Thursday, December 30, 2004

more tests.......Cone Compression

'tis a bit unnerving

Now is when my faith in God will really help me through. I know that some things are out of our hands and this situation definitely falls in that category. The Breast Center called my Dr. to tell him to have me come back in for further tests. A Cone Compression test. Sounds serious.

I checked a couple of websites, still looking for a comprehensive breast health site, if you have a good suggestion, NOW would be a good time to share!! I would REALLY APPRECIATED IT. Anyway, it looks like this test if to check the density of my breast. The thing that baffles me is that this is the other side from the earlier report. So, I'm already going to see a surgeon for one side and now more pics on the other side.

One site that I found provided a decision tree with likely results for breast exams.

I found that only 10% have to have further testing, so that's 100 out of every 1000 women tested.

From that, 75% are ok and have to come back in 6 months for regular testing, the other 25% (or 25 women) have a biopsy or some further workups.

Of that 25%, 80% of those getting a biopsy find it's benign (not cancer) and of the positive 20% (only 5 women) 80% (4 women) are in early stage cancer and only 20% (1 woman) are in advanced stage.

So that's gives me hope that the odds are in my favor to end up in the OK category somewhere along the decision tree.

I have faith in God and I really do know that I have to give this to Him and trust that His will be done in my life. I guess, the book that Jake gave me will help me let go of this and give it to God. Speaking of that book, I am going to go read Day #2.

"If you are going through hell, keep going."
--- Sir Winston Churchill

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Thor's having company

Mad's coming to visit

His girl is coming to visit. Thor's my dog, big dog, german shepherd/rottweiler mix, looks mostly shepherd, weighs in about 135 lbs, is as sweet as a dog can be. Mad's coming to visit him. So is Jac, his old master, before the divorce. I know that they can't wait to see him. I wonder if he will remember them. I've had him now for 2 years. They have visited a few times, when they are in town. It'll be interesting to find out if he remembers. I hope he does, so they will not be disappointed.

next day.....update........They pulled into the driveway, so I let Thor out the front door. He approached the car, but then got a little skiddish. Jac called his name and crouched down to Thor's level. Thor gave him a little sniff and the LOVE was free flowing!! I was so happy! Thor was nibbling and kissing both of them, jumping up to meet them and wagging all over the place! It was fabulous! Everyone was amazed. My faith in dogs intelligence has been renewed. I already knew he was totally smart, but now I am convinced that instinct is stronger than intelligence and he remembered them from scent.

Isn't that amazing?

"If you are going through hell, keep going."
--- Sir Winston Churchill

Monday, December 27, 2004

On a serious note.......

if you pray, please do so for me :)

Went to the doctor this morning for my annual exam. You know it's never the greatest thing to do anyway, but today was worse than usual. I had my mammogram on Wednesday, results not in, but my Dr. isn't taking any chances. He's concerned about that lump that's been there FOREVER! He wants to be sure that it's really nothing, or that it hasn't changed over the years. Well, I guess it's better to be safe than sorry. I would rather find something sooner than later. Considering that if it is the "c" word, then it's better to get it early on. Statistically speaking, that is.

So, I'll probably be freaking out quite a bit over the next little while, until I have a definitive answer on what it really is. Please bear with me, pray for me and hope it's nothing - just one of those benign things that have been there my whole entire life.

Coincidentally, I started reading the Purpose Driven Life yesterday. It's a 40-day journey to find the answer to the age old questions of "why was I born?" "what is my purpose in life?" The journey includes reading a short chapter daily, reflecting on the scriptures introduced for the day and then journaling a point to ponder. What a better place to journal my 40-day Journey than in my blog. So, bear with me, because I think that over the next months to come, there will be quite a bit of personal, soul-searching, and medical prayers happening here.

In order for the journaling to be successful, it's better to have people to share your thoughts with and to get feedback from others. I totally invite your comments and feedback. I think this will make my journey more meaningful.

Right now, I'm going to my favorite please to eat for lunch The Resturant and see my favorite chef, Chef Jimmy!! I really have missed him and have to much to tell. So, I'm heading over there now. More later, after I have lunch.

Happy vacationing all week!!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

uh-oh, it was definitely a "BLONDE MOMENT"!

like how to lose every picture on my camera....

this is a sucky admission and a totally accidental WHOOPS moment. I hated it. I was trying to turn off the flash on my camera, flipped through the menus so fast, didn't pay that close attention and instead of turning off the flash, I formatted the smart card. Can you frickin believe it? I lost about 300 pictures or so! Most of them were from my women's christmas party, the StrategyStyle christmas party at Tropicana's including some great pics from Club Clau, all of our Christmas pictures both at home and at my cousin's, including everyone on Santa's lap. It totally sucks. And for those that were looking forward to seeing the pictures, I'm really sorry. But no one will know how sorry I am because I am pretty good at "beating myself up" for the mistakes I make.


Merry Christmas!

hope you had a great holiday season, so far!

It's the day after all of the holiday fun and boy, did we have fun?!?! I love having my kids all here. This year, I woke up first, let the dogs out, fed them, made the ever loving coffee and a wonderful breakfast for the kids: bacon, cheesy scrambled eggs, toast, juice, fruit slices, and milk. After it was ready, I decided to wake everyone up to open gifts. It was great to be the one to wake them. It even took them a while to get up and at it. I thought that was so funny. I mean, I remember the days of staying up late, putting bikes together, toys together or even just finishing the wrapping. Then they would roll out of bed early, REALLY EARLY, and would come to wake us up because Santa had been there. We may have only had an hour of sleep some years! But, that's what it's about with little children. They are too excited and they make it totally fun.

