Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Didn't Die

I apologize to all of my friends who have been wondering where the heck I've been and especially to my Fun Monday friends, whom I totally deserted!

I have no real excuse. I have not been sick, nor has anyone in my family. None of my dogs had any horrendous and/or amusing ailment. I have not discovered a cure for cancer nor have I devoted myself to caring for the poor and afflicted.

I have just been busy.

I'm not even sure what I have been busy with, but I have just been busy.

I am still working full time and discovering muscles that I am not sure that I have ever used. Shorty says they all used to work, but I just can't remember that far back.

My lovely daughter gave blood for the very first time a week ago tomorrow. Those of you who know Julie know what an amazing thing this was for my needle-phobic, keeping her own blood child. She did it so that her son would know that it was a good thing to do. She rocks.

I won a propane powered grill (3 burner grill plus a side burner) at a charity event for Relay for Life from the company for which I work. This was awesome because I gave away my husband's grill 2 years ago when I was going to buy him a new one for Father's Day. I bought tires instead. Oops.

Lil Man got his first swats at school for disobedience. We were so not proud.

We have not had any severe weather here unless you count the 60MPH+ straight line winds that came though on Saturday night. Yeah, the hanging plants turned themselves into missiles.

The transmission on my car died. It's a front wheel drive. I did not know how much of a difference that made. I do now. Waiting to see if the loan (hubby's MC as collateral) goes through. I wish I was kidding about that last part.

The electricity went out today while I was taking the Dingo's trivia contest. It really did. That's why my time was in excess of 1000 seconds. Honest.

All in all, a lovely mix of good and bad. I still just don't where the time went.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fun Monday - Accomplishments

This week's hostess is Southern Doll and this is what she wants. Sort of a reverse bucket list - or would that be a tsil tekcub?

What have you done in your life that was worth doing? I want to know the moments in your life that you hope will be the ones to pass through your mind when your time comes. I hope that doesn't sound too morbid. This doesn't necessarily have to be items you have checked off your Bucket List, it can be those small moments that made you smile, or the time you got that huge promotion you deserved, or the first time your baby smiled at you out of pure joy. I want to know all the moments, big and small, that make life sweet! If you don't already have a running list of these in your mind, you should! These moments help you remember how much your life is worth living, and we all deserve to enjoy it.

I have done a lot of thinking about this one and I have truly been amazed at some of the things that I have done. This is due, in part, to one of my previous jobs. I was a police dispatcher for a number of years and have had some truly life-saving and life-ending calls. My favorite, though, is just about a little girl.

I was working afternoons when a little girl called and said, "My name is Sally Sue Schimmelpennick* and I just got home from kindergarten and my mommy is not home". I asked if she had looked in the house and she said yes. I asked if she had looked at the neighbors and, in that voice that children reserve for stupid adults, she said, "I am not allowed to leave the house without my mommy's permission and I can't ask my mommy because she is not here". I acknowledged that she was right and asked her if she knew her address (this was pre-911 and addresses were not hooked to computers and phone numbers). She told me what street she lived on and said she did not know the number. I asked if there was a piece of paper or something in the house with her address on it. She asked me if I could hold on for a minute and she would go out on the porch and look at the numbers on the front of her house. I said that I would. She came back on the phone and gave me the numbers. I dispatched an officer to check on the child and see if he could help her find her mommy, staying on the phone with her until he got there.

Several minutes passed after the officer arrived at the address. He came on the radio and said, laughter in his voice, that Mrs. Schimmelpennick wanted to thank the very nice lady on the phone and that if Sally Sue had bothered to look in her own back yard, she would have found her mommy gardening. Mrs. Schimmelpennick called me later to apologize. I told her that it was unnecessary and that Sally Sue had done exactly what she was supposed to do. All in all, just a nice call with a terrific outcome.

I believe that it is in the little things that we make the greatest difference. Sally Sue, at a time in my life when I was in danger of becoming cynical and jaded, reminded me that there are those moments when everything does go right and there is a happy ending.

*names have been changed because I am old and cannot remember the child's name and because the name Sally Sue Schimmelpennick amuses me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for my mother's influence on my child. My mom and I have a very complicated relationship. Actually, that's not true. It's very simple. My mom has not spoken to me in 22 years. So be it.
She did however, have a great influence on my youngest child who is, in turn, the mother of my youngest grandchild. My mom is the grandma who loves her grandkids unconditionally but who also is very cognizant of actions and consequences.
So, when my lil man, who is actually my child's lil man, lost his little mind this last week, my daughter's decsions on how to handle him were very, very close to what I would have done without her input.
My schedule and my daughter's end up with lil man spending most nights with me. I then drop him off at her house on my way to work and she gets up to take him to school. The other morning, instead of eating his breakfast and then waking his mom up, he decided that he was "bored" and bugged his mom for the hour she was supposed to be sleeping.
Suffice it to say that he will not have a chance to be "bored" for a very long time. Pulling weeds and painting fences should certainly occupy his time, if not his mind.
I remember painting the white picket fence around my parents' 2 acres for making the same error in judgement when I was his age.
Julie was smart enough to never say that she was "bored".
Maybe lil man's child will be that smart, too.
Anyway, I am thankful that my daughter and I agree, almost always, on how to handle the lil man and when we don't? We are both smart enough to never disagree in front of him. So, thanks, Mom. You are loved and appreciated still.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fun Monday - The Nekked Edition

This week's Fun Monday is a really simple one because our hosts, the Nekked Lizards, know us.


