Jan 29, 2007

Death By Recycling

Tomorrow is our garbage and recycling day. Where we live, garbage is picked up once a week, but recycling is only picked up once a month. This means that our recycling bins are HUGE. Well, my husband is out of town this evening and won't get back until very late tonight. We try to make it a habit to set the bins by the curb the night before. We've been burned a couple of times when the recycling has been picked up very early in the morning when we didn't have it set out.

So tonight is my turn to take the garbage out, and let me first say this: Mother of God, it is cold outside! Right now it is about 15 degrees with a wind chill of 3 degrees. Having said that, I piled on a bunch of warm clothes, hat, and gloves and went to the side of the garage where we keep the bins. The snow that is still on the ground is frozen, so I pretty much slide my way into the bins. Now I look around and realize that I have to maneuver the bins over the mound of frozen snow. Not easy, but I manage to get the garbage bin to the curb. Now it's time for the recycling bin. Being a mere 5'2", this bin is almost as big as me, and it just happens to be stuck in the snow. I yank at it and pull it with all of my arm strength (which isn't much). I cuss at it and hope the neighbors don't hear me. Finally I manage to get it loose, but it starts to tip toward me. All I can imagine is this giant bin falling on me and pinning me to our front yard. Would anyone see me? It's pitch black out, and no one in their right mind would be outside, so I figure I would have to wait for my husband to come home. Fortunately it didn't tip over and I made it back into my warm house just fine.

Ugh, I'm tired of this weather. No warm up in sight - tomorrow's high is supposed to be 15 and it's only going to be 6 degrees by Sunday. Gotta' love the Midwest...

Jan 26, 2007

Random Pictures

I was cleaning out some boxes in our basement and came across these funny pictures:

My husband and stepson at the park quite a few years ago.

The annual trip to Holland, MI. From L toR: My grandma, my sister, my mom, and my aunt. I think this was the last trip before my aunt got sick.

August 1975. That's me standing between my sister and my dad.

Jan 25, 2007

The Most Awful Thing I've Heard In a Very Long Time

I have a nemesis at work. An arch enemy. We don't work in the same department, so there isn't any jealousy over who has the better job. She's just incredibly immature - especially for someone in their mid-20's, with a husband and two children. My theory is that she was emotionally stunted at the age of 15 and has never dealt with her issues. And believe me, she has issues. She brings them up ALL the time. She also is completely socially and professionally inappropriate. And she sings very loud to the radio she has in her office.

So on to the most awful I've heard in a while (aside from her singing). This was the conversation at lunch:

Nemesis: "I can't wait until I'm 40!"

Co-Worker: "Now that's just plain stupid!" (everyone laughs)

Nemesis: "Well, when I'm 40 my kids will finally get out of my house."

Huh??? First of all, her children are 3-years old and 6-years old. Secondly, she said this in front of our Executive Director. Thirdly, we work for a freakin' day care.


Jan 22, 2007

Good News/Bad News

Well, the good news is that apparently I'm not dying. I also don't have mono. The mono part is true (according to the nurse at my doc's office). The first part is just my anxiety coming out, as I was completely paranoid that I had some form of blood cancer - leukemia, lymphoma, etc. I guess I also got checked for anemia and thyroid problems. After calling the doctor numerous times, and apologizing for calling so often (why do I do that?), I was told that there wasn't anything "too abnormal looking" in my test results. What? I asked her if that meant that there was something a little abnormal looking. She said "no" and apologized for using that expression. I think I know what she meant, but still, do not use that phrase when you're dealing with someone who thinks she might be dying of blood cancer.

That's the good news (in a warped and twisted way). The bad news isn't really bad at all - more like annoying - but "Good News/Annoying News" just doesn't have the same ring to it. The annoying news is that I actually am sick now, with something I can diagnose. It's just a bad cold/cough, but the fact that it fell on my b-day weekend with my family in town really stinks. So I have the typical sore throat, fever, cough, stuffy nose, lack of sleep thing happening. I left work a bit early today because 1) It was really warm in the office, 2) I did not have any more medication on me, and 3) My head was so stuffed up that when I bent down to pick up my pen I thought it would explode - "it" being my head and not the pen.

I'm not sure what was wrong with me those past few weeks, but I can't believe that it was a build-up to a run-of-the-mill head cold. That just doesn't make sense. I guess knowing that there wasn't anything "too abnormal" should make me feel somewhat better.

Jan 19, 2007

Another Year

I turned 34 years old today. Technically, I'm still 33 until 5:15 PM, but I guess it really doesn't matter. I don't feel 34, but then again, what the hell is 34 supposed to feel like?

