June 30, 2009

And It's Gone

Notice anything missing?
The pounds are not coming off but the black knot fungus has left the building! Arbor guy will be back to remove the stump and then he'll plant an 'Autumn Blaze' Maple in its place. I'm interviewing for a new position at work and I keep waiting for someone to ask "If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" My response would be "Not a Chokecherry that's for sure". The good news is I'm even on the Take It Off Tuesday challenge. The bad news is I've got a long way to remove the stump from my middle.

June 25, 2009

I'd Rather Give Birth **updated**

I am dying. I have a stye or pink eye or allergies or something that is making my eye hurt so bad that I would rather give birth than endure this pain. I've done that twice without an epidural so I have some perspective. My eye hurts so bad I think I'm dying. I went to one of those "quickie" retail clinics to see what the deal is and get some relief. This is a big deal. I avoid clinics, hospitals, etc. like the plague - I know too much and don't want to become sicker than I already am. But I'm dying so I go and MPB has to drive me. She drives my car, Gil, and takes a right when she should have taken a left. This puts us right in the path of Carol from Curves (not her real name but she had a Curves t-shirt on and I thought she looked like a Carol). Carol almost t-bones us as we're trying to find the place that will cure me. Thanks to MPB's vampire like reflexes and Gil's agility, we avoid actually dying. After determining Gil, Carol and ourselves are okay, we head in the right direction of the cure-all clinic. I sign in - I'm patient #1 - I wait patiently - I'm dying. No one comes out. I'm there for 25 minutes and no one comes out. Are they in there making hot fudge sundaes while I am in the hall dying? OMG! I purchased homeopathic pink eye drops, a candybar and an antioxidant drink and went back to work. I'm dying and MPB thinks I should win an Oscar.

**Give the lady with the corneal abrasion an award. I still feel like I'm dying but thankfully I now know what I have is real and not "catchy". I went to an Urgent Care clinic this time. Again, big deal. BIG. HUGE. I would sooner use garlic and a cross then succumb to modern medicine sometimes (not all the time, I'm just not an overly frequent user of the health care system and figure good home care and some rest often does the trick). The Dr put in some anesthetic drops to take the pain away and I told her that I loved her. I could be converted. Unfortunately she couldn't send the special juice home with me. I did get an antibiotic and an order to come back the next day to see an opthamologist. The pain eventually came back an hour or so later so I'm still dying. Maybe the opthamologist will give me more of that pain relief ju-ju. And I will love them forever.

MPB - the Dr did not find a pony in my eye but she rather enjoyed the story. Explanation: Before the quickie clinic visit earlier today, MPB found eyewash for me in the medicine chest at work. She and I were in the bathroom and I kept looking at my eye after each squirt to which MPB asked "are you thinking a pony is going to come out of there?" Yes, yes I am. Because it hurts as if there's a bleeping pony in my eye, okay?! I'm dying so don't judge me.

June 23, 2009

Take It Off Tuesday #1

This lady I drive crazy at work, Mimi, started a blog about finding the ME in Mommy. Goal #1 is to eat healthy and exercise. Sounds good, sign me up. She'd also like to find the inner athlete she once was. Um, you lost me there. I am not and never will be an athlete. That statement should probably be in all caps and underlined. The phrase "when pigs fly" comes to mind (shout out to Flo from Alice). I was a cheerleader in high school (eww, my arm fat just wiggled when I pat myself on the back) but I'm pretty sure that does not count as a sport. Last time I checked wearing legwarmers and saying "Ready. Okay." is not an olympic event. Too bad.

Anyhoo, Mimi started a weekly "Take It Off Tuesday" (pounds not clothes) post and I'm joining the bandwagon. She even has a contest. We'll follow the Weight Watchers method (not paying for membership but following the points system). This means documenting ALL food. I'll formally start tomorrow but might as well fess up to the frosted special K bar I had at lunch today (thanks Mimi for saying the cereal part is healthy :) I did a 10-minute stretch this morning and am hoping making hot fudge sundaes (wink, wink) counts as exercise.

Here are some helpful links -
Points calculator http://www.webmilhouse.com/pointcalc.php
Dotti's Weight Loss Zone food lists and menus with points (scroll down) http://www.dwlz.com/WWinfoTOC.html

Ready. Okay.
Are you ready? (clap,clap)
To play (clap)
Say go team (clap)
Go team (clap)
Mommes taking it off all the way!

June 21, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

After much consideration Sassy will not be returning to the private high school she attended this past year and will instead go to the local public school. I'm not feeling at peace with this decision yet, but I know I can't control every aspect of my life, or others', and need to just let some things be. Letting things be is not my forte - I'm a planner and analyzer by nature. Parenting does not come with a mall map. Damn it. As our children enter adolescence they will be faced with many forks in the road and the choices made may bring opportunities or close doors. Sometimes there are chances to correct a path and sometimes the path we chose which seemed right to begin with ends up to be very wrong. My success as a parent is a tenuous thing. I probably will never know if I've been successful as it will be measured by a decision made in the dark, a silent change of heart or at the risk of losing a relationship. Making wise choices is the ultimate wish I have for my kids. I hope I've given them a good foundation so with their own experience the sum of those choices leads to a long road of happiness. Happiness is the ultimate choice we make for ourselves.

Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

June 15, 2009

Black Knot Fungus

When we bought our house three years ago one of the things we liked most about the property was the abundance of mature trees on a city lot. The tree closest to the front window was beautiful - about 30 feet tall with large curly branches full of leaves. We had no idea what it was. I noticed some black "knots" in a few places but figured it was a natural part of the tree. Each year the number of knots increased and the number of leaves dramatically decreased. Last year Hubby put in a shade perennial garden in the front where all the trees provided so much shade that grass didn't grow. Not so much shade this year - guess it's an all sun garden now. We finally came to the realization the tree is very sick. Today an official arborist came for a house call. Good news - we finally know it's a Chokecherry. Bad news - it has Black Knot fungus. And it's at the point of no return. Bonus bad news - we'll be paying $300 for tree and stump removal. Bonus good news - a trip to the nursery to buy a new tree (or is that super bonus bad news because I doubt new trees, at least the ones of any substantial size, are less than a gigillion dollars).

Here's the tree in the background with Sassy's volleyball team last September - lots of bare branches but some leaves.

And today - I think I can count all the leaves on both hands.

The offending fungus close up -

June 13, 2009

Sookie Sue

We have a new family member! We got a black kitty named Sookie. Her original name was Sadie Sue but we already have a cat named Sadie Mae. Sassy and I went to Petsmart for supplies and they were having a pet adoption. Some have sad little faces and others are so perky there oughtta be a law. I just want to scoop 'em all up and take 'em home. There was the most gorgeous blonde german shepard named Farah, but I'm only crazy not suicidal. Sookie is super sweet and is having a grand old time exploring the house. Sadie Mae peeks her head out from under our bedskirt to hiss and growl every so often and then hides.

June 11, 2009

Summer Journal Entry #1

Chunky and I took the dogs for a walk last night. He suggested we write about our summer - all the things we do and see. Who knew we'd have such great material the first day?! Look what we found on our walk -

The hole it was digging with it's hind legs was quite deep. Could it be preparing an egg nest? The dogs wanted nothing to do with this mama. I came across a large turtle on a walk with Maddie near the very same spot last year and I can only assume it's the same one. I don't know much about turtles so don't know if it's a snapper, box or something else. We stayed clear just in case. I looked up "difference between box and snapper turtle" on the internet. The WikiAnswer - very simple. The snapping turtle will bite you, and the box turtle won't. Smartasses.

This guy is lucky he's cute! If he asked once, he asked a hundred times if he could move the turtle, touch the turtle, pick up the turtle, etc. I wonder what language he hears when I'm speaking because I'm thinking it's not english. Only how many more weeks 'til school starts?!

June 10, 2009

My Favorite Bar?

