Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated

Yes, I'm still here! I am so sorry I've been AWOL from the blogosphere this week, but things have been muy loco. I've been back and forth to the temp agency a few times, which I must write more about later.

As for the date...we had a very nice time, but no fireworks. He's a wonderful guy, but as for our respective life stages right now, he's actually much older than me beyond the seven chronological years that separate us. I just got the feeling he'd be a little more of a stuffed-shirt type, as opposed to being able to make me laugh until tears roll down my cheeks on a regular basis.

I woke up Saturday morning with practically debilitating back pain (which happens on a regular basis, if you catch my drift), which put me in a foul mood. I didn't handle everything with the guy very well, and I felt pretty horrible about it until I could talk it over with him. And that didn't happen until Tuesday.

So...two down.

I mentioned earlier I've been to the temp agency a couple of times this week. I've been doing some more skills testing, in hopes of getting a one-month medical records clerk job. And I flunked the test! It wasn't that hard, either, but I guess my brain wasn't functioning at full capacity. I had ten minutes to complete 75 questions, and only got through 43. With no errors, though. I have to wait a month before I can retake it. So no job doing exactly what I want to do.

So the bakery thing...yeah, that ain't gonna happen, either. It turns out they wanted me to work for a while starting at 6:30 AM, later on moving to 2nd shift. Which, with my kids, I can't do either. It was a really great opportunity, was for a team captain-sort of job, where I'd be overseeing my own little team of employees. But the hours is just the reason why I'm looking for something in an office, that has regular business hours that coincide with the RK's school schedule.

I'm still faxing and emailing resumes, too. That is, now that I can dial long distance on my landline again. Turns out I had my phone service cut down too much! I had a 10¢/min. long distance plan on my phone that cost me a flat fee of $2/month. I didn't realize I had to have this plan to be able to dial long distance at all; I was thinking I'd still be able to dial long distance for a higher per minute rate. Given that the only thing I ever use that phone for is faxing (which is sporadic), and the RK uses it to call his buddies in the neighborhood (which is free), I came to the conclusion that I would save money by foregoing the monthly charge and paying a higher per-minute charge. So I had them take it off.

Some great admin jobs have been posted on the local newspaper's job website, so I've been trying to fax my resume. And I've been getting a consistent busy signal. I even called one place asking if their fax is working properly, and he assured me it was, to just keep trying. I even tried all weekend long! Busy signal. It just so turns out that's because my phone line wouldn't let me call that number because it was a local toll call! I got clued in to this when the same thing happened with another fax number.

So the $2/month is back on my phone bill, and I'm a faxing fool now. I haven't sent my resume in to that first place (the one where I called to ask about their fax machine), because I noticed their ad is gone from the website. Maybe today I'll call them and see if the position's been filled, just in case.

So there's my update. I've got some stuff around here to get done, so I'm leaving it at this for now. Hopefully I'll find some time to get back on here today to write a little less narratively. Happy Thursday to you all!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Just a quick note... let y'all know that things went OK, but not fantastic. I don't feel like I can write about it just yet, as there's still some things to get settled and I need to let time clarify my perspective.

Nothing awful happened...but it wasn't what I'd hoped for, either. I ended up not going to the concert with him last night for a variety of reasons, he took his son, and he said they both had a wonderful time.

Sorry to keep you wondering, but that's all I can say for right now. And now, I must finish some housecleaning before my precious ones return home!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

RIP Kris...

Now I must tell y'all about the milestone in the RK's life that was reached last night.

He'd had a loose tooth for quite a while, and when he brushed his teeth last night, he hollered down to me that it was bleeding, so he was going to get it outta there. My first thought: "Oh no, I don't have any cash to play tooth fairy!"

So I made a decision. I was going to 'fess up. He already had his suspicions, so I decided this was to be the death of the tooth fairy. And he was cool with big deal. We negotiated that I'd give him $2 for this tooth when I do get some cash, since for his last tooth the tooth fairy didn't have anything smaller than a five-spot.

We go on up to his room, and he climbs in bed. And he says something to the effect of, "Yeah, and I bet Santa's not real, either."

I just grinned.

And once again, I 'fessed up. His reaction again was pretty much one like, "I KNEW it!" But then I let him know that there's still so much fun to be had...after all, there is the IB to think of, and he can be my Santa's Helper for his baby brother. He got pretty excited about this.

And then, I threatened his life. I told him that if it gets back around to me that he's been telling his friends, or the smaller kids on the bus what he now knows, I will nail him to the wall. Then he asked, "Can I tell [the IB]?" I told him sure, the IB doesn't know the difference yet. So first thing we got up the next morning, the RK spilled it all to the IB. It was funny.

As for my end of this, I'm more relieved than anything. Last Christmas was rough. I had to be so stealthy. I bought a bunch of brand new wrapping paper that he wouldn't recognize. I signed gift tags in big block letters. I had to come up with better hiding places. I had to explain away the package that arrived from the UPS man during dinner one night a couple of weeks before Christmas. It was rough.

I also talked with him about how much fun moms and dads have playing Santa for their kids. And how Santa can always live on as long as we let him. It was pretty awesome...

...right up until he started negotiating his presents for this Christmas. Good grief.

So thus ends a major part of the RK's childhood. I'm not really all that sad since I still have the IB to have fun with at Christmas, and I know the RK will be eager to take on this new role by my side.

