Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Economic Crisis

So, here we are amidst the largest economic crisis our country has ever experienced. This is the idea that our fine media and its paid economic strategists have told me anyway. And our Congress and House of Representatives has failed to come to an agreement on a way to pull some of our largest companies out of financial ruins. Supposedly, if these two bodies of tax paid employees don't come to a decision soon, the world as we know it will end and our financial markets will crash, sending us and the entire world into unavoidable doom.

If things are so bad - so desperately horrible - then why is it that every time I turn on the TV I see yet another representative from the House or Senate doing and interview?????? Usually, it's the split screen - Republican on the right and Democrat on the left. Do we not have anything else to do?!? We apparently have all the time in the world to argue on national television amongst ourselves about whether it is the Republicans fault or the Democrats fault. We have all the time in the world to have our manicures done so that when we point fingers across party lines, it looks good on the nation wide broadcast. But apparently, these fine, educated, polished men and women who are paid out of the pockets of the working Americans do not have the time nor the civility to sit down in a room and put their heads together and work for the people that feed their children. Seriously. This is not a game. This is not about Republican nor Democrat. This is about the thousands of people who are at risk of losing their jobs. This is about families (like ours) whose lively hood revolves around the lending of money for essential things like cars. I do not know what the solution for our trouble is now. I am not educated enough to know. I did take Economics at AUM back in the nineties, but it was an 8:00 summer class, and I really hated it altogether. But it just seems, in my simple mind, to come right down to this - our representatives in Washington need to be about the business of the American people. Not about the business of themselves. Or their party. Or the prime time interview with Greta.

Monday, September 29, 2008

High School Dream

I have this recurring dream about high school. It always involves my locker. Class lets out and I get to my locker and cannot remember my combination. I struggle and struggle and turn the dial every which way with no success. Erika is always there, of course, because she was and still is my bestest friend. Saturday night, I had the dream again. Mine and Erika's lockers were beside one another. We got there, and she opened her locker with ease as I struggled and struggled with my lock. I get anxious just thinking about the dream - knowing I need to get inside the locker and knowing I have the combination in my brain but being unable to do it. I finally got it right, and when I took the lock off, I saw that it was glass on the back and it had shattered. So I had to take it to the office and have it replaced. I am sure a shrink could have a hay day with this one. I have no idea what it all means (other than the fact that I was extremely insecure all through high school and still am), but I know why I dreamed it.

Friday night, our youth football organization had a recognition night at our high school football game. Each weight division got to walk across the field with their coaches. If you ask me, it was a great way for the high school to make an extra fortune off of the game itself. The little players were free, but parents paid $6 a pop and were guilted into innumerable purchases at the concession stand. Oh, and I failed to mention the $5 it cost to park. I don't recall it costing that much to attend a football game back in my day, but it appears things have changed a bit. Anyway...

This is the first high school event I have attended since, well, high school. It was amazing to feel the emotions of the stadium. To watch the boys and girls walking around, all decked out in the latest fashions and trends, chomping their chewing gum and chatting with friends. To see the boys looking at the girls, and the girls looking at the boys. There were still the clear definition of groups - the insiders, the outsiders, and the ones who could float between. The cheerleaders, the band members, the preppy kids, the scary looking kids - it is all the same. As the players waited behind the big paper run-through, the cheerleaders gathered around and a huge group of students swarmed the end zone. They started a chant: "It's great to be a Thompson Warrior." They repeated for several minutes, each time with more fervor and excitement than before. And I turned to one of the mothers beside me and commented, "They are having so much fun. I wish I could feel like that again." Not a care in the world. The most important thing to those kids out there on the field was for their team to win that night and that maybe they would get a text (not a phone call these days) from that special some one later on. No bills. No real worries.

Not that the worries of a teenager aren't real to them. I can remember the pain of those years. I usually felt ugly and fat and acne stricken. I wasn't a member of any specific group - not a cheerleader, not athletic, not Miss Popularity. I was shy and awkward and unsure. Never really had a boyfriend. I struggled to feel liked and included, as I am sure most teenagers do. But my life was carefree. I had a roof over my head, food in the pantry, and a phone line that worked every day. What more could a girl ask for?? So would I trade the carefree feelings of those days long gone if I had to feel the intense emotions of that phase of life? Definitely not. Watching those teenage girls walk around the high school stadium, I literally hurt for them. So much pressure to be beautiful. Longing to be loved and adored by an undeserving boy. Worried about the whispers behind your back and the laughs around every corner that could possibly be about you. I would never go back to those days. I may be 31 - an age while in high school that sounded so old to me - but I am more secure in who I am than I ever dreamed possible. That doesn't mean I don't battle the same insecurities of the past. It just means I handle it differently these days. It doesn't mean I don't long to feel liked and included today. I just have standards for the types of people with whom I want to feel included. It is a crazy, weird game this growing up thing. And all along the way, you loose parts and pieces of who you thought you were, picking up even more you never dreamed you'd be.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Grey's Anatomy

My heart beats once more... The highly anticipated season premiere of Grey's Anatomy was fabulous last night. The whirlwind of emotions... the drama... the laughter... the tears. Somehow, those writers manage to compile it into two hours and fifty-five commercial breaks. Unbelievable work of artistry.

