Sunday, December 27, 2009

Glamorous Miss Kitty

This is my fabulous Grandma Kitty when she was known as Kathryn Garner. This photograph was taken March 28th, 1946. It is one of the Head shots from her modeling portfolio.
My Mother gave it to me this Christmas. I had never seen this particular photo.
I love it.
My favorite Christmas gift.
My Mom knew that this would mean alot to me.
I am now on a mission to the Antique Shops in search for that perfect 1940's frame for this picture!
Isn't it grand? She is so beautiful!
Thank you Mom!

Number 500...almost

My Blog manager claims that last posting (Merry Christmas) was my 500th post.
Oh My Gosh! MILESTONE!
But, in reality, it is only my 476th that is actually posted. I have 24 drafts that I have yet to finish or post for one reason or another.
I have decided to thin through them, toss the ones that need to be purged. And finish the ones that I started and have a rightful place in my Blog.
To celebrate this milestone I have decided to print my postings in book form. Something just for me. And anyone that wants to see it in print here at home. There is a link in our Blogspot toolbox called Blog2Print that offers this service for a reasonable price. They cleverly have a link that can allow you to see your blog, how it will fit the pages and look. You can digitally flip through the pages and become mesmerized. Or at least that is what happen to me!
http://blogspot.sharedbook.com/blog2print/googleblogger/index.html
You gotta check it out. Very cool.
This Blog has really been a wonderful experience for me. It has exceeded my expectations. I was originally looking for a little pat on the back and recognition from friends. Maybe some understanding about what I go through. I never expected to find a world of new friends. I have "met" friends going through what I am. Be it Depression, Menopause, Oldies issues, and children issues. We are so alike. Regardless if you are my friend from South Africa, Texas, Australia, or California. I can count on advice, a little sympathy, a wish of congrats, and a simple "I care" from so many of my Blog World Friends. My friends have also shared some wonderful ideas, recipes, music, and books. They have widen my horizon and helped me to reach beyond my comfort zones.
My little "just breathe janis", has changed me. It has strengthen me. It has validated me. I am forever grateful for the encouragement to start this (thank you Sheri) and the support and encouragement to continue.
I try to carefully censor what I write. Sergio is particular about several issues and I respect that. I always make sure the girls are aware if they are posted, so they can veto if necessary (Emily, has become one of my biggest fans). I try not to write about anything that would embarrass those I love, or anyone for that matter.
I have also encouraged and helped others start a blog.
For the most part, I have been thrilled to get comments. I have only had a couple of Wackos, and a small amount of SPAM. I am lucky. Sometimes I get jealous of how many followers and comments others get, but then realize how silly that is and remember what two blogger friends told me about how overwhelming it can become and take away the simplicity. I don't want hundreds of followers and comments. Just sometimes am surprised when someone will comment to me in an email or face to face, instead of in print form. I realize that is just how it is. Funny thing, I started a Facebook to get more exposure for the Blog (and to find college friends). Within weeks, I had twice as many "friends" as I have "followers in my Blog. Maybe they glance at the blog, maybe they don't. I prefer my Blog and the comfy little~big world I have with it.
Thank you. Thank you all so much for the encouragement, the faith, the laughter and the Prayers. Without you I don't think I would have made it. My Therapist thinks you all have helped me come a long way too!
My blog has been my tears, my laughter, my hope, and my life. It's a journey that I am hanging on to for dear life. Trying to enjoy the ride.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


Need I say more?
Have a very Blessed Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

23 Years of Bliss


December 20th 1986
Has it really been 23 years?
Sometimes I feel Sergio has been a part of me forever. And sometimes I think it seems only yesterday we had our first date.

I love this photo of my father walking me down the aisle. It looks as though I am having second thoughts. What the hell am I doing? I don't remember thinking it, but Phil, my Photographer, caught the expression.

I know you are thinking, "Boy, those eighties! There are some fine looking people in this photo."


Sergio & I were so young. I was 24 and Sergio 28. (Are you digging my big hair or Sergio's styling mullet?) When we meet, neither of us were looking. I think that is what made things flow so well. We were not trying to impress, we were just being ourselves. (And we still fell in Love!)
We have had our shares of ups and downs. I feel you can not appreciate the mountains without some valleys. We have had moments of joy as well as moments of sorrow.
I believe that marriage takes 150% from both spouses. It is hard work. There is nothing easy about living with the same person for the rest of your life. There are times when, truth be known, you don't even "like" each other~ BUT you can still love that person that you are not exactly liking at the moment! Weighing it out, BEFORE getting married is a good ideal. Making sure that you are both in it for the long haul, and having God along with you can be helpful!
I know that sometimes things happen beyond our control, and great marriages can become spoiled or broken. I know that we have been extremely Blessed, as we have weathered some tough storms, but nothing we could not handle together.
I am forever grateful, as I think I got very lucky. I got a wonderful husband that I am so glad to spend the rest of my life with.

Turning 21

My beautiful daughter Emily, turned 21 over the weekend.
Sergio & I took her, a girlfriend that also turned 21, a few of their friends, her Sis, Annie, her Aunt Delia & Uncle Dave, to dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. Then we went to her Aunt & Uncles house, (who luckily live downtown) for what the kids call, "Pregame". They party before hitting the clubs & bars as it is sooo expensive to drink out.


