Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Day

I so need to get a new profile photo.

Anyway....don't have much to write about tonight. My son thinks I am annoying and my husband is worried about me. A pretty normal day. I actually AM an annoying person. I mean, I get on my own nerves frequently.

Let's see, we had a delivery from FedEx and then two minutes later, a delivery from UPS. It was cold and windy. Felt more like November than the end of March. I love it!

I went to two grocery stores and to my friend's house. Using my coupons seems to override the fear of being in another accident. At least it did tonight.

My son burst through my office door like he was raiding the place. "I need a bleach pen! I need a bleach pen!!" he shouted. Seriously, close to hysteria over a splotch of mustard on his shirt. We aren't the bleach pen type. Luckily we do have a sink and the mustard was drowned before it knew what hit it. Another teen tragedy averted, another crisis solved.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Question of the Day ~ The Information Age

Okay, I admit to putting my head in the sand when it comes to current events. I don't want to be anywhere near a television if it's tuned to the local news. There is always some horrific story of a person who had 30 sick dogs and couldn't feed them, let alone provide adequate medical care. The animal and children stories lay me out. I'm a wimp.

Since I spend so much time online, it's impossible not to notice the headlines. Lately the headlines are scarier than anything Stephen King ever dreamt up. I read enough to keep myself semi-informed, but not enough to be immersed in the news of the day. It's so easy to become paralyzed by all the doom and gloom which surrounds us.

How much reality do you put on your plate each day?

This Is Cute ~ A Real Waker Upper

My former husband's wife sent this to me. We are buds. So are these bunnies.

I don't think of this photo as being pornographic. Perhaps I am wrong - it's been known to happen.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Work at Home Moms

Work at home Moms have nothing but time on their hands. They can do anything, at any time, with no notice, because....they are at home. This is by far the biggest misconception there is, concerning work at home Moms. We could form a support group. Or, at the very least, have a weekly bitch session to vent our frustrations safely, among friends.

If you've been a WAHM for longer than six months, you know exactly what I mean. Even the closest of friends don't "get" it. If you are at home, certainly you are free to chat on the phone or drop everything and run over for an hour or two. Then there are family members who file back and forth down the hall in silence as long as the door is open. But close the door and suddenly everyone has something of the utmost importance they must share with you.

The third bedroom of our house is designated my office/studio. Although to use those words dignifies a space which is more accurately described as "where my stuff is." Nothing really office like, or studio like, about it. There is also a twin bed in here. I prefer the door closed. It's quieter and it prevents two large canines from coming in and out, scanning the carpet for leftovers or shoving their noses under my bad arm and lifting up abruptly. This is dog for "pet me NOW."

Anyway....(not anyways - just like Happy New Year and not Happy New Years) I told you that story to tell you this story. My son and I were discussing the differences between his girlfriend's mother and myself. He felt I was being negative about his future mother-in-law and informed me, in a rather terse tone, that she wasn't a stay at home Mom, therefore she didn't have the time to do things like I do. My, my, my. Eh tu, Brutus?

Now I enjoy a little mental ping-pong, and my son, at age 14, has already proven himself a worthy opponent. I took aim and fired the following back across the net: "Listen Slick, I guarantee you I work twice as many hours as she does, so don't even start with me." Game. Set. And Match.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Poetry and Rhyme (sorta)

I happened upon two of my son's English assignments, due tomorrow, and still warm from the printer. Both works are untitled. First, the poem:

You can scold
Or we can converse
We can talk
Or we can curse
Form a team
Or fight to be first
But not both

You can stand
Or you can be pressed
You can be cursed
Or you can be blessed
You can cling to hope
Or you can be depressed
But not both

You can forsake who you are
Or hold steadfast to your soul
You can conform to the world
Or gain strength as a whole
You can make your own name
Or live your life dull
But not both

Okay, that was deep. Teenagers are deep. Kind of a glass half empty/glass half full poem. I'd like to think it's got an overall positive tone to it. Now, the limerick:

There once was a pig from Miami
Who sat inside a tannery
Little did he know
That he was in a stove
Now bacon is abundant in Miami
There once was a pig in Moscow
He became friends with the cows
When they were sent away
Soon he would have to pay
So the pig ran away from Moscow

How random was that? I love how his brain can move so easily in so many different directions. Silly and serious. Random and profound. Mental multi-tasking....gotta love it.

