Thursday, April 9, 2009

Has it seriously been a month already?

Ahem. Yeah. Is this thing on?
Apparently I have gone a whole month without blogging. A WHOLE MONTH. How did this happen? I think somewhere between the desperation of waiting for spring to come and the excitement of my birthday, March break and Easter (and not in that order) my blogging mojo got up and went.
Well, I am back...although I am making no promises as to how long or how often I will show up here. I always do that - oh yeah, I promise to start blogging every day, I swear I will - and then I fall off the wagon and beat myself up over it - over a blog of all things!
Okay so now that we have that established, where should be start?
How about my birthday. Nothing like a little shameless self promotion to loosen things up. So anyways, April 1st marked my 34th birthday. 34. I have definitely passed out of the realm of my 20s....I am officially mommy age. I am comfortable being 34 though, as its not over the hill towards 40, and yet I still enjoy the respect that comes with not being treated like a 25 year old.
My thirties have definitely been a growing time for me. I no longer look out for #1. Perhaps that is because God has thrown so much #2 into my life - HAHHA get it? Ahhhh, potty humour. I have been spending waaaaay too much time with my 4 year old.
SO where was I - oh yes, God. God has tested me and stretched me and look at it, I have grown. I am slowly coming to accept that I cannot do things perfectly, and slowly coming to realize that not all things are in my control...I have released my grip and made great strides at turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to my naysayers. So nay to you naysayers...I can't hear you.
I am not entirely happy with my body these days, but I am happy with my health. I am officially a non smoker, a non drinker and a non junk food eater. All this and I still managed to gain 7 pounds in the last month. Hey wait a minute - I have not blogged for one month. I have also gained 7 pounds in that month. Hmmmmm. Coincidence? I think not! That's it, its official - not blogging is bad for your health!
So back to the birthday. I didn't get a whole lot. Hubby and I don't really do gifts - but he did go and get me a whole bunch of no sugar snacks and puzzle mags. Fidget used his own money and got me a Vanilla Buttercream diffuser (you know, that bottle of oily stuff with the reeds in it??) The other two - well, they really don't know about birthdays yet, so they got me nothing. My mom gave me lovely flowers and bought some childcare hours cards at the Y ** Oh yeah! The Y! That's where I have been - more on this later**. My brother and his fiancee got me a gift card for winners that is rapidly burning a hole in my pocket - I may just have to go spend it tonight on a nice Easter dress. And....that's about it. We went out for dinner and then home. Then bed, then up and it is a brand new day. Ho hum. You know, birthdays just aren't what they used to be!!
So yes, let's touch on the Y subject before I jet off for another month (just kidding....well...maybe not). Hubby and I have both wanted to join the Y for some time now - but we thought that we could never afford it, and that we wouldn't go unless there was something, some sort of program for ALL of us. This alone is a miracle of miracles as there are 5 of us and we are all so very different. Anyhow, I emailed about the possibility of a subsidy, and lo and behold, they told us to come in for an appointment to discuss. So we did. And we qualified!!! And now we are officially members of the Y!!!! So very awesome - The Mouth has been thoroughly enjoying her Monday morning play and swim time, The Joker fits nicely in the nursery area (and as soon as that stubborn little thing decides to pee on the potty, we can get him in the pool too). I am just in love with the gym thing - all the weight machines call out my name and I could be in there for hours if I am not careful. The treadmills suit hubby and I both and get this - we are even taking a class TOGETHER!!! Cardio kickboxing! Now this may not seem like much, but if you knew my hubby, you would be shocked - he is one of the most sedentary guys ever!! But he has done really well so far. Sure, I am the only motivator in the house that makes everyone go, but they do go and they all end up loving it. So yes, that is where I have been....and will be 4 times a week until I get sick of it or injured, whichever comes first.
Well, that's it - your April 09/09 update. No promises, although if I know myself as well as i think I do, I will be back very soon for a whole bunch of times and then completely disappear!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Quick, someone call Hallmark

I am back.
Well, okay, I have really been here all along, but have not been able to convince myself to write anything. Okay, wait, that's a lie too. I have written plenty. But I have not been able to push that little publish button.
It is so mind boggling to me that one day I can be a fine and happy blogger (FAHB) and the next day I am an inconsolable paranoid mess. This round of depression, while shorter, was no less intense. I am very happy to finally be coming out of the haze, and I thank you all so very much for sticking with me despite my lack of updating. now jumping back into the blogging thing is a little intimidating. What do I write about? Where was I last? Oh yeah, the smoking thing. Well, hubby and i have been over 3 weeks without a smoke - and, yes ladies and gentlemen, we are STILL MARRIED!!! **takes bow**. Mind you, we have been sleeping about 2.5 feet apart in bed and somedays manage barely a grunt as we pass each other, but we are getting better.
If you ask people why they don't quit smoking, there are so many reasons. But I think the number one reason I have ever heard is the weight issue. I thought, being so hyper-controlling of my diet, that I would be above all of that. I have thought wrong. I was mistaken in that I assumed people gained weight due to mindless munching in order to fulfill some oral fixation. I determined to do none of that. Instead, I ferociously chewed gum (sugar free even) and drank gallons upon gallons of water. I don't eat sweets, I stayed away from carbs. SO you would think I had escaped the weight thing, right? Well you would be wrong. I have gained 8 pounds.
Now I can almost hear you rolling your eyes (yes, I have VERY GOOD hearing) saying - 8 pounds, in 3 weeks? Give me a break. But before you think I am a total nut, I think I have an explanation for this - and pardon me, but it IS kind of gross. I am bloated and constipated. YUMMY. I do not have a whole lot of knowledge about the workings of ones intestinal track (as my friend Kat can attest after she had to give me a tutorial on what the heck diverticulitis/osis was) but I do know that people are supposed to poop more than once a week.
It is like my body is flipping me the bird and having a temper tantrum a la 2 year old style. My daughter used to hold her breath until she turned a purplish blue....that or she would force herself to throw up everywhere. Yeah, so my body is doing more of the breath holding thing.
I went only last night to get some medical intervention for this issue. I am worried though, not wanting to become hooked or something - but also knowing that they do make laxatives for occasions such as this. Not that constipation is an occasion. Cause if it was, I am sure Hallmark would have come up with a greeting card for it by now.
Okay, enough of the poop talk. I am worried that after my non-postage issues, I will now lose the rest of my followers due to gagging over inappropriate blog topics.
I took a week off of everything a couple of weeks back. Everything except work that is, which may seem kind of hilarious because normally when people take holidays, they take them from work. The difference is that my job does not seem like work to me, it is just an insanely early appointment to get up and listen to my MP3 player, while I also happen to clean and mop.
Anyhow - I am involved in 3 bible studies, a mom's group and other social commitments. Taking the week off was just what I needed. I never realized how draining my schedule was until I didn't have it any more, and once again I am vowing to not take on so much next time. SOMEONE PLEASE REMIND ME OF THIS IN THE FALL!!! I have one study that will end right after Victoria day (end of May for any Americans reading), another that was supposed to end in a couple of weeks (but the leader decided to extend it to mid May), and another that will end in April, around Easter. What will I do with my time? Knowing me, I will probably try to cram it full of all sorts of stuff....but I do have a plan.
I am currently trying to read through my Bible. Yes, I have read from the Bible many many times - but all in parts, and not the entire thing. I am just coming out of Chronicles now - very very long and boring...but I am sure useful to someone....anyhow....I can focus on that.
Also, I think I may take a stab at a new business venture - I would like to look into making aprons. Before you say anything...I know, we are not in the 50's anymore. But I think that every woman secretly wants just ONE apron - one that is so uniquely her, that actually fits her curves, is in colours she likes, and does not say something totally stupid and tacky. Also, if I could make one fabulous apron for a mom, an apron that encompasses all the above qualities, what about making a mini version for her daughter too? I think people would buy them....and I think I would love to make them. SO this summer I am going to experiment with a few designs, a few different fabrics and some innovative techniques that would make my aprons stand apart from the rest. I will keep you posted, but would love to have your feedback - would you buy one...either for yourself or someone you know???? What would you pay for this?
Also this summer, i will have my 12 year old boy Fidget back for most of the time (YAY!!! I am SOOOO excited), my 4 year old daughter "the Mouth" and the youngest "the Joker". On top of that, my church has asked me to be the MC for this year's VBS. How cool is that??!!
Oh yeah, and we have family camp, and my brother's wedding, and marathon training - SHEESH!!! Where did the summer go????
Okay, I am going to go talk myself down from the ledge I have just climbed up on. I am waaaaay too busy. Deep breaths
whew....okay, I feel better now. I guess when you get right down to it, life does not stop being so crazy until you are dead. And if it did stop being so crazy, you would be bored. SO you might as well just enjoy what you've got and do the best you can, right??
Thanks again for all who supported me through my tough time. It means more to me than you will ever know.
Love T

Friday, February 27, 2009

I apologize now for my total blog-updating-sucking-ness. I have been in a major funk and just trying to keep it all together....I shall return, soon I hope

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The best/worst Valentines Day gift EVER

Hubby and I got each other the EXACT same thing for Valentines Day this year.....and we will love/hate each other for it for the rest of our lives.
We both quit smoking on Feb 13, making Feb 14th our first official smoke free day.
Amazingly, we made it through the weekend without killing each other, although we did come close a couple of times.....we both reached the height of crankiness yesterday at lunch...sitting beside each our church....not a good scene. I have never bit my tongue so hard as I did for that excrutiating hour.
They say (whoever "they" are) that the withdrawal symptoms peak at 72 hours and subside after that - well we officially passed the 72 hour mark last night. And we are still married. AMAZING.
Anyhow, I am going to walk away from the keyboard now - I can feel the grumpy-bitter-need to hit something setting in. I am going to go take it out on my laundry.
Happy Belated Valentines/Family/Smokefree weekend to you all.

