Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I Believe in Spirit

So many emotions... I have no idea where to begin. I'm really not sure how to convey clearly the depth of what I felt today. I guess I'll just start writing and hopefully it will flow.

Within the past couple of years, I have lost three dear friends, all before what I felt was their "time." This experience is mainly about two of those friends.

Keith left some unanswered questions with his passing. As far as I knew he wasn't sick, and seemed to be "fine" whenever we spoke.

Tom had a heart attack in his car and passed before impact. He had had a quad-bipass a few years before, and would joke with me about how him and I had "cheated death."

Shawn passed two weeks after finding out that he had cancer. Barely enough time for good byes.

Now these guys didn't know eachother. In fact, their only common factors were me, and the Navy. But they touched me in one way or another and have left lasting impressions.

Now I am not deeply religious, but I do believe in a Higher Power and in Spirit. I know there is something big that guides me in directions when I feel lost. Something guided me to Jon when I needed him the most, and he needed me. We know that we could have met sooner, because we had several common friends over the years... but we never met until the moment was just right for both of us. Something bigger than us guided us in that direction.

I have always felt it.

So back to my friends. Every time I think of any one of the three of them, the other two automatically come to mind. Although they didn't know eachother in life, I can't  help but believe that they are upstairs, watching over their loved ones, guiding us... and enjoying a beer together once in a while.

Now all three of them had family and friends that they were closer to than they were to me, so I don't for a second flatter myself into thinking that any of them spend their time keeping an eye just on me... but I do believe they visit.

Today, especially.

I didn't realize two things when I woke up this morning. When I figured it out, I rode on an emotional roller coaster that I can't  describe. I choked up when I tried to tell Jon... and then I cried all the way to work, while talking to "My guys" and thanking one in particular for this gift that I'm about to tell you about.

So this morning, like most mornings, I had the tv on, snuggled up next to Jon, coffee in one hand, scrolling through Facebook.... I came across Tom's wife's post. She said she was visiting him today, a year later.

Had it been a year? It seems like we just lost him.

I look at my calendar, and sure enough.... it had been a whole year.

I paused to think about the grandson that he has never met. I thought about how his wife is coping with his loss. I reflected on what a kind, caring person he was. The type that would jump to help a friend, no matter the time or the reason.

He is truely missed.

And, of course, because I was thinking of Tom, my other two guys also came into my forethought.

As I wondered how Keith's little girl is doing, I typed his name in my Facebook to go to his page and leave a quick note.... when I got there and was thinking on what to say to express my feelings for the day, I saw a Happy Birthday post. My first thought was, "I wonder how old that post is." I look at the date and it was today!!

I had no idea that Tom had passed on Keith's birthday! And as I have said, they didn't know eachother... And most people would write it all off as a random coincidence. I think the dates are... but me finding out on the 1-year anniversary of Tom's passing was a gift from Tom. It was a reminder from Tom, not of his passing, but of another friend's birthday.

I would never have even known otherwise.

Maybe it sounds crazy, but I believe that Tom's spirit knows that I have had some difficulty putting my mind right about Keith's passing. Being the kind, warm hearted person that he is, I know in my heart that he guided Belinda to make that post, leading to the chain of events, causing me to find out about Keith's birthday.

Somehow, I feel like Tom is saying that I shouldn't continue carrying the burden of "How" with Keith, and just be thankful to have known him. It was subtle, but I know somehow that it was Tom wrapping his arms around me, giving me permission to stop grieving and to know that they are all in a better place.

Maybe I'm rambling at this point. Maybe I'm not making sense, or this sounds crazy to you. Maybe it sounds like I'm reaching for just anything. Whatever it may seem like to someone else isn't important, though.

What matters is that deep down in my heart, these guys are missed by me. I believe that they visit to check up on me every now and then. And I know that today, Tom showed me that he was checking on not just me, but also Keith... and he found a way to let me know that he is doing just fine.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fit By 40

As I begin to approach my 39th birthday, I have thought a lot about my physical self lately.
Because I am so out of shape, I have decided to give myself a birthday gift.
I have wanted to be fit and strong... and proud of my reflection... for as long as I can remember.
I have gotten on that track a few times by losing weight and hitting the gym, but eventually, life gets in my way, and I become derailed.

By 40, I want to be the person I have dreamed about!
I have one year to get this done.

Somehow, I need to be held accountable!
I need friends to call, text and Facebook me to ask about my progress!
If I am not progressing, I need to be reminded of how important this is!!
I don't need "Nice." I need a real, true friend. Honesty. Reality. Even if it hurts.

On days when I would rather sleep in, I need a push out of bed to run before it gets too hot outside.
In the evenings, I need to go to the gym, not drink beer in the hot tub!
I need to eat more fruits and vegetables as snacks, not chips and desserts!
I need to eat salads on the rare occasion that I do eat out, instead of reaching for the greasy burger and fries.
I need my loved ones to encourage healthier choices, instead of recommending that we "swing by for a Starbucks" on the way to go somewhere.

