Monday, July 31, 2006

Peaceful times

One would think that I didn't post all week because I was busy handling another major catastrophe in my life. Nope. I was just enjoying peace and solitude and they aren't very exciting to write about.

So here's the deal. It's either chaos and tons to write, or peace and nothing to say.

I've been channeling fly lady and de-cluttering my house and (hanging head in shame) I've gone back to (gasp) carrying an organizer again. Yes I know I have a beautiful palm pilot. I love my palm. It is wonderful. It holds all my addresses and phone numbers and to do lists and I will love it forever but it is just not working for my new callings at church.

I get handed pieces of papers, flyers, notes and all sorts of stuff that just has to be included in the bulletin. I have lists of youth speakers and lists of lessons and well it was making me crazy. So I unearthed my cute plaid zip up organizer and made little tabs for each of the auxiliaries and I'm attempting to take control of the paper. (So far it is working out nicely, I just need to let go of the palm pilot guilt.)

And... I finally took inventory of all my cute little knitted squares from class. I made a list of all the squares and put check marks next to the ones that were done and found out I had 19 more squares to go... wahhh.... I so thought I had less than that. It's ok. Half the battle is admitting where you are. It got me motivated and I've finished three squares since I took inventory and I should finish a fourth tonight.

Hubby was in Indiana last time I talked to him, with a truck load of frozen strawberries and fruit cups. He will officially have enough hours to finish training tomorrow. Woo Hoo! Next, he has to drive with another new driver for 30 days and then he'll finally get his own truck....

Monday, July 24, 2006

Where were you when it was 114 degrees...

A couple of months ago I was pulled aside at church by someone from the stake. (apparently the stake was not aware that I was "difficult." They still thought I was a useful member of the church....) Ah my first stake assignment. Pioneer Day. Easy assignment. I was to work with the person in charge and handle publicity, make flyers and hang-out on the day of the event. No problem. I can do that....

It truly was a pretty easy assignment. I love the person I had to work with. Very easy-going. She told me what she needed. I got it done. There was no drama. There was no power struggle. It was exactly as it should be. People working together to get it done.

I got one little tiny assignment added on... the pies for the pie eating contest. No crusts, they don't eat them anyway. Just purchase three #10 cans of chocolate pudding and one thing of pastry pride. I got a little panicked when I saw that pastry pride came in a milk carton. You mean you have to whip it.... oh no.... you got the wrong girl for this job..... I called the pastry pride guru and explained that I was way outside my comfort zone. "Is there a reason why we have to use pastry pride?" I then learned all of the great virtures of pastry pride...and a pep talk. Ok fine... I can do this....

Flash forward to the night before the day of the pies.... You can re-read the last entry to get all the details. After that long night, I got up at 6am, my house was already 80 degrees and I started whipping and whipping and whipping.... Is it possible to make whip cream when it is this hot. Somewhere in the depths of my non-cooking, non-baking mind.... I had this vision of putting ice in a bowl, then put the mixing bowl in the ice bowl.... Oh yea, it worked. I got some mighty fine whipped cream.

It's now 8:30 in the morning and who knows how hot it is. I put the 8 beautiful pies in the fridge and began the rest of my pioneer day duties. I welcomed everyone, I sweat, I chatted, I sweat, I passed out cold water, I sweat, I ran to the store for more bags of ice, I passed the thermometer at the high school - 113 degrees.... I went back and I sweat. At one point we heard the news that it hit 114, with the heat index I think it was 118.

It finally started cooling down as we packed everything up.

Despite how hot it was, I really did have a great time. I became a firm believer in pastry pride. Those pies looked awesome when we brought them out at 1pm in the 114 degree heat. I had fun chatting with the guy at the mormon battalion booth. We looked up my ancestor and I read about him hunting for food for the company. I quilted with Sister Swing and learned about her grandmother and the violin that crossed the plains with the pioneers. I watched the kids make butter and rope, throw wet sponges at each other and ride the horses. I hung out and talked with the mountain men and learned about their "rendezvous." And at the end when each step was an ordeal and I just kept hoping we'd stop finding things we had to clean up or put away or take down... I said a silent prayer of gratitude for my relatives that made the arduous trek many years ago. I wonder how many 114 degree days they endured as they crossed the desert, without ice or pies or pastry pride?

On the road again...

Even if I hadn't personally driven hubby to the bus station so he could hook up with his trainer again, it wouldn't have been long before I realized he was fact it was less than 24 hours before the first thing went wrong....

Josh called home from camp "Mom, they want you to come get me because I have a 102 degree fever."

No matter how many times we try to say it only takes an hour to drive up there, somehow it always takes longer.

I got the phone call a little after 4pm. I had a party scheduled for 7pm, no bosses in the building and I had some work that had to be finished. I kept working while I tried calling boss #1's cell phone, which rang in the other room. He left it on his desk. I kept working while I called the hostess to relay the story. "I'll be there" I promised, "but I might be a little late. It depends on how long it takes me to find a boss."

I called boss #2 and he said go. I left a note for boss #1, took the mail and left.

A little over an hour later I arrived to find the sick boy in the med lodge, but then I had to track down the med guy and talk to the head guy and hear what an awesome but sick kid I had, collect all his clothes from his cabin, put him in the car and speed back down the mountain.

He made it all the way home, in the back door and to the sink before he got sick. I worried all the way home, what I would do if he didn't make it. I had visions of him getting sick, followed by me getting sick....

"Sorry son, gotta go, there's sierra mist in the fridge, drink it slow, take a cool bath, I have my cell phone..."

I was a half hour late for the party, but it went great. So so so.. glad I had packed it all up and put it in my car in the morning. I was late, I was frazzled, but because I can also be anal... I pulled it off.

I wish I could say that the rest of the weekend was one of relaxation, but that wouldn't be near as interesting.

