Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nature holds no accountability or remorse.

Nature is destructive, carrying so much emotion in the wake of it's path. It affects us in so many ways, too.... from repairs on a home or car, to the clean up of trees and debris, to the ultimate tragedy of losing people we love.

When I woke up at 5:30 this morning I heard the storm. It seemed to get louder within just a few minutes and I thought I even heard hail hitting the house. I had to get ready quickly, so I hurried into the shower. It was still raining here at about 9am. I didn't think much of it until I got online and started reading the headlines. It was alarming, to say the least. I clicked on the news in Franklin, TN, to see what had happened there, and felt somewhat relieved that there was only one headline in regards to an injury. No name, but it was on a road that one of my friend's family lives on. Well, later today, my sister called to check on us and see what it was like here. Then she tells me it was the mother of one of her dear friends, and that she died at the hospital. I just stopped breathing for a second. I didn't want to believe it. Anytime I read the headlines, I feel a sense of sadness that there are tragedies happening to "people", but hearing that one of these events has actually happened to someone I know brings a strong ache to my heart. I know that many will relate to this, especially with the number of deaths this wave of storms and tornadoes has taken. I am so very thankful that all my family and friends are safe. I feel guilty, in a way, writing that because I know others are dealing with the pain of their losses. I truly hope that those who were not as lucky get the support and strength that they are going to need, from those around them.

When I talked to my best friend tonight, she was telling me about the video footage she had watched of a tornado touching down near a mall in Alabama. I found the video online and was struck by the sheer magnitude and power of it's force, and also of the fear/emotion of the person recording it. Words can not adequately describe the mix of emotions I felt when trying to imagine what that person was experiencing. Then to think of the people that were in it's path at the time... it's devastating. The worst thing about it, is that there's nothing to prevent this destruction from happening. We can only try our best to protect ourselves and those physically closest to us at the very moment when it strikes.

How do you blame nature, something that holds no responsibility? There is no recourse to take, either... no human to point the finger at. Nothing but the idea that Nature will be cruel from time to time. It seems the only option in getting through things like this is to help the people who need it, however we can,  in the aftermath of such overwhelming destruction and loss. It just doesn't feel like enough.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Serve me some deserve!

I've got a new body scrub! It's homemade and marinatin' in the fridge until tomorrow. It consists of kosher salt, grape seed oil, and freshly picked rosemary and mint. All crushed together and waiting to be slathered on. Now, that's how you get your money's worth out of some $4 herbs from Lowe's.

Heather came over today and we had a great time. That girl and I can talk for hours and not get bored. We made the body scrub, played referee between the toddlers, and ate big salads for lunch... ah, my mouth is watering just thinking about how good it was. No boring salad for us! We had the standard lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red bell pepper beginnings for any traditional salad, but then we added sunflower seeds, pine nuts, goat cheese and then heaped on some fresh mint and basil from my personal "garden". We completed it with a Newman's Own Raspberry and Walnut Vinaigrette... scrumptious, I tell you.

I never put Alyssa down for a nap today. She was having too much fun playing with Heather's daughter, so I figured one day won't kill her... or me. She did pretty good throughout the afternoon, but we'll be back to the routine nap tomorrow. I can't risk having her think that naps aren't an everyday thing because, little does she know, she's going to be taking one til she starts kindergarten. Which, ironically, makes me think of my friend's blog. Her name is Tonya, and I swear she's been making me laugh with her stories since college. She had this absolutely, hilarious "Theory of Nevertivity" today, which still has me giggling. I bet her theory is right, so I might as well go ahead and just "hope" that Alyssa takes naps for a few more years. I just knocked on some wood, too.

There's going to be a Farmer's Market this Saturday, about five minutes from my house. I'm going to check it out, considering I'm all into that sort of thing now. After that, I'm off to buy that dress. I have now convinced myself that the dress is completely worth the price and that I simply cannot live without it, especially, with my husband's words echoing in my ear ....:: "you deserve a new dress"::..

But do I deserve the fabulous shoes that go with it?....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Easter Bunny is tired, I'm sure... but that jackalope is still kickin'.

Happy Easter! I didn't see any live rabbits today, but I did see a couple of jackalopes in the back yard. They were just frolicking around the bushes.... by a few snipes. At least, that's what I told Alyssa.

It was a very nice day. We Skyped with Bruce this morning, which always makes me happy, then we went out to lunch. Alyssa was really good and it was great to go out all dressed up. The Easter basket was a big hit and she ate several of pieces of chocolate throughout the day. Maybe one too many. I don't think the sugar high had worn off by bedtime. I could hear her through the monitor, just babbling away to the rabbit that she insisted on taking to bed with her. She finally crashed and got quiet about 20 minutes ago.

The rodeo was a big hit, although technically, we didn't stay for the actual night show. It would have kept her up way too late, and I wanted to Skype with Bruce since it was the weekend. Because of the time difference, Friday and Saturday nights are the only times I get to talk to him uninterrupted.

I finally got to catch up with my friend Heather this afternoon. She came over while Alyssa was napping and we filled each other in about the last three weeks. It's great having her back in town, but it sucks that she's moving in a little over a month. **sniff, sniff**
She took some pictures of us when we got home from lunch, and it only took 184 attempts to get my new favorite. Ironically, what I'm learning is that the first picture taken is usually the best. No matter how many times I try to capture that kid smiling, standing still, and facing me...that first one is the closest I get, and the one I usually end up sending Bruce or posting on Facebook.

I had a massage on Thursday night. It was one of my Valentine's gifts, and I scheduled it so that I got home after Alyssa was in bed. That way I'd reap the benefits of the massage til the next morning. It was wonderful, luxurious, and relaxing, but what felt so incredible at the time developed into such tenderness in my shoulders that it hurt to simply run my hand over them. They are still tender, but it's not like the pain of a pulled muscle.... just like they're stretched out to where they're supposed to be since before I started lugging around a kid in the 84th percentile for height and weight. Bless her heart, and my shoulders. While the masseuse was working on my right leg I thought I was going to come off the table. He said it was "knotty" and needed about three hours to work on it. I'll take his word for it and told Bruce that if he hasn't gotten my anniversary present yet, he need not try to come up with something new and fabulous, but rather just let me schedule another appointment. I think he might! Oh, and another thing... just to brag about how sweet that man is to me... I told him about a dress that I tried on the other day and the fact that I absolutely fell in love with it (and the shoes). This dress was fabulous, and I'm not really into dresses. It looks like something off of Mad Men. I want to get it to wear to the airport when I pick him up. His response was "You deserve a new dress". I fell even deeper in love with him at that moment. The dress is NOT on sale... nor is it cheap. I'll have to show him my gratitude somehow. **wink, wink**

I'm going to bed early tonight. In fact, I'll be turning out the lights in 25 minutes. I've got to start sleeping more. Since I'm making such an effort with my dietary changes, there's no use in sabotaging it with not enough sleep. Sweet dreams... I bet I'll be dreaming about jackalopes dressed up in sixties clothing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Rabbits and Rodeos

I was rockin' out in Food Lion today. My bill was $76, but after coupons and MVP buys I only paid $44. Kroger, on the other hand, couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. They've changed their coupon policy and won't take any manufacturer's coupons if there's an e-coupon loaded on your card. I don't like that... not one little bit. Since I only bought a few items it wasn't a big deal this time, but I don't think I'll be placing that much emphasis on their 10 cents off a gallon in the future. Take note, fellow reasonable couponers.

I've been telling my husband how his unaccompanied tour is aging me. Turns out, it may not be the tour, but rather my diet. After I read an article titled "Is your food making you old?", I came to the conclusion that it is! All I've been eating since he's been overseas is boxed meals and the occasional banana that Alyssa starts but doesn't finish. So I decided to do something about it. I bought lots of fresh veggies, fruits, almond milk (in both Vanilla and Chocolate), nuts, Kashi, and Fage yogurt... speaking of which, did you know it's pronounced "Fa-weh"? How do they come up with that from f-a-g-e??? Anyhow, my refrigerator has had a complete makeover from all this. I've got five fresh herbs on my patio and all I have left to buy is some lean meat and wild caught Salmon. I am starting this new lifestyle in the morning and I'm really excited. I'm sure all my wrinkles will be gone by next Wednesday, and warned my husband not to be surprised when I look 15 by the end of next week.

I've had a really good run of days since that last grumpy stage about a month ago. I am so excited about my Superman coming home to visit in just a few weeks. I now see a light at the end of the tunnel. We have officially made it through the longest portion of this year of which we will have to be separated. After his visit home, Alyssa and I will be going to visit him for a whole month! YAAAAAAY! After that visit, it will only be another few weeks til he's home for good. I can do this.

Not much progress on the health front. I did see another doctor, who was just as surprised as I was in regards to what that silly surgeon said. I had called to ask what I should do, and after telling the woman my concerns she thought it was important enough to have me come in that very day. So, I rushed on in (thanks to one of my babysitters) and saw another doctor. He was great. He listened, gave me a plan, and validated my concerns about the silly surgeon. I've put in for a second opinion, as he told me to, and I'm just waiting on the next step. Oh, and about that news I was told over the phone... seems I either misunderstood him (maybe due to a VERY strong accent) or he read the report wrong. Either way, it's a 5mm "non-mass" object, and is probably benign. I'll have it checked out in six months, and have decided NOT to give another thought til then.

Tomorrow, I think I'll take Alyssa to the Rodeo. I have such great memories of the Rodeo in Franklin. One of my favorites was when my sister took me when I was about six. All I remember was wearing a leather-fringed vest, and I mean LONG fringe, and feeling oh-so-cool walking around with her. Alyssa doesn't have a vest, but she does have some fabulous little boots.

On Sunday, we'll be dressing up for Easter and eating some chocolate bunnies. It's going to be a fun weekend.
Happy Easter!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tsch... ok, whatever.

Went to another Dr.s appointment this morning. I left there slightly disappointed, then it got worse after the appointment. Seems the Dr. had not reviewed my MRI results before my appointment (great job Doc). Once he had, he told me the disconcerting news over the phone, while I was on my way to the mall to find the perfect anniversary gift for my husband. It's probably, and hopefully, nothing, but I'm not bouncing along as I was the last few days. Needless to say, I was in no mood to go walk through the mall after that, so I just came on home.

Oh, and to follow up... I AM 5'7.5"... so there! When the nurse asked me how tall I was I played dumb and said "I'm not sure. Will you measure me, please?" So, she did and it's great to know I'm not shrinking that much.

Oh hell, let's get real here: I am more than disappointed. I am pissed! I am now somewhat scared, too. Mark my words, I'm going to get my issue repaired, as it should be, whether insurance is going to cover it (as they ethically should) or if Bruce and I have to fork over money. I can put up with the Melasma, the acne, the plethora of scars marring my skin from my lower spine up to my shoulders, but I AM NOT GOING TO SETTLE FOR WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THIS! What really makes me mad, was that I had initially seen another Dr., in lieu of my PCM, and he he said insurance would cover it all. I realize there can be mistakes in information given out, but considering my particular situation there wasn't supposed to be an issue. Oh, and the Dr. who told me this wasn't some newbie... he was a Lieutenant Colonel... which is a high enough rank to make me think he knew what he was talking about.

At this point, I am following up with trying to find the information that they want. I am going to keep things in perspective and try not worry about it. Once I get what they need, I'll have another appointment, and I'll just go from there.

Reminder to myself: Life is short... make the best of it. Work hard. Be kind. Keep toxic people at arm's length. And finally, respect is earned.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Give me a break.

After two and a half years in our home, I feel like things are organized. Maybe not clean on this particular day, but at least neat. All the plants are done, the chimes are hung, the garage is clean, my cabinets are the way I like them, and the DVD player is now hooked up in my bedroom. I'll be able to enjoy it all for a few months 'til we move again and the fun will start all over. This is the life of a military family, and I love it.... except for the separations from my husband, of course.

I have another Dr.'s appointment in the morning and Alyssa has a babysitter, so I won't have to worry about taking her with me. Hallelujah! I think I'm going to try to do something really fun with her this weekend. I don't know what yet, but we both need it. She and I have gotten into a rut of a routine and I believe she's getting sick of me. Whenever we go out lately, she shamelessly flirts with anyone who breathes in her direction. I bet if I knew what she was saying to them, it would be something like "I'm sick of my mommy. If you take me home with you I will blow kisses like this **blowing kisses** all the time. Aren't I cute... don't you want me?" Followed by more air kisses. They always smile, say "Hi" and a few other words, and walk away. Then she looks at me and her cute smile disappears when she realizes she's stuck with me. A tantrum sometimes follows this, too. The great thing about having a babysitter, though, is that when I come home I get the biggest smiles, the sweetest kisses, and the best hugs. I take that as a testament that I should get a babysitter more often.

I took an almost two hour nap today! Just as soon as Alyssa went down I got in bed and was out. I have just been sooooo tired lately. No wonder, considering I've been staying up way too late and running all day, everyday. As my daddy once told me "Girl, you've got too many irons in the fire". So, for the next few days all I'm going to do is the normal housework around here. I'm going to plan something fun for Alyssa and I, and I'm even going to catch up on my shows on the DVR. Ahhh, and next week I'm cashing in my gift certificate for a 90 minute massage. I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It doesn't hurt.... Are you sure you're doing it RIGHT?

My, my, today was a really good day.... other than the fact that I managed to set two alarms incorrectly last night. One I didn't finish setting, so it reverted back to it's original time, and my phone I set for PM rather than AM. I must have realized this on some subconscious level because I woke up almost every hour. I got up at 5:40, amazingly, considering I went to sleep at 12:30. Thank goodness I took a shower last night. The directions for the MRI said no make-up. HUH! Like I'm EVER going to leave the house with no makeup.... lol, right. It said something about the "metallic components" could react with the MRI blah, blah, blah. I like to live on the edge, so I took my chances and opted for foundation, concealer, and eyeliner, and stayed away from anything that shimmered. For those of you who can't understand this: You probably have great skin and don't come braggin' to me. Melasma sucks.

I couldn't believe how smoothly the procedure went. You see, I am a "hard stick", which in case you don't know, means my veins do not take kindly to needles. I had this idea that I'd start slapping the inside of my elbow while I waited on them to gather their materials. At this point in my life, I really just don't care about how goofy I looked. Must've worked. The MRI woman got it on the first try... painlessly! Then she warned me (a few times) that it was going to be "uncomfortable" when they injected the contrast dye. I didn't feel a thing. Nothin'. I even got worried as to whether or not they were doing it right since there was no "uncomfortability", but alas... they were. I think I even worked in a little 30 minute power nap because I sure did feel refreshed after the whole thing!

I took Alyssa to her speech therapy this afternoon, and her Dr. said she was impressed with Alyssa's progress. I really noticed a big leap this past weekend when she spent so much time with my family. Makes me feel guilty in a way, as if I'm not doing something right, but the Dr. said this is completely normal when they have different or new exposures. Alyssa's newest go-to phrase is "Oh Dear!" Knowing Bruce and I, it was probably originally "Oh Damn", but no one noticed. LOL... just kidding... to an extent.

On our way home, I got a surprise text from a friend of mine who wanted us to come hang out for awhile. We haven't been able to in months since she's been so busy with her uber-successful spa and salon. She's even in InStyle magazine this month! I can't afford her, but I sure do love hanging out with her. And oh, I just can't help it, but I have to post this picture of her daughter. This happened while I was holding her. I'm sure it'll be a classic blackmail photo when she's a teen. BTW, she is the most grinning-est baby I've seen, even while recovering from an ear infection. Bless her cute little heart.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Before, after, and a few things in between..

My plants are planted and everything is finally in order! Here are some before and after pictures:
I am so happy to have all this finished. Well.... almost finished. I am still trying to hang some chimes from a bracket that had cheap screws. I ended up stripping the first screw when I finally had the handy-dandy drill charged. After 45 seconds of looking at it, and cussing, I just gave up. I'll come back to it later.

My daughter and I went to visit family in Tennessee last Thursday. What a wonderful trip! The drive down went smoothly and Alyssa even "allowed" me to listen to my new Maroon5 CD... in entirety. It's so nice to be able to travel with her now that she's a little older.

I was able to spend so much time with my brother, his kids, my dad, and my best friend. I didn't get as much time with my sister or dad's girlfriend, but at least we all got together for dinner one night. I got some great pictures of everyone. Here's one of my two besties from high school:
We had dinner at Macaroni Grille, which was awesome. The company, the food, and the coloring on the table. I couldn't believe how good Alyssa was, considering she wasn't the center of attention AND was up past her bedtime. And, oh how these girls make me laugh. I miss 'em, that's for sure.

I have an MRI tomorrow morning and I've hired a babysitter from She's actually babysitting twice this week while I go to Dr's appointments. It's a big relief to have someone to watch Alyssa so that I can get a couple of hours to myself. If it goes well, I'll be do... excuse me for the interruption, but my daughter just walked up and licked my face... lol, kids... anyway, I'll be hiring a sitter about once a week so I can have about three hours to myself. Oh yeah, I'm looking forward to that!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

We're not in Kansas anymore.

I guess a tornado came through here last night. I slept through it.

The alarm on my phone went off at 5:30 this morning and I turned it off, thinking the bedside alarm would go off 10 minutes later. After a few minutes, I heard my daughter making noise in her room, and when I looked at the clock I realized the electricity was off. It stayed off until almost 8:30 this morning, which meant no Skyping with Bruce. We did chat on the phone, though. We're switching cable companies today and I had to exchange the wireless router I had bought for a more expensive one. It better be worth it. So anyway, since there was no way to heat up Alyssa's breakfast, I decided to run up to Wal Mart, exchange the router and treat her to some McD's pancakes and a hasbrown. Healthy, right? Ugh... she loved it, but I ate a McMuffin and hashbrown and my body is not used to the grease anymore. I'm draggin'.

Well, when we left the house (after I figured out how to get the car out of the garage) I saw there were several really big trees completely uprooted by the high school. This is very close to our house. You could walk straight from my house through a small wooded area, cross the road, and be at the high school. The weird thing about all of this is the fact that one of my my big planters blew over out front, which has got to be at least 50 pounds, but all my little pots of herbs, balancing on the deck railing, were still there. Debris is all over the yard, balcony, and deck... but those little pots didn't move. Thank goodness, too, because I would have been sad if  I'd had to buy new pots and replant all of them.

I've decided to give my back a break from planting today. I think we'll practice being lazy. I may do a load or two of clothes, but nothing more. Maybe tomorrow I'll have the urge to finish up the last couple of planters and clean off the decks and balcony. THEN, I'll post some pictures.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Here kitty, kitty, kitty... I've got something just for you.

Not. Done. Yet.

I have three more planters to fill, then I will start cleaning the 1/2 inch of yellow pollen off of everything we own outside. I was seeing a light at the end of the tunnel until I added two more projects to work on simultaneously. I am a glutton for punishment.

I am going to bed early. Hopefully, my mother's psycho cat doesn't call me again at 11:00 tonight. Seriously.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lick a pig, hug a swine... some of them are good friends of mine.

