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Friday, September 25, 2009


from my daily calendar:

"Everything is a choice. You choose to watch TV instead of walking, or to de-stress by eating instead of talking to a friend. Try to deal with setbacks head on so you don't end up paying for them later."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Citrus Honey Salmon -- from SparkPeople

Marinate four 4-oz salmon filets in a plastic bag with 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup honey, 1/3 cup chopped green onions, and minced garlic and ginger to taste. Grill fish until flaky and simmer sauce in saucepan to reduce. Serves 4. 300 calories, 9 grams fat.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Friends... The Sacramento Valley AIDS Run/Walk is coming up on Sunday, September 13th, 2009.

I am really looking forwarding to walking this year and hope that I have your support. If you are able to support me with cold hard cash please click on the link below that will take you to my donation page. There you can make a donation using a credit or debit card, instantly. It is very easy. Any amount is welcome and NEEDED, even if it is just a dollar or two.

We all know that during these tough times, money is hard to come by, but these programs are being cut left and right and are in line to be cut completely off from funding. They need our support!

If you are not able to support with money, then I will gladly accept your prayers of support to this cause.

Today more than ever we need your help. The Federal government continues to reduce funding to our area! Please click on the link below and give generously to help in the fight against AIDS.

Thank you for your support.

For more information about the Sacramento Valley AIDS Run/Walk go to:

Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Capital City AIDS Fund

Some email systems do not support the use of links and therefore this link may not appear to work. If so, copy and paste the following into your browser:

Michelle Nichol

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I am crying...

I am very frustrated and upset.

Charlie was supposed to have graduated from High School a year ago. Class of 2008. He did not pass all his classes senior year and so was not able to walk in graduation ceremonies, or get diploma, and had to instead go to summer school.

We were ok with all that. He went to summer school – 2 sessions and passed both with A’s… he did his senior project and was told he passed that also.

We never followed up on getting his diploma. Just figured he passed that was it; and we never got anything from the school telling us otherwise. We were in no hurry to get his actual, physical diploma because he was not planning on going to school right away and we figured “just wait til you need it.”

I have been telling him for a year, however, “call the school and go over and pick up your diploma…” which he never did. I didn’t push him, figured he needed to do what he needed to do, and would do it at his own pace.

And, so an entire school year has come and gone, and a new one is starting up right now…

Well, this past week Charlie decided to look into Wyo-Tech and decided it was finally time to get his actual diploma from the high school… he made the call. And – was told that he didn’t graduate!!!!!


They say he needed a few more classes. A FEW MORE… HUH?

So, I called and left a message for his guidance counselor to call me and also sent an email. This was last week and didn’t hear anything back. No panic, the school is busy with the first of the year stuff and so I figured I would wait a few days.

I called again today and actually got to speak with the counselor and he pulled up Charlie’s information. It did not show his senior project grade, or his summer school class grades, and didn’t have information from his 9th grade first semester classes………. My mind boggles…

He is going to check into it and get back to me.

Wow, we really dropped the ball on this didn’t we… I should have followed thru, Charlie should have called them when I told him to, the school and district never contacted us to advise us that Charlie did not graduate.

I just want to cry though, and have been. It is eating me up.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The
Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:"

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?".
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd
grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

It's estimated 93% won't forward this. If you are one of the 7% who will, forward this with the title '7%'. I'm in the 7%. Remember that I will always share my spoon with you! Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Popcorn Maraca

Last night I made myself a single serve bag of microwave popcorn. While I was eating it the cat kept jumping up on my chair and trying to get some popcorn to share with me. I kept shooing him away and off my chair. He gets too bold sometimes. But, he LIKES/LOVES popcorn, or thinks he does. Usually when he gets some he just slobbers all over it and leaves it in my lap .. a nasty, wet mess. So, I kept pushing him away.

When I was done with the popcorn I set the bad on the side table and continued reading my book. There were basically just unpopped kernels left in the bag. The cat jumped up on the table, stuck his head inside the bag to get to the popcorn leftovers. Now remember this is a small bag of popcorn. And Jules is a big cat, with a big head. Do you see where this story is going???

He got the bag stuck on his head, and FREAKED OUT. He put himself into reverse and back peddled himself right off the table, flopped on the floor a little bit, and scooted backwards across the entire space of the living room until he could go no further.

His head was shaking from side to side to try and get the bag off. It sounded like a big maraca as kernels were hitting the sides of the bag, and then found their way out of the bag; they were flying across the room as he shook his head. Finally he got the bag off and sat there looking at me. With the look only cats can give …. You know the disdainful, arrogant look? The look that accused ME of wrongdoing?

I was laughing myself silly, wishing I had a video camera, because this would have been a YouTube viral wonder.

It was only later that I remembered that after I popped the corn I added a liberal dose of lemon pepper to the bag, and hoped he didn’t get any in his eyes. I was kind of hoping he had got some pepper in his nose though, and would have had a sneezing fit!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


An elderly customer just told me a little joke:

A man walked into a bar and saw two beautiful blondes at one of the booths.
He walked over and introduced himself and they started chatting.
A little while later he invited them back to his place, for a little "party"...
As they were heading out the door, he asked them "You two are beautiful, are you sisters?"
One of the blondes giggled and said "Why, no, we are not even Catholic..."

Then my customer said "Get it... they are not Catholic, like Sisters, you know NUNS!"

Friday, July 24, 2009

Quote by ee cummings

To be nobody but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

- EE Cummings, poet

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sacramento Valley AIDS Run/Walk

Dear Friends...

I will be walking this year and hope to have your support. If you are able to donate or would like to join our team please click on the link and do what you can! Thanks in advance!


The Sacramento Valley AIDS Run/Walk is coming up on Sunday, September 13th, 2009.

Today more than ever we need your help. The Federal government continues to reduce funding to our area! Please click on the link below and give generously to help in the fight against AIDS.

Thank you for your support.

For more information about the Sacramento Valley AIDS Run/Walk go to:

Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Capital City AIDS Fund

Some email systems do not support the use of links and therefore this link may not appear to work. If so, copy and paste the following into your browser:

Michelle Nichol

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Taken from SparkPeople Daily - July 13

Turning "Someday" into Today
Weighing Some Tough Options

It's time for some cold, hard facts.

