Thursday, December 31, 2009

Who needs a resolution?

Getting ready to ring in the new year. Can't believe this one went by so fast. Lots of changes again this year, but I have to say, the end was better than the beginning. Even if I'm living in a cold, leafy house in the woods. Only a few more months!
I didn't get very far with my resolutions last year, so rather than lay out a matter-of-fact resolution tonight, I'd like to simply say that I want to make progress this year. Progress at work, at home, with my marriage, in raising my child, in becoming more spiritual, and with friends. Right now, I'm going to make some progress with this Canadian Club & gingerale...see ya tomorrow!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Um, is that thing real?



Nevermind whether or not Santa himself is real, Sarah seemed more interested in whether his beard was real. This pic was too cute not to post. A co-worker of mine in the ER told me about this event at her father's store - Santa and 4 of his real live reindeer came to see all the little boys and girls in Homer, GA today so we decided that we would brave the cold and threat of rain to go out and see Santa. I haven't taken Sarah to see Santa yet. Not in all her 5 years! Mostly because she didn't seem to want to. Today I think she was excited but she never said one single word to Santa, despite his persistent questions! She didn't think twice about copping a feel of his beard though. Too funny. No charge for the pictures either. And I got one of those cool huge pickles that you can only find at old country stores like David & Katie's Amish Store!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Family.


Today was a frustrating day - as a matter of fact, I probably shouldn't even be writing this blog right now, but as of late I've felt guilty for not writing more. I went to Florida to visit my mother's side of the family. This usually screws me up for weeks. That sounds weird I know. It seems like I'd come back feeling better for having been down there to see everyone, and in many ways I am very glad I went, but old habits and feelings die hard I suppose. When I was a kid I looked forward to going down there. It gave me a break from the hum-drum routine of my childhood in the Georgia country, and provided me an opportunity to see my mother, which I coveted immensely. I used to believe that if my mother would just come back to Georgia and live near me that all my problems would be solved. I never wanted my parents to "get back together" because I couldn't even remember what that was like to begin with, but I did want my mother to be in my life more. But that wasn't the plan for my life I guess. So about once a year, and sometimes less often, I'd go down to Jacksonville for a week and try to pack all I could into those visits. I love my family in Florida. I really do. And that's the very reason it hurts to see them still. Because I wish that I could have loved them more all along. I wish I could have spent real time with them. I wish my mother could have been a mother to me for all those years. But she simply couldn't. I forgive her for that but still cannot shake the dull ache that surfaces when I drive down, but most especially when I drive back.
I've noticed something. In the hustle of everyday life, of trying to make ends meet, of trying to raise my child - I sometimes forget the power that comes with adulthood. I'm free to go down anytime I want. I am free to write cards, send emails, have relationships now that I couldn't have before when I was only 6 hours yet an eternity away. I was young and I didn't understand. My father wasn't crazy about me getting attached to my mother, and all that came with her. He had his reasons. In some sense, time healed this wound. My mother will never be the one I wanted when I was small, but everyone else is still right where they always were - and even my mother is harmless now. I want my daughter to know them better than I ever did. Our family is our family. It's no accident the way our lives unfold...things happen they way they should when they are supposed to happen. You're a grown up when you can see that for what it is without throwing a tantrum. I love these guys too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grandma Sayings.

There is a torrential downpour in my part of the country right now. My home phone service isn't even working! Tropical Storm Ida is drenching the Gulf Coast and the Southeast part of the US. That's fine with me. I remember Georgia's drought back in the summer of 2007 that was just awful! A little extra rain is alright.
Today when I left the hospital, where I been all day while receiving an intravenous iron infusion, I spotted a middle-aged woman in running shorts and a tank top out running in the rain. The first thought that went through my head was, "Huh. Even a dog's got sense enough to get out of the rain." Now, you must understand, this was not my original thought! My grandmother was essentially my role model, since my mother wasn't around. And, by default, my grandmother was old. Old folks tend to have built up a store of useful, and usually correct, information and they very often want to share it. My grandmother said so many things to me over the course of my life, but she had some sayings that she went back to over and over - simple illustrations of her understanding of the world. Since I've been working in the ER, I haven't met an old person yet who wouldn't tell a story right off the cuff - that is, if they were in their "right" mind you know. So, I've decided that since I only know what my grandmother's sayings were, I'd like to know all of yours. Leave comments here or send an email to grandmasayings@yahoo.com!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why high school?

You all know about my sleep issues...but perhaps not about my dream issues. You see, I have this recurring dream/nightmare that I am back at my high school because I haven't finished something. I graduated 16 years ago! Why in the world do I keep thinking that I need to go back to MCHS to finish something left hanging so long ago? It is so strange. I see my teachers in the hallway, I feel myself walking into the front office because someone is calling me in to tell me what I'm missing. They might revoke my diploma which could somehow undermine my bachelors and masters degrees! It's just the strangest dream. Once I thought I'd finished it. I had a dream a couple of years ago that I met with a panel of teachers and they signed off on my last assignment. I remember one of them saying, okay that's it, you're all done! When I woke I felt instant relief. But now, a couple of years later, the dreams about not finishing high school have started anew. Does anyone out there have any idea what this is all about? Sometimes it's a math problem I need to solve, an english paper I still need to write, or some kind of standardized test I still need to take. I just can't figure out what this dream sequence means for my subconscious. I've actually taken my diploma out of the drawer of my nightstand to look at it and verify that I finished high school! Hmm...let me go find that thing right now and I'll just sleep with it curled in my arm. Maybe that'll help.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm awake.

My sleep is all screwed up, much to the chagrin of my family...but the work I do is paying the bills right now so they can't complain too much. Had an interesting visit with my doctor on Monday. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and shift work sleep disorder, and given some medication to take that might help. We'll see how it goes. No doubt I've had chronic pain since about age 20 that started in my shoulders and became widespread in my late twenties. The problem with fibromyalgia is that many people don't buy it as a real medical condition, even though it now is recognized as such. The FDA has approved medicine used to treat it and it is a actual diagnosis. The first time a physician suggested to me that I might have fibromyalgia was in the summer of 2003. I did not want to even think about it then, so I just brushed it aside. Over a year ago, my current doctor told me he thought that's what I had, but again, I didn't want to listen. Finally I reached such a point of achy despair that I went to see him about it. Hopefully the medications will work. Maybe they'll make me more creative and I can write that bestseller I've been thinking about!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Book Review: Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun

Published in 2009, this debut novel has won some awards and is a bestseller. It's about a girl who runs away from home, in NY no less, and tries to make it own her own. Drug addicted and always broke, she meets a whirlwind of characters along the way: some who help and some who hurt.

