Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

Just wanted to make sure all of you take special care of yourselves tonight. I know most of us do not know anyone who has ever been injured or killed on such a night but there are those who don't take care. Who don't value their lives or the lives of others.

I have never lost anyone but this is one of my freaky worries. I don't let my kids drive.. I insist on picking them up.. Always an irksome detail for my oldest but I don't care. For me, one night a year isn't too much to ask. This is one of my presents.. deal with it...

Oh well have a great night and be safe...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

As the Year Draws to an End

I know year end blogs are hokey.. well I have a secret for you all, so am I. But I find this year I must take the time to think about the past 12 months.

They have been, how can I put it best? oh yeah, wild, tumultuous, insane, heartbreaking, exhausting, difficult... the list goes on. As I am pretty sure it shows, it has been hard.

Yet through it all, we have survived, we are together and sometimes (on a good day) we actually like each other.

I have found focus, goals and dreams over the past few months. I have remembered that without the dreams the focus and drive are nothing.. yet too much of the dream can destroy you as well.

I am remembering who I was, yet loving who I am becoming.

I have learned to appreciate the laughter and acknowledge the tears for both are important

I have learned that I have value and the only way we loose it is if we give it away.

I have learned that it is ok to go one's own way.. actually the crime is in not going your way but another's..

So in actuality this year has been a very good one... now if I can just find a home and get the heck out of here..

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Whoo Hoo it's Bowl Season

I love bowl season, I adore bowl season one could almost say I live for bowl season... Not that I think it is an accurate way to claim a National Champion but the games are so much fun. To watch some of the best that college has to offer play the game, they still maintain some of that love of the game.. Some are actually playing because they like it. The rules are more defined and it is just better sport.

I could go on and on about who what where when and why... but so far...

TCU won the poinsettia bowl........ great team, awesome defense and amazing speed

Notre Dame won the Hawaii bowl... now that just plain surprised me Notre Dame has been in what the genteel would call a slump.. those of us of less pristine character would say well.. they suck... I was surprised that they even got into a bowl and that they won? oh well, it just goes to show, I don't know everything.

Fla Atlantic beat Central Michigan in a nail biter in the Motor City bowl.. a good game although having family and friends going through MAC schools I always route for the MAC team.

Tomorrows games prove to be just as fun.. West Virginia? always good for a great game.. Wisconsin against Florida State? oh that should be fun go badgers

and of course Cal against Miami... whoo hoo go BEARS!!!

Sundays game?... oh go Northern of course (another MAC team) and we know folks who will be marching in the band.. I may even know a cheerleader hmmm, I am going to have to find out..

There will be more to come.. and for those of you keeping tabs I am not anti Florida, I am routing for them to win the big one.. go Gators... (but that is for another blog)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

You Can't Make This Up

Merry Christmas to all!! I hope each and everyone of you had a fabulous Christmas Day.. We did!!

Of course it did get off to just a bit of a rocky start. Last night coming home from Christmas Services (having electing to forego midnight Mass) I was rushing from the truck to the front door when I hit a patch of black ice and went flying. Taking out two motorcycles and a small compact (so that part is a fib, but...). After spending about 10 minutes lying on the ice in the freezing cold, I managed to get up and hobble inside. This morning I was sprained and strained and my left hip and thigh is a glorious shade purple!!

BUT WAIT... it gets better... waiting downstairs in the lobby of the building.. knowing my daughter would be home soon, watching the clock.. it is now 1:20 am Midnight Mass is way over.. i call her friends house only to find out that they are there... the mom's truck got stuck in the snow and they were still trying to shovel out. I told them go to bed... (she has her own room there) we would have someone pick her up in the morning...

BUT WAIT... it gets better.. so my sister in law came over and she loves my Christmas fudge. I had given her the ingredients and asked her to pick them up.. so after she stops to get my daughter and having already gone to the store she comes over.. did you know that fudge requires SUGAR??? seems I forgot to ask her to pick that up... sheesh...

giggles and it was still a fabulous day... Hope yours was as well

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Let There be Peace on Earth

and Let it begin with me.....

