Thursday, December 20, 2007


As you are well aware of from past posts, Jman hates writing and normally does not finish his assignments on time. This assignment he did finish on time at school (a miracle in itself), and his teacher thought I should read a copy of it (it was a benchmark test essay, so the original could not come home). I've copied it verbatim, spelling errors and all. I believe the topic was "Where is your favorite place to go?"

J's response:

"My favorite place to go is home esspecaly after a long day at school or a bad camping trip. The reason is, you always know that somebody or something is waiting for you at home. If you're out in the cold for awhile it is always relaxing to warm up by the fire. It's just great knowing there is a room made just for you to rest in. But after any long dreary day there is no place better than home."

It warms the cockles of my heart.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cold morning, warm hands

When we bought our car, the salesman couldn't help but push every extra feature that our car had, one of the being heated seats. We poo-pa'd him about it, saying we live in Texas it is always warm

Today it is 39 (cold by our standards) and my butt is nice and toasty. My hands too since the steering wheels heats up as well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Woohoo - I get to go visit my sister after Christmas! We finally both have vacation time at the same time. I can't wait to see her and my nephew. Jman is excited too - he's been mentioning for several weeks how we need to go see the little guy.
It is a relatively short visit - 4 days- but that should be enough time for us to catch up but not get on each others nerves. Plus, I'll be able to show hubby and Jman some of the prime tourist spots while we are there.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Lovely Locks

In the last few months, Jman decided to grow his hair long (much to the chagrin of his father). In the past he has had a "high and tight" military style haircut, which was easy to care for, no work at all. With the longer hair we've had to be on his case, reminding him that he actually has to brush his hair now that it is longer than an inch.
When I woke him this morning, I casually tousled his hair and noticed that it felt very oily. So I asked him if he was shampooing his hair or if he was using bar soap to clean it (he's done this in the past). He assured me that he was using the shampoo in his shower. My next question, "are you getting a good lather?", since he sometimes rushes his hair washing. His answer was no. OK. I told him to get out of bed and I would show him how to get a good lather. As we are soaking his head, he mentions that he did not realize he has to WET his hair first. What?!?!? He's been showering with no help for 5 years, has he never washed his hair in this time?
After his shower tonight, I checked his hair again - still not clean. What the heck is going on? Why is his shampoo not lathering? I inspect the bottle (who's label has come off) and notice that it is conditioner. When he last ran out of shampoo, whenever that may have been, he grabbed a bottle of conditioner from my vanity. Luckily, after careful questioning, we determined that it was not that long ago when he did this. We got a new bottle of shampoo out - his hair is squeaky clean now.

Friday, November 30, 2007


This time of year usually I'm in a grinchy mood - I don't want to decorate or shop, bake or go to holiday parties...however...this year is different. I am so excited about Christmas, I'm in the mood to celebrate. I don't know why, since nothing is different. Well, I am to appreciate the beauty of the holiday more this year due to the trials and tribulations of this past year. The peaceful spirit of Christmas is filling my soul, and the excitement of it is too! Maybe because I can take a step back this year and really observe those around me. My son's joy and excitement is always to see...nine year olds are so sweet when they are in awe.
Hopefully I will continue this good cheer through the season. We shall see.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving food

Thanksgiving is almost here and that means lots of yummy food. We'll be at a friends house, traditional Texans, and our meal will reflect the blend of cultures.
They'll be antipasto, perhaps eggplant parmigiana, artichoke bake, broccoli salad, butternut squash, turnips and carrots (if hubby has his way), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread stuffing, regular turkey stuffing, cranberry sauce, ham, turkey, pumpkin pie and lemon meringue pie.
Can you guess who is making what?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How's it going?

Hi there, how's it going? I'm finally able to come back to the world of blogger now that the fall festival is over. I went to bed at 9pm last night and didn't get up until 8am this morning. I needed the rest - I calculated that in the 48 hours before I had slept a total of 8 hours while the other 40 were literally spent on my feet. Woowee those were long hours for poor feet...they were swollen to twice their normal size and covered with blisters.
The festival itself went off quite well - at least that's what folks tell me. I was running around so much that I didn't get a chance to enjoy it. I was even manning the cotton candy machine for awhile - talk about a funny sight: short little ol' me standing next to a whirling dervish of a machine that was shooting threads of crystallized sugar into the air. I had one fellow look at me, look at me again with a slight tilt of his head, then comment that I was "all pink and sparkly".
At least it is done. All that is left are the letters to our sponsors and donors. Piece of cake.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Quote of the day

Be extra kind to people you see
because everyone is fighting some
kind of battle.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

The costume that J-man is wearing is the same type of costume which frightened him terribly when he was 2 years old. He ran into older kids on the street and they made the costume "bleed" - he took one look at them, one look at me, and started bawling. Once we got home, he did not want me to open the door for any trick-or-treaters.
Now he is out scaring other kids....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Camping favorites

So, each member of Jman's scout den have an assignment for their pack paper to write a paragraph about their favorite thing about camping. He's going to write about roasting marshmallows. I thought I would write a paragraph about my favorite thing.
Waking up, just past sunrise, I zip open the tent,the cool mist still clings to the ground. All that can be heard are the birds and a squirrel or two. There is a scent in the air of dry decomposing leaves, and moist earth, and one more scent - the bitter acrid scent of coffee cooking over the warming morning fire. That first sip, scalding the roof of my mouth..I truly enjoy that part of camping.. and the fact that hubby gets up first to make it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Doctor's visits

I got to spend all day (8:30 am - 3:30pm) at several doctors' offices today. Lucky me. Well, the first was a dentist (my teeth are good - no cavities or gingivitis) which was relatively quick, although the dental assistant was already saying how she had to work until 7pm and was not going to do any extra work...I feel bad for her clients at the end of the day.
Then off to the gynecologist - men, stop reading here - where I spent the rest of the day getting several parts of my body prodded, scanned and squashed. Unfortunately, chronic pain that I have been experiencing in my lower right quadrant was determined not to be the ovarian cyst I thought it was. In fact, the doctor said she could feel no inflammation...this was during the exam as I was crawling backwards off the table in pain. An ultrasound revealed nothing as that leaves me with pain without a reason. I liked it better when I thought it was a cyst - it had a reason for it is a mystery.
Once I get all my test results back, we'll determine what the next step will be. I just love waiting for test results...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I finally said "no more"

I finally said "no more" to this fall festival thing. I got together with the PTO presidents and explained that I was unable to physically and mentally make it happen, that I was more than willing to continue helping out, but that I could not manage the whole thing by myself, not if they expected to have anything at the festival.

I tell you, once I spoke up I felt much better. This certainly was not worth my health. I know my limitations, I am not superwoman; but I also am not a quitter. It was very difficult to step up and say "I can't do it". However, they were very understanding about it and immediately stepped up to ask what they could do. I think the fact that my physical appearance gave its own story was a helpful tool .