Friday, February 13, 2009

bad case of the SHOULDS

so yesterday, I decided to close up the laptop and take a break from the computer - why? Because I can sit down and tell myself - I'm just gonna check my email, and then I look up and an hour has gone by and the Joker has coloured the cat with permanent marker and there is water running somewhere and I smell something funny (it's like I slip into some crack in the space/time continuum).
Therefore, I have determined that I need to
The world will not fall apart without my input, without my witty comments on Facebook pictures. I will not fall out of the social loop if I do not read some one's 25 Things About Me note, and the blogosphere will not disappear if I do not update my posts for one day - or two.
It was funny....I actually closed my laptop lid - which is something I NEVER do...and then periodically throughout the day I would come over to the computer to sit down, look at the strange contraption on my desk (it is so rare to see it closed that it looks like it doesn't belong any more) and then say, OH, right.....I'm not going on the computer today.
It's amazing how as soon as you say you are not going to use it, that is when you think of a million things to blog about, or 4 people you ABSOLUTELY MUST send an email to TODAY, or desperately need to look up an address or something. And yet here i am today, with full access, not remembering what it was that was so crucial about yesterday.
I did, by the way, dig out the trusty old phone book and actually look something up MANUALLY. I remember when my phone book was used so often we kept it directly UNDER the phone, and it was all worn and dogeared and labelled and marked up with pen....I think we got this one about a year ago and this was the first time I cracked the spine. It was one of those light-bulb know? How you realize that in this age of the computer we put in as little effort as possible?
You may be saying - DUH....and I would be too if I read that last statement, but its one of those things you don't fully realize is possible and normal until it happens to you - like your kids getting headlice....which I am entirely certain WILL happen to me in my lifetime.
(now my head is itchy - nothing like the power of suggestion to wake you up in the morning).
So going back to the not using the computer rule. I realized (another DUH moment) that I enforce a lot of rules on myself. Some people think it is great self determination....I say, its just odd. I set rules up for myself ALL the time - like - I MUST wake up at 2:00 every day from my nap, regardless of when I laid down, I MUST get THESE chores done before I am allowed to do this fun thing...
I wonder if it is a firstborn thing (born into the land of rules...and never even thinking to break them) or if it is an OCD thing. I tend to do things the exact same way every time - and if I don't, it just feels...uncomfortable. I follow the rules to a fault - the speeding limit, the 1-8 items in the grocery lane, etc etc.
The problem is that once you set your mind on following the rules, you realize that there are rules and warnings on EVERYTHING. Did you know that there is a warning on all buckets that tells you about how much water it takes for a baby to drown, should the baby fall headfirst into it? Did you know that I have a warning tag on my curling iron that say not to use it while sleeping? Did you know that my plant food says - not for human consumption? First I ask myself - do we really need to be warned of these things...then I realize that if there is a warning, that means that someone has probably tried just those things and has sued the company due to the results. (I would like to meet the person who thought it a good idea to curl their hair while sleeping though).
Being the little rule follower that I am does have major setbacks. I think when I was growing up, I took cues from things my mom was saying and made them into rules. For example: if she said, "you should have made your bed this morning", I turned it into, "you MUST make your bed every morning". This led to a little problem I like to call the SHOULDS. I SHOULD myself all the time. I should do this, I should do that. And if I ever here someone tell me I should do something, my brain automatically hears : you MUST do that thing.
Every day I am adding more and more to the list of things I MUST do. By the time I am 35, I will have no time to sleep because of all the SHOULDS and MUSTS. And getting all psychological here, I believe this all goes back to an insane need to please my mom. Which I never seem to do. Which I never will, I believe. Okay, enough about that.
I will share one more little problem before I sign off, being that I SHOULD have been off the computer 10 minutes ago: I am currently reading through the Bible (probably because somewhere along the line I heard that I should....sigh). My Bible reading plan requires that I start in the Old Testament. That's okay, I can handle that, in fact I kinda like the history lesson and the tabernacle stuff.....but, if anyone has ever read the OT, they know that this is where God says lots of things like"If you agree to keep my commands....I will bless you and keep you".
Now here is a nation that got a LOT of shoulds from the most important Should-er ever. And even though I am not bound to all their laws, that does not stop me from questioning - should I be abstaining from eating pork (ack! please don't make me give up bacon!) or celebrating Passover, or bringing 10 shekels of grain to my local temple (not that I have the faintest idea of where the local temple is, or what on earth a shekel might be). Maybe God led me to read the OT so that I would see that this whole nation of people who should have done this, or should have done that, was never able to keep up. That is why God sent his Son. He was the only way we would ever be good enough.....through His sacrifice on our behalf. Hmmmm....something to chew on.
Well, that's it, time is REALLY up now. In case you have been in a closet for the last month or so, this is a reminder that tomorrow is Valentines Day. Hug someone you love. Tell your kids that they are great, just the way they are, and no matter whether they do keep up with all the rules or NOT, you still love them. And for goodness sake, stop SHOULDING all over yourself.

Monday, February 9, 2009

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

I have all these little slips of register tape under the corner of my laptop. Scribbled on each one are ideas I had for blogging, while I was busy cleaning toilets at work. You may have thought that one cannot be inspired by toilet cleaning - maybe its the fumes, maybe its my attempt to go to a "Happy Place"....whatever the reason, I come up with a lot of stuff.
Because the past week was not so conducive to blogging, I have a backlog of I am going to go through them really briefly, with the possibility of returning to them later. Or not. Who knows - all I know is that I don't want to throw out all these little nuggets of wisdom/wit/lunacy without writing them down somewhere permanent - so here goes - the CAPS statements are exactly what is written on the paper....may take some time to remember exactly what I meant in my toilet-fume induced haze:
  1. TIME TO PRAY - for those who, like me, struggle in this area of their spiritual life, I heard a very interesting idea. Until it becomes just a part of your life (as it should), what about scheduling it in? Like say, every day at 10:00 am for 15 minutes? And if 15 minutes seems like too long, start with 10 or 5 even - the point is, get started somewhere. Once you start, I am sure that it will develop into longer and longer periods or more often every day. And then once you have decided on the time, what do you pray for? I know there are formulas and setups and techniques all over the place, but this is supposed to be a relationship, not a religion, and I am sure God will take whatever you give Him over nothing at all, right? Why not make a list? Sit there with specific people with specific needs. And pray for specifics, so that you know when He has answered. And if you know He has answered, wouldn't it make sense to thank Him?? Just some thoughts. Anyways - schedule it in, like any other important thing in your day and you won't end up lying in bed at 11:00 pm cursing yourself in the darkness for forgetting.
  2. SORE ARMPITS - I have taken on the 100 Pushups challenge. Yeah, crazy, huh? well here's the thing. I have always been a legs girl - in school, when they would do those fitness test things, I would ROCK anything to do with legs....but when it came to arms or abs - MASSIVE FAIL. The flexed-arm-hang continues to be the topic of many a nightmare. This is the year I change all that - by the time I am done the 6 weeks of training, I should, in theory, be able to do 100 pushups, and 200 situps (yep, another challenge). The only problem with this? Going from flabby spaghetti arms to Kelly Ripa arms (YIKES) is a long arduous journey. That journey involves pain. Unfortunately, the pain is in my armpits. Never knew you could actually say- Man, my armpits are sore. Apparently, you can. And I do - often
  3. WE ARE MORE LIKE TODDLERS THAN WE REALIZE - WE'D RATHER SIT IN OUR OWN STINK THAN PUT DOWN OUR TOYS - My son, the Joker, has this rather frightening ability to sit in his own stink. He has NO PROBLEM sitting in his own poopy diaper for up to an hour if I am not in the vicinity to smell it. And even when I do and I say - oh buddy, it's time to change that bum....put your toys down and come over here for a sec....he immediately screams - NO! and plays on. This got me to thinking - how often we do the same thing. We have some issue plaguing our lives - say laziness or clutter or negativity or an addiction or whatever. We all agree that the issue stinks. And some well-meaning person comes by and says - hey, I see you are in a bit of a mess, how about you come over here and I help you with that - and we yell NO! Sometimes it's easier to just sit in it. Even if it reeks, and we know it.
  4. IDEAS TO FOLLOW UP ON: Once a month cooking (sounds like MY type of cooking!!!), 10 best decisions any parent can make by the Farrells, How to become a student of your child, Emily Barnes on how to clean up your life in 15 min/day. Common Traits of Gen X'ers, Common Traits of a Firstborn child
  5. FRUIT FINDERS, NOT FAULT FINDERS: If we all spent more time searching out other people's fruits rather than their faults, we would be a formidable force to be reckoned with. Why do we immediately look for the faults? How horribly we can treat each other should be in the forefront of our brains at all time. Look for the FRUIT, and you will be a blessing to everyone you meet.
  6. LET THE GOAT STARVE - In the book of Leviticus (yes, I am reading OT) there is a section on the origin of the day of Atonement. In it, they discuss the "scapegoat". The scapegoat was an actual goat, onto which all the sins of Israel were placed. The goat was then led out of the camp, into the desert, and left there alone. When discussing this later, I came to the realization that not only was the sin placed on this goat's head, but also the guilt for that sin. And then the sin was removed from their presence. Guilt, however, takes time to die....just as the goat was not led out and slaughtered - it withered, it remained for days....and then slowly, when starved, it would die. Our guilt must be treated like the goat (once sufficient confession and repentance have been made) - we must take it out in the open, not hide it away. We must stop feeding and tending to it. And of course, we have to wait patiently for the thing to die. Slowly....but yes, it does die. And once it is dead, for heaven's sakes, don't go digging up the GOAT!
  7. SQUIRRELS - I hate squirrels, with a passion. They dug up all my flower beds and stole all my bulbs. And no matter how much repellent or cat hair or whatever I put on the garden, they keep on coming back. Someone in this neighbourhood is feeding the squirrels. I am sure they think they are doing a good thing, but seriously, stop it - cause your tree-rat friends are burying their whole peanuts all over my yard. I am reminded of Caddy shack and the chase of the gopher.
  8. THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATION - what does it mean in the Bible when they say that God will punish to the 3rd and 4th generation? I mean I come from a family of atheists. I am a 1st generation Christian. But does this reference mean that I will suffer for the sins of my parents? Does anyone know?
  9. GOD MIGHT HAVE CHOSEN YOU - funny thing when you talk about Election as a doctrine, it makes people uncomfortable. Why? because if God chose some, that means he did not chose others. And the Bible says that we seek Him because he chose us first. SO I also believe that when we seek Him, we will find him, Those he has not chosen do not seek him. SO here is a thought - for those so adamantly against God, what if they were one of the chosen? And they refuse out of stubborn will. Does God choose some who never seek him? MAN my mind is spinning now.....such big concepts to think about.

