30 June 2009

Tolerance and Apathy

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It's been a while since I ruffled any feathers, and since we are fast approaching a holiday near and dear to my heart (please call it Independence Day and not the fourth of July), I thought I'd spew some political nonsense, with a little help, of course!

"Common Sense" author Bob Basso plays the role of Thomas Paine in this YouTube clip. It's long, 6 minutes +, and will irritate irritate a few of you, but it's worth watching. Much of what he says reflects my own views. I want to thank "the one whose name shall not be spoken" for forwarding this link!

*Disclaimer* Although I appreciate and identify with what is said in this video clip, I have not called the phone number that appears at the end of it and am not making a public endorsement of it.




I've made my political position well known on this blog. I am concerned with the direction I see our country moving towards. Although my political ideology is conservative, even I have moved away from supporting the Republican party primarily because they have contributed to the mess this country is now facing. I voted for an "unelectable," Libertarian presidential candidate this past election (Bob Barr) for that very reason.

I am tired of watching our country move steadily away from the principles that made us the strongest and wealthiest nation in the history of the world. I'm tired of being told I am wrong and racist to oppose amnesty for illegal aliens and for supporting English as the official language of this country. I'm tired of watching this country support the world while neglecting our own country. I'm tired of the government becoming more and more involved in my life - taking more and more of my freedoms away - spending more and more of my tax dollars on programs that do little more than make us even more dependent on the government to "take care of us."

There has been much talk about tolerance in this country - a concept that is often portrayed as positive, but a concept that I believe is doing little more than creating apathy in this country.

“Tolerance is another word for indifference.”
~ William Somerset Maugham

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29 June 2009

When Bloggers Get Overwhelmed

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I've got a bazillion three or four things I'd really like to blog about, but just can't seem to focus on any one of them long enough to actually finish a damn post. I'm convinced there is a happy medium between writer's block and the overwhelmed writer, but I've yet to find that happy place.

So today, you get one of those, "That seems a bit disconnected" posts ...

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Remember my baby birdies and their aggressive mommy? I braved this ...


To get y'all this update ...


It appears only two of the three eggs actually hatched. The babies were kind of funny - as I raised the camera above their nest they'd open their mouths looking for food. I'm not sure how long these guys will be hanging out in the nest, but I'm hoping they become cat food mobile soon, I'm getting a bit tired of being dive-bombed each time I walk out the front door.

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Yesterday's secret? Yes, I really did. There was a significant blow-up over money after my passive-aggressive, let's see what his priorities are, actions while we were in San Antonio. What I've thought - what I've felt - and what he has denied - was verified. It really is all about the money.

This is not a let's flame the husband post. Husband measures his value to the family based on his economic contribution, it only makes sense that he would measure my value to the family using the same measuring stick. I measure my value to the family based on my caretaking contribution, and I measure his value to the family using the same measuring stick. Clearly, neither of us is "measuring up."

Our priorities - our core life/family values - are very different, and I'm afraid neither of us is willing to reset our priorities to match those of the other. We can't seem to come to a place where we can support each others priorities without feeling ours are being diminished and ignored. We are both miserable on many levels.

The bottom line? I love my husband. I want him to be happy - to reach his financial and professional goals - to have the support and admiration for those things that are important to him. I want the same for myself, and neither of us is getting what we need. It's time to let go of what we thought would be - fighting about the things that neither of us are willing to change - and move forward into the fulfilling lives we both deserve.

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28 June 2009

Sunday Secret

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Telling you I am terribly unhappy in this marriage, and giving you an ultimatum, was much easier than I thought it would be. I just hope you realize how serious I am.

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26 June 2009

Friday Wrap-Up

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It's been quite the whirlwind week. I've had just 7 days after returning from San Antonio to regroup and get Cam off to camp tomorrow morning. Sprinkle in Cam's trip to the water park Wednesday, his doctor appointment yesterday, his football camp Monday - Thursday and temps this week in the upper 90's (with humidity hovering at 45%-50%) and I am BEAT!

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Tomorrow I send the man child off to church camp for a week. I know this might be hard to believe, but he has never been away from home for more than one night ... and that's been only a handful of times. Do I worry about him getting homesick? Not at all ... I worry that *I* am going to be a basket case - he'll be fine!

I didn't take into consideration there would be required camp items that I don't have on hand (rain poncho, cloth laundry bag, etc.) so was at the evil empire WalMart last night getting those last few things. Tonight I'll be labeling everything (oh what fun!), doing laundry and helping Cam get packed so that we can head out early in the morning. The bus leaves at 9AM for the 300 mile trip to Northern Wisconsin.

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1. She had a great way with words.

2. He is by my side, always.

3. I know this: Normal is just a setting on the washing machine.

4. We lost what we both had found, You know we let each other down, But then most of all, I do love you still. (Who knows the artist?)

5. These words apply to me: medium rare, caffeinated, lascivious.

6. I woke up this morning at 4:52 and already the sun was shining.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to gin & tonic infused packing, tomorrow my plans include a possible trip to meet up with some local Blog Talk Radio "celebrities" to see Night Ranger and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Sunday, I want to get on my bike and RIDE!