But this year was different and I really loved it. It made me start thinking of what it will be like in the future when they won't be here on Christmas morning. When they will live at their own homes, maybe not even in town. That's when it will be strange to wake up on Christmas and not have anyone in the house. I don't know how my mom did it all those years. We would go see her sometimes on Christmas Eve and then later, after my ex's parents moved back to Ohio, we would see them on Christmas Eve and then we would go see my Mom after the kids opened gifts on Christmas Day. Then, after being there for a while, we would go to my aunt's house for dinner with everyone there. It was pretty hectic back in those days. But, it was worth it because everyone got to spend time with their families.

Part of what we still do now, is based on what we always have done. Like, we still wait to open gifts on Christmas morning. I hope that doesn't ever change. I hope that we always get together on Christmas in the morning to open presents together. It's fun because we laugh, pose for the camera, tease each other, tell stories, share memories and have a good time while we open presents. Beka always wears the Santa hat and passes out the presents. We take turns opening, one at a time, so everyone gets to see what was opened and who it was from. It's more fun that way! Plus, it does take extra time, but hey what else do we have on Christmas morning but time? :)

Then after we open presents, we decide what new game to play or movie to watch. This year, we played a new Sorry game with cards and then we watched Elf. Both were lots of fun, the game was different and we love Sorry, so it was a big hit. And the movie was hilarious! I was very pleased with the reaction to everyone watching it. We laughed and laughed some more.

Then after the movie was over, it was time to start getting ready to go to my cousin's for Christmas dinner with the whole family. I really look forward to it. It's just fun to be with everyone, eat dinner together, and generally be a happy family there all together. This year was the smallest crowd ever. The weather really had alot to do with it. Too much snow, too hard to travel. In fact, my son was supposed to be there when he got off work (worked 4-6) but he ended up working until 8, so he didn't come over. Instead, I brought him some food. This was the first time that he didn't come over. But we ended up with about 25 people or so. There was plenty of good food and laughter throughout the evening. We didn't stay as late as we have in the past, but we did get there pretty early, so that made up for it.

We got home and watched another Christmas movie, spent some time together and after a little time passed by, I was ready for bed. It has been a long day. Lots of fun, lots of blessings.

In retrospect, we did alot of things that we always do - we have some traditions and try to keep things going in that direction. But then, on the other hand, we also do quite a few things different all the time - like the breakfast, sometimes, I make it, sometimes, I just buy something to serve, sometimes, we just have cereal, it just depends. But Beka always wears the Santa hat, she always passes out presents, we always go one person at a time and always take turns. We always take our time opening presents. We always thank each other and always have a great time together. We always have stockings with presents in them, we always have homemade cookies, ham, broccili casserole, and always have chips and dip and cheeseball. We mostly decorate outside, but we always decorate inside. We always love each other and we always remember why we even have Christmas and we always give God the glory.

I loved our Christmas. I loved my gifts, my children were very generous this year and really took good care of me. My youngest daughter bought me several wonderful and thoughtful gifts, including an earring and necklace set in silver, extra earrings, the fuzziest and pinkest slippers! and my favorite: a beautiful gold ring with MOM written on it, diamond cuts around it. She totally understands the love I have for jewelry because she totally loves it too. Thanks soooooooooooo much. Then my son gave me exactly what I asked for: a wireless router, wireless pci card for our desktop and framed my Abbey Road poster that he gave me for my birthday. He also gave all of us the Purpose Driven Life. What great gifts! I'm loving the wireless at home, and I'm loving the framed poster. I fixed the desktop so we don't have to use the pci card, so he can return and keep his cash. My oldest daughter gave me a lovely sweater and scarf set. Pinks, purples, reds. I just love it. I felt so spoiled by the time we were done. The kids got lots of clothes, good smelling stuff, and jewelry. Exactly the things that they asked for. I tried to give them some surprises, but it's kind of hard at this age. But I managed to pull off a surprise or two along the morning.

It was totally fun!! totally great.........I love my kids. They are the greatest!!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Day of Joyful Noises... the Kitchen!!

I woke up early this morning and finished the cooking and baking for tonight's birthday and Christmas celebration. I've baked a cake, ham, made homemade macaroni and cheese, broccili casserole (I have the best recipe for this that I got from a dear friend years ago), brussel sprouts, parsnips, a huge bowl of stuffing (for tomorrow at my cousin's) and breakfast for the family.

Tonight, Rainman's kids will come over to spend some time, eat some food and enjoy a holiday celebration. I am a bit concerned because he still hasn't told them that he is moving out. He and I have talked about it, he doesn't want to worry them, so he doesn't say anything to them. Gee, the same behavior that I displayed when school started this year. hmm. Oh well, it will work out the way it's supposed to. I think we tried to do too much too soon. The whole idea was to date until my youngest graduated from high school, which is this June. Then we would sell our homes, and buy a house that we both liked for us to live in. That way we could combine our things and make it our house. The problem started when he decided to sell his house, but his stuff would still be in his condo. Then some time passed and he wasn't spending time at his condo, he didn't even unpack from moving into there from his house. Then he decided to sell it, move his stuff here...........that's when the slippery slope started happening. I didn't ever mind that he was here, spending the night and all. But when he 'moved' in 100%, I started getting weird. I didn't really want him to be here 100%. I just wanted him here instead of going home. I know it sounds strange, but I wasn't really ready for him to move in. I guess, I didn't know that, until he did. And then it was too late.

