Hello, World!

To those folks peeking in from
Sevilla, Andalucia
Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Klang, Selangor
Makati, Rizal
Bayreuth, Bayern
Druten, Gelderland
Dublin, Dublin
Johannesburg, Gauteng
Lublin, Lubelskie
Gold Coast, Queensland
Lyon, Rhone-Alpes
Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal
Maarianhamina, Åland...

Welcome! How's the chocolate in your part of the world? ;)

And to my other worldly regulars
London, Ontario
Istanbul, Istanbul
Seriate, Lombardia
thanks for enriching my world!

I love my Feedjit.


Things I'm looking forward to on my vacation

1. Seeing my family and friends.
I'll get shot if that's not first on my list.

2. Eating at my favorite Mexican restaurant.
You can't find authentic Mexican food in Illinois... you have to go to California! ;)

3. Eating potstickers from my favorite Chinese restaurant.
Do you notice a trend here?

4. Dry heat.
I'm happiest when I'm warm...even if it's 100 degrees in the shade.

5. Camping & fishing with the kids.
I think I'm going to go with the "toss the fish back" idea... thanks!

6. Swimming.
There aren't any good outdoor pools here...and I'm not swimming in the Mississippi!

7. Getting some great pictures and videos of the kids with Grandpa Bill.
This one needs no explanation!

8. Seeing how my hometown has changed over the years.
You can take the girl out of California, but you can't take California out of the girl!


They're hooked!

I'm taking the girls home to California at the end of next month. My sister and I are taking our collective offspring camping to Lake Solano for a couple of days where we'll party, make S'mores, tell ghost stories and fish. My sister has scored an awesome campsite.

Since my kids have never fished before Jim decided to teach them in plenty of time to catch The Big One. They practiced casting into a plastic pool in the back yard for two days and seemed to have nailed the technique because yesterday the girls caught their very first fish!

I was terribly excited for them but I suddenly had a very nasty thought about our upcoming camping trip:

Who's supposed to clean the fish? *barf*


Guess what I got in the mail today???

My new Flip Video! It arrived in plenty of time for Abby's ballet recital next weekend.

Oh! Did you think I was going to say my certification results?

I got that, too. :)


I've been maimed!

The weapon.

The staple.
(OK, it's not the actual staple...but it looks just like it!)

The offended digit.

My only regret is that I was unable to photograph my injury just after it happened a la Ryan McGeeney.

(If you're wondering who actually did the stapling... um, that would be me. And that, unfortunately, rules out Workers Compensation.)


It's come to this

I must now resort to hiding my pillow. I realize that this is a drastic measure but it really is necessary.

My husband is a bona fide Pillow Hog. The man will grab every pillow in a ten foot radius and wrap and fold himself and the pillows into unimagined forms. Extracting my pillow has become a dangerous task, one that sometimes requires back up. I've used the number for the local S.W.A.T team at least twice. I'll spare you the gory details.

From this day forth my pillow will be kept in my closet, next to my jeans, above my workout clothes and below my sleeveless shirts. I appreciate the enormity of this move and respect it's impending consequences but I have my limits.

Maybe someday I can bring myself to tell you about the blankets. *shudders*


Wait a minute, Mr. Postman!

"Please Mister Postman, look and see
(Oh yeah)
If there's a letter in your bag for me
(Please, Please Mister Postman)
Why's it takin' such a long time
(Oh yeah)
For me to hear from that boy of mine"

I think I may be stalking our mailman.

Random times during the morning I'll peek my head out the door to see if the mail truck is parked at the corner in hopes that The Postman will deliver the mail early. Lately I've been doing that a lot. It's been five weeks, people!

I should be receiving word from AFAA about my personal training certification any day now. Will they or won't they? Did they or did they not? Thick or thin envelope? The suspense is driving me nuts!

Who ever heard of waiting 4 to 6 weeks for test results?! Anyone, anyone?!


