Thursday, December 16, 2010

Welcome Back!

That welcome is directed to you... and to me! I remember a while back saying that I have been wanting to post but I just hadn't done it. Now I know why. The culprit? BIOL 2710. Otherwise known as Anatomy & Physiology. I laughed, I cried... I wanted to quit. But... I didn't. I finished this intense class this past Monday and am the proud recipient of a solid "B" in the class. I wanted an A, but you know what... I'll take it. This has seriously been the hardest class I have EVER taken and what I have learned... is incredible.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Inspiration

I suck. I have had a gazillion different ideas for postings and I am just so busy that I never get to it. I have all my summer photos on a memory stick and will definitely put them on soon. I have so much to tell you... and so little time.

Friday, August 06, 2010

I don't get it.

I have this statue in my back yard. It is a statue of a little black boy. It is about 12" tall. This statue used to sit on my great grandparents porch in Jeanette, PA. Then it went to my grandparents house, in Detroit. Now... it is in my back yard. I love it. I think it is so cute and reminds me of where it came from.

It used to sit on my porch. One day my neighbor asked, "whats with the black statue?" Did he think I was saying something by having it there? I'm lost. I moved it to my backyard because I like it and really don't want to answer questions about it. What I wanted to ask is "what is your problem with the statue?"

Yesterday I took a photo of Emily practicing for softball tryouts. I posted the photo on my facebook and said I was very proud of her. I didn't realize my statue was in the photo until someone posted "who's on third base?" At first I thought he was referring to her coach who happened to be next to her until Emily pointed out the statue would be on third if we were actually at a ball park.

Rewind to Fourth of July weekend. We went camping with a group of people that we had not camped with before. One of which happened to be the neighbor that asked about the statue. The campground was packed. There were people from all ethnicities camping there. All we heard all weekend were racial slurs from the people we were with (many of the other adults). I actually could not believe how freely these people were speaking. It was extremely disturbing for me and I didn't care for my children to be subject to that either. The way I see it... people were camping. Camping with their families. No one was murdered. No one was raped. There were no drug overdoses... etc. People were camping. What is the problem.

I found myself unsure of how I should have handled it. I felt that my family was the minority in the group we were with. We don't share in their racist feelings or remarks. How would you handle this? What is the right way to handle this situation?

Back to my little statue. The person that asked "who's on third base" was someone we camped with that weekend (a relative of the neighbor mentioned above). While I think this guy is really cool, his racist remarks are a bit more than I can bear. I had to wait 24 hours before I responded to the question because I was once again shocked... that he went there. What the heck!

The hard part is that I really like all of these people until they open their mouths and shit like that comes out. I really... don't want to hear it.

I really could use some advice on how I should handle this in the future. I understand people are entitled to their opinions, however if I wanted their opinion, I would have asked for it. I'm sick of being subjected to it. If I shared in their feelings towards people, I wouldn't be working in health care. I feel all people should be treated equally unless they prove that they are scum of the earth. Finally, I like my little statue and don't understand how this is considered a racist thing.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Dammit!

Now that I've done a tour of Jro's house I have to clean mine. DAMMIT!! TOOOOO CUTE! Totally inspired to clean up my dump!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Twenty One years and still...





I sat in her room by the window. The sunlight was coming in - warming the cream colored bedspread as she lay there sleeping. It was so peaceful that afternoon. I sat for an hour or more, thumbing through the pages of People Magazine featuring Lucille Ball. After a while, my grandma woke up. "How long have you been here?" she asked. "Not long" I replied. "You can go back to sleep Grandma. You don't need to stay awake just because I'm here."


My Grandma was in Royal Oak Beaumont for an illness that I can't quite remember. I can't recall much more of that afternoon, however the peace that came over me is forever etched in my mind.


I had planned on going to see her again that Friday, but instead chose to take my nephew Christopher shopping for new shoes. He was all of two or three at the time. We spent that afternoon together then returned home. CJ (Christophers brother) was less than a month old. I stood in the living room holding him when Jan gave me the devistating news. My Grandma had passed - unexpectedly. I wanted to drop to the floor. I wanted to run. I wanted to punch something. Jan held me tight while I lost all control. This woman was loved and adored. This... was a tremendous loss.




I think of Grandma Gladys every time I watch the Golden Girls. She loved that show so much and everytime I watch it, I feel like I am being punched in the gut. I watch it and remember the glass door knobs in her house. The sunlight coming in her back room. Biscuits & Gravy. The smell of Prell Shampoo. Walking to the Dairy-O with my cousin to bring her back dessert. And every time another Golden Girl passes away, it reminds me of how long ago Grandma died. And every time, I miss her even more. It has been 21 Years... and I still remember her voice.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Getting There...

