Sunday, November 13, 2011


We have added a new member to our family, a rescue dog named Ali (after Muhammed Ali). We're renaming him "Ollie" so that when folks see his name they know he is a boy. I had just been saying earlier in the week that I needed motivation to work-out. Now I have it in a this 45lb bundle of energy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Found again

It's been a year; well, a year and one month, since my day had his horrific accident (;postID=4013604779468555822 for the story). It's amazing how the human body/mind can rebound from such traumatic events.
The reason why I bring this up is because we were discussing J's lack of interest/skill in keyboarding and how he could get better. I mentioned that there are plenty of free sites on-line that offers tutorials for typing. Dad perked up at this and said "maybe I should try that, I bet I could type faster than your mother....oh wait, that wouldn't work for me" and started laughing. I had started to agree with him and started laughing as well. One handed typing is what he does now, and he does it just fine, but I thought it was funny that both of us forgot that he did not have his fingers anymore. It's become a non-issue, something that he has adjusted to very well.
For example, since the accident he has finished tearing down a two-story barn and has rebuilt it as a one story barn, all by himself. That man makes me proud.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Popcorn time

It is that time of year - Boy Scout popcorn time. This year I offered to be the "Popcorn Kernal", partially because I like running fundraisers and because I believe we can do so much better than we have in the past. Our poor scouts have been dying to go on a high-adventure or out-of-state summer camp or both but the troop has not had the funds because we just don't do that well with fundraisers. No one has been willing to shake-up the standard way of doing things. This year will (hopefully) be different.

Oh, in case you want to support a scout (Trails-End has a nice military donation program), J would always appreciate your business.
His ID is 7073457, in case the link does not go to his page

Monday, September 12, 2011

Coupons for all

I'm a couponer. My mother was one when she was a young married mother of 3 children with a very tight budget and she taught me all that I know about them. I remember getting so excited to see how much my mom saved on her grocery shopping trip using the coupons. We would always aim for $10-$20 worth of coupons savings.
Now I have a little accordion file that I use to store the coupons until I need them. I get excited when I see the cub scouts selling "Scout Fair" tickets outside the grocery store, since that means they'll have $5 off your $75 purchase at the grocery store for each month of the year, plus many more coupons. I usually buy 4 and use all of the grocery store coupons plus many of the others (this year's free pint of Blue Bell ice cream in each packet was very much appreciated).

If I see that my coupons will expire soon and I won't be using it, I scout out other shoppers' carts to see if they have anything for which I have a coupon. If they do, I give them a coupon. I made some woman's day today - I gave her 3 coupons worth $2.40. Every little bit helps. Sometimes I have an extra scout fair ticket - that's $5.

Friday, September 09, 2011

9/11 - I don't want to remember

As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, there has been a ramping up of news stories about that fateful day. Every time a segment comes on the T.V. about, I change the channel. It's not that I don't care or that I do not think that it is necessary for those born after the date or were too young to comprehend the tragedy, it's just too much for me.
We had just moved out of New York a few months before the incident and the feelings that I felt from that day were horrible. I remember calling and calling friends to see if they had survived and not getting through, as all the phone lines were busy. I remember my father-in-law responding to ground zero and not knowing for days where he was and if he was O.K. (he was fine, he does suffer from PTSD and breathing problems now related to the incident). So every time something comes up about it, I can't help but say, "NO, I don't want to relive that". Even now, just typing this brings up tears and anxiety.
My reaction reminds me of some of the reactions of my husband's grandparents and their friends to footage of the D-Day invasion. They too can not watch, even after all these years, because the memories of who they lost, of what the country suffered is too great.
So to those who know me; when I change the conversation, it is not because I am unsympathetic or heartless, it just too much for me.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Wildfires in Texas