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25 June 2009

HNT - Uncertain

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“If I feel depressed I will sing. If I feel sad I will laugh. If I feel ill I will double my labor. If I feel fear I will plunge ahead. If I feel inferior I will wear new garments. If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice. If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come. If I feel incompetent I will think of past success. If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals. Today I will be the master of my emotions.”

~ Og Mandino




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24 June 2009

The Front Porch Isn't Safe

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When I went out to take my HNT - Soul in Bloom shots a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the plant in one of my hanging planters looked quite flat. Upon closer inspection I discovered this:


This happened last year too, but during a spring storm, the hanging basket swayed so much that the eggs fell out. Nature is such a bitch!

This year? No strong winds and now it's not safe to venture out on the front porch. Why? Well, mama bird is a bit protective of her babies!



I suppose I could let the cats out to take care of the attack robin ... let all of the little neighborhood kids learn about nature in the flesh. Oh, I forgot! The neighbors won't let them visit the redneck Christmas light house.

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23 June 2009

Faking the Mommy Blog

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Many of you have been reading me long enough to know that school has been a struggle for Cam since his first day of Pre-K. If you want to read about his Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis, I talk about it [HERE].

This past year there was some question as to whether that diagnosis was correct and I had him reevaluated. Round II of testing/evaluation came up with a new label of ADHD (a kid just can't have enough labels). Quite frankly, I am beyond stressing out about labels. What I know is that I have a bright kid - with an IQ in the 130's - who was failing miserably. I don't care if they give him a Grey Poupon label, as long as I can help him meet his full education potential. The doctors recommended I try the medication option - specifically Concerta.

Due to some issues we had with the initial quack family doctor who I worked with to get the Concerta prescription started, we were midway into the school year before starting on the lowest dosage of Concerta, and didn't find a dosage that worked until the beginning of the final term.

From a parental perspective, this has been quite a frustrating process. It required that I covertly pursue the medication option - husband was VERY against medicating Cam. It took almost an entire school year to get the medication at a workable level AND to get the school to provide the organizational support Cam needed. There were times when I wondered if he - or I - would ever make it through 7th grade.

Well, all of the diligence on my part - and hard work on Cam's part - paid off! Some of you will look at this report card and wonder how in the world I can "brag". You'll make assumptions about my parenting, my priorities and Cam's abilities. All I can say is FUCK YOU it's all about progress, not perfection, and Cam made AMAZING progress in the final term of the school year.

This is his report card for the year - all four semester's grades are listed. His final semester he didn't get any grade lower than a C, and the majority of his grades were A's and B's. It's not perfect, but it is a wonderful accomplishment for him!


I often times have to listen to parents talk about how little Ashley Madison is in the gifted program and is struggling to maintain her A average. How they completed helped her with her science fair project for two months before the school district presentation. These parents are very aware that Cam is one of those kids - the ones who are *gasp* average performers. I hear the judgment in their words and I see the scrutiny in their actions. It hurts my heart. But this time? This time it's different.

You see, this report card will not earn me a coveted "My kid is on the honor roll" bumper sticker, but it sure as hell earned Cam a, "Damn son, I am so unbelievably proud of you" blog post! I think even he would feel that has far more value than a silly bumper sticker.

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22 June 2009

Second Helping of Blogger Meat!

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After lunch with Hope, I headed back to San Antonio for the final dinner with the family. The plan was to have dinner (early), then head out again to meet up with Flyinfox and Kurly (his wife). When it looked like dinner was going to be a bit later than I expected, I called to let them know it would be closer to 7PM before I got there. Unfortunately, dinner was even later than I anticipated and I didn't get out the door until 8PM. Being the patient good natured folks they are, my tardiness didn't even phase them!

I met them at The Tap Exchange (web site is currently under construction, but [HERE] is their FaceBook)- a really cool bar with about 70 beers on tap! Seriously, I don't know why I didn't take a pic of the tap wall, but I did find one on FaceBook ...


Can I just say it is a really, REALLY good thing I don't live within walking distance of a place like this? As if the tap beers aren't enough, I'm guessing they had at least an equal number of bottled beers. When I die, please let heaven look like this!

Sorry, got a bit carried away there ... focus ... focus ...

So I walk in to the bar - alone (playing on one of my most severe anxieties) - and there they were! Waving even! Thank goodness! Now, where's the beer?

I order up a Chocolate Stout. Anyone who reads me regularly knows that if I can't chew my bear, then it's not worth drinking. Although the chocolate stout was a little sweet, it was wonderful! Next on the list? Black Butte Porter! I'm OK with porters, and this one was good, but stouts are definitely my favorite.


Now, as we were drinking and visiting, Flyinfox and Kurly were also attempting to play trivia sponsored by Geeks Who Drink. I'm afraid I wasn't much help, but I did try! Team Hybrid Sensation tied for 4th place! Not bad for their first time attempt!


... and another photo of Flyinfox and me ... just because I can!


This was a great time! In fact, all that I could think about was how fun it would be to have friends like these to get together with all of the time. But I do have a question for all of you ... any idea why The Tap Exchange would have tables with this underneath?