Emily & Natasha (who Emily went to high school with), had a great turnout. With the kids all starting Christmas break, just about everyone was home for the holidays, therefore, home for the party.
Sergio & I enjoyed seeing so many of these kids we have known since Emily was little. They have all grown into such nice young adults. Emily also had some wonderful Ball State friends come to town for this evening. Jenny, came from Lexington, Kentucky, to celebrate with her little Sorority sister.
The "kids" all stuck around till close to midnight. then Sergio, Dave & Annie started giving rides as well as a couple of cabs, to the heart of downtown where the bars are.

They went to just one bar. A place called Tiki Bobs. I think they had a pretty good time. I am very fortunate that Emily has such a wonderful group of friends, particularly, Bobby, to look over her and take care of her on this evening of milestone.
By 2:00am Emily was done for the night. A cab ride back to Aunt & Uncles home,with several of these sweet friends, where they crashed for the night.
She didn't get sick.
She did call to tell us she was safe at Delia's, she "wuved" us and said "Thank you".
Pretty good girl!
I continue to be so very proud of her.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rocky Update

Or should I have titled this:
"How I Almost Killed My Cat".

Rocky. My dear sweet Rocky. I do love this cat. I mean really love this cat. I have for the 14 years we have had him. So, it is understandable how upsetting this has been.

Sergio, who I was sure was in denial, actually was more on top and accurate in diagnosing my cat. He was sure Rocky was NOT ready to die.

He is 17 years old. When the signs started showing up a month ago, how was I to think it could be anything else? I mean, he is old! He never complained or seemed sick. He just stopped eating and started sleeping more.
After four days of not eating anything, his eye and jaw swelled.
That is definitively not a sign of dying from old age.

OMGosh! Sergio~ I THINK YOU ARE RIGHT. Lets take him in to the Vet. I humblely admit that I have made a huge mistake thinking it's just old age and that Sergio was in denial. My husband...knows best.

Now mind you we have talked to the Vet, already the day he stopped eating. Well, now that I think of it, we talked to his assistant.

My Vet kept him for the day, hooked to an IV because he was dehydrated, and confirmed Sergio's thoughts of infection. Rocky has an Abscessed Tooth, which has gotten infected as well as causing an infection in his right eye. He pumped him with antibiotics, removed as much as he could of the ...puss and junk, although could not remove the tooth due not being able to give him anesthetic at this time.

He is home on watch now. We must get him to eat and gain some pounds so we can go forward with abstracting the tooth. He is not out of the woods. Because of his age, putting him under is extremely dangerous, but, the tooth has to go. He will most certainly die if it is not removed.

He loves his drugs, eating somewhat :) and drinking a chicken stock as well as water. He is making much improvement. Looks a ton better!

Thank you for your prayers. It seems this old guy isn't on that last 9th life. He was just fooling around with number 8.

Poke, Poke, Prod!

In this past seven days, I have had a Helluva health conscious week.

I went to my Family Physician. Yearly routine and review. When I walked in, the assistant says, "Okay, Janis, just need you to step up on these scales." I said, "You know, I think I will pass this time." Three sets of eyes stare at me.. I continued, "The way I see it, This is the week following Thanksgiving, and I ate quite a bit. My clothes are not very forgiving right now, so I am sure I am still carrying these extra pounds. I am VERY close to a scary number, (what I weighed at 9 months pregnant). If I get on your scales, fully dressed, I may be at or surpass "that" scary number. If that happens, seeing how I am here to be re-evaluated about my depression issues, and my weight-gain has been upsetting me, I am thinking the Doc will end up needing to up my Meds as I will be more anxious if I am near "that" number. SO, I will be happy to whisper my weight as of this morning "BUTT NAKED" {coz we all know winter clothes, heavy sweaters & pants add a couple of pounds}, but since I want to not increase the medications, I will pass on stepping up on those scales." I am happy to say, they seemed very impressed with my logic and gave me the pass I requested.

Tuesday, I went to the Optometrist. It was raining buckets, it was late, I was tired and they were running behind. A lovely Associate decided to follow me around while I tried glasses on. Giving me her opinion on every pair. Thank you very much, but, I do kindof know what I am looking for. Been wearing glasses for over 35 years. Only plan on wearing them once a week to give my eyes a break from the contacts. Maybe I like these frames honey, wireless look great on you but that isn't what I want! I didn't say this but wanted too. She finally gave up when I picked what I wanted and stuck with it. I also now have a stronger prescription so I have had a bit of a headache since Tuesday evening. Damn I hate that!

Wednesday I went to a Podiatrist. Wonderful fellow. Very quite & gentle. My Family Physician wanted me to have my foot looked at because I still am having pain from falling last spring. Sure enough, I did fracture it! Luckily it is healing well on its own. The X-ray shows that it is still healing and he gave me suggestions on how to handle the pain, and how to protect it from re-injury while it is still fragile. I should have gone eight months ago and it would be fine now, but, like many, I put myself last.

Thursday, I went to the Dentist. Thank God we are friends. I hate having anyone poke in my mouth at my teeth & gums. She can put me at ease and is the Angelic Gentle Dentist. A simple replacement of an old silver filing. Discomfort, but she spared me the pain~ Gosh I love her! Never the less I am tender.

Finally, Thursday evening, my monthly check in with my Therapist. How fitting to see her last, after a week of body drama. She as usual, was wonderful. Helps me keep things in check, and makes me feel normal, not really crazy. I look forward to the day I need not depend on her, but fear it as well. She certainly is good at helping me learn new tools and methods of dealing and handling what life throws at you.

At least I got everything in before the year end. Gotta make sure things get done accordingly for our insurance lords.

