Saturday, February 28, 2009

Secret # 13 on Successful Marriages


Back in October, I posted "Secrets to A Successful Marriage". Time to add to the list, therefore here is Secret # 13!

What may look like a jar of marbles to you is much more to another.

Here is how the story goes:
Once there was a young couple that was in love. The woman saw her husband slip a penny into a box under the bed. This was shortly after they had made love. She asked what was up with the pennies. He smiled and said he had been sticking pennies in the box since they first made love. That he had heard that if you save a penny for each time you make love the first year, it will take a lifetime to empty the box removing (taking one each time) them following that first year. He wanted to prove the theory wrong.

Of course she adored it! But she also wanted to change it up a bit for their own tradition. They traded the pennies for marbles and keep them in a glass jar (They look prettier). Instead of removing marbles, they just keep adding them!
Isn't that sweet!

Little things like this I believe keep magic in a marriage.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Real Simple


Do you read it? I do.
I love this magazine. It has it all. Or at least all I am looking for in a magazine. It has the best tips on everything from best deals to best menu ideals and recipes. It has solutions New uses for old things. It has a monthly "Road Test" where they compare a product and help you decide which is best for your needs. There are the products of the month and fabulous articles on things I am actually interested in! I have subscribed for a few years. It is the one that I just can not give up.I get excited when I see it in the mailbox! It is one of those mags you can read for days. My keeping every issue days are over but I have a hard time parting with them. I like to give them away to friends. I also enjoy leaving them at the doctor's office (to replace the 3 year old People magazines!) If you have not had a chance to read one of these, pick one up. Or go to realsimple.com
What's your favorite magazine?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Virtue of Chastity

For those of you that do not know who this stunning beauty is, she is Victoria Secret's Super Model, Adriana Lima. This sexy twenty-seven year old just got married (eloped) on February 14th to Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard, Marko Jaric.
So, what is the big deal? She choose to wait until marriage to give her virginity away.

I love this girl! She is a wonderful role model for our daughters.

My girls have always loved her. They also have countless guy friends that have had the posters of her, computer wallpapers of her and well, just really, really, loved her! I am hoping she helped some of the many young men that "wanted" her to understand and respect the concept of Chastity.

A couple of years ago, the virginity issue came up in an interview. Adriana's response was this, "Men have to respect that this is my choice. If there is no respect, then they don't want me."

I happen to know some wonderful young women that have also made this choice. I respect and admire their strength and decision. I can only imagine how hard this can be in today's world.

When in high school and you have such an enormous peer pressure going on plus the desire to "be grown up". This being a grown up activity, can lure teens easily.

When in college and beyond, not only difficult, but hard to believe. Imagine going on a date with a young man that has had countless partners and use to getting sex on his dates. A young beautiful young woman, faced with not only saying no but getting respect for it.

I happen to believe that many many young men not only respect this choice but admire it as well. I believe that there are many young men that also have this same virtue. And I imagine it is even more difficult for them.

One day, when with a group of teen boys from my confirmation group, we got on the subject of the pressures and ease of sexual activity. I brought this to there attention as they were being a bit silly about the "everyone does it", attitude. I said, "From this point on, when you go on a date, think about this girl being someones future wife. Think about your future wife out there somewhere on a date. Treat this young woman, as you would want some other guy to treat your future wife. Some day, when you fall in love, will it matter, the experience your future wife has? How will you feel if you learn that she was pressured into sex, or had different values? How would you feel if your sister was put in a position? How about your future daughters?" My "boys" all were kindof quiet, then one said something like, "I never thought about that."

A year later, I ran into one of the boys, and he said, "You know Mrs G., you remember that sex conversation you had with us last year? Well, I think about it alot. In fact, you kindof ruined the moment for me with dates. I hear your words in my head and I can't help but slow down. I keep thinking, she may not be my future wife, but she is someones. My future wife is out there, and I hope who she dates will be a gentleman" I almost cried. He said he was pretty sure the other boys felt the same way. Wow.

I think that even though the majority of those who chose to wait for marriage are for religious reasons, many have other reason. The fact that sex is something that can be special and shared between only two, is incredible. Some may just feel that they are not ready. Not ready for the consequences that can come with sex. Not ready for the emotional toll. Or they have physical reasons.

I have kept many young women & young men in my daily prayers. This is one of those things I pray for them. Someone needs to be praying for them.

Kuddos to the many entertainers, celebrities and others that send out the message that this is "cool, good, and a personal choice". we need more role models like this for our youth.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ta Da!


Okay here is the new do. I took this rather quickly before running to work, so it isn't the best self portrait. But, you get the idea of the new cut and color. I gotta work on training the bangs to behave and stay on the side but, it will take time. I tried to go back to my natural & had some highlights thrown in to soften when the gray pops out. My girls will tell me I should have gone darker. I had Suzy cut about 5 inches off. I forgot to tell her leave enough for the ponytail. I tried tonight for my shower and had crazy short hairs that wouldn't reach the pony.

It feels great. Healthy. I loved the head massage.

Suzy gave me what I asked for and I am happy.

Now, about getting my teeth whitened...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's a Hairy Day!

Hopefully not in a bad way. It has been months since my last hair cut, color and style. I always put myself on the back burner and try to take care of everyone else's needs first. I have been trimming my bangs (ugh!) and the gray? I just try to find ways to hide it.

Well, today is my day. I'm going to see Suzy, my gal.

I want something a little different from my past. Just slightly. I retreat to the same look always. I can find photos of myself dating back 20 some years where I have a variety of this same hair style.

