30 December 2008

HNT - Year's Favorite

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It's another moment of messing with HNT! Look, I'm not the one who decides a theme is a good thing - that's all Os' doing. Here we are on WEDNESDAY (sorry Lu) and are tasked with choosing our favorite HNT picture that we've posted in 2008.

Now, February 14th was my first HNT of this year. I posted it not having a CLUE as to what HNT was all about and thinking this Osbasso guy was likely some internet perv. Well ... anyway ... So choosing a favorite of the year is somewhat of a daunting task. You see, each of my HNT's is special to me in some way. There was the Secretary HNT that was done as a suggestion from a special friend (I don't do requests), and the Sensual HNT that was really a departure from what I thought I could portray. I really do put all of "me" - wherever I am at the moment - into each HNT. Choosing a favorite HNT is akin to choosing my favorite sister ... or cousin, since I don't have any siblings! But, we all must make decisions in life and I was able to narrow my favorites down to TWO (so much for "guidelines").

The first is one of my "traditional" HNT's. There has been one constant in my life for the past 12 (almost 13) years - the love of my son. This HNT is one I will always cherish as it captures that love.


The second one is a favorite because ... well ... because it captured a moment in time so well. Maybe it was the poem I wrote to go along with it. Maybe it was the fact that the demons I battle during the day sometimes find their way to me at night. Maybe it was the lighting, or the creativity, or ... or ... maybe it is just a photo that I am extremely proud of because of it's artistic qualities. Or maybe it is all of the above.



Sleep
Arduous, stubborn, entangled sleep
Where demons find an idle mind
then hide between the sheets
wrapping themselves around unsuspecting legs
waiting for morn


~ Dana C

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If you haven't noticed, there is actually an icon on the left side of the blog (look over there ... up a little ... yes! Click on the legs) that, when clicked, shows links to each of my HNT's. So do tell, which is your favorite and why?

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TMI Tuesday - Happy New Year!

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TMI Tuesday

1. Last week was "The Most Wonderful time of the Year", but what are your favorite 2008 memories?

No secrets here - this hasn't been one of the most pleasant years of my life, but you know what? There have been many - MANY - wonderful memories. The one that really stands out is the road trip Cam and I took to Washington. Not only were we able to see family and spend some time with them - and foster a new friendship with Os - but more importantly, it was nine days were Cam and I got to be ourselves. It was the most freedom either of us had the entire year.

This was also the year that bloggers became "real." The friendships and relationships I have developed over the past 12 months, via this silly little spot on the internet, are some of the strongest - truest - friendships I've ever had.

2. What is the best thing you learned in 2008?

The most valuable thing I learned in 2008 is that I am lovable and worthy of love, although I still really struggle with this notion. It's much easier for me to self-critical because then I can justify why I find myself in "bad" relationships - I deserve them.

3. On a scale of 1-10, how good was your 2008?

I was healthy, Cam was healthy, I maintained full-time employment, the bills were paid, there was a roof over my head and food in the pantry. This might surprise many of you, but I'd say the year gets a solid 8!

4. What is your wish for 2009? What is your wish for someone else for 2009?

My wish for 2009 is that I have the strength to do what is right, even though it might not be easy.

My wish for someone else? My wish is that everyone who stops by this blog, everyone that it touches in some way, finds a means to use that as a positive influence in their lives. That each of you find it within yourselves to reach out, in your own way, to make this world a better place.

5. Where was the first place you ever passionately kissed?

Hmmmmm ... is it bad that I don't remember? Here's the deal, most of my early kisses were those of lust, not passion. I'd say I was probably in my 20's before I ever experienced passion, and it has been a fleeting emotion in my life. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever let myself find it and keep it ...

Bonus (as in optional):Do you make New Year's resolutions? What is/are yours for 2009?

I answered this is my interview questions from Karen, but I'll answer it again for those who may have missed it. I don't usually make standard New Year's Resolutions (those where a new behavior starts on January 1st). I prefer to look at annual goals this time of year (yeah, I know, semantics) - things that I plan on achieving, but that require multiple steps. My focus this year is to provide an emotionally healthy home for Cam and I. As easy as this sounds, it really will be one of the toughest goals I've taken on in quite some time. It will require reaching out, and accepting help, from others - both monumental tasks for me to accomplish.

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29 December 2008

Have You Sent Them Yet?

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Awww ... c'mon! I know you haven't forgotten! Remeber that post of mine back in October? The one where I talked about manners?? Well, y'all have to opportunity to restore my manners faith! I have no doubt that most of you received gifts from friends/relatives who live far away. Or maybe you were invited to a holiday gathering that someone else hosted. It's a wonderful opportunity to send a Thank-You note!

Since y'all are reading this on your computer, I'm guessing you probably have access to a printer too. There are quite a few sites out there that offer free, printable Thank-You cards/notes and I decided, as an attempt to lessen one of my pet peeves a Public Service Announcement, I'd link to a few great sites that offer an easy way to get those Thank-You's out!

I "borrowed" a few of these from one of my favorite crafting blogs, Skip to My Lou. She has a few more on her site too! Just click on the button and you'll find them!



For the little kids, Fisher Price has a nice offering of cards (including Thank-You's) that can be printed and colored by the younger kids. Clicking will take you to the printable form.


Do you have a teen or - worse yet - a tween that you are trying to get on the Thank-You note bandwagon? Real Simple (one of only two magazines I subscribe to) has a wonderful fill-in-the-blank Thank-You note geared to those who might be a bit resistent.


If you are looking for a more traditional Thank-You card that doesn't require you register for, or subscribe to, a website, DLTK has fully customizable cards that you can print, and PrintFree has a nice selection as well.

No excuses - the sooner the better! And all of those friends and relatives will be so thrilled to get something in the mail, other than their credit card statements, reminding them of you!

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27 December 2008

Sunday Secret

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I was finally able to be honest with my parents and told them my marriage was likely coming to an end. At 44, you'd think I should be way beyond needing their approval, yet their support was surprisingly comforting and freeing.

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26 December 2008

Friday Wrap-Up

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It's over, right? The week of joy, peace and fighting for parking spots at the mall has finally come to a close? Honestly? Although there were moments of extreme stress, fear and discord, there were also some moments of extreme peace and clarity. Overall, it was a good week!

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The weather here has been ... well ... frightful. We've had snow - LOTS - then an ice storm last night and tomorrow? Temps nearing 50 degrees, rain, and 18" of snow to melt - UGH!

