Saturday, March 24, 2007

Presentation Update

I totally forgot to write up my presentation this week...

I was scheduled to present some analysis (which explained away a source of complaint) Thursday morning at 8:30. Tuesday evening at around 3, I found out I was moved up to Wednesday some time and that I needed to present on some reports I had developed. Yikes!

So, I frantically worked on the second presentation and didn't have a chance to review the first one before I was called on to present at 9:30 AM on Wednesday.

My first presentation went very well. The district sales managers loved what I had to say and wanted copies of my presentation so they could show their agency managers. My second presentation went even better. They loved, loved, loved the new reports (although a few of them would like to see some changes) and even applauded me. :)

I'm feeling pretty good right now.


To fight or surrender...

My niece must make a horrible choice right now. She faces criminal charges for what happened to the baby. She can either go to trial and risk a prison sentence or she can accept the plea bargain offered to her that would give her 10 years probation. While the guarantee that she would not go to jail is appealing, her chances of getting a job in her line of work with this conviction drop to zero. They've probably already dropped to near zero without a conviction, though... The trial would be hard on her, and she's already pretty fragile after enduring this mess.

I honestly don't know which I would choose for myself. When I was younger (and didn't have children to consider), I know I would have fought for justice all the way to the bitter end. Now that I have children, I'm not sure I would. Moving on with my life so that I could focus my attention back on my kids would most likely supersede my desire to clear my name.

I feel so helpless. I can't imagine what my niece is feeling...

Another part of this whole mess that has me so very angry is the taunting. Why do people feel the need to mock my niece and call her names? I'm not even talking about Joe Public. When she turned herself in, the processing people gave her a really hard time. I've already gone into what her son's case workers have done. I don't understand how people can be so intentionally cruel. It is certainly not our public servants' right to taunt the guilty, even if there has been a conviction.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Thoughts from this conservative

With the way things are heating up in the political world (something about an election next November?), I thought I'd chime in with some of my conservative/libertarian points of view. These thoughts are in response to things I've seen coming from liberals as well as conservatives. These run counter to many who claim conservatism, and I suspect I am more libertarian than anything else...

1. If I tell you that you can't do X, then that opens the door for you to tell me I can't do Y. Therefore, I won't tell you not to do X, and you don't tell me not to do Y, and we'll get along just fine. The only exception to this rule is if X or Y cause harm to another person or person's property.

2. Believing that a Creator kicked off this whole existence thing does not make me an idiot. Nor does it mean that I don't believe the world continues to evolve and change. It does mean that I don't think we are here by mere coincidence. Some creationists think that evolution explains a great deal of how the Creator make this world, and some creationists think dinosaur fossils were planted by Satan to confuse the faithful. Before you start calling someone names, you might want to find out where on the creationist scale the person lies.

3. Not all conservatives worship President Bush. That is a ridiculous assumption.

4. Not all conservatives who question affirmative action are raging racists. Some of us are asking one huge question: Where have we failed to provide equal opportunity that affirmative action would be needed in the first place?

5. Not all conservatives think that a woman belongs barefoot and pregnant in the home. Some of us have actually read the description of the ideal wife as it is found in the last chapter Proverbs. She didn't exactly stay home and hover over her children 24/7.

I have more, but I'm really supposed to be working right now.


Updated to add: I did not intend my number 5 to be a slam against at home mothers, and I realized it could be read that way. I just don't think it's healthy (or what God intended) for a woman to make her children her sole identity.

Also updated: Amen TJ on the fathers. My husband does not babysit his own children. He parents them!!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

What color is your number?

I attended (and spent too much money at) a Stampin' Up party yesterday. One of the topics of conversation revolved around colors and numbers.

One member asked what color the number 6 was. This confused me, and I started treating it like a riddle. My answer was 'black' since it is positive as opposed to 'red' as a negative number. She explained that she'd read that numbers people react differently to numbers.

Once I 'got' what she was talking about, it made perfect sense to me.

1 is white
2 is yellow
3 is orange
4 is blue
5 is pink
6 is green
7 is royal blue
8 is purple
9 is teal

So, what color are your numbers?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Around the breakfast table

Mr. W. and I were discussing the merits (or lack thereof) of eating prunes.

Me: I don't care.

Mr. W.: You need to care.

Me: I am completely careless.

Mr. W.: You should be caring, young lady.

S.: Daddy, Mommy's not young.

Well, thank you very much, S.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

To do list

Enjoy having a full 8 hours all to myself while Mr. W. and the girls go to a train show in Fort Worth.

Go shopping. I must purchase: 2 business professional type outfits in anticipation of big presentations next week; 1 pair dress shoes that will handle my oh-so-stylish rigid insoles while not looking like something from an institution (yeah, right); 1 girdle type object so that I won't jiggle about so much in my new professional type outfits and any other spring wear; 1 pair garden gloves so that I can start attacking the weeks that currently own our flower beds.

Stamp! I want to add two more projects to my gallery today. The poor thing only has 11 items...

Figure out what I will purchase at the Stampin' Up party I am attending tomorrow afternoon.

Clean the kitchen.


Updated 3/19/2007:

Enjoyed myself! Watched some Lifetime or Family channel sappy movie. Talked to my mom on the phone.

Shopped til I dropped. I found a pair of shoes that I hate, but seem to work with my current foot woes. Found half a dozen outfits for work. I spend more money on clothes for me on Saturday than I have probably in the last three years combined. Since I detest clothes and shoe shopping, this was truly a big day.

Started a stamping project, but still need to finish it. Inspiration turned to dust after I had the background done...

Kitchen is still a mess, but I did get the dead flowers off the kitchen table...

Thanks for asking, T.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Note: I had this up for a short bit, and took it back into draft land. Felt guilty, so put it back. I'm so angry and heartsick about my niece's and others' situations that I'm not very rational right now.

My niece, God bless her, stands accused of shaking a baby. Not her own baby, mind you, but the baby of a drug-addicted chronic criminal she was caring for while the so-called mother was doing time in prison. For several weeks, my niece spent plenty of time at the doctor's office ensuring that the poor child received adequate medical care and physical therapy. Necessary due to the bio-mother's lack of self restraint while pregnant.

One day late last summer, the baby turned blue and my niece administered CPR after calling 911. The paramedics came and whisked the baby away. Further examination of the baby supposedly revealed bruising on the infant's brain. It is entirely possible the bruising was a result of the CPR, and in my opinion explains the infant's physical injuries. The child was later rushed to a bigger hospital after he developed a massive systemic infection thanks to the medical care he received at the first hospital (too big of a needle that was left in his poor little body for too long). The newspapers were quick to name her and state that the child in her care was rushed to the big fancy hospital out of town (neglecting to mention that it was because of the care received at the first hospital). They also failed to mention that the infant in question has all kinds of problems due to his biological mothers' indiscretions during her pregnancy.

My niece found herself publicly accused and without all three of her children in a matter of moments. In the interests of protecting the innocent, CPS took all three of her kids. Her two school aged daughters and her then 8-month old son. The entire family was fine with that, and I actually felt relieved that the baby's injury was being taken so seriously. I also expected that the investigation would be prompt and courteous, and that my niece's sterling character would shine through.

The case worker for the two girls found that my niece was a fine mother and that any injury received to the baby had to have been the result of an accident. The girls have never had any suspicious injuries and were quite capable of telling their case worker what sort of care they received from their mother. My niece was given free and full access to her daughters back in December.

The case workers for the baby, on the other hand, have exhibited the temperament of a pair of little Napoleans. Despite the fact that they are neither licensed counsellors nor psychologists, they saw fit to tell my niece that she has an explosive temper disorder. This happens to run contrary to what all the psychologists and counsellors have had to say after having visited with her in a clinical setting.

Several family members have been given the okay to care for my grand nephew while his case is decided. My mother-in-law falls in that group. Or at least she did until CPS came by for a surprise visit, and she was out with S.' daycare class to the zoo, taking her great grandson with her. Now the Napoleons have decreed that the baby must go to daycare each day.

I am angry on so very many levels. There has been no evidence of harm done to any of her children. Physical body scans came back completely clean. Her daughters and even jerk of an ex-husband have all confirmed that she has never harmed and would never harm any child. And yet my niece is still forbidden to be alone with her son and must go find someplace else to sleep other than her own home each and every night. This is killing her and is certainly not good for the baby during these early months where bonding is so very critical.

On the bright side, though, the Napoleons think her case should be decided in the next six months or so. (please note the deep and bitter sarcasm)

It angers me that there is such a huge backlog of abuse cases and a larger pile of cases that haven't even been opened. Here we are with what should have been open-and-shut (first caseworker commented on how fabulously cooperative my niece was), and we are 7 months into this agony with no end in sight.

My niece has done all the psychological testing, she has seen and met with all the people she has been assigned, attended every class, her children have all been screened and examined to within an inch of their lives, and yet SHE STILL CANNOT COME HOME AND BE WITH HER BABY.

Meanwhile, in other places, the most revolting people in the known universe are given court-manded free access to their children.

I am sickened at the injustice.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Check out my stuff!

I've been stamping and making cards for 3 years or so. It's my refuge and where I let my creative juices flow (or dry up to dust as the case may be).

Anyway, I've just started a gallery out at Splitcoast. Check it out if you like.

My Cards 'n Stuff


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Now THIS is funny

I received an Outstanding Club President award for my area in Toastmasters 'for outstanding performance and lasting contribution during the July 1, 2006 to December 31, 2006 term.'

I have been the biggest slacker president, this club has ever seen! I occasionally check in with my officers, but we haven't had a single formal executive meeting. About all I can say is that we've paid our dues on time, and I've nudged/guilted all the officers into attending officer training.

I wonder what precisely, the criteria was...


I take back all my griping about the United States Postal Service! Per their little tracking gizmo thingy, my camera was delivered today!!!!! This puts them between 1 and 3 days BEFORE their estimated delivery date.

How am I going to hold out another three hours in the office plus an hour to get the kids and get home plus another couple hours before the kids are in bed before I get to play?

How? How? How?


Monday, March 12, 2007

Too weird...

Today's fortune cookie: Your dreams will become reality.

I certainly hope not.

Finally heard from the adjuster

Our roof needs to be replaced. I kind of expected that, but had hoped we could get away with a repair. Between the nasty hail and horrible winds we took last spring and the horrible winds we took on Feb 24, it's amazing we have a roof at all...

Since we had serious thunderstorms yesterday going on into today, I really, really, really hope the tarp Mr. W. spread out over our roof kept leakage to a minimum.

Meanwhile, our house is quite a sight! Mr. W. used silicone to try to keep the tarp down. When that didn't work out so well, he resorted to heavy yellow rope to keep it tied down. Imagine, if you will, a beautiful suburban house with two long white silicone lines down the roof and another half dozen yellow ropes tied to a huge grey tarp draped over the roof and flapping in the breeze.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cat Stories

While Mr. W. and S. were on their very first fishing trip together, L. and I luxuriated in a quiet day with nothing that had to be done. We took full advantage of the unseasonably warm (even for us!) weather to hang out in the backyard.

The ugliest cat in the known universe decided to join us for a little fun in the sun. Eliza (the cat) would climb under the patio furniture. L. would climb under after her. Eliza would hide in the twisted coils of the garden hose. L. would lift them off her concerned the keeeeee (L.'s word) was stuck.

Eliza would hang out in the open, and L. would grab her tail. Did I mention that this cat is as tolerant as she is ugly? Eliza would meow for help, and L. would pick her up. After a good 30 minutes of this torture playtime, Eliza decided to go exploring on the other side of the fence.

L. responded by wailing 'keeeeeee, keeeeeee, keeeeeee' loud enough that I think she might have been the one scaring the fish onto S.'s line. When she burst into tears, I knew it was way past naptime. So, she and I settled in for a nice afternoon nap.


Fish Stories

Mr. W. took S. on her very first ever fishing trip. They packed up her brand new Disney Princesses rod and reel, a couple of Mr. W.'s rods, his tackle box and a bucket of live minnows and headed out to Mr. W.'s parents' farm.

They trekked out to the tank (pond for people less familiar with 'Texan') and began to fish. After some time with no luck, they walked down to see if there was water in the creek. There was, but Mr. W. and S. decided to stick it out at the tank. About that time, some cows decided it'd be a good time to splash around on the opposite side from the fishing expedition.

Mr. W. thinks those cows scared the fish clean onto their hooks. Final count was 5 for S. and 4 for Mr. W. Not only did she catch the most, but she also caught the largest: a 20 inch large mouthed bass. Her little Princesses rod and reel couldn't really handle that load, so Mr. W. had to help haul the fish up for inspection.

I am happy to announce that true to my request, Mr. W. and S. left all the fish back at the tank, where they will continue to grow fat and happy in anticipation of the next fishing trip.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Strange dreams indeed

My subconscious decided to celebrate my new-found liberation with a very, very strange and vivid dream. So vivid, that I almost had to ask Mr. W. if it really was a dream.

