Monday, February 28, 2011


Just a quick little update.  My SOE account password has been reset, so it should be me, and only me, if you see me in game.  I'm really beginning to hate their technical support though.  Oh well, we'll see if and when I ever get everything reset.  I'm not holding my breath, but it would be nice.

This weekend was full of fun things and lots of kids.  Rachel had her friend Katie along with her this weekend.  Saturday was a pretty typical Saturday, and Sunday after lunch Kat and I took all the kids up to Scranton (picking up Mary once we got there) and did a quick little tour of Steamtown, had dinner with Mary and then headed back home.  Steph was going to go, but she got sick and Gak decided a quiet day at home would be a good thing.  (I can't blame him.)  We had fun, I have a few pictures, but they're still on the camera.

This week hopefully won't be too painful as far as work goes, but I'm not holding my breath.  I'm expecting to get the "displeased" look and talk from my boss at the bi-weekly meeting tomorrow.  I know, I probably won't, but it'll feel that way.  And I both do and don't deserve it.  I just wish I didn't feel like my relationship with him was so passive/aggressive.  It doesn't help anyone, but from talking with others, it's not just me.

Other than that, Boo's been on a cranky kick lately.  Part of it is this cough that just won't go away and part of it is the fact that he's getting closer and closer to 3 and has decided to really try and get his way and that tears/crying/not quite tantrums are the way to go.  Sorry buddy, no dice here.  At best it'll get you ignored, at worst it'll get you sent to your room until you can collect yourself and talk like a person.  (Meanwhile, I feel like a meanie, but know I'm not really...)

It looks like my experiment for February was a huge flop.  Oh well, it was an idea.  It just didn't work out as well as November did.  Maybe I'll find something else that'll get me back into the posting groove.  I do have lots to share, but I'm too tired to do so right now.
So, I'm going to sign off here.

Peace to all and may your weekends be full, work be peaceful and your projects fun.

Friday, February 25, 2011


I have bad news.  My EQII account got hijacked last night.  I have no idea who or how since I've got a fairly secure password and it's not written down or in an email or anything like that.  I don't really know or care about how.  I just want it fixed.
What stinks the most isn't that my account got jacked or that my stuff got stolen, but that the jerk who did this deleted one of my favorite characters.  Whispe, as of now, is no longer amongst us.  She was a very wonderful little fae monk who was well on her way to being level 90 if I spent any more time with her.  She's been with me almost since the beginning of Faedwar.
Anyhow, this was just to vent a little and to let anyone who comes by here who knows me from EQII know that if you see me online, it's not me until I post something here.  I haven't been able to reset my password because it doesn't like my answer to the "Secret Question"  (that's the first or second thing I'd change if I ever hacked an account, the account password being the other!) and Sony hasn't responded to my request for help yet.  Gak's trying to work on it with support, but they don't open until 10 am PST and we're east coast.
For what it's worth, I'll insert the standard Change Your Passwords!!!  Don't Give Them Out!! warnings...

Peace to all and may your accounts be safe and sound.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Presidential Heroes?

Well, it's President's day, and I'm supposed to be writing about heroes this month.
I'm just not into it today.  That's not to say that there haven't been some great presidents in the history of our country.  And I'm all for remembering two of the greatest ones of our early history, and I believe that both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are two of the greatest men to lead this country.  Of course, I'm looking at them through the lens of history.  And also, let's face it, if the news media and technology of today existed back then, how wonderful would we really think they are?  I'm sure there are major skeletons on the closets of all of our founding fathers and political heroes of a bygone age.
But, I'd like to believe that they were overall good men.
I'd like to believe that about our current politicians.  I often wonder how different our views of our elected officials today would be if we didn't have the "access" and technology that we have today.  Would we be more or less impressed by them?  Would we feel like they were working more or less for us?  (Of course, most people these days, myself included, think that our elected officials aren't doing us any favors, but don't like any of our options.)
Yes, our presidents and elected leaders can be heroes, but more often than not, they are just mere humans like the rest of us.  Only they aren't.  They've had enough drive, vision and luck to end up being elected the leader of our wonderful nation.
I'm not too sure where I'm going with this.  I guess I'd like to say thank you to everyone who wants to serve their community, both at the very local and very national levels.  I just wish I felt like more of them really were of the common cloth and actually worked for me and my family and friends, not for themselves.  I don't really like many of them on either side of the aisle these days.  The whole thing seems to have sunk to the depths of high school bickering and cliques.  I wish I could wash my hands of the whole deal, but there really isn't any where else I'd rather live.

