Monday, March 31, 2008

Did I mention neurosis?

I have been trying since Christmas, to get my bead room together. I have emptied baggie after baggie of beads into containers. I have taken beads from boxes and bins and put them into other kinds of compartments and boxes. Shelves have been put up and mailing materials organized.

But I am stuck. This is a project that Molly could have done in a day. Actually, she could have organized the beads, the room, and painted it some wonderful color besides. And the color would have a name. Not me!

Okay I have long recognized that I have some *cough cough* quirks. People at work know I hate when someone sits at my desk and moves things around. My daughter knows if she loads the dishwasher I will move all the dishes around until they fit what I think is a better configuration. The bills in my wallet? Yeah, they all face the same direction, just like the clothing on hangers in my closet. But everybody does that. I think. The Christmas tree? Let’s not even talk about that.

Funny though, I am not that way about everything. Is my house a masterpiece of order and cleanliness? Uh, no. I wish. Does everything in my house have a place? And do I know where those places are? Hell no! It’s my private joke with myself when I am looking for something around the house that I am sure “I put it somewhere safe where I know I will remember it.” If I don’t laugh about it I will cry because I can’t find anything!

Which brings me back to my bead room. I want to organize it so well, I want everything to be within reach and I want it to make sense so desperately – that I am immobilized. I know that if I put everything in a bin or box or drawer, there is so much of it, it will never be right. I will be reorganizing forever and knowing I can’t do that the first time – freezes me in my tracks.

I know, look at it in small bits so I am not overwhelmed by the whole. Just do it, get it all cleaned up and looking wonderful and if I have to move things around every time I use something in there, so what? Just do it!!! Uh – yeah.

In some ways it makes it harder that I know exactly what is stopping me. Somehow if I could be oblivious to the idea that I will be extremely uncomfortable if I do not get it all in place to my liking, I could move forward and put everything – well – somewhere. But I think somewhere in my mind I think I will come to the end of the space and still have stuff left over with no place to put it.

Crisis for most people? No. For me?

Can you say neurotic? Sigh-h-h.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cake for everybody!

Today is my one year blogiversary and I almost missed it. I am amazed that it has been a year already and I have "met" so many great people doing this.

A year ago I picked my way through the interwebs saying to myself - well - let's see what this blogging thing is all about. I had never seen a blog, read a blog, much less considered doing one myself. And then once I started - I didn't really think anyone would actually read it! It didn't take long to get into the swing of things and learn to love doing it.

Thanks to everybody who comes by and reads and thanks to everyone who comes by and comments too! Woo hoo! Everybody eat cake!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I didn't see anything this pretty today

Because yeah, it snowed. Again. It was a rainy, snowy, and very gray day. Sigh-h-h.

Male Northern Cardinal seeking a little shelter from the snow. Puffed up bird with snowflakes on its head and chest is sheltered in a Hawthorne Tree near the Ryerson Forest Preserve in Riverwoods, IL.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Enough already!

Today there was an anonymous shooting threat at my daughter's university. I am angry. Angry that someone would think it was funny, angry that students, parents and faculty have to worry about things like this, and angry that it has come to this in my children's lifetimes.

While rationally I felt my daughter was safe in her dorm room, I could not stop thinking about all the times the real thing has occurred - not only in the U.S., but around the world. And I could not help but acknowledge the reality - that the last 2 school shootings were prefaced by false alarm threats in the month(s) before.

I am angry that I am afraid but worse than that - I am angry that my daughter has to be.

Feb. 2, 1996
Moses Lake, Wash.

Two students and one teacher killed, one other wounded when 14-year-old Barry Loukaitis opened fire on his algebra class.

March 13, 1996
Dunblane, Scotland

16 children and one teacher killed at Dunblane Primary School by Thomas Hamilton, who then killed himself. 10 others wounded in attack.

Feb. 19, 1997
Bethel, Alaska

Principal and one student killed, two others wounded by Evan Ramsey, 16.

March 1997
Sanaa, Yemen

Eight people (six students and two others) at two schools killed by Mohammad Ahman al-Naziri.