Monday, December 7, 2009

"Yo! How you doin?"



"That's what Rocky is all about: pride, reputation, and not being another bum in the neighborhood."

...Sylvester Stallone

On Halloween night, 1995, Sergio allowed a stray black cat into our garage. Good looking, short, muscular cold black cat. We had some kids in the neighborhood that were, well, not nice when it came to animals. So, Sergio, felt this little guy needed a little extra protection on a night that isn't so lucky for black cats around idiot kids.

I had just rescued another cat, Mario, the week before that needed alot of medical attention, as well as being busy with two little girls, two dogs and two other cats. I was also teaching preschool & babysitting. What's one more Gonzalez? He seemed to fit in very well with our gang.
Rocky was named after the Sylvester Stallone character Rocky Babloa.
He is an exceptionally sweet cat. Never torn anything up. Never got into trouble like the rest of the Gonzalez pets seem to do. He keeps out of trouble, stays out of the way, and always has stayed happy and healthy.
Rocky is now in his golden years. Although he has slowed down and gotten a bit thin, he has not really been frail until recently. Lately it has become increasingly difficult for him to do much of anything but snooze. He loves the new house and has several favorite spots. Particularly, here next to me on my desk. In the past month, we have moved a favorite Longaberger Basket (they are made for cats, right?), his food & water bowl, and he likes the little desk light left on (it's like a warming light at restaurants). I have also changed his food to can as we could sense some trouble with chewing.
Yesterday, he stopped eating. He also has stopped drinking. Today I begged him and managed to get a few drops of warmed milk in him. He even turned down tuna & turkey & steak fat (ewe~ but he always loved it). I have spoken to the Vet about options and once again, I have been in this position, but, run it by me again, what do I look for in his comfort and help me know when that has past.
Sergio is in denial. He is mad that I did not take him to the Vet sooner. He thinks Rocky just has a dental need. He forgets that most cats do not live to be 17 years old. He thinks Rocky is gonna be fine. "We are not losing another during the holidays (why do pets always do that?). The girls are off at school. They know Rocky is an old~old cat. Poor thing put up with doll clothes from them (particularly Emily, back in the day). I haven't called them with the news that he seems to have taken a turn for worse.
To me, I don't see it as a turn for the worse. He has had a lovely life. Quite the plush life for a cat. Plenty of "siblings". All the food, shelter, love and even Christmas presents!
He is purring. He seems really happy, although very tired. He is starting to be disoriented. I try to keep him close by. I get scared when I can't find him, and troubled when I do in some new spot. {Please don't go hide to die, let me comfort you}.
17 years. We have had him in our family for 14 years. He is such a cool cat.
I love You Rocky, you are such a good boy.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

New & Improved

I have rediscovered some oldies but goodies!



First we have, Neutrogena's "Rainbath". I have loved this for many years. It is one of the best shower soaps I have ever used. Somewhat reasonable in price. When I am lucky, I get this big 40 ounce from Sam's. The great thing about this currently is that they have a new scent. Grapefruit. Hello? Those that know me, know this is a no brainer for me. I love grapefruit anything! It is a citrus scent that I crave!
Next I have rediscovered this!
I use to LOVE "General Foods International Flavored Coffees"! Well, the caffeine/sugar version that is. I stopped drinking them years ago when I became more of a hard core coffee w/ no flavors type. Now, I don't know. I am up to a little flavors now and then. After all, I am drinking that Eggnog creamer during the holidays.
It is good to rediscover old loves. It's even better when they are new & improved!

Poor Little Paper Whites


This sad little bound plant is my poor little Paper Whites. I planted the three bulbs and have anxiously awaiting their blooms.
My friend bought them the same time I did but planted hers a week before I did. Hers bloomed three weeks ago.
Mine looked like they would bloom just in time for Thanksgiving Day. Instead, on Thanksgiving they took an ugly turn. I don't know if I over watered the night before or the heat of the kitchen with both a turkey, ham and a bunch of other stuff cooking the day away did it but, by afternoon, they were leaning over looking mighty sad.
I have babied them, doctored them and begged them to come too and bloom. I can actually see the flowers through the transparent skin of the buds. They perk up, then lean back over. The band is to help them stand upright. I just started trying this to help it from falling over :(
I am so worried about them. They just wont snap out of it!
Any suggestions?

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Sheri Moment

A Sheri moment can be one of three things for me.
1. a very brilliant moment:
something wonderfully intelligent has come to me.

2. a very articulate moment:
the right words at the right time; the wittier the more Sheri Moment

3. a very "who is that?" moment:
that person knows me obviously but I have no clue who they are. They either were unimportant to me or just did not make an impression.

Growing up with Sheri, and being her friend for well over 30 some years, has cause some of her to rub off on me as well as me rubbing off on her. Deb and Lynn have escape some, but not all of this "thing" as they for one reason or another were not around us as much (miles, opportunities, etc). I like to think I have some Deb & Lynn in my DNA as well, but I will save those stories for another time.

Back to my Sheri Moment. These hit me OFTEN. I am usually very pleased when they do. Particularly when something witty comes out of my mouth at the right moment.

Right now I am dealing with Sheri Moment #3. Gosh Darn it. Someone has gotten in touch with me (through Facebook) and I have no recognition of this person! This person went to high school with me. This is huge! I always remember people! I am the one of us Besties that can recollect memories, moments, people at a drop of the hat. they come to me to say..."who is that?" or, "do I know her?"

