Friday, September 21, 2007

The day started out so well....

And now I feel about like he looks:all hairy, huge and grumpy. The morning went just fine...a little blogging, a little piddling around the house, hanging a picture or two, planning out the way I'm going to rearrange the bedroom tomorrow. Yeah. Just fine. And then the phone rang. I really, really, really can't tell you how much I dislike the telephone. I've talked about it before but I don't think I can ever really express my true views on that annoying little device. Anywho, the phone call was from my daughter's boyfriend. Which really ticks me off. Why? Because I think if my daughter feels like I need some information pertaining to her life, she should call me herself. For reasons too many and too personal to mention, my daughter and I don't have a good relationship and some days, I despair that we ever will. I don't blog about that because it truly is too painful to put out there. And since it is too painful, I'll not say what the phone call was about, other than to say it signaled the end of my happy-go-lucky day, that's for sure. Next, a couple of other things happened that were totally unrelated to my daughter or anything else for that matter, but I allowed myself to get more and more aggravated with each passing irritation. And then, just to make sure I knew where I stood today, my appointment with the hair dresser did not go as it should have. You see, I make an appointment when I want to get my hair done. Why? Because I like to get in there, get the hair stuff done, and get the heck out. So having made my appointment at least a week in advance, I then arrive for my appointment today, as scheduled. Actually, I was even 5 minutes early. I took a seat and proceeded to wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, someone comes to tell me that my hairdresser is running late. Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. And then, after having sat there for 25 minutes, she came back to tell me that my hairdresser was almost done. It would probably be just another 10 minutes. Uh-huh. So. Somebody tell me again why we make appointments? I can understand a few minutes running late. Really I can. But apparently, my hairdresser was cutting the hair of an entire family. Literally. At least 3 people were in there getting their hair cut. Now the way I see it, either she overbooked herself and didn't give enough time for each person, or she took walk-in clients without checking to see when her next appointment was. Either way, her appointment (aka ME) was left waiting. I refuse to wait at a doctor's office for longer than 15 minutes these days. Maybe it's the menopause that makes me so arrogant about it, but I figure that if I manage to be on time for my appointment, so should the person I'm making the appointment with. Yeah. Maybe I'm unreasonable. I. don't. care. I. DO. NOT. CARE. ONE. LITTLE. IOTA. Because, despite the fact that I am a mere stay at home mom with nothing but scads of time on my hands and nowhere important to go, I still value my time just as much as the next person values theirs. Therefore, I declined to wait another moment just to have my hair done. I was quite nice about it. Honestly. But I said that I wasn't happy with my appointment being voided, basically. So now here I sit. Hair looking like Chewbacca's. Attitude a lot like his, too. Yep, that's me. Hairy. Huge. Grumpy.

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Paying Forward this Beautiful Award

It's time (or passed time, to be more accurate!), for me to forward this particular You Lift Me Up award to a few people. First to Teresa. You lift me up with your funny comments and your great posts (which are entirely too few and far between, I might add! Can't. Get. Enough. of. Them!!!). Way back when she posted about trying to get her dog "a date"...that was just funny stuff. And you should see the flowers she does for weddings. Seriously spectacular. Yessir. Also, I would like to forward this to Annie. I suspect that most of ya'll already know Annie, so I probably don't even have to explain my reasons. But for those of you who are unfamiliar with her, listen up. Annie displays a faith and determination that will lift you up like nothing in this world can. She has the most single-minded belief that all will work out the way God intends it to. Fear, doubt, anxiety? Not Annie. Those emotions come to her and she shows them the door. I admire her greatly and marvel at her ability to always look up and forward! Oh and she's got kids that look like they came straight out of some Renaissance paintings (i.e, they are perfectly gorgeous!) and she made my signature thingy. Sure, you're thinking that the signature thingy doesn't really compare to the gorgeous children, and you're right about that. Please note, I did mention the children first. My priorities are in order, don't you worry. Next, I would like to forward this award to Stephanie because first of all, she's such a nice person. Her posts are lovely and her personality just shines through. And second of all, because she posts Rose Porn. I'm not making this up. Ask her daughter. She's the one who named it that. And speaking of Stephanie's daughter, I would also like to forward this award to her. Her name is Heather and she is something else! Head on over to her blog, look at the pictures of her kids and then tell me you don't feel like your spirits have been lifted. These are beautiful, beautiful children. Between her kids and Annie's kids...well let's just say these children are truly "the beautiful people" you hear so much talk about. And Heather is...let's see now...sweet isn't the right word. But neither is sarcastic, although that might actually come a little closer. lol No, she's somewhere in between, which I consider to be the perfect combination. I like a little sarcasm mixed in with sweetness, thankyouverymuch. It's how I roll. It's how all of us should roll. Or maybe not. That might get confusing.... And, by the way, another reminder...Heather is hosting a giveaway in honor of her 37th (snicker, snicker) birthday. Click on the word "giveaway" and you'll, A) see why I'm snickering and, B) see what she's giving away. It's one of those giveaways that has me stomping my feet saying "I want it. I want it now". So while I'm encouraging all of you to enter, I'd just as soon you entered under my name. Just kidding. Gosh. Don't be so literal. Or uptight. Or downright snippety. If you don't want to enter under my name, then fine. 'Course, should you win, you'll probably never be able to enjoy your prize without thinking of how you robbed me blind and left me crying my eyes out in the dust. Well, you might be able to enjoy it. It is a great prize. But still...ya'll let your conscience be your guide, okie-dokey?

