Words to Live By

Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007!

2007 has been a very challenging year, to say the least! Here are 10 things I have learned (and blogged about) this year: 10. How to deal with a Toxic Boss. 9. The damage that a microwave can inflict upon your sponge. 8. Taking Claritin D equates to some of the old days in high school. ;o) 7. Just how cold (and HOT) it can get on a motorcycle in the desert! 6. Finding out your hubby is in jail feels like being on candid camera (without the laughs)! 5. How to put together the many pieces of a very complicated secret-marriage puzzle. 4. Rogue waves in Virginia can cause serious injuries! 3. People will not steal your SlimFast from the company fridge if they are wrapped with creamed corn labels! 2. I look HOT in chaps! :o) 1. I am so blessed to have such a great husband, family and friends! Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2008 is more interesting, and maybe a bit less challenging! ;o)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Good Move, NFL!

I'm glad that everyone will be able to see my New England Patriots become the first NFL team to go 16-0 in the regular season! If you don't read the article, the best line is: "Last week, two prominent members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Goodell threatening to reconsider the league's antitrust exemption. " This is serious stuff! I have to say, I'm a bit surprised, but I probably shouldn't be. Anyway, I will be watching the game tomorrow night. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and a very healthy, happy new year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Birthday Shout-Out!!!!

To my oldest and bestest friend in the whole world! I love you, Donna, and I can't wait to see you in a few short weeks! I miss you so much.

You are truly the best friend I have ever had, and I think we've known each other for 24 years, now, is that right? God, we're OLD!!! LOL!

Hope you have a wonderful birthday! And don't hate me for posting the pics! I love you!!
(Sorry, the picture quality sucks...these are OLD pics!)

Smoking cigarettes on the hood of Chuck's car.
In my parents' cottage...flipping off the camera - again
You were such a Rock Star!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Special Birthday Shout-Out!

Happy birthday to the best man in the world!

My husband Daryl is 44 today. That means, if I wasn't happy with him, it would be time to trade him in for two 22-year-olds! ;o) Thankfully, I'm very happy with him...can't imagine life without him!

Babe, I hope you have a great day, and I know you're going to love your gifts!! ILY!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Birthday Shout-Out!

A very happy birthday to The Champ, whose very entertaining blog can be found here. Kim is the one who inspired me to start my blog! Kim, I hope your day is great and you get everything you want! Have a wonderful birthday!

Friday, December 21, 2007

My Total Irritation Today

There's nothing quite like being left in the lurch and then thrown under the bus! My mantra: I love my job! Merry Christmas. Bah Humbug!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

If They Can Get Along...Anyone Can!

Meet Rascal and Kitty. When they first met 3 years ago, Kitty sliced Rascal's nose wide open. It was an ugly scene. It was open warfare in our house for at least a month!

Tonight, I fed Kitty, but apparently Rascal's food was better, so they shared his food! They sleep together on Rascal's bed, and if one isn't feeling well the other is always trying to comfort the one that doesn't feel well.

If these two sworn enemies, my cat and my dog, can get along...I think we, as human adults can learn to get along.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Healthy Level of Sanity

Contributed by my BFF Donna in Mississippi. I can't wait to see you in 37 more days!! How to maintain a healthy level of sanity: 1. At lunch time, sit in your parked ar with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down. 2. Page yourself over the intercom at work. Don't disguise your voice! 3. End every sentence with, "In accordance with the prophecy." 3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that. 4. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addiction, switch to espresso. 5. In the memo field of all your checks, write "for marijuana" 6. Skip down the hall ratherthan walk and see how many looks you get. 7. Order a diet water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face. 8. Specify that your drive-thru order is "to go". 9. Sing along at the opera. 10. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you have a headache. 11. When the money comes out of the ATM, screm, "I won! I won!" 12. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling "Run for your lives! They're loose!" 13. Tell your children over dinner, "Due to the state of the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go." I think the last one is my personal favorite...though the diet water one is great, too.

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Little Christmas Tree

Today Vicki's school 'theme' was dress like a Christmas tree. She wore brown pants (for the stump) a green shirt (the only one she had) and we put garland (beads) and ornaments and a stocking on her. We topped her off with a Santa hat and a candy cane in her stocking!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hubby's Christmas Party - Updated with Pics

So, D's company's party is tomorrow night. We're going to dinner at The Fox and the Hound, and then to a bar. So, Daryl said that he wanted to take the bike. I told him, we'll see how cold it is on Saturday.

Well, tonight, we went out to dinner at Top Shelf (great Mexican food!) and on the way home, I noticed it was freaking cold out! When we got home, I turned on the heat and threw a blanket over me. D said, "So are we taking the bike tomorrow night?" I could not believe he had to ask me. I was freezing just sitting in the house! I told him this, and he says, "Why don't you try on my chaps to see if they fit you."

So he brings them in from somewhere (I didn't pay attention to where he went) and drops them in my lap...they were freeeeeeezzzzzing! Hello? So then I tell him that they will probably be too short (yes, D is about an inch shorter than me). He tells me they might be ok, and to just try them. He got pretty insistent, so I agreed.