You're not going to be able to read every book that you want. You'll never have time to watch all of your favorite shows. The house will never be clean enough. There will always be another errand to run. The grass will continue to grow. Everything you buy will need to be dusted, repaired, maintained or disposed of in some way.

This is not a critique of any lack of organizational skills on your part, or a reason to give up altogether. Rather, it's a statement of freedom.

When you know that life will still be waiting for you tomorrow--no matter what--it gives you the freedom to make today count as much as possible. "Someday" is right now. Anytime. And that can be exciting, if you let it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

to this I say "HA!"

People say things all the time that can be hurtful, spiteful and mean… and then not remember that they said or did anything wrong. I am sure I do so every day. I wonder how much of a lasting impression those conversations or actions have on the other person??

The reason this is on my mind is because of something one of my managers at work did a couple months ago. I was just starting out my new lifestyle, and was doing some basic work out moves at my desk between calls. I was probably doing some lunges or squats or something that looks funny. He walked by and laughed, just a little chuckle.

At the time I was a bit indignant. I was like “I have to lose the weight, so what if he laughs.” But, it stuck with me and has apparently been lurking in the back of my mind. I remember it each time I am working out at my desk.

2 months have gone by since then. I am still working out at my desk, and still eating better, still going to Jazzercise 3-5 times a week, plus have started walking on breaks and lunches. I even woke up at 630 on Sunday morning, a day it was suppose to get to over 100 degrees, and went for a 3 miles 1 hour long walk to get it done before it got too hot.

I am so proud of my accomplishments and I can’t help but talk to everyone about it. I even told my direct supervisor 2 times about my Sunday walk, because I could not remember if I had told her already!

So, to get back to the point that I wanted to make: I stepped into the managers office Friday afternoon on my way out of the office and said “Remember you were laughing at me while I was working out at my desk a while back?” … he looked confused, didn’t remember it at all... “I lost 21 lbs in 2 months because of it…”

Sometimes the things that hurt us can make us stronger. I think one of the major motivators for me to continue was so that I could say to him… “Look at me now, buddy! You laughed at me but look what I have been able to do, in spite of it.”

Sunday, May 03, 2009


He thinks he is so cute... he's right.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Not my usual chill time...

Since starting Jazzercise and SparkPeople a little more than a month ago I have a little routine down, as far as exercise goes.

I do Jazzercise Monday-Wednesday-Friday evenings, and Tuesday-Saturday mornings. Thursday and Sunday are my "off" days. I do strength training Monday thru Friday at work between calls, daily.

Thursday Jazzercise is in the mornings, while I am working, and Sunday is reserved for Church and family. Thursday evenings I have choir practice but not until 730 so I have a few hours to kill. I usually spend that time reading, playing video games, or watching a movie from Netflix.

Last night I was laying on my bed, playing my video game, and was feeling a little blah. I FIGURED IT OUT... I WANTED TO WORK OUT!!!! shock, gasp....

I.... WANTED.... TO.... WORK.... OUT..... knock me over with a feather!!

So, I changed clothes, and put in a DVD that I got from Netflix last week but have not used yet. It has 2 10-minute and 2 20-minute programs to chose... I picked one of the 20-minute selections. When that was done, I was sweating up a storm. Then I put in one of the 10-minute programs, and DID THAT TOO!!!

About half-way thru the 10-minute one Jules the Cat came to investigate... "what is momma doing??"

I ended up pushing him out of the way to finish the routine.

Then I took a quick shower, got dressed again and left for choir. I FELT WONDERFUL! and so proud of myself. Can you tell??

me and dad at monterey bay aquarium ~ april 17, 2009

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Michelle Has Sent You a Personal Member Page on


Michelle has sent you a personal member homepage that is hosted on You can visit the page by going to:

Comments from Michelle:
Check out my SparkPage... remember my username is BrassNichol ... if you join, please make sure you use me as your referral so I get SparkPoints!

This is a 1-time e-mail sent by on behalf of one of our members. SparkPeople has not saved your address based on this e-mail.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

LOST! and not the TV show!

I lost 2.5 inches off my hips so far!!! Does anyone know where they went? Don't tell them where to find me cause I don't want them back...

trees at Asilomar

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this iis just a test of txt from phone

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Beginning Week 3

Three weeks ago yesterday I started going to Jazzercise classes! Today is the beginning week 3 of my Spark life. I am still down 10 lbs. and my measurements have not changed much, but I am not giving up hope like I would usually do. I know this will be an ongoing battle. I did not gain all this weight and become unhealthy in 2 weeks and so I will not get healthy and lose the weight that quickly either.

I have been attending Jazzercise Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday-Saturday. Two of the classes are morning, the other 3 are evening. This has been a real adjustment for me. I am use to going home after work and sitting on my butt for the entire evening. Now I go home, get ready for class, take the class, come home, MAKE dinner, eat, WASH the dishes right away... then and only then will I let myself sit down.

I have started to eat breakfast every morning, making lunches every day, and cooking dinner. I have started to go shopping for groceries and making smart choices. I have been to a fast food drive thru only twice, and I knew what I was going to get before going so that I would be within my calorie range. I have bought a food scale and am using it, and the measuring cup/spoons... EVERYTHING that goes on my plate is portioned.

The first 2 weeks were easy. My son was off to his grandfather's home for that time. It allowed me space to get in a groove. He came home on Sunday and so far so good. I have told him that I am doing this. Explained why and told him that if he wants he can come with me to the class site. I gave him the option to sit and watch the class (which he did on Tuesday), or he can get a basketball and play hoops on the court in the park, or just hang in the car and listen to his music or whatever.

I have food on hand that an 18-y.o. boy will like. He can make himself his regular food-stuff during the day like usual, but he can either eat the food that I make at night or not. His choice.

He complained about the pot roast that I served last night. He just does not like steak/roast. I told him he didn't have to eat it but if he wanted something else he would have to scrounge for it. He really like the 7-grain mix that I cooked, so I am going to go and get more of it. It was really nutty and crunchy, with great flavor.

