Monday, November 30, 2009

Step away from the boxers

As I walked through Target on a quick mission to grab one more birthday present for my son with a quick stop and grab of a loaf of bread, I noted something.

There was a lot of really really (I am talking super) ugly stuff available for you, the shopper, to waste your money on. Stuff that is just plain unnecessary and ridiculous!

I came to a quick conclusion one I hope one you all pay attention to this holiday season:

Just because they sell it,
does not mean that it is:
~good - nice - pretty - necessary ~
~needs to be or should be worn~
~is gift worthy or would be appreciated~

I also decided that:

Just because they make it in your size does not mean you will look good in it!

I am serious about this.
Stop, drop, and roll
(no, that is fire).
Stop, look, and listen
(no, that is train crossings and streets).

STOP and THINK!!!!!!
pic from here

Now this can apply to many things in life. It definitely could apply to a lot of things this holiday season. But, please people, please, apply it to shopping.

Let me give examples - because that is how I learn best.
As I breezed through I spotted a rack of Christmas boxer shorts. Now, I am all for getting in to the holiday spirit, but, really? A cute little tree or reindeer stitched at the bottom of the leg would have worked for me - but not these. These were a reddish pink color and in big letters - big enough to fill the whole leg of these XXL shorts were the words "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out Kid" now as if that wasn't just attractive enough the other leg had a picture of Ralphie - obviously from the Christmas Story. No? you don't remember - here, here is a pic:

Now ladies I don't know about you, but, I don't want to be unwrapping my man to find those. Men, I don't really think you want some guy spotting these from the next urinal. What does a picture of Raphie spread from your crotch to your butt crack really say about you???? Or better yet, what does it say about the person that gives those as a gift?

Don't even getting me started on the resurfacing of the leggings and other 80's wear .... ok, I will say this---> it held true in the late 80's and early 90's and still holds true today. If you are over a size 5 maybe a 7 you should not, and I repeat should not put on a pair of leggings. Now, for those of us who aren't 12 yrs old. If you wear Ms. sizes.. you know, the even numbers... you shouldn't even think about it - size 4 or not. See - I told you not to get me started!

Now about the "holiday" sweaters - you know them. The ones with Santa stitched in... now, I really better quit...

Shutting up now.

Chime in -
What horrible things have you seen in the stores or on people this or holidays past?
What is the worst gift of clothing someone gave you.

Did you read what I wrote on Throwing Quarters yet?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fiery One

It is hard for me to believe that this little man is 7 years old today (Monday). When he was born he was going to be our last child. He was baby number 3 in three years. That was it, we were done. For a year and some he was treated as the last child. Until the real last child (baby #4) made a surprise visit in my womb and eventually the world.
(sometimes unplanned things turn out to be the best kind of surprise)

The first two babes came so quickly (17 months apart) and there was such a flurry of craziness in that short time that truly enjoying each moment was not something I focused on. Survival was the name of the game with them. But, I knew this was it. This was the last baby I would nurse, rock, change diapers, watch as he learned to sit/crawl/walk/and grow, I just knew to appreciate it because it wasn't going to last and it would be my last opportunity. (or so I thought)

I am so happy I was able to have that time with this child - my now official middle child. We have two oldests in our family really since one is a boy and one a girl and they are so close in age. We have a youngest too. Which leaves this boy pulling up the middle child role. OH, he has this role down pat.

His name means 'fiery one' . It is of the Celtic background and it couldn't be more accurate. I love this little boy and all of his complexities. He makes me laugh everyday and he makes me pull my hair (usually in the same moment).

So, Happy Happy Birthday to my little man. I can not wait to know you as an adult because you are going to be even more amazing.

Sunday Ponder - anger

“He who can suppress

a moment's anger

may prevent a day of sorrow”

Tryon Edwards quotes

(American Theologian, 1809-1894)

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,

for anger resides in the lap of fools.

Ecclesiastes 7:9

Saturday, November 28, 2009

You will always be younger than me- Happy Birthday Anyway

Happy Birthday to my best friend Amy.

I like you even though you will
always be
younger than me!!!!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Stories to tell.... black Friday

It is cold and dark and I am piling myself into a vehicle with coffee in hand. It is 4:45am. I thought as the kids got older I would not need to make this journey. Yes, of course I am talking about shopping - black Friday- where the crazies go.

But, what I am finding is as the kids get older their gift lists get more difficult - and more expensive!!!!! So this early morning, once a year venture is becoming more and more necessary actually.

Cameras, MP3 players, and Nerf guns top the list and sent us searching for deals.

We went, we bought, we don't fight, we come back with stories to be shared (like the lady who was trying to hold back the flood of "cheaters" who were coming in from the sides of the lines, or snagging the last digital camera frame while trying to "sneak" it past hubby for his Christmas gift.... yeah he saw) over cinnamon rolls and coffee.... just as everyone else is getting out of bed.

*another post w/o pics. I am using my dad's laptop while out of town.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am thankful for booze and other odd things....*Gasp - A list! and no pics?

My friend Amy left a note on my Facebook page saying that she noticed a trend with everyone's status on there (facebook). Everyone was saying they were thankful for the children and their friends and families.

She wanted to say that she was thankful for tequila (especially when it is mixed in a margarita) and for me because I keep her sane (I keep her from jumping off the Mississippi river bridge) I told her that sounded a whole lot better to me.

Because it is true. We are thankful for our families etc. But, what about those obscure things ? Things that don't make us sound as good. Like tequila? Every day I try to change my side bar - it has a gratitude and a favorite thing. I often list odd things over there and try to mix in the traditional so people don't commit me.

So, today, while I am thankful for things like friends and family, homes and vehicles. I also want to say I am thankful for windsor and beer (taking after Amy), I am thankful for our computer and blogging (duh, no explanation needed there), I am thankful for my bed and naps (YOU know I loved these), I am thankful fo Payless Shoes (I have four kids - nuff said), I am thankful for the fact that hair grows back (unless you are Sage), and weight can be lost (too much pie thank you), I am thankful that none of kids are alike and while I have a hard time with one my hubby clicks best with that child and the child that drives him a bit battier is the one I 'get'. Telephone therapy sessions that are free and better than professional ones, and the friends that give this service to me and those I can help doing the same in return, next, I truly appreciate that the moon and the sun stay where they are suppose to and while the climate may be changing we seem to be adapting, I love that my feet are never cold in my house (man they are cold at my mom's house today- note to self remember slippers next time), I love that my hubby and I are finding our groove finally after the worst dock season ever (always busy - no down time since February), I love thigh high socks (not nylons) from Target and am thankful for how fun they make me feel (not an easy task these days).