Not too long ago, I went on a tirade about my weight and being out of shape. As luck would have it, the gazillion steps I take in a day at work have gotten the ball rolling. While I have no idea if I've lost even a single pound, I can tell you that my pants are so much more comfortable now that I am not comparing them to sausage wrap. My training from hell has ended and my hours have tapered off. Just enough so that I can actually breathe.

I have taken the initiative and found 5K walk/runs in my area. My next step was to actually calculate how far 5K is (3.11 miles). The walk I'm eyeing is actually in Howell. It is in August and is affectionately named the Howell Melon Run... or something along those lines. I also have a partner doing it with me. The resident 11 year old has agreed to do this with me... that is until she saw how far 3.11 miles is. For some odd reason she had it in her head that she would not be able to carry a water bottle on her "walk". She even made mention that she was going to "can" her water so she could wear one of those beer can helmets (the one that holds 2 cans simultaneously). Once I informed her she absolutely CAN carry water with her, she was back on the mission.

Next, I found this awesome website Map My Run. It allowed me to start at my house, then go through my neighborhood street by street, calculating a route that would be approximately 3.5 miles. I even found an additional route in case we get sick of the neighborhood one.

My next step... taking the plunge. Actually printing off the registration form and sending it in. THEN... I am committed. I am eager to get to this step, and to get moving. :)

I am excited, nervous and a bit apprehensive about this HUGE step. I have never done anything like it, but am ready. Once I calculate my time for my walks, I will start posting them for everyone to follow my progress.

Namaste.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Another Gregism

G: Mom, where is my radius?
M - points to long bone that runs on thumb side of G's arm.
G: Mom, you know what my favorite part of my body is?
M - thinks G will say his radius.
G: My arms - cause their tan and when they are tan, I'm a hottie!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Litter

If I were to throw a straw wrapper out of my car window (which I would NEVER do), it is littering. Yet people throw cigarette butts all over the place, including the ground when walking into a store. Is that not littering too? That REALLY pisses me off.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

ADD

UPDATE: As it turned out, Greg did not have ADD. Imagine my surprise when I took them for their first ever eye doctor appointments only to find out he could not see the board! He had a lazy eye and was in desperate need of glasses. Once his vision was corrected, voila! Problem solved! We never knew he could not see because he never complained about it. Get your kids vision checked. Don't wait as long as we did. My bad!

Greg's been having issues in school lately. It's very odd. The kid is incredibly smart (knowing all of his presidents and which order they are among other things). But this we have been racking our brains wondering why he isn't doing well in some subjects. Actually almost all of them.

This week, his teacher said he is showing signs of having ADD. I will be the first to admit that I always thought ADD/ADHD were just another excuse not to "parent" your kids. Well, if you know Greg, you know he is actually really well behaved. He is very sweet, compassionate, loving, etc. He just gets "distracted". Once I started looking into ADD and symptoms, I could answer "yes" to almost every question.

We have an appointment on Tuesday with our family physician to see what needs to be done. We are absolutely ADAMANT that we do not want him put on any meds of any type. I just don't need my kid to be chemically altered. We are willing to change his diet, or do whatever is necessary to avoid this from happening.

Does anyone have any information on ADD and natural treatments or remedies? I'm not really looking for supplements either. More just "changes" or have you heard anything about those titanium necklaces?

Your thoughts please...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another Lesson Learned...

My ER career started in 1996. In all my years in the ER, I never learned the lesson that I have this week.

NEVER... get sick at the same time as your spouse or "life partner".

So many times in the past couple weeks, we have gotten people who come in for a "quickie" and want to be released asap because they have an ailing spouse at home that needs them.

Folks. NOTHING is quick in the ER. When you see well over 200 people per day and they all need labs, xrays, ct scans, MRI's, IV therapy, yadda, yadda, yadda... nothing is quick. And it's not like the staff just stuck you in a bed and forgot you existed. Just because we drove a needle into your arm and pumped you full of juice, doesn't mean your lab work is done el pronto. Just because you are back from CT, doesn't mean VOILA! Go HOME! What's the point of having a CT done if you're not going to wait the time to have it read?

Stress tests? Just because you didn't pass out on the treadmill doesn't mean the test is over. All those wires they hook up to you sends readings to a computer that track the electrical impulses of your beating heart. Digesting all that info and disecting your ticker takes a few hours. So plant yourself. Put a smile on your face and plan on spending a few hours with us. We're glad you are here.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Weakness

What are your weaknesses? I'm sure you've all been asked this question during job interviews. I never know how to answer it. However in my short stint with the hospital one has reared it's ugly head. Prisoners. I have NOTHING for them. Zero. No compassion, no caring. Nothing. I go through the motions taking vital signs, drawing blood and that's it. The prisoners come in from correctional facilities for medical treatment. They come in for health problems and for other things, including the ingestion of items that shouldn't be eaten.

