Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hurrican Season 2006


I learned a couple good things on our most recent camping trip. 1) Camping is a lot more hard work then I thought and 2) Do not take the sedan.

Overall, Laura and I had a wonderful time. We arrived at our campsite at about 7:30pm on Friday night. We were so excited by our view. Literally we were 40 feet from the lake. After unloading the car we set up the tent. Now this was a little bit of a challenge because of all the times that we put the tent up in our back yard we never had any problems with the tent stakes going in the group. When you add a tent pad to it, it makes it very hard to get the stakes in the ground. Thank God we had packed a hammer. It took us about an hour or so to get everything set up. Because it was so hot and humid we started drinking a bunch of water and coke. Bad idea right before you go to bed. Now, the bathrooms were not that far from our site, but it was still a pretty good walk. I think we got up 4 times that first night. We decided that during the night we would not go to the bathrooms by ourselves. So everytime one of us had to go to the bathroom we both would get up.

Saturday morning we woke up with ideas of cooking our breakfast over the campfire. It didn't go as we had planned. Because it was so windy we had a hard time getting the fire started. We decided to go our for breakfast and worry about the fire that evening. After breakfast we went swimming for a couple of hours. The temps were in the mid 90's and it was very humid. So, getting in the lake was wonderful. Later in the afternoon I was able to get a fire going. I love campfires. I love the smell and I love listening to it crackle. Laura cooked an awesome steak on our little Weber grill. It was awesome. Rest of the night we just sat around talking. Around 8pm we decided it was time for some smores. God, I forgot how good they are. By 9:30pm we were ready for bed. The temp had dropped enough and there was still enough of a breeze that our tent was very comfortable.

Sunday we did manage to cook our breakfast over the campfire. It took a lot longer then we thought it would, but it was delicious. We were then off to go swimming. After a couple hours of swimming we decided it was time for a siesta. After our siesta we talked and decided we wanted to go home so we would be home the entire day on Monday. After breaking down our camp we were on our way home. We decided that two nights are good for camping.

We plan on going back in July to do some more camping. I think Laura's younger sister and husband are going to go with us. I think camping with them will be nothing but fun and laughs. For our first time out camping as adults we couldn't have asked for better weather. It was a little warm, but we always had a nice breeze the entire time.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Please Welcome

My neighbor, and very good friend, has jumped on the band wagon and created a blog. Please click here and welcome her to the world of blogging.


Today is my 33rd birthday. Here are my list of 33 reasons why I am so happy I was blessed with another birthday.

1. Life. 5 months before I was born abortion was legalized. My birthmother could have easily had an abortion. Instead, she gave me the gift of life.

2. My health. I am lucky to be able to see clearly (thanks to a little help from contacts), smell the fresh air and hear wildlife. I am thankful everyday for that.

3. My home. Not only am I blessed to have a roof over my head, but it was my Grandmothers house. I remember as a child coming here to visit. Infact, I have pictures of me when I was 3-4 years old playing in this backyard.

4. Vacations. Laura and I have been so blessed to be able to start traveling more. As a child I traveled all over the place. There's no better feeling then leaving work on Friday knowing you are headed on vacation.

5. Mexican Food. This is my all time favorite food. I could eat Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

6. Music. I love music and it's always been a huge part of my life. My life is chronicled through music.

7. Lakes. Last year was the first time I had been swimming in a lake in years. I forgot how much I love swimming in lakes. I prefer it to ocean water. The smell of the lake water always takes me back to my childhood.

8. My "kids". I sit here counting the hours til tomorrow when I can go pick up Sophie dog from the kennel. Our house seems empty without her running around here. And the cats are always good for entertainment and cuddling.

9. Clean sheets. There is nothing better in the world then putting on clean sheets on the bed and going to sleep. The smell and the crispness of them our one of the better things in life.

10. Smores. Having just come back from camping I forgot how much I love smores. Nothing is better when you are out camping.

11.Reality TV. 15 years ago reality tv was born. And I can't imagine a week going by not watching some sort of reality show.

12. A warm bath. I never thought I was a bath person until I met Laura. Now, I take at least 5 baths a week. Even if I have showered in the evening, I love coming home and taking a nice bubbly bath.

13. Hot Chocolate. Sitting in the house on a cold winter day is perfect when you have a cup of hot chocolate in your hand.

14. Air-Conditioning. As much I would love to live in the Little House on the Prairie days, I enjoy my a/c too much to wish too hard.

15. Pictures. I have always loved pictures. I love taking pictures and I love looking at pictures.

16. Campfires. This past weekend I feel in love all over again with campfires. Sitting by them at night just talking is one of the most relaxing intimate things.

17. DVR. Kind of like Tivo, but through the cable company. I love being able to pause live tv and record a show without a vcr tape.

18. Coca-Cola. Whether it's first thing in the morning or after mowing the lawn, there is nothing better then an ice cold coca-cola.

19. My blue shorts. I have a pair of blue shorts that have become very comforting to me. I wear them in the evenings and everytime I put them on it's like an old friend.

20. Shoes after they are "broken in". Kind of like the shorts things. I will wear my shoes until I can no longer wear them anymore. Once a shoe is broken in, it's the best feeling in the world.

21. Alcohol. A cold Corona every once in a while is heavenily.

22. My nephews. There is nothing I love more then spoiling them. And the best part is being able to hand them back to their parents if they start acting up or need to be changed.

23. Grandparents. Grandparents were given to all of us in an escape of our parents. They are there to spoil you and love you with no conditions attached.

24. Snow. I love snow and I love snow days even more. There's nothing better then waking up to 6 inches on the ground.

25. Green grass. I love keeping my grass in our yard nice and green all summer even if it means we have a $300 water bill.