But, today, I am stumped. Who they Hell are you? Why do I not remember you? Maybe I will call the girls. Maybe Sher will have a Jan Moment and remember this poor soul and snap me back in line!

...I hate that!


Need I say more?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

One, Two, Three...Cheese!

It's that time of year again! Our traditional Christmas picture! I try to get the shots done over Thanksgiving, so I can get them into cards and out the door on time for Christmas. We have tried to do this every year. However, we have been known to miss a year or two. Only twice have I completely not sent Christmas cards. Last year was one of those years. SO, it is of high priority that I get it done this year.

Trying to get the girls in matching little outfits use to be so easy. We use to do jammies, then many years of Cheer uniforms, then hats & scarfs, etc. Now, I just want them to work with me... I don't care what you wear (well, kindof but I try not to go into that battle. I really thought Sorority Sweatshirts would be cute... but they did seem to crazy about the ideal). So, I got the girls on board.

Then who is gonna be in the picture? We usually do it with the dogs. Once with the cats, never all at the same time. Emily wanted her Isabelle in the picture, but, Isabelle isn't the friendliest cat, let alone sociable with our pets. Scratch that ideal before she scratches someone else!

Back to the dogs. That is safe. Chaotic but safe. Besides, we almost lost our Riley with her Cancer, so, it is an extra Blessing to have her for another Christmas shot (besides her surgery was pretty much our Christmas to each other! Cha-Ching!)


I take the shots so Sergio has to help get them together. No fire in the fireplace... that was a scary mistake one year. BUT... where are the antlers? The girls have decided against the Christmas Hats but, by golly get the damn antlers on my dogs! Here we go!

Riley is expressing herself about the Antlers.


Riley is refusing to get into the picture, because of the antlers. Bandit is behaving because he has already been in the dog house for peeing on the tree...twice! Dakota is freaking over the antlers so much he is starting to sweat. Breathe Dakota!


Sergio is trying to talk her back into the picture (They don't make you look fat.. You look so pretty!)


Looks like Riley is saying. "If anyone makes fun of me, I am putting a curse on them with my Devil eyes!"


And it's a wrap!

Things that Make Me go Hmmm...

I learned a few things this week. I have been thinking alot about them, so let me share with you.

1. "Liquid Nails" is pretty powerful but not always glues what you intend. As I tried to repair an angels wings (Christmas decoration), the wings would NOT stay on the lovely angel. Instead, they GLUED on to my finger that was trying to hold it tightly together. It took me forever to get the wings off my index finger. Once I did, my finger prints are forever altered as part stayed on the wings. It's quite painful!

2. A bandage on your index finger makes it difficult to type on the computer.

3. Just because you feel great doesn't mean you are no longer depressed. Changing your medication dose without a Doctors consent isn't a good ideal. You feel better~ the medicine is working! Chemically imbalanced people need the correct dosage to become "balanced". Reducing meds can cause tears & fears.

4. My Sister will always be a better Cook. I am okay with that. I would be better with it if we lived closer so I could have her cook for me! No matter if the recipe is the same: Julie's version always taste better.

5. You can't win an argument with my Mom. Better to shut up and "pretend" to agree. Challenging it gets no where. So, apparently I have been married for 24 yrs come Dec 20th, silly me, I could swear 2009 - 1986 equals 23. Whatever.

6. You can't make someone treat you with more respect. Rude is rude. No matter how hard you try to teach it, people have to get it on their own. I am disappointed that our young adults talk to parents the way they do and make decisions without regard.

7. Buying an artificial tree does not guarantee the dog wont pee on it. Neither does having said dog, go pee multiple times outside first, guarantee he did not save some to mark that strange tree in the living room!


8. Some things never change nor will they.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Little Turkeys

Some photos from Thanksgiving 2009



Here is Michelle (my niece), Emily, Miles (my nephew), and Annie.


My Sis, Julie & I.


Julie, Mom & me!

Friday, November 27, 2009

songs in my heart

Music makes me come alive. I can change a mood, lift my spirits or mellow out in a matter of minutes with a flick of a dial, or click of the Internet.

I found Pandora.com a couple of years ago. I love this station! They are responsible for my growth in expanding outside my comfort zone. I have learned of so many wonderful Artists through Pandora. All I have to do is type in something I like and they do the rest. Matching me to other Artist that I have never heard of, as well as some I have, yet forgotten about. They create stations for me. And allow me to merge favorite stations together for a mix when I want too.

At my office, I am allowed to listen to music while working. The work we do is sometimes monotonous and tedious at times. Having the opportunity to listen while we work tends to get us, at least me, in a better mood and more efficiently and productive.

Most of my co-workers have Ipods, cd players, with earplug cords anchoring us to our music.

I can not get Pandora.com as it is a blocked site. However, I discovered another Internet music sit that I can get access to called jango.com This is good, but I favor Pandora.com. Jango.com isn't as precise about matching similar music to what you chose. I find myself often skipping songs on this station. Whereas, Pandaora.com seems to know what I will like more.

I know that I am happier lately. I seem to be singing and humming alot lately. Songs in my heart, you could say.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Good The Bad & The Ugly

As Thanksgiving has arrived, I must reflect on those things that make me most thankful.
Yes, yes, there are those obvious thing~ health, happiness, home, & family.
BUT...
let me go a little deeper...

The Good:
My oh So Fine Husband, who still takes my breathe away
My Beautiful Daughters, that make me so proud
My Friends, that love me no matter what, including all my Blogger friends!
My Funny Furry Family- I can not imagine not having the cat & dog hair on everything I own.
Totally worth it. I am Blessed in every way!