I found this groovy little site! From InStyle magazine. Hollywood Hair Makeover. Go to InStyle.com follow to makeovers and then follow prompts.

Coolest thing. I had so much fun. The picture I chose to download had my Besties in it so I could see how I looked with them. You don't want to pick something too out there then look weird with your friends! I took some photos (with my phone) of the computer screen as it would not let me save the actual photos of me. You can save, but not to your computer files. I wanted to share with you all to help me pick what I am going for. I also tried to transfer the photos from my phone but. I couldn't get it to work (of course).

I want my natural (minus the gray) hair color back. It was a dark brunette. And maybe some soft highlights. NO MORE REDS though! Suzy loves my hair in red and I always leave her shop as a redhead. Always. Usually I don't care. It is a nice shade for me & I always get compliments, but this time I want what I want. I am also going to cut some length this time. I am not a short hair person, I gotta have enough for that pony tail.

I am hoping this hair appointment will give me the life I am needing. I am so looking forward to the head massage part ( :

I will let you know how it goes!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Who God Gives Us


God doesn't give you the people you want. Instead, he gives you the people you need. To teach you, to hurt you, to love you and to make you exactly the way you're meant to be.

I do not who wrote this. I am borrowing it from my daughter's blog. I love what it says, and feel it is so true.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wildlife Pet Disasters

By now, we have all heard the horrific story in the news about Travis, the 14 yr old, 200 pound pet Chimpanzee that attacked Charla Nash, friend of Travis' owner and nearly killed her. Apparently Ms. Herold (the Chimp's owner) was having a difficult time getting Travis back in the house and called her friend for assistance. Travis had to be shot after many attempts to get him to stop failed. Ms. Nash is recovering and facing numerous additional surgeries. It is a miracle she survived.

An adult Chimpanzee weighing 150 pounds is said to have the strength of 3 - 5 humans.

Travis shared a bed and shower with his owner..

In 2005, another adult "pet" Chimp attacked a man, chewing off his nose and genitals.

I just heard of another strange story of a woman that was very affectionate to her large Boa Constrictor Snake. She allowed it to roam about the house, and it took to sharing her bed. She asked her veterinarian about the snakes strange new habit of laying length-wise next to her in bed. That he would stretch as long as he could every evening and wondered why he started doing this "funny" thing. The Vet told her, that the snake was "sizing" her up and attempting to see if he could swallow her. As if the snake is long enough, he will prey upon what he is thinking about eating.

I kept a Boa for a friend one semester, as he could not keep her in his dorm. I rarely let her out of her aquarium in fear she would go after my cats. I never thought she would go after me! She was about 4 feet long, my friend had to part with her when she reached 6 feet.

I also had Diego, the hedgehog. Grant it he was tiny but we respected the fact that he was a "wild" animal. I would never had bought him nor had an interest in obtaining him as I have always felt the wild animals belonged to the wild. However, this was given to Annie, and so we did provide a good life for the little fellow. Diego was born in a cage and had no survival skills.

I don't understand people. Why people feel the need to take a wild animal and turn it into a house pet. I get the sanctuaries, the havens for Old, Abused, or Abandoned animals. But I don't get these idiots that try to change what is. Meaning the nature of a wild animal.

I just do not get it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Lure of Smoking



(Me & Rich 1983)








Yesterday, I was flipping through my daughter's magazines in search of hair photos for the upcoming cut & color.

I noticed an awful lot of Cigarette Ads.










I found this disheartening. What a shame. What happen to our trying to stop our beautiful young people from smoking?

It is a terrible habit. It is smelly and unhealthy. (You think?). Why on earth would these magazines start running cigarette ads again? I remember the end of cigarette commercials and I really thought we stopped the magazine ads. I do not remember seeing one in years. I found two full page ads in this months InStyle Magazine. Are they saying that smoking is "in Style"?

I smoked for a few years. Between 21 and 24 I believe I smoked a enough for a lifetime. It wasn't pretty.

I have many friends that still smoke. That's fine. They are adults, it should be their choice. It is difficult enough for them to find a place that they are allowed to smoke as it is banned in so many places. I promise you they would not have started had they known how dangerous they are when they started. We only knew that it could be "dangerous if pregnant". Everything is dangerous when your pregnant so, as long as we were not pregnant, no biggie.

My daughters have chosen not to smoke. Neither of their parents do and they were not brought up in a smoker's home. I am proud that they have chosen not to partake in this unhealthy, smelly, and expensive habit. They have many friends that do. Which again I find baffling given the amount of information that is out there informing them of the dangers.

So seriously. What is up with the advertisements? I really don't get it.

One More Try With Playlist

I couldn't stand having no music! So I have compromised. Instead of 190 songs, there are only seven! That makes my computer happier anyway. (Mean music hating computer! I can't wait to replace it!)

So, hit play if you want to hear what is in my mind lately. They should shuffle randomly.

I hope you enjoy!

My Dream House



This is my dream house.
I have been in love with it for about 30 years. I first saw it and knew one day, I would want to live here, when I was around 16 years old. After marrying Sergio, I discovered that he also loved it. It became available 15 years ago, but we were not in the position to buy it. Someone else got it before our home sold.
So we built this one.

This was a wonderful big house, perfect for raising the girls. We had a cul de sac, finished basement, basketball court, pool, and all the bells & whistles. It was in a small town, and the girls had a fabulous childhood growing up here. Particularly the teen years. I bet we had several hundred sleep overs here. And countless get-togethers/parties. Living here was the right choice.

But now the girls are grown and Annie is rarely home with her many activities, and of course, Emily is living in Muncie 10 months out of the year. We put the big house on the market last summer.

