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.