Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hoping for a wonderful one!

My car crapped out on me this morning, fortunately it was only about 2 blocks from my house. I put my flashers on, made my S.O.S. call, and proceeded to mess with my cell phone so I didn't have to see the people looking at me as they drove past. Ugh.

It's probably just the alternator because it's a BRAND NEW BATTERY! But I digress. The reason I mention it is because even though I won't be getting it fixed until Friday, the car broke down today. During 2008. So I am NOT starting the new year with that kind of luck. I am kissing 2008 good bye with a whimper and a chug, chug bang.

Wishing you a wonderful new year!

MySpace Comments

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

When did I become an adult?

jokes10I was thinking today, while I was at work, that I must be a grownup now. Finally. My boss is in another state, always. He is based somewhere else. I work with one other person in an office room, and she is off this week. The other people on my "team" are all over the country. So there is no one there to watch me.

And I still work. jokes03

As I was sitting there I was thinking hmmm, I know people who would be reading a magazine or surfing the Internet or something totally unrelated to their job. But I was working. All alone in my little office room. That's when I came to the conclusion that I must be a grownup now.

I just can't decide if that's a good thing or not.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Why we do a lot of things.

On the phone with a client at work I had to give her my email address so she could send something to me. My work email has my first and last names @ my workplace name. I always spell my last name out because it starts with a B which over the phone could be a D, and it's the kind of name where people go - "huh?"

At some point I said "yeah, I married that name!" to which she replied - "well I married 'Hickey'!" (her last name). We both laughed and I told her that I had divorced mine and she said she had too - and she wondered out loud how come we had kept these married names!

Together we both said "the kids!" More laughter.

I thought our bonding moment was over until she said "but let me tell you what happened. I kept the name and later when my son got married - he took his wife's name!!!"

Damn kids!! Too funny.

Maxine Monday

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Where all my neurosis come into play

I’ve been busy. Sorry I haven’t been here since Christmas but I have been preoccupied. See – I got a new laptop for Christmas. It was a complete surprise, I wasn’t expecting it at all. I’m not sure that expecting it would have made any difference, but I have been trying really hard to make the transition without melting down.

Remember me? The one who thinks there is a particular order to putting ornaments on a tree and who will spend hours searching for the right icon to use on my blog? If you recall it was an UP ARROW. Not an application or program, an ICON. So yeah. A new computer with none of my files, folders, or applications I have downloaded and paid for and configured … I’m melting …

I have decided that since my regular laptop is only ‘trying’ to die and isn’t dead yet, I can make this transition slowly and hopefully do it right. Moving things from one computer to another has been a challenge for sure, but with the help of some shared network files, a memory card, and some other things I’ve found, I’m making progress. I even made my wallpaper the same as my old laptop in order to keep from hyperventilating when I look at the new one.

There have been plenty of you who have gotten new computers and continue to blog without missing a step. Isn’t there anyone else out there who gets thrown for a loop by new things – even nice brand new shiny things with lots of memory and space and omg – speed?


On another note – I received the sweetest Christmas card from Heather, at Vanilla Hev’n. Christmas cards are always nice and all, but this one is handmade and one that I had admired on her blog. Plus - she lives in Australia! So, I received a lovely card all the way from there!!! How cool is that???

Thanks Heather!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and that none of you are as neurotic as me!


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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Merry

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's almost here!!

Going back to work after having a week off is a bit disorienting, but I'm having more trouble at home than at work. Sunday night I was really good. I made sure whatever I needed to do for morning was done early, I was ready for bed early, watched TV and drank some nice hot tea. Without caffeine. I went to bed at about 11:30 which is pretty good for me when I've been staying up late and sleeping in for a week.

Falling asleep took me longer than usual but that was to be expected. What surprised me was waking up at least 3 hours before I needed to get up, and tossing and turning until my alarm went off.

It happened again last night - or maybe I should say - this morning. I was laying there conscious of being awake but thinking things in a dreamlike way. And thinking about things that I don't normally think about, nor do I want to. It's as if my subconscious is taking advantage of my being only half awake to bring up old hurts or choices that during my normal waking hours I have put to rest a long time ago. Throw in new concerns and worries and you get insomnia soup. All this stuff runs through my head and I can't stop it unless I turn on my TV and focus on something else. That's what I did at about 3:00 in the morning today, and I finally fell back to sleep. Just in time to be aware of being awoken from a very satisfyingly deep sleep, by my alarm clock, of course. UGH!!!