I could go on and on with these obscure gratitudes- but I am sure I have put you half asleep and since the turkey is working on the other half I will stop.

But, I will ask - what odd thing are you thankful for? Something off the wall. It can make you sound selfish or insane - the odder the better. Tell me tell me please .......

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Collaborative Photo Project - Light. And a shiner....

Our Collaborative Photo Project continues this week.

Let's review for those who are new or forgetful:
Debra @ Sojourner and I have been partaking in a photo project for over a month now. Each week we chose a word. We then each take a photo that represents this word. Only once in these last five weeks have our photos matched.

The word this week is

Deb's @ Sojourner's
take on "Light"

If you have missed the last five posts you can find them here:

One more word and a coordinating picture for you.

The word is Shiner...

This is what happens when two seven year olds
run forward but look back in gym class
- they smack heads-

The brain cells I killed

I am horrible!

I keep forgetting about Wednesday being Deb and my Coll. Photo Project Day. The theme today is light. Hang on dear anxious readers (and Deb) I just remembered.

I think the few brain cells that I killed in Vegas (there were only a few ;) were the ones that remember this weekly post. Geez!!!!!

I will return with a pic and Deb's contribution - you are on pins and needles I am sure

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I hurt

I feel miserable

I am nauseous

My kidney

I hate that my body fails me.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Martha I Ain't

click the pic
(to see how difficult I want
my cooking to be this holiday season)

This time of year brings on a different mind set in people. The transformation is a bit frightening really. How normal people can turn into high stress, recipe hounding, pushing / shoving black Friday shopping, cleaning, decorating, tinsel draping, potato mashing, panicking, credit card maxing, crying messes is beyond me!?

I shouldn't say that - I have been that person in years past. I have been that person with teeny babies to boot. I can't do it anymore, even if my babes are bigger now. It isn't worth it to me.

For years I watched every single episode of Martha Stewart Living. I wanted to be her. I wanted my house to be Martha worthy. I wanted my towels to be perfectly folded and my closets perfectly organized. My holiday preparations led me to the edge of sanity. Hot glueing pine cones and ribbons to the outside of a Christmas gift may have been my breaking point.

Then something amazing happened. I realized that Martha was no better than I was - she was just richer with a production crew and an amazing staff. Then she went to prison .... and I realized I was right.

So. Lately. As the holidays roll around I have taken a step back. Not panicked. Tried to keep things in perspective. Last year I went one step further. I sat back, I didn't say all that much (I know - impossible if you know me), I just observed and enjoyed. It was wonderful.

click the pic

This year I think I will follow Martha's lead though....
and just drink my way through the season.
Maybe if I slip a little something something in to my coffee no one will notice?!

What don't you like about yourself at the Holidays and what do you hope will be different this year?
Notice the mess in the kitchen on the click thru? Yeah - Martha I ain't (lately)

Monday = Coffee

What is your vice?
What gets you through Mondays?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Guard my mouth

1. O Lord, I call to you; come quickly to me.
3. Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.

Psalm 141: 1 & 3

Pondering a thought I have pondered before

As we move through our days and eventually our lives we effect others. Whether it is as simple as holding open a door which in the end prevented a person from spilling their coffee or something larger, like donating a kidney and saving a life. Each and everything we do effects others.

The stickler is that we don't usually know how we have an impact. I have blogged about this before (I will try to link later) but we are like a stone and the ripples we send out may never be trace-able.
An example, because I love visuals. I met my friend Amy at our children's early learning/pre-school. When I met her, she and her girls were deathly afraid of dogs. As we became friends and talked I was telling her about the show "The Dog Whisperer" (a show that I started watching because my neighbor told me about it). I told her that if her and her girls could understand how to handle dogs they may not be as afraid of them. The end result: This family is now the proud owner of a dog - a big dog, and the fear is a forgotten memory.

Let's thinking about what you are doing right now... blogging.
Have you thought about how you found this blog or others? Think about the relationships you have made through blogging - the ones you never expected to make. Doesn't it seem like some of them were meant to be? I have ended up with some very wonderful friendships through blogging and those friends effect my life -even though I have never met them. We help each other, we "listen" and we laugh. But, why/how did they land in our laps (computer)??? Now that is a thought. Someone asked me last night how I found their blog in the first place. I had to really really think about it. In the end I truly think it was fate. (that was a whole other discussion). Fate... one too complex to get into on a Saturday.

There are a lot of forces in life all of which are playing a part in our everyday.
We and others are one of these forces.
How will you effect someone today?
Hopefully in a positive way.
Your words and your actions matter.
Think on that.

Then let me know what you thought.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm Moving

I have had it.
I'm packing my bags and moving.
I can not handle another winter around here.
I am going somewhere warm (and fuzzy) and everyone is awesome.

Alright - for the day anyway.
If you need me I can be found basking in the sun of the
Real World Venus vs. Mars.

I am speaking on behalf of my ever absent (working) spouse.

GO .....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oh Well

click to make big

So it seems I made a spelling error in my blog post title yesterday. You saw it, you noticed it. It went up into everyone's dashboard and side bar updates .... everyone looked and shook their heads at my silly mistake, my misspell. But, if you notice I didn't fix it. I am fine with it. It is a mistake - oh well.

I obviously have grown and changed this last year. I couldn't be happier. Had this happened a year ago when I started blogging I would have been close to tears - embarrassed and frustrated at myself. But, you know what, it is just a mistake. One that hurt no one. So, no harm done- no need to worry.

My dear friend Deb @ Sojourner (see sidebar for link) pointed it out and I laughed. That is what friends are for. To point things out to us, and to help us through them. To laugh and to cry with us. That is what Deb does for me. That is what you, my blog friends, do for me.