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Signature Thingy!

Annie, it worked!!! How cool is this? Annie apparently knows me well enough to know that I needed explicit directions because after she created this signature thingy, she e-mailed it and step by step directions on how to load it. lol That woman knows a Village Idiot when she's dealing with one! Thank you so much for doing this. Look everyone! It's Kari with Christmas garland!!!

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Answers to Some Comments

Have you ever wanted to write an advice column? I used to think I did. Now I know better. If someone asks me for advice these days, I usually freeze up and say "My advice is...Life's tough. Get a helmet". Apparently, that isn't as comforting to hear as perhaps one intended it to be. And what does that have to do with this post? Absolutely nothing. That blathering was totally random and I have no idea where it came from. So let's move on, shall we? This here is a "I'm Gonna Answer a Bunch of Comments at One Time" column, has nothing to do with advice and, have no fear, will not be a recurring feature. Although, that's not to say I won't ever do it again, I just mean I won't torture you needlessly with doing it on a regular basis. I hope. Anywho, here goes:
I've received several comments regarding my new wreath banner/header. A) Thank you for you compliments. I'm pretty darn happy with it, too. B) All the credit, other than the actual photography, should go to
Joan at Joan's Journeys. She's the one who told me how to do it. Here's what she told me to do... Find a picture on your computer that you want to use. Now you have to change the dimensions on that photo. To do that, right click on the picture. This will bring up a menu and, on that menu, click the "edit" button. This will take the photo to a program called "paint". Click on the "image" button. This will pull down another menu. Click on "attributes". You must change the numbers shown in the "width" and "height" fields. Joan originally changed her numbers to width 718 and height 388. These numbers didn't work quite right for me (I have no idea why) so I used
630 width and 472 height. After changing the numbers, I clicked on "file" and "save picture as", gave the photo a name and put it in a folder that I use for blog pictures. Then I went back to my blog and, in the upper right corner, clicked on "customize". From there, I clicked on "template" and then "header". There, I added the picture and voila', it worked! Then I went back to "template" and into "fonts and colors" and changed the "blog title color" to the color I wanted.
Next, Joan is also the one who taught me to do links showing a person's name or even just a word without having to type out an entire web address. I would love to relay that information to you, but blogger doesn't seem to like the directions typed out in a post because it keeps converting the instructions to weird things when I go to view it. Joan explained it so well to me and I sure wish I'd saved the e-mail she sent me. Her directions were much clearer than the ones I was trying to give anyway. But if I'd saved her e-mail, then I could just forward it to anybody who asked. Which brings me to another point: those of you who do not have your e-mail enabled! Do you know how hard it is for a blogger to reply to something you've said in a comment on their blog if you don't have your e-mail enabled? It means that for anyone to respond to you, they have to go back and post their reply on one of your posts and if your post has nothing to do with the comment they're responding to, well they end up sounding like a goober and who, besides me, will make a habit out of sounding like a goober? Hardly anyone! So for Pete's sake, go to Edit Profile" from your dashboard and check the "Show my e-mail address" box! Or live forever wondering if you're being ignored by people all over Blogland!
Now I'm moving on to an actual question that I'd like to ask. Is there some sort of Blogging Etiquette that dictates you should ask a person before you add their blog to your list of favorites? I've had people ask me if it was okay for them to add me (which I love and adore! lol) but then it leads me to wonder if I should have been asking all those out there who are on my list of favorites if it was okay before I put them on my list. Anybody know? I mean, if I was supposed to ask, well's a little late, I didn't ask, I'm writhing in shame, etc., etc., etc. Sorry to anyone I offended!! And if you don't have to ask, well...whew! Saved from the knowledge that I've committed faux pas upon faux pas since my entry into the Land of Blogging. And just one more thing before I'm in the heck do you guys do the signature thing at the bottom of your posts? Kat has a signature thingy, Annie has a signature thingy, Michelle at Big Blueberry Eyes has a signature thingy - come on guys! Share the love - and the instructions - on how to do that! Please? Pretty please? I'm obviously not above begging. I'm just not sure if I should have to. Fine. I'm begging. Down on my knees, pleading pitifully, whimpering even. Please, share your knowledge 'ye young wise ones!
And remember people, in the immortal words of somebody whose name I can't remember..."Life's tough. Get a helmet". (I just love saying that. Have no idea why.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm Plagiarizing Sally Field (Old School Style) and am Happy to Do It!

