Sunday, September 30, 2007

Okay yeah. I admit it. I've been watching this.


VH1's - Rock of Love-

*This - was the object.

This girl was too sensitive and sweet.

This one drank too much.

This girl was just plain evil.

..... and this one was a skenk.

And this little girl made sloppy kissy sounds .. all the way home! Jes wins!


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Why fix something that isn't broken?

P&G Consumer Relations

Date: Friday, September 28, 2007 9:54 PM

Subject: Thanks for contacting P&G. [Incident: 070923-000744]

Thanks for writing.

I regret to hear that you don't like (you didn't have to say hate) the changes we made to Tampax. Whenever we introduce new products, we like to hear from people (who like our changes) who've tried them so we know what other improvements you might like. Your satisfaction means a great deal to us. I'm sharing your comments with the rest of the Tampax Team (and we're having a good laugh).

Tampax Tampons are now shorter and wider for improved fit to your (the average 15 year old girls) body. They also have a new built in back up skirt (skirt? what tampon needs a skirt??). This is a thin, absorbent layer of material that helps pull fluid (down toward the string) up into the tampon, keeping it from going (up into the tampon) down the string. While we've upgraded (made it less expensive to manufacture) the tampon, we haven't changed the absorbency (much) and we would expect you to have the same great protection (NOT).

You may be interested in trying Tampax Pearl (since you haven't tried anything new in years). Since you've included your postal address (because you could not send the email without it), I'm sending you a coupon to (prove I responded to you) give it a try. You should receive it at the mailing address you provided within the next 3-4 weeks.

Thanks again (for being a pain in my butt) for writing.

Tampax Team


NOT the answer I was looking for.

Friday, September 28, 2007

This is what happens when the jack-ass who feeds 'em doesn't show up to work one day!



What took me so long?

I have been feeling very tired this week and haven’t been sleeping that well. That’s very unusual for me as I have always been a champion sleeper. On my drive home from work I was thinking about why, when I walk in the door after work, I can’t seem to just change my clothes and lay down for a little bit of a nap. Or big nap. Whatever the case may be, I never get there very fast.

So, coming in the door today I was paying attention to just what it is I do when I come home.

I walked in the door and set my purse down on the desk, as well as my keys. I made the observation that there were 2 packages for me sitting on the desk. My son must have brought them in earlier in the day. Into the kitchen where I set down my lunch box, I opened it and removed the ice thingy so I could pop it back into the freezer. Also removed the lid and rinsed out my travel mug at the sink.

By then Riley (the cranky old male cat) was yelling at me so I followed him into the back of the house to add some more dry food to the dishes back there. Not that he really wanted to eat right then, he just likes to assert his alpha maleness and see if he can get me to serve him. Yes he can. When I finished with that I headed back to the kitchen where Riley was already waiting by the water dishes, expectantly. Obediently I emptied, rinsed, and refilled those.

As I headed out of the kitchen Jakie (the oldest female cat) was already yelling at me to follow her to the bathroom and since it was in the direction I was already going, I did. In the bathroom she jumped up onto the toilet and waited for me to turn the water on at the faucet, and then clearly yelled “Mo-om” at me because she wanted me to pick her up, give her a pet and a snuggle and then set her down on the counter so she could drink from the tap.

After I completed that I continued to head to my bedroom where I took my shoes off and my pants, grabbed a pair of ¾ length work out pants (yeah right) and quickly pulled those on. I headed back out of the bedroom stopping at the bathroom to turn the water off and remembered I forgot to unleash the girls. I unhooked my bra and had it mostly off and pulled out from under my shirt by the time I got back to my bedroom, and dropped it on my bed. Did you guess I was home alone? Er … without humans?

I left the bedroom again, stopped in front of the couch and turned on my laptop and the TV. My control center. I headed back toward the kitchen to get something to drink and poor Norah ( the middle child kitty) who is the skittish one had run into the carrier next to the desk so I stopped to pet her, to encourage her to come out and get some attention, rewarding her for not being as doggone (heh) demanding as the rest!

Oh! There were packages, right! I grabbed those and plopped them down on the couch to be attended to when I got back to my ‘spot’. I went into the kitchen and grabbed a can of pop (yes, pop, not soda) out of the fridge which I carried into the living room and set down on the end table next to my laptop.

By then I really needed to pee so I turned around and went back to the bathroom and was joined by Jake again so before I sat down I turned the water on and put her back on the counter. Again. When I did sit down to do my business, Jake jumped down from the counter and rubbed against my legs so I pet her with one hand while I attended to Abby’s paw (she is the youngest and most evil of the cats) coming into the room from under the door. Seeing as that is the only way you can play with her without her drawing blood - with a door separating you from her, and always wanting to take advantage of an opportunity to socialize her more, I patted her paw, grabbed at it with my fingers and wrapped a string (left on the bathroom floor for this purpose) around it. Still. petting. Jake. When I finished up I washed my hands (because you know women do and men don’t. much.) and left the room.

At that point I made it to the couch and sat down. Yay. I opened my packages, set one item aside but then had to try out one of my purchases. It was a Furminator. Yes, that’s what I said. A Furminator. Always being in search of a new torture - er - tool with which to groom the beasts I live with, I had to try it out.

