Friday, December 31, 2010

Brrrrrrrrrr, It's cold here!

I couldn't believe how cold it was here. 27 freakin degrees!!!!!  Now I moved to Arizona for 2 things, cheaper to live here and warm weather. Well, I am not so sure anymore about #2. I left work only to find my car covered with  ice and had to get out an old ID card to scrape my windows.

All I had on was my thin uniform and a hoodie sweater. I was completely frozen and my fingers were stinging when I was done. I moved to Arizona so I wouldn't be cold anymore!!!!! What happened!!!!!!!

And the great thing is it's going to be even colder tonight. Guess that long underwear hiding somewhere in the back of my closet is coming out and getting dusted off. I am such a wimp when it comes to cold weather.

One year I went to a costume themed pub-crawl in El Paso,Tx in January and I picked Laura Croft. Reason I picked her is because in the movie she wears a fur cloak and since it is COLD there I could wear something warm over my costume.

I made one with polar fleece lining and fur on the outside. It weighs a ton but I was so warm and happy that night. Everyone was jealous and couldn't believe I made it. I still have it and have used it a couple of times since then and have loaned it out to other people for their costumes.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Medical Marijuana

The other day there was a debate in the dept. over the recent passing of Medical Marijuana here. I listened to everyone's point of view and it was interesting how many misconceptions that they had.

Some people view it as something as bad as someone addicted to Meth! Ummm...If you look at a meth addict's MRI of their brain you will see a huge difference. Others said it will lead to people using other drugs. Well, like the saying you can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Marijuana doesn't make people upgrade in drug use, PEOPLE choose to upgrade. Many other things were said but I finally had enough and stopped them all in their tracks with this statement.

Can you overdose on prescription drugs?   (them) YES
Can you overdose on alcohol?   YES
Can you overdose on cocaine?   YES
Ok, can you overdose on Pot????? (them) silence......................
Well?     Hmmmm, I never thought of that.
I left them scratching their heads on that one and just walked away smiling.

My point of view is that I have seen the many medical benefits and if it helps than why not. In this day and age people are so attached to new technology and drugs that they seem to forget something.

In the dark ages, medicine and other products were derived from plants. One of which was cannabis. Look at any health food store, though some are questionable in product quality, and you will find many natural alternatives to today's synthetic products. I do agree that illegal drugs should be stopped but this should not be in the same category.

By making it legal it can be relegated by the state, gain money for the state in taxes, divert police resources to fighting the hard-core drugs, and by growing and supplying it the need for supplies from the drug lords in Mexico will stop. Hmmm, am I missing something or is there more benefits in the long run here.


Ok, the only true side effect that I know of is that you may go broke from a munchies binge or you may upset your girlfriend by falling asleep!

Ok guys, you are welcome to have at it and let your comments fly!!!!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas

I know that I have been lazy posting this last couple of weeks. Been crazy busy with work and errands. I wanted to get everything done before the last minute Christmas rush at the stores. Was even so desperate to avoid the stores that on Christmas eve I ran to the local Circle K to get toilet paper. Yeah, it is cheap stuff and expensive but I will do anything to avoid the stores. One year on Christmas Eve I had to run to Wallmart to pick up a couple of items. Huge Mistake!!!!! Wouldn't you know it, I get rear-ended by a driver in a hurry. So after that I swore to do anything to avoid stores.

I hope you had fun on Christmas. I spent a lazy morning watching a couple of movies with Sweetpea and then moseyed on over to my sisters house for a wonderful dinner prepared by my brother-in-law. He is the cook in the family since my sister burns everything she tries to cook. All of us in the family tried to teach her to cook but after several disasters we gave up and told her to make sure she marries someone who can cook. She did well and he is an excellent cook. His mash potatoes are legendary. Can't tell you his secret but trust me they are yummy.

Mom is spending the Christmas holidays with my Grandma and Uncle in Virgina with relatives there. They are having a wonderful time and had a nice white Christmas morning. Wish I could have been there to enjoy the day with everyone and actually have a white Christmas. I haven't had one in years. Last time that I had one was when I was living in Apple Valley,CA.

Christmas is done, phone calls to all the relatives are done, and there is only one present left to give out to and it will be a late but well worth it present. Will have to tell you about it later as I don't want to give it away. Well maybe I will give you a hint. Can you guess?????



Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas past and present.

I hope everyone is enjoying their preparations for the upcoming holidays. I have most of the Christmas shopping done with the exception of a couple of items. I do know that one special present I am working on will have to be a late delivery. Shhhhh, I know my family is reading this so I can't tell you what it is.

Funny thing is, I don't even know where I will be celebrating the holidays. I have family but they are all going to be at other places celebrating. It is not the first time that I have been by myself for the holidays. There have been many times where I will work overtime so someone else can spend the holidays with their family. When I am working then I will either stop by my sisters house after I get off work in the morning or at night after I wake up and have a nice little visit. When I am not working I just relax at home, enjoy a little meal, and watch Christmas movies. To some it may sound lonely or boring but after being single for so long, I have gotten pretty used to it.

It was weird when Max moved in with me and I actually had to do up the house and everything for him. It ended up being fun with him there. I upgraded from a little tabletop tree to a regular tree. That led to more ornaments, Christmas lights, etc. Every year it got bigger and bigger. Now that I am back in a little place I gave the Christmas decorations to my Nephew to use in his new place. He got a HUGE red rolling tote filled with everything he needed. Tree, lights, decorations, wrapping paper, and even Christmas cards. Instant Christmas in a tote. Hmmmm, maybe this is an idea that could sell.