Okay, ya'll are not going to believe this, but Sandi over at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking has given me another "You Lift Me Up" award! I don't even know what to say! I mean, I'm not speechless, for pity's sake. You'd probably have to cut my tongue out for that to happen, but I am in quite the flutter. First, my Aunt Sandi (who created this wonderful award) graces me with it and now Sandi does. I feel like there may be a slight chance that Sandi's husband Bill has encouraged her to give me this award out of pity (this harps back to the infamous "no comment" comment from Sandi that almost sent me into therapy. Or should I say even more therapy.) But I prefer to think it's not out of pity, but out of love. :) The inside of my head sounds like a replay of that famous Sally Field Oscar, not the most recent Emmy moment. I'm talking about the one from years ago, at the Oscars. Remember it? "You like me! You really like me!" It's obvious I'm getting a wicked case of The Big Head if I'm starting to channel those crazy actor types. I fully expect my Aunt Sandi to smack me back down to earth tomorrow and she'll be right to do it. She'll say something along the lines of "Do you want me to call your mama and tell her you've gone Hollywood?" and I'll say "No, ma'am" and will start down my path to humbleness with all due haste. But in the meantime, You Like Me! You Really Like Me!!! Thank you so much, Sandi. This means an awful lot to me!

The You Lift Me Up Award

My wonderful, sweet Aunt Sandi has given me this award because, for some unknown reason, she seems to feel like I "lift her up". How crazy is that? Of the two of us, it's abundantly plain to anyone who knows us the slightest little bit that she's the one who does most of the "lifting" in our relationship! When I'm feeling down, she's the one telling me to pull myself together and press on. When I'm feeling goofy, she goes right along with it. When I'm feeling crazy, she just puts on her helmet and hangs on for the ride. And she thinks I'm lifting her up. I don't get it, but Aunt Sandi, I sure appreciate the thought of it. Thank you so very much! There are many others I would pass this award on to, but I have three people in particular that I would like to mention by name: Joan, over at Joan's Journeys, Susie Q at Rabbit Run Cottage and Tauna at TaunaLen. I don't have to explain to you guys why you lift me up, do I? You're all funny and kind and I love exchanging e-mails with you. I know that Kat at Just a Beach Kat and Sophie at Sophie Honeysuckle's English Decor' have already received this award, but if I could double award it, I would. Well, heck, why can't I? No reason that I can see, so yeah, I'm awarding both of you again! There are several more that I would like to name, but I'm afraid if I gave it to all 30 of you, you wouldn't believe that I meant it, you know? But in actual fact, all of you that I correspond with via blogs Lift Me Up! You validate that what I'm feeling is real and okay (even if it is sometimes way out there in right field). You make me feel like I'm not alone and probably most importantly, you let me feel like I can contribute something to someone at sometime. And isn't that we all want? To contribute to something worthwhile? All of you are so welcoming and giving and I thank you for being my bloggin' buddies. This has become such a big part of my life in such a short period of time. And I wouldn't change it for anything!