I realize that I am an adult, and I am fully capable of saying, "No," but sometimes it isn't easy.
Dangling things in front of my face makes it a whole lot harder.
I know I wouldn't go to Taco Bell on my own. In fact, I very rarely EVER eat out on my own!
But if the person I'm with suggests it, I'm quick to say, "sure!"

It is really hard for me!

As I have mentioned, I have allowed other things to get in my way.
The people that I live with (boyfriend and kids) and the people that I work with are the biggest distractors.
Now I need them to be my biggest cheerleaders!

From now on, if you aren't for me, you are against me.
If I am someone you genuinely care about, you will encourage me to be more fit and make better food choices.
I need positive reinforcement.
I need supportive people that know my health and longevity are more important than being able to stay up late, watching some television show.
More important than waving lemon cake under my nose or a late night ice cream run to Sonic.
More important than asking why I am having a salad instead of partaking in the Friday Night Potluck that is full of grease and cheese.

Where I am right now, is the most unhealthy I have ever been in my entire life.
Things need to change. If they don't, I may not be around for as long as my loved ones want me to me.
Being this way has made me feel depressed and uncomfortable with who I am.
My clothes are too tight.
Sitting with my legs crossed is painful because my thighs are too thick.
My shoulders and hips ache from the moment I wake up in the mornings.
I feel easily winded any time I do cardio.
My stomach even aches every time I eat!

Overall, I am unhappy and sick most of the time.
I don't want to be that person anymore!
So, my gift to myself for my 40th birthday is to be healthy, fit and happy!
And the only 40th gift I want from anyone else is a year's supply of love, encouragement, and understanding.
It's not too late, but if I keep putting it off, it will be.

UPDATE: A week later, I have lost 6.4 pounds so far! Yayy! :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

No. I'm Not Ok

Walking through work, people are so kind. They extend a heartfelt, "How are you doing?" Implying, how am I since I lost my dog.
My response... smile and say, "I am doing ok. Thank you for asking."
Inside my head, though, all I can do is scream,


But nobody wants to hear that...

I alternate between missing him and being angry that he left me. Then, I feel bad for being mad at him, because I know he never would leave me on purpose...

My emotions are out of control. I feel like I will never be happy again. I am ok one second, then angry the next, then crying after that! By the time I go through all of these emotions, people don't want to be anywhere near me.... and I can't blame them. I don't want to be near myself!!

I just want to be able to come to terms with this loss, and look at all the great memories I have that everyone keeps reminding me of. But I'm trapped.

I don't know how long it will take, and I wish people understood that... instead of just expecting me to be ok.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dogs and Stress

Let's get down to brass tacks here. Truth be told, I merely tolerate most people on my very best days. Somehow, my dog has always calmed me and helped me to be at least more patient, if not friendly.

Without him, I am a jerk.

Since he passed last week, I'm finding it harder and harder to deal with life's little tasks. I had no idea how much Dee Oh Jee really did reduce my stress levels.

I am a normally high stress/worrier anyways. I stress over money, my kids, what my boyfriend thinks of me, work, cleaning the house, why friends don't call, that weird mole on my back... You name it.

I am a Libra, which means I have the capacity to think something to death, then start over and think about it again. Once a negative thought pops into my head, no matter how warranted it may or may not be, I can't unthink it. Sometimes I think I'm crazy because I can't get thoughts out of my head. It's hard to let go.

Knowing this, I try really hard to just get past it and not say a word about it to anyone. No point in starting some crazy situation over some trick my brain is playing.

Since the loss of my pet, however, I have found the negative thoughts getting louder and more frequent. I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut and am hurting people that I care about over stupid tricks that my mind is playing. I can't seem to control it.

So, you may ask... why not just get another dog? Problem solved, right?

Because I don't want another dog. My last one was irreplaceable. He understood me. We had a long history. Cancer, my divorce, depression, moving over state lines, camping & hiking, car rides....

Any other animal would be just that. Something else. Can you just replace a friend with another person? Of course not. Same with dogs.

Somehow, I am going to have to learn to deal with life on my own. I need to figure out this whole tolerance thing without his help. I haven't got a plan for that yet. Meanwhile, I may need to duct tape my mouth shut in public, and lock me in the bathroom like a bad pet while at home.

The worst part... other than this blog, I have no one to talk to. To everyone else in the world, it was "just a dog," so they think I should be ok by now. People close to me just expect me to resume life as usual. My boyfriend is tired of hearing about it. He hasn't said as much, but you know how people act.

So here I am. In my hateful little bubble with a black cloud floating over my head. Alone. Without my best friend. Heartbroken and angry....

Thursday, August 14, 2014

RIP Dee Oh Jee

I had to put my beautiful dog to sleep the other night. He had cancer, and he was at the point where they couldn't save him.

