I'm just a girl trying to find her own custom groove in this world without bending to the expectations of others.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Seething with Frustration and Mama Bear Anger

My daughter has been sick a lot this year. Anyone reading through my blog can attest to the mishaps and illnesses that we've endured this school year. As a result, she's missed 14 days of school. Even so, she maintains a 3.8 - 4.0 grade point average.

I think if a person is out for two or three days because of one illness and they have a doctor's slip to prove so, it should count as one absence, not two or three. This is not the way it works in our middle school, hence the number of absences for my middle child.

Emily loves school. She loves everything about it. The learning, the social aspect, the sports - everything. Conferences were last week and every one of her teachers said she was the top in her class or among the top. In math, Emily was the only student that passed a particularly difficult algebra test. Not only did she pass, she passed with an A- and was the only one that wasn't required to retake it. She's on student council, she's a Student Assistant and she is on the cheerleading squad. I'm not saying all this to brag, although it does feel kinda good. I'm giving you an idea of what kind of person my daughter is.

I've talked to the school principal about her absences and they've assured me that because I've called every time and have provided doctor's excuses when necessary that there wasn't any truancy issues.

I just got off the phone with the director for the class trip this year. She informs me that Emily has missed too much school to go on the trip - by two days. Now I know there are rules and I agree with them, but I also believe one needs to look at the whole picture in making any decision. You're telling me that as long as a student is scraping by with D's, but only has 5 absences, they are more deserving at this opportunity. I think that Emily should go because she's proved that she can stay on top of things with missed school. What better candidate to leave for an entire week of school?

Rules aside, what I'm really pissed about is the condescending tone the director took with me.

DIR: I see that Emily has had a problem with attendance. Would it be better for me to talk to her and let her know the importance of being in school.

ME: No, she likes school. She wants to be there, she's just been sick this year. I've got the doctor's slips. I feel like I need to remind you of the schools rule about being sick - if you're child has a fever, they are not allowed in school.

DIR: Well, we can bend the rules this time, but I need you to assure me that Emily will do all she can to make an effort to be here.

ME: Again, she does make an effort to be there, but if she's throwing up, I can't send her.

DIR: I still need to have a commitment from Emily, because if she can't commit to being here, we will give her spot to someone on the waiting list.

(If they don't fill her spot though, we are out they money we've put toward the trip)

ME: I know Emily will make every effort to be in school, but I can't guarantee that she isn't going to get bronchitis between now and May.

DIR: Maybe that child needs to take Vitamin C or Echinacea then.

EXCUSE ME???!!!! WHAT???

I ended the conversation before I completely ruined Emily's chances of going, but wish I would have said a lot more. I think it's shitty. I don't think it's fair and I'm not going to just accept it.

Furthermore, why am I only be told this now. Why wasn't I made aware of the absence situation when we were at 10 absences instead of 14. Conveniently timed after my 2nd non-refundable trip payment.

It remains to be seen whether or not she'll be able to go on the trip, but you can bet your brass monkey that I won't be paying for it if she doesn't go.

Tuesday Scrapbook Layout

From New York to Toronto
These are pics from my daughter's school trip. She's the one in the lower left corner making the "Stuck-on-myself rock start" look.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Bailey the Kid

During the cold winter evenings after Drew is in bed, my furry companion sidles up next to me as I settle in to watch a movie in front of a roaring fire. He won't settle down until I get him sufficiently covered and snuggled. This is his time and he knows it.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Blogging Blunder

Recently, in our local news there were reports of some teenager's getting into trouble because of the content on their blogs.

Apparently these teenagers had gone to a party, took all kinds of digital pictures and then posted them. The athletic director of their school saw the photos and the beer bottles that the kids were holding in a "cheers" salute and several more in the background and punished said kids with expulsion from all sports.

It's imperative that you know what kind of community and school district we are talking about before I finish the story. This school is a Class A district and always takes the state championship in football. It's a very rich, snobby area where even average houses are priced sinfully above market and in every driveway is parked a Lexus, but for no longer than two hours at a time so as not to violate the ordinance. This is the school in which the kids who wrote "American Pie" metriculated from. This gives an idea of the type of family I am talking about.