Now don't get me wrong, I am no scrooge, I love celebrating the holidays. But I don't let being alone get me down. In fact, I haven't celebrated new years in ages. Why? Because when you are single you really don't have anything to do because everyone I know is out with their husband/boyfriend celebrating. That is OK. Sometimes being alone can be a benefit. Nobody to pick up after, nag you, or fight with. LOL

So wherever, whenever, or with whomever you celebrate, I wish you a happy holidays.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Elf on the shelf

I was reading on the hot tips message board that I follow for good online deals and I read one where they were discussing Elf on the Shelf. I wish I had found this years ago when the kids were little. It has become a great holiday tradition for many and the parents have fun with it.

The elf shows up the day after Thanksgiving and disappears on Christmas day. Each day the kids look to see where the elf is each morning because when he comes back from reporting to Santa how the kids are doing he is sitting in a new place in the house. Kids will even leave their letter next to him to take to Santa.

He moves around during the night and sometimes does mischievous things. Some of the fun things that elves have done are:

Toilet-papered the living room
Switched the collars on the dogs
Wearing a doll dress and sitting at a little tea party set
Head first in a VCR
Left a cereal trail down the hallway
Ate some cookies and left a crumb trail
Floating on a boat in the dogs water bowl
Changed the language on the TV to spanish
Turned the couch upside down
Sprayed silly string in the kids room while they were sleeping
Built a pyramid of Dixie cups in the middle of the living room
Each night he nibbles another piece off of the gingerbread house

Of course you can have one that just perches in interesting places and is not mischievous. For example they can be found hanging in the chandelier, on top of the doorbell, on the entertainment center, in the table centerpiece, on the fireplace, or sitting reading a book. It is great for keeping the kids motivated to be good and gives them something to look forward to each morning. I plan to get this one day when I have grandkids.

It can be found at many places or you can just buy an elf and make up the story yourselves. Here is a link to the storybook and elf. Elf on the Shelf

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Back to the dreaded four letter word "WORK!"

I am sitting here writing this while my cat Sweetpea is eyeing my lunch of cheese and crackers. She is waiting for me to look away just long enough to grab a bite. I am dreading going back to work tonight. This feeling is also compounded by having a great time on vacation and seeing all of the RV's on the road doing what I want to do right now!

Normally I usually like to get to where I am going as soon as I can but this time I was able to sit back and enjoy the trip, maybe not the traffic jam though. Mom was a great partner to have on the road and we spent the time chatting, looking at other RV's, her taking pictures, and funniest of all getting her addicted to Angry Birds on my phone.

We chatted about going on the road full time and how we both are dying to get started. We even talked about maybe even doing it together since a little thing called finances has been keeping the plan on hold so far for both of us.

Next week I am getting started on Plan A of my list to go full time someday. I know that I am not old enough to retire and collect Social Security, and it may not be there when I do want to collect. So for finances I am starting to work on a couple of areas that hopefully will provide an income while on the road. Need to make some calls, network, and pray that the ideas work. Will let you all know what they are and if they work later.

Trying to find a source of income on the road is challenging. I want to do something that won't be in competition with other RV'rs who are working on the road. It is out of respect and helps when you are providing a service/product that is unique. I have read many books that other full-timers have written and many of them have provided great ideas and tips. Granted each situation is different and some of the ideas are more geared towards someone with an income already and want to supplement it.

So with fingers crossed and a bit of luck, I hope things will start happening sooner than later.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

I know I haven't posted anything in quite a while. I was busy working to get stuff done before taking vacation to spend time with my 2 youngest kids. It was a great time and went by way to quickly.

Day 1 started with a very loooonnnnngggg 10 hour drive. First to kids house to pick them up and then back down the mountain to my grandmothers house located in Costa Mesa, CA. The weather looked pretty iffy but it ended up being a perfectly clear sunny day albeit a bit cold.

Because we knew we would be on the road so long we decided to do most of the grocery shopping for the Thanksgiving dinner in Costa Mesa. Well that was a HUGE mistake. The grocery store was packed and to top it off they were having a food drive complete with cute firefighters, police officers, and tons of newspeople. I felt like I was in the black friday shopping craziness.

We spent the days watching movies, looking at old family photos, and playing games. Typical fun family time spent with everyone. We would eat at the house for breakfast, ate out at tons of great restraunts for lunch, and usually had munchies and leftovers from lunch for dinner.


Yummy Luch on the beach



It was so great to see the california coast again. Being a california girl I miss the beach area terribly. Weather was crazy and different everyday. One day ended up being perfect and the kids got to go to the beach and play in the water. It felt great laying out on the beach in the sun even if I was wearing clothing instead of a bathing suit.


Grandma
 Thanksgiving was a wonderful day and grandma spent the whole day with us and didn't want to go back to her place. She lives in a wonderful assited living facility and we took her back late that night before they called the police saying that we kidnapped her.

The drive home was killer because of traffic. It was amazing how many RV's we saw on the road. Mom and I were commenting on which ones we liked and didn't like. She likes the class B's and I like the class A's and bus conversions. The killer part of the drive was getting stuck in road construction traffic on I-10. It was down to 1 lane and very slow going, averaging 2 mph for over an hour. It was funny because we had 3 big rigs in front of us and 4 behind us and they were all in sync going the same speed. Because they were in low gear and taking their time, we cruised at the same speed so no braking or gas pedal, just cruising along at the car's idle speed. It was great and I am sure miffed off some motorists behind us as the grouping was quite spread out and nobody was getting by us. Made me feel special being mixed in with the group. A trucker even honked at us when we finally got off the road at our exit. Wished I had a CB to wish them a good trip and Happy Thanksgiving.

The trip ended with many smiles, memories, and a ahhhhh moment when I was back in my own bed for the night with Sweetpea snuggled next to me. Life is good.

