Monday, August 12, 2013


Today my son shared the most horrifying bit of information that he could have ever told me. We were in the bathroom trying to get him ready for the day. As I rolled the tube of toothpaste against the side of the counter to try to squeeze a 1/4 size dab out of the flat tube, he looked up and sheepishly, yet proudly admitted, "Mom, sometimes I use your toothbrush."

What!!! My head was reeling. I know this little dirt dauber, candy eating off of the floor when no one is looking, fingernail biter, yet never washing hands unless told to, nose picking little imp, did not just say he had my toothbrush in his mouth.

My own mother wouldn't even share a glass of water with us on a 100 degree hot summer's day. "I don't know where your mouths have been!"she repeated over and over like a parrot throughout our entire childhood years.

"Why?" I demanded of him incredulously as my mind wondered where my own mouth had been.

"Because your's spins. I want one that spins, too," he said matter-of-factly as if that made it okay.

Well, it may not have been okay, but it was my fault. Stupid me. He had had a cheesy spinning brush with a Spiderman head, and he once had another with the Hulk. Spongebob even made an appearance, as did Thomas the Train and others. They all came and went with the batteries. But most importantly he has been using a spinning brush for over three years.

That is until the day I forgot. The batteries had gone out in his, and for convenience sake, I dug out the dentist freebie and gave it to him. I replaced it a couple of months later with another dentist small head freebie. It must have gone on like that for six to eight months.

Completely forgetting that he had been using quasi high tech brushes (no, it was not the Sonicare that I used, but it did spin), I had done the equivalent of replacing a child's xBox with an Atari pong game. And instead of telling me about it, he simply resolved the issue himself. I typically love his resourcefulness, but I am not quite feeling it this time for some reason.

But I will admit one thing, it got me going... straight to the store for a new toothbrush for him (and me) and you better believe they both spin.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hobby Dropping

As I was sitting here for hours yesterday  finding wonderful ideas on pinterest to pin for later use, I began to realize that I spend so much time researching new ideas that I never have time to actually do one. And as I thought about it even more, I realized that I have a history of doing that. I find a new interest, I throw myself into it head first and then spend hours upon hours reading about it and shopping for supplies.

I have boxes of paints, canvases, and brushes for the paintings I never created. There is another box somewhere with suede upholsory material and stitchwitchery for seat cushions I never covered. I have empty scrapbooks, photographs, stickers, and hundreds of empty sleeves. (I think I did two pages.) It is sad to say, but I even have a box of grinning doll heads and body parts worthy of its own scary movie.

No matter what the hobby is, or was, it literally always engulfs my life with such an urgency and need that it supercedes all things sensible in my world -- for just about two months. Then I discover a year later in hindsight when I stumble across a paintbrush or doll head, that I have commited Hobby Dropping.

For example, in 2009, I was asked to join the knitting club at school after admitting that I used to crochet as a child.

I went to my first club meeting. There were young girls experianced enough to teach, and others awkwardly holding their needles. But all were filled with such enthusiasm, and were asking questions and showing off beautiful works of art that I began to feel the yarn calling out to me.

Hours later I was in the Michaels' checkout line with over eighty dollars worth of yarn, kntting needles, and pattern books. My evenings were spent on looking for patterns and saving them to my "future" projects box. I even had to buy a four drawer storage unit to keep it organized. And I, who never watch television was propped in front of one because my friend said that is how she finds time to finish hers. So there I sat splitting my tv time between crocheting 120 granny squares for my mom's blanket and knitting my first scarf for my husband for Christmas.

Well, it's 2013, and I believe the storage unit is in the back of the closet of the guest room wedged behind some paintings we took down, and beside an old vacuum cleaner.  The needles are still in the scarf where I left off, and the five completed granny squares should be in the bottom drawer.

Hmm, I wonder how long does it take for material to dry rot? I could always donate it to the knitting club, (which I dropped after one year, btw.)

Nah! I will get to it one day. It is, afterall, a hobby!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Workbook Blues

He sits beside me hiding beneath a blanket while doing his workbook as slowly as he possibly can. I have screamed, punished, threatened, and more. He was even begging for time-out at one point, which I refused. Why would I remove him from the very workbook I want him to complete?

"Vacation Station" they called it. Just 15 to 20 minutes of simple reading and math to keep them from forgetting everything they learned all year.

So why does it take us over two hours and a ton of stress!

Then again , maybe it is my fault. Maybe I should not have given him the bowl of cereal first?

Oh, who am I kidding, he would act like this without the sugar. 

As we are coming up on one hour and twenty minutes. My breathing has become shallow and I am feeling horribly anxious. Maybe it's from the third cup of coffee that I consumed to replace the yearning for a shot of Jack Daniels. But at least the tide has turned and he is now speaking to me again. The last thing he had said earlier as he scooted his chair as far away as possible was, "I do not like you!" I guess I am on the friends list again.

"Mommy, if I blow in your ear, will it come out the other side?"

"No, baby!"

"Can we try?"

I smiled at him and tapped the book as if to say let's get back to work.


"Okay." Maybe if I let him, he will  finish his work which should take five more minutes.

Not so gently, he blew. I stiffened and cringed beneath the spew of damp, spittled breath. Fun, I thought and then wondered how much more I would have to tolerate before he wouold get back on task.

It worked. After ten more minutes of playing "Blow Hot Wet Air in Each Other's Ears," he became bored and finally began to slowly complete the rest taking all of 1 hour and 45 minutes. Yeah! We kept it under two today!

Now it's time to start his minimum 10 minutes of daily reading. I wonder how long that is going to take?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

First Twenty-Five in Fifty

The simple email mentioned that the last day of swimming practice would be filled with fun and games and that the parents should wear suits to participate in a family relay. It was, in fact, very innocuous at best. It actually sounded like something I would not mind doing.

I knew only a small amount of the mothers had bodies suitable for the bathing suit competition in Miss U.S.A., so I had no shame in being in the larger percentage that did not. I also knew from conversations that a lot of them could not swim, either. And since they told us we would be wearing weights, I did not mind playing along for the children's sake. Lastly, the children had been told by their coach to make sure all of their parents remembered their suits, so there was little wiggle room for getting out of it, anyway.  Surely, I could participate where the parents had to run across with anklets while the children swam.

