13 December 2007

Jingle Meme

The easily blushing Ron tagged me so here goes nothing.

Rules for the game include:

1) Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2) Share Christmas facts about yourself.
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

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

1. Wrapping or gift bags? I love the look of beautifully wrapped packages under the tree. Alas, my wrapping skills are not up to par and my tree ends up looking like Charlie Brown’s…..

2. Real or artificial tree? Growing up the tree was always artificial due to my allergies. As an adult, my German insists on a real tree (after all the Germans were first with trees in their house). We are tree-free this year as we do not have the Bubbie.

3. When do you put up the tree? On years with trees it goes up around the second weekend in December.

4. When do you take the tree down? The tree stays up until the epiphany on January 6th (better known as the 12th day of Christmas).

5. Do you like eggnog? I like my homemade version with bourbon and brandy in it. It probably is about a squillion calories a sip though….

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I always enjoyed all my gifts.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Nope because the one I want is way too pricey.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Just for the sake of putting something down here I will have to say I was never a fan of my Mrs. Beasley doll.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Neither because I suck this year.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie? “It’s a Wonderful Life”… I watched it before Ted Turner prostituted it and colorized it.

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I usually get it all done prior to Thanksgiving. This year I started on 12/11. I suck (refer to # 9 above).

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Food!

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree? I love the multi-colored lights; however, my German is a purist and wants only white…. (Please do not insert any jokes in there, I know I left myself wide open.)

14. Favorite Christmas song? "Merry Christmas from the Family by Robert Earl Keen and "Oh, Holy Night" sung by Andre Bocelli.

15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Does driving seven miles to my parents’ home really count as traveling?

16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer. They call them Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen… Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. And yes I recall… THE most faaaaamous reindeeer of allll… Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I am keeping Ron’s most excellent answer…

17. Angel on the tree top or a star? It used to be a large burgundy and gold bow that draped down the tree. However, when the Bubbie was four he took one look at it and deemed it “annoying”. That year it became a star that has Bubbie’s seal of approval. Sigh…

18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? Growing up we opened presents when we came home from Midnight Mass.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Hideous Christmas sweaters, crowds and fierce traffic at the malls.

20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color? Nope, just with whatever crap I have had for years. Trust me, I am not that fancy.

21. What do you leave for Santa? Traditionally I left milk and cookies. For some reason unbeknownst to me or my German, the Bubbie insists we leave out beer and cheese. Now I am thinking Newscoma may come sliding down my chimney!!

22. Least favorite holiday song? “Santa Baby”

23. Favorite ornament? The green ornament with a barely recognizable question mark on it made of glue and glitter. Mama made it when she was six months pregnant with me December of 65.

Tag, you’re it: Sista, Sara Sue and Kerstin

05 December 2007

Letter to a 13 year old me....

The rules are simple:
* Link back to the person who tagged you. And that would be the lovely Kerstin
* Send a letter back in time to your 13 year old self.
* Tag 5 more people to do this meme.

Dear Klinde,

What a long, strange trip it has been…. I am coming to you from my 41st year in life to reach out to you in 1979 when you were a mere 13 year old struggling with leaving Texas and moving to Tennessee. I know it was a tough move for you, but hey, you could have wound up in Des Moines so it really is not that bad.

You will experience many challenges leaving south Texas that you really did not expect. You will learn neighbors will not let their children play with you because you are Catholic. I know you will not understand that because I still do not. You will still be proud of the fact and not hide from it regardless of the outcome. You will learn that Tennessee public schools suck as opposed to those in Texas. You will have little to no homework. You should apply yourself a bit more and keep enrolling in the honor courses because they will teach you a great deal more and help you learn to study when you are in college because you certainly do not have good habits in that.

You will try too hard to fit in with the “in crowd”. Your ADD will rear its ugly head and you will struggle with being way too hyper in situations. You will not make varsity cheerleader the first go around; however, you will the years following. Please do not define yourself by finally making it to the cooler group of people. You will not keep in touch with any of them within a year of graduation.

When you are 16 you will have your first real boyfriend. You will be with him on and off for nine years. You will learn a lot about what it is you truly want out of a relationship. You will keep in touch with him a couple of times a year – especially on birthdays, but not really more than that.

You will have a difficult time in college. During a sabbatical from the nine year relationship you will fall for a guy you think is so very cool…. Run, do not walk, away!! And quickly! He is a drug dealer. He will beat the shit out of you on a regular basis and he will hold you hostage in his house. No one will come to your rescue because he makes you call your parents regularly and they have no idea. If you mess up again and get into this, escape on your very first opportunity! Run like the wind and do not look back! His rationale of doing this because he “loves you so much” is a bunch of shit. Don’t buy into it. Love does not hurt like that.

As you get older you will make many mistakes with men. Falling for them too quickly, moving in with them. You need to realize that you have to love yourself first before you can truly love and be loved by someone else. It is a difficult lesson to learn and it may take you many years and many frogs.

Regarding your first husband… Don’t beat yourself up too badly for having married him. I was there… I remember thinking it was time to get married because I was 29 and all my friends were married and had babies. That is not the reason to marry someone. He was not a bad man, just a bad choice of husband for you (I mean me, uh, er, us). However, the strength and grace you have as you leave him after his affairs and divorce him sets a tone and you finally realize your self-worth. Perhaps without that experience I would not be the woman I am now. And as an added bonus, if you would not have left him, you would not have been there when Daddy was home and had his heart attack. Daddy would have died but you saved him. This will be one of your proudest moments and it will bond the two of you in a way that you have never experienced to date.

When the German first tells you he loves you, quit pushing him away and treating him so badly the first year. Quit telling him to leave you alone. Remember, he is going to come over on May 2, 2004 and clean your gutters at the house. You are going to take him to dinner to thank him and he is never going to leave and you are going to be very happy with that situation.

Other miscellaneous notes:

* Spend time with your family. Mama is going to be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006. You are going to be devastated. You are going to push through it. You are going to thank God for each and every day you still have her.

* When you first go on antidepressants, stay on them. Your mood swings will be much more controllable.

* Stop spending money like you have an endless supply. Put a bunch in your 401k.

* Don’t start smoking again when you leave the ex-husband. It won’t make anything better.

* Remember to be grateful for the blessings in your life.

* Do not be upset that you can not have biological children. There are far worse things that could happen and these things happen for a reason. Whether or not you understand the reason is a completely different matter.

I hope this has helped you get a glimpse into what is to come. There will good and bad; however, there will also be incredible moments. Relish them and enjoy the ride!

Love,
Klinde


I am tagging:

Gingersnaps
SaucyGrrl
Jag
Kristina
CP

03 December 2007

I rule!

Yet another eventful weekend has come to pass. The Bubbie made his arrival Wednesday evening. The German, his father, made his departure (work-related) on Thursday morning. Two full days of being Munchkin, step mom extraordinaire. Yes, he calls me Munchkin. Yes, I am short. I like it though!

Well day one of single Mommy went well. I picked him up after work from my parents. We went and had Mexican. I made him try guacamole. He did not like it. I am not sure if we can still be friends due to this but I will find a way to get over it I am sure. We get home and one of us gets a hot bubble bath. Sadly that someone was not me. I get to check homework, find something suitable on TV, find a book for him to read aloud to me and make my lunch for the next day. Mission accomplished as he is clean, there is a book, homework is all good and we are both in our jammies. Life is good. I am exhausted. I am not used to this. I have a hard enough time taking care of myself, thank you very much.

The next morning my father arrives at 6:30 so I do not have to go about 20 miles round trip in the wrong direction. I check in on Bubbie before my departure and he is awake (much to my father’s chagrin). We snuggle a moment, get in our hugs and kisses and I prepare to depart. As I let go of that cherubic face I tell him I love him. For the first time ever he says “I love you too, Munchkin”. I melt and can now face the day.

That evening I get to my parents house after a quick run to Kroger. I have realized that I have nothing for this child to take home for St. Nicholas Day on December 6th. I also need to get dinner for us both....

I run over to the folks house, bustle the kiddo into the car and scoot on home. I have a special treat for dinner…. All of you who are parents are going to die… I gave a seven year old 3 HUGE scoops of Cookies-n-Cream for dinner. Yep, you heard right, that was dinner. You can bet your bottom dollar he cleaned his plate (bowl actually) too.