A Soul is a Terrible Thing to Waste

This photo was taken by my sweet stepdaughter Sara. She is 20 years old and one of the nicest, most giving people I've ever known. I find myself looking at this photo when I am upset. It instantly calms and comforts me.

Last night they had the awards ceremony for the basketball teams at my son's school. He received the Christian Character award for being an inspiration to his teammates. This comes less than a month after receiving the same award from the Middle School itself. His faith is, and always has been, very strong.

I know at least two mothers who read my blog are struggling with the pain of children who have turned away from God. Children who were raised in the word but have now chosen to ignore it. My son will be 15 in September. Since I'm a great worrier, I began to worry several years ago about how his faith would fare during the teen years. I did my best to give my worries to God, and trust that He had a plan for Jacob. So far, so good.

I was raised in the word, and I strayed very, very, VERY far away from it while traveling through my 20's. I know I gave my mother fits. I know she prayed with a vengeance that I would return to the fold. She never missed an opportunity to remind me of what I was missing. And of course that got old and I got cranky and learned to tune her out. This went on for years.

Then there came a day when we were talking on the phone (she lives in another state) and I began to share with her my fears and hurts and frustrations. Of course she jumped onto her pulpit and began to beg me to pray with her. That's all she wanted, just for me to pray. I wanted her to shut up. Not be quiet mind you - shut up. So I took a deep breath and muttered to myself "FINE." I entered into prayer with her, and my only motivation was to get her to stop nagging me.

We finished our conversation and I felt different somehow. But it wasn't anything I could put my finger on. It wasn't like thunder roared and suddenly I saw things in a new way. BUT, the next morning I awoke and began to systematically turn away from the sinful things in my life. I was determined to follow Jesus no matter what the cost. I was truly reborn, remade as I slept.

I don't share this story very often. Accepting Christ with the goal of shutting your mother up is not something one brags about. I guess it doesn't matter how my change came about, only that it did. But still....geez. I told this story to offer hope. Don't give up on your daughters. Keep reminding them that a soul is a terrible thing to waste. Wait for your moment - God will bring you one, I'm sure of it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I've Come a Long Way (Beanie) Baby

I've had three main jobs in my life. I worked for a police department for 10 years. I worked for a large dental office for 10 years. And I've been selling online for almost 10 years. Am I due for a career change? Nah, I'm happy doing what I'm doing. Every few months I get the hankering to learn a new craft, so I do. Short attention span here.

I just finished putting a few things on eBay. I/we have 1,201 active listings. That's a lot of listings. We also have a web site and are thankful when buyers choose to purchase there. Fees on "the Bay" are sky high. We have some things on eCrater and also on Bonanzle. No wonder it's standing room only in my head. Oh, I almost forgot Etsy. Not doing too well there, but I am determined to keep trying.

Every once in a while I pause to reflect that it all began with....yep, Beanie Babies. I remember the first one I ever sold - an owl, NWT dontcha know. I was thrilled. And I am still thrilled when I sell something and even more thrilled when the person who bought it is happy. That's a very good thing.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Last Day of Historical Tour.....Not

Jacob should have been landing right about now, but Mr. Murphy had other plans. The plane they were scheduled to take had mechanical problems (just like the plane they originally boarded on their way to Baltimore) and after four hours of waiting (and missing their connecting flight in Chicago), they were taken via bus to a very nice hotel, where they were given dinner and what Jacob called "care packages." Their luggage is in Chicago, the airline thinks.

So they will fly out of Baltimore (hopefully) early tomorrow morning and change planes in Denver. My husband, who worked for the TSA for four years after he retired from the Coast Guard, says not to worry, the airline will get their baggage to Denver before they arrive.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 9 - Historical Tour & My Opinion

Today was spent touring Philadelphia. We get almost daily emails from the principal. Several tour members have come down with colds serious enough to keep them at the hotel all day.