The morning of the big event, I awoke at 6:30a.m. as usual, threw on my shorts and a tank top, and headed out to walk my dog. I opened the front door and I was immediately assaulted by a burst of cold air.  The temperature had dropped 30 degrees. Instead of the 95 degree days we had been experiancing for the entire swimming season, the thermometer read sixty-four. Talk about an omen.

I quickly ran upstairs and threw on my sweats, and I do mean long pants and a jacket. This was going to be a probelm. If I couldn't even walk the dog without being bundled up, how was I supposed to strip down to a tiny swimsuit and then get into an unheated pool? It was just not going to happen. I was also sure that the children would not be forced to endure this. I hurried to check my email for the cancellation notice. 

There was none. 

That's when a tiny little voice in the back of my head reminded me of the rules: "They will swim every day rain or shine unless we hear thunder or see lightening." The rules book never mentioned temperature. And as much I was wanting to find a big black cloud off in the distance, I saw only a clear blue sky. We would be swimming. 

"Parents who are swimming, line up behind your child!" the voice commanded.

I moved to the other side of the pool and slowly began to realize something, First of all, there were very few participating parents... and secondly, most of them were men. I overheard one dad telling another how he thought it odd that his wife asked him to bring her today and then added "be sure to pack your swimsuit."

That is when it hit me, the other moms knew what was involved and had gotten out of it. The two men laughed at his joke, but they may as well have been laughing at me. I secretly cursed the fact that my husband was out of town. But I knew he could not have taken off anyway.

Next, I heard the coach announce jokingly, that the kids had voted for parents to do the breast stroke. Oh my gosh, I am actually supposed to really swim. And any stroke for me to attempt was going to be a joke. I told my son, I thought it was a mistake for me to be there and that I did not belong because I am not a real swimmer. But he looked at me and said "Uh-uh! You going in!"

Had he not noticed, I only play with him in the 4 feet, and  he has never seen me swim the length of a pool. In fact, he had to talk me into going down the waterslide for the first time last year. Somehow I feel as though those little facts escaped him. Unfortunately, he would have been heartbroken if I backed out of it now. (I know because I tried.)

I looked around again and noticed that the two other lady swimmers that I did see were wearing competition style speedo suits. The boring one piece suits that are ugly but extremely functional. I was in a two piece halter just waiting for my boobs to pop out. 

Just then my chest tightened and my breathing became very shallow. I  looked down into my proud son's face who was beaming and hugging and hanging off of me because he was so happy to have his mother one of the few participating. The was no escape. 

The whistle blew and the children swam the first leg, donning what I found out were the weights -- t-shirts that we would have to peel off of them and then place on our cold dry bodies before taking the next leg of the race.

As I fought to get into the twisted wet mess, I saw the two men on either side of me dive in like Michael Phelps. I, then, sat down shamelessly on the edge, slid into the water and proceeded to do the worst version of freestyle anyone had ever seen.

Everything I ever chastised my son for doing, was done, including keeping my head above the water. I stopped three or four times. I finally gave up on the stroke and did some crazy under water streamline the last 1/4 of the way. I stopped short of the wall because I was out of air and I couldn't find the energy to do one more stroke. It brought back images of my son struggling and stopping just shy of the wall while I screamed, "Keep going, you got to touch the wall!" Now I know what he was feeling.

As I mustered the last bit of strength to come up and lunge for it, someone grabbed my hand.  No, not to help me, but instead to get the wet T-shirt off of me while not understanding that I was fighting and pulling back under the water to keep my halter top from lifting with it.

Finally, it was on the next kid, and all eyes were off of me.

I had to stand there a moment longer to catch my breath and then it hit me, I am almost 50 years old had just swam my first 25 meters.

On the outside I may have been wheezing, and gasping for air with no energy to even climb out, on the inside I was beaming. Once again, I had conquered another fear. But for now, I guess I will finally listen to my husband and take those swimming lessons I had been avoiding like the plaque.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Jumping in the Pool with Both Eyes Closed

There we were sitting by the swimming pool of an aquaintance, watching my son play in the water alone (her boys had just left for ten days in Hawaii with their dad); meanwhile the guys grilled in her outside kitchen.

There were three of us. The other two ladies were discussing pool "stuff" while I (mildy bored) was trying desperately to listen intently without yawning:

"So who is your pool service company?"

"Pool Professionals."

"I use Acme Pool."

"Oh, I have been using mine a few years and he is pretty good."

They seem to be belting out one liners of  information just to fill the silence because there was no real discussion or reason to the statements.

"I have a new guy. I have had him for two years and he is really good.

Did she just say she has used him "for two years?" News flash: He is not new anymore.


"Yes, he is Hispanic, but he really knows his stuff"

Did she just say that? Why does it matter what his ethnicity is? Because he is Hispanic is he not supposed to know anything about pools. Now if she said he was young, but he really knows his stuff, that would be acceptable.

"Have you heard of the new resurfacing material? It's supposed to be great on the bottom."

"Oh yes. I am having it applied next month."

"I am so glad that I have the electronic cover."

"Me too. It really helps."

Helps what? I wondered because neither finished that thought?

Finally, I chimed in, "Wow, that blue tarp rolls out by itself? I thought you had to pull it across."

"Oh no!" they sang together.

"It keeps all the leaves out and you wouldn't have to get a fence if you didn't want to," one said.

Wait, what did she say? I think I heard something I could actually comment on; I could finally join the conversation. Or, so I thought.

"I definitely can understand and relate. Even though all I have is a cheeesy blow-up pool from Big Lots for my son, I still need to take into consideration the two year old next door since we do not have a fence. So much to my son's dismay, I have to deflate it or drain it every night for fear of him wondering onto my property and crawling in. So imagine the water bill to constantly fill it. It's crazy."

I waited. No response.

I went on, "Because all it takes is a couple of inches of water to drown a little one."

Still no response.

"We all share one expansive yard without a fence; the kids just run from one yard to another."

Uncomfortable silience.

"So that pool cover unwinds and covers it automatically, huh?"

"Oh yes, you just push a button."

"That's great," I said with a big Vanna White smile that was probably just as genuine (not) as hers. The only difference was that she got paid to put hers on while I was trying to hide behind mine.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

All Things Possible!

Yes, one and a half months ago I ran my first 5K. That was huge to me. But it cannot touch Saturday's feat. I completed a 1/2 marathon.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a bad back and knees. They also know that I signed up for this run back in December when I had not so much as run a 1/4 mile in two years. But Anita asked and I said yes.