Stay tuned to find out where I was when the thermometer reached 114 degrees.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I am inspired daily by the blogs of others. I love reading their perspective and how they deal with life. Today I read a great entry by Cathy Zielske. Click the link to see her blog.

She read an article in Real Simple magazine that asked readers what the most fearless thing they have ever done was.....

What a thought provoking question.

I would have to say that the most fearless thing I have ever done is to leave home. I was 18 and my mom kicked me out because my room was dirty. I'm sure what she really wanted me to do was clean my room. Instead I went to a friends, bought luggage, quit my jobs, moved to Spokane and started my life over.

I think that decision forever altered the rest of my life. I lived with my aunt and uncle who loved me unconditionally. They helped me to heal the wounds of my childhood. They helped me to stop saying "I'm sorry," about everything. I got to see what it was like to have a normal family life. I didn't wake up to fighting. I didn't have to worry over every little thing I said or did. I was able to have fun, experiment, grow, learn.... I learned to love.

After being there for a while, I tried to return home, but I only made it a couple of weeks before I had to move again. Home was not a good place for me. Thankfully I had the opportunity to see what a home could be and my life is forever changed.

I learned that the decisions that take the most courage, usually wind up being the ones that change your life forever.

Monday, July 17, 2006

One Crazy Family

My family likes to say that I am the strange one. They act as if all bizarre conversations are my fault. Hubby says he was normal before he married me, but I have rubbed off on him. I say they are all weird. Perhaps I helped them get in touch with the weird that is within, but honey, I can't teach this........

Random car conversations..... Act I

Hubby: Ahh, poor dead squirrel
Son: How do you know he was poor?
Hubby: He was skinny.
Son: How do you know he wasn't Rich and anorexic? You don't say poor actress when you see a skinny anorexic actress.

Many miles later.......

Random car conversations....Act II

Hubby: Ahhh, another dead squirrel. I won't say poor because I don't want to get into another argument about his financial status.

Now, back to my argument. Their weird and my weird are very different. They have random bizarre conversations where they argue about stupid things. These conversations can go on forever, or maybe it just feels like forever when you get stuck in one. Me? I wouldn't have argued about the squirrel's financial status. I probably would've told you his name and how disappointed and sad the rest of the family was. In fact, I'm sure the second squirrel was a relative that just couldn't bare to live now that the first squirrel was gone.

We have plenty of time for these conversations and a never-ending supply of things to talk about every weekend as we drive back and forth to scout camp. I think there must be a million squirrels along the way. This weeks favorite was the squirrel that sat in the middle of the lane, eating. He did not move. At the last second Josh swerved to miss the squirrel, who still sat there eating. He finally moved before the big truck behind us got to him. I'm not sure about that one. Dumb or Courageous.....

Then there are the cows..... I don't know how many times I went zipping past them on the dirt road, but one time I caught them walking across the road. Now I look for them every time I drive in. They hide. They lurk in the shadows of the trees and watch all the cars go by. I think I saw them the first time because I came in much later in the day (that would be the day the child forgot his laundry at home. I made the trip twice that day....) I fooled them and they didn't expect my car to come by. Well this week they were right next to the road. So close that Rick thought he could just step out of the car and pet them. I didn't know cows could move so fast. Of course Rick thinks it was the car door that scared them...

Hmmmm what's scarier....

the sound of a car door


a big guy jumping out of the car to pet you.

I'm with the cows. I'd take off too.

Friday, July 14, 2006

For Crazy Aunt Pearl

I have an addiction, a blog addiction. There are a few blogs that I just have to read. My day is not complete when they don't update. Well one such blog is I live in California and I still get a kick out of her observations of LA.

She has recently returned to the land of dating and had some interesting observations. As a mother of a 16 year old boy, I am right in the middle of this rite of passage and I have some tips to share.

Teaching a child to date does not start when they become old enough to date. It starts from the moment they are born. (please note, my child is NOT perfect...but he has his moments)

My husband still opens doors for me, other women, the elderly and someone with their hands full. Josh grew up watching that. As he got older I would prompt him to open the door for me, other women, the elderly, someone with their hands full. A few months ago we were at the mall and the elevator in the parking structure was broken and a pregnant woman and her mom and her baby and her stroller were standing at the foot of the stairs. So many people just walked by. I held the bags and Josh helped them up the stairs. Every day you encounter instances where you can teach your children to be helpful.

The result? He started opening doors for girls long before he started dating. He even walks closest to the street. (I never taught him that, he either figured it out or dad is responsible.) He is shocked that a friend of his walks ahead of his girlfriend and never opens the door for her...unless it's a special occasion.

In Cub Scouts we always had the boys serve their parents refreshments first. They are Boy Scouts now and they do it without being told... most of the time.

But that is only half the battle. A mom can teach a son how to treat a girl, but the girls need to know how to act too. Wait for the guys to open the doors, thank them, expect them to call ahead for a date, come to the door.... Some may call it old fashioned. I call it respect.

So Josh is old enough to date now, but he has one final hurdle to jump through. Before he can go out on a date, he has to ask me out. And the rules for taking me out are quite firm.

1) He must ask ahead of time because I have a very limited schedule.

2) He must plan the date and let me know the appropriate attire.

3) He must pay for the whole thing.

4) While on the date he must use good manners, he must open doors and treat me with respect and he must prove to me that he has the skills and maturity to treat his date with respect too.

I wish I could take credit for this idea, but it was passed on to me and I love it!! It has caused Josh and I to have some great conversations about ideas for dates and what is expected. He's not in a huge hurry to ask me out, the girl he likes isn't old enough to date yet, but I know he's already planning the date.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'm Back

Woo Hoo. I'm home. Ok, so technically I have been home for a few days, but life is never dull at Chez Dawn and this is the first chance I've had to even think about blogging.

Since I have too much to really write. I'm going for a list of random things as they pop into my head.