Wildfires here in Texas have been exasperated by drought conditions and we're sending our thoughts to those in danger. The smoke here is strong, you know when houses are burning because the smell changes from campfire-scented to an acridic burning scent. Schools have decided to cancel/hold inside outdoor activities. I've been checking to see how close the fires are - some are as close as 15 miles, most are 35 miles away. I'm not really worried about them reaching us (which might be naive), but I am worried about several of my friends. One I spoke to today has everything packed and ready to go in case mandatory evacuations are enacted. In case you are wondering, she is taking important papers (passports, bank statement, shot records, deeds,etc), all her photos and 2 weeks worth of clothing. Everything else which be at the mercy of the fires. Another friend has been moving her horses back and forth, and finally had just leave them for there was no where to take them. One horse is pregnant, she's hoping the stress of the fires does not put her into labor early.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School

Ah, it is that time of year, when freshly sharpened pencils are held by sleepy children as they pad out the door to the school buses that await them. It seems this summer went by much too quickly, the routine of school is not yet welcome in our home. J is entering 8th grade, and as he grumpily told me this morning, "this is the reason I hate school, this getting up early everyday thing". It does not matter that for most of the summer he woke up at the same time, as that was by choice; today is by demand.
Hopefully it will be a good year, with positive teachers. I hope this last year of middle school goes smoothly for him, that he discovers more confidence in himself and in his surroundings.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guess who I met?

The other night while I was studying for finals with a group from my class, one of the girls came back from getting a snack, saying she had just seen someone that looked just like Santa. She wanted to take a picture of him to show to her daughter, but was reluctant to ask him for it as he looked "grumpy". I said I would do it (with age comes the knowledge that the worse that can happen is that people say "no").
I went next door and sure enough, there was a gentle man wearing suspenders over a red shirt, with a full white beard. He was reading a paper, so I simply said "excuse me, I hate to bother you, but you look just like Santa. A friend of mine would like a picture of you to show to her daughter, do you mind if I take your picture?"
He was happy to pose for a picture and if you look closely, you can see his license.

Yes, that says "Kristopher Kringle". He has credit cards in his name as well. He insisted that I take a picture with him, although I did demure. He was persistent. So....

I went to back to my friends and told them what happened. Heather, the one who wanted the picture for her daughter, screamed "I knew it, I knew it!" It was quite funny. She went back over to him and did get her own picture to share with her daughter.
I don't care how old you are, it's always exciting to meet Santa!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July everyone! What a great day, the day our country was born and coincidentally, my son. Every year, I reminisce with him about the day he was born, what occurred each hour of that day (my water broke around midnight, so I really do have "birthing" memories for the whole day). I joke with him that he can't have any presents until the exact time he was born (5:15pm for those of you who are interested), that he was the firecracker I saw that night.
Over the years, I've also often quietly reflected on what my life has become, what it might have been if he were not here. In the early days, I did yearn for my old life, that life of little responsibility, of being able to go on archaeology digs, of not having to worry about my choices affecting another person's life. Oh sure, I was married for some time before I had J, but it is a different responsibility, the responsibility of a parent to a child than it is of a spouse to a spouse. I would think of all the trips I could have been taking, of the wild adventures I could have had.
Now, I don't think of those so much. I think of what J will do with his life. I appreciate his honesty and love towards us, his family. I think of the near future when he will not be around as much, focusing on his own independent life. Funny, that carefree life ahead does not look as appealing as it did 13 years ago.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I almost have a teenager

July 4th is just around the corner, and J will officially be a teenager. It is a little difficult to believe that so much time has gone by. I can clearly remember the first few days of kindergarten, when I had to physically carry him on to the bus. Now, he is off and running without me at any chance he gets. He is not yet ready to cut the chain completely (nor am I), but he's getting close.
He's an awesome kid, respectful of his family (most days), doing his chores with very little reminding, chipping in to help out more when he knows I'm under stress.
Don't get me wrong, he has perfected eye rolling, knows everything so there is no need to listen to advice from his parents, and can give sass when he gets fired up; but he is a good, kind child, which I am happy to see. He is growing into a wonderful young man.
This year I see him becoming more independent, as he pursues his social interests more (ie. girls). I hope he continues to gain confidence and to believe in himself.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No interview

