Friday, May 29, 2009

The story of Zip

This is Zip. We call her Zippy-Doo. She was brought into the animal shelter on April 28th on the end of the dog warden's pole. She had a rope tied around her neck.

For the first two weeks she was at the shelter, nobody could get close enough to even tell that she was, in fact, a she. She would growl and snarl and snap if you even looked at her. But the animal welfare director wanted to give her a chance because, what you can't tell from a picture, is that Zip is actually a very small dog. She is what I imagine happens when you put a German Shepherd on high/hot tumble dry. She just shrunk right on down. She so small, I could carry her out in my shoulder bag...if she would let me.

I was introduced to Zip Friday, May 15th. What follows are my entries from each day.

Friday, May 15
I overheard Sue talking about how she tried to get this dog out of the cage for a walk. It was apparently quite the ordeal. Everything she described about this dog, Zip, reminds me of our Milo. He was once terribly abused and his behavior reflected that. With time and love, he has turned into an amazing family pet. So, of course, I asked to meet Zip.

She hates me. She snarled and growled and snapped at my hand on the other side of the wire cage. Took Sam back to see if we could get any different reaction with a child. No luck. Even tried to bribe her with yummy soft treats. Less snapping, but still baring teeth and unpredictable reactions to movements.

She is so afraid. Her body just shakes uncontrollably. She's clearly lived through something very traumatic. I'm not sure she can be saved.

Saturday, May 16
Took Zip some doughnut munchkins. She wasn't too thrilled with them...or me. Still snarling and snapping. Decided to play her some soft music but I only have country on my phone...must work on that.

Went back to see Zip again...the munchkins had been eaten in my absence. She still seems to hate me. Took Sam and Steve to see her...she hates them too.

Monday, May 18
Went with Sam to see Zip right after school. Played her some Jim Brickman piano music. She seems better somehow even though she did snap at Sam one time. We won't stick our hands in the cage, that's for sure.

Sam and I talked about what the euphemism "put to sleep" means. He's decided he wants to work every day with Zip and me to try to "save her from being killed" (That boy...I love his big heart and his ability to cut through the BS).

Tuesday, May 19
No teeth at all today! A few small growls, but she was immediately soothed with sweet baby talk. The animal welfare director has agreed to get her on the vet schedule so we can bring her home and assess her behavior outside the shelter environment. I'm nervous. I want it to work, but I'm just not sure she's going to meet us halfway. I'm also doubting involving Sam in this. If it doesn't work, will his little heart be broken? He says he understands. But understanding and experiencing are two very different things.

Wednesday, May 20
Zip met us with tail wags and puppy-ish behavior! It was like a completely different dog! Sam and I are both thrilled! We got permission to open her cage door and I was even able to pet her head for a few pets. She approached us both and sniffed our hands. She's still obviously nervous and shrinks away when she sees a leash. I'm hopeful. I told Sam I was a little hopeful and he said, "Mommy, after today, you should be a LOT hopeful." He also told me he's glad we're doing this together. And even if Zip can't be saved, "she knows people care about her for at least a little bit."

Thursday, May 21
Someone asked the animal welfare director today, "What did you do to Zip?" She apparently greeted another shelter worker, Jennifer, with tail wags and a happy attitude today. That means it's working! She's making real progress!

We arrived late at the shelter and Zip was waiting for us with tail wags and puppy kisses! I'm still nervous around her. It's hard to shake that snarling snapping image in my brain from just a few short days ago. But she's doing her best to win me over, that's for sure. She actually took a step outside her cage toward me, sniffed my knee/leg/foot and seemed...I don't know...playful. I am very hopeful today. I would really like to get her out for a walk...I think it would do her some good. But I don't dare try the leash just yet.

Friday, May 22
Up to the shelter today. Zip actually tried to climb into our laps. I'm not sure if she really wants us or if she just wants OUT of that cage. Can't say that I blame her. If only I could get her to make a good association with the leash, rather the terrifying one she so obviously has. Every time we SHOW her a leash she shrinks back in terror.

We promised her some birthday cake from Sam's party tomorrow. Bet she'll like that.