In my profession, we are supposed to treat all people equally and with dignity. It is virtually impossible for me to do this when every shred of my being is telling me this person is a dirtball, thug, and is incarcerated for something pretty major, including murder. Today while doing vital signs on one of these "patients", one of the guards stood up and came to the side of the bed. Seeing this huge, brick shit house of a guy stand guard totally rattled my cage. I watched carefully while taking el creepo's temperature just in case he may have the sudden urge to lunge forward and bite my hand off. These people are creepy beyond all get out.

Is my behavior irrational? It is blatantly obvious that I would have NEVER done well in law enforcement.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Cats! Or should I say Pigs!

The cat bowls are separated so that I can control how much each cat is eating. Charlie's bowl is on the stairs to the basement and Pumpkins is in front of the washer (which is upstairs, right by the stairs). At night both kitties are put into the basement (no worries, it's finished - no dungeon feel here). They have food, water and the litter box at their disposal.

I used to have the food on the upper stair, and the water one step down. That is until I kept having to empty it due to food floaties. Now the water is above the food.

Can someone please tell me HOW in tarnations the food got INTO the water bowl last night?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Cross

Tomorrow Greg will make his First Communion. Sometimes you send your child to religious ed, and wonder if he understands what they are telling him. The fact that he constructed a wooden cross out of 2x4's, is an indication that he's getting it. Attempting to nail Emily's Cabbage Patch doll to it? Message received. Need I say more?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Cube

I LOVE this product!! I found it at Macy's recently. It is in the Martha Stewart collection and it is a lunch cube. The thing I like best about this cube is that you no longer need those expensive, earth littering plastic bags for lunch! Plus it protects its precious cargo from getting smashed under heavier objects.

I tried to put photos here for you to see but their website isn't set up so you can hijack a photo. So click the link to see this cool cube!

To open it, you flip open the blue "sistema" lock. It helps if your sandwich is on top when you do this. When it opens in half, the sandwich will be on one side with a lid protecting it, and there are two other compartments on the other side. Again, make sure the sandwich is on top when you open it or the other items will fall out. This hasn't been that big of an issue.

I have been packing a lot more lunches for my kids now thanks to Jamie Oliver and his lovely demonstration on what chicken nuggets are made of.

The lunch cube was the best $5 I have spent this year. It is easy to clean, easy to use, and earth friendly. What could be better!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

1 week, 4 days

That is how long I have been training for my new "positions". I believe the training to work in the White House is less intense than this. I literally feel like I've been in a cattle chute for the 9 days straight. 90% of the time I have no idea where I am going for my training (ie class, floor, basement), but I still manage to get there. I am not complaining. Well actually I am a little. I am getting paid an awesome wage to sit in a classroom day after day after day, however tonight I am training from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm, then have to return tomorrow at 8:30 for another class. I.... am tired already. lol

I have a new found respect for those that have to wear business attire day after day and sit all day long. I am looking forward to wearing my scrubs, which feel like pajamas and running my tush off taking care of patients.

Remind me I said that about 6 months from now when I'm complaining about that too, ;)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tech in Training

Last December I sat in the office of the Assistant Clinical Nurse Manager at Henry Ford Hospital. I was being interviewed. When he told me there were well over 350 applicants for 1 position, I suddenly felt very lucky to be sitting there whether I got the job or not.

Fast-forward a couple months. I still hadn't heard anything from the ER when I was called to interview for a position in the Observation Unit. It was the most bizarre interview I had ever been on. I sat in this tiny little office, sweating bullets as 3 supervisors asked me questions that appeared to be printed off the internet. "In the last six months at your last job how many times did you call in sick?" he said in a monotone voice. When I say bizarre, I mean bizarre. At least with my other interview it was more of a conversation. This one was cut and dry and barely any talking. Thank god for deoderant. I walked out thinking, There is no way in hell I got this one.
As always I sent thank you letters immediately after both interviews and called two weeks later. When I called the nursing recuriter (HR), I was told that both departments wanted to hire me, but they were waiting on additional paperwork. I thought I would rupture something, I was so excited.
Finally the call came for the Observation Unit. They wanted an answer on the spot. Before I answered I asked, "What about the ER?". "Do you want the ER instead" Tom asked? "Well... is there any reason I can't take both since they are both contingent?" I replied. "Sure you can" he answered. So... I took both since they both require a minimum of 2 days per month.
Fast forward again...
I started training yesterday and had to go down to One Ford Place, which is a short jaunt from Wayne State University. It was the first day of new employee orientation. I sat in the room with approximately 50 other newbies. Time after time, I noticed my jawl wide open after hearing comments that I thought were fairly surprising. "Unfortunately I will be at Henry Ford Main" one girl said. Unfortunately? I thought. FORTUNATELY YOU ARE NOT STANDING IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE, DING BELL! She thought it was unfortunate that she had to drive from New Baltimore. Funny... I don't recall anyone twisting my arm when I applied.
The jawl dropping comments started while we were doing our introductions. One asshole stands up and says he is a retired firefighter. "I worked 3 days per week, which if you calculate it out folks, averages 70-something days per year! Not bad for $85,000 huh?" Really ass munch? Cause last time I checked three 24 hour shifts equals 72 hours per week. It's short of working 2 full time jobs, not to mention the trauma and carnage that is forever burned into your brain. Is THAT worth $85,000 per year?
During the break I met one woman out at the coffee station. She will be working as a Unit Secretary on midnights in the same ER as I. "They said they are 12 hour shifts, but there is no way I can go 12 hours without a cigarette, so I told them I need 8's" she tells me. "Where did you work before?" I asked. "Automotive. I got laid-off" she answered. Seriously? Desperado finally found a job and now she needs time to smoke?
Needless to say, I am thanking my lucky stars to be where I am now. That's all I got to say about that!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The News

