Out for a Bout

As the boxes are stacking up, so is my anxiety. I will be checking out of the blogosphere for a while to finish up the packing and to spend my last moments with family over the holiday. Plus, my laptop is just another item that needs to be packed! 

So to all of you I say…

Merry Christmas!



to doMy To-Do list seems to be growing by the day and with Christmas just three days away my time is running out.  Once Christmas Eve hits, things will come to a close and I will be spending stress free time with family before the big move… I hope!  The post-it notes are in full effect now.  I’ve always loved post-its, but since having thyroid cancer my memory is just nonexistent so I use post-its on doors and in my planner to remind me of things.  On my entry door right now I have 5 post-its with notes ranging from “remember storage space boxes” to “cancel cable/internet, gas, electric” to “ remember CD for U.Ken on Saturday.”  Notes that may get added to the door in the next day or two: “Bring: presents, turtle pumpkin pie, laptop for dad”, “email to moving crew of new time”, “fill out paperwork.”  Some of these are notes I usually would post in my planner or in my Outlook as a reminder but since I’m off work until next year, post-its it is!

packingPacking is going slowly.  I have completely cleared one room and almost cleared two others.  Today I didn’t get much done on the packing front but I did start and finish my Christmas shopping.  Go me!  All presents are now wrapped and in a laundry basket ready to head to my parent’s house on Friday.  Still on the list are many things in addition to packing and today I’m just not feeling so well.  I’m trying to decide if I should head to bed early to make up for the mere 4 hours of sleep last night but I have so many things swirling around in my head to do that my anxiety levels are rising just thinking about wasting time on sleep.  On the top of my To Do list for tomorrow is to cancel my cable/internet so maybe I can look at it as time to finish my DVR clearing project?  I’m doing pretty good so far and have gone from 58 movies on there to just 5!  I’ve seen 4 of the 5 before which to me means its ok to “watch” the movie in the background while the main focus is on packing.  So maybe taking a break to watch the last one I haven’t seen isn’t too bad.  I’m just hoping I feel better after 8 hours of sleep tonight.

If I don’t get some sleep, I think I may soon look very much like this…

Pulling_hair_outAnd no one wants that now, do they?


I Should Be Packing

Rent (1996 Original Broadway Cast) is blasting, the boxes are strewn all over the floor and organized by size, the few Christmas presents I've had time to buy are "wrapped" in bags, transcripts requested & diplomas found for future employer's records, electric & gas are scheduled for shut-off (not quite ready for the 40mins I will spend with ATT yet)... and I'm on a lunch break.. so I guess its ok to be typing to you all?
Why is is so hard to find the motivation to pack?

And why is it that the spare room (ie: guest room) is the most time consuming, yet most logical place to start?

Sigh... I accumulate so much "stuff" in this room.  Some of it necessary, some it... well not so necessary.  But how do you sort it out and decide what you absolutely do not need to take with you?  Things currently in the "undecided" category include: sleeping bag, air mattress, a rug I've had stashed under the bed, an empty filing cabinet...  The sleeping bag/air mattress make sense to take if I have more than 2 visitors at a time.  The empty filing cabinet? Maybe I should just trash it?  I have a small travel file thingy that my papers more than fit in.  Currently its in use holding my printer but I have other objects that could take that honor.

Slow going it is.  And I'm hoping to plow through 3 rooms before bedtime.  Does the dining room count as a room?  If so, I just need to pack up a painting and that one is "done!" My table/chairs are being sold, I've already packed the clock that needs batteries, and my bar stools go as is.

Ok - my break is over - back to packing!



**not sure why this didn't post on the 17th like it was supposed to - oh well here it is now!**

It's my last day at work and I was doing ok, was excited even, until I started hearing the following things:

"I was writing you an email but it got too emotional so I decided just to come over here instead!"
"I'm getting in my truck now so I can start bawling."
"I want to say thank you for all your help and support. I have leaned and grown so much within the last couple years"

And then quite possibly the sweetest thing came through and I just lost it:
"You are such a beautiful person inside and out! It is my pleasure to know and have worked with you. You are truly an inspiration to everyone that knows you. Good luck, which I am sure you don’t need because you have God’s favor on your life."