We are currently living in a much smaller home that we have been making home improvements on. We were not sure how long we wanted to stay at this home. Wanted to see what the market does and what opportunities come our way.

Now, my dream home has become available once again.

It is perfect.

Really perfect.

It sits on a quiet street with a golf course view in front (2nd picture). We are so tempted to purchase it now. The biggest problem is it is maxed out at the top of the market for the area. I do not believe this home will ever sell for much more than what it is currently. So if we want it, we have to understand that we will be "stuck" here or take a chance at a loss if we choose to sell.

It has an interesting floor plan and set up. Perfect for us. It has a 4 car garage behind the home. I love the three porches with there lovely views. Two fireplaces and the most gorgeous leaded glass windows. It has three bedrooms with one on the main floor. And it has a secondary kitchen in the finished basement!

I want this house. I have always wanted this house.

We decided to wait till May/June. If it is still available, then we may make an offer. Once again my patience is being tested.

We will see.

Icky Friday

Friday was an icky day. My spirits are down again. Interesting how a chain of events can snowball into a teary evening.

Nothing traumatic. Just icky.

It started with Brunch with my Folks. I love them dearly, but get so tense and nervous when around them. I never know what to expect. They live about an hour away so our get together's are not frequent. I have posted about some of our issues, so I wont go there. If you are new to my blog, either go back to the beginning of my postings or just know that there are some.. situations.

I feel so guilty around them. I want to do more for them but it is difficult for many reasons. Mainly, Mom is bi-polar, drama magnet, and controlling. She has to have a crisis to be in the middle of.

One of her upcoming drama-crisis is their 50th Wedding Anniversary that is in August. She wants a BIG PARTY CELEBRATION. I know what you are thinking, 50 years, how wonderful, every right to celebrate. However, they have had several big party celebrations to mark their anniversaries. They have Renewed their vows at 4 of these celebrations and intend on doing it yet again in August.

My folks live an hour away from most of their family and friends. The travel is difficult on many (hence many of their friends are advancing in age). Also, my cousin is getting married on their anniversary, therefore that date is reserved for much of the family for her. The following weekend my sister will be out of town, as well as my family getting the girls up to Muncie. I will be so stress about the baby going to COLLEGE!

My folks live in a tiny Senior Living place. They have about 500sf. She said they can get the clubhouse, but she also wants to reserve the Church for her Vow Ceremony. Oh my gosh! This will be over the top. Mom will invite everyone from the grocery cashier to the little lady down the street. As well as the 50 or so friends and family that came to the last anniversary party. Just thinking about this is stressing me out.

I also had some issues at work. I wont go into them. I am just frustrated. As everywhere, hours are getting cut and I too am feeling the crunch. It is difficult to work evenings as I have become a morning person not a night owl over the years.

Then I had some other stuff that is draining me and making me crazy. I just want to go to sleep and wake up from this dream. I want to have belly laughs, comfort and joy. I do have it from Sergio & the girls, but somehow it just isn't enough for me. I want the happiness, health and prosperity. I want it all!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Music Wasteland

I "wasted" four hours creating a new playlist for my blog today.

I picked 190 songs. Everything from Aerosmith to Petula Clark. Diane Krall to ZZ Top. I pulled songs, picked the best recordings and loaded them. Then I set the playlist on Random so you can hear one extreme to another. I even changed the settings so now when Rich or Sheri come visit my blog, they are not distracted. Instead, if someone wants to listen, they can click it on.

I can not believe how quickly I filled it up. (Okay, I don't mean as in time, I know, it took 4 hours, but I mean, I ran out of space before music). There is so many Artist that didn't make the list.

BUT...

I think I have screwed up my computer. It is taking freakin' forever! I may have to remove the playlist!

My computer is trashed. I use a laptop that has a monitor hooked up because something happened to the screen on the laptop, and it was one of those things that would cost more to fix than replace. So, it isn't much of a laptop.

My Emily has a wonderful Mac. I love it. Heck, I would even love some cheap NEW computer more than this DELL I have. DELL is not my friend. I will go back to Hewitt Packard next time.

ANYWAY..

I don't know if this silly playlist will work or not for your entertainment. If it does, keep in mind, just hit the play button then hit next if you don't want to hear Ella first. She is always first, she earned it.

old enough...

Why is it that we have to be of a certain age for many things, but for some very crucial things, there is no age limit?


You must be 14 yrs old, in the state of Indiana, to obtain a work permit (with restrictions)

You must be 16 yrs old, in the state of Indiana, to obtain a driver's license.

You must be 18 yrs old, to obtain a voter's registration.

You must be 18 yrs old, to buy cigarettes.

You must be 18 yrs old, to enter the military and fight for our country.

You must be 18 yrs old, to obtain a gun permit.

Unless you request emancipation, you must be 18 yrs old, to be considered an adult.

Marriage, varies from state to state, but I think for the most part, you have to be 18 yrs old to obtain a marriage license.

You must be 21 yrs old, to buy alcohol.

HOWEVER~

As long as you are physically able to procreate, you can have children (no instructions or training required!) You can even have children if you are a criminal, a molester, or unstable!

As long as you meet the age requirements, you can vote, no matter if you are an imbecile, racist, or terrorist!

You can pretty much buy a gun, after a little back ground search, and I do mean LITTLE, if you intend on using it on others.

Even though we consider you an adult, old enough to make decision like marriage, voting, buying a gun and cigarettes, as well as fighting for our country, we don't think you are old enough to drink alcohol.


I could go on.

I just got a little pissy thinking about this last night. It makes no sense to me.