Keep reading - I am changing - it is exciting. You can say you knew me when.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Read" Collabrotive Photo Project & I was a poor "Read"er

Deb from Sojourner and I continue our Collaborative Photo Project this week.

The word for today is Read. I had already started writing a post for today. Something that was on my mind. Debra was nice enough to veer from our 'emotion' words and allow the word Read to sneak in this week.

For once we are on the same page with our photos - first time for everything right ;)

Jules picture

Deb from Sojourner picture

If you have missed the last four posts you can find them here:

Now what is on my mind:

As winter fast approaches the North land, I find myself seeking out books to squirrel away for the dark winter months. I love to read - it provides me with a great escape. I especially like books in which I feel like I get to know the characters. There is nothing more satisfying then to be getting a cup of coffee and wondering what the characters are doing - as if they are living in the book, waiting for me to come back so they can go on living their lives. (is that strange?)

Ok - so I started thinking about this tonight as I was reading One Fish Two Fish Red FishBlueFish (man I hate that book). After finally making it through the book, and upon closing the cover I saw the little - Cat in the Hat I Can Read Beginning Book symbol in the right hand corner. That little symbol sent a memory flooding back to me. A memory of me - the poor reader.

I was a very very poor reader. I was even pulled from class to take part in the Title I program (for math too). The memory was of myself in the library finally interested in reading and excited I found some books I like and wanted to read when the librarian pulled me aside and told me I needed to move to the other side of the library where the books were in my grade level. *Why do adults always get it wrong? Had she known that I was just getting into reading and me bringing home a stack of easy books was better than me checking one grade level book out and not reading it at all. sigh....

Another memory surfaced after recalling that one. The memory of sitting in Jr. High social studies class and the teacher having each student read a paragraph - going around the room (what a bad teacher!!!) anyway, I remember counting ahead and trying to find my paragraph so I could practice before it got to be my turn.After all how embarrassing to mispronounce something in front of the whole class in Jr. High. Yet, I did. Guaranteed. Embarrassed.

Now I am the adult and I love to read. My two oldest kids are fabulous readers. (grades ahead in ability) I just don't want to be the adult that makes THAT mistake* with my third child. Reading does not come easy for him. I knew it wouldn't. It is hard to read words when you have issues enunciating them. (this child has been in speech since he was 2 and only now is he understandable to all) Yet, he can do a one handed hand stand... you know - those differences that makes each child unique - makes them ... them.

We are: finding the line between pushing to betterment and pushing to the point of frustration and turn off, treading the line, making him realize he can do it when he knows right now he can't, fighting the fact that he sees he is different but trying to show him how he is the same. It is exhausting and difficult and new territory for me/us.

Yet as I was reading him that book last night - stopping to point out the words he already knew and showing him how he could figure out a few on his own... without going overboard with it all, the memory of me the poor reader came back to me. Knowing that I am now a very good reader gives me hope for him. All in due time I tell myself, it will all come in due time.

Legs - but whose?

So it seems my new header has stirred up some question as to if those are my legs or not.

They are not my legs. But, I love love love that picture. When I first spotted that picture I had to do a double take because I thought they were my legs. That is how close they are to mine. Plus, I have a white skirt - but my hubby (math guy dock guy) is right - I do not have shoes like those.

So - to clarify, I posted two pics of my legs taken this summer.
Proceed to hate or not.
I hope not.

This pic was part of my summer header.
This all took me back to the '80's and this song.

Monday, November 16, 2009

You worry about you.

Ok, I may lose you here - sorry if I do.
Doing some deep thinking here
(ok, not THAT deep)

You need to worry about you.
We all just need to worry about ourselves.

What I mean is this.....

Last night I was at my wit's end with my kids. My girly stood up and started directing her younger bothers, which only made whatever situation she perceived to be a problem worse. Now, if she had just worried about herself, and her brothers (who are too young to quite grasp the concept had worried about themselves life would have been fine). This was my response to her. Girly, worry about yourself. I will take care of them. What they were doing was not a problem in my mind (making mountains out of the rug for their monster truck toys). Now I would take care of the boys because that is part of me being a mom. It was not her job as their sister. They were not harming her nor were they even in her way.

So, I started thinking as I was switching laundry loads this morning. If we would all just worry about ourselves this world would spin a little smoother. There would be less bumps in the road. I am not asking you to be a selfish mongrel. No.

I am saying- if we are the best at what we are suppose to be, then we would all be better off.

If you are the best wife, mother, co-worker etc you can be wouldn't life be a little easier or at least better? This of course means that your husband, kids, and co-workers are in on the deal and being the best they can be too. If we all just worried about ourselves and what we are / aren't / suppose to be / and shouldn't be doing it would be a true nirvana.

So, today - try to be the best wife to your husband you can be. Think of one thing you could do that would make his day (vice versa for hubby to wife), don't you dare say ..."but he isn't going to return the favor, don't you DARE!". Act toward your kids as you would if your pastor was over for supper tonight. You know what I am talking about. Go into work today as if it were your evaluation day.

Every day we should act as though it matters - because it does.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ponder This

Certain thoughts are prayers.
There are moments when,
whatever be the attitude of the body,
the soul is on its knees.
~Victor Hugo

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thank you Tiffany and Linda

This is my blog and I can blog like no one is reading.

So, today - I am going to use this platform to thank two very dear friends of mine.




Had it not been for these two wonderful women I would not have been able to go on my vacation (at least not as easily). These ladies took care of my youngest child two days each. 3 of the 4 sprouts are in school - but that still left one at home that needed tending to.

Thank you ladies for making my trip possible. I knew my T Monster was in good hands, and better yet, having a blast playing with his best friends. I appreciate what you did for me, and apologize for not talking to you in person yet. I have been in hiding/recovery since my return and now am off again for the weekend. I owe you a cup of coffee/tea at least - if not a day or two of exchanged childcare or more.

Your friend,

Thursday, November 12, 2009


To the lady in the waiting room of the clinic:
Your perfume stunk.
Not a little - but - I would rather smell a skunk stunk.
Why? Is your nose that coated that you can't even smell yourself anymore?

