Friday, December 28, 2007


Colds stink. Especially when I can't really take anything. Not like I've had much success with things in the past. Oh well. Mint tea, while not a favorite of mine does clear the sinuses a bit... and the warm helps the cough. That and since it's only mint leaves, I can drink as much as I want. (That is unless I put too much sugar in it...)
Both yesterday and today I "worked" from home. I was actually quite productive, just not with work related things so much. I didn't get any less than usual done, but definitely no more. It looks like I'm actually going to get my annual New Year's letter out this year. It's been two years since I've sent one out. Hopefully I still have every one's addresses. (If you're in doubt and want to make sure I've got it, drop me an email...) I'm just finishing up printing it out now. Now to stop at Staples and pick up envelopes. Oh, yeah, I guess I need stamps too. I got so spoiled when Gak was working at the UPS Store because he took care of the mailings. That and I don't actually mail out any bills any more. They're all either electronically submitted, walked over to the Borough hall across the street or handed to my landlady who's office is downstairs.
I also got some crochet work done. I finally found my missing hoddie I was working on. I may still be able to wear it when I finish. I'm almost done the front now, so it's just the sleeves and hood yet. Yes, of course you'll get to see pictures when I'm done.

And speaking of crochet, here's a picture of the as yet unblocked piece I made Mom. I really can't wait for it to be blocked so I can finish the pillow for it I'm so happy with it. I'm just impressed I stuck with something that used such fine thread. And this wasn't fine compared to some I've seen. I've seen very beautiful pieces done with sewing thread. That's right, sewing thread.
Ok, back to the topic I was originally posting about... today.
Today my cold has all but settled into my chest but my sinuses are still clogged. Luckily most of the drainage isn't down my throat any more. This means I was actually able to sleep a bit. I'm feeling pretty good if I drink enough to keep the cough under control.
Today Boo and I also had another doctor's appointment. This was with a different doctor in the practice. She's nice enough and friendly. She didn't want to adjust my due date even though I'm about 99% sure I'm right. Oh well, its OK. Everything looks great and listening to Boo's heart will never get old. Gak couldn't come today because of his schedule. Hopefully he'll be able to make the next one in four weeks. He should be if he can get the closing shift (or off). I just can't wait for the 14th for the next ultrasound. So very exciting.
Well, I've got to wrap up here because I've taken enough time writing this that I've got to get moving to go pick up Gak from work. (Ew, now there's a run-on for ya!) He's doing Mike a favor and closing over at UPS so he can get home in time.
Peace to all and may you avoid the bugs.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Coughing

Well, Christmas Eve was an interesting gathering. We couldn't get a hold of Joanie to bug her about showing up, so she never did. That annoys me. She's always complaining we never get together, and when we try, we can't find her! Ed, Buffie, Katie and Nik were there, as were Aunt Ellen and Uncle Jerry. Al and his daughter were a no-show, but that's OK, I'm sure that his schedule is a mess. We had a good evening, even though I was fighting off a cold.
By Tuesday morning I had been hit hard. At first, I wasn't going to go down to my parents' house. But after a shower and another short nap, I was feeling quite a bit better. Mind you, not 100%, but not like death warmed over. That and my fever had appeared to be broken, so I felt like I could afford to go out.
Gak and I exchanged gifts in the morning. He got me this really cool digital photo frame. Biggest problem is it doesn't have internal memory, so I've got to pick up another card. No big deal, they're pretty cheap these days. He also picked up the Zelda for the Wii and three crochet pattern books. Yes, my dear, sweet, wonderful husband braved either JoAnn's or Michael's and bought me patterns. Yes, he broke his own rule and bought me baby patterns, but he figured they were for me as much as for Boo. I got him a couple of new non-video games and I'll let you know how fun they are once we've played them. It looks like this was a game-oriented Christmas. I also got him a subscription to White Dwarf, to feed his Warhammer addiction. It works out great in the long run since we don't always make it out to the store to pick it up and it'll actually save the cost of an issue or two over the course of the year. That's always a nice thing. He was thrilled with that.
We got down to Mom and Dad's just in time to go out for lunch. We'd been to this place a few times before in the past when t hey had a buffet kind of setup. It was good and the service was good. Not this year. Last year they switched to a seated dinner (and I think the price per person went up at least $5-10 by doing this). The food was good but not outstanding (what I could taste, my sinuses are clogged and running down the back of my throat) and the service, well, there's no other way of putting it other than it stank. It was down right horrible. Next year we'll go somewhere else or maybe, if I can convince GradmaSue to watch Boo, we might try having it here.
After our lunch we went back to the house to do presents all over again. Mom, Dad, Becca and Jon had all done presents in the morning, now it was time for Gak and I to get the goodies they had for us. I honestly wasn't expecting anything else from Jon and Becca. I figured the game was plenty. They had all kinds of neat little goodies. I got more warm fuzzy socks! I love them. They're blue and have penguins on them. So cute. Jon gave Gak this great Lego catapult. I laughingly chided Jon for giving my husband something that could throw projectiles at me. (Knowing full well that I'd end up stealing it and tossing them right back!) Mom gave us some framed work that she'd done for us. The most special to me was the one she did of Gram's Girl Scout stuff. It will get a place of honor when I redo the family wall. (I've still got a handful of pictures from Gram's apartment waiting for me at Mom and Dad's.) Mom also gave to me the matching angle music box to the one Jon and I had when we were little for Boo. I always thought it was mine, but Mom thinks it was Jon's. Gram had bought two at the time and kept one. That and the angles she chose for us from Gram's collection were wonderful and touching. Dad, of course, gave me a new Michael Chrichton book with homework. I love that he gives me these assignments. Yes, I really am nerdy that way.
I ended up giving Becca another gift myself. Sunday when she and Jon came up she was going on about the blue scarf/wrap that I'd made Gram two years ago. Mom had it in a basket in the living room. Well, with a little prompting from Mom because my brain wasn't firing on all cylinders, I gave it to her yesterday. You should have seen the look on her face! You'd have thought I'd just given her the winning lottery ticket or something. She all but ripped the scarf she was wearing off and wrapped up in the one I'd made. It even matched what she was wearing. It really made me smile to see how much she really loved it. I know she'll enjoy it for quite some time. I always get a smile when I see someone enjoying my work.
I also gave something special to my mom. I have pictures, I just haven't downloaded them yet. My friend Michelle over at Crochetville was kind enough to design a thread pattern for me. It's an angel with my Gram's initials underneath. It's about 10 inches square. I gave it to mom with "some assembly required". The actual crochet bit is done. It needs to be blocked though. I figured she not only has the setup to do it right, but much, much more practice than I do. I also told her my original plan was to attach it to a pillow, but that it would look nice framed too. She decided that the angel definitely needs to go onto a pillow. I'll try and post the picture I have of the unblocked piece tomorrow.
We played Apples to Apples for a little bit yesterday afternoon and then Gak and I came home. I was beginning to feel crappy again. My fever didn't return, but not only do I have gunk running down the back of my throat, but my sinuses have closed up, my ears are clogged and it's begun to settle in my chest. Thankfully I had today as a vacation day to begin with. I'm not going to push myself very hard tomorrow and Friday I've got a baby appointment around 1 and am working from home in the afternoon. Gak's got to work, or he'd go with me. He's been so very good about actually wanting to go with me. I told him it was OK if he didn't go to every appointment. There will be plenty. I just told him that if he didn't make the big ultrasound appointment on the 14th, I'd kill him and his boss and the other (insert favorite curse word here) ASM .
Only, now I don't have to kill the PIMA of an ASM. She quit.
The day after Christmas.
Leaving Gak and Tallon high and dry.
I don't have enough bad words in my vocabulary to describe her and what she's done to these two and the store. She's been nothing but trouble, and lazy trouble at that.
Ok, that was an interesting little detour.
Anyhow, yesterday went well, even if I didn't feel all that great. Today has been mostly useless, but that's OK. I wasn't planning on getting much done other than my New Year's letter printed and maybe some crocheting. Instead I've been playing that stupid Puzzle Quest until the silly DS needed charging. Yes, that's about as motivated as I've been. Of course, I haven't even put it down long enough to take a nap. Silly game.
Well, I'm off to go stand in a warm shower and see if that loosens everything up a bit. I can only take Tylenol and cough drops at the moment. I think I can take normal (non-DM) Robitussin, but I don't have any and I'd have to check the lists again. That doesn't usually do much for me on a good day anyhow. Not much does when I'm feeling like this. Lots of liquids (including warm, not hot, tea), plenty of naps and a warm shower seems to work best.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas Day no matter what you celebrated.
Peace to all and may the cold bugs leave you alone and you have wonderful family around.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Family Fun

