Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell 2012

I must say, I'm not really all that sad to see 2012 go.  While it wasn't a horrible, no good, rotten year like 2007, it was by far not an easy one either.  Overall, there has been more good than bad, but the bad has left a toll.

On the plus side, my boy-o is healthy and growing like a weed.  He's slowly getting over his fear of the four-footed and furry as well as engaging others in play.  He has made some pretty amazing leaps this year and I can't quite catch my breath with how much he's changing, and yet, how much he's the same as ever.  All I know is that I love that little boy (he's definitely not a baby any more!) more than I can put into words.

Gak has had a fairly good year over all.  Sure, work's a hassle and has given him some issues throughout the year, but nothing too out of the ordinary.  His health has been good, which is always a blessing.

Me, I've had my fair share of challenges this year, and not all of them the good kind.  I started the year battling strep twice in the span of about a month.  And well, I came down with it again Christmas night.  (It's amazing what a few days of penicillin will do, I feel 100% better.  Then again, it wasn't as bad a case as some I've had in the past...)  Then I spent all spring in a brain fog and so exhausted I was fighting like mad not to fall asleep at work and the chills at night.  I managed to get some relief from that and, finally, in the last month or so I've been able to get back to some form of physical activity that hasn't sent me to exhaustion for days after the fact.  I still battle chills on just about a daily basis and my performance at work has been impacted (at least in my eyes) quite a bit.  I think my energy levels are about where they used to be; the thought of going to the playground or doing anything other the collapsing on the couch after work doesn't bring me nearly to tears anymore. (Trust me, having as active a boy as Boo and all summer not be able to go on rides with him or actually play with him at the playground was enough to all but bring me to tears of frustration on so many occasions.)

Work has had its own challenges throughout the year.  A lot of them good and interesting, but all of them compounded by the brain fog and exhaustion.  Several changes have been made and 2013 is looking like it'll be interesting.  Hopefully all will go well, but I'm sure there'll be bumps in the road.  At least, for now, I feel like I have the energy to tackle them.

My emotional health has been strongly tied to my physical health this year.  While I would not say that I've been fighting true depression, there has been a lot of frustration, angst, fear and anger tied to my physical health or lack there of.  To say I've been on rocky emotional ground would pretty much sum it up.  I'm just thankful that Gak, while he may not understand, can usually accept that I'm sometimes a bit flakier than others...

All this mental and physical woe has also let me easily slip back into being lazy (well, I didn't have a lot of choice there for a while if I wanted to even think about being able to get out of bed the next day....) and over eating. I've found 25 or so of the pounds that I'd left along the side of the pool or the road in the last few years.  I'm not happy with that fact, not for the number on the scale (by far not the worst) but because of how I physically feel carrying the extra around again.  And not really from carrying the extra, but from the way my old eating habits are making me feel.  They're making me feel much worse than I really am I think.  I'm not making healthy choices and it just "feels" icky so much of the time.  This is in my control and something I can work on in the coming year.

I also can't seem to find my little point-n-shoot camera.  It's been bugging me off and on and I know if I would just clean up my damn mess, I'd find it.  Or at least prove once and for all that it's not in the apartment.  I'm actually cameraless right now.  I had to return Dad's DSLR at Thanksgiving.  It's OK though, as I wasn't using it as much in the fall.

Which brings me to the other big down of the year.  Dad and his health.  Christmas day was not a good day for him.  He was barely able to make it out of bed and mentally it was just not good.  It breaks my heart, and I can only imagine the heartache that Mom goes through on a daily basis.  And there's not much I can do for her, other than let her come play with Boo on Mondays as a break.  And remind her I'm only a phone call away, any day, any time.

But, like I said, there have been good things too.  I've managed to crochet at least 30 if not 40 different projects this year.  Some as simple as a tiny little stuffed kitty for a friend, some as big as an awesome (and well loved) afghan for friends who more than deserve it.  And hats, I've made lots and lots of hats this year, most of which have been donated to the Vet's hospital down the road.  I have a great, and huge, group of girls in my Girl Scout troop this year.  I have lots of friends around me who care about me and help me out whenever and however they can, and who I do the same for.  Actually, they're not just friends, they're my family and my clan.  The relationships all get a little fuzzy and are hard to follow, even when you're living it, but we all love each other and work together to make this thing called life a better place.

So, here's to the end of a rough year and hopefully 2013 will be a bit smoother sailing.
My goals for 2013 are simple.
1. Get back on track with my eating and my activity.  Make sure to track every bite at least 3 days a week and stick to a 3 or 4 day a week schedule of activity.
2. Continue to blog and keep my window to the world open.  I hope to blog at least twice a week, preferably 3 to 4 times a week.
3. Continue to love my family with all my heart and soul.  I think this'll be the easiest one to do.

So, on that note, I wish you all peace, health and happiness.  May the good outweigh the bad and there always be a silver lining to the touches of gray.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

List of December

Well, so much for getting back into the blogging swing of things.  Here I've let almost the entire month slide on by, not just a measly week or so.  And no, I don't have any new pictures either.
I take that part back, I do have some new pictures, but their still on the memory card(s) and in all honesty, and a sign of my total lack of organizational skills at the moment, I can't find my little Cannon...

Ok, so to keep this brief (haha) and try and get most of what's bouncing around in my head onto "paper", I'm going to present a huge bullet list.  Not my favorite way to do this, but it's 6:45 and I've only got a half hour at most....

So, in no particular order...

*Got the tree put up Saturday with Boo.  Decorating with a 4.5-year-old is fun.  You can tell a child was involved, there's one spot with a ton of ornaments and a smattering across the rest of the tree.

*Went to Amma and PopPop's for Hanukkah on the 9th.  It was a good evening.  PopPop actually read the prayers this year and I helped Boo light the candles.  We also got a chance to talk to Jon and Becca, which is always awesome.

*Speaking of Jon, I got to have lunch with one of his best friends (and a good friend of mine) from school yesterday.  I think I've known Ian since I was around age 12?  It wasn't too long after we moved to PA at any rate.  It was great to catch up with him.

*Speaking of Hanukkah and photos (wait, did I mention photos?), Dad was wanting to use his camera.  Mom tried to put him off about it for a bit, but he kept asking.  So, I took him his Nikon back when we went down for Hanukkah.  And since I can't find my little Cannon at the moment, I'm cameraless, other than my phone, which takes OK pictures, but getting them off there can be a pain in the butt.

*I've managed to get lots and lots and lots of Christmas crochet done.  No, you won't see pictures until later.  (That reminds me, I need to get pictures of my latest items... but... aargh... too much effort at this point!)  Well, maybe you'll see pictures.  I know I've got pictures of some of them....

*I think I'm all done with the Christmas shopping.  Still debating one small-ish purchase and I might need to pick up one other thing, but overall, I'm good.

*Wok is interesting.  We're going through a reorg, which in the long run I think will actually be quite good, but will cause a little chaos in the meantime.  I'm not sure yet if this is a good or bad thing, but my friend Bill will now be my manager.  Yeah, it could get a little tricky at spots, but we've been through tricky spots before.  As long as he keeps his ego in check (and I don't do anything stupid) we'll get along just fine with his new role.

*Next month I get to go to Texas for a few days with work.  (Well, that's if they send the PO in, but I'm about 99% sure they will...)  This'll be my second trip since the beginning of September.  It'll be nice to get out of the office.  Boo's old enough that picking him up from daycare or whatever doesn't mean I have to make sure the right seat is around, he just needs a booster and I've got an extra of those.  Boo's not happy with the idea, but he did OK in September and I know he'll be fine next month too.

*That reminds me, this trip to Texas will be the first time I'll have been on a plane since before Boo was born.  Wow, that's almost 5 years!

*Speaking of being born, my cousin Rae and her wife Kami welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world back on the 4th, Oren William.  He's adorable and I so wish we lived closer.  I have no idea when we'll actually get to meet him in person. /sigh

*Boo keeps growing like a weed.  He's so much fun to watch and play with.  He just amazes me every day.

*We went to Zoe's Christmas concert last Friday.  It was really nice (and just the Junior/Senior high kids).  After we went to the Ronda to catch up with Steve, Shelby and Randy, which is always nice.  Steve is going to be deployed again in January.  I have no details on length, but I do know it's back to Afghanistan. /sigh

*My friend Michelle is in Chile now.  I haven't heard much from her in the past few months, but it seems like she's doing OK.

*No, I haven't posted anything about what happened in CT on Facebook or G+.  I'm not going to either.  Actually, I take that back, I did make a comment on my friend John's one post.  Basically I agree that this is a horrible tragedy and I can't (and don't want to) imagine the personal hell all those families are going through.  The last thing they as a community need is to be reminded by outside people everywhere they look about it.  They're living it every blessed heartbeat.  The best thing we can do is not to ignore it, but to be respectfully quiet about it.  (And if I dwell on this too much I'll just end up putting myself into a bad emotional place and that won't help me, my family or the victims in any way, shape or form...)