I got a really big kick out of watching the sugar buzz kick in. I asked him if he needed to run and his answer was “yep”. So run he did… And run, and run, and run. That lasted about 2-3 hours. In between sprints we giggled and told silly stories. We were waiting for his Papa to come home. The German finally made it home close to 11p. As punishment, I had to sleep with a sugared up 7 year old. I told the Bubbie it was our secret and that each time he came for a visit he could have one crazed evening involving junk food for dinner. I think he is now my biggest fan because that is when he blurted out "my Munchkin rules!!!".

The purpose of his visit (aside from time with us) was to attend a kid’s Christmas party at the German’s company. Talk about fun! Once I find the cord, I will download photos and you can see what I am talking about… It was awesome! I got my face painted as did Bubbie. We jousted, we rode the slide, we had balloon animals, we had a family caricature drawn that he took back with him to hang in his room at his Mom’s house.

All in all it was great. Even the kitty did not seem to mind him that much. Which is highly unusual for her....

For all you parents out there, I bow to you. I am pooped.

26 November 2007

Back to normal programming

I did not mean to take a blogging hiatus. Life has an annoying habit of getting in the way of things you mean to do. There has been an onslaught of things to do personally. The German and I have been preparing for the arrival of the Bubbie on Wednesday, November 28th. He is coming in for a children’s Christmas party that the German’s company throws annually. He goes back home to Jersey on Sunday, December 2nd.

The downside is that the German has to be out of town the Thursday and Friday that the Bubbie is here. I am pissed. Mind you, not at the German. It is not his fault. He told people a while back that his son was going to be here and that he could not travel during that time. We get the Bubbie infrequently. We have only seen him 16 days this entire year. And now that we get him for just four precious days, my German has to go out of town on business. Bubbie lands the evening of the 28th. The German has to depart either before Bubbie arrives or around 4a on Thursday. It slices his time with his son in half and I am livid.

Don’t get me wrong, I know this is not anyone’s fault. Business is business and something came up. I know that is out of everyone’s control. It just makes my heart ache for my husband and his son.

I love my step son with my whole heart. My parents adore him as he is the only grandchild they will ever know. The Bubbie even calls them Memere and Pepere which is the Cajun names for grandparents. He loves spending time with them and is spoiled completely rotten by them and my 86 year old Nana who lives with them. Who would not want that kind of attention? Of course my parents are utterly exhausted each day they watch him while I work (I wiped out my vacation in March going to Hamburg to meet my German’s parents).

Basically I needed to vent. I wanted to go visit my other friends in bloggyland as well after my two week stint of being offline. There will be more later on the visit as it is always a good time when the Bubbie comes to visit… Unless of course you are my cat... She remembers the previous visit.

12 November 2007

A present for me

A couple of my friends from work went on vacation together to New Mexico to visit a mutual friend of ours. During their brief stay they bought me an incredibly beautiful finger rosary made of wood. It is lovely and feels very good in my hands. The wooden beads feel warm if that make any sense. The smoothness makes my fingers want to dance over each bead.

They got it at the Loretto Chapel in Sante Fe. If you have not heard of this place you need to check out the story of the staircase. It is remarkable whether you believe in this type of thing or not.

The finger rosary my friends got me is from the same type of wood. The story that goes along with it is as follows:

The finger rosary is sometimes called an Irish rosary. It originated with the Irish. 450 years ago, Great Britain pass a law stating that anyone caught praying the rosary would be put to death. So the Irish put 10 small knobs and a cross on their wedding bands. They prayed with them for over 300 years without getting caught. That was repealed in about 1850.

05 November 2007

Venting

I am tired of the commentary I hear about my black eye. I am sick to death of anyone thinking my husband may have done this to me. I have documented how I did this. My husband was out of the country when it happened. My parents know this and I really should quit letting people get under my skin about this.

I am not an idiot. I know when people see this bad of a bruise (especially on a woman’s face) they naturally assume someone punched you. I know because I am guilty myself.

Let me set the record straight. This is the eighth (yes, 8th) black eye I have had during my 41 years on Earth. My last one was from a whitewater rafting incident when the idiot in front of me let go of his T-grip and it rammed into my eye. Said idiot is my ex-husband. Nuff said about that….

The other six were at the hand of an abusive asshole that I dated in college. Aside from the six black eyes I sport 54 (count ‘em, campers) scars from him. That was 21 years ago. To say it jaded me is an understatement. It changed how little or how much I trust others (namely men) is what it did. Never again will I be in a situation where I am belittled, intimidated, much less frightened for my very existence. Let me be clear, NEVER AGAIN!!!

I have known the German for 14 years. We have been together 3.5 years of that time. He may come across as a bit rough around the edges, but when it comes to me he is gentle as a lamb. He would never lay a hand on me. Not even in jest. He knows I still carry too much baggage from that. He knows the fragility of my psyche.

What hurts is that those who do not know him would think such a thing. I see people point and whisper. I have heard the rumors from other people. I am sick to death of it. You may not have met my husband so know that I am not the kind of woman who would tolerate abuse, mentally, physically, spiritually. Been there, bought the T-shirt. My husband is not the kind of man would inflect it. Nor would he abide such behavior towards me or any human being.

If you want to know what happened to my eye, ask me. I am a klutz and will tell you as much.

03 November 2007

A few days late.

So I am little behind in my blogging... That and I keep neglecting to download the camera from the Halloween party mein Deustcher and I went to on the 27th. So without further adieu I give you photos of the party...

It wouldn't be a party without a British pirate doing a keg stand... He lives in Germany and works for my German's parent company. What a way to introduce him to an American holiday (they do not celebrate Halloween in Germany).



In case you do not recognize us, this is my German and me. He is the Terminator (although I referred to him as the Germanator). I am Fergie from the Black-Eyed Peas since I am still sporting my shiner from October 6th.



This is a herd of Europeans. All except the pirate are native Germans. Nothing like hanging out with them when the conversation is entirely in German and I try and keep up interpreting the few words I know. I usually just stand there and drink beer and think happy thoughts...


This one is my favorite costume of the evening. Recognize Mary Poppins and Burt? I just loved this as it was awesome!



You know it is a great party when three police cars and a fire truck come. Everything was good... There was a permit to burn for the bonfire and it just made the band that was playing shut down after three songs...

It is already making us wonder what we will be next year.

26 October 2007

Tonight

The German and I are going out tonight... A mutual friend of ours recently experienced tragedy when her fiance' died suddenly of a heart attack last week. Tonight we are rallying around her and giving support and money because she is not currently working. A large group of us hope to help lift her weary spirits a bit as well as giving her some much needed financial support. I pray that she feels the love.

24 October 2007

That man of mine...

No, he is not serious about this pose. There was beer involved… There was the surging of testosterone as he was the grillmeister this past Saturday evening at a friend’s home. It is just a great example of mein Deutscher and his sense of humor… There are lots more that show all the men involved in various (ridiculous) poses. As well as photos of grilled pork in various forms...

Of course all the women were dignified, poised and kept our estrogen in check…

23 October 2007

Can you hear me now?

I have no landline in my home. Instead the German and I opt to each have a cell phone. Our long distance to Germany is far less expensive and our calls to one another do not affect our minutes. We have included my parents in the plan as well and we are just a bundle of mobile-to-mobile joy. Sometimes….

For the life of me I can not figure out signal strength on our cells. Of course we are all under the same carrier; however, there are times the German’s phone has all the bars showing while my phone has no signal available. Oh, did I mention we are sitting right next to each other when this little annoyance occurs? Or my favorite phenomenon… Whilst I sit in my chair in the evening watching the tube, reading or blogging, whatever, if I happen to try to dial out and am leaning on the right arm of the chair I have no signal whatsoever… If I lean a little to the left side of the same chair, merely a shift in position, full signals. Drives me up a tree…

The same happens for the German. There is a one block section of his drive home from work that is completely dead. I know to expect less signal strength on occasion, but for one measly block or just by leaning in your chair? Can someone explain this to my confused mind? I swear some days I just know if I stood on one foot and held a wire coat hanger wrapped in foil I would have better reception.

I just love technology.

22 October 2007

Don't rain on my parade....

As much as I know we need the rain, that my yard craves it and you can nearly hear it drink it up in grateful gulps, I am upset that it is raining. You see, we suffered a bit of storm damage last week and the mighty wind that came through in gusts took off some of our siding leaving only exposed wood. I was hoping it would remain dry until repairs are completed.