Hubby might be coming home tomorrow. Woo Hoo!!! He was coming home via bus, but it was so much fun last time that he's not really looking forward to another bus trip. Looks like we might fork over some cash so he can fly the friendly skies..... I've already warned him that coming home four days earlier than planned means that the house will not be in the same condition that it would've been on the 10th....

Why is my house a mess??? Let me just list the reasons for you....
Before my trip there was the last minute cram session to get all the artwork done. And here are my adventures since arriving home... actually the fun began with a phone call while I was still in Utah....

Joshua called me and asked "Mom, do I have health insurance?" Oh that's never a good question. World Cup fever had taken over the camp. The boys were playing soccer. The details are sketchy. Someone pushed someone who fell into Josh who...thinks he might have broken his wrist. Oh Joy! Of course this happened on Thursday and he's finally telling me on Saturday when I'm still three states away. I told him to ice it and wait for me.

I got home at 4am Sunday, slept for a couple of hours, made some phone calls to make sure he has insurance (love the switching jobs thing...grrr.... but am glad we thought to purchase insurance for him while we wait....)

Off to Kaiser where I continued to lament the loss of our super duper great insurance that cost $5 per visit. I had to pay every step of the way.... $51 dollars later and Josh is sporting a splint for his badly sprained hand. Thank goodness it wasn't broken!!

Doc was funny. Kind of busy/abrupt. But when we got back and found out it wasn't broken, I asked if he had any limitations since he would be returning to work at camp. Suddenly doc's attitude changed. He was oh so impressed that Josh was a camp counselor at a boy scout camp. Josh started getting super duper cool treatment then. Gotta love boy scouts.... it opens doors everywhere.... and I really love when stuff like this happens. I think it helps my 16 year old, almost eagle scout.... keep his eye on the prize.

So hand is taken care of and suddenly Josh has a couple extra days at home...which means the social calendar must be filled and mom must put on her chauffer hat. That boy is just lucky I still remember being a teenager in love..... Yes, I went to the "best friend's" house for dinner. Yes both the families went to the drive in. (Family activies - ok.... dating....not allowed. She's not 16 yet).

I thought social obligations were fulfilled. Nope. We all had so much fun that we were invited back for the 4th.

Somewhere in there I got a few hours sleep and started to design my pages that need to be done by Friday.

Today I took the boy back to camp, was 3.5 hours late for work and now I get to do that mad rush, clean house because hubby is coming home....

So see..... I really do have an excuse......

In case you think I might exaggerate about the house.... just know that I still have an extra couch and paper racks sitting in my living room.... reminders of the great... let's re-do the house when I have a million other things to do....

Good thing that man loves me. Maybe he won't notice the house.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

If I could only remember...

I've always prided myself on remembering things. I don't usually have to write them down. I don't have to keep a calendar, because I remember. I have a huge brain that keeps things in order and I just get them done...

I do like to make lists. I like to make lists of lists. But really, the lists aren't necessary. It's just something I like to do. I do not need to carry them around with me and obsessively cross things off because I have a super, terriffic, awesome memory.


I forgot to mail the mail in my car.
I forgot to call the driving school (for three days in a row!)
I forgot to take the orders with me to the party last night. (A mistake that made me look like a complete dork and made me 1/2 hour late for the party. Can you say "professional?"

This is just a small sampling of the things I have been forgetting. I'd tell you the rest but I forgot what they were. All I remember is the pain and frustration of forgetting.

I think it's all a symptom of the chaos I am currently calling "life." Not to worry though... I'm making some headway on that list of mine and I see light at the end of the tunnel. When I return from Utah I will be back on track and ready to find some organization, some structure...

Oh wait. I just remembered what started this tangent. I keep forgetting to look for the "piece of paper by the desk" that has hubbies blog name and password so that I can start updating his blog for him.

So once again, I will use my blog to document his adventures. Maybe someday I'll remember to copy it from here and put it there.. after I remember to find out what the name of his blog is....

Ok so he left Arkansas on June 8th. Then he went to Los Angeles. For whatever reason, I am more fascinated with what he is hauling, than where he is going. I never used to give it much thought, but what is in all those trucks we see on the freeway? So as long as I'm giving the updates, and unless and until I find out that I'm not supposed to share that kind of info.... we'll all get to share in my obsession that we'll call "what's in the truck?" Ooops. I've probably just said it wrong. Kind of like calling a boat a ship and a ship a boat.... I think it's more accurate for me to say "what's in the trailer." Doesn't have the same ring.

So he hauled paint and painting goods to Los Angeles (hazmat load. Apparently hauling a bunch of paint is a hazard. I guess it is. I don't think it would be a pretty mess if it spilled all over the freeway.) Los Angeles to somewhere in Texas was..... little packets of condiments for McD's. Can you just imagine a bunch of ketchup and bbq sauce... an entire truck load?

Texas to Pensylvania was Milk. Little wee cartons of milk. The kind you used to get at school.

I haven't talked to him yet so I have no idea what he's hauling now and where he's going. For that matter, I'm sure he's not in PA anymore so I really have no idea where he is. Sadly, I'm more concerned that I don't know what treasures he has in the trailer.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Moving On

I think I'm over my major melt-down from Friday. I was a total basket case. I cried all day and all night and I can't even blame it on pms. It all seems so silly now. Nothing has really changed. Nothing has gotten better. I've just plugged away on my "to do" list. I can't really say that I'm making progress, but I think I'm finally keeping up with it. I'm accomplishing as many tasks as get added each day with hopes of gaining on it soon.

I got Josh all packed and on his way and I'm now living on my own for the very first time - ever. I'll get weekly visits from the son and I suppose hubby will return someday. Until then. It's me. I only have to pick up after myself. I only have my laundry and my dishes and my messes. I have to admit, that part of this adventure is a little exciting.

