Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Bye 2009

Hello 2010.

Here is what I want from the coming year:

1. A local job for my husband that pays at least what his previous job paid.

2. A new house with a wrap around porch, an island in the kitchen, a big tub and sinks for two in the masterbath. There should be at least two acres fenced in with a small barn.

3. the energy and clarity of mind to accomplish my goals at work.

4. All my children should remain happy and healthy. Should any of them have to go to war areas, they should return safe and sound.

That's all I have for this moment. I'll add more later. Thank you for all the blessings I have in my life.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I did it!

I can down put a check mark next to "Complete a Half Marathon". I completed it in just a little over 3 hours. I wasn't out to set any records. I just wanted to do it.

Kudos to the folks who organized, set up and operated the Marine Corps Half Marathon here in Jacksonville, FL. I'm not sure how many participants there were but obviously more than they anticipated because they ran out of medals for those of us who completed the 13.1 miles. That's okay. I don't need a medal to remind me of what I just accomplished. I have my screaming muscles to do that. Actually, I'm not as sore as I thought I would be. While I did train, I didn't stick to the schedule. So, any pain that I'm in is my own damn fault.

It wasn't as cool as the weather people predicted but it was a nice morning. It started to get a little warm towards the end but that just inspired me to get my butt in gear and hit the finish line.

I started out next to three platoons, two Marines and one Army. I loved the cadences and was keeping pace with the Army group. The Marines were way to fast for me. I was disappointed when my singing soldiers veered off at the 5K split. Wimps. None of those three groups were going the distance. I held my head a little higher and headed towards the first bridge. We had two bridges to conquer, the Main Street Bridge and the Acosta Bridge . The Acosta kicked my butt. Even with my determination, I couldn't make it to the top running. I walked up. Up until this, I had kept a steady pace. I was doing about a 13 minute mile which is fast for me. The planners were smart in placing the bridges at the beginning of the race. In between mile 10 and 11 we had a ramp that goes up under the Acosta Bridge and it about killed me going up it. Coming down was fun because it goes around in circles. This part of the course is right on the St. John's river. I did mess up my pace a little because I had to stop and talk to the guys fishing. I couldn't run by them without out checking out the catch of the day.

I was grateful for the water station people. Especially at mile 10. I was feeling the effects of not sticking to my training schedule. I was getting tired and my legs were beginning to scream. They handed me a pack of energy gel. Wow. That helped. It really started to kick in about mile 11 or so. I needed that boost. My sweetie met me about a 1/2 a mile from the finish line and accompanied me to the final sprint. Yep. I kicked it in gear and ran full throttle across the finish line.

The people who participate in these runs are great. They are from all walks of life and in all different stages of physical shape. As noted in one of the previous posts, I called VW at the half-way point to give her an update. She went into hysterics when I mentioned that I had almost caught up to the guy on crutches. I wasn't kidding. This man did the entire half marathon on crutches. I never did catch him. He was fast. He is my hero of the day. What an accomplishment!

One guy gets the jerk award. I couldn't believe this man. He was probably in his late 50's or older. He's jogging by this young girl who is probably in her early 20's and says to her, "I hate to pass you. The view is great." What a creep. I wish I could have seen his number. I would have reported him to the officials. There is no excuse for rude behavior like that.

Overall the day was fantastic. The course was beautiful. The event was well organized. The people were great (except for one idiot). And the charity it benefits is special. The proceeds from this event go to Scholarships for the children of our Service people who have been killed in Iraq. I hope they raised a lot of money.

I personally ran for Run4Chance who supports the Injured Marine Fund and the Fisher House. I raised $260. Thank you to all who supported me. I had a great time and felt honored to represent Run4Chance and participate in this event.

3 hours 7 minutes or there abouts

Yipeee, she finished the race. FANTASTIC. I'm so proud of Sticks. Getting old and still able to get out there with the best of them! *ducks and runs*

1/2 Way Thru the Race

Just got a call from Sticks. She is half way thru the race and has almost caught up with the man on crutches. No joke. I laughed so hard when she told me. She just kept telling me it was true. I believe her, but it is still too funny!

Go Sticks Go!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Soul of a Woman

The Soul of a Woman

Down in the depths of a woman's soul,
God's love is found, perfect and whole.

In her motherhood and sisterhood, she is healer of all,
Mender of life, she waits for her call,
And puts self aside, to bring out Self in all.

Beauty exists in the dawn of the day,
The answer is found by all who pray,
To know, truly know, woman's loving way.

Her heart grows from birth to transition,
Guided through life in quiet decision.

With the wisdom of sages,
She faces life's stages,
Knowing her role all along,
Is to sing and dance to every song.

Through expression of love, true and pure,
Her heart holds our secrets, safe and secure.
Down in the depths of a woman's soul,
God's love is found, perfect and whole.