Well folks, that sums up all my little lists - interesting, eh? Who knew cleaning could be so thought provoking.

I need to wrap it up here, the kids are starting to conspire and plan a mass attack while my back is turned - I can see them whispering and pointing, this is NEVER a good thing.

God Bless!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Taking the reins

I think it is time for me to take control of the blog and do some homework - I am going to get a book (a book!) on web design stuff and see if I can't create for myself the blog of my dreams....I mean, 14 year old girls can do it, I can too. Mind you, 14 year old girls can do backflips and I can't, but this is typing codes in and coming up with something pretty - should be relatively easy, no?
Anyone know of any good resources?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

the entry that took 2 days to publish

When it rains it pours. Have you ever had one of those weeks - where everything just seems to slowly pile up and up and up until you are buried under a mountain and you have no idea how it all happened? This is where I am right now.

I would like to think that I am relatively cool under pressure - that is, I can handle pretty much anything that befalls our family, so long as it all happens at nice, spread out intervals. It is those times when the stars align or whatever it is that causes these things to happen, and all the little things happen at once that I begin to get overwhelmed.

Hubby is still having his migraines, nearly every other day, and on medication that makes him either tired, dizzy, nauseous, or all 3 combined. When given a choice between searing head pain and overwhelming tiredness and nausea, it is a tough call. Add to that the sickness that took over the 2 littlest ones, and the nastiness that always follows it*. Then, lo and behold, the Momma gets sick too. My reserves are low, my patience has run thin, and I am running on empty right now.

* anyone with kids knows that their sickness-induced calm and inertia is only followed by 3 times as many days of insanity - it is as if they are making up for lost time, with interest. NASTY
I guess it is my own fault - I believe it was me that bragged about how my life is a well oiled machine, how I don't have time to get sick, and so here is how God is set to prove me wrong!

Now this part of this post was actually written on a different day from the first - I guess I hit save instead of publish and so it landed somewhere in cyberspace....

Yesterday was a difficult day for me - as you see above, all the circumstances of life are kind of weighing me down. I have, in the past, suffered intense periods of depression. I have been blessed with over a year depression free, and so when I start to feel down and out, I begin to worry. Worry that any moment the flood will come, the clouds roll in and I will spiral down. It takes incredible amounts of strength to swim against that tide, and sometimes your whole body, even your brain tells you to stop swimming and just let yourself float. But I know that you don't just float - you sink....and you drown.

For me personally, the fastest way to drown is to dwell. For this reason, call it avoidance, I reign myself to just not think about the things that make me sad. Just keep swimming.

And now for something completely different, I offer to you : TALES OF A SMELLY CAT
I have a 14 year old cat named Jazmin. I have had Jazz longer than any of my kids, or my husband, and yes, longer than any of my friends. I bought her from a pet store when I was 20 (and knew everything) and she was a mere 6 weeks old. I carried her home in the pocket of my acid washed jean jacket (hey, it was 1990) and she has been mine ever since.
Now Jazz, while lovable, is becoming strange in her old age. She refuses to drink room temp water (it has to be cold), her cat food dish must be FULL in order for her to eat from it, she meows ALL night for no apparent reason and she will not use her litter box if it is too dirty (meaning not cleaned out THAT day) or too clean. Yep - she would rather pee in the laundry room than on a freshly cleaned cat litter box.
She has baaaaad breath, and likes to lick your arm when you are not paying attention. This is how she acquired her name. Add to that the fact that she seems to have lost interest in cleaning herself - she has just become old, lazy and smelly.
HOWEVER - like I said, she has been with me the longest. She has seen me through marriage, divorce, many many moves, 3 kids, 1 devastating layoff, a housefire, depression and alcoholism. She has just always been there. For all her annoying quirks, I just don't know what I would do if she weren't here. She is the first to greet me in the morning, and the one who keeps my feet warm at night. NO matter how mad I may get at her at times, she always comes back for a snuggle in my lap. Plus, she has put up with more tail-pulling than any cat should have to endure.
SO here's to you, Smelly Cat, in all your stinky quirkiness. May all your bowls be full and your litter be clean. Meow.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

yes I have not been here in days....there is a germ whirlwind going around my house. UGH.
By the way, while I am up here on my soap-box, I just want to let everyone know that I am sick of winter. Seriously. Enough now. This is just getting annoying.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

some throwback notes...Sept 18, 2008 - this MAY be a repeat....sorry

***Self-sufficiency refers to the state of not requiring any outside aid, support, or (in hardline cases) interaction, for survival; it is therefore a type of extreme personal or collective (group-based) autonomy.***Of all the lessons I was taught as a child, I think the one most drilled into me was that of self-sufficiency. And I see myself doing the same in the lives of my children – insisting that they can make their own beds, clean up their own messes, deal with their own arguments etc etc etc. Now don't get me wrong, I think it is an invaluable skill to be able to take care of yourself and to not burden others. But when does this skill become a sin?Recently I have come to terms with the fact that my self-sufficiency has made me into a control-freak. In everything I do, I have this little voice in my head saying – if you want something done right, do it yourself. In many cases, this can be true. However, I get to the point where I NEVER let anyone else do things, thinking instead that I can do it better myself – not quite the same thing. Also, I have somehow mutated this statement to mean – never ask for help, just deal with it yourself. This, I believe is where it becomes a sin. I can be in the deepest of water, and yet nearly drown myself trying to swim upstream instead of saying – hey brother, can you reach out your hand?God put us here on this earth where we are and when we are for a reason. If God, in all of His infinite wisdom had seen that I was able to completely survive and thrive on my own, He would have put me on some remote island somewhere (sipping cocktails on the beach – no, wait, that is another fantasy).But no, God put me here, in this town, in this generation, among these people for a reason. Someone near me has a gift that would help me. Someone beside me has a longing to be useful. I need to give someone that chance.But, you may be asking, “If I don't do it, who will?” Often I resolve to clean up ALL the messes, take on ALL the jobs, serve in ALL the ministries, because if I don't, who will? Well you know what? SOMEONE WILL. But when I jump in and fill the spot, there is no longer a need, and therefore someone won't. Instead, there is little old me, staying up into the wee hours painstakingly and begrudgingly doing tasks I was never meant to do.If I give up control, who will take the reigns? Well, until I give up control, no one else knows there are any reigns to take up! For example: Recently, a beloved Sunday School teacher in our church stepped down from her post. Now in order to fully appreciate the importance of this event, you should realize that nearly everyone who has grown up in the church (30 years or more) has at one time had her for a teacher. The reason for her departure is not important. What is important though is that by her stepping down, someone new got the opportunity to step in. And it just so happened that that someone was me.Was I coveting the position of a Sunday School teacher? BY NO MEANS. In fact, when our SS Superintendent first asked me if I would be available, I looked at her like she had 2 heads. Me? Teach? Uh, no, I don;t think so.After going home and casually considering it though, I feel like God put it on my heart to say yes – after all, it was only a temporary assignment, and really, how hard could it be? Turns out, I LOVED it, and feel that God has really worked in my life to show me that He has given me the love of teaching. SO much so, in fact, that I now have dreams of returning to school to become a teacher.So, back to my point. Had this former teacher said – “oh, I have been doing it for this long, I can't stop matter what other burdens I have in my life, I couldn't possibly expect someone else to take up the slack here” - I never would have had this opportunity. For so long I have learned and read that if I want anything, I am going to have to rely on myself, fully and completely, to get it. Other people simply cannot be trusted, or expected to help me. We live in a self-ruled, self-righteous, self-help, self-serve, self-discovery, self-actualization, self-esteem, self-respecting, self reliance world. When I became a Christian, I was told to put away self, to “Fully Rely On God”, to which I replied - “Yeah, right!” This drive to provide fully for myself has lead to an intense fear of submission. ACK – there is that ugly word – submission. But seriously – in order to submit to any type of authority, I must give up some level of control. I think most people are able to submit when absolutely necessary – such as, when the policeman is writing out your speeding ticket, or when the boss is resolutely staring at you from across the desk, trying to decide whether to fire you or not, but what about in the little things?Did you know that obeying the speed limit is an act of submission??? You submit to the authorities by saying, okay, there is the 'speed LIMIT', not the 'speed MINIMUM' or 'speed SUGGESTION' and therefor I am going to drive no more than the limit. What a novel idea....but anyhow....what about a wife submitting to her husband. Yes, the husband is called to be the head of the household, and it is he who must answer to God for how he ran his house. This is not license to rule with an iron fist, but if he is the one who is going to have to own up to God for the decisions made, he is going to have to have a fair amount of say in what decisions are made. Can I deal with that? Can I say...okay, not exactly what I wanted but I am going to go with him and pray for God to do the rest? What about money? Can I submit to God to provide ways for me to earn a living? To provide for me financially? Or do I take that too into my own hands, furiously scratching lottery tickets, with big dreams in mind.No, I am not saying we should not just lay back and become a drain, a sponge, a leech off of society. But neither should we be so determined to control that we can never let anyone else help us. The key is finding the middle ground. So in the end, what opportunities am I denying others by holding on so tightly? What work of God am I holding back by not letting go of the control? How can I possibly expect to see God's work all around me if I insist on doing all the work myself? I can't. And that's the whole point. JUST LET GO.