Saturday, May 23
Dropped by the shelter after hours for just a few minutes today. Forgot the birthday cake but Zip seemed really happy to see us nonetheless. Still terrified of the leash. Working on desensitizing her to it, but not seeing much progress.

Sunday, May 24
Went by the shelter two hours after close, hoping to catch a quiet moment or two with Zip. I was hoping to introduce the leash during those first few moments so she wouldn't have time to react. She was wild to see us and we were able to pet her just like a normal pup. It was awesome! Then she saw the leash and shrank away, darn it.

I noticed her blanket was dirty, so I switched it out. Good and bad stuff came of that. The good: During the change-out, she tried to escape. I stopped her with a gentle hand and pushed her back in the cage. She didn't even growl. The bad: She did NOT like me entering her space and ran to the far corner and trembled. When she relaxed a little bit again I stepped one foot in the cage and she reverted back to the same scared posture cowering in the corner. I had to sit quietly for a few minutes outside the cage before she would even get up and lay down closer to me on the blanket. Even then, she kept her wary eyes on me.

I'm on a mission to find this little girl a rescue. She deserves a chance after the obviously crappy hand life has dealt her so far.

Monday, May 25
Only a little bit of time to visit with Zip today. But it was good. She seemed genuinely happy to see us and she let us both pet her all over.

Tuesday, May 26th
Zip loves birthday cake. Don't ask me how I know that.

I'm still working on desensitizing her to the leash. It's slow going, but today she didn't immediately run when she saw it. I was even able to lay it on her paw and the top of her head before she decided she'd had enough. I may just be able to get a leash on her by the end of this week if I'm lucky.

Oh...even more significant...I tried a little experiment and (with the door closed...just in case) had one of the shelter workers put her hand down by the cage. Where Zip would have snapped and snarled before, she wagged her tail and licked her hand through the cage wire! I swear, she's like a completely different dog.

It's so amazing to see the transformation of this little girl from the snarling mess she was just two short weeks ago. Now she wags her tail and demands attention like a normal puppy. In fact, I was sitting outside her cage with the door closed and wasn't paying enough attention and she jumped up on the inside of the cage and barked her little dog bark at me as if to say, "'re not paying enough attention to me...don't you know I'm adorable?" She has even tried a couple of times now to climb out of the cage and into Sam's lap. I think she just wants a good snuggle.

Shelter workers tell me she has a "different attitude...still timid...but not nasty anymore." That's what I like to hear!

Wednesday, May 27
I finally just lassoed her. She froze like a little statue for a minute or two and then walked over and gave me this look like, "Please get this thing off of me." When I put a hand on her chest/neck to keep her from leaving the cage, she coughs as if I've choked her. I know I'm not exerting any pressure at all, so I wonder if she wasn't injured at some point (she was found with a rope around her neck). Anyway...victory for today! I was able to get the leash on and off her three times without so much as a growl. Yay!

Thursday, May 28
You be the judge...

Friday, May 29
Well, today was our first step backwards. I knew it would happen, but now I'm worried. I was trying to put the leash over her head like I've been doing for the past couple of days. But this time she walked side to side to avoid me as best she could. At one point she turned her head and snipped my direction. She didn't try to get me at all...but it was clearly a warning to knock it off. So I gave her a break for a few minutes and then tried again (I didn't want her to think she had won alpha status)...and had no problems.

But she's set for the vet schedule tomorrow morning and he has a policy of not dealing with "aggressive" animals. I KNOW she's not aggressive in the traditional sense...she's just scared and she needs to get out of there. And she can get out of there and come home with us if she just behaves herself. But none of that is going to impress him, I'm sure. He's dealt with shelter animals and he knows the's just going to be a matter of how willing he is to work with her...and I fear he will just decide she's not worth the effort.

*sigh* I hate that there is NOTHING I can do. They won't let me come up before...only after. Keep your fingers crossed for Zip.

Saturday, May 30
Yeah...exactly what I feared. You know...I know these people are good why do they have to fall into the "I know what I'm doing and I don't have to listen to you" trap? The only ones who pay for it are the animals.

They went into Zip's cage with leashes and tried to walk her to the surgery suite. She nearly bit the vet tech and the vet.