I suggested that he put his stuff in storage, but he doesn't want to do that. So, the next best thing is for him to have his own place. I kind of think that he blames me for his having to spend the money, but I take no responsibility for him having to take care of himself. He's a grown man with some things that he has to take care of and now is a good time for that. So, we will still go out, hang out, be friends and lovers, just wait to see where it goes. However, in the meantime, I'm distancing myself from him, as a natural defense. I don't mean to, but it's inevitable for me to protect my heart. Even though it's a good thing for him to move, I know it's gonna be different, I'll miss him, I'll be depressed somewhat, I'll be working too much to fill the void. I won't eat to fill the void - that's for sure. I'll try not to drink too much, but I can't promise that. I know I will just drink at home if need be. :)

But, that's next week. And I'll deal with it when it happens. In the meantime, here we are, it's Christmas and we're celebrating!! I love the holidays and this year will be the best ever!!


It's Christmas Eve morn

and Rainman's Birthday!

Today is December 24th. It's Rainman's Birthday and we are having a family party. We usually have dinner and open presents for both his birthday and Christmas with his kids. I'm looking forward to tonight, this will be our 3rd such party together.

I stayed up late tonight, just enjoying my time - watching Conan. But tomorrow, I'll get up early and start the cooking. I baked cookies (couple different types of chocolate chips, peanut butter) today and banana bars. I was going to bake brownies and another kind of cookie, but I ran out of time and I figured I'm better off baking the cookies my kids like, instead of ones that ONLY I like. I am still on my diet, you know. So tonight, we had homamade sushi with salads for dinner. YUM!

The menu for tomorrow is: ham, scalloped potatoes, spinach, kale, butternut squash, and broccili casserole. I'm going to bake a double chocolate cake with milk chocolate icing and vanilla bean ice cream for Rainman's birthday. The kids can take cookies home with them. I doubt that my kids will be home for his birthday. But I do expect them to be here later in the night, so they can be here on Christmas morning. :)

I'm also making the stuffing to take to my cousin's house tomorrow, so she can bake it for Christmas dinner. Not sure how much to make, so I'll give her a ring in the morning. I have a cheesecake to take with me to her house. It's one left from my party last week. It was LOVELY! But it's been tucked in the fridge and not been eaten all week, so we could take it there for Christmas dessert.

Well, I'm off to bed. I hope that everyone's day tomorrow will be bright and merry, full of Christmas spirit and blessings. It's a wonderful time of the year and a time to really show that we care about others. If you still want to donate time or money or presents to an organization for a needy family, just contact an outreach church tomorrow and take them your gift of love. There are plenty of people that would appreciate your thoughtfulness.


"If you are going through hell, keep going."
--- Sir Winston Churchill

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Snow Day

How to enjoy and not get Cabin Fever!

I'm in Cincinnati and we have just been blasted with tons of snow! In my yard, there's at least 12 inches of snow. It's fantastic - beautiful - cold - and is a good reason to stay in and enjoy my family! Christmas shopping is done, presents are wrapped and now we're going to bake cookies, brownies and cakes, watch movies, build a roaring fire and stay warm!!

But I have alot of friends that are living here from India and Pakistan. So to my friends that are not used to having this much snow, here's some activities to enjoy while you are snow-bound!

1. bake, cook, and eat - it's always a good time to try new recipes and cook food ahead then freeze. If you don't have room in your freezer, just put it outside - it's not going to thaw out until next Wednesday :)
2. play cards, board games, computer games, some interactive fun for the entire family.
3. get online and chat, blog, play games. If you have two computers online in your house, then play in the same game, be partners and have fun playing against others.
4. clean the house. I know this doesn't sound like fun, but you can make it fun to get everyone involved. Pick your favorite chore and have a race to see how quick everyone can get their's done.
5. how about watching movies. I'm sure you have some old movies that you haven't watched in a long time. If they were good enough to buy and keep for future viewing, today's a good day to pull them out. Some of our favorites is Grease, Pulp Fiction, Matrix series, Star Wars, Jackie Brown, Friday series and Rush Hour.
6. wrap the Christmas presents that are still in bags. Today's perfect to site in front of a roaring fire, wrap presents, have a little Christmas Cheer!
7. read a book. Gee, something that we don't get enough time to do on a daily basis. There are plenty of books laying around, grab one and enjoy the adventure.
8. Shovel the SNOW! This is very important, especially for us, because it's going to drop down to 0 and below over the next couple of days. The snow will turn to ice, then you will not get out until it start to melt. In our case, that's not until next Wednesday!! As for me, I will need to get to the grocery store before that just to buy some more food for us and the pets PLUS the all necessary toilet paper!!
9. Go sled riding! Take the family and walk close by - enjoy the hills and snow.
10. Build a snow man, heck in our yard there's so much snow you could build a snow family!
11. Call off work. Why go? The roads are not safe, you can't get out of the driveway or off your street. No one will be out, they can't!! There is a LONG list of snow closings here in Cincinnati, including the airport.

But above all, enjoy it! Enjoy the time with your family and taking care of each other. Turn off the Idiot Box and give each other attention! That will be the best Christmas Present EVER! Just spending time and enjoying it.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Oh My!! The Night in Court

Merry Christmas!

My friend called. Court was over. And the outcome was EXACTLY WHAT SHE HOPED FOR!! She still received a punishment, but it wasn't the harshness that she thought it would be. THANK YOU LORD!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Holiday Shopping

not bad at all!

Been out shopping all day today, just trying to finish up. I only needed a few more items, so it wasn't too bad. We went to Target to pick up an Audiovox MP3 Player, some clothes, and the new Maroon 5 CD. I felt very fortunate because everything I went after, I found! And just a few days before Christmas, that's Very MERRY.

Now, I'm down to the last of the stocking stuffers and Christmas dinner groceries. So, maybe tonight, I'll be able to finish that off and be all together finished. There is a winter storm warning coming and we are predicted to have freezing rain and sleet with 6-8 inches of snow to follow tomorrow. So the best thing would be to be all done, snug in the house, making cookies, and wrapping gifts. Sounds like a wonderful plan to me. I'm so glad to be almost done with everything. It's such a relaxing feeling.

