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Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Electric memory

Peace

I have been challenged to find one word for 2008. One word that will be my pseudo mantra for the year. Something to focus on. The one word will be something to consciencously incorporate into my daily life. It will be my one resolution.

So I need to figure out what the one word will be. I'm considering a few. Today I'm considering peace.

Peace. It means everything. It has been interpreted in so many ways. World peace has always been the standby answer for every pageant contestant. "And world peace." Elvis and I still make a joke out of it. "What are your goals in life?" "Well Bob, I want to be a professional MnM Thrower and the instrument of World Peace."

I need the kind of peace that you find despite your own chaos. The peace that makes the chaos seem a little further away. I need the peace that comes from knowing that this too shall pass.

Prayer of St. Francis ... it fits in with what I want for myself in life

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

May you find peace. If only for a day. If only for a moment.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Out with the plan and in with reality

So that quiet weekend and holiday we had planned went on the window in a whirlwind. I did get 4 different kinds of cookie dough made on Saturday. Put it in the fridge to bake later. And then promptly left it in the fridge when "later" arrived. Oh well. We like cookies. :)

Got a call Saturday that Jim's mom was in the hospital with pneumonia. Apparently it is because she is aspirating liquids when she is swallowing. They wanted to put in a feeding tube. She ended up choosing not to have it but in the meantime, we decided to make the trek to CR.

Would have left on Saturday 0r on Sunday for that matter... but Mother Nature had other ideas and dropped a blizzard on Eastern Iowa. We left on Monday AM instead. GLAD we hadn't gone on Sunday after counting all of the cars in the ditch between DM and CR. It was insane. I just hope everyone that was IN the cars when they went off the road is OK. I can't imagine how scary that would be.

Christmas Eve is a fondue Party at Erika's. Tradition. And it was just what I needed. Spent time with the little nieces. Talked with old friends and E's family who I love as much as my own. I am so lucky to have them in my life. Helped Santa finish wrapping presents. Glad we were there when he showed up. Sounds like the elves were a little behind this year. But we covered for them. Those elves though. They owe us big time.

Jim and I stayed the night in a hotel. It was quiet. And SOOOO what we needed. He even brought me breakfast in bed. That was the best way to start Christmas morning. I am so glad to have him. Remind me of that next time I complain about him. LOL

Off to collect kids and to my parents for breakfast (shh. don't tell her we had already eaten) and presents. It was great to have all of the kids in the same place. Well at least 3 of the 4. We took a family picture. Gotta love my dad for that. I'll post the pic when we get them from him.

Went from there to the care center to see my grandpa. Probably for the last time. They don't expect him to live through the week. He needs to go home though. He hasn't been the same since grandma Rachel passed. I miss her a lot. But he has been heartbroken over losing her. He's ready. I just hope the rest of us are ready to let him go. Glad we were there when we were. I got to tell him what I wanted to. And that made a huge difference for me. I only hope others can do the same.

Spent a good deal of the rest of the day back at Erika's. She really is my calm place. Even when it is pure chaos at her house. LOL She is an awesome friend. I got the blessing of being able to watch the kids open LOTS of presents. It was INSANE the amount of wrapping paper in that living room. But watching them brought a smile to my heart. Honestly, for probably the first holiday in many years. I felt happy watching the kids. It is truly what the spirit of the holiday is about. The blessing that children and most importantly THE CHILD have brought into our lives. Now if only I could hold that in my heart every day.

We also got to spend time with Jim's side of the family. His sister has a great new house that she is renting. It fits her. And that is what she most needs. She cooked a Christmas dinner that puts anything I have ever attempted to shame. It was her best yet. Thank you S for giving of yourself and sharing with all of us.

The whirlwind ended with the long drive home. I got to spend some quality time on the phone with my bestest friend that lives far away. She was able to share the goodness that was her Christmas with me and that made a huge difference.

Called my sister after to tell her happy birthday. We spent the next 45 minutes laughing about a lot of nothing. It was a gift.

And now reality has come back in.

TTFN. May your day be blessed by laughter and smiles.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Procrastination

So, I've put off the fa-la-la-ing just about as long as possible. Jim finally told me this morning what he wants for a present. It's boring but it's what he wants. So I suppose I'll go get it. E wants clothes so that's easy. He's talking about moving back home, so he'll probably need grocery money too. A is impossible to buy for right now. I'll get her a gift card probably. She'll just have to promise not to spend it on Z or someone else. She's like me that way. Sad isn't it? I'll get the same for little J as he can't decide what the heck he wants. But he'll spend it on the new baby, I'm sure.



Everybody else is getting food. The cookie baking shall commence this afternoon. I need to bring back one tradition for myself. I gave cookies last year, but I bought them from my friend Sherry. She makes awesome cookies. I'll miss the date pinwheels this year. :( One of the kids is requesting homemade Toll House, and I'll be darned if I'm going to pay somebody else to make chocolate chip cookies. That's just dumb. There will however be NO rolled out sugar cookies or gingerbread men. I considered it. But I just can't get past the memory that comes with making them. Baking cookies again is hard enough.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another day closer and a little less Grinchy

Last week A&Z came over for dinner and movies. A brought the Christmas tree with her. I had her put it on the porch.

Last night they came over again. The tree was still on the porch. She proceeded to ask me where I wanted it and started setting it up. Once it was up, she says "looks pretty bare without ornaments. Are you going to get those out?" So off we went to the basement to get the Christmas decorations. And having just recently moved, I knew EXACTLY where they were! Aren't you proud? We pulled out the zillion Christmas things we have. Why do I have a zillion Christmas ornaments and flags and various decorations anyway? But we drug them out. And she decorated the tree. And I put out the Willow Tree Nativity.

So now I have a decorated Christmas tree in my front room. Right next to the TV where everyone can see it and NOT shoved in the black hole next to the couch where I had said to put it. So now I have to look at it. And I have to admit, it's made me a little less Grinchy.

I may even Christmas shop.

Don't hold your breath though.

Monday, December 17, 2007

In 37 minutes Christmas is a week away

I am so not ready. It's my own fault. I really am trying to be Christmasy. I thought if I read other people's blogs about the happy holidaying stuff that I'd get motivated. So far it isn't working. I have however learned a few things. Ok, maybe not LEARNED, just observed.
  • some people have way too much free time
  • there are people who actually have more than one Christmas tree. I don't get that. I can barely get one up and decorate one
  • tradition is what you make it
  • the current "trend" in the stamping blogging world is to decorate peppermint patties for gift giving. Peppermint patties. Do they really think anyone will say anything beyond, "oh cute. a decorated peppermint patty. how nice." munch. and in the trash that stamped patty wrapper goes
  • there are as many variations on Christmas cookies as there are people in the blogosphere
  • not every body's kids look cute dressed up like a Christmas pageant character
  • a dog dressed up like a reindeer makes a really funny picture. no matter who you are and who the dog is. :)
  • hand crafted does not always mean "good to give"
  • I am way behind in the decorating thing
  • I am way behind in the gift purchasing thing
  • I am way behind in the fa la la la la-ing

that is all for today

- the Grinch

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Yeah, I know. It's been awhile

Yeah, I know. It's been awhile. No really good reason why. I've been busy but that's no excuse. I guess it is more because I haven't really had much of anything important to say. Still don't. Huh. imagine that. Me, with nothing to say. I'll have to work on that.

I kind of feel like this cartoon. You just deal with what you have instead of making it what you want. Sometimes that's just easier. And it's often just as nice as what you had originally planned.



Monday, December 10, 2007

Bowie Meets Crosby

Sorry I haven't been a blogging for a while. I'll work on a "real" entry tonight. In the meantime.... Enjoy my favorite Christmas song!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Captain Kangaroo with Mr. Moose

See -- told you I was feeling nostalgic.