I believe there is a zero tolerance policy in all schools now days that if you are caught abusing alcohol, you don't play sports. Simple as that. Well, these highfalutin parents hired lawyers and are arguing that "we don't know for sure that there was beer in those bottles".

Yeah. Right! The kids dumped out the beer and re-filled the bottles with soda just to give the illusion that they were drinking. They were so drinking.

So what are these parent's teaching their kids? One, that is okay to break the rules if you don't get caught; and two, if you do get caught, lie about it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Chad the PT (aka Hands McGee)

I think I'm in love with my new physical therapist, Chad.

I finally broke down and saw the doctor about my neck and after an x-ray of my spine, he prescribed physical therapy for as long as necessary. Did you know that in order to get a picture of the top of your spine, the x-ray needs to be taken through your open mouth? That was not a pretty pose.

So, therapy started today and Chad stretched and pulled and massaged my neck and then he placed his hands on the back of my head and applied continuous pressure to a certain area and made my headache disappear. Then, right before I left, I got another massage. I had to resist hugging the guy before I left.

Oh yeah, he's cute too!

To Gay Monroe

~the only person I ever teased deliberately.

I still see the look on your face sitting on the bus that day - it was humiliation - I wish I could live that day over.

I still hear my voice asking if your hair was supposed to be french braided or if it was just matted - I wish I could take it back.

I still hear the echoes of laughter as the other kids enjoyed your embarrassment - I wish they had been laughing at me.

I still remember the sick feeling I had the rest of that day - I still feel it whenever I think of you.

I'm sorry.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Address Book

I keep my address book in a "junk" drawer in the kitchen. I purchased this address book, when my son who is 17 was just a baby. Over the years, many new additions have been added as well as multiple changes to phone numbers and addresses. More recently, phone numbers get scribbled on tears of paper or napkins or scrawled on the back of a business card or take-out menu and eventually make their way back home and get tucked inside this address book. Or simply thrown in the drawer with the intention of the address book being their final resting place.

Each time I have to look for a phone number, I have to painstakingly sift through each piece of paper, large and small and half the time, never find what I'm looking for. With my need for organization in every area of my life, this is driving me insane. I finally linked more pain to not having it organized that I did to physically correcting the situation. (Yes, I consider it a situation.)

I bought a new address book with crisp, clean pages and even a line for email addresses which was not available in my current book. I went through every napkin, envelope, menu, business card and sticky note, recording the numbers and addresses in their corresponding section. It's been done for 3 days now and I haven't had to look up a single phone number.

One wouldn't think this domestic task could cause one to ponder the delicacies of life, but it has. As many additions were made to my list, there were almost as many deletions. A few deaths, but mostly friends and acquaintances who've drifted out of my life due to geographical location or a parting of ways. I reflected on those people who were at one time a part of my life and wondered about the short time they graced it. Were they placed in my path for my benefit, or I for theirs? And have we really changed that much that we have nothing in common anymore; that there is no reason to contact one another?

Then I started thinking about the chain of events that led to each new encounter and the unlikely consequences leading to a break down in friendships. I'm left to wonder, which friends will stay and which will be deleted from my new address book in another 17 years. Right now I can't imagine it any other way, but experience shows me that everything changes. The only physical evidence of past friendships is the ink in which their name resides in my address book.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Tuesday Scrapbook Layout

If nothing else, this will get "Grievances" off the front line of my blog. I hope any first time visitors will give me another chance.


It's hard to see, but in the lower left hand corner of the 2nd page, there is a picture of a homeless man holding a sign that says, "Need money for booze, drugs and hookers. Hey, at least I'm not bullshitten' you" My son (the one in the middle of the page, next to the girl in the green shirt) went to NYC with the school orchestra and contributed a few quarters to this guys cup in exchange for a photo. After taking the shot, the guy tells him, "Welcome to NYC kid".