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

fall festival

My son's school is having a fall festival, something I was roped into chairing. An event that normally takes months to plan, I get 1 month to plan it. It has so overwhelmed me that it is making me ill. Folks at work have sent me home early, because I look so bad. I've lost weight, my appetite, and have a knot in my stomach that effects me as soon as I think about going home.
I have no problem helping with it, but trying to organize it is beyond me - I am so over my head it is not funny.
The festival is Nov. 10 and I probably won't be blogging much until after that date - I won't have forgotten you, I will just be incredibly busy.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Come and gone

Well, our visitors came this weekend, without too much chaos; although one did miss his flight going out - the time had been changed from when he originally booked the flight. So, when he logged on iSunday morning to print his boarding pass for the afternoon, he was told that his plane was leaving in less than an hour and that he couldn't print his pass. This posed a wee bit of a problem, since with no traffic and breaking several speed limits, we live over a 1/2 hour from the airport. Luckily, we were able to get him on his way on a new flight without too much delay.

My father-in-law was not able to make it at all - his sciatic nerve was causing him trouble. He couldn't possibly sit for 4 hours on a plane. Well, he could but then he would not have been able to get off the plane and airlines frown upon that.

While our guests were here, we took in a ball game. My son has been to one other professional ball game, but that was 2 years ago and he was not interested at all. This year was a different story. once he figured out which team he wanted to root for, he was able to enjoy himself. The only problem he had was that the security guard kept standing in his line of vision of the big screen so Jman could not see the replays. I kept reminding him that if he watched the field, he would not have to see the replays - he is so used to seeing games televised that he had trouble with the concept that the game was right in front of him and that he did not need to watch it on a screen.

Although it was a "rushed" visit, it was good to see the family. I loved watching Jman bound with his great-uncle. Jman sees him maybe once every 2 years, so anytime together is precious time.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Hmm...I've noticed seems every time we have visitors due to arrive, hubby goes out of town the week before their arrival date. Now, I am sure it is not on purpose, since he does not set the date of the events he attends and the relatives don't contact us asking which dates they would like to come ( they contact us with the dates they are coming, and ask "is that OK?"); but it is an odd coincidence.
Our visitors are coming next weekend and hubby left today for his week long trip. This drives me crazy. I still have to work, but I also have to put the house into "visiting" status, which means: finally clearing those piles of papers that are on the tables, going through stacks of books, really noticing that Jman's toys have spread into every room and need to be picked up, getting new towels and sheets since ours have become rather worn since the last visit 3 years ago.
I also have to figure out where everyone will stay - instead of one at a time, the relatives come in groups. So father-in-law gets our bed (it's a sleep number one, so it will be good for his back), uncle gets the extra comfy futon (we bought it as an "extra bed for company"), cousin gets Jman's bed, and we sleep on the floor, which means finding an air mattress without a hole in it (seems that every time we bring out the mattress the day company visits, it has a hole - I'm testing it early this time).
Since they don't all come in at the same time on Friday (this includes hubby), I have to figure out how to pick them up and how to be home for the bus for Jman. There also happens to be a company luncheon that same day, partly being held in my honor, so I need to attend that too.
Plus I'll have to have a special dinner waiting for them...sigh...I'm tired just thinking about it all.

It will be nice to see everyone, I just hope I can relax long enough to enjoy seeing them!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fall is here

Hooray! Fall has come to the central south of the US, which still means temps. in the low 90's but the air has dried out! Whoopee!!! We just spent the afternoon on a nice bike ride/run to the the park. I love this time of year (although I would like it better if our leaves changed colors). This is the time of year where I am most thankful for living here and for living in general. My mood perks up and I am impossibly cheerful - which tends to get on the nerves of some family members and coworkers..heheh.

Friday, September 14, 2007


J-man and I went to race go-karts tonight; it was a blast. I wasn't sure how he would react - he does not like loud noises, and you have to admit that 5-10 lawnmower sized engines being raced does produce a bit of racket. Luckily, we were not on the adult track, but on the "junior" track. It was just 3 of us - the other person being one of my young co-workers who wanted an excuse to go to the race track.
J-man has never driven any vehicle before, so I was unsure as to if he would enjoy it. He went out of the starting block a little hesitantly, but got up his courage and maintained a steady speed for the whole race, getting stuck only once, and that time on a sharp turn. My co-worker and I raced around him and we could see the huge smile through the over-sized helmet he was wearing.
I'm glad I was able to be the "fun" parent tonight, that my son is still willing to share this kind of adventure with me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


One of the events in my life that has thrown me for a loop is that my identical twin sister was just diagnosed with cervical cancer, and not the type caused by the HPV virus. It looks as though they will be able to treat it, but still...there are several reasons why this struck me hard, some selfish, some more obvious than others.
First, she is my sister, my twin. She is not allowed to get sick - I need her to stay alive so that if I need an organ transplant, I can have one of hers! Seriously, she's been through a lot and to have to go through this, it is not fair. Her medical insurance will not cover the surgery, since she has already exhausted it for the year due to other problems, so she will be in a financial bind, which, again, is not fair.
Second, she is a single mom with an almost-three-year-old. If something happens to her, I will have custody of him. How could I summarize her life for him? How would I ever be able to truly describe his mother? My point of view of our childhood is one of nemisises fighting each other - my memories are certainly slanted.
Plus, her son has a multitude of health problems, some of which they are still trying to get to the bottom of - would I be able to care for him sufficiently?
Third, she is my identical twin, we have the same genetic make-up and therefore suffer from the same ailments - is cancer in my near future too? True, this give me a "heads-up", but I'm not sure if I really can appreciate it. I think it's made me more paranoid than anything else - is that low grade fever I've had for the past week just a virus...or something else? My stress levels have increased, so I'm certainly not a pleasant person to be around, especially at work when dealing with one of my "smackazoid" co-workers. I recognize that I should not bring my personal problems to work with me, but I can't help it.
OK, enough self-pity for now. There are others who are not as lucky as we are, and do not have a support system to rely on. It's just tough to shake off the sadness.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Bad things come in threes

Sorry I have been negligent in my posting; my life has been preoccupied with a series of less-than-positive events. I may go into them at a later date, at this point I'm just trying to wrap my head around them.

One of the less serious ones is Jman's cholesterol. He had his yearly check-up, and my dear 9 year old's cholesterol levels are back through the roof. He has a history of high cholesterol but we had had them decreasing, and our hopes were that he would "grow out" of the bad cholesterol. Unfortunately, this is not true. His fasting Cholesterol levels: 211; TRI 66, LDL 139, HDL 59. Not good. Of course, the nurse spouts off about diet - but we've already changed our diets, eat leafy greens, fiberous foods, and lots of chicken. I'm at a loss as to why his levels increased this year. I don't want him on medication, but I also don't want him to have plaque-filled arteries as well.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Quote of the day

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Monday, August 27, 2007

First day of school

J-man starts 4th grade today, and I have to admit, I didn't want him to go. I know that he is nervous about the 4th grade, since this year the focus is on writing, and he has a difficult time getting the creative stories he dreams up out of his head and onto the paper. His face telegraphs a look of resignation, of hopelessness, when he talks about the 4th grade. How I wish I could change that look. I've tried encouragement, I've tried just being his sounding block. Unfortunately, he has a mental block, which will not break, one that is stopping him from reaching his full potential. He believes he can not write; therefore, he is unable to write. Yet his imagination is wonderful - when he speaks his stories, they are full of detail and wonder.
We'll see how everything goes today. Hopefully his teacher will make a good impression. We haven't met her yet - she was out on "Meet the teacher" night. She had a legitimate excuse, but I would have felt better if I could have voiced my concerns for J to her.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Quote of the day

Planning is an unnatural process; it is much more fun to do something. The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression.
(Sir John Harvey-Jones)

The truth about lasik

As promised, my experience with Lasik surgery. I won't go into detail as to what goes on in the pre-surgery appointments, other than they measure your eyes 3 different ways in order to ensure that the surgery is a success - they check cornea thickness, plot the shape of your eye and measure how far it dilates in an attempt to prevent the dreaded "halo" side effect. At this point I also received several pages of notes to read and sign off on, which basically explained all the possible complications and how I was messing with my eyes and that sight loss was a possibility (or at least this is what I got out of it).