The 'I ain't got no job' blues

Unbelievably, yesterday ended up being the productive day I had wanted it to be. I actually made it to the temp agency. I walked in, and when the woman looked at my resume, she informed me that as a general consensus, companies won't hire me for the job I'm looking for because I have no recent job experience. Then she asks me if I'd be willing to do some light manual labor-type jobs just to get some experience under my belt.

I said, "Possibly."

She says, "We actually have an opening right now in a wonderful local bakery that does lots of internet orders, and they need some help packaging and shipping their orders all over the world. And I heard they'll feed you lunch everyday."

My first thought was, "Oh yeah...I could do that!" And then my second thought was, "I could probably put on some weight working there, too!" (Which would actually be a good thing. I'm but a puff of my former self.)

So then she says, "Let's get you going on the inspection testing for right now." OK...this should be interesting. I take a seat at a table with a very large black man, who I find out has the same name as the IX. I start in on the tests he's already completed, and they consist of comparing drawings of various hardware components, like a circuit breaker, a vice, a micrometer, etc. to a sample drawing and marking which ones were not exactly like the sample. Then it's on to a sorting test. Little plastic cards with numbers on them that can be quite similar to other numbers. For example: One card might have the number 33D9247, and the next would have 33D9427. There were eight different part numbers like this, and I had to sort the little cards into the eight bins with the same number. It was a mild mental challenge.

When I completed all this, it was around 3:00 at this point. I asked the attendant if I could get going on the computer skills testing. And she kind of poo-poo'ed this idea, saying they were closing in an hour and a half, blah, blah, blah, but that I'd probably have time to do the data entry test. Great, I say. And then she makes a point to inform me that I can take the test as many times as I need or want to, and that the only scores they'll keep for me are the ones I'm satisfied with. OK, thanks for the info.

She leads me over to a computer station and gets me going on the alphanumeric portion. No sweat. And then I do the numeric (10-key) test. When I let her know I'm finished about 15 minutes later, she comes over and checks my results, and with a very surprised tone in her voice, she says, "Oh! You scored 'excellent' on both! Alright then..."

[Begin snotty, entitled, pride-tainted whining]
Yeah, I may not have any recent job experience on my resume, but I do have skills. And frankly, I think it really sucks that I'm probably going to have to do some menial, unchallenging job that doesn't pay nearly as well for a while before I can get a job I really want and would be really good at.
[End snotty, entitled, pride-tainted whining]

So be it...I know I'm starting out at quite a disadvantage. 'Stay-at-home mom' has no place on a resume in the competitive job market I know I'll be good at. And whatever job I end up at for now, I'll do my best with a willing servant's heart. That's just the way I am. And while I still have issues, I'm trying to mold my attitude into one of not being ashamed of making an honest living, no matter what the particular job description. The reality is, I'm not 'too good' for anything. And I will be grateful for whatever opportunity I'm given to help provide for my family. And I will have a cheerful attitude on the job, knowing that God has something to show me wherever I end up, and will leave a positive impression on my supervisors, and fellow co-workers.

That bakery thing, though...that really sounds like an enjoyable job!

And today I have to go back to watch some really lame videos...on-the-job safety, and stuff like that. And I have a feeling they're going to be as hokey and boring as the cassette tape I had to listen to before doing the sorting test. Yup, a cassette tape. And it was in one of those little portable players like the one I got for my third birthday. And the dude on the tape must've been absent the day God handed out personalities. The word that comes to mind is 'primitive.'

Before heading out to the temp agency, I spent most of the morning on the phone with the phone company, the satellite company, and the cable internet company. I got these services downgraded and stripped down to help save some money each month. And it turns out I got in on a promotional rate with the cable company so I'm getting my cable internet (which is unnoticeably slower now) for $40/mo. less for the next year! SCORE!

The RK lost a handful of his occasionally-watched channels, but nothing too devastating for him. Besides, it would be a good lesson for him (and yes, for me too) if I had the whole thing shut down completely. I told him, though, that I was making some sacrifices, too. I think the biggest one is I gave up MSNBC. That's what I watch during the day when there's nothing else on that I care to watch.

And really...BIG FREAKIN' DEAL. It almost seems silly to even use the word 'sacrifice' for this sort of thing.

I must admit to keeping the F0x Sports channels, though, just 'til the end of football season. The 'Horns play on that network quite often. Then after it's over, I'll downgrade my plan even more.

OK, that's all I have time for for now. I've got another great story about the RK to tell y'all later. Turns out last night ended up being quite a milestone in his transition to adulthood.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tee hee hee...

He called me a little while ago. He had asked me out to go hear the sax player from Bob Seger's band for Saturday night, and he was calling to let me know that it was actually on Friday, and not Saturday. I told him, "OK, that's fine. I flipped weekends with [the IX], so Friday night works."

"Oh great!" he says. " you like Van Halen?"

After getting a big ol' grin on my face, I say, "They're only like MY FAVORITE." (And yes, they really are.)

He says, "I might be able to score tickets to their concert Saturday night. Would you be interested?"

Ummmmm....YEAH! I've already told him that while I really enjoy concerts if everything works out for me to get to go, I'm never that disappointed to miss 'em, either.

And then we chatted about Van Halen, and he states that he prefers the incarnation of Van Halen with Sammy Hagar as the frontman.

ME TOO! Yes, seriously! I wasn't going to say that at first, for fear of making it sound like I didn't really care to go since David Lee Roth has risen from the dead to resume his position as lead singer on this tour. But once he said it, I was eager to agree.

Our conversation this evening was a scant 13:45. But I can't wipe this big ol' goofy grin off my face! I've even done a little happy dance. In fact, I'm kinda halfway doing one right now.

