Saturday, May 30, 2009

He said, she said

I haven't blogged much lately because I've been working on my books. Trying to get those deadlines met. I am nervous about being able to meet them, because if I don't, then it will show that I don't have what it takes to be a successful author. But I'm trying to stay positive and have faith that I will meet them.

So, anyway. Stuff gets cut back when I'm working on deadline. That includes blogging.

And today, I was planning to get some more work done on the current ghost book. There are people I have been TRYING to find the time to call, but I haven't been able to because I have also been so busy with the kids and the house. (I do the bulk of the housework during the week.) So I thought I would FINALLY be able to make those overdue phone calls today, since hubby was home to watch the kids.

Didn't happen. Actually, I couldn't get ANY work done on that book.

This morning, while I made the kids breakfast, the power went out in the kitchen. I woke up hubby and informed him of this. He got up to flip the breaker switches and turn that power back on. So I continued making breakfast. Again the power went out. Hubby asked what I was doing. I said I was microwaving food, using the toaster and the coffeemaker all at the same time. And they are ALL on one outlet.

That's when he snapped at me about it and said I shouldn't do that. That's why the power kept going out. Then he was talking about how that was why he didn't want the coffeemaker plugged into the same outlet as the microwave and toaster.

I pointed out to him that he never said that. He insisted that he did. He became angry and acted really irritated with me as we kept going back and forth over how he didn't say something he thought he said. He kept repeating he said it, I kept repeating that he hadn't said it. All he said at the time was, "That's too much." I indicated he didn't even point at the outlet at the time he was setting the coffeemaker up over there.

Well, if he HAD said that, and if I
had understood him, I would've said, " Oh. Okay. Yeah, go ahead and put it somewhere else."

But I tell you for a fact that he never set it straight with me that plugging the coffeemaker in at the same outlet as the microwave and toaster was going to overflood the circuits. And if it was so important, why didn't he just move it and somehow explain it to me why it shouldn't be there?? I just didn't know that was a bad idea!

His reasoning as to why I didn't get him saying all that is because I misunderstand him a lot, which is true, and that I have bad eyesight. That is true, as well, but, geez, I'm not blind! And I was wearing my glasses at the time, anyway.

Well, the argument was pretty bad. I kept trying to be calm but he kept getting angrier and angrier. It got to the point where he would ignore me when I tried to say something. And later, when I had totally moved past the argument, he was still bitchy and angry at me and kept bringing it up. I asked him why he was being so bitchy and he said he was still mad because of the argument. I told him that you can't be angry about something ALL day. You need to get over it at some point, you know? But he started saying I was always like that, too; angry about something all day. I corrected this. Yes, I have been angry at him about certain things, but not ALL day. I get over it! I cool off and just move past it. But he was taking a long time to cool off.

And he didn't want me around, either. After I told him I would go to the bookstore, because it was obvious that my even being there made him angrier, he couldn't get me out of the house fast enough. At one point, I wanted to eat a late lunch before I left, and while I was waiting for it to get done baking, he looked at me and asked, "Why are you still here?" (I started to wonder the same thing.)

When I did finally get out of the house, I was really upset. I was literally fighting back tears that he was so angry at me, he didn't want me there. I wanted to be with my children. I wanted to spend the day with them. But instead, I had to leave.

At the bookstore, I attacked a box of books that were on sale for $1. Then I went inside and did research for my Revisions book. That took a loooong time! And I was surrounded by 14 different books on one topic! But I was satisfied I got my work done and notes needed for 3 chapters. Yay! (Not so satisfied when I was leaving; I realized I forgot to look up one other piece of information. Gah! Oh, well. There's always Google. And my sources.)

After I left the bookstore, it was 7:30ish. Driving along Coburg Road, I had to wonder: Is it safe to even go home? I was DYING to see my babies. I missed them so much. But I didn't want to go home and get yelled at. (I can feel voice vibrations when someone yells at me. And, yes, hubby does yell at me sometimes!) So instead I went to Albertsons and I got Jen a comic book. I saw a friend there and I joked, "I got kicked out of the house!" Well, not literally, but, you know...

My friend commented that it was hot today. I was all, "Pfffft. It's not THAT hot!" Which is true. It was NICE today! Despite the circumstances, I was still grateful to be outside and soaking up some sun. Those sun rays coming down on me felt GREAT! It was really nice today. If it weren't for my burn scars, I'd be a big sunbather! Well, as I was leaving, my friend asked, "Are you going home?"

I smiled and said, "I'm gonna try! I don't know if he'll let me in."

My friend laughed and I guess I had to laugh about it, too. Ah, marriage! I laughed even more as I went to my car, thinking about the irony of buying the comic book when I was trying to get back home. It was like, "Plllleeeeassse let me in. I have a present for our daughter. Let me in to give it to her, pllllleeeeaasssseee?"

Well, when I did get home, after 8, everything was peaceful. My kids were playing and hubby was on the couch watching TV. When I saw my kids, I hugged them really tight, kissed them and told them that I missed them. Jesse came running up to me, smiling, and I thought that was just so cute. The house was clean, too. Thankfully. I asked him, "Are we okay?"

