements has to be easier than the alternative... right? Wrong. Of all the things I expected to walk away from this practical assignment with-a new appreciation for my health and mobility, for example-I didn't think I would be angry.

To begin this assignment, I decided to enjoy the fresh air and exited the Math building by using the automatic doors to head over to the new Nursing building. After getting used to moving the wheelchair I was able to maneuver it through the door but it seemed fairly crowded to me. The wheelchair that I was using wasn't overly large, but I did notice that other students partaking in the same exercise were using wheelchairs wider than mine. I wonder if those wheelchairs would have fit through the same door.

After complaining at length that my arms were getting tired from pushing the wheelchair, I arrived at the new building and noticed that a door on the outside of the building had a rather large button on it to open the automatic door. This push button was located on the right side of the double door and I wheeled myself up to it to activate it. Imagine my surprise, then, when the right door started to open...toward me, blocking me in. I had to quickly maneuver the wheelchair around to the other side of the door before I got blocked in (or smacked) by it so I could enter the building (the automatic doors into the Math building open inward). Once that adventure was complete I wheeled myself further inside to explore the building as instructed. After a brief visit down the length of the first floor I retreated to find the elevator to take me to the basement. There it was... behind a set of double doors, with no easy way to access it. At first I tried to open the door by pushing the wheelchair against it from behind, with little success. It was only after someone else opened the door that I was able to enter the area and call for the elevator.

I was pleased to find that the elevator was much more accessible than the doors leading to it so I sat and enjoyed the brief trip to the basement floor. (I wonder, does the basement floor always smell like marijuana?) It was strange seeing a water fountain now at a perfect level for me ("they" got that one right). Getting back to access the elevators was much of the same experience as before. By this point I was more than mildly annoyed that a brand new building built with such amenities as automatic dimming lights wouldn't have an easy way for a person in a wheelchair to actually utilize the elevator with ease.

As I traveled from the Nursing building into the Science building I was dismayed to find that little attention was paid to the floor between the two areas. The Nursing building is an addition to the existing Science building, the outside facade a perfect blend between old and new. But inside I found that there was no smooth transition between either building and as a result the floor was rough where the two met. My wheelchair became stuck there between the two buildings and I had to build momentum to project me forward and come away from the grooves that I had become stuck in. These same grooves could trip an able bodied person, as well. I was shocked that such a simple thing could have been overlooked.

I have heard many great things about the new Nursing building, but after my first visit I have yet to be impressed.


Things that have happened in the last 2 weeks

I was hired by a fitness management company to do personal training. Drop and give me twenty!!! This both excites me and terrifies me on several different levels, and ultimately it puts me one step closer to my goals. The light at the end of my tunnel is growing brighter, my friends!

Because I'm spending so much time at the gym, either working out myself or putting clients through the rigors themselves, I'm getting back where I'm wanting to be physically. No one wants a frumpy looking personal trainer. And my legs are gonna be rocking!

The trainer shirts that we get are on backorder. Silently, I'm annoyed by this. Subconsciously, I am worried that they are holding out on me in case I suck. Think good thoughts!

I took my first two exams in psychology, back to back, for which I proclaimed to the instructor that I just was aiming to pass the test. I was one of four who scored an A on the first test, and the only one to score an A on the second. Yes, I did spike the ball in the end zone, as a matter of fact. Then I did the Macarena.

I netted a 91% on my first Nutrition exam, taken last night online. Ok, so I got an A. But um, hello... it was online. Online means open book, and I carefully reviewed each question and then reference my answers. Twice. I want to know why I missed 8 questions (grrr) but I won't know until next week. I don't want to give information and advice on a 91. Just like I don't want a surgeon who scored an 85 on her final exam operating on my brain!

I received an invitation to join Phi Theta Kappa, a "international honor society of two-year colleges and academic programs." The two advisors for the society from my school just happen to be my Nutrition instructor and my English teacher (I got an A in her class). I think I am gonna join up because I will then be eligible for a number of scholarships. Next years tuition could be paid for by the school!