Well, I honestly admit that I did not practice like I was supposed to for the race. I was either too cold, too late, or I was too tired, so I did not start practicing until February. I had my first 5K scheduled in March and had a big fall two days before the 3 mile run. But, I did it anyway and was fine. In fact I was proud of myself. I had run my first race. But the next day I was tingling and numb all over. I had to hang upside down on an inversion machine just to stop the pain and then lay on the floor for twenty minutes. I was a mess.

Over the course of the month, I was taking Motrin and/or Naproxin around the clock. I had all but stopped running and had told everyone that I would not be running in the race in June.

Before I knew it, it was June -- my girfriend arrived bringing along with her stories from her last few races of other women who were ill prepared but yet still tried. She also offered me other walk/run ideas. I listened. I heard. I thought about how much that race meant to me. It was a bucket list item. And on top of that, I loved seeing the pride on my husband’s face when he told others that I was going to attempt it. Needless to say, I easily took the bait (it did not help that the race cost me over 100 dollars). I was going to at least start. Since I had sore knees and a stiff neck, I told myself I would play it safe and run a mile, maybe even three, just to say I ran in it. I suited up -- pinned on my number and got in line with 3000 other overzealous people. 

It was a wine country event so I figured I could run a mile or two and then go back and drown myself in my sorrows until my friend crossed the finish line. 

I lined up, the gun went off and we ran. 

I felt okay. I was listening to my body, and I heard nothing. But I listened to my head and was told to stop before I do hurt something. I thought about a little more and decided that I had to take care of myself because my family needed me. I would stop at the second mile marker.

That’s when a lady ran passed and got in front of me. Her shirt was not covered in endorsements, but a message instead: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).

Whoa! Is that message for me, I thought. I continued to question my abilities, my sanity, and whether or not I should even be trying. But the message kept coming into my mind.  I quickly realized that that message was absolutely for me.

I had been hurting so bad the week before that I was popping pain pills like candy. But that shirt was a sign to keep pressing on. Though I have herniated discs, bad knees, and a chronic achy back, I felt nothing that day. I took my time and was surrounded by the angels in the back: women half my height and double my width, men with limps, people way older than me both walking and running. How can you stop with them for inspiration? So I didn't.

I ran 11 of the 13 miles and walked two. And yes I finished the 1/2 Marathon. I eventually realized that it was not so I could gloat, but so I could stand as a testament to the power of the Lord. And I believe that I was allowed to do so to inspire someone else that if you believe and put your trust in the Lord, all things are possible!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

More than 11 MInute Mile Pokey People

Wow! I had no idea what head games I would have to deal with in a simple 5K run. It was my first, and being a virgin, I was truly naive. I thought we would all line up in our proper places and pleasantly run at the pace we had accustomed ourselves to, enjoying the scenery and urging each other along.

What I was not prepared for was the onslaught of verbal abuse that would plague me the entire race from begining to end. There was name calling, bereting language, and put downs. Any support and urging given was all from a negative point of view (ie: Is that the best you can do?) I was truly not aware of what to expect. And the most surprising part of it all was that it all came from within.

The whistle blew, gun shot, or someone yelled. I still am not sure how we knew to start, I just moved with the crowd. Two minutes into it, I was out of breath. I was unintentionally running with a 10 minute miler friend. I did not mean too, but I was standing beside her chatting when everyone surged forward. And when that happens you move together like cattle on a stampede. That is when I understood the purpose of the 11 mile sign lady standing on the side of the road. I thought she was just standing there to watch the show, and would later drive over to mark the eleventh mile. But what the sign really meant was that the people standing in that area can all run a mile in under 11 minutes. Hence, the gun goes off, they move together -- no problem. Except, I was right in the middle of the pack. And that is exactly when the yelling began: What in the world were you thinking? You are a 16 minute miler. Slow down you idiot, or you will not make it to the first mile. 11 Mile Marker, huh? THIS IS A 5K AND 10K RACE! THERE ARE ONLY 6 MILES IN IT!

I had to slow up, but how to do it was another issue. There were people shoulder to shoulder, and to do so would have tripped someone else up. (Or maybe me, again.--see last blog.) Soon, the pack began to thin out after we reached the open road, and I was able to slow down to my normal pace... just in time before  passing out from over-exertion.

After I caught my breath and found my pace, I could finally relax and enjoy the scenery. And what did I see?Dog walker/runners passing me. People with strollers passing me. Little children passing me. My old students passing me. Why, even slightly obese people were passing me. Wow! I thought I was prepared. Well, obviously not, the little voice snipped.

But I kept chugging along.

Watching a dog runner/walker made me feel guilty.  I was thinking I should have brought my own Daisy, except I knew she would have pooped at least three times; that is exactly when their dog stopped to poop. Hah! I made the right choice I thought as I ran pass them. I guess the joke was on me though, because each time their dog stopped... and they stopped, they still caught up and passed me, eventually disappearing up ahead.

I was watching yet another stroller person bombard and run through us "slower than 11 mile a minute pokey people" like we were an obstacle course.  I soon realized that I should not have been upset with the stroller runner people for passing me because most of them were young stay-at-home moms who have nothing better to do than run every morning to bring back their youthful figures (that were not gone away to begin with.) They were forced by the rules to start in the back of the pack, but must of them (and some were men) belonged up with the sprinting "less than 10 mile a minute" runners.

Up ahead, my old favorite student who had sprinted passed me ealier had slowed to a walk. Yeah! I thought, I can run to catch up and say hello. Wrong! I was able to catch up just before she took off again, but was too tired to do more than squeak out a breathy, "Good..gasp gasp... to see...gasp... you. I... gasp...would hug you,... gasp, gasp... but it would... take...gasp... too... much...gasp... energy." I then mustered enough energy to run on a bit, so I could hide in a small pack to catch my breath out of her sight.

Are you crazy? Please don't do that again! You know that you cannot run and talk at the same time! And you had the nerve to run ahead like Flo-Jo to save face? Puh-leeze!

It was about that time that I had passed the first mile marker and was feeling pretty good about myself -- until I looked over my shoulder and became painfully aware of how many... or should I say few, people were behind me. The name calling began again. Is this the best you can do? You have old people passing you. I looked back again and saw about thirty  stragglers. I looked ahead and saw small children. I was in the back of the pack. Eighty percent of the runners were ahead. What was I doing wrong?