He said, "
I'm okay."

I quietly made dinner and everything seemed fine while we ate. He gave the baby a bath and I've got dish duty tonight.

But I still wonder if there is still some kind of resentment or tension in the air.

It's now after 11:30 p.m., and we have not yet hugged or kissed. That hasn't happened all day. I don't understand why he got so angry about something that happened a long time ago. Why he just won't let it go. But maybe if I give him more time to get over it, things will be back to normal again. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another birthday has come and gone

Had my birthday recently. Yay! Actually, I was officially 35 years old as of yesterday, May 25th. But as has been known to happen from time to time, my birthday will land on the day set aside for Memorial Day. This year, I didn't want to share my birthday with the holiday. Memorial Day is a special day to remember our brave men and women who have given their lives fighting for our country. So, no birthday on Memorial Day this time around. We celebrated it on Sunday, the 24th. Yay!

I made it very clear that I wanted to have a birthday party. Hubby is not big on parties. Or even birthday parties, at that! So it was a pleasant surprise that he went all out for me and got EVERYTHING we needed to have a nice party. I invited about 6 friends but 3 of them showed up. I was just as happy, because one of those 3 was my best bud, Jimmy. He brought along his sister and his daughter. His sister was there for another reason: To pick up her dog, Angel, who I have been taking care of for a year while she was out of the country.

We will certainly miss having Angel around and I was happy that I was able to do that for her. Jennifer wasn't happy to see Angel go, because she got so attached to her, but I promised Jen that, when possible, we'll get her a puppy or a kitten. This experience has certainly been a good training experience for caring for a pet. (And because Jen helped me take care of the dog, I gave her 10% of the $200 that I was paid today.)

We had a great birthday party. The food was yummy and the cake was surprisingly delicious. Hubby got me a digital camera that's smaller and more lightweight than the one I already have (and it's easier to use, too!) and the kids got me a picture frame with the word "Family" on it. (Jen is big on the whole "family" stuff. LOL) Jimmy's sister got me a VERY COOL day planner which, fortunately, fits into my purse. I'll be able to carry it with me everywhere! I really needed this. I told her I was writing appointments and phone numbers on various scraps of paper that I ended up losing or forgetting about. Now I can put it all into one place! My address book was really old, too, so it helped that the day planner included that.

After the party, hubby and the kids and I went out for dinner at Applebees. We all ended up eating A LOT! Heh-heh. After Jen finished TWO meals, she looked at me all bug-eyed and said, "My stomach is going to explode." I was just satisfied that they ate so well. I guess the days of ordering the kids a meal that ended up being uneaten or just picked at are over with. (At least, I hope!)

As great as my birthday celebrations were, I was really missing my family. I wished some of them or even ONE of them had been there for the festivities. One of my nephews texted me birthday wishes and Millie and Allison left birthday comments on my MySpace. And I really appreciated that. Another sister e-mailed me to wish me a happy birthday. I would've loved to see them all in person and their online birthday greetings helped cheer me up a bit. It would've been perfect if I had at least seen my mom. I haven't seen my mom since before Jesse was born! Gosh, it was...about 2 years ago. Well, we're taking a vacation out there next month to see her. It might be the very last time I will get to see her, too. But no matter how far away my family and loved ones are on my birthday, and every day, they will always be there in spirit and especially in my heart.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Geography goofs can be funny -- and sad

Not too long ago, while doing research for one of my book projects, I came across a web site that I thought could be helpful in finding sources to contact for the book. I saw that the site owner included Washington, D.C. on the listing and, because I do include Washington, D.C. in my book, I clicked on the link. It wasn't long before I learned that certain links included under "Washington, D.C." actually belonged to groups located in...wait for it...Washington, THE STATE. Yep, you read that right. Locations in Washington STATE included under a heading of Washington, D.C.


This isn't the first time I've seen people get Washington state mixed up with Washington, D.C. And it's not just a state thing where people get their geography wrong. When I told one of my sisters that we were thinking of moving to Salem (here in Oregon), she said, "No, Mom said don't go to Salem. There's witches there." I rolled my eyes and thought, 'I meant Salem in Oregon. Not Salem in Massachusetts.'

Today I read about even more geography goofs in a Dear Abby column. I was tickled pink at the prospect of reading hilarious anecdotes of when people committed geography goofs, but at the same time I was disappointed over just how clueless some people were about United States geography.

Here is the very first letter included in that sampling:

Dear Abby: I am from Oregon and when I would go to visit family on the East Coast, some people did not know where my state is located. When I told them it was right above California, more than a few would then exclaim, "Oh, you're from Canada!" - Diane in Portland, Ore.

After reading this, I realized something. I should NEVER read stuff like that while standing up. I was laughing so hard, I had to grab the table in order to keep myself from falling to the floor.