Have a great day and wishing you a great holiday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Entertaining the kids on road trips.

My Mom and I are planning a road trip with the little ones to see my grandmother in California. While I was busy planning all the details I got to thinking about all the road trips taken over the years with my parents and ones with the kids.

Many years ago on a long road trip with my Mom and all 4 of the kids Mom came up with a game. It was something to keep them entertained and it surprisingly has continued to this day. So everytime we are in the car for a bit the little ones ask to play the game. It has kept them occupied, prevents the arguments between them, and gives them something to take their minds off the long drive. They even ask to do it on short drives now. Go figure!!!!

The game is pretty simple. A person picks a letter. Lets say it is R. Now you take turns saying a word that starts with the letter R. Race car, Roadrunner, Rocket, and you keep going until a person can't think of a word or duplicates a word said earlier. That person is out and you keep going until there is one person left. It is pretty interesting what words the kids think of. And it is actually helping them learn words that they never think about. Sometimes we even have arguments on the proper spelling of a word because the sound of a word is different then the spelling.

Who knew that all these years later that something so simple would entertain the kids all these years later.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sundays, love and hate it!

I both look forward to and dread Sundays. I look forward to it because it is my coupon day and I dread it because it is laundry day.

I love doing my coupon shopping because it is a game to see how much I can save. I especially love finding the FREE ones. I belong to a online club, The Grocery Game, where they put out a list of sale items and where to find the coupons needed. It is great because it lists how good of a deal an item is and it cuts out the time wasted wondering where that coupon was. I have saved a ton of money with it, especially when Max was still living here. He was a typical teenager and ate more food than any normal human being yet stayed skinny as a stick. If you still live in a stix & brix then this is great but not so much for a full-time RV'r.

That will be something besides my online shopping I will have to give up one day when I go on the road. But until then I am hunting for those deals and saving up my money to go on the road. As for the online shopping you might want to look at this website, Teri GG Messageboard. It has tons of tips on deals and the best one that I love is the Hot Tips forum. It has awesome finds that members post for everyone to use. It could be a rockin' deal, free shipping codes, or unpublished sale deals. Recently there was a tip for a 6-CD music album set for only $5. Yes, only 5 measly dollars plus free ship to your local store if you live nearby. Yes, I did get that one. One more item checked off my Christmas list.

The thing that I dread is doing laundry. I have to lug all the stuff down to the laundry room and nice as it is to do all of it at once it is a pain to drag it all there and back. Bleh!!!!! Max spoiled me when he was here because that was one of his chores. And as usual Sweet Pea has to lay in the CLEAN laundry, not the dirty pile of course.

Max's other chore was taking out the garbage. Why is it that the men always end up with taking out the trash chore?????? The way I figure it they get off easy compared to alot of the other chores around the house.

Have yourself a great day today.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's my lucky day today.

It has turned out to be a lucky day today. I need to explain the back story of this. If you have not read previous old posts I am pretty much deaf except for a little residual hearing in my left ear since birth. I wear a hearing aid and supplement my hearing with lip-reading. I do so well that most people don't realize that I am hearing impaired when they talk to me.

A month ago my hearing aid disappeared. I had been leaving it off a lot that weekend because my ear was sore.  One morning my mom called and I told her to hold on while I went to put my hearing-aid on. (Phone lights warned me that there was an incoming call).  Lo and behold I couldn't find it! I told her I will call her back as soon as I get it on. I searched and searched and ended up putting on my old one that I keep as a back-up and also use when I am out running. I hate my back-up aid because it is old and temperamental. Also the sound quality sucks.

I was freaking out as to where it was. I tore my whole apartment apart for 2 days looking for it and couldn't find it. So many sleepless nights wondering where it is and where I was going to get another $3000 to replace it. OUCH!!!!!

I finally found it today. I was cleaning out the summer stuff and found it in a box of swimwear! Don't ask me how it got there. All I care about is I FOUND IT!!!!!!!! Now I need to seriously think about getting a warranty in case something happens to it. I do not want to go through that again.

Living life dependent on technology is pretty expensive and a pain in the butt. But I would go crazy if I couldn't hear simple things like my kids laughing, the wind in the trees, or someone saying "I love you".

So enjoy what you have and apreciate the simple things that we take for granted.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Salute to all our veteran's and those currently serving

I want to honor all veteran's on this special day. I come from a long line of veterans and my son is currently serving in Afghanistan.

I honor my family who have served going all the way back to my great grandfather who served in the Navy. Then my grandfather served in the Marines and then the Navy. My father served in the Army. And now my son proudly serves with the Marines. 

I also want to honor all the veterans for all that they have done and sacrificed. It would be a different world today if they hadn't gone and served for us. I have the pleasure of knowing many veterans and they are truly a humble group. They think of nothing of what they did. They sacrificed time with their family and missing special occasions, some missed the birth of their child, some sacrificed their health, and some sacrificed their lives for us. We could never begin to repay you for your service other than to salute you and say a most heartfelt Thank You.

My son wrote to me the other day and he said that despite being in the middle of a war zone he is happy because he is with his family. His brothers will take care of him and he will take care of them. He looks forward to the opportunity to make a difference just like his family did before him.

So to my extended family I send you my thanks, prayers, and love.




 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Past vs. Now

I am teaching my mom the basics of blogging and how it works. She is still trying to get the hang of computers and just recently joined Facebook. She is amazed at what you can find on the Internet. It has enabled me to find old friends, make new friends, and keep in touch with the kids and family.

I was working with my night shift partner and we started talking about the good ole' days. Days before video games, computers, and the Internet. Yes, I am giving away my age with this. But I know alot of you will know what I am talking about. 