Here are a couple photos from last week. My little rodent is on the right, in the green checked shirt. I do wish he'd show his pearly whites. He got his father's good teeth (thank you again Lord). They are gorgeous, and he doesn't like to show them. Perhaps it's not cool to show your teeth these days?

Wow, the White House - even if there is a Democrat inside it....would be so cool to see. Just for the record, my problem with liberal Dems (and I know that doesn't include ALL Dems) is their views on abortion. Abortion is murder. Abortion is the taking of a life. Once that sperm and egg link up, you have a life. So sorry if that life begins at an inconvenient time.

I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that a woman would have a life vacuumed out of her rather than let that child live and be given to parents who want to raise a child. I can understand unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. I can understand not being old enough, or financially able to care for a child. There are options. There are alternatives.

So often women say "well I couldn't live knowing there was a child of mine out there, and me not knowing him or her" or "I don't want to hear a knock at my door in 18 years and have this kid standing there." Abortion has to be the height of selfishness. Personally I don't think I could do it even in the case of rape. And I know if a doctor told me my life was in danger I would tell him no, it's not - God has my life in His hands and He won't drop me or my child.

I don't think the government should get involved in the abortion issue because I don't think abortion should be an issue in the first place. It shouldn't happen. Yet in today's society it's a totally acceptable solution to what many see as a problem, not a person. A close relative of mine had an abortion about 25 years ago. I found out about it several years after it took place. I am haunted by the thoughts of what that person would have been like, what he or she would have grown up to accomplish or contribute. Granted, had he or she been given up for adoption, I wouldn't know who they were or where they are - but at least they would have been given a chance.

These kids you see, in front of that majestic house, are being raised to honor and treasure life. For that I am very, very grateful.
P.S. It occurs to me how incredibly deep and solid my faith is, when it comes to abortion. Yet I am still terrified to drive or be in a car, almost three years after I had one of those "another foot or so and I'd be dead or paralyzed" accidents. My faith....needs work.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Corny St. Patty's Day Joke & Day 8 Historical Tour

Here is my joke - hopefully no one is offended. These days I think some people need to be less sensitive or, in other words, lighten up a bit.

What is Irish and stays out all night?
(Patty O'Furniture)

Alrighty, now for the postcards!

Today the kids toured the Supreme Court building and the Library of Congress (lucky them) and also Fort McHenry. We received these two postcards today. If you are so inclined you can click on the image and it will open larger, in another window. He's such a good speller. Spelling is important to me.

Protein is also important because he and I don't do well when our blood sugar is low. I do harp on the protein issue. Jacob weighed 3 lbs. and 14 ozs. at birth. They fed him with a tube directly into his stomach at first, then we graduated to a thinner piece of tubing taped to our finger and we would slowly inject the formula down the tube and into his mouth. All of this to keep him from using calories. If you've ever had a premie baby I'm sure you know the drill. Finally he graduated to a bottle (had zero interest in breastfeeding - him, not me - I tried everything) and we fed him one ounce at a time. These are things a mother does not forget, and I am still concerned with him having enough to eat. I know....I need to get a life.

His care package was waiting upon check-in at the hotel. I sent cookies and some chocolate eggs. No protein!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

** Disney Deal for Military **

My husband often jokes that the only reason I married him was for the I.D. card. Of course that isn't true, but I do heart my I.D. card and all the meaning behind it. Just when I thought having the card couldn't get any better ~ IT DID!

I came across this incredible offer, and wanted to share it with my four loyal blog readers. Active duty and retired personnel receive a FREE five day park hopper ticket. Up to five family members can purchase a five day non-park hopper ticket for $99.00 ~ but, they do give you an option to upgrade to park hopper for an additional $25.00.

Click here to be taken to the site where I originally found this info. Any military base with a ticket office would have these tickets.