In spite of the weather challenges, Cam and I made it to Christmas Eve services at church (a wonderful production), finished up our Christmas shopping and managed to catch a movie (Seven Pounds - not an uplifting Christmas movie) on Christmas Day!

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I am quite proud of Cam! He asked for one item for Christmas (the iPod that was being held hostage) and that one item was under the tree. There was one other small thing for him, but he was thrilled! He got it right this year - it wasn't about quantity but about knowing that he was important enough and loved enough to receive the one item he wished for. That was the best gift that I could have received this year!

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For those of you with kids who cannot drive, or remember those days, how do you handle gifts? I found it odd that I took Cam out to buy gifts for husband, step-brother and step-sister, but husband did not take Cam out to do any shopping. If you are reading between the lines, yes - that means there was nothing under the tree for me - nothing from Cam - nothing from husband. This is not said to evoke pity or sadness. Quite the contrary, it was one of those moments of clarity that I spoke of earlier.

One more gift question ...

Those of you with blended families - how do you handle gift giving? Do you give gifts to all of the children as parents/step-parents, or do you give gifts to the kids from each of the adults? I was quite surprised to learn that I was expected to give gifts to my step-kids - that those husband purchased were not from both of us. Needless to say, they felt quite "forgotten" by me. The iPod that I purchased for Cam? The gift tag was signed from both husband and me.

Yes, there were many moments of clarity and many gifts received that the giver wasn't even aware he was giving.

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25 December 2008

Dr. Seuss Had it Right

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And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before ...


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23 December 2008

HNT - Three Wishes

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HNT with no pictures? What the ???? Well, this would be a mental HNT. It goes like this ... in the spirit of Christmas, we are to pick three HNT/blogger participants, and then tell the world what you'd get them for Christmas. Mmmmm ... warm fuzzies ...


Let's start with the occasional HNT-ers Babushka and Kahuna shall we? And this only counts as one because they share a blog, so there!! *sticks out tongue* My wish for them is a peaceful blending of their families. They've had some struggles this past year, but their love and devotion to one another is inspirational!


Hmmmm *checks list* who will be next? I think I'll choose Fairy Flutters! Although she's not currently HNT-ing, she did a mighty fine job of it when she was. My wish for her is a BFF. One that she feels comfortable with even if her eyebrows haven't been waxed. One that she can spend time with who accepts her just as she is. One that she knows she'll be able to count on no matter what.


Ack! I'm down to my last wish already? OK ... let's go with Gee, Sarah! She had a bit of an incident the other night where her coffee and her keyboard decided to get intimate with each other. It didn't work out so well! So, for her, a new keyboard and continuous free-flowing thoughts to find their way through her brain and to her fingertips! Her insight and love of the written word are a gift to us each time she posts!


OK ... OK ... it just doesn't seem right to publish an HNT post without a gift for everyone. I have better manners than that!

Did you open it?


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TMI Tuesday - Christmas Eve Eve Edition

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TMI Tuesday

1. What present do you hope ends up under your tree?

I'll take a big dose of strength, resolution and peace please - for both Cam and I! The best part about this gift request? I can (and will) give it to myself and it will just spill over to Cam!

2. What present are you most psyched about giving (PLEASE be vague or ignore this question if the recipient reads your blog)?

I bought Cam an orange iPod (orange is his favorite color) for Christmas - from the Apple site - engraved with a special (but not too embarrassing) mom message. It is currently being held hostage (a pitiful story - really) but will find it's way under the tree!

3. DO you prefer to give or receive?

We are talking about Christmas presents here, right? Not that it matters much, the answer is the same ... GIVE!

4. What is your favorite part off a sexual partner's body?

The mind ...

5. What is your favorite part your body - the one you hope a sexual partner will find or pay the most attention to?

I can't do it! No! Really! I can't name just one part! I will say this - if your touch elicits goosebumps, your in a good spot!

Bonus (as in optional): [Idea blatantly stolen from Os and his HNT Christmas Wishes.] What Christmas wishes would you grant to whom?

I'm going to save this one for tomorrow. No, I didn't make a mistake - HNT is a day early this week due to Christmas!

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22 December 2008

Interview Questions

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As I mentioned Saturday, Karen - who writes Smiling Through It All - offered to write five interview questions for any of her reader's who were foolish daring enough to to ask, and I asked! Karen did a great job and came up with some tough questions.

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1. While you were in the military did you experience any discrimination or harassment due to your gender? Or did you get any benefits or perks by way of being a woman?

I definitely experienced some harassment, but never any perks (other than not having to do as many push-ups as my male counterparts to pass a PT test)!

When I was stationed at Ft. Meade, I had a 1SG (that's First Sergent for you civilian types) who frequently made comments that would certainly be considered sexual harassment. The one that stands out most in my mind was the time he said, "You could be more than just a soldier to me" which was said during discussions regarding reenlistment. That wasn't the first such comment he made, nor was it the last, but it was the one that creeped me out the most. He was quite good at insuring there were no witnesses to these comments so that if I took it up the chain of command it would be his word against mine. I tolerated it, and tried to stay away from him as much as possible.

2. This week you talked a bit about the troubles Cam is going through. I want to know what Cam does that makes you proud?

This is a difficult question only because there is so much about him that makes me proud. He is amazingly creative and his imagination and talent are far beyond my grasp. Just one example of this is Cam's amazing affinity for music. He taught himself to play piano (he actually plays several classical pieces by ear) and continues to spend hours at the keyboard attempting to conquer the next composition. Last week, he was given a guitar (from his school principal of all people) and has already taught himself three songs over the weekend.

Aside from his creative nature, his nurturing personality is the other thing I am most proud of. Cam is (generally) a gentle giant. He sticks up for the underdog and has an amazing rapport with young children. In fact, the recent pissing/alpha male incident was the result of Cam seeking "justice" for someone who was being bullied and who Cam felt couldn't stick up for himself.

3. It is my understanding that you made a long move to marry to your husband. How did you two meet?

Husband and I have one of those "just missed" histories that actually started in the early 80's when I moved to the San Diego area and lived in a condo that backed up to his home. We both remember seeing each other around town, but we never formally met.

He and I ended up joining the Army at about the same time (1989 - he enlisted in San Diego, I was back in Washington State and enlisted there). We actually both attended AIT at Fort Sam Houston (TX) at the same time and our morning and evening formations were right next to each other. Again, we both remember the other from casual interactions, but never met formally.