I thought my "afternoon" project would be finished by last night, but it snowballed into 10 projects. Now I need some painkillers and a third wind. It's all going to be worth it, though! I have six different herbs planted, the tree in our front patch of grass is mulched, and several pots of flowers are done. I only have six big planters to fill with palms, ferns, and a cane tree. When Alyssa napped, I also mowed the front and the backyard and even weedeated. Is that even a word? It seems like it should be "weedate", but then that sounds like a date for toddlers... which is a whole different topic. Moving on.

I straightened up our garage, too. Enough so that the trash can is completely full! YAY! No one mention this to my husband or he may get worried that I threw some important stuff out.... which I probably did, but in the heat of the moment I just didn't care. I mean, really... how important could stuff be if it's been sitting in a box for two and half years, untouched, and neglected? I threw out a computer. The whole thing. Yep, I know you're not supposed to do that, but there's no room in the back of my Jeep now that I've got two microwaves to take to the recycling center. Oh, and the computer was one that my ex-husband owned.. so... ::evil laugh::.. who cares? It was bad, bad energy.

Alyssa and I took a break at one point, and stopped over at my neighbor's across the street. She just had surgery a few days ago and I wanted to check on her. So, we barge on in, Alyssa begins screaming at her dogs, and she rolls with it like it happens everyday. She's got a daughter, Michele, who is my age and has two of the cutest kids. Now that I'm getting to know her, I'm beginning to think we were related or friends in a past life. Well, she showed up while we were there and made me eat some "Pig Lickin' Cake". Let me tell you, I would lick a pig to get another piece of that stuff. ..::oink oink::.. To top it off, they gave me two beautiful chimes and lovely birthday cards, one of which was from Alyssa. They picked these out last week when I went to a Dr's appt and Alyssa hung out with them. I sat at that table with the stupidest grin, fighting tears, and thinking how lucky I am to have such sweet neighbors. Honestly, it just made my day.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I love a beautiful Saturday!

OH, it's just gorgeous here, today! When I put Alyssa down for her nap I thought I'd sit and watch TV for awhile, but after 10 minutes of hearing the chimes on my balcony I jumped up, threw on some jeans, socks, and tennis shoes and then started grabbing the pots of dead plants on my balcony. Now the electric mower is charging, all my empty planters are lined up on our deck just waiting to be transformed into beautiful live decorations, and I CAN'T wait for that kid to wake up so we can go up to Home Depot!

I have all the doors and windows open and my heart is singing with spring. Okay, so that's a little dorky... but you get my point: It's a beautiful day, and I'm not going to waste it inside.

After being in the I'm-a-grumpy-bitch-because-I-miss-my-husband-so-much mode, I'm feeling better. Much better. Partly, because I seemed to get box after box in the mail from my husband this week, and he tells me there's still one more coming. There's nothing like a birthday that lasts several days. I tell ya, I could get used to being spoiled like this. He sent me a cute wrought iron wine "bottle" to throw my corks in. Plus, he sent me the Vinturi Wine Aerator that I've been wanting for more than a year. Then, today, I received a salt ramekin (for lack of a better word) that's just like Alton Brown's. You think he loves me? My husband... not Alton Brown. I'm figuring he does, considering how thoughtful he is.

Heather came over last night to try out the wine aerator with me. We were amazed! We did a taste test of "before" and "after", and we could tell a BIG difference in the wine. Ah, it's just so cool to me. I never take the time to let a bottle of red breathe and this little contraption turns a good wine into an excellent wine in a matter of seconds. So, anyway... after some great wine and great laughs she went home and then I skyped with Bruce. We had an awesome, two-hour conversation with NO interruptions. This is an accomplishment only achieved when Alyssa is asleep AND it's the weekend.

Oh! I hear her! She's awake! Home Depot... here we come! I will post some pictures of today's accomplishments on my next entry.

Get outside people! Run! Breathe! Laugh in the sun! Swing a kid around in the air!... just don't drop 'em.