Thursday, May 26, 2005

Blah.

This was taken in my yard as well - I call these roses "Alberto's Roses" because he loved them so much, but I'd love to find out what they really are.  They're so bizarre - the buds come out bright yellow, then as they open they turn darker and darker orange, and at the very end they're almost red.  Weird, yet cool.

****

I just realized how non-sensical last night's entry was.  Whoops.  That's what happens when everyone's trying to talk to you at once...nonsense.

So Carrie won.  She's great, but I still say Bo was better...

****

So its been a little over 8 months since I dove into AOL JournalLand, and I've met some really wonderful beautiful souls on here.  People I would have never encountered otherwise, and overall its been an absolutely wonderful experience.  Who knew AOL-land could be so cool? There are so many awesome aspects of this space - its so personal, so "you".  You can mold it and create whatever you'd like, fiction, fantasy, reality, self-help, self-discovery, rants, raves, family-oriented, or pure nonsense, like I often do here. 

Therein comes the underlying more frightening aspect of AOL J-Land, and AOL in general.  Everything can be fiction.  You never really know who you're dealing with.  I sound like a low budget sci-fi movie trailer, but you understand my point.  I've met a couple of such people on here - people who seek out others to hurt, steal from, lie to, and otherwise take advantage of.  One individual in particular is a long time member of AOL and recently became much more prominant in the journal community, so it can be extremely difficult to pick these guys out.  Women seem to be the prime target for these types of predators. 

My point?  Be careful, ladies. 

There are some great articles online about this topic.  I just typed in "online predators" and came up with 40+ pages of results.  Some resources I found:

Dealing with online predators

Great online safety resources

Keeping kids safe online

So there's my public service announcement of the month.

After the doom and gloom portion above, I'd like to add that in general this is an awesome place to be.  I've learned so much over the past few months just from fellow journalers alone - there's so many cool people out there with such a great wealth of information.  I guess its just like anything else in life - its good to be a little cautious at first about people you meet online. 

****

BLAH.  I've got short timer's syndrome so bad its pathetic. Three-day weekend here we come...!!!

Oh and seriously, any of you rose fanatics out there - if you know what kind of rose that is, please e-mail me.  I really wanna know!!  (Really!!)

Have a wonderful Thursday....

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Rootin Tootin Cowgirl Kayla

How cute is that?!?!  Just sayin'.  She demanded that I post this picture, and I relented. 

*****

So as of yesterday, I officially lost all the weight I'd gained on my four month hiatus, "off the wagon period".  2 pounds, gone.  Go me!!

****

As of right now, T-22 hours until the official start of my vacation.  I am so psyched.  I NEED THIS.

****

I'm actually going to watch the American Idol finale.  As much as I can stomach, anyway.  Albert's post mortems are WAY more entertaining than the actual show - you guys should so check it out.

****

I had yet another flat tire today, a block away from the tire repair place.  My boss offered/insisted on helping me put the spare on, then asked "Didn't your Daddy ever teach you how to change a tire??"  I guess huffing and puffing in 100 degree heat took the fun right out of helping me out...

He was teasing me, obviously, and yes I really do know how to change a flat.  My Daddy really did  teach me how to change a tire, as well as change my spark plugs, change a starter, change my oil, time an engine, general tune ups, clean a carborator, put new belts in, general troubleshooting, replace hoses...stuff like that.  Girls need to know this stuff, and I'm still very grateful to him for teaching me all that stuff (among other things).

So there.

*****

OK off to AI.  We'll see how long I last before I want to kill the T.V....

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Reframing Expectations

I took this at our local library branch's rose garden.  I'm feeling very yellowish - kinda perky today.  Yellow is a perky color, isn't it?  OK, moving on...

T-76 hours until my vacation starts.  Yes, I'm counting.

****

Someone just shared a great restaurant policy with me.  Apparently this sign is prominantly displayed at one of our local dives:

"If our food doesn't meet your expectations, lower your standards."

Perfect!