My daughter Abby has me pegged. Yesterday we popped into Target to pick up a birthday present for a party she was going to. As we get out of the car Abby says to me, "Mama, no farting around. We go in and we get out. No looking at CD's!" She's five and a half.

After a very brief visit to Target we shuttle over to Slackers and I tell Abby that we're only going to be inside for a couple of minutes. "One minute", Abby instructs. It's at this point that I remind Abby exactly who she is talking to.

At Blockbuster last night I found Sahara in the bargain bin for $3.99. I scooped up that puppy quicker than you can say "Matthew McConaughey shirtless". Excuse me while I wipe the drool off of my chin.


My husband is so fired

Tonight the family took a dip in a pool while we visited with some friends. Never missing an opportunity, I swam over to Jim and wrapped my arms around him, enjoying how great it was to float in the water together. Pretty soon I was cradled in his arms and I cooed to him, "Ah, honey! You do love me after all these years!"

Jim, never missing an opportunity, started walking towards his friends while I was still happily ensconced in his arms and announced, "Look! It's the first time in ten years that I can actually carry my wife over a threshold!"

The viewing will be held September 5th at noon, funeral to follow at 2pm.


I have no right to be online right now

My first day back to school was Monday and I have been going full throttle ever since: School, Work, School, Work. I didn't see either of my girls for any proper length of time until yesterday and that is ONLY because it was a day off from work. Thank God! Have you people seen the weather that's been rolling through the country?

A Calm in the Chaos, indeed.

This semester consists of classes in Nutrition, Psychology, Sports Psychology and Exercise for Special Populations. I am going to be busy, so if I'm not around much don't think it's because I don't want to be.

My previous Midnight Musing is settled, I think. I've been stressing out a lot about work and I think that I've finally found the answer to my problem. More on that later.


Midnight Musings

By all rights I should be in bed. It is, after all, after midnight. But a thought occurred to me as I lay head to pillow, one with such a forceful clarity that I sat up in bed, dumbstruck.

I swirled this thought around in my head like red wine in a crystal glass and tried to discern it.

Was I right? Wrong? Could I really have been so idiotic?

I hate it when stuff like this happens when I'm trying to fall asleep.


Chick Flick

I may be a bit late to jump on this bandwagon, but I find it my responsibility, nay... my DUTY as a woman to spread the word among the female masses:
Watch 300.
Sure, some of the violence is gratuitous but what else should you expect from an adaptation of a Frank Miller graphic novel? But let's ignore the bloody battle scenes for a moment and examine the true draw for women everywhere: The men.

Holy Aphrodite! Tight, muscle-bound and rock solid men in what amounts to a loin cloth and a cape. Meow!


Ladies, start your engines!


Because I care: A Men's Guide to Woman-speak


This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

Five Minutes:

If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.


This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

Go Ahead:

This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

Loud Sigh:

This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

That's Okay:

This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.


A woman is thanking you, do not question, or Faint. Just say you're welcome.


Is a women's way of saying Eff You!

Don't worry about it, I got it:

Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to #3.


Boxers and briefs

Gentlemen, I need some insight. Ladies, if you have any information then you too may enlighten me.

What's up with men's underwear ads?

Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about.

First there's this:

Then there's this:

Are men so concerned with what their waistbands look like that it's become a necessity to casually lift a shirt to show it off?

Do men really stand around in their underwear admiring themselves?

Do male models need to be "fitted" into their underwear? What are the qualifiers for that job?

Do men judge themselves on how much alike they look to the men who model the underwear?

Is there a man alive today who still wears Fruit of the Loom?

Is there a man alive who will admit to wearing one of these?


