Friday, February 25, 2005

Eating Crow & A Louie Tribute

That's about how the week has looked over here.  Rain, rain, rain, wind and oh by the way, some rain.  Its ok - Albuquerque has been transformed into a greener version of itself and it is kind of refreshing.

Ever had to eat crow?  I have.  I have so often that I now know its better with a dash of humility and a side of sincerity. It has become easier to swallow with practice - maybe its an acquired taste. 

As many of my friends know, I had to attend a seminar in Phoenix with my boss and another senior management member this week, and I've been griping about it since December when I was told we were going.  I don't like touchy feely things, and I don't like the team building things, and I really don't like having to stand up and talk in front of people.  I thought it was one of those seminars.  My attitude about the whole thing stunk.  I was griping about having to fill out the questionaire, whining about how the day would last from 3:45 AM to after 8:30 PM, complaining about how difficult it would be to be productive the next day....basically, my attitude stunk.  Yes, Little Miss Happy Pants was a bad girl all this week, and a little bit last week too.  The negativity I had about attending the 'stupid seminar' had spread to everyone I work around.  grr.

I woke up at 3:45 AM, got to the airport on time and brought my attitude with me.  My boss blew me off.  He just kept telling me it would enrich and enhance my relationships and give me insight on myself.  Keep in mind, the attitude he was getting from my co-worker was equally yucky.  He just let it roll off, which was even more irritating.  We arrived in Phoenix and got to the seminar location, attitudes in tow.  Grumble, grumble, grouch. 

Fast forward to the day's end.  I learned more about myself, my personality and my leadership style than I ever knew before.  I got an analysis of myself that was dead on, based on the answers I provided to 25 simple questions (remember griping about the questionnaire?).  I learned why we makesuch an excellent team and how to better and more effectively communicate and deal with the guys I work with.  I left enlightened and enriched and insightful.  Darnit!!

We had a two hour wait before the flight boarded so we headed out to have a drink.  So, as we're all sitting in the bar talking about how powerful this seminar was, I turned to my boss and apologized.  I ate a huge amount of crow.  (At least I had a few wine spritzers to wash it down!)  I told him he was right, and I should never have been so ridiculous and I should have trusted his judgement.  I let him "I told you so" me for about 5 minutes.  It needed to be done.



Out of the purple:

Why is it that Diet Coke with ice tastes different anywhere outside of New Mexico?!?  I drank a Diet Coke in Phoenix and it tasted bleachy, or more soda-ey, or something.  In New Orleans it was the same thing - bleachy, soda-ey Diet Coke.  Why is that????  Diet Coke's perfection should be standardized world-wide.  Just sayin'.


The caption for this one should be "enough with the camera already!"

Tomorrow is a huge day for me.  Louie and I are celebrating our (somewhat reinstated) anniversary.  This year its a little more symbolic than most, because I have a new ring on my finger, because we've decided we're worth it, and because we've decided we're better off together.  We've been together off and on for 11 years this summer, and we've been married 6 years tomorrow.  Given, our relationship has been interesting, challenging, and even rocky at times.  We've had a lot to go through and experience, but no matter what happens we always end up at the same place - together.

There are so many beautiful wonderful things about this man .  He's always here for me, he'd do literally anything for me, and he's a great dad.  He's a short order cook, nurse, mechanic, painter, carpenter, janitor, roofer, repair guy who's not afraid to get dirty or break a sweat.  He can operate large pieces of machinery, ride a motorcycle, or ride a bike around the neighborhood with Kayla in the kiddie seat.  He can color, put puzzles together, fix broken toys, mend torn clothes and fences, iron and sew.  He can be the toughest man I've ever known, and hold me and cry with me when I'm hurting.  He can make everything better with just a few softly spoken words or a hug and a kiss.  He's amazing.

So, here's a tribute to my Louie.  Thanks for giving us another chance, thanks for believing in me, and thanks for putting up with all my stuff. 

Te amo mucho, Cito.

Monday, February 21, 2005


Its not such a bad thing, really.  We just don't know what to do with all of it.  We're not used to this kind of volume in the desert, and it seems we're getting all of California's leftovers. 

The girls and I saw this Friday, and it made us all smile.   Life's not so bad, ya know?

Something about rainbows...

Happy Monday!