Friday, February 17, 2006


Part of this post was written a week ago when I was feeling particularly snarky and I had since decided against publishing it. After discussing it with a friend, they sanctioned for its publication citing that this was a fleeting glimpse of who I was at that particular time. I've cleaned up the language a bit (not that you'd notice), but it may still be offensive. You the reader, have the benefit of choosing not to continue, my friend did not have that luxury. So here's a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling.

Abysmal Ignorance

People are so fucking stupid. We sold a house last week to a couple who through the course of their lives have ruined their credit. Trying to get back on track and out of the shoe box that they've been living in for the past 5 years, they made an offer on a house that we own. A nice house. 1800 square foot, four bedroom Victorian with two baths and a fenced yard, priced below appraised value.

I also have the advantage of supplying them with financing for the purchase. This couple, while making great strides, has not been able to save money for a down payment. Consequently, we offer to pay for their down payment and in return they make payments to us at 8% interest over the next five years. It does us no good to keep sitting on this house either. After much explanation, every one thinks it's a fine idea.

That is until this couple decided to talk to an appraiser who attends their Bible study. Of course, they don't quite get all the details themselves, and ultimately give the appraiser a load of misinformation. The appraiser tells them that what we are doing is illegal and it would be best for them to get out of the deal if they can.

Now, this is only illegal if you raise the price of the home first and if you don't tell the first mortgage holder about the second loan for the down payment. We did not violate either condition which I tried to explain to them. But the damage was done and now the appraiser is helping them look for a new house. They didn't even have the courtesy to tell me that they were backing away. They simply stopped all communication. Assholes!

Volunteering in the Name of Christ?

How can this be a grievance you're wondering? Well it is! My mother-in-law hosts Coffee Break at our church every Thursday morning for both members of the church and the community. She's been asking for some time if I would run the nursery for this group. I've continually said no, I don't have time, but finally about 6 weeks ago, I relented. (Hmmm, any correlation with the neck injury?)

The deal was that I was supposed to take care of two kids, a 3 year old and a 2 year old and I could bring Drew to play if I wanted. It was only for an hour every Thursday and I would get $20.

This week, I had a 4 1/2 year old, a 3 year old, two 2 year olds, a 6 month old and a 3 month old. Both of the babies shit, one required a full clothing change and the 2 year old screamed the entire time. I got scratched on the chest by the 3 month old with razor fingernails and spilled ice water on by one of the 2 year olds. An hour continually stretches to an hour and a half AND I found out I get paid $20 a month, not $20 a week.

It seems that since words out there's a babysitter in nursery again, the women are coming out of the wood work with these kids. It makes me wonder, since they weren't coming before, if they are interested in learning the Bible or if they just want a break from these little monsters for a couple hours out of the morning.

When my MIL gets back from Mexico, I'm telling her to look for someone else!

Restocking Racket

I used to be a Creative Memories consultant before I had Drew. I quit before he was born thinking that I wouldn't have time for the business, but didn't want to get rid of my product because I thought I might start up again in the near future.

When I did re-list as a consultant I found that I had understandably, lost most of my customer base to other consultants. After a few months, I realized that I didn't feel like working to build my business back up, so I quit for good.

Creative Memories has a "buy back" program where they take back all unopened merchandise from consultants minus a 10% restocking charge. Most consultants, if they want to have a successful run, have to keep a large stock of supplies on hand, and I was no exception. I've got five pages of merchandise to return totaling $1500 in retail.

The call from CM comes yesterday. "We're sorry, we only take back products that were purchased in the last year." Well whoop-ti-fucking-do. That's only about half my stuff. I can see not taking back product that discontinued or that was labeled a limited edition, but stuff that has not been changed or deleted from the product line or had packaging upgrades, why can't they take those back? It's stupid. So if anyone needs anything Creative Memories, I've got some stuff for sale. CHEAP!

Damn Leap Frog Anyway

We have this Dreamscapes Soother for the baby that attaches safely to the crib and with the push of one button by said baby, provides soothing music and a relaxing scene to coax him back to sleep. This thing works beautifully and Drew loves it! However, it sucks batteries life in vampire style. I'm not complaining for the cost. We've gone the rechargeable route now, so it's only a matter of changing the batteries.

