Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #5

I'm getting an early start this week. :-) Since I'm feeling snackish today, and of the opinion that you should get to eat whatever you want when you don't feel good, my list is about junk food.

Thirteen Junk/Comfort Foods I Just Love

1. Reese's peanut butter cups
2. Cheetos (the crunchy kind, not the puffs)
3. Chocolate chip cookies (preferably homemade)
4. A peppermint mocha from Starbucks (OK, it's a drink, not a food, but there's no way it can be considered good for you!)
5. A chicken biscuit with cheese from Chick-Fil-A (if you live somewhere that isn't graced with the presence of Chick-Fil-A, you are missing out and have my deepest sympathies)
6. Ruffles sour cream and onion chips
7. Ruffles cheddar and sour cream chips
8. Cheese grits (breakfast, yes, and not strictly junk food, but by the time you add a big ol' glob of butter and cheese, it's not anywhere near the healthy list, either)
9. Wheat Thins, eaten with cream cheese topped with pepper jelly (hmm, I may have to get some Wheat Thins....)
10. Baked potato with cheese and ranch dressing (I guess this falls more in the "comfort" than the "junk" category)
11. Chili (I think this is my ultimate favorite food when I feel rotten - good melty cheese, nice and spicy, that's just about guaranteed to make any ailment seem a little less miserable)
12. Peanut butter fudge ice cream from Target (their store brand - it's delish!)
13. Grilled cheese sandwich and/or cheese toast

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Joely
2. DK
3. Rashenbo
4. Nancy J. Bond
5. Amy
6. scribbit
7. Barbara
8. JohnH985
9. PJ
10. Jill
11. Dane Bramage
12. Miranda
13. Cari
14. Bubba
15. Janet
16. Laurie

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Dad gum it, now I'm hungry.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

And the verdict is in

Flu AND bronchitis, yay! It's a mild case of the flu, a not sol mild case of the bronchitis (hence the horrid cough, I was awake from about midnight to about 3 AM hacking and coughing). The doc gave me an antibiotic for the bronchitis, and daytime and nighttime cough meds (including the super-duper fabulous Vicodin in a bottle). I'm not contagious at this point, she doesn't think, so that's good. I'm just thankful J hasn't gotten sick - hooray for Airborne Jr., is all I've got to say.

I'm debating whether I should take tomorrow off, too. Isn't that sad, that I've got flu and bronchitis and am even debating going in to work?! I think I'll go ahead and schedule the day off, and if by some miracle I feel tons better tomorrow, I can always un-schedule it. I don't feel *bad*, necessarily, this damned cough is just wiping me out and making me hurt all over.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sick, sick, sick

Turns out our team leader had the flu. She came into work last Thursday. She sits right across from me. I don't know what I have, but I feel like a hammered cow pie. I ran fever off and on most of the weekend, had chills with it. None of that now, but I've got this nasty hacking cough that makes my ribs hurt. I don't feel as bad as I did the one time I know I had the flu - my fever hasn't been that high, and I can still function somewhat normally (well, except for co-workers telling me, "Gee, you look like you feel awful" - thanks ever so much). At any rate, I've been trying to feel better the past few days, trying to keep J well and entertained, and generally trying to rest. (Yeah, right.)

To his credit, K came over Saturday and was going to watch J while I took a nap. That was a great idea - until J parked himself outside my door and screamed that he wanted MAMA. He finally got into my room, and told me he needed something to drink and something on TV. I said, hey, go ask Daddy - he can help you with that. J's response? "Noooooo, I CAN'T ask Daddy, he's sitting in the rocking chair!" Um, OK, not sure what that has to do with the price of tea in China, but your father can get a drink and operate the DVD player just as well as I can, thankyouverymuch. I told him he could either ask Daddy or have no drink and no TV, because I was tired and wanted to rest.

And last night J sacked out at 8:45. I thought, great! Until he woke up howling three times saying his legs hurt. All I could figure was growing pains - he hasn't hurt his legs or ankles that I know of, and they weren't swollen or warm to the touch, he didn't say it hurt when I touched his legs. He just sat in the floor crying that his legs hurt and he couldn't walk. Poor baby, the third time he didn't even make it to my room, he just sat in the hallway and cried until I came and got him. The third time, I got smart and gave him some Tylenol, and then I got a couple of hours of uninterrupted sleep. But between that and my coughing and sniffling and simultaneously clogged and runny nose, I didn't get a good night's rest last night.

I'm taking tomorrow off. I have a doctor's appointment at 10:15, after which I'm going to come home, drug myself with whatever they give me (hopefully the cough syrup that's like liquid Vicodin!) and take a big, long nap. I thought about cleaning stuff, but then I thought, don't be ridiculous, how often do you get the chance to take a nap in a quiet house? Sleep already.

And so I will.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #5

Thirteen Things I'd Do If I Won the Lotto

1. Pay off all my bills. How nice to be debt-free!
2. Set up an educational fund for J. I'd love to know his education was taken care of, even if he decided to go for his law degree AND his medical degree.
3. Set up a trust fund for J, that he could have access to later in life (with limits, of course - I'm not so foolish as to give him unlimited access to a great wodge of cash, that's just asking for trouble).
4. Set up trust funds for my nieces. Their dad hasn't exactly gone out of his way to help my sister financially, and I'd like them to know that not all family members suck.
5. Buy a new car. Something nice and not too expensive. Maybe a Honda Pilot.
6. Remodel my house. Enclose the garage and turn it into a study. Knock out walls between the study and J's room and give him one BIG room. Turn the toy room back into the music room it used to be. Add on a sunroom. Put in a pool and deck. Take out the nasty carpet and put in hardwood floors. Add a three-car garage (not because I want three cars, just because I could use the storage space!) with an apartment above it for company. (Can you tell I've given this some thought?)
7. Take a vacation. A real vacation, not just a day off for home repair or illness or car trouble. I'd like to go to Italy or Greece or Scotland and Ireland and Wales. Maybe I'd go to all those places.
8. Take a big family vacation. I'd love to take all the family - J and his little cousins, my sister, K's siblings, K, all of us - to Walt Disney World. That would be a BLAST.
9. Schedule myself a weekly massage for an entire year. Now that would be extravagance.
10. Buy season tickets for Baylor football and Stars hockey. Hell, I'd get a box at the Stars games.
11. Give to my church.
12. Give to Baylor (the English department, not the law school).
13. Give to other organizations I believe in.

And the all-important #14 - invest wisely. That should be #1, shouldn't it?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Christina
2. Raggedy
3. Gattina
4. Amy
5. The Little Woman
6. Friday's Child
7. Laurence
8. Qtpies7
9. Starrlight
10. Barbara
11. Sara
12. Incog & Nito

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Catching up

So I haven't felt like posting for a few days. I'm back now.

J was sick over the weekend. We went to the doctor on Thursday, and she'd said he had a sinus infection. Well, on Saturday he started running fever. After two days of antibiotics. ??? Of course, the battery in my thermometer died (I have one you can use in the ear - when his head is all stuffed up and he can't breathe through his nose, there's no way he'll hold one in his mouth) and I couldn't figure out how to get the battery cover off to see what kind of batteries I'd need, so I'm not sure how high his fever was. All I know is, he felt warm and was clearly not himself. K came over and I ran to the store to get some medicine and other things, and he called while I was out to tell me J fell asleep on the couch. !!! This is the boy who hasn't voluntarily napped in two years - when he sacked out in the middle of the day, I knew he felt rough.