To the doctor:
Thank you.
Thank you for taking so much time to get to know me.
Yes, I am a medical oddity. Interesting isn't it.
Thank you for saying that the lump I spotted two weeks ago is 100% normal.
Thank you.

To all the patrons at Wal-Mart:
Get out of my way.
This is not a pleasure cruise for me to be there.
I am in a hurry, I only have a few minutes.
Get out of my way.
I ride my cart like a scooter;
it is fun
it is fast
it works (as long as you don't get like a deer in the headlights and panic)
Get out of my way.
I hate the store, I can't wait to get out of there.

To the lady at the stop light:
I can see you.
I can see as you sing.
I can see you pick your nose.
I saw you roll your eyes as you answered your phone.
I can see you;
your windshield is clear- see through.

To the whitetail deer in the woods this weekend:
Live in fear.
My husband and son are coming to kill you.
Hide, but not too well.
My freezer depends on you.
If you have more then 8 points you are theirs.

To the telemarketer:
I know that calling me is your job, I am on your list.
But, when you call, be on the phone at least.
Don't make me wait to hang up on you.

To the guy on the radio:
Shut up.
Quit talking.
I am tuned in to listen to the music,not what you did last night.
It doesn't make you more personal to me.
I just want the music.
So, shut up.

To the news media:
When did you sell out?
When did a celebrity become your lead story?
Do you have to hang on when you report such a slanted view for fear of falling off your chair?

To Google/Blogger:
I still like you.
People have tried to talk me into switching to WordPress.
I am dedicated.
I like your shit.
You are gods.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Collaborative Photo Project - Exhilarate

Our Collaborative Photo Project continues this week.
(I forgot this morning because of the chaos of returning from my trip,
and my Veteran's Day post).
But, in my world it is still Wednesday.

This week's word was Exhilarate.
As always Deb and I had different takes.
Which is what makes this project so much fun.Jules'

Deb @ Sojourner

If you have missed the last three posts you can find them here:

What do you think of when you hear the word Exhilarate?

I Don't Give A Rat's Ass - It's Veteran's Day

I don't care what your take on war is.
I could care less what you think Clinton, Bush, or Obama has or hasn't done.
I could give a rat's ass if you are a republican, democrat (or America's new choice - socialist)
You can not deny the sacrifices that our service men and women have made for you.
For me.
Today is Veteran's Day.
Set aside your opinion and remember the people who are willing to do what most of us aren't - fight for our country (your country).
You and I owe them at least that.

That said:
Today I would like to thank all Veterans and Serviceman
for giving me my freedom.
I want to thank the Servicemen and women for continuing
to serve, so that my freedom is insured.

They are willing to do what I am not.
They are better and stronger than I.
For this I am grateful.

Today I especially would like to remember the women
who serve and have served our country.

The moms, daughters, sisters, and aunts.
Maybe your grandma.
The ones we forget about.

To these women I want to say
Thank You

You make me proud.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I met someone online, now I have a crush

So, you are probably dying for some news from Vegas. I guess I should start with the biggest news of all. Every spouse fears it, Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, and other social networks have increased the likelihood of it happening, and I fell pray... Sorry Dearest hubby, I was charmed. ----- I met someone online, and I developed a crush----- *the crowd goes gasp!

I was so charmed I flew all the way to Vegas to meet with this online crush. We went to the rodeo, yes the rodeo. The PBR (Professional Bull Riding) National Finals together - gotta love your cowboys... sigh.....

Sorry, I'm still here.... physically, but mentally I keep going back to our date. I mean our get together. Here is a pick my crush took while at the PBR - which was awesome, I'd go again in a heartbeat!

Ok, Ok, I know I am killing you.
Here is a pic of my companion.
The person I flew thousands of miles to see
stalked actually.

taken with Shelle's phone
Yes, it is
Shelle from Blok Thoughts
the editor and contributor of
Venus vs Mars

<3 Be still my bloggy heart <3
Now the only problem is that we live a gazillion miles away from each other. I liked her a lot. She is Snow White beautiful, fun, funny, nice, easy going, low stress, fun to talk with, a multi tasking pro (or maybe it is just ADD?), loves cowboys as much as me, and just an all around good person. She was worried I wouldn't think she would be as funny in person as she is in her blog - and she is, just more real. It seemed as though we had been friends forever. The best part is her strength in her faith, I could feel it and it set me even more at ease.

Yeah, you have a crush now too, don't you :)
I don't blame you.
You can send her fan mail here.
(you can also get her take of our meeting here too).

I caught you with the title again, didn't I?
OK, you can go about your regularly scheduled business.
There is nothing else to see here.
You know how I love that.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

God Bless The DVR

Call me a Grinch or a Scrooge
I have been called worse.

However, as I am watching some programs off from the DVR that I missed while on vacation last week I couldn't help but notice the Christmas shopping ads out already.
Kohl's being the worst offender.

I realize people shop early, and as the economy is still unstable people may spread their spending out to keep from digging themselves in a hole
(although we are Americans here, we will for sure dig our selves down a shovel or two still).

Now, again, capitalization is the name of the game and take when the taking is good.
But, really?
It is the first week of November.
Thank goodness I can just hit fast forward.
God Bless the creator of the DVR.

Be a fruit not a nut

God wants
Spiritual fruits
Religious nuts

Saturday, November 7, 2009

May 3, 2006 [Reliving A Day from hell]

Today's guest is my blog buddy Adam from Throwing Quarters.
I saved him for last. Thanks again for all the help filling my space
and thanks for reading along. Jules

This is a blog I wrote on May4, 2006. This blog is a reliving of a very very eventful day. I was in between jobs, and had nothing better to do than write that day. It seemed like a very common day.

I wake up.

Nothing special about today other than the fact that I wake up next to Jenn. That always puts a smile on my face. I do the normal morning routine, bathroom, couch, pull out Jenns laptop, start pecking at the keys, hoping that this computer will have found me that job I have been looking for. I wish my life was a Sims game. Sit at the computer, pick a job, go to that job, make money.

For about an hour I sit, reading e-mails, blogs, nothing. Jenn is awake now, showering, getting clean, something I haven't done in a while. I should do that today before my interview. I make the mental note and go back to the computer.