You couldn't pay me enough money to be a teenager again, or in my early 20's for that matter. I liked my mid to late-20's. Lots of good times.

So, I took the day off from work today, which is a first for me. I've been dragging lately and this was the perfect excuse to stay at home.

Jan 18, 2007

Slip Sliding Away...

I was really going to write about how today marks the 1-year anniversary of my blog (at least I think it is). I should go back and check, but I think I started it the day before my 33rd birthday. So, this means that tomorrow I turn 34. I've hit my mid-30's. I'm a 30-something...

My husband just called to tell me that on his way to drop of his son at his mom's house, he skidded off the road and into a ditch. Hence, the title of this post. Everyone is fine, but they were unable to get the truck out of the ditch. Right now he is driving his ex-wife's new husband's truck. Yep, we're a close family. My husband's ex-wife is also our realtor and we even offered to watch her 3-year old son when she went into labor with their new baby. It's much better than being a "blended family" that fights and argues. We're proud of that.

Anyway, one year has passed and so much has happened. There have been good times like the trip to Las Vegas, and unfortunately, there have been unbelieveably sad times like this one.

As much as I love to start a new year - a clean slate, a fresh start - I hate it. I always seem to be consumed by anxiety - what will this new year bring? It can't all be good things. I hate being the kind of person waiting for bad things to happen.

This really is not how I planned this message to turn out.

Well, my husband got home safely and is upset and has wet feet - he stepped in a creek trying to move the truck. Yuck. It's also like 28 degrees outside. Not a good night.

Jan 17, 2007

Still No Word...

I assumed that the doctor would call this morning, considering that the test results were in his office last night when the nurse called me. I figured that he'd give them a quick review and would call to tell me everything was OK. It's now 1 PM and I'm growing more and more anxious as the minutes pass.

The phone just rang, but it was my mom wondering if I had heard anything. She sounded disappointed, too.

I'm trying not to let this get to me, but it's very hard. If it was something simple, or nothing at all, he would have called and told me that. What could be taking so long? I have these horrible images in my head that they're studying the results, trying to figure out what is wrong and how to tell me. I try not to think about the horrible nightmares I've had recently - the ones where I'm sick. Very sick. The ones where I tour hospitals and treatment rooms. The ones where I hold my husband's hand while laying in a chair with an IV in my arm. The ones where I die very young.

I need to try to focus on something else. I'm supposed to be working from home today, but I'm very tired, and now, incredibly anxious. I'm trying to tell myself that there is a simple reason that my doctor's office hasn't call yet.

I'm trying.

Jan 16, 2007

No News

I waited all day to hear from my doctor's office with the test results, but by 2 PM, I decided I had to go home. The exhaustion is killing me - plus, I wanted to see if they had called me at home. Nothing. I called and left a message for his nurse. When I didn't hear anything by 4:15 PM, I called again.

I finally got a phone call at 5:30 PM informing me that while the results were in, the doctor had not had a chance to review them. So I continue to wait...

The Waiting Game

I'm sick. Like something is really wrong with me. I finally decided to go to the doctor after my symptoms continued for the third straight week. They took lots and lots of my blood, and now I wait for the results. I hate waiting for things like this.

I'm not sure if I'm more worried that they'll tell me something is wrong , or that they'll tell me that nothing is wrong. If nothing is wrong, then why do I feel this way?

I hate waiting...

Jan 14, 2007

Weekend Plans

My parents had planned on visiting us this weekend - my mom and I had tickets to see a show on Saturday night (OK, it was "Dancing With the Stars"). I don't watch much reality TV, but somehow managed to get sucked in to this show. Maybe it's because I always wished I could dance. I guess I can dance, but not ballroom dancing.

Anyway, the impending weather - rain/ice/snow/single digit temps - were keeping our plans up in the air. No one really knew exactly when or how bad the weather was going to get. The drive from my parents' house to our house takes about 3 hours, but we were expecting longer if the weather was bad. Turns out that we got a thin sheet of freezing rain and the snow won't be here until tonight/tomorrow morning - just in time for the Monday morning commute.

My parents did end up coming for their visit, and my mom and I attended the show. Had they not come, I had some backups who I would have tried calling to go with me - my friend Shanna, my mother-in-law, and last but not least, my husband's ex-wife. But I got to go with my mom and we had a really good time. As I sat there I thought to myself that I would have had fun no matter who went with me, but it never would have been the same without my mom. I told her as we left the show, "I didn't want to be here with anyone other than you."

They just left - trying to stay ahead of the storm. I miss them.

Jan 11, 2007

They Make Me Smile

Just a couple of pictures of Reese and Vann - these two really know how to make me smile...

