Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So, this is how the other half lives...

Day three of unemployment (that is only scheduled to last for a week) and full-time school. It's crazy to not have to get up and GO to work. I am still trying to get up on time (around 7:30) and clean up and get ready for the day and then start school. So far, so good. I think this is going to work well. I feel good about it and my ability to progress in school.

Today, though, I needed to run an errand and did it at about 2:00. It was so nice to be able to just go like a SAHM would and not have to worry about getting there before they closed (not that I am in any way comparing myself to a stay at home mom by way of the work they do, just that I also am at home during normal work hours) only without the kids in tow.

Still, all the best laid plans have fallen aside. I was going to get up, get dressed, work on school stuff, clean my house, excercise... well, unfortunately, I've fallen victim to the siren call that is afternoon television. I do my get dressed/school routine of a morning, but by afternoon, I need a break and the couch/remote combo calls to me like the sirens did sailors.

"Come, waste time here... who needs a clean house...." Oddly enough one of the shows I've "discovered" is on BBC America and is called How Clean is Your House? These two shrill-voiced British women go into these houses that should be condemned for being so filthy (all of which make my house seem clean by comparison) and teach the hoarders and filthy housed people to clean their houses and (along with the people who live there and a team of cleaners) clean and organize the house. Still, by comparison, my house doesn't look so bad.

I've also fallen victim to the computer... it is amazing how much time I can waste reading blogs, doing random Google searches, etc. All of which have nothing to do with my goal of a clean house or buns of steel.

Ah, well, my week-long unemployment ends next week. I am planning to go in and work all day Tuesday and Thursday and if necessary half a day another day of the week. For now, just Tuesday and Thursday. I have discovered that I will need to get up, get dressed and go to the library or some other such place to practice.

As for school. I have created a list of goals and I am going to print a small one to put on my machine and another to put on my bathroom mirror. Supposedly, by writing them out, posting them where I practice and in the bathroom and reading them to myself, it will help me to achieve them more quickly. Here's hoping!

Oh, and the cats have just about quit staring at me like I'm interrupting their day by being here. Now, they just ignore me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Melancholy is a good word for it

I was reading blogs from my blogroll and this one really made me stop and think and realize that Granny's death has hit me a lot harder than I ever dreamed it would.

When I was a kid, I used to say that I had "spare" grandparents. I often volunteered to share my spare set with people. I was never really close to my step-father's family as a child. They were just kind-of there.

I grew up with my grandparents, all six of them, in the same general vicinity. Two sets of them lived in the same small town. I went to my spare grandparents' house on holidays and then went to my "real" grandparents' house as soon as possible. Even as a teen, I didn't see them much more than necessary. I had other grandparents, afterall.

When I was a young adult, I moved away from home. I didn't see much of my grandparents, any of them. I tried to stay in contact with my grandparents, my mother's parents and my natural father's parents, anyway. After Granny got sick, I asked about them more often, but didn't make an effort to really see them much. I did see Granny several times over the past few months. I made it a point to go see her when I was home for my internship.

I realized as I sat and spoke to this frail and very ill woman that she thought of me as her granddaughter. I got to know her a little bit while chatting during the commercials during Walker, Texas Ranger (one of her favorite shows along with Monk) and realized that though her body was weak, her sense of humor was intact.

The spunk that was Granny was still there. For an example... my favorite Granny story from the past few weeks is one told to me by my sister and mother today. It seems that my Aunt C kept telling Granny that she needed to stop watching Walker and Monk and instead talk to Jesus. Granny's response was simply that she would be able to talk to Jesus for eternity, but she didn't have much time left to watch Monk.

Now, only as an adult, do I realize the family dynamics that caused the lack of closeness and, while I don't pretend to understand or to like it, I do accept it for what it was. I had two other sets of grandparents, anyway, so my "spare" set were often an afterthought in my childish mind. It's only now as an adult and now especially after Granny's death, I realize how much I did love her and how special and lucky I was to have not one or two sets of grandparents who loved me, but three. They weren't spare, afterall.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday 13 #9

13 Things That Have Happened in the Year Since I Started My Blog
My blog is 1 year old today. Boy what a year it has been... Here are just a few things that I've done or experienced this year. (They aren't in chronological order.)