So, he was under the weather Saturday and Sunday. Both nights I gave him some nighttime cough/congestion medicine, and both nights he woke up in the middle of the night when the medicine wore off. I ask you, if they're making nighttime medicine for children, can't they at least design it to be effective for six hours, if not eight? I certainly didn't want to fight the medicine fight in the wee hours with J, and I wasn't keen on being awakened when the medicine wore off, either. Blech.

Monday, he was back to normal. What with the fever and lethargy and general not-himself-ness, I was worried it might be the flu. Apparently not, though. I guess it was just a little viral thing that he picked up and that ran its course. Now he's just a big ball of snot, but that's pretty much an all-the-time thing.

Monday night J got an education in the fact that he is not actually the one running the show. He didn't like it. We had battles royal over everything - he wanted Whataburger, mama doesn't have money for Whataburger, and he screamed and cried and carried on. I told him we could go to the store and get some little cheeseburgers (the White Castle ones in the frozen food section) and orange drink, but we weren't getting a toy. Well, he then started screaming that he NEEDED a toy. I told him no, we don't get a toy every time we go to the store. "But I'll be GOOD!" Good has nothing to do with it, you have more toys than three children could play with, I know you want one but we don't get a toy every time we set foot in the store. And he sobbed and screamed and carried on some more. We stopped at the store, and I told him we'd only go in if he stopped crying for a toy. He started howling again, and I told him I wasn't taking him in acting like that, that we'd just go straight home. So we did. And then we had round fourteen over getting in the bath, getting out of the bath, and going to bed. Sometimes standing your ground is hard. But I know he's got to learn now that the world doesn't revolve around him and he doesn't get everything he wants simply because he wants it.

And last night was fun. Not J, so much - his behavior was much improved. I picked him up from school, and it was folder day. He'd gotten an E in conduct, so as a treat we got to go to Target. That was fine and good, except that it put us later than usual getting home. We got home, and I told him that before we watched TV, we'd do our homework. His homework consists of a little reading book twice a week - letter sounds, letter sounds in combination, and finally sounding out and reading three-letter words. He did great with the letter sounds and vowel/consonant combinations. He did great with sounding out and reading (reading!!!) individual words on a page. Then we got to the last page, where he was to read a three-word sentence ("Sam met Tom"). He'd just read the word "Tom" two pages earlier, and "Sam" and "met" were part of previous assignments. So it wasn't like these were words he was completely unfamiliar with. But he just balked and started wailing, "I CAN'T!" when I asked him to read the sentence. So then I tried to pry out of him why he didn't think he could. He finally said he was scared - um, of what? "Scared of coming back to my house." ?!?! What the hell. Finally, after about 15 minutes of screaming, we sounded out the words and read the sentence. He did it just fine. I told him we really could have saved that 15 minutes of screaming and he could have just gone ahead and finished it. I have no idea why that last bit was such a challenge, when he ripped right through everything else, but it frustrated me no end.

Then there was the great grape soda explosion. We'd gotten a 2-liter bottle of grape soda at Target, and J asked if he could have some. I told him he could have a sip, but he didn't need much, because it was too close to bedtime for all that sugar. So I went into the kitchen to pour a little bit for him. I started to unscrew the cap, and KABLOOEY! It went ballistic and sprayed grape soda all. over. everything. All over me, all over the cabinet, all over everything on the cabinet, all over the floor.... Ugh. Of course I couldn't leave my kitchen covered in sticky purple soda, so I had to clean it up. J got to stay up extra late while I did that, and it was rather a project. I ended up getting the steam cleaner out to get the floors clean (and as an added bonus, I discovered it works really well for getting accumulated grime off my white cabinets!), and I had to wipe down every single thing that got covered in sticky ickiness. Ugh. So J didn't get into bed until 10:00, and somehow managed to stay awake for 100 pages of Curious George stories. I'd think he was dozing off, I'd stop at the end of the story, and here comes a little voice: "The next one is Curious George and the dump truck, Mama!" He finally fell asleep about 10:30, and woke up around 1:30 wanting to come sleep with me.

At the risk of jinxing myself, I've noticed that he's staying drier at night. Not dry - we still need the GoodNites - but there are less mornings where he wakes up soaked through. So I guess that's progress.

Gotta work now. I'm going back to handbells tonight - I'm really excited about that!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Friday's Feast #4

Feast One Hundred & Twenty Seven

Which television shows do you just refuse to miss?

I don't watch TV much to speak of, so I miss them all. LOL And I don't feel like my life is any less full for that.

Who did you last speak to on the telephone?

K - I talked to him after J's doctor appointment this afternoon, and later this evening, too.

How many pillows do you keep on your bed?


Main Course
Name one addition to your computer (software, hardware, etc.) that you'd love to have.

Hmm. I've got a scanner, a photo printer, an external hard drive - maybe a fax machine? Or just a crapload of additional memory.

What is your favorite foreign food?

I like lots of different kinds of foreign food - Italian, Thai, Indian, Greek - but I guess my favorite is Mexican. I think I could eat Mexican food (OK, more likely Tex-Mex here rather than true Mexican, but still) pretty much every day and be quite happy with that.

And this is why...

I do not drive on icy roads.

I can't even imagine what a sickening feeling that is, feeling your car sliding and sliding and knowing there's nothing you can do to stop it. Just waiting for impact. Give me the 100+-degree Texas summers, thankyouverymuch.

So I did get another day off...

Careful what you ask for, you may get it.

Yesterday afternoon/evening I started feeling a sickish feeling in my stomach. I thought, oh, I'm just dreading going back to work. Then I thought, hmm, I'm REALLY dreading going back to work. Then next thing I know, I'm running fever, having chills, and wishing I could throw up or die. I felt AWFUL. Never did throw up, but there were moments I wished I would if it would help. I guess I had some kind of stomach bug. I was still running fever this morning, so I gave work a miss. I'm sure I'm in the doghouse for having the unmitigated gall to take two days straight off of work, but that's just too bad.

I really wished for some Sprite and crackers when I felt so awful, and it occurred to me last night that there really was no one for me to call. K was at A's house, and I wouldn't have asked him to drive on the wonky roads even if it wasn't a good ways away. Family is all out of state. Brian is 90 miles away. I felt very alone, knowing that I really did have to suck up and manage by myself. I do have a couple of friends that would probably tell me they'd be glad to help, but I know they have their own families and lives to deal with, and I'd hate to ask unless it was a dire need. Thankfully, bedtime was easy last night. Not early, but easy - we read all eight of our Curious George books, and as we were reading the last one, J laid down and closed his eyes. He fell asleep before I got to "The End". You talk about a blessing, that was one, because I did NOT have the energy for a bedtime battle last night.

I did toy briefly with the idea of going to work this morning, fever and all - I did feel some better when I woke up. But after being up for a bit, I realized that no, food did not in fact sound appealing, and I really wanted to curl up and take a nap. So I did. There again, I felt better when I woke up, but felt queasy after I'd been awake for a while. No more fever, thankfully, and no more chills, and I do feel mostly better now.