I am heartbroken. I'm learning how nearly every aspect of my day at the house revolved around him. Getting out of bed to let him out in the mornings, I am careful of where I step, so I don't step on him.... and then realize he is no longer there.
Leaving for work, we close the bedroom door, move the blanket off the couch, make sure there is food and water for him, and open the door to let him outside.... all without even thinking about it.
I walk into the kitchen and glance down, expecting him to be there with his big brown eyes, floppy lopsided ears up, and an expectant look on his face.... but he isn't there.

I feel hollow, empty inside.

He was 12 years old, and was my best friend.
He listened intently and hung on my every word no matter what was happening in my life.
He let me hug him close when I had a bad day, never minding if my tears landed on his soft fur, letting me plant kisses right between his eyes.
He followed me around the house like a shadow, and nudged the bathroom door open to make sure the hair dryer never won our morning battle.
He snuggled when I didn't feel well, barked for treats when I was too slow, and played mediator when people got too noisy in the house.
He was a gentle soul who never hurt anyone. I've even seen him allow a toddler to pull on handfuls of his fur at the park, and he just looked at the child with love.
He loved hiking in the woods (peeing on everything he could get close to), and camping (because he always got food scraps).
He did not like being in water. The beach, baths, rain, or any other reason to get wet.... He just never understood the need for it!

He loved belly rubs, ear scratches, and always managed to give you a kiss for it.

He slept on a Dora the Explorer blanket, snuggled my flip flops, and sneaked onto the couch when we weren't at home.

And he loved the kids. I can't tell you how many times I have argued with the 2 year old about whose dog he really was.

Now we have to break this terrible news to the children. I don't even know where to begin...

My favorite story is how people would ask what kind of dog he was. I would look them in the eye and say, "a Miniature Retriever."
Of course, there is no such thing... but people are funny. Either you hear someone honestly confess that they had never heard of one, or suddenly they have some distant friend or relative that also has one....

But really... he was Mine. He came from Spain, and managed to push his way into my heart when I didn't want a dog, and didn't think I needed one. Turns out, I needed him more that I thought...

Someday, my heart will stop hurting, but I will always love him for what he brought into my life.... compassion, patience, and love....

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


This is something a friend sent me today... Skim over the article, and you can immediately see what it is about. My response to my friend follows after....

Here is an interesting response to Al Sharptons DEMANDING the identity of the police officer that shot the teenager. I found this on Yahoo! news and felt it too interesting to not share.

If there are 5 blacks per 100 people, everyone applauds how integrated the community is.

At 5-10% black there is an occasional spike in loudness, but it's usually isolated and brief. People are usually too embarrassed to say anything, and it temporarily abates.

At 10-20% black, these problems rise dramatically. People occasionally hear loud hip-hop music from a passing vehicle, usually later & later at night, as an outgoing signal of rising 'blackness' in the community.
Pasadena, California — Black 10.7% (figures are 2011)
Manhattan, New York — Black 12.9%

At 20-30% black, the loudness & behavior is so disruptive that well-meaning families begin to stop going to certain public areas. Black-on-black fights occur to establish dominance, and fights between black females occur in parking lots, usually over a black male.
Boston, Massachusetts — Black 24.4%
Tampa, Florida — Black 26.2%

At 30-40% minor public incidents give way to more serious crimes, and somewhere in the community the first felonies occur at the hands of blacks, targeting the elderly or defenseless.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida — Black 30.9%
Compton, Los Angeles — Black 32.9%
Willowbrook, Los Angeles — Black 34.4%

40-60% sees an atmosphere that is so loud, fast, & unpredictable that it interferes with peaceful activity. At this stage people's gut sense of "safety" in the community is eroding. Anticipating the unexpected starts to factor into simple decisions like going to the store or getting into one's car.
Inglewood, Los Angeles — Black 43.9%
Philadelphia — Black 44%
South Chicago — Black 50.2%
Carol City, Florida — Black 52.1%

60-75% black: expect covert drug use, and concealed guns. Good families are moving away. At this stage hip-hop emanating from cars is now an advertisement for illegal drug sales.
Opa-locka, Florida - Black 69.6% (In 2004 Opa-locka had the highest rate of violent crime for any city in the United States.)
Ladera Heights, California — Black 73.7%
Overtown, Miami — Black 74.7%

Now, at 75-85% black, walking down the street is now a risk. Find hair-trigger, unprovoked violence, usually targeted against those of non-black race. Calls to 9-1-1 demonstrate slower & slower response times. Local businesses deteriorate, as does the general condition of the neighborhood. The last of the liberal, die-hard families vacate the community whose memories they have cherished for decades.
East Garfield Park, Chicago — Black 75.5%
Brightmoor, Detroit — Black 82.7%
Gary, Indiana — Black 84%
Metcalfe Park, Milwaukee — Black 84.1%
Shaw, Washington D.C. — Black 84.8%

