Friday, December 28, 2012

Giving up

I can count on one hand the number of books I have failed to finish in the last 5 years. Books that are award winning or by authors I like or that people I know recommend.

The Life of Pi. I started it three different times. I don't remember how far I got, but it couldn't have been more than 50 pages. I gave up. Now I see it is a movie. And I'm debating whether or not to rent it when it hits DVD. Will I turn it off half an hour in or will I finally understand the hype around the story?

Only Revolutions. I think I've started this one two or three times as well. I loved a previous book by this author but for some reason just can't get into this one. It still sits on my shelf and I have hopes that one day I'll be able to read it in entirety.

And my most recent failure: How Starbucks Saved my Life. Sigh. I want to like it. I want to read it, but after a few pages I'm bored with it. Maybe because it's non fiction and I'm more of a fiction lady... I'm going to give this one another go before I call it quits for good on this one.









Thursday, December 27, 2012

A little post about guilt

I read a Facebook post today about Pinterest and feeling guilty as mothers and yadda yadda. And had a brief conversation at work about having time to do things (after looking at elaborately beautiful homes and decorations in a magazine).

It made me think.

There are so many things I would love to do- for my house, my huz, my Punky, my family and friends. I think about all the things my parents did for my brother and I when we were little.

I don't think I have the guilt factor like this woman whose post I read. Well, maybe a tad. I don't sing silly songs with my daughter everyday. We don't talk about the weather and what day of the week it is. She got some cool markers in her stocking- and we haven't used them yet. I sent Christmas post cards, pre-typed, not hand-written cards with a lovely letter reflecting on the year and a professional family portrait. That just wasn't happening this year. No way. No how.

And I think I'm pretty much okay with that. I give Punky plenty of hugs and kisses. We try to read a bedtime story each night. At least I sent some sort of Christmas card. Soon she'll be able to color on her own without my help.

I gave up the bucket and rag and scrubbing the floor on hands and knees. Now I Swiffer wet jet with the kid on my hip. The bathrooms get a quick once over with Clorox wipes. And after the kid is in bed- I read or watch tv with the huz instead of unloading the dishwasher. It keeps me sane. And I don't feel guilty. When I don't take my "me time" and "us time" that's when I get stressed out and frustrated and feel guilty that I can't do it all. So a half hour of yoga a couple times a week to keep the grouchies away it is.

And I try to chase the guilt away, knowing in the long run, I am doing more for my family by doing less.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night

It is Christmas. A wonderful, happy, spiritual holiday. Full of family, friends, food, and fun!

This year we made the rounds. An all too short visit with my family. Everyone was there this year, except the huz who just couldn't make it work to be there... The Punkster was a little on the cranky side. But cutting teeth and being three hours late for a nap will do that to a kid. She loved being around a dog and cat that actually let her pet them. She had unfamiliar toys to entertain her. And new foods to try.

Then Christmas morning at home. Punky started to get into the whole unwrapping presents deal. Then it was off to have a Christmas celebration with the huz's family. And that rounded out the travel and celebration.

It was a whirlwind of faces and places. But totally worth it to spend time with the family.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 30!

Dun da da dun! Last day of the challenge. And likely my last post for a while since I'm out of prompted material!

30. One thing I am excited for.

Duh! Christmas! I love Christmas. Technically, it is Punky's second Christmas, but seeing as how she slept through all of Christmas last year, it almost doesn't count. She just had her birthday, but she was a bit under the weather. So I'm curious to see what she does with presents when she's feeling more herself...And maybe, just maybe she'll be walking by then. She's still got two weeks to figure it out, and she's definitely getting closer!

Monday, December 17, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 29

Five weird things that I like.

1. Tortilla chips with frosting (maybe it was just a pregnancy thing...).
2. The smell of Lake Erie when you drive over the bridge.
3. My family (trust me, they are weird!).
4. Trying to pick my daughter's nose (her reaction is funny!)
5. Organizing things. Alphabetically. By genre. By color. By sleeve length. You name it, there is a way to organize it!



Sunday, December 16, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 28

Somewhere I would like to move or visit.

I'd move to Hawaii in a heartbeat (or even just visit again!). Aside from the whole being pale as a ghost until the sun hits me for five seconds and then I'm completely burnt thing, I love the ocean/beach/sunshine. The waves are mesmerizing and relaxing. The water, so clear and beautiful. Powerful volcanoes, waterfalls....it has it all. Except snow!



Saturday, December 15, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 27

A quote I try to live by.

"Do not go where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail."

I've seen this quote attributed to good ol' anonymous, but also to one of my favs, Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson. This is definitely one of my personal mottos. I try to be my own person and follow my own way and not be influenced by the ways of the world.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Not your normal blog post

I am going to deviate from my typical posting style today. I'm going to get personal. In my mind, more personal than most of my posts. Or at least personal in a different way. To me. Maybe not to my three readers.

I woke up this morning with a horrible feeling in my stomach. I laid in bed for a few minutes pondering it and then got up to start my day. At first, I thought it was my "normal" anxiety striking out at me. Not sure what I'm so anxious about right now. There's the normal anxiety provoking stuff going on, but nothing that should be wake-me-up anxious.

IBS hit. I kind of expected it. Anxiety has the tendency to send me running to the bathroom. I showered hoping that was the end of it. Although it was concerning that this was my third IBS episode this week. That's a lot for me. So as I showered, feeling yucky, wondering what I was so anxious about, wondering if maybe it was not my anxiety/IBS ganging up one but something else, I prayed. I am certain God is tired of hearing about how I feel- specifically how I don't feel good. But I tell Him (or Her if I'm going to be a good inclusive former seminary student) anyway. I whine. I complain. Sometimes I cry, but not today. At least not yet. I plead to feel better. For healing- just for today if not for always. (Wait, I think the tears are threatening to spill over now.) Then I feel guilty. Because I know, I KNOW, there are people suffering much more than I am. Unimaginable pain, sorrow, etc. "But I feel so awful," I whine, " and my daughter. My job. My interview." Yeah, I'm sure God loves those conversations with me.

After my shower, I head downstairs to feed the cats. And then run back to the bathroom. Okay, I think maybe this time it might be more than the anxiety and IBS... I text in to work that I'm staying home. And then go back upstairs to whine to my husband. Actually, I didn't whine. I was pretty matter-of-fact if I do say so myself. "I don't feel good. I'm not going to work. I think this is different than 'normal.'" I put my pajamas back on. "I'll take Punky to the sitter for the day and rest. We already paid for today and she's expecting her." "Do you want me to stay home with you?" The huz know I don't like being alone when I'm stomach sick. Plus he likes any excuse to not have to go to work. AND he just got a new game to play. "If you want and can." So we'll have a sick day together.

