Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Should I stay, or should I go?

 For some reason, I've been considering writing a final blog.

It seems to me that I either complain (and whine) or brag about what is going on with my family. I know that a couple of you write blogs as journal entries. This concept puts even greater pressure on me to write more often, and include EVERYthing that is going on. All I need right now is more guilt about what I am not doing.

Maybe it is just the time of year. Christmas (actually- from Thanksgiving to Christmas) it the most stressful time of my year. Work is more stressful and more physically demanding. And I have 2 jobs. One I work at 5 days a week, the other I work in the evenings and some weekends. The kids have even more activities to go to, and even the 'normal' activities seem to become more challenging. Putting up a tree and decorations is hard to schedule, let alone, making cookies or sending cards. Even getting all the kids together for a gift exchange and dinner has been a scheduling nightmare with family, grandparents, out-of-town parents thrown into the mix.

I sat in church with Bari on Sunday, and said "I think I need an attitude adjustment". To my surprise, he agreed.
Then 2 things caught my attention during the talks. First, Emily said something about her testimony being very simple for a long time. Well, maybe 'simple' isn't the right word- but  something on the line of - not being complicated. Wow- i was right there- I don't have a big - giant  - complicated testimony. And I have worried about that. I wondered if I wasn't pushing myself enough, not stretching enough, not challenging myself to learn more. - Ok. more guilt. When is all this going to happen? Where am I going to find time to study more? Oops- more guilt.
  Then, Jamie gave her talk. She said that all we can do is all we can do, and that is enough. Wow again, I really needed that. Right now, I am so overwhelmed that I can't even allow myself the thought of feeling guilty.

On the way home from church, I was alone in the car and just started thinking over the whole day. I came to the conclusion that  there are times when I can't do one more thing. Not one. This seems to be one of  those times. I could write a list of all the responsibilities that I have, that I don't act on. This makes me feel like a horrible person , that I am letting down so many people, I feel like a hypocrite.

Yea, maybe I need to stop blogging for a while.

See? Whine or brag. Either way is isn't pretty.
Ok- in a couple of days I'll write another blog, and it will be about my blessings.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Can you hear it?

I went to visit my Mom a couple weekends ago. It always makes me a bit sentimental when I visit.

This time I started thinking about all the little sounds that I love. For instance. When I was in one part of Mom's house, I could hear her and Sam and Madeline in the kitchen. I don't know what was said, all I could hear was the happy sounding voices of my children and my mom giggling. How cute is that?

Later in the day we went to a Hallowe'en Parade. It is held right before Trick or Treat- so everyone - EVERYONE was dressed up (except us). It is a really small town of about 8000 people- but the parade had everything. Firetrucks, floats, Fair queens (even a dam queen), marching bands, and groups of children all dressed up for a costume contest. Amazing.

I always forget how much I love the sound of a Marching Band. It is so Americana- it can almost bring tears to my eyes. In the summer, I can hear our local High School band practicing. It is so quaint.

I love the sound of a train off in the distance. It is a lonely echo.

I love the sound of leaves being raked, and snow shoveled in the winter. I hate that the sound of snowplows have replaced the scrape of blade against sidewalk.

I love the sound of a highway. Weird, I know. But from my house, I can hear Cross County Highway- something about all the movement and tire noise satisfies me. I know all is well in the world- buses, trucks, cars all all traveling, all is well.

I like the sound of a campfire. The crackle of the twigs and popping of the dry tender.

One of the most comforting sounds to me when I was young was when my dad could tap his pipe on the side of his glass ashtray. I would be upstairs in bed- and hear that sound. I knew everything would be ok as long as daddy was down stairs.

My favorite hymn is 'God be with you till we meet again' sung by the Tab.

I love the sounds of birds in the morning. In the early spring when they start to be more active- I love that. There were Mourning Doves in the eves of the house across the street from my parents. Every morning (and evening?)- they would sing their lonely song. No other bird sounds quite like that.

There is a tin roof over the porch at my mom's house. It is right outside the bedroom windows. The house didn't (and still doesn't) have air conditioning, so the windows were left open pretty much all summer long. On a rainy day, the tin roof would sing.

That reminds me how much I enjoy the sound of thunder. The low rumble of building storms. We used to sit on the porch and watch the rain.

When I walk down the hallways at church while classes are in session, I love the different sounds coming from the rooms, specially when there is singing. Men singing in Priesthood- low, meaningful hymns, then on to Primary with the enthusiastic young voices. Last week in Sacrament Meeting we had the opportunity to sit in front of a young girl and her family. She sang every hymn, her sweet voice following along with the words (sometimes a teeny bit late-).

Speaking of last Sunday. The little brother in the family behind us - hummed a little tune while Sacrament was passed. It was sweet, it didn't bother any of us. Then, as time went on, the humming turned in to a little song. Hmmm - Hmmm- Poooo - Poooo ---- Pooooo ---py.
Poooopy - poopy in the pooootty- poopy in the potty. Yep, a little hard to keep reverent- but really cute.

Told you I was a little sentimental.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Once again - - -

Once again I've missed a whole month of blogging. And as I've checked (and checked and rechecked) other blogs - some of you have missed a month of blogging too. That's ok- I guess I need to learn how to Facebook.

So this was a neat summer. My brother and his wife and 2 teenage sons visited for a couple of days at the end of the summer. We don't get to see each other nearly enough, so it was quite a treat. They met us at a baseball game (and the Reds actually won that night!), and there were fireworks too, so that was fun. We also spent quite a bit of time at the American Sign Museum at the Essex art complex. It was really neat to see it with my brother. I had been there at least once before with Bari. My dad was a sign painter by trade. I remember his shop, and how he would letter the trucks seemingly with out much more than a steady hand. As we walked through the museum with the curator, I learned so much about my dad. Randy (being older- and the only boy) had a different relationship with Dad than I did. I'm sure I just didn't pay much attention to what was going on most of the time. Anyway, Randy went with Dad to paint the big billboards along the highway. I had forgotten that. He talked about what it was like to work with dad, and be that high up on scaffolding. Something I really didn't remember (I don't think I ever knew this)- Randy told me that Dad's dream was to become a Mural Painter. He even had some schooling set up in Berea, Ky when they lived in Richmond (Ky). But because of some family challenges, they had to leave Ky and move back to Ohio. That makes me a little sad, but even more proud of dad at the same time. I can't imagine giving up on a dream when it is so close- and to do it because - because - I don't really know why, except he had to support the family, and my mom, and that constituted moving back. In a side note, Randy said that Dad's talent for mural work made him a kind of specialist in the billboard field, because he could accurately paint a scene on one of those HUGE signs, and have it make sense to the viewer who was driving down the highway a 1/2 mile away. I miss my Dad.

Sam and I took a quick trip to my Mom's just before school started. We sat and talked most of the time. It was so quiet, and the weather so perfect, I actually started and finished a book while sitting on her front porch. Man, I really need a patio or something.

