Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Round 2

We are off again for another 5 days just a little southwest of where we live (but there is no way we are crossing the border, because I worry they won't let me come back!). I guess there are still a few bottles of wine left with my name on them so I have to go. Can't waste good wine!
Have a Happy New Years Eve - I will raise my glass to you all at midnight!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Miracle baby in distress

I know I have asked for a lot of prayer from all of my (5) readers, but since it is the Holiday Season, I feel like I can ask one more time...

My friend Jennifer aka MckMama is at Children's Hospital right now with her miracle baby Stellan (the one that wasn't supposed to live because of in utero heart failure, but lived because we all prayed so hard - and is now 8 weeks old) is suffering from a very severe case of RSV, as well as hypercapnia (too much carbon dioxide in his blood). So severe that they are currently sedating and placing him on a ventilator. His healed heart is suffering too because of all of the trauma that comes with RSV.

Please, if you have it in you to give one more gift this holiday season, give it in the form of prayer for Stellan and Jennifer!

5 days with no internet - and wine

You should try it sometime. Wine kills the jonesing fairly quickly, and the conversation you drum up - OH the conversation!

I had a very pleasant 5 days with no internet!

I had more conversations with real live people face to face than I have had in a long time. It made me long for the good ol'days when the only way to chat was face to face!

I consumed more wine this past week than I have in ages. But it was all in good company, and I found some new favorites, and a few I would prefer never be bottled again! I even tested a bottle I had in my kitchen far too long - apparently opened quite a while ago - because it was more of a vinegar than a Merlot!

I found a bottle that stood a little over 3' tall - in a beautiful cobalt bottle, that was a German Reisling. We dubbed it "Ricola" and consumed the entire thing in less than the first sitting at dinner!

Memories spilled during the visit(s) - OH the memories! We celebrated 20 years with this lil darlin':

we even let her "win" almost every round of Catch Phrase (even though clearly she did not!).

We exchanged a few gifts - but in no rush - just a few here and there.

The kids had a blast playing the Wii at will this weekend - with very little bickering.

There was far way too much mom..., mom, um mom, mom, mom, mommy, mom, m-oooooo-m, mom, ma, mom, mom, momma, hey mom, mom, yo mom, mom, mom, mom?, mom, mom!, ma-am, mom, mom *&$#, mom!?!?!?! And my personal favorite, "why mom?".

One cute 6 year old with his middle finger waving in the air at his sister. One adorable yet highly irritable 11 year old prancing around swinging her hips and tossing her hair like a super model with the attitude of a pms'ing teenager, and the attention span of...

Wait... what was I talking about?

But that was only because they wanted to shower me with love and devotion for the godess mother that I am, and not because they needed something.

Well, one could only hope!

Hope you had a wonderful Holiday with your family!

If I disappear this weekend, you can almost guarantee where I am - because round two begins on Wednesday! If only I could convince my husband it would be a great time!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We are hitching a ride on Santa's sleigh for a destination just a tad bit further south than we are to spend a lovely 4 days at my grandmothers - just me and the kids (Jim will be there tomorrow).

I wish you all the merriest of holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Its Sunday night and it has been a loooonnnnggg few days. So I am going to start my list of things that were not done by lil'ol me last week now in hopes that I have them done by tomorrow morning! If it weren't for MckMama's free therapy sessions, I think I would be bankrupt from the psychologist payments!

This entire week I did not even once go into work a 1/2 hour late because I was being lazy. Of course my assistant was back this week so it would not have looked good if I had done that!

I did not eat lunch half of the week because I was using that time to get POMAD up and running.

I did not calculate and recalculate the cost of the kids big Christmas present that my aunt got us an amazing discount on and was sure we had the money to cover it.

I did not miscalculate by a rather large amount of money, and had to just now call my aunt and ask her to bless us one more time with her help of not cashing our check for a few more days.

I did not just tell the entire internets (or all 5 of my readers) that last statement because it would be far too embarrassing.

I did not about lose my mind, toss my cookies, have a stroke laced with a heart attack and then a mental breakdown when I saw that Jim's paycheck was almost $200 less than we calculated it to be. It could mean one of two things: either he didn't turn in paperwork, or they lost it. Either way, there is a very large chance we will never see that money.