That leads me to now. Sitting in the hallway because I'm afraid laying down will make me feel worse. Still not 100% positive if it's just a really bad IBS day or if it's more than that. I'm thinking it's more than that.... Listening to the huz talk to Punky through the monitor. I send God a different message. "Thank you for my family." And I type. My electronic journal. I'm doing those things I tell my clients to do. Breathe. Talk. Pray. Journal. In between trips to the bathroom. Yeah- this has got to be a bug. Sigh. Just what I need, a stomach bug. Cause I don't have enough stomach issues already. *Pout* I need a few minutes to feel sorry for myself. I'd take a cold over stomach stuff any day. "God, why couldn't I just have another cold if I had to be sick?" Oh, I do like to bargain and plead with God. The questions I have when I get to heaven.....

Thursday, December 13, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 26

Things I like and dislike about myself.

Well, I generally like myself. My personality, humor, intelligence, motivation, yadda yadda yadda. I like my hair (well, not right now I don't. It's at the horrible in-between stage...). I dislike that I don't really know how to relax very well- there's always SOMETHING that needs to be done! I dislike that my body is in a love-hate relationship with food and that the hate is winning right now. I'm not so fond of the fact that my ears stick out. And sometimes I wish I was a little more outgoing...(although my blog personality is PLENTY outgoing!)



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Mortal Instruments

If you are into the vampire/werewolf genre, check out the Mortal Instruments series. Had started this series a while back and was just loaned the fourth and fifth in the series. Just completed book four: City of Fallen Angels. A decent read. Took me a while to get reconnected with the characters, but once I did I enjoyed the story.

30 Day Challenge: Day 25

Something I am currently worrying about.

Money. Always money. Sigh. I think I have come to the realization that our savings account will never be what I wish it to be and that I should just be glad we have anything in our savings account! I know I will never retire and I will keep dreaming of the day (about 20 more years) when I no longer have those monthly student loan payments (only another year and a half or so until the first one is paid off!). The simple nature of my job means I will likely always have this worry. Client doesn't show- I don't get paid. Makes it hard to budget things out when you  never know what your paycheck is going to look like...



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 24

Five words or phrases that make me laugh.

1. We're in a fight. (Well, it at least makes me smile.)
2. Spicy butt. (I don't want to talk about it!)
3. Pretty truck. (Sigh.)
4. Pond scum. (Always wins!)
5. Stottlemyer. (Shoehorn anyone?)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 23

23. Something I miss.

There are lots of things I miss, but I'm not sure I would really want them back given the chance. I miss the simplicity of childhood, but love being a mother. I miss my first car, the death trap on wheels, but feel much safer in what I drive now. I miss camp, but could I go back to peanut butter and jelly everyday? (Okay, that one is a little weak. I know things are different now, and part of what made it so great were the other people there at the time.)I miss being in school and do want to further my education, but am so over dorm rooms! I miss not having to make sure every last scrap of food is put away, but endlessly entertained by my devil cats. I miss having a nice amount in my savings account, but I have a house (with deck), car, child.

It seems to me that we aren't meant to have everything forever and that's what makes those things special.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Funday Fill-In


Each week, Hilary at Feeling Beachie lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, email hilary@feelingbeachie.com. If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop! This week’s co-host is Beckey from the really, really, real housewives – she came up with the last two statements!
This week’s statements:
1. ___in the ___ is the ___
2. __is my____
3. I like to think ____; but I know _____.
4. If I just ______, then I could ______.

My answers:
1. Chocolate in the middle is the best surprise? (I had a little trouble with this one!)
2. A good book is my weakness!
3. I like to think I'm smart; but I know lots of smarter people.
4. If I just won the lottery, then I could go back to school.  (Are you sensing a theme yet?)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 22


22. My academics.

Oh geez. I was a student for 21 years (I think that's right). And I WILL go back (someday). I know, I know, I'm insane. But I thirst for knowledge.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 21

21. How I hope my future will be like

That is a horribly phrased prompt. What I hope my future will be like is full of happiness and good health. I hope for many opportunities to make memories with my family (both immediate and extended). I hope to (someday) go back to school. I hope to (someday) not have to work so hard. I hope to (someday) spend more time traveling to visit friends and family in far off places...I hope to (someday) add to our family. I hope to (someday) find time to write my novella or even just a novelette....

The list is endless!



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 20

20. My fears.

Major, chronic, serious, life-threatening illness or untimely death of the huz or the daughter.

And blood. While I do not think of it as a fear, technically I believe it meets the criteria for a phobia with the whole passing out thing...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 19

19. Five items I lust after.

1. Four door Jeep Wrangler.
2. The perfect purse. The one that is big enough without being too big. Dressy/professional enough for work, but casual enough for everyday life. Has lots of pockets and closes completely at the top. And is incredibly durable, inside and out- handles/straps included. Someday I will find this purse. Until then I will keep trying impostors and donating them to goodwill when they fail to meet my expectations. Oh, did I mention it has to be reasonably priced, cause I hate spending money in handbags that never seem to please.
3. Books. Lots of books.
4. A room devoted to all those books with soft lighting, warm blankets, and comfy seating.
5. Comfortable shoes.

Lame. I know. I don't need much when it comes to material things.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 18

Back to the 30 day challenge with random blog post prompts.

18. A problem I've had.

I'm having a "problem" with this prompt. Is it a problem I am having now? A problem from the past that has been resolved? What do you want from me?!

How do I choose just one problem? Which one do I feel I can share with the World Wide Web? (Huh, apparently autocorrect thinks World Wide Web should be capitalized. Who knew!)

Okay, how about this one. For many years I have had a problem with sleeping. Insomnia, I suppose would not be inaccurate. An intermittent problem, as at times I sleep well. It seems to be getting better with age...and parenthood. Sometimes I simply cannot "turn it off" and go to sleep. Other times I fall into dreamland with ease only to wake up every hour or so. And then there are the times I sleep like a log until oh, say 4:30am and cannot go back to sleep.

I've tried lots of "sure fire" sleep remedies. Exercise, but not before bed. Don't eat before bed, but don't go to bed hungry. Lavender. Melatonin. Yadda yadda yadda.

I don't want to say nothing works. But I haven't found my magic cure yet. It's manageable. I might have several bad nights, but then I get several good nights. And the bad nights are getting fewer and farther between. Maybe when we finally spring for a new mattress (get it? Spring? Mattress?) that will take care of those remaining few bad nights...