As a result of this interrupted sleep I feel like a zombie.

Christmas can't come soon enough for me. I won't get to sleep too late, my daughter will wake up first and head for her stocking. When she tires of being alone she will go wake up my son. I will start to hear them talking quietly in the living room, and hearing the tinkle of the bells on their stockings. When Dani thinks it's 'safe' - she will come and wake me up.

*opening gifts, opening gifts, opening gifts...*


By afternoon the kids will be showered and ready to go to their grandparents house for the 2nd half of Christmas day. And when they go the house will be quiet. Just me and the kitties. And by then - I will be ready, willing, and able to take a NAP!!

I'm counting the hours. Because it doesn't seem like I'm going to get a full night's sleep anytime soon.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Maxine Monday

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

All in a row

Before I put up the Christmas tree, I moved furniture around in my living room. I must have disrupted everything for my cats because now instead of one of them being curled up on a chair, one under a chair in a cat bed, one on the couch and one who knows where - they all seem to think the only place left for them is the couch. I am not sure I have ever seen them all on one piece of furniture at one time, except maybe on all 4 corners of my bed on a morning I have slept late. I managed to get pictures because I don't think it will happen again. None of them get along with Abby, she was last to be brought home, an abandoned kitty that was never socialized and does not like the others anymore than they like her. So - this just doesn't happen.

Click to see bigger

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Please bear with me.

I am attempting to post using Windows Live Writer to see what it has to offer me. I'm hoping it will allow me some more leeway with fonts and underlining, etc. But we will see, I suspect that for anything I gain - I will lose something equally important.

Yesterday I mentioned that some of the lights on my tree had gone out. Being me, I could not ignore it for long. I did the usual walking around the tree shaking the string, wiggling bulbs, etc, to no avail. I tried snaking the offending strings of lights off the tree from under the ornaments and other lights, wasn't going to happen.

Oh yes I did.

I took every single ornament off the tree. I took off almost all of the lights. I started over. I finished at about 9:30 in the evening. ALL the lights are working now. ALL of them. And they will stay that way.

On another note, it is cold here. We got some good snowfall today and it's just under freezing. But tomorrow it's supposed to get down to 2. 2 degrees. Single digits. Single digits really close to zero. Br-r-r!! Which gives me an excuse to post a picture (testing Windows Live Writer again) of old man Riley cat and Norah cuddling on the couch. Or . . . Riley using Norah as a pillow, your call.


Interesting. Has anyone else posted from Windows Live Writer? I am curious to hear what your experiences were, what it has to offer, etc. Because so far - I'm not impressed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sharing is caring, right?

The lights on the top half of my tree have gone out. And this year I followed all the rules, didn't string more than 3 strands attached to each other, yada yada yada. I am compulsive about this stuff, it's all I can do to not pull stuff down and start over. I guess it could be a new project! But - we will see. Right now I am trying to ignore it, stretching my panic reducing muscles.

I have mentioned several times that I do all of my shopping online and I thought I would give you a tiny run-down of some of my experiences.

1. Worst buying experience: Amazon - Yes they have everything. Yes, if you are looking for a book, a DVD, a blender, it's there. But I am tired of all these affiliates they have attached to them, causing the things you buy to be shipped from all over the place with separate shipping charges. Normally if I am shopping in at one place I try to make sure I buy everything I want from there at one time - so I get any kind of combined shipping they offer. It's just not that simple with Amazon anymore.

2. Best surprise of this shopping season: Meijer - Normally I wouldn't have thought to see if Meijer had a website, there is a store a few miles from here where I don't really shop. But I did an Internet search for a particular item and found it at - you guessed it - Meijer! The item is big, and it is heavy. The description said it was available at the store or the website and I thought - holy cow would I be a moron to pay that kind of shipping when the store is so close. Until I saw the "Free shipping on select orders - click for details". I clicked and was given a coupon code for free shipping if I used any form of a Mastercard. I don't have any credit cards, but my debit card is a Mastercard - bingo! So I was able to buy this large item and have it delivered to my door for no more than if I shlepped down to the store and braved the holiday masses for it. I was pleased.

3. Quickest shipping: Zappos - I bought a pair of shoes there at about 1:30 or 2:00am one Wednesday morning, and actually received the shipment - by 3:30pm THE SAME DAY. And the shipping was FREE. I'm not sure you can beat that.