3 days prior to the surgery, I started antibiotic eye drops to kill any germs that might be lurking in my eyes. This was the one medication I had to purchase, that was not part of the package. The doctor said no generic substitutions, so it did cost me $35. The day of surgery, I was told not to wear any make-up or perfume. The perfume fumes could alter the laser, which would be bad. The make-up could get into my newly operated on eyes. Right before I left for the doctor's office, I was to thoroughly scrub my face and use special eyelid scrubbing cloths to get rid of any dirt or debris.
As a note, at this time my anxiety level was starting to mount, as I HATE having anything near my eyes, one of the reasons I have worn glasses for 25 years.

Hubby, Jman and I drove to the doctor's office where I was quickly seen. The assistant briefed me on what I needed to do for after-care, giving me my little pouch containing steroid drops, artificial tears, sunglasses, tape and another copy of instructions on how often to use the medications. There were also 2 Valium, one for now and one for later. I took my Valium, she scrubbed my eyes again, put anesthetic drops in my eyes, put a surgery cap on my head and booties on my feet and lead me blindly to the laser room.

The laser room actually consisted of a seating area and another room with the actual laser in it. I waited in the seating room for a bit with 2 others (the doctor had 16 surgeries scheduled for that day), where we chatted nervously. It seems that the folks who wore contacts were not as nervous as I. The Valium was not kicking in as quickly as I had hoped; either that, or I had extremely high expectations for it.

Finally it was my turn. I was lead wobbling (guess the Valium was working) to the laser room, chatting nervously the entire time. I laid down on the table, with looks the same as an X-ray table, with lots of equipment to the side. The assistant put a cushion block under my knees, to make me more comfortable, and covered me with a blanket, since the room is kept very cold due to the heat coming off the machine. Then the doctor spoke to me, explaining what would happen. Their was an assistant there to literally hold my hand the entire time.

Then the hard part came - the assistants needed to put plastic shields in both my top lid and bottom lid to hold open my eye. The hands reaching toward my eyes started to spike my anxiety, and I started to panic a bit. At this point, hand holding woman calmed me down. The plastic shields did hurt as they were placed, but the worst was the speculum they used to push down and hold my eyeball in place. OWWWWWWW. This all took about 2 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. At this point I was thinking that maybe I did not want this surgery so much. They started up the laser and it hurt...not at was like looking at twinkling lights on a Christmas tree. So easy.
The same thing was done to the left eye, although I didn't mind the shields as much when they put them in. In fact, the pain of the speculum surprised me since I had already forgotten about it from the first eye.
Once they finished, they had me sit up and read the clock-and I could! Amazingly, my vision was already better. Plastic shields were taped over my eyes to protect them and I was led back to a dark examining room. 15 minutes later the doctor came back to check on my progress. He wanted me to open my right eye first, but I couldn't - it just refused to move. I got the left one open, tears streaming down my face (a side effect that was expected) and finally got the right one open. Everything looked good.
Hubby drove us home, me in the front seat covering my face, whispering to them to stop talking, turn off the radio, just get me home. I believe that my nervous system was a bit overwhelmed at about this point and I could not tolerate any more external stimulation. It was very similar to my reaction to light and sound when I have a migraine.
We got home, I took the Valium, and slept the rest of the night. Well, I woke up once at 10pm to find Jman still awake in his room (hubby had to go back to work). I put him to bed then went back to bed myself.
The next day, I painfully pried off the eyeshields (the tape had stuck quite well to my skin, should have used baby oil to remove it) and drove myself the 45 minutes to the doctors. That's right, my eyesight was OK enough for me to drive, to see license plates clearly, to read road signs. I will admit that my eyes were tired by the time I got there, but still, I could see.

And that is about it. I had severe halos the first day post-op, but they have been slowly decreasing as has the dry eye syndrome. My next appointment is this Friday, where I shall see just exactly what my vision is. I truly think it is 20/20, but we shall see.

Friday, August 10, 2007

eyes have it

I went through with it, and I can see. The surgery itself is not painful, but the prep was. I currently am seeing words clearly with a soft light glow around all light sources (think of the photography studios attempt at romantic pictures or how television will sometimes do flashbacks). My eyes are tired and a bit light sensitive. The valium they provided was much needed. I no longer can see extreme details at 2 inches from my face - as the doctor explained it, that was called near sightedness, now I have normal sight. I will go into detail on the actual procedure at a later point in time, right now my eyes squinch up at the thought of it.
Good point of all this, besides the eyesight, no cooking for 2 days (particles could irritate my eyes0, no yard work for 2 weeks, and no lifting anything heavy for 2 weeks either.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

the Talk

Yesterday I had just returned from helping a friend, when hubby came down the stairs, slumped into a chair and said "I talked to him, I did it, I had the talk".

The talk....the one that every parent knows they have to have but is reluctant to give, not because we think the child shouldn't have the information, but because he might ask a question we are not ready to answer.

J man is 9, and the youngest in his class. He rides the school bus, so we know he has had exposure to the topic, but we didn't know what he had heard and how accurate it was. So, hubby decided that before J enters 4th grade and notices how some of the girls are starting to look different that he had better have some indication as to what is going on.

I was not privy to the conversation, but it seems that J said that there were a few things that hubby said that he did not know about already. He didn't have any questions now, but I hope this opens up a dialogue and that he won't be afraid or embarrassed to ask us anything later on when the questions do come to him.

Although J was ready for the talk I don't think hubby was. I think I saw some new grey hairs too.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

It's on for Thursday!

My surgery is scheduled for this upcoming Thursday, at 3 pm. Am I nervous? A wee bit, after all it is something that will affect my eyesight, either good or bad. I have a whole list of prep work to do before the operation (ie. antibiotic drops for the eyes a few days before surgery to clean out any nasty germs that are hiding, eyelid scrubbers, etc). Along with the pre-operation preparation there are rules for the day of surgery. I can not wear perfume or hairspray because the laser is sensitive that the fumes that emanate from them could through it off. I offered to not wear deodorant either, but was told they would rather I not come stinky!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Tomorrow I find out whether or not I qualify for eye surgery - I'm a bit nervous. I've pinned my hopes to getting the surgery, but am a bit frightened about the actual surgery. It's not the results of the surgery, but the actual surgery that has me in a tizzy. I just don't know if I can physical take having my eyes held open as a laser slices the cornea. I won't put contacts in my eye, so the thought of having anything foreign in my eye makes my heart race. If I do get to go through with it, I'll ask for a sedative,

UPDATE: Looks like I am a good candidate. The doctor had me wear contacts for a day to see if my eyes dried out (a good indication for the possibility of that as a long time side-effect from the surgery). They didn't! I have one more appointment to go to before the actual surgery. I could have new sight within the next three weeks!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wonder if it is on sale?