1. I gave up on eHarmony

2. I was afraid I was going to lose my nephew after a really bad car accident, but it in answer to prayers, he survived.

3. I have quit my job.

4. I did my court reporting internship and LOVED it!

5. I tried eHarmony again.. hope springs eternal, I guess.

6. I participated in NaBloPoMo which was a month long challenge to blog every day in the month of November -- I did it!

7. I got a new car.

8. I've had a bad haircut.

9. I turned 37.

10. I whined... a lot (sorry).

11.My cats went on their first car trip that wasn't to the vet... I found out that Maxie gets carsick. Since that trip, they have traveled quite a bit and are getting better about it but Maxie still gets car sick.

12. I gave up on eHarmony... again.

13. I had poo dumped on my doorstep.

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And I really want to go back?

I came home from the Panhandle with a yucky surprise... allergies or maybe a cold. I guess some crop must have been doing something (likely corn) and on Monday morning I woke up with a sore throat, stuffy ears and an alternately runny/stuffy nose. Oh yeah. I just keep thinking... and I really want to move back to that? Well, yes, actually I do, but I just don't look forward to that part of it. I'm much better by today. It's amazing what Allegra and ibuprofen can do for you.

In other news: Officially I have only 2 days after today at my job. Boss is at the Home Office this week, traveling next week, and on vacation the week after. Since I'm being re-hired to work part time, it is kind-of anticlimactic. I sent a sneaky e-mail yesterday letting everyone know that my "replacement" had been found and that she's wonderful and helpful and that they would notice little to no change other than "she" would only be at the office part time.

I will have to now quit the photo job. I'm a little sad about that, but it came down to economics -- $14.50 an hour or $9.00 an hour -- and having Saturday and Sunday off. Mainly, I wanted to have Sunday off. I miss going to church... I miss the fellowship of being part of a church family.

Anyway, I'm excited. This change is going to be for the best and it isn't REALLY that huge of a change (or so I keep telling myself). I will have the time and most importantly the energy to devote to school and can speed up my progress considerably because I will not be exhausted and brain dead when I "go" to school. I am so looking forward to being able to practice and build speed and getting out of school.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Speedy Me

70 words


I took it a few times just for giggles... I got 70 twice and both times had no errors and 65 was my slowest time. I guess I am a pretty fast and accurate typer, but at one time I typed 75 to 80 words per minute.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Home Again

I am home again. To be honest, the weekend wasn't as bad as I assumed it was going to be. The funeral was actually very nice. I know that is an odd thing to say, but it was. In lieu of a eulogy, my cousin compiled a video slide show of Granny's life. It was nice... a little too long on each picture, but nice. Eulogies tend to sound disingenuous sometimes, but the slide show allowed everyone to see Granny at some of her happiest times. The graveside service was short and a bit wet because it started sprinkling so after a couple of prayers, someone said, "Let's go eat." and that was the end of the graveside service.

After the funeral things were over, we all went to my brother G's house. Most of my immediate family was there -- all but my brother in law P who had to work and wasn't able to get away. It was kind of a precursor to the big family vacation next summer for my parents', our parents', anniversary. It turned into a big cookout, reunion-type thing. We rode the 4-wheelers and played volleyball and generally just enjoyed spending time together.

It is strange how a death in the family brings out the worst in some people and the best in others and how even the smallest items are claimed by one family member because that family member feels entitled to them -- like the others have no emotional ties to anything. I would like to have something of Granny's to remember her by. I mean, I don't want anything big or valuable, just something small and useful like a jewelry box or trinket box or something like that. I just want something that I can look at and smile because it was hers and remember the lovely lady she was. I will leave the valuable items and the big stuff to the blood grandchildren. (Not that I don't think I'm important because I'm step, and it would be different if I had been closer to them.)

In the end, life does go on. We are all sadder for the loss, but as the chorus to Steven Curtis Chapman's song "With Hope" says:

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

Friday, July 18, 2008

An Unexpected/Expected Trip to the Panhandle

I got a sad phone call on Wednesday letting me know that Granny had passed away. She had emphysema and was diagnosed with an aeortic aneurism several months ago. She died peacefully at home. I'm sad, of course, but I am also relieved for her. She was ready to go. She was tired. She went peacefully which is all anyone can really hope for, I think.