Sore but grateful

Sunday I completed my 8 miles of training. While I was slightly sore and not so bendy yesterday, the worse part came at work. I am required to wear steel toed, metatarsal boots. I haven't weighed them but they probably weigh about five pounds. My legs screamed as I dragged those heavy ass boots around. It felt like I had my feet tied to concrete blocks. To make matters worse, I also do a lot of climbing. I am actually grateful as my job helps to keep me in shape. About three years ago, I transfered out of this particular job. I gained 28 pounds and felt like crap. Between my job and training for the Marine Corps Half-Marathon, I have lost 18 of those pounds in the last three months.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hero of the Day

There are people who are far stronger and braver than I am. When faced with impossible circumstances, they prevail. One of those people is Sgt. T. J. Edwards, USMC. He was wounded in Iraq on December 9, 2006. Despite being burned on over 45% of his body, he recovered and is running marathons. He states,

"If I can be burned over nearly 50% of my body and complete three marathons and one triathlon, along with overcoming the mental anguish of losing six of my brothers in combat, then anybody can overcome their tragic circumstances, and come out a winner on the other side.

It just takes time and effort and the will power to never quit."

He is my Hero of the Day. Thank you Sgt. Edwards for your duty, courage and sacrifices.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Today two great things happened. My official Run4Chance Shirt arrived and I officially registered for the Marine Corps Half-Marathon being held in Jacksonville on Oct. 3. I have 45 days to hit the training hard. I have been training but not as diligently as I should be. This race is important to me. First, because of the cause I am representing. Run4Chance. I am running this event independently. This is not one of their official races but I am still raising money for their cause. The money raised goes to the Injured Marines Fund and the Fisher House which gives the families of the injured service people a place to stay.

So, far you wonderful people have donated $265.00 to Run4Chance.

Mrs. Who of House of Zathras.
VWBug of One Happy Dog.
Writers Block of Pereiraville
and my blogless friend, Linnaya.

The men and women of our military put their lives on the line for all the liberties we have. The more I read about how women are still treated in other countries, the more I truly appreciate the sacrifices others have made for me. Recently, I read about a woman being caned for wearing pants. Pants. I can't imagine not wearing pants. Hell, I work in a man's world. I run a 35 ton tractor. Another woman is being caned for drinking beer. I would have been caned to death by the time I was old enough to drive. That would have been more beatings. While I have done a lot of things I probably shouldn't have, it is up to me to choose my how I live my life. I have to figure out what I believe is right and wrong. I don't think that should be done for me. Here in America we have the freedom to make wrong choices and the freedom to make right choices. And to decide if they are right or wrong.

I am truly an American Woman. I used to drink. I cuss. I wear pants. I drive a car. I travel by myself. I am going to college. I have married and divorced. More than once. More than twice. Stupid maybe. But, it is my life. I have to find what I think is beyond this life. I am discovering what my purpose in life is. I love the freedoms I have. It pains my soul to know that women are still treated so disrespectfully in other countries.

I am extremely proud of all of our servicemen and woman, past and present, who sacrificed so much including their lives so that I am free to make decisions for myself. I love being an American.


I am alive with creative energy, awake to prospering ideas, and open to unlimited goodness.

I am focused and handle distractions quickly and with ease.


I have two things at work at which have been procrastinating. Today I will tackle these.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Conquoring Adult ADD

Serious ADHD Likely!

I took an ADD quiz and scored an 82. Anything above a 70 is considered Serious. I have often mentioned to people that I have ADD. They laugh and usually joke that they do too. But, I am serious. This is something that holds me back. I need to make some changes in my habits to help me overcome this.

Just the thought of trying to get organized enough and stay that way to accomplish this almost brings me to tears. I know that I am an intelligent person and that I could be doing so much more in my life if I could only control this more. I love when I am organized. I feel better. But, it takes so much energy and is draining.

I am determine to finish projects that I start and start projects that I keep postponing.

A suggestion from one website says:

This is a different take on dealing with procrastination. Instead of trying to overcome procrastination by fear “get organized, try harder”, they suggest overcoming it by getting around fear through creativity and making “a small, imperfect start ” Here’s one of the steps.

How to talk to yourself:

– Replace “I have to” — which promotes victimhood and resentment — with “I choose to.”

– Replace “I must finish” with “When can I start again?”

– Replace “This is so big/difficult/complex” with “I can take one small step: one rough, rough draft, one imperfect sketch.”

– Replace “I must do this right (i.e., perfectly)” with “I can be human.” Accept “mistakes” as feedback, and part of the natural learning process. In fact, try to be imperfect. Intentionally do the first part of your project sloppily: rough draft in crayon, or on a coffee-stained old envelope.

My fear of making mistakes is huge. I am a perfectionist and analyze things to death. I don't "see" things like other people do. Solutions are not obvious. But, most of the time, I find that my ideas are right on. It's just that I have difficulty bringing them to life or finishing them.

