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I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Today and tomorrow I'm a geography teacher. However, the teacher I'm subbing for is a coach and only has 2 classes a day, so the rest of those 5 periods I'll be floating wherever they need me to be. Better wear my comfy shoes, which are my Crocs and go with absolutely nothing but jeans. Hmmmm, wish I cared, but I don't. I'll go comfy instead of trendy every time.

Oh, and I missed Idol last night. I heard Katheryn McPhee was in the bottom 3. Wow, I'm going to have to start voting. :) Yeah, I admit it...I've only voted a few times in all the years the show has been on.

It's sad when the boys are telling me to get off the computer and get ready for school. LOL. Thanks guys, love you too!

Hope y'all enjoy your day.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Simple Pleasures

I've got time to kill. I mean live...whatever, I've got some free time. Boy's are off to school and I've got a couple of movies to watch, a couple of books to read and a rainy day outside. How much more perfect could it be? Okay, I can think of a couple of ways, but I'm happy with what I've got.
I was fixing some hobos (grilled eggs in bread) for Charlie this morning and I was laughing out loud watching 2 of my cats playing with 2 of my dogs. Charlie came in to see what I was laughing at and he called me silly...but he started laughing at them too. I was thinking about how glad I am that the simple things make me happy.
Later, after I had taken Charlie and his buddies to school, I was talking to Casey while he sat on the stairs to his room. He was putting on his shoes while we watched Gato (our latest kitten) knock things off of his railing. We kept laughing at the kitten, and then when Gato got down and crawled under Casey's legs, Casey started petting him. This kitten has the loudest purr we've ever heard. Casey asked me if I could hear it and we sat and just listened to him purr for several minutes. What a simple thing and yet it was precious time between my son and I.

I'm thinking there are so many that would call me the most boring person to ever draw breath. That's okay, I enjoy boring. My favorite times revolve around simple things. I'm not an adrenaline junkie anymore...I'm just glad that I lived through those times. I'm sure that having lived through those times help me appreciate what I've got now. I don't have a lot of the drama that most people have. Never had problems with my kids. Granted, they're only 15 and 16, but so far they've never disrespected my husband and I in any way. My husband and I have never had one knock down and dragged out fight in 22 years. I could probably count the number of times we've even raised our voices to each other...that is if my memory was better.
I've had friends tell me that I wouldn't understand what they go through because of how good my life is. Well, the way my life is isn't an accident. I've been through hard times...Mark and I have been through hard times and my kids are normal kids...they've gone through the normal things that kids go through. I think the difference is how we deal with what we're given and that we have always found joy in the simple things like each other, laughter, a kitten purring, a rainy day...
Hope you find your simple pleasures today, regardless of what comes your way.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Saying It Three Times Doesn't Make It Right, Or Does It?

Have y'all read or heard about this?

Man Accidentally Divorces Wife in Sleep
By Associated Press

NEW DELHI - Village elders ordered a Muslim man in eastern India to leave his wife after he accidentally divorced her in his sleep, a news report said Tuesday.
Aftab Ansari uttered the Urdu word for divorce, "talaq," three times in his sleep, prompting his worried wife to discuss the matter with her friends, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
Under Islamic law, a husband need only say "I divorce you" three times to secure a permanent end to his marriage.
Muslim leaders in the couple's village in West Bengal state found out and decreed that Ansari's unconscious utterances constituted a divorce, PTI reported.
But 30-year-old Ansari said he had no intention of leaving his wife of 11 years.
"I have not given talaq. When I uttered talaq three times I had taken medicines to help me sleep," he was quoted as saying in the report.
The religious leaders said that before remarrying, the couple would have to be apart for at least 100 days and that the wife, Sohela, would also have to spend a night with another man and then be divorced by him.
PTI reported that the couple has been ostracized because of their refusal to abide by the decision of the village leaders.

Can you imagine that law here? How many husbands would not be able to say those words fast enough? The only thing that would make up for this is the way it works out for the wife...that by law she'd have to spend the night with another man. I'm wondering how many wives would swear they thought they heard their husband say it when he didn't. Makes you glad for the good old U S of A, huh? Then again, catch me on a bad night...

Monday, March 27, 2006

What Would You Change?

I have a few blogs, and as a rule, I don't direct anyone to them from here. I may ask you to visit other peoples, but that's because I believe it's either something that you or they may need. But, today I'm directing you here. I feel awkward about doing so, but it's not like that's a new feeling for me. :) I'm just doing what I feel I'm being led to do.

I'll probably post something here later today. Big hugs to all.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

After School Special

If any of you have read Charlie's blog, you'll know that Friday after school he had some kids over to video preparing and eating a three course meal for their speech class. One boy, Jake, was to make the appetizer, nachos. A sweet girl, Ashley, was to make a chicken dish with pasta and Charlie was making desert, a white cake.
When they arrived, around 4:30 ish, they didn't have a clue what was going on so they talked and laughed for about 1/2 an hour to get comfortable and set things up. Ashley asked me if there was somewhere she could thaw the chicken. WHAT? I filled the sink up with some cool water and told her to put it in and if it wasn't thawed when she was ready for it that we'd thaw it in the microwave, which for the record, I don't feel comfortable with. Granted, I don't cook...and I wasn't going to be eating it. But isn't chicken suppose to be one of those things that you have to make sure is thawed and cooked correctly?
Anyway, three teens in the kitchen and none of them have any cooking experience. Well, Charlie cooks a little and I knew he could make a cake by himself, so I hadn't really worried. However, the other two apparently hadn't had any experience.
When we make nachos, we always make them in the microwave. Jake wanted to broil them and I heard him say to set the timer for 5 minutes. I told him he may not want to broil them that long, and got a look from him and Charlie (plus, they were video taping it on giving instructions as they cooked) so I excused myself to the back of the house and asked them to just please keep an eye on things.
Mark comes home and finds me, we talk for awhile and decide to order out since our kitchen is being used. By this time it is 6 ish, so we walk toward the front of the house and in the hall leading to the kitchen we are confronted by smoke. I'm not exaggerating, you could barely see beyond your nose. While the nachos had been broiling, they put the chicken (I didn't even bother to ask if it had thawed, I no longer cared) in a pan and tried cooking it...on high heat. When the pan began smoking they kind of forgot about the nachos. Of course, the kid cooking the nachos was filming the pan burning and probably was too distracted by the smoke to remember the nachos under the broiler, or to be able to tell that the smoke wasn't only coming from the burning pan...but the oven as well. The only thing that had been edible was Charlie's cake. It was really good. The last kid left our house around 8 ish, and I've got to say that I was pretty surprised. The kitchen was spotless, the oven had been cleaned, the trash taken out (all the charred, and yet raw on the inside, chicken and flame broiled nachos had been trashed) and we still had cake to eat. Now, who could complain about that?
After it was all said and done, Charlie said he had had fun. That's all I cared about. Well, that and that we hadn't ended up having to find out what our insurance deductible for fire was. Always a plus.
I may try to put some of the video up from it.
I couldn't help but notice that Charlie had failed to mention this on his blog this morning. He'd told me he'd written two new posts, and I thought he'd mentioned something about the cooking video. But nope, he'd went with a new song he'd wrote, something about "Die, Die, Die"...
Oh, my Charlie...he sure knows how to make his mom proud. I'd not go back to being 15 again for anything in the world!

Friday, March 24, 2006

It's All Good

First, I've got to whine a bit about missing some of my favorite bloggers. They're either taking a hiatus or have quit, and I know they all have great reasons behind being gone...I just want to take a moment to say that I miss them very much. Sass wrote a post the other day about how we care for our on-line friends, and it's true. Actually, my on-line buddies don't get on my nerves nearly as much as my in the flesh friends do...but that's probably just me.

  1. Drew Pappas. Drew was a really decent guy that was with The Way Ministry when I was bartending. He'd come in every night and sit at my bar, drinking sodas and tolerating my hostility, sarcasm and nasty insults, to tell me that Jesus loved me. It was at a critical time in my life (no details this post, lucky you) and instead of another suicide attempt, I turned to God, challenging Him to prove Himself if He was real, like Drew believed He was. And He did. Thanks Drew.
  2. Being my sister's birthing coach when she had my niece, Brooke. It was the most amazing thing, going through her labor (as if....) and having even the smallest part in that wonderful event. I was probably the worst coach ever, but the experience left me humbled.
  3. My Grandma McIntire. She was always my rock. Sure and steadfast. Always loving me and taking my side. She was the only one that I let know where I was as I hitched around for a year or so, and she always sent me letters and money. She taught me what it was to care about someone unconditionally, and I learned that lesson well.
  4. Primo. An angel, protector and my only confidante during a very lonely time.
  5. Clay Robertson. He was there many times when Mark and I were in need without asking for anything in return. He was an employer of mine for about 5 years, and he had a soft spot at that time for helping us, a young, financially struggling, married couple. He gave us what he could and helped finance other things. He made life a lot more bearable at a difficult time for Mark and I. He was a Godsend at the time.
  6. Leaving Indiana for Texas. It was a complete act of faith, having no job waiting for me and less than $100 when I left Indiana, but God was faithful and rewarded me abundantly with Mark and my children.
  7. Mark. The most selfless, loving and generous man I've ever known.
  8. My friends. As much as I rag on them, they're there for me. Not an easy task.
  9. My blog. What an amazing tool to set feelings free, to give expression an outlet, to make a difference in the lives of others and to help us realize that we are, in fact, not alone in an often times lonely world.
  10. My children. Their laughter and their tears. Their joys and their heartbreaks. Their accomplishments and their failures. Their bravery and their vulnerability. My children.

Obviously, these were not in any order. They are, however, all valid and have all had a part in what has made me who I am today.
**Let me say, first and foremost, I am thankful to God for everything, from His Son, Jesus, to the air I breathe. Got called on that. And since I didn't, I'm changing the name of my list from Top 10 to just Ten. :) Thanks for calling me on it ______. Love you.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Update On 'Our Girl'

I had written a post back on October 5th about 'Our Girl'. She is trying to get her life together and she is writing her story in her own blog now. She has to use my computer to do so, so her butt is in my way all of the time now, but I love her and I'm proud of what she's doing. Her blog is in my favorites. Please show her some support as she tries to correct her wrongs and get her life back on track.
Love you all.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Pat and Unconditional Love

I've read a few great posts the last couple of days regarding unconditional love (Leesa & Deb), and though I'm not usually a 'love story' kind of gal, their posts have touched me and left me a better person. I believe in unconditional love, one: because of John 15:17 ~ These things I command you, that ye love one another. No conditions applied, thank God. Two: because my husband, Mark, still loves me. If conditions applied, he'd left me years ago. When conditional love tells you to pack your bags, unconditional love tells you to reconsider.

I didn't grow up with 'unconditional love'. As I've written about before, my mom was mentally ill and my dad wasn't around much. I don't blame my mom, or hold her accountable for the things we all endured as a result of her illness. Don't get me wrong, I did at one time. Because mental illness is often hereditary, I learned first hand what she had to go through. Fortunately, medicine has made some major breakthroughs and neither my children or I have had to go through what my family did. And, because of the unconditional love that I found in Christ, I was able to forgive my mom many, many years ago.
However, with that said, I grew up being told by my mom that she hated me, that I ruined her life and that she wished I'd never been born. The emotional and mental abuse left much more painful scars than the physical abuse. The physical stopped when I was 13...the emotional still lingers. My mom had always told me that no one would ever love me as long as I lived. Her words. I heard them all my life, and I believed them. My dad more or less lived at the airport he managed and when he did come home, he wasn't happy to be there. He did take us on vacation once a year, but other than that, I don't remember him around very much. When I was a kid, I didn't blame him. I didn't want to be around our house either. I do blame him now. Now, through Mark, I see what a father is suppose to be. In fact, I actually find him more to blame than my mother. She was ill, and yet he left us with her knowing what she was doing to us. My sister and I were only 14 months apart. Unfortunately, my sister and I didn't turn to each other, but rather we turned against each other. We were raised in anger, it's all we knew. I wasn't allowed to have friends over or to go to friends houses, so I didn't really know that my life wasn't the norm. I was always afraid to have any relationships because I'd been told that no one would ever love me. I carried this with me until I found Christ, and then I met Mark. I sabotaged every relationship I ever had, I can see that now. At the time, I just wanted to 'hit and run'. I never gave anyone a chance to know me, or leave me. Even after I became a Christian and after I married Mark, there has always been an underlying fear that he'll leave me. Especially the first 10 years, I kept thinking when he really got to know me, he'd run for his life. But he didn't, and he hasn't. These are the lingering scars that I was speaking of earlier. Though I daily give my burdens to God, the hardest thing for me to believe is that anyone can get to know me and yet still love me. This is why I distance myself from people, I know.

My mom died nearly 15 years ago. At that time, she was my closest friend. I know she loved me, I'd came to accept that she'd been suffering and the pain she distributed to my sister and I was an effect of her illness.

A couple of years after my mom died, my dad met Pat. After dating for a little while, he brought Pat with him to visit us in Texas. I was a little nervous, I'm not good around people. The moment Pat walked into our house she was family. She had the same honesty trait that my mom had had (and that I have). Pat never made me feel less than accepted, less than enjoyed, less than loved. She accepted my entire family. My mom had died when Charlie was 11 months old and Casey a tad over 2 yrs old. She treated my kids like they were her own grandbabies. Pat has 3 wonderful daughters of her own, all of which have a great relationship with their mom. They have all blessed Pat with amazing grandkids and a greatgrandbabies as well now. While my kids were growing up, my dad was a really great grandad. My boys called him 'Pop' and Pat was their 'Pat'. I don't think they knew that was her name when they were little. In school they'd refer to her as 'my Pat' like they'd say 'my Pop'. I was so grateful that my boys had her, that they didn't have to grow up with out a grandmother on my side.

Pat and my dad dated for many years. My dad...mmmm, was not the selfless person that Pat is and after so many years, he just called it quits. No reason, he just walked and I believe he always regretted doing so. Pat never held it against me, and it never changed our relationship. She met a wonderful man and married him, and still, she kept my family as her own. They moved from Indiana to Florida and made a loving and wonderful life for themselves there, and still she kept my family as her own. In 15 years, Pat has never once rebuked me, never said a word against me, never failed to let me know that she loved me. She has never forgotten one of my childrens birthdays. Many, many years her cards were the only rememberance my kids got from anyone other than Mark and I on special days such as birthdays, Easter, Valentines Day... She was their 'Pat'. She picked up where my mom left off and my kids never missed that love that my mom would have shared with them. I like to believe that my mom could see that Pat was giving them what she couldn't, but would have if she'd been able to.

My dad passed about 5 years ago, and Pat grieved for him as I did. She'd forgave him for his behavior, because she'd loved him unconditionally. Pat has always shown me that kind of love, unconditional love. Last week Pat told me that I should call her my 'adopted step-mom'. I cried. I don't cry often, but I did cry over this. I can't remember ever feeling more loved. Having grown up with a mom that told me she wished she hadn't had me, that I had ruined her life and I was unloveable, having this woman that I've loved and admired for so long, actually say that she'd want to be my mom...well, I've not felt so loved since I gave my life to Christ.
She told me that "As far as I am concerned, you have earned the right to be my adopted step-daughter by going way beyond what you should have to honor me." I don't know how I've done that. I don't feel that I deserve that honor in any form or fashion...to belong to a woman with the love and kindness this beautiful lady exudes. It's one of the greatest feelings I've ever known. To think, that at my age, full grown with nearly grown children of my own, that it would bring me to my knees to imagine that someone would actually want to claim me. It still is nearly beyond my comprehension. For the first time, those lingering scars are less noticeable to me. Am I loveable? Can someone really want me? Yes, I've been married to a wonderful man for 22 years, but in the back of my mind I fall asleep wondering if we didn't have 2 kids, would he still want to be with me? I have friends that have remained friends with nothing to gain and I know they love me. But an adopted step-mom? That's family by choice. After having known me for nearly 14 years, that she would still want to be my friend is a blessing enough...but to want to be known as my step-mom? I'm in complete and utter gratitude to God for this precious woman. Pat has shown me unconditional love. I believe, with all my heart, in unconditional love. I thank God for unconditional love...and for my boys 'Pat'...and for my adopted step-mom.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Stay Away From My Bone!

Funny, and short, video.

Charlie started his own blog yesterday, and I put his link in my favorites. Stop by and say hi if you have the time.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Real Men Wear Pink

I took Charlie in this morning for his braces. I stayed out in the waiting room, reading a book I'd taken, for about an hour and a half. Charlie comes walking out, big ole grin on his face. I told him to smile, let me see the braces... and he does. He smiles and lets me see his bright neon pink braces. No, I'm not kidding. Pink. Actually, pink doesn't really describe them...you've got to imagine them with the words bright and neon.
I've asked him a couple of times why he chose pink, and he always gives me the same answer...he thinks they are funny. I asked him if he wasn't concerned about kids making fun of him, or calling him gay and he said "NO, I don't care what people think". So, here I am as proud of him as I can be and wanting to smack the crap out of him at the same time.
We go back in 8 weeks to put braces on the bottom teeth. He said he can change them if he wants to, but I wasn't in the room with him, so I don't know that. I'm paying $4,000 to see his sense of humor every time he smiles. As soon as we came home, he took a picture and asked me to put it up on my blog...so here you go. My baby, Charlie...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My Saturday

It's been an excellent weekend so far. It's rained constantly for two days now, gotta love that. Well, I do anyway. I love dark and rainy days. Plus, we really need the rain. In fact, 2 days of it may not be enough...but, I'm loving it.
Mark didn't go into work yesterday, which is a rarity. His mom flew into Love Field (a smaller airport in Dallas) and we picked her up. We stopped for lunch at Pappasito's before dropping her off at Marks sisters house. She'll be staying for the next week while she gets a second opinion. We came home and watched some movies and played Skip-Bo. The boys teamed against Mark and I and they whooped us...as Casey kept reminding us (in fun) the rest of the night. LOL. I do love my family.
The boys have asked me to post a couple of pictures, but blogger isn't cooperating, so I'll post them later. In the meantime, PLEASE take this fun test my wonderful adopted step mom (she asked me to call her that and I'm going to post about that this week), Pat, sent to me and be sure to post your score! I got 8 out of 10 and Mark 9 out of 10. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

V For ......

It's early Saturday morning, and if I hadn't had to get up to let the dogs out and feed them, I'd still be in bed. However, I know that some of you wanted to know about V For Vendetta. Sorry, I didn't care for it. To me it was slow and boring. However, and here is the real kicker, my kids loved it. Keep in mind, my boys are 15 & 16 years old. You'd have thought it'd be the other way around. Charlie even said he had waited to go to the bathroom cause there wasn't anywhere he felt he could leave without missing something. I suggested somewhere between the last preview and the ending credits, but he didn't think that was funny.
So, there you go...draw your own conclusions. I did think Natalie Portman was good, guess that should give it at least 1/4 of a star. Hey, I said she was good...not excellent.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Last Day of Break

Yesterday was a pretty 'taking it easy' kind of day. Other than lunch at Long John Silvers (sorry dzer...) and a couple of great hours laughing my butt off on the phone with my buddy, Katy, there wasn't much else going on. I really enjoyed it.

Today we're going to the movies to see V for Vendetta, and making another attempt at Sprint. Casey's phone doesn't work on vibrate...which you've gotta have. :) Anyway, that's about all I've got planned so far. Last day of break, so hope it's a good one for my guys. The day belongs to them, I'm just along for the ride. And to pay for it...

This is a fun video, thank Abi for it.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Spring Break, Day 3

G'morning y'all. We're on day 4 of Spring Break...the only thing I have planned today is to eat lunch at Long John Silvers. Do I splurge, or what?
Yesterday we started off with going to lunch. One of my favorite local restaurants is Joe's Bistro. Love the Mushroom Zita, mmmm baby! I add a lot of peppers and salt to it, but it's just the best. Charlie always orders a small (12 in.) pizza. Casey didn't want to eat there, thus the Long John Silvers today. However, he ordered a small pizza too. When it came, he sat there. I asked him if something was wrong with his pizza, as Charlie already had 3 pieces gone, and Casey said no, he just wasn't very hungry. Okay... So I asked if he's feeling okay and he said "yeah, I just had 6 (SIX) poptarts before we left". I'd taken my prozac for the day, so I just smiled and shook my head...and asked for a couple to-go boxes.

After leaving Joe's, we headed for Sprint to turn Caseys phone in. Recap...it went through the washer and dryer on Sunday, and when Casey had gotten a call on it, the caller could hear Casey, but Casey couldn't hear the caller. Up to speed now. So, we're in the car on the way to Sprint to take advantage of the warranty I pay on it, and Casey gets a call. He answers and a conversation followed. He hangs up, and I asked him who it had been. He tells me...and it's not registering with him. I smile, and asked him what they'd wanted...he tells me. So, I pull into a parking lot off the interstate and said "So...hon, you could hear what they said to you?" As he gives me a look like I'm mildly slow, he answers "yeah", and though he didn't say it, I know there was a "duh" in there. "Hmmmmm, so the phone is working?" You can see the lights come on and you suddenly know that someone is now home. "OH, YEAH". I drop him off at a store and drove about a mile down the road and called him on his phone. He answers, hears me just fine. We hang up, I drive further and call again, and it's still a go. So, no need for Sprint after all. Who would have thought that you could actually wash and dry a cell phone? We're a commercial waiting to happen.

Now with our allotted Sprint time freed up, Charlie wants to go downtown Dallas and do the JFK museum again...probably for about the 4th time. Now, as much as I love the museum...no, I didn't want to do it again. Not that day, anyway. Actually, I had a pretty severe headache. Wasn't helped much when Charlie earlier threw a heavy rubber ball for one of the dogs and hit me square in the head. He laughed, I cried...he cried, I laughed. After it was all laughed and cried out, I was still in a bunch of pain. We went home and I got a couple of pain pills and off we go...to the MOVIES. Am I a sucker or what? They really wanted to see The Hills Have Eyes again and, admittedly, I wanted to see it. I'd give anything if we'd not gone! I can't get this film out of my mind. Oh, don't get me wrong...terror, gore...it had it all. But there are a couple of parts (okay, 4) that I can't get out of my mind. I'm not sharing, for all of you who might see it, but it is haunting me. My husband said the same thing when I'd told him I'd taken the kids back to see it. Recap again...hubby and the boys had gone to see it on Sunday. He'd come home telling me he didn't like it very much...but when I asked if it was scary, he'd said yeah. Now I know why he didn't like it. It was well done, c'mon, it's a Wes Craven film, so fill in the blanks. It's not Oscar material. But for a horror flick, pretty good. But, it's mostly for the cold of heart. And yet, somehow...I still didn't like it.

And tell me this, HOW DID KEVIN REMAIN SAFE LAST NIGHT ON AMERICAN IDOL??? Are there honestly that many grandparents watching this show. Maybe it needs to be on later in the evening. Why do I care? I don't know...it's Spring Break and my life is at a stand still, somewhat. Yeah, the kid is 'cute' in a "this is my kid and I've tried as hard as I could" kind of way...but c'mon! And the kid had attitude on Tuesday that I, for one, didn't find cute at all. Did Melissa forget the words Tuesday? Oh yeah. Actually the better question would be if she remembered any of the words. And still...she was 200 times better than Kevin.

When the boys got home last night from church (Wednesday is teen night), Casey asked me if Charlie had told me that he (Casey) had chugged gravy? What? Yeah, Casey chugged gravy on a dare. Well, I'm a June Cleaver type of mom (shut up all of you who know me...you know who you are) so my first question was if he was okay? It may have been the second question with 'are you an idiot' being first, but they got home kinda late and I'd been asleep, so I'm not sure. But I know 'are you okay' was in there somewhere. He said that he felt fine and I fell back asleep. Now, at 5:30 a.m., I'm wondering why would they allow a kid to chug gravy at church? And why do they even have gravy at church? Better write myself a note to ask him about it later when they're up. But, c'mon...can there really be a reasonable answer?

Mark wasn't feeling well last night. He's past half way in his treatment now for Hepatitis C, and his last test results came back really great. But he continues with the treatment, which one of the side effects can be severe flu like symptoms. That's what he had last night. Cold, achey, he felt pretty bad. So, please lift him up today in your prayers.

That's it for me so far today. Hope your day is joyous, playful and full of laughter. Actually, that's my hope for my day, too.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Spring Break

It's spring break here. Yup, we're 'breaking'. Gotta love the breaks where you don't really go anywhere and it's just some free time to catch up on things.
Monday we had Charlies orthodontist appointment and they put eight spacers in his mouth to get some room for the braces they put on next Monday. I never had braces as a kid, so I don't really know what he's going through, but his mouth hurts. He doesn't want to eat anything but soup. Though I question that, being as how when Marko and I got up this morning the peanut butter was in the fridge and there was jelly all over the counters. Charlie isn't the neatest kid...yet (I'm not done with him). But, I'm thinking it's going to be a whole lot more uncomfortable next week when he gets the braces in. Mark and I had wanted him to get the "invisible" braces, but he wants the metal kind. It's a rage here...go figure. When I was a kid...oh, who cares. Anyway, you can get colors to put on them and Charlie wanted black, 2 weeks ago. Last week he decided he wanted red. This week he's talking red and black. Yeah, the next 2 years will be a lot of laughs.

Yesterday was my day devoted solely to the Sears Repairman. My dishwasher (it turns one on the 22nd) quit draining, and I'm one of the few people that always get the extended warranties...and use them. :) Anyway, Sears gave me an 8 a.m. ~ 10 a.m. window. He got here at 3:30 p.m., and so went my day. One good thing about having kids old enough to pass for young adults, though, is that I can leave them to handle things if I want to run out. I ran a couple of times.

Saturday, Casey told us he couldn't find his cell phone. He thought he may have left it in his athletic locker. Well, since school is out, that's hard to check. Two years ago, Casey put his phone down at the edge of a basketball court while he played ball with some buddies, and his phone got jacked. He was scared to tell us, and before he finally did there was nearly $300 of calls and downloads made to his phone. He paid for half of it, but it was a lesson learned. Fortunately, I had bought the insurance and the phone was replaced, but we had to pay the $300 bill. So, when he can't find it this week end, we panic slightly. Well...Mark found it Sunday, in the dryer as he was doing laundry. Apparently, they're not wash and wear. Oh, it works, except that when people call, he can't hear them speaking. Today we're back to Sprint...yup, warranties and insurance...always used at the Bratcher home.

I don't know if I told y'all about Charlie auditioning and getting accepted with the youth church band. Charlie plays guitar, mostly stuff by System of a Down, Megadeth, AC/DC, Metallica...you get the idea. So when he auditioned, that's what he played. LOL. But they liked him. Of course, our church's music is Christian rock...pretty heavy, itself, at times. The only thing, though, is that the only music Charlie can read is tabs. They want him to learn to read music...as in chords. Charlie has never had any music lessons, he's taught himself. He's also writing his own music and songs now. He's pretty awesome. Yeah, I'm his mom...so?? We're looking into music lessons for him, and I'm buying him all these books and videos. I'm just thrilled that he got into a band that I don't really have to worry about cheaply dressed groupies...have you seen 15 year old girls lately? He is the youngest guy in the band, though. They're mostly in their 20's, and a couple are married...so, I'm thinking he's safe. Safety, first and foremost. :)

Anyone watch AI last night? I'm only really impressed with a couple of people, but I can't remember AI ever having so many people that you really like. I mean, it's easy to care about these contestants this year. They've pretty much got rid of the ones that I wanted to slap around, and even though I know they're not exceptional singers (yeah, okay...I'll go with mediocre even), I still hate to see them get voted off. And while I'm on the subject of t.v., I haven't watched The Shield from last night yet, but I can't help but fall head over heels for James Spader sometimes on Boston Legal, and last night was one of those times. This show never lets me down, love it.

So, that's about it for me...so far today, anyway. After hitting Sprint for Caseys phone, I'm thinking we'll take in a movie, if the guys don't have plans of their own. All my guys went to see The Hills Have Eyes last Sunday after church (it's okay to snicker) while I stayed home with my Gato, but I'd kind of like to see it. So, we may go to the movies (they can go see whatever they want, but I think they want to see it again). I saw The Libertine last week, with Johnny Depp. Wow, amazing film. I've loved Johnny Depp since 21 Jumpstreet (yeah, I'm that old), and this isn't a movie where he looks good, and the guy does look good to me...back to my point. The guy can act, even though the film has gotten bad reviews, it's a good film. It is hard to watch because it makes you feel like it's on cheap or bad quality of film...but it was an indie film, I think, and that's what they were going after. I think they nailed it. I loved it.

I think I've posted enough without having said anything...so go on now, be about your own business and enjoy your day.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Getting To Know You...

I keep saying that I'm not a 'people' person, and I'm getting really tired of people not believing me. Okay, it's about now that I need to stop for a few minutes to let my friend, Katy, quit laughing and clean up the mess she just made....
In all fairness, to me, I was raised by the most 'least likely to brake for children or the elderly' person that has ever lived, so I do come by it naturally. The only time my mom ever said anything nice about anyone was when, wait...nope, I've got nothing.
Now, before you jump to the conclusion that I must take after my mom...let me just stop you right there. I don't. I don't dislike people, I just dislike being around them. I rarely meet someone I don't like, I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. However, that doesn't mean I want to be around them. I recently posted about my three best friends, and how blessed I am to have them. One of the things that makes these three my closest friends is that they accept my honesty without confusing it with bitchiness. Now, when Katy lived here before moving to Ohio about 5 years ago, she would often stand up to me more than most. When I told her I didn't want to do something, she'd sometimes threaten me. When I said I didn't want any help with something, she'd show up anyway. No matter how much I shook my stick at her, she wouldn't run away. My best friend, ever. Don't let that lead you to believe that she doesn't, on occasion, drive me absolutely crazy cause she has and can...but she can also make me laugh harder than anyone I know. And as much as I hate to admit it, I miss her. (Get over it, Katy)

I have a cruel streak, occasionally, and a very dry (or sick) sense of humor. That's just who I am. If you can't laugh at me, stay away. If you can't take me seriously, stay away. See my point here...just stay away. It's a theme with me.

I'm getting so off point here it's going to take a slew of dogs to find my way back.
Oh yeah...I have a neighbor that has Pampered Chef parties. One, I hate parties. It's true, I do. Two, I don't cook. It's true, I don't. Three, I don't eat after anyone but my husband. It's true, I won't. So, three good reasons not to go to these Pampered Chef parties. However, one good reason to go...I love my neighbor. I've never socialized with her other than at her house, in her yard...that sort of thing. But they don't come any sweeter. So, okay, knowing her financial circumstances, I don't mind helping out. Just wish I could write her a monthly check, though, and skip the whole party thing. I have come home with some really great kitchen tools though, like the ice cream scoop that warms up when you touch it. And the heavy duty cooling rack, that when I saw it I thought 'that would be great to put my computer monitor on' and it's perfect. So, I can actually spend money on anything, apparently. But, once I go to her parties, I'm always glad I've gone. Her friends are just as nice as she is, and they don't embarrass all that easily, which works great with my personality. Plus, Mark always gets some great new cooking tools. I don't always remember what it was you're suppose to do with them by the time we get them, but Mark can usually figure it out.
And her house is always so spotless, that she's one of the few people whose cooking I'll eat. At her parties, she always fixes something using the utensils that she sells, letting people at the party assist. She always hands them a bottle of hand sanitizer before letting them touch the food or the utensils, how smart is that? I've always passed on assisting with the cooking. I don't like to touch raw stuff and she always makes a vegetarian dish for me...which in itself makes me feel obligated to go...but it's okay. As much as I always dread the party, I'm always glad I went.

Before Katy moved away, she always made me go to Bunko parties (am I spelling it right?). These were always pure hell for me. She'll argue that point, she'll say I enjoyed them once I got there...but she'll be wrong. You're wrong, Katy!! Remember the time I came out of the bathroom with the trail of toilet paper hanging out of the top of my jeans and dangling down to my knees in front of all your friends??? Well, that's the feeling I have when I'm around strangers, all the time. I simply don't enjoy it. I've never been to one of my high school reunions, I've never met anyone in PTA (go alone, sit alone, leave quickly) and the same for church. My kids and husband, fortunately, are not like me at all when it comes to being 'people shy', but they understand and accept me. When people I know show up at my house unexpected, I step outside to talk to them. I love to go to the movies alone, I have no problem eating in a restaurant alone and I can, I have and I enjoy going on vacations alone.

What amazes me is how I continue to have wonderful friends. Saints, each and every one of them. Except for the times that they're a pain in my butt.

My thought behind this post, at the beginning anyway, was that when I say I don't want to 'go' somewhere or 'do' something, don't take it personally. Don't take it upon yourself to change who I am. Don't take it for granted that I must not like you (of course, there is always that possibility). Just take it for what it is, that I'm not a people person. I'm not alone, there are others like me. We're not bad people, we're not 'unfriendly' or anti-social. We're just people doing the best that we can with what we've got to work with, mentally and emotionally. You want someone to hang out with, shop with, talk to on the phone every single day (or even weekly, lol), you really need to look elsewhere. But if I say I love you, I mean it. If I say I've missed you, I mean it. If I give you a hug, darlin, I mean it completely.

If you're wondering what was behind this post, and I wouldn't blame you, it's this: Friends don't change friends, they add to who they are and they accept, even appreciate, who they are.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

uno más, uno más!!

I had mentioned in a post in December that one of Mark's Christmas gifts to me was a card telling me that I had his 'blessing' (the word permission just irks me) to get another cat, and he gave me a blank check to cover whatever adoption fee and necessities I'd have to pay for. Well...Merry Christmas! Meet Gato...
Gato just turned 4 months old. I adopted him from PetSmart this weekend where I met his foster mom too. She has had him since he was born (his mom was in her care too) so he's been loved since day one. He's such a sweet kitten, very people friendly. After one day, he's holding his own with our 3 big dogs and my other 2 cats. He also cuddles and gives me kisses!
His name was Heath when I got him, but I'm not crazy about that name and I know Stacy D would give me a hard time about it too, so we threw around some names and we all agreed on Gato (means cat in spanish). He's got an exclamation mark on his nose, a straight line down his nose with a dot at the end. He's soooo cute! I love him already...we all do.

Soooo....to my hubby:
Thanks baby, thank you for my Christmas present, I love you very much!!

Here are a couple of other pictures, one of Gato and one of my other two cats, Trouble and Bob Bob:

Yes, Bob Bob and Gato resemble one another, except that Bob Bob is a long hair Tuxedo and a female. :)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Our Burden To Bear

Ever want to carry someone else's burden? Sometimes it's hard to listen to, hear about or read about someone else's pain.

Parents, I know, feel this a lot. I would give anything to be able to carry the hurt my kids sometimes have to go through. From the time they're babies and they're sick or in pain, till the time they're grown and go through all kinds of emotional and physical pain. But pain is a form of the learning process. The weak either get stronger and learn from it...or they don't and they wallow in it. Sometimes to try and carry someone else's pain is actually depriving them of learning how to equip themselves for the many tomorrows yet to come.

My Mom-in-law recently found out her cancer has returned. The first time around, the treatments were horrific for her. I'd give anything if I could go through this for her.

My oldest (16), had his heart broken last summer. I'd given anything to have carried that helplessly lonely feeling for him, because I remember it all to well.

My best friends son has tourrettes, and has been asked to stay out of the public schools since 7th grade (4 years ago). They've not been able to go as a family to the store, restaurants or the movies because people stare at him and have honestly asked the parents if they can 'make' him stop. I wish I could carry both the parents and this great young mans pain for awhile, to give them all a break and a 'normal' life, even if it could be for just one day.

The day our family cat, Falco, died in the morning minutes before my boys had to leave for school to take their first day of semester finals. They both left in tears, but never asked to stay home, knowing they had important tests to take. I wish I could have carried that pain for them that day, on top of my own.

There is all kinds of pain, and every kind is valid to the one bearing it. The majority of the time, we're not able to take it from them, to carry their load or even make it lighter, regardless of how much we'd like to be able to. Only ONE was, and is, able to do that, and how heavy that burden must have been! I'm not a martyr, not really even much of a sympathetic kind of person, but there are times when I know, without a single doubt in my mind, that I would take someone else's pain for them, if at all possible. But, for whatever reason, we each have a journey that is ours alone to complete. The most we can do is try to lighten that load for others when given the opportunity. It may be a hug, it may be our presence accompanied by our silence, it may be a few words of encouragement, or it may be keeping our distance. Life isn't an exact science, it's a trial and error journey, adventure, experiment even. Whether we choose to go it alone or with someone beside us is our choice. Whether we choose to learn and grow, or wallow in pity and stagnate, it's our choice. Life goes on either way.