I know ... I know ... y'all are wondering why I was feeling the underside of the table. What can I say? I'm quite the tactile kind of person. Put something soft, fuzzy, yet firm within my grasp and look out!

Thanks Flyinfox and Kurly for a wonderful finale to a great day! I'm so glad I had the opportunity to meet the two of you this year and hope that I can catch you again next year ... or when/if I move there ... whichever comes first *wink*

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21 June 2009

Sunday Secret



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I chose Cam's name after hearing a name I loved - the name of a one-night stand's son. I was so convinced Cam's father was someone else, I didn't even consider the ramifications of selecting this name if I was wrong. I was wrong ... Cam has a half brother named ... Cam.

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20 June 2009

Blogger Meets ... or is that Meats?

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There is an odd phenomena in my blogger life, I don't ever meet up with bloggers in my neighborhood (although that will change soon) but let me travel 100's of miles and I'll find one or two to visit! This trip there were two bloggers on my "To Do" list, and I did them both! Monday you'll meet the second blogger.

Wednesday morning I got into the car and headed east. Hope (Hope Radio) and I had finalized plans to meet up for a 1PM lunch at a half-way spot between San Antonio and Houston. Now, if any of you are familiar with this area you'll be scratching your head wondering just what there is between San Antonio and Houston other than cattle ranches and truck stops.

Well, we met in a little town called Flatonia. The plan was to have lunch at a spot called City Market Cafe, however I didn't factor in the fact that lunch service might actually end at 1PM - Oops! On their recommendation, we headed here:


You gotta love Texas. We pull into the parking lot and ours are the only two cars in the lot. No, we weren't the only ones eating there, but the other 20 patrons were driving pick-up trucks and Suburbans - not a car in sight!

What's a girl to order when traveling through southern Texas? Well, a chicken fried steak would be a good choice, don't you think? Although I'm not quite sure why they gave me ketchup - more gravy please!


Hope decided to go a bit more traditional, but I have to ask, has anyone ever seen fried green beans before?? Or are those roasted?


Beer? Of course there was beer! This is me we are talking about here! I discovered a local brew that I really fell in love with. I had it at my nieces graduation party and decided it would be my Texas bottled beer:


Oh yes ... there was dessert too! But I blame that on Hope - she made me eat it!


After a great lunch and great conversation, it was time to head back. A quick shot in the parking lot and we were both off! *NOTE TO SELF* Facing the sun when taking a picture makes you have squinty eyes!


Did I mention that Hope brought presents? And not just for me, but for Cam too! He was proudly sporting a glow-stick necklace just last night!


Hope, thank you so much for taking the day to meet up with me! It was a wonderful time!

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19 June 2009

Friday Wrap-Up

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This should be a fun post - one where I tell you about my travels out east on Wednesday to meet up with blogger Hope for lunch...



... or about my trip later in the day when I finally met up with blogger Flyinfox and his wife for great beer and trivia after missing the first attempt a year ago.

Call the fashion police - I wore the same outfit to BOTH blogger meets - they were on the same day!

But noooo ... those will need to wait for a time when I can do them justice, because right now? I'm just hurt pissed and I've got to vent.

Husband did pick Cam and me up from the airport last night. He did not even get out of the car. Cam and I loaded the bags then got in to head to dinner with husband and step-daughter (logistics thing - Thursday he has dinner with her - airport is within 15 minutes of his ex's house). There is no discussion in the car. Silent treatment is still in full effect.

Dinner is a bit better. Conversation is cordial, but cold. It got a bit dicey when husband noticed Cam's pierced ears and said, "Are his ears pierced? When did we decide that was OK?" to which I replied, "The standard in the house is that the kids can have their ears pierced when they are 12. You wouldn't let Cam do it at 12 because of his grades. He had an EXCELLENT report card this term. He deserved the reward." We drop off step-daughter and the interior of the car freezes up again. No! Not the A/C! The silent treatment.

I come home to better than what I thought I'd find. Dishes were in the dishwasher - plants were watered - but the laundry room where we keep the cats during the day? Look ... I know no one really enjoys cleaning the litter box, but the smell of a one that hasn't been cleaned - let alone two that haven't been cleaned (we added a second litter box for the 4 days husband was in San Antonio) - is usually enough to motivate someone to complete the task. Not so. I spent the first hour of my time at home cleaning up the laundry room - emptying litter boxes - sweeping - removing the WEEK OLD cat food. And yes, I did make a few snide comments. I even had the audacity to ask if he had cleaned the litter boxes while I was gone in quite the accusatory tone. He claimed he did. Not every day he didn't!

The rest of the night was spent as it always is - me on the laptop, husband falling asleep in "his" chair. When he got up to go to bed, I asked for a hug. This would be the "norm" in our house. I was told I could not have a hug - that I didn't deserve it.

I proceeded to follow him upstairs and make some stupid, snide remark. Something about it must be nice to be him - to get to decide when people deserve love and when they don't, punctuated with a "fuck you" - then put the cats up for the night and headed to bed ... in the spare bedroom.