I dreamed I was diagnosed as having some sort of weird brain aneurysm, and there was nothing that could be done about it. Specialist doctor looked at me and told me he guessed I had about a week left, but he couldn't be sure. He sent me for an emergency brain scan.

I sat in the waiting room next to another woman who was also waiting to see a doctor. That sappy song, 'Live Like You Were Dying' came on, and it made me so angry, I wanted to break things and scream and yell.

I turned to the woman next to me and told her that song was full of sh## and that I had no intention of living like I was dying. I wasn't going to quit my job, since I wanted my kids and husband to have my death benefits. In fact, I wasn't going to change much of anything beyond trying to beat this thing.

It's funny, I've been awake for half an hour or so, and I'm still pissed off about that song. Methinks extended days of stress have gotten to me.


Friday, March 09, 2007

It's IN!!!!!

It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in! It's in!

That ruddy project that has been keeping me here 12 hours weekdays, with another 6 or so on weekend days is going into production right now! Right this very second!

The heavens have opened and choirs are singing!

No more waking up at 2 am with stomach acid churning. No more not seeing my kids until after they're asleep. No more answering bleepedy bleep bleep e-mails asking the hold up.

My purgatory is over!!!!!!!! Now if Amazon would just ship my camera, already!


Thursday, March 08, 2007

The sincerest form of flattery

Apparently, I have the skills to impress a junior high boy.

While my sister and her 13 year old boy were staying with us nearly three weeks ago, we went into our semi-regular 'show everybody what weird and/or disgusting trick you can do' routine. My sister can do this weird lift one finger off the table while her knuckle is under her fist. I tried it, and can do it, but not as well as she can. My nephew can wiggle his lower eyelashes and his ears.

I demonstrated my ability to hold one eye perfectly still while crossing the other (guaranteed to gross out every adult in the room). My dad and sister cringed, my mom refused to look, and my nephew was fascinated.

In fact, he was so impressed he spent the last 2.5 weeks perfecting that trick. Now he can do it too. I'm so flattered.

I guess I need to work on my next one... Maybe I can figure out how to roll one eye up while the other one stays still. My sister has informed me that I am going to become the person your parents warned you about, with my eyes stuck in weird places.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I just couldn't stand it any longer

I just know my lost digital camera is going to turn up any day now. How do I know this? Because I caved in and ordered a replacement. Sometime in the next week or so, I will be getting a brand new Canon PowerShot A550. 7.1 megapixels of portable photograpic equipment.

The straw the broke the camel's back, so to speak, was not having a camera handy to snap a few quick pics of the girls being absolutely adorable! My dad gave S. and L. each a pair of wooden shoes from Holland. L. has been completely fascinated by them (to the point where she cried when I took them off her to go to bed last night). The other morning, she was wearing her wooden shoes and galloping around the house neighing. She had S.' stick giraffe (she owns a stik horse as well as the stick giraffe) between her stubby little legs and was having an uproarious good time. S. was enjoying the show, giggling wholeheartedly. I only have one halfway decent picture of the pair of them, and that was taken on Mr. W's camera that I dug out of its storage drawer. I want my own camera, goshdarnit!

Once the replacement camera comes in the door, I know the other camera will come out of hiding. At least, I hope so, since I really want to download our Disney vacation pics off it.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Added a new bloggy wog

monsterpiggymonkeybubble has been added to my blog roll. It belongs to my old pal TJ, who went to high school with me a looooooong time ago.

Now we can all click on the link to get to TJ's world. He was quite a character in the good old days, and I don't think much has changed.

Hi, TJ!

Next stop: Podiatrist

X-rays came back squeaky clean. No naughty old fractures, no pesky new fractures, no sign of bones being where they shouldn't.

I am, however, displaying some of the symptoms of a neuroma. Basically, scar tissue on nerves between the 3rd and 4th toes. This does require surgery to fix. However, I am not displaying all the symptoms of a neuroma, so the doc thinks that's pretty remote.

I have been referred to a podiatrist, so I expect to get an appointment in 6-8 weeks. Meanwhile, I get to wear comfy shoes with these hard arch support inserts. The inserts seem to be helping with my foot pain, but they are wreaking havoc on my sciatica. Can't win for losing, eh?