In those days we had to use our imagination for entertainment. We would spend hours playing outside with our neighborhood friends. Try to get kids to do that nowdays is impossible!!!!

This summer when the 2 little ones were here they actually had to play outside with their friends and ended up having a blast. We played board games and even danced to music on the Ipod. That was hilarious because of the different dancing styles between the generations.

One night at dinner I was telling them about what we had for entertainment and they looked shocked. They said "Wow, you must have been soooooo bored!" I said "Well we did the same thing that you have been doing with the neighborhood kids this week". Well that got them thinking. They started asking all about when different stuff came along.


Video games - Pong started it all for me. It is boring now but I thought it was the greatest thing when we got the game console for Christmas.

I would spend hours playing. My all time favorite to this day is Ms. Pac-Man. If I ever win the lottery I am getting one!




VHS tapes - Renting a movie and the tape player to take home and watch. You brought home a big honking huge case with a tape player and hooked it up to the TV and prayed that it worked. Sometimes it didn't!. Thinking about it now it was so cumbersome to deal with compared to DVD's. 



Computers - Opened a whole new world and made life much more easier and much more complicated. I think it has it's pro's and con's. But that is a debate better left for another day.






Music - LP records, 8-Track tapes, cassette tapes, and my favorite item Ipod. Music has changed so much and access to it is so easy compared to the old days. I remember going to the music store and digging around to find a particular album. It was like finding gold when you actually found it. Now all I have to do is download it and presto, song at my fingertips. I Luv My Ipod.


I hope you have as many fond memories of the good ole' days.



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Freedom from life's handcuffs.

Photo courtesy of Luke Air Force Base
I live next to an Air Force base. When I was leaving for the grocery store I saw some jets taking off. Oh, what a thrill that job must be. It got me thinking about freedom to do things and what I want to try in the future. Flying in a jet is one item that is on my bucket list.


I belong to an RV group and they have an attitude that is similar to mine. I believe you should live life everyday to the fullest. Don't let life handcuff you. Most people when I tell them of my dream to travel full time are doubtful. They say you can't do that. What about this, that, yadda, yadda. Well, you only keep yourself from attaining that dream. 

Most people end up having to give up dreams because of responsibilities at home. They get trapped by having a huge mortgage payment, car payment, maintenance, cable bill, ect. If you get rid of the extras then you can find the freedom to do things that would seem impossible. For example, if you cut out that fancy cable bill and save it you can take a nice little trip somewhere. That I believe is worth much more than watching shows because you will have memories that last a lifetime and have experienced new things.

I live in an apartment and have a cat. This gives me the freedom to move if I want to. I also have the ability to travel because I don't have a huge house payment and all the stuff that comes with it. I have a cat to keep me company and someone to talk to so the neighbors don't think I am crazy. Plus she can take care of herself when I leave for a trip. Granted she is usually miffed at me when I come back.

Most people believe that if you attain the stuff that society seems to judge you by, you are successful. Well I am successful because I have a great life and have seen and done so many things that most people dream about.

So what do you want out of life and what does freedom mean to you???????

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mom's Cooking.

When mom visited me on Friday we got to talking about different things I ate when I was younger. Her favorite thing to serve us during the summer was pita bread with alfalfa sprouts, avocados, and just a sprinkle of onion salt. Yummy. Sometimes we would even have a piece of bread with avocados spread on it and the onion salt. It was simple but yummy. Thinking about it now, I haven't had it since I went out on my own. I think I will try to get some and have it again.

My mom was an interesting cook when I was growing up. She liked to try new things and sometimes it didn't turn out so well. There were lots of nights when we would end up eating PB & J sandwiches. But it was funny to see what she made and we got to experience some pretty unique food.


One of her disasters was Beef Tongue. Ewwww!!!! When I saw that on the butcher block I ran to the phone and was calling all my friends to try and get a dinner invitation because it looked creepy and icky. No such luck!


It was a very long dinner because it took all of us kids forever to choke that stuff down. Tough, chewy, and no flavor. Today my friends tell me it really is good and she probably didn't cook it right. Well, no thanks. I will stick with regular meat cuts.


Another thing my mom taught us was table manners and how to eat in different settings. One of those lessons was how to eat a formal dinner. She showed us all the different place settings and what all the different silverware pieces were for. This paid off one day when I went to the Marine Corps Ball.


Here I am at a table with a bunch of Marine buddies and their girlfriends. They were looking at all of the different silverware and looking mighty confused. It was funny seeing a large marine holding a tiny escargot fork with a puzzled look on his face. I told him that it was for the snails that they would be serving for appetizers. Now mind you these are big burly, macho Marines dripping with testosterone. ALL of them had a scared look on their faces. It was too funny. They never served it, but I wish they had. It would have been priceless seeing them try to eat that. I don't like them.

I spent the night teaching them what each one was for and it led to stories of dinner with mom and her lessons.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I'm a bank robber....Well sorta

My brain woke up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday. All day I had been having moments of being an airhead. Kept forgetting things, going back to the house 3 times before leaving in the car, and then forgetting the check that I needed to deposit, but not the deposit slip, and had to drive all the way back to the house.


The biggest airhead moment was when I got home from the bank. It was my last stop of the day and I started to grab all of the stuff on the passenger seat. AAAAACK!!!!!!!! Sitting there nice and shiny was the pneumatic tube that the bank uses in the drive thru. I felt like I had just robbed the bank. I tore out of the driveway and hauled a## back to the bank. Luckily the bank was closed and the tube was sitting open so I put it in there, pressed the button, and got the h@## out of there. Ugh!!!!! Talk about humiliating.


I realized that when I was getting my stuff out of it I got distracted when the teller walked away. I hadn't finished what I was doing and needed to get a question answered. Annoyed and tired I finally got him back, got my answers, and then drove home.


After that heart attack I just stayed home and figured I should be safe until my brain gets back on the right track. Hopefully today will be better.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Being a Marine Mom

Early this morning (3 am) the phone rings and I ran to get it because I knew of only one person who would be calling me at that ungodly hour. My son, who is a Marine, was calling from Afghanistan. He just graduated from boot-camp in June and is already in country. He was calling to let me know that he finally made it after a very long journey compiled of some long plane trips, a boat ride, and another long plane ride. He said that he is still in shock over the jet lag and the culture shock of being there. He knew what it would be like from talking with my friends and his recruiter, who had become a close friend, but was still not prepared for the reality of it. He said that the desert gave him a welcoming party in the form of a huge dust storm. Talk about getting a rude awakening..

It was surreal talking with him and picturing him in my mind still as the baby that I fought so hard for. Not long after he was born he contracted a long term illness and was in and out of hospitals for over a year. We almost lost him a couple of times. I stayed with him in the hospital day and night and would only go home every other day to shower and get a change of clothes. I became an expert in sink showers and sleeping in a recliner.

Later when I got divorced the kids would go back and forth between their dad's house and mine. When I moved to Arizona the kids decided that they wanted to stay with their dad because of their friends. I hated not having them with me but my primary goal was whatever made them happy despite my feelings.

Later on Max got into the usual teenage troubles. One day his dad called me and said "I am done. He is your problem now. He will be at the airport tomorrow morning" WHAT???? Well I was shocked and not at all prepared for that. I picked up at the airport a VERY ANGRY teenager. He and I fought and darn near killed each other the first year. I just kept thinking somewhere in there is that sweet boy that I raised. After a couple of wake-up calls he changed into a wonderful son. He made up his classes he failed and went to online school to get extra credits. He ended up graduating early from school and enlisted into the Marines. We fought about that to but I knew that his happiness came first despite my wanting to protect him.

We became best buds and went on many road trips together. We had tons of laughs and I made him try new things. I have so many fond memories like the time his eyes bugged out when he saw firecrackers for sale in New Mexico. He was like a kid again. Yes, we bought some and he had a ball setting them off in an empty field. The first road trip without him was hard. Way to quiet and I kept remembering our trips together.

It was actually harder for me than I expected when he left overseas because all through training and boot-camp he was still close enough that I could bail him out if he got into trouble. There I have to leave him to the care of his Master Sergeant. Talk about feeling helpless.

We talked so much about everything and he was unsure about a lot of things. By then end of the phone call he was feeling much better.

Guess he still needs his Mama...:-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One persons definition of Adventurous


ad·ven·tur·ous

[ad-ven-cher-uhs]
–adjective
1. inclined or willing to engage in adventures; enjoying adventures.
2. full of risk; requiring courage; hazardous: an adventurous undertaking.
An adventure is an activity that is perceived to involve risk, danger or exciting experiences.

I was reading the other day on a forum what a person defines as adventurous. It was quite funny how each person's definition was so different. It seemed like the person's background had a lot to do with it. I define it as doing something outside of your normal day to day life.

For some people it would be riding a rollercoster (done that too many times). Some would say it is taking a trip to another country (done that too). Or doing something that you never in your life thought you would ever do. For some rare people, it's just jumping in the car and just driving til you feel like stopping to smell the roses.

My latest adventure was taking a last minute trip to El Paso,TX. I had been working 21 days straight and was totally burned out. About 4 am Friday morning I woke up, tossed and turned, couldn't get back to sleep, and finally said I need to get outta here. I packed my bags, fed the cat her daily treat, put out extra food and water, and got in my car.

I got on the road with my trusty Ipod and just cranked the music. So here I am just rolling down the road, rocking away, and thinking nobody I know would do this.

It was awesome to get away and forget about the real world for a while. I even called my mom on the road and asked how she was. She said "Good. Nothing much is going on here. What about you?"  Me, "I am on the road to El Paso and won't be home for a few days".  She blurted out "WHAT????? What do you mean you are on the road to Texas?"  I told her what happened that morning and that I was feeling great. She just laughed and said that she hoped I had a great time and to call when I get there safe and sound. It was so much fun to just get on the road and disappear. 

I got into town and then sat there thinking "I'm Hungry!" I called a buddy of mine in town and said "You are a foodie like me. Where in town is a good place to eat?" He started to rattle off places by my house. I told him, "NOOOO, where is a good place here in El Paso to eat?". SILENCE......"HUH?"
I am laughing and explained what happened. He couldn't believe that I just woke up and drove 450 miles to get away. He took me to the most awesome BBQ place, Smitty's BBQ. Gotta go there if you are ever in town. Best BBQ I have had in a while. That trip was a blast and just what I needed to recharge my batteries and it also gave me ideas on what I could do in the future when I need a pick-me-upper.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The ups and downs of moving around ALOT!

Growing up we moved a lot because of my dad's job. I loved moving because I got to experience a new place and see new things. I also hated moving because it required meeting new people. Because of my insecurity and shyness I was nervous as to how I would be accepted. As you have probably read in other posts, school SUCKED so I didn't like starting in a new school every time we moved. 

It is probably because of moving around so much that I get what is called "itchy feet", where you can't stay in one place for very long. None of the other kids inherited this. To this day I enjoy going places and usually don't find it a problem with my hearing.

The only real challenge I had was when I went on a Caribbean cruise with my mom and some friends. The crew members on the ship are from all over the world. Because I supplement my hearing with lip-reading I was truly lost because I encountered accents I had never seen or heard before. It was pretty funny because I would turn to mom or my friends and say "What?" After the first few times my friends understood what was going on. So all I would have to do was just look at them and they would translate right away. No questions asked.

My sister, who will probably kill me when she reads this, is perfectly content staying in one place. I have given her a hard time because she has a very predictable life. Boring by my standards. She has her routines and is comfortable with it and has only moved a few times since she got married. I asked her if she ever gets bored and her response is no. She said that she doesn't need any adventure and gets plenty of it living through me and my adventures. Even my parents said that life with me was funny and it was fun seeing what I would do next. Guess I could never be called boring.

File:Rv classa.jpg

My dream is to one day leave everything behind, get into an RV, and travel around the country. I loved the trip my parents took us on and it was amazing to see how in one country there were so many different cultures, accents, food, and ways of life.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The crazy stuff you see as a Volunteer EMT

Names may have been changed (omitted), as needed, to protect the identities of the (not so) innocent.

I worked as a volunteer EMT after passing my college class. It was a blast and I enjoyed helping people and ran across some pretty stupid/funny stuff.

I worked on a crisis unit that specialized in situations where additional help was needed. Our unit tends to be very busy and covers a large area. Some days we will leave in the morning to get my partner some coffee at Starbucks and end up with back to back calls until late in the evening.

Here is an example of some of the things I came across.

One day a guy decided to change the fuel filter on his car. He pulls his car into his garage and starts to change it out. Never mind that there is a water-heater sitting right next to him. BOOM!!!!! 

Gang banger is sitting in his car and decided to put his gun that he was flashing around back into the belt of his pants. Bang, precious Jewel is blown off.

Watching a little, tiny 90 yr. old woman argue with a very large Captain as to why she can't call 911 whenever she needs a ride to the Dr.'s office.

Best one to date......

One afternoon my partner and I were trying to decide where to get something to eat because we were across town from our station and couldn't make it back in time for dinner. Just as we decided where to go we get a call to go to a sister station. We looked at the radio puzzled as to why we were needed at a station. We got there and the Captain was just sitting there grinning like a Cheshire cat. I knew right away something funky was going on. He proceeded to tell us that there is a "transient" in the back parking lot that we need to take care of.

Well it was obvious right away that A. they were shuffling their problem off to us, B. Wanted to see what we would do with him, and C. looking forward to the entertainment of watching us deal with him.

We were talking with "transient" and it was obvious right away that he didn't have just a few marbles missing but a TON OF MARBLES MISSING! We ended up calling mental health services to come get him and had to wait and keep him occupied until they got there. Once they got there "transient" got all riled up and all of us were doing some fast-talking to keep the situation under control.

During this time the Captain and his crew were sitting in their patio chairs smoking their after-dinner cigars and having a ball watching us. Suddenly they got a call and left the station. We were standing in the parking lot in the back of the station for an hour trying to get the "transient" to agree to go with the mental health service people.

As they were talking with "transient" I heard the engine roll back into the station. Next thing I know I heard a big crash. My partner and I looked behind us and saw their engine had neglected to wait for the garage door to open completely and crashed into it with the AC on top of the engine. The entire crew scrambled out and looked at their engine with a very smashed garage door sitting on top of it. My partner and I just looked at each other and turned around quickly and pretended that we didn't see what was going on behind us.

Now I am standing there looking up, down, around, pinching my finger, thinking of math, anything to keep from laughing. The mental health people looked at us and both of us are just looking back like, "What? What are you looking at?" Trying to pretend like there is no commotion going on behind us.

After the call was done we got back into our truck and started busting up laughing until there was tears rolling down our faces. PAYBACK TIME!!!!!!! We got the last laugh on that one!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hearing Loss and Jobs

I have to this day an insecurity about my hearing. Sometimes I forget to tell someone about my hearing and they will think I am being snobby by ignoring them. In reality I didn't hear them talking to me. Sometimes I would purposefully not tell them because of prejudice. Yes, it still lives in this day and age. For example, people will doubt I can do a job that I applied for because of my hearing loss. Well, I may have ears that do not work, but my brain between them works pretty darn well, thank you!

After a few times of knowing that I didn't get a job because of the hearing loss I started not telling them. I had long hair and it would hide my hearing aid and my speech was pretty good. Later after I had a job for a while they would find out and ask me why I didn't tell them. I would bluntly ask, "Would you have hired me?" Usually their honest answer would be no. By then I had proved that I could do the job so the lying by omission was a moot point.

I despise beards because they make lip-reading really hard. One time at my job in Kentucky Fried Chicken there was a customer who had a beard. He was frustrated because I was having trouble taking his order with all the noise and his huge beard. Finally he blurted out "What are you? Deaf?" My calm response was, "Why, yes I am. Here is my hearing aid. See" The look on his face was pure horror. My friends started turning purple and left the front counter FAST to keep from laughing out loud in front of him. It was a priceless moment, even if it was mean of me to do that. But what do you want me to say!

Whenever I set out to do something, job or college classes, I would go about it like any other person. Sometimes I would have to be upfront about my hearing loss. Usually they would respond with doubt and I would tell them to let me try and if I can't do it I will quit. One of the toughest one's was going back to college to get an EMT certification. It required a lot of meetings with different people. Everyone who registers for the class has to get approval because of limited seating and that was a tough one for me. I knew from their actions that they had major doubts and wondered if it was worth giving me one of the few openings in the course. I got them to give me a chance and I passed with flying colors. At the beginning my instructors were leery but partway through they were impressed and happy to have me.

Every time I have won a challenge I feel great but I have also had times when I had to acknowledge when I couldn't do something. It sucked when I had to admit that and it would get me down for a bit. But then I would go ahead and find something new to challenge me.