So I laid it at the animal welfare directors feet. Her call. If she labeled Zip aggressive I would abide by that...I disagreed...but I would abide by it. I explained that I was not questioning anyone's professional judgment...only advocating for Zip because I believe she's gotten a raw deal and has been terribly treated by humans. I also believe she has the capacity to change. Maybe it will take time...but I've seen her make small steps already in the short time we've been working together and I truly believe she can be a good dog if given a chance (out of the shelter). I said I was disappointed that Zip was allowed to languish in the shelter for more than a month if they were just going to apply the standard "aggressiveness policy" to her. Maybe it wasn't fair, but I guilted the woman into releasing Zip to foster here at home!

Now before anyone gasps and shakes their head worrying...we have baby gates and safety protocol already in place for fostering dogs. This is something we've done in the past (and done well, if I do say so myself). I'm not expecting miracles (hoping maybe)...and I understand that it may very well end up that Zip is just aggressive and unadoptable and will end up being euthanized for everyone's safety...but for now I'm excited to try. First step...getting her into a crate to get her home. This is going to be a challenge.

In other exciting developments...Zip ate crunchy kibble while I sat near her and touched her. Not even a growl!

#22 way to change the world

I've been saving both of these foot-related charities for Barefoot Week, which is June 1-7! I personally love being barefoot. But I am very lucky and have a choice.

Soles 4 Souls
"We want to invite people to join hundreds of thousands of Soles4Souls supporters around the world in participating in Barefoot Week," said Wayne Elsey, Founder & CEO of Nashville-based Soles4Souls. "Anyone can make an important difference to someone in need by starting their own shoe drive, cleaning out their closet, sending us a new pair of shoes or making a simple cash donation. Our charity thrives on the active involvement of everyday people making the decision to step up and help less fortunate people, both here in the United States and around the world," he said.

Celebrities are also lending their support of Barefoot Week in hopes of encouraging more participation with the charity's programs. Scarlett Johansson, who previously donated 2000 pairs of new shoes from her own line of Reebok footwear, is lending her name to help raise publicity about Barefoot Week. Other celebrities, such as Antawn Jamison, Jessica Simpson, Brittany Snow, Kellie Pickler, Luke Perry, Riddick Bowe, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Chris Hope, Jeff Fisher and Tim Dunn have also voiced their support for the weeklong series of events.

The charity will be handing out a total of 50,000 new shoes to homeless youth and families in need in five U.S. cities: Indianapolis (June 1st), Atlanta (June 2nd), Birmingham (June 3rd), Los Angeles (June 4th and 6th) and Portland (June 5th).

Samaritan's Feet
Samaritan’s Feet is a non-profit organization dedicated to changing lives though Shoes of Hope distributions around the world. 300 million people wake up each morning without a pair of shoes to protect their feet from injury and disease. The goal of Samaritan’s Feet is to provide shoes to 10 million of these individuals in the next 10 years by teaching them a biblical story of faith, hope, and love, demonstrating those truths in touching them by washing their feet, and treating them to a new pair of shoes and socks.

From Herald Online
Actor Jack Nicholson sent a dozen sneakers and some of his dress shoes after hearing about Samaritan's Feet from his beloved Los Angeles Lakers.

Musicians in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performed a concert in their bare feet. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels held a barefoot news conference.

This month, South Carolina Lt. Gov.Andre Bauer presided over the state Senate in his bare feet to promote the upcoming state project. just seems so simple.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Steve and I were married for not quite seven years when he was born.

Today he is seven years old.


Happy Birthday Sam-a-lama!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


(Please accept my apologies for the extreme pasty whiteness of my fat leg.)

#21 way to change the world

First we begin with a sincere “thank you” for your support of Noah’s Wish, we truly appreciate your help; without your on-going assistance, we would find it difficult to help animals affected by disasters.

Given the current economic climate, we know that everyone is looking for the best bargain or some fun and/or entertainment when they spend. With that in mind, we have several innovative fundraising events scheduled for this spring and summer that you may find of interest:

Starting today, May 22, 2009, the Noah’s Wish Art and Book auction begins on eBay. There will be 60 items available to the highest bidder. We have a number of original pieces of artwork and author autographed books that will be sold to the highest bidders.