some throwback notes...August 21, 2007

Let's just say that the title says it all. When you are a mom of 2 toddlers, you have to expect that your day will not go without some sort of wrench - but come on, sometimes I shake my head and wonder if I am some freak of nature attracting disaster at every turn!So my loving husband started his new position yesterday, which means that he has to leave the house at 7:00 am to arrive on time. This would normally not be a problem, but when I have to have been to work and back by that time, that means that I am up and out of the house before 4:00am. Yep, 4 - freakin-a-to-the-double-m.Tuesday mornings at work are an interesting experience. Monday nights are Karaoke nights, and while I thought that the popularity of Karaoke went out with the 90's, apparently I was wrong. Either that or the few people that still take part in such endeavours are very spilly talkers. I know this because I encounter HUGE sticky puddles each Tuesday morning. And, as an aside, at least one toilet has been vomited in. So these spilly-talking-retro-90's-throwback-karaoke divas cannot hold their liquor. On that note, why is it that bar bathroom vomit always looks like chicken stew? My advice? If you are going drinking, do not consume chicken stew beforehand, and maybe we will all end up happier (and smelling better) the next morning. Okay, back to the puddles. Each of these sticky puddles is in a semi liquid/semi solid form, and they tend to attract lint, dust and debris. SO when i am doing my pre-mop sweep, I am faced with a dilemma: DO I try to sweep all the junk out of the sticky mess, or do I try to pick it all up with the mop? Some days I sweep, some days I feel all reckless and I just mop over them.Today, I decided that a good sweeping was in order - I was feeling strong, no sticky puddle was going to get the better of me. We stared each other down, eye to sticky-puddle-messiness and feeling that I had won, I began with the dust mop. Many people would not know this, not being familiar with the mechanics of a dust mop, but it really is only meant for dusting. Hence the name dust mop, I suppose. It is merely supposed to glide over the surface of the floor, and pick up dry goods. When it comes in contact with a sticky puddle, it has this annoying way of sticking itself, flipping upside down and spewing all of the previously well-collected dust and debris everywhere. GRRRR. So this morning, the sticky puddles won, and I resigned myself to just mopping them up - score 1 for the sticky puddles. Arriving home before the sun comes up is an odd concept as well. I am still all geared up from my battles at the bar, not to mention the 2+litres of diet Pepsi I must have drank while I was there. It is hard to wind down and relax once I come into my quiet abode, but relax I must. As tempting as it would be to start my day - washing dishes, emptying dishwasher, doing some laundry, none of these tasks is particularly quiet, and so for fear that I may wake up the tyrants, er...I mean children, I sit and devote some time to Bible study.Have you ever noticed how a cat comes running at the sound of a can opener, no matter how far away they are? Tony and I have come to the conclusion that our children choose the very moment that we begin to make a coffee to wake up screaming!! So I now hesitate to even drink my blessed caffeine filled beverage. Today was no different. No sooner had I sat down with a nice steaming cup of joe then I heard the wailings of the girl. And when the girl starts wailing, you had better go running, before the whole neighbourhood is greeted to her special version of good morning song.Okay, so fast forward an hour or so, both children are awake now, and surprise, surprise, they both have runny noses and coughs. This seems to be a weekly or bi-weekly occurrence (more on this in a future note). So now i am dealing with whining, snotty children, a wet Kleenex in one hand, a lukewarm coffee in the other, resorting to turning on Treehouse so keep them quiet for a moment.We play, we nap and then I decide that we MUST go out. Why do I inflict such torture on myself? I do not know. I really should have known better - it is chilly, raining, my kids are snotty and grumpy. But still, I decide that today is the day that I must go pick up storage bins for the garage, and hooks for all of our various lawn implements (rake, shovel etc.)We head to Home Depot, and greet our first catastrophe of the afternoon. The "Race-Car Cart" is no where to be found. If you have ever been to H.D. and seen this cart, you would know what I am talking about - it is a ginormous cart shaped like a race car, and both the children can be strapped in, facing forward, and each has their own steering wheel (although Sam has the unique quality of taking over both steering wheels at once). Well, wouldn't you know, there is no cart to be found, so I have to go through a plethora of "boring" normal carts to find one that a) had a working child safety strap and b) is not soaking wet. Sam then REFUSES to get in the cart, instead deciding that she would like to walk. I agree to allow it (silly silly me) and then spend the next hour chasing her through H.D. You never really realize how much breakable/expensive/dangerous things there are in a store until you let your 2 year old walk by herself. So we leave, not having found what we were originally looking for, both kids by this time whining and crying and drooling and snotting all over me. Yay, fun trip.One would assume that at this time I decided to call it a day and come home, but no. I, in my infinite wisdom decide to try another store, the great Canadian Tire. We find the bins (I am now lugging two huge bins, huge lids and a cart full of germy children, trying to negotiate aisles not meant for such girth) and my lovely daughter, bless her heart, decides that NOW is the time for POTTY. and by NOW, I mean RIGHT NOW, as in 5 MINUTES AGO. I furiously race around trying to find a public washroom sign, and then hastily decide to drop the bins and make a mad dash for the cash registers. She is madly jumping up and down, holding her crotch yelling POTTY! POTTY! The cashiers direct me to the automotive department and tell me to ask for the key. Off to automotives I go - to be faced with a lineup! Can you sense the tension building?? Here is Sam now screeching POTTY!! POT-TY!! and the young lad behind the counter casually glances my way and nods over to the service desk, where i see the gleaming key on the end of a paint stick. I dump the cart, unbuckle the boy and grab the girl, who now has a small puddle forming on her jeans. We rush into the potty and ---- she matter-of-fact tells me that she doesn't have to go anymore. I think it is more like performance anxiety, but she tells me, NOPE, she is all done. Feeling somewhat dejected, we walk out of the bathroom, toss the key back on the counter, and retrieve all of our dropped items. I pay for our things and head to the car.NOW do we go home? Oh no, truly a glutton for punishment, I drive to the pharmacy, just for a quick trip, to pick up my prescriptions. While paying at the counter, I reach into my back pocket for my debit card and realize that I am wet. not just a little wet, but like soaking wet. Jack's cup had been overturned and leaked his milk out the bottom of the diaper bag, all over my butt and down the back of my leg. GREAT. But the adventure does not end there - Sam looks up at me with a horrified/nauseous look on her face, squeaks "potty" and pees all over the floor. I clean up the mess (I could go on and on about this but I think you have had enough for one day) and take her outside, where I change her into the spare undies I have thankfully packed in the diaper bag. We head home, and now here I sit, having eaten, cleaned and pyjama'd the kids with the help of my hubby.Yes, tomorrow will no doubt be a similar story. and the next day, and the next. But these days won't last forever and one day i will look back on all of this and laugh. But not today. today, I am going to have a shower and go to bed early. That is, if I make it out of the shower without any major calamity!Thanks for readingGod BlessTara