You know, I really hate having a job where I dread taking a couple of days off for valid reasons. I dread it, for one thing, because you never know what nasty unpleasant surprise might land on your desk while you're gone and require immediate attention when you get back. And then there's the whole time off deal. At my work, you can only have so many unscheduled absences in a certain time period - i.e., days where you call in needing to take off that day rather than planning ahead. Even if you take a vacation day to, say, let a plumber in to repair your toilet that exploded unexpectedly, it counts as an unscheduled absence. What, my work is so vital that a day off for the stomach bug, or a home repair crisis, or car trouble, is the end of the world? I think not, but that's how we're treated. You can't exactly plan those things, you know. And unscheduled absence, indeed - what am I, in grade school?! Some days I really do wonder when we're going to have to start showing our hall passes to the monitor when we need to go to the rest room. Come on, new job, work out for me.

I also took J to the doctor this afternoon, so it was a multi-purpose day off. He's starting with a sinus infection, so we saw his doc and got meds for that. I did think it was funny, though, that he was the one who said he needed to go see Dr. Jean and was perfectly happy to go until I pointed out that there'd be medicine to take. Then he was all, "I don't LIKE medicine, I don't WANT to take medicine, I don't NEED to see Dr. Jean, my nose isn't sniffly anymore!" Nice try, son. LOL

And now I think I'll go fix myself some hot tea and call it a night.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #4

Thirteen Things To Do When You're Snowed/Iced In

1. Sleep in. Yeah, right, like that ever happens at my house. It's a nice thought, though, especially if you happen to know the night before that the weather will be too nasty to get out.

2. Watch TV. We have watched video after video after video on our two ice/snow days this week. Thankfully, when J watches TV, there's a fair amount of other activity going on, so it's not like we were complete couch potatoes.

3. Make cookies. I made some cranberry walnut cookies today that were yummy. Of course, I can't take credit for the recipe - they were some of those frozen pop-'em-in-a-pan-and-bake ones that I bought from the last FFA fundraiser around here.

4. Jump on the bed. What better way to wear a boy out than letting him jump on the bed when it's way too cold to go jump outside (and when ice covering the driveway makes jumping hazardous at best, injurious at worst)?

5. Run through the house playing "chase me". This consists of J running from one end of the house to the other shrieking, "You can't catch me, you can't catch me!" while I run after him. My mother would be appalled.

6. Take a bath. Hey, if my kid asks to take a bath in the late afternoon, while it's still light outside, far be it from me to say no. Makes bedtime that much easier.

7. Play trains. We got out the Thomas the Tank Engine set today and put it together and played trains for a while.

8. Laundry. J didn't do this, I did, and I didn't actually get any washed, I just folded the stuff that was already clean and got it put away. Hey, it's something.

9. Dishes. I got the clean dishes put up and out of the dishwasher, and put the dirty ones in the dishwasher. Of course, there are more to replace the ones currently in the dishwasher. I never can seem to get completely caught up on that.

10. Read. It was good reading weather, so we did that.

11. Talk on the phone. Of course I had to call all our out-of-state family and let them know we're fine, yes, we still have power, no, we aren't leaving the house today, yes, there's ice. And I had to call work and tell them nope, sorry, J's school is closed and my driveway is again covered in ice, I will not be there today.

12. Drink hot chocolate. I like it, J doesn't. He's just like his daddy, he doesn't do hot/warm drinks. I don't get that, but hey, it just means more for me.

13. Wish for another snow day tomorrow. I wish we could somehow get the rest of the week off - but only if the office is officially closed (it wasn't today, let's not even start on our inclement weather policy, OY), I don't want to burn that much vacation in early January.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Amy
2. Gattina
3. Lexa Rosean
4. Celfyddydau
5. Caylynn
6. Dane Bramage
7. Laurence
8. Janie Hickok Siess

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A little of this, a little of that

It turned out not to be something small with Brian's van. It's the air compressor and some other stuff, too. He explained it but I didn't catch it all as J was yammering in my other ear at the time. At any rate, it's going to cost about $1100-1200 to fix. The dealership didn't have his warranty information on file anymore (he bought the extended warranty on the car), so he's hoping he can find the hard copy at home. It did occur to me that they were able to find warranty information somehow when I called roadside assistance on Saturday. They were able to see that he had coverage for towing, anyway. So maybe he can call the 800 number if nothing else (although I told him you know Kia has a copy somewhere, I'd be asking them to pull the archived files from storage - you know they can do it, we do it all the time for my job).

I've been in an odd sort of mood. Not sad, but you'd think that after this weekend, I'd be fairly over-the-moon happy (over other things, not the van breaking down). I'm not that, either. I can't even explain what it is. It's a Beck/Morcheeba/Death Cab for Cutie/Depeche Mode/Etta James/Alison Krauss/Evanescence kind of mood. See? It even defies musical categorization.

I got my writing samples sent for Baylor. I'm twitchy. I'd feel better if I had something of more recent vintage, and something other than legal writing. They asked for writing related to public relations/marketing/development, if I had any. I don't. I just hope they can see potential in what I did send, and I'm kicking myself for getting away from the job I had before this one without bringing any samples of my writing with me. They'd still have been legal writing, but at least they'd have been a bit more current. I know, I know, if it's meant to be my job, it will work out regardless of the obstacles I may perceive. But still. I twitch. A bit. OK, maybe more than a bit. Someone please tell me it does no good for me to call home and check my messages every 15 minutes, or every 30 minutes, or even every hour.

Bedtime has been a little bit better lately. J was asleep at 7:15 on Saturday night when he was with K, so I was expecting bedtime Sunday night to be a howling screamfest. It wasn't - he was asleep by about 9:15-9:30 with not too much fuss. He was clearly tired. He slept until after 7:30 Monday morning, so I expected last night to be a challenge. Not so much - he was yawning by 6:30 and asleep by 9:00. I'm thinking maybe he's having a growth spurt.

And now, for some J funnies:

K and J were in Fort Worth Friday night, and K called Saturday as he and J were on the way back to his apartment - the weather was getting bad, would it be OK if they stopped and stayed at my house instead of going all the way to the apartment. I said sure, no problem. So J was home Sunday when I got back from Waco. I'd stopped at Whataburger to get him some lunch, and the toy in the kids' meal was a little green plastic beaker - yes, a beaker, like you'd see in a science lab. J was, naturally, running around with no pants on when I got home (I've never seen a child who likes to be pants-free as much as he does). At one point, he grabbed that little beaker, put it over his penis, and loudly proclaimed, "Look, I put my penis in jail!" LOLOLOL I couldn't help it. I laughed. A lot. That's probably one of those things you really shouldn't laugh at, because you don't want to encourage it, but I just couldn't do anything else. I have NO idea where he gets this stuff - not from me, certainly, and somehow I don't think K is doing anything like that, either.

Last night I explained to him that I was working on something because I was applying for a job in Waco, at Baylor. He said, "Like Sic 'Em Bears?", and I said yes, exactly like. He then had to do Sic 'Em Bears about fourteen times, and said, "I'm going to teach Brian how to do that." LOL I didn't have the heart to tell him that Brian went to Baylor like Mama, he already knows Sic 'Em Bears - I just said I was sure Brian would appreciate that.