That is when I began to notice the helpers in their bright orange vests would always call out to me to "hang in there." You must look like the walking dead for every one of them to single you out for support, she said. Leave me alone, I screamed back -- in my head. But was this truly the best I could do? I had been practicing for a couple of weeks. Surely my pace was not this slow. I then remembered something my track coach used to yell thirty-something years ago (when I last ran for a real meet). "Open your legs!" Yes, I know that is normally not what you want to yell to a lady, but keeping them closed was exactly my problem. My 5'7" frame had the stride of a 4 year old. My husband would be proud to hear the women inside my head screaming, Open your legs! Quit being such a stingy strider! Wider,wider!  So I did.

Suddenly, I began passing others. I kept my same slow pace and passed my student, again. I then passed the two cheerleader mean girls who I saw making fun of my favorite student behind her back (the teacher in me wanted to chastise them, but the jogger me did not have the strength to do it properly).

I passed a few of the elderly and overweight folk who had passed me earlier. They were all walking now. I had a childish urge to tease "Naa, naa, na-naa, naa!" but didn't. Instead, I had an epiphany, they did not have a pace, they ran fast short distances and then would stop and walk long ways. I was doing it the right way.

As I neared the end of the race, we came upon a huge hill. Well, more like a slight upward grade that you would not normally notice if walking, but one that would seem like Mount Everest at the end of a run. I saw people falling by the wayside as I ran passed them and started feeling real good about myself. Yes! All that running on a hill in my neighborhood was paying off. Oh, don't you get too cocky missy, she reared her ugly head again, if that were the case, you would not be breathing like someone having an asthma attack. 

She was right. By the time I got to the top, I was panting hard and the finish line seem to be moving backwards as I moved forward. The orange vest people were really pouring it on thick now. You must look like you are going to die. The balloons that framed the finish line beckoned and teased. A lady beside me kept saying come on Mom you can do it! You must look so tired and ragged that people are referring to you as an old mother dragging down the home stretch. Yeah, she was not talking to me. Her mother was literally right behind me. Up ahead, even at fifty yards away, I could spot my 6'4" husband above the crowd.

Yes, you are fiinihing but what a sight you are going to be crawling across that line. 

NO! I will not! I can do this and I will do it in style.

No, you can't!


I suddenly felt a strength from deep down inside rise up and take over. I felt my legs lift higher. My body went upright. My back straightened and my legs kept lifting higher and higher. I could not believe it. Even the voice inside my head quieted. I felt her attitude change.

I began to sprint! The voice inside began to cheer!

You can do it! Faster, faster!

I sprinted the last 40 yards to cross the finish line in front of my proud, beaming husband and son.

And my time? I came in at 36 minutes and 34 seconds. I was not a 16 minute a mile runner afterall. I was now a 12 minute a mile runner.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

First Things First

It was a day of "firsts." I completed my first 45 minute run. As I rounded the bend I was especially happy to see my husband had come outside to watch me, and my son had run to the end of the driveway to join me on the last three minutes. He was so excited about running with me that he got too close, whereby I proceeded to trip myself up and "first" fall. Embarrassed at my lack of coordination in front of my cheering audience, I did what any wannabe athelete would do, I jumped up and yelled, "I am okay!" And, just like the Olympians who continue on after a big spill when they know they have lost, I checked my timer to see how much time I had and continued on as if all was well -- while silently grimacing at my sore hip and scrapped palms, and simultaneously planning a long hot bubble bath, glass of wine, and Naproxen.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Caught in a Mousetrap

I once compared my weight loss to a rollercoaster ride, but I have decided that actually it does not resemble one, at least not in the traditional sense. You see, a rollercoaster goes waaayyy up,... and then waaayyyy down -- FAST. Well, I have yet to see the "wayyyy down."

So while I am truly on a ride, it is more akin to a Mousetrap. It goes up a little bit, dips and turns the corner, only to coast at the same level for a couple of weeks. Then, it dips again when you least expect it, but not for a long drop. Instead, just when you brace yourself for the exhilerating glide downhill, it stops after a few feet and jerks you back up so fast your head spins. 

You are left wondering if you enjoyed yourself or if you truly have whiplash from the all the jerky movements. Why can't this weight loss be more like the amusement park drop tower rides? You know, the ones that take you up high and drops you free-fall style never to go up again. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Gift

Though the following is a re-post from my Weight Watcher's blog, I felt it was words that anyone seeking to better their life by making smarter health conconscoius decision's could understand:

The Gift

I believe that the road to success in this journey goes beyond staying OP! It is about your attitude! Above or below your points is just a guideline, the journey is in self-worth and acceptance of each day as a unique gift. 

Recently, I have been getting down on myself just because I could not refuse that scoop of ice cream, or because I could have gone to bed instead of down to the kitchen. But just the other day as I looked disappointedly at my swollen, distended belly, and noted the extra 4lbs on the scale, it hit me like a ton of bricks. There are other things going on that are out of my control. First of all, I am human and I have wants, needs, cravings, and weaknesses -- and quite frankly, I am allowed because the last time I checked, I was not perfect in any sense of the word. But also, I cannot control everything. I am a female, and I had forgotten that by God's plan, I must ovulate, hence I will crave, I will cramp, and I will fill up with water like a child's balloon on a hot summer's day. And that is something I definitely cannot control. 

So, yes, I do have a goal, but the points are a guideline to adhere to help us understand portions and to help get to our goals. But they are not the measure of overall success. So while I had become a slave to them and was horribly upset if I had broken my "master's" rules, I should have been concentrating on controlling the call of the wild (or how much chocolate I ate) and not beating myself up as if it is the end of the world. Simply being here at WW to concentrate on my health is far more important than not meeting a goal or deadline. Yes, we are on a journey, but no road is flat, they are filled with hills and valleys. So sit back and enjoy the ride, each day is a gift -- Treasure yourself!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Lone-Ly Ranger

A good mommy does not get upset when he announces at bedtime that he needs to be a cowboy tomorrow. She dutifully gets up extra early (4:30 a.m.) and digs out bandanas, irons a plaid shirt and jeans, rummages for a vest, an old toy horse on a stick, and stuffs socks in her own cowboy boots so they will stay on his feet. She places dad's too big hat on his head and she smiles as he smiles at his perfect costume. 

A good mommy does not get upset when she picks him up at 3:00 p.m. and is told by the teacher that he was one week too early.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

If You Can't Beat'em...