Quote of the day: Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes real happiness. It is not obtained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose ~ Helen Keller

Friday, February 18, 2005

When Pets Attack!!

Toby the Pony is a rescue horse we adopted about three years ago.  This pic of him was taken a few days after we got him.  He loves to be on the porch, and he'd really like to be in the house but I won't let him.  He and I used to have a ritual where he'd join me on the porch for Saturday morning coffee...he's just a brat.  Toby has been a wonderful horse - he's so sweet to Kayla, so full of character, and he's just a great pet.

Anyway, Toby likes to sneak up and launch things.  Cats are his favorite.  He comes up behind them, as stealth-like as a horse can be, sticks his muzzle underneath the two back legs and, well...launches them.  You'd think the strays would smarten up and stop coming around Toby, but that hasn't happened, and the flying lessons continue.

Well, Toby also thought it would be funny to launch Mom (that would be me), and has done it on several occasions.  Anytime I bend over to do anything near him I'm fair game.  He's a fresh horse, because he's also bitten my butt on several occasions.  I've never owned a horse before, but I grew up around horses, and I've never known any horse to do this.  (Horse people please correct me if I'm wrong.)  He doesn't do this to the kids or to Louie, but he does it to me, the cats and the dogs.  Of course, everyone thinks this is quite hilarious.

So there you have it - Toby the butt launching cheek nipping horse.

Extra credit:  I've seen way too many cats walk into sliding glass doors to mention, but what I find so funny is that they either a) get mad at you for witnessing it or b) walk away like "I meant to do that".

Asthma sucks rocks & random purge

This pic's recycled...but considering the circumstances, kinda just have to deal with it for right now.

Due to the new anti-truancy laws here in NM, kids are going to school sick.  I understand what they're trying to do, and that's wonderful, but the end result is that more people get sick more often.  Kids are only allowed to miss 8 days of school per school year.  Total.  So, instead of getting fined or getting nastygrams from the truancy squad, parents send their kids to school with fevers and colds.  Now we're all sick.  Again.  Kayla's teachers are sick.  Again.

The kids and I have developed horrid chest colds/flu things, and for an asthmatic that can be scary as heck.  So I've been married to the nebulizer for a few days, and it looks like he'll be my pal for a few days more.  Breathing is good.  Albuterol ROCKS.  Oxygen is wonderful. 

I'm such a big baby when I'm sick (especially when I can't breathe)!

So...I'll leave y'all with the quote of the day.  I've got several gems I've been sitting on for mind block days (or lack of oxygen and therefore creativity days).  This ones from Mama Gena.  Mama Gena rocks.


It takes way more responsibility to enjoy your life than to complain about it.


....let it sink in....

There's the amongst yourselves...I can think of sooooo many people (including me sometimes!) that need to read that quote, memorize it...shoot - let it become your mantra. 

Life is so good, so sweet, so precious.  I say that as I enjoy and embrace each breath I'm able to take.  Again, air is good.

Have a wonderful Friday!!

MUAH! (on the cheek so you don't catch it)

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone got what they wanted and/or deserved on Valentine's Day, whether it was a handwritten note, a sweet phone call, dinner & a movie, a 10K diamond ring, or nothing at all. 

          ~*~ Happy Valentine's Day!! ~*~



This year as a result of trimmed deadwood, I'm saving about $250 between V-day and an end-of January birthday.  Go me.  (Always looking on the bright side...!!)

Friday, February 11, 2005

Weekend Assignment

I just had to do this weekend's assignment...ahhh, memories!

Weekend Assignment #47: Reveal Your Teenage Celebrity Crush! Oh, come on. We all had one. Share yours, and tell us why that particularly celebrity tripped your teenage trigger.

Extra Credit: Tell us: Do you still have a little teeny bit of a crush on that celebrity? Yes? No? Maybe so?

Two words:  Andrew McCarthy

.....pitter patter!!.....

That boyish smile, the gorgeous eyes, the adorable laugh, even his facial expressions....swoon!!!   I first saw him in Pretty in Pink (1986).  I saw that movie with my best friend and we just loved it, and him.  Well, okay, maybe I'm the only one that loved him. 

Extra Credit:  Yes, he still does it for me....I watch that movie today and still get the pitter patters - he was just so cute!!  Maybe that was the early stages of my nerdy guy fetish, because Jon Stewart has similar characteristics (boyish smile, great eyes, intelligence)....who knows. 