I have already received one estimate. Thankfully it was for considerably less than the German and I thought it may be. We were guessing more along the lines of $400 - $500. Either way it is a steep chuck of change coming out of our perpetually empty pockets. But it is our home and it has to be repaired. Otherwise we are just begging for trouble. We are getting a second estimate tomorrow.

No pun intended, but when it rains, it pours. The depression starts to subside and the eye is beginning to heal and a new challenge awaits us wanting to drain the meager money I have put aside for Christmas. We live leanly. Well for the most part anyway. We try to more so than actually accomplishing said feat as we both suck when it comes to money. On that level we are not exactly a match made in heaven… More like one made at the Bank of Woes… Looks like it is a week of PB&J for lunch for me this week to keep a little extra $$$ in the account to cover for any incidentals and to put that stuff called gas in our cars that both vehicles seemingly need to get us from point A to point B (otherwise known as work).

I am not complaining as I know it could be considerably worse. I could not have a home to begin with, or a car to get me around, or a job, or food. I am not that selfish as to know there are many blessings and that I count those as well. There are people far less fortunate that we are and I am grateful and pleased for the things that I do have. Especially the ones that money can not buy like my wonderful husband, family, friends, and the ability to see beyond the bad and recognize all that is good, fair, beautiful and just in my life.

19 October 2007

Let there be light

I am about to complete my third week on Lexapro and I am beginning to be able to tell the difference. I have documented my depression on more than one occasion.

I am glad I finally reached out for help through my physician. It was difficult to once again admit that I can not do this alone and ask for assistance. I was keeping my fingers crossed that it would not come to that again. That this time I could finally be in control without meds but I was wrong. So very, very wrong. I know that this is an illness, it is not something that I have done to myself or on purpose… It simply is a fact of my life and I need to recognize that and ask for help when appropriate.

The fact of the matter is that I was tottering on the edge. Anything that would go wrong in my life I would blame on the depression. Any. Little. Thing. With the notable exception of this. Bad day at work? Well of course that is because I am depressed! Need to sleep 20 hours? Depression, you betcha! Lack of energy? I am too depressed to do anything… House a mess? How am I suppose to clean in this frame of mind? The list goes on and on… It is kinda like the kid who always said the dog ate his homework….

Now that I am beginning to feel “normal” again, I can see all that I blamed on depression. I could not even begin to see it when I was held fast in the throes of it all. I guess you could say I am in the tunnel and yes, I do see the light…

17 October 2007

Meow

I know I mentioned before that my my cat has a blog.

It started out innocently enough as an outlet to be a crazy cat lady and post photos of her misspell words intentionally (which is much harder to do than it sounds).

Apparently it is a very popular thing to do. There are cat blogs out there that get 40 and 50 comments per post. Daily these feline post photos and commentary and other cat lovers flock to it like women to a shoe sale.

To be quite honest I struggle enough with what to say at my own spot, much less think of things the evil Siamese must be doing whilst I work to keep her in Science Diet and litter.

Perhaps I need a hobby….

16 October 2007

I am okay with this....

Back in August I made a move to reach out to an old friend. After a phone call there was a reunion of sorts. We were chatting away on the phone as though years had not gone by when we decided I should stop over for a face-to-face meeting so we could truly catch up, share photographs, etc.

Whatever the reason, I decided I did not want her to know where I lived just yet… Frankly I do know the reason but have chosen not to share it here but that is a different story for another time. So I went to her place. I was that jittery, nervous, anxious, almost nauseated sort of scared. Nevertheless, I knocked on her door.

There were hugs, a few tears and a few beers. There was an opportunity to see how much her children have grown and how beautiful they are. There were photos of my family and the German whom she has never met. There was the sad tale of how she lost both her grandmother and mother way too soon and less than six months apart. There was the discussion of what I go through with my own mother and her battle with cancer.

All in all I thought everything was going swimmingly. I was still a bit hesitant to reveal too much to let go after such a long time. However, it was amazing how very easily we slipped back into the old routine and it was like a comfortable shoe. This happened last month.

In the time since then I have seen a couple more mutual friends. Funny how that works in that I have not seen these folks in ages and now here they all are... When I told them (on separate occasions and they do not keep in touch with one another) we had reconnected I was sternly warned to stay away. One even said "she's poison". I listened to their tales, not dissimilar from my own of the way the friendship ended with them. I was amazed that the woman I knew for all these years had come to this.

I am heeding their advice and not reaching out again. I will return calls if they are made but some things are better left alone. I have no regrets for making a call and having the brief reunion. Maybe that is what I needed to find closure. It is all good….

11 October 2007

I have heard of potty mouth, but potty eye??!!?

Here is a view of woman versus toilet. It's the first view the German had of my eye as he has been in Nova Scotia since the beginning of the month and just got home last night. He shook his head and shrugged then broke out his camera.



No, it looks a lot worse than it is... My eye really does not hurt unless I poke it or accidentally rub it.



My new story is I am trying out my Halloween costume early... Think I will be Fergie of the Black-Eyed Peas... What do you think?

08 October 2007

Shiny, not so happy Klinde

Whoa is me as yet another tragedy befalls me... I have a black eye... My story is not nearly as funny as the recovering Baptist's or was it done in public like Ginger's run in with the tree. Instead I got up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night, bumped my left arm into the door jam (nice bruise on my flabby bicep), slipped on the damned bathrug with very little rubber left on the bottom and took a nose dive onto the toilet... Scraped my forehead before hitting my eye and scraped my right ear on the cabinet for good measure to boot. My camera is not working or I would post a photo... Sorry, you are out of luck on that one.

Yes, my toilet beat the shit out of me.... Pun most definitely intended...

Oh, and feel free to laugh....

03 October 2007

Sick again... Yay me, NOT!

After 42 days straight on antibiotics for 4 UTIs since mid May, I have come down with strep. Yay me... You would think that I would practically be immune to anything with this much medicine in me. Sadly, no.

The good news is that I started the Lexapro. I am experiencing the oh, so fun, side effect of night sweats. That coupled with being pre-menopausal makes for a sleeping challenge. Good-bye REM sleep, hello restless nights... However, I need some well deserved relief from the depression.

Just felt like sharing. That is all, carry on.

01 October 2007

Touching base

Hello, long time, no see.... It's been a while... Please excuse any spelling errors as I have an evil Siamese beached on my lap along with the lap top. Not that I am complaining, she has been a great source of therapy as I wallow through this latest bout of depression. She is, after all, dependent upon me for food, water, and the not so fun, "cleaning of the box". Here is a little photo of my pouty Scouty (also known as "sweet kiki lou", "love muffin", "love bug", "the speed bump" or "the nuisance" when she is being particularly needy...)



I can not believe the comfort that a pet can bring. I can not believe how much she senses when I am suffering and must be at my side at all times. Her therapeutic touch has a healing that I can not explain... She is just a little bundle of love; albeit one with some kooky and annoying habits. But she is sincere. I am grateful for my kitty counselor... And I do not even have to fork out a co-pay!

25 September 2007

E-etiquette

I would like to explain a little email etiquette. Some people do not want to read every little comment being made. With that being said, take note. People, there is a difference between hitting “reply” and “reply to all”. When the dining room at my office sends out next week’s menu and you are calling in or out for whatever day, the rest of us could care less. Please avoid hitting “reply to all” to tell me you do not want to eat on Tuesday. I have better things to do with my time.

Additionally if I email a group of you a joke or something inspirational, hitting “reply to all” is not necessarily the best route. I have had other friends email me back wondering who the hell you are and why you are emailing them your commentary on whatever it is I sent. I know it’s my fault for not putting the email addresses under “bcc” instead of “to”; but work with me!

I know I am being petty but it is a pet peeve of mine. With that being said I can now go about my day…

23 September 2007

What brought you over?

The latest google search that brought someone to the land of potatoes and kartoffels is "Do dogs speak German"? Maybe if they are a German Shepherd? Bwahaha...

Takes a special kind of stupid.

21 September 2007

I predict that I am predictable

I am so predictable. I have my getting ready for work routine, my morning break routine, and my after work routine…. You can practically set your watch by me. It can be a bit dull to watch and, trust me, it can be a bit dull to live as well but it keeps me in my comfort zone.