The other day I answered "yes" to an internet browser upgrade prompt. Now I have an icon for bing. At first I thought I'd done something terribly wrong. Turns out bing is Microsoft's latest answer to g**gle. Good luck with that - I think the free world (and the non-free world for that matter) has decided. We all know who won the VHS vs. Beta war, right? I now have something called Favorites Bar. This gives me suggested sites based on sites I've visited. Sites with things or information similar to those I like are delivered to me. Pretty presumptuous of them if you ask me.

June 9, 2009

Salad Mist

My friend and co-worker, MPB*, suggested I post recipes or plug products I like or something like that. So here's my first attempt. Business is booming at my company - that's good and bad. Good because I have a job, bad because we're so flippin' busy that people have resorted to scheduling meetings over the noon hour. Good gravy, is nothing sacred?! I eat lunch at my desk most days, but now I often have to take it with me to my noon meeting or even my 1:00 if I couldn't get to the cafeteria or fridge between 11:00 and noon meetings. Do you see my dilemma here?! Today I brought my lunch to 1:00 meeting with MPB and entertained everyone with my salad mist. I love this stuff - you can spray it on salads (convenient, no mess, portion control), spray on a sandwich for a little lo-cal flavor, and even spray it on meat or veggies as a marinade. The possibilities are endless. Really.

*I'm not sure what to call you on the blog MPB. I looked up acronyms and found -
Main Processor Board
Male Pattern Baldness
Micro Pulse Bomb
Missing Persons Bureau
Mission Planning Branch
Molecular Particle Beam
Any appeal to you? My personal favorite is the software company My Parent's Basement.

June 7, 2009

Dinner Around the World and Hockey Pucks

I grew up with two families. There was my mom and her parents (Noni & Papa), and my dad, his wife, her son (his blog name shall be Gulley) and dad's parents. We had a few changes in players over the years (mom divorced second husband, dad divorced second wife, dad married #3), but these folks all made a strong impression on me in my formative years. My dad's second wife had a passion for culture and introduced us to things that as kids we thought were totally whack-a-doodle. Things like attending community events (political activism), sharing something good that happened each day at the dinner table, and going to restaurants of a different culture once a month. My mom was also on a path of cultural enlightenment and I credit both moms for my mastery of chopsticks. I recall Gulley not being enamored of culture Fridays. He would order a hamburger every time (picture scowling mother) and when the waiter/waitress asked how he wanted it done, he'd say "well, like a hockey puck". I'm very visual and the thought of a hockey puck on a plate with some fancy ketchup swirls and a cloth napkin still cracks me up. My second thought is him trying to cut the puck with a fork and knife only to have it go airborne and land on an unfortunate diner's plate (picture the escargot scene in Pretty Woman). I try to introduce my kids to cultural cuisine but it's probably "americanized". It can be pretty pricey too and who wants to spend a lot of money on food that may go uneaten (not to mention un-green). Chunky's version of a hockey puck is chicken nuggets. Good gravy. I made a fabulous find this past holiday season when looking for a unique gift for my mother: Destination Dinners. The packaging is nifty and how cool is it to have all the fixins to make your own authentic culinary delight and dine around the world without a passport?!

June 6, 2009

Without Words

I regularly read Angie Smith's blog, Bring The Rain. I find her incredibly inspiring. She's so articulate, authentic and downright sweet. I'm not often without words, but reading this post caused me to stop and think a good long while. I just had to pass it along.

June 5, 2009

The Effects of Stimuli on Consumer Spending

Chunky has been regaling us of late with historical facts. He has obviously been making good use of school library time. Note to self: History Channel summer viewing in lieu of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody reruns. We discussed D-Day and it's meaning at dinner this evening and Chunky was all too excited to share his knowledge of Pearl Harbor when hubby mentioned WWII. Chunky then asked about the economy and what was wrong with it. I have a BBA in economics, but was stumped on how to explain the economy in general let alone the current state to a 9-year old. It was a lot easier to explain WWII with the butter dish as Japan, a glass of lemonade as Hawaii and various food groups on his plate representing France, Germany and Russia. I made a lame attempt to explain, but lost him somewhere between supply and demand. Tonight I'll be reading this. And this. Hopefully it will prevent me from being voted off smarter-than-a-3rd-grader island. Tune in next week.