I DID sell two pieces this weekend to friends husbands - which was cool because the guys were SO happy they didn't have to shop for stocking stuffers and these two ladies sent me emails telling me which pieces they were thinking about buying for themselves. Now I have to stave them off this week to be sure I don't blow the surprise! I also saved a boat load of money on teacher and daycare presents by giving them jewelry (two teachers, two TA's, a para and daycare). I am still working on a piece for the lady who cuts my hair.

I did not scan the 60+ pictures my mother in law asked me to scan this weekend and down load them on her new digital photo frame that my brother in law roped us all into giving her (after he bought it no less - without asking if we wanted in), and I have to have it done by Wednesday because she leaves for the winter on Friday (YAY US!) (wait, I did not say that...).

I did not cry when my dad couldn't come down this weekend because we have been in an eternal hell of had a lot of snow, cold, and blizzardy weather this entire last 5 days (ok I really did). I did not cry (again, I really did) because it would have been the last time I would get to see my dad until early April, as he too leaves on Friday for the winter.

I am not a daddy's girl, and talk to him at least once a week. I will not be sad that it will be over four months before I talk to him again. Oh - who am I fooling, yes I am and yes I will!

I did not take pain medication yesterday afternoon when I got home from our AMAZING Breakfast with Santa event at our club because I had moved some furniture and was on my feet all morning (definitely not on my ok to do list with a broken rib and ruptured disc). I did not then go back to the club (in a blizzard) to watch the AMAZING band that drove from Madison, WI (in a blizzard) and have a few too many adult beverages and get really looped up.

I did not wake up hung over this morning at 10 AM, and then fall asleep in Jim's recliner at 1 and sleep until 4:20.

I am so not the rock star I hoped I still was, but really, did you need to clobber me that hard over the head to prove your point?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Im so excited!


Susan (my friend/photographer) has downloaded my pictures on her website, and I have now gotten my blog site updated with all of the newest pieces!
I have quite a few more pieces in my mind, I just need to get them made. Susan and I have worked out a deal that she will photograph as I make so there is little to no down time.

Fingers crossed both of us get some business out of this venture (and her a good grade on her final!).


I finally went to the doctor on Monday afternoon. After an exam and a series of X-Ray's it has been confirmed that I have one rib that is fractured, and one that is broken - however, not the bone itself, but rather broken from the cage itself. It cannot be reset, it has to find its own way home. Based on what he told me, and what I have read, it could take from 3-12 weeks to heal.

In the meantime I need to be careful what I lift, how I lean, not to lay on that side, and not to be too strenuous with my breathing. And since I am suddenly relapsing with my cold - I fear I will find myself in a band by the end of the week. It may not be a bad thing. Just a little constricting. But maybe I will be able to sleep better.

The spasms have already gotten better. Maybe I am used to them, maybe I am already healing. Lets hope it is the latter.

I do feel pretty good all things considered.

We got 5" of really fluffy snow today - fluffy because it is colder than hell when it freezes over. The snow when illuminated glistens and sparkles. It is an amazing sight. It sounds like we will have several more days of spotty snow showers - which I love - because unlike many of my fellow state dwellers, I love the snow, and winter - just not these really really cold temps.

Oh, and get this - the Postmaster who helped me up last week when I fell... well he did not file a formal report, and when he heard I was going to the doctor ripped me a new one. Went all postal on me (pun intended) about how all these little old ladies who can't see anything, and shouldn't (I believe his words were "have no right") being out and about keep complaining about falling on his sidewalk. Well, Mr... I ain't no old lady, I do have a right (as do they), I fell in your lobby, not on your sidewalk, and YOU WERE THERE and helped me out, so please, do not act all mighty and unknowing. I am not suing you, so back off!

Off my soap box!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Baby its cold outside. And its Monday. And that means there must be some things I didn't (or did) do last week that I need to get off of my chest. Because this is so much cheaper than my therapist (my pretend one - because there is nothing wrong with me, so why would I need a therapist - really, how dare you think otherwise).

I did not go in to work late ev-er-y day last week. Arriving at 9:30 rather than 9. I am responsible, and would never do that.

I did not consider almost every day last week, leaving early. Only to find myself shutting the lights and the door much later than I needed to, therefore making up for the late hour for which I did not arrive each morning.