I really wish I had a more riveting life of my own. Maybe then I wouldn't be so freaking fascinated with a TELEVISION SHOW. Because I do have to remind myself that it is only a show. That Meredith and Derek's relationship doesn't really exist. And I really have to believe that doctors don't allow that many people to die at their hands on a daily basis. But I just can't help myself... I have become enthralled in the lives of these pretend doctors. And I must admit, I was drawn to tears at some point in the show last night - I believe it was when Izzy (is it Izzy or Izzie... I don't know) told the woman who had the brain bleed that her husband was on his way and should be there any minute despite the fact she knew he was dead. She knew the lady would not remember, so she lied to her to make her happy. It got me. The tears just flowed. And once they start, well, they just keep on coming.

But what really got me the most was the very end when they preview for the next show and reveal that it will be in TWO WEEKS. What kind of work ethic do these people have?? I mean they have been off for the entire summer. What the heck? I would rather have had one hour this week and one hour next week than to have to wait two weeks for the next episode. But what am I going to do about it? Refuse to watch anymore? I think not.

So, this just goes to show that my life has reached an all time low when I devote an entire post of my blog to nonexistent people on a television show that only requires its actors to work every other week.

And I love it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cinderella is Sad

Conversation with Madalyn on the ride home from school today:

"Cinderella is sad. Hers doesn't have a boyfriend."

Me, finding it the perfect opportunity to teach independence... "Cinderella doesn't need a boyfriend!"

"Yes, she does."

"No, she doesn't."

"Yes, she does."

"Madalyn, Cinderella is a perfectly independent and happy girl without a boyfriend."

"No... hers is sad because she doesn't have nobody to dance with her."

How do you argue with that?

Stand Still

No weight loss on the front this week. I guess I will have to be proud of the four I have already lost. But it is frustrating to be this hungry all the time and to not loose even one stinking pound. But that's okay; I'll keep going, and I know that more will melt away. I think from here on out, I will have to get more active along with the eating program for maximum results. Why can't they just invent a pill that does it all for you?

I had planned to walk again yesterday... until I got out of bed and my shins were so sore I could barely walk. It is a good kind of sore, but I certainly could not convince them to push through three miles. So I opted for resting them, and I am planning on going this morning after I drop the little one off at preschool. Thank God for preschool. I don't know what I would do without it these days. So I don't know if I should go for three miles today. I am thinking it was a bit stupid to go that far my first time back out on the exercise trail after sitting on my rear for six weeks. But that's just me. One extreme to the other.

On different and varying notes, I am beginning to get a little nervous. This economy is freaking me out a little. Yes, my husband has a job and we are able to pay our bills and eat. But we are a commission only business, and the lending industry has tightened more and more and more in the last several months. And I know it will continue to get worse. It just makes my husband work that much harder. And I know he feels the pressure, as much as he may try to hide it all from me. It is almost to the point where I am ready to turn off my beloved Today Show and tune into something totally different. Thank goodness for OJ Simpson. I can turn to Court TV (actually, I think it is now called TrueTV) and find endless entertainment in his current trial for armed robbery. If you haven't checked it out, well, you should. I have a passion for the legal system and have always just found it fascinating. And what's not to love about OJ sitting in the defendant's seat once again and testimony from his friend's about packing heat. It's the stuff of Hollywood. And I love it.

And it appears that McCain wants to put his campaign on hold due to the economic crisis. What?!? I call BS. And I am a registered republican. Maybe all these folks should have put a ton of things on hold a long time ago. All politicians have been jet setting across the nation, and world for that matter, for the past year campaigning while the bulk of America struggles to fill their car up with gas to get to work every day. I just think the elite segment of our country that produces our politicians needs to wake up. And I don't buy into Barack not being an elitist. Just because he was born into poor circumstances doesn't mean he is not an elitist. He no more understands my day to day life than any of the other idiots in Washington. I just don't know what will become of the average ordinary working families of our country who have for the past two years struggled to make ends meet and put food on their table and continue on with life in America. And I have no faith that either candidate has the solution that we need.

Okay. I guess that's enough for one day. Enough of my ranting and raving. We live in delicate times. And I just don't know what tomorrow brings. I am switching to OJ coverage as we speak...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just What I Needed

Wow. I just got back from a three mile walk, and I do believe that is just what my soul needed. Three miles of just me - no kids, no football, no milk cups to be filled. Me and my music in my ears and the breeze and the sunshine. And I feel like I could climb a mountain. My juices are flowing, my blood is pumping, and I feel alive.

Do we see a drastic change 24 hours have made? I think I need psychiatric help, but that is a whole other matter.

