Desert Sand Mica

Whatever, just crash it Bob...


Blogger, blogger, why do you hate me so?

Every blog I hit on my blogroll takes me to a page. I think everyone at blogger headquarters has a lampshade on their head.

We were home from Mark's shindig at 6pm. 6pm I tell you! The arcade place was a ridiculous mess. Every 10 year old within a 600 mile radius was there. We ate and got the hell out of dodge. We rented 28 days later and came home and watched that while we ate boston cream pie and ice cream and had coffee. Now that's New Years!

As New Year's Eves go, this one has been quiet, but nice. The past two years we've had a "kids" - (teenagers) party at our house on New Years. eep.

I have two really memorable New Year's stories.

About 6 or 7 years ago my ex (then hubby) and I were at some friends house for New Years. The wives and I were pretty trashed, and were playing with her son's voice changing toy. You would record something into it, and when you played it back your voice would be all silly and jacked up. We recorded ourselves yelling "Happy New Year!" and called everyone we knew and played it. I have never laughed so hard in my life!! We even called relatives out of state who had been in bed for hours. We never revealed who we were.

Then, let's see. Memorable New Years #2 was 1999 into 2000. New Year's day hubby told me he loved someone else and he was leaving.

The first one was funner.

Tell me your most memorable New Years story... good or bad.

Well I'm off for an afternoon of debauchery and illegal activities. Then I woke up.

We're going to the same place we went to for Mark's work Christmas Party...anyone ever get a new idea around there? I know, how about we go to a place that allows only adults, instead of the local arcade where we're likely to get mowed over by brats on winter break? Anyone?

We'll be home early, guaranteed.

Happy New Year, all. Celebrate responsibly, or I'll be all up in your shizznit.

I guess I'm in hair fixer upper mode. I gave Mark a haircut night before last (I've cut it a few times before) and he said he's received quite a few compliments, and someone even asked him where he got it done, that they really liked it. While I don't have/need/want Laura's skill or expertise, I gotta say - I did good. And now, Im sitting here with blondey goop on my head, waiting for the timer to go off.

I was supposed to go to the movies with my mom today, a reschedule from before Christmas, but I was up and down many times last night feeling sickly and nauseous, and eventually ended up sleeping fitfully on the couch. And since I'm expected to go meet Mark's cronies later, I needed the time to try to get better. I do feel better, but no where near 100%.

I had to take Daniel to the dentist this morning, (8:30, thankyouverymuch) he had a toothache which turned out to be a cavity. The dentist also pointed out that his 12 year molar was positioned sideways, and that that would need to be othodontically corrected. That was the tooth with the cavity, because of the way it's positioned it's susceptible to trapping food, so it needs to be taken care of soon. Blah! I have dental coverage through Colorado's uninsured children program, plus I also pay $24 a month for Comfort Dental's own supplemental coverage (which is REALLY fabulous) so hopefully it won't end up costing me very much at all.

Speaking of Comfort Dental's own coverage, I got an end of the year status report, and of the $3900 worth of work we all had done last year, I paid $1400. Not bad for $24 a month! Have I said before how much I love love love Comfort Dental?! I have?! Well, I'm saying it again!

Time to rinse!


Mark and I had decided to stay in on New Years, and see if we could get some rugrats to babysit. We'd heard that folks kill for overnight babysitting on NYE, and sorta kinda put the word out, but we got no offers. Our reputation precedes us, I think.

So, we're going to go out with some folks from his work, though I don't think anyone is planning on staying out till midnight, which is fine with me. We don't have the money, and I don't have the inclination to stay out for hours and hours with car salesmen and the bitches who love them.

Seriously, if there's one thing I hate is wives. Mark's friends are fine, great no problem. Wives - I loathe them. Good thing I'm the cutest one, or I'd really be dreading it. (confidence - not my problem, I know.) I can knock the best of em down quite a few notches, with just one head to toe look. Even better if I can muster a quzzical smirk. Even if they look fine, they will immediately think something is horribly, terribly wrong with their appearance. muwahaha. No wonder I have a hard time making female friends.

Exciting night here, folks. Nothing is on 500 channels, Katie is at work, Daniel is off to spend the night elsewhere, Mark is at work, and it's cold. Lemme catch my breath from the frantic pace, and I might be back later.

Another one bites the dust..

vagablog is gone, he says he hurt someone through his site and yada yada yada it's gone. Don't call, don't write he says. It's just as well. I was annoyed everytime I read his site anyway.

Drama anyone?

Does anyone know where I can get a whole bag of these?

Cause it's the only thing my cat will play with,

and I can only buy so much of this.

Temper, temper...

Your sign of frustration is....Destruction!!! When
something pisses you off, you must destroy it.
You have great potential to become a vandalist.
All you need to do is find the perfect gang

What sign of frustration are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Gotta get dressed and ready for the day. Have been playing around on the computer since I got up, and I gots stuffs to do!

Have been talking to my best online buddy Alan for a good long while this morning. I love Alan, we've been friends for a long long time and I owe a lot of what my life is now to him, truly. When my hope and my dignity was at it's lowest, when I was trying to get Mark's "attention" but getting the door slammed in my face, everyone else said give up, but he never did. He always told me to keep plugging away. He said once "when all is said and done, he will see you're still standing there" and it was SO true.

And now we are very close, and can share nearly everything. We present problems to each other that we can't share with anyone else. A friendship like that is priceless. Mwa, baby.

Ok, gotta go. Have a good day all!

Katie made a 100 things list. Go see. She's been posting like mad lately, are you keeping up?

PromoGuy's Monday Mission. It's the next to last one he's ever gonna do. You better get while the gettin is good.

1. So, what did you get for Christmas?
Oh, so much fun stuff. A dvd player, two crockpots, tons of books, movies (my favorite movies, which was really cool), an engagement ring, a really soft sweater, tons of stuff that I love.

2. Are you returning any gifts you were given for Christmas?
Well, I tried to return one of the crockpots but Wal-Mart doesn't sell that kind, and no one else takes gifts back without a receipt. Pft. Actually I'm thinking of keeping them both anyway.

3. For me, the best part of Christmas being over is that there will be no more Fran Drescher "Old Navy" commercials. Ugh, bring back Morgan Fairchild! What is the best part of Christmas being over?
My neighbors have deflated their white trash 20' Santa from their roof.

4. Used to be, we would always get together with friends and have Margaritas on New Year's Eve (though time has passed and friends drift apart, so not anymore, sadly). My Grandma always makes sure to eat Black Eyed Peas on N.Y.E. I know of another couple who "do it" on NYE, and time it to reach their "peak" right at 12:00 AM! Do you have any traditions each year for New Year's Eve?
When I was married we would always go to our friends Tom and Jody's house and play games with a bunch of church folks. That was really fun. Until our last New Year's Eve together when his girlfriend kept paging him. That put a damper on the whole thing, really.

5. If you could go back into 2003 and change just one thing, or get a "do over," what would you do?
Oh wow. I always wish I had gone outside the night my Elantra was on fire, because I always think maybe I could have caught it really early, and it would have been ok.

6. Is there anything you want to accomplish in 2004 that seems within reach?
I want to get a job as an EMT

7. Is your online personality very different from what it would be like if I were meeting you in "real life?"
No, not at all. People tell me all the time that my online personality is exactly how I really am.

BONUS: What you gonna do when you get out of jail?
Smoke, probably. Then get a slurpee.

Today's Comment Question: Once the Monday Mission is gone, what meme will you pick to replace it?
I think I'm gonna do one myself. I have a lot of ideas for questions floating around up here.


I shook up the blogroll a bit. Added some folks that I've been needing to add for ages. Took off serenity quest - she's not coming back, trust me...I know this for a fact.

Mark is watching his dvd of Apollo 13, I'm sitting in my bedroom wondering why I'm so sleepy if there was truly no MSG in that dinner, as the restaurant's sign so clearly states. Maybe I missed the fine print.

Our food contains only Nyquil type additives

Stuffed. Mark and I went out for Chinese buffet. I'm bursting at the seams.

I made it to the Limo place and picked up all my paperwork. He gave me a W-4 to fill out along with everything else, but no one has really said "you're hired!". Tho while he was going through the packet with me page by page he kept laughing at certain key points like... "We'll need this filled out if you do get hired. hahahaha" and "If I do decide to take you on, you'll have to have this - hahahaha" Weird.

He did say that after I return all the paperwork "we'll do a regular interview and then we'll just go out driving and get you used to the cars". So...I dunno. Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe I'll be driving folks here and there soon, or maybe I'll still be slummin. He did ask about my availability and was pleased that my weekends are virtually free. I wouldn't limit myself to working on the weekends tho, I would want to work as much as possible. Mark's already agreed that day care for Emma may have to be arranged occasionally, dependant on many different schedule, his schedule, kids schedule, Dy moving to Denver, - lots of variables...