For those that were concerned

Yes. I do feel better today. And yesterday for that matter. Apparently, I just needed to acknowledge why I was mad and get past it. Sorry to worry you.

So what's new with you? Me - I'm feeling rather nostalgic today. That and I wish I was in bed watching cartoons. -- Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

When you do what you've always done....

Yeah, I know I'm supposed to be thankful. Uh huh. Whatever. Today I am not. Come to think of it, I wasn't so much so yesterday either. In fact, I’m kind of just mad at the world. Ok. Maybe not the whole world. Just a small part of it. And I really have no reason to be mad that is anything specific. It’s really just myself that I’m mad at. You see, I have this idea in my head that things will change. That if I do the same thing as before and the people around me do the same things THEY did before, that the end result will be different. That somehow there will be a different result. Guess what. There isn’t. When you do the same thing you’ve always done, you get the same thing you’ve always gotten. Imagine that.

So how do you get yourself out of the pattern? The obvious answer is that you should do something different. But when that doesn’t work, you still go back to what you know. Even if it didn’t get you what you wanted before. See. There’s that pattern again. Let’s try a different way. Works just fine until the people around you don’t change what they do. And then, here you are stuck doing what you did before and not even realizing it until you are all of a sudden in that pattern again. Stupid pattern. So let’s get everybody on board and all do something different. Here we go marching rattelly bang. Going down this new path and then something gets in the way and we sidestep it and get ever so slightly off of the new path. Marching unknowingly along and then we get to where we are supposed to be at the end. And what do you know. We once again have what we always have. Definitely not what we started towards. How did that happen? Well let’s look. Oh yeah. Back there where that thing got in the way and we sidestepped to go around it. See where we went? Yep. Back to that same old pattern. Cripes. How did we not notice that we were on the same path again? Blissfully marching along we failed to pay attention to where we were.

I know. I’m rambling again. I’d say that this is a first but y’all know it isn’t. I’m a rambler sometimes.

Friday, November 23, 2007

the day after the day they stuffed themselves

Started out like every good little brainwashed American and went shopping this AM. My contribution to Black Friday was the smallest of any year in memory. I sought out to purchase some big things but the lines were more than I was willing to wait in. So I obviously didn't need them all that bad.

Had fun shopping with a friend. We then topped the morning off by eating REALLY rich food at Wheatfield's for bfast. Yummy sourdough pancakes with black raspberry butter. mmmmmm.

Then off to home where my husband was amazed at the amount of money I didn't spend today. LOL Seriously he was. So surprised in fact that he got me back out the door to the hardware store. And THERE I made up for some of my prior non-spending on fun things like sealing caulk and water softener pellets. But we needed them so who can complain? DH did however comment several times on the "insane amount of people considering this is a hardware store". A big not so big box store but a hardware store all the same.

A & Z ended up spending the night last night. Amber couldn't get her beloved to wake up off of my couch where he was experiencing a somewhat severe case of turkey coma. After watching 2 movies we gave up and dug out blankets and pillows. And all the sleepy ones were put away for the night. Today they hung out with us as well. Kind of nice having Amber in the house for the day. Asked for "someone" to do dishes though and then the not so nice to have you back memories kicked in. :) The two of them only just left now, after I fed them supper and sent them out the door with their brother. I see a night of Xbox gaming in the future of the wee ones. Ok, so they aren't so wee size anymore. But they are still MY wee ones.

And even though all of the events of today were not what I would have planned out had I had the opportunity to.... all in all I am thankful. 40 ways and then some. For I am truly blessed. Even when I forget that I am.

"40 Things to be Thankful for" Part IV

36. other people's blogs - the world seems a little smaller somehow
37. extended family even though I don't see them as often as I like
38. fresh air
39. that I live in a place where you can go shopping at 4am. Though I still can't remember why you would want to. LOL
40. the gifts you can't put a price on or stick under the tree

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"40 Things to be Thankful for" Part III

21. beautiful nieces
22. positive relationships with my siblings
23. The opportunity to travel
24. hugs
25. books
26. flowers
27. fresh fruit and veggies
28. growing up with my grandparents close by
29. crocs
30. crayons and markers
31. music of all kinds
32. people that know my faults and love me anyway
33. calm
34. Team Hope
35. cameras and the photos they take

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"40 things to be Thankful for" Part II

16. Thursday Night TV
17. Internet TV for the shows I missed on Thursday
18. Stampin and Scrappin Friends that have grown to be more than that
19. Little ones that like to be tickled and LAUGH so well
20. Gas is finally below $3.00 again (at least for now)

Friday, November 16, 2007

"40 things to be thankful for" Part 1

1. my husband
2. I have four beautiful children
3. Elvis
4. my best friend that lives far away
5. the unconditional love of my parents
6. the fact that I'm going to be a grandma in 2008
7. invisible friends that aren't so invisible anymore
8. that I know how I am paying the bills this month
9. Diet Coke
10. Crabtree and Evelyn Hand Therapy
11. Fuzzy friends that are always happy to see me when I get home
12. the FHA underwriter that got me into my house
13. scrapbook paper
14. the cardinals that greet me outside the porch each morning
15. spinach and mushroom pizza

39 days until Christmas??

somebody just emailed me that. 39 days until Christmas.

Is this good or bad?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jack and the Door

Jack thinks he can open the door. He used to just jump for the door handle. He now thinks he'll be able to jump through the window at the top of the door. Silly cat.





Posted by Picasa

Added pics to Sally and the Skunk

http://carolynslostsanity.blogspot.com/2007/10/selsun-blue.html

FOCUS is an F word

My friend Jannel over at the Band Clementine had an extensive blog series about their recent Squeaky Wheel Tour. Clementine's Blog It was fun to read and has had some very enlightening moments since she has returned home from the tour. Ok, maybe not what others may consider enlightening but definitely so for me. I shared one of the blogs early last week. It was about why we let others determine our level and definition of our own successes. Check it out if you didn’t catch it the first time. Jannels version of success

Anyhoooo, her most recent blog was all about being home and the transition that that is and ended with a focus on F words. Found and Fun specifically. She said “The reminder here is that I have learned to focus more each day on what I have FOUND and not what is missing…I would say we all have pain we can focus on if we want to. I know I do, but I don't wants to anymore? It doesn't make my life better and if something doesn't make my life better then what's the point?”

See it’s that Perspective thing again! What is it with that? But notice the change. It isn’t another, “things could be worse” reminder. It is definitely a count your blessings reminder. Change your focus.

So at this time of preparation for Thanksgiving and the holidays that follow, I challenge myself and YOU to the following:

Count your blessings each and every day. Or list things you are thankful for. Every day find five things that you’re blessed with and focus on them. Write them down each morning. Or if you are a not so morning person like me, write them down the night before. Put them in your pocket or purse or planner or whatever you keep with you all day. When the day just flat out sucks and the pity monster starts crawling in pull out the list and take a look at it. REMIND yourself of the things that make your life better.

See now, this is why this is such a huge challenge for me. This is the time of year that I get in this “the holidays just remind me of what I have lost” rut. If I make a list for the next two weeks of five things each day that make my life better, than maybe the rut won’t seem so deep. 40 things to be thankful for should do that, right?

Remind me that I wrote this; because I can tell right now that I’m going to forget. Who’s gonna hold me accountable? Don’t all jump once.

Why so quiet?