I'm rambling and probably going to get myself in trouble if I keep writing, so I'm going to put this disjointed ramble to and end.

Peace to all and may you have leaders you can believe in.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Heroes for Babies!

You may have noticed something new over on the side bar there to the right.  Yep, I've decided to walk for the March for Babies this year.  (Formerly known as Walk America.)  My best friend Kat asked me to join her team this year.  How could I say no?  I remember how scary it was for me, just as her aunt, when Zoe was born 6 weeks early.  She was actually in pretty good health all things considered, but boy was it scary.  I can't even imagine what parents and family of micro-premie babies (those born around 24 weeks, about 3 months early!) go through.  I don't want any parent to ever have to know that.

So, yes, people who raise money for research and education are heroes to these little babies and their families.

But the bigger heroes, in my opinion at any rate, are the nurses and doctors dedicated to saving these tiny, precious lives, as well as the researchers trying to figure out why these things happen and how to help all moms have a healthy, full term pregnancy.
There must be so much joy and so much heartache working with such tiny, fragile lives.  There is all the stress of "normal" newborn issues, but only magnified a hundred times or more with their tiny charges.  There must be so much joy in watching their little ones get healthier and stronger, and so much heartache when it doesn't work that way and they leave the NICU, but not to go to their parent's home.

I was so lucky with my pregnancy with Boo.  It was 39 (I still say he was a week or so "early"...) of uneventful growing in my womb.  Sure, I had enough heartburn to share with 3 people and towards the end he wouldn't lay off my ribs, but those are minor issues.  I didn't have to be induced early like Kat due to toxemia and walk that fine line between letting the baby grow where they should and putting my life on the line and risking us both.  I didn't go into spontaneous pre-term labor too early, or even a little early.  I have a very healthy, very happy, growing like a weed little boy.  And for that I'm eternally thankful.

So, if you can help me out at all, even with $5, all the families and I thank you from the bottoms of our hearts. (You can just click on the badge over there...)  Or, if you're in the area and want to walk with us, please join us!

Peace to all and may your families all be healthy and happy.

(p.s. I know I owe you guys an actual update on the family, and it's coming, I just haven't had time or motivation to write it... I did get pictures posted though!)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Fortune Cookie Wisdom

Ok.  So this doesn't really tie in with my "theme" this month of heroes.  But, I just had to share my thoughts on this.

Over the last week or so, there have been some stray fortune cookies floating around the office and up for grabs. I like them because they’re just sweet enough and crunchy enough to make my snack monster happy for a bit without being too sweet or heavy, so I snagged a handful.

I must admit, I’ve been quite entertained by the fortunes in them.

One said “Don’t be surprised by the emergence of undiscovered talent”. I could truly use some of that right about now in several areas of my life. But what made me smile the most is that on the back, where they “teach” you a Chinese word, the word of the day was “Mother”. I really and truly had to laugh at that pairing. If nothing will bring out your undiscovered talents, it is parenthood. I’ve learned so much about myself, and my husband, over the past two or three years. Yes, I’m including when I was pregnant with Boo in that time frame, because parenthood really starts then, even though most people don’t realize it. I’ve learned that some of my strengths can be weaknesses, and my weaknesses can be a strength. I’ve also confirmed that Gak and I balance each other out quite well. We’re also very lucky in the fact that it is usually one or the other of us having a bad day, not both at the same time.

Two more fortunes seem to go hand in hand. “Good food brings good health and longevity” in many ways goes with “New and rewarding opportunities will soon develop for you”. Especially when the Chinese “word of the day” on the back of the second was “to eat”, these sayings seem to fit well together. And when you consider the personal journey I’ve been on this past year, it fits even more so. I’ve relearned how to eat and overall I’d have to say my health is better. My asthma and allergies are about the same as they have been for years (annoyances that flare up randomly and rarely), but my energy level is much higher. I just feel better in general, and that’s a good thing. And I truly hope to be able to live a long, long time. And the new and rewarding opportunities I’ve encountered because of eating better include having more energy to get out there and do things. I’ve got lots and lots of things I’d love to do, especially some hiking and traveling. I hope to be able to work more of that back into my life again.