As I read the other letters, I was shocked that someone actually didn't know we had a state named New York. Yes, we have a state named New York, people! Not just a city! (I have to wonder if there are people living in Oregon, Mississippi unaware that we also have a STATE named Oregon! Heck, here in Oregon, we even have Oregon City! Yes, we all love to torture and confuse the lesser intelligent folks with these city and state names. Haha)

Another geography goof? Spelling states wrong. Never mind George W. Bush's famous misspelling of Connecticut ("C-O-N-E-T-I-C-U-T." The poor man. I think that's going to haunt him to his grave). Other people have been known to spell both cities and states wrong. Sometimes, it's a typo, of course. (I once got a good chuckle when a newspaper printed San Bernardino as "Than Bernardino.") And sometimes, sadly, it's not. (As the former president has shown.) I myself used to have this problem. I could never spell "Mississippi" without looking it up first. Then Annie spelled it out in, well, Annie, and I was all set. Another state I struggled to spell correctly? Massachusetts! I always had to look it up first! Until I finally spelled it right on my own. I was actually shocked when I discovered I finally, miraculously spelled that state correctly without having to look it up first. I guess my brain tired of the double-checking and made sure I remembered it from now on. Now I can confidently spell "Massachusetts" without looking it up first! Or even looking it up at all. which is a good thing, given that my MG series is set in the state of Massachusetts.

At the same time, as funny as this whole state of geography ignorance is (and, no, that's not to imply that there IS an actual state named Geography or Geography Ignorance! Stay with me here!), it also makes me feel a little sad. I mean, if you LIVE in this country, you should know a little about it, don't you think? I mean, at least what our states are. Hawaii is a part of the United States. Alaska is a part of the United States. And so is New Mexico!

So, just to set the record straight, here are ALL 50 states of the United States of America:

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

Extra credit for visiting this site:

Class dismissed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Play ball!

Today Jen started T-ball. Now I know it's T-ball but I call it baseball instead. Not sure if she's understanding that T-ball is the sport for her age group for now and she'll be playing baseball (the REAL THING!) soon enough.

We got to practice late because Jesse was eating before we left and he takes a loooong time to eat. I don't rush him. Not good to cause a baby that kind of stress and he needs to be able to eat at his own pace. I didn't want to just give him a sippy cup of milk and get him into the car, either. Get him something on the way or give him a snack instead. I wanted him to eat his meal first (he'd get hungry!) and that's what he did.

So we got to practice about a half hour late. MIRACULOUSLY, I didn't get lost on the way. Woot! While Jen practiced, I stayed with Jesse (he was in his stroller) and it wasn't long before he started throwing Jen's baseball that she left with us (the team was playing with the coach's supply of balls). Almost every single time he threw it against the fence, I clapped and cheered "Yay!" as I went to pick it up and hand it back to him. He had fun doing that and I was starting to think, 'Do we have another ball player in the family??' I wouldn't be surprised if he starts catching on to the great sport that is baseball just like his big sister. One of these days, maybe they'll end up practicing together! And when he's old enough for T-ball, then maybe she can give him some pointers, too.

Jen did pretty well at practice. She threw well, caught well and didn't do so bad at bat. Here is a picture of her practicing her hitting:

After practice, I chatted with the coach. She asked about Jesse and kept saying how cute he looked. Soon Jen joined us and her coach started giving her some pointers on catching and hitting the ball. Her coach is super awesome! The same coach she had last season. She's very cool and, thankfully, I don't have a hard time lip-reading her. I just think she's great.

I'm really excited about baseball season finally going on. Yay! Baseball is one of my favorite sports (basketball is another one) and I'm thrilled that we get to be involved in the sport in this way. Even if my kids don't grow up to be ballplayers or even athletes, I'm grateful that sports can be a part of their lives now.

And here is one of my favorite baseball songs: Centerfield by John Fogerty. Couldn't find one with a ball game that had the song playing, too, but this one is the next best one! I was able to lip-read him for most of the song. I can't hear it, of course, but I heard it before I lost my hearing and it was in my head a lot today:

Read the lyrics here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I am a Seven of Clubs!

One of my sisters recently did a reading for me, using Destiny Cards. I stressed to her that I don't believe in that stuff. Astrology, crystals, Tarot, etc. I'm not into New Age stuff (used to be, but not anymore). Just the paranormal stuff. (Haha, OF COURSE!) And I also don't believe in destiny or fate. I believe we create our own destiny. You know? We create our own futures. (Gee, that really leaves a lot to wonder about the reasons behind why I do things I don't want to do at this point in time. Hmm.)

Anyway, so, I told her to "go for it" and "might be fun." I agreed to the reading purely for entertainment value, nothing more. Here is what she came up with:

The Seven of Clubs Person

Seven of Clubs often have an enlightened mind that is capable of some amazing feats. At the same time, they can be critical and negative minded to the extent that it is no fun to be around them. One of their challenges in life is to transform their negative thinking into inspiration. They like money, and especially like to spend it. Money represents recognition and power to them, both things that they desire in a big way.

The Seven of Clubs will want to 'shine' somehow in their work. A pat on the back is an important motivator for them. But beyond this, they will likely be drawn to roles where they can be in front of others, such as teaching or giving presentations. They can be very entertaining and enlightening in such roles.