Another 3 years passed and we both ended up at Ft. Detrick (MD). My roommate told me there was someone I must meet and introduced us. We became friends, and eventually "friends with benefits". This was just a few years after my husband's suicide, and I had no interest in making any kind of commitment, so this arrangement worked well for me. Husband, on the other hand, had just turned 30 and was looking for a wife, and to start a family. He went home on leave one weekend and came back engaged to the woman who would eventually become his first wife.

Husband and I remained friends and stayed in touch even after we both left the Army. Little know fact, Cam and my step-daughter were actually born in the same hospital (14 months apart). Anyway, when the company I was working for in Maryland was bought out by a large corporation, and I was required to relocate to the Midwest, I knew he was the only friend I would leave behind that I would truly miss.

After my move, we lost touch. On a whim, about 5 years later, I did an internet search trying to track him down and found his father. I emailed his father who gave me contact information for husband, but I never had the courage to contact him. I did find out that he and his wife had moved to the Chicago area though - just a 5 hour drive from where I was.

Months later, while visiting a friend in Chicago, curiosity got the best of me. I loved husband (as a friend) and really wanted to see him again. We met up for a few hours and the sparks flew. He and his wife had separated and I was not attached. We rekindled the romance and began long-distance dating.

After about a year of the long-distance thing we decided it was time to make things more permanent. I sold my home and moved Cam and I out to the Chicago area. We moved in with husband and 2-1/2 years later we were married. I started blogging about 18 months after we were married, which means y'all have spent about half of my marriage with me.

4. This may sound cheesy, but you are one of my "blogging heroes". I admire your openness and honesty and ability to state a differing opinion so gracefully. Who are are your blogging heroes and why?

Wow! This one really caught me off guard. Honestly made me question Karen's sanity for a moment!

Blogging Heroes huh? I'm going to go ahead and answer this although it has all of the makings of one of those questions where someone will feel bad because they weren't included, but you caught me on a good day - one where being politically correct isn't at the top of my list.

The bottom line? Every blog I read I read because there is something I find "heroic" about the blogger or their blog. I don't read out of obligation, although that is usually how I find new blogs to read. Someone new will stop by and leave a comment which always elicits a visit and often ends up as an addition to my reader. Maybe I did get a little politically correct there, but it's all true!

Let me start with Jay at Cynical Bastard. He writes in a way that makes me want to sit down and have dinner and a beer with him (in fact sometimes I do just that - cyberly of course). He is intelligent, spunky, funny and one of the sweetest bloggers I "know." He is a good guy and gives me faith that there are still good guys out there!

Jeff B at A Word In Edgewise is on my list too. He's there for his wonderful fictional writing, but also for taking on a project that another blogger started, then bailed on, that encourages fictional writing. I admire anyone who can put together a good piece of fiction and the fact that he encourages others just adds to his appeal.

Then there is Lynn at Real Live Lesbian. Her posts are often thought provoking and always from the heart. She writes things that make me stop and consider why I see the world in the way that I do, and that maybe there is another view I should take a look at. She has been an AMAZING support for me from the early days of my blogging. I admire, respect and love her as a blogger and as a friend.

5. Are you making a New Year's Resolution?

I don't usually make standard New Year's Resolutions (those where a new behavior starts on January 1st). I prefer to look at annual goals this time of year (yeah, I know, semantics) - things that I plan on achieving, but that require multiple steps. My focus this year is to provide an emotionally healthy home for Cam and I. As easy as this sounds, it really will be one of the toughest goals I've taken on in quite some time.

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So, are there any of you out there who are foolish daring enough to challenge me to interview you? Leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do!

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21 December 2008

Sunday Secret

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You make sure others get no attention, you must get it all. You claim you are consistent, yet no one ever knows what to expect from you. You demand appreciation but withhold it from others. You decide when we are worthy of your love and dole it out randomly. You are diligent in humiliating others. I am not crazy, stupid, a failure, a liar and always at fault. YOU are a ruthless-narcissist who treats others without compassion or empathy. YOU are cold and insensitive to the needs of anyone but yourself. Getting away from YOU is going to be one of the hardest things I've ever done.

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20 December 2008

Saturday Soup

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Another Saturday of "Throw a bunch of leftovers in the pot" posting! Let's start with a cyber gift I received from Jormengrund. Once in a while you meet a blogger who has amazing parallels to your own life. Jormengrund - who writes Yet Another Day in Paradise - is one of those bloggers. He gave me a button for Christmas - my very own button! See? Here it is!

And how perfect is this? Now all I need is that darn "normal" meter and all will be well in the world.

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I didn't get around to responding to any of my comments yesterday. Let's just say Friday was a continuation of Thursday and I was addressing issues on the home front that required much of my focus. I'll likely get around to posting on this situation, but I'd like there to be some resolution before I do.

In short, I'm tired of talking, and failing - of making decisions, and letting fear get the best of me - of thinking I know what I'm doing, then second guessing myself into inaction. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired and so fearful of making a wrong decision that the only decision I am making is the decision NOT to make a decision. It's beginning to really take a toll on my emotional health and my ability to complete daily tasks. In other words, I think I'm losing it ...

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Karen - who writes Smiling Through It All - offered to write five interview questions for any of her reader's who were foolish daring enough to to ask. Well, you know me! I asked!! Karen sent me an email that said, in part, "You are a difficult person to interview because you are so open about your life and you do the Tuesday questions. I had to give it some thought." Well, she did just that and asked some great questions.

1. While you were in the military did you experience any discrimination or harassment due to your gender? Or did you get any benefits or perks by way of being a woman?

2. This week you talked a bit about the troubles Cam is going through. I want to know what Cam does that makes you proud?

3. It is my understanding that you made a long move to marry to your husband. How did you two meet?

4. This may sound cheesy, but you are one of my "blogging heros". I admire your openness and honesty and ability to state a differing opinion so gracefully. Who are are your blogging heros and why?

5. Are you making a New Year's Resolution?

What? You thought I was going to answer them? Well, I am, but it will have to wait until Monday. Although I was quite prepared to do it today, I realized that it was going to need to be a post of its own. Remember? I'm the one who makes simple things more difficult can't give a simple answer without it turning into a long story.

