Friday, September 29, 2006

Happy birthday, Mom!

Today is my mother's birthday.

She'll probably kill me for telling this, but she's 53. I say that because I think she looks pretty good for her age.

She tells folks, "God preserves His saints." I don't know where that scripture reference is, but it's in the Veronica Raney Standard Version, I guess.

This picture was taken in August at my cousin's step-son's wedding. It's my mom Veronica and my dad Jesse. Yes, my dad wore that shirt to a wedding. It's just his style.

Of course, Amanda took it. Shame on me, never taking pictures of my mom. SHAME!

Last year we went to Spaghetti Warehouse. I don't know what's happening this year. All I know is that she and my dad have taken my Aunt Debi to pick her SUV up from the body shop (she had a wreck several weeks ago). Then, I imagine my dad will make my mom go get her driver's license renewed. She was supposed to have done that yesterday, but I think she went shopping instead. She asked me if they'd give her a few days grace period.

Um, NO!

That's just the way my mother's mind works. Always with the priorities (shopping vs. getting DL renewed.) She could've done it online, but like me, she WAAAY too vain for that. She wanted a new picture. I can't really say much in that department, since I waited in line for two hours just so I could get a new snapshot.

One funny age-related story about my mom: about three years ago, she and my dad were outside of a store and they were "trying out" a yard swing - you know, the ones with a canopy and a metal frame.

Before her bottom touched the seat, she heard her tailbone crack. (I think the scientific name is "coxxix")

My dad called 911, and when they asked him how old my mom was, he said "50." Now keep in mind, my mom is the type that when she gets hurt, she almost faints. At this point I'm sure she was near blackout stage.

The accident happened in June. Her birthday wasn't until September.

What does she shout, through the fog of excruciating pain?

"I'm not 50 yet!"

Happy birthday, Mom.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

My Official Thursday Weigh-In!

If The Amazing Shrinking Mom can have an Official Thursday Weigh-In, so can I.

Last week: 175.5

This week: 174

Loss: 1.5 lbs.

Total loss: 63 lbs.

Now I have to adjust my POINTS range by another two points!

Justice Court

The place you go when you throw your food wrapper out your truck window, or when you slit someone's throat.

(It reminds me of high school, where you got in-school suspension if you cut class or brought a weapon to school. That was pre-Columbine.)

Ah, the life of a small-town newspaper reporter.

See, in March, we had a man in our county who was opening up a Mexican restaurant. He was not Mexican, but had partners who were.

One morning, this man's ex-wife found him dead in his living room.

The chief suspects: a young Latino man who had lived with the man and helped him with renovations to the restaurant building, and the Latino man's girlfriend, a young girl from around here.

The two disappeared, along with the man's car, around the same time as the murder.

Although many speculated that the pair and their child had hightailed it across the border, they were finally found in Memphis at the beginning of this month. They were living in a motel, living off handouts from a church. They had apparently been going from congregation to congregation for some time before someone recognized the young man's last name and called authorities.

Today was a preliminary hearing. It was supposed to begin at 2:00 p.m. I got there about 1:50. The deceased's family was already there. The suspect was not.

And boy, was it ever cold. I need to write a scathing editorial about how cold this county keeps their buildings. I mean, seriously - I'm a taxpayer. I'm paying to freeze. It's not right.

So, for a little over an hour, I sat and listened to traffic tickets. One young boy was clocked doing 104 in a 70 m.p.h. zone. Needless to say, he got a pretty hefty fine and was advised not to get another ticket anytime soon.

A college student was clocked doing 81 in a 55 m.p.h. zone. She insisted that she couldn't have been going that fast, because there were two cars in front of her. The Highway Patrolman who clocked her said he didn't see any other cars.

But the best one yet was the boy who was eating something with a wrapper while he was driving. He had his arm out the window of his truck, and the "wind" blew the wrapper out of his hand.

Problem was, there was a Sheriff's Deputy behind him, and the wrapper landed on his car. When the boy was pulled over, he was still chewing the food. He gave the deputy his "wind" story.

He got a fine, too.

Finally, it was the murder suspect's turn. His hearing lasted about 20 minutes. The only witness was the Chief Deputy.

Not much was accomplished, but the suspect has been bound over to the Grand Jury. I won't know anything else for at least a month or two, when they meet again.