Well, I have a few more things to do today, so I'm off. Merry Christmas and Happy gift hunting!

Technologically Challenged

who would have thought it?

What's the deal? Here I am, a technologist, a strategist, a great problem solver. But today and recently, I have run into a string of weird happenings with technology and my gadgets. You know, the normal gadgets that everyone has: palm, cell phone, dvd/vcr, computers, printers, stereo. But here's my problem. First my stereo quit working only when the cd player is playing. The speakers work all the rest of the time, but when the cd player is playing, no sound comes out. So, I will have to trace the problem there.

A short time back, our desktop computer just quit working. My son used to download music back in the "Napster" Days, I swear someone put some sort of worm or something on our machine, because as soon as we deleted all of the downloads and the program, the computer started working and stablized. The only issue that I'm having now is getting it to see the Internet. I didn't have too much luck last week, but then went down and it was connected. I downloaded the anti-virus, firewall, spam software offered by my cable company and I logged into my email. Everything worked no problems, then on reboot, no Internet, wouldn't recognize that it was connected. So, I wasted time working on it again. I'll have to check it out tomorrow, but it is VERY frustrating.

I woke up this morning to do a little work and check that my team had some assets that were due from a client today. I logged on and couldn't get on the internet on that laptop! AAAAAAUUUUGGHH! I know it's something with the ipconfig, I checked and there was not an IP address. So, I decided to even try our dial up service for work and I couldn't even log into on a dial up. UNREAL!! No matter what I did, nothing. So I actually had to go into the office tonight to log in, synch my email and come home and read it. Tomorrow, I will go into the office and have those guys fix it before the long break.

Then just before I was going to leave today, I was talking on my cell phone. It was working just fine all day long, then all of a sudden no one could hear me talking. But I didn't have it on mute. Then a little later, I was talking to my daughter and when I hung up, it totally weirded out and gave an error: DOWNLOADING MODE, then after it tried that, the next error it gave was: SRCHDRV__C. That's when I knew that it was DEAD!! All my phone numbers gone, all my history. Yikes! The good thing was that they were out of the Samsung model that I had and upgraded me for $12! Now I have a camera/video phone for the same cost - so that's very cool!

It's just very strange that it would all happen at once. It makes me feel TECHNOLOGICALLY CHALLENGED, even frustrated, but fortunate that at least it's all fixable. Just not by me!

Oh yeah, remember a couple of months back when I told you about a friend of mine who got pulled over? Well, she called today to let me know that her attorney is really hopeful. They go to court tomorrow, will take an expert witness that will testify that they had no reason to pull her over. Then the tape showed that there was nothing obviously wrong with her, she pulled over nicely, didn't swerve, didn't topple when she got out of the car. And the office didn't administer the field sobriety test correctly. Well, I will be seeing her tomorrow after court, so I'll update the saga. I just wish that it would have never happened, as I know she is, but everything happens for a reason, hopefully the reason was to teach all of us a lesson. Well, lesson learned, and I would love for her to get off or at least lowered charges. I'll let you know tomorrow!!

With Christmas only a few days away, I had to get my shopping done, or at least almost done today. So, I went shopping with the kids today - we had a great time out together. Shopping for some of our friends, for each other, picking out the PERFECT gift for everyone. Tomorrow, I have to get a few more things, and then I get to wrap more presents!! It will be fun and I have a few good ideas out there to still pick up. I have spent the usual amount, I think. About a week's pay. I think that's really good considering it covers 2 birthdays and 18 or so people (just the family is 10!). And the gifts are pretty nice. I hope everyone likes what they get. We also adopted a family, the kids wanted clothes, so we bought some nice clothes for them - all boys. The mom wanted some nice cologne, so we got her Tommy Girl. I hope that se will like it. It's just so great to give!!

Well, Merry Christmas almost!! I'll finish shopping tomorrow, get the ham for dinner and get everything all set up for our party on Friday night! Rainman's birthday and Christmas eve!! I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

StrategyStyle Christmas Party

Thanks! I had a GREAT time!

Last night, I went to the StrategyStyle Christmas Party. It was much more fun than the AO party last week. This was at Jeff Ruby's Tropicana. We arrived and had Cosmos, I had a little trouble with the first one, especially after Friday night's party and the headache that I had all day long. YUCK! But, once I got it started, I was fine and they were going down pretty easy.

We had delicious food - Seafood Martini - which is a humongous martini glass filled with ice and light sticks. The seafood that comes with is is 4 jumbo shrimp, 1 king crab leg, and 4 oysters on the half shell. That was such a treat!! Then I ordered a chicken with spinach and pasta. It had a wonderful lite sauce with blue cheese chunks and steamed spinach. I wanted pasta to help me over my hangover and to prevent me from getting another one, don't know why, but pasta always seems to help and work.

And we exchanged presents and I received a gift certificate for a pedicure (purrr) and an absolutely, lovely handmade necklace, very unique. I'll take a picture of it and post it, it's so beautiful. Plus they treated me to a night out for dinner and a party at the bar. Tina joined us early on, ate with us and told us some interesting stories.

We were supposed to go to Brian and Joe's Christmas Party after dinner, but some of our other friends went there and it was dead, so we decided to wait until later to see if we would go. In the meantime, all of those friends that went to the party, left and came to Tropicana's to the other party. Theo and Karin, my friends from the Nederlands, went to Joe's party and left to meet up with us. It was great seeing them, I haven't seen them in 2 years. I'm going to try to get with Karin on Tuesday and go shopping and then invite Theo to come over for a little chat time.

While at Tropicana's, we also met someone that seems like he has the potential to be a new client. I'm going to check out his site and start the recommendations to him. He would be a good client to have.

