Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Today's Blessing

Today for lunch, I had to make a trip to the Credit Union. No big deal; it's probably only a mile from the building I spent the rest of my day in. I bundled up for the weather, walked out to my car, realized I forgot my keys, walked back to the building, grabbed my keys, and made the trip out to my car again. I stayed home sick from work Monday and Tuesday. So by this time, I'm hacking up a storm.

I listen to Christmas music for the short trip, do my business at the CU, and head back to work. Really, just a blip in my day...until I returned to my building.

I get out of the car and hardly make two steps towards the building and I get honked at. I wasn't in harm's way or anything like that. My friend Jerry just wanted to say hi. So, I stand in the parking lot with a smile and wait for Jerry to catch up to me.

I love Jerry. He's one of those big ol' teddy bear kind of guys, always there with a hug. He's kind and warm and so giving.

As he's getting out of his car, he announces to the parking lot that he is so blessed because he gets to see his dear friend,! I know I'm not the only person that gets this reaction from Jerry. But I have to tell you, I love it! I feel so loved. Jerry just has this way of making me feel like I'm the most important person on the planet at that very moment.

I want to develop that skill. I want to be able to lift someone up so high, with just a smile, a kind word, or a hug...just like Jerry does. I want others to know how much of a blessing they are in MY world!

Thanks, Jerry for today's blessing!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happiness is...DIVINE MERCY!

I am attending a Mother of Mercy Messengers event tonight at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church in Washington tonight. Feel free to join me at 7pm. I've never attended one of these events before, but I've heard from those that have, that this is an amazing experience. I'm truly looking forward to it!

The Message: Trust in Jesus and be merciful to others as He has been merciful to you.
Every time you feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, comfort a prisoner, visit the sick, bury the dead, teach the uneducated, pray for the living and the dead, correct a sinner, counsel those in doubt, console the sorrowful, bear wrongs patiently, and forgive wrongs willingly, you too are being merciful.

As we receive God's mercy, we are to act mercifully.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happiness is... WONDERFUL FRIENDS!

I have wonderful friends. There's no doubt about it. I've had one heck of a week this past week. And I have so many loving, caring people in my world that keep lifting me up.

I want to take a moment to thank you all.

Those that give hugs. Those that let me rant and cry. Those that make me laugh out loud. Those that take a moment out of their busy day just to send birthday greetings. Those that are related to me...and put up with me anyway. Those that make me smile, just because their names and faces cross my mind. Those that chat with me in the middle of the night because I can't sleep. Those that let me in when I knock on their doors way past sundown. And those that tell me it's going to be alright one day soon.

I hope to be as good a friend to all of you as you are to me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happiness is... A BIRTHDAY!

Today, I turned 40. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

I don't have any big hang-up's about my age usually. Well, not on MY birthday anyway. I'm usually much more affected on JEFF'S birthday.

When he hit double digits, I couldn't believe I was old enough to have a ten-year-old. I had the same thoughts when he hit other milestones...teenager, driving age, ADULT! And in less than three months, his age will start with a 2!!! Do I look...OR ACT...old enough to have a 20-year-old child?! Yeah, I didn't think so either.

At any rate, 39 was NOT my favorite age. Here's to 40 being an upgrade!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happiness is... A GOOD BOOK!

I love to read. I've always loved to read. One of my very favorite things to do in the whole world is sit on my front porch and read. Sometimes the cat joins me. Sometimes not. Sometimes it's raining. Sometimes it's the middle of the night. I just find it peaceful, relaxing (except when those stinkin' teenagers are being loud and obnoxious across the street).

Right now, I'm reading "Motor Mouth" by Janet Evanovich. I love her Stephanie Plum books. But this is one of her Alexandra Barnaby books. They all have a bit of mystery and suspense. But I also love that she writes with humor. I should finish this one in a day or two. Then I plan on reading a book a friend loaned me, "Sisterchicks on the Loose" by Robin Jones Gunn. I've never read one of her books before. But my friend is a fan. So, I'm looking forward to that one too.

A long time ago, I had a counselor who suggested that I read before going to bed. He wanted me to read fiction and he wanted me to read for at least 15 minutes before trying to sleep. He didn't care if it was horror or romance, as long as it wasn't about my life. His theory was that it would take my mind off of the 'crap' going on in my world and allow me to relate to the characters in the book. Regardless of what mess the characters were getting themselves into, my brain knew enough to know that it wasn't MY 'crap'...that it was just made up. Ultimately, it would distract my mind long enough to allow me to fall asleep. Much of the time, it works.

During my time off, I plan to read lots of good books!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happiness is... SLEEPING IN!

I am on vacation!
I worked Thursday, the 28th. It wasn't a good day. For the third time in October, I had a bit of an emotional melt-down. It could have been caused by any number of things... my depression, the crazy-busy schedule we've had at work for the last couple of months, my lack of sleep, stress, etc. Most likely, it's a combination of a lot of things.

At any rate, Thursday was NOT a good day. So my supervisor told me to call in sick Friday and sleep in. Then he wanted me to have a long, relaxing weekend...and maybe even talk to my doctor. I did just that...slept in Friday (and Saturday and Sunday), made an appointment with my doctor, and had along, relaxing weekend.

My doctor suggested a few more days off. Two to three weeks, actually. He doubled my anti-depressant, gave me another one that will also help me sleep, and gave me an anti-anxiety med as well. Lastly, he strongly suggested I find someone to talk to...someone with a degree in mental/mood disorders. So, they are arranging an appointment at the Samaritan Center.

Hey, whatever it takes to get BE better. I can't keep having days like I've had lately. Too much 'important' stuff to do...and I'm not just talking about work. Work seems to be the place that most brings out my worst qualities. But I have way too much to do in life to be held back by days like Thursday.

