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Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Be Sweet"

I have always told my kids... "Be Sweet" when I dropped them off at school or when they left to spend the night with a friend. I think all parents want their children to represent them well when they are out of eye shot. A Momma can always give a kid the eye that says 10 times more than anything a man could say with words, but when you're not there.... You just have to keep your fingers crossed and stay close to the phone just in case. So "Be Sweet" has been my official warning, along with "Make good choices". Earlier in the week I took my little Sailor to the doctor. I knew that they would probably have to dope her up before they began her treatment and flashbacks of when she had her wisdom teeth kept running through my head. My husband was bringing her home and she was totally looped out from the medication. He was guiding her up the front steps when the front
door opened. The lady who cleaned the house was there and had seen him walking up the steps. My daughter took one look at her and said... "I don't like you.... You're fired!" with the slurred speech of a drunken sailor. My husband (a man of few words) just smiled and rolled his eyes as he turned her in the direction of her room. So, when the nurse called her back the other day, I stood up, gave my daughter a hug and said... "Be sweet." She just smiled and promised she would try. Later when they called us back, she was curled up on the bed. I sat in the chair beside her bed and began feeding her ice chips. She looked up at me with those sweet little eyes (like she was 8 instead of 28) and said... "Momma, I wasn't ugly." It took me a second to figure out what she was talking about and she must have seen my confusion because she said... "The nurses said I didn't act ugly, I was sweet." Awe, she's still Momma's sweet little girl! No matter where she goes or how old she grows, she will always be Momma's little girl.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Raccoon at My Window

When I stumble into the bathroom in the morning, there is a masked face staring back at me, not in the mirror but in the window. The raccoon I was so intent on catching a glimpse of a few months ago, is now an ever present face watching me in the morning as I prepare for work as well as and in the evening when I prepare for bed. He's gotten used to us and doesn't even try to hide when we pop into the bathroom unexpectedly. This morning my Bulldog who is usually a Sleeping Beauty, wanted up bright and early at 5 a.m. I opened the back door and she charged out like a soldier on a mission. It was completely dark outside, I was still half asleep when she began ranting and raving in pure Bulldog fashion. I had just started to shut the door when I heard a deep growl that was eerily up close and
personal. I cracked the door back open, peeked out through sleepy eyes, when I saw a black mass standing 3 feet away on the banister surrounding our back porch. I closed the door again as I tried to will my brain to wake up. I peeked back out and tried to ascertain whether the black mass was a cat or something more sinister.  I decided that if the black mass was a cat, then it had spent entirely too much time drinking whiskey and smoking too many cigarettes. Riley was all riled up and throwing such a hissie fit she couldn't (or wouldn't) hear me demand that she back away from the very pissed Raccoon. Sailor (English Mastiff) was more than happy to stand behind me in the kitchen as I yelled at Riley. The raccoon was too close for me to attempt to walk out on the porch to drag her in. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of pleading, Riley ran back in the house, huffing and puffing like she had single handedly put the hurt on an army of giants.  I put everyone back in bed and decide it's way too early to be up in the first place so I go back to bed. Later in the morning when I told my husband about our early morning adventure, I could almost see his lip quiver as he bit back the words.... "I told you it wasn't a good idea to start feeding the raccoon."

Friday, September 23, 2011

We Celebrate!!!

Today I celebrate Barb! The one with a million dollar megawatt smile, the giggle of a Playboy Playmate and the enthusiasm of a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader. She is my workout partner, confidant, sounding board and my accountability partner. She is my friend because frankly she knows too much about me for me to allow otherwise. Most importantly today she is ANOTHER year older, therefore we celebrate! Happy Birthday Girlfriend!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mountain Air

Kind of a gloomy day today (inside and out). I thought about spinning out some dark, twisty, emotional poetry, but decided I'd let it simmer for a while. I will take my frustrations to the gym instead and hammer it out on a mountain climb. Mountain air mixed with sweat is so much more productive than the doom and gloom that can be conjured up with words. But they're in there, I promise they are, just begging to be released. Maybe another day but not today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Have You Heard the Story of the Compulsive Shopper and The E-Geek ?

Everybody has their own personal language. The well spoken person talks with calm precision and confidence. Pseudo experts recite facts they learned while staying at a Holiday Inn Express. Athletes reminisce about winning a race or game. Compulsive shoppers (:-) give you directions to the newest outlet mall (but they'd rather take you there in person). E-Geeks talk about drives, connections, routing and properties. Yep, every body speaks their own language but if you look hard enough you can usually find a common thread that transcends all language barriers. Such was the case with the Compulsive Shopper and the E-Geek.
Shopper to E-Geek...
  "Every time I click on the little picture thingy on my computer a message box thingy comes on that says something like it the driver thingy can't be found."
E-Geek to Shopper...
  "Now what have you done?"
Shopper to E-Geek...
  "I didn't do anything! I just tried to click on the program and stuff just started popping up but my program thing won't pop up."
E-Geek to Shopper...
  "Just re-boot your computer."
Shopper to E-Geek...
"Uh, I did re-boot my computer... I've been re-booting my computer for three months and it still won't open the program. I think something is wrong."
E-Geek to Shopper...
  "Uh-huh, you've done something wrong, you can't just go re-booting the computer all the time."
Shopper to E-Geek
  "Well, I was just doin what you told me to do. It's still not working."
E-Geek to Shopper...
  "You got any food over there in your department?"
Shopper to E-Geek...
  "I'd be happy to go buy some food if you think that would help."
E-Geek to Shopper
  "Yeah, you'd better do that and when you get back I'll come over and take a look at what you've done wrong."
Shopper to E-Geek
  "Really? You will? Great! I'll, Umm, I'll just go see if I can find some food. If I have food you will come look at my computer? Like for real, actually come to my desk and look at my computer?"
E-Geek to Shopper...
  "Yeah, I'm really busy because the drive that your program is on is down and everyone is complaining because their computers are locking up. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with something you've done, but if you have food, I should be able to tear myself away from waiting on the UPS guy to bring me the new server that's suppose to be here next week and come over to your department to see what you got." 
Shopper to E-Geek...
  "Golly! That would be just great! Thank you so much!"

Tug the one simple common thread between people from different realms and great things can and will happen.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Tapestry of a Beautiful Life

Life has a way of throwing things at you that you simply cannot prepare yourself for. Unlike made for TV movies, fairy tales and soap opera's, we aren't handed a script when we are born. We can't edit out the parts we don't like, we can't go back and do re-takes and we can't flip to the back of the script to see if we want a different ending. Unlike Reality TV, life is real and we never know from one second to the next what the next breath will bring and sometimes the next breath takes your breath away.  I've had a few moments that have hit me square in the gut.   During the times I've found myself in the whirlwind of uncertainty, all  I could do was throw myself at the foot of the cross and pray that somehow God would deliver me.  Instead, he took me through the eye of the storm and let me tell you.... I did protest much! There have been times, I've felt like a small child throwing a temper tantrum, kicking and screaming and wanting it my way... The way I had planned it. God had a different plan. When the verdict comes in, grace takes over and in spite of how I behaved, God had a plan. It's easy to be tossed on a sea of guilt and shame of could have, would have, should have, but that doesn't change the past. Oh how I wish I could go back in time and handle life with more grace, more poise, more faith!  Life really is a tapestry of the good, the bad and the ugly. One side of the masterpiece is a mass of knotted tangles where life intersects your dreams in an way that isn't always neat and tidy. On the other side of the tapestry you have the vignette of a beautiful life. Which side of the tapestry you choose to admire, is totally up to you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Feel Pretty

She feels prettier than she looks

What do you get when you mix several months of 100+ weather, narry a drop of rain (not a real word but if Kate Gosselin can make up words than so can I), 175lb English Mastiff who likes to waller (yep, another made up word) a 60lb English Bulldog (much like one does a rubber ball) around the dirt in Oklahoma?? You guessed it, A Red Dirt Bulldog. When I got Riley, She had a perfect Mickey Mouse fawn outline on her white background. I nixed all Disney names and went with "Oh Riley!" because she tended to be a handful. That was a smart choice because as she has grown (out, not up) her little Mickey Mouse outline looks more like a Hydrocephalic Mickey Mouse. It reminds me what probably happens when a 20 year old girl who is a size 0 decides to get a sunburst tatoo surrounding her navel.... Three
kids and several pant sizes later, it probably doesn't resemble anything akin to a sunburst (not speaking from personal experience here).  Last night was bath time and she was one red dirt mess. After towel drying her off, she zipped around the house at warp speed snorting like a rabid pig. My husband remarked that she sure was wound up! He doesn't speak Bulldog so I had to interpret... "Nope, she's just singing I Feel Pretty." "I feel pretty, Oh so pretty" Oh, wouldn't it be nice if every woman's body image could be cured by the simple act of taking a bubble bath.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chain Reaction

My husband left the house this morning with a kiss and instructions not to over do it so I'd feel like doing something fun when he got off work. I proceeded with my Saturday housecleaning routine. It all started innocent enough.... I just got the idea to move a piece of furniture which required me to move another piece of furniture and before I knew it and several hours later everything was in a different spot, my knees hurt and there was still a couple of areas I wasn't completely satisfied with. The thing about being an impulsive person is when you get a notion to do something, patience doesn't exactly come into play. Once I moved one piece of furniture, there was no way I was waiting until my husband got home to move everything else. The furniture we have now, isn't exactly light weight and when I took a notion to move a sofa chair upstairs, the only way to get it there
was to manhandle it. Thank God for old hardwood floors. It's easy to scooch furniture around from hither to yon without having to pick it up... mostly. Granted it takes a lot of pushing, pulling, tipping and pivoting, but it can be a one woman job if you're impatient enough and woman enough to do it.  Yea, I fit that bill. I was lounging in our newly arranged living room when he walked in the door. He liked what I had done with the place and commented that he really liked the fact that I had done it when he wasn't home. When I grilled him as to why, he simply stated that I "got in a zone" when I was doing stuff like that and it made him nervous. I thought this was just his polite way of saying I was cranky or something, and I was totally prepared to defend myself. I may become focused and zoned, but I'm not cranky when I'm decorating (as long as you don't try to talk to me and
break my zone). Finally, after continued questioning he rephrased it and said I just became very driven when I'm doing something creative. I totally agree. This is why I prefer to  fly solo on creative projects, my creative juices have a tendency overflow leaving others in a flood of confusion. I  move, unmove, shift, flip and rotate until I get it right. I talk to myself, answer myself and reason things out loud. When other people are around they make the mistake of thinking I'm asking their opinion and Oh, that could not be farther from the truth. Anyway, there is a few minor tweaks that need to be done, but I'll be able to sleep on them tonight, it's not something I'm driven to finish today. It's just funny how moving one little thing to a different spot will start a chain reaction that leads to big, unexpected changes.  There's something very satisfying about a chain reaction like that.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

The Labor Day weekend brought a much needed and appreciated cool front to Oklahoma. By cool front I mean it actually dropped below 100 degrees for the first time in 3 months. This has been the longest, hottest summer I can remember. This is one of those summers that people will say 40 years from now.... "Remember the summer of 11?" It actually felt a little weird being outside and not wanting to turn right around and run back to the house. I was able to take my dogs for a nice walk and enjoy a cool breeze. I've always loved Fall, but I'm looking forward to it more than usual. This summer has been just a tad claustrophobic for me and being outside in the wide open space is sounding mighty good.


How you take things, just depends on your perspective.For instance, to celebrate the 50th birthday of my boss, we decorated the office with pictures from his past. I sneaked over to his house in the dead of night and posted "Honk at me I'm 50 today" on his pristine truck. My co-workers and I went to the daily yard meeting and surprised him with a breakfast pot-luck and a beautiful birthday cake. Later in the day he mentioned that he felt a little picked on. I had
People were extra friendly
to explain to him that he shouldn't feel picked on, he should just "feel the love":-) We hadn't picked on him all day, we had celebrated him all day... Wink, Wink. It would have just been rude to ignore him on such an important day. Okay, so maybe the OSU cake was a little bit of a dig, seeing how he is such a die hard OU fan, but, well... I just
Smile till it hurts
couldn't resist. In all of the celebrating that was done, I think the cake was the hardest bite to swallow. LOL! But, he did indeed swallow it in the best spirit of a good sport... (Which is so very unlike a Sooner).

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cooking a Cat, Yes! System Failure No!

I was being so careful... Well, by my standards I was being careful, by others, not so much.I was playing in the makeup again, having a big ole time painting my nails. The bedroom looked like a paint ball factory had exploded. I was trying out my new gel nail polish system, my toes were wrapped in foil and all of my nail paraphernalia was strung out all over the bed and the bedroom floor. I had spread a towel over the bedspread just in case I spilled the acetone I was using. Did you know that acetone will eat through just about anything (except gel nail polish) in 3.5 milliseconds flat? It will! I have proof! Although I had put protective covering on the bed, I didn't think to use a stinking tarp or something over the bedroom furniture. Of course I accidentally dribbled a little bit of acetone on the night stand and wiped it up immediately... TOO LATE! Boy howdie, why I didn't use that stuff when we were removing the paint from the kitchen cabinets is beyond me. It's probably the best kept secret in the
restoration of old houses. If it's not, then it should be. The thing that really ticks me off (besides my inability to do anything without making a mess) is my bedroom furniture is pretty new. I went downstairs and Googled "How to Remove Acetone Stains From Wood?"... Yeah,it's going to require some sanding and stuff. I went back up to finish my toes and my husband comes in the bedroom, walks over to my of the bed and looks at the mess I've created on the floor(nail sparkles), looks at the nightstand, then looks at me. I just smiled, cause that's what I do. Then he tells me that he just happened to look at our Internet history and saw "How to Remove Acetone Stains From Wood" and figured that I had
another "Lucille Ball" moment. Stuff just happens! Today he emailed me and asked... "Lucille, were you cooking a cat when you were home at lunch?" Apparently I left my straightening iron on and it was smoking when he came home for lunch... Deep sigh. To
top my week off, our I.T. guy comes into my office today to try to figure out why every time I attempt to get into one particular program, it shuts down the HR system:-)"Oh, Jackie... What have you done now?" Hey! I'm happy to take the blame for something that I've screwed up (Lord, it seems like that in itself is a full time job), but I shouldn't have to take the blame for an entire system failure. I admit that I have a knack for.. uh, demolition work, but system failure is a whole other thing. I totally plead innocent of that charge.