In fairness, part of this is actually my doing. Remember THIS secret? The one where I contemplated whether husband would contribute additional $$ to the joint account to cover the mortgage since he wouldn't help out with Cam's activities? Those of you who said I already knew the answer to that question were right ... and the account was overdrawn while we were in San Antonio.

So, in addition to the wallet silent treatment, the fact that husband left San Antonio without leaving any money to cover vacation expenses for me and the three kids for the last four days of our trip, I compounded the issue by overdrawing the bank account with checks written for Cam's camp and football registration. Now you see why I don't deserve love from husband - why it's been over a week since he even touched me and over 6 months since we had sex - why he is better off without me. Just get out your Sharpie and draw a big "L" on my forehead ...

**UPDATE** Make that a lower case "l". Apparently I earned deserved a peck on the cheek as he headed out the door for work this morning. What a lucky woman I am to deserve the attention of my husband.

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17 June 2009

HNT - Tan Lines

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We've come to the end of this vacation, and once again I find myself in a place of apprehension. I've been offered a glimpse into what a "healthy" relationship looks like. I've felt freedom, relative peace and a sense that it's OK to just be me - scars, flaws, quirks and all. That being perfect should never be my goal. That life can be better. Yet one of my greatest fears is that I'll do nothing to insure this place will become a permanent part of my life. I wonder how long I'll believe that I deserve less, continuing to stand in the shadows.

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“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in our own sunshine”
~ Henry Ward Beecher


Tan lines? Well, not really *CLICK*

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Just a quick little update today - I have two bloggers to meet today, and the first one is a 2-hour drive away (but worth every minute of the travel)!

Yesterday was spent at the San Antonio Zoo. It really is a nice, little zoo. Although much smaller than some of the "big city" zoos, it was also quite intimate. The animal habitats were well done and the animals were quite active. We did go fairly early in the day - 10AM - as no one was too thrilled about strolling through the zoo and leaving a sweat trail behind us.

Someone please tell me why it is that one cannot - no matter how old they are - make it through the zoo without talking about poop?!







I also made my first visit to a
Bass Pro Shop. I guess it was only fitting that we see the live animals at the zoo, then proceed to see a "zoo" of taxidermied stuffed animals in the afternoon. Hello? I had nightmares last night about the animals planning a coup and then sending me to the taxidermist! Just a bit creepy! But I did find this:




I'm thinking a little bit of this in my pocket and I might just attract the "wild beast" that appears to be dormant in husband. What do you think??

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16 June 2009

Only 2-1/2 Days Left!

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Decided on another short slide show for you today. I hope y'all weren't expecting TMI Tuesday.

Yesterday was a fun, relaxing day! We did the girl's pedicure (what has become an annual tradition) then headed off to Sea World to spend some time in the water park. It's been unseasonably HOT in San Antonio since we've been here. Yesterday's high temp was 102 - the fourth consecutive day over 100 degrees. Average temps this time of year are right at 90 degrees, but I'm not complaining!

Last night the "big" kids headed over to an 18+ club. My niece was terribly concerned that I would be upset that they were leaving Cam behind, but I assured her that there was nothing wrong with the older kids having some time together without Cam, and although he attempted to protest ("I get left out of everything") I reminded him that he had been included in everything up to this point. He and my BIL spent a few hours upstairs in the game room on the pinball machines and playing air hockey. Cam had a wonderful time despite his pitiful protest!

This morning we are headed to the zoo. Seems the San Antonio Zoo is considered one of the 10 best in the U.S. I had no idea! I'm not a huge zoo fan - might have something to do with this crazy feeling that maybe it's the people who should be locked in the cages instead of the animals *shrugs*

Tomorrow the kids are heading to Fiesta Texas without the adults. I am a huge coaster fan, but there is something about standing in line at an amusement park - in 100 degree weather - that just doesn't sound too appealing. Does that mean I'm getting old, or that I've just gained a bit of common sense through the years?




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15 June 2009

The Beginning of the Real Vacation

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Ahhhhh ... I can feel the weight lifting off my shoulders ... about 250 lbs ...

I'd love to say that the remaining time husband and step-daughter spent here went smoothly, however that is not the case. If you do not have the time, nor desire to watch the vlog, just know that I dropped husband off at the airport in full-fledged silent treatment (he being the giver of said silent treatment). It was a horrible thing I did - letting his sister know that we might have to leave breakfast early to go back to the house because husband had left his wallet *rolls eyes* Actually, I'm not even sure that was the thing that set him off because he is ... well ... giving me the silent treatment!

Anyway, other than that bit of drama, the rest of the day was good. Cam got his ears pierced (pictures to follow) and I got to have sushi and Japanese beer for dinner!


Yes ... a few pieces are missing ... I had to gain control before taking the photo



Today there is talk of a pedicure and the water park at Sea World (must have pretty toes for the water park you know!) SIL has to head back to work on Wednesday, so I'm hoping to arrange for the blogger meet up then.



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14 June 2009

Nope! Not a Sunday Secret!

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It's Sunday! My in-law's house has emptied out some. Yesterday, 6 people headed back from whence they came. Today, the remaining family members who don't live here will head home - including husband and step-daughter.