One thing I love about traveling is watching the News in other cities. Seeing different faces tell of different stories actually confirms, "Yes... you are not at home" There is just something about it that makes me a bit giddy.

In our house we watch either WXYZ (ch 7), WDIV (ch 4), or Fox (2). Watching Fox is like watching paint dry. You know it is a slow news day when they pick up the newspaper and proceed to read it to you. Or when they cook. GAWD I HATE it when they cook. Cooking should NOT be on the news. There is a whole network devoted to that. Regardless, the airheads on Fox get on my last nerve so I would rather watch anything else... but that.

Lately I've been watching WMYD TV 20. I'm not sure why. I can tell you that watching an unfamiliar channel and catching the news is like being on vacation. Different faces telling somewhat different stories. That's just my .02 cents.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What I Want

A Lemon candle that smells like lemon. NOT lemon cream.

Real Maple Syrup from a local that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to buy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Morning in the Life of...

6:49 am - Mollie wimpers from her crate at the end of my bed. "Lay down!" tell her.

6:50 am - alarm goes off. You've GOT to be kidding.

6:50:25 am - Mollie blows the doors off of the cats in the hallway, running for the back door.

6:51 am - Mollie damn near breaks the bell off the door trying to get outside before she poops her pants.

6:53 am - Let Mollie back in. Chase her out of cats bowl. Feed all of the above.

6:55 am - Make coffee, turn on channel 7. Say Good Morning to Eric Smith.

7:00 am - wake up the kids. Smooch all over Greg's neck while he giggles pretending to sleep.

7:15 am - wake kids up again. More Smooches

7:30 am - wake kids up again, singing "Going down the Cat Walk... You'll be having a ball... cat walk" (If they are not in the car by 8:02, the have to walk down the catwalk to the school).

7:45 am - ask 15 times what they want for breakfast.

7:55 am - argue with Greg to STOP TALKING and eat.

8:00 am - tell them to stop screwing around in the bathroom, and brush their teeth.

8:05 am - whew... don't have to deal with parking lot (insert catwalk here)

8:10 am - ask them if they plan on going to school today.

8:11 am - leave. Drop off at you know where.

8:13 am - come back home.

8:14 - 9:00 am - catch up on GMA and ENJOY the silence. 7 hours until chaos begins again.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Time

For those of you who wish you had the time to get things done, I implore you to take a class. Take a class that consumes so much of your time, that you can't do anything else. When it is over... you will find that you had plenty of time to get things done. You just didn't see it. :)

My english class is over. I am just waiting on my final grade. On May 24th, I start Anatomy & Physiology. The final class needed before taking the HESI test and applying for the nursing program. I plan to use the time between now and then, to get things done... now that I see that I have time, lol.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Monday, March 01, 2010

What Planted the Seed

Did I ever tell you that I collect cookbooks? My Aunt Valerie gave me this one back in 1998. Dennis and I had been married one year. The other night while working on my meal plan for March, I pulled it out. I started going through it, and was overcome by the history within the pages.



This cookbook is from the Washigton Historical Society. Washington Township is where Dennis works as a firefighter/paramedic.
I love it when my cookbooks are inscribed. When I see this, I am flooded with memories of that time. I run my finger over the impression that the pen left on the paper.

If you can read the Preface, you will see that it was made in 1994. Dennis and I were only dating. He had just gotten onto the Fire Department. It is amazing how fast 16 years can go by.






Did you ever see 13 Going on 30? There is a part in the movie where Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo (total hottie) are swinging on a swing set, and are competing to see who can jump the furthest. The winner has to pay for dinner on Friday night and an Orange Julius. I always wanted to know what an Orange Julius was... and now I do. And now I want one too.