So, after giving notice of my resignation on Monday, I took Thursday and Friday off to get ready to come/come to Amarillo for the funeral. I don't know what Boss thought about it. I don't really care, to be honest. I was coming to this funeral. I wasn't especially close to Granny, family dynamics being as they were, but I did love her and more importantly, I love my dad and wanted to be here for him. Funerals aren't for the deceased anyway, they are for those left behind.

So, tomorrow I put on my funeral dress and go be there for my daddy. I will do my very best not to get irritated at anyone or irritate anyone. Still, I'm taking my car to the little town where the funeral is being held so I can come home when I need to. The cats (yes, I brought them, too -- that is a whole other post, though) may be my excuse to leave. We'll see. I may have to adopt the philosophy of Paula Dean's son... "I love you, I'm not above you, but I've had enough of you. Goodbye."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday 13 #8

Thirteen Tips for Your Child's Next Portrait
Just as a public service to all those mommy bloggers out there... here are my top 13 tips for the next time you take your child to have a portrait made -- from the photographer's point of view.

1. If I ask you to sit in a certain spot, it isn't so you can't be involved in the sitting, it's likely for the safety of your child.

2. Remember I'm the photographer and I do have some inkling as to what I am doing and what I am doing is attempting to get the best pictures of your child/children that you've ever had. Let me do my job for you.

3. If the child is being difficult (i.e. acting his or her age, generally) don't threaten the child with a spanking or taking away a favorite toy/passtime. That tends to make them cry thus ruining the pictures for everyone.

4. Bring something special to have a portrait taken with. Kids generally have a favorite toy, doll, stuffed animal that is a constant companion. This favorite toy changes as kids get older, or sometimes just looks very well loved ad the kids get older. Why not commemorate this item and its place in your child's heart by including it in a portrait?

5. It is okay to reward your child with gum or candy for doing well in a portrait sitting, but remember if you give it to him/her before or during the sitting, it will be in the picture or it will get all over his/her clothes.

6. If your child is the type that hates to change clothes (this is especially true, I find, for really young kids) don't expect to have a clothing change during your sitting.

7. If you like something specific or want something specific (you're trying to match an heirloom pose) let me know ahead of time and do bring a sample of what you would like me to create.

8. If you don't like something I'm doing, speak up. But, please do so in a respectful manner.

9. If your child has a skinned knee, scratched nose, or other booboo, don't necessarily reschedule. Unless you are looking for a formal portrait, these little booboos are actually kind of cute in pictures and capture a time and event you'll likely remember and be able to laugh about later. Some of the cutest pictures are ones where the contrasts of childhood are seen...pretty Sunday dress with a little skinned knee or where a baseball uniform and a black eye will always remind you of the game he (or she) caught that fly ball.

10. One of the most often asked questions I get is what should we wear. My question to you is what do you want the portraits for? Is this a formal portrait to go in the formal living room or a cute portrait to commemorate a time in life? If it's a formal portrait, more formal, dressy clothes. If it is a portrait just because she/he is turning four, then I recommend just a fun, cute outfit.

11. If it is a family portrait, you don't all have to match, but you should all blend. Avoid everyone having contrasting or conflicting patterns in shirts. For example, that plaid shirt may be adorable, but if everyone has on plaid or bold prints and they are all different, it is distracting when you look at your portraits. I recommend solids in complimentary colors

12. Don't automatically dismiss a portrait because it isn't a smile. Look closely at the expression and realize that the frown or wrinkled nose is an expression you see often. I agree that your main portrait may not be this pose, but the "emotion" shots are sometimes favorites later.

13. Help me make this fun for your child. A happy child means great portraits!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This is SO my cats

This guy is just hilarious -- and obviously has a cat. I get this tag-team style!

Monday, July 14, 2008


I have been struggling to juggle school and two jobs for quite a while now. The further I've gotten in school and the closer to qualifying for the state CSR exam, the more stressful and frustrating it has become.

Since December, I've been biding my time waiting for Boss to close the office and lay me off... waiting for a severence package to hopefully carry me through until I finished school. It all came to a dramatic and teary peak last Friday. Boss told me that the office isn't closing, and my job will remain as a part time position. By my job remaining, I'm not eligible for severence or unemployment benefits but, and here's the kicker, I can't afford to stay on a part-time basis.

