Monday, December 31, 2007

Make it a safe one

Where did 2007 go?

New Years is not a holiday I actively celebrate, haven't for a long time. I usually even forget to check if it's midnight or not yet. I'm not much of a drinker and after a few bad New Years Eves out, once seeing a drunk driver going up the off ramp to get on the highway going the wrong way, I am quite content to stay home.

Still, watching all the nostalgia and countdown shows on TV I have to ask, where on earth did this year go????? It was January about a month ago, I swear, hot sweltering August the month after that, and all of a sudden Thanksgiving, Christmas and the end of the year came rushing at me! I honestly do not ever recall feeling that a whole year just whizzed right past me at the speed of light or something. Weird.

So, here it is. Nothing profound to say, won't make any resolutions, I never do. It is a time to start anew and keep moving forward. And it is time to start counting down ...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I'm good enough!


Okay, is it just me or does comment moderation make anyone else feel stooopid? My eyesight isn’t the greatest these days but it’s not so bad that I should not be able to copy 6 or 7 letters that are directly above the space in which I am supposed to type them.

I totally understand why people need to use moderation and for the most part would venture to say that most people who use it have to, not want to. So I am not complaining about the fact that many bloggers moderate their comments. It is an evil necessity because of all the technology out there. But speaking as an average human, moderation defeats me more times than not.

Is that an ‘m’ and an ‘r’ or 2 ‘r’s and an ‘n’ – or – an ‘l’ and an ‘o’ or maybe a ‘b’? Am I the only one who struggles with the slanty, run-together letters? And then – when I try and fail – then – it mocks me and gives me a second try with nice remedial block printing and fewer letters. Oh nice, she’s an imbecile so let’s really dumb it down for her!

There are enough things in life to make me feel ‘less than’ in some way, don’t get me started on fashion magazines and women’s body image these days, or something closer to home, accepting a new position offered to me at work that requires a degree I don’t have, there are enough things out there to make me feel insecure. Sheesh, comment moderation shouldn’t be one of them.


Friday, December 28, 2007

How I would have liked to say it


Leaving out some huge personal details this could be me, except written by Dooce and written so much better! Yeah, like she said.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Andy Clary where are you?


There are so many Andy stories I could tell. Like the time he got a bit drunk at the deli he worked at and tried to serve a customer some frozen – onion rings I believe it was – and then bellowed “you mean you want them cooked too?!?!” when they objected.

Or the time I drove my car straight into a flood and stalled, and Andy came to my rescue. In freezing water up to his knees he insisted I stay inside the car ostensibly to steer, while he pushed the car about 15 feet, uphill, and out of the water. It was so cold he lost a shoe and didn’t know it. When the car was out of the water we ran back home and whipped our jeans off the minute we got in the door, wet socks flying as we went. I headed straight for the thermostat and Andy got the blankets and then we both hunkered down on our own heat grates trapping the warm air in those blankets to get warm while laughing our butts off. No alcohol was involved.

There was the running joke between Andy and his roommate Matt when they moved into a trailer next to ours. Under the sink in the back bathroom they found a pair of women’s panties. Gross, unwashed women’s panties. Being the male college students they were – they took turns pranking each other with them. Matt realized at one point that he had been sleeping with those panties inside his pillowcase for a good week and never knew, and next Andy found those panties spread wide across his light fixture on his bedroom ceiling. They went back and forth a few more times and I don’t think I wanted to know what eventually happened to those nasty underwear.

Andy was a guy, only about 2 years younger than my husband and I, who lived with us for a while – when we lived in Carbondale, IL – home of Southern Illinois University. Somehow we sort of adopted Andy, called him our son and he told his parents he was living in a nice place with a married couple giving them the impression that we were older and a good influence.

Andy was a good, good friend, simply a lovely guy with a wonderful sense of humor and bad pronunciation of words like ‘wash’ – he said ‘warsh’ and insisted he could not hear the difference. He had me convinced for 3 years that he was color blind because I had believed him when he first told me and he didn’t have the heart to tell me differently all that time. He drank too much and swore better than anybody I knew, and would share his last cigarette if you asked him to.

After college ended Andy went off to the Peace Corps. We hadn’t even known he was thinking about it because we left the area before he did. We saw him once, maybe twice after he got back from Tunisia, but after that we lost touch. I have always felt so bad about it – I mean – Andy meant so much to us we named our first child after him. But I don’t know where he ended up.