I don't want to smell like a hoochie

For my birthday my mother gave me a beautiful pair of earrings. (Thanks again, Ma!) Inside the gift bag she had tossed a couple of perfume samples as she knows I dig smelling lovely and fresh. But at the sight of one of the samples I had to cringe.
"Paris Hilton?!"
If there is anything more Not Lovely and Fresh it would be Paris Hilton and her perfume. I mean, really, is there any need to explain it?
My birthday was a month ago and I just came across that same sample this evening. Curious (or bored, take your pick), I opened the card that enclosed the sample and read what was written inside:
"Share a bit of the magic that is Paris Hilton. Find out what it smells like to be a Star."
Like, Gag Me With A Pitchfork!
I could think of several words to describe Ms. Hilton. "Star", unfortunately, would not be one of them.
What would YOUR word be?


It's the little things

My first instinct when sitting down here was to whine incessantly about how bad work was last night. Cause it really was bad.

But then I thought that I'd spare you that whine (alas, I had no cheese....get it?) and impart the moment when all that crappy stuff from last night went away in my mind and it settled, contentedly, into domestic bliss.

I woke up to find my littlest bug, Abigail, cuddled in my bed with me, sleeping like an angel. And no sooner had Abby started to stir when my first bug Emily came in and gave me a big hug. My babies.

And while I sit here, reveling in the warmest thoughts of motherhood, Emily comes over to me and gives a rousing performance of armpit farts.

Who could ask for more?


I just realized...

...that I have nothing to say.
Nothing witty or exciting to impart. No new funny anecdotal stories about my girls (doing wonderfully, by the way). Nothing dripping with just the perfect amount of sarcasm to barely register on the Richter scale. And I am so tired of complaining about my job with my coworkers that I have no energy left to do it here. Coming up with something that will keep people interested, and in doing so, keeping myself relevant, is becoming such a chore.
I wonder if I have Blogger's Block?


Living at the library

I swear I should move in.
I have spent most of the last couple of months in and out of the library, borrowing everything that I can get my dirty little hands on. Books! CD's! Books on CD! Movies! While Supplies Last!
It's been great.
I think the library staff knows me by now. If it's not for the sole reason of checking my items out then it's for me paying fines for returning movies late. I swear my late fees are funding the library.
But my deep relationship with the library is about to come to a screeching halt, I fear. Classes resume August 20th and I'm registered for 12 credit hours. Oh, and IF I get accepted, I'll be working 20 hours at the college for a work study program in addition to the 40 hours that I work already.
Yes, I have in fact lost my ever loving mind.
I'm not sure when I'm going to study. Is the library open at 2 in the morning?


Prepping for a 7 year old's slumber party is like preparing for a herd of elephants to come strolling through your living room.

Emily will be 7 on Wednesday.
Ok, I'll spare you. I'll save the traditional "Oh! My baby is getting so big!" moment for another time, but suffice it to say that her birthday marks another event that most parents cringe at.
The Slumber Party.
Basically you get a handful of 7 year old girls, turn them loose on the house and stand back. One tries to remember to put up the flammables and breakables, but you can only do so much.
But the prepping. *sigh* Since I'll be having a handful of children at my house, that in turn means that I will have a handful of parents coming to my house to both drop them off and pick them up. God forbid that I don't start cleaning like a maniac.
Excuse me, I have to clean under my couches.


Letter, Unsent

May 26, 2007

Hello Rose,

I’ve been thinking about you since our encounter at the grocery store after your tumble today. I hope that you were taken good care of at the emergency room and are presently feeling much better. After much thought on the matter, I believe that the good Lord put me there at that time and place so I could help you. My only regret is not meeting your eyes with a smile as you walked in the store; if I had I may have caught you as you fell.

God bless.

I was leaving the grocery store, my head in the clouds, as I pushed my shopping cart toward the automatic doors. I barely registered an old woman entering the store ahead of me, and I didn't meet her eyes as the door swung open. I glanced out toward the parking lot and heard a loud thump to my left. I looked over and the woman was face down on the floor, not moving. I dropped my keys.

I went to her and knelt down, momentarily believing that this woman dropped dead right in front of me. I heard her groan and turn her head. Blood was trickling from her mouth.

People started to mill about, and a woman from the store came to assist us. Gingerly I helped her sit up and then slowly ("...on three!") we lifted her up and moved her to the bench in the store lobby.