I did not take a long lunch on Tuesday because I was wallowing in my own self pity after falling in the post office earlier that day. I did not come home to two kids for whom school was called and a husband who was on partial layoff, all sitting around in their pj's asking me what was for lunch. I did not bite my tongue, pull out a bix of cereal and tell them to have at it. I did not then make myself something much tastier once they started slurping down their toasted o's.

I did not even once wish that someone would get sick so we could stay home this weekend rather then travel in bad weather. I did not wish that, and then feel bad about it, admit it to my husband, only to have him say the same thing to me.

I did not stall as long as possible on Saturday morning waiting to hear someone cough, rush to the bathroom, or exclaim they had an upset stomach, only to give in and get ready to go, causing us to leave 45 minutes later than we had planned.

I did not say "oh God", or potentially drop the "F bomb" 3,927 times this weekend when I had a spasm in my left side/side of my chest this weekend. I did not hear my sister in law nearly insist we go to the hospital she worked at for an xray, after the doctor she called told her it sounded like I have a bruised/cracked rib from my fall in the post office.

I did not go to the hospital however. Instead I took more Vicadin.

I did not let my brother in law slip me a few shots of Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur and Tequila Rose Cocoa.

I did not then request both items from Santa. W-a-ow - are they smooth. And chocolaty. Mmmmmm.

I did not play front seat driver most of the way home today. I did not completely come unravelled when Jim passed two slow moving cars on a really slippery road where we really could only go 40 and be safe. In his defense - they were barely going 25. In my defense, there was a hill and a curve, and a car coming at us. At a crawl, but it was coming at us.

I did not wish this afternoon that I would have gone to the hospital that my sister in law works at. I have not decided if I will go in tomorrow, or wait it out another day or two.

I did not feel a pang of nausea roll across me when I got an email today from a business member telling me one of our main street staples was closing their doors. Instead I felt a lead ball in my stomach. I have since gotten more information and understand more the need to close. I also hold out hope that because it was not for financial reasons, someone else could come in and purchase the business if they wanted to with no strings attached. The owners needed a break, and they have worked out a deal with another local business. Its sad, but its not as devastating as it could have been.

Anyone want to move to my small town and open a fabulous gift shop?

School is going to be at minimum 2 hours late today, but that doesn't get me a get out of jail free card, so I must get motivating.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let it snow, let it blow, 40 below!

The title says it all. (don't you love blog posts on local weather forecasts?)

This morning we left from St. Cloud in a rush. In a vertiable blizzard. We didn't want to get stuck up there (in laws ya'know). So we left with a radar prediction that we would drive out of the bad weather within 40 miles.

First 30 miles: driving 30-40 mph. Blinding snow. 30 degrees
Second 30 miles: driving 45-55 mph. Pouring rain. 34 degrees
Third 30 miles: driving 40-50 mph. Sleet, rain mix. 32 degrees

The first 5 miles of the last 30 - the temp dropped LITERALLY 17 degrees.

The last 30 miles: driving 30-35 mph. Sleet, blowing snow, wind gusts over 40 mph. Ice on the highways. White out conditions.

Since we have been home, it has snowed. Blown. Howled and whistled. Right now it is blowing at about 40 mph steady with gusts over 50-60.

Tomorrow morning, the windchill is predicted out here on the prairie to be minus 40 -50. That is below zero for your warmer climate people. Tomorrow night our temperature (minus windchill) is predicted to be 11 below zero.

Let it snow, let it blow, 40 below!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Good bye friend.

It was really great to know you. I will miss your smile. Your wit. Your sense of humor. Your humility. Your humanity. Your faith in people and in God. Your kindness, and your caring for others. Your incredible knack for making me wonder - "did he mean it? was he serious?" Because everytime I joked about giving you my resignation and you patted me on the shoulder and said "good luck", I wondered - wow, this time he seemed serious! I will miss teasing you about your accent.

Everything that made you who you were.

Thank you for blessing our lives here in our small town.

You have left a mark - and really big shoes - that no one can ever fill.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Its always worse somewhere else

In all of my whining and moaning about pain and how I am tired of it, somewhere there was a voice screaming "QUIT! Someone else has it much worse than you do!". I had this feeling like I was being selfish. Selfish for not sharing the good things - only the bad. Whining when I should be rejoicing that we are still relatively healthy, we still have a home, and we still have some sort of semblance of jobs. Money is tight, and yes, I have not been feeling well. But someone has it much worse than me, and I am being childish about my woes.