A great and inspiring video sent to me by Nikki.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I was tagged by Smiledragon

4 jobs I've had: waiting tables, bartending, accounting, lunch lady, teaching
4 movies that I could watch over & over: Bandits, Knights Tale, Fargo, Malibu's Most Wanted
4 tv shows I watch: The Shield, Boston Legal, House, Greys Anatomy
4 places I've been on vacation: Cozumel, Colorado, New Mexico, Costa Maya
4 of my favorite foods: Mexican dishes made with shrimp, General Tso's Shrimp, pizza with jalapenos, mushrooms, onions and pineapple, chocolate
4 Web sites I visit daily: WebConnect, ParentConnect, Blogs (can't be more specific), Comcast
4 Places I'd rather be: New Mexico, on a cruise, on a beach, outside with a book
4 unlucky souls: I can't tag people...but if you do it, let me know.

Thank You

My friend, Terri, is a flight attendant for Continental Airlines and she has told me many stories of seeing this happening. Not only in the airport, but on the plane too.

While I'm playing this card lately, if you ever feel the desire to do something too...please give this site a look.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Honor Our Fallen

Cindy Sheehan, yet again, demeaning the death of her son and causing her family more grief.
It breaks my heart that she is not stable enough to realize what all of America understands, that she is being used by a few to embarrass a country which her son believed was worth giving his life for.
Thank God she lives in a country that allows her the freedom to act this way. Her son died fighting, so that others may someday be able to know that kind freedom.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Just Trying To Matter

Yeah, yeah...I posted this morning and some how it's lost in cyberspace. Apparently blogger had to reboot my system and in the process, my post got the 'boot'.
I'm not going to repost it, it was just about how boring I thought last nights Academy Awards Show was.
The one thing that I did think was worth mentioning was Reece Witherspoon, when accepting best actress for Walk The Line, said that whenever June Carter Cash was asked how she was doing, she would always reply "I'm just trying to matter". That, alone, made the show worth watching (though it was off and on) for me.
"I'm just trying to matter"...what a great attitude.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Kiss the rest of your day goodbye
and give this silly game a try.
Don't forget to tell me what you score,
and thank Jan for this game of "fore".

Friday, March 03, 2006

Circle Of Three

People are so different. It's a good thing, makes for great blog reading. Also makes for a great group of friends. I like an open book type of person. Anyone who really knows me, knows that I don't hesitate asking a question if there is something I want to know. I'm not unaware that I can be a pain in the butt, as all my close friends are painfully aware of as well. However, if I don't ask questions chances are that I don't really care if I know or not. So, my friends have come to realize that my inquiries are a sign of my letting you into the inner circle of my comfort zone.

I have three friends that know my complete business...my good, my bad and my hideously ugly. I'd trust these three friends with truths that I even sometimes try to hide from myself. I can honestly say they've never put that proverbial finger in my face, they've never even brought up my 'uglies'. I bring them up occasionally and they've never judged me. Real friends. I love this group. I hope they know that I love them. I always tell them I love them, but still, I hope they know how much. Not only do I love them, but I appreciate them. I'm thankful for them. I'd gone nuts, crazy, psycho even, without having had them to confide in, hold my hand and wipe my tears.

There are some people that you meet, that you instantly like and want to be friends with. Hindsight is 20/20...that's the saying, yes? We've all learned the hard way. Sometimes when 'friends' betray a trust, turn their back on you, put their needs before your own, it's such a crushing feeling. There is something about some people that makes you want them to be your friend. Maybe their humor, maybe their personality, maybe even their looks or the way they 'carry' themselves. But they don't pass the test of time. We do live and learn. I've lived and learned and continue to do so. There are a few things I know to be true. One, that God loves me. Two, that I will always love my children. Three, that I am truly blessed to have my three friends.

Off to teach the hounds of hell. Enjoy your day.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

How Much?

This site lets you enter your zip code to find the best gas prices in your area.

And The Cookie Says...


which chinese symbol are you?
brought to you by

I got this test from the fabulous Wenchy.

Do We Care?

I'm not pointing fingers, I'm just asking. How hard is it for people to be happy for others? Unless it's just me, which granted, it could be, but unless it's just me it seems that people are so much more willing and eager to jump on a bandwagon that accuses, insults or makes fun of someone rather than one that encourages, praises and lifts someone up. I don't understand this. I'm sorry if I'm stepping on toes, but why is it so much easier to insult or find fault than to praise or encourage someone? Are we so selfish and self centered, so calloused, so preoccupied with our own lives that the pain or joy of others doesn't register on our personal radar?
Sure, if we allow the pain of others to also cause us pain we open ourselves up to a whole new vulnerability. However, in fairness, if we choose to share in the joy of others, the thankfulness for others accomplishments, we will have an unlimited source of joy available to us. It honestly is a give and take...or nothing at all. I know too many people living in the 'nothing at all'. Do you? Walking, working, functioning and emotional zombies. Pull that scab of callousness off, open yourself up to feeling the pain of others suffering but also to the freedom of a soaring spirit when you share in the love, the joy and the blessings of others.