Fast forward – I managed to de-fur (somewhat) 3 of the cats, ending up with a nice clump of hair which I headed into the kitchen to throw into the garbage, and stopped at the sink to rinse my hands off.

Back into the living room I signed onto my laptop, opening MSN and my mail, then Firefox and my usual 3 tabs, Etsy, my blog, and Google Reader. I checked my mail, deleted the junk and moved on to my blog. There were no new comments. The Dan Band wasn’t a hit but I’m telling you I will go see them when they come to town, blog love or no. You will be so jealous when I tell you all about it!

Next I checked my reader; there were 23 new posts to read which I refrained from doing. Okay maybe I read a few. And commented. It was tough but I managed to control myself and did not go through every single one. I grabbed the phone and moved to the other end of the couch, laying the phone within reach on the carpet, realizing as I finally lay down that I had not taken my earrings off. I can sleep with the earrings in the back holes, but I have to remove the chunkier earrings I wear in the front. I got back up and took my earrings off as I trudged to my bedroom and laid them on my dresser.

I looked around warily as I made my way back to the couch, what else had I forgotten? It was only 45 freakin’ minutes since I had gotten home, and I was finally going to lay down for a teeny tiny nap (read: knock out and wake up 3 hours later) if there was nothing else I felt compelled. to. do.

I lay down and pulled the quilt off the back of the couch and covered myself with it lying on my side. Jake was immediately there next to the couch looking up at me so I lifted the corner of the quilt up and she jumped up and crawled under, turned around so she could poke her head out and rest her head in the crook of my arm. Ah-h-h. Finally. After many wasted movements and demands from the other inhabitants of my home, I was able to rest. Nice.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Am I late to THIS party??!?

Driving home from work today mindlessly listening to the radio - I heard an interview with a guy named Dan Finnerty. The premise, ladies and gentlemen is, some regular guys got together, formed a band to sing - uh-huh - girl power ballads! YES!!!

I lifted this right from their site The Dan Band:

"Dan Finnerty grew up in the small town of Bath, NY, where, as a casualty of the parachute pants era, he constantly avoided getting his ass kicked by the farmers for not wearing work boots and Lee jeans. Dan escaped the lovely countryside, and moved to Boston, where he attended Emerson College.

After four years of showering with an empty keg in the tub, Finnerty graduated and was cast as Woof in the European Tour of "HAIR," directed by it's author, James Rado.

He spent a year traveling through Europe on a bus full of hippies, then left to pursue his dreams of being a waiter at a 50's diner in New York City ...

In between shifts, he landed some off-Broadway shows, and some very impressive atmosphere work on 'Guiding Light,' and reluctantly left the food service industry when he was cast in "STOMP."

He went back out on the road again, banging garbage all across the country, finally settling down in Los Angeles.

He's been on a bunch of TV shows and in some films, and has been quite fascinating in all of them.

He lives a happy life with his pretty wife Kathy and their kick ass daughter Sam."

*"The whole girl song thing started in one obliterated collision with the karaoke world, when Dan thought it would be funny to get up and sing "I Am Woman." Funny for some maybe, but not for Dan. It was then that he realized yes, he still was an embryo with a long, long way to go.

He left the safety of the karaoke world and ventured out into the hardened streets of LA, where he found a couple of down and out backup guys, a full band of rocker renegades, mixed in some girl songs and some bad choreography, and from the afterbirth, the Dan Band was born."

Put your hands together for - The - Dan Band!!!


Monday, September 24, 2007

~*~ BENIGN ~*~


Sunday, September 23, 2007

This stuff just cracks me up..

When people cannot control the laughter ...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The clip

"In some cases, a small sterile clip will be placed into the biopsy site of the breast to mark the location in case a future biopsy is needed. This microclip is left inside the breast and causes no pain, disfigurement, or harm to the patient."

And .. it's super tiny, flat, and only about the size of the tip of a pencil. I have a lot more metal in my ankle than I will ever have in my breast. No worries!

Friday, September 21, 2007

And they left a titanium clip inside my breast. Really!

I was right, the hardest part of the biopsy was getting to the hospital by 6:30 in the morning. I didn't make it, but close enough. They still tortured me.

In reality the worst part of the procedure was the couple mammograms they took before hand, to pinpoint the spot and mark it with ink. That was a little painful but really I think that was more because of the tenderness I was experiencing due to the point I'm at in my cycle right now.

Laying on my stomach with my breast in the mammotome vice, the doctor gave me a shot to numb me and apparently cut a small incision. I say apparently because not only did I barely feel the shot - I had no sensation that something was being done. I never felt the probe enter my breast or move in and out enough times to take 6 specimens of about an inch long, about the width of spaghetti. I find that to be really really strange.

There was a nurse standing by whose main job seemed to be to narrate the process for me, and rub my back from time to time for that 'human' connection. But honestly - if she hadn't been telling me what was going on, I wouldn't have guessed. I suppose that means it was done very well and I never heard a single "uh oh" or "oops!" so to me that says successful.