And then the phone rang. My friend Sue called to tell me the horrible news.

Tom, former Director, and just this year, the President of my Board -- who just recently left his job in our small town late this summer for reasons that aren't important - resigned himself to moving south - to Texas - to manage a larger facility in the field he loved. His wife Kristen planned on staying here a little longer. Maybe until their daughter Verva graduated, maybe longer. Kristen loves her position as Director of a childrens organization. So Tom went to Texas. As a God faring family, they knew they would survive any separation, because they have strong family values - and a love for one another that space cannot divide.

Just before Thanksgiving Tom got what he believed to be a bad sore throat. The condition continued to worsen, causing body shakes and eventually pain in his arms and legs. It was not a cold. It also was not what the doctors believed to be Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Tom was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a neurological disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. Symptoms vary in severity. Tom's were the most severe. He was unable to move from the chin down. He could not respond to bodily movements, only eye movement. On Tuesday doctors placed a central port to do a plasma exchange. During the procedure, Tom suffered a massive stroke.

As yesterday and today have gone on, Tom has worsened. There is no way of knowing if he will now survive this disease that normally has a 90% recovery rate.

On top of the stress of Tom's failing health, he had only worked one day at his new job. And Kristen used all of her sick and vacation time for surgery she had to have on her heart just this fall. They have no income, and two households to maintain.

Our small town is devastated. I am devastated. Tom helped me establish myself in the position I am in, and with honor accepted the elected position as President in 2008 because he knew we were doing great things. Tom also managed Jim's grandfathers care at the nursing home. I always felt that we received special care while Tom was there because we knew he cared about our family.

So this afternoon a small group of people who have special attachments to Tom and Kristen gathered in the backroom of my favorite coffee cafe and met to brainstorm ideas to help them in ways that people in small towns do. And the group got bigger and bigger as time went on. By the time the meeting started, our small group went from 8 or 10 to over 20 people, crammed tightly in the small room, eating lunch and sharing ideas. By the time we left the meeting, we planned three special events that includes Christmas Caroling by the small children Kristen has overseen for the past three years. It also includes a benefit in January.

There was not a dry eye when the meeting adjourned.

If only the energy that filled that room could be bottled up and sent to them. Sent to Tom and injected - with all of its love and prayer - to heal him.

As I walked back to my office hunched over, I reminded myself that someone has it worse than me. I reminded myself that I still have it pretty good - I still have my life. I still have my home, and my family, and my job. And I still have tomorrow to look forward to.

I don't know if Tom has that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Life comes back to bite you 20 years later...

This goes to show that almost anything you do at any stage of your life - even before the internets - can come back to haunt you.

My cousin Sarah who is graduating 20 years after I did at my alma mater posted this on my facebook wall last night. It is a video yearbook of the 1988 graduating class - but there I am a junior (class of 1989) - in my 1980's hair glory right in the beginning (located at 20-23 seconds in) noticing the camera, and casually slinking behind my locker...

DO NOT waste the whole 9+ minutes - I did - and while I knew many of the people in the video (in a school of over 3,000 students) and I am sure I know who filmed it, the shining star happens so early on that the rest is just - well - just filler! (Kim, this is for you) BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When the chips are down...

Trip her with a rug.

Alternately titled: The biggest clutz in the world

I have literally spent a good 10 minutes crying my eyes out in frustration - wondering when the chips will be back up. Because I keep believing that this will get better.

Bam - splat - Oh God (I think actually came out of my mouth) - the rug in the Post Office was just askew enough to catch my dragging foot (one of the side effects of this pain is that my right foot hasn't always been cooperating with my leg, and doesn't lift as far off the ground as it should). So down on the brick paver floor I went. Right knee slammed straight on. There was no graceful save, there was no quiet pick up, it was down.for.the.count. Tears rolling, me sitting there, in the entry, the Postmaster gathering my mail and keys - me climbing the wall to get up.

I feel like I am losing my friggin mind. I want to go home and crawl back in bed with some major painkillers with a side of Jack Daniels (which I don't like, but maybe it will kill the pain). Fact is, I was already in some major pain this morning, so maybe this new pain will distract me from the other. Who knows.

But with my assistant gone this week, I must push on. Dry mine eyes and suck it up.

Or wallow some more, close the doors and not care.