Through mouthfuls of blood soaked paper towel (her upper plate had shattered, slicing open her gums) she explained that her name was Rose, that she had just arrived back from Colorado, and Oh, Lord, she had just come in for some ice cream that she wasn't going to be able to get.

I wouldn't leave her until her friend, who was on her way over to take her to the hospital (Rose refused to have an ambulance called) came to get her. I sat there with this woman as a sort of penitence for not preventing her fall. When I finally went home I had Rose's blood on my arm.

I keep thinking about Rose. About how she fared at the hospital. About how I hope the doctors and nurses treated her urgently and with proper respect. I wonder if I'll ever spot her in the grocery store again.

I wrote the letter above not long after I came home from the grocery store that day. I was on an emotional high alert and felt terrible about what had happened. When the store manager had asked Rose for her address she opened up her wallet and I spotted her last name. I found her address in the phone book when I got home. My husband was concerned that someone might interpret the letter as someone looking for a handout for a good deed done. I couldn't let that happen so that letter has been sitting on my computer desk for nearly a month, staring at me.

There's no point in sending the letter out now. I just hope to keep a sharp eye out for her in the store so I can let her know how much that experience changed my life.


Home Treatments

So I need to get some cranberry juice to help clear up a little problem I'm experiencing. *cough* After spending countless minutes in the juice aisle to find a cranberry drink that isn't loaded with junk I finally come across one that promises No Added Sugar. Right up my alley!
So I get my juice home and my mom hooks me up with a drink. Cranberry juice with a splash of cranberry vodka.
I'm feeling better already!


Bits and pieces and lots of faces

An explanation is in order after my last entry. So many of you were kind enough to send me your best wishes and I don't want to mislead anyone. I'm not apathetic about my home or family life at all. In fact, it's quite the contrary. Things are going swimmingly well at home and I couldn't be happier. My real problem is work. There's so much crap going on right now that I just want to show up, do my job and leave. That's it, nothing more, nothing less. It didn't use to be that way. I used to care about stuff around there and now I don't. A friend of mine keeps trying to turn me around, lift my spirits and remind me that I'm a pro at what I do. He's right: I do a damn good job and I'll freely admit that. But my interest has wanned for a lot of reasons and I keep reminding him of that. What weighs heavily on my mind of late is that while I'm desperate to move on from my job, it's still going to be at least a year and a half before I finish school. That's a long time to be stuck in a situation where you've become so apathetic that your entire physical and mental self changes the minute you walk through an office door.

Emily was the only first grader in her school to get over 100 points in her Accelerated Reading program. She finished up the year with 119.5 points and she started late in the year. She got on Wall of Fame! For a little perspective... the girl who finished second behind Emily took in somewhere between 50 & 60 points. That's my girl!

Abby and Jim made chocolate chip cookies yesterday. Thankfully they were much, much better than the chocolate cake.

Speaking of chocolate cake, a lot of folks have inquired about Harley after her dessert. She's completely fine. That does has a cast iron stomach. This is the same dog who chewed up one of my used Intuition razors. Yummy.

By pure chance I came across this website yesterday. Now, I'm not a ringtone nut, but here you can upload any song (for free!) and create your own custom ring tone from it. I customized one for general use, a couple for my friends, and I'm going to upload Scotland the Brave for my mom. I can't wait for people to call me now! Unless it's someone I don't want to talk to...but I'll still enjoy hearing my phone go off.

And finally, what a crock of... well, insert your favorite expletive .


Word of the day

ap·a·thy (āp'ə-thē)
  1. Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.
  2. Lack of emotion or feeling; impassiveness.

Does apathy sneaks up on you or does it stews for a while, a witches brew in the making? To be honest, apathy isn't just my word of the day... we're talking months. In situations where I should care about something I simply don't. And I'm perfectly ok with this fact.

The only thing that worries me is whether or not apathy is close friends with depression. That is one friendship that I don't want to strike up.