This is one of the power cards and they usually want to get their way. There is always the possibility that they can move to the dark side of their card, which is dishonesty and wanting to get their way regardless of the means. This is not the norm, but should be watched for. Sometimes there will be power struggles with superiors or co-workers. And the dishonesty factor can show up in a variety of ways. They are gifted actors in a sense so they could fool others if they wanted to.

They usually will not be fulfilled until they are doing something that allows them a lot of recognition and reward. They want to 'shine' and be seen.

Some of the Seven of Clubs Issues Concerning Relationships
The Seven of Clubs person gets along with others well in any situation. Only when a power struggle arises are there any problems. But this is relatively rare.

And here is my interpretation of that:

"They can be critical and negative minded to the extent that it is no fun to be around them."

Actually, this used to be true. I used to be a HUGE drama queen and be negative a lot of times. These days, I know better. I know all that worry and anxiety and drama is just all in my head. And that if you keep feeding that drama and negativity, it will only keep growing and growing. I read an article the other day in which a psychologist suggested that if you REALLY NEED TO vent or cry or get into that whole "woe is me" act, do it for only 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, STOP and move on. (That's a pretty good idea, actually. It's not healthy to bottle stuff up.) On the other hand, I am grateful to some of my friends who looked past that drama act and offered advice and suggestions. Which was what I REALLY needed. And, later, my sister was able to do that, too. Just look past the drama and offer advice. THAT is the best way to act when someone is having a "pity me party." Not calling them a drama queen. (Yeesh.)

"One of their challenges in life is to transform their negative thinking into inspiration."

Oh, yes. DEFINITELY true of me. I have recently decided NOT to be negative anymore. Instead, I embrace positivity. One of my concerns was that people would look at this attitude and say things like, "You know, life isn't always so flowery." Or, "In real life, people don't smile all of the time." But, you know what? I am not going to agree with that crowd anymore. I have realized that those critical, negative people are trapped in their negative thinking. They think reality is too harsh for any room to be positive. I don't think so. Yes, reality is harsh. Yes, the world is painful. And people can be cruel. But I have decided that, as far as my thinking goes, as far as my emotional world goes, as far as my own personal space goes, I'm not going to add to that harshness. The world has enough negativity. I don't want that negativity in my mind or in my home. So instead of letting the negativity fester, I work with it to turn it into something else. Instead of going "woe is me, I can't afford to go back to college," I'm looking into what programs and payment plans there are so that I can finish school and get a degree. (That's just one of my goals.)

"They like money, and especially like to spend it. Money represents recognition and power to them, both things that they desire in a big way."

Ah, yes. Here's another truism about me. But I like to EARN my money, not mooch off of other people. It's just that if I don't earn any money, either from my monthly income or from writing, I don't feel very good about myself. I feel like I AM mooching off of other people (that "people" being my husband. He likes to be the breadwinner and earn more money than me, but I like earning money, too, because I feel like I am making a contribution if I do). I do like to shop, that is true. (AAH! BOOKS!!! LOL STARBUCKS! MOVIES!!) And I do like earning money from my writing. I don't know if this sounds bad to say or not, but I like being a paid writer. (And as it is, I start my new shift next week, which means I'll be earning MORE!) Even if I wasn't paid to write, I'd still write. (The OTHER things I'm not paid to write, right??) But I am paid for my writing and that's a great feeling. More like a sense that I'm good at what I do than anything else.

"The Seven of Clubs will want to 'shine' somehow in their work."

True! And it's always nice to get a good review of my work. :)

"They will likely be drawn to roles where they can be in front of others, such as teaching or giving presentations."

Wow. I've actually wanted to be a teacher for a long time. When my sister was little, we played "school" a lot and I was the teacher. I also briefly homeschooled my daughter. And I really think that all parents play a teaching role in their children's lives, somehow.

"This is one of the power cards and they usually want to get their way. There is always the possibility that they can move to the dark side of their card, which is dishonesty and wanting to get their way regardless of the means. This is not the norm, but should be watched for."

I had to laugh when I read this. I was all, "Oooh, beware the dark side, Luke!" Haha. But, seriously, this reminded me of how I USED to be. I USED to lie to get my way or to avoid a confrontation. (Well, what do you expect?? I was raised in a family where people lied all the time! Haha, I should call my memoir Lies My Family Told Me. LOL) But I am not like that anymore. I went through a very painful experience after I got caught up in being dishonest. I regret that to this day but I know I am not like that anymore. I changed my life to be more religion-focused and won't be dishonest or lie anymore. No matter what the cost, honesty is the way to go. And, yes, that temptation to lie WILL crop up. But I remember that experience and how much pain it put me through and I don't give in to that temptation.

"They are gifted actors in a sense so they could fool others if they wanted to."

Hey, I'm a writer! It's easy for me to get into a character's head, 'cause that's what I DO! But this is pretty much reserved for when I do actor imitations. I'll never know if I get the voices right, but I do them, anyway. Allllll righty, then!

"They usually will not be fulfilled until they are doing something that allows them a lot of recognition and reward. They want to 'shine' and be seen."