I got a nice bandage and a really cute little ice pack and got to go home. They did offer me a coupon to go downstairs to their in house Starbucks (since when?) to have some coffee and a bite to eat. I politely declined, even offered it to one of the nurses but I guess that would be against the rules.

Here at home I napped the rest of the morning away and did some housework - even vacuumed and dusted this afternoon. As long as I don't use my right arm too much I should be fine. I made an appointment to go to see the surgeon on Monday afternoon to get my results and he will check on my healing then.

I'm thinking about what Suebob said though. Since this started I have had 2 mammograms, and an ultrasound each separately read by radiologists. Today there was a tech, a nurse, a radiologist and a surgeon all doing this procedure. I will be getting bills from the separate specialties as well as the hospital and surgeon. Woo Daddy, am I looking forward to that!!

On a more exciting note - today I signed up for BlogRush - you might want to check it out! I don't know about you but I can always use something else to drive more traffic to my blog.

And the most exciting note - my daughter is home from school for the weekend and is in the kitchen right now doing the dishes! You can't beat that!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'd rather nap

I’ve been away from my blog for a few days, got some beading done and a few other things. I think I am getting a better idea how to balance blogging, beading, and well – everything else. Sort of. I was able to step away and nothing cataclysmic happened, so that’s a good thing. Well, not cataclysmic but Lara went off her meds which isn’t good and Amanda found out she is pregnant which is great – and those are the only 2 blogs I have read so far! I’m almost afraid to read more! I’m sure I will though, but at least I know I won’t suffer some kind of withdrawal if I decide not to read them all. That’s a step forward.

Tomorrow morning I get to go have my breast biopsy. Woo hoo! Exciting! Not. At least they are using some wonderful technology on me that will streamline the process somewhat and hopefully keep the pain to a minimum. Honestly? The worst part of it for me is being required to be at the hospital at 6:30 am. That’s just not humane. I am one of those people who are of the opinion that morning should start later in the day. Really. Maybe 10:30-ish …

If they were putting me out at least I would be able to go right back to sleep, but no such luck. Some people prefer not to be put out. A tooth pulled? No problem, give me a shot. Stitches? Go ahead, I’m fine. Remove a mole? Numb it and have at it. But if there is ever an option to be put out – I’m there. I don’t get nearly as nervous when I know somebody is going to stick a needle in my hand, wheel me into a room and next thing I know I am waking up in another room. So yeah, I have to be awake for this and be a big girl. Still, I would feel better about it all if it wasn’t quite so early in the morning. That is painful for me.

So, wish me luck in not making a fool of myself by weeping uncontrollably or begging for drugs, I am sure the procedure itself will be worse than the results. I’m pretty confident there, the numbers are SO on my side. But I’m not stupid, still need to go through with it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Congratulations/I'm sorry

Hello all of Mommy-Jo's friends,

I have sad news: one of my best friends just broke up with her boyfriend of two years.

The break-up was pretty organic, so I'm told; they mulled over some current issues they've been having and came to the inevitable conclusion that it wasn't a fruitful venture for either of them. They terminated their relationship (in the language of my business major friend). My first reaction was to gauge her emotional status. "Are you OK?" I asked ”How do you feel?"

She said she was OK, she felt relieved, but a little sad.

I considered this for a moment, and I think I decided that the perfect response in this situation was this: I'm sorry and concurrently, congratulations.

A break-up of this nature is so confusing for the friend who wants to help assuage the hurt. A messy break-up is almost easier to manage because you can drink tequila, cry about it, verbally attack him until he is wearing his butt for a hat, you know, the usual. But my friend is feeling that somber bitter sweetness that I think only comes as a result of a necessary yet not painless break-up. She sounded fairly put-together on the phone because she's in a new place. It's a happier place, I think, which is why I'm happy for her... Yet at the same time she still has that residual sadness that comes with the shucking of vestigial organs--hence my expression of apology--an apology for the fact that she has to feel sad right now.

The fact that she is in Washington D.C. doesn't really help the matter. I can't take her out for a post break-up brunch or give her lots of platonic boyfriend-substitute hugs to help ease the oxytocin withdrawal. So I offered her over the phone the best I could think of: "I'm sorry you're in pain... but congratulations for your freedom, and I'm here for you."

On a more selfish note--I'm guiltily glad it's over. He was one of those boyfriends that you look at right from the start and go "Ooo... he's not right for her in this way and that way and that way... but he makes her happy so I'll butt out." So I hung back and let it ride out, and listened when she complained about their problems and was happy when they had good times. Yet it turned out that they were different in way too many ways that it literally put them at cross-purposes. Either one of them had to sacrifice their ideals, or it had to end. The way in which they clashed left little wiggle room for compromise, and I have to say that I am evilly, secretly, deeply happy that she ended it rather than changing herself to suit him. For that she is courageous and honest and brave.

If only all break-ups were all this easy! I formerly guessed that its easier to help out a friend who is in shambles after a break-up, but maybe I'm wrong all around. Maybe its just this easy because my friend has done all the fixing herself. She is strong, she is capable, and I am proud.

Thanks for reading,
Peace, love, and cheese,


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Absolutely nothing interesting, I swear.

