Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jon and Kate Divorced!!

I'll admit, I'm one of those people who obsessively follows these people. I don't watch their tv appearances or buy tabloids, but I do read the magazines at the doctors office and read articles online. And now they're divorced. Yay? My biggest surprise was that Kate has full custody, and Jon has visitation. It begs the question was this a concession or is it what Jon wanted? He's seemed extremely willing to give up being a full time dad, but that's just my impression. More than happy to get an apartment in New York and show his kids that they have to get used to visits and not having him around all the time. Anyway, at least, hopefully, this saga is over. Maybe, heaven forbid, Kate will have her own show. I've heard mention of it several times, and all I can say is that they all need some time to be normal people again. I can't imagine what it would do to you to actually have people interested in the minute details of your life. I think you'd become rather obsessed with yourself. I don't think the show has been bad for the kids, but it's definitely been bad for the adults.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

House Pictures

Several people have expressed the desire for pictures of the house, so here is what I have now.

David and I the day we moved in. Officially ours.

Our bedroom. Not moved in yet, but the floor is done and the walls have the first coat of paint on them.

The kitchen. It's still in shambles, in my opinion. I finally put up temporary shelves for the pantry (you can't see them) and took all the wheels off the cart since I was unable to fix the two broken ones. So now I have room to put stuff away. I'm still having problems with the fact that our sink drain is apparently a weird size, so no (I say NO) stoppers fit it. Even the white, flat, all-purpose suction stopper doesn't work. Whenever I want to do dishes I have to take the dirty dishes out of the white container you see to the left of the sink and fill it with water. It's getting really annoying. So a new sink is on my list. However, you can see the color I'm painting the walls.

I'll post more and better pictures when I have them.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Completed Bucket List

I figure if I'm going to have a bucket list I should also have a list of the things I've done already that qualify. It may actually take some thought, it's easier to think of things I want to do than discern what parts of my life are interesting enough to be included. But here we go.

  • Visit New Zealand
  • Visit Australia
  • Snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef
  • Visit Paris
  • Visit London
  • Visit the London Museum
  • Walk up the Eiffel Tower. Lot of steps. Had someone take my picture, but it was my grandparents camera and they never sent me any of them. Yes, still a bit mad about that.
  • Pray at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Or contemplate. I don't pray.
  • Ride on a double decker boat.
  • Feed a kangaroo.
  • Hold a koala.
  • Visited 29 US states, plus DC.
  • Been to Disney World. Twice.
  • Never been in handcuffs (I don't know if this really counts, but seems good to me).
  • Stood up for something I believe in
  • Learned it's ok to be on my own
  • Learned that I can survive anything, and pain won't kill me, even when I want it to.
  • Defended my rights to a police officer who was violating them.
  • Figured out don't need anyone else to be happy. I make myself happy, mostly.
  • Feed a dolphin, in the wild, in the water. And yes. It was really, really, really cool.
  • Visited Niagra Falls, twice.
  • Been on four National Wildlife Federation summits, two to Colorado, one to Alaska, and one to New York.
  • Was interviewed by the news

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just an update

I've actually been fairly productive today. Finished the second coat, made a bunch of phone calls, went through the mail, etc. Now I'm going to get in the shower and do a little more shopping. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

Feeling Ancy

So...I took off a lot when I was a teenager and could drive, and had a lot of trips as a kid. Moved to Georgia, stayed there for 17 months, then lived in Illinois for 6 months, now I've been in Colorado for 17 months and I guess my internal moving meter is full. I'm ready for a long trip somewhere new.

And I need to get a life so I can stop day dreaming. What I would give for the impossible.

I need a journal. A pen and paper journal. I'm going to get up, and put another coat of varethane down, and then go to Borders. Ok motivation, I am mustering you.

And the phone rings. Crap.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Some days...

I kinda want to pick up and drive to a beach somewhere. It'd be really nice. I suppose I could. Stock the kitties up and pack the dogs into the back of the car, and go. Woohoo. But there's too much to do here. The real world has taken over.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election Day

Well, I'm eating and taking pain pills, so I'll be able to start sanding soon. I put more air in the air mattress and slept more in the middle, and I'm not nearly as sore. And sometimes before seven I have to go drop off my ballot. Woot woot for voting. Anyway, I'm hoping to be done with the bedroom by the time I go to bed. I can let the stain sit over night and put down verathane coats tomorrow while we sand the other rooms. And then I'll finally be able to move furniture in and sleep in a real bed. I really wish I had the iPod. Instead there's just the laptop, and I doubt I'll be able to hear it over the sander. I realize this blog was pointless, I'm just writing while my dilaudid kicks in.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Today was a do-nothing day. I hurt all over, my joints and muscle pretty equally torturing me. I think it's this air mattress, as nothing else explains why my hands hurt. Yes, my hands. I don't get it either.

However, as far as things go, I have it pretty great. Whenever I think of Anika my heart breaks a little more. I have a husband who loves me, and a family who loves me. I have my life. Sometimes I don't know how much it's really worth, but it's better than nothing. Life is real. Sadness can be unfathomable.

I'm trying to find the happy medium between living the simple life and making an impact. I'm not sure how to do either of those things at the moment, but I feel like I should be doing everything I can to help other people. There are various charities I'd like to volunteer for, but until my pain is taken care of I don't feel comfortable making commitments I may not be able to keep. But hopefully that will be taken care of the not too distant future, and I'll be able to make something of myself.

I'm going to do some planning. That's what I'm good at. And rub on a bunch of Icy Hot.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

House Work

Well, I spent the whole day, literally from sun up to sun down, working on the house. All the moulding has been pried up, all the doors are off. We've big sanded two rooms, now we have one more bedroom, the hallway, and the edges before we switch to a different grade of sandpaper and start the whole thing over again. And when that's done we repeat it all again. It's called "finishing" and while I don't mind the work, it sure takes a while. There's also hardwood floor underneath the carpet, so we're hopefully ripping that up and refinishing it too. If there's time. However, now that all the moulding is up, all there is to do tomorrow is sanding. And more sanding. And MORE sanding. However, I'm in love with my Bosch 5" orbital sander. It's AMAZING. So easy to use, and does so well. I really hope we're done by Saturday, because we need to use that day to stain and put down polyurethane. We did as much as we could on Wednesday, but we closed at 2:30 instead of 9:30, so we lost a lot of time I had expected to be able to work. However, in that vein, I need to get to bed. Gotta get up early so I can get this sanding done (hopefully ALL by this time tomorrow).

Monday, October 12, 2009


In doing what I can, I have to recommend my realtor to ANYONE in the Colorado Springs area. I will have a handful of her cards with me at all times and give them out to anyone and everyone. Her name is Karol Vander Pleug, here is her website. I wish I could do her more favors than just advertising my experience on my dinky blog, which barely anyone reads, and certainly no one that I know of in Colorado, but I have to do it anyway. She is AMAZING. Above and beyond the call of duty, always. We made an offer on a short sale home, which has been an extremely long, arduous process, back in May. Five months later, we are finally close to closing on our home.

Not only has she done more work and haggling behind the scenes than I'll ever know about, but she's also putting in the physical effort of going out to the house with us and taking care of the improvements necessary for the house to pass the VA Inspection. She also pursued and got for us a $2,500 credit from the sellers homeowners insurance company towards a roof replacement. She's also showed us the house several times and is full if helpful advice and information. If it wasn't a short sale, all of our closing costs would have been covered. I cannot recommend her enough. We looked at many houses in our price range, and most were so bad I wouldn't even go further than the front door. We managed to find a diamond in the rough, and it was mostly due to her perseverance and effort. I was losing hope we'd find anything that was move in ready, but we did. And Karol has been wonderful through this whole process. So please, if you need a realtor, call her.