Gail and I plugged along on our artwork yesterday. We each have one more board to do and a few little clean-up things on the other boards. We just might make it.

It's so frustrating to be creating so much art and doing so much stamping and scrapbooking and not have a single thing to post to show for it. Hopefully the splurge of posts after convention will make up for it.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Crying at my desk

We interupt the normal happy positive blog to bring you the rantings of a frustrated woman.

Let's take roll call here at work...
Boss #1 - the county fair
Boss #2 - road trip across the U.S.
Boss #3 - I'm not exactly sure. Probably fishing or golfing
Co-Worker - Sick, Tired and dealing with cancer. (Can't really complain about that one.)
Me - Stuck at work, crying at my desk.

I truly don't think I can handle one more thing. I give in. I'm done. I am not super woman. I need a break. I need some sleep. I need a maid and I miss my husband.

I have been trying to be positive. I have been trying to prioritize and just have faith that I will get it all done, but right now all I want to do is cry.

I have been struggling with a cold all week long. I've tried to tell myself I'm not sick, but that doesn't appear to be working. I woke up this morning with a pounding headache and evidence that I still have a cold and all I wanted to do was stay in bed and sleep it off. I wanted to call in sick like every other working person gets to do now and then, but then I remembered... I am not every other working person.

I have two days to finish helping Josh get ready camp. We have shopping to do and money to spend. He has driving lessons tomorrow and then, because I know what it's like to miss someone terribly... I volunteered to take a few kids out tomorrow so that they can see each other before they head off to their separate summer adventures. I have prioritized and decided that family still comes first so he is more important.

I'm trying to forget that I have one week to finish up my artwork, that the company just deleted an entire section of what I planned to teach and I now need to find something to fill in with, that I have gifts to make and a business to run, a party to pack and deliver and my house looks like a tornado hit it because I have an excess of furniture.....that I now need to figure out how to get rid of.

And you know what? I feel like crap. My head still hurts. My nose is stuffy. I'm tired and all I want to do is sleep.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mom, Can You Come Pick Me Up?

Posted by Picasa

Since life isn't interesting enough around here, Josh decided to add a bit of drama to it.

We had to fedex Josh's driver's license application back and forth because both parents have to sign and they won't accept the power of attorney. The application finally finished it's journey and I got it at work on Monday. So Josh rode his bike down here then left for the dmv. Five minutes later I get a phone call:

Josh - Mom can you come pick me up? Some lady just ran over me with her car while talking on a cell phone, but she gave me $60 to fix my bike.

Me - Josh!

Josh - I'm ok. My wheel is just bent.

Me - Josh! (Apparently that's the only word that would come out of my mouth because there were just so many running in my head and I couldn't decide which one was more important.)

Me - You should've called me right away. She just gave you money and left? Are you ok? What if you're not ok. I'm on my way. Where are you?

Once I got him and made sure he was ok, then I started lecturing.

"what were you doing on the sidewalk? How many times have I told you not to ride on the sidewalk. It's dangerous. I don't care that she was talking on the cell phone....that's why you need to be safe and follow the rules. How am I supposed to take you to the dmv to get your driving permit when you aren't following the bicycle rules."

By this point I've started to calm down and I then said. "We don't sit around making up rules because we think it's fun. Dad's been hit by a car, your uncles have been hit by cars. We know what you need to do to be safe because of the experiences we've had. We don't want you to learn those same things by getting hit by a car...."

I think he could tell by my tone that cool, I can't believe you did another stupid teenage thing, mom was back and just glad he was safe because then we started joking around.

Thankfully our favorite bike shop was right down the street and in less than a half hour he had a new tire and I had dropped him off at the dmv.

Luckily for me and my heart, his driving lesson isn't until Saturday. I have time to get over the whole "Mom, I got run over by a car" thing. Maybe, just maybe he learned something. Oh, I hope so....

Hamster Babies

Hamster Babies. Here's mama chasing down the babies. Posted by Picasa

Taking pictures of the babies has proven a bit difficult. Roxie (mama) has been quite good at keeping them in her little nest and packing bedding up the sides of the cage so you can't see them. But I think that time is over. Those babies are moving and escaping. We laugh so hard when we go over to check out the cage. Roxie learned pretty quickly that we will usually give her treats when we come over to check on them, so she runs over to the edge of the cage and sticks her litttle nose between the bars, meanwhile the babies begin escaping from the nest. If we keep her busy long enough there are usually four little babies running around. Once she stows away the treats we've given her she begins the task of rounding up all the little critters. It is hilarious. She gets one, takes it back to the nest, goes to get the next one, meanwhile the first one is back out again. I'm always amazed when she actually corrals them all back.... but I think she's beginning to give up a bit. At one point yesterday all the babies were running around the cage and she just sat there looking around. Sorry Roxie! I think your little ones are growing up.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

He got the job....

Oh my gosh. I better update before anything else happens and I have to write an entire novel just to keep up.

Hubby got the job!! Woo Hoo!! He's working for Southern Refrigerated Trucking (SRT) and he's currently in Arkansas. So far he is really impressed with company. It has been a much different experience that the "other" company. I guess we had to go through all that grief just so he could appreciate how great SRT has been.

He's still hanging out at the terminal for now, waiting for his trainer, but hopefully he'll be hitting the road tomorrow and someday we might get to see him again. Dang, I miss my slave boy. I've had to put gas in my car, take out the trash, pay the bills..... sheesh.....

I love hearing all his stories about the people he has met. Here are a few things I remember

1) He has a new appreciation for California and our no-smoking laws. People light up in the middle of the restaurant. Today he was doing his laundry and had to go outside because three people just lit up their cigarettes, right inside. He has started using his meal tickets to get his meals to go.... just so he can eat it somewhere where there is no smoke.