“So”, you ask, “where have you been all week and why no blogging?” That would be because since this time last week, I have really haven’t been on the computer much. I also have done little to nothing that can be classified as even remotely exciting. Not that my previous garden adventures and wedding whines and pitiful boring “What I did last night” blogs were ever exciting but, well, you get my drift. But I’ve kind of been in this weird “quiet” place that didn’t involve talking to much of anyone let alone the blogosphere. I even left my cell phone in the bedroom for 2 days and didn’t once pick it up to see whose calls I had missed. Me without a cell phone attached to my ear. Imagine that. But it was kind of nice. Quiet can sometimes be just what you need.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pitiful or Bored -- You be the judge

So tonight I had HUGE plans for coming home and:
  • cook dinner and extra for a second meal to freeze for next week
  • clean the kitchen
  • pack up summer clothes and get out all the sweaters
  • read a few chapters in the book I keep telling myself I should be reading

instead I:

  • cooked frozen pizza
  • cleaned nothing
  • made a bigger mess in the winter clothes looking for a sweater for tomorrow
  • read every post in the blogs of note blog of the day http://beingfive.blogspot.com/




So what I had planned to do and what I did didn't match up. What's new?

Then again, I could have been at a friend's house stamping but she decided not to invite me over but to call and rub it in that that was what SHE was doing with her OTHER friend. [insert pouting face here]

I'd say tonight was a wasted night but it wasn't. Because I got to laugh at the http://beingfive.blogspot.com/ comics. Check them out! They'll make you giggle. And everybody deserves to giggle now and then.

A Pittance of Time - Terry Kelly

This is a tribute to the Canadian Military but it fits for the US Forces and Veterans as well. May we all remember and thank those who have served.

11/8/07 -- Well apparently this has ghosted. It must not have liked being on my blog. huh. I'll have to see if I can figure out where it snagged off to.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Jannel wrote it, I stole it

"As I travel this road of an Indie artist it constantly amazes me as to who “makes it” and who doesn’t. I hear people like Yvonne Perea, Susan Gibson, Gary Floyd, Dana Woods, Jimmy Davis, Kelly Fitzgerald, Denise Lee… I can’t help but wonder if the people listening realize they are in the presence of greatness. This brings me to the many talented musicians that we have met during the tour and those that have volunteered to profile missing persons at their events. These are hard working artists with day jobs who have to make their music like they have to breathe. They have many other responsibilities and they still come out exceptional. They are the real music industry. This makes me wonder why any of us ever give the “industry” any right to choose or not choose us. We know what we were born to do, we know who we are and we will do it with or without them. 15 or 55, fat or thin, short or tall, the look or not…we will continuing breathing our art in and out. Isn’t it up to us to choose everyday that we have “made it?” What would we rather be just another fast food restaurant that one could find in any city anywhere in this country or a fine restaurant that people plan their vacations around? A place or music that people in the area flock to because of the genuine, honest, home grown, honed, finely crafted songs (food) good for their souls. In the end what is a measure of a mans life anyway…a hit song, a Grammy Award, a record deal from a label that could drop or shelve you at anytime…or a hard working artist who’s mission is to do some good in the world wherever his/her guitar/piano and songs take him. We “make it” every day we choose to get out there accept who we are, walk forward and continue to be true to our own reason for breathing. " -- Jannel Rap at http://clementineband.blogspot.com/

Whether you are a musician or not - this screams the truth.

That pesky perspective thing again

"It's true that life's gifts come with responsibilities. When I don't feel like cleaning up my desk or my car or my house or my general existence, I try to remember the people who would be desperate to have all the things I take for granted." - Rachel Clarkson

What is it about a lesson that even though you think you have learned it, you still keep running into it? The above was the quote from my planner for the other day. I didn't read it then as it was last Friday and I had major Fridayitis and avoided everything that I could that day, which also included avoiding my planner. And then today I had to go back to the day in the planner twice. Should have only been once but I couldn't remember what I'd read after I read it the first time and consequently had to flip back to Friday yet again. The second time I read the quote. Which is obviously what I was there for the first time in the karmic version of reality. And having obviously not read it the first time, the memory lapse had to occur to get me to to back to Friday again and read the quote.

Doesn't that all sound better than "I had to read my planner twice to get the information I should have gotten the first time. And being the short attention span gal I am, had to read around the rest of the page for the day because I couldn't remember even why I'd flipped to Friday and while I was reading I found this quote that has been haunting me ever since."

And now I've spent much of my lunch break eating a broccoli and cheese potato Lean Cuisine and blah blah blahing on this blog.

Back to the quote -- I ran into the same quote in a newsletter recently. I'm obviously supposed to remember its' lesson. I apparently still need to take stock in what I do have and count my blessings. (And apparently I need to clean my house. But that was always a given.)

Are you being responsible with the gifts you've been given?

Blessings. Count them and they'll multiply.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Beautiful Weather weekend day 2

Beautiful day! More than 70 degrees, light breeze and SUNNY! If every fall day was like this the seasons would never change. But I won't complain one bit!



This is the tree that I was saying is my favorite color - RED. The pics don't do it's intense color justice but I did the best I could.



As the summer plants die back and the green fades away (or blows away) we keep finding the beauty in the other things in the yard. I must thank the previous owners for some of the things they left behind.

I'm so glad we have this awesome yard that just happened to come with a house.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Fall colors and adventures with a chain saw

We spent the day today in the yard. When we made the plans it was supposed to be warmer then it turned out to be. At least in my head it was supposed to be warmer. :) I think it turned out to be in the mid 60's. But it was a bit breezy which made it that much colder. I'm so not ready for colder temps.

When we had the wedding in the yard, I fully expected to have changing leaves and the beginning of the fall colors. The warm weather of then has given rise to beautiful reds and deep yellows and oranges. Our feeble attempt to mimic the colors two weeks ago with straw bales and gourds is a pale comparison to the rich colors nature brings to the yard now.

I'll have to take a picture tomorrow of the absolutely stunning red that the bush outside the front door has become. When I say red is my favorite color, THIS is the red I mean. I've spent nearly an hour on the internet now trying to find out what kind of bush it is so I can buy and plant more to share the incredible color with the rest of the yard.

Speaking of reds, Jim and I have made it our mission to save this poor spindle of a japanese maple. We found it at the garden center in the 85% off no guarantee section. Otherwise known as the "we'd plan to throw it out but give it your best shot" section. It will be our labor of love for this fall. It's a lacy leaf variety. Acer palmatum dissectum I think. Not sure though because the tree was being choked by the tag and we threw the tag away before I thought to check for sure. So much for my plans to be so good about tracking everything we planted and planning so well.

So the highlight of the day was the adventures with the chainsaw. When we were standing there in Menards more than a month ago looking at the wide selection of chainsaws we had a discussion. I kept trying to tell my dear husband that we needed at least the 18 inch saw. And higher horse power was a must. We needed a larger saw because we had plenty of large trees that are bound to need chain sawing at some point. "Several of them need it now," I kept telling him. I was told that I was of course being a girl of little knowlege of things chain sawing. A 14 inch saw that was clearly labled as a "limb saw" was all that we would need. This was of course a direct result of the fact that it was dear husband's checkbook that was paying for said saw. Was it the household account or mine, we would have of course agreed that the larger more expensive saw was the one to get. But alas, the miserly decision was made and the little limb saw was taken home.

Fast forward to today. "This limb saw isn't as powerful as one would think it should be. How are we going to take down that massive trunk before it falls on the chicken coop?" And we of course have two such trees that once we started removing limbs today we found needed to be removed completely. So I'm now off to Craig's list to see about finding an upgraded chain saw.

What have you bought from Craig's list? And how cool is Craig to have made us such a place to trade.