*I'm hopefully doing something cool tonight.  Someone I've met through either a photography or a fiber circle on G+ (I can't remember exactly how I met her, but she's into both...) is in the area for work.  The boy and I are hopefully meeting up with her for dinner.  It should be fun.  This is a huge step for me, I normally find real life events like that really tough.  But, I've been kicking myself for a while for not grabbing the opportunity to meet another online friend when I was traveling all the time, so I'm not going to let this one slide by if I can help it...

Well, a boy-child is up.  It's almost 7:10 and we both have to get dressed, get breakfast/lunch together and get out the door.

Peace to all and may you not wait too long to keep friends and family in the loop and may you grab opportunities when and where you can.

Monday, December 03, 2012


Last week had to be the most surreal week of my life to date.
Monday morning started out in the normal Monday way.  I was almost to work when I saw a small car looking like it was going to pull out of a drive.  Nothing too unusual other than the place it was at was empty and there was this thing on the roof of the car.  As I got closer, I saw by dawn’s early light that the word Google was plastered across the side of the car.  Therefore, the thing on the roof had to be the camera setup for a Google Maps car.  I think I geeked out about that the last mile or two to work.

Then, when I was leaving work Monday afternoon (I work 7-4 on Mondays) I saw two people in the field/empty lot across from my building.  They had a backpack and a camera and were taking pictures and pointing up in the sky and looking like they were measuring or something.  (What made this really weird is the girl looked just like Jess who used to work with us from my vantage point, but it wasn’t.)

Tuesday morning we find out that the President of the United States was going to visit a business in Hatfield on Friday.  A few hours later we find out it’s not their manufacturing facility a few miles away, but the office building diagonally across the field from us.  Yep, those two people I saw Monday evening were measuring the field to see if it was big enough for Marine 1 and her sister helicopters.  There was also a Secret Service agent in the building talking to our “security” and EHS guy about what all we’d need to do Friday.

Wednesday was quite exciting (and where the picture at the top came from…).  They did a practice run of the helicopters arriving and departing.  Let me tell you, they are loud and big and noisy (OK, so essentially I said that twice, but it’s true…).  And I was less than a football field away from them when two of them took off.  (See the video… I nearly got knocked on my butt from the prop wash…)

Thursday was almost a normal day, but we had a meeting in the afternoon about what we could and couldn’t do.  We weren’t going to be able to park in front of or on the side of the building, only in the gated lot behind us or in the lot in the park.  All blinds had to be closed and no one was to be outside when the President was arriving or departing. Oh, and by the way, there’ll be two snipers up on the roof.  Yep, on the roof, right above my head.

Friday was the most surreal of them all.  As usual, I got in right around 7:00.  I remembered to park behind the gate and made extra sure I had my badge and parking badge.  There didn’t appear to be anyone parked in the buildings to either side of mine, and there were fire truck support vehicles already arriving.  When I went outside around 9:00, I couldn’t count the number of black SUVs, police cars, fire trucks, support vans, bicycle cops and ambulances that were deployed all around our building and the one next door; across from the building the President was visiting.  You could tell which of the SUVs were armored and there were a few Secret Service agents that were walking around that I would have pegged as such even if they were in plain clothes.
I think the most surreal message I sent Friday was to Gak: snipers have been deployed to the roof.
Despite the “no looking” mandate, with vertical blinds in the offices and a window in the garage door in the shop, we were able to get a half decent look at the arrival and departure.  And of course, we could hear it too.
It did get a little unnerving listening to the snipers walking around on the roof right over my head.  It was also weird talking to people from other parts of the country about their normal issues when I’m working in a secured location and the president was across the street.  My mind couldn’t keep from geeking out from time to time trying to process it.  It’s just not in the realm of normal for us mere citizens.  It really is a different world.

The funniest part was after the President left.  I’d been downstairs to get more water, try and sneak a peak at the departure and run a few other errands downstairs.  I was coming back up the stairs with two other women from the department and nearly ran smack dab into the two snipers as they were about to come down the stairs.  It was a little embarrassing and a bit unnerving almost running into someone so well armed (and well trained).  I’m not sure if it helped or not if the one I almost ran into was kinda cute…  We all laughed and everyone got to where they were supposed to go.

Within 30 minutes of the President leaving you never would have known something had happened, other than the fact that it was a Friday afternoon and there weren’t any cars out front of the businesses.

So, yeah, last week was a bit on the surreal side of things.  The weekend was good.  For the second week in a row we went swimming at the Y on Sunday.  Boo actually started asking about it on Wednesday or Thursday.  Hopefully we’ll be able to keep this up all winter.  It’ll be a nice way to get us all up and out of the house and doing something fun together.  I’ll try and catch up on the other goings on for the last few weeks.  I’m trying to get back into the habit of blogging, but it’s been a bit rough from many sides and the thing that suffers most when things get wacky is the blog.

But, I’d best get back to work and be productive.  I’ve lost enough time to the chaos of a Presidential visit, even if it wasn’t to our building.

Peace to all and may you have the surreal happen from time to time.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Well, as we can all see, I've done terribly with my self imposed 30 days of thanks challenge.  Oh well, I haven't done very well in general with the whole blogging thing this year.  There are lots of reasons for it, but mostly just excuses.

But, today is Thanksgiving here in the US.  And boy do I have a lot to be thankful for on this day.  Lots of things both big and small.

I'm thankful for the obvious things, that I have a roof over my head, that I can afford to feed my family and clothe us and still have a bit extra for fun things like hobbies.  I'm thankful that I have such a wonderful family.

But, I'm also thankful for the small things.  I'm thankful that my turkey and all the other dishes I made today turned out so well and were enjoyed by everyone.  I'm thankful that my mom and dad decided to have a Thanksgiving just with them and enjoyed it.  I'm thankful that I have so many wonderful friends who are family to me and that we could enjoy the day together.

I'm thankful that Steph's mom is doing better.  (Long story short, Steph is in Florida right now because her mom went to the hospital with what started out as pneumonia and quickly deteriorated to all kinds of diabetes affected problems as well, including being put on a vent... she's now off the vent and should be released from the ICU back to a regular room soon.)  I'm thankful in general for the continued good health of my family and friends.  Sure, we all have our issues (some of us more than others these days) but in general we're all fairly healthy.

In general, I'm just very thankful for the life I have.  I have so much more than so many people in the world.  I take it all for granted way too often and my complaints really are minor compared to some.  Sure, my life's been a bit rough this year, but overall, it's been good.

So, I wish everyone peace and may you have many things in your life to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Tonight I'm thankful I had a little overtime in my check.  I'm thankful that I had a few hours of overtime so that I could take my wonderful husband out to a very nice (or at least a nicer and much more expensive than our usual) dinner for my birthday.

Yes, yes, my birthday isn't until Friday.  But, I'm not trying to go out to dinner on Black Friday, or any day that weekend.  Nope, gonna stay close to home next weekend.

That, and I had babysitters this weekend.

Anyhow, since it was my birthday it was totally my choice in restaurant. After going back and forth a bit, I decided that I really wanted to take Gak to the Melting Pot.  I mean, Amanda, Joan, Jenn and I had such a great time at the one in AC back in September.  Instead of just having a meal and then looking at each other and going "now what" an hour later, going to the Melting Pot or somewhere like it turns the meal into an event.  Sure, I spent a good bit more than dinner and a movie (there are no movies playing this weekend that I really want to see...).  I spent more than double our normal nice evening out.  But, you know what?  It's my birthday, we don't go out to anything remotely "nice" very often, especially since Boo was born and like I said, I had a little bit of overtime in this check.  We totally enjoyed ourselves, had a bit of fun and a good evening over all.  I'm just glad I got to spend at least 4 hours of uninterrupted awake time with my wonderful husband without having to chase a boy.

But, I'm exhausted now and my bed is calling to me.  I'm hoping a boy-o sleeps in tomorrow.  (Yeah, I know, wishful thinking... he did just now go to bed though... so... awww... who am I kidding??)

Peace to all and may you be able to splurge on yourself now and again, and even better, splurge with someone you love.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Today I'm thankful for my dad.  I'm thankful that I've had another year with him around and in my life.  Yep, today is his birthday.

Yes, his health has deteriorated a lot this year.  Yes, his Alzheimer's is really taking its toll lately.  He's had some really bad days, but then he'll have a string of better days.  It's up and down back and forth, but generally in a downward slide.  Some days when we go over to see them it just breaks my heart having the same conversation three or four times in a row.  But, then I see him with Boo and how well they get along and truly enjoy being with each other and my heart melts a little and I will keep those memories forever.
His nerve pain is better some days and worse others.  When he's in pain, those are the days that are hardest on his memory.  When his pain meds are working and he's having a good day, he's having a good day.
But, just like with the memory issues, the pain issues are probably on a downward slide as well.