Speaking of which, there seemed to be a bit of confusion in yesterday's vlog ...

Yes, husband and step-daughter were here for PART of the vacation - flying in a day after me and the 3 other kids, returning 4 days before us. They will NOT be part of the vacation when Cam and I visit my family in July.

And yes, husband and his 23-year old nephew got in to a bloody bashing Friday night. I've since learned this wasn't as "bad" as I originally thought. There was much drinking (beer pong) going on and very drunk nephew decided he was going to drive home. Husband attempted to take nephew's keys and nephew punched him in the neck. At that point, husband took him down (forehead and right shoulder hitting the ground first) on the concrete driveway, resulting in quite a lovely display of road rash. Nephew stopped by last night for dinner, apologized, and all seems well. I was thrilled to learn this wasn't the drunken alpha-male melee I had originally envisioned.

Today, we are having our "going home" breakfast with the remaining family. We'll be feasting on German pancakes and omelets [HERE]. A quick stop at the airport to drop husband and Delaney off, then a quite afternoon and a sushi dinner. We didn't make the tubing trip on the Guadalupe yesterday due to multiple hungover family members time constraints, but I am hoping we get out there before we leave.

I decided not to vlog this morning. Just couldn't get excited about letting y'all see me with the bedhead and jammies ... AGAIN. Instead, I thought I'd share a little slide show of the last few days.

One more thing ...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments this week. I know I've not been reciprocating much, but I am keeping up with all of you via my reader and am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things when we return later in the week!






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13 June 2009

Vacation Vlog - Day 3

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My ... oh ... my ...

Day three was ... ummm ... errr ... well ... not the easiest day so far. The anxiety was set off (pun intended) by the accidental alarm yesterday morning, followed by an exchange between BIL and Cam that was so reminiscent of an exchange between husband and Cam that it made me want to hurl, then a graduation party that continued to feed my anxiety, and culminated with some type of physical altercation between husband and 23 year old nephew that resulted in a bloody t-shirt (husbands t-shirt, nephew's blood). Does it get any better than this? I can only hope!

I'm keeping my chin up and attempting a positive attitude, but *shakes head* this is really moronic shit to be dealing with. If nothing else, the example - and impact - it has on the kids is frightening. So kids, what's your favorite memory of San Antonio 2009? Oh! Definitely when dad "took down" nephew because he "challenged" him *rolls eyes*

On that note, here is vacation vlog day 3 for your viewing pleasure. **BONUS** You actually get to see me out of my jammies! Oh ... and ... the volume at the beginning of the clip is low, but it picks up in the second clip - be warned!



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12 June 2009

Vacation Vlog - Day 2

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First off - Vinny, I say "Hello" to your brother every time I walk out on the deck, so when he calls you, complaining that he has this overwhelming feeling of being stalked by a cyber stranger, be sure to let him know that you made the request.

Hope, the plan is to give you a call Sunday afternoon when things start to settle down a bit here. Right now there are so many family obligations I don't usually even get to go to the bathroom by myself, let alone make a phone call!

The River Walk was a lot of fun yesterday. If you are a Twittering fool, you got to have dinner with me last night *wink*

Graduation was ... well ... L-O-N-G! They do things a bit differently here in Texas. Holding the graduation ceremony at the Alamodome seems like a great idea ... until you realize it means a 45-minute drive each way (not including issues with traffic) and difficulty finding parking because the people from the previous ceremony are still in the parking lot. The ceremony started at 7:30 PM, but with 759 graduates, we didn't get back to our car until 10:30PM.

Today we are heading [HERE] for the graduation luncheon. I hear they have wonderful food, but I think the highlight will be the inflatable obstacle course my SIL rented. Maybe that will result in some vlogging material!

Just a side note - don't ever assume people have the same logic as you do. Although *I* would never set my house alarm with 14 relatives staying at my home, my BIL saw it as a safety measure. I'm thinking the 6:00 AM wake-up call everyone got this morning was not his idea of safety.



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11 June 2009

No ... It's Not HNT

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But it is me, in all of my morning glory! Bed hair, no makeup, and my eyes half open. In fact, this might qualify far better under the TMI heading than the HNT heading!



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10 June 2009

And We're Off!

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Cam and I are meeting stepson and his girlfriend at O'Hare around 8:00 this morning. Our flight is scheduled to depart at 10:35 AM, which, in O'Hare speak, means we'll be lucky to get off the ground by 11:00AM.

Once in San Antonio, we'll pick up a rental car and head to my BIL and SIL's house. Thursday is filled with graduation activities that will be starting out on here ...


... and ending up here ...

I think I'm most looking forward to our traditional visit here ...


I've also got a couple of bloggers I'm going to attempt to catch up with. One should be fairly easy - he's not more than 30 minutes from where we'll be. The other is in Houston, but I'm scoping out a nice half way spot and will hopefully get out her way early next week.

While I'm gone, Matt-Man, you are in charge of getting the beer and pizza (Pizza Bill will do that for us, won't he?), and Jay, your in charge of hiring the strippers - preferably hoochie mams and skanks. I know your Wal-Mart is brimming with potential.