And yesterday he told me he thought we should have a little baby. This is the second or third time he's mentioned it. He said if we had a little baby, we'd get baby toys for it, because it would be too little to play with his toys. And he also informed me we'd have to get a baby bed for it, because it couldn't sleep in a big bed like him. I have not the first clue what's prompting this (unless it's that some of his classmates have younger siblings), but I told him it wasn't going to happen aaaaaanytime soon. LOL He sure comes up with some stuff.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Nothing ever goes as planned

Let's see, where to start?

I left after work on Friday night, and got to Waco just a little before 9:00. We went to Ninfas and had Mexican food for dinner, yummy. We made it kind of an early night because we planned to go to Salado on Saturday.

It rained rather a lot Friday night, and we woke up Saturday to more rain and nasty cold. Not freezing, but not much above it. But we decided to go anyway - Brian said, "Hey, it'll be an adventure!" Little did we know. So off we went, hoping the rain would let up as we went south.

No such luck. It rained. And rained a lot. And rained a little. And kept on raining. But we figured that the shops wouldn't be crowded, so that might be nice. As we were passing through Belton, we heard this horrible squealing sound as we passed another car. We commented that we wondered if it was the other car, and the sound stopped as we passed, so we thought maybe it was. Then the parking brake light and battery light came on on Brian's car. We stopped and he looked under the hood - he didn't see anything glaringly wrong, so we first stopped at an auto parts store, to see if maybe they could take a look at it. At this point, it was probably between 11:15 and 11:30 on a Saturday. Of course the auto parts guys didn't want to get out in the rain and look at the car, so they suggested we take it to the Kia dealership. There was one in Killeen that was closer than driving back to Waco, and since the battery light had come on, I was concerned it might be an electrical system problem and we might not make it back to Waco.

So I called the dealership in Killeen, to see if we could bring the car in and get a rental or loaner car to get back to Waco. I was told their service department wasn't open on Saturday, so we couldn't leave the car OR get another to get home! The woman I spoke to did give me the number for Kia roadside assistance, and I told her we were so close to the dealership that we'd probably end up just pulling into their parking lot to wait.

I called roadside assistance and got a tow truck lined up, and as we were driving, we noticed that the car was dinging like the emergency brake was on (it wasn't) and the windshield wipers were getting noticeably slower. As we got close to the dealership, the wipers were so slow that Brian just turned them off. More of the warning lights came on, and the van was losing power. We made it to the dealership, though, and saw an Enterprise auto rental place next door. Cool, we thought, we'll rent a car, no problem. So we sloshed over there in the rain, only to find out they were CLOSED on Saturdays!

We went in at the dealership and borrowed a phone book to try to find a rental car place that was open - Advantage was open out at the Killeen airport, and they were going to come pick us up and bring us back out there when the second person working there got back. The tow truck came and took the van to the Kia dealership in Waco, and we waited on the rental car. And waited. And waited. The people at the dealership were real nice, got us something to eat and drink, and tried to sell us a car. LOL I guess it was getting close to 2:00 when the rental car place called back to let us know the guy was on his way to get us, and probably after 3:00 by the time we got out there, rented the car, and went on home. We were a bit iffy about the car for a minute, as Brian forgot his insurance card in the van. They were able to call and verify my insurance, though, so that worked out OK.

We drove back to Waco, ran by the Kia dealership to drop off the key to the van, and went to dinner at TGI Friday's. We both decided adult beverages were in order after the car ordeal. Then we went to see Dreamgirls, which was a really entertaining little movie. We had to run by Wal-Mart for a couple of things, and then we went home. Cold weather is good for snuggles. :-)

This morning we played hooky from church, because it was stinkin' cold and who wants to get out of a warm bed when it's cold and wet outside? K called several times, though, to let me know the weather was getting bad up this way and I might want to head on back. So I left Waco about 11:00 and was home by 12:45.

Brian has had a rough week, though. He and a co-worker are on the outs over the latest exhibit and over her apparently stepping in and planning programs (Brian's department) without consulting him in the least. His back yard is soggy, not only from the rain, but from what's apparently a leaky pipe under his house. (Fortunately, his landlord will pay for that.) And then the van went kerflooey on Saturday. My poor baby. Hopefully whatever is wrong with the van will either be under warranty or will be really small (like the battery needing to be replaced).

But he and I had a good time, the van ordeal notwithstanding. We'll make it to Salado some other time.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Somebody take me away? Calgon? Anybody?

Well, I sure hope that all this good activity buzzing around means something good is actually going to happen sooner rather than later, because this job is about to run me right up the wall. I. HATE. IT. Phone calls and proactives and asking for money and bills and whiny people and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!!!!!!!!! No, nothing specifically bad happened, it's just a build-up of lots of little shit that's making me crazy.

On the bright side, I checked on just for grins. Remember that groovy little townhouse for sale in my old neighborhood? It's still there, and the asking price has come down $8000! How sweet would it be if I could move, buy a new house free and clear, and have NO house payment and NO car payment? That would be outstanding! I know I'm not there yet, but it sure is fun to think about. There are two other properties for sale there, too, one of the larger townhouses (a little more expensive but still within the acceptable price range) and one of the houses (probably too expensive, but still nice to think about). If Baylor works out, I will absolutely FAINT, I'll be so excited. Then we'll just have to send Brian good vibes for a permanent teaching gig at Baylor.

Oh, and Waco has a Montessori school! If I could manage to have no house payment and no car payment, that might be an option for J. Faint. I would absolutely, positively faint with excitement.


Just got a message from a recruiter for Citigroup. I'm not sure how exactly they got my information, or what exactly he's recruiting for, but it can't hurt to call back. If I keep throwing spaghetti at the wall, something is bound to stick, isn't it? :-)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Friday's Feast #3

Feast One Hundred & Twenty Six

What comes to mind when you see the color orange?

Unfortunately, the University of Texas. OK, their school colors are burnt orange and white, but every time I see orange, it reminds me of UT and I shudder.

Did you ever get in trouble while you were in school? If so, what was it for?

I never got into serious trouble - I was probably darned near the biggest teacher's pet around (because I was smart and liked school and did my homework and got good grades - I was far too shy to suck up!). I do remember almost getting detention in high school for being in the parking lot at lunch one day. We had a closed campus and weren't supposed to leave during the school day, and one of the priests saw me coming back in from my car (I'd gone to get something out of it, I didn't leave - see above, too shy to dream of breaking rules!). I managed to avoid it, but for a panicked moment I thought, my parents are going to kill me for getting detention and I didn't even do anything! I never had detention in high school, ever.

Which topping(s) make up your perfect pizza?

Canadian bacon and pineapple. Yum! And of course you have to eat pizza with ranch dressing. I learned that little trick in college.

Main Course
Do you believe in UFOs/aliens/etc.? Why or why not?

Sure, I believe in UFOs and aliens. I can't believe God would go to the effort of creating this great big universe and then just put this one little planet in the middle of all of it as the only place where intelligent life would be. Just because I can't see the UFOs and aliens doesn't mean they aren't out there.

What color is your bedspread/comforter/quilt?