Hi all, I'm Dani, the much hyped daughter....
I have 45 minutes until I have to be in class, and I'm stuck on a question on a study guide. I'm an English major, and one of the classes I'm taking is a "topics" class, which essentially means you read one thing (a topic) until you can't hardly stand it anymore. Currently, we're discussing Milton's influence on the romantics, and I'm just about ready to bang my head against the wall because William Blake is cryptic and nuts. I'm sure this is entirely different fair than you're used to, as my mom likes to talk about cats, beads, her feelings, and things that go down at work, and I'm pretty sporadic and tend to follow train of thought more than she does I think. But she's been poking at me to leave a little verbal graffiti on her blog for a while now, so I thought I'd drop a bit of a doodle ASAP.

OH! I know what I want to talk about--something fairly (yet surprisingly) political that my mom and I were discussing a few weeks ago. We both tend to be sticklers for grammar, and I learned in my linguistics class that the word "aks" is actually a remnant from the old english verb "aksion." So what does this mean, ladies and gentlemen? Essentially, it means that all of those times I have scoffed and rolled my eyes at persons wanting to "aks" a question, I have been totally unfair and ignorant in my judgment of their non-standard English use. The word that we use today "ask" evolved from the old English "aks"--in other words, "aks" came first. So now the question is, is it still fair to stigmatize those who use "aks," seeing as the majority of its users most probably are unaware of its lineage? I say no. My mom says maybe. What do you think?

Also, I swear I'm at least a little more fun than this, and I'll prove it, but for now I have school on the brain so I'm going to share the love.

Peace, love, and cheese


Sunday, September 16, 2007


Since I have developed this computer habit, I have 'met' so many wonderful people. I have been allowed into so many people's lives, been able to support and be supported by so many wonderful people. If I don't check my reader every couple of hours I start feeling like things are happening out there without me! So that's going to make this very difficult.

I need to unplug for a while. It won't be long because I know I won't be able to stay away for too many days. But there have been things in my life that have suffered so I need to take a break and get some other things done. Honestly, I need to know that I can do it for goodness sake! It's almost scary to think that the idea of not hopping online to read what everybody has been doing brings on something akin to a small anxiety attack. I don't like to feel like anything controls me that much.

Getting away from this for a little while should allow me to come back fresh and with a certain amount of perspective and balance. I've never been good with moderation so when I feel something starting to slip away from me - I like to step back and get myself in hand. That's what I plan on doing now.

I will miss all my regular reads, and hope I will be missed too. I posted an avatar today so now there will be a face to go with the name I am hoping you will remember.

Bye for now - here is a nice picture to keep the beauty going. Ciao~

Friday, September 14, 2007

When spell check lets you down

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 11:09 AM
To: XXXXXX, Suzanne S
Subject: RE: call 3332581


Just got off the phone with one of our sales reps because we have an issue with a client and she brought up the above issue. ……yada ….yada …………………………………………………..yada …..yada ……………………yada……………………………….………………………… yada…………………………………yada………………………………. Can you please reiterate this one thing to your analysts?

Like I said, XXXXXX XXXXXX interfaces are the only interfaces we can send test codes to.
I would appreciate your help with this so we can get these issues addressed more quickly.



Client Systems Analyst

-----Original Message-----
From: XXXXXX, Suzanne S
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 12:11 PM
Subject: RE: RE: call 3332581


I spoke with the originator of the call ticket and she did inform the sales rep that we would need to open a ticket, but the sales rep did not have the test code in question. This seemed like more of a general question, but we failed to document correctly.

Before I address this with the entire team, …………yada ………..yada…………………..yada…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………yada………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………yada …………………………………………Should we change our process stating for all Interface test code/result code requests we should escalate a ticket after providing the client with the information?

Thanks and I apologize for any incontinence


Ya gotta love this kind of mistake!! *guffaw!*

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What happened? I mean, really?

I know the answer. I know what it will take, I know how to do it, I have done it in the past. I have everything I need to do it.

Except motivation. Except whatever it takes to get my butt off the couch, get me off the computer, or get me out of the kitchen.

Exercise. Agh-h-h-h!!! Never been athletic, never been good at sports and instead of wanting to be picked first for games, I shrunk into the background hoping not to be picked at all.

When I was a stay at home Mom for a few years, and after that when I worked nights, I was able to get an actual work out in, 5 to 6 times a week. I used to get on my treadmill in the heat of summer and enjoy feeling the sweat run off my face and my body. Somehow it validated what I was doing. Look! I’m sweating like the proverbial pig! I am burning calories and firming muscles!!!

Lately though, there are so many reasons why I am not working out. So many reasons why I can’t. I mean, my exercise equipment is out in the garage. The garage is full of spiders and we all know how I feel about those. My treadmill is in the house but there is no room to face it toward the TV and I get too bored just listening to my ipod or staring at the curtains or through the window at my backyard.

I have no energy. I’m tired all of the time which of course is in no way related to the lack of exercise in my daily life.

You want to know what really happened? Okay. Oh, this is hard to admit. I was already heavier than I wanted to be. I was waffling (with whipped cream please) between the best way to exercise and was actually doing some of it. This was oh-h-h, 2 years ago and some change. So what happened to my activity level and my good intentions?