Yep. Already got that with the writing. Woot!! (But I have YET to write ALL of the stuff I want to write in this lifetime. Heck, if I die tomorrow, there's STILL more stuff I'll want to be writing! Maybe I'll pull a Hemingway and come back as a ghost writer.) (Ghost writer! OMG!!)

"Only when a power struggle arises are there any problems."

Ah, yeah. I really think this touches on the financial aspect of my marriage. See, it's true. Hubby DOES like to earn more than me. And I have always had this underlying fear or anxiety of landing a huge book deal or getting paid thousands for an article, because then that'll be more than what my husband earns. It feels like some kind of a trap! Maybe on a subconscious level, I don't try hard enough to earn those millions other authors earn, because it will cause a financial imbalance in my marriage. I truly feel that this what caused our problems the first time we were married. I made more than him, and he resented that. Now it's the opposite situation. He has in Oregon what I had in California. So maybe that is something for me to look into further.

Well, anyway. Interesting stuff to read. It's given me a lot to think about! Turned out to be something more than just a "fun diversion" than I thought it would be.

This is the site my sister got this info from: Destiny Cards

Friday, May 15, 2009

Biopsy results

In a previous post, I noted how I had a couple of bad test results and that my doctor ordered a biopsy to see if I had cancer. Because of my mother's long-term battle with cancer (and kudos to my mom for making it so far! WOOT!!), they thought that maybe that's what I might have.

So this week I had the biopsy done and they said that they'll let me know the results today.

And the results?? GOOD NEWS!! Whatever it is that caused the bad test result, it is NOT CANCER.

That's right: I DO NOT HAVE CANCER!!! WOO-HOOO!!!! I am cancer-free, baby!!!!!!!!

This is SUCH a huge relief. It's just an enormous weight off of my shoulders!

I said to a friend that even before I know the test results, I'm going to THINK POSITIVE! I am going to visualize my body free of cancer, and that's what I did! In addition to a lot of praying. And planning a "NO CANCER" party this weekend!

That party's still on! YAY!!!!

And I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who kept me in their thoughts and prayers and who took the time to send out their vibes. Thank you soooo much. Your friendship, love and support really helped me to keep it together while I went through this health scare. All of those prayers, good thoughts and vibes helped make this good news happen. THANK YOU!!!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dream creepiness

On weekday mornings, when I'm up and getting Jennifer ready for school, I leave the TV on the channel that airs Good Morning America. I watch that show almost every day. Sometimes during the show, the local news comes on. It also comes on before GMA.

After I showered and got dressed this morning, I sat on the couch to tie my shoes, watching the local news that comes on before GMA. At one point, I looked up to see a story of a local man being charged with sexual assault. Three women have testified against him in the case. He is also accused of murdering someone.

When I saw this man's face, my heart froze and a shudder ran down my spine.

After the alarm went off this morning, I fell back asleep for about a half hour and had a dream. For some reason or another, I was in the carport and I was totally nude! I was trying to hide the fact that I wasn't wearing anything, ducking against the wall as several cars drove by out on the street. (Sometimes, I really hate living on a busy street.) Anyway, at one point, I heard music playing, then looked up to see this man come into the carport. He was bald and wearing black sunglasses. He was dancing as he approached me then he grabbed my arms and pulled me up. He tried to rape me and I was wriggling from his arms and screaming, "No! No!"

That scared me so bad, I woke up. And you know what scared me even more?

That man I saw on the news was the SAME MAN in my dream! EEK!! He wasn't wearing sunglasses during the trial, of course. But he had the same exact kind of head and shoulder outline. And later, after I got a newspaper, I saw his picture in the newspaper. All I had to do was put those same black sunglasses on his face and that was enough to make me shudder and nervously pace around in the kitchen until I finally gave myself a mental shake of the shoulders and screamed at myself with my internal voice, "GET A GRIP!"

It was only a dream. It wasn't real. I hate having violent dreams like that. But what bothered me the most was that I had that dream and I ended up seeing that same exact face on the news shortly after I awoke! GAH!

It's not uncommon for weird things to happen in our dreams. I mean, anything can happen. After all, it IS the dream state! But sometimes, we can only wonder if there is something more about dreams than just our imagination. Some people believe that we can have out-of-body experiences in our dreams. Some believe that we can perform astral travel while we dream. And then, of course, there are the dreams we have in which departed loved ones have visited us. (Read an article I did about this for Shadowlands: Ghost Dreams: The Good and Bad of Ghostly Visitations in Our Sleep)

And, of course, people who know me or have read Martha Jette's book, Glimpses 2: It could happen to you, are aware of my dream experiences with a man named Jonathan.

All kinds of bizarre and creepy things can happen in our dreams...

This also reminds me of something I said in an email I sent to my sister recently:

Want to hear something creepy? I don't know if you're familiar with the book In Cold Blood, but it is based on a true story. Two drifters killed these parents and two of their 4 children in Kansas. Anyway, in the book, one woman interviewed said she had this dream of the girl, Nancy (age 16), and she heard her saying, "No! No! Please! No!" And I found out later that that is exactly what the girl said right before she was murdered!! Creepier still: Another woman who knew the mother saw her in a dream and she was saying, "There is nothing worse than being murdered."