At 85-95% black, the public institutions in the area (schools, libraries, etc.) slowly wither from lack of use. Consumer places (food stores, day-care centers, etc.) show graffiti & territorial gang signs, and gang membership now outweighs the number of non-gang people. Drug sales & prostitution are open and obvious. A gunshot is heard every week. All businesses which are still in operation (liquor stores, stereo wholesalers, etc.) have bars on their windows.
Highland park, Detroit — Black 93.5%
Liberty City, Florida — Black 94.6%

At 95-100% black, there is debris everywhere. A large number of dwellings are ruined or burned-out. At this stage, the economy of the community is nearing total collapse, and good jobs are scarce. Emergency services infrequently patrol for fear of risking officers' lives.
Bronzeville, Milwaukee — Black 96.2%
Washington Heights, Chicago — Black 97.2%
Franklin Park, Florida — Black 97.6%
Englewood, Chicago — Black 100%
The name of the neighborhood is now synonymous with violence & gangs. At this stage the spread of this condition bears characteristics similar to the unchecked spread of a virus, and adjacent communities begin to show signs of following suit.

My response:

Wow. This is possibly the most racist article I have ever read. I have nothing against people of other races, however, I do have something against people writing and publishing articles like this, trying to just feed into the whole race war situation. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. I don't need a bunch of "statistics" telling be how black people ruined their neighborhood. It's all a bunch of bullshit numbers crunched into an article trying to persuade it's readers to their side.

You have heard the saying... "75% of all statistics are made up (including this one)."

Just because someone put this on the Internet, doesn't make it true or accurate. Where are all of these supposedly accurate statistics even coming from? What is the source?

I work with a high number of black people, and various other races, and never have I felt unsafe, even at night, walking to my car in the parking lot. There are bad people all over.

What about largely hispanic neighborhoods?
Or trailer parks full of rednecks?
What about white teenage rich boys that just like to cause suffering for the "lower classes?"

There is crime and danger in all of those areas. This study merely focuses and singles out one specific race.

I'm not saying they don't have problems in the black community. What I am saying is that the writer singled out only black,  instead of doing any type of across the board comparison.

These are just my opinions on the article. I'm not trying to be difficult. I just feel like, as long as articles like this are passed around, it is just feeding into the race agenda. If people weren't always making such a big deal about races, it would be less of a deal.

I dunno. Just my opinion.

Being a Mom is Complicated

You see people all the time, commending men when they take on any kind of out-of-the-norm parenting role. Single dad, raising step-kids, winning custody of their children in a divorce, etc. But when do the moms get some sort of credit? Why isn't that stuff just expected of dads, like it is moms?

Here's the thing. I adopted my step daughter when she was 3. I was 19 and took on someone else's child, still being just a child myself. I also have a biological daughter as well. I gave custody of them to my husband in our divorce. I did not fight for them, and only got to see them every other weekend. On the surface, that makes me look like a bad mom. I am uncaring... a terrible mother! But ask me about it. I gave up my kids because he had the house. He had the money and the means. He had his health. I gave them up for many of the same reasons that dads do it. I felt that it was the best thing for these two little people that I cared so much about!

When we split, I figured that the divorce would be hard enough on my kids without removing them from their home, their school, their friends. I didn't know where I was going to stay, and in fact, lived out of my vehicle for a couple of weeks! Was I supposed to bring my children into that? In addition, I was still undergoing chemo and radiation therapies for cancer. Who would care for my children when it took all I had to care for myself?

I have been called so many things: survivor, courageous, strong...  because I made it through cancer. But what should have killed me, was giving up my daughters! I cried myself to sleep every night for nearly a year. My chest hurt... I could feel actual pain... like someone was ripping out my heart with their bare hands. I worried about who was reading them bedtime stories, packing their lunches, making sure they brushed their teeth and got to bed on time... It was labor to even breathe without them most days! But I did it. They had everything that they needed. Things that I could never have provided for them. As much as it hurt, I know I did the right thing.

Now, 8 years later, both of my girls are thriving, intelligent, beautiful young ladies that I couldn't be more proud of! I pray that they can understand why I did what I did someday, and aren't too angry at me for the choices that I made.

They just need to know that they are loved.