I went back (to the Clyde/Fremont/Sandusky area) with Bari in September and set up displays at another wedding show. We visited Mom a couple more times that weekend. She seems well. Bari and went up to Marblehead to the lighthouse and had a family member (my cousin's youngest daughter) model on the rocks for us. It was really fun to do that kind of shoot. Oh, she was in a wedding dress, sunglasses, rocks with waves crashing- really neat stuff.

Back in July and August we were sending Madeline to a different dance studio to get their opinion of her strength as a dancer. It was kind of cool, and stressful at the same time because they liked her so much, and she did so well, that she made their Competition team, too. So there was a week or so when she was on 2 teams for 2 studios. In the end, we decided to stay at the same studio where she has been for the last 5 years. They have added some (needed) classes in tumbling (for Hip Hop) and stretch (for Lyrical and Ballet). I just wasn't sure if we could commit to the new studio with the changes in Bari's job and the distance (it was near Ward's Corner). Madeline was good with either place. Thank heavens.

So Bari has been at home working for about a month now. He seems much more relaxed in lots of ways. And stressed in the same ways (money). He has worked diligently with the website, the promotions and the brides. The bonuses are the dinners every night, Madeline taken to dance, and Sam to Trombone lessons. It is less stressful for me. I think he is finding that there still aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. It seems like a really long time when you are away from home, at a job- but the time flies here- photo production, telephone calls, emails, dinner, Kroger, laundry and cat box. Yep, less stressful.

Honestly, I still am convinced that this is a really good move for Bari. He really has so much more talent that he knows. I just need to find a way to let the rest of Cincinnati know too.

I think that's all for now. My job is still really good. It is very physical, so I get tired (I'm not a spring chicken any more ! ! ). But I do like my boss, and the other women I work with. The framing is interesting most of the time. Every once in a while, there are hard - very boring - projects. Right now I have 73+ movie posters to frame before next Friday. They are 40inches tall and about 27inches wide, and get 4 1/2 inch wide moulding (which I have to cut and join). Along with dry mounting, and glass. Yes, it is every bit as physical as it sounds. Not one of my fun jobs- but then again they all can't be fun. Speaking of fun (or not) I just found out that I get to work a booth at the Golf Show (yea!)- the Home and Garden Show (YEA!) and Redsfest (WHOOT! ! ).

On a final note-- St X beat ELDER! ! ! ! (Bari Ray is on the Spirit team- - - -).

Miss you-all- Don't forget to blog once in a while.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Julie - Julia

Madeline and I just got home from seeing the movie "Julie, Julia". It is about a woman struggling with her place in life ( difficult job/ turning 30 / moving to a new-not so great home) and setting a goal of cooking her way through Julia Child's cook book.

It was really great. Of course I love everything Meryl Streep is in. But this was really good. Both women were really strong role models (well, at least Julia Child was). They certainly had passion for their love of cooking. They were supported by unbelievably wonderful men (if I didn't have one like this in my life- I don't know if I would have believed it).

It really makes me think. Watching it with Madeline made me even more aware of the messages in the movie. Besides "lobsta-killa" (joke in the move)- there were very moving messages about true love- love of passion and support, best friends. It was, like I said, a movie about strong women who persevered through discouragement and change, to see their passion come to reality.

I told Madeline that when ever (in MANY years) she thinks she is in a serious relationship, she needs to think of Paul, Julia's husband. He was a saint. I also told Madeline that passion for SOMETHING is important. I told her that was why it is important that Bari leaves his studio to photograph for us full time. His passion/creativity is being crushed where he is.

Passion can come from anything. It doesn't have to be a job where you go to work everyday.
It can be seeing neatly folded clothes in a drawer, beautiful nutritious dinner on the table. Thank heavens I married a domestic goddess- the whole housekeeping thing is very old- as well as cooking dinner every night. I do find passion in helping my husband. I feed off of his creativity. And I love my job. Thank heavens, because I need to stay there another couple of years until the photography bus keeps us both busy full time.

Anyway, grab a girlfriend (or husband if he's willing- he might enjoy it)- and go see the movie. It would be a good movie night for the girls. (I would suggest 14+ - Madeline did ok- but generally, it was a bit mature).

And - bon appetite!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Holy Cow,
I didn't realize I missed blogging ALL of July. Lots happened. We were busy. Now it is August.
So much for a detailed update.

Seriously, I'm feeling pretty bad that we've been so busy I haven't had a chance to visit my Mom. I told my sis I'd make a trip up in July, but didn't make it.

I'll be happy when Bari is finally finished with his studio (incase you haven't heard, his last day is August 28). Right now, I feel like we both each have 2 full time jobs. When he's out of the studio, he'll be able to take the Wedding business and run with it. That will help.

This weekend we were part of a Bridal Show in Anderson Twp. It went really well. We'll see how many calls we get. It was brutal trying to get ready for it- the displays, cards, set up, etc. We also stopped by a big wedding show at the convention center. We wanted to check out other photography displays to compare with ours. All in all, we made some good connections with some vendors that Bari knows. We will link to some Video, Dj and even Dress designer web sites. Things are movin and shaken- we just need the bookings! (Remember, we do families - and kids).

Madeline is in Idaho this week with Katy and Will. They went to see Katy's friend. So, I just have Sam and Bari Ray- (besides Joey and Jillian). Anytime we have 1 less person around, every thing gets a little easier. Sad, but true.

I got an email from my step son Dane. He is being transferred to Ft. Knox. It will be nice to have him a little closer. I'm sure his dad is thrilled.

Work is still great. Ups and downs, but the ups far outweigh the downs. Little side note, I met Pete Rose last Monday. He was in my shop for almost an hour.

I'm tired, I took Madeline and Katy to the airport at 3 this morning- after having the wedding show yesterday- after setting up the wedding show late the night before (after working all day). It was one long weekend.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Allrighty then- - - -

So, what a week. Every one is busy and out of trouble at the moment. That's always good.

Just a couple of tidbits.
Some of the fish we bought Bari for Father's Day died before he could see them (we were in Lexington). He looked in the aquarium when we got home and said ' Oh, you got me dead fish for Father's Day'. But not just that! We also found him a couple of fish with hearts (yes- HEARTS) on their side. It looks like someone Magic Markered them. THEY didn't die. (Yea for us!).

Our new (old) washer broke at the end of last week. He is on the way home now- Bari had to take it to Bethel for the repairman to see. At least it didn't cost us anything- it was a hose. (Yea for Us!).

This weekend is Madeline's last dance competition. It is in Mason, at the High School and there is no charge. So, if you are looking for cheap entertainment (and air conditioning)- she's dancing.
The schedule has her at 5 and 5:30 friday, and on Saturday at 9:30, 10:30 and12:30. Then in the evening at 7 and 8pm. Let me know and I'll get you the titles of the songs, so you know what to look for.

So, she has dance this weekend, her first Girls camp on Tuesday (through Saturday). Williams blessing on Sunday, Dance camp on Monday for a week. And another dance camp in August. Good thing she likes to keep busy. (Yea for Madeline!!)