There you have it my Christmas wish and my New Year's Resolution all tied up neatly in one Christmas song..

As the Holiday approaches and all of my failings are brought forth (in my eyes) all I can think of is how to improve the next year. And I find that the best thing I can do is be a better person, have one more smile available when I don't think there is one, offer one more person a bit of help, listen to one more friend when they need to know someone cares... in short just give a little more of me..

Yes there are times when I feel pulled apart, going in to many directions but in the end I have to think about who I want to be.. and honestly I want to be the one who is there for a friend, who is known for her smile and kind words not the psycho lady who always has to be right (giggles which we all know I am)..

So, I am going to offer what peace I can this year.. I think in the end it is all I have to give.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Sad Day

Last night was a traumatic one, sad to say the laptop died... we will be having a funeral for it soon... feel free to send flowers, heck send a new laptop, I am not proud.. but seriously, until I am able to drag the monster out of storage and get a wireless card for it. I am going to be computer defecient for a while.

I will be able to post my blogs, but my entre card drops are going to go way down... I am still going to visit as many of you as I can but my time on the public computer is limited so I am not sure how many or how often I will be visiting.

So if I don't see you before hand... Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!! and a Happy New Year.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Something That Caught My Eye

Doing what I lovingly refer to as the 300, I ran across an interesting blog. Yes, I ran across a lot of interesting blogs. I always feel guilty saying just one caught my attention, sorry tangent. Anyway a Spicy Bugz World wrote a really good article on the shoe throwing incident.

She made some excellent points, this man good, bad or indifferent is the president of the United States of America. He represents all of us, for someone to think that it is acceptable to throw shoes at our president is deplorable. No, he shouldn't be drawn and quartered, hanged, or even slapped upside the head. What he should be is ashamed. While we may be going about it wrong, or not.. we gave him a chance at freedom. Take the opportunity and do something with it. Make your world a better place do not throw things at someone who removed total oppression from your life and gave you the chance to throw shoes.

I am an American and damned proud of it. We are a nation of strong individuals who have worked hard to become who and what we are. Every day more and more people rush our borders to have the same chances I have been given. Yes there are other great countries out there. Yes national pride is a good thing but come on.. how come it is ok for others to be proud of their countries but when we do it we are arrogant Americans? Have you ever spoken to someone from say.. Russia.. the motherland... or France?? enough said (says the girl who is of French descent and very proud of her heritage). It is only us, the Americans who receive international scorn for being proud of our country..

We are not a perfect nation but i defy anyone to tell me of one that is better... that gives as much, helps as often, offers a better chance... and yes, I know, I too am gonna get reamed for this.. And honestly, there are some who are going to have to stand up and defend their country.. which they should. But in my opinion this is a great place to live.. (and my life has been hit pretty hard over the past few years) I would rather be poor in America than rich in most other countries.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Award Part Duex

when the simplest thing changes your world...

I honestly can not even begin to explain the joy one simple award brought me, yes I tried but these emotions defy mere words.. In some ways it reminds me watch what you say, you never know how your words may affect someone else. Always try and be pleasant and kind, not because of some desire to show a proud face but because that simple smile or casual hello can change someone's day.

Now part of receiving an award is passing one on.. I have taken my time deciding which ones I wanted to say hey your words touch me.. there are so very many.. but today, I am going to choose two.. sighs.. and believe me this is hard..

a mom on a spin oh my goodness she always makes me laugh and reminds me I am not alone.

On the Verge and thank you for bringing back the joys and insanity of raising four active children

and finally I wanted to thank you all for opening your community and making me feel at home..

Friday, December 19, 2008

It Always Seems That No Matter How Bad...

I have been feeling a bit blue lately for a lot of reasons but the holidays certainly aren't helping. Don't get me wrong I love the holidays, I just hate not being able to be supermom and give the kids a fabulous Christmas.