James and the Giant Chocolate Cake

Every once in a while my husband gets a bug up his...er, well, he gets these wild inclinations to do something out of the ordinary. Yesterday he declared that he was going to make a homemade chocolate cake.

I mentally objected for several reasons, the first and foremost being that I'm trying not to eat such tantalizing things as chocolate cake. But trying to dissuade my husband from indulging in this inclination is like trying to stop a moving train. It ain't gonna happen.

So being the helpful *cough* wife that I am, I gathered up the necessary items for his homemade chocolate cake at the store. Not only did I gather up the ingredients for him (including spending seven some odd dollars for a liter of grape seed oil--even though the recipe called for only a half cup) but I bought brand spanking new cake pans for him as well. His chocolate cake would spring from style if nothing else.

Soon the mixing, stirring, folding and grating started. The batter went into the new cake pan and was promptly popped in the oven to bake. 50 minutes later a beautiful chocolate cake, perfectly formed, emerged from the heat of the oven. I was in the middle of getting ready for work so I barely glanced at the confection, and even refused a bite of it after it was patted down with grated chocolate to create it's frosting. But it looked good.

Later that evening Jim reported that the dog ate the cake. She apparently thought it looked good, too. Jim had left the house for roughly 10 minutes to drop the girls off at church and he returned to a very guilty looking Harley Blu. She spent the rest of the day in her crate.

But this development didn't deter my husband from his cake. He announced this morning after I woke up that he was going to make another chocolate cake and try a new recipe. "It has beets in it!" he announced.

Methinks that I won't be trying this one, either.


Bits and pieces

There was only one way to end the evening I had last night at work: with a cold beer and left over homemade pizza. Work was horrifying. It was the sort of night where you can't get cut any breaks and you are truly earning your paycheck. Only I don't think we get paid enough to have dealt with what I did last night. *sigh*
Speaking of work, I'm taking a summer online class that I need for my degree. It's called Targeting the Job Market. I think it's both hilarious and depressing that I'm taking this class. It advises students how to handle a job interview, how to write a resume, etc. Here I'm thinking "I'm damn near 34 years old and I th
ink I know how to write a resume." I'm hoping that I'm going to get something out of this class. It's only worth one credit, though. Bummer.

And speaking of school.... I don't think I mentioned how last semester turned out. I earned a B in the biology class I was freaking out about. I'm so pleased with this grade. That class was wicked hard! Everyone else I knew of in that class was either failing it or close to. I'm rather chuffed about it, to be honest. ;) I got A's in my other classes, so my GPA for the semester was 3.69. Yay me!

Abby's graduation was soooo cute! I can't believe my baby's not a baby any more. Not a preschooler but a kindergartener. *sigh*


The freaking out may commence

On Sunday Abby graduates from preschool.
I am so freaking out over this. No longer will my baby be waiting for me when I get home from school, ready to give me a great big hug. I'll be giving her even bigger hugs in the fall when she's off to kindergarten, five full days of the week.
A completely kid free house, Monday through Friday? The possibilities are both endless and frightening.


One Helluva Weekend

I just had one of the most amazing weekends ever.
I don't think that I have ever seen so many people in one spot. Moving together like a sea of hope. Corny? Sure, but I can live with that. I can't tell you how many times I felt like I could burst into tears. At one point I remarked to Jennifer that I felt like I was in a protest march. "You are", she replied.
Y-Me was like one big party. I believe I read that 30,000 people were there. I saw lots of laughs, smiles, hugs, determination and more pink than you can shake a stick at. A lot of people held signs in honor of those who have fought the breast cancer battle and won....or lost. It was moving to see so many walking memorials.
I observed that among the throngs of people everywhere there was not one group of people who weren't represented. Breast cancer touches everyone; it does not discriminate.
If you would like to see a few shots our my trip, click here. I apologize for the complete lack of originality of these photos as my digital camera died and I was left with buying a disposable camera.
Here are some really great shots from the Y-Me page.


"That's not a Picasso, that's a horse."

Abigail made this declaration during breakfast. I realize that, at five years old, she's an extremely talented artist (read Ar Teest) but it's nice to know that she's already taken on a humbleness far beyond her years.