Jenn is ready for school. She looks nice today. She doesn't ever think so, but she does. She kisses me and leaves. I am talking to someone on AOL IM but I cannot remember now. I look at the digital clock on the computer.


I should go and get ready for this interview. I gather my things, and head to the car. I drive. The gas needle is getting low. I make a stop at the bank. I take out what ever cash I have left in it and head home.

I arrive to a quiet house. Nothing different about this day other than the fact I cannot find my cat.

Whopper has been sick for some time, and I am looking for him hoping he did not succumb to his illness and die in a corner of my house somewhere.

I find him, curled up under my daughters bed. He is weak. He is skinny. His face is more swollen than normal. I call the vet. Whopper has forced me to do what I have been dreading for months. His time has come. The woman at the clinic was very nice. She said come in at 2:20pm. It is nearly 1:00pm at this point.

I call the woman I was having the meeting with at 1:00pm. Tell her something came up. We will have to reschedule our interview. She agreed.

What do I do for an hour?

I go outside with a book from the library. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. I have wanted to read this book, but did not want to buy it, or be caught buying it. I hate Oprah.

I sit on my fold out OSU chair and enjoy the warm weather. I need a shower, but if Whopper smells like piss, then I will just to make him feel better.


The sound of police sirens pierces the afternoon. I look up from my book to see a police car screaming down Nicholson Ave by my house.

That is something you do not see everyday.


Another police car, and another, and another.

Curious. Another car, this time an unmarked.


Another police car is screaming somewhere. Odd. My curiosity takes over. I gather Whopper. He could use a drive. This may be his last.

He is tucked away in his car cage. Safe. Curled up in his towel he had been sleeping on for months. Meowing in pain from the abscessed tooth. He is weak.

I turn out of my driveway and head to Nicholson Ave. I wait, I turn left towards Clifton. I look in my mirrors and I see another car, Ford Crown Victoria, Blue, Blacked out grill. I do not hear the sirens until he passes me.

The police car turns left onto Clifton, I hurry up and follow.

The police car is screaming down the middle of Clifton. Looking to avoid other cars at intersections he slows down. Enough for me to keep eyes on.

Red light. Damn.

I sit for what seems like an eternity.


I hurry off the limit line and continue in the direction of the police car. No luck. He lost me.

I pass an elementary school. I see police lights in the distance. Quarter mile, maybe. My pace quickens and I have arrived. I see an estimated 10 police cars, mostly marked Lakewood Departments, but also Rocky River, North Olmsted an numerous unmarked.

As I pass the congregation of cars, I notice they are blocking off an entire street. What street? Damn, passed before I could look. I turn down the next street. Webb. As I look down the side streets going back toward the block street, I realize what street it is. Granger. Chip. Fuck.

I pull down a side street after crossing railroad tracks. I call Mary Anne. No answer on her cell phone. Shit.

I call Chip. The result is the same.

I ask some neighbors on the street what is going on. They were clueless. They did not even realize the Army of police officers that has invaded their quiet neighborhood. I turn onto Granger near Detroit rd and try to look down. I cannot see passed the semi-truck blocking the street and numerous police cars. This is serious.

I turn left onto Detroit and head down the next street on the left. Bonnie view. I head back to Clifton to get a good recon post.

How I wish I was a police officer today. I would know what is going on. I would not need to worry if I knew what was going on.

Whopper meows. I comfort him. I turn left onto Clifton. More police cars. Hostage negotiators. This is serious. I turned back onto Webb. My phone rings. Mary Anne.

I ask if she knows where her boyfriend is. She has no idea.

I turn onto Norton.

I ask what house is his. She tells me. At the end of Norton, white and blue house. She cannot remember the address. I tell her what is going on. She worries. We hang up and I talk to a guy in a parked car. Curious, like me. We talk.

He said he heard gunshots. Curious. He says two shots. I say, cool, I am calling my friends at the news desk of WTAM. I park, I call. As I am on the phone, two more shots. I look toward Granger where a black suburban is blocking the intersection. A cop dove behind his suburban. He brandishes his gun. Fires twice.


My phone rings. Mary Anne again.

She has Chip on her other phone talking to us both.

Another shot.

The police sirens break the afternoon breeze. A patrol car stops blocking off the street. A police officer gets out or the car. He brandishes a shot gun.

I hang up the phone and walk to the black civic who's passenger I was talking to. Tell him that it could be my buddy's house, but that it is not my buddy. I tell him I am getting the hell out of here.

He concurs.

The patrol car is moved enough for us to get out.


Shit, I have to get Whopper to the vet. One more time around the area to see if there is anything new. Did one of those bullets find its target? Is there a job opening on the Police force? I will look tomorrow.

As I head south to Detroit another car pulls up. The police officer is wearing a uniform, but you can tell this is not his shift. Blue shirt, blue pants, white sneakers. He walks to the back of his patrol car with a partner. They pull out what looks to be high powered weapons.

I drive.

Slow, but I drive.

I take it all in.

The precision of the quarantine zone. The camaraderie of the officers. All from different cities, all there to do one job. Protect the public at all costs. With their lives, with their training.

I turn again onto Bonnie view.

More Police cars, more guns, more people gathering to watch.

Police in backyards. Waiting.

I turn left onto Clifton and I look more. More cars.

S.W.A.T. team.

Fire trucks. Police cars. Ambulances. All on site and ready for action. Lights. No Sirens.

I call Char.

I turn right onto Webb this time.

The news crews are there.

Did Char know where her Dad was? Is was possible he was at the scene. She didn't know. She sounded disappointed she was missing it. Wonder if her Dad could help me with a job? It will have to wait. I had to go.


Shit. Vet.

I drive to the vet.


Im late. Fuck it. I saw something completely cool. Police in action. Guns.


I sit Whopper on the table and retrieve him from his cage.

He is weighed.

Seven pounds. He has lost two in a couple of weeks.

He was not eating.

The nurse left. Left Whopper and I. He looks at me. His eye is no longer swollen. Is neck is huge now. He meows. I kiss his head.

He is scared.

He scratches at his neck.

His neck pops open.

What it was I do not know. It did not have a stench. I was milky white. His face was not swollen. He looks relieved.

The doctor comes in.

