Tuesday, December 18, 2007

no matter

how many times I check my calendar, it still says that Christmas is only a week away! AAAACK! I'm nowhere near ready!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
ready or not... here it comes!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

does Victoria's Secret make a 38 long??

LOL! another gem in my in-box this weekend -this one forwarded to me by my hubs...


Monday, October 29, 2007

You might be a redneck...

...if your underpants also double as your undershirt. lol!

Pfffft! What do you wanna bet that s/he's clutching a bottle of Jack Daniel's?!

...totally cracks me up that someone, a.) made a tank top from their (hopefully clean) under-showts 2.) actually put them on, and c.) was SEEN IN PUBLIC!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm FREAKing out, here!

The freaks over at ScrapFreak named me the FREAKoftheWeek!
...and that, my friends, is pretty freakin' cool! :)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

only the best invention EVER!

First off, let me say that I love our cats -they're pretty stinkin' cool (the emphasis here, being on 'stinkin'). They've each got their own distinct personalities;

Thomas, who we acquired from my Pop when he moved up here, is a grumpy, old curmudgeon who will hiss at his own shadow but loves to be loved on if you just take the time to let him get to know you. And then there's

Chester, who we adopted as a teeny little kitten, and is now a big, squishy, love bug who will tolerate just about anything we dish out.

I love to snuggle and love them up -they're awesome furballs. Well, they're mostly awesome -with the exception of one, not so little thing. They REEK -and I'm talkin paint peeling, noxious, REEKAGE. Frankly, I'm surprised the EPA hasn't come knocking on my door, inquiring about the death cloud that hangs over my house in the shape of a skull and cross bones. -and yes, ...it's THAT bad.

Of course, when it comes to cleaning the kitty crapper, it seems no one loves these vermin. There are eyerolls and then the whole 'I didn't want a cat, did YOU want a cat?!' thing starts. Unfortunately, our house is configured in such a way that the kitty loo is located in a public area of the house, so it has to be kept clean, but it's getting more and more difficult to get the kids to keep up with this chore.


After months of trying to justify kicking down the dough, I finally bit the bullet and bought this:

It's a self cleaning litterbox -which is actually a bit of a misnomer, since technically, I still have to dump out the poop bin a couple of times a week -but I won't haggle over this minor detail because I'm so happy that my house isn't filled with the stench of cat bombs anymore. We've also added the 'kitty cabana' which is a glorified privacy tent, to keep this marvel of technology out of view.

So, here's how it works: the cats hop in, do their thang, a sensor 'sees' when the cat jumps out and several minutes later, after the clumping kitty litter has time to uhm,...clump (gag), the 'magic rake' revs up (it sounds like a remote control car), and makes it's way across the box, carting the "deposits" into the "vault".

The bonus here? It's not only functional, but fun, too! When Ches hears the rake start up, he runs like a crazy beast to go watch it -lol! Tom on the other hand is not impressed and has been having a hard time adjusting to the magic crap remover. He's so jumpy that, just knowing the thing is going to move in, oh... 10 minutes, he's afraid to get in. *sigh* nothing's ever really easy, is it?!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

How creative am I?

76% -hmmph who knew? ...and all this time I thought my mojo had gone missing!

You Are 76% Creative

You are beyond creative. You are a true artist - even if it's not in the conventional sense of the word.

You love creating for its own sake, and you find yourself quite inspired at times.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger

Today I was tagged a "Rockin' Girl Blogger" by my new FREAKY friend, Suzy. Thanks girlie :)

So it is my duty to pass it onto five people.
1. Shayna Lou
2. Tone
3. James
4. Dawn
5. Bethany

You're all rockin' bloggers so enjoy your awards, ladies. Put them on your blog, wear them proudly, and pass them on down!

5 things

Fun little blog challenge that was posted over at ScrapFreak-

Name 5 favorite television shows:

1. The Sopranos (started watching this on A&E -omg LOVE it but hate waiting a week between episodes so I may have to start renting the DVD's)
2. Greys -still havent seen the last season -waiting for it to come out on DVD.
3. Forensic Files, First 48, CSI -any of the who dunnit kinds of shows. Love learning about all the ways they track people down and solve murders/crimes. TOTALLY makes me wish I'd gone into the field of criminalistics.
4. Desperate Housewives was always fun -haven't watched last season yet and haven't heard much buzz so I'm worried it's gonna suck.
5. Will and Grace -love to catch the reruns on late night tv except I usually laugh so much, it's hard for me to get to sleep.

Name 4 favorite memories:

1. Without a doubt, the pregnancy and birth of each of my kids. Absolutely loved being pregnant and would do it again and again if I could.
2. Family vacations -love getting away and experiencing a few carefree days together.
3. Christmas '94 when my hubs surprised me with my Abby dog. She was wearing a big plaid bow and ran to meet me as I came down the stairs Christmas morning. I was so surprised -it was love at first site.
4. The last two trips I took back to see my mom. We talked and laughed and cried... kind of bittersweet still, but so precious.

Name 3 things you want to do before you die:

1. See my kids grow up to be happy and successful. Hopefully see them married and having babies of their own -that I get to snuggle, squeeze and spoil rotten.
2. Visit Europe -a long visit so I can soak everything in, see TONS of stuff and take a zillion pics.
3. Own my own (extremely successful) business.

Give 2 names that you would use NOW if you were going to have a new addition to the family:

1. Restif Cleaning Co.
2. City Ambulance
Suffice to say, if I were to announce that we were expecting a 'new addition', my hubs would either shit or have a heart attack!

Name the one thing that you're working on now to improve your life:

1. Concentrating on 'the big picture' and what I want from life -working toward that goal even if it's just baby steps -not waiting for it to come to me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Good times ...gooood times.

I spent the last few days with my bestest pal Shayna Lou, chatting about everything -and about nothing at all, just chillin and laughing at the stoooopidest stuff -there's just nothing like hangin with a good friend ...good times. Honestly, any chick who would brave 9 hours in the car, with 2 of her offspring, to come visit me and my hooligans, ...erm -family, in the fog and gloom, is pretty freakin cool, don'tcha think?!

We had lots of fun just layin low, not doing much of anything -which is one of the things I totally dig about her -we don't have to *do* anything but we still manage to have fun. We're just cool like that. :) One afternoon we managed to sneak into town (kid free! oo-weee, ooo-weee!) and browse the aisles of the local scrap store. Notice how I say we 'browsed'? Yeah, well, that's because I refuse to admit that I purchased even so much as a really cool set of giant paperclips to alter... nope, not gonna admit to anything. See, it was brought to my attention (more than once -lol!) that I am currently the weiner in the unoffical scrap-crap hoarding competition that we always seem to be having -lol! WHATEVER -I still think it's a pretty close race. Yeah, my name is Leafa and I'm in denial.

On the plus side of things, I was inspired (or was it pressured -lol!) to alter a picture frame, whilst Shayna knocked out the key-utest little altered box the other day. It's a plus because I haven't touched my scrap stuff in MONTHS! -just haven't had the creative mojo workin lately... felt good to get in and create a little bit and the ideas definitely started flowing the more I picked through my scrap stuff. My frame isn't completely done yet -just a few little touches to add... might be able to get in and finish it up tomorrow. I'm actually looking forward to creating again. :) I'll miss having my partner in crime to chat with while I play though.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Candy from Strangers

pfffft! -anyone got a quarter?!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tempting as it may seem...

just say 'No' to crack!

a bit of closure

Mom's funeral was simple but beautiful. My Aunt Phyllis played the organ while she and my Uncle Darrel sang a duet. Uncle Darrel also sang a solo that was incredible. It's hard to believe he's 80 years old -he's definitely still got it goin on -lol! Mom didn't want flowers -just a single rose upon her casket. I got her a beautiful orange-ish rose with a bit of greenery -it even smelled pretty!

After the service we drove in procession behind the hearse to the cemetery. I was touched to see the respect that folks in the south still show by pulling off to the side of the road -even the on-coming traffic pulled to the shoulder and stopped. One man on the opposite side of the road even took his hat off -now that's class! :)

We weren't at the cemetery all that long. The pastor read a few passages and a poem, said a prayer and it was time to go. At that point, my Uncle Darrel handed me the rose from on top of my mother's casket and said 'for peace' -it was a gesture of kindness I'll remember forever.

From the cemetery, we all headed back to the house -which is probably no more than a mile away. Our friends Mindy and Anne had gone ahead after the service to get everything set up for lunch. They were such a help -really, really good people! When we got back to the house, Aunt Ruby put Mom's rose in a pretty little vase to show it off. There was tons of food and of course, sweet tea. As we ate, we looked at pictures and swapped stories about what a great gal my mom was. It was a nice afternoon.

That evening, my Uncle Bob's family came into town and stopped by for dinner. They were on their way back home to upstate New York, after spending a week at their place in Florida (must be nice, eh? lol!). We had a huge dinner of BBQ chicken and leftovers from earlier in the day and of course, we did some more reminiscing about my mom. One thing I've noticed about folks in the south... when someone dies, everyone starts cooking, food gets delivered to the family and then then they eat and eat and eat and EAT -lol! Seriously, I've never seen anything like it!

After dinner when it was a bit cooler out, I took a walk up the road to see Mom one last time before my early morning flight back to California. I think that was almost more difficult than her funeral. Needing to let go of some of my grief, I sat down in the grass and had a good cry. Finally, in the twilight, I stood up, brushed myself off, laid the rose at her grave and said goodbye.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

It's been a good day :)

Went to church this morning and then to Sunday school with my Aunt. When my mom was well she used to attend the same class so, many of ladies knew her and offered their condolences -so sweet. Throughout the morning, many other people flagged us down and expressed their sympathies, as well -my mom would have been touched to know how many people cared about her.
Aunt June and I went shopping this afternoon and bought the plates and napkins for the get together they're having here after Mom's funeral tomorrow. I know my mom wouldn't want everyone to be mourning -at least not in the typical sense -so we bought pretty, floral plates and bright orange napkins (orange was her favorite color). We also found some mints -like the kind you get after a meal in a restaurant- in bright yellow packages with a smiley face on them. Now, you might think that's sort of tacky but my Mom would have laughed -she would love the idea that we're celebrating her life and the fact that she's no longer held back from all the things she loved to do. Kind of the 'Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happended." philosophy, I guess. We're also going to put out a bunch of pictures and snapshots for people to look at. I wish I'd thought to bring some of the pictures I have, from home. But then again, it isn't really one of those things you think about when you're packing at a moments notice, y'know what I mean? *sigh* Oh, well.
While we were out, we bought a bunch of thank you notes, too. I'm sure I'll have permanent writers cramp by the time I'm done thanking everyone for everything. Anyway, this paper shop has cards you can buy individually, in bulk. Such a cool way to do it. I got a ton of cards -I hope I can find enough room for them in my already over-stuffed luggage -lol!
Okay... enough slacking. I'm off to help clean up for tomorrow.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

a debt of gratitude

Thank God for my family.
Making the arrangements for Mom's funeral has been a whirlwind experience. I've only been to a handful of funerals so I would have no idea where to even begin if it weren't for my Aunt June. She's handled just about everything and been a great help to me in the few tasks I've had to tackle. The funeral is on Monday morning at 10:30 followed by the burial and then everyone will come to the house. The cemetery is just down the road about a mile or so -easily within walking distance, so I'm sure my Aunts will visit her often. It might seem kinda weird but it makes me feel better knowing that she'll still be close by her family. From the cemetery I can see the trees at the bottom of my Aunts' driveway.
Today has been more normal... well maybe not "normal" but more calm I guess. Lots of phone calls and making lists of thank you cards to send. Making notes of who's who because I know I'll never be able to remember once I'm back home. One thing's for sure... there are lots of good people back here in TN.

I'm looking forward to getting back home. The kids have been having waaaay too much fun at the lake without me -hhmmmph! The temperature has been in the 100+ degree range -I'm NOT sorry I'm missing out on that! They tell me they've been riding dirt bikes early in the morning before it gets too hot, then heading down to the lake to wake board, ski and swim the rest of the day. I'm sure they'll all be little brown nuts by the time I see them next.

Friday, July 6, 2007

July 5th became her Independence Day

Hey all -just a quick check in to let you know that my mom quietly passed away thursday morning. Her condition began to rapidly deteriorate last friday which was when I got the call that she wasn't doing well. I had a hard time getting a flight out of our little podunk town till monday morning.

After about 13 hours of traveling, I got into Tennessee at about 11pm monday night and got to see her at about 11:30 or so. My Aunt June told me that she kept telling Mom to hang on till I could get here but, things were getting bad so fast, she wasn't sure she'd be able to -but Mom was a fighter and she held on for me. When I got to her bedside she was awake and her big smile told me that she recognized me :) she was able to hug me and sort of whisper that she was so glad to see me. I'll cherish that always.

Tuesday and wednesday she was mostly unresponsive with the exception of a couple of times she was able to let us know she wanted water, which we gave her through a modified syringe. Her system began shutting down and by thursday her breathing was so shallow it was almost imperceptible -the machine that was supplying her with oxygen was the only thing keeping her alive. At that point I made the most difficult decision of my life and decided it was time to let her go. With my Uncle Darrel, his wife Phyllis, my Aunt June, Aunt Ruby and her husband Bob and I, gathered around Mom's bed, we held her hands and said goodbye. About 30 minutes later she was finally at peace.

As difficult as these last few days have been I feel an almost strange sense of peace, myself. Aside from knowing Mom's in a better place, free from all the machines and treatments she endured multiple times a day, I'm so grateful my prayers were answered and she didn't struggle or linger on and I'm especially honored that I was with her.

Yesterday and today we've had so many visits and phone calls from people expressing their sympathy. It warms my heart to know how loved she was by so many people and I'm deeply proud to have been her daughter.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

summertime and the livin is easy... and really, really busy!

Holy moly! Can't believe it's been almost 3 mos since I updated this thing. Lot's of things happening around Rancho McBirdie as of late... After a rough patch with some kid issues, we *seem* to have things under control again (knock on wood!) and we're cautiously optimistic that we're getting everything back on track -time will tell. Thank goodness for my meds and margi's... that's all I'm sayin'!

Summers up here on the north coast are anything but typical compared to what I grew up with in the Sacramento Valley. We get a real mixed bag when it comes to weather and it changes at a moments notice. The most obvious difference to me is the mild temperatures -high 50's to mid 60's, usually. We get lots of clouds, fog, wind... rarely does everything align and leave us with a 'typical' summer day of sunshine and warm temps. That said... we've had some awesome weather lately, we pretty much stay outside from early morning till it's too dark to see -lol!

We've been keeping busy the past couple of weeks, tearing out our front walkway, big ol' rock bordered planters and some of our lawn. Finally got our new walkway/patio poured yesterday. We had the slab stamped with a slight texture pattern. We're getting ready to go out and pressure wash all the dye powder off, so I'm kind of excited to see how it came out. Either way, it'll be nice not to have to walk through re-bar and gravel to get to the front door! :)

When we started the front yard project, Jack borrowed a backhoe from a neighbor to do all the heavy demo work. While he's had it, he's also been working on the kids' track down in the lower field. The kids have been on their dirt bikes non-stop -even the neighbor kids are hauling their bikes over to ride -it's not huge, but it's pretty cool and the kids love it!

A couple of months ago, Jack and the kids planted a beautiful vegetable garden -it's huge! With the exception of a few things, it's really filling in nicely. The bell peppers and carrots were duds this time 'round, but I think there may still be time to get some started. Yesterday, Jack and Matt got the garden weeded -no small chore! I can't wrap my head around how the weeds manage to grow *so* much faster than the stuff they've carefully tended and given all the TLC to -it's crazy I tell ya!

While the guys were busy bonding over concrete and garden chores yesterday, I spent my day running through the mall scrounging for summer wear. Granted, even on a good day, I have trouble finding clothes that I like (ie: that fit), but factor in that it's July and the stores are already getting in sweaters and clothes for fall... I was doomed before I even started. I did manage to find a couple of tops and some mediocre capri's but I swear, I must have tried on hundreds of different things. Ahhh, for the days of my youth, when I had to actually decide between items because they ALL fit! *sigh* (note to self: must start exercise regime immediately!)

Tomorrow morning I'm heading out to TN for a week or so to be with my Mom and the rest of my TN fam. I'm dreading the long flights but I spent some time wandering through Borders yesterday and bought tons of books to keep me occupied. I understand my Mom is almost constantly sleeping now so I'm sure the extra reading material will come in handy.

Tuesday, Jack is taking the kids up to Trinity Lake to spend several days with friends, boating and riding dirt bikes. I'm disappointed to miss out on that time with them but wouldn't miss this chance to see my mom for anything.

I really need to get busy, I've got lots of stuff to get done today. I've got lists to make, laundry to do, packing... yuck, the fish tank needs a good scrub,... and the fridge needs to be cleaned out... ugh... maybe I should nap first.
Okay... my update has turned into a novella and now It's past noon... oops! there goes my nap!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Oh shit... I'm 'it'

Ok, so I was tagged a couple of weeks ago by my pal La-dee-fricken-da to share 7 random facts/habits about myself (gee, thanks La -lol!).
This was a great exercise of proving just how boring I am -lol! Extra points to anyone who doesn't fall asleep before #7 ;)

1. I love animals -just about anything but spideys and snakes. Elephants are prolly my favorite.
2. I'm fascinated with forensic science -I want to be Kay Scarpetta -lol!
3. Gardening is one of my favorite pastimes. I gravitate towards plants that are scented (I love Lavender and Pineapple Sage) and I like to plant things that will attract birds and butterflies to my yard -which happens to have several bird feeders stationed around it -I'm getting good at identifying the birds that visit.
4. I enjoy scrapbooking but somewhere along the line I became more obsessed with shopping for supplies than actually using them. Lets just say I could be driving a luxury car, were it not for my scrap fetish -lol.
5. I have a giant sweet tooth -love me all kinds of candy but I only chew sugarless gum.
6. Heights scare the bejeebers out of me.
7. I'm a dictionary geek. I love to flip thru the dictionary and learn new words and what they mean.

Monday, April 9, 2007

alive and kicking...

Thought I'd better update here before my picture shows up on the side of a milk carton -lol! Things are good... it's been a busy month.

We had a great Easter. Colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, gorgeous weather and lots of kidlets running amok ...good times!

Last week we had a visit from my niece and her hubby. They're newlyweds and this was the first time we had met the groom. Turns out he's a pretty nice guy and he held up pretty well while we razzed him a little and grilled him about his life history... we think we'll let her keep him -lol! It was lots of fun having them here.

The weather has been pretty nice so I've been doing a little bit of light gardening. Mostly just the window boxes and the containers on the front porch and out on the patio. I love having the yard full of flowers... now if I can just remember to water them. :D Jack and the kids have been busy getting the big garden ready to plant, hauling in manure (as if there wasn't plenty of THAT around here already! -lol!) and loads of top soil. It's looking pretty impressive so far... Matt and Kendall can hardly wait to go buy seeds and plants.

Other than the regular kid stuff, and dr. appointments, I think that's pretty much the gist of what's been going on in our neck of the woods. Having to slow down was a total pain (literally -lol!) at first but in reality it's been a good thing. I've finally caught up with things around here and I'm even starting to feel (a little bit) creative again -nothing major but definitely some sparks. I just need to remember to take baby steps and not get overwhelmed because that's when I make myself crazy... and not in a good way ;)

If you've made it this far, thanks for checking in :) With any kind of luck I'll do better at keeping this updated... don't hold your breath though ;)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

sunshine on my shoulders...

Today was just what I needed to shake off my winter funk- a warm, sunny, quiet ...gorgeous day. It felt so good to open up the doors and let the fresh air and sunshine fill up the house. The best part about it was that we were expecting "partly cloudy skies" -which up here, almost always translates to gray, cloudy and cold. This is one time I don't mind that the weather man was wrong!
Having been out of commission with my back problems for the past couple of weeks, chores were piling up around here. I managed to get caught up on a few things today -getting back on track, little by little. My mountain of laundry is now just a little mole hill, the porch lights are in working order again, the clocks are all re-set for daylight savings time, the houseplants have been fed and my kitchen isn't quite as scary as it had been. Still lots to be done, but all in all a good day.
I don't have anything on my calendar for tomorrow (yet!)so I'm planning on spending some time in my scraproom. I have some projects to finish-up and then I need to go through and finish culling things out. There's so much in there that I never even touch -it's gotten to the stage where it's too overwhelming to even attempt to be creative. Spring cleaning starts tomorrow!
It's just after 6pm -well into the cocktail hour :D We're out the door to a b-b-q with some friends -gonna soak up all the goodness this day can hold! :)
Peace out!

Monday, March 5, 2007

life could be a dream

sh-boom sh-boom...Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da

So... the weirdest thing happened to me today -it was a deja vu thing and it immediately made me think back to a time just after I'd had my first child, and I was learning to cope with the fact that I was now responsible for another human being. I remember having these crazy dreams where I was running around the house, in a hurry to go somewhere (because I am ALWAYS in a hurry) and in my rush, I'd hop in the car and speed off, only to realize I'd left the baby at home. I'd wake up in a cold sweat, my heart racing, tripping over myself to get to the nursery so I could be sure that it was indeed, just a bad dream and that my precious bundle was safely snuggled in his crib. One time I dreamt that I'd driven off and left the infant seat up on top of the car, with the baby in it -like it was just another one of those forehead thumping, 'gee, I know I'm forgetting something' moments.
As the months rolled by and I got more comfortable in my role as a mom, those 'oops I forgot my baby' dreams became less frequent and I went back to run of the mill dreams like the ones where I showed up at school and then realized I wasn't wearing pants...
So getting back to the point of this story, and yes, there *is* a point here somewhere... The AM routine around Rancho McBirdie can be a leeetle hectic -which is actually a gross understatement when you stop to consider that I have never been a morning person. I finally manage to drag me arse out of bed at about 7am -after no less than 3 warnings from the snooze alarm. I stumble downstairs to check that everyone's had breakfast, brushed their teef, packed a lunch, ...and put on pants. When we're ready to roll, Andrew is the first one out the door. He starts the car and warms it up for the rest of us. Kendall is next out the door and runs -knees and elbows flying every which way- to be sure she gets to the car before Matt, so she doesn't have to walk ALL THE WAY AROUND the car and sit on the {gasp} *OTHER* side. Matt schleps around to the other side with me. I hop in, get the i-pod tuned in, buckle up and once I hear Matt's door close, I proceed to turn the car around and head down the driveway. Ah... we're on our way, we're on time, life is good.

And then...

my phone rings.

Oh, yeah, uh-huh...it's Matt-man -the one who's right behind me in the backseat. He's always clowning around like that. I'm just about ready to ream him for wasting cell phone minutes - I mean c'mon! ...we're sitting in the same car, for pete's sake! But, something seems strange -I hear his voice on the phone, what I don't hear... is any sound coming from his spot in the backseat of the car...


I slam on the brakes, sending the car into a pretty impressive skid down our dirt road and scream into the phone "OH. MY. GAWD! MATT?!! WHERE...ARE...YOU?!!" -at the same time, craning my head around to be sure he's not laughing his ass off at me for falling for another one of his pranks. By now the other two kids are looking around trying to figure out what the hell is going on -and: Hey! WHERE is Matt?!!

Ugh ...have I mentioned I'm not a morning person??

Headed downhill on a gravel road, it's nearly impossible to back up so Matt has to run down to the car. When he gets in, he's talking a mile a minute about being freaked that I would just drive off... We finally figure out exactly what happend and we all start to laugh. It seems that when Matt came around the car with me, rather than get in, he threw his stuff in, shut the door and ran off to feed his chickens -just took off, without saying a word. Kendall and Andrew were playing with their i-Pods (read: completely oblivious) and I just assumed, when I heard the door shut, that Matt had climbed inside. NONE of us realized he wasn't in the car until my phone rang!
AAAACK! I'll never get that Mother of the Year award at this rate!

I'm hoping my next deja vu has something to do with those dreams I have of winning the lottery! :D

Monday, February 26, 2007

it's good to be home

I'm sure it'll take a few days to get back to normal... whatever that is, but it's good to be home ...piles of laundry, bickering kids, wicked weather and all -it just feels good to be back.
My flight out of Charlotte, NC yesterday ended up being delayed by just over an hour, which put me into San Fran literally, MINUTES too late to board my flight home... the stinkin plane was still sitting at the gate but a few of us were bumped to a later flight because the doors had already been closed. It all worked out and I was able to get onto the next flight out. It was beautiful flying beneath the blue sky and above the thick white clouds. Just a few bumps on the descent, we landed just after the sun had set. It was pouring rain and just after we touched down a rip of lightning lit up the sky! My girl was waiting out in the rain for me as I came off the plane... hubs was a bit less enthusiastic and waited alongside the terminal just under cover of the roof...wimp. (kidding... I would have done the same!)
We drove home thru an incredible rain and hail storm -kind of exciting, actually. I guess there's been no shortage of rain while I've been gone. There's lots of water standing in the fields at the wildlife refuge across the road and the forecast calls for rain thru the end of the week... maybe we should get started on an Ark?
Got home and checked in on Pop. He's funny, he didn't do much all week but had lots to chat about. I think he might of missed me just a little bit, lol!
The boys were home, waiting for me. I got to hear about all their comings and goings this week -which included a double date for one of them -aaack! lol! Even though I talked to the kids a few times while I was gone, I missed all them *SO* much. I swear they look different -even after just 8 days.
After being on the go for about 20 hours yesterday, I tell ya, when my head hit the pillow last night, it was an almost instant lights out. I woke up at about 4:20am to an earthquake -which ended up being centered about 32 miles west of here. I called Pop to check on him and he actually thought someone might have crashed into his trailer! He's just not used to our earthshakes up here on the coast, yet -lol! Thank goodness we had no damage around here. I looked on the USGS website this morning and it's listed as a magnitude 5.4 -we had another, smaller quake just after 8am -I was driving, so didn't feel it, but it was listed as a 2.9.
Rain, hail, earthquakes... it's still good to be home. ;)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

morning came waaaay too early...

Got up at 4am to catch my 6am flight from TN to NC ...I feel like a zombie. I never did really get set to east coast time during this trip since mom and I stayed up late each night talking, laughing, crying. Last night was no exception, we didn't say our goodnight's until close to 1am and I couldn't quiet my mind for some time after that. The alarm was set for 4am but I was awake a good 10 minutes before -I guess I was afraid I'd be so zonked I'd sleep thru it. lol!
The visit was bittersweet... wonderful to see her and spend time together and at the same time, difficult to deal with the idea that it might be our last chance to hold each other and say those things we so often hold back. We squeezed a lot in these past few days and for now, I'm planning another trip this spring...
Right now I'm in rainy Charlotte, North Carolina. Local time is just past 9am. My flight to San Francisco was sched. for 9:20am but as of now has been bumped to 9:40am due to a delay out of Boston. Last night there were tornado warnings for Arkansas, Missouri, and northwest Tennessee (I was in northeast TN). I only saw a bit of news but it looks like a couple of tornadoes have ripped thru parts of Arkansas... skeeery stuff for this westcoast girl. I really feel for those people... can't imagine experiencing that kind of chaos and devastation. That said... hopefully the wild weather won't cause a problem with my travel plans... I'm beyond ready to see my babies.
This is a pretty big airport... the people watching is good. Think I'll go stretch my legs a bit before I'm stuck on the plane for 6+ hours.

Before I sign off, I want to send out a huge thank you to all of you who have posted and e-mailed me over the course of the past several days. Your kindness and support means so much to me. Love you guys! xoxo

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

enough with the drama already...

Woke up this morning with puffy eyes and a headache -something of an emotional hangover, I guess. Thank goodness the emotions are in check again -for now anyway. I don't know why it is that I fight to hold back tears, even when I'm alone. I just hate to give in but sometimes it's good to just let go and get it over with.

Today was spent at home with mom and Aunt June. Mom and I watched a lot of tv and played several hands of Skip-Bo, her favorite card game. Tonight it's more tv... maybe a little ice cream after her last breathing treatment of the day.
Aunt June was a busy bee... as usual, today. This morning she made muffins from scratch and this afternoon she made some homemade Tomato soup for tomorrow's lunch. A couple of gals who have kind of adopted my mom and her sisters are coming for a visit and lunch. I've already scored a couple of recipies to take home. I'm always amazed at the way my aunt's cook and yet their kitchen is always clean. They make it look so effortless. Each time I step into the kitchen I leave a path of destruction in my wake. I should definitely be taking notes.
Aunt June is taking ice cream orders... chocolate cherry cordial for me and black walnut for mom...

Monday, February 19, 2007


Today flew by... I can hardly believe I've been in TN 2 days already -the time is speeding by way too fast and there's so much left to do, left to say.
I'm visiting my mom and my Aunt June this week. Not a visit I wanted to make but a necessary one. My mom is sick -she's been sick for several years now, but just recently her illness has advanced to the point that time is a precious commodity. My mom lives here with both of her sisters, and her brother in law. They brought her back here to TN so that they could care for her as her illness has progressed. My Aunt June was an RN in San Francisco for many years and now she and my Aunt Ruby are mom's primary care givers. They get her up in the morning, prepare her meals, bathe her, give her her meds and breathing treatments -Aunt June even draws her blood here at the house because she isn't able to go anywhere unless it's by ambulance. Beyond all of that, they love her -sincerely and without judgement.
My mom was a smoker most of her life. Even when she was diagnosed with emphazima, she continued to smoke. She tried several times to quit smoking but she's always been a nervous person, going without made her anxious, she lacked the will power. I think she had the "it'll never happen to me" attitude. I mean, it wasn't like it was cancer or anything...right? She got sick pretty often -always ended up with a deep cough that would rattle her body -she broke ribs every so often because of the violent coughing spells. She'd get pneumonia and ended up in the hospital several times. I don't think she ever associated it with her smoking. Denial is a powerful thing.
Finally her dr suggested that she use supplemental oxygen. She didn't have to use it all the time, just when she was doing something strenuous and felt out of breath. Her dr. told her that the smoking had to stop -and it did, for awhile. Pretty soon she was sneaking out for a quick smoke -just half a cig, no big deal... then back in, for a few minutes of oxygen. This went on for a couple of years until she had to use the oxygen anytime she went out, grocery store, dr. visits, hair dresser... she had to haul the CO2 tank.
We all tried to talk to her about the smoking and offer support if she would just quit... but she was defensive and felt as if we were attacking her each time we brought it up. The subject was taboo.
One year, she came up to spend the Christmas holidays with me and my family. While she was with us she got sick. I took her into the ER and she was admitted. She was in the hospital with pneumonia again... She was in there for several days this time. Long enough to scare her and get her over that hump (with the aid of an anxiety reliever) to quit smoking. She was so proud of herself (and believe me, so was I!) when she realized that this time it was working... she still had the urge to smoke, but it was manageable. Of course now she was to the point that she was on oxygen full time. She had to get an oxygen machine because the tanks weren't enough anymore.
As her health declined, we talked about her coming up to live with me and my family so I could care for her. At that time she was still mobile and taking care of herself but she was tethered to that machine and even with a portable CO2 tank, it was too difficult for her to leave home to do errands, grocery shopping etc.
One thing lead to another and I got a call one day from my aunts. They had been talking for quite awhile about mom's need for more advanced care and they wanted my blessing to bring her out to TN. My first reaction was NO WAY. My mom and I lived 6 hours apart but we were very close, talking on the phone at least once a day. I'd take the kids down to visit her and my dad just about every time the kids had a break from school... I wanted her to come to me. The more we talked the more I began to see all the thought that had gone into their plans. My Aunt June had the medical background that would be necessary to keep mom at home for as long as possible and Aunt Ruby would be able to help out in other ways -together they would be able to offer her a peaceful, healthy, and loving home. I could offer her an abundance of love but with 3 kids and a busy household, the peace would be rare and with all the germs kids bring home, the healthy thing was not likely. So, with a heavy heart, I went to help her pack. Aunt Ruby and Uncle Bob drove out to CA and picked her up and as I watched them drive away, I knew that life was never going to be the same.
The arrangement has been a blessing. As much as I miss having mom close by, the trade off of knowing that she has round the clock care, by these wonderful people that love her has been my saving grace.
Since she's been here, Mom has made many new friends -people who stop by to visit and let her know she's in their prayers. She's even fortunate enough to have a dr. who lives down the road and is gracious enough to make house calls, just to check up on her. There's definitely something to be said for small town living.
I've brought the kids out here to visit Grammy and their great aunts and uncle a couple of times durring summer vacations, and I've been out a couple of times by myself. Each time we've been warmly welcomed and made to feel at home.
Anyway... the point of this rambling is that I got a call a couple of weeks ago suggesting that I might want to make a visit, soon. I've known the time was coming, that preparations need to be made and things put in order... but expecting it, doesn't make it any easier. I see her and she looks much like the last time I saw her. But when I sit with her and we chat or play cards, I can hear that her breathing is more labored. She's completely lucid, but her meds make her sleep more -which she hates... doesn't like the idea of missing too much time from her day. Time goes too quickly.
Aunt June and I were talking today about what the future holds and how there is no way to know how much time is left. She mentioned that mom's dr. is amazed that she's hung on this long. As much as I dread the idea of losing my mom, I dread even more, the idea that she will linger or be in pain. I worry about what her final days will be like and if I'll have enough time to get to her. I don't want her to worry about me -which I know she does... I want her to be at peace and let go when the time comes. Aunt June told me today how much my mom looks forward to my phone calls, hearing what we've been up to and news of the kids. She said "you are her lifeline". It's a wonderful thing to know you're loved that much... I can only hope she knows how much I love her, too.
I'm purging all of this here, because I need to let go of the grief I feel, even if just a little bit. I don't want my mom to know how scared I am. How afraid I am that the one person I *KNOW* loves me without question, and that I matter to more than anything, is going to be leaving. I feel selfish and mad. It doesn't seem fair. I keep reminding myself that people deal with loss everyday -life will go on, eventually it will hurt less. I feel all this and yet, I'm lucky enough to still have her here, to get the chance to make sure she knows how much she means to me -a chance that so many people don't get. I should feel lucky, but right now I'm just sad...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Four Catholic ladies are having coffee together, discussing how
important their children are.
The first one tells her friends, "My son is a priest. When he walks
into a room, everyone calls him "Father."
The second Catholic woman chirps, "Well, my son is a bishop. Whenever
he walks into a room, people say, 'Your Grace.'"
The third Catholic woman says smugly, "Well, not to put you down, but
my son is a cardinal. Whenever he walks into a room, people say 'Your
The fourth Catholic woman sips her coffee in silence. The first three
women give her this subtle "Well...?"
She replies, "My son is a gorgeous, 6'2," hard bodied, well hung, Male
stripper. Whenever he walks into a room, women say, "My God!"

If gas prices don't go down soon...

my kids are going to have to start hitch-hiking to school! {just a joke... sorta... lol!}
Are gas prices going up everywhere again??! I only wonder because it seems like no matter how low the prices dip across the country, the prices here on the northcoast of California seem to stay high -DISGUSTINGLY high! Sometimes as much as $1 higher per gallon than the nat'l average.
A short time ago, our prices had dropped to about $2.59 and believe it or not, I was actually good with that... But, in the past couple of weeks they have inched back up -$2.67, $2.69, $2.79 and then yesterday -$2.89! WTH?! We live along a major highway for pete's sake- I can't believe it cost's SO much more to deliver fuel to us than it does to other places...
It really hits my family when prices get high because we live in a rural area, and outside the school district our kids are enrolled in. I drive the kids to school and pick them up -as well as any other extra curricular activities they can weasle their way into... It's really not so bad -I mean, I'm glad that they're active and involved but -jeeezelouise!! Add in the trips to town for groceries, dr, appointments etc... Ima go broke here if something doesn't change!
Granted I drive a gas hog 4 wheel drive and there *are* more fuel efficient vehicles out there but I have 3 growing kiddos who are in the habit of hauling a buncha crap with them -football & soccer gear, hunting/fishing gear, small animals and the like... a VW isn't going to cut it for us.
I know there isn't much we can do besides planning our errands and outings so that we can limit our trips but GAAAAH! I absoluetly dread going to the gas station these days.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

I'm convinced that no one knows....

how to waste time better than I do. I get sucked into things way too easilly... especially when it comes to goofin around on the 'puter. Like today... IM'ing with my partner in crime, we were taking these dang quizzes and laughing. Goofing with blogs, then another quiz ...more laughter... and poof! before I know it, the better part of a day is gone.
...but dangitall if I can resist finding out the answers to such burning questions as: WHAT GAY CHILDHOOD ICON ARE YOU?! Am I going to find the meaning of life in these quizzes? Doubtful. But some of them are funny as hell and I found myself wishing I could be the goof that gets to sit around making this crap up!
Ah, but I digress. Back to that childhood icon thing...
You Are the Very Gay Peppermint Patty!

Softball is the huge tipoff here...
As well as a "best friend" who loves to call her "sir"

So, like I said, I got the chance to spend the better part of the morning dorkin around with my homegirl -a chick who has a SOH just as warped and twisted as mine and who makes make me laff until it literally hurts. With her I can be myself with out censure. She gets me ...and that my friends is a rare and beautiful thing.
Of course taking these quizzes with a friend is way more fun so you can compare notes on who's got the best 80's theme song (mine: Beat It hers: Venus), what your last words will be (mine: "Nice doggy." hers: "So, you're a cannibal." ) and my personal favorite, what song should you strip to? (mine: I'm Too Sexy {pffffft!} hers: Dude Looks Like a Lady {now,unless you know how gorgeous my PIC is, there is no way you could know how f'ing funny that is!}.)Ahhh, good times... gooood times.

All in all not a bad way to spend a morning -definitely better than doing laundry and dishes.

If my car had a bumper sticker...

this would definitely be the one!
Your Bumper Sticker Should Be

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things

sarcastic... moi??

You're Totally Sarcastic

You sarcastic? Never! You're as sweet as a baby bunny.
Seriously, though, you have a sharp tongue - and you aren't afraid to use it.
And if people are too wimpy to deal with your attitutde, then too bad. So sad.

Back in the holler, they call me.....

Your Hillbilly Name Is...

Sandra Dee Beaver

...only 60%?

me thinks there *must* be an error in the calculations. :)
You Are 60% Gross

You're more than a little gross, but probably no more gross than the average person.
Maybe it's time to drop some of those disgusting habits that could eventually embarrass you!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Another one of life's little mysteries ...has been solved.

It's true... I'm a nurturer. I found this "personality quiz" on my pal, La(dee-FRICKEN-da)'s blog a few days ago.
...always a sucker for a free psych exam, I raced on over for my evaluation.
You Are An ISFJ

The Nurturer

You have a strong need to belong, and you very loyal.
A good listener, you excell at helping others in practical ways.
In your spare time, you enjoy engaging your senses through art, cooking, and music.
You find it easy to be devoted to one person, who you do special things for.

You would make a good interior designer, chef, or child psychologist.

Oddly enough -with the exception of all that crazy talk about me cooking and making a good chef- it's pretty accurate.

Okay, enough fun. It's time for me to engage my senses with some music and interior design -known in these parts as *housework*, so I can spend some time on my art before I have to pick up the kids -whom I may or may not be forced to use a little child psychology on while they bask in the nurturing goodness that is moi.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

I miss my OOOOmph

It's Sunday night, hubs and kids are in bed and here I sit, clickity-clacking away on the laptop. I feel exhausted but a review of the day yields no reason why I should be. I managed to do a load of laundry, fill the wood box, load the dishwasher and take a shower, but there are SO many other things that *need* doing not to mention all the other things I *want* to do... why then, is it so hard to actually get stuff accomplished?? What is it that holds me back? I have no ooomph, no drive... I miss that. I miss the days that I could hardly wait to spring out of bed and start tackling my to-do list and the nights I would lose track of time and stay awake into the wee hours of the morning because I was so into my task that I couldn't stand to leave it unfinished. I miss the feeling of enthusiasm.

I hoped that starting on this new medicine would help me to feel centered and focused -and honestly, I DO feel a difference. I'm just not sure it's enough. I know there's no magic pill that's going to fix everything and I still need to work at being happy and getting things accomplished but sometimes the simplest things feel like such a huge undertaking.

The fact that tomorrow is Monday, fills me with dread. The daily grind of getting the kids to school, then coming home and getting things DONE around here before it's time to go back and pick the kids up, then the afternoon/evening routine of homework detail and dinner prep. makes me wonder if being a SAHM is what I should be doing. Maybe, as much as I *want* to do it, I'm not cut out for it??

As a child, I envied those kids who's mom's picked them up from school and the kids who got to play sports or join clubs because their parents were willing and available to shuttle them to and fro. Being available for my kids is SO important to me but I'm afraid I end up letting them down more often than I make them happy or proud. I worry about the same thing with the hubs -I often feel like I'm a big disappointment to those around me. I sometimes wonder if I'm missing a domestic gene because it's so dang hard to for me to juggle the kids, hubs, house, finances, and all the other junk that comes up on a daily basis. It just seems like it should be easier.
Aside from a happy family, all I really want is a clean house, my bills to get paid on time and a little time for my hobbies. Really now, Is that so much to ask??

I'm thinkin It's high time I jumped on the bloggin bandwagon

Oh, I can just hear it now, "if your friends all jumped off the top of the Empire State Building, would you??" Uhm, no. Being terrified of heights, as I am, odds are you would probably never find me anywhere near the top of the ESB, but since we're only talking blogs here (we were talking blogs, weren't we??), I figured, what the hey ...I want a place to share what will probably end up being WTMI about the daily minutiae that *IS* the life of leafa mcbirdie.