One of my dearest friends taught me this handy tool she learned in therapy, called "reframing expectations".  (Thanks Rita, you <expletive deleted>. . .love ya.)  So, when you find yourself drowning in negativity... pause, reflect, and reframe.  Maybe you were being unrealistic.  Maybe you were expecting an outcome that will never be possible.  In other words, maybe you were smoking crack.

I thought I had the dream job.  Turns out I do, but its not perfect.  Stuff around here is gonna stink from time to time, and the past couple of months, its been rank.  Stressful, negative, low morale, raised voices, grouchy people, the works.  My expectations, based on my experience so far, was that I'd found the perfect job with the perfect company and the perfect boss.  We're not perfect.

However...

Its still so wonderful compared to the last three places I've worked, its absolutely near-perfect.  I just needed to reframe a bit, come back to reality, wake up and smell the coffee...you get the idea.  I'm well-respected, well-paid, there are many benefits (yes, including the car), I have a great boss, and I really enjoy being here each day.

Reframing!

I thought marriage was going to be blissful, passionate, stress-free, and perfect.  I thought it was going to  be like the cheesiest Disney-style fairytale ever.  NOT.  There's going to be sickness, boredom, financial woes, children, bad food, busted furnaces and leaking roofs.  However...I love going home, I love being around my children, and I love having my best friend/knight in shining armor there waiting for me to make everything better and vice versa.  I actually like being married, being settled down, being content.

Content.  What a great concept.  I'm content.  Life isn't going to be perfect all the time.  I can deal with being content, and I honestly don't consider that 'settling'.  I feel very rich, actually.  Blessed, even.  I feel like I've found what most people are looking for. 

Life's really not so bad, when it comes down to it.  No, I'm not on medication....yet.

OH, stop gagging.

*****

Shameless Plug:  My new addiction. LifeSavers CremeSavers in strawberry, raspberry and orange.  60 calories for 3 candies - absolutely blissful in the mouth.  The bomb diggity.  Go get some.

 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Sunscreen Expires, and other random tidbits

That's actually from my yard.  I just love flowers...

****

Planning a family vacation is a trip.  Literally.  We're so financially-limited, all we can afford is a little road trip down south to see Carlsbad Caverns.  I'm actually taking four days off in a row (unprecidented in my position) after Memorial Day, and I'm planning a two night stay down in beautiful downtown Carlsbad, New Mexico.  $40 a night, $10 to get into the park...sounds good to me!! 

I figured it would be educational as well as fun for the kiddos...I think it'll just be nice to get out of the city for a while. 

This is the first time all of us are going, so we have to bring the little dogs.  I trust no one with my hitos, so I'm trying to arrange accomodations for four of us plus two four-legged guys.  I found out there are kennels where they can stay while we tour the caves for "a small fee", and I'll bring carriers for the hotel room while we leave to eat. 

If anyone has wisdom to offer about road trips with pets & kids, feel free to chime in...

I'm predicting this will be another "Learning Experience".  7 hours each way, on the road with two children (one teenager and one eight year old) and two dogs.  I am requiring good attitudes and fun, darnit.  Accepting no substitutions. 

Thou shalt have fun and be happy.  DARNIT.

*****

Speaking of Memorial Day, we usually head up north to visit Alberto's grave and spend time with the family - Louie's from a little tiny northern New Mexico town called Canjilon, and that's where Alberto is buried.  Its a nice trip, it'll do Louie some good, and maybe we can hit the lake and get some mountain air in the meantime.

Canjilón Lakes, Canjilón, New Mexico

Memorial Day also marks the anniversary of my mother's death, so its good for me to get my mind off of that, attempt some clarity, that sort of thing .  I'm actually looking forward to the day after Memorial Day, so I can get the heck outta Dodge.

*****

You know its summer when our pool goes up, and the pool is up.  Olympic sized its not, but its about 4' deep and 18' around, so its big enough.  That being said, every free moment has been in the pool. 

Kris Wisdom:  We learned that sunscreen expires.  We learned that the hard way.  Parts of my body are so burned they're almost purple.  Before anyone thinks of calling social services or some such nonsense, the kids' sunscreen was not expired. 