So, I'm following the doctor's orders and sleeping in.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My I-Story

An I-Story is what Mary Kay consultants call our reason for starting our own MK businesses. We usually refer to it at every MK appointment we have. I don't go through all of this every time. But just for you, I think I will.
This is actually the third time I've become a MK consultant. We can do that, you know. Pick it up and put it down as it fits into our lives. As long as you don't sell products back to the company, you're welcome to come back at any time. Each time I came back was for a different reason...

The first time was in '95. I was a single parent, active duty in the Air Force, working in the computer field, and living in Colorado... 1,100 miles away from family. Being in the military and working with computers, I was surrounded by men. I missed having women in my life. So, the very first time I was invited to a MK party, I couldn't afford to purchase anything, but I wanted to know if I could try being a MK lady too. I thought it looked easy and fun and it would definitely put more women in my world. Sure the money was good, but really, I coveted the girlfriend time. Eventually, I put my MK on the back burner because I was working full time, going to school full time, and was still a single-parent, though no longer in the Air Force.

The second time I became a consultant, I had just finished my Bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems and relocated to Greenwood, IN. It was 1999 and I wanted something that would give me a little additional income and allow me to make some friends in my new town. I enjoyed being a consultant the first time, so I jumped at the opportunity again. Mostly, I wanted to save money for a down-payment on my first home and pay off my student loans. Once I bought my house and paid off my student loans, I got really lax with my MK until I wasn't doing it at all.

So, the first time - girlfriends. The second time - specific, short-term financial goals. This time, I have DREAMS. I want to retire myself from the computer world. I don't care if I never have a clearance again! I want to be my own boss and write my own paycheck. I want to set my own hours and drive a MK car. I want to look and feel great because I'm wearing the latest, greatest products from one of the top skin care and cosmetics companies in the world. And I want to enrich other women's lives by giving them some 'girlfriend time' while teaching them how to look and feel beautiful for years to come!

At this stage of my life, I have lots of friends and make plenty of income. MK is not really a NEED for me, but it's definitely a DESIRE. And it IS fun! So, I'm taking advantage of all of the things I love about being a MK consultant (positive girlfriends, significant income, flexible schedule) and I'm working towards my DREAMS. I know it might sound a little lofty, but lofty is NOT too much for me to accomplish and it's DEFINITELY not more than I deserve. THAT'S why I'm a MK consultant today.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mama NEVER said there'd be weeks like this.

It all started Friday with a call from the boy, followed by an email from his father. Then there was the 6-7 hours on the road Sunday. A phone call on Monday from a total stranger and then two more calls on Wednesday from the boy. I's all very vague. Trust me, you don't want to know. Just take my word for it...this mama needs a distraction.

So, I decided on adorable kittens. No one can think bad thoughts when looking at adorable kittens!

I'm standing my ground!

This bed is too soft. But I like too soft.

Wanna snuggle? I'm a good snuggler!

I'm a little bit afraid of the grass.

Are you talkin' to me?

Don't even think about opening my window.

Look! I have peeps!

I am the King of the Jungle!

I'm can take the picture now.

You've heard of the Cat in the Hat?
I am the Kitten in the Toboggan.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Today is FLAG DAY!

(I received this at work today.)

Flag Day is a day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag, its designers and makers. Our flag is representative of our independence and our unity as a nation, under God, indivisible. Our flag has a proud and glorious history. It was at the lead of every battle fought by Americans. Many people have died protecting it. It even stands proudly on the surface of the moon.

As Americans, we have every right to be proud of our culture, our nation, and our flag. So raise the flag today and every day with pride!

How to Properly Display Our Flag

There is a right way and a wrong way to display the flag. The American flag should be held in the highest of regards. It represents our nation and the many people who gave their lives for our country and our flag. Here are the basics on displaying the American flag:

  • The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
  • In the morning, raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower it slowly. Always, raise and lower it ceremoniously.
  • The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it.
  • The flag should not be flown in the rain or inclement weather.
  • After a tragedy or death, the flag is flown at half staff for 30 days. It's called "half staff" on land ,and "half mast" on a ship.
  • When flown vertically on a pole, the stars and blue field , or "union", is at the top and at the end of the pole (away from your house).
  • The American flag is always flown at the top of the pole. Your state flag and other flags fly below it.
  • The union is always on top. When displayed in print, the stars and blue field are always on the left.
  • Never let your flag touch the ground, never...period.
  • Fold your flag when storing. Don't just stuff it in a drawer or box.
  • When your flag is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it. Old flags should be burned or buried. Please do not throw it in the trash.

Did you Know?

There is a very special ceremony for retiring the flag by burning it. It is a ceremony everyone should see. Your local Boy Scout group knows the proper ceremony and performs it on a regular basis. If you have an old flag, give it to them. And, attend the ceremony.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Health and Fitness Update

Okay, I’ve had lots going on and I’ve been remiss in posting my health and fitness progress. So, I’ll start with this… I lost 10 pounds in May (woohoo!), but gained 1 ½ of that back the first week of June. Fortunately, I lost that 1 ½ pounds in the last week. So, I’m ten pounds down in six weeks.

It seems that I’m either doing well with my diet OR with my workouts…not both at the same time. And I’m cheating on my diet much more than I want. I’ve also been slacking on drinking my water (or PowerAde Zero, aka…PAZ) because I’ve fallen in love with McDonald’s sweet tea. NOT good for my ultimate goals.

So, tonight, I’m going through my Nutrisystem (NS) meals and deciding exactly what I’m eating every day this week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That keeps me from having to think about it when it’s time to eat. I’ll be able to just grab the next meal on the shelf. I will also restock my PAZ for the week.

