Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Dangers of Nagging

Ladies (and gentlemen, if there are any out there brave enough to read my blog), have you ever tried to get your way using the ever-popular "Nag Method"? Be honest now. Admit it - most of you have. Well I'm here to tell you, do not try this method unless your skills are sharp and well honed. If you've allowed these particular skills to lag in the least little bit, I highly recommend that you cease and desist all Nag activity immediately or be prepared to pay the consequences. I am here to testify! Improper nagging can cause unexpected, and sometime frightening, results. For example, as most of you probably know, I'm currently caught in the torturous grip of menopause. This means I'm hot (and not in a good way!). I have nagged repeatedly to my dearly beloved that Texas summers are just too flippin' harsh for me to stand anymore. I mean I have gone on and on and on about it and not just to Randey, but to anyone who will listen. People walk up to me in Target and say, "Excuse me, do you know where the shampoo aisle is?" and I answer with "Can you believe this weather? How much longer until we explode? Are you melting? Don't you feel like your eyebrows are being singed off everytime you put on your sunglasses? I don't think I'm going to survive another day of this! And the shampoo is over by the pharmacy, idiot. Where the heck did you think it would be? Your lack if Target store knowledge has just caused my irritation level to hit the absolute limit. And, by the way, dipstick, do I look like I work here? Do Target employees walk around with giant pink purses and a StarBucks cup? I didn't think so. Now go get your freakin' shampoo and leave me the h**l alone". (That last snarky part I attribute directly to menopause rather than the Texas heat.) Well strangely enough, apparently, Randey got a tad bit tired of listening to me. Yeah, I know. I don't get it either. So he looks at me and asks just where is it that I think I want to live? And, not being prepared for someone to actually acknowledge my endless nagging, I said the first thing that popped into my head..." A lot of my blogging friends say that Ohio is a wonderful place the live. The temperatures are already cooling off and they say they have nice long winters, too". He stopped, turned around, looked at me and said "Ohio? I can't even picture where that's at!". This is the man who has traveled extensively all over the United States and beyond in conjunction with his job for the past, oh I don't know, hundred years or so! I tried to visually map out the location of Ohio for him because it seemed like the thing to do. The poor dear - he seemed so confused about the Mystery that is Ohio. He walked away, shaking his head, muttering to himself. Fast forward to the next day: I stumble out of bed and eventually head upstairs to read my e-mail. I open up my Yahoo and there sits an e-mail from Randey; subject line: Ohio job. What??? I click on it. It says something along the lines of "You're never going to believe this, but when I got into work this morning, I had received an e-mail regarding a job opening in Toledo, Ohio, so I applied." Toledo???? I was thinking Cincinnati or Dayton maybe. Toledo? As in...Max Klinger's Toledo Mud Hen fame? Where the heck is Toledo? Well, as it turns's pretty darn close to Michigan. I know because I pulled up this map that I've posted here. See how far up there it is? Waaaaaaay up there. Yeah. I know it's cooler there! But here's the thing, though. I am an Okie. Through and through. Oklahoma born. Oklahoma raised. Oklahoma is one of the reasons why moving to Texas from Florida was so attractive for me. It was closer to home, i.e, Oklahoma. And now, I may have just nagged myself up to Toledo. How'd I do that? I'll tell you. Unskilled nagging. But - what's done is done. Too late to choke my words back. And maybe it's fate. I said Ohio and the next day, there's a job announcement. Randey was quick to point out...he may not even qualify for this job (civil service announcements are funny that way - there's always a chance that they've worded it in such a way as to exclude 99% of the people who apply. It's their little way of "pre-selecting" without "pre-selecting" because, well, "pre-selecting" is illegal, don't you know!) So. Here I sit. Nervous as can be, wondering what I've wrought with my mouthy, mindless nagging and pretty much convincing myself that what happens, happens. Fate. Destiny. Nagging. It's all the same, don't you think?

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Mystery Rectangle is Solved, Just for YOU, Sophie! And I Hope You're Happy...

