Wednesday, January 30, 2008

You know who these guys are, don't you?

How have I missed doing a post on this? It's all over teh intarwebs, and I feel I must chime in.

The New Kids on the Block are getting back together!

Reunited and it feels so good!

Ok, so that wasn't their song, but I'm trying to keep some of their other stuff from becoming embedded too deeply in my ears.

My devotion for those Bostonians knew no bounds in the late 80's and early 90's. They came to Memphis when I was in the eighth grade, and I couldn't afford tickets, so I tried to win them off the radio.

(And then, the day after the concert, a friend divulged she had an extra!)

I had to share my room with Amanda, and I didn't have any pictures up, but Marcia - her room was a shrine to those guys. Her room was upstairs, and there was this angled spot in the transition between the wall and the ceiling. Just the right spot for a poster of Jordan Knight, above her bed.

He was the first thing she saw every morning and the last thing at night.

That year for her birthday, she spent $50 (I think) on a book full of photos of them - which fell apart the first time we looked at it.

Even though I thought Jordan was the cutest, my daydreams centered around Joey because he was the youngest. I would imagine he was singing "I'll be Lovin' You" straight to me, over my mom's stereo.

(Did I just admit that? Out loud?)

I think this time, Marcia and I need to get together and go see them if they come anywhere near here. I think we'd all be ashamed to admit all of the lyrics we still know.

I can't remember when they fell out of favor - perhaps when they released doll versions of themselves? When I got to high school and focused my attention on Freedom Williams (the big muscle-y guy from C + C Music Factory)?

Who knows. I'm just waiting to see what comes of the (New) New Kids on the Block.

Or, as Marcia just texted me, "Old Dudes on the Block."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Everyone knows it's Wendy

No, I didn't misspell that title - and you're welcome for the ear worm.

As I type this, the wind is howling - HOWLING - outside. It's been just awful outside today. While it wasn't the bitter cold of the last few days (or the sleet and frozen fog of late last week) the weather's been bad all the same.

It was windy yesterday, but really kicked up today. It rained, and it rained, and it rained, all day long. Our back room at work flooded all of a sudden this afternoon, and the doors have been blowing open all on their own.

In Anna Marie's words, it's pretty creepy.

Turns out, it gets worse than flooded rooms and auto-opening doors.

My mom was driving up to her house this afternoon, talking on the phone, and just as she got home (and was getting off the phone) her friend said, "Be careful - it's supposed to be windy."

"Yeah, I know, it already is," she said. To which her friend replied, "No, I mean dangerously windy."

Cue a tree falling onto the mailboxes at the end of the driveway and blocking her route.

(One mailbox belongs to my mom and the other to her sister who lives next door, by the way.)

So, since she couldn't go any further, she got out and went to my aunt's house. My dad was already over there, because a tree branch was thrust into the bathroom, landing just above the shower curtain rod.

In her house, which is less than a year old. There is a tree branch in the bathroom. Lodged into the wall.

My aunt was sitting on her bed, talking on the phone with one of the other sisters (what is it with these two and phones?) and saw it happen.


So, my dad was going to try to get some sort of tarp over the branch, in case it started raining. My aunt, meantime, was finding her homeowner's policy.

There is no telling what I'm going to see when I get up in the morning. There were already random tree branches and other debris scattered around the neighborhood when I was on my way home. Tomorrow may well look like a war zone.

As long as it isn't as bad as a summer day a few years ago - straight line winds caused enormous damage in the Mid-South.

And what was this weather event dubbed by the local media?

Hurricane Elvis.

Monday, January 28, 2008

What a ham!

So, as I said before, Jason did take one for the team and ferry Anna Marie to the hockey game on Thursday night. Here, she's "fueling up" for the performance with a Back Yard Burgers chicken strips meal.

(Hey - it was Thursday, when kids eat free. Think we're going to pass up the promise of a free meal? Think again.)

I don't really know if he "enjoyed" it or not - he's so hard to read. They saw about 10 minutes of the game, and came home. But Little AM informed me when she got up on Friday morning that he had promised they could go to another game (one that wasn't on a school night) and stay the whole time.

Bet he's going to make me take her by myself, just for payback. I'll have to remind him of all the Grizzlies games I've taken her to, sans him.

He did, however, take a short video of the performance. And I do mean short. The song is a VERY edited version of Party Like a Rock Star.

Untitled from turnermel on Vimeo.

I was a little unhappy when I came to pick her up one day and heard that song playing, lest she want to hear the unedited version, but I honestly don't think she's paying that much attention.

I do take comfort that, even if my kid doesn't quite look like she's doing it perfectly, neither does anyone else. Hey, misery (or poor performances) loves company!

I will get to see her perform it, though, in a couple of weeks. She has to go to a nursing home and perform the Sunday after Valentine's Day.

Those folks won't know what hit them.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Official "Thursday" Weigh-In

It's still Thursday somewhere, right?

This delay was not due to my dreading typing the results - I maintained at 159 this week - but because of my late night last night.

I got news of two deaths close to me on Wednesday morning - our office manager, Faye, lost her mother, and my BFF Marcia (yes, the one who is getting married next week) lost an aunt.

She sent me a text yesterday asking me to come see her last night, because she's just so devastated about the whole thing. And after seeing her, I understand the depth of this family's grief. I knew her aunt, and this whole family is just like family to me. She went into the hospital on Tuesday for a minor surgery, and died Wednesday morning after her husband had left for work.

After I weighed in (and spent 15 minutes in a drivethrough with only one other person in front of me! Ugh!) I drove the 40 miles or so to Marcia's house. It was so good to see her and her parents. We talked about her aunt, we talked about our families, and we talked about the wedding.

It's going to be bittersweet for everyone, trying to enjoy next weekend, but I had seen the aunt at Marcia's shower and I know how excited she was about the wedding. I think the couple is going to memorialize her at the service.

And I also know that the aunt lived her life for Christ, and I know where she is right now, but that doesn't mean that those she leaves behind (her husband of 40 years, her two children and their spouses and her grandchildren, among others) won't miss her until they get to see her again.

Mortality. It's a heavy thing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Food review time!

Yeah, yeah, bated breath and all that.

Although most of the time I do my grocery shopping alone, Jason was along with me on a recent shopping trip.

As we headed down the pasta aisle, I reached for my usual whole wheat variety. But my husband, he was feeling a bit adventurous.

And, apparently, a bit like a big spender.

Because he wanted to try this Ronzoni Smart Taste. And it costs about 40 cents more per box than the whole wheat, which makes it about twice the price of regular pasta.

(We got the spaghetti, but I couldn't find a picture of that box online, so you'll just have to use your imagination, 'K?)

I was prepared to not like this pasta. Or, at least, to think that it wasn't so great as to warrant the extra 40 cents.

I should've been prepared to be wrong.

A few days later I got home from work and Jason was cooking this stuff up. When I got my bowl (because I am fancy and I have honest-to-goodness pasta bowls) I was amazed.


Normal pasta, to me at least, doesn't have much flavor on its own. I think of it more as a delivery vehicle for sauces and other toppings. This stuff was different. It was good. Like, I could tell a difference in the taste of this pasta and the taste of regular bargain-basement pasta.

It was so good, I found myself looking forward to the next time we'd have spaghetti.

Yes, two years of watching my food intake has driven me slightly insane.

The nutritionals on this stuff, by the way, are pretty similar to whole wheat pasta. Except it has lots of vitamins and minerals and other good-for-you stuff.

I hate - HATE - to admit that Jason was right this time. I'm such a cheap skate, and he's a believer in paying (slightly) more for better quality.

Now if they'd just get slightly-less-dumb commercials, I'd be all good with these Ronzoni folks.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Great Gobs of Geico

Geico commercials are an odd thing.

Have you noticed that they have about three different campaigns going right now? That means they have three different target audiences.

I don't know who they're targeting with this ad, but it's my absolute favorite.

It heartily beats both the Little Richard and Peter Frampton ads.

The only way it could get better would be a James Brown version, and, well, I don't guess that's really possible now.

(Full disclosure: I used to have Geico. Then they went up on my rates. So now we have Progressive. But I don't get nearly the kick out of their ads. What's so exciting about comparing rates online, anyway? I'm going with the Pips.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

No, I didn't turn into a pumpkin

But then again, we left the ball at 9 p.m.

(Rosemary, Mary and I all had to get up the next morning for church, and none of us was interested in the live auction or dancing, so we skedaddled.)

It was a lovely evening.

I wound up wearing my old standby, my black wrap dress that is actually a size too big but it's pretty stretchy so it's OK.

I didn't really get any pictures. I get so tired of not being able to enjoy events because I'm stuck behind the camera! I'm supposing it must be how my sister feels.

When we got to the arena where the ball was held, we figured out that we wouldn't be sitting together! I didn't even think about there being assigned table numbers!

Apparently, they had me at the front. Because I'm the "press." So my table was right up near the stage. I was the first one there, and I had my pick of dessert to sit in front of.

I plopped myself down right in front of a piece of caramel cheesecake. I'm no fool!

I thought I'd be dining alone, which, while it may have looked sad to others would've been fine by me. But about the time I got through the buffet line and back to my table, I was joined by the couple who owns the newspaper in the county just south of ours.

See, I told you. The press. The couple admitted they didn't even bring a camera - another reason I refrained from whipping mine out too much. I didn't want them to feel unprepared.

I was glad to sit next to two people I'd had some contact with. They were very, very nice. And my husband, who was reluctant to come because he had no tux, needn't have worried. There were lots of people in just plain suits - including the mayor of our city.

A group of kids from a blues museum's music outreach program performed. They were cute, down to the little guy playing the drums who barely came to the top of the kit.

The main honorees were a couple, originally from Mississippi, who had settled in L.A. and made a name for themselves - Sam and Mary Haskill. He retired as an agent from the William Morris Agency, and she's a former Miss America and current singer. They're apparently very philanthropic, those two, and currently building a house so they can move back down here.

There were also lots of pre-taped commercials from event sponsors, most of which could've used a little editing.

I had a good time. The ladies and I had a blast on the way up there and back, and I saw several people from around town that I knew. And I really did enjoy sitting with that publisher and his wife.

And, save for that slice of heaven cheesecake, I was even a very good girl.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I found my Fairy Godmother!

And she walked right straight into my office this morning.

Her name is Rosemary, and she came to give me some receipts to give Jason for some Project TATE purchases. Because that's just one in a long line of checking accounts he keeps up with - like I've said before, I don't balance accounts, and he doesn't write news stories.

I happened to mention to her that I'd gotten tickets to the Crystal Ball.

"Oh, do you need to ride with us?" she asked. Her husband didn't want to go either, so she was taking her daughter.

I explained that I wanted to go, but that Jason didn't, and I didn't want to go by myself. So I'm going with the two of them!

Wow, my Fairy Godmother arrived with a coach and everything - Rosemary's Buick Regal.

Jason, by the way, didn't mind this arrangement one bit. He'd rather be home, and besides, he needs his Saturday night to finish getting things together for the music on Sunday morning.

I'm so excited - I'd already made an appointment to get my hair cut tomorrow morning, and now I'm SO glad I did. I was looking a bit shaggy.

Yay! I'm going to a ball!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Official Thursday Weigh-In

This has been the week from you-know-where.

When I went to weigh in, I didn't even want to leave the house. It was cold and dark out there, and warm and cozy in here, and OMG THE CRAMPS THEY WERE KILLING ME.

But I changed into some more comfortable clothes, and put on my jacket, and soldiered on.

(Did you know that's our unofficial family motto? "Soldier On." Amanda came up with it.)

Back to business, though.

I maintained this week. I know I did what was required of me, but I also know that I'm having a really tough time-of-the-month this week, so I'm not upset.

(Who am I kidding - after the Christmas I had, I'm not complaining anyway.)

My dad came home from the hospital today, after a stern talking-to from a dietician about how his uncontrolled diabetes can be a gateway to all sorts of problems - problems with his heart, his kidneys, his eyes, his limbs, you name it.

It's just so frustrating to me to know that there are changes he could make, small, incrimental changes, that would make an immeasurable improvement in the way he feels.

Only time will tell, though, if this mini-stroke was the wake up call he needs.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Things I have learned today

1. If your child contracts a highly-contagious, highly-scary disease (such as, oh, say, pink eye) you will notice the tell-tale signs of said disease exactly one half hour after the doctor's office closes.

2. Although her eyes will be runny and icky before she goes to bed, and you will have to clean them out every 10 minutes (and wash your hands at least as often), and although her eyes will be glued shut with the ickiness of it all when she wakes up in the morning, by the time you get to see a doctor, they will be neither runny nor icky.

3. Although you may spend 45 minutes at Wal-Mart waiting on a prescription to be filled, and gather several random things to pay for at the same time, when you get home you will find out that your "friend" has come for his monthly visit. And you only have two pieces of "protection" left. And it's raining outside, so you don't want to get out. But you have no choice.

4. I cannot be trusted around an open box of cheese-flavored crackers shaped like aquatic animals.

5. It's very odd to have a child who is too sick to go to school, but not sick enough to lay around watching TV and needing general mothering all day.

6. If you watch enough cable during the day, you're going to get major baby fever.

7. Just because your dad isn't paralyzed, and isn't slurring his speech, doesn't mean he hasn't had a stroke.

8. When your kid, who previously refused to work on her "R" sounds because she wanted to go to speech with her friends, is tested again for speech, she will proceed to say those "R" sounds perfectly to the therapist. And then proceed to say them incorrectly the rest of the time, just like normal.

(And might I note, she was tested "again" because when they tested her in the fall, we agreed to test her "again" after Christmas because I mistakenly believed that I could cure her by this semester. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Because she refused to work on those sounds because SHE WANTED TO GO TO SPEECH.)

Oh, Gentle Reader, let me give you a rundown of my last few days: Dad goes to the hospital on Sunday with unexplained dizziness and nausea. Turns out he had a stroke (I still don't understand, but I'm a writer, dangit, not a doctor).

Yesterday about the time we were eating dinner, I noticed the attractive eye discharge and pink eyes so indicative of a case of pink eye.

(I knew what it was instantly, because she'd had the same thing when she was seven months old. I also knew what a hassle the whole process is, what with the wiping and the hand washing and the OMG DON'T TOUCH YOUR EYES.)

And the doctor's office had closed half an hour earlier, and I didn't think it was serious enough to warrant a trip to the ER. And, barring the matted-up eyelashes of this morning, she was all-but-cured by the time we saw a doctor. But I had to keep her at home today anyway, which meant she missed the group picture of her class, and the "100th Day of School" celebration, and a classmate's birthday party.

And also, she won't be getting a pefect attendance award at her high school graduation.

And now, she has eye drops which must be administered thrice daily, and it takes me longer to chase her down than it does to drip them onto her closed eyelids and have her open her eyes so the drops go in.

Y'all, I'm tired. And I'm cold. And I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see that all this wet weather we're having had frozen solid by morning.

I'm going to bed before I "learn" anything else.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Where is my Fairy Godmother when I need her?

Oh, my, what a problem to have!

Because of my work at the paper, I've been invited to a ball! A Crystal Ball, no less!

It's given by a community foundation that serves several counties in our area of the state, including ours. It's also one of the organizations that sponsored the Project TATE thing I did (remember, Madidi and Morgan Freeman and how the heck did I get rooked into this?)

(Oh, update on that - we had about half of our funds left over after we finished that project, and we're buying Dance Dance Revolution units for each of the elementary schools with the rest. How cool is that?)

Well, like I said, I got two tickets. I wasn't sure about the dress code, until I saw them yesterday.

"Black Tie Preferred."


Now, I could've winged it with a dress. There are loads of fancy dresses on clearance now, after the holidays. Plus, we have a designer resale shop here in town. It's the other half of this equation that has me a bit worried.

Jason doesn't have any real objections to wearing a tux - it's just that, well, frankly I don't know if our budget will handle a dress for me and a tux rental for him.

(He doesn't really enjoy when I drag him to these things anyway. He'd rather be home watching Are You Being Served? on DVD.)

Compounding the problem, my BFF Marcia is getting married in two weeks! And she's Catholic, and she's asked me to read two scripture passages during the ceremony. I've never been to a Catholic wedding, but I have been to an Ash Wednesday service and a funeral, and I understand that the scripture readings are an important part of the ceremony. She's have a small ceremony with no attendants, and she felt this was a way I could be involved.

She asked her other BF to read a second set of scripture, but she got cold feet, so Marcia asked me to read both. No problemo, I told her.

(The other friend isn't being left out. She's manning the guest book, or some such.)

Anyway, I needed a new dress. And I made an executive decision: it's more important to me to be there for Marcia than it is this community foundation. They're nice people and all, but they aren't her. And if I don't go to the ball, very few people will notice, but everyone will be seeing me at that wedding, and I have to look good.

So yesterday, I went with my mom to visit my dad in the hospital - nothing serious, we think, just some unexplained dizziness and nausea they want to check out because of his medical history - and we went dress shopping. And while I found a really cute number on the clearance rack, I tried it on and it just was not to be.

What the heck, I decided. I picked out a full price (alright, full price was $40, but still, I have my cheapness standards) dress. And it fit! And it looked great!

And I had them put it on hold so Jason could get it today after I got paid.

And then I came home and found a 15% off coupon on the internet for that store! Score!

So, barring, a Fairy Godmother (or some Fairly Oddparents, I guess Cosmo and Wanda would do just as well) I won't be going to the ball.

Although, I guess I could enlist the aid of the mice which have been showing up at my mom's house.

And that would totally freak Amanda out.

Monday, January 14, 2008

When a six-year-old wakes you up in the wee hours of the morning

You just never know what you're going to hear.

This morning (and yes, I'd love to know what time it was, but no, I can't see the clock from my side of the bed without some major maneuvering, and yes, I've thought about a clock for my side, and no, in nearly 10 years of marriage I've never followed through on that) I heard Anna Marie make her way to my side of the bed.

I fully expected to hear her ask to get in with us, or to tell me she'd had a bad dream.


She takes my hand and says, "Mom, I don't want to have that Batman soup for lunch tomorrow. I want to have it for supper tomorrow night."

"Is that all you needed?"


"We'll talk about it in the morning."

Seems I'd bought her a can of Batman Chicken Noodle Soup, and had told her it would be in her lunch today. And, at some point in the night, she woke up, and thought about it, and decided she'd rather have it for dinner tonight.

So she thought that right then and there would be a good time to tell me about her decision.

I really thought I'd dreamed the whole exchange, until I woke up to find her bedroom door all the way open. I usually shut it almost completely, so that as she's trying to sleep (and in the morning when I get up) she isn't awakened by the sounds of the house.

When she got up, I asked her if she had come into my room last night. Yes. Did she ask me something? Yes. Was it about soup? Yes. What was it? That she didn't want the soup for lunch, she wanted it for supper.

I thought for a minute she'd inherited my sleepwalking gene - the one that made my parents buy new knobs for the doors so that they couldn't be opened without unlocking the door first. The one that made me dream that my dad was threatening to leave us and marry Dolly Partan (no, I'm not making this up!) so I went outside. In the winter, barefoot.

Yeah, I realized what I'd done when I stepped into our driveway, which was made of pea gravel at the time. I think I was 7 years old.

No, she wasn't sleepwalking - just demonstrating that once she sets her mind to something, she wants it settled then and there.

No matter what time of night it is.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Official Thursday Weigh-In

Jason just went into the office to finish watching an old Dr. Who on Netflix on-demand service, so I finally get the laptop! Yay!

(And yes, I could've gone into the office myself, but I was watching CSI and being thrilled at the new episode.)

Apparently, I gained TWO pounds last week. If I'd known that then (I'm no good at math, and when I saw the plus sign on my card I kinda zoned out) I really would've started crying.

But! I lost 1.5 this week, so that's 78 total. I weigh 159 now, and I'm almost back to the short-term goal I wanted to be at last summer!

I guess my new Amanda philosophy - the one that says that if my vegetarian sister can have stuff she refuses to eat, no matter how "convenient" it might be, so can I - is working.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Leapin' lizards!

(Sorry, Lissete - I know how much you hate these things!)

Last night, Jason told Anna Marie she'd have to pick up her Thomas train tracks that ran from one end of the living room to the other. She was distraught, because she was really digging the track configuration, and didn't want to take the time to draw it.

I suggested she take a picture, which led to her wanting to take portraits of all her trains, which led to a lesson in using the macro setting.

Which also led to me taking her picture, because its been awhile.

She asked if she could hold something, and grabbed a lizard she'd made in the shape of an "L" for school. (There was also a snake-shaped "S" among other things)

This one is ultra-realistic. She even included blood - I guess her lizard had gotten into a few scrapes along the way.

I was rather put out to realize the flash was still off after Jason used it to take a picture last week. By the time I'd turned it on, the moment had passed and she was out of the mom-taking-a-picture-of-me mood.

I've also been playing with my Cricut. Here are a few of my layouts.

And this was a scrap of Bazzil, which I turned into a bookmark.

I've just informed Jason of the existence of packs of paper that Cricut sells that are already 6X12 and don't have to be cut down to fit the mat. It's the first step in me being able to procure a few packs.

I don't know how many of you got the wild weather yesterday, but I hope everyone is safe and sound!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Necessity is the mother of invention

Or, you could say, your husband not getting paid this week is the father.

Jason informed me Thursday that I needed to watch my spending (as if I have a problem!) and I was all "Yeah, I know. Gas shot up 15 cents overnight." And he was all, "No, I didn't get paid this week."

Come again?

The car auction where he, my mother, and Amanda work running the cafeteria switched to a new accounting program. And it wasn't printing out any checks! So no bills (including the cafeteria catering bills) were getting paid!

For the record, just about everyone who "for real" works for the auction (i.e., not independent contractors like Jason) gets direct deposit. I think those who don't, get a Visa card with their money on it. So no one who "for real" works there was going without a check.

They had hoped to have a check for him by Friday. Didn't happen, of course. He's probably going to truck it up there tomorrow, which in my book is rather silly, because he has to go up there Tuesday anyway. You know, to work. And, hopefully, get paid for that work.

Anyway, back to my necessity. Instead of going out for our usual Sunday-after-church lunch, Jason asked me last night to take some chicken out of the freezer to throw on the ole' George Foreman today.

Turns out that was a good idea, because we have one very sick little red head in our house and had to leave church early, but that's beside the point. She was fine last night when the decision was made.


When Jason got home, I threw the chicken on the grill with some dry rub and barbeque sauce, and heated up some frozen veggies. Anna Marie ate about two bites of chicken (which she normally loves) and declared herself full.

Told you she was sick.

I had planned on having rotini for dinner. I knew we had a half jar of sauce in the fridge, and I thought we had some noodles. About 4 p.m., Jason waltzes through the living room where AM and I were vegged out, and said, "I know it's a little early to be thinking about this, but what are we having for dinner?"


"We're out."

Oops. We'd had some Friday night for dinner, and Jason had cooked it before I got home so I was unable to do a pasta inventory.

My mind, which is not used to having to come up with meal plans on such short notice and little food, sprang into action.

We had chicken, and some frozen vegetables, and some rice. Voila! Chicken fried rice!

Sometimes, I'm so smart I scare myself. I felt like an Iron Chef!

We didn't have an egg, but I figured that was the least of my concerns. And I had to use packets of soy sauce left over from our last episode of take out, but hey, they're no longer taking up space in my kitchen.

It turned out pretty good to be the first time I'd made it, and eggless at that. Unfortunately, Anna Marie fell asleep on the couch about the time it was done, and wouldn't eat. I let her stay there for about an hour, and then we moved her to her bed.

She started feeling "puny" last night after we left the funeral home and wouldn't eat her dinner. She's been running a low-grade temperature off and on, and I've been giving her Tylenol and her sinus medicine. This morning her fever had subsided, but once we got to church she was feeling bad again. Our church is in a storefront building, and set up somewhat like a coffee shop (in fact, we have coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and juice free for folks before, during and after service). In one corner we have four circa-1972 vinyl chairs, and she spent the time I was up on stage singing praise and worship curled up in one of those chairs with Jason's coat over her. I think at one point she fell asleep. When I got finished singing, we stayed for a bit of the message and I brought her on home.

She's also complaining of a sore throat (which scares me it might be strep) but she isn't running a very high fever, and she isn't complaining very badly about the throat. Only tomorrow morning will tell if she'll make it to school or not.

Delayed paychecks, sick little ones - it's always something, isn't it?

Friday, January 04, 2008

In other news . . .

I know y'all have been just in fits to know what else I've been doing this week - besides gaining more weight.

On Monday, I worked a mere half day. I didn't even drive my car - there was a thick layer of frost on it, and I figured that by the time I got it scraped I could just walk to work, so I did. It was cold, yes, but I had longjohns and a warm coat.

My mom came by my office and picked me up, we came home and got Jason and AM, and headed to see Amanda. Moe's for lunch, then a trip to Super Target(75% off Christmas ornaments!0 and the mall. What could be better?

Monday night for dinner, we opted for a "take and bake" pizza from Walmart, trying to save time, money, and aggrivation by not ordering our usual Pizza Hut on New Years Eve. We doctored it up with slices of Canadian bacon and olives, but it just wasn't very good. The cheese, was, I don't know, kinda weird. None of us ate much of it.

Little AM stayed up until 10 p.m., but Jason and I made it all the way to midnight -mostly watching the Big Medicine marathon on Discovery Health. I thought "Oh, Anna Marie will sleep late because she stayed up late."

Boy, was I wrong. At 7:30 a.m., there she was at the side of my bed, imploring me to get up and help her figure out why the TV was all snowy.

Since she'd gotten a McDonald's card from the church for Christmas, we decided to take her for lunch. Shortly after we got ordered, a large group of kids came in. Obviously traveling from some convention or something, because they were wearing matching shirts. And I promise before God, one of the ladies with them looked just like a girl Jason and I went to college with, but both of us were too chicken to go ask if it was her.

Wednesday morning, I got a very disturbing call from my mom. She said that my parents best friends oldest son had been found dead that morning. I'm still in shock - he was 35, just older than I am. Their other son is the same age as I am. I've known these boys all their lives - they were like cousins to me when we were growing up.

They don't really know what happened - he was found in bed. An autopsy was performed, but of course it will be a while before we know anything. The visitation is tomorrow night, and the funeral is Sunday. I know I need to go, but I just don't know if I can face his family right now. It's just all so sad.

On another, (maybe lighter) note, I've just finished another side-project with one of Jason's web clients. Here's a word of advice: please, don't call up someone on Wednesday, and tell them that you need your 10-year-old brochure updated, by the next day, but you don't have any of your original artwork, so they've got to build it from scratch. And make it look as much like the old one as possible.

I told Jason that he'd better get enough out of this job to buy me a nice Japanese dinner for Valentine's Day.

Or at least a copy of for-real Photoshop, which, unlike Elements, can handly CMYK color.

Official "Thursday" Weigh In

Yeah, this is bad.

Y'all, I gained another pound this week! And, I've had to take a long, hard look at myself in the process.

Not a pretty sight.

While I did "better" this week, did I really do what was required to lose the weight?


I had way too many days of keeping up with my food intake in my head, which doesn't work well at all. Because my head tends to forget the trips past Shirley's Candy Dish of Doom, which contains not only peppermint nougats emblazoned with Christmas trees, but now also holds almond Hershey's Kisses, AND some peppermint Andes.

I didn't even know there was such an animal as a peppermint crunch Andes, but, Heaven help me, they're good.

So, in the spirit of several other bloggers of note, I'm making some goals for the new year.

1. WRITE IT DOWN. I'm serious. I'm writing everything down. Whether it'll look good to the casual observer or not. No more keeping up with it in my head, because I've got enough stuff to keep up with up there as it is.

2. KEEP EXERCISING I did better about that this week, but I suspect that my weight gain was either 1. a continuation from my Christmas indescretions, 2. a result of the Chinese food I had Wednesday for lunch, or 3. the new pants I was wearing that were a bit heavy.

3. WATER. Do I really have to go into this one?

4. DAIRY. During the Discovery Health Channel's spate of shows on the super obese over the holidays (scare tactics, anyone?) they had a segment on dairy. And how that lowfat dairy helps burn fat. And I'm all about burnin' some extra fat, y'all, because I've got plenty to burn!

5. VEGGIES. I used to buy a bag of pre-cut veggies, originally meant for steaming, and keep them in the fridge at work. I haven't done that lately, because, well, when I went to the store the veggies didn't look all that great. I've got to be better about the raw veggie thing.

6. VITAMINS. On another scare-you-skinny show (BBC America's You Are What You Eat) this week, a woman was told she had bad PMS because her magnesium levels were low. Oh my heck, people, get me some magnesium. Because I go pretty much halfway insane when it gets close to that time.

In closing, I've been thinking a lot lately about an old song I used to hear in church: "This joy that I have, the world didn't give it to me, the world didn't give it and the world can't take it away."

Know the only thing that can take away my weight loss success? Me and my big mouth.

And Shirley's Candy Dish of Doom.

Happy New Year, y'all!