I am rather structured inasmuch that change can truly ruffle my feathers. The difficulty in that lies that the German is a mixture of “fly by the seat of your pants” and “go with the flow”. I, on the other hand, am a planner. God forbid I do not know what we have going on for the weekend. The German likes to remain open to the possibilities and it just sends me into a tailspin…

Sadly this predictability has made me a target for many things. When I walk into my local watering hole, regardless of who is tending bar, there is always an ice cold Coors Light opened and placed in front of me without a word being spoken. I have been going there for three years so that makes sense. However, this morning on my predictable walk with my cigarette I walk into Smoothie King with my co-workers. There was a bit of a line; however, when we got to the counter we were greeted with a cheerful “do you want the usual”? Granted we only go to Smoothie King about once every other week and have been doing so only a couple of months. For me there is something a little unsettling about paying over $4 for a fruity drink that does not have even a smidge of vodka in it.

I need to branch out and break this mold. Next time I am going to order something besides Muscle Punch. That will show them.

18 September 2007

Hanging in there.......

I have discussed the following here, here, and here. I am still in the throes of it and still feeling a bit debilitated and overwhelmed by it all. I still have over a week to go before I can begin the Lexapro which I have heard from friends will be a big help. I am looking forward to that although I know it will take a while to get into my system. However, I am hoping the placebo effect of just knowing I am on the meds will kick in and help me out of this pit of despair.

I have been reading a blog that is truly speaking to me. I am sad for CP's personal struggle, yet I find solace knowing it's not "just me". To be quite honest, I truly am not so selfish as to think I am the only person who suffers. I know better than that. And I do not find relief in other people suffering. On the contrary, I feel their pain and regret that they too have to endure the emotional rollercoaster and the hurt that engulfs us.

I am grateful for the online friends who have come forward to tell me their experience with Lexapro and the differences it made for them. I can not thank them enough for sharing so that I can see a brighter side whilst I wade my way through the quagmire I am in.

I think today is just especially rough because 21 years ago today I finally escaped a college “boyfriend” that physically abused me. I still have the physical (and emotional) scars to prove it. This is always a rough time of year for me and it starts on September 13th and runs full throttle until January 2nd. It will take every fiber of my being to survive Christmas. What should be a happy time of year, and is for most, is a horrific time for me. I am completely overwhelmed during that season and look to it in dread.

The thing I am looking forward to most is the day I feel relief.

13 September 2007

Reason 7,233,747 why I love my German

He has been so understanding, compassionate, caring, loving, giving, helpful, sincere, patient and a thousand other things while I have been fighting my latest round of depression. He will just hold me and wipe away the tears.

I am blessed.

Captain Ramsey

Have you ever experienced something personally that was also being played out nationally? I know the events of 9/11 affected people globally and many had personal knowledge of someone touched on a private level. With that being said and the sixth anniversary of 9/11 happening earlier this week, I want to tell you what happened September 13, 1997. It was a couple of weeks after Princess Diana had died and a week after Mother Teresa. Death comes in three’s and I remember telling Mama that I wondered who the third would be since I always adored both of those women. Mama sternly warned me against asking such a question because you will find an answer you really do not like whatsoever. She’s always right and this time it was no different.

It was a Saturday and my ex-husband and I had spent the day at his company picnic in Greensboro, North Carolina. We came home and I casually checked the answering machine. The message from my ex-father-in-law was muddled and confusing and he sounded drunk. Without missing a beat I dialed them in Virginia. What my ex-mother-in-law said to me was in a whisper and I could tell something was really wrong… What she quietly said was “turn on CNN”.

I made my way to the TV and turned it on. Flipping channels, I finally landed on CNN. After a few minutes there was a story on about an Air Force C-141 that had not returned to its McGuire, NJ base from a humanitarian mission to Windhoek, Namibia delivering land mine removal equipment. There were photos of those who were missing. The second one was identical to the photo on the table right beside me. I tapped the ex on the shoulder and then pointed. We quickly called his parents again to get more information. All they told us this time was to get to their house as soon as we could.

We flung things into bags, jumped in the car and drove. Fervent phone calls were made to both of our bosses. His boss was understanding. Mine, not so much. I was told be at work on Monday or you do not have a job. I told her to turn on CNN because according to all counts I probably had a death in the family. Although they were less than 100 miles away, I could have sworn the drive took hours.

Finally upon arriving we were greeted by an Air Force officer. He sat us down and explained that Jason’s plane was missing. The last known account had been when they refueled on the Island of Ascension. Ironically Jason had called us while he was there as I was cooking dinner the evening before. My ex was not available so I was the last member of the family to have contact with him that fateful day.

The family gave me the task of making certain the small town (my former in laws truly live on Main Street) was covered with yellow ribbons in hopes that he would come back to us. They literally blanketed the town. Everyone knew my former in-laws as he was a principal at the only high school as well as one of the assistant football coaches. We even tied one around Sally, Jason’s golden retriever. She was his gift when he graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in May of 1992. The first media regarding Jason was a photo of that dog along with the rest of us. At that point I was also the family appointed media POC for all things regarding Jason.

Hours became days, days became weeks. The search was no longer considered a rescue mission. It was, at best, a recovery mission. However, it was the Atlantic they were searching for a sign, any little sign of wreckage. The sea can be very unforgiving. Air traffic control in that part of the world is sketchy at best. Hope was fading fast that there would be anything found at all.

There was the first of five services held. The first was at McGuire AFB. If you have not experienced a military service on a base you really are missing something filled with rich tradition, honor and haunting beauty. The flyover for that service was heart wrenching as nine C-141’s (one for each soul lost) flew by. The second service was Jason’s home town memorial held a couple of weeks later. It was held in the largest venue available in town, the high school auditorium which was filled to capacity. We were fortunate that there was a flyover from McGuire for this service as well. With GPS technology they were flying directly over as we exited the building.

Fast forward to December 25, 1997. Over three months have passed since we were told to turn on CNN. They found the wreckage. They found the black box. Back in mid September, they found wreckage from another plane that was not US but was German in the area Jason’s plane should be but no sign of Jason’s. Apparently the same day Jason’s plane went down a plane filled with 24 German officers and their wives were heading to Capetown for a Regatta. Yes, they called on Christmas day to tell us this.

Answers, we demand answers. One wife wanted to review the remains. My former family declined but allowed her to view all as DNA testing was going on to determine who was who. Out of all that was found, DNA showed conclusively that this was Jason. Now we had something to bury. Maybe that would bring more closure or maybe it would reopen the scab that had formed over our wounded hearts.

Service three of five is held. A trunk is dropped over the wreckage site and a park is dedicated to the crew of the C-141 in Namibia. Service four of five is held. This time it is back in the sleepy hometown where we lay all of two pounds that were positively him to rest. Full military funeral with a 21 gun salute and another flyover. That was March of 1998… A full six months after his death. We did not attend service five of five at Arlington. Jason had earned the right to be buried there; however, the family wanted him at home. Arlington is where they laid to rest the remains both identified and unidentified.

The black box. It survived months in the ocean. It had a lot to tell us. Jason was a pilot; however, he had flown the initial mission so he was out of the cockpit when the events unfolded. There is chatting between the two in the cockpit. There is a mention of “Jason was right. There could be another plane out here and we would never know it”. A few minutes later they found out that Jason had indeed been a fortune-teller of the most devastating kind. The impact was quick and it was deafening. The calls for “Mayday” went unanswered. There was screaming, lots of screaming. It lasted over 30 seconds before there was complete and utter silence. I can not begin to imagine how long 30 seconds feels when you know in no uncertain terms that you are going to die.

What went wrong? Well the German Tupelov carrying the 24 officers and their wives had not filed a flight plan with African air traffic control. They were flying on the wrong altitude. Everyone was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the conditions were perfect for tragedy. The German plane exploded on impact and gutted Jason’s causing them to keep going that extra half a minute and moving them much further away from the German crash site. The Germans were found because part of their wreckage was floating whereas the massive hole in Jason’s plane caused it to sink. The odds of a mid-air plane collision occurring are astronomical. Say you and I went out and were ten football fields apart. At a precise moment we both shot a BB gun into the air and the BB’s collided. You get the picture.

When we cleaned out his belongings I was told to take what I wanted. All I opted for is what is in the photo below. It was a gift that I made for Jason as a present when he received his wings. What is even more touching is that on the back of it is the note that the ex and I wrote to him telling him how very proud we are.


So ten years later, I remember you. I still think of you often and fondly. You were like a little brother to me. God bless you Captain Jason Scott Ramsey and may you rest in peace.

12 September 2007

I haz crush...