I took him shopping with me Monday night and we picked out some healthy food together. Luckily I got him drinking Silk a few years ago and so he really likes that (I don't drink milk), and yogurt he loves. I know he won't touch my cottage cheese, nor the fruits and veggies that I have bought. He will eat the veggies if I cook them, but he won't do it on his own.

Overall he is being very supportive, and maybe I will start setting some sort of example to him.

Wish me luck as I begin week 3!

Friday, March 20, 2009

the 2009 edition of getting to know your friends

Welcome to the 2009 edition of getting to know your friends.

Press 'FORWARD' then change all the answers so they apply to you, and then send this to your friends including the person who sent it to you.
The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends that you might not have known!

1. What time did you get up this morning?

2. Diamonds or pearls?!
neither .. like colored stones!

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
so long ago that I can't remember

4. What is your favorite TV show?
love House and Hell's Kitchen -- like the bad boys still!

5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
been really getting into drinking Orange Juice

6. What is your middle name?

7. What food do you dislike?
shell fish and mushrooms, they are too chewy... makes me gag

8. What is your favorite CD at the moment?

9. What kind of car do you drive?
dodge stratus

10. Favorite sandwich?
fresh tomato in the summer... hot pastrami in the winter

11. What characteristic do you despise?

12. Favorite item of clothing?
tank tops

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Ireland and Scotland

14. Favorite brand of clothing?

5. Where would you retire to?
i don't know... oregon coast??

16. What was your most recent memorable birthday?

17. Favorite sport to watch?
none really, lol... tennis maybe...

18. Farthermost place you are sending this?
east coast

19. Person you expect to send it back first?

20. When is your birthday ?
Dec 3

21. Are you a morning person or a night person?

22. What is your shoe size?
23. Pets?
my 22 lb Kitty, Jules

24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?
started going to Jazzercise this week!

25. What did you want to be when you were little?
a lawyer

26. How are you today?
happy it is friday

27. What is your favorite candy?
dark chocolate 70%yummm.

28. What is your favorite flower?

29. What day on the calendar are you looking forward to?
April 17 -- Annual Meeting at Asilomar!!!

30. What is your full name?
Michelle Lynn (Kirkman) Nichol

31. What are you listening to right now?
people at work talking

2. What was the last thing you ate?
jimmy dean sausage, egg and cheese croissant for breakfast

33. Do you wish on stars?

34. If you were a crayon, what color1 would you be?
orange red

35. How is the weather right now?
beautiful, wish i was outside rather than stuck at work

36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today?
customer who was ANGRY

37. Favorite soft drink?
Diet PEPSI or Diet Dr. Pepper

38. Favorite restaurant?
no real fav ... i just like eating out, a LOT, anywhere

39. Real hair color?
dark brown.. now heading into grey (since I was 19!).. but love to dye it!

40. What was your favorite toy as a child?
can't remember one, loved books and still do

41. Summer or winter?
neither... prefer spring/fall

42. Hugs or kisses?
yes please

43. Chocolate or Vanilla?
grandma got me hooked on mint chocolate chip.. but of the 2 choices I would have to agree with Mel .. vanilla with choc syrup!

44. Coffee or tea?

45. Do you want your friends to email you back?
of course!

46. When was the last time you cried?
reading my book couple nights ago...

47. What is under your bed?
the mirror to my dresser and prob a lot of cat hair

48. What did you do last night?
busy night... came home and ate, went to choir, took someone home, watched Hell's Kitchen, then put on dvd of Heroes season 1...

49. What are you afraid of ?
painful death

50. Salty or sweet?

51. How many keys on your key ring?
gonna have to look!... 7, and not sure what 3 are for! yikes

52. How many years at your current job?

53. Favorite day of the week?

54. How many towns have you lived in?

55. Do you make friends easily?

56. How many people will you send this to?
a few

57. How many will respond?
not sure


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jazz Baby

I signed up for and took a Jazzercise class yesterday. Monday I sat in, watched the other people there and decided “if they can do it, so can I.” One lady in particular inspired me. She is probably in her 70s and can barely move. “If she can do this, so can I.” I then found out she has been Jazzercising for 18 years!!! “If she can do it…”

Friday, March 13, 2009

great quote

"If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in
the dark with a mosquito."

- Author Unknown

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NO Sleep again

I have been having trouble sleeping this week. The cat keeps waking me up, well before the alarm would go off. Or, as on Monday, right when it should have gone off, but didn’t because I had turned the volume off. Monday it was welcome. Tuesday night and last night it was NOT welcome.

Tuesday I was able to go back to sleep, but last night I lay there. The cat clawed the bed at 3:45 am. I shooed him off and then could not go back to sleep. Around 4:30 I gave up and got my book and read until the alarm went off.

I am now dog-tired, at work. Wondering if I should take the afternoon off, wasting more of my vacation time. I need to find something to energize me and help me sleep. I am wondering if stopping the anti-depressants is hindering my sleep.

One thing that I have noticed since stopping the pills is that my restless leg syndrome seems to have pretty much stopped. Wonder if that is a side-effect of the meds? I am really glad about it. Nothing like twitchy legs all evening and night.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

sometimes i just want to quit

sometimes i just want to quit my job...
i hate it when customers yell at me for doing my job.
we are required to asked questions of the customer for authorization purposes... customer id, last four of social security, billed amount or last paid... something to let us know we are talking with an authorized party.
i just had a customer yell at me for asking the questions that i need to, in order to help him.
granted he keeps calling in, each call requires this information.
he yelled at me and asked for a supervisor.
then the supervisor seemed to act like "why could you not handle the customer"..
well... because he yelled at me to "GET A SUPERVISOR RIGHT NOW!"
i am not going to sit there and argue with the customer

so.. i am going to go home early, use more of my flex/vacation time... just can't handle it right now... so going to go home and sleep it off...

Grace: 13 of 365

Today paying homage to some of my fav stores:

  1. Trader Joe's
  2. Michael's
  3. IKEA
  4. Smart and Final
  5. Big Lots

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Dad on TV

My Dad was on the news yesterday because of the flooding possibility for his home again.

Here is the link:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

This is SO TRUE!!!!!