Do you wonder where we messed up on some of this? What the heck?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lessons from the Gym

I am hanging in there with the new gym membership. The first visit was wonderful and pretty much pain-free. However, my second trip was a little more realistic. Annie worked me harder than Sergio. I learned a few things as well.
1. Level One may be kinder, but you are not accomplishing much
2. Higher levels hurt more
3. No pain ~ no gain
4. Don't pick a machine near the mirrors, it isn't pretty
5. Don't forget to "step down" off the treadmill, you can fall
6. It can be amusing to listen in on other peoples drama
7. Wearing bracelets & necklaces can burn when in the sauna
8. You are not allowed to go to Starbucks after a workout


I can't wait till today's visit.

My Lovely Emily!


















Here is a picture of my Emily and her boyfriend. She sent this to me Monday. Isn't she lovely? It has been awhile since I have posted pictures of her and wanted to share this with you all.

Since she lives in Muncie, I don't get the opportunity to see her much, but am blessed with getting to talk to her often. I think about how we text, email and call each other and wonder how my Mom dealt with me being off at college back in the day. I remember, she would try to call me once a week and send me snail mail.

Sometimes I just get so freaked out that Emily is twenty and her sister, Annie is eighteen. The years flew by so quickly. I look at them in awe. They have turned into wonderful young women and I am so proud of them both.

This fall, Annie will be off starting her college years as well. Although it will be strange and even a little lonely with them both gone, I am glad Annie choose Ball State as well. I love knowing that they will be there together. They are close and for that I am grateful.

I listen to women complain and quibble about their children. I want to tell them to Chillax. I want to tell them time will fly so quickly, they will soon be where I am. That they need to choose their battles carefully and stop making their children grow up too fast.

Life is short, enjoy it while it is happening.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Annie is Allergic to EVERYTHING!

Okay, she isn't allergic to everything but it seems like it. Yesterday she had an appointment with an Allergist. She has been suffering alot lately. She had a CT to take a closer look at her sinus cavity and all came back normal. So, our Doctor recommended a trip to the Allergist to have the Skin Test ran and get to the bottom of these problems.

She fought Asthma growing up as well as allergies. Her Asthma medicine pretty much kept things normal for her. She outgrew the Asthma, but started having throat and sinus infections. I don't know why she has never had this run of test done before. I always questioned it but, oh well.

So, she had 63 skin testings. First, they took test on her back. They marked her back with codes, then scrap & drop little drops of stuff like pollens, molds, and pet dander.

After that round, which by the way was not at all painful, but extremely itchy and irritating as time lapse to find which she has allergies with. Then came the shots. They too did not hurt (okay maybe a little, Annie was wincing a bit). They were actually just under the skin not injected into her body. She looked like a native from some tribe that does those texture tattoos. She had over twenty bumps up and down her arms. As she waited for reactions, she started itching so badly.

I was really nervous about the pets. Of course I knew they would say she is allergic to dogs and cats. I have always feared it, however, she has been fine around them unless they lick her. Then she would get itchy. She has lived with pets for all 18 years. We have ALWAYS had a couple to many pets. Guilty Guilty!

So, what were the results?

She is allergic to:
Cats
Dogs
Horses
9 different types of trees
Grass
8 types of Weed pollens
and Mold spores (however, only 1 of the 22 types she was exposed too)

What to do?
No, we do not have to get rid of the pets. THANK YOU GOD!
But, I have to clean better, duh... I could have told you that. The pets need to be bathed weekly (Dakota already does, the interesting part will be getting the big dogs & cats bathed!) Also, they are not allowed in her room, which they never have been. She needs a HEPA filtered air cleaner for her room, pillow & mattress encasing, and she has nasal rinses & sprays. She at this point, does not need allergy shots.

Poor Baby. She is just happy to start feeling better!

Aunt Jemima Came to Live With Us!

Look what I got!!! Now as you know, Lynn & I are passionate about antiquing. We each have our items that we search for. Lynn is big on ashtrays and political pins. Me, I love looking for Cookie jars and old black dolls, Aunt Jamima items, and Sammi items. Once I found a Humpty Dumpty Cookie Jar in mint condition, on sale for..$495. Slightly out of my price range! Someday though, I want to have a cookie jar collection in the bulk head of the kitchen cabinets. I want an old house and do my kitchen very retro.

When we had our Girls Weekend, Lynn & I dragged Sher & Deb to an Antique Mall. Low and behold, I found not one, but two Aunt Jamima Cookie jars, in perfect condition! But, even though they were priced very well ($35 & $40), that was my weekend girls money and choose to use it on the weekend rather than myself. Sneaky Lynn, asked which of the Aunt Jamima's I preferred. One was wearing a blue dress and the other white. I felt the white was more authentic and looked better.

Today, I was surprised by Aunt Jamima on my dining room table! Stinkerbell Lynn went back and bought her for me!

Isn't she lovely? I am blown away. I haven't had something like that done for me in a long time.

I LOVE IT & I LOVE YOU LYNN!

What a great friend. I am a happy girl today ( :

Monday, February 16, 2009

On A Lighter Note: a Quote

Happy President's Day!

Today's quote comes from our 34th president, John F Kennedy.

"Forgive your ememies, but never forget their names".

Deep In The Dark

Warning: This is not a fun post, you may want to skip it, sadly it is another haunting image that lingers within me.

Sometimes, something will trigger an old memory. Not always a bad thing, but unfortunately, often it is. Something that you file deep away, hoping it never resurfaces.

I hesitate to write about this. I have often thought about it, but it is personal and painful. The thing is, sometimes when I write, it helps so much and once it is out, easier to deal with.