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18 December 2008

Friday Wrap-Up

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Anyone for an update on the Band concert? This story just keeps getting better ...

I was feeling a bit like one of those parents by the following morning so sent the band director this email:

Let me start this by saying that, for the last month, with very few exceptions, I have heard NOTHING from anyone at the middle school that is even remotely positive regarding Cam. As I said in my last email, I realize that everyone is at their wits end - the staff, the administration, me and Cam. My previous email could have been a bit more objective, and less emotional.

I do understand your concerns. Having been a band geek for most of my school years I know the importance and impact of what you are dealing with. My issues are not with your need to have Cam be compliant - that I understand - my issues are with notice - just 48 hours before a performance - that disruptions and behaviors escalated to a point where you had serious concerns about Cam's participation in said performance AND that additional work was assigned (as punishment) without me being notified. Had I known a letter of apology was due Tuesday morning, it would have been written Monday night. I cannot support decisions/punishments that you make if I am not aware of them.

As I am certain you understand, when I discussed your requirements for Cam's participation in the performance with him, I got less than a receptive response. Having me supervise him during the time he will be back stage in the warm up room and requiring that he either sit with me separately from the band, or that I sit with the band, in his world is no less embarrassing and humiliating than me requiring him to go to school wearing a pink taffeta dress and a tiara. As such, Cam is refusing to participate in the performance if doing so humiliates him in front of his peers (which your solution - in his eyes - does).

I suggested to Cam that he speak with you today regarding his behavior and these performance requirements. I explained the seriousness of his behavior/actions and their impact on the group and why that concerns you. I don't know if he will choose to take my advise or not - I hope he does.

I received a very nice email in response:

Thank you for your email. I agree with everything that you have said in it. I have known Cam for three years now, and see that you are struggling with this whole situation as I am too. I don't have an answer for tomorrow night. I am concerned about keeping the kids focused back stage when I am on stage with another group. This situation, even though there will be a teacher back stage, can only lend itself to mischief and silly stuff. I don't want the kids to be off track, I just want them to be focused so that they can do the job on stage that I know they are capable of. I will wait and see if Cam will talk to me. I don't have a problem with him sitting with the band without you, if he agrees to behave properly and not distract from what is going on on stage or otherwise. Cam needs to understand the seriousness of this event, and the serious angle that the entire band has to have towards their performance. It will be an exceptional concert, and Cam has contributed to that musicality. I will discuss this situation with him and see what he decides. I will get back to you hopefully afterschool if not later tonight when I finally land at home.


All is well, right? Well, until there was a bit of a testosterone, alpha male, pissing and pushing contest after school on Wednesday. Cam and his cohort earned themselves a day of in-school suspension Thursday (have I mentioned lately how much I hate zero tolerance?) and with that comes ... are you ready? The inability to participate in any school sanctioned event for the day of the suspension (including the band concert). Band concert behavior concerns resolved!

Cam has also earned himself three days of grounding to serve at home - restricted to his room, no phone, no computer - and since there is a snow day today, it's three FULL days. Oops!

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My employer puts out a holiday newsletter every year which includes an 8-1/2" x 11" booklet with all of the "administrative" employees' photos (we have many branches throughout the U.S. and Canada). I was excited! This would be my first appearance in the infamous famous holiday photo brochure (I started this job in January of 2008).

I went to the accounting section with great anticipation. One, two, three, four branch accountants ... where am I? Did I wind up on the next page? Nope! Is this an omen? The pink slip will show up next? Nah ... but the person responsible for putting together the brochure sure felt bad. Hey, at least I wasn't like the guy in our Southern California branch who has been in the last five issues, but for some reason was pulled out of this one even though he still works for us!

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Speaking of strange work occurrences, the same person who puts together the holiday brochure also puts together a monthly company-wide newsletter. Each of the locations submit little tidbits of information - most of them personal celebrations - new babies, marriages, kids making the honor role - that kind of stuff.

*SIDE NOTE* The company I work for is a relatively large, family owned business that still does things like a small company even though they employ over 3000 people.

I guess shouldn't have been surprised to see this exciting news from our Missouri branch. That's right! The 13 year old son of one of the employees got his "First kill" (yes, those were the EXACT words used in the article).

If I ever mention heading to Missouri for a business trip in the fall, please remind me to take my blaze orange vest along, would you?





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17 December 2008

HNT - Christmas Tree

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It's always been my job to put the star on the top of the tree. Once that task is complete, we turn on all of the tree lights and the Christmas season begins!

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Would you like to see one of my favorite ornaments? *CLICK*


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Can I Have Just a Bit More Stress Please?

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Well, I did it. I took Cam in to the doctor last night (he needed to repeat the blood work to see where his iron levels are now) and I picked up the prescription for Concerta. I have such conflicting and confused thoughts on medicating Cam and none of this is sitting well with me.

I need to preface this next part of this post by admitting to some frustration induced generalities. Those who are, or have had teaching experience might want to stop reading now (yes, I'm talking about you and you) because these days, I am generally not thrilled with teachers and administrative staff within the public school system.

Cam's school performance has gone steadily down hill this year. I haven't shared much of this on the blog, primarily because I feel a huge and overwhelming responsibility for where he is right now and honestly, I wasn't sure that I could deal with the input from all of you. Not that comments left here are malicious, but I also know that I ask for your honest thoughts, and sometimes I'm just not ready to hear those things. No guts, no glory ...

So, back to the story. Since sharing with the school that Cam now has an ADD diagnosis, and that I was considering medication, I have been BOMBARDED with negative input from teachers and staff. Seldom does a day go by where I do not receive an email or a phone call telling me how disruptive Cam is - how his behavior negatively impacts the "other" students - how he isn't doing what he should be doing - how he doesn't care how his actions impact others. What do I hear? Blah, blah, blah - Cam is bad - blah, blah, blah - you are a shitty parent - blah, blah, blah - if I had my way Cam would never step foot in my class again. No, technically that's not what they are saying, but given the sudden influx of negativity (mind you, they don't even try to say anything positive any more) it is what I hear and what I feel.