The auction runs from May 22 through May 31st, take a look at what’s available and bid on those that strike your fancy!

In addition, we will conduct our annual Pet Photo Contest beginning in August. This is where you enter your favorite pet photo for a nominal entry fee and encourage friends and family to vote for the photo. The picture receiving the highest number of votes wins the grand prize! Information regarding the contest will be posted on our website in early August.

Once again, thank you for your continued support.

Please note: Noah’s Wish respects the privacy of our donors/volunteers and does not share or sell its mailing lists.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Miscellaneous thoughts

Kate asked...
Let’s toss aside the solemnity commanded by the economic shitstorm. Tell me what you lust for. What indulgences, little or big, do you refuse to give up against all good advice? What ridiculous or otherwise wildly irrational object would make your life complete?

I refuse to give up against all good advice... new camera (I will share photos some day, I promise)
...the wii we are saving up for
...havarti cheese jewelry (not real expensive stuff)

I'm a simple girl, really. But I have to say, I think my life would be complete if I could afford a minivan with all the fancy schmancy features (mine has crank windows as if I'm living in a 1970s movie). I KNOW my life would be complete with a new Jeep Wrangler (I miss my Jeep...gave it up for a "family car").
My job title should be Assistant Prosecutor/Guidance Counselor. I swear half the problems I deal with are not legal in nature but are, simply put, personality conflicts.
M&Ms premiums will soon be available in individual serving sizes rather than just the $7 big size. I LOVE the mint ones.

BTW...if you don't follow The Candy Blog, you really should.
Question: If you give a birthday gift that requires a battery charge to a six-going-on-seven kid, do you charge it before you give it to him? Keep in mind that he's receiving said gift at his birthday party and there is a good chance he will want to play with it to the exclusion of his party guests.
I'm still irritated about this.
This week was crazy busy. One dog had a seizure. One dog had a dental appointment (and diagnosis of thyroid disease). I had a migraine that kept me home from work on Tuesday. Sam had THREE baseball games. Sam and I have been working with a dog at the APL shelter almost every day (Zip's story is in the works). Tonight is tattoo and grocery shopping night (isn't that a weird combination?). Tomorrow is Sam's birthday party. Sunday and Monday are going to be days of rest, gardening, sewing, crocheting, beading, and maybe a little cleaning. I can't wait!
I actually did consider dragonflies for my tattoo, but I want something that will remind me of all my boys...and dragonflies really remind me only of the two who aren't here. Never thought I'd say this, but that'd be just too sad to see every day.
I caught the boss playing computer solitaire today. It stands to reason that he won't mind my playing Bejeweled Blitz...right?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The un-funny joke

Coworker #1:
Yeah, I saw the public defender, Joe, in the hallway. He commented, "I haven't seen you in a while, I take it you had the child then?" I should have looked down and my belly and said, "Oh my gosh...where did it go?"

Coworker #2:
No, if you really wanted to screw with him, you should have told him you lost the baby.

(long seconds of uncomfortable silence)

Coworker #2: (looking at me quickly and saying, very quietly)
Just kidding.

I know I've done a good job assimilating myself into this new life. I've tried to make my story conversational so that people don't get weird and uncomfortable around me. I still can imagine no realm of existence where THAT would have even been considered funny. Even before, I would not have found that funny...nor would I have expected anyone else to think that was funny.

I'm beginning to think some of the people I work with are just missing critical strands of DNA or something.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

She's lost her mind

I'm doing something my mother doesn't really approve of. But I've waited a reasonable amount of time to make sure I'm not making a spur-of-the-moment decision and, even though I'm nervous, I think I'm ready.

I'm getting a tattoo. Friday.

Now here's my dilemma...the design. Here are my options at this point...
I won't tell you which is my favorite because I want an impartial opinion from the internets. So...which do you like?

They can all be altered, so feel free to make suggestions. I want it to be pretty small...but not tiny. Maybe two or three inches across at the biggest point. I also want to work in the colors of the boys' birthstones (or rather, birthstones for Sam & Myles, and what-should-have-been-birthstones for Alex and May, June, September, and November).

I toyed with the idea of a celtic heart, but I used that on Alex's headstone and...well...I'm not sure I want the same thing on my person. I want a visible reminder...just not such an in-my-face one, ya know?

I've been thinking about this for, literally, years now. I can't believe it's finally time to do it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Where reality and fantasy collide

Does anyone watch Fringe? He DIED when he was six?!?!
Sam: Sometimes the mommy cow feeds her baby and then has extra milk, so the farmer takes the extra.

Me: That's not true.

Sam: Yes it is.

Me: Well, most of the time, they only produce extra because the farmer gives them medicines that make them make extra milk. And a lot of people think that might not be such a good thing for people to be drinking.

How is this an education? Rainbows and unicorns is not reality. Why aren't they teaching my kid about real life? Is this why I'm so woefully prepared for my own adulthood?
Sam: Mommy, wouldn't it be nice if there were no laws?

Me (the lawyer):

Sam: But then we wouldn't have to stop at stop lights like on Paradise City.(cousin's xBox360)

Me: Do you know what would happen in real life if you drove like on Paradise City? People would die. We have laws to keep people safe and alive.

I think I owe Tipper Gore an apology.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Frugal Friday

9lb bag Kingsford charcoal
Watch battery
A&W root beer
FREE! (paid with rebate gift card)
Plus savings of $0.60 for the vacation fund

Three 14kt bead spacers
Spent $10.86
Saved $23.80

Spur of the moment stop in for dinner stuff and a few other grocery items.
2liter Diet Pepsi
2liter Diet Dr. Pepper
Goldfish crackers
Fruit snacks
3 boxes Honey Nut Cheerios
Ground Beef
2 bags hamburger buns
Spent $28.02
Saved $5.00

Giant Eagle

Another spur of the moment trip. These kinds of trips will kill the budget if I'm not careful.
12pk Killians
Havarti cheese
Oliver Soft Red wine
Mikes Hard Berry
Double Stuff Oreos
Spent $40.24
Saved $0.39

1 Schick Quattro trimmer
6-pack Gatorade Orange
6-pack Gatorade Fruit Punch
Bag Doritos
CVS Kids sunscreen (no-rub spray)
Spent $9.76
Saved $29.85
Received $4 ECB back

I want to make a special note of these purchases because they will be tax deductible as a donation to the well as a good deal.
Order #1
1 Car Magnet
250 Business cards
100 postcards
25 business card refrigerator magnets
1 rubber stamp
1 xl tshirt
1 pen
Spent $18.74
Saved $82.94
Order #2
1 Car Magnet
250 business cards
1 rubber stamp
1 xl tshirt
1 pen
Spent $16.13
Saved $16.00
Order #3
1 Car window decal
250 business cards
100 postcards
10 large refrigerator magnets
1 rubber stamp
1 note pad
1 sticky note pad
1 xl tshirt
Spent $16.85
Saved $72.95

#20 way to change the world

Bid on a celebrity-designed baby blanket at the Bundled In Hope auction on ebay and help provide blankets for babies in need.

A partnership of Toys R Us (our favorite store) and Save the Children (one of our favorite charities).

All cash donated at Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores nationwide, online at, and through our baby registry fundraising program, along with 100% of all winning bids from the auction of blankets designed by celebrity moms, will be directed to Save the Children as part of the Bundled in Hope campaign.

Save the Children will use funds to purchase baby blankets for children in the most impoverished parts of the United States – such as Appalachia, the Mississippi River Delta, the Gulf Coast, and California’s Central Valley – and provide ongoing support in these regions through a comprehensive early childhood development program.

The program kicked off in conjunction with Mother’s Day and continues through July 11.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

No, really, that's ok

Steve walks into the bathroom at the office. He notices there are two water bottles sitting on the counter. He also notices the cleaning person is working in the bathroom.

Steve enters a stall and hears his co-worker, D, emerge from a neighboring stall and ask the cleaning person what happened to his water bottles. The cleaning person apologizes and says he thought they had been left there. The cleaning person then proceeds to reach into the trash and hand the water bottles back to D...who accepts them and leaves the bathroom.

Remind me never ever EVER to shake hands with D should I meet him.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Moving on

It's always weird the day after the anniversary of the worst day of our lives.

Back to a too-early alarm clock...I'm sooooo tired.

Back to work...
Today's work project is to determine who is responsible for paying for autopsies done in a neighboring county, our coroner's office (out of their budget) or our commissioners (out of the county general fund).

Back to blogging...
Thank you for all your kindness during this past week. Hell...thank you for all your kindness always. It seems impossible that anyone would want to read what I have to write for one day, let alone four years. But I have met some of the most amazing people through this blog and I consider you friends. I celebrate your victories and mourn your tragedies with you. And I am forever grateful that you share your words with me. I'm quite sure I would not have survived the past four years without you.

Like I's weird. Part Oscar-acceptance speech, part lets-pretend-yesterday-was-just-another-day.

But before I move on entirely for another year, I want to tell you about my amazing husband. I generally get so wrapped up in the business of daily life (you know, dirty socks on the floor...dirty dishes in the sink) that I forget how wonderful he really is and how much I love him. When I rolled over in bed yesterday morning and said, "I just can't do it today," he didn't bat an eyelash before he said, "You want some company?" And just like that, what could have been an awful day turned into something kinder...less jagged around the edges.

He made all the necessary phone calls while I played with our amazing kiddos in our king sized bed. He changed more than one poopy diaper. He grilled burgers for lunch. He took us to Walmart to buy flowers for the cemetery AND home. He took us to Applebee's for dinner. He bought me Mike's Hard Lemonade AND wine for later ("It's a long week...get both."). He did the hard digging work, breaking up the sod, around our sons' headstones. He said I could have the huge TV to watch a "chick flick" any time I wanted it. He tucked me in bed, handed me the remote control, and kissed me so sweetly that even when we agreed, "it's always going to suck," I knew we'd make it ok.

When I said, "Thanks for wasn't too bad," he replied simply, "We did it together."

And I realized...I only cried once during the entire day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I hope this day is filled with love for everyone.

If you are missing a child (or children) today, I hope this day is gentle on you.

To my own mom...I love you.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Mother's Day memories

I'm trying very hard to hold on here.

But I remember that Mother's Day four years ago so clearly. Mama Roberto's Italian Restaurant. The pink t-shirt I was wearing. Excusing myself from dinner to go stand outside because I started coughing and couldn't stop. Is that when it happened? Or did he die while I was enjoying my chicken parmigiana? I still can't set foot in that place...and I doubt I ever will be able to again.

I want so much to replay the happy times. But the happy times seem so far away and fuzzy around the edges. Like a dream that you know was good...but you just can't remember the details.

The details of the bad, however, are crystal clear. Why is that?

I look at my beautiful boys here with me and I try not to think of that other life...the one we could have had. It's just too painful. Because the razor sharp images of all that went wrong spring to the front and center and demand attention...when all I really want is one or two good memories of what was right. Like the thought of Mama Roberto's, the details only seem to bring guilt and sadness and unanswered questions. It was a lovely lunch. But unless I concentrate really really hard, that is not what I recall.

I know I'm not supposed to wallow. I KNOW. But Baby Alex brought such happiness to my life once upon a time that I can't help but want to feel a slight glimmer of that again. That's not to say I'm not happy now in my life. I mean, look at my boys...of COURSE I'm happy. It's just a different happy. It's the happy that came AFTER. I just really really really miss the happy that came BEFORE.

I'm rambling. And I apologize for it. There are just so many thoughts and feelings that bleed into one another during these few days each May that I can't compartmentalize...can't quite make sense of. Mother's Day is it's own special hell each year. Smiles and brunch and homemade gifts from smiling children I adore alongside trips to the flower shop and cemetery to visit dead children I long for. How did this become my life? I still can't quite believe it...can't wrap my mind around the horror of everything that happened to us. I see us on that Mother's Day in my memory and I want to scream at us. I'm not sure what I would say, though, because it's all so complicated now.

Yes, I would love to find the uncomplicated happiness that came BEFORE. But that will never happen. There will always be a footnote to explain that I was happy "even though"...or I was happy "despite."