One of the staff had a crush on Kat. He was totally sweet, romantic, and charming. He bought her a glass of wine and a rose, danced with her and I took a couple of pictures of him. He made Kat feel really special - which she deserves. I know she would like to meet someone special. I hope she gets what she wants.

I met Sue's friend Scott. He is very nice, kind of quiet. He ended up driving us, so that was a relief since I'm not sure how much Sue had to drink, but if it was as much as me, then she shouldn't be driving either.

Michael came over for a while and then he took us to Club Clau - he got us in the club without having to pay and we got VIP status, which allowed us to go into the VIP rooms. I felt like I was a little out of my element, because the crowd is a very young college crowd. But there were people there my age, so I wasn't the oldest one there at least. The guy from the 2003 season of "Who Wants To Marry My Dad?" reality show was there. He lives in Cincinnati, so I wasn't surprised. He's quite a bit older than most of the people in the club, but he was hitting on all the college aged-girls. More power to him, but it was quite funny to me. :)

There were girls in the VIP room that their jobs were to pose in a glass case and stand perfectly still holding the pose for about 15-20 min and then the booth would go dark, they could get out and take a break, mingle among the guests and then get back in for another round. Kind of strange to me. I really didn't get it.

The guests were typical - lots of girls dancing with girls - driving alot of the guys nuts. The club was packed. I heard it was their last month in business. I can't figure that out since they have such a big crowd. They are among the top clubs in the nation. The rumor is that they want to go out on top. I don't understand the bar business to that extent. I understand that people want to be remembered as winners and on top, but I think that they could stay open and continue to be on top. I don't know, I guess they do.

Some highlights of the evening include: Kat smoking Bill's cigar, Sue knowing people in the bar - she knows people everywhere we go, returning our martinis 3 times due to chipped glasses, meeting a Fox19 reporter, listening to a nice blues band, seeing my friends from the Nederlands, meeting so many new people, going to Club Clau, seeing the college guys in gawdy prom dresses for a fraternity rush stunt, the posing girls in glass cages, "Santa Claus" taking pictures of the guests at the club and just being out with my friends. I am sooooo glad that I have been introduced and worked with both Sue and Kat. I'm looking forward to a very successful 2005, working with them. It will definitely be rewarding, I just can feel it.

Thanks for the wonderful party! Thanks for such a great time out.

"If you are going through hell, keep going."
--- Sir Winston Churchill

Saturday, December 18, 2004

1st Annual Women's Christmas Party


The party was a success. I love when that happens. I invited a diverse group of women to come to the party. Went through my address book and invited friends from my neighborhood, from work, from college, from former jobs, lifelong friends, and even some of the wives of the guys that I work with. I invited about 40 people. Generally, you can figure on a 50% attendance rate. But at the holidays, it's even less because there are so many parties to choose from and people go out of town. It was a good turnout - 14 women came to the party.

The house looked nice a "Christmasy". Rainman decorated outside and I decorated inside. Rainman got the tree up and Beka and I decorated it. It's so much fun to decorate the tree. It gives you a chance to look at the ornaments and relive the moments of your life. I have ornaments that are my Mom's, my Grandma's and some that I have had since my first Christmas on my own - oh so many years ago! Then I decorated with my Santa collection, had decorations in every room. My room was nice and clean (thanks, Rainman! he cleaned it up for my while I was at work!!) and of course, I had the chance to show off my newly painted kitchen. It was a hit :) I was never stressed about getting ready for the party. I tackled each chore a little at a time and just figured that whatever was done was all that would be done and not to stress over it. It was supposed to be fun and it was!!

Mary was the first one to arrive and that was nice to have a little time to talk before everyone else got there. Kat came next and then it just seems that everyone started arriving around the same time. Food was pouring in and the wine was beginning to flow! I had gone to the Party Source on Thursday and bought Raspberry Vodka, Vodka (from France), Godiva Chocolate Liquer, Apple Schnapps, Cointreau, about 6-8 bottles of wine on top of all that I already have in stock, cute, "girly" plates and some snacks. We planned on serving several different kinds of wine and Martinis: cosmos, green apple, chocolate, and dirty. Well, we all started with a glass of wine and ate some wonderful snacks. I made a big pot of chili for everyone - didn't want anyone to drive home after having too much to drink! I even made plans for people to stay all night, bought coffee cakes for breakfast.

We started out with a couple bottles of red wine. I opened the Rooster 47 (or whatever it's called), I love that wine. I first had it at The Restaurant. Then we opened a bottle of Bogel Merlot. It was good stuff. I made my cousin a green apple martini, she was so-so on it. Maybe it was my mixing skills - not sure. But then Sue got there and (thankfully) took over the bartending job for me. That gave me an opportunity to be the hostess and socialize with everyone. Thanks Sue!! Besides that I learned very quickly that she is the Cosmo Fairy....everytime I put my glass down, turned around and came back to it, it was magically full! The Cosmo Fairy visited everyone's glasses!

After we ate and chatted, we moved into the living room and it was very cozy. The fire was blazing, we had plenty of room and started playing the game to pass out the presents. It was fun, everyone picked a number and instead of being totally conventional and following the sequence, we decided to start in the middle and then everyone got to call out another number until we all had a chance to pick a gift. We also decided that we could either pick an unopened gift or steal a gift from someone else. So, we were off and running. Sherry picked first and got a beautiful box of jewelry. But Sherry only wears certain types of jewelry - called this "foo-foo" and Mary went next and stole it. Then Sherry picked another gift and it was a ring! That seemed bizarre for her to pick the only two jewelry gifts in the batch!