Ok, well maybe not.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not Me! Monday

If you are reading this on December 15th you will find that my linky didn't work, and you got sent here instead! Click on my header and you will find my December 15th "Not Me's"!

I don't much like Mondays, only because it means getting out of my Pj's and going back to work.

But I do love my free therapy sessions that happen only on Mondays! Its that time people for another list of things I didn't (or maybe did) do last week!

Let's start off by saying I did not totally write a cold hard fact confession yesterday on my blog.

I did not stay up way too late a few nights last week to get work done that I should have completed while at my desk during the day. I am not a procrastinator, so there would be no need for it.

I did not more than one time on Friday wish that my assistant was not in Hawaii for 10 days so I could have stayed home on my normally non work day.

I did not wallow in my self "have to work on Friday" pity in a bag of Cheetos for breakfast. Ok, well not a whole bag...

I did not get really really upset at Mantha's concert last Thursday when the parent's were in the audience chatting it up during the entire performance. I did not especially want to stand up and yell "shut it" when the solo performers were on stage. I did not because I was sitting next to my Mother in law.

I did not spend all afternoon Saturday trying to come up with the right concoction of meds to make my pain go away only to give up and take only Vicadin yesterday.

I did not tell Jim when he called me on Saturday at o'past dinnertime to tell me there was not one of my favorite chickens in the roaster at my friends husbands grocery store that he should go to their house and knock on the door and tell them to whip me one up. I wouldn't do that because I know my friends husband is out of town, and she was at the club partying it up with the girls for her sisters 50th birthday. Instead I made him come home, drive me 10 miles away to take me out to dinner at another friends restaurant to a neighboring really really small town where the lady who cut my hair so nicely a few weeks ago whipped me up the most amazing petite filet.

Small town living people, small town living. Your fireman is also your mechanic who sidelines as your doctor every other Thursday and third Monday.

I so did not just write a paragraph full of run on sentences and bad grammar.

Its 8:34 and I am sitting here in wet hair, so I had better make my way towards the hair dryer.

I did not totally think about calling in sick (to myself) this morning because it is snowing and I am in more pain than I care to admit. But then I remembered my assistant is in Hawaii for 10 days. Dang her anyway! ;)
I did not just run out of hairspray on a blustery day. UGH!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Rebel For A Cause Contest

I am a week late in posting this, but I don't want any of my friends to miss out on something absolutely incredible!

A prize give away so big, that you will be amazed! Check out these prizes:

Brand spankin new, shipped to your home, BEFORE Christmas! It could be a wonderful gift for YOU for Christmas. Maybe a few gifts for others, or one great big gift that you can send to me! (I can always try...).

Here is how it works. MckMama of My Charming Kids, and Aimee of Heart Smiles have put together a Raffle-Way.

All proceeds of this Raffle-Way will be donated to:

String of Pearls, a beautiful ministry that offers a nurturing and safe place for families as they navigate the path following a fatal prenatal diagnosis that will result in the death of their baby prior to, or shortly after birth. String of Pearls provides guidance, compassion and practical suggestions as plans to honor the life of pre-born babies are crafted.

No Hands But Ours. No Hands But Ours is a China adoption resource site, specific to special needs adoption. It was created to provide information, encouragement and support for families of the children who wait and for those who wait no more. It is their hope that God would use this organization to encourage and equip ordinary people to do an extraordinary thing in the life of a special needs orphan, to give the gift every child needs and deserves...a family.

The Elison Project helps to provide grants to families adopting special needs children from China, and collaborates with No Hands But Ours. Proceeds of this Raffle-Way will allow families to make an incredible difference in the life of a child. Your donation will help to bring His children home.

All you have to do to enter to win this AMAZING prize package is click on the button below which will direct you to MckMama's blog. At the top of her blog is a "ChipIn" button where you can make a donation. For each $10 donated, you will receive a separate raffle number and entered in the grand prize drawing. Shortly after you make your donation, Aimee will email you your ticket number (s). Then you just sit back, and wait.

But wait - there is more to this extravaganza - if you post this button on your blog, and a quick note about the contest (you don't have to post as much detail as I did), you will also be entered in another contest to win one of these from Suzanne Meyers:

If you decide to participate, and especially choose to post on your blog about it, please leave a comment to either MckMama or Aimee so they can get your name in the drawing for the Charm Necklace.
I thank everyone who is willing to consider helping these ladies raise money for these wonderful causes. MckMama posted last week that when the causes found out this was going on, they were beyond excited (read: I believe the words "nearly crapped their pants" was used).
In this wonderful world of blogging great things happen when you have a network that is endless. Thank you for reading this far!
Both contests end one week from today - so far they have raised over $10,510!!!