26. Digital Cameras. They have simply made it easier to get a picture of the world.

27. Birthday cake. Even though I have not had that many b-day cakes, there is a distinct difference in the taste when it's a cake celebrating the day you were born.

28. Celebrity Magazines. I can't imagine a week going by without buying a celeb magazine. I love sitting and reading what my favorite celebs are up to.

29. Taco Via. My favorite fast food Mexican restaurant in KC.

30. Laura. I put her in the 30th reason because I met her when I was 30 and my life hasn't been the same since. She is everything to me and so much more.

31. Internet. I love being able to get on the internet and find out anything about everything.

32. Camping. Just like the campfires, I feel in love all over again with camping.

33. Memory. I love all the memories in my mind. Those memories get me through tough times and make me laugh often.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Camping, Anniversary & Birthday

What a busy weekend we are going to have. I am so excited about everything though. We finished packing last night and getting everything ready for our camping trip this weekend. This morning I dropped the dog off at her luxuary hotel. For real, this place is nicer then some of the places we have stayed before. But I always feel very good about leaving her there and never worry about her care. As I dropped her off the lady asked if I had seen the pool for the dogs??? She then showed me this 2ft. deep pool where the dogs can go swimming. Can you believe that? I also enrolled Sophie in Daycare Sat., Sun., and Monday. She hasn't been around other dogs much and I know it's good for her socialization skills. When I pick her up on Tuesday they will give me a report card as to how she did. Like I have mentioned before, this place realizes how important our dogs are and they treat them like they are Kings and Queens.

We are expecting near perfect weather this weekend. We will be traveling about 2 1/2 hours south east of KC for our camping. Tomorrow will the warmest day with temps in the high 90's and very humid. Sunday and Monday will be cooler with less humidity. Looks like we will be spending a lot of time in the lake. I can't wait.

Sunday is our 2nd anniversary. I can tell you, I have never been in a relationship where after 2 years it's still as exciting as our first date. The only relationship that I have had that has lasted more then 2 years was my ex-husband. Within one month after getting married I knew I had made a terrible mistake. But the good JW girl I was, I tried to make it work. Glad I finally quit trying to make it work. Laura and I met three weeks before our first date. While we were on our first date I knew I would be with her for the rest of my life. She has filled my life with happiness, peace and lots of fun. I can't imagine my life without her. She is the love of my life and my best friend. My favorite times with her are in the evenings when we will just sit and talk. We always have so much fun.

Monday is my birthday. YEA. My co-worker put a small b-day cake in my office today because she knows how much I LOVE birthday cake. Another co-worker asked if today was my b-day and I said no and that Monday was. She then said with a smile, "not everyone gets their birthday off." I then reminded her that my b-day if a national holiday. :)

We will be home Monday afternoon and I am looking forward to my birthday dinner of cake. See, I told you I love b-day cake. Ragged wrote out 37 reasons why life is great on her b-day. so, this gives me 3 days to think of 33 reasons why life is so great.

Have a safe weekend everyone.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Interview Me

Here are some questions from Isabel. And here are my responses. To play this game, if you want to be interviewed then simply put "interview me" in your response and I will post questions for you. You then post your responses on your blog.

1) What do you like most about your job? I think what I like the most is the laid back feeling this office has. My boss has a lot to do with that. As long as you get your work done then there are no problems. There are some days when I don't see him at all. Plus, I get to set my own schedule with the clients. If I don't want to do an assessment during a certain time, then I block out my schedule. Plus, the other person in my department is funny as hell and cracks me up every single day.

2) Pick one thing you wish Laura would do for you. Why did you pick it? (totally stealing Holly's question) Plan a secret vacation and take me away. I have always dreamed of my love planning a secret vacation and just taking me away. I guess I watch too many movies.

3) Everyone has something that makes them special and unique. What is yours? Gosh, this is a hard one. I guess it would be that I remember numbers like a crazy person. I remember b-days of almost everyone I meet and phones numbers as well. I can just hear a phone number once and remember it for years.

4)What is your favorite memory? Most of my favorite memories of childhood are from summer camp. I had some of the best times. Oh wait, I just thought of another one. When I was young my parents had a cabin at a lake about 30 minutes from our house. We would go there every single weekend between April and October. We were there one weekend and it happended to be my b-day. The old lady that lived next door had made me a b-day cake. I think I was around 7 or 8 and it was my first b-day cake. I was so excited. To this day I can still remember what that cake looked like.

5) And finally, what is the weather like today? Right now it's about 95 degrees and humid. There isn't a cloud in the sky and it actually looks very nice outside. Then you step outside and it's horrible. We went straight from winter to summer. What happened to spring?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


The last three days have been rough. Running into my Mother really threw me for a loop. I wasn't sure how to handle all the emotions that came flooding back. By yesterday afternoon I could feel the whole depression thing coming back. I had no engery, even though I slept 9 hours the night before and just didn't feel like doing anything. I was eating anything in sight. Finally around 1pm I realized I needed to tell Laura what was going on. I was tired of hiding how sad I really was. After school she called and I told her I wasn't doing that well. We talked and she said it would probably be good if I went and talked with someone. I have suffered with depression since I was a teenager. Therapy is nothing new to me. I was very hestitant becasue I felt I should be able to handle this on my own. After much convincing from Laura I called my insurance company last night to see if I could get a referral for treatment. I waited until 8:30pm when Laura finally said, "you need to call before we go to bed". So, I called and got several referrals. Actually the lady I talked to on the phone was so nice. Made me feel better about calling to get a referral for therapy.

After getting the referrals I was bummed because the therapist that I have gone to since I was 16 was not on the list. Laura and I decided that we will just pay out of pocket. So, this morning I called my therapist and she is able to get me in next Tuesday. I am so relieved. I love it cause she has evening hours, so I will not have to miss any work. I am so glad she is able to get me in because I would hate going to someone new and have to tell my story all over again. And it's a long story. Way too long.