It's a rather drab sage green/brown. I must replace it when I have the cash to do so, because it depresses me.

What Tarot Card Are You?

Pilfered from Poker Spice:

You are Temperance

Time. Ages. Transformation. Involuntary change

Temperance is another card of aspiration, but also of much change. It often
represents complex situations. Positively, you can harmonize contrary

Temperance is, on a surface level, about "tempering." The original pouring from cup to cup might have been about cutting wine with water. So this is a card about moderation. There is, however, another angle to the card, that of merging seemingly impossible opposites. Sagittarius, the centaur, merges beast and man into a unique creature. And then there is the bow and arrow, one moving, one stationary, working together to point the way. Temperance may be, at first glance, a warning for you to "temper" your behavior, to cut your wine with water. But it may also be a reminder to that seemingly irreconcilable opposites may not be irreconcilable at all. Belief that fiery red and watery blue cannot be merged may be the only thing standing in the way of blending the two. Change the belief, measure out each with care, and you can create otherworldly violet.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Another opportunity!

I called home just now. There was a message. I was excited. It wasn't Human Resources calling about Monday's interview. It was Baylor, calling about an application I'd sent in for a writing position. My application is one of the ones they've narrowed it down to, and now they want writing samples!!!!! I'm so excited, I could cry.

I really could give this whole law thing a miss and be perfectly happy writing for a living, you know.

Let it

I wondered about the possibility of severe weather this weekend, since I'll be on the road.

And here we have it:

346 AM CST THU JAN 11 2007


346 AM CST THU JAN 11 2007







It could be ugly, or it could be nothing. And isn't that the way it always is with winter weather?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3

Feeling a little retro today....

Thirteen Games I Played as a Child

1. Duck, Duck, Goose
2. Red Rover
3. Softball
4. Chinese Checkers
5. Go Fish
6. Tag
7. Hide and Seek
8. Mother, May I
9. Simon Says
10. Candy Land
11. Hi Ho Cherry-O
12. Headache
13. Scrabble (yes, I was a child geek - I loved Scrabble)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. suchprettycolors
2. Kay
3. Gattina
4. Le Laquet
5. Janie Hickok Siess, Esq.
6. Raggedy
7. Friday's Child
8. Duchess
9. Annb
10. ~m~
11. Caylynn
12. Laurence

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What "holiday" does your birthday fall on?

My birthday falls on Name Your Poison Day. LOLOL A friend of mine posted this on a message board we're on, and I thought it was pretty entertaining (but then, most things are at 1:30 AM), so I'm sharing.

What Accent Do You Have?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The South

That's a Southern accent you've got there. You may love it, you may hate it, you may swear you don't have it, but whatever the case, we can hear it.

The Midland
The Northeast
The Inland North
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Pilfered from Seeking Special Shiny.

A Southern accent? What a surprise! I've only lived in Louisiana and Texas my entire life. If I managed to have some other kind of accent, I'd be stunned.

AG's office, take me away....

We had a team meeting today that lasted over an hour and a half, and the sheer volume of work headed our way makes me want to cry. More projects, more phone calls, more, more, more. Also, we found out that our head guy (who's in charge of three centers, including the one where I work) is actually 5 over the total head count allowed by the budget in the three centers - not that he's looking to get rid of anyone or anything, but still, that's not very comforting. Especially when our manager said that he is looking for ways to "come back into compliance" with that number. I had a moment today where I freaked out, thinking, what if I get the AG job and can't handle all the courtroom time, what if I hate it, and on and on. (Don't you love how I give myself the job and convince myself that I hate it all before I've even heard anything?) After the meeting, I thought, screw it, I just want out of here like, yesterday. AG's office, take me away. Just about any job opportunity has got to be better than where I am right now.

No word, obviously, or I'd have posted. And it may be way early to expect to hear anything, but that didn't keep me from being bummed out when I checked my messages and the message that was there turned out to be a hang-up. The thing is, if you get the job, you get a call. I don't know what happens if you don't get the job - you don't get a call, but I don't know for sure if you get a letter. So, I guess I just wait to hear something somehow. Waiting sucks!

Bedtime was horrid last night - J didn't go to sleep until 10:00 or so. I'd hoped tonight would be better. Ha. We read all our books, and then he proceeded to tell me he didn't WANT to go to bed. Then he wanted to come sleep in MY bed. God forgive me, but that makes me nuts - he sleeps in his bed for three or four nights running, just long enough for me to get halfway used to being able to take a bath without worrying about waking him up, or used to maybe reading in bed before I go to sleep, and then blam! He's back in my bed and I can do none of those things, and it vexes me. And then I feel like a horrible mom for being vexed. Even in my bed, he wouldn't settle down. He'd lay down for a minute or two, then sit up and tell me he didn't WANT to sleep. I'd tell him to lay down, we'd repeat the scenario. AARGH!!! I finally fell asleep with him sometime after 10:00 tonight, and now I'm up. Yay! Let the coffee-drinking commence, because I'm sure I'll need it tomorrow.

Monday, January 08, 2007

What part of no don't you understand?

Last night J kept sticking a little car in his mouth (one I was afraid he'd choke on if he accidentally swallowed it, it was that small), after I told him not to and told him I'd take the car away if he kept doing it. We've had the conversation about choking on small things more than once, so he knew what I was talking about and he knows he's not supposed to put anything small in his mouth that isn't food that he's fixing to chew and swallow. He looked at me just as defiant as he could be, with an expression on his face that said, "So what are you gonna do about it, old woman?" and stuck that car right back in his mouth. I took it away, he howled, and I told him too bad. He settled after a few minutes of screaming, and then in another few minutes came looking behind me on the couch, and we had this conversation.

"Where's my car? Is it behind you?" (as he peers behind where I'm sitting on the couch and looks under the cushions)
"Where is it then?"
Doesn't matter, you can't have it back, you stuck it in your mouth after I'd told you not to.
"Is it in the trash?"
Did you see me put it in the trash?
"No." (looks in trash can) "It's not there."
No, it isn't.
"Well, where is it?"
Doesn't matter, you can't have it back.
"But I WANT it, I won't stick it in my mouth NEXT time!"

Screamfest #2 ensues.

He's sweet as can be sometimes, but other times he's outright defiant and pigheaded and thoroughly difficult, and I want to beat my head against a wall. I think part of it is age, part of it is personality. And there are times where I repeat the same thing to J so many times, where he engages in the same bad behavior over and over after he's been told/asked repeatedly not to do it and suffered consequences for doing it anyway, that I've wondered if he's wired wrong somehow (I'm really concerned that someone in the school system will one day try to convince me my child has ADD or ADHD and should be medicated). But I really don't think he is. I think he's strong-willed and wants what he wants when he wants it, and he's 4 to boot.

I just want to know - how many times must I repeat something before he gets that the time for good behavior is the FIRST time I ask, not the second or third when he's already in the doghouse and consequences have ensued? On one level, it cracks me up that he gets into trouble and loses a toy or a privilege and starts crying, "But I'll do such-and-such NEXT time!" Yeah, right, do you think I just fell off the turnip truck, my son? I let it slide this time, and next time we're right back in this same position. I guess you can't fault him for trying, though.