Until next time, take a minute to enjoy the colors. And don't forget to turn back the clock!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

CLEMENTINE-Must Have Been

These are my friends. And they are Squeaky! Check out their blog of the tour. The link is to the right.

oops

and then someone puts you up on YouTube. Poor lady.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Again - It's about perspective - Prayers for CA

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/10/30/california.quake/index.html

Feeling sorry for myself and the fact that my brain won't slow down enough to go to sleep. Then a friend who is staying with her parents in Milpitas, CA sends a text asking for prayers. Apparently tonight's 5.6 quake is expected to be followed by a larger quake/s in the next 72 hours. Evacuations are expected.

Prayers to all affected.

Perspective.

It's all about perspective

I thought my day was bad. Then it was put into perspective. Talked to a gal this afternoon that is not sure she wants to go back to work tonight. Where she works was held up last time she worked. Her $8 an hour "fun job" turned into an $8 per hour hell when she was threatened at gun point to turn over the measly $500 in her drawer. Thank God she's OK. She's one of these people that you know you'll be able to say, "I knew her when she was .... and now look at her!" Yet another reminder that I need to keep my blessings in mind at all times.

Whine - Someone went around me/over my head today at work.
Blessing - I don't have to sit across the hall from that person all day every day.

Whine - Cash flow is far from where I want it to be and I'm playing the juggle the bills game this month.
Blessing - I know where my next paycheck is coming from so I know I have the money coming into to cover most all of the bills this month.

Whine - My adult child that wants me to do something for them that they can very well do themself.
Blessing - I have an adult child that 1) is in my life 2) is able to want 3) is able to do

It's all about perspective.

I am really so unapproachable?

Both personally and professionally, I don't ask much from people. Be respectful is what everything comes back to. Why is this so hard?

If you have a problem with me, tell me. Don't skirt it. Don't pretend to be honky dory when it isn't. And TELL ME!! If you find the need to go around me or above me, that makes me think you just don't have a backbone. Why not talk to me about it first? If I don't know there is a problem, how can I fix it? IF you don't tell me who will?

**banging head**

Seriously. Am I really that unapproachable?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Mom Song

Have you seen this video? I love this woman. Now if only I'd had this recorded to play for my kids every day I'd never have had to say a word.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wedded Bliss


I do believe that the weather on Saturday topped 80 degrees. 80 degrees, small breeze. Couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day.


L to R: Matt (best man), Zach (groom), Eric (my handsome youngest son), Jim (my handsome oldest son), and Jim (the hubby from whom the other two get their handsomeness) :D



Don't they look cute?



The ceremony spot before the wedding.


They tried to do a shotgun wedding picture but couldn't stop laughing. Neither could those of us watching which probably didn't help matters. :)

All in all we could not have asked for a more perfect day or a more perfect wedding. I can now proudly retire the magic wedding wand.

May we all find a little wedded bliss in our lives today.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Magic Wedding Wand

I am the keeper of the magic wedding wand. Did you know that? As keeper of said magic wedding wand, I can make all things happen in magically easy ways and everything just magically falls into place in a Cinderella's rags to riches kind of way. AND I can make money appear where there is none.

Aren't I the coolest wand waver ever!?

Now if only I could remember where I put the magic wedding wand down. Because I can't find it anywhere and Amber is counting on me having it by Saturday.

Back to reality.

Things are kind of coming together for Saturday. I know I'm panicking though because I started delegating. Unfortunately many of the tasks I delegated will probably end up back on my plate on Friday. Some of the delegatees aren't so great at the follow through. But who knows, they may surprise me.

Today is clean up the porch and move things to Amber's new apartment day. That is what we will be doing this evening. Then working on the house. Tell e again why I don't have a maid? OH yeah! That cash thing again. That and the incredible pleasure I get out of cleaning. eww.

Tomorrow I have to pick up the outside decorations and work on the yard. Then Friday is run around like a chicken with my head cut off day! My list for Friday is insane. Let's only hope I can find enough hours. I really want to be done by 1 or 2 as Jimmy and Allison will be here and we have people coming Friday night. Oh yeah!!

But on a REALLY big positive note, I have some of my favorite people in the world coming to visit this weekend. It's so much easier when they are all here. It may be the last time for a long time, as I can't think of any other major events that will draw everyone to Nebraska again anytime soon.

Another big plus? My brother is bringing new baby Rachel to meet her auntie Carolyn.

I'm so excited!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

RSVP is just a guess right?

So when you RSVP, how sure are you that you are going to attend? Do you ever RSVP and then not go to said event? Have you ever NOT RSVP'd and then gone anyway?

As of last night we have 65 RSVPs for Saturday's "beginning of wedded bliss" event. Holy schmoly. This was supposed to be small and casual. What happened to small? Maybe 20 will just not show and then we'll be back to the 35-40 I was estimating.

I'm starting to freak out.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Selsun Blue

Selsun Blue, Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda, Tomato Juice, Strawberry Suave, the smell of burning rubber, a plugged bathtub, soaking wet floors. Do you know what these all have in common? They are all in part responsible for why I was up until 2 am.

Went to go get Eric last night from work. En route, Jim calls my cell. He tells me what he called for and then adds, "the neighbors must be burning because all you can smell outside is burning rubber." I thought nothing of it. The neighbors up the hill burn all kinds of things that shouldn't be burned. But why they were burning at 9 pm made no sense. But then again, these are the same people that were mowing at 3 am this summer. Why would burning rubber surprise me? I came home from picking up Eric and as soon as we walked onto the enclosed porch it was like hitting a wall. The odor was enough to knock you down and probably out. The house smelled no better. I was ready to cry.

So I set out on a mission to find what smelled. Because it didn't smell like it outside so the smell had to be coming from inside. Went through the whole house trying to find the origination of the smell. It was definitely in the kitchen. Went through everything in the kitchen that could possibly give off this incredibly assaulting odor. None of the standard culprits were found.

Jim SWORE that the smell was outside and now while it had dissipated outside it was just kind of "stuck" inside. If I would just sit down and wait it would dissipate in the house as well. So I sat down to watch last Sunday's Brothers and Sisters online. The smell was worse. OK, that was just in my head, it really couldn't be getting worse. So then it went away a little. Then worse again. Nausea is starting to come into play. I have already opened all of the windows and turned on the fans. It's freezing in the house now. I exaggerate. It's about 47 degrees outside. The house is probably in the 60s. so now I am cold, nauseous, and annoyed.

The smell got worse again. Amber agreed. Jim said we are both nuts. So I went on the search for the smell again. Found nothing. But the living room seems to be the worst now not the kitchen. Huh. Sit back down to watch the show.

Jim complained that the smell was giving him a headache and heads to bed. I'm still trying to watch the show and am not much past the first chapter. The smell gets worse again. I give up! I walk through the living room very methodically. And then I realize the source.

OK, to be fair to the Tomato Juice, et al, it wasn't really their fault that I was up until 2 am. It was the Sally's. The dog. OK, maybe not the dog's fault. Let's blame the skunk instead.

Yes, we apparently have skunks on or near our property. Guess how I know? Oh yes my friends you have guessed well. Sally - 0, Skunk - 1. My poor smelly house is the biggest loser. Because the skunky smell is now in every room Sally was in.

So into the shower we go. Start with shampoo. That didn't work. I then remember the Brady Bunch episode where Tiger gets a bath in Tomato juice. I have a 32 oz can of tomato juice in the cupboard. Funny thing is, no one in my house drinks tomato juice and I can't remember why I even bought it in the first place. Whatever recipe I never made has now come in VERY handy.

The juice didn't work very well on its own so I tried to add baking soda. It kills smells, right? SO now my dumb skunk loving dog is covered in tomato juice and baking soda paste. I decided to let it sit on her for a while while I looked up skunk cures on the Internet. Eric came in the bathroom to talk to her while I googled "how to remove skunk from a dumb dog". It was about his time that I heard Sally shake. Now my poor shower is covered in what looks like something from a horror movie.