Nobody Listens

Have you ever felt like nobody hears what you are saying?
I am sure that everyone has felt like this at some point or another in their lives.
But have you felt like this all the time? I always have, my whole life. I feel just ignored and kicked aside. Useless in others' eyes.
My parents did it to me while I was growing up; my ex husband did it for the whole decade-plus that we were together; my boyfriend, kids and co workers do it to me now. No matter what the situation, if I feel like I have an idea, or something to offer to the situation, I speak up.
Invariably, whomever I am talking to will immediately dismiss me, tell me how there is "no way" my idea would work, and then continue to struggle without giving it a try. And more times than not, the person will eventually try my idea (not even aware that I had thought of it), see that it worked, and make a huge deal about how they thought of it!!
Are you kidding me right now?
I don't know if my grasp of the English language is just that bad, that I don't get my point across...
Or people these days are just so busy thinking about what they will say next that they don't even hear my input and immediately shoot it down...
Or if there is just something about me that just voids any respectability that my ideas may hold.
By no means do I consider myself a genius, but I did score a 97 on the ASVAB (military entrance exam). Just to clue you in, in order to go to Nuke School, the average ASVAB score is only an 80+. So, I'm not dumb, either.
So why do people just dismiss me no matter what? It frustrates me when I am treated like that, and then I just stop wanting anything to do with the project. I become stubborn and refuse to help. Often times, I now just step back and let the person struggle. Why try to help someone that has shown time and again that my suggestions mean nothing to them?
I don't know why exactly I wrote this post. Just to vent my frustration, I guess, as much good as it will do me!
What is it about a person (my boyfriend, for instance) that people will listen to him, but not to me? If I do not have a valid idea, I am not going to waste my time telling you about what I think.
But... these days, I think I'm done telling people what I think anyways. What is the point? Besides, it's entertaining to watch them struggle....

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I Called My Dad Today

Everyone in my family that I had spoken to so far about my grandmother's illness has told me that my dad wasn't handling it very well. My grandma's decision so far, is to not do anything to fight the cancer. My cousin, my sister, and my grandma all said that my dad complained about her "giving up," and then just sort of retreated into himself.

When I talked to him today, he seemed fine. He understood her decision, and even said that it would probably be the same choice he would make for himself.

It was good for me to hear him say it. Considering the fact that that I had cancer, fought it, and beat it... I'm having a hard time coming to terms. Of course, I was 31 and she is 83, so logically, it makes sense. My brain understands her choice and knows it is smart. My heart is selfish and is begging her to do everything possible. It hurts.

I guess I just need people to keep telling me that it's the right choice. Maybe my heart will come around.

Sometimes, when you are really sad, you just need to make a phone call, only to hear a specific voice. It doesn't matter what you talk about. You just need that voice in your ear.... because it fills your soul... I made that call today, and I am so glad that I did! <3

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Grandmother

I received a phone call last night from my cousin in Pittsburgh. .. My grandmother has been diagnosed with lung cancer. That is all that I know so far. I talked to my sister this morning, but she didn't have much more info. No idea of what stage it is or any other news so far.

I'm scared... afraid.
Afraid of losing the woman that I have looked up to and admired my whole life.
Even as an adult, I thought of her as being invincible. 
This can't be happening.
My brain refuses to acknowledge it!
My heart is breaking!

More than anything, though... I'm angry.
Cancer is so unfair.
It doesn't care that it is ravishing the backbone of our family.
It doesn't care how it makes anyone feel or who it takes.
It is an ugly monster that has reared its stupid head in a place that it doesn't belong!
My hands are tied.
What can I do??
Nothing but give my love.
Give as much love as I possibly can.
So that is what I will do.
Just love her, like she has always loved me.
I always have loved her,
And always will...

"At times, my grandmother seems like a mystical creature born of a fairy tale,
All knowing and wise, she sees into our daily lives,
And sets us straight when we stray.
A beautiful laugh,
A magician with meals,
A pied piper of children,
A Horse Whisperer,
And a Jill of all trades.
She made us who we are today.
Whenever we’re lost
She’s the beacon of light that guides us all home, once more."

Friday, July 18, 2014

Common Sense? Not so Common

Riddle me this...
They were just showing a video on tv of 2 reporters getting blown away because they were reporting from a blizzard...
Now when there is a hurricane, blizzard, or any other bad weather going on, why do they feel the need to STAND IN IT?? They can't just show video out a window or something?
Haha... I wonder if they have higher insurance premiums....
Is there a special class that only meteorologists go to: 
High Winds 101...

Teachers and Coaches

It is so frustrating when teachers give kids group projects to do over a weekend without any advance warning, due on Monday.... or coaches drop Saturday games and schedule a practice last minute on Sunday.

This is the second weekend in a row that we have made plans for the kids and things like this have happened. They act like families have nothing better to do... or they don't have siblings to consider that also may have things going on.

 — feeling annoyed.

The Power of the Beard

So just about every day that we go through the gate to get on base, one of the (male) gate guards compliments Jonathan Lee about his beard.
Maybe it's just me, but hearing a straight guy compliment another straight guy on his looks, is weird.
But, being as it is... if he's that hot, and we're this broke, I've come to an obvious conclusion:
I'm pimping him out to anyone that will pay to touch his beard...
 — feeling determined.


I have to share this hilarious conversation that Jonathan & I had last night after everyone left... (he was kinda tipsy)...
Jon (in the bedroom, pointing towards the living room): It's crazy out there!
Me: it's just the dryer.
J: no, baby, it's crazy! Shit flying everywhere!
M: haha!! No, really, it's just the dryer. It's loud.
J: there are socks flying through the air! There is underwear too, but the socks are what ya gotta watch out for.
M: the socks are shifty?
J: yeah, they'll get ya!!
Hahaa! I love him. That Guy constantly makes me laugh!!
 — feeling awesome.