I call those times when life got the better of me "Potholes in the road". I just keep going on and eventually I will find a nice patch of road.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Traveling around the Country.

Cover of "The Long, Long Trailer"My parents traveled around the country before I was born. They went from job to job in a very large trailer, pick-up truck, and a Karmann Ghia. Their trailer was just like the one from the movie, "The Long, Long Trailer" with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. In fact many details in it are similar to my parents. Traveling to engineering jobs, size of trailer, and a few mishaps along the way.

Even after they settled down they continued to travel whenever they had a chance. Their passport is loaded with stamps of places they went to. Sadly, all of us kids got the fun job of staying at home with family and friends on those trips.

Mom and Dad would take us on road trips in the old station wagon all over the place or camping up in the mountains. My favorite part was cooking up some yummy s'mores. No dessert compares to a good old fashioned s'mores. Mmmmmm.....

One summer my parents bought an old motor-home and took us on a trip around the US. If I remember correctly we logged 8,000 miles in 30 days and hit 23 states.  The boring part for us kids was the hours logged on the freeway getting from one stop to another. Now the places we stopped at was a whole different story. Wish I could post all the pictures on here but there is a TON. My mom is the photographer in the family and is always saying "Wait, Stop right there, I want to take a picture of that" and we would have to freeze and stay still until she takes the picture.

Highlights of the trip: Meeting a badger (very moody little guy), Breakdown #1, Texas Cows, Cajun Gumbo, Breakdown #2, Gazillion bugs on the front of the motorhome (Yuck!!!), Disney World, trip to the local ER, Washington D.C., Great Lakes, Niagara Falls, Amish Families, Tornado's, Black Iowa soil, the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Grand Teton, Breakdown #3, Yellowstone Park, Grand Canyon, Laughlin, Keno Jackpot, and then finally home sweet home.

To this day they both are busy and on the go. Dad is busy with my step-mom on their horse ranch and traveling to different horse shows. Mom travels as much as she can and goes to California often to be with her mom. In fact, she recently went on a Couch Surfing trip up the coast of California visiting old friends and family. Couch Surfing is where you take a road trip and instead of staying in a hotel room you stay at a friend or family's place on their couch or spare bed. Mom and I have taken several trips and a Caribbean cruise together and we have a blast.

As for me I get itchy feet easily and like to travel every chance I get. Guess I inherited the adventurous and traveling spirit from Mom and Dad.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Things that make you smile and feel better.

I got up this morning in a sour mood. I HATE dentists and had a dentist appointment to get a tooth pulled. (The one from Friday the 13th) I was dreading the upcoming pain and misery.

On the road to the dentist I pulled up to a red light and noticed something that made me get a huge smile and lightened my mood. On the corner was a guy just dancing away while waiting at the crosswalk. It was not just some little moves or a leg jiggling but an all out body, arms, and legs moving. And he was waving at people driving by to boot.

It was the most amazing thing to see and made me think. Most people worry about how they are perceived by others and hold back their emotions because of that. I am sure some people at that intersection were thinking what a weird guy and how they would never do that. Well, why not???? I have always wondered why we must hold back how we feel. Why we must act like emotionless robots at work. Be judged on what we wear and look like. How we are not honest with ourselves and others.

Passion about your job, life, and family makes us human and also a happier person. I belong to a running group and I love how I can be myself with them. They don't judge you. They appreciate you for just being you. I am always nervous about meeting new people and being judged because of my hearing loss. Well, when I first met them they were like "So. Big deal. Want a beer?"

I love that they just want to have fun and hang out with friends. So what if Joe dances like a bad disco flashback, or John has no hair on his entire body because of a medical condition, or Jane has Tourette. We all love each other and appreciate each other for who we are, not by looks, race, religion, or politics.

So I dare you to stop one day and break out in a dance just for the fun of it. I guarantee you will get more smiles from people around you than stares and will feel great afterwards.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Friday the 13th.

Friday the 13thFriday the 13th was here not to long ago and I was biting my fingernails about it. I know not everyone is superstitious but life has taught me to give certain days/things a wide berth with one exception.

Friday the 13th
I cannot stand Friday the 13th. I have the worst luck on that day. I can prove it!

I have had the following happen all on a Friday the 13th.

Car transmission literally blew up on the road where there was NO cell phone transmission. Figured with my luck a serial killer would stop under the guise of helping me. A sweet off duty officer pulled over and ending up helping me. He stayed with me until the tow truck showed up and even followed us down the road to Blythe. Mechanic later said he has never seen a transmission blow up like mine did.

Had the front door knob on my apartment break and I couldn't open it. It was late at night, I had a bad day at work and just wanted to go home and crawl into bed. I had to wait 2 hours for someone to show up and fix it. Maintenance guy said I looked really lost and down when he finally showed up. I told him that after the day I had, I just sat down on the stairs and gave up. Figured as long as I didn't move I was OK.

Car broke down again and was stuck in a hotel overnight. Mind you I was wearing contacts and it was only supposed to be a day trip. No solution or nothing. Needless to say I was driving home the next morning blind and a nervous wreck.


Full Moon Fridays
If you work in certain fields like hospitals, fire dept, and police dept they all can tell you it is real. I work in a hospital and dread full moon and especially on Friday. All kinds of freaky things happen.

Summer Vacation
When I go on vacation in the summer to be with the kids something major always happens. One year was a doozy with Friday the 13th mixed in. (That was the overnight hotel stay)

I have spent the day in the ER for 6 hours with a son who split his lip only to have the DR say they can't do anything and here is a prescription.

I shattered one of my toes in the pool on the very first day of vacation. To this day it is still not normal.

My daughter was playing with the caps from the boy's cap gun and somehow it exploded. Burned her arm good and singed a bit of hair. Still can't figured out that one.