The final one made me smile and feel a bit of hope during a stressful week at work. “You will get what your heart desires.” This is a wonderful little message to get. My heart would like many things both material and not, but what I desire is a little bit of peace and stability in my life in general. Not that I don’t love the chaos that has been surrounding me lately, but I’d like a little quiet too. I love the chaos of my “family” and wouldn’t trade that for anything. What I could use some stability and peace with is my job and my finances, two things that are linked very closely these days. I want to truly love my job again and not see it as a chore. (I still enjoy what I do, but my drive to do it, and do it well, has been lacking for quite some time.) I also wish for some stability with my extended clan. I love them all, but something resembling some shade of normalcy would be nice, if only so that things like having fun can be focused on, not all the other trials and tribulations.

So, with those fortune cookie words of wisdom, I bid you peace and may you get what your heart desires.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Local Heroes

Obviously I've fallen quite flat with this challenge....
Before I actually started this, I had a whole list in my head of heroes to showcase and things like that.  But, I didn't write any of it down and now that I'm in the middle of it, all is lost.  I guess I should have started this back when I first had the idea, but I wanted to wait until February.  The waiting made sense at the time, but now, not so much.

Anyhow, the next heroes up on my list are the "heroes next door".  I'm sure everyone knows at least one, even if they don't realize it.
I'm talking about the police and firefighters/EMS who keep our neighborhoods safe and take care of us in emergencies.
I really want to thank the volunteer firefighters and EMS.  They put their lives on the line, sometimes daily, for nothing other than the hope that they may get a thank you if they're lucky.
I was lucky enough in high school to have my best friend, a few other friends and my boyfriend all be junior volunteers with the local (well local here) companies.  I even knew a few in my own high school.  (Of course, I knew many of the full time members up here as well, since my boyfriend at the time is the son of the chief at the time...)
They're an interesting breed, I'll give them that much.  But, for their oddball traits, if you're lucky they really form a bit of a very coherent group.  I hesitate to call it "family" or "clan" because the ties are both deeper and far less deep than that.  They're drawn together for all the sundry reasons that they do this and are held together hopefully by something a bit more than the fact that if any one of them fails at their job, all of their lives could be on the line.  In some companies it's that way, others it's not.  I can't speak about paid companies, because those are few and far between around here and I've only see the volunteer side from an outsider and junior view.  I'd like to think that the men and women putting their lives on the line for me have at least some friendship for each other, if only because I know in my job liking who you're working with does make the job easier.  And if there's any job that needs to be made easier, theirs is one of them!

Anyhow, enough of that rambling.  I'm really not sure where I was going with that.

This past week has been filled with more crappy and icky weather.  This time, unfortunately, we got freezing rain, not just snow.  As much as I may complain about snow and get tired of it, I'd still take it any day of the week over ice.  I hate ice with a purple passion.  Of course, this made for a long week for Boo at day care, but it was going to happen anyhow, as Gak was going to open two days this week anyhow.

This weekend was fun.  Saturday after laundry Boo and I headed over to catch up with everyone at bowling. The kids had finished, but Kat was about to start.  So I joined her, Scott and Randy for a couple games before Randy and Scott went off on their own adventures and Kat, Zoe, Boo and I went to lunch.  It was great to bowl again.  I do enjoy it.

Saturday after Boo took a non-nap, we picked up Gak and the boys got their hair cut.  Yes, there are pictures, no, they're not posted.  Both of my boys clean up so nice!  Gak really, really needed the weed wacker and Boo was getting a might fuzzy around the edges and it was beginning to get into his eyes.  He looks so different with his hair all short and neat.  I kinda miss the mop-haired little boy look as it suits his personality, but he really is quite something all cleaned up.

Yesterday, with some minor car window adventures, we returned Boo's brand new shoes that broke after 1 day.  This is a whole other adventure.  Anyhow, after Andy fixed my window, at least temporarily, the boy and I headed down to Amma and PopPop's.  (When I suggested we wait until next weekend, Boo started crying and saying he wanted to go to Amma and PopPop's!!)  We had an enjoyable afternoon and I got most of the grocery shopping done at Trader Joe's.  I like that place.  I wish there was one closer.  (There's one a few miles from work, but in totally the wrong direction to make it convenient.)  I probably wouldn't do all my shopping there, but more.

Anyhow, here's hoping this week isn't so trying at work or with the weather.  I'm really ready for spring, which is good because it should only be a few more weeks away.

Peace to all and may you never need your local heroes.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Personal Heros and Groundhogs

Today is the real reason why I wanted to focus on heros in February.  Today, one of my biggest heros would have turned 88 years old.
Yep, that's right.  My Gram.
I know I've talked about it before, but right now, I need to think about and look at this again.
To me, she is a hero in so many different ways.
She's the girl who had enough guts and hutzpah to go into a very technical job interview with only a fraction of the skills she would need to excel at the job and wow the socks off the men and land it.  She had enough forsight at a young age to realize that going into government work would probably mean she'd have a job for a long time, long after WWII was over and the men came home.  My spunky little Gram worked her tail off and put in lots of extra hours learning as much as she could and doing very well in a man's world.  (I still think it's cool the munitions she helped develop down at Frankford Arsenal.)  She never rose to the levels she could have or been paid what she should have, but I blame that all on the times, not on her or her drive.
In many ways I feel like I'm in the same position.  Admittedly, there have been more and more women that I've been working with, and working with me as well, but the power industry is still a very male dominated world.  It's taken a lot of work, and a lot of tounge biting and pushing at the right times to get where I am.  I'll admit I've been struggling lately, a lot of it is me, but a good part of it is the not quite disfunctional relationship I have with my manager.  I don't dislike him, but we don't really get along all that well either.  But, that's neither here nor there.

She's the woman who stood up for her and her baby girl (my mom) and walked out of a bad situation.  This just wasn't done in those days.  I know she was terrified.  She was terrified to stay, but almost equally scared to leave.  She was scared of what her dad would say and scared of trying to raise mom all on her own.  I'll have to say, she did a pretty darned good job of raising my mom to be a wonderful, smart and caring woman.  I hope to do half as well as my mom and Gram have done.

She's the woman who had a strong faith, but would listen to what others had to say.  She wasn't closed to other points of view, especially if they were presented rationally and with thought.  She would talk to just about anyone, and be friendly.  Everyone knew her, and she knew everyone and was friendly to many, many more people than not.  She was never a mean person.  If she didn't like you, she ignored you.  She would be polite when dealing with you, but then just let it go once you left.
I hope to handle people and life with that much grace, but I tend to hold on to grudges a little too much for my own good.

I am so thankful for the time that I got to spend with her.  She taught me so many things.  She taught me about crochet and needle work and how to handle problems big and small.  She taught me it was just as important to listen as to talk, and to see the fun in everything and that hard work paid off in the long run.

I will miss her very much in the years to come, but take comfort knowing that as long as I remember what she taught me, she will always be with me.

Peace to all and may you have your own personal hero.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Busy Weekend Edition

Well, obviously I've already fallen down on my personal challenge.  I have a pretty good excuse over the weekend.  This weekend Mel and Ant came down to stay with Kat.  There was much fun to be had and things to do.  Saturday included bowling, lunch a napping boy and then sledding and pizza.  Sunday included bowling and movies and just some hanging out.  It was really great to see both Mel and Ant.
Yesterday was a Monday.  I was about 5 minutes from heading out the door when Gak gets a message from his boss asking him to open because he got called up for jury duty.  This meant I had an hour to kill and had to get in touch with both Amma and the day care to let everyone know the change of plans.  The rest of the day was a bit of chaos too, but I did get a nice email from my manager with some compliments he'd gotten about me from a customer.  That was enough to brighten my day.
Today was a long day.  I did manage to get to the gym this morning.  It started out as a blanket of snow covered with a crust of ice and continued to be misty and icy through most of the day.  I spent the majority of my day on a long project, and then I get to spend more time tomorrow or the next day finishing it up.  Not really looking forward to that.

Anyhow, I guess since I issued myself a challenge, I should come up with a hero for today.  There are lots to choose from.  But, today, and after the last several weeks of the weekly snow storm, I have to say thank you to the guys who actually remove the snow and the ick.  I'm not just talking about the PennDOT guys (yes, Scott, you too...) or the guys paid to clear parking lots and the like, but the every day home and property owners that actually clear their sidewalks and even clear the corners.  And not only do they clear the walks, but they keep them from being too slick and actually use salt.  I know my husband truly appreciates this on the days he has to walk him and the boy to daycare and work.
So, today it's a minor hero of the winter time that I'd like to say thank you to.  So, thank you to all the people who care enough to clear the snow.  This winter has been such a refreshing change with our current landlords as opposed to our old one.  Yes, I've cleared some snow and moved things around, but I haven't had to clear the sidewalks or parking spaces.

I'm rambling and not making much sense and being pretty disjointed.  I'm going to wrap up the drivel here and say I hope to get pictures up tomorrow or the next day.
Good night.

Peace to all and may your way be clear.