Sunday, November 30, 2008

Anthropologie




Are you familiar with this store?
It is my Annie's favorite store. I too am very fond of it. Annie bought her bedspread there as well as many clothing items. I have shopped there for both her and Emily at Christmas and Birthdays, but have yet to buy myself anything substantial (I did buy a cool Monogram Hook that holds my necklaces).

Annie is very stylish with decorating as well as clothing. She has a vision and can pull things together very well. Her room will eventually have an Anthropologie flare. She also would rather have a couple of nice pieces of clothing from there than many things that are more commonly found. She picked a vintage looking dress for a dance. No one else had it and she looked lovely.

This store is really cool. You can get wonderful gifts from books (I have purchased style guides and fashion icon books) as well as door knobs, kitchen ware, bed & bath items and of course the finest clothing items.

Unfortunately, the store is not cheap. Expect to pay top dollar. But, sometimes it is worth paying a little extra to get something a little more extraordinary.

To check out Anthropologie, if you do not have a store near you, go to anthropologie.com

Family Time

With Emily off at college and Annie busy with Senior year, we don't see much of the girls together. Sergio & I have been busy too with work, home, and miscellaneous needs. Having Emily home for a few days during Thanksgiving has been a blessing. We have actually had time where all four of us are together.

Friday was a wonderful family day for us. After dinner with the Gonzalez Family side, we ventured off together to see a movie. Although I have gone to movies with the girls, to have Sergio join us was a rare treat. We talked him into seeing Four Christmas'(Not his type of movie at all). However, it was wonderful. Not necessary the movie, but the time we spent in the theater, laughing together. After the movie we stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings, ate, chatted, laughed some more, and really enjoyed each others company.

I love seeing the girls as young adults. Our conversations are different from just a few years ago. Emily & Annie are bright, enthusiastic, and interesting. I value their view and comfortingly enough, they seem to appreciate ours better today as well.

Saturday, the girls and I ran off to the malls for big bargain shopping, while we left Sergio to his errands. He called us three times. I think he would have rather shopped. He has learned over the years, it is not about what we are doing, but the time we are sharing.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Always My Fault

When ever something doesn't go according to plan, it seems to be my fault. Seriously, my whole life I can recall either being told it's my fault or feeling as though it was.

As a child, I had a lot going on. The short of it is our family was dysfunctional. I remember thinking it was my fault when ever my parents fought. When I was 9 and my Dad attempted suicide. When my friends couldn't get along. My daily "beatings" as Jamie would put it, when he beat me up every day for a year 6th grade. When my family didn't get along. When I couldn't get a boyfriend. Etc. You get the picture.

As an adult, somehow that guilt thing followed me. I am 46 and still feel responsible for things going wrong. My loving family doesn't help. They tend to blame me as well. The girls get there smart mouth from me (ha ha!). The house isn't clean (guilty). The dog makes a mess. Something is missing. Dinners, or lack of them. Anytime somebody does something that someone else doesn't approve or understand in this household, my fault. My Dad's fourth attempt of suicide (remember from previous Suicide Blog), he even called to tell me it was my fault in case he suceed and couldn't tell me later (no wonder I am f*cked up). Money issues. Mailing in things. Scheduling appointments. Etc.

I think you get it.

I am so tired. I am mentally exahusted from the worry and words and the expectaions. I just want to throw my hands in the air and scream F*ck It!

When will I learn to relax and be calm? When will I learn to teach others that they are responsible for their own actions? When will I know my best is good enough and the world going to Hell is not my fault?

I want to be that person.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Now the Night is Over...

Well, the dinner pulled through. It was actually worth the wait. I had planned to take pictures like my Blog buddy that must be an amazing cook because I am always hungry after reading here blog and drooling on the photos of her fabulous entrees. But with the time and the starving family... It will just be a memory now.

My folks that had dinner first with Dad's Sister & Brother-in-law. Then again with his Brother and Sister-in-law. Now they have arrived at my house just as the dang turkey is finally done. So they have decided to eat again. Okay, we have plenty (Emily is frowning as she wanted much take home for her apartment). My Dad wants stuff not out, so I have to fetch other stuff for him. The coffee pot overflowed, why does this happen at the most inconvenient times?