Work is still going well. There are bumps in the road at times, but not too often, and the boss seems to like me, so that helps. It is all production right now. I cut probably 30-40 wood frames today. It wasn't too bad. The warehouse where the saws are, is hot, but we have fans. I really don't mind. (Yea for ME!)

Get the word out OUT!!! Bari is pulling away from the studio where he has been working for 13 years-- we are willing, anxious and very able to pick up ANY photography work -freelance. Wedding, even familys and Seniors (later in the summer- early fall). (We can do weddings anytime). So - - - at work- family friends whoever- we are ready for business. Check out the updated website - still in the process- but it's lookin pretty good.

cherryblossomdesign.net Yea!!!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Time for an update

Good Morning! It is time for an update I guess. As always, there are lots of things going on here.

First off, I had a really nice visit with my Mom a couple of weeks ago. She seems in good health, and even more importantly, in good spirits. She is working on another novel. (Keep in mind, I went to visit on her 84th birthday!). Anyway, along with visiting Mom, I got to see my sis Dorothy. It was really great. I sure miss having family close by sometimes. Then again, sometimes I wonder if we'd get along so well if we DID live close! Well, it was just 2 days, but a real treat for me.

Katy, Josh and the baby are all well. He (Will that is) is quite a chunk-. But a happy, content little fella. They hit gold their first try.
Katy is working a little more on her house. She has decided to put a back splash in her kitchen and is painting tiles to put up. Wow, full time job, new baby and husband. I wonder if I was that crazy when I was her age. Now it just seems like a bunch of steps-(buying the tile, cleaning, painting, curing- and the worst- Renting equipment to cut the tile). Good for her- just please don't ask me to help.

Joey is doing ok considering the circumstance. He'll be in Clermont Co until July 6. Jillian is looking for apartments. I really hope they can keep working on their relationship when he's out. She is a good person, and good for him. I hope he realizes that.

Bari Ray is deep into summer stuff (after only 1 week into vacation). He is in Drivers Ed, I guess the test (THE TEST)- and I don't mean the ACT or SAT's is coming soon. Although, in the last 2 consecutive weekends, he took the ACT and SAT's. The best news here is he made First Honors this last quarter of school. Good for him, I'm really proud he has done so well - - if only he could get the Eagle Project off and running.

Madeline is sleeping at the moment. She had her Recital last night. Friday night was Rehearsal. Both nights are really long --L-O-N-G- - - . But she did really well. There were 40 dances, and she was in 9. That was a lot of costume changes- sometimes with only 2-3 dances in between. The good thing (REALLY GOOD THING)- is that with 9 dances, we didn't have to sit through 3 hours of recital and watch our daughter dance in 1 or 2 dances. That can be really hard. One thing about the studio that Madeline dances for, the director has a lot of different styles of dance, so the whole thing is pretty entertaining. Add on little bitty girls in ginormous floofy dresses, and the cute factor is certainly there.

Sammy went to a carnival with Jillian instead of the recital last night. I had a bit of communication breakdown there - he could have gone, but I thought it (the carnival) would last longer, or they would stay longer or something. Anyway, he missed it, and I probably feel worse than he does. So, last night, while we were all away, he wrote in his summer journal! I was so surprised, I didn't even know he had a summer journal. Sam said that if he writes in it all summer, he'll get a prize when he goes back to school in the fall. Well, good for him. I'm really proud. I don't think even Jillian knew he had a journal.

Yesterday, before the Recital, Bari and I had a wedding to shoot in Eastgate. We started around 12:30. Actually, we started around 1 because the groom and groomsmen (and grooms family) were late. The nice thing was that the couple choose to see each other before the wedding, so we were able to get lots of pics of them early in the day.
I was a little worried about the time, because we (actually- Bari) were supposed to shoot the recital, too. The wedding was supposed to be early in the day- originally it was about 2 o'clock- (no prob to get the recital too). Then, sometime about a week or 2 ago, they changed it to 4:30. Ok- not too bad. It was a Baptist wedding, they are usually 20-30 minutes. That means the wedding is from 4:30 t0 5, I could stay for about a half an hour of Alter Returns after the wedding, and then zip to Winton Woods High School for the recital. Bari would be done early (about 7 when the wedding was at 2 in the afternoon)- and meet me there, and finish up. Well, when the time changed to 4:30- we knew he wouldn't be done till 8 or 9. No prob- I'd start, he'd finish. WELLLLL- -- we got the Pre-Bridals (pics before the wedding) done (even with the half hour lost) and got to the church. The mom's came down the aisle at 4:30- - - good - - - -THEN they had a slide show (no kidding) and it lasted 15 - 20 minutes (NO KIDDING). At that point, I knew I was shooting all of the recital alone. Yey for me. Thank heavens Bari and I practiced the night before at the rehearsal, and (although pretty nervous) I was fairly confident I could do this. So, as of 10 this morning, I still haven't seen most of my pics, but I'm hoping they are not out of focus. And I'm glad I had the chance to shoot and gain some confidence behind the camera. Well, we'll see how confident I am AFTER I see the pics!!!!

Next weekend Bari and I will be in Lexington to go to a Photography Seminar. I'm really looking forward to that.


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wow- wow- wow- - - -

This was the best weekend ever E-V-E-R!!!! We stayed at the Murphin Ridge Inn. It is only about an hour and a half from here- near Peebles. It is in Adams County, in Amish country.

The cabin was fun! (#7-Frolic) on the on-line brochure. Fireplace, whirlpool tub- NO TV! Relaxing- front porch with rockers, back porch with privacy. In the middle of the country side. Easy walking trails.

I can't even BEGIN to describe the food- yummy - and wow- wow- wow. All homemade, with garden or locally grown ingredients.

All the shopping was Amish made stuff, and antiques. It was close to Serpent Mound. What Fun!

On the way home- really- it was hard to leave- we went to Portsmouth and saw the murals. INcredible!

So now we're back home - laundry waits, kids who need to go to bed NOW! and I am going to go see my Mom tomorrow. Can't wait!

We will return (again and again I hope)- to Murphin Ridge Inn.

Oh, because of the lack of TV and radio- (there was a radio, but we had it on NPR, and weren't listening on Saturday night)- we missed all the excitement with the weather.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday update - - -

This is one of those drive-by updates. There is tonz going on- I just don't have time to write (because there is tonz going on!).

My job is terrific- I love it. Busy busy busy. There is always something (if not 5 things) to do all the time. I'm getting better at multi-tasking frame orders, and understanding the 'priority' list my boss has. It is really fun, and interesting (specially since I like sports, and kinda follow the Reds [local pro baseball team for those who don't know]). It won't be long before Pete (Rose) and Johnny (Bench) drop by. My boss is close/best friends with them both. [baseball players- you know- retired, from the Reds]. Again, the framing is interesting but the girls I work with are terrific, and the environment is super.