2) Best line that he shared from his orientation classes.... Apparently some guy just kept asking stupid questions about an accident that the orientation person told them about. The teacher answered some of them, but most of them he didn't know the answer to because they were random ridiculous questions like.... what was the rate of the wind or which way was he traveling or other stupid things... Finally one of the other guys asked. "Was it on blacktop or asphalt?" Too funny!!! I have been in so many classes like that and just wished I could say something.

3) Apparently it doesn't take long to pick up a southern accent. Hubby said he was "fixin to go get something to eat." Fixin? Oh yea, I have him grief about it.

4) He went for a walk last night because the weather was nice. On his way back he got pelted by hail and fierce winds. It rains a lot and they have lots of mosquitos. Arkansas is definately not on the list of places he'd like to move to... but the people are really nice.

5) He's in Baptist country. He drove the van out to help a driver retrieve an abandoned truck and he said he passed a ton of churches....including two baptist churches, right next door to each other.

6) I'm thinking Sprint is probably very bummed that we have the family plans on our phones and I'm loving the 99 cent store calling cards for when I get sick of the cruddy signal he gets in that teeny town.

Oh and I did warn him I'd go shopping once he got a job.....

My stamp room is torn apart because I'm putting in my new wall unit and the living room couches have been replaced by a .....dang...I forgot the name of it..... one of those multi-piece couches with recliner chairs.....

No need to panic though... I've been a bargain shopper and they are all hand me downs in great condition. I'm remodeling on a budget. If I sell the stuff I have on craigs list, I'll come out even on the couch!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Feeling Crummy

It's an ugly ugly day here in Southern California. The cooler weather is a welcome relief from the scorching we endured over the weekend, but today takes "June Gloom" to an all new level. June Gloom usually means morning clouds out here in the east county, but today the sun never poked through the clouds and we actually got rain. Amazing. It was a short little burst, but it rained in June in San Diego.

I had a good cry this morning and now my eyes feel puffy and all I want to do is go to bed. On top of that, I'm kind of mad for even getting upset. I should know better, but every once in a while it's kind of hard being my mother's daughter. She forgot my son's birthday. Yep. No phone call. Nothing. Last year none of us got presents, but Josh and I at least got phone calls. I guess his milestone 16th birthday wasn't all that big of a deal to his grandma.

I guess it was just the icing on the cake for me. We've been struggling through some tough times around here. Times when I wish I had a mom that I could call. I have to be the strong one and hold up for everyone else, but there are times when I just need someone to call so that I can cry and get it all out. I have a ton of wonderful friends that I love and adore... but sometimes you just want a mom. I've pretty much accepted her limitations and I know that I will never rate as high in her book as my brother. For the most part, I have made peace with it and I no longer get myself worked up over it...but I still hurt for my son. And heck, she used to at least make the pretense of calling. And we've actually been getting along fairly well. We've had a couple of fun conversations...oh well.... I need to let it go....

Things appear to be going well for hubby. Still too early to celebrate, but he has made it through day 2 of orientation and things look good so far.

Hey he had rain today too, but his rain has been accompanied by an amazing lightning show too. Show off. He just had to one up us.... Men!

Monday, June 05, 2006

People Watching

We got some good people watching in on Friday night. San Diego may be known as America's Finest City, but someone certainly wouldn't know it if they were arriving by Greyhound Bus. I've made a few trips down there over the years and it certainly hasn't changed much. There are still bums hanging out on the street corners, and it seems like there's always some kind of construction going on down there. This time it looks like they are remodeling the Pickwick hotel next door. The scaffolding and construction mess only add to the decrepit look and feel of the place.

The type of crowd that rides the bus instead of taking a plane is quite different. Most of the crowd seemed like hard working, worn-out men who looked like they were exhausted. There were several families with mis-matched luggage and then there was my favorite one.... an older woman, traveling alone. I swear to you she must've had at least 10 pieces of luggage. At first I thought I was mistaken. I was sure there were kids in the bathroom or a husband off getting some dinner. But I never saw anyone else with her.

I believe you get to check two bags. She had two of the hugest suitcases I have ever seen. Then she had a duffle bag, and at least four large canvas bags, and four of those mylar looking bags that you can put groceries in to keep them cool. When it came time to board the bus she took her checked luggage and left the rest. I started to wonder if she was just abandoning everything else. After she found her seat on the bus, she made trip after trip out to pick up more and more of the bags. I was absolutely fascinated watching her. I was dying to know where she was going to stow all of the stuff. I guess riding a bus is not like riding an airplane. She stowed her stuff all over that bus. I'm thinking it's probably a good thing that the rest of the passengers packed lightly.

I was kind of hoping her journey would follow along with Rick's so that he could update me on her progress, but they parted ways in Phoenix. I guess I'll never know where she was going and how she got all that crap off the bus.

Friday, June 02, 2006

No Pictures

One of the reasons I moved my blog here was because of how easy it is to add pictures. I love putting pictures in my posts. It must be that scrapbooker in me that thinks the story isn't complete without pictures.

So, why no pictures? I gave my tiny not so cool camera to hubby. He has to pack light and doesn't have a way to charge up his super cool camera. Well the camera has been packed up in his bags for over a month and since he's leaving again tonight, it's going to make the journey with him. That means I have to stand in line to use the other camera and I have to remember to take it with me. I can't just whip it out of my purse when I get the whim to take photos for the blog.

I warned hubby that I was going shopping once he was officially hired... my shopping list is getting longer and longer.....

All that to explain why I don't have a picture of Josh's birthday surprise.....

Josh is turning 16 and we are a little behind on the whole driving thing. Our rule was that he had to get his Eagle before he could drive. Well, now that hubby might be gone for long periods of time, I'm thinking it might benefit me if Josh can drive. So we started doing all of the research. Well, it takes so long to get the license, that Josh should have his Eagle about the same time. I get what I want and don't have to take back my "rule." Works for me.

Ok, so I got the info on a driving school from one of the kids at school and quickly figured out we had to get this done now, if he was going to get started before he leaves to work at camp for the summer. We were already planning to celebrate before hubby left so what's a couple of extra days????

I made a huge sign that said "watch out world, Josh is turning 16 and taking driving lessons! Happy Birthday Joshua" Then I printed out a bunch of different types of cars on 8.5 x 11 cardstock. I made fancy smancy sticks to hold them into the ground out of paper clips and prepared for the surprise.

Hubby talked Josh into going with him to get Chinese food and I ran out and decorated the front yard while they were gone.

When they returned they found the yard filled with cute signs.

There was a sign with a car crashing into a tree that said "This is not allowed."
The race car - "in your dreams"
On the car that had luggage on the roof, I wrote "Road Trip!"

It turned out pretty cute. I didn't get to see the look of surprise on his face, but he was still beaming when he got out of the car. He was definately surprised. He figured we'd pay for the drivers ed, but didn't know we planned to get the behind the wheel too.

It was a fun time.... and there are no pictures to document it. The dew ruined the signs and we had to throw them out the next day.


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Life in Perspective

I don't know if it's a good thing or not, but I've had lots of opportunities to examine life lately. I guess we are going through one of those tough transformations when everything you were used to and counted on has disappeared. It's time to find a new way. Keep what is good, let go of the bad. In some ways it's a painful process, in others ways it can be very uplifting.

My walking buddy said she read a quote in a church magazine or article once that said sometimes you have to step into the darkness before you can find the light. I kind of feel like we are free falling from a bridge, but I guess it's the same thing. I'm just hoping for a soft landing.

Hubby's change in careers hasn't gone as smoothly as we thought, but hopefully we've got all of our ducks in a row and things will work out now. Maybe we had to experience the bad and frustrating part of the industry so that we can appreciate the good? Who knows, but we're starting it all again. He leaves on Friday and will start orientation with a new company on Monday. I'm thinking happy, positive thoughts, but I don't want to say much until the fat lady sings.

I was contemplating a career change myself. I have the skills and the experience to "upgrade" to an executive assistant and I thought that maybe all of this happened so that I would let go of the comfortable and try something new.... but then we got the news that put that on indefinate hold. My co-worker has cancer again.

We've gone from thinking the worst, to having some good news, to waiting for more news. No matter what, it's going to be a tough road ahead. One that I need to be here for. I need to be here for her and I need to be here for the firm. I can only hope that God has a plan for us and he will take care of hubby so that I can be where I need to be. Suddenly our financial situation doesn't seem quite as important anymore. Sure, it would be nice to pay the bills and keep a roof over our heads, but right now I'm just grateful that we are healthy and alive.

I guess it's all of these emotions that came to the surface while I was watching the Today show this morning. It's Katie Couric's last day on the show. I will miss her. I think part of the reason I enjoy the show so much is because I can relate to her. I cried all morning long as I watched all the tearful goodbye's and the memorable moments. I think I cried for them and I cried for what we are going through at work. I haven't gotten much work done lately. I've listened to what each of the bosses has needed to say. I've relayed information and updates. I've tried to be a source of strength for my co-worker. And as I watched the members of the Today show celebrate the relationships they have with each other, I thought about how grateful I am to work with such wonderful people. It is not often that we have the opportunity to create a second family in the workplace. Katie has been blessed with that in her job, and I have been blessed with it in mine.

We don't know what the future will hold. I guess that's true of everyone, every day, but we've been given an opportunity to glimpse the possibility of the future and it has forced all of us to take stock of where we are, what we believe, who we love and what we are grateful for.

I guess we had to take a couple of steps into the darkness to see the light that we experience every single day of our lives.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Baby Boom

We bought hubby a new hamster for his birthday. We've always "said" the hamsters were for Josh, but hubby is the big softie that gets all attached to them. Ok, so we all get attached. Some of us just get more attached than others..... Anyway, six days later it appears that we now have 7 cute little hamsters.

Last time this happened we were all a bit surprised and freaked out. This time.... it's party time. We are all so excited. We even put the video camera on a tripod so that we can watch them on the tv without bugging them. We call it "hamster vision." It's the craziest thing. All three of us will sit there and watch them forever. They are growing so fast. They don't have eyes or hair yet, but they have teeny tiny teeth.

Roxy is such a good mom so far. She's just a baby herself, yet she took to them right away. Sometimes she seems a little freaked out. She runs around the cage and looks kind of agitated, but so far she has taken good care of all of them. I suppose I'd be a little agitated if I had six babies that wanted to nurse constantly too. She's probably looking for a way to escape.

Stay tuned fo baby pictures.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Long time no update

Things have been a bit chaotic around our house. Hubby is back home. We had to work on getting some medical releases for him. Hopefully next week things will be back on track and he'll be on his way again. It's been a long frustrating process, but hopefully we've got it worked out now.

On the stamping/scrapbooking front:

Stamp Camp was last weekend. We had a great time!! All of my girls have already signed up for next year. They are ready to go back and do it again. We may even plan a few mountain retreats between now and then. We might rent the big cabin together and just crop all day and all night. Sounds fun to me. I love it up there.

Today I get my mystery box from the company. I am soooo excited. They are sending me samples of new product that will be released in the next catalog so that I can make art boards for convention. Our coach told me what's inside, so I have an idea... but I can't wait to see it live and in person. Fun, fun, fun....

This weekend is our mini-convention. A bunch of consultants have teamed up to put on a huge open house. We have a bunch of new artwork and we're all demonstrating fun techniques and hands-on projects.

Whew, I'm tired just writing about everything. My "to do" list is huge.

I've finally started edging my squares for my knitting class, which makes them much easier to photograph and share. Hopefully I'll start to post some knitting progress pictures.