How can you not love working with people like that?  They even brought in my favorite lunch (Taco Bell) and a pink flower cupcake-cake (hope to have a pic of that soon.. hint, hint Cindy!)    I am so going to miss the many very special people that I have worked with over the last 6 (almost) years.

Tonight's agenda?  Going away party take 2 with family & friends.  I am a mess waiting to happen.


Today’s Randomness

It’s been a really awkward day filled with randomness.  My brain is just not processing complete thoughts lately.  It might be because I have so many things swirling around inside or it could just be the approximate 48 oz. of coffee I’ve had today.  Either way here is some of the randomness:

  • 48 oz. of coffee plus one banana make for complete and total jittery productiveness.  I must remember this for packing days.
  • the waiter at On The Border tonight was totally blitzed.  I think I got drunk breathing in his fumes. Luckily this brought down the jitters a bit… or maybe it was just the beans and rice soaking up the caffeine.
  • went to see The Social Network which made me immediately want to check my Facebook.  Hello addiction!
  • I leave for Tennessee in just 11 days. ELEVEN. Holy crap!
  • it was slightly shocking when I checked DSL availability for my new address and the only thing that came up was dialup information. Panic not dear friends, I found ONE provider to keep me in high speed heaven.
  • Speaking of Facebook and the internet…is anyone else tired of the “mommy exclusionists”?  Mom only groups, websites, posts.. they are everywhere.  You also have the moms who seem no longer capable of associating with their non-mom friends.  I may have to save this one for a full on post sometime…
  • I am looking forward to coming home to a place that doesn’t smell like the neighbors fish dinner.  Seriously, its gross and my house reeks because of your dinner choice.  Which makes me also think… if the ventilation is that interconnected am I paying to heat and/or cool their apartment?  Could that be why my electric bills were near $200 all summer? Hmmm…
  • The Sing Off is quite possibly the best show ever created.  I think I like it even better than Glee… because a) their voices aren’t digitized and/or “studio” sounding they are just real and b) there is more singing less talking.
  • Speaking of Glee… have you see the Glee flash mob videos on YouTube? This one recorded in Rome is my favorite.
  • And speaking of flash mobs… in the spirit of Christmas you should really watch the Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus.
  • And finally speaking of Christmas… its not feeling very Christmassy around here.  Its snowing, its cold, the songs are on the radio, the movies are on TV… but I have no decorations up in my house.  Its just weird. I’m hoping I can drum up some Christmas spirit for our family party this Saturday.



16One thing that must be noted about the South?  They know how to bake a mean biscuit!  Seriously even the ones at McD’s tasted better down there.  They were light, fluffy, buttery delightfulness in one tiny little package. 

I’m serious its like they know some sort of magic trick… or… they use inordinate amounts of butter… either way they are delicious.

My plan is to move down there just to steal their secrets.


Weekend Education

While on a recent trip to my soon to be new hometown, I made several discoveries about myself and the many cities between Michigan and Tennessee.

  • Ohioans are either very healthy… or very not!  I counted about a bazillion hospitals and medical centers while traveling through this very LoOoOoOn state.
  • Sweet tea is my new very bestest friend. drivin
  • The Cumberland Mountain area of Virginia is amazingly beautiful when its snowing… but also amazingly scary. Plummeting down tiny, winding, slippery roads is definitely not my idea of a party.
  • I am truly a creature of habit – I sat in the same seat for more than 30 hours this weekend.
  • Back to Ohio… we passed through a small town that had many houses covered in Christmas lights.  As we passed through the center of town one home in particular stood out – the funeral home.  It was the most decorated building for miles!
  • While in Kentucky eating breakfast at McD’s, we met a man who told us he had a daughter who is 38 as well as two others by two other women.  His first wife was 14 when he married her (he was 21 at the time).  He then proceeded to tell me to look him up if I needed anything after I moved and that he was “in the book.”
  • …Then he asked if I had a boyfriend.  When I said no he said, “Shoot, if Ah had a girl as pretty as you, Ah’d put a cowbell on ‘Er so Ah’d always know where she was!” True story.
  • My mom is hopeless when it comes to sports.  When driving through Cincinnati she asked if the Bears play there.  When I said no the Bengals do, she looked puzzled so I said,  “You know like Bengal Tigers?”  To which she said “So they don’t have a football team?” I guess at least she knows the (Detroit) Tigers don’t play football?
  • In Tennessee it seems the motto “If it’s flat we will build it” rang true – even if getting to “it” was nearly impossible. One apartment we looked at had my mom fearing we were driving off a cliff instead of down the driveway.