I was doing some grocery shopping today, when I noticed a little boy (4-6yo) that was away from his parents, behaving suspiciously. I soon found out why- I watched him give his older sister (8-9 yo) a devilish look, then pull an extra large wad of gum out of his mouth , and finally watched him fling it onto a shelf. He did not tuck it under the shelf, no, he threw it right next to the green olives. He then walked back to his mother.
So what did I do, you ask? I went over to the mother, simply stated, "Do you realize your son just threw a wad of gum onto the shelves?" Mom quickly replied that she did not and turned to talk to child. I walked off, but was still in the aisle with the offending gum.....where I was the only one for the next 5 minutes. She did not make her child clean it up nor did she clean it up herself! What is wrong with people today? Is there no personal responsibility? What kind of lesson does this teach the child?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

5 questions

Awhile ago, envoyette said she wanted to ask all her favorite blog visitors 5 questions (I may be paraphrasing a bit), but wanted to know who would actually answer them. I said I would and she finally had a moment to spare and was able to get them to me. So here they are:

1. What is your earliest childhood memory?
This is a tough one for me - my memories are categorized by moves, so they are blocks of years. I would have to say one of my earliest datable ones was my 1st day of kindergarten. I recall being separated from my twin, being directed to the classroom on the left while she went to the right.

2. What is your favorite food dish to eat?
I have so many favorites, but I think it would be stuffed zucchini flowers. This might be because hubby is the only who ever prepares them and we only had them in Italy. I don't know any local markets around here that sell zucchini blossoms.

3. Your favorite song?
This one is an easy one for me - "You're My Home" by Billy Joel. It is "our"song and it just describes my feelings for hubby completely.

4. Who do you love most?
This is not a fair question - there are different types of love. I love my son unconditionally. but I also love hubby completely. Since I could choose my love for hubby, I would say I love him most.

5. What would you change in your past if you could?
This is a tough question. I would love to know what my life would be like if I never had J; however, I don't want to change that part of my life.
I don't think I would change anything. The decisions I've made in my life are ones I can stand by proudly. Any embarrassing moments I've had have made me a stronger person. I have no moments (that I can recall) that I look back upon and wish that I had done something differently.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Looks like it is going to rain today...again...just like the last three weeks. It is getting a bit tiresome. We've done absolutely no swimming this summer - the pools are constantly being closed because of thunder. That and the fact that the sun does not want to reveal itself to us anymore.
I had to mow my lawn today, since all the wet has made it look like a jungle. Plus, the mosquitoes love long grass and they've grown mean from lack of food. We had to rid them of their hiding places. Unfortunately, the ground is so wet that there are puddles in my grass, so it was like taking a shower as I mowed and edged (yes, I know you are not supposed to mow wet grass for a variety of reasons, but I chose to ignore common sense today).
It is not exactly neat (one reason why you don't mow wet grass) but at least it is short.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Birthday Boy

Did I ever mention that J's birthday is on the 4th of July? So every year we have a difficult time planning a party, since his friends are all out of town. We always manage to do something special, but not many come. I guess he has gotten used to this, since when I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday, he simply stated that he wanted to "go to T & M's place to play with T's Wii (which is video console for those of you who do not know)" and "do you think maybe we can build lego's too?" "Uh...sure son...but don't you want to do anything else?" "Maybe we can go swimming too?"
Talk about easy to please. As far as what he wants for his birthday, it is a repeat of what he has wanted for the last 4 years: Bionicles, Legos, Pokemon stuff, and cash. He did mention that he wanted his own Wii or Nintendo ds, but that "that is just a crazy idea, mom". He knows how much they cost and believes that we would never spend that much on his gift. However, probably will get one for him, since he isn't haven't a "party" which would normally run us more than what they cost.

Friday, June 22, 2007

There is a vast world of work out there in this country, where at least 111 million people are employed in this country alone - many of whom are bored out of their minds. All day long.

Richard Nelson Bolles

I got a promotion at work and now everyone is commenting on how happy I seem. It's not that I'm happy for no reason, I'm happy because I get to learn something new, I get to challenge my brain a could also be because my new work area is in an area with piped in music, and I like to move with the music during the day. Whatever, at least there is a smile on my face.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Waking up

There are morning people and there are night people. I am a morning person - I love the newness of the day and I feel like I can get so much done when I get a head start on the day. This is good, since my job has me come in earlier in the summer.

The boy, on the other hand, is a night owl. He would rather not see daylight until at least 10am (unless it is Saturday, then he miraculously wakes up before dawn to watch his cartoons). This does not do us any good when I trying to get out of the house before 7 am. Today would be a good example of this - look at the time I post this.
He is a grouch too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


The first night we got to Disneyworld, we decided to go to downtown Disney, which is mostly shops with varying themes, all which are destined to separate the tourist from his money. My dear boy J was swayed by many a store or booth, 2 catching his eyes the most. The first was the Lego shop. In fact, we were visiting downtown to specifically go to this shop; since when I was making the vacation plans I shot down the idea of going to Legoland in CA and substituted Disneyworld with the promise of the Lego store visit.
Being that this was the first day of vacation, we warned J not to spend all his money, since we could always come back another day. Plus, he might see something in one of the other parks that he could only get at Disneyworld, so he should save his money "just in case". Well, he did get a limited edition Lego toy that we have never seen in the stores around here, but he also wanted to go to another shop - the pearl shop. He insists that we return to it, that it has to be today, that we can not wait another day, risking not coming back.
There is a reason for this: on Mother's Day he wanted to give me a single pearl necklace, but due to circumstances beyond his control, he was unable to do this. So, when we passed the booth that had people shucking oysters to look for a pearl, he was intrigued. When I told him that they could set the pearl into a piece of jewelry, his eyes lit up. He insisted that we stop back at this booth so that he could get a pearl - he "just had to do it". I explained to him that this would come out of his souvenir money, but he was OK with that, he wanted to get me my pearl necklace.
Who am I to argue with the sweet thoughts of my son - I planned on letting him "buy" me the pearl and setting, but not actually take it out of his trip money.
So, we go through the whole process of picking an oyster, having the women give the story behind how the pearl is formed, picking the pearl out of the meat, cleaning it in salt, measuring it is time to pick a setting for it. I look at J and ask him if he wants to put it in a necklace setting. He looks at me while rolling the pearl in his hand, asking if he has to or if he can keep it separate.
"Sure you can keep it separate, but I thought you wanted to make a necklace with it?" I say.
Looking at me with his sweet, open face, he says, "Hmm, I think I want to think about it, I might want to keep the pearl for myself."

Hmmprh...I guess little boys can't stay sweet for too long at a better believe that money came out of his vacation spending money!