So I'll never go to Mama Roberto's again. I'll miss it, but I think I can be ok with that. In fact, looking at my little family, I'm sure I can be happy with that.

Miscellaneous thoughts

I absolutely LOVE Secret Spineless whines...especially when relevant to my life.

Can I copy this one and hang it on the bulletin board at my office?
Nearly one in five of the uninsured – 8.5 million people – live in rural areas.
Rural residents pay on average for 40% of their health care costs out of their own pocket, compared with the urban share of one-third.
In a multi-state survey, one in five insured farmers had medical debt.

Hard Times in the Heartland; Health Care in Rural America

I find this interesting given the popular representation of those needing help with medical care as typically being the urban poor.
I have spent this past week catching up on blogs I haven't read in weeks, months, and (in some cases) years. In fact, I completely forgot I subscribed to Google Reader for a while and there are a whole bunch of blogs I just don't read anymore. It was weird...kind of like catching up with old friends...kind of like being a peeping tom.
I am not a confrontational person. I know...funny stuff for a lawyer. But I try to avoid confrontation as much as possible. So some uncomfortable confrontational business with the Board of Directors I am a member of has got me out of sorts. I'm in the position of telling someone some news they will find unpleasant. It's nothing personal for me...just business. But I KNOW how these things work and I'm terrified of the fallout. (deep breath) I really need to grow up, don't I?
Sam: "Some people believe in a lightning Jesus."

Me: (choking on my pecan pie) "What is a lightning Jesus?"

Sam: "A Jesus who throws lightning bolts down through your house like a weapon."

Me: "And who told you this?"

Sam: "Ms. C read it to us from the book she was reading."

Me: "What book was that?"

For the record, the book is I Can Read About Thunder and Lightning, by David Cutts, David Davidson. And the EXACT quote is...
"Long ago, people thought that thunder and lightning were caused by the gods. The ancient Greeks believed there was a fire god who hammered thunderbolts and lightning streaks on his anvil in the heavens. Then he gave them to Zeus, the king of the gods, who hurled them at his enemies."

Sounds about as plausible as all the other stuff I've been taught over the years.
Dear co-worker:
Your friend who is beaten by her rich boyfriend but "keeps going back to him because he's rich" and because "she seems to like drama in her life" is a victim of abuse. Instead of condemning her choices, why don't you break out of your own comfortable little life and really help her make better choices. Simply telling her to call the Victims of Crime office is like spitting on a raging forest fire.

Oh...and get a freaking work in a PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE! You should know better.
Actual email received at work...
Attached please find the May Risk Management meeting notice. The topic for May is Employee Safety and Violence Prevention, presented by G.... G....., an instructor on Anger Management.

And another actual email recieved at work...
I thought everyone may be interested in this information for subsidy on electing health insurance after a posibile lay-off.


L (Human Resources)

#19 way to change the world I'm not about ONE charity. Today I'm all about Mom. is hosting a "Mom Knows Best" celebration.
Show her what you learned by supporting a mom-approved project, and share a lesson you learned from her.
A list of Mom-approved projects can be found here.

Pick any little as $10 can make a big difference somewhere in this world.

Make a donation.

Make Mom proud.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Don't touch me

I feel it sidling up to me...

The red in my underwear mocks me for all my failings and I want to lay down and weep on the floor of the bathroom.

whispering in my ear...

My coworker is back from maternity leave with tales of her non-sleeping baby.

slipping an arm around my shoulders...

My other coworker asks me how much water you're supposed to drink before an ultrasound.

drawing me close...

I go back through my blog archives as though I'm massaging an scar on my flesh that still aches when the weather is just right.

waiting for me to break down...

Last year I would have closed my office door and let the tears come.

but I am stronger now...

I hope to find distraction in other things.

I think I can plug the holes and dam the tide for now...

I mess up the RSVP details on one of Sam's 7th birthday party invitations when my mind wanders to what kind of flowers I should plant at the cemetery this year.

I don't want to cry...I've wasted enough time on that sort of nonsense...

There are friends who send supportive emails and I hope they understand that I just can't answer right now.

they're gone and they're never coming back...