The trip was truly memorable and also very productive!  I now have a place to live and finally feel like this is all really happening.  I promise after the big move to include many, many pictures of my new abode and state!

And speaking of Christmas lights… take a look at what a town did for one little boy…

Donate to St. Jude’s this holiday


Hello there bloggy world! I'm coming to you live from TN! I haven't forgotten you, but I have been busy finding a place to live down here. More news to come!


Cleaning Up

In preparation for my big move at the end of the month, I’m doing a lot of cleaning… Cleaning up the rooms as I pack them up… Cleaning out the closets, drawers, storage space, fridge/freezer, cupboards… Tonight’s project?

Cleaning out the DVR.

I started with 81 recordings. I’m not even kidding you.  After deciding I don’t really need to re-watch the current seasons of GLEE, House MD, Fringe… I deleted those. Now I am left with 58 recordings, all of which are movies.  Darn you cable for having free preview weekends! 

Since I recorded all of these I must have wanted to watch them at one time or another right?  So I feel like I have to watch them all before finally turning in my box.  When I get to TN I have decided to go sans cable for a while in an effort to get out and learn my new surroundings, save some cashola, maybe finally get to those bazillion books I have bought but never read, and really… its all about crossing another thing off the 101 list right?!

So back to the project.  I have 58 movies to watch equating approximately 116 hours of cinematic enjoyment.  I would need to spend almost 5 days straight to watch them all.  If I watch just 2 per day, I would need 29 days.  If you notice, my countdown currently displays many less than that… and I will be gone for 4 days this next week trying to find a place to live in TN.  Sooo that puts me down to about 18 days of movie watching time left.  That would be 3 per day. Hmm…

It’s a challenge and I like it!  So first up (or last on the DVR list) is… Living Proof, Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy and Crazy Sexy Cancer.  If I can fit a 4th in before sleep takes over I will add Seven Pounds.  Looks like I’m taking a trip down cancer memory lane tonight!  Just need to grab some pizza, soda and some Kleenex and off we go!



byeToday marks exactly 2 weeks until I am done at my current place of employment.  I’ve been there for almost 6 years now and really I have no idea where that time went. It will be a bittersweet goodbye.  I will miss the people I work with but I’m looking forward to the challenges my new employer will bring.

Tonight I have my first going away party and I’m just not sure how I feel about it.  Am I ready to say goodbye?  I guess I don’t know. I’m going to be positive about it and say its not a goodbye but more of a see you soon. Plus I will see these people for the next two weeks still!

It’s starting to sink in now.  I’m leaving everything here behind.  And there isn’t much time left.  I plan on making the most of it!


How Soon We Forget

Well… it happened.piling up

Our first accumulating snowfall of the season is here. Yes, I posted pics of our early dusting on Nov 5th but today’s snowfall is the real deal.  We are talking inches people… 3-5 by midnight plus a lake effect snow advisory. In one word: YUCK.

Now, I know that every year it is coming.  It’s west Michigan for goodness sake!  We get snow from a storm system and then we get the obligatory 2-3 inches extra from the lake effect.  Sooner or later it happens every year without fail.

But yet, many residents of this lovely state miraculously forget that *gasp* the white stuff can be slippery!  Even when that first real snowfall is only an inch or two, its like people have never seen it before.  This morning was no exception.  No less than a dozen accidents were reported at any given moment, the highway was shut down because of a wreck, you saw at least a dozen slide offs in the 25 miles between home and work.  Come on people, think while driving!

The bright spot in the day: sooner than later I will be in TN where the snow days are few!  And?  Our upcoming weekend trip to find me a place to live, the weather is supposed to be in the 50’s!  Now that’s the kind of winter I can handle!



♪ ♫  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…♪ ♫

Well on the bloggy blog it is anyway!  My normal tradition is to put up the tree on the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving.  This year there is no tree, no lights, no stocking... Its slightly depressing to not come home to the warm glow of tree lights.  It just seems silly to take all the decorations out of boxes while I’m putting everything else I own into boxes… don’t ya think? 