Friday, June 08, 2007

We stayed in the '90's, home of computer diskettes and laptops:

There were three pools at the hotel - we had no desire to use any of them, since our days were so full of adventure, by the time we came back we ready for bed.

The hotel itself was nothing great - hubby referred to it as "Disney's version of Motel 6". The room had two beds and a little table at which to sit. However, it served our purposes: clean with free transportation to all the parks. Plus, the maid service was willing to be silly. Each day we came back, we found J-man's collection of toys rearranged in some interesting manner or another:

"All hail Super Pokey"


What a great trip we had to Disneyworld. We decided to fly down and stay at one of the resorts located in the area, so we chose the Pop Century resort. It is a themed hotel, based on the last century. The buildings were designed to look like "themes" from each decade. The 50's had the jukebox:

Thursday, June 07, 2007


We're back from vacationing at Disneyworld and boy, do I have stories to share -which will have to wait until tomorrow - I'm beat! Now if only the luggage would come back from its vacation!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Quote of the Day

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.
- Horace Mann

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Last Day of School (almost)

Tomorrow is the official last day of school, and J could not be more excited. He is just falling over with excitement.

However, I need some help keeping that excitement alive. We are going to Disneyworld (YAY!!) for vacation (our first family vacation not to relatives homes), but what else would you suggest to keep an 8-almost-9-year-old busy? I'm looking for something different, something other than trips to the library, movies, etc. Please, open my world to some new experiences. Just keep in mind that we do live in Texas, where everything is bigger, even the heat in the summertime.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Nature vs Child, part II

And as of yesterday, we found out that there was another poisonous but innocent looking bug in our midst. It would be this beauty:

An assassin bug. With its rostrum, it injects a powerful poison which cause extreme pain to its victim, know here as the J man. He came in to confirm that he had indeed been stuck/stung by something, then went on to tell me that "it really, really, hurts, owie, owie, owie". When asked if it was worse than the time he was stung by a wasp; he nodded his head vigorously as he continued to dance around on one foot, shaking his hand in an effort to get rid of the pain.
Of course, having never dealt with this type of bug bite before, I was clueless as to treatment options. So I did them all - hydrocortisone cream on the bite, antihistamine (Benadryl) by mouth, then ice on the wound to reduce the swelling. One of them worked, since his hand was doing much better later on.
J had just been holding the bug gently on the palm of his, observing it when it decided to plunge the rostrum deep into the fleshy pad of palm. Needless to say, he was not so gently when he threw the bug to the ground. We found it crumpled into a ball on the cement. It gave us a chance to identify it.

Child vs. Nature

Poor J man has not had much luck with the great outdoors as of late. He loves exploring and discovering all the creatures that live around our house. He knows the creatures he is to stay away from, with these little rhymes is his head to always remind him, "red and black, friend of Jack" and " black near yellow, kill a fellow". Plus he knows how to recognize a black widow (hourglass on the back) and a brown recluse spider, and knows that the fire ants will make him miserable for weeks to come.
However, we did not realize that this little fellow:

would bite when handled ever so gently.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother's love endures through all.

Happy Mother's Day. As a mother, this is one holiday where I feel that I do deserve some recognition. Being a good mother is a tough job. In fact, I often wonder how my mom did it, with three children all within 2 years of each other. I still don't know where she got her patience from - I have only one child and am often out of it by mid day. She laughs at me when I ask her, must be that her secret stash of patience will run out if she tells the truth as to where it is located. Seriously, I am truly lucky to have a good role model as a parent. When I think of my childhood, I always knew that my mom was there to back me up, that she would defend me against all the evils of the world. If I was wrong, I was certainly punished, but she was fair and always listened to my side of the story. I hope one day I can be as strong as she is.

To all the mothers out there, have a wonderful day

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hell must be freezing over

Sorry to tell you , but the world is ending today. I know, I know, you had so much planned, but I have proof that it is ending. I went to try on bathing suits yesterday, a chore I absolutely desist with every essence of my being;but a necessary one since we have a vacation planned that involves lots of water time and the bathing suits I currently posses would not be suitable for anyone or animal for that matter to wear out in public. I brought 5 bathing suits into the changing room and.....drum roll....everyone one of them fit. Not only fit, but were flattering.
Hell must have frozen over. I have never ever in my life had that happen.

Now, you men out there might be saying, "What's the big deal?" since you can pretty much just grab a pair of trunks off the rack and take them home with absolute confidence that they will fit. For an average woman to be able to find the right bathing suit on the first try is equivalent to winning the grand prize in the lottery without even playing, it just does not happen.

I was so overwhelmed that I bought all of them. The cashier asked what I all those bathing suits for - I had to laugh. I didn't need them all, I just needed to bring home proof to someone (hubby). Plus I needed someone else's opinion on which bathing suit I should choose. I narrowed it down to 2, and will return the rejected ones later this week.

I had to share this news. I'm sorry if you had plans for this week, but this evidence proves that the end of the world is near. Enjoy your last few days - I'll be laying out in the sun in my new bathing suit.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Bending, not always a given

If God wanted us to bend over he'd put diamonds on the floor.
On my day off Friday I decided to take a "power pump" class at my local YMCA. I had run into a friend and she was taking it, so I decided to join her. I now know there was a reason why I never take that class - lunges, lunges with weights. Lots of them.
So, my legs are just now starting to get their mobility back. My leg muscles (and butt) were so sore. Who really needs to bend their legs anyway? The stiff legged, looks like boards have been permanently attached to my legs look is coming into style I tell you. Really.
Time for me to hobble off to work.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

No more good deeds for me

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I volunteered to be the coordinator of my son's cub scout "Scout Fair Ticket" (SFT) committee. The chairperson of the SFT is responsible for having their pack sell tickets and then turn-in the correct amount of money and leftover tickets.
I knew I would have trouble with individuals following deadlines, so at the start of all this I handed out a printout outlining the rules along with all the important deadlines, including last Tuesday's date as the final deadline for money/tickets to be given back to me. Each week i sent reminders of the deadlines through email. As you may have guessed, tcome deadline time the materials were not all returned . Luckily I built in some leeway for my procrastinators and have been sending out reminder notices to the deliquent folks.

I had one parent tell me (because I've also been phone calling) that she ignored the emails because she didn't think it had anything to do with here. Well, since the email and phone call addressed her by name, I would say yes, it did have to deal with her.

Then there is the den leader who has ignored all 14 emails and 7 calls I've made to him until this morning when he finally responded. He stated that he believed that he didn't need to turn tickets in, since they did not have to do that in the past. Well, buddy you are wrong. Why would I waste my time begging you for the money or tickets if I didn't need them? Do you think I enjoy stalking you? Sometimes people make me so tired.

Then there is the dad who insists that he received only a partial packet of tickets, so he is not going to pay the $60 for the 6 missing tickets. No one received partial packets - I personally counted all 125 packets and verified the 10 tickets in each packet. I also had the den leaders verify as they handed out the packet to the individuals that there were ten tickets in each packet.

Luckily, after tonight's turn in I am done. I don't think I will step up and volunteer for this next year, since it was the scout leaders who gave me all the trouble.

Friday, April 20, 2007

This is a reward?

