Mystery of the Secret Santa

I played Secret Santa on Pumpkin's blog and dang it all to heck, just can't figure out who sent my thoughtful secret santa gift. My guess is Rain, but I really have no idea, just that the person is from Pennsylvania (?) but many people don't put on their blogs where they're from.

Thanks secret santa, reveal thyself!

12 days to Thailand

tse and the coopster
Only 12 days to Thailand. Geesh!

O.K., that made my stomache do a loop de loop!

First Christmas. Well, I had a premonition, intuition, prompting from God (I choose to call it the last one...you may call it something else) that I wasn't supposed to make more than one cookie this year for Christmas or host any Christmas parties at my house.

The last time this happened my mother-in-law passed away....big reason to keep it simple. I wasn't expecting anything like that to happen but I figured there was probably a reason I was feeling this again. Turns out it was SICKNESS~ much better than DEATH but still no fun.

TSE got sick on the 23rd and so did I so we missed Christmas with my side of the family. Max-Ay started coming down with it on Christmas Eve so he missed all the activities (except our gift opening) on Christmas Day. TSE and Meyers D were able to go with me to my mom's for breakfast (that's usually been at my house for the last 7 years). Papa D stayed home with him. And then Max-Ay and I stayed home while the other three went to Papa D's sister's house for Christmas Evening.

All in all it worked out for a very low key Christmas, which is never bad. We still enjoyed our time spent with the kids and like I said, Max-Ay was doing pretty good at 4:45 a.m. when the kids woke us up to open their presents! He started to hit the wall about 6 a.m.

We took our tree down last night because it was very dry and we got it early this year. Also it's time to kick into gear and get ready for Thailand! With all the airline rules about having 3 oz. containers on your carry on I have to go purchase a lot of 3 oz. bottles with stuff in them I don't need in order to put stuff in them I DO NEED! awww....

*I didn't take any pictures of Christmas. shocked? Well my camera is pretty sucky at indoor shots and I just wasn't feeling like it. Also, we went up to Mt. St. Helen's yesterday to go sledding. And although there was snow, it was raining. So didn't take pictures of THAT either. Perhaps today I will get some pics of Max-Ay playing with his new toys. He's the only kid that plays with toys here really anyway.

In less than two weeks I'll be taking travel pictures up the ying yang anyway so perhaps I'm saving myself up! ha!


Cap'n Crunch Candy

Cap'n Crunch Candy
My sister-in-law usually makes this super yummy easy treat for Christmas. This year Meyers D has made it and only needed a little help.

All you need is one box Cap'n Crunchberry cereal and one package almond bark. Melt the almond bark and pour over the cereal. Spread the hot mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and let harden. Store in airtight container.

*Don't eat too much, it melts in your mouth!*



punk rock
changes, changes....

life is full of them, eh?

well, my hubby is turning in his 2 weeks notice for work today. he is an industrial appraiser for our county and he got a new job in a neighboring county which is very excited to have him working for them. he is sort of taking a temporary demotion of sorts. he is going to start his new job just 2 working days before we go to Thailand, which is crazy. he will be a residential appraiser. in a few months there will be an industrial opening which they want him to apply for.

this will make for quite a few changes in our family. first of all, a commute. right now it takes him about 15 min. to get to work (at one time he was able to walk!) soon it will be about a 45 min. drive. he will also be going back to "square one" on his sick leave and vacation time. right now he has about a month vacation leave.

also, with his sick leave and the flexibility he has gotten, he has went to many doctor's appointments with me and been able to take time off when i haven't felt good. this is all about to change!

i may have to learn the phone number for the local taxi service!

i am quite a bit nervous about this, but at the same time, i have to trust that it will work itself out. i can't let my frailties or fear of them interfere with my husband's happiness at work. because of my headaches, he has the sole responsibility of our finances on his shoulders. so it is very important to me that he is happy.

and he is very excited about this change. i am too. just slightly nervous with how this could affect ME!

another thing is that we are getting some much needed work done on our house so that we are ready to sell. we may not sell but we are going to be ready to. he is thinking that he doesn't want to commute. i am willing to move but don't want to. i am so happy with the children's friends and their school. i really like this house too, although it's not the "perfect" house. it's the first house that's felt like home in our marriage (it's our 4th house).

anyway, even if we don't sell it will be so nice to have some things done that need be. right now a friend from church is hanging a lot of new doors in our hallway. my boys just got a bedroom door for the first time in a year or is it 2. i must admit the same for us!

after thailand i am going to have to repaint our remodeled bathroom that we are finishing. the color i painted it does not go with the tile countertop like i thought it would. which means, i will have to repaint the hallway too as it is the same color as the bathroom and the different shades of the same color will look stupid.

i have been needing to repaint the kitchen so that is on the list too. when the weather gets warmer i have to repaint my bedroom and the living/dining room. the bedroom will probably be a whole new color (as yet to be decided) but the living/dining room will be the same color.

there's an island to install in the kitchen, a deck to build on the front of the house and railing to put on the porch by the front door. also the trim needs to be finished in the upstairs. and, more cabinets need to be purchased for the main bathroom that's being remodeled.

so, we have quite a list and even if we WANTED to move right now we are far from ready to sell this house. and as i said, i am not sad about that!

*something very strange, it smells like my husband is sitting right next to me, i smell the soap he bathes with....strange~*

maybe i'm being redundant here, but although i am quite willing to move, i don't want to. but it will be very nice to get some things done to improve our home and to be able to (hopefully) stay here and enjoy them!


secret santa present arrives

secret santa gift
Look what I got today! My Secret Santa gift! And I have NO STINKING IDEA who it is. What a thoughtful gift though. I can't decide wether to read it now or wait until the 16 hour plane ride. I think it's 9 hours to Tokyo and 6 hours to Bangkok. O.K., so I can't do math.

Anyway, I don't know if I was supposed to wait until Christmas but it's too late anyway! ha!

I can't believe it's only 3 weeks away until the trip. Oh man, that's crazy!


a video message about suicide

my flickr friend MOKI made this great video. it has a very insightful message. thanks moki!


praline pecan crunch

praline pecan crunch
I made this yummy and oh so delish treat for my hubby's christmas party at work.

the best pecans for this and any other recipe are from Green Valley, Arizona.

praline pecan crunch

1 16 oz. pkg. quaker oat squares (8 cups)
2 c. pecan pieces
1/2 c. light corn syrup or honey
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Combine cereal and pecans in a 13x9 pan, set aside.
In a 2 c. microwaveable bowl, combine corn syrup, brown sugar and butter. Microwave high for 1 1/2 min. , stir. Microwave on high 1/2- 1 1/2 min. more until boiling. Stir in vanilla and baking soda, pour hot bubbling mixture over cereal. Stir to coat evenly. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 20 min. , spread on baking sheet to cool. Break it into pieces when cool and store in airtight container, makes 10 cups.

verry breakable....

christmas present warning
I decided to turn my Plz SAVE my Blog/blog into a place where I could study what words mean in the Bible. We'll see how long I do it, typically I become quite the slacker when it comes to doing this. But I'm feeling inspired to spend a few short minutes each morning and do this. It will give me something to think about when I go on my morning walks and it will be a good habit. Like I said, I'm not making myself any promises because I have TERRIBLE follow-through in this department.