Lesson learned:  sunscreen expires.  Who knew?  Everyone who has seen this has made the air-through-the-teeth sound. . . there's your warning.

Ouch??

Suddenly "Rock Lobster" by the B-52s is in my head.

Boy's in bikinis
Girls in surfboards
Everybody's rockin'
Everybody's fruggin'
Twistin' 'round the fire
Havin' fun
Bakin' potatoes
Bakin' in the sun

Sunscreen expires.  Just thought I'd drill that home.

*****

Happy Monday, everyone!

 

Bragging on my girls...

There's Em's "mugshot" as her father called it - holding her 2005 Literature Student of the Year Award.  That's my girl!!  (Someday her mother will learn how to focus.)

Seems like this is the time of year for ceremonies - we did Emily's 8th Grade Recognition last week, and yesterday was Kayla's Girl Scouts "Melting Ice Cream" Bridging Ceremony.

                         Aren't they just adorable??   

                

A more random entry to follow....just had to do the mama thing and embarass my children.  Hee.

 

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Albuquerque Politics

From the weird news file, with the subtitle "only in New Mexico"...

Mayor Chavez, photograph by Russell Maynor

Our little hottie mayor, Martin Chavez, has done wonderful things for our city.  He's improved public transportation, increased grafitti control, built more outdoor activity places, completed a downtown beautification project, initiated wildlife/environment protection programs and the "reduce your use" water resources project, among other things.  He's been a great mayor.

His wife, however, is a different story.  She's always demanded special treatment - demanding people to allow her to park in handicapped spaces, demanding for tickets to be dropped...she even screamed at a UNM parking officer, "Don't you know who I AM?!?"  (The parking officer told her she didn't care if she was her majesty the Queen of England, she wasn't parking in the handicapped space.  Miss Thang threw it in reverse and sped off, screeching tires and all...)

Unfortunately he's going through a rather bitter divorce, and the ex-wife has completely lost her mind.  First she starts attending city council meetings and berating her husband while she's there.  She questions his budgetary policies, threatens to run against him, and gawd only knows what else.  She's out of control.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, their teenaged daughter gets arrested for alcohol possession after she passes out in someone's backyard.  The mayor responded that he totally supported his daughter, and would be there for her regardless.  Mom, instead of acknowledging responsibility for allowing her middle-school aged daughter to be out partying all night, calls our local paper and says that its hard enough being the mayor's daughter, especially when she never sees him

Right on?

What happened to being a mom?  Your child is trying to tell you something, darling.  Pay attention.

This woman will never be elected to a public office here in Albuquerque after the way she's behaved.  I just feel sorry for her children - if she's saying that to the newspaper, gawd only knows what she's saying to them behind closed doors.  Apparently she has no idea how badly she's hurting her children by acting this way.  In trying to get at her ex, she's making life hell for her kids.

Wake up.  Your children are what's important here - not you, not getting back at your ex, not anything else.  Be a mom, for the love of Pete.

(stepping down from soapbox gracefully)

Photos and news stories from KOBTV, Albuquerque.

 

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Purgin'

"Behind These Hazel Eyes" -- Kelly Clarkson

I told you everything
Opened up and let you in
You made me feel alright
For once in my life
Now all that's left of me
Is what I pretend to be
So together, but so broken up inside
'Cause I can't breathe
No, I can't sleep
I'm barely hangin' on

Here I am, once again
I'm torn into pieces
Can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the one
Broken up, deep inside
But you won't get to see the tears I cry
Behind these hazel eyes

Swallow me then spit me out
For hating you, I blame myself
Seeing you it kills me now
No, I don't cry on the outside
Anymore...

(I just love that song!!) 

 

Memories in the making.  Kayla improved so much over the school year, I agreed to let her get her ears pierced.  That was the deal.  We waited for another little girl to get hers done, and I thought for sure Kayla was going to chicken out.  She didn't.  She didn't even jump, or cry, or anything.  My baby's growing up.  She looks adorable with little earrings...and she's taking responsibility for keeping them clean so they'll heal right.  Go Kayla!