Me (at Sonic): I want the Asiago Chicken Sandwich.
Jon (to the order box): I need an Ozzy Osborn chicken sandwich.
Bwahahahaaa!! Bless him, he tried... and the guy knew what he meant!


Jon (at Steak n Shake): Holy crap! They have a Pepperoni Pizza Steakburger!
Me: Wow, it doesn't even look good. It's so bad for you!
Jon: It must be in my belly. Gimme one of your prilosecs.
Me: Ha! No way, you can't have a Prilosec so that you can intentionally eat all that!! Haha!
*Oh, and he also ordered a cookie dough milkshake.


Military Intelligence

Working on a military base, I'm a witness to "Military Intelligence" all the time. Today, I was a victim of it.
Since I didn't retire from the military, I don't have a retired ID. Instead, when I started working as a contractor, the military/base operations issued me a separate ID, called a CAC Card.
I have always used this card to get onto the base because it SHOWS that I belong there, unlike any other form of ID that I might have.
**That was the PURPOSE of giving me this ID.**
So, on the way to work today, Jon drove, and at the gate, he handed over his retired ID & I used my CAC card (as per usual). The gate guard then insisted that I needed a SECOND form of ID!! WTF??
I can't count how many times I have come to work without my wallet. It was a miracle that I happened to grab it today!
So, then it comes out that with Jon's retired ID, I can come on the base with my Driver's License, as his "guest." But I can't use the CAC card any longer without a second form of ID to accompany it...
Holy Hell... I want to shake the hand of the genius that came up with that one. Jackass...
 — feeling annoyed

Life is Very Good

Do you ever just feel overwhelmed by your own life? I mean in a good way....
I have had bottom-of-the-barrel low points in my life. If it CAN go wrong, it DID. No matter what I touched, no matter how hard I tried, things just didn't work out the way I had planned/hoped.
Things have turned around! All of the pain, fear, loneliness, loss, etc. have faded into the background. I appreciate them because they are part of who I am today, but more than anything, my experiences have made me thankful. I appreciate so much more... the little things.
My life is far from perfect. I'm still nowhere near where I want to be... but I can feel the progress! I finally have a PARTNER in my life. Someone that I trust and can talk about anything with. I can finally enjoy a holiday season without the burden of worry. I can see the Christmas lights and smile... not wonder how I will find a way to buy gifts for my children. I look forward to going to sleep and waking every day with my partner by my side.
I know that while things aren't where I want them to be YET, they are indeed headed in the right direction.
 — feeling loved 


A few years ago, I told my mom that I was "finally content" after my divorce. Unfortunately, I had content confused with happy!

In 2013, I learned that life isn't about just settling for things. If something is not making you happy, you are responsible for changing it! I did what I needed to and found the best thing ever! I am thrilled to wake up every day to see what will happen next.

I have a beautiful family, a great job, amazing friends.... I am the luckiest person on earth... and I know that 2014 will be even more awesome.

 Happy New Year to each of you. May your world be filled with happiness and goodness and love. And thank you for playing whatever part you play in my life. You are still here because you add to my happiness!!! 
 — feeling Amazeballs.

Appreciating My Family

*{This was a post from last Christmas, when I got out my decorations.}*

So I was completely bummed out today because what little Christmas stuff that I have hung on to after my many moves over the past several years (I held onto things with sentimental value) was mostly ruined when I got it out of my storage today. Somehow, water got into this plastic tote and anything that had material/fabric was covered in mold and had to be thrown away. Many of the ornaments that had paint were peeling, so they also ended up in the trash.


The more I thought about it, the better I felt. I have wonderful, NEW additions to my family... Ashleigh and Carley are happy and healthy, and we have a lot of memories. I don't have to hang on to every ornament they ever made me to prove that. So, maybe it is time to get new, fresh Christmas decorations to help create new memories. The more I processed all of this, the more I became happy about putting my tree up early (due to the schedule with the kids), and I think I'm even starting to get excited about this holiday season.... which is something that I haven't really felt in a long, long time.

I've said it before, but I will say it again:
Life is, indeed, very good.... 
 — feeling blessed and loved with Jonathan Lee.

Think Before You Speak

Funny thing about people finding out that someone they know is sick... possibly with cancer... it brings out the most sad, distressing stories.
*Honestly, it pisses me off.*
Why not be hopeful? Where are the prayers, positive thoughts? Instead, people talk about their "uncle's girlfriend's second cousin's ex-wife's grandfather" that died some horrific death in the matter of days of feeling their first symptom.
I know so many survivors, including myself. Why not talk about your surviving aunt, mom, grandfather, friend... whomever...?
The only thing all of this doom and gloom does is bring spirits down. I've mentioned before that I believe that bad energy breeds bad energy. My friend is sick. I don't want to hear your negative stories. He doesn't need your negativity in his life... even if he doesn't know you're saying it.
"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." ~Thumper
— feeling annoyed.