Lu, if either one of them fails to step up to the plate, I expect you'll treat them like clay pigeons!

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09 June 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

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About a month ago, Karen did a post titled "Are You Listening?" which she stole was inspired to write based on a similar post by Avitable and Hilly. In it she listed Ten Things I Wish I Could Say to Certain People. I starred the post in my Google Reader because I knew one of these days it would come in handy. Since yesterday was her birthday, I decided to honor her by stealing it right out from under her ... or ... I don't want to think much today because it's my last day at work before heading out on vacation ... one or the other.

In no particular order, here are the Ten Things I Wish I Could Say to someone in my life, but don't have the balls am too polite to actually say.

1. There is a HUGE world outside of this small town and if you'd open your eyes, you'd see that people who are different from you still have value.

2. I miss our friendship and I still wonder if it was something I did, or something you did, that led to its demise.

3. Ability to do a job, and accountability for doing a job, are two very different things.

4. I'd actually have far more respect for you if you'd be honest about how screwed up your life is behind closed doors - just because you don't show it to the world doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

5. If I had a chance to do it all over again, I wouldn't.

6. I learned a lot about you by the way you treated the waitress. Now I am certain that I don't like you.

7. You give yourself too much credit. Not everyone worships the ground you walk on.

8. Raising your hand and "shushing" me will get you slapped next time.

9. You are a school teacher - my tax dollars help to pay your salary - and I'm not getting what I'm paying for.

10. A year ago, you defended Noah for calling Cam "fat ass". Karma is a fickle bitch, isn't she? I noticed that Noah weighs about the same as Cam does now ... and he is also about 18" shorter.

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08 June 2009

I heard it through the grapevine

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What you don't see with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth.
~Jewish Proverb

Gossip. It's a funny thing. Sometimes we are entrusted with a secret that is just too good to keep to ourselves, and really, if the person we tell swears not to say a word, then it's not really gossip, is it? Or, we hear a juicy tidbit about someone we don't particularly care for, and when his/her name comes up in conversation, it's only right that we confess what we've heard too, right? Or, if they have the audacity to carry out questionable behavior in a public forum (or so the rumor goes) then they deserve to be called out, don't they?

A 2001 study conducted by a UK group, Industrial Society, described true gossip as meeting these five essential criteria:
  • The person being talking about is not present;
  • The people having the conversation have an established relationship with the subject;
  • The information has no direct impact on the lives of the people conducting the conversation;
  • The conversation is generally negative in tone, and
  • The conversation is morality-based in its implications.
By definition, "personal" blogging (generally) often times meets all of these criteria. I've certainly done my share here, and I've heard some pretty terrifying stories of bloggers who have been on the receiving end of destructive gossip. I have to wonder how many times my own gossip has caused grief for those that it touched. It's a very humbling thought.

So why am I standing on the gossip soapbox? I read a blog post this weekend that really bothered me. Although the idea of someone repeating what they'd heard (a rumor that had the potential to destroy a family) didn't sit well with me, what bothered me even more was the justification of the poster, and the commenters, that the gossip was *deserved* - this coming from people who didn't know anything about the person being gossiped about. How down right scary is that?

None of us are immune to gossip, but how many of us actually to try stop it rather than multiplying it? What if, when someone tries to share gossip with us, we ask them, "Why are you sharing this information with me? I would prefer not to talk about so-and-so without him/her being here." What if we defended others in their absence, just as we'd wish for others to defend us?

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07 June 2009

Sunday Secret

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You keep telling me you cannot financially contribute any more of your income to the household budget - that you don't have as much spending money as I think you do. I was actually feeling guilty about writing the $205 check for Cam's football registration, the $160 check for Cam's church camp registration and the $30 check for Cam to attend the church youth group water park trip out of the joint account, knowing that it meant we'd be hard pressed to make the mortgage next week. That is, until I snooped in your wallet yesterday and discovered the $327 in cash you are carrying around. I wonder if you'll be as resistant to step up to the plate when I ask for money to pay the mortgage as you were when I asked for money to help pay for Cam's activities?

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05 June 2009

Friday Wrap-Up

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For some reason, it doesn't seem that many bloggers head to the Chicago area to visit, or if they do they are keeping it to themselves - hmmmmm ... Really people, it's OK - I leave the M-16 chainsaw at home on the first blogger meet! Fortunately, there is an exception - Nicolle.

You might remember THIS visit last August. Great food. Great fun. Oh! Did I mention? Great Beer? The only downside was that Nicolle was staying downtown and I live in the puckies in a far northwest suburb, making for a 2 hour drive. This time? She was just down the road a piece! Only a 40 minute drive!

I picked her up at her hotel and we headed to The Ram Restaurant & Brewery for dinner, beer and desert! And yes, we shared this.

*NOTE TO SELF* For quality photos, check the camera settings before handing it to the waitress!

Can I wear white at dinner without issue? *CLICK*

We had a wonderful dinner, a wonderful visit, and I didn't have an anxiety attack attempting to find my way out of the city! Nicolle posted a few pics too - you can find them [HERE] Fortunately, she checked her camera settings prior to taking any photos!

Have a safe trip back to Alaska my friend!