Where is he now?  Well I googled him and apparently he's being very picky about the work he does nowadays.  He's married (gasp! how DARE he) with a little boy and they're living happily ever after. 

He still has that adorable sweet yummy little crooked smile .....

Chupacabra? UPDATED

Slow News Day in Albuquerque New Mexico...

A local news station is reporting on a creature found here on our west mesa that authorities are having trouble identifying.  I admit, when I heard the teaser for this, I did a rather exaggerated eyeroll...but I watched the story this morning and changed my mind (the video can be found on that link as well).

Louie (as well as most people of Spanish decent when they saw this) thinks its a "chupacabra" - a creature many say really exists and kills goats, sheep and chickens.  Also known as the 'goat sucker', this creature apparently leaves its victims with three puncture wounds, completely drained of blood.  Most of the sightings have been in Central America and Puerto Rico, but they've also been reported in Australia, Southern California and (guess where) TEXAS.

So here it is (courtesy of

Its kind of hard to tell from that pic (the video's kinda freaky!), but it has squishy-looking lips, a long tail, and a what looks to be a horn on its head.  Authorities are having a difficult time figuring out what it is and where it came from, but they're hypothesizing it was a sea creature.  Under a small amount of sand on the west mesa...I guess anything's possible.

We are in New Mexico after all....maybe its an alien!  (oooooh)

Anyone seen one of these?  Any guesses as to what it might be?  Be creative!

Only in New Mexico, I swear....


UPDATE:  The creature appears to be a skate (similar to a stingray) that someone carved up and tossed after cutting the wings off to eat.  Yum.  Just thought I'd let you know...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Nightmare Carryforward & Stuff n Things

I woke up this morning convinced I had an exam today.  Panic ensued.  I haven't studied for the exam, I'm still not entirely confident about the material (consolidations and mergers - ugh) and well I have test anxiety even when I'm well prepared. 

Blurry-eyed (who isn't at 5:30AM?!?), I ran for the bookbag and scrambled to find my little academic calendar where I write stuff down. I vaguely remembered him saying something about postponing the exam one day, and I can't remember which day he postponed it to.  The object of the writing stuff down in your calender game is to write things down so this doesn't happen.  I flip open to February 10th.  Nothing's written down.  Eeeek! 

I find the syllabus - says "EXAM 1 - 2/10"

....keep in mind I haven't had any caffeine as of yet, and I'm standing there in my long t-shirt and socks, calendar in hand, bed head, practically panting.... 

                      *~*~*~*jeopardy theme song*~*~*~*

32 oz of coffee and many points of increased blood pressure later...I smack myself hard right in the middle of my forehead.


No exam?




Sunday, Kayla (aka "Danger") decided for some unknown reason that she was going to try to pull an attached chain off the fence while on her bike.  This resulted in the hook end of the chain embedded in the soft fleshy part between her thumb and first finger.

Mamacita doesn't do blood well.  I do the best I can, but its really difficult for me.  We cleaned it and wrapped it as best we could, and (long story short) she's fine - they just butterflied it closed until it heals.

You always hear about parents' ability to "find it when they need it" - the stomach to treat severe cuts and bleeding, the wherewithall to keep it together and remember basic CPR or how to dial 911 in an emergency, or rare cases when you hear about those parents who can lift cars when their babies are inside. 

I've often wondered where that comes from.  How is it I can't deal with a cut on my own foot, but I can find it to provide care for my kids?  How is it that I completely panic and totally freak out when I have a severe asthma attack, but I can calmly speak to a 911 operator when my baby's not breathing?

How bizarre, how bizarre.


I'm a worrywart by nature.  I think its in the job description.  Today I've decided I need a break from my worrywart position.  I'm putting in for a vacation.  After my exam next Tuesday (hee.) I'm going to not worry about anything for a whole day.  Not about kids, work, school, finances, my friends...nada.

I'll let you know how that works out.  (pfft! as if!)


Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Things I've Learned...

I just love Foamy the Squirrel.  The pic above is from a cartoon called "Amityville Toaster".  (Warning:  this is evidence of my entirely sick sense of humor and is not kid friendly due to language.)  Foamy orders a possessed toaster off Ebay and interesting stuff happens.  "make breakfast spooky!"