So, you may wonder how I'm going to swing it without a job? I'm going to "invest" my 401(k) into me. It's not making me any money in this economy, but if I cash it out (and yes, I know it's 20% in taxes and a 10% penalty for early withdrawl) and use it to live on for the next 4-5 months, I should be okay. I figure it will at least then be earning me money in the long run when I finish school because I'll be able to afford to rebuild it and build on it. Besides, it's not like I'm going to go buy a boat with the money!

There is a CSR exam being given in September. I figure if I quit my job now and really concentrate on qualifying to take the exam for the three weeks between the end of my job and the qualify-by date in mid August and then really hit it hard for the September 27 exam, I'm sure to pass. If I don't (a) qualify or (b) pass the exam, there is another one being given in January, and I will pass that one.

So, the girl who despises change of any kind and will hold on to the status quo until her fingers fall off is jumping into change with both feet and no net. I'm truly terrified. I'm also excited. I guess you could say I'm terri-cited! Nah, don't say that. It sounds silly.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Time to give me a little TLC

After all the angst and tears yesterday, I decided to pamper myself a little and I wanted ice cream.

I went to Sonic and got an ice cream then came home and decided to "treat" myself with a home spa night. The eyebrows had grown to one again, the toes and feet were in need of some serious pampering and the hair on my legs was beginning to really need attention.

Last time I was at Target, I got a home waxing kit and decided to put it to use -- legs, bikini area, brows, the works. Before you laugh and say I'm insane, I've done this before. No, seriously, I've done a leg and bikini wax at home before without incident. I do it because I'm too scared embarrassed cheap have it done at a salon. The eyebrows, well, I have done those successfully and not successfully, but decided to give it a go. I was feeling brave.

I got the package from under the bathroom sink, read the instructions and gathered the necessary stuff. It is important to note at this point that in the instructions it said (and I quote) "Lavender Spa Body Wax is the perfect wax to remove hair from your delicate, sensitive skin." I followed the instructions for heating the wax, got the tongue depressor-looking application sticks and the removal strips all ready and set to work on my legs first. I quickly decided that (1) the hair on my legs is too fine or (2) the hair on my legs was too short. It wasn't working well, so, undeterred, I moved to the eyebrows.

My skin is very pale and sensitive, so it was no surprise to me when I turned REALLY red around my brows. It always does, even when I go have it done at the salon. I got my eyebrows done with little fuss, but afterwards noticed that the skin around my left eyebrow was stinging a bit. I applied the "Post Treatment Soothing Azulene oil" to the area and moved on to the bikini area. I had no plans to, and didn't go "Brazilian." I wanted to remove just in enough that I could wear a swimsuit if I were 50 lbs. lighter. I won't go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that uncomfortable is an understatement, but excruciating is a slight exaggeration about right. I didn't remember it hurting that badly before. At this point, I was beginning to wonder if I had really made the correct decision for my choice of pampering.

I got in the shower to clean up afterwards and was greeted with searing pain of water meeting raw flesh. I think I ripped half the skin off of my eyebrows and the bikini line.... oh my!!!! It only got about half of the hair on my legs, but all the skin around my eyes!! Remember the quote from above... it should have read: "Lavender Spa Body Wax is the perfect wax to remove hair from your delicate, sensitive skin." I did it just like they said! I kept the strip close to the skin as I pulled it off and didn't pull up! I applied only a thin layer. Brand new kit meet trash.

It wasn't until later that I realized I'd always used a product called Nads before. It's water soluble, it is gentle, and was lovingly created by a mother for her hairy daughter. Yeah, the stuff I got was really, really sticky and so NOT water soluble. I was also not so gentle and obviously created by someone who is evil.

Fast forward to this morning. I trudged into the bathroom this morning around 6:45 (I showered last night, so got a precious 15 extra minutes of sleep.... ) and looked in the mirror. My left eye, the one with very little skin around it any more, is all swollen. I look like I have been in a fight and didn't come out on the winning end. The bikini area is still red, but thankfully not raw still and my legs are just polka dotted (every hair follicle that had hair removed is red) and I have cat fur stuck to the wax that I didn't come off in the shower after using their special oil and baby oil and soap. REALLY attractive.

Oh, and I never did get to my toes. Maybe another night.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stress? What stress?

How many people want to not have to go to work at their current job ever again? I see most people out there nodding in agreement. I figured I would get quite a few who would see themselves in that question.

Now try these on for size: How many people's bosses mentioned in December during their annual review that their office *might* be closing at the end of the fiscal year? How many people's bosses have yet to mention it again, yet the company's Henchman is calling the office returning Boss' calls? How many people have a boss that says things today like "if you hear from {insert leasing company name here} let me know because I need to see if they're going to leave the rent the same." leading me to believe he's now NOT planning to close the office?

Oh, just me?

Add to all of that the fact that I need to be qualified for the machine portion of the state CSR (Certified Shorthand Reporter) exam by the middle of August that is going to be given at the end of September and it's getting pretty darn close to the middle of July! The online school has also added hours to the weekly requirements and the instructor has taken away some of the "cheater" hours we used to have and isn't giving us as much hourly credit for other things. The result of those two things is I have to come up with an extra 5-6 hours a week in my already too tight schedule. No pressure there.

It is really odd to consider the fact that I really WANT/NEED Boss to close the office and lay me off. To be honest, it makes financial sense for the company to do so. With the changes that they've made in recent months, this entire fiscal year, really, my job is no longer actually necessary because the sales reps can either do the presentations/research by themselves or just call the Marketing Department to do it for them since there is a whole section of people there to do it for them. I'm redundent as it stands now. I even already have a plan as to how I would spend my day being "unemployed." Now I just need Boss to pull the trigger and fire me already (but give me a good severence package) so I can get it all done.

In the mean time, my schedule looks something like this on weekdays:

  • 6:30 a.m. Get up and start my day
  • 7:30 a.m. Leave for work
  • 8:00 a.m. Arrive at work and start to "look busy"
  • 10:30 a.m. Finish actual work I need to get done for the day (sometimes the week)
  • 11:30 a.m. Go to my 30 minute lunch
  • 12:30 p.m. Return from my 30 minute lunch to continue to look busy and hope that there's something for me to do all afternoon.
  • 4:30 p.m. Leave for home
  • 5:00 p.m. Arrive home to relax/clean/feed the cats/do laundry/take care of anything that needs to be done before I "go" to school
  • 5:30 p.m. Start school (this used to be at 6:00, but I had to move it up 30 minutes because of the additional hour a day requirement)
  • 10:00 p.m. Stop and "come home" from school and finish relaxing/cleaning/feed the cats again/doing laundry/taking care of anything I didn't get done before school (this used to be 9:30 until the additional hours requirement)
  • Somewhere between 11:00p.m. and 1:00 a.m., I generally go to bed and hopefully go to sleep.

My weekend schedule:

  • 9:00 a.m. Get up
  • 9:30 a.m. Leave for work at Photo Job
  • 10:00 a.m. Arrive at Photo Job and prepare myself to 'act a fool' all day in order to make small children smile and capture the essence of said children
  • Somewhere between 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. I get off of work. If I get off early enough, I go home and take a sweet, sweet nap. If it is after around 3:00, I go home and "go" to school again to make up for any hours I missed during the week and to complete my Saturday hours.
  • Between 10:30 and 11:00, I go to bed


  • 9:00 a.m. Get up, try to do a Bible Study of some sort
  • 10:00 a.m. Get ready for Photo Job
  • 10:30 a.m. Leave for Photo Job
  • 11:00 a.m. Arrive at Photo Job and prepare myself to 'act a fool' all day in order to make small children smile and capture the essence of said children
    Somewhere between 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. I get off of work, go home and finish up any missing school hours and get weekly log turned in
  • Fall into bed... nay, collapse into bed and get ready to start the whole thing over again.

(Oh, and if you're wondering what generally falls through the cracks and doesn't get done. It's cleaning. My house isn't DIRTY per se, but clutter.... that is another story.)

Wow, if you made it this far through this whine, I'm impressed. Okay. I've got to go look busy again.

Thursday 13 #7

Thirteen Things You Should Always Have With You if You're Female (and I Rarely Seem to Have on Me When I Need Them)

In no particular order...