For the first time I am not ashamed to say I am in therapy. Growing up and even in my 20's it seemed to have such a stigma in my family. Now I have my OWN family and there no longer is any shame.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


I got kind of a shock this weekend. Yesterday Laura and I made our usual trip to Wal-Mart. As we were leaving I saw my 12 year old nephew. I walked up to him, gave him a big hug and wished him Happy Birthday. I was so happy to see him ON his b-day. We hugged and I looked back and my Mom was standing at the check out counter. My heart started beating faster. It has been almost two years since I have seen my Mother. And there she was standing. What do I do? Do I say something only to be rejected? As my nephew and I were standing there talking my Mom looked up. It was almost as if she did a double take. Once she realized it was me, she stopped smiling and looked away from me. I felt so sorry for my nephew because he acted like he wasn't supppose to be talking to me. I quickly said goodbye to him and again wished him a Happy Birthday. I didn't want him to feel like he was doing something wrong. As Laura and I were walking out she asked me, "are you ok?" I noticed that I was kind of shaking. I said I was fine, but was I really?

Yes, it was a shock to see my Mother after this much time. And yes, it was a shock after so much time she continues to reject and turn away from me. When Laura and I first started seeing each other she asked why I hadn't come out to my parents yet. I explained that my Mother would have nothing to do with me after that. I told her I just had this gut feeling. (I would have never realized my Father would also want nothing to do with me) Even after my Mom stopped talking to me two years ago Laura said, "just give her some time. she will come around." Most people told me to give her some time. I knew in the bottom of my gut she would never come around. That's a hard reality to swallow.

So, it's two years later and my Mom still wants nothing to do with me. The past 24 hours I have had a lot of thoughts running through my mind. My birthday is a week from tomorrow. From as far back as I can remember I have always struggled with my birthday. Having been adopted when I was just 3 days old I have always struggled with feelings of rejetion and feeling unwanted. In a sense, to feel disposable. My Mom always reassured me that I was indeed wanted, and very much so. Two years ago, that reassureance, which was shakey to begin with was gone.

Most days I have to remind myself not to think about my parents rejecting and disowning me. The pain is too intense and if I were to let myself feel it I would collapse and not be able to function. In order to function in society, I have to pull myself together each morning and not think about my parents "disposing" of me. But when my Mom is standing there right in front of me, it's hard to push those feelings out of the way. It was as if two years of feelings came flooding forward. How the hell do I deal with this now?

Only times knows if my parents will ever accept me. There are days when it is more overwhelming then others. Yesterday after seeing my Mom, I had a familiar feeling of just kind of hanging out there with no family in my corner. Yes, Laura's family is my family, but my "original" family unit is no longer there. The two people that have known me since I was 3 days old want nothing to do with me 31 years later. How can they turn their backs on the child they once loved and adored?

I often wonder if their hearts hurt as much as mine do.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Boys in Blue

Well, tonight Laura and I are headed out to see the Royals play the St.Louis Cardinals. The Royals, to say the least, are having a horrible year. Infact, they have had a horrible decade. We currently have the worst record of all the teams. On the road we are 2-18. Ouch, that's bad. But going and seeing the Cardinals brings back memories of the I-70 series in 1985. That was the year the Roayals and the Cardindals were in the World Series. I was only12, but it was still so exciting. Since then the Royals have not played like pros. I think I heard on the news that it's been 5-6 years since we have even had a winning season. Again, ouch. Laura and I went to one game last year and had a blast. There was not too many people there, but we have a feeling that tonight will be more crowded. And there are fireworks after the game.

Tomorrow night we have a graduation party for her oldest nephew. Hopefully sometime this weekend we will find time to go fishing. We were suppose to go camping tomorrow night,but had to change that due to the graduation party. We were going to a camp ground about 5 minutes from our house and we were going to take the dog to see how she did camping. We were hoping she was going to do really good and we could take her next weekend. Instead she gets to go to Pete and Mac's which is an upscale dog kennel. Pete and Mac's is a little more expensive, but she gets to go to daycare and when we pick her up we get a report card of how she did. They understand those of us that treat our dogs like people.

Tomorrow is my oldest nephews 12th b-day. Today I was thinking about him as I was filling out his b-day card and I couldn't believe that I have a nephew that is almost a teenager. God, I feel old now. My oldest nephew was my first and it was with him that I mastered the art of spoiling my nephews. The day he was born was one ofthe most exciting days of my life. Happy Birthday N, Aunt Caroline loves you dearly.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Many Roads...One Destination

The last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about my spirituality. Most in my family believe that I am too far gone for anything spiritual. I have tried for two years to figure out why they think I no longer have a relationship with God. I think part of it is because the Jehovah's Witness religion believe they are the only true religion. All other religions are wrong and they people that follow those religions have no relationship with God. For many years I believed this as well. I would look at people that were different faiths and think, "poor them". I would feel sorry for them. I felt that JW's were right and everyone else was wrong. But all along I felt bad thinking this.

When I was in high school I was introduced to Michael W. Smith. For those of you that do not know his music he is Christian Rock. I LOVED the music I was listening. All of the music praised God. I loved rocking out to songs that talked about God. I had never heard music like that before. It was weird because my Mother never objected to me listening to the music even though it went against all we were taught. She even allowed me to go to a couple of his concerts. I know she was thinking, "there is worse music she could be listening to". Believe it or not, listening to MWS's music, I learned more about God and his love then I was being taught as a JW.