Well, the "foo-foo" jewelry didn't stay long with Mary - in fact, Kat stole it from her. Then Mary ended up with my set of lions that I was giving away. I don't think she liked them very much, and needless to say, I didn't have a spot anymore for them in my house. I used to have a little display that included the lions and some other cats. But I have since disbanded that display. The gifts were fun: a video - Christmas in Connecticut from generations ago - too funny! A Mermaid coffee table book; potpourri and a vase; Christmas decorations and a serving dish (that's what I got); The Christmas Frog!; a Popcorn Popper with gourmet popcorn and a stinky candle :) We really had some laughs over all the gifts and then we were all deciding who to re-gift them to!! Hilarious!!

While I was out of the room, the cat decided to get some attention. First, she was just being nice and cozy - rubbing up against some of the guests. Then, she decided that she liked the plastic bag on the floor so much that she would use it for a potty! So she crapped in front of everyone...I just couldn't believe it! Well, on second thought, it made sense because her litter box is in the family room and it was gated off to keep Thor in there. But still. She crapped in the living room on a plastic bag! Unreal!!

Most everyone left near midnight or so. When the Cosmo Fairy left, she made sure taht there was a shaker of chocolate martinis and cosmos already made up. Since people were wanting to be ok to drive, the shakers were left for me. And I didn't fail them, I drank them. So I basically started drinking at 7:30 and didn't stop until 3:30!! wow! I haven't done that in a long time - like years! Mary stayed the latest! I was so happy to have company while I was cleaning up. I put all the food away, washed the dishes and cleaned everything up. Seemed to be easier to do it all at once.

Thanks to everyone that came to my party. Merry Christmas!!

The next morning, I was hurting. :( But I knew I would be when I went to bed. I didn't drink any water and only ate a little bit. But, I was glad that I ate what I did. The party was fun but the hangover was a headache that lasted all day. :(

Happy Birthday!!

Wow! You're 18!

My daughter turns 18 on the 18th! It's just so hard to believe. And the worse thing is that I always say that it's hard to believe - every year as they get older. I guess it's because I don't feel older - well, not that old anyway.

But she is 18 and she's my baby. I am totally proud of her accomplishments and can see that she is making plans for a successful life. Applying to college, studying really hard, trying to show that she can do it. I'm pleased about everything with her. Where she's been and where she is now are world's apart. Any mother would be pleased to have such a wonderful daughter.

So, here's to you! Happy Birthday, baby!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Party Prep

getting ready

Tomorrow night, I am having a group of women over for a Christmas party. I am so looking forward to it and believe it or not, I'm not stressing over this party. Almost everything is ready, although, some of that junk that I have in my house that doesn't belong to me is in the way. I can't help it. The only thing that will be a challenge is where to put the coats. Normally, I would have everyone throw them on my bed, but with his stuff in there, the room isn't that great looking and I didn't clean it because I don't like how messy his stuff is. But, tomorrow, I guess, I should do a quick 10 min clean up before everyone gets here. That way they can use my bed. Don't have a choice. Hope my friend's understand that I can't do anything about his stuff.

Tonight, I'm heading out to buy party supplies and to go to the World's Largest Office Party with Sue. We are going to have a good time and if we hate it, well, we'll go do something else. I know the traffic is bad around town due to shoppers out there, plus there were several wrecks reported on the news. One of the accidents sounded really bad. Kat has to drive through that intersection and I was concerned about her well-being. So, I called to check on her and was totally relieved to hear her voice and that she was ok. :)

More later, after I see what happens tonight.

Oh yea, on the inventory list from earlier - add relationship review. Got to figure it out. What am I doing?

Year End Reconciliation

probably a good idea all the way around.

Inventory, reconciliation, audit - tis the season! In business, these are events that are scheduled annually. It's more than a good idea to carry them out, it's mandatory. Some of these activities take a long time, especially if the workload is heavy. I've been involved in the inventory of a auto parts warehouse a long time ago. It was very tedious and detailed work. It's not for everybody.

It's good to do an internal inventory or audit annually. I am been going through that process with my house, cleaning closets, the basement, giving things away. It's just good to take that inventory of personal possessions. We just end up with too much 'stuff' or 'stuff' that doesn't fit our lifestyle any longer. But then, there's the internal 'stuff', the emotional baggage that we carry around. Maybe it's as simple as a grudge against your ex, or some hard feelings for someone at work, or even that helpless feeling of never knowing how to tell people 'no' when you really don't want to do something. All of those things can bog us down, make us feel helpless at times, out of control.

We can't control every situation, but for those things that we can control, it's good to know that we have learned to let some things go to the wayside - not worth the effort or emotions to hang on to them.

Take my ex. I used to spend alot of energy being upset with him, analyzing why he was acting a certain way or telling the kids a certain thing, treating the kids a certain way - whatever it was. When I would see him, my blood would boil. Then someone helped me with a few things to relieve that 'anger' in me. One thing that I learned is that you can't feel that much anger if there isn't some love there. The love was old, it was hurt, therefore it was turning to anger. I think it's normal in an "ex" situation, especially where kids are involved. But when I learned to admit that I USED to love him and that he HURT me then but can't hurt me NOW, I started feeling some relief. I never bad-mouthed him to the kids, I figured they are really smart, they'll figure it out in their own time. And now at 20 and 18, they have.

Another lessons learned was to actually pray for him. This was hard because that meant I had to think about him and I didn't like that. It took me some time to get this one down, but over time, I found it to actually relieve my anger and hurt. Funny, I prayed for his well-being and I received the blessing. God is so cool. And now, somethings that bugged me before are coming back to haunt him without my direct intervention. Like the child support he owes me - he owes me YEARS and YEARS of $$$$. Well, he was driving home one night and got pulled over in a routine traffic stop - had a taillight out or something. During that stop, it was discovered that his drivers' license was under suspension due to NON-PAYMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT. They seized his license, cut him a break and followed him home. Told him not to drive and gave him a court date. He went to court and has to pay either 10% of the amount owed (because he's "self-employed") or he has to get a REAL JOB and have it be a payroll deduction. That's it. So, to date, I've yet to receive any cash, he doesn't have a drivers' license and we'll see what happens next.....and the BEST PART IS THAT I DID NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING BUT PRAY :) I'm telling you, it works. GOD IS SOOOOOOOOOOO COOL!

