Friday, July 24, 2009

The Trouble with Not Blogging for Ages is

that the people who used to visit you on a regular basis have forgotten that you're around anymore.I'm sure that when my blogging slide (for lack of a better term) first started, visitors checked in more often. Checked in and quickly checked back out because there was nothing to see, nothing to hear, nothing to laugh or cry about. And who could blame them really? I mean, we all know it's boring when you never get any news, right? It's just downright dull to see the same old stuff over and over with rarely any new content added. But then it got even worse than mere boredom. Horrible tragedy struck and I couldn't seem to make myself post much and that which I did post was steeped in sadness and heartache. Let's face it, it's kind of a downer when a blogger only seems to post bad news for months in a row. A severe lack of joy and sunshine can start to wear a person down after a while, eh? And what happens when you wear your blog readers down?
They stop coming around, that's what. Perfectly natural, of course. Doesn't mean it's not a bummer, though, 'cause it is. So somewhere between boredom and sadness, I've managed to chase away many of the blogging friends with whom I used to "converse" on a regular basis. Admittedly, all completely my own fault. So many people reached out and I couldn't bring myself to answer. I was just too down and depressed. Took awhile to work through that. And now that I have, I've been making an effort to post almost every day, trying to get back to my old self. Plus I've been making a bigger effort to visit my fellow bloggers and read up on what's going on in their lives. And yet, while I know for an absolute fact that I have been an awful blogger and blogger friend almost this whole entire year, I still can sit here, look at the dearth of comments on my posts and ask myself "why doesn't anybody read me anymore?" I am the very definition of hypocrisy! I assure you, I really do understand the concept of "cause and effect". Just not as it applies to me, apparently. It's all a give and take and I've been taking far more than I've been giving in recent history. Understanding all that, however, isn't keeping me from feeling...a little left out, I guess. I miss sitting down at my computer and seeing several comments at a time. You know what that makes me, right? A comment junkie. Eeeck! I thought I was over all that. I thought I had grown. I thought I was blogging just for the sheer joy of it. Well (*blowing a big raspberry*), perhaps I have a little more work to do before I can honestly claim that because I sure miss hearing from everyone!
Which brings me to what this post truly should be about...thanking those of you who are still around...Vee, Lynne, Joan, Kat, Terri, Mary, Sandy, Sandi and Sandi, Kari and Pat...thank you, ladies, for stopping by and saying hello as often as you have. I appreciate your friendship and thoughtfulness. I hope to be seeing much more of you all in the future...especially on your blogs, where I've been so very lax in visiting up until fairly recently. I finally figured out that Blogger Follower thing and have hooked up with most of your blogs so that I can know when you've posted something new. (This is a great feature. I feel like I've been out of the neighborhood for a few months and all the cliques have moved on without me! Now I can catch up a little better. lol)
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and - any of you intrepid souls still hanging around reading this - brace yourselves for a slew of camping photos to be posted next week. We're off into the wilderness this weekend! See you guys soon! (God willing and the skeeters don't carry us away!)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Our Great Adventure is About to Begin!

We're gettin' all geared up for our big camping trip. We'll be sleeping in tents.

Cooking over an open fire.

Hopefully doing a little hard core walking (we'll call it hiking just so we can feel like we're doing something really outdoorsy).

Spending lots of time in the water.

All the while, avoiding those pesky mosquitoes.

And ending our evenings with a little decaf coffee and great conversation inside our little dining tent
while the kids roast weenies and marshmallows over the embers of a fire.

I'm all a flutter just thinkin' about it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Poet: A Book Review

This is an older book by Michael Connelly (written in 1996). Somehow I've managed to go all this time without reading it. I was shocked when I realized this.

A synopsis:
Jack McEvoy is a Denver crime reporter with the stickiest assignment of his career. His twin brother, homicide detective Sean McEvoy, was found dead in his car from a self-inflicted bullet wound to the head--an Edgar Allen Poe quote smeared on the windshield. Jack is going to write the story. The problem is that Jack doesn't believe that his brother killed himself, and the more information he uncovers, the more it looks like Sean's death was the work of a serial killer. Jack's research turns up similar cases in cities across the country, and within days, he's sucked into an intense FBI investigation of an Internet pedophile who may also be a cop killer nicknamed the Poet. It's only a matter of time before the Poet kills again, and as Jack and the FBI team struggle to stay ahead of him, the killer moves in, dangerously close.