I am going to keep my fingers and toes crossed for certain legal matters to become finalized so we can take advantage of this great deal in October.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 6 - Historical Tour

The tour is staying in Lancaster, PA from now till their return on the 19th. Here is what they did today:

Embassy Row, Washington National Cathedral
Holocaust Museum
Lunch at Ronald Reagan World Trade Center
World War II Memorial
Washington Monument
National Archives
Dinner at Union Station
Night Tour

They left the hotel at 8:00 AM and will return at 9:15 PM. Makes me tired just typing it. But how wonderful to be able to see all those places.

Today I sent some oatmeal cookies and the Juneau photos via priority mail. They will arrive on Monday (trust me, I'm a Powerseller) and I know the boy will appreciate them. He's very good about appreciating things.

I have had my fair share of dogs, but NEVER one who poses the way this one does. He's like a professional model...seriously. I take a picture and he poses a different way. I take a second picture and he re-poses himself. This will continue for as long as the photo shoot lasts. He loves the camera. He also loves making himself comfortable and being right in the middle of everything.

For those who don't know, Juneau's life didn't start off very happy. At the age of two month he was removed from a terrible home. The Humane Society doctors attempted to save his badly broken front leg. In the end the leg was amputated and we adopted him after he had recuperated at a foster home. We are still very close to the couple who gave him such loving care. When I refer to his foster mother or foster parents, these are the people of whom I speak.

Juneau is 3-1/2 now. He has been with us since the age of four months. He does everything a four legged dog does, just some of things he does in a different way. It is difficult to look at his missing leg and not feel anger and sadness. I constantly remind myself that he doesn't feel sorry for himself. He has a great life, and he lives it full speed ahead. He's a special dog. God created him and God led us to him. He has a wonderful life.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day Five - Historical Tour (and bunny soaps)

Are these not the sweetest things you've ever seen? They look like chocolate, but don't eat them. They are soaps! What a beautiful addition to an Easter basket. You could use them for placecard holders at a brunch, for hostess gifts, or nestled in a vintage mini jello mold with a bit of colored grass.

Bunny soaps are the creation of my friend Kay at The Rustic Cottage. Hop on over to her blog for more info on these cuties and to see the bird soaps.

Today the tour checked into a Howard Johnson's. Makes me think of clams. I have never had clams at a Howard Johnson's though. I should put that on my Bucket List. They visited Mount Vernon, and the Capitol. Also Ford's Theatre and the Petersen House. A group photo was taken at the White House.

We received the boy's second trimester report card, and he pulled a 3.55 - that's Honor Roll. He was VERY happy when I told him the news. Hung up the phone and dissolved into tears. Thank the Lord for a patient husband!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Days 3 and 4 ~ Historical Tour

I went ALL day without shedding a tear!! We have been getting nightly phone calls and the little rodent (one of my terms of endearment for the boy) sounds calm and happy. So far, so good.

I was asked if the dogs were acting differently. I would have to say we haven't noticed anything major, but the photo you see was taken the same day the rodent left. I left it uncropped, in the natural 14 year old boy's room state. It is rare for Juneau to sleep in this room.

Seven more days to go, and the rodent will be home - driving me crazy again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 2 ~ Historical Tour

Today the tour traveled to Jamestown and saw the glass house, ruins and the settlement. After lunch and a bit of shopping they headed to Yorktown to see the battlefield and the Victory Center. Back to the hotel for dinner and then the In Defense of Our Liberty Tour.

Jacob called right after dinner and said he's doing fine and seeing a lot of awesome things. It was a short call and I didn't puddle up till after I had said goodbye. Then I bit my lip REAL hard and told myself to suck it up. Crying just makes you so darn tired.

They return late in the evening on the 19th.

I got my Xanax prescription refilled.

As my dear friend Sam said "until you get that welcome home hug, it just gnaws away at you."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Day 1 ~ Historical/Hysterical Trip

My son gets to enjoy the historical trip. I get the hysterical version. Okay, I am overstating it a bit, but I do have my moments.