Fun Finds this year:

perpetual kid - Found some cute stocking stuffers there

Economy Candy
- Found some great candy and didn't have to buy huge bulk amounts

B&H Photo and Video
- Bought some electronics, good prices and free and fast shipping

Oldies but goodies:
- Bought several things with either really low, or free shipping

See's Candies
- Not gourmet but good chocolate and reasonable prices - This time of year I always need something from here

Etsy - I bought several things from here this year

I can't mention anywhere else I shopped without giving away what I've bought, but these are some good places to shop. And I'm thinking you could probably buy from Zappos all the way up till 2 days before Christmas and STILL get it on time.

Of course, you can't buy everybody shoes, but I'm just sayin'.

Might have overdone it with the sour cream. Nah!!

Mmm-m-m . . . chili.

I use turkey, can you tell?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Re-la-a-a-x-ing ...

It's a good day. I officially finished my Christmas shopping on Sunday, including stocking stuff. Last night I wrapped my Mom's gifts and today my son mailed the package for me. I have caught up on my blog reading, I have cats sleeping contentedly next to me and a pot of chili cooking on the stove. Ah-h-h.

Oh, and did I mention I have the whole week off work? Yeah. I do. And after that I still have something like 40 hours I am carrying over until next year. Working for the same company for over 20 years definitely has it's benefits. I don't get paid a
ton of money but I DO get a lot of vacation time. I earn something like 11 hours every 2 weeks. It seems like every time I turn around I have more time to take. I'm not complaining by any means but sometimes I get a little nervous that one day someone is going to call me and say "about all that vacation time we've given you over the years, it was a mistake." But, until someone finds out - I am home this week, it's snowing like the dickens outside, and I have a great view from the couch.

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**Edited to add - I am sure it is because I was showing off that right after posting the above - I had to go out into a raging blizzard because - see that on the TV? I didn't have as much of that kind of sauce as I thought I did. Karma. For sure.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Maxine Monday

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gone Shopping

Must finish THIS weekend.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Another day, another scandal.

Seems like I've been busier this week than I usually am, but I don't think I have been really. I got my tree finished, did the usual stuff I do around the house which is not much on a daily basis, haven't even had to fight with or chase the cats away from the tree much!

Honestly though, I think I'm already exhausted
by this Illinois Governor scandal. Ugh. Our wee little *governor apparently thinks there is a price tag attached to anything and everything, and besides that - he thinks he is some sort of little king. After being taken out of his home in handcuffs Tuesday morning, attending a hearing in the afternoon and then being released, Wednesday morning he kissed his wife good-bye and went to work at the State of Illinois building.

Like nothing had happened.

Because in some ways, I guess nothing did. Politics in Illinois has
always been a game for the big boys, and what Blagojevich lacked in stature he made up for in "testicular virility". His words. But when you've got a lot of nerve without a lot of smarts, and you possess more greed than the average bear, you're bound to get in trouble. Even in Chicago. There is always a politician under investigation but holy hell if you know the feds have been looking at you for years - do you extort money from hospital executives and try to force a newspaper executive to fire some people you don't like - on the phone?? In this digital age? Do you, oh my God, try to SELL the PRESIDENT-ELECT's Senate seat????? Anywhere?

I would like to believe politics in my state can be cleaned up. I can hope it will happen. But Chicago politics has reached the point of being absurd. While the State's Attorney is going before the Illinois Supreme Court trying to get the governor removed from office, and others are calling for his impeachment - at this point all I am really wondering is - who will play Blagojevich on Saturday Night Live this week?

Cause you know it's gonna happen.

* I don't even know if Blagojevich is a tiny man. The way he talks always made me think of munchkins.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bring it on!

My tree is not finished. My Christmas tree, that is. I am obsessive about all of it, from the lights to the ornaments to centering the tree in front of the window. It's crazy really, I have no business having a tree this size in the house I live in, with mostly grown kids. There are no toddlers running out in the morning all sleep tousled and wide eyed at the spectacle of tree and presents and the miracle of Santa.

The only one wide eyed at my house, is me. And I love my tree! It just takes me a while to get it done. Yesterday I got the tree itself up, the lights on and most of my "base" ornaments. Because you know, there is an order to all of this. Lights, then garland, this year I used strands of big pearl-like beads, then the glass ball ornaments, the glass icicles, and then all the other stuff. And there is a lot of 'other stuff'.

By the time I went to bed last night my hands and my back were aching, but the tree being on a timer - I could see the glow from my room and I was happy. Until I heard my son on his way to the bathroom saying "Cat? Are you in there?"

