Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thanks for hanging in there with me ...

Over the past few months I've been through a lot of changes, from working 72 hours to 28 hours per week, from a quiet semester with minimal school activities to spring and its jump start on things to come for all, and a computer system that caught a cold, or something and has had to have a cleanse and may need more memory. Geesh, it sounds a lot like me, the more memory thing that is! Anyway, thanks for sticking with me as I work through all of this and the impact that spring has sprung upon us. I have a feeling there are more surprises to come ... oh goody, prom is this Saturday! Updates at eleven on the twelve o:clock news. ;)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Step in the Right Direction

We've all been there, done that kind of thing, when in our youth we did something we regretted doing. No? Well, then I must be among the few who have, but somehow I doubt that. I can remember times in my life, when it seemed that no one could hear my voice, that life was throwing me curves that were beyond my control, and that try as I might, there were no resolutions.

As each situation's intensity grew towards a climax, I felt the need to take drastic measures to make my life better. Though some of those measure were rough around the edges early in my life, they came to be more positive in nature, hoping for a workable solution. Sometimes those measures were purely survival for sanity. Regardless, I am sure most of them were necessary for my life's journey.

I have done my best to love, nurture, and respect all of my children and family. After all, none of us came with an instruction manual, but there are some wise counsel available to aid in our quest to become a more civilized lot of humans. Why then am I waxing philosophically? My daughter's recent visit reminded me that sometimes we have to experience great difficulties before achieving great successes.

For nearly seven years, one of my daughters has been away from home struggling with life's decisions. Do you simply sit back and allow life to dictate how you will spend your time here on earth? Will you allow other people's actions define who you are? How much of yourself should you give up to someone else before you lose your identity, or before you stand up for what you believe in? These are the questions she needed to find answers to, in order to turn things around in her life.

Our visit was sweet, healing in ways I had hoped, thought it will take time to grow moving forward. And even though there is still a lot to explore together, she made a very big step in the right direction. She overcame her fears to face her family, to allow them to love her for who she now is, for who she wants to be, for a new beginning in her life.

We often have many things in common with our children, some they may never realize or like to admit. Like my daughter, I am sure there are some things I would change, but only if the people that I love most in my life, and those I wish I had met in my life, would remain in its entirety, as a part of my life. In reality, I am very fortunate to have people that genuinely love me, and I pray that she sees she does too.

So, here's to all of us ... Today is the first day of the rest of our lives! Live it to its fullest, surrounded by those we love, sharing love, laughter, and life together! Thanks to all of you for filling my life with wonderful moments, and for being there with me when I too, took steps in the right direction!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The train ride ... an adventure in itself!

Pamela's train was to leave PA at 8:37 a.m. Thursday morning and arrive in NC at 4:03 p.m. at a nearby station. Around 11:00 a.m. she called to in a panic to tell me that she had missed her train, she was headed back north, and her luggage was on the other train headed south. It just so happened that the train had stopped in Washington, DC for a 30 minute break so its passengers could stretch their legs. When she attempted to board her train the attendant that was directing passengers directed her to the wrong train. She was now headed north to New Carrollton, MD.

When she arrived there, the Amtrak people said they would put her back on a train headed to Rocky Mount, NC at 3:05 p.m. They were also going to call the train and have her luggage dropped at the station in Rocky Mount so we wouldn't have to drive down to the original destination to retrieve her belongings. She should arrive in Rocky Mount at 7:29 p.m. now, and I could finish out my normal work day, there should be no more problems. WRONG!

After work I headed to the train station, and when I arrived, the train was delayed 1 1/2 hours due to a faulty engine. On top of that, her luggage was now in Raleigh, NC as the conductor had forgotten to drop it in Rocky Mount, and that station's baggage area closes at 9:30 p.m. The attendant suggested that I go ahead on to Raleigh to retrieve her luggage and they would send her on to meet me there since that was the final destination for that train. It made sense to me so I headed to Raleigh.

Thank goodness my boyfriend was at home and could access his laptop for directions to both train stations and our return trip home via a shorter route. When I left town from work, I accidentally left the directions to Rocky Mount on my desk, so it was sweet of him to be my personal GPS. Who needs to pay for such a gadget when you have an engineering boyfriend?

Back to the adventure, I arrived in Raleigh at 9:00 p.m and found my way to the customer service desk to inquire about the luggage. The attendant there was expecting me and after confirming my identity, she delivered the luggage into my custody. I have to say that both station attendants were more than helpful throughout the entire ordeal.

All I had to do next was sit and wait for the train to arrive. It had reached its destination on time in Rocky Mount and then headed to Raleigh. Around 10:20 p.m. the train stopped short of the station. They were waiting clearance from the station to proceed as they were anticipating there being a repair train there at the same time. After nearly 20 more minutes the train pulled into the station and as Pamela stepped down from the train she spotted me coming in her direction. At one point she broke into a jog and as we embraced her tears flowed, she was finally home.

We said our thanks to the attendant, hopped in the van, drove to a nearby gas station to fill the tank, grabbed a meal-to-go for the trip home, and headed out of Raleigh. For the next two hours Pamela would talk with me in a effort to keep me alert. As we entered the final fifteen minutes of the trip she dozed off, she said the road was too boring ... LOL ... I guess so at 1:15 a.m. and after her exasperating experience today!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Naked Naturals ... It's "G" Rated!

What do the words "Naked Naturals" bring to mind? All right, behave! It's "G" rated, as in great!

In 1987 I started coloring my hair out of a need to shake things up in my life. Being born a blond the natural thing for me to do was to return to my roots, and what better way to do that than go golden. Through the years I have tried countless combinations of shampoos and conditioner to maintain my healthy locks even though I was stripping it of it natural shade. Who would have imagined I'd have such healthy hair at my age?

When I first began coloring my hair my goal was to prevent it from ever becoming dry and brittle, you know, like those heads of hair that looked something like straw. It's always been important for me to utilize products that keep that natural shine and silky texture, without spending a fortune, not always an easy task. It appears that may no longer be the case.

I recently received a sample of Naked Naturals and thought since we've been trying more and more earth friendly products, why not a natural shampoo and conditioner. Well, not only did it leave my hair healthy looking after a couple of applications, it had a deliciously soothing fragrance!

Believe me, I have two teens and they both gave me compliments on the look, feel and smell of my hair after using "Naked Naturals" just twice. My daughter has already found the local pharmacy for me to purchase more for them to use. I like it that it's all natural, and since I color my hair, it's a big plus that it could make mine up to 7 times stronger than those synthetic brands.

Naked Naturals contains an ingredient in both the shampoo and conditioner called Keravis which increases hair strength, and adds to the flexibility while reducing unnecessary breakage. After twenty years of continued hair coloring, I need a product that will work on two levels to protect my hair follicles. This ingredient works to penetrate and moisturize making my hair feel fuller and supple, then it forms a protective coating to minimize any damage from blow drying.

I don't think I'd ever get tired of using Naked Naturals sweet smelling Awapuhi Lavender. It's nice to have your teens consider your shampoo and conditioner as likable, and not prehistoric!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


It's been four years since my second oldest child has been home for a visit with us, and nearly eight years since she has visited with the rest of our family. She will be arriving on the Amtrak around 4 pm and I'll head out from work to pick her up. It's a long story, but I am hopeful for a very positive outcome. No one ever said it would be easy, and I am proud of her taking this step ... it's a big one for her. More later about our visit!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Re: Stubby? Sporting a New Style!

Here he is, Lil' Man and his newly adjusted tail. The veterinarian removed the injured 2" of tail bone, put in a couple of stitches, and tapered the hair at the tip to appear more natural; it now resembles a stubby pencil point. He has regained his spirit, is actively chasing Baby Girl around, and fetching his "Woodstock" stuffed bird. Ryan is being extra careful with the doors in the house now, making sure he looks twice before he closes one. Thanks to all who shared their concern for Lil' Man; he is doing great!

Read What Happened Here

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Just two days left to file your 2007 tax return!

It's hard to believe, but we have just two days left to file tax returns for our clients for 2007. I can hardly wait to have an entire weekend off from work! We had anticipated a busier than usual Saturday, but former President Clinton was in town, campaigning for his wife, and most people were at the local high school listening to his speech. I had more important things to do, like work, and laundry, and getting my house cleaned before today's events.

After six loads of laundry, breakfast for four, taxi service for the referees to a lacrosse game, drying and folding those six loads, watching the second half of the lacrosse game, taxi service for two guest back to their home, a visit an hour away for my dad's birthday, and home again, I'm bushed! Time to get some sleep for last Monday of the 2008 tax season!

Sweet dreams, goodnight, "Mr.D" :*

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Avoiding Junk Food Before the Prom

With the Junior-Senior prom less than four weeks away, Jenn and Ryan both are trying to make sure they stay away from foods that will aggravate their skin's complexion. Jenn must be stressing out about the "Big Dance" because she noticed a spot of small pimples that have arisen on her forehead. I don't know about your teens, but when mine see the smallest of pimples they start searching for the best acne treatment available on the market. I've tried to tell them that acne is a more serious problem in regard to the skin's complexion, but you know, I'm old, and I've never had a pimple, zit, or the slightest idea of what it means to worry about the biggest dance in high school.

Guess I need to break out the old yearbooks again to see if I can jar this old memory of mine ... sigh ... now where was that bookcase again?


Just before lunch yesterday I received a call from Jenn. She and Ryan were home from school for the day due to a teacher workday. Her voice didn't have it's usual tone to it, and within moments I would find out why. Our year old cat was sitting next to the bathroom door when Ryan entered the room and promptly shut the door for privacy.

What Jenn and Ryan heard next was the most bone chilling screech they had ever heard in their lifetime. Apparently, Lil' Man was sitting just a wee bit too close to the door and when Ryan shut the door ... you guessed it ... it caught the cat's tail in the door. Now he didn't just screech, he panicked and proceeded to run in an attempt to escape his captor. Unfortunately for him, he left behind him part of his tail.

Lil' Man had managed to remove over an inch and one half of his scalp and fur when he darted from the door before Ryan could open it. The screech had scared Ryan so bad he promptly opened the door, but Lil' Man was quicker. I can't even imagine the speed at which he tore across my living room.

In an effort to sooth the kids and take care of Lil' Man, I excused myself from work to give aide to my cat. As I arrived home he was in the tub with Jenn in an effort to keep him still and unable to decorate the house with liquid red. He didn't appear to be in any immediate pain, so I took him to the kitchen while I called a couple of area vets. We managed to get him to a vet by 4 pm and this morning he had surgery to remove the skinless tip of his tail.

He is home now, asleep on my couch, and his tail is doing nicely, no apparent pain, and not looking bad at all. Now, we'll just have to call him Stubby ... just kidding!

UPDATE: Sporting a New Style

Monday, April 7, 2008

How do you follow a class act?

A couple of years ago I purchased a set of watches for our anniversary. They are gold with a black faced dial, gold dots for the hours twelve, three, six, and nine o'clock, and gold hour and second hands. Though they were not extremely expensive, and certainly not luxury watches, they were elegant enough for a night on the town. When you have the right accessories it adds a touch of class to your attire. Watch or not, my boyfriend has plenty of class, he's a gentleman through and through!

Now, I wonder what token of love would best suit him this anniversary?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Adding "Ms. Plumber" to my resume ...

Today we went to visit my parents to share in celebration of my youngest brother's birthday. While we were there my oldest brother announced that the restroom had sprung a leak; the toilet tank had broken and spilled its contents on the floor as well as my brother. Thank goodness it was the top tank and not the bottom bowl!

Anyway, my parents went to the store and purchased a new toilet from Lowe's. They had hoped to simply pick up a tank for the existing bowl but they found that the larger tanks have been outlawed. As we started the repair work my mom said, "They just don't make things like they used to, after all it only lasted 32 years"! We all got a good chuckle out of that one.

So, Dad and I spent the evening replacing the toilet, a real father-daughter bonding event. Two of my other brothers even got in on the act as they were needed to tighten down the bolts holding the tank in place. It was a bit loose and was allowing a small drip from the seal where the washer was supposed to stop such activity.

I'm happy to announce that I will now add "Ms. Plumber" to my resume. I am now able to fix the insides of a toilet, replace a toilet, and clean the drains in both the sink and bathtub. It may not seem like much but it sure saves on the finances, especially when the going rate for a plumber is over $80 per hour.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Helping Friends Find Quality Movers

How many times have you moved in your lifetime? Once, twice, three times?

You don't even want to know how many for me. As a child born into a military family, my life was set with the routine of moving from one place to another. Whether we were moving from California, or around town in North Carolina, we managed to find companies to move our belongings. Our experiences varied so widely, that during my sophomore year all of my belongings ended up being left behind and hauled to the dump. As you can imagine as a teen I was devastated!

Finding a quality moving company seemed to be impossible. You've heard those horror stories, from damaged furniture to broken heirlooms. Finally, one of our friends who had a great experience with a New York moving company was able give us tips as to what to look for in a quality company. Though I never recovered my belongings, I did collected more, and from that point forward packed and loaded my own boxes.

To answer my own question; I've moved approximately as many times as years I been alive. :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

In Pursuit of Additional Income

Today I spent a bit of my day updating my resume, dropping in on the local employment office, contacting prospective employers, and mailing out the resume. With our current hours at my day job about to shift to 28 per week, I've been shopping around for some part-time work to maintain my current level of income.

One thing we had discussed at work was some sort of customer service work online, where you designate a phone line for incoming calls from customers. However if we did this at work there is one flaw. Unless we had a separate line for each of us to do this type of work how do we split the work load and pay?

It would seem this plan needs a bit more thought!