He was raised in central Illinois and for the life of me I cannot remember the town he was from. In the summers before college he used to work on a local pig farm and beyond that – I don’t know much more than what he shared with us during his college years.

I have done Google searches for Andy Clary, Andrew B Clary, and even Andrew B – because that is what his mother called him. But it’s like he has disappeared. So I am posting this not thinking that anyone who reads my blog might actually know Andy. But maybe if somebody else does a Google search, or if Andy ever Googles himself, maybe somehow a connection will be made.

So I really need to ask, where in the world is Andy Clary? Does anybody know?


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Is it light out yet?

When my kids were little we had a rule on Christmas morning; the kids could get up and raid their stockings, but could not wake Mom (or Mom and Dad early on) until it was at least light out. Of course their version of light and mine were rarely the same.

Now that the 2 of them are older, I end up waiting up till God knows when to play Santa and get everything under the tree, stockings set out, and finally get to go to bed. Tonight my daughter came home with her boyfriend and locked the 2 of them in her room to wrap my gift, while my son busied himself in the back of the house watching midnight mass on TV and messing around on his laptop. Very strange seeing as he is not in the least religious much less Catholic. But hey, maybe a little doctrine will seep in. Can't hurt, right?

My daughter finally went to bed about 3:00 a.m., and last I checked my son was going to sleep with the yule log playing on TV. I don't know if he is trying to create some kind of ideal or traditional Christmas for himself or what, but whatever works I guess.

Stacking the gifts under the tree, they seemed so insignificant this year, which reminded me of something I read on Notes from the Trenches - I think - the older the kids get, the greater the cost and the smaller the packages. Oh so true! The kids will be happy, of that I am sure, and the cats will be freaked out with the noise and the mess.

Me? I will be very very tired. I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Comment Myspace Sexy


Monday, December 24, 2007

T'was the night before Christmas...



Wasn't expecting this

I was not expecting to post this today, I was going to wait until Wednesday to post a Hero, but Ray of Chicago Ray posted the Hero along with a video that made me cry. It's a very moving tribute to all the veterans I hope we always remember, and what one man started as a way to give thanks to those who have served and paid the ultimate price. Even if you don't feel like reading about it - watch the video. You can't help but feel something.

This week's hero was suggested by Cindy & Kathi

Each year, around this time, since 1992, the Arlington National Cemetery has something happen to it. It gets covered in vibrant green Christmas wreaths. The wreaths are donated by a man named Merrill Worcester who is the owner of the Worcester Wreath Co. in Maine. From the Worcester Wreath Co.'s website:

Each year Worcester Wreath donates Maine wreaths to adorn the headstones of those who serve and those who sacrificed to preserve our freedoms. In 2007, over 10,000 wreaths are destined for the annual wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington. In addition, 2,500 wreaths will be sent to Togus National Cemetery in Augusta, Maine. Worcester Wreath also donates ceremonial wreaths that will be used as part of the Wreaths Across America events at over 230 State and National veterans cemeteries all across the Country.

Sometimes a hero is one who sacrifices everything in their life to help others. And sometimes a hero is one who sacrifices nothing more than their time.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

Wishing you peace.


Comment Myspace Sexy


Saturday, December 22, 2007

My favorite song for Christmas

There were many choices of videos for this song, but I guess I like watching someone actually singing the song if I can find it.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, and joyous Christmas. Enjoy.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Okay I might be stalling.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, always has been. I love all the colored lights, the deer, the nativity scenes on people's lawns, I love all of it. Well, except the shopping. I don't do it. You will rarely even see me at a grocery store during the Christmas season, much less a specialty store or my idea of hell - a mall. Just the thought of it puts my teeth on edge.

So my way of dealing with the aspects of the season that I don't like is to do all of my shopping online. And I am good at it. I search to find what I want, compare prices, look for free shipping, etc, and I buy. I enjoy finding a package or 2 or 3 or more on my porch when I get home from work most days during the weeks before Christmas day.

This year is a little different though. Usually I create a little spreadsheet, yes, I said spreadsheet, with a column for each person I buy for and 2 columns if I also fill a stocking for them. That way I can keep track of things I want to buy and things I actually do purchase. I can look at it and say - oh - I need to get one of the kids another gift. Or, I don't have enough for the stockings yet.