What makes me giggle is how completely mortified Emily was that I broke out the digicam in the mall.  "Omigawd, mooooom I you are NOT taking pictures here.  Mom, not at the mall.  MOM!"  --followed by a hasty retreat.  Classic.  I just love being the mother of a teenaged girl.  Hee.

****

The good news:  I only gained 2 lbs after being absent from meetings for four months.  Go me.  I don't know why I was feeling so massively bovine, but I was.   Why am I so freaking hard on myself?!?!

The bad news:  I gained two pounds after being absent for four months.  (I know.  ...shutting up.)

*****

I often wish life came with a remote control.  Right now I could fast forward for my friends, getting them through the tough/stressful/nerve fraying parts swiftly and easily. 

I could fast forward to August to get my test scores. 

I could erase the painful parts of my life - the cringers I'd like to forget.  (Like that time I lost my bikini after jumping off the high dive.) 

I could rewind and have "do overs" at will. 

I could hit super slomo for the awesome parts....you get the picture. 

Yeah yeah, I know what they say about "learning experiences" and whatnot, but I've had enough "learning experiences".  I'm very wise, thank you very much.

****

My boss has coined a new phrase for the extreme left leaning liberal like me.

Now, we're owl spot counting, minnow loving, tree hugging, bleeding heart liberals. 

... and we all wear Birkenstocks.

...and drive green Subarus.

...and wear funky glasses.

...and love the IRS.  (because that's how we get our money for all our ridiculous socialist programs)

Go us.  Owl spot counters unite.

****

Happy Tuesday, dorks.

=)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Done, Finito, and ... FREEDOM

So, after my extended hiatus, I'd like to officially announce the return of my brain. 

The exam is OVER.  Five hours of mind numbing intensity that I will do my best to avoid in the future, except for that darned CPA or CMA at some future date.  That exam was hellish.  Pure evil. 

What stinks is that we won't get our results until August.  The accounting nerd in me went all through the exam and I counted 30 out of 200 that I wasn't entirely sure about, so that's an 85%.  I promised myself I wouldn't worry too much about it - maybe I'll have a pleasant surprise in August, or maybe I'll have an excuse to fly to Vegas next year to take it again.  Only time will tell....

It feels wonderful not to have to worry about studying or an upcoming assignment or reading any assigned work until Fall semester.  I'm really going to enjoy this summer to its fullest, and I'm already loving the break.  Its going to take awhile to get used to all the free time, but I'm sure I won't have any trouble.

I'd like to offer this open apology to all my friends and loved ones, along with the promise of being a better friend, journal reader, supporter and shoulder to cry on now that my commitments have eased up a bit.  Most of you guys are going through major life changes right now, and its an exciting time.  (Weddings, divorces, relocations, OH MY)  Anyway, I'm here now - promise.  Thank you so much for putting up with my crapola.

I'm done.  I'm so DONE!! 

yay!

Friday, May 6, 2005

Scalzi Assignment - Mother/Child pics

Weekend Assignment #58: Post one of your favorite mother/child pictures. This could be a picture of you and your mother (at any age), or a picture of you with your children (again, at any age), or even one of your spouse and kids. But it should be a mother who is important to you personally.

Extra Credit (this is an optional part of the assignment): Share a piece of fun trivia about your mom.

*************

OK you guys have seen that one before - that's a pic of my mother with Emily.  She looks so beautiful and happy in this picture, and I think that's why its one of my favorites.  I also found this one:

Vintage!!  That's yours truly in an extremely rare photograph of my parents together on Easter Sunday.  (dig that tie, dad.)

Extra Credit - Mom Trivia:

My mother had a job as a human mannequin - can you imagine how hard that would be?  Sitting perfectly still for hours outside a store in the mall while people poke at you to see if you're real or breathing?  Kids would peek under her dresses to see if she was real. 

I have learned more about my mother since she passed away than when she was alive.  My mom wasn't around when I was growing up - we saw her once a month, and I remember most of those times fondly.  I've learned that my mother was a talented seamstress, who made a lot of my clothes when I was little, my first Christmas stocking, my first apron...stuff moms do.  She was also an amazing cook, and could whip up amazing things from scratch.  She made wedding cakes with all the tiers, and a giant cookie monster cake for my 5th birthday. (I still dream about those Swedish pancakes...mmmmm)  My mother was a professional model, and I found her portfolio after she passed away.  I'm sometimes amazed at how beautiful she was.  My mother LOVED Barry Manilow (ack!), and sappy music from Elton John.  My mother always smelled good, gave the best hugs, and she always looked amazing. 

So, a bit of advice for the people out there that love to complain about your meddling mom or how your mom drives you nuts ... cherish that.  Love it, love her, and hug her often.  You'll miss her terribly one day.

 

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!!!

A Long Overdue Purge

Just so everyone knows,  I didn't fall off the end of the planet...I'm doing my duck and cover thing.  You know, that thing I do when I'm overwhelmed.  Yeah.  That.

That monstrosity of an exam is next Saturday, May 14, at 7:30 AM.  Five hours.  We have to show up at 6:30 AM.  Joy.  I have been studying during every free moment of each day for the past two weeks, and its starting to wear on me a bit.  As most of my friends know, I suffer from test anxiety in the worst way.  Any little quiz or exam and I'm a wreck.  Fetal position...slowly rocking back and forth...okay, I'm not THAT bad.

This one though....this one's different.  This one actually MEANS something.  This one (if successful) will allow me to add letters to the back of my name.  This one (if successful) will bring the company I work for benefit from sureties, because apparently there'll be some increased level of trust once I have those letters after my name.  I'm taking it with a group of eleven people from the local chapter of the professional organization I belong to, so everyone and their mom will want to know how I did.  My boss, bless his pointy little head, had indicated his plans to "take me out back and snatch me bald headed" if I don't pass.  This one will cost me $600 if I don't pass, because that's the deal I made with my loverly employer.  This one has a high fail rate.

I feel like everyone's watching me. 

I'm skeered.

On top of that, its almost Mothers Day.  I don't like Mothers Day very much.  First off, my mom passed away a few years ago, so its kind of ... well, painful.  I don't really have a mother that I'm close to, or someone I feel like celebrating on that day.  Secondly, it means I have to go visit my parents, which is incredibly stressful.  Let's just say we put the 'fun' in 'dysFUNctional'.  I truly despise family get togethers, just because they always feel very forced, extremely saccharin, and I always feel like I don't belong there.  There's still so much pain that's just right under the surface.

There are good things about this holiday.  Louie's mom, for instance...I love going over there.  Eight kids, and she's just a great mom.  Things are so relaxed and everyone is so loving and affectionate and...real.  Genuine.  I love how excited my daughters get too - they just love doing stuff for me, which is adorable.  I just wish it was postponed this year, or maybe even pushed to my birthday or something.

So anyway, my point (and yes I have one) is that I honestly mean to post more often, but I just need to get next week overwith first.  Then this purge will consist of a bit more than Scalzi assignments....well one can hope, anyway.

As of 12:31 PM next Saturday I'll be a very happy girl, I promise.

 

Monday, May 2, 2005

Monday Photo Shoot-Significant Other

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of your significant other, or show off a picture of your significant other that you particularly like. If you are currently between significant others (hey, it happens), you can use a picture of a former significant other, or a picture of a really good friend, since really good friends, in their way, are just as important as a significant other.

Well, there he is... Mr. Wonderful (aka "my Louie").  Louie's one of my best friends as well as my one-and-only, and this is my all time favorite pic of him, taken on our wedding day, way back in 1999. 

**Pitter patter**

We've been together off and on since 1994.  (I refuse to count the "off" portions.)  Yes, he really does have the patience of a saint.

There's also this one, which I've titled "Put the #$%& camera away already".