I love intelligent humor. I adore people with razor sharp wit that trippingly slips off of their tongue with ease. I enjoy commentary dripping with sarcasm. I have a weakness for men who can pull this off. Oh, and I like food. That is why I am smitten with Anthony Bourdain.

I know that Jag has also documented her devotion to him as well. As a matter of fact we send each other tweets on Monday nights while watching "No Reservations".

If you haven't seen it yet, you need to watch next Monday at 9:00p on the Travel channel. I promise you won't be disappointed. Hell, I have even the German hooked on him... Only the German does not know that I haz crush...

Depression - part drei

Depression has kicked into full gear again. This is always a rough month for me for reasons I will reveal later as well as for reasons unknown. My truly worst time of year begins the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs through the second of January. It takes every fiber of my being to survive that time of year. Everyone else is so joyful and loves the holidays, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseaum. Not me. Hate it. That’s a completely different post.

I have yet to start the Lexapro because the 30 days of antibiotics I am taking affect my stomach and I am a bit scared to introduce another med on top of it. I still have 23 days worth of antibiotic to go so I can start the new drug then. It should start to make a difference within a month. That means I have close to eight weeks to go before I get some relief.

I am supposed to take the Chantix once I go off of the antibiotic because it too can affect my stomach. My belly has been through enough lately on this stupid 30 day course of drugs so I am not looking forward to something that lists “upset stomach” as a side effect. I would like a reprieve, thank you very much.

I really want to start the Chantix so I can begin the process of quitting smoking. I know how detrimental that is to me and how much it has been affecting me in my other health issues. I also know that quitting smoking will save the German and me around $5k a year. That’s a trip to Germany each year simply by quitting smoking! Amazing!

Anyhoo, I just needed to put it out there that the depression is kicking my ass. Completely. Utterly. Thoroughly. This is of the suck.

11 September 2007

Book 'em, Dano

The weather today has reminded me of how much I enjoy rainy days. Particularly those spent curled up with a good book. I have not picked my next reading selection since finishing “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” on its release date of July 21st. It’s not as though there is nothing to read at home; on the contrary, I have shelf after shelf filled with books of all sorts that I have yet to break open. Today just reminded me that it is time to select my latest tome and climb into my chair with a beverage and enjoy.

Hmmm, what to choose…. Fiction, non-fiction, oh there is that wonderful collection of short stories just begging to be selected… With the way the depression has been lately there is some poetry that is a bit dark and I probably should stay away from it until I begin the new meds and am feeling a bit less “blue”.

At times I go to my old stand by’s and re-read a personal favorite like “Rebecca”, “The Poisonwood Bible” or “To Kill a Mockingbird”. However, I think it is time to break out a never-before-seen tome and read something new, something light, something fun… I can hardly wait to peruse the shelves and announce a winner.

10 September 2007

Sun Bunny, not…..

For the third time in a week people have commented on how pale my legs are. There have been some comments made about the glare they give off, etc. There are so many sun worshippers that tan themselves to deep iodine hues. Many of these people tell me that they “feel better” when they are tan or that it makes them “look healthier”. More power to them.

This usually does not bother me nor hurt my feelings; however, it has given my food for thought. There was a time that fair skin was protected and prized it meant that you were genteel and did not have to work out of doors (think Scarlett O’Hara). Even with all the pre-cancerous and cancerous forms of melanoma, you would think that people would not be so hell-bent to sunbathe. And do not even get me started on people who go to tanning beds. I have no desire to literally bake myself, thank you very much.

My rational is that I am going to be old a lot longer than I am going to be young and I want to be comfortable in my own skin without it appearing to be an old, worn shoe. I wear sunscreen daily on my face. I slather on 30 or 45 SPF liberally when I am going to be outdoors for any period of time. I haven’t had a tan since the early 90’s or was it the late 80’s? I can not remember because it’s been ages.

06 September 2007

Mother's little helper

I saw the doctor. I asked for help. I am the proud owner of a script for Lexapro. I have yet to take it. I am on a new round of antibiotics for the ever present UTI that will not vacate so I want to see how I react to this 30 day regimen of very strong drugs before I tackle a new anti-depressant.

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, it ain't easy being me.

04 September 2007

Depression - part deux

The beast has reared its ugly head once again… The depression is back and in full bloom. I can not seem to shake it and that makes it even worse.

There was no trigger… The German and I are doing well, Mama is still doing well from her cancer, Daddy is recuperating nicely from his surgery, job is good, no money worries… Grrrr, usually I can pinpoint something that got me going. This time, nada, zip, nothing. Not even a clue as to what the underlying issue may be (if there even is one).

It gets to be overwhelming. The depression can suffocate the good happening around me and snuff out the light. I do okay at work because I do not have time to deal with it while I am there. But once I get in the car to leave – BAM! Now I have time for the pain, damn it. The difficulty lies in that most of my time away from the office is spent in a daze. I have my good moments, moments I relish and am thankful for; however, the bad seems to overshadow the good more and more these past weeks.

Although there is such a pre-conceived notion about depression being a mental illness, I know better. I know what is wrong with me is a chemical imbalance in my brain, a physical ailment instead. So I have made an executive decision regarding this. One that I hope will be for the good. I am going back on my meds. I am doing so out of necessity because I do not like being this way nor is it fair to those that I love to have to deal with me in this condition. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to follow up on my holter monitor and am going to ask for a prescription tomorrow. Hopefully a happier Klinde will come as a result.

I tend to experience side effects on meds. Night sweats (which are particularly joyful now that I am pre-menopausal), lucid dreams (think Salvador Dali paintings) and sleeplessness… I have weighed the options and decided that I will just have to live through that part because what I am currently dealing with is too much for my curly head to wrap around itself.

I will keep you posted.

PS: Auntie D, if you read this, I did not call because it’s been hard on me to admit I need to get back on the meds. Sorry! Love you!

31 August 2007

Random musings

I sent out a tweet out about this yesterday; however, I find it amusing that my cat, Scout has a blog and gets more traffic than I do. Apparently I am a crazy cat lady and there bunches of them out there. I mean I have seen some of the cat posts get more hits than Aunt B on a controversial subject.

29 August 2007

Listen to my heart beat

It appears that what I thought was panic attacks was bouts of my blood pressure soaring. I have yet to have the feeling of my heart beating out of my chest and I’ll tell you it’s been of the good. Wow! What a difference 72 hours makes. That is how long I have been on my blood pressure medication. I have felt such relief. My BP has dropped significantly, I am sleeping better, there is not a pounding headache.

My only question is, can I keep the Xanax?

27 August 2007

One more for the road...

One more photo from the Dragon Boat races on Saturday... This is a group shot of my entire team... Good times...

26 August 2007

Dragon Breath


No, I do not actually have that... I brushed...

Yesterday, I participated in Nashville's first annual Dragon Boat race. I was on team "Marine Titans". We wore togas... Wanna see?





It was a long day at Riverfront park. We arrived at 7:20a and began our first of three races at 9:16a.

Out of four teams we came in third. Were we disappointed? Yeah, a little... However, we rallied on with our chant of "We didn't loose"... Uplifted our spirits... And there was a prize for best team spirit. What we lacked in racing skills and abilities, we compensated for in yelling, chanting, dancing, and overall silliness. I mean for the love of all that is good, we had on togas... Naturally we had a chant for that a la "Animal House".

We did much better in the second heat. We came in first out of three teams. We even made it into the Tennessean. If you biggify the photo you will see me. I am second on the left of boat two. And yes, I have a laurel wreath on my noggin...

The trophy for first is cool...



Our third race, we came in second. We finished overall somewhere in the middle of the pack; however, we did win the spirit award... Tickets for fifty to a Sounds game. Hope it is on thirsty Thursday!! We are already discussing strategy and options for next year. Hope you will come out and support us and cheer on my team. It's all good.

On a completely different subject, I was too tired today to make it to the MCB picnic and seemingly I missed woman versus nature. Hope you feel better soon!!

And while I am on roll with different subjects, I wanna send a little linky love to 'coma and Squirrel Queen regarding their new baby and the resurrection of Bat Boy.

Germany is in the UK, right?

Here is a lesson in geography for you all...

Server: "I love your accent."

The German: "Thank you."

Server: "Is there something going on here? I've seen so many of your people lately."

To borrow a phrase from my pal 'coma ** crickets **

Server: "What brought you here?"

Me: "To Waffle House?"

Server: "No, him... To America..."

Me: "Um, well he lives here and he is married to me, an American..."

Server: "Oh, well there has just been so many of them lately..."

Server: "How did you two meet?"

The German: "My brother introduced us."

At this point I make a mental note that I going to tell people we met at a bar last week and ran off to Vegas to elope or that I put an extra dollar in his G-string when he was performing with the Chippendale's and he was smitten. But alas, I had not had coffee yet so not all the synapses were firing and I could not verbalize this random thought...

Ten minutes pass...

Server: "I love English accents..."

Sigh....

25 August 2007

Why I love the German reason number 7,337

When I post the photos, you will know what I mean... There is nothing like seeing my 200 pound 6 foot tall German in a toga.... Kinda sexy....

Last night he wanted to watch "Gladiator" to make certain our togas were "accurate". I love that man!

Home again, home again, jiggety jig....

Whew!!

Home from Nashville's first annual Dragon Boat races. We are freakin exhausted to say the least! Thank goodness for tents, bottled water and a breeze.

I will send out more love regarding this later as I am too tired to download photos. Our day started at 7:20a at Riverfront and we got home around 6:00p.

All good. More later.

23 August 2007

Why don’t ya give me a ring?

Some things just annoy the hell out of me. Case in point, I am sitting at a restaurant and the cell phone of the yahoo next to me starts ringing. Okay, it did not actually ring, per se, it notified its owner (and the surrounding 20 or so tables) with a blood-curdling scream. I jumped when I heard it and I about lost it because it scared me so badly. I mean I would expect zombie freaks to have something like that, but not the dude next to me in his khakis and polo shirt – sheesh….

I heard another shrill one a while back that was of a baby crying. Not just a little sobbing but all out bawling. That one got me too because I was in an elevator and I certainly did not see the little tyke so it kinda weirded me out a bit. The very embarrassed person with this ring explained he had a new baby and that was his infant’s cry. I congratulated him on baby’s lung capacity once I regained my composure. I also told him wait until the kid’s about two and his cell phone will be someone yelling “NO” loudly and repeatedly.

Anyone else heard a cell phone ring that sets them on edge?

22 August 2007

I made a move

In regards to the move I just made I got a response... A phone call... I let the unknown number go to voice mail. After listening to her message it was yesteryear hearing her voice. I got that funny pit in my stomach and did not immediately call back. Instead I texted as I was busy. Thank you, technology. I got a reply.

I called today. I told her I was sorry for the loss of her mother to cancer almost six years ago. I was close to her mother as she was to mine. She sincerely told me she was sorry Mama had cancer. We chatted amiably. It was easy to slip into the old routine of 20+ years of friendship (minus the almost eight since "the incident").

She mentioned our quarrel to say "water under the bridge".

I do not know where this is going. I do know where it has been. I do not want history repeated. To say it was ugly at the end is a gross exaggeration.

I am not going to suggest meeting. The ball is in her court. I am not sure if I am ready to trust again; however, I am truly sorry for her loss and want to know about her children. I want her to be happy. Whether or not this is salvageable is still vague.

I will let you know.

21 August 2007

Baby steps

I made a move today. Something that took some courage on my behalf. I called my best friend from high school, the matron of honor at my first wedding, someone I have not spoken to since November 1999 for reasons I will not disclose.

There was a disagreement (to say the very least). There were hurt feelings on both sides. There was yelling. A lot of yelling. There was death (her mom) and disease (my mom). I thought of her at times and wondered "what if".

Sometimes friendships made at the tender age of 13 carry on through out a life time. Other times they fizzle out. In my case, there was a flame... Bigger then than the fire that burned out from my divorce.

There was pain. There was tears. A hell of a lot of tears.

I saw a mutual friend Saturday. I proffered my number with a request for a call. I got the call today. I was not available. I texted. I got an answer. I have a knot in my stomach. Probably not a good thing for the raging blood pressure of late (although today was significantly lower than yesterday but still outrageous).

Am I being nostalgic? Or am I genuinely reaching out to make amends?

I do not expect the friendship of the past. Sometimes even true friendships fizzle. You outgrow one another or move on or are on different levels. However, you sometimes hold on to things just simply because of longevity and history. I do not consider that a friendship any longer. Just a weak attempt to either hold on to the past or out of a sense of obligation.

But I reached out nonetheless. She does not even know my last name now. That seems odd to me.

We have lived within 3 miles of one another since the day the music died. I have only seen her twice. Once while walking and the other time at a local store. Neither of us acknowledged the other.

I do not know what this means. I do not know why I felt this overwhelming feeling to reach out. I just know I did.

I am going to suggest a cocktail to "catch up". No idea what will happen. I'll keep you posted.

Dragonheart? Dragon breath? No, Dragon Boat....

I mentioned last month that I would be competing in a Dragon Boat Race. Well, we practiced last night and are all set for the races Saturday, August 25th at Riverfront Park.

The German and I are none the worse for wear. We are on my team, the “Marine Titans”. So if you are of the mind to join the fun, come on down to Riverfront Park on Saturday. Our first race is at 9:00a and we could definitely use a Woot from the crowd!!!

20 August 2007

Complete and utter panic!

I am in the midst of an uncontrollable panic attack. There is nothing that has happened to trigger it. I can not control it and my heart is beating out of my chest. I took a walk to the CVS by my office and they have a monitor there. My pressure was 170/100!!! It’s usually like 90/60 so the feeling that it is about to beat out of my chest is not just in my mind. It’s kind freaking me out (which, of course, fuels the panic attack).

I have really thought about what could be the cause…. Parents are doing well, husband and I are fine, money is not a problem, no issues at work, and nothing should be causing such a tremendous bout with this.

I have experienced this before; however, I can generally pin point some cause, a reasoning behind it. When that is the case I am usually able to find some clarity to help myself get over it. That is not the case today. And since I am struggling to determine the source it sort of fuels it even more so.

I have had a Xanax. Only one as I need to be able to be fully functional at work and I will need to drive the 20 miles home. I have an obligation at 6:00p tonight to practice for the Dragon Boat race this weekend so I do not have the luxury of going home and attempting to meditate and relax.

Ugh! This is of the suck

19 August 2007

I was there for the beer....

The German and I met up with 'coma, Squirrel Queen, Badger, and Ivy at South Street for a little grub and a beer... Then we headed over to Cafe Coco to hear Ivy's and Kat's presentation at Bar Camp. I HAD to be part of the "Woot" section for them.

Shortly after their presentation, we sat in the hot, hot, hot and had a bit more beer and talked. I met ghia and so many others that I would be linking all night to get them in!! However, if I did not mention that I met the the awesome Grace I would be remiss. I mean how do you not send a little link love to such a cool person?

After our time on the patio we headed out for some Mexican and more beer... Did I mention there was beer?

The German and I had a blast. Looking forward to the next adventure...

16 August 2007

Pain in the neck....

Thanks to everyone for their prayers and kind words.

Daddy is out of surgery and all went well. He is currently still in recovery and should be moved into a room in the next hour or so. When that happens I am going to take my happy ass over to St. Thomas to pay him a visit.

Carry on…..

14 August 2007

Thoughts...

I found out yesterday that my father is having surgery on Thursday. They did not tell me sooner since the Bubbie was here and I have a tendency toward the dramatic. Did I mention that I am only child who still has the umbilical cord firmly attached? Did I mention that I have truly saved his life before?

Shit.

Carotid on one side is blocked 75%... The other side was 95% back in the 90's and surgery was a success... With the notable exception of giving him penicillin which he is allergic to... Thanks Summit Medical Center.

They do not want me to go. They know I have had enough time off being sick myself with all my own problems. However, I am nervous. Who would not be? He's my father. He is a good man. A damn good man. Everyone should be so lucky to have the kind of father I have been blessed with in my life. True, faithful, generous, giving, loving, caring, gentle, understanding, compassionate... Thank you, God.

If you are the type, say a little prayer. If you are not the type, think good thoughts.

I love you, Daddy.

Edit: If you are family, apologies. Mama and Daddy decided not to pass this along to everyone. Please play along for his sake. Call me, not Mama. I will update the post tomorrow.

Love to you all in Texas and Louisiana. Hope TS Erin misses you all.

Word Nerd

I enjoy some words just because of how the sound. For example: periwinkle, conundrum, onomatopoeia, steatopygious…. If you do not know what these mean then you need to look them up. Seriously, because I am not going to tell you. I am a bitch in that way.

13 August 2007

Bad dreams

I had a nightmare. You know how it goes... Wakes you up breathless with your heart pounding...

I dreamed Mama survived cancer only to die in a car wreck. I even vividly remember hearing about it on the radio on my way to work... Wreck at Broadway, fatality involved... Missed call on my cell from Daddy... I was in too much traffic on 440 to answer. Got to work and realized I missed another call... Still too busy to call back.

She's good, thank goodness. And whether you believe it or not, there has been occasions my nightmares come true. I know she is not headed down that route soon. Of. The. Good.

News you can use

I learned something valuable while the Bubbie was here… No matter how much a seven year old begs, it is NOT a good idea to let them have 5 popsicles in a 2 hour period.... Especially not starting at 8:00p....

Lesson learned…. The hard way…

07 August 2007

Ivy's Interview

I was interviewed by the great and powerful Ivy. Here’s what she had to say:

Muahahaha, time for the really WEIRD questions. ;) First, C&P this shit so people know the rules:

Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.” I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions. If you don’t have a valid email address on your blog, please provide one. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Now, for the questions:

1. Which would be more awesome, a castle in England, or a house on the beach in Tahiti?

Oh, both would be phenomenal; however, I am not allowed to answer in such a manner. So now that I have my big girl panties on I will have to say since I have been to England three times (of course there was no castle involved although there should have been – hee) a house on the beach in Tahiti. I have always wanted to go there because it looks so freaking gorgeous!

I believe if I had the financial ability that I could easily become a beach bum. Hell, even without money I could do it; however, having a little $$$ would definitely make it a tad better.

2. What is your worst habit?

Oh, juicy question!! It would have been good to ask my weirdest one as well. I have a raging case of OCD. Hmmm…..

• I overanalyze EVERYTHING.
• I smoke.
• I leave most of my shoes in the kitchen – drives my hubby nuts!
• I am very intolerant of some things and it is VERY obvious, even if you do not know me very well.
• I am a rambler and do not know when to shut up.

I think my worst one though is that I have zero patience. It kinda bleeds onto other aspects of my life. I can be selfish and the zero patience aspect amplifies that bad habit. I am like a Ferrari and can go from 0 to Bitch in 2.3 seconds.

I learned the hard way to not pray for patience because He works in mysterious ways and has a wicked sense of humor. He likes a good practical joke.

3. You can invite any 4 people in the entire world to dinner (they have to be alive, this isn't one of those living or dead questions). The catch is, you also have to invite me to dinner. Who would you invite, knowing I might just embarrass you just for the hell of it?

Damn, I know if I could invite the dead it would be either Mother Theresa or Pope John Paul II….. Not because I think it would stop you from embarrassing me, because if I know you, I bet that wouldn’t stop you. It would probably just mean you wouldn’t drop an “ F “ bomb – LOL.

So on to the real question at hand:

Eric Clapton. From Blind Faith to Cream to Derrick and the Dominos… I love him. I wouldn’t just have him over for dinner I would actually have him FOR dinner. He is my guitar hero. When I watch him live I am completely mesmerized. It is as though the guitar is his lover and he is making love. I need a cigarette now, please.

Amy Tan. “The Joy Luck Club” is one of my favorite books. The entire story is a spell-binding tale of mother/daughter dynamics played out by four separate pairs of mothers and daughters. It is funny where appropriate and heart-wrenching as well. It makes you want to call mama and tell you love her. The movie is pretty good as well. I think I will probably watch it tonight now that I think about it.

JJ Abrams. I want to pick his brain for more information on “Lost”. I want to discuss theories, concepts, plot lines, characters. I want to find out why the hell it goes on hiatus for eight months… I need a 12 step program….

Garrison Keiler. I love his story-telling ability. If there were a lull in the conversation he would be there to help pick it up and delight us with a tale of Guy Noir, Private Eye. Or he could spin a yarn to keep you, Amy and Jerry busy while I seduce Eric. See? I am thinking ahead!

4. If you were a fictional character, who would you be?

Immediately what popped into my mind is Scout from “To Kill a Mockingbird”. That stuck as I contemplated other fictional characters like Hermione… Scout won. Ironically, that is my cat’s name and who she is named for as well. I still believe that “To Kill a Mockingbird” is one of the most important and influential books about discrimination and the ramifications that come from it. Scout is THE heroine in this piece. She is all things I like about strong females, stubborn, outspoken, crafty, curious, intelligent, fearless, but mostly she is a loving human. She has an incredible role model in Atticus. In Depression era Alabama, she does not see the color of Calpurnia’s skin. Instead she sees a strong, loving woman who takes care of her and Jem’s needs.

When I need a pick-me-up, I read this. I probably have read it a hundred times. Just remember the sage advice of Atticus Finch… “Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

5. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?

Someone got busted with the book “Everything You Wanted to Know about Sex but Was Afraid to Ask”. She was 6 and I was 7. She completely lied and said it was mine. I had to have an hour long discussion about sex and masturbation with her mom. Mind you, I was not really certain what sex was at that time and was utterly CLUELESS as to what masturbation was either. I was completely mortified while she explained everything to me. She did so in a very loving manner; however, I could still smack my cousin for putting me through such an ordeal. I am still pissed off about that. Guess I should add “holds a grudge” to the bad habit list….

03 August 2007

Center Piece of your family

Reason number 1,107,727 why I love the German...

A little over three years ago, my parents called me, their only child, regarding an important issue... They wanted to move Nana here from San Antonio. She was about to turn 84.

This was way before the cancer diagnosis, and Mama gave her two options. Move here before Christmas 2004 or after Easter 2005. Pick one. She chose the latter.

I had no problem saying move her here. It was understood that Nana would live her final years with Mama and Daddy. Completely unspoken. Trust me, I lived close enough to her most of my life to know the drill.

Of course I had no issue. I know she is is aging. I know that encompasses change. I know that she has survived two husbands. I know she is a strong, proud woman. The youngest of a group of sisters. She grew up poor. She raised five children. She has eight grandchildren. She does crossword puzzles in black ink. She had a rotary dial phone. She plays a mean game of canasta. She rocks.

She turned 86 today. She was a widow for the first time at 42. I will be 42 next year and that fact scares the shit out of me. She was widowed again shortly before her 80th birthday.

She is a strong woman. She is a beautiful woman. Did I mention she still does crossword puzzles in ink?

So anyway, when Mama and Daddy had the family meeting (yes, we really do have family meetings) to let me know they wanted to move her here (we are still a family democracy so my vote counts) I said yes. They asked me what the German thought. Honestly, his opinion never crossed my mind. Sorry, this was about my Nana. I grew up with her, he didn't. It may be wrong, but it's the truth. We (Mama, Daddy and I) made a decision, wasn't that all that mattered? Mama in her ever politically correct way told me the German now had a vote. We lived together then, not yet engaged. I was planning a future with him. It mattered. His answer? The title of the blog. He told me that if Mama. Daddy and I were run over by a truck, his job was her. To take her back to her biological family unless she wanted him to be the care taker.... The answer is, she loves him, but no. Get her to Texas.

So in a REALLY roundabout way, happy 86th birthday. You are the oldest person the Bubbie knows. You are the cornerstone of the "M" family. You are still a card shark. You still have the same laugh. You are still the same woman who could not get out of the wheelchair since Mama threatened you (insert "M" family joke). You still made me eat lemon egg (Jentina, I am looking at you).

You are the cornerstone of our family.

01 August 2007

Thank your parents!

Seriously. Quit reading and call your parents. Tell them thank you. Being a parent is HARD WORK and do not let anyone tell you otherwise!!

Biologically the Bubbie is not mine. Emotionally and mentally he is 100%. I can not physically have biological children; however, I have the best of both worlds when it comes to the Bubbie... An incredibly brilliant, articulate, amazing, beautiful human being to laugh with and share secrets. To snuggle with, to see things in a perspective I have not in decades. But mostly to love.

I am wiped out. The energy he exudes seems directly correlated to the energy that is sucked out of me. No, I am not complaining. He is worth it. Being physically drained at work is a fair trade for the joy that bubbles out of watching him delight in the little things. His laugh is lyrical, magical and creates a feeling I have no way to describe in words... All I can say is it makes me feel even more alive. Like I can feel everything to the highest degree and see it all over again as if it were new to me as well.

He is only here until August 12th. So much to do, so little time.