I'm thankful for everything he's ever done for me.  And I'm thankful that my son loves his PopPop as much as he does.  And most of all, I'm thankful that he's been here for another year.  I love him so very much.

Peace to all and may you have as much time as you can with the people you love.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Well, I guess I should come up with two things I'm thankful for today, since I didn't get a post in yesterday.

Well, yesterday is easy!  I'm super thankful for the other leaders and moms who help out with my troop.  Without them and their support, I'd be sunk.  Especially since we're up to 22 registered girls!  Last night was a good night.  Kathy, Scott and the American Legion riders are doing a run to a local Vet's hospital to visit vets staying there over the holidays on the 24th.  They're taking donations of clothes and toiletries and coats and the like.  So, I had my girls make cards to send along as well as making some nice, warm, no-sew fleece scarves.  They really weren't anything difficult or extraordinary (other than the fact that we were actually making them) but the compliments I got from the two leaders helping about them and how creative I am and how fun everything we do is, really kinda floored me.  Trust me, some of the things we've done have been so last minute it hasn't even been funny.  (Thankfully I have an extra week to come up with what I'm doing for the next part of our "Breathe" Journey... I'm so not liking this whole journey thing...)

For today, I think I'm going to have to be a little selfish.  Well, maybe that's not the right word, but it'll work.

Anyhow, if you remember back to two years ago in June, I posted a piece about some things I'd been working on, including a very special blanket and shawl for two very special people.  I also included the note that went with the gifts.  And you may remember that I posted about Ron's passing as well.  I had shared the letter I sent to Ron and his wife Beverly (whom I've become friendly with over the last two years) with another friend from work.  To make  a long, and probably confusing to anyone but me, story a bit shorter, this friend, Debbie is fighting esophageal cancer.  She fought it off just about 3 years ago.  But, it's back.  And there is nothing they can do to stop it or fix it.  But that's not what this is about.
No, this is about how people sharing their thoughts can tie people together.  This is about how Debbie took the heart of what I wrote to Ron and Beverly as well as thoughts from others she has talked with about prayer shawls and the like and created her own thing of beauty.  She was asked to talk to her church about why she became a member there and why she stays a member there.  The heart of it all boils down to that she realizes she sees that, and feels like, her church is one giant prayer shawl.  That all the people are the individual stitches and that while sometimes it may be a bit messy up close and personal, on the whole it is a beautiful and comforting thing that is stronger than it's parts.  She was so worried about using what I said word for word.  I told her not to worry about it.  If my words could help her say what she felt in her heart, than it was I who was honored and privileged to have given her what she needed.
She sent me a copy of what she'd written (even though she ended up saying it a bit differently at the time) for her congregation.  It was beautiful and made me cry.  And again, it made me thankful that I could put the words together that she (and Beverly and Ron, they wrote me a note telling me so) needed to hear.  I'm thankful that every now and again I get it right.  I'm thankful that I can share what is in my heart and that it can be heard by people who need it and understand it.

So, yes, today I'm a little bit selfish.  Today I'm thankful that I could find the words that were needed.

Peace to all and may you both have the help you need, and be able to give the help that's needed.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Today I am thankful for my mom.  Yes, I know I've said it before and I'll say it again.  My mom rocks.

Sure, it's pretty awesome that she watches the boy-o just about every Monday saving me around $120 a month, but that's just a little thing in the grand scheme of things.

No, my mom is awesome because she's so creative.  And she loves to be creative and do fun things with Boo.  Just like she loved doing fun and creative things with Jon and I while we were growing up.  I'm so thankful that she so willingly shares her time, love and creativity with my boy-o.  They're both better off for it.  I know my boy loves his Amma and is always happy when we have a project for them to do.

And I know Amma loves to do these things with her boy and share the smiles and the giggles.

And me, I get the best of it all.  I get the smiles of _both_ my mom _and_ my son.  You really can't beat that.

So, Mom, I'm so very thankful that you're my mom and that you have such a great relationship with my husband and my son and that you love spending time with us.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Today I am thankful for randomly warm Sundays in November.  The weather today was just plain beautiful.

And now my mind isn't working and not getting thoughts to come together into something that I can actually type.

Anyhow, today was a great day.  The morning went well and we got some chores done.  Boo, of course, asked three or four times to see PopPop.  So, I called Amma.  Since PopPop was having a good day, Boo and I headed down.  We hung out at the house for a little bit and had a little lunch.  (And Amma shared some awesome pumpkin pie ice cream from Trader Joe's.  It's such a good thing that there isn't a Trader Joe's convenient to the apartment... that's not something I want to drive 40 or 45 minutes home with...)

After lunch we went for a little walk at the park near the house and had some playground time.  Then we went to Target for a little shopping and then to Wegman's right next door.  I like shopping at Wegman's.  Again, I wish there was one closer.  They've got some great house brand stuff and both high end and bargain stuff.

Anyhow, it was very nice to be able to go outside in the sun and play without jackets.  I know the weather isn't going to last, so I made sure to enjoy it today.

Friday, November 09, 2012


Today I'm thankful for Fridays?  Yeah, I know.  It's lame.  I really haven't a clue.  I'm pretty tired and just realized I haven't posted anything today.
I am glad that today is a Friday.  It's been a long and only slightly productive week.  I'm soooo looking forward to Thanksgiving week and when I have off.  I really, really need the time away from the office.  I just am having a hard time these days.  I'm sure it's about 50% just mental.  But, I still am not feeling totally up to par and have been fighting the cold exhaustion again.  So over it.

Anyhow, today was one of the Fridays where the people I go out to lunch with were in the office.  So, there were 6 of us who all headed out to lunch today.  Two of us have birthdays in November, so one of our number decided it was her treat for the two of us.  Quite nice.  She really didn't have to do that, but I appreciate it.  I really enjoy the Fridays we go out to lunch.  But, they're just really hard to get work done.  I just can't seem to focus.  It's really aggravating.

Anyhow, I'm rambling, not making much sense and I'm heading to bed.

Peace and may you have someone to go to lunch with now and again.

Thursday, November 08, 2012


Today I'm thankful that the storm we were supposed to get hit with didn't hit us that hard.  It is freaking cold and really windy, but we didn't get much rain and barely a dusting of snow.  It could have been much, much worse.  (I really just wish this wind would die down, it wouldn't be half as cold feeling if the wind would just calm down.

Having said that though, I actually wish the storm had hit further inland.  As is, New Jersey and New York got pounded again.  And believe me, they really, really, really, didn't need that.  There were still so very many people without power and these cold, bitter winds aren't helping anyone.  My friend at work who lives in Jersey, has the National Guard on either her or her cousin's street (I'm not sure which she said...).

So, while I'm so very thankful that we didn't get much weather yesterday, I'm really feeling for our neighbors who have.  I really don't have much more to say than that.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Votes and Help

I have two very different things that I'm thankful for today.

First, the obvious one.  I'm thankful that I get the chance to voice my opinion through my vote every four years to elect our President.  Does my candidate always win?  Nope.  Do I voice my opinion?  Yep.  I'm not holing my breath on this one being over tomorrow.  There's just too much bitterness and divisiveness in the country right now that this won't go down without a legal battle or three.

But, on the smaller, closer to home front, I am so very thankful for my co-leaders and the other parents who help out with my girls.  Tonight we had our "make up" Halloween party that got crashed by Sandy last week.  From what I can tell, everyone had fun.  There were only a few minor misadventures along the way (like not being able to get either oven to light, but plan "B" worked).  I had three people keeping the girls busy with crafty stuff and Kat and I tried to get the girls through the kitchen and cooking as quick as we could.  We still ran extra late tonight.  I feel kinda bad about it.  We had two new girls, and the one mom made me feel like I was totally incompetent because the girls were running amuck like they always do at the beginning of the meeting.  Hey, I'm not a very formal (or really all that strict) leader.  This isn't school.  They don't have to sit in desks and be quiet and study and listen to lectures.  Sure, we may have someone in to talk to us now and again.  We may try and do organized activities.  But, the adventures we have going places, learning things and exploring is what this is all about.  The badges and awards we can earn along the way are the icing on the cake.  And from what I've seen and heard from a some of the girls coming to me from other troops, there are leaders out there who give Mrs. Tanenbaum, my 4th grade Language Arts teacher a run for her money in the strict and overbearing department.  (Sorry Mom and Jon, didn't mean to bring up bad memories of a horrible teacher...)

Anyhow, back to being thankful.  Without all the other women there tonight it would have been a royal disaster.  It was one thing for me and one other adult to run a meeting when there were only four or five girls at any meeting.  But tonight, I think we had 19.  And with two new girls who couldn't come this week, a Rachel who is mostly inactive and one girl who I'm just not sure if she's joining or not, I think we're up to 21 or 22 all told.  Yep, lots and lots of girls.  I really couldn't do this without the other women (and the dads who help out too!).