As Laura and I were driving to Jeff City Monday we drove through a town that we often went to while I was growing up for our "assemblies". An assembly is where our circuit of Kingdom Halls get together for a weekend convention. As were were driving I was thinking of all the times I came to this town for an assembly and hated every moment of it. I would do anything to get out of them. Half the time they were talking with words that I did not understand and I just ended up getting more confused then learning anything. I have always been a shy person. I was even more shy when I was a teenager. My Mom would encourage me to walk around during the lunch hour and talk with kids my age. I always felt so awkward doing that. I never felt like I fit in.

The last two years I have not associated with any religion. That does not mean that I don't have a relationship with God. Infact, I feel closer to God then I have ever. I feel comfortable praying to him. Before I never felt like he would hear my prayers. I have learned so much in the last two years about religion and God. I used to think you had to go to a certain building to have a relationship with God. Not so. It's the small things in life when I really think about God and how marvelous He is. When I am mowing the yard and it's just the hum of the mower and my thoughts I always start thinking about how beautiful the earth is and how it's amazing how it all works.

Growing up I was taught there was only one road to God. I was also taught that the one road that did lead to God was small and narrow. These last two years I have realized there are many, many roads that lead to God. With 300 billion people in the world, why is it just 6 million JW's believe they are right?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The ABC's of Me

I have seen this on almost all the blogs that I read. So here are the ABC's of me.

Accent: I don't think I have one. I have been told from people not from the midwest that I have a small southern accent.

Booze: I don't drink that much, but I do love a Corona every once in a while.

Chore I hate: Changing the cat liter

Dog or Cat: Both 1 dog and 5 cats

Essential Electronic: Computer and a close second is remote for tv.

Favorite Cologne: Escape

Gold or Silver: Silver

Hometown: Leawood, KS

Insomnia: Maybe once or twice in my life

Job Title: Program Manager

Kids: None, unless you count the dog and cats.

Living Arrangements: 3 bedroom house that I share with Laura and our "kids"

Most Admirable Trait: Honest

Number of Sexual Partners: 4 guys and 4 girls

Overnight Hospital Stays: A few

Phobias: The house catching on fire

Quote: "Be the change you wish to see in the world" (sorry, can't remember who the quote is from)

Religion: Raised Jehovah's Witness. Currently..none

Siblings: One brother, Jim, almost 35

Time I Wake Up: 7:30am during the week and 8am on weekends

Unusual Talent/Skill: I remember dates like you would not believe. This includes b-days, anniversarys..etc

Vegetable I love: Aspargus

Worse Habit: picking at the calcus on my foot

X-Rays: Several of my back

Yummy foods I make: Sadly, none

Zodiac Sign: Gemini

Monday, May 15, 2006

Road Trip

Two showers this morning and no leaks. YEA!! I also put in our formal complaint with the local Better business Bureau regarding the Fix-it Guys. I am really looking forward to their response regarding everything.

This evening we are making a road trip to Missouri's wonderful capital Jefferson City. We have some things to take care of and will be back home by tomorrow afternoon. Sophie-dog is all excited because that means tons of spoiling and hugs/kisses from Grandma and Grandpa. As soon as we pull onto their street she knows where she is and gets all excited. Getting her out of the car when we are at their house is sometimes a challenge. There are times when my insecurities come into play and I wonder if she likes then better then me.:)

Even though we are going to Jefferson City for business, I am looking forward to the night in the hotel. I love staying in hotels. Plus, having the day off from work tomorrow is always a good thing. A day off in the middle of the week makes the week go by faster.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Remodeling Nightmare Continues

Laura and I had grand plans for the weekend. We were going to relax, go fishing, do some shopping and those were all stopped dead in their tracks Saturday morning. As Laura was taking a bath Saturday morning I was down in the laundry room doing some laundry. I could hear her letting the water out of the tub when all of a sudden water started pouring out through the ceiling. I couldn't believe it. I ran upstairs and told her the tub was leaking once again. We were both shocked. We thought we were down with all this shit.

I quickly called the owner of "The Fix-it Guys". Now the owner is a real honest to God ASSHOLE. We have never liked him and we never will. He was the one that called the morning they were suppose to be here to start the remodel and said, "what exactly are we doing at your house?" I should have known then that it was going to be a rough road. Of course, there was no answer. I left a message giving him both our home number and cell phone number. Laura and I went to lunch and two hours later there was still no call. I called the owner again. This time he answered. He said he had called the person that was in charge of our remodel and he should be calling us back. We waited and still no call. Since we have most of the workers cell phone numbers on speed dial I called this guy. He said he could be over this morning to check it out.

K did show up this morning at 10am. He was here maybe fiftenn minutes and replaced the stopper part of the tub. We also pointed out to K that one of our receased lighting in the living room does not work and there is a water stain in our vanity like the sink was leaking. He said they would be over on Wednesday to fix the lighting problem and that the tub and sink were now fixed. Remember their motto is "fix it right the first time". Two hours after K left Laura took a bath and this is what we found in our laundry room. (excuse the shit on the litter boxes. I think the water coming down made a small mess into a huge mess)
We didn't realize there was water until Laura went down to get the clothes out of the dryer and turned on the light and was shocked since water was coming out of the light as well.
We had standing water in the laundry room and enough water came out that it went into the room next door.