Just yesterday (or maybe the day before - my memory is so easily muddled these days!), I was telling Heather at Splaneyo that she shouldn't worry about blogging about the negative things in life...I said I felt that if all we ever blogged about was sunshine and roses, then we were basically writing works of fiction because life just consists of so much more than that. And now, that advice is coming back to bite me in the behind. lol After reading my previous post, Sophie asked about this "rectangle" that she could see in the last picture. She said she was very "intrigued" by it and had even tried enlarging the photo, but even that didn't reveal the "mystery of the rectangle". Sophie, my dear, you have entirely too sharp of an eye and you ask too many questions! You are forcing me to admit to just how b*tchy I can be! People out here in Blogland are not supposed to know these things. I don't mind them thinking I'm crazy or whiny or needy or ignorant. But b*tchy? That was something I was hoping to keep hidden. Forever. But - what the heck. It was bound to come out sooner or later anyway. So here's what that "rectangle" is. It's a note I have taped to the door and it reads: Now - in my defense (like their could be a defense of this)- I typed this note and put it on the door a long, long time ago and only after I had been dragged downstairs to the sound of a ringing doorbell about a 100 times in one day for people selling all manner of things. The final straw was some strange woman who came to my door to tell me that Brad Pitt and those like him were dragging our households down into the pit of hell because we all "worshipped" him and "let him get away with immoral behavior because he's famous". Well I don't know Brad Pitt. I don't even want to know Brad Pitt. I'm still a little miffed at how he handled his "uncoupling" from Jennifer Anniston, although really and truly, in the great big grand scheme of things - I just don't think too much about Brad or Jen one way or the other. I'm guilty of Hollywood Apathy, I admit it. However, this woman, who was representing a religion that I am totally unfamiliar with, wasn't taking a polite "I'm not interested" and leaving. No, no, no. She wanted to come in and discuss this with me. In depth. I wanted to finish my aunt's scrapbook that I had been working on. I know. I'm shallow. Another admission of guilt on my behalf. And I don't much care, either. So anywho, after running up and down the stairs all day that day - and this really wasn't an unusual occurrence in our neighborhood - I mean really, we're like "Door-to-Door Salesmen Central" around here, I typed up this sign. Yes. It is rather unfriendly. (Although, please note - I wanted to be clear to my neighbors that I don't mind their children coming to ask me to buy something for their school fundraisers, etc.). And yes, I should probably take it down now. But it's become something of a joke around here. You would not believe the number of people who apparently can't read because these illiterate weenies still ring our doorbell from time to time (just yesterday, as a matter of fact) so it's not like it does any good anyway. And now that I've confessed to the world just what an anti-social, negative, growling kind of woman I truly am, I think I'll go find my window scraper and see about removing my testy little sign. Thanks, Sophie. While I know that confession is good for the soul, you've really got to figure out how to enable your e-mail so I can reply to these things directly and privately to you! lol

The Door, the Scarecrow, the Portulaca and the Guard Dogs

This is what my front door looked like last week. Kind of a snoozer, huh? Well, I like the wreath on the door, but the door itself? Ho-hum. You know what this door "says"? It says "Boring people live here. Step on in and catch up on your shut eye". (Impertinent door...its lucky I haven't had it replaced.) But replacing the door would have required effort and possibly power tools, neither of which I was in the mood for. So I painted it. Red. Check it out...
See? That is one good-lookin' door. I whistle at it everytime I see it. Well. I would whistle, if I knew how. But since I don't, I merely stand back and gaze upon it with admiration and love. This is one color choice I don't regret (which is almost a first for me - I almost always end up painting something 3 times before I decide I'm happy). The new door color inspired me so much, that I went ahead and put my scarecrow out in the front flower bed. (I think he looks a little lonely, but that's a topic for another post.)
While I was outside, I noticed the Portulaca was blooming like crazy. This amazed me, mainly because I rarely go out the front door anymore (yes, I leave the house, I just usually leave through the garage!) and had forgotten that we'd even put the Portulaca in that pot. It's a lovely sight - I think I'll look at it more often now that I know it's there.
After standing out front admiring the front door, the scarecrow and the Portulaca, I came back inside to the blissful cool of the A/C. Blu-boy immediately took up a post in front of the door. He kept growling low in his throat, something he does when he sees humans walking about anywhere within his field of vision. I checked, though. No humans anywhere. Still, he kept growling. Sydney the Wonder Dog decided to consult with him over this issue. I checked again. Nope, no one. Not a single soul in sight. This went on forever. Blu standing (or sitting) guard, growling deep, Sydney standing next to him, ready to proceed with uncontrolled barking at the first hint of human movement (or animal movement in Sydney's case - he can't stand for anyone or anything to be anywhere near his domain).
Magnificent looking guard dog(s), huh? Took me all day to realize that Blu was growling at the scarecrow. Yeah. The scarecrow. I guess to my dog's way of thinking, a strange human-like form is a strange human-like form. Boy...with these two on the job, I feel ....protected. Yeah, that's the word. Right? Of course it is. Protected. By my two sharp-eyed, ever-ready, scarecrow hatin' guard dogs.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Greatest Birthday EVER! (Post 1 of 6 today)