I'm just glad he's being so flexible, and doesn't make me feel like I have to arrange my own schedule around Emma, and that there are a lot of different options that work for everyone. We had a long talk about how I felt last week, and I'm willing to bet that I won't feel like that again. He's so willing to make changes to benefit the family, and making sure that things feel fair and equitable. He read what you all wrote about a lot of step-mothers not being willing to watch their boyfriends/husbands kids at ALL and how mean they are to them, and I think he felt a new appreciation for the relationships that exist in this house. I got a few emails after that post, saying more of the same...with stories of step moms that were not pretty - not pretty at all, and he read those too. One man that wrote said his girlfriend was the greatest thing that ever happened to him - A #1 wonderful, but she refused to babysit his son - ever...but the thing was he didn't fault her a bit for it. He felt that it wasn't her responsibility, and he cared enough about her not to put her in a position with his son that she didn't want to be in. He felt that even tho they were getting married and beginning to share all aspects of their life together, that his son was his responsibility and any relationship between him and his girlfriend should be initiated and controlled by her.

I dunno - it's a fine line, I think. I've always had a good relationship with Emma, and Mark seems to value my input and the authority I do take with her - even tho it's not 100%. I defer to Mark many many times, because I'm uncomfortable taking on certain roles with Emma. did I get here? Where is my beautiful wife? Where is my beautiful car? hehe.

What a tangent, huh?

I guess I'm just saying I'm glad Mark doesn't expect me to feel the same responsibility that he does, and he knows that ultimately her care and welfare is up to him - while she's here that is. Yea, that musta been what I was trying to say. I guess.

Anyway - back to life, back to reality. I gotta go tidy the living room cause I told Katie I would. She's so bossy.

Oops! Forgot to put up the picture of the bed. It's there now.

Don't forget I'll be turning in my application (supposedly a formality - whatever) tomorrow.

Yes, I'll be begging the particular company to allow me to drive people around in a 30' long Lincoln Continental. People that for some reason are above using "normal" transportation. People that have a lot of money so they give average-looking-blonde-41-year-old-EMT's-driving-limos very large tips for dropping them off at the airport.

(Ok, that last part is made up.)


We're done with Emma's room. YAY!! Thanks to Katie, we got it all done in just a couple of hours. (Many black hefty bags were hauled away - sssh)

Here's our hard work, in pictures. CLick to see it super-sized.


Mark got a new mustache/goatee trimmer for CHristmas. I thought it funny that the first part of the instructions say "How to grow a beard or mustache." I'm imagining a conversation in Target.

"Let's get this for Bill"
"But he doesn't have a beard or mustache"
"Well, it shows you right here how to grow one."

I dunno. Oddball things make me chuckle.


Just went to breakfast at "Lenny's" (remember that commercial?) with Katie and Charlie. Now I'm stuffed to the gills with french toast and have had entirely too much coffee. Daniel and I are going to Target and WalMart to exchange a couple of things (joy!) and then I think that's the extent of my obligations for the day. Yowsah.

Emma goes home today for a week, she's so excited. She especially can't wait to see Mommy's Christmas tree and she says "a bunches more presents". She was very content last night going through all her new stuff and playing quietly, listening to Kid Tunes. (on dish) She got so many really ince presents, nothing silly or wasteful that she isn't interested in. Seems like everyone really took her personality to heart and got her some wonderful things.

Of course the main problem is that it's entirely too much!. Most of it is laid out in the hall, waiting for me to tidy her room this week. I am going to tackle her room and my room the same way we did the kitchen and livig room yesterday, relentlessly getting rid of *crap*, ala Life Laundry. (Airs Weds at 6pm on BBC America). Does anyone watch that show? I love it. They come in to someone's house that is a mess mess mess! And take everything out of the house and pile it on the lawn. They make the people go through it and throw away or sell a good amount of it. Then they re-do their house and it's wonderful. Some of these people's houses are embarassingly cluttered. Narrow paths to get from the front door to the kitchen. Bedrooms that are virtually unusable because of the clutter.

Seriously, watching this show for a few weeks has shown me that I can get rid of a LOT of things, and never miss them, and that I am not really cleaning the right way. Yesterday they had a family of 6 on there, and the mother had the same problem I do. She'll start cleaning, and spends so much time making one thing perfect, that there's no time for anything else. Like she'll start organizing her filing system and before you know it she's spent 6 hours on it, and the clutter around the desk hasn't changed a bit. This woman was a perfectionist, and yet had a nearly condemnable home because she didn't know how to clean properly. They talk a lot on there too about how you feel in your home. Is it a nice place to be? What do you feel like when you walk through the door and look around? How do you think your home makes your children feel? Do you freak out when someone knocks on the door? It's a good show, check it out.

So, anyway. I'm trying to adopt a new, cleaner attitude about my house. The kitchen and living room look so good. The rest of the house will be fabulous by Friday too. I'll post pictures, you'll see!


A better afternoon.

We've completely de-Christmased and Katie and I tore apart the kitchen and living room, cleaning. We threw away bags and bags of *crap* that had just been shoved in cupboards for ages. Vases, ice trays, just tons of stupid stuff that had no place to "be".

Emma had a very contented day playing with new toys and coloring. She's earned a reward of "Strawberry Shortcake" on our new DVD from Amanda and Justin. yay! Oh, I forgot - she sat in the bath for about 70 minutes, playing. She got some new bathtub crayons from Gramma Maxine and had a blast. She washed herself, dried herself and got herself dressed afterwards. See? good day....

I'm off to pull books, Katie and Charlie are here hanging out and we might all watch a movie together later. Life is good.

This has been kind of a rough week. They'd scheduled Mark 11-12 hours each day, in anticipation of being really busy, which they haven't been. He is gone from early in the morning, until it's time for Emma to go to bed. Emma is out of school, which makes for very long, boring days - with just me and her here. I have no relief, no support, no break. A lot of single parents would say "hey, I don't either - so there.." Well, something to remember..this isn't my child. I will never have that devotion, that deep internal love that you do for your own children. I felt like a single parent within my marriage sometimes, but I never felt this particular way, because the kids were my own children. Natural parents have an unconditional love and adoration that no one else has - or can have - for their own children. I can never attain the feeling for Emma that I have for my own kids. Unless you've been in a step-parent type role, you cannot relate.

I have to weigh my own selfish needs over what is best for Emma, and I believe that 99% of the time, I mesh the two very successfully. But once in a while I start feeling a little more selfish than usual, and I have to take a moment to step back and get back on track. Emma doesn't know the difference of course, she's never the brunt of any frustration. She gets all the attention and devotion that I truly do feel, and it's plenty. But my real feelings get internalized, which for anyone who knows me - knows I don't do very well. It eventually gets vented out to people and things that are unrelated to the issue, and that's not fair.

But I would never choose not to do this. Mark has shown me time and time again how grateful he is that Emma and I have the great relationship that we do. Through the research I've done into blended families, there are a lot of folks that have constant friction between step-children and step-parents. The natural parents are forever fighting, worrying and wringing their hands over how the step-parents treat their kids, and in 3 years, that has never happened in this relationship. There are women Mark came close to making a permanent committment with, and I cannot even imagine what would have happened to Emma if they had been the one in my shoes. I don't believe any outsider could love Emma the way I do.

I know things will continue to improve, and I am SO blessed that Mark listens to all my frustrations, fears, and failings with an open heart and mind. He never blames me for how I feel, he is ultra understanding and will walk over hot coals to find a solution that makes everyone happy.

I am confident that things will get easier over time and we will find answers to our issues that work for everyone. We just have to take each incident and problem and work it out one by one. We can't ever let the frustrations build up until they are unmanageably huge. That's one thing Mark and I are very good at, is resolving issues completely, one by one.

The meltdowns over the tv have not gotten any better at all, and in fact she had one this morning after being asked to turn the tv off that caused daddy to remove the TV from her bedroom altogether. Gone. It would be super dooper easy for me to just relent and let Emma watch as much as she wants, because it becomes a wonderful babysitter. Relief! A break! She gets so glassy eyed and mesmorized, staring open-mouthed at whatever is on at the time. We don't hear a peep out of her the whole time she's watching.

But I can't do that. The issue is way too important, and we've been plugging it for far too long. (unplugging it? lol)

It's a very fine line to walk, the "not the mom" line. I frequently see opportunities for change and improvement, and sometimes I see warning signs of big problems ahead - but often I keep quiet because some issues are strictly parental. Part of what makes a mediocre parent into a good parent is learning along the way. Making the huge mistakes, and then rectifying them. How would anyone ever learn for themselves how to be a good parent if they constantly had a "been there done that" coach on the sidelines? You have to let people stumble so they can see the rock that tripped them up.

Bottom line, however - I love this family. It's "yours mine and ours" - and we have the drive, loyalty, and strength to make it work. It's just hard sometimes. But the most worthwhile things are the most difficult, aren't they.

Anyway, that's where I'm at this morning. Thanks for listening.


Bleh. Not feeling quite up to par, my stomach is sour and I'm really tired. I feel ill.

Pictures are up tho, but only a few comments added as of yet. See em here.

I'm going to bed.

I have a raging heacache. Promise - tonight I will get up some pictures from Christmas. Lots of good ones to post.

Monday I have an interview for a part-time Limo driver for the Brown Palace. Wish me luck. I don't think there will be any problem getting on board, I've been recommended by a foaf (friend of a friend) who already drives for this company, and I'd be a "casual" driver, which means I work when I want to work. Plus, I already have a letter of recommendation on hand from the other Limo company I worked for ages ago. Pay is low, but tips are likely to be good. Any extra money coming in at this point would be good. Tho I'm surprised tho lately at how the job market has really seemed to resurge. There are so many administrative positions, tons more than there was just 6 months ago. Don't worry, I'm not going back to that, no way. I'm just waiting for the call for the last EMT test, and then hopefully I'll be on an ambulance. But, it is encouraging to see so many administrative positions offering 30K+ again. Just in case....

