Sunday, October 30, 2005

another lovely weekend, except when the stupid Eagles lost. we did some Christmas shopping, took the girls coat shopping and drove to southern Ohio to see the scenery (see pictures here) and eat giant burritos.

we watched the Wallace & Gromit movie today, which was so great! I agree with Micah, Hutch was the best. Brian made a delicious dinner and now we're watching Family Guy. it's the one where Peter sings "You've Got AIDS" and "Rock Lobster" - tee hee!

tomorrow is trick-or-treating, here's a picture of Casey in her costume:


isn't she so cute?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

  • fairly light traffic on the way to work
  • a gorgeous sunrise
  • a grande chai latte from Starbuck
  • putting money into the bank for x-mas
  • free Panera Bread for lunch
  • my last full day of work for the week

it's going to be a good day :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

two random pictures

view from my desk

this is a picture of the stuff at my desk. yes, that is a Patrick Star pez dispenser. and yes, I am Diversity.

the next one is for Ian. because it's so f'ing awesome:

girly guitars

dude, you know you want them all!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Christmas in October

a lot of things changed when I moved in with Brian. for the first time, I was actually excited to come home, because he was usually there waiting for me. I didn't have to do everything around the house, sometimes he even did more housework than I did. he loves to cook and I hate to cook, so most nights he makes dinner. it gets better every day, even almost three years later.

another change was that since his family is extended and blended even more than mine, he attended more Christmas celebrations than I could ever imagine. we have at least five every year: one at his stepsister's house before they go to Indiana on Christmas Day, one at his brother's house before they go to Florida, one with my family on Christmas Eve, one at his other brother's house Christmas morning (complete with a big, yummy breakfast!) and then our own Christmas with the kids and his mom and sometimes my brothers. he used to hate having so many family celebrations but I think it's been better these last few years. they're always so much fun!

this year, though, we started the parties a little earlier than usual. our first Christmas for this year was today, at his stepsister's house. we celebrated early because his nephew is in the National Guard and won't be home for Christmas this year. he'll be in Georgia or Florida (I can't remember which) for nine months of training before he is shipped overseas to either Afghanistan or Iraq for eighteen months. it was a surprise for him and he was totally surprised! the ten-foot Christmas tree and all the decorations were up, everyone brought food and presents (I made Anisa's yummy white chocolate chip cranberry oatmeal cookies, which were a big hit!) the only thing missing were the caroles :)

it was a great party, but it was touched with the sadness of a family who knows that one of their own will be leaving for a while. and even though everyone was laughing and smiling and eating and joking, our thoughts were of Anthony and our hearts were a little heavy. if I believed in prayer, I would pray for him and his safety. I would pray for strength, for us and for him. we're still having Christmas there in December, but it won't be the same without Anthony.

photo friday

the wallpaper in Hannah's room.

this week's challenge is "retro" and Hannah's wallpaper definitely fits. actually this wallpaper is the reason why she picked her room. she's so silly :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

pictures from this morning

here is the picture I took from the parking lot at work today:


and a close up where you can see the small amount of fire I managed to capture.

fire closeup

ace photographer, indeed.
holy cow. the order of Chicken Lo-mein I just got from Mark Pi's for lunch is huge. seriously, it's enough for three people. I know what Casey is having for dinner later. she loves it when I have Chinese for lunch :)

this morning on the way to work I drove past a van that was on fire!!! it was less than a mile from my work so when I got here I could still see tons of smoke and a little bit of fire above the trees. I took two pictures, I'll post at least one of them later tonight. I wanted to take a picture from close up (what kind of person does that make me?) but didn't want to look like a big jerk. when I passed it, the whole front of the van was on fire but no emergency people were there yet so it had to have just happened. the driver was already out of the van, talking on a cell phone so I'm sure no one was hurt.

by the time I got to my floor and got clocked in, it was too late to see anything. which sucked because the view from the other end of our building would have been perfect. by the way, check out how beautiful my work is but ignore my poor editing (I only have "Paint" at work):


it's not a great picture of the building but it's all I could find online. you get the idea though. it's surround on all sides by water, except for the little driveway that leads up to the building. Brian calls it an island fortress, like in James Bond movies. unfortunately, we're moving out of here in December. what was my point again? oh mmmmmm, fire.