But, all in all, the meal was wonderful. I enjoyed my family. It was 7:30 by time the meal was ready so we gobbled it down, cleaned up and now it's done.

I am so pooped now. I just want to lay down and be loved.

Yikes!!! Who Turned off the Oven?

With a later dinner, I am not on my regular Big Family Dinner schedule. I found a favorite recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole and excitedly made this dish. Then tossed my turkey in the oven. Same temperature, so I just reset my timer.

Around 90 minutes later, I noticed that I could not smell the turkey cooking. I checked on it and, SURPRISE!

Cold turkey, oven is off.

Dang it! Now we are an hour and half behind and the tummies are growling.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Somehow Thanksgiving has crept up on us rather quickly. I am preparing a dinner later than I usually do, but am accommodating my daughter's plans to go to the boyfriends family gathering in Fort Wayne. Dinner @ 5:30 here will be fine. Also, this will be the first in many years that I am preparing a meal for just the four of us. We will join the Gonzalez side on Friday. My parents will stop by this evening, but only popping in for a quick hello. They will be having a low key meal with my Dad's sister & husband. My Aunt has been ill with Alzheimer's and can't handle larger groups.

I am trying to stay focus and not get nervy. I am such a scatter brain lately. I am trying to stay on task and get this meal right. I have always felt my Family Dinner's were a success. With my depression and stress issues, it is harder to say the least, this year. I have already got side tracked and am grateful the meal will be late. Xanax is my friend today.

Touching on a happier note: I am very grateful for so many things this year. I see through the difficult things and am Blessed with so much.

* My loving husband,Sergio, he has kept me sane, what would I do without him?
* My daughter, Emily, she has grown into an exception young woman that blows me a way!
* My daughter, Andrea, I blinked & she grew up! I could not be more proud of her and her accomplishments.
* My Sister. She is the best big sister, and I love her forever. I will miss her over Thanksgiving and glad she will be having a very lovely Thanksgiving.
* My parents. They do drive me crazy, but I will love them forever and aleays try to better things for them.
* My Besties. Sheri & Deb understand me better than anyone. They help me to pull it together and love me no matter what. Amazing how they can bring that needed smile with just a verse or two of The Ant Song.
* My Long Lost reconnected Friends. Rich, Lynn & Kim. I am so excited to have you in my life again. You are a huge part of me & I will love you forever.
* Mary & Kim P. I know we keep trying to get together, but just your emails help me so much. How did I get so lucky to have you in my heart all these years?
* My pets. Rocky, Riley, Bandit, Meisha, and little Dakota. Unconditional love! Appreciation, Puppy kisses,so happy to see me. You guys (& gals) are the best! Just chill on the messes and barking.
* My job. Okay it stinks and I am panicking that my hours were cut, but at least it is a job, and keeps me very busy while I am there. I miss my Chameleon job, and my Roman Ink job, but sometimes things really are to good to be true.
* My Home. Not the best house, but I do believe home is where you share your love and memories. This is a great place for us to gather that and more and hopefully make a smart investment move with it.
* The basics. We have food on the table, a warm bed, cars that run. I could go on.
I look around and it is a scary world right now. A very scary world. Things could be better, but they could also be worse. I pray everyday for our Nation, our World, our Leaders, our Troops, and everyone out there.

May God Bless us everyone.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gumption


gumption: n 1. resourcefulness; initiative 2. common sense. 3. enterprise, backbone, courage, nerve, spirit, grit, spunk, guts. 4. shrewdness, cleverness, horse sense.

This is the best noun to describe my husband.

He is my husband, my lover, my friend. He is the father of my daughters. He is a son, an uncle, a cousin. He is a negotiator, a mentor, a confidant.
He is a powerful man. I am very proud of him.

The New Baby

We have a new Baby in the family.

I haven't met her yet. Her name is Isabella. My Emily has adopted a tiny kitten in Muncie.

The kitten's Mamma's people decided the kittens were ready to be separated from the Mamma. It is way to early. They are 2-3 weeks old.
Tiny little gremlins.
Emily isn't even sure if hers is a girl yet. Her roommate, Elle, also adopted one while Elle's Mom took the remaining two babies. So now they are taking turns bottle feeding these four precious kittens and praying they will survive.