This makes me wonder if there are any books containing stories of dream oddities or how someone's dream came true or something like that. I am aware of Sylvia Browne's Book of Dreams, but I am curious if there are similar books with stories like that. Might be something interesting to read. If not a little creepy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It can't always rain

Last week gave us a huge amount of rain. It rained and rained and rained. whenever Jennifer complains about the rain, I shrug and tell her, "That's life in the Northwest!" But I was aggravated by the rain, too. It's been 4 years since we have moved to Oregon yet even still I miss enjoying sunny weather and clear, blue skies. I don't like the gray skies that Oregon, and other parts of the Northwest, are known for.

But another thing it's known for are the days when it doesn't rain. There's a sense of wonder and renewed joy as people get back outside to enjoy the sun when it shines again. There's that eagerness to DO things and tackle unfinished projects and neglected gardens.

Those are the days that we have come to look forward to. Despite my telling Jennifer that rain is only water (a fact she has reminded me of on the many occasions she wants to go outside to play when it's raining), we pretty much remain indoors and do indoor stuff during the rainy days.

And when it's not a rainy day, when the sky is blue again and the sun is shining, I'm reminded of the quote from the movie, The Crow: "It can't always rain."

Even when the pouring rain seems endless. Even when the cold, gray weather is going on day after day after day. Even when ALL THERE IS IS RAIN! The sunny days that follow those rainy days always, always come back to us. And those sunny days remind us that it can't always rain. Even when the rain seems to go on and on, it can't go on forever.

I was especially reminded of that quote at the end of the week. When the rains miraculously stopped. The sun came out, the gray clouds disappeared, the weather was right again. No more rain.

To celebrate the great, rain-free weather, I took the kids to the park on Friday. We went to a small park that is near our home. Here they are enjoying the swings:

I was planning to take them both to a bigger park on Saturday, but instead we did a HUGE cleaning job in the house. Got things organized, put away, cleaned up and thrown out. Jennifer got to help her dad with the yardwork, and she was really excited about doing yardwork for the very first time. I wish I had the chance to take a picture of her smiling and holding up the shears, but I was doing double-duty watching the baby while he ate in his highchair and washing dishes in the sink. It was cute to watch her act all excited about doing yardwork. She felt like SUCH a big girl.

So today was the day we went to the big park. Only, we didn't get to bring Jesse along. My husband and I agreed to leave him at home and I had Jennifer grab her stuff and we headed out the door. She had fun playing on the tire swing (it's her favorite kind of swing!) and also playing with other children. I sat on the bench, enjoying the sunny, mid-70's weather. It was REALLY NICE weather!!! Not surprisingly, the park was packed with families and dogs romping about and having picnics.

While at the park, Jennifer and I practiced playing catch with her mitt and ball. She'll be starting softball soon, so she tries to get in some practice on throwing and catching when she can. She got frustrated when she didn't catch the ball that much, so she was real surprised when she finally did catch it:

We also played Frisbee. She kept hiding behind the trees the minute I turned my back to pick up the baseball or the Frisbee, so I had to keep looking for her.

We had some good times enjoying the great weather. We're prepared if there's more endless rain coming next week, because we know that the rain will eventually stop. The sun will shine again and we'll get to go out to play again.

It can't always rain.

So there's no point in being down or frustrated when it does.
And the same quote can be applied to motherhood, too. That was something else that I was grateful for. Being reminded of that quote on Mother's Day. There are times when the "rain" of moodiness, negativity, drama and troubles seem to go on and on. But it can't go on forever. It can't always rain. Sooner or later, the rain will stop, the sun will shine again and everybody will be their old selves again.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Go Dutch!

From Eugene's local paper, The Register-Guard:
Dutch Bros. Coffee to hold benefit for ALS awareness

Dutch Bros. Coffee locations will donate proceeds from all coffee sales between 5:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. Friday to the Muscular Dystrophy Association to raise awareness of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

The drive is held in support of company co-founder, Dane Boersma, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2005. Last year, Dutch Bros. contributed $80,000 to the MDA for research and family services funding.

All Dutch Bros. Coffee locations in Oregon, Colorado, Washington, California, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona will participate. For a list of area stores, visit www.­
As someone who's all for promoting a charity event, I spread the word about this one-day-only event on MySpace. And I'm going to spread the word about it here, too! Yay!

Fortunately, I don't have to go far to find a nearby Dutch Bros Coffee location. Actually, all I have to do is cross my street, walk to the corner, cross, and there it is! I can see it from my house, lit up at night. Ahhhh, coffee.

I often go to Dutch Bros when I'm in the mood for their ER-911 coffee. Or a Kahlua Kicker or Annihilator. Their newest drink, the Cappuccino Freeze, is very STRONG coffee but also very yummy. It's like a frozen cappuccino!

Granted, I do like Starbucks, too. And the Dari Mart has a "No Wimps Allowed" coffee that I enjoy when I can head on over there, too. But only Dutch Bros will give you coffees mixed with candies like Almond Joy and Milky Way, and Italian Sodas, energy drinks and even muffin tops! There is something for everyone at Dutch Bros!

So if there is a local Dutch Bros in your area, consider stopping by and "doing your part" by buying something. Not only will you get the satisfaction of a great-tasting coffee, but also a good feeling in contributing towards a worthy cause.

(Apologies to readers if this blog post sounds too much like a commercial. Hm, maybe I should pursue that kind of writing job instead of freelancing!)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

My $1 breakfast

At the suggestion of a couple of blog commenters from yesterday, I decided to follow through on Subway's $1 breakfast offer this morning. Above is a pic of the egg and cheese flatbread sandwich that was being offered for just $1, along with the complimentary coffee. When I showed the sandwich-maker (sorry, didn't take his pic! LOL) the coupon, he said "okay" and got to work getting everything he needed for this breakfast sandwich. This pretty much gave me the impression that A LOT of people must have been coming in with that coupon ever since it appeared in the paper. (It expires today, in fact.) When he put the thin sheet of egg onto the flatbread, I'll admit it didn't look very tasty. He warmed it up and I busied myself with reading the ads on display while he waited. I looked up at the menu and noticed that there are indeed breakfast sandwixhes being advertised there. Ugh, I REALLY should pay better attention to those things and look at ALL of it. Not just the part of the menu I was interested in.

When it was done warming up, he laid the sandwich on the counter where the veggies were and asked if I wanted anything. Sweet, I thought. It's not just egg and cheese. I get to add things! But I wanted the sandwich to be basic, so that I could gauge what would go best with it for later. So I just asked for tomatoes and then he wrapped it up. He got my coffee, bagged the sandwich and I handed him the dollar.

And it wasn't a bad sandwich, either. Kind of bland, though. Maybe next time, I should ask for some salt and pepper. Maybe some jalapenos. Some bacon bits. It really could have been a better sandwich, not to mention a little warmer, but with the way it was, with the tomatoes, turned out to be at least satisfactory. Not bad for $1, really. But I know that even if I'd asked for other things to go on it, then I would have thought it's a good deal for a $1 sandwich. And it was filling, too. And the coffee was pretty much what you'd expect for fast food coffee. It was not old, but probably because I showed up within the hour after they opened! It was decent coffee, so no complaint there.

Overall, I was satisfied with my $1 breakfast. You certainly would pay more getting these ingredients yourself! So maybe it's not so terrible to take up an offer to buy a meal for just $1. Like one commenter said, it's probably for promotional purposes. The important thing is that there is effort put into making the food at least edible.
And in these tough economic times, we all could use a break like this every once in a while. So maybe that was why Subway did this offer, too. Just to give those of us struggling to put food on the table the chance to only part with a single dollar bill in order to enjoy a decent breakfast.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Can you find GOOD food for only $1?

Yesterday (or maybe it was the other day), I checked out the "Deal of the Day" coupon in the newspaper. Those "Deal of the Day" thingies are addictive. I'm always curious to see what the newest "deal of the day" offer is (and, in some cases, "deal of the week"). So I saw one for a $1 breakfast offer at Subway: A coffee and breakfast sandwich. I didn't even know that Subway has breakfast sandwiches! For this reason, I wanted to try it. I love trying new foods and new eateries, so I thought 'why not?' But this morning, after I dropped Jennifer off at school, I chickened out. I mean, it's a $1 sandwich and coffee! What if the coffee tastes terrible? And the sandwich is probably gross. I mean, they're only getting a buck for it AND the coffee. They probably wouldn't even TRY to make it taste very good. It's like one of my sisters says: "You buy cheap, you get cheap." As it is, the type of food you can buy at a grocery store for just $1 doesn't taste very good, either! Boxes of store-brand macaroni and cheese, one package of Ramen Noodles, store brand bread. (There actually IS a store brand bread that's not so bad and doesn't fall apart when you bite into it. Albertsons. But it's the one that costs more than a dollar. Worth it, I say!)

Well, actually, there are good things in a grocery store that costs less than $1. A package of pasta, can of tuna, candy bar, one string cheese. But I'm talking about food that would actually SATISFY you and act as a decent meal. (I don't think I could ever go back to living off of Ramen Noodles like I used to. Ugh!)

And, besides, I was in the mood for grains, not eggs. So I decided not to take advantage of the offer.

I also had to think about the many "dollar menus" they have in fast food places. Honestly, some of the items on there are more than a dollar. But for the things that actually cost $1 (or less!), they're actually pretty good. I love the Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits at McD's, the tacos at Jack in the Box and the Famous Star at Carl's Jr. (though I don't think they have a dollar menu, but I'm pretty sure the Famous Star by itself is just 99 cents).

Maybe I'll try this $1 offer tomorrow, though. Or maybe this weekend, I'll go over there and get us breakfast sandwiches at regular price.

The whole thing about it being just a dollar reminded me of something else, though. When we lived in the desert, my dad had this job partnership with a family friend, and my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, worked with them. They would often have their lunch break at a place called "$1 Chinese Food." Every single item on their menu was $1. I was hesitant to eat there, despite their claims the food was good, because, after all, the food only cost $1! My sisters and I were convinced that it probably had junk in it or didn't taste good at all. (They claimed there was no MSG in their food.)