Today was the first exercise I have done in six weeks. For six weeks, I have not so much as walked around the block. For those of you that do not recall, about seven months ago, I got the fabulous notion that I should try to become a runner. I started running on the treadmill and worked me way up from less than half a mile to three miles in a matter of a few months. I ran my first race - a 5K, which is 3.1 miles. But the injuries came with full fury. Bursitis in the heels had me side lined for three weeks, then my back for four weeks, and most recently my shin for the past six weeks. Needless to say, I decided to give up the dream of running a few weeks ago. But now my shin is healed, and I am ready to get back out there and get my heart pumping again. With walking.

I am a person who needs to exercise. I tend to be a slightly moody person. I have issues with depression and anxiety. And then there's the fibromyalgia. And exercise helps with all these things immensely. Immensely. I have always enjoyed walking - much more so than running, I must add. At no point today did I feel like I was going to lay down in the street and die (that was a common belief in my brain while running). At no point today did I think to myself, "If I can just make it to that stop sign, I can take a break. Okay maybe just to that mail box." I walked the three miles at a relatively brisk pace (it took me about 45 minutes), and I did sweat and get breathless. But I knew that I would make it home without crawling, and I actually enjoyed my time. Thank God. I think I have discovered something through all the injuries and pain and sweat and tears - I am not a runner, but I can certainly walk.

So I feel better for now. But in a couple of hours, I will retrieve Madalyn from school, and then David, and then I will have to go to football practice. But at least I got 45 minutes of uninterrupted time to immerse myself in my thoughts. I think I will do it again tomorrow.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Twice Removed

Oh, me. Oh, my. I am just feeling a little BLAH today. I am tired. Definitely tired. It is sad when you stay up until midnight on Saturday night and are still feeling tired come Monday. It's not like I stayed up late five days in a row. Is that a sign that you are getting old??

Other than that, I just feel so removed from my life right now. I get this feeling from time to time. Like I am ready to get in my car and drive away - don't know where I would go or what I would do. I would just go away. Not forever, but maybe just for a few days. Just to get a break and a rest from my life. Does this sound horrible? Does this make me crazy? And it isn't like my life is horribly stressful. I mean, I am fortunate enough to not have to work outside the home, and we have certainly been blessed beyond what we deserve with earthly things. But there are sometimes that I feel so disconnected from my life. I don't know why. There doesn't seem to be anything that brings it on. I just get into this frame of mind, and I just have to wait for it to lift.

So what is it? Is it depression? Is it hormonal? Is it just cabin fever? I don't understand what causes it or what in turn makes it go away. But I do hope it will fade quickly this time around. I think part of my problem is that I keep so many thoughts and opinions to myself. Things build up inside and I internalize things entirely too much. And in trying to deal with my three year old, I feel like I have to numb myself so as not to over-react to her actions or yell too much.

Basically, I think it all boils down to the fact that I need a break. I need a break from my kids. Not only from the kids, but from all the stuff that comes along with them - the team mom crap, the laundry, the toys all over the house, the endless fixing of snacks and meals and juice cups. I need a break from my husband and all the things that come along with him - all the football, the laundry, and the endless list of things he wants me to do for him. If I had a real job, I would designate a sick day for myself. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work that way around here. So I guess I will try to make it through the next few days and hope that the fog lifts within a day or two. Until then, I will keep trying to focus on other things.

One great thing about this week - the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy. It is at least it is one hour I can sit down and not think about my life at all. The joy of TV, right?

Friday, September 19, 2008

You're It!

I love a good tag. My old high school pal, Kristin, tagged me to share six things you may not know about me. So, let me turn my brain on and see what spills out...

1. Like Kristin, my childhood nick name was Stinky. (Kristin, I swear our lives parallel each other's in so many random, weird ways. It is really very strange.) My dad called me Stinky from an early age. Still does. I sign my cards to my dad that way. It really used to mortify me, but now I understand what it is like to have a little name for your child. Just how special it really is. And it is not so bad anymore.

2. I hate coconut. I know hate is a strong word, but let me explain. I don't like the texture. Don't like the smell nor the taste. In fact, I can detect the faintest smell or taste in anything. When I started buying the chewy granola bars for my kids, I kept thinking I tasted coconut. So I looked at the ingredients, and, sure enough, there it was.

3. I am afraid someone will get in my house. Last week, I cut the front yard while Madalyn and David were at school. The garage door was open the whole time. When I was done, I had to go from room to room looking behind doors and shower curtains to make sure there was no unwelcome visitors before I could get in the tub. I know it is irrational, but I have always been freaked out like that when I am by myself. And what seems even more strange is that I feel safer when my kids are here.

4. I will not eat any kind of fruit if it has been cooked. Nor will I eat fruit flavored ice cream. I love just about any fruit in its natural state, but once cooked and softened, it really grosses me out. Yet another issue with texture.