I read this book in about 24 hours. Now, after saying that, when I finished the book, I was left with a clammy taste in my mouth. It was good, but the story just didn't seem complete. I'm not sure where the "glimmer of hope" was that they mentioned on the back cover. Written by a Korean girl who grew up in the Bronx, and about a Korean girl who grew up in the Bronx, there were several points that had me thinking that it was some sort of James Frey type memoir where parts of it were true and parts were not. It was written in first person with sparse writing, which I actually like, but very disjointed as a whole book put together. Still, it had me wanting to know more enough so that I kept picking it up on my day off until I finished it. In the end, I don't think I know any more about this flawed character called Joon except that she's several years older and still quite confused.

Check it out at the library for a rainy day like today, but don't purchase your very own copy. That's my take.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yoo Hoo! It's 2 in the morning.

It's 1:57 AM and I'm wide awake drinking a Samuel Adams cherry wheat beer. Does this make me a lush? My brain and body have been reset to nighttime hours, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't a difficult thing for my nightowl predispositioned self. It's not that I hate early mornings per se, but I'm virtually non functional before 9 AM and damn it's only when work calls that I can snap myself awake enough to do what I need to do. The mother part of me worries about this however, because now that I have a school-aged child, shouldn't I be getting up and simmering her a hot breakfast in the frying pan at the crack of dawn? Of course, I'm now sitting in the very kitchen I grew up in, and it's easy to remember my grandmother cooking breakfast. She'd make buttermilk biscuits, sausage patties, scrambled eggs, gravy, grits, and sometimes we'd even have home-made jelly and fresh sliced homegrown tomatoes. I keep thinking I'll see her when I'm up late at night like this, which is practically every night now. Husband and child are asleep but I'm wide awake. Tomorrow night I'll be in the ER cruising the hallways, problem solving or creating comfort for sick people, and some not-so-sick people. I have a job that requires me to be wide awake, alert, ready-to-go at the first sign of a "code" coming in to a trauma room. I'm not a nurse though. My job is so unique. I feel so blessed to have it; to have somehow maneuvered my life to this point - albeit there have been some slippery slopes in the process of getting here.

Excuse me for a sec while I obliterate a mosquito. Die you son of a gun! One of the hazards of my new living quarters is the bugs & spiders. Yesterday we even had a frog hop through the back door. After several days of hard rain it was too soggy outside even for him!

Life is a journey isn't it? You think you have a passion, and then you find you're not so passionate anymore. You think you have a friend, and then you're not friends anymore. You think you have a home, but then you don't live there anymore. You think you have a plan, but things don't work out the way you thought. The best part is that somehow, sometimes, the things you create by stumbling along, keeping on, is the very thing that brings the delight and joy back onto your horizon. We don't always know what it is that we are put here to do. We don't know who we are supposed to be with, who we are supposed to work for, who we are supposed to help or ignore. But there is always choice. Free will. The ability to rework the puzzle so that it fits for the here and now. Have you ever noticed that most elderly folks are so damn wise. They've already made their mistakes, fallen off their own proverbial cliffs, sank and risen again. But when you're in the thick of life change, you cannot always see through the smoke filled lenses to the light on the other side. It's coming though.

Right now, I love my life. And somehow, even though I thought I had things figured out several years ago about what my life path would be, the best part of all was the not knowing. The very stressful hanging on for the ride, the uncertainty, and the way my soul is now wiser for the journey I've taken so far.

Moral of the story: when life is darkest, open your eyes the widest!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why I love sweatpants.

You can wear them when you're cold or just running a fever. They'll warm you up.
You can wear them after hernia surgery. Nothing else fits.
Your black cat can rub all over you and you won't notice the cat hair. Really it's just more insulation.
It almost doesn't matter how big your ass is. You can wear sweatpants.
People don't look at you funny in grocery stores or Target. They envy how comfy they know you are in your sweats.
You can wear any sort of shirt with them except a button up flannel. That would be weird.
If you buy designer sweats everyone will ask you where you got them.
Sweats are a great way to showcase your sports loyalties. Mine: UGA sweats.
You can sleep in them and roll out of bed, take a pee, tousle your hair and head off to coffee with a friend. Sweats are so versatile.
If you're wearing sweats you don't have to shave your legs. And they won't itch because you're wearing something soft.
Sweats are a self esteem builder. Only real women will go shopping in sweats.
Sweats compliment flip flops big time.
Even in the summer, sweats are cool.
You can wear sweats after you give birth.
You can wear sweats during holidays.
Sadly though, you can't wear sweats to work. That's why it's called work. If I could wear sweats, I might be inclined to take home less pay.
Long live Sweatpants!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Night in NYC.






Wednesday I had to attend a conference in South Orange, NJ so I couldn't resist the temptation to hop the train to New York's Penn Station and walk around the city for a while. I wanted to visit the New York Hard Rock Cafe again (last time I was there was a couple months before the September 11th terrorist attacks). Here are some pics that I took with my iPhone - not too bad if I say so myself!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I gave him crabs for his birthday!




Hal's birthday is tomorrow so today we tried to celebrate a little. He wanted to go to Baltimore's Inner Harbor to tour an old Civil War era ship called the USS Constellation, so he did that while I drug Sarah over to the Hard Rock Cafe's merchandise shop. Finally joined the All Access Club which is pretty neat! Hal was able to leisurely tour the ship without a gazillion questions or comments from the little tot, and I frantically chased her around and talked her out of a Hard Rock teddy bear. After a while longer in the Inner Harbor, we headed back to Westminster. On the way back I suddenly was hit with the idea of taking Hal out for crabs. Here in Maryland, eating crabs is a big deal and I don't see how we've been here so long without having done this. So we pull into the Full Moon Pub and order a bowl of crab dip, a bowl of cream of crab soup, and then our nice waitress bops over and asks us if we'd like the $1.50 crabs. We both get blank looks on our face and explain that we're not from 'round here and if she was willing to show us how to eat them, we'd be happy to entertain the idea. She happily obliged and we waited for our crab extravaganza. Her name turned out to be Sarah Jean so she and our Sarah had a chat about their names while she patiently showed us how to hammer open the shells and pull out the crab meat. I have to say, it was very strange. I felt sorry for the little crabs. I felt a bit cannibalistic too. I mean, it was a whole crab, eyeballs and all. When you go for a steak, you don't have to break apart the cow, and when you go for chicken you don't have to break off its legs and scrape out its innards. So I did this for the experience of having done it, but I probably will not ever do it again. Sarah Jean explained about how the crabbing industry works, and also about the social crabbing culture up here. She was the best waitress I've had in a long, long time. She hovered nearby even though she was busy just so she could help us if it looked like we might eat something we weren't supposed to! Hal very much enjoyed his early birthday present. I'm glad because that man stresses me to no end each year as I try to come up with something unique that he doesn't already have.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Unfinished Business

You must read this book by James Van Praagh, no matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are. It's simply amazing - I read this book in a 24 hour time span - with work and a 4 year old distracting me! It literally made me gasp a few times. There are many good lessons in this book, and many good tips for living, whether you "believe" or not. Wish I could write more about it but I'm exhausted from reading.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Third place.

