Tuesday, January 29

Not Part Of The Plan

I spent the weekend studying. Thank goodness Thomas is my study partner and lets me know--in subtle ways-- when I need a break.

Environmental Science will fulfill my degree requirements and as luck would have it, Dr. Biology is once again my instructor. I know what you're thinking, and I originally thought the very same thing. But I figure I am already aware of his teaching style--plus, there's no textbook required. That's a massive savings!

But I checked the school catalog anyway for the last day to drop with a full refund. I have a technology class with a lab the same day as my Enviro Lab, so they're back to back. All my other classes are technology oriented, so the Enviro class really requires me to change gears. This semester would be so much easier without the environmental science class.

I was prepared to drop and went to class Friday with the satisfaction knowing it would be my last. Then I listened as Dr. Biology spoke about the rain forests and the euphotic zones in water.

He finished up his lecture with an explanation of the pH, complete with an in-depth formula.

One chickie (with hot pink streaks in her hair) asked if we would have to know that particular formula. He stopped, looked back at her, stuttered as if trying to find the proper words, adjusted his glasses and then blurted, "Stop your whining!"

Needless to say, I didn't drop.

Saturday, January 26


I was on the phone with my (newly-engaged) Jenifer on Thursday when she said "cakes" to her significant other. It's the petname they have for each other. Babycakes or cakes. They call each other babycakes.

It brought back memories of when JB and I were almost and newly married. He had to be touching me all the time. He'd hold my hand while driving and periodically plant a kiss on my fingers.

Nowadays, it's rare that we are in the same vehicle at the same time. Needless to say, there is no hand kissing going on.

It used to be that every day when he came home from work, he'd greet me with a hug like he hadn't seen me in years.

Nowadays, he comes in and pats the dog on the head, then gets a beer and goes ebaying until dinner.

I envy Jenifer and Daniel and what they have going on right now--mainly, because I remember what it was like.

I don't know where it went. I can't even tell you when it left.

All I know is how wonderful it made me feel.

Thursday, January 24

I'm Lucky to Be Alive

I need some type of visual aid.

Something that will make the drivers realize they should actually brake for folks in the crosswalk at school.
If I had a nickel for the number of times I almost got run over, I'd have no need for a degree (monetarily) I'd be rich. Any ideas?

Should I pound their window as they go past in a flash? Should I use flash cards? What?

Monday, January 21

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

I skipped out in the middle of the day to meet with my Women's Circle. I had a web page and a lab summary on the agenda, but put both off in favor of a little socializing.

This group is officially a year old next month. We're a diverse group that get together hit-or-miss once a month. We meet for lunch and conversation. No expectations beyond that.

But we all learn so much from one another. I'm the youngest so I am always looking for a few tips on how to deal with what's ahead of me.

Our most colorful member is an artist in her sixties. She relishes life and makes no excuses for her eccentricity. She's also quick to advise me that all the latest health kicks are a total waste of time.

As she dined on cheese sticks with raspberry sauce--washing it down with a glass of wine-- she suggested I live like I did when I was young. I should drink when I get thirsty and eat when I get hungry and the hell with the rest of that mess.

That just sounds entirely too simple to work.

Sunday, January 20

The Cat's Meow

I think he's alright now.

We've officially become a networked family. We're like all those geeks I use to giggle about during my networking classes. Why on earth, I thought, would you need a network in your own home?

Well, I guess you'd need a network if there are two users and one of them has distance learning classes and is doing a bit of XHTML. So there you have it.

But would you believe, the biggest obstacle to overcome was the cat's involvement in all of this?

Thomas has always slept comfortably in the chair in front of my sewing table as we banged away on the keyboard. When I push the sewing machine and serger back to do required reading, he goes and naps in the big over-sized desk chair.

But when we set JB up in the front room, the big over-sized desk chair went with him to his workstation.

This means the chair at the sewing table now does double duty at the computer. That means there is no extra chair. Fine for me--but what about Thomas?