A girl can dream...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Final Day of Thanks

Well, it is day 30, the last day to the 30 day challenge of being thankful. Today I am thankful for soothing beverages when a cold has me feeling a little on the yucky side.

And it's Friday Fill-In time!!


Joining with Hilary from Feeling Beachie for her Friday blog hop.  Go to her blog to join in the fun!  If you have some great ideas of statements let her know and she will include you as a co host if she uses them!  
This week’s statements:
1. I have always dreamed of ____
2. My ___ is my ____
3. I love to ____ when I ____
4. I will never forget ____ with ____
My answers:
1. I have always dreamed of getting my PhD? Okay, maybe not ALWAYS, but for quite some time that has been my dream.
2. My daughter is my sunshine on a gloomy day.
3. I love to read in bed when I get the chance.
4. I will never forget Hawaii with my huz.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On the 28th Day of Thanksgiving

I am thankful for appliances that make chores faster and easier, like the dishwasher, washer and dryer.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 27

I am thankful for a comfy couch. One that is big enough and comfy enough to sleep on when, for various reasons, sleeping in my bed is not working. *yawn*

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful version 26

Well, the 30 days of thankfulness are winding down. Some days have been harder than others to feel thankful. But each and everyday there is something (lots of somethings!) to be thankful for. (I realize that was a grammatically incorrect sentence as I ended in a preposition, but alas, I did not change it. Sorry Ma.)

I am thankful for Christmas and all that it means. As a Christian is it a time to celebrate the savior's birth. It is a time for togetherness and celebration with friends and family. The thankfulness of Thanksgiving carrying over into the spirit of Christmas. It is a wonderful time of year.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful 25

I am thankful for my daughter getting to spend time with her cousins and the smiles that resulted. I hope they have as many wonderful childhood memories with each other as I have with my cousins.

And on a different note- I finishing "Mockingjay." I am both satisfied and dissatisfied with the ending to the story. Now back to the stack of 8 books I put on hold when the Hunger Games took over my reading!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankful Day 24

I am thankful that tonight is date night. They are few and far between and I am looking forward to it. A grown up movie actually AT the theater?!



ADHD

Just finished an excellent book on ADHD. "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (in Adults and Children): The Latest Assessment and Treatment Strategies" by C. Keith Conners and Juliet L. Jett.

It's clinical, but lots of good definitions and research. And while it claims to be the "latest" it is from 1999 and I imagine there is a boatload of newer information. However I did find it useful.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Fill-In is back!


Hilary at Feeling Beachie back with her Friday blog hop! 
This week’s statements:
1. I put ___ on a hot dog
2. when it___ I ____
3. If my house____then I would be able to___
4. If I was getting married tomorrow I would _______________ differently so we could ________________differently now.
My answers:
1. I put nothing on a hot dog (or in my case, veggie dog).
2. When it rains I want to curl up and read.
3. If my house was clean then I would be able to start decorating for Christmas.
4. If I was getting married tomorrow I would not change a thing. I was pretty please with my wedding.
And since this is my second post for today, I'll include my latest book completion here even though it has nothing to do with the blog hop. I devoured "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins (the second book in "The Hunger Games" trilogy). I've heard a couple people say this was their favorite (and I've heard the last one that I am currently reading is the least favorite, BUT I will read it for myself and then be the judge!). So far I think I liked the first one slightly better, but I could not tell you why. I did thoroughly enjoy book #2 and immediately purchased book #3. More on that in a couple days when I've finished it!

Thankful Day 23

I am thankful for the rain today. I admit I wish I could stay in bed and read instead of going to work. Rainy days do that to me. But I am thankful for the rain in spite of having to go to work. The rain washes away all the yuck and replenishes and revives the greenness all around.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Edition of Thankfulness

I am thankful for enough.

It may not be in excess or the type or size I would wish, but I have enough.

Enough food.

Enough clothing.

Enough money.

Many people have so much more than I do. But many have so much less. And I am thankful that I have enough.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

21st Day of Thanks

I am thankful for a mid-week day at home with my Punky.

A day for snuggles and smiles. Watching her play and explore makes my whole week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 20

I should have waited until today to be thankful for Punky! Happy Birthday anyway Mini Muffin!

Today I am thankful for coworkers with a sense of humor.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanks 19

I am thankful for random acts of kindness and unexpected compliments. Makes the world a kinder, happier place.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mice and men

"The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley..."
-Robert Burns

It's birthday party day. And Mr. Burns (Not the one from The Simpsons! The one who penned the poem with the famous line above) had it right. Punky has a yucky cold, complete with dripping schnoz and hacking cough. She hasn't slept well for several days. So she's a wee bit cranky. Should be perfect when we have a house full of people wanting to love on her.

I bought her a pretty new dress for her party. And to wear for the bazillion pictures that will be taken today whether she is in the mood for it or not. Guess what? She's got a nice new scratch on her nose. Perfect for 1st birthday photos.

Ahh, the best laid plans...

The 30 Days of Thanks: Day 18

I am thankful for the medicine that helps us feel better and function properly. Especially infant acetaminophen, at the moment....

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thankful Day 17

I am thankful for nice, hot showers. Whether in the morning to help me wake or in the evening to wash the day away, a shower is just right. Especially when I was fortunate enough to grab a long one. Without a kid. And then wrap up in a warm, fuzzy robe...


Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankful version 16

I am thankful for the evil, rotten, spoiled beasts I call pets. My lap is never empty of a fur ball wanting some love. The "he-he" that plays fetch and the "he-he" that climbs into anything he can find provide hours of entertainment for me and for Punky who just grins when you try to get her to say Mama or Dada, but says "he-he" (kitty) whenever she sees one... Sigh!





Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bargain

Before my trip I decided to treat myself. To a new NOOKbook. I know, I know. I currently have eight books in progress and 30+ sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. But I wanted something good. Something non-clinical. Something different. I planned to spend a whole day reading on my mini vacay. So I splurged. I spent $5.00 and purchased the first book in a trilogy I've been meaning to read for months. The first book is already a movie (on DVD!) if that tells you how behind I am in my popular literature reading. I thought about purchasing books two and three for $5.99 apiece. But I didn't. What if I didn't like the book?! Wouldn't you know the very day I downloaded the book onto my NOOK, the huz happens to rent the movie from redbox! Now I have a dilemma- watch the movie before reading the book or tell the huz I refuse to watch what he picked out for us...