Glog. What the hell is glog? It sounds like something that someone would cough up into a tissue.


Anyone up for this challenge??





This recipe hit me like a ton of bricks. Mrs. George Atkins. Do you call yourself by Mrs. _______? No. We go by Valerie Milobar, or _________
Life has gotten so informal. (rant o' rama coming) What the hell is with people wearing pajama pants in public? Seriously people?? Have a little common decency. Church. Have you been to church lately? Did you see what they wear to church? Ok... need to refocus.









I LOVE the history at the top of this recipe. These people are long gone, but their family has not forgotten them.
Ultimately I love the typing on the recipe cards. There was no spell check, dictionary.com or anything like we have now. I will admit that I love my computer and that I can go over something ten-fold before sending it out with horrific errors on it. But the typewriter. Remember how if you pushed too many keys at once, the arms would get stuck up in the air and you would need to unjam them?
Aaahhhhh history.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

History

Seasons change. People change. I was never interested in history until fairly recently. For me, my passion is local history. Local meaning anywhere in MI, not just in my backyard. It started a few years ago. In Shelby Township there is an intersection where 24 Mile Road and Van Dyke cross. Before it became part of Shelby Township, the area used to be called Disco. Before Emily was born in 1999, I remember reading about the Hope Baptist Church. The church was an original structure still standing where it was built. The members of the church wanted to move it to the Shelby Township municipal grounds to be kept as a historical building. After this was accomplished in 2001, they built a new church on the property.

Another area that I have discovered is the town of Davis which is sort of between Ray Township and Washington Township at 27 Mile road and Romeo Plank Roads.


The Prestonville Cemetery is very intriguing to me as well. It rests on 25 Mile Road, west of Schoenherr. The headstones in this cemetery are so old, they are almost ineligible.


One of the links above will take you to many of the places I have discussed. When looking at photos I saw a photo of an old farmhouse in Prestonville. Not long ago, that house also sat at the corner of 25 mile and Schoenherr. I always dreamed of bringing it back to it's original glory. The house sat on the corner of the intersection with a very large yard, where the chicken coop still stands proud. There was a creek on the north side of the house, and the entire lot was shaded by tall trees. The house is no longer there, and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to admire it before it was taken down.


I am most intrigued by the fact that people walked this same area so many years before us. We live in a world where every family has 2+ cars, a TV in every room of the house, mp3 players, cable, electricity, city services, a mall within a few miles and god knows other countless amenities, and yet the people before us, lived such a simple life. They had it hard and worked hard, but they simply... lived. They made it work with what they had and they were proud. I sometimes think I could have lived in this time period. Free from the distractions that we have brought on ourselves.


It almost makes me feel bad that we have so much, even though we worked for what we have. Why does it take so much to make people happy? They say money can't buy happiness, however look how much crap we have laying around our homes. Crap. That's all it is. Are you happy? Cause I'm not. I could easily get rid of half the stuff in this house and be completely content.

Believe it or not, I actually had not planned on telling you this much. Something I did last night brought all of this on. My next post will be what I intended it to be. This just took on a life of its own, and I needed to put it out there.

Sorry dear readers. I am the person that will bring the car to a screeching halt just to go wander through an old cemetery dreaming of the life these people lived.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Insert Photos Here

I have so much to tell you, but really wanted to post with photos. You see... I am a technical anomaly. I have no idea what I am doing, but can usually figure it out. Except when it comes to taking photos off my camera and putting them on here were you can see them. Which reminds me... put photos on pc - onto CD's.

Moving along.

The dog.

Mollie is a GREAT dog. She is a Shih Tzu Yorkie mix. A designer dog if you will. Long story short... Neighbor and his sister bought Mollie for their mom Christmas 2008. Mollie was an unwelcomed gift. Mollie ended up at sisters house where she was never house trained, and yelled at a lot. Fast forward. Christmas 2009. Mollie ends up back with neighbor. During the week, I let neighbors dog out 2x daily to potty. Mollie was crated for 10 hours per day, and only out those two times to potty. Insert my broken heart here.

We gave Mollie a trial. Brought her to our house to see how the cats would handle her. No problem what so ever. Decided to take her. Still working on house breaking but all in all, she is one great dog. Love her, Love her, Love her. Had her spayed this week. Emily was a disaster saying they wrecked her dog. Let's just say Mollie was higher than a kite, and I too was a bit worried, but knew she would snap out of it. Mollie is recovering well.

The room.

2 years ago when I left my job, I had full intentions to paint Emily's room. 2 years later it wasn't done. We even went so far as to sell her bunk beds to prepare for it. The poor child has been sleeping on mattresses on the floor ever since. This week is midwinter break for the kids. Luckily, Dennis's time off stretch fell this week too. Since we are so broke we can't even pay attention, we decided to get the damn room done! Monday we stripped everything out of the room. Picked the color, headed off to Lowes and bought everything we needed. Fast forward to Thursday (today). Room is painted. Mouldings are redone. New closet doors. Carpeting cleaned. Furniture cleaned. Waiting on lady on Craigslist to decide if our offer is good for a new bed (like new - which matches her pricey dresser & hope chest), and a desk.

CraZinEss!! I am worn out, but am super happy to report... the birds are building a nest in the bird house on our patio. You know what that means... spring is right around the corner my friends. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Question

Did you ever walk into someone's house and it was such a dump that it actually made you mad? Like you are stunned that they could actually live like that, let alone let other people see the chaos?

I never thought something like that would bother me, but obviously it did. I'll leave it at that.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The first of many...

My Uncle Jerry died last Sunday. This week we buried him in the most beautiful and serene cemetary I have ever seen. It sits up on a hill and is filled with trees.

Saturday was my birthday. I feel bad that so soon after losing her husband, lover and best friend, my aunt sent me the first birthday card I have ever gotten, without my Uncle's name on it.

I am so sad for her although we all know his passing was the best thing for him. Yet she still sent me a card. It's bittersweet.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The 8 lb. Wedding Ring

After battling a contact dermatitis on my left ring finger since last fall, I finally made the appointment and went to the Doctor yesterday. After being weighed and checking my chart we have found that I have also lost 8 pounds since December! NOW... we are talking.

One look and the doc determined I now have an allergy to nickel which is many times mixed with gold. I told him it felt like my ring was trying to weld itself to my finger, lol. Regardless, I am on the mend, and need to get with our jeweler to see what they can do to fix my ring. I HATE not wearing my wedding ring. I feel like it is a part of who I am, and should sit on my finger where he placed it almost 13 years ago.

Who would have thought that ring would weigh 8 pounds! ;)

Monday, February 01, 2010

It's all about me

Late last week, I had a breakdown. The minutes during which I cried my heart out were preceded by weeks of feeling so terrible, I could vomit. I am so ashamed of myself. This is where you just read and do not reply with your pity on me.

I have let myself become more than 50 pounds overweight. I... let this happen. I have been so busy putting irons into the fire, rather than taking care of myself. I used this as a smoke screen so that I could just... be. I am so ashamed of myself.

I have had enough. I am sick and tired... of feeling sick and tired. I am sick and tired of how my clothes feel like sausage wrap. I am sick and tired of wearing the SAME WARDROBE day in and day out, because I am not putting more money into dressing THIS frame. I am sick and tired.

AND I AM DONE.

I guess you need to hit rock bottom and become so pissed at yourself that you end up where I am now. I AM DONE.

Starting immediately, I am working out 3-4 times per week. I am eating healthier, smaller, more frequent meals. I am done.

I am done being the "yes" girl that volunteers to do everything for everyone else. I am done.
I am done being everything to everyone else, while letting my health slide. I am done.
I am done being everyone's fat friend. I am done. Shut it and let me vent.
I am done being out of breath after doing simple housework. I AM DONE.
I am on a mission. A mission to get rid of this 50 extra pounds of shit that I have been carrying around. I AM DONE.

I have a goal. I want to walk. I want to work towards a goal of walking in a 5K marathon and I need a friend to do it with me. THIS... is just the beginning of the rest of my life.

This month, I will turn 38. I vow to shed this 50 pounds before my 39th birthday.

Friday, January 29, 2010

For Miranda

This has been hanging on my refridgerator for YEARS. It is my mantra when it comes to housekeeping!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

He's the Man!

Oddly enough I had something else to blog about when I sat down. However as I was changing my layout and backround, the phone rang.

It was the Union Secretary from the Alpena Fire Department, calling for Dennis. Alpena. Isn't that like wayyyy up north? (Note to self: Look at a map) Anyway, he called needing to ask Dennis a question regarding Fire Fighter stuff.

Wow. A dude from Alpena is calling MY HUSBAND to ask HIM a question. WOW.

HE is the MAN! (I know. Y'all think I'm nuts. My cat's and now dog are my co-workers. What do you want.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I can do this!

Aside from the really poor grade I received on my first quiz, I think I am up for the challenge of my English Class. As I mentioned before, Melanie liked the idea of me taking it, and thought it would be very beneficial for my bloggers block, and to really sharpen my mind when it comes to writing.

My first paper was to be an essay describing an inanimate object. I chose to write about our patio. Lucky for me, our patio is another room. It isn't enclosed, however it is our most favorite place to be on a hot summer day, so I used my passion for this space to write about.

I am proud to report that I received an A on that essay! My teacher also wrote some really wonderful things about my writing style.