And frankly, at this point, I don't really care where we're going or what we're doing, as long as he's there, and we're finally face to face. Cheek to cheek....

OK, I'm getting carried away.

You see? This is exactly what I was talking about. I have some real joy now. I have excitement. I have anticipation. Now, it may not work out in the long run, but right this very moment, I'm happy. There's still that little ol' annoying detail in my life of still not having a job, but ya know what? This motivates me even more. I don't want to have these negatives hanging over the positives. I want to get my life in order so I can fully, really, enjoy this.

So tomorrow, my efforts will once again be renewed to become gainfully employed. Sheesh, anything to pass the time 'til Friday! I'm heading to a temp agency. I never did apply at any restaurants, but I'm gonna give the temp agency a shot. I'm gonna drag a response out of them to see if there's any hope of getting a job anytime soon, and if not, I'll head over to the new surf & turf restaurant that just opened not too long ago.

Oh, Friday seems soooooooooooooooooooooooooo far away!

OK...this is good...

So this online dating thing might not be all the horror stories you hear. I mean, there are plenty of dream-come-true stories out there, too.

While I'm quite apprehensive to believe that I might already be on my way to the latter, it certainly does appear this just might be the case.

Now, before you react with a "Pffft! Here she goes...", allow me to present the evidence.

It all started one week ago today when I received an email from someone on the dating site. It wasn't the generic little flirt that gets thrown around all over the site, but a personal note. He talked about how he loved my profile and wanted to know more. Very courteous and respectful. He mentioned he has a 14-year-old son, and then he closed the note by saying he thinks I'm pretty. Tee hee...

So I write him back. And we begin quite an email exchange over the course of the week. And I'm talking long, involved, super-meaty emails. Yup, his were, too. And given my last crash & burn in my initial attempt at online dating, I played this much more stealthily. For a while, anyway...but when he said he's been divorced since before I even got married (he's 7 years older than me), I felt compelled to fill him in on my situation. I composed a matter-of-fact email that went through the basics of the past two years of my life, and also stated that I'd completely understand if he had any reservations about continuing after this revelation. But he wrote back, saying he still wanted to continue. :-D

So we continued emailing for the next couple of days, and he said he wanted to call me. I gave him my number. (Yup, I know...don't start with me.) He called me on Saturday night a little after 10:00.

We didn't hang up until 4:00 AM.

It was like we've known each other for years. We have the same values, the same ideals, and the same attitude on life. We are both in total agreement that for this to have any possibility for the long-term, things must go slow and steady. But he's also been saying things to indicate that my compulsion to plant a big ol' sloppy wet one on him the first time I see him just might be mutual.

Yup, that's right...we haven't seen each other face-to-face. We talked last night for another two hours (that felt like 30 minutes), and made possible plans for the weekend. I told him I'd talk to the IX and ask him if we could flip our weekends again (it turns out we managed to flip them back after we went back to every other weekend when the school year started), and the IX agreed without even asking why. So now I have this coming weekend free, the important part being that Prince Charming & I now have the same kids-on-the-weekend schedule. Tee hee hee...

And this morning, we've been sending witty, flirty, totally-disgusting-if-it-were-anyone-else texts back and forth. Tee hee hee...

He's really good at keeping it all in perspective, though...when things start getting a little too flirty, he inserts something about 'friendship' or 'we're just having fun for now...' So when we do go out on Saturday, I'm just gonna follow his lead. I'm gonna resist the urge to find out the fun way if he still has his tonsils. :)

Things that make me go hmmm:

  • His son has the same name as the RK.
  • He shares his name with one of my brothers.
  • Our birthdays are just 3 days apart.
  • He loves how much I love football.
  • He said my Texas accent was cute.
  • We were both raised in the Baptist church. And let's face it...there aren't too many of us horrid Baptists in the state of Michigan.

I'm going to do this the right way. The honorable way. I've learned my lessons. So far, this is like a fairy tale, and I'm not going to be stupid and screw up something that seems to have some real potential!

I have to admit my mind has been running with this. But I'm also willing myself to think of all the things that could possibly go wrong, to remind myself of the odds, to not think any further ahead than the coming days.

But by golly, this is fun! I'll keep y'all posted...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My secret world of blogging

Wow, in my blogger life, the last couple of days have been quite eventful. For one thing, I'm approaching my 100th post. That deserves a big "WOW!" I really feel like I'm falling into my unique and personal blogging groove, and I hope I'm able to continue to keep it up for a long time.

I am an extremely social creature. I thrive on interaction with others. And all that I've been through has put me in a place of virtual non-interaction. My family is small. I have my mom, who is the only person I'm related to that I keep in touch with on any sort of a regular basis. And I talk to her a few times a week. My dad has passed, my half-brothers were already moved out of the house when I was born, and to add to that, I don't really relate to or agree with their life perspectives and outlooks. There's really not a lot of love lost between us...there's just...nothing. I have an aunt who lives on the Texas Gulf coast, but we're not in frequent touch. And that's about it.

For a decade, I was married to a man with a major anti-social streak. Funny, huh? He managed to keep a close circle of friends something non-existent in our life together. When we finally did meet another family that he could spend a lot of time with and 'let in,' so to speak, he ends up sleeping with the wife and leaving me for her.

His insecurities were contagious, I'll admit, and I went along with this inability to let anyone in, but looking back now, I resisted it, too. I think the end of our marriage had a lot to do with this, actually.

Less than two years ago, we moved. Our neighborhood is one of 'The Starter House.' It's full of young marrieds with young kids. Just perfect for us!

