Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
It got me to thinking about WHY I BLOG....
Is it to fill the hours in the day?
No, definitely not that. With a husband, two kids, two dogs, and a business (and some volunteer commitments), I have plenty to fill my time.... and I frequently feel somewhat guilty sneaking up to my office on the weekends to "pen a post"....
Well then, is it to bare my soul for the all the world to see?
No, not really that either. If you were to meet me in person, you would find me gregarious and cheerful but not one of those people who is overly-eager to share All The Personal Details Of Her Life (I think we've all sat next to THAT person on a plane before, yes?)
So, when it comes right down to it, why do I blog?
It's a creative outlet, without a doubt. I've always enjoyed writing, and I've always (since I was 13) kept a journal. This has, in many ways, replaced my journal. And, it's a way to "connect" with other like-minded folks around the world who I simply wouldn't have had a chance to meet and connect with otherwise.
Now it's YOUR turn. If you would be so kind, tell me why YOU blog. How did you get started? Did it feel weird or awkward at first? (For me, it definitely did.) Why do you keep going? What do you get out of it?
Enlighten me. :-)
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Famous last words.
I'm sure it will cost a lot, but it will be worth it.
Very encouraging news for people like me. (Imitrex does not work for me.... Topamax helps to prevent them, but if one breaks through, I'm DONE for the day....)
Anyway, here's hope (Laurie, I know you get them too!)
Friday, June 27, 2008
I just don't happen to share their opinion. And neither does my good friend Suz (Do you, Suz?)
To the contrary, I find him icky. And an exhibitionist. And when my daughter retrieved a People magazine out of our mailbox a week or so ago (yes, I full well realize that People is "junk food for the mind".... ), I wasn't prepared that she was going to see this SPREAD in there.
Yes, you saw that photo right. And there was no warning at all. He was right there in all his (almost) glory, for anyone to see. As you might imagine, I wasn't very happy that my 10 year old saw this. In People magazine, of all places.
I'm really not an 'uptight' Mom at all, but come on.
Is this really an appropriate photo for an innocuous gossip magazine? Really?
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I am incredibly busy with my business (GOOD news) and between my family, my business, the new puppy, the older dog, my children's friends (who keep showing up at the door to see the aforementioned puppy!), and everything ELSE in my life, there just isn't enough time in the day!
BTW: I tried like HECK to find a photo of a "One Armed Wallpaper Hanger" for this posting but guess what.... apparently it's an Urban Legend.
Who knew???! :-)
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I can't believe it - I figured out how to post a video - (someone call CNN!!)
Clearly, there was not enough light in our den when I took this, and you can hear me and S talking in "baby talk" to the dog (how embarrassing) but yes folks, this is my first attempt at taking my cinematography to a national audience.
(Mr. Spielberg, you clearly have Nothing To Fear. )
- Never trust a dog to watch your food.
- When you want something expensive, ask your grandparents.
- Never smart off to a teacher whose eyes and ears are twitching.
- Sleep in your clothes so you'll be dressed in the morning.
- Never ask for anything that costs more than $5 when your parents are doing taxes.
- Never tell your mom her diet is not working.
- When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she's on the phone.
- Never try to baptize a cat.
Courtesy of MountainWings (www.mountainwings.com)
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Just talked to them. They said the cost of gas was killing them.
The BMW required premium and the Toyota got horrid mileage.... they were spending hundreds and hundreds and hundreds on gas every month.
We still have our SUV. Trade in values are awful and - call me crazy - I still really like the car. My husband is very large (6'5") so he needs a large car to drive, and it's nice to have room for the kids and all their friends, as well as room for both dogs.
My sedan gets OK mileage, and (thankfully) since I work from home I really don't clock a lot of miles. (And lately I don't go anywhere unless I need to.)
I just really hope we can find a new clean fuel source before my kids' generation reaches adulthood. I would hate for them to inherit this MESS we've created. What a nasty legacy to leave someone.
