Tuesday, November 30, 2010

334 / 365: Broke...a haiku

I hate being broke
Many bills, little moolah
Makes for sad, sad time.

(So much for my "To Me, Love Me" gift. Maybe next week....)

Until next time...pay away!

Monday, November 29, 2010

333 / 365: So young.....

Sad news today. God took a young man this weekend. This sixteen year old's leukemia caused his high school to rally around him and bring about awareness of bone marrow donation. Sadly, he did not live long after "Team J" was created.

New "To Do" list:
1. Love the husband...check.
2. Hugs and kisses for the boys...check.
3. Be a friend and a positive colleague...check.
Repeat tasks 1-3.

Until next time...live and love away!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

332 / 365: A Fresh Start

My weight loss journey has been in a holding pattern the last few months. While I haven't gained (much), I haven't lost enough to hit goal yet. A plethora of factors (excuses) have been factored in: no time to prepare healthy meals, no time for frequent exercise, and Weight Watchers on the back burner.

No, I didn't quit. Due to finances, I cut back to WW Online. It's a great tool, but it's not a weekly meeting. Yes I'm holding myself accountable: tracking (sort of), weighing myself (every other week), and reading blogs and message boards, but it's not the same as going to that Saturday morning meeting. I miss my great leader!

The shot in the arm I really need arrives tomorrow. WW is unveiling its new PointsPlus program. While it has some similarities to its old program, it appears to be even healthier. Since it is not being released online til tomorrow, I've been reading reviews of people attending today's meetings and those who have been "secretly" testing it the past few months. While some were not pleased, most found the plan more flexible, more healthy, and in some instances, more simple. Hmmm...flexible, healthy, simple. This is what I need!!

Besides going online tomorrow morning, I'm also going to give myself a "To Me, Love Me" gift of going to Saturday's meeting and purchasing the materials I need to motivate me through this holiday season. I'm hoping this mental game will help my body, mind and soul get through my annual "funk" with a better frame of mind. And who knows....maybe I can lose a few pounds along the way. A true Holiday miracle?

Until next time...lose away!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

331 / 365: Trying for them....

I hate to admit it, but I am NOT a fan of Christmas. Never have been, never will. The only redeeming quality of the season is SOME of the music. (Stevie Nicks singing "Silent Night" can easily turn one to atheism.)

Anyway, I'm trying really hard to get into the spirit of things. I hope I can get out of this "funk" before Christmas. I would hate to have my kids identify Christmas as the time Mommy is sad. That's not fair to them.

Wish me luck as I try to put on a happy face for the three beautiful faces in this picture. God, help me!!

Until next time....try away!

Friday, November 26, 2010

330 / 365: 21st Century Learners...

....with parents who have a 17th Century Budget.

How I wish I could put an iPad in every stocking and a laptop under every tree. But alas, it probably won't happen. (Unless we hit those numbers!)

Oh well, a few "old" toys won't kill 'em! Legos and books, here we come!

Until next time....shop away!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

329 / 365: The aftermath...

Dear God, Thank you for all you've given me. I am SO blessed to have so much while many have so little. Thank you for my beautiful family, friends, home, food, job, and a good life!

The aftermath of today's feast is proof positive of all my blessings!

Until next time....thank away!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

328 / 365: Three Wise Women

I had a great start to my Thanksgiving Break, having lunch with two former colleagues. We discussed many a topic over fuzzy navels and Chinese food: work, children, parents, etc. Conversing with these two fabulous ladies raises me to a higher intellectual level, as well as gives me a reason to belly laugh!! It was a joy to hang with friends and get an estrogen fix!

I am eternally grateful that these ladies are in my life.

Until next time...discuss away!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

327 / 365: Made it!

I'm thankful I have a good job, but even more thankful for a break in the action!!

Until next time...break away!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

326 / 365: Getting ready....

Download update.
Open nook.
Drag update to nook.
Eject nook.
nook automatically updates.

Sure it does.....after the 5th try!!

Needless to say it's done and working nicely. Started my Thanksgiving break novel and counting down to chill time....

Until next time...update away!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

325 / 365: Dump day

Today's beautiful autumnal weather allowed me to indulge in an afternoon of.....yard work!

My two trusty assistants helped me remove the remnants of the dead tree. They work so hard to get the dead wood from the yard to the van. They even used, dare I say it, teamwork, to get some of the longer branches to fit. I'm so grateful for their help!

Unfortunately, I couldn't bring them to the dump with me. I had to empty the van onto the brush pile by myself. Seemed like it took forever!