The Bad:
My little Love Shack isn't a mansion on the water,
Sergio isn't exactly my Sugar Daddy & I am not exactly his Trophy Wife
Although I am a couple years younger than Michelle Phieffer, I look years older.
Love my home anyway, who wants an oldie? and We can't all look like Michelle!

The Ugly:
Those who have hurt Me
Those who have broke my Heart
and Those who ridiculed me.
Without them I may never had tried harder,
thickened my skin,
and become the strong woman I have become.

With that said, let me wish you all a lovely Thanksgiving.
Be full of love, be kind to each other, and remember to say thank you & I love you!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Did I Miss the Memo?

Why is everyone making Christmas so Gung Ho so dang early? I mean, I know it's in five weeks, but they started putting Christmas stuff out before Halloween was over!

Can we please celebrate Thanksgiving and give this Holiday the respect it deserves before jumping over to Christmas?

Seriously. I LOVE Christmas! I love celebrating my Christian faith, gathering with family and all the Christmas celebrating. I don't want to be a Grinch but good golly!There are three local radio station's already playing Christmas only. There is a Christmas movie on every night.

BUT I WANT THANKSGIVING FIRST! I want to think about what all we are Thankful for. I want to embrace my friends, family and faith. I want to have the opportunity to say, thank you.

Why do we let ourselves get pushed and hurried so much? I just want to relax for a moment and reflect on the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. Just for a moment please!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ahhh...Comfort!


Unlike my furry friends, I can't get comfortable just anywhere.
There was a day when I could. When I was a little girl, my "spot" in the '65 Volkswagen Beetle Bug, was that tiny place behind the back seat. I slept well during long car rides there. As I got older (and no longer fit in such spots) I could get pretty darn comfy anywhere.
But those days have been over for some time.
Age creeped up on me and wham! I get aches and pains, charlie horses and that restless leg feeling too. I need some comfort! Especially at bed time!
One of the best investments we ever made was buying a Select Comfort bed. I sold a condo to a gal that managed a Select Comfort store. After years of her trying to convince me (and me trying to convince Sergio) we finally bought it.
I LOVE MY BED!
I sleep very well. (My Sleep number is generally a 70, if you are curious) I get comfy every night. I don't feel Sergio getting up through the night, nor does he wake up when I am to let the dogs out. I don't get Charlies or cramps at all anymore. I don't wake to a stiff neck or aching back.
We share our little queen bed with two, sometimes three dogs, and occasionally a cat or two.
I sleep like a baby!
I get excited about going to bed, and I don't want to get out in the morning.
I have an incredible view of the backyard with all my trees and the stars are lovely at night. I refuse to put up window coverings!
We have had our bed for about 6 years now. I highly recommend it. It is well worth the money and I doubt you will be disappointed.
I wish I could go curl up with a dog or cat or my husband now :).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

T.R.O.U.B.L.E.



I am in trouble... again! Although I am not a big fan of flavors in my coffee, Nestle Coffee-mate, introduced me to my little friend Eggnog Flavor a couple of years ago.

I love it. This is the only flavor, I really love in my java. Can't be my first cup, but definitely the last couple of cups! This potion has 35 calories per serving. Problem is "my" size serving vs "their" size serving is probably not the same.

Thankfully, this flavor is only offered for a limited time, then will go away for many months, only to return and force me to buy and drink a years supply-worth!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Judge Not, Lest You be Judged"

I have lived my life trying very hard not to judge others. Have I succeeded? For the most part, I hope so. Of course I am not perfect and there are times and situations where I have found myself being judgemental.

I was brought up to believe that we are all equal. My parents always had friends of different race, religion and family background. Prejudice was something I learned about later.

When I was in 6th grade, I got beat up for stepping into a conflict between black & white students, and suggesting we could all be friends. This pre-teen, not only introduced me to the term "honky-ass" she was disgusted that I had touched her. It was so upsetting to me. I had a difficult time understanding why she did not care for me and others with my skin color, when she did not "know" me. I felt if only given the opportunity, she would see we really had much in common. We ever shared the same name. It got bad, and eventually she was moved to another class. It was my first negative encounter between races. I was taught through out this ordeal, that it wasn't really about our difference in color, but our differences in how we were brought up and what we were taught from early on. I accepted the fact that Janice, was a negative sad person. If not the difference in our skin, perhaps she would not have liked me because of some other difference. I don't know. But I refused to allow it to change my opinion of people based on something like the color of our skin. I was Blessed to have friends of different backgrounds.

I went to high school between 1976-1980. Although I had friends that were African American, we did tend to stick to friends that grew up in the same neighborhoods and backgrounds for the most part. I had certain class and activities were we blended better, but thinking back, it was still separated with most things. I did not date outside my race, although I did outside my religion. We just didn't.

When I attended College, three of my room mates were African American. I would not have traded them for any other room mate. I loved these girls like my own sister and thought we would stay friends forever. We did so much more than just live together. We studied, played and played some more! I am so sad we lost touch. I am jealous of today's technology and the opportunities students today have to stay in touch. I am working on finding particularly Angela & Carmen, and hope that one day we will.

When I married Sergio, the thought of our different backgrounds, cultures, even religion (I converted to Catholicism right before we wed) didn't cross my mind. I was shocked and saddened by some of the comments I got. Even from our own family members (both sides).