So, I'm thankful for my voice (even if it doesn't always seem like it's heard) in government, but closer to home, I'm very, very thankful for all the wonderful women helping me heard cats, er, lead our girls on these awesome adventures.

Peace to all and may you have all the help, and more, that you need, and a voice to use.

Monday, November 05, 2012


What am I thankful for today?  Well, I know what I'm going to be thankful for tomorrow, but I really want to use it tomorrow, not today.... it's really appropriate for tomorrow.

So, what shall I be thankful for today?

I think I'll be thankful for yarn.  And for people who like to play with yarn.  And the fact that there are great people out there who like to play with yarn and like to talk to me, even if it's only online.

I've made lots of projects lately and I've made a few neat friends purely by chance on Google+.  I'm still not sure exactly how I ended up meeting most of them.  But, I'm really glad I have.

I don't really have much more to say tonight other than the fact that I hope the weather doesn't do what they think it's going to be as bad as they say it might be later this week...

Anyhow, I'm tired, cold and want to play with my yarn.

Peace to all and may you find people you can connect with.

Sunday, November 04, 2012


I'm having a hard time coming up with something to be thankful for.  It's not that life isn't good today, it's that we really didn't do much.

We all managed to sleep in, somewhat, even with the stupid time change.  Breakfast was uneventful.  I managed to come up with a decent grocery list and dinner menus for the week.  We even managed to run to Target, decide to skip the grocery store (the lot was packed and I just didn't feel like dealing) and had a nice lunch at the pizza place around the corner.  Boo even napped without any hassle.  I managed to spend some quality Rift time with Gak while the boy slept and was able to answer a simple question that came through the beeper phone.

So, I guess in general I'm thankful for quiet weekend days.  It was a nice day to just relax with the family.

On a side note, the weather is getting colder.  And I hope like crazy that I stop feeling so freaking cold all the time.  This really is beginning to stink big time.  The thermostat is set at what I normally consider a comfortable level.  I am comfortable most of the time, but when I'm not, boy am I not comfortable.  I sit here in my chair huddling and shivering in my sweatshirt...  And I know it's just me.  When I take a nice long, hot shower and finally feel warm in the inside, my skin is warm and I'm sweating.  Don't get me started about feeling both stinking hot and freezing cold at the same time at night.  I'm surprised Gak hasn't kicked me out of bed yet.  So, I keep taking the vitamins and keep trying to figure out why I'm just not feeling like myself.
Sorry, had to rant a moment.

Anyhow, I'm off to play with yarn or read for a bit before crashing.

Peace to all and may you have a relaxing day now and again.

Saturday, November 03, 2012


I know it's early in the month to be pulling this one out, but today I've got to.  Today I am thankful for friends.

I'm thankful for the friends who have kids and tell me "it's OK, this is normal" when Boo has a button pushing day (like today)...
Long story hopefully short, bumper league finally started today because another little boy wanted to bowl.  Well.... despite being very interested and asking me every week (until a week or so ago) about bowling, when it finally came time to actually bowl today, we melted down.  It boiled down to me telling him we're here to bowl not just hang with the cousins and if he wasn't going to bowl we were going to go home... so... we disappointed another little boy (who did bowl) and we went home to Boo crying and whining about being hungry and tired.  So, I made him a second bowl of cereal and after that he lay down for about an hour or so.  He never did nap.  He only partially stopped pushing buttons.
I was so hoping that bowling wouldn't become the debacle that soccer did this spring/summer because he is very familiar with the place and the people and it was something he knows how to do, likes doing and asked to do.  Well, as soon as it became a "had to" instead of a "can I?" thing, he wanted nothing to do with it. So, yeah, already grumpy and frustrated with him and then he's been good at pushing buttons the rest of the day. And so, of course I'm even more worried than I was about Kindergarten next fall.  I just don't want to tackle that ball of wax right now.

But, I'm also thankful for friends who help each other out.  Scott had several trees come down in the storm.  So, Kat, Steph, Steve, Shelby, Randy, Chris and Dianne were all over helping him cut up trees and haul them to the front and all kinds of good things like that.  Since I was already making chili today because it's great weather for it and I promised Gak, I offered to bring it over for everyone.  Everyone was very thankful that I did, especially since Scott still doesn't have power.  Scott was very thankful for everyone's help today, and I believe people are going to gather again tomorrow to help with more cleanup.

But now, I am cold and tired and am dealing with a boy who never did actually nap today and is being a combination of whiny and good at pushing buttons... thankfully it's almost bath time for a boy.  (Although, I want to keep him up late tonight because, joy, it's the end of daylight savings time...)

So, I'm off to run a bath for a boy, maybe camp him out in front of a movie for a bit and then try and enjoy my evening....

Peace to all and my no one be pushing your buttons but you have friends to lend a hand if they are.

Friday, November 02, 2012


Tonight I am thankful for electricity.  Yes, this is a continuation of yesterday for the most part, but today electricity is important and I'm thankful for it.

No, it's not because I live a very "connected" life and seem to have an electronic device (or several...) within arms reach at all times, but for other reasons.  I'm very thankful that we only lost power for less than a day.  But, what I'm really thankful for is the fact that the power is finally back on at Gak's work.  This means that he gets to go back to work tomorrow.

Normally Gak's not very happy about working every Saturday.  But, after being home all week, climbing the walls, he's more than happy to go back to work.  Not just for the fact that he gets out of the house with something to do, but because without going to work this week, his next paycheck will be half of what it usually is.

Several of my friends are still without power, and that stinks.  I know for a fact some of them won't get it back until Sunday, or maybe even Monday at this rate.  That really stinks.  But, we make do and I've let everyone I know who is still without power they are more than welcome to come over and charge phones or  take a hot shower or grab some hot food.

Peace to all and may you have the power you need, when you need it.

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Well, it's November again.  How did that happen?  I haven't a clue.

All I do know is that I have a lot to be thankful for this year, and especially this week.

I'm thankful that my boy is growing and healthy.  And boy is he growing!  He's just shy of 40 pounds fully dressed.  So, that means he's big enough that we removed the harness from his booster seat and he just "goes click!" now.  Yep, his booster is really just a high-backed belt positioner.  We did that last week.

But, what I'm most thankful for is the fact that we survived the hurricane with as little damage as we did.  We lost power from almost 9:00 Monday night until about 2:00 Tuesday afternoon.  I have friends that are still without power and it is Thursday night.  Some may not get it back before Sunday.

It was an interesting few days of the storm.  The week after has been even more interesting.  Gak's been out of work since he closed on Saturday as the store doesn't have power.  Thankfully, he will be back at work, unfortunately, no work equals no pay.  I'm thankful that I was able to work from home Monday and I was able to make it in to work for a few hours Tuesday to finish up a few things that had to get done by the end of the day.  (Thanks EPA for not extending the reporting deadline for the storm...)

Anyhow, I'm going to attempt to post daily in November.  I'm going to attempt to find something I'm thankful for every day, even if I have to look very, very hard.

Anyhow, I've got a few things I want to do before bed, so I'm going to wrap it up here.

Monday, October 22, 2012


First things first, my girls and I had a great time at the Halloween Parade on Sunday.  Boo had a great time handing out candy to kids and just being cute in general.  I'm having a lot of fun with the girls this year (not that last year wasn't fun, but this is a different kind of fun with four times the number of girls...).

I have to rant and rave and just scream and pout and whine.  This has nothing to do with my girls or Girl Scouts or anything along those lines, I just wanted to share that yesterday was a great day.  We walked a good couple of miles and the day was beautiful.

But... today I'm tired.  And I'm cold.  Scratch that, I'm not even really all that mentally tired, just tired enough that simple things are pushing my buttons and I couldn't focus worth a damn at work today.  I'm physically more tired than I ever should be for the amount of low-key walking we did.  I'm freaking freezing cold.  Gak is sitting here in shorts and a t-shirt (and complaining he's warm) and I'm in jeans and a sweatshirt and I'm still freaking freezing.  And hot at the same time.
I just don't get it.

I'm sick and tired of being so flipping worn out all the time.  I'm tired of not having the energy to do what I want to do.  To not have the energy to make it through a day of work and come home and play and have fun with my boy-o without wishing we could just curl up in front of the TV or something.  I hate not being able to focus on much of anything for more than a short time without getting distracted or frustrated because I've lost my train of thought.  I'm so sick of feeling freezing cold and the only way to feel warm is to stand in the shower and waste so much hot water.  And even then my skin feels warm, my inside feels warm but I still feel cold if that makes sense.  I'm tired of feeling hot and cold at the same time.