The latest was his band director. Cam has a holiday concert tomorrow. As far as I know, things have been going satisfactory in band. I haven't heard a peep from the band director other than a reminder when Cam needs reeds. Yesterday I receive this email from her:

I have been having a particularly difficult time with Cameron, yesterday and today being the worst. There are never any times when he is in rehearsal and actually rehearsing. He spends a majority of his time talking out of turn, laughing at things when he should be playing and causing a general disruption. I am concerned about his behavior for the concert on Thursday night. He cannot and does not want to behave and participate in class in a way that contributes to the success of the group. He is constantly being a disruption and I am not able to run the rehearsals in a way that makes the band better. Please discuss his behavior in class with him tonight. I would like a decision tomorrow from you regarding his participation in Thursday's concert and his continued behavior in class. I am not able to sit with him and keep him with me the entire night that we are at the HS for this performance. I am concerned that he will not be able to handle the situation and will be causing disruptions when he should be getting ready for a performance. I am very serious about the performance levels of each of my groups, Cam's constant disruptions are causing problems within the band. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Cam is aware that I am emailing you as rehearsal today had to be stopped multiple times to ask him to stop.


Now, I do understand and appreciate that this is a HUGE issue for the band and for the director, but why am I hearing about it just 48 hours before the biggest concert of the year? I did a very bad thing. I replied to this email out of frustration and anger ... and then hit send:

I share in your frustration, but I do not believe that he "does not want to behave and participate in class in a way that contributes to the success of the group." I cannot imagine that his motivation in being disruptive is to impede the performance of the group as a whole, however I can understand that it might feel that way at times.

I'm at a bit of a loss regarding your ultimatum. I have every intention of discussing Cam's behavior with him, however, the statement, "I would like a decision tomorrow from you regarding his participation in Thursday's concert and his continued behavior in class" confuses me. What are you saying? That he cannot participate in the concert? That it is my decision as to whether he participates? That you'd rather he not participate? Please explain.

Look, we are ALL at our wits end with this. I am doing all that I can on the home front to secure progress in Cam's behavior. I am in the process of having him placed on meds for his ADD diagnosis - something that doesn't sit well with me but something that I feel pressured (from the public school system generally) to do.

You tell me what you want in regards to the performance as it really doesn't matter much anymore how I feel or how any of this impacts Cam - the concern is for everyone else - the ease of instructional time - the impact on the "good" kids. I get it.

Yeah ... I sent it. Those last two paragraphs could have been written a little more objectively, and I wasn't surprised when I got this response from the band director:

After yesterdays situation in band with misbehavior, I asked Cam to put the oboe away. He was asked to write a letter of apology to the band for his inability to stop disrupting the class. Dana, these are not little disruptions, they are loud, talk really loud out of turn, distractions. His letter of apology was supposed to be to me this morning, at the start of band I still did not have it. I had him go sit in the office and write it and when he did, he was able to return. He then read it to the class and apologized. This apology, I believe, meant nothing to Cam. It was just a way to get me off his back. His behavior did not change one bit. I cannot move him anywhere in the class where he does not cause a distraction. We are trying to prepare for a concert, and he will not stop talking and such to enable 1. me to run a rehearsal, and 2. allowing the class to play without disruption. On Thursday night for the concert,I need help with the supervision of Cam during the time he will be back stage in the warm up room. I will also need help with this when the band is done performing and they become the audience. Cam can sit with you, or you can sit with him with the band. I want him to perform. But I will need your assistance with his supervision. This has everything to do with his being part of the full group, being a contributing member of the band and being one of the "good kids". He is capable of doing this, he just does not see the seriousness of what we are trying to do in preparing for a concert, nor does he seem to want to stop his behavior. Nothing I say to Cam seems to get him to want to make things better and there have been several conversations, one on one, to discuss this. I am more than willing to have him at the concert, but you need to understand that my concern does lie with the entire group, of which he is a part of if he chooses to display proper behavior for a performance and audience.


She cleared up the ultimatum, didn't she? So, now the question is what will I do? I've decided to leave it up to Cam. I will play by the band director's rules. I understand Cam's impact on the success of the band and on that of the band director. Her points are valid. That said, I will not be surprised if Cam refuses to participate under these conditions. Can you imagine? Being the kid who's mom has to be in the warm-up room and then has the audacity to sit with the band?

I know ... accountability ... but damn it would have been nice if I'd have been brought into the loop on this one more than 48 hours before the performance.

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16 December 2008

TMI Tuesday #165

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TMI Tuesday

1. What is the greatest age difference between you and a SO? Older or younger?

Hmmmm ... define significant other. Hold on, let me just answer the next question and skip this one, fair enough?

2. What is the greatest age difference between between and any sexual partner? Older or younger?

Remember that "What is your type?" question we had a while back? The one where I claimed I didn't have a type? Well, let's just say that age is not a consideration for me either (within legal limits). I have had a sex partner 12 years my junior (when you are 30 years old and in the Army, there are an abundance of 18 year old's to choose from) and I've had a sex partner 20 years my senior (I confess, I went through a bit of a Ms. I phase in my mid 20's). My preference lies with those with a bit more life experience *wink*

3. Have you started your holiday shopping? Is it done?

Started, not completed, but the rest of it will be done on-line today. The real question is have I mailed my Christmas presents? That would be a resounding "no!" I better get to the post office tomorrow!

4. What are the chances there will be a "naughty" present under the tree this year (either from you or for you)?

I'd say the chances of their being a "naughty" present for me - or from me - are about as good as the chances the Cubs will win a World Series.

5. What is your favorite holiday song?

I seem to recall there are a lot of Josh Groban haters who read my blog, but I really do enjoy his voice, especially singing my favorite CHRISTMAS song! I've always had a sentimental spot for The Little Drummer Boy. It is the one song that epitomizes what is special about Christmas in my life.


Bonus (as in optional):Do you have a preferred time of day to have sex? If so, why?

Is ANY time specific enough??

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15 December 2008

A Man in the House is Worth Two in the Bush?

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Sometimes I crack myself up! With the title of this post you'd think I was a sex blogger. Nahhhh ... I'm just going to talk about single parenting.

I had a bit of an internal debate surrounding this post. Something tells me it won't be the popular opinion, but hopefully you'll read to the end before getting out the flame thrower. In the mean time, I'm donning my asbestos armor!

Yesterday, ~c left the following comment on my Sunday Secret:

Dana, i don't know what to say, other than keep hoping, but a Male figure in the house is better than no figure..

Maybe eventually,,.. we can hope.. Send them to do things together, leave you outta it, just trips to the store, or something like that,, maybe there's a bonding that still hasn't happened.. Can't force it, but put the two in a situation as to where they are together,,.. without you.. and see.. maybe..