Then I finally worked up the nerve to try their food. This actually came at boyfriend's insistence on having their food for lunch.

And it was actually pretty good! In fact, the food was so delicious, we ended up eating there A LOT. I was grateful that, despite the insanely low price of everything, they actually cared about cooking good food. (Not surprisingly, they proudly boasted that they were an A-rated restaurant. Heck, they earned it! They put so much effort into running a top notch place of business.)

Well, despite this, I was still wary about taking Subway up on their $1 offer. But I'll try and see if I have the guts to do it tomorrow. I am curious about these breakfast sandwiches of theirs. And now I want to see if they will actually put in an effort to make a GOOD sandwich even if it only earns them $1.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Pictures from today

The other day, I came across a news story about an image of the Virgin Mary being on some grill. I studied that picture good and hard but failed to see any resemblance to the Virgin Mary there. I shook my head and shrugged it off as being something that people will see what they want to see.

It reminded me of an item I saw on eBay a looong time ago. Something about a grilled cheese with the Virgin Mary on it.

Well, here ya go, folks. It's not the Virgin Mary, but actually a Scottie I saw in a piece of quesadilla my son threw onto the floor:

Isn't he such a cutie snookums? I think we should name him. Let's call him Hogarth.

I have wanted to start wearing contact lenses for some time. Partly because I'm so tired of "looking out of windows" so much every day. I don't wear my glasses every single minute of the day. Sometimes I take them off to rub my eyes, when I'm taking a shower, if I have to go out in the rain outside, when I go to sleep, etc., but I do wear them most of the time. I hate wearing them, though. I wish I could wear contacts. My husband says my life is too busy for contacts. And my sister-in-law told me her son used to wear them, but they kept popping out all the time and it was a big hassle. Sigh. We REALLY need to come up with something better! I don't think surgery could fix my vision.

Anyway, part of the reason why I hate wearing the glasses is because the big thick...thingy on the left-side band catches my hair and sometimes yanks off a strand when I take the glasses off. Yes, sometimes that does hurt! I swear, I'm going to go bald if I keep wearing these glasses! This is the part that I mean, the thick part, right at the very edge:

Maybe new glasses would put a stop to that. Still wish contacts were possible, though.

On Sunday, Jennifer bought this toy at Fred Meyer. It's a toy piece of cheese with plastic mice to go inside it. She went nuts over it at first. Then she decided to get creative with it:

I wonder if she gave their boat a name. It's bad luck to have a boat without a name!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I planned to make tacos for dinner. Jennifer hates tacos so I made her and her brother quesadillas instead. Well, when I took the chub of hamburger out of the fridge, I was dismayed to see that most of it was frozen solid:

It may not look frozen but, believe me, it was rock solid. I set it out to thaw, keeping a close eye on the time it was sitting out. When I was able to cut it up, I cut the portion for dinner, wrapped it up and put it back into the fridge. Then I wrapped up the other cut portions then put them into the freezer.

My refrigerator is always doing that. It freezes so much of the stuff put on the higher shelves. Sometimes I'll happen to notice the dial turned all the way up to 9, and Jennifer SWEARS she didn't touch it. (When she was younger, she had a bad habit of playing with the temperature dial in the fridge.) I'm beginning to think that maybe somebody just hits it by accident when rummaging around in the fridge. I don't think the dial would be turning itself up all by itself...?

It's a real headache to live with, though. And it seems that no matter where I put the eggs, they still get frozen, too! I hope we can get a new fridge soon, so that everything inside of it would not turn to ice or get super-cold.

Still, Jesse sure enjoyed eating frozen applesauce one day.

Today, when I took the trash out, I noticed mushrooms in the front yard. First I took pictures of the 'shrooms then flowers growing in front of my house.

Here are the flowers:

And here are the mushrooms:

It rained A LOT today. It's like the rain was on and off all day. I was not able to take a picture of the rain, though.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


I don't usually click "play" on YouTube videos that my friends, family and fellow writers share. They are usually not closed-captioned. However, I noticed some words on one video I saw today. I thought maybe they were narrating it with text. So I clicked on "play" and watched the video. It was posted on a fellow writer's blog.

What I saw was heartbreaking.

Apparently, a pregnant mother on an antidepressant drug was told the drug was safe during pregnancy.

This turned out to be FALSE.

Watch the video and see what I mean:

Very...very sad. I was looking at pictures of that baby and thanking God she survived. But then at the end...I was in tears. I was so upset and bawling my heart out.

That poor baby. What a terrible tragedy this was. The worst part is, it was preventable. Had the prescribing doctor cared or not wanted to get some kickback over prescribing the medication, he or she would've advised the mother NOT to take that drug. He or she could've saved the baby's life. But I guess greed was the stronger temptation.

My prayers go out to that family.

And to every pregnant woman out there taking the drug Effexor: It might be a good idea to STOP. Your baby's life is not worth the risk.

Rest in peace, sweet angel Indiana. :(