When fashion and work collide

Ok. So I buy a new top. Sorta looks like this. Wear it to work. The whispering starts. I arch an eyebrow. I have a feeling I know what "they" are saying but I try to coax it out of them, wanting them to confirm my suspicions. One of guys holds up a note for the other side of the room and everyone giggles. I rush over and wrestle it out of his hands.
"It looks like a preggo shirt", it reads.
It's a peasant shirt, for the love of Pete! Peasant! Not maternity!
"For the record", I announce to the room, "I am NOT pregnant."
These people have no fashion sense!
All right, so it IS a bit poofy in the front... but not maternity poofy!
But I bet that if I wore it to the grocery store I might be able to score one of those New or Expecting Mom's parking spots.
Ah, man.


Ferns, take cover!

Yesterday I bought seeds and a couple of mature tomato and pepper plants to try to start a container garden for fresh veggies. Sometime today I'll get dirt underneath my nails and have my hands elbow-deep in potting soil in an effort to try to coax the little seeds into lettuce, spinach, green onions and a couple of varieties of peppers. I'm giddy at the thought of the awesome salads that could emerge from my garden.
That is if I don't kill everything.
While my gardening skills are nothing compared to some, I try. And try. And try again. Much to the detriment of these poor plants. What can I say? I love plants. I want my house dripping in greenery (think indoor rain forest) and my backyard rich with Mother Nature's promises. Each time I see lush ferns I want to buy them and adorn my front porch with these plants that have been around since "the early-Carboniferous period". And each time I mention that my husband reminds me that I'll kill them. It's really hard for me to accept the fact that he's right about this one. So I'll go fern-less yet another year.
Hey, where did my seeds go?


Impromtu fashion show

Sometimes inspiration can come from the most unlikely places.
The other day I was inspired to stop Abby's incessant whining while shopping in Target. Rather than commit some atrocious act in the middle of a public venue ("I love my child, I love my child...") I spotted a display of colorful hats in Accessories and popped one on her head. She thought that was the coolest thing! I remembered that I had my camera in my purse and Voilà! Instant fashion show! And that meant no more whining. Woot Woot!
Disclaimer: I have no idea where she learned these poses. Really.

*I love the look on this gal's face as she walks by us!


How do you spell 'relief'?

I have been a ball of emotions lately. Maybe I should have wrote "bawl" of emotions. It's applicable...I haven't been this weepy in years!

Last Friday I picked up a shift at work and had the most horrendous night of my 10-year career. I ended up in the ladies room crying from all the stress. If that wasn't bad enough, I couldn't even grant myself sufficient time to have a good cry... I had to get back out there and try to hold the airline together. I left after a 12-hour night of such horrific intensity that it will tide me over for another 10 years.

If that's not enough I've been finishing up this semester in school and that means finals. You know me... I'm always robbing Peter to pay Paul the time I owe to one thing or another. As a result the only substantial studying for my A & P final came yesterday--and that would be the day before my final. 33% of my "comprehensive" final would cover the last 3 chapters (nervous system & brain) that I had barely looked at and definitely did not understand. Parasympathetic preganglionic neurons? Arachnoid villi? Are you freaking kidding me?

So last night I crammed. And I do mean crammed. I'm glad I did because I reconnected with concepts introduced in the beginning of the semester and sort of grasped what I didn't understand from the last 3 chapters. But I still dreaded this morning. Again, I damn near found myself in tears.

But I had an epiphany this morning on my way to take my test. No matter what my grade was or if I passed the class (even if I had nothing but 100's the entire semester I could still fail the class if I didn't get at least a 65 on the final--after the curve...see why I was stressing?) I still did what I set out to do when I registered: learn a lot more about the muscles of the body, the skeleton and joint actions. These would be things that would be most beneficial to me as a personal trainer.

Ninety minutes and two hundred and forty questions later I left the building, feeling somewhat confident that I had at least passed the final and, therefore, the class. My instructor told everyone that she would have our grades to us by tonight.

She got it done a lot sooner.

After the curve I got a 95 on my final. Overall that left me with a 90.14 for the class. That's a B.

If you'll pardon me, I'm going to go have a good cry. Then I'm going to finish up assignments due for my other two classes and study for those finals on Monday.

Does anyone have a Kleenex?