But now, I'm a single mom surrounded by beautiful, happy families. Not exactly the best scenario for creating close friendships. I have some wonderful neighbors, but my situation in life has made it difficult to find my place among them on a regularly social basis. They all know why my garage is only half-full now, but they aren't making much effort to include me in the various neighborhood goings-on. And I don't fault them for that, because I realize this is a touchy situation. How to proceed with a veritable stranger in a situation such as mine is uncharted and choppy waters for most.

So I have turned to the virtual neighborhood that's only found within the millions of pixels and neverending combination of letters and numbers that only exist when I sit down on this love seat and open up this laptop. And it has been my very necessary outlet. Everything that I wish I had someone sitting next to me on my couch to talk about with, I've expunged on here.

And although I've never seen the faces of the recipients of my thoughts and stories (at least not in person), I have made the dearest of friends through this venture of mine. You guys have been walking with me through my stages of change and healing, offering your support, your encouragement, your words of caution, your ear. And I am in awe of the 'leg up' it's given me as I move into this new season of life!

Nobody I know in real life has any idea this blog exists. Not even the RK. This is my own private thing, where I can speak freely about whatever is on my mind. Which means that you guys are all a secret of mine, too...kinda cool, huh?

You guys have no idea how much I love you. Thanks for finding the tales of my life as interesting as I find yours. Thanks for taking the time and putting the thought it takes into making your comments. It's given me a sense of existence during a time in my life where I've felt very invisible and alone!

I actually feel like a bona fide blogger now! My hit counter has been going up, with my daily average steadily increasing all the time.

One recent reason for this last area of growth of my blog, and really the main blogging 'event' I alluded to earlier, is this post by Eric. This note of recognition touched me so deeply. I've been stuck in a way of life with an overall sense of feeling very invisible and unimportant, and this has done so much to show me that I am visible, and what I have to say just might be important! The fact that something I wrote could have such an effect on someone I've never even met, to compel them to devote a big chunk of a post to little ol' me and my little ol' musings, is a huge boost to my self-esteem. Thanks, Eric. :)

To all of you who are reading from the barren and beautiful land of West Texas: I will be back in town. I don't know when, I don't know for how long, but I will come. It is my home, and in the decade I've been gone, I haven't been able to stay away for any longer than 18 months. And when I do come, we are all having supper at a location to be chosen by me. ;-) Get ready! I'll be sure to give you as much advance notice as I can to aid in getting it all figured out.

There are also a couple of my fellow bloggers who are going through some pretty severe difficulties in their lives right now. So severe are these difficulties, they have closed their comments section to their recent posts addressing them. So since I can't offer my own words of encouragement and support on their pages, I'll do it right here. You know who you are. I love you both, and I hope it helps in some small way to know that you are in my thoughts today, and especially my prayers. Blessings!

Did y'all notice that I've been working on my blog's layout? I added a picture to the title bar. Quite appropriate, huh? And what I think is pretty cool about that picture is the fact that I took it!

I'm off to fold laundry, and the Longhorns are kicking off in a few short minutes. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2007

¡Cuatro es el numero magico!

Janie over at Sounding Forth tagged me the other day. I'm feeling rather bloggy this morning, but don't really have anything weighing so heavily on my mind that I feel compelled to dump it out here. So a meme is the perfect solution! Here we go!

Four Jobs I’ve Held
  1. Telemarketer (THE WORST)
  2. Waitress
  3. Gyro-maker
  4. Mom (THE BEST)

Four Films I Could Watch Over and Over
  1. Forrest Gump
  2. Fried Green Tomatoes
  3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  4. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Four TV Shows I Watch
  1. Grey's Anatomy
  2. ER
  3. Lost
  4. Dr. Phil

Four Places I’ve Lived
  1. Midland, TX
  2. Austin, TX
  3. Indianapolis, IN
  4. Novi, MI

Four Favorite Foods

  1. Green enchiladas
  2. Guacamole (notice a theme?)
  3. Greek salads
  4. Beef brisket
Four Websites I Visit Daily
  3. Sounding Forth (multiple times a day)

Four Favorite Colors
  1. Blue
  2. Green
  3. Rich chocolately brown
  4. Burnt orange, of course!

Four Places I Would Love to be Right Now
  1. Bed
  2. Any Mexican beach
  3. Scratch Mexican...any beach, period
  4. Texas

Four Names You Love, But Could/Would Not Use for Your Children

This one's really tough, but I'll give it my best shot!

  1. Eloise (my grandmother's name)
  2. Michael (too common)
  3. Aloysius (I like the ring of it, but it's too hard to spell ;-) )
  4. Yeah, I got nothin' else.

Ok then...I tag In_spired, liv, Amusing (I know you're just coming out of the meme to end all memes, but I thought you might be up for one that involved little to no effort), and Sleeping Mommy.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

They broke the mold for him...

[Updated: On the advice of two of my readers and dear friends, Eric and In_spired, I'm republishing this post with my doctor's full name and a link to his obit to increase the possibility that his family might find it. Thanks for your advice and encouragement!]

One thing I wanted to talk about on my last post was something I found in the Midland newspaper's obituaries a few days ago. I'm glad I waited to talk about this now, because this definitely deserves a post of its own.

For those of you who are located in the Midland area, you may have seen this as well, and might possibly even have direct knowledge of the man I'm about to speak of.