Well, yesterday was a great day. I spent most of the day cooking, playing on the computer and well... cooking some more. Then I got to hang out with Jon and Becca and my husband! All in the same place at the same time!
I made a big batch of mac and cheese for lunch. Actually, I made 1/3 for lunch and 2/3 for tonight's get together. It was quite yummy and hit the spot. I also had a loaf of bread in the bread maker. I need to put another loaf in soon, again for tonight. What is it about fresh, warm bread that is soooo irresistible? Especially with just a little butter or honey (or both)?
Anyhow, the main part of dinner was a nice, small briscut I picked up at the farmer's market last weekend. I'd had it in the freezer and was actually smart enough to pull it out Saturday morning! It wasn't a meat-sicle by the time I wanted to start cooking it. I was impressed. I cooked it in one of those oven bags with some carrots, onions and potatoes. The other sides were corn and kugel. I had no idea if Becca would like it or not, or even if she'd know what it was. Well, she does and she did. Her eyes lit up and her voice was full of awe and appreciation when she asked "is that kugel??" Needless to say, the whole thing disappeared, no leftovers of that. Everything else was gobbled up mostly too. Gak's got a nice dish full of goodies for lunch later this week. (That's all that was left!)
Jon and Becca brought Gak and I a wonderful new game. It's called Apples to Apples. I'd heard of it before and I'd even looked at it. It works best with lots of people. So, with only 4, we changed the rules a bit and each played two cards instead of one. Basically, you take turns judging which combination 'wins'. The green card in play is an adjective. The red cards you have in your hand are nouns and can be almost anything, including famous (or infamous) people. It was a lot of fun and we had lots of laughs. Of course, after a couple rounds of that, Gak and I introduced Jon and Becca to the wonders of Killer Bunnies. The best was when Becca declared "I have no bunnies, I don't know what I'm doing". It became the quote of the evening. Gak pretty much dominated the game from round one and won. We had a good time.
It was very nice to have an evening hanging out with Jon, Becca and Gak. I truly like my brother. And Becca is fun too. (Of course, I'm biased, but I think Gak's the greatest...)
Tonight is the gathering over at Kat's. I'm looking forward to that. Hopefully everyone will be able to make it, at least for a little bit. I still have one gift to wrap for one of the kids and again, remember to get the bread into the bread machine. Gak's at work until about 6:30 or so and then we're heading over. It's not supposed to be until 7:30, because Kat and Zoe (I think) will be at church. That's OK. I can let myself in and make sure every thing's good to go.
This really has been a great holiday so far. I've gotten to spend time with some wonderful people I never get to see and just hang out. No stress, no pressure, no anxiety or forces politeness. (I skipped my company's holiday party... I really don't enjoy those stupid things...)
Well, I'm off to make bread and then kill some things in Norrath. I guess I should have some lunch too while I'm at it.
Peace to all and may your holiday be stress free and full of fun and family.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Well, so far this weekend has been a good one.
Abi came up Saturday noontime. We got a chance to all go out to lunch before Gak had to go to work. Then Abi and I mostly hung out and caught up. Sure, we went to the grocery store and came back and wrapped presents. Hey, this was my last chance really with Gak out of the house.
I then taught her Killer Bunnies. Even with just the two of us, it took quite a while to play. Of course, I was teaching someone new, we have almost all the expansion sets and 20 carrots to go through. Once she got into the swing of the game and realized exactly how evil it is, she had a blast. Hopefully next time we get together we'll be able to get everyone together to play. That'll be a ton of fun.
Gak and I also introduced her to Norrath. She was quite fascinated by it. We had fun and I managed to keep Gak from going splut all over the place.
She left about 11:00 this morning to go back to her parents' house. It was a wonderful visit. She appreciated the scarf I made her and she brought me some really great books, including one for the baby.
Right now I'm waiting for Becca and Jon to get up here. They should be here soon. Hopefully their arrival and dinner being finished will happen at the same time. I'm looking forward to their visit. I'll let you know about it later.
Ok. I'm just rambling and trying to take up time. I'm going to go check on dinner and try and figure out something to keep me occupied until they get here. (The DS is on the charger... stupid Puzzle League game...)
Peace to all and may your family gatherings be fun.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I'm Bored

I think I know what my problem is.
I'm bored.
Ok. Let me back up a minute here. I'm sitting here at work at 4:45 on the last work day before the holiday break. I realize that I've gotten just about zero done and this was one of my more productive days this week. I'm trying to figure out why.
Then it hit me.
I'm bored.
I was helping someone in service Wednesday with a few problems and I was enjoying it so much. There truly are days when I miss that job. I don't miss my boss mind you, but the job. It was always different. There was always something new to learn, something else to figure out and to fix.
Now, my biggest challenges are pinning down a customer to a training date, shuffling around the training materials a bit and trying to get information out of people that don't have any. Oh, don't forget navigating across the country through backed up airports and through unknown cities relying only on Mapquest. I can (and probably have) trained in my sleep. I've had very few negative comments about training, and most of those were things that were out of my control, such as functioning connection to their system, wrong people signed up for the course, that kind of thing. I can't control who the customer sends to the course or fix their networks.
I don't want to be bored with my job. I enjoy interacting with the customers and training. I still enjoy seeing that ah-ha! moment. I'm just not challenged any more.
And the few challenges that are left (modularizing the materials, getting clearance and $$ and someone to develop web based content, the Big Book of Knowledge) just don't interest me. They're not very hands on. They don't make me thing hard or challenge me to push my boundaries. They all feel like busy work. Admittedly, some of it is self-assigned busy work. I think that makes it worse. I mean, I totally came up with some of those things just so I'd have something to keep me occupied in the office. I hate when teachers and bosses do that, when I do it I really want to scream.
The sad part is I have no idea how to fix it.
I feel like I've specialized myself into a corner. I know a lot about a very specific product in a very specific segment of a very specific industry. I don't want to go to work for one of the competitors. First off, none of them are local and I really don't feel like moving right now. That and I'm kinda bored with the whole industry.
Not that I know everything about it, far from it. It's just that, well, I want out of air. I want out of the power industry. I want something that I can be challenged by on a regular basis and go home feeling like I've accomplished something. I don't even always come home from a training session feeling like I accomplished much. Some days I think you could use a video recording and be about as affective. (Or is that effective, I'm a science major and I still have problems with those two words! Affect is the action, effect is the result... hmm... not sure that helped any... OK, enough grammar!)
Now, you ask, what would my ideal job be.
I haven't a clue.
It needs to pay as much or more than I'm making now, preferably good benefits too.
It needs to challenge me on an intellectual basis, and, I'm not trying to brag, but that can be tough...
I'd love it to be science related in some way, shape or form. I know my degree is useless at this point because I haven't kept much of the knowledge in my head, but still, it's something I'm interested in.
Working with people would be a bonus. I'm shy and timid and hate social gatherings as a whole, but I enjoy interacting with people in a business fashion. (Yes, that's me, blatant contradictions...)
Anyone have any suggestions?

Oh well, it's almost 5 now and I can escape. Gak and I are going to the movies this evening. I'm looking forward to that. Jon, Becca and Abi all get in this evening. That reminds me, I need to call Abi and see what time she thinks she might be up tomorrow...
Peace to all and may you be challenged enough to keep it interesting without being frustrated.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Madness

Well, it's just about that time. The week of Christmas.
I've got mixed feelings about the holiday. On one hand, I love the family and friendly gatherings, the feasting and the general merriment and a bit of time off work. On the other hand, I think that there is too much pressure to buy everyone you even think you might know something expensive and I don't like having the calendar tell me when to buy someone something. I'm also not sure how crazy I am about the whole religious aspect. Yes, I know, heresy. Christmas is a religious holiday. Personally, I'm a little more into the return of the sun instead of the birth of the Son. Yes, this should be a season of festivities. The days will start getting longer after Saturday. The Christian religion celebrates the birth of their savior. (I have no idea how to classify myself, I'm probably more Christian than anything, but I don't like the feel or fit of any "organized" religion... I have a hard time with any group that thinks anything good "belongs" to them and everyone else is wrong and bad. I see that too often in both religions and political parties.) I've already stated on at least one or two occasions that I do believe in a God... just not all the hype about religion.
Ok. I'm going to stop this train of thought right where it is. It is venturing into areas I don't fully understand or know about myself and isn't what I started this post for. I may come back to this topic at some point, but not today.
What I originally intended this post for was to say how wonderfully busy the next several days are going to be for me and my family.
I'm so supper excited it isn't even funny. Both Jon and Becca as well as my friend Abi arrive in Philly tomorrow. Yes, it's only been a few weeks since I've seen Jon, but I don't get to see him often so any chance is met with great excitement on my part. This will be the first time I've seen Abi since oh... 1994 or 1995? I've missed her boat loads too. Jon and Becca are staying with out parents, Abi with hers.
Saturday Abi is going to come up and visit me. She's probably going to stay the night. I'm so excited I can't stand it. The only downer is that Gak has to work from 2-10:30pm. Oh well. We'll just have to swing by and harass him. (Not like the general public won't be doing enough of that...) I have no idea what we'll be doing, other than me panicking that the house isn't clean and trying to run out and get all the last minute groceries and stuff. Organization is not my strong suit (somehow my boss seems to think otherwise...) at the best of times, but right now, my brain is frazzled.
Jon and Becca are coming up Sunday for dinner and games. I'm not sure what time they're coming up or anything, but hey, it'll be fun. It will be good to have us "kids" together for the evening. I don't get to hang out with my brother much any more. I kinda miss it. It'll also be great because Gak hasn't met Becca yet. I'm just hoping I (well... mostly Gak) get the house cleaned up enough and I don't mess up dinner. I've made what we're having several times before, but that doesn't mean I can't have a bad night and make a mess of things. I'm getting good at that actually. If all else fails, there's a pizza shop within walking distance. *laugh*
Monday is Christmas Eve. After talking to Kat last night, it looks like that's when we're going to have the friends gathering. Actually, they're my "other family". This means a house full of kids and big kids. We're doing it pot-luck style this year. I'm supposed to make bread. (I'll probably make something else as well, just because.) I can't wait, I haven't seen all my "nieces" and "nephews" in the same place in ages. There will be 6 in total ranging in age from just over 1 year to 10. (Well, I guess you can add one more at 15 weeks gestation.... *grin*) I have gifts for all the kiddos, but nothing for the parents. I don't really expect things from my friends, and I'd rather spend my meager Christmas money on the kids. That's not to say if I don't see something when I'm shopping over the next few days that screams out to be purchased for one of my friends, I won't get it.
Tuesday is Christmas day itself. Gak has off and so do I. I actually have Monday off as well, which is nice because it gives me time to bake the bread (i.e. put everything into the bread machine) and finish up any odds and ends that need to be done. Mom has "dinner" reservations for sometime around noon. Don't ask, I don't remember what she told me, it was after noon but before 1:30. Therefore, Gak and I will drive down fairly early to spend the morning with the family. It should be nice and low-key. Again, it is always nice when the family can all get together in one place. We don't have a huge family, but we enjoy each other. Of course, we'll have to remember to call Gak's mom. I'm sure it'll be a tough day for her. Hopefully Brian won't have to work and he'll spend some time with her. I know it'll be odd in some ways for us. Even when we didn't go visit Gram for Christmas, we'd always at least talk to her on the phone. Like I said, it'll be odd.
So, do you think I have enough planned for the next 5 days? Maybe I can squeeze in another gathering somewhere? No? Ok. I won't push it.
Peace to all and may your holidays be filled with the happy chaos of friends and family.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Well, I finally got around to uploading the pictures of some of the decorations. (I'm working from home this afternoon and needed a quick break from staring at the manual I'm trying to rework... Shhh... I also managed to make a batch of cookies between edits and emails...)
Here is our cute little tree. It's a 4.5' tall one. It is standing on a chest/seat thing I got from Ikea. It holds all the spare blankets and such. Putting it on here makes it almost as tall as Gak. No, I don't have a picture for comparison. You can see the tree skirt I made. Luckily, all of the messy bits are near the back and at the edge. I thought this "Christmas Bandanna" pattern was pretty cool. (That and it was on super-duper sale!)

This is what made me pause and tear up when I first opened my box of decorations. This is the stocking that Gram originally made for Mom, but is now mine, back when I was little. I had to have been less than 7 or 8, probably more like 5. When I packed up this box of Christmas about 4 years ago now, I wasn't expecting the first time I opened it back up to be just a few weeks after Gram passed. There were several things in this box that reminded me of her.
Looking at it, I think I can create another one. I just have to figure out how to make half granny squares. I'm sure I can figure it out though. I'm not sure if she was following the pattern or disliked joining squares as much as I did, since she slip-stitched them together instead of whip stitched.

Here is one of the apples that are hanging on my tree. Mom bought this ages ago. I guess when we were going through ornaments I thought they were cute or something. I'm not sure. I like them, though and they look nice on the tree.

Here is my Christmas Mouse candle holder. It's got one of the candles intended for one of those whirlygig things in the holder. I don't have any tapers and forgot to pick some up at the store. He's a real cutie. No, as far as I know, he doesn't have a name. I do believe at one time there was a second one, with the candle on the other side. I may be wrong though.

Just to show you I've been creative for a long time, here is a school project from Kindergarten. We were living in Kansas at the time, so of course it's made out of wheat. Mom has at least one beautiful example of wheat art on her tree, but this is one that I made. I'm still proud of it; I just wish the bow would lay flat better. (Not my fault, the teacher tied that on.)
Well, I'd best be getting back to my editing. Peace to all and may your holiday be filled with good memories and family.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Shopping and Traditions

This weekend was an interesting one.
Saturday Gak was supposed to work early and then, depending on the weather, we were going to go see Golden Compass. I loved the books, I'm hoping they did as good a job with the movie. Instead, due to various office politics, he ended up being called in for the closing shift. Oh well.
So, instead of him going to work and me doing stuff around the house, we ran errands. We first went to the Q-Mart (farmer's market) to see what we could get for a collection of old coins that have been pushed around for over 20 years and that none of us really wanted. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount we got for them. This was an added little holiday bonus. We picked up some meat from Frederic's Meats while we were there to stock up the freezer a little bit. Gak also stopped in at the comics shop and picked up several back issues he was missing. We hadn't gone there since September or so. We had lunch at the new Red Robin that just opened up by the new Target and then promptly spent more of our windfall there.
I'd been thinking about trading in my original DS for a new DS Lite. Gak's work is running a promotion right now giving you extra cash back for the trade, and are/were running a contest between stores to see who could get the most trade-ins. Therefore, we took the last little bit of our windfall and traded in the DS and got a brand new one in red. It's shiny. And sparkly. I'm really happy with it.
Originally we were supposed to be moving the last of the stuff from Gram's apartment yesterday. We decided to reschedule for later due to the impending weather. (Saturday couldn't have been more gorgeous! Cold and clear and bright.) Gak still had off, although there was a moment when we thought they might try and get him to come in. We had a mostly lazy day. I was a bit productive though.
A few weeks ago, Gak and I picked up a pre-lit tree from Target. It was on sale and it actually looks pretty good. So, yesterday I made a tree skirt for it (don't look too close at the edges) and Gak assembled it and got the small box of "Christmas" out of the closet. While Gak took a nap I pulled everything out of the box and decorated. There isn't much.
The first thing I pulled out of the box however, made me stop and tear up a bit. It was one of the stockings Gram made for our family well over 23 years ago now. She crocheted stockings for all of us. Mom's and mine matched being made of red, white and green squares just different sizes. Hers matched Jon and Dad's; red, white and green striped in various sizes. I now have the one that was originally Mom's. I'm not sure where the other 4 are, probably in a box at Mom and Dad's. (Yes, Dad had a stocking, even though he celebrates Hanukkah, not Christmas; we all celebrated everything.)
Some of the other ornaments made me tear up a bit. There's one Gram bought me when I was a baby and another she made when I was about 5 or 6. There are the ducks that Jay bought us. There's the pine cone from Avery. I don't have many ornaments, but they all have stories. Even the three red, plastic apples. Those were also from Mom's first tree. She bought them in New Jersey on a shopping trip with Gram, Jay and Bill.
There is a Christmas Mouse candle holder. I only have a vague idea of where the Christmas Mouse tradition started, at least for our family. It started with Mom's first tree in her own place and one of the ornaments she bought at a church craft fair. It's a cute little walnut shell being used as a bed for a sleepy little mouse. We've always had at least one Christmas Mouse floating around. I think they're cute. (Then again, I am a Ratonga in the world of Norrath...)
No, I don't have pictures right now. I'll try and take some tonight and upload them. (I was going to yesterday, but got distracted by a shiny new DS...)
Well, I'd best get back to work.
Peace to all and may you have holiday traditions and good memories.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Florida Wrapup

Well, this week has been a decent one. The weather has been nice. The two guys I had were good people. I was able to wrap up today because I only had one guy left.
Tomorrow I'll probably just wander around a bit and try and stay out of trouble. I hope I can get back OK. The weather at home today is crappy and nasty. It is supposed to be clear tomorrow and then turn nasty again Saturday into Sunday. I'm so not looking forward to that.
I really don't have a whole lot to say today. I haven't been poking around on the net much because I've been checking mail and stuff from the office. I just can't see spending $10 a night on Internet service, when I'm sitting in a company office all day, and that's "free".
Oh, you won't be getting any pictures from this trip, as I left my camera at home. Oh well. That's life.
Well, I've got some emails and stuff to wrap up before I can escape. I hope everyone is having a good week. Like I said, nothing too exciting here.
Oh, I did forget to mention I get to drive a red "New" Beetle this week. It's really kinda fun. It has an amazing amount of headroom for a little car. If I owned it, I would paint the front black, put a black strip down the middle and a few spots. The color is just about lady bug red. I know, cheezy, but hey, I'd know it was mine!
Ok, peace to all and may your week be interesting.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


**Note, This was written on Tuesday, but for some reason didn't get posted when I told it to post!**

Well, there were no updates this weekend, because this weekend was just kinda cranky that way.

Saturday was one of those days when nothing went quite right. Gak had to close at a different store, one that I'd been past a while ago, but couldn't quite remember where it was. This lead to lots of fun time in the car with us getting snippy because the directions he had were good, but not quite right.

Saturday night I watched Zoe for Kat. Andy was at his holiday party and was going to pick up Gak on the way home. Kat was out with a few other friends to a concert. Gak and I just couldn't afford to go and besides, I was leaving in the morning for Tampa. Zoe was a major handful. It was almost like her ADD meds weren't working 100%. She was somewhat able to focus and everything, but just not quite. It was just enough to drive me batty. Andy was also about 15 minutes picking up Gak, so that was fun.

Sunday I was supposed to leave for Tampa. My flight was at noon. Gak had to be at work by 1. No problem. Well, about 9am I get an automated call from Delta. My flight's been canceled and they put me on the next one at 5pm. Uh-oh, how am I getting to the airport? Luckily Kat was available and it wasn't an issue. Well, along comes 3pm and I get another call about my flight canceled. This time they put me on a flight at noon Monday. Problem. I have to be in the office by noon Monday.

No problem, there's a flight at 7 out of Philly that will get me in by midnight. Not my idea of fun, but I'll still be there on time. (It turns out there was freezing rain up at Allentown. It was gray but dry at my house...) So, Kat and Scott pick me up and take me down to Philly. I get through security and grab a snack (I hadn't had dinner and didn't have time) and call back Abi. She'd called me as I was going through security. Well, about 5 minutes into the conversation, I look up at the board and see that my flight is delayed. And this delay will make me miss my Tampa connection. Crap.

Well, after waiting in line for a while, I get booked on the 6am (major UGH) flight out of Philly. I am able to convince Dad to come get me and then drop me back off in the morning. They live about 20 minutes closer to the airport than I do. I get up at 3am, head to the airport for my flight and amazingly enough, it all goes well. I manage to get in by 11:30, and to the office by 12:30. Mind you, I haven't had lunch. I've been up since 3am.

I was supposed to have 2.5 people this week. Well, one of them was a no-show. So, it is down to 1.5. The one guy left after today, the other is here through the end of the week. It'll be interesting at any rate. I knew I should have canceled this trip. Oh well. At least it is warm here.

The training itself has gone quite well, despite the guy here for a partial week is a total noob when it comes to our system. (It was only installed last week!) The other guy has been working with it for almost a year and one of our better customers has been teaching him how to do things. Hopefully we'll move through stuff much faster in the next few days.

Oh well. Such is life.

Ok. I just realized what time it is and that I'm hungry. I'm off to find some dinner. (I refuse to pay $10 a day for Internet at the hotel when I'm sitting in a corporate office all day...) Oh, yeah, and I forgot my camera so even though I have the afternoon off tomorrow, you won't be getting any pictures. Sorry.

Peace to all and may you not have any travel trials.