We finally finished the year end business at my work; things like reviewing budget, overages, shortages, and figuring out what the future year will hold. My manager, the district manager, and the regional manager all got together on this. I could hear them in their meeting and kept hearing phrases like "she'd be great for that" and "definitely detailed oriented enough for it". Without hearing my name, I knew they were talking about me - but exactly what about, I did not know.
After the meeting, my boss came out and said, "Great news Dawn, you get to teach training seminars this summer on Fridays, you know, the Fridays we are normally closed."

Reread that sentence - what word sticks out for you? Could it be the "closed" part, the day I don't normally work? Yes, for whatever reason, my boss actually thought I would be excited to work on my day off (which also means an extra day of daycare for J). Other than my hourly pay, there is no extra incentive for this project. I understand that I should feel honored to be nominated to train other folks in my region, but still, I would prefer to spend my summer Fridays at the pool with my son. Call me crazy, but that is just the way I am.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Quote of the day

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

-Woody Allen

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone! Here in Texas, where we are used to 80 degree weather for the holiday we are looking at icy rain and snow! We don't even get snow in the wintertime, never mind spring. Needless to say, any easter egg hunts we have will be inside. We'll be hip-hopping around just to stay warm!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Spring Cleaning

I had a thrilling weekend of helping J clean his room. Usually this is a task I leave to him, since it his stuff and his room. However, biannually I need to get in there to "assist" in the cleaning since his idea of cleaning is shoving everything under his bed or behind an open backed shelf he has. When I point this out to him, he tends to agree that this is not the best way but does not necessarily clean it up. So yesterday I rolled up my sleeves and plunked myself down into the middle of the endless mess. He got everything out from under his bed and I helped him resort it all. On paper this does not seem like the Herculean task that it truly was especially since one of the members of the cleaning task force had to be reminded repeatedly that this was a cleaning effort and not a rediscovering effort. Two hours, two bags of trash and one box donations later and we sawthe floor again in his room. J rediscovered several toys he thought were lost for good, and we found a check from his grandparents that has been around since last Halloween.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Here in Texas, we have approximately two weeks of spring weather, then it quickly turns into summer. For the last week or so I have been enjoying our spring. This is the time of year where I usually get the urge to plant a vegetable garden but convince myself not to since our summers are so hot that the plants will most likely die, so I just replant my flower garden.
Luckily, this year we have a solution. My son's cub scout den has decided to take responsibility for one of the plots of land at the local community garden. We were there this morning, planting lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and a variety of flowers. The boys really got into it, especially J. He is the one who always begs each summer for a garden (we had one when we lived up north). He loves the thought of being able to get ripe vegetables right from the plant. Even the fire ants that had infested the area we were working were not a deterrent for him (luckily, he did not get bitten. I can't say the same for me - 3 bites on one hand-ouch). With this plot, we'll be able to get our fresh vegetables and do a good deed for the community since most of the vegetables will be donated to the local food bank. Plus, I won't have to do all the weeding. A win-win situation.

beautiful weather

It's a beautiful day out today....sigh...and I'm inside typing. Not for long - there is way too much yard work to do for me to stay in. So, now that it is spring here in Texas (for all of 2 weeks, then summer will be here), I probably will not post much at all, unless I have a funny gardening accident happen (very likely with my graceful self) or if I tell you about the hole J-man dug in the yard because he wanted a fort to hide in and jump out of to scare people. He got pretty far, considering my backyard consists mainly of clay. Now the yard looks as though a St. Bernard tried to tunnel out. Oh well, I said he could do it. He had to have something to keep him busy on spring break.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Army "care"

Recently in the news there has been quite an uproar over how vets are being treated now that they are returning to civilian life. Unfortunately, the substandard care they are receiving has been going on for years, only to finally be brought to light. I can personally tell of at least 4 times where I received care that was negligent, malfeasance, or one might even consider malpractice.

Case 1: When I first became pregnant with my son, the army "doctor" told me not to take prenatal vitamins, as they would just upset my stomach and cause me to be nauseous. He informed me that I would receive enough nutrients from my diet (this from a man who didn't know my eating habits from Eve's). My son was born with a hole at the end of his spine, a defect caused by not getting enough folic acid during the first trimester, something that would have mostly likely been addressed by my taking prenatal vitamins. For this I will forever feel guilty.

Case 2: I had either an injury or illness and went to the clinic for care. I was in my first trimester at the time. The "doctor" prescribed medications, one of which I could have sworn was not advised for pregnant woman. When I brought this to his attention, his response was a shrug of his shoulders and "I'll have to look it up later". I strongly suggested he check his PDR (physician's desk reference) right then and there before he prescribed it to any other pregnant females. Low and behold, I was correct, there were strong warnings about birth defects caused by this medicine. If I had blindly taken this medication, I could have severely injured my unborn child.

Case 3: During my last trimester, I moved back to the states. Since the local military hospital was deemed to far for me to travel, I was allowed to have my son delivered by a civilian doctor. While I was in the hospital, in early labor, it was determined that I had a common complication of pregnancy, thromobocytopenia; one that could be deadly if undiagnosed. My doctor discovered it when she went to take my blood and I wouldn't stop bleeding. After reviewing my files, she realized that the Army doctors had failed to do a routine screening for it, which would have given the hospital staff some forewarning about my case. Luckily, the civilian staff was able to make the necessary accommodations needed for my delivery.

Case 4: After the birth of my child, I went for my annual well women exam. After waiting 6 weeks for my PAP smear results to come back (they always take 6 weeks), I was told that I had ambiguous results which most likely meant that I cervical cancer, that there were several things that could be done for me, but that we would wait until we had clear results back before any treatment was started. I was sent for another PAP, waited 6 weeks, more results that were difficult to interpret, another PAP after that, more waiting, then results that came back negative. I had three months of worry that I had cancer, which I did not share with anyone since I didn't know if it really was cancer; worry that a new post-partum bluesy mother really did not need.
After doing some research, I found out that many new mothers, especially those who are nursing, come back with irregular PAP smears, that in fact it is a common side effect of pregnancy.

Case 5 (not my case so I didn't count it): Hubby injured his knee while jumping out of an airplane. After going to the clinic, he is given a prescription for 800mg ibuprofen...and nothing else. I had to ask the doctor for crutches, since hubby was using me as his crutch and I really didn't feel like being made any shorter than I already am. Turns out he tore ligaments in his knee.

Did you know as a soldier it is against policy (law?) for you to sue the government for malpractice? Yup, when you sign to receive services through the government's hospitals, you are signing away your right to have doctors be held responsible for their actions.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Parental fitness

I saw this on another website and just had to reprint it:

How many times have you heard the comment that "People have to take a test to drive a car, but anyone can be a parent?" A test is needed! And not one with a bunch of Bozo questions like 'How many servings of vegetables are required for a thirteen-year old female living in Michigan who walks 4.3 miles a day? No, this test will ask the REAL questions. Are you ready to find out if you have the right stuff to be a parent? Get those number two pencils ready. And let's keep our eyes on our own papers, people.