I'm not going to rant, even though I'm extremely irritated. But DO NOT sign up for Vonage unless you want to be ripped off. I understand the one year service contract, that's not a problem. The problem is that when I called to cancel my service (terminating on Oct 29, 2009) they told me that I'm magically in a 2 year agreement and can't cancel until Oct 29, 2010. So apparently they're a scam. Who would have thought, right? So do yourself a favor a stick with your cell phone or go with your cable provider. Cable you can turn off anytime you want to, and they don't backhand you into contracts you didn't agree to.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


We have Seth for a LONG time tonight. From now until 1 or so, when Hedy and Ryan get back from the Used concert. I just hope we can entertain him for that long. He's an awesome kid, so well behaved, but obviously we don't have toys, so we just have what he brought over with him, the tv, dog toys, the pets themselves, and my art supplies. That was adequate last time, but like I said, this is a longer sit job. We're going to order Chinese (yum) and I'm going to try to do some packing and knitting, but I'm not at full strength because of the surgery, so I'm counting on David to help me out. I think we're going to set Seth up with the electric drum set and let him play along with David on Guitar Hero. Hopefully he'll find that fun.

I made our Uhaul reservations today, hopefully everything will continue to go according to plan and we'll close on Wednesday. I don't have much more to add to that.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

House Preparations

David and I went out to the house today and scraped paint off that was flaking and cleaned up paint that the hired workers left on the ground. The VA Appraiser didn't like the paint issues, and the workers were supposed to go out again in preparation for the final inspection yesterday or today, except when we went out and checked on the house, there were still paint chips on the ground and flaking paint on the trim of the back porch. We called Karol, of course, but since this is crunch time and Monday is a holiday, we didn't want to have to delay the closing because of paint. There's also been what we presume is a neighbors car parked in the driveway for the past two times we have been there. This time we left a note on the windshield saying that the house was under contract and the new owners would be on the property on Wednesday, and that if the car wasn't moved by then it would be towed. Hopefully they'll move it by then, because having the car towed would be extremely inconvenient. However, at this point we're still on schedule for a closing at 0930 on Wednesday. How very exciting! Now it's time to get back to packing. We've gotten quite a bit done so far, but there's still a lot left to do between now and moving time. At least I have David until the 29th, which is a good week longer than I was planning for.

My surgery went well, but I'm tired, drugged, and really sore. My shoulders, especially my right one, hurt so much I can't describe it as anything but being stabbed repeatedly by a very sharp knife. When I woke up this morning I could feel the gas from the laparoscopy gurgling around under my ribs. It was very uncomfortable. And my abdomen itches, and is sore. But it's really my shoulders that are the worst.

Time to get back to work.

What I'll do when I'm healthy

I'm decided to make a list, since I have some hope now that a nerve block will get rid of my pain. I'm going to make a link on my sidebar and update it as thoughts come.

  • Run a marathon
  • Compete in an equestrian three-day event
  • Join the U.S. SAR Task Force
  • Spend 27 months in the Peace Corps
  • Join the National Guard
  • Volunteer with Red Cross Disaster Services
  • Take a martial arts class, potentially kickboxing
  • Learn how to train SAR dogs
  • Spend 5 weeks a year volunteering internationally
  • Visit all of the destinations in "1,000 Places to See Before You Die."
  • Donate blood as often as allowed
  • Take a glass blowing class
  • Get a pilots license
  • Write my book series
  • Make a ton of fun costumes to wear whenever I need a pick me up
  • Backpack through Europe
  • Road trip all 50 states in America/Canada, maybe even Mexico
  • Learn how to ballroom dance
  • Make a CD, of my own music, performed by me, just for me
  • Volunteer in a nursing home
  • Volunteer as a kids tutor
  • Get my bachelors degree
  • Volunteer for the United Nations
  • Go skydiving
  • Learn/go scuba diving
  • Adopt children
  • Foster pets
  • Help create/fund a no kill animal shelter (w/Hedy maybe)
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Ride in a hot air balloon
  • Learn how to quilt
  • Go on a cruise (0r 2, or 20)
  • Build a hobbit hole
  • Grow a garden that supports my yearly need for fruits/veggies/herbs
  • Get a motorcycle license
  • Get a tattoo (0r 3)
  • Write a children's book series
  • Join a bowling league
  • Go fishing and gut the fish myself
  • Go snowboarding
  • Become a citizen of the world
  • Become multilingual
  • Live in a foreign country
  • Learn to play the guitar
  • Write a piano composition
  • Learn how to belly dance
  • Have a six-pack
  • Join a choir
  • Go hang gliding
  • Climb a mountain
  • Go up in one of those anti gravity planes
  • Better yet, go to space
  • Ride with a Thunderbirds pilot
  • Go white water rafting
  • Be an extra in a movie
  • Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  • Visit all past and present Seven Wonders of the World
  • Learn Gaelic
  • Learn Czech
  • Ride the 10 biggest roller coasters in the world
  • Visit Grotta Azzurra
  • Take up astronomy
  • Learn woodworking
  • Make a stained glass window
  • Fold 1000 origami cranes
  • Build a Habitat for Humanity home
  • Join a Big Sister program
  • Buy a bicycle and give up as much driving as possible
  • Live in Paris
  • Spend a week at a 5 star spa
  • Shop in Rodeo Drive
  • Drive a Lamborghini
  • Sleep in a castle
  • Paint a series of, well, paintings
  • Retire by age 50
  • Milk a cow
  • See gorillas in the wild
  • Compete in a dog sled competition
  • Grow a bonsai tree
  • Have an orchid garden
  • Have a library in my home
  • Attend a TED conference
  • Build a telescope
  • Learn Tai Chi
  • Have a past life regresson
  • Have an out of body experience
  • Collect music boxes
  • Write an auto-biography
  • Trace my ancestry
  • Build a tree fort
  • Visit all seven continents
  • Drink a vintage wine
  • Create a sacred space
  • Be able to wear a bikini without shame
  • Mosh in a pit
  • Sing to an audience
  • Develop super powers
More to follow!

Monday, October 5, 2009


I'm taking a deep breath, letting my negative emotions go, and refocusing. It's very difficult to remember what's important, and not let things get to me. While I would hesitate severely to label myself a firebrand, but I am more than up to the task of rising to the occasion. Forgive and forget in not my mantra. Once wronged I tend to hang onto that wrong for a long time, especially when an apology is not forthcoming. I don't enjoy conflict, and try to avoid it, but when it's forced upon me I flip into "winning" mode. I still derive pleasure from times I've bested people. I think back with a smile and say to myself, "That's right, don't fuck with me." (Pardon my language, I'm trying to stop cursing, but that is what I think). However, in the big scheme of things, none of it really matters. It hurts, but it doesn't matter. I let the bad get to me too much. Hence the deep breath, getting back to my Buddhist roots (doesn't that sound better than an atheist philosopher? Not that there haven't been a lot of those...) and finding what I enjoy again.

Often I find that my life lacks meaning. I wake up and wonder why I get out of bed, when I don't do anything. However, I can find more to do than getting past my depression sometimes allows. Life is full of conflicts and strife, and one way or another I would have to deal with it. Nothing is perfect. We're dealing with an extremely stupid apartment rule, for example. I'm trying not to let it bother me. There is hope on the horizon though. It's called a spinal nerve block. I'm not exactly sure what kind they'll give me, as there seem to be many different kinds, but according to Dr. Hemsworth (who gave me my referral to a pain management specialist today!!!) I will get something short lived in nature, and if that works, there are longer term options. We may be looking at destroying the nerves in that area of my abdomen altogether, which sounds serious, and probably is, but I would go through much worse to be rid of this pain. It may be time to start thinking about, "Wow, I'm able to have a life plan again." What do I want to do? I don't know anymore, it's been so long since I could attempt anything that requires a long term commitment. Without pain my possibilities are endless. I am holding on to my reservations until a treatment has been successful, but after this long, I don't think I would know what to do with myself if it was sprung upon me suddenly. But in theory David could give me his GI bill benefits. I could go back to college! What for? What do I want to do??? Can you imagine? Because I can't. Another deep breath. One step at a time.

David should be back from the dog park soon, and I'm going to see if he wants to go to the library with me. Time to get a library card! There are so many books I want to read, but I don't feel like buying them all. Not only is there the cost of the book, there's the cost of buying more bookcases, because the two I have are already full. I'm excited!

We close in 8 days!!! I know what I'm doing for the next week! Packing, planning, and pricing. woot woot! We're so excited!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Detoxing on Hold

I mentioned that I wanted to start a detox program. What I came up with involves raw fruits and veggies for the first 4 days, followed by 3 days of juice/tea/water fasting, then 4 weeks of various different detox methods from my 4-week Detox Plan book. Unfortunately, though I went into the week very enthusiastic, it's looking like my digestive system doesn't want to actually digest fruits or vegetables. I'm looking for a solution, potentially apple cider vinegar to boost the acid level in my stomach, but since I don't know what the problem is that's really just a shot in the dark. So assuming we can get my system working again, I'll start the plan. Otherwise I might have to fast out of necessity. Drinks I can digest. Maybe I just need to put all my food in the blender and eat it that way. I'm testing my stomach by eating the same thing for lunch that I had for dinner and then threw up. Was it a fluke? We'll know in 8 hours if my food stayed down. I hate being sick, which is all the time.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Well, the Mayo clinic won't see me because I've been in pain too long. Apparently anything that's been going on longer than 6-7 months they don't feel they'll be able to diagnose either. Great. So I'm in mind numbing amounts of pain and can't get anyone to care. Apparently dealing with it for six years means I have the ability to deal with it forever. I'm going to go to the doctor on the 5th and try to get him to take my gall bladder out. We need to do something, and at this point...well nothing makes sense at this point. We have nothing to go on, except the pain and that I don't digest things very well. And who knows what else it's affecting. So it'd be nice if someone would do something about it.

I'm starting a natural regimen of herbs and supplements, with the mindset that before there was medicine in the sense that we think of it now, the only remedies available were natural ones. We went to a really cool store today, called Sage Woman Herbs. Besides the herbs for tea, I picked up a green food supplement and digestive enzymes. Maybe they won't do anything, but they can't do any more nothing than what the doctors have prescribed. I'm going to fast Tuesday-Thursday next week, and for the next month I'm sticking to an organic, detoxifying diet for the next month. Again with not really knowing how much a difference it will actually make, but I'm done waiting on doctors to care about my complete lack of any quality of life.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I <3 my realtor

We saw the house again today. We went to Lowes beforehand and had a great conversation with one of the employees about refinishing floors. We're definitely going to be attempting to do it ourselves. I don't think it's going to take as long as I was initially giving it credit for. I picked out a color for the kitchen, it's called Caribbean sunrise, I think. We're going to just replace all of the baseboards, I think, instead of refinishing them. They're missing in a bunch of places and we might as well take that opportunity to update the look. I can't believe it's less than three weeks now. I just hope the VA appraiser gets out there in time and we don't have to extend it any longer. We're very excited though.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Good Day

I felt a lot better today! We had an appointment with Jason and it went really well, now all we're waiting on is the VA inspector and all the paperwork that comes after that and before closing. I need to come up with a solid plan for the one week I'll have David for, because we have so much to do. And we have to have everything in readiness well beforehand. My move from Georgia to Illinois was an eye opener. I thought I was well prepared for the loading/moving to begin when my parents got there. We ended up packing until the very last second. We have a lot more stuff than I gave myself credit for and it took a lot longer to pack all the little stuff than I anticipated. So this time we'll do it the right way (hopefully). But we got the guitar hero instruments, humidifiers, all but one box of my books, and 3 hanging boxes of clothes, as well as getting the big blue boxes of stuff in the office lined up on one wall so we can start putting packed boxes into that room. David was very helpful and is gung ho about getting more packing done, so hopefully my body will cooperate and we'll continue to be productive through the weekend.

Our apartment is repaving the parking lot, so we had to move our cars out. I'm actually rather surprised that the majority of spaces are still filled. I'm assuming people are planning on moving them in the morning before seven, or going to work before then, but if they aren't out in time they'll be towed. So I hope everyone got the memo.

We're going out to the house again tomorrow so the inspector can collect the radon test. We collected a lot of information, mostly measurements, last time, but since then I discovered the disturbing fact that David will only be here for a week before he goes to California. And when we were there on Tuesday we decided that the hardwood floors need to be refinished, and the easiest (relatively) time to do this is before we've moved in. However, it will probably take us about a week to get them all done. Sanding takes a while and each polyurethane coat takes about a day to dry. So we have to coordinate getting the sanding done before he leaves, with the thought that as long as that is done I can probably deal with the polyurethane myself. And we have to get the majority of our things moved, particularly the bigger and heavier items, before David leaves because I can't do that on my own. So 2 big projects in one week: prepping and sanding three rooms and a hallway and doing the vast majority of our moving. Hence the need for a detailed plan of action so that any help we're going to get is available when we need it and we can make reservations for the equipment that we need.

I'm planning on starting a detox program of my own design in the hopes that I will continue improving and won't be stuck in bed that week, because that would be a disaster.

David and I are watching Buffy and then heading to bed. It's already late, and we have to get up to go to Home Depot and get paint chips before heading over to the house. That's one of the things we need to do at the house tomorrow, examine paint chips. And take count of switch and outlet covers that need to be replaced, and measure the parts of baseboard that are missing and compare to what was left in the garage to see whether we need to buy any of that. I want to know these things before the big week, obviously. Anyway, cuddle time. Here's to a good day, with many more to follow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Heave a heavy sigh

Nice to know that for $888.66 I can GET to Paris and back. If I bring a tent and an electric skillet I might be able to do the whole thing for $1000. Now I just need a grand that I can afford to spend on my own, personal trip to Paris, because this is for one person, no way we can afford two.

<3 That's supposed to be a heart

David just bought me another heating pad, so I can have one on both my lower back and my abdomen at the same time. I'm fairly certain you're not supposed to do that, but I'm going to do it anyway. Because, seriously, ow. Ow to the tenth power.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pets Blog

I didn't want to shove this long thing at the front of my blog, so I'm hiding it back in 2008. The link is here. Those were the smallest I could get those pictures, can you believe that? Anyway, there are a lot of funny things at the beginning, working towards more serious, and I'll add more as I find them.

Fred Rogers

I have heard, on many occasions from many people, including my hubby, that Fred Rogers wore long sleeves on "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" to cover up the tattoos he got while serving in the US Armed Forces as a sharp shooter. I would like to clarify: Fred Rogers was never in the military and didn't have any tattoos. References can be found in this biography and the entire thing, plus other rumors, are debunked here.

What am I doing today?

Well...probably a lot of sitting around, watching tv, because I'm in a lot of pain and even that pushes the limits of my pain threshold at times. So other than that...I'm going to blog, incessantly update my facebook and myspace statuses, and read. I really want to fast, like a serious fast, for a week or so. I have no idea what's wrong at this moment in time, but I feel in serious need of a detox. My stomach feels full and my mouth feels dirty no matter what! I always want to barf and brush my teeth, but no amount of those things makes the feelings go away. Blah. Too much sugar, which is unfortunate considering I usually have the most adverse reactions to healthy food. I've thrown up more bread and fruit than candy this past week. I'll probably play the Sims, and then go back and forth as it randomly shuts down. And organize about a thousand saved links. Maybe I'll find a way to share them here, but the catching up would be astronomical, and posting everything as it's own post, even if I was just sharing links, and not the actual pictures or articles, would take a lot of time and space. We'll see just how bored I get. Oh, and look up projects and crafts and Christmas presents and work on the projects I haven't touched since we got the news.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I am your shadow,
I am your rain,
I am your longing,
let alone your pain
I am red,
I am blue,
I am your angel,
I am in you

I am your madness,
I am your tears,
I am your sadness,
I am your fears
I am restless,
I am your dreams,
I am the moments in between

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


We beat the Brewers by a three-run homer last night! We were tied up until the 7th inning, and then Holliday kicked butt! Rock on! World Series, here we come!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pet Ownership

I found this on my friend Lauren's myspace page. It was meant to be passed around, and I wanted to do my part. I have had many, many people ask me why we have so many pets, and why we kept the babies. My heart breaks for the two we gave up. I know one has a good home for the rest of his life. The other, one of my favorites, disappeared because she was "scared of the toddler" and instead of calling me to give her back, like I TOLD HER TO, she gave her to someone else. And that scares the hell out of me, it really does. Not knowing where my sweet, beautiful Bast is and whether she's taken care of is a hole in my heart that will never go away. You can say that's pathetic, but it's true. I kept our kittens because it was OUR FAULT that our first two cats didn't get fixed, OUR FAULT that Isis got pregnant, and OUR FAULT that four lovely kittens were born. I'm not going to send them to an animal shelter because I didn't get my cats fixed. I'm going to take care of them, pay for them, and love them for the rest of their lives. And I wish we still had six. I really, truly do. One of the biggest regrets of my life is giving them up.

Education people, EDUCATION!! Let's pray that 2009 spares more lives than the 11 million killed this year...

(do not stop reading until you've reached the end)

A Letter from a Shelter Manager:

I think our society needs a huge " Wake-up" call.

As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all. ..a view from the inside if you will.

First off, all of you breeders/sellers should be made to work in the "back" of an animal shelter for just one day.

Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people you don't even know. That puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my shelter when it's not a cute little puppy anymore.

So how would you feel if you knew that there's about a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it is going to be dumped at? Purebred or not! About 50% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays" that come into my shelter are purebred dogs.

The most common excuses I hear are;

"We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat)." Really? Where are you moving to that doesn't allow pets and why did you choose that place instead of a pet friendly home?

Or they say "The dog got bigger than we thought it would". How big did you think a German Shepherd would get?

"We don't have time for her". Really? I work a 10- 12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs!

"She' s tearing up our yard". How about making her a part of your family?

They always tell me: "We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her we know she'll get adopted, she's a good dog."

Odds are your pet won't get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Well, let me tell you, your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off. Sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn't full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy. If it sniffles, it dies.

Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps.

It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it.

If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk. If I don't, your pet won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose.

If your dog is big, black or any of the "Bully" breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just don't get adopted.

It doesn't matter how 'sweet' or 'well behaved' they are. If your dog doesn't get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed.

If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution, but not for long.

Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment.

If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because shelters just don't have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.

Here's a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being "put-down"....

First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk - happy, wagging their tails.

Until, they get to "The Room", every one of them freak out and put the brakes on when we get to the door. It must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it's strange, but it happens with every one of them.

Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs depending on the size and how freaked out they are.

Then a euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They will find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the "pink stuff".

Hopefully your pet doesn't panic from being restrained and jerk. I've seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood and been deafened by the yelps and screams.

They all don't just "go to sleep", sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves.

When it all ends, your pet's corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals that were killed waiting to be picked up like garbage.

What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You'll never know and it probably won't even cross your mind. It was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right?

I hope that those of you that have read this are bawling your eyes out and can't get the pictures out of your head I deal with everyday on the way home from work.

I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much further than the pets you dump at a shelter.

Between 9 and 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can but rescues are always full, and there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes.


Hate me if you want to. The truth hurts and reality is what it is.

I just hope I maybe changed one person's mind about breeding their dog, taking their loving pet to a shelter, or buying a dog.

I hope that someone will walk into my shelter and say "I saw this and it made me want to adopt." THAT WOULD MAKE IT WORTH IT!


Letter to small car owners:

Dear small car owners,

I realize that my Jeep stands a couple of feet higher off the ground than your car does. This, by default, also means that my headlights are a couple of feet higher up than yours are. Unfortunately, this means that the majority of the time, when it's dark, my lights are going to hit you in the eyes. I'm extremely sorry about that. However, there's nothing I can do about it. As irritating as it is for you, my brights do not have to be on for my regular lights to make it difficult for you to see. I would greatly appreciate it, however, if you would cease leaving your brights on out of spite, or the alternative, flashing your brights at me to tell me that I left my brights on. Unless I turn my headlights off, which would probably be disconcerting and hazardous, they don't go any lower. I am a courteous driver, and I turn my brights off as soon as you're close enough that I can discern two headlights on the front of your car. I've taken to leaving it until closer so that you will realize that I did, in fact, already turn my brights off. Please return the favor, and turn your brights off as well. And if you flash me, well...I'll have to flash you back to show you that no, I'm not being a jerk and I didn't forget. Your head just happens to be on the same level as my headlights. Buy a taller car or grow a couple inches.

Thank you, that will be all.


Kristin and I are going to the DMV and the to Manitou to walk around and get some ice cream. I love that town! I'll add a slideshow when I get back. I wish I lived close enough that I didn't have to drive to walk, but alas. Still worth it.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Our mortgage broker really needs to call me back.

So our neighbor pulled a gun on a child...

I realize the purpose of this blog is to breathe, relax, and enjoy life. That's not what this post has to do with, this post has to do with frustration. I'm not editing language from direct quotes, fyi. You need to know how crazy this woman is. But first...

1. If you offer a free trial, someone pays you for shipping on your product, you call ten times to confirm the order, ask if they want to sign up for a subscription, they say emphatically, " No, I do not want to be signed up for anything, I want my free trial and will order more if I want more," and your customer service representative says, "No problem, Sir," and then they charge you immediately for a product you didn't want (aka wtf happened to the free trial?), you are guilty of FRAUD AND THEFT AS SURELY AS IF YOU HAD STOLEN THE PHYSICAL CREDIT CARD. You took credit card information and made UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES. And if you think we won't have you investigated by our bank, the Better Business Bureau, and JAG, you are sorely mistaken. And by the way, we're going to do that even though you are refunding us our money, because YOU ARE A SCAM. Not only are you a scam, but you are THIEVES MASQUERADING AS A LEGITIMATE BUSINESS. We will do everything possible to get you on the military's black list. I hope an asteroid hits your building and all the THIEVES YOU CALL EMPLOYEES die horribly.

2. Two Saturday's ago, as David was out on our porch having a smoke, our friends Hedy and Ryan walked by with Hedy's four year old son, Seth, while taking our Kristin's dogs because they were on vacation. They stopped a few yards away to chat, and while they were doing so, Thor happened to be in the window. Taj barked a couple of times at him (literally, a couple of times), and that was enough to cause our upstairs neighbor to come out onto her porch completely plastered and yell at them that "If you don't shut that fucking dog up, I'm going to shoot it in the head." Naturally, Hedy was indignant. However, she remained calm, though Amy (the upstairs neighbor) continued to yell and shout threats. Eventually, a man came out of her apartment and told her to go inside, and then apologized for her behavior, saying that a toddler was sick and trying to sleep upstairs and they would appreciate it if we kept the dog quiet. Hedy said no problem. Until Amy comes out again, this time with a loaded, cocked pistol, and points it at Ryan, saying that if he keeps looking at her she's going to shoot him. It only escalated from there, with all of the adults on the ground pulling out their phones and telling her unequivocally that the police will be called, and that they have witnesses (David) to back up what happened. Amy replied that we were her neighbors and we wouldn't care.

There is no excuse for that kind of behavior. To hear Hedy tell it, the gun was pointed at Ryan, but to me a drunk person pointing a gun isn't aiming at anything in particular, even if they think they are. To me, she aimed a loaded weapon at a four year old. She was arrested for menacing, which we will attempt to have bumped up to assault with a deadly weapon in court, as apparently it wasn't an option Hedy was given when the police came. David and I (mostly David) gave a statement, and will likely be subpoenaed. Unfortunately, although the gun was confiscated, Amy was released on bail the next day. Naturally, the three families involved went to management on Monday and told them what happened, and they replied that she would be evicted, following that up with "by Monday." Well, now it's Monday, and considering Amy has not done any moving that we're aware of, and we couldn't help but be, I'm extremely curious as to what the hell is going on. We'll give them until 5PM before we go to the office and demand an explanation for why an obviously unstable woman hasn't been forcibly evicted by now. Understandably, it's hard to feel safe knowing you have a neighbor ready to shoot you for absolutely no reason whatsoever except for the fact she's out of her mind. If she hasn't moved herself by this evening, her stuff better be out on the lawn and in the dumpster with the locks changed and the police forcing her out of the apartment if need be by noon tomorrow. She's not welcome here. Get rid of her.

My take on the situation is that if Ryan had happened to have a weapon on him, which is allowed by Colorado law, he could have legitimately shot her dead in self-defense. That was not just a gun, but a loaded gun, and when the police inspected it they found a round in the chamber, which means she had cocked to fire it. That surely would have been a mess, but it would have been honest to God self defense, and she would have deserved it.

I've heard that she has blood cancer, I've heard that she has seizures, but I can't give her any slack for whatever is wrong with her when she willing becomes intoxicated knowing that she gets extremely violent. While I was in Illinois her son told David she was having a seizure, and he went upstairs to help her friends give her her medicine (with their permission and instruction, of course). She didn't recognize him and told him if he didn't get out of her house she'd shoot him. He tried to remind her who I was, who he was, that we were friends. She just said that she didn't care who the fuck he was, he better get out or she'd shoot him. So he left. I mention this to point out that this is in no way an isolated incident. This woman needs to be hospitalized, or put in an institution, or something, because she is a danger to everyone around her. No matter what her medical condition is, there is nothing that justifies pulling a loaded weapon on a child.

Oh, and when she was told to go to the office to discuss her eviction, she told them that it was a water gun. When the manager told Hedy that, she simply replied that she had provided a copy of the police report and the manager was free to call and confirm that it had been an actual, loaded weapon. Which it was. I realize you're trying to save yourself, but why on earth would you waste your time lying about something that can be so easily proven false? Better to spend your time apartment hunting and packing, methinks.

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Frying Pan

I got a new frying pan today, courtesy of Mom McCarthy, at Kohls. My old one has been wobbly for a couple of years now, and I've been looking forward to a new one. That day was today. I used it for browning meat tonight, and it is great! No more wobbling! Very exciting. Sometimes it's the little things in life. Not often enough, but sometimes. Like finding one of your favorite childhood movies new on Netflix instant watch.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

House Tour

Woohoo! We had our last showing of the house today. The yard looked SO much better. It's also a lot bigger than I remembered, especially in front. The closing date is set as September 25th. There's definitely work to be done, and we'll probably replace the siding and the gutters relatively shortly, as in when we have that kind of money. Other than that the interior work is all aesthetic. We need to put a light fixture in the office, do painting in all the bedrooms, and probably refinish the hardwood, which is why we're hoping for those two weeks plus between our closing date and our lease expiration. There's a crawl space that we couldn't get into because it looks like it's painted shut, but the VA Inspector will take care of that. There's also an attic we hadn't noticed before, and while we couldn't put tons up there, that's from limited mobility on our part, not lack of space. Christmas stuff will definitely be able to go there though, and once we have the house that will be what the majority of our storage boxes are. And there's a small sprinkler system that wasn't noted on any of the paperwork. Since VA Inspectors have (recently) been getting to houses in a matter of days from the inspection request, this should really be the home stretch. Karol says she made it clear that we had to close before the first of October or we would withdraw our offer. I should probably really start thinking about paint colors. That and the floors I would really like to get done before we move our stuff in. And packing, we should start packing non-essential items. That way there's less to do at the end, because Lord knows I love to procrastinate while underestimating the amount of work at hand.

I'm sleepy, I'm going to join David for a nap (he has the night shift this week).

Monday, August 24, 2009

September 25

Apparently they went out and did work on the house, yard and painting, and now we just have to get the VA Inspector out and we should be able to close by the 25th of September! Yay! That's plenty of time. David's going to have a lot of painting to do when we move in. I'm wondering what VOC paint is, and how to make it washable, as in not like crappy apartment paint that comes off when you're scrubbing cat boogers off the walls. (I hate cat boogers). We have another showing on Wednesday, and we'll take lots of pictures, especially of the things we don't have pictures of now. I'm so excited! What an awesome week.


I'm nauseous. I'm tired of it. Felt like complaining, cuz that's all the relief I'm going to get.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I'm tired of vomiting, clear soda, and saltines. I really wish I could take my goods meds for it, but those are off limits now. Yuck.


My trip to Illinois was a blast. It was great to see everyone, and Grandma and Grandpa were there. We got quite a bit of work done, and I am now quite proficient in wallpapering. Painting the ceiling kind of sucked because the paint was on the floor and getting off the bench to refill my roller was tedious. It would have been nice to have my own paint container, but Patrick and I had to share. Rachael and I got filming for her video done, and now I just need to edit it. I haven't been over any of the footage because we wouldn't have been able to reshoot anyway, we're stuck with what we got. Hopefully it's halfway decent.

I need to go to my storage unit soon, but I might wait for David and the weekend. I brought everything I could fit in Tonks back with me, which leaves a fews pieces of furniture and 3 boxes of china I inherited from my great-grandmother. I wanted to bring it this time, but I decided that not only did I not have the room in the Jeep, I didn't have room in the apartment, and what was the point of bringing it home to put in storage besides risking breaking something? We have a tentative closing date at the end of September. Finally, progress. My parents will come out sometime between then and the end of the year, and they can bring it with it them, along with the furniture we got from David's parents that I didn't have room for when I moved out here. Now we just have to wait for the VA inspector. I really wish the owner would pay attention to what her realtor told her about getting the house sold. She needs to maintain the yard and replace some boards. Wow. That's tough. But anyway. Worst case scenario is the VA inspector tells her she has to do those things and she does it then. It'll just take a little (lot) longer. But still, progress.

I'm tired, it's been a long day. At least they were able to change my appointment. They were supposed to make me an appointment with the doctor for a consult, and even the reminder card they gave me had his name on it, but somehow when I called to confirm they told me the appointment was with the midwife. All fine and dandy, except she wanted me to have a consult with the doctor, walked me to the desk and told them that herself. But somehow they were able to switch it over to Dr. Baer for the same time, which make me think the person I talked to was just crazy. Otherwise it would have been a very disappointing day.

I just found out who Rebel was. I had a slight inkling, but it still feels like a surprise. I wish Heroes wasn't so addicting. I should really get some sleep.

Thoughts on Polygamous Lifestyles

I was thumbing through "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop and got online to look up what her sister wives and husband looked like so I could put faces with the pictures. (Interestingly, to me, is that none of the photos in her book include her "spouses," and even the pictures of her children were obviously taken anywhere other than on Merril's property. Legal injunction or personal choice?) This brought me to a lot of articles and websites and I spent several hours pouring over them. There were opinions from both sides, and I found myself wanting to leave replies to others comments without wanting to waste the time or space on people who wouldn't appreciate it, so I'm doing it here. I'm going to start by saying that there are many different types of polygamous lifestyles, and maybe I'll address more than one, maybe even without rambling and going on forever. That last part is highly unlikely.

First point I want to make is that marriage at the tender age of 16 is allowed is just about every country in the world, including the United States, as long as there is parental consent. In some places that age is even lower, sometimes as young as 12. In fact, in some countries, including South Africa, Jordan, and Scotland, you don't even need parental consent to marry younger than 18. The concept of marriageable age being the age of majority is an extremely recent development. That doesn't make old men having sex with teenagers right, it just means it's not a new concept. Not just that, it's an extremely old concept. An older man is wealthier and has more prestige (obviously in general) and therefore when he has a need to marry of course he prefers a young, beautiful woman who has many childbearing years before her to a woman his own age who is going to hit menopause in the next decade and is at an increased risk for pregnancy complications. They are called trophy wives for a reason. In years past, when women didn't contribute income to the family, marriage was something a man planned for. He had to have a job, a house, a means to support a family, and not all men even wanted that, much less were capable of providing it. And when I say he "had" to have those things, that was because a woman generally needed parental approval for the marriage, if not legally then to avoid being disowned. Arranged marriages were extremely common place. Marriage wasn't about love, it was about continuing the family line, breeding with other ones, and daughters were viewed as a means to an end, being legally unable to continue the family line in many cases. I admit, I'm digging back in history quite a bit. My mindset is in the 14-1800s, but I'll give some examples. Henry VIII's wives, with the exception of his last, continually got younger and younger. Anne Boleyn was 10-16 years younger than Henry (there is continual debate over whether she was the older or younger sister and birth years and yada yada, I digress) and he began pursuing her when she was 16. The got married when she was 24 and he was 42. Bet you didn't guess that watching the Tudors on Showtime. Jane Seymour was 17 years his junior. Anne of Cleves, 24. Catherine Howard was 30 years younger than he was, and they were married when she was 19. Tudor history provides us with other great examples, such as Mary Tudor, Henry's sister, who was 18 when she married the king of France, who was 52. Her second husband, Charles Brandon, was 12 years her senior. To move a little further forward, Napoleon married his second wife, Marie Therese, when she was 19 and he was 41. Catherine de Medici and Marie Antoinette (now I'm just bouncing around) were both married to similarly aged men when they were 14. Royalty is the easiest to trace because it's recorded, but these were by no means exceptional cases. At the time, the production of heirs was most important, with the intention of improving the family's position through marriage. In fact, marriage as an institution was first developed from such a simple idea as guaranteed paternity. A man paid her father for exclusive sexual rights to her, hence the concept of a bride price.

Whew. Long paragraph. Moving along.

Childhood being it's own separate part of life is also a recent development. For a long time children were expected to act as adults, dress as adults, talk as adults. It wasn't until the Victorian era that childhood was recognized as it's own stage, although not in such terms, certainly. But the innocence of childhood was respected, for the most part (we're going to conveniently forget this was the era of increased child labor). Childhood most certainly was not supposed to be fun. That period of time was useful to groom a child for adulthood. Boys and girls received their education, though usually of extremely differing sorts. My point here is that you can't point at these marriages, distasteful as they may seem, and try to say that you have any biblical or historical basis on which to base your opinion. In truth, the Bible put up no resistance to such marriages until the past 100 years. Remember that only puts us back to 1909, it was 11 more years before women had the right to vote, to put things in perspective.

I have to get dressed and start the day, I've been messing around on the computers for about four hours now, and it's not even 10AM! Perhaps this has satisfied my urge to share my opinions on what I've read, perhaps I'll pick it up again later, we'll see. I still have opinions on the YFZ raid, modern polygamous marriages (as opposed to prairie dress people), and people who need to shut their bigoted, intolerant, hateful mouths and learn to live and let live. Children were regularly beaten for the majority of our existence. It's great that we're evolving to better solutions, but we're all here, right? And go back 300 years and I don't know that there was a man or woman alive who hadn't been beaten at one time or another. Not smacked, beaten. And I bet they had just as many well adjusted people as we do. Now there's a social stigma that frowns upon it. Before it was viewed as effeminate and weak not be seen in complete control of both your children AND your wife. Consider yourself lucky. Ok, I'm really done for now.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I heard about this in a news article, so I'm sure everyone else has heard about it too, but there's this really cool site called that tells you when the best times to get up and pee in the theatre are. I actually think this is a super convenient service. Someone's going straight to the bank with that idea. Just passing it along...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Writing Day

Adria's finally getting after me to give her a life and a voice and stop hogging her all to myself. She's my alter ego and expressing her honestly is putting words to things I barely comprehend, much less can easily describe. However, she's been bugging me, and I owe it to her to tell the world her story. That may not make sense to anyone who isn't a writer, but it's important. What she has to tell is important, and a part of me. So I'm going to do some chores and then lock myself away with music and a do not disturb sign. I always feel like I have to be caught up with everything before I allow myself to write, but I think it needs to be a lot more balanced. I need to write. I need to let her out.

Friday, July 31, 2009


No matter how frustrating waiting to get to the end of a book and learning what happens is, such as what I felt when I checked my mailbox at 6AM on July 27, 2007 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was there and I ran home and cloistered myself in my room all day, but I digress and don't choose to make that a complete sentence. No matter how frustrating having to read to the end is, it in no way amounts to the frustration of having to write it. In some ways I think that not knowing where your story winds up is a blessing, it means you can concentrate on what you know and just go from there. My problem is I'm so enraptured by the end that concentrating on the beginning is torturous. Unfortunately, I can't write anything about the end well without having a beginning. Sure, I have lots of words, but they're all pretty meaningless without, well, a plot to go on. And since it's not one book, I've decided, for the moment, that it's a series of six, they have to be written in order, for the most part. But I know! I know what happens and it's so exciting! I want to get there. The entire project is like Chelsey's Adventures in Wonderland. I live and breathe in another world entirely at least half the time, every day. Putting that world into words is one of the hardest things I've ever attempted. Whether it ever sees the light of day is an entirely different issue, I just have to get this story out of my soul. It's been burning there for a long time, and it took me a long time sitting around imagining to feel it was complete enough to start writing at all, but all of a sudden it was there, a complete story. Now I just have to fill in the details, which should be fun, I enjoy it, but it's HARD. I see the story like a movie, but none of the scenes come in order. And details can be elusive. Making them rich and vibrant without blundering around for descriptive words isn't given enough credit as a skill. will be my best friend in the editing phase, whenever it comes, because I try not to worry about anything but the story at this point. Anyway, now I'm done writing about writing and will get on to the real thing, hopefully. These people need to stop living in my head when I'm offering an unlimited number of blank pages.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Renaissance Festival 2009

We had a great time. Celtic Legacy and Cast in Bronze were fantastic. David and I had a blast. I hope he has leave next deployment over the summer, I'll make us costumes. Lol.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Off Road Trip

I had SO MUCH FUN. I got to meet people, and everyone was so nice. I wasn't expecting to walk, but it was great. We hiked 1.5 miles to the reservoir, and it was beautiful the whole way. The wet weather has brought a plethora of wildflowers into bloom, and I'm going to go back up tomorrow or Friday and pick a bunch to press for art projects. And the reservoir was great, I can't wait to go back with David and a couple of fishing poles. It's even big enough for a boat, though the wind was so strong when we were there that I couldn't imagine going out in anything without an anchor. We stopped at a bunch of great views and everyone took a lot of pictures. None of these were taken by me, I only have a small, kinda crappy camera and my phone, so I didn't even bother when I knew other people would be taking much better pictures with their much better cameras. We stopped in a meadow for lunch, and almost everything was put in a communal pot. Someone brought smoked salmon (that he made), cheese, and crackers and passed the platter around. Mmmmm.....yum. The conversation was great and the mood light-hearted. Everyone was having fun. I had two other people in the Jeep with me. On our way to Woodland Park for margaritas we stopped and gawked as a herd of 55 elk, to my count, ran across the road in front of us. It was so cool. Some of the pictures are incredibly high def and close too. We stopped and got margaritas, I was the only one who got strawberry or sugar. Then we went back, dropped riders off at their cars and went home. I had a little bit of a sunburn, but it was totally worth it. What a great day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Florissant Fossil Beds

Karen and I had a great time today. We drove to the Florissant Fossil Beds and hiked around for the better part of 6 hours. In all, we covered a little over 5.5 miles. She's a photographer and has a great camera, and she got some great shots, which I'll add to this post when I get them. We made friends with two of the park rangers, and they gave us their email addresses to exchange pictures and told us to call the next time we came out and they would walk with us. That should be fun.

We munched on apples, dates, nuts, and hummus with bread. It was yummy. And I used my camelbak for the first time in years, which worked out great. We have a date to go bowling this weekend, that should be a fun time too. Yay for friends. The Dragon Boat Festival is this weekend, that should be fun, especially considering we missed the Irish Festival last weekend to go camping.

I'm going to try to upload pictures off the phones and camera tonight.

Plan for the Day

With luck Karen will let me know where we'll meeting before we're supposed to meet and our trip to the Florissant Fossil Beds will go off as planned. In preparation for that, I need to pack a lunch and a camelbak. We'll be gone for about 4 hours, and then I need to run by a fabric store before coming home and attacking my everlasting list of chores. Somewhere in there I need a nap.

The vegetarian conversion is still going well. We have one tube of ground turkey and a lot of tuna to finish off still, and David will take care of the hot dogs and lunch meat without my help. Red meat has been entirely cut out and poultry will be next, within the next day or so I imagine. It will probably take a little while to go through the amount of tuna I have, both pouches and cans, but they should be gone by the end of July. That puts my lacto-ovo goal well on track. The best alternative to not eliminating animal products completely, in my opinion, is to by grass fed milk and cage free eggs, locally if possible. I need to come up with a budget. We just got paid, and we don't really have a good system for monitoring our spending, which we really need. I haven't totalled up how much we've spent on groceries for the month in a long time, and I'm fairly certain it's higher than we would like. Taking the time to shop around is important too. Avocados were .88 at Wal-Mart and $1.99 at King Soopers. The Wal-Mart avocados were smaller, but I almost always have produce left over when I'm done cooking, and not having leftovers isn't necessarily bad. I also need to come up with a freezer menu.

And run the washer again because I forgot about those clothes for the past day and I bet they smell now.

And somewhere in there work on my book and get some knitting/sewing done.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Job Hunting

I applied to three jobs yesterday, had an interview, have one today, have another tomorrow, and need to write up my resume so I can apply to more. Could be promising, I'm hopeful. All I want to do is write, which requires a degree if I plan on doing anything other than writing books, which at this point I don't, and I also don't have the money to go back to school anyway. Hence the job search. I'd like to make some money and am feeling rather confident about my health for the moment. So wish me luck!

Clearing the air

I will make a forenote (is that a word) that this is a really, really long blog. However, it contains the last of my public opinions on what happened with Katie and my side of the situation, since I haven't had the opportunity to share it with most people. That was a personal choice, I didn't want to gossip, but apparently that did me a disservice instead of showing that I was above bringing mutual family into a nasty situation. So here it is. If you want to read what happened, and my opinion, and about what I really said in that infamous blog, you can read it here. This is an attempt to keep the words people are putting into my mouth at a minimum. I wasn't always perfect, far from it. But I did the best I could in a tough situation, an extremely tough situation. Katie joyfully put me between a rock and a hard place and did absolutely nothing to diffuse the situation. She was deliberately unwilling to work with me to get the situation resolved, and despite her lies, I did try. I tried really hard. But she wanted a war, so she got one. So. Not everyone needs to read this blog, not everyone wants to, so I will repeat my main disclaimer here, at the top, so there is no need to read to the bottom if you don't wish to.

It ends here. If you choose to read this blog, keep that in mind. This is the last personal opinion on the situation you'll get here. If there are any unresolved issues floating around in anyone's head, ask me here, shoot me an email, or call me. Now there is no excuse that I can't be approached about the situation, because I'm issuing an open invitation. Clear the air.

On to the actual, original blog.

So it turns out that it's getting increasingly harder to come up with original urls for blogger blogs. So I'm collecting good names. Ha. I'm a nerd. Or I just like writing. I like this one, I think. 100minus1 is about something else entirely, though I have no idea how it pertains to a blog. This one is meant to be a record that can be public, in the hopes that eventually I might have friends who want to read my blogs, but also as an attempt to sanitize my life.

For my part, I would ask that anyone who does read it leave comments to show that they've been here, so I don't get hit by surprise if people find yet more opportunities to misinterpret what I say. At least that allows me the opportunity to address, digress, and communicate more clearly, and I appreciate it. While this blog is not meant to become another spot for ranting, what bothered me most about having a public blog was that people would care enough to read it and talk to others about how they interpreted it without saying anything to me so I could re-express myself. (That sentence was terribly long, and if it were more important I'd fix it, but it's not). If my intentions are misinterpreted that makes me guilty of ill-expression, not of the intent you read into my words. Consider it a caveat and a covenant: I'll make every attempt to be unoffensive and the reader will make every attempt to not find offense.

That was a bit of a rant, I can't help that, it just happens sometimes. But when Entropic Explosion was public it was extremely hurtful to discover that people were gossiping about what I wrote without giving me an opportunity to defend myself. Katie made bad choices. I was pissed, I still get pissed sometimes. I will spare you rants about it because I realize now that it's impossible to convey in words what kind of person she is. She's a good liar, and I'd rather keep it to myself then risk being construed as the bad guy again. I will leave it at she's being given way too much credit for being a good, reasonable person, no matter how little you give her. I dealt with her prods and goading for months after Christmas and had to deal with being illegally harassed by the police. When I ranted and raved, it was because something had happened that set off a flood of hurt feelings and anger and they had to be expressed so I didn't explode, whether it was a scathing comment she left on myspace or a bitchy text message commanding me to do something. I may not have reacted well, but as I said, you'll never have any idea what she put me through because it's just not worth telling you about it. And her family won't really be able to hear it anyway. That's not meant as a jab, not really. But she's family, and the baby, and having a baby, and it's a pattern. It's not worth trying to break, they love her. They just aren't capable of seeing her in her entirity. We all fall victim to that. And I'm biased the other way, because no amount of good she has could make up for what I've seen come out of her when she's setting new lows. There is no real opportunity for reconciliation of the minds there, so much better if no one tries to convince anyone, which will just lead to discord.

I do not have a copy of the blog I wrote that caused so many problems, I deleted it days later because I decided it had been written in anger and didn't convey what I wanted it to. Unfortunately, by then it was already being read, passed around, and judged. I will address this once and only once. I never said I was going to shoot anyone. I never threatened anyone. I specifically said that I did not feel safe around Katie and could no longer trust the family to respect our wishes when we said that we didn't want to see her. Because I can't trust that I will show up for a family event only to be surprised with Katie's presence (because it was deliberately kept a secret from me), I have to take measures to protect myself and feel secure. The reason that I mentioned bringing a loaded weapon with me to family gatherings was to emphasize the seriousness of the transgression that happened at Christmas and dissuade anyone from taking similar action in the future. It wasn't a threat, it was a warning. If you put me in a situation where I feel threatened, such as what happened at Christmas, I will take whatever measures needed to ensure that I feel safe. If you don't want me bringing a weapon, you better damn well make sure that Katie isn't there. If it's that important that she be there, you should realize that I won't be, and if you don't give me the choice (again, Christmas), I'll take whatever steps I feel necessary to counter the steps that you felt were necessary. THAT was what the blog said. Any interpretation otherwise is a misinterpretation. I realize it was extreme, I realize it was an overreaction, however nothing I wrote compares with the overreaction of the people who read it. It was meant to be a trade off. If you want Katie and I at the same family gathering, you should be aware I will bring a weapon to protect myself because THAT IS MY LEVEL OF DISTRUST OF HER. She brought that on herself through her actions and level of harassment the preceding months. You can call that an overreaction too, but you weren't there. You don't know, so your opinion on the matter is worthless. Keep it to yourself, as the only story anyone had heard, especially by that point, was Katie's. Which means the only opinions you could hold on the matter were a reflection of Katie's, and considering that she's a lying, worthless, waste of space, you could have given me a little more credit instead of automatically taking her side. I will note that NO ONE called me and asked about the situation, and I regarded calling people and bringing it up gossiping. So I didn't do it. Turns out she doesn't have the same standards that I do.

Fact of the matter is, no one will ever know how much pain I was in those months. I was alone, and hurting so much that the one trip I made out of the bedroom a day was to let the dogs out. Otherwise, I would cry as I crawled to the bathroom to puke for the better part of the day, then cry as I crawled back to bed, where I would stay, motionless, watching the same movie over and over and over, because it was not worth the pain to get up and change the DVD. On top of this, I have to deal with Katie dropping by whenever she felt like it. I put a stop to that, I changed the locks. It was not out of a desire to escalate the situation, it was a necessary measure of self-preservation. I was physically unable to deal with the situation the majority of the time, and seeing as I knew she had no respect for me or my wishes at that point, despite never contributing a dime of her own money to the household expenses (she used and abused Mom's credit card, trust me, I watched her buy cartons of cigarettes on it), I could not allow her free access to the house. I followed this action by telling her that when she wanted to get her things, all I wanted was a days notice. A phone call. So that I could gather up her things that had been borrowed, or moved, or just generally spread out that I knew where were and have them ready for her. She refused to call me. That's not my fault. She refused to set up a time, and on the occasions when we did, she didn't show. Again, with me being almost completely physically disabled by this point. I'm not exaggerating.

When she finally did come to collect her things, I had no notice. On top of that, I had asked her to have her things out two weeks before I was moving so that nothing of hers would accidentally get moved to my apartment. Well, she didn't come before I had to start moving, so unfortunately, that's what happened. I had a lot of help packing, because I needed it, and I wasn't able to supervise the majority of the packing. Some of her things were moved. That was her fault too, she left it too late, and I had tried to prevent the situation from happening, and she rejected my wisdom out of spite. Those were the consequences. So then she accused me of stealing all sorts of things, the majority of which I didn't have. After that it was hard to take her seriously when she told me I had things of hers, because I knew they were false accusations. I knew I didn't have certain items she insisted I had. And when you're continually harassing someone you don't give them much incentive to help you out. Then I had to clean the house by myself, including the basement that she had left completely trashed. She didn't even remove all of her furniture, leaving it to me, the person in extreme pain, to push a mattress and a box spring up a flight of stairs to the porch by myself. If she doesn't have to care about my pain, I don't have to care about what she wants either. After that there was a continual stream of demanding text messages and nasty public messages about David on myspace. The number one thing I told her from the beginning was that I was not going to communicate about a matter of this seriousness through text messages. She still refused to call, continuing to send text messages. She called the landlord and the police about her possessions. She NEVER called me. NEVER. So was her priority her possessions or harassment? Did she want the situation resolved easily or did she want it as messy as possible? You can come to your own conclusions, but I offered her an easy, uncomplicated way out: a phone call. She can't say I wouldn't have answered or arranged a time with her because she never tried. She never wanted to be a peacemaker. In fact, she went out of her way to cause trouble and make things as difficult as possible for me.

So. Now that I've covered why I needed a new blog and addressed why I face trepidation over the decision to have another public blog, we can move on. I've covered my side of the controversy caused by Entropic Explosion, and am dropping the matter. It ends here. If you choose to read this blog, keep that in mind. This is the last personal opinion on the situation you'll get here. If there are any unresolved issues floating around in anyone's head, ask me here, shoot me an email, or call me. Now there is no excuse that I can't be approached about the situation, because I'm issuing an open invitation. Clear the air.

On to happier things.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Camping Weekend

This was our very first camping trip. We rented a camper and stayed at the Lone Duck Campground, which was great. We had really nice neighbors, and everyone there was super friendly. We brought the dogs, and they did great. We went to the Florissant Fossil Beds on Saturday, which was really cool. We were only able to hike a couple of the trails, but I'll definitely go back to do the rest. For everyone back home who is curious, the fossil beds were named after Florissant, MO, because the man who discovered them was from Missouri. Pretty cool. Basically millions of years ago there was a huge lake in the area, as well as a volcano. When the volcano erupted, the flow of mud, magma, whatever it was covered the bottom 15 feets of the huge Redwood trees in the area. Everything above the flow eventually died and went away, but the bottom of the trees petrified. The ash settled on the bottom of the lake and helped preserve the plants and animals that had died and settled to the bottom, leaving a lot of fossils in the area. It was really neat. We didn't stay long because they were closing soon and we were both hungry, but I'll go back.