Watch it I did. And it only made me want to read the book more! So one day after everyone else on the trip headed out, I curled up with my NOOK and started reading. I read and read all day. Then people returned to the cabin and I put it away, already halfway through- and totally hooked! After returning home, I spent two evenings finishing the book. I just looked into purchasing book two... It now costs $9.99! So perhaps I will be borrowing the second and third...

Not since Harry have I felt so attached to the characters of the book. Even with the predictably obvious outcome, I couldn't get enough. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins receives a six on my arbitrary and completely meaningless rating scale. Check it out if you haven't. And go ahead and buy all three so you don't miss out on the bargain price!

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 15

I am thankful for quiet moments in the midst of the chaos of life.

My Punky is still not 100%. The croup-y cough disappeared, but a regular cough remained. Now that regular cough is sounding worse. Punky's been up at night coughing. She's off her normal nap routine. Her appetite is off....After only taking one nap yesterday, I had a cranky babe on my hands come evening. She did what she rarely does anymore- fell asleep in my arms. Finally resting, I lingered a moment before putting her in her crib. With so much on the to-do list it would have been easy to miss this moment, to rush through bedtime and on to the next thing. But, this time at least, I was able to stop and bask in the incredible miracle that is my daughter. My child who will have her first birthday in five days. The days of her falling asleep in my arms are numbered and will run out before I know it. So when you come to celebrate with us this weekend, the house may not be as clean as it should be. The decorations might not be up. The food might not be ready on time. I was busy enjoying the quiet moments in my chaos.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

14th Day of Thanks

I am ever so thankful for a mini vacation. Winter Wonderland is an annual event for the girls. Sometimes a day of fun, sometimes a long weekend. This year 10 girls from three different states gathered at a cabin in Gatlinburg, TN for a few days of fun. I won't reveal our secrets, but the Christmas season kick-off was a great one this year. But I already included this in my days of thanks, in a way. So today, what I am really thankful for, is coming home. Safe and sound.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 13

I am thankful music. Always a tune for the mood I'm in- or to change said mood!

Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 12

I am thankful for the technology that helps me keep in touch with friends and family though we are spread over many time zones.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanks 11

I am thankful for sleep.

I've never been a good sleeper or one of those people who finds nothing better than a good nap. Not me. Naps tend to make me feel worse- more tired, groggy, and just out of it. Plus naps make my nighttime sleep even worse. But ever since having Punky and waking on HER schedule and not mine, I have learned to appreciate sleep more. It is rare that I get to sleep later than 6:15. And now even when Punk "sleeps in" till 6:45, I am awake, in bed listening for her. Or up feeding the cats. Or trying to grab a shower right quick before she wakes. I do look forward to the day when I can lounge in bed until, dare I hope for it, 7:00!

And don't get me started on the time change and what that always does to my sleep pattern...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thankful 10

Today I am very thankful for the huz. He is a wonderful life companion. Thoughtful, charming, amusing. Loyal and honest. Hard-working with just the right amount of lazy thrown in (he's teaching me how to relax more and worry less!). And he has graciously agreed to four days alone with Punky so that I can road trip to this year's Winter Wonderland location.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bubbles

I love this imagery:

"Sit quietly with Me, letting all your fears and worries bubble up to the surface of your consciousness. There, in the Light of My Presence, the bubbles pop and disappear."

From "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young

Thankfulness Day 9

I am thankful for Winter Wonderland. The planners. The participants. CANNOT wait! (More on this later!)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Day 8

I am thankful for books. Or perhaps I should say I am thankful for the ability to read.

I love books. The knowledge they possess. The adventure. The mystery. The entertainment. The momentary escape from reality.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Guilty pleasure

So I had nine books that I had started reading in variously places around my house and office. Most I was actively reading. One or two I haven't picked up in a while... But nine is too many. So I decided to finish the one I had started most recently. I hadn't intended to start a ninth book. I really hadn't. I'd packed up Ma's NOOKcolor to return it to her after she graciously loaned it to me to try. But then she told me she'd bought a new NOOK book and that I would likely want to read it before returning said NOOKcolor. And read it I did!

When I was growing up, I remember switching from Sesame Street to a soap opera. I watched it on and off for years with Ma. So of course I had to read the memoirs of one of the soap stars, even though it has been years since I've caught an episode! I read this guilty pleasure book about my long lost guilty pleasure soap opera watching days. And I enjoyed it!

Check out "Not Young, Still Restless" by Jeanne Cooper. Or watch her on "The Young and the Restless."

Thankful 7.0

I am thankful, yes for my family, I've said that already I know. But today I am thankful specifically for my daughter. I realize I might be a little biased, but she is honestly the most precious thing. So sweet and happy and innocent. And determined! You can see it in her adorable little face when she's got a plan to do something. Her personality is really starting to show. I am definitely thankful (even at 4 in the morning when I'm stumbling out of bed for the third night in a row) for Punky doodle dandy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 6

Today I am thankful for sunshine.

Heading into the gloomy time of year makes me thankful for the sun- on days it appears and days it doesn't (because then I'm extra grateful then next time it does appear!). So Mr. Sun, come out and stay a while!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thankfulness Day 5

I am thankful for my job.

I consider myself both lucky and blessed to 1) have a job and 2) have a job I love. It is not an easy job. And it is definitely not a predictable job (in more ways than one!). But I love what I do and cannot imagine what else I would do with my life. But please- if you know people in need of counseling, send them my way. I can always use more clients. (Shameless plug there!)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thankful 4

I am thankful for the house that keeps me warm and dry and that will be the place of many memories. (And I am ever so thankful that the process to get it is over! THAT was a stressful time!)

Hard to believe we've been here over a year now. And yet, this feels like it has been our home much longer than that too. We've made some changes and upgrades and, of course, have big plans for future upgrades when time and money (mostly money!) allow.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thankfulness Day 3

I am thankful for laughter.

The huz is maddeningly good at making me laugh. Especially when I want to be angry. With him. But it helps. The tension is diffused and we deal with the situation and move on.

There are times, not often enough, that I laugh till I cry- like the time I smacked my forehead on the car window... Or laugh until my stomach hurts (I tend to not breathe effectively when laughing). Sometimes you just need a good laugh.

Punky was cracking herself up the other day. This ball was HIGHLY amusing apparently. I was giggling just listening to her laugh. Even at 11 months old, she appreciates the need to lighten up. We take ourselves too seriously too much of the time (guilty!!) Take a moment to laugh today. And be thankful for the medicine.

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 2

I am thankful for my friends.