It was slightly surreal, sitting between the accused and the family of the slain man. I don't know how they stood to be in the same room with him.

And, as the authorities are pretty confident that they have good evidence, I assume we'll be in the same position again in a few months.

I've never covered a murder trial before, so I don't know quite what to expect.

One thing I do know, however - I will remember to bring a coat.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And now for the week's soccer pictures

(And again, many thanks to Amanda. I don't know what parents do who don't have their Own Personal Paparazzo following their kids around. I guess they must have to take pictures or something. Me? I just get pregnant, pop out The Worlds Cutest Kid, and let the photography ensue. It's great.)

I don't know what she was talking to Abbi about in this picture. However, I do know that Abbi's grandfather is like the head of the Tate County Republican Party or something, so they could've been discussing politics. Anna Marie has also been watching more Fox News now that Aunt Debi is around, so they could very well be forming their own branch of the Tate County Junior Republicans.

I believe in this picture she is practicing her karate moves while on the sidelines. Except, she doesn't take karate. She just likes to practice it on the sidelines during soccer.

And one last photograph. Although you'll notice no Anna Marie, it is a pretty good showing of how CUTEY McCUTE CUTE these kids are in their too-big soccer uniforms (or kits, as they're called across the pond).

By the way, we seem to be making some progress. The coach told me Saturday that she was "funny" and that he was beginning to be able to understand what she was saying to him. In fact, he understood her perfectly when she told him that she was GROWLING AT THE OTHER TEAM! Seems she thought that little tactic would intimidate them.

Judging by the ratio of their goals to ours, I don't think it worked.

Note for next week: growling, as a form of intimidation, is unsportsmanlike and very probably frowned on in church soccer league circles.

Monday, September 25, 2006

More on pants

Mel over at the Amazing Shrinking Mom also had a clothing revelation this weekend, though it sounds like hers went better than mine did.

Be gone, big pants!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Turner girls have a size crisis.

Anna Marie and I have a size crisis. Fortunately, she doesn't know about hers.

Mine is because I'm getting smaller, but not taller. Hers comes because she is getting bigger and taller.

Both of these are "good things" for us, respectively.

I spent a good bit of yesterday searching for a simple pair of khaki pants. I don't want much from a pair of khakis - they must fit (obviously), they must not taper at the ankle (don't want to look like an ice cream cone), and they really, really need to be petities (I'm 5'2" tall, on a good day.)

Things I don't need: pleats in the front, cargo pockets (I'll be wearing these pants to work), and, in the same vein, a loop of fabric for a hammer. I'm a newspaper reporter, for goodness sakes, not a carpenter.

Oh, and my budget must come into play - at this point in my "weight loss journey" I don't want to spend more than $10 for any one item of clothing. I never know how long I'll be wearing it before it gets too big.

I can't order off the internet, because I'm not really sure what size I am. When I look at the measurements on their sites, and look at my measurements, something isn't jiving up. They say I'm still the same size I was last year. I've lost over 60 lbs., so that can't be right. Otherwise, my clothes that are that size would still fit.


Anyway, my mom and Aunt Debi had been RAVING about the new Burlington Coat Factory that just opened up half an hour away. Keep in mind, they're both of a good height - around 5'7" or so.

I went, and, when I asked about petites, the "salesgirl" vaguely pointed me in some random direction, saying they were mixed in, before turning to a friend for some (important I'm sure) conversation.

I found one pair of khaki pants that were petites. They had pleats and tapered at the ankles. Two strikes against them.

It was during this time that I decided to meander over to the kids' clothes. Shocker number two: Anna Marie may or may not be in toddler sizes anymore.

She's turning 5 next week, and up until now, clothing sizes have been easy - peasy. What size does she wear? Well, how old is she? That was about the extent of it. Now, I discover that most manufacturers don't make a 5T. I thought I'd have at least one more year of shopping in the "infants/toddlers" section, but I may have to break into the big girl clothes earlier that I thought.

And, how will I know what size she wears, when it no longer goes by age? I don't understand the difference (if any) between size 4T and size 4. And what is this "6x" stuff all about? I was always a chunky girl, so normal kids sizes confuse me.