I have the greatest kids and husband! The night before my birthday, Kaleb and Jacob gave me this: They know how much I love this show and it was released on DVD Tuesday so, after they went by Kaleb's job to pick up his schedule, they made a stop off at Wal-Mart to pick this up. I was floored. How sweet is that? I mean really, how many 16 and 15 year olds are this kind? I'm so lucky to have kids that care what their old mom likes!
Here's a picture of the other things I got for my birthday...I received so much more than I deserve. And I am grateful to those that remembered me yesterday. I received a wonderful card from my niece, Megen. The card has a picture of a little Chihuahua puppy that looks like Sydney the Wonder Dog did back when he was a puppy. I also got a card from my mom as well as one from my step-father, Jack. From my dad and step-mother Wendy, I got a Martha Stewart cake mix, excuse me CHOCOLATE cake mix, a box of chocolate and Milky Way powders for use in hot cocoas and/or cappuccinos, and a stainless steel thing shaped like a bar of soap that you use to get onion odors off of your hands when you've been cooking. Did ya'll know that? If your hands smell like onions you can take a stainless steel spoon and rub it all over your hands under running water and it'll take the smell out. Well, now that just got a little easier because now, my "stainless steel" is shaped like a bar of soap. That Martha Stewart...she is a thinker, eh? But I've digressed a bit...where was I? Oh yes, I also got a thing that makes seltzer water at home. See the silver canister looking thing? That's it. And it's great. You use plain tap water and CO2 chargers and it makes the most wonderful sparkling water. That was from Randey. And finally, Randey and the boys presented me with what I like to call "The Brighton Collection". lol While my favorite Brighton perfume is "Dream", I think a girl needs variety, too. So they got me "Love" perfume, plus some "Love" lotion. It smells divine! They also got a Brighton candle that came in the prettiest ceramic container.
And the prettiest, sparkly gift of all (and you know how I love the sparkly stuff) was this pair of Brighton earrings. I feel so Bohemian when I'm wearing them! lol
All in all, I would have to say, I received some fantastic gifts and I feel almost guilty because I'm pretty sure I don't deserve them. If for no other reason than I've been such a BEAST, thanks to this menopausal lifestyle I'm living now. But thank you Randey, Kaleb, Jacob, Dad, Wendy, Mom, Jack, Aunt Sandi, Uncle Wally, Megen Leigh, Charlotte, Penny, Kimie and Joan, as well as everyone else who was kind enough to send birthday greetings. It feels truly great to be thought of...
For any of you with a little time to kill, I've posted a bunch of pictures from the day in the next 5 posts. I know - I've gotten carried away, chronically my birthday like this, but it was just so wonderful that it has yet to occur to me that everyone wouldn't be thrilled and fascinated to read about it. lol It has really been one of my best birthdays ever.