I got a laptop.

Seriously. And I got wi-fi.

Before I got the laptop I shared a computer (read begged to get
on every now and then) with my children. I enjoyed my time on the computer, teaching myself how to use it and navigating the Internet (read online shopping) for the first time. What can I say, I was late to the party.

My weight has moved up steadily, actually at an alarming rate, since I have had the luxury of taking my laptop wherever I want to in the house, sitting down with it and being automatically connected to the Internet. Preferably with the TV on mostly for background, I sit. I type, I click, I read blogs.

I must do something. This laptop, this Internet, they are my drug. I quit smoking about 5 years ago. I have shown I can do things when I put my mind to it. But for some reason at this point in my life I want to just enjoy myself. And I enjoy my laptop!!! And finger foods. I love anything you eat with your hands, candy corn, cheeze-its, Indian corn, things that rattle when you shake the bag or box. Oh and ice cream. Premium ice cream if you please.

It’s bad. It’s out of control.

So, I bought the DVD, another one. I’ve had it for about 5 days and I have managed to open the case. I took a picture of it. I haven’t quite gotten around to popping it in the DVD player, but that’s next, really!

Cause you know all of these other tapes and DVDs have been opened too – and some even made it into their respective players. Rarely has my body moved along with these perky or muscle bound instructors.

But I have a secret this time. I do good with things for dummies. Anything for dummies speaks to me so this DVD has to be the one that works! Yes, it’s the DVD that will do it!

But right now, I think I’ll have a little snack before bed and put more thought into this in the morning. Sheesh. And to think I used to be able to skip a meal and see my hip bones by morning.

This is work now.

Words will never express

A day later.

6 years later.

I did not know a single person who was personally affected by September 11th. Not directly, anyway. But that day forever changed me in ways I cannot express because I don’t think I understand it entirely, myself.

At work that Tuesday morning, I knew nothing about the World Trade Center. The bombing there in the early 90’s had passed by me without creating a ripple in my consciousness. I don’t know why, about that either. So when a co-worker came out into our cubicle world and announced that a plane had hit one of the towers, I simply had no concept. We wondered aloud, thinking it was a small plane, an accident, something of that sort. Saying how awful it must be, still not really affected. But a little while later when that same co-worker came out again announcing that the second tower had been hit, it started to sink in.

It seemed that my world tipped somewhat that day, over the course of the day, and fear became a part of my being. As a country we have been quite insulated from all the wars and atrocities happening all over the world. It always happened somewhere else. I remember seeing the pictures on the news of Beirut, or Bosnia, seeing all the gray, burned, and bombed out buildings. That was how it registered in my brain. Gray. Everything was so gray in those places. But I never thought I would see that grayness here.

Later, when we heard the Pentagon had been hit by another plane, and that yet one more plane had crashed in Pennsylvania, the enormity of what was happening threatened to overwhelm me. I stood stock still outside my cube, trying in my own way to absorb what I was hearing. I was surprised when my co-workers seemed able to turn back to their desks and answer the phones as usual. When I had to answer the phone I was screaming inside, “don’t you know what’s happening?? Why are you calling us? Why aren’t you going home to your families?” Because that is what I wanted to do.

Both of my kids were in high school, both already there for the day. I wanted so badly to just go home, get them from school and take them with me. I wanted to be close, to be grateful I knew where my children were, and to just keep them with me. But I stayed, did my job, and went home later in the day as I usually did.

It seemed so strange to me that the world was still turning, that it hadn’t shifted from its axis just a bit that day that would forever put a wobble into our existence as human beings.

I never wanted to raise my kids in a world where I had to worry about terrorism inside our own country. It was inevitable that it would come here and I suppose I was na├»ve about that. But I grew up in an entirely different world, one without knowledge of extremism, incredible hatred and fear. And as I turned on the TV that evening and started to see the pictures, I recognized some of what I was seeing. It was gray. All the people, the buildings, the sky, the streets. Gray. It wasn’t somewhere else anymore, it was here and it will be a part of our lives now, forever.

There were many people who died that day. People going about their business, never expecting anything unusual would happen. Many others died trying to save the people who simply went to work. Still more worked so long and so selflessly to find survivors and then to find remains, something, to give back to the families who still had such terrible emptiness with not even a body to bury.

I mourn them, I salute them, and I will never forget them.

For myself and our country, I cannot help but weep for the loss of our innocence.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I really didn't have anything prepared ...

Apparently I have not been paying attention. Or maybe before I started using my Google reader I wasn’t catching all my favorite blogs as regularly as I thought I was. Or maybe I’m just a doofus. But whatever the reason – WhyMommy at Toddler Planet gave me a Schmoozer Award!!! Unfortunately it was like – 3 weeks ago! I apologize WhyMommy, for not seeing your generous nomination! If I had, I certainly would have said thank you for being so kind!

Here is what she said:

The Schmoozer is “an award for those who have the natural ability to effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.” This describes to me beautifully describes so many of my community here. I’m passing it along to Amanda, Oh Amanda, Gift of Green, and BetteJo. Always ready with a comment or a smile, these fine women are women I’m proud to consider my new friends — and all because of their willingness to visit, to comment, and to make new friends in this blogosphere of ours.