5. I think I have adult ADD. I really do. It just seems like I used to be able to focus more, to get things done, to finish things. In the last several years, my memory has changed drastically. BAD. On Tuesday night, I left the stove eye on with my skillet of taco meat while at football practice(I had my heart set on a taco salad, too.), and it burned up. Thank God nothing else burned. Last night, I had baked a chicken casserole while at practice, and when I came home put it under the broiler to crisp the cracker crumbs on top. While standing right next to the oven doing something else, I forgot about the casserole and burned up the crackers on top. I don't know what will become of me in my old age. It is really quite frightening.

6. Two more pounds!! I lost two more pounds with Weight Watchers!! I am loving this program. It has given me a totally fresh perspective on food, and that is exactly what I needed. And you can bet your last dollar that when I have lost another ten pounds, I will be going on a shopping trip whether I have the money for it or not. I am so excited to finally start shedding these extra pounds. Finally!!

So there you have it, my friends. Six more things about me that you never knew you ever needed to know. And, unfortunately, I don't really have anyone else to tag. Unless you are a person reading this that hasn't already been tagged. I don't have many faithful bloggy buddies. But I love the ones I have!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Winnie Poopers

We have a house guest this week. Well, she is my poor little puppy from the previous marriage that I so desperately hate to talk about. Anywho... Winnie is a precious little Maltese. Beautiful white coat, sweet sad-looking little face with black eyes and a black nose. My kids have really enjoyed her being here. Madalyn, of course, has assisted me in taking care of her while visiting.

My parents inherited Winnie after Scott and I married. She had grown accustomed to living at my parent's house with their other dogs, and she literally freaked out (in doggie terms, of course) when I moved her into the one bedroom apartment in which we lived. She became destructive when we left her, so bad one time that she chewed off a section of our bathroom door. Our neighbor told us that she barked the entire time we were gone one afternoon. It reached the point that I would drive her to my mom's house in the morning and let her stay there for the day while I went to work. If we were planning on going anywhere during the weekend, I would have to take her to my mom's to stay. Before long, she just stayed there. It bothered me to leave her. She was my dog, and I felt guilty just leaving someone else to take care of her. But I think she was happier being there.

So fast forward almost nine years, and I am now baby sitting my own dog that I deserted. If that makes any sense at all. And she still loves me, I think. Though I know she loves my parents so much more now than she ever loved me.

So I call her Winnie Poopers, for some reason. Her name is Winnie, but I just add the Poopers. Don't know why. Probably the same reason I call Millie, our cat, Mills Bills. Who knows why anyone calls their pet silly crazy names?!? But David asked me the other day, "So, is Poopers Winnie's last name?"

"No, David. Dogs don't have last names."

"Oh. Well why do you call her Winnie Poopers?"

"I don't know."

"Well I just figured it was her last name. And that May was Sophie's last name, because you and Gammie call her Sophie May." (Sophie is my parent's other dog - a Weimaraner who is 80 pounds and therefore ineligible to stay in the Blair house.)

It was one of those questions that you never see coming and that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. It is no moral debate. No social meaning. Doesn't really require an answer. But I found myself searching for the reason I call the dog Winnie Poopers. Why in the world a grown woman would look at a little white dog and speak to her as though she was a baby and actually utter the two words that do not belong together in any sentence ever - Winnie Poopers.

I was speechless.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Life's Little Frustrations

Just one more post today, I promise. Just one to vent about our lovely technological society we live in with all its comforts and luxuries to enjoy.

I have posted about this particular issue before, but let me refresh. We bit the bullet back in late June and purchased a top-of-the-line handy dandy camcorder. We had a camcorder, but it was as old as David. And frankly, it was a piece of crap that chewed up little hi-8 tapes like Hubba Bubba and killed a battery quicker than one inning of little league tee ball. We had toiled and fretted over the idea of a new camcorder for a couple of years... What do we buy? What do we want to be able to do? HD or standard? Digital or DVD? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. To be honest, missing the moments of my child's life seemed okay to me because I knew that one we got a new camcorder, it would become the center of frustration in my life.

Boy, was I ever right about this one.

This freaking camcorder is from the devil. It is an awesome sounding concept - new hybrid technology that enables you to record in HD quality and comes with software for you to convert into standard DVD format with your computer. But it ain't quite so simple, my friends. I have cursed. I have screamed. I have thrown things. Satan himself created this camcorder and wrote my name on it knowing that it would cause me to sin this way. Nothing works as it is supposed to. The digital images freeze up my entire computer. One day, I can make a DVD, and another I can't. There is no rhyme nor reason to the madness.

Last night, my husband came home with this other apparatus. Yet another piece of technology that is supposed to make your life easier. A dubber of sorts to bypass the computer altogether to make a DVD. Pray that this nightmare will all end. That this other machine will somehow take the misery out of my life completely.

Yet another piece of technology in our life that is screwing up is the air conditioner. It had been acting up - instead of blowing cold air, it would begin to blow fresh - but we could cut it off and let it rest a few minutes and all would return to normal. A couple of weeks ago, we thought the thing had completely gone kaput. I called out a technician to take a look at it, and of course by the time he arrived, the darn thing was working fine. Thanks for coming today, friendly technician!! Here's $89 for nothing really.