The huz and I have wonderful friends. Friends who are more like family than friends. Friends who help us paint our whole house when they would much rather be sleeping. Friends we can count on.

And because it is Friday....



Each week, Hilary at Feeling Beachie  listing four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. This week’s co-host is Beckey from really, really, real housewives  - she came up with the last two statements.  Join in the fun and hop over and sign up!
Hilary lives in the area affected by Hurricane Sandy and while she and her husband, Marc, are safe—they have suffered a lot of damage to their home and are without power, internet and phone.  Please keep her and the rest of the victims of this storm in your thoughts and prayers.
This week’s statements:
1. Growing up _____
2. Wouldn’t ____ be wonderful?
3. If I hadn’t _____, then I never would have _____.
4. When I _____, I like to _____.
My answers:
1. Growing up I was a very shy kid.
2. Wouldn't world peace be wonderful?
3. If I hadn't decided NOT to move to California, the I (probably) never would have married the huz.
4. When I clean, I like to blare the music (except when I clean while Punky's sleeping).




Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 days of Thankfulness

I was invited to join this Facebook event and decided it was a good blog topic. I'm trying to be more regular in my postings- I find the writing therapeutic. So there will be a short hiatus (I love that word) in my 30 Day Challenge postings while I am thankful.

I thought November 1 would be the perfect time to start my thanking process, leading up to the BIG DAY and then carrying the thankfulness on into the Christmas season.

So today I am thankful for my family. My big, crazy family. And I mean crazy in the nicest possible way. My family of origin, my extended family, my in-law family. All are very supportive and loving and always willing to lend a hand. Whether it is babysitting the Punkster for a few hours or helping us move for the umpteenth time, they may grumble, but they always show up. I am blessed.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloweenie


Not the first Halloween in my memory that was cold and snowy and likely not the last. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. It's a holiday about dressing up! I always liked dressing up- had a HUGE bag of dress-up clothes when I was a kid. I'm not into the blood, guts, gore, slasher movie type Halloween. I like the creativeness of seeing people's costumes. The older I get, the more I like all that is fall- the smells, the tastes, the colors. And Halloween is kinda fall-y.

I am trying to raise my daughter right and instill in her from her very first Halloween a love of this great holiday.

30 Day Challenge: Day 17


Something I am proud of.

Oh this is easy. Punky. She's not even one yet, but I am more proud of her than I think anything else in the world. She's so innocent (and freaking adorable to boot!), it's hard NOT to be proud. She gets this look on her face when she's figured out something new- "did ya see that Ma?!" And that "are you watching? In about 3 seconds I'm gonna start speed crawling for the stairs..." look. Makes my heart swell! I'm sure there will be moments when I'm not so proud of her- although at this moment I can't imagine one- but on a whole, she is my pride and joy.

The huz makes me proud too. I know he'd much rather be a beach bum or a couch potato. And "what if" we win the lottery...well, then I know he's quitting his job straightaway. But even though he'd rather be sleeping in and chilling at home with the kiddo, he gets up and works hard at his job. He takes personal pride in the way he does his job. If he can't do it right, he doesn't want to do it. Makes for some late nights when he doesn't want to leave a job until everything is the way it is supposed to be, but that's part of what makes him, him. He'd be embarrassed by me calling him out like this, so it's a good thing he doesn't like to read!

Monday, October 29, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 16


Something I always think "what if..." about.

I do a lot of "what when" thinking... what happens when xyz occurs? When this happens, what then? But the question was "what if." I try not to think it "what ifs" because my what ifs tend to be negative. I am not the person to think "what if we won the lottery" (that's the huz!). I think what if something happens to the huz, to me, to Punky. Yikes! So I'll stick with my "what whens" and let the huz dream about the "what ifs!"

Sunday, October 28, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 15

I am on a roll with this blog thing! I love that I learned how to schedule when my blogs post, so I can blog when I have time and post the blog when I see fit. Right now I'm writing a Christmas blog to be posted later. Okay, that's a lie, but it COULD be the truth!

My zodiac/horoscope and if I think it fits my personality.

I am a Pisces and other than it being a water sign and supposedly meaning something about a creative and emotional personality, I was largely uneducated about my zodiac symbol. So I educated myself on the Pisces.

Well, I like to think I'm "gentle," "patient," "generous," "with a deep sense of kindness and compassion." I'd probably be a pretty terrible therapist if I wasn't. So I guess that part is true for me.... But I'm not so sure about the "too idealistic and impractical for every day run of the mill living" part. I think I'm pretty darn practical and just the right amount of idealistic.  So this is me sticking out my tongue to you Pisces personality description (oh, is my emotional Pisces-ness showing?!)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 14

What I wore today.

It is an unusually warm October day, and so I find myself sitting to write this wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and a hoodie. And when I'm not sitting at the computer, but am actually up doing chores, I have to shed the hoodie.

I hope this means a mild winter, but we got lucky last year and have a feeling we're going to get slammed this year...


Friday, October 26, 2012

It's Fill in the Blank Friday Time!


Each week, Feeling Beachie lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. Join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to feelingbeachie@gmail.com. If used, you will be added as co-host to the hop! This week’s co-host is Irene from Me, Myself and Irene (she came up with the last two statements)
Spread the word about this hop…. 
This week’s statements:
1. ___ is my favorite feature
2. Thinking about ___ makes me ___
3. It’s been a long time since______
4. I just don’t understand_____________

My answers:
1. My hair is my favorite feature. Although not as much now that it is short. Perhaps it is time to start the growing out process again...
2. Thinking about Christmas makes me excited! 
3. It's been a long time since I rode a bike.
4. I just don't understand why I cannot make Rice Krispies Treats.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 13

My opinion about my body and how comfortable I am with it.

Okay, I'll be honest. Right now I'm not exactly thrilled with my body. It's not exactly cooperating with me. Now, if you'd asked me this a year ago...(wait, bad example. I was 1 month from delivering the Punkster and was realllly UNcomfortable). If you'd asked me TWO years ago, I would have said I liked my body well enough and was pretty much at home in my skin. I'd learned to accept myself the way I was. A few pounds more than I wanted to be, but in all, I was happy with myself. But back to today. I'm certain if a complete stranger was reading this, right now they'd be thinking, "oh, she's like a lot of women, having trouble shedding that baby weight." And they'd be wrong. At the risk of ticking off a lot of struggling women, the baby weight just fell off, I didn't do anything. The problem is that the weight kept coming off. (Again, women everywhere are cursing me. I get that. I'm sorry. I am.) Now I find myself on the too thin side (yes, there is such a thing!). I'm used to being more athletically built and having cures. I look at myself and to my eyes, I look unhealthy. Maybe it's just cause I can't afford to replace my clothes that are too big (and stubbornly don't WANT to replace them even if I could because that would mean giving in to the stupid stomach issues. I'm still holding out hope that I can "recover" enough to put a few pounds back on.) and I look like I'm swimming in some of my old favorites. But perhaps it is time to accept my new figure (sigh) and visit a thrift store for a few pieces until I can get back to the old me...