Interview update and other tidbits

Well, my interview is done. I'd never interviewed with a state agency before, and it was a more structured interview than I'm really used to. I talked to three people, and first I got a brief rundown of the benefits. (My health insurance would be free, I'd pay for J's - that would be a pretty good savings over where I work now!) The region this particular office serves covers Tarrant, Parker and Palo Pinto counties, so most travel wouldn't be overnight unless it was traveling for training - that could be in Austin, Houston, San Antonio. They asked if I'd have trouble traveling - big no, I know K and I could work it out if I had to be gone a night or two once in a while for training. Then each person had a list of questions they asked me about my background and abilities, different scenarios within the job, when incarceration might be appropriate for nonpayment, negotiation vs. litigation, and so on. I answered as best as I could, and I told it straight. I told them I'd always had an interest in children, that I'd really liked working with CPS cases at the DA's offices I'd worked for, and that I felt even more strongly about it now that I had a child and now that I'd seen what a nasty divorce/custody/support battle can do to a family through my sister's divorce. I told them I felt like people who have children have an obligation to support those children, and if they aren't, then someone needs to hold them accountable, and I wanted to be that someone. I didn't see any need in beating around the bush, so I was as straightforward as I know how to be.

It sounds like it would be a pretty high-intensity job - big dockets two days a week, smaller dockets or special settings another one or two days a week. I could be in court every day, but they said that doesn't happen every week. Still, if I'm doing something worthwhile, something I enjoy, I can handle that.

I don't know when I'll hear anything. If the position is offered to me, I'll get the call from Human Resources in Austin. The managing attorney at the office I'd be working at gave me his card and asked that I please call him if I did get the job, saying that often Austin won't let the field office know for three or four days who they've hired! Interviews are today only, and at the end of the day they'll be making their recommendation to Austin, but I don't know how long it will take Human Resources to act on that (especially given that part of downtown Austin was shut down this morning due to a whole bunch of unexplainedly dead birds - that may make things move just a little slower, if the Human Resources people couldn't get in to work!). So, now I wait. I do feel pretty good that they're just doing a handful of interviews today and that I was one of the ones chosen. I told them I'd applied for similar positions before and was very excited when I'd gotten called for the interview. It's out of my hands. Fidget, fidget, fret, fret.

I've been enjoying my day off. I used up all but a dollar and change of my gift card at Barnes & Noble. I got two exercise books (one with ten-minute yoga exercises, one for the exercise ball), a fun little mystery novel, a devotional book (How to be a Mom after God's Own Heart - I read the back cover and it fairly bonked me over the head and said, "Buy me!"), a Curious George treasury for J (something like 7 or 8 stories for $12), and a REALLY good CD. It's a CD of club mixes/remixes of Enigma songs. I also got a coffee and a cookie. And I still have a teeny tiny bit left!

I got a whopping $22 from things I dropped off at Once Upon a Child and Half Price Books, and I found book eleven in the neverending Robert Jordan series at Half Price, hardcover, for only $5. So of course I had to get that (I'm going to have to go back and re-read the whole stinkin' series now!). Then I spent $53.16 at Target, $50 of which was a gift card. I've had a good day and come home with $13 more in my pocket than when I left the house!

I think I'm going to put on a pot of chili to have leftovers for lunch this week. It's been a good day off. And next Monday is a holiday, so next week will be another short week. I'm getting positively spoiled with these short weeks.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Coincidence? We'll see

The verse from one of my online devotionals:

Isaiah 1:16-17
Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless.

Tomorrow I have an interview for a position as an assistant attorney general working in child support enforcement. Coincidence? That remains to be seen.

Soundtrack of My Life

I got this from red fish - should be interesting!

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend your cool... and alot of the songs fit with the setting.

Opening Credits: Big & Rich - Live This Life
Waking Up: Nina Simone - Gin House Blues
First Day At School: Sheryl Crow - Soak Up the Sun
Falling In Love: Kristen Chenoweth - Just an Ordinary Guy
Fight Song: Tab Benoit - Make Your Mind Up
Breaking Up: Snow Patrol - Make This Go On Forever
Prom: Big & Rich - Saved
Life: Duran Duran - Ordinary World
Mental Breakdown: Daniel Lanois - Where the Hawkwind Kills
Driving: Lipps, Inc. - Funkytown (this would have fit the next one better!)
Flashback: Dazz Band - Let It Whip (although this works, too)
Getting back together: 'Til Tuesday - Lovers' Day
Wedding: The B-52's - Queen of Las Vegas
Birth of Child: Yaz - Midnight
Final Battle: Dick Dale & the Del-Tones - The Victor
Death Scene: Megadeth - Kill the King
Funeral Song: Duran Duran - Come Undone
End Credits: The Judds - Sleepless Nights

Kind of random, no?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - Kissing

Sunday Scribblings #41

My first kiss. I was in eighth grade, and it was at a party. We were playing spin the bottle, and I had to kiss Dickie Johnson. If I remember correctly, it wasn't much of a kiss, but what did I know? I had nothing to compare it to. It was one of those just-barely-a-peck, junior-high, embarrassed kisses, and it was over almost before it began.

Fortunately, kisses have gotten a lot more enjoyable since then.

A revelation

I think I've posted about getting back into going to church and trying to redevelop my spiritual life. Dixiechick posted this on Friday. Her post made reference to this verse:

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.... Malachi 3:3

She then posted an account of how a woman wanted to really get a grasp of what this meant, so she visited a silversmith to see how he worked. He explained the process, told her the silver had to be in the very hottest part of the fire to burn away impurities, and told her that he knew the silver was pure when he could see himself in it. He also explained that he had to sit and watch it the whole time, because if it stayed in the fire a moment too long, it would be destroyed. The story then went on to compare God to the silversmith - He places us in the heat of the fire to bring about desirable qualities in our lives, to see Himself in us, and He watches us the whole time, so that we are not destroyed. Well, this whacked me right over the head, and I suddenly felt a peace. God knows what I'm going through, and He won't leave me in the situation I'm in one moment longer than is necessary to burn away things that need to go.

Then on the way home, I was listening to Life is Good by Jo Dee Messina. The lyrics go in part,

I've got my two feet on the ground
Breathin' in and breathin' out
Oh yeah
Life is good
I'm gonna grab on to today
Live every minute in the way I know I should
Life is good

I drove down the road with tears of joy pouring down my face. Yeah, some things are hard. Work sucks. Money is tight. It is hard being a single mom. But I'm alive, I'm breathing, and God is looking out for me and will take care of me in His way, in His time. Life *is* good.

And I felt a peace like I haven't felt in a long time. I could say to myself, "God will work this out," and *really* believe it.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. --Philippians 4:6-7

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Friday's Feast #2

Feast One Hundred & Twenty-Five
Which celebrity (or celebrities) do you think will make headlines this year?

Don't know, don't care. I don't pay a whole lot of attention to celebrity goings-on anyway, I've got better things to do with my time.

They say that good things come in small packages? What is something little that you think is great?

Godiva chocolate. Itty bitty pieces, but oh, boy, are they ever good.

Name a song that makes you want to dance.