Getting very real

Vicodin and Torodol are not doing the trick today... Yesterday was so unbearable when I got home from our open house at the club that I thought I literally bore a hatchet in my lumbar.

It scares me.

It scares me that I am back in this place I was a few weeks ago where nothing was helping, and my options have been deemed limited by insurance because of an overzealous doctor that didn't listen to my symptoms - that guessed that I was wrong about what I was feeling, and then gave up on me when she discovered her hunch was off.

What scares me even more is that I am now going to have to succumb to the recommendation by my insurance to start a very strong regimen of physical therapy on a full time basis - more than one or two visits. More than an hour or two a week. I fear I am headed back to where I was two years ago: 2 hours a day, three days a week.

I don't have the time, and Lord knows we don't have the money. PT where I go now will cost me $35 a day. That is $105 a week. I have no idea how much it will cost me if I can get thet referral I am waiting for in the small town next to my larger small town.

And here is where it gets real personal, and it gets really real...

Jim is on partial layoff. Not enough time to keep us in the black, and too much time to collect unemployement to make up the difference. They won't work with his schedule to allow him to work part time for my cousins husband. Guaranteed money. But he cannot risk them letting him go since he is the keeper of our insurance.

There is no two ways to look at this any longer. That 43% that stares back at me on my sidebar is a serious reality to us right now. I fear we won't make it at all if the economy turns any more sour.

We had some equity built up in our home not that long ago. But when the housing market tanked, so did the value of our home. And now we are in the red - no equity, officially upside down. We aren't concerned about it becoming a liability because we are solid when it comes to our mortgage - but we are sick that we don't have that equity any longer. Equity that we could use to help us pay off these darned medical bills.

And this brings me back to the beginning of this post. I know what I need to do to get rid of this pain - but I know we can't afford to do it. And the really scary thing is, the fact that surgery is potentially looming off in the not so distant future makes it even harder.

How do you qualify the need for relief?

Owed To Joy

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Friday, December 5, 2008

"How to talk to girls"

I watch the Early Show on CBS in the mornings. Its not a confession, just a statement. Ha!

This morning Harry Smith interviewed the most adorable little boy named Alec Greven, about his new book "How to talk to girls".

It was the cutest flippin thing I think I have ever seen (well almost).

Who would have thunk a 9 year old understood us females. He did. I was shocked. If only all men thought like he did. We would all be pampered well adjusted women!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fa La-La-La La La-La-La-La

Tonight was Mantha's Christmas concert. Let me start off by saying - the kids did an amazing job. I may not sound appreciative of their hard work if you continue to read on, but really, they only start practicing in November, and the performance is pretty incredible for such a short amount of time.

That being said, I wouldn't be me if I didn't share those things that drove me ape shit about the evening...

It was rather uneventful for us for once. We arrived on time and not frazzled - a milestone in the baum household... We sat near the front in really uncomfortable seats made for young people with narrow hips and normal rears - not two ton Annie and her clingy 6 year old.

Jon on the other hand did not show. First time in 6 years he has not come for one of her concerts. He had a very good reason - Amy was in the hospital. But, Mantha admitted to crying in the shower. She is used to her dad dropping everything for her, and this time he couldn't. Secretly I think she was hoping I would let her skip school tomorrow and go home with him a day early (its his weekend with her).

The kids as always were very talented. I was especially impressed with the 4th grade class. They are a talented lot. As were the 5th and 6th. But when the 4th grade class is more in key, more in tempo, and more into the spirit of singing to a large audience, it makes the others dull by comparison. Of course I realize that 5th and 6th graders are starting to become "too cool" to have to perform by choice. I mean really dude - its so lame!

The band, well, I hope that I will be a proud band parent at the concert next year, but maybe Mr. S the band teacher does feel the same way because he introduced one of my former religion students as the "only Oboe player in the entire school". While my 11 year old OBOE PLAYER was on stage (on the choir side). I thought she was going to cry. Apparently he forgot about that other girl he has private lessons with on Tuesdays - as the only other Oboe player in the entire school. That same 5th grade girl that sat in his band class for the past 2 days, and has been in the same seat since the start of school.