As I was going through this process, I had wonderful flashbacks of my dad and me making our biweekly "dump run". We (or should say I) would load up the car with trash, etc., and head out to the landfill. I would unload everything while Daddy supervised (his arthritis and artificial hips and knees really limited his lifting). My hard work did not go unnoticed. On the way home, he would treat me to a soda, coffee or ice cream. However, the biggest treat of all was to be able to spend quality alone time with him. This made all the work worthwhile.

Had I had room for the boys, I would have taken them out for a soda or ice cream. I want them to see that while work can be hard, it can be rewarding and fun, even if it is a trip to the dump.

Until next time....dump away!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

324 / 365: Happy Times

The boys and their Grandpa = a great combination!!

We stopped at the Grans as we did the grocery shopping circuit. Even after eating pizza and breadsticks, SRR was hungry (of course!). Grandpa offered the boys a variety of goodies, but won kudos for his last choice: jelly beans!!

As the orchestra swelled, the choir crescendoed, and the skies opened spreading vast rays of light, the three of them began the process of vetting the Jelly Belly's: Who has which flavor? What does that one taste like? Oh, I got a good one! As nauseum...

Ten laps around the house later....

We told Grandpa that whoever feeds the boys sugar has to keep them!

Until next time....sugar away!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

323 / 365: Cleaning...a Haiku

Vacuum stairway, mop the floors.
I hate all this GUNK!!

Until next time....clean away!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

322 / 365: Are we there yet?

My favorite holiday is around the corner, but I'm too busy to fantasize about it!!

Please hurry!! I need you!!

Until next time....rush away!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

321 / 365: To swab or not to swab....

....that is the question.

Billy Shakespeare must not have had a seven year old who needed his throat swabbed.

SRR's health declined quickly. The past two days, his energy and his appetite had decreased. If you know my SRR, you know the loss of appetite was definitely a red flag something was wrong. Last night, he started roasting at 101. Sick / doctor day for the little man and his mama.

Luckily, the doctor's visit was short. Temp was 100.5, throat red (including a blister, which she said is a sign of a virus), and he was just blah. They took swab #1 right away, but it came back negative. To double check, she ordered a second swab to be sent away to be cultured. The poor boy's gagging sounds made me want to cry! Needless to say, he walked away a little sore, but armed with a red popsicle! Those little things have amazing healing powers.

The doctor prescribed antibiotics in case it was strep. This way, he could go back to school tomorrow to perform as Abe Lincoln. After two doses of that, along with a day of MommyMedicine, he is on the mend!

If there are any potential inventors out there, may I suggest two "at home" kits you could create: ear infection and strep throat home tests. This way, a negative result can save you a trip to the doctor. Any takers?

Until next time....swab away!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

320 / 365: My Snickerdoodle.....

He's no longer a baby, but he'll always be MY baby. That's what's important, right?

I'm not sure why I decided to nickname him after a cookie. Yes, he's sweet. Yes, he's good. Yes, he's great to have with coffee (a stellar conversationalist!). But I don't know why I picked THAT name. Maybe all those goofy sounds smashed together made me giggle, like he does.

Whatever the reason, my Snickerdoodle turns 9 today. His last birthday in the single digits. Where has the time gone? I remember the journey to his birth like it was yesterday. Since he was eleven days late, I had to go in the night before I was induced to get a special "move things along" treatment. We arrived at CJW to find "no room at the inn". Thus, the Holy Family "Wannabees" schleped through the mall for a few hours. Eventually, they let us in and the next day, my angel arrived!

I thank God every single day for my cookie (and his little bro). JOR surely makes life sweeter with very few crumbs. It is my hope that he and I can have coffee and giggles together for a very, very long time!

Love you Snickerdoodle!!

Until next time...giggle away! (Gotta love his hat. Good taste!)

Monday, November 15, 2010

319 / 365: I get around....

4 school visits
3 meetings with teachers
2 keyboard lessons and
1 very tired integrator

Until next time...travel away!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

318 / 365: Herding Cats....

...is what I did tonight.

In my effort to help my sons get organized (especially my little mess, SRR), I cleaned out their backpacks and organized their papers and folders. Random thoughts ensued:

-Why have these fruit chews been in here since September?
-This form was due last Monday!
-How many legos do you need to get through the week?
-Why must you keep a pencil with no point and no eraser?
-Where did these cookies come from?
-I think something bit me!

Meanwhile, the "Dynamic Duo" is pulling stuff out of every nook and cranny, creating a new mess as I'm trying to extinguish an old one.