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 12

Five guys whom I find attractive.

Aww, geez. I don't even know...I think I can come up with two off the top of my head- and one of those would be the huz! The second would be Mr. Michael Buble. Oh, I know! That guy who sells the...oh I'm totally making that up. Alright, let's get serious. I took the challenge, I have to answer. I know (sadly) that he's not around anymore, but Heath Ledger. So that's three. Two more. I liked Orlando Bloom in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy... And let's go with Johnny Depp. 
Michael singing his heart out to Sister and me!
That was a toughie! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Long lost relative?

Inmate 1577 (Karen Vail #4) by Alan Jacobson. I believe this is the final book in the series, although it appears Mr. Jacobson had written at least one book about another character appearing in the Vail series and I may have to check that out sometime...

Again this one can't count toward my challenge (at which I am now doing miserably!) because, technically, it wasn't on MY shelf. I borrowed Ma's NOOKcolor, I was contemplating upgrading my own NOOK. NOOKcolor has some pretty cool interactive kid books. So while I was playing, I noticed Inmate 1577 in her library and could not resist!

Inmate 1577 has FBI profiler, Karen Vail back out on the west coast, racing around San Francisco after a serial killer. Some historical facts thrown into the fiction, I learned a little more about Frankie Morris (an in-law of mine perhaps?), one of the never found escapees from Alcatraz when it was still a functioning prison.

Some of my (real) in-laws still live in that area, and I think that made this book extra fascinating. I had previously requested a visit to Alcatraz on my next trip out there- definitely going to make that happen now!

So if you like a good mystery/psychological thriller or California history, check this one out. I did know who the killer was, sort of. You'll see what I mean!

Monday, October 22, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 11

My family.

Wow. This leaves a whole lot of room for interpretation! 

My family of origin: Ma , Pop, Brother. 

I generally think about my extended family when I think family. We saw a lot of my maternal extended family when I was growing up: Grandma Superior, 2 aunts, 3 uncles, and 4 cousins. And my paternal extended family: aunt, five cousins and all their families!

And then of course I married into a big family: two mothers-in-law and two fathers-in-law, 9 siblings-in-law some with spouses and/or kids. 

And how can I forget- my Punkerella! 

PHEW!


Pictures: my brother and I with our 4 maternal cousins from many (many) years ago; my brother and some of the huz's siblings at our wedding; and Punky

Saturday, October 20, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 10

Hmmm. Well I've been outsmarted by blogger.com. I was trying to post one challenge item per day. But apparently, unless I do it a certain way, it posts the post on the day it was composed, not on the day I push the "post" button. I think I have it figured out now...

Put my music player on shuffle and write down the first 10 songs that play.

1. Unknown Track 08- wait....let me get to my WHOLE music library, not just Punky's lullabys...

Take Two

1. Chevelle: Don't Fake This
2. Box Car Racer: Elevator
3. Staind: Mudshovel

Man, I've got some stuff on here that I didn't remember- from my "bitter phase" days...

4. Hawk Nelson: Every Little Thing

Oh, that's better!

5. Cedarmont Baby: Evening Hymn

Looks like a lullaby snuck in there anyway!

6. Incubus: Privilege
7. Fuel: Knives
8. The Beatles: Come Together
9. Candle Rain: Cryin Eyes
10. Alanis Morissette: Sister Blister

And now I know why I generally stick to my Saving Michael Dash playlist. All favorites all the time (Saving Jane, Michael Buble, and Dashboard Confessional).

Friday, October 19, 2012

Time for filling in Fridays

*GASP* I almost forgot (it's been one of those weeks!) it was time for the Friday Fill-In blog hop that Hilary at Feeling Beachie, hosts each week.  Click on her name to go to her blog and join in the fun by adding your blog to her list!


This week’s statements:
1. If only ___ then ___
2. When I was little I ___
3. I think ___ is for ____
4. I feel happiest when_____
My answers:
1. If only I were rich the I would go back to school.
2. When I was little I wanted to be a majorette. 
3. I think vacation is for maintaining sanity.
4. I feel happiest when with my family.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 7

5 pet peeves.

Only five!?

If you read Salt, Soap, and Sandals you will learn that pet peeve nĂºmero uno is when there is no soap in the soap dispenser. No, it's more complex than that. It's only at work, because the dispenser will be empty for DAYS! I see the cleaning crew go in the bathroom, I assume to clean it. And I would think that checking the soap dispensers would be part of the routine... But that is clearly not the case. From the aforementioned post you would also learn pet peeve number two. When my pant legs are wet and touch bare skin. Gross!

For pet peeves 3-5 I have to think a little more. 3. I cannot stand when people do not use turn signals. Makes me think things I have to be careful not to say with my daughter in the car... 4. Passive-aggressive behavior. I admit, I slip up sometimes and do this myself. But it's really obnoxious! 5. The lack of common courtesy in the world. Not enough pleases and thank yous. Too much entitlement. Sigh.

But I'll tell you what will never be a pet peeve. No matter how rough my night was, holding my sleeping child in my arms and seeing a smile or hearing a giggle, makes the sleeplessness melt away.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 6

My views on mainstream music.

I like music. Most any kind of music, with some exceptions. I played in the band in high school. I'm part of "Spawn of One Ear" the family Rock Band band. But I suppose those aren't mainstream. Mainstream music- there's some good stuff out there. There's also a lot of junk. All this auto tune crap, kinda makes me sad. It's a little like cheating. How do I know if the musician I'm hearing is really as good as they sound? 

Regardless, I almost always have the radio on in the car and I like to blare the tunes on shuffle when I clean- if Punky isn't napping of course.

So I guess I'm cool with mainstream music. And not so mainstream music too.

30 Day Challenge: Day 9

How important I think education is.

As a career student, I think that makes my views pretty clear. (Someday I WILL go back to school and get my PhD!) But if there is one thing I've learned is that education comes in all shapes and sizes. It isn't the amount of time spent in a classroom or lab or library or whatever. Formal education isn't the only type of education. In fact, some of the most intelligent people I know did not receive their educations in an institution of higher learning. Education is more about finding the answer to something that was previously unknown to a person.