So, if you become ones who visits there and checks out what I'm writing, you have my FULL AND UTTER PERMISSION to say, "hey, what the heck...you're a slacker!"

ha! Basically, I've been feeling verry breakable lately and I've been struggling w/ the cure, so I'm going to find me some new "medicine"....


secret santa

my baby is 48 hours from turning 8 and this is what his christmas wish is...

Hey! I'm not sure anyone will read this, but my friend Writer/Mother/Wife/Me is doing a "Secret Santa" exchange and needs one more participant. I am playing and have my person assigned to me. It sounds fun.

If you would like to play, go to her blog and leave her a comment. You can click on her photos too which will take you to flickr and can e-mail her that route too.

I will post about what I get and make my guesses when it arrives in the mail!

Here's the linkage: http://www.writermotherwifeme.blogspot.com

comment here if you decide to participate.

What WILL be vs. what COULD be....

starbucks, tracey and a cup of joe
I have been struggling so much lately with my Faith. I haven't been reading the Bible for a long time. I think it's because much of my Faith has been based on (probably incorrectly based on) what God can do for me. Since I haven't seen the results I've expected, it's made for a very shakey faith.

It occurred to me yesterday during my pastor's teaching, that perhaps what my Faith should be based on is the end result. The Bible says this:
Revelation 5:9 (the angels are singing):And they sang a new song:
'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because ou were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.'

5:11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:
'Worthy is the Lamb (Jesus) who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!'

5:13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!'

The four living creatures said, 'Amen' and the elders fell down and worshiped.

~My pastor was talking about how in heaven, thousands and millions and billions of people will be worshiping Jesus.

It occured to me that my true purpose in life, the destination I should ASPIRE to, my goal, perhaps shouldn't be to function well here on this earth and accomplish this and that thing, but that my ultimate purpose is in heaven. What that will look like is to be one of the millions and billions of people worshiping before Jesus.

It doesn't mean that what I am/do/think/become, etc. on this earth isn't important, it just was a realization of what my ultimate goal could be. And, if this was my ultimate goal, my thinking would be much different than it is now. I've been quite angry and irritated with my current state of health. I feel that if I felt better now that I could enjoy life more, do more, see more, become more, etc. And I long for it to the point of anger.

I'm not saying that's bad or wrong. It just occured to me as he was talking about heaven, that since that's my ultimate destination, it would make sense that it's my ultimate purpose. And then, it occured to me that if this is my ultimate purpose (which I never think about), how would it change my life, my thinking, my emotions if that became my focus. Not how I feel now, but what my role is then.

I don't know if this makes sense, but it's just a shift in thinking. It's not how I think now, it's just something I think I should explore.

All I know is that my life doesn't match up with what I want or desire. No matter how hard I try I can't make that happen. I'm striving after something I can't attain.

Perhaps I should try thinking about something that WILL be instead of something I hope COULD be.

Job 1:1

King James Version w/ Strongs (this version of the bible found @ http://www.bible.lifeway.com/crossmain.asp)

Job 1:1 There was a man (champion, great man, human being) in the land of Uz (somewhere in the Arabian desert), whose name (1b: reputation, fame, glory) was Job (pronounced ee-yobe': Iyowb which means HATED); and that man was perfect (complete, morally innocent, having integrity) and upright (right, pleasing, correct) and one that feared (reverent) God (elohiym) and one that eschewed (avoided) evil (sin, things that are ethically wrong).


max-ay's 8th birthday

attack of the birthday presents
Today is Max-Ay's 8th birthday. He woke up so early, what'd he think, it was Christmas or something? We gave him some birthday hot cocoa to start his day off right.

I got him some cupcakes for class with plastic Star Wars rings on them. He wanted Annakin rings to be on there but I went to Fred Meyer (Kroger's) and didn't call first. All they had was C3P0, R2D2 and Darth Vader. He didn't complain!

After school his friend Jay came over, I got a pizza and then we went to the Journey Through Bethlehem. The local 7th Day Adventist Church puts on a live nativity. If you've never been to one, it's pretty cool. It's quite the production. They put the gig on for 4 days and it's free. It's quite something. There's even a camel, the angel Gabriel (they use a woman, they must read a different version of the bible...) and of course, Jesus.

Afterwards, Jay came back home wtih us, we had more hot cocoa and watched Rudolf on t.v. Very low key, I kind of like it that way.......


my sick boys

don't take a picture of me mama, i'm a sick boy
my sick boy

This morning @ 5a.m. TSE came in my room and said he thought he was going to get sick.

Let's just say, that fortunately, he told me first!! ha!

Anyway, when Max-Ay woke up he said he didn't feel good either, but he didn't look sick. Thank God he didn't eat breakfast when I thought he was faking. Man, that would have been a nightmare.

So they are sitting in my upstairs living room, quietly watching movies. I plugged the lights into the Christmas tree and started a fire in the fireplace. It's very cozy and Christmas-ish looking. The jello is slowly hardening in the fridge for a late lunch.

My friend S.B. called and her boys just had the sickies last week. She is bringing orange gatorade and 7-up. I probably could have lived without it, but sometimes, when someone wants to help you, it's important to say yes. It makes them feel good and it builds a growing friendship. It will be fun to see her face for 5 seconds and commiserate about the super mom of sick boys thing.

This flu bug seems to be short-lived so hopefully after tomorrow we will be done. I just hope the rest of us don't get it, but unfortunately, EVERYONE in S.B.'s family got it. Yikes!!! My neuro appointment is an hour away on Wednesday, but I suppose I could always change it into a phone appointment. So, I won't worry about that yet!


pumpkin pecan pie

pumpkin pecan pie
Around my side of the family, no Christmas or Thanksgiving meal would be complete without pumpkin pecan pie. It's such a wonderful treat.

We celebrated Thanksgiving early with my side of the family on Nov. 18th and this was my contribution.

Here's the recipe:
Pie Crust for shell only:
1c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter/shortening
2-3 Tbsp. cold water

With fork or pastry blender, work in butter/shortening until coarse crumbs, add water last. Roll dough out on a pastry cloth and place in pie plate.

Pumpkin Pecan Filling:
3 eggs
1 c. dark corn syrup
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. melted butter
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. pecan halves

Beat eggs well. Add corn syrup, sugar, melted butter, vanilla and pumpkin until well blended.

Arrange pecan halves on the bottom of the unbaked pie crust. Slowly pour pumpkin mixture over. Bake @ 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Serve w/ cool whip or whipped cream.