Enjoyed picking and eating some fresh blackberries (yummy), and of course, Diva was a TOTAL rock star at the park.
She LOVED the attention.
The most interesting comment she got was from a grown man who said "She could be a Disney Character!" (I could tell by his worshipful gaze that this really meant something....) :-)
The cutest moment came when we passed the doggie water fountain and it was Diva's turn to get a drink; she climbed into the water fountain and laid in it, luxuriating in the cool water, much to the annoyance of the dogs behind her, waiting in line for a drink. (I SO wished I had my camera or cell phone to capture that moment...)
Monday, June 23, 2008
So, having said that as an introduction, the guys from the worship team made this VERY tongue-in-cheek video about how they "got started"..... it's quite funny.
PS: If you're interested in the actual MUSIC they do, check out Play Chase Music.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
All that added up to a lousy night's sleep, but I managed to drag my sleepy self into church this morning (courtesy of 2 Mountain Dews). The part of today's teaching that really struck with me was: "What a difference a comma makes" and, in our bulletin was a little two sided card.... one side said:
I've been dealing with a couple of personal issues and my prayer life has felt like it's been hitting a brick wall, and I thought to myself (after hearing today's teaching) "Am I focusing on pleasing God?" or "Am I just 'pleading' with God to get my way?" The answer, I'm embarrassed to admit, was the latter. Which probably explains why I feel as though my prayers have been evaporating into thin air.
Time to change some things in my world.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Passed out in the back seat on the drive home. (She makes tiny little grunting noises in her sleep.... if she were a boy dog, I would simply have to re-name her Wilbur, in honor of "Charlotte's Web". ) :-)
The initial "meet and greet" (may I please sniff your butt) with Ruby, our Alpha Dog. It went very well. Ruby was very sweet to her and Diva was appropriately submissive. By the end of the day they were playing and running around together. I predict a very special friendship.
S. and 2 of her 4 BFF's who descended on the house within MERE MINUTES of our arrival. The girls were all atwitter over the new puppy. J is excited but true to his laid-back nature, chose to play it "cool"... esp with a housefull of cute girls.
Backyard Action Photo #2
Time for an evening dip in the kiddie pool.
Is this water the appropriate temperature for canine consumption?
I think I'll just sit on this comfy lap right here and take a nap... it's been a tiring day..
Friday, June 20, 2008
The kids are ready to BURST, they are so excited. (Hubster and I are, too...) Ruby, our other dog, is completely oblivious. She's just napping in the foyer, passing gas.... she has no clue What Awaits Her...! :-)
His website, if you want more information (or if you're interested in making a contribution) is: http://www.donaldmillerwords.com/
- The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor: She said, 'If you were my husband I'd give you poison,' and he said, 'If you were my wife, I'd drink it.'
- A member of Parliament to Disraeli: 'Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.' 'That depends, Sir,' said Disraeli, 'whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.'
- 'He had delusions of adequacy.' - Walter Kerr
- 'He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.' - Winston Churchill
- 'I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.'- Clarence Darrow
- 'He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.' - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
- 'Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?' - Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)
- 'Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it.' - Moses Hadas
- 'He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.' - Abraham Lincoln
- 'I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.' - Mark Twain
- 'He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.' - Oscar Wilde
- 'I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one.' - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
- 'Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one.' - Winston Churchill, in response
- 'I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here.' - Stephen Bishop
- 'He is a self-made man and worships his creator.' - John Bright
- 'I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial.' - Irvin S. Cobb
- 'He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.' - Samuel Johnson
- 'He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.' - Paul Keating
- 'He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.' - Robert Redford
- 'They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.' - Thomas Brackett Reed
- 'In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.' - Charles, Count Talleyrand
- 'He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.' - Forrest Tucker
- 'Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?' - Mark Twain
- 'His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.' - Mae West
- 'Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.' - Oscar Wilde
- 'He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination.' - Andrew Lang
- 'He has Van Gogh's ear for music.' - Billy Wilder
- 'I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.' - Groucho Marx
Thursday, June 19, 2008
What it is is an "informal book club".