Jan 10, 2007

The Death Row Meal

The other night my husband and I had an interesting discussion over dinner. I'll admit, I was the one who brought it up, but it was still interesting: If you were on death row, what would you choose as your last meal?

Without much hesitation (although, I personally think a bit more thought should go in to such a huge decision), my husband blurts out, "My mom's fried chicken and mashed potatoes!" Hmm, very interesting. I was a bit pissed off. Yes, her chicken is very good, although technically it's not fried. It's pan-fried, not deepfried. Anyway, it's good. However, what's wrong with any of my meals? I could definitely kick some ass in a lasagna competition, and I do believe my BBQ ribs are outstanding. And another thing - his mom's mashed potatoes are not even real! I make real mashed potatoes - even my mother-in-law raves about them. It's the gravy she puts on them - that's why everyone likes them. Gravy.

I'm still debating about my last meal - there are just so many choices. I'm leaning toward enchiladas, but then I start thinking about a really good hotdog from Portillos. And some onion rings. Oh yeah, and a Coke. Usually I would skip dessert, but since this is my last meal, I'd have something with chocolate in it. It doesn't matter if it gives me a raging migraine, because I'd be dead not long after eating. In fact, if the migraine is bad enough, I might just ask them to put me to death sooner...

Jan 7, 2007


The bad thing about having such a good memory, is that you can never forget. You can never forget those things that you so desperately want to remove from your memory - from your life.

Today marks the 8th anniversary of the fire. How I wish I could forget those images, those sounds, those smells. The bright orange flames. The flashing lights from firetrucks and police cars. The smell of smoke. My aunt weeping. The look of absolute fear on everyone's faces. The silence on the ride home to my parents' house - my aunt and me in the back seat, my arm draped around her trying to think of something to say, but being speechless for the first time in my life.

30 Books to Read Before You Die

A poll was conducted by the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), in which librarians around the country were asked the question, "Which book should every adult read before they die?"

Here's the list:
  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. The Bible
  3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
  4. 1984 by George Orwell
  5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  8. All Quiet on the Western Front by E M Remarque
  9. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
  10. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
  11. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  12. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  13. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  14. Tess of the D'urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
  15. Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
  16. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  17. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
  18. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  19. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  20. The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  21. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  22. The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
  23. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  24. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  25. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  26. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  27. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  28. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  29. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  30. A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn
FYI, I've only read 6 of them (#1, #16, #19, #20, #21, #22), although some of the others currently reside on my bookshelves (#2, #5, #7, #11, #23,).

Jan 6, 2007

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work I Go...

Woke up with a migraine. Not a good way to start a Saturday - considering that I worked entirely too many hours yesterday and need to work today. I started off with an Excedrin, hoping that I wouldn't need anything else. Yeah, right. So, it was on to the painkillers a couple of hours ago. It's a bit better, but still there.

I finished both grants - the final versions. There might be a few small changes, but they're due Monday by 4 PM, so I should be in good shape. Now it's on to the crappy work - inputting a whole lotta' numbers into an online database. This is the first year we have to do this, so it's kind of a slow process. I have no idea how long this will take me - an hour? Five hours?

Once again, I'm procrastinating...

Jan 5, 2007

Nothing In Particular

Just some random thoughts:
  1. My birthday is 2 weeks from today. I will be 34.
  2. I'm waiting for my husband to come home so we can go to dinner.
  3. I worked an extra long day and while I normally cook on Friday nights, I just can't do it tonight.
  4. I will continue working when we get back from dinner.
  5. Someone I work with told me this morning that she is pregnant. I try not to judge - she seems somewhat excited (in shock, but excited). I did determine, however, that it will be a very LONG pregnancy as she has already discussed names, gender preferences, and the fact that she will be breastfeeding. Considering that I used to work for the American Academy of Pediatrics (for a breastfeeding program), I am excited about that part.
  6. I think I just heard my husband's car pull into the driveway...

Jan 2, 2007

The New Year

Well, I didn't post anything yesterday - the first day of 2007 - like I wanted. The problem was that I didn't have anything to say. Actually, I don't really have anything to say right now. This is just a tactic to avoid grantwriting - lots and lots of grantwriting.

As for the other writing, I haven't done anything yet. The problem is that Monday through Friday (and certain Saturdays and Sundays) I write grants. I like writing them, but it makes it difficult to write for fun. That's not true. I really don't know why I avoid writing. OK, that's not true either. I avoid it because I don't know what I would do if I ever actually finished a novel. I'd probably just stare at it for a while and then hide it away somewhere.

Here's the funny thing - whenever I have lots of grantwriting to do, I wish I could find the time to write for fun. However, when I have the time, I find other things to do...