Oct. 1, 1997
Pearl, Miss.

Two students killed and seven wounded by Luke Woodham, 16, who was also accused of killing his mother. He and his friends were said to be outcasts who worshiped Satan.

Dec. 1, 1997
West Paducah, Ky.

Three students killed, five wounded by Michael Carneal, 14, as they participated in a prayer circle at Heath High School.

Dec. 15, 1997
Stamps, Ark.

Two students wounded. Colt Todd, 14, was hiding in the woods when he shot the students as they stood in the parking lot.

March 24, 1998
Jonesboro, Ark.

Four students and one teacher killed, ten others wounded outside as Westside Middle School emptied during a false fire alarm. Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11, shot at their classmates and teachers from the woods.

April 24, 1998
Edinboro, Pa.

One teacher, John Gillette, killed, two students wounded at a dance at James W. Parker Middle School. Andrew Wurst, 14, was charged.

May 19, 1998
Fayetteville, Tenn.

One student killed in the parking lot at Lincoln County High School three days before he was to graduate. The victim was dating the ex-girlfriend of his killer, 18-year-old honor student Jacob Davis.

May 21, 1998
Springfield, Ore.

Two students killed, 22 others wounded in the cafeteria at Thurston High School by 15-year-old Kip Kinkel. Kinkel had been arrested and released a day earlier for bringing a gun to school. His parents were later found dead at home.

June 15, 1998
Richmond, Va.

One teacher and one guidance counselor wounded by a 14-year-old boy in the school hallway.

April 20, 1999
Littleton, Colo.

14 students (including killers) and one teacher killed, 23 others wounded at Columbine High School in the nation's deadliest school shooting. Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, had plotted for a year to kill at least 500 and blow up their school. At the end of their hour-long rampage, they turned their guns on themselves.

April 28, 1999
Taber, Alberta, Canada

One student killed, one wounded at W. R. Myers High School in first fatal high school shooting in Canada in 20 years. The suspect, a 14-year-old boy, had dropped out of school after he was severely ostracized by his classmates.

May 20, 1999
Conyers, Ga.

Six students injured at Heritage High School by Thomas Solomon, 15, who was reportedly depressed after breaking up with his girlfriend.

Nov. 19, 1999
Deming, N.M.

Victor Cordova Jr., 12, shot and killed Araceli Tena, 13, in the lobby of Deming Middle School.

Dec. 6, 1999
Fort Gibson, Okla.

Four students wounded as Seth Trickey, 13, opened fire with a 9mm semiautomatic handgun at Fort Gibson Middle School.

Dec. 7, 1999
Veghel, Netherlands

One teacher and three students wounded by a 17-year-old student.

Feb. 29, 2000
Mount Morris Township, Mich.

Six-year-old Kayla Rolland shot dead at Buell Elementary School near Flint, Mich. The assailant was identified as a six-year-old boy with a .32-caliber handgun.

March 2000
Branneburg, Germany

One teacher killed by a 15-year-old student, who then shot himself. The shooter has been in a coma ever since.

March 10, 2000
Savannah, Ga.

Two students killed by Darrell Ingram, 19, while leaving a dance sponsored by Beach High School.

May 26, 2000
Lake Worth, Fla.

One teacher, Barry Grunow, shot and killed at Lake Worth Middle School by Nate Brazill, 13, with .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol on the last day of classes.

Sept. 26, 2000
New Orleans, La.

Two students wounded with the same gun during a fight at Woodson Middle School.

Jan. 17, 2001
Baltimore, Md.

One student shot and killed in front of Lake Clifton Eastern High School.

Jan. 18, 2001
Jan, Sweden

One student killed by two boys, ages 17 and 19.

March 5, 2001
Santee, Calif.

Two killed and 13 wounded by Charles Andrew Williams, 15, firing from a bathroom at Santana High School.

March 7, 2001
Williamsport, Pa.

Elizabeth Catherine Bush, 14, wounded student Kimberly Marchese in the cafeteria of Bishop Neumann High School; she was depressed and frequently teased.