some throwback notes...July 24, 2007 - a birthday note to my kids

Aging is weird - I have found my 30's to be my most reflective years. When I was a kid, I had no concept of the years flying by - when I was in my teens, I thought I would live forever. My twenties were all about me me me. And now, I feel very grounded - able to look ahead with some clarity and look back with a mixture of joy and regret. I SO wish I could go back and do some things over again. What I would give to have back that time. I wish that I had listened to those that told me their life lessons when I was young. I wish that I had been the same then as I am now. But I have found that the only thing that stays the same is that things are always changing.This past Sunday, July 22, we celebrated my youngest son, Jackson`s, 1st birthday. It was a wonderful day....and took an incredible amount of planning. We shared this special day with friends, fellow church family and extended family. It was wonderful to see how loved our child is, to see all those who took time out of their lives to share in this, our last first birthday party.And today, I celebrate my oldest son, Damon`s, 11th birthday - and sadly, I will not see him at all. Each year, Damon's dad takes him for the week of his birthday - so you would think that I would be used to this by now. The difference is that now that the day of Damon's official move to his Dad's looms near, I am beginning to realize that this is the first of many special days that I will not spend with him. I suppose this is a mourning period of sorts, like how you celebrate all the firsts - first birthday, first Christmas etc, after someone has passed on. You try to put on a happy face, but the feeling is just not there. And while I know that Damon will still come home (my home) every week, I feel as if I have lost him. My identity as his mom, his #1 supporter and parent and guardian and guide is slipping away and it is all starting to sink in.What a study in opposites. So having this in mind, please read on ...Hold your children a little tighter today. You WILL turn around one day and they will be gone - my oldest used to be my youngest - my one and only. I rushed through those years, wishing them away really - wanting him to walk, to talk, to go to school, to be independant, and now he has moved on, moved away, and I supposed I am feeling what many parents experience when their children go off to college - only 8 years too soon.Take the time to enjoy your children for who they are, for what they do today. When you look back you will miss the messes, the time they coloured a picture just for you, all over your freshly painted walls. You will miss the time you watched them crawl naked down the hall and pee all over the carpet, the times they cried all night and you had to hold them in the rocking chair and sing to them and brush your lips into their warm hair.You will miss the food smudges left on the back of your shirt when they hugged you after breakfast. You will miss the times you had to help them search over and over with a flashlight to make sure that there were no monsters under their bed. Just one year ago I sat next to an incubator praying to God to get me through - to helplessly watch as my son fought to breathe. We celebrated every tiny milestone, every increase in heartrate, every additional hour without a seizure. Today, we cuddle and kiss and chase and hug our little baby boy.Just eleven years ago, I sat stunned, a 21 year old mom, not having any clue how to handle a crying baby....feeling completely inadequate...and now he is grown. What I would give to have those days back - to just take each day one day at a time.So don't wish these days away - they will walk when they are ready, and then they will never crawl again. They will talk when they are ready and then they will never coo and babble again. They will sleep through the night when they are ready and one day they will not need you or want you in their room again.Cherish these days - hold them a little longer, kiss them one more time, read them another book and then fall down on your face and thank God for every day you have - you never know when these days will end.To all my babies - I love all three of you so very much....

some throwback notes...July 21, 2007

So here are the results of a recent personality test I took.....after I heard a long sermon on the subject of these personality, see what you think - maybe YOU should take the test! Score: Melancholy Choleric14 Sanguine, 57 Melancholy, 42 Choleric, 21 PhlegmaticHail to you who is a Choleric Melancholy.The depth to see into the heart and soul of life.The grip of leadership to head us to the good.The firm control when others ar losing theirs.The ability to analyze and arrive at the proper solution.The willingness to take a chance in a doubtful situation.The talent to create a masterpiece where nothing existed before.The pledge "if it is worth doing, it's worth doing right."The confidence to hold true in the face of ridicule.The urge to "take arms against a sea of troubles by opposing them."The aim to finish what you start.Yours is the most successful combination of the personality types. The pairing of your decisive Choleric leadership, drive and goals, with your Melancholy's analytical, detail conscious, organized schedule-oriented mind is unbeatable. Your melancholy side is inclined toward perfection, and your choleric side is predisposed towards success. So you will get what you want no matter how long it takes. This is what is awesome about you as a Meloncholy:You are deep, thoughtful, analytical, insightful, serious, purposeful, genius prone, talented, creative, possibly artistc, musical, poetic or philisophical. You are considerate, conscientious, self-sacrificing, and sensitive to others. In the workplace you set high standards, pick up after others, are schedule oriented, organized, detail concious, persistent, and thorough. You like charts and graphs. You see the problems and find creative solutions. As a friend, you make friend's cautiously, are content to stay in the background, avoid causing attention, are faithful and devoted, deeply concerned for others, will listen to complaints, and you can solve people's problems.And here is what is awesome about you as a CholericYou are a born leader, strong willed, active, dynamic, decisive, not easily discouraged, unemotional, independent, self-sufficent, confident, with a compulsive need for change & to correct wrongs, and you can run anything. At work you are goal oriented, you see the whole picture, seek practical solutions, quickly move into action, delegate, organize well, insist on production, stimulate activity and thrive on opposition. As a friend, you have less need for friends than other temperments. You'll work for group activity, lead, organize, and you excell in emergencies. You are usually right.Can you see how cool this makes you? You can do anything! Others are hesitant, indecisive, impulsive but not you. However, it is not all roses. There are some hefty weaknesses here too.Here are your weaknesses as a Choleric:First of all you don't think there is anything wrong with you. You think you are always right, so you can't be wrong. You'll probably think the following aren't even weaknesses. They are. Cholerics are impatient, impetuous, inflexible, unsympathetic, bossy, quick tempered, dominating, and too busy. You can't relax, you won't let others relax, you like to argue, you won't give up when you are losing, you won't admit you are wrong, and basically you come on too strong. In the workplace, you have little tolerance for mistakes, you don't compliment others instead you are rude and tactless, you make rash decisions by glossing over details (unless you have a melancholly edge to you), you are manipulative & demanding. As a friend you tend to use people, dominate, decide for others, know everything, think you can do everything better than everyone else, be unapologetic, and be too independent.Those blend powerfully with the weaknesses of the Meloncholy:You remember negatives, hold on to hurt, sulk, get moody or depressed or guilty, you are too introspective, self-centered, with a low self-image, you feel persecuted and you mind is off in another world. In the workplace you may be too meticulous, or a martyr. You are not people oriented, choose dificult work, are hesitant to start, spending too much time on planning, prefering analysis to work, and you are hard to please with your high high standards. As a friend you live through others, are critical, withdrawn, hold back affection, don't accept compliments, you are unforgiving, suspicious, and you dislike those in opposition towards whom you are antagonistic and even revengeful.Okay that is a crap load of negativity there. You are for the most part, freaking awesome. You are the cornerstone of any good plan. Without you everyone would just be running around like a chicken with their head cut off, or sitting around relaxing doing nothing. The other personality types would like you to understand how overbearing you can be, and they'd be grateful for more acceptance from you, but for the most part they appreciate your making things happen.

some throwback notes...July 14, 2007

So I have been meaning to put up a new note for a while now - every day as I go through the furious mad-dash that is my life, I have these facebook notes running through my head, but by the time I sit at the computer, poof! They are gone. Why is this? temporary insanity? lack of sleep? Or is this God's way of protecting my friends from sharing in the weirdnesses that lurk in the deep recesses of my mind.THerefore, for lack of a carefully thought out, well plotted note, I offer the following small pseudo-notes....enjoyThe Problem with Kids ShowsI have 2 children under most of the time that the TV is actually on during the day, it is zoomed in on the much loved station Treehouse TV. Now before you go sending me nasty grams about how damaging TV is for children under 3, please remember that without this 1/2 hour break here and there, I would be a drooling basket case in the corner somewhere - besides, it's not like they are watching Jackass or Debbie does Dallas or something. Okay, back to my original point. I cannot blindly ignore the basic errors in story lines or character development in these programs....why not? Because that's just me (this is the same person who can't ingore spelling errors in graffiti remember?)Max & Ruby: where are their parents? THe only authority figures in their lives are the scout leader and gramma...and Ruby cooks by herself - she can't be more than 8 years old. Who leaves an 8 year old in charge?Big Comfy Couch: oh this one drives me batty - every time I see Lunette do the 10 second tidy and shove all the toys under the couch cushions, I cringe. And please, somebody vacuum under the couch! When your dust bunnies are so big that they can talk to each other, its time for intervention!Maggie and the Ferocious Beast: If I hear the expression "Great Googaly Moogaly" one more time, I think I am going to scream....Miffy and friends: Miffy, why do you have no pupils? have you been trying out some extracurricular vegetation in your garden? HMMMM...just the song alone is enough to drive anyone around the bend - it is one of those songs that weasels itself into your brain like a corkscrew and will not get out, no matter what you do - Just ask my friend Andrea...okay last one, for now at least - Four Square: ugh, where do I begin? Firstofall...the Heppettes or whatever they are called are just an odd bunch. I mean really, this is a kids show, is it really necessary for grown men to wear beanies and lycra so tight that you can see every ripple and bulge and outline? and what kid of names are Lutzu, and Rufus?? It is like some preschool version of domination with Captain Hepette ordering the rest of them around. now this is seriously the last one, I promise - Daniel Cook and Emily yeung. I think its great that they go on all these little excursions and show kids a lot of different experiences, but I tell youthe truth - if my kids ever turn out half as lippy as these two, I think i will just lock myself in a closet somewhere.WHEW....enough ranting for now.PERSONAL GROOMING AT YOUR LOCAL DRINKING ESTABLISHMENT:I would like to know who thinks it is a good idea to get ready AT the bar, rather than get ready and THEN go to the bar. I have had a sneaking suspicion for a while now that people are doing their pre-drinking prep in the washrooms at work. Now these are not the staff washrooms, that I could excuse and understand - I am talking the public washrooms. The amount of hair I find constantly in the sinks in the ladies WR coupled with the 2 gallons of water on the counter would suggest to me that someone has washed their hair was this premeditated? Or did they suddenly have a hair-washing emergency? How often have you washed your hair in a public sink (unless you are a hobo...)I have often found toothpaste in the girls sink, as well as makeup, perfume and hair accessories. My newest and perhaps most perplexing discovery of late was what I thought to be shaving residue in the mens sink. I swear, there is stubble in the sink quite often. Who are these people? are they in such a rush that they forget to get ready before they go out?ODD. very odd indeed.Okay in true Tara fashion, this note has taken over 3 hours to write (interruptions, interruptions).SO I will close with this thought - what would chairs look like if your knees bent the opposite way?Chew on that for a bit.

