Wednesday, September 30, 2009

#40 way to change the world

Help my friend Sherri in her Light the Night Walk efforts. This is a very personal cause for her and I want to help her achieve her goal of $150.

Picture day(s)

Sam had not one, but TWO bloody noses before school today...picture day. We have no first grade picture because Sam was sick last year on both picture day AND re-take day. So I guess the bloody nose picture is better than nothing. Right?
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Myles came home with his daycare picture yesterday. In his daycare picture he is wearing clothes that aren't his. Not because he had soiled his own clothes in any way...but apparently because someone at the daycare determined that his own clothes weren't appropriate/cute enough for picture-taking. Should I be insulted?
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My friend who is a professional photographer is coming out from Phoenix to photograph my brother's wedding next Saturday (10/10). I haven't seen her since our group trip to Virginia Beach a few years ago. I'm so excited!
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I'm already slacking on the photo blogging despite my resolving to do better. Story of my life.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Season premiere - Grey's Anatomy

In life, grief can look like a lot of things that bear little resemblance to sharp sorrow.

Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.

It isn't just death we have to grieve...it's life...it's loss...it's change.

And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes...has to hurt so bad...the thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.

That's how you stay alive. When it hurts so much that you can't breathe. That's how you survive.

By remembering that one day...somehow...impossibly...you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much.

Grief comes in it's own time for everyone. In it's own way.

So the best we can do...the best anyone can do...is try for honesty.

The really crappy thing...the very worst part of grief...is that you can't control it.

The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.

And let it go when we can.

The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it...it starts all over again.

And always...every time...it takes your breath away.

There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us but there are always five.

Denial.

Anger.

Bargaining.

Depression.

Acceptance.


Yeah...that.

We love you, Grandma Ruby

My Grandma Ruby...my last living grandparent...died late last week. Today is her funeral.

Past family losses have sent me running to find photos so that I could put them together with my memories and the right words...as if posting something here would be make it a proper goodbye.

But Grandma Ruby and I talked on my wedding day fifteen years ago. We had an understanding. Even before dementia robbed her of her memories, we had an understanding.

She knew that I was starting my own family. With a kiss and hug and a brief conversation, she told me she knew that, even though I was linked to her by blood, I was no longer the little girl who was required to do the family Christmas gatherings or the summer vacation visits.

She was my Grandma. I loved her. I respected her. I have missed her for a while now. I will continue to miss her...always.

I don't have any living grandparents. That's a lot to process and there just isn't any goodbye that is proper for this.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Honey, turn on the light

So let me tell you about the time my husband let a strange dog into our house in the middle of the night (last night)...

Every night, Steve goes downstairs at about 4am to let some of the dogs outside. Yes...every night. And he does it to protect me from the injury that would surely occur if I had to wobble my fat self on my bad knees down our wooden staircase in the dark with three or four dogs prancing the I-gotta-pee-dance all around. This is starting to sound like my Dad's I-walked-three-miles-to-school-in-the-snow-barefoot-uphill-both-ways story. But I digress...

So Steve takes three dogs down this morning, lets them out to do their business, lays himself down on the couch and promptly falls asleep. The sounds of barking wake him and he lets the crew in the house and four dogs stampede upstairs.

The commotion wakes me and I realize I have to pee...so I wade through the mass of unusually wiggly dog bodies to the bathroom. I don't put my glasses on or turn on the light, but I can see shapes and sizes by the illumination of the bathroom nighlight. As I sit on the toilet, Thunder, the big black lab who is our newest addition, starts pushing himself between me (on the toilet) and the wall. His giant body doesn't quite fit in the four inches, however, and I ask him, "Thunder, what is wrong with you? What are you doing?"

And then I hear fast and loud panting. Now you'd think this wouldn't be unusual with eight dogs in the house, but none of the eight do that loud panting unless they are really exerting themselves.

I look up and see what can only be described as a chocolate lab.

We don't own a chocolate lab.

I point in the dark and say, "Who's that?"

Steve comes around the corner and says, "Who's who? That's Thunder."

Me...motioning to Thunder who practically pushing me off the seat in his effort to hide behind the toilet now (big scared baby)...

"Uh...no...honey...THIS is Thunder...Turn on the light!"

(click)

Steve...sounding slightly amused and slightly alarmed,

"Cathy...that isn't our dog!"

I seriously can not type anymore because I'm laughing so hard.

#38 & #39 way to change the world

I've been slacking on my little efforts to change the world. Today, I'm revisiting an old one because of this picture... The UNICEF blogger wrote, "It’s easy to forget that these figures are someone’s family members." And they are so right. So please donate now to help children affected by the Philippines floods.

And I don't want to leave out the family here in our own backyard. This week...donate to some place that is helping the flooded residents of Georgia.
Kroger supermarkets are asking customers to help victims of recent flooding by donating money to assist the Salvation Army Georgia Division in providing food, water, clothes, cleaning supplies and other necessities to flood victims.

Customers can give money to benefit the flood victims by "rounding up" their Kroger purchases to the nearest dollar through Saturday. Customers also can make donations at any Kroger in Georgia.
Online Athens

According to the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Faith in Action is taking items such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, sofas, dressers, microwaves, TVs, kitchen tables and chairs, mattresses and box springs that are gently used and in good working order.

Call 770-833-7236
or e-mail gafaithinaction
@aol.com.

West Ridge Church in Dallas is accepting donations of furniture and other household items; call 770-222-2125 ext. 308 or e-mail brittneyf@westridge.com.

For up-to-date information on ways to support flood victims or to find help, call the United Way by dialing 2-1-1 or calling 404-614-1000.

The Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta also accepts household furniture in good condition.

Call 404-355-8530 ext. 222 or e-mail ddicaprio@furniturebankatlanta.org to arrange a drop off of furniture or a free pickup.
ajc.com

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wonder what's going on?

I've determined that my blog constipation lately is due to the fact that my co-worker is due to give birth on in four days. I still can't deal with it. But for some reason, I can't admit it now in any sort of detail. It makes me feel bitter and small to voice my thoughts on the subject. I feel as though I should somehow be beyond all that. So I don't say anything. I'm crocheting her a baby blanket...so at least I'm not completely becoming an antisocial hermit.

Add to that, Rachel's latest...and I just have nothing coherent to say. Nothing makes sense and I'm feeling the need to retreat from my own thoughts. gah! I bet I'd be fun at a party...if I ever were invited to one.

Time to shake loose the cobwebs and find something POSITIVE to talk about.

So...we're planning a blog get together in November. If you haven't received your invite and are a regular around these parts, drop me a line and I'll consider inviting you. :o)

Did I tell you that Sam has entered the "knock knock" joke phase of childhood. He is absolutely charming telling nonsensical "jokes" that he's made up...and laughing hysterically after each punchline. Of course, being an adult who is tired and cranky, I was reminded that I should find my sense of humor when he asked me, with a hurt look on his face, why I didn't laugh at his jokes. I love that kid.

My boy decided to play soccer again this year. Tonight he played goalie in a game during which TWO goals were scored on him. He did NOT cry...just shrugged his apologetic shrug and told his team, "my bad." hehehe...I wish I could do that more often.

Myles is Myles. Fiercely independent and thoroughly dramatic. Terrible twos here we come.

My brother is getting married on October 10th. My little brother...who said he'd never marry or have kids is getting married and has a baby and a step-son. Ha! Sucker! Welcome to my world! lol!

I need some sleep. It's 11 o'clock and I've not been sleeping terribly well the last few days. So I will curly up on my heavenly king-sized bed and try to think positive thoughts I can share with you tomorrow.

Until then...*mwah* (overly theatrical kiss)

Dogs on Thursday

Museum Day

Just wanted to let everyone know that Saturday is Museum Day. So if you aren't insanely busy like my family this weekend, you can print off a coupon for free admission to a local museum.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If it had all gone according to plan...

...you'd be three years old sweet Travis.

I'm still so sorry.

We love you and miss you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday

That's not your day

Very pregnant co-worker (formerly new mommy co-worker on this blog) is due on 9/28. She's tired of being pregnant and is planning to beg for induction at her appointment...tomorrow. As if it's not bad enough that I lost Alex and had to live with the sight of her new baby come July 4th. Now she wants to be induced on Travis' due date...

The logical side of my brain says it's just a day...same as any other. The emotional side of my brain (and possibly the softer parts of my heart) wish the world could stop for just one day for just a LITTLE remembrance for the half-baked boy who had my heart but no name when he died.

Naturally I'm spending some time today poking at the old bruises and seeing if they still hurt.

They do.

But I heard this song on the radio during my drive in to work...
So damn easy to say that life's so hard
Everybody's got their share of battle scars
As for me, I'd like to thank my lucky stars
That I'm alive and well
It'd be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smoulders in the rain
But not me, I'm alive.

And today, you know, that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing, can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
And I'm alive and well
Yeah, I'm alive and well.

Stars are dancin' on the water here tonight
It's good for the soul and there's not a soul in sight
This boat has caught it's wind and brought me back to life
Now I'm alive and well.

And today, you know, that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing, can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
Now I'm alive and well
Yeah, I'm alive and well.

...so I'm trying to manage a balance on that razor thin edge...you know the one I'm talking about (I'm glad if you don't).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Please vote!

My Animal Protective League (for which I am on the Board of Directors) needs your help! Please vote for us...EVERY...DAY. A new button will appear on my sidebar shortly.

Click here, search for "Ashtabula County Animal Protective League," and place your vote.

Don't forget! Every day!

Please and thank you!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday

The invoice for my van repair...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Photo Friday - Fear


There's apparently something about a giant swan that terrifies small children. Which is interesting and kinda funny, since it is a ride FOR small children.

#37 way to change the world

Your gift supports our yearlong early education program, providing children at risk of school failure with the support they need to be successful in preschool and ready for life. Last year, our donors helped more than 15,000 children in low-income communities get the "jumpstart" they need today for a brighter tomorrow. You can help us reach more! DONATE HERE

Miscellaneous thoughts

I hate being sick.
The end.
See ya next week.
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OK...so that's not all.

I heard something today to motivated me to write. Garth Brooks was interviewed about where he was eight years ago today. He was in New York. But you know what he said? He said, "The firefighters and police acted so bravely...but...that's their story to tell."

Everyone has a story to tell of that day. No matter how remote they were from the awful events.

Me?

All I can remember is that we (Steve, Princess Holley, and me) were in that very spot a week and a half earlier. That's my story. I think it was about ten days that separated us from the tragedy unfolding on the TV screen.

I have tried not to think about it...the what ifs. As awful as it sounds...I'm thankful for those ten days. That is my story.

No...THIS is my story.

And so today I choose to participate in the National Day of Service by doing administrative stuff for my Animal Protective League. I'm not changing the world by any means...just helping improve my little corner. And they're not human lives...but I'm still trying to save lives.

I hope some day, a long time from now, all the days following those ten days in September will count for something.

And I'm borrowing from Eve's tweet here...

"for today [I] will not dwell on the lives lost before they began, and the futures already underway left unfulfilled."
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Oh! And I MUST tell you about the second grade teacher! Or have I told you already? I'll have to check my archives and see...

So I only told you a bit about her. She sends home WEEKLY reports! She keeps us informed! And when I met her during Open House? She already had Sam's number! Sat him next to the quietest (and sweetest...I secretly hope they marry some day) girl in the entire class and gave him lots of incentive to complete his work. Unfortunately, he got sick and missed two days...losing his "groove." But still! The teacher! I LOVE her! I suppose it didn't hurt her image at all when she told me she knows my son is smart...that she knows that's not the problem. Seriously...LOVE her!
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I still hate being sick.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dogs on Thursday - Rest Home?

Sunday we brought another old soul into our home and it's caused a bit of confusion for all of us. Samuel is an elderly black lab who looks somewhat like Daisy, our other old black lab. The confusion comes when I use my mom voice and yell, "Samuel!" and everyone yells back, "The boy or the dog?"

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Then there's Myles running around saying, "Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!" And he really does look like Daisy. Except where Daisy looks like she stuck her face in a bag of powdered sugar, Samuel (the dog) looks like he's walked through one.

And his feet! Oh.My.Gosh.His.FEET! They are freakin' HUGE! I think he must be a cross between a black lab and some bigger breed with giant meat-paws.

But he's sooooo sweet. He seems a bit sad and doesn't seem to get excited about much. But he loves to play with the rope toy...and he is definitely a retriever (retrieving anything you throw for him). He knows "sit" and "shake" and is apparently completely housetrained (awesome!).

Samuel (the dog) was at the APL shelter and it was discovered he had a large growth on his neck. The volunteer veterinarian removed the growth and it was biopsied. Thankfully, I found out Tuesday that the growth was benign. Yay!

So...we'll see if Samuel might find himself a good home now that he's got some TLC to help him come out of his shell. He fits in here with all our dogs...so who knows...

Did I just say that? Well...the husband already loves him since he seems to be a "man's dog," so it IS possible I suppose that he might just stay here...we'll see...

Dear Sis

Photobucket

A little treat is on its way to you...I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Please excuse

We have very good reasons for not posting last week's photo challenge, self-portrait, or anything else of much interest. We are sick. Again. Sam started with the wheezing, coughing and throwing up while I suffered a gall bladder attack. Following the 24-hours-from-last-vomit rule, Sam stayed home from school and I drew the short straw to stay home too...where I promptly developed wheezing and coughing (thankfully no throwing up). It has been an absolutely crappy way to usher out the summer. I only hope it is not a harbinger of another nasty winter. Last winter's many many illnesses darn near killed me.

So let's see...

Thursday's photo challenge just happened to come to me a bit late. Not very inspired, but perfect to represent this past weekend...

Self-portrait Saturday and Perfect Moment Monday and Whiskers on Wednesday are not going to happen...I just don't have the energy. I've been sitting on the bed/sofa watching marathons of Ghost Whisperer and Joan of Arcadia. I'm achy and droopy and blah. I hope to be back in action soon.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Miscellaneous thoughts

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I just grabbed the nearest object (a little plastic ball) and threw it at my husband's head...and hit him. It's a good thing I wasn't near the pots and pans.
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Of all the people my child could be exposed to in the public school system, the President of the United States seems like one of, if not THE, least harmful. What's next? Parents get to approve a teacher's curriculum? "Oh no no no...I don't want little Susie learning about x, y, or z today?" As Sam likes to say...pish posh.

I also have to wonder if there would be all this furor if we were back in the immediate post-911 era and the President was GWB. Respect the President...no...wait...don't. I feel like I'm getting whiplash just trying to keep up with the whims of the American public.
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Why do most people have such a desire to believe in the hope of some God and lack such desire to believe in themselves? Why is it so difficult to believe in the power within us as individuals? and as a collective society? What makes that idea so much more preposterous than some all-knowing, all-powerful entity in the sky?
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My Crocs sandals arrived. Did you know they're made in China? I swear, the Chinese must laugh at all the weird stuff they sell us crazy Americans.

Anyway I tried them on and I have to say I like them. I'm not entirely in love with them just yet...the little nubbys on the soles of my feet feel really weird. But we'll see.
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Dick's Sporting Goods has opted NOT to sell Michael Vick jerseys. Kudos to them!

It just occurred to me that it's not considered ok for the President of the Unitest States to speak to schoolchildren, but it's ok to sell NFL merchandise that represents a convicted felon to schoolchildren. oy! People sure are crazy.
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I made a dog bed. I want to sell it to benefit the APL. The store staff have put it in the corner...without a price tag. How do I tactfully express that (1) my feelings were hurt; and (2) I think they could sell it if they displayed it appropriately?

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I can now officially list window decorator on my list of lifetime accomplishments.

And I got to USE my Cricut for the first time for the letters on the sign!

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No matter how much you know it isn't true, it still hurts when my kid says to me, "Sometimes you act like you don't love me."
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Tomorrow is shopping for shower and wedding decorations for my brother's October 10th wedding. My mom, me, and my sister-in-law-to-be (hey, that rhymes)...I hope she doesn't mind our weirdness because that might just be awkward at Thanksgiving and such.
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I just about wet my pants laughing while reading this.
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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Dogs on Thursday - Bookends

(L)Daisy, 13 years old and (R)Rory, 8 years old.
The young one is starting to look more and more like the old one every day.

(Never mind the dusty floors...ack!)

A good laugh

If you're in a bad mood and need a laugh, you should check out The FAIL Blog. Hilarious!

And if you knew about this and didn't tell me...well...you stink. :oP

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Whiskers on Wednesday


This is Toni. I call her Toni baloney. She's our "old cat" at about, we guess, 15 years of age. She was a stray that had moved into my parents' garage and wouldn't leave...until Steve and I stopped by one evening. When I sat down, she immediately climbed in my lap and curled up...so she HAD to come home with us.

I remember when we brought her home...our dog, Isaac, was none too thrilled. At first, he would chase her all around. But we knew it was all an act when we caught them sleeping curled up together one day. I know she misses him a lot. Today she barely tolerates the other animals in the house...a feeling I share on some days.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Thank you Arthur

Arthur is the nice customer service rep at my insurance company who informed me, while Sam was wheezing in my other ear, that my retail limit has been reached and I am supposed to refill "maintenance medications" through the mail and not at retail stores...in order to "maximize benefits."

It just would have been nice if someone had told me...you know...in advance of the asthma attack.

Thankfully, Arthur completely understood that I work for county government and therefore relevant information isn't necessarily shared...and put through a one-time "exception"...that will be ready in 24 hours. Yeah...I know. But that's "the best they can do" and I just have to understand (as I watch my son turn blue).

All this to maximize benefits.

Breathing is a pretty significant benefit, don't you think?

Yeah...me too.

And you know what maximized benefits mean? An inhaler...that costs $41...insurance covers $21 of it. I've refilled TWICE ALL YEAR. So I can certainly see where there might be significant savings by not allowing me to refill them at retail prices. I mean sheesh...I just might bankrupt the whole dang company!

I honestly contemplated saying, "I have two kids that don't breathe...they're really not as much fun as those that do...so I'd like to keep the breathing ones...you know...breathing."

I really should have.

**(Sam did not expire. The attack was soccer-induced and relatively minor...and because I love my control, I always have a backup inhaler.)**

UPDATE:
Exception denied. They'll put it through to a higher decision-making authority and they may possibly grant it. So that's another 24 hours.

The online forms have been filled out. IF approved, the medication should SHIP in 10-14 DAYS.

Guess Sam is supposed to just hold his breath until then.

Perfect Moment Monday