Wish you all the luck,..
I had a great deal of discomfort with what she said. I actually agree that having two parents in the home is preferred, important and critical, yet I have to wonder about the concept of two parents is preferred at any cost (which may NOT have been her point at all).

Life is an odd creature and quite fickle. When I found out I was pregnant with Cam, I knew I would be a single parent. There wasn't any baby-daddy drama (other than having to wait until after Cam was born to be certain of who his father was) - I would be raising Cam on my own. While pregnant, I was in the "I am woman hear me roar" mode. Of course I would be a successful single parent. Kids don't need a father in the house. Women can do it all! Yeah ... I actually went there ...

After Cam was born, the reality of being a SINGLE parent hit hard. I had no family in the area - no social support system in place. I had never changed a diaper until Cam cam into my life. I didn't know how to bathe, burp or bundle a baby, and I didn't have anyone to show me how. Sleep deprivation was a constant in my life for the first two years. There was no one to give me a break. If I wasn't caring for Cam completely on my own, I was worrying about who was caring for him while I was at work.

As Cam got older I realized the importance of there being a same gender role model in his life. Sure, this person could have been an uncle, a grandfather, a family friend, except I had none of those available. I was beginning to see that I was not capable of being everything Cam needed.

There are some great programs out there to help with voids like this. Big Brothers/Big Sisters is a wonderful organization, but with so few volunteers and so many needs, the wait for a place in the program is often long. They also have age restrictions, serving kids age 7-14 only. There are usually single parent support groups that offer resources for single moms, but seldom do those include role model opportunities.

Fast forward 7 years. Husband and I get together. The every-other-month interactions Cam and husband had seemed promising - promising enough that I decide to sell my home and move us to Illinois. It wasn't long before we got out here that I realized this wasn't developing into the "father/son" relationship I had hoped it would.

There are many reasons for this and in no way am I attempting to place the blame entirely on husband. As a single parent, my discipline of Cam was inconsistent at best. I was dealing with a child that wasn't "neuro-typical" and I was too damn proud to ask for help. Husband felt the discipline needed to be addressed and that was where his relationship with Cam began - as disciplinarian. They continued to develop quite an adversarial relationship. I can count on a single hand the times they've done something together that didn't involve punishment of some sort.

It's sad on many levels. Cam wants nothing more than unconditional love from husband - husband doesn't know how to give anything but conditional love and that is what he gives to Cam (and to me).

So where am I going with all of this. First, let me say that I believe single parenting is HIGHLY over-rated, specifically single parenting by choice (where a single woman intentionally becomes pregnant knowing she will be a single parent). Second, if single parenthood does occur through some other set of circumstances, it is CRITICAL that there be a support system in place for the single parent and the child(ren). Third? I don't believe that having a man - any man - in the house is better than no man at all. What I think is critical is that we do our best to chose the father/mother of our child carefully and that we make a commitment of unconditional love to the CHILD, no matter where the relationship with the other parent goes.

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14 December 2008

Sunday Secret

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I have finally accepted that husband will never be a father figure in Cam's life. Rather than continuing to focus on what I think this family "should" be, I've begun focusing on what this family is. It's the only way I know of to insure Cam isn't sending this to Post Secret 10 years from now.

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13 December 2008

Blago, Ballet, Bears and Baby

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What do you do when you have a few random thoughts that need to be eliminated from your head, but that don't quite make up enough for a post? Well, you find some random pictures to go with the random thoughts and post it on a Saturday when no one reads anyway!

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Is anyone surprised that this man:



Who had an ego so big he spent $15,000 EACH on 40 signs announcing his success in his pay-for-play contracting to complete the new open road tolling plazas



Would do something like put state jobs, state contracts and regulatory favors up for sale? Or that he would attempt to get critical editorial writers from the Chicago Tribune fired in exchange for helping parent Tribune Co. with a state plan to finance the purchase of Wrigley Field?

Blago called the Senate seat "a fucking valuable thing. You just don't give it away for nothing." Among the prizes Blago considered were a position in Obama's Cabinet, an ambassadorship, a $300,000 job with a union-backed group--even a highly paid position for his wife. In fact, evidence suggests that Blago gave serious consideration to appointing himself to the Senate seat (something he could legally do), because he felt "stuck" in his job as governor. Illinois politics at its finest! Amazing ...

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Husband and I have a "date" Sunday. Husband will be fantasizing about watching petite women with amazing flexibility while I watch gay men with nice asses in tights listen to the orchestra.


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See these? These are the prototypes for the Christmas card and dated Christmas ornament I'll be making this year. No, I haven't started yet. Yes, I realize that Christmas in in 12 days and that if I don't get these in the mail soon they'll be Valentine's Day cards and ornaments, but I work better under pressure - really I do!


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I had to scan a baby photo of Cam for a class project of his and figured this was as good a day as any to post a random baby photo. He is 4 months old in this picture, and just the cutest little thing (in my oh-so-humble opinion).


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11 December 2008

Virtual Cookie Exchange

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Welcome to the first, annual (I hope!) virtual cookie exchange hosted by Another Suburban Mom (affectionately known as ASM). And yes, I can say affectionately as I've shared a shower with her! No, not at the same time, but that's just a technicality!

Let me start by saying I have a new appreciation for food bloggers. It's nothing for me to string a few paragraphs of nonsense together, but putting together this post took time, and lots of it! Of course, I could have just followed ASM's directions and posted a short story and the recipe, but you know me, always a show-off an overachiever!

This is the short, sweet story behind my recipe. When Cam and I moved to Minnesota due to a corporate buy-out (Cam was 18 months old), I felt very isolated. Not only did I not know a single person there, but I didn't even know where the nearest grocery store was. Fortunately, I found a single moms email list (yes, that same email list that has since been my Achilles heal in regards to this blog) and met S and her daughter M. They became a lifeline, and dear friends, to Cam and I. S introduced us to this recipe about 10 years ago, and it quickly became a favorite of Cam's. In fact, I'm pretty sure he ate his weight in the damn things the first time he tried them. They became known as:

Cam's Chocolate Chip Balls

Ingredients:

1 cup butter
1 cup butter flavor Crisco
1 cup brown sugar (packed)

2 egg yolks (save the whites)
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
12 oz. bag mini chocolate chips

Chocolate sprinkles (or mouse turds as they are known in our house)




Oops! Forgot to put the vanilla and the baking soda in the ingredients picture!