The kids are all doing well. Bari Ray has the Cappies tonight. It is a local high school awards program for the theater performances this year. They were nominated for Cats. I'm disappointed that I didn't get to see it. We tried to get last minute tickets, but it was sold out. My biggest challenge right now, it that Bari Ray doesn't tell us where he is going, or if he will be home. Most of the time, if we don't know, his mother does- but it is frustrating. He will be 17 on Monday- hmmmm.

Sammy and Madeline are just looking forward to the end of school. They have some fun days coming up. Field day, bowling, and skating. How great is that? We only had a field day- ha, back in the day!

So, this weekend is FULL- a wedding today, church-then BBQ at Bari's mom's tomorrow, and painting the living room Monday. (I don't have to work Monday- AND I'm getting PAID!- just like normal people!). Hey- does anyone have painting drop cloths I could borrow? I can't find mine. I just can't wait to paint the living room!!!!

And (if it could get any better!!!) next weekend is our 5th anniversary. We are going to Murphin Ridge Inn for the weekend. I am soooo excited. We have a cabin booked. The web site shows a great restaurant, and local Amish shops all around. OR we could just sit back on our front porch and chill! Wahoo! - - - -SO, Katy is mad. Yep. Silver lining in every cloud. She and Josh (and baby) are going to my Mom's that same weekend. My big sis from Cali is coming in for Mom's 84th Birthday. Katy thinks I should be there the same time they are, so I can see Grandma (actually- Great Grandma) with her Great Grandson for the first time. Well - see- I'll be there on Monday and Tuesday (AFTER my weekend with my husband). I am taking my sis to the Cinci airport on Tuesday. So it only makes sense to go Mon and Tues, not Sat through Tues. Besides, I'll have Sam and Madeline with me, and that is a long-time for them to visit (and a long time for mom- it would wear her out). BUT- I am excited to see my sis- and my mom. AND I don't feel at all guilty for not being at work because I have a great UNDERSTANDING boss- . Could life get better?

On the side, a little update about Joey. He as voluntarily gone back to jail. We had a long talk, and he said that another year of probation and reporting and all the mess would drive him insane. He already has panic attacks. (Yes, really). So, he went back to court expecting 4 months (the rest of his sentence) but the judge only gave him only 60 days. So, he still has challenges with going back, but I told him to think of it as a job- he has to be away from his family right now, it is his job, but it is temporary, and things will be much better when he gets out. I think he will get better when he is out, because this time he went into jail from HOME- he knows what goes on here, he knows he has stability, peace, a family. All the other times, he went from a 'friends' house, and back again. What is the progress there? I know there will still be hills to climb, but I can't help be a bit optimistic.

Ok- I have laundry, wedding equipment to pack and something else to do before I leave to the wedding this afternoon---- so I better go.

Have a great WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

the new job

Well, I just finished my second day at my new job. I am worn out. What was I thinking?

I took a nap Monday ( mostly because of the big weekend in Columbus- and very little sleep)- and I took another nap today. I was tired, grumpy, hungry and my shoulder hurt. . . . . . . Actually, I really like my job. It will be very interesting. There is some repetition. But for the most part- it should be fun.

Yesterday and today I re-framed 40 (yes-40. That's where the repetition part comes in) autographs and pictures (not to be confused with autograph pictures). They were all different. And they were different types of celebrities, some sports, some movie (Paul Newman), some music (Johnnie Cash), even coaches.

I learned how to use the double miter metal saw, and the wood saw and joiner. I've used the joiner before. Infact, I think it is the same kind I used to own back in Lima/Dayton. But, for some reason, I can't seem to get good joins on my frame corners. I hurt my shoulder trying to lift frames in place to join. It was frustrating. I've got to figure this out tomorrow because I have 20+ movie posters to glass and frame.

So, if you like sports, especially the Reds, it is a really cool place to work. It isn't uncommon for Pete Rose, or Johnny Bench to stop in. There are other former Reds that my boss represents. I need to go to the web site and really commit those guys to memory so I don't embarrass my self.

I like the people I work with. They are funny and fun. Lynne even made cupcakes for my first day of work. It is really non stop. Like I said, I am really tired when I'm done, but it goes by fast, and there is TONZ to do all the time.

Even more surprising (maybe not) is that I don't miss my old job. I guess that is the best thing of all. Although, my old boss DID A-L-M-O-S-T cry my last day of work there. I also got hugs from the delivery driver of one of our vendors, and the mailman (!!!). You never know. I was surprised how they all said they would miss me.

Well, I'm looking forward to going to work tomorrow. I'm going to master that joiner (or the saw- I still can't figure out which one is giving my the trouble).

And maybe- MAYBE I won't be quite as tired as I was tonight.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday night

It's Tuesday night and I feel the need to write something.

So, this is my last week at work. Thursday will be the end for me. It is strange and a bit surreal. I've worked for this company for almost 6 years. I haven't ever worked for anyone that long. And I have never worked with the same group of people for so long either. They all seem really sorry that I'm going. Now, that could be because I was a really good framer, or it could be because I got out and they haven't. Or- (and this is probably it) it is because the schedule is totally screwed without me there.

I called my new boss tonight. We were working out my schedule for next week. (I start on Monday). And he was so excited to have me come and work for him. It is really nice to hear that. It is hard to work and put your heart and soul into what you do- and feel no appreciation from your boss. My customers would be really pleased and grateful for what I could do for them, but my (new) boss could care less.

I'm taking Friday off from everything because I will be watching Little William for Katy. She had a conflict with the sitter, and needed someone to help out. My new schedule is Monday-Friday, no Saturdays or Sundays, so it will be hard to help her out.

I bought paint for the living room. I'm so excited. Right now, the walls, ceilings and trim are all painted a flat tan. I can hardly wait to start. The ceiling is going to be white (Yea!), and the walls will be a pretty yellow/green. Clean and a bit bright. I think in the mornings it will look more yellow, and the afternoon/evenings, more green. We'll see. And I have bright white for the trim, including the doors all along the hallway. It will be so nice.

Madeline has a competition in Columbus this weekend. She dances Friday night, all the way through Sunday. It will be a long competition, but it will be fun. We enjoy the time together. (I'd enjoy it a bit more if gas prices came down and I could find a hotel room for under $60 a night).

Well, it is about 11:30- time for bed- Oh I almost forgot- last night we were up really late (even for us)- because we were installing a new (for us) washing machine. Ours broke a week or so ago, and finally stopped altogether last night. We found a great deal on Craig's list, and picked up a Whirlpool front-loader for a fraction of the cost of a new one. It is a relief to have a working washer. One night Bari and I went to the 24 hour coin laundry mat. We had 4 loads. I wouldn't want to do that very often.

So- Happy Mother's Day to all those biological moms- and all those who by choice or cause, have become Mom's to others around them! Love you!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2 blogs in one day- - - this is good news

Two blogs today. Aren't you excited?

Well, this is news. I had a job offer today. Was I looking for another job? Kind of. Is this a surprise? Well, yes it is.