Daughter got lice. UGH!!!!! Still makes my skin crawl thinking about it. 

Son got an ear infection and ended up in Urgent Care because it was the weekend.

I was getting home from diner at my sister's house and discovered the car's transmission was stuck in Drive. I was sitting there trying to figure out what to do. I didn't have a cell phone back then and it was late at night. I ended up driving to the dealership that fixes my car and had security call my brother-in-law to come get me and the kids. Because the keys won't come out of the drive column unless the car is in park we ended up having to lock the keys in the car and block the wheels. I went home praying my car would still be in the parking lot when they opened the next morning.

Black Cats 
Now the only exception to this is Black Cats. I have a black cat and my previous one was also. I didn't choose a black cat on purpose but it just happened that way. I have never had a problem with her or my other one. Go Figure!!!!

Bet you are wondering what happened this past Friday the 13th.
Drum roll please.................I broke one of my crowns! So I am sitting here taking Motrin like it is candy and waiting for Monday so I can go to the dentist.  See, I told you I have the craziest luck!

MG, My partner in Crime.

My best bud was MG and boy did we have some fun times. The stories told here are real and not made up.

We met when she started working for Kentucky Fried Chicken. We started hanging out after work and going to different places since we had the same days off at work. I was getting over my shyness and she was totally outgoing, loud, and crazy. I still laugh at some of the stupid things that we used to do or get ourselves into. Here are some examples of that.

She suggested a bunch of us sneak into Chabot park one night and hike up to the top of this hill to party. I had a heart attack when we almost got caught by security patrol going up the hill. After the party I got road rash on my butt trying to get down the hill to fast. There were searchlights from security zooming around looking for us. They heard us coming down and were searching around trying to find us.

Picture of butt damage: PRICELESS

We were are at our marine buddies party and MG got the bright idea to play a joke on some new marines. Mind you we had just met this particular group of marines that night. Playing a practical joke on a bunch of drunk marines was waaaayyyy to easy. Next thing I know I am seeing a very large Sargent chase MG after falling for the joke and looking like an A**.

Sight of a drunk, embarrassed, and angry Marine: PRICELESS

One day we needed to take some pictures for a photography assignment. We were parked next to the base to get some shots of the bay and San Francisco at sunset. MG got on top of my car and next thing I know she is waving at a base security van to move so she can take a shot. The shot was of the sun setting behind an aircraft carrier. Next thing I know we are getting arrested by same security guys for taking pictures during a major weapons transfer. Huh? WHAT!!!!! OH S****!!!! Best thing was seeing MG make the arresting officer mad when she started making jokes about the doughnuts sitting next to him.

Ride in paddywagon to police station: PRICELESS

MG setting me up on a blind date (knowing I don’t like to date guys shorter than me). Date shows up. Me 5′ 10″, date 5′ 2″.

Look on my face: PRICELESS

One weekend we are sitting on the beach and there is no alcohol is allowed. To bypass that we kept a bottle of wine and a bottle of 7-UP in the cooler and mixed it up in plastic cups to drink. While laying in the sun recovering from a party the night before I notice a shadow. I look up and a police officer was standing there asking me what we were drinking. I tell him 7-Up. He asks for my cup. Figuring we were busted (we were only 18 at the time) I gave it to him and gave him a big smile. I got us an invitation to a cop party later that night.

Seeing MG’s face when he grabbed my cup:  PRICELESS


Best one of all……Toilet papering a police car……

                       PRICELESS      
     
(Information withheld to protect the guilty)

After High School

So I survived WWIII with my parents and I am now out of High School. It was such an abrupt thing that I was hanging out at home wondering what to do. It was October and I shouldn’t have been out of school yet. It totally threw me off and I was aimless for a bit. I wanted to join the military and discovered that hearing loss is not accepted but if you wear coke bottle thick glasses you can still get in. Basically I told the recruiter this ” Well the govt. is pretty screwed up in their thinking. I would think when the S*** hit the fan it would be more important to be able to see where you are running than being able to hear.” He didn't take too kindly to my comment. Oh Well!

I didn’t want to waste my time and money going to college because I couldn’t decide what to major in. So I just applied for jobs until I got one and starting working a 9 to 5 job. My first full-time job was a customer service rep. for Trans Union Credit Bureau. I got quite an education in people’s lives and credit card companies. Basically I took care of people’s complaints regarding their credit report and investigate it by contacting the offending credit company. It was an educational experience as to the claims, arguments, and excuses that people came up with. Some truly were innocent of what was being reported but a good percentage were not so innocent.

I rented a room in a cute 1940′s bungalow and lived on Alameda Island. I loved it there. Small city charm with nearby access to big city amenities. Plus it had a huge navy base with plenty of cute young guys.

My best friend MG from high school would hang out with me on the weekends. We went everywhere together and were either having fun or getting into trouble. The antics we got into is another story (or book if I was honest and told you EVERYTHING).

One day we met some marines at the park by the beach and became friends with several of them. This was a beneficial friendship because they provided security for the base. Since I didn’t have a military ID card they would let us sneak on base to go to the EM Club (enlisted men's club). What is funny is to get into the club you must have an ID or be escorted by someone with an ID. Well we would walk into the main lobby and look for one of our friends and if none were found walk up to a guy and sweetly ask him to get us in. None of them ever said no. Man, the power of being young and single. Young guys with hormones off the charts are putty in your hands.

So my weekends were composed of days on the beach and nights drinking and dancing at the club. Life was great during this time. If I could go back in time and relive a period of my life, this would be it. How much more could you ask for:  big hair, super skinny body, 80′s music, drinking, dancing, dating, and endless energy. What time period would you love to repeat?