I know they say you can't beat a dead horse, but I swear I am going to try! Can we talk about stinkbugs-- again? You see, since my fall tirade postings I have come to terms with their existence in my life. I no longer scream for my husband, though my heart does still skip a beat and I do a half a gasp everytime one is spotted IN MY HOUSE!!!!!

But, I have come to accept the fact that importing has given us the gift of a new, invincible, and predator-less insect to our ecology. I have finally come to grips with the fact that this BUG is virtually indestructable and will not only wreck havoc on our vegation, but will winter and nest in our homes.

So, instead of crying over things that I cannot control (short of moving to Iceland), I have put on my big girl panties and have decided to come up with some ingenious ways to deal with the situation. If you can't beat'em,... step on them, crush them, or kill them without paying the price, then use them.

Here are my top ten ways to take advantage of the situation:

10. Save their dying bodies and plant along your garden to deter rabbits. (Beware, their stinking bodies is a love call for more, and be aware that they probably already ate your garden).

9. Put a collection of dying carcasses on the bad neighbor's yard to attract them to his/her house.

8. Mail an envelop full to the B.O.S (School district Board of Supervisors) who keeps voting down your raise.

7. Mail them to anyone, for that matter, who has pissed you off.

6. Crush them up and use them as homemade pepper spray.

5. Use them as a gag gift by putting them in a sachet and sealing it with a bow!

4. Hide a bagfull in your exe's car.

3. Make and sell stinkbug paper weights.

2. Learn to like the flavor and make Mexican tacos. (Please note they use a differant supposedly cinniman tasting bug but of the same family.

1. Create Asian American Stinkilas. Made with an American tequila, instead of asking someone if he/she swallowed the worm, you ask the party reveler did he/she "Drink the Stink?"


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Not Just for Guacamole Anymore!

Who knew! Maybe you all did, but I can certaninly admit that I only just started buying fresh cilantro since Christmas when a friend shared her "to die for" guacamole recipe. And I did what any other person who normally cooks everything using boxes and instant add-one-ingredient foods, I used a little bit and threw out the rest. Afterall, what else could you do with it? I did not make anything else fresh except for collard greens at Christmas, so I did not need it in any other recipes. To the garbage with the cilantro, and the garlic for that matter.

However, just recently, I was watching a movie called Hungry for Change and discovered much to my surprise that it actually has a huge benefit to our health. It is not just for spicing up guacaumole, it is great for cleaning out the old system as a metal detox. Can anyone say "mercury," or am I the only one who likes tuna? They also mentioned mercury fillings in teeth. (Why people are still doing that, I do not know?) 

As for nutirents, it gives 45% of RDI vitamin C, 200+ of vitamin A, and 258% of vitamin K (based on websites such as

 Lastly, shockingly, to use it they simply added to the salad. I would not have to buy a new food processing gadget or learn a new recipe. It was simple. 

So my question to you is since tomorrow is the super bowl, are you making guacamole?

Friday, February 1, 2013

We All Laughed When She Bought herself a Juicer

25 years ago my mother sat up one night watching televsion, and a week  later it arrived. The Juiceman's Juicer. Oh, how we chided her, "You will buy anything that they show for 30 minutes or more." "It's called brainwashing," we said. "You'll never use it," we teased. She never did. It sat in the box for 15 to twenty years before she past it off to one of us as a prized possession worthy of willing out. And my sister did what any of us would have done at the time, she moved it into her basement.

Now either I am turning into my mother by falling for all the stay young, stay healthy hype, or maybe she was on to something. And possibly she would be a lot healthier if she had actually used it herself because all the research (which I am sure had been there all alone but is now easier to find with the advent of media today) is touting the benefits of a raw healthy organic plant based diet. She was right, and we are all now scrambling to find ways to add more servings to our own diets.

I must admit, it must have been a lot easier for her to choose back then. There were what, one or two choices? Well, I made the mistake of verbalizing my intent to buy on my social networking page recently and was hit with a barage of whose using what, and which is the best. Vitamix, Blendtac, Omicron, soup makers, dough makers, green cutters, nutmilk bags and so on and so forth. Talk about overwhelming. I was waiting for the right one, the right price, the right day of the week to attend a demonstration, the strongest consumer report review, the user reviews, and lastly, approval from my husband if I was going to get to get the one that costed $400 dollar.

Enough! I said yesterday as I lay nursing a cold and wishing I had my new juicer to make an immune deficiencey concoction to help. I lay there, and through the clarity of a foggy, cold head, I asked myself why do I need one and what do I intend to do with it?  I then, with the appropriate answers did a few more comparisons, read some more reviews, threads, and articles but this time they were focused on the answers I was seeking. 

Now armed with more information, in particular, the differences between a Juicer which pulls out of the nutrients but no fiber and oxidizes fast... so drink up...or a Masticater which uses all of the fruit giving you fiber but in a thicker, pulpy, smoothis like drink. What would it be for me, the "mere" juicer like the liquifying Breville or a grinder ripper fiber infusing masticater blender, like the Vitamix.
The original goal had been to augment my diet with an added option for getting my veggies, not replace them completely. I love cooking and creating new dishes and the color and smells are important to me. Others have touted the Vitamix's abiliity to heat up the veggie juice into a soup in two minutes. But I love slow cooker soups that simmer and bring all the flavors together scenting up the home warmly. So the soup maker was not a necessity. I am about 80% or more gluten free so I don't need the bread maker because, so far anyway, I buy frozen organic gluten free bread. Lastly, the thickness of the pulp that I kept reading about bothered me a bit. I will not even eat fruit-on- the-bottom yogurt. I only do vanilla or thinner pudding types. Also, I kept reading how you can put it in a nutmilk bag to strain it, and that is an extra step. No thank you! 

So I opted for the Breville juicer which kept coming in as highest in its catagory.  As for the fiber, I will attempt to add it in other delicious and nutrious ways through my diet. By the way, I am in no way intending to undermine the Vitamix. It sounds like a wonderful machine. It just does not sound like what I need at the momment. It reminds me of the Kirby Vacuum. When my husband told me how the Kirby man came by and showed him the most amazing things that their vacuum could do. The man said it can be used on curtains and sofas, you can vacuum the stairs, you can even vacuum the mattress and get all types of crud and micro-organisms out of your bed. And I just looked at him incredulously and said, yes but who has time and who is going to do it? He laughed and agreed, but I later found the cancellation reciept for the order he had placed.

And just like I am not vacuuming matresses, I do not have a desire or need, yet anyway, to make bread with a blender.