Lance will take 3rd place in the Tour de France, with teammate Alberto Contador snatching the famed yellow jersey. Sucks. But the good news is that Lance is forming his own team next year and Contador won't be on it. Texas based Radio Shack will be one of the sponsors. Here's to next year Lance. :(

Friday, July 24, 2009

What's wrong with my torso?

Okay. Now I have a hernia, that I actually diagnosed myself but got my doctor to confirm. What the heck? First gallbladder surgery and now I have to have surgery for this? Moral of the story? Avoid childbirth. (oh, and that was a surgery too) :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My first published book!

All you NKOTB fans - check out this full color glossy photo book at http://www.lulu.com/content/7425653. Get yours now! Lovies, Heather

Monday, July 20, 2009

In a funk.

I'm in a super dooper major huge funk lately and I'm not sure why. I don't feel like writing, working, playing, or reading. I want to sleep. A lot. But I don't get enough sleep at all so that actually might be the problem.
The New Kids on the Block wrapped up their year of touring this past Saturday and I'm sad about that - believe it or not that was a major source of fun and distraction over the last year. There are many sad twenty and thirty-something women out there!
Lance Armstrong is now in a decidedly second place in the Tour de France behind Alberto Contador - and I don't think he can win at this point. This is also majorly disappointing.
My child is growing up too fast. She's getting ready to start school and I still have much weight to lose.
I'm still in the middle of my career crossroads. Thinking I might be done with Student Affairs. Very little money in it and it's much less fulfilling than the work I did in the ER. Funny how we stumble upon something that changes everything we thought we wanted to do. I'd also like to go back to school and pursue creative writing and journalism - like I wanted to do way back when I was 19. Dad wouldn't allow it - said I'd never make any money. So that dream got put on hold. I started writing stories when I was only 13 years old. I've always wanted to write and publish a book. I think 34 is too young to be having a mid life crisis!

Friday, July 10, 2009

New Kids on the Block concert on the web!

Go to www.nkotb.com and click on NEWS to read all about it. July 17th! Can't make it to a concert? This is your ticket! :) Only $12. Great show - won't be able to record it, but just seeing it will be worth it!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Go Lance Go!!!

Lance Armstrong is riding again in this year's Tour de France! He came out of retirement to go for an 8th Tour victory. Today marks the start of the race - tune in on Versus (formally OLN) to watch the stages all this month. LiveStrong!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Pics from Harper's Ferry, WV






Harper's Ferry anomoly.




Today Hal, Sarah, and I went to Harper's Ferry, WV to take a look around - we've driven by several times but haven't had time to stop. It's only about an hour from Westminster, and thanks to the holiday I had a free day so it was an interesting and cheap day trip! I took about 60 pictures - you know me, gotta snap pics wherever I go - and noticed something rather strange about these two. Tell me what you think.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Crossroads

I read a quote today by this man who said that he had his best ideas when he was working in his garden. This of course made me think of my grandmother who absolutely loved to be out in the garden, even in her late sixties and early seventies. She'd prod all of our lazy butts out of bed at 6 in the morning in the summer so that we could get our work done in the garden before the hot Georgia sun blazed us indoors. We all had "garden" shoes - caked with red clay - and little rough spots on our hands from pulling weeds. On a recent visit home I stood at the edge of that very same garden and watched my dad plow up weeds from between the rows. Granny and I used to pull the weeds that the digger couldn't reach - the ones growing right beside the individual plants. I couldn't help but see the two of us in my mind's eye - right there - so many years ago.
I find myself at a crossroads now. I have a career that I could stay in until retirement - I could move anywhere in the country as I move up in my field. I could give Sarah the cultural life I didn't have. But there is something nagging at me now.
My grandmother's home sits desolate and quiet now, in stark contrast to the place that it was to me and to my family before. It is so sad to look at it in such disrepair. It desperately needs some TLC. The one thing she loved as much as the garden in the summer was her house. She'd managed to build that little house herself and it was her sweat and hard work that made it such a great place - not it's market value.
I have an opportunity to go back to GA, to pick up right where I left off in the ER, to live in that little house and fix it up, make it home again.
I'm at a crossroads.
Too bad I don't have some weeds to pull to sort this all out.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I wanna be a photographer...for NKOTB.




I took all of these and over a thousand more at the 5 New Kids on the Block concerts I went to. Really had a ton of fun with my camera, and met some new friends. How does one become a real, honest to goodness photographer? I'd like to set up a website to post my pics to - where they're protected - and people can order copies but not right click and steal them from the site. Anyone know how to do this?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

Kind of sad to see a musical legend like him go. No matter what you thought of him, he was talented and perplexing. About to make a come-back and now he's gone. Life is fragile.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Oh how to lose the "baby" fat?

Before I had Sarah I was a relatively trim person and always had been. Now I wasn't a size zero and could never be, but I was an 8-10. I was 126 pounds when I married, but Grad school put on about 12 pounds and I'd gained 2 more by the time Sarah was born. I'm now 45 pounds heavier than that. I hate the weight but I'm not sure how to lose it. Exercise is difficult because I have this straight neck and constant pain in my upper shoulders and neck. But, I'm going to start walking - that's the least I can do. I like food but I'm already eating less. I need to work on my choices some. Most of all though, I think it was just the double whammy of having a child and turning 30 the very next day! By the time Sarah is 5 - this year on September 7th - exactly 3 months away - I'd like to have lost the weight. 45 pounds in three months? Let's see...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My tiny addiction to Hard Rock Cafe





I have a tiny Hard Rock Cafe obsession. I've been to several of them and have started an actual collection of their pins. HRC has very cool pins and if you are in to collecting anything at all, this is a neat thing to collect. Pretty inexpensive too! I'm trying to figure out a proper way to display them at the moment. Here are some pics from some of the cafes! Yesterday we revisited the Washington DC cafe - and the weekend before I snapped a pic of the Baltimore cafe. You visiting a HRC soon? Let me know! Pics in order are: Gatlinburg, TN; Atlanta, GA; Washington, DC; and Baltimore, MD. I have other pics but they are on old film instead of a digital format.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Getaway to Ocean City.



Everyone looks tired except Sarah! Took 3 hours to get there and almost 6 to get back! Traffic was awful - must have been the holiday. Had a great time though - anything would have been better than spending another night on campus. Been working hard lately and the students finally left Saturday. Now we are gearing up for some peace and quiet, but still have lots of stuff to do before Spring Semester is officially closed out. Sarah had a great time trying to throw all the sand back in the water, while watching her play and giggle took my mind far away from work. Good times.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

See? He's lookin' right atcha!

The week before last I loaded the family into the Jetta for a trip down to GA. I had some work to do in the ER (babies were born and there were holes in the schedule) and Sarah had a date with her Papa for some playing time. We left on a Thursday when I got off work up here and we started the long drive down through 5 states. Somewhere around 12:30 AM we got off at a North Carolina exit in the not too populated area and pulled into a gas station. Hal of course assumes the role of man and starts pumping the gas while all I can think of is how good a cold Diet Dr. Pepper would taste. The kid needs to stretch her legs so I take her in the litte Shell store with me. As soon as we walk in I notice a scrawny little man behind the counter wearing a light blue Shell button up shirt and a ball cap. I ask him if he has ice and he points me to his right. I find the cups and ice and press the lever and then I hear and see a MOUSE fall off a food rack and down the wall! I'm so damn tired from working and driving that I don't even flinch but rather a slow look of suprise spreads across my face. I feel my eyes open a little more. I take a moment to ponder whether or not that mouse had any chance at all of being inside the ice machine crawling all over the ice that was now inside my ugly styrofoam cup. I decide no, fill up two more cups with ice, and head to the front counter. Now, all this time, I can hear the scrawny cashier man talking to Sarah but somehow I know she's safe, even if he's weird. He is weird. I walk up to the counter and see that he's out from behind the register and in the middle of the store staring right at a large cardboard cut-out of a man selling some sort of product. Maybe oil? Don't know and I can't remember, but this cardboard man is pretty much life size and one dimensional. But this scrawny cashier guy is seriously staring at the cardboard man. He looks back and forth between me, Sarah, and the cardboard man. "See," he blurts, "he's looking right at us." He moves over to the other side of the store, close to his register. "And now, look! He's still looking at you! And he's looking right at me too!" Out from behind the counter he comes again as Sarah gives me an uncertain smile. He scuttles her over where he was standing and says to me, "young lady, go over there by the door." I follow his instructions perhaps because I was sleepy and a bit out of it. I go stand by the door and look back at the cardboard man. "Ah ha! See, now he's looking right at you! See his eyes!" Sarah usually talks all the time. Day after day, hour after hour. Unless she is asleep, she is talking. But during this gas station exchange, she is quiet with a silly grin on her face. She looks at him, she looks at me. I look at him. He mostly just looks at the cardboard man. Finally I walk up to the counter and ask him how much for the cups and ice. He looks confused for a minute, shakes his head back and forth and says to me, "how do they make somethin' like that? I mean it don't matter where you standin'! He's lookin' right atcha."
I pay 90 cents for my three cups of ice, look down and see Sarah with a silly and now michevious grin on her face. I ask her what she's done and she shows me a piece of candy in her hand. I ask the man how much. He says a dime, but she can have it. I give him the dime he's just given me and head out the store. Hal asks us as we walk back to the car what took us so long. I tell him there was a startled mouse by the ice machine and a cardboard man staring at everyone and then Sarah tried to swipe a piece of candy. He gets in the car next to me and starts to laugh.
Moral of the story? You really should be awake for late night stops for gas in the South.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Twitter!

Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/heatheraposey
Lemme know if you're on Twitter and I'll follow you!

Writing Contest!

Here it is folks! Your chance to get your fingers nimbled up on the keyboard again! Write, write, write! This is the first writing contest I have EVER entered. I read about it in Real Simple magazine a few days ago. Answer the question, "When did you realize that you had become a grown up?" in 1500 words or less! The contest runs from May 1st until September 7th and the grand prize is very cool! Read all about it at www.realsimple.com/lifelessonscontest.
I emailed my entry in this morning. I'd let you read it but I can't "publish it in any medium" for it to be a valid contest entry. In January they announce the winners so I'll let you read my entry then! Now, go type!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Already missin' the sweet, sunny South

Just got back from a 4 day trip to Georgia. Went down to do some work in the ER at Athens Regional, and while most people might think I'm seriously crazy for driving 1300 miles round trip to work all weekend, I do not. It's true what they say: home is where the heart is. Now, I'm not saying I made a mistake moving to Maryland, or even that I'm not happy here. It's just that home is home. There is something about the place you came from, some cosmic connection that is hard to put aside. As I was driving through some of the city streets in Athens, even out in the countryside, I couldn't help but think about my childhood as different memories ran through my mind mile after mile. Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock for a moment and climb the steps to my grandmother's house smelling her freshly fried potatoes and chicken on the table. Or maybe I could run through the woods with my cousins and play our little version of house - designated by the trees and the boundaries between them. We could giggle together and get into some trouble together. Much of childhood is mundane: get up, go to school, do your homework, do chores, go to sleep and do it all over again - but some moments, some smells, some thoughts and feelings stick out like a deer in a cornfield when I ride down those country roads. Athens is where I finished my childhood and found myself. It's a great town with a lot of great opportunities lurking wherever you seek to find them. Today I drove to the campus bookstore and bought some Georgia stuff. Somehow I needed to remind myself that I still loved the place I came from, that I still felt a deep connection not only to the place, but to the people, to my family and friends, and even to the streets and buildings that I so frequently passed by not so long ago. If you read anything about the paranormal, you'll come across this: places have a "memory." I have many memories of Georgia. I wonder what Georgia remembers about me?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Tough decision!

In my earnest efforts to be green, I've been looking at the new Honda Insight. It gets 45 miles per gallon and is very cool! I test drove it and filled out the application for credit. BUT, is it "greener" to just keep my VW Jetta that gets about 29-30 miles per gallon and is over half paid for? I don't know! I'm wavering! In the greenest sense it probably makes sense to get all the use out of my VW than to buy something new. But also, it would be good to have 45 miles per gallon on those long trips to Georgia and back. Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pain, pain go away.

What can we learn from constant pain? I'd like to know. Is it patience? Is it tolerance? Is it how to grit your teeth and bear it? I've been in constant pain for 14 years. Hard to believe. They say lack of sleep makes you more creative. I wonder what pain does over time?
When I was 20 I was in the UGA Karate Club - matter of fact I was the student president of the organization. It's still going and is one of the longest running student organizations. Our instructor used to brag that no one had ever been hurt in class. Little did he know that I'd be the first. When the accident first happened, I really was sore but I recovered and didn't think too much of it. I mean, when you practice martial arts for 5 plus hours a week, you're pretty used to being roughed up and black and blue. It was a belt test night and I was finished with my test and serving as a dummy for another guy's test. He threw me hard to the mat to demonstrate his throwing technique. I landed on my upper back and neck...really hard. I remember one of the black belts, Matt, asking me if I was okay and could get up. Then he proceded to tell Stephen that his technique was off and he needed to do the throw again. So again, boom. I fell hard on the mat. The rubber mat and my neck strength saved me from getting a concussion, but what I wound up with that night was something far worse - a straight neck.
You see, the neck is supposed to have a nice curve in it. It's called the lordotic curve. Only for the last 14 years, my curve has been straight. This has caused all sorts of problems, the worst manifesting itself as constant and painful neck and shoulder spasms. Hurts like a mother. I saw the x-ray way back when but didn't know what to do about it. Several different doctors asked me if I'd ever been injured. I told them no. They all tried different things. I've tried physical therapy, massage therapy, stretching and strengthening exercises, and I even had surgery 6 years ago to remove a big bone spur on my right clavicle. But the pain remained. It was only last year when a chiropractor saw a new x-ray - and asked the right type of question - did I realize that I indeed had been injured. I have a new doctor now since the move to Maryland. I went to her and gave her the same schpiel - my shoulders are killing me and I can't even think straight some days because of the pain. She quickly whittled off a referral to a pain management doctor. Um. No. I asked her for a referral to a chiropractor. She hesitated and re-stated her intention to have me visit the pain doctor. I asked again for a chiropractor. She gave me a name and added, "he's ethical." I've had three treatments and let me tell you it hurts. It's not like going to the spa. This poor man is trying to put the curve back in my neck after 14 years of stoic straightness. I'm trying to be patient. I'm trying to grit my teeth for a little while longer to get through the pain. It hurts like hell. Right now, as I type, it hurts. Tonight it will probably wake me up again. I barely sleep through the night because the pain wakes me up. And I blame my forgetfulness on my child. For a while I even thought I might have ADD. Couldn't concentrate, kept forgetting details. All this time, it's lack of sleep and constant, over-arching pain. I try to be positive. I try not to be irritable. But it's hard to do either. So if I'm crabby to you, or you haven't heard from me in a while, you know why! :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Boo!

My friend Dawn, who works at McDaniel with me, is a ghost hunter by night. This weekend she drove the short distance up to Gettysburg College (about 30 minutes). Check out this photo. She was showing me all the "orbs" in her pictures - she has them all up on her myspace page - and when we got to this picture I said, hey, you do see the soldier down in the left hand corner there don't you? She leaned in close to the monitor and immediately left the room to go smoke a cigarette!
This pic is NOT a fake. Pretty cool huh?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

No, really.

Last night was girls night at my house...just the kid and me because her daddy was at work. So after a nap she wakes up and asks to go to "lallmart" but I talk her into Starbucks instead. So, we go to Starbucks and we hang out for a while. This man comes in and orders a grande cup of Pike's Place coffee with about 2 inches of water and another 2 inches of milk. This is odd, so I strike up a conversation with him about coffee...which leads to him eventually asking me if I work there (even though I'm in sweats and my NKOTB jacket). I tell him that I used to work at Starbucks down in Georgia - he gets a puzzled look - I tell him that's where I'm originally from. This is where it gets strange. The man then literally reels back a little bit and says, "NO WAY!" Yep I'm from Georgia, I swear. He tells me that I do not have a Southern accent. What!? That's just wild to me, that this guy doesn't think I'm from the South. I mean he believes what I'm saying but he tells me that I sound like I have no accent and that if I'd told him I was from the Midwest he would have believed me. Word. That's all I can say.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I'm highly annoyed...

Apparently, the writers at Days of Our Lives are killing off all the older, traditional, historical characters. This makes me mad. I've been watching this show, on and off, since I was 3 and bargained with my grandmother to be quiet rather than take a nap during the 1 PM show. Why would you fire Marlena, John, Steve, Kayla, Tony, & Anna? They are killing off the show. Ratings will drop like hot potatoes. Granny would be mad if she knew about this...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

PostSecret books.

Okay. I was a Psychology major during my undergrad years at UGA, so most things that have to do with human nature tend to interest me, but these PostSecret books have enraptured me! You must check them out. The idea was born in Maryland actually, by a guy named Frank Warren. He started a community art project. The task was simple. Take a post card and put down on it a secret you've never told anyone before - it's completely anonymous. He now has 5 books out and another coming in October! He maintains a blog which can be found at http://www.postsecret.blogspot.com.
Here's an example from the book A Lifetime of Secrets: "my biggest fear is not death, but of by chance running into the family of the boy whose heart beats inside my body." Here's another: "I buy antique pictures because it makes me feel like I have a family."
Wow! These are mostly decorated too, so the visual images really add to the secrets that are printed on there. I think I'll mail one in. You should too!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Once in a lifetime!




Okay. I can breathe now. Last night I met the New Kids on the Block. Yep. It was so cool. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be because with the 5* VIP pass comes 2 free mixed drinks, and I'd already had one so I was a little less inhibited. The I Love All Access folks waved us in and I walked directly over to Danny Wood and put my hand out to shake and he gave me a hug! Got a hug from Jonathan too. I told Danny that I liked his music and he said thanks...in terms of real interaction, there wasn't much time, but just the fact that I met them was the neatest experience. They are all so good looking! At our meet and greet in Hershey there were 198 women and 2 guys, one of which was a little guy who came with his mom! The other one was a husband I think! Otherwise there were a bunch of 20 & 30-something women who all felt 15 and happy as hell again. It was friendly, it was funny, it was exciting, it was surreal. It's like going back in time in some ways; hearing their music, dancing like a teen, singing at the top of my voice, being free and not having a real care in the world for a few hours. The concert itself was amazing, just like it was in October in Atlanta when I went but with some tweaks and twists. I didn't get to go when I was younger, so the kid in me is loving every single minute of this reunion tour and all the fans and friends I'm making. Just last night I made 4 new friends. Strangers were striking up conversations. We all had something in common! It was truly just real honest plain old fun. If you haven't done anything for yourself lately, and you like these guys - or liked them back in the day - go to a concert or at least buy their new CD and dance around your living room in your PJs with your headphones on like I did the night I first heard it.
There's something about these 5 guys. They are having as much fun as we all are. They certainly didn't have to do it for the money - and they are so shocked and grateful for the way everyone went nuts when they came back. Lots of sold out shows and screaming women all over the world. I had a blast last night! Here are some pictures! I also put up a short video on YouTube!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A bit of irony.

My Dad is up for a visit this week and the first thing he wanted to go out and do was see some Amish farms in Pennsylvania. So we took the very twisty drive up to Lancaster. It was quite a thing to see - folks all dressed in black plowing the fields with a team of 6 horses. A horse drawn buggy sitting in the drive through at the bank (no kidding). Little kids all dressed in black walking home on the side of the road (scary) as school lets out. We stopped at what was supposed to be an authentic Amish shop. Wouldn't you know the very first thing I picked up was a battery powered candle with the Made in China sticker right on the bottom?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Amazing Zubber!

Remember when I told you that I'd entered my second childhood? It all started last May when we went to Disney World. Since then, I've just been having all sorts of fun with...well, TOYS! Now, I'm not riding tricycles or skating on a skateboard, but I am playing with my 4 year old. We make houses out of blocks, we make Cinderella's castle out of legos, and we made krabby patties out of play-doh. We watch animated Disney movies like Pocahontas and Tinkerbell. I honestly don't think I had this much fun with stuff even when I was a kid. I already described in an earlier blog what it was like growing up in the country.
We watch Nickelodean in this house, and there are lots of advertisements for toys. I happened to be picking up hardened bits of play-doh from the floor the other day when a commercial for The Amazing Zubber caught my attention. It's this molding compound that when mixed with "activator" turns into a substance like rubber. You can make all sorts of things. Little molded animals, princesses, army men, bouncy balls, and last but not least the thing that I just HAD TO HAVE right then...wristbands! You know, like the LiveStrong wristbands. So I went out the next day to Target (where they have everything that I love to buy) and snatched my Zubber Band making kit right off the shelf. I immediately went home and started to play...and the sad part is that making zubber is kind of hard and confusing for an adult when you first start, let alone a 4 year old. So I kept having to kick Sarah out of the equation of me making wristbands. With a sheepish grin I told her, "no-no, this is Mommy's toy!" The first one looked a little sloppy, the second one broke before it set, the third one I had to trim. Finally after several more I got pretty good at it and I've been making Zubber wristbands like a little factory for a week now! So much fun, so stress relieving, and it makes me feel rather crafty, which is not a normal descriptor for me. They should let me make an adult infomercial for this product. I could sell it as a stress reduction technique. Want to stop smoking? Try The Amazing Zubber! Tired of your kids? Just lock yourself in your bedroom and try The Amazing Zubber! Just make sure you're culturally aware before you go telling all your friends about it. Turns out Zubber is the Arabic slang for penis in the Urban Dictionary...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

GRE

I'm going to apply to a doctoral program in Student Affairs. I already have a master's degree with a 4.0 GPA. So I have a question: why in the world do I have to take the GRE again? The GRE is supposed to be a predictor of how well you'll do in graduate school. I've already done well in graduate school! I took this test way back in 1998. So I've forgotten how to work all those MATH problems! The verbal section contains words I NEVER used while in graduate school, and I wrote a lot of papers! I started studying about a week ago. Even bought a study book and a program for my iPhone so I could study on the go. While I see the need for this test for someone looking to get into a master's program, I cannot for the life of me understand why it's needed AGAIN for someone pursuing a doctoral degree in the same field of study. Don't get it. Is this a 'verbose' enough rebuttal? :)

Here's a little practice for you:
Find the word that means the opposite to the one shown.

Foment:
a. Quash
b. Mitigate
c. Bolster
d. Assuage
e. Aggrandize

Isn't this fun?
Ick!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hair Follicle Follies.

Just one hour ago I found myself standing on the "hair" aisle of a local Walmart looking for a magic tonic to make my hair grow. That first sentence is a double whammy. First, I hardly ever go into Walmart - but in Westminster after 10:00 PM, there's not a whole lot open. Second, why in the world would I be looking for some sort of magic paste to make my hair grow faster?
The bad haircut oddessy began back in October. I was tired of the same old hum-drum frumpy hair style. It was long and thick and wavy and frizzy. Ick. But I need to be able to do my hair in about 5 minutes - any more time than that and I'll start to lose my patience. I've never been a great hair stylist - or make-up artist. I'm kind of plain jane when it comes to decorating myself. Another Granny influence, which I'm totally fine with. I am who I am. BUT, I do have some sort of concern about myself. I need for my hair to at least be presentable!
I decide that the easiest and cheapest thing to do is to visit my local Great Clips. I point to the picture on the wall of a young man actually, and tell my stylist that I'd like a hair cut just like his. She's perplexed as to why I'd want to cut my long, thick locks off. Especially if I want them to look like a guy's hair. So she says no. Basically. She procedes to suggest something else which makes me screw up my face in contemplation and then I guess I agree with her because I think that she's schooled in this hair cutting and scupting thing so I should trust her.
Boy was I ever wrong. I got a terrible haircut. NOT like the one in the picture that I genuinely liked. And a mere 3 weeks later, I finally figure out what has gone so wrong with the haircut. It's uneven! By about 3 inches on on the right side!
So I go back. And I tell them I'm unhappy with the cut and again point to the one in the picture. My new stylist thanks me profusely for coming back, cuts my hair all over again, and doesn't charge me. I think things have turned out well. Until my hair dries and I'm at home looking at it in the mirror. Now it's shorter all over, even on both sides, but I have these huge wing like flaps over my ears that hang down and look absolutely silly. Even my boss in the ER tells me that she's not crazy about the sides. It's obviously a very bad haircut once again. And shorter.
Fast forward to the move to Maryland. About a month later I decide to once again address the bad hair. I go to the local mall up here and again get a shorter haircut. She trims the big wings over my ears, but still leaves them there. In December I go back to Georgia, but to Warner Robins. I finally find a stylist who will cut the hair flaps off my ears, but she still leaves this bit of hair in front of my ears. And again, she shortens the top and back and sides. Every stylist wants to readjust the layers put in by the last stylist. They want to make my hair cut their own work of art and leave no trace of what the last girl left behind. So it gets shorter.
I wait two months. What I have is tolerable, but I still want the hair around my ears cut off - because it's not long enough to tuck behind my ear which is what I've done ever since my hair grew out. I think I'll have her cut around my ears, take up the back an inch to avoid the mullet look, and that'll be enough.
This is NOT what happened. I did finally get the hair trimmed off around my ears but I had to reiterate no less than 3 times that I definitely wanted that hair cut off before she'd do it. No flap or remnant of a flap remains. I did get the back shortened an inch. But AGAIN, the stylist felt the need to shorten it up on top lest it look too "heavy" and now I look like I'm about to go into the military.
So, this brings me to the hair growth products in the Walmart.
I decide not to buy anything because it's expensive BUT I did come home and take a hot shower and scrub my head with shampoo. I figure if I loosen up the hair follicles with hot water and rub the hell out of them, it might encourage the hair inside to grow out. And now I'm going to do a google search on how to make my hair grow faster. Oh, and something else. I'm going to figure out how to cut my own hair!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Can't wait for Hershey.

Just checking in loyal followers. Nothing really to write about at the moment except that to wind down tonight I've been surfing the New Kids on the Block website community where I actually managed to sign up and find friends to go to the Hershey concert with. You see, after I went to the October concert in Atlanta, I've been dying to go to another one and was afraid that was it...but then they announced the NKOTB cruise in May. That was way too expensive but apparently due to the crazy demand, the guys decided to do a mini Spring tour! Awesome I thought, I'll just go to another show. And then my HUSBAND decided that I should pay for the 5* ticket and actually meet the guys. For a whole week I said, seriously honey, are you going to let me spend all that cash and then go by myself to drool over 5 other men? But the morning the tickets went on sale, he was right there saying go for it! So I did. And I'm going to the Hershey show to see another great concert from probably the first row AND I get to meet them! Rock on! I'm so pumped. I'm also trying to use this as motivation to lose some extra pounds. Gotta look good for the New Kids! :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Day in D.C.


Today was a beautiful day so we decided to drive into Washington D.C. We walked along the mall, toured the Museum of Natural History and walked over to the White House. Sarah asked if that was where Rock Obama lived. She still can't pronounce Barack! This is the fourth or fifth time I've been to D.C., but I have to say, now that I have such a strong interest in the political workings of our nation, it was really neat to see the White House, even from behind the iron fence with a secret service agent looking over our shoulders. The center of democracy. The power and prestige of the president. Pretty cool. Next time we visit, we'll do the American History museum and maybe the Postal Museum. And maybe the Holocaust Museum. There's so much to see and do there it would really take days. Gotta get my Georgia folks up here; they'd love all this.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Early morning inside my head.

Sleep is over-rated I'm thinking as I type this. It's nearly one in the morning and I'm wide awake when I should be catching some zzzzz's in preparation for the rat race of work in a few hours. But oh no. Not so fast my brain says. There's simply too much to ponder. Too much to worry about. Too many details unfiled. Too many opportunities out there if I could just think of them! I'm reading a book right now called Stuck. It's author posits that some of us are "stuck" in our lives. Stuck in the past. Stuck in the present. Stuck in the what if's of the future. I don't know what the heck is going on with me.
For one, I've been trying unsuccessfully to fight off a sore throat for the last two days and I'm not winning the battle. Second, I keep thinking there's something I'm not doing, only I don't know what that is. Third, I'm not motivated to do anything right now! This is why I'm writing. When I can do nothing else, I can write about the frustration with nothingness.
Sometimes I think I am stuck in the past. Stuck in my crappy childhood, angry at all the ways it went wrong, still trying to switch things around in my head. Sometimes I think I'm stuck on the future, always trying to figure out how to be a better person, live a better life, find more happiness, have whatever it is that I'm looking for. In the present though, seems to be a hard place for me to stall.
I was at most in the present when I was working in the Emergency Room last year. There, the moment was the place to be. The urgency of each passing second. The problems that needed to be solved, right then. The people that were sick or dying, right then. The running around that needed to be done - STAT - the actual running that I did do. There was no before, there was no after. No one thought much of the past except for the few minutes a patient was on an ambulance and what treatment he had received. No one thought more of the future except whether or not he'd make it until tomorrow. It was all about the here and now.
I learned a lot in that ER. I learned about humility. About humanness. About behavior. About friendships. About trust. About love. Even though there were some painful steps in my life that led me to that place, I know that is where I belonged for that year. Part of me is still there. Still hearing the song of the monitors, the cries of hurt people, the wailing of relatives who have lost someone they love.
My grandmother would have been proud of the work I did there. She'd have thought it was time well spent. I think my whole family is a generation of helpers. We'd give the shirt off our backs to anyone who needed it. She was the one who instilled that in us, in me. I wasn't there when any of my grandparents died. I missed it. I'd been giving myself a hard time about it until a few months ago when I was there for someone else's grandmother. She was all alone and dying right there in my ER and I was right there too, holding her hand, telling her it was okay to go.
A lot of people I know watch a show called ER on television. It's apparently a great drama. I've never seen an episode. Don't need to. I've got enough memories of my own ER filled with drama to last me a lifetime. And I miss that place.
For tonight I'll try to focus on what's in front of me. The invisible list in my head. The lump that's in my throat. The little 4 year old that's sleeping a few feet away. I'll try to somehow unstick myself from this funk.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Go check out your library. It's free!

You know, there's something I think every citizen should have. A library card. In these economic times, going to the library and checking out some books on things that interest you presents an opportunity for free entertainment or learning. We've been twice now in 2 weeks to the local library here and checked out books and DVDs for the family. Didn't cost a single cent. My husband wanted to read the latest book published by his favorite author. It would have cost us about $20 in the store, but he checked it out at the library for free! I think libraries are often overlooked on the "things we can do" list that most families have, but your local library can be a great resource. It's a place to go when you're bored out of your skin at home. It's great for looking up things that you'd like to learn more about (there's a lot in books that you can't find by just googling a topic). Rather than buying your kids a mountain of DVDs, you can check them out for a week or two at a time and then switch them out for different ones later. And you can support your library by donating books and movies that you're not going to read or watch anymore. Most librarires have great children's programs as well. The one in Westminster has a tarantula named Chile Rose that Sarah loves to visit! So check it out. You never know what you'll find in your library!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

$767.

Why in the world, with our economy in the toilet the way it is, did it cost me this much money to move my car from Georgia to Maryland? One new tire needed ($207) to pass the required safety check ($75) plus $485 in taxes, tags, and registration fees. They actually went back and charged me 2% tax on the PURCHASE of my car b/c when you buy a car in Maryland you pay 6% sales tax versus 4% in Georgia EVEN THOUGH I bought my car 3 and 1/2 years ago!

Want to know why our nation is in a financial crisis? Other than the record numbers of people, like my husband, who cannot find a job - it's stuff like this extremely expensive, yet required effort to legitimately move my car into Maryland. And this isn't counting the $45 driver's license fee.

The real irony is that I live where I work so I am not making regular use of their roadways each day with a commute. What will they do with all my money? What a horrible crock. Ugh!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rock the present.

This afternoon I had to run an errand, to the Maryland MVA, and I had Sarah along with me. I was still thinking about the Inauguration of President Obama and what a great address he had given, about the throngs of people who braved the hours and the cold to be in that same space of land where he would be. The car radio was on and the disc jockeys were talking with reporters in Washington, everything still focused on the events of this day. I decided to talk to my 4 year old about this occasion.
Me: Guess what Sarah? We got a new President today!
Sarah: Oh Mommy! What is it?
Me: No baby, the President is a person.
Sarah: Mommy! I thought we wanted a new present!
Me: No Sarah. We got a new PRES-I-DENT. He's a person. Barack Obama.
Sarah: Rock Obama?
Me: BA-RACK Obama.
Sarah: Yea! Rock Obama is our new present!

There you go. The things we have to teach our children...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good times in the snow.


Ah, a snow day.  A glorious day off work tacked onto the weekend.  But it's not just a snow day -- it's MLK day and it happened to snow.  Now for a bunch of sun punks from Georgia, even the inch of snow was cool.  Sarah had a blast running in the snow, knocking it off local fauna, catching falling snowflakes on her tongue, and learning to make the snowball.  We are now safe inside and all warmed up.  Looking forward to yet another jaunt in the snow later and to watching the inauguration tomorrow.  So fitting that we remember MLK and all that he stood for today and that we watch Barack Obama take the presidency tomorrow.  

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Crossing the sweet tea line.

Today is a glorious Saturday and a chance for all of us to get out of the house and explore our new territory. When we moved 640 miles north of Athens, many of my friends and family decided to be funny and call us Yankees. Ah ha, not so fast I told them - Westminster is still slightly south of the infamous Mason-Dixon line that runs along the Pennsylvania border and separates North from South. So today, my husband being the Civil War buff that he is, we decided to drive the short distance to Gettysburg to see the battlefield and tour the museum. It was quite a sight to see of course. The museum was super nice and very thorough, the films were emotional and telling, and even the museum shop was cool. We spent over four hours there looking around and learning, trying to explain the concept of war to a four year old, and prevent her from wandering off. Then we drove around some in the actual downtown area of Gettysburg and I saw the Pub where Hal and I had dinner the first time we visited the area. If I remember correctly, the conversation in the restaurant went something like this:
Waiter: Can I get you something to drink?
Me: I'll have Diet Coke.
Waiter: How about Diet Pepsi.
Me: (grudgingly) Okay.
Waiter: Okay, and you sir?
Hal: I'll have sweet tea without lemon (his perpetual beverage request no matter where we are)
Me: (kicking Hal under the table and whispering) I'll bet they don't have sweet tea!
Waiter: (looking at Hal like he has two heads) Sir, we don't have sweet tea up here - you're above the Mason-Dixon now.
Hal: Oh, uh I guess I'll have Coke.
Waiter: We don't have that either. How about Pepsi?
Hal: Do you have water? I'll take water. Without lemon.
The waiter walks away and I toss my head back because I'm laughing so hard. Hal shrugs his shoulders and says something about their crappy customer service. I laugh harder.
From then on, I liked to think of the Mason-Dixon line as the sweet tea line. Here in Westminster, right below the Mason-Dixon, sweet tea is available in all the restaurants. Should you find yourself above that geographical and cultural line however, it's BYOST (bring your own sweet tea).

Monday, January 5, 2009

Not official yet.

Why is going to the local Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV such a universal pain? It doesn't matter which state you are in, it's a pain in the toosh. I've been in Maryland for two months now, not technically, but close enough, and I ventured over to the DMV. Luckily it wasn't too hard to find - about a mile past the Starbucks, which is easy for me. I'd been there once before our holiday break and quickly got scuttled out the door with the understanding that I'd need more documents to prove my address. So today I try again with an armful of documents, bills in their original envelopes addressed to me here in Maryland. I immediately start getting the run around again from this guy. Nope, this won't work, and neither will this, and no we don't accept paychecks either. I asked rather bluntly if I could see a supervisor or someone with a little discretion. He directed me her way, she said absolutly we'll take these things and I was given a number! Got my picture taken, lied only a little about my weight, gave them my address, and bada bing - Maryland license! Just like that. Only 2 trips! When I drove away I thought they might have someone in a black minivan following me back home just to make completely sure I lived where I said I did. In Virginia and South Carolina it took me 3 trips each to their DMVs. In Georgia it was a piece of cake - I just recited my license number and they reissued it after updating my address. The benefits of being born in a place!
Moving to another state isn't all that simple. Now the challenge is getting the tags for my car which is a 27 step process. First an expensive safety inspection, then pay the taxes and get the tags, then some sort of emissions check. More money. I think the DMV has invested in the local mechanics or vice versa. Seems to be a mutual benefit!
I guess, other than the money involved, I really don't mind all these safeguards. I've noticed that there aren't nearly as many cars up here with "problems" like some horrible stench or smoke coming out the tailpipes, or bumpers taped on, or windows spread so thick with duck tape and plastic sheeting that Superman couldn't see out. All these things can be found anywhere and everywhere in Georgia. Taking care of your car, for some folks, is as easy as riding on a donut wheel and buying a good waterproof roll of Duck tape. And now that it comes in all those fashionable colors, it can match just about any paint job! But alas, I'm still a Georgian at heart! Someone today told me that I didn't sound like I came from Georgia. They said West Virginia. Is that worse? :) At least they didn't say Alabama or Florida or Tennessee. I would have had to start barking like a Georgia DAWG! Woof Woof Woof!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Resolutions and ramblings.

One of my New Year's Resolutions started a chain reaction.  My first one, especially after reading You Are Here, was to become more environmentally respectful and aware.  Reduce my "footprint" if you will.  I want to have less and do more with what I have.  I want to use less water, throw away less plastic, buy more goods that are made with recycled stuff, and buy more things made close to home (like the USA for a change).  I bought a pair of Simple Shoes about 3 months ago - the entire shoe was made from recycled material and renewable resources that come from earth friendly processes.  They are great!  So buying Earth conscious can be very rewarding, even if it's more expensive.  I'll continue using plant based soaps to do laundry, bathe, and clean house.  I'll use less paper.  Anyway - I was browsing in the bookstore the other day on one of my glorious days off, and I saw in the "green" book section a book called The Green Bible.  Only this was actually a Bible.  New Testament, Old Testament.  But there are verses highlighted in GREEN.  Instead of everything Jesus says being printed in red, all of the verses that are pertinent to the Earth and it's care are printed in green!  Oddly enough, religious resister that I have been for many years, I went right up to the cash register and paid $30 for it.  And I've begun to read, read, read.  I read the entire book of Genesis in one night.  I'm still working on Exodus.  So my next resolution is to figure out where I stand spiritually.  What do I believe in and why?  That's the question I want to answer.  Many different experiences make us who we are in the long run, and I've had some that made me question God or a higher power for some time now.  So now I'm on a journey to figure it out.  The least I can do is read the Bible.  Front to back, the whole thing.  So far, I find it to be a mesmerizing story!  My third resolution is to spend more time with my little girl.  She's such a gift.  I find myself growing more and more impatient with her lately, especially now that she knows where my buttons are.  Why is it that toddlers talk all the time?  I used to think I was the only one who had this problem, but everyone I tell this too swears they know or knew a child who did the exact same thing.  It's not my goal to shut her up as much as it is to redirect her ramblings and lower the volume a bit.  She's loud and nonsensical.  But she's cute.  And she's mine.  And I don't know what I'd do without her now.  The fourth one is simple: lose 20 pounds.  I'd like to lose 40 but I want to set a goal I can actually achieve.  Time to get back in the gym!  I could keep going but I might as well stop here.  These four will keep me busy enough!