Like the Pilgrims Used to Do with the Indians
Ditzy girl #1: It's so weird. You can actually have arguments on Facebook.
Ditzy girl #2: Yeah! You can follow people's arguments on wall-to-wall.
Ditzy girl #3: That's so stupid. Why go to all that trouble when you can just pick up your phone and send them a text?

--Downtown F Train

Overheard by: sam
via Overheard in New York, Mar 1, 2009

Grace: 12 of 365

  1. lazy mornings
  2. rain (I know I have mentioned rain about 5 times now, but we REALLY need more)
  3. orange juice
  4. sweet tea from Mickey D's (love the stuff)
  5. prayer

Monday, March 02, 2009

Grace: 11 of 365

  1. new bible study class
  2. praise for a job well done
  3. I didn't faint in front of the church!
  4. new hair styles (see picture!)
  5. flat irons that make the new hair style possible

Yesterday I was Worship Leader at church....

Here are the parts that I got to do:

Call to Worship:

Leader: In this season, we bear in mind the trials and suffering of Jesus Christ.

People: Lent is a time of reflection; it is a time of tears.

Leader: But out of tears, hope is born anew, and life can be restored.

All: We worship the Lord, giver of life, who comes to us day by day and restores our souls.

Opening Prayer:

Spirit God, May your light guide us in new directions. May your spirit breathe new life into us. May we have strength and energy to understand Your plan for us. We seek to be reborn, restored, and renewed by You, so that we can be used by You to transform the world through your son, Jesus the Christ. Amen.


Today’s scripture can be found in the pew bibles page 492, and large print page 502

Psalm 25: 1-25

I am reading from the New International Version.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.

No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.


Stewardship Thought:

In Ephesians 4:11-12 it says: Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, and teachers, so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong.

So, has Christ chosen YOU yet? Are you doing what you can to serve God? Here in this building? Here in this community? Here in this world? Do you even know what your gifts are?

Among us I know of singers, musicians, child care providers, greeters, diaconate, elders, storytellers, preachers, teachers and sound board operators. Many of you serve God through nursing, mentoring, knitting and crocheting and sewing layettes, building homes for Habitat, working at museums and libraries, coaching little league or soccer… Any time you help at the food bank, or write a check for Week of Compassion, Heifer International, or the Red Cross … Any time you give blood, send a card to a friend who is feeling low, give a hug or offer your hand; when you listen in love and kindness, even when you hold a door for someone else …. YOU ARE SERVING GOD.

This church is truly blessed with abundance. Many of us share our gifts in more than one way. Wouldn’t life be boring if we held fast to our gifts and didn’t share them with others?

The diaconate will now Serve God and take your offerings.

Offertory Prayer:

God of abundance, you have blessed us not only with the opportunity to give, but with the gifts that we are to bring. Might our gifts we bring this day represent the fullness of our belief in You as our Creator, our Provider, and our Sustainer. Find us faithful in our sharing.

In the name of Jesus, we bring our gifts and seek your blessing. Amen.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Party

I was invited to an Oscar Party. Never before has this been! I don't go to the movies very much and yesterday was packed with things for me to do already. I had church and then a meeting from 2:30p to 5:30p. I almost declined the invitation. But.... I don't get invited many places, so could not bear to turn down the invite to have a good time with great friends.

I had a really good time. I have not seen any of the movies that were up for an award. NONE of them. We all had ballots and I filled mine out based on TV commercials and news reports, and gossip.

It was fun to see the dresses and hair, and the suits. We made a lot of comments about the suits and ties the men wore. Almost as much as we commented about HORRIBLE dresses most of the women wore. (a few were ok).

I have to say this though: What the heck is it with Sarah Jessica Parker. I was afraid for her. She could barely breathe without having a MAJOR WARDROBE MALFUNCTION.

YIKES!!!!! I just hope she was not in too much pain peeling off the massive amounts of double sided tape that must have been holding her into that dress.

Again, I had a great time!!!!!

Grace: 10 of 365

  1. invite to Oscar Party
  2. fun people to watch with
  3. taco bar
  4. random Oscar trivia
  5. Sean Penn winning for MILK

Thought this was appropriate for many people I know!

2PM Now He Walks the Halls in a Long Black Veil

Peon #1: My husband's Xbox died last night.
Peon #2: Oh, how sad. Were they close?

Sacramento, California

via Overheard in the Office, Feb 23, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Wordle

Wordle: Mick

this site is really cool... it takes words from your blog and puts them into a kewl graphic montage...


In reading over my post from yesterday and the rodents... I realized I use the word FREAK a lot!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Grace: 9 of 365

Ok -- I know I have blogged a bunch today. But, it was REALLY slow and boring at work today!

  1. D-CON
  2. mouse traps
  3. rat traps
  4. fly swatters
  5. ant poison

And I don't want to hear from any of you PET* people! (astrick included so they can't search me out!!)

You try waking up with a mouse in your bed!

City vs. Country, What's a Girl to Do?

I am a city girl, or at least I like to think so. I grew up in Sacramento. Born and Raised. Some might not think I should brag about that, but I am happy here. For a year I lived in Allentown, PA. I was 13-14, it was okay. I was in exile and that is a story for another time.

While growing up in Sacramento I would have the occasional visits to the family farm where my dad was born and raised. I told myself at the time that I would never, ever live in the COUNTRY. There were bugs and dirt, of the kind that I did not want to ever experience on a daily basis. And, they didn’t have REAL heat or air-conditioning… just a wood stove and the nasty swamp coolers. I put up with the country in those small doses, and then went back home to the city.

I lived at the family farm for few months when I was 18 and once awoke to what I thought were muscle spasms in my forearm and when I opened my eyes found a mouse pinned beneath my arm. I screamed, he squeaked, and when I lifted my arm he ran off. I don’t know who was more freaked out, the mouse or me…?

Well, life happens, and God throws a curve-ball! I ended up living in the country for a huge chunk of my life. I have lived other places too… I lived in Laguna Beach, Orange County, from years 19-22. It was ok, but it was not home, so I moved back home. Ended up in Yuba City, which is a city, but very rural.

But the majority of my life I lived in the country…from the time Charlie was about 1 until just very recently 2.5 years ago… so that would be about 16 years.