Any 5 (FIVE) pictures, any subject, and any 5 (FIVE) words to describe and/or explain each picture.

The Greatest Dane Ever Born

Leather and Lace. Oh, Yeah.

A Dark and Stormy Afternoon

Navy - Present, Future, and Past

How Could You Not Smile?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Me and my Buddy

You know how they say that as you age together, you start to look like your spouse? or your dog?

Wednesday, I ended up at the doctor when my eye swelled shut. The doctor diagnosed an infected eye. No kidding.

He's not sure if I got something in it, or if I'm allergic to something, or if it's bacterial, or if I caught a cold that settled in my eye, or what. He prescribed 2 different kinds of eye drops. I hate eyedrops.

So, I got home and everything looked a little askew because of my eye. I took a closer look at Buddy. His left eye was looking north. His right eye, a little swollen, was looking east.

Thursday morning, Buddy's face was swollen, his eye was still askew, and there was a trail of blood down his face. We went to the vet. His doctor diagnosed a kick to the head. This is a common problem when you are little and stupid and chase the neighbor's burros, donkeys, and horses. He (Buddy's vet) diagnosed two different meds, 1 for pain and 1 antibiotic just because.

It is Saturday today. Buddy went back to the vet this morning. The swelling is down. There are no fractures. There is still a little blood behind his retina but not as much as there was. He is doing much better.

I worked yesterday and today, even though I look like a plague carrer. We are starting to look less alike. I, for one, am glad.

Friday, April 11, 2008

PPL - Haiku

This month's topic is "Spring" and the poetic form chosen by Robin is Haiku. I pulled the rules I remembered out of my childhood and here is the result.

Fragrance fills the air
Cherry blossoms everywhere
Breezes lofting fair

Bags of steer manure
Roses, fuchsias, bulbs galore
Feeding future dreams

Sprinklers on the lawn
Droplets sparkling in the air
Shaking dogs drenching

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday - God's Purpose

Monday, I picked up Lil Man from After-Care after I got off of work. He started going to After-Care when his mom's shift changed from days to swings last week. He gets out of school at 3. I get off work at 4. His mom has to be at work at 4. It just made sense.

Anyway, we were having one of those in the car conversations that I just love. We were talking about God and how God does not make bad things happen. He allows bad things to happen and then gives us the grace to either make good things happen from the bad or to see what good came from the bad.

Lil Man is VERY literal. He was talking about some event that seemed bad but then turned good for him.

I was telling him about a long time ago when I was mad at God. I was mad at God for years. During this time, I heard a sermon from a very wise pastor who had just sat with the family of a little girl who had died. He questioned himself all the way to the parents' home, wondering what he could possibly say to comfort this mom and dad. He got there and the mother said to him that hit was all right, that it was God's will.

He said in his sermon that he truly did not know what he answered the woman but that he trusted that God had given him the right words. He said that he did not believe it was God's will that an innocent child die. He said that he thought God allowed bad things to happen and allowed evil to flourish and allowed us to see the good in and from these things.

I started thinking about what good had come from the terrible accident that killed my husband and injured my daughter.

My husband had not suffered. He never regained consciousness, not during the 40 minutes it took to cut him from the car, nor during the 14 hours in the hospital prior to his death.

My daughter, 4 months old at the time, had made a full and total recovery from the 11 skull fractures she sustained in the accident. There was no, absolutely NO, residual damage either physically or intellectually.

I had no memory of the accident. I remember leaving the store where we had purchased a porta-crib to take to my parents and the next thing I knew, I was at the emergency room and my mom and brother were already there. They lived 3 hours away. (I recovered that memory shortly after I married my current husband. I think He knew I would be taken care of).

I learned that I can do anything that I need to do.

I found a job with absolutely no prior experience.

I supported myself and my child without accepting government assistance.

I learned that I am one of a long line of very strong women - and not the last in that line.

I learned that if I allowed myself to lean - on family, on friends, on God, I never fell. I teetered occasionally but I think that was due to choosing Jose Cuervo as a friend.

I used to think that I had learned that nothing that catastrophic could ever happen to me again. I was wrong about that one but that's another story.

Anyway, long story short, I was reminded of all of this while I was blog-hopping Monday night. Katrina, at Callapidder Days, was having one of those angst ridden days and was reminded, by something she read, that we are supposed to be thankful for all of our blessings. Those we see and welcome and those that we cannot see and do not necessarily welcome. We are to have faith that God will use all things to His purpose.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Fun Monday - Celebrity Crush

Jo Beaufoix would like to know about our first celebrity crush.