2 fer 2

I haven't had much luck with Tuesday.
I showed up at 0830 for my biology final only to discover that I'm a day early. Turns out that this is actually Tuesday, not Wednesday.
So I meander over to the car dealership for my 10 am oil change only to discover...yep... it's tomorrow.
Double Whoops.
At this point I'm feeling more than slightly sheepish. I'm I the only one who has "skipped" a day?


I need to relearn how to live my life

I've been taking Lexapro for a year. For those not familiar with the drug, it's an antidepressant. I wasn't taking it for depression but anxiety. You know, come to think of it, I wasn't really taking it for that, either. I have anger issues.

My issues stem from the fact that I can anger quite easily, going from zero to @#$%^ in a .5 seconds. And that anger was primarily as a result of stressors that I encountered at home. Strangely, I could deal with work stress, even relishing in it and performing better. But I couldn't do that at home.

I think I inherited this from my mother. I know it wasn't from my dad. He was frustratingly laid back, and it would take A LOT to get that man angry. As a child I was deathly afraid of angering my mother. Not that I was ever abused as a child, but I was scared of her temper. I learned what rage look like at an early age.

Now as a mother myself, I refuse to allow my children to bear witness to my own inner rage. When I could see that I was having an extreme difficulty in controlling my temper with two small children, I wrestled with going to my doctor to ask for help. I was terrified that once I talked to my doctor that he would somehow have my girls taken from me. Note: I have never beat on my kids. Never never never. Ok. Now that THAT'S cleared up...

So I went to the doctor, holding my breath. And then I exhaled. I got a prescription for Lexapro and found that I didn't feel like I was walking along that same cliff, threatening to fall (or jump?) off of it. I could deal with stressors in a rational way, and I never felt that snap that put me over the edge. I still got angy, sure, but it was rational. I never blew up and regretted anything I said to anyone.

And then my prescription ran out. A couple of weeks ago I dialed up the pharmacy to have it refilled and they informed me that they would need my Dr's okay first. Sure, I said, no problem.

Only he was on vacation for a week. By the time the attending doctor authorized five pills to "tide me over" till my doctor got back I had been off of the drug for over a week. In that time I had neat little headaches, a persistant brain fog, and a perpetual sense of vertigo that was made intense every time I got up and walked around. In short, that week was hell.

During that time I decided to come off of the drug completely, hoping that in the last year I will have learned ways to deal with stress. Granted, I have had a couple of moments where my inner rage decided to sneek out, curious as to what it had missed in the last year. Overall, though, I can see that my physical withdrawl symptoms are abating and that I'm trying to hold on to the medicated rationality.

I had a doctor's appointment today. I told him of my decision to come off of the drug, and he supported me. He did, however, give me some samples of Lexapro in the event that something major goes down and I feel like I can't cope. I'm okay with this; having the samples handy is much like carrying around an unopened pack of cigarettes after I quit cold turkey when I found out that I was pregnant with Emily. I was reassured by their presence, knowing if it got that bad that I wouldn't have to "suffer" a craving. And I never opened them.

I'm hoping that those samples stay unopened, too.

Everything you never knew that you didn't want to know about me

Do you know how long it took me to come up with all these pointless facts? That in itself makes me realize that my life is very dull.