I am honored to be included, and I guess it is my turn to pass it on to some women I think deserve to be awarded The Schmoozer because they always have an encouraging word, a friendly response, or a virtual hug for those they visit here online.

I am nominating Mahala who makes me laugh and always has something nice to say. Also Lavender who has been unfailingly supportive of my war against spiders, as well as PawHealer in spite of the fact that she is a dog person as opposed to a cat person. She’s still a friendly voice out there.

And – now this is embarrassing, I was given another award by Stimey, in recognition of supporting her the day her bus driver tried to give her son to some other family. Oh the horror! Seriously!

I would like to pass this Nice Matters award on to Palette48 who is always kind, Amanda who is always thoughtful, Jenn who is always supportive, and Nutmeg who is just simply a doll.

This blogging world is something I had never even stuck my toe into 7 months ago and I still consider myself a relative newbie. But I have been welcomed by many fabulous women and a few great guys – yes they’re out there – and I would like to say thank you! This has been a wonderful experience and I hope to get to know more of you as time goes on.

Aw-w-w. Blog-love. Pass it on. :)

So many beads ..

*Click on pictures for larger view~

I made a necklace and bracelet out of these beautiful stone beads. They are green for the most part, but I do not know what the stone is. I know I wrote it down somewhere but of course I don't know where. I'd like to list these in my shop because they are so pretty - and done ( !!! ) but I need to find out what the stone is first. They look like rhyolite but I suspect they are something else. Any ideas? Anyone?

And these, these are a whole pile of yummy slab beads I got recently that I really need to create some necklaces with. The last necklace I made with slab beads sold within 10 minutes of listing it. I like that!

If you look you can see there are rose quartz, tiger eye, silver leaf jasper, lemon chrysoprase, brecciated jasper, fancy jasper, and classic howlite irregular slab beads. Gorgeous! These are going to make some lovely jewelry!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Battle royale

There are no words adequate enough to describe how creeped out, itchy and skeeved I feel! Ugh! Anything I can think of has some kind of guttural blech-ch sound, ugh! Argh-h-h!! There are things crawling on me, I can feel it. And I am being watched like my very own Hitchcock film.

Coming home from work like usual today I stepped up onto the porch and checked the mail while holding the screen door open with my hip. Gah! Spider web inside the mailbox, but no mail. My son must have gotten it earlier so I continued to unlock the door and go in.

Yesterday I had seen a bit of spider webbing inside the mailbox, but didn’t think much of it. Today it was much larger, as well as the webbing between the mailbox and the siding. Ick!

I put my purse down and got my broom, knowing that if I did this – this particular broom would never be coming inside the house again. I have a tendency to pass spider webs hoping they aren’t really there or will somehow disappear next time I go past where I had seen them outside. After all, they aren’t in my house, they are outside, they keep the mosquito population down, etc. Why bother with them?

This was too much. A web inside the mailbox, one outside, one above the window next to the door, another in the corner where the siding meets on the other side of the door, and more. All in the confines of my front porch which is maybe 5 to 6 feet across and 3 feet deep. There is an overhang and the walls as well as the underside of the overhang are all covered with siding. Aluminum, vinyl, I don’t know, I rent. I don’t care! And there were spider webs all over the place. Of course I couldn’t see the spiders but you just know they were watching me with all their creepy multiple eyes as I started to knock down their homes with my broom.

Oh-h-h .. gragh-gh-gh somebody give me the words! I am sitting on my couch and my shoulders are up around my ears, my face is scrunched as if in pain. My leg muscles are tight and my skin is on hyper-alert for any twinge of a feeling of something touching me. I’m seeing things run past me that aren’t there, I am clearly traumatized. I really don’t drink very often but I think it’s time to start. Agh-hh!

I did some comprehensive research (read google search) to identify the spiders I did eventually see. As I was looking at the pictures I was physically pulling away from my laptop and pulling my shirt up over my nose and twisting it into a knot. I heard noises and realized it was me – making the ah-h-h eh-h-h noises I might make while backing away from an axe murderer offering to make me a cup of tea. CREEPED OUT!!!

So when the broom started bringing the web inhabitants out to see what the ruckus was all about, I switched weapons. I turned on the hose. I sprayed and I sprayed, all the time saying things like “ah-h infestation! Infestation! Gak-k!!” And holding my breath. Had to remind myself to breathe.

These spiders were big. Not those skinny little blond house spiders, these were brown and furry and they had little stripes on their legs. And oh my gosh they were fast! I washed them out of the crevices between the siding, they would hit the porch and be all the way to the other side faster than I could see them do it. I was battling about 3 on the porch itself, another one that had gone off the front of the porch and was hanging onto the underside of the rubber backed mat that was pushed out about an inch past the porch. I moved back so as to be able to see all the spiders at one time and to avoid the water that was starting to pour off of the overhang and into my hair and onto my neck which of course was probably (absolutely) filled with more spiders. Needed to get the advantage.

I moved off the porch and realized there were more webs around the corner on the side of the house along the driveway not 2 feet from the front if the house. I sprayed there too, taking at least a full 5 minutes to direct spray one stubborn spider above the air conditioner who just. would. not. fall. Did you know spiders are resistant to drowning?

I had my BF on the phone yelling “infestation! Why aren’t you here!?” Totally going into helpless girl mode, “This is a man’s job! You need to hunt! Kill! You need to fight the infestation for me, it’s your job!!!” Blech-h. Ugh. Gargh-h-h. More guttural noises were escaping. And so were the spiders.

I had counted 5 for sure, some as big as quarters, some as ginormous as a half dollar! Huge brown furry many legged and eyed crawly things that were out to get me, just because I wanted them dead! Every single last one of them. Give me bats to control the bug population, I’m not afraid or creeped out by them. But these spiders were too big to even step on because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would make a huge crunch which would call their brethren to their rescue. And if I missed, these spiders were so fast they would have been up over my shoe and up my pant leg before I knew it! Couldn’t take that risk.

I stood back and surveyed my handiwork. Water was everywhere, in puddles on the porch, running down the siding and pooling on the driveway. The spiders I could see were regrouping and getting their footing again, standing in one place readying for the next assault I’m sure.

I couldn’t wait very long and risk their escape or worse, facing them in the dark. I don’t think so!!! Time for the poison.

I try not to use much poison what with having cats and all, especially having one cat who has tried to commit suicide at least 3 times and cost me literally thousands of dollars to have spinal taps and cat scans (heh) and last time even a feeding tube stuck through her side to give her nourishment. No, poison is something I try to stay away from and the fact that I went for it shows how great was my desperation.

Home Defense. The stuff that comes in the gallon jug with the little hose and spray nozzle. Just what I needed. No, I needed Valium but there wasn’t any available. I got my nozzle ready, in the on position, and got into my stance. I swear the spiders got into their stances too, bracing with those legs toward the back, bouncing on the tips of the front ones, ready to bolt. Ick-k-k!! Yuk-k-k!!! SPRAY!!!!!!! Oh. I’m spraying here – spiders – don’t you feel it?? I was looking at a spider that literally had a drop of poison hanging off it’s big abdomen as big as the abdomen itself – and it did not seem fazed. It would stand there while I sprayed it and as soon as I stopped – make a run for it! Like it was water. That scared me. Water resistant and now poison resistant. What else could I use? I couldn’t very well burn down the house! Well, at least until I got the cats out.

About 25 minutes later I dragged my weary butt into the house. Through the back door. I have until October till any small child will have reason to step on my porch or touch the doorbell, and by then I think the coating of poison will have worn off. Right?

Coming in the house I took off my shoes, stripped off my clothes and got into the shower to wash off the remnants of battle. Any mangled spider bits or insect spray trying to absorb into my skin had to go, and I needed to calm myself. Coming out of the shower in nice clean jammies I picked up my clothes with my fingertips and threw it in the washing machine and probably put too much detergent in as I started it. Washed my hands Gleh-h-h!

Now I am on the couch convinced that the spiders I managed to kill are being carried on the shoulders of their fellow warriors off to a funeral pyre where all the spiders in the neighborhood will circle and plan their revenge. I can’t relax. I know they’re out there. I know they will come for me. I must be ready. *shudder* I might need some time.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's not time yet

Another darkened room, another hospital gown, another female technician who is calm and quietly professional. The gel she uses is warm, unlike what I remember from my pregnancies. I am slightly anxious but more because I overslept and barely made it to my appointment on time, than about what I may be told today.

On my back with one arm raised above my head, turning my head to the side I can just see the screen Ingrid my tech, is looking at. It all looks like a messy tangle of fibers and wavy lines, there doesn’t seem to be anything I would recognize as breast tissue or a mass of any kind. Of course I have no idea how to read what is on the screen, and wonder idly if that’s why Ingrid lets me see it.

It seems to be taking a long time but I am sure it is really only 10 minutes or so, it just seems like forever. I am not used to lying still without something to occupy me whether it be my laptop, the TV, my beading, a book, or the face of the person I am talking to. It hurts my neck to turn this way for any length of time, but I force myself to do it so I can see the screen. I need to look at something.

Finally Ingrid is done. She places a washcloth on my breast and pulls my gown closed. She moves with purpose across the room where she sits in front of another screen to, as far as I can tell, review the shots she has saved and will give to the radiologist. She tells me she will go consult with him and will be back in a couple of minutes. With nothing left to look at I close my eyes and hope to drift. Peacefully.

Not long after, the door opens and the rest of the overhead lights come on. I shade my eyes, complain about my nap being interrupted and I smile. Here is Ingrid and Dr Something I Did Not Hear. He tells me that the ultrasound would show if the spot they were looking at was a cyst, but they could not see it with the ultrasound. Not a cyst. It could be nothing, still not time to worry, but because it was not there when I had my previous mammogram in 2003, it still needs to be identified. He will pull the previous films again and review those with my new film, as well as the ultrasound. Then he will let my doctor know what he recommends. It may be an MRI, it may be a biopsy, but it will definitely be something.

Please, he says, follow up with your doctor tomorrow.

Of course.

Two hours later my doctor calls me at work. She is a nice lady, comforting and reassuring but direct and to the point. “The radiologist is recommending a biopsy.”

She tells me how it shouldn’t be too bad. I will be on my stomach on a table with a hole in it which will allow my breast to hang through it. How flattering. They already know it will ‘hang’. Then my breast will be flattened like when doing a mammogram, and the needle will be directed with something akin to GPS technology, minus the voice telling the doctor to turn left at the next cross street. She says she has had it done and it’s not that bad. Yet my mind flashes back to Jenn at Serving The Queens, with that needle in there poking around and around until they hit something. Ugh. I have a high pain tolerance. But that does not mean I like pain.

Then she tells me what I repeat later when I am explaining to my daughter and my BF, and what I will repeat here as well.

“It is probably nothing to worry about. Over 80% of biopsied breast abnormalities are benign, and if it does turn out to be something” she pauses “then that mammogram just saved your life because it will have been found so early.”

See? Still not time to worry.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

When was the last time

I went to the salon with my daughter over the weekend to get my haircut. You know, the type of salon where they usually don't shampoo your hair but if they do, they jack that price right up to $15.00!

My daughter and I are both spur of the moment hair cutters. Really bad about the up-keep of any one style, we tend to let our hair grow into the quintessential non-style, claiming of course, that we "like it this way" until we finally go back in and get a new one!

Walking into the 'salon' together I saw one gal who has cut my hair and my daughter's before, I knew she was pretty good. I had not seen the other girl before, she did not seem to have her bottom front teeth and her English wasn't great. Of course that could have been due to the missing teeth but with the accent it was hard to tell. I whispered to Dani "I'll let you have the good one", knowing she is a bit more sensitive to how her cut turns out. She protested of course "no Mom, it's fine. I'll take whoever." No argument though when the good one asked who was next and she popped up from her chair, "me!"

We both had our little pictures torn from magazines of people who didn't look like us and who we would never look like clutched in our hands. The good one looked at Dani's hair and at the picture and began to cut. Toothless Annie looked at the picture I had and looked bewildered. I tried to be very casual to make her feel good, you know, this really isn't a big deal, I'm sure whatever you do will be fine, kind of thing. But it was obvious she didn't have a clue. And when she did ask me a question I had to say "I'm sorry?" or "Pardon me?" It was a lose lose situation apparently.

Dani's hair turned out SO cute! This is the first time she has gotten a really short Winona Ryder elfin like hair style and it is adorable on her. Mine? Not so much. Basically I resigned myself to being the good mother who sacrificed her hair so her daughter could get a cute 'do', and let the gal just cut away until she had cut off so much that I could - gasp - see my real hair color!!!

Amazing, this isn't the color I remembered it to be.

When was the last time any of you have seen your real color? And I'm not talking about just the roots dear friends. The real deal, cut the hair, not color it, however it happened, has anyone else seen their hair as natural as can be lately?

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Over the years I have watched my share of soaps when I have had the chance. Ryan's Hope, Days of Our Lives, Texas, General Hospital, and to me the mother of all soaps, Another World.

I whittled down my soap watching and easily cast some aside over the years but Another world was the one I started watching first and was loyal to forever, until it was taken off the air. I used to tape it during the day and watch it when I came home from work, or at another time when I was home with my babies, I watched it during the day. However, I always watched. So when it was taken off the air it was like losing a part of the family. Okay, a screwed up convoluted overly dramatic part of the family, but family none the less.

Today I discovered that I can download episodes, in order, episode after episode, and I can watch it again. Okay, nothing new will happen. I will have to endure the shoulder pads and heavy makeup from the 80's with them again. I will see the babies that are carried upstairs one day as infants, come down those same stairs a year later as teenagers. I will see the same explosions, the different actors playing the same characters, the weddings, miscarriages and the deaths all over again.

I will love every moment. I am so excited I am almost giddy! I should probably buy stock in whoever makes DVD's because I will be burning a lot of them.

I know there are others out there who miss the show as well, and for you, enjoy:

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A few things..

My office is moving. We are moving toward the end of September, from one suburb to another, to a building that is hopefully cleaner and less cramped than the one we are in now. My commute will stay between 6 and 7 miles, but the traffic may be heavier to the new location. Not being great at change, I am trying to keep an open mind.


My appointment for my upcoming breast ultrasound is Wednesday the 5th of September. Still not time to worry yet.


Checked my insurance website today to see recent claim activity and discovered that my recent trip to the dermatologist where absolutely nothing was done cost $135.00. Now that's a racket I want to be in. I can get really good at saying mm-m-m too. I'm going to start practicing now.


My daughter is home from school for the weekend and I suspect that will result in haircuts for both of us and a little bit of shopping. She seems to be mentioning Ikea. I'm being told it is the mother ship for all things dorm-like.


My ex-husband is getting married again. Mentioned to me if I would like to go somewhere warm in October, I am welcome to come. Hmm-m-m.
Dang, that's just a weird invitation! But then again, I do enjoy most favored ex-wife status as I am the ex that did not try to rake him over the coals or flay the very flesh from his bones. I'm just sayin'.


Last but not least, my strong like bull BF finally gave up the ghost and got a troublesome joint worked on and is recovering nicely. Very nicely. Love you Honey.