And I'm totally frustrated by my doctor.  Don't get me wrong.  I love Dr. F.  She's been great and listened to me when I first came to her complaining of exhaustion and achyness and general ugh.  She's the one who sent me for such thorough blood work that I felt like I should have just donated a whole unit instead.  But... at my 4-month follow-up she wasn't overly helpful.  Sure, I don't feel anywhere near as bad as I did back in May.  But as I've whined a few times here, my energy level just isn't anywhere near where it was a year ago, or even at the beginning of the year.  I'd say my old energy level used to be around a 7 or 8 out of 10 most days, meaning that I could keep up with Boo if I tried hard enough and I had more than enough energy and attention span to make it through work without too much difficulty.  (My difficulty staying on task last year had very little to do with being exhausted, but just feeling kidna stuck and out of sorts with the job in general... I'm more or less over that, but just can't get through a day it seems...)  Now, if I'm lucky I'm around a 5 or a 6, but probably hover somewhere around a 4.  Back in the spring I would have said I was around a 2 or a 3 for energy.
So, yeah, I don't have the energy I did.
And I want it back.
I want to drop the 15 or so pounds that I picked back up over the summer because the  office snacking has totally gotten out of hand again and I haven't been able to get out of my own way enough to swim more than once a week, let alone get any other real activity in.

And then when I do, like yesterday, I pay for it so badly the next day that it really wasn't worth it.  And all I freaking did was walk in a parade that was around 2 miles long all told, if that (my pedometer app wasn't playing nice yesterday and I didn't map it on Google... just guessing here...)

And what's worse, is that I end up taking it out on the poor innocents.  I grumble and fuss and Gak ends up ignoring me and leaving me alone because I'm in no mood to be fit company.  He wants to do things with me, but he doesn't want to make me feel like I have to, so he just leaves me totally alone.  Which makes me sad. He shouldn't have to feel like I can't be approached with a 10 foot pole.  I shouldn't feel like I have to decide between doing what I want (playing RIFT or something like that with him, enjoying some together time) or what my body says I should do..... And I think I owe Boo about 15 apologies, just for tonight..

Anyhow, back to being frustrated by my doc.  Like I said, she's wonderful, but my appointment last week wasn't very helpful.  I told her my energy still wasn't where it was.  That I was still feeling cold a lot.  She asked me if I still had the muscle and joint aches, and I said no, because I don't.  She asked if I was feeling any depression or anxiety, and I said no, just frustration at my lack of energy and that it's been keeping me from exercising and hasn't helped to keep me from gaining 10 or 15 lb back since the spring.  She said that my vitamin D levels were in the normal range back when I had it retested in August and that chasing a kiddo like Boo around was bound to cause an energy drop and that vitamin D levels don't jump back up right away and we'll check again in December to see if they've stabilized.  Yep, she wasn't listening last week.  I really don't want to have to wait until December for more blood work.  I don't want to have to wait until April for my next follow up appointment.
I wonder why seemingly so suddenly my energy levels headed to the basement.  I don't want to be taking my multi-vitamin and an additional 2000 units of D for the rest of my life.  I want to feel like I have answers and reasons for why I feel the way I feel.

So, I'm frustrated.  And I'm tired.  And I had a Monday of a Monday and couldn't focus on a damn thing past 10:00.  And I've been freezing all afternoon.

On the plus side, Boo and Amma made chocolate chip cookies again today.  (Which is something I both needed and didn't need at the same time.... but the apartment smells soooo good...)

Oh, and then Mom had to give me an update on Dad.  It's breaking my heart.  And there's nothing I can do about it.  And I'm just not thinking about it right now because I've decided to spend this evening wallowing in self pity and ranting about my own personal problems.  But, yeah, not a great news day.  I'm tired and frustrated and just want it all to stop being so crappy.

I promise I'll try and post more "real" posts like the notes one.  I'll try not to wallow in self pity too much, but tonight I just needed to rant.  So, now I'm off to soak away the day in the shower and curl up with a book.  (My crochet project I'm working on is at a tricky spot and I just don't have the concentration for it right this second...)

Peace to all and may your energy be high, your health good and your  life filled with only small frustrations.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Written Windows

I’m sitting here at work, working on some equations from a customer.  We’ve been going back and forth on these silly things for way longer than I care to think about.  First it was with one person from the site, now another.  It’s going much better with this second person than it was with the first.  With the first it really seemed like even though we were speaking the same language, the words weren’t meaning the same things.

Anyhow, I’m a pencil and paper kind of gal.  I have stacks and stacks of notebooks I’ve filled over the years at my job.  My earlier ones even have tables of contents (listing site/problem and even page number, sometimes date) and several have lots of sticky notes sticking out the tops.  You can trace all that back to my chemistry and other lab classes in college.  If you didn’t take notes, and in your official lab book, it didn’t happen.  Of course, it had to be in pen, pencil wasn’t allowed.
I just can’t take notes digitally.  I draw too many arrows and diagrams.  I write thoughts and cross them out as they are disproved or underline and exclamation point them when I was right.  I doodle in margins while I try and wrap my brain fully around what I’m thinking or working on.  I use color when I need something to stand out, or to differentiate between things that are similar or need to be grouped together.  Somehow the physical act of tracing the letters and numbers onto the paper makes it actually stick in my memory some how, and in a way that typing just doesn’t do.
That’s kind of a side note, leading up to the heart of the post, but a little background I felt was needed.

So, back to the equations I’m tackling for a customer.  I’ve gone through them and in my notebook I’ve written them out, crossed out units of measure that cancel each other out, just as I was taught throughout school and drawn my arrows, written my thoughts and doodled my doodles.  I then typed up my findings into a Word document and send them off to the customer.

What do I get back in return?  A scanned copy of my document with notes and scribbles all over it is what I find.  And he also sent three pages of hand written notes and scribbles on the equations.

I smiled at this.  I feel like this man is a kindred spirit when it comes to how we figure things out.  We physically move things around, even if it is just symbols on the page.  Suddenly, working with this guy doesn’t seem so impossible.  Maybe, just maybe, we’ll finally put these issues to rest and we’ll be able to move forward.

Then I think about how personal sending someone your writing is.  Sending someone the scribbles from your notebook is like sending them a picture of the innermost workings of your brain. 
Mine are messy and dynamic and impermanent in pencil, and colorful yet super organized and downright anal in places.  And yes, that really does reflect the inner me.  I’m a total mess, but if certain things aren’t “just so”, I go crazy and can’t function.  I need my color and my action and direction, but there has to be a central calm to my world as well.
My customer’s are neat, in pen and permanent, with sparse use of color, and no real arrows or anything dynamic to speak of.  He must be a much more organized, calm and “settled” kind of person than I am.

I know I’ve reflected on writing before, comparing my writing to my dad’s, and even my mom’s.  I see a lot of my dad’s stability and logical thoroughness in my notes and how I take them, but I also see my mom’s dynamic attitude and visual and spatial learning.  Those aren’t quite the right words, but they’re the best I’ve got.

I just think it’s really amazing what you can learn about a person just looking at the how they take notes, digitally or with good old pen and paper and by what those notes look like.  The written word is very much a window into the mind and soul of the person writing them, and not just for the verbal content.

I just had to share these observations while they were fresh in my mind.  I’d best head back to my calculations and enjoy the act of writing my notes.  (I really don’t know what would happen if I couldn’t write…)

Peace to all and may you have pleasant surprises in your day and windows into peoples’ souls.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Where Was I?

Well, it's been a week since I've paid any attention over here.  Any long-time follower (all three of you) know that October is reporting month.  And yeah, it's reporting month.  That's about all I can or will say about that.

I have lots of things rattling around in my head.  Most of them have to do with the fact that my energy level is still nowhere near where I want it to be.  And that what little focus I can muster up are gone way too quickly.  And the fact that I'm sick and tired of feeling cold more often than not.  I mean, I know the cold of exhaustion and used to feel it if I stayed up too late, say past midnight or so, but feeling those waves of goose-bump raising cold starting at 8am?  I mean, I'm not bone-achingly tired or cold anymore, but I just can't seem to get my energy levels back to where they should be.  I'm tired of not being able to (and not really wanting to) get back into my workout routine.    In short I'm tired of being tired.

I did get my blood work checked a few weeks ago and well, it came back normal.  Slightly on the low end of normal, but normal.  I've got a follow up appointment next week.  We'll see what Dr. F has to say.  I'm just grumpy about it and want my old energy levels back and to feel good again.

In other news, I've finished up several crochet projects in the last few weeks (you saw several a week or two back in my crafty-girl post).  I'm glad I've been spending more yarn time, but you know, I just wish I had more time and energy for everything else.

Girl Scouts are going well this year.  I have 19 girls in my troop this year.  Yeah, I went from 5 to 19.  I'm still trying figure it all out and get this herd of cats going in the same, slightly quieter than a rock concert, direction.  We've got some interesting things in the planning.  I just hope we have a good year.

Anyhow, it's 8:30, I want to curl up with a book for a few (I have been reading more, which is nice... but...). I've got a ton of work to head in to tomorrow morning and I just want to get it over with.  Or something like that.  My train of thought seems to have derailed a bit there.  And I'm not going to try and fix it.

Peace to you all and may you have happy times and good health.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


 Today was a great day.  Boo, Amma and I got to go apple picking with Lissa and the Piglet!  (Gak was going to join us, but he was having an out of sorts say and didn't really feel up for company... which I totally understand.)

Anyhow, I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves.  We had a lot of fun picking apples and just hanging out and catching up.  Boo and Piglet had fun playing together, as they usually do.  Mom, Lissa and I got to catch up.  And there will be much applesauce to be enjoyed by all for a long time.  We went to Freecon Farms right outside of Boyertown.  It's a nice easy drive for us, and not too bad of a drive for Lissa.  Hopefully we'll be getting together again sooner as opposed to later.  Living 2 hours or so apart is tough for getting together, but it is always so worth it when we do.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Crafty Girl

Well, looks like September is going to be a sparsely written month.  Anyhow, I've rounded up pictures of most of my crochet projects over the last few months.  There are a few that are in the works and a few more that I haven't photographed and have already gifted...  Anyhow, in no real order....

Here is the second pair of socks I made this summer.  I don't have pictures of the first ones.  The other pattern was nice, but I'm not sure I'll make it again, they get a little sloppy around the ankles when you wear them.  This pattern is an adaptation of a "basic sock pattern" that I've done before.  But, instead of all single crochets, I decided to use a "crunch stitch" pattern of alternating single and double crochets.  I love the texture it creates, even if figuring out the heel gusset was a little challenging.  Of course, I also love the purple color.

This is a ripple wave blanket I've been working on for the better part of a year now.  It's mostly a stash buster using yarn purchased for two other projects that I either chose other yarn for or scrapped entirely.  This is only part of it.  I'm not sure if I'm crocheting in lengthwise or width-wise.  It all depends on how much yarn I have... Either way, it'll be warm and snuggly when I finish it.  It was originally going to be for some friends, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be mine instead.  (I found a different pattern I want to make my friends... and since it's a surprise it doesn't matter what the finished blanket is, so long as I think they'll like it...)

These two projects also use stash yarn.   The top one is a "chain loop scarf" that someone posted on G+ and I figured I wanted to play with the pattern  It took almost an entire skein of Deborah Norville Serenity Bulky.  It's long enough to double up and be warm and snuggly.  It looks a little silly single.  I'm not sure if I'm keeping it or gifting it.  The bottom one is an octagon blanket that I started with what was left of the first skein.  There's another skein and a half in there and I've got another skein and a half to go.  Again, not sure who this is for, but I have some ideas.

This is the round blankie that I'm making for my cousins Rae and Kami.  Rae is expecting a baby boy around Christmas time.  This is the second blanket I've made with this pattern.  I really enjoy it, but since it uses sport weight yarn and a small hook, the outer rounds take forever.  This one is made from Knit Picks Brava in grass, the first one I made this spring for the baby of a friend of Gak's was in peapod, a much brighter green.  I think this one looks like a lily pad, which is part of the point, since Kami loves frogs.

Here are two shrugs that I've made.  The bottom one I made this spring.  It's a stitch pattern I found on the Lion Brand website and fell in love with a while ago, but didn't have anything to make with it.  The yarn is a fingering weight or so 100% cotton yarn from Katia.  It's quite yummy and the long color repeats give very nice stripes.  This one is a little shorter.
The top one I just finished.  It's for a September CAL hosted on Google+.  I kinda got roped into it when I was admiring someone else's progress.  This is another stash buster.  The original pattern called for fingering weight and to be a stole (hence the pattern name of "Mist Stole").  I don't wear wraps, but I do like shrugs.  So, I found some sport-ish weight yarn in my stash that is a riot of rainbow colors.  I think it looks like someone spilled a bag of Spree or M&Ms.  It worked up nice and quick.  The yarn is a cotton/wool blend and is soft and has a little bit of spring to it.  The sleeves come just to my elbows and is a wonderful length.

Here is a circle scarf that I did back in July.  I used Knit Picks Chroma fingering in the Galapagos colorway. It's quite beautiful and was a joy to make.  Unfortunately, the yarn is 100% wool and while nice on the hands to work with, just made me itch when I tried to wear it.  Therefore, I gifted it to Mary.  I made one using Knit Picks Comfy in a bright burgandy in the fingering weight for me.  It's really cool all in one color and I can't wait to wear it.  I have decided I really enjoy scarves and shrugs at work because they can dress up a Tee or a tank or any shirt and add just a smidge of warmth.

Anyhow, that's all the crafty girl photos I can find.  I need to get a picture of yesterday's project.  There's a new comic and gaming store down near work that just opened up.  So, for Gaks' birthday (which is tomorrow!) we went down there and I got him a new Warhammer 40K model.  I managed to get it assembled and painted yesterday and last night.  It looks pretty good.  It's not the best paint job ever, but it is good enough for a first attempt.   Thankfully Necrons are mostly black with a bit of bright green.

Anyhow, I've got off today and the boy-o and I are going to the Zoo with Amma this afternoon after we drop Gak off at work.  I promise to update the random adventures we've had soon.  And hopefully October will be a bit better for updates...

Peace to all and may you be able to indulge your crafty side.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Ack!  Where has the week gone?  It's Wednesday already and I have no idea where the week has gone.
Oh, that's right, I've been struck by the first head cold of the season... and hopefully my only one.  Thanks Boo!  I really do love you for this, really.  (Boo was sniffly all weekend, and still is a bit, and I just thought it was seasonal allergy type sniffles.  Nope, Gak and I are both hit with varying degrees of head cold...)

OK, so the important stuff all happened this weekend.

Saturday morning we went to bowling, only to find out that bumper league isn't starting until the end of the month.  That's OK, we got to hang out with the big kids and watch them bowl.  Boo and I also bowled one game.  I got a 134, but that was mostly dumb luck and slightly assisted by bumpers.  (Most of my spares and one of my two strikes were legit, most of the time if I bounced off the bumper I missed anyhow...)  Boo managed a 71.  According to him, he won because 7 is bigger than 1... Guess we have to work on math a bit...
After bowling was lunch and then home for nap time.  After nap time it was time to pick up Daddy and we went to BJ's to pick up some drinks and stuff for the picnic Sunday and some stuff for the house.  Then it was home for dinner and Dr. Who.  All I have to say is: Dinosaurs!  On a spaceship!  Great episode.

Sunday was filled with all kinds of errands and running around.  There was breakfast to be eaten, groceries to be shopped for and laundry to be done.  Then there was some other odd and end things that needed doing all in getting ready for the picnic.

The Girl Scout picnic went great.  I made up 20 folders with registration information in i, I came home with three, and there were a few girls missing that I know will be coming.  So, yeah, it looks like 17 or so will actually be in my troop.  Unfortunately, I didn't get as much time talking with the girls as I'd hoped, but they all had plenty of time to hang out and play at the playground together and get to know each other.  Several already know one or more girls in the troop, but this way they got a chance to hang with everyone without too much leader interference, which is important.  I've got lots of parents ready and willing to help, I just need to tell them what I need.  I can do that.

This week has been kinda ugh.  That's the best way I can put it.  I started feeling icky Monday afternoon and by yesterday morning I was in full fledged ick mode.  Today was a bit better, but I didn't feel up to riding my bike this afternoon, which really stinks.  The weather has been so beautiful this week that it would be perfect for riding.  Oh well, maybe Friday.

Tomorrow is my company picnic and Boo's school pictures.  Oh boy!  It's also my first leader meeting of the year.  Ugh.  I have a love/hate relationship with them.  Love them because I'm actually involved with Scouts, hate them because... well... I've attended less painful meetings at work.  And most of those are pretty painful.  Hopefully I won't fall asleep or anything silly.

This weekend is going to be a good one.  I actually get to see three friends of mine from college who I haven't seen in ages.  And we're going to AC overnight.  Yep, I'm going away overnight again without my boy-o.  Or his daddy.  (Gak and I have got to get an overnight away just the two of us, we're trying to make it happen in November...)

I know, I know, I promise (or maybe that's threatened) a crafty girl post a while back.  I haven't sorted through the photos and I haven't taken photos of a lot of things... so it'll have to wait.  That and I can't seem to stop starting new things... I just started yet another project tonight.  At least that one should be quick and easy.  And one of my other projects should be wrapped up in another 10 rounds or so... but of course, that means each round will take longer than the last as it keeps getting bigger.  Oh well.  At least I have plenty to keep my occupied!

I'm off to stand in the shower and dope myself into a Benedryl induced haze...

Peace to all and may your sinuses be clear and your weeks good.

Friday, September 07, 2012

There and Back Again, but Not as Exciting

Ok, Ok, so it's been more than a week, almost two since I last posted.  When last I updated I was about to head out on my first business trip in just about 3 years.  I was both looking forward to it and dreading it for several reasons.