Cream together butter, Crisco and brown sugar.



Add the egg yolks, vanilla and baking soda.



Mix in the flour and mini chocolate chips.



Eat some of the raw cookie dough (get over your aversion to salmonella - live dangerously). In between eating bits of the dough, roll some of the remaining dough into 1" balls. Beat the egg whites with a fork. Dip the balls into the beaten egg white and then into the chocolate sprinkles.



Place about 1" apart on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.



Cool on a wire rack.

I can't imagine you'll have any extras, but if you do, these freeze very well!

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10 December 2008

HNT - Snow!

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It may not officially be winter, but here in the Midwest we've had a recent dose of what sure looks like - and feels like - winter. It is beautiful, but does require a bit of labor. With a rather large driveway, there is plenty of shoveling to be done - a chore that I actually enjoy. I find a great deal of peace in the process and feel a huge sense of accomplishment when it is finished, but one must be careful as overheating is a real concern. They say layers are the key - I disagree!


**CLICK**


HNTbutton

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Wednesday Wrap-Up

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What? Wednesday wrap-up? Y'all thought those only happened on Friday's, didn't you? Well, Friday is ASM's virtual cookie exchange, so I decided to move things up a few days.

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The Christmas tree hunt was a huge success. Cam chose a 9' Fraser Fir which was allowed a day to rest, and then decorated with passion on Sunday.




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On the PTO front, I had the wonderful task of firing a volunteer. One of the members accepted the coordinator position for our monthly Market Day Fundraiser, and has managed to create a major cluster-fuck out of it in only two months. Not only was the process unsuccessful, but she decided since she was coordinator, she didn't need to pay for her food order (to the tune of $122). After 3 unsuccessful attempts to contact her via phone, I was forced to leave a voice mail message for her and followed up with the following email:

This email serves as follow up my voice mail to you this afternoon outlining, and confirming, my message.

We appreciate your work on the Market Day fundraiser over the past two months, however the executive board of the PTO has decided it is in the best interest of the PTO, and of Market Day, to take over the responsibilities of the Market Day fundraiser. Effective immediately, we will no longer need your services with any part of the Market Day process. Please return any Market Day Materials to the middle school office. We will not need you to attend any portion of the Market Day pick-up tomorrow (December 10th).

As of 9AM this morning, we have still not received your payment for the Market Day order you placed, and picked up, in October. Please insure that payment is received in the PTO mailbox at the middle school prior to 4PM on Friday, December 12th. If this is an issue of financial hardship, please contact me directly either via email or at [phone number] so that a formal payment plan can be arranged. If payment is not received, or if payment arrangements are not made by 4PM December 12th, I will need to take legal action to collect the debt.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding anything contained in my voice mail, or in this email, please contact me directly. I will be the only person from the executive board - or from the PTO - who will be able address any concerns.

Regards,

PTO President


No one should ever have to "fire" a volunteer - ever! Unfortunately, after several promises made by her that were never kept, and a fundraiser that was beginning to tank, it was necessary.

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09 December 2008

TMI Tuesday #164 - sans vlog

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TMI Tuesday

Yes, it's TMI Tuesday, and no, there isn't a vlog today. I just wasn't feeling it this morning (the vlog bug - get your minds out of the gutter). So instead, you get those lovely, printed words! Are you ready?? Hold on tight because here we go!!

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1. Do you consider sexy underthings a present for you or your partner?

First of all, I don't know that my husband would ever consider lingerie as a gift option, not because of any flaw in him, but because I am pretty utilitarian. I tend to buy functional, not fashionable. I have no doubt he'd be surprised to find the few pieces of lingerie I've purchased in the last few months.

That being said, I guess the answer to this questions is that it is a gift to the person who appreciates it the most. If I were to give husband silk boxers, he'd think I was confused when I wrote the name tag for the gift (Cam wears silk boxers, husband? Traditional kind of guy). If husband bought me sexy lingerie, I'd see it as a gift for me even thought he would certainly enjoy it!

2. What are 3 characteristics of "your type"? Have you best relationship(s) been with your type or when you have gone against it?

I don't have a "type" - at least not a physical type. Sure, I am attracted initially to someone who takes care of themselves, dresses well (clean, unwrinkled clothes) and smells like they've had a shower that morning, but beyond that? Eh!

The things that are most important to me are things that it takes time to discover - intelligence, commitment, determination, unconditional love. Not easy things to find all in one package!

That saying? Opposites attract? Yeah, they attract like two trains on the same set of tracks and the result is usually just as bad!

3. What is on your Santa list this year?

Gifts of my time and service to others!

4. Generally speaking, who has historically had a higher libido, you or your partner(s)?

Generally speaking - I have - but I think that has been for all of the wrong reasons. Like many people, I've tried to fill the intimacy voids in a relationship with physical sex. Since that isn't possible, I keep wanting more and more sex thinking that if I can just get enough, it will fill that void. I'm working on filling those intimacy needs with intimacy, rather than sex, and find it far more fulfilling when I get it right.

5. The unsculptured female bush seems to have passed from fashion. What about men, do you think they need to trim and shave "down there"?

I think people need to do what they feel comfortable with. I happen to know quite a few men who like a woman to look unaltered. The bottom line? Do what feels right for you - what makes you feel good - and screw the "fashionable" ones.

Bonus (as in optional):What are a few of your favorite things (both sexual non-sexual)?

Splashing in mud puddles, touching, cheesecake - why is this sounding like a playboy centerfold profile? I'm having flashbacks to Biscuit-s TMI Tuesday last week!

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08 December 2008

First Liners

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Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right?? Well, I stole this from Osbasso (if you don't read his blog Friday through Wednesday, you are missing out) who originally stole it from Leesa (who I haven't read but will need to now). Apparently the two of them have been doing this for years. I think I might just have to make it an annual tradition as well, assuming I continue to blog for another year!

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January - I'm a bit slow in posting this, but it's been a difficult post to write. (Referencing my Looking Back post and the highs and lows of my 2007).

February - I actually earned a TGIF this week, and here it is - Saturday already! (After my first complete week at my new job)

March - 9:01AM, twelve years ago, my life changed forever. (Cam's birthday)

April - I know this is kind of anti-American, but I don't do March Madness. (In response the a TMI Tuesday question, "1. How are your March Madness picks doing? or What is your favorite event?")