March 22, 2001
Granite Hills, Calif.

One teacher and three students wounded by Jason Hoffman, 18, at Granite Hills High School. A policeman shot and wounded Hoffman.

March 30, 2001
Gary, Ind.

One student killed by Donald R. Burt, Jr., a 17-year-old student who had been expelled from Lew Wallace High School.

Nov. 12, 2001
Caro, Mich.

Chris Buschbacher, 17, took two hostages at the Caro Learning Center before killing himself.

Jan. 15, 2002
New York, N.Y.

A teenager wounded two students at Martin Luther King Jr. High School.

Feb. 19, 2002
Freising, Germany

Two killed in Eching by a man at the factory from which he had been fired; he then traveled to Freising and killed the headmaster of the technical school from which he had been expelled. He also wounded another teacher before killing himself.

April 26, 2002
Erfurt, Germany

13 teachers, two students, and one policeman killed, ten wounded by Robert Steinhaeuser, 19, at the Johann Gutenberg secondary school. Steinhaeuser then killed himself.

April 29, 2002
Vlasenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina

One teacher killed, one wounded by Dragoslav Petkovic, 17, who then killed himself.

October 28, 2002
Tucson, Ariz.

Robert S. Flores Jr., 41, a student at the nursing school at the University of Arizona, shot and killed three female professors and then himself.

April 14, 2003
New Orleans, La.

One 15-year-old killed, and three students wounded at John McDonogh High School by gunfire from four teenagers (none were students at the school). The motive was gang-related.

April 24, 2003
Red Lion, Pa.

James Sheets, 14, killed principal Eugene Segro of Red Lion Area Junior High School before killing himself.

Sept. 24, 2003
Cold Spring, Minn.

Two students are killed at Rocori High School by John Jason McLaughlin, 15.

Sept. 28, 2004
Carmen de Patagones, Argentina

Three students killed and 6 wounded by a 15-year-old Argentininan student in a town 620 miles south of Buenos Aires.

March 21, 2005
Red Lake, Minn.

Jeff Weise, 16, killed grandfather and companion, then arrived at school where he killed a teacher, a security guard, 5 students, and finally himself, leaving a total of 10 dead.

Nov. 8, 2005
Jacksboro, Tenn.

One 15-year-old shot and killed an assistant principal at Campbell County High School and seriously wounded two other administrators.

Aug. 24, 2006
Essex, Vt.

Christopher Williams, 27, looking for his ex-girlfriend at Essex Elementary School, shot two teachers, killing one and wounding another. Before going to the school, he had killed the ex-girlfriend's mother.

Sept. 13, 2006
Montreal, Canada

Kimveer Gill, 25, opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon at Dawson College. Anastasia De Sousa, 18, died and more than a dozen students and faculty were wounded before Gill killed himself.

Sept. 26, 2006
Bailey, Colo.

Adult male held six students hostage at Platte Canyon High School and then shot and killed Emily Keyes, 16, and himself.

Sept. 29, 2006
Cazenovia, Wis.

A 15-year-old student shot and killed Weston School principal John Klang.

Oct. 3, 2006
Nickel Mines, Pa.

32-year-old Carl Charles Roberts IV entered the one-room West Nickel Mines Amish School and shot 10 schoolgirls, ranging in age from 6 to 13 years old, and then himself. Five of the girls and Roberts died.

Jan. 3, 2007
Tacoma, Wash.

Douglas Chanthabouly, 18, shot fellow student Samnang Kok, 17, in the hallway of Henry Foss High School.

April 16, 2007
Blacksburg, Va.

A 23-year-old Virginia Tech student, Cho Seung-Hui, killed two in a dorm, then killed 30 more 2 hours later in a classroom building. His suicide brought the death toll to 33, making the shooting rampage the most deadly in U.S. history. Fifteen others were wounded.

Sept. 21, 2007
Dover, Del.

A Delaware State Univesity Freshman, Loyer D. Brandon, shot and wounded two other Freshman students on the University campus. Brandon is being charged with attempted murder, assault, reckless engagement, as well as a gun charge.