So apparently hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap is the preferred method. Selsun Blue is rumored to work as well. Guess what I don't have in the house? Off to the dreaded W. I hate that place but at least they are open at midnight.

Back from my dreaded W visit, I find Sally in the shower whining and standing still. The bottom of the tub still filled with what looks like tomato soup. Apparently the drain is plugged from all of the dog hair and the poor dog who is afraid to sit in water is stuck standing up the whole time I was shopping. Poor Sally.

The peroxide and soda mixture worked for all but her face. But she kept trying to shake it off. So now I'm covered in soda mix. Onto cleaning her face, Selsun Blue seemed to work for that. But my sleep deprived self bought the menthol version. Menthol and eyes. Not so great a match.

Poor Dog.

Everyone else swears it didn't smell like it this morning but I know it still does. I can SMELL it. :(

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Waterworld

First off, let me just say that this movie was better the first few times I watched it. After the last dozen times of my husband watching it, I'm pretty sick of it. But something just occurred to me. And no, I don't think there was a deeper meaning in the story. It's just something I got to thinking about.

In the movie, the youngest character has a map on her back. It's a map of "dry land". The way to the place that everyone wants to be. I believe that it is true. The youngest among us are the ones that have the way to where we want to be. We spend so much time "growing up" that we lose our childhood. We try so hard to find that purpose, that something else, that we forget what we already have.

Kids have no idea of what isn't realistic. They believe that anything is possible. How do we lose that? They have no idea of prejudice. Adults teach them that. Children speak their mind in a honest way. It is the adults in their life that explain what is socially correct to say and what isn't. It's adults that take offense and choose not to hear the truth or to be hurt by it. Any criticism can be constructive. It's just that people choose not to learn from it.

We need to listen to our children more. Especially the smallest ones. They have a lot to teach us.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Ode to Diet Coke

"I have a Diet Coke. And all is right with the world." This is my mantra. I know it is a bad habit. But if this is the worst habit I retain then it's a good thing. I think it is as much a memory thing anymore as anything else. Is it possible to have an emotional attachment to a soda?

Diet Coke and Blow Pops. My best friend introduced me to the combo. It was the designated driver's combo of choice. Not that back then I was the designated driver very much but it was still a good choice.

Diet Cherry Coke. I can vividly remember the day that I found it in the store. The how I found Cherry Coke story is a little more interesting. You see I was with the church youth group on a trip to Colorado. We stopped at a truck stop outside of Loveland. I wasn't going to go into the store. Then people started coming out of the store with their purchases. Steve had a 3 muskeeters bar and I decided that I wanted one. So I asked him to go back in and get me one. He was supposed to be my best friend. Wouldn't a best friend go back in for you? He wouldn't. But he's a a%%. But that's a story for another day. So I went back in myself. Got the 3M, walked to the soda cooler. Reached for a -- guess -- yep, you're right, a Diet Coke. And there it was. Next to the Diet Coke. It's beautiful white and red can beckoning. Cherry Coke!! Not just for soda fountain's anymore. Now in your own home you can enjoy Cherry Coke without having to buy the grenadine. Heaven. And then a couple of years later I had a similar experience in Quik Trip. And the Diet Cherry Coke era was born.

It didn't last long though. Because the true addiction problem is with Diet Coke.

Diet Vanilla Coke was an experience. I was in the mall on a Tuesday when we first moved to CB. One of those survey people asked me if I was interested in doing a taste test marketing thingy. I went to the little room they put you in to ask you questions that have nothing to do with anything that makes sense. Then they sent me home with 4 bottles of soda. I had to fill out more questions. Took the questions back. And the buggers paid me $35 for the wonderful Diet Vanilla Coke experience.

Diet Coke with Lime. Eh, I can take it or leave it.

Diet Coke with Lemon. Ok, the REAL lemon in the Diet Coke is ok, but the flavored one. Ick.

Carp. Did I really just write an entire blog about Diet Coke?

I need help.

Being HCIC isn't always what it's cracked up to be

Today sucked. Today I don't much like my job. I usually LOVE my job. Just not today. Definately not today. Today was an impossible deadline day. Ok maybe not impossible. I read 15 days and thought they meant 15 working days. Um...no. 15 calendar days. So that was today. I realized it at 8:30 this morning. Thus, today sucked.

Lately it feels like I'm in over my head. I know I'm not. I really am not. I just feel like it this week. There's so much to do most of the time that it's impossible to get it all done. I KNOW that. But it'd still be nice to at least have a resemblance of caught up. Or at least my head above water. Oh well. It's still a good job.

Did I mention I had to kick three people out this week? This week sucked.

Pics of the house (kind of)

I was looking for something else and found the link to the listing for our house on the MLS. I was going to post the link. Then it occured to me that that would constitute telling the whole world where I live. So instead, here is the pic I heisted off of Remax's website. :)


The pic definately doesn't do the house/property justice. I'll get around to taking more pics later. Because, as you know, we bought it for the yard, not the house. LOL


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Talking when no one else is listening

I do love the internet. It has brought so many people into my life. Some that I love. Some that I have thought I couldn't live without and then realized that they were really sociopaths pretending to be friends. Others are mere acquaintances that I just enjoy hanging out with sometimes. Then there are the millions of others who don't know I exist and who I truly just enjoy overhearing what they have to say. Raise your glasses to the first amendment!!! And thank you to the countries without a first amendment who allow such things to happen anyway.

My favorite part of the internet is things like blogs and forums. It gives my insomniatic self someone to talk to or more specifically talk AT in the wee hours of the evening. I mean, I'd have to have friends overseas to be able to talk to this many people in the middle of the night. And my ADD self couldn't pay attention long enough at this time of the night to say much intelligent for very long anyway.

Thank you Al Gore. I really like your internet thingy.

Anybody else remember the Prodigy forums?

Keep in mind I have insomnia

So if you keep in mind that I have a hard time going to sleep most nights, it isn't unusual that I'm blogging post midnight. But that said, you can hold nothing against me later.

I started reading the tagged blogs on blogspot tonight. Went back through the archives and was looking at blogs of note for years past. I went through several months worth in the 2001 2002 era. Did you know that not even ONE of those blogs had a post later than 2003? I mean, how do you have this blog with a ton of hits and a ton of info and then just quit blogging on said blog? I mean, yeah, I get sidetracked and forget to or choose not to blog for months at a time. But YEARS at a time when you blogged daily? Makes you wonder what happened to them. That or becoming blogspots blog of note equals an impending kiss of death.

So which is it? sidetracked or death? I shall make it my mission to find out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Planning a Wedding

no budget. Less than a month to plan. A wedding. Can it be done? Do I have a choice?

So Amber decided to get married. In less than a month. I know it's a good thing. Just keep reminding me of that. LOL

They are getting married at our house. Or more specifically, in our yard. Which should make it easier because we don't have to find a place to have it. Right? Um yeah. That just means I have to do the fall cleanup a little earlier in the season. It's going to be gorgous though. Fall has always been my favorite time of year. The colors are amazing. I only hope we can do the season justice with the wedding.

So what are YOU doing October 20th?

I forgot what I was going to say.

I'm having alot of that lately. I'd forget my name if everybody else didn't keep calling me by it. So I had a TON of really good ideas today on what I wanted to say tonight. Now I can't remember any of them. That's been true most nights when I sit down to blog. So I just haven't. I should still ramble. Or should I?

Welcome Rachel!