I am good at the traditional, formal education type of learning (not bragging, just stating a fact). I like learning. It's in my blood. 5 generations (I think) of my family went to the same university. Always the rebel, I broke with tradition and found myself at another institution, paving the way for my younger cousins to all choose other centers of academia. But I married into a family that doesn't have five generations of college graduates. Or four or three or... You get the idea. They received their education in the military, on the job, in the world, not a classroom. And if I had half their brain capacities....!

So while I value the classic interpretation of education, I also value the outside the box thinkers, doers, and learners. Without my 'school is not for me' huz, I couldn't be a 'school is for me' wife.

And there you have it!

30 Day Challenge: Day 8

What I ate today.
Plain bagel with butter and strawberry jam.
Gummy vitamins.
Target brand wheat thins.

It's early, but any further additions to the list won't be any more exciting than the above (think plain baked potato, yogurt, maybe some scrambled eggs or oatmeal...) Stupid stomach. Days like today I miss chai... And doughnuts...

Monday, October 15, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 5

Things I want to say to an ex

I guess it depends on which ex...

To one I'd say a genuine, "thank you." To another I'd say, "I understand and I forgive you." To a third, I don't think I have anything to say at all...

They were learning experiences. Some more painful than others, but all have been influential in my journey to become the person I am today.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Walk Now for Autism Speaks

Today was the annual Columbus edition of Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Columbus hosts one of the biggest, most profitable walks in the country. Once again Team Leggerbury was there, doing their part to support the walk. With four team members walking for the three individuals that are Leggerbury, this year we surpassed our team fundraising goal of $500. With donations still rolling in, we have already raised $585! (My personal fundraising goal is only $20 away from being met!)
Check out coverage of the walk here: Walk Now Coverage And visit Leggerbury to add your two cents to our team total!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 4

Bullet your whole day.
*wake at 5:50am
*feed cats and visit bathroom
*go back to bed (yay!)
*hear baby at 6:45
*feed and rock baby
*baby goes back to sleep (weird)
*make lunch for huz
*take shower
*do dishes
*start laundry
*hear baby
*play with baby
*check laundry
*feed baby and self
*play with baby
*put baby down to nap
*start to wrap birthday/Christmas presents for baby
*let Poppa in house
*leave for work
*wait for client to arrive

That's it so far. Super exciting today!

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Friday Fill In Time


Each week, Hilary at Feeling Beachie lists  four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs.  This week’s co-host is Janice from Janice’s Footsteps - she came up with the last two statements  Hop on over and join the fun by linking your blog up on her blog!!!
This week’s statements:
1. Given the choice of ___ or ___ for ___ I’d pick ___
2. If you told me ____ I would never have believed you
3. The last time I cooked_______it came out_______.
4. My favorite color is ___
.
My answers:
1. Given the choice of breakfast or dinner for dinner I'd pick breakfast.
2. If you told me the last year would have flown by as quickly as it has I would never have believed you. 
3. The last time I cooked spaghetti it cam out just right?
4. My favorite color is green.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 3

3. A book I love.

THIS is an easy one. I feel in love with this book the first time I read it, back in sixth grade. I think I've reread it about a billion times. Or more accurately once every year or so. I own the movie. I've seen the play. I named my daughter after the author.

A controversial, banned book "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee takes place in a "sleepy" Southern town rocked by scandal and the "trial of the century." One family struggles to maintain their values and dignity while protecting their loved ones from the viciousness of prejudice.

That doesn't even do the book justice. The characters are real. The emotion, the love, the fear, the struggle is tangible. While Jem and Scout may have learned an important lesson, we as a society still are struggling to learn it as variations of this story are still playing out in the real world today.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

30 Day Challenge- Day 2

2. Something I feel strongly about.

As I sit here holding my daughter, watching her smile in her sleep (part of me wishing I was still in bed myself) I know, I KNOW my answer to this one. Kids. Protecting them. Teaching them. Giving them a chance. It's why I do what I do. Especially with those kids who have been written off as the troublemakers or as retarded (I hate that word). They just need someone to believe in them, to look at them with fresh, clean, unjudging eyes and help them find value in themselves. My heart aches for the 7 year old talking about suicide (it happens, don't think it doesn't) or the teenager tired of raising her mother, embarrassed to bring the few friends she has to the house. Or the kid too afraid to show any emotion because adoptive mother might leave too... That's what I feel strongly about. Find their strengths and build on that. Give them hope. Teach them to love themselves.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

30 Day Challenge- Day 1: My heart

My Aunt at It's Just Life recently posted a 30 day challenge on her blog. I think half of my blog inspirations come from ideas I get after reading her postings. So yes, I am a thief. A plagiarist of sorts. But only when it comes to the basic IDEA. The content is my own. And if not my own, I give credit where credit is due. So the 30 day challenge... Over the course of 30 days (though perhaps not 30 days in a row and perhaps not in this order) I will be touching on the following topics:
1. Five ways to win your heart
2. Something you feel strongly about
3. A book you love
4. Bullet your whole day
5. Things you want to say to an ex
6. Your views on mainstream music
7. Five pet peeves
8. What you ate today
9. How important you think education is
10. Put your music player on shuffle and write down the first 10 songs that play
11. Your family
12. Five guys whom you find attractive
13. Your opinion about your body and how comfortable you are with it
14. What you wore today
15. Your zodiac/horoscope and if you think it fits your personality
16. Something you always think "what if..." about
17. Something that you're proud of
18. A problem that you have had
19. Five items you lust after
20. Your fears
21. How you hope your future will be like
22. Your academics
23. Something that you miss
24. Five words/phrases that make you laugh
25. Something you're currently worrying about
26. Things you like and dislike about yourself
27. A quote you try to live by
28. Somewhere you'd like to move or visit
29. Five weird things that you like
30. One thing you're excited for

So here is Day 1: Five ways to win my heart.
Hmm. Be a cute and cuddly puppy? No? Okay. Serious answers.
1. Be honest. Even when you know the truth hurts. (I didn't say brutal honesty. There are ways to gently deliver painful truths.)
2. Be yourself. Always. No matter what. No matter who. (I try to be a what you see is what you get kinda girl in all situations.)
3. Take me as I am. (I now have Saving Jane's Imperfection playing in my head. Such a good song. Gonna have to listen to them on my drive home today...)
4. Know me. Learn me. Be thoughtful. Not necessarily an intellectual thoughtful, more of a "Hey, I pay attention to your likes and dislikes" thoughtful. An I-realize-you-just-had-a-terrible-week-and-I-want-to-make-it-better-by (fill in the blank). Am I a chocolate or vanilla girl? Do I like sappy movies and ice cream or adventure flicks and popcorn? You tell me and your golden.
5. Kids. I can't deny that the way you are around children can make or break you in my book. Just ask the huz...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Road Trip Recap

A quick weekend road trip to visit my parents. Just the Punkster and me. Work a half day on Friday, hit the road at naptime, seemed like the perfect plan. It was a relatively uneventful drive up, aside from the CD player eating one of the audiobook discs I borrowed from the library.