Friday, December 07, 2007


Just a quick little post to tell my friend (an engineer here at the office) Don that he's old!!
Actually, he's not. To me, he's still a kid. He turns 25 today. Several of us from the office were supposed to go out to dinner Tuesday, but with everything else going on in my life, we had to change plans. I have no idea when we'll be able to go out. You may remember my post about this last year. We all went out at about this time and decided we needed to do this more often. Well, it hasn't happened. I tried in March but all hell broke loose then too. I think I'm not the one to plan these things. If I do, something breaks. Oh well.
Other than that, nothing really new since yesterday. I just wanted to laugh at Don publicly.
Peace to all and may you have friends to laugh with.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Yesterday was a long day. Gak and I left here between 8 and 9 and got down to Maryland right about noon. It was a bit of a tough drive because it started snowing. It looks like this is going to be a rough winter. Actually, most of the snow was south, there wasn't much of anything going on up here.
My friend Michelle joined us shortly after we got there. Dad and Jon got there about 45 minutes later. All of us really tried to get as much done around Gram's apartment as possible. We got a lot of stuff packed up and is still sitting in my car. We sorted a lot of stuff to either take to Goodwill or leave for the rummage sale. It was a lot of work, but Michelle helped us sooo much. I need to talk to Kat and see when I can enlist some of our friends to help move some furniture and big stuff up here.
The memorial service was very nice. I'm trying to figure out who Gram didn't know in that place. There were so many residents who came and lots of 'family' who came as well. It was great to see some of them, who I haven't seen in quite a while. It was really nice that pretty much the entire Stradley clan came. Linda's husband had to go back and the 'kids' (my age-ish) didn't come either. There were also several other family members from another part of my family that we don't see much. It was nice of them to come.
It took us until about 7 or shortly there after to get out of there. The snow was still coming down there, but the roads were clear. We didn't get home until about 11:30 though. Because of the weather, traffic was moving slower than usual, but that was expected. What wasn't expected was being stuck on 15 for about an hour as they were cleaning up from a previous accident. There was a tractor trailer that was in the median facing our way. So they were going to pull it out and up the ramp where we were. Therefore we had to sit and wait. It wasn't that bad except I was getting tired.
Well, I guess I've got to get my butt in gear and get into the office. I told my boss on Monday that I'd be in by noon today, so I guess I'd better get moving. It's only 9, but still, I've got stuff to take care of.
Peace to all and may you have friends and family.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Sorry for the lack of posting over the past several days. I just haven't felt like it. I kept thinking I should over the weekend, but I just never did.
Today was a very exciting day in the world of Gak and Addey. We had our first prenatal appointment. Yes, that's right. I'm pregnant again. According to the blood work we had done a few weeks ago, I'm at about 12 weeks. According to the ultrasound, I should be at about 14 weeks. According to my travel schedule, I'm at about 12 weeks. (Besides, have you seen how big Gak is?)
My mom and dad already knew; and Mom told Gram before she passed. After everything that happened in August, Gram kept asking mom if she was for real and not just saying that. No, Gram, she wasn't just saying that to make you smile. It's true, you have a great-grandbaby on the way.
It was a very exciting appointment. The technician doing the ultrasound was the same woman as the last time. She kept looking at the screen, my charts and the little calculator wheel thing and couldn't believe the date it came up with. I know it was an impossibility because I was in Chicago at the time and the next week was the week I barely saw Gak. We're both pretty sure it was the week of his birthday, so Happy Birthday Gak! We have some blurry ultrasound pictures that you can almost see what should be the baby. We got to hear the heartbeat. That was purely a magical moment for both Gak and I. It made it real. For the last several weeks, since I found out I was pregnant, I just haven't had time to focus on it. Mom asked me if I was happy, and I said yes, but in reality I was mostly numb. Sure, I was happy to be pregnant again, but it was more of a "this is nice" as opposed to "Wow! You knew exactly what I wanted for my birthday and it is perfect!" kind of happy.
Ok. I just realized that last paragraph jumped all over the place. That's about as well as my brain is working right this moment. I've had almost no "morning sickness" to report. Just a little bit of general nausea and feeling like I'm bloated/gassy/uncomfortable. (I know, just what you wanted to hear.) Mostly it's been the heartburn. I'm soooo thankful that Tums are safe and allowed. I'll probably be going through lots more in the next few months. The baby is due sometime between May 30th and June 17th, depending on which conception dates you use. (Personally, I'm leaning more towards June than May, but I may be wrong...)
Anyhow, I've got to get going. I've got another doctor's appointment tomorrow and to pick up my brother from the airport, so I've got lots of things to clear off my plate today.
Peace to all and may your lives be filled with pleasant surprises

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Goodbye Gram

Well, I got the phone call last night. Actually, it was about 12:45 this morning. I should say, mom called, but I didn't hear the phone until the last ring and thought it was my imagination.
My beloved grandmother, Ruth Elizabeth Chaddick, passed away at about 12:30 am today. According to Mom it was quick and painless. Her breathing had been labored all day. Mom did get to tell her she loved her one last time earlier in the morning. Around midnight they were sure it would be soon. Very shortly thereafter Gram made a few vocalizations and then slipped away.
She is at peace.
Mom is mostly at peace.
So am I.
It's been tough, but I honestly think that both Mom and I have been doing bits and pieces of grieving over the last few weeks. We knew the end was coming, so we could prepare for it. It was tough for me in St. Croix because I was at the beach and knew it would be the last time I called her from the sand. But that's OK. Seeing her last Monday was tough because I was pretty sure it would be the last time. But that's OK. She's out of pain, she was ready to go, and now she's in peace.
The memorial service will be held next Wednesday at where she lived. Mom and the pastor had set it all up yesterday, figuring that the end would have come by then. Gram had pretty much written it herself over the last few years, giving Mom material from other services she'd liked. It all just came together on its own.
The picture above is from Gak's and my wedding two years ago now. It's the most recent picture I have and how I want to remember her. She was a feisty, strong, smart, kind and wonderful woman. She taught me so many things and gave me so many tools; not just the wonderful gift of her crochet hooks or buying me a new sewing machine last year when we moved. She taught me through her actions to be strong, stick up for myself and that I can do just about anything if I really want to. In many senses of the word, she is my hero.
I will miss you horribly, but you will always be a part of me and have made me a much stronger person.
Peace to all and may you have special people in your lives.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quick Update

Just a quick little update as things are a bit hectic around here.
Gram is dying. (No news there...) As in, we weren't sure she was going to make it through the night. We're not heading to Md yet, as she's still with us and I feel like I got my chance to say goodbye to her last Monday. Mom told Jon it was up to him when he decides to come out. He's been told he can take the time he needs. I emailed him to let him know I'll be able to pick him up from the airport whenever he gets in.
Another family friend has passed. Dillard A. Stradley, better known as Strad, passed away this morning. Mom and I are both surprised that he's lasted this much longer than Pat. I'm pretty sure I posted about her passing last October. Strad's been in bad shape for a very long time. This is definitely a release. He, well both him and Pat, were very important to my Gram and to my Mom. Mom grew up with their kids almost as siblings in many ways. It was always the Stradleys plus Ruth and Susie. I will miss him.
Can I tell you I'm sick of saying goodbye? I thought about it a bit this morning. If 2007 has been the year of death and loss, that can only mean that 2008 is the year of birth and new beginnings right? Right? Please, someone tell me I'm right...
Lastly, and probably the most positive, my friend Steve who got home from Iraq a few weeks back is receiving his own command. The ceremony is today up in New York. Kat, Scott and some others are going. This means I get to watch Zoe tonight. (Oh, darn, I have to spend time with my niece!)
Well, I've got a mountain of paperwork to climb so that if Mom calls, I can just turn off the computer and bolt. Yes, I will keep you posted. It may be a little delayed, but I will keep you posted.
Peace to all and may you not be living on eggshells.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Belated Birthdays and Other Odities

First off, a few belated birthday wishes. Dad's birthday was last week, while I was in St. Croix. Mine was yesterday. I don't think either one of us did much of anything. I know had the luxury of being able to spend the day in my PJs. I had plans for more productive and fun things, but I didn't get to any of them. Happy early birthday to my friend Ed, who's birthday is the 27th and Abi on the 30th. (She's exactly 51 weeks older than me. I have no idea what their plans are.
I'm not sure why, but I just haven't felt like blogging the last few weeks. I guess I'm just tired of everything. I haven't really had much positive to say and there's only so much down I feel like typing. I'm just really looking forward to the holidays and the new year.
I know I had something interesting to say when I sat down to write. Somehow, it seems to have left my brain. Maybe because it's past my bed time. I'm actually looking forward to being in the office the next two weeks. I've got a metric ton of work to get done before the quarterly training in Florida. I haven't had a whole lot of help from anyone on this this year, and it shows. I've also got a lot of work that needs to be done by the end of the year, I just hope I can get there from here. No matter what anyone else says, I just don't feel like I've been at the top of my game this year at work. Amazingly enough though, no one else seems to think so. I guess, as usual, I expect too much of myself. Nothing new or unusual there, just ask my Dad.
Ok. I'm really just rambling. I'm going to log off now and get some sleep.
Peace to all and may your days be good.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgivin

I know... Thanksgiving is just about over. I just didn't get around to posting before.
Today Mom took the day off. She didn't want to see anyone, go anywhere or do anything. I don't blame her. She's been running herself ragged. That and I'm sure everything that's going on with Gram is really beginning to weigh heavily on her, no matter how much in recent week's she's said it hasn't.
So, Gak and I went over to Kat's today. I made a loaf of honey whole wheat bread (in the bread machine) and an apple crisp. She made just about everything else. Zoe was with her daddy this evening, but we had Kat's mom, Scott and his parents, Steve and even Stewart showed up. It was a good meal and good friends. We all had some laughs and enjoyed ourselves. We all ate too much.
It was a little odd not being with my parents today. I've only ever done that once before, the year I spent in Oklahoma. Then, like today, I spent it at a friend's house that time with a lot of other 'refugees' who didn't have a 'home' to go to or weren't able to get there. It meant a lot at the time, although I didn't stay close friends with any of the people there for long. I've lost contact with all of the people who were there that day. Gak was home with his parents, so he wasn't at that gathering.
Anyhow, that was an odd trip down memory lane, or at least past it. I hope everyone had a good day, with good food, good friends and good times. Peace to all and may we all remember to be thankful for all the wonderful things in our lives.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Picture Time! (or not...)

Ok. I promised you all pictures on Sunday. I finally had a chance to download the pictures from the camera, clean them up and pick the best. You can see everything I thought worth sharing over on my Flickr. Unfortunately, Blogger is having issues when I try and insert pictures. I guess you'll just have to go over to Flicker. *Sigh* I really wanted to share them here!