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ffi

And...here we go!

1. *closes eyes and taps heels together* There's no place like home.

2. My favorite thing for dinner lately has been anything I've found on Relish!.

3. Meow! Meow! Meow! bark! bark! bark!

4. A nice long walk is a great time for a little self-reflection.

5. I could really, really, use some good news.

6. When all is said and done, all is said and done!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to grocery shopping (the market is never busy on Friday night), tomorrow my plans include an early morning bike ride and football registration for Cam and Sunday, I want to get the house cleaned up and all of the laundry done before we head to San Antonio on Wednesday!

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03 June 2009

HNT - Soul in Bloom (Retro)

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If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.
~Audra Foveo


As a matter of fact there is a *CLICK* and it's retro too a pussy shot!

HNTbutton

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Pomp & Circumstance?

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It's that time of year, when kids become bored and parents become obnoxious. Yeah ... I said it ... obnoxious! I've written about parental hovering before, but the end of the school year seems to shine a bright light on parental ego stroking.

Last weekend we attended a "graduation" party being held for a family friend. We received the formal invitation in April and my initial reaction was, "You've got to be kidding me." The invitation looked very much like a high school graduation announcement - embossed paper - professional photo - but it wasn't a high school graduation, it was a middle school promotion party.

I've read many gloating prideful blog posts lately describing graduation ceremonies and parties being held for "graduates." What I find interesting is that not a single one of these kids is over the age of 14. Nope! They've completed middle school, elementary school and *gasp* kindergarten and preschool. Seriously, what are the requirements for preschool graduation? Making it through the day without having an "accident"? Certainly by kindergarten there should be some glorious ceremony for coloring inside the lines ... most of the time!

Seriously people, I understand celebrating your kids' accomplishments - praising them for a job well done - but can we put this into perspective?

In the public school system, with very few exceptions, social promotion is the norm. When was the last time you heard about a kid, under 13, being held back a grade for academic performance issues? I remember the overwhelming anxiety of waiting for that letter in the mail that informed my parents whether or not I would be moving into the next grade. I knew several students who had to repeat grades due to performance issues. Moving on to the next grade level was never a given, but rather something you had to work towards.

Now? Not only are most schools scheduling some type of ceremony for these "graduations" - ceremonies that include caps, gowns, tassels and diplomas *shakes head* but parents are having large, formal celebratory gatherings to stroke their own ego acknowledge such an amazing accomplishment.

The "promotion" party we attended last weekend? There were about 50 attendees - the house was decorated in a graduation theme - dinner was catered by a local restaurant. I begrudgingly cheerfully purchased a congratulatory card assuming that was more than proper acknowledgement. Husband suggested I get a gift card as well. A gift card? For completing 8th grade? Fine! I pick up a $30 Visa gift card. Husband refused to sign the card because a $30 gift card looked "cheep." These are good friends of ours, but the "graduate" didn't do anything special here. What were we rewarding? His ability to get his homework in his backpack every day?

Will I attend the promotion ceremony at Cam's middle school next year? Absolutely! Will I be beaming with pride knowing that we he made it through middle school relatively unscathed? Without a doubt! But will there be a promotion party for 50 of our closest friends and relatives, including embossed invitations? Will there be a table full of gifts waiting for him? Not a chance in hell!

What do you think? Are these ceremonies/parties nothing more than glory moments for parents and ego strokes for kids? Or are they a reasonable acknowledgment for a commendable accomplishment?

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02 June 2009

It's A Bike Vlog!

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No TMI Tuesday this week. It's been years since I went on a date-date, and husband never quite figured out that "dating" while married is a good thing, so TMI Tuesday #189 - Dating edition would have been quite a boring read ... not that this vlog will be any better ... but still!

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So I got this brilliant idea to vlog my bike ride on Sunday, only there is a TON of background noise and, apparently when I tried to turn the camera to the side to show you some of the beautiful scenery, I hit the selection button and turned off the video. *rolls eyes*

Anyway, you'll get a wonderful view up my nose and some other similarly worthy nonsense. Enjoy!





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01 June 2009

Catching Up

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I have been a very bad blogger and I want a spanking deserve a scolding! Over the past few weeks, there have been some awards that have come my way. On one hand, I am so very flattered. Seriously, I don't think of this space being any more special than any of the other thousands of blogs out there, and tooting my own horn isn't my style. Spouting my opinion? Standing on my soapbox? Sure! But accepting that someone thinks this silly space deserves acknowledgment? YIKES!

I first want to address two sites that have "validated" my HNT's. Anyone who has chatted with me prior to posting my HNT every week knows that I stress and struggle, struggle and stress, over each photo. I can identify every flaw, tell you why no one will like it and will deny any complimentary feedback. I'd love to say that I've gotten better at seeing my own beauty, but I'm not so sure that's true. It's a constant battle.

Last week, my Stained Glass HNT was featured by Diva over at bestsexbloggers.com in her Friday Foto Fiesta. I discovered this quite by accident. Being that I wouldn't consider myself a sex blogger, her blog is not somewhere that I had ever visited, but I saw a lot of referrals coming from her direction and decided to see what was going on. Who would have ever imagined I'd be recognized in that capacity? Certainly not me! But it was a nice surprise!