I joined the local gym (The Bodyshop Gym) with a friend. We got some training from the guy in charge. He explained to us that we need to work certain muscles together and then sufficiently rest them while working other muscles. He taught us proper technique and told us to be consistent. We’ve been to the gym three times and are really enjoying it. This is what we’re working on…


Day 1 (3 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise)
  • Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
  • Wide-Grip Pull Downs
  • EZ Barbell Curls
  • Standing Calf Raises
  • Dumbbell Flat Bench Press
  • Low Rows
  • Dumbbell Curls
  • Hip Abductor
  • Hip Adductor

Day 2 (3 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise)
  • Leg Extensions
  • Shoulder Press
  • Bar Push Downs
  • Leg Curls
  • Dumbbell Lateral Fly
  • Leg Press
  • Rope Push Downs
  • Sitting Calf Raises
  • Hip Abductor
  • Hip Adductor
  • Ball Crunches

Our plan is to do each day 2-3 times a week. In addition, we’re doing Zumba two days a week and TurboKick at least once a week. (I have every other Friday off and can do TurboKick twice a week when I’m off on Friday).
You know what? Zumba makes me feel sexy. TurboKick makes me feel empowered. And weightlifting makes me feel strong. Sticking with my diet makes me feel like I have self-control. I like feeling sexy, empowered, strong, and in control.
I think I'm going to like it even more when I look the part.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

(from an email I received today)

The month of June was dedicated specially to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by determination of Pope Leo XIII (reign 1878-1903).

This devotion is rooted in the Gospel, when the Apostle Saint John rested his head on Jesus' chest to hear His heart. According to the Sovereign Pontiffs, this represents the infinitely merciful and redemptive love of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the perfect union of the human and divine natures in the Savior.

As True God, Our Lord loves men with an infinite love. As True Man, He loves men with human sentiments, with a perfectly ordered sensibility. The human aspect of this divine love was expressed in Our Lord's pain and in His tears upon learning of the death of His friend, Lazarus.

His love brought Him to Lazarus' grave, where He gave the majestic command: "Lazarus, come forth!" And Lazarus was resurrected from the dead.

Inconceivably, in contradiction to the determination of Pope Leo XIII (reign 1878-1903), a new presidential proclamation "proclaim[s] June 2010 as
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month."

The Pope determined one theme for June, the president another. As Catholics, we will always honor June as the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

And that is why we are organizing a national prayer campaign of reparation on June 11, which all are invited to join.

Below is a prayer to the Divine Savior that Catholics across America will say on Friday, June 11, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

There's no way that men can justify sin, much less find reason for pride in it. Nor can the civil authority, by means of a proclamation, transform acts, ways of being, and relationships that contradict human nature and divine Revelation, as well as the constant Magisterium of the Church, into a kind of pride for the entire nation.

What can be more offensive to the Sacred Heart of Jesus than to transform the month dedicated to Him into the month exalting unnatural sin?

It is our Catholic duty to offer special reparation to the Sacred Heart, who so loved us yet was so rejected by us, for this offense of a public and official character.

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages unceasingly offered to Thee, we prostrate before Thy throne of mercy, and in the name of all mankind, pledge our love and fidelity to Thee.

The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly we shall believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!

The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hope of immortality, the more we shall trust in Thy Heart, sole Hope of mankind!

The more hearts resist Thy Divine attractions, the more we shall love Thee, O infinitely amiable Heart of Jesus!

The more unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly we shall adore It, O Divine Heart of Jesus!

The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more we shall delight to observe them, O most holy Heart of Jesus!

The more Thy Sacraments are despised and abandoned, the more frequently we shall receive them with love and reverence, O most generous Heart of Jesus!

The more the imitation of Thy virtues is neglected and forgotten, the more we shall endeavor to practice them, O Heart, model of every virtue!

The more the devil labors to destroy souls, the more we shall be inflamed with desire to save them, O Heart of Jesus, zealous Lover of souls!

The more sin and impurity destroy the image of God in man, the more we shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit, O Heart of Jesus!

The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!

The more Thy Vicar on earth is persecuted, the more will we honor him as the infallible head of Thy Holy Church, show our fidelity and pray for him, O kingly Heart of Jesus!

O Sacred Heart, through Thy powerful grace, may we become Thy apostles in the midst of a corrupted world, and be Thy crown in the kingdom of Heaven. Amen.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'll Stay by Cadia

I've said it before; I'm sure I'll say it again...

Music is vital to me.

I can define certain times in my life by songs that were important to me at the time. I use music to help me define the characters that I write about. And I have songs that I associate to the people who are close to me, usually because the words are very poignant.

A while ago, I blogged about music that defined how I felt about Jeff at different times in my life. Well, I have a new one. Between yesterday's blog and today's song, I'm sure you'll understand that Jeff continues to be a bit of a challenge for me.

Introducing "I'll Stay" by Cadia. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Downward Spiral

Downward Spiral - a string of bad decisions that tend to get progressively more serious. And unfortunately, much like going down any long slide, it's difficult to stop or even slow down, once you jump on this ride.

Someone very close to me appears to be on this downward spiral. And I'm not sure how to get him off of it. I'm sure it needs to be his idea in order for his dismount to be successful. But most of the time, I'm not even sure he realizes he's on this ride. As ridiculous as it sounds, sometimes I think he enjoys the danger and uncertainty of the ride. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that he doesn't have the ability to see all that far into the future. He seems completely oblivious to the ramifications of his decisions.

I'm sure no one ends up on a downward spiral on purpose..."I think I'll slowly waste my life." It's more likely that they realize it only once it's too late..."How the heck did I get myself into this mess?!" But still, once you realize you're on a downward spiral, shouldn't the goal be to get off as soon as possible?

The Signs of a Downward Spiral

They think they have all the time in the world to fix the problem. They simply don't know that the older we get, the harder it is to recover from our issues. And worse, after years of bad decisions, obstacles are compounded. For example, being in debt by $100,000 versus $1,000.

They think they can quit any time they want they intend to enjoy this vice today. "I'll quit when I'm ready," is their mantra.

They refuse to see as fact, that which seems obvious to everyone around them. They think they have no problem and the rest of us are over-reacting.