So, in the spirit of the season, I am starting to take an audit or inventory of my personal life, feelings, habits, and attitudes. My goal is to always grow and improve myself. To become a better person. To lighten my load so I can achieve the goals set in front of me. One of the first things that I have done is set appointments for annual check-ups. It's a good idea to start with your health. As you know, I've been dieting and that's been going pretty good so far. I think I'm 13 weeks into it and am around the 35 pound mark. It has been slowing down, but it's still on the decline. So that's good. So, one improvement activity that I know I have to implement is working out. I need to walk on my treadmill every day and take the dog for a walk more. I need to do some exercises - situps, crunches, lift some weights to tighten up and that will help alot too. So, I've started the quest, just need to remember it's the end of the year which is a good time to INVENTORY, IMPROVE AND IMPLEMENT!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

As The World Turns.......

didn't realize there was a plot!!

The plot thickened today and I didn't realize there was a plot!

I have a friend who I get to hang out with once in a while. He's not a very close friend, actually just someone that I've known for a short time. I met him through a work function. He's a nice enough guy, but I don't know alot about him. You know what it's like to have business acquaintances. He's just a good person to hang out with, wine and dine, good conversation, interesting. But that's where it ends. I know him so little that he only knows my work number, doesn't call me at home.

He's getting a divorce so he's crying on my shoulder from time-to-time. Today, I received a phone call from his "soon-to-be" ex-wife, who claimed that he wanted me to have his home number. I don't need his home number, I don't know him well enough to have his home number, we communicate while at work. It's SO TOTALLY WIERD.

Not sure exactly what this is about, but I do know a RED FLAG when I see it. RED FLAGS EVERYWHERE!! UNACCEPTABLE!! No more conversations, no more contact. It's too wierd and too much like a soap opera! I have given up the steady diet of drama!

See ya on the other side, my friend.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Interesting contact

lunch meeting

Today was an interesting day so far. I've had the chance to work on a client project that I just love. It's a sizeable project and we have lots of work, planning, estimating, etc to do. So, it's taking up pretty much of our teams time. It's an exciting project, one that I will be ever so proud to showcase.

I also had lunch with someone that works for one of the agency's in town that we partner with on certain projects. It was interesting because sometimes it's a challenge to play together well in the sandbox when there is a competition of sorts going on. So in his coming to me to ask how do we play well together, I suggested realizing that we are not going after their work and they should not go after our work. First of all, they can't compete, they don't do that good of job at our part and they should just do what they do best and be glad that they specialize. :)

We'll see how it goes, it's definitely a collaborative effort, one that works well across other agency's therefore it should work well with them. But it doesn't seem to. They want to much, are too clingy to their work, blah blah blah.

So, he was interested in a partnership of sorts, helping each other out, realizing that they have to get it together or go get new clients. Easier, in my opinion, to get it together.

This afternoon, I'll be finishing up some of my reports, then off to shop for my son. It's his 20th birthday, such a trip! I just can't believe that he IS 20 today. Funny how memories are so real in your mind, isn't it? I mean, here he is 20 and I remember his birth as if it were yesterday and all the years in between just flash through my mind. All the birthday's, basketball games, school events, friends, homework, lunches, dinners, parties, neighbors, smiles, hugs and kisses!! And I'm so blessed, because I still get the hugs and kisses, parties, fun, smiles, and love! Thanks! So tonight, I'm going to cook him something that he REALLY likes - Mexican Lasagne! he's at work, but when he gets home it will be there waiting for him.

I'll write more later about his birthday. We're going out to dinner on Wed. Then it's Beka's birthday on Sat. She's going to be 18! WOW! they are really growing up on me!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Holiday party: looks like Sue is having fun!! Posted by Hello

Office Holiday Party

fun to get dressed up

Last night was our Office Holiday Party. It was my first Christmas party of the season with at least 5 more to go! The affair was semi-formal dress, so this allowed the women to get dressed up. I wore a black, velvet skirt slit up each side to my mid-thigh, textured pantyhose, glittery top and fur-lined, velvet, long coat. I was considering wearing my hair up, but it just didn't look right, so I wore in down. I went with Sue, Rainman didn't want to go. (He doesn't do "corporate" events.)

We had sooooooooo much fun!

The food was great, open bar, met a few new people and got to visit with some of them that I work with. But only 3 of us were there from my department out of 16. I think those that didn't come would have had a good time. There was a little bit of dancing, you know, the usual stuff - electric slide, cha-cha, and then some couple dancing. I didn't like the rap songs and the dancing to that. But it's so popular and the people that dance to it surprise you.

I was surprised in a couple of ways. There weren't as many people there as I expected. I thought there would be 100+ people there, just because we have pretty many consultants in our office. Then add a date/significant other/spouse to the mix, and you've easily got 200+. Surprise, the tables were set up for 80 and there were less than 70 people there.

Another surprise - none of the "bosses" were there. My manager wasn't there, his manager was there, some of the account executives were not there. No one gave any kind of "hello and welcome to your Holiday Party! Hope you have a good time. Here's to having another successful year......." NOTHING! In fact, if you didn't know that you were attending this event, you would not have known by attending it. If you know what I mean.