While I encouraged my daughters to be kind, and taught them to be as non-judgemental as possible, I also tried to teach them to be cautious and smart. Okay to invite the quiet or new person to your circle of friends and get to know them and make them feel welcomed. But also know when to trust their intuition (Thank you Gavin DeBecker!) . Stay away from any meanies!

Once Emily came home from CYO camp, a happy little camper. She talked & talked about her new friend. I had asked her to describe the young friend. She did the best she could for a 10 year old. "She really pretty. She's funny. She is taller than me like everyone else. She has black hair. Oh she laughs really funny!" When Emily's pictures were developed and she shared them with me, I realized I had done well in teaching her the lessons Mom had taught me. As Emily is going through the pictures sharing stories, she pointed out her friends, and never batted an eye or thought to mentioned the new friend was an African American! It wasn't as important as, "she has a funny laugh".

When we switched the girls out of Catholic Schools and into Public, I had some reservations. Being a Gonzalez in a very small Hick town can present problems to uneducated classmates. The girls became the "tannest" girls in their school. Although their cousin also attended, she did not have a Hispanic last name. My girls got a taste of being teased, called "dirty Mexicans" as well as a few other choice words. They took it well, toughened up and barely batted an eye.

Once Em had a ridiculous Spanish teacher that often said things that were unacceptable. Emily handled it all well, Until the teacher crossed a line. He was making a point that "most Hispanic men come over to America and marry "Fat Ugly Women" to become citizens". Emily, shut her books, said she had heard enough. That he had no idea what he was talking about. That he was feeding into the stereo type problems, being disrespectful, and wrong. The teacher, told Emily, "he was just telling the facts." So, Emily, said something like, "let me tell you the facts, My DAD is from Monterrey, Mexico. And not only was his wife, My MOM, beautiful but she was also skinny!" With that said, she walked out of the class. The teacher at her heals, begging her to come back in and discuss calmly, that he did not mean it literally, etc. He realized he screwed up! What a loser! But, what a proud moment for us that Emily stood up to him and his stereotyping.

I feel this way about people that have different educated backgrounds, financial differences and lifestyles. I give everyone the same equal chance. I don't care what you come from. As long as you give me a fair chance, I will do the same. You don't have to be just like me to "like" you. I don't have to look just like you or be just like you. I love variety. I love making friends of different ages, backgrounds and cultures. I love to learn and I do my best learning around those that are different from me.

I won't judge you.

Well, I guess, I should say I wont cast the first stone. If you are crazy, mean, or just really annoying, I may secretly judge you, I may even blog about you, but I won't call you out or maliciously attack you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Doormat


I am loving my new Doormat! And to think I got it on clearance for just $7! Yay Me!

Remembering on Veteran's Day

Today more than ever, I am thinking and praying for our Military Men & Women. I know a few that are currently serving as well as many brave men & even women that have served.


My favorite Service Men are the following handsome men.



My father, Thomas A Meyer US Navy


My Grand Father, Edward George Wright US Navy


Friend, Kinch Edward Waltrop US Marines, currently stationed in Northern Iraq

I am also very proud of others from our family that I unfortunately do not have photos;
My Great Grandfather Marquis, US Army
My Brother In Law, Robert Brent Reed US Air Force
My Brother In Law, Homero Gonzalez US Marines & US Army
My Uncle, David Edward Wright US Navy
My Cousin, Tully Wright US Marines
My Cousin (InLaw)Kristine Wright US Army

Countless friends that have served during war-time as well as peace time. My gratitude for their sense of keeping us safe. Knowing that they are willing to do what ever necessary to keep my country, and my family safe.

To you all, I salute you. I thank you. I pray for you.

For our brave young men and women that continue to enlist, for the young men and women about to go to boot camp (Andrew J Davis US Air Force).

The many friends of my daughters, so young and so brave.

May we all remember, be thankful and prayerful.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Intuition

Intuition: immediate insight or understanding without conscious reasoning; *instinct, inspiration, sixth sense; presentiment, premonition, foreboding.

This afternoon, while on a WALMART shopping trip, my intuition kicked in. I was in the cosmetics department.
I noticed a young man approx. 25 years old, wandering about and noticed he was watching someone. I stepped around the aisle and saw what he was watching: a young girl around 14.
I had noticed her when I entered the store. She was with her brother and Grandparents. They were walking in at the same time. She was slightly embarrassed to be with them. You can just tell. It's that awkward age. As we entered the store, she lit up and turned to ask Grandma something. Then she happily went in a different direction then her family.
When I saw her in the cosmetic aisle, she was engrossed in looking at all the make up. Picking eye shadows and such up. Reading the packages, and putting them back, picking up another items, and so on.
I know this routine. Been there done it. My girls have been there done it too. Much like my posting about the library, she had just entered her own "candy store".
Which brings me back to the "creeper". I gave him a couple of my Mom dirty looks. You know the look.. He would look away and move on. But to another aisle trying to continue his watch. He was antsy. Fidgety. He keep running his hand on the side of his lower belly...did he just handle himself looking at this little girl!! Now I am more than protectively hanging out in the same aisle with her. I am giving him death dagger stares daring him to approach! This has continued for 15 minutes.
Do I tell the girl what is going on? {She is clueless smelling perfumes now, completely in her own world} Do I wait around and continue to protect her? Look for Grandparents?
NO, DAMN IT! Where is an employee? I want this guys ass in trouble! Freaking Creeper!
I found an employee nearby and start to tell her what is going on. As I am talking to her, the Creeper is on his phone, watching us. Now he is joined by another shady character heading right for us. I'm like, " and here is the creeper right now!". The other guy introduces himself and Creeper boy as Loss Prevention Security. They show me and the employee their work ID.
Are you kidding me!!!
They apologize for scaring me. I said, "well, you were totally creeping on that little girl! I just had my Mom Intuition kick in and felt I needed to protect her. Seriously, she is just excited about looking at make-up. "
My heart is still pounding.
My favorite all time book is Gavin DeBecker's "The Gift of Fear". It is a book of Survival Signals that protect us from violence. He also wrote "Protecting the Gift", and "Fear Less". These books are wonderful in getting us back in tune with those intuitions, those little alarms that go off and yet we ignore. Getting us to LISTEN to the warnings, the signs and the gut feelings.
One of my favorite chapters says this: "Intuition is always learning, and though it may occasionally send a signal that turns out to be less than urgent, everything it communicates to you is meaningful. Unlike worry, it will not waste your time".
My intuition told me something wasn't right. I feared the girl could be in danger. Am I embarrassed that I was wrong, he wasn't a Creeper, but a store detective? Heck no! I am glad I went for help. I couldn't rest fearing, what happened? I hope she is okay. What if he was a creeper? What if tomorrow we were reading about another missing or molested child?
Nope, not on my watch! I did the right thing!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dog Days & Cat Naps