Give a Cheer, Botox is Here

another Idaho Vandal fan
To read more about the last few weeks, read here.

Woohoo! Today is Botox day. I've been waiting for this since mid-July. My flickr friend JaGrump. She is so kind of me to drive the hour long distance for me to get this procedure.

She is my little photographer friend so I'm sure we'll get some good pics of the before Botox me and the after. Will it make my face puffy? Will I looks Gaw-Gious?!! Don't know....

I am quite hopeful it will help with some headaches, even if it is the tension ones. If it helped the menstrual migraines too, well then SO BE IT!!

Only time will tell, but in the meantime....

Give a Cheer, Botox is HERE!


arrgh, some things suck matey!

oh man, the last few weeks have been freakin' crazy. I'm going to be writing on my other blog most of the time now. It's a journal of my chronic migraines so I can track how they behave, how frequent they are, what possible triggers there might be, etc.

If you are interested, it is called The Dawktor Is Out! I may get back here once in a while and update more exciting happenings such as our church harvest party (click the photo to see more photos of it). But like I said, I will be posting daily @ my other blog.


forgiveness....or the lack of it


I seem to be terribly bad @ the whole forgiveness thing.

terribly bad....

I'm not going to kid around about it, and give the impression that i'm the kind of person who just takes a horribly hurtful offense and brushes it off, carrying on with the relationship as normal.

....just not able to do it.

And not that that's a good thing. Because, since I'm not able to forgive easily, I get a lot of anxiety with the person i'm having problems with. For instance, I could get a phone call and my pulse will start racing, I'll have to take deeper breaths, my stomache will churn and I'll even have difficulty thinking. It's a pretty strong and instantaneous response. It's not a whole lot of fun.

I will think about the person, see them, or even hear their name spoken and get the same feeling of anxiousness.

My pastor had a great point last week. That we tend to be offended by people when they disregard us and/or don't see who we are. I can think of so many times I've been offended and when you get right down to it, it's not so much as what the person said or acted like, it's why they did it.

So often I wish that people could see how they've hurt me and just apologize. Whether they agree what they did/didn't do was wrong, just apologize because it's wounded me.

It just doesn't seem to happen.

I'm really having a problem with a family member right now. I don't feel like I can tell the person how I feel because I'm so mad that I think I'll make the situation worse by spitting out the way I feel in a mean way that would involve a few swear words.

And why?

Because they don't understand me. And I ask myself why I care so much. Why can't I just say to myself: Oh well, that person just doesn't get me...that's their problem not mine.

Nope, I want to smack'em up aside of the head, yell in their face and say "how dare you..."

I've lost friendships, am losing friendships and having stress with family members all because I have such a struggle with unforgiveness.

I guess letting go of hurt is a process. I just wish I could push the fastforward button sometimes...


seizures and stuff

grandpa with his newest great-grandchild rachel
Last night i suddenly, and i mean suddenly came down with the flu. woke up this a.m. and still had it. could've been worse but still very tired and achey. this afternoon i slept 1 1/2 hrs. after tse got home from school. lucky for me he's a good kid and entertained himself. i was watching hogan's heroes with him, and before i knew it i was out like a light!

fortunately i felt a bit better after i woke up, but i didn't go to max-ay's out of town game tonight just to take care of myself. about the time the game was over i got a call from one of the mom's and she said that papa d's dad was at the game, and that he had a seizure. they were going to take him to the hospital in the ambulance.

from what she described, and what papa d said later, it sounds like it was a pretty rough one. so i farmed all the kids off for the night overnight and went to the hospital to be with my honey. they did a CAT scan and an x-ray because he fell and hit his head during the seizure. evidentally this is about his 3rd one in three years, the last one being 6 mos. ago, so hopefully maybe tomorrow we will find out what's going on and if there's anything that can be done.

pretty crazy stuff and hard for papa d to watch his dad like that. we are doing o.k. though and he is resting well @ the hospital as they have him pretty drugged up right now.

i'll post again after we know a little more about how he's doing.


jenn & jacob's wedding

Had a super fabulous time @ our niece Jenn's wedding. It was so beautiful and everyone looked great. She has 4 children (woops~I thought she had 3!!) and they were all so adorable. Jenn is Papa D's niece from his oldest half-brother. We don't see them very often so it was great catching up with everyone.

It was great to see our nephew Brandon too. He has 2 little girls now and they are sooooo adorable. Bailey is 3 and Marly was born in June. The both have amazing eyes and look so much like their mama!! We got to spend quite a bit of time visiting with them so that was one of the highlights of the trip.
He is pictured here with his wife and kids, and Papa D's older sister, her husband and daughter. Besides Papa D's Dad and his girlfriend, we were the only family memebers that could make it to this wedding. It's like a 5 hour drive, but was well worth it.
grandpa with his newest great-grandchild rachel I'm so happy with how this photo turned out of my father-in-law. I think I'm going to give it to him for his birthday in an 8x10. This is his newest great grandchild. He has 7 great grandchildren now!

I took a lot of photos of the trip there and back home too, but i haven't cropped them up yet. I spent yesterday morning helping in tse's kindergarten class and then washed some comforters @ the laundry mat and then went and took some portraits of my nephew. fun times...!!


Fundraiser for Thai Orphans

i hope my neighbor's feel the same way about the cinnamon rolls they're getting...
These are the cinnamon rolls I made for my neighbor and her family. She helped clean and organize my basement two weekends ago and i am making her dinner, one every thursday night, for 4 weeks. Last night i made breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls. my cinnamon rolls didn't raise very high, either because i didn't have the dough rising in a big enough bowl or because my yeast was a little old.

anyway, the recipes can be found in february and march '06 archives.

more on the botox update:
i asked the PA neurologist to refer me to someone else for the procedure, since i was sick and tired of dealing with dr. no botox. within a few hours he contacted me to say yes he would, and within 2 days the new clinic called and schedule me for mid november. i didn't mind waiting because 1) i never want to go to dr. no botox's clinic AGAIN, 2) they explained that she does it every other thursday and that was the soonest opening they had.

I like explanations that make sense. I'm reasonable...

This weekend we are traveling 4 hours to Eastern Washington state. my husband's niece Jenny is getting married. she has three kids and this is her first marriage. she is a nice girl and we are excited about sharing this day with her. i'm going to take my camera but try to restrain myself from taking lots of pictures.

last weekend we got a free universal gym (big piece of exercise equipment). I helped Papa D bring it in the house and the thing was frickin' heavy. i think i pulled a muscle in my shoulder because it is really aching. sometimes it hurts pretty bad so i'm trying to take care of it. i really don't need any more problems!