Of course it may just be something that I grow to need as I continue to grow in my quest for good health. Until then I will keep you posted on how it went with my new juicer! Cheers!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Carnavore No More? Hmm?

Oh my! Am I becoming a bleeding heart for animals? Okay, well maybe I was already one considering I have always been one to catch an insect and set them outside. After watching them throw themselves mercilessly into windows that confuse them so much, I have always felt that they made a wrong left turn and accidentally got in the house only to find themselves chased down and smashed to death as they try desperately to figure out how to get out. But even then, I was not too much of a bleeding heart because I did discriminate. If I could, I would take a semi-automatic shotgun to a mosquito, cockroach, or stinkbug (if it didn't stink so bad to kill it). 

But recently I watched a scene from a vegan convert brainwash eat healthier movie where a sad and mooing mother cow was chasing down the baby calf that they had ripped moments earlier from her body. They were dragging it across the ground to another location to become veal whilst they prepared to inseminate her in order to keep her pumping the leche. Got milk? 

Well, it kind of made it hard to buy the meat for my newest recent lamb stew recipe. Obviously not too hard though, because it wore off a week later as I broke down and made a crock pot of beef stew.

But the seed has been planted and the images keep coming back. And lately, I must admit, I truly keep finding myself dining on more and more meatless plates these days. Why, I even made my famous black bean six can dump soup with – brace yourself – vegetable broth. And the McDonald chicken nuggets that I typically so bravely dine upon with my six year old son, now turns my stomach with the thought of how they are raised, treated, processed, and well,... put together.

I am not saying that I am out to save cows and chickens, become a vegan, and join PETA's painting parties. I own a fur, and I wear leather... (so far.) And yes, I will use the same imaginary semi-automatic on the PETA people that I would use on my mosquito if any one of them dared look at my coat. It was a special gift, and if anybody is going to throw paint, it will be me once I complete my conversion. For now, I am not making any declarations… or judgments for that matter.  I will simply keep reading journals, watching documentaries, and trying like “Susan,” to desperately find myself (or at least good health) and see where it will take me.

A Death Notice (Addendum to last Post)

My dearest friends and followers of my blog, TacomaBlues, (in particular the latest post: A fishy Situation aka Prozac for Nemo) I am saddened to say that just 12 short hours after his recent stardom, Goldie Smith suffered an untimely death and passed away due to some unknown ailments. The family refused an autopsy so it was unclear if it was toxic shock or shock due to another clean bowl. The family had a private memorial late this afternoon. He is survived by a doting grandmother, a loving boy and three siblings: Sasha Blue (the betta), Daisy (the dog), and Maisy (the hampster). The family is truly heart broken,,, and, well, just plain broke at the loss of the free 15 cent $50.00 goldfish named Goldie.

On a side note, my son is doing fine. He understood and wanted to be the one to make the eulogy and pour the body into the porcelain water casket. He then quickly took over Sasha Blue, my blue betta, relocating her to his room to help him get over the pain. Oddly, he decided to forgo the fancy filtered tank siting it as a death trap.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Fishy Situation aka Prozac for Nemo?

Did I ever tell you about the silly little $50.00 free fish named Goldie. You see, my son won him at a school carnival. So, yes, he was free ... after $2.00 in quarters. My next door neighbor's son was bragging about the three fish he had gotten making my son a tad bit jealous. But, I explained that she was a teacher there, so they gave him the leftovers. As the son of a teacher from a different school, he would get no perks, or special treatment....though in all honesty, the teenage girls running the game felt sorry for him and gave him the fish after the eighth try. Personally I was quite content teaching him he can't always win. So much for life's lessons. He is already learning all right -- to work the girls.

It was a full night of basketball, popcorn, and quasi-cute and ingenoius homemade games. I decided it was time to leave after lightly questioning a teacher who rubbed me the wrong way. I scooped up my son and his new pet in a bag that was smothered and wrapped with our winter coats. I didn't want another animal but knew this one would not be around too long.

However, heading home I began to sense I that I was in trouble; they had bonded. Well, more like my son fell in love. I got that impression when he began crying profusely after I said we would not go that night for a fishbowl. So, I did what any mother would to preserve her sanity, I made a u-turn and headed to the nearest pet store 20 minutes away for a bowl, some rocks, and some Goldfish food. Cha-ching: $20.00. So much for free.

Next, we did what any parent would do. We put it in the bowl and pushed the big red Staple's button that said, "That was easy!"

One week later, A horrible smell began seeping out of his room. It reeked of ammonia and the fish was barely visible behind a foggy haze of soot. I knew then and there that I could not put it off anymore. I moved the bowl to my office until I could change it later that day. And...finally... three days later, I braved the door to my office half expecting to see a floater. But much to my surprise, there swimming happily beneath a cloud thicker than Mount Saint Helen's ash and smelling like a sulphur pit, was Goldie (more like Ochre by then).

I poured him and some of his soot into a bowl, and dumped the rest. I then happily poured him into his temporary digs, a baptismal salad bowl font of fresh, clear, cool water. He looked oh so happy swimming around -- or so it seemed.

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum... that frisky new member of the family...who should have loved being in his temperary situation while I waited another two or three days to clean his permanent one, lay suspiciously still at the bottom of his retention pond.

Uh-oh! I then kept the door closed on my office, not to hide the smell, but to keep my son from popping in and questioning me for the murder of his new pet. The funny thing is that my son did not even ask his about his $24.00 free fish the entire time. The smell had turned him off, too. And secondly, it was not quite dead. It was twitching ever so slightly at the bottom. As much as I did not want it to die and break my son's heart, I was a little perturbed at its resilience.

The next morning as I was sneaking a peak to check for movement, my son burst in behind me. I stiffened at the prospect of explaining this new phase of life and then announced, as ceremoniously as possible, "Baby, Goldie died. Now let's go flush him!"

"Huh, flush him?"

I realized the bluntness of my ways and softened it a bit by explaining, "We bury fish at sea...through the toilet. And then we say a prayer."

"Oh, okay!"

"Now let's hurry up and do it, so that we are not late for school!"

As I grabbed the bowl, my son screamed, "MOM, wait, he is moving!"


Sure enough, the little booger twitched. I had moved too slowly.

 I explained that he was truly almost dead, so we will have the burial after school... I was sure.