You'd think if the company were going to make a toy that went through batteries so quickly, they'd make the battery compartment easily accessible. Oh no! Every time we have to rejuice, I have to get the whole tool box out and unscrew two different panels and pry them off to replace the batteries. Usually, I don't realize it's out of batteries until the middle of the night when I hear this distorted music in the monitor and then cries when he can't get it to play. By the time I get it working again, we're both wide awake.

There was more, but I'm stopping. It was a rough week. I feel better now!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Product Raves and Reviews

Have any of ya all heard of these home spa shows? A consultant comes into a person's home and each guest has the privilege of receiving a foot bath, a facial, a lip treatment, and a scalp massage. I went to one last summer complete with poolside candles and margaritas. I didn't want to go, but I enjoyed it immensely.

Fast forward to beginning of January this year. As I awoke one morning, I kind of lifted myself up off my pillow to turn onto my left side, when I felt this sharp stabbing pain in the left side of my lower neck. For days afterwards, I was not able to lift my left arm away from my body. It's never completely healed. Every day feels like the last day of "An I Slept Wrong" bender. About once a week, I re-injure it with a sneeze or a wrong turn to the point of paralysis. Okay, I'm exaggerating a little bit.

Finally, after six weeks of tolerating the pain, I remember about this spa show and that we got to try out these wonderfully warm and relaxing neck wraps. I call the consultant girl and tell her I need one of these magic wraps pronto. Then I find out that they aren't for sale, they can only be obtained by hosting a freakin spa show.

I call a friend to complain ~ because that's what girls do and to my surprise, she says she has one that I can HAVE!!!! I offer to pay for it, but she says no. Instead I take her some Creative Memories supplies she's been wanting and run home with my new neck wrap. After two minutes in the microwave this little dandy delivers non-stop heat right to the affected area. It's so much nicer than those sticky, stinky, icy hot patches from the store and easier than trying to fold a heating pad and keeping it in place. I can walk around and do my work while trying to coax my neck into being the easy-to-turn thing that it used to be.

If anyone has neck problems or just needs to de-stress I highly recommend one of these wraps. I think the company might be called Beauty Control. That's what it says on the wrap, but that's not the name I remember from the party.

Get one today - any way you can.

Tuesday Scrapbook Layout

Three months

Monday, February 13, 2006

Mod Podge

I've been wanting to take on this new project for a while now - well ever since my hand surgery - and I decided this weekend was the perfect time. The letters are made of pressed wood and you decorate them with scrapbook paper and embellishments. The secret is in the Mod Podge glue. Most people do their kids' names in coordinating colors for their rooms; but I thought that would be too predicatable, so I made something for my bar.

I took all this stuff....

And turned it into this. It was so much fun!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Sisters ~ Til Death Us Do Part

The following excerpt is a journal entry from a very close friend. She emailed it to me this morning reminding me of what we've had to overcome. She was, at one time, my sister-in-law; but through a series of sequential events, we weren't able to speak for several years.

Now, both in our 30's, we've been in contact again for about 10 years and still refer euphemistically to each other as sisters (not ex-sisters-in-law) although we have no "legal" relation. But what does sisterhood consist of? It's not necessarily the blood that courses through our veins, but rather the love and experiences that knit us together forever.

In reading this entry from her journal, I feel as if I'm watching that part of my life like a movie. Because we lived it, we simply accepted it. Viewing the experience this way now, I see the tragedy in it that neither of us could have foreseen. Just like a movie that you see it in it's entirety though, this account also has a happy ending.

And now you'll also know that my name is Michelle.

One person that has influenced me more than anyone is my best friend Michelle. But truly she is more than my best friend; she is my sister, guider, and mentor.

I met Michelle at the age of 12. She began dating my oldest brother and although we were 7 years apart we hit it off immediately. We liked so many of the same things; reading, poetry, writing, clothes, current hair styles, movies, and boys. At times I was almost jealous of my older brother because he was able to spend more time with her than me; nonetheless, our relationship grew and in two years I was delighted when she married my brother, officially becoming my sister, and gave birth to my first nephew Steven.