Just a minor technicality if you are the band instructor. A major insult if you are my 11 year old daughter.

The talking never stopped - parents yapping away like they were at reunions and not a concert. Did people not hear the "principal with the lisp" explain before the concert even begins that the children have practiced long and hard for their performances, and we need to be considerate of them - in other words: "shut up, sit down, turn your cell phone off, control your whining kids, and be quiet."

Then there is the matter of 1/3 of the 5th grade class missing from the performance. Last time I checked a concert is not a "show up if you want to" kind of gig. It was pathetic. Of the 84 students in the 5th grade, only 59 showed up!!! The 4th and 6th grades out ranked the 5th grade class, which is one of the largest classes, by nearly perfect attendance.

And the layout... The band on one side of the stage, the choir on the other, with a very large baby grand piano in the middle. So if you didn't find seats in front of the choir - which is where ALL the kids sang at some point, but instead found yourself by the band, you only got to see live action for about 15 of the nearly 60 minutes of live performances.

I sound so bah humbug, but when you are in a firetrap of a room (this school was built in 1908) with several hundred parents, grandparents, whiny and screaming kids, it sure would be rockin if at minimum the adults acted their age!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thank you, POMAD and PT

Thank you so much for your kind words the other day. Some great perspective was shared, and I was really glad to hear I am not the only mom that fights with their kids.

Jim and I had a huge blow out yesterday afternoon before the kids got home - specifically about how he needs to stop placing me in the middle of situations I shouldn't be in. I will not stand any longer for his berating her when he doesn't like how she has done something - I reminded him that she is only 11, and also expressed her concern that he didn't want her here with us. My biggest fear is that she will change her mind and ask to go live with her dad. It would kill me. I told him that I think she and I fight so much because she is trying to see whose side I am going to take.

So far, the last two evenings have been a little more peaceful. Fingers crossed it isn't temporary!


I finally have my jewelry blog up and running. Mind you, I only have 5 pieces posted so far.

My battery is dead on my camera, so hopefully I will have more in the next few days.

I have a friend who is going to school for photography and she asked if she could use my pieces (28 and counting) as her stills for a "product" project. Hopefully I will get her to take some before the end of the weekend and I can fill my blog with fun stuff to sell!

If you are so inclined, pop over and let me know what you think!

I had someone email me last winter when I first posted some of my pieces why I named my "business" POMAD. It stands for Pieces of Me Artistic Designs. I have used the name since 2003 when I started making Relay For Life "Hope" bracelets. I needed something to put on the checking account that I used for the purchases that were donated. Pieces of Me was in homage to my mother for whom I started making the bracelets in memory of. I was giving a piece of me to her memory everytime I made a bracelet.

A friend of mine owns a gift shop and has offered to sell some of my pieces on consignment, but I am not sure that I should go that route - what if it doesn't sell? I have sold several items on Ebay and Etsy, but paying listing and then not have something sells is a bummer. So I am going to try this for a while. Maybe it will take off, maybe it won't. If it doesn't, it just means I have more fun stuff to wear!!!

I am not as good at making things on demand as I am making them when an idea comes to me. A few years ago I got referrals for weddings (4 in one summer) and I got so bogged down that I couldn't keep up. Word of mouth is wonderful, yet scary at the same time. It has been a year since I have done a wedding, so I am hoping maybe in 2009 I will get two or three. Its nice to have that extra coin to buy more supplies!


I hosted a Marketing Class this evening that was held by a regional foundation for my business members. This time I asked several other local Chambers to spread the word to their members. Several people came from other communities which is exciting, because many of them also do business in my small town, so they could be potential new members for me.

But even better than that... I sat across the table from a new Physical Therapist who just moved into the small town next to my slightly bigger town. The best part is, she does less manual manipulation and more excercise training. She takes my insurance, so now I just need to have my old PT sign off on my care so insurance will allow me to change clinics. I am sure he won't mind. I have been telling him that I don't feel like I can do manual manipulation much longer as makes my Fibromyalgia flare severely. This then makes it hard to find relief in my back which is the whole reason I am going.

