Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Look What I Can Do, Mom!!! (And everyone else too...)

My glass fusing class is over and I have to say - when your friends are right, they are RIGHT. It was so totally and completely cool! I loved it and it was very therapeutic. Probably the best part about it, however, was when I brought my plates home. My youngest got SUPER excited and just raved about them. (wow!) He can't wait to do it himself now.

Here's the first plate I made...I kept it flat so I could hang it in my bedroom or bathroom. I made it purposely to go with my green rooms. I cut the leaves and used a "tack fuse" to make them stick to the base.


Here's the second plate I made. I'm extremely pleased with this - I wanted to make a neat "tapas" plate to use in my blue and white kitchen and this turned out just as I imagined! (Well...more or less....but it sure is better art than I would have expected from me.) I'm also pretty proud of this one because I made the mold for this one by hand. This is a "full fuse" - thus it isn't bumpy.


Here's plate number three. It is also a "tack fuse" (i.e. - bumpy) but this time it's a circle.


There's one more that has yet to be "slumped" (molded) - I have to wait a few days for that one but I just couldn't wait to post about the first three! I have already named plate number four my "Skittles Bowl" - you'll see why if it works out and doesn't break in the kiln.

So....go ahead. Ooooo and aaaaahhhh over my art.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Poor Little Puppy

We found out last week that my dog had lots of bladder stones. (And...lest you ask like one of my friends at work, who has continued to ask me over and over....NO - I do NOT feed my dog bad food. He eats Purina only - no people food.)

We knew he had a lot of stones but we had NO IDEA how bad it was until the doctor showed us a vial full and then told us that was only 1/5 of the amount in his entire bladder. Poor baby! He must have been in horrible pain. Now he's just sleepy and sore.

The worst part, however, was this morning when I took him to the vet. He had some painful exams last week as we were trying to figure out what was wrong so he was very upset about me taking him back there. He was kind of yelling at me (if you know what I mean about dogs yelling...) - clearly trying to tell me that I didn't understand, that these people really hurt him.

I, of course, felt so guilty because there's no way for me to explain to him that I know but it's all for the best!

So I say again....poor, poor little puppy.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mom the T-Rex

I got a funny Facebook message from the head of the daycare where I used to work. My son is attending the summer camp there and after they visited the dinosaur park in Bastrop, he told her: "My mom was a vegetarian for 3 months and then she started eating meat like a T-Rex!"

I cracked up and told her that, technically, I was a vegetarian for 6 YEARS, but who's counting right?

I'm sure all the kids at the summer camp now have this visual image of me tearing into meat with absolutely no table manners. Sometimes I really resent the fact that I'm having to eat meat. I don't always like it at all. Today my iron took a very serious dip...I could barely stand up, so I ended up having to eat some beef jerky really fast and it totally grossed me out.

After that, I fell asleep in the middle of the afternoon - had bizarre dreams - and felt more human afterwards. Note that I felt HUMAN....not like a carniverous dinosaur.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Glass Fusing

Over the last 5 weeks, I have indeed learned all about glass fusing. My work buddy was right - it is awesome stress relief! Here's a picture of my 4 completed plates before they are "slumped" (that means "shaped"). It's hard to see much from them but they're not half bad! I'll try to post better pictures next week of each of them close up - after they're shaped. I feel like such an artist!!


I know this will sound very morbid and I also know that I shouldn't think this way, but I can't help it. I have this completely irrational fear that breast cancer is circling overhead, waiting to swoop into my life. You see, the moms of 2 of my closest friends are struggling with the disease - then today 2 new things happened.

The first thing is that my paralegal (who's only 2 yrs younger than I am) found out her mom has it. That was so sad, but I was still ok until I went to lunch and saw that Farah Fawcett passed away. I'm not a Farah fan, truthfully I'm not sure if I've seen any of her work since Charlie's Angels was off limits to me when I was a kid. But Farah and my mom graduated together from Ray H.S. in '65. Something about all of these things coming together at once made my heart race and my breathing stop.

We conveniently tend to forget that we are mortal.

I know, I know that worrying does no good. "Worry" isn't really the right word, though. It's more of a realization. One more thing over which I have no control.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Corvette Brakes, Size 7 Shoes, and Other Adventures

I am totally and completely stressed out by work...but the good news is that I get to come home to these kids who are growing up like crazy.