There are other things going on so life of course gets weirder and weirder but today I received some blog love.. it is amazing what a simple act of kindness can do. Does it change what is going on around me? No, what it does do is make me smile, make me remember that there are those out there who pay attention and face it, it feeds my ego (which never seems to have enough attention).

So I wanted to thank Lola at Lola's Diner for giving me some love. I can not begin to say how much this means to me.. it is my very first award for blogging and for some reason it seems to give me some validation. Yes I really am this big of a nutcase.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas and How Prepared am I?

So I looked at the calendar today and noticed the date.. wow where did the year go? Christmas is a mere week away and i have done nothing.

Every year I promise myself that I am going to take time throughout the year and purchase what is needed or wanted for Christmas and every year I fail. For two reasons, first because I get so darned excited that when I can purchase a gift I give it to them right away and secondly from September through January I am broke. Every year no matter what it seems the second half of the year kills me. I am not sure why and really it doesn't matter because there you have it.

This year will be especially hard, with the astronomical rates I have paid to live in the luxury we are living in, I have been unable to even come up with basic Christmas money. Of course having teenagers basic Christmas is not quite what having toddlers means. I remember one year giving my youngest a notepad and colored pencils and she thought she had it made.. now she wants an ipod and tickets to Wicked..

Oh well life goes on and we will be together.. we will have something to be grateful for and we will be healthy.. so all in all Christmas will be pretty darn good.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Twelve Days After Christmas

This is one of my absolute favorite spoofs.. and somehow no one ever seems to know it. Enjoy

The first day after Christmas, my true love and I had a fight.
And so I chopped the pear tree down and burned it just for spite.
Then, with a single cartridge, I shot that blasted partridge,
That my true love, my true love gave to me.

The second day after Christmas, I pulled on the old rubber gloves
And very gently wrung the necks of both the turtle doves,
My true love, my true love, my true love gave to me.

The third day after Christmas, my mother caught the croup;
I had to use the three French hens to make some chicken soup.
The four calling birds were a big mistake,
For their language was obsence .
The five gold rings were completely fake
And they turned my fingers gree.

The sixth day after Christmas, the six laying geese wouldn't lay:
I gave the whole darn gaggle to the ASPCA.

On the seventh day what a mess I found:
All seven of the swimming swans had drowned,
My true love, my true love, my true love gave to me.

The eighth day after Christmas, before they could suspect,
I bundled up the . . .
Eight maids a-milking,
Nine pipers piping,
Ten ladies dancing,
'Leven lords a-leaping,
Twelve drummers drumming
(spoken) Well, actually I kept one of the drummers(girls)
Well, actually I kept one of the maids a-milking(boys)

And sent them back collect.
I wrote my true love, "We are through, love"
And I said in so many words,
"Furthermore your Christmas gifts were for the birds!"
(echo of "four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves
and a partridge in a pear tree."

You Don't Own Me

So tonight as I lay awake not sleeping, The First Wives Club came on on USA. It is a funny, quirky and interesting movie. But the underlying message is so powerful that we need to remind ourselves of it on a regular basis.

Three women of middling years, are brought back together by the suicide of a mutual friend, once together they discover that their lives while looking good from the outside are pretty horrid in actuality. All of their problems seem to stem from bad marriages and husbands that are leaving them for younger women. Except as the movie goes on they find that yes the men are pretty rotten but their lives suck because they lost themselves.

As women, we do this. Probably from childhood. There are some, such as myself who are people pleasers, I truly want to make people happy. I tend to bend over way too far to accomplish this. When I choose to accept someone into my life I offer them pieces of me in doing this I give them power over me. The power to even control my feelings it would seem. During my childhood I was always told I was too sensitive. So I learned to contain those feelings, to hide them. To make sure no one really knew what was going on. It didnt help obviously, while I learned to smile at just about anything, to face life head on and take it as it came. What I never learned to do was accept myself.