The other day, I was thinking about my graying hair and anticipating my upcoming hair appointment. It got me thinking about bold women that are okay with their gray.

That's how I triggered the bad memory. I thought about a woman from my childhood who had no problem with her premature gray hair.

She was kind to me. My parents were best friends with her and her husband. It is the husband that I have a problem with. He molested me, more than once.

When I was very young, we had to kiss our parents friends goodbye. One day when I was about 8 I told my Mom, I hate kissing him because he doesn't kiss right. I told my Mom he kisses with his mouth open & sometimes pushes his tongue in my mouth. I didn't have to kiss him anymore. However, they remained friends, and I don't think they even questioned him.

Later in my teens I had to babysit their younger kids. I hated that. I wanted the wife to drive me home but he always did. He made me sit really close in his pick up truck and rubbed my thigh. Occasional, accidental touched me other places. He would make comments like, Don't let your boyfriends touch you like this or here. He acted like he was giving advice, but would actually touch me. I would ask him to stop, but was scared. I told my parents, but they still didn't stop things. I finally refused to babysit.

Once when I was in high school, my parents were out of town. My friend dropped me off at home, and I went in the house. I noticed D's car in front of the neighbors house, but not until I was in the house & caught it through the window. D came up from behind me, and started to touch & kiss me. I pushed & tried to get away. After just a few minutes of a struggle, my friend that dropped me off, was back & in the house. He had a "feeling" and returned, hearing me cry, came in & stopped things. My parents were supportive, but remained friends! They just kept me away from him. They said, well, he didn't actually have sex with me. It was this male friend that rescued me that helped me see that it was wrong! He told his parents who helped my parents see he needed to stay away from me.

I was so confused. I felt violated but they were right. He did not have sex with me. Was this molestation or not? I had no one to talk to about it. I felt ashamed. Maybe I was sending some kind of signals to him? Maybe I should have slapped him the first time he touched me? But I was a kid! I was scared. Why was he touching me?

Later when I was living in an apartment, we got a call that he had snapped. That his wife had found a box of photos and pictures that he had "created". He had taken pictures from Playboy magazine and cut out my face in photos he had taken, and taped them onto the naked body pictures. These were pictures of my face as a child on the bodies of women. sick sick. He was "recovering" but I was to "call the police" if I saw him. Apparently he had been following me he confessed. My parents then severed their friendship.

Many years later, my parents were having a birthday party for my Dad. They had decided to invite this man and rekindle their friendship. I almost didn't go. I had not seen him in so many years and was trying to put that behind me. I had become so over protective of my daughters, partly because of that happening to me. We went to Dad's party. All was fine till D got there. He tried to hug me, I almost threw up. I couldn't forget what he had done. Sergio pulled me aside and suggested we leave, that he couldn't bear seeing me so frightened. That this was a mistake. That he wanted to punch this old man for doing that to me. I went to get the girls while Sergio went to tell my folks. I found D talking to my daughter! I snatched her up and ran out the door.

I had nightmares for weeks following.

I think that, even though, this man did not actually have sexual intercourse with me, he most definitely raped me. It was a "forcible interference, a violent assault".. The piece of my innocence was stolen from me. A fear replaced it. Confusion and lack of security. I don't know why my parents reacted the way they did. I would have killed anyone that touched my daughters. At least press charges. I think that it confused me so much. I thought that I must have brought it on.

Damn him.

Here it is 30 some years later and I am still haunted by this violation. I get that sick feeling and can relive it. As soon as the memory is triggered I cringe.

I worry about the thousands of children that are in this same scenario. People think that their kids are safe within their family and friends when they are not necessarily. Most children that are molested are by adults they know and trust.

What a sick world we live in.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Gym

We joined a gym. Now this may not seem like a big deal to most of you. Everyone either belongs to a gym or has a workout home plan. At least most everyone I know.

We use to belong to the YMCA. Sergio had a membership when we married. He added me, then the girls through the years. I took a class or two (maybe?). I signed the girls up and utilized it somewhat with them. Annie was in a couple of basketball teams, I remember. As the years past, the girls & I quit going there. They had their own places, particularly gymnastics and competition cheer later.

I faked it. I did LOVE my yoga classes that I took for a couple of years, but as my friends quit, so did I. Who wants to go solo?

Besides, I was always skinny. I knew one day it might catch up to me. I knew I could gain weight, but lazy as I am, I laughed off "working out". I always thought, I will have plenty of time, once I gain weight.

Whoops! I gained weight, rather quickly, and didn't have a plan!

Remember, I have said, I am comfortable with the weight gain. But that isn't exactly true. Although I did need some weight, I didn't expect it to just appear and, be so, "there". You know? What the heck? I gained a little gut, bus driver arms and love handles all at once!

Now, I get it. I need a plan. I need to "tone" this weight into muscle instead of flab. Hence, joining the gym.

We found LA Fitness. Great place! Plenty of equipment, instructors, lap pool and even saunas. This place is very clean! The locker rooms are so pretty I wanted to just stay in there. Seriously, I did not want to go out there.

Sergio & Annie went with me this first time, coaxing me and encouraging me. I felt like a "fat ugly Mom'. I had no idea what I was doing. I started to have anxiety attacks prior to getting there.

But wait, no one was staring at me. No one laughed. This was okay. Sergio showed me how easy the machines tell you what to do. Annie showed me some warm up equipment. I got on some kind of stationary bike, and it wasn't so bad. Kindof ...enjoyable. Then the treadmill. Not bad, kindof cool. I like the view and the TVs. Nice music (although I am even more determined to figure out the ipod thingy I have and bring my own stuff). I took it easy. Low settings and no more than 20 minutes on each thing. We stayed briefly, Sergio wanted me to take it easy (he knows I will quit & hate it if I hurt). Annie stayed longer (Showoff! just kidding, she is younger & stronger!)