I thought I'd continue the series of public service announcements by sharing things I've learned the hard way over the years, in no particular order of importance or value.  We used to call these "mom things" when I was growing up - stuff mom would share with you to avoid future embarassment and/or injury. 

*   Never use oven cleaner to clean your toaster.  I know I've mentioned this before, but its worth mentioning again.  Your toaster will melt from the inside out, and toxic fumes will fill your kitchen.  (It does make a cool sizzling noise though!)  NOTE:  Oven cleaner is to be used ONLY for (guess what!) ... CLEANING OVENS.

*   Never use a sharp object (like a straight pin or a needle) to separate mascara-coated eyelashes.  Ever.  (Ouch.  Pain.  Tears.  Severe eye injury.  Doctor.  Lecture.  Recovery.)

*  Never apply makeup while driving, even up a residential street.  (curbs!)

*  Never use a screwdriver to clean cobwebs out of electrical outlets.  (I swear I didn't do that - a relative did.  Big hair resulted from that experiment.)

*   Never stick anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.  Your docs and the warnings on various boxes tell you that stuff for a reason.  (Ouch.  Doctor.  Lecture.)

*   Never leave any aeresol cans in your vehicle, regardless of the weather or temperature outside.  A very small spray bottle of perfume can easily tear a headliner and blow out all the instrument control panels in your car.  (boom!)

*   Never try to be lazy and "bowl" ketchup bottles to your daughter across a tiled kitchen floor from the table to the fridge to put away.  Glass bottles don't bowl, they explode.

*    When the warning lights (aka "idiot lights") come on in your car, its usually already too late.  Don't think you can make it to the next anything.  Get off the highway and to the nearest gas station.  (Running out of gas in company vehicle and having boss find you stranded.  Lecture.  Humiliation.  Joke of the week at work.)

*  Creating little torches using a lighter and hairspray can cause major bad stuff to happen, like catching your mother's wall hanging on fire, or having the aeresol can explode into tiny fragments in your hands.  (Friends' teenage idiocy.)

*   Treadmills come with safety keys for a reason (see treadmill entry).  Exercise equipment is dangerous, and instructions need to be read.

*   Don't consume more than the suggested serving amount of sugar free candy.  Bad tummy stuff will happen.  Trust me on this one.  (won't even go there)

*   Bleach melts stuff, and burns holes in textiles.  Dilute, dilute, dilute, and never mix bleach with anything.  (Toxic fumes.  Coughing.  Same stuff used in world wars to kill people.)

*   Never snort with a straw up your nose, especially if the other end of said straw is in your cola beverage.  (Dork behavior, intense laughter causing snort, pain combined with hysterical laughter, kicked out of fast food restaurant.)

*  Don't sneeze with a mouthful of anything if you can help it.  In emergencies, don't bother with etiquette - let it all out.

*  Don't  fall asleep with a fudgecicle in your hand.  (self explanatory)

*  The following coffee preparation things are flammable:  powdered coffee creamer, Equal, and Sweet-n-Low.  Bottom line - don't prepare your coffee near open flame or any heat source (ie next to the stove while eggs are cooking).  *POOF* 

Please feel free to add anything you'd like.  I'd like to think all of us in AOL J-Land are a helpful community, ready to embarass themselves in the name of public safety.


Happy Tuesday!!


Thursday, February 3, 2005

Bugs, anyone?

I rarely watch television.  Yes, I love cartoons with the kiddos, but usually the TV I watch is educational or serves some purpose in my life.  The other night I was watching Discovery Health, and they had a guy talking about the nutritional value of insects as human food.  I was semi grossed out, but continued to watch.  He continued to say that there are insect parts in many of the foods we eat on a daily basis.  Even more disgusted, I wanted to see which foods he was talking about.  He mentioned peanut butter (gasp!) and tomato based products as being high on the list.

....oh my goodness...

Background:  If I get disgusted by something, I find it hard to ever eat that type of food again.  My ex once told me shrimp were the insects of the sea, and that the little line down the back was their large intestine.  Never ate shrimp again.  Fried chicken has too many veins and arteries and gawd only knows - I never eat fried chicken anymore. 

Back to the gross-out.

I decided to do some research this morning to find out if, in fact, our FDA has passed regulations about insect parts in our food.  THEY HAVE. You can check it out here.

I checked out my beloved peanut butter, among some other regulars in my diet.   