Our first response was "those stupid assholes". Laura called the owner back and he said he was going to call K. Two hours later we still didn't have a call. I called the owner back and he said, "I am out of town and I can't get a hold of K. This will have to wait until tomorrow." I then told him that we were done and we were going to cut our loses and the next time they were going to hear from us was going to be in small claims court. He was not too happy about that. I got off the phone and called a plumbing company (RettiRooter) who was here within 45 mintues. Do you want to know what the fucking problem was????????? When K was here today and installed the new stopper for the tub he forgot to tighten it. Can you fucking believe that? Well, the guy from RettiRooter was very nice and did not charge us for the call at 5pm on a Sunday. There are still good guys out there. The guy from RettiRooter did say that we will need to have all the sheetrock replaced in the laundry room because it was soaked. And the sheetrock in the ceiling in the laundry room is double. He said it would have had to be leaking the entire 3 weeks for it to do that. Our mission is to get that sheetrock replaced this week because we don't need any mold. So, that was our weekend. On a brighter note here is some pictures from this week.
Can you tell my baby is glad to be home. I swear he thinks he is human. But I do love him.
We have this cardinal that has "adopted" us. He sits on our back porch and just chirps away. He even walks up to the door when the cats are there are just talks to him. We have named him "Louie" after the St.Louis Cardinals.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mother's Day

Growing up as a Jehovah's Witness we did not celebrate Mother's Day. My Father, who is not a Jehovah's Witness, would always have me sign my name to a card for his Mother. I believe it was six years ago when I was disfellowshipped the first time that I gave my Mother a Mother's day card. It didn't go over very well. I think she was a little disappointed in me. I thought it was a nice gesture. So, here it is 2006 and we are quickly approaching Mother's Day. Part of me wishes deep down that I was a Mother on this day. Only God knows if that will ever happen.

I can't help but think about my own Mother. As much as she may disagree, I do love her. Here are some of my favorite times that I have shared with my Mother.

*When I was in elementary school she let me stay home one day and we hung out all day and went to lunch. I remember cool is my Mom.

*Even though she hated me going, she allowed me to to to summer camp for six summers. I know it was hard on her to let her "baby" go away for an entire month.

*She never got upset at me when I would call her a million times at work.

*Her profession has allowed our family to travel all over the world. Because of her I have seen parts of the world a lot of people will never see.

*She always stood up for me when my Dad would be hard on me for my weight, table manners, etc.

*My ex and I had been married for about 3 months when we made a $40 mistake in our checkbook. I called my Mom all upset asking her if she would buy us some hamburger at the grocery store for dinner. When I went to her house to pick it up she had the hamburger, plus a card. In the card was $40.

*When she would go to the grocery store she would always remember the things that I liked and would pick them up for me, even if I could afford to buy them myself.

*When I would stop by my parents house by surprise, she was always happy to see me.

*On my first day of college she left me a card saying how proud of me she was.

*While I was in graduate school and money was tight I would always ask for a loan from her until my money would come in from my trust fund. She would always take the check, but never cash it.

I am sure there are a lot more stories, but these are a few of my favorite. After my ex and I divorced my Mother and I became very close. I always knew that on the weekends the two of us would either go out to lunch, go shopping or go to the movies. In May 2004 was the last time I went shopping with her. The date was May 23, 2004. We went to Target where she bought me a shirt and a CD. To this day, when I wear this shirt I think of her and I think of that last time we spent time together and no one was upset.

No family is perfect, and mine is far from it. I have always said that if my parents came to me and said, "let's start over" I would be more then willing. It breaks my heart that my parents feel I have done something that is unforgivable in their eyes.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


On Tuesday after work I noticed that my ears were feeling as if I had a cold. When I got home I did something I shouldn't have done. I used a Q-tip in my ear and it immediatly got worse. I figured it was probably just a little wax build-up, which I get sometimes. I then went out and got some ear wax removal stuff. I spent the next hour trying to get my left ear unclogged. There were times when I couldn't hear anything at all out of that ear. I finally just took a Benadryl and went to bed.

Yesterday morning I got my doctors office and made an appointment with the nurse practionier. All of yesterday my ear was feeling a lot better and I even thought about canceling the appointment. But then I decided since I was still having some discomfort in my left ear I better keep the appointment.

So, this morning I went in and was shocked to find out that I have a pretty bad ear infection in my left ear. I wasn't having that much pain, just some discomfort. The nurse said that my ear canal was very swollen and red and irriated. While talking to Laura after my appointment, she reminded me that I had some trouble getting the water out of my ear while we were swimming in Florida. The nurse put some antibotic drops in my ear and also gave me a RX for antiobotics. As I was driving to work I realized my ear really does hurt. This explains all the headaches I have had the last week or so. Let's just hope it clears up before the pool opens in two weeks.

On a brighter note..I have lost ten pounds since my last visit. YEA. I was kind of nervous about getting on the scale because I have not been working that hard at losing weight. Just maintaining. They took some blood, so we will really see how things are going when I get the results back. Also, my blood pressure is as she said, "very normal".

As I was leaving the nurse stopped me and said, "have you had a pap smear recently." Damn. I had no way of getting out it this time. So, on June 1 I will be having this done. I would rather do anything but this.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Damn, I am Proud of Her

The weather in KC has been so weird these past few weeks. There are some days where it is so cold that we have to turn the heat on. Then the next day it's so warm outside we have the air conditioning on. I wish the weather would decide if it's going to be winter or summer. Because I know the turning of the heater and air conditioning on and off is not good. Oh well. Last night we slept with the window open and about 3am I woke up to Laura standing next to me trying to close the window. I asked her what was going on and she said, "don't you smell that?" Apparently, we had a skunk in the neighborhood that decided he would shoot off his stink. Our entire bedroom smelled horrible. Then the dog decided she needed to go outside to check things out. There was no way in hell I was going to let her out and have the chance of coming back smelling like a skunk.

I am having one of those days where I am so damn proud of Laura. She implemented a reading program in her school to help the students that are behind. (teaching in the urban schools she is finding most of the kids are behind in their reading skills.) Well, she has started testing her students again (the first test was given at the begining of the year) and she is finding that almost all have increased their reading skills a great deal. How cool is that? She is such an awesome teacher. We need more teachers like her. At the begining of the school year she went to her principal and said they needed this reading program to help with the readings scores and her principal listened to her and got the program. And this wasn't a cheap program either. Well, Laura called me today and said her principal is so excited about the reading scores and so excited that they have increased so much. Again, I am so proud of Laura. I am so excited for her cause she only has three weeks left until summer break. I keep telling her if it were up to me she wouldn't work at all. I would keep her barefoot and pregnant. :)

Monday, May 08, 2006


I need to let you in on some of the history of this post. I have lived in this house for 8 1/2 years now. About two years after my ex. and I moved into the house i noticed a stray hanging around. I didn't think that much about it. Then I noticed that this stray had kittens. It was cold outside and the female, who I later named "mama' looked like she was losing weight. So, I started putting out food for this stray "mama" and her kittens. Mistake #1. Before I knew it I was feeding half the cats in our neighborhood. There were cats that were from perfectly find homes, but would chose to be "strays" because of the food I put out. This went on for a couple more years. Each year, "mama" would have a couple liters. My parents have two of her kittens and I have one whom you all know very well now..Ben. A few months before I got Ben I befriended this long haired black cat. I thought it was a she, but later learned it was a male. I remember this one really cold night and I thought I would be nice and bring this cat in. I let the cat down once we were in the house and I swear the cat climbed one of my walls. To this day, my cats still go over and sniff where this cat climbed the wall. Well, I quickly got this cat outside because I realized this probably wasn't going to work. A few months later I got Ben and realized this must be his Father. They look so much alike, except Ben has short hair and his Father has long hair. Other then that, they look exactly alike. Because Ben is so dear to me, I have started calling what appears to be his Dad, "Ben's Daddy".

Now, Ben's Dad is a tough guy. He is always coming around with new scabs and looking like he has been in a fight. The last few months we have noticed that Ben Dad is looking pretty bad. Like he's sick or something. When we lost Ben I went around to all the neighbors asking for them to keep an eye on Ben. The lady that lives next to us is probably in her late 80's. She is the sweetest thing. I knocked on her door to see if we could look in her backyard. She said yes and took us to her backyard. As we were back there I heard a "meow". I called Ben's name and my elderly neighbor said, "Oh, I think that is just Blackey. He's an ole stray cat that I put food out for". I continued to listen to her call Blackey's name and the cat came right to her. Damn, all these years and he actually has a name. Now, Blackey has always kind of just stayed in my yard and my elderly neighbors yard. I didn't realize she even knew he was walking around in her yard.

So, I have continued all these years putting out food for these stray cats. BTW, "mama' was taken to a local shelter two years ago with her kittens. I spent an entire weekend two years ago catching her and her kittens. I was trying to help the neighborhood. But it seems as if someone other female cat has taken over her place and is making lots of kittens with Blackey. I know I should put out food for these cats, but I hate seeing them hungry. I did go most of last summer without feeding them, but the minute things turn cold, I simply can't help it. I don't like to see anything strave. Even Laura gets on me about feeding what she calls, "those damn strays". There are times she drives up to the house and she swears our house is the "columsium" in Italy.

So, we ran out of food Saturday night. I didn't go get more food. I don't know why. Tonight we went out for a few minutes and when we drove up Blackey was in our driveway just meowing away. I think he said, "where's my damn food lady. you can't just feed me 9 months out of the year". Laura said, "why didn't you put out any food for him?" I explained how we were out of food. Now, even Laura has felt sorry for Blackey these last few weeks. He really looks like he is getting old and just tired. Hell, it's hard being a stray.

We come in the house and I go upstairs. I notice it's a little quiet downstairs. After a few minutes I ask Laura what she is doing. Her reply is, "nothing". I walk downstairs to find her cutting up hot dogs for the cat. Laura looked at me and said, "shut up". Here are the pictures to prove that she did feel sorry for Blackey and feed him. Because I know Laura, she will deny she ever did this.

Here he is enjoying his hot dogs.
Notice he just makes himself home in our front yard.

And that my friends, is the story of Blackey (A.K.A. Ben's Daddy).

Our New Summer Home

Caroline and Laura's Summer Home

Well, we decided over the weekend to buy ourselves a tent to do some camping this summer. We are SO excited. I used to go camping all the time as a child when I was at summer camp and loved it. We already made reservations for Memorial Day Weekend to go camping. We will be camping Friday-Monday that weekend. Let's just hope it doesn't rain.

Actually what made me start thinking about going camping again was reading about Kim and Courtney (blogger friends) who go camping. Reading their post about the last time they went camping in March made me start thinking about all the fun I have had camping. We are going to go out not this weekend, but the weekend afterwards to go camping at a campsite about 10 minutes from our house. It's kind of our "trial" run. Our goal is to have the dog go with us camping. I think she would love it. We decided Memorial Day Weeekend is not the best weekend to take her out camping for the first time. We may take her out on our "trial" run.

In all the turmoil tha was going on with the remodel as well as Ben, I have forgotten to mention that May is my Birthday Month. Since I have just recently started celebrating b-days I decided I get the whole month. My b-day is May 29, which is actually the Monday of Memorial Day weekend. Since May 1, I have had a May bag and everyday that I come home I find it filled with little "goodies". Laura really knows how to make me feel special.