Remember Dakota, the Pomeranian was rescued by Emily last year. Unfortunately, he was too scared to go with her and has become Sergio's dog. I am hoping that Emily's new Baby will bond with her and they will live happily ever after together. She needs a pet living with her. She is a pet person. (She thought she was a dog person, but we are hoping that she is a cat person too). A cat is a better pet for someone that is on the go alot. With Elle as a roommate, the kittens will be happy playing together once they get bigger and stronger.

I can't wait to meet her. I will post a picture soon.

I'm Addicted


This is a Southern favorite. My family thinks it's gross. I first tasted this 30 some years ago. back when I knew I was a Southern at heart although born a Yankee. The food and drinks are always better down in the south.

Recently I was reintroduce to this favorite beverage of my past. The taste brought me back immediately.

It is simply:
Carbonated mineral water (Perrier)
Lime
Salt
Over Ice

I love it, It's cool and crisp. Perfect when it is hot out or cold. It is one of those "take me back", taste that warms my heart.

Articulate

I always wanted to be able to pronounce correctly and to have proper English. I never took Etymology, although I wanted too (so I made my daughters).

I had a speech impediment as a child and took 8 years of corrective speech classes. They wanted me to continue in high school, but I had had enough. I refused. I felt like if they could not perfect me in 8 years, another 4 probably wouldn't do it.

I did correct much of the defects but continue to lisp. Worse than the lisp is not being able to say words correctly. It is the most frustrating thing. I say them right in my head, they just do not come out right. Don't ask me to say "millennium". You will laugh. I also feel my vocabulary is limited as I can not retain new words and their meanings. So frustrating when you are trying to have an intelligent conversation.

It is funny, my best friends have mastered language skills and I love hearing them talk. Sometimes I wont know a word, but will always ask. Sheri says at least I want to get it right and always appreciate a correction (but only from Deb & Sher).

I find that I get frustrated and want to correct others too. Isn't that awful? I can't master it myself but am the first to notice when people use the wrong word or mispronounce.

I work with a woman that butchers the English Language every day. She drives me nuts. I can't imagine how she got into her position as she talks to customers all day long. I cringe as I here her talk. She uses "aint","uhm", "don't", and "naw" all the time. I can't tell you how many times I hear sentences like, "uhm, well lady, you gots that wrong cuz we aint got nos invoice with that number".
She also has some lovely manners and belches several times a day. She does say "excuse me" or "whoa" if she is on the phone.

You would think that people that work in customer service would have to have strong communication skills. Maybe I could have applied for jobs I didn't think I qualified for.

I am often impressed with people that do crossword puzzles, word games and yes, enjoy reading the dictionary. Why can't my brain handle that? I want it, just can't seem to absorb it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Peer Pressure

My peers (aka readers of my blog) are pressuring me again to change the background of my blog. I will go back to the boring solid background since my faithful readers are old (like me) and have trouble reading. BUT... I am going to have this festive wallpaper until Christmas is over! Then, I promise to tone it back down.

So, until then, Fa La La La, I am decking the halls!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not Always the Way You Think It Will Be

Interesting how things don't always end up the way you planned or expected.

Especially as we get older, we expect ourselves to be better prepared and ready for the life we have made. We assume that we have already learned through our mistakes and that by our 40's, we can coast by, enjoying the comfortable life we have planned.

This past year has been turbulent for many. Surprisingly, many friends and family distressed by things they never imagined would happened to them. I have loved ones finding themselves facing financial difficulties, marital problems, depression and even death.

I remind myself, as well as others, that we are blessed, things happen for a reason, and that this too will pass. Things could be worst and are for some. We need to be thankful for what we do have and for our many blessings.

Things don't always happen the way we plan, but it is up to us to take what we have and make the best of it.

You only get one life. Live it the way you should. Be full of joy and good will.

Trendy Specs


While at the JEA Conference, I noticed the many young men & women that wear glasses. I watched hundreds of high schoolers walk by me with their skinny colorful specs. It is very much a part of their fashion statement.