I must conquer this. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pirohy and learning my Slovak side

My trip to PA was fantastic. I learned more about my grandmother and my heritage than I ever knew. I love tracing my roots and learning about my family. A lot of people don't seem to understand why I enjoy countless hours of research, visiting cemeteries and libraries and places where my ancestors once stood. I guess I do it for a sense of belonging. To understand the influences that have shaped my life.

My grandparents on my mom's dad's side of the family were Slovak immigrants. I was always told that I was Russian and Polish. But, the more I learn about the family, the area and the history, I'm am finding out that is not exactly right.

My great grandmother came from Mergeska (Nova Polianka). It is a small village in the Eastern Carpathian Mountain region in Slovakia. In 1896 when she left to come to America it was part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. Anna or Bubba as she was known (I'm sure the spelling is Americanized, but, that is how it was pronounced. I was told it meant mother in her native tongue) was a kindhearted but stern woman. Although, she spent over 60 years in America, she never learned the English language. My mother interjected, "except for when you were talking about something you shouldn't have done. Then she understood English perfectly and would knock you upside your head." So, as I am learning about her I am being introduced to her language and her cooking. She loved to feed people. There was always something cooking on the stove. I have been told she would feed everyone especially the other immigrants that were passing through. Her home was open and she made everyone feel welcome.

The day after I arrived in PA, there was the huge annual picnic at the church. Unfortunately, I didn't find out about it until too late to attend but I did get to benefit from it. The next day, my grandmother and I ran into some of my mom's cousins and they gave us some Pirohy (there a numerous spellings, In English, the word pierogi and its variants (perogi, perogy, pirohi, piroghi, pirogi, pirogen, pierogy, pirohy, pyrohy) are pronounced with a stress on the letter "o") . They are basically potato ravioli smothered in butter and onions. Everyone had been raving about Pirohy. Which by the way I had a very difficult time pronouncing until I saw it spelled out on the Church website. This church was established in 1904. My great grandfather was one of the original members.

This is the stained glass window with his name on it.

In my search for a recipe, I found a slovac cookbook that I will be ordering. I want to learn and pass this heritage on.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I'm crawling out from underneath my rock to let everyone know I am alive and well. I checked my last post and was shocked that two months have passed. I'll blame it on being newly married. I have better things to do than spend all my time on the computer telling my secrets.

First, I want to thank everyone who has donated to Run4Chance. Bless each and every one of you. This is a cause that is very personal to me as you all well know. I love my boys dearly and with all of them in the Military right now, I draw a deep breath with each phone call. Presently, they are all state side and doing well but that can change at a moment's notice. Again, thank you for your donations. They are going to be very worthy cause. While I am still collecting for Run4Chance, my plans have changed slightly. I will not be going to VA to participate in the half marathon. Instead I will be doing the Marine Corps Half Marathon here in Jacksonville on Oct. 3. The main reason for this is that my youngest son, Chowhound, is no longer stationed in Virginia Beach. He has been transferred to Twenty-nine Palms, CA (only 3 hours away from one of his brothers). He was my main reason for wanting to do that particular run. We were going to run it together. But, that's military life.

Anyway, I used my travel money to go visit my 95 year old grandmother in PA. It was the best trip ever. That woman is my hero. I will be posting stories and pictures soon. I learned so much from her and met family for the first time. It was incredible.

There have been other things going on health wise, but they have resolved themselves and I am back to training for the half-marathon.

I finished my summer class, Industrial Electronics, with an A and the next semester starts Sept. 2 for me. I will be starting with one class, Basic Instrumentation, and adding Advanced Instrumentation in October.

My company did away with my position at work but fortunately they needed someone to do one of my previous jobs so I am still employed and back to work in a physically demanding job.

Well, that's it in a nutshell.

I promise to visit more sites, comment more often and post here too.

Monday, June 08, 2009


sticks's Dewey Decimal Section:

228 Revelation (Apocalypse)

sticks = 909319 = 909+319 = 1228

200 Religion

The Bible and other religious texts, books about the general philosophy and theory of religion.

What it says about you:
You don't mind thinking about the unknown or other very big ideas. You will never feel like your work is finished. The 200-series is dominated by Christian topics, so you may feel like you're constantly surrounded by Christians.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

I found this via Mrs. Who, but should I really hat-tip her for this? I'm the apocalypse? She's Arts and Recreation. I'm frickin doom. That's just not fair.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A glimpse of the Okefenokee Swamp

This handsome fellow lives at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge just south of Folkston, GA. He was kind enough to sit and pose.

The view from the lookout tower was spectacular.

The Chesser homestead is open to the public.

We had a great day trip to the Swamp and are planning on going back as we did not get to take the boat tours.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jumping the gun

I think my new husband is trying to collect on my insurance policy already. Immediately, after I returned from doing my hour walk/run, he wants to walk the dogs. That is an additional 1 1/2 miles. After that we went for a 12 mile bike ride and then he wanted to hit the pool. I have done my own mini-triathlon today. I'm whooped.

I guess he doesn't realize I haven't changed my beneficiary yet.

Run4Chance and heeding great advice

I have started my training for the Rock and Roll half Marathon in Virgina Labor Day weekend. I'm not a runner. But, I am determined to complete this and achieve my donation goals. I will be begging for money as soon as I get my donation website completed which I plan to do today. I have joined the Run4Chance Team. This team was established in honor of Chance Phelps, a Marine, who was killed in action. The donations go to the Fisher House, which gives the families a place to stay while their loved one is recovering from injuries, as well as the Injured Marines fund. I will need everyone's help to reach the minimum goal of raising $1,000.00. This is such a small amount compared to what these heroes have to endure. I am a not a person to ask for help but this time I will and I will be shouting it from the rooftop if I have to. I believe in this cause. I know everyone who reads my blog, both of you, know who Chance Phelps is and have probably seen the HBO movie, Taking Chance. I was first introduced to Chance through The Blog of War. I was moved by the story and very impressed with the grace and dignity in which HBO translated the story to a movie. The hardest part for me to watch was when Lt. Strobl met the young man escorting his brother home. I held my breath, pushed back the tears and prayed that none of my boys would ever be in that position. Anyways, that is the charity for which I am running.

UPDATE: Here is my donation website:

Please spread the word. I need all the publicity I can get. I know times are tough right now. But, war does not stop because of economic conditions. Our service people and their families need our help now. It's the least we can do for all they do for us.

Yesterday was an extremely hot and muggy morning. I struggled. The famous words of a wonderful, determined lady came to my mind and and I kept pushing myself chanting her words. "Embrace the suck, Embrace the suck." Thank you Boudicca. You are helping me get through this.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Changing my last name

I’ve always hated those questions that ask you to predict the future. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I know that life throws so many variables at you that even a mathematician can’t solve it. I can honestly say that five years ago when I was filling out an e-Harmony personality profile, I didn’t see myself getting married tomorrow. In fact, I wasn’t doing the profile to find a mate or even a date. I was doing it to find out what the hell was wrong with me. Why was I single again at age 39?

I had been in and out of relationships. The longest had been a teenage infatuation that survived five years of on again/off again dating followed by eight years of marriage and three wonderful children. There were a lot of mistakes made on both our parts. No one person was to blame for the break-up. We just weren’t compatible. Shortly, thereafter, I took the leap again. I was struggling financially, going to college, and rearing three busy elementary age boys. This man promised me the world and told me he owned it. I took the bait, hook, line and sinker only to find out it was all a lie. Five years later, I found myself divorced again but this time I was over 300 miles from my family. I was alone with my three boys and on my own. I had a decent job and wasn’t struggling financially now but I was desperately lonely. Desperation makes you do things you know you shouldn’t do. The next fellow was easy on the eyes but hard on my heart. I knew from the moment I met him that it wouldn’t work. But, he was smooth and charming and I was clinging onto hope like a shipwreck survivor clutches a life ring. Three years later, he left me wishing I was dead and hurting emotionally like I had never hurt before in my entire life. The pain was unreal. My faith was destroyed.

So, I while I was trying to pull myself back together and mend the wounds that only time can heal, I saw the e-harmony ad for a free personality profile. I thought, “why not.” Maybe they will have insight into my flaws and I can fix what is wrong. I answered painfully honest and then soaked in the results. One observation hit the nail on the head.

“Because of your lenient and complacent nature, others with fewer scruples may take advantage of you. You could, perhaps, benefit from greater assertiveness.”

I knew deep in my soul that this was the root of the problems I had in relationships. The men I have always chosen talked a big talk about loving independent, strong women but in reality they felt threatened and retaliated by being controlling and demeaning.

I was determined to strengthen my resolve. I knew that if I was to ever have a happy, healthy relationship, I first needed to trust and believe in myself. I’m a survivor. Now, I was determined to thrive as well. I had accomplished quite a bit on my own. I needed to acknowledge my successes and not dwell on the failures. I was 39 years old. I had three great boys in High School. They were busy with friends and activities. They weren’t scholars but they weren’t criminals either. They were individuals and used their minds to make decisions. When raising them, my goal was to teach them how to think and how to make choices based on consequences and how to determine what the consequences would be. It was time to take my own advice.

At that point, my youngest son was starting high school. I made a choice that I would spend the next four years raising my sons and developing who I was. There wasn’t time for a man in my life and for the first time I decided I didn’t need or want one either. This was me time. I took to heart the advice I received in the e-harmony profile. It was something I already knew I just needed to see it in black and white.