some throwback notes...June 21, 2007

I have finally admitted to myself, in secret, that I am getting old. I am ony 32, but I feel more like 58, and I think I look like I could be in my 40's. I groan when I get up in the morning, my back stiff from the day before. I need 2 cups of coffee before I am even midway functional, and I get heartburn very very easily.Since when did I start to have errant hairs growing out of MY CHIN?? That is just horrible! And apparently I have inherited the gene for extra hairiness from my biological father (thanks a lot dad) so my legs seem to get hairier every year, and my upper lip is taking on an odd shade every month or so - thank God for the invention of Jolene bleach and razors or I fear I would look a little like CHeech and CHong.....Speaking of hairy legs, I just realized the other day that the hair on the back of my thighs grows in every possible direction - not in some nice uniform direction which would make it easy for shaving, but in ALL directions, so no matter which way I shave I never seem to get all of it. And if you are asking yourself why I am shaving the backs of my thighs, it is because I was so excited to start shaving my legs as an adolescent that I decided I would shave ankle to hip.....ugh what a mistake - now I have to continue this habit or I turn into a Yeti. And no one, especially my husband, wants to sleep beside a yeti.I have always had very dark circles under my eyes (thanks again dad) but now they seemed to be paired by puffiness and -GASP-..........could it be???.....wrinkles!!! How is it possible that I have wrinkles? Like I am getting this funky crease right between my eyebrows from when the sun is too bright and I squint, and I have 3 parallel wrinkles across my forehead, and wrinkles from my nose to my chin, from smiling too much (as if that were even possible). Is it possible that I need to start buying all those lotions and potions that I see lining the shelves of my local pharmacy? I wouldn't even know where to begin?? And how is it possible to have wrinkles AND acne? It is like a clash of generations, my forehead is a gramma but my t-zone is still a pubescent adolescent! I am not very good at facial routines, even reaching the height of laziness by wiping my face off with a baby wipe at night to clean up whatever miscellaneous substance happens to have fallen there. When you wake up well before dawn, and then come home to little people and stay there all day, rare is the occasion when you breakout the lipliner and smoky eyeshadow. So the closest I get to a facial is when Jack hurls oatmeal at me. My butt has disappeared. Not that I ever really had an ample ba-donk-a-donk butt (thanks mom) but I cherished what butt I had. The only time it has ever gotten bigger is when I was pregnant, and even then it only grew wider, not more ample. Well I supposed my butt has now retaliated on me, the skin saying "oh forget this, I have been stretched out so many times, I know if I go back to my normal position, she is just going to have another kid again". Now a side profile looks like a straight line from my neck to my ankles (well not really, but you get the point).I have cellulite and stretch marks where I never thought possible....and now I have the dreaded "wings" under my arms (another genetic gift from mom). I have very muscular arms from all the sweeping, mopping, and various mom-duties that I do, but apparently the back of my arms have not noticed this. If I raise my arms to clap, all I can think about is the wings flapping in the breeze....oh man I am getting old for sure.And when did I get back fat? Back fat I tell you. It is like a roll, or fold of skin running from somewhere near my inner shoulder blades towards my hips. THis is a completely new thing for me, and now that I have discovered it, I cannot stop noticing it. How do you "target" this zone in your workout? How on earth did fat migrate to my BACK of all places? It makes bras look uncomfortable ......and forget about bikinis, I gave up hope of wearing one of those long ago - after I had my first son* and realized my body had taken on mom-traits.* - I have a horrible tendency to put on EXTREME amounts of weight when I am pregnant....its like I forget that I am eating for 2, not 22. My pregnancies have been 88lb weight gain, 64lb weight gain, and 84lb weight gain. I desperately hoped that the baby and placenta and stuff actually weighed a good 50 lbs, but alas, it was not so. My poor poor body, I am amazed it cooperates with me at all.Now this may seem obsessive to some, but I now feel that my hands and feet look old too. My toes are starting to go crooked (from too many nights wedging my toes into too-tight platforms and dancing the night away at some bar) and I actually have age spots on my hands!!! They (my hands) are wrinkled and scarred. I have labourer hands, with callouses and cuts, hangnails and peeling nailpolish. I look at ladies with beautifully french-manicured finger tips, and sigh a sigh only a manual labour mom would understand. If I got a manicure now, I would be lucky if I made it home from the salon before it was ruined.And lastly, my hair. I have grey in it. Not a light sprinkling of it, but a big chunk or patch of it. Can I blame it on my kids? No, I am afraid not, I had it before any of them arrived. No doubt they made it bigger but they alone did not cause it. I have stopped colouring my hair (partly because I forgot what my natural colour was) so this only lets the grey patch show even more. I lovingly refer to it as my "skunk stripe".Can it be true? Can I really be getting this old? Was it all the time I spent in the sun? Was it the many packs of cigarettes I smoked? Was it living the hard life all those years ago?Only God knows. The only thing good about all of this is as I age physically, I seem to mature spiritually. "I'm not where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be" (Joyce Meyers)Thats it for today folks - the sun is a-shinin' and calling my name, and I figure hey- the damage is done now, right? Might as well slap on some SPF 30 and enjoy yourself while you are here, wrinkles and all

some throwback notes...Jan 20, 2007

I have no excuse for my poor blogging etiquette - well, no, that is not true, I have LOTS of excuses. However, I really should have kept up with this despite the crazy week I have had (are any of my weeks NOT crazy??)Anyhow, I have finally given in, admitting that I am ill. I am only allowing myself one day of sickness though, because I have so much to do that if I happen to let my guard down all the way, I have a sinking feeling that my routine and schedule that I have so carefully (read:obsessively) crafted will come crashing down around me...Things at the Rooster have been the usual vomitous-lime wedge retreiving mess. In fact, Messy McMessterson and his cousin Ralph Von Pukestein have become regular customers. On a different but somewhat related note, while sweeping one day I had to move a floormat in an area that I normally do not clean, and discovered the reason for the saying "sweep it under the rug". Some one had, in fact, swept it under the rug - all the dirt and squished french fries and other bar related debris, rather than sweep it into a dustpan - is this not the height of laziness I ask you? Why yes, I believe it is. Then I began thinking, which can sometimes be a harmful thing, about why I constantly feel the need to do everything with a precision and thoroughness that does not occur to normal people. It is as if I have this voice in the back of my head saying "do it right the first time, what if someone finds out", which I think hearkens back to the days of my mom doing the white glove test on my room when my chores were done. (and no, I am not exaggerating, you can ask her - well if you knew her you could ask her. This is the woman who vacuums her carpet at 4:00 in the morning, and has a home that looks like a museum) This trait may sound like somewhat of a blessing, but really it can be a curse. You see, when you HAVE to do everything perfectly and to completion, you cannot let anyone else do it, and you cannot stop until it is done. THis is why you will often find me standing at my kitchen sink at midnight shining the taps, or why I insist on washing the floors at work twice, to remove any imperfections. No one cares about these things but me, and no one even notices them but me....but they MUST be done or I cannot relax.I have been working on several projects at home as well - along with the regular laundry, dusting, windexing, and child rearing, I have decided that we need to paint our living room. When I say we, I mean me, and when I say living room, it is more like living room/dining room/ceiling & all the accessories to go with it. This would have been an easier project to take on if I had more than 3 hours a day to work on it. THe problem is that my 2 year old daughter has very little concept of boundaries, and so "don't touch" is an irrelevant request to her ears. I can't paint anything while she is awake.....and everything I do paint when she is asleep must be dried and put away before she wakes up - so you see my dilemma. And some days I just don't have the energy to paint at 9:00 pm. I am determined to get it all done (the accessories, not the walls) tonight, so that I can finally get the picture frames, mirrors and paint supplies out of my kitchen.Winter has finally arrived in our town, and along with the snow is the arrival of my newest enemy - road salt. This stuff gets everywhere, and espcially at the bar - it disolves upon mopping and forms very noticeable salt crystal puddles all over the floor. I can't imagine what this is doing to the laminate - . Maybe I can convince them to get some easily washable dirt coloured tile with little lime-shaped green marks all over it. Maybe, but I doubt it.Well....even though this entry is a combined detailing of the last 5 days, I am going to keep it short. I must go lie down, because I feel pooey, and if this is the only night I get, I might as well take full advantage of it, right?So, keep smiling, keep looking up, and remember: The best way to get even is to forgive.