Post 2 of 6

Again, I want to thank all of you who wished me a Happy Birthday yesterday (and last week, come to think of it!). You guys are wonderful! And since my Uncle Wally led my Aunt Sandi to erroneously report my birthday as being last week, leading to early birthday wishes from ya'll, this has actually felt more like a birthday season, instead of just a day. It feels like I've been celebrating this whole time (except without the cake, the candles, balloons, etc., etc., etc.)! lol (Oh and sorry, Uncle Wally, but you don't have a blog. Aunt Sandi does...we both feel it's better to throw you to the wolves than her. I kid, I kid!).
Yesterday morning, Randey had an appointment in Granbury. Yes, THE Granbury. Well, naturally, I felt that I should accompany him. And not wanting to interfere with the aforementioned meeting, I had him drop me off at the courthouse square. See this view from the sidewalk? Makes my heart pound, just thinking of it again. So much to do, so much to see... Well. As it turns out, I might have been a little over-eager to arrive. Randey dropped me off at about 9:30 a.m., but the stores didn't open until 10:00. Huh. How to kill half an hour? Never one to dither for long, I took the most logical course of action open to me. I ate breakfast.
This breakfast, from the Nutshell Eatery and Bakery, was made the old fashioned way. That is to say, bacon grease was prominently featured as a flavoring. The hash browns, the tomato omelet...cooked using bacon grease. And it was fabulous. I could barely focus over the noise of my arteries hardening, but ummmm, ummmmm, good. And oooooh, ooooooh, expensive! $9.26 for breakfast? Geez. Good thing I don't mind raisin bran most mornings...I couldn't afford this stuff everyday. But still, despite the fact that any progress I've made over the 2 months I've been taking Crestor for my cholesterol levels was probably wiped out by that one meal, it was worth it. Good eating...

Post 3 of 6

After enjoying my artery cementing repast, I proceeded to do a bit of window shopping until the magic 10:00 hour. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Pheasant feathers. Please note Sue, these feathers were kept behind glass. That would seem to indicate that these people know that feathers fly and therefore, have opted to keep them contained behind this window. I mean, hellllooooo, most people already know you can't put feathers in a basket on a front door and expect them to stay. But see there? Even on a happy-g0-lucky shopping trip, I'm still thinking of my blogging friends. What can I say? I'm just that kind of person.Finally, the doors opened. I strolled through one place and came upon an interesting spice section. Thought ya'll might be interested in what additional seasonings you could be missing out on by not shopping in Granbury.
Then I found a slightly more sedate atmosphere. The quilt shop. Oh. My. Gosh. I wish I could have gotten a running start and thrown my body across the racks. However, knowing I could never have gotten up enough speed, not to mention loft, I contained myself. Barely.
But look at all these quilts!!!! Can you say "Fan-tab-ulous, comfortable, down-home, feels just like Grandma's bed" beautiful?

Post 4 of 6

Saw this awesome little chandelier at Pamela's on the square. The picture doesn't really do it justice. Trust me when I say it's sparkle was worth looking at. Don't know if it was worth the $95 price tag (it's pretty darn small, after all), but it was still something nice to stare at for a minute or two. This next picture really needs no explanation. I'm a seagull. I love sparkly things. We've already covered this on numerous occasions. 'Nuff said.
Check out these necklaces, though. Don't I wish I didn't have a neckline more suited to the Jabba the Hutt Line of Jewelry....these are sooooo pretty, pretty, aren't they?

Oh and here's my party dress. Well, it would be, if I lost about 50 or 100 pounds. And had someplace fancy to wear it to.
And this last pictures is...interesting. It's a chastity belt. Bet you can't find one of these at Dillards or Macy's!

Post 5 of 6

Eventually, it was time to eat again. Woo-hoo! By now, Randey had met up with me so we decided to try Babe's, which is located just off the square. With a name like Babe's, we both thought "BBQ". I don't know why, but we did. Go figure. Anywho, if we'd been paying attention, we'd have noticed that the sign said "Babe's: Chicken Dinner House. Chicken, not BBQ was the specialty of the house. They also didn't have written menus. You had your choice of chicken cooked several different ways or chicken fried steak, or pot roast. Don't know what roast has to do with chicken, but okay. In addition to your main course, the meal came with all you could eat green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed corn and biscuits. Randey's roasted chicken was awesome! My chicken tenders were pretty good, too. But for the 2 of us to eat cost $25.00. That seemed awfully high for lunch. Once we'd fed ourselves to burstin', we pressed on with the shopping duties. I came across this little guy:

I actually think I like him better in this picture than I did in person! And then I saw this wreath. I believe it's made from a life ring from a boat. I think it's pretty, but odds are good, it's not the style I'll be decorating in.
Then we came across this fuzzy, feathery tree. Again, not my style, but pretty nevertheless.
Another bunch of ornaments...I'm sorry, guys, but I just can't get enough of the sparkly ornaments.