Hawaii Five-O by The Ventures. We played this at every single victory dance (after football games - we didn't always win, but we always had a dance) in high school, and I can't help but flash back every time I hear it. Also, Use It Up & Wear It Out by Pat & Mick. This song makes me think of APO (Alpha Phi Omega) dances in college and my friend Tony Lisenby, who was a dancing fiend, and hair dancing and the Gang of Four (me, and my friends Deona, Brian and Sean - if my mother knew how much fun we really had, she'd have yanked me back home and had me going to the local community college). Lots of fun, but my neck can't stand that kind of abuse anymore. I wouldn't be able to hold my head up straight for a week at this point if I tried.

Main Course
What is your favorite font?

For business-type things, Georgia or Times New Roman. For fun, Ravie. I should get out and see what fonts are out there other than the ones that came with my computer.

If you were to write a do-it-yourself article, what would it be about?

That assumes that there's any kind of do-it-yourself thing I can do! If you think of do-it-yourself in the usual sense, i.e., home improvement and repairs, forget it. I'm pretty hopeless without specific directions, and even then, there aren't many projects I'd feel comfortable tackling myself. I'm always afraid I'll make a somewhat minor and inexpensive problem into a major and expensive one, so I opt to call professionals. I have installed dimmer switches by myself, though. Maybe I could write a DIY article on that.

Longest. Day. Ever.

I swear, it's felt like this day will never end. It's felt like this WEEK will never end. My focus at work is nonexistent. I don't know if it's because I'm excited about the interview next week, if it's because I'm finding it very hard to care about my job, all of the above, or something completely different.

Wow. I just got an e-mail from someone I hadn't heard from in a while - I believe I may have previously referred to her in my blog as JG. She was sort of the catalyst for my divorce, she's who K fell in love with, and that's when everything kind of went to pot. K asked me last night if I'd mind if she got in touch with me. We were good friends before all that falling in love business happened, and so I said sure. I really never have had strongly-held hard feelings toward her - I think on some level I knew things weren't right in my marriage, and she's just the one who happened to be caught in the middle of the whole mess. I also know she's going through a divorce right now, and I figure life is short, we girlfriends have to stick together. So I wrote her back real quick and told her I was just fixing to leave, but I'd write more later.

I'm glad she wrote.

And I'm also glad it's time for me to GO HOME.

More later!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #2

Thirteen Things I Do When I Stay Up Too Late

1. Read. If I get sucked into a good book, I've sometimes been known to stay up until I finish it. Even if I finish it at 3:30 AM and the alarm is going off at 6:00 AM.

2. Take a bubble bath. Sometimes this is just necessary, no matter what time of day it is.

3. Have an adult beverage (or three). Again, sometimes this is just necessary.

4. Logic puzzles. You know, the puzzles you used to get as problems on standardized tests, "A must sit next to B but will not sit next to C. B has to have D to her left. E will not sit next to A or F, but will sit next to D. What is the seating arrangement for A, B, C, D, E and F?" Yes, I admit it, I am a total geek - I actually LIKE those puzzles, buy books of them, and stay up stupid late doing them.

5. Laundry.

6. Dishes.

7. Clean out my car. Which reminds me...that badly needs to be done right now.

8. Think to myself multiple times, "You know, I really should get some sleep."

9. Scan J's photos into the computer and upload them to Shutterfly.

10. Work on job applications.

11. Make fun mixes on iTunes and burn CD's of them.

12. Try for the 467589532958th time to dejunk my kitchen table for once and for all.

13. Play on the computer. What, you didn't see that one coming?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. johnh985
2. Susan
3. slightly
4. Laura
5. Culinarily Curious
6. Nadiah
7. Raggedy
8. Janie Hickok Siess
9. Thomma Lyn
10. Samantha
11. Di
12. Chickadee
13. Dixiechick
14. ~m~
15. An Ordinary Mom
16. Interstellar Lass
17. Buttercup
18. Laurence
19. Tisha
20. Pippajo
21. Katie
22. Suburban Mum
23. Trish
24. Dane Bramage

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Is this my big shoe deal?

I have an INTERVIEW!!! On Monday, 9:45 AM, with the Attorney General's office. The position would be in Fort Worth, so the commute would be comparable to what I'm making now, and I'd be doing child support enforcement. How cool would that be?! Kicking the asses of people who don't do right by their kids - now there's a job I could sink my teeth into. I'm so excited, I can hardly sit still.

And how often do you hear people say, "Is it Monday yet?" LOLOL That's what I'm thinking right now, though. I'm taking the day off from work. I kind of hate using a vacation day so early in the year, but I do what I've gotta do.

Cross your fingers, pray hard, light a candle, put a bug in the ear of the Higher Power of your choice, send good thoughts - any and all positive energy is much appreciated!

Birth order predictor

Pilfered from Starrlight:

You Are Likely a First Born

At your darkest moments, you feel guilty.
At work and school, you do best when you're researching.
When you love someone, you tend to agree with them often.

In friendship, you are considerate and compromising.
Your ideal careers are: business, research, counseling, promotion, and speaking.
You will leave your mark on the world with discoveries, new information, and teaching people to dream.

I am, in fact, a first born. I grew up an only child, but found out I had younger siblings when I found my birth mom.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The hippity hop strikes again

I told J he could go out and jump on the hippity hop for a bit after we got home. Being as how I pick him up from school about 6:20-6:30, and it's pretty much dark by the time we get home at this time of year, this was his response: "We can go outside now?!" With an equally incredulous facial expression to match his tone of voice. You'd have thought I just told him I really did have a third eyeball in the back of my head or something. I wanted to see if it worked as well in getting him to bed early on a weeknight as it did on the weekend.

We didn't stay out long - it was dark, and a little on the chilly side. But he hopped around a bit before deciding he was ready to go in. I think he'd have played longer on the Jump-O-Lene, but one section lost all the air in it when the little plug came undone, and that's too much of a project for me to tackle on a weeknight (my arms still hurt from trying to hold and maneuver the Jump-O-Lene and the air pump by myself yesterday, I wasn't ready to tackle it again today - Brian will be coming up this weekend, I think that will be his job!).

But a little outside time is better than none, and J was asleep by 9:20. For anyone who doesn't know, my child is an incredible night owl, and while 9:20 isn't in the same league as 8:00 in terms of bedtimes, at our house, it's quite respectable. I was pleased. I think we'll be spending a LOT of time outside hippity hopping and jumping in some form or another. If he were better coordinated, I'd think about getting him a pogo stick. But he is his mother's child, so a pogo stick would pretty well guarantee a nasty fall and a trip to the ER. We'll stick with what we've got for now.

I don't know if his blood sugar is just low after school or what, but J was a complete and total beast on the way home. Before we even got out to the parking lot, he was asking to go to Whataburger. I told him no, I didn't have money, and he started howling. He wanted to go to Whataburger - no. Wanted to go to McDonald's - no. Wanted to go to Chili's - no. Wanted to go to Johnny Carino's - no. Wanted to go to the store - no, no and no, no money for one means no money for all. (Let's not even start on how badly I think it sucks that I have to tell my kid I have no money for the occasional take-out meal from freakin' Whataburger. AAAARGH.) At any rate, he screamed about anything and everything he could think of until I just had to laugh. Poor baby, he had tears pouring down his face, wanting to go somewhere and EEEEEEEAT. I told him we had food at home, it wasn't like he'd starve if we didn't go out, and he told me, "But I am, I'm STARVING!" Usually he likes helping me put gas in the car, and since I had to stop and do that, I was able to calm him down by telling him he'd have to sit in the car if he couldn't stop crying. It was stressful, but almost comical at the same time. I mean, is the food at Whataburger *really* good enough to justify that kind of drama? I think not. Sometimes my son can be as over-the-top as a teenage girl.