So today, it started acting up again. I called the company, and I did as I was told - leave it on and don't mess with anything. Within 45 minutes, the darn thing was working again. I mean, don't get me wrong; I am glad my air conditioner is working. I just wish we could find a fix for it so that it works all the time, not just intermittently.

Just a couple of the little frustrations of life. The little things that stem from the stuff that is supposed to make our lives easier. More comfortable. More enjoyable.

I will add this, however - my favorite technological luxury is spell check. I sure would look like an idiot if I didn't have it.

Painfully Apparent...

It has become painfully apparent that David is not a football player. And it is even more painful to his mom to have to take him to practice like ALL THE TIME and know that he is uncomfortable and not enjoying himself and just, in general, not doing a good job. But the good news is that we have three games down and five left to go. I pray that he will not want to play football again. I am so not a football mom. I am a baseball mom. I get baseball - get excited about it. I understand it, I can follow it, and I like it. Football - not so much. And I look around at all the other moms who are so into it and seem to understand what is going on. Then I look back out there on the field and all I can see is a bunch of little kids running around jumping on top of each other. Am I watching the same game they are? Where is the instant replay, slow motion and zoom lens? Because that is the only hope of me understanding what in the world is going on out there - a televised broadcast, with beer and snacks to boot.

Anyways... My churning and bubbling and brewing lasted about three days and didn't really amount to much. No all out stomach bug. But I do think we had just a touch of something. David and Madalyn both complained of their stomachs bothering them, and then David and I both have ulcers in our mouth, which to me always points to the fighting off of a virus of some sort. So all is well around here - but for the football.

I don't mean to harp on the subject, but I am just struggling right now with spending so much time doing something that is so unenjoyable to me. And it isn't like my son is crying and generally hating life because of football. That is just not his nature. He is doing a stand up job getting through and maintaining a positive attitude about things. But he is scared out there on the field. And I can't say that I blame him. I mean, if you put me in a set of pads and then shoved me out there on the field and told me to hit somebody, I would politely bow out. No thanks. It goes against everything we are taught from the very beginning of life. It goes against sheer common sense and rationale. And I feel a little guilty for even giving him the option of playing, though I know he would be beyond angry if he had not been given the chance to play and realized that all his baseball friends are playing. Whatever. And everyone is telling me, "Oh, he needs to play another year before he decides he doesn't like it." I don't agree. I tried squash once. Guess what? I didn't like it. And I didn't need a second taste to know that.

Anywho - I am getting my hair cut today, and I so excited!! Hopefully we will do something really cute and sassy. My hair has gotten so boring, and it seems all I do with it is pull it in an pony tail. So, let's cut it just short enough that I can't get it in a pony tail and that should solve all the world's problems. As far as the Weight Watchers goes, I think I am doing well. I had a rough day on Saturday where I just didn't want to be held accountable. So I kinda took a little break, but I didn't go overboard. I am so glad my neighbor is doing it with me. Having done it before and been to meetings her first go around, she knows a lot more about the process than I do and has been a real encouragement to me. We weigh in on Thursday, and I really expect another one to two pounds to be gone. Or at least they better be. I better not be this hungry for no reason.

Off to football practice tonight - I will be all smiles and giggles, you can bet on it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

This could be a long day...

My stomach is bubbling and churning and burning as though something big is about to happen. Everywhere I go, people are dropping like flies around me with this horrid stomach virus. Last night at football practice, we watched as a player vomited profusely on the field. The entire group of boys moved back into a pack watching him. The coach held his arms out like a barricade blocking them from the germy carnage. Oh dear.

I hate the stomach bug. It is my least favorite of the nasty childhood illnesses that come into the home. And today, I am hoping that this feeling in my gut is from all the anti-inflammatory meds I have been taking for my shin and not from a volcanic eruption brewing inside. And despite the way I feel, I have to cut the back yard today. And go to Walmart. And deal with Madalyn. And get both the kids hair cut. And go to football practice. Basically, act as though I feel fabulous when I really don't.

This will definitely be a long day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Week One

Well, almost a complete week has gone by with my new Weight Watchers experience. I must admit, I am hungry. But I am also totally into it. It has almost become like a sport - hunting the pantry and fridge like a wolf for the lowest point options I can find. I love a challenge. And this one is definitely just that. I have already lost two pounds, which is a miracle to me. I keep thinking to myself, "Why didn't I do this a long time ago?"

Some things are hard, I will admit. Last night, I bought some Goldfish at Publix (a new flavor - Driving Ranch - why the ranch is driving, I don't really know, but whatever) and opened the little bag to taste them. I popped a few in my mouth and then I stopped. I actually put the bag down. Someone alert the media. Ordinarily, I would just stand there getting the kids dinner ready and snack on them, not once thinking about what I am putting into my body. But last night, I made the decision to think, and I like that. It is hard to do, but when doing the math and realizing that one serving of the little fishes is 3 points, I shudder to think of haw many servings I would normally consume without any thought.