I've been a fan of Michael Connelly's books since around 2001 or maybe 2002. I can't believe I missed this one. And actually, after further investigation, it looks like there's another 6 books out there by Connelly that I have yet to read (one of which is sitting in my to-read pile right this minute). Geez! Some Michael Connelly fan I turned out to be, eh? At any rate, I'm very glad that I came across this book at Half-Price Books the other day. It's an excellent read. If I hadn't already read the follow up book to this (The Scarecrow), I would have been completely taken by surprise with the ending. However, even knowing "the future" of certain characters, I still found the book to be a nail-biter. I give The Poet 4 out of 5 stars on the Kari Hayes Scale of Readability.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Update on my dad

I just spoke with my dad and my stepmother. The doctor's appointment went well. Dad received a shot that, over the next 4 months, is supposed to shrink the prostate. After that time, they will decide whether to go with implanting radioactive "seeds" to kill the cancer or do surgery. Dad seems very upbeat, although a little fuzzy on the details. That part is actually pretty normal for him. Wendy (my stepmom) said she's got more information (a DVD, pamphlets, etc.) from the doctor that she will give me when I see her on Sunday.
Thank you for your positive thoughts, warm wishes and prayers. I've made a personal decision to work as hard as possible to be positive in the face of adversity and your support helps me do that. I came to this decision after having realized just how poorly I handle adversity. I figure if handling adversity with despair and depression isn't working for me (duh!), then I need to try handling it with a positive point of view and an eye for optimism. Not always easy for me, but better than the other way. Anything is better than the other way.
Speaking of positive thinking, please take note of the POSITIVE DAY button on my side bar. Click on the picture to learn what that's all about. I hope you'll join in on the positive thinking, especially on July 31st!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I refuse to panic.

My dad called tonight. His doctor called him this evening to tell him his biopsy came back positive. He has prostate cancer. Dad didn't have any other information, other than the doctor made him an appointment to come in tomorrow at 9:00 to discuss treatment options. Please join me in sending lots of love and positive thoughts my dad's way. I hope tomorrow brings better information and, even more importantly, good news.

Starbucks with Our Hippie (Grand) Child

Maddy's such a free spirit. Check out the pretty colored hair pieces she's been wearing every day: (I used the red-eye removal function and it made her eye color look sort of gauzy...don't know why). She gets such a kick out of putting those colored extensions in her hair...she says her mom won't let her go out in public wearing stuff like this when she's with her. lol I'm pretty sure her dad's not too crazy at the notion either. But seeing as how we're the grandparents, we think she's perfectly lovely in everything she wears. In fact, we kind of think it's cool that she's such a free-spirit.
Randey decided to treat us to Starbucks the other night. Here he is with Moose, sporting the t-shirt she brought him from Florida:
And here's Moose with me:
Maddy decided that she wanted to be the photographer next so she snapped a few pictures of us. Here's one:
Then she told us to act goofy for a picture. So we did.
The things you'll do to entertain your grandchild, eh?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pumpkin Dreams, a Wonder Dog and the World's Greatest Husband

It's that time of year. The temperatures are soaring, the days are long, the mosquitoes are buzzing and the power bill has skyrocketed...and I start dreaming of pumpkins and scarecrows and colder weather. I think it's almost a form of self-torture. lol Every summer, I wonder why in the heck I live in a part of the country that could double as an oven for 6 months out of every year. And every summer, I start in on Randey about getting a job somewhere NORTH of here. He's gotten several offers to move, but there's always some reason why we can't take it. I just know that one day, all the stars will align correctly and we'll finally be living in a place that has 4 actual season. In the meantime, however, I will continue to torture myself with visions of autumn colors and pumpkin pies and scarecrows standing guard over fields of corn and I will carry on with my yearnful dreams of chilly fall days and crisp, shivery fall nights (sigh). To foster that particular bit of self-inflicted agony, I tend to purchase things like this to decorate my house: How awesome is this? A pumpkin carriage! I couldn't resist it when I saw it at Hobby Lobby the other day. Now I have to make myself put it up in the closest until at least September. It just doesn't seem fair, though. I mean I start decorating for Christmas the first of November (at the absolute latest!!) so why shouldn't I get to decorate for fall at the first of August? Don't answer that...I already know why. It's so my husband and my children won't declare me totally bonkers and take my decorating privileges away from me. LOL Oh well - until it's time to break out the orange and gold and red stuff, I'll just take sneak peeks in my closest when no one's looking!
Now for something completely random and totally unrelated...Randey broke Sydney's dog treat canister a month or so ago. I finally got around to getting him a new one. Isn't it sweet? Of course, now that I look at it, I suppose I need to get Blu a new one, too. His is looking pretty boring by comparison. (You can sort of see it behind Syd's new one).
And speaking of Sydney the Wonder Dog, here he is...all curled up on the back of the couch.
This is his normal "mid-day" pose. He likes to rest here, where he can turn around and quickly look out the window, just in case any strangers make the mistake of walking near the house. Then he goes ballistic and charges out the back door to go "discipline" them if they end up anywhere near our fence. Good thing he's got Blu to back him up 'cause he barks as if he were a rottweiler instead of a chihuahua. I've said it before and I'll say it little Wonder Dog has the heart of a lion...but the physical size of house cat. A disturbing combination, to be sure. Guess I need to see about getting a picture of Blu for my blog, too. It's so hard to get a good picture of him. He's solid black and doesn't show up all that well. lol
And here's a picture of the World's Greatest Husband. He always cuts up the chicken when I need it done because he knows I hate doing it. You gotta love a man who'll handle an icky job like that without so much as griping, right?
Okay. So that's it for my random pictures. I'm off to find a space in my closet for the pumpkin carriage. Got to find a place where I can see it without having to strain too much. lol