I started packing last night and discovered I’m just not motivated to do that yet.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have a place to live in TN yet?  I’m hoping I snap out of it sooner than later because if you noticed my new countdown… there are only 26 days left!  Yikes! 

Anyone want to come help me pack?!


A Day of Thanksgiving

turkeyAs I was getting ready this morning, I overheard a news piece about the busiest travel day of the year.  And then it struck me that this time next year, I will be one of those doing the travelling. I may be heading home by plane, I may be heading home by car but it will be a lot longer than the 20 minute drive I have tomorrow.  It will be such a different experience.

With the weather calling for rain, sleet, & snow in the next few days I find that I am thankful that I will be so close.  I am also thankful that I have a family that makes getting together a priority.  I am thankful that we will have plenty of food to eat.  We will be cooking 55lbs of turkey, 20lbs of potatoes, 5lbs of stuffing and a whole lot of other yummy stuff!  And I am thankful we can get together in a warm home and that I will be seeing 27 of the people I love most.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year, but I want to know…

What are you thankful for?



slippersWell my dearies, just as I said almost 2 weeks ago in this post, the time has come! 

The most adorable and comfy Victoria’s Secret flannel PJ’s are now on sale AND include free slippers with your order!  The sale is $10 off the normal price but with the code: VS10SLEEP you also get the free gift of matching slippers! 

You can also enter the code: SHIPVS10 and get free shipping when you spend $100… which is so not hard to do at Vicki’s.  dots

Sooo if you are looking for a cute Christmas gift idea or need to drop a hint or few to your significant other, now is the perfect time to do so!  I will be purchasing a set of PJ’s & slippers in the confetti dot pattern for moi because they are simply wonderful.

If you are lucky enough to get a set for yourself, let me know if you love them as much as I do!


And Then He Said Stop

stopThis week went into major fast forward mode starting on Tuesday.  My mind has been racing, my body has been racing.  There is so much to do, so many things to take care of, wrap up or begin.  The list is growing by the moment and certain things are just too much to think about right now and give me total anxiety.  One thing is: I don’t know where I’m going to live yet.  But things are moving in a direction so that I know I will have someplace to live.  I just hate the not knowing thing right now!  Another thing is when am I going to find time to pack in this busy holiday season?  It has to be done, so it will be… I just need to start!

But the main thing giving me anxiety is health related.  I need to find new doctors which doesn’t just mean a PCP or OBGYN or dentist… for me that also means a new Rheumatologist and Endocrinologist and possibly a new Surgeon. It means telling every little detail of the past 2 years all over again.  What if I forget an important piece?  Can I keep my current Endo & Rheumy with my new insurance?  Can I schedule the appointments when I will be able to make the trek home?  And at the last Endo appointment they said at the next appointment [coming up in Feb] we need to schedule my 1 year follow-up scans.  Which means I have to go on the LID again… and go hypo again… this time 700 miles away.  Or will my new insurance pay for Thyrogen?  Will there be any Thyrogen available?  Should I try to get into a new Endo down there to start them out with a bang or should I try to get in with my current Endo before I leave… but then I still wouldn’t have time to schedule the LID, going hypo and my scans… 

It’s just too much to think about right now on top of everything else.  I have too many other things that absolutely have to get done in the next 30 days.  And please, spare me the lectures on the importance of the 1 year scan – I Know – but I also know my TG levels have been undetectable which is a really good signal that my cancer is still gone.

So in the midst of all this too much to do anxiety, I decided to start packing this morning. As I ate my IKEA cinnamon roll, [I managed to squeeze in a trip yesterday to buy me some lovely new curtains for the yet to be named living space] I started to feel that familiar tightening on the left side of my face.  My jaw started feeling stiff, the place where my jawbone curves up below my ear started swelling. [similar to this]  Seriously?!

In the midst of the do I/don’t I in relation to Sjogren’s Syndrome, it sure seems like my symptoms fit the bill.  Symptoms are aggravated by stress and in the last 2 weeks my skin has gotten so dry that it cracks, my hair has been falling out in massive amounts, my hands have hurt so much I could barely  make a fist and well… now my face is blowing up again.

So I’m taking it as a sign that today, I need to just stop.  Meditation, movies, cleaning, writing, scrapbooking… I don’t know what exactly I will do yet but I need to clam my body and mind.  I’m starting with blogging and lots of fluids to jump start my parotid back into action. Hopefully the facial disfigurement is short lived.


Why Tennessee?

whyThis is the question I find myself answering a bajillion times a day so I thought I’d fill you all in.

Do I know anyone in Tennessee?  Not that I’m aware of… although I think one of my sorority sisters lives there?  Definitely don’t know anyone in the city I’m moving to!

Why did I apply for that job?  Well I applied because the job sounded interesting, like a challenge, and definitely a rung up the career ladder.  The fact that it was in Tennessee was just an afterthought.  Truth is, I applied for several jobs in many different areas.  In the end, I had 2 job offers and I went with the one that I felt was the right one for me… and it just so happened to be the one in Tennessee.

It doesn’t hurt that I have always loved that area.  In fact I posted about how much I love it last October in this post.  I love the mountains, I hate the snow… Tennessee has a lot of the one and barely any of the other. Perfect compromise! 

It’s an adventure and who knows what may happen?  As the realtor who showed me around there said, “Honey, maybe God is just sending you down this way to find your husband!”

And?  Why not Tennessee?



So what do you do when you have to write a resignation letter?   You agonize over what you should say… what you shouldn’t say… making sure all the pertinent information is in there… leaving out things that just aren’t important.  You get advice from your HR friend. Finally, you decide to keep it short and sweet and to the point.  Then you quickly print it out and hand it to your boss. 
Unless the only paper in your house is purple, yellow, PINK, is covered in Santa Claus faces, flowers, or angels.  Yes my dears, I found myself with not a stitch of white copy paper in sight the night I wanted to print my letter!  Of course I wasn’t about to run out in the cold weather to get a new ream of paper, that would be too easy.  No I frantically searched through every drawer in my house to find something suitable and even debated long and hard about using pink or purple. [Hey, it worked for Elle Woods didn’t it??]  
Then, it dawned on me… I am a scrapbooker!!  I have mountains of lovely papers stuffed in my rolling scrap station!  There was bound to be an 8.5x11” sheet of plain white in there right?

Since discovering the joys of 12x12” scrapbooks, I have completely purged my 8.5x11” paper selections!  So then it hits me.  I have this amazing paper cropping tool that I use to cut papers to whatever lovely size I desire! 
So I pulled out a few white papers and discover I have a serious shiny white paper problem.  If I print on that, it will smear.  Totally not acceptable.  I then found one glorious piece of almost cardstock thickness pure white paper.  Yessss!
I happily cropped my sheet down to the very specific letter size and sent it through the laserjet.  Success! 
One perfectly proportioned, non glossy, heavy weighted resignation letter made to order!


BIG News!

I have big… biG… bIG… BIG… HUGE  news to share with you!

I will not be putting up a Christmas Tree this year.DSCN0882DSCN0881

Come on!  Do you think I would have been teasing you for WEEKS just to tell you that?!  But… it is a part of the puzzle… a clue if you will.  Here is another clue…DSCN1918Taken earlier this year and posted earlier by yours truly HERE.  Any guesses on the super big announcement yet? 

How about this hint?


If you guessed that I’m moving, you would be only half-right.  One last really obvious hint:

If you guessed that I’m moving to Tennessee to take a new job…. you are obviously a genius because that is exactly right!

Yes folks you heard that right – I’m moving to Johnson City, Tennessee and starting a new job! [and let’s face it, I’m fixin’ to acquire a southern accent right quick] 

Tennessee… the birthplace of country music, Dollywood, Jack Daniel’s, and the Great Smokey Mountains.  Tennessee… a mere 699.91 miles from home and family.  Tennessee… a whole new adventure waiting for me!

There is so much going through my mind at the moment and a whole heck of a lot of checklists and spreadsheets started.  I start my new job January 3rd. Right after New Year’s.  That means between now and then I have to find a new place to live, find some movers, pack up my life, say goodbye to all my friends and family and… let’s not forget the holidays and the craziness they bring anyway! 

I’m starting to panic that I won’t have time to do it all.  At the same time I am SO excited about starting this new journey!  I’ve been wanting to tell everyone for weeks now – I’ve been interviewing since August – but I hope you can forgive the hinting and understand why I have to keep it under wraps for a while. 

I am officially done with my current job as of December 17th so if any of you are around the week of Christmas, let’s make some plans for lunch, dinner, a movie… whatever!  For now, I plan on leaving the mitten the week of New Year’s and arriving with enough time to get unpacked before the holiday.