Going to bed hungry - let me rephrase, starving -is totally new concept for me. I am a relatively hungry person, and I spend most of my time in a state of, "Hmmm. I could munch on something right now." But this past week, I have really been hungry. And I think this is how one is supposed to feel on a daily basis. But I am eating ample enough food to survive. I think my brain might argue a little, as I have been a teensy bit grumpy (no, dad, not nearly as grumpy as you are). But the body must adjust because I have found this new sport called point counting.

Me likey.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Salvia

I saw a disturbing thing on the Today Show this morning. That doesn't sound any different from any other day, really, so I guess I should say that I saw something incredibly disturbing. And I was still waking up and ironing a pair of pants at the same time (oh, and drinking my coffee), so I am not sure how accurately my mind remembers the segment. Apparently, people are smoking salvia these days.

Salvia.

My initial thought was, "As in purple salvia or pink salvia that anyone can purchase at any garden center across America??!!??" And I am still unsure if there is a difference between the smoking kind and the planting kind of salvia. My mind did not retain that info. But what was so bewildering was watching video footage of a young twenty-something smoking the herbal substance and his reaction to it. Disturbing to say the least. He went into a fit of laughter and looked as though he couldn't figure out where or who or what he was. (If you want to be as disturbed as I was, just google "salvia" and you will find numerous videos on YouTube of people's reactions to it.) I just can't comprehend what in the world someone is thinking smoking salvia. Who was the dumb ass (pardon my language, but there is really no other term appropriate) that decided to crush up the flower in mom's garden and put it in a pipe and smoke it? Did he run out of weed? Was he bored? Having a particularly bad day? Just wanted to see what it was like to smoke a flower?!?!? What the hell kind of people do this? And what can I do to assure that my two kids will not be one these dumb asses nor associate with anyone that stupid?

I guess the purpose of the segment was to raise awareness across the nation that kids are smoking salvia. There have been numerous deaths across the country. Several states are working on or have already banned the use and sale of salvia. And I am left so utterly disturbed by the whole deal that I really do not know what to say. Is there anything in this world that someone can't figure out how to use it to get high? And this comes from a person who enjoys a cocktail or beer. But I cannot understand wanting to feel so far removed from my life that I would want to be as out of it as this dude was after smoking this stuff. Weird and wacky world we live in.

WEIRD AND WACKY.

We live in a truly disturbing time. And I guess it is the same old stuff that people have been doing for centuries now. Just what they do grows and changes. And the methods of communicating about it have changed. The click of a mouse enables anyone to learn how, what, when, where to do and get what they want. This crazy automatic society that I want to know how to shield my son and daughter from. I want to know how to shield myself from it. I am so thankful I made it through my early life virtually unscathed. A little banged up, but I never did anything that left a permanent scar on my body or my psyche.

I am telling you guys, I am disturbed today.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hit the Road

For those of you who are not personally privy to how crazy this mama really is, we are doing travel baseball along with football this fall. I know, I know. TOO MUCH. Trust me - I know it first hand. It has been a grueling fall season thus far with four days of practice with football and two days of practice for baseball. Anyone who completed the first grade realizes that leaves only one day for doing nothing at all. Yesterday, we played our first tournament for baseball (we have four on the schedule this fall). It was a one day tournament at the Millbrook Softball Complex near my old stomping grounds of Montgomery. It was neat to be so close to where my heart still calls home. And it was so cool to see our boys, who are so extremely talented on the baseball field, all come together and play their first tournament!!

First of all, we are making the big switch this fall from tee ball to coach pitch. And I was nervous about how our boys would hit the ball. We haven't had much practice, but no one could tell as all our boys made great contact with the ball. And one of our kids made his first real home run - sailed it right over the fence!! It was awesome to see the team pile up around him, cheering him into home plate. It sent chills all over me - despite the fact he wasn't my own, my eyes teared up because it was just the signal that we are playing real baseball now. The real deal. And these boys, all of them, are true athletes. They may be little, but they can sling that ball around the bases and make plays like you have never seen!! And they swept the tournament - our first win!! I am a little excited about baseball. Can you tell???

A few lessons learned from our first travel tournament. We will need a case of water per day. We packed a cooler but did not have enough water and Gatorade for the whole day. And next time, I will make sandwiches and pack them in the cooler as well. The ball park is not exactly what I would call "points friendly". We'll just chalk yesterday up to a lesson in living with Weight Watchers. No harm, no foul. The funniest thing is that all day, I really held back and didn't eat much at all. I thought I was doing well. But when I came home and entered everything into the computer, I was shocked. And if I had eaten as much as I normally do, I probably would have had a coronary. Anyways - that's exactly why I think this approach will be successful. I need a good solid program to follow and reprogram my brain with. Like this morning, I measured out my cereal and milk, and it was quite depressing. But that is exactly why I have gained weight! I mean, you can't eat aimlessly without any limits and expect to look fabulous, you know?

Another lesson learned - take deodorant and reapply during the day. An entire day in the sun and heat in Alabama in early September - need I say any more? I don't think I have ever been so glad to get a shower in all my life. Ever.

I'll share a few pictures with you guys tomorrow or later today. I have so much to do today!! And I am already hungry again, so I have to go find a point-friendly snack. Good luck to me...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Trial Run

I have gained weight. And in case I haven't made it clear in the past, I love to eat. And I generally eat too much. And it is all beginning to catch up with me. When I started running back in February, things were great. I didn't loose weight. In fact, I gained five pounds. But my clothes were fitting so much better and everything was tightening up. Then I jammed my back in May and sat out for four weeks. Then I hurt my shin and just never really was able to get a good rhythm back. So that five I gained (that used to be muscle) is now mush. And I am at the highest weight I have been in my adult life (with the exception of when I was pregnant). It is definitely time to get serious.

Not that it is a big deal to carry a little extra around. And not that I am extremely overweight. But I know that five becomes ten, and ten becomes twenty, and so on and so forth. I am at the very top end of my spectrum for healthy weight. And so if I go any further, I would be considered overweight by a doctor. And that is just not cool with me, especially at my age.

So, I signed up this morning for a seven day free trial of Weight Watchers online program. I have always heard such positive things about Weight Watchers, and I like their philosophy of allowing you to eat what you want as long as you understand it has a value. The online features are cool. You can view your points for the day, and it sets it up almost like an account. You enter in what you have eaten, and it shows you how many points you have left for the day. You can search recipes and figure points for any food. I am hoping this will get me into gear. I have just been aimlessly shoveling food into my mouth, and I have got to act like I understand that each morsel of food has a caloric content. I have gotten so far away from caring how much I eat or when or where. Hopefully, this will help me keep my eating in better control.

Of course, today I am starving. But all in all, I think I have done pretty well. It is 4:30 and I still have 8.5 points left. Of course, I haven't even looked up how many points a beer is yet. Or my favorite drink - Captain Morgan and diet coke. Oh well. Everything has a value, and I will quickly learn the things I value most in my diet. Like today, I ate a pack of the kids' fruit snacks and then learned that they are two points. No thanks to those. They aren't that good. I ate a whole snack sized bag of popcorn and it was only one point. Now that's a good deal right there. Anyways - day one of my trial run with Weight Watchers. And I will be back in those size fours in no time. Well... maybe not the fours.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Serious Mental Issues

My mental issues display themselves in various ways. Some people may shake or talk to themselves (well, I do talk to myself, but not in a crazy way). My abnormal behaviors usually involve cleaning - specifically toilets - and the latest demonstration is in the way I cut the grass.

When I cut the grass, it is all about the lines. First, I have to remember which way the lines ran the time before, and I have to do something different. Once I have picked the arrangement for the lines and outlined the entire yard with a couple of rows, I am set to begin my craziness that is PERFECT FREAKING ROWS IN THE GRASS. Why do I do this? Why does it matter if the rows are straight? If I find that a section which should be straight up and down the slope of the front yard is getting a little sideways, then I have to correct it. Today, I cut the back yard, and I went up and down in the back and then went diagonal in the back corner and worked the diagonal into straight up and down on the sides. Someone please stop the madness in my head!!! Someone please take the lawnmower away from me!!!

Now that I think about it, I do the same thing when I vacuum. Perfect little rows of pulled up carpet pile. Nothing could be better. And I have already discussed my absolute obsession with the toilet. I cleaned my master bathroom toilet last night, and the rest of the bathroom for that matter, and I just love to stand back when I am done and look at my handy work.

Do I need help? Am I sick and twisted? And why do the lines in the grass bother me, but I can pile a week's worth of clothes in the floor and it does not effect me in the least bit?

Sarah Palin

I will admit, I rarely openly discuss politics. I don't claim to be an expert nor do I really want to be. I don't read up on the candidates as I should. I do what most Americans do, I suppose; I find the candidate who sounds as close to my beliefs as possible and vote for them. And they are almost always Republican. Except for that one time I voted for a Democrat (ummm... Don Siegelman) and came out sorely disappointed. Anywho...


I have been intrigued for the past several days, along with the entire nation, over John McCain's choice for his VP. A woman? A no-name woman at that. Not to say she is a nobody, but I think it is safe to say that if you aren't a political elitist or you haven't taken residency in Alaska in the past few years, you have never heard the name Sarah Palin before. I was disgusted when he announced the pick. It felt contrived and maneuvered. Like McCain was trying to appeal to a certain demographic he knew he could never reach (women who know the country needs some shaking up and don't feel like McCain has any shaking left in him). I wondered why this mother of five children would even accept such a challenge. Why would she thrust her family into the national spotlight? Does she not have anything better to focus her time on? Like, for example, her infant with special needs or her teenage daughter due to give birth in a few months. So when I learned of her speech at the Republican National Convention last night, I had to watch. I had to hear the voice behind this beautiful face, which, in all honesty, looks like the most unlikely match to John McCain.