So there is a new addition to the family!! Meet Rachel Piper. She was born Sept 27th and is a 8 lb 10 oz bundle of joy. Proud parents, Bryan and Jen, are happy but a little sleep deprived. Imagine that.
The other little one in the pic would be the beautiful Emma Rose. Isn't she just a cutie? :)
So the lovely two little girls above have my mom grinning from ear to ear. And rightly so. What Grandma wouldn't be happy to have such beautiful grandbabies?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Scrapping and standing in line

So this weekend was Scrapfest in Minneapolis at the Mall of America. And what a great time! It was nice to do something that was ALL mine for the weekend. The merry team was my mother, my sister, my friend Susan, and myself. We were joined on Friday by the beautiful Emma who did a great job considering she was in a stroller all day and couldn't get down and crawl away. LOL

Tons of make and takes were done. But that of course involved standing in line to get your turn to make one. It wasn't so bad though. One vendor gave away tote bags, another a small brag book size photo album. I learned several new papercrafting ideas for altered items. It was fun! I also took some 45 minute classes on cardmaking, altered art, and scrapbook ideas. The classes moved fast and it was sometimes hard to keep up. And of all the classes only one actually finished the project we started. That was fine though, because they sent us home with enough to finish the project. Some classes gave us WAY more than we needed. Freebies rock! I won two small door prizes. One I have no idea how I'll use it. The other was flowers. My goodness I love flowers!

But lest we not forget. Paper makes me happy.

Happy Wednesday and be well!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Playing Catch Up

OMGoodness! Has it really been nearly a month since I added a new blog? Loyal readers, I owe you a HUGE apology. LOL

August has become a blur. I can't figure out how I planned so much in one month. What was I thinking? And what did I do for September? Oh, about the same thing. Oh well. It's all a grand adventure.

the biggest adventure this month was definately a week long stay in hartford, connecticut. Interesting state. I'll have to fill you in on that week in a separate blog.

Last night we had our first party at the new house. We grilled brats and basically all sat on the porch and avoided the sun. Thank heavens for the gazebo or we would have fried. Nothing like a party to get you to get things done! Eric and I about killed ourselves with yard work on Saturday. And I must say that it is beautiful! The backyard is now in pretty good shape. between that and the fact that the main level of my house is in order, I'm feeling pretty good about the way things are right now. Amazing how a clean house can make you just feel better.

Now if only my back would stop throbbing from being bent over all day Saturday. LOL

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Dreams and what not

I woke up this morning from a very vivid dream. It was one of those ones where you forget you are dreaming. And then when you wake up you can't figure out if it was a dream or a remembering. Know what I mean? And now I can't get the dream of just before I woke up out of my head. Almost obsessing over it actually. huh.

I read once that dreams are made out of real things in our life. Dream intrepretation is a big money job for many people. Myself, I usually don't try and read alot into dreams. I figure it's just my brain playing wishing and what if games or making my living fears nightime manifestations. It's kind of nice though when they are based in positive things that you wouldn't mind having happen. :) Or a rememberance of things that HAVE happened that you want to remember.

So last night's dream was not only vivid, it was, well... it was something that I've thought about happening in my waking life. Not exactly the way I would have planned it in the waking version but the dream version was OK too. I can't exactly tell what happened because it's one of those dreams that would be warped if other people read it. And since I can't FULLY explain, I'm not even scraping the surface of it. But if you are someone that is REALLY good at analyzing dreams, call me or email. I'll share that way. :)

So as Jack Johnson says, "All of these moments just might find their way into my dreams tonight." What finds it's way into your dreams?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Happy Monday - aka why not to take two days off of work at the first of the month.

Beginning of the month. Take a two day training. Sounded like a good idea at the time. But that was of course BEFORE I moved the board meeting up a week, planned a week training in Connecticut and a two day trip to NYC, a baby shower, and year end financials. What was I thinking? Oh yeah. Wasn't thinking. See... I haven't changed one bit.

But the training was WONDERFUL. I think I may take up a new life path as a development coordinator. Because NOW I know how to write the grants and a lot more about where to send them to. LOL Now if only I had the time to actually do the writing and do the sending. But that's a story for another Monday. And a wish for another time.

The weekend was rather zooish but not at all unpleasant. Spent Thursday (or was it Monday) night hanging out with Kurt who came to town to go the zoo. We do have a rather nice zoo here you know. See. We even have gorillas. :) www.omahazoo.com



So back to the zooish weekend....

Thursday and Friday were the above mentioned workshop on grants. Saturday had a ton of plans that mostly involved unpacking. (see every post from the month of July) But instead, Eric and I found a little bit of nothing that all added up to taking up the whole day. It was actually a nice, yet zooish, diversion from the mass chaos of the prior weeks. (again, pick a post from July, you'll get the idea.)

So Saturday night, another of my very best friends came to visit after spending an unbearably hot day at the (guess now), yes, you guessed right, at the ZOO. Because as you know from above, we have a pretty cool zoo here.

sidebar - Why is it that every time I, or someone I care about decides to go the zoo, or the amusement park, or say, get married in an outside ceremony, why do we pick the HOTTEST days to do it? If it isn't hot, it rains. If it doesn't rain, it snows. If there was a drought and not we are trying to get away from flooding, the rain follows us. I mean, does mother nature really not like us so much that she says, "oh look. Carolyn and her friends are going to the [insert attraction here]. Sounds like a good day for [insert natural disaster here]." Not like I really believe that mother nature really has time to worry about little ole us, but I'm starting to wonder. End sidebar.

So Saturday night, Erika and brood came to visit. We went to the Old Market and ate at Spaghetti Works. Come to think of it, we went there about a month ago too. Considering we don't go there except maybe 3 or 4 times per year, that's a little coincidental. hmmm. ponder that. oops sorry, got sidetracked.

So Saturday night, E & brood and us, went to eat and have fun and shop and did I mention it was unyielding hot this weekend? We about fried. Good thing for big glasses of water at the SW.

Sunday brought a visit to my NEW house by E & brood. They all agreed that I have a nice yard. LOL The house passed inspection too.

Eric and I planned to do all kinds of more unpacking and fixing and what not on Sunday. But we didn't. He slept all day, and who was I to disturb that.

OK, off for a while. Saga to continue later. I have groceries to deliver. Don't ask. It's a longer story that you want to be subjected to today.

TTFN.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Welcome to Homeownership

So we DID close on the house. We closed on the Friday. Moved a few trips worth on Sat & Sun. Scheduled a moving truck for Tuesday. Then ended up taking us the rest of the week to move. Had it not been for Eric, I would still be moving. He was such an awesome help. I can never repay that. Mom came on Fri/Sat to help me clean. That was nice. Otherwise I would have had to take another day off work to clean.

Now if only I could get all of the boxes UNpacked.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The day that would never come

I quit keeping track of how many times we've been told we are going to close on this house. Now once again, we are supposed to close tomorrow. But apparently it's real. We did a final walk-through tonight. The realtor even took the key so she could give it to me tomorrow. How funny is that. LOL

I've stalked this house since there was snow on the ground and tomorrow night, I might actually get to walk through the door to a house that is mine. A house I PICKED OUT. A house that I can see having my grandkids come visit in.

I think I may burst.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

3:00 may never come

So once again, we are supposed to close tomorrow. I'll believe it when we are sitting there. This has been a disaster. I can't believe what we've been through. I'm surprised the seller is even willing to still sell it to us. Then again, they waited a year, what's another 2 months. TWO MONTHS!! This is nuts.

So cross whatever you've got available to cross. Maybe we'll actually close. Or maybe not.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Awesome weekend, wierd Monday

Got to see Jimmy Saturday! How much better can life get than that. He was at a conference a couple of hours north of us. So we went up to spend time with him during their afternoon break. Now if only it hadn't been so flippin hot. Jim and I tried to fish on the way back but that didn't work out. Lots of heat, little to no bites. Jim did catch his record bass though! It was a little bigger than the minnow. It was hysterical.