May - Red is the ultimate cure for sadness. (A Bill Blass quote for my HNT)

June - I have unrealistically high expectations of myself, and unrealistically low expectations of others. (The beginning of a Sunday Secret)

July - GACK! TMI Tuesday Marriage Edition?? This is a terrible TMI Tuesday for me to do right now because my views are so distorted with anger, disappointment and disinterest. (My preface to one of the more challenging TMI Tuesdays I've ever done)

August - A funny thing happens when you post about controversial topics, you get controversial comments. (This was one of those posts that had great impact on my blog and some of the reader's of my blog, and was actually the conduit for the Red Writing Hood Post)

September - As you all know, I often struggle with this idea of being liked - when you don't like yourself - when you've spent years reminding yourself how unlikable you are - it's difficult to make the move back towards valuing yourself. (A tribute to Real Live Lesbian)

October - I want to thank all of you for your supportive comments yesterday. (There have been MANY times where, if this wasn't the beginning of my post, it was contained somewhere in the post!)

November - When you asked if I had been using your razor to shave my legs, I told you the truth when I said "No!" (Another Sunday Secret)

December - Yesterday in the comments, Jenni asked, "I've yet to hear your husband's redeeming quality. Does he have one? What is it? If he doesn't, then why are you staying? For whose benefit?"

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06 December 2008

Sunday Secret




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I had to have paternity tests done to determine who my son's father was. It wasn't who I accused of being his father, nor was it who I wanted to be his father - it was the one-night stand.

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I'm it!

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There is this guy Jormengrund. He's a relatively new blogger, but he's a funny, interesting and compassionate guy. He also has this amazing ability to get those of us who don't play well with others to ... well .. play well with others, although I can guarantee you I'll never be welcomed in his home to play well with others!

Anyway, he tagged me! Can you believe that? He clearly hasn't been around long enough to know that I don't do these goofy memes - or do I? Of course, this one has rules (blah, blah, blah) which will not be published on this blog. And requirements to tag (blah, blah, blah) which will not be done from this blog. But ...

I'll share seven random or weird facts about myself ...
  1. I've mentioned this before, but I am ambidextrous. I tend to favor my left hand for fine motor skills, and my right hand for gross motor skills, although there are many exceptions to that. When I put on my make-up I use my right hand for the right side of my face and my left hand for the left side of my face. Painting? I switch hands depending on the angle. Throwing a ball? Couldn't throw left handed if my life depended on it!
  2. This one time, at band camp ... sorry, I couldn't resist. Anyway, I started playing clarinet when I was 8. My parents had to buy a "special" clarinet - one that had partially covered keys - because my hands weren't yet big enough to cover the span of the keys effectively. Music was my first love, and has remained a constant throughout my life. When I needed an escape, it was there. When I needed companionship, it was there. When I needed to feel loved, it was there. Had it not been for music, I'd have had nothing and likely would not have lived to see 20.
  3. I thrive on routine and predictability. I find great comfort in rituals and consistency. I start my day in the exact same way each and every morning, from how I brew the coffee, to which blog I visit first. I am easily thrown off balance when something interferes with that routine.
  4. I was quite active in Jr. High and High School sports and lettered in three sports; volleyball, basketball and track (I set a state record in the shot put), but I never owned a Letterman's jacket.
  5. When I went to college, my intent was to major in music, but I quickly discovered that although I was one of the best in high school, I was mediocre in college. Music became more work than fun and I changed my major to engineering. I left college when I was told by an engineering professor that he would never give me a grade better than a "C" because I was a woman and women didn't belong in engineering (I'm old - this was the early 80's)
  6. I have worked many, many jobs, including a stint with McDonald's (my first), a nursing home (CNA), a sheet metal fabrication plant (worked in the paint shop) and several waitressing positions. It wasn't until my mid 20's that I had a "real" job (accounting) and that was soon replaced with 5 years in the Army. One of my major problems with jobs/careers has always been that I easily tire of them when they are no longer a challenge and I get a serious case of wanderlust.
  7. If I'd have chosen my life, instead of letting it happen, I would have married a farmer, had eight at least five kids,home schooled them, made my own bread and canned vegetables. I'd live in a big farmhouse and make my own soap. I'd help plant in the spring and harvest in the fall. And I'd have been thrilled with living off the land, no matter how difficult times were.
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05 December 2008

Friday Wrap-Up


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I'm so distraught! Did you hear?? Due to intellectual property issues (the designer of Bratz was working for Mattel when he came up with the concept of the dolls, but then went to work for MGA who now manufactures the dolls), MGA will have to discontinue manufacture of the Bratz dolls after the holidays. You know, this was the first time there was a prostitot doll (or any doll for that matter) named after me!! A Dana doll! And now I won't have the gratification of seeing my namesake in the toy aisles any longer. It's a sad, sad day in toy-land!

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It's time again for Christmas tree hunting. This is one of the few family traditions we've managed to embrace and keep alive since husband and I blended families 6 years ago. This will be the third year at the tree farm we'll visit Saturday. These folks take a picture of your family every year (with your "kill") and then post it (along with the other families) to a bulletin board the following year so that you can take it home. Then there is the free hot chocolate, coffee, popcorn and cookies ... YUM!

This year Cam will pick out the tree (we let the kids take turns each year choosing the tree). I'm certain there will be lots of pictures at some point.

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I've got to do a little weirdness meme this weekend. Jormengrund tagged me (he clearly hasn't learned I don't play well with others) and because he took any chance of regular sex with his wife his own life into his hands in doing so, I'm actually going to play. I know ... I know ... it's hard to believe that I might be able to come up with seven weird facts about myself, but I'll try to find something to talk about!

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Along those lines, can I just say that I despised the Wednesday Weirdness BONUS question this week? For those of you who might not follow Wednesday Weirdness, the question was, "Have you ever fantasized about having sex with any blogger friends? Would you be daring enough to reveal five of them?" Reading these was like being the one kid no one wanted on their kickball team! It's not that I want to sleep with everyone who blogs (I do have morals you know), but it felt like a darn popularity contest. Pick me!! Pick me!! Publicly announce your lust for me so that everyone will know that I'm the hottest chick/dude in the blogging world and that those not mentioned just SUCK!

*Gathers self after stomping feet and throwing tantrum*

OK, I feel better now! Who knew there were such long-lasting, emotional scars attached to playground sports??

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