Lack of a Foundation
They have no moral compass as a guide to tell them what's good and what's bad.

Tolerance Factor
Over time, a person needs an increasing amount of their vice (drugs, alcohol, etc.) in order to achieve the same high.

Unsuccessful Attempts to Stop a Bad Habit
They now feel hopelessness and feelings of failure. They even question if they're worth the effort.

Emotions are Stronger than Reason
Emotions tend to have the final say for many of us, but especially so for those considered out of control.

"I Don't Care Anymore."
When a person no longer cares about themselves or their future, it is very difficult to 'bring them back.' In fact, this is oftentimes the beginning of the end.

The Road to Recovery

  1. Recovery begins by realizing and admitting that there's a problem.

  2. Find and define your core values...what is right vs. what is wrong. If you don't consider the habit to be bad, you won't be able to convince yourself to stop doing it.

  3. Accept, understand, and release all negative feelings. They will continue to pull you to the dark side if you don't bring them out into the open.

  4. Make amends with everyone (including yourself) in order to release hostilities.

  5. Commit to CHOOSING GOOD over bad.

  6. Continually evaluate and correct your actions in order to stay on track. Having an accountability partner is helpful.

  7. Never consider yourself 100% healed. This will be a life-style change, not a miracle. But consider yourself in control of your own decisions.

Monday, May 24, 2010

This page is intentionally left blank.

I have a blog because I enjoy writing. I could just have a personal journal, but I enjoy sharing.

Today, I want to vent. And even though it's a free country and I have every right to blog about whatever I want to, the subject of my rant today could produce repercussions that I'm not prepared to deal with. So, just know that I have a lot to say today, but...this page is intentionally left blank.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


So, how do you like the facelift? I loved the green and greenery that my blog has been sporting for the last year or so. But it was definitely due for a change.

I was thinking about going with something bright and happy, like big orange flowers. But I opted for the dark blue. It's subtle, but I like it. It needed a little I created a new header.

I LOVE IT! If ever you want to make your own, you can go to Cool Text Generator. You can choose your own style, font, size, and colors. Very nice little tool.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nutrisystem: Week 3

wOkay, I lost four pounds in week one. I lost another two pounds during my week two. WooHoo! six pounds in two weeks.

I said that my goal was to increase my water intake this week and have a weekend plan. Okay, the weekend plan did happen. Actually, what didn't happen was coming up with a plan to keep me on track. Must take that action item more seriously. And I did increase my water intake, but mostly because I increased my workouts. So, two improvements this week!

Right now, I have three primary workouts. At least once a week (and sometimes two), I do Zumba for an hour. And at least once a week, I mow my lawn. Most other days, I have a 2.2 mile walk. 2.2 miles is how far it is from my house to St. Mary's Road. It takes me 30-35 minutes to complete my walk.

And get this... Twice during the walk... I RUN! I know what you're thinking... THIS BODY?!?! RUNNING?!?! I know! But I'm completely inspired by "The Biggest Loser". The trainers are consistently asking the contestants to do something that appears to be well outside of the realm of possibility for someone of their size and fitness level. But they do it. And they see results. So, I'm pushing myself. I'm not running a ton, but I'm running. And I'm enjoying it.
So this coming week, must continue to increase my water intake. Must continue running during my walks. And MUST COME UP WITH A PLAN TO KEEP ME ON TRACK DURING MY WEEKENDS!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kitty Cat Art

I don't know whose idea this was. I don't know where one might go to have this done. And I have no idea why someone would spend up to $15,000 to do this to their cat. But they did. Enjoy!

The twins. Black and white looks good on them. But somebody thought they needed the V-stripes to add a little something-something.

Is it a cat or a fish? If that cat knew he had a fish on his back, he'd spend the day chasing his tail. Oh wait, that would make him a dog. Talk about an identity crisis!

And this cat is just clowning around.

And just in case you wanted to see what the inside of your cat looks like. Creepy!

My guess is that this is a really temperamental cat and the owners are trying to make her seem more pleasant so that they can find new parents for her.

A butterfly. How precious! If this cat is male, I’ll bet he’s ticked!

I always wanted to know what a cat looked like in plaid. Not bad, really.

My personal favorite!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

June Bug

I know I've mentioned my cat before, Linus Felinus. He's pretty much MIA, catting around the neighborhood and spending little, if any, time at my house. But never fear, I didn't have to go too awful long missing paw prints all over my black car.
Jeff and his girlfriend Lacey had a cat at college. They weren't supposed to have pets, but apparently lots of the kids did. Anyway, this particular cat is a long-haired female. She is black from nose to tail, except for a bit of gray on her underside. She has claws on all four corners and she's not all that discriminating about when she uses them. We don't know exactly how old she is, but we're guessing 3-4 years old.

Jeff and Lacey named her June. Apparently because her goldish-green/greenish-gold eyes reminded them of a summer evening. Awww, how romantic. June reminds me of Ward's wife on "Leave It to Beaver". So to me, it's much too matronly a name for this little black, ever-moving ball of fur. So, I call her June Bug...when I'm not calling her names.

She's really a pain in the butt. She knocks everything over. She's constantly clawing me...even when I'm sleeping. She even ticked off a skunk and now smells like one. And her favorite place to sleep outside (yes, she's living outside as long as she smells like a skunk) is in a bed of weeds that leaves burrs in her fur...and she doesn't know how to remove them!

Yesterday when I left for work, she was talking up a storm. I couldn't see her and kept trying to get her to come to me. I wanted to know exactly where she was before I backed the car out of the carport. She never came. So, I started to walk around the car and found her...on the roof! I wasn't feeling all that well, not to mention I was running late. So, I left her up there, thinking she'd come down when she was ready. I don't know if she was STILL up there or if she was up there AGAIN, but when I got home 12 hours later, there she was...on the roof.

I tried to get her to jump down to me. But she wasn't at all interested in that plan. I really didn't want to have to go up after her. So, I 'walked' her to a tree. As I walked around the house, she followed me...from above. Once we got to the tree, I encouraged her as she made her way down to the ground. She seemed pretty relieved to be back at sea level. She then clung to my legs, trying to rub her body all over me to show her appreciation. Little did she know, she was nearly knocking me down!

Not sure if she'll venture up that high again. But now that I know I don't have to climb up after her, makes no difference to me if she wants to hang out up there. Honestly, the happier she is on the OUTSIDE of the house, the happier I am on the INSIDE of the house.

I wonder when Jeff is going to take her to live with him.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nutrisystem: Week 2

Okay, one thing I've learned...I'm MUCH better at the self-control and staying-on-track thing with respect to a balanced diet when I'm at work and already IN a routine. When I'm at home, not so much. To solve that problem, I need to work more often.

Unfortunately, I called in sick today. Deep chest cold and cough. So, I didn't eat much of anything. So, either go to work or be sick. THAT will control my caloric intake. I didn't eat much yesterday either, as I slept a TON. But Friday and Saturday, NOT healthy diet days. Shame on me. Must focus on staying the course during my weekends.

But last week at work, I ate more fruits and veggies and low-fat cheese consistently than I have probably ever. And I've been good at getting at least four cups of water in. I need to be drinking at least eight cups of water. But since I was drinking next to NONE before, I building up. This week, I'll go for six each day.

I got my blood work back late last week. My sugar is high...103. Not grossly high, but they like for it to be under 100. My cholesterol is improved, though my LDL (the bad kind) is unchanged. And my iron count is low. She wants me to watch my diet, increase my exercise, and start taking a daily multi-vitamin with iron...and get my blood checked again in six months.

I like it that I'll get my blood checked in six months. That coincides with my 40th birthday and my first goal of being under 200 lbs. Staying on track will make both me AND my doctor happy.

I waited until today to weigh myself since I didn't have a good Fri/Sat. Today's weight? Drum roll please...

234. That's a loss of 4 lbs. WooHoo! That leaves 35 lbs in 25 weeks.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

NutriSystem: Week 1

A friend of mine is chronicling her weight-loss journey via blog with pictures and everything. I don't intend to go that far. But I've really been slacking in the blog area of my life for the past several months. So, I figure this gives me something to write about.
I have decided to do the Nutrisystem Diet! I'm actually doing the diabetic plan. I haven't been diagnosed as diabetic. But it runs in my family and I'm the perfect shape for it. So, I'm going 'low sugar'.

I'm not sure why I selected this one instead of one of the other plans like Jenny Craig or South Beach. But so far, just a few days in, I'm happy with it.

So, I'm going to give you details. One, I figure most of you have seen me recently and won't be all that surprised. Two, I just want to be real.

Starting Weight: 238 lbs.
Goal Weight: 135 lbs.

I didn't ask my doctor or anyone what my goal weight should be. I just know that I have a good 100 lbs to lose. But with a goal weight, it made sense to round it to something that ended in a 0 or a 5. So, I picked 135.

They say I should expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week. That means that it could take me 1-2 years to take off 100+ pounds. But it took me several years to put it on. So, I'm okay with that. Not to mention, I deserve the penance.

Just a little history for those of you that didn't know me then. When I joined the Air Force out of high school, I weighed 120-something. When I started going to prenatal appointments at age 19, I weighed 115 lbs. Five hours before they said, "Congratulations, it's a boy!", I weighed 129 lbs. (I had a hard time gaining weight when I was pregnant. Apparently, I've figured it out since then!) When I got out of the service in '95, I was back to being 120-something. In the last 15 years, I've doubled in size. DOUBLED! Ouch!

Well, I'm tired of it. I'm tired of not sleeping well and having to keep buying bigger clothes. I'm tired of wanting to look and feel better. I'm tired of hearing my doctors say that all of my problems would disappear if I'd simply drop 50-75 pounds. I'm tired of panting after climbing a flight of stairs. I want to be healthy and fit. I want to be sexy and sassy. I just want to be a better me.

So my initial goal is to be below 200 lbs. before my 40th birthday, November 3rd. Wish me luck!

I'm weighing myself every Saturday. So, expect updates then.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Biggest Regret

I know we all have regrets. Some are big: I wish I hadn't gotten behind the wheel after drinking so much. Some are little: I wish I wouldn't have eaten that piece of chocolate cake. Some are valid: I wish I would have finished my degree. And some aren't so much: I wish I would have mowed last night so I didn't have to tonight. Regrets come in all shapes and sizes.
My biggest regret is the man I chose to start a family with.

I divorced him 17 1/2 years ago. Even though we shared a son, I didn't want to be married to him any longer. There were times when I regretted not trying harder to keep my marriage together. But in the last year or so, my decision has been affirmed in several different ways.

The last time Jeff saw his dad was high school graduation, nearly a year ago. Mike (the dad) promised to get Jeff a television for his college dorm room. That never happened. In addition, Mike never even saw the college campus, never once made an attempt to visit Jeff there.

The last time Jeff heard his dad's voice was last October. Mike called to ask Jeff if he wanted to go see a UK football game. Jeff thought that he was going to go to the game WITH his dad. But his dad said that he had to work and THAT'S why he was giving the tickets to Jeff. And although he only lived 1 1/2 hours away from Jeff, he chose to FedEx them instead of dropping them by.

The last time Jeff heard from his dad via text, email, or message through Spencer (Jeff's step-brother) was in early February. Mike was finally going to stop by IUS to see Jeff and his home, meet his friends, take him out to lunch, exchange Christmas presents (six weeks late) and Birthday presents (two weeks late). Jeff had been looking forward to it all week. Instead, he gets a text message from his step-brother saying that Mike was going on a date night with his wife (Spencer's mom). So, he hadn't seen Jeff in 8 1/2 months and he'd last seen his wife just a few short hours before. Yet he found it necessary to cancel on Jeff AGAIN in order to go out with his wife. Jeff never got his Christmas presents or his birthday presents and hasn't heard from his dad since then.

This week, Jeff got the opportunity to move back to the area where his dad lives. He'll be living in an apartment with one of his friends there. Jeff called his dad to let him know that he was moving to the area and maybe they could hook up. Jeff called his dad's answer. He called the answer. He called his dad's work and found out that his dad was off. So, Jeff texted Spencer to find out where his dad was, only to find out that he was home sitting on the couch in the living room watching television. So, Jeff asked Spencer why he wasn't picking up the phone. Spencer said, "Dad told me not to pick up the phone. He wants you to send him an email and he'll get back to you later."


Needless to say, Jeff didn't send that email...and probably never will.

I also kind of regret not getting married years ago and replacing Mike with a much better model. It would be interesting to see how much different Jeff's life would be with a REAL male role model.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Pray

Jeff, Jeff, Jeff, Jeff, Jeff...

Well, let's see. Where to start...

He has officially dropped out of school. He got zero credits first semester. I couldn't tell you the last time he attended a class this semester. He was busted for drinking twice in less than five months. He lost two jobs inside of four months. He's a smoker, is obviously drinking, and even admitted to trying drugs. He was pretty much sponging off his girlfriend because he couldn't support himself...and I was tired of enabling/funding his lifestyle.

He abandoned his college dorm... and probably everything in it... to move more than 150 miles northwest (from New Albany to Terre Haute). I have no idea where he's living or if he even has a roof over his head. I don't even know if he's eating.

But I can't give in. I can't keep pulling him from the fire. If he doesn't learn to do it himself, he'll forever struggle in this world. Tough love is...well, tough. I thought it was supposed to be hard on the receiver. But I can attest, it is just as difficult for the giver.

Proverbs 19:18

Discipline your son, for in that there is HOPE; do not be a willing party to his death.

I just keep reminding myself that God has a plan for Jeff. God loves the Boy so much more than I ever could. And He'll take care of him. I have faith. I just have to believe that one day, Jeff will see the light again, come up for air, and allow himself to be loved.

Matthew 18:12-14
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.”

Until then, I pray. I pray for patience and wisdom. I pray that I stop beating myself up for Jeff's decisions. I pray for thick skin on the rare occasions that I do hear from Jeff, that I don't let his sometimes venomous words tear out my heart. And mostly, I pray that he finds happy. I so want him to be happy.
My favorite saying is, "Worrying is an insult to God." So, I'm working at NOT worrying. Today, I found this...

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I love it when God speaks to me...and I hear Him.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Thursday -- My Week

I worked a long day today. But it was productive and successful. And that's always a good thing. Even though I've had a rough time emotionally the last few months, work has given me something to feel good about at the end of the day. I know I haven't been the easiest person to be around lately. But I'm very thankful to my co-workers for putting up with me!

I also texted with The Boy this morning. [sigh] It's no secret; I question his ability to make an intelligent decision. I worry about him with my whole heart...regularly...almost constantly. I don't want to go into a whole lot of detail. But I'll say this...he had another court date on Monday and isn't in jail. That's a good thing, right?

Suffice it to say, I consider these short bursts of communication to be our life-line right now. Hopefully they mean as much to him as they do to me.

Have you ever felt the need to raise the white flag? Throw in the towel? Cry, "Uncle" your really loud voice? I had to do just that yesterday. Thank God for backup and restore practices. It all started in November. I created the framework of a report that I run weekly. Unfortunately, the numbers on one line of my report were inflated...and have been with every iteration of the report since. Well Friday afternoon, I fixed it! ...or so I thought.

Much of Monday, Tuesday, AND Wednesday, I worked at fixing my 'fix'. Ugh! So frustrating! With everything I tried, I was making the problem worse instead of better, until I got to the point where I no longer had any confidence in the data.

So, I called our IT support and requested the database be restored back to Friday morning...BEFORE my 'fix'. And voila, within the hour, a HUGE weight was lifted from my shoulders.

So, the flaw with that one line of data is still there. But it isn't nearly as much of a nuisance as it was a week ago. Ahhh, perspective.

And now it's my weekend.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Good Friday

I found this in the great expanse of the internet. Thought you might find it interesting. I posted something like this last year. But I just can't get it into my thick head, so I thought others might need a reminder as well.

We're all familiar with the acronym T.G.I.F., but there's only one Friday on the calendar that's earned the distinction of being called "Good Friday."

Judging by the name alone, most of us might deduce that Good Friday is a holiday that's both good, as opposed to bad, and is observed on a Friday. However, if you weren't raised in a particularly religious household, you may not be familiar with exactly what it is about that particular Friday that makes it such a "good" one compared with other Fridays.

From a religious perspective, though, the term "Good Friday" is a bit of a misnomer since it refers to the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified. As you might expect, it was a particularly bad day for Jesus' disciples and followers (Judas, I'm looking in your direction) and it's a rather penitent day for Christians today.

Theologically speaking, you could make the argument that Good Friday was necessary in order for Jesus to absolve mankind of its sins, but still the name Good Friday seems like a stretch. Couldn't it just as easily be called Sad Friday? Or Bad Friday? Or
[my personal favorite] The Worst Friday Ever?

For clarification, I've turned to the Historty's chief historian, Dr. Libby O'Connell. According to Dr O'Connell, the term "good" in this case is simply "a mistranslation of the word 'holy.' Holy, of course, meaning sacred and sanctified, is translated from the Latin word Sanctus."

Generally speaking, the English translation falls a little short when recognizing the holiness of the occasion. "Easter," explains Dr O'Connell, "is the culmination of the Christian year, not Christmas. Good Friday is one of the most important days of religious reflection."