Monday, October 17, 2005

my lunch today tasted as craptastic as it looked. I can't believe I actually thought it wouldn't be that bad. oh well, skipping a meal once in a while won't hurt me.

we had a really great weekend. it was Brian's birthday on Thursday. I left work a few hours early so the girls and I could put up some decorations before he came home from work. it was a lot of fun and he really appreciated our efforts. we went to our nephew's football game that night and out to dinner at Max+Erma's. yum!

Friday night we just stayed home and relaxed. it was nice to have a fairly quiet evening at home. Brian had to work Saturday morning anyway and then had band practice. we went to see my brother-in-law's band play that night and celebrated Brian's birthday with a few drinks. that was a lot of fun too.

two of our nieces stayed the night at our house with Casey while we were out and surprisingly there was no drama and no trouble! actually they are pretty good girls and it was nice to see them both. Sunday morning I made french toast for breakfast and that afternoon the girls and I went to the pumpkin farm with our godson. it was a little cold and windy but still sunny. the only bad part was when Casey got bitten on her forearm by a donkey! luckily it didn't break the skin but it was sore and red for a few hours :( tonight we're carving pumpkins. yay!

the rest of the day was uneventful. we watched some football and Brian made ribs for dinner. we watched a couple of movies (Shaun of the Dead on HBO and Hannah and I watched Mean Girls on DVD after that) until it was time for bed. it may not sound like much but it really was a perfect weekend. I wouldn't change a thing about it, except for maybe the donkey bite...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

photo friday

my photo friday submission:

Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial

this week's challenge is conspicuous. how in the hell do you shoot that? my picture is from our trip to Put-in-Bay this past summer. you really can't miss it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

it's 10:00pm

I'm ready for bed. chances are I fell asleep on the couch half an hour ago. Brian is a night owl and can fully function on waaaay less sleep than I can. it's almost always well after 11:00 before he's ready for bed. usually he will gently wake me with a kiss on the cheek and ask if I would like to "watch tv in bed" which is code for him watching tv in bed while I sleep. this question always makes me so happy! I hate to go to bed without him but the couch isn't nearly as comfortable as our lovely warm bed.

one of two things happens when I actually get in bed though (it's one of three things actually, but we're not going to talk about the third thing here!): either I immediately fall asleep, almost without telling him goodnight, or I've had just enough sleep for a sudden burst of energy and decide that I'm not tired after all. then, I start acting all goofy and stupid while Brian is trying to unwind and relax. and even when that is out of my system, I can't get back to sleep without tossing and turning and readjusting my pillows and making sure my side of the comforter has enough feathers. I really am an ass. but he just smiles down at me with an amused look on his face, shakes his head and quietly laughs. because, in spite of my jackassed-ness, he loves me.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I need a new pair of tennis shoes. I decided that this morning. mine are old and make my achilles tendons hurt when I wear them. even worse, they're not cute. after a two-second search on, I found these:

fake chucks

they're exactly what I was looking for. AND I happen to be going to Target immediately after work today. that's way too convenient to be coincidence. the Universe wants me to have these shoes immediately! and who am I to argue with the Universe?

grumpiness follows

what a weekend. first, the Buckeyes lose. then the Eagles. what the hell was that? and I missed the end of the Eagles "game" because we got a phone call from my stepdad at about 7:15 saying that my mother had gone out for cigarettes and dinner from Dairy Queen and had been gone for almost two hours.

understandably, he was panicked, even though last time this happened she had gone to the grocery store and Wal-mart and just didn't tell him where she was going. this is exactly why we bought her a cell phone, so we could find her when she was out. but of course she didn't have the cell phone with her, because she "can't remember how to use it." in quotation marks because I really don't believe that. she gets quite belligerent and defensive when anyone implies that she can't take care of herself. which is ridiculous because she couldn't/wouldn't take care of herself even before she got sick.