He has spent most of today glaring at me for taking his chair. Every time I sat in front of the keyboard, there he was at my feet, waiting for me to leave. But I 'm too smart for that waiting game. I know: You move your feet, you lose your seat.

I think we have finally reached a compromise. I put his blanket on the sewing table in front of the window. He'll have the benefit of the morning sun... with a view.

I'll just have to be extra neat so he has a clear path to the window.

Friday, January 18

Something New Everyday

I think God threw me a bone when he blessed us with a snow day Thursday. He knew I was close to getting behind in so many ways.

I spent the day catching up on homework... and getting somewhat ahead. I did so well with it, that I was blessed with a second day... just to rest and be a bit lazy. Laundry's done. The chores are mostly done. I've heard from both daughters and life is chugging along... for all of us.

JB and I went down to my little friend's house down the road for Friday Night Get-Together. The snow is melting and the ground is crunchy from the cold. Look at the dog tracks!

But we were warm and toasty with the fire from my little friend's wood cookstove in the kitchen.

We visited for awhile and exchanged stories. I never knew JB was the ringbearer at her wedding! She is only 10 years older than he, but swears she changed his diapers.

She cooked a pot of chili and some venison stew and we couldn't leave without some to take home for snacking later.

She was delighted to show me how well the Desert Lotus I had given her last week was doing.

And the weatherman says more snow is coming!

Note: I'm feeling much better now, thank you, after that omelet episode. Thank you all for your knowing words of understanding and encouragement.

Wednesday, January 16

The High Cost of Education

I splurged and made myself a wonderful ham and cheese omelet yesterday morning before school , complete with portabello mushrooms and onions. I usually start my day with a bowl of Grape Nuts Trail Mix Crunch (wonderful tasting stuff) but had a taste for something different.

As I started my 25 minute commute to class, I felt the twinge of stomach pains. I dismissed it and drove on.

I was within 5 minutes of school, when I realized it could be dismissed no more. I made a quick stop at the local McDonald's. My lovely omelet had turned out to be a gut grenade.

I was an hour into my lab class, when the grenade began exploding again. I slipped out quietly and, in an attempt to diffuse it, stopped by the bookstore for assistance.

Can you believe I paid $1.19 for one Pepcid pill? Puhleese!

I spent the evening in a fetal position...

When I returned to school this morning,
the parking lot was packed so I made my own spot.
Wrong move...

But can you believe that for making my own spot I got a $15.00 parking ticket?
Geez! Fifteen bucks!

If they were trying to teach me a lesson, they succeeded. From now on,
I will pack my own Tums or Rolaids and I will definitely park between the lines.
And, as for the omelet? I think I'll start dating the ham in the frig with a grease pencil.

Tuesday, January 15

Timing Is Everything

I didn't have any business being there in the first place.

That was always Pop's viewpoint when I was a teenager and found myself caught up in some "less than desirable" circumstances. I think now--a hundred years later--I understand what he was trying to get through to me. Perhaps he wanted me to think through the possible outcomes, before I got involved and the situation became precarious.

I didn't do anything too terribly awful--wrecked a couple of cars, got arrested once, and had a short marriage to a fellow that turned out to be a junkie--before I realized the path I was traveling needed to change.

It wasn't an easy realization as I remember, either. Getting away from that marriage was an endurance test that involved the entire family. Shortly thereafter, I joined the Air Force.

That's when I learned the most about myself:
  1. I learned we can do anything if we believe we can.
  2. It's true there is strength in numbers, but be careful who you pick to be on your team.
  3. It's never too late for a new strategy.
But the single most important thing I learned is that the mind really is our strongest defense against anything.

Sunday, January 13

I'm a Bloomin' Fool

My hibiscus thinks its springtime.
It's no wonder with the south sun shining in through the bedroom window.

The Devil's Spine is blooming too.

I'm "plant poor."