I think all the camera holding and computer keyboarding has added to it as well.

tonight the hubs has taken the kids to one of the local high school's football homecomings. i should have went because my niece is cheerleading for the team and i haven't gone to watch her yet. i'm not going because 1) there's more tidying i want to do before we leave (we are having a past babysitter of ours house/dog sit for the weekend. she cleans houses and i told her to clean mine but i have to do a little first...trust me, i'm still leaving her some disgusting stuff!) 2)i have been trying to avoid my niece's dad (brother-in-law) for some pretty rude comments he's made about my health - to my face and not to my face - so i've been giving him the silent treatment. if i don't see him or talk to him i won't have to deal with the negative feelings i have towards his insensitivity. 3) it's kinda nice to have the house to myself! (even though i tried to guilt papa d into staying and help me clean up the house...)

so there you have it, the latest and greatest to CD's unfolding life.

wait, there's more. i forgot that i haven't mentioned anything about my fundraiser i am doing. i have made a 2007 calendar with some of my best photos. well, May is a picture that Papa D took, but the rest are mine!!

I got a local photo shop to print the calendars for $10 a piece when they usually charge $30. I told them that the proceeds from the sale would go to the needs we will be seeing on our trip to Thailand (with our church) in January '07. I am charging $21 dollars and am hoping to sell 150. so far i have sold 8 and have a few more spoken for.

in a few weeks i'll be taking them to my church to sell some, and i'll print out some flyers that they can give to family/friends in hopes that by word of mouth i will sell more. i may also go to a few businesses and see if i can put some out there.

they are really unique and i'm quite pleased and proud of it. they are printed on matte photo paper and are one-sided, so the photos can be cut out and matted or displayed, whatever, after the month is over. so the prints for each month are beautiful because they are actual photos.

here's what the front and back look like. if you are interested in buying some, e-mail me: cameradawktor@yahoo.com and we'll figure out the shipping. I accept paypal or money order, but can't ship until the money orders have cleared. my paypal account is the same as my e-mail address.

like i said, the proceeds will all go to thai kids that live @ khaodee orphanage, young people going to high school/university that have been orphaned or are from extremely poor families, and/or young women in their early twenties who are attending school for the first time (they would have been sold into prostitutuion). so besides helping out w/ food, clothing and shelter, it looks like some will also be going to education.

our trip is january 8-18 and i will obviously be photo documenting the trip and also the distrubution of the money I'm raising. if this calendar idea goes well, i will probably do a 2008 calendar w/ the photos of thailand and the kids, with the proceeds of that going back to them as well.

Here's a peak of what they look like. One calendar is 8oz. so shipping will not be too bad.
Calendar Benefitting Orphaned Thai Children
inside of the calendar benefitting orphaned thai children
This is the first time that any of my photos have been for sale. and even though i am not profiting from it, i'm hoping it will encourage me to begin marketing my work. i love photography and have found it to be so extremely therapeutic. i'm even encouraging an old high school classmate of mine, who used to be in photography with me, to pick up the camera again. her family is going through an extremely difficult time and i'm encouraging her to capture the beautiful moments in life, in order to remember that there is still good in the world....


still no bo

what lies ahead
i think i mentioned recently that my botox appointment was finally made. the receptionist, on the evening she called, asked if i could come in next Thursday (can you see where i'm going with this?...) and i said sure. so on thursday i took my neighbor some dinner, the one i traded cleaning my basement for making her dinners, then went to show papa d a project i've been working on.

when i got home, the receptionist had left a message which said, "I'm calling in regards to your botox appt. that you missed." Yup, you heard right....MISSED!

so i called back to reschedule and a different lady told me that the secretary would call me back. that was last thursday, today is tuesday. still no call back. surprised? absolutely not!

so today i called. i was dreading that because i knew EXACTLY how the conversation was going to unfold and i did NOT want to deal with it. however, there's no one to take care of me but me, so i did.

I was told that the doctor scheduled special sessions for botox and they did not know when he'd be doing it again. they would call me when he set up those days again.

I said, do you think it will be this month?

I don't know, she said.

Like i'm supposed to be satisified with that answer?! yah, right.

allright i said sweetly through gritted teeth.

*curse words racing through my brain...

i will not be trapped by these so called health care professionals. i'm not just going to suck up to their "we'll get to you when we get to you" type attitude. nope! not anymore.

so i sent an e-mail to the new guy i'm seeing and told them that there'd been a "misunderstanding" and that i missed my appt. i said it took me 2 1/2 mos. to get it and after calling 2x, i still did not have a reschedule and they were giving me no indication when they would.

within a few hours he e-mailed back and i am getting a new referral to someone else. i have no gauruntees when they will get me in but I DO NOT CARE. i will never do business with this other clinic again, and i will let anyone and everyone i know to do the same.


Pet Peeves

interplanet janet
I guess I'm feeling a little fiesty tonight, or to put it more blunty, a little BIT*#Y. So I'm going to rant a little.

I don't know about you, but I have a few pet peeves. I'm only going to discuss two of them here, because they're the things I've been thinking about lately.

1) complaining about where you live, as if the city itself is "oppressive", bad, evil, depressing, what have you....

I really get annoyed when people roll their eyes and talk about the town I live in. I hate it when the name of my city rolls off their tongue like poison, as if that just driving through town will somehow seep into their pores and toxify them.


I think that people that use this cop-out are extremely short-sighted, and not very self-aware. A location cannot "depress" you, a city cannot change your mood, an area cannot give you negative thoughts. I think my town gets blamed for a lot of people's unhappiness with themselves and others, and their personal problems.

It's always annoyed me when people do this, the eye rolling and the exaggerated expressions, but lately my intolerance has grown leaps and bounds. Since I've been walking everyday, I realize more and more how beautiful this area is. I'm sure if I lived somewhere else I'd think the same thing. Beauty is always around, sometimes we are just not looking for it.

This is not anyone or anything else's problem if we are blind to this fact, it is our own.

I am amazed at the simplest things that are beautiful. The way the sun hits the water and dances off the underneath of a bridge, the way the weeds form seed pods, the ducks that swim in the sloughs, the leaves turning brilliant red/orange/yellow, the way a country road winds and how the walking path curves into another beautiful adventure.

These things have always been here, I just whizzed right past them. Many things I've been seeing lately I had no idea were around. There are so many wonderful people here, just as there are wonderful people where you live. The sun does shine, the sky is sometimes blue, and every once in a while there is a sunset.

If you are looking for it.

Anyone who drives into this town and immediately gets depressed has brought their own psychological baggage with them in the vehicle and chooses to unzip the bag the minute they hit the first stoplight in town....

2) *I could really get in trouble for this one depending on who reads this...
God will provide...

Sometimes, but not always, this mindset really annoys me. Now let me clarify something. I do think God provides. I'm a person of Faith and believe that God can and does help us.

But sometimes I think people use this term too flippantly and use it as an excuse for laziness and impulsiveness.

This statement can often be a big cop-out.

I believe that God gives us a brain, he wants us to use it. I believe he helps us to find jobs, which pay for the things we need, and to provide things for others who need it. I believe he provides people who love and care for us, and people who we can love and care about. I believe he provides safety, food, clothing and help to meet our needs.

I believe he provides us with a mind that's creative, that can think of wonderful and amazing futures for ourselves. I think He helps us, in all kinds of ways, to see these dreams made possible.

But sometimes, he wants us to help ourselves.

OOOOH, shock and awe. Is this heresy she speaks?

For example, maybe I have an idea, let's say its the upcoming mission trip to thailand that we are going on. I think God's all about this sort of thing. Does that mean that at a moment's notice, without a lot of financial planning, that I/we (my husband and I) think others are going to be moved to fund this trip? Absolutely not! However, does that mean I think that we shouldn't trust God to help us meet the financial demands of going? Heavens no!

I think he wants to work hard, in anticipation of going? To sell assetts that he has helped us acquire, because going is worth something to us. It's not just an investment of our time, but of our money. If someone else pays for us to go, where's the real sacrifice for us? Financial sacrifice is a giving of ourselves, that's just as important of an aspect as is the giving of our time. I think there's a satisfaction that comes, in showing your commitment to a certain group of people, or a cause, in the giving of your PERSONAL time, energy and money.

It sounds harsh, but I think it's laziness to just assume that God has given you a great idea, and that miraculously, poof!* everything you need is going to just plop into your lap by a magic angel/fairy.

This most certainly doesn't mean that I think we can't trust God to help us, it just means that I think God sees absolutely nothing wrong with us also helping ourselves. We're not brainless, we aren't incapable, there's nothing wrong with using these faculties to help work toward a goal that God wants to help us with.

O.k., now i have to end this note on a positive foot, so here's some pictures lately of some of the beautiful things I've been enjoying around town.
wet grass in the morning
right after i snapped this pic i realized that there was a homeless man sleeping on the rocks in front of me that led to this beautiful place...
reach for the sky!


Can somebody say AMEN?!


R U happy in life yet?


this photo is by my flickr friend and contact jagrump. please click the link to go to this photo or any of her other photos. she is my friend and i couldn't get this pic in any other way. i'm sure she won't mind as i'm giving her credit. although i did find the rock, she just took the picture!

o.k., here's the scoop!
last night while making dinner i get a phone call from dr. no botox (well the nurse anyway) wanting to schedule a botox treatment for next week. immediately i start having symptoms of anxiety and can't think really well. i know, or am fairly certain, that my referral to him got nixed when i asked to see the dr. who specializes specifically in headache & migraine, but i make an appt. anyway to cover my butt.
i mean, i deserve that after being strung along for 3+ mos.
but when i get off the phone, i start stressing because i have no referral, and how could i get one in time? i'm convinced i have to cancel, and this could possibly waste his $250 precious dollars that he's so concerned about. and, she will probably ask why i'm not going to see him anymore, which causes more anxiety because i want to yell all the things i'm mad about, but then don't want to be labeled a looney tune.
so i really get in a funk, bad mood, stressed, worried, anxious. just the yucks.
until i start filling out the incredibly detailed questionaire from dr. swsih&m (get the initials?) i realize that this guy's going to be REAL thurough, something i've been needing and wanting.
gosh wait, can i actually get some hope in someone helping me? alas....
so by the time i go to bed i have calmed down and feel much better.
wake up @ 5 a.m. to go to dr. swsih&m who is 1+ hr. away + morning traffic. but on the way i start feeling anxiety again because should i ask him if he thinks i should get botox? and how will i get a referral in time? and what will i have to tell dr. no botox's nurse about why i don't want to see him anymore?....
i get in the appt. and he starts asking me REALLY SPECIFIC QUESTIONS. i am a little stressed because i want to make sure i'm answering right. because if i don't answer to clearly communicate what's going on, how can he help me? some things are hard to describe and there were so many medications to remember and how i responded to treatment...and what mg's was i taking with each one?
at one point he did not understand what i was trying to say and maybe i was insecure, but i got the impression he thought i was an idiot.
actually, after a while, i realize that he didn't think that i was an idiot. he gave me a few compliments about how i did so i felt reassured. fortunately the hubs went w/ me and spoke up about botox. he said i should DEFINITELY try it and that he personally would request another referral.
so, next thrs @ 1:15 pm i will get shot up w/ pig crap, or whatever they make that stuff out of. anyway, if it works for me, and i continue regular injections, it will be as my cool friend ian suggested, i will be the hottest looking 60 year old grandma (eventually) because i will be wrinkle free.
now that's something to look forward to, is it not?
also, i am still in limbo w/ the two meds i feel are interacting w/ each other, because i don't go back for another month. he will review everything i told him and read thuroughly through my medical chart.
*which by the way, has to be FREAKING HUGE!!!*
and make a definitive diagnosis. from there he will make decisions about how we will proceed.
(so skip over this part if you are a man or are particularly queasy about womanly stuff...)
the sucky part is i will have to bleed everyday for a month until i go back. right now it's pretty bad so i hope it will simmer down. at least i am feeling much better than i was.
in all respects, i should be miserable right now with the nature of my problems, but this past week, i have been breezing through. of course it hasn't been perfect but considering past history, it's been remarkable.
my friend stephjaychrisben asked if all the walking/exercise has been helping. i answered yes, i think it has. virtually 7x week for 5 or so weeks, @ 2 miles a day or more.
man, you should see my calves, they are getting rock hard in such a short time. wahoo! (nice to see results)
my pain clinic meeting went well this afternoon too, so much doesn't apply to me except that i share similar emotions w/ everyone else. but it was mentioned to me that 45 min. away there is an accupuncture place, that when you attend a group session, only costs $20. so it's something i might want to try in a few months, especially if it doesn't seem that the botox has helped.
these things i would never know about if i didn't go to the pain clinic, so it's worth my time. besides, it will reflect in my medical charts that i am trying, that i'm not a hypochondriac or a complete whack job.
*because i am convinced across my files that it says in big yellow letters (because i like yellow)
in answer to the question of the title to this post:
today i am very happy. i am encouraged, i dare to trust, i dare to hope and am quite ready to be thankful for such a small favor...to be taken seriously and listened to.


so this post will lack substance

they don't call'em the rockets for nothin'

my long lost buddy old pal chuck croll invited me to take this quiz:

You are .swf	 You are flashy, but lack substance.  You like playing, but often you are annoying. Grow up.
Which File Extension are You?

if you decide to take it too, let me know.

long story short, it was a good week, pain was minimal and completely manageable. super great week.

the "female" doctor appointment went well, i'll elaborate more later after my headache clinic appt., and others later this week. hopefully we'll be coming up with a new little plan. the first one helped, but hopefully this one will be better. that's what we're hoping for. forward progress, slow but steady.

last night MadE's mom Amy came over for some major cleaning of the basement. was so nice to have help and now the house doesn't feel so overwhelming. in trade, i am making her four dinners, one for the next four thursday nights. that's her busiest night of the week, and she has went back to school, has 5 kids, 2 are in soccer, has youth group and home groups at her house. busy lady.

so she helped me and now i will help her!

i'm jazzed and hope she wants to come back in a month or two to tackle some of the upstairs. it was great hanging out with her too. she's pretty funny and its nice to have a girlie friend that's close to my own age, haven't had that for awhile.

tonight it's frozen burritos for dinner w/ big daddy p and his little brother coop.

oh, and i have come up with this fundraising idea for our thailand trip coming up in january, i'll let you know all about that soon.



o.k., forget what i said about girls not being as aggressive...

sometimes you have to push your weight around to get the ball moving...

hallelujah! Dr. J (the PC) just sent me an e-mail and said i could go to portland, or salem, my pick. just call and make the appointment. i was like....what? that was so easy!!

(that "it's OK" mantra i've been repeating to myself for days now was really true!)

*seriously, i was having so much anxiety about this on friday that i did this! positive self-talk...*

anyway, i called salem and evidentally there is no "headache clinic" as such, but a physician's assistant who deals primarly with headache/migraine just like dr. j had said.

guess when i'm going?

september 27th! and i don't have to go to salem, just to tualitain, but i'll have to get up realllllllyyyyy early. hopefully papa d will take the day off work and go with me, and maybe the kids can spend the night somewhere so they can get off to school. i know my parents and friends will help, this is a really big deal.

so wahoo! i am going to the obgyn this week to get her advice on what to do for the menstrual migraines. i'm telling her that i'm not doing anything until i see the PA. they can talk to each other if they want, and i see the new psych on the 28th to talk about the lamictal. hopefully all three of them will talk to each other. we'll see what the PA says about the botox since i still haven't gotten it and still don't even have an appointment.

oh man, i feel like a big weight has lifted off me. even though i always start off hopeful with a new doctor (even though most times it ends up being disappoiting) i think this is a big step. if he can't help me, they are going to have to step it up to another level and send me to the oregon health sciences university or something....aren't i so special?! *i don't wanna be special....

keep fingers crossed for me, prayers up, attitudes positive, etc. i say this to myself as well.


little update

I've been waiting for my secure password to come in the mail from my health insurance company and yesterday it arrived. wahoo!

I e-mailed my pc about the neurologist dillema and asked for him to refer me to the headache clinic 3 hrs. away and in the meantime, while i'm waiting for the appointment, to let me go to a different neurologist to do the botox.

wish me luck!

there is absolutely no reason that he should say no to me. i think he's great, and am sure there won't be a problem.


*(because there's always a but)

but....if he says no, well then i'll see if that quick care dr. is taking new patients and see her. if i can't i'll ask her who to see and see that person.

thanks for your support everyone!

yesterday i had a pretty bad headache all day. i took some meds for it and it just wasn't doing much for me. but i started applying some of the things i've been learning in the pain clinic. it seemed like i was "managing" myself all day, but it kept the pain to a tolerable level, and when it got bad, and i implimented something i learned, it simmered down for a while.

these tools didn't fix me, but they sure helped me cope. i have a feeling i might have ended up in quick care again if i hadn't tried some of these things.

i used ice for 10-15 min. at a time, waited an hour, then reapplied.

i used tiger balm, like stinking all day, and am sure smelt quite like a tiger by the evening.

i used guided imagery about 5x for 20 min. sessions each. this helped a lot and i think was the biggest help to me of the day.

i started my day off with fresh air and walk even though i was hurting.

i tried deep breathing about as many times as i could remember to do it.

the worst thing for me was going to pick up tse from school and running two errands. i knew i shouldn't do it, but did it anyway. i had been able to keep the pain down, but by the last stop, it really started to skyrocket and was much harder to manage after that.

guess i shouldn't let any reason be an excuse to overdo it on days like that. it's just that, sometimes, maybe it's pride, but you want to be like those people who just push through things and get things done. but it sure wasn't smart for me yesterday, and none of the reasons were good enough to do what it ended up doing to me.

lessons learned~


o.k., so i haven't posted in a while...

well, doesn't seem like anyone reads this anymore. maybe 'cause i haven't been good about checking anyone else's blog.

i've just been spending the bulk of my time on photography...surprise anyone?!

so, i haven't posted in a while. want to know why that is?

well, last friday i saw the neurologist. the one i'm waiting on for botox. the one i've waited 3 mos. to see. guess how long he spent talking to me?...

you probably guessed right...less than ten minutes. i was so shocked when he got up and shook my hand that i let him just walk right out of the room.

of course i told him my concerns with my medication, but he gave me absolutely no suggestions, not even the "go talk to dr. so and so about it" line. highly disappointing. do you think i walked out of there with a botox appointment? well, of course not!

then that day i had quite a bad headache, took quite a few meds to get it under control. soccer jamboree was saturday and that was a crazy day, but i felt so good that that evening we went to leroy and jenny's farm in grays river, took max-ay and tse's friends big daddy p and cooper, had an ABSOLUTE blast.

but, sunday a.m. woke up with a KILLER migraine and i mean killer. maybe it was 'cause i o.d.'ed on chocolate. shoot, i know better than that. soooo stupid! anyway, it picked up speed and the pain was absolutely out of control within a few hours. when my kids are walking around upstairs and i'm in the basement (we have a big house, 2800 sq. ft) and i am writhing in agony from the noise, then wishing i was dead...well, that's just a sign that i'm pretty bad off. duh, right?!

so you can bet that @ 10 a.m. when the clinic opened i was there in quick care looking for the i.v. meds again. unfortunately, one i.v. fluid bag and 3 meds later my pain was tolerable, but still there. i had the hubs take me to my parents (now that's a quiet place) had a bite to eat and took a snooze. probably only 45 min. and took a few more meds before my rest. when i woke up i felt perfect. very tired from all the pain and drugs but no headache. wahoo!

while in quick care the attending dr. had treated me a month ago. first thing she asked was "what's going on with the neurologist". i couldn't even talk for a few minutes because i was crying. she suggested i see a neurologist an hour away. i said good idea but i am more than ready to go to the headache clinic that is 3 hrs. away. she said it was MY decision what i wanted to do and that i should tell my primary care dr. what my decision was. but she HIGHLY suggested i see someone different.

oh, and i forgot to tell you that wonderfully polite neurologist actually asked me (because believe it or not i have improved, but with still unacceptable results) if i wanted to POSTPONE the botox. hello? like i haven't already postponed it? is he a freaking idiot? is he just lazy? does he actually not want to do it and just was seeing if we could bag the idea? since when is 2-3 migraines a week acceptable?

so as you can see, i needed some validation. the last thing i wanted to do is change neurologist. he has only seen me twice and tried one med. but....who is going to advocate for me but me?

so these are the things i've been mulling over. i decided that i am going to e-mail my pc about it and am waiting for my password to come in the mail. also, next week i have an obgyn appointment to talk about the medicine that is treating my menstrual migraines, and have found a new psych to talk about if i can increase the mood stabilizer/migraine med. i am doing all of this because the neurologist had absolutely nothing to say about this and i was hoping that he would give some guidance, imput, suggestions about this.