Palin is remarkably poised and dynamic. Strong and confident. I found myself wondering the entire speech, "How do you go from hockey mom to that?" She did a great job introducing her family to the country and a great job putting out the flames surrounding the controversy of her family's struggles. I truly admire a woman like her, one who can separate herself from her role as mother and make a place - a contributing place - for herself in society. But I still question, "Why?" I would love to know the motivating factors of her becoming involved in politics.


She seems like a real person with a real family. Her husband looks and sounds like a guy who would offer you a beer and bag of chips if invited to a family barbecue at their house. You don't get more "working class America" than a commercial fisherman and oil rig worker. And the kids (though all incredibly oddly named), seem so normal. Let's face it - if you have five kids, one of them is bound to be pregnant in their teens. The odds are stacked against you. And did anyone see the youngest girl lick her hand and rub the baby's hair? That has nothing to with anything really, but it was just was just a humorous moment.

I don't know if I am sold on the idea of her being the second in command of our nation. I don't know if I could ever understand a woman wanting a role so demanding and time consuming. Especially with five children and a grandchild on the way. I don't know if I could ever identify with anyone, male or female, who would want to stand before a crowd and speak to thousands and be broadcast all over the nation for millions to hear. But after listening to her speech, I now understand why McCain chose her as his running mate. And it has nothing to do with being female or easy on the eyes. She seems to be a strong standing woman of character who is not shaken nor stirred easily. And she could very well be the first female vice president of the United States. This election gets more interseting by the minute.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Stuff of Life

Our air conditioner is on the blink, and it is already 78 degrees upstairs. David has a fever and is home today from school. He missed his first football game last night. I need to cut the grass, but our blower is broken, and I don't know how to purchase a new one (I would never select the right one, I'm sure). Oh - and as if I needed to say this, as I am sure it resounds throughout our demographic across the country - we are broke and really don't have the available funds to fix any of this at this stage of the game.


Living the American dream.


Sunday night around 11:00, I awoke to flashing blue lights. Not typical in our quiet little neighborhood. I got up and peered through the slats of our blinds to try to see exactly what was going on. The police car wasn't on our street but up on the main road. Our house is only two houses away from a busy county road - two lane, scenic, and winding. In the four years that we have been here, there had been two bad wrecks in the curve at our neighborhood entrance. One was during the day and was a typical "somebody turned in front of another" wreck. But one of the drivers was trapped. The jaws of life were called out, and the woman had to be lifted by helicopter to the hospital. The second was a drunk guy in the middle of the night that just flat out ran off the road. My neighbor heard it occur and went out to assist. He said that the dude was so drunk that he got out of his truck unscathed despite the fact he was bleeding from his head.


Back to Sunday night - In my sleepy state, I couldn't really figure out what was going on. The car sat out there on County Road 12 for nearly two hours. I kept waking up every so often and could still see the flashing lights through the blinds. I assumed it was some sort of road block due to the holiday weekend. Yesterday, coming home from a doctor's appointment and nearly to our neighborhood, I was stopped abruptly in the road by flashing blues and pointed to take a detour. When I finally made it to the entrance to our subdivision, I asked the officer at the other end of the road block what was going on. He said there had been an accident involving a fatality on Sunday evening and they were there to reconstruct the accident. When I went to pick David up from school yesterday, all the parents were buzzing about the accident. I found out the details - it was a single car which veered off the road hitting a telephone pole. The hardest part to swallow was that it was a Hispanic male who could not be identified. He had no identification on him, and the police had not been able to positively id him. Sad story, don't you think? Two days after he was killed in a wreck, there was no one who had been able to identify him. I am sure he was illegal. And I am sure that all his friends and family here with him are illegal as well and are just frightened to call about him. Someone has to miss him. Someone out there has to know that he isn't at home. There has to be someone that would recognize his face. It just seems so cruel to me sometimes, the general stuff of life. The day to day disappointments and stresses. The bumps in the road. The reality that we are all mortal, along with everything around us. People die. Stuff breaks. Nothing is permanent that is of this world.

I have just been feeling a little let down lately. By people in general. Life can be so disappointing at times. I am at a stage in my life where I don't know who to trust. I cannot determine people's motivations the way I once thought I could. I feel distant from everyone around me. I have seen some not-so-pretty sides to some people around me lately and have me disappointed in them. And in myself. Women can be so catty. And gossipy. And mean. And I have had to distance myself from some people I am in contact with lately for all those reasons. About a month ago, I felt myself being sucked into that mentality - the swirl of idle gossip. And I didn't like myself for it. And I am glad I have separated myself from it. But it still pulls your spirit down. It still makes you question all the people around you and guard every word that comes from your lips. And I am typically not a guarded person. At all.

What this has to do with the unidentified man that died on our county road, I don't know. These are just the feelings I have been battling lately. The thoughts that have been flooding my mind. And I guess the only common thread they have is that I have put my faith and trust in the wrong things. And every time I do that, I will be disappointed. But our God, He is the one and only true and everlasting presence and existence. And that is where I need to base my faith and admiration. Something to work on. For the rest of my life I will be working on that.