Now, flash back a few decades to my generation. When I was their age, this was NOT a fashion statement but rather a drag. I hated being called "4 Eyes". We tried to make the best of it though. Our favorite frames were probably Aviator frames (which are popular again with this younger generation, but as Sun glasses). I had some and also some ugly wire-rimmed "granny glasses". We also thought it was cool or at least cooler, to wear tinted glasses. My generation begged our parents for contacts (which, by the way, were not like the comfortable ones of today!).

Later in the 80's & 90's, someone came up with ugly over sized plastic glasses. I had a couple of these in several colors. (Yes, the hideous red ones in the picture once overwhelmed my face). How unattractive. We have Sally Jesse Raphael to thank for populating that trend.

Today, I wear contacts for the most part, but also have a cute skinny pair of glasses that I don on occasion. Ditto with both of my daughters, although they wear the glasses more often than I.

I am curious to see what is next in the spectacles fashion world.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Home Again Home Again Jigaty Jig



We are Home!

What a wonderful trip with extraordinary young adults! I have never enjoyed being a chaperon more. These vibrant "kids" were great. Great conversations, great fun, and I must say, they worked very hard.

I learned much, not just from the Keynote speakers and information at hand, but from these young adults, that have it together so well.

I give much credit to their teacher and advisor. Mrs. Moore, works them hard, pushes them just a tad over there limits, and teaches them to have a passion.

I promise to write more about this wonderful adventure very soon!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Meet Me In St Louie!

Leaving for St Louis in the morning! I am going with Annie and her Journalism class. We will attend JEA/NSPA National Journalism Convention with high schools across the nation.

Annie is excited and looking forward to it.

I am too. I love her advisor, Mrs Moore. She has inspired Annie and refined her passion for Journalism. Also, this will most likely be my final chaperoning trip. I have been on hundreds. Seriously.

So, pray for our bus, the kids, and Mrs. Moore and I. We are in for 64 hours!

I am sure I will have plenty to write about when we get back.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Sweet Dreams & I Love You"


This phrase has been around for a long time. When I was around eight years old and shared a room with Julie, my sister, is my first memory of this. We said it to each other every night before bed.

I still say it. To my girls every night. To Sergio, every night. I speak it, text it, and pray it.

When I am on a vacation with girlfriends, I say it to them.

It is soothing, and the best thing to hear before falling asleep.

To you all, I say, "Sweet Dreams, and I love you".

Locks Of Love















Annie just gave a gift of Love.

She has been wanting to do this for a while. I talked her into waiting till after Senior pictures (in case she didn't love the results). The minimum length is 10 inches. Yeah, 10 inches! That gives them a good base for the wigs. Annie's "ponytail" was 14 inches, plus she had another 3 inches taken off to even out her new cut. That's 17 inches off.

This from a girl with her signature long hair. Always styled in different cool looks. She has always been brave to try new looks. I must say, I like the new style alot. It frames her face well. The huge smile doesn't hurt.

She has had several friends try to talk her out of cutting it. Her sister wanted extensions made for her instead of giving it away (JK). Annie will walk in to school tomorrow, and jaws will drop. Everyone will like it, but they will be shocked she had so much cut.

Annie is pleased with her results.

Somewhere out there, a little girl will be grateful for Annie's generous gift.

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics.
You can learn more about them at
locksoflove.org
.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Concerts


Are you old enough to remember paying under $10.00 for great seats to a rock concert? This was one of my favorite bands. Grant it I paid more on occasion, I think REO Speedwagon and Rod Stewart got more from me and I am sure that my Rolling Stones concert tickets cost me more. But, I know that I went to plenty of concerts and paid roughly $10.00-$20.00 for most seats. Maybe these Van Halen tickets were cheaper because they were in Texas, I don't remember. I do remember that they were great seats and I was so excited to see them with my San Antonio friends.

Today my daughters pay outrageous prices for seats. Many times they don't even get a seat, they are on "the grounds". Meaning bring your blanket to sit on. Recently Emily had tickets to Kenny Chesney that she paid $235 for two tickets! She ended up having to sell them and got slightly less than what she paid for. Annie goes to many concerts and generally pays for her own tickets too. She prefers the group concerts where you see several artist at one concert.