So, I focused on me and ignored the matches e-harmony sent me. I’d browse through them for grins and giggles but never signed up or answered any. Then on June 21, 2004, one caught my attention. I was intrigued. The part that made me smile was his response to “what book did you read last”. His answer was “Harry Potter, so I could talk about it with my son.” I thought about the Harry Potter book I was currently reading with my boys and smiled. He didn’t live with his son. In fact, he wasn’t even in the United States. He lived over 600 miles and an ocean away from me. He was in the Bahamas and had been working in the islands for the past 11 years. We began communicating. I learned a lot from his questions and answers and must have statements. Shortly, thereafter we started e-mailing each other. One day we happened to be on-line at the same time and switched to chatting. This became my salvation. All day I looked forward to our evening chats. One night he asked if we could meet in person. He was coming into the U.S. to see his son and family and thought perhaps we could meet half-way between his home in South Florida and mine in North Florida. Orlando seemed like the perfect place for a first meet.

However, Mother Nature had other plans for Florida that hurricane season. In fact, four hurricanes that year caused us to cancel our plans. He was in the US more that year but hell and high water appeared and we couldn’t get together. He thought it might be a sign that we weren’t supposed to meet. I took the position that if someone was going to those great lengths to keep us apart then it might be to see if we have the resolve to fight for something. So, after months of tropical storms and hurricanes and dashed plans, I decided to take a chance and go to the Bahamas to meet him. I was turning 40 at the end of October and needed a break. After checking my sanity over with my mother, who encouraged me to go, I booked a room at a local hotel and took the leap. My mother’s advice was “you have to take risks in order to grow and move on to better things.” It was just for the weekend. The plan was to fly down on Friday afternoon and leave on Sunday. So, with butterflies in my stomach and a “what the hell are you doing” in my head, I stepped on the flight that would forever change my life. But, it wasn’t smooth sailing. I made it as far as Miami when they canceled my flight. Do I give up and go home or do I suck up my determination and keep on? I went for it. I arrived on a small island in the Bahamas on a Saturday afternoon. The sun was beating down and I was exhausted. A man I had never met waited on the other side of the fence for me. I couldn’t believe I had actually done this. I just flew 600 miles to an island for a first date. It was a fairy tale. It was like meeting up with an old friend you just haven’t seen in a great while. Twenty-four hours later, I was back on a plane heading home. As the plane ascended, I glanced down at the island. There coming from the clouds and highlighting the spot on the island where I had just been was the prettiest rainbow I had ever seen. Was it a sign?

Almost five years have gone by since that time. There were nightly phone calls, weekend trips and months and months of not seeing each other. We weathered storms and the debris that life throws at us. He broke his shoulder and needed surgery, my car was stolen and then my next car was wreck by one of my kids sneaking out on a midnight run. There were graduations and birthdays and holidays. There were the usual stresses of life and then the unusual stresses of a long distance relationship. We bonded with a friendship and trust I had never experienced before. He made those four years fly by.

Shortly, after I left the island for the first time and took in the beauty of that rainbow falling from the sky, I found this poem by B. G. Wetherby. It sums up our journey.

The storm is ending, the sun’s peeking out,

Your life will change without a doubt.

Beautiful rainbows will be everywhere,

Plenty of smiles, you’ll find them there.

You’ve passed through so much rain.

And you have endured so much pain.

You will heal, and you shall mend

As you draw nearer to the rainbow’s end.

At the rainbows end you will find

Love, acceptance, and peace of mind.

Life can be so simple there.

Worry free and without a care.

Something’s waiting on the other side.

Stay on the rainbow and enjoy the ride.

It won’t be gold on the other end,

You just might find a rainbow friend.

Your dreams will be culminating soon.

You will sing a new and happy tune.

So if you feel your life descend

You’re getting closer to the rainbow’s end.

Then suddenly, or so it seems, this past fall I found myself alone. My boys were no longer boys. They were young men who had lives of their own. Two of them became US Marines and the other went into the Air Force. There were scattered out around the world. I was alone for the first time in over 22 years. I had a job I loved, a house, a dog and a man I had promised to marry a year earlier. Only he was still over 600 miles and an ocean away. The question was how to reconcile this problem. What now? Fate stepped in and what might seem like a bad thing turned out to be a blessing. He was layed off from his job. After over 25 years with the same company, he found himself having to find new direction. So, our logistics problems were decided for us. He headed north back to the States.

We were both naturally scared. Although, we had been dating for over four years, two weeks was the longest stretch of time we had spent together. Would we still have the same bond day after day of being with each other? There are little things you find out about a person when you live with them that otherwise you would never know. Would we be able to work through those differences?