That evening I went in to do the dirty deed. He was lying there motionless at the bottom of the empty bowl when he twitched again. "Oh hell, let me throw him into his old bowl. His now clean, ammonia-free old bowl with the gold beehive and blue and red fake bush and see how long he lasts.

Well, much to my surprise, the damn thing started swimming and jumping like Shamu at Sea World. How do you go from deadlike and twitching to lively and  acrobatic in under 60 seconds flat? You don't! Not if you are sick, but you do if you are sad. I am now firmly convinced that the little bugger was not ill at all, but depressed and in need of prozac. Fish have feelings, Nemo was not a lie!

The nice young lady at the pet store tried to convince me that it had experianced s a toxic shock caused by going from nasty to clean (my own description). But I am convinced otherwise. He was after all, still in the same water he had been playing possum in for two days. (By the way, don't joke callously to pet store fish attendants about flushing fish after leaving them in pure ammonia piss for five days. They don't think it's funny.)

Later that night, as I dined on my Tilapia with lemon pepper and capers, I looked down at it and wondered what he was feeling as he was swept up into his net. And then my mind wondered further, like one house over, as I pondered how did my neighbor get all three of her son's goldfish to die? I can't get rid of one.

Lastly, on a a sidenote, I decided that if I must change a bowl that often, I had to breakdown and get a small filtered tank for his room. And I was in luck, they were on sell for $20.00, plus a net and a Betta fish for me (I have to use the old bowl for some right?) Last count, the free 15 cent goldfish was up to $48.00 plus tax. And the new filtered tank seems to look a little cloudy already... just two days later.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


There was a time when plastic surgery was frowned upon, speculated on, and whispered about. For example, (I'm telling my age now) when I grew up, the big question in the seventies and early eighties was whether or not Dolly Parton's boobs were real. Now-a-days, women are openly discussing and wanting it, and men feel it is okay to voice their desire for wives to get it -- enhancements , that is. It usually happens a year or two after delivery of the children they mutually wanted, knowing full out right, (or maybe not) how much it would change the females' bodies.

First, she gets pregnant. Next, a once small breasted perky person morphs into a suddenly voluptuous vixen donning perfectly round melons. "God is in the heavens, and all is right with the world."

Then the baby is born. And soon thereafter, the boobs, when no longer in use, flop like balloons stuck with a hyperdomic needle. The husband stops drooling. Instead he looks at his once perky partner and exclaims (jokingly of course) that she "looks like one of the African women from the National Geographic Magazine."

And we all know what he is talking about. We all remember our first glimpse of porn. We are in elementary school, and we stumble across the magazine with the topless, tribal women. Instead of being turned on, the boys are turned off... maybe even turned gay at the sight of the long and flat exposed boob with a child dangling waisthigh at the end by its mouth. It gives me shivers to say. In fact it is an image that has probably affected many a female's decision not to breastfeed.

Next, because it is the millinium, and there are no holds bar, the husband feels safe saying that he will pay for a boob job if she really wants it. And she, who, herself, has bought into to the image/lie/expectation is thrilled because she can return her body to a more appeasing body type based on all of the images that tell us what what we are supposed to look like.

However, these day, the news is filled with enough "don't do it" images and stories that would scare anybody -- male or female. a beautiful socialite now looks like a freak-of-nature lion. A once handsome male movie star looks like a play dough come-to-life character best suited for Ironman's evil villain. There are images of lumpy, uneven breasts and stories of fungus infested silicone pouches seeping out and poisoning women's bodies. The wife is not so sure she is on board.

Oh, but he is. He misses all of her clues, hints, and omissions and keeps talking about "when she can get it done. And when finally that day comes, when he says he wants to get it for her birthday present, she finally admits she never really wanted it.

Suddenly, it is like a vacuum has sucked all the sound out of the room.

After the momentary uncomfortable silence, "I thought it is what you wanted?"

Deep breath. "No, it's what you wanted. I never said I wanted one."

Silence, followed by, "But you always close the door when you are dressing, and you always want the light out."

It is amazing to the female that he does not understand that she hides because she does not want to be ridiculed even in jest. He thinks it is because she is ashamed. Maybe she is to a certain extent, but only with him.

Some say "men are from Mars and women are from Venus." Perhaps that is truly what's going on.  Men can and do say anything that they are feeling. But a female would never joke about a man's body or laugh at it during the most vulnerable time when one is completely unclad, especially it it has its ups and downs. She would not suggest that he go out and get enhancement surgery... or even hint at the little blue prescription. The implication alone is enough to ruin a relationship. So, we just wait patiently and pray for them to figure it out on  their own.

Meanwhile, women are absolutely thrilled that men are open enough and caring enough to have the conversation about their female bodies because it shows they care? Or maybe it's because they know they won't mind that $8,000 expense (from the same person who tenses at the purchase of much needed shoes). Hmm.

It leaves me thinking back to the Natioal Geographic tribal ladies. Maybe we should actually be aspiring to be like them. They have no shame, and obviously their men don't have a problem with it either. Instead of "fixing" ouselves, maybe we should learn to accept nature's intentions all strive to be flat, droopy, and proud!

Monday, January 21, 2013


I have been vegucated! It started with a New Year's resolution, though, I did not set out to drastically change anything other than the number on my scale and the size of my waistline.

My husband, on the other hand, had decided to buy "us" an elliptical for Christmas, and I decided to use it. Not one to enjoy the monotonous ride to nowhere on any moving machine, I needed a distraction to fool myself into staying on longer than the prescribed absolute lowest effective 12 minutes workout. So while most people use music, I need to be so totally engrossed (audibly and visually) that I lose track of time. For me, I had to watch a movie.

Based on the past viewing on my iPad, Netflix suggested Scooby Doo, Mutant Ninja Turtles, Charlie Brown, and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. I opted for the last one. (Obviously, the others were based on my son's selections because he truly uses my iPad more than I do.) Now, the last title, though not something I was drawn to, was based on my interest in a certain type of documentary, and I did not have time to surf their site for other selections. After all, it was 4:45am, and I was too sleepy to think for myself. Lucky me, because it forced me to watch the first movie in a trio that set me on my path to a better diet and a new me.

In the movie, a gentleman who was not my idea of "sick and dying" but rather overweight and irritated, went on a 60 day juice fast. It really was amazing how much he lost based on pure vegetable consumption.  It either meant he was starving himself to death, or the processed food he used to consume was so filled with "junk" and fillers that he was overweight because of it.