I think I can do this. Naw, I know I can! Hey, I am like the little Ant who thought he could move a rubber tree plant!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!


Happy Valentine's Day to one and all!

Valentine's Day is one of those days that I say, it is what you make of it.

For me, I reminiscence of all that I love and love me back.

I think of my family.

My wonderful Sergio, and the twenty~some years we have shared.Where would I be without him? I got lucky. I married my soul mate. I look forward to growing old with him.
My sweet girls. Emily & Annie. They are adults now but will always be my baby girls. They are so full of love and sunshine. Their happiness means everything.
I think about my sister, Julie. I love my big sister. Only she understands my childhood. I have been blessed with her friendship as well as the family ties. As we age, we get closer. Even look more alike!
My parents. Crazy or not, they are my parents. I appreciate all they have done for me and the love they have given me. I will always love them.

My friends. I often write about them and wish I could post all of them in a picture. I am just using a shot of the Besties. Sheri, Deb, & Lynn. This group of Besties have seen me through thick & thin and have continued to love and support me. I know we will truly be friends forever. I love them completely. And will forever. They are more a part of me than anyone can imagine. They are my strength and courage.

My pets. Call me crazy, but the unconditional love I get from them blows me away. They are always right there by your side. They sense when I am sad, or in need. They wag tails and are so happy to see me, every day. I love puppy kisses, the pur of a cat and just the love that is there with my four legged family.




I could go on and on. I am grateful for the love of many. But, it's taking me forever to post this, and I need to get my Valentine's dinner started.
Soo, ta ta! Have a lovely lovely day!<3

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blog Annyonomous

Having a Blog has become an addiction.

My name is Janis,
and I am a Blogger.


I thought about giving it up for lent. One year, my daughter gave up her MySpace for lent and although very proud of her, I did see her suffer. If I gave this up, I think I would go nuts.

It has become such a branch of me and a release of feelings. My followers/readers understand. I am up one day, down another. I write about funny stuff, then morose stuff. What ever is in my head. I try to stay positive, but sometimes the sad stuff holds me down & I just got to get it out.

I am addicted to reading and commenting too. I would rather read Blogs than a magazine or book (I know that is scary, I still love books, but a quick blog entry just takes a few minutes). I have found so many "friends" across the globe that are just like me! I am not crazy, just like so many others,although maybe we are all crazy. Regardless, seeing how others handle things and getting comments makes me feel validation. Makes me happy.

One more thing that I am getting addicted to with the blog~ gadgets. I keep adding stuff. The playlist, the photo album and my latest is the cool MapLoco at the bottom of my page. The map shows where people have come to visit my blog. But the really cool part is I can log in and actually see where people are from. I have had visits from Spain, Philippines, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany (Hi Michelle!), and all over the United States! I am amazed! Am I really that interesting? I have gotten on some of these folks blogs when they leave me a comment of follow me then I can visit them too. I am tickled to feel a friendship with some of you.

Give up my Blog for a month? Nah... Maybe I will stick with candy (also hard for me!).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Annie's College Pick


My Annie has made her decision!
She decided to be a Cardinal.
She has looked into her options, checked out different schools, but when everything was laid out, the choice was pretty easy.
Ball State has the best opportunities for her.
With Journalism there are many outstanding programs out there. She has also an interest in Fashion, and an interest in Telecommunication. BSU has a fabulous program for the Fashion Journalism student. If she chooses, she could get degree in this and go abroad to Italy or Paris. BSU is the top school in the Nation for Telecommunication degrees. Also the wonderful David Letterman has given jillions of dollars to the Journalism School at BSU.
She teetered with the idea of going to Chicago's Loyola University. I held my breath. I would have supported that choose, but golly that is far for my baby to be! Would she ever come home?

BSU is the school her big sister is at. She didn't want to necessarily follow in Emily's footsteps, but she isn't. Emily is in the Elementary Education Department. They would rarely be on the same side of campus. Emily lives in an apartment off campus, whereas, Annie will be living in the dorms.

Annie has had the opportunity to go to BSU for several weekends and day trips. Not only her sister is there but several friends.

It is a wonderful school that is not too big, not too small. The campus is beautiful. And Muncie has much to offer. Not to mention, just an hour drive from home!

I am relieved. I am proud. I am ready to let her fly onto this next journey. (Well, almost ready!)

A Much Needed New Word


During my girls weekend, my dear friend, Lynn, on more than one occasion, told me to "Chillax". Apparently, I worry too much and ponder things too hard. I forget to remember what ever will be will be.
Guilty.
She, as well as Deb and Sheri, have always had a vast vocabulary that I have always been jealous of. Together they took Etymology while I took an Art class. They were Advance English, I went for the easy Basic English classes. They were pushed and relished learning. I was told take the easy so you will get the high grades. Hmm. Do you wonder why I pushed my girls? I made them take Etymology.
Today, I love learning new words! I love knowing them and using them. I keep my Handy Dictionary by my side and open in several times through the day. I couldn't get through a blog posting without it. I use my spell check, but trust my dictionary more. When I read something or hear something that I do not know the meaning I look it up. I think that I have trained the girls, and even Sergio, that the dictionary is your best friend in English.
As for the word "Chillax". It may not be found in my trusty dictionary, but I know what it means. It is okay to make up words in my world. When I start to stress out and freak out, I hear Lynn tell me,
Chillax Man, you need to just Chillax!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"don't forget your questions!"