May is also our anniversay. Our first date was May 28th, 2004. Ever since that date we have been together. Looks like this year we will be celebrating our anniversary out in the wild. How fun will that be?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Pet Pictures

Here's a picture of Ben one day after he came home. He has always loved sitting on the back of the couch looking outside. It's good to know some things haven't changed.
Here is a picture of Sophie that Laura took. I hadn't gotten home from work yet. Laura said she was taking a picture to prove that she is not mean to the dog and that they get along really well. You will see in Sophie's eyes that she is feeling a little neglected. Ever since Ben came home he has been the center of attention. Don't worry, I will make it up to Sophie. She'll get a special treat from Wal-Mart this weekend.
Here is Sophie-cat on her way this morning to have a bath. As you can tell she is not happy at all. We have to put down a trash bag and then a towel because she loves to wait until we are one block from the vet and then let her bladder go. I usually take her during the week and Laura picks her up. This time I got smart. I made the appointment for Saturday. I am tired of going to work the day I drop her off smelling like piss.
Another picture of Laura and Sophie. Sophie dog adores Laura and likewise.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Middle Of The Night Call

One of the duties that is included in my job is taking crisis calls. On the weekends and after hours if our clients are in a crisis then they can call our answering service and one of the counselors will call them back. There are 5 people at my office on this list. I happen to be #2 in line. So, if they are unable to get a hold of person #1 (who happens to be my bos), then they call me. My boss is usually really good about taking most of the calls. But every once in a while I will get a call. Last night at 3am was one of those calls.

Now, at 3am, I am not with it at all. When the phone rang it startled both of us. Our phone in the bedroom is at the other end. So, answering it meant I had to get out of bed and find my way to the phone without stepping on any cats or the dog. When I got to the phone I tried to read the caller ID, but for some reason it was not working. I answered the phone. I realize it's the answering service. They say they have a call from someone that needs to talk with a counselor right away. As usual, I have to find a pen and something to write with. Apparently I was complelty out of it because as I was writing down the information I told the answering service that I was printing what she was telling me. That is what Laura told me. I don't remember that.

After writing down the information I go downstairs so I will not disturb Laura anymore then I already have. As I am walking out of the bedroom she says, "why do they always wait until the middle of the night to call. they knew they were addicts at 7pm". I laugh at her as I walk downstairs. Once downstairs I light up a cigarette, turn on the tv to MTV and call the person back. Here is my conversation with this individual at 3am.

(Conversation has been removed)

I go back up to bed and turn off the ringer in the bedroom. It is amazing what some people say in the middle of the night. I have had people ask me if I believe in Jesus. It is just crazy. Calls in the middle of the night from people high on every imaginable substance is just one of the many benefits of being a substance abuse counselor.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Just One More Day To TGIF

I am tired!! One week of not sleeping well and then adding emotional stress equals one very tired girl. When the alarm went off today I prayed that it was Saturday. Once I came to it, I realized that it was only Thursday AND I had to go to a conference today.

The conference was completly boring and a waste of my time. Thank God I had one of my co-workers there with me. The conference was on diversity. My boss called me last night at 7pm to inform me that the other reason my co-worker and I were sent to this conference was so we could learn all about diversity and take back what we have learned and "train" all the other staff on it. WTF? Thanks for waiting til the last minute to tell me. co-worker and I did not learn anything new and found it very boring. Sitting in a room with 60 other social workers I realized that some of these people really need to get a life. How can you be that excited at 9am about diversity. It was a struggle just keeping my eyes open. The one good thing: the conference got out at 3pm, so we got to go home 2 hours early. Which mean, I got to watch Judge Judy. YEA.

Ben continues to adjust to life back in the house. He is going to the door more often when I let the dog out. He is acting like he wants to go outside with the dog. Hopefully this phase will not last too long. He slept with us most of the night. It was so confronting to have him between us. Just putting my hand on him and feeling him breathe was so nice. He did venture into the bathroom this morning. He has been avoiding it since he returned.

Tomorrow is Friday and I couldn't be happier. We are scheduled for a date night. Since I was pretty much worthless for a week, I have some making up to do for Laura. It was as if I checked myself out of this relationship for a week. Thank goodness Laura was understanding and loving throughout all of it.

I think I need a nap before bedtime. As long as I can stay up for Survivor then I will be ok. After that, I can not guarantee anything.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Well, it has been quite an adjustment for Mr. Ben. As I noted last night, it is sooo good to have him home. My heart literally jumped out of my chest when he came running to me. I kept telling myself that he was not my child, but the feeling I got when he came running to MY voice was as if he was my lost child. I got a small glimpse of how it is when you actually have a child. I loved what Laura told her parents, "He knew his Mama's voice." Once we got him home he went and hid behind the couch. This is where he typically hides when someone he doesn't know comes in house. (which means, if anyone besides me and Laura come in the door he goes and hides) He was back there for about fifteen minutes. He continued to respond to my voice, which was good. He then came out from behind the couch and went straight downstairs to the food bowl. After getting some food he stopped by the water bowl for a few minutes. The poor guy, I know he was starving and thirsty. He then got on the back of the couch and peaked through the blinds. This is all very typical and normal behavior for Ben. After looking outside for a few minutes he came and laid in my lap. The poor guy could barely keep his eyes open. It was as if he hadn't slept the entire time he was outside.

I, on the other hand, had a horrible time trying to sleep. I was so happy and excited that he was home. My mind was racing of all the times I had gone in the backyard and neglected to look under our neighbors deck. I figured since they had three dogs he would not go back there. I was wrong. Ben came and slept with us, but then it was as if he was nervous and he would jump down. I heard him meow more last night then I have his entire life. The other cats are sniffing him and making sure it's the same old Ben. He is ignorning them and just walks right past them, but allows them to sniff all they want. Ben is also very attached to the dog, more so then ever. This morning when I was getting ready for work he was in the guest room where the dog sleeps when we leave the house. I tried to get Ben to sleep on our bed, but he insisted on being in the room with Sophie. Those two have always had a unique relationship. It seems their bond is even tighter.

Ben did come home with a few hundred of his new friends: FLEAS. Because the dog is treated and none of the cats go outside we have never treated the cats for fleas. Well, Ben was stratching all over last night. I stopped by the vet over lunch and picked up some flea treatment for all the cats and the dog. I had stopped by the vet yesterday to see if they had any other advice for me in regards to finding Ben. When I walked in and told them about finding him they were almost as excited as I was. I love our vets office. My parents always took our dogs to this vet and when I moved out I continued to use them. It's nice going to a vet where they know you. One interesting note: When Ben was at the vet in Sept.2005 he weighed 8.7 pounds. I know he has lost at least a couple pounds. Poor thing. I guess this calls for extra treats for him.

One other thing: a few days before Ben disappeared I saw the video to Nick Lachey's new video "What's left of Me". Well, for some reason every time I saw that video after Ben disappeared I would just start bawling. Not a cry where a few tears come down, but I mean a full cry. Sobbing and all. Hearing the song on the radio would upset me as well. I know it's crazy, but that's just me. :) I am happy to say I can now hear that song and see the video with no crying involved. YEA.

Thank you all for all the support and encouraging words this past week. I don' t know if I could have gotten through the week without your uplifting comments. I have the best blogger friends!!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Paradise Found!!!!!!!

BEN IS HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Laura and I were out on the back deck because it was such a nice evening. She was reading me a story she has written and while she was reading it I heard a faint meow. I told her to stop. I called his name and there was another two meows. It was coming from our neigbors deck. I take off running. I get to their back yard and start calling his name. He is just meowing up a storm. Laura comes over with a flashlight and we see him. It was Ben. I was afraid how we were going to get him out from under the deck. It was all closed off except for a few places where he could get out. Laura starts talking to him and I am talking with my neighbor about how I can get under there to get him. He hears my voice and comes walking right out to me. My neighbor gets me a towel and I wrap him in it and carry him home.

Ben is in the house and very scared. But he is eating. He doesn't look like he has lost that much weight and looks pretty good considering he has been outside for one week.

I thanked God as I carried him home. He is safe, he is heathly. And I am so happy he is home. NOW...I can enjoy our new bathroom.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Word-Of-Mouth is Stil the BEST Advertising

We do believe the Fix-it-Guys are done with our bathroom. There are still a few things they did not do, but we believe it's best just to get them out of our house and for us to move on with our life. The Fix-it-Guys finished before noon today and while home on my lunch hour I realized the tub was still not working correctly. It was not holding water and they had not put up the mirrow above the vanity. I called and they were back here at 6:30pm tonight to fix what they had not fixed in the first place. We find it odd that their slogan is "fix it right the first time". I don't think so. It took at least 3-4 times for them to get it correct. And this was coming from their plumber who said he had 20 years experience. Huh..I wonder about that. This weekend we are going to prime and paint the walls and then in the next few weeks put up Wayne's Coding around the bottom part of the wall. We have called it beadboard all along, but were told it was called Wayne's Coding. Ok, whatever. So, here are som pictures of the finished product, as well as a picture of what we have done with their sign they left in our yard.
We LOVE, LOVE the tile. Doesn't it look sharp? Plus the vanity and sink are pretty classy looking. We now have a matching mirror that goes above the vanity.
Here is our new shower/tub. Like I mentioned, it's so white and clean. Taking down the shower doors really opened up the room. Plus, getting rid of the pink tub and tile makes it look so much modern. I do believe we have finally arrived into the 21st Century.
The first day they were here, The Fix-it-Guys put this sign in our yard. We kept it up throughout the whole process. Even though I hated looking at it as I drove into the drive-way. I decided this was the best way to let everyone that drives past our house that they should not hire The Fix-it-Guys. We will leave this sign up as long as possible. It's a little jab to them for the way they neglected our pets while here as well as caused us to have many sleepless nights. This sign was put up in respect for Ben. Plus, they will have a nice complaint coming via the Better Business Bureau.

Brokeback Mountain 2??

I don' t know about you, but I know I would pay to go see this movie. :) Hey, look..I do believe it's my humor starting to come back.

A New Week

I have never been so happy to see one week gone. Last week was probably one of the hardest of my entire life. It didn't help that 90% of the week it was rainy and cold. It was just depressing all around. But this morning I woke up and it was sunny and I am determined to have a better week.

Our bathroom is almost complete. They are there finishing it up today. They were suppose to have it finished on Friday, but weren't able to get it completly done. The new tub is wonderful and the surround around the tub is so white and clean. I love it. The tile on the floor is georgous. I love the feel of it under my feet. Friday when they left everything seemed ok then we flushed the toilet. There was water pouring out of the ceiling in the laundry room. Ane every time we flushed we would get water pouring out the ceiling. Ughhh. I call them and have to leave an answer. There was no answer on Friday. We ended up putting our recycle bin on the floor in the laundry room. Saturday they came over to see what the problem was. After cutting a hole in the sheetrock in the laundry room they realized what the problem was. They did scare us because they were talking about a hole in the pipe. I could just see our savings disappear. It was a horrible thought. Well, turns out the new toilet was cracked. After replacing it all seems fine now. Whew!! So, they are there for one last day to finish up the small things. I am looking forward to having a sink in the bathroom again. It's been a week since we've had a sink in there. It will be nice to be able to get back to our routine and not have to do our hair/makeup in front of the hall mirror.

I am slowly adjusting to life without Ben. I continue to go out front and sit and just look for any signs of him. But there have been none. It has been raining a lot lately, so I guess there is still hope that he might venture out now that it has cleared up and is sunny. I was telling Laura over the weekend that this is the first time that I have ever had a pet run away. Growing up when we lost a pet it was due to death. It's the hardeest thing just not knowing what has happended to him. The other cats seem to be walking around looking for him. They are laying in the spots where he would lay. I do miss Ben a lot. I still have those moments when it seems like it's all a dream.

My friends partner did pass away Friday night. Yesterday was the memorial service. It was very hard to attend. Their 10 year old daughter got up and gave the most heart breaking speach about her Mother.

So, this is a new week and I am ready to start fresh.