Had to share these with you. Riley, Bandit, & Dakota enjoying the sunbeams in the afternoon.
Mischa snoozing in a basket.
Rocky checking out Bandits breath! (Rocky hides when he naps!)
Good to be a pet in the Gonzalez Household!

The Glass Castle


I just finished reading this book, The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls. It is an autobiography that will grip hold of you. Jeannette writes this incredible journey she and her siblings lived through with her neglectful, troubled parents.
It will haunt you. It will make you sad, yet incredibly proud as well. I could not put it down. I got mad, I got sad, and I was overcome with love.
I got it.
You must read this book!
It is my current favorite. A great Memoir that will truly tug at your heartstrings. Hopefully make you more compassionate and understanding that there are some pretty amazing people out there that can turn things around and endure more than one can imagine.
I am anxious to read her newest book, "Half Broke Horse".

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

candy store!

The other day, I stumbled onto the Marion County Public Library website. I was impressed. I haven't belonged to a library for quite some time. I loved it for many years, but when we moved out of this county, and into another, we were not able to utilize there services as well. We are now back in Marion County!

I called on my Bestie, Sheri, for guidance, as she is the Book Guru! The girl knows books! What she does not know, she will find out. So, being a Bestie, she said, "when & where and I will meet you". So, this afternoon, to catch up, teach me about the anatomy of a library, and to find the best books, she joined me.

I got there first and started my process of becoming a member (FREE!). The librarian set me up, gave me some rules, told me my limits, I had to try to stay calm, but I swore she said I could take up to 75 books at a time and keep for 21 days. What! Sweet! She did! Not that I ever will, but dang!

I walked into the BOOKS sections and OMG! I texted Sheri. "It's a F*cking Candy Store!" She soon came around the corner and welcomed me to the candy store!

I am in HEAVEN! How could I have forgotten this wonderful haven that I loved so much as a child? Seriously, it was such a wonderful part of our upbringing, getting to go to the library every couple weeks and pick out books. I also enjoyed the Book Mobile as a pre-teener. Which was perfect because it chose to park in my cul de sac, during the summers and I could not wait for this groovy bus to pull up.

Today, I was able to get one of the books on my list. Four others that I found intriguing and two audio books to try out while I am working on spreadsheets at the office.

I wanna be a Librarian now when I grow up!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thank You Cynthia Louden!


This week I received my beautiful prize from Cynthia's "A Shimmy in my Spirit" blog. She is an amazing Artist and Blogger. Her studio out in California is "Willow Rosa Studios". Go to http://www.willowrosastudios.com or her blog at: http://www.ashimmyinmyspirit.com/
She has cool drawings to win her canvas art. I was the lucky winner last month and she personalized it to my liking. You must go check her out!
Her blog is fun, chic and creative. She gets you energized. I think Cynthia would be a great friend! I am glad to have found her in Blog World and love the smile she puts on my face. She even has gotten me up and dancing! Love to you Cynthia!

An Update on Stuff

I wanted to update you on a couple of stuff I wrote about previously.

1st~ I did mail the letter to my High School Counselor. I feel good about it. I don't anticipate hearing anything back. I just hope I brought a smile to his face and gladness in his heart. Maybe something to share with loved ones showing what a difference he has made.
2nd~ I joined Facebook. I still feel weird about it. But, it is interesting. I have had several blast from the past "friend" me. Makes me feel good. Also makes me laugh to see some of the pictures of these faces I knew, but 30 years later. They look the same, yet older! Ditto for me I know! One of my daughters "friend" me. I was surprised. She laughed, and asked me not to "creep" on her too much! I promised. And I have no intention of "friending" her friends etc.
3rd~Riley is healing very well. She is amazingly gotten playful, alert and happy! We did not realize how sick the cancer made her. Yesterday, she slipped out of her harness as she was teetered in the back yard. A neighbor came over with her happily walking aside him! I was shocked and embarrassed that I did not even know she had wondered off! He said she was fine, just visiting neighbors and hanging out a few doors down. Riley? She is friendly to us but not strangers! But here she was all friendly and playful with STRANGERS! Thank goodness she was good, alright and we had a great neighbor that walked her back over. She is a happy girl!

That's about it. Just felt like a FYI was in order since I got several comments on these issues.

Thank you my dear Blogger friends. I love you all.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just a Little More Halloween Stuff!



I couldn't resist! It turned into a beautiful day and I had to take these shots of this years Halloween Fun! We are ready for our Spooky Trick or Treaters now!

Happy Halloween

It's Halloween! Living at the new house, and not sure what to expect with trick or treaters, I must go get plenty of goodies for our little goblins. (This picture of the ghost was taken last year, I have them up here at this home too but no picture~ it's been crappy weather!).
Anyway, no plans for Sergio & I. No parties, no kids about. The girls, I am sure have plenty of plans and parties to go to up in Muncie. They have already been enjoying the season and shared some photos. They will have several costomes for this years halloween parties. Times have changed! Costumes have certainly changed! Scary is out~Sexy is in. I typically stuck with Funny. That was always safe!
Speaking of safe, I hope you all have a safe Halloween. If you have little ones, hope they have fun.
Well, I best be going for some candy...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One More of Annie


I just opened today's mail and got this proof from Annie's Sorority pictures. Try to ignore the word proof all over the picture! I had to share today because it is her day. Isn't she lovely?

Happy Birthday My Pooh Bear!



My Baby turns 19 today. 19! Oh please tell me where did the time fly?

This is the first birthday I do not get to be with her. She is up at school, and has a full agenda all week. Which is good, and I am glad for her. Sad for me though. I got to hear her sweet voice, and I got several texts back & forth with her. But, not getting to see her today is hard.

>

We took her to dinner this past Sunday while she was in town. LOVED having her home (it was her first time since moving to the new house!). She tries hard to divide up her time, between us, Nathan, and her friends. I know I creeped her out a bit from staring and smiling at her so much. I just can't get enough of her lately.

As I have said so many times before, I am SO PROUD of her. She is truly amazing. But 19? Wasn't she was just my Baby Pooh Bear the other day?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hot Legs

Once upon a time I had hot legs. My husband was crazy about my long lean legs. (I am 5'8 and my inseam is a 33). I like to think I lured Sergio with my mini skirts and heels. It was the eighties!
This photo was taken many years ago. Framed and sat at our bar for years. It was a gift for his 30th birthday. I was 25 and BP (before pregnancies). He loved it. But I will never forget, what he said:
"Honey, one day when you are old, you will be glad you had this made! You will look at this and remember, you use to have Hot Legs!"
It kind of pissed me off. What do you mean one day when I am old? And what makes you think I wont always have hot legs??
I am old now. I don't have hot legs anymore. They got fat, I have spider veins, and the are ugly now.
I saw this picture alittle bit earlier this evening. I remembered what he said. And I am glad I had the picture taken.




Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Birds


Remember this classic? Who could forget it. This movie changed how many of us saw birds. Alfred Hitchcock was an incredible story teller and this movie did him justice.

My oldest daughter HATES birds. She finds them extremely Creepy. One of the Besties does too. This is one of the things we know Emily inherited from Sheri. They would both be very content in a Bird Less World.

I love them. Not in a creepy way. (once when I taught Preschool a mother came in to her daughters parent-teacher conference with one of her birds. She kindof made out with it and was quite disturbing, I always worried about the daughter after seeing this bird freak). SORRY, I got sidetracked, ANYWAY, back to today. I have noticed that at our new home, because of all the trees, we have a bird friendly yard.

My cats love to sit and watch. Mischa has several spots to sit and watch. Her favorite spot is on the window seat in our bedroom. She thinks they can't see her and she crouches low and makes her little "I'm gonna get you" sound.

This morning we have a scene right out of Hitchcock's thriller "The Birds". There are hundreds of birds in the yard and trees. Maybe a birdie convention, I don't know. The dogs are barking and Mischa is in attack mode. I could not get a shot of the yard because: 1- they fly up when I get outside, 2- they are even creeping me out a bit and I am a bit scared.

I am just thankful Emily and Sheri are not her to witness this!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lady-Bug, Lady-Bug, Fly Away Home



One of my trees is full of Lady-Bugs. Every day I see dozens of birds swooping in to have breakfast, lunch, then dinner. The tree is so full I get kindof freaked out to walk under it. I certainly know better then to look up with an open mouth. They favor this one tree, and stay off the others.

They are everywhere in Indianapolis lately. A seasonal thing. I excused myself yesterday as I offered to brush a couple off a woman's jacket. She grateful thanked me. They land in our hair, they fly into us and are quite a nuisance.

My sister, once had a home that they would get into through any nook or crack they could find. Being a old home, they would have success finding ways in. Sis, made the mistake of trying to kill them. Big mistake. They smell horrible when crushed. She'd have to vacuum them up and throw them out in bags.

When I was a little girl. I loved Lady-Bugs. I remember believing they brought us good luck when they landed on us. Same as a Butterfly. Funny how pretty bugs do not scare little girls.

I guess I should not complain. This is what is in my neighbors tree:

It is one big bad ass hornets nest. I couldn't believe my eyes walking the dog the other day. I made Sergio come with me the next day to show him and take this picture. We guess it to be about 18 inches tall and a good 12 inches round. Loaded with tons little nasty hornets. Yesterday, I stepped on one in the yard. He got inside my clog and got me three times. Two little stings then the big one with his sting token hanging out of my heel. Owe. (I'm okay, rather me than the dogs).
With the changing weather, these "bigs" are all dying off, and going into hibernation. Soon, like the leaves, they will be gone.