Friday, May 30, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

Most readers of this are saying, wait, wasn't that Monday? The answer is no. Memorial Day is actually May 30, but for convenience is observed on the last Monday of May. To me, it's odd that a day to remember our fallen soldiers is observed when it is "convenient" for us or just to create a three day weekend. But that is a rant for another day and one that someone else has already made much more eloquently than I ever could.

Today, I want to remember fallen soldiers... men and women who volunteered or were drafted into service of this Great Nation and paid the ultimate price for my freedom and yours.

The summer between my eighth and ninth grade school years, I went with a group from my school to Washington D.C. It was May, 1984 and President Reagan was dedicating the Tomb of the Unknowns for the Vietnam War.

We weren't there for the actual dedication ceremony, but the first place we went when we got to D.C. was Arlington National Cemetery. Each of those thousands of perfectly aligned white tombstones represented someone who had served his country for my freedom. In that moment, I "got it." I understood what it meant to be American and it is a feeling I hope I never forget.

My hope is that we never forget those who served and paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. This country may not be perfect, but it is still the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave because of our soldiers. Take a moment today and say a prayer for those who have died in service to our country, their friends and families, and for this country as a whole. But most importantly, never forget.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #1

Thirteen (Fairly) Random Things About Me

1. This is my first Thursday Thirteen

2. I am a natural red-head

3. I am in school to be a court reporter

4. I have five siblings -- two sisters and three (step) brothers

5. I have worked for a hot dog company for 8 years

6. My closest friend and I have been friends since third grade but she lives 1500 miles away

7. I am a portrait photographer on the weekends

8. I was a wedding photographer for about a year and a half

9. I have never been outside of the United States, but really, really want to travel

10. If I won a huge lottery, I would open a portrait studio but would not shoot weddings because, in general, brides are a lot crazy and they make their mothers look sane

11. All of my grandparents are still alive

12. I believe in ghosts and haunted places

13. I don't like wearing shoes, but love shoe shopping

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Like Hewey Lewis...All I want is a couple days off!

Two whole ddays off. Yep, I had two whole days off. I thought I worked on Sunday so I got up and got dressed and then (thankfully before I drove 25 minutes there) got a phone call from a co-worker asking me to work for her. I wasn't on the schedule, so I agreed. I mean, seriously, I was already up and around, why not? Before I left, though, the assistant manager called and said since we weren't busy, there was not a real need for me to come in... I then planted my butt on the couch and stayed there the rest of the day.

Then, of course since Monday was Memorial Day (observed), I had the day off. I had big plans to do Spring Cleaning at my house. Yeah, didn't happen. I did get the kitchen cleaned, though. The rest of the house has a "lived in" look still. Maybe tonight I'll get the rest of the cleaning done.

It is amazing what a couple of days off to rest and relax will do for you. I feel like a human being again. I mean, I feel rested and relaxed and not stressed to the point of wanting to pull my hair out. So, this is what sleeping does for a person.... hmmm. I may have to try it more often!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The word for today is: CHANGE

This morning I was wasting time taking a break at work reading some blogs. Some I found through links on blogs I read regularly and others were totally random.

It struck me as funny (not haha funny, but ironic/make you think funny) how similar we all are. I read two blogs of bloggers going through miscarriages and it was like reading the same thing twice. I read another blog of someone who is fighting depression... a battle I know all to well. I recognized myself in her words that were meant to be funny and assure the readers of her blog that she's doing fine. I can't count the times I have done just that. I saw through her facade and it made me wonder if others see through mine as easily.

Lately, I've been fighting the depression monster. Yes, I'm medicated. Yes, I'm taking them as prescribed. No, I don't need a new prescription or a dose increase. It is an odd realization that I need and will always need a drug to make Depressed Me into Rational Me -- and hopefully, eventually into what I see as just Me. I can see a difference in Me with and without the medication. I like Me better on the meds than off. I've been on them now 'officially' for about 7 years... regularly for about 3. The first 4 years were more of that war between Depressed Me and the status quo of my life and Rational Me and change.

The dreaded word for me is CHANGE. There's lots of it going on in my life these days and I am trying to handle it, but some days are better than others. Most days, I want to hide under the covers, cuddle with the kitties, and wish the world away. I understand how people become hermits. I so could be one -- well, as long as I have the Internet, anyway. But, I get up, shower, and go to work because the kitties have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle which includes food and litter.

Still, I find myself sabotaging or attempting to sabotage the changes. If I don't pass the next speed test, I can't progress and things won't change, right? Yeah, I didn't think so. If I ignore the changes, they'll go away. No? Well, damn. I don't know how else to describe the war within myself other than Depressed Me is warring with Rational Me. It's like a constant dialogue in my head. (No, I am not hearing voices. It is all me, only me, in my head. Two parts of me is plenty to fill up my head. I don't think there's room for 'someone' else!) DM says over and over that change is bad and we have to do all we can to avoid it. RM knows that the changes are inevitable and will only make life better. RM wins out most of the time. I guess as long as Rational Me keeps winning, changes are going to happen. So, bring 'em on... I'm ready for them, I think.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday, Monday...

Weeks tend to just tumble on top of one another these days. Not having any days off makes for a jumble, honestly.

So, to catch up a little... I had my interview last Thursday. It went well. Basically, I have a position for me in January. It can be as a reporter or a scopist, that is up to my ability to get certified. I'm really hoping to qualify and pass the September test, but since they're offering them four times a year now, I can take another one in January, so that wouldn't be so awful. I tell you, it is a huge, huge load off of my shoulders as to what the heck I was going to do in September.

We didn't officially talk money. She does know how much I'm making here and I said I'd have to make that at least as a scopist. Then again, with one job possibly ending, I don't have much choice in the matter, really.