Now, please understand that I have never owned a pair of chaps in my life, so it took me a few moments to figure out how the hell to get them on. So, I struggle with getting them on the right way. I'm thinking, these are really heavy. I don't remember his chaps being this heavy. So I get them on properly and buckle them up. Then I realize that the length is perfect. I look at D, and he's smiling and shaking his head. That's when it finally dawned on me that these were my chaps! I was concentrating so hard on getting them on, I didn't even realize they weren't his! They are very nice insulated chaps, so now I won't freeze tomorrow night!

And while I did ask for chaps for Christmas this year, I didn't think I would get them until January, because they're pretty pricey. So I couldn't be more surprised, and thrilled! Thanks, Babe! ILY!

Note: I will update this post on Sunday with pictures!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Which Reindeer Are You?

You Are Blitzen
Always in good spirits, you're the reindeer who loves to party down with Santa. Why You're Naughty: You're always blitzed on Christmas Eve, while flying! Why You're Nice: You mix up a mean eggnog martini.
Sounds like me, doesn't it? ;o)
I took this from Ruth Ann, thank you!

Hot Rod Lincoln

I know it's not exactly Jay-Z, Aerosmith, or Toby Keith, but as a child, this was one of my favorite songs. When it came on the radio, I used to sing it with my Dad...oh, the memories!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How Proud Am I?

Last night while drying Vicki's hair, Britney's new song came on the radio. Vicki asked me if I thought Britney deserved to have her kids. (These 9-year-olds really keep up with celebrities!) So I explained that she no longer has custody of her kids, and a little of the 'why' without going into a long explanation. Then, Vicki looked at me with a very serious expression on her face, and said, "Yeah, Mom, she made some really bad choices. I hope she's learning from her mistakes." OMG! Something I said got through??? YAY!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Why God Made Moms

I received this in an email the other day, and it totally cracked me up. So, I thought I would share it with all of you. WHY GOD MADE MOMS Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions: Why did God make mothers? 1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is. 2. Mostly to clean the house. 3. To help us out of there when we were getting born. How did God make mothers? 1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us. 2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring. 3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts. What ingredients are mothers made of? 1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean. 2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think. Why did God give you your mother and not some other Mom? 1. We're related. 2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me. What kind of little girl was your Mom? 1. My Mom has always been my Mom and none of that other stuff. 2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy. 3. They say she used to be nice. What did Mom need to know about dad before she married him? 1. His last name. 2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer? 3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores? Why did your Mom marry your dad? 1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot. 2. She got too old to do anything else with him. 3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on. Who's the boss at your house? 1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball. 2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed. 3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad. What's the difference between moms & dads? 1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work. 2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them. 3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's. 4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine. What does your Mom do in her spare time? 1. Mothers don't do spare time. 2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long. What would it take to make your Mom perfect? 1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery. 2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue. If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be? 1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that. 2. I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me. 3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head. I think my favorite answer is "God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean." My mother said, "You wouldn't be a good mother without one dab of mean." She's a great mom!!!! :o)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Biker or Bank Robber?

Yesterday, we bought Big D some new insulated leather gloves and a zippered face-mask for his trek into work each day at 4:30 a.m. Since he rides his motorcycle 365 days a year, he needed new gear, desperately. So I had him put it on for a picture (for the blog, naturally), and noticed that his gloves have little zippered pockets.

Upon further inspection of said pockets, I found these nylon quasi-mittens! I'm pretty sure they're to go over the gloves in case of rain, but I think that would make it too slippery to operate a motorcycle with those nylon mittens on!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Dear Me...

No, seriously. I have been tagged by Simply Curious Girl to write a letter to my 13-year-old self. Normally, I wouldn't dream of doing something like this, but after I read hers, I have been thinking about the advice I would give myself (and how my 13-year-old self wouldn't take it!). So here's my letter. Dear Ann: This letter is from you, yes you, in the distant future. I'm a much older and wiser you, so listen up! I know you think you've had it pretty tough these last few years, but you wouldn't know a struggle if it hit you over the head! TRUST ME! There will be times when you think you can't go on, but you will. Let me go into some specifics for you: when you're 16, you'll start dating a guy you just recently met through Chris. His name is Bob (yeah, you know who I'm talking about) and he's got a fast car and he really likes you. He'll treat you like gold until you marry him. Then it all goes down hill quickly. But make sure you still marry him, because you'll learn a lot through those terrible experiences, and you'll be a stronger person when it's over. And you'll meet your true soulmate after it's all over. Your friend George introduces you to him. He's wonderful, and he's got 3 beautiful kids that will love you instantly! He is definitely the man of your dreams - no question about that. Make sure you spend a lot of time with Dad. He won't be around forever, and you'll cherish those memories of him when he's gone. I know he can sometimes be a bit overbearing, but he loves you so much - you cannot even begin to understand it! Forget Colleen and Nancy - they are true bitches and you will have no contact with them after junior year anyway. Kathy is the only friend from high school that you will keep in touch with in your later years. And when there's a 'Barn Party' at Christine's house - make sure you go and have a great time - but don't leave your purse near the stairs, because someone pukes all over it towards the end of the night - and it will be a total loss! I know you're reading this and thinking, "This is crazy - why should I take this seriously? This can't be real." I'm here to tell you it's real. I know that Dad had to shoot Candy because it was a holiday weekend and the vet wouldn't be open until Tuesday when she got hit by a car on a Saturday. (Now they have 24 hour emergency animal hospitals.) My final words of advice to you (and I strongly suggest you take these words to heart!): Things are not always as they seem, and times are not as tough as you think they are. Don't ever pass up a chance to live life on your terms. You'll be a lot happier that way. It is, after all, YOUR life! And don't ever forget to work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like nobody's watching. Love, Me/You

More Laughs

I just got off the phone with my sister Christine in Massachusetts. We had the following conversation: Chris: We were just talking about you last night. Me: This can't be good. Chris: Do you remember playing the violin when you were little? Me: Yeah, I was in the 4th grade. Chris: I can remember you practicing, and telling Dad to make you stop! Me: (Laughing) No, I don't remember that, but maybe that's why I quit! Chris: Nobody remembers that! I'm the only one! I remember Dad saying, "That's enough, Ann." We had a really good laugh. I can just hear my Dad saying, "That's enough, Ann." She said I used to practice very close to the TV. I told her it was probably because my Mom made me take the violin lessons - I did not choose to take them. If I was annoyed, everyone was going to be annoyed! Thanks for the laugh, Chris!

Are We Getting Old?

I can remember my parents sitting in the den after dinner at night, laughing so hard they were almost crying. Not every night, mind you, but on certain nights. I remember asking what was so funny, and they were laughing so hard they couldn't respond to me. I just thought they were old, and maybe didn't know what they were laughing at. Fast forward to a few nights ago, Daryl and I were in the family room after dinner, and there was a hysterical commercial on TV. I cracked up...I was almost in tears. Daryl was laughing very hard, too. Vicki came into the family room and asked what was so funny. I couldn't speak. Daryl, however, pointed to the dog and mumbled something. At this point, I realized that we were not even laughing at the same thing, and I started laughing even harder. You know, the kind of laugh where you can't even breathe? Yeah, I looked and sounded like an idiot. Daryl started laughing harder, too, but he still thought we were both laughing at the dog, which made me laugh even harder! I guess when my laughter kicked into high gear, he thought that maybe I wasn't laughing at the dog. He finally pulled himself together enough to ask, "What are you laughing at?" I still couldn't speak, so I pointed to the TV. This is when he realized that he was the only one laughing at the dog. Now he's laughing as hard as I am. If Vicki was a little older, she would have called the funny bus for us...we really did look and sound like we were ready for the straight-jackets and rubber-padded rooms. When I'm finally able to breathe, I tell Daryl that I was laughing at the TV commercial. He tells me that he was laughing at the dog. We both start laughing again, but nothing like before. Side note: I don't remember what TV commercial it was that made me laugh so hard. I wish I could! That was when it occurred to me that Vicki must have thought we were old, and maybe we didn't know what we were laughing at. Well, I guess she was right - we each didn't know what the other was laughing at. Does that mean we're old? Don't answer that!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Pindow On My Window?

One morning last week while warming up the car to take Vicki to school, we noticed an unusual pattern in the condensation on the window. It looked funny to us, and Vicki said it looked like something from Dr. Seuss, and asked me to take a picture of it. Later that day, we looked online, and we found that it looked most like Yertle the Turtle.

While researching Dr. Seuss online, memories flooded back to me. Do you remember these characters?
  • Horton the Elephant
  • Gertrude McFuzz
  • The Lorax
  • The Grinch & his dog Max
  • Things One and Two
  • Thidwick the Moose

I used to have all the Dr. Seuss books as a child. Vicki had many, but they're long gone now. We used to spend hours reading those books. I think I'm going to buy them for my grandchildren, now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Queens of Jenga

Last weekend, Vicki and I decided to break out the Jenga game. I used to be the Queen of Jenga, but that was a long time ago! Vicki has proven herself to be the up and coming Queen of Jenga. I took this picture because I just KNEW it was going to fall over on the next turn...and it did!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A New Family Tradition?

This elf yourself thing is really catching on! This is my son Rex, his wife Deja and their friend Jason. Rexxy, I love your picture...you look so HAPPY! ;o) So here's the link. Jennann, sorry, but it's still brought to you by OfficeMax!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Big Daddy's Shirt

How great is this? I actually found a shirt with hubby's nickname on it! I love 50% off days at Goodwill!!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

He Is The Decider

I thought this was on youtube, but couldn't find it. For those of you that like W, this is probably not for you, unless you have a sense of humor. For the rest of you, click here and enjoy!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Daryl's Court Date

A lot of you commented on my post, 'Thank You' back on September 14th. Some of you knew what was going on, and a lot of you didn't, and you still lent me your support through your comments - thank you so much for that. I will blog about this tonight, because this week was the conclusion to our nightmare. In July of this year, D got a ticket from a DOT officer. (He's a truck driver.) He gave the ticket to his boss, as it was equipment violations, and not having the proper paperwork in the truck. His boss said, "I'll take care of it." And that, D thought, was the end of it. Not so much. On September 11th, some lady hit D's truck at a job site, so D called the police to report the accident, per company policy. The police said there would be no citation, as it wasn't D's fault. But - D had a warrant for his arrest for failure to appear in court. They arrested him. He called me, but I was in a meeting and didn't answer. He called his work, and the manager said, "We'll bail you out today." Unbeknownst to me! Well, about a 1/2 hour later, I have two messages on my phone from the receptionist at D's work. She didn't leave any details in the message. I have been married to two truck drivers, and the only reason they call the wife is if there's been an accident. I immediately went into panic-mode! When I called back, she tells me, "No, he's not in the hospital, he's in jail." I asked her if she had the right wife! D? In jail? WTF? So she tells me that in order to bail him out I need $780. Yeah, I'll just pull that right out of my ass! No prob! Now I didn't know what this was all about. I had NO details. D couldn't call me from jail, because we don't have a land line...only cell phones. So, the 1st 24 hours, I did a lot of brainstorming, etc., and did the dance around Vicki telling her Daddy was on an out-of-state run, and his truck broke down. I couldn't exactly tell her that her hero was in jail - jail is for bad guys! The next morning (Wednesday), I went to a bail bondsman and told him my sob story. I needed collateral equal to the bail amount. The only thing I had was my wedding & engagement rings. I took them off and started crying. It was an awful experience. So Jerry, the bondsman, went down to bail D out. He said D would call me when he was released - probably within 4 hours. That was at 10:30 a.m. 24 hours after his arrest. At 3:00, I called the automated number to see when D would be released, and found out they moved him to a different jail (Durango). I called Jerry, and he said, "Go visit him." So I did. What a catastrophe! I got there just as they were getting a bunch of inmates off the bus together. I saw D in his black & white jail stripes, with pink flip-flops, handcuffed to another prisoner (pink handcuffs, too). I'm so glad he didn't see me at that moment. So there I am, waiting to see him. My number will be called soon. A voice comes over the loudspeaker telling everyone that the jail is now on lockdown - go home - visiting hours are over. WTF? So, I go home for another sleepless night. Me & Rascal in the recliner again. The next morning, I called the automated number and it said he was released at 5:00 a.m. Um, ok...it's 7:00! Why hasn't he called? Oh, yeah, and they moved him to yet another jail (Lower Buckeye)! So I truck on down to that facility and very calmly ask where my hubby is. They told me that it could take 10-12 hours from that release time before he's actually released! Well, snapped. I started screaming like a crazy woman about 48 hours in jail for a f'ing failure to appear in court...and quite a few other choice words. All of a sudden, there was a hand on my shoulder, and I heard these words, "Ma'am, if you don't leave immediately, I'm going to take you into custody." Um, ok, I'll be going now. So I sat in the parking lot and cried. Then I went to work. D was released at 10:30 a.m. that day, exactly 48 hours after his arrest. What we didn't realize is that his company wouldn't back him up. And that there were criminal charges filed against him. So his court date was yesterday, and he pleaded to 1 of the lesser non-criminal charges, and all others were dropped, and the bond released. I got my wedding rings back today. The only time I was happier to see them was the very first time! It had been 83 days without them on, and one of those days was our anniversary. So again, thanks everyone for your support. I would especially like to thank Aaron, Veronnica, Ted, Julie, Mark, Ingrid and Kramer. I really couldn't have gone through this without your support!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Just Couldn't Resist!

It's a good thing I know my husband loves me, because I think he might be a little bit upset when he sees this! Click here to see us as elves! It takes a few minutes to load, but it's funny! Enjoy the laugh!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's Time To Award Great Blogs!

Some of you may have noticed that I recently added the Llamalicious Blogger Award to my sidebar. This was bestowed upon me by none other than one of my favorite bloggers, Simply Curious Girl.

Now it's my turn to pass the award on to blogs that I feel are deserving! I think these blogs are exciting and funny...and sometimes I learn new things when reading them! All I ask is that you pass this award onto others that you feel are deserving of it. And the winners are (drumroll, please):

Now, add your award to your sidebar and show it off with pride!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Belated Birthday Shout-Out To My Sister Gayle

My sister Gayle, a.k.a. The Mayan Princess, had a birthday on Thanksgiving Day. Her nickname, The Mayan Princess, comes from our trip to Mexico last November. Gayle, you will be forever known as The Mayan Princess to me!

Gayle, I am truly blessed to have you as a sister. You are older and wiser, and offer great advice. You have the best sense of humor out of the three of us and I miss having you nearby. I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

And now, my favorite quote that makes me think of you: I smile because you are my sister. I laugh because there's nothing you can do about it!

Love ya!

The Christmas Season Has Begun

It wouldn't be official without the Nelson family annual trip to the opening night of Glendale Glitters. This is the city of Glendale's annual holiday festival. It's a lot of fun, and we have made it a tradition to go on the first night. Here are some pics from the event:

The petting zoo was great. The look on Vicki's face is because the donkeys were making funny noises!

This little piggy was hiding under the sheep. They had about 10 little piggies in the pen, and they were all very afraid!

Vicki took the camera and got this pic of the little piggy underneath the sheep! She's a better photographer than I am!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My Old Man

Yes, I can really call him that, now! Not only will he be a grandfather in a few short months, but he now rides with a windshield!

Now, I give him crap about riding with a windshield, but Vicki is the queen of giving him crap! She called him a wimp as soon as she saw it!

Confuscious say: He who rides with windshield is old!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This Is What I Get For Complaining

Some of you may know that I'm going to be obtaining my motorcycle endorsement on my license. I'm not there yet, but soon, hopefully.
In the meantime, Big D is building me a motorcycle. It's a 1984 Harley Davidson Ironhead 1000cc Sportster. I really like the bike, and I'm helping him design it.
A few weeks ago, we took the motorcycle for a 400-mile round trip to Parker, AZ. I believe I blogged about the immense pains I had from the seat on the back of his bike. Well, Big D decided that since I complained, I was getting a 'special' seat on my Sportster. Here are the pics.

It's actually a sissy-bar (back-rest) duct-taped to the frame! Very funny, Big D! I think I'll pick out my own seat for this bike! Thanks, anyway!

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish all of my friends on blogger a very happy Thanksgiving. May all your turkeys come out moist! This is the first Thanksgiving in three years that I'm not dreading the holiday. Three years ago on Thanksgiving 2004 was the last time I saw my Dad before he passed away. We knew he was dying, so I spent a lot of quality time with him. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with the whole fam damily! We went for a ride in his truck to Dunkin' Donuts (his favorite coffee, too). We sat and talked. We sat in silence. I cried, a lot. When I left for the airport to come back home, saying goodbye to Dad was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my adult life. I knew it would be the last time I hugged him and it broke my heart. After he passed away in January 2005, I thought I would be ok by the holidays. I wasn't. The following June (2006), I started taking anti-axiety medications. I am happy to say that this is the first holiday that I have been "off the meds" and I am feeling good. I am able to have happy memories without crying for the first time in a very long time. This year, the holidays will be great again. So, again, I hope all of you have a very happy Thanksgiving, because I truly will this year.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Just Don't Get It

Last week 1st quarter report cards were sent home. Now, Vicki is a good student; a little chatty, but good. She gets A's and B's, and is actually disappointed when she gets a C. I always tell her that I want her to try her best, and if she does that, I'm happy. So, attached to her report card is something called "The President's Challenge Physical Fitness Program" results sheet. Let me back up a bit. We are not the most physically fit family in the world. But Vicki and I walk, and now jog 3 times a week, we try to eat healthy, etc. She's a little chubby, but my sisters and I went through that stage at her age, too. So this results sheet, for a 'Challenge' that I have NEVER heard of, shows her birth date, height, weight, etc. Then it has all these ratings for things like Curl-ups, V-Sit Reach (whatever the hell that is), One-Mile Run, etc. She did ok, except for the running part. We are not runners. We can barely jog. The only runner in the family is Eric...he was a track star in high school, but he has the body of a runner, too. So, the bottom part of the 'results' sheet has comments in the following categories: Agility, Endurance, Upper Body Strength. It suggests that she should do the following:
  • Sit-ups or stomach crunches 10 minutes/day, 5 days/week
  • tennis, handball or basketball 3 times/week
  • jogging 20 minutes/day, 3 days/week
  • push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, or working with dumbbells 4 times/week

Now, even though I think that list is a little excessive for a 9-yr-old, I told her that we'll start working out a little more together. Let me remind you, she wants to do this...I am not forcing this on her.

Fast forward to yesterday at Vicki's school. D and I went to the Turkey Run at Vicki's request. It's where the kids run a mile and compete for prizes. 1st place wins a turkey, 2nd place and 3rd place each win a pumpkin pie. The girls run first. While they are running, we notice the coach is a little chunky herself. D said, "Is that the coach?" We surmised that it was, indeed, the coach. D said, "Why is she fat?" No lie, here...she was big. And it wasn't muscle...it was fat. One of her thighs equals two of mine. And she was petite, too, so she REALLY didn't wear it well at all. So now I'm thinking about Vicki's 'results' sheet, and how she's supposed to be doing all of this working out to get in shape. The issue here is, if your coach is fat and telling you to work out more, doesn't that make her a hypocrit??

As the girls' race came to an end, we noticed that the coach was talking to the 2nd and 3rd place winners, away from everyone else. D said, "She's probably trying to get their pumpkin pies!"

BTW...Vicki did not come in last, either. She had 7 or 8 girls come in behind her. She's not an overachiever when it comes to physical fitness, but she's my kid and I love her.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving Breakfast

Today, we had our annual Thanksgiving breakfast at work. The food is never a disappointment. Eggs were good, plenty of fruit, pancakes, sausage, etc. It was wonderful.

There is one thing, however, that really bugs me. Starbuck's coffee. Now I'm sure it's wonderful for all you Starbuck's lovers to get a free coffee in the morning, along with a free breakfast. But I gotta tell ya, I think Starbuck's coffee is simply mud in a cup, and the people at Starbucks are laughing at all of you for paying $5 for a cup of mud! Hello??

I tried a cup, thinking, well, it can't be that bad if I make it myself. So a little Splenda and some 1/2 & 1/2, and I went back to my desk. WRONG! It is that bad! I took a sip and immediately felt like the hair was starting to grow on my chest! WTF??!! I really don't understand how anyone can drink this crap!

I'll stick to my Dunkin' Donuts coffee from now on. I hope all you Starbuck's lovers enjoy your mud!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Our Friends Marty & Amy

Our first friends in Arizona were our next door neighbors, Marty & Amy. Even though we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies when we got here (yes, really), we ended up being the best of friends.

Marty & Amy relocated to Texas a while back because of Amy's job. We really miss them dearly, and hope to visit them sometime next year. Marty sent me this picture of them on their new bike in Texas. I love the pic. They look so happy. We miss you guys!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Pets

I'm posting pictures of my doggies in response to a comment from Teri. Here you go, Teri!

Spotsy is a 12+ year-old Dalmation-Border Collie mix. She has been with us for 2 years now, and she is a lover, not a fighter.

This is Rascal, aka: Little Boy, Little Buddy, Pasquale. He's a 7.5-year-old Daschund-Sharpei mix. I just call him my mini-Rottweiler!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hey, Mom, Are You OK?

Last night, Vicki and I walked the dogs to the park. The usual routine is that I walk two laps around the park with the dogs while Vicki plays on the playground. Well, I walked for a bit, and I'm not sure what got into me but I decided to jog. My doggies were very happy about this for one lap, and one lap only! When I got to the playground section of the park on my 1st lap, Vicki saw me jogging and yelled (as loud as she could), "Hey Mom! Is everything ok? Why are you running?" I had to stop for a moment because you can't laugh and jog at the same time! I told her I was fine, I was just jogging. One the second lap, Spotsy, my dalmation-border collie mix, kind of slowed down a bit, and looked at me as if to say, "Hey lady, one lap was good, but two? Not so much." So next time I will only run with my little Rascal. I guess Spotsy is just too old, now. I'm not sure how long this jogging will last, but I'm hoping I can take off a few more pounds before Christmas arrives!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Walk to D'Feet ALS

Hey, everyone. On January 19th, 2008, I am once again participating in the Walk to D'Feet ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). For those of you that are not familiar with this disease, I envy you. Here is a link to get some quick info on this debilitating and deadly disease. My father, George Studley lost his battle with ALS on January 18, 2005, just 3 short days after I completed that year's walk. He never saw the team shirts we got made up. He never saw the team shirt that our whole team signed for him. (It got there the day after he passed away.) He knew of my efforts in the walk, and appreciated them. My team name is Dad's Desert Angels, and Dad loved the name. I think my Mom and my sisters will agree, Dad was always larger than life to us. And to watch him waste away with this terrible disease just shattered us. I participate in this walk for many reasons, but the top two are: 1. It is my wish to help eradicate this disease so other families will not have to endure what we all went through. 2. I still feel a bit guilty for living nearly 3,000 miles away when Dad got sick. I'm thankful that I got to see him on Thanksgiving in 2004. Please follow this link to my personal walk page, and donate if you can. I appreciate any help I can receive in getting to my personal goal. Thank you.

Pass The Cheer

So, I'm a little late on this one, sorry! I'm highlighting some of my favorite posts from the HCBC and I'm also including some from my other favorite blogs, too. Kim - I love it when people act surprised that pregnancy sucks! Don't worry, Champ, it won't last forever! Queen B - Notes on cars are hysterical! You inspire me to leave more notes! RuthAnne - I cannot tell you how hard I laughed when I read this! Teri - This is so sweet! Jenn Ann - Will is very sweet - you're lucky to have each other! Jane - I'm still wondering who ate the pie! Shannon - Because it was for us, and it really hit home. V - I still cannot believe people think that looks like a butterfly on a golf ball! Big D - You are my one and only! ILY!

Monday, November 12, 2007

What A Difference

If anyone had any question as to whether D and I have lost weight over the past year, please see my friend Shannon's blog here. She took the time to post these awful pics of us, and then the good pics of us. I nearly choked on my Slimmy when I saw them! I think my comment reflects that! Feel free to leave a comment on Shannon's blog.

A Veterans Day Tribute

This is a shout-out to all veterans, young and old. I want to thank each and every one of you for your service. You have preserved our rights, all of them, and it is my promise not to take those rights for granted.

I would like to take a moment to honor some of my favorite veterans:

My father, George F. Studley

My uncles:
Harold Studley
Robert Studley
Russell Studley

My brother-in-law, Mark Nelson
My father-in-law, Leif Nelson

My father-in-law is a highly decorated WWII veteran, and is also the only one on my list that is still with us today.
Most of you know that I have 3 kids that are currently active duty military. They are:

Samantha Nelson, US Navy, Virginia
Eric Nelson (and his wife Toshia), US Air Force, Korea
Rex Nelson (and his wife Deja), US Navy, Japan

I would like to honor them, as well, as they are our future vets. We love you guys!