my brother was already out looking for her, following the route she should have taken. we were checking the grocery stores to see if she had stopped anywhere else. as we were driving around, I got a call from my brother saying that she got lost trying to drive to the grocery store and ended up about 20 miles west of our town. in her defense, the intersection she was trying to use is very confusing, it was getting dark and she can't really drive at night, and once she missed her exit, there wasn't another one for about 20 miles.

apparently, she stopped at the first house she came to and used the telephone there to call my stepdad. he talked to the man who lived there and told him that my mother was sick and quite forgetful. he agreed to let her follow him in his truck until they were back on the right road, pointing towards our town. how lucky we are that he was a decent, kind person.

there really wasn't much more for us to do so we went home to wait for word that she was home and safe. I called my stepdad, who was on the verge of tears, and told him to call us as soon as she made it home. we knew she was about 30 minutes away, but after almost an hour, we still hadn't heard anything. I called him back and she still wasn't home so we decided to check the stores again and then head out of town in the direction she would have come from, in case she had run out of gas or something. I don't know.

we checked the stores and then tried to call my stepdad before we left town. there was no answer at the house. I called the cell phone and he answered. apparently, she was now about 25 miles east of our town, having missed the three exits she could have taken to get back home. she was at a Shell gas station (no, he didn't know exactly which one), waiting for someone to come out there to help get her home. he had called my other sister to drive him over to where she was so he could ride home with her and give her directions. did I mention that he is totally blind in one eye and legally blind in the other? *insert cliche here*

she wasn't at the Shell that he thought she was at but they did eventually find her. they called us at almost 11:00 to say that they were home. by my calculations, that was about six hours after she left.

the situation is getting worse and worse. and she still doesn't even have a fucking diagnosis other than "probably not Alzheimer's." she's not working, which is probably a good thing, but that means they don't have any insurance. which means that she won't be going to the doctor to get any more tests done.

neither of them will talk about what's going on or more accurately, what's not going on. I really think we're going to need to hold a pseudo-intervention with them before they get serious about taking care of whatever the hell is going on. I'm so tired of this whole thing.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


this week's Photo Friday challenge is FIVE. here's my submission:


Friday, October 07, 2005

"fatal brain disease" takes the wind out of my sails too. it also puts a tear or two in my eye. fucking shit indeed.
I love being the first one home on Fridays. it's nice to have a quiet hour or two at home before the usually busy weekend starts. but as soon as 3 o'clock rolls around, I can't wait for the girls to get home from school. I get to hear about their days and spend a little time with them before Brian gets home. I'm always the last one home Monday through Thursday, which means I'm always the last one to hear anything new. I hate that. but leaving early on Friday almost makes up for it :)

old poetry alert!

I wrote this about my niece (I posted about her earlier here) one day when I was angry with her dad for something thoughtless I overheard him saying to her. my friend Mark thought it was about me. he may have been right :)

sad little girl, alone in your world. no one even notices you're there.

scared little girl, afraid fo your world. but no one seems to care.

poor little girl, cast out of your world. as if you don't belong.

lonely little girl, hurt by your world. you don't always know right from wrong.

take hear,t little girl, take your place in the world. soon you'll find your way.

be smart, little girl, you can make your own world. one where it's safe to play.

feel safe, little girl, as you travel your world. but please don't go too far.

smile, little girl, there are people in this world who love you just as you are.


I got an email last weekend from this guy! how awesome is that? and even more awesome is that Brian doesn't mind us emailing each other because he is just that amazing. well, he's probably not crazy about the idea but he knows there is nothing for him to worry about, which is just as good.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

apologies in advance...

but this is the only place I really have for these stories.

my mother has three sisters (all older) and two brothers (both younger). the sisters are each two years apart in age, which is kinda' cool. her youngest brother I've already written about here (beware of ugliness!). that story pretty much says it all. her other brother was a great uncle. he genuinely cared about us kids and seemed to enjoy spending time with us. I was the flower girl at his wedding and he always made me feel like I was his favorite. he probably treated all of us that way but it didn't matter. he made me feel loved and special, which was a rare experience for me growing up.