Half way into the film, we met another man who at 400+ really was a few pounds from his grave. By the end of the movie he was not only very much alive, but was a spokesman for vegetables, and was even running on a regular basis -- something I wasn't even doing. By the time I finished the movie, I wanted to buy a juicer and crates of veggies and fruit to shove through it. But after a day or two I knew I could do no more than a week's fast at the most... if, that is, I ever tried at all.

Next, NetFlix suggested Vegucation. The last one was a winner, so I took their advice again. By the time I was half way through that film, I seriously considered going vegan. However, reality set in, and I realized more important than switching from carnivore to herbivore was once again, how I needed to add more veggies to my diet. Also, it made me realize the importance of buying organic and  not just for the vegetables, but also when eating meat.

The last movie in this trilogy of my "vegucation" is Forks Over Knives. This one was important in giving me facts and clinical trials that show the effects of vegetables and meat on our health, in particular was the relationship of health diseases to the comsumption of meat. The facts were amazing. There were entire countries that had little to no cancer, heart, or liver disease that consumed little to no meat. Then there was meat heavy United States, need I say more.

I will say that I am not about to become a vegetarian, but I did some soul searching and felt that my plate was filled with typical American portions, the vegetable was a side dish... a really small side dish to a huge hunk of carcas. Thus for me, just as pizza was not a pizza without pepperoni, a meal was not complete without meat. And that is what I am changing.

Of course I am always one to overdo everything, I went from eating a few vegetables and very little fruit, to eating many more vegetables, and using fruit for an all day snack fest. Hey, it was fresh, and since I am trying to lose a little weight, it was something I could gorge myself on guiltlessly to fight off my hunger pains-- or so I thought.

Well, when they say everything is to be done in moderation, they mean everything. I ate so much fruit in the last week that I have turned on the histomine. As I sit here with an itchy black and bumpy lip, and puffy, itchy eyes, I wonder if it was the grapefruit and four oranges a day for a week that has set me off. And now I am terrified to consume any fruit at all, yet I am afraid to eat too much meat. Gluten bloats me up, and cuccmbers and peppers give me indigestion. I have no idea what to eat anymore. Can anyone suggest a good documentary to help me out?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Wining My Way to the Finish Line

When I said I knew I could not write everyday, I had no idea just how hard it could be to commit. So here I am, 14 days later, writing my second post of the year. And on top of that, I guarantee it will be a short one because it is 5:00 am and I am supposed to be on my way to the basement to workout before work.

Yes, I said I am actually working out before I leave these days, and yes, I love it. So I guess my husband was right (that's something you will NEVER hear him say about me by the way). Yes, he was correct. Having that machine, that so called Christmas gift to each other that I was pissed off about, was the best thing he could have ever done. Not only am I working out consistently, but it has gotten me motivated, back in the gym, and as of two days ago, running outside. I figured it really is going to be my year.

In fact, call me a glutton for punishment, but I bit the bullet and signed up for my first 1/2 marathon yesterday. Now considering I have never so much as competed in a 5k (translation 3 miles), I do not know how I anticipate finishing 13 miles. When I signed up online, they asked me how long I would take to finish, and my immediate thought was "all day", but it would not let me type that. I then began asking my true runner friends what I could expect. The politically correct experienced one said a little over two hours. So I typed in 2 hours and 45 minutes, and the computer (I am still baffled as to how in the world it knew me so well), changed my anticipated time to 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Now, not only do I have something to prove to my husband, and even my own self doubt, but I now have to prove a computer wrong! I can truly say, though, that whatever the outcome, it will be a win-win. Since it begins and ends at a winery. I will either be celebrating a victory, or crying into a few bottles of sauvignon blanc (make that viognier since it will be a Virginia winery).  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I was reflecting on 2012 and trying to write about it when I decided who cares? It was a good year overall. We were blessed with a new home, and our big boys have made drastic changes in their maturity level. And we took a wonderful memorable one day trip to New York this Christmas. Of course, there were the crazy moments as well where I lost a student to diabetes and it was heartbreaking. I lost a friend to my husband's wishy-washy compulsive personality. I helped a sister, disagreed with another one, and had to help my mom keep her home all because of the sister I helped. I could go on. But why dwell in the past. Like I said, overall it was good.

I would like instead to think about the future and all the things that I have resolved to do in 2013. I need to lose weight (made the list again for 10 straight years), for some reason it keeps going up instead of coming off. I will continue with another repeat offender: exercising more. It may actually happen this year. My husband decided in December that "we" were going to give ourselves an elliptical machine for Christmas. (And he had the audacity to say that we would not exchange gifts because the machine... that he wanted...was it. But that is a whole 'nother story.) Anyway, maybe I really can be a little more consistent now that that contraption, I mean gift (that took us three days to put together) is in the basement.

Sorry, I digressed a bit. I would also like to attempt to eat whole foods. That is going to be hard... and expensive. Not to mention I am not a fan of having to prepare and cook all day every day, but I really think there is something to the claims that there are a lot of unnatural stuff in our foods. Besides, I tried Gluten Free last year and was able to pull it off. Let's see how else I can torture myself this time.

Let's see, every year now for ten years "learn how to play golf" has made the list. The closest that I got to it, was eight years ago when I bought my husband lessons thinking I would piggyback on it with him. However, as luck would have it, his back went out, and he had surgery that put him out of commission for the rest of the year. No golf for anyone.

Another resolution pains me to even have to say. I would like to travel more. As a retired flight attendant, it is unfathomable that I have to even say it because that means that I rarely travel at all anymore as much as I loved it.

Now, a big one that is going to be hard for me is making time for myself. I resolve to get more than one pedicure a year. I am going to visit my friends. I am going to buy myself some clothes. I am going to not only try to get my hair done, I am going to take my son to a barber and my dog to the groomer because I am tired of doing all four of our hair. (I don't think I can get out of doing the hubbies.) And most of all I resolve to not feel guilty when I do do something for me.

Lastly, I am going to try to write at least three days a week on my blog. I would like to do more, but that would lend itself to short, boring, snippets just to say I fulfilled my goal. I enjoy coming here to chat with you and share a funny moment or two. I enjoy having a place to vent where no one can tell me I am long winded. I love expressing myself and knowing that I may make someone smile, or maybe I may simply help you realize that you are not alone because we all experience similar situations. I missed writing so much when I stopped this fall. I refuse to let that happen again. Even if it means extra late nights just to accomplish it. I think its worth it.

For now, it's off to bed. See you in a couple of days.