The return trip was a little more, umm, exciting. We set off on our journey shortly before naptime. And 20 minutes into our journey, something just wasn't right. A slight pull to the right and a whomp whomp noise. The nice guys at O'Reilly's Auto Parts had a free promotional tire gauge so I didn't have to spend a dime to confirm the tire needed some attention. Crossed the street to the gas station, after a call to Dad's Coin Delivery Service. Yep, my dad (henceforth known as Pop) met me at the gas station with change to feed the air machine, then sent me down the road with some spare just-in-case quarters.

"In 0.7 miles, turn left onto..." Hmm, that's weird, wonder why the GPS wants me to turn here, if I go this way.. But I turn. And what do you know, I very soon regretted following the GPS lady's instructions. I found myself on a little country road in (pardon my language) BFE (if you don't know what that means, let's just say the middle of nowhere). So here I was, 10 month old finally asleep in the backseat, driving in silence, because let's face it, I wasn't about to lose another CD to the CD player since it had so kindly decided it spit out the one it ate. And I was opting not to turn on the radio so I could listen for the "whomp whomp" sound of the tire going flat again. I had no idea where I was, no gas stations in sight. All I could think was, "Great, I have no idea what to tell AAA when they ask where I am. Not that I'll have cell service anyway! Why didn't I trust myself and my sense of direction?!" Thankfully the tire held out and I returned to civilization and a familiar highway. I made a silent deal with the sleeping Punky. When she wakes up, I'll stop at the first gas station I see, feed her, let her out of the carseat for a little bit, check the tires, and then we'll finish up the drive.

Then the rain started. Goodbye cruise control, hello achy knees. I remember my first road trip after we bought the civic, the huz told me not to use cruise control in the rain- he knew this was my first car fancy enough to have cruise control! (Funny how when I upgraded from my first car to my second my wishlist included: a cup holder and a radio with programmable buttons. Now, thinking about trading in my third car for something else I'll be crushed if it doesn't have heated seats! I tell you, I don't know how I survived so many Ohio winters without the seat warming my tushy...) . Since it was raining, I turned on my headlights. But it was still squinty enough out, I needed my sunglasses. That presented another problem. See my lovely polarized Maui Jim's are the most amazing (and expensive) sunglasses I've ever owned, however, the polarization makes it difficult to read the digital displays in the civic when they are in "headlights on" mode. When the headlights are off, no problem with the display. Weird. So I kept flipping my sunglasses on and off, looking over the top of them to check my speed. And how many times did I say to myself, "I wonder what the speed limit is on this road...." I'll tell you, it was a lot. Never seemed to be posted.

I started arguing with the GPS lady again. She didn't like that I turned off the highway before she told me to do so. And then I ignored her when she told me to make a U-turn, three times. When her fourth "recalculating" popped up with yet another request for a U-turn, I just switched her off. I would trust myself from here on out. It was odd though, driving in silence. I'm so used to the radio or to the GPS lady shouting out when to turn. But I really did NOT like the way she was trying to take me. Would have added an extra 15 minutes to my drive! And my tushy was starting to hurt from being in the seat so long. I don't remember that from prior road trips. Maybe I just have less cush on my tush?

About 15 miles from home the Punkster wakes up. I break my deal- we're so close to home, I hate to stop now. So we press on. We take our exit off the highway and sit at a red light. No traffic whatsoever. Punky restless and starting to fuss in the backseat. I think "I'm sorry officer, for turning left on red. I know it's wrong, but my daughter here, well, she's been in the car for 4 hours and she really needs to eat and we're just 5 minutes from home..."

Roughly 330 miles this weekend and what did I learn? Always keep quarters in your car in case you need air for a tire. And figure out what happened to the Ohio map that used to be in there in case the GPS doesn't work- or tries to take you on a route you really don't want to take.

But to end on a more positive note: Aside from the craziness on the road, it was a great weekend. Punky and I got to spend a little time with her Great Grandma, in addition to Gramma and Granpop. AND we got to have lunch with Ray-Ray (not Auntie Rae Rae, my childhood friend Ray-Ray), her daughter and her momma. It's been way too long since we've been able to connect in person! Can't wait to do it again after the twins are here!!
Driving by the big Longaberger basket
Punky sitting with Gramma's other babies
On our walk at Beavercreek (I think it was Beavercreek)










Sad looking tire

Friday, October 5, 2012

A whole new (old) world

That stack of books sitting on my shelf waiting to be read? Yeah, I'm never going to finish it. I did well, I read 10 of them this year. Well, in just the second part of this year, actually. But I did a bad thing. Well, a good thing, but a bad thing. I FINALLY learned how easy it is to rent books from the library- ON MY NOOK. Clearly, I've been to the library before and rented books before (it's just been a LONG time since I've done that), but I'd never set up my NOOK to borrow books. Now, I have the ENTIRE metro library E-book collection at my fingertips. Which is awesome- free books to read! And bad- that stack of books is NEVER going to diminish. Why would I read "The Art of ADHD" (I totally made that title up) when I could read "Saturdays with Santa" (I made that up too)? I'll choose a good novel (maybe even an average novel) over educational literature any day. That's the problem. I NEED to read the educational stuff. I LIKE the educational stuff. I just like novels more...

And that leads me to say, I finished my first library-rented NOOK book. I'm a little behind the times. Always have been. I didn't read the first Harry Potter until mere months before the last one hit the shelves. I knew nothing about Twilight until someone gave me the first book as a gift- months after the craze had started (and we won't talk about my feelings about those two series here...that's another post entirely! But here's a hint: loved one and was "eh" about the other.). I haven't done the 50 shades series yet (though I may not ever get to that one...). So I'm late jumping on board with this one too- "The Help." It was phenomenal. Fantastic. Loved it. 16 thumbs up. One of the best I've read in a while. I really enjoyed it. Characters that felt real, believable, lovable. A storyline that made me stop and wonder, what would I have done if I had lived in that time, in that part of the country? What would I have done? I know what I would LIKE to answer...