Oct. 10, 2007
Cleveland, Ohio

A 14-year-old student at a Cleveland high school, Asa H. Coon, shot and injured two students and two teachers before he shot and killed himself. The victims' injuries were not life-threatening.

Nov. 7, 2007
Tuusula, Finland

An 18-year-old student in southern Finland shot and killed five boys, two girls, and the female principal at Jokela High School. At least 10 others were injured. The gunman shot himself and died from his wounds in the hospital.

Feb. 8, 2008
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

A nursing student shot and killed two women and then herself in a classroom at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge.

Feb. 11, 2008
Memphis, Tennessee

A 17-year-old student at Mitchell High School shot and wounded a classmate in gym class.

Feb. 12, 2008
Oxnard, California

A 14-year-old boy shot a student at E.O. Green Junior High School causing the 15-year-old victim to be brain dead.

Feb. 14, 2008
DeKalb, Illinois

Gunman kills seven students and then himself, and wounds 15 more when he opens fire on a classroom at Northern Illinois University. The gunman, Stephen P. Kazmierczak, was identified as a former graduate student at the university in 2007.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How many lives does one cat get?

Ran across this picture the other day. This is Jake, our boy-named female cat with the sweetest disposition in the world. Unfortunately she has used up a few of those famous 9 lives she's supposed to have on tap, usually by eating something she shouldn't.

This picture was from the last but not the most serious of her illnesses. She is wearing a small baby onsie with the crotch cut out and the leg hole binding fashioned into a tie to hold the thing on. Underneath it is a feeding tube coming out of her side which, without the "shirt" would have been dragging on the ground and getting caught on things.

But no matter what we did, she managed to get out of it. It wasn't unusual to walk into the kitchen, living room or wherever and see a crumpled and empty "shirt" laying on the floor with no cat in sight.

Poor Jakie. She got sick and lost her appetite which caused her to lose a bunch of weight. It was the weight loss that triggered problems with her liver and the only way to get her better at that
point was to force feed her because she wasn't eating on her own. For a while we did try holding her down and forcing food down her throat with a medicine syringe but that was horribly difficult for us - and for Jake. We eventually had to opt for the feeding tube to save her life.

Once she got used to the feeding tube she would settle quietly onto my or my daughter's lap and become quite content while we slowly pushed a measured amount of food into her stomach. We gave her water and medication that way while continuing to tempt her with regular food we thought she might eat. Once we had built her weight up a bit her appetite starting to come back and she started first drinking - and then eating on her own.

I am surprised that I cannot find evidence of the hole in her side where we fed her - the skin has closed up, the fur has grown back and if I don't look at a picture I would not even know what side it was on. She's a wonderful kitty, she's a little simple because of how sick she got with her first trip to the emergency pet hospital, but she loves attention and will let anyone pet her. She is quite plump again which may not be good for her but considering the alternative when we watched her lose a third of her body weight - her being full figured suits us just fine.

She's adorable, not to mention worth a fortune by now - if you judge by all the money the veterinary community has gotten from me. She's got to stay well because she is the cat favored by all and oh my gosh I simply could not afford it if she did it again!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's finally here!!!

Since I moved into this new position at work I have been waiting for the opportunity to switch from a PC to a laptop. That way I can take it home and I can continue to learn new things and figure out processes I may be having trouble with ....

Yeah, so the new laptop is here and now I can work at the office and I can work at home and ... wait ... I've been WAITING for this????? *scratches head*

Maybe I'm not as bright as I thought I was. Sigh-h-h.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Just another day in paradise

Hey - guy who was in the silver SUV in front of me; why was your foot on the brake for 2 miles when you were driving faster than I was?!?

Mr. taxi-driver; why was it okay to hold up 2 lanes of left turn traffic and one lane of through traffic because YOU GOT IN THE WRONG LANE????

And lady in the little red car in front of me, in front of ALL of us; that wasn’t a very long green arrow and that was a long line behind you. Don’t you think you could have actually GONE when the light turned green?!?!