Our relationship grew tremendously within the next year; after all we were sisters at that point. During the summer I would stay weeks with her while my brother worked third shift jobs and sometimes even worked overtime. We watched Steven together, would go grocery shopping together, draw together, and became fascinated with 50's pop music together. She even showed me how to drive her car although I was only 14. I loved and adored her, more than anything I wanted to be like her when I grew up, strong, determined, and willing to try out new things.

Looking back I realize that Michelle saved my life during those years. My relationship with my overly verbally abusive family became strained and although I was only 14 I often contemplated suicide. I felt so misunderstood and different but because of Michelle I had someone to turn to, someone that liked and loved me and someone that I could like and love in return.

As the years went on Michelle and I stayed close although once she had my niece Emily and I began high school we weren't able to spend as much time together with each other as we would have liked. But we were still sisters and I loved having her as my sister. However, after I graduated from high school in 1994 we were able to see one another much more and I noticed a change in her. The years of being with my abusive asshole brother had caused her to grow weary and she asked him for a separation. Although I completely understand and whole-heartedly supported her decision, I felt sad as well. She was my sister and I wanted her to always be my sister. I didn't want her to leave.

The following year they divorced and she began her new life. After she left things changed in a way that I never predicted. My family hated and blamed her for everything. They concluded that she had an affair and that my brother, of course, could not be at fault for anything. But to me she was still my sister; I loved her; I had loved her for practically as long as I could remember and I did not want to divorce her. I was crushed when my family forbade me to see her and threatened to disown me if I did. But I loved my sister, how could I not see her? I was almost jealous of her, if only I could divorce my family and start new just as she did. The years have passed and although my parents still blame her for everything I do attempt to remain in contact with her. As I have grown and been separated from her I have realized the powerful impact she has had on my life. If she had never entered my life who knows what may have happened to me? Instead, today I am a strong (or at least I like to believe so) woman that has gone on to become a teacher, traveler, dreamer, and doer. I am truly a reflection of her, my sister. Her influence upon me has caused me to realize that blood relation does not necessarily define one's family, it is love that does.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Augustine argued that suicide was a violation of the sixth commandment, "You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13). Later, Thomas Aquinas, being catholic and believing that confession of sin must be made prior to departure from this world to the next, taught that suicide was the most fatal of all sins because the victim could not repent of it. The problem with his view is that it represents a misunderstanding of eternal security. One in which Scripture clearly teaches. We are saved by the grace of God, not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9) and nothing can separate a Christian from the love of God (Romans 8:37-39).

After Myth Busters last night, I caught the beginning of a show called Stunt Junkies. The guys performing these stunts are clearly out of their minds, jumping over semi trailers on their quads while completing back sommersaults with these four-wheelers. Come on! It got me thinking that if they were to crash resulting in their death, would it be just like suicide? Even if they really didn't want to die, they are clearly tempting the fates. Knowing that their heedless abandon could very well lead to their end, yet continuing their recklessness.

We could take this thought even farther and suggest that people who smoke or drink or take drugs are really partaking in a long-term suicide. But that just sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Or does it?

Opening the polls for opinions. The mind thinks of weird shit when it's awake in the middle of the night.

The Heart Goes Pitter Patter

Or thud, thud, thud depending on which emotion is currently winning the war. Last night's emotion was panic and fear mixed with a nagging voice saying "nah, you're over reacting."

A trip to the ER in the middle of the night confirmed that the little voice was right. Sorta.

Glenn came home from work with some upper back pain and headed off to bed early. When I joined him a few hours later, he was still awake because of the pain which was now also traveling down his left arm. I knew this could be a sign of an impending heart attack but he had also been shingling all week and had moved a pile of shingles that day. Could just be a pulled muscle, right?

Then he got up to take some Pepcid because he had heartburn and an alarm went off in my head that we should probably get this checked out. I talked him into going to the ER. Boy, they sure don't mess around when you complain of any pain that might be associated with the heart. We didn't even have to register, they came to us in the room later to fill out the paper work. His vitals were taken and the attending had examined him within 10 minutes of our arrival.