Sooo I have to know… was the wait worth the big reveal?


I Have Been Remiss

Forgive me, I have been lazy in updating my 101 in 1001 list!  I’m not sure how many days we are into the 1001 but I’ve been hard at work attacking the list!

First up – I attended a concert!  I went to the Selah concert with Slaglm, her parents and my parents.  They do a mix of hymns and original songs and their harmonies are uh-maze-ing!

Next on the list – I went to a local restaurant that I had never been to.  The restaurant?  Twisted Rooster… yum!  Even though it was a slightly sad goodbye dinner with my friend LC who just moved across state, the food and the conversation were good. Miss you LC!

And then – I sent out 1 card in October and 2 postcards in November… 2 months closer to my one snail mail per month goal!  December should be easy peasy with all those Christmas cards to send out.

I’ve also been making progress on the reading front and have finished Girl Who Played With Fire, Sarah’s Key, and Illegals.  I’m working on about 5 more including 2 more that I have to write book reviews for!

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And last but not least – I carved a pumpkin for our Multi-Holiday Dinner last month:

DSCN1825 DSCN1826 DSCN1831 DSCN1842

Not too shabby I must say!  Annnnnnnnnd I have a super big announcement for you all tomorrow that will be fulfilling at least one more thing on my list!  But you will just have to come back tomorrow to find out what that is!


Pins & Needles

PF 06 047Today I’m not the only one sitting here waiting on pins and needles… it just so happens to be the opening day of gun deer hunting season and the deer and the hunters are on full alert.

Now normally I wouldn’t care one way or the other about hunting seasons but this particular day is apparently a holiday in some parts of the state.  In the areas where I work, they literally close school for deer hunting…I mean an in-service.. yeah… an in-service. 

I normally just note this day as a regional phenomenon and continue through my day.  But today on my way to work, I glanced to my left looking for any escaping deer that may cross my path and I saw a bright orange hat and a big dark shape just on the side of the road.  Suddenly I realized that I drive through prime hunting territory on a daily basis!  I’m seriously hoping that those hunters point their guns in the right direction!


Silent Insanity

I’ve been really quiet on here.  It’s not because I have a lack of things to talk about.  In fact I have so many things to talk about I don’t even know where to start.  My mind is like a whirlwind of activity but I just can’t act.  Not yet.  This time next week, however, it may be a completely different story.  Hopefully…

Anyway, things are completely crazy and I’m spending part of today trying to get my head organized.  Starting with my closet. 

Yup its that time again where I’m clearing out anything I haven’t worn in the last year – or have never worn.  Seriously, why do we buy things we will never wear?  I can tell you why this girl does it in one word: SALES.  I’m seriously a sucker.  I see something that I kinda like but maybe isn’t my style but because its on sale or better yet – clearance – I just have to have it!  Oh yes, this will be quite the chore today!  I better get started…


Comfort Zone


Ok so I have so many things I absolutely cannot write about at the moment so I will share one of my favorite things of the moment instead!

Victoria’s Secret The Dreamer Flannel Pajamas rock my socks.  Warm? Definitely. Comfy? Ridiculously so.  Pricey? Unfortunately.

BUT they come in so many cute colors… AND they go on sale.. a lot!  And if you are really lucky and patient, they usually go on sale closer to Christmas and include a free matching slipper gift! Score!

I have my eyes on the confetti dot pattern which of course has pink accents and is so up my alley.  I will be watching for the free slipper promo and will pass along the good news when they do!


What To Do, What To Do…

fish jumpI am in such a weird place these days.  I am so ready to leap… I know I will leap…but for the moment I’m held back by strong but gentle arms. 

Its not time… yet. 

But while I wait for that moment when I can fly from this cliff, I am almost paralyzed.  Afraid to do this or not to do that.  Will I jinx things if I make too many plans before things are certain?  Will I run out of time if I don’t start some things now?

I’m doing my best to be patient for just a little while longer – and holy cranoli I’ve had enough practice in patience the last couple of years!  You would think by now it would be easy, right?

For now I will work on planning my next vacation – that is something I have control over even though I may have to wait a little bit to leave.  Any suggestions where I should go?