I have so many that in the winter months,
it's a struggle to live around them,
much less keep them watered.

But, I think I'll follow their lead and make it springtime in my mind.

Saturday, January 12

Resolving To Continue

Monday I climbed the 85 million steps once again to begin working on one my resolutions for 2008--to complete my degree.

The steps aren't near as intimidating as last semester. Maybe it's because I'm really excited about the classes and truly interested in the subject matter--3 technology classes and Environmental Science.

My schedule is far less than desirable, but I realize sometimes you just have to suck it up and get it done.

And speaking of getting it done, my Jeni is starting her final semester of college on Monday. Here's a photo of the newly engaged couple:

Ah, to be young and in love... (and finishing school!)

I've also been stopping by the hostage location frequently and leaving notes for the terrorist that has my TR6. I got a phone call midweek from an individual who has a VW bus held captive. And yesterday I got a call from someone who has a Mercedes that is keeping my TR6 company.
I believe there is strength in numbers.

This is resolution number 2--to retrieve my car.

And hunting season is finally over! WooHoo! No more gunfire.
I am so glad my deer can roam freely without fear of "blood lust."

And for you beer connoisseurs, here's one I bet you haven't seen that was introduced at our last Friday Night Get-Together. I'm not a beer person so I can't help you, but the men seemed to like it just fine.

Tuesday, January 8

Phase II

In motherhood, things can get complicated when you don't know what's around the next curve.

Fear and apprehension sets in.
The mind goes into alert mode, creating all sorts of possible scenarios.

But still we know nothing. We're just assuming. We're guessing.

Then reality throws a hard punch in the stomach.

The children are not children. They're young adults.

You can't rush in and fix things with a hug and a cookie.
They must coordinate their own rescue efforts... and I'm still learning that I can't rush things, but rather, must wait to hear their plans.

Blue has my mood down pat.

Friday, January 4

Hip? Or Hip Replacement?

The world is a wonderful place today.

We just had our first Friday Night Get-Together of the season--discussed vastly different political viewpoints, mopped up a broken wine glass, spilled wine and emotions--and we're done before 9 pm. Are we just getting older or wiser?

I hope I'm getting wiser.

I received an email from a recent job application today, that informed me "Following a competitive review of your background and qualifications, regrettably we are unable to offer you further consideration at this time."

So I'm trying to make myself legitimate with a few certifications. I'm thinking I must need proof of my qualifications. (and maybe a penis? I have access to one, but don't actually have one.)

Don't you just love this? This was a Christmas gift from the outlaws....

Everything Old Is New Again

My resolutions for 2008:

  • Finish my Associates Degree: I'm still wrestling with Algebra and have decided to by-pass a traditional math class this semester and concentrate on self-study so I can pack in 2 Math for the Liberal Arts classes during summer session. Can you believe that is all that's really holding me back? It must be done and I have come to accept it.

  • Make a Quilt: When I mentioned this to my Jessica, she reminded me that I had been "making a quilt" for years now. This will be the year. I have decided the perfect quilt will be make of cotton flannel (remnants of a hundred years of pajamas for the girls) with a polar fleece backing. This should make it lightweight, warm and very soft.

  • Reclaim my TR6. I have spoke to 2 attorneys and it will be expensive to pursue this, so I'm looking at other alternatives--like maybe getting acquainted with the local courthouse and filing some of this stuff myself.
This will be an interesting year for me. My Jeni graduates from college the end of April.
It's also the year I turn 50.
And it just might be the year that my Jessica moves to Virginia.

Thursday, January 3

Faithful To The End

A woman's husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day.

One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer.

As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, 'You know what? 'You have been with me all through the bad times. When

I got fired, you were there to support me. When my business failed, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side.

When we lost the house, you stayed right here. When my health started failing, you were still by my side... You know what?'

'What dear?' she gently asked, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth.

'I think you're bad luck... get the hell away from me.'