i mean, like i'm supposed to know what to do .... last time i checked i was the patient....

on another note i started a pain clinic. it meets for 8 weeks and i just had my second meeting yesterday. i am going to try to take as much away from it as i can. the one real interesting/helpful thing i have learned so far is this:

chronic pain, especially over a long period of time, sensitizes the nerves to pain. nerves become "hypersensitive" and are less able to block pain messages that go to the brain. this explains why two people with the same problem experience differences in their pain levels. i have had pain problems since childhood, so obviously my pain blocking capabilities and nerves are fried.

the goal in the pain clinic is to explore different methods of helping the body block these pain messages, identify treatments that at least help, and finally devise a pain management plan. since my pc quit filling my percocet perscription (ok, i admit, i did abuse it...you don't want to hear that story), but it helped when everything else failed.

i am hoping that the clinic will help me learn new and better ways of coping because the ones i invented myself are downright shitty, unhealthy and usually flat out dangerous. i really wish i would have done something like this a long time ago.

new things i am trying:
going walking everyday
deep breathing
guided imagery (relaxation technique)
music therapy
getting fresh air and enjoying the beauty of nature

things i want to try:

i am really hoping that my new psych will refer me to a relaxation class that includes learning biofeedback. the class is an hour away but who the hell cares? i am wanting to go anyway....

so these are the things that have been rolling around in my brain, disturbing me quite a lot and i haven't wanted to talk about them...until now.

so there ya have it!


remembering 9/11

remembering 9-11

i could tell you what i was doing when the twin towers fell.

i could tell you who i was with, what i thought and how i felt.

but i will save that for another day....

i will tell you this, it's when i realized that the lives of all Americans had changed forever....

you may be wondering why a picture of my son would represent 9/11 for me....

i didn't lose a loved one
i didn't lose a friend
i don't know anyone who was there
i have never been to NYC or to the east coast for that matter

but my life has changed since 9/11, and if you are an American, or even if you are not, your world has changed too.

i was mesmerized by the news during that time and really felt bad for what was happening. i knew that things would change, that things had changed, but i didn't know how or when.

then, one day i made a trip to the public library. i wanted to rent a movie but forgot my card at home. normally, i would just tell them my name, they would type it into the computer, and off i'd go.

but not this day, and not since....

the public library wanted to see my i.d. to rent the movie. and, they said they wouldn't rent to me anymore unless i HAD my card.

what was all the security over renting a movie? why should i have to prove who i was to check something out at the public library?

right then it hit me, my world had changed. just like i would never know a time that there were horses and carriages instead of cars, my kids would never know a time that didn't involve security of all kinds.

do i resent the change? of course not, we are all aware that evil exists and we need to take measures to keep people safe.

but its sad....because the innocence is gone. the innocence of trust and being relaxed.

it is gone.....

my children will read about it in books, learn about it in school, and watch movies. but they won't truly understand how things are different. how the world changed on one day.

and i realized all of this at the library...


humility: the state or quality of being humble

humility - the state or quality of being humble

humility, quite different from being humiliATEd.

this is one of the qualities i love most about my husband. it is a piece of his character that is unmoveable and unchangeable.

the opposite of humility is pride and conceitedness. this is the thing that he finds most difficult to tolerate in others. it's not just a pet peeve, it's something that disgusts him.

mine is truthfulness. i have a really high value for the truth. lie to me, and i will have a difficult time trusting you again. i just can't stand it. and, i think that's one of the things my husband likes most about me.

*what made me think of all this? this praying mantis. i have never seen one before in the wild, let alone where i live. we saw it at my brother-in-law's this weekend for our annual Dawktor family "tennis tournament" weekend. the kids found it and were soooo fascinated by it. of course, i had to get some pictures. i think the shots i got of this guy are some of the best macro pics i've ever done. i am so glad they turned out good, because i've noticed things about this guy that i couldn't see with my naked eye, not until i looked at the photo.

aren't his eyes cool? and i love his bended legs. like he really is praying....i'm sure that's how he got his name!

i really felt that this depicted him in a state of humility, in an attitude of prayer. here are some more of this cool looking dude:
portrait of a praying mantis


i'm afraid this is my future....

oh my GOSH! i must be so bored or way too tired. but i decided to do a search on youtube for funny dancing.

this is what i found. my boys do the booty spanking thing WAY TOO MUCH and i KNOW THAT I KNOW THAT I KNOW that this is my future!

run in fear people. i thought only girls were this silly....


Getting Funky on the Dance Floor

TSE dancing to five for fighting's new song. I tried to video PapaD, he was acting like a real corn ball. but he stopped when he saw me turn the video on.

after TSE was done he asked if i was going to put it on my blog...


SPF & i'm now blogging in beta!!

you heard it right folks, i am now blogging in BETA!!!!

this week's SPFhas no thing. Kristine wants us to post our support, our sacrifice and something red.

1)my support:
I was going to say my husband supports me (yada, yada..everyone will say that right?) but i should probably show something that i/we help with that's philanthropic. so........we are going to Thailand in January. we, meaning my hubs, daughter and i. our church supports an orphanage for children that come from the hill tribes of northern thailand. some are orphans, some have only one parent, but all cannot go to school in this remote area. so some live there just for that. we will visit these children, some young women escaping a future life of prostitution who are going to school for the first time, some young people who our church members are paying for their high school and college educations and an old woman who takes in anyone. since i haven't been there yet, i don't have my own photo to post so here's one i've borrowed from the web. please go view this, many of the tribal children we will see are from the Karen tribe who populate northern thailand and burma. http://flickr.com/photos/ciskatobing/74309359/

2)my sacrifice: last sunday was our church picnic and baptism gathering @ a private residence on the Columbia River. it is an annual event, but i have never attended. a man that i used to attend youth group with in high school was getting baptized, and i was very excited about that. in my zealousness for getting the perfect shot of this special event, i forgot my cell phone was in my pocket. right after he went under and came back up, these big waves started hitting the shore and jostled us around. that was pretty cool....anyway...on my pastor's advice i let my cellphone dry out before i powered it back up. it works, barely, and i have no more screen! but at least i can make and recieve calls! to see his baptism photos you will have to go to my flickr page, but here's my favorite one of the set.
this is what it's all about

3)something red:
need i say more? *red has always been my favorite color!

Did you play?

5 weird things about me...

Lawanda has tagged me for the weird me meme.

Here are the rules: List 5 weird things about yourself or your pets. Tag 5 friends and list them. Then, those people need to write on their blogs about 5 weird things, and state the rules, and tag 5 more people. Dont forget to let the people you tag know by posting a comment on their blog!

I tag: Jana, Donna K, Alison Koh, Sthrn by Grace and Tee.