Even Mother Nature is Confused

It seems that once again the world has gone crazy and forgotten that we have a holiday between Halloween and Christmas… remember?  Ring any bells here?  Anyone?

As I posted almost exactly a year ago here, I have a serious dislike for all things Christmas until it’s the proper time. We have become Christmas obsessed and for all the wrong reasons.  Its all about buying, getting, spending, consuming...  And it starts up again almost as soon as it’s over as evidenced by the massive display I saw in Hobby Lobby back in JULY!  All the crazy marketing must be working on people though because even some of my friends have been brainwashed to think that it is appropriate to listen to Christmas music around the clock starting November 1st. [It’s not, but I forgive your momentary lapses of judgment] 

But I know something is seriously wrong when even Mother Nature is getting into the act.  Or perhaps she is trying to reinforce how seriously confused we are with our holidays and seasons?  Either way Mother Nature, I am not amused.


Why is the Rum Always Gone?

With all the excitement and anticipation that is currently bubbling just underrum the surface, you would think that this week would be flying by, right?


This week has been a long, slow trip through h-e-double-hockey-sticks!  It’s a week that needs a drink, or two…or three!  Alas, there is none in the house.  A testament to the last months perhaps?

I’m hoping to have some news very soon that will be cause to break out the bubbly but until then dear readers, I leave you in suspense.


Book Review: Illegals

Illegal immigration is a hot button topic these days.  Some people are adamant that we should close our borders as soon as possible while others want to keep the ‘melting pot’ open for all.  What are the real costs associated with the current state of things? 
The book “Illegals: The Unacceptable Cost of America's Failure to Control it’s Borders” by Darrell Ankarlo explores the costs and dangers of the current ‘open door’ policy.  Ankarlo takes an in depth look into the underbelly of illegal immigration, making the issue real and personal.
While the book makes some good points and gives you many tidbits to ponder,  it is definitely written from one perspective only.  Ankarlo’s hard stance against illegal immigration at times feels like dramatic overkill.  I would have appreciated a little less of the dramatics and more of the real stories.  Some of the pictures and stories are quite shocking and I found I had to put the book down at times.  Illegals does have some solid information and interesting opinions.  I think this book is worth a read no matter what side of the debate you are on.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.


Hey Y’All!

I’m sorry I’ve neglected you over the past few days but I took a little trip down to the land of sweet tea – Tennessee!  While I can’t share too many details about my trip just yet, here are a few pics from the side trip I took to the Appalachian Trail…

DSCN1880 DSCN1888
DSCN1887 DSCN1893
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DSCN1904 DSCN1908


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Here Goes…

Here Goes
song by Bebo Norman

I never got anywhere
By running away
I never learned anything
Without a mistake
Never loved anyone
By playing it safe
It's a long way down, but
I'm here right now, so...

Here goes nothing,
Here goes everything
Gotta reach for something
or you'll fall for anything
Take a breath,
Take a step,
What comes next
God only knows
But here goes

I don't wanna turn around
and wonder what happened
Never lost and never found
Are one and the same
I wanna run across the battle lines
And take my chances
Not the long way 'round
When I'm here right now, so...

Here goes nothing,
Here goes everything
Gotta reach for something
or you'll fall for anything
Take a breath,
Take a step,
What comes next
God only knows
But here goes

And What good is chance not taken,
What good is life not living,
What good is love not given?

Here goes nothing,
Here goes everything
Gotta reach for something
or you'll fall for anything
Here goes nothing,
Here goes everything
Gotta reach for something
or you'll fall for anything
Take a breath,
Take a step
What comes next
God only knows
But here goes
And God only knows
But here goes

Praying for a Miracle

I asked yesterday if you all could pray for Lea and she needs your prayers more than ever now. Lea is a 24yr old woman who has been battling a brain tumor for 2 years.  Yesterday while in surgery to remove the tumor when she had some bleeding complications.  They removed what they could but had to stop the surgery.  Her family has now been told the tumor is inoperable and she has 3-4mos to live.  It is possible that chemo/radiation may prolong her life some, but the timeline is short.  Shorter than any 24yr old should have.  She needs your prayers.  Her family needs your prayers.  Prayers for help deciding what to do, prayers for hope and faith, prayers for a miracle. 

Edited 8:42pm:
The link to her facebook page <---


Winds of Change?