Surprise #3 - people got there close to 8 and left around 10. Unbelievable. All of a sudden the whole place emptied out. There used to be the party, then the after-party at the bar, then move it to someone's hotel room for the after-after-party. Of course, the party would be at a big hotel downtown. This one was at one of the country clubs (where we had our golf outing). So, Sue and I left and went to Pilot Inn for a drink and just more conversation!

Surprise #4 - we usually have door prizes, charity raffle - buy $10 worth of tickets, raffle off some great prizes like passes to the zoo, laser game packages, hotel passes for a night, movie passes, etc. It's a great way to raise money - which we donate to local charitable organizations. But this year, we didn't do any of that.

Like I said, I had a good time, but for those of you that know me, know I can have a good time just sitting on your porch. So really I'm not the barameter of what's a good time.

One thing that was hilarious. There were cameras on the table, so we were taking pictures of everyone. Got bored, went into the Women's Lounge where there is a fabulous chaise lounger. I LOVE that 'fainting couch'! At the golf outing, I was plotting how to take it home with me - haha! So, last night Sue took my picture lounging on it and then my other friend, then both of us together. I'm really afraid to see those shots!

Here's the pics from the party!


Saturday, December 11, 2004

Happy Birthday!!

Wow! My best friend had her birthday!

Happy Birthday, Sher! We went out Friday night to Up Star Crow. It's at Newport on the Levee. The traffic was heavy when we got over there, we almost decided to bail and go somewhere else. But we valet parked the car, went right in and got seated in a perfect spot, with a great view of the stage. She knows the band that was performing, a blues/jazz band. Tonight they were playing the blues. Nice.

We ordered a bottle of merlot, Bogle. It's a California wine and I generally don't care for CA wines, but this one is a smooth, fruitful wine. Absolutely delicious. We had mussels for appetizer and both got grilled tuna, but each of us had it served a little differently. I had mine in a pineapple, apricot, baby greens, grilled tuna salad with balsamic vinegrette. She had tuna mojo which is a grilled tuna with a sauce made of jalepeno's, green peppers, onions, sauteed in a little butter, white wine and capers. Linguini was tossed with the sauce. Both were delicious! We were very pleased.

We hung out and talked about our lives: relationships, careers, parents, school, wondered how we made it this far! Hoped to keep going and stay healthy. I wish her the very best and know that we will be friends for the rest of our lives. No matter where we go, what we do and who we're with.

"If you are going through hell, keep going."
--- Sir Winston Churchill

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The best part.........

community service, best friends and big plans!

I loved my day yesterday. I had all the elements of my favorite things. Working from home, seeing my family, doing community service, spending time with best friends and dreaming big plans!

I got to work from home for a while in the afternoon. I love working at home at my own desk in my office. Especially since I just cleaned it off the other night. It's a comfy space and I feel so relaxed there. I can accomplish so much when I work there. Part of it is because I don't get interrupted working at home. People have to make an effort to call me instead of just walking into my office.

The upside to working from home is that I was able to be there when my son came home from his exams. He was on top of the world! You know that feeling, wrapping up a quarter in college, taking final exams, the stress, the studying and then the relief of taking the last one, feeling like you did well on all of them! Aahhh! Marvelous!! And I was home when my daughter came home from school - which I miss - then she sat down and we chatted for a few minutes. It's time to send in college applications and she's ready to do it. So, next week, we are filling out applications! Wow! She's going to baby!

Then after I finished working, I had an opportunity to be involved with an interview panel to interview high school teachers that are teaching IT tracks in school. This is part of their certification. We have a program in Ohio that encourages high school students to take 2 years of IT coursework in high school and then it leads into 2 years of college to prepare them for working in IT. The program is being run at Taft High School in Cincinnati. It's an inner-city school with a tradition The two teachers that came in were really enthusiastic, knew their space and were seeing big results in their students. The graduation rate has increased since this program has been inacted 4 years ago. The experience gained by interviewing these teachers was very cool. I appreciated being invited to help out.

On top of it, I spent the time at the interview with Sue and then she dropped me off and I met Brian at Watson Brothers. It was a great spending some time with him. We rarely get to see each other. We talked about politics and boy, did he let me have it with both barrels! He kept pounding me about my earlier blog about the election. You see, he's the one that sent me the email that sparked the political blog that just wouldn't end. When he read it, he swore it was a Rush tirade! The fallacy of his accusation is that I can't stand and don't agree with Rush at all. But, he feels I've been brainwashed by conservatives.

The thing that he doesn't quite understand is that as an Independent, I look at all the candidates and make a choice to my conscious at the time. I have voted for Independents, Green Party, Democrats and Republicans. In fact, I've voted republican for president less than democratic. Hey, as I have evolved, my ideals have changed. And perhaps I am becoming more conservative as I am getting older. But really, I don't think that's what it is, I think it's just the present State of the Union and the present leadership needs to finish what they started.

Anyway, the point was that I got to spend some time with my dear friend. We talked about families, relationships, food, drinking and life in general. He's having a Christmas Party in about a week. I'm going to go with Sue. It will be totally fun! I'll post pics when it's over.

As always, I am thankful to have a great day!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

And so, we finally meet!!

work together over two years

Finally! I got to meet the nicest cowboy that I've ever known!! He's one of my colleagues. We've worked together long distance for over two years on one of the most challenging projects in my career. It was a Murphy's Law Project - if it could go wrong, it did!! But he hung in there with me, put up with my demands, and helped me turn it into a great service offering. It just needs more marketing to make it more profitable :)

The point was I finally got to meet Cowboy! He's absolutely terrific! He's a very funny guy, great personality, good trusted friend, excellent conversationalist, Dallas Football Fan, and truly a Cowboy!! He was able to visit our office and spend the day with us in meetings, planning growth for next year and more meