Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tired Just Isn't the Right Word

What is beyond exhausted? Comatose?

I've wanted to blog for the last few days but just couldn't...I couldn't bring myself to do much of anything (except for couponing which I have to share with you guys at some point).

My house is a disaster, though that's hardly a new thing. I did do one load of laundry last night. Woohoo! Progress.

What I want to do is sit down at my jewelry desk and pump out some new creations - I have several ideas in my pea brain but every time I get home all I want to do is eat ice cream and sleep. I think I'm single-handedly (how do you spell that?) keeping Dove Ice Cream in business. It's seriously the B E S T freaking ice cream evAR.

Oh, speaking of coupons...did you know that if you e-mail some companies they will send you coupons? I wasn't expecting too much but I thought I'd shoot a couple of notes to some of my favorite product creators - including Kashi, Bush's Baked Beans, Dove Ice Cream, and a few others.

How freaking excited was I when I got an envelope from Kashi with four coupons for FREE cereal!!!!!! Oh my goodness. Hubby thinks I'm a nutter but I seriously hopped up and down. I meant every sappy word I wrote to them about how much we love their cereal.

Hubby used to eat sugary crap cereal but about a year ago decided to try a little harder to eat better. He loves their Strawberry Fields cereal and even eats it for dessert on some nights. And I love their Almonds and Flax Seed cereal, which I eat with yogurt.

Bush's Beans also sent me 4 coupons for $ off cans of beans, which we also love. I haven't heard from any other company (other than the standard e-mail reply) but I have my finger's crossed for Dove coupons. :)

It's awesome when companies appreciate their customers. And I totally appreciate mine!!! :) Even though I've been very quiet about my jewelry business (no newsletters in 3 months! EEK!) I still think about folks and wonder how they are enjoying their jewelry.

One of these days I'll get my newsletter out...really...I promise. =)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Another Angel in Heaven

My friend, coworker, jewelry customer, and fellow Eureka fan passed away peacefully early Saturday morning.

I've written about her sudden diagnosis with cervical cancer. She hadn't had a female exam for 30 years. The cancer was vicious and ravaged her body.

I was blessed to be able to visit her in her home on Friday afternoon, as I wrote about here. I knew she wouldn't be with us much longer and it is a relief that she is no longer in pain. But it is tragic that she had to leave us at all.

Her husband was reading to her from the scrapbook that my coworkers put together - people wrote their memories of Ethel on pages created by several of Ethel's fellow scrapbooking coworkers. He fell asleep and when he woke she had left this world.

I miss her already and I'm trying not to cry (again) while at work.

Friday, July 25, 2008

There's a Tear in My Beer

Except that I don't drink beer so I'm drinking Dr. Pepper (the hard diet here) and drowning my sorrows. And eating my sorrows. Ice cream is next.

Today was rough. I decided, even though I really did NOT want to, that I needed to go visit my friend Ethel. I had heard that it was a miracle she survived the night and that she could go at any moment. The tumors in her brain were massive and one was bleeding (hemorrhaging). She is unable to talk and hasn't eaten in 15 days. The only liquids she's had in the last 5-7 days comes from water with her pain meds mixed in. She apparently said NO tubes and no IVs.

My coworkers had asked people on Monday to create scrapbook pages for people to sign and then give to her and her family. Since we had no idea how long she would last we managed to get them all together (well, most of them) in a book, signed and all, in less than a week. People from our Chicago and New York offices even overnighted comments written so we could add them to the pages. I'm sure Ethel had no idea how much she affected so many different people.

One of the reasons I decided to go is something one of my other coworkers had said. She is one of the ones delivering meals and was there on Wednesday. Apparently Ethel's husband had asked about me and thought I was planning to visit.

*insert shocked look here*

I've met him a few times - they had come to several of my jewelry shows - and waved when he would pick her up from work. Ethel was SO supportive of me. As he said today, she was my best customer. :) She was my favorite customer. She encouraged me and got so excited to see my new work. Apparently she talked to her hubby about me, my jewelry, and even more importantly my dogs.

Ethel and I spent large amounts of time talking about our animals. She has 2 dogs and 2 cats and we loved talking about our fur babies. Her desk was on the way to the ladies rest room so we chatted several times a day. I wish I'd spent even more time talking with her - who knows when our time is up?

So when I heard that he was expecting me to visit I felt like I couldn't just avoid my own pain by not going. I got together with a couple other ladies and we got some of the meals together to take over.