Well I better run. That list is calling my name.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Colds and housework, oh my

Well we got hubby off to his new job and so far so good. He's in the elimation process now. He's passed his drug tests and drive tests, etc. We can't think of any reason he would be eliminated, but it's still hard to say that it's a done deal....yet. I believe we find out on Friday. The company pays to bring you in, pays for a hotel and everything, but if they let you go, you're on your own. You have to find your own way home.

Yesterday his group had 12 people. By the end of the day there were eight. Apparently some didn't pass the physical/drug test and one guy disappeared. Perhaps he knew he wouldn't pass the test so he took off? I don't know, but it baffles me. Why would you go to all that trouble and then just take off? Strange. I think I'm beginning to understand why all the recruiters and teachers have been so impressed with hubby.

And before you start thinking that this blog is all hubby all the time... it is still my blog... (his story will move to his blog soon. Of course he forgot to tell me the name, his user name and password. Kind of makes it hard for me to post there....)

I have a cold. Ick. I had great plans yesterday. We were home by 11am and I had the whole day off. I was going to stamp and scrapbook and stamp some more. I have all sorts of new items just calling my name. I have two parties this weekend and I'm using the new catalog so I need new samples. Did I stamp? No. While I wasn't miserable, the brain was a bit foggy. Instead of stamping I put the bathroom back together.

Hubby installed a brand new shower before he left, but he left me with all the mess. I had to put all the lotions and medicines back in the cupboard. Once I got started on it, my perfectionist self reared her head. I cleaned the cupboard, lined the shelves, tossed a bunch of old stuff, organized everything by topic. It looks beautiful now, but it took all day. I'd work on it for 15 minutes, then rest, then work on it, then rest.... Somewhere in there I finished up all the laundry and did the dishes. The sad thing is the house still looks like a tornado blew through it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Packing, Shopping, and moving on....

Hubby has been busy washing all of his clothes, packing, buying new clothes and other essential items and tonight the journey begins.

We're driving him up to Colton tonight and at 6:30 tomorrow morning he boards a shuttle and begins his career as a long haul truck driver. As much as we've talked about it and prepared for it, it still doesn't seem quite real. I'm sure it will sink in the first night I have to sleep alone. I think the longest we've ever been apart is four days.

So far I'm not sad or depressed. I'm excited for him. I'm sure reality will set in soon.

He started a blog and I'll probably type entries for him until he gets settled into his own truck, gets a laptop and figures out the whole internet service stuff. Until then I think the company has some kind of email system we can communicate on and thankfully we have the family plan on our cell phones. We'll post about his journies on his blog and I'll use my blog to talk about whats going on on the home front and the crafting front.

At home hubby is generally subjected to having to oooh and ahhhh at all my creations. "How's this look honey?" "Isn't this cute?" "How do you like this layout?" He thinks he's leaving all that behind. Ha. I'll be posting my creations here, and I still expect to hear "that's the best thing you've made yet." It may be long distance, but you know the drill babe!

I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to sucker him into going to the store for me, bringing me a glass a water and all the other "slave boy" tasks. Dang, I'm spoiled... things are not looking bright for the future of my princess crown.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Life Changes

Ok, well it's time to come out of my tax season hiding and resurrect this blog. My most loyal reader (my husband) is getting ready to hit the road and he has requested more frequent updates so I guess I better get to it.

I think it's funny that he reads this blog. Periodically he'll bug me for updates so finally I asked him, "why do you care? You live it all live and in person." He said that I write about it differently here and I share things that I don't tell him. At first I thought it was weird and I was kind of uncomfortable, but now I think it's cute. I'm glad that after 17 years of marriage he still finds me interesting enough that he'll live the events with me and choose to read about them. (Either that or he's monitoring me...hmmmm......)

So what's new with us? Everything.

Hubby has been on disability from a work injury for over a year and a half. I tease him all the time saying that I want a wife. I want someone to run the house and do all the cleaning and shopping. I usually bring this up when he has somehow missed the mark of what I think he should be spending his time on.... but if I'm going to be honest, we have gotten quite used to having him available at our beck and call. He has spent the last year bringing us things we've forgotten, bringing us lunch and carting Josh all over. I think Josh and I are in for a big wake up call when he's gone.

We knew pretty early on that he would never be able to return to his job so hubby used his time off to get his commercial drivers license and on Wednesday he begins his new career as a long haul driver. This is the part where you should think I am the absolute most understanding and coolest wife ever, because I now get to hold down the home fort while he pursues his dream. Ok, it's not my dream. I can't imagine living in a truck and driving all day every day. Mostly because I can barely drive two hours before I develop narcolepsy....but it's his dream.... so good luck honey we'll keep the home fires burning.

So now I'm suddenly having to think like a single mom. I can't just take off whenever I want and leave the kid at home with Dad.

I have stamp camp in two weeks and guess who's coming along. Josh said "thanks dad. Now I get to spend 3 days with a bunch of women talking and scrapbooking." He was even more delighted when I told him we don't have cell service up there. Please feel free to share any ideas on ways to make this easier on my poor soon to be 16 year old son....

Which brings us to the next scary adventure - driving. Oh I was going to hold out. We had the "you have to be an Eagle scout before you drive plan." Now we've switched it to the "oh crud, I don't have time to drive you everywhere and the laws change in July plan." So we will soon be embarking on the drivers ed, drivers training and buying a second car adventure.

Ok, let's recap...
How in the world did I agree to....
pay the bills
do the laundry
buy the groceries
take care of the kid
try to live through teaching him to drive
everything else....

I think someone spiked my water. I've been brainwashed.

Yea, well thrown in with everything else, I'm still planning to do some stamping, scrapbooking and knitting so stay tuned.

You'll either be amazed at how truly awesome I am or you'll have a good time laughing at all the mistakes I'm going to make. If you'd like to start placing bets now I'll give you a hint. My house is always full of laughter.....