I was devistated. She's growing up. It isn't that I want another child right now. I know I can't handle that. I have to work full time, something I didn't do when Anna Marie was a baby, and I went through a really, really terrible bout of post-partum depression after she was born. I couldn't put my family through that again.

Well, after three more stores, I finally found a pair of pants. Not perfect, but OK. No cargo pockets, or tapering ankles, or hammer loops. And, only a few dollars over my $10 limit. I was so delirously happy, I didn't know what to do with myself.

(I guess I should add that in addition to the changing seasons and my weight loss, I have another reason to get new clothes - I've lost several peices of my already-small wardrobe in the last couple of weeks to mysterious bleach stains. I was pretty devistated over that, too.)

(I'm not joking! I thought I had another couple of weeks at least to wear them!)

So, here we Turner women go. I'm getting smaller, and she's growing up.

Both of us are entering uncharted wardrobe territory.

It's enough to make me wish for a fig leaf.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Whoever came up with this idea…

Is a flippin' genius.

I mean, seriously.

What is the "target demographic" for Taco Bell? That's right - high school and college students.

Can't you just see a bunch of them sitting around, waiting for their order number, and reading these packets out loud? It could even be a "between the sheets" game like the fortune cookies when I was in college (and yes, I went to a Christian school!)

And the sayings are so, you know, insightful.

Take this slogan for instance. It hits the nail, um, packet, straight on the head - LOADS of these things end up in glove boxes every year.

Some other packets talk about looking thirsty, or "carpe sauce," or wanting to be a water bed when they grow up.

Right now, there is a group of hungry young people, wading through the collections of hot sauce packets at their local Taco Bell, hoping against hope that there will be a new slogan they didn't see last time.

"The road to mediocrity is littered with ketchup packets."

"At night, the sporks pick on me."

"Live life one sauce packet at a time."

Genius, I tell you. Pure genius.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

After a month of waiting!

I finally updated The Kid's blog. I know it isn't a story by her, but it's a story about her.

Anna Marie's World

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

New and improved! Now with soccer pictures!

Ok, let me preface this post by saying that I did not take ANY of these pictures.

They were the product of Anna Marie's Own Personal Paparazzo, her Aunt Manda. I "borrowed" them from her Flickr.

I have become so accustomed to just lugging Amanda around everywhere we go, that I don't bother to lug a camera around very often.

(Of course, Amanda, I mean "lugging" in the nicest possible way!)

So, here's how Saturday's game went down. Good thing they don't keep score in the kindergarten division.

She's pretty good at kicking, so they let her do it a good bit. She got the opening kick (I don't know what you call that in soccer) and she also helped out her team by kicking the ball back in bounds.

And rest assured, it went out of bounds a lot. In fact, her team didn't quite get the whole kick-the-ball-vaguely-in-the-direction-of-your-goal thing. That's OK. Their uniforms are too big, so they're CUTE! And that's all that matters, right?

Ok. Now, Anna Marie is a bright kid, but she's what you might call "excitable." She's also what you might call "easily distractable," a trait she gets from me. Several times throughout the game, she was not quite paying attention to the game itself, but starting random conversations with the other kids. Even when she was running with the ball, she would shout to her teammates "I'm getting really good at this!" Note for next time: less talking, more running/kicking.

And, this picture? Is that even LEGAL? I don't know anything about soccer, but I don't think one of the other kids is allowed to HOLD MY BABY BACK while he gets to the ball. Am I wrong?

She had a lot of fun, which I guess is the point. And, she got the "Most Christlike Player" award. I don't really know what their critera are for that. She did show some concern when the other kids got hurt, so maybe that's it. One of Amanda's friends says they must determine it by watching old tapes of Jesus playing soccer as a kid, and pick the one who looks most like Him.

Not that I'm not proud of that award or anything, but if they'd had a "Player Who Felt The Need To Comment On Everything" award, she would've had that all sewn up. I think she talked more than any kid on the team. And yes, she comes by that honestly.

At least she didn't flop around on the ground constantly like one of her teammates. And, seeing the whole team in a real game made me feel better that my kid wasn't the only clueless one out there.

Unfortunately, practice was cancelled this week because of rain. The Geckos could have REALLY used some more coaching before this weekend.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Party dilemma solved.

Amanda and I were taking a spin around Target's birthday stuff last week, when inspiration hit us.