I wasn't dreading it because I was dreading leaving my son home alone with his daddy for a couple of days.  Leaving Boo with his daddy is never, ever the problem.  I'm so thankful to have a partner in this who is just as capable as I am at this whole parenting gig.  Actually, I don't think we'd have a kiddo if I didn't think Gak would be the awesome daddy he is.  This whole parenting thing isn't one I'd want to do alone if I didn't have to, and well, I don't have to.  I've got an amazing hubby.

Sorry, not sure where that bit of ramble came from... maybe I've been reading too many "mommie's rock, daddies suck" kind of articles.  That's far from the truth in my corner of the world.  Just about all the dads I know (there will always be exceptions to every rule) take parenting just as seriously and work just as hard at it as the moms... sometimes more so.

No, I was looking forward to it because it meant I was going to be out of the office.  It meant I was going to be able to focus on one problem, and one problem only, for the entire day.  It meant I was finally going to meet with people face to face that I'd been talking over the phone with for almost 12 years now.  Guiltily, it also meant I was going to have two whole evenings of not having to be Momma.  Now, don't get me wrong, being Momma is the best title in the world to me, but there are days when it is nice to just be Addey.  When I don't have to be employee Addey, or wife Addey or Momma Addey.  When I can go out to eat and not worry about wrangling a kiddo into his seat every 30 seconds or trying to get a little elbow room at the table or all the other fun adventures of eating out with a four-year-old.  When I can watch what I want on TV or not and not feel guilty about ignoring the world and playing with yarn.  Everyone needs some moments like that, kids or not.

I was also dreading it because the work I was heading out to do isn't fun.  It has to do with state regulations and reporting and well... this state is just plain wacky and very painful when it comes to that.  Much more painful than just about any other state out there that I can think of.  I was also dreading it a bit because I was only half looking forward to the site visit I had planned for the drive home.  I was only half looking forward to driving 3/4 of the way across the state and back.  (It can be a nice drive, but you can also get stuck on some of these roads that turn it from an enjoyable drive to slow moving torture...)  I was also not really looking forward to Velcro-boy over the next couple of days after I got home.  I get attacked by Velcro-boy often enough when he's had a full week of full-day daycare or Wednesday evenings after Girl Scouts start up that I knew being gone two whole nights would mean I'd have my arms full of a boy-o who didn't want to leave his Momma's sight for a couple of days.

The trip went well over all.  The drive on Tuesday got maddeningly slow only in one or two places.  The work Wednesday was long, mentally rough and time consuming.  I don't want to think about how long it would have taken me if I'd tried to do it remotely over a modem.  It wasn't difficult, but it involves a lot of data entry and a bit of math.  And when you're dealing with 10 sets of reports, it just takes time, pure and simple.  The lunch we had planned with two other sites nearby (who use our software and are all friends) didn't happen because of various other things coming up.  I did have a nice lunch with the guy at the site I was at.
But, I'm also very glad that I did make the site visit I was half dreading on the way home.  I was just wanting to pop in, say hi, just sort of check in for a few and be on my way.  I was figuring I'd be there an hour tops.  I was there almost two whole hours!  It was all very good conversation and let me bring a lot of good information about the plant and happenings to the office.  They were glad I stopped in and gave me lots of information to take back with me and I was able to answer a couple of questions.  So, yeah, I'm glad I stopped, even if it meant I put in a 12 hour day all told.  (4 hours at the site I was working at, 2 hours at the other site and about 6 hours driving time all told with stops for food and gas...)

So, the end of last week was fairly productive.
I wish I could say the same about this week.  My low level exhaustion has dropped my energy level from about a normal 4 out of 10 to about a 3 out of 10 I think this week.  And actually, it's not so much my raw energy level that's been the problem, but the lack of focus that goes along with it.  My mind has been all over the place other than on what I'm supposed to be working on.  I've got to fix that today and salvage something good this week!

But that's all work.  I'll tell you, getting home last Thursday was nice.  Boo and Gak were over at Kat's house because I wasn't going to get home until about 7:00.  Actually, Gak had just gotten there a few minutes before I had.  Steph had picked Boo up, and Boo and Zoe were playing in the back yard when I got home.  They actually didn't even notice my car pulling up.  I stuck my head out the back door and just yelled "Boo!" and you'd have thought I'd promised free ice cream for life the way they both came running.  (What can I say, Zoe loves me too...)  The funny part was I got a quick hug and then Boo was off and running again with Zoe.  That was fine by me as I had a headache and wanted to catch up with Steph and Kat a bit before rounding up a boy-o to then go return the rental car and go home.

The weekend was nice.  I did have Velcro-boy a bit at night, but that's been happening frequently these days.  It's become part of the bedtime routine in a way.

We spent Saturday doing laundry and running some errands.  Sunday morning was cleaning, a few more errands and some blob time.  Sunday night Gak and I went to our friend Scott's surprise 40th birthday party.  Kat did an awesome job planning it.  We had a lot of fun and enjoyed a nice evening out with friends and not having to be Momma and Daddy.  Monday was rainy and icky.  Boo and I went down to Amma's around lunch time.  We even went over next door to play with Henry and Lia for a little bit.  Boo was being a bit clingy and shy and Velcro-boy so it didn't last long, much to Henry's disappointment I think.  But, over all it was a good day.

Like I said earlier, this week at work's been tough, even though it is a short week.  I'll get over it and move on.  I get the feeling I need a followup before October though on this whole exhaustion thing...

This weekend should be fun.  Tomorrow Boo starts in his bumper bowling league while the bigger kids continue to bowl in their league.  Sunday we're having a family pot-luck and meeting for Girl Scouts.  I'll be having a brief meeting in the first part to go over registration and goals for the year and stuff and then it'll be relax and get to know everyone time.  You see, I've gone from 5 or 6 girls to probably 17 or 18.  Yep, my troop has tripled in size.  I'm actually looking forward to meeting all the new girls.  A lot already know each other because there are a couple of troops that have dissolved over the past year and some are girls from the Junior troop some of my girls last year came from.  It should be a lot of fun.

I've now got 5 minutes to snuggle an awake boy, get dressed and get out the door.  Wish me luck.

Peace to all and may your travel adventures be good, and your focus remain strong.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Travel Time

Well, it's been a long time since I've written one of these posts!  I'm actually traveling for work a bit this week.  Nothing too far and only 2 nights away from home.  It should be good.  I'm heading out to a site to do some report work and visiting with a few others that are on the way or nearby.  So, it's part service call, part diplomatic mission of warm fuzzies.  All in all, it shouldn't be too bad.  I like all the guys I'm visiting and I've been to two of the plants before.

I'll be leaving today around lunch time and spending all day tomorrow on site working on reports and having lunch with a few sites.  Then Thursday on my way home I'm stopping at another site, just to say hi and check in with them.  Hopefully I'll be home by 6 Thursday evening and will be able to pick up Boo myself from daycare.

The last time I traveled for work it was right before Boo turned 1.  It was both good and miserable.  At least for me.  I think this time will be more miserable for Boo, because he's a bit (a lot) more aware of things.  I'll be calling home at bed time.  Also, we just spent a weekend away from Daddy, so he's been through that.  But, I'm Momma.  And as much as I'd love to say Gak and I are interchangeable, as everyone knows, you have different relationships with each of your parents.  And well, I'm the one Boo wants to cling to and snuggle with.  I think a good bit of that has to do with the fact that he just doesn't get to see as much of me as he does Gak, but also, again, I'm Momma and that tends to be a different bond than the one with Daddy.  All in all though, Gak and I both love our boy dearly and as much as I look forward to being out of the office, I'm not 100% looking forward to leaving the boys.  (Although, I am looking forward to an overnight trip next month with some college friends!!)

I am also negligent in posting not only about our weekend adventures (and trust me, Sunday was full of adventure!) I didn't even stop in to post a few words that yesterday was Gak's and my 7th anniversary!  I can't believe it's been seven years already, but some times it feels like we've always been married.  Here's to many, many, many more years together with my love.

I've got a boy to snuggle and a day to get ready for.

Peace to all and may your adventures be good, and the work challenging but fun.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Huh? What?

Let's see... it's been a week since I've posted.  As well as I was doing in July with posting, even with it being a reporting month, I've been doing equally miserably at updating in August.  Oh well, I'll get over it.

I've been battling off and on with exhaustion this month.  I had some follow-up blood work done and my Vitamin D levels are low, but within normal levels.  I'm not sure I totally believe it, but with the amount of Vitamin D I'm taking, I'd think my levels would be higher.  Oh well.  Hopefully it's just doing too much and the hard work of July catching up with me.  We shall see.  I just know that the last two weeks have been very difficult at work trying to focus and get things done.

On the plus side, there are a few good things going on.  My cousin Rae has finally passed the 20-week mark in her pregnancy.  I'm so thrilled that she and Kami are finally going to have a baby.  I can't wait to meet my newest little cousin, but I'm more than willing to wait another 29 weeks or so.  He can stay right where he is for now.