Last Thursday I was on Craig's List looking for something for Joey, and this Picture Framing job kept coming up. It sounded intriguing, so I sent an e-mail in response. The next day I received a call from someone I had met before I went to work for Ff. This person didn't hire me for his retail framing shop (although I would have been great there). Anyway. He called NOT because of my email- he called because he had hired one of my assistants from Kenwood and she recommended me- AND because he knew who I was and had always REGRETTED not hiring me before. Weird. So I told him about my response and we set up a time to meet.

We met for an hour and a half this morning. It is better money (a little more than I was earning BEFORE my pay cut), extra $$$ to be used for Health Care, vacation and holiday pay, and ( I can't BELIEVE THIS!) it is Monday through Friday - - - - -No SATURDAYS!!!!- - - . I don't think I have EVER had a job that I didn't work some Saturdays. Wow. - - - - I mean - -- Wow. It really seems like a nice environment to work in. I'm really excited.

So, now comes the hard part. I have to tell my boss tomorrow. I hope he doesn't cry.

My sister - - -

When I was growing up, my older sister Ellen and I were best friends. In fact, we were so close we were called 'the twins'.

This week I was walking through Kroger- just an average day doing average things - and it hit me. Somewhere, my sister was also doing mundane average things too. Somewhere she was shopping for groceries, picking up her mail, driving to work listening to the traffic report on the radio. I'm not really sure where she is.

Also this week I started thinking about a friend of mine who's sister had passed away 5 years ago, sometime around this time of year. It was a surprise, a tragedy for the family. I never knew the sister. But I do know how much she is loved and missed.

My sister is here- somewhere in Michigan- I think. She isn't talking to the family. Or my mom. It is a tragedy for my family. As hard as this is - we (my brother and older sis) and I have come to realize that this is her choice- not ours. She has to live with her choice. Unfortunately, we also have to live with her choices - even more so because it all involves my mom.

My friends sister will not return to this earth. I cannot imagine the feeling of loss - as a sister or as a mother. My heart weeps for them.

I miss my sister. I am in mourning for her friendship. I will always love her.

Friday, April 17, 2009

You're invited

Next weekend- the 24,25 & 26th, Madeline has a dance competition here in Cincinnati at Winton Woods High School. She dances all three days. The times are approximate- it may be later (even much later) than scheduled - all depending on the other groups and how well they keep to the schedule. The competitions are always free and open to the public.

Friday night she is scheduled at 8pm for her 'Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows' trio tap routine.

Saturday she doesn't dance until 3:30pm with the group tap- 'Flintstones'. In this routine she is Dino the Dinosaur.

Sunday is a long day. Starting at 8:30am with Cinderella (group jazz), 9am Silent all these Years (group lyrical), 10am Shawty get Loose (group hip-hop).
Then a long break (some of the senior team dances) until 9pm when she has her last jazz trio-'Ladies Night'.

I'll update with any scheduling changes.

Friday, April 3, 2009

LIfe is good

I haven't blogged in a while. Sorry.

Wow- Life is good. Katy/Baby Will/Josh are all doing well. There are the usual bumps in the road of New Babies and New Jobs- but really- it is just fine. They are almost at their one year mark. What a year it has been for them. I'm really proud of Katy, she has decided it is time to address a 'dragon' of her past. I can't explain exactly what it is-maybe sometime later- just let me say, it is a BIG -REALLY big deal that she had finally decided to take action to confront a skeleton in her closet. And I am soooo proud.

Joey- wow again. It is a complete turn around. He and Jillian are still with us. He keeps the living room and downstairs clean- it is amazing. He is fun and funny. He is taking seriously the challenges he has ahead of himself (I think this has motivated Katy to move forward in uncomfortable places in her own life). And he even said prayer at our family meeting on Wednesday. It was really nice to see him such a part of the family. He really has become a good example.

Bari Ray just keeps plugging along and improving with every step. His grades are through the roof. And that is with Early Morning Seminary and TX (theater- performance). I am really proud of him. He doesn't complain (that I know of) -and just tries his best. There was a debate if he was allowed to go to the Reds opening day game. My Bari was wishy-washy about the whole thing with it being a school day and all. I was the one who finally said- of course he should go- My gosh- the kid as worked his butt off- he really deserves to go this year. Yea for him. He is going with Alfonso-his uncle.

Madeline just finished her first competition in Indianapolis last weekend. It went pretty well. The first one is always the hardest. There are quite a few changes that will be made because of the judges suggestions. She really likes the competition side of dance, but she has been asked to do some really hard things this year. The next competition is here in Cinci at Winton Woods HS the weekend of the 24th. It is free to the public. I'll try to post suggested times for her dance routines if you want to go and watch. It is hard- because they rarely dance exactly when the time is.

Sammy just keeps improving- but we still have a long way to go. I met with his 'team' this week, and it is always hard to take that dose of reality. But- like I said, it is not all bad- he is really good in Math, and even his reading comprehention is better than expected. We still need to work on his Social Skills. We see improvements at home. He is more likely to do something that he is asked to do- instead of just pouting or saying no. Speaking of Sam- it is time to get him off to school.

That's the update for now-

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Strange . . . . .but true

This was taken at a family reunion in Gatlinburg last fall. I'm getting better at the picture download thing- but I just lost a couple of images that were originally chosen for this post. Oh well, I'll find them again sometime.