-The dress up stuff is oozing out from behind the couch.
-If you cut up another piece of paper and NOT throw the scraps away.....
-Magnets do not go near computers!
-Stop running!
-Quit punching your brother.
-Put the stuffed animals away.
-SRR, put some clothes on!
-JOR, stop talking to yourself!

Oh, it was a long night, but finally ended when we herded the cats into bed.

Until next time....herd away!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

317 / 365: 8K Day!

I honestly thought things would not go well this morning. One sure sign appeared last night. A car in front of us was waiting to make a left turn at a traffic light. When the light turned green, it made a right turn. Its license plate: ILEADU. Be afraid, be VERY afraid!

But I digress. Today turned out MUCH better than anticipated!! A great run at 56:59. This was my best time ever!! I think there were a few factors that helped:
-AMAZING weather!
-I dressed light.
-Leggings to keep my legs warm.
-Physical therapy
-Sunday's long run.
-GPS all week. (Walking outside with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders every morning this week.)
-A light meal last night. (I finally conceded that a little 8K does NOT warrant a "Carbo Loaded Dinner". My denial always bloated me on race day.)
-Parking 9 miles from the start / finish. This made for a thorough pre-race warm up and cool down. I also burned off post race food by eating it as I walked back to the van. I really think the schlep to and from the van was another 8K in and of itself.
-Having a supportive family to keep the home fires burning while I trained. I love these guys!

Now I know what a "runner's high" really feels like. It took me forever to come down to take a snooze between the race and the family's afternoon agenda. While I'm still kind of tired, I feel good knowing that I reached my goal of 1 hour or under.

Time to chill and chow down.

Until next time....rest away!

Friday, November 12, 2010

316 / 365: Run!

In my dreams, I am Kenyan. In my life, I am Roseanne.

Until next time....run away!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

315 / 365: Decision 7

"I Will Persist Without Exception"

Today, the "I" is being changed to "We". Today, MGR and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. No brass bands, bells or whistles (except maybe to extol the gaudiness of the flag shirt he wore today!), but a nice, "calm" (relative term in our house) affirmation that we made it.

It has not been an easy ten years, but we persisted. We got through school, babies, changing jobs, changing residences, etc. still standing, still functioning, still loving each other. Yes, we argue. Yes we disagree. But most of the time we discuss, we compromise and yes, we forgive. Sometimes with laughter, always with love. We will keep on keepin' on....

Will it always be this way? I hope so!

Until next time....persist away!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

314 / 365: Decision 6

This is truly a weakness of mine....let's hold onto someone's transgressions til they go to the grave....and maybe even longer! So there!

Having an unforgiving soul is truly a time waster. Just this evening, I had a siding salesman come to the door, asking if he could come by tomorrow to measure my house and give me an estimate. I told him that we had someone in mind to do the house (we do) and that I wouldn't be home tomorrow til 9pm (I won't). He saw MGR pull in the driveway and said, "Well, I'll just talk with your husband." Who did he think I was, Donna Reed? Talk with my husband? I'm actually still seething about this! Needless to say, this has been on my mind since he came to the door almost 5 hours ago. Yes, 5 hours of stewing when I could be forgiving.

This is going to be a very hard transition to make. Sometimes forgiving is easy: a person cuts you off in traffic, a child says something inappropriate, etc. However, sometimes it's just too damn hard to let go. So it just festers in my mind and soul, taking up valuable time and space, waiting for me to do.....absolutely nothing about it! Now that's being productive....not!!

Until next time....forgive away!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

313 / 365: Decision 5

The GPS activity did not go well.
I was cold, then hot, then cold, then hot.
My nose ran the entire morning.
I stepped in dog poop somewhere while fumbling through the above mentioned GPS activity.
Cache #2 disappeared.
Benchmark and Portal issues.
Ended the work day 3 miles from home, but had to drive out to Matoaca (45 minutes round trip) to return JOR's football uniform.

But you what? I'm smiling!!

I think I'm getting better at this decision. I try to look at the bright side of things. Today, the weather was beautiful, I cleaned off my shoes, issues were solved and the uniform is out of our house!

A guest author visited MGR's school yesterday. One of the things she said was, "Before you enter (school or home), wipe your feet of all the 'dirt' so you don't carry it in with you." Amen! MGR and I have decided to try this approach. When work gets "dirty", we'll leave it outside. We'll choose to be happy.

"The Traveler's Gift" is based on seven decisions presented by seven historical figures. The one presenting Decision 5 ("Choosing to be happy")? Anne Frank! I guess if she chose to be happy, I should shut up!