It's really kind of a cool idea. What you do is mail out one book that you've already read (and enjoyed - no "crap books" please) to the person listed on the back of the letter you get. You only have to send one book. Then you make 6 photocopies of the letter, and mail it to six of your friends. Along with each of the letters you mail out, you send out 6 labels that have your return address on them. Then YOUR friends put your return address on the backs of the 6 letters they
send to their friends, and it goes on like so.
Anyway, if no one breaks the chain, you wind up receiving 36 books. And, assuming your friends (who I know are all cool and intelligent people) send their letters to likewise cool and intelligent people, you'll probably get some REALLY nifty books.
Pretty neat idea, huh?
(Suz, you're getting one of these. Everyone else.... I don't know what your "real" names or addresses are.... so if you're interested, feel free to start this amongst your "local" circle of friends.)
I'm looking forward to getting my 36 books!
Happy Summer reading!
- Coffee was not free (and let me tell you, this caused considerable ill will amongst the staff). Workers get pissed off when they have to pay for their morning workplace caffeine.
- File folders (the cheap manila kind) had to be reused until they were literally falling apart... and when you moved an old file to storage, you had to pull out the loose paper and rubber band it all together. (Good luck finding something if you ever needed it again.)
- The office supply room was kept locked, and when you needed supplies you had to explain to a manager what you needed from the supply room, and why.
(Don't you know that his father Tim is smiling down on him... and is SO proud..) :-)
Luke Russert's Tribute to His Father, Tim Russert... June 18, 2008
Actually, I will try to be Really Sneaky and tell my husband how studly he looks while holding aforementioned "instrument of destruction", so maybe I can get a REALLY humorous shot.
(He's too smart though and he'll figure out what's up.... although he doesn't actually read my blog, he knows that he is frequent fodder for it...)
Anyway, within the next day or so, EXPECT a picture of his potato cannon.
You'll be underwhelmed. Trust me.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
My migraines laugh at Imitrex. I also take Topamax, which works MOST of the time at preventing them, but every once in a blue moon (or maybe it's every once in a FULL moon) one breaks through. And one has broken through today. :-(
I have 16 orders from clients that I'm working on, so crawling into bed and NOT working today isn't really an option for me, so I've taken as much pain medication as I can (without "toasting" my poor liver) and am plowing through. Luckily the pain meds have made the pain at least tolerable. Thank goodness.
So, be thankful if you don't get these things. The pain is tough to describe, the closest I can come is to say it's like a hot knife inserted between my right eye socket and my brain. (Sorry for anyone who is squeamish out there.) Bright light and noise make the pain geometrically worse, so I'm working in a quiet, cool, darkened office.
Eventually (probably by tomorrow morning) it will go away (typically after a wave of nausea hits me), but until then, it will be the definition of Unpleasant.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I got back form letters from all of them, but the below is the most thoughtful response I've gotten so far. Maybe our elected leaders are moving in the right direction. I sure hope so.
I really feel sorry for her.
Anyway, she and her (hen-pecked) husband disappeared about 2 weeks ago and the latest "buzz" up at the neighborhood pool is that the house is a foreclosure.
Even though she was nuttier than squirrel poop, she kept to herself, for the most part.
I hope whoever moves into the house next isn't worse.
They could look like this....
Or worse yet, like this....
Or, I could get really lucky, and John Corbett could move in across the street. (My friend Anne and I would probably get arrested for stalking if John Corbett moved into our neighborhood.)