I haven’t actually had a bad day or anything, but every single day – usually on my way home from work – there is someone who drives like a moron and of course we all know it is never me! I’d like to have some kind of transmitter that allows me to come through the car radios of some of these people just so I can give them a small piece of my mind. I mean, I can’t spare much.

Like – hey – would it hurt you to raise your hand in the universal gesture of thanks (not the other universal hand gesture) when I let you in ahead of me because you were in too much of a hurry to get in the correct lane in time for your turn???

There is no courtesy in driving anymore. It’s all me, me, me. Me first, my spot, my lane and my speed.

Oh and you there in that pretty black Infinity? Yeah, I’m talking to you. I’m terribly sorry traffic was not moving fast enough for you and I could not find a way to go any faster than I was seeing as there were cars in front of me and to the side of me. And I apologize if I slowed WAY-Y-Y down sort of quickly for no apparent reason (to you) causing you to suddenly have to apply your brakes. Yeah, it wasn’t on purpose or anything because I enjoy a stranger being close enough (read: crawling up my butt) to see if they've got enlarged pores by looking in my rear view mirror!!!! Heh.

I haven’t posted a pretty picture for a while – so after whining at my fellow travelers, I think I’ll end on a nicer note. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

One foot in front of the other. Literally.

Weight Watcher’s works. For the most part. I am seeing some success which is spurring me on. However, I feel like I should be having more success than I am.

I have come to the conclusion that either I am dead – or have no metabolism what-so-ever. I suppose that’s what happens when you sit in one spot all.of.the.time. I guess I have known this all along but I’ve always told myself – I need to lose a bit of weight and then I will be more comfortable exercising.

Who am I fooling??? I need to get off the couch NOW.

So, in the interest of staying honest I need to post about my next step.

Generally I am on the side of the television dial where you find the forensic programs or the home shows with a bit of Scott Baio and Jon and Kate thrown in. But I do have one show I watch on network TV. General Hospital. I tape each episode every day when I am at work and then watch them all on the weekend.

I am going to change that.

It seems that I need things to be very defined. There must be rules for things and I must make promises and say them out loud before I will get something done. How sad.

What I need to do and what I am going to start doing – is to make my soap time, my movement time. Instead of watching all 5 hours of my show on the weekend, I am going to start watching each day’s episode in the evening. And during the time that episode is on – I must be moving. Whether I’m on the treadmill, doing some kind of floor exercise or messing with weights, I must be moving. It is my new rule. Because if I am doing anything wrong, this is it. I am absolutely sedentary.

There are no small children to run after at my house, and I work at a desk. I come home from work and most evenings I can be found in front of the TV with my laptop. I’ve actually been having fun taking control of my diet and now – I plan to enjoy taking control of my activity level.

People say you can’t stop smoking until you are ready. Same goes for weight loss. For so long I have felt out of control and spiraling downward when it comes to my weight. I did quit smoking (a few times) and finally have not gone back to it. Now it’s time for the weight and for the first time in a very long time – I feel like I am ready.

It really is time. Go me!!

And when it's all done - there will be photos!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Let's play!

OH what a case of blogger’s guilt I have! Apparently I can only obsess about one thing at a time and this week and last it’s been Weight Watcher’s points and counting them. But I have been tagged a few times and I really need to catch up.

I was actually tagged first by Lady Banana, and then by Jewellery Craft with the same linky tag, “Links around the world.” It’s about helping people build the readership on their blogs and getting a boost on your own at the same time! Pretty cool if you ask me. I am combining Lady Banana’s and Jewellery Craft’s links, and adding mine at the end.

The instructions:

1. Place your link at the end of the list. If you have more than 1 blog, feel free to add them all here!

2. After placing your blog’s address, you must tag 5 or more bloggers that are not yet on the list, this is to keep the ball rolling. (Please remember to let the bloggers know they've been tagged!)