Post 6 of 6

After our day in Granbury, we came home and picked up the boys once they got out of school. Then we went into Fort Worth. I went to Hobby Lobby, Randey and the boys headed over to the mall.

Don't you love this "Autumn Tree"? Hobby Lobby has it set up at the entry to their store. You know how you see something and a "light bulb" suddenly goes off in your head? That's what happened to me, when I saw this. We have about 6 or 7 Christmas trees in this house, some stored in the garage rafters, the rest up in the attic. How awesome would it be to do an Autumn tree every year? I think it makes perfect sense. It's a battle every October to stop myself from digging out the Christmas decorations. I think putting up a tree like this might help me stifle that urge. Is this convincing anyone? I hope so because it's the argument I plan on using to Randey and the boys when I ask them to dig me out a tree. lol Also at Hobby Lobby this week, a sale on garland. I felt that we needed more garland. A lot more garland. Unfortunately, my checkbook thought we needed just a little more garland. And while I argued with it for awhile, it won. So I only bought 6 things of the beautiful green stuff. And some picks. Some really bright and shiny picks to weave through the garland. This picture doesn't really do justice to how glittery these picks are. The seagull in me almost went berserk. So bright. So shiny. Ummmm.
And these picks, pictured below. Aren't they awesome? They look like ice...I get chilly just looking at them. lol
And finally, here's a pictures of some of the things I bought yesterday. I'm embarrassed to say this, but I was pretty darn nice to myself for my birthday!
I finally got those Christmas pillows I've been admiring from Granbury. And the metal scarecrow was a steal at $6 and see those little leaf plates? $1 each. Although I almost had to wrestle the clerk at Walgreens to get her to give me the sale price, but let's not go there. Arguing with little gray haired ladies with sweet Texas twangs brings a certain kind of shame all it's own, you know what I mean?

And now...well now, the excitement of the birthday is over. The adventure of balancing the checkbook begins. I'll probably be laid out on the couch afterwards, suffering from the "vapors" once I come to the full realization of just how good of a time I actually had yesterday!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

And the Winner Is.....

Okay, I don't know if I'll ever do another giveaway because, as I was putting everybody's name in the hat (or the Superman basket, as the case may be), I kept saying "oh, I hope she wins" and then on the very next one, "oh, I hope she wins" and so on and so on. Basically, preparing to draw a "winner" made me feel like I was actually preparing to slight too many other people. lol Hmmm....I guess we're back to that whole "Kari needs a therapist" thing, huh? But that's for another day. Right now, let's pretend I'm sane and get on with the drawing. I had my youngest son, Jacob, do the honors. How funny that he was wearing that shirt! Never let it be said that my kids don't dress appropriately. lol (OH.MY.GOSH. My 15 year old son is wearing a shirt that says "Your Lucky Day" and I'm so flaky I think he's dressed appropriately! Would you believe me if I said he only wore this to do the drawing? Yes? No? Fine. So I'm a lousy Mom. At least he's not wearing his autographed Hooters shirt). We used Jake's Superman basket (mainly because I couldn't find the Darth Vader bucket that I know is around here somewhere!). Jake took his drawing duties very seriously. Or maybe he was still half asleep. Whatever. He dug around in there, finally let his fingers decide on a winner, and the winner is........................................
Carmen! Carmen, since I already have your address (not because this was rigged, o' ye' of the suspicious mind, but because we're preparing for our Christmas card lists!), I will get your package wrapped and off into the mail as soon as possible! Congratulations and thank you all for entering! It warms the heart to know that so many of you love Christmas stuff as much as I do. And now - I'm off to Granbury again! (Yeah, I'm pretty excited about that!). I've got my camera all ready to take some more pictures - I'm so hoping the stores have their Autumn decorations out in full force! Congratulations again, Carmen!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I Remember...