Monday, June 16, 2008
- In the middle of a difficulty lies an opportunity (Albert Einstein)
- The dictionary is the only place where "success" comes before "work" (Unknown)
- Concentration is the secret of strength (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- It isn't whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get back up (Vince Lombardi)
- Never, never, never give up (Winston Churchill)
- Failure is the path of least persistence (Unknown)
- It ain't over til it's over (Yogi Berra)
- 15 years ago, when I was 25, Hubster and I had been married about a year. We lived in a really crappy, really tiny apartment in the 'hood. We lived directly over a crackhead named Tim who was a mean drunk and had mis-spelled tattoos... (hi Tim, if you're reading this, but I think you're probably back in prison by now). We had 2 cats - Jasmine and Mortimer. We made $30,000 per year COMBINED annual income, however we were blissfully happy. Money does NOT equal happiness.
- When I was 26 and Hubster was 29, we bought our first house. It was wonderful moving out of the 'hood and into a real home. The house felt positively cavernous after living in an apartment. Shortly after we bought the house, we added a beautiful Black Lab (Chloe) to our menagerie of pets.
- When I was 28, we welcomed our first child, a son, into the world. J was born very very very very very premature (something I have never blogged about, but I guess I will now, briefly). J was born at 24 weeks gestation and weighed 1 lb 7 oz at birth, and teetered between life and death - it was a very tough time in our lives. He spent the first 5 months of his life in the NICU, and had to have a total of 6 surgeries. (Today J is a strapping 12 year old, and a Perfectly Normal Kid. Miracles still do happen. I know.... one calls me "Mom". ) :-)
- When J was only 9 months old, we had a SURPRISE pregnancy. I almost fainted when my doctor told me I was expecting again (I had no clue). But our daughter S was born, at term, and was the picture of health (thanks to a little medical procedure called a cerclage, I was able to carry to term).
- Our little house, which had seemed HUGE when we moved in, now seemed very tiny with two babies. So, in 2000 we moved to a much larger house, in a much nicer neighborhood, and a much better school district. We've been here ever since, and I doubt we'll ever move again.
- Oh yes - almost forgot. During this time, my parents (Ward & June Cleaver) got a divorce. Shocked absolutely EVERYONE. They are both much happier now, and they're actually good friends. They have the most cordial, friendly divorce I think a couple has ever had. However, that first year was really weird. They had been married 28 years.
- I turned 30 on the same day Princess Diana died. August 31, 1997. Very odd.
- I worked in the Commercial Insurance industry from age 25 to age 39 and then finally said "Enough". I decided to control my own destiny (I know that sounds very Tony Robbinsesque - sorry...) so I started my own business when I was 39 and have never looked back. Sometimes it's really hard, when money is tight, but the independence is so worth it. Luckily Hubster has been with Big Brown since 1989, so our benefits are all taken care of. Whew. (And let me tell you..... you don't really appreciate your benefits until you've had a premature baby..... those tiny ones can REALLY rack up some medical bills....)
- Chloe, our Black Lab, passed away in 2005 - she was almost 12. We had made the difficult decision, with our vet, that it was time to put her to sleep (her health had been failing rapidly and the quality of her life had become very poor). When Hubster came from work early that day to get her and bring her to the vet that final time, Chloe died right there, in his arms. To this day, I still believe she was waiting for him to come home, so she could "let go". She really adored and loved Hubster. The 4 of us grieved together as a family - it was the first time our kids had lost a "loved one". Three months later I got a call from a good friend who said "I found a stray dog last night.... do you know anyone who would want a sweet, mixed breed female? She's obviously been mistreated and is really skittish, but I think she has a lot of potential." Well, needless to say, we drove right out and fell in love with the "skittish dog with potential". Ruby has been with us for almost 3 years now and she has really come out of her shell. She still won't bark (she must have been beaten for that) but is honestly THE sweetest dog I've ever known. And, we're getting ready to add another dog - a puppy named Diva - a little later this month.
- Last, but probably most important, I've become really involved in my personal spiritual journey. I belong to an awesome church that supports the "individual journey", and is a really cool, accepting place. I love my church and I love telling people about God, and his amazing love. I hope I'm not too pushy, I certainly don't mean to be, but I just know how his love has really changed my life and turned me from a negative worrisome person into someone who loves life and loves people.