Christmas was fun this year. Especially for the cats. Jonesy is above, Jay below. This was one big cat toy.
So, here is the really strange turn of events. I had a really really good week. Well, everything except work. Anyway, Katy, Josh and little Will are all doing well. They are healthy and happy. Their refrigerator is full of food, and their closets are filled with clean diapers. What more could you ask for?
Joey and Jillian are staying with us right now. I have to say, it has really worked out well so far. On Thursday I came home from a very stress full day to find my living room swept and cleaned. All the kids shoes, bags (dance bags) and stuff- were all put away. I was amazed. Joey had cleaned during the day when we were all working. I washed the dishes and then went to my room for a while because I wasn't feeling well. While I was laying down, Joey put all of the clean dishes away. He kept after the kids when they got home from school to put their things in their own rooms, so the living room stayed clean. Then after supper, he and Jillian cleaned the family room downstairs. You should have seen Bari's face. He couldn't believe it. Keep in mind that Bari and Joey were still staying away from each other a little. There was quite a lot of bad blood between them after we got married, and Bari hasn't approved of how Joey would disrespect me at times. Now, here Joey is, cleaning Bari's house. Bari likes a clean house- keeps trying to have a clean house. Sometimes we are more successfull than others. Now, here is Joey, that without being asked, is not only cleaning and vacuuming, but insisting his little brother and sister keep it picked up too. Like I said, you should have seen the look on Bari's face when he realized that Joey is on the same side in this battle. They are fighting the same war -TOGETHER! who would have thought it. So, not only that, but Joey has been back to work at Kohl's at the warehouse working 6am to 6pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 36 hours in 3 days. I am really proud of him. I think he may finally be coming around. He goes to court on Friday and wants to convince the judge that he would be better off living in Allen Co (Lima, Oh) with his dad, and away from all the junk in Clermont Co. We'll see what the judge says, but if he says no, I think it wouldn't be too bad to keep him here for a while.
Tonight everyone was here, all those that still live here, plus Joey and Jillian, and Katy, Josh and Will came by. It was fun to have everyone here. It was really nice to see Joey have conversations with Josh and Bari. Wow.
Is there a difference between Venting, and Complaining? Because, I really want to vent, but not complain. I feel compelled to explain why my job is so hard right now. I mean, I just frame pictures, I don't design rocket engines, or save lives. I frame. But this project is really a bear. One of our designers is commissioned to put artwork on the walls of the Humana office building downtown somewhere. It is 6 floors of artwork. Probably around 150-160 pieces. If the mear number isn't daunting enough, the pieces have to be kept organized by floor and location. It would be very time consuming, if not impossible for the designer to hang each of these pieces in the correct location, if they weren't numbered by floor and specific site. So, on the back we have to remember to put 6- #5 or 3- #2 (sixth floor-piece #5, or third floor -#2). Now, not all the pieces are just framed art posters, some a original artwork created for the space, some are photographs of local scenes and buildings, and about 40-50 are already framed, but we have to put wire on the back for hanging. Non of this would be so hard, except we never have all the artwork we need. The original pieces haven't been delivered yet. Some of the photography was brought by the studio last Thursday by the artist. (and for those, he was signing the mats, so they had to be cut early, and organized so I would know which photo went on which mat in WHICH DIRECTION). The upside there, was that I got to meet J. Miles Wolfe the local photographer who has made a living from photographing iconic Cincinnati images. Nice guy.
ANYWAY- back to the artwork- to top it off, many images are just HUGE!- 32x63- or 45x45. Even with plexi on these instead of glass, they are very heavy because the frames are very heavy at this size.
OK- I've vented enough. But- just to let you know, - - - last Thursday I also got an order from the University of Phoenix to frame 14 pieces for this coming Wednesday (!!!!) I don't have any idea how all of this is going to get done. The big order for Humana is due all this week. Some being delivered on Monday, then on Wednesday and then (hopefully) the rest on Friday (but I doubt it). I still have to figure out how to splice mats for the oversized prints. I've done bunches of them on a regular mat cutter, but ours stinks- and it isn't setup right to cut 60"mats. And I have no idea how to set something up like that on the Wizard Computerized mat cutter.
Well, besides that ----all is well in the world. Oh!! and the best news I got this week, my big sis is coming to visit my Mom for her (Mom's birthday) in early June. Can't wait to see her!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Grammie's Brag Book, Volume I

Welcome William Drake Colonel

Josh took this in the nursery -

Bari took this with available window light.

Look at the hair!!!

The proud new Grammie with the brand new boy!

The new parents - 'it's only just begun !'

I'll attempt to post pics today. If I am successful, this is Volume I of Grammie's Brag Book.

I went to the hospital Saturday morning- Katy and Josh had a really trying night. I wasn't going to go until later that evening- but the poor kids were exhausted. I stayed until about 10:30 and then spent the rest of the day doing the 'dance mom' thing with Madeline. I have a couple of pics of her in current dance costumes I'll try to download too. Well, when I download the pics- they always turn up at the top of the page and I can't seem to move them. So- another blog on Madeline's dance another time.

She had a small performance in Reading at the Country Club there, and then we ran back to the studio for mock competition. It lasted until about 6. I went back to the hospital at 8pm and decided that I should encourage Josh to go home for the night, and I'd stay with Katy.
It wasn't too bad. I'm just not used to running on such little sleep. I got back to the house at about 9:30am and took a nap until 12:30pm. When I got up there was a little 'display' of cards, ice cream (a pint of Graeters) and red roses. It was really cute. (Happy Birthday to me).

So, I need to catch up on a little laundry- and then it is an early night tonight for me.

Oh, Katy just called, and she will be released tonight, but will let her stay in a 'family room' so she can keep nursing. Will is not going to be released tonight as far as I can tell.

I'll keep updating as we go along - - - - - Thanks for all of your wonderful thoughts and prayers.

Friday, March 6, 2009

March 5th is a good day for a birthday

Finally! Katy delivered William Drake Colonel, 7lbs 11oz, 20 inches - March 5th, 2009 at 12:48pm by c-section. Wednesday March 4th was a very long day.

She thought that after all the preparation on Tuesday night that she would deliver on Wednesday. But the little pumpkin was turned the wrong way and would not (and believe me- we tried!)- roll the other way. So, the decision was made at about 11:30am Thursday that she would deliver by c-section. She and the baby are doing very well. She had gotten quite a good rest the night before (even though her water was broken at 2am). So she was really ready for something.

He is beautiful (of course!). He looks like Katy (I guess)- but has Josh's chin (a little cleft dimple!). And the LONGEST hair I have ever seen on a baby. My babies all had hair of some kind or another, but nothing like this.

I will get pics posted asap- Bari has to help me with that. Call my cell if you want her address or for me to text a pix to you!!!!
Little Will is here!!!!- OH and she'll be at Mercy Anderson room 356 until Sunday.

Monday, March 2, 2009

We're gonna' have a bo-y! We're gonna' have a bo-y!

Yep, time and date are ready to be announced. Katy is going to the hospital (Mercy Anderson) Tuesday night, and will be induced Wednesday morning. We're gonna' have a Bo--Y!

She is ready- - I'm not so sure about Josh.

My mom-in-law is going to the hospital tomorrow night to make sure she gets 'settled in'. Isn't she the best????????? I'll go over on Wednesday morning, even though it will probably be a very long day. I'm excited to be able to be there.

It will be hard to concentrate at work tomorrow, but it should go by quickly. Work is really busy, and when I get home I need to finish off all the costume tweeks for this weekend. I've already told my boss that I won't be at work either Wednesday or Thursday. Madeline will be picked up for dance Wednesday and Thursday. Bari has ym on Wednesday and usually takes Sam to Scouts, but we may need to make other arrangements so he an visit the hospital before going home.

Well, all the excitement is tiring me out. I'm going to bed- and hopefully to SLEEP!!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Well - nothing ever seems to stay the same around here - - -

So, where to begin, where to begin.
First off, I'm pretty proud of myself. This was the 3rd day that I drank water (not pop, juice, or 'other') all day. There are some qualifications. It has to be ICE COLD water- WITH ice cubes floating in it. I have successfully overcome this constant need by - ta-da - - -taking a large (1 liter) bottle, filling 2/3 with water and putting it in the freezer. I let it partially freeze, then squeeze the sides so the frozen part breaks loose from the bottle and TA-DA!!!! ice cold water with wonderful floating ice pieces in it! (Wow, a whole paragraph on ice water- I must be desperate).