I was 5 years old and in kindergarten. We did not have TV yet but we did have radio. My dad, a huge SF Giants fan, always had the AM tuned in to KNBR Radio, home of the Giants.

There was a game on. We (my dad, my mom, my brother and I) were outside working in the garden and listening to the game. It was a very exciting game. I remember that.

I remember #24, the "say hey kid", knocking one out of the park. I remember telling my mom and dad that when I grew up, I was going to marry him. I remember my mom and dad laughing hysterically, although they would not tell me why.

It wasn't until years later - yes, I did grow up in an ivory tower - that I learned that Willie Mays was, and is, black. Trust me. Back in 1959, that would have made a huge difference - that and the 23 year age difference. Oh, well.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Thanks for the Easy Out

I got tagged sometime during the week by Mom Unscripted (I love that title)! Thank you so much because I have a severe case of brain farts this week and needed at least 1 topic I didn't have to come up with.

The rules are:
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player then tags people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What I was doing 10 years ago: Ten years ago my husband and I had just started our own trucking company and purchased our own truck and trailer. We hauled produce from the west coast to Houston, TX, delivering every Sunday morning. We then hauled something (usually frozen chicken) back to California. Our very favorite backhaul to CA was fortune cookies. There is a marvelous little fortune cookie company on Dowling Street in Houston that makes the absolute best fortune cookies ever! Added bonus? frozen chicken weighs 45,000 pounds. Fortune cookies? right around 12,000 pounds. Can you say better mileage, less wear and tear on your tires, better speeds and oh yeah, the smell inside your trailer 1800 miles later - cookies are much, much better.

Five things on my To Do List today (Actually Thursday when I was off): (not in any particular order)

1. Hope that the plumber shows up since I have NO water, no clean clothes for work tomorrow and very few clean dishes.
2. Take Shorty to work and lil man to school.
3. Help Julie take 13 puppies to the vet to get their dew claws removed.

4. Hopefully, shower and wash hair and then sink into bubble bath with Antony and Cleopatra.
5. Spend evening home alone with hubby and Survivor.

Snacks I enjoy: Lemon bars, ginger snaps and any kind of cheesecake.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire: Buy a home in the hill country of Texas. Endow a library. Retire well.

Three of my bad habits:
I am an impulse shopper.
I get too many projects going at one time.
I am a sarcastic witch.

Five places I have lived:
Northern CA

Mojave Desert
New Mexico
Texas (home, sweet home)

Five jobs I’ve had:
Community Service Officer

Law Enforcement Dispatcher
Matron (doesn't that just sound kinky?)
Truck Driver
Scrap Yard Manager

TAG - you’re it!
I’m thinking Julie, Holly, Meg, Alison, and Kim…just might join in. If you read this, consider yourself TAGGED - and leave me a comment so I can read yours!

Friday, April 4, 2008

6 Word Autobiographies

I got tagged by Kim with this one. The concept intrigues me.

Here are the rules:
1. Write your own six word memoir
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post
4. Tag five or more blogs with links
5. Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

I did a little research and here is the history of the idea:

Six-Word Memoirs: The Legend
Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Last year, SMITH Magazine re-ignited the recountre by asking our readers for their own six-word memoirs. They sent in short life stories in droves, from the bittersweet (“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”) and poignant (“I still make coffee for two”) to the inspirational (“Business school? Bah! Pop music? Hurrah”) and hilarious (“I like big butts, can’t lie”).

So, some people have been listing 6 words that describe them and some people have been writing 6 word sentences that describe their lives.

My memoir? Little Mary Sunshine: Alive and Well

I am just gonna throw this tag out there. It's fun. It's easy. It's thought-provoking. It's a cool thing to do when your brain refuses to think an original thought.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thankful Thursday - qwerty edition

This week I am thankful, once again, for many things. My life is truly blessed.

But what struck me earlier this week, as I was trying to catch up on blogging, emails, and general correspondence, is that I am truly thankful that I learned how to type when I was in high school.

I went to a college prep high school and typing was not even part of the recommend curriculum. This was pre-PC, so keyboarding was not yet even a term. I took typing as an elective because both of my sisters swore that I would be glad that I did. They were right.

I learned to type on a Remington standard typewriter. Our teacher was of the opinion that those newfangled electric typewriters made for weak typists. So, we learned on a standard and then, if we chose to take a second year, got to use the new IBM Selectrics.

I miss the thrill of returning the carriage at the end of a line. I miss the sound of the keys striking the ribbon, transferring the ink from the ribbon to the paper. I miss - OK, I do NOT miss carbons. Boy, do I not miss carbons.

I take typing for granted. I was retyping from a hard copy the other day and my grandson was amazed that I could type and not look at the keys. Just amazed. That's when I realized that it is indeed a gift for which to be thankful. And I am.
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