March 11, 2005

Hurray!  Joey comes today!  Granted, it won't be until early evening by the time they get here, but it's today!  I'm so very excited.  Even more interesting is the prospect of having all 6 of my children in one room, which hasn't happened since winter of 1999.  Pictures must be had.  I believe the plan is that we will all converge on Josh and Valerie's house on Spring Equinox after my kiddos do the basket thing.  I can give the grandkids their SE gifts and we can all be in the same room for a couple of hours.  It will be interesting, to say the least.

Tomorrow is scheduled to be Denio's, which is a really awesome farmers market, flea market, swap meet up in Roseville.  Like Disneyland, there is no way you can do it all in one day, but we'll try a good bit of it.  Friends are meeting us up there, so it will be a lot of fun.  Thank Goddess for cell phones.  :)

Today is going to be an odd day.  The kids are getting out of school early (called a "spirit day"), but they are short one bus driver, so the Grizzly Flats kids have to wait 40 minutes for a bus to return from its first round to pick them up, then go up the hill to pick up the little kids at the little school.  Delena is having a friend visit for the weekend, so I'll sail down the hill, grab the girls, then fly back up the hill to wait for the boys. 

All I want to do is sleep. I had another restless night.  The couch and my back don't get along well.  Tonight, I'm back in my own bed and that's all there is to it. 

I miss my callas.  I can't have them up here because it would be sentencing them to a life indoors (callas hate that) or to being fast food for deer.  I miss'em, though.  I think I see a greenhouse in my future if I can get past the image of it being a flower zoo.

Time to get busy, sleeping or cleaning.  Flipping the coin now...

Have a great weekend,

March 10, 2005

I have GOT to find some energy today!  I think I'm in Relacore withdrawal.  :)  I am on a new supplement that is only an herbal appetite suppressant and the Relacore was an energy booster and stress reducer.  Today, I have nearly no energy.  Of course, on the day that I have no energy, I have a ton of stuff to do.  It's not even 1pm, so I've easily got three hours before the kids will descend and nothing else gets done.  Tomorrow, they get off a couple of hours early and Joe will be here in early evening, so I want everything done by then, not to mention the threat I run of Eric's stink eye if the house isn't decent.  All I want to do is climb into bed.

Eric has been having trouble sleeping for the past three weeks, since about a week before the Lasik surgery.  In fact, we even called the Lasik center to see if the surgery could interfere with REM sleep since he is under the impression he isn't sleeping.  I've had evidence that he is at least some of the time (didn't hear the phone ring when it was right by his head, was unaware of the passage of time, heard him snoring a bit), but he wakes up thinking he didn't close his eyes the whole night.  After 2-3 nights of him fussing and cussing and flopping and throwing pillows and kicking covers, I finally slept downstairs last night so *I* could get some sleep.  Not that it worked.  I was uncomfortable on the couch, even though ours is cozier than many, and had stupid dreams.  Don't recall what they were about, but I do remember waking up and thinking what a stupid dream it was.  Eric even stayed home from work yesterday to sleep with no luck.  He was up, chipper and bushy tailed, first thing this morning and I was a mess.

Now I can barely remember anything that happened today, have that funky surreal feeling we get when we are between the worlds sleepwise and a whole houseful of chores to do.  Maybe I need to go back to caffeinated diet soda again.  In a way, I wish I could send everyone away to Disneyland for three days so I can sleep and renew and clean and write without interruptions.  If I knew they were having a wonderful time, I'd enjoy days of time alone immensely.

Joe arrives tomorrow and Eric will drag him up the hill with a stop at In and Out Burger in between.  I think we are going to a big swap meet on Saturday morning, up in Roseville called Denio's.  It's great fun, but you can't do it all in one day.  I'd like to also hit a restaurant called Claim Jumpers that is a favorite of mine, Eric's and Joe's.  Friends are coming up after that.  Sunday, Joe, Dylan and I will go to town (it's Dylan's weekend to do town with Mom) and then I'm thinking Eric will want to grill.  It's about his grill time.

The kids are on spring break starting a week from Monday, so Joe and I will have this week alone and the next week with kids, then he goes home.  We'll have Spring Equinox with the kids on Sunday (our form of Easter) and with the group on Saturday, the day before.  It's going to be a full two weeks.  I know Joe and I will be going to Old Sacramento one of the days the kids are in school. I've been needing to get there for a while.  I also need to go to the Whole Foods Coop and restock on some herbs.

I am starting to realize how much I dislike my 3 ABC soap operas.  It's more of a situation where I'm surprised when I do like them.  The thing is, I don't want to give up Eye on Soaps.  I have a lot of friends here and enjoy spending time with them.  I'm guessing I'll cut back to 2-3 times a week so they don't make me crazy.  Right now, there's just not much going on that's grabbing me.  I thought a story on GH was going to be a hit, but it's dragging me down, man. 

Well, I broke the diet, ate some Honey Smacks out of the box and I feel a little peppier now. I'm still seriously tired around the edges, but there's a core of energy that I should likely use before it burns off or the kids come home, whichever comes first. I dread cleaning the upstairs because the bed is going to look just too inviting. 

No way can I do my walk today.  I walked yesterday in Placerville, but today is going to have to go.  I'll do an extra day on the weekend to make up for it.

Sleep or work, work or sleep?  Who knows.  Maybe both.

Take care,

PS:  Lissa and I pepped up the circle a bit yesterday.  Here it is.

March 7, 2005

I am inundated with children.  They are infiltrating my bloodstream like a virus. I adore them don't get me wrong, but wow, talk about omnipresent.  It seems like a week since they got home from school.

Writing now, quickly, because I won't be home tomorrow.  Eric and I are going to Sacramento when the kids get on the bus.  We have to pick up our Caprice that David was borrowing.  He got a good car for himself on Friday, so now I'll have easy transportation up here during the week.  I have had transportation for a couple of weeks now, but it's Eric's truck with the bench seat that doesn't move forward and the really, really deep clutch, so I pretty much have to stand up every time I change gears, which is often because the tranny on this thing is a granny tranny that whines every few mph's.  (It's the one that left me at the post office last week.  As it turns out, when it's at a quarter tank, you can't park it on a slope because it has a wide, shallow gas tank that likes to think it's empty if the fuel moves away from the fuel pump at all. 

So now I'll have the Caprice, which is a good thing.

We'll also grab some lunch with David if all goes as planned.  I'm thinking Pizza Hut buffet (yum).

Friday was fun.  I took the cat into the vet and waited for about a year to have his ass checked.  Meanwhile, it must have been Official Giant Untrained Dog Day at the office because they were everywhere and the cat was having a nervous breakdown by the time he was taken back to an exam room.  His butt is fine, according to the doc, who removed the pursestring suture that holds his insides inside.  It took a few techs to hold down a 2 pound cat for the suture removal.  When I heard there was no charge for the follow up, I knew that cat was going to sit in the box for a while.  The pedicure place could get me right in and I actually got a nice lady this time.  She did a good job and got a nice tip for her efforts.  Miracle of miracles, the hair salon could get me right in as well.  I made sure the cat was still in one piece (he was just in his little box doing his nappy cat thing), then I went in to get my hair shampooed, cut and blown out, a rare treat I could afford since the cat thing was free.  Hurried home and Eric was there shortly thereafter.  Cat was glad to leave the box and hadn't even pooped or peed in there.  I ran back down the hill to pick up Delena after school and we rushed through town, getting groceries and a new shirt for her to wear to the dance that night. Then it was a rush  back up the hill to get her ready to go to the dance, which was a mardi gras theme.  Eric took her to the dance while I put groceries away and when I was finished with that, it was time to go get her again.


She looked so beautiful and grown up.  She had a wonderful time, having taken my digital camera with her to photograph her friends.

(That's makeup on her face, patterned after some anime character that I don't know)

The weekend was lazy and fun.  Circle folks came up on Saturday, then Sunday was laid back.  Today I did laundry, answered emails and answered the phone which seemed intent on wearing itself out.

Did my walk.  Felt tired.  Feel a little nauseated today, probably from the strawberry pie.  As of late, strawberry pie and chicken alfredo, two of my favorite foods, seem to give me intestinal and tummy upsets. 

I'm off to finish dinner: meatloaf (something else that upsets my tummy) and red potatoes.  Then I'm going to turn in early and try to ignore the world.  I feel a little jangled, I think because I'm trying to ease off the Relacore.  It's too expensive for me to keep up, but wow, it sure does stabilize the emotions and up the happy quotient.  I'm still happy, but I feel disjointed and off.

Take care all,

March 3, 2005

I spent yesterday WALKING and didn't get to journal.  The sad, sad tale is here.  I walked again today, even though my legs were screaming and bitching the whole way.  I am so determined to lose this weight.  It's started going up instead of going down or staying the same, so I have to take action.

Tomorrow morning, I have to take the cat back to the vet to have his butt checked.  When I had his rectal prolapse fixed, they told me to bring him in in a week or so to have his bottom checked.  We were out of town that weekend, so I called and told them I couldn't make it. They asked if it looked OK and at the time, it did, so they wished me well and sent me on my way.  Evidently, we had some kind of miscommunication because I spoke with an out-of-state friend of mine who is a vet who told me that the purse-string they put in the cat's butt is supposed to be removed within a few weeks.  Eep!  They never mentioned taking out the stitches and since the cat's ass was obviously defective, I figured it was a permanent fix.  His little bottom has been bulgy and irritated, so I was worried about it happening again.  With any luck, they can give me a status report tomorrow.  I am then going to let little Tuffy WeakAss enjoy the comforts of his cat carrier while I get a pedicure, which I haven't had in months and months.  The little woman who did my last one got really evil about my feet.  I am barefoot a good bit and I guess she didn't like that my feet were so rough.  ("Be still and do your job, small woman!  Less talk, more buffing and massaging!")  I wouldn't go back to that particular place if it were not the best place in the area to go.  The only other place in town is Regal Nails in Walmart and they give about the lamest pedicure ever.  I like a little aggression in my pedicures.  Don't be afraid to get the water hot, massage deeply and dig right in there.

After that, I come back home with the (by now) very bored Tuffy, wait for Eric to get home early and then grab Delena for the real shopping.  It's her weekend, so we'll go to Wal-mart, get groceries and have dinner together.  A nice day, all in all, except for all of the driving and vet-wrangling. 

I am so excited that we are having an actual PARTY on Saturday.  Who'd have thought?  I scoffed at planting abundant friendship just back in December and now we're actually having a ton of people over. It amazes me how limited my vision is sometimes about what I need and want in my life.  I bring my perspective  in so close that I have a whole scope of vision that I don't even see or know to look for until it's presented to me.  I'm glad someone has my back.

Ha!  I got what might just be the best spam porn yet.  From Diddle L. Glummest:

Catch-you-later I've been called many things, but never an intellectual.

The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly what is essential is invisible to the eye.  There are German songs which can make a stranger to the language cry.  Good, the more communicated, more abundant grows.  Cowards are cruel, but the brave love mercy and delight to save.

The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example. For gold is tried in the fire and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity. If I should die, think only this of me: that there's some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England.  Frank Harris has been received in all the great houses -- once!

Experience is the worst teacher it gives the test before presenting the lesson.  People who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be ''consistent.'' Do your best to be the lead dog otherwise the view never changes. Dreams are free.

To love another person is to see the face of God. [Les Miserables] Depression is the inability to construct a future.

Everyone believes very easily whatever they fear or desire.  There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.

All around this were porn pictures and links.  I love that line, "Do your best to be the lead dog otherwise the view never changes."  Who wants to look at a dog's asshole your whole life?  I have trouble even checking my cat's asshole since he farted at me.  Lead dog.  OK.  That works.  Since I enjoy the company of other leaders, maybe we can all travel in a wide dance line.

That's about all I have for now.  I won't likely be around until Tuesday or so (unless I get some wonderful break that bellies up to computer time.  Take care and have an amazing weekend!


March 1, 2005

I missed you folks.  It's been busy time and I can't seem to point to anything in particular that is sucking up my time.  Eric was off work sick on Friday.  He had a cold that was setting in with that hot, stuffy head feeling and since he had a major certification test on Saturday, he wanted to rest up.

He did feel better on Saturday, but the test was not set up the way he expected which threw him for a bit of a loop.  (It was the NICET test).  I suspect he still aced it.  He's very good with the psychology of test (and also the academics, but let's face it, a lot of test taking is about the element of patterns and strategy) and once he realized the test was set up so that one could not possibly pass it in the allotted time, he went back to the different sections to play the odds.  He has to pass 80% of each section and it was open book, but the testing is on knowing where to find obscure information in a short amount of time.  We'll find out in a couple of weeks how he did. 

That test is, of course, the major obstacle that kept me from my son's wedding on Saturday, so he'd best pass it to make it worth my sacrifice.  As it turned out, Donner pass was clear, so I could have made it through with the jeep.  David and a couple of Josh's friends went up and Josh's father (my ex-husband) flew in from New Mexico.  I have been trying to contact the happy couple this week with no luck.  Not sure if they are away or dodging my calls.  Josh was pretty bummed with me.  They are supposed to visit when Joe comes up, so I hope that's still on.

Speaking of which, JOE IS HERE IN 10 DAYS!!  I am very eager to see him, as always, but wish his wife could come as well.  We will mostly be hanging out here, both of us writing (he's bringing his laptop) and sharing time together.  If David gets a car by then, we'll have to Caprice if we decide to do town things.  He's good company and we make one another laugh a good bit.  We'll likely go down to the graveyard and maybe into Sacramento one day.  There are lots of things to do or just being here will be nice too.

We are having friends over for a BBQ on Saturday.  At Winter Solstice, when we drew slips of paper out of the cauldron with ideas printed on them for what we should work towards in the coming year, one of the items I pulled out was "abundant friendship." This was the first year we allowed The Fates or The Universe to choose our goals.  There were five of us and we all secretly wrote out six different slips with ideas that came to us.  "Joy," "Prosperity," "Health," "Lust," etc, so there were a total of thirty ideas in the pot, plus two blank slips which we called "wild cards."  Wild cards could be filled in with whatever the person wanted.  Of those, we each pulled out four slips each to guide us in what to plant in our lives this year.  Two of mine I were what I expected:  health and physical beauty.  Since my initial plan was to plant the weight loss and a healthy body once and for it, they fit in nicely.  The third was joy, which is lovely since it was a message rather than a directive.  Exactly eight years before planting time, I did a spell to bring joy in my life and my whole life fell apart.  At the time, I thought it was a major, cosmic joke, but it was actually necessary (retrospection speaking here) to completely blow everything apart and start again from scratch to get real joy in the picture.  Drawing joy out of the cauldron was a message that the cycle is completed and joy is here.  I'll still plant it, but I can't imagine being more joyful than I am now.  The last slip I drew floored me.  It was "abundant friendship."  ??!!  Definitely, it was something I wanted, but how?  I am so different from the people up here and honestly, most of us in The Flats are perfectly happy to leave each other well alone.  Our houses are set fairly far apart and circumstances do not usually conspire to bring us together except for Friday Night Hamburger Nights from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Then, we're eating and do little more than nod to one another.  I didn't see how it would happen, but hey, I'm open.  My planting plans were set.  Between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, we watch for signs that confirm our plans or redirect us to another path.  If we get reaffirmations that what we're planning to plant is a good thing, it's all systems go and we plant the goals at Spring Equinox.

That's the background.  But how in the world would abundant friendship happen?  It did all at once.  I got the nudge from The Universe to give my coven to Jennifer, my second in command.  The people we were working with were much, much better suited to her leadership personality than to mine and it was a great fit.  I was very sorry to see them go, but knew it was for the best.  (Jennifer has had wonderful success as a leader since then, despite the upheaval of moving, so I am very satisfied with the results)  But what would I do now?  It's not like Christianity where you just pick another church and give it a whirl.  Coven/Circle work is very intimate and personal.  It's a huge process to get involved with one, especially when you're the only Witch on the mountain.  But hey, like the abundant friendship, I was open to whatever came next. 

What came next was an answer to both questions at once. My friend, Melissa, returned to Sacramento from Utah and introduced us to several of her friends, plus her sister, all of whom turned out to be wonderful people.  Now I have a coven of six new friends!  There is only one left that I haven't met yet and his reputation is quite good.  With the success we have had so far, I am confident will like him just fine.  Everyone will be at the BBQ on Saturday, together in one place for the first time.  It should be fun.  I'm very excited for what the future brings in this respect.

Eric had a lot of time off lately and we enjoyed spending it together.  Now, routine is back and that's nice too.

I have some cleaning to do today and clothes to put on hangers.  I feel good and ready to tackle the day (she says now at noon).  I took my walk, had a good, high protein breakfast, had my handful of supplements (Ultracarb 3000, Remifemin, B-12 and Relacore). 

Today is a good day.  :)

Take care, all,

February 23, 2005

Finally, I think I can get some writing done.  I hate that it's after time the kids are home, so undoubtedly, I'll have to keep hopping up and down the entire time and will likely end up finishing it tomorrow.

I love when my writers are busy and productive, but wow, I was posting things all day long to the point that my muse was sitting around, drumming fingers impatiently.  I've been trying to get a Nonsoapy done all week, but events keep conspiring otherwise.  Let me see where I left off, almost a week ago.

OK, Thursday.  Yep, Eric had his Lasik surgery and said it was exceptionally traumatic.  He has difficulty, as a lot of men do, with situations in which he is completely helpless while people do horrible things to him.  He held up well, but I could tell he was on the edge of losing control (it is quite a harrowing surgery, even with advanced technology).  The end result is that the next day at his check-up, his vision was 20/20 and he only had a slight haziness, sort of like wearing old or dirty contacts.  He says he would definitely do it again, but not this week.  :)  He has a lifetime plan that lets him come in and have adjustments made as necessary for a very small co-pay.  Just as eyeglass prescriptions change over time, his eyesight could also change as time goes by. 

He worked a half day on Tuesday before the surgery and didn't work again until yesterday, so he lost about a week of work.  Not all of that (in fact, very little of it) was actually for the surgery. He says he could have easily worked the next day, but took it off to regroup.  The rest of the time was due to his work not having any place to use him for a while.  Such is the way of construction work, but he worked yesterday, today and says that they are booked solid for the foreseeable future.  (This is a good thing).  I really, really enjoyed having him home.  We went out every day, shopping in downtown Placerville, having lunch together and enjoying time while the kids were at school.  My diet went to hell and I definitely gained weight, but we had a great time.  I am again well aware of why I married him. 

He had an interesting experience this month.  They had a one day job at a hospital that, to protect certain parties as the story unfolds, shall remain unnamed.  Their job was to do maintenance on the locking system of a mental hospital.  The security system locks down individual rooms (cells, actually), as well as the doors to the facility itself.  On each of the doors leading into the facility, there is a sign prominently displayed telling visitors to PLEASE be careful when opening the doors because the patients inside of of high flight risk.  The guys were also told to be particularly careful with the tools they carry on their bodies and in their tool bags, like screwdrivers, pliers, etc, as they could be used as weapons. 

The ward was all ages, but the areas were divided according to age:  adults, teens, preteens, older children, toddlers and even babies.  I had to wonder about the circumstances that would cause toddlers and babies to be on a mental ward.  None of the patients were criminally insane.  Some were committed and others had voluntarily admitted themselves.  None wore shoes or socks; bare feet only.  Eric said it was particularly odd to speak with the nursing staff because they would be carrying on a conversation with the guys, then suddenly switch over to Nurse Ratchett Speak, "yeah, overall, it's a good security system and the only real glitches we've found are.. now, Monica, are you supposed to be out of your bed?  No, no one took your food, you ate it, now please return to your bed... the doors aren't completely solid when they lock."  It was a major deal that the guys had to get permission for the doors to be unsecured for a few seconds during the testing and people, of course, had to be placed at each exit, which the facility was not staffed to do.  They had the system all fixed and were doing the final testing before they signed it off when all of a sudden, something fried out and the entire system glitched, opening all all of the doors at once.  The maintenance man on duty was the only one who knew about it and he instantly started shaking in his boots, telling the guys NOT to tell anyone it happened (hence, we aren't naming the facility and calling it "some hospital in Northern California) or the staff would lose their minds.  (oops)  So if you work at such a facility and had some security system guys - one of them devastatingly cute - working on the ward recently, might want to do a head count.  (I did ask him if I could post this really weird story before I put it to print)

I completely love that I have a husband who treats his work experientially and share all of this stuff with me.  There are times he will call me 7-8 times a day just to tell me things that have happened.  I've always enjoyed that immensely about him.  On this day, he called me and said softly, "I am in an insane asylum."  His voice sounded all tinny, then I heard him flush.  Now that's dedication.  I instantly knew he was holding the phone with his left hand.

My life has been ridiculously unnoteworthy overall.  I had a wonderful experience on Monday afternoon when our new coven got together for the first time.  It's weird how after working with one group for a long time, you can so suddenly have a "new coven." New Pagans don't come along often, especially up here in the middle of nowhere. but one of our members who moved away returned and brought with her a slew of wonderful folks who are going to fit in beautifully.  Just the way it happened and the events leading up to it tell me it was one of those wonderful miracles I am so lucky to have in my life.  It was Goddess driven, there is no doubt.  I felt instantly connected and we all missed the two people who were unable to be there.  When they are there, we will be complete.  :)  Now we just have to draw in some male energy.  Straight males are a rarity in Craft and we need some.  Gay guys and ladies are wonderful too, but we do need some Alpha Male energy to balance us out.

The last of the snow is gone and Spring is thinking of emerging triumphant.  Eric swears there will still be snow on the dogwood at some point and as long as it doesn't get comfortable and decide to stick around.  I'm done with Winter.  I have little use for it anyway.  Of the four seasons, it is literally the only one that I do not enjoy.  I love all the others dearly.  I don't like feeling trapped in my house, knowing I'm going to be compromised as soon as I go out the door, falling all over myself in snow up past my ass and risking life and limb to go get food on mountain roads that are treacherous at best, much less with ice all over them.  I hate not getting my mail for weeks and having to fight every morning to get a fire started in the wood stove so I don't freeze in the family room addition where the computer lives.  It's definitely worth the inconvenience of Winter to live here all the time.  I love it and can't imagine living anywhere else.  I'd rather live here on the worst day of the worst blizzard of Winter than anywhere else at its balmiest moment.

Josh is getting married (hurray!!!!) on Saturday and is pissed that I can't go.  They gave us about 10 days' notice and happened to pick the day that Eric has to take a certification test for work.  His employer is paying for the test and if Eric doesn't get this certification, he can't continue working.  The test is 6 hours long and is at a college in Sacramento (90 minutes away).  They want to get married in Reno and between Sacramento and Reno is the famous Donner "eat your travelmates" Pass, which as of this past weekend was covered with snow and in "chains only" condition.  Reno is 4 1/2 hours from me in the best of traffic and weather.  It's three hours from them.  Their plan is to get there around 2pm and then "drive around and find a chapel where we can get married and get married around 5pm."  I don't have anyone to watch my kids on such short notice.  I am not experienced enough at driving in the snow to want to make the trip on my own.  The last time I drove the pass was in January of 1997 and my car did a complete 360 degree turn before sliding back into place.  Not excited about repeating that.  I asked them to move the date so Eric could go and/or to move it to Lake Tahoe (closer to both of us and a nonsnowy drive), but they weren't willing to do that.  Josh called me up on Monday to tell me how disappointed he was in me for not trying harder to be there, basically.  He called back last night to apologize for making me feel bad.  I hate when adult kids try to push my buttons and get to the guilt factor.  I don't get much drama in my life any more (thank Goddess), but this one kind of pissed me off.  When he called to apologize, I didn't hear much in the way of authenticity in his voice.  I think he was afraid he wouldn't get a wedding present if he pissed me off enough.

Good news!  Joe (my son in Canada) is coming to visit me March 11-25th!  I can't believe I get 2 whole weeks with him, but I know Sandra (his wife) will miss him tremendously.  I should have the Caprice back from David by then (who is borrowing it until he gets his own car), so we can do stuffs.  :) 

With Eric's eye surgery paid for, the tax return is pretty much gone, but he did get me a nice new computer desk and an office chair that *gasp* vibrates.  I might never leave the computer again. 

And look at that!  I actually finished an entry today.  I missed you guys.  Hope you're having a great week.