Winds are raging all around me literally and figuratively. 

The weather today brought several tornado warnings and school closings and they say that the storm’s central pressure is equivalent to a category 3 hurricane.  In fact, they predict waves in the great lakes of 18-25 feet tall!  This isn’t your average fall day, oh no.

As I was driving, I couldn’t help but think the winds were oh so fitting.  I’m sure you are familiar with the expression “winds of change?”  So many things around me and about me are changing and it is this week where things seem to be at their peak.  The weather is a perfect reflection of my life at this moment.

I would appreciate your prayers as I’m going through this and even more than that, I would appreciate your prayers for Lea.



I came home to a warmish house for this time of year.  It was in the 70’s today which is nearly unheard of in Michigan this late in October.  I went over to my slider to open the glass all the way and I found a huge hole where the corner of my screen once was!  I notice that the screen isn’t ripped, [good] but it appears that something pummeled through that thing with quite some force.  I start to wonder… was it something that was outside that came in or…

Crap. Where are the cats? Have I seen both of them since walking in the door. Nope, only Gilbert. Double crap.

I’m kneeling down trying to tuck the thingy back in the indent with the screen tucked behind the thingy – its all very scientific, this screen door repair business – I even got out my flat headed screwdriver to assist. 

As I’m repairing, I’m calling out for Chloe.  I see no fat cat in sight.  Just Gil staring at me like I’ve lost my mind.

I get a sinking feeling and look over my 3 story high railing, hoping not to see a blob of white and gray fur down below. I see no blob.  Whew!

Then I get the most genius idea.  I go back inside and grab the snacks and shake ‘em as hard as I can. Poof!  Fat cat appears! Nom nom nom.

So while I’m entirely relieved Chloe & Gil are inside safe and sound and that I have a newly repaired screen door courtesy of moi, I’m left to wonder… who or what tried to break in or out?


Card Carrying Member

On Wednesday, I came across this article on Yahoo! about concern over the amount of radiation emitted from thyroid cancer patients. Apparently we are setting off alarms in subway systems and contaminating hotel rooms. DUH! You give us a radioactive substance to ingest and then give us the isolation precaution guidelines.  DSCN0844

We can’t be around children or pregnant people and have heard that some people have killed their pets with their radioactivity – BUT – you hand us those pills in the lead container and tell us not to worry because there are no side effects and that they are “safe” to ingest and pose little to no risk to others.  As a patient, I can tell you I was terrified about taking I-131 because I did a whole lot of research for myself because the doctors just dismissed concerns.  I was frustrated, stressed, and let’s face it I was so hypo I wasn’t thinking clearly.  I did the best I could.  I stayed out of my apartment so my radiation didn’t leak through the wall of my bathroom and accidentally injure the toddler living next door.  I stayed away so Gil & Chloe wouldn’t lay near me and later die of radiation exposure.  I brought my own bed linens to the hotel I went to and I didn’t allow housekeeping to enter until I left 7 days later.

I made the big mistake of reading the comments on the article.  I’m sure many people comment just to try and get a rise out of others or because they think they are he-larry–ious.  Calling the patients irresponsible in some cases and saying they shouldn’t be given anything and just left to die in others.   They pissed me off. 

All I have to say is I hope that they and their loved ones never have to deal with cancer.  Especially not a cancer like thyroid cancer where even the professionals can’t agree how to treat you.


Oh Canada!

Eva and I decided to take a girls only trip to Niagara Falls, Canada while she was in visiting from Germany!  We both have passports so why not right?  Beautiful weather, a comfy hotel room, and limited crowds added up to a perfect trip! [It also made a dent in my 101 list!]

DSCN1652 Hotel Room – was huge! DSCN1655 The road we walked down to get to the falls!
DSCN1662American Falls DSCN1663 Canadian Falls
DSCN1664 Me & Eva DSCN1705 Night View
DSCN1686 Canadian Midway DSCN1711 Flags at night
DSCN1713 View from our room! DSCN1725 Rainbow Bridge to the USA
DSCN1735 American Falls from Maid of the Mist DSCN1742 Canadian Falls from Maid of the Mist
DSCN1748 Sporting our ponchos on the Mist DSCN1754 Obligatory hat pic!
DSCN1769Me in front of the American Falls DSCN1787 Riding the elevator near Table Rock