Heather's Having a Birthday Giveaway!

Guess who's having a birthday today? I know, a lot of birthday stuff has been on my blog this month, but this time, it's not me or mine who's celebrating. Heather over at Splaneyo is turning ....well, let's just say she's younger than me by a long shot so what difference does the actual number make anyway, right? Miss Heather, when not accusing her mother of posting Rose Porn on her blog at Greenie Gardens, can usually be found baking the most fantastic looking cakes or decorating a lovely home or caring for 3 of the most adorable little children on the planet. And, seeing as how she's blessed with a sweet and generous nature, has decided to celebrate her birthday in the best way possible. She's giving something away! And look what it is? You get your choice of one of these purses:

You know, I would say, don't even bother to enter because that bottom purse has given every indication that it has chosen me to win, but the fact is, I just don't win contests. It's not how things work for me. So...since I'm obviousy not going to be the lucky one, I'd like to see everybody and their mother enter this just to make the competition between all of you a little more fierce. How's that for being the polar opposite of Heather? lol So get yourselves over to Heather's blog and enter to win! (And really, who am I kidding? I know I never, ever win...but a part of me is sitting here saying "I hope I win, I hope I win" over and over to myself!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Happy Birthday, Randey!

It's Big Daddy's birthday (yeah, he makes me call him that). Oh, okay. That's not true. I call him that because it makes the kids squirm and I kinda like seeing the little beggars squirm every now and then. But ya'll were gasping and squirming, too, for a minute there, weren't you? lol
Anywho, Big Daddy (aka Randey) is foe-dee-foe years old today. The young whipper-snapper...I can call him that because he's 6 days younger than me. Longest freakin' six days of the year, I can tell you that much. But now he's finally caught up with me again so all is well. Since he's, generally speaking, a real prince to me - I must return the favor and focus on him for this, his special day. That means my blogging time is almost non-existent, other than this post because...well, heck, it's focused on him, can't you tell?, so that makes it okay! Happy Birthday, Honey! Let's make it a great 44th year! I love you!
And to all my blogging friends, I'll see ya'll tomorrow, okay?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Today's Menopause Topic: Hormone Replacement Therapy - Only YOU Can Decide if it's Right for You!

Hello,'s Menopause Madness Monday again! As some of you know, this is where we talk about the wonderful world that is menopause! Woo-hoo. Well, technically speaking, I do all the talking, but I "talk" so much that if you read it out loud, it almost sounds like a real conversation. And listen, all you spring chickens, don't think this discussion isn't for you just because you're not lucky enough to be feeling the effects of this fabulous time of life just yet. Your time will come (now why does that sound so ominous, hmm?) and trust me when I say, it's better to be prepared. Unlike I was. Talk about your blissful ignorance! Wow. I was the poster child for "Menopausal Cluelessness". Not cool. Many of the symptoms of menopause can be scary and confusing and just downright frustrating. The same could be said for treatment options. Take HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for instance. Studies have shown that taking HRT can lead to greater chances of getting cancer. And yet, plenty of woman take them. Why? Well sometimes, it's the right thing to do, despite the cancer angle. How can that be, you ask? I'll tell you...and I am only speaking of my own experience here. If you read the list of symptoms in last week's post, you will have seen this one:

11. Anxiety, feeling ill at ease, feelings of dread, apprehension, doom

Doesn't sound bad enough to risk cancer, right? Wrong. It can be bad enough. A few months ago, I was having a horrible time with anxiety and worse. Every single morning, as soon as I opened my eyes, I was consumed with feelings of doom, for lack of a better word. I would lay in bed and wonder what was going to go wrong that day. Who was going to get hurt? What bad news would be coming my way? Which loved one would I lose? Was I going to die? What great catastrophe was waiting right around the corner? Over and over, I'd ask myself these questions. Every single freakin' day. Yeah, try feeling that for days and weeks on end. I thought I was losing my sanity. Let me be clear...this was not depression. I've been depressed before. I've been stressed to the limit before. This was nothing like either of those things. I wasn't thinking of harming myself or anyone else. I was more like "waiting" for something bad to happen and I felt that "the something bad" was inevitable. It was going to happen, period. I had no idea that that was one of the many symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes and night sweats? Yeah, I'd heard of those. Duh...who hadn't? But this? Not as common. Or not as commonly discussed, anyway. So, after much discussion with my doctor (a lot of which involved visions of me choking the snot out of him for even daring to think a young, vibrant woman such as myself could possibly be suffering from menopause!), we determined that short term use of Hormone Replacement Therapy might be the best course of action for me. Yeah, I'm nervous about cancer. Nervous? I'm scared witless about it! But there is every indication that short term use of HRT won't drastically increase my chances of getting cancer. And there is also every indication that failure to modify my hormone level will lead to certain insanity on my part. Okay, so maybe that doesn't seem so very different from my current level of derangement, but I'm telling you, it would be. During the time of my hormonal madness, I had forgotten how to smile, much less laugh. Do you know how awful that feels? I mean really, what's life without laughter? It's misery, for everyone involved. For you, your family, your friends, your pets, your neighbors, your mailman, the nameless-faceless saps who make the mistake of dialing your phone get the picture, right? For me, HRT is the right thing to do. For me, for now. But, while they've helped with that one particular debilitating symptom, don't go thinking they are the miracle "cure" for all menopause symptoms. They're not. I still get hot flashes (although they aren't as severe) and I still have night sweats occasionally. In fact, I still suffer from quite a few of those fun-filled symptoms, but the important thing for me is that they've helped alleviate the "doom" thing. Now please do not think that I am advocating HRT use. I am not. In fact, I'm telling you straight up - I hope to not use them for more than 18 months, max. And if it weren't for those "doom" feelings, I probably wouldn't be taking them at all. I had to decide what was best for me. I weighed both sides of it and decided, with the help of my doctor, that at this time, these are best for me. Only you can decide what's best for you. I've gotten a little bit of the "oh my (head shake, head shake) you take HRT. You shouldn't do that, my dear. You're going to get cancer" from some well-meaning but uninformed people since I've "come out" about my HRT use. How do I tell them that the alternative would leave me an empty vessel, cancer free or not? I suppose I could tell them that I understand the risks of cancer are not significantly increased with short-term usage, but my saying that won't make them believe it. So I usually end up nodding my head, saying something inane like "oh, yes, I know" (and just how stupid does that sound? Someone says "you're going to get cancer if you use those" and I reply "oh, yes, I know". I feel like at that point in the conversation, I should stop and write DUH! in big letters across my forehead because...damn. Then I often wonder why I'm almost embarrassed to admit I take HRT. I guess because I don't want to look stupid for gambling with cancer. But the truth is, I don't feel I'm gambling with it. I feel like I'm doing the best thing I can to get me through this particular phase of my menopause. How you get through it is totally and completely between you and your doctor! But, even if your doctor is the most wonderful human being on earth with 14 Ph.D's to his/her name, I would still encourage you to do your research on this subject. Knowledge is power, as they say. And it's your body, your mind and your health. Be pro-active and learn all you can! And get off my back about me talking hormones! It's none of your bizwich (that means "business" in hipster-speak). Hey! I'm menopausal - did you think I would get through an entire post of this size without saying something snarky? P-u-l-l-l-l-ease!

Now on to something else real quick like...I want to leave you today with a piece of advice for anybody who lives with someone suffering through menopause. This is important, people, so listen up. When a menopausal woman walks into a room and says "It's hot", do not under any circumstances, reply in an off-hand, unthinking and uncaring tone of voice "nah, it's not hot in here" because I can assure you it is indeed hot and your stupid, careless remark just caused the temperatures to reach near boiling. If you doubt the validity of this claim, feel free to contact my husband. I guarantee you he'll set you straight.

To Pam: thank you for your last comment regarding last week's Menopause Monday post - you made my day!!!! Oh okay, I'm did better than that! You made my week, my month and maybe even my year! :)