When we first moved from Yuba City, Charlie was just a little over 1 year. We moved into a single-wide trailer on the farm. This place had a swamp cooler that worked when it felt like it, no heat to speak of because the heating ducts were all torn out under the trailer. The septic backed up when it rained heavily. There were mice running around the place like crazy. We learned to share our living space with the mice. It was not too bad. I had a constant container of D-CON on the stove top, and I would sit in my chair in the living room area and watch the mice come up thru the gas burners and sit, munching on the D-CON. It was ok, because I knew that would be one of their last meals.

I really freaked out the time a POSSUM came thru the front of the under-sink cabinet into the kitchen. Just pushed the door open, and was gonna just make himself at home, until I screamed like a FREAK. I was really freaking out because I heard some banging of the cabinet door before I saw his head poke through. If you have ever seen a possum up-close or from afar even, they are nasty, fierce looking freaks of nature.

I lived at one time in a 23 ft camp trailer with no running water or toilet facilities for about 4 months at one time, hooked up to electric with an extension cord. At that place when we did have to use the toilet we went outside and into an abandoned single wide mobile home, and used the toilet there; that’s also where we used the shower. It was winter, rainy most of the time and really cold. We (all three of us) slept in the same bunk. Not very comfortable, but it was better than in our station wagon on the side of a road somewhere.

Then we rented an abandoned crack house, (seriously), and lived there for a while, trying to fix it up. That was in the country just outside of Sacramento, directly under the Sacramento International Airport flight path. We were a mile from the airport. That was interesting. From there we moved into a 2 bedroom house, with a fenced yard. We lived there for 8 years. It was great. The landlord was decent, the rent was cheap, it was a mile from the family farm. It still had ants and mice and flies. But it was really nice.

Then we bought a house which was a converted barn. Really, it use to be a barn. When we bought it (our first home) it was set up as a duplex, with two studios, one apartment down and one up. It was so small that there was not any realistic way to enclose the stairs, so we spent 3 years going outside and up the stairs to get to the bedrooms. Hey, you work with what you have right!?! The septic for that place really, really could not handle any amount of rain. So for two winters, which were horribly heavy rain years, we could not use the toilets. They would back up and it was nasty. We rented a porta-potty both those winters. You guessed it, we would have to go out in the rain in the middle of the night, go down the outside stairs in the rain, and around the side of the house to a dry spot where the potty was set up. One night the wind blew so hard the potty tipped over. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

My hubby and I split up soon about half way thru the 3 years we owned the house and I was quite happy with selling it and moving on. I moved on by moving back in with dad at the family farm. My life is like a concentric spiral. Do you see the pattern????

I lived with my dad for about 8 months before my car broke down and I moved back to town, finally. Is the circle complete? Will I spend the remaining years of my life in the city? Stay tuned. I am sure I will be answering that question in the years to come.

Oh… I started out writing this because I wanted to talk about something completely different than I ended up with here. Strange how that works out. I wanted to write about how this past Saturday, Charlie and I were standing in my bedroom and Charlie looked out the window and said “Mom, I just saw a big mouse out there.” Yep, there is a RAT living under the slab of concrete which is my patio, in the city. It looks a bit like this:

SIGH. Gotta love it.

Thought This was CUTE!

12PM You Should Write This Stuff Down, Sir
Assistant to boss: I need to leave early today for a dentist's appointment. Would that be okay?
Boss: Sure, is at 2:30?
Assistant: 2:30?? No, it's at 3.
Boss: Well, it should be at 2:30.
Assistant: Why?
Boss (chuckling): Because you're tooth hurty. Get it? Two thirty, tooth hurty.
Assistant: Are you kidding me?

Dallas, Texas
via Overheard in the Office, Feb 18, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My 3's

Now , here's what you're supposed to do...

(Do it when and/or if U havetime)Hit forward, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then send thisto awhole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you.U all know what the theory is, the theory is that you will learn littleknown facts about thosewho think they know you. * Don't forget to send it back to the person who sent it to you.

Three jobs I've had in my life:

1. data entry

2. California Relay Operator (for hearing impared)

3. gas station attendant (3 glorious months! between REAL jobs)

Three places I've lived in my life:

1. Allentown, PA

2. Laguna Beach, CA

3. Yuba City, CA

Three Places I've been this week:

1. church

2. DMV

3. KFC

Three people who email me regularly:

1. karen

2. iris

3. sharon

Three of My Favorite Foods:

1. Chinese

2. Pizza

3. Ice Cream

Three of My Favorite Books:

1. Gone with the Wind

2. any Nora Roberts, JD Robb books

3. any Janet Evanovich

Three Places I'd Rather be:

1. cross stitching

2. at and awesome concert (ROCK and ROLL, BABY!)

3. a warm, not HOT, beach .. prefer with a little breeze and someone making me Margarita's!

Three Friends I Think Will Respond:

1. karen

2. jaime

3. jamie

Three Things I am looking forward to:

1. retirement

2. winning the lottery that I don't play!

3. Death


Grace: 8 of 365

1. puffy clouds in the sky

2. umbrellas

3. rain (we need it... a lot... )

4. hot chocolate

5. valentine's candy - on sale!

DMV Drama, not so much, but dang the wait is long

I stood in line at DMV yesterday for an hour. This was just to get a number so that I could sit in the lobby for another hour. Then my number was called and I got to go to Window 17, turn in some paperwork, and then go to Window 15 to pick up the tags for my car. 2 hours to turn in paperwork and pick up tags. I took a half day vacation to do this! and it was the third time I have gone thru this process in the past couple of months.

I was talking with a co-worker about this and another butted in saying "You can do almost everything online." This is NOT true, only partially true. If you know 2 months IN ADVANCED then you can do many things online with DMV. However, for things that happened suddenly, like getting a car and having to get title transferred, etc, then you have to go in spur-of-the-moment.

The first time that I had to go in was because I knew I was getting a car and my driver's licence was expired (over a year) and so I had to go in to get it renewed. I stood in line, I sat in the lobby, I went to a window and got a written test, took the test, took my picture and was out of there. 2 hours or so that visit.