Tonight I had to take my daughter to Academy to get her some tennis shoes for Girl Scout Camp next week. She just finished 4th grade and she is in a SIZE 7. Size 7, people!!! Maybe this is normal - I have no idea. But my own feet are somewhere between and 7 and a 7 1/2 so it's pretty darn clear that she'll be wearing my shoes (well, not my Cole Haan's, thank you very much...) or she'll have OUTGROWN my shoes by the time she's in middle school.


Then...when we got back home, she got right on the phone with one of her best friends. (They're actually going to Girl Scout Camp together.) She's been on the phone for a good 40 minutes now and if I don't go in there soon and make her hang up, I bet she'd be on it all night.

So, ladies and gents, I believe I officially have a pre-teen girl living in my house.

In the meantime, my husband is having a good time trying to remove the brakes from the Corvette because they were a bit "iffy" - and it's fun for him to do the replacement himself. I'd never seen an actual wheel (sans tire) with the brake attached. It was cool. If my son wasn't playing the XBox 360, I'm sure he'd be out there helping his dad. Here's a picture of my better half working on the brakes. Needless to say, I'm terribly impressed that he's able to do this. (Since, as I believe I've mentioned, I am unable to change a tire.)


Monday, June 22, 2009


I'm in the midst of doing one of the most frightening things I've ever done. I'm actively pursuing opportunities to follow my dream. It sounds like that would be a pleasant thing, right?

Well...it is - generally speaking. But it's also damn scary.

I'm putting myself out there, and in order to really make a go of it I'm allowing myself to get my hopes up. (Because that's just how I am - I either get my hopes up or I completely disassociate - there's no middle ground with me. And I don't tend to make as good an impression if I've disassociated from reality. Go figure...) I'm bound to be rejected whenever I put myself out there and it's already happened quite a few times. And yet, like the proverbial rubber ball - I keep bouncing back for more. Because, of course, I only need one person to give me that chance - and someday it will happen.

I'm clearly in a growth period - I'm seeing things in a new light, giving up some unhealthy practices (and thought patterns), and am even starting to like myself for once in my life. (Will wonders never cease...) But I am here to tell you, brothers and sisters, growth is rarely comfortable. Unlike my own children, I never had growing pains in my legs...probably because I stayed pretty short. But I'm having them now. They just aren't located in my legs. They're in my heart. Granted, they are probably growing pains I should have had in my twenties - but better late than never.

So this is actually an ode to my few and faithful female friends (like the alliteration?) plus my one patient husband. All of you have inspired me to finally be myself and follow my dream. One of you followed your own artistic dream and is creating a successful business doing what you love the most. One of you has stuck by my side since I was 18 - you met me during the most horrible year of my life and although you matured much faster than I did - you never deserted me. One of you is a new mom who is the ultimate model of living in perfect joy with your child. And one of you has picked me up more times than I care to count during the last year. My husband obviously knows who he is. I have to say that as much as my girlfriends have dealt with over the years when it comes to my spirit - it's nothing compared to what he's faced. I am a handful but at least his life is never boring...

I have no idea if my latest effort to follow my dreams will succeed - but if it does, I promise that it's because all of you have been standing beside me for years telling me I can do it. I tend to be a wee bit hard-headed. That's probably why it took me so long to get the message. But this time I'm not giving up.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Time Alone Solution

A nap.

Because of various issues such as the heat, class/movie schedules, and a bum ankle...it won hands down over running, yoga and a movie.

It was awesome.

The Alone Time Quandary

I'll be on my own this afternoon and evening because I'm going to a wedding but the rest of my family will be going out to see family. It's a total bummer from a wedding reception perspective since I'll have no date with which to dance (granted, my best bet was my 6 year old son - but still...better than nothing). On the other hand, I'll have a few hrs on my own and there are all sorts of choices. I'm sure I'll run but after that will I do yoga or go to a movie? As a mom, when you have a whole afternoon to yourself it kind of blows the mind. Right now, I'm at the last swim meet of the season (whew) - cheering on my daughter, who just won her heat in the 25 mtr freestyle. Woo-hoo! She's got a good shot at her backstroke heat also. She's inspiring me to be more competitive.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Last Sunday

Something happened last Sunday that I've wanted to blog-i-fy. I took the kids to church by myself because my husband was constantly computer-programming last weekend. On the way to church, my daughter commented about how many churches there are and she said: "Why are there so many churches anyway?"

My son said: "So people will learn how to love."