some throwback notes....Jan 13, 2007

Yep, you guessed it, another imported blog entry
Today was by far my hardest and longest cleaning adventure at the Rooster.. I tell you now, if vomit were money, I would be rich.Last night must have been a pretty good party. I think maybe it was a convention of Spilly Talkers, since the floors were more sticky goopy spill remnants than bare floor. In light of this, I have composed a poem:***********************************Ode to the Rooster Patrons of January 12thBy N.Y.A.M.Oh joyful spilly talkers, you masters of urination,you heavers of last nights' meal,how intriguing are your ways.The vivacity with which you toss your refuse on the floor,the ingeniuosness of your pithy sayings written so hastily on the bathroom stall;I am in awe of your intoxication and humourOh joyful lime hiders,you players of video poker,you tossers of both coasters and gum wads;I am amazed at your clevernessThe inventiveness with which you find new unheard of placesin which to regurgitate,I am astounded by your apetite.Oh joyful clothes discardersyou festive celebratorsyou incredible window smudge makershow inconceivable are your motives.******************************IS IT HOT IN HERE?-or is it just this toilet sweating? There is such a device, in the ladies (and I use the term ladies VERY loosely)washroom. It drips toilet sweat all over the floor, which runs down into the grout and makes it all grey and slimy. I would fix it, but I am not a plumber. Nor can I operate the stereo at work, for I am not an IT technician, because I am technologically retarded - now before you go writing me nasty grams about how it is un-PC to use the word retarded, stop yourself. In reality, if you look up the origin of the word, it means slow, as in not fast, as in, I am technologically slow, as opposed to technologically fast. So see? I am not that un politically correct after all. Which leads me to another thought - do you ever use words in your every day language and realize that you have no idea what they mean? Like words that you have used forever but never really known....words like "chuck", as in, "how much wood would a wood chuck chuck"....does that mean chuck as in throw? chuck as in gnaw? chuck as in eat? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? If you look carefully, you will see many underlined words, that I am not exactly certain of their meaning, but I have used them anyhow in order to fool you into thinking that I am actually very smart.Well no, that is not true - I AM very smart, I have a very high IQ, if you believe in the accuracy of IQ scores. I even considered trying to get into Mensa, but decided against it, not because I couldn't hack it, but because I couldn't afford it. Can you imagine that? ME at a Mensa Meeting? "Hi, my name is Bob, and I am an astrophysicist, and this is my wife Mary, she is a molecular biologist...nice to meet you, NYAM, and what do you do for a living? 'Me? Oh I clean up people's vomit, and sweep floors'" I envision a Mensa meeting to be a lot like an episode of Frasier, with a lot of sherry sipping and hearty guffaws going on, everyone in trousers and tweed jackets with suede patches on their elbows. For those very reasons I cannot join, as I hate the WORD trousers, much less wearing them, and tweed is itchy.Are there words that you just cannot stand? Not becuase they are hard to spell or they offend you on some moral level, but just words that rub you the wrong way? I have quite a few....for your consideration, I have compiled a list:*trousers*panties*gazebo*Regina *Spadina*puke*rootabaga (double points because I don't know how to spell it)*chesterfield*tissue (when it refers to a Kleenex, but not when it refers to tissue paper or biological references)*epistle (because it reminds me of the word "spit" and you actually spit when you say it)I know there are MANY MANY other words, but in light of the fact that I do not want to get all riled up, I will not mention them at this time. I will save that rant for another time when the cleaning is light and the blogging is slow.THERE IS NO CURE FOR STUPIDI wish that some people would spend more than a milisecond thinking before they a)let inane words escape from their mouths or b)pick up a writing instrument (pen, pencil, chalk, marker) and share their innermost thoughts with the rest of us.Really people, I am trying to be understanding, but your lack of forethought is becoming intolerable. The word Rooster has 2 "o"s. If you only use one, it becomes a completely different word - Roster, which is a list. So unless your list "Rocks" or "kicks a$$", spell it right. Night is not spelled nite, Love is not spelled luv, unless you write it on a card, and SH*T is not spelled shiite - that is a faction in the middle east.I have every tolerance for bad spellers in everyday life. I myself do not know how to spell every word I say. No doubt you wll find many spelling errors in this entry, because I rely so heavily on spell check, which doesn't seem to operate in the space of this blog. However, if I am going to take the time to write something public, you can be sure I will know the difference between poop and a middle eastern group!whew, okay, time to let my blood stop boiling, and look at some interesting news stories:NUCLEAR CLIMATE THREATS TO NUDGE 'DOOMSDAY CLOCK'"The keepers of the "Doomsday Clock" plan to move its hands forward next Wednesday to reflect what they call worsening nuclear and climate threats.The symbolic clock, maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, currently is set at seven minutes to midnight, with midnight marking global catastrophe.The clock was last pushed forward by two minutes to seven miutes to midnight in 2002 amid concerns about the proliferation of nuclear, biological and other weapons and the threat of terrorism"How freaky is that?? There is a group of no-doubt Mensa members who are keeping this abstract clock and moving it at random, in seemingly unmeasured increments....this makes me feel very out of in, how close will they get? Like 11:59 and then just wait for the "Big One"? It makes me think that if more people were aware of this, they may be more likely to see the need for salvation in their lives. People however, assume that they are going to live forever and so don't feel that they ever need God. what a pity.RESIDENTS FIND BODY IN VAN"Stunned residents of a Brampton subdivision returned home to find a minivan containing the body of a murder victim parked in their driveway......"And I get ticked off if someone litters in MY driveway...what would you do? And if you were the person who put the minivan there, how did you come to choose that particular driveway? Are there not better places to hide a body? Why not just park on the street? Were you afraid that you would get a ticket? The point is pretty much moot, my friend - moot, I tell you, moot (by the way, if you say any word over and over again it begins to lose its meaning....try it, moot, moot, moot, moot......)'PILLOW ANGEL' TREATMENT,8599,1574851,00.html - 27k - 12 Jan 2007 - I'm not sure if this link will work, I have never put a link in a blog before - anyhow, you MUST read this story about this couple and their daughter - FREAKISH with a capital F!!!Well, I had previously added a whole mess of stuff to the end of this blog, but in true Murphy's Law fashion, the internet went down and took my imaginative speech with it. Curses to you, Cogeco, curses to you.THIS FRUIT IS NOT JUST ANXIOUS, IT"S PETRIFIEDFor the mystery item of the day, check out the sort-of blurry photos - I am NOT a photographer....a Mensa level vomit cleaner, yes, but photographer, no. I will give you 3 guesses as to what it is, then you can check the bottom of this entry for the "big reveal", sort of like Extremem Makeover, only grosser.Remember: Our own faults are the ones we condemn most quickly in others, and....there are 2 stages of intoxication - sober and drunk.Play safe.

some throwback notes...Jan 12, 2007

Originally posted on : Jan 12, 2007

yeah, today was an interesting scavenger hunt for random items left on the floors at work - and I was not disappointed. But I will get to that later.Something interesting has occurred twice now since I have started cleaning - I have arrived, found the alarm had not been set, become slightly worried, then realized that someone else is in the bar! Now normally this may not seem so strange, but you have to remember that I arrive at work at 5:00 am, so they are either there VERY early or VERY late. I have since uncovered that this guy is the sound guy for the bar at night, and the other person with him is his wife or girlfriend (not sure if he is married or not). Now they have been fully clothed both times I have shown up, there are no alcohol bottles haphazardly strewn around - in fact, they have been lying on the couches watching television. Which leads me to the following questions - 1. DO you not have a television at home? If so, then 2. Why on earth are you watching Deja VU at 5:00 am in a bar??? and 3. Why do you look at me funny when I come in? You KNOW I come in at this time, you KNOW the bar gets cleaned, so WHY do you look at me as if I have somehow invaded your personal space?The floors were relatively good today - but when I say relatively, I mean in comparison to the lime fight incident or the pickle thing. TOP TEN WEIRDEST PHRASES HEARD AT THE "ROOSTER" LAST NIGHT:10. "oops, I spilled my drink. Waiter, please bring me another beverage"9. " I know, lets write some swear words on the walls in the bathroom - I bet no one has ever done THAT before"8. " I have to find a garbage can for my snotty kleenexes, oh wait, let's just throw them on the floor"7. "oops, I spilled ANOTHER drink, this time on the floor and the bench. Barkeep, another round, muchos gracias"6. "wow this band ROCKS, lets go write that in the bathroom"5. "oh crap, there goes another drink, this time, all down the wall, and on the carpet....hey buddy, get me another"4. "What should I do with this used lemon wedge? I know, I'll shove it between the cushions on the couch"3. "Let's see how much we can pee on TOP of this toilet...that'll be really funny"2. " I don't like the food here, thank God I brought snacks from home, oops, there goes another drink"and the #1 weirdest thing said last night,1. "What's that??!!?? I can't hear you, there is a Q-Tip in my ear" (more on this later)Today was my day to do damp-dusting....this involves wiping all the grime and dust from various horizontal surfaces - and this is when you truly discover the nature of human beings. People who would not be caught DEAD dancing on the dance floor apparently have no problem wiping their snot on the back of a booth....and how on earth do you get a footprint on a wall at a level of 8 feet in the air? I wish I had seen how that happened....All the other cleaning was fairly uneventful....well, that is all relative too, I suppose.I have included some photos for your enjoyment: (please click on links)SO today I started my other job (okay, my other out of the house job). I went to clean a tiny little house that is owned by cats...they let the humans live there out of the goodness of their hearts - well that and they can't reach the cat treats in the cupboard. I used to clean for these cats about a year and a half ago, but had to stop when I found out I was pregnant with Junior. They are a great bunch, although they are a little hairy.....good thing they are so darn cute or I might attemp to vacuum them! (That WOULD be wrong, wouldn't it)DO you ever get a quick side glance of yourself in the mirror and actually have to stop to make sure that it was you? I did this this morning - I was cleaning in the girls washroom and thought I saw Kim Mitchell - but alas, it was I. I am substantially less of a "wild party" than Kim Mitchell especially at 6:00am.Well, I know you have all been waiting for it, the infamous mystery item of the day. I will not tell you directly what it is, only say that it was mentioned in the top ten, and I have included a be prepared for shock and awe, I tell you, shock and awe. Hey that kind of rolls off the tongue (unlike the mystery item...although why you would have that on your tongue is another mystery altogether)Okay folks, that's it for today, there has been high level of drama in my house today with #1SON sufferring an injury at school for which PARAMEDICS WERE CALLED!!! I feel like a fairy tale character - Snow Wife and the 4 Dwarfs: Hacky, Honky, Bruisy and Grumpy...oh and Barfy if you count the cat. UGH, it is 6:48 and I am sooo tired....

some throwback notes...Jan 11, 2007

Before I discovered Blogger, there was Facebook. And unlike most of my friends on FB, I used the "notes" section to do what I now consider blogging. This morning, I read through some of my older posts and enjoyed the trip so I have now decided to repost them here....for your reading pleasure - enjoy!