Parents everywhere, KUDOS! There is a special place in Heaven just for you... What a blessing!!

30 July 2007

I know you hear me but are you listening?!

When you hear rain fall does it blend together or do you listen to the distinctive pattern of the individual drops on your umbrella?

As the train whooshes down the track, you hear the rumble and hum, but do you actually listen to the noise of the locomotive’s engine?

When you have on the radio do you actually pay attention to the songs? Or is it just disregarded as background music that you hardly miss if you flip off the switch? I truly enjoy music; however, when I am in my own little world I have a way of disassociating myself with the actual lyrics and simply hear the melodious strain of the instruments and do not necessarily listen to the actual song as a whole.

The subtle nuances between hearing and listening can make the difference in many circumstances. Particularly it may assist in understanding others and alleviating disagreements.

I have found that many times people hear you talking but do not actually listen to what it is you are saying. In my experience that leads to arguments, misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

We are all guilty of this be it intentional or unintentional Life has a funny habit of getting in the way and, at times, keeps us from paying closer attention to the actually things happening around us vis a vis listening versus hearing.

I have learned in my life that if I actually take time out to listen my experiences are deeper, richer and more fulfilling. It’s almost going from black and white to the full spectrum of the rainbow… I hear the Bubbie’s laughter as he delights at accomplishments, learning a new task or watching cartoons. But when I listen to it I can breathe it in and join with the revelry. There is so much more available to me if I would only listen.

24 July 2007

It's been a while...

It has been a while since I posted a German word of the day simply for its "educational purposes". Today I thought I would show you something important you need to know if you find yourself driving down the Autobahn.

Today's word is Ausfahrt. What I love about it is that it is pronounced just like you think it should be. What amuses me even more is that it means Exit. How much fun it that?? Ambie and I got the biggest kick out of it and would mutter "ausfahrt" every time we passed an exit ramp. Okay, at least it was amusing to us... Mein Deutscher and the chef were not nearly as entertained as Ambie and I but that is their loss.

Well I have done my duty of teaching you German one word at a time for today.

You're welcome...

22 July 2007

What does it take to make it to 43 years?

Let me start with apologies to my parents for not posting this on their actual anniversary of July 20th. I have been under the weather and blogging was not a priority like trying to feel good enough to go to work.

Well 43 years ago this past Friday, my parents ran off from San Antonio, Texas to Seguin, Texas to elope in front a justice of the peace. They have been married to one another since they were 25 and 20 years of age. I can not imagine being with the man I was with at either 20 nor 25 and sustaining it at the level they have accomplished.

Of course there has been ups and downs. I do not know any married couple who has not had those regardless of how wonderful everything is. People grow and change and not always at the same rate or in the same direction. Marriage, hell, ANY relationship takes work. It takes time, nurturing, patience, understanding, a give and take... Of course most people think a relationship is 50-50; however, there are going to be times when it is 70-30 or even 90-10 and you need to learn to roll with it in order to sustain and grow with it.

My parents have learned that. To say they have mastered it is an understatement. Their relationship has had it's hardships as have everyone else. Growing up, my father was in law enforcement and frequently worked odd shifts or "on call" and such. There were times when friends thought I was from a single parent family due to my father's work requirements. It was not the case; however, it did thrust me into a different relationship with my mother because of our time alone. That is a situation I have worked on remedying as I have grown older. But this is not about me, sorry, I digress...

I have asked questions regarding the longevity of their marriage. Mama has always told me that she knew Daddy would take care of her for the rest of her life. Even before her diagnosis with cancer he has kept that promise. He takes care of so many things for their household (which also includes Nana, Mama's 85 year old mother). Mama enjoys sleeping in and jokes constantly that he "does more before I get up than I do all day". They do have their different household obligations; however, Daddy has had to step up in a few more categories since Mama has been ill.

They take time for one another. Sometimes in small batches. It's hard for them at times since they have Nana and do not want her to feel excluded. I should do more to pick up the slack and give them time apart. I do not do nearly enough in that avenue. Writing this I realize there is so much more I should do to allow them time together, time they have earned, time they deserve just for one another.

At the heart of this, I have learned through observation that which seems to be their biggest secrets to a successful marriage.... Understanding, patience, communication, time together... Sounds easy in theory; however, so many marriages seem to falter. Thankfully theirs is not one of them.

So to my parents, happy belated 43rd anniversary. Thank you for being a role model not only to me but to others by your example of not just what a couple should be, but also what you both give to others as individuals. If God would have asked me to select who I wanted as parents, I could not have done a more amazing job. I am fortunate, blessed beyond measure for having you in my life. I love you both.

18 July 2007

Crazy conversations I have had about my German

The following is a real conversation I had with someone who found out my husband is from Germany... Enjoy the idiocy...

Him: So your husband is from Germany?

Me: Yep, he is from Hamburg.

Him: So does he speak German?

Me: [???] No, he usually speaks French to piss people off.

Him: Oh, I guess I just figured he would speak German.

Me: He does, I was just being a smart ass.

Him: Does he like German food?

Me: Well since he grew up there, he just calls it food, not German food.

Him: He doesn't call it bratwurst or wienerschnitzel?

Me: Yes, he does, but he doesn't consider it "German food" like you and I do... Just like you don't say it's an "American hot dog", you know?

Him: So what do they call a hot dog in Germany?

Me: I don't know the words they use for it, they could just call it a hot dog.

Him: Does he like German chocolate cake?

Me: He tries to stay away from all foods with a nationality label, he thinks it's prejudicial...

Him: I don't understand....

Me: You know, like he won't eat French toast, Swedish meatballs, Swiss chocolates, stuff like that....

Him: Are you serious?

Me: Totally, he just thinks it's wrong...

Him: Wow, that's f'd up!!

Me: I am just kidding 'cause that would be crazy...

Him: So do they have nice cars there? I mean I know they have the Autobahn and all....

Here I must note the person asking this drives a BMW for the love of all that is good...

Me: Where do you think your car is from originally?

Him: Bavaria, why?

Me: Don't you know where Bavaria is located?

Him: Somewhere in Europe...

Me: [...]

Him: Well isn't it?

Me: Yeah, it's somewhere in Europe...

Him: So you never told me, do they have nice cars there? Like my BMW?

Me: Dude, Bavaria is in Germany... Your car is German... Does that answer your question?

Him: I thought you said Bavaria was in Europe, not Germany?

Me: [sighing] Would you please just fix my computer so I can go?

17 July 2007

My kind of work out....

I found a blog today (courtesy of my Auntie D) that is my kind of fitness blog. If you are like me and are "health conscious" (remember, I like beer and I will not run unless something big is chasing me), this is the place for you.

Go take a quick look and let me know what you think....

16 July 2007

Die Eichhörnchenkönigin


Die Eichhörnchenkönigin = Squirrel Queen...

You know who you are.... And it was wonderful to meet you!!!!

15 July 2007

Saucy!!

There is something about a Saturday that gets the German and I rarin' to go do a little something. And there is something about a beer and a cheese plate that revs us up and makes for a good time. It is even better if you get to have said beer and cheese with some wonderful people. I was psyched because I finally got to meet Newscoma and the fabulous Squirrel Queen. I also got to meet the Zombie King. Royalty! The German and I had a blast and we are ready for more conversation, beer and cheese. Okay, it's a little early for beer...

And I always enjoy time with Ivy and Hutch. They are wonderful people.



And Ginger and Sista always make any time a good one.



Anywho, these were the better photos of our time at the Saucer.... For more, go visit the Sista. She managed a group shot that I missed by not passing the German the camera.... Sigh...

12 July 2007

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Have you heard about the latest craze? Well, whether you have or have not Dragon Boat Racing is coming to Nashville. I am a little psyched about it to be quite honest. Ambie and the chef participated in their local race this spring. My uncle participates in his local race annually as well. All three have told me how very much they enjoyed it.


My company is planning on sponsoring a boat this year and I might just participate. My German has been trying to convince his company to sponsor one as well. We are going to try and do this together (if one of our companies will allow spouses) versus being on opposing teams. We are both a little too competitive to risk loosing to one another. Bragging rights are HUGE in our house so unless I can guarantee that I have them.... Well, you get the picture.

So boys and girls out there, have any of you participated in Dragon Boat racing? If so, what did you think about your experience? Regardless of whether or not I race, I will definitely make the trip down to Riverfront Park on August 25th to see what all the hoopla is about...