I've found that the older my kids get the nicer they are to be around. Who would have thought that during the teenage hellion years. LOL I still count myself lucky though that they didn't make the same mistakes I did. At least they made their own new ones. So apparently we did something right. I used to tell them that it didn't matter what they thought of me then but what they thought of me 10 years from then that mattered. They all seem to like me ok now so I guess we did OK. Either that or they are doing a good job of forgiving. Someone get back to me on that when you figure it out, OK?

So speaking of kids, Amber got her CNA certification this week. I am so friggin proud I could split the seams!! Now she is looking for a position that will utilize her new found skills. Did I mention I'm very proud of her?

Jim's birthday was Friday. Friday and Saturday didn't work out for going out for said birthday so we went out last night. We went to Spaghetti Works. That in and of itself is enought reason to count the day as a good day. Double it with getting to scrapbook all afternoon and life is good.

So thus we get to Monday. It was a Monday. That about sums it up.

But hey, we may get to close on the house this week! That's a plus. Until later....

Live long and prosper.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Today was a Thursday that was really a Monday

Today was a Thursday that was really a Monday. Yes, I know. That makes no sense. But it's all yesterday's fault. I mean, I know July 4th is always on the 4th. duh. But I hate when it falls in the middle of the week. Because then people apparently found themselves thinking that Wednesday was really a Sunday and that it had been a weekend and therefore today was a Monday and they felt it necessary to make their Monday phone calls, which of course meant that they had to call my work and ask not so smart questions. (how's that for a run on sentence?)

So that left today as a Monday. Today was supposed to be Thursday (which is usually a very quiet get things done kind of day). Instead Thursday was a really a Monday.

Get it?

But on a lighter note:

Booked tickets today for a trip to Connecticut/NYC. Never been to either so this should be good. If only it didn't involve a week long training and a trip to the federal prison, it could be downright fun! A day trip to NYC should make it worth it. Now I just have figure out what to do in the Danbury area for most of a day on a Friday in August. That and what to do on a Sunday morning in said same Connecticut town.

Connecticut. What does that mean anyway? Sounds like it is a shortcut from one place to another. Can imagine that you can really call a whole state a shortcut though.

Summer sure is flying by. We've come a long way from the winter but when you consider it's really too late in the season to plant any decent veggies to harvest later that usually means you've hit the downhill slide. Dreaded hot though. Our once swampy yard of 8 weeks ago is now so dry there are huge cracks in it. I measured one yesterday that was 7 inches deep. How sad. Glad I'm not dependent on the ground for my living. Can't imagine that anything is prospering very well.

Ok, i'm rambling yet again. Must be time to quit. Until later...

Be well.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Waiting SUCKS!! but Fireworks are cool.

Ok, so here we are. It's Tuesday. Tuesday the third of July. Why you ask is that an issue? Oh yes, let me tell you. BECAUSE WE WERE SUPPOSED TO CLOSE TODAY! And we have not. :( I am so sad. Apparently FHA is backed up. That and they decided to nit pic something that was there before but now is apparently an issue.

Oh well. As my lovely realtor Kathy reminded me yesterday, it's only a few days and after this it won't matter because I'll be in the house for as long as I want to! Which is good, because packing sucks worse than waiting and this is the last time I'm packing for a VERY long time.

On to brighter things. Today being the third of July which is of course the day before the FOURTH of July, there were fireworks at the stadium tonight. We of course HAD to go watch. Y'all would be proud of me. I didn't try even ONCE to take a picture of them. I did however, find a really cool, very specific article on how to take pictures of fireworks. http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/936 I plan to use the tips tomorrow night and see whether or not it works! Now if only I can figure out where I put the tripod. Pretty sure I haven't packed it yet. LOL

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Did I mention I bought a house?

Ok, so maybe not "bought" a house but we are BUYING a house. Should close next week. **jumping up and down really fast** as if I can of course jump up and down. LOL

So this is the house that I have been somewhat obsessed, ok, I admit, completely obsessed with. I think everyone that has come anywhere near me in the last few months has heard about the house. Those close enough to SEE me have SEEN the house. See, I'm obsessed. But the obsessed has paid off and the house is MINE!!!

Anybody want to come to a party?

From myspace to My Space

So as much as I love myspace, some things about it bug me. Including that persons that are not myspacers don't much like the nonusablility of my blog there. So the blog moves here. How cool is that?!

Monday, June 4, 2007

June 3rd comes and goes again

Here is what we did yesterday.
http://helpfindachild.com/inthenews/np_20070604.htm
Thank you to those who attended. Thank you to those who were "with us" but couldn't come. Your thoughts and prayers were felt.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Grandma died today

My grandma died today. She led a full life. Alzeheimer's took her mind before her body was ready to be done. So on a positive note: her memories have been restored. That's a really good thing. But then it occurred to me that she now KNOWS everything too. I could be in BIG trouble. :(

Now I just sit here and bawl intermittently. Getting old after five hours of it. My brother was the one to call me. Then he went to the care center to sit with my grandpa. Who is nearly as disoriented as my grandma was. Apparently he isn't very lucid. Mom says he is talking but not making much sense. Honestly, it won't be long before he is gone as well. I think he'll literally die of a broken heart.

I scrapbooked pages from their wedding a few weeks ago. So glad now that I did. But I also know, I didn't do their stories justice.

I'm gonna miss her. The "Oh Carolyn"s. Funny, she could say exactly the same two words but depending upon inflection, they could be so drastically different in meaning. There was the "Oh Carolyn" when I did something she was proud of. The "Oh Carolyn" when I disappointed her. The "Oh Carolyn" said with thanks. The "Oh Carolyn" when I was being beckoned for something. Usually involved peeling something. "Oh Carolyn" that meant I was in BIG trouble. "Oh Carolyn". Can't believe it could mean so much with so little.

I already miss pink applesauce, oatmeal scotchies, trips to the drug store for nothing at all, walking up to the DQ. All the things we lost when she had to give up her independence.

A friend said earlier that this was her way of saying, "Fine. Don't invite me to Amber's graduation. I'll show you." It struck me as odd at the time. But you know what? She's so proud of everything Amber ever has done. And graduations have always been huge for both her and my grandfather. And now, well now she gets to see Amber's. And she'll have the best seat in the house.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Long time no blog aka manic anyone?

Howdy friends! Ok, so anyone that knows me well knows the following:

a) I don't remember to send birthday cards very well, even though I make alot of them and have a perpetual calendar thing. This now apparently includes graduation party invitations, thank you notes, and mother's day cards.
b) I have small OCD problem that gets worse when I have anxiety issues. This includes the anxiety brought about by the unsent birthday cards.
c) I should not be allowed near ANY store when manic. This includes Target, Scrapbook stores, Michael's, Joann's Crafts, Pier One, World Market, and generally any place that sells things I think I want or need. It is apparent now that this should also include the internet and realtors.
d) Good legal drugs are my friend. : )
e) My house is a wreck at the moment but there are pockets of VERY well organized VERY clean.
f) I seriously wish those pockets would multiply because I can only start so many projects at one time. Anybody want to come finish said projects?
g) My life has been consumed by prom, graduation, and related activities! But I don't mind one bit.
h) National Missing Children's Day is May 25th. http://www.take25.org/
I) this autocorrect thing sucks b/c I do NOT want that to be a capital I.
j) My "best friend that says I am her best friend that lives far away" is coming to my HOUSE IN JUNE!!!
k) my sister, and baby E, and my mom are coming then too!

Ok, enough of the letters, that's getting old.