Hope everyone is relaxing and enjoying their Boxing Day. I'm headed for the ibuprofen bottle - back later, cats.

Pooped, totally pooped. Tons o fun, and lots of stuff was exchanged.

Big news - He asked! We're getting married, sometime next year. I got a beautiful amethyst (my favorite) ring, very pretty.

Don't look for an "Amanda Style" wedding, we'll likely slip away to somewhere picturesque and quiet, and hopefully my dad's best friend (nicknamed The Judge - cause well, he's a judge) will help us make it official.

More tomorrow - gift updates, funny this and that - and more! Whee!


It's a frantic day, and it is putting me in a grouchy mood. I am feeling put out, put upon and unappreciated.

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

Today will be busy. After stuffing stockings last night Katie and I noticed than some folks' were light, so I gotta make a quick run to correct that. I also want to tidy my room, I can't put anything fun or new in here cause it will be lost immediately. We're leaving at 3:30 to go have dinner and pressies with Amanda and Justin, then we'll come home and open our own. Tomorrow we'll be at my moms in the morning and my dads in the evening. The kids will make a run to the hills to be with their dad for a while inbetween. Hectic!

Katie and I were up till 3am wrapping stuff and giggling like fiends. She had to make a present for Charlie's dad at the last minute, so she had an ornament of a snowman whose nose had fallen off. She took a picture of Charlie's dad and stuck it on the snowman's face. She wrote a note to go along with that says "I wondered what to get the man who has everything - this is what I came up with." HAHhaha!

Besides the quick store run, I have to burn all the CD's I'm doing for my dad. I'm putting a bunch of old radio shows and presidential speeches on CD's for him. He'll love it. I am not loving it near as much, however, since I have to listen to each one from start to finish to make sure it's ok. I was having trouble getting a complete copy of one of them, and have been listening to several downloads over and over to test it. I've heard Richard Nixon resign about 10 times this morning.

I also downloaded a bunch of news reports of monumental events. Amazing what you can find on the internet, don't you think?


Is anyone seeing Trish's blog? It's been down for a week, unless I'm having a problem viewing it. Maybe she'll stop by here and gimme the what's up.

Home again home again jiggity jig.

We went here there and everywhere. 6 different stops, I think Emma said. She also requested (and received) a break at Applebee's. We also went by daddy's work and hung around there for a while watching salesmen not sell cars. Very slow there this week. They have an indoor jungle gym playhouse thing and there was another little girl there playing so Emma was in hog heaven. This little girl was so cute, she was a midget (little person, whatever), which you could really tell from her features, but she was so cute to look at, I've never seen a toddler midget.

Emma was singing in the car all day - "Feliz dummy da, feliz dummy da..."

So Im done totally done shopping. I will pay someone $1.32 to come and wrap it all up. Wouldja, huh? Please?

Blogeois is dreaming about my boyfriend, Nicolas Cage. Gonna have to have a talk with that woman.

We baked, we cooked, we shaped, we fretted, and then we baked some more. I was so tired I fell asleep on the couch about 1am and didn't wake up till 5 am, then drug my flloured ass to bed. Katie wrote a great account of the day, check it out over there in the list.

And yes, she makes mention of the fact that I still have to go out shopping today, and have a bunch of things to wrap. I'm just having such trouble finding things for Amanda. I'm seriously considering rounding out my shopping with gift certificates, because she is so difficult to buy for. She's very picky, and she has a very narrow view of what she likes. So I will head out one more time today, to try to find that one thing that screams "Amanda!" I'll be shopping with the midget mind you, so the item could quite possibly be bought 5 minutes after we leave, at a gas station. lol

Time to go help Mark get out the door - how many of you have to help your husbands/boyfriends get to work? He always waits till the very last minute to get ready, and then he's scrambling around, irritated and frantic. Men. Don't they know the art of leisurely taking an hour to get ready? They think we take forever to get ready, but really we're just pacing ourselves.


Ugh. We're having a ton of fun but we're sick sick sick! Too much tasting and spoon licking. heh.

The meringue cookies that were such a hit last year have flopped. pft. I think I got sick of beating and didnt let the meringue get stiff enough. The chocolate coated toffee, mint iced brownies, peanut brittle part 2, no bake cookies, and divinity are all coming out nicely. We still have to make coconut bars, fudge, and ice the sugar cookies. Whee! We're not sure about the cornflake and marshmaloow wreaths. They're still really soft, and might have to be eaten with a spoon.

Now guess what. Katie is off to the store because we ran out of sugar! haha! We didn't get a big enough bag. Too funny.

Add to the mix Dy's oh-my-gosh-these-are-rich chocolate covered cherries and poor man's toffee, (thank you so much for contributing to our gorging!) and we have eaten enough sweets to last a lifetime! I will have to take a picture of Dy's cherries. They are big enough to fit TWO cherries inside, but there's only one cherry so the rest is all goo! Goodness I love the goo. Good job, dydy.

And I have pressies here from Debra, how fun is that? She wanted so badly to hate my guts at one time. Can't do it, can ya?!? muwahaha

Ok, off to find some cold water and take a breather till Katie gets back.

I just read that of the $20 billion gift certificates and gift cards purchased each year, 10% ($2 billion!!) goes unredeemed.
That's an amazing amount, don't you think? I've never not redeemed a gift certificate or card.

The article went on to state that this year more stores are putting restrictions on redeeming gift cards. Barnes and Noble's gift cards reduce in value by $1.50 each month. Many companies are putting a 4 month time limit on redemption.

So, have you ever left a gift card go unredeemed, and why would you?

Well we've had our first failure. The cookies came out great. Then I made peanut brittle. Ok let's not call it brittle. It's more like goo. And it's clear, not nicely brown like it should be. I followed the recipe exactly, so I don't know what happened. Last year I made it (different recipe) and it came out wonderful. Bah.

Katie is off at the Apex gettin buff and energized for the day. I'm sitting here in sweats and a ponytail needing a shower. More baking updates as the situation warrants.

And one more thing. I will get flak for this from my knife buddies, because they are largely republican, government supporting, ex military, etc.

I am so sick of hearing about supporting our troops. Our troops are there because they want to be. No one forced them to sign on. No one put a gun to their head and said "do it or else". Servicemen in combat right now have trained to be where they are, and they were not disappointed when they were called to dubya's war. It's the reason you join the service, for the chance to maybe, someday..fight.

They're doing what they want to do, what they signed up to do, and what they're being paid to do. I support them in the same vein that I support garbagemen, teachers, auto mechanics and EMT's. Figure out what you want to do with your life, train responsibly for it, and then go do it. Servicemen aren't making a lot of money, nobody gets rich being in the army. Proof that passion for what they're doing is what motivates them. Why should we recognize them and regard them so highly?

If you think being a serviceman is for you, and you believe that your government needs your knowledge and skill to get it's business done, then more power to you. You've picked your job, now go and do it.

I believe my community needs my knowledge and skill to get it's emergency medical business done. There is a 60% chance I will be violently assaulted (probably stabbed or shot) at least once in my career. There is a 75% chance that I will be in a serious vehicle (ambulance) accident each year. I am 25 times more likely to contract AIDS than you are. My starting pay is $7 an hour.

When's my parade?

TIme magazine's man of the year is the American Solider. I'm sorry but that's just dumb.

Why isn't Saddam the man of the year? His name was spoken more often than any other. Rumors, news, searches, playing cards, blah blah blah. Time magazine has copped out. Big time.

Hitler was the Time's man of the year in 1938, you know. That was ballsy if you ask me, especially in those times. Folks didn't question the media and government as much as they do now. There seemed to be a "feel good - everything's ok" tune to war reporting. Now there are so many people judging and reporting on what's being reported, the news is a joke. To get decent news coverage, you have to watch overseas broadcasts.

The media is tired, desperate and out of ideas.


Did you know it takes nearly as long to shop for baking as it does to actually bake? Who knew?

Katie and I left at 4, we got what we could at Super Target, I dropped her off here at home and left for the grocery store to round out the ingredients, and I just got home. Lordy, lordy.

I'm going to try to make all the sugar cookies tonight (Mailanderli, actually) because they will take hours and we will need the oven for other things tomorrow. That way we can decorate them tomorrow while waiting for other things to bake, too. I think we're making 8 different things. whee! Now I just have to find my candy thermometer...

We had a lot of fun figuring out how much of everything we needed. When I made the shopping list, I just went through the recipes and kept changing the amount of whatever we needed as we went along. So the list that we took to the store said things like "Flour - 65 Cups, sugar - 35 cups." Most of the time we could look at the serving size, compare it to how many servings were in the package, and figure it out from there. We need 4 cups of raisins, serving size is 1/2 cup, 4 servings in the package, we need two packages. Get it?

Well that was working just fine...till we got to the sugar, that is.

I think Katie actually asked me how many teaspoons was in 35 cups. I laughed so hard! Doubled over in the damn baking aisle.

So we just bought a great big bag. lol

So here's my kitchen table right now.


I'm going to start baking in about an hour, that will give me about an hour of baking with the midget, and then some time baking without the midget, which always goes a lot faster. Yes, yes - in a perfect world she could stand on a chair and help me pour ingredients and we would bond lovingly over dough.