Happy Veterans Day!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Funny for Today

From the Northwest Florida Daily News comes this story of a Crestview couple who drove their car to Wal-Mart, only to have their carbreak down in the parking lot. The man told his wife to carry on with the shopping while he fixed the car in the lot. The wife returned later to see a small group of people near the car. On closer inspection, she saw a pair of male legs protruding from under the chassis. Although the man was in shorts, his lack of underpants turned his private parts into glaringly public ones. Unable to stand the embarrassment, she dutifully stepped forward, quickly put her hand UP his shorts, and tucked everything back into place. On regaining her feet, she looked across the hood and found herself staring at her husband who was standing idly by. The mechanic, however, had to have three stitches in his forehead.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Do You Like Jack-O?

I had the following conversation with Vicki tonight: Vicki: Mom, do you like Jack-O? Me: You mean Michael Jackson? Vicki: I don't know, he has long black hair, but isn't Michael Jackson black? Me: What are you talking about? (at this point, I go to see what she's looking at) Vicki: Look, they're calling him Jack-O. (pointing to the TV) Me: Yeah, that's Michael Jackson. Vicki: I thought he was black. Me: He used to be. I honestly never thought I would be explaining Michael Jackson to my daughter!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Something To Make You Smile

A woman in her fifties is at home, unclothed, happily jumping on her bed and squealing with delight. Her husband watches her for a while and asks, "Do you have any idea how ridiculous you look? What's the matter with you?" The woman continues to bounce on the bed and says, "I don't care what you think. I just came from having a mammogram, and the doctor says that not only am I healthy, but I have the breasts of an 18 year-old." The husband replies, "What did he say about your 55-year old ass?" "Your name never came up," she replied

Monday, November 5, 2007

Aaron Has Finally Lost It!

Last night, our friend Aaron came over to continue working on his project motorcycle. He seemed to be doing ok, until I saw him sitting on the frame and making "vroom vroom" noises. We're a little worried about him.

Introducing: Our Grandson!

Baby Jayden's scheduled arrival date is April 2nd!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Can You Believe This?

I swear this could only happen to me. I haven't received a summons for jury duty in 7 years! Is this some kind of joke? Are the courts even open the day after Thanksgiving?? Guess I'll find out!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

10 Wonderful Years Together

Today is my 10-year wedding anniversary. I bet you didn't know I was married to the best man in the world.

Daryl, I can still remember the night we met, when I called you a cowboy, and George told me I didn't "want any of that". Good thing he was only partially joking - as he was the best man at our wedding!

We have been through some of the most challenging times of our lives together, and we've had some of the most fulfilling times together, as well. Everyone I knew thought I was crazy to "marry the guy with 3 kids", but I knew what I wanted. Raising those kids wasn't all rosy, or peace and light - and I had a few reality checks along the way, but I wouldn't change those years for anything in the world. Everyone now knows: those are "my kids". and you don't mess with them - ever! And Vicki was a wonderful surprise when we thought I couldn't have any children; I can't imagine life without her.

You have taught me to love myself, and accept myself for who I am. I have learned that it's okay to do things a little differently than others do; okay to go off the beaten path. You give me the courage to do those things, day-in and day-out, and if I fail, you are always there to support me.

You are simply, the man of my dreams. You are the song my heart sings to, and I can't imagine my life without you in it. Here's to a decade of love, laughs and tears. Let's pull out all the stops and have many, many more!

I love you, Babe. Happy Anniversary!

Happy Halloween!

I was far too tired to post this last night. After 3 hours of trekking around our old neighborhood, all I wanted to do was sleep! Here's my little she-devil...she didn't really need a costume for that!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Quick - I Need A Pumpkin!

Tonight, at around 8:00 p.m., (as she's getting ready for bed) Vicki tells me that she needs a pumpkin for school tomorrow. What she really means is she needs a scary jack-o-lantern for a contest at school tomorrow. Well, the one she carved on Sunday is way to big and heavy to bring to school. So, I carved my small one.

I had no time to print a pattern, as I do not have a working printer at home, so I Googled the mask from the movie Scream, and did it freehand. I don't think it looks exactly like the mask, but it looks pretty good. Hope she wins something for it! I'm very sleepy now.

Sorry about the picture quality...the batteries in my camera are nearly dead!

A Sense of Humor About Blogging

My friend Kathleen sent me this today, among other non-pc demotivational pictures that I will not post here. But this one caught my eye, and had me laughing until I cried. It just struck me as hysterical.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Our Son Eric

Our son, Eric called us last night from Korea - where he's stationed in the USAF. It was great to hear from him, as we hadn't in a while.

Eric sounded a little down on the phone. I'm thinking that maybe he's a little homesick, missing his wife (who is also stationed in Korea, but at a different base), and just generally tired. He's in an unfamiliar country, and as I understand it, there's really not much to do off-base there. He's planning a trip to visit his brother and sister-in-law in Japan, but that won't be until February.