Yesterday Gak and I went down to Maryland to help get Gram's apartment in order. It's a long task and will probably take Mom several more weekends. She's not pushing herself to get it done. Sure, it'll cost us (Gram) more money the longer we take, but that's not the big concern right now. Parts of the day were hard. Shortly after getting there the three of us went down to Gram's new room to visit. They all sang Happy Birthday to me (it's Friday) and she gave me a little gift and a card. I didn't read the card out loud. I'm not sure I could have. The gift was a little angel (not angle) from her collection. She and Mom have gone through her huge collection and have decided who will get which one for Christmas this year. I know that when she does go, I'll have my own angel looking down on me.
Gak and I also decided we'd inherit the dining room furniture as well as the good dishes and a few other things. We found some real treasures, at least to me. We found some of Gram's old Girl Scout membership cards from when she was young. Scouts was something very important in my life and she always encouraged me in it, so these were really special to me. Mom's going to gather them and some other Scout stuff she's found and frame it all together. It'll look great. I also came home with a foot stool that Bill Baumgardner made at Log Cabin Hill ages ago, a few mugs and something else even more special.
Gram is the one who taught me to crochet when I was about 7 or 8. She taught me how to do needlepoint with plastic canvas when I was about 5 or 6. She always has encouraged me in my crafty explorations. She's always claimed that she's a very good technician, but not much of an artist. Artist or not, when I was little, what she did was magic! Mom found in her sewing things the little red vinyl zipper pouch I remember from childhood. In it was about 30 or 40 crochet hooks of various sizes and styles. There were also a few yarn needles for weaving in ends. I will treasure them for ever. I know it makes her happy that I've picked up the hooks again. I think of her often as I'm hooking along. Just one of the many ways she'll always be with me.

Well, I've got to go pick up Gak from work, and then I'm probably going to crash. I've got some odds and ends to do tomorrow to get ready for Thanksgiving. This year Mom it completely taking the day off. Gak and I are going to Kat's for dinner and Mom and Dad are having sandwiches. I don't blame her, she hasn't had a day off in almost a year practically with everything that's been going on.
Peace to all and may you have pictures that post and a loving connection to the past.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Week in Review...

For starters, I'm sorry I didn't write this week. I wanted to, I have lots to say, I just didn't have a working connection on my trip.
To St. Croix.
No, I didn't really try all that hard to get a working connection.

And I know this won't sound nice to any of you, but yesterday I was in sunshine and 85 degrees and today I'm watching it snow. Talk about surreal... (and not quite fair, I wasn't done with the beach yet!)

Anyhow, Let me get the tough part of the entry written. I'm talking about Gram. It's looking like we've got a matter of weeks with her, not months. It is sinking in and it hurts like crazy. I know it's finally really hit mom hard from the conversation I had with her today. I just hope she realizes all she needs to do is pick up the phone and I will do everything in my power to be there, yesterday if possible. Jon would do the same, except for this whole living on the other side of the country. Gak's here for her as much as I am.
Last weekend Gram made the decision that she didn't want to keep the apartment any more. She thought she was going to go into a Hospice house. It would be free/very inexpensive, but she'd only have about 30 days. Monday Mom went down to Maryland to talk everything over with Gram and figure everything out. Out of the blue, they remembered some CDs that she'd started for just this purpose, that they'd both forgotten about. This means that she can afford to stay where she is, for 8 or 9 months before the money runs out. I know this made me happier, I'm pretty sure it made mom feel better too. I mean, staying where she's at until the end is one thing, but, even though we know it's coming pretty quick, there's just something so depressing about the word Hospice.
Tuesday while I was flying down to St. Croix, Mom was moving Gram into the assisted living wing. I did get a brief chance to talk to Gram Tuesday night. She says she's at peace and not afraid to die. I believe her. I've known this for quite some time. I remember waking up one morning back in late August or early September (before we knew the extent of the bone cancer) after a strange and powerful dream. I don't remember where we were, but I was talking with Gram. She told me that she was at peace and was ready to accept whatever was going to happen. I'm not sure how much was wishful sub-conscious thinking, or if our souls actually touched. I like to think we talked soul to soul. Gram is happy knowing that Mom, Jon and I are all happy and healthy. She is at peace with her life and is ready for when the end comes. I just hope I can find the peace to let her go when the time comes.
Mom went down again today. Gak and I are heading down tomorrow. We're to help mom go through the stuff in the apartment and figure out what to do with it all. Mom talked to the doctor Wednesday. It looks like things are going down fast, although in the last few days Gram's perked up quite a bit and has been eating. I think all the stress of actually having the apartment and having to 'take care of' it is gone. Now she can just be and do what she wants too, nothing more.
I do hope she holds on until Jon and Becca get out here next month. Just because it's been 2 years now since Jon has seen Gram. I know it will always be a sore and awkward point with me and Gak that we didn't go down to OK earlier in the week his father passed. But that situation was much, much more sudden.

Well, that's all the update I have on Gram. I want to talk about fun stuff now.

My trip to St. Croix was almost perfect. The only problems were I had to work, and more importantly Gak (and possibly my other friends) weren't there. The weather was great. The people were friendly. The scenery was beautiful. Work wasn't all that bad either.
Tuesday was a bit fun... I had to wake up earlier than usual, so that Dad could take me to the airport, since I was flying out of Philly. We had to leave the house by about 5:30, so I would have plenty of time. I don't enjoy that. The flight to San Juan was uneventful, if a little long. I didn't have the ipod with me. (It's been acting strange lately and I'm trying to figure out what's going on). I had the game boy, but it doesn't always satisfy for a 4-hour ride. I left my book sitting on the headboard of my bed at my parents'. Oops. Landing in St. Thomas was interesting. I think they had to make the island bigger to accommodate the 757 we were on. I seriously thought we were going to touch down in the water for a moment. Kinda scary but cool all the same. I was on a tinny little Cesna for the hop to St. Croix. It was pretty cool actually. All I have to say is the Caribbean is blue or... well, maybe turquoise really is a better description.
The real adventure of the day came with the fact that my flight to St. Croix was about 15 minutes late because it was raining in St. Thomas, but not St. Croix. One of my contacts at the plant met me at the airport. The problem is, my luggage didn't make it. After waiting for the next flight and still no luggage, we find out that it got left on the ramp in St. Thomas by American Airlines and hadn't made it to Cape Air. It eventually made it on the last flight of the night, but by then Ria and I had driven halfway around the island to the plant, my hotel, dinner and back again.
Driving on the left hand side is scary! Or at least a little nerve-wracking when you have to make a turn. I only made one potentially serious mistake and that was on my way to the airport because I stopped paying attention. I was so glad last night to finally be driving on the right (not to mention correct) side of the road again.
The training went well. Tuesday my contact asked me if I could extend my trip by another day. They would pay for it, so I had no issues with that. (Remember, it's snowing today here at home...) I did wish that I was home, but more from a 'gone too long' point of view that an 'I hate this place' feeling.
If you've been to Key West, you have a pretty good idea of what, at least parts of, Christianstead is like. Christianstead is the bigger of the two towns on the island. I don't enjoy driving into the town, at least not from the direction I was coming from. I finally made it into town and found a parking spot yesterday morning. It was beautiful. Yes, I have lots of pictures. Give me a chance to download them, sort them and posted. I'll share, I promise.
I did get to see lots of the island in the week I was there. I was staying more or less in the middle of nowhere. (Pretty much if you weren't in one of the two towns or right near the plant, you weren't near much.) I know I had lots more to say, but it's just not coming. I promise to write more tomorrow or Tuesday once I get a chance to go through the pictures.
I must say, if you get the chance, go to the Virgin Islands, or anywhere in the Caribbean. The people are friendly. The skies are blue and the water more so. Even when it rains it is pretty. It's also nice to just slow down and go with the flow of the life down there. You can feel the stress just leaving. (Unless you're crying on the beach because you won't be able to share that experience with your Grandmother in the near future, but that's a different story, and I was done talking about that for now...)

Anyhow, I've got some things to do before I pick up Gak from work later. (Not to mention catch up on a little game time and some web pages...) Peace to all and may you see the beauty in the world and have someone to share it with.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Well, I thought I was going over to Kat's last night so she and Scott could go grab coffee or something. I don't mind watching Zoe for a bit so Kat can have some 'human' time instead of 'mommy' time. Besides, it gives me an excuse to play with my niece.
Kat and Scott disappear around 7 to go for a drive. Zoe and I watch some Discovery channel, play with some of her dolls and her Legos. We kept it a pretty low key evening. Around 8 she got into her PJs and settled in on the couch to watch some Mythbusters (a favorite with both of us). Around 8:45 Drew comes over to say good night and get some daddy-daughter time. I can't argue with that. She was still mostly awake and it wasn't 'lights out' time quite yet.
Then around 9 or 9:15 I get a huge surprise.
Kat gets home.
With Gak!
Yep, you heard me. Gak changed his flight, didn't tell me and had Kat and Scott pick him up from the airport all to surprise me. I knew he'd looked into coming home early last week. I figured he hadn't because it wasn't worth $50 to come home a few days early. Apparently, he figured it was. He was right.
When I'd talked to him in the morning he told me he was going out with Ronnie and then over to a friend's house where cell reception was iffy at best. I believed him. I called him and left a message when I got home. I was kinda worried at about not having heard from him by about 8pm or so... actually, I was trying to figure out why he hadn't called me by about 4 or 5. Well, now I know.
I'm soooo glad he came home last night. Now I'll get a few days with him before I have to head out again.

In other news, both Jon and Becca will be here for a few days over the Christmas holiday time. Mom just got the confirmation of their tickets in an email earlier. I'm really glad. I can't wait to see both of them. I miss my brother. I wish at times we didn't live so freakingly far apart. (I know, this is not normal for most of my friends... they'd love it if their siblings lived further away...)

Well, that's all I have to say for now. It's been a somewhat hectic day at work, trying to catch up on everything.
Peace to all and may you have some pleasant surprises in your life!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Well, it looks like November just might be a sparse posting month.
In a way, I guess this isn't such a bad thing, that hopefully means things are fairly even right now. Or at least as even as they can be. Life's been very hectic recently. It will probably get more so as we reach the holidays, starting next week with Dad's birthday.
This week I was in the St. Louis area. No, I didn't get a picture of the Arch. I did drive past it on the highway in the evening Monday. It was pretty, but rush hour.
I had originally thought about trying to get together with Chelsea and Michael yesterday evening, but that fell through when we all had emergency trips and totally let the ball drop on that. Sorry guys, I should have thought about it earlier and bugged you about it last week too... Oh well.
Other than that, it's not been a bad week. I'm tired. I really dislike 6am flights no matter what time zone I'm in. I did get home by about 1 though, so that was good. It meant I could grab lunch and take a nap. I like naps. I did get a chance to catch up a bit with Abi last night. Unfortunately, I had to cut the call short because of the afore mentioned 6am flight. I still need to call Gram this week. I definitely have to call her next week.
Next week I'm going to St. Croix for a few days.
For work.
Don't say it, I've already been told.
By multiple people.
Apparently, life's not fair.

I really hate to think that this may be the last time I call Gram from a beach. I know I'll always think of her when I'm at a beach. It's a long, complicated connection that means more to the heart than I can put in words.
Ok. I told myself I wouldn't be like this. I'm going to be positive and glad for the time I have, and the wonderful times I have had already, not mopey and sad about what I'm going to loose eventually.

Well, I'm going to fiddle around with a few things here at the house. Then I'm going over to Kat's for a bit this evening. We haven't hung out in a while. It'll be nice to catch up with her and Zoe. Besides, she's feeding me.
Peace to all and may you have good times.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I'm sorry I haven't posted anything since Wednesday. It has been a long, emotional and tiring couple of weeks around here. I think it all finally caught up with me.
My trip out to Western PA went smoothly. Well, mostly. I thought I'd left in plenty of time to be at the plant by 7, but it was dark, rainy and I misread the directions. This meant I got there about 20 minutes late. It was an interesting group and an interesting day. I could have driven home that afternoon, but a 5 or so hour drive on top of a 6 hour training day didn't sound like fun a few weeks ago when I was planning the trip, so I stayed an extra night.
The drive home was pretty and uneventful. I made good time getting home. I drove past Hickory Run, as that was the Turnpike exit I needed. I thought about stopping, but I was tired, feeling a little out of sorts despite the sunny day and just wanted to get home again. I did admire the colors and the scenery, but just wanted to be done with the trip.
Yesterday was a complete and total wash. About the most exciting thing I did was group with Syn and Charitee for a bit in the evening. That and I spent a lot of time reading. The laundry didn't get done. The house didn't get cleaned up any. Oh well. I've got some work I've got to do today so I can head out again tomorrow. I plan on getting to the laundry after I post this... although church will be out by then most likely so it'll be crowded. Such fun.

My friend Chelsea has an interesting post up. Go read it. Her husband Michael's grandmother passed this week. They got the call last weekend that she was fading fast. They were able to go and say goodbye, even though it meant a 10-hour trek to Wisconsin. I wish we'd been able to tell Gak's dad goodbye. I wish we'd been able to go out earlier in the week instead of after the fact. I'm not sure if I've really told you how tough my Gram has it right now. We know this will be her last fight. How long the fight will last, we don't know. We all hope she makes it to 85, but we don't want that if she's going to be in tons and tons of pain. I just hope I get to say bye when the time is closer. I hope my stupid travel schedule doesn't have me halfway across the country or world when the time comes. This must be even harder on my brother. He lives all the way out in California. I'm not sure I'd say that Gram and I are closer than Jon and Gram, but our relationships are different. (Also, he's a boy and is very good at hiding his emotions, even from me.) Jon is coming home at Christmas time. I still don't know for sure if Becca is coming, but I hope she does. I just can't imagine how hard it will be for him to say bye over the holidays and know the next time he comes back, she'll be gone. I mean, I hope like crazy she's got another 6 to 10 months in her, but she doesn't think so. I'll take her word on this, since she's living in her body, not me. Heck, I know how hard it is for me to even write these things and think about the fact that I may only get to see her a few times myself over the next few months.
Well, that was a really long and rambling paragraph. But it just is part of the emotional roller coaster I'm on right now. One minute I'm OK with the thought and glad to have an answer to what's been causing so much trouble for her. The next minute I'm a sobbing mess, unable to get past the personal hurt and fear to realize how much pain she's really in. I'm just soooo glad I have Gak to lean on. It's harder right now because he's not home. He will be in less than a week. Unfortunately, a few days later it's my turn to vanish, yet again, for about 4 days.
Well, I've got laundry to do, a house to try and clean and work that needs attention. I'd best focus on what needs doing and let my emotions settle themselves out on their own. (They tend to do this better when I'm not looking anyhow...)
Peace to all and may you have good family moments in the months to come.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 again!

Well, I'm home again only to turn around and head out the door in a few hours. It was a mostly uneventful trip yesterday. The drive to Dallas wasn't too bad and the 3-hour layover in Chicago (Midway, not O'Hare!) could have been worse.
It was a bit odd trying to sleep last night. I do believe this is the first night I've spent totally alone in this apartment. It really shouldn't have been weird, I stay by myself all the time when I'm on the road. But... it still was. Who knows?
Today I'm heading out towards Pittsburgh. It'll be about a 5 or 6 hour drive. Sounds like fun, huh? At least the weather is looking nice.
Gak is still in Oklahoma right now. He'll be coming home on the 10th. He's got a lot of work ahead of him. He finished up getting dad's garden to the point where Brian can attack it with the weed eater. Now he's got to help his mom go through all the stuff in the house. She's got to go through all of Dad's old things and decide what to give away, what to trash and all that fun stuff. This has to be done soon because there needs to be room for Brian to move back in. We're still not sure exactly when he's moving back into the house, but I'll leave that up to everyone else to figure out.
I just mostly wanted to post this quick update to let you know that I'm home for the moment, but about to head out the door. I also wanted to point you to my Flickr for the pictures from the funeral. I have several more of Gak's dad and family, but they're all on CD and haven't made it to the computer yet. I'll try and get that done at some point.
Peace to all and may your life be not quite so hectic.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Catching My Breath

This week has been long and hard. Thank you Chelsea and Joe for your well wishes. Joe, I'll put a link up to your blog in a bit here. Joe is one of the guys I've worked with for years now. Well, actually, I guess he qualifies as customer, but I don't really like the sound of that. He's been using the software I support for longer then I've been with the company. I used to be the one primarily responsible for keeping his, and most of the rest of the Colorado systems up and running when they would call with problems. He's one of the ones I've missed talking with on a regular basis. You should hop over to his blog and check out his Flickr. He takes some very wonderful pictures of the amazing Colorado scenery. If I had scenery like that, I'd be able to take such amazing pictures too.
I'm still glad that they gave Gak's dad the honors they did. His parents met when they were both in the Navy. His mom didn't stay in long. She jokingly says she stayed in long enough to meet Gak's dad. Gak also served in the Navy. I'm proud of that fact. I'm proud of all my friends that have served this country in one form or another.
The last two days have been much less hectic than the rest of the week. Yesterday one of our good friends from school was coming down to Ada from Kansas for the weekend. We went over to Ada for the day and had a good time just hanging out. We got back a little late though. This afternoon Gak and I went back over there. Mind you, for those who have no clue about the geography of Oklahoma, where Gak's parents live is about an hour or so south of Oklahoma City. Ada is about 30-40 miles east-ish of the town they live in. Luckily, this means only about a 35 minute drive, even though it's all on back highways. Oklahoma is much more empty and much flatter than PA. This means travel tends to take less time. It's pretty country, but I miss roads that curve some days when I'm out here. Today was another calm day for us.
It was nice to just hang around with friends and relax. I just wish there was some way to get my Oklahoma and my Pennsylvania friends together. I'm pretty sure we'd all have a ton of fun.
Gak's mom had a bit of a rough day. She said she spent most of the day in a funk. Even though I've never been through the hurt and loss she has, I know this is normal. I try and tell her that, but I know it doesn't matter how many times I (or anyone else) say it, it doesn't matter. I don't like seeing her upset, but I know that all these emotions have to work themselves through her head and heart. There is a huge gap now. I'm afraid of how I'd feel if I lost Gak, and we've only been married 2 years now. They were married almost 40. I can't imagine the whole left in her heart.
Brian will be moving in here as soon as possible, mostly because he doesn't want to pay another month's rent if he's moving soon anyhow. (I'm not 100% sure I follow the logic, but that's OK.) I really think Gak's mom needs at least a little time to her self, alone. That's part of why Gak and I left today. (That and wanting to see our friends again.) She needs time when no one is around to judge her or try and console her as she goes through this loss. I'd never judge her harshly for loving her husband so much that she can't just smile and move on in a week. That's ridiculous.
Ok. I'm rambling and wandering, so I think I'll stop typing now. I'm going to go curl up with the Nintendo DS and play video games for a bit before passing out.
Peace to all and may you have many relaxing days with friends and many loved ones to help you up.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Goodbye James Richard Brady

Today we said our goodbyes to a wonderful man. I have to tell you, I'm kinda sick of people right about now. Not that anyone has been mean or stupid or anything like that. It's just that I'm on people overload, and I don't do well with that.
The funeral was nice. I'm not so sure how much I like the one preacher. There was something that just rubbed me and Gak the wrong way slightly. He wasn't mean or anything, or even pushy or slimy, just something didn't quite sit right. There were a few things that bugged me. For instance, around here Gak is known by his middle name. No big deal, it's just a little confusing for me. What was annoying is that in the obit they gave him the wrong first name instead of his initial. (For those few who haven't figured it out or don't know, Gak isn't his real name, but the name he usually uses online, so what I call him here and when we're in game...) Actually, I think what annoyed me most about that whole deal was the fact that his mother didn't want to use his first name in the obit. I tried hard to keep that to myself, but I'm not sure I seceded. The other thing was during the opening obit part of the funeral. The brother that I don't quite like was doing this part. He'd been over to the house a few nights ago talking with us about what we remembered. Unfortunately, both stories he told were from Brian, his brother. He attributed the one to Gak, but it wasn't. That just bugs me some times. Those were the annoying bits, but that's really not all that bad.
So many people knew and loved Gak's dad. He was a kind and wonderful man. He served this country in the Navy for 30 years. He served the county as a deputy for another 12. He was always kind to everyone, and that was made clear at the funeral.
Because of his service in the Navy, we were able to get some representatives from the guard unit in the City. The casket was draped with a flag. They gave him a 21-gun salute. They played taps. The flag was folded and presented to Gak's mother. It was very touching. It's nice to see the respect for a retired sailor, even though these kids wouldn't have known him from anyone on the street. Dad would have been deeply moved and very appreciative. The flag ceremony was the hardest part for me. That and seeing the slides of all the pictures we'd gathered. Gathering the pictures the other day, I was fine. Seeing them up there and displayed for everyone, that was hard. He really was a kind man. I know I keep saying that, but it's true.
I do have some pictures from the funeral, but I haven't downloaded them yet. I'll get them up soon.
Peace to all and may you enjoy your family while you have them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Family update

Well, it's been a hectic few days, but I think things are beginning to settle a bit.
Our trip out here Saturday went well. Or about as well as it could all things considered. The first leg was fine, we had plenty of room. The second leg was quite painful, especially for Gak. We lucked out and were able to only have 2 of the three seats taken. That's where the good luck ends. The seats on this plane were much more closely packed together. Not good news for Gak. Even worse news was when the extremely large woman in front of him decided to recline her seat all the way back. I'm surprised Gak could breathe. The added insult was when she tried to use his knee as an arm rest! Luckily we made it to DFW in one piece and on time even. Getting the rental car was a bit painful, but it could have been worse. The ride home was long, but not bad because it was the middle of the night and very little traffic.
Sunday we had people in and out all day. We went over to the funeral home to make arrangements. All I have to say, is Uncle Raymond has been a blessing and a rock for mom. Considering they lost their brother earlier this year, it's been tough on them.
Gak's mom seems to be taking things in stride. There are good moments and there are bad moments. But she says it's getting a little easier for the moment. It'll be really bad at the funeral Thursday.
That's right, the funeral isn't until Thursday. That's because there were three deaths within a few hours on Saturday. The week prior was busy for the funeral home as well. You've got to remember, Paoli (said pay-o-lah) is a very small town of around 500. The funeral home is in Paul's Valley, which is quite a bit bigger, but still, this is small town Oklahoma we're talking about. This whole town has been hit hard in the past year. Some days it's like walking on eggshells when someone says "have you heard about so-an-so?"
Gak is doing fairly well. It was very hard when we went over to the funeral home yesterday to see his dad. His dad looks good, but there's no denying he's gone. That man had enough life to fill three houses with his energy. It's gone. The spark that was Jim is no longer there. It's quite sad, but it's peaceful. I'm here for my Bear and will be. I'm as here as I can be for his mom. I do care about her a lot, but I connected more with Gak's dad. His presence will be sorely missed.
Today Gak and I went up to Norman with one of his buddies from high school. We fiddled around a bit and bought a few things. We weren't needed at the house because Raymond had to take Mom over to Adda for a court hearing. She's been fighting for her disability Social Security for a few years now. The bad news is that her court hearing has been moved to January. The good news is that she'll probably get most of Dad's retirement. There have also been some other good news about things today. Things are looking up, at least for now. We will see what Thursday brings.
Well, everyone's home again so I'd better get off of here.
Peace to all and may your family be strong and full of love.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

OK. I Quit!

Well, you can take most of what I wrote in that last entry and kiss it goodbye.

James Richard Brady, we will miss you.

We honestly did think things were going well as of yesterday evening. I mean, we even enjoyed our evening here with friends playing on the Wii and relaxing (the football game was canceled due to rain). Gak started pricing tickets for January so we could find the best deal and let people know when we were heading out. The last conversation Gak had with his mom last night was that dad was resting quietly and was coherent and not calling his brother by the wrong name for the first time all week. We were still looking at a Wednesday release from the hospital.

This morning started out well too. I woke up kinda early, got their birthday presents ready to ship out and played on EQ a bit.

Gak had just showered and was getting ready for work when his phone rang.
It was his mom.
I didn't know it at the time, I was hanging out with Charitee and Syn in the game, trying not to let the mushroom men kill me.
From the bedroom I hear a "WHAT?!?!?!?!"
Uh-oh was all I could think.
I don't think I'll forget the look on his face. If someone could both be pale and beet red, he managed it.
His dad had passed.
We didn't make it home.
He will never get to use the blanket I made him for his birthday, which is Monday.

After a frantic hour or so, we call just about everyone we think we need to call. (Oh, I just remembered I have a dr. appointment on Tuesday I'll have to cancel...) We've got plane tickets. We're heading down to OK this evening. I'll be coming home on the 30th. Gak will be coming home at some point. We only got him a one-way ticket because of everything that's got to be taken care of now. It's OK. If we can book far enough out, a return ticket from OK on Southwest is less than $200.00 (closer to 100 actually...). We'll find the way to make it happen.
Gak had given me extra money out of his pay check yesterday, since everything was looking good, I went ahead and electronically paid bills with it to try and get ahead of the credit cards. Now, I really need that $300.00. We will survive. We have in the past. Mom is lending us the money to rent a car for the 10 days I'm out there. (I wouldn't have, but since we're getting in at 11pm and can't get ahold of Charlotte and I know another car will be helpful....) Mike, Gak's old boss lent us $300.00. He says he gave it to us, we say he lent it to us. Gak's going to pay it back and/or work hours for him over the holidays when things are hectic. This also means we won't be picking up a second car soon.

This is just one more reason I want it to be 2008 already. I'm trying to give up feeling good about the good news and overwhelmed by the bad. I'm trying really hard to just float through for the next few months. It won't happen. I'm an emotional person. I love my husband, my family and my friends too much.
Please, just let it be 2008.
Peace to all and hug your family close, we only get them for a short time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Everyone Breathe....

Talk about a roller coaster of a week. Things seem to be on the upswing again.
I do feel guilty that I haven't called Gram this week. I really need to. I need to see if/when the week of my birthday would be good for me to come down and spend a little time with her. I know, it's a month off yet, but with my brain, I've got to start thinking about it now.

As far as Gak's dad goes, they think they finally figured out what the problem was. It wasn't a stroke, the EEG and CAT came back ok. They did a spinal Wednesday evening and that came back clear. They, somehow, finally figured out that he probably had a very mild heart attack, which coupled with the blood thinners, caused the brain to go a little flaky. He's been getting better and stronger and less restless and more with it the last two days. This is good. This makes us happy. If everything continues to go well, he will be released Wednesday. Here's hoping.
Gak and I aren't heading down to OK next week. There isn't much we can do at this point and it's not a huge emergency any more. Going down or not going down is a no-win situation as far as I'm concerned. If we go down there, we'll get yelled at for "wasting our money... it wasn't that big of an emergency... every thing's OK now"; but if we don't go now, in a couple of months the guilt trip of us being so far away and not coming home etc will start. Like I said, we can't win. It'll become something 'tragic' no matter what. I've resigned myself to this. We are, however, planning on heading down after the new year. Gak knows he and his brother have a lot of things to sort out between themselves and with their parents about situations. Neither of the parents are getting any younger, and this just proves that their dad's health isn't getting any better.

Well, the week is hopefully ending on a good note, so that's a start. This weekend should be interesting. I have no idea what, exactly, is planned. We may be going to the high school foot ball game tonight (if it stops raining long enough) because Al is working ticket sales. We may end up just crashing at our place or Kat's. We have no idea what's on tap for tomorrow either. Joanie and the kids may be showing up tonight or tomorrow, who knows. With her, I don't hold my breath. It'll be a crowded weekend, but we'll make the best of it. I half want a quiet weekend at home alone, but I know that would drive me insane almost as much as too busy. Looks like I still can't win, huh?
I've got a few odds and ends to tie up before I head out to pick up Gak. Peace to all and may your weekends be fun and your week easy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Don't Taunt the Universe, in Any Way

One of Gak's and my favorite cartoons is Avatar. One of the characters is named Sokka. He doesn't always have the best of luck. One of my favorite scenes is when all the kids are on a stolen Fire Nation boat and the Fire Nation just figured out they weren't real. There was something that was coming after them and Sokka railed against the universe. Well, it turned out this sea creature swallowed up the Fire Nation boat about 5 second later. My favorite line is Sokka going "thank you The Universe!" It always makes me smile
Unfortunately, The Universe isn't being so friendly. (Yes, there is a connection here, just wait for it.) I've said many times, and several of them recently, that this year has been a rough one. I said that Gak's dad is in the hospital for a blood clot in his lung. Well, yesterday morning we get a call that they think he might have had a stroke. He's very disoriented and they actually had to restrain him. He's also been calling Brian Michael (Gak's middle name and what he went by growing up) for the past few days. Obviously, this hurts Brian to no end. It turns out that they're pretty sure (man do I love these 3rd hand answers....) that it wasn't a stroke, but it is a bad reaction to the blood thinner medications he's on. As of last night there was no change. Gak's mom told us that she didn't need us to come out right this minute, so we're holding off on making plans. Brian, however, is very pissy that we're 'not doing anything'. We would if we could. If we lived even as close as Missouri we'd have been in the car as soon as we were called and driven down. Unfortunately, we're not that close. We don't have the extra money floating around to buy plane tickets every time dad sneezes funny. As is, we won't be able to actually buy tickets if we're going down, until Friday when we both get paid again.
My boss already told me to just keep him in the loop. I told him if we do go, I'll be taking my computer and work on the manuals and stuff from wherever I am. He's fine with that. There's no need for me to be in here every day. Gak's district manager is also in the loop and just wants to know what's going on.
This scare has really brought home that Gak and Brian really need to make sure that mom will be taken care of if/when dad goes. Her response was that she was 'leaving it in God's hands'. to her, this means she doesn't have to worry, because God will take care of it all without her help. Well, you know my thoughts. My God isn't a micro-manager, so I'd better be doing something if I want help/guidance along the way. This means Gak and Brian are going to have to sit down with her and make sure they know where all the paperwork for the house, the taxes, the insurance and the like is. Also any wills and funeral arrangement requests. It's not an easy thing to talk about or do. But with dad's health so precarious lately, it has to be done. The only thing I can do is be there to hold Gak and be strong for him. I can't make these decisions. I can't get the information out of his mother. I can hold him and tell him that it will be OK in the long run. Most days that doesn't seem like enough, but it will have to be.

So, unless you want the Universe laughing in your face, don't get too comfortable and don't ask what's next. At least not until the calendar reads 2008, then it might be safe again.

As always, I'll keep you posted. Peace to all and may you have an easy week.

Monday, October 15, 2007

More Monday Musings

I know I've used the title before, so therefore these are more musings.
Just a few little things today.
Work has been a Monday, mostly in the unproductive sense. I did get a few important things done, like getting a project approved by my boss. I've had several requests for slightly modified or customized training this year. Well, with the current setup, it's almost impossible. What I've decided to do is to change how my manuals are set up and to make it completely modular. This will make it so much easier to substitute a section or drop or add one. It will be a lot of work, but not too hard, as I'm very happy with where the training material itself stands. Mostly it'll be breaking it down and moving it into the new format and updating a few things. Mostly stuff I need to be doing anyhow. I've got a few weeks here in the office yet this month and December is looking almost light too. I really want to get this done by the end of the year, but will be satisfied if it gets done by March. My aggressive timeline surprised my boss, he originally said he'd be thrilled if I could do it by the end of March. I need a shorter timeline, if I'm going to keep my interest up and actually accomplish it. March is too far away and it'll just get pushed aside.

I called my Gram last night. She seems to be doing about as well as expected. She was glad to hear that my brother, and hopefully Becca, will be up for the holidays. Right now where most of her pain is, is in her hip and neck and not related to the cancer. Her hip is arthritis and her neck is muscular in nature. The treatments she's been having for her neck have been hurting her worse in the long run, so she wasn't going to go today. Today she decided she was going to have fun. She was planning on going to play reading and a few other things. She is trying to put her best, happiest face forward and hide her pain inside. All I have to say is do what you've got to do! She's decided that she's just not strong enough in body for the chemo. She's already anemic. She decided she didn't want to go through the process of convincing herself this was what needed to be done, only to be turned down after a round of testing. Like I said, she's going to try and enjoy things now and swallow the pain. I hope she can. I just want her to be happy and as pain free as possible. I still hate the thought that there's a loud ticking clock hanging over every conversation, but I, too, am trying to make the best of it. She's a fighter and will hold on as long as she can be without insurmountable pain. I'm not saying she'll give up when the pain is too much, but that she'll accept it and move on with as much grace and dignity as she can. She's always been dignified in my book, even when she's been in some tough situations. She's tough as nails and will fight for what's right, but never in a mean, dirty way.

Well, that's about it for me today. I've got to wrap up a few things and head out the door to pick up Gak and actually have dinner with him! I know, what a shocker, three nights in a row! (Don't worry, he's got Warhammer tomorrow, so I'll be on my own with the laundry...)
Peace to all and may you find the inner peace to deal with whatever life hurls your way. (Either that or learn to duck! Quack!)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Windown Weekend

Well, this has been a calm weekend, for the most part.
Gak worked a few hours yesterday. His manager wasn't happy when he got there and Gak pretty much just said "See ya, I've got my 40 hours in." We also found out Friday that his new store manager gave his two-weeks notice. He's the whole reason that this personnel shuffling was taking place. Apparently, many people just couldn't stand working with the guy. Oh well. Hopefully it'll get better from here.
I was a total lazy butt for the most part. I got a little crocheting done. I recently joined over at Ravelry. I'm not sure how much I like it. It's an interesting place to put my projects and stuff, but I'm just not into the forums and such. I have Crochetville for that and they're some pretty great people. Also, even though Ravelry is open to crochet and knit, about 90% of the projects etc that are up are knit. I don't mind. I admire a lot of the projects, but that's as far as it goes, it's not that much of a resource for me to find things for me to do. Unless I attempt to learn to knit. I'm not sure I really want to. I've got one addiction as it is. Also, crochet seems to travel more easily. I just wish I could afford the beautiful yarns that are being used mostly by knitters. My acrylic is good enough, but there are times that I really would like a nice cotton, or some spiffy sock-weight yarn that you just can't get at one of the 'big box stores'.
Ok, enough yarn ranting.
I must remember to call my grandmother when I'm done here. I just need to say hi. Other family news... my brother, and hopefully Becca, will be home for the winter holidays. I'm looking forward to that. Any chance to catch up with Jon is a good one. It'll be great to see Becca again if she comes. She's a lot of fun, I can see why my brother likes having her around.
As far as Gak's family goes, his dad is back in the hospital again. We got a call yesterday afternoon from his mom. Friday night she took him into the ER because he wasn't breathing right. It turns out he has a blood clot in his lung. We haven't heard back from anyone today, but I'm going to continue with the no news is good news assumption. If we don't hear anything in a day or so, we'll try calling his mom or his brother. This has been a rough year for everyone. I can't wait for it to be over.
That's about it from this end of things. Peace to all and I hope you've had a relaxing weekend.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Rant Ahead

First off, happy belated birthday to Gak's mom! Her birthday was yesterday and I forgot to mention it.

Ok. Now onto some serious rantage. I'm frustrated and cranky and don't care who knows it. If you don't want to hear me bitch, whine and moan, come back later.

I ranted some about Gak's job situation last night. The one good thing is that he talked with one of the other guys who got moved (at least part of the time) to this store and between the two of them, they're going to start fixing things. They're both fed up with stuff. I say good for them and hopefully they'll be rewarded at some point for this, even if that reward is just being able not to have to work that store...

Yesterday was actually one of the days that Gak didn't work late, but I still ate at home alone. I was actually OK with this, because I told him to go out. He was playing Warhammer with a couple of the guys. I know he needs this time to go hang out. He enjoys it. It, usually, keeps him out of trouble. I do wish, however, and just because I'm in a cranky mood, I'd gotten to spend 10 minutes with him while I was awake last night. Oh well. I told him to go and knew he wouldn't be home until late.
I didn't have the most fun of evenings. For some reason, dinner didn't stay put. Luckily, I didn't make too big of a mess. It was totally random and I was fine 5 minutes later. Who knows?
Let me just complain about my body here for a few. Before I got pregnant, I could tell when it was about that time because I'd break out a bit at the temples and my chin. Then while I was pregnant, I didn't break out at all. Now, I'm breaking out all over. In the middle of my face, my ears even! Everywhere. I haven't broken out this bad since I was about 15! It won't stop and I know it's due to hormones being messed up, but still. I'm almost 32 for cryin' out loud! Also, I think my kidneys or bladder are in rebellion. Either that or the fact that I've started trying to actually drink as much water as you're supposed to is catching up to me. I'm fine most of the day, but then starting in the afternoon, I can't seem to go more than 3 hours or so without having to pee! Those who know me, know that I have a bladder like a camel and usually go most of the day without having to take a potty break. It's one thing when I'm home and just doing whatever, but when I'm actually asleep for a change... grrrrrrr. I mean, I'd understand if I was still pregnant and had a baby dancing on my bladder, but I'm not and I don't. I'm chronically exhausted these days and just generally crappy feeling. This just isn't fair. If there was an aparent reason for it or if I was still pregnant, I'd be able to deal with it better. Don't get me started on my weight and exercise programs, or lack there of these days. That's almost all my fault and I fluctuate between not giving a damn and being so pissed off at myself I can't stand it.

Ok, more than enough body issues...

Work's been a real peach the last few months as well. I didn't think the morale could get much lower here. Every day I come into the office, I'm surprised, and not in a pleasant way. Things just keep getting worse. I wasn't here last week when they announced some organizational changes. From what I've heard from people, it won't be good. If anything, it'll make things worse. I didn't think that was possible. The people running this business have no idea what they're doing or how to sell to this kind of market. We don't make big pieces of equipment or sell shrink-wrapped software you can just pull off the shelf and install. Every project is different, in some way, shape or form. I appreciate the thought of standardization, most people around here do. There is a lot we can standardize, but there will always be things that will be unique about each project. I just don't think the management gets it. Also, there isn't an actual business leader right now. Our old one took a new position back in August and we were told they were actively looking and were trying to find the right person. They wanted to hire someone soon, but not the wrong person. (In other words, it may be until next August before we have a new, actual, business leader....) This just adds to the fact that we haven't had a product leader in over 1.5 years now. There's been talk of finding one of those, but I'm not holding my breath. Despite what management type people say, it truly feels as if they're trying to run this place into the ground. It really is time for me to stop complaining and just get the heck out of here. The problem is still in figuring out what I want to do and find something that will pay, hopefully, as well as this is. I just can't win here.

Finally, this is less of a rant and more of just general frustration on this part. I did talk to mom last night. All I can say is somebody stop the emotional roller coaster, I want to get off. The latest news is that there is cancer throughout my Gram's body, mostly in her bones. Very wide spread. So widespread they can't do radiation therapy. There's no one spot to hit. What's bothering her most is her hip, and right now the doctor thinks it is arthritis, not cancer, so radiation wouldn't help that anyhow. The doctor's first response was that he wasn't going to do chemo either because of her age. Well, needless to say, this totally pissed my grandmother off. She's as feisty as her aunt and father, and they were a feisty pair. Her response was "you're not going to just throw me away like that!" She is bound and determined to make it to February. She's hoping and praying she will. Both of her parents didn't make it to 85, her father by only a very short time if I remember right. She really wants to outlive them. I don't blame her. The doctor did consent to possibly doing a smaller dose weekly instead of a higher dose every three weeks, but won't until she's read everything he gave her and had a week to sleep on it. I'm pretty sure if she thinks this will get her to February, she'll go through the pain, agony and illness of it.
I really, really, really, really hate the thought of loosing her. Part of me is resigned to the thought, but most of me is really pissed off at the thought. I know I shouldn't be, because I am almost 32 and how many people have grandparents at this age? My mom did, but her mom and her grandparents both married and had kids 'early' for this day and age. In a way this just makes me more pissed off about loosing the baby. The one thing my grandmother has wanted for the last several years is to be a great-grandmother. I was so happy that not only was I making my dream of being a mom come true (and Gak's dream of being a dad), but also making her wish to be a great-grandmother come true too. Now I probably won't get that pleasure before she goes. I think that's what makes me the most angry and sad. I can't do anything to make her happy right now. Not in the "you can't do anything right" sense, but in the soul-fulfilling joy that I want her to have, the joy that starts at the heart and shines in the eyes and every fiber of her being. She never has and never will judge me badly or think ill of me. She's been my champion and friend for as long as I can remember. I hope I have many, many more months with her around, even if they are numbered and shadowed by pain.

Well, I've been ranting long enough and got just about everything off my chest. I really need to attempt to get some work done.

Peace to all and hopefully my next post won't be so angry.