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mini Goal Victory

All morning I told myself that I would not share this victory until I was actually wearing them.. but I just can't wait. I want to scream it from the rooftops. Either I spill it here or I will not be able to update at all because it's the only thing I can think about.

I put on my mini-goal jeans today and they FIT!!!!!! I just tried these on a week or two ago and I couldn't quite button them and I didn't even attempt to zip them up.

I bought these jeans about two years ago when I was losing weight. My jeans that were a size bigger were falling off of me so I assumed I could just go in and buy the next size down. Wrong. They never fit. I was so depressed. Looking back, I think that was the beginning of the end of that journey. The weight loss had slowed and I was faced with some ickiness in life to deal with. I never actually made the concious decision to quit. I just slowly fell off the wagon.

The ironic thing is that I actually weigh about 10 pounds more now than when I bought them. I guess that proves my theory about why I'm losing so slowly. Hubby and I were talking about it a few days ago when I was frustrated with how slowly the scale is moving. I know I have not been cheating. I work out extremely hard. Realistically it's possible that I'm adding muscle and losing fat leaving me with slow scale losses. But as I said to my husband... "You would think that at some point it has to shift. It can't continue this way forever. Something has to give." Well I don't have any huge scale losses to report.... but I can fit in those jeans, and a skirt and a blouse (I feel like I tried on everything in my closet this morning. It was pretty fun!) ....

My next mini-goal....
Fit into the three bags of clothes that Karen gave me. She had weight loss surgery and passed on 4 bags of clothes. One bag fits now. Three are just waiting.....

Monday, February 20, 2006

Where have I been?

Let's see, where have I been?

Tax Season (ugh)
Scrapbooking up a storm
Preparing teaching submission for convention
Business is booming and keeping me busy
Designing a new scrapbook class concept that is oh so cool!!!!
Now that the scrapbook one is off the ground, I'm working on a card one....

Been working out and losing weight - woo hoo! That's always a good thing, but it takes up so much time.

Tax Season
Do I really need to say more? It's crazy this year.

I've actually been working on my own scrapbooks. Amazing! I was my own guinea pig and tested my new class idea on myself. I'm a woman obsessed. I keep having to get more pictures printed so I can scrapbook them.

Yes, I actually finished last months book club book and I sort of enjoyed it. It wasn't a page turner, but I didn't suffer through it either. It's about time. I've hated the last few books. I was beginning to think I hated all books.

This month I picked the book. I apologised to the group when I passed it out, but I'm taking back my apology. I'm sure it's not going to win any literary awards but it is absolutely hilarious! It has totally brought back the joy of reading to me. I don't want to put it down at night. I literally laugh out loud while reading it. I want to talk to everyone about it. I want to discuss the hilarious things the main character comes up with. I'm driving my poor husband crazy, because I keep reading parts of it out loud.

If you want a funny book that says its about baseball, but is really about so much more than baseball, read Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger.

I'm also reading The Red Tent. It was recommended by a friend and sounded like something I'd enjoy. Of course now that one of the book club members hated it and said it was blasphemous, now I'm sure I'm really going to enjoy it. LOL. We tend to have opposite points of view. Yes, I know it departs from scripture....but.......that's while they call it fiction. I'll let you know what I think when I'm done.

Teaching Submission
It's all done, mailed and received. Now we just wait....

I'm lumping the last three together because I'm running out of time. I used a new product from the company to create a cool class. Love it. My enthusiasm for it and all the great new stuff from the company means that life is good. Life is busy. I'm inspired and excited to keep creating.

Yea, I'm throwing this in just so I can say... I'm about three weeks behind in class. It's been tough to find time to knit. Dang. I need some balance in my life.

Gotta run...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Wall of Shame

If only we had thought to take pictures before. The previous cars were much more dramatic than this truck. In fact, we're not quite sure why the truck can't just drive off the wall. The owner walked over to KFC, got some food and is having a little picnic out there as he waits for the towtruck.

Now each person seems to have a different story as to how they found themselves in this predicament. The last one was a woman who was visiting the doctor next door. I got to know her well as she waited in my office one cold afternoon. She usually parks in our lot and always wondered how to get into the other, much bigger, parking lot. Finally she figured it out and parked there. One small problem. She forgot when it came time to leave. She pointed her car toward our exit and drove right over the wall. Her car hung there for over two hours while she waited for a tow truck. The "club" that she belonged to was having difficulty finding the right type of tow truck. What kind do you need when your car is perched on top of a wall? We were sure they just needed to lift the car up and it would roll back fine. Communicating that to the "club" was way more difficult than it needed to be.

The first driver was much more imaginative in retrieving her car. That or she had more friends. One by one more and more people showed up and then suddenly 8 or so guys picked her car up and scooched it over. Hers was by far the most fun to watch.

The current victim doesn't seem like he's planning to come in and share the story. We may have to make one up ourselves. It will be interesting to see what the current technique is for removing the vehicle though.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A New Year

It finally feels like a new year and things are starting to settle back into what we call "normal." While Joshua doesn't go back to school until the 9th (lucky duck), seminary started back yesterday, which means we're back to the 5:30 alarm and early morning walks. It actually felt really good to walk yesterday. It was foggy and cold and refreshing. Of course I don't want to hog all the early morning fun to myself, so we're also back to the "every other day schedule." Today was hubby's turn for the 5:30 alarm.

Knitting class started back up tonight and just in time too. I was starting to feel a little "ho hum" about my knitting, but now I'm on fire and ready to get back at it. I love my class and all the fun women in it. We have a great time.

Today I'm sending out my fun new email newsletter to my customers. I think it turned out pretty good. Karen and I have decided to work on them together throughout the year. That sounds so much easier than doing it all myself.

Well I better run. My to do list is calling my name.