Wow. I've been afraid that I'd really dropped the ball in terms of teaching my children about spirituality. But maybe we're on the right track after all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blog and Tweet Ponderings

I've been somewhat lax in my blog discipline lately, and because certain confessions are an aspect of this laxness - what better place to confess than on my blog? (i.e. - my own personal confessional)

The truth is that I've really been wondering if I should keep up this blog. I get a lot out of it personally - it's very therapeutic....but I am, by my nature, a transitory kind of girl. I rarely stay with one thing very long. (My ADHD book claims that I'm supposed to embrace that aspect of my personality, by the way - not fight against it.)

That's not the only reason I'm wondering if I should keep this up. The other reason is that I envision someday having a professional blog and I've thought that if I ever do start a professional blog, then this one will almost certainly go out the window. Of course, I've imagined starting that blog once I finally get my dream job at a non-profit...I thought maybe I could blog about my search efforts, interviews, etc. Then I could write about my first year as a new ED at a non-profit.

Of course, that depends upon a couple of factors:
1. I need to get my dream job
2. Even at that point, it might not be realistic for me to blog, depending on the nature of the board and where I end up.

So it's really just a thought.

I'd pretty much given up on this blog (not 100%, but approximately 87%) when I suddenly received a few emails from you guys - commenting on certain posts. Hmmmm......so I'm not going to throw in the towel just yet.

Oh, yes. I almost forgot about the "tweet" aspect of this posting. I recently joined Twitter (I know I'm a bit behind the curb on this one) simply because some of the non-profits I like to follow are tweeting now. I had to set up an account - so my first and ONLY tweet was something like "Trying to figure out if this Twitter thing is worth it." That's it - posted probably 3-4 weeks ago .

But here's the bizarre thing....3 or 4 people started following me out of the blue. I have no idea who these people are (whom these people are????), although they are following tons of others. So I assume that they follow lots of people in hopes that someone will start following them. (I could be entirely incorrect in my assumption, since I haven't gone back to my Twitter account in weeks and anyone who is depending upon my tweets for their entertainment is almost certain to be profoundly disappointed.) At any rate....if I was going to cancel anything, maybe it should be Twitter.....

But all of that raises a bigger and more philosophical question for me. Should I officially cancel things or should I just ignore them until they go away? In all honesty, I have to say that I am emotionally and spiritually opposed to the idea of ignoring things, issues and people. (This could have a personal element to it, since my first boyfriend ignored me on a church trip until my best friend confronted him. At that point he told her I would "get the point" and she told him he ought to be a man and break up with me if that's what he wanted to do. So he did. It sucked big time, but was still better than being ignored.) In short, I'm all about broadcasting who I am and what I believe.

Which brings us full circle to why I started this blog adventure in the first place.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I said "more later" then failed to deliver. Last night was bizarre. I was in the bathroom with the dog until the worst was gone, but then I was glued to the TV for a while as I made sure that nothing else was going to come and get me.

Obviously, however, I survived the "great storm of June 11th" - and we didn't even get any hail. (I'm pretty sure that we're in a hail-free zone since this is the second big storm that's hit recently in which our little neighborhood avoided hail, while it demolished neighborhoods very close to us.)

Oh, well. Obviously I don't have the courage of Helen Hunt's character in Twister. C'est la vie.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Have I ever mentioned that I'm very frightened of tornados? I've been in a few. Tonight I'm home alone with the dog and a big storm with tornados is heading down 183 towards my house. The dog and I just went into the bathroom. More later.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


It's the strangest thing. I'm becoming very attached to President Abraham Lincoln as I read Team of Rivals. I owe that to two factors - for one thing, it's a very well-written book. It really draws you into the story. The second factor (and this is probably one of the big reasons I like the book) is that it turns out that good ol' Abe and I share quite a few characteristics. (If one is to believe this particular narrative, that is.)

According to this book, President Lincoln was incredibly sensitive and empathetic. As a matter of fact, it could be a hindrance for him, but he learned to use his insight to become a keen observer of everyone - including his rivals/enemies. Some of the stories about his sensitivity really rang true for me.

Maybe I'm just thinking too highly of myself by comparing myself to an American legend, but it's truly unusual for me to relate to a historical male character - so the similarities have really surprised me.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Tiger Cub

Today my husband took my son to the Boy Scout Council to sign him up for his first year of Cub Scouts. He got his little Tiger Cub Handbook. I am just so excited for him. I really love scouting, I must admit - for both of my kids. I just wish I had more time to do all the different things with them. I think I live vicariously through them because when I hear about all the cool activities available, I just want to tag along! (Luckily, that's usually an option.)

I'm already thinking that I need to mark a few of the optional summer activities on our calendar. One of them is a trip to the UT Tower. I've never been there. I guess it's only opened back up since I've moved to Austin. I think he might also get a chance to go see a Longhorn football practice and meet Mack Brown.