Not like the movie, even though she LOVES that movie. Just robots in general, since she LOVES robots in general.

I can't even explain how much this kid is into robots. But, we figured that a robots-themed party would provide some pretty interesting opportunities for games and crafts.

Posted above is the invitation I made in Publisher. (Oh, how I hate that program, but it's all we have.) I printed it on postcard stock, partly because I already had it (and I didn't have to spend the money on it) and partly because I knew it would be cheaper to mail. I figure the less money I put out on invites, the more money I had for other birthday things.

Like a mini soccer goal, which is what I really want to get her. Or the Thomas coal station I already got her on clearance last week. Or some sort of pinata, which she saw at James Michael's first birthday party and thought was really cool.

So, I'll get these sent off, and then comes the fun part - coming up with robot-themed game, craft, and food ideas.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I want that!

You'd be amazed what seems like a good idea at 4:30 a.m.

I sure was.

This morning I woke up and had no idea what time it was. The clock is on Jason's side, so it takes some doing for me to see it.

We had to get up early, because today was Anna Marie's first soccer game. I lay there, unable to get back to sleep, for some time.

Finally, I got up, thinking that if it was, say, 6 a.m. or so, I'd get up, make myself some coffee, and get the day started early. Imagine my surprise when the clock said 4:30 a.m.

I got up and watched TV for about an hour. Know what's on TV at that time of morning?


Lots of them. For lots of different products. The ironic thing was, I'd just seen a thing on Dateline on Friday night about fake infomercials, so I was quite skeptical.

Still, I found myself trying to figure out how I'd work some of these into the budget:

1. My Gym. It's about the size of one of those step things I used to use in my step aerobics class, but it has a padded top and resistance bands all around. It only takes up 36", but you can do lots of different exercises on it. I was even figuring out storage space.

2. The Magic Bullet. Now, I've seen this one before, but not in this configuration. We REALLY need a new blender, and this one came with a full-size blender attachment. It also had a juicer, in addition to the smoothie cups and other gadgets. All for the low, low price of $99.99, or three easy payments of $33. How can you go wrong for just a dollar a day?

3. The Pancake Puffs Pan. That's right, ladies and gentlemen. It's a frying pan with round indentations. You fill it up with batter (pancake, muffin, etc.) and halfway through the cooking time, you use some chopstick-like thingies to flip it over and brown the other side. Voila! Puffs of pancakes. You even get an oversized syringe, to fill your pancake puffs with the filling of your choice. Brilliant!

As you can see, I flipped channels quite a bit.

After about an hour, or at 5:30 a.m., I went back to bed. I got a little more sleep, but I'm not sure how much. We've had a busy day - first the soccer game, then a funeral in Arkansas for my uncle's ex-wife, then back to her sons' houses (they live next door to each other) for the obligatory after-funeral stuff.

I've kept so hyped up on caffeine, I'm just now starting to feel the effects of my fractured sleep.

Now, I'll go to bed and try to figure out how to get the My Gym. They said I could bring it home for a month for just $14.95! Sweet!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I have found the perfect job.

Yesterday, I went to our local magazine publishing plant for the printing of "Welcome to Tate County 2007."

I sat in this room all day, while reading interesting magazines from all over (I learned what it's like to be a parent in NYC! And have lots and lots of options to entertain your child!) and had access to much food and drink. (Notice, I said "access." I only indulged a little.

Every hour or so, one of the guys would come out of the press room and bring me eight more pages to look at. It was fascinating.

When I tired of reading about NYC parents and how to properly merchandise accessories, I watched this:

It had cable and everything. I've stayed in motel rooms that weren't as nice.

I wanted to go see our pages being printed, but there were some silly OSHA regulations about not wearing open-toe shoes near the machinery. Hello? Don't they know it's summer? I don't really have any closed-toe summer shoes, except for my tennis shoes, and I wasn't wearing those. It would've been tacky.

Never fear. The nice press guy said they had sneakers I could borrow. Imagine that - they even provided me with sneakers! When I got them out of the cabinet (bottom right of the entertainment center) I noticed a Yatzee game (is that how you spell it? I've never played it.) and some blankets. In another cabinet were pillows, which looked nicer than those I have at home. I guess some people like to nap in between press runs.