I learned to give pieces of me away, others owned me.... My feelings were no longer mine because if shared they were mocked. So I hid and hurt for years. When I would share this with the handful of people that I trusted I would hear "Oh, you shouldn't give them so much power over you" or "you are just too sensitive". Well first off, if I could stop being the way I am of course I would not give them the power over me and secondly.... see number one. I am a sensitive woman there is no crime in that. I don't ask that you become suddenly sensitve, I ask that you just let me be. sheesh, rock hard emotions are not all that great of an accomplishment. Actually I feel it is a failing and because you lack something the only way to make yourself feel better is to mock those who feel.

It took me years and years to realize that the failing wasnt in me. That I was made the way I am and that those that had issues with my sensitivity had the problem. It took years and years for me to say hey, this is me deal or leave. I left home, where I was loved (baffeled, bemused and confused them all but they loved me) and yet even there I was told to not feel. To not care to not be so sensitive, eventually I entered into a marriage where it was worse. Here I was not loved so while I heard those same words they were abusive and controlling. I was not good enough because I was different.

Finally one day I looked up and realized.... You don't own me... not my family, whom I adore, not my husband, who I showed the door, not the world around me. I am a complex and unique individual. Yes I will always attempt to please those around me but you pushed me out and made me find my feet now you can't say how I do things. Yes I will always feel deeply, never again will I hold those back to make someone else happy. If you want to get to know me, then here I am. No fuss no frills.. but seriously You Don't Own Me.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Why I Blog

I was doing the entrecard blog drop thing today and I noticed an interesting blog. Ok to all the rest of you, I noticed lots of interesting blogs but today I am going to write about this one. Or my variation of it.

Why I Blog.

1. I blog because it is a great way for me to express myself. A place where the words that hide inside me manage to escape. They wrap around me and twist and turn with no where to go finally I have found an outlet and yes an audience. I love that there are those who have chosen to follow this blog who seem to think maybe just maybe I may have something to say.

2. I blog because it offers me a way to vent stress. When life is about to explode I can come here and just type. Whatever, rarely about what is causing me stress but still the randomness of just blogging helps the steam escape.

3. I don't blog for money, I admit at first I was excited I was earning money from adsense and it was a high but then adsense decided that I was a threat to their advertisers and pulled me. Now that was a farce, me a single mom of four children with limited means a threat to their advertisers. Oh well...

4. I don't blog for fame, although that would be cool. Can you imagine being one of those that is found so interesting that it snowballs into fame and fortune?? ok it is a fantasy but still I admit it would be cool. Even if it is not why I blog.

5. I blog for self expression and yet I fail to post my poems and stories so guess what folks... you are soon going to be inundated with them. Self expression what a concept..

6. I blog for the sense of community, I am one of those who thrives off the energy of others and this community of bloggers is pretty amazing. I appreciate the effort and time put in by so many and I have learned so many new things. Some of the arts and crafts blogs astound, the travel blogs make me yearn, the parenting blogs make me laugh, cry or pull my hair out.

Honestly this journey is a fascinating one and I find I get so much out of blogging then just putting the words to paper.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Trip To The Past

I have a rather interesting family full of great stories and a fun past. I can go person by person and tell something interesting about each and every one of them back as far as I know. It makes me think sometimes why is it that our family is so much more interesting than others? Well the truth is, we aren't. It is just that sometimes we still tell the stories. Dream the dreams...

I honestly believe that with the advent of Movies and TV we lost something. Now do not get me wrong, I love both of these things but we lost our family story tellers. We lost interest in what went on before in our own families. Everyone of us has a great past, a unique and full tapestry that we are part of. Yet we don't tell the stories, we don't pass them on and we rarely write them down. And then they are lost. This brings me great pain. In my family we have lost two entire generations that were filled with amazing stories and the next is going soon (well i hope not too soon). My point is if I can't get someone to write down these stories, record them then they too will be lost.