News on Katy, as of 12:01 am Friday February 27, there is no baby boy. She is complaining of contractions (Braxton/Hicks- false labor), and being tired of being pregnant. Today she actually felt more cramping, and overall pain in her back, etc. It all stopped within a half hour or so. Sounds like this little boy may be here before the 10th after all. Her nursery is done and very cute. She had a couple of Showers over the weekend. It was really nice.

Joey ruined my day off on Wednesday. Yep. I had one of those elusive days off during the week. And he totally screwed up my day. I won't go into details ( at least not like the Ice water paragraph ). He went to see his parole officer, she didn't like some things that he had said, and had been doing. So she had him arrested for parole violations. I can live with that. But, Joey's girlfriend was not prepared for it, and was not handling it well at all. In the end, someone else (not me, or the girlfriend) bailed him out. It was a long ordeal. However. I got a promising call tonight from him. Joey is trying to arrange things so he could go and live with his dad for a while. He called his dad (!) and asked him to find out about drug rehab classes and anger management classes. (!!!!). He is going to present all of this info to his parole officer on Monday and see if she will release him to attend classes in Allen Co. Wow- a GOOD decision for Joey. I am still in a wait and see mode, but at least he is trying to get out of Clermont Co and all the junk there.

Oh, I have been working on making costumes for one of Madeline's dances. It is the Flintstones. She is Dino, the other 2 jr tap girls are Baby Pus (the cat that puts Fred out at night) and Hoppy ( the kangaroo/dinosaur who watches Pebbles and Bam-Bam). The Sr. tap girls are the 4 main characters, and the 2 mini tappers are the kids. Needless to say, you can't order the 'pets' costumes on line, they have to be made. I was really worried about the tails, but it is finally working out pretty well. Their Mock Competition is March 7, so everything is supposed to be done by then. We'll see.

Well, there is always more news, but this is enough for now. I'm really tired, and I' better try to get some sleep (between the hot flashes and all)!!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


So, Bari is trying out this Facebook thing. It seems like all of you are there already. I guess I need to get my own page. It looks like a fun way to keep in touch. And I certainly feel 'out of touch' most of the time.
Everytime I try to Google - Facebook- I just end up with Bari's page. I can't seem to find a place to start my own. I'll keep trying, but any ideas?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

3 in the morning- - - - I'm eating Pop Tarts

It's 3 in the morning, I've been awake since 2:30. I need something to nibble on ( dinner was at 5:30 tonight- that was a l-o-n-g time ago). I don't know where the Pop Tarts came from. I don't buy them. I really don't buy much snacky food. And if I did - Pop Tarts still wouldn't be on the list.

So, we got what- ? another 8 inches of snow today? Wow- the first predictions were 1 - 3 inches. This was soooooo wrong. Now, we have another 2 hour delay tomorrow. Yuck. I'd rather have school cancelled, than a 2 hour delay. Tomorrow, I'll get to work at 11 and leave at 3 (!!!!!).

OK- I have a funny story. Last Sunday I was in my class of CTR's- there were 8 I think. Anyway, they were so good for me, we were talking about Joseph's first vision. I was trying to find the book of James in the Bible. How hard is that? Well, I couldn't find it. They were being good- waiting as patiently as any 6 year-olds could. And I got frustrated and said, " oh, heck". Well, you should have heard them!!! " Sister Cruze said- - - the 'H' word!". " Sister Cruze said a bad word! She said the 'H' word!" Oh, my. Somehow in my memory, the 'h' word ISN'T - HECK! How funny.

Well, it is about 3:30, I'm still not tired. I guess I'll read a little bit before I try to go back to bed. - Oh, Katy had a good check up. She is going in twice a week now. Her blood pressure was up a little. The dr she saw said that they would probably induce on her due date if that continued to be a problem. Her due date is March 10. You should have heard her complain tonight. It was as if no other woman had gone through 8 months of pregnancy before. I told her she could only complain AFTER her 4th delivery (like me!).

Any Joey news would not be good. His parole officer called me because he missed an appointment with her this morning. Big trouble. Choices - Consequences. I don't know what it will take for him to learn this.

Well, off to bed (or the couch to read). And I could sleep in tomorrow- we already have a 2 hour delay!

Monday, January 26, 2009

a great week-- - --REALLY !

I've had 2 really good weeks - in a row! Yep, very little drama, and some great dates with my husband.

Might as well get the Joey news out of the way first. After the 'bad' blog, he came and stayed with us for about 3 days. He had a BAD cold- really bad. I don't know if it was a type of withdrawal and cold together- but it was disgusting. Anyway, that was when the weather was terribly cold outside, and the basement of our house became North Siberia. Bari Ray has a little heater in his room, but I don't have any more to give Joey. So, he finally left for warmer climates. I didn't hear from him for a week, (Hmm- can we say- 'back to the same old pattern?')- and then he called and said he was looking for a job- needed to do his community service, and needed money. (Yes, back to the same old pattern). I have gotten over feeling bad about not helping him. He will be 22 in 2 weeks. Somehow Joey has got to make it in this world. At 22 I was living with my parents, BUT- I had just graduated college, was painting everyday, and showing my watercolors at art shows and galleries.

Ok- enough of that- on to my really great week. The Friday before last I had a DAY OFF ! Yes!! a WHOLE day- with NO children! No weddings- no travel anywhere (w-o-w). I was able to work on wedding production all day, and play with a trial wedding album program. The best part (although I do like doing wedding computer stuff)- was that I watched my fave soap at lunch, while reading my fave author (during commercials) and treating myself to HOT chocolate pudding. Wow. What a day.

Then, as if that wasn't enough, on that Saturday night, Bari and I had a DATE! we went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Tri-county near my store. It was pretty good. We will go back again sometime soon I hope. After dinner, we went to see what was on clearance at one of the stores that are going out of business. We need to upgrade the computer downstairs. It is getting to the point where we need more memory for all the programs needed for the wedding business.
It was a really nice evening.

On Wednesday, I got to go to Sam's scout meeting and talk 'art' with them. They were so cute. I was able to show them paintings that Sam's Grandpa (my Dad) and his Grandma (my Mom) had done. I also showed them one of my watercolors, and Sam's Derby car that I framed from last year. It was fun. I give huge thanks - and hugs and kisses- and any other heartfelt love and admiration to Heather and Karlin for taking on that group of boys. They are a handful- fun, but a handful.

Saturday I went with Bari to the Northern Kentucky Convention Center and attended seminars and a trade show at the Professional Photographers Association Mid-East States Expo. It was really great. I only had a 1 day pass, but next year, I will try to get to more. We had really good Seminars. The first was all about turning photography into fine art- his artwork was incredible, and very motivating. We ran into friends of ours at the trade show and were able to catch up and 'talk biz'. The trade show was small, but very helpful. We have contracted with a web design company who will help up design and manage a new web site (I'm soooo excited). They also do online hosting, so we can post our wedding images. There will be some manipulating with printing and shipping, whether we use their labs or not, who will ship prints and things like that- but it was a great step forward. Bari was also able to purchase some equipment we needed at a discount price. Trade shows are really good with bargains, you just have to know what you need.