I have found it easier than I ever imagined. It just works between us without having to fight to make it work. Every day I am more aware of how amazing a person he is. Yes, there are adjustments and I know that there will always be challenges and storms to endure. But, this time I have an ally. I have someone who works with me and not against me. So, tomorrow I am changing my last name. We will elope in a simple ceremony. It will be just he and I. We have the blessings of our sons, our mothers, and our friends. We have each other. We will now build our lives together. It has been a long time in the making. And I have no doubt that our relationship will withstand the tests of time and the trials of life. We have been through so much together while being apart. Now, we will be together through all the tough times and through all the easy times. Two worlds have finally come together.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Training vs Mother Nature

I've started training for the Rock and Roll Half-Marathon to be held in Virginia Beach on Sept. 6. I actually started week before that but that only lasted a couple of days before Mother Nature stepped in. Not only did she bring torrential rainfall to this area, she decided it was a great time for me to prove I was a woman. I have yet to find a training program that says, "if it's that monthly time throw all this out the window, curl up on the couch with a bowl of chocolate and say the hell with it all." I don't know who writes those fantasy women protection product ads that say you can run and bike and be superwoman during that monthly crap but I suspect it's a man. If it's a woman than she should be sued for false advertising and shot just for plain lying because she should know better. I feel like crap for about four days. I have no energy. I hurt and I some evil woman shrinks my clothes and takes over my body. It's not helping matters right now that I also have a cyst on one of my ovaries and an enlarged uterus.

So, yesterday the weather cleared as well as other things and I was up early to train. Except that I didn't have an ounce of energy so early turned into more like 7:30 am. Big mistake. Big mistake. It gets way too humid to early even here in Northern Florida. I pushed myself through the 3 miles. I'm just starting and I am more of a walker than anything. I was zapped. It was a really rough 3 miles. The weather was humid already and my energy level was in the negatives. I never could find my "zone". Usually, I can get wrapped up in my thoughts and just go. I forget about my feet and just go. Not yesterday. I watched the road and agonized over each step willing myself to keep going.

Then I got fascinated with counting the frogs that didn't make it. This rain storm and flooding really brought them to the streets. It was like a bad frogger game. Smashed frogs everywhere. I figured as bad as I felt at least I wasn't road kill. Although, a couple of times it seems like a good idea. The evening was a little better and I got four miles in on the bicycle. It was scheduled to be a cross training day but since the days prior were a wash out I made my self walk/run.

Today was much better. I ran more and felt less tired. I never found my zone today either. But, I felt good afterwards. I got out a little earlier today so it wasn't as humid yet. There is a man that walks the same loop I am doing. He was there yesterday too. We go in opposite directions. My goal is to make it around the loop faster than he does. It's a little competitive but it is pushing me so that is good.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The calendar is ticking

59 Days

The Marriage license is only good for 59 more days. Now we have to figure when and where to get married.

Times are tight right now and it is difficult to get everyone together because they are spread so far apart. My children are coast to coast. Chowhound is on the Atlantic in Virginia. Daredevil is on the Pacific in California. And, Improviser is stuck in Oklahoma. My Sweetie's son and family is in South Florida and my family is in NW Florida. I think it will be just us going to the courthouse.

I'm going to dress shopping this weekend.

Since I am off on Mondays, it will most probably be a Monday. The only problem with that is I have Mondays booked with Doctor appointments. It was bad enough getting my marriage license after the dentist appointment. Half my face was still numb. I felt like a freak.

Next week I have a follow-up OB/GYN and ultrasound appointment. NO I AM NOT PREGNANT! I'm having other issues. But, I really will feel violated and don't want to say my "I do's" after that appointment. That just seems so wrong.

So, we have waiting for the right time and place. But, it needs to be within 59 days. No pressure.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Is it a sign?

My sweetie and I are planning to go get our Marriage license tomorrow. In the state of Florida you have to have present your social security card as well as show proof of termination of previous marriages. A couple of months ago I sent off for a certified copy of his divorce certificate. I already had mine. Once I received his, I put it with all my important papers so when the time came I would know exactly where it was. Great theory except in my world. I spent all of yesterday frantically tearing through my file cabinet going through every stupid piece of paper in there. I seriously need to rethink what I keep and why. I went through it at least a half a dozen times. I know I put it in there. Nothing.

My Sweetie says, "It's a sign".

"It's a sign I'm a bubble headed half blonde".

This morning I checked again. Nothing. I start drumming my fingers on my temples, "THINK, THINK, THINK." What file was next to my "important paper files"? I don't know now since I have moved them all around. Finally after another full search through both drawers in the filing cabinet, I walk into the living room to surrender. I notice my "school file" sitting on the end table. I pulled it out of the file cabinet yesterday to stick my new tuition papers in it so I know exactly where they are.

"I, wonder."

Yeah, I found it. It was stuck in the very back of it. It wouldn't be so bad but I remember thinking when I stuck the document in the folder, "I sure hope I got in the right one."

I wiped the sweat off my forehead and breathed a sigh of relief. Boy, was that premature. Now, I can't find my social security card. Until recently, I carried it in my purse. But, I remember thinking, "You know, I should put this somewhere safe." Crap here we go again.