So without further ado (if you care to continue)...
1. I was born in San Jose, California in 1973.
2. I grew up in Vacaville, California.
3. I love Bath & Bodyworks Moonlight Path lotion.
4. I love Indian food.
5. I like bacon and sausage dipped in syrup. But you won't find me eating it any time soon. I stopped eating meat.
6. I stopped eating meat but I'll still eat a ton of fish.
7. I have to hold onto the headboard on my bed in order to fall asleep comfortably.
8. I can bend over and place my palms on the floor. Let me stretch first before I pull something!
9. I can type really fast.
10. My brain is no longer as fast as my fingers.
11. I use the backspace key a lot now.
12. My daughter Emily was 10.4 pounds at birth.
13. My daughter Abigail was 8.13.
14. Both were two weeks early.
15. I have thrown a live grenade.
16. Grenades are really loud when they explode.
17. I used to climb up on my roof and lay out to tan. I'd kill my kids if they tried that.
18. I'm taller than my mom at 5'7".
19. My little sister is taller than me.
20. I love to dance.
21. I love to sing.
22. I sound amazing in the car and shower.
23. I've been known to write poetry.
24. I smoked for 10 years.
25. I quit cold turkey when I found out that I was pregnant.
26. The smell of cigarettes nauseates me now.
27. I work for an airline in the dispatch office.
28. Among other things, I cancel flights.
29. If I've ever canceled your flight, it's nothing personal.
30. You have to be federally licensed to do my job.
31. I love the smell of spent shells on a firing range.
32. I'm a sucker for OnStar commercials.
33. The opening sequence for the Lion King makes me bawl, too.
34. I'm a certified personal trainer.
35. I wear reading glasses.
36. I have an Associates in Exercise Science.
37. I met my husband in Korea.
38. I like to play video games.
39. My children have more of a social life than I do.
40. I have a Boxer named Harley. She's a doll.
41. Harley ate part of my couch as a puppy.
42. I want a Great Dane.
43. I have 3 cats.
44. That's why I can't have another dog.
45. I like to drink beer.
46. I don't watch tv per se but I will watch Bones, Fringe and The Office online.
47. I love "Girls Kick Ass" movies & tv.
48. I've benched 95 pounds. So far.
49. I want to visit Egypt and see the pyramids.
50. I have to sit up front in the cockpit of my aircraft (well, not my aircraft) once a year to maintain my dispatch qualification.
51. I love wearing high heels.
52. My hair was so long that it hung down to the small of my back.
53. I chopped it all off after I had my daughter.
54. It's at my shoulders now--I've recently cut it again.
55. I've dyed it a chestnut brown for a change.
56. I still can't believe I'm the mom of two girls.
57. Crimes against children enrage me.
58. I have no mercy for these type of offenders.
59. I have a time management problem. I suck at it.
60. My favorite color is the green of my husband's eyes.
61. I love music, and I have very eclectic tastes.
62. www.dictionary.com is my friend.
63. I used to be a pretty good speller. Then I got old.
64. I was always in advanced English classes in school.
65. I love to read.
66. I was married at 17.
67. I was divorced at 19.
68. I married a sailor. That should explain the divorce.
69. I remarried 4 years later. This year was our 12 year anniversary.
70. I really got lucky this time. ;)
71. I'd love to learn how to swing dance.
72. I like mustard better than ketchup.
73. I love asparagus.
74. I'm not overly fond of pumpkin pie.
75. If you've read this far, "Quack Quack" in the comments.
76. If I had the money I'd get a boob job.
77. I have little willpower over chocolate chip cookies. My husband bakes the best.
78. Both of my kids are in the gifted program at school.
79. I don't watch reality TV. That's not "real", folks.
80. I am quite impatient at times.
81. I am perpetually sleep deprived.
82. I like crushed red pepper in my spaghetti.
83. I named my oldest daughter after a character in a book.
84. I have no discernible waist. That's annoying.
85. I have 6 tattoos. I'd like at least one more.
86. I have a total of 11 holes in my ears.
87. I now wear only one earring in each ear.
88. I once had my belly pierced. It's closed up.
89. I'm proudly half Scottish.
90. I love my country.
91. I've always wanted to live in Montana.
92. I've an affinity for hummingbirds.
93. My favorite flower is a lily.
94. I have an aunt named Lily.
95. My house was built in 1912. A skeleton key opens the front door.
96. I have a nasty habit of being unable to leave for work on time.
97. I'm extremely opinionated.
98. I have a library addiction.
99. I generally eat a wheat bagel covered in peanut butter with coffee for breakfast.
100. I listen to audio books while I fall asleep and while I drive to work.
101. I spend way too much time on the computer.