Um ... this year? No list. Nothing, nada. I have written nothing down and I haven't opened hardly anything that has come in the mail. Somehow this year I left it to my little old (and I feel so old when it comes to memory) brain to keep track of everything. Consequently I am now, 4 days before Christmas, facing a stack of boxes spilling out of my closet hoping I kept everything straight regarding what I wanted to buy for each person, and also hoping I ordered everything in time so that it is actually already here. In the house. Where I can wrap it.

Wish me luck. LOTS of luck.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On a lighter note ...



Christmas tidings


***Seriously edited.

I have to take some of that back. The card came today.

All that did not apply specifically to this Christmas - still true, but no reason to post about it now. Sure glad I didn't send that email!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wednesday's Hero

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Leo

SSgt. Mike Mills
SSgt. Mike Mills

On June 14, 2005 SSgt. Mike Mills's life was forever changed. The HETT(Heavy Equipment Transport System) he was riding in was hit by an IED. The attack resulted a cracked clavicle and scapula bones, dislocated shoulder, broken left hip, 4 out of 5 bones broken in his foot and being set on fire. The driver in the truck behind him ran with a cooler of melted ice which he threw on Sgt. Mills to put him out.

He spent three months in the Brooks Army Medical Center at Ft. Sam Houston, TX with the injuries listed above plus 2nd, 3rd and deep tissue burns to 31% of the left side of his body. The first thing he remembers thinking after the attack was that his soldiers needed him and he needed to get back to them.

"Then the guilt set in about what I did to my family. I've totally screwed that up. Look at me, no don't. I look hideous. How can I face my kids looking like this. They'll be embarrassed to be seen with me. What if they won't love me anymore? Speaking of love, my wife, oh my God. How can I expect her to stay with me. I'm not a man anymore. She's not going to want be intimate with a freak. What if I can't work, how do I support myself, my family.

I had nightmares and couldn't sleep. I wasn't eating and was losing weight. I didn't really care. If I didn't start eating, they where going to put the feeding tube back in. Who cares, I've totally screwed up my life anyway."

But he found out just how much his wife loved him, when she stood by his side throughout the entire ordeal. She was there for every wound dressing and even learned how to change the dressings herself.

SSgt. Mike Mills now runs the site For The Veteran... By A Veteran in which he helps veterans, soldiers and their families find information they may not have been given after their medical discharge or retirement.

Some may say that Mike gave his country more than enough when he was severely maimed by an IED on that fateful day of June 14, 2005, but Mike continues to give to his fellow servicemen, as well as to his nation!

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Really sad.

I cannot tell you how sad this makes me.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Newly listed - and fun!


Remember that silver I got? Yeah.

Garnet and Swarovski crystal chandelier earrings

This is the - There is something exotic about this bracelet, bracelet

This bracelet is lampwork beads and FUN!


Friday, December 14, 2007

A computer analyst's job is never done.

My Mom was staying at my sister’s house for a while, almost 2 years ago. She was using my sister’s computer or maybe I should say, attempting to. Since my job is in I.T. my Mom would call me with all things computer. Here is just a slice of one of those conversations that caused blood to start shooting out of my eyes.

I love you Mom!

M: The computer keeps going out.

BJ: Going out? What do you mean?

M: It goes black.

BJ: The monitor?

M: Yes, the computer.

BJ: Mom, are you looking at the computer?

M: Yes, where the picture is.

BJ: No Mom, the computer is the box, the tower.

M: Well it doesn't look like a tower to me.

BJ: That's okay Mom, it's where you would put a disk if you had one, or a CD.

M: I don't have a CD.

BJ: I know Mom. What color is the light on the box?

M: The box on top of the computer?

BJ: What box?

M: The one with all the plug ins?

BJ: You mean the power strip?

M: The electrical. I have to turn that on first.


I told her she needed to wait until my sister got home.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday's Hero

I know it's not Wednesday, but I just found this and wanted to post it anyway. Hopefully I will post on time next week and I can only hope that someday there will be no more to post.

This Week's Hero Was Suggested By Louie

Bill Juneau
36 years old from Rush City, Minnesota
November 27, 2007

If there was one thing Bill Juneau loved as much as his country, it was his dog, Jake.

The accident-prone black Lab, who has been hit by two cars, had a toe amputated on his right paw and survived eating 42 candy bars in one sitting, once fell off a dock and through the ice on a lake while Juneau was hunting with his best friend, Dan Bock.