I did not get my interview for the program I am trying to enter. Sadly, I truly believe if I had been given the opportunity to interview, I would have been accepted into the program. It did not happen, so now I have a whole year to earn my points to qualify for the program. I'm disappointed, when I took my current weekend job I expected to only be in it for one year, 1 1/2 tops. I don't like working weekends, as that is our family time. However, it is what it is and I have to deal with it. Life goes on, everything happens for a reason, right?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Back out

I threw my back out this morning. Not a good start to my day. No, I was not lifting anything heavy nor was I working out in an incredibly hard productive manner. I was reaching across my kitchen table for a piece of mail, junk mail, and it just went. I've occasionally had muscle spasm in my back before that crippled me for an hour or two, but this has lasted all day and night. Going to class and sitting for hours then trying to stand afterwards was quite a site to see. My classmates took pity on my and carried my books to my lab class for me.
One thing it has done for me - I've learned how to "mosey" very effectively. It is a humorous sight indeed. Hopefully, all will be back to normal tomorrow. Otherwise I might have to stop by the massage therapy class to see if they need any patients.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Unique weight loss tool

I just read a unique method of "motivation" for weight loss. It was in the comments of one of my frequently read blogs:

Inspired by your “Win My Awesome Bike if I don’t lose weight” contest, I have registered at to lose 25 pounds. ...Anyway, every time I miss my weekly goal, the site runs my credit card for $25 and sends the money to the my personally selected “Anti-Charity.” For me, that’s the NRA - for you it might be something different.

Now, that would not be my anti-charity of choice, I would probably give to a political group whose policies I can not stand, or to a candidate who I would hate to see get elected.

What do you think? Would it motivate you?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

3 days off

I finished my first semester back at school and now have a whole 3 days off before the next classes begin for me. I don't know what to do with all this free time. Well, that's not entirely correct. I have a list that is a mile long of chores and errands that I have been putting off for the past few months. I've got to work on a Boy Scout fundraiser that I am in charge of (we're selling first aid kits) since no one else was willing to step-up and do anything. I'm also going to get some "pleasure" reading in, since the last 4 months have given me little chance to read anything other than textbooks.

I'm also applying for entrance into my Physical Therapy Assistant program. There is a whole rubric of ways to achieve points for the program, I hope I have enough to qualify. Wish me luck. I really hope I can into my program this September, otherwise I wait an entire year until they accept people again. I have a plan, a delay is not in that plan.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Shark attack

I was attacked by a shark today! OK, it wasn't a real shark, it was my Shark steam floor cleaner. I was happily cleaning my floor when I noticed that the steam had stopped coming out of the cleaning pad. After "pumping" the mop a few times, I decided to take the bottom attachment off to see if steam was even flowing. As soon as I depressed the button to release it, there was an explosive force from it coming off. Seems the steam had been flowing all along, but there was a blockage at its release point. Luckily, I did not have mop head pointed at my own head, since the force was like rocket propulsion.
With this being said, it might be my fault that this happened. You see, in the instructions for this mop, it does say to use distilled water only. Obviously, they know something about mineral build-up from evaporation of tap water. I ignored that recommendation and paid the consequences. I'm now trying to salvage my shark by soaking it in vinegar to dissolve the build-up.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

May flowers

May is just around the corner which also means the end of the school year is fast approaching as well. I'm looking forward to it, as this summer I will not be working everyday and I will be able to spend time with J. I have to say, even though school has its own stressed, I am certainly much more relaxed and happy then I was a year ago. Now if only I could win powerball so that I could quit my weekend job - that would make me truly happy.