One of the fun little things my besties and I look forward to with our Girls Weekends is, The Questions. I can't remember who came up with this, although I suspect, our Ms Sheri. It can seem strange, invasive and even rude. However we see it differently. Lynn had to take some warming up to it as she is new in our Girls Weekend. She hesitated to say the lest. But eventually she got it. She was ready to play.

Above are a few of the questions we had this year. Every year we are to come up with as many as we can and fold them into tiny pieces. We carry a bag around with us,as we never know when we will be ready for one. These are not just to break that quietness that sometimes can creep up (so I am told as we never have a quite moment). We take them to lunch, dinner, movies, whatever.

Some questions are deep. Some helpful. And some silly. They make us learn more about each other as well as ourselves. They help us to improve and help us to appreciate. Rarely do they make us mad often make us smile.

We have lots of rules. Some of us get a little pissy if the rules are not followed. Particularly, "it's not your turn!" You also have to go around in order to answer. The person that drew the question, reads it, then answers first. Then its CLOCKWISE. You are also allowed to toss it back in the bag if it is one better read with a glass of wine or another time. You can also pass. We also tend to comment on each others answers.
(Here is Sheri contemplating her question)Silly as it seems, we love the questions. It is one of our favorite things. I must also add that some of the answers are, "to the grave!"

Whew! What a Weekend!

First, let me tell you, I realize how
fortunate I am to have these amazing friends. I know that it is a rare thing to have been friends for 30 plus years. Seriously, countless people ask, "Really? You are still best friends all these years?"

We have had our moments. There have been gaps in the friendships. But, we got it back. The biggest gap was losing Lynn. I am still tickled pink to have found her and have her rejoin our circle of friendship.

Our weekend was filled with laughter. You know the belly laughs, snorting laughs and the "I peed alittle laughs". There are few people that can pull those kind of laughs out of me. We had a few tears as well. But that is a good thing! To have friends you can truly pour out your heart to. About how you feel and about what each other needs to do. We have a rule that you can tell me anything I need to hear and I will still love you. "I will listen and I will take it to heart. I will still ultimately make my own decision, but, I do want your input."
We sat around the dining room table most of the weekend and talked while none stop munching and yes, wine was involved. We got out a couple of times. Had a fun run to lunch, antiquing (still Lynn & mine thing, Sher & Deb clearly don't understand the passion in this). We also ran to Sher's parents to visit and laugh. We made it to church on Sunday, and yes, the preacher called me out as I kept giving Sheri a look. In my defense, I was trying to make Sheri pay attention to what the preacher was saying. I wasn't trying to be disrespectful or anything. Rev Cameron was great.


All in all, what a weekend. Monday, after Deb left, I felt sad. My house was too quite. My Besties were gone. Back to my daily life. BUT.. my Besties are always with me. They are such a part of me and who I am. They gave me strength, courage, laughter and love to carry on and to take with me day to day. They are just a phone call away. We will talk and see each other often.
The Girls Weekends are so important to us. They build us up and make us better people, wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends.

I have much more to share. But will give you bits at a time. Plenty to blog about. But I don't want to write the novel today!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Stay Tuned....


Having a blast with my Besties!

It is Heaven, more to come, they are waiting for me to get off the computer!
(=

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Happy Place

My life is so crazy right now. One minute things are going up and I feel like I will survive. Then something will happen to drag me back under. I feel like I am in water treading to keep my head above, then an anchor gets tossed to me. I had another anchor thrown at me last night.

I have a book written by Charles R Swindoll, titled, "Three Steps Forward Two Steps Back". Isn't that the truth that says it all? Although sometimes it feels like, two steps forward three steps back.

I feel that I gravitate to my happy place when the walls are caving in on me. Currently that happy place for me is here. Blog World. Not just to write, but to read. This morning I spent two hours catching up and commenting on several blogs I read. They take me away like Calgon. Give me a few minutes away from what looms over me at home.

I have so much I should be doing. With my upcoming guest, I really need to get the house in order. I have a resume waiting to be updated and sent on its merry way to assist in the job hunt. I have a mountain of paper work surrounding my desk needing to be filed, shredded and dealt with. I have a dozen other things begging for attention.

Instead, I keep finding my way back to the computer. I also gave two of the dogs puppy massages (Riley has a pulled muscle and Bandit got jealous). I have found myself sitting a few times watching Ellen (I love her show).

When I can't get to the computer, I find myself singing the Ant Song. The Besties and I started that so many years ago. Amazing how much that song works. Just a simple little song about High Hopes.

I have got to get out of this funk! I want to be geared up for my girls weekend. I have to get ready for it and I want everything perfect.

The good part is my Besties love me no matter what. We are all Dog people so the dog hair wont bother them. They are coming so we can be together not to inspect my house.

The best part about Besties is they love you no matter what, flaws and all.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Girls Are Back In Town!

Jan
Lynn
Deb
Sheri
That's us! Back in 1979. THIRTY YEARS AGO!
We are reuniting this weekend. All FOUR of us! This will be the first time in almost 30 years that we will be together again. The long lost fourth Goldie is no longer MIA. We got our Lynn back.

So this weekend, Deb is arriving, and we will reminisce, rejoice and celebrate.
We will laugh, sing, and cry.

I need these girls. And I like to believe they need me too!

Baby Steps

I had a visit with my wonderful counselor today. Just the fact that I see someone about my depression and anxiety kindof freaks me out. Part of me feels that I should be able to handle what life brings me without having this type of assistance. But part of me, is proud that I was able to see that I was out of balance and needed to get help.