Which brings me to another topic. There is no way for me to avoid my kids being surrogate Longhorns with us living in Austin. That was the one thing I'd hoped I could avoid when we moved here but I realize it's pretty much pointless to wish for that. When UT was about to play in the Rose Bowl, my daughter begged me to get her a UT Rose Bowl t-shirt to wear to school because her whole class was going to be wearing them. How could I refuse? Obviously...I couldn't. So I had to call my dad (loyal Baylor Bear that he is) and apologize for providing a UT shirt to his eldest grandchild.

Luckily, my dad is a very forgiving kind of guy. Now...if she actually GOES there......that might be another story.

If she's smart, however, she'll leave her hometown to attend college. I'm a big believer in that. Maybe she'll travel abroad for college - something I really wish I'd done. (I believe I've already mentioned my tendency to live vicariously through my children....?)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Me and my medical news....

It's always a good news/bad news situation when I go to the doctor. Is it that way for everyone? It seems I go in there expecting one thing and get hit with another. It's very disorienting.

The good news is that my thyroid seems ok. The bad news is that my iron and B12 most assuredly are NOT. Oh - and my stress hormones are way out of whack on the high side, but as I told one of my friends today - it's not as if I needed a blood test to tell me that.

So now I have to go see a hematologist (it's kind of a pain when one doctor can't just take care of all your stuff....) so that she can get my anemia and B12 back in line. Possibly with injections. Which sounds like just a thrill a minute.

I don't want to believe that this is caused by my (former) vegetarian diet. It's too early to know for sure and - truth be told - none of the websites I read today (and I read quite a few) seemed to indicate that my diet was the main culprit. I wasn't a vegan so I had some animal products in my diet all the time (milk, eggs...). Who knows. Whatever the reason, I appear to have run out of iron and B12. So I suppose I need to get some.

In the meantime....I am officially no longer a vegetarian. Sort of a sad admission for me but it is for the best. And I must (grudgingly) admit that it's cool to have more than 2 choices on a menu.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I took my family to see Annie today - live on stage. When I was 10 or 11, the movie came out and I adored it. I sang the entire album constantly. At the top of my lungs. From my bedroom.

I'm sure I still have every single word, pause, and musical nuance memorized. So...I was suprised to learn that the stage play has a bunch of songs that the movie didn't have and vice versa. Very interesting. The play had a bunch of political-esque things that were left out of the movie. (i.e. - the Hooverville shanty town, FDR's brain trust talking/singing about the New Deal, etc.)

It was great, though. And I cried everytime Annie sang "Maybe." I'd forgotten how much musicals and melancholy songs meant to me as I grew up. Truth be told - I can't imagine how I could have forgotten that, since they still affect me in the same manner.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

General update, separated thematically.....

Personal Relationships: Yesterday was our 16th wedding anniversary. The date part of it is tonight, however, because last night was the kickball party at the coach's super-fancy house. Luckily, one of the dads brought a bunch of beer so I was able to start drinking before the other wimpy women who had to wait for white wine. (What....ev....er......)

Work: Um. It's fine. I went back to my old place of work this week and could practically feel my heart ache with homesickness. (I'm quite serious.) HOWEVER....I'm doing my best to leverage my current situation into something better. And that truly is good for me. This has been an amazing year in that regard because I've learned that "networking" is not the nasty word I always thought it is. All it means is talking to people (not a problem for me), being honest about what you want out of life (absolutely not a problem for me), and finding out that most people are very generous and giving and happy to help.

Excercise: You may have noticed that my "reluctant runner" section is stuck in the past. This is NOT an oversight on my part. It is, rather, an indication that I've fallen off the wagon. I dreamed about running as an escape last night in the middle of a very stressful and depressing dream. So....obviously it's beginning to mean something to me. I don't want to lose that. Truthfully, I'm so bummed about my weight and how I can't figure it out that I think that's throwing me off a bit. And on that note...

Doctor Stuff: The results from the CT scan came back. I was a bit nervous because it was the doctor herself who called but she was calling to tell me my kidney is simply fabulous. Nice to know. On Monday I'm going to the doctor visit at which I'd better get some answers. It's the second visit to the endocrinologist. I will be pretty devasted if she tells me nothing's wrong with me and she doesn't know why I have these 20 extra pounds. So I'm actually HOPING that something is wrong with me. (Oh...side note: it took a good 5 days for the pain from the IV to stop. I then replaced that bruise with an enourmous one on my left thigh from running into the nice meeting room table at my old place of work when I visited this week. Very graceful.)