I ask her what that was. She traced it to a wound on his neck that Whopper has self inflicted.

His skin is so weak he tore it scratching.

Tears well up in my eyes.

I hold them back.

Not in front of Whopper. He needs someone who is not freaking out.

The doctor examines his mouth. All his teeth are still there.

She looks harder.

He bites her. He is not going without a fight.

She asks questions. Trying to soften the blow. I want to help him. There is only one way.

It was his time. She leaves and comes back. She tells me what she is going to do. One shot of anesthesia. He overdoses. He goes to sleep.

Do I want to be here for him.



I stay.

So I want his remains.


I also want some of his hair, a paw print. For Audrey. She is loosing her first pet.

I sign paperwork. I will get Whopper back in a week. $160.00. I do not have it. I can pay later when I pick him up. I hopefully have it then.

I hold whopper. He looks at me. Meows. Purrs. Cuddles. I kiss him one last time. I tell him he will be better in a minute. He will have all the Kitten Caboodle he wants soon.

The doctor returns.

Two nurses.

A needle.

I whopper lays still on the table. They look for a vein in his leg.

They are small. So is the needle. One nurse looks for his pulse in his neck. She cannot find it. The doctor hears a faint heartbeat. Whopper is dying on his own terms.

The doctor helps him. Whopper purrs.

The needle goes in. Whopper purrs. Whoppers salvation is pushed into him. Whopper purrs. Whopper purrs. Silence.

No heartbeat.

Whopper is in a better place now. I cry. I kiss him. I cry. I kiss him some more. His eyes are glazed. Open.

I kiss him.

The doctors and nurses try to comfort me.

They are crying too.

They see this all the time.

They cry too.

I pick him up one more time. I kiss his head. I lay him on HIS blanket. I cry. I tell him I loved him.

I miss him.

The nurse returns.

I ask for the paw print.

They go one better. They print out a card with a poem. What it is I cannot bear to read it. They write his name. Whopper Gercak. 5/3/2006. They shave his paw to get to his pads for the print. They moisturize it.

Whopper signs his name for one last time.

They shave some hair and put it in a baggy. This is for Audrey. This was her cat.

I cry more.

I give the nurse permission to take Whopper. She takes him.

I walk out. Alone. With an empty cage. I stop in the parking lot. I sob. I lost my friend. My cuddle buddy on cold sleepless nights.

I compose my self.

I call Jenn.

She knows something is wrong.

She knows.

I go to Jenns house.

I take the trek up her stairs slowly. Looking at the envelope with Whoppers card to Audrey.

I do not look up.

I trek.

I look up. Jenn is at the top of the stairs.

I she hugs me. Oh how I wanted that.

I cry.

She cries harder.

I give her the card.

She hugs me more.

I cry.

She cries harder.

I sit on the couch. I try to talk. I am quiet.

She opens the card. She see the paw print. She cries.

She goes and turns off her lunch. Wants to know if I am hungry. Yes. I lie and say no.

I tell her about the police on Granger. She asks about Chip.

He is fine.

Pat comes out from his room. He is happy today. He asks if I have heard good news. No. I hand him the card.

He is curious.

He sees the Animal Hospitals return address .

He gets up. Does not open the card. He hugs me. I need it. I break down again. Pat is not a cat guy. He liked Whopper.

Jenn gets ready for work after her lunch. She leaves for work. I leave to get Audrey.

The empty cat cage is in the front seat of the car.

I pause.

The radio crackles to life. WTAM has a news bulletin. The gun man on Granger is dead. That is the price you pay for shooting at a police officer.

I pick up Audrey without incident. She gets into the car. She sees the cage. Excited that Whopper was picking her up she is jovial. I tell her the cage is empty. She asks where he is. I close the door. I get in the other door. I tell her.


I give her the card. Tears roll down her cheeks. It was the first time she cried out of emotion, not pain, or because I yelled at her. She understood.

We drive home in silence.

She says she wants to eat tacos. To taco bell we go. She deserves them. First staples, now Whopper. Poor girl.

We pick up dinner.

We drive past the crime scene. All the cars are gone except for the crime scene investigators. I call Chip.

Is he home?


Waiting for the police to call him.

Is it safe to go home?


He recounts what happened from his perspective. Police call. Ask questions. He answers. Lets them know he owns guns. Didn't think the kid knew about them, but just in case. He had a .38 caliber hand gun, two clips full of ammo. Hollow points. He had a .40 caliber shot gun. Enough ammo to start a war he says. The police appreciate his candor. He has nothing to hide. Just wants them to know if he broke into the house, there is potential danger.

We hang up.

I pull into the driveway.

Audrey is asleep. Emotionally drained.

We get into the house. We eat. I look around. My house is trashed. I half did the dishes last week. More still to be done. Garbage on the floor. Old cups. Newspaper. Toys. A mess. I am not in the mood to clean today.

Audrey and I go for a walk. Short walk. To the lake.



I watch a movie and read more in A Million Little Pieces. The house is quiet. No Whopper on my lap. No police sirens. Quiet. Just a breeze. It is quiet.


Phone rings. I do not recognize the number. I started to do the dishes hoping I can clean up a bit. I answer. It was Robert at Jenn's work. He is taking her to Lakewood Hospitals ER. He thought I should know.

Thank you.

I am Jenn's only family here. I have to go.

I call Keith. He is on his way.

I clean up some of the garbage. Clean off the couch. Keith will be sleeping there I am sure.

Robert calls again.

I am on the porch pacing.

He said she started crying, shaking, her hands went numb.

I think. Panic Attack.

She did not want him to call me. I have a daughter. I need to worry about her she says. Bullshit. I am going.

Keith arrives.

I leave.

I arrive at the hospital. I see Robert. No Jenn. We sit. Watch the Cavs win in overtime. Wondering where the fuck Jenn went. We ask.

She was in an ice box of a waiting room behind the triage doors. We come in. She had been crying. Ashamed she was there. She always does that. She doesn't need to. Robert and she talk for a minute. Robert goes home. He has done enough. I was there. Hopefully I was not the reason she was there.

I think I was.

My job prospects are few at this point. On the outside looking in it may look as though I am not trying. Mooching off my friends. I hate that feeling. I try in vein to keep up appearances.


I haven't showered. I stink. I am ashamed.

We are moved to a real room in the ER. Colder still. Jenn is shivering.

Doctors come in. Check her out.

A nurse comes in. Needles. I have seen enough of them. I try and keep the mood light. Jenn is trembling. She hates needles. They poke her. She winces and recoils. The nurse hit a moving target. The cleanest IV I have ever seen. Jenn is in pain.

Note to self. Encourage an epidural during child birth for her.

EKG. Blood work. Funny nurses. Adavant. Jenn is calm now. Heart rate down to normal. She is feeling the sedative kick in. She flips the TV. I do the games in the newspaper.

I am bored.

What a fucked up day.


Discharged. UTI and a panic attack. Excuse to stay off work for two days. Jenn cries. She cannot afford it she says. I tell her it is an excuse, they aren't calling your employer and telling them not to let you work. If you feel up to it, go.

I know I am the reason for this. My lack of financial stability, my cat. It is my fault. I feel bad.

I drive Jenn home. I would rather she come to my house, but my bed is soaked.

Whopper had not gotten up for three days in my bed. He pissed the whole thing. Sheets, comforter, and bed, all wet, being cleaned. Liberating Whoppers stench.

I will miss it.

Jenn is dizzy from her meds. I help her in the house. She stumbles up the stairs. I feel responsible. I want to help. Nothing I can do but catch her if she falls. She walks into her room, dresses for bed, gets into bed. I kiss her. Tell her I love her. Tell her goodnight and I would see her in the morning. Keith needed to get home.

She cries. I kiss her. I turn out her light.

She cries herself to sleep. She has no idea why this happened. She knows, but will not share it. Trying to spare my feelings I am sure. I drive home.

Keith wakes up. Asks if she is ok. I say she is home asleep.

Keith leaves.

I sit on the couch.

Pry my book open and try to read. I cannot keep concentration.


I turn on a movie.

I lay down on the couch.

A quiet house.

No cat to keep me company.

Jenn cries herself to sleep across town.

I cry myself to sleep in my messy, empty, quiet house.

How am I going to fix this?

the original post can be found here

Throwing Quarters Blog/Podcast

Friday, November 6, 2009

I return

I should be home today. I hope my money situation looks more like the first pic.
But since Vegas takes what it gives, I am guessing it will look closer to the bottom pic.

If I can pull myself together, I will update you soon

post scheduled on October 29th

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Fantasy

Today a new blog friend is joining us. Welcome Marion:

I walk dog in the morning by this really swanky neighborhood near where we live – we’re not in the swanky part, we’re on the edges of the swank. The houses here are just jaw-dropping; they are beautiful old elegant places that are well, enormous.

This morning as I walked by one house, I felt huge green-monster size envy. Not so much about the house, but what was going on in front of the house. At this house, the housekeeper was showing up for work. Wearing a uniform.

A housekeeper. All along the rest of my walk I fantasized about what life would be like if we had a housekeeper.

In my mind, I saw Hazel, the housekeeper from the sixties TV show that I’d watch in reruns. Hazel called her family Mr. B and Mrs. B, and I’d want our housekeeper to call us that, too, though it would be nice if I was Mrs. W-B. She’d be warm and lovely, great with our daughter, and a good listener. Her overall mission though, would be to keep our house in order. Ship shape, immaculate.

With Hazel in our lives, I can see how the day would unfold. I’d come home from my walk, hand Hazel the leash, and then take seat at the dining room table, where I would join my husband and daughter for breakfast. We could have breakfast at the dining room table because the laundry that usually occupies the dining room table would all be folded and put away – thanks, Hazel!

For breakfast, Hazel would set out bowls of steaming oatmeal and refill our coffee – but not too dark, the right balance of milk and coffee, just the way we like it. While we eat, Hazel would share her wise observations on the day’s events. She’d clear the breakfast dishes and they would stay gone - we wouldn’t have to see them again when we return at the end of the day.

Then we’d get dressed in whatever we like because the clothes that have been on holiday at the dry cleaner have now been picked up by Hazel and are hanging – plastic wrap off – in our closet. The laundry that is usually resting in the washing machine getting a moldy smell has completed its full round and has emerged fresh from the dryer. Everyone has two socks that match. Bliss.

Then we’d all go off to work and school while Hazel went to the grocery store, the wine store, the tailor, the vet, the post office, and any other errand I could think of that would be productive but not overwhelming. If we were lucky, perhaps Hazel is dating a butcher the way Alice was in The Brady Bunch. While she flirts, she could get us a nice piece of meat for dinner.

At the end of the day – my new favorite part of the day because of Hazel - I would come home to the smell of a delicious dinner cooking on the stove. Hazel greets me at the door, takes my brief case and hands me a lovely chilled glass of chardonnay. Over cocktails, my husband and I have witty banter ….

…Snap back to reality. I return home from the dog walk to find my husband emptying the dishwasher. I tell him about the housekeeper dream and he grumpily dismisses it, saying we have too much clutter for a housekeeper. We then get in a disagreement about the scope of responsibility of our imaginary housekeeper. My daughter comes out of her room to tell me she has no clean socks. The dog paws at my leg asking to be fed. The day begins.

But someday Hazel. Someday we’ll be together.

Marion Williams-Bennett can be found @Create Joy and Wonder
The original post ran here

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Essential Information

Thank you Jules for inviting me to be a guest blogger on Just Jules!

Normally toward the October I'd say to my readers, "we're coming into cold and flu season and it's time to protect yourself from the bacteria and viruses that attack your respiratory system." However, this year is different. Cold and flu season seems to be already afoot. Not only has the H1N1 virus heavily attacked my own community here in central Pennsylvania, but folks seem to be hit with the general crud associated with winter: colds, coughs and snotty flu. Therefore, start right now to protect yourself and your family from invaders.

I've been working with essential oils for nearly 19 years and can honestly say that I rarely fall ill with either cold or flu. I attribute this to a combination of my joie de vivre, frequent hand washing and daily use of essential oils. The use of pure essential oils for health is called Aromatherapy, and it's a safe, natural and proven way to protect and even heal your body from attackers.