Unfortunately, with the summer comes drought, and here in TX we are already in a severe drought without any relief in sight. I'm afraid my tomato and pepper plants might not produce much for me. My poor plants do not look happy, even though I water them regularly. I think the dry hard clay-like ground is stressing them out. Either that or they are suffering from some sort of blight, which would not be unheard of, what with me and my brown thumb.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Monday, Monday

You know your day is off to a bad start when you spill wax all over your bathroom walls, sinks, and countertops, then you tear your p.j. as you walk down the stairs to get something to scrape up the wax, and are faced with only a half-cup of coffee to start the day...all before 7 am.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hoarders in a good way

Our home recently looked like an episode of "Hoarders", but for a good reason. You see, J recently did a food drive in connection with a scout advancement requirement. He was a smart child; instead of going door to door, he contacted one of my professors at school for assistance. This professor had recently had lectures on starvation and how people in our country don't do enough to help out, so J thought it would be a good idea to see if he wanted to join in a food drive for our local food pantry.
The professor was more than happy to help - not only did he had out J's flyers, he offered extra credit to the students who donated to the drive. He also convinced some of the other professors to participate as well, which meant a hugely successful drive for J. We did several pick-ups during the 2 week food drive, with the final pick-up being so large that I had to leave J at the college, because the car was full to the roof! (Luckily, the college is connected to our library and J was able to do some science fair research while I made the 5 minute drive home to unload some of the goods to make room for him in the car)
Want to guess the final tally of items collected?

The final total of items was 767.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

New years resolutions

One of my New Year's resolutions was to take care of my health, to go make those appointments that I had been putting off for literally years. I already went to my physical, where my doctor gave me several referrals, one to a GI doctor. Seems that it is not normal to suffer severe pain whenever you drink something as simple as water. I did go see the GI, who set me up for a 'scope, with is almost 2 months away. In the meantime, I've been given a restricted diet; no tomatoes, no soda, no coffee, no tea, no chocolate, no mint, no citrus, no spicy food, no onions, no fatty foods. I believe it leaves me with gruel as my choice of foods!
I am going to try to follow this diet, but I need my cup of coffee in the morning, it gets me through the day. The last two days have been horrible, I have had severe head attacks and migraines (caffeine helps prevent migraines). I'm going to stick it out for another day, if my headache is still there, I'm going back to my coffee.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My new volunteering gig

I've really gotten into the swing of things, with school, work, and now my volunteer hours at a physical therapy office. Although I'm not too fond of one of my classes (philosophy and I do not mix), I do enjoy my time at the PT office. We are required to do at least 40 hours at a PT office before we are even allowed into the program, because they want us to be sure that this job is our true passion. I can say, as of right now, it is the path for me. The patients are wonderful, from the young woman with the brain injury to the elderly stroke victim. I've had a few things revealed to me that I had not expected (Patient: I can have sex without pain, my back doesn't hurt then, ME: (in my head) TMI, TMI! ).
It looks chaotic from the outside but from the inside you realize just how much work the PT's are doing. The office runs like a well-oiled machine, with each patient getting the care they need and deserve, 4-8 patients at a time, it is amazing to me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

When you're in a funk...

Winter, especially this winter that seems to the beginning of a new ice age, often lends itself to funkville, ie. the being in a rut. New year's resolutions have gone by the wayside and folks are looking for something more in their lives. I really like list on the website I've got listed below, it really does have some create ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

School started

I started school this week, one face-to-face class and two online classes. I admit, I've had several panic attacks this week, with the thought of "what have I gotten myself into". I was telling this to my hubby, and he couldn't quite grasp why I was panicking. I believe it is my fear of the unknown, as I have not had experience with online classes, and the need to set my own deadlines is throwing me off. I'm afraid I'll forget a date when something is due, or that there will just be too much work for me to do and I'll fall behind. Luckily, I've been somewhat consoled, as a friend of mine happens to be in my face-to-face class and she too admits to the stomach-clenching knots. I know I have the knowledge to complete the classes, but emotionally I'm still not sure.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bucket list