Weird Fact #1: i love peanut butter. i put peanut butter and white cream cheese on my bagels. i eat peanut butter & syrup on my french toast, waffles and pancakes. i like peanut butter and apples, and chocolate peanut butter ice cream. my hubs think it is WEIRD to eat peanut butter in the morning, but any hour of the day is fine with me!

Weird Fact #2: i hate ironing. my husband has to dress nice for work everyday, he works for our county and has a desk job. he doesn't have to wear a suit and tie, but dress pants and shirts. I DO NOT IRON THEM! he has finally resorted to buying wrinkle free everything as he was going to work with wrinkley clothes WAY TOO OFTEN! it's probably not weird to hate ironing but weird to let your hubs go to work looking like a slob!

Weird Fact #3: i love the smell of gasoline, rubber cement, permanent markers and white out. when i was really little i used to go with my dad to the gas station and hang my head out the window while he filled up! when i was in grade school i used to sniff the rubber cement during Camp Fire Girl Meetings. When i was in High School i could sometimes be caught sniffing my white out!

for proof, go to stephjaychrisben's photo of me in high school here: http://flickr.com/photos/51753925@N00/202560159/

Weird Fact #4: i hate flossing my teeth. i never do it!

Weird Fact #5: i plant flowers and never water them.

O.K., i hope you'll play too!

on being thankful

Water Balloon
Originally uploaded by 3rd foundation.
so being thankful is something i'm not that good at. it's surely not an automatic response, as it rarely occurs.

and this most beautiful lady was teaching tonight at church. the kind that makes you want to barf. the kind that looks like she has NO problems....but then i have to remember that she's a PERSON and all people have PROBLEMS!

anyway, she was talking about being thankful, and i was thinking...yah right lady. go ahead and be thankful!

but then tonight happened.

i don't know if i have ever come right out and said it before, but i have been diagnosed bipolar II. there's a lot i could say about that, but won't. what i do want to say, is that it can be awfully hard to live with someone whose emotions are more powerfully expressed and driven more strongly than most. it can be awfully hard to experience these pressingly strong emotions. it can be awfully hard to have a parent or a child whose moods fluctuate and aren't always based in logic or reason.

so why would that make me thankful?

because i have a husband that sees me TRYING even if i am imperfect or fail miserably.

because i have a husband that forgives some sometimes severe abuse i throw his way.

because i have children that are beautiful, smart, compassionate and caring.

because i can understand people that others are confused by.

because even though i sometimes experience negative emotions in a very powerful way, i can experience good ones in a similarly intense manner.

because i can be absorbed by things that interest me and get lost in the imaginative creative thoughts of my mind.

because i have found a passion in photography again which has allowed me to find beauty and art in everyday things.

because i know i can hate God, be angry with him, call him names, tell him to *F! off and that he understands and is patient with me, and knows i have faith to withstand my anger and confusion with him.

because i love people, and people need to be loved.

because i can make mistakes, and still be forgiven.

because the more i try, the better i get. that old habits can be broken and new, better behaviors can become more automatic.

because i can be.......thankful that is, even if life is messy.


First Day of Kindergarten

looks like he survived his first day of kindergarten
today it was official! all three of my kids are in school! i had a morning free to myself and i didn't even have to pay a babysitter.


the kids were so excited this morning. especially the boys. they could hardly contain themselves! all three got to eat breakfast @ school, as meyers d had to be there early for safety patrol.

after i dropped them off i went to get starbucks for big daddy p's mom and i. the principal was hosting a coffee klatch for all the parents to visit with each other. but we didn't want the regular brew!

afterwards, i came home and got the dog and went for a walk. there's a walking path about a mile from my house. there's also a 4 mile lake in the middle of town. so my plan is to start walking every morning after they go to school.

no more excuses for not exercising! it has always been because of the kids, and now that i have FREE babysitting, no more excuses for me!

soon i will be starting a flickr set of photos of things i see on my walks. and, it will be good exercise for the dog.
get the tissues out - all three of my kids are in school now
meet the teacher night & meyer d's first time @ doing safety patrol
she wouldn't be a REAL kindergarten teacher if she wasn't blurry at this stage of the morning


the longest beach in the world

the parade of flags
Originally uploaded by cameradawktor.
well, the longest beach in the world just hosted the largest kite festival in the world! we had a great time in longbeach, washington for my birthday!

there were lots of people, but it wasn't as crazy as i thought it was going to be.

i can't believe that i have never gone to this event before. it was so fabulous, and such marvelous weather for us.

as soon as we got on the boardwalk, i told max-ay to look for his friend big daddy p and his family. of course, this was just to keep him occuppied because it wasn't like we were actually going to bump into them with all the thousands of people. well we no more than got on the stairs to start the approach on the beach and big daddy p comes running up!

that was a super fabulous surprise. so we met back up with them in the evening, went to their little vacation house and had hot dogs and watched the fireworks together before heading back home.


as soon as we got on the beach, we were so hungry that even meyers d and i resorted to eating cold hot dogs! blaugh! but they were delish!

we went and looked at all the booths with things for sale, and found that the Illwaco HighSchool sports team was raising money for athletics by selling dinners. we got 4lbs. of steamer clams for $20 and an ear of super buttery corn each. i haven't posted those pics yet up on flickr but i'll let you know when i do!

we saw the world's record holder kite flyer man who is over 80 years old. he has a smokin' hot tan, so old ladies, watch out! still am working on those pics too.

all in all, it was definitely one of my top ten bdays of all time, if not higher. flying in a 4 seater plane to go to dinner in Scapoose, Oregon, flying home at sunset....that had to be #1, but this comes pretty dang close to that!

finding friends at the beach is always a pleasant surprise


this is how i look on the morning i've turned thirty-five

so today's my thirty-fifth birthday. last night my parents took us to dinner at a mexican restaraunt. it was really great! papa d and i shared shrimp fajita and tse had quesadilla, while the other two had beef burritos.

poppies (my dad) bought 3 quacamoles to go with the chips & salsa they brought us. max-ay was running out and said, "I want more mockamole!" it was pretty funny.

after dinner i got up out of my chair, tse gave me a BIIIIIGGGG hug and said, "you're sweet.......AND SOUR!"

don't ask me where they get this stuff, really!

at bedtime when they said their prayers, max-ay and meyers d both prayed for me and thanked God that i was born. now how stinkin' sweet is that?!

this morning i laid in bed about as long as is humanly possible for me, got attacked by my kids and hubby, downloaded the pics off my memory card, posted this and a few other birthday dinner pics on flickr and now we are off to the store.

going to buy some hot dogs, buns, s'more supplies, doughnuts (for my birthday breakfast), starbucks coffee (because i DESERVE it) and head off to long beach, washington to see the kite festival. only a little over an hour away and i don't think we've ever been. should be fabulous, besides the thousands of people and kits, for playing and taking hundreds of pictures. whoopee! sounds like heaven to me.........