I guess that's it. Hope this wasn't too boring, but most of what I've done (as far as changing) over the past 15 years has been internal, and tough to quantify and/or categorize.
Ok, now I'm going to tag the following:
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out in the blogosphere!
Here's a 'virtual toast' to comments like:
- "Don't make me pull this car over!"
- "I'm not napping... I'm just resting my eyes."
- "Go ask your Mother."
- "I don't need a map - I know exactly where we are!"
- "Back when I was your age....."
Thanks, Dad - we love you!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I literally had tears running down my cheeks from laughing as I was reading this.
So, grab your Kleenex and HOLD ON.....
Friday, June 13, 2008
But since he absolutely GLORIES in his own cheesiness, it's somewhat humorous, rather than pathetic.
The below video illustrates exactly what I mean. (Love those dance moves, Dave...)
"America, YOU'VE got talent!" :-)
Thursday, June 12, 2008
(And yes, sometimes I get so mad at him that I want to throw a potato at his head, but not today. No, not today.....)
Anyway, this "sudden-lust" thing happened again, just this morning. We had to go drop his car off for servicing. Hubster looked so incredibly yummy just STANDING there in the waiting room of the stupid dealership, that it was all I could do not to club him over the head, drag him down some darkened hallway and have my way with him.
I must be nuts.
Either that or I have some wild hormones surging this week, or something....
These quotes are all listed in a great book called One Month to Live: 30 Days to a No-Regrets Life. I recommend it.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
(He knows that my family is completely SMITTEN with this dog.)
Anyway, here she is.... she's the 3rd one from the left.
(If you click on the photo, I think it will magnify it for you..... and you can see the close up of her Intense Cuteness.... ) But prepare yourself.... it's really almost too much to handle...)
I just got a fairly benign comment from a blogger and when I went to his site it was filled with all sorts of really graphic imagery, and some really explicit language. (To say he doesn't respect women and views them only as sexual toys would be an understatement....)
Also, I've had one crazy lady from India who keeps repeatedly asking me to let her post a link on my blog advertising her site ("...ummm... how does NO strike you?!"). She also has some really bizarre stuff on her blog. One of her ads says "You're ugly, but so am I, and I'm RICH". (Hmmm.... don't remember learning that tactic in Advertising 101.)
I'm all for self-expression, but there are some Weird Frikkin People out there in the blogosphere.
So, word to the wise, just be careful whose comments you allow on your blog.... I did have one (when I first started blogging and naively thought everyone was sweet, happy and full of goodwill!) who left a comment on my blog with a hyperlink that said "click here" and, like a dummy, I DID, and it downloaded a nasty virus onto my hard drive. (Which, eventually had to be replaced.)
So, tip of the day: be careful, and learn from my mistakes.
My house looks like it has been ransacked. In fact, if a police officer were to wander in here, he would probably call for back up, thinking something Really Bad had happened.
So anyway, after yesterday when I got NO WORK done for all the Wildness, I told Hubster "Please take the kids on a long 'outing' tomorrow." So, they just left - they're going to visit his parents (halfway across town) then they're bringing in bags of aluminum cans to be recycled (very exciting stuff) and then they're going on a hunt for a hummingbird feeder. They should be gone at least 3 hours.
Ahhh..... Peace. Quiet. Tranquility.
I can get some WORK done.
I can clean up my house, where it's at least no longer a health hazard.
Right now it looks like a Superfund Site....
And yes, now I have added myself to the teeming mass of people who find it necessary to have that electronic umbilical cord.....
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Right now, my business partner and I are working on some potentially very profitable deals. Of course, being a Serial Optimist, I'm positive that they are ALL going to come through.
I can't decide..... should it be:
The VW Beetle?
The Audi A4?
The BMW 3 Series?
Never mind the fact that my Delinquent Clients who still owe me $15,000 have not paid and just today I had to move some money from savings to checking to pay bills. All that is BESIDE THE POINT..... Soon, these delinquent clients will pay - I keep telling myself this (soon I will be clicking my ruby slippers together and saying it over and over).