Section One -- Mathematics
For each problem, estimate the total number of times this phrase is used per parent per week. (2 points per question)

I don't care what the other kids get to do.
... and this time I really mean it
Somebody's going to get hurt doing that
See, I told you somebody was going to get hurt doing that
Now we're REALLY going to be late
One ... I'm counting ... two ... I'm counting ...
What were you thinking?
Because I'm the Mommy (Daddy)
Let's not discuss that at the dinner table
Why is your brother (sister) crying
It's time for you to go to bed
Okay ... but only five more minutes.
I'm gonna turn that computer off (or take it away)

Section Two -- Fill in the Blank
Write the correct word(s) in the blank(s). (3 points per question)

Tickle Me ____________.
101 _________________.
The Berenstain _________.
Clifford, the Big _________ Dog.
_______________ Nuggets.
_______________ Meals.
Please won't you buy me a __________ __________?

Section Three -- Matching
Match each vocabulary word with its letter definition. (4 points per question).

A] Small bits of plastic designed to accentuate any style of carpeting.
B] Either a recreational device originally developed for hamsters, but since has been adapted for use by children in fast food restaurants OR that which is placed in ears when Letter "C" fails.
C] A pink substance which is usually a regular part of a toddler's diet.
D] A frozen food amazingly devoid of any nutritional value.
E] A disposable article of clothing which one swears will only be necessary for a few more weeks.

Section Four -- Problem Solving
Briefly describe the solution to each problem. (5 points per question)

It is 8:50 a.m. School starts at 9 a.m. Where are your car keys?
She says that he started it. He says she started it. Who's right?
You are attempting to go to the post office with two very large packages, two very small children, zero very close parking places, and one frazzled parent. How will you accomplish this?
At 7 p.m., you must be at dance class with Debbie, Cub Scouts with Carl, and soccer with Susie. Without any King Soloman maneuvers, how will this be done?

Section Five -- Essay
Answer the following question and defend your choice. (19 points)

Which of the 'Big "V's" has made a bigger contribution to parenting? Vacuum cleaners 'Velcro' or the VCR?

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Now that the weather is warming up, every time I go outside I see someone working on their yard. They are mulching and weeding, tilling and planting, and just making their yards more presentable. Then I look at my yard. I have a flower bed that has a figure 8 shape, and it is pathetic. All of the mulch from last year has long ago decomposed, the plants that once flowered vigorously are now just dead sticks poking out of the ground. There are some daylillies and a rose bush which still live, but they make it look worse, since the green from them accents the decrepit state of the rest of the flowerbed. Plus, my wild bluebonnets are starting to sprout, and they look like weeds until they flower.
I plan to do some work on it this weekend, but I need inspiration. I usually have a color theme, but this year that won't work because the lillies are yellow and the rosebush is ...well, I don't know since I got it on clearance last year and planted it after it had already bloomed. Anyone have suggestions on flowers that will tolerate the hot Texas sun and that like clay as their growing medium?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Girl Scout Cookies

Do you know what time of year it is? No, not spring or Mardi Gras; it is Girl Scout cookie delivery time. The time of year where I realize that I ordered cookies from half the know universe of Girl Scouts and they all happen to deliver on the very same day, the day I have absolutely no cash (ok, that is everyday) and have run out of checks with which to pay them.

For those of you who have not had Girl Scout cookies, I offer you my condolences; however, let me explain them to you. These cookies come out once a year and are offered in a variety of flavors that are not available anywhere else in the known universe. The range of flavors goes from shortbread to peanutbutter patties to lemon cremes to carmel delights to thin mints. I don't care if you find a variety of cookie like this in the supermarket - it is not the same! My personal weakness happens to be the thin mints. I eat them a sleeve at a time (there are two sleeves in the entire package). I usually don't start off eating them with that intention, it just happens. I tell myself I will only have one serving (4 cookies), but then I look down and realize I ate all 4 without truly enjoying them. So, I have one more, but then realize that will leave an incomplete serving of cookies for next time. Then I decide to finish off that serving, but that leaves only 4 cookies in the sleeve and I would hate to have them go stale so I eat them too.
Yes, I know I should stop eating them, but they have a power over me that is unbelievable. I often wonder if there is a "secret ingredient" added to them to make them so addictive.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Sorry I haven't posted in a bit - we've got the creeping crud at my house, plus deadlines and kick-offs for a variety of activities that I chair, one being Scout Fair.

Every year scouts across the country host Scout Fair, a a full day of activities that are planned and hosted by local scout troops. Here in Houston, we have the largest Scout fair in the country. My duties are pack level - I'm responsible for ticket and ad sales for 90+ sized organization. It's the first time I've done it and I'm excited about it. Our troop gets up to 40% on all the tickets we sell which we use towards a great camping weekend in April at our local scout camp site. The more money we raise, the less it costs; so I am motivated.
Of course, there are always those who grumble when presented with new ways of doing things, and I've already encountered that one week into this project. I've chosen a different method for our troops to sell their tickets (outside grocery stores rather than having them go door-to-door) and folks are complaining about times, dates, etc. Personally, I prefer to bother complete strangers for money rather than hit up my friends and relatives yet again for another fundraiser.
They don't have to participate; I'm doing everyone a favor by planning and contacting the appropriate folks for permission to tell the tickets and no one else stepped up to take responsibility for this committee. Nevertheless, I will not let them get me down - I'll roll with whatever comes my way. Oh, and if any one wants a Scout Fair ticket, let me know: $10 apiece gets you entry into Scout Fair on April 28, a raffle entry to win a Chevy HHR, and over $250 worth of coupons from Kroger, Luby's, Jiffy Lube, Sonic, Papa John's. James Coney Island, Pilgrim cleaners, etc.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Things to do on my day off

Due to inventory being held at work tomorrow, I get to have today off! So I'm going to sit back, relax, and read a good book...ha, ha, ha. Really, that is a lovely thought, but not possible for me. Instead I've got a 10 am dentist appointment that will probably turn into a root canal, a couple thousand boxtops to cut, count, and package, a doctor's appointment for J, grocery shopping, banking and some cleaning. Plus I have to start researching my eye surgery and plan our summer vacation. Sigh.

The weather her is cold - freezing temperatures which is very odd for southeast Texas. I love to watch how folks dress for the cold down here. They were only a sweatshirt and complain about the cold. I have to laugh - if they wore a heavy sweater, they would be fine. However, most are in denial about the cold; they believe if they don't dress for the weather than it will go away. Which is true, it will go away in about a week, but for now there are some miserable folks out there.

Friday, February 09, 2007

An 8 year old's joke

A student is sitting in a classroom, the student passes gas.
Teacher, aghast: "What do you say?"
Student: "Smelled betting going in than it does going out."

This constitutes dinner conversation at my house.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Quote of the day

"Silence is...golden. Duck tape is...silver."