Yes I know that someone could be me but I don't reach all of them anymore... I have limited contact with many. So others of my generation need to help out please. Honestly I would love to have a book of family legends.. That would be so amazing. Detail all those fabulous and wonderful stories that we have heard all of our lives.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


What happens when one party is given control of the entire system? chaos! it happened when the republicans gained total and complete control of congress in 2004 but in another sense and in some ways much worse ways it happened when the democrats gained control of the Governership and Congress of the state of Illinois. Unfortunately we as Americans have refused to comprehend one simple fact we need balance. We need elected officials who believe in serving the people of this country not themselves and are willing to work with others who disagree on not the service but the way the service is to be acted out.

The greed and avarice of our elected officials shames me and should shame every single person in this country old enough to vote. The current events happening here in Illinois is a classic example Governor
Blagojevich has been under investigation for three years and his behavior was questionable before that. and what do we the proud citizens of Illinois do? We vote him in to a second term. The man has questionable ethics and because he is a position of power and the senate and congress both hold a majority of Democrats his behavior has been accepted, considered perfectly fine. This is no different than what happened in our nations capital, yes it was the the Republicans that time but really.. one must think of Machevilli at times like this, power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely.

We have a system of checks and balances for a reason, to ignore this fact and let ourselves be steamrolled is a crime. One we perpetuate upon ourselves stand up all vote.. and now that the time for voting is over start writing letters.. we have the interent we don't even have to pay for a stamp anymore. Let your elected officials know where you stand, what their job is and make sure they know that your vote is on the line. If enough of us make the statement, if enough of us say enough.. then maybe they will get the picture. There is no excuse for this behavior and We, the People could have avoided it. Time to roll up your sleeves and start making demands..

I know I have them.. look out I will be watching you.. each and every one of you owes your job to me.. and I am going to be paying attention. Both here in Illinois and in the Nationaly forum. Initially I thought of listing my direct reps but then I realized that the speaker of the House is responsible to me, the senate Whip.. all of them not just those who I have the power to vote for. But beware those specail few will be getting my extra attention. Watch for my letters be ready to answer my questions, I am your worst nightmare a concerned citizen who believes in the power of the Constitution.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Just Love Football

I love football, especially college football. Each weekend I try and watch as many games as possible, I enjoy trying to figure out who will go to the bowl games (although my heart always remains with USC) which teams will vie for the national championship and which one will actually win. This year has been especially fun the wonkiness of the big 12 their means of deciding which team is their best. The fact that the Pac 10 shoots itself in the foot every year and allows SC to dominate year after year after year...

Some years the choice of who goes to the national game is just wrong, others well it is laughable, this year?? well they may have actually gotten it right.. I know I plan on enjoying the game immensely. And the Rose Bowl should be equally exciting and I am thrilled that it is Ohio State playing in either opportunity. I am a bit irked that they made it to the fiesta bowl and figure that game should be a snoozer, watching the Longhorns destroy them. Oh yeah did I mention I cant stand The Ohio State football team?

As the regular season of college football winds down I can only say.. I am thrilled at least that there is basketball still going on. Already on pins and needles for the final four.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The It's About Me'ers

Have you ever looked around you and discovered how many people there are in your life that are actually bringing you down? The ones who claim to care and yet everything you do, they do, the world does is about them?

You plan a surprise party for them they somehow make you feel guilty for doing so then years later make you feel guilty for not doing so. The ones who watch you clean an entire car, apt, whatever for someone wait till you are almost done then come along and say well you should have done it this way. The ones who say no one ever listens to me, and when you are trying to help them to pay attention they tell you to shut up it isn't about you?

It doesn't matter what you do or where you are or even what your intentions are all that matters is it is about them. I have a few of these peo
ple in my life I am not going to name names and make accusations because it's not about them. It is about how I have learned to handle them. Most of these people are individuals that I care for deeply which is why it is difficult to totally ignore them. What I have learned is that they will never see what they are doing only where you are failing. It becomes your responsibility to decide what your goals are what you want to do, even for them and to go out and do it.