The first thing I noticed was the Oxygen warning sign. We loaded up the fridge with rice, salad, chicken with sauce, lasagne, and strawberries for the strawberry shortcake. We chatted with her hubby a little bit and then I asked if I could say hi.

Her face is unrecognizable. I would never recognize her - it's like her face melted. It's twisted and elongated. She can't keep her head straightened due to a tumor on her neck so it's at an angle. She can't move her entire left arm because of all the tumors.

Her eyes have turned blue. They used to be hazel. I've never heard of that happening.

She can't talk. She can't move. She can't eat. She opened her eyes and made eye contact - several times she would seem to fall asleep but then she'd open them again. I held up the scrapbook and told her how everyone had signed it and how much we loved and missed her. And the whole time I was sobbing. It sucks to sob in front of your coworkers...but they were all sobbing too.

I told her about Trooper and how she was going to think I'm crazy but that we have a foster dog. I am sure that she can hear even though she can't respond. I held her hand...I'm sure she knew how hard that was for me because she knows my aversion to touching people. lol I hope she knows how much I will miss her.

Cancer is evil. Life is not fair. This was a vibrant woman who loved life. She adored scrapbooking and was very good at it. She loved her animals. And her husband. They were best friends. She is his angel, his princess. I started sobbing again when he sat next to her and held her hand. Saying that it breaks my heart is an understatement.

My glasses are all spotted and speckled from crying. If you wear glasses I'm sure you know what I mean. I don't understand. It's not fair. I'm mad. I'm exhausted. NOT skip your female exams. Ethel hadn't had one for 30 years. If she'd had a regular appointment the doctors may have caught this in time. I scheduled mine after she was first diagnosed. She is the only reason. I'd been skipping mine for several years...I think it had been around 5!

I HATE THIS!!! It's too painful. It's probably good that I don't have a ton of good friends because things like this break me down. Is that selfish? Or self preservation? There's so much more we could have shared.

Now I'm's been a very long, stressful, and emotional day. But I know that if I hadn't gone and she had passed over the weekend I couldn't have forgiven myself.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Has Good Content

Can I rant again? It's not a very serious rant though, don't worry.

Having my own website is great. I love the freedom to post anything I want and make occasional sales.

What I HATE is seeing a message from my contact page coming through my e-mail with this boilerplate link request...

Dear Webmaster,

My name is XYZ and I have just gone through your site, and visited many
pages. I have noticed that you have good content on the site. It would be
better if we link to each other as reciprocal link place an important role
in a search engine ranking algorithm.

Good grief. I have gotten at least 50 of these in six months. Nearly identical text. I don't bother reading them any longer. I just hit the delete button. But the problem is that I do still have to open the message to see if it's an actual message from a customer.

If someone actually wants to link with me they better type up a specific request directly to me. Of course, I still might say no, but I'd at least respond instead of ignore them. Sometimes I even say yes and add their link! Though I admit it's been ages since I updated my links page.

Canned messages are so lame. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hire Me or I'll Sue

Wow...just wow.

This story had my jaw dropping and eyes popping. Seriously?!?! SERIOUSLY!?!?

A South Carolina breast-cancer survivor has beaten the State Department and convinced judges in Washington that the inability to have sex is a disability protected under federal anti-discrimination laws.

Oh my freaking goodness. You have got to be kidding me. Not only is this ridiculous but it's frightening that she convinced the courts on her side.

In its 2-1 decision, issued Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that Adams has a case against the State Department. Most significantly, the influential D.C. circuit court ruled for its first time that laws that protect people with disabilities from discrimination cover "sexual relations." any guy who couldn't get it 'up' can sue their employers or former employers for discrimination. Yeah, that seems like the original intent of the law doesn't it? (insert sarcasm here)

It's things like this that make me feel like the country is going down the tubes. What is WRONG with this woman's brain? She thinks that it's okay to sue a potential employer because she can't have sex? Really? To me that speaks to her lack of common sense and I wouldn't want to hire her either.

Scary. Just scary.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Don't Listen to Scientists...

...why should I? They constantly contradict each other.

Eggs are good for you. No eggs are bad for you. No they are good for you again.

Coffee is bad...but maybe good.

Wine is bad...good...bad...good.

Atkins. Mediterranean. Weight Watchers. No meat. All meat. No carbs. All carbs.

Who the heck can keep track?

And now Saturated fat may find itself vindicated after being the villain of so many diets and health warnings.

The one thing that I know is that every person's body is different. Some people can eat anything they want and never gain weight (my grandfather) and others can't even look at a piece of bread without ballooning up four sizes. We need to figure out what is right for us personally.

I have a fairly high metabolism so that when I'm active I can pretty much eat whatever I want in moderation. However when I start to be a couch potato and not running around busy I balloon up. Lately I've been super busy running from store to store to get awesome discounts and free things. I've been going to agility twice a week with Trooper, which can get quite a workout. And I've been trying to sit at my laptop less. I've also been eating ice cream like there's no tomorrow. So far I'm only up around one pound from my original loss of 17. I do want to try to add back in my arm and middle area weight training because I want that muscle to be better developed.

I'm sure one of these days they'll come out with a study that lifting weights is dangerous to my health too.

Yet another reason to not believe anything "they" say.

Monday, July 21, 2008

And Bullet Makes Four

We now have four dogs in our house. None of them small. It's been a crazy weekend.

Read all about Bullet on my Home Zookeeper blog. She's an angel and available for adoption!

I hope I'll be able to let her go. :(

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Winning Hearts and Minds

The mainstream media may be ignoring all the amazing work our soldiers are doing in Iraq, but thanks to the Internet we can still get the real news.

Via Instapundit, I found Armed and Curious, a great blog of a soldier over there doing the hard work so I can have a cushy life. I wish I could do more than just say Thank You!

Photo by Warrick Page of The National newspaper in the UAE or MC1 William Lovelady

Check out his latest post - Finding Inspiration in Tears of Joy.

I remember when hubby graduated from the State Trooper Academy. It was so emotional - we were all so proud of him. I can only imagine that feeling is 1,000 times stronger for the soldiers and families of Iraqis who will step up and fight for their country. Amazing. It brought tears to my eyes.

History will look back on this time and will confirm that this is a historical moment. Victory rarely comes easily. Sometimes the best things require the most work to be truly appreciated.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Life is Short

You never really know how much time you have left on this little rock we call home. It's been less than 3 months since I found out one of my coworkers has cancer.

I was just told that the cancer has spread to her brain. She's being sent home to hospice care and has 2 weeks to live.

Her name is Ethel and I haven't seen her in several months, even before I found out. Her department had moved to another building so I lost the every day contact we once enjoyed. She's a wonderful person and I LOVED chatting with her. She loves animals and has two dogs and two cats. One cat named Rizzo is the funniest of the bunch, with such character that she always had a story to share about him.

Please pray that her time is not full of pain. I'd love to pray for a miracle but it just seems so unlikely.

She has a husband who depends on her for strength, love, and companionship. I weep for him as much as for her. His name is Joe and he adores her. He fights for her!

They came home from shopping one day last year and caught some slimeball robbing their home. Ethel fought him in the bedroom and Joe grabbed one of his collector swords and stabbed the loser right in the side!!! The guy got away but was captured later. Their poor dogs were terrified (small doggies...a pom and a mini something that looks like a doberman but 1/10th the size). Ethel was just pissed. :) She is a fighter. If anyone could fight through this tragedy it is her.

But I was told that she isn't even recognizing Joe. And I sit here at my desk sobbing. It's not like we were best friends but I really did come to love her as a friend. She loved my jewelry and told everyone about it - always coming over to tell me when she was wearing a piece. She was SO encouraging.

Please pray.

A Different Kind of Diet

While fulfilling my promise to visit other blogs more regularly, I visited Bethany at BeppyCat & Co and she of course had me laughing.

She's on a Yarn Diet. Yes, a Yarn Diet.

Addictions come in many different flavors. And apparently Bethany is addicted to Yarn.

Me? I prefer ice cream. But my non-food addiction is pearls. Seriously. I have enough pearls to practically open up my own store.

Some are sitting, waiting to be photographed and added to my Etsy Gemstone shop because I know I'll just never use them in a million years.

But most are stored in a large 12 x 12 Scrapbook paper storage bin...and it's overflowing.

I mean many pearls does one person need. I just bought MORE pearls last weekend at a local bead show. They called my name. I couldn't resist them.

I LOVE pearls...they come in so many different shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. The pearl industry ('s a whole big industry) has done an amazing job of making gorgeous, high quality pearls affordable to the masses. And that means gorgeous pearls that I get to use in my designs. I wonder how long it would take me to use all the pearls I have right now. Maybe if I didn't work full time...*sigh*

But I'm thinking I need a Beppy style diet...a Pearl diet.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Holy Gorgeous Batman!

Sometimes I see a piece of jewelry that just makes me jealous that I didn't think to make it first. *grin*

Since I'm so super bad at reading other friend's blogs I decided to at least TRY to visit one today. I picked Crystal of Two Belles and a Bead because I wanted to tell her to take an enameling class to see if she'd like it before diving in. I still haven't dived in. So I'm browsing her blog (which had me laughing...stupid Google!) and noticed her Etsy widget ... and these earrings just grabbed me and pulled me in!

Uh...hello!?! Are those just not gorgeous and stunning?!?!?! They're simple. They're elegant. They're perfect for every day and for a fancy dinner out. I'd totally wear them all the time. Go buy them. Go buy them NOW!!! *grin*

Seriously...I really like them a lot. I used to make a lot of designs like that but they take a lot of time...and patience. And I could never get mine to match in length. ha! I love the way she has more than one chain to create a neat layered look.

And check these beauties out from her main website! I really need to get my act together and figure out how to solder posts like this. But then she does such a good job so why bother??? :)

I feel guilty because I have great folks who read my blog and leave me such nice comments, which I LOVE. Every comment gives me so much pleasure - you have no idea. And I am so bad at reciprocating. I sometimes wish I didn't work full time...I'd love to be able to do more visiting of fellow artist's and friend's blogs.

I'll try harder. I promise. =) But don't get our hopes up!

Website Technical Stuff Drives Me Bonkers

I am so bad at some things. I just can't wrap my mind around how things like registrars and domain servers work. I got an e-mail notice that my domain registration was about to come up for renewal. I've been with the same company (IPowerWeb) for that for several years. Simplicity is the best thing for me.

But good grief it took nearly 45 minutes this year. I guess they changed their servers over and old information didn't get transferred over. So when I tried logging in it didn't recognize me and when I called in they had no record of me and had to recreate my account.

Thankfully it's done and renewed for 3 years now. Woohoo! Of course, three years from now I'll be totally freaking out about how to renew again. *sigh* This kind of stuff really makes me feel stupid.

As long as my website keeps working smoothly I'll be happy. =)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's a Dr. Pepper Morning

And not even diet Dr P...regular, full sugar goodness is my drink of choice this morning. I woke up at 4:30 today. In the frickin' AM!

Granted, it's only an hour earlier than normal but I didn't exactly go to bed any earlier to compensate so I'm flat out tired. I got to work by 6:30, as was my goal, which was tricky since I had to take Trooper to puppy daycare.

I'm getting a little stressed and nervous because I'm going to be getting our very first foster dog this Friday. *gulp* What have I gotten myself into? You can read more about this crazy adventure on my other blog - Home Zookeeper.

Needless to say, having a new 9 month old puppy enter our home will not make my life easier. But I expect it to be rewarding nonetheless.

Oh...and work. Oh dear Lord work! I can't see my desk under all the paper. I just want a job where I can know what is expected of me, do that daily, and move on. Unfortunately I have to mess with MS Access (a computer program that hates me...truly) and a stupid database that makes me want to throw away my computer.

*deep breaths*

I actually do really like my job but it's days like this that make me long for my bed. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I really am going to try to go to bed early tonight...I say that every night. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back In the Saddle Again

I think I've got my mojo back. =) I had two classes this weekend - one of which I learned a brand new technique and the other gave me a chance to work more on one I learned last year. I was thrilled with the results of the classes and can't wait to design and create more jewelry with these techniques.

Friday's class was an all day one and it definitely took all day. I love using color in my designs and resin is a wonderful way to add it to my metal work.

I apologize for the photos - they are unedited but I'm too excited to wait until I have time to edit them. :) I have to share now! LOL

While the pieces I made in class aren't perfect I'm still thrilled with how they turned out. Each piece was hand carved first into an eraser like material to create the actual design. Then PMC (precious metal clay) is pressed and rolled into the design so the image is transferred into the clay.

Once the piece is dried, filed, fired, and polished the resin is added. Apparently this stuff is pretty toxic but as long as I just mix small batches I should be okay (ha!). I was so nervous...and I'm rarely nervous in classes. But carving a design is a lot harder to me than it sounds. :)

I carved a Turtle, a Butterfly, and a flower. I like them all but I love the little turtle and butterfly.

Sunday's class was an Afternoon of Enamel. I took an enameling class with Steven James last year and he was so awesome - but I don't have a kiln so I never enameled except in one other class by a different teacher. When I saw he was offering another one I signed right up. There were only TWO of us in the class, which was so awesome. I'm thrilled that he didn't cancel with that few students. It was a treat.

I managed to squeeze in five different pieces - though there were several mishaps with spilling dry enamel since the shapes are a little wonky. If you've ever done enameling - the trivet doesn't really like these odd shapes. :)

I made two fishes, a hummingbird, a starfish, and a butterfly with silver accented winks. Oh and the hummingbird and fishes have little silver eyes embedded into the enamel. I had SO much fun and really do need to buy a kiln.

Learning new things is so fun and it really motivated me. Plus I bought several new bead strands and am excited to play with them too. As if I really needed any other beads but they called out to me and I couldn't resist.

Now...if I could just find a way to have 40 hours in one day I'd have plenty of time to work and play!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Don't Know if I'll Ever Buy a Diamond Again

I took today off because the last three days have been non stop and I needed to recuperate. I have several movies from Netflix and decided to pop one in this morning. I decided to watch Blood Diamond and I'm glad I didn't watch it at night. It's hard enough for me to watch sad movies because they affect me very strongly. Watching one at night makes it nearly impossible for me to sleep ... unless I'm crying myself to sleep. And then I wake up with a headache.

I really wanted to watch this movie though. I'm not sure why. I knew it would be violent and disturbing. I was right.

Immediately into the movie I fell in love with the lead character, Solomon. He's absolutely gorgeous for one thing. And his whole family is just so cute. A wife and three children. He's a fisherman with a son who should someday become a doctor...walking to school while his father works.

And then all hell breaks loose. Children soldiers, rebel terrorists trained to kill, attack their village. The wife and children barely escape and Solomon is captured, escaping the fate of having his hands chopped off by only seconds. He's strong and so is sent to work at a diamond mine.

In order for the movie to continue, of course he finds a big honkin' diamond, which he buries. Unfortunately one of the rebels sees him do it and therefore it's no longer a secret. I won't give away the rest of the story ... it's fascinating and disturbing.

And very, very graphic. Do NOT watch this movie with young children or if you have a sensitive stomach. Lots of bullets, innocent people - including children - shot down as they run. Bodies hanging, being pulled behind cars, beaten, raped.

Done mostly by children. I think that is part of the really disturbing thing. I'm used to seeing graphic things and am pretty immune to it but when you see young boys doing these things it turns your stomach. While the movie is just a movie...I know that there ARE really children soldiers out there. They are pumped with drugs and made to think that they are kings, invincible killers. Of course, to those in charge they are expendable and replaceable.

Oh, did I mention that Solomon's son is torn from his mother's arms and kidnapped to be one of these soldiers?

Leonardo DeCaprio did a really great job. He was quite hot himself but a total mercenary and seemingly cold blooded. By the end of the movie you'll like him though. :) He saves Solomon's life several times...although it was for selfish purposes.

Is the story itself true? I have no idea. I'm sure that all of the details have at some point occurred, though many I'm sure come from a writer's imagination. I have no doubt that all are based on fact somewhere.

Can I stomach buying a diamond in the future? I don't know. Maybe if it is proven to be directly from Canada or something. But how can it be proven that a diamond is conflict free? I have no idea. And there are those who say that avoiding African diamonds will only harm the people there. Some say that many of the human rights issues from the 90s have been solved.
"If the diamond industry were to disappear overnight, it would mean disaster for African countries that have built their economies around this," said Tom Zoellner, author of "The Heartless Stone." "It would mean starvation and even more chaos in the diamond fields."
I have no idea if that is true or not. So for now I'll just avoid diamonds in general. Not that I had any big plans to buy one - but I do have a "ring" fund for a future anniversary band.

It's definitely a good movie. I won't want to watch it again. It's too upsetting.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Surveys for Pay?

DeNeero is a survey service that I signed up for awhile back because I really enjoy taking survey (I'm weird that way). So far I'm up to $10.44...which surprises me. It adds up fast. And it's super easy to take the surveys.

If you have a blog and don't mind posting surveys like this I think it's totally worth it. Here is one of the latest surveys...

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

R.I.P. Tony Snow

I was shocked when the news announced this morning that Tony Snow had lost his fight with cancer. My sorrow for his family comes from personal experience - as a child who lost a father to cancer at the age of 8.

He leaves behind 3 children and a wife. Not to mention millions of fans. I listened to his radio show every once in awhile and he really did do a great job. He was polite but firm. And before that we watched his TV show and really enjoyed him.

It's so sad when someone with such vitality and love for life passes on so early. I hate cancer. :(

*** EDITED to Add ***

I am sitting here bawling. It's several hours since I heard the news and we just got home from a family reunion. The news is on and they are playing a tribute to his life. He was a REALLY great guy. And it seems so unfair....of course life is unfair and I know this. I had forgotten that he had colon cancer, which is the exact same cancer my died from when he was 36. My heart aches for Tony's children.

It seems silly to cry for someone who I didn't even know...but I feel like the last few years I did know him. And now I know why one of my coworkers (and my mom) was so torn up when Tim Russert died. They felt like they knew him because they watched him all the time. These people become part of your lives - our routines.

I clearly need to stop watching the news and turn on something more cheerful. I hate having a heavy heart.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Look! Up in the Sky! It's a Bird...It's a Plane...'s a BLIMP!

The Coast Guard (hubby's former employer) is utilizing some old technology to help cope with the high cost of fuel. I think it's a hilarious, but excellent idea.

"The Navy is leasing a Skyship 600, about the size of a Boeing 747, for the six-week test mission between Florida's southern coast and Cuba, Coast Guard Lt. Matthew Moorlag said on Tuesday."
I'm sure hubby is glad to not have to go up in that. He is scared of heights and flying in a regular plane is bad enough.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Yabut...I Would Rather Sleep

Have you ever thought about what is on your "to do" list and then thought... "yeah, but ..."

Well, this is the line of clothing for you! Yabut Genuine Inactive Wear was started by 6 friends who have heard every "yabut" excuse in the book.

I actually know two of the ladies who started this line of "Inactive" wear - one is hubby's former sergeant (she abandoned him when she got promoted, but was an absolutely awesome boss).

I love the "My Dog Walks Me" shirts in safety orange or safety green. You'll never blend in again. =)

Don't say "yabut, where would I wear it?" because there are options for everyone. Get your Yabut gear today! :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Earth Has Finally Stopped Moving

When I went to sleep last night, in my bed at home, I felt like the earth was rocking back and forth...back and forth...back and forth.

I don't think we'll be going on any more fishing trips anytime soon. In fact hubby made me promise to never, ever buy him a boat (which is funny because even if he wanted one I'd never let him buy one).

You see, my husband gets very sea sick. So it was a surprise to me when he suggested we go on a Charter fishing trip with some of his Trooper buddies. But I was up for it. My dad was a Fisheries Biologist with Department of Fish & Wildlife and used to take me fishing in the ocean when I was just a little girl. My mom says that I used to come back talking about how much fun it was to hit the "rocks" when there were rough seas. Apparently I don't get sea sick (I don't get car sick or air sick either).

We left for Westport Saturday afternoon because neither of us wanted to wake up at 1 a.m. Sunday morning to get to the docks by 4 a.m. Though I must say that spending an extra $136 for this room was hard to justify.

High class, eh? :)

I did sleep pretty soundly though and even though it was a smoking room (it was the LAST room available) it didn't smell too bad. I was hesitant to sit on the couch or chairs though.

It was nice to get there ahead of time though because we scoped out the dock and found the boat we were going on the next day. The Playboy Too.

We went to dinner at a local pizza place that was excellent.

We set our cell phones to wake us up at 3 a.m. so we had enough time to really wake up. Hubby made coffee using the in room machine...I still can't believe he drank it. Then we walked down to the docks, got our license and derby ticket, and hopped on board.

The boat left around 4:30 a.m. and as we headed out to sea the sun started to come up.

It was BRIGHT orange and looked huge, although my photography skills aren't so good when on a boat. Ha!

Not too long into the actual adventure of fishing I caught the first fish of the day!!! Woohoo! Though some of the guys on the boat didn't think too much of a girl catching the first fish, they said it didn't really count since it was a flounder. Sheesh.

Hubby then caught the biggest fish of the day (on our boat). Watch the video if you don't mind seeing a fish get bonked on the head with a pipe. =)

I was so proud of him!!!

I finally caught some fish, but no salmon. I ended up with 11 Sea Bass - which are quite ugly. I was hoping to get a Lincod, but no such luck.

The only other girl on board was 11 years old - she was so cute. She didn't like fishing for salmon because it was a lot more boring...lots of waiting and waiting and waiting some more. She did get very excited when we were fishing and catching though.

The deck hand, Nick, was wonderful. Very friendly and helpful - he baited my hooks. =)

And filleted all our fish. I got fish guts on my shoes...I'm worried that Trooper will eat them now!

I'm so excited to get the salmon down to grandpa. He's agreed to smoke it and vacum pack it for us. YUMMY!!!!

So we are home and I am exhausted. I hadn't been fishing in such a long time...I'd forgotten how tiring it actually can be. Especially out on the ocean. It takes a lot of work to keep steady and work with the pole. My arms hurt from reeling in the bass.

I'm ready to go out again though...I may have to find a new fishing partner because hubby sure won't be going back. =)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Do they have 4th of July in England?

I once took a course on communication where they asked us all these trick questions. One of them was "Do they have a 4th of July in England?"

I got it right by the way.

I'm pretty bad at trick questions. One that cracks me up...

"There's a plane crash right on the border between America and Canada. Where would they bury the survivors?"

And with that...

Happy Independence Day!

Thank God that a bunch of brave men decided that freedom was worth fighting for. Thank God that a bunch of brave men and women decide to volunteer and protect our freedom today.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Good Samaritans Still Exist

What a day!

I worked from home until around 3 and then headed out to pick up some last minute items from Target and Fred Meyer. Oh and drop off packages at the Post Office. My little cousins will be getting 10 pounds worth of cereal, hamburger helper, body wash, maalox, and razors. =)

Anyhoo...after an exhilarating shopping trip at Target - I was in and out in less than 20 minutes and only spent $7.96 on over $40 worth of products - I was on my way to get my favorite ice cream at Fred Meyer. I was at the stop light on a ... it's sort of an alley like road but it crosses a main intersection ... and I looked over and saw a lady hyperventilating in her car. She looked like she was sobbing and having a panic attack (something which I recognized right away since I've had them myself).

I could have done nothing and kept right on driving. I didn't witness an accident or anything and it looked like she was on the phone with someone. I normally panic in emergency situations so it's probably best that I *didn't* see the accident. This was much less "emergency" to me so I didn't freeze. Miss Lucas would be proud. :)

I rolled down my window and yelled "Are you okay?" to which she replied (barely) "n-n-no". So I pulled into the nearby parking lot (I had to go up over the curb!), grabbed my cell phone, and proceeded to (carefully) cross the street to play good Samaritan.

She was very clearly having a full on panic attack. She couldn't catch her breath, she was crying, and shaking. I asked if she'd called 911 yet, since she'd been on her cell when I walked up. Since she hadn't I went ahead and called them on my phone. She said her neck was hurting, which was understandable.

I gave the operator all the details - cross street, number of cars, descriptions, etc. - and then let the lady talk to them on my phone. The calvary were on their way. She continued to take short breaths and shake while I tried to get her to calm down. I didn't let her get out of her car - it's important not to move if you have a neck injury. I at least learned that much from my nurse mother. :)

Taking deep breaths is so hard to do when you're in the middle of a panic attack, but I tried to encourage her to take calming breaths. I held her hand and she tried to make a couple of phone calls but was having a hard time focusing on her cell. Totally understandable! She had been on her way to pick up her daughter and needed to arrange for her to be picked up. Aren't moms great? LOL That is totally something my mom would do - she's injured but is worried about her daughter. Too sweet.

She has no idea how bad the damage is so I walk to the front ... it's pretty bad and she probably won't be able to drive it as it is. While I didn't witness it, it sounds like the accident was the other cars fault. This woman was going straight through a yellow light and the other car turned into her. That makes them at fault.

Finally, a gorgeous unmarked Charger arrived to take charge of the scene. Have I mentioned that I love men in uniform? And driving an unmarked dark Navy Charger? Rrrrrooooowwwww. *grin*

I continued to stay with her until the paramedics arrived - the police officer told her to stay still and try not to move her neck. It's hard to not move though when you're gasping for air. :)

Finally the fire truck arrived, lights and sirens on. I love those guys! (and gals!) Of course I got lectured!!! HAHAHAHA!!! I was standing on the driver's side, which meant that I was directly in danger of being hit by traffic. The problem is that I was trying to get her calmed down and I couldn't do that on the other side of the car. They're totally right though - most people get killed after an accident by other traffic.

I moved and got out of the professionals' way. As soon as they were there and attending to her I left.

I hope she's not too badly injured. I'm guessing she'll be really sore after the adrenalin wears off. Panic attacks are exhausting, not to mention the physical injuries a minor accident can bring.

Be careful out there and DRIVE DEFENSIVELY. That is one of the best things my mom taught me when I first started driving.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Never Trust Your E-Mail

This story is incredible! I never click on links sent to me from someone I don't know unless I know I've signed up for something. Many people follow this line of thinking so somethings legitimate e-mails (like my own, seldom sent newsletters) get ignored.