Andy doesn't talk to the cats. Andy pretty much just ignores the cats, except Norah. He will pet her every once in a while if she puts herself right in front of him at petting level. But for the most part Andy and the cats just co-exist in my house. For him to be addressing a cat directly was worrisome so when I called out to ask what was going on - I was already half out of bed. He thought one of the cats might be in the tree but he wasn't sure.

We both stood there and squinted but nothing moved so Andy continued on to the bathroom. Then the tree gave a little quiver. I knew exactly which one it would be so when I said "Abby . ." very firmly, the tree shook some more. When I said "Abby get out of there!" I saw the tremor move down the tree and a cat plop out onto the floor.

Abby is the evil one. The one who bites. And she is also the one that people would vote most likely to climb a Christmas tree, so I knew it was her. Following her exit I pointed the spray bottle at her. The holiday wars have begun.

Maxine Monday

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Too cold for comfort.

Notice that number in the red box? That's the temperature it feels like here right now. Two degrees. Wasn't it just August yesterday? And 82 degrees?

I don't think I'm ready for this yet. Brrr-r-r-r!!!

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Where crazy cat ladies tend to congregate.

Took the old man Riley cat to the vet yesterday. Actually it's a cat clinic, no dogs or other types of pets around. Had to get his blood checked for his thyroid meds and bonus ( !!! ) they took some mats off him for me. Actually they got all the mats off him.

I AM a crazy cat lady, I have 4 cats. Although I didn't feel quite so insane for having 4 yesterday, one of the receptionists was talking about her 6, and another lady didn't say how many she had but it sounded like the cats rule her roost. Anyway. Three of my cats do not have mats. None. Riley has them all. Had.

Riley is the only one that doesn't groom well these days, and while the vet said that's a product of age I read somewhere that "unkempt fur" is a common symptom of thyroid problems in cats. So Riley has a couple of excuses but regardless of the reasons - he always has nasty mats which he doesn't like messed with. If I try, or my daughter Dani tries, he growls and rolls and bites and is just all around not happy about the process.

Dani and I shaved him once, from the tail to about the middle of the back, removing the greater part of the mats he had at the time. And I have NO IDEA where those pictures are, but you can bet that was one funny looking cat. He didn't seem to mind when it was all over, even though half of him was all pink and naked. Might have even liked it some.

So where am I going with all this? I think I scammed a grooming out of the cat clinic. Last time I brought Riley they removed a couple of mats when they took him back to take blood, since I was a few weeks late with making the appointment I'm sure they thought I was a terrible pet owner. At that visit the tech told me to make sure I make the next appointment on time and promised to get a few more mats off Riley when I brought him back. Sounded like a bribe to me.

Yesterday when they took him back to take his blood I told the tech who was taking him what the other girl had promised last time. She looked at me with the slightest bit of "that's not what your appointment is for" in her eye, but managed a polite "oh, um - okay."

Later when she brought Riley back out she was carrying what looked like a long haired messy guinea pig or something, but it was actually everything she had removed from my cat. Woo hoo!!! She explained how Riley could benefit from a grooming, they have a girl who comes in on Tuesdays so I might want to make an appointment for him sometime. I said okay and inquired about the price. $46.00. I thought yeah, maybe sometime. After I stop having to have blood work done every month on the damn cat.

When I got home and let Riley out of his carrier I saw just how handsome and well groomed he was! Not a mat left on him! So basically, I got a grooming for free, and I didn't get bit once. I hadn't intended to put anything over on them but I guess I did a little. Oh well, it was worth it - Riley looks great!

I am waiting for the results of the blood work, and the tech said it was good news - Riley has gained 2 ounces. Ounces! The cat has lost pounds and 2 ounces is good?? I've been feeding the cat everything he wants whenever he wants and he's only gained 2 ounces? Holy cow.

After I left though, it was suggested to me that maybe they weighed him after they took all that fur off of him. How much do you think a guinea pig's worth of cat fur weighs? Cause it looked like at least a pound to me!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

She's at it again!

Some of you may remember my daughter having a part in The Vagina Monologues last year. My son and I drove to her college town to see her performance and I believe I pronounced it "fabulous!!!" So I guess it should come as no surprise that Dani has decided to do it again this year.

I've never tried out for any kind of play or performance but apparently sometimes you don't try out for a particular part, you just try out and see what they give you. So yeah, Dani didn't choose her part this year, or last, but this year's part will be more challenging than what she did the first time. More challenging for her to do, and more challenging for a mom to watch. I think.