1. a hairbrush -- sometimes your hair just goes crazy

2. lipstick -- you always feel better when you have on lipstick

3. pen and paper -- you never know when you'll need it

4. a "feminine product" -- sometimes you get surprised!

5. tissues -- sometimes that potty stall doesn't have any toilet paper

6. a mirror -- hey it comes in handy when someone cute is sitting behind you... you know, pretend to check your make-up and all

7. cell phone

8. asprin/Tylenol/Advil

9. a camera -- some of my life's funniest moments are never documented because I forgot my camera.

10. a list of a few important phone numbers -- invariably the cell phone runs out of battery, you have to make a call, but you have NO idea what the number is

11. your ID/driver's license

12. breath mints or gum

13. tape -- it is amazing what clear tape can fix in a pinch.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New and Improved!

So, I got the new layout all set up. I took a basic format from one I found online and rewrote the HTML code to my liking. There are a few widget elements to add to the side bar and a few tweaks to the layout I'm planning, but for the most part I'm happy with the new look. What do y'all think?

Mom has already pointed out that the color scheme is one I've always favored -- plus the brown. It seems I've always been partial to pink and turquoise. Who knew! (Evidently everyone but me!)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Under Construction

Hi... If you're popping into my blog today, it is under construction.

You see, I got the brilliant idea to change the look of my blog. In doing so, I have lost all my widgits, messed up the HTML code for the layout, and in general just totally screwed it up. All in the name of beautifying my little corner of the Internet.

So, bear with me. I'll get it all straightened out soon... well, I hope to anyway. :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 232nd Birthday, America!

I am strangely patriotic. I love this country -- warts and all. I am PROUD to be from America. I am PROUD to call myself and American. I tear up when I hear the national anthem played and I truly mean the words when I say the Pledge of Allegiance.

On this day in 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies in the Second Continental Congress voted to accept the final draft of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. There were 56 men who signed that amazing document. Each had his own reasons, some altruistic, others less so, but have you ever stopped and wondered what happened to those men after they signed? We know the stories of the two who became presidents, but what about the rest of them? This is the text of a piece I heard on the radio several years ago, but it has stuck with me.

Declaration of Independence Signers

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners: men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't just fight the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government! Some of us take these liberties so much for granted...we shouldn't.

So, take a couple of minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

I want to also add, stop a moment and remember those who are fighting now. The men and women who are so far from home and are willing to give everything, including their lives, so that we can live in a free America.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thursday 13 #6

Thirteen Places From Which People Have Visited My Blog (And I have no idea who they are. If one of the places is yours, please comment and let me know who you are and what you think!

1. Novky, Trencin, Slovakia

2. Oslo, Norway

3. London, City of London, United Kingdom

4. Jakarta, Jawa Barat, Indonesia

5. Portsmouth, United Kingdom

6. Montreal, Quebec, Canada

7. Ebersberg, Bayern, Germany

8. Bangor, Maine, United States (Is it you, Stephen King?)

9. Republic of Seoul, Seoul-t'ukpyolsi, Korea

10. North Bergen, New Jersey, United States

11. Odense, Fyn, Denmark

12. Lyon, Rhone-Alpes, France

13. Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa


14. Tel Aviv, Israel

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Was it REALLY that long ago?

I just got a "save the date" for next summer. It was one I've been dreading expecting for a while now. Nope, not someone's wedding. It's for my High School Class Reunion -- DHS Class of 1989. I was 18 years old when I graduated from high school and I have now been out of school for 19 years. I've been out of school for more years now than I had been alive when I graduated! I am not really sure how I feel about that. Shock and horror come to mind!

No, seriously. You're old when you go to your 20 year reunion. I remember thinking just that when my parents went to their 20 year reunion. Now it's MY 2o year. Can anyone say YIKES!!!!

I went to the ten year one. It was fun. I saw the people I was curious about. I made peace with one person I wanted to make peace with. I saw who had changed and who hadn't. I did what I wanted to do. What is different about the 20? We're older?

Twenty Years. Wow.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Now THIS is funny

more cat pictures

Okay. I promise not to turn my blog into a repository for goofy pictures and surveys, but this one made me almost spit out my coffee!

I have an actual post brewing for today. Don't worry. Everyone who reads my blog (all 4 of you) will be subjected to my wit and wisdom later today.