Unfortunately there must be hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people who ignore all the warnings out there and click on unknown e-mails. McAfee sponsored an experiment to see what would happen if people actually clicked and answered those annoying SPAM e-mails. The results were funny and frightening.

In her guise as Penelope Retch, Mooney answered the e-mail that came into her account. "I'd see an interactive spam, open it, click on it and asked to be removed. That would only make it worse," she says. "They'd say 'no.'"

Some oddball facts that emerged from the experiment are that fake was the most common phishing e-mail spotted during the project, and that the British volunteers received the most Nigerian scam e-mail.

Feel safe opening my newsletters folks (besides the fact that I haven't even sent one out in two months!!!). No spam there. But beware of scammers. You never know what that "FREE" offer will cost you.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


This video gave me shivers.

If you've never felt desperate enough to take your own life, please do not look down on those of us who have fallen so low.

The photo of a 3 year anniversary since NOT committing suicide almost made me cry...but I'm at work. :)

My First Award

I'm so excited. I was just awarded my very first blog award. :) And it's a pass it on award, which I love, originating from Arte y Pico. Thank you so much Try Try Again. It's a really wonderful feeling. *big grin*

And the rules of this award are that I must pick five blogs that inspire me. It's easy to think of more than five but it's hard to narrow it down because I read a lot of great blogs. =)

1. Lindsay at That Mutt - Her dog Ace cracks me up and she's such a dedicated daily blogger.
2. Glblguy at Gather Little by Little - Because I've learned so much that has helped me focus on my finances.
3. Daisy at Daisy the Curly Cat - Who can resist sweet Daisy and her antics? She's the best dressed cat around. I especially like her snail friend.
4. Angelika at Angelika - Especially because she didn't want any more tags. Ha ha ha! And she cracks me up and gives me a different perspective on life.
5. Rachel at Rachel Lucas - She makes me laugh, and cry, and spit water at my screen or through my nose (Do not drink water while reading her site!). Seriously, I dig this chick.

Can I add a few more? Pretty Please?

6. Beppy Cat & Co - She should really be in the top 5 too...I love learning about Home Making. It isn't just for 50s wives anymore. :) ha! I want to be her when I grow up!
7. Frugal Dad - I'm learning a lot about personal finances.
8. Sense to Save - One of the first finance blogs I started reading and one that helped me become addicted to Coupons!
9. Hounds Good - She inspires me all the time to remember those animals less fortunate and in need.
10. Comedy Plus - Need a laugh? This is the place to be! :)

Seriously....there are so many more that I read daily (I am a good multi-tasker). =D

Here are the rules:
1. Pick five (5) blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4. Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

Sometimes Being Tribal Rocks

I am a "Native American" ...

Wait...let me rephrase that.

I am a member of a Native American tribe and I have a card that says so. :)

I love history and I love that I know who some of my ancestors are more than 2 generations back. Two of them were Indian women. I know where my great-grandma got her cheekbones. =) These women were tough. It wasn't exactly kosher for people to marry outside their own race back then. These ladies would be my ... gosh, let's see ... I think my great-great-great-great grandmothers. I *think*. Or maybe it's just three greats.

Not my relative...but looks remarkably similar.

We have photos of them somewhere. I'll have to try to dig them out and scan them. These ladies are the two we know about but my aunt thinks we have several more Indian ancestors (as well as some Jewish, Russian, and Ukrainian) in our past.

So legally I'm a Native American. Which is such BS considering I have about as much "native" blood in me as a misquito could suck out. It's enough though and I can technically vote in tribal matters if I wanted to (I never have).

One benefit of being a member of the tribe is that we get free fish. I am generally opposed to all handouts. I refuse to sign up for the medical benefits and have never received a penny cash. Nor did I ever check the box "Native American" on any scholarship or college (or job for that matter) applications. I refuse to let some trace amount of blood give me a stupid "advantage" that has nothing to do with ability.

But the salmon ... oh dear God the salmon. I don't get it directly but my grandfather, as an elder in the tribe, gets it for free and he just got his allotment. I won't say *exactly* how much but it's several thousand dollars worth. And it's just so mouth wateringly yummy!!! Grandpa slathers it in a mayonnaise mix and smokes it on the BBQ with alder chips. My mouth is watering right now!!!

So I'm a hypocrite when it comes to salmon. More handouts please!!!