Then on Sunday, Madeline had an awards program we had to go to. One of her drawings from school was entered in the Reflections program through the PTO. She won first place in her grade category (1st grade through 5th). Her piece was sent on to Hamilton County where it placed for an award, and then sent on to the Ohio competition. So, that was pretty exciting. We knew how it did locally, but not that it won on the County level, or that it was sent on to the Ohio state level. Next year I want to get Sammy involved. He is really good at drawing, and I think that he would enjoy photography more, if he had his own camera. Hmmmm- I'll have to look into that.

So, here it is 6am on Monday. I've been up since about 4:50am. I don't know why so early, except I was able to clean up the kitchen (which I neglected last night- we looked at sample web pages instead- which was MUCH more fun), and blog.

- - --------I just got a recorded message from St. X- school is delayed an hour. I'd better get done with this and check the school listings for delays!

Have a great week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My unspectacular list- - - -aka 'less drama blog'

I've been thinking about this list for a L O N G time (funny obsessiveness is not on my list)- and I think I finally came up with 5 things.

#1. I'm a news junkie. When I was growing up, my parents subscribed to 4 newspapers. 1 Weekly paper, 2 daily papers and 1 Sunday paper. The also took Time Magazine. My dad (had he been living today) would have been obsessed with Headline News. I know this, because I am.

#2. My secret perfect job is to be the voice-over announcer for those old animal documentaries. 'The big cats are asleep on the desert floor . . . . . a Mongoose not far away'. Mongoose? I hope I wouldn't need to actually KNOW about the animals- just read the copy.

#3. I want to be funny, you know, like Heather, and Erma Bombeck. And Roseanne Barr when she first started. I'm not near as funny as I'd like to be. It is a struggle for me. I'm always trying to say funny and clever things to the cashiers I'm in contact with at Kroger or Meijer. Much to the dismay of my children. Maybe that's why they don't shop with me anymore.

#4. My favorite foods are anything a l m o s t burnt. The stuck-to-the-pan roast pieces are my favorite. Same with rice and even soup. It must have come from my upbringing. No, my mom wasn't a bad cook- she was just an OVER cooker. I've inherited this trait. I'll cook something, and then microwave it 'just to be sure'. That's why I don't make brownies.

#5. My favorite snack food are potato chips. BUT they have to be brown (browner than normal-see #4), and thick, and wavy and it is a rare and treasured find - FOLDED! Yes, it's true (and a bit sick). My new treat is to (this has nothing to do with potato chips by-the-way)- toast bread, butter it when it is still hot and immediately add a little brown sugar. Yum! The brown sugar melts in your mouth- yum-yum. Someone suggested I add a little cinnamon to the recipe, but I'm too lazy. That is just one too many ingredients to add.

Well, that's my list, I hope it was worth waiting for.- It was fun.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I need to write blessings - this is long

I've had a very bad week. In every way, it has been disappointing, challenging, and depressing.

I need to write blessings.

In just a minute- because I still have a little venting to do.

The first disappointment was finding out that one of the other managers earns more than I do. She left the company 5 years ago. I took over the store. She came back to work at Tri-Co. and then, after a year, got her original store back. I moved. This is a big deal because I have been told for 5 years, that the company cannot afford raises. Nada- nothing . For 5 Years. It was a slap in the face to me. Bari said he was surprised that I didn't walk out. I'm a little surprised too. Then again, I'm working on a really (R E A L L Y) cool golf shadowbox.

I can eventually get over it. I probably almost am already.

Then the worst of my suspicions and More- came to my bad week. I visited with Jillian, Joey's so-called girlfriend. I hadn't seen or heard from him since New Years Eve. I already suspected the worst- he was back with his old friends and using and selling drugs. Well, no. I was wrong. It was MUCH worse. Jillian suspects him of using Heroin. I still cry. I can hardly speak when I think of the possibility of this being true. I have no reason to doubt her.
I can't express how angry I am about all of this. I'm angry that I have to go through all the muck of not blaming myself for his bad choices. I have to go through all the stupidity of trusting/not trusting, believing/not believing him. There was a whole day when I was sick to my stomach and cryed in the ladies room.

Update- Joey called today. He sounded bad (tired, mumbling) and wanted to come home on Sunday. I am numb. I was not happy to hear from him. How is that possible? I am still very angry. Talking to him on the phone doesn't stop me from imagining him over dosing somewhere.

When he was in jail, every night I thought about him trying to go to sleep in -what I was sure was- a loud, bright room with other noisy men. Now, I wonder where in the heck he is. Who is he staying with. If something happens, will I even know about it? I'm mad.

I'm not stupid, I knew the chances of him getting out and really staying clean were 2- slim, and none.

That was not the end of my week. Oh, no. My new boss came into the store on Thursday and met with each of us. There are going to be changes, yes, changes goin' on here! Starting with the employees. Yep. If the store makes money, Ken makes money, Ken is happy. If the store makes money, the employees make money. If the employees make money, they are happy. Yep. Whatever.

I was given a $2 an hour decrease in wages. DECREASE. I was also given a commission rate of 5% of anything I sell. Great. This is the slowest time of the year. And I hadn't gotten a raise in 5 years! so, I'm now at an hourly rate that is L O W E R than any starting rate for framers in the city. With the POSSIBILITY of making more- M U C H more than I did before.

Can any one say RECESSION?

So now we get to today. I have a meeting at Children's Hospital to go through all the testing and make a game plan. Ok. Bari can't make it, of course, so I am by my self with the burden of the week hanging off my very being. The Dr tells me that yes, Sam does have a form of Autism.

This was not a surprise. But it came at a very bad time. I didn't cry until I got in the car.

This is a good place to start counting blessings. Sam is challenged with lack of social skills, speech and communication. All of those concerns are teachable/treatable. He is able to learn correct social skills, speech usage and be a better communicator. He is already a smart, funny kid. It will only get better.

Blessings. At work. I will only work from 9am to 3pm most days. If I suggest my regular customers come in at that time, I could (possibly) make more money than the original hourly wage. Blessing-2. I still have a job. Blessing-3. I still get to do awesome framing, like make a golf ball sit in a 'cup' deep in a shadowbox frame. It is cool.

Blessings. At home. I have a caring husband who would do every thing in his power to make this all go away and have his happy peaceful wife back. I love my husband. He bought me ice cream, and (no kidding- I really was happy)-Brussels Sprouts- In Butter!

Blessings. My kids. Overall, my kids are doing quite well. Making good decisions. Happy with their choices. All of Katy's appointments have been exceptional. She is more healthy now than she normally is! Blessing-2. Katy and I went up to Clyde to visit my mom last weekend. We had the best time!

Blessings. My church kids. I only have had them 1 week, but how cute are they! I have a bunch to teach- but I am looking forward to it.

We live, grow and evolve. We are separate but still part of our emotional muck. Thank goodness there is a new day every day, a new week- new year. I am grateful.