So I not only am I accepting this compliment, I am thanking all of my blog readers for being there. If you were not reading my dumb little posts, I would have stopped writing long ago. But because you ARE there, I am still writing and I really believe that by blogging, it keeps our literary knives sharpened, our imaginations flowing, and our minds fresh.

Blog on my friends, blog on.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

America's Test Kitchen

I LOVE this show. It is on Public Television (check local listings for channel & times).

America's Test Kitchen is sort of a variety show that shows you HOW to cook foods, why recipe's don't always turn out, the best bang for your buck when it comes to kitchen equipment and all things kitchen related.

Today they showed how to make a "French Omelette" that appeared to be so easy, even I could make it!

They also showed an awesome recipe for homemade blueberry muffins that I just CAN NOT wait to make.

In the mean time, I thought I would send you the link so that you can check it out.
I did register (free) with them to view the recipe's. They are worth it. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mush

OMG... my brain is mush. This week I started an online English class which means I only have 1 more class to take before I can apply for the Nursing program at the college.

Doing this online is totally turning me into a nut case. There are so many things that have to be done, and trying to keep track is making me crazy. Not to mention we had to do our first essay.

We had to write a descriptive essay on an inanimate object and give it life. PLUS we had to write and outline. THIS is something I haven't done in a gazillion years.

I have come to a conclusion though... I suddenly remembered today why I received a "C" the first time around. English - was my instructor's second language. I recall her accent being so heavy that half the time we had no idea what she was talking about. Nowing now what I did not know then... I should have dropped the class, or switched to another class. I was just a dumb 18 year old then and didn't understand how important it was to UNDERSTAND what the instructor is teaching you!

Melanie thinks this class could really stir up my creative juices. Of course she would say that. Her degree is in this type of field, lol. Let's just hope she is write or is it right... lol

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hodge Podge

I feel like a few of you according to your blogs.. In a funk. Here is what is going on in my world at the moment...

The dog. Why won't she just ring the damn bell so we can put her outside to pee? But she did sleep MUCH BETTER last night... in her crate.

The interview. I had an interview at a local hospital between Christmas & New Years. Haven't heard too much, but what I have heard... is positive. Operators are standing by.

The house. Why can't I get motivated to get my kids rooms painted? The paint at Lowes is on sale RIGHT NOW and I'm not even ready for it.

The kitchen. Why did Dennis clean up OUR mess from yesterday. Em had an indoor tournament in Flint yesterday and with that, the kitchen/living room looked terrible. We came home, built a fire and I played games with her. He on the other hand... was at work.

The tournament. I am getting sick of making this team of her's a priority when they are only making her an option. We have sank over $700 into this team thus far, and I watched my kid sit on a bucket yesterday for the 3rd game. She put on her catchers gear, caught 3 balls, and the inning ended. The next inning, the girl that was pitching, was now catching... and she wasn't even brought onto the team as a catcher. Once again, watched my kid... sit on a bucket. We're considering our options. Last year she sat A LOT and we were told it was because she was like the JV player on the varsity team. Now... she's the varsity player... and I get the feeling the team is playing favorites with the "jv" players. Politics. My kid just wants to play the fricken game.

TS. I thought promoting to Team Leader in my TS business was going to be exciting. I thought it would be fun. It hasn't been. I signed on 3 new people in October/November. I have a feeling 2 of them jumped in w/o really thinking about what they were going to be doing, and will be deactivating. I feel so defeated, and am no longer interested in leadership. I am starting to think I am no longer interested in the business period. This happening has totally made it lose it's luster for me. I will add that these two need to do what is best for them and not for me or anyone else.

The dog... why won't she ring that damn bell to go outside?

Hmmm... I wonder if I should beef up my vitamin D. I bet that is the whole reason I feel like I'm in such a funk.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Change of Heart

Ok, today not so much of a dog lover. This one year old dog is NOT housebroken. Last night I was up at 3:30 while she went and effed around in the backyard. I almost left her out there because I was so pissed. I have her crate in my room, and am moving it out today. I've had enough!

HELP!!!! Any tips on housebreaking this dog?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Secret

Have you read the book The Secret? I read about half of it, then realized that it seemed to keep saying the same thing, over and over. Regardless, it talks about the universe and how you can get the things you need or want by the messages you send out into the universe.

In December, Greg's teacher had a baby girl. Molly Marie is her name, however I kept thinking "Molly May, Molly May, Molly May... or May not!".

Fast forward to the time around Christmas. Something you may not know about me is that I go to my neighbors house two times daily to let their dog Mia out. I do this because they are wonderful people that work long hours. So Mia goes out at 11 am and again at 3 pm. I've been doing this for quite a while now.