*    There is a 30% likelihood that you will consume bug parts for every 100 grams of peanut butter. 

*    Golden raisins are to have no more than 10 insects or 35 fly eggs per 8 oz. 

*    Popcorn should have no more than 2 rodent hairs or one fecal pellet per pound. 

*    Frozen or canned spinach - 50 aphids or 8 leaf miners per 100 grams. 

*    Macaroni products -  1 bug part per gram. 

*    Tomato products are the worst.  Tomato paste can have up to 30 fly eggs per 100 grams.   

*   Canned tomatoes can have either 10 eggs or 5 eggs and a maggot per 100 grams.

That's just to name a few!

So, for those of us who are watching what we eat, I thought I'd be nice and post the nutritional value of your average insect.

Termites Protein (36%), Fat (100 grams fried = 561 calories)

Caterpillars (smooth skin) - Fat (13.7%), Carbohydrates (6.1%) - Any type eating nontoxic plants

Earthworms - Protein

Silkworm and Pupae - Vitamin A, Fat (14.2%), Minerals (15%)

Larvae - Protein (23.1%), Water (60.7%)

Locust Protein, Fat, Ca, S, Fe

Grasshoppers Vitamins B1, B2

Grubs - Protein, Fat

Water Bugs - Protein (38.1%), Fat (6.1%)

There's a website right here on AOL that tells you all this stuff, plus how to prepare various insects as food.


Happy Thursday!  Bon Apetit!!


Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Happy Birthday Kayla!!

   Because I don't talk about my kids enough (pfft!)....     


 As I'm sure many people do,  I have kids that are polar opposites of each other.  Yeah they're alike in many ways, but they're more different than alike.  Emily's my bookworm - she yells like Frau on Austin Powers, she's very intense, is a straight A student, is convinced she's marrying the guy who plays Harry Potter, wants to live in England someday, loves angry chick music, and must be in complete control at all times.  Kayla, on the other hand....Kayla's 8 years old today (actually not yet - at about 11:45PM she will be), and she's such a little joy I wanted to share a bit about her.   


 We thought she was going to be a boy.  We were almost positive, based on odds (we both had girls already) and ultrasounds, plus I carried her know the drill.  Anyway surprise surprise, another girl, and it seems as though I had her for her daddy.  From the moment she was born those two had a bond I can't define in words.  Suffice it to say she is the definition of a daddy's girl.  She walks like him, talks like him, and even has the same food preferences he does (I won't take you there, thank me later).  He wanted to be the one holding her, feeding her, changing her, rocking her to sleep, and that was completely foreign to me, considering Emily's dad would gag at the mere thought of a dirty diaper, and wasn't around much when she was an infant.  He sang her little songs (kayla hace mimis...kayla cierra ojos), put little ribbons in her hair, spoke to her in Spanish...she was his.   

She taught me more Spanish than I ever learned in a classroom - she spoke it before she spoke English.  One of my fondest memories is hearing her say 'guacala! guacala! guacala!' from the back seat on the way to the sitter's in the morning.  I had to ask for a translation.  (It means gross - what a great word!)  

 Danger is this child's middle name.  Emily (knocking on wood) never had anything severe happen to her in childhood.  No  injuries requiring stitches, no severe illnesses... Kayla is a different story.  She had a febrile seizure on her first Christmas, and I've never been so terrified in all my life.  I still remember trembling on the phone while Louie held her praying "not this one, Jesus Lord please, not this one."  She fell and hit the wood burning stove at the sitter's, splitting her head open to her skull.  She had a urinary tract disorder, causing her to be prone to infection.  She's already fallen off the horse once....Hopefully that'll be the end of the list.  

I've said before (well actually I think Aileen did via comment c & p) that I love watching her sleep - she's got beautiful angel kissed cheeks and little cherub bow lips with long eyelashes I wish she'd inherited from me...she looks so beautiful and sweet.  I'm guilty of that mom thing - checking to make sure they're breathing during the night - please tell me someone else does that too.      


 She is a wonderful little girl, a brilliant artist (yes, already) with an intense love of animals (especially horses!), and the most hilarious sense of humor. She's still little enough to snuggle with, and she gives the best neck hugs in the whole world.  She's intense and funny, smart and goofy, and a pure joy to have around.   

(even if she is spoiled rotten - and I take half the blame for that)  

Happy birthday, Kaylita.