It turns out that my pediatrician for the first two decades of my life, Dr. Allen, passed away last week. He was a wonderful doctor, and got me through some extremely rough times, one of the most notable being scarlet fever on my sixth birthday. I had some allergy issues as well, and when I was talking with my mom last night, she reminisced about how she'd take me by the doctor's office once every other week for an allergy shot. She mentioned how she used to marvel at how I'd hop out of the car, run in, disappear for a moment or two, and run back out. All by myself. I don't remember at what ages I did this, but I know it was during elementary school.

Anyway, this man was such a blessing to the field of pediatrics. In that same discussion with my mom, I asked her if she had any idea if Dr. Allen had had his office built himself, or if it already existed when he moved his practice into it. She said she's pretty sure he built it himself. And my reason for asking that was because of the brilliant design this little building has. It was quite small, with a basic rectangular shape. There were five doors stretching across the street-facing side. The first door on the left had no markings of any kind (except for perhaps the address number next to the doorjamb), and each of the subsequent four doors were adorned with a '1,' '2,' '3,' or '4' in big wooden numerals. That first door led into the waiting and reception area, and the other four were private entrances into the four exam rooms.

You see, Dr. Allen had the insight and general common sense to arrange his facility in a way that those children who were there to have a possibly contagious illness treated were instructed to wait in their car instead of in the waiting area where their maladies could be transferred to other patients. I remember so many times pulling into that parking lot, my mom running in to announce our arrival, and back out she'd come to wait with me, who more than likely was dying. After a few minutes, one of the four numbered doors would open up, and through the crack my mom had created in the car window, we'd hear the nurse holler, "Patricia!" And there we'd go, straight into the exam room.

Again I must say, "Brilliant!" I've never seen that anywhere else since.

Once in the exam room, I remember my mom often getting very impatient with Dr. Allen, because through the rather thin walls, we could hear him chatting it up with other patients' parents while we sat there, me often being in utter misery, waiting. I don't really know if we usually waited all that long, given that my age limited my perspective as to what was a long wait and what wasn't. But finally, Dr. Allen would come in, examine me, harrass me a little if I wasn't feeling all that bad, and then he'd sit and chat with my mom for a few moments while he wrote out a script and/or announced if I'd be getting a shot. Oh, the anxiety that would well up in me when he'd go sit in that chair after completing the exam! I'd hang on his every word waiting to hear if a shot was coming.

Aaaahhh yes....the shots. Those aforementioned allergy shots were obviously no big deal. But those that I got to help cure an illness came in those big, long, scary, fat, glass syringes. And they didn't go in my arm. They went into my butt.

I remember many instances of getting sick enough when I was still quite small to prompt my mom to announce to me, as I was laying there dying on the couch, that it was time to call Dr. Allen. I'd holler and scream and cry, "Nooooooooo, Mom! Please, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I don't want to get a shot!" And bless her heart...she wouldn't be swayed by this pitiful, pathetic wailing of mine, she'd call, and if I needed a shot, I always soldiered through it. And I know my mom had to soldier through forcing me into such a torturous situation, even though it was for my own good.

And as I grew, I began to notice that these big, hairy shots would get me to feeling better before sunset that same day. So as the number of candles steadily increased on my birthday cakes, I still came down with these life-threatening illnesses from time to time. But in place of that pathetic wailing, out of my mouth would come these words: "Mom, would you call Dr. Allen? I think I could use a shot."

He even made it possible to receive calls of an emergency nature after hours, or on his days off (which I think besides the weekends, were Wednesdays.)

Dr. Allen had a marvelous sense of humor and bedside manner as well. Yes, he would harrass his patients, but in a very loving, at-ease sort of way. Back when I was in that pitiful wailing stage of life, Dr. Allen referred to me as "The Princess." And then after I had matured somewhat and was no longer a 'little' girl, I noticed that I had graduated to "The Queen." (Very apropos, I might add.) I can remember my mom mentioning having run into Dr. Allen at the grocery store one time and him having inquired about The Queen.

Now that I am grown, (in no small part to his having saved my life multiple times) and have boys of my own, I judge every pediatrician that treats them by these lofty standards. And I must admit I've never found a doctor coming anywhere close to Dr. Allen.

This world has lost a good one. Fare thee well, doctor. You will be sorely missed!

I really hate trying to come up with witty post titles.

My house is a mess. I need to do laundry. And here I sit.

The IB woke up yesterday morning as usual, we took the RK to the bus stop, came back, and I fed him breakfast. After that, he slowed down. Cranky. Lethargic. Listless. Uh oh...he feels a little warm. I took him upstairs and for the first time in his life, I took his temperature. Holy moly, 103ยบ!

I'm not the type to flip out and be an over-worrisome mom, but since he was just nine days out from his surgery, I decided I better call the doctor just to be safe. I talked to the nurse at the pediatrician's office, and upon her recommendation, the nurse at the pediatric surgery office at the hospital as well. And we concluded that it's not related to the surgery, and just a normal bug. Motrin was called for.

He slept most of the day yesterday, and when he wasn't sleeping, he just sat on my lap. Just sat there. He never just sits! But I have to admit, I really enjoyed it. I'm at my mommy-finest when my kids are sick.

So we sat there and watched Noggin. And for the first time, I actually watched it with my undivided attention. Have any of you ever seen "The Upside Down Show?" What a great show! Its basis is using one's imagination, and it's these two guys who have incredibly vivid, creative, and hilarious imaginations. I laughed out loud the whole way through the show! I'm gonna start making sure the TV is tuned in, more for my sake than the IB's.

So anyway, his fever broke around 4:00 PM, and he started to come back to his usual self, but never made it all the way. I remember the RK used to do that when he was younger...have these phantom fevers with no other symptoms that would go away without incident. My guess is it's his little body is heading off some nasty bug right at the pass. Fine by me!

Brrrrr....fall has returned! I've busted out my fuzzy sweatshirts and have started putting socks on my feet. I'm dreading winter. I don't do snow. I hate being cold. But then again...I love snuggling in a warm bed, or under a warm blanket, drinking nice hot coffee or tea, enjoying homemade soup or stew. But that'll get old really quick. Argh...the winters up here are so long. Come on, May 2008!

On the online dating front, I haven't heard back from that one guy. be it. Chicken. As for the slight resemblance of a debate that almost got started on my last post, I've weighed the various perspectives and have come to a conclusion. Perhaps I should be a little more shady about my past & current situation...for a short while, at least. Just until I can fully demonstrate my innate awesomeness, and get it to where whomever it is I'm communicating with clearly understands that I am who I am, and while my particular circumstances do look rather questionable at first glance, I'm a conscientious woman and possess the strength of character to keep said circumstances from consuming my whole psyche. But it's definitely not something I want to be holding back for too long...because then, it would make me look like I'm into deception and hiding important facts whose revelation is ultimately crucial to entering into any sort of meaningful, healthy, mutually trusting relationship, be it friendship or beyond.

So there. Game plan tweaked.

OK then. I think the tangled-up, mangled-up thoughts swirling around in my head have now been purged. I guess I should go clean my kitchen now. Crap.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

This is just crazy!

OK, I caved. I ended up sending that email. I decided that I was just going to take the risk and send it, instead of perhaps missing an opportunity because of fear and inaction. I got a response. He said that he had read and reread my first email, and could only come to the conclusion that I'm not ready to re-enter the dating world. That he waited three years after his divorce to start dating, and at this point, he has no negative or hard feelings regarding what he went through anymore.

Well, bully for him.

And he might be right. But I think the operative word there is 'might.' Why not ask a few questions, gain a little more insight, and take it one step at a time? Who knows, he just 'might' be surprised.

One thing I absolutely loved in his response was his last two words: "Your thoughts?" I was happy he was willing to keep the dialog open. So I crafted a response to him, informing him that I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past decade (meaning my life has been pretty much restricted to the confines of my residence), and that my getting on the site is evidence that I'm ready to move on.

I also reiterated from my profile that anything I might find interesting will go slow. I even came up with a great tortoise/hare analogy. The rate of emotional investment I make in another person will be slow and steady. That's what wins the race, after all, right?

I've noticed he's been spending time on my profile during, 'time of consideration.' The fact that he is putting so much thought into this tells me that the initial attraction and interest is mutual. And that's exciting! I'm still hoping he will want to ask a few more questions, as shallow or as deep as is comfortable for him, but I'll admit my general level of excitement and hope of potential in this guy is dwindling. If he's really having to contemplate this so deeply without gaining any new information, perhaps he's the one with more issues than me. Good grief.

Liv, I really appreciate your perspective, and it definitely has given me something to ponder. But let me be clear that I have not shared any specific details with him about my circumstances, only that I've been through a difficult, emotional and life-changing experience.

But Ba Doozer, you got it. I'm not pulling any punches as to who I am, and my past, even though it's not yet all that distant, has a lot do with that. As it does for anyone. But I think the crucial thing here is the fact that I'm past dwelling on it. I'm being honest about it, but I'm facing towards the future.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm just way off base in my philosophies, don't have an iota of a clue about all this, and am going about it all wrong. I know what I want, and I know how I'm willing to get there. I have so much hope, but at other times, I feel like a naive little girl who's blindly putting herself into a dangerous position. For me, though, at least in this case, the antonym of 'naivete' is 'cyncism.' I'm well aware of the fact that the world can be an ugly place, but I have a game plan to protect myself from unnecessarily getting hurt...well, again. At the same time, though, I still know that there are at least a few glimpses of beauty and joy amidst the ugliness. Do I really know how to differentiate between the two? Or is my vision impaired by my eternal optimism and everyone-initially-deserves-the-benefit-of-the-doubt attitude? Perhaps the latter is a little more true at this point, but as time goes on, I know I'll acquire lots of wisdom and experience.

So now I'm waiting again. But much, much less expectantly. Heh...this should be interesting, if I get anything back at all. And I'm not holding my breath.


On another note...

The IB took his first steps yesterday! It was so awesome. He cut the corner from the outside edge of the playpen over to the loveseat. He probably totaled 4 steps. Yay, IB! I'm having a hard time getting him to try it again, but that's half the fun. I know he'll be running all over the place before too long!


OK, I'm now reverting back to the strong, intelligent, self-assured woman from the hormonal little teenage girl this has turned me into. I think I'll shoot an email at that recruiter I met with a couple of weeks ago. I haven't heard a peep from her, and that's not good. Did I mention I'm just about to the point of throwing in the towel and getting a job waiting tables for now, just to get some funds rolling in? Grrr. The house needs plenty of attention as well, just like always. Certainly nothing new there.

OK then....I'm off!

Monday, October 8, 2007

One down, and....well, one down.

My initiation back into the dating world has begun. And with this particular guy, has ended.

We had a nice enough time, I really enjoyed having the almost undivided attention of a person of the opposite sex. I shared his attention with his cell phone, but I'd have to say it wasn't so much that I was irritated by it, or anything. In fact, it worked out that I got to meet some of his friends, who I really enjoyed. I wish I could see them again, but not him.