As a trained and incredibly good customer service representative I have made my living over the years helping people solve their problems to their satisfaction one of the tools I have learned is the repeat.. yes I can see where that may upset you.. It is a great listening tool and better yet it is a wonderful coping mechanism. In a way it all becomes a game, can I get off the phone with this person with them happy, me happy and the problem somewhat resolved. Now if one uses this tool with evil intent it will still work but it won't bring you peace and for me that is the goal. I don't care if the people I love have to make everything around them about them what I care about is how I can run my life parallel with theirs.

I try I really do to live my life by that adage do you want to be right or do you want to be happy..but somewhere along the line I have realized darnit being right makes me happy... but seriously with some people I will never be right and with some people it will never be about me. So I choose to love the ones near to me anyway, accept them for who they are. Tolerate the ones I must and honestly walk away from the ones who are just taking up air space. Not with malice but hey this time it's about me.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tired of Being Ugly

Somewhere along the line I stopped caring what I looked like. Now I am a reasonably attractive individaul. I am not super model beautiful but my face doesn't stop a clock either.. I have always dealt with the weight issues, some of the issues were manufactured and unreasonable, growing up in Southern California where a 21" waist was considered fat because I had hips. But a lot of my issues are accurate.

Now self image played a huge part, I thought I was fat so I became fat. And then there is the age old excuse it is my mother's fault who cares that I have been on my own for almost 30 years and I never had a major weight issue until after I did so. I can blame part of it on a bad marriage and depression but seriously what it comes down to is I stopped caring what I looked like. This week I pretty much decided that, that attitude just completely sucks.

Steps I am going to take to make changes, well for starters I am fat does that mean I have to be dumpy? No, so starting in the morning it is up to walk, then shower make up and hair. Not a major effort but one that makes an attitude adjustment. I have an extremely slow metabolism so the best way for me to loose weight is diet and exercise and yes the diet means eating.. not abstaining. So tomorrow after I walk, it will be a small breakfast to get the metabolism going..

I want to loose 130 lbs, but for next week I will be happy if I loose 5 (ok so i want to loose 20 but how realistic is that- I am going to be ecstatic with 5). Tomorrow I am going to take the before picture, I am going to post it here.. and you all get to loose the weight with me.

I figure the accountability will help but not just that if I take the steps to make a change in my life I will just feel better about me. Then I am gonna like me more, then I am just going to be a nicer person because I am happy and then my world will most probably settle back into it's proper orbit.

In the end it is not about loosing the weight which I wan to do but rather about taking charge and making a difference first in my life then we shall see where I go from there.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just Because I Love This

As a child we watched what we loving referred to as the ping pong movie at least once a year. We had no clue that it was an academy award winning short documentary. We just loved it. Every now and then I enjoy thinking of it I would buy it if I could find the entire movie. What I can find is this clip on Youtube, enjoy

Monday, December 1, 2008

Watching the Cabinet Grow

This morning I sat and watched the press conference that President Elect Obama held on the members of his nominated cabinet. It is an amazing thing to watch the beginning of a new hope. Now don't get me wrong, I do not know if I agree with the way things are going to go. I do not know if I agree with what is going to happen but for some reason this transition has really gotten my attention.

I have been involved with the election process for almost 30 years having voted for the first time in 1980 and really never since that first election have I been this interested. It is an exciting time maybe just from an intellectual point of view but life as we know it is going to change. How? We don't know yet how the world will turn and that is exciting is it not?

One of the things that really cracks me up is the assumption that there will not be anything for late night to make fun of. Sheesh.. of course there will. Last I checked the Obamas, the Bidens and the rest of the staff are human and will make human mistakes and we will laugh. I am sure once his term is up and running we will find things that he does that we loathe. How can we not? We are a nation of individuals and for him to please all of us would be an impossibility. The mere fact that we are so desperate for our leaders to be better. To offer leadership with integrity that we accept him with such hope says so much for us. I hope we haven't set the man up for more than he can do. I hope with all our talk of his greatness that we don't forget that one man didn't get us where we are (and don't even think that just President Bush is to blame) and one man can not get us out.

But for now I will enjoy the new growth, thinking of the rose in winter life goes on and the ability to survive is astounding