Mom, Boo and I went to the beach on Monday.  We had a great time.  I only have a few pictures.  Actually, I only have a few pictures from the whole month.  I've really fallen down on that, but I think part of it is burnout and part of it is the exhaustion showing through.  Anyhow, we had quite an enjoyable day on Monday.  We played on the beach and in the water, we had some lunch, went to the book store and the T-shirt store and had some ice cream.  Then we went back onto the beach for a little while more before heading home.  It was a very wonderful day.  I just wish Gak was able to join us at least one day.

I know I had some other positive things to post, but I honestly can't remember them right now.  I've been pretty distracted writing this between the show on the QM2 that Gak is watching, mindless puzzle games and putting a boy-o back to bed a few times.  Oh well.  I think I'll just wrap it up here.

Maybe later this week I'll do a craft update.  I've got 1 pair of socks done, 1 pair of socks almost done, a few scarves and one or two shrugs that I've completed since I last did a crafty-girl update.  I've been keeping my hooks busy in an attempt to keep my hands from shoveling more snacks into my mouth.  (I've been having a heck of a time not mindlessly snacking at work.)

Anyhow, I'm going to wrap this ramble up and head to bed...

Peace to all and may your thoughts not fragment and you have a good time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Photography vs. Art?

I've been doing the "Photo A Day" challenges from Fat Mum Slim for the past 2.5 months.  Also, somewhere along the line a friend on G+ shared a circle of photographers, so now my feed is full of some awesome (and not so awesome) photos.
Seeing all these images and actually paying attention to the shots I'm taking, well, more attention than I had been paying, has got me rankled.  Actually, it has just brought somethings that have been festering in the back of my mind for a long time now to the surface.

As much as I love my digital camera and the ease with which I can take, and over take, pictures, I'm not sure  everything it's done for photography as an art is a good thing.  First off, with the price of cameras coming down, and the quality being pretty good, everyone and their cousin thinks they're a Photographer with a capital "P".  Now, I've been taking pictures practically since I can remember.  But, I still don't call myself a Photographer.  I'm a photographer.  I'm someone who enjoys taking pictures, not just snapshots.  I know a fair bit about how a camera works and what things like f-stop and ISO mean and how shutter speed and f-stop and ISO are all related.  I've taken a few classes in high school, but really they were for fun and practice and I didn't learn a whole lot I didn't already know.  I'm not an expert in lighting or staging a shot and I'm really no pro when it comes to using Photoshop or any of the other photo editing software packages out there.  And you know what, I don't want to.  I enjoy playing with my images and exploring the world and capturing moments as I see them.  I wasn't into big darkroom tricks when I was doing black and white film, and I'm not into big software tricks now that I'm digital.

That leads me to one, or maybe several, of the other things that is bugging me about photography these days.  All the "tricks" everyone and their brother seems to be using on every single photograph.  Like capturing a moment in time isn't good enough, but they've got to fiddle with it and make it "perfect".  Dad's always telling me there's no such thing as perfect.  Sure, I'll adjust the contrast or the "exposure" or color levels, but that's about it.  And yes, I crop pictures, sometimes a LOT sometimes just a little and sometimes not at all.  And no, they're not always perfectly square or in the standard ratios.

And what is it with long exposures (especially of streams, creaks and water falls), single color highlights and whatever this HDR baloney is?  And why, in the name of all that is holy must every single shot be made to look as if it was shot using a Polaroid with half expired film?  I just don't get it.  I'm so not a fan of any of this.   In my mind it destroys the purity of photography, it makes it dirty.  I can't come up with any better word for it, but it just feels dirty to me.  Maybe I'm a realist living in an impressionist world, but why must every single person feel the need, no the mandate, to use every single tool in the Photoshop toolbox?  Aren't their images good enough to stand on their own two feet without all these tricks?
Yes, I know that sometimes you can't say what you want to say without some of these tricks.  I'll freely admit that I have a photo hanging in my living room that's of some lilies that I took at a museum in California that I played with in Photoshop to make what I lovingly call a "faux-Monet".  I have a Monet lily poster hanging on the opposite wall.  They go well together.  But, I don't do that to every blessed shot I shoot.

I'm not really sure what the point of all this was.  I know I can't change human nature.  And photography is the latest "fad".  Actually, I'm sure my dad'll tell me it's been a fad since the first affordable Kodak camera came on the market and that in the days after WWII everyone and their brother thought they were a Photographer.  Maybe it is just the mass bombardment we get with social media and the 24x7 connections we've got these days.  Maybe it's that all these tricks are becoming "easy" and are cheap.  But quite frankly, I'm not sure it's doing photography as an art form much good.  It makes everyone go "I can do that" and they think they can and you get inundated with nothing more than a million snapshots.  Yes, I take a lot of snapshots myself, but still... I've been taught to "look" and "see" the image and compose the shot at least to some extent and I do that more often than not, even with snapshots.  (Point in fact, I can remember trying very hard to set up a shot and get the perfect picture of a man with a stack of what seemed like 100 hats on his head at the KC Renascence Faire back when I was about 7 or 8 years old and getting nothing but frustrated.  The man understood what I was trying to do and posed wonderfully for me, but it seemed like everyone saw "just a kid" and had no problems barging in front of me while trying to take a shot.  And since this was back in the 80's I was shooting film and hoarding every single exposure I had on my roll.)

And, I'm a bit of liar.  I've put a camera in my son's hand at the ripe old age of 3 (and now he's 4) and let him have at it.  I fully intend on teaching him the lessons dad and mom taught me along the way.  But, for now, I let him take a million snapshots and then tell him he's taken enough for now and put the camera up on a high shelf.  He does get some interesting ones and I think part of why I do it is because it lets me see the world through his eyes.  I'm sure this was an unintended (or maybe an intended) bonus for my own parents when they put a camera in my own hands at a young age.  (That and I'm sure dad wanted me to follow in his footsteps and since photography is a passion and brought so much joy to him and a way to explore the world, he wanted to share it with Jon and I.)

So, with this jumble of thoughts and grumpiness (and no pictures today) I will leave you.  I haven't done well with the August challenge.  My exhaustion has been catching up with me again and my heart just isn't in it this month.  There have been some great prompts, but I'm just not feeling it at the moment.  (I am enjoying playing with Dad's Nikon D80 though... even though I really need to download the manual and figure out how to use the old non-AF lenses... I keep getting errors and the camera won't let me shoot...)

I bid you peace and joy in your hobbies.  (And for all that is holy step away from the photo editor.... please, just this once?)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Picture Pages

I promised you a picture page update the other day.  So, here it is.  Yesterday's and today's pictures are still on the camera, so you'll have to wait.  I'm not feeling very verbose this evening, but since I'm tired, that means I'll probably end up rambling way longer than I expect to...

August 1st, Outside.  I was actually feeling a little creative with this one.  This is looking out from the living room through the screen door onto the balcony.  I purposefully focused on the screen, not the flowers.

August 2nd, One.  I had problems with this one.  I dug Boo's "1" magnet out of the drawer and found a creative background on the fridge.  The focus is a little off.  Oh well.

August 3rd, coin.  This is the handful of Canadian coins that are still floating around in my work computer bag.  They're sitting on the inside of the flap of my current work bag.  I tried to make it interesting...

August 4th was "somewhere you sat".  Well, I'm not sure I need to say much more about this.  It was a wonderful afternoon at the beach.

 August 5th was logo.  I thought about getting a picture of the sign of the development we were staying in, but I didn't.  Besides, this is my favorite pizza and one of the big reasons I keep going back where I go.  Gotta love Grotto.

August 6th, is writing.  Playing in the sand.

August 7th was 8:00.  And well, Tuesday I was back at work and in the 8:00 hour this is what my desk looked like.  Or at least part of my desk.  This was shortly after I got the afore mentioned email about my Hydra of a problem customer.  Oh well.

Yesterday morning I took the one for the 8th, Wednesday's prompt was "glasses".  It's not very creative and it's still on the camera.  I'll post it later.

Yesterday was "messy" and I got a great shot of Boo while eating ice cream.  It wasn't the messiest he's been eating ice cream, but it was still pretty darn cute.

Today's was ring.  I think I got a pretty creative one, but again, it's still on the camera.  And I'm about to go crash into bed.  Here's hoping I actually crash.  I've been exhausted all week.  Not quite the bone aching exhaustion of earlier in the spring, but pretty close.  I've been that cold I get when I'm exhausted in the middle of the day at work.  I can't keep my eyes open in the evening, but as soon as I lie down, my eyes are wide awake and I can't shut the brain down.  I had blood drawn this morning to check my vitamin D levels.  I was supposed to get it done this month, so that's pretty convenient.  I just wish I could get all my energy back and get back into my 3-5 day-a-week activity groove and get back to eating the way I know I should be eating.  I know a good part of why I feel like I do is because I just haven't been doing what I need to do for my body.

See, I told you I'd end up rambling a bit.

Anyhow, I'm off to bed.

Peace to all and may you get some great photos and plenty of rest.