The Strategist Notebook ~ Link Addiction ~ Ardour of the Heart ~ When Life Becomes a Book ~ The Malaysian Life ~ ~ What goes under the sun ~ Roshidan’s Cyber Station ~ Sasha says ~ Arts of Physics ~ And the legend lives ~ My View, My Life ~ A Simple Life ~ Juliana RW ~ Mom Knows Everything ~ Beth & Cory’s Mom ~ A Mind Forever Voyaging~ enjoying the ride ~ Jennifer’s thoughts ~ Mom of 3 Girls ~ Amanda ~ Don’t Make Me Get The Flying Monkeys ~ ExPat Mom ~ Just Jessie ~ Wilson Six ~Krisitn ~ Nuttier Than You ~ Shonnte ~ Summer’s Nook ~ Laura Williams Musings ~ Sher ~ Shanda ~ Seven QTPies ~ Mel ~ Skittles ~ Lady Banana ~ Momhood Moments ~ Business Mars ~ A Simple life ~ moms….. check nyo ~ Mommy’s Little Corner ~ Pampered ~ HappyHeart ~ Make Every Day Your Lucky Day ~ Thumbelina Creations ~ Ivonnardona's Creations ~ Jewellery Craft ~ A Bead a Day

Now I need to tag 5 more people to keep the list of links going. I am going to tag:

Watercolor Works and More

A Spiritual Dog Blog

Blogging with Dyslexia

Useless Ramblings

Hidden Mahala

The next tag I got was for a “7 weird things” meme. I was tagged by a lady whose blog I just found recently, her name is Sue Zipkin at Blogging with Dyslexia. I stumbled across her blog and was pleased as punch (yes I said that) because she designed the dinnerware I use and I was thrilled to be able to tell her how much I love it!

I must admit I have done a 7 weird things meme before, and with my link to 100 things about me up at the top, this one is tough for me. But – here goes!

1) I produced 2 children who had an extra tooth growing in the roof of their mouths. It is called a mesiodens and we theorize it had something to do with the copious amounts of premium ice cream I ate while pregnant.

2) After my parents divorced I was basically a latchkey kid – except I never had a key to the house. We never locked it. Ever.

3) I have 2 African water frogs that will not die. Supposedly they belong to my kids but since I feed them and clean the filter and their tank, I have earned the right to call them mine. They are over 10 years old now and I swear they will still be here when I am gone.

4) I hate grocery shopping to the point that I’m almost phobic. Hence my recent $356.00 trip to the store. I don’t go very often.

5) I have wide feet with impossibly short toes. My first boyfriend always told me they were cute, so I have always liked them. (except for the fact that I can’t buy shoes for them!!)

6) My 2 favorite pieces of furniture in my living room were garbage picked. Not by me, but none the less.

7) I’ve mentioned before that I go to sleep to forensic shows on TV every night. But what I didn’t say is that my daughter thinks it’s totally disturbing and loves to tell her friends; “my Mom sleeps to murder!” Uh, that’s not exactly it, but when she puts it like that is sure sounds weird!

I hope those weren’t too lame but I really had a hard time coming up with them! You wouldn’t think it would be that hard seeing as I’m not quite normal a lot of the time.

Now for the tagging!

Jewellery Craft

Lady Banana


Candid Yammering

Drew’s Brave New World

As usual, let the people know you have tagged them ~ and then they tag 5 people … and so it goes. Also – since I rarely follow the rules, I totally understand when other people ignore them too!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Top 10 ways to tell my daughter is home from school..

10) There is a winter coat lying on the kitchen table.

9) There is an America’s Next Top Model marathon on the TV.

8) We have already run out of hot water once today.

7) There is folded laundry all over the living room, wet sweaters drying on chairs and bras hung in various places in the utility room.

6) I have been talked into giving an impromptu haircut in the kitchen.

5) There are books lying around that I would never, ever read.

4) There are wet clothes in the washer and dry ones in the dryer – and neither machine is running.

3) Somebody let a Furby out.

2) Someone has been sitting at my makeup mirror and using my makeup! (Goldilocks, perhaps?)

And the number one way to tell my daughter is home from school;

1) Every. Single. Light. is on in the house!!!!