He wasn't so much into my mind, I guess is a good way to put it. He was looking for some action. I had a couple of moments of weakness, but maintained my composure. He made it very difficult, though...and I mean that in a physical sense. Yup. Nothing of a criminal nature, but it told me a lot about him. It's important that I can find someone who will show more interest in my soul before my body. I realize I've got my work cut out for me in finding him, but I'm up to the challenge. I'm not going to settle for anything less.

Alrighty then...moving on.

I found another profile of a guy that was right on. So I emailed him and he wrote back, saying he found my profile interesting as well, and asked a couple of questions. I answered them, asked a couple of my own, and threw in a bluntly honest disclaimer about what I've been through the last couple of years. I used some very powerful words, and it's making me think it was a huge mistake to be so candid. Because I haven't heard back. And I'm worried to death that I scared him off. It wouldn't be such a big deal, but I really, truly think this could have some legs, and I'm terrified I've already made it come crashing down.

So now, dear readers, I hope you'll offer some advice. I have composed an email trying to backtrack a little bit, but I'm having a fit trying to decide if I should send it. I don't want to come across as needy or desperate, but if sending it would perhaps smooth over some wrong impression he might've gotten, then I don't want to lose the opportunity. I'm going to post the text of it, and then please don't be shy...give me some good feedback to help me decide how to proceed. Here we go:


I'm a little worried by your lack of a response to my last email that my blunt honesty might've freaked you out. If it was my selection of such powerful words, then I definitely didn't come across as I intended. My perspective on what I've been through is that it has been a character-building experience, and that what hasn't killed me has made me stronger. I would hope you'd put the most emphasis on my use of the words "joy" & "excitement."

If this is the case, then I'm willing to answer any tougher questions you might have if it could possibly ease your mind. It couldn't hurt, right? At this point, neither of us has anything to lose. The fact is, your profile rings more bells with me than any other I've come across, and I'm concerned I might've already blown it.

If I'm off-target and you're not interested in continuing to get know me for some other particular circumstance of my life, then so be it. I guess it turns out that the potential's not there after all. If this is indeed the case, just pay me the courtesy of informing me of this, I'll wish you all the luck in the world, and we'll move on.


His silence is so frustrating. I just wish I knew what he was thinking, and if sending this would help or hurt. I sent my last email to him a little before 7:00 last night, so my plan right now is to give him 24 hours from the time of my last email to respond before I send this one. Perhaps he's just been busy or sidetracked, and hasn't had the chance. I just don't know. If that's the case, then this note would certainly do more harm than good, I think. But if he is freaked, then perhaps it would be good for me to send it.

Ugh, I guess I'm really bad at this. Thoughts or suggestions? Thanks, y'all.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

And thus it commences...

I've unexpectedly found myself child-free for the night. When the IX came over this morning to pick up the RK to go sell popcorn for Cub Scouts, he asked if he could have the boys for the night, since they're also scheduled to sell popcorn again tomorrow.

OK...that sets me up for the reason I'm writing this post.

My efforts in online dating are already returning results. I've already chatted with a guy on the phone, so I texted him a little while ago, letting him know of my surprise childless status, and we're going to meet for a drink this evening!

And now, this is me flipping out.



OK...I feel better.

So anyway, about this guy. I'm actually not all that impressed thus far. He's a car salesman...I don't really care for that type. He went on and on on his profile about an ex-girlfriend, but I noticed earlier he's since changed it. He indicated he makes quite a bit of money, but added that if the person looking doesn't have a job and is wanting a provider to look elsewhere. Ummmm....that would be me...well, the no-job-havin' part, but I'm definitely not looking for a provider...not at this point, anyway. I'm eager to get to the point where I learn I'm perfectly capable of providing for myself and my family.

I don't really care at this point. I'm going out tonight! Yeehaw!!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Oh, what have I gotten myself into?

I can't believe what I've done. I think I might've created a monster. I did something I never thought I'd ever do, or be able to do, for that matter.

I posted a profile on a very popular online dating site.

I've just gotten to the point where I am so unbelievably sick and tired of not having any sort of active social life, I'm about to go crazy. I'm sick of not having anything to look forward to during my 'free' weekends. I'm sick of not having anything to be sincerely excited about. I need the motivation to work on myself that a new....ummm....acquaintance...can produce. Did that last one make sense? You know...getting rid of those little undesirable personal quirks that aren't very attractive to others, and adopting those that are.

Thus far I've found myself quite bold and daring with this new 'hobby.' I've sent little flirty notifications to three guys, and emailed one of them telling him what compelled me to send the flirt. It can't hurt, right? And besides, there's not all that much risk or major investment in exchanging a couple of notes or chatting on IM. And that's most certainly all I'm looking for initially.

I've received a couple of those little flirts already, but from guys who live way too far away (40 miles is my absolute max) and out of my comfortable age range. And SOOOOOO not my type. So I've decided to be more proactive in my endeavor. It's more my nature to be pursued, but looking back on my adolescent-to-adult life, I seem to attract guys to whom I can't return the attraction.

The distance thing is a big one for me. I saw one guy on there who said he's looking for someone within 5000 miles of Houston. I laughed out loud!

Of course, every criteria is negotiable for the right person.

So, this should give me all kinds of fodder for this blog. Aren't you excited?

Call the doctor! I'm feeling a little meme-y.

My new friend in the blogosphere, Tabba, included a meme in her blog the other day. And I enjoyed reading it so much, I've decided to shamelessly swipe it. How it works is the things I can answer "true" to, I put in bold. Enjoy!