This year my darling daughter gets to feign about 10 consecutive orgasms of different types and duration, not to mention intensity, on a stage in front of not only her own mother, but her boyfriend's mother as well. Obviously there will be more to her monologue than that but, um, I'm pretty sure what part will get the most attention.

When she told me, all I could do was laugh. She seemed nervous about working it out, how she would do it. What was I going to say? Well Honey, do you want me to help you with your lines? Um, "Sweetie, I have some experience in this area, do you want to know. . ." uh .. NO.

There is a part of me that says - Honey make it as fake and as overdone and funny as you can because you know, otherwise it's kind of uncomfortable and just weird for a parent to see that. I know I know, it's ACTING. But you have to draw the portrayal from somewhere and . . well . . . hmmmm. There is something different about watching someone else in that role than your own daughter. Someone else it's just acting, when it's your own kid - it's private. Or something.

Don't get me wrong. I am not discouraging her at all, and if she wants me there I am sure I will be there. I just might be giggling more this year than last. Nervously. And I tell you what - if she does the part and does it well, I can only be proud of my daughter for successfully tackling a part many would find difficult to do.

But I must admit a bit of discomfort in that it's just a very weird act for a parent to witness. Act. I must remember that part. It's an act. I have till February to get used to the idea. Or - till February to get drunk, whichever works.

I love you Dani!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This is just plain dangerous.

I don't need anything to help me waste time. I can find a myriad of ways to be busy for hours at a time without actually doing a thing. I was doing a little bit of Stumbling tonight which is actually fairly rare. Unless I'm Stumbling pictures, but then I'm doing something. Anyway. I found this site this evening. It's dominoes. And it's simply easier to look at than to read about. Here is a link to my domino . . uh . . thingy. I'm in I.T. and just so you know, thingy is an acceptable technical term.
Go look. And then try it. It's kind of like certain potato chips. It's really hard to eat just one.

When you see the dominoes (it may take a minute), click play. But please don't blame me if you find an hour has passed and you don't know where it's gone. I have given you a fair warning.

Do you have a slogan?

Your Slogan Should Be

Bettejo. Uncommonly Made, Uncommonly Good.

Give it a try!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Rob is with God now

I did not know this man, this soldier, but his story has touched me deeply.
Words cannot express, but I thank you Rob.

Maxine Monday

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A prayer for a soldier

I've been following
the blog of a soldier who was injured in Afghanistan at the end of October. I saw a link on a blog (which one I am not sure) and have been reading since the first day his wife started it to keep friends and family informed of her husband's condition. It's been a long road since CPT Rob Yllescas was severely wounded and was sent back to the States to recover. He has never quite regained consciousness but has been making progress none-the-less, even with surgery after surgery after surgery. There has been a set back recently though, and I know Rob's wife and family would appreciate any prayers you have to offer.

I cannot imagine what this family is going through and the only thing I have to offer them is my prayers. I'm hoping you will join me.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Oh no, not again!

I've talked about my financial difficulties, I make no secret of the fact that being a single mom without a lot of training in anything particular has made life problematic at times.

There have been times when I have been around people who are discussing what they are doing to their house, whether it be a remodel or repairs or buying new appliances. That's fine, good for them. I can be happy for them but I generally don't join in those conversations because I really haven't got anything to add.

Sometimes though, I have been drawn in and inevitably, I get THE question.

"Well, why don't you BUY a house?"

That's usually asked in response to something I have said about renting. Hmm-m-m. Why don't I buy a house? I suppose I'm just stupid and prefer to give my money to a landlord which is like flushing it down the toilet as opposed to buying something that might build, oh, equity??? Yes. I am THAT stupid.


People really don't think before they speak sometimes. And it's not uncommon for people to think that because they work at the same place and probably make close to the same amount of money, their circumstances must be the same.
Um, NO.

When I answer the question honestly, these people tend to look at me like I've just told them I enjoy mosquitoes flying up my nose or something. I DON'T HAVE A DOWN-PAYMENT. Yes, I could afford a mortgage payment. I would freaking LOVE a mortgage payment. But when you live check to check, not able to save anything because all the money goes to bills and food and kids, and you have to juggle buying Christmas presents with which bill you might have to put off for a little while, there

So don't ask that question when you find out someone rents. I suppose there are people out there who do not want the responsibility of owning anything, or have other reasons why they find renting to be a perfect situation for them.

But I'm willing to bet that a lot of them - would rather own their own home be it a condo, townhouse, or single family dwelling. And some of them, like me, might be willing to give up a limb or maybe a major organ to have their own place, so asking why I don't BUY a house - can be really ignorant and hurtful. Oh, and in my mind - it's rude, to boot.

All I'm asking is for people to be aware that the person they sit beside at work, on the train, stand beside in line at the grocery store - have their own circumstances and their own story, and it is most likely very different from your own.

Just sayin'.

**Edited - I corrected my misplaced apostrophe. (mosquito's) But I had to use spell-check to spell apostrophe. :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Have a good one!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A little of this, a little of that.

A couple things. Finally went for my first mammogram since all my testing last year. Sheesh - I felt like I was in so much trouble - because I had not come when I was supposed to, because I had a doctor's order for a follow up on one side but it was time for my regular screening which obviously would be both sides. I was almost chastised for doing the whole thing incorrectly as if I didn't take it seriously.

I took it seriously alright, but with a couple mammograms, an ultrasound, and a mammotome which is basically treated like surgery, I decided to wait until I had paid off the hospital before I went back for more tests. I know, how novel.

Yes I have insurance. Yes, they paid for a good part of it. But I did come out of it owing the hospital enough to have to set up a payment plan which took me months to pay off. In the end - when the tech pulled me aside to tell me my results, I made sure she knew the reason I had put off having further tests so she knew that she treated me like a naughty child based on some false assumptions, and I really hoped she felt like a chump when I left. Maybe she'll think twice before she jumps to conclusions about other patients and their motives behind how they handle their healthcare.

It wasn't her place to judge me.

The other thing I wanted to mention, or maybe rail about is - where did all these people on the roads come from??? Where were the normal jerks I usually share the road with in the mornings and evenings on my way to and from work? Today - it was holiday traffic. People who apparently don't drive any other time of the year and come out on the roads, drive in whatever lane they want to, and make sure they drive at least 5 miles - preferably 10 - under the speed limit. And they don't care if they are driving side by side with another driver in the lane next to them, also going 10 miles under the speed limit and effectively blocking normal traffic and causing other people behind them to have spontaneous strokes and aneurysms bursting all over the place.


Whew, I feel better. Thanks for listening.

Oh, and my mammogram was fine, all looks good and I won't be due for another check for a year. Woo hoo!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I can face anything! Almost.

My parents were divorced when I was 11. I was pretty determined not to do the same thing to my kids. That's the way I looked at it
too, divorcing was doing something to my children. When it happened, the day we told the kids was the worst day of my life. That still stands.

I don't remember exactly when my family started spreading out. My sister moved south to West Virginia with her family. My oldest brother moved to California with his job at an airline. My other brother at some point - moved to New Jersey. I wasn't close to my dad and I was married with children by the time he moved to Nebraska with his wife and child. But before he moved - my
mom moved out of state. I was literally the only one that stayed in the Midwest in the suburbs of Chicago where I was raised.

Since it ended up that I had no family close by I relied heavily on my in-laws to be the nuclear and extended family I had always wanted my kids to have. My husbands parents were (and are) still married, my sister-in-law was married with 5 kids, my brother-in-law was single and still living at home. There was a great-grandma, family friends, and aunts and uncles. On holidays everyone came to "Grandma & Papa's house." There was always good food, noise, and complaining about the men watching football while the women cleaned up. Like any good American family.

So it was that after the divorce, even though I told my ex-husband that he would never have his kids on Christmas morning (anger, much?) unless he came to my house, I encouraged my kids to spend every Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinner at Grandma & Papa's house. And they have, unless for some reason Grandma & Papa weren't hosting a dinner that year. I can count on one hand how many of those holiday dinners that I have spent with my kids in the last 10 years. And that's been fine with me. I usually relax, have a nap which is an integral part of any holiday, and if I haven't cooked myself - they have always brought me food. I got the gain - without the pain!

People have doubted whether I minded staying home but I never have. I felt good believing I was doing what was best for my kids and really - I am very comfortable with my own company. Right now though, I feel a funk coming on. Not because the kids are going to their grandparents house for Thanksgiving. But because I am finally starting to realize that my kids will actually be leaving to lead their own lives not too long from now.
That's what we raise them to do, to go and be independent and successful and happy out there in the world.

But I'm not ready.

I'm not ready at all.

Maxine Monday

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Oops - forgot a title even. I'm seeing a pattern . .

So I never did remember whatever it was I was going to write about the other day. No clue. Don't you just love it when that happens?