The other day, as we sat around not doing anything yet again, I asked my husband if he had anything planned for his day. Of course, it was his usual of just working out. I realized that both he and I are in a terrible rut when it comes to change in our lives, and our son sees it as normal to "do nothing, accomplish nothing". So, I "went fishing" for ideas for what we could do, maybe something on hubby's bucket list. Only, he does not have a bucket list. "Well then," I said, "what did you want to do as a kid?" He listed several occupations, all of which (besides astronaut) he had done at some point in his like. "No, no, what else? Other than a job?" Again, he listed items, items which he can still accomplish and will probably. Once of them, the advanced degree he is looking for, we've discussed before. It is something he will go for as he gets to retirement, to make it a more marketable viable degree. He wants to run a marathon - no problem, he is already running everyday, he can do it.
He didn't ask me what I had on my bucket list, as I had caught him between his run and weights workout. Besides, what I would like to accomplish are goals that are a bit unrealistic. I still want a Nobel Prize. I know, you have to have expertise in some aspect of your life to qualify, and I do not have that, but it is a dream I've had since I was 8. That novel that I am not writing could possibly accomplish this; of course, it would have to be written, which means I would need some idea about what I was to write.
I'd like to be a hero, like one of the people who tackled the shooter in the AZ shooting. I know, another odd, unrealistic goal. I know I would react in the situation, I just don't think I'll ever be in that situation - it's not like I am a hostage negotiator.
I'd like to save a life, which goes along with the hero thing, although it could be as simple as performing CPR, the Heimlich manuever, of applying pressure to a gushing wound. As an EMT and as a medical assistant in an emergency clinic, I have dealt with life or death situations, but I don't think that my efforts alone ever "saved" anyone, it was always a team effort.
So, what's on your bucket list?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What to do?

Folks who stay home all day, what do they do? I'm not talking mothers of small children, I know they're playing clean-up and catch-up all day. No, I'm talking about folks like me, who have their children in school full-time. Ones who are not volunteering their time for good causes.
I'm guessing they have pretty clean homes. If I was a good mother and wife, I would be vacuuming every day, mopping, dusting, etc. I guess I'm not, since I figure my once a week standard for most things should work, as it has worked for the past 6 years. My husband does not see dirt, as we confirmed last night when he "helped" me clean-up a mess I spilled up the floor. After he was done, I looked down and saw the food still on the floor. He literally did not see it all he swore it must have appeared there after he wiped up my mess. My son is the same way, so if they don't care, should I stress over it? I'll end up being cranky when they do drop crumbs on the floor or don't put their laundry away as soon as they come home.
We'll see how it goes. For now, I think catching up on some of my reading is an ideal use of my time. That and scheduling all those annoying maintenance appointments that I usually don't have time for (ie. carpet cleaning, car tune-up, dentist cleanings, haircut, etc). I've already got the appointment set for my truck recall.

Monday, January 10, 2011

So this is what my blog looks like...

Hi everyone, if anyone is still there. Yes, it has been very long since I blogged. I allowed my life to take over my enjoyment in writing, and I had stopped making time for it. This has changed, as with the new year I have made many changes.
My job of 6 years is no more, I turned in my keys at the end of December. I realize this may seem counter-intuitive when you consider the state of our economy, but it was a necessity for my sanity. I knew it was the right choice when I told my boss I was leaving - instead of asking me to stay, she simply asked me to please put it in writing. This is a job where I have received numerous awards of recognition for my work, so it was a bit disheartening to not be at least asked to reconsider my decision.
I do have another job, one that is weekends only. It is mindless, but at least I know that going into it. Yes, I may not enjoy the time away from the family; however, I do need to fund my new endeavors, one of which is going back to school. I am heading back to become a physical therapist, with the 1st step being me getting my physical therapist assistant certification. I may be making a change, but I do have an eye on our bank account and know that I need to get back full-time into the workforce sooner than later.
In the meantime, I am greatly enjoying my time off. I love the freedom during the day, the peace and quiet of the house. I am jumping through hoops trying to get my plan in place (20 year old transcripts don't always transfer easily), but I am OK with that. Life is good.