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36.Danced like a fool and didn’t care who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer

40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage

85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper

129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

So there ya have it. If you have the same inclination to participate like I did, go for it! And make sure you let me know, OK?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Post-op update

We're just about back to normal around here with the IB. He's back to his sweet little self, but still seems to have a little discomfort. He had two small incisions, and his poor little sack is all black & blue. They gave us a prescription for Tylenol 3, but I haven't had it filled, and at this point probably won't. The OTC stuff seems to be doing the trick.

His stitches cannot be submerged, so we're having to do sponge baths for the week until they dissolve. What a pain. He got his first one last night. I ended up putting him into the empty bathtub with a little hospital washbasin full of soapy water and got him cleaned up that way. His hair needed the most attention, given that he likes to take his hands that have food all over them and rub them all over his head.

The one thing I've enjoyed post-op is how snuggly he's been. He's been laying his head on my shoulder, and just wanting to sit on my lap. He's normally not like that, much to my chagrin. (Neither was the RK...sigh.) I like that version of the IB. I hope it continues.

Sorry I didn't get this posted yesterday like I said I would. Now I'm off to get some other stuff taken care of that I've been procrastinating on. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Reality TV hits close to home

Are any of you watching this new season of Dancing with the Stars? So far, I'm really enjoying it, but there is a part of the show this season that just rips my heart out, and really makes it quite difficult for me to watch. Let me explain...

I've talked before, quite a while ago I see now, about the IX's job. (New, or need a refresher? Click here.) For those of you who are watching DWTS, you know that Helio Castroneves is one of the competitors. And this man, although I personally have never met him, holds a very special place in my heart.

The show is touting him as a "two-time Indy 500 winner." And I can tell you right off the bat that it was in 2001 & 2002.

And my ex-husband built the engines that were in his car both years.

We weren't at these races, but we were gathered with his co-workers watching them on a big screen TV in a local restaurant's banquet room. And what celebrations they were! I remember the champagne hangovers I had the following days...oy.

Looking back on it now, both of those wins were major chapters in my life with the IX. They will always be right up at the top of my most prominent memories with that man.

The IX even got his picture on the front page of the community paper where his employer is located, and the company got a huge write-up as well. Helio even came to the shop not too long after both of his big wins, and the IX was able to meet him and get him to sign a copy of the article (whichever year it was...I can't recall if it was the first win or the second). I think it's still tucked away somewhere here at the house.

Oh, I was so proud & supportive of the IX. And it really never meant that much to him, I've discovered.

So anyway, it's turning out that Helio is definitely the one to beat on DWTS this season. Argh. As soon as I heard he was one of the competitors, I've been hoping he'd be awful and get voted off nice and early. No such luck! Hopefully I'll get used to it as the weeks go on, because it's quite evident he ain't going nowhere.

But oh my gosh, his mambo last night! I was almost jumping off the couch, it was so good!


Monday, October 1, 2007

At the hospital

So here I am at the University of Michigan hospital's cafeteria. The IB is in for his little operation on the family jewels, and thankfully, the cafeteria has wi-fi! I'm having what has to be at least my fourth cup of coffee since getting up this morning, and frankly, it's tasting quite bitter at this point.

Everything has gone well so far this morning…we were a few minutes late, but that's pretty typical. The OR was a little backed up, anyway. The IB was getting quite restless, and I couldn't put him down and let him go exploring the pre-op area, due to the other patients. Everyone sure thought he was a cute little guy, though!

So finally they come to take him away from me, and that point, I'm ready. My arms are so tired from trying to keep him corralled and entertained, I'm ready for the relief! But now that he's gone, and I can't get to him, I miss him so much!

When we got to our pre-op cubby, there was a child next door who was bald. Ya know, you hear about kids with cancer, you see the ads on TV all the time for St. Jude's, or whatever…but it always stays somewhat distant and detached when you see it on the TV screen. But this child…and frankly, I couldn't tell if it was a boy or a girl…I just wanted to scoop up and love! He/She was in good spirits, like it was old hat. Which makes me sad, in a way. Surgery and other such intrusive medical procedures should not be so well known to a child this age. Kudos, to the youngster, though, for apparently being strong and mature enough to roll with the punches that life has so unfairly dealt him/her.

The IX had said a while back that he wanted to be here for the IB's surgery. I said that would be fine with me, and gave him all the info. I haven't been looking forward to him being around for this…I wasn't planning on talking with him much, or really having too much to do with him. That's why I decided to bring the laptop……………………


1:00 PM
I got paged to go be with the IB in the recovery room, so I had to cut it off. Everything went fine, and we're now back home, and the IB's up in his own little beddy-bye, sleeping off the residual effects of the anesthesia.

So anyway, just as we find a spot in the parking garage, I get a text from the IX, saying he slept late and wouldn't make it. Whatever…it seems like in this situation, better late than never is the name of the game. I'm upset for the the IB's sake, but was relieved for my own sake.


The IB came through the procedure with flying colors, and was extremely cranky and out of sorts when I got to him. He lethargically cried for about 30-45 minutes. The nurses seemed to be a little concerned about this, but I assured them that it was just his tenacity shining through. He didn't even want to suck his thumb, or drink any juice, or anything! But finally, he snuggled his 'boppy,' (his cloth diaper that's his little security blanket) stuck his thumb in his mouth and let it go.

He still hasn't eaten anything today, but he seemed like he needed a nap more than he was hungry. So when he wakes up, I'll be sure to give him lots of his favorite foods. Bless that sweet little itty-bitty heart…

I'll be back later, hopefully. I think I could use a bit of a snooze myself.