It might have had something to do with Christmas though. Every year I ask my kids for Christmas lists. I need help and figure their suggestions are better than anyone else's. But they aren't giving me their lists this year. I know they are 22 and 24 years old but my gosh! What am I supposed to do without those ideas? I might have to give my daughter some Polly Pockets, she did love those once upon a time. And I could get some Legos for my son except I don't think we ever got rid of the ones he had when he was little. Maybe I'll just get them from the garage and clean them up. It would serve both of them right.

Actually Andy did tell me one thing he would like. ONE. And this is from the kid who used to give me a 2 page single-spaced typed list of CDs and DVDs he wanted. But I suppose with all the new forms of media out there - he may not want that stuff anymore.

And my daughter? Dani hemmed and hawed and finally said "I don't really have any . . . wants . . . right now I guess." WHAT????

So I started my shopping today, and I made a dent in it - without the lists. Hear that Dani? It really WILL be a surprise this year! I do most - if not all my shopping online so I'm usually done earlier than other people and I love that part. I get the stressful part out of the way so I can enjoy the season and the decorations and all that goes with it - in peace. Theoretically anyway.

And I keep lists of everything I buy all the way down to the stocking stuffers because with the proven faultiness of my memory - I'm sure I would forget something I bought and it would never make it under the tree. And that would stress me out.

I'm all for a peaceful Christmas season, and it's coming fast. Amazing, isn't it? This year has gone by faster than any I have ever experienced. Weird how that works. Hope it's not just that I've forgotten big chunks of it!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I had a thought . . .

. . . and then I forgot it. I had intended to come here and post it but it's gone now.

If it comes back I'll be sure to jot it down before I forget it.

Wish me luck.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cause I like it.

I frequently photograph the flowers I receive. I never manage anything really artistic or special, but the flowers themselves are special to me so if the pictures are just average - that's okay with me.

But this time it was what was behind the flowers that I decided to capture on film (so to speak). It's my grandparent's marriage certificate from 1914. It's beautiful to me. And since my decorating style would be characterized as almost anything but contemporary, this piece fits right in.

I wish I could say my grandparents had a wonderful, fairytale type marriage but in reality - this marriage certificate is probably as pretty as it got within that relationship.

But I like it anyway. And it's one of my favorite things.

Maxine Monday

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

A few thoughts . . .

Every time that commercial comes on for the "over the shoulder . . . Buxton organizer" - am I the only one who hears "over the shoulder boulder holder?" Every.Single.Time?

I bought a package of toilet paper the other day and when I got it home I noticed it advertised it's brand as being "flushable." Um-m-m . . . wasn't it flushable before? Have I been doing it wrong all these years?

Leaving my car and hurrying into a store the other day I remember thinking "I feel young. Still." Don't know why it occurred to me except that it felt good to stretch my legs after driving home from work. Later at home after I'd been sitting for a while, I rethought it with a bit more honesty. "I do still feel young. Except when I try to move."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Remember Simon's cat?

Not sure if I ever posted this or not, but it's been around a lot. I love it, it is SO classic cat. Except the ending of course. I don't think any of my cats have resorted to that yet.

That one is great, and so is this one. Life really does imitate art.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's because of my mental problems. Really.

I just realized that I rarely remember to go back to a blog I've commented on, to see if there is a response. Even if I've asked a question. Please forgive me, it has nothing to do with disinterest, I promise you.

Today, the BF and I were getting some quick lunch. I filled our drink cups, all diet for him, half diet and half regular for me. Cuz of course I only need to half diet! I carried them over to where I could get straws while he went to get condiments. Setting the cups down I made a mental note of which cup was mine and which was his while I reached for napkins.

The boyfriend came up along side me and said something to me, a question, a comment, I don't remember. (of course!) But it was just a short aside, whatever it was. Probably along the lines of "Got everything?" At that point I looked at the cups and I looked at him and said "You just interrupted my thought processes for a split second - and that was long enough for me to forget whose drink is whose. Sorry."

The mental note was completely gone from my head and I knew better than to bother trying to retrieve it. I'll save those kind of mental gymnastics for more important things than cups of pop.

Luckily most people don't know whether or not you come back to see their response, and I know if I never mentioned it - hardly anyone would ever know! But it makes me feel kind of crappy when I only realize someone responded to one of my comments months later when I am googling my own name and basking in my own famous-ness - and I run into something I don't recognize as something I said.

I mean, everybody googles their own name now and again, don't they? Or is it just me?


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

~ Sincere Gratitude ~

To all of our Veterans, today - and every day.

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Monday, November 10, 2008


I'm not really sure if this deserves that title but seriously! Remember when I
got a new phone (Sony Ericsson W350a) at the beginning of September? It was so cool - did all kinds of fun things - was a pretty light blue - and oh did I mention it died on day 30 of all that enjoyment? Yeah. My pretty Sony Ericsson W350a.

So I called AT&T and they were very helpful. I did all the nice troubleshooting stuff they asked me to do and the end result was - they replaced the phone. Replaced the Sony Ericsson W350a. Because one morning it just refused to turn on. When I tried hooking it up to the charger the screen got a faint blue screen of death and when I let it sit for a while the phone would go "bzt" every 2 or 3 minutes. "Bzt." But nothing else.

The new phone (another pretty Sony Ericsson W350a) arrived sometime during the first week in October all shiny and full of promise. Yay! I put my sim card in it, my memory card, made sure all my phone numbers and ring tones were there and was easily amused once more.

Until this morning. Uh HUH!!! It did it again. The new phone. The Sony Ericsson W350a. The 2nd new phone, that is. Sigh-h-h. I don't get it! This is a nice snazzy phone, I don't know anyone who has had something like this happen, twice. I started to feel insecure, maybe it was me. Maybe it's my charger, maybe I'm doing something really stupid and the phone is fine. I flipped some weird switch somewhere that tells the phone (the Sony Ericsson W350a) to play dead or something. So I decided to take it to the store. Yeah, none of that over-the-phone troubleshooting this time. I needed some hands on tech support.

I met a pleasant, very tired looking young guy named Dave at the AT&T store this evening. As much as it seemed like the end of a long day for him, young Dave listened to me, if somewhat incredulously that the exact same thing has happened to TWO phones. TWO Sony Ericsson W350a's. He took my phone and plugged it into a charger. Tried a new battery. Managed to see the faint blue screen of death, but I don't think the doggone thing went "Bzt" for him. Regardless, he pronounced it dead. He assured me the phone would be replaced again and if it happened a THIRD time - which he obviously thought would never happen - I would be able to pick an entirely different type of phone. Dave also advised me to request the expedited shipping and he would credit my account so I would not have to pay twelve bucks for shipping.

Only one catch. I had to make the call again because the blue version of the phone (the Sony Ericsson W350a) is only available online right now.

So - a new phone will be winging it's way to me post haste. I'm not warning anyone about this phone, although I have never had this kind of trouble with any other model. I'm sure this Sony Ericsson W350a is a marvelous phone! I'm just not sure it likes me.

Maxine Monday

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Okay, I feel a bit better now.

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So being in my usual state of "I got nothin'", I decided to see if I could go into my bead room and not freak out about the mess it is in there. I discovered it was worse in some ways than I was thinking because my sweet and timid (toilet paper and paper towel eating) cat Norah had been running a-muck with sheets of bubble wrap, knocking some jewelry boxes on the floor and snacking on the cotton filler. Nice. Thanks Norah!

I managed to clear a place to sit and after a few fits and starts, I actually made something! And I figured that since this blog is called A Bead a Day - maybe I ought to show some beads now and then. It's been a long long time. I made a bracelet, yes, only one. But it is made with all handmade lampwork glass beads and sterling silver and I am quite pleased with how it turned out since I am SO out of practice.

And I feel a little better now cause look! I got somethin'!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Now there's an award for it!

The other day I was reading a post over
here, and while I wasn't experiencing the same thing Lara was exactly, I still feel like I've been quite lame lately. Most likely because I've been living and breathing the election for a while now, but not writing on my own blog about it because I really didn't want a debate here. Now that it is over, and my candidate did not win, I feel like I have something akin to a mild case of postpartum depression, er .. post-election depression. So I have not had anything to say or anything to write about and haven't even been reading and or commenting on all of the blogs I usually do.

I figured I should apologize to anyone who regularly reads here for being so lame, but I really didn't want to make myself feel even worse than I already do - so I made it into an award! A lame award, of course.

Don't worry, I'm not going to nominate, tag, or award this to anyone else. But I AM awarding it to me, in honor of my lack of substance or amusement lately. Sorry. And if anyone else feels the same way - feel free to grab it for yourself. I mean, I made the badge and it's pretty lame but even lame awards are meant to be shared. And I'm not exactly attached to it.

Enjoy. Or not. I guess I'm kind of ambivalent about it.