Until next time....smile away!

Monday, November 8, 2010

312 / 365: Decision 4

The Certain Decision: I have a decided heart....I think.

Well, I sounded like it in last night's post and actually I'm feeling good about it today. No worries, we're not losing the house or anything that extreme. We have carried this debt burden long enough and just want to get rid of it.

My decided heart has lots to do with my faith in God. He has not been in my "Traveler's Gift" posts, but I do think He's the deliverer of the gifts. I know He's with me, as He and I have had many LONG conversations (yes, there are times I listen...OK....sometimes....) and He has helped me throughout my life.

I feel this decided heart is God giving me the swift kick I need. Yes, He kicks me, but where is He when He's done kicking? Behind me. It's good to know God has my back. All the more reason to make a decision and act on it.

Until next time....decide away!! (Don't worry, He's got your back!)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

311 / 365: Decision 3

I am choosing to act! MGR and I have had to swallow a very hard, very bitter pill. Our finances are in really bad shape, mostly due to our bad behavior (see, I'm taking responsibility, Decision 1!). I've spent most of this fall cutting "frills" out of our household budget and got a part-time job to earn extra money. While this has helped, we want to do more to get rid of our debt. We're now in the process of working with an outside agency to give us a hand.

It took reading "The Traveler's Gift" to get me to this last step. While I could have sat and wallowed in self-pity, the better plan was one of action. No, it's not going to be easy. No, it's not going to be fun. Yes, it's going to get us where we need to be. It's the only way we are going to achieve our goals. We need to act!

Keep your fingers crossed!

Until next time....act away!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

310 / 365: Decision 2

Seeking the wisdom of others.

What a great night to do this one! We had the honor of attending a FauxThanksgiving at the Friendmily's house. It was a great evening!

Tonight I got some insight in child rearing, discipline and how to pick a good wine. A very productive evening if I do say so myself!!

Until next time....share away!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

309 / 365: Decision 1

I am, by nature, a blamer. It's the (fill in the blank with husband, kids, job, house, cat, family, van, weather, high tide)'s fault. Very rarely did I take responsibility for my life. Until I read this book.

The first "decision" is entitled: "The Buck Stops Here". My past has been determined by me, my present is determined by me and my future will be determined by ME!

In some ways, this is quite liberating. I don't have to rely on external forces to mold my life. It is up to me and me only. If I succeed, it was my success. If I screw up, it was my fault. And when I do screw up, it's OK to learn from it and move on. Andrews says when we want to ask, "Why me?", we need to counteract with "Why NOT me?" It's not a problem I face, it's a choice I make. Seems like an easier pill to swallow. Well, maybe a horse pill coated with chocolate...?

Until next time....choose away!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

308 / 365: The Traveler's Gift

Did you ever read a book that smacks you in the face?

I did.

"The Traveler's Gift" is a powerful book written by a man who has "walked the walk". Andy Andrews lost both his parents at the age of 19. During this formative stage of his life, he eventually became homeless. While roaming, he tried to decipher the process to be successful in life, reading the biographies of over 200 successful people. Andrews noticed seven common denominators these successful people shared.

This is where the "Traveler's Gift" comes in. The plot involves a man who has hit "rock bottom". While he is at his low, he travels through time to seven historical figures, each with a lesson for him.

The story is an easy read and one that needs to be shared with everyone. Tomorrow I will begin sharing each lesson and its impact on my life. While it has only been a few weeks, these lessons will be with me for years!!

Until next time....travel away!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

307 / 365: The Welcoming Committee....

Would you get out of your car if you saw this on your front steps?

I did.....

Until next time...scream away!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

306 / 365: Guest Blogger

(Note: I have relinquished control over today's post to my son, JOR. I need a break and he needs to write. Plus he looks adorable in his uniform. Please offer comments on his post. Thanks!)

My first football season was a hard one. I played for the Matoaca Indians. I learned many things. Some things were positive and some things were negative.

These are the positive things about playing football. I got in shape and I learned to tackle and block. I also had 3 coaches who believed in me.

These are the negative things about my football season. I didn’t get a lot of playing time. I could not show my coach anything because I did not get playing time. My head coach didn't believe in me.

My dad helped with getting me dressed and getting me to practice on time. My grandpa came to every game. I learned that my dad and grandpa love and believe in me.

I felt that I learned many things by playing football. That was my season.

Monday, November 1, 2010

305 / 365: 'Twas the night before ballots....

Let's get "Silly Season" over with!!

Hypocrites, beware.

Until next time....vote away!