I have become obsessed with this really cool house. Email me, or PM, or message, or whatever and I'll send you a link to it. We got approved today for an FHA loan. Tomorrow we'll hopefully get an accepted offer!! Ok, probably not tomorrow because they suck at getting back to their realtor, but HOPEFULLY!! So maybe my bftsiahbftlfa (see above) and sister and mom will get to be coming to visit me in my new house? Or maybe I should plan to move that weekend so they have to help. Hmmm. **scratches head after light bulb moment**

The little one graduates this weekend. We will NOT discuss the impending empty nest issues today. If you have questions, see b & c above. But we have a ton of people coming this weekend which is super cool!! There are friends & family coming from several states, we are having a HUGE party on Saturday at the state park. Again with the contact me for more info if you didn't get an invite. It's not that we don't love you it's just that…. Well, see item a above.

I am SOO proud of her I could just jump out of my skin! But I haven't yet. Reference item d above.

Ok, have to fly…. I will update when I remember to!

Love to all. Be well and be safe.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Q: What is the bravest thing you have ever done?

That was the question on an online interview that I was just looking at. What is the bravest thing you have ever done?]

Q: What is the bravest thing you have ever done?

A: I got out of the bed the day after my daughter was abducted. The actual action of getting out of bed that morning may not seem all that brave now as I sit here 5 and a half years later, but at the time it was a world record type accomplishment for me. Because spending another 24 hours not knowing where Erin was or if she was Ok or not or who had taken her or what they were doing to her or any of the other 10000 things I was thinking of in that split second after awakening was the scariest thing I have ever faced in my life. And it took every bit of "brave" I could muster.

And every day I have to pretend to be brave and do it again and again. :(

What's the bravest thing you have ever done?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hope Story!

My cell phone rang at 4:41 last Friday afternoon. Not an unusual occurrence by any means, but this call was different. On the other end was my friend Christine. Christine lives in St Louis. "They're doing a breaking news story on the news here. They found Ben Ownby, Carolyn. He's alive. And you won't believe this; they found him with Shawn Hornbeck." I can't tell you what I said next. I honestly don't remember. I'm sure I said something to her.

After hanging up with her I'm not sure I believed her. Not that I think she was lying or anything like that. I just needed to see for myself. After logging onto the website for the Fox Station in St Louis, I found a live feed to their news; the news that was showing a story that I was amazed to be watching. And I think it was more than an hour before I moved from that spot again.

Tears. Tears of happiness started. I was so happy for these families. They had a happy ending. Had it been just Ben found after less than a week, I'd have been happy. But FOUND Shawn Hornbeck? He's been missing four and half years! I remember reading the story on the news after our own case was about a year old. A brief conversation with Shawn's mom when they were in the middle of the ground search to find him; hearing the pain in her voice that I had come to know so well. Letting her go so quickly because I knew she needed to be "doing," "looking," not talking to me on the phone. And now this family had resolution. And not the horrific resolution so many families have. SHAWN IS ALIVE!!

Tears. Tears of sadness came. So sad that wasn't us. Wasn't our family having this miracle. But it can still be, can't it?

Christine said it best during our phone call Friday afternoon when she called to tell me the breaking news. "Here is your hope story, Carolyn. Erin will still come home too." This is my hope story. Erin can still come home safely. Our family can still be whole again.

Other families can still be whole again. This breaking in all of our hearts can start to heal again. I need to tell them too! Tell them of this miracle story in Missouri. So I started calling them. Can't say who I called first. Not even sure I remember who all I called.

I called Kelly Jolkowski. "Kelly, you won't believe this story!" Jason can come home too. www.projectjason.com

I called Jannel Rap. www.411gina.org "Jannel, are you sitting down? They found Ben Ownsby. They found Shawn Hornbeck. They found them together! They are both alive. They are alive Jannel!"

I called my friend Gay in Houston. I know their organization has been offering assistance to the Hornbecks over the years. www.lrcf.org Poor Bob. Gay wasn't home and I practically screamed in the phone at him trying to tell him. I talked myself in a full circle, but I told him! He probably thinks I'm completely insane. I'm not so sure I'm not.

Pretty sure I called my mom. And at least one or two other people. So if your phone rang early evening on Friday and some crazy person on the other end was saying intangibles about kids and bikes and sex offenders and St Louis and tears and you had no idea what was going on? Yeah that was me. Sorry about that.

But it was me who had found my hope again.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hope Story

My cell phone rang at 4:41 last Friday afternoon. Not an unusual occurrence by any means, but this call was different. On the other end was my friend Christine. Christine lives in St Louis. "They're doing a breaking news story on the news here. They found Ben Ownby, Carolyn. He's alive. And you won't believe this; they found him with Shawn Hornbeck." I can't tell you what I said next. I honestly don't remember. I'm sure I said something to her.

After hanging up with her I'm not sure I believed her. Not that I think she was lying or anything like that. I just needed to see for myself. After logging onto the website for the Fox Station in St Louis, I found a live feed to their news; the news that was showing a story that I was amazed to be watching. And I think it was more than an hour before I moved from that spot again.

Tears. Tears of happiness started. I was so happy for these families. They had a happy ending. Had it been just Ben found after less than a week, I'd have been happy. But FOUND Shawn Hornbeck? He's been missing four and half years! I remember reading the story on the news after our own case was about a year old. A brief conversation with Shawn's mom when they were in the middle of the ground search to find him; hearing the pain in her voice that I had come to know so well. Letting her go so quickly because I knew she needed to be "doing," "looking," not talking to me on the phone. And now this family had resolution. And not the horrific resolution so many families have. SHAWN IS ALIVE!!

Tears. Tears of sadness came. So sad that wasn't us. Wasn't our family having this miracle. But it can still be, can't it?

Christine said it best during our phone call Friday afternoon when she called to tell me the breaking news. "Here is your hope story, Carolyn. Erin will still come home too." This is my hope story. Erin can still come home safely. Our family can still be whole again.

Other families can still be whole again. This breaking in all of our hearts can start to heal again. I need to tell them too! Tell them of this miracle story in Missouri. So I started calling them. Can't say who I called first. Not even sure I remember who all I called.

I called Kelly Jolkowski. "Kelly, you won't believe this story!" Jason can come home too. www.projectjason.com

I called Jannel Rap. www.411gina.org "Jannel, are you sitting down? They found Ben Ownsby. They found Shawn Hornbeck. They found them together! They are both alive. They are alive Jannel!"

I called my friend Gay in Houston. I know their organization has been offering assistance to the Hornbecks over the years. www.lrcf.org Poor Bob. Gay wasn't home and I practically screamed in the phone at him trying to tell him. I talked myself in a full circle, but I told him! He probably thinks I'm completely insane. I'm not so sure I'm not.

Pretty sure I called my mom. And at least one or two other people. So if your phone rang early evening on Friday and some crazy person on the other end was saying intangibles about kids and bikes and sex offenders and St Louis and tears and you had no idea what was going on? Yeah that was me. Sorry about that.

But it was me who had found my hope again.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

How can something imaginary still hurt?

"Most of all thank you for being TRUE friends. It means more than you know..... and thanks for reading my ramble. I just needed you all to know how much you mean in my life. You are all the best!!"

Two years sure changes alot. I really meant it when I wrote it. Now I can't believe I ever even wrote that.

Now here I sit with a knife in my back. Funny, how can an imaginary person yield such a REAL knife? Ok, not so funny.

If you REALLY know me, you know I'd NEVER say something behind your back I wouldn't say to your face. And me in my apparently naive mind figured that others would do the same.

?? what are you thinking? People with no respect for you, who backstab you, obviously don't like you as much as a friend would. this life is too short for continous mishaps and betrayals by "friends" and there's a world full of people out there. You deserve better maybe?

Yeah, that's it. I deserve better. So all you "friends"?? Yeah, just remove yourself, because honestly, I don't have the energy and while I was GOING to do it myself, everyone I started to remove was just one more TURN of the knife. So here.......

have your knife back.