People Can Surprise You

I love how people can surprise you sometimes. 

I generally DO NOT discuss politics or religion. I have my opinions, you have yours. That is good enough for me.

But, I just had a nice chat with someone about higher powers, the energy of the universe, karma, and just how that when you look back on your life, you can see so many signals that "Something" has aligned things in your life. 

This energy (whatever it may be) has been putting you exactly where you are now... and you realize that even the devastating things like cancer, divorce, loss of a job, etc., almost seem to have a purpose in the bigger picture. Even if you don't believe in God, or the Bible, it really is hard to not believe that there is some sort of energy helping us along throughout our lives.

I could go into detail and use my own life as an example, but I really feel that everyone has their own experiences that they can relate to this. 

*Disclaimer... not trying to start a religious debate here. If you can't be kind, please don't post. Thanks!


First, I am most definitely on the National Do Not Call list! So why the eff are they calling me??? I know for a FACT that I did not sign up for more information!
Second, it pisses me off more than words that all of these credit card companies constantly call me (and everyone else) and fill up our mailboxes with their garbage. I receive at least one letter Every Single Day from this company!
Think of how much money they could save on postage... how many trees they could save... if they would just leave me alone!!
I despise that these stupid corporations go out of their way to make sure people spend their entire lives drowning in debt!! It's awful!!
*Citibank is the absolute worst! How in the hell do I get my info out of their computer system???
 — feeling annoyed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Flying Home From Pittsburgh

1. If your kid is old enough to talk to you, and even I can understand him (sorry, I don't speak baby very well), then he is old enough to understand you telling him to not kick the seat in front of him on an airplane.
*Oy vey...*

2. If a person is wearing headphones, reading a book AND intentionally avoiding eye contact, it means that they absolutely do not want to have an in-flight conversation with you. These are all international, multi-lingual clues!
*So please stop looking at me out of the corner of your eye, hoping to make eye contact. I don't want to talk to you, ya weirdo.*

(The next 2 are Jonathan 's add-ons.)

3. Always have assigned seats ahead of time. We only got to sit together for one of our flights. On the one we were separated on, I sat by "I wanna talk, why won't you take off your headphones?" Guy. And Jon sat next to some smelly guy.

4. Always have a 6+ hour layover in Chicago, so you can leave the airport and see some sights before the next flight (and he can track down all the food he misses).

(And the last one is from both of us.)

5. There should be a rule stating that you showered a maximum of 6 hours before your flight. I can't believe how many "ripe" people we encountered today!! Woah.
*A little consideration for the other people breathing the recycled air, please!!*

Soooo glad to be almost home. Anyone that travels knows, no matter how great the vacation is, you always look forward to your own bed!
 — feelingwonderful.

Just Say What You Need

Ok, here is a thought... (sorry in advance if I piss anyone off).
People that "fish" for compliments or attention drive me bananas. I am a blunt person (have you noticed??), so if I need something, I say so. I don't get the whole hinting around, trying to get someone to do or say something.
If you have a problem, then either say the problem, or don't put anything on facebook at all. This whole "...but I don't wanna talk about it..." thing really translates to "please pay attention to me and ask what is wrong with my life."

Oy vey.

The Cockroach

PHOBIAS!! What are yours?? This is mine...

So, last night, Jon and I were outside, and a stupid flying cockroach landed on my head!
Anyone that knows me, is aware that my phobia is cockroaches, especially the flying kind!
So, I lost my mind and did the crazy/flailing dance to get it off of me, and my hero stepped up and killed it.
Jon: it has been tried and the punishment carried out!
Me: it should have been publicly tortured to let his friends know how we will treat future attacks!

*Side note, I'm probably going to require years of therapy now. I had flying cockroaches sporadically landing on my head all throughout my dreams last night. Not cool!
 — feeling freaked out.

Private Messaging

**{This is actually a post that my boyfriend wrote, and then I re-posted it.}**

People, please get the message out about PRIVATE MESSAGES. ..
Friendly Public Service Announcement! There's this thing called "Facebook Messenger" and it comes ABSOLUTELY FREE with every Facebook account. Yes, that means each and every one of you have access to this WONDERFUL FEATURE! It's great for things like (but not limited to):
Asking personal questions
Making personal comments
Talking about stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand
Or just anything you don't want EVERYONE AND THEIR BROTHER TO READ!
Thanks for your time, and remember, this wonderful feature can save you and your loved ones from countless amounts of unnecessary embarrassment. 
 — feeling educational.