Our immune system is consist of a group of cells and organs that act together to defend the body against foreign invaders that may cause disease such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. The health of the body is depend on the immune system's ability to recognize and repel or destroy these invading micro-organism. Unfortunately, the current American lifestyle doesn't lend itself to blooming health. We have some of the poorest eating habits on the planet, our environmental pollution is growing and as nation we're overextended and very stressed out. Stress is a major contributor to a weakened immune system and research has shown that depression can seriously deplete one's immunity. If our immune system is weak it cannot fight bacteria or viruses and can lead to allergies and infectious disease.

So what's a body to do? Rest, play more, slow down, eat better, exercise daily, wash your hands often and Use essential oils! Use many and use them often!

List #1: Heavy Hitters.
This is a list of some pretty big guns in the world of aromatherapy. They are powerful antiseptic essential oils that are good warriors against skin and lung infections including staph, strep and pneumonia. Thyme oil alone has been proven as potent as standard antibiotic drugs! They are very irritating to the skin. Please follow the directions for use at the end of this post.
Bay laurel
Cinnamon (Hot. Use with caution)
Thyme ct. thymol (Very harsh oil. Use with caution)

List #2: Middleweights
Good bacteria fighters that are effective but not quite as strong as the warriors in List #1. They are, nevertheless, effective protectors and healers and still need to be used with respect and caution.
Tea Tree

List #3: The Antivirals
These oils help with viral infections.
Spike Lavender
Oregano (use with caution)
Tea Tree
Thyme ct. linalol

Methods of Use
Room Spray:
10 drops of essential oil to one ounce of water. Shake and spray. Best to use glass bottle. You can find them here.
Chest Rub: Essential oils that have a specific clearing effect are eucalyptus radiata, rosemary and spike lavender. Prepare a blend of 10-20 drops of essential oil in 30ml of vegetable oil such as canola oil and rub on the chest and upper back.
Diffusion: There are many ways to diffuse essential oils into the atmosphere to kill airborn bacteria. I wrote a long, detailed post on the subject here.
Steam Inhalation: Add 3-5 drops of essential oil to a sinkful or bowl of steaming water. Cover your head with a large towel, close your eyes, put your face above the water and inhale deeply.
Direct Application: Only Lavender and Tea Tree can be applied directly to the skin.
Massage: Essential oils should always be diluted in a good quality carrier oil before applying to skin. The normal dilution is about 10-20 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil.
Sauna: To refresh the sauna and to enjoy the therapeutic effects of the essential oil, mix five drops of your chosen essential oil in one cup of water and pour over the hot rocks. Always dilute them in water because they can be flammable.
Pillow One or two drops of an essential oil on a pillowcase or tissue inside the pillow case is a wonderful way to enjoy the soothing and therapeutic effect of the essential oils. Take care not to get the oil in your eyes!

Author's Bio
Liz Fulcher has been using essential oils since 1991 and is Director of Aromatherapy Studies at the Mt. Nittany Institute of Natural Health in State College, PA. She is a massage therapist, teaches art journaling, soulcollage and pretty much spends her day playing. Her blog is

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Penn Street

Although Halloween has come and gone, this is a great post, so I chose this one to share from Cyndy my guest today. The blog is all yours dear:

Since living on Penn Street in Millheim, Halloween has become one of my favorite holidays. I have always enjoyed watching our kids get dressed up and be all excited about filling their bags with candy, but it has become so much more fun since moving to Penns Valley. For me it is the sense of community and tradition that walk the street one night a year.

Since we live in a rural area, many families pack up their little monsters and bring them to "town." Many of our homes on Penn Street are no more than inches apart, so for the kids it is an easy way to hit one house after another without expending too much effort, key in getting-candy logistics. We usually have the honor of seeing a couple of hundred ghosts and goblins each year. Our own kids even make their journey down the street really quick so that they can come back to see everyone up close rather than just in passing on the sidewalks.

Since we live in the old Theatre, one of the only properties with a front lawn on this "city" block, we decorate the front yard and porch and sit on the big steps that serve as front row seats to enjoy each of the trick-or-treaters and their families. This year we had tombstones and glowing skeletal hands emerging from the dirt in the planters. We didn't have time to carve pumpkins, so we had a fire in our little patio fireplace, placing it strategically on the side lawn away from flowing vampire capes and princess veils. The kids promenade up the walk like a runway to our stairs to get their treats, and this year we supplied the tricks with a candy dish that had a skeleton hand pop out when you reached into the bowl. It startled so many kids that we had to move the dish down a couple of stairs to prevent anyone from falling when they jumped in surprise!

The piece d'resistance, though, is our popcorn. Every year we schlep the theatre's old popcorn machine out onto the porch and make scores and scores of batches of yummy popcorn. The yellow glow from the lighted top of the machine and the aroma of toasting corn and melting butter fill the air. We originally started this tradition so the parents could have a treat while walking the street, but so many of the kids also choose this salty, crunchy goodie over the candy and will patiently wait until we fill the little bags. The only disappointment is that the bag often fills their little plastic treat buckets! Mom and dad often quickly remedy the problem by offering to "hold" the popcorn, often giving a knowing smile that it won't last the rest of the trek down Penn Street!

With so many people walking around town, everyone often taking a moment to stop and talk, it often makes me think that this must be what it was like when Millheim was in its heyday. No one is rushing by in their minivan to get to soccer practice; they are instead strolling the street and taking their time to meet and greet their neighbors. I didn't see one cell phone last night. Everyone was talking face to face. The kids all take time to really enjoy their hosts. They do not just grab their candy and run, even the teenagers. All would stop and visit for a moment, letting us admire their costumes and to share their excitement. We get to see their families together, sharing a night with a leisurely stroll down an old victorian avenue where the sidewalks lead you from one friendly face to another. For us, it is one night where we can see so many kids of the Valley as they are growing up, knowing that someday they will talk about coming to the Theatre on Halloween just as their parents reminisce about the days that they, too, enjoyed this place when they were little. Howdy Doody costumes may now be replaced with Darth Vader ensembles, but the ritual lives on.

The trick is making the moment last while the treat is a family tradition.

Cyndi can be found @ 110 Penned. (You have to go just for the great blog name!!!)
The original post can be found here