***Please know that the following post is a statement of my feelings about The War on Terror. I am not looking to get into a heated debate with anyone. I am simply stating my opinion. Both my husband and my oldest son have served in the Middle East during this war, my son on multiple occasions. I am an American and as such, I have the freedom (thanks to my husband and son and their fellow military men and women) to write this post. You have the freedom (also thanks to my husband and son and their fellow military men and women) to not read it.***
Six years ago today, America was attacked. Randey (my husband) was in Australia on a training mission with his Air Force unit. We were actually speaking to each other on the phone when the first plane hit. I remember thinking that either a traffic controller sent the wrong coordinates to that plane or something was seriously wrong with the pilot. Randey understood what was happening long before I did. Long before. I didn't want to believe those planes were deliberately, and with malice of forethought, flown directly into those crowded buildings. The sheer evilness of it just didn't compute with me. As the minutes and hours crawled by, I realized the enormity of these heinous acts against humanity, for that is exactly what they were. Every good person on the planet lost something on that day...either their innocence, their trust, their faith or their hearts. We all sustained damage. But what the terrorists didn't count on was that we also found something that day, too. We found solidarity, we found hope, we found courage, we found love, we found each other. Today, six years later, however, I fear we've lost much of what we had gained. We've forgotten why our men and women are overseas fighting for us. Much of the war has been turned into political fodder. I'm so tired of seeing and hearing Democrats and Republicans bickering over whether or not we ever should have gone to Iraq. I'm just sick of it. And I'm going to state my opinion of if we should have gone there. We are America, the last so called "Superpower" in the world. We have freedom, democracy and might. Don't we, as Americans, have some sort of responsibility to help those that are downtrodden? I've heard many a person say "Saddam Hussein may have been evil, but he hadn't done anything to us". Oh. Well, guess that means we should have let him continue on with his evil ways...just as long as we weren't bothered, inconvenienced or harmed. After all, it's not like we became Americans by the sheer Grace of God. No, no, no...we earned this privilege and if the rest of those losers out there who are being murdered, imprisoned, raped, etc. simply for sport don't like it, maybe they should work as hard as we did for the right to be like us. Right? Well that's just not the way it is. We are so blessed to be in this country. I don't know why my soul was born into this body, in this country. I just don't know why that happened. But I am grateful for it. I am grateful that I have food to eat, a roof over my head, vehicles to drive. You know, while I - the American - sit around the house and wonder just what fall decorations I should put up and where - there are people all around the world who are wondering if they'll see another sunrise. Or if their child will. I am lucky. I am grateful. And I know in my heart of hearts that I should be doing more to help my fellow man in this world. What I shouldn't be doing, is saying that evil is okay, as long as it doesn't directly affect me. Because there's just no such thing as "contained evil". All evil affects all people. It's just a matter of how we react. I take this following quote to heart. Do you?
No One Left To Speak Up For Me
First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.
Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

If I Could Show You Any Movie In the World, This One Would Be It

On September 9, 2006, we went to see the movie World Trade Center. I wasn't sure if I wanted to see it, but I felt like I should see it. I'm afraid I'm not such a fan of Oliver Stone movies normally. But this movie touched me. It was the most profound experience I’ve ever had in a movie theater. This movie reminded me why our country is at war and why this war on terror is the right thing to do. I had already forgotten some of the emotion I had experienced on 9/11. The sadness, the ache, the fear, the pride, the bewilderment, the resolve – all those feelings had sort of been pushed to the back of my mind. This movie brought them all rushing back for me. I was a little ashamed that I had already forgotten so much. I was glad to be reminded. Watching this movie was a wonderful experience. It was good to feel the sadness and the resolve and all those things in between again. I’m proud to be an American. It’s a blessing that I don’t ever want to take for granted. I hope everyone sees this movie and I hope it touches them as it did me.

Monday, September 10, 2007

What's YOUR Favorite Menopause Symptom?

I'd like to introduce you to, what I hope will be, my new weekly about menopause. Why do this? Because I can, that's why. But more importantly, because I think I should do this. I need to do this. If I don't come up with something to help me diffuse my menopausal madness periodically, I'll think I'll go irretrievable insane. I've blogged about this affliction a little bit already. Okay. So I've blogged about it rather extensively. Sure, it may be a little embarrassing, but it's not criminal so buck up! If menopause makes you nervous, you're visiting the wrong blog anyway. I decided to make the first topic of this discussion "your favorite symptom of menopause". And who amongst us doesn't have a favorite? My favorite? Oh, I'm torn. The hot flashes are soooo exciting and tropical in feel (except without the pineapples, ocean breezes and fruity cocktails with those fun little umbrellas). But the night sweats! Well. Who doesn't get a special thrill out of waking up wringing wet? From head to toe. Exciting stuff, I must say. But there's also that nerve tingling anxiety that's been known to take over my every waking moment (it likes to take over when the night sweats are done with me). Here's an actual list of 35 menopausal symptoms:

1. Hot flashes and flushes
2. Night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling
3. Irregular heart beat
4. Irritability
5. Mood swings, sudden tears
6. Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
7. Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
8. Loss of libido
9. Dry vagina
10. Crashing fatigue
11. Anxiety, feeling ill at ease, feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
12. Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
13. Disturbing memory lapses
14. Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence
15. Itchy, crawly skin
16. Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons
17. Increased tension in muscles
18. Breast tenderness
19. Headache change: increase or decrease
20.Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
21. Sudden bouts of bloat
22. Depression
23. Exacerbation of existing conditions
24. Increase in allergies
25. Weight gain
26. Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
27. Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
28. Changes in body odor
29. Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head
30. Tingling in the extremities
31. Gum problems, increased bleeding
32. Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
33. Osteoporosis (after several years)
34. Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
35. Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing,' buzzing etc.

I know. So many adventures connected to one little condition. Hard to believe, huh? Actually, what I think is so hard to believe is that more of us aren't stark raving mad 98% of the time! So tell me. Which of these happy-go-lucky items is your personal favorite? As for me, I'm going with the hot flashes since they seem to be the most loyal to me. Loyalty counts for a lot, don'tcha know...

I'm A-Pickin' AND I'm A-Grinnin'

Do ya'll remember Hee-Haw? With Roy Clark and Buck Owens? They always did that segment where one would sing "I'm a-pickin" and the other would answer "and I'm a grinnin' ". Oh, just go with me on this one...because it describes how I'm feeling right now. Tammy over at My Gentle Retreat has graced me with this award:
How great is that? What a wonderful award to receive! Don't you feel like you've really, really accomplished something if you can make another person smile? I do. So thank you so much, Tammy. I appreciate it! And now I get to pass it on to a few people, too. So I've thought this over because, while I love reading everyone's blog, a few of them actually bring a smile to my face just about everytime I read what they write. Some blogs make me dream, some make me cry, some make me hope, some make me believe! Some make me think, some make me wonder, some of them even make me ashamed because I don't measure up to their author's goodness. But some blogs, usually in addition to one of these feelings, also make me smile. So here's a few of those: Joan because she has such an unabashed love of her husband, her family and her life, Kat because she is facing menopause with grace and humor (how can you do that, woman!) and, having learned the hard way just how much of an effort that is, I smile everytime I think of her, Kat ( a different "kat" than our Beach Kat) because she writes posts that will leave your head spinning with exhaustion as she describes her day to day life. Then, of course, there's Cassie because everytime I see a comment from her in my inbox, I know that a) she's going to say something to make me smile and b) I can go over to her blog and read a post that will also make me smile, Susie Q because...oh come on! Surely most of ya'll read her blog, don't you? You should already know why I smile everytime I visit her! And everyone also knows Sophie, right? Of course you do. Therefore, you know why I smile when I think of her, too. She's so charmingly British - and she always seems to be honestly amazed that any of us are so fascinated with her life! Crazy British chick. And I can't leave out Teresa because read her is to love her. She's just so flippin' happy most of the time. And even when she's not, her "furiously angry"is like my "gee, I'm feeling ever so slightly less than sparkly". I don't think she knows what it means to be truly grumpy (but, sssshhhhh, don't tell her - she thinks she can be quite the terror at times! lol). And last, but by no means least, is Tauna. I have to smile when I read her blog (and her e-mails). Mainly because anybody who can get that much joy from the English language deserves a smile! And also because I find her writing to be extremely visual in that she paints beautiful pictures in my mind using words. I love that. Who doesn't? So these are who I'm passing this awesome award to. Okay, so the truth is, I could probably name lots and lots more, but do you have any idea how exhausting it is putting in those name links? Not to mention sending the messages notifying them. Geez...I'll be on the computer for hours just finishing the ones I've already nominated. Maybe I should have gotten "The Lazy Blogger" award instead, huh? I'm not lazy, though, I swear it! Just more like technologically challenged. All this linking is making my brain ache.Finally, I am shocked, hurt and appalled at the lack of response for my Christmas ornament giveaway! Guys! It's Christmas ornaments!! What could be better? It's not like they're used, you know. Unless Hobby Lobby, Tuesday Mornings, Ross's and my locally owned and operated Hallmark store are all combining to pull a fast one on me. I very carefully scoured this town (and the next) looking for special ornaments for my blogging buddies out here in Blogland and only about 20 of you have signed up! Although, let me say this - THANK YOU, YOU 20 PEOPLE! I wish you all the best of luck. And for the rest of you who are turning your perky little noses up at my ornament giveaway, you just don't know what you might be missing! There's still time to sign up, though. Just go to this link and leave a comment to be eligible. You have until I fall out of bed Wednesday morning and come upstairs to print out the comments for the drawing!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My Tale of Addiction

You know, I'm just going to come right out and say it. It's a bold thing to do, but I'm feeling the need for some hard core honesty. Brace yourselves goes. I AM A COMMENT HOG. Yes, I know. It's wrong. It's allllll wrong. But it's what I am. I mean, it's not all I am, but it is some of what I am. I love getting comments. And I know I'm not the only one. In fact, I suspect there's a lot of closet comment hogs out here in Blogland. So why the sudden need to blurt this out? Well, I'll tell you. There's nothing sudden about it, buddy. I've been thinking about this for a while, a good long while. I've been thinking about it because it kind of bothers me that I feel this way. What kind of a dork gets all excited and fluttery at the sight of comments left on her blog? Apparently, the kind of dork who is about 5'4 1/2" tall, weighs *&#$* pounds and has a bizarre and not too flattering mixture of Miss Clairol #43R and Home Grown Gray hair color. And since that's the kind of dork that gets that way about receiving comments, I have no choice but to admit to it because that description fits me to a T. (I admit with a sigh. A very heavy sigh). I just read on someone else's blog the other day how she was so frustrated because she knew there were many people coming by and reading her blog, but they just weren't leaving comments. (I'm assuming she has a type of "counter" program that allows her to track visitors). And I said, "well, Amen, sister. I hear 'ya. It happens to me, too". (Yeah, I talk out loud to people who aren't here. What of it?) Hey, wait a minute...could that be why folks come read my stuff then leave without so much as a fare-thee-well? They sense my instability? Nah. I've read lots of unstable stuff here in Blogland. Hasn't stopped me from saying "howdy-doody" to them. However, while I'm unburdening myself about this embarrassing shortcoming, I feel it's only right to say that I, too, have been known to read a post and not leave a comment. But that doesn't happen all that often. Sometimes I just can't think of anything to say in response. Other times, I can't type a coherent sentence because the comment thingy doesn't have spell-check which puts me at a severe disadvantage. Yeah, okay - that's a pretty lousy excuse. But it's true so get off me. And no, I don't want everyone who reads this post to leave a comment. Well, actually, I do, but if you're not going to do it more than this one time, then what's the point? How long do you think that warm and fuzzy feeling I got from reading your one little ol' comment is going to last me? I'll need more comments. More, more, more. And herein lies the problem...comments are like morphine (maybe...that is, if morphine is addictive. It is addictive, isn't it? Let's assume it is so this analogy will make sense, eh?). Anywho, I think we can all agree that addictions are ugly, cumbersome beasts, but I think we're all afflicted with them, in one form or another. Some addictions are big, some are small. Some are easier to conquer than others. I mean really now. If I can quit smoking cigarettes after 25 years, surely I can kick this comment addiction, too, right? But half the battle is admitting there's a problem. So here goes.
People, I'll not hide from this monster any longer. I'm coming out of the closet (so to speak). So please, hear me and hear me well...My name is Kari and I am a Comment Hog. (sob, sob, sob)
***EDITED TO ADD: Tammy over at My Gentle Retreat explained about replying to comments in her post (near the bottom) of September 8th. I'm editing this to include her link because several people (including me, until Joan clued me in) didn't have their e-mail address enabled so those who wanted to reply to a comment I left, couldn't do so directly. Life is much easier for me now that I've "fixed" that little problem. Thank you, Joan! And thank you Tammy for explaining it to everyone in Blogland!