Of course, these new deals could ALL come crashing down (and, in sales, that's often what happens....) but it sure is fun to visualize yourself cruising around in one of these babies, isn't it?....
I frequently watch them, when I'm having a stressful day and need a Smile Break.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Haven't you heard about him?
The Lord is the God who lives forever.
He created everything on earth.
He won't become worn out or get tired.
No one will ever know how great his understanding is.
He gives strength to those who are tired.
He gives power to those who are weak.
Even young people become worn out and get tired.
Even the best of them trip and fall.
But those who trust in the Lord will receive new strength.
They will fly as high as eagles.
They will run and not get tired.
They will walk and not grow weak.
-Isiaiah 40: 28-31, NIrV
Oh yes, and now the flies have found this bounteous treasure of putrifying garlic.
I can't TELL you how thrilled I am about this development....
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Deron over at Here in Time is in the end-stages of his disease, Cystic Fibrosis.
I'm sure all of you know what Cystic Fibrosis is and how devastating its effects can be.
Although I don't know Deron personally, I definitely feel like I do, after having read his blog and having gotten to know about him, his 3 year old twin boys and his wife, all through the writings on his blog. (Isn't blogging a GREAT forum??!)
Deron is now at the top of the list for a double lung transplant due to the severity of his CF. Obviously this is a huge, HUGE surgery.
Whatever your faith, I'd ask you to please take a moment and pray for him and his family.
And, if you feel so compelled, you might want to stop by his blog and leave him a little note of encouragement. I know he'd really appreciate it.
Deron is a man of great faith, and he also has a great sense of humor and a very optimistic outlook on life. He has really been an inspiration to me!
Thanks, guys. :-)
PS: Deron, you ROCK!! :-)
He arrived home gritty, unshowered, unshaven, but beaming from ear-to-ear.
Apparently a Good Time Was Had By All.
He told me he brought me back "a little something" and went out to the garage to retrieve it from his car. A moment later I heard a glass container shatter, followed by a string of expletives. I open the door to find the Happy Hubster now very unhappy, and staring down at a jar of pickled garlic cloves that were strewn all over the driveway. (Hmmm. Interesting gift. I do love garlic, but 'Pickled Garlic Cloves' as a gift for the Little Wife??)
Anyway, he was barefoot and there was glass, vinegar, oil, and a Big Mess ALL over the driveway, so I said "Just come in and relax - we'll clean that up in a little bit."
Famous last words.
(Also, remember that it's 96 degrees in Atlanta today....)
So, after about an hour or so, I open the door and am hit FULL in the face by an overwhelming smell. In fact, this smell defies description. Yes, the pickled garlic cloves (and vinegar-y juices) had been COOKING on the driveway in the late afternoon sun.
It takes a lot to make me gag, but yeah..... that did it.
I guess this was the gift that keeps on giving.... blech.
Indeed, it IS a wonderful life.... thanks for helping me to realize that, George Bailey.
Rest in peace, Bob Anderson.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
So, anyway, they're all up there at a cabin that belongs to one of his buddies. They're doing some hiking, some drinking (I'm sure), and probably some target shooting out in the woods (away from the trail of course). When I talked to him this evening, he was making steak & shrimp for everyone out on the grill (he's a fabulous cook... ).
Anyway, I miss him when he's gone, and I'm happy he has a job where he doesn't have to travel for work. Yes, it's nice not having to step over his dirty clothes when he's away, and yes it's nice not having to suffer through another episode of "Deadliest Catch" or "American Chopper" on TV (do women really watch those shows???), but I still miss him. I hate sleeping alone in our big bed and, believe it or not, I even miss his snoring. (Although I would never tell him that.)
And Ruby? Our sweet devoted dog who ADORES him? She has been moping around the house... she'll go to the front door and gaze out the little side window, give a Very Dramatic Sigh, and then plop down on the floor. Such drama, that dog.