So, now I'm tip-toeing around the house hunting for my social security card.

"Honey, what are you doing"?

"You don't want to know."

Damn, maybe it is a sign.

Happy Mother's Day to the breasted

A friend of mine lives in Guatemala and writes quotes on her Facebook page in Hispaniola. The Spanish-English online translators suck. Sometimes I can figure out what she is intending to say other times not. Today she posted a quote for Mother's Day. It's the best one they've had yet.

In all families there for moms, happy day, God bless her, not only today but every day! Remember that breasts are working 24x24, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, or EVER!

Some man some where is snickering and probably toasting over this translation. Only a man would have phrased it that way.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My son, My hero

I keep walking through the living room pinching myself. Yes, he really is home. It's three in the afternoon and he's sacked out on the couch. What a beautiful sight. Daredevil came home on the red eye flight from California. I keep walking in there and peeking at him like he's a newborn just home from the hospital. I'm trying really hard not to snuzzle him and kiss his sweet forehead. Babies respond positively to that but I'm guessing a 21 year old wouldn't. So, I resist my impulses.

It's been seven months since I have seen him. I miss him and his brothers terribly. Fortunately, we live in a great technological time and communication is frequent. I feel for the wives and mothers of yesteryear that would have to wait months and months to hear from their loved ones. I go crazy after one week.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why I blog

While I haven't been a habitual blogger, more like an intermittent one lately, today was a great example of why I blog. It's because of the wonderful people you meet. It is so easy to get discouraged with mankind when all you hear is the negative crap on the news. Through blogging I have met some wonderful people. Some I only know through blogs and e-mails. Some through phone calls and a few in person.

One special blogger came to the aid of our country today, so to speak. You see, the Air Force sent Improviser to Oklahoma. He was really bummed out. " What the hell is in Oklahoma?" It turns out a really wonderful lady and her family. Improviser is almost literally stationed in Rave's backyard. She went to the base and hauled him back to her house for the day. He is hanging out with Girlie playing Halo.

I've never had the pleasure of meeting Rave in person yet. We've spoken on the phone, swapped comments and e-mails but now my son is hanging out with her and her family. I love the era we live in. I can sit at home and make friends across the country and even the world. (And yes, I know my neighbors too. Though, I will admit not near as well as I know some of my online friends.)

Thank you Rave. You are a very special person. I hope one day I get to hang out with you.

Nineteen years


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Boss Lady

This is Rue. Twelve lbs of pure terror and sass. She bosses my 112 lb lab around. If you don't have size then you must have attitude.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hidden Florida Treasures

I've been browsing through my digital photos trying to decide which ones to print and scrapbook. In the process, I've realized that Florida has a variety of things to offer. Florida is known for it's beaches. But, it has a lot of rivers too. These places are off the beaten path. Florida has some spectacular state parks. I suspect not a lot of people know about these gems. I'm fortunate to live near some beautiful places that are just day trips. I'm a state park junkie. I love them. They are usually well maintained and absolutely breathtaking.

I took the following photos in 2004 at O'Leno State Park.

"Located along the banks of the scenic Santa Fe River, a tributary of the Suwannee River, the park features sinkholes, hardwood hammocks, river swamps, and sandhills. As the river courses through the park, it disappears underground and reemerges over three miles away in the River Rise State Preserve. One of Florida's first state parks, O'Leno was first developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The suspension bridge built by the CCC still spans the river."

The Civilian Conservation Corps did a lot of incredible work that is still standing today. It was President Roosevelt's way of putting men to work during the great depression. I hope our current President finds a way of adding beauty while benefiting our economy. The stone work is astounding. I see it in a lot of the parks that the CCC helped build. These men weren't afraid of hard work. They worked hard for their families. It is what built America. We, as Americans, need to remember that and not let their hard work be for naught.

This is where the river disappears. It appears again at River Rise Preserve.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Mrs. Who's son, Eraserhead, posted a photo of a tux reject. I nearly peed myself. That was my date's tux to the prom. The photo is faded and doesn't do justice to brightness of the baby blue tux. After all the prom was 28 years ago. Holy Shit. That just hit me like a ton of bricks. Almost thirty years. Damn.

**Sidenote to Mrs. Who---Aren't you jealous?! This could have been your date. No need to thank me. I've been cussing myself for my stupidity all these years.

A little background to those who aren't in the know. The fellow in blue with the mutton chops is my ex-husband and the father of my boys. He was "dating" Mrs. Who when I met him and he dumped her for me. Yeah, I have great luck. That was in 1980. She and I stumbled upon each other here in blog land and started comparing lives and low and behold we had a connection. The story really is hilarious and shows how small this world is.