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I've been tagged

I Have Been TAGGED

A- Available/Single? Nope, not for more than a decade
B- Best Friend? This is a tough one, since I have several friends I could call on at any time and know that they would be there for me. I'll have to say Monica, who I've know across continents and through many a trying time.
C- Cake or Pie? Apple pie is delicious, but if I can put ice cream cake from Carvel's in the mix, then cake wins hands down.
D- Drink of Choice? Water or coffee it is early in the morning (it is the nectar of the gods)
E- Essential Item You Use Everyday? Toilet paper.
F- Favorite Color? Brown to wear, all colors autumnal
G- Gummy Bears or Worms? Worms...they stretch rather nicely
H- Hometown? In Rhode Isand
I- Indulgence? Reading
J- January or February? Neither - they are both grey and dismal
K- Kids and Their Names? one boy - J.
L- Life is incomplete without? My Hubby
M- Marriage Date? June 15, although there is a date in Sep. that means more to me
N- Number of Siblings? 2
P- Phobias/Fears? None
Q- Favorite Quote? No favorite
R- Reason to Smile? Family and friends
S- Season? Fall - I love the crisp air and changing leaves. Of course, that doesn't happen where I'm living now!
T- Tag: I suppose I could tag Wally, since Envoy got most of the folks I would tag.
U- Unknown fact about me? It will remain unknown :)
V- Vegetable you don't like? Brussel Sprouts - they are shriveled little balls of bitterness
W- Worst Habit? I criticize
X- X-rays? Many
Y- Your favorite food? Stuffed zucchini flowers
Z- Zodiac Sign? Libra - I'm balanced, can't you tell

Monday, January 29, 2007

Eyes have it

I can't believe that January is almost over - this month has flown by. Unfortunately, I have not accomplished everything I wanted to get done this month. One of those things is to make an appointment for Lasik eye surgery, or at least the appointment to see if it something that will work for me. I've worn glasses since I was in third grade and I'm ready to finally be able to wear sunglasses, ones that you pick up in a drug store for $2.99 rather than prescription ones that cost more than $100.
I always said that I wouldn't get eye surgery, but that was before moving to Texas. Here it is so bright all the time that I need to be able to put sunglasses on at a moments notice, and that can't happen if you need prescription glasses and you left your prescription sunglasses in the other car, at home, etc.
So now I need to do some research on my local opthamologists, but I'm not sure as to the questions to ask. Has anyone who has been through this process before have any suggestions for me?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Tasty recipe

Recently I started buying StarKist Tuna Creations™,the tuna fish that comes preseasoned in a pouch. I find it needs less mayo and tastes better. One of the recipes listed on the back of the zesty lemon pepper version is a recipe for tuna cakes. It was quick and easy to make plus it was quite flavorful. I highly recommend making it for a light supper or quick lunch. One pouch makes enough for two people, so double or triple the recipe accordingly.
Since the recipe seems to be limited in distribution, here it is:

1 pouch (5oz.) Zesty Lemon Pepper Tuna
1/4 C Red and green bell perpper mix, finely chopped
1/4 C Mayonnaise
1 T Dijon Mustard
1/4 C Bread crumbs
1/2 T Olive oil
Combine all ingredients except oil. Shape into 4 patties. Heat oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Cook and brown tuna cakes in hot oil, 3-4 minutes per side or until hot and golden brown.

It is that simple, although mine did not come out as pretty as the ones shown on the package, and in fact looked like the rejects from the photo shoot, they still were a refreshing change of pace for dinner. We had them with a nice mixed salad.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Marathon details

Now that I'm rested and recuperated, I can tell you my tale. As I mentioned before, we ran the Houston marathon/Chevron Half Marathon this past Sunday. The weather turned out well - low 50's and overcast, which were ideal running conditions. At the starting line there was a sea of humans, with an underlying hum of muted conversation flowing throughout the crowd. Since the official start time was 7 am, we were in the half light that exists pre-sunrise.
There was no announcement, no gun shot, no blast of an air horn (at least that we could hear); just a sudden surge forward. The first mile was uphill, something that we had not expected; yet it went by quickly. As we ran, we read the signs folks where holding up as encouragement. Several folks had "cheering teams" every few miles - one runner named Rhonda had beer (yuck)waiting for her at each water break. Not something I would appreciate, but certainly entertaining to read and a good distraction from thinking about the actual running.
The first 7 miles where in an area of town that I would never willing walk around, since safety would be an issue (bars on the windows are standard). Yet for the run, it was fine. There were even folks sitting on their sloping front stoops, cheering us on.
As we approached our turnaround point right before mile nine, we passed by my running partner's charity of choice. They set up a "booth" to cheer her on, which inadvertently included me. That gave us the extra energy to push forward through the last few miles.
We had a little trouble at mile 10 - the person yelling out the split times was way off, plus the marker itself was in the wrong place. So, mile 10 arrived to soon and mile 11 took forever to arrive.
Near the end of the race, the marathon runners joined back with us half marathoners. As I was approaching my last two miles, I was able to watch the future winner of the marathon pass me. Remember, he did twice the distance as I, yet finished before me! He averaged somewhere around a 4:30min pace for each mile. Watching him pass us, with no one in the marathon even close to meeting his time, I couldn't help but notice that he had barely broken a sweat and looked like he could easily run another 26 miles!
For the final mile, we put on an extra push of energy. For me, I wanted to be done and knew that the faster I ran that last mile, the faster it would be done. As you approach the end, the runners are funneled through a narrow passageway, with cheering crowds on either side of the road. Although I suspect many were cheering for the top marathoners, I still was filled with a sense of joy as I ran past the crowd and heard their cheers.
Even though I had run this distance before, it was some how different doing it in this race, this race that I had trained for for the last three months. As I came within meters of finishing the race,I could feels tears welling up in my eyes, not because of pain; but because I had done it, I had finished the race, I had achieved my goal.

The finish line was located at our local convention center, so that the after-race events where staged inside in a climate controlled area, which was nice. There was free hot breakfast for the finishers, underarmour "finisher" shirts to collect, pictures to take as mementoes of your accomplishment and of course, water to drink.

Would I do this again? Will I train for a whole marathon? Right now that is all up in the air. I do have to heal, but I already miss getting up to run in the morning. It became part of my routine, and it was a good part of it. We will see.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


I finished.

Average mile time: 10:17

Placement: top 25% for my age group

Hubby's mile time: a blistering 7:35

Placement: 350 OVERALL

More tomorrow when I can focus my brain again

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Race day countdown

I've got less than one week before race day and I have to say, I think I'm ready for it. I've trained regularly over these past few months and have seen remarkable improvement in my overall cardiac strength and endurance. I did develop a slight hip injury during the last few weeks; but it is one common to runners, one which take three months to heal, but other than that doesn't result in permanent damage if you keep running on it. So, since I only have about a week left, I'll tough it out. 800mg of Ibuprofen before the race and I should be good.

I've worked out how I'll stay hydrated during the run and even have developed a technique to swallow the energy gels without gagging on the syrupy sweetness of them. My only concern is one I have no control over and that is the weather. Forecasts are currently predicting temps in the low 40's with thunderstorms for the start of the race. Yuck! I haven't trained in pouring down rain and am afraid of how the wet cold will affect me. Hubby will back me up when I say that I am very susceptible to drafts and being wet and cold for hours is not going to be a good thing. I'm hoping that the heavy storms wait until the afternoon, once the race is done.

After the race is over; well, I may put running on the back burner for awhile. It has become somewhat tedious running every day. However, I do enjoy how I feel (except for the hip) after my run. So, the running shoes will probably go in the back of the closet but not in the trash, not yet at least.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Quote of the day

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

Mohandas Gandhi