Speaking of September, Boss hasn't really decided what he's going to do with the office when the lease is up. So, I may get to keep working here, I may not. I don't know. I may end up with only a part-time job, in which case, I'd have to do some serious thinking about finances and what the heck I am going to do.

The Photo job boss asked yesterday when I was taking my annual "break" this year. Unfortunately, I don't think I can afford to. What is the deal with the price of everything? Ugh!

So, that is me in a nutshell these days... a cracked nutshell. Nothing profound. Nothing extreme.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Six degrees of separation...

I was looking for something for work online a while ago and came across a blog called Grace Under Autism. I noticed in her blogroll a couple of blog names I actually recognized. That kind of struck me as funny. I clicked on one I recognized... Alex Year One (although his blog is now year two!). Then I clicked on another one called Frog Ponds Rock (her wordpress blog didn't have a blogroll, so I went back to the blogger one) which led me to Causes Rats in Laboratory Cancer and back to me because she has me in her blogroll!! So, from a totally random Google search to me in four clicks.

Okay, so it wasn't totally random because I could have been back at my blog in 2 clicks if I'd clicked on Sarcastic Mom and then Rats in Lab Cancer, but I figured that would be cheating a little. Still, two clicks, four clicks, that's pretty darn impressive!

It really is a small world.

I love it when a plan comes together

After my breakdown of a couple of weeks ago I really was beginning to doubt my decision to go to school online. Sure, there is the obvious advantage of not driving to Dallas three times a week (a 30 mile trip in rush hour traffic to get to school and a 30 mile return trip home at 9:00 or 9:30 at night... ugh!) and the serious advantage of not having to pay for gasoline for said trips and saving wear and tear on my car. But there are disadvantages, too. It takes a whole lot more self-discipline to "go" to school at home on my couch. The total time I spend "at" school is about double what it was when I was on-ground in night school. (Okay, so that one is an advantage, also, but it makes for long days.) I don't have the immediate feedback of an instructor or other students when I need help. The learning curve for online has been much steeper than I imagined it would be. All-in-all, however, I think online school is going to be good for me. I once again feel as though I am progressing and not so much like I'm overwhelmed and just want to pitch the steno machine, computer and the whole works off the balcony and run away flailing my arms and screaming until the nice young men in the clean white coats come and take me away (hahaaaa). **

Thursday this week, I am meeting a reporter/firm owner from Amarillo to discuss doing my internship and a possible job with her until I pass my state certification. (anti-jinx, knock wood, I don't want to jinx it!:) The job wouldn't begin until probably January and my current job will likely end in September, but that time can most definitely be spent practicing if I don't pass the September certification exam. I have spoken with the reporter on the phone several times and she seems genuinely excited that I'm as close to finished as I am and that I plan to move to Amarillo. There is a shortage of reporters in Amarillo and they NEED new blood, evidently. :) And all of that came from a cold call one afternoon when I was looking for information on interning.

Another funny thing happened... when Daddy was on his flight to Amarillo when P was injured, he sat next to a lady who happens to be the vice president of TCRA (That's the Texas Court Reporter's Association). He got her business card and she said for me to call her. I did and she is excited at my planning to move to Amarillo. She is just a good person to know because she knows everyone who is anyone in Texas court reporting, and I'm supposed to meet with her the next time I'm in Amarillo.

So, school and the plans for my future seem to be coming together nicely. I have to admit, it's a little overwhelming, but exciting at the same time.

**Yes, I actually do know the majority of the lyrics to that song and many, many others thanks to years of listening to silly songs and singing silly songs with my mom as a kid...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day, Moma

For all those who are moms, Happy Mother's Day!

For you, Moma, I want to say THANK YOU!

You are really the best mom I could ever have wanted and you made me into the person I am today. You loved me always, even when you didn't like me very much. You took me to piano lessons, band events, various school events, T-ball, softball, and cheered for me at all of them. You did without so I wouldn't have to. You taught me to be a good person. You taught me how to be a delightful winner (no gloating) and how to lose with dignity and grace (no pouting).

I love you, Moma

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Answered Prayers

I was raised to believe, and do believe, that all prayers are answered. Sometimes the answers aren't what you want or expect, sometimes the answer is wait until the right time, and other prayers are answered in the way you want and quickly. Still, any prayer you pray is answered according to God's perfect will and plan.

The last of the forms of answer is the way P's recovery has been. I know there were people all over the world praying for his recovery and following his story. The outpouring of support and prayer/happy thoughts/white light have humbled me a bit, especially as I watched my nephew's recovery.

He was released from the hospital on Sunday. That was a day before we were told and a month or so before any of us expected the week prior. From all reports, he is doing amazinly well. Thank you, God.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Please call, I have some bad news...

I got a phone call from Moma on Saturday afternoon asking me to call her back because she had some bad news. Given the recent trip home to see Granny, I figured she was calling to tell me that Granny was not doing well or worse...

That was not the case. She called to tell me that my 16-year-old nephew, P, had been in an accident. I actually didn't speak to Moma when I called but Daddy instead. As he told me that P had been taken to Amarillo via Life Flight and that he wasn't responding to pain stimuli, his voice cracked. At that moment I thought I was losing my nephew or worse, had essentially already lost him.

My sister C blogged about it much more eloquently than I could have. (first post, second post, third post) I tried to post about it, but was I was a little afraid to and the words just wouldn't come. P is healing now. I think he's going to have quite a road in front of him, but given that he's 16 and healthy, maybe it won't be too bumpy.

All I can say now is, Thank you, God. Today is the National Day of Prayer and I know that today, I pray prayers of thanksgiving.