Warning--no negative comments about my dress. You can laugh at the Ex all you want. Believe me, I am. You can even laugh at my Farrah hair-do. The dress is off limits. My mother made it without a pattern. My sister had modeled one exactly like it in a fashion show and she fell in love with it. But, we could not afford luxury's like a store bought prom dress. So, she studied it the night of the fashion show, made notes, shopped for material and went home and made a pattern. My sister wore it to her prom in 1979. It was fitted for my sister and obviously I don't fill it out. It was like putting a stick in where an hour glass had been. But, I still treasure it anyhow. I was so proud to wear it. I wish I had her talent for sewing. I didn't appreciate it at the time but she made the majority of our clothes all the way up to when I started high school and she got a job. Any store bought clothes I owned were hand-me-downs or the few treasured presents at Easter, Christmas and back to school. My mom even made our bathing suits and underwear. Enough of memory lane.

To the Who family: Thanks for the flashback. And Eraserhead, don't wear anything but black unless you want to look back in 30 years and laugh your ass off.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Starting off with a bang

Bang! Screech! Bang!

I hear pounding overhead this morning.

Yeah! I'm getting a new roof!

I love my insurance company.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Economic Stimulus

I've read the highlights of the Economic recovery act in the papers. It's a list about 2 pages long. I was curious about what all was in the entire Stimulus bill. So, I googled it. Holy Crap! It's 407 pages long. I bet only a handfull of our Congress actually read the entire thing. I know I can't. I was mind boggled by page 4. I scrolled and scrolled looking at all the spending. I haven't gotten to the part of how it is funded. I live under a rock so if it's been on the news I've missed it. But, I'm pretty sure it's going to come from my paycheck.

I'm still trying to figure out how an extra $13 per week in my take home pay is going to encourage me to spend. I've already been cut back to 36 hours per week. The stimulus money doesn't even pay me back one hour. But, if I buy an automobile by the end of the year I can write off the sales tax. If I can find a dealer willing to sell me a car so that my payments are $52 a month then I'll appreciate the tax credits and be willing to go further in debt.

I'm not seeing how this stimulus is going to stimulate anything. From the quick look at the Bill, it looks like most of the jobs it creates are government jobs. That I means I have more people to support.

Yes, I'm skeptical.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Saying goodbye, again

I received word last night that my step-father died. Last month. Here we go again. Two fathers. Two months apart. A month passed before I heard of either of their deaths.

I'm still struggling with the delayed bereavement of my father. That news was devastating. He was a good man. I never saw a bad side to him. I grieved openly. I told people what happened. I talked about it. I wrote an obituary and had it published Thanksgiving Day. I had the utmost respect for my father. While it was hard hearing the news, it was easy grieving the loss.

But this news is conflicting. My walls go up. This is a man I loved and hated to extremes at the same time. I saw and experienced the best and worst of him. I was four when he came into our lives. My mom divorced my Dad in July of 1968 and married my Step-dad in November of the same year. I turned four ten days before they were married. The young and the innocent love immediately. They know no different. They know God's love. Unconditional.

I've blogged on the abuse that I suffered at this man's hands. But, I knew another side to him too. The kind and gentle side. A giving caring person that never turned away from someone in trouble. I've fought to reconcile my feeling towards him. I've learned it's okay to love the person but hate what they do. I forgave him a long time ago because forgiveness is for yourself not for the other person. It releases the anger, the hurt, the shame, the humiliation. I empowers your soul again.

But, now how do I grieve. The conflicts surface again. The walls come up. People don't understand. They don't want to hear that you can love someone who does terrible things. Especially to children. So, I grieve in silence. I don't talk to everyone like I did when my Dad passed.

My step-father had dementia. I last saw him about four years ago when he was put in the first Nursing home. He was alert when I got there. He was delighted to see me. But, I found I was still guarded. I was forty years old but still felt like a child. We talked for a while and I pushed him down the halls. Then after a while, he was somewhere else. It didn't seem like a good place either. As I was leaving I asked if there was anything else I he needed before I left. He nodded and asked him he could have a hug. I froze. I hugged him like you hug a stranger. Then I left. That was the last time I saw him or spoke to him. He died alone.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

On the road again

Improviser's leave is almost up. We are heading out this morning. He has to be in Mississippi tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to the goodbye.

Too many goodbyes already. Chowhound left Monday.

So, once again it will be me and the dog.

What's bad this time is that I don't have a "I'll see you in ____ date". After MCT, Chowhound will go directly to Norfolk, VA, for six months of school. Improviser finishes his school in mid February and then will be attached to the Combat Communications Group out of Oklahoma. Daredevil is scheduled to return from Iraq in April but he will return to California. I'm sure he will come home on leave afterward but this is not definite. So, I am left with a "I'll see ya" but I don't know when.

Happy New Year

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want. (Irish toast)

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man*. (Ben Franklin)

*or woman, person, human or whatever you want to insert.