They also provided ear plugs in the press room, which is good, because it is LOUD. And very, very cool. I was duly impressed.

I spent around two hours there. My every need was catered to. I didn't even have to flip the light switch in my room or the adjacent kitchen - they operated by sensing my body heat! It felt so magical (and so Bill Gates-like) to just walk into a room and have the lights flip on.

I've decided that there has to be a job like this out there, for real. I could sit in a room by myself all day, reading magazines and watching Dr. Phil, and eating minature Butterfingers (but only just a couple). Someone has to hire me to do that and just look at magazine pages every couple of hours.

That's the job for me!

Oh yeah, they also had a light box so I could make sure the colors were right on my pages.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hives update!

Anna Marie stayed at mom's house with Amanda tonight while Jason and I had dinner with my parents and my aunt (we took my aunt to get her cats from her brother, who had been "catsitting" them).

When we got back, little AM was in the tub, and I got her out to see the kittens. (KITTENS! FIVE OF THEM! OH, THE CUTENESS!) Within minutes of being dried off, she was hiving again.

I think it may be the detergent. It was Arm & Hammer, but I looked on the ingredients list and it had "perfumes and dyes" (nothing more specific than that.) The clothes she wore yesterday, as well as the towel she was dried off with tonight, were washed with that detergent. I don't think mom had used it before, and it isn't what we use at home.

Jason, bless his heart, came all the way over to mom's to bring her Benadryl. I left her there since it was so late, and mom promised to call me if anything changed. It's been an hour, and no call, so I guess everything is OK.

Maybe we've found the culprit after all.

I am officially an overreactive parent.

I took my kid to the doctor, and she got better while we were in the waiting room.

I guess I should be thankful for that, but instead I felt stupid.

And overreactive.

The babysitter called yesterday to ask what kind of reaction Anna Marie had when she got a mosquito bite. She said Anna Marie was complaining about her legs itching, and she was putting cream on it, but that her face was starting to get white bumps on it too. Since I was already at home for lunch, and Kim's house is just around the corner, I scooted over to see what was going on.

I looked at her thighs (Anna Marie's, not Kim's) and they were COVERED in hives. Just COVERED. Her face was hiving too. We couldn't figure out what was going on, so I took her home to give her some Benadryl and "observe" her.

I was flashing back to my sophomore year of college. I'd eaten at Pizza Hut with my dad (he was bringing me back for second semester) and started hiving. I took Benadryl that night, but the next morning the reaction continued. I ended up going to the emergency room when my upper lip swelled (I looked like a duck. Jason thought it was hilarious.) We never did find out what made me do that.

I promised myself I'd give the meds half an hour. We had a little prayer. We sat down in the floor to play with her Little People, and I left her pants off so I could keep an eye on her thighs.

However, about 15 minutes after she got the medicine, her other cheek started to hive, and then her arm. I panicked and took her to the doctor. I took a picture with my phone for good measure, so that in case she got worse (or better) I'd have a point of reference. We signed in at 1:00, and waited.

Gradually, I started to notice that her hives were fading. Anna Marie was figuring out that she wasn't itching anymore, and she wanted to leave. In fact, that's the last thing she said to me, "Can't we just go?" before she fell asleep in my lap.

She hasn't done that since she was nine months old and we were at dinner in Daytona Beach while chaparoning a youth trip.

I didn't know what to do. As the song says, should I stay or should I go? What do you do when your kid gets better while you're sitting in the waiting room? Do you go mark your name off the sign-up sheet and say "my bad, guess she wasn't really sick after all" and look like an idiot? Or do you wait it out, and risk the doctor not believing you?

We finally saw Dr. Ruhl about 2:30, and by that point she was completely cured. We talked for a few minutes about what could be the cause, and then decided we couldn't pinpoint one. He told me to take her home and observe her to see if the reaction came back after the medicine wore off.

Of course, nothing else happened. I took the rest of the day off from work, did my grocery shopping, and helped her play on the computer until dinner time.

So, while I'm thankful that she's OK and not having a serious reaction, I wish I knew what the cause had been so that I could avoid it in the future. She was so miserable when she was itching.

And I still haven't figured out the correct etiquette for leaving/staying at the doctor's office when your child recovers in the waiting room.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Three nights, three meals, three movies.