Realistically, I just want to get it done. I've done the bonding over dough at least 20 times before. Through the years, between Katie, Daniel and Amanda, I'm sure it's at least 20 times. And besides, I'm not her mom, I think that gets me a get out of jail free card or something. Besides, she'll get to frost them tomorrow, and that's the funnest part anyway.

Oh, speaking of which, I need to charge my camera. Tomorrow will likely be fun photo opportunities.

What else. My step-mom Marla passed her exam, and is now a certifiable - oops certified Pharmacy Tech. How fun is that? She did it all online in just a few months. Grueling! In 2 weeks she'll be an actual tech in the pharmacy at a store near her house. Yay Marla! That means all the funeral stories will soon be replaced by medicine stories.

I was on the phone with Marla in the grocery store asking her about a particular ingredient I needed, and no sooner had a hung up from talking to her then Amanda calls me and asks me the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. I had already called my own mom about a different ingredient earlier in the day! I guess we never outgrow the need for tips and tricks and cooking advice from our moms.

Ok, Mailanderli awaits.

I think me, jennifer and teresa all need to get together and slap each other around a bit. We're all procrastinating about getting these last minute things done. Teresa says:

"Occasionally I admire the length of my to-do list and then go back to the grueling work of procrastinating. Then I might drift off momentarily into a daydream only to be drawn back to the to-do list, except this time I've thought of something to add to it. "There, that's six weeks of work due in the next 48 hours." Then, once again, I become impressed by my pretend productivity and promptly drift off into a sugar-laden-Christmas-cookie-induced stupor."

Ditto, sister.

Katie stayed overnight up north last night so I could take over her room, which has been designated "present wrap central". I had the whole night to wrap, wrap and wrap uninterrupted.

Did I get anything wrapped? No, I didn't. I messed around with TypePad for hours and then went to bed entirely too late.

Today we have to shop for our baking fest tomorrow. Do we have all our recipes? No we don't. Am I compiling them right now? No I'm not.

Wanted dead or alive: Motivation. Last seen somewhere around late November. Reward.

All good things come to an end.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be moving My Life Is A Mess to it's new home, at TypePad. It's sorta MoveableTypish - without the headaches. The midline service (100Mb and 3G) is cheaper than I am paying for BlogSpot Plus, and it has a ton of more features. It's really customizable, it has a photo album, comments, permalinks, extended entries, I'm gonna love it. And it won't be called "My Life Is A Mess" anymore either, is that ok - or all you all gonna freak out about that?!

I'm tweaking and changing stuff around to suit me. Be prepared to give me some direction. Too purple? Too yellow? Too hard to read? Too big? Too small?

And Cindi will be glad to know that it will probably load a LOT faster. And Denny and Laura are going to have to find another guinea pig to test their page load speed. ha!

Go peek.


40 questions, to reflect on 2003. Seen several places.

1. What did you do in 2003 that you'd never done before?
Went to school to get my EMT license

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make any next year?
I didn't make any resolutions. And I probably won't this year either. It's a ridiculous concept. Why wait for a certain date to make a change? It's a set-up for failure if you ask me.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Um. Let's see, I'd have to say no.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My friend Rob Simonich, and my childhood doctor Robert Weiss.

5. What countries did you visit?
Pft. none.

6. What would you like to have in 2004 that you lacked in 2003?
A job!

7. What date from 2003 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 19 - Amanda got married

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Definitely - going to school and passing!

9. What was your biggest failure?
That I didn't make Mark feel as loved as he makes me feel.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just routine stuff

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Root Canals

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Everyones. We all had a good year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I'm pleading the fifth on this one.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Surviving day to day, and #11.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My EMT License, again.

16. What song will always remind you of 2003?
I Drove All Night~Celine Dion

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter? Definitely thinner
iii. richer or poorer? slightly poorer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spent time with Amanda, kept the house tidier, especially my room.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Stressed about school.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With my children and my family..yay!

22. Did you fall in love in 2003?
Every day.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Six Feet Under, Survivor, Amazing Race, The Office.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No, I don't think so. I still hate all the same people.

26. What was the best book you read?
Into the Wild

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Hm, no one earth shattering.

28. What did you want and get?
An EMT License (broken record here)

29. What did you want and not get?
An engagement ring.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Ack, dunno. I forget movies as soon as I watch them.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 41. I think I went out to dinner with Katie. Mark was in Monte Vista.

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I'd have had more money to contribute to the household.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?
Comfy yet presentable.

34. What kept you sane?
Mark..all the way.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Nic Cage, always.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I'm not going there. I don't post political stuff.

37. Who did you miss?
Katie's gotten so busy. I miss her sometimes.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Oh, all my classmates, and also Marcy and Jody.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2003
It's never too late to do what you've always wanted to do.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
A moment like this
Some people wait a lifetime,
For a moment like this
Some people search forever,
For that one special kiss
Oh, I can't believe it's happening to me
Some people wait a lifetime,
For a moment like this

I'm soooo tired! Just got in from shopping with Katie. We went to arc and spent $44 damn dollars. It was 50% off day, c'mon! Then we went to Kmart and cleaned them out too. I am sooo close to being done shopping. I need to do a little inventory management and wrapping but blah blah ick! Can't I hit the couch for just a bit? hmm?

I finally found one of the items I've been searching the stores for. I finally had to go to a specialty shop - (for those out of the loop, "specialty" is cowboy speak for not cheap). Now if I just had someone to give it to. Hmm. Who who who. Does anyone know who might like this?

Friday Five
List your five favorite beverages: Diet Pepsi, Slurpees, amaretto sours, Fat Tire, cold water.

List your five favorite websites: my knife forum site, blogger, presurfer, j-walk and ebay.

List your five favorite snack foods: Cashews, cotton candy, Mamba, Zero, and fruit of almost any description.

List your five favorite board and/or card games: Cranium, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Catchphrase, poker.

List your five favorite computer and/or game system games: Ooh, I used to play Myst. And I like Theme Park too. That's about it.

God, I have to go to bed.

Love..the kind you clean up with a mop and bucket... (Bloodhound Gang)

Oh, my teeth are hurting a bit. I didn't take any pain killers till just now cause we were out carousing. We met Marcy at the Cat for beer and dinner, then went home to change and met up with Marcy and Jody at Pink E's and spent a good amount of time there just chatting. The boys played pool and Jody and I rambled on about everything. We watched the band, who were really fun. They did covers from Bloodhound Gang, Eminem, etc and were sexy!

Speaking of sexy, after that we went to a "gentleman's" club for a while. Not the fancy one, (I know which one you Denverites are thinking of) - but one of the better middle-class ones. lol! I think we're all so de-sensitized, cause we mostly just sat and talked (some more) and batted around the obvious questions and comments.
"Are they real?"
"Eew, look at her lip liner."
"Oh my god, look at her crooked teeth"

We were far enough from the main action so as not to attract much attention from the dancers, but close enough to catch it all. Small place, kinda dull. Drinks weren't ridiculously priced tho, and the cover was only $6. Girls got in free. Whee! We didn't stay very long, Marcy wanted to hurry and get home for some reason - hmm.

One funny thing - The whole place was lit in blacklight, so it made everything look really weird. Colors were all jacked up. Here Jody and I are feeling highly overdressed and intimidated by the beautiful women anyway, then Mark says - Hey - your teeth are green!" And surely, in that light, they were. Oh, fancy that - I'm so attractive with my green teeth.

Then we came home and I took a percocet. I'm feeling sufficiently floaty and Mark is sleeping like a baby. He's likely working bell to bell tomorrow, and I will be playing catch up. Tidying, shopping, recipes. The fun never ends.

Hope you all are having a splendid weekend.


Some peace has returned. A bit.

We're gonna go hang out and be obnoxious with Marcy and Jody, and we just went and had dinner at the 'Cat. Yum Num.

Full details to follow.

Am kinda pissed off today, know what I mean? Every little thing is nibbling away at my peace and I need to just shake it off. People stepping over their boundaries, feeling left out, feeling put upon, frustrated, money woes, disappointed at things and myself, and then I go and read all these whiney assed blogs. Ugh.

Sorry, just a bad mood.

Wow, it's nice to wake up without a tooth/face/jaw ache. I feel great today.

Except for the fact that I feel rushed to finish shopping, and have a lot of tidying to do here at home before we can put any new stuff away.

Well, I have the whole day to myself to do it, let's see if I do! The kids will be gone part of the day to go out to lunch with Cindi - Katie asked me to go but I feel weird about it, I don't want to tag along cause I wasnt invited, plus I think they're talking about some Christmas secret or something. I keep hearing them talk about some "book" but I have no idea what it is.

So, I will have a near bliss day anyway, tidying and just generally feeling better.

Im off to make coffee. Whee!

I hate it when I blog too much.

But I wanted to write about two of the weird-ass dreams I had last night.

The first one my mom was here in my house and we were arguing. I chased her outside yelling at her and she got into this blue moving van. I went in the house and when I turned around, my mom's friend Rea was there. But it was the old Rea, when she wore a wig in the 70's. (My mom and Rea have lived next door to each other for like 39 years). I yelled at Rea too and she left.

Make sense of that Jon Edwards!

The second one Mark and I were in a really nice hotel room. Big fancy bed, the whole works. And there was a Xerox machine in there. It seemed as natural as could be. Swanky place, eh? And there was receipt tape coming out of the front of the copy machine. I remember because it was pink on the edge, like when the clerk is running out of cash register tape. So anyway..

Mark and I were fighting too, I think it was because he was masturbating in bed...(I'm mad serious). We got into a fight and he had his knee on my chest on the floor. I stormed off, gathered all my things and left...but turned just before walking out the door and grabbed that register tape out of the front of the copier.

And both of these dreams happened immediately after falling asleep. I first went to sleep around midnight, and woke up from the first dream around 12:30. I went to sleep and dreamt the second dream, and woke up at 1:16.

I got up for a while after that. I guess it was the Vicodin, but maybe stress too, I'm not sure. Weird tho. Reminds me of when I was on the patch. Wow, talk about imaginative, wicked dreams. You know when the product has a warning label that reads "May cause vivid dreams" - you're gonna have a crazy night. lol


Jes' a lit o bit loupy 'ere.

Oh, I type a great british accent. I'm so mellowed out after all the lovely inorganic chemicals in my body. heh. Some folks have been talking in the comments about people who take a lot of Vicodin, are addicted to it. I saw a Dr. Phil recently where some women (housewife types, for some reason) were taking 30 a day. I can't even imagine the sensation. I know you get acclimated to its effects, but woman said she takes ten before her feet hit the floor in the morning. I admit I like the way Vicodin feels but good Lord, I could never get addicted to it.

First of all, I don't get shit done. It doesn't make me sleepy, it just makes me not give a shit. Dishes, laundry, clean towels.. Who cares? I can't get away with that for very long.

It reminds me of that one Deep Thoughts - by jack handy:

"I think it's a good idea to always carry around a couple of sacks. That way, if anyone asks you for help, you can say 'Sorry, got these sacks' "

Only with me it's:
"Nell, could you go to the post office and the bank today?"
"Sorry, Vicodin."

I really will be happy to get back to the land of the living. I've put off so much stuff because I was either in intense pain or out of it. All week! My dentist appointment was on Monday - and I'm just barely getting better.

I still have a couple of C-mas items to pick up. One nearby, one across town - blah. I need to pick the recipes, make a list and buy the stuff for baking with Katie. Oh, that sounds like a new show. Baking With Katie. starring Katie.

Baking With Katie

"Tonight we're going to tease and tantilize you with a dish so decadent, it's barely legal. Hi, I'm Katie. Do you make microwave popcorn? I do. And who doesn't love M & M's. Umm hm, that's what I thought. "

"Well. When's the last time you had a handful of both - at the same time?!" Yea, in your mouth at the same time. It's fast, it's easy, it's addictive, it's unattractive! All those brightly colored candy coated chocolates, swimming in the same bowl with your snow-white popcorn. And the salt. It gets all over the M & M's. Little tiny white flecks of sodium on your candy coated treat."

"But I want you to step out of your box and mix them up and try a bite. No, not just one bite. You have to make sure you get an equitable amount of popcorn and candy in your mouth at the same time. See? Delish. Make sure you have enough M & M's and Orville Redenbacher on hand when unexpected guests come by this holiday season!"

"Till next time, I'm Katie on Baking With Katie!! Join us tomorrow when we show the time and flatware you save by sitting on the floor, eating out of the cupboard. My special guest will be my sister Amanda, who first showed me this time-saving trick. Bye bye!"


Well, I have no idea where that came from. I'm gonna post and publish before I do something I'll regret in the morning.

Ugh. I'm disgusted that Blogger has the name W*l Wh*aton mentioned on it's home page. Y'all sing with me....Desssperado." Yuck. I hate him.

Anyway, I'm back from all the stuff. The dentist took an xray and said I was severely infected. (pft to Laura). He said it was so massive, the xray didn't even show all the infection. Then he asked "My God, how have you been functioning?!!" Ummm I haven't?

He gave me 3 scripts, one for anti-biotic, one for swelling (a steroid - groowwwwll - me hulk) and 12 percocets, even tho I told him they make me itch. He seemed to think I wouldn't be doing much itching while I was passed out on percocets. Ok then.

Since I have no insurance I had to pay full price of course, but it was only about $50. I've already taken 3 pennicillin and a dose of steroids and I feel so much better already. I took another half a Vic while waiting for Amanda's brakes to be done and I feel ok. Some pain, not horrible pain. I can't take a percocet yet cause I have to take Daniel C-mas shopping in a couple of hours.

Mandy's brakes were indeed in need of replacing, so I did that and then went and washed her car, filled up her gas tank and left her $20 in her change tray. She'll think that's fun. I had lunch with my mom while waiting for the car, that was nice. I didn't want to sit there for 2 hours and watch their pitiful tv - the only channel that got decent reception was Channel 2 - to you non Denverites, that's People's Court and re-runs of The Prince of BelAir.

Im headed for the couch for a while - deservedly so.

I'm not doing any better, and in fact my pain is much worse and am much more swollen. I've gone through about 6 Vicodin in 3 days. My face is swollen enough that it is obvious just to look at me, like I've had my wisdom teeth out or something. I'm going back to the dentist at 10:30 so hopefully he can fix it. Then I'm going to go pick up Amanda's car and take it in for brakes at 12:30.

I've already taken a Vicodin this morning, and I feel fine now. It's when it wears off that all hell breaks loose. I woke up this morning in such pain I couldn't even open my mouth. Now not only does my gums and jaw hurt, but my whole cheek on that side is aching. Laura may be right, it does feel like something's infected. Smarty pants.

Gah. This sucks.

One weird note - I took 1 1/2 Vic before I went to bed last night and it made me have wicked dreams. Some were nightmares, most were just really vivd. I've never had that happen on Vics before, weird.


I missed the Monday Mission. So I'm doing it today. Pfft.

1. What in your life used to be fun, but eventually just became a chore that you didn't enjoy?
There was a time I would have said sex, but not anymore. Yeehaw. Ok um... gosh, I can't think of anything. Maybe talking on the phone. I used to not mind it at all, now I hate hate hate it.

2. This weekend, US Troops captured Saddam Hussein and now have him in custody. How did you feel when you heard the news? Did it change your mind about the War in Iraq? Did it change your opinion of President Bush?
I was glad they found him, but really didn't put much confidence in it changing anything. I'm admittedly quite anti-political, tho I do vote. And I don't give a rat's ass who is bothered by my ambiguity.

3. Regarding the capture of Saddam, I saw one "man on the street" interview where a man grumbled that "they should have just killed Saddam. I don't know why they bothered taking him alive." What do you think, should US Troops have taken Saddam alive or just killed him when they found him? What would be the pros and cons of either?
Hm. The pros are minimal. Instant gratification for the soldiers that actually got to do it, that's about it. Other than that, I think most people would like to see some sort of justice prevail. Whether it will or not remains to be seen.

4. What kind of things at Christmas time just scream "tacky" and "White Trash" when you see them?
I hate the big plastic and vinyl blow up things people are putting in their yards. They're really really stupid, people.

5. Suppose you had a dear friend who calls you in tears because her boyfriend had just left her. They'd been together for nearly 5 years, and one day he announces to her that he is leaving because she had gained too much weight. They were in love, or so she thought, and then out of the blue, he bails and blames it on her weight. What would you say to her about this man?
Well. Maybe it was her weight, maybe it wasn't. Maybe he needs something to blame. If the reason really is her weight, I applaud him for being honest. Most people would just say "It's not you, it's me.." or something similar. I also know that there are men out there that like women with curves, and if she's not willing to lose weight (for herself, of course) then she needs to be prepared to wait for such a man, and possibly re-evaluate what she thought she wanted in a man previously. Sometimes the guys who are gold on the inside have a few chinks in their armour on the outside.

6. Suppose this same friend of yours still thinks she and her ex have a future. She says that she wants another chance, that if he will make some changes, she will too. She really does love him, and assures you that he loves her, even though he wants to "take a break and see other people, but if we were meant to be together we will be." There is even a hint of marriage in their future if they get back together. What advice would you give her?
I'm all for second chances, and trying and re-trying to make sure it's dead..or not. But if the changes she's referring to involve losing weight for him - no way. I believe that love is not true or lasting if there is not a complete acceptance of the other person.

7. Have you ever had to tell a lie to get out of a date or when you were breaking up with someone? What did you tell them and how did they take it? Did they ever find out the truth?
I've probably lied many times to get out of a date. I've lied on a date, for goodness sakes. Katie used to page me (Mark too) about 15 minutes into a date - to save me if necessary. Often, it was.

BONUS: Where are you Christmas?
I'm sneaking up behind you - 7 days away!

Laura asks if I'm sure it's not an infection I'm experiencing. (and she worries about unsolicited advice - funny coming from her since she and I both know that we view ourselves as the experts on

I did ask the dentist about that, but he said the pain I describe (not aching, more like an owie) would be normal. He said he had to do an abnormal amount of post core drilling and that I am sure to be bruised internally. It's a little less than it was yesterday, and hopefully day by day it will get better. It's nowhere near what it was yesterday (pre-Vic). And thankfully, I am the type of person that can function quite normally on Vicodin, i t doesn't put me to sleep or even make me overtly lethargic, unless I take more than 1 at a time.

I just went to the bank and to arc, picked up a couple of things, and a cute cookie jar I'm gonna put up on ebay. I don't know how those things go there, but I know there are a lot of collectors, and I've never seen one like this.

Now I'm gonna make some homemade potato soup and see what's on the boob tube.

PS - Dy - I picked up a spring form pan at arc for you for 99 cents, it's a Pamp*red Ch*f one! I hope it's like what you've been needing.

Have done the post office and that's all I can muster. My jaw/mouth/teeth/whatever are hurting quite severely and I am ready to down another Vicodin I suppose and hit the couch for a bit. I hate being so medicated and out of it, but I can tell when it starts wearing off, as the pain comes back with a vengeance. I've talked to the dentist this morning and he assures me that with the amount of work that he did, that this is normal. Pfftt.

My face is swollen in general on that side and there is a big knot of swelling if you feel a certain spot on my jaw. It hurts to put my teeth together, and I feel the pain all the way up into my ear, making an earache. Not fun not fun not fun.

I've found the presents I thought I'd lost, with the exception of one, but I can't deal with it right now.

Tomorrow I will be volunteering at Emma's school and also taking Amanda's car in for brakes. I should be feeling markedly better by then, I would think.

Heading back to the twilight zone...

Still sucking down Vicodin.

I didn't have a good night, tossed and turned a lot, trying to keep myself from laying on my swollen jaw side unconciously. I would wake up and realize I was laying on the "bad" side and it would be throbbing. I took a 1/2 a Vicodin when I got up, and it seems to have taken the edge off some, but I am more swollen than ever today. Yawning is excruciatingly painful. This sucks.

We've got a few errands to do this morning before Mark goes to work, then I think I will try to get a few more things done this afternoon, with Emma. I can't go to one place I need to go to, because it is all about a present for her. I also need to get something else for Katie now, because last night while retrieving all my hidden presents, I discovered that one of hers had broken into a billion pieces. Ok, not a billion but a lot. Not repairable, not returnable, not suited for giving. No biggie, there's a bunch of stuff I wanted to get Katie but couldn't because I had already spent too much on her. ha!

Emma's downstairs reading a chapter book outloud. She's had the book read to her, so she knows some of the story, but mostly she's just making it up. It's so funny. She's having a better morning now - considering it started out with a little meltdown re: what else, the TV. She'd been up since 6:30 watching tv, so at 8:30 we had her turn it off, and you guessed it, she started to panic. Her response when it's time to turn the tv off is really becoming a problem, and we're really at a loss as to how to proceed. Her primary SE worker at school says to just keep doing what we're doing, that consistency is the only answer, but it doesn't seem to be getting any better. But we'll just keep plugging away.

Gonna get dressed and ready for the day. Hope all is well where you are today.


Im on 1 1/2 Vicodin here, don't expect much. Mark had to call the dentist around 4:30 this afternoon because I was hurting so bad from the work they did yesterday. It's not toothache pain, just sore from all the poking I suppose. Two root canals in teeth right next to each other. I was holding my jaw and crying on the couch when Mark called the dentist and demanded some meds. God love him, he's good at that shit. They sent a script of Vicodins to the store and he went and got them for me. I'm feeling much better, tho groggy.

I have errands to run, I've got to try and get them done tomorrow, tho Emma won't be in school so it'll be tricky. I have several specialty stores to visit, things you can't just pick up at Kmart or the mall. That's annoying. Plus, I still need to help Daniel finish his shopping, and soon. I think we're gonna go Thursday night and see what we can accomplish.

Lots of good fun coming up, baking days with Katie, Christmas eve at Amanda's, and then Christmas. New Year's looks to be fun, thinking of spending it with Marcy and Jody, maybe renting rooms somewhere and partying downtown. Could be lots o fun.

Then it seems like after the first of the year things really snowball, they always do. Spring Break, me and marks birthdays, the kids out of school for 9 weeks for summer break, Water World, Water World, Water World, then right back to school.

I have a class beginning Jan 20, my EKG interpretation class for 6 weeks, then my IV class for 6 weeks after that. Then I will be an EMT-I and hopefully have taken my written boards test, and ready to get a job. We've talked a lot about how we're going to manage the household if I start working. Mark's schedule is always rotating, and chances are I would be on a night shift, so that leaves a little juggling when it comes to making sure the chi'dren are taken care of. I'm positive whatever schedule we have can be dealt with, I would just like to be working!

Ok, Im feeling much better now pain-wise, and I think I might try to find something constructive to do.

No movie with mom. She read about the plight of my teeth, and she was tired from shopping anyway.

Today is Mark's day off but a customer called him and is ready to buy today, so he just left to go in and close the deal. That's good tho, he's been doing really well which is surprising, who buys a car so close to Christmas?

So Im gonna go shower, I smell like bed. Then I might go do a little shopping myself. The presents are spilling well into the living room from under the tree, but there is still more to do!

I dunno.

A little grouchy, and being really sore from the dentist is making me less tolerant than usual (say it ain't so!) and moody. Reading some blogs and thinking "Whatever, clever." Cynical today.

I am looking forward to Sunday and Monday however, two days Katie and I have set aside for just us two to BAKE BAKE BAKE! She's working every day this week so she can have Monday off to do this with me! We're collecting the recipes and are excited about putting some calorie laden plates together to give away. I can't believe C-mas is a week from Thursday- Wow! Shit or get off the pot, people!

I think I'm going to the movies with my mom tomorrow, to see Elf. Should be fun except for the whole sitting in the back row thing. I've forgotten why she sits in the back row, but she always does. I hope she's treating, it bothers me to spend money on things and have nothing to show for it. I do it...but *rarely.* It usually has to be something pretty special, -like a concert- for me to spend money on something intangible. I didn't used to be like that, until I got a handle on my money and got out of debt. Doing that gives you a whole new perspective on how much we nickel and dime our money away.

I gotta get outta here. The blogosphere is full of folks I'm deeming clueless, ignorant, delusional and pious. And like I said I'm cynical and grouchy today. It's best for me just to post and publish before I really go off.


Oooh, goodness.

I spent 2 and a half hours in the dentist chair this morning severly hopped up on nitrous. I had two root canals done, but now I think I am going to have to go back this afternoon because the temporary crown they put on it is riding high, and I can't really close my mouth all the way. I did the "tap tap grind" on the carbon paper, but I guess the assistant missed it. She asked me if it felt even, but I was so damn numb I couldn't tell.

Plus I was freaking out because I had told them I had to be out of there by 11 to go get Emma at school. Well at 10 minutes after 11 they asked me if I could make alternate arrangements cause I wasn't quite done. Um no, I can't make alternate arrangements 10 minutes after I was supposed to leave. I had the dentist office call the school and have them entertain her in the office till I could get there. They finished within about 5 minutes but they had the nitrous so high it took me a few minutes to get steady enough to drive.

When I got to school ten minutes late, she was in the office with the principal, he said they were talking about pink ponies. I know he was glad to be rescued!

But I'm so tired, I stayed up way too late last night and am paying for it dearly. I really just want to get under the covers and sleep. If I give you $2 will someone come and take my Christmas cards to the post office and go to the grocery store? Sorry, it's all I can spare.

Those of us hopelessly addicted to reality TV will be pleased to note that we will soon have our own damn channel! So what's it gonna be, 'Vivor reruns? More bachelor type shows? Following a family around the grocery store? Squirrel cam?

We shall see.

I got a very nice email from a random wanderer who liked my writing. He...(or she - not sure which) mentioned initially looking for Survivor notes, so I thought I would go ahead and comment on that before I went to bed.


Lil, Lil, Lil. Whatchoo talkin 'bout? This was definately an interesting season of 'Vivor. We had the usual forgettables, but we also had Rupert, Johnny Fairplay and Lil. 3 notorious players I won't soon forget.

I know Johnny Fairplay was lower than a snake belly, and a blatant lying sack o'doodoo to boot. But damn that boy played the game, didn't he? He was so evil, a true villian. I really would not have minded to see him win, just for the sheer play factor he maintained. Ah, but it was not to be.

Old Lil sure could squat, eh? Where did that strength come from? Knowing my spoiler sites had named Lil and Sandra the final 2, I knew Lil was gonna have to win the last immunity challange. Jon and Sandra had both said they didn't want to face her to the jury, because of her "nice-ness". But dayumm if the jury didn't put Lil in her place. And both her opening and closing comments were derogatory. "There's three people on this jury that stabbed me in the BACK!" She said. Well, there's three votes you just threw away for being a bitch. And Rupert: "Could you tell me Lil, if anything you ever said - EVER - was the truth...ever?" Ouch.

And yet, never was there a dumber player of the game than Lil. You got her vote as long as you were the last one to talk to her, especially if you paid her a compliment. I've never seen someone so down on themselves and so sad and so pathetic looking. And dense . Her classic line tonight - "I just realized Sandra and I are the two sole survivors". Um hi, two sole survivors? Doh.

And she was so incredibly stupid to take Sandra to the finals. I know then and there who'd won. No way was that jury gonna give ol Johnny Fairplay 1 million dollars. Lil said she didn't want Jon to have the million cause he was a partier. Man, just.shut.up.already.

Sandra, props to her. Genuine, fair, basically honest. You knew where you stood with Sandra. I'm glad she won.

When does Amazing Race start?

Pop quiz: Why isn't Danelle blogging?

a) mad cleaning and company
b) I cut my finger
c) my keyboard is broken
d) I threw up all over the patio
e) all of the above

Yes, chi'dren, option e would be correct.

I cut my finger on soap. Yes, soap. Lengthy explanation at a later time. Nasty cut.

The company was fun, but their boys (ages 5 and 8) have left me haggard. Running, yelling, jumping, more yelling.

I just now sat down on the patio to smoke a cigarette, had about 1/2 a second of dizziness and then just - puked. No warning, no nausea. I sat there afterwards, feeling perfectly fine thinking: "Well, look at that - there's the contents of my stomach all over the patio. Weird."

I went up stairs and threw up again in the toilet. I feel fine now. But then again, I felt fine before.

Then I had to clean up the patio. Gah! The hoses are put away. There is snow and ice all over the patio. It took me ten times as long to clean it up as it did to throw it up. Too much information? Too bad.

Gonna get another bandaid and some water. More later. Maybe.


There is a huge, I mean huge raccoon outside. They're cute as hell but damn they are so scary. I open the front door and he starts walking right up to me. I'm telling you, I'm freaking out!


I've been a dishes-laundry-decorating-organizing fool today. Company tomorrow and they've said "We are so excited to come over!" eep, what does that mean? Raises the expectations a bit, doesn't it?

My living room is a pig sty of assorted folded laundry piles. I'm working on that. I'm going to tackle my desk soon. I have a memo in the kitchen of what everyone is supposed to do. Mark's working bell to bell today (open at 9am to close at 9pm), Katie and Daniel are both gone for the night, so most of this has fallen on me. I should be the one doing it anyway, but a little help would be really fun. I know Katie will do the kitchen and living room tomorrow, so I don't have to worry about that - thank goodness.

I hate when I've let my house go this long and it becomes a monumental task to just clean it. Blah. I'm not even working, why can't I just tidy a bit each day?

I spilled an entire large travel cup of coffee on my keyboard today. I managed to get it soaked in the tub relatively quickly but we'll have to wait till it dries for a few days to see if it still works. You can put your keyboard through the dishwasher, did you know that?

I've much to do and little energy to do it. Best keep going until the urge is gone.

I was hoping I would get through BIO with at least a "C", as anything lower would mean I would pay back the financial aid I was awarded for this class. I didn't do as well on the final as I'd done on prior tests, and I skipped a couple of reports that I just couldn't be bothered with.

But I pulled it off and I can't believe it. I eeked out a B someway, somehow. I freaking ROCK! Here's what was posted on our BIO site this morning. (He doesn't grade the reports per se, just gives you a 1 if it's right, and a 0 if it isn't).


It makes me think twice about discouraging myself from taking the 2 other bio classes I need to get my paramedic certificate. Maybe I could do it...

When there are 19 book orders waiting and I start down the list and can't find the first 7, I am done looking. I might even kick over a chair and slam the laundry room door.

A bunch of blogspot blogs are down, but not all of them. Have you all closed your blogs and gone to a party without me?!

I'm in a bit of a grouchy mood, dunno why. Maybe cause Daniel is still up and I'm not having the proper late night "me" time. I did watch the rest of the weeks worth of Starting Over.

Kimberlyn got kicked out, and couldnt have cared less
PJ is making a homemade thong and her dad wants her to call the "prophet" and see if it's ok.
Teresa went home to get some valuables and we see that her home is condemnable.
Audrey's singing is getting worse with time. God I hate that woman's hair.
Jennifer's fake smile makes me want to stab her. And she can't cook. I can't stand people that can't cook and don't want to try.

See - I'm a grouchy bitch right now. I hate everything.


You guys aren't blogging. You better be out buying my presents.

A good day, spent some time at my moms after lunch helping her sort out the presents that I ordered for her to give. She'd wrapped them without consulting the list quite right and I came across one that had a To:/From: tag that said "I forgot who this is for. I'm tired. Open it and sort it out." I was laffing so hard. We firgured it out, tho.

Mark and I went out to dinner together, that was really nice. We made googly eyes across the table then came home and laid on the couch together and watched "Analyze That".

Now I've come upstairs to finish my BIO, I submitted my final (YAY!) and also re-submitted some reports that I noticed I didnt have grades for online. Dunno if they're just not up yet or what - but I re-sent them just to make sure as all work is due by midnight tonight.

Tomorrow I have got to be a cleaning fool, as we are having company on Sunday night. Marcy, Jody and their kids are coming for the afternoon and for dinner. Should be fun, I just gotta get things tidy. I'm also having trouble locating the joke gift I decided on for Katie - you wouldn't think it'd be that hard to find...but I went to 3 different stores today and they were like "uuh, no." pft. I'm gonna keep looking.

Guess that's it. Hope everyone is warm and dry and happy tonight.

I'm off to have lunch with my mom and Amanda. Fun!

I also have to stop by a couple of specific places to pick up last minute gifts that have been floating around my list for weeks. One gift is sort of a joke for Katie, and since we've been shopping together a lot, I couldnt get it yet. Seems every year we try to get at least one thing for everyone that is a joke, or makes fun of them (nicely) in some way. Cindi used to get Daniel a big box of kleenex every year...tho now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not at all sure what the joke was. Was it because he was blowing his nose all the time?

When we were little, we used to open soda bottles right by the drawer that held the bottle opener, and inevitably the cap would just fall into the drawer and we'd just leave it there. It drove my mom nuts! She was always hollering about soda caps in the silverware drawer. One year Cindi and I saved a bunch and completely filled her stocking with metal soda caps. ha! I love stuff like that.

Ok, I really gotta go. gah.

Some short observations.

Vivor: Yes, Jon is certainly an ass that deserves to be drawn and quartered. But he is definately playing the game. Bye Burton. Yo Adrian. Lil is the most annoying living breathing human on the planet, by a longshot. Someone please put her out of my misery.

When your contacts are bugging the heck out of you and you are perched on porcelein, don't rub them with the TP in your hand, then wipe, and flush. Or at least not without checking to make sure you didn't dislodge the contact on the TP and have since flushed it away.

If I try to get close to someone and they are unreceptive, or even rude, don't be surprised when I stop trying. My dad always had an analogy similar to this. He'd say "If you keep getting hit in the face when you open the front door, pretty soon you'll go out the window instead."

Most of the people on Dr. Phil are really quite stupid. I could have been their next door neighbor and given them the same advice.

Candles smell so nice when they're burning. Why do they have to stink like butt when you blow them out?

I can positvely affirm that Marlboro is putting less glue on the end of the filter where it attaches to the cigarette. Nearly 5 times today and as many times yesterday I have tapped my cigarette to lose the ash, and the entire burning cigarette has separated from the filter. Sometimes it's easy to reattach, but if you're driving, the entire burning cigarette has just gone out the window and you are left with just the filter between your fingers.

Katie and I were at Target till they closed at 11pm last night. There was a guy in line at 11pm buying only KY lubricant. Form your own conclusion.


Hey I just noticed something funny. I had a few pages open from a website about analyses of cell systems, for my BIO final that I'm finishing up. I looked down at my task bar, and laughed...

I still have to go to the post office, grocery store and the dry cleaners, and now it's to late to go sans midget. Actually I think I will wait until Katie gets home from school so I can go postal, etc unencumbered. As much as Emma is charming, well-behaved, etc I just prefer to do errands without her if at all possible. It's all that in and out of the car, and

"please don't interrupt, I'm talking to someone"
"no you can't go behind the counter"
"no they don't have a bathroom"
"don't spin around with a sucker in your mouth"
"no you can't sit on the counter"
"no, I will not hold your pony"

Blabbity blah. Plus, I don't really think she likes doing errands with me cause I don't let her fart around like Daddy. He lets her stamp all the packages at the post office. I prefer to avoid the virtual daggers I'm receiving from the 90 people behind me in line because I am taking so long. She's also quite chatty and comfortable with all the postal workers, to the point of saying (last week): "George, why do you have a big space where your tooth is supposed to be?" Tact. Not a strong point for 5 year olds. No getting around it.

I don't let her push the buggy, she rides in it. And I don't let her pull 25 coupons out of the little coupon-spitting-machines in the aisles of the grocery store like daddy does. I do get a few grapes and let her eat those as we roam, and I always make sure I have pennies for the pony. (She gets to ride twice, and leave a penny for the next kid - always)

She said something really funny last night at dinner, I thought Mark was going to spew his mouthful back onto his plate, he was laughing so hard.

We were talking about the kids in her class, and who she likes and doesn't like. My favorite kid in the class is Jared, but she can't stand him. I said

"Why don't you like Jared?"
"Because he is genetically rude!"

Alrighty then, guess it's one of those heterozygous traits I've been studying in Bio. hee.

Listening to: Barry Manilow
Eating: Ugh - it's too early
Drinking: Coffee
State of Mind: disheveled
Multitasking: downloading music
Who Im chatting to: noone
What a mess: My bedroom

I'm listening to Barry Manilow because Uncle Bob mentioned him today and got me in the mood. Reaffirming the fact that I cannot listen to the track "Mandy" without starting to cry and feel melancholy about my own Mandy. I'm so proud of her and I love where her life has taken her. And admittedly, I'm a little bit proud of myself, too. Our life wasn't easy when she was born, and sometimes it got even worse.

I actually really did name her because I loved that song so much. She was born in 1981, and even though the song was released in 1976, it still got a lot of airplay. I loved Barry Manilow back then. Say what you want, I like the Carpenters and Olivia Newton John too. Pffft.

I remember while I was still pregnant I looked up the name "Amanda" to see it's meaning. It means "Worthy of Love" and I thought that was so appropriate because never was there a child more worthy than Amanda.

Here I was 19 years old, single, living at home, taking a couple of college classes, with no career path or living planned out, no man in my life, just kind of flitting through my post-high school year.

I saw my ex-high school sweetheart at a New Year's Eve party and well...for old times know.

Badda bing badda boom.

I was getting a lot of opposition from all sides, except my dad and Marla - they were uber supportive, not so much saying "keep it, keep it" but instilling in me that I had to live with my decision every day for the rest of my life, no matter what it was, and that if I thought I could raise a baby, then I probably could, but that it would be really, really difficult.

Amanda's dad offered to marry me. But we had broken up months before for a reason, and I just didn't see the point. There was a big discussion between both families - I think that was night someone threw hot coffee on someone else at my dad's house. We'd all gathered to discuss what to do, and dad and Marla got heated with the father's parents, cause they wanted me to have an abortion, in no uncertain terms. I think my dad threw the coffee on Amanda's eventual grandmother, but you know, I don't remember for sure. Maybe Marla will leave us a tag over there and set us straight.

Anyway - things settled and I hadn't decided what to do. I frequently leaned towards an abortion. I initially debated over my other options - (not have the baby/not keep the baby) and actually gave the matter to God one night and said - "I can't decide. If you want me to keep it, prove it". I was keeping a prayer notebook then (remember that Cindi, from Wanda?) and wrote in it daily. I wrote for days and days that I was done debating my options, and would instead wait for God's decision. (Hoping I would recognize it if it came)

I was getting close to the time where if I was not going to have the baby, I needed to get in and get it done. I think I had about a week or so left to decide when I got a call from Mountain Bell (the phone company then) about a job I had applied for before I even knew I was pregnant. I got an interview, and a job all within a couple of days. To me, that was God's calling card. Most of the negative aspects of keeping the baby up to that point centered on - "I don't even have a job, I don't have any money, I have no way to support myself." - and that had all been solved.

We struggled a lot, and we kind of grew up together. Funny to think that when I was the age she is now, I was already her mother, and she was 3 years old. We lived in subsidized housing, ate meager meals, relied heavily on family for babysitting, food, support - and really, we were getting by, but just barely. I'll always have a special bond with Amanda because of the time we spent alone, struggling together.

So anyway, her name was extremely appropriate. Now she's still being loved - by her family, her new husband and her church. If there was ever a person worthy of love, it is Amanda.



My name is Danelle, and I am an environmental nightmare.

I double bag my groceries in plastic (tho I do save the bags...well most of them) and I loathe live plants and landscaping or gardening of any description.

But my latest affinity is for probably the most cancer causing, ozone depleting, plant killing chemical compilation known as ammonium sulfate, magnesium chloride and calcium chloride. Also known as "Ice Melt". This is the greatest shit since cotton candy.

We have an abnormally steep driveway, and a front patio that gets virtually no sun because of it's architecture. Ice Melt has become my new best friend. No more will we tiptoe along the path, hands planted firmly on the brick wall for balance. And never again will we go sailing through the air, landing on our asses as we try to navigate the ridiculous angle of our driveway after trying in vain to hang on to attempt to stay upright.

In atonement, I vow to recycle my cans, and write to the company that makes cordial cherries and ask them to reduce their excessive packaging.

But don't touch my damn Ice Melt.

I admit I don't respond to every single comment or tag here. But I reply to a lot. And I'm fed up to here with people that don't respond at all. Trish (serenity quest), Margie (buzzaroni) and Stacey (litter box) are SO good about responding. I almost always get a personal email every time I leave a comment there. That's above and beyond, if you ask me...but so appreciated.

But there are a couple of people that I have left comments for that not only derserved a response, but nearly out and out asked a question and begged for a response. Nothing. I've left up to 6 or 7 comments at people's blogs before {cough-living nappy-cough} and they don't even acknowledge the repeated visits. I think it's just rude.

So I'm gonna take em off the rolls. And when I take someone off the roll, it usually means that I'm still reading them occasionally, I just don't recommend them anymore. I don't want to send them traffic when I think they're rude and discourteous. I just dont have time right now to tidy the blogroll. We're going out to eat. Country Buffet! CARBS!

Christmas is two weeks from tomorrow. 14 days.

You may scream now.

A lovely lass called Sharon left me a comment about my blog being on a site called technorati that apprently had me listed as #32 of 100 noteworthy "newcomer" blogs.

Since I've been writing for 3 years, I wonder what it takes to become old hat. Anyway, my link isn't there anymore, I guess I've either become obsolete or no longer noteworthy. In any case, Sharon looks like she might be a good read, and technorati looks like a place to find more good reads. I'll keep ya posted.

I just watched a really old movie called "Vault of Horror." All I can say is there's 85 minutes I'll never get back. It was a short story compilation from 1973, similar to the Twilight Zone movies, the likes of which I love. But this was tired, boring, and about as scary as moldy cheesecake. Close up the Vault of Horror folks, there is nothing to see here.


I can't even tell you how long I spent at the mall today. I really can't cause it's embarassing.

I don't have long to blog now, Mark is waiting on the sofa for cuddling, coffee and a movie. Hmm, which to, cuddling, blog, cuddling. Duh!

A couple of quick things - Emma sat with Santa at the mall - same mall as the pics last year, but not the same Santa. Last year's was fabulous - this one..not so much.

And the most noteworthy of all - Emma hasn't asked to watch tv ONCE today. She's been busy doing this that and the other, and hasn't even mentioned it! whee!

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Hey, new eyes up there. What dya think? Back with the old? Do something else entirely?

I'm up, I'm up.

Gotta take Emma to school in the car, Mark's already gone to work and it's nasty outside. Putting myself together to go out and about at 8:30am is really low on my list of fun things.

Ok, well I don't know What.The.Heck but I just had a nice post up here and now it has disk-ka-peared!!

Mostly, just wanted to direct your attention to some new pictures and commentary on my Scrapblog. I think I will eventually move all my pictures there, the site is a little slow and they still have some bugs to work out, but I like it. If that link doesn't work, go to, hit "Gallery" on the list on the left, then do a search for "Danelle." (See what I mean, they have bugs yet.)

I put up a couple of pictures of Mark's Christmas Party Saturday night, among other things. Go...see.

They're kinda like bikers, only car salesmen:

I've added a couple of really great blogs over there. One is "the search for love in manhattan - a gay odyssey of neurosis." He had a post the other day that I thought was hilarious:

"Not too long ago I went to the bookstore, fiercely determined to get control over my tendency to slobbishness and disorganization, and bought a book called How Not to Be a Messie. It contained lots of good advice about getting rid of clutter once and for all, and I started reading it in preparation for the day I'd be able to start implementing it.

Now of course I can't find it.

Most of the new blog reads I put up are blogs I've actually been reading for a while, but wasn't sure about committing them to blogrollingdom. Sometimes I'll read for a while and then all of the sudden they stop posting. Or I'll be idley (that is SO not a word) reading along for days and then they'll say something weird and off the wall and I have to re-consider the whole reccomendation thing. But these are truly good.

So go, peruse. enjoy.

I'm going to go download some pictures and if you're nice, I'll share.


The Monday Mission (which will be ending on January 5, wah!)

1. Do you have any vacation time from work saved up for the Holidays? Or are you taking any time off or traveling this month? What are your plans?
Well, since I don't work, every day is a vacation day. No traveling, except to mi familia that is nearby.

2. When do you do most of your blogging? During the day, at work, at home, at night?

3. What tends to keep you from blogging more? Or could it be that you blog too much and should do less?
I definately blog too much. w-a-y too much.

4. Do you like dressing up and/or "role playing?"
Well. Dressing up is one thing and role playing is quite another, isn't it? I don't like to dress up..the rest we'll leave to your naughty imaginations.

5. When choosing a mate, there are some things you can overlook (boob size, hairy backs, beer belly, bad teeth, hair lip, etc.) and some things you just can't (see previous list). What are some of thing things you can live with when picking your partner, and what are the things that are a "must have?"
They must have good teeth, I'm a stickler for nice teeth. Dealbreakers? Full beards, rusty bouncy pickup trucks, squares, excessive farting, chain smokers, grease under the fingernails.

6. My neck and back are in a constant state of tension. In fact, on the rare occasion that someone gives me a neck/back-rub, I am so tense that it hurts when they work out the kinks. I am just more used to being tense than not. I think I need help. Have you ever had a professional massage or ever been to a Chiropractor?
I've had a professional massage, at a place in Idaho Springs and it was absolutely wonderful. I'd love to do it again, but it's a little pricey for me.

7. Inspired by the Amazing Penis Patch.... Does size really matter? Yeah you know exactly what I mean too. Men, what have you been told and what do you know to be true? Girls, what is the real story and is that what you tell the guys? Have you ever been scared of one that was too big? For both: why do you think this debate is still going on?
It's not so much size, really. Well kind of. Long and thin is no fun. Some can definately be too big. That's not fun either. Mostly tho, it's the motion of the ocean that matters.

BONUS: Do they know it's Christmas time at all?
They better, cause I want some stuff!