Turns out that he tore some muscles along the left side of his upper spine and the inflammation was causing the pain. We got some Vicodin and some muscle relaxers and arrived home only 2 1/2 hours after we left. That's gotta be some kind of record for an emergency visit.

Thankfully it was nothing major and we felt a little foolish at having rushed to the hospital, but they assured us that we did the right thing. Then probably laughed like school girls when we walked out the door.

Yet another exciting event to mark in my calendar of life.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tuesday Scrapbook Layout


A different take on AC's "Show and Tell Tuesdays" is going to be my "Tuesday Scrapbook Layout" This twist on the show and tell came after the brutal discover that besides not having anything fun to post, likewise, I have nothing interesting to share via show and tell. So, here is the first layout. I wanted it to be titled Water Baby, but I ran out of room.

Monday, February 06, 2006

First Time for Everything

This is the first tag I have played along with. Works out nicely, because I have nothing worthwhile to post anyway.

Four Jobs that I have had:
1) Advertising Coordinator for Blue Cross & Blue Shield
2) Video Store Chain Manager
3) New home construction/designer
4) Loan Officer

Four Movies I could watch over and over:
1) Good Will Hunting
2) Fried Green Tomatoes
3) Mr Smith Goes to Washington
4) Princess Bride

Four places in the U.S. I like:
1) Mackinac Island, Michigan
2) Denver, Colorado
3) Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
4) Sanibel Island, Florida

Favorite places I have vacationed: (Sadly, besides Canada, I've never been out of the country)
1) Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
2) Sanibel Island, Florida
3) Denver, Colorado
4) Savannah, Georgia

Four t.v. shows:
1) The First 48
2) Trading Spaces
3) Unsolved Mysteries
4) ER

Four favorite dishes:
1) Stuffing - that could be a meal alone
2) Crab Rangoons - again, an entire meal for me
3) Wet Burritos
4) Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Alfredo

Four places I would rather be:
1) Anywhere tropical
2) Cuddled up in bed with a good book and no work to do
3) Scrapping with Clew
4) Out anywhere with Molly

Four sites I visit daily:
1) My personal bank
2) The blogs and my mail
3) The MLS
4) Stocks

Four people I will tag:
1) Rebecca, cause she always participates
2) Nicole, if I ask real nice, she can't refuse. ;)
3) Joy, cuz you seem fun
4) Anonymous Coward, just to see if he'll lower himself to our shenanigans and play along.

Clew tagged me.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Come Visit Me

Over at this blog today. I'm blogsitting for a fellow blogger and have the chance to be someone I'm not. Or rather, someone I'm uncomfortable being. It's much more exciting over there and you'll all realize just how boring I am if you return.

I can entertain you with a tap dance.

Right, shuffle-ball-step, shuffle-ball-step, toe tap
Left, shuffle-ball-step, shuffle-ball-step, toe tap
Right, shuffle..............ball.........step,
Cough, cough wheeze, cough,
Cough, toe tap, toe tap, toe tap,
Top hat finish.
Heh, huh, heh, huh, heh, huh

Maybe not.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Join Me

In wishing Clew a very happy birthday, wont you? Love you sis!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Farts are Funny at Fifteen Months

"Children learn what they live."

If that's true, then I'm embarrassed to admit that the baby thinks it's hilarious when he breaks wind. Or "opens up his peach basket" as my Grandma used to say.

Now before everyone conjures up an image of our family walking around saying things like "pull my finger" and "shhhh, do you hear that" prior to ripping off a butt clapper, let me just tell you that Drew has most likely acquired this habit because we laugh at him when he let's one fly.

Since he seeks our approval above all else except maybe his food, any way he can please us brings him great delight. Each time he toots, he stops in his tracks, looks at us from the corner of his eye and starts smiling, which of course makes us laugh even more, further reinforcing his antics.

I suppose just as he's learned this behavior, he'll soon enough learn that it's embarrassing to fart in public and I won't need to worry.