I have always been the rescuer. The problem solver. The one that saw the brighter side of the picture. I never thought i would be on the other side of the fence. I recently wrote about Compassion Fatigue and I think that learning about this has been helpful. I know that I am getting better and although they are baby steps, I am going to be fine.

Sometimes, my counselor, makes me see things I don't want to confront. But, she has also helped me to learn to like myself as well as find myself.

I think that the important thing that I hope my daughters, husband, and anyone that may know me or have someone in their life that is struggling with depression will learn is this. It is okay to feel hopeless and overwhelmed, but you also need to know when it is okay to ask for help and not feel ashamed to receive it.

Depression is what it is. It's an extreme feeling of melancholy. Simply things can cause it and it can overcome you fast. It isn't anyone's fault. I just fell into it.

BUT,
I am picking myself up, brushing myself off and starting all over again.

Diego!

Meet Diego. He was one of many pets we have had over the years. Annie had a friend who's family raised Hedgehogs and she developed an interest and love for these spiky little critters. Diego was the rut of a litter and was given to her.

Recently I read a post from "Over The Fence". Linda had written a great piece on family pets. If I attempted this, it would be a novel. I have had many, many four legged critters, as well as feathered and reptile buddies. Oh and lest we forget the fish!

Anyway, Linda's post got me thinking about some of the more interesting critters we have had. Having a Hedgehog was always a conversation starter. He traveled to school with Emily & Annie, "worked" with me at Holy Spirit's After School program, and entertained many family and friends.

Diego was a great sport. He would let us dress him up in Barbie hats, ride in Barbie cars, and play in doll castles. The cats & dogs never bothered him. Curious at first, but soon enough understood this little guy has quite the defensive mechanism of curling into a ball, hissing and jerking into evil little stings of his quills. (He is not related to a porcupine, so not he did not spray the quills out, they stung more like cat scratch fever does when you get scratched).

Hedgehogs do not make the best pets. They are nocturnal, therefore, can't stay in a child's bedroom as they play all night and sleep most the day. They also are fragile and not recommended for children under eight, or anyone that is not as careful and patient as we were. Not the most affectionate, yet he tolerated us and live a pampered full life. Diego is no longer with us. He passed away a few years back. Still, he will forever hold a spot in our hearts.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February Love Songs & Rich

First, I want to apologize to my dear Rich. I know you hate the play list. That the music distracts you. But, you can mute your computer, hit the volume or like you said, stop the song each time.
I am sorry. I wish I could take it off your viewing and anyone else that hates it, but I do love it. It is a part of my Blog and I like to change it with the seasons. I love mixing up favorites and introducing music that someone may not have heard. Also, believe it or not I get more compliments on it. Some do like it.

Rich use to be a music person. I remember a day he could recite any Styx, Molly Hachett, REO Speedwagon, Lynryd Skynyrd, or John Denver song. We sang together, rather loudly, and out of key, in his little Corvair following Young Life meetings. There are some songs that will come on and I will immediately think of him. "You've Got a Friend", will always make me think of us singing that to each other.

Learn to love it again my dear friend.

Second, as for the songs I picked for this month, these are a mix of my Sergio Songs. I think of him always with these. I am goofy about them. Although Sergio is not a music person, he thinks of me when these are played too.

I hope you enjoy. Not often you can hear Ella Fitzgerald and then Steven Tyler in the same mix!

February Already?


Is today really February the 3rd? What happen to January? Have I been so busy that I didn't even see it fly by?

Many goals for me this month. Many task at hand to complete. Truthfully if I can just get through the month I will be happy.

I am hoping this will be a lovely month. It is the month of Love. Valentine's Day is in just a couple of weeks. I am blessed to have loved ones and for that I am thankful.

My pick for a quote this week comes from the doorway from the living room into the entry. It is a Wall Words that I ordered online. I love it. Now you can find these at various stores (Emily got one from Target).

Anyway, I love reminding myself this every day.!

Happy February!

Monday, February 2, 2009

BUGGED!!!


This little Nasty has been spotted too many times at our house. When we bought the house, we found alot of them. Really, alot. WE cleaned , debugged, cleaned, and debugged. We replaced the carpets, windows, and CLEANED like crazy for 3 months before moving into this house. Occasionally, we will find one of these "critters" in the house. They are really creepy! They are about an inch long. They are slow & mostly just sit around. BUT when they take off flying, they scare the crap out of you. They have this loud buzzing noise much like a bumble bee, and fly very clumsy usually right at you.

Two nights ago, Annie freaked out as one was in her room. Sergio & I slept through it as she swatted it hoping to have killed it but could not find it. She cried to her boyfriend on the phone, who was helplessly too far at his own home to rescue her. I feel terrible that we didn't hear her. She reported it to us the next morning. Later yesterday Mischa chased it into the kitchen. I caught it and threw it outside. (I am not a bug murderer). I promised her it had to be the same bug, and so she retreated to her room last night. While typing away on her computer, her bug returned, flying straight into her face.

We heard her this time.

She was hysterical. Sergio was mad. I caught the bug and flushed it down the toilet (yes, I killed this one).

Today, I looked the beast up and found it. (Gotta love Google!) It is called Leptoglossus Occidetails, commonly named Western Conifer Seed Bug. They are harmless, although ugly. They don't bite or sting. They feed off of Douglas Fir seeds and the seeds of various other species of pine. Can be very devastating to a crop, but not a single tree. Which we by the way have a huge one outside Annie's window. One more reason for Sergio to win chopping it down as he planned for spring (it is overgrown and he thinks ugly).I just want to scrub the house. They make me think the house is dirty!