Bock said Juneau jumped into the icy, chest-deep water to save his dog.

"He threw that wet dog on the deck and sacrificed everything to save him," said Bock. "Bill's just that type of guy."

Juneau, a 10 year veteran of the Chisago County sheriff's deputy, was in Iraq helping to train Iraqi police recruits when his convoy was hit by and IED 50 miles outside Baghdad. A spokesperson for DynCorp, the private firm Juneau was working for, said Juneau was driving the lead vehicle in the large convoy that included U.S. Army personnel as well as members of the Iraqi National Police Force. The convoy was headed for a scheduled training mission. An Iraqi translator and a U.S. Army soldier sustained injuries in the blast as well.

His twin sister, Bridget Sura, said he wanted to help Iraqis rebuild their country and create better lives. "He would often sugar-coat the bad stuff, because he wanted us to know about the positive things," she said. "But we still worried every minute of every day." Another reason he joined was because he loved adventure, she said. While with the Chisago County Sheriff's Department, he started and led the country's SWAT team.

Jake, his dog, has been embraced by Juneau's sister's family. "He has more lives than a cat," Sura said, adding that they recently discovered a chocolate stash he'd hidden in his kennel.

"Jake is a part of my brother," she said. "He[Bill] will be missed by a lot of people. This will leave a hole in a lot of people's hearts."

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007



No, no appliance problems at our house. But I really could use this week to be over. Just sayin'.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

We all have them, don't we?

I'm talking about favorite ornaments, Christmas ornaments that are special to us for some reason. I cannot believe it took so long for my tree to get finished this year, but it is finally up in all it's glory. And as I put it up and went through the ornaments I couldn't help but remember where they came from.

Some of my daughter's favorite ornaments are ones I made when I was newly married and had very little money. I took small wooden match book boxes and wrapped them like tiny gifts, strung them on ribbon and there you go. Ornamen
ts. I still have 3 or 4 of them, one that used to be red foil and is now so old and faded it looks gold. They are at least 25 plus (yikes) years old.

I have other ornaments from around the same time that I bought as a kit. Pieces of wood with pictures on them you paint and punch out to hang on the tree. I have several of those and I hang them as prominently as any of my expensive Christopher Radkos, and probably more lovingly.

There are hand sewn silk animal ornaments I purchased many millions of years ago, before kids, when I worked at a Pier 1 Imports store for a few months. There are a couple of prized ornaments that belonged to my BF's mother who has passed away. I am honored h
e entrusted me with some of her pretty things.

There is an ornament made from styrofoam and pipe cleaners (Jimmy Kramer where are you?) that was given to us as a gift by a good Jewish boy who spent Christmas with my th
en-fiance and I a long long time ago. Jimmy was going to be an elementary school teacher, I wonder if it ever happened.

There are 2 ornaments that are always placed with care in the same spots on the tree every year. One is placed right in the front and center, a frosted glass ball on which is painted the picture of the only house I ever owned, and my daughter counts as her childhood home even though we only lived there for 5 years. The ornament was a gift from our realtor of all people, ha
nd painted, and a good likeness of that house. My daughter insists it be hung right out there in front because that is where we lived before the divorce, where she could run outside and play with the neighborhood kids and wasn't yet aware of any turmoil. Happy memories for her.

The other ornament that always gets hung in a specific place is a little book of Mother Goose Rhymes. I used to hang it high because if I didn't, it always ended up off the tree and in a child's grubby little hands. I think it was more o
f a game than anything. Mom doesn't want me to take this down, so I really want to read it even more!!! Looking back, that book getting a bit dog eared wouldn't have been such a bad thing, but it's too late now. I still hang it high - because that's just where it goes.

I suspect someday when I give a few of
those ornaments to my kids - they just might occupy the same spots on one of their trees as well. Some things are just supposed to be.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

I have been waiting!

And now it's time! See me dancing around? No? You're better off! Okay, I found this a while ago and I was very excited. My kids looked at me cross-eyed and I'm sure many won't understand my excitement. But - every Christmas season when I was a kid, Frazier Thomas and Garfield Goose would introduce this little cartoon and would play it several times in the days leading up to Christmas. I remember not so much
thinking it - but feeling - it was. Christmas. time!!! I'm not sure if this was only on local Chicago TV or not, but I hope there are a few of you out there who are old enough to have seen it and will remember and enjoy it.