Wish me luck! I have a feeling with my schedule, and the referral and insurance junk it will be next month before I get to start, but it will be worth the wait!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Failing miserably

Hi there. Its me. Over here. See me? Over here? In the corner. Sobbing lightly. Facing the wall. It may be hard to see me for that thing on my head. That humiliating white adornment that labels me. That cone shaped cap.

There I am, thats me.

Because when you get an "F" in parenting, you get to sit in the corner and wear a badge of dishonor.

I am failing miserably at rearing an 11 year old girl that is so much like me, yet so different. All of the insecurities are the same, but the drive and the desire is so different. If she doesn't want to do something she will choose one of the two options: 1. Do it, but do it with no regard, 2. Not do it at all.

Either option has the same reaction from Jim, who most often needs to be reminded that she is only 11. And similarly, it causes me to have to choose. Which one to I have to "talk to" about the choice. Her for making it? Him for getting mad at how she did or didn't complete the task.

Both options send me into a tailspin.

Both options leave me either in tears, or hoarse from "working it out" sometimes very loudly, and mostly pointless. Respectively sick to my stomach as I lose more control of the situation.

So as I sent my daughter off to school again this morning, I found myself even more deflated..

When you fail at parenting, you fail at everything, and it sucks everything from you.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Whirley Popped Popcorn

I had one comment and three emails asking me what it was... Oh, have I got a treat for you!!!!

This little wonder makes the best popcorn!!! Click on the picture to read all about it! One bit of advice - if it doesn't say "Original Whirley-Pop" or "Whirley-Pop" on the lid, dont buy it! I bought a knock off once, and it was worthless! It didn't stir the kernels properly because it had a wide blade that would crush the kernels underneath and cause serious burnage!

I bought one of mine at Target, and one at a local gift store. I have seen them at large retailers also (Kohls, Hergergers, JCPenny, Kohls). It works over campfires and grills if you have a grate to rest the popper on!

You don't have to buy all of the little "extra's" they recommend - I have always used Orville Redenbachers Popcorn Oil, and popcorn. It also makes that boyscout popcorn taste especially numptious!!! Of course any good white or yellow corn will taste good in this maker! Especially with lots of real butter!!!

I don't get kickbacks from these company's, so I do accept tips! Just leave'em in my jar!

Not Me! Monday

Good morning! Its Monday, and I really want to go back to the sofa and pretend it is still Sunday, or better yet, Saturday and veg out for a few more days. Because I love me some veggin'!

Its time for that Monday Carnival of things I did not do (or maybe I did) last week - as always hosted by MckMama at My Charming Kids!

I did not just go over to grab the button and see how far down the list I am slipping each week because I am not getting by butt in gear bright and early!

I did not holla out a big "yay me" when I finished my 30th daily installment of NaBloPoMo. I did not then tell everyone I was considering doing December too, and then tell my self - NO WAY!!!

I did not miss some of my travelling blog friends this weekend... I mean seriously, can you please get a wireless card from your cell provider or something so I can be entertained whilst sitting on my ars all weekend??? Com'on!

I did not go into a food coma this Thanksgiving. Really I didn't. I did however sit in mashed potato's at some point in the meal, and no one told me. Not a single soul. ALL DAY LONG. I was wearing black pants people, what did you think it was? I am not Monica and I do not know Bill, so there is nothing else it really could have been. And it wasn't a small amount either. Its quite possible by the size of the evidence that I most likely sat on the whole friggin bowl! I didn't notice it until I was taking them down to the laundry Saturday morning. Humph!

I did not make lunch one day last week that made me toss my cookies later that evening. I mean really, I am not a bad cook. Maybe it had something to do with tasting it before it was cooked all the way through...

I did not wait until the last minute to send out an email to all of my members on Wednesday when it should have been sent out on Monday because I lost my big red "to do" list.

I did not also put off once again, for another week, my quarterly newsletter because I got a wee bit lazy last week and instead read blogs, visited shopping websites, emailed and IM'd friends whilst bored at my desk. I wouldn't do that when I am getting paid to work. Shhhh don't tell my boss, I hear she is a real biotch.

Oh wait, thats me...

I did not take torodol and vicadin together on Wednesday night. And then again on Friday afternoon. I wouldn't do that because it isn't responsible.

I did not take lots of naps this weekend. I did not sleep in past 8 at all (not even today - bwahahaha), and I did not stay in pj's all weekend (except when I went shopping).

I did not just write the most boring post ever!!!