This week, my Lilac HNT made Vixen's Friday Favorites post. I just shake my head in wonder when this happens. There are just so many young, gorgeous, stunning women and men who participate in HNT each week. Participants who have photographers and aren't forced into clandestine self-portrait sessions. It seems unlikely (at best) that a *cough*forty four-year old*cough* overweight, out of shape, working full-time, PTO mom should find recognition among them. Yes, it's an ego stroke, but one that causes a great deal of logical/emotional conflict.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank both Diva and Vixen for their votes of confidence!

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I received three blogger awards in May. I know ... I know ... more tooting my own horn after I just said it isn't something I like to do, but really, this is less about me and more about those who gave. Trust me ...

Let's go in chronological order, mmm-kay?

Librarian Lee, who I've mentioned here before, awarded me the Kreativ Blogger Award. Lee and I first met on a single mom's email list, 11 years ago! Over the years, we've watched each other's children grow up and shared both joys and sorrows. Lee is a fascinating woman - a librarian by trade, a "hippie" by nature. As she said when giving me this award, she and I often see issues (political and social) very differently, but we remain respectful of the other's opinions and choose to celebrate the many qualities we do share. Lee hasn't been blogging much lately, but she does Twitter! You can follow her [HERE].

This award has rules and you know how I feel about that! The rules state: To accept this award, I must list 7 things I love and then pass this award along to 7 other well deserving kreativ bloggers that I love. Yeah ... I'm modifying the rules ...

Seven Things I Love
  • That first cup of fresh, hot coffee in the morning
  • The smell of newly cut grass
  • Wildflowers
  • Dancing dust devils
  • Thunder and lightening storms (especially in the winter)
  • Reading a book while taking a bubble bath
  • Clothes that have been hung outside to dry
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I recently stumbled upon Evil Twin's Wife and her blog, The Glamorous Life of a Hausfrau . Actually, that's not entirely true. She is a blogger whose name I've seen again and again in the comments section of some of my favorite blogs, but for some reason I never got around to visiting ... until recently.

Do you ever read a blog for the first time and wonder what the hell took you so long to get there? One of those where you feel compelled to actually read the archives? Yeah, this was one of those blogs. She has got to be one of the funniest, down-to-earth bloggers I've read in a long time. Really! Go check her out! Not now you sillies, first you have to finish reading this post. THEN you should feel compelled to visit her. You can follow her on Twitter too!

The One Lovely Blog Award came with it's very own set of rules - imagine that! They are as follows:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Is anyone keeping track here? Award #1 required I name SEVEN bloggers. Award #2 required I name FIFTEEN bloggers. Fairly simple math here - we are up to TWENTY TWO bloggers! At this point I'd just need to import my Google Reader list!

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Just Friday I was awarded the Noblesse Oblige Award by g-man at Man Overboard! "Noblesse Oblige" is generally used to imply that with wealth, power and prestige come responsibilities. ACCKK!! That wasn't in my blogger plans! Maybe I shouldn't even accept this one!

What? That's not an option? Fine ...

1) The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervade amongst different cultures and beliefs.

I've certainly had my challenges with this. I can be a bit bullheaded opinionated at times, but I like to think that this is something I'm getting better at, not only in response to my commenters, but in the way I might present my own take on difficult subject matter.

2) The Blog contents inspire; strives to encourage and offers solutions.

I do try to inspire others, if in no other way than getting them to possibly see another side of things. Encouraging and offering solutions? Unfortunately, it seems that many of you do more of that for me than I do myself.

3) There is a clear purpose at the Blog; one that fosters a better understanding on Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Culture, Sciences and Beliefs.

WooHoo! I like to think that is really what this blog is all about! I don't have a nice, neat blog label that I can slap up on my header, but I try to contribute to all of these things.

4) The Blog is refreshing and creative.

On occasion, I get stuck in a rut, but if nothing else, my HNTs should qualify as refreshing and creative!

5) The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking.

This one is a bit iffy, isn't it? I do try to promote friendship. I try to be attentive and respectful of my commenters. Yes, there have been times when, rather than turning the other cheek, I stooped down to the level of an earth worm's belly, but ... but ... well, there is actually no good reason for that!

Whew! This award does not require any minimum number of bloggers be named. I think I might be able to give this one out!

I'm going to give this coveted award to Vinny over at The Big Leather Couch. Vinny certainly meets all of the criteria for this award, and then some! What is most unique and creative over at the couch is Vinny's use of music to inspire a "Noblesse Oblige" atmosphere. From his New Music Monday posts, to his Looking At The Sky on Friday posts, he continually promotes friendship and positive thinking!

Now I'll sneak attack him with the rules ...

Those of you who receive this award are required to do the following:
1) Create a post with a mention and link to the blogger who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award to you
2) The award conditions must be displayed in the post
3) Write a short article about what your blog has thus far achieved preferably citing one or more older posts to support (or you can cheat like I did)
4) The blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award to blogs in concurrence with the award conditions
5) The blogger must display the award at any location on their blog.

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