my mother was the youngest girl. the baby. they were left on their own a lot when they were way too young to take care of themselves. hmmmm, that sounds familiar. my aunts are really great too. surprising when you consider that they were raised by such a terrible person. in fact, the second oldest of them is my favorite person in the whole world after my kids and Brian. she's my hero, I really admire her and love her so much. she has been married for a hundred years and has two grown children. she is fun and youthful and generous and giving and I know that she would do anything for me or Brian or my kids.

the third oldest was a lot of fun too. she used to own a beauty shop and would always give me fancy new hairstyles. I used to spend at least one day a week there and she would give me little bottles of nail polish and soda and stuff. she had three kids, a girl (who I mentioned in that other post that is linked above) and two boys, and was divorced for as long as I can remember. I barely have any memories of her ex-husband, which is a good thing in my book. no memories = no traumatic memories = good.

the oldest sister was also very nice. she didn't live nearby so I didn't see her much. mostly at holidays or other celebrations...that kind of thing. she had four daughters and one son, who was adopted. they seemed like a really happy family. the youngest daughter was my age and her three older sisters were like my older sisters. they had boyfriends and dressed cool and wore makeup and listened to songs I had never heard before. they were pretty and smart and funny and nice. I was little jealous that they all had sisters and I had none. then again, I was a pretty big tomboy so I probably wouldn't have liked having sisters as much as I thought I would.

their parents divorced when I was in high school and their father moved to Texas. quite a few years later, when I was already married and living in Ohio, the oldest daughter finally admitted that he had been molesting all four of them for years. when my mother found out and told me about it, without thinking I asked "how did they find out?" instead of acting surprised or shocked. which is the reaction I would have had if I hadn't already known first-hand that he was a child molester. at the time I was slightly surprised that he would do that to his own daughters. I had no idea that I wasn't the only one.

of course, my mother didn't notice my mistake or my reaction. she just kept talking about it and said that there was some talk that maybe he had done the same thing to me. she was convinced that I would have told her if something like that had happened. how little she knew/knows about me.

so that's my deal. the whole deal, I think. as I've said before, I really don't remember much about my younger years. the details aren't important. and putting them into words somehow makes them seem more real so I'll leave the rest of the story unwritten. you've heard it all before though.

touchy uncle? yes. plural in fact. I'm not sure whether that makes a difference or not though. actually that's not true. one time probably doesn't fuck you up as much as multiple times. one sick, sadistic bastard doesn't make you think that all adults are scary and evil. two sick, sadistic bastards makes you doubt that decent people even exist. two makes you think that everyone you meet wants to hurt you, no matter how nice they seem. two makes you feel discarded, worthless and abandoned.

it's a lot to overcome. not that I've actually done that yet. but I feel like I'm getting closer. this blog helps a lot. being loved unconditionally and accepted for who I am by my wonderful husband helps too. I will never ever be able to thank him enough for everything he does for me. but I'm going to try anyway.

Monday, October 03, 2005

I'm a posting fool

my work picnic thing was this Saturday. it was a lot of fun. Casey and our nephew Tyler went with us. there was fishing and paddle boats and tons of food and even a keg! there were games for the kids and prizes and bubbles and a DJ. it was a lot of fun. here's my favorite picture from the day:


in my opinion...

love is not possessive. it can only be experienced by letting go of your fears and your doubts, by giving up control and surrendering to the unknown. it cannot be taken, but must be given freely, unconditionally, honestly and completely. love is a gift to be treasured. it's your reward for being truthful and respectful, for caring about the happiness of someone else before your own. love is the answer to all of your questions, not the solution to all of your problems.

love is everything you put into it and nothing more.
there is nothing better during the work day than a surprise email from my wonderful husband. he so rarely gets to send one from work. it always makes my day better, no matter what is going on.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

guitar widow

Brian got a new guitar today!!! he's so excited. I don't blame him, it is beautiful:


it's a Schecter, which is the guitar he said he wanted about two years ago. I'm so happy that he finally got one but I have a feeling he'll be spending a lot more time in the bedroom playing guitar.

poor me... :)