But he's sleeping now. Sweet boy.

I'd better do likewise. Tomorrow is trash day, and I've got to get up early enough to get the trash put out by the curb. Ugh. I'm telling you, if I get remarried, this little chore will be on the top of the list of things that become my new husband's responsibility.

Isn't this a kick in the teeth?

Looks like Baylor is losing one of its top recruits. G.J. Kinne had verbally committed to Baylor, but is now going back on that commitment and committing to the University of Texas. That's bad enough (as a good Baylor girl, I have no love lost for the Longhorns). But G.J.'s father, Gary Joe Kinne (who played at Baylor back in the day), is a Baylor coach. Talk about adding insult to injury. One of Kinne's high school teammates from Gilmer has also withdrawn his verbal commitment to Baylor.

And the perplexing thing is, UT's got a good quarterback in Colt McCoy, who will likely be the starter for the next three years or so. Sure, they just lost a backup QB, and one of their commitments fell through. But UT has another commitment from a top-rated QB prospect, and a good redshirt freshman QB already on the team. Realistically, what are the odds of G.J. ever starting a game as quarterback at UT? Maybe he sees some possibilities there that the general public doesn't, but it seems to me that playing as the starter for most if not all of your college career, even if your team doesn't win all the time or go to big bowl games, gives you a lot more opportunity to show the NFL what you've got than being the third- or fourth-string quarterback at a nationally ranked school.

Back to the grind

And so begins another work week. It's Tuesday, it feels like Monday, and my motivation is zero. On the bright side, traffic was still light today. I'm not looking forward to a return to our regularly scheduled nasty traffic.

I was talking to a co-worker this morning. Every year we have an employee survey that we're asked to do (OK, nearly hounded to do - they're real big about wanting as many people to participate as possible), and once it's finished, we have small-group "listening sessions" to discuss the biggest areas of dissatisfaction (which have yet to change in the nearly three years I've been here). One of the five is always that no one feels like anything will change as a result of this survey, and I think the reason for that is clear - the survey topics never change. The general consensus is that we're paid too little and asked to do too much work, and we feel like we aren't free to speak our minds (because there is a bad list around here, oh yes, there is). Anyway, this year's listening sessions were held not too long before Christmas. My co-worker said that one of the people in his group regularly reads up on our company, and this person was saying that in one of the articles he read, our CEO was talking about the efficiency of our latest merger. He was bragging about saving costs by cutting back on salaries. So it's a point of pride to our CEO that we're paid under market. I know companies are in business to make money, not to make sure I'm happy - I can appreciate that. But when you hear on the one hand that your company is setting milestone after milestone, breaking new financial ground left and right, has annual net income in the billions - well, it's really a slap in the face to hear your CEO bragging about how the company keeps costs down by cutting back on salaries. And where, then, do you think all that profit is going? I haven't seen a red dime in raises or bonuses since I've been here.

It's not just me who's unhappy. The co-worker I was talking to this morning started at just about the same time I did, we went through our training together, we were teammates until just a few months ago, so we're pretty close friends. He told me this morning that he really just wanted to go cry, he was so discouraged about being here. I've never worked any place where so many people are so unhappy. And it just upsets me - I work with good people, intelligent people, people who are (for the most part) willing to work hard and want to do a good job. We all deserve better than this.

Don't Quit

This was posted to a Yahoo group that I'm on. I liked it, so I'm posting it here.

Don't Quit

Don't quit when the tide is lowest,
For it's just about to turn;
Don't quit over doubts and questions,
For there's something you may learn.
Don't quit when the night is darkest,
For it's just a while 'til dawn;
Don't quit when you've run the farthest,
For the race is almost won.
Don't quit when the hill is steepest,
For your goal is almost nigh;
Don't quit, for you're not a failure
Until you fail to try.

~ Author unknown~

The hard thing is, you don't *know* when the tide is lowest, or when you're nearly at the top of that steep hill. You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, because the only alternative is to lay down and quit, and that would be failure indeed.

Well, here's a shocker

Your Job Dissatisfaction Level is 74%
Your job is a total bummer, and probably the worst job you've ever had.Your co-workers stink. Your boss is a jerk. And your company is probably in trouble.Think about finding a new job quickly, even if it's just a not-so-great transition job.You've got to get out of there as quickly as you can!

Monday, January 01, 2007

January 1

J gave me a rare gift tonight - he was snoring by 8:00. Gotta LOVE the hippity hop Santa brought him for Christmas! I think we'll be outside playing with the hippity hop every day. I blew that up this afternoon, and the Jump-O-Lene he got for his birthday last year (shame, shame, lazy mama leaving it sitting in the garage all this time), and he jumped like a crazy thing for a good long while this afternoon. If that's the secret to wearing him out, seriously, we'll be out there every day. Or night, until the time changes and it's light when we get home again.

And speaking of presents, the FP 3 player he got for Christmas is WAY cool. It's a far cry from the cassette-playing Walkman I had when I was barely a teenager, that's for sure. I do find it funny that it's got some songs on it (preloaded) that are obviously children's songs, and then we've added things like "Defying Gravity" from Wicked and "I Play Chicken with the Train" by Cowboy Troy. LOLOL Clearly, children's music is not a frequent listen at our house. I figured J had already taken over the TV, I wasn't giving up the CD player too.

I'm working on an application for a prosecutor position in Johnson County, about 30 miles down the road from here. One of my devotionals for today talked about the question of something being a good thing or a God thing, and how even if it seemed like a good thing to us, it might not be what God wanted us to do. So I'm really considering this. I mean, I'm not going to get rich as a prosecutor, and it doesn't get me any closer to Brian (but then, the plan could be for him to end up here, I don't know). The high end of the salary range (assuming they'd offer me that, as I've been away from prosecution for going on nine years now) is only $3,000 more than what I make now. But I *know* there would be soul satisfaction in going back to court and kicking bad-guy ass. I can almost taste that now (especially if it's whooping up on someone who's hurt a child or who's assaulted a spouse/significant other), and I'd be a LOT better at it now than I was right out of law school. So. I'm applying, and if it's meant to be, I reckon it will. And at least with the government, you do get raises every year (unless, to paraphrase the infamous Edwin Edwards, you get caught with a dead woman or a live boy). I keep telling myself, if it's meant to work out, it will. It can't hurt to send a resume, and if I don't keep sending resumes, the perfect thing may pass me right by and I'd never know it.

Had my good-luck and good-fortune food today - black-eyed peas and cabbage, yummy. The cabbage turned out really well. I caramelized some onions, then tossed the very thinly sliced cabbage in and cooked it until the edges started to caramelize just a little. A touch of salt and black pepper, and it was perfect. I've always given those foods a miss on New Year's, and, well, you see where my luck has been. This year, I figured it was worth a shot.