In most languages, the holiday we refer to as Good Friday is translated as "Holy Friday," which captures the spirit of the holiday a little more accurately.

Posted by Josh Loposer.

Have a Happy Easter!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm baaaack!

It's been more than a month since I've taken the time to blog. Well, I'm baaaack!

I have to share with you... I went on a cruise last week. My very first cruise ever. I've always wanted to do that, but I guess I figured I'd need to wait until I was going on a honeymoon or some such crazy event like that in order to sign up to go on a cruise. But I assure you, that is so not the case with this trip.

My cousin was going with three of her co-workers. But due to unforeseen circumstances, one of her co-workers had to back out. Some time after that, I was extended the invitation. So, I went with my cousin and two women that I'd met, but didn't know all that well.

And I had a GREAT time!

We sailed with Carnival on the ship Fascination out of Jacksonville to the Bahamas. All of Carnival's ships have a theme. The theme of the Fascination was "Experience Hollywood". The staff of the Fascination come from 58 different countries and every name tag included where that person was from. For instance, our Cruise Director was Trevor from Canada.

Our cabin was on the Verandah deck. We didn't have a balcony overlooking the water or anything like that. But we could go out to the bow of the ship for a gorgeous view. The Verandah is one of the upper decks on the boat, so we felt like we were right in the middle of things. And then there was Aldrin (sorry, I can't remember where Aldrin was from), taking care of our rooms and making us towel animals for our beds when he turned them down every evening.

We spent a lot of time on the Lido deck. There we could sit pool-side in the sun (under a sun-brella, of course) visiting and reading...and enjoying some of the entertainment. The Lido deck is also where you'll find all of the buffets. There was a grill for hamburgers and such. There was a stir-fry grill where you could choose your own ingredients. There was a pizzeria, a deli, and a salad bar. And there was even a dinner bar with eight different options of bread and gourmet foods with long "Bourbon and Honey-Glazed Roasted Spring Chicken" and "Beef and Barley Soup with Diced Root Vegetables".

We attended the Captain's Dinner three of the four nights we were there. Talk about lovely. We were fed in the Sensation Dining Room, which was on the Promenade deck. The food was divine! And the wait staff was wonderful. We had Yuda from Indonesia and Ranilo from the Philippines as our servers. Not only were they great waiters, they could sing and dance. I know this only because they performed for us a couple of times. And Elvis from Croatia was our Maitre D'. He was entertaining...and GORGEOUS!

We sang karaoke, visited the shops, looked at all the pictures, danced, played bingo, and watched a couple of comedians (HILARIOUS!!!) and the fastest juggler I've ever seen. Much of that was on the Atlantic deck. And we stopped at Freeport (which we didn't get off to visit) and Nassau (which we did).

About the Bahamas... I have to admit, I enjoyed my time on the ship more than my time on the island. I'm not much of a shopper and didn't fully appreciate the magnitude of the Bahamians desire to sell their wares. Talk about overwhelming. There seemed to be little opportunity to simply 'window shop'. Every sales person wanted to engage us, know our favorite colors, our sizes, etc., in order to perfectly meet our needs...or they could make a sale. Like I said, I found it all very overwhelming.

Case in point: In one of the shops, they were selling Cuban cigars. One of the girls I was traveling with wondered if she could purchase one and take it back to the States for her husband. We knew we couldn't purchase one IN the States, but didn't really know the rules about taking one BACK to the States. So, she asked the lady behind the counter. Needless to say, this woman neither knew the laws pertaining to such things, nor did she care. Her suggestion, "Don't tell them." We decided against the cigar.

As we were discussing it outside while sitting on the sidewalk waiting for our other two traveling mates, a young girl of maybe 10 years of age, who was selling wooden turtles on a leash, offered this advice. This is very nearly a quote. "You can take 12 with you. If you want to take 50, you have to get your friends to help you. Each person can only take 12. But you have to take the labels off."

I asked in my I-can-speak-to-a-10-year-old voice, "Wouldn't that be considered cheating?" She simply replied, "No." And there you have it. The rules of commerce according to a Bahamian 10-year-old girl.

We later learned that if any Cuban cigars were purchased, they'd have to be smoked and/or disposed of on the ship prior to passing through Customs into the US.

All in all, I had a wonderful time. Suffice it to say, I will definitely be going on a cruise again. And I'm looking forward to it already!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the [sigh]

I know it's only the 3rd day of the 2nd month of the year. But thus far, it's left a lot to be desired. In an effort to try to balance the positive with the negative, I must concede that there are three events that I can name off the top of my head that I am absolutely thrilled about.

One, the benefit that I helped organize in January was a HUGE success.
Two, the Colts are playing in the Super Bowl! They can even win it!!!
Three, I'm going on my first cruise ever in 21 days.

But the litany of things I'd change if I had the power?

- the phone calls on the very first day of the year. (Trust me, you don't want to know.)
- finding out the return on investment for Jeff's first semester of college was ZERO!
- anticipating a second court summons in five months. Yep, Jeff again.
- getting tagged for jury duty...for the year!
- having to change employers...even though I am completely satisfied with my current one.
- not sleeping well throughout January...probably because of all the work and stress that comes with organizing a benefit.
- the slow leak in my right rear tire that I haven't had the chance to get repaired...forcing me to stop by the gas station once a week to air it up. (Okay, I have the power to change this one, but I just haven't taken the time to do it yet.)

And did I mention that I will only be an SAIC employee for another two weeks? I am just SO BUMMED by that one. I LOVE being an SAIC employee. It's almost like a death or a divorce. I have been with SAIC longer than any other employer except the Air Force. I have learned so much about taking ownership of my work and my role in the big picture. I will truly miss working for Tom Root and SAIC. [sigh]

Monday, January 25, 2010

Stop the World; I Wanna Get Off!