Keep moving.

I hate this...
I hate this...
I hate this...
I hate this...

Monday, May 04, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Dad!

I often do shout-outs to my Mom because I know she reads here occasionally. But it seems Dad doesn't get nearly the mention Mom does. I think today is a perfect opportunity (albeit late in the day) to rectify my oversight.

Today is my Dad's birthday. Help me with some birthday wishes, will ya?

Happy Birthday Dad! We love you!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Are you kidding me?!?!

Sam's t-ball coach from last year is an assistant coach this year. He and his wife have four beautiful kids...three boys and one girl. They are lovely people and we really like them (we really should invite them over to dinner or something...but with four kids, they rarely have any free time).


At the first baseball game of the season, while sitting innocently in the stands minding my own business, I overheard someone ask how old the daughter was.

She'll be four on May 11th.

F*** you too, universe!

I guess that'll teach me to eavesdrop.

Friday, May 01, 2009

#18 way to change the world

The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Something I only recently learned about Dress for Success...
To meet the need for services that would help women both find and keep jobs, we established the Professional Women's Group (PWG) program, which offers women ongoing support as they successfully transition into the workforce, build thriving careers and prosper in the mainstream workplace. Once a woman joins the PWG she is a member for life, able to attend meetings at any affiliate throughout the world, and can benefit from additional employment retention and mentoring programs.

Dress for Success also has developed Career Center, an initiative that promotes confidence and professionalism by providing women career guidance, the chance to acquire technology skills and assistance in their job searches.

Another way in which Dress for Success supports women joining or returning to the workforce is through Steps to Success, an initiative that focuses on the crucial first 30 days of employment, during which newly-hired women face many potential challenges. Made possible by the generosity of the National Endowment for Financial Education, the Steps to Success: A Guide to Success in the Workplace publication helps women prepare for their new jobs, identifies barriers they might encounter during their first days, encourages them to plan for their futures and highlights resources that can assist them during this transition, including the Professional Women's Group.

Support Dress for Success

Miscellaneous thoughts

The Fisher Price Stride to Ride Walker I bought Sam in 2002 was discontinued in 2006 and is now considered collectible. WTF?!?!

I just need some replacement balls for the darn thing (the dog ate ours). I'm afraid ping pong balls will be too small.
Congratulations to Shutter Sisters for winning the Dream Photography Assignment contest. Hope IS more than wishful thinking.
It's a simple thing really...squirt some Windex on the windows and wipe. So why am I the only one who seems able to do it? Do I live with idiots? (Don't answer that.)
For anyone who wonders what celebrities and Twitter are good for...look at this.

And on Twitter...Hugh Jackman took "favorite charity" suggestions and as a result is donating $50,000 to Charity:Water and $50,000 to Operation of Hope.'s good for something more than just wasting time.
Sam woke up with an enthusiastic, "It's May first!" and bounded out of bed to go play.'s May first. In a week it will be May eighth. And then a few days after that...May eleventh. I rolled over and went back to sleep.
Dear MSN...I do not want to look at closeups of people's teeth while reading my emails. Please remove these ads or I may have to change to a different free email service. Thank you!
Filed under "Things I never thought I'd say"...
"Sam, why is the dining room table tied up?"
Busy weekend planned. off with Sam to clean the house and play video games, not necessarily in that order. Maybe a dinner date with the hubster. Must get some birthday and grocery shopping in here somewhere as well. game then home to clean and cook for a Lia Sophia party. I use the term party loosely, as I think about four other people are planning to attend...and one of them is my mom.

Sunday...I'm off to the Maple Festival to sell raffle tickets for the Friends of Womensafe quilt raffle. Then watch the parade with the family at 3pm. Afterwards, I believe we're headed to my parent's house to have an early birthday dinner for my dad (his birthday is the 4th).

See ya on the flip side!
And the winners of the candles are...
Black Orchid ~ robin_titan
Sparkling Amber~ Catherine me with your snail mail address and I will get them out to you ASAP. Catherine...I've got yours already.

Thanks to everyone who reads/comments/supports my sorry a$$ when I need it.

I think I'm going to do more giveaways. This was fun!