Around Christmas, Helen texts me with a photo of a very cute little dog. Her name is Mollie May. She said she is Mike's (her husband) mom's dog and is staying with them for a few days. How funny... teacher has baby - names it Molly Marie. I keep thinking "Molly May" and BAM... a dog shows up!

And then it started... Apparently Mike and his sister had this grand idea to give their mom Mollie last Christmas, and it was not a well received gift. The dog ended up living at his sisters for a year and ultimately ended up at Helen & Mike's. They started working very hard to find this pooch a home. The first few times I saw this dog I thought, "Oh hell no". She was in her crate, SCREAMING as if her leg was caught. I would let her outside, then put her back in the crate. Aside from about 20 minutes outside of the cage daily, she spent the remaining 9 hours and 40+ minutes caged. EVERYDAY.

We all knew this could not last, however they did not know this dog well enough to leave her out of the crate all day. Helen & Mike kept working to find her a home, which included hitting me up multiple times.

One night, the kids and I were there. I started to really watch this dog, and how she handled having so many people flocking to her. I should mention that she is either a Shih-poo or a Yorkie-poo. She looks like a Shih more than a Yorkie for sure. She is only one year old. Regardless, she was really very sweet. That screaming dog that left that awful first impression on me, no longer existed. She just wanted people.

The next day I talked to Dennis about her. We decided to give her a whirl and bring her to our house for a few hours to see how the cats would react to her. When she came in, Pumpkin practically jumped out of his fur. Charlie was intrigued. She was only there for about 1 hour.
The next day we brought her to our house again. This time was for a few more hours. The cats were not sure what to make of her, but they were less intimidated.

The third day, we brought her for the whole day. The novelty of the dog wore off for the cats. They could care less. We decided that unless this dog is a very good actor, she is actually quite a good little pooch.

We took the plunge. Introducing the newest member of the Milobar household...
Mollie May Milobar









Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Inspiration!


Recently on The Rudolph Family Tree, Miranda posted a recipe for a Cranberry Orange Pork Loin. I emailed her, requesting the recipe. At the bottom of her reply, she talked about meal planning and how she started doing it one week at a time, then moved on to a full month. I... was inspired. I went on to Outlook Office and printed off a blank - December calendar, and planned meals for the last 2 weeks of the month. As I filled out the calendar, I went through my pantry and freezer to see what my meals would require. And that's when I hit the spice cabinet. Ohhhh the spice cabinet. The great abyss, chock full of crap we bought, inherited, and were given. The shelves had spots sticky with an unknown goo, and dried spice crumbs all over. It did smell pretty good. I started out by emptying the entire cabinet onto the counter. That shiny silver thing in the background with tomato's on it... is my prized latte maker. You should pick one up :)

I should have taken a photo of the cabinet BEFORE I emptied it out, but the idea of blogging this project didn't strike me until AFTER I had covered the counter. My DH thought I was positively off my rocker as I was shooting photos of crap we cook with.

Inquiring minds want to know... how many of you have this Zehnders chicken seasoning in your cabinet? I highly suggest you get one if you don't. It's awesome on split chicken breasts, roasted in the oven!



As with the Zehnders, everyone could use a good ole' "butt massage". Takes pork to a totally new level!


Aahhh look! In typical Valerie fashion... I have items in multiples. Did I ever tell you I found 6, yes SIX cans of shortening in my pantry once? Every time I made butter cream frosting, I kept buying a new one. Needless to say the garbage was very heavy that week.



Raisins... in the spice cabinet. Who'd a thunk it?


Hmmm... here's an interesting find. Do the math.

Hmmm. Another interesting thing I came across. They are the SAME THING!!!

Yep. Valerie's been here.

These are from the Weber Grill restaurant in Chitown. Dennis and I practically beat each other up over this sampler platter that you could lick clean. The awesome waitress gave us a hand full of seasoning packets. This is all that is left.

I was never so happy to throw so much out. My fresh new garbage bag was 1/2 full by the time I was finished. I cleaned the shelves, and restocked the cabinet. The riser shown is from... Target I think. It raises your spices up so you can see them. It extends to almost any cabinet width. TIP: If you store your spices upside down, the spice pushes the air out of the bottle and keeps it out, thus keeping your spices fresher longer. My TS spices are inverted because they contain no preservatives.


This... This was a rare find. First off... this archaic spice came from a store that is no longer in business... Farmer Jack.
Secondly... it is older than my 10 year old.
It expired in... 1998. How... in the world... did it get there?
I haven't even lived in this HOUSE... that long!! I should have kept it. Just because.
Having completed this project, my 2 weeks of planned meals sailed through amazingly. Now I'm working on planning out the month of January, but suddenly I feel like a one hit wonder.
And the Cranberry Orange Pork Loin? It was down right fricken awesome!
Do you have any recipes to share to make my life a bit easier?