I have been crazy busy this month. Between work and Jeff and this benefit that I'm helping to organize and my MK, I've been a busy girl. Well, guess what...busy isn't really agreeing with me lately.
I'm losing my patience...with pretty much everyone. I'm overly critical...about pretty much everything. I'm argumentative and defensive in any number of situations. I'm regularly on the verge of tears...I KNOW you've noticed! I'm in NO mood for anything new. And I do mean ANYTHING. If one more person gives me one more thing to do, I'm pretty sure my head will pop right off my shoulders. I know I'm not being my best self. And I hate it!

I know it's gotten to a 'critical point' because I'm trying to isolate myself as much as I can. I hole up in my home (or my car) and ignore my phone and just hope that no one knocks on my door. My brain needs a break. My body needs a break. My whole self...yeah, you guessed it...needs a break.

Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury right now. I need to work and I have plenty to do there. If I could just get a good night's sleep, work would actually be a haven, as I would be able to be productive and successful and have something to feel good about. Unfortunately, when I'm stressed, sleep doesn't come easily.

Jeff is a constant concern for me. I worry about him regularly; I don't expect that to change.

This Benefit doesn't happen until Saturday. Six more days. But wow, Friday and Saturday will be HELLA-busy. I hope to sleep ALL DAY Sunday. (On a positive note, I really think it's coming together. But I'll feel SO much better after we've raised thousands of dollars!)

And I've all but put my MK on hold, just trying to keep up with everything else.

I know if I could just sleep, the speed of life would be much more manageable. Ahhh, sleep. My long, lost friend.

So, I've decided that what I need is a good book and a GREAT night's sleep. So, when I get home tonight, I'm going to the library to check out a book I've never read before. TOTAL FICTION. Something that takes my mind completely out of my world and lets me live the life and times of some made-up character for a little while. I'm going to have a light dinner, which will include two Melatonin. Then I'll head to bed with my library book and try to forget about life for awhile. Hopefully sleep will come easier tonight than it did last night.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jeff!

Nineteen years ago today, I gave birth to a bouncing baby boy.
You can read more about it here.
At the time, I was a co-worker who looked good in 'blues'. I was active duty in the Air Force. I was young and naïve, yet not at all afraid of motherhood. I was in GREAT shape (as most active duty military members are). I was living in an apartment in Colorado Springs, just a block off Academy Blvd and Austin Bluffs (lots of traffic, lots of noise, lots of life going on). I wasn't much for being active in my community, but I was in my unit and my church. I was living one day at a time and enjoying it. And on this day nineteen years ago, I could spend hours staring at the marvel of the tiniest fingers I had ever seen.

My, how times change.
Today, I'm single...divorced actually...and haven't spoken to my ex in eight months. And I have no intention of ever speaking with him again. I also have no intention of dating a co-worker, let alone marrying one! Even at 39, I still think I act pretty young most of the time. But I am far from naïve. I'm battle worn and experienced and cautious. That comes with raising a teenager, I'm told. Speaking of, I have no intention of having any more children. I'm no where near "in shape"...well, except to say that round is a shape. I am buying a home that I hate everything about (especially it's proximity to the high school) and I don't take very good care of it as a result (shame on me; I really need to change that). But except for having to hear all the kids partying in the high school parking lot, life is pretty quiet in my neck of the woods. I am active in my community and my church. And my faith is much stronger than it was back then. Good thing too, because I rely on it a lot!

And the thing that amazes me most about my son now? he practically defines the fine line between charming and manipulative, he can be so smart yet so confused about where to go and what to do with his life, ...and how he has no problem putting forth effort getting OUT of responsibility instead of just DOING whatever is expected of him.

Sorry, Jeff. I call 'em like I see 'em.

He's still my very favorite Jeff in the whole wide world. Maybe even the universe! He IS smart. And can be very sweet and charming. He's so witty and makes me laugh. I love that! He has more potential than he realizes. And I have no doubt that one day he's going to set the world on least his little corner of it.

I'm looking forward to those days. I believe he'll get there. I just have no idea when.

Happy Birthday, Son-ray! I hope you have a great one!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's the 9th

Some highlights of my no particular order.

1. Peyton Manning was voted MVP again. FOURTH time. He got 39 1/2 votes out of 50. Pretty cool. The only four-time MVP winner in the NFL. That's gotta feel pretty affirming. I can't imagine being that good at what I do. I'm so glad he plays for my team. GO COLTS!

2. I also heard an interview on Thy Word Network this morning with our 'new' kicker, Matt Stover. He's been in the NFL for TWENTY years, but has only been with the Colts since Vinatieri got injured. I was very impressed. I'm a new fan! Anyone who gives God all the glory and bases all decisions (personal and professional) on God's will is a good guy in my book.

3. I don't know if you noticed, but the sun is shining! The temps are still only barely up to double digits. But the day seems so much more friendly with blue skies and sunshine. Personally, I don't mind winter and snow and such. I'm not one of those silly people who lives in the Midwest and then complains about cold air and snow IN JANUARY. That's like someone living in Seattle and complaining about the rain. Four seasons every year...that's why we live here. That's why I love it here! Nevertheless, after a few days without sun, I welcome it back with a smile.

4. I got my hair cut today. It was way past due. I like it. Nothing fancy, just shorter. I didn't like my last haircut, but I have to say, I'm happy with this one. Now I need to try to cover up the gray. I'm thinking Medium Ash Brown.

5. Today I also bought a pair of sunglasses. I haven't worn sunglasses in quite some time. Sure I had those things that clipped onto my eyeglasses. But I'm wearing contacts again...since about three weeks ago. With the snow on the ground and the sun shining, I decided it was a good day to purchase some shades. I feel so cool.

6. Today's message from the Message From God application on Facebook:

"On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know... that circumstances don't make you, they reveal you. How you respond to the life God offers you is what makes you."
I think I'll write that one in my calendar and read it regularly.