**Originally posted Jan 11 2007
Okay I think I have found the ultimate indicator of OCD - this morning I actually considered correcting spelling and grammar errors on the graffiti messages written in the washrooms at work. The inside of each stall is painted with chalkboard paint, and there is a little cup attached which holds the chalk - the concept is ingenious as no doubt someone thinks that alcohol ups their witticism or brainpower and is compelled to leave their mark on the bathroom wall. The upside is that they can do so without having to resort to using eyeliner, lipstick, or non-washable markers.However, (and yes, there is always a however), because the painted surface is so large and the chalk so readily available, people assume that they MUST write something. Trust me, their innermost thoughts are not always the most creative, or polite, or even coherent. Just because you can, does not mean you should.....remember this people....please. (this goes for wearing spandex too, just because you CAN does not mean you SHOULD, but that is another story entirely - back to the washrooms)I have read every swear word known to man, every bowel habit that has taken place, every rude sexually suggestive thing you have done to so-and-so, and how many people think that night's band ROCKS or IS SOOO HOT. Seriously, I go in every day hoping for something original or creative, but I am let down each and every time.Until this morning - I was quite shocked and pleasantly surprised by what I would find in the 3rd stall in the ladies washroom. In small, neat script at the top of the chalkboard was written "I HAVE FOUND JESUS", which I thought was a wonderful statement. It was ruined however by someone who wrote underneath it "where, in the toilet?" But hey, at least someone tried, right?Anyhow, I had very good intentions this morning with the floor. (But remember, no good deed goes unpunished, right?) I used the laminate cleaner yesterday, and today just vinegar and water - and all looked good until......I decided to remove the gum spots AFTER the floor had already been washed. There is a nifty little product called GooGone - it removes any type of sticky substance you can think of off of any non-pourous surface (remember that non-pourous part, I will come back to it). Essentially what it is made of is oil. DO you ever remember getting gum stuck in your hair as a kid? If you had a gramma like mine, no doubt she tried peanut butter to remove it.....because peanut butter is oily - then she said to heck with it and hacked out said gum with old kitchen scissors, with no concern for your hairstyle at the time. Anyhow, back to the point of this story - the GooGone is oily. So, when you squirt it on an unfinished wood dance floor (pourous surface...see, I told you I would come back to it), it makes oily little puddle marks everywhere, which soak deep into the woodgrain, and cannot be washed off. And some of this gum has probably been on this dance floor since the eighties, so it refuses to be removed, no matter how good the product you put on it. And unlike my grandmother, I cannot hack a big chunk out of the dance floor (well, I suppose I could, but I would no longer be employed if I did, because dancefloors, unlike an 8 year old's hairstyle, do not grow back). So after having relative success on the dreaded floors, the bane of my existance (what is a bane anyways) I ruined it by leaving little oily smudges everywhere. Ugh, I give up.Okay, enough about the floors.I wore a hat today to work. This may not seem like a big deal, but really, it is - most hats make me look like a trucker. No seriously, a trucker. However, my hubby brought home a hat yesterday and I confiscated it - it is one of those very shallow, tight to the head hats, very un-truckerish. I think I look kind of cute in it, and it has the added benefit of hiding a hairstyle that is beyond repair. (I have not had the time to blowdry for a couple of days now). Speaking of truckers, I think trucking would be a pretty cool job - you get to sit, listen to the radio all day, and drive around. If I had no kids or significant others, I may have tried trucking. I certainly have the head for it. (however, my driving skills would not get me very far, I get lost in my own backyard).SO all in all a pretty good day, completely lime free, if you can believe that. I did, however, find 2 pens, a jalapeno pepper, a marble (who brings marbles to a bar?) and a pill of some sort.When I arrived home, I discovered that our home has become a germ haven, apparently - which I think is odd considering how much I clean this place. Maybe I am creating a too-sterile environment and my kids are catching everything because they have not built up enough tolerance to rogue viruses. Maybe I should bring the kids to work with me - I am sure one step in those bathrooms would expose them to a germ buffet and they would be immune forevermore!GG is in coughing like a goose. Add in the other two honking kids and I have my very own flock. By the way, do you know when geese fly in a V formation, why one side is always longer than the other? It's because there are more geese in that side!! HAHAHHA got you there - and I bet you thought you were going to get some big nature lesson. Nope, not here.Okay, going to go sit now, and refuse to admit that I may be coming down with the goose flu too.Until tomorrow, remember: God uses our down times to build us up.

Friday, January 30, 2009

breaking her will
Anyone who knows my family, knows that I am among a pack of strong willed people. And as previously discussed, I have come to the conclusion that strong willed people are born, not necessarily made. This fact, however, does not mean that strong willed people cannot be un-made.
Take the Mouth for example. Almost from the day she was born, it had to be HER way or the highway....or rather, HER way or you would have to clean up the vomit she is so good at spewing at will. She has ceased this disgusting habit, thank the good Lord, but now instead of hurling stomach contents, she hurls whatever is running around in that pretty little head of hers.
She has the pout down pat. She crosses her arms, stomps her foot and man, can she ever hold a grudge.
Until yesterday, that is. I have been dealing with sickness for an entire week - first the Mouth, then the Joker, then Hubby, then back to Joker, then Mouth again. I am TIRED from all the doting and caretaking, and have pretty much reached my patience ceiling.
Hubby, unbeknown st to me gave her a full cup of milk with breakfast, which she left sitting on the table. I promptly call her back into the kitchen to finish it, and thus began the showdown.
Me: You asked Poppa for it, now you are going to drink it. We do not waste food in this house (man do I ever sound like a mom)
Mouth: NO! I! WON'T!
Me: Yes you will, you will sit up to this table and drink your milk.
Mouth sits at the table, glaring at me for 25 MINUTES.
I completely ignore her glaring, although it did start to burn a hole in the side of my head
Me: I am taking your brother out in 15 minutes, and if you are not done that milk you are not coming with us
Mouth: I wanna come!! Don't leave me here!
Me: Well, I am going to go get ready, when I come back I am leaving with or without you.
at this point, I leave the room.....
10 seconds later, a beaming Mouth walks into the bathroom - with an empty cup.
I thank her for obeying and off she goes. Score: Mom 1, Mouth 0
The rest of the day, she was practically falling over herself doing the things I asked her to do. I think(hope) we may have turned a corner not letting her win the first battle of the day, all the following battles were already won.
The scariest thing about all of this is that they say (whoever THEY are) that whatever your child is like as a toddler is pretty much what they will be like as a teen. I think I am in for quite a ride.
Now to re-arm myself for tomorrow.....ugh, this parenting thing is tiring.
you kiss your momma with that mouth
I have often heard the above statement and not really understood it. It kind of jumped off the page at me today as I was doing my devotionals.
In James 3:10 it says "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be".
That is when it hit me. How many times a day do I pray, or sing praises to God (answer: a lot). How many times do I encourage people, try to speak positively into someone's life. (again, a lot).
But with that same mouth I will gossip, or tell a white lie, or slander someone a bit, or complain, or grumble, or whatever. This has got to stop. How can I ever be authentic or effective if I am spewing beauty and filth all out of the same mouth???
mom doesn't have time to get sick
I don't know if this is true of all moms, but it is certainly true of me - I REFUSE to get sick (hmmmm, maybe I DO have a little bit of strong will in me). My life runs like a well-oiled machine, and if I were to even ATTEMPT to take a day out or not do things as planned, I am afraid it would all fall apart.
Have you ever seen those commercials where the kids make breakfast and there are pots and pans and stuff all over the kitchen? Yeah, if I stayed in bed for more than a couple of hours, my ENTIRE HOUSE would be one giant state of carnage. When I think about it, I clean up about once an hour. Seriously - I go from room to room putting things back where they belong (can you say OCD), folding and straightening things, sorting, picking up little bits of whatnot.
If I didn't do this, who would? NO ONE.
Therefore, I have NO TIME for you, SICKNESS.
(too bad sickness can't read)
Driven to Quit
Well, Hubby and I are taking the plunge. We are quitting smoking. I feel free to say that here because none of my family read this (and probably never will).
I personally have smoked off and on since Grade 6. GRADE 6 PEOPLE. As in, 12 YEARS OLD. I thought i was SO mature, so able to handle it - now the Fidget is 12 and if I ever caught him smoking, I think I would blow a blood vessel in my head. Yes, very hypocritical of my, I know.
Anyways, we have reached the point where enough is enough. Combined, we have over 40 years of smoking between us. YUCK. So a while back (January 01, to be exact) we determined that this was our year.
However, we were not going to quit at the same time (for fear of mutual homicide) and we would not quit the same way (I don't see the point of replacing nicotine with nicotine in a different form, you are going to have to quit THAT one day too). Hubby set his date for FEB 15, and me, MAR 01.
And now, we have an added incentive - the DRIVEN TO QUIT CHALLENGE. Not that we EVER win anything, but the challenge goes like this - quit March 1st, and stay quit the entire month of March, and you have a chance to win a grand prize of a Chevy Malibu Hybrid....or a $5000 vacation, or 1 of 2 $2000 Canadian Tire Gift Cards. I thought, well, why not at least try - you never know, right?
SO if you sense that my writing becomes more neurotic and nasty for a while, at least you have been forewarned.
That's it for now - the MOUTH is demanding attention. Must go and recommence will-breaking. Again. *sigh*