Hardrock, Coco, & Joe

Stay tuned - if you are familiar with Hardrock, Coco, & Joe - you're gonna love Suzy Snowflake!!


Thursday, December 6, 2007


There are people who would say I am a bit over the top when it comes to my Christmas tree. That I really don't need to take 2 or 3 days to put it up, with meticulous detail and order. I do not order my life like I do my tree.

I have mentioned that I am behind, my tree is usually up the weekend after Thanksgiving. So putting it up this week is way behind schedule but there is no way I could just throw it up without the attention to detail that it deserves.

The tree itself went up last night, and most of the lights. I got to the end of the last strand and was a bit short, but seeing as I had already used about 10 strands I knew I could rearrange a bit and there would still be plenty. I figured I would finish that up a
fter work today. Lights, garland, glass icicles, glass ball ornaments, and then every other little thing. I must do it in order.

The lights were arranged to perfection, I did the blur test - looking at the tree with squinched up eyes to see only the lights - gives me a good idea if they are spread out more or less equally. Beautiful.

I was putting on the garland and without even a how-do-you-do - the lights went out. Every. last. one. I had a small heart palpitation but (in denial) decided I would continue with the garland and by the time I was done with that - all the lights would come back on by themselves. Uh huh, because things work that way for me, don't they?

When the lights did not come on again, magically, I did what I do instead of throwing a fit of some sort. I ignored it. I sat down and made a few snowflakes, watched some TV. The lights were still out. I was not doing Lamaze breathing yet. That would have meant I was acknowledging the problem.

Walking around the tree randomly shaking a strand of lights here and there didn't work so I did what made sense to me. I took the garland off knowing in my heart of hearts that the lights would spring to life again as soon as I finished that task. Of course I was not willing to think about the fact that once they came back on - it could happen again once I got all the ornaments on and the tree decorated to my exacting standards.

So, when nothing I did worked and contemplating throwing the tree out into the snow didn't quite seem to fit the situation, after all, I am an adult, I deal with a problem right? Of cou
rse I do! I decided to make everything better by doing something I do quite well. Put it off until tomorrow. For the moment - I took a picture or 2 and made blog fodder out of it.

I don't want to think about what I might have done if I had allowed myself to dwell on this turn of events much longer. This way - I have effectively distanced myself from it and have soothed myself as well.

Neurotic much? Not me!!


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I got nothin'

I have not been reading blogs, currently I have 65 posts in my reader waiting for my attention. I have been Christmas shopping. Who hasn't, right? For the last 4 years or so I have bought everything online and I got a late start this year so I have been playing catch up. For me - the
Christmas season does not even approach enjoyable until after I complete my shopping.

I decorated my blog, but not my house. It's midnight and I have
clothes to put in the dryer, the dishwasher to run and some other chores before bed. No time for blogs!!!!

Can you say spaz? That would be me right now. I will calm down and be back soon. In the meantime - go back one post and make another snowflake for me. If I had more time right now that's what I would be doing! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

It's snowing!!!

I went over to Goochmedia a little while ago and she was making snow! I had to try it, it's kind of addicting - here are 2 of mine. If you want to give it a try - click here - make your own SNOWFLAKE and have fun!!


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Jingle all the way ...

As I'm sure you've noticed by now, I recently got a new design for my blog. I am very happy with it and just found out that Lara, the designer, is having a contest where you can win design elements for your own blog! Since I don't have any reason to win now, I am not following the rules required to enter. But I am posting the button for the contest because I am so pleased with Lara's work, besides the fact that she is simply a very sweet lady. Click on the button on my left sidebar to see some of Lara's other work, or click on the button below to see the contest rules and win some designs for your blog!

I hope some of you decide to enter, and good luck!


I have been very lucky lately it the awards department. I just received a lovely new badge from Holly at A Spiritual Dog Blog. The blog buddies badge! Holly knows full well that I am a cat person through and through but she and her small dog pack have won me over. Okay, I am still a cat person but I do enjoy seeing the pictures and hearing about Holly's dogs, especially Daisy the baby of the pack. What an adorable pooch! Thanks so much Holly!

I would like to pass this badge on to one more person who has given me an appreciation of dogs, Shelagh over at Cat Calls. She is certainly a cat person who recently adopted a huge black greyhound she named Alice. It's great to read about this dog being accepted (or not) by Shelagh's cats!