The last concert Sergio & I went to was John Mellencamp at Horizon (or what ever they are calling it now). We had pavilion seats, I think they cost us $75.00 each. I thought that was ridiculous, and I love John Mellencamp. That was a couple of years ago.

I miss the days were you could go to a concert, buy a t-shirt, and go to Taco Bell or Steak N Shake afterwards all for about $25.00. Ahh, those were the days!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mother Daughter Chicago Trip






I finally got pictures back of our Chicago trip!
This was the best time.
I am so glad Annie and I went. It was a day full of shopping, sight seeing and of course the college visits.

We had wonderful CONVERSATIONS! Annie is so interesting, so full of life, she is just such an amazing young woman.

THE SHOPPING

I got a smile sitting in the Water Towers waiting for the stores to open. We sat with several "little girls" waiting impatiently for the American Girl Store to open. Many had dolls with them. It made me think of the 7 AG dolls we have in storage now along with the many clothes and accessories. I looked at these little girls and then at my beautiful "little girl" that has grown up. Annie had that same look of excitement, glancing at the time as the minutes dragged. The differences was only she was waiting for her own magical store across from American Girl. Annie's magic was Betsy Johnson's Store. One day, these little girls would understand.
Annie was a good shopper. We did more looking than buying. But what she got was great. And so fun.
THE SIGHT SEEING

Annie decided she officially became a tourist with her camera hanging around her neck. She was in awe of the Chicago beauty. She took a dozen shots of interesting stuff, she is into angles right now, so we have some interesting shots of buildings, streets, and objects.
THE COLLEGE SEARCH

Much to our surprise, Loyola University, was a huge success. It was a last minute thought to visit. Annie had not even considered this school, so the visit was very informative and interesting. Annie asked great questions and we started to realize that this was a great fit for her. Our tour guide was a doll. He walked with us afterwards and showed Annie to the school store and answered more questions. We definitely will be back to see the rest of the campus (she only visited the downtown campus, we didn't have time to see the main campus). We also visited Columbia College and was so impressed with the administrator that saw us. He was very informative, and gave an hour of his time to us. Annie was amazed at what all they have to offer. This school also intrigued her. She had decided earlier that Chicago was "too far". Not now. She realized it's not that far. And as she said, "I could so do this!". She could. She will fly and we will support her completely. Thank God for Internet and cell phones. Also, I love Chicago so I just may come visit her more often (:, jk Annie!
THE EATING

Okay, we ate well. Had to get a Chicago hot dog. Had to get great coffee. And we ate dinner at Holohanns. Talk about great mushrooms! I will post the pictures of dinner later. Annie took some yummy pictures.

The best part of this Chicago Day Trip was just spending time with Annie. We laughed so much. I enjoyed her company like never before. We didn't have any interruptions, we talked about stuff, and I just really had fun with her.

My only regret was we ran out of time. I need to have more of these one on one times with my girls. It was wonderful.

Dakota Grooming




Our little Pomeranian, "Dakota", is high maintenance.

Dogs of this breed are small and hairy. They can't help but get dirty easy. They are very close to the ground. Also he is white with black patches so dirt can show up easily on him.

He gets a bath every weekend. He has grown to "appreciate" his bath time. His big brother Bandit likes to supervise. I think it keeps Dakota content to have Bandit by his side.

Dakota's favorite part is getting "blown dry". He just sits back and enjoys his little massage while getting dried. I found an old blow dryer from days of my perm (many many years ago). It is called "The Curly Top". Remember them from the 80's? It has a big blower and blows softly. Dakota LOVES it.

He becomes a big fluff ball, until he gets dirty again.

Interestly, this is very therapeutic to me too. Something about it feels like you have accomplished something. And my Dakota, is a happy little guy, being fluffy again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Exciting Election!


On this very exciting election day, my Annie & I stood in a long line this morning to cast our vote.

This is Annie's first election.

I am so proud of her and the interest she has shown in politics. She followed well, asked questions, researched and made a decision for herself. I am pretty sure I know who she voted for, but am not certain. I wanted her to know this is her choice, her right. It is her future.

This will be a long, historical night.

We will all be anxiously waiting to hear the results of what our future holds.