Cancer Leaves Scars That You Can't Always See

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. I don't think about it much on a daily basis anymore, because over time, the emotional trauma has somewhat faded. The scars are just part of me like the nose on my face.
But quite often, someone crosses my path that is dealing with this terrible disease in some way, either themselves, or someone they care about. 
A friend of a friend started chemo today. I have never met her, but I understand what she is going through. So many questions, fears, worries. I pray that her experience goes well.
Suddenly, so many of the emotions come flowing back. I can still feel the ups and downs... the frustrations, exhaustion, and the loneliness involved. I was surrounded by people, yet still so alone. I am grateful to my friend for being there for her friend. It will mean so much for the rest of her, hopefully very long, life.
I still, to this day, can't find the right words to accurately describe my experience, other than that it is, indeed
Saying prayers for my friend's friend.

**{This was a related post, several months later.}

I see so many of my friends and family struggling right now. I have seen the pain they are going through and I completely understand it. Some things feel like they really should just kill you!!
All I can offer is that I believe things do happen for a reason. My cancer diagnosis started a chain of events that brought a lot of pain and heartache. Things that I have no idea how I survived. Things that caused me to be angry and bitter in my heart for years!
Only to finally open my eyes one day and see. It was all to lead me to a place. To a person. To be a part of something bigger than just myself!
Now I have Jon, 2 more beautiful daughters in my life, and the little boy that I had always hoped for.
I look forward to seeing where the future will take us!
And I pray that those going through painful parts of their lives, will find peace and be able to see their purpose and bigger picture soon.
Sending love... You know who you are...

Tough Mudder!

**{I wrote this after running my 2nd Tough Mudder with my boyfriend. We will be doing his 2nd and my 3rd one in November!}}*

I'm a terrible runner. I tell people that, and they're all like, "yeah, me too."
No. You don't get it.
I could TRY running every single day for a year, and still only be able to kill 3 miles, tops.
But, I don't run every day.
So the Tough Mudder kicked my butt!
BUT... I am beyond proud of myself! I did an awesome job. I finished.
I have been fighting an ingrown toenail for 3 days. It wasn't stopping me.
My sciatic nerve decided to act up and send shooting pain down the back of my thigh, starting in the second mile. I kept going.
I despise cold water, and not only was every pond, stream, and mudhole cold, plus the rain and the Artic Enema... I still went on.
I faced my fears of jumping from heights by jumping off a platform into more cold water.
So, maybe I didn't RUN the whole thing. I don't care.
What I care about is that I finished... I didn't skip any obstacles, and shaved 45 minutes off of last year's time!
I frigging rock!
 — feeling accomplished.

**Post from my boyfriend**
Alright everyone, this is a VERY rough edit of our experience at Tough Mudder. First time ever using the software so I have a lot to learn, but I wanted to get something together as quickly as possible cause I know a few people have been dying to see it. Should be good for a few laughs!
Tough Mudder South Florida 13 April 2014:

Re: Coke's America the Beautiful Super Bowl Commercial

**{I am taking some of my writing from Facebook, and transferring them over here to my blog. Some of them may be "out of date" because nobody is talking about the issue any longer, but I would still like to transfer them to here. If anyone would like to comment, no matter how old the news may be, please feel free! I appreciate a good conversation, but no haters please!}**

I never stop being amazed by the size of the American ego. Years ago, immigrants (our forefathers) took over North America, uninvited, and made it their own. 
Did they bother to learn the local language? No.
Did they care what the customs were of the people already there? Not at all. 
They killed off everyone in the way and pushed their Language and European customs down the throats of the Native Americans.
Then, years are spent bragging about freedom, and what a beautiful cultural melting pot this country is. People that were persecuted in their own country came here because they thought they would have better opportunities for themselves and their children.
Those people have grown to love this country. Their children join our military. Their lives become American!
Sometimes, they choose to learn English as their SECOND language...
Sometimes they have a hard time learning it, so they continue to speak in their native tongue.
Does that make them less patriotic? Does that mean they are unwelcome to our freedoms?
If a person takes the right paths: work visas, citizenship, taxes, etc., yet still is unable to grasp the most difficult language in the world to learn... does that make them unworthy to such a beautiful song?
Why not, instead, translate it into every language?
Allow everyone to experience the beauty, the pride, the emotional sting in the back of their throat, and even the tear in their eye over the amazing power that America the Beautiful can invoke (edit: I had mistakenly put the National Anthem earlier)!
America the Beautiful is an awesome song, but what really makes it so amazing and moving to me, is that it is about this wonderful country! It is about our FREEDOM and how we are a country for all.
We could never be the amazing, great country that we are now, if not for the Native Americans...
The English, the French & Spanish, Irish, the German... Japanese, Korean, African, Indian, Lebanese...
The Mexican, Puerto Rican & Cuban...
And everyone else, too...
You get the idea. This country is what it is because of all of the different cultures, backgrounds, skin colors, and LANGUAGES! English is our main language, but I feel like all Americams should be able to hear such a beautiful song, understand it, and love it in whatever their language may be.
After all, isn't that what makes us American?
Kudos, Coca-Cola. This is one person that will NOT be boycotting your company.