I would guess there were about 30 people (students and teachers and chaperones), who gathered at the Portland International Airport at 6:15 this morning. All wore matching red long sleeved t-shirts and khaki pants. They flew to Chicago, where they had a scheduled 2-1/2 hour layover. They then boarded a plane for Baltimore but were deplaned (what kind of M&M's did Tattoo like? De plane, de plane) 30 minutes later due to problems with the oil pressure. They were put on another plane and finally took off two hours later than scheduled.

Perhaps I read too much into things, but I feel this change of planes was divine intervention. He did not want that plane, with those kids, in the air today. They arrived safely in Baltimore and then boarded a bus to take them to Williamsburg (a 2-1/4 hr. trip). It was from this bus that I received a call from my son, informing me he was "safe and sound." Amidst all the noise in the background, I reminded him to eat plenty of protein. His response: "I know Mom, I had a glass of water on the plane."

Last night as I was praying for him, the thought came to me - imagine how a mother feels who has sent her son to Iraq? I don't know how I could do something like that. I think you just "do" when you have no choice.

A dear friend of my mother's put it all into perspective when she wrote to me: Welcome to the Mothers' Worry Room - price of admission: one or more children. She also included the following: “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by supplications and prayers let your requests be known with thanksgiving. Then the peace of God shall enter into your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Let's Go Shopping With Me........

I finally got my coupon binder finished and it accompanied me on today's shopping trip. So much nicer than using a file box. If you are interested, youtube has several great videos on how to make your own coupon binder.

Here is what I purchased:

1 box Kraft mac and cheese
1 pkg. Kellogg's Nutrigrain bars
1 4-pack Dole mixed fruit bowls
1 pkg. Knorr Spanish Rice
1 jar Classico spaghetti sauce
1 pkg. Oreo cookies
1 24-pack diet Coke
1 6 double roll pkg. Angel Soft toilet paper
2 rolls store brand paper towels
1 pkg. 250 count paper napkins
1 pkg. Planter's Nut Bars with 7 gr. protein
1 can sliced peaches
1 loaf Oroweat bread
1 loaf Snake River potato bread
1 6-pack Spring water
1 large pkg. Hershey chocolate eggs
1 6-pack snack size raisins
64 oz. Minute Maid orange juice
5 lbs. butter ($1.00 a lb. so I bought five lbs.)
1 pint 2% milk
2 lb. block Tillamook cheddar cheese
5-1/4 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1 onion
1 pkg. salad mix
1 Sunday paper

TOTAL Spent: $52.65

When I consider the fact that the butter and chocolate eggs together were $10 of the above total, I think I did really well. I have about 10 pounds of butter in my freezer right now as I have been finding it super cheap lately.

I've got some cute birthday gifties to blog about - hopefully tomorrow! My son is leaving in about six hours on an 11 day historical trip with his school. I am thrilled he gets to go. He's been looking forward to it since first grade. But I've been in and out of tears all day. Totally ridiculous and I'm sure quite annoying to both my son and my husband. I guess you have to be a mother to understand.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

~Time to Blog.....

Say hello to Santa. He currently resides in the middle of the front lawn. Back in December Santa's beard and clothes were clean and fresh. Santa even said "ho ho ho Merry Christmas" if you squeezed his tummy. Well, he said it for a few hours, then Juneau silenced him forever.

I took this photo a few days ago because I can identify with Santa. He looks how I feel. Damp, green, mossy - but with a look of hope on his face. A "this too shall pass" sense to him. His eyes still have their twinkle. He's momentarily down, but not out.

I think menopause must be approaching. It has sent the advance crew out to scout the area, and decide how best to attack. I should not have bad moods which linger, according to my mother and my own common sense. Crankiness and crabbiness and parties of pity didn't happen in my childhood. You were allowed time to feel bad and express your sorrow. Then you got up, put on your big girl panties, and moved on. If you had trouble getting started, you were told to count your blessings. It worked then and usually works now.

It must be this menopause stuff that is tripping me up, and bogging me down. On a happier note, hubby presented me with a box of Thin Mints he had ordered from a neighbor. They are so good, and so gone!