The second time was after I got the car. I had to go in and pay the title transfer fees, and stood in line and sat in the lobby, paid $166 and was told that I need to get the car SMOGGED and bring back the paperwork, or I could mail in the paperwork. I was also told I had until Feb. 18 to get it done. No Problem. That was two weeks ago.

I took the car to the SMOG shop and it failed. So then I had to figure how to get it fixed and smogged. I talked with the lady that sold the car to me and we took the car into the shop where she had it serviced. I needed a sensor/computer thingy (or 3 possibly!). The shop did not have any in stock and it may take a few days. So, I waited and got the car back from the shop after 2 days.

Because computer thingy was replaced, the computer memory needed to be reset before I could get it tested at the smog shop again. This, I was told, required me to drive the car at least 100 miles. Not always an easy thing to do during the week, when I have nothing much planned and the worst storm of the season playing out.

I finally hit the 100 mile marker. I let Charlie get a lot of practice driving during the past week! Took the car in and it passed smog. Yippee!!! Now I could take it into DMV and get my title transfer complete and my new tags! But.... it was a holiday weekend AND with the budget in CA sucking the way it does right now (meaning NO BUDGET figured out) and with CA doing work furloughs, DMV is closed on the 1st and 3rd Fridays each month.

So, I stood in line on a Tuesday of a 3 day DMV work week.

Oh, we (Charlie and I) also found out that their behind the wheel tests are booked out over a month already. That would explain why when we DID GO ONLINE to make an appointment for Charlie to take his behind the wheel test -- THERE WERE NO APPOINTMENTS available for the office we need.

We can make an appointment for YUBA CITY or SOUTH SACRAMENTO for March 16 and beyond. Charlie does not know the area for S. Sac and would be hecka nervous driving there. Yuba City, he knows the area, but it is a 100 mile drive round trip... so, we wait.

He needs more practice anyways!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Grace: 7 of 365

1. Windshield wipers
2. the hawk I saw from my bedroom (don't see them often "in town")
3. RAIN! (we need it soooo much)
4. brake lights!
5. naps

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rough Day

I was talking with a friend who also has a child with PDD-NOS under the autism spectrum. We started talking about the frustrations of dealing with homework and school, and what will our child do in life...

Then the conversation progressed to daily living with our child. And the lack of friends that our children have. It makes me so sad. I started to cry and had to go back to my desk where I sobbed for a couple minutes.

Some people just don't understand what it is like to have a special needs child and I HAVE TROUBLE WITH UNDERSTANDING IT TOO. Some days are wonderful and we have a great relationship. Charlie and I can talk about all sorts of things. Then there are those days that are a trainwreck, and we have to go to different locations in the house to calm down.

Every parent wants their child to be happy and productive and it hurts so much to see him unhappy and unproductive, and floundering. Of course I am also unhappy, unproductive and floundering -- and twice his age.

I told my friend that I had really dropped the ball with raising my son, getting him benefits and help that he will need to get him through life. I will be honest. I have trouble getting through my own days sometimes, much less dealing with getting through my son's day.

I hate seeing my son feel crappy. He says "everyone I know blocks me out and shuts me down when I am talking" ... and we do. I know it, he knows it, everyone knows it, but still we behave badly. And then we go on... behaving badly.

I guess the first step is knowing, the 2nd is actively working on change...

I remain...

Grace: 6 of 365

1. my new car
2. church lady who sold me the car
3. my friend/pastor
4. cell phones
5. text messaging!
Sometimes this just seems too silly, but while on the surface some things seem almost too stupid to put on my list, they really made a big difference to my life!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Grace: 5 of 365

  1. TGIF (not the movie but the sentiment)
  2. TGIF's - the restaurant
  3. Boneless chicken wings
  4. Bleu cheese dressing
  5. mouthwash

Water vs Snow

I was watching the local news the other day when they measured the snow pack to see how much trouble we will have with drought. The snow pack was quite low and they are talking about drought measures that may need to be taken... things like watering lawn, not flushing as often, no boating on the lakes.

I had a random thought pop in my mind as they showed the background of the story -- skiers going down the snowy mountain side. I thought to myself "I wonder how much water it takes to make the snow that they are skiing on." Because of the lack of snow so far this season many of the resorts make their own snow. I want to know where they get that water??? Do they drain local reservoirs? Take it out of Lake Tahoe? American River run off?

I would like to see the numbers. How many gallons of water is wasted so that people can ski?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Autism Sunday

This Sunday, February 8, is Autism Sunday.

Please visit this site for more information. It is pretty easy. Just pray for those with Autism, in all its forms. This can be an organized prayer, or individual. It seems more and more people are being diagnosed with Autism. It is likely that you know one or more people already who are Autistic.

Grace: 4 of 365

I am falling a little behind here.

Still sick, but it seems to be getting better, except for the stuffy head.

  1. after prodding I must add Orange Juice to my list...
  2. electric blankets
  3. my kitty cat
  4. weather that is so nice I can open the window and let the apartment air out
  5. water cystals!

Friday, January 30, 2009

3 of 365

Today is one of those days that I just can't seem to find much "grace" ... my cell phone died and I am getting sick. Yuck.

But I will try:

  1. Zicam
  2. Tissues with Vicks
  3. Hall's sugar free cough drops
  4. DayQuil
  5. hand sanitizer.
Wow I came up with 3, even if they are all Yuck related!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Grace: 2 of 365

  1. libraries
  2. computers at libraries
  3. I can drive to Trader Joe's
  4. veggies in microwave pouches!!!
  5. hair dye

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Loving Arms Seal

From another blog I found an OFFICIAL SEAL GENERATOR, and created a seal with my ending motto... I think it is cool.

Grace: 1 of 365

I heard of this idea of a grace journal from one of the blogs that I frequent, Oh, the Joys who in turn got it from Schmutzie, where it originated. Think it is a wonderful idea because I am oftentimes filled with bitterness, and sometimes it is hard to see the wonder and grace in my life.

So, here goes for today:

1. meeting up with old friends on facebook, some I have not seen/talked with for 18+ years;
2. I was able to use my car and go thru the drive thru for breakfast;
3. I look at the picture posted at my desk and see a smiling President and Mrs. Obama, and know there is hope.
4. Coffee, 'nuff said.
5. Clean drinking water.

In His Loving Arms

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No More Bus Riding

If you watch "Two and a Half Men" you may recall the episode where Judith tells Alan that she is getting married. He closes the door and Charlie counts down "5, 6, 7, 8..." and Alan does the happy dance and sings "NO MORE ALIMONY. NO MORE ALIMONY."

That is the way I feel right now.

Two weeks ago a lady at church asked me if there was any reason I didn't have a car and I explained things to her. She told me she was going to be getting a new car and if I wanted to I could buy her old car. I told her I would think about it. That Thursday she told me that she had indeed got a new car already and had I thought about it? and if so what was my answer?

We talked details and I agreed to buy her car.

Because of the MLK Jr weekend and DMV being closed on Friday as well as Monday I was unable to do anything over the weekend. But, this week I have been busy.

Tuesday I took off work early and sat at DMV and got my licence renewed. It has been expired since Dec 2007 (I didn't know it until Oct 2008!!!). I only missed 1 question on the written test, passed the eye "EXAM" (what a joke), took a WONDERFUL (YEAH RIGHT!) picture, and got my temporary licence.

Yesterday I went online and started the process of getting insured, both for me and Charlie on the policy. I had to call and get the VIN from the owner today. I made my first insurance payment and printed out my temporary insurance ID cards.

I am both nervous and excited!!! Oh, and tomorrow I get to drive up the hill and take Charlie to Young Adult retreat, and he wants to drive part of the way (of course).

In His Loving Arms...

Depression Medication

I just wanted to state that I have weened myself off my depression meds. I know they tell you not to stop without consulting your therapist... but Kaiser is a joke, both at scheduling and seeing and managing depression. I was tired of taking all the med, so started slowing backing off. I stopped taking the wellbutrin a few months ago, it does not have any adverse side-effects that I notices. The effexor is more complex.

I would alway know when I stopped taking effexor because of a "zapping" in my brain. I liken them to electric fence shock. Sometimes they would be quite powerful and disturbing. SO, knowing this, I cut back from 3 tablets a day, to 2, to 1, then tried going every other day but that didn't really work. So I actually cut from 1 to 1/2 tablet, then down to 1/4 tablet. Now I am off all my meds EXCEPT for my allergy medication.

Claritin and sudafed are my forever friends!

It has been since Jan 1 since I have had any anti-depressants and has been going well. Just one day of self-pity, otherwise I am doing great.

In His Loving Arms...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Church Frustrations

I just have to write a note about my former church. I moved away just as trouble was brewing. There was a fall out over a few different issues regarding our denomination and our region and it has torn the church apart.

They had a meeting last week and have decided to split from our denomination and continue on; but as what???

My dad is board chair and this has torn him to pieces. He went to this church with his grandmother as a boy. It is HIS church. He does not want to have to go to another church, but with the church splitting apart he does not know what to do. I have tried to talk him into coming to the church that I go to, but it would be over 30 minutes drive to and from, and it would not be HIS church. He loves his church, but he does not love what it has become. It is toxic.

At the meeting he advised those members who were there that he would be board chair until the end of January. He reminded them that they need to fill positions in the church: elders, diaconate, board chair, vice chair, etc. No one offered to step up and fill those positions.

The church now needs a new constitution, bylaws, mission statement. It has NOTHING, except a bunch of unhappy members, on both sides of the fence. The thing that gets me is that no one wants to DO ANYTHING. It has been like pulling teeth over there for years. The same 5 people do EVERYTHING. No one else will do mission work, outreach, teach, preach, bulletins, go to regional functions. But, they certainly want things to be their way or the highway.

I feel sorry for those people who were active in years past. Those who support the denomination and region in their views. Those who have benefited by the church at large. Those children who went to camp. The women and men who went to retreat and annual meetings. But again it was only a handful of people who did anything OTHER than attend church on Sunday morning. It was difficult to even get them to stay after church for SCHEDULED meetings.

My dad told me that people who were very vocal about the way the church should be were not even there for the day of the vote. There were about 35 people who voted, but some of the main players, both FOR and AGAINST the split WERE NOT THERE.

That makes me mad. If you are in there stirring up shit, then why were you not there to at least VOTE??? WHY??? I just don't understand that logic. It makes me mad to see what it has done to my dad. It makes me mad to see what it has done to my best friend and my former pastor. It makes me mad to think what it has done to the saint's of the church, most who are over 65, and what will they do now? It makes me mad that the "church" (those members who voted FOR the split) basically has told me that they don't want me there. Not in so many words, but in actions. This church has been in our denomination for well over 50 years. No one seems to know if it was affiliated with a denomination before the 1950's. Now it is not. So, where does that leave those members who voted to stay in the denomination?? Where do they go?? This is still THEIR church.

It makes me SAD to think of all the children we have put through summer camp, especially in the past few years, who were looked down upon by the haters of the church. Those children have no one and no where to turn, and their only example of "church" were people who "hate us" (their words)... Granted they did get great examples from our region and they got a good summer camp experience, but their "home church" did not support them.

Where is the Christianity in that??? Where is the love, compassion, attitude of gratitude?? It is not and has not been in that church for the past couple years and that makes me sad.

I can only offer encouragement and prayers that the church members will be able to pull through, that things will work out...

In His Loving Arms...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Do you ever have those days or weeks or months when your head feels like it will just explode? Having one right now.

It is compounded by noise and the office is really noisy today. Kablooey.

Last night while at the library, in the computer area, there were three teens who talked the entire time, and not in whispers, even after complaints. Kablooey.

While laying in bed trying to sleep the upstairs neighbor taking shower and walking about (old floors don't help either). Kablooey.

Helicopter flying overhead while waiting for bus last night. Kablooey.

Life in general... Kablooey!!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Another Post about Riding the Bus

Ok. This is another post about riding the bus. But it is not about ME!

I am writing this at the library, which I got to by taking the bus, but that is the only thing about this that I am actually involved in. I am just an observer... really.

I got off the bus and was standing at the corner waiting to cross the road that heads towards the library. While I was waiting there two teen boys were waiting at the other side of the cross walk, waiting to cross towards me. As we all were standing there waiting another bus, the 23, had to stop at the same light, going the same direction as the boys were.

I saw the boys waving and gesturing to the bus as if saying "HEY! HI! We need to get on this bus... Over there !!!" I don't know if the bus driver saw them, but I did and I am going to assume for arguments' sake that the bus driver DID see the boys.

Well the bus was in the left turn lane, which would get the green light BEFORE the boys would... The light changed, the bus and other cars (two lanes worth) made the turn. The bus pulled up to the bus-stop and on/off loaded passengers.

The boys, as soon as they got the go-ahead, ran, hauled-butt, across the street, even cutting the corner in order to get to the bus. They were RUNNING!!!! Another guy was standing next to me by this time, and we watched them run, and laughed sort of in encouragement.

The driver pulled away.... leaving the boys in the "natural gas" fumes.

I looked in disbelief at the guy crossing the road with me. We both shook our heads. I could NOT believe it. "Oh, man. Damn, that sucks. You know he saw them." We did that little chuckle people do when they can't believe it. And then we parted ways.

I hope Karma kicks the bus driver for that one.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

WARNING: TOILET TALK is the subject.

WARNING: TOILET TALK is the subject.

If that GROSSES you out, then don’t read, though I will try to stay as clean as I can.

A few years ago I had a conversation with a co-worker about sounds heard in public bathrooms. He said he trys to be as quiet as possible. I told him “sorry, but… sometimes you can’t be quiet, and after all it IS A BATHROOM” … and bodily functions do happen and they DO make noise.

You sometimes hear people flushing at the appropriate times… this serves a two-fold purpose… both covering the sound and getting rid of the evidence. Some people do the flush, others just let’er rip.

You know what?? It is a bathroom. I would rather hear bathroom noises, more so than the conversation of someone talking loudly on a cell phone, or gossiping about a co-worker. Well to be honest I would rather NOT hear the noises, but once again, it is a public bathroom.

But I am not addressing my real issue of the day. My office has probably 200-300 workers, most of them female. I counted the stalls, there are 9. It is adequate; I have never had to wait in line yet. However, this bathroom has NO vent, and no automated air-freshener attached to the wall. So, some enterprising individual(s) have brought in canned air-freshener… there are more than one can in the space.

I understand that some people can not physically handle the smells of a bathroom, and will vomit/gag as a response and so they need to mask the scents. However, there really is or should be a limit to HOW MUCH freshener needs to be sprayed.

Sometimes I have walked into the bathroom and gagged on the over-abundance of scents (of all kinds). I have allergies so the perfumes cause me to have sneeze attacks, and then head-aches. Not to mention I just really don’t want to breathe in all the chemicals floating around in the air.

Then there are those times when you are actually in the stall and some brainiac walks down the aisle spraying into each of the stalls, in a steady stream, up and back. This lets the fall-out rain down on ALL occupants.

I also love it when there are multiple people in the room, and then someone walks in, notices the scent and glares at all “offenders,” as if saying “YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!”

Get real people. I don’t like the smell either but deal with it. There are just somethings in life that we have to deal with, and bathroom smells are definitely one of them. I do wish I could smack the engineer/architect who designed a bathroom without a vent however. They should be a mandatory item.

Remaining in Jesus Loving Arms, even while in the toilet.


"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together."

-Vesta Kelly

Friday, January 02, 2009

A new year, but the same old "stuff"

Happy New Year, 2009!

So, another year has come … and gone.

2008 was fairly much like every other year; I am a pretty boring person.

I was talking with my stepmom Joyce on Christmas and she was talking about all the things she did (she travels a LOT). I was trying to remember the last time I went to L.A. and it was soon after I left Southern California. At that time I went to a friend’s funeral. This was BEFORE Charlie was born, and he is 18 now.

The only thing that I do outside of Sacramento is go to Santa Cruz for women’s retreat and to the Monterey Bay area for Annual Meeting. Charlie has not been to “local” attractions, meaning within the state, at all. He has not been to Disneyland, or to Yosemite. We have been through San Francisco, on the way to his winter retreat, but we have never really gone there and done sight seeing things like to Pier 39 or Alcatraz or the Wax Museum. When he was about 7 we went to the Exploratorium, but he was not interested in it and had a horrible time.

I did get him to Great America for his 17th birthday. That was cool. We took the train and had a great day. But, really, other than that we have not done a whole lot. This I feel guilty about. I know that the things that he has done is more than a great percentage of children and adults have done in their lives, but it is less than a lot of people too. I guess the main thing that gets me is that it is less than I was privileged to have done by the time I was his age.

What gets me is that he had to sit there at Christmas also, and listen to Grandma Joyce talk about all the cool things she does and places that she goes. I don’t know how he feels about it, but it makes me feel crappy.

I can complain all I want about Joyce and how we didn’t get along, but for the few years she and Dad were married, she did expose me to a lot of things: skiing, trip to Ashland Oregon Shakespeare festival, train trip to Colorado, piano lessons (that I hated). Of course we also had a violent relationship, which included a lot of yelling and hitting on both of our parts. So, does it balance everything? I don’t know.

I know that in a lot of ways I just have not been there for Charlie emotionally, mentally, even though I have been around physically. I like to think that I have given him a decent foundation through church, my moral beliefs, and my lifestyle. I have tried to balance that with the fact that his father is who he is and that we had many years of upheaval.

I feel encouraged that Charlie can talk to me about most everything, that we have done quite a few cool things. His first concert was the Who and we have since gone to a lot of great concerts together including Eric Clapton and another with Godsmack and Rob Zombie (not just MOM’s music). I have made sure that he gets to go to church camp, both winter and summer, that he goes to Annual Meeting, and that he has been able to get to the men’s retreat where he got to go rock climbing and white water rafting. So, he is not lacking in things he has done. Just that they are all here and usually church related. “Not that there is anything wrong with that…” But you know… I still feel like I have not provided him with enough… enough culture, enough excitement, enough “stuff.”

But, that may just be my hang up and not something that I should worry about? What-EVER!!

In Jesus Loving Arms…