I was going to do a section on "spirituality" but I realized that I'm still coalescing my thoughts on that piece. Plus it doesn't lend itself to the kind of brief update that I used for my other issues.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Joy of Assistants

I have been so lucky to be surrounded by the best assistants on Earth throughout my career. I'm not sure how I got this lucky but I ain't complainin'. I'm thinking about it today because I went to my old place of work at lunch for a pre-wedding celebration (a.k.a. wedding shower for those of us who don't care about making men attend things like "showers") for my former assistant. Then, when I got back to my current job, there was an IM on my computer screen from my current assistant who told me to ping her when I got back to my desk. She came over and had a present for me - here's the picture of it. She went to Bath & Body Works at lunch and bought me some "Instant Comfort Aromatherapy" - smells like vanilla. It's so nice! I'm keeping it right on my (messy) desk.

As I continue to pursue my dreams as much as I can, I'm inspired by one of my best friends (who was also my assistant at my last job ,before she deserted me to go on to bigger and better things) because she is now a successful photographer, following her passion. I want to be just like her when I grow up. Only not with photography. Because that's not my artistic skill.

Anyway - all of these women have totally put up with my stunning messiness, my scattered-ness, and my occassional flakiness (I hate to admit it but it is true). They consistently are patient with me and take care of my details. I don't know why they were willing to do that with such good spirit but I'm so glad that they were. Plus they seem to think I'm smart (which you wouldn't expect when you see my desk....) All of them have become my friends.

Thank goodness I'm in a profession with assistants because I don't know what I'd do without one. I'd probably have to go all Carrie Bradshaw and hire someone to just generally assist me.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Baby you're much too fast....

My husband has always dreamed of having a 1981 Corvette. Well, guess what - now he has one! Too cool. He saw one for a good price (an amazing price, actually) on eBay - just a few miles up the road from us and I INSISTED that he go for it.

We picked it up tonight! Seriously - it's fabulous. The only bad thing is that EVERY SINGLE ONE of our babysitter options are busy this weekend. I'm dying! It's our anniversary and I want to go out in the Corvette!

Here's a picture of our kids looking in the window and drooling all over it. They were super excited. We didn't tell them what we were going to pick up until we got there and they saw it. They kept saying: "You mean we get to KEEP it????" There was some major discussion about who got to ride in it first. My eldest won the coin toss but when kid brother started crying, she let him have the first ride. Then dad took her around the block a few times when we got home...of course - I still haven't had a ride! (But my time is coming.)

Now....if only Corpus Christi wasn't so far away. My 20th high school reunion is this August and it would be SO AMAZING to show up in this car. Hmmm............

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


The kickball season is over. I must admit I have a great big "whew" that must follow my previous statement, but I'm also REALLY glad we did it. I'm primarily glad about the fact that my daughter can't wait to do it again next spring. She feels this way EVEN THOUGH she had a coach who was pretty darn mean. He insulted the girls whenever they lost and was incapable of seeing the good in them.

Crummy, right?

I was pretty worried it might ruin the game for her but I'm thrilled that she didn't let that happen. I spent the season telling her she had every right to be mad about it, that she didn't have to like it, and that I had her back. I also told her that she would almost definitely have at least one boss during her life who would make her life miserable, and the trick is to not let that person ruin everything for you.

In short - I completely resisted the urge to be a "helicopter parent." I didn't rescue her, just gave her plenty of support. And she did it! That's my girl.

Monday, June 1, 2009

i hate dr stuff

To be precise - I hate ct scans. Today I had a follow-up ct scan since "they" found a spot on my kidney last year. To my credit, I was a strong advocate for myself, insisting that the iv be placed in my hand. That's always where it ends up anyway, but usually they first tear through my arm before starting on my hands.

So good for me for insisting on my hands. Didn't do much good, however. The right hand was a dismal failure even after multiple sticks, digging around with the needle, then puffing my hand up with saline as she tested to see if the needle was in the vein.

It wasn't.

Left hand worked better but it still hurt like crap.

I finally realized, however, that what I really hated about the whole experience was being in that ct machine itself. There was so much waiting and with my arms above my head (and hands hurting) I felt very out of control. Even scared.

It really made me empathize with those going through chronic illness. I don't know what I'd do if I ever had to deal with that myself. Guess I'd have to pull the ol' disassociation skills out of storage and dust them off. To those of you who are dealing with constant medical care or have loved ones who are - you have all my respect and tons of prayers from me.