Since I know he reads my blog (even though he doesn't leave comments), I thought I would share some of my favorite memories of him, and remind him just how much we love him and how damned proud we are that he's our son.

Eric was a bit klutzy when he was growing up, so a lot of memories I have are of injuries. Like the time I told him, "Eric, I'm opening the freezer door, DO NOT walk this way for a minute." (we had to tell him things like that or he'd walk right into it.) Well, about two seconds after I said that, Eric walked into the freezer door like it wasn't even there! The handle got him on the nose, and I think he got a black eye from it. There was another time when he was playing in the woods with his brother and a bunch of neighborhood kids at night, and Eric was the one to run into the rusty 55-gallon drum that nobody knew was there. I believe he still has a scar on his stomach from that.

But my memories of Eric growing up are not all injury-related. I can remember going to car shows, the Worcester Nationals in Massachusetts, for example. We'd pack-up the kids and go for the day, and Eric loved T-buckets. He pointed out every single T-bucket in the show. For those of you who don't know what a T-bucket is, here's an example:

We would have to take a picture of every single T-bucket at the show, and the show was huge. It took us all day to see what we could and we never did see the whole thing.

Another of my favorite memories of Eric is when he called us on September 1st, 2005, and said, "We're going to get married, and we want you and Dad to be witnesses." He was 20 years old. I calmly explained to him that I thought he might be a bit young to get married, and why the rush, etc., etc. Then he calmly explained to me that he loved Toshia, and they were going to get married anyway, but if they didn't get married now, the Air Force could not guarantee that they would be stationed together again. He explained all this to me so calmly, and in such detail; I almost couldn't believe I was talking to Eric. Eric, who usually gets so excited, and maybe a little heated when having to explain himself. I knew he had his mind made up, and I could either go with the flow, or miss out on a wonderful event. Needless to say, I wouldn't have missed it for anything in the world.

It's funny that when Eric was a teen, his Dad would try to get him to work in the garage with him, and Eric was not having it. He hated working in the garage. Daryl would tell me, "It's like pulling teeth getting that kid into the garage." It's funny, because now Eric is a mechanic in the Air Force, and doing very well. This makes Daryl extremely proud.

Eric has grown into a proud young man, and he is loyal to his friends and family, sometimes to a fault. When he was stationed in Tucson, he came to stay with us in Phoenix, every chance he got. We went Salt River Tubing a few times, he took Vicki to California and Sea World. He took me food shopping at the base commissary in Glendale when money was tight. We were lucky that he was stationed so close to us. He spent holdiays with us, and we were able to visit him in Tucson, too. He is perhaps, one of the most compassionate and caring individuals I know.

We love you very much, Eric, and we're proud as hell of the way you've defeated your demons, and of the man you've become. Keep your chin up, you'll be visiting Rex and Deja in no time, and then it's on to England! We can't wait to visit you there.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Our Vacation

Vicki and I visited family and friends in Massachusetts. Remember my last blog regarding this trip? Here is the list of things I was going to do:

  • Have some clam chowda - we ate a lot of chowda!

  • Enjoy the cool weather - not so much! The avg temp during our visit: 75, but still cooler than Phx!

  • Can you say G & S Pizza??? - We almost missed out on this, but alas, we made it!

  • Visit with D's fam - Saw Dad, that was interesting. He didn't know who I was for the 1st 15 minutes I was there!

  • Visit Dad's grave - Not as sad this time.

  • Lunch with my Cyndi-girl - Ended up being coffee, but it was great to see her!

  • Breath in the cool sea air on Cape Cod - more satisfying than I remembered!

  • Take lots of blog-worthy pics - See below

  • Meet my new great nephew - Little baby Jason is a little doll!

  • Lunch with my favorite Brit, Bev - changed plans to dinner - what a great night!

  • Enjoy the company of my Mom and sisters - can't get enough; I wish they would come visit me!

  • Eat some great food, and probably gain 5 lbs! - Yeah, 3 lbs to be exact! SlimFast to the rescue!!

Oh, yeah...I had Dunkin Donuts coffee every flippin' day! It was wonderful!

So, we had a wonderful trip. Here are some pics to enjoy:

If you're ever in Buzzard's Bay, have the chowda at Lindsey's!

Friday night: closing the bar with Savina - again!

Vicki at G&S Pizza

My sweet baby Jason!

Dinner with my favorite Brit

Vicki on the rock in my sister's back yard

Going over the Bourne Bridge - Cape Cod, MA

I was trying to get a picture of the 'Cape Cod' shaped bushes, but figured it was still a good pic...do you know what a rotary is?

Somebody put windchimes in the tree near my Dad's grave...it's an Air Force eagle.

My crazy sisters trying on Halloween costumes!

Vicki and my sister Gayle in front of her house.

Vicki, Amanda and Stevie, my niece and nephew.

These are pics of the field across the street from my Mom's old house. I used to explore those woods for hours as a kid! I was standing on the sledding hill to take these pics.

I took Vicki to Frothingham Park (in my home town) to play one day. I forgot just how pretty that park is.

Hope you enjoyed my vacation pictorial! Next trip will be for our 10th anniversary, but we're still undecided on our plans.