That about sums up my weekend.

Mom and dad went to South Carolina so she could sing at a homecoming service, and we played host to Aunt Debra.

On Friday, I made chili (please don't be impressed - it's mainly dumping Chili Magic, Boca crumbles, and diced tomatoes into a pot and letting it get hot) at mom's house and we watched Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Seriously, I don't know what the production budget must've been for that movie, but I can only imagine it was huge. I mean, Jim Carrey gets like $20 million per picture on his own. Plus there was Meryl Streep, Cedric the Entertainer, Billy Connolley (loved him in Mrs. Brown) and (for cryin' out loud!) Dustin Hoffman. And I'm sure there were others that I was too unhip or too distracted by Anna Marie to notice. All in all, not a bad movie.

Then came Saturday. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I found myself once again cooking dinner at mom's. Only this time, there was no game plan, so I had to resort to a "pantry raid." I found a box of thin spaghetti. Amanda had half a jar of tomato and basil pasta sauce, and I added a can of diced tomatoes to make sure we had enough. It was surprisingly good.

For the movie, we watched Waking Ned Devine. Aunt Debra had seen it, but a long time ago, so she didn't remember much. If you haven't watched this movie, you seriously need to. It will have you wanting to move to Ireland to a little village with only 52 people.

On Sunday night, Amanda did the cooking. Vegetable soup, to replace that which she had made on Saturday (she doesn't eat spaghetti) but that got destroyed when I opened the refrigerator door and had a container of scalding hot soup come down on my foot. Ouch! That whole incident was NOT MY FAULT, by the way. I was just collateral damage.

Our movie selection was the first Pirates of the Carribbean. (Obviously, because the only way we'd have been able to watch the second one was a bootlegged copy, and we're not going there.) Aunt Debra had not seen it at all, and she was pretty creeped out by the skeleton pirates. I assured her we had not let Anna Marie watch that one! But, despite the creepiness, Aunt Debra declared the movie a good one.

My weekend is now a blur of movies and meals. Next weekend starts soccer season, so I'll have far less time to relax for a while.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Veni, Vidi, Vici

(Yes, I know that's my (probably) slightly garbled attempt at Latin, and that it stands for "I came, I saw, I conquered. And that this post has nothing to do with any of that stuff. But I didn't take Latin, I took Spainish, and I didn't know a cool catchphrase for any of the stuff this post IS about.)

I ate too much.

I exercised too little.

I gained two pounds this week.

I could blame it on "stress" or "my time of the month" or a dozen other things, but the bottom line is, it has more to do with "chocolate overload cake" and "pizza twice in one week" and "some more delicious cake made by Amanda involving candied ginger and carrots.

And "not enough water" and "not enough fruits or veggies" and "sitting on my behind all week covering meetings of public officials."

I do this every couple of months or so, which makes me question whether I'm getting this whole "lifestyle change" thing, even after more than a year. I guess I am, but it's just that my "lifestyle" will not make me promise to never eat those things again. I don't eat chocolate overload cake every day. I don't eat pizza that often - this was just a freak twice-in-one-week thing, and neither pizza had anything like meat on it. I usually get my water and veggies in, but something about this week has just been "off."

And I realize that, even though for the first time in a year I didn't write down a SINGLE thing I put in my mouth (I was "keeping up with it" in my head) that before I started caring what I ate, I'd probably have done worse. MUCH worse.

My resolve is now strengthened for next week.

And, as someone once said, "onward and upward," or in my case, "onward and downward."

A victim of the Siren's song.

Chocolate Overload Torte.

I have (nearly) a whole one of these in my refrigerator. Right now.

Jason brought it home from his job last night.

And I fell victim to it's Siren song.

I can't believe I'm admitting to this, but I feel so guilty it's got me being doubly vigilant today. I didn't even look at the nutritional information, because I knew it would make me not eat it.

I willfully sinned.

But, oh my gosh. It has to be the most delicious chocolate cake I've ever eaten. And, now that I've tasted it, I've gotten it out of my system. I can move on from here. Otherwise, I'd be thinking about it nonstop. It really is better this way.

I haven't made the best choices this week. I can make PLENTY of excuses - working until midnight on Friday, having to get the magazine out, Labor Day, having one less day to get my regular work PLUS a special hunting section done - but the bottom line is, I'm in charge of the choices I make. I can't chalk it up to anyone or anything else.

Therefore, when I go to weigh in tonight, I'll accept my fate. Asking for a miracle at the scale is a little bit like not studying for a test and then asking God to somehow make all that knowledge fall into your head.

(You know, I had a professor in college (it was a Christian college) who would pray before a test that if we hadn't studied, God wouldn't help us supernaturally remember the material.)

So, I'll go into that church gym tonight, resigned to take whatever is coming. If God has mercy on me (meaning either I maintain or don't gain too much) I'll be rightfully thankful. But, if the outcome isn't good, I'll not blame Him or anyone else.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Anna Marie's excellent weekend

Yes, she has a blog of her own. But I can't get her to stay home long enough to update the blasted thing!

Mom went out of town with two of her sisters, but as you will soon see, Anna Marie was not left wanting for attention.

We went to Hernando on Saturday, and ate pizza outside on the patio of the restaurant. She and her Aunt Manda played Tic-Tac-Toe to pass the time. Except, she didn't quite get the concept of "blocking" the other person. She only won once, when Amanda "let" her.

Then, we went to Conger Park. It's one of Anna Marie's favorite places in the whole wide world. We didn't think we'd have time to go, but Jason pulled through for her. She was so excited, she said that Gramma was going to be really jealous of her.

She spent the night with Amanda twice during the weekend. And they slept in Gramma's bed. She thought that would make Gramma jealous, too.

And last night we had a cookout, but I didn't take one single picture. Guess I was too busy talking! Aunt Esther and Alison (and the boys) came, and mom and Aunt Debra came over when they got back into town.

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend. One that I needed after the last two weeks I'd had.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Too tired to post a picture.

If I did, it would have to be a picture of me. But, I wouldn't want to alarm anyone.

I've been at work since 7:30 a.m. It is now 12:05 a.m. I left work 10 MINUTES AGO.

As you may know, I work for a newspaper. We publish a magazine every fall called "Welcome to Tate County."

Now, this was all well and good the first couple of years. We had an editor who was FABULOUS at designing things. He also did very, very little other work, so he could hole himself up in his office for a weekend and get the pages put together.

However, last year all that changed. The editor decided he'd rather work in the airline industry and travel to fabulous locations meeting fabulous people than have to answer to his dad at a dumb newspaper in some dumb county where you can't even buy liquor legally.

So, last year, his mom paid him no-telling-what to put the magazine together. Bought him a new laptop and everything. Except he didn't do much in the way of the putting together of the magazine. I still ended up doing a good bit of the work. Thankfully, the articles were all written (by other people) before I became News Editor.

This year, our publisher dedcided we'd do it all in house. Plus, thanks to the aforementioned "magic brownies" I had no intern to help me. I had to write nearly every speck of copy myself (except for a couple of articles from the local college and home for those with mental handicaps) and take nearly every single stinkin' picture. Myself. IN ADDITION TO MY REGULAR WORK.

I spent about four hours on Saturday getting ahead for this week. We then had a short deadline because of Labor Day. So, I had all day today to work.

And I did.

And it's done.

And I'm glad.

I could have posted a picture of the cover of the magazine (which my sister did a FABULOUS job on, by the way) but it could very well get me fired. We have this "no scooping" policy, which means that I can get fired on the spot if I tell someone what's coming out in the paper before the day the paper comes out.

So, no picture. At least not now anyway.

I spent two hours of my life making PDF files, and another two hours uploading those files to a server in Michigan.

I'm tired. My contacts are getting dry. But, I'm too wound up to go to sleep, so I need to unwind a little.

In the morning, I'll be able to more fully appreciate the magnitude of what took place today.

(Oh, and many, MANY thanks to Jason, who, after taking Anna Marie to McDonald's for dinner, stopped by the office with ice cream and parfaits for me, Amanda, and Shirley. I would've probably fallen out from malnutrition, or worse, hit the vending machine, if he hadn't done that. Thanks dear!)

(By the way, I didn't have both the ice cream and the parfait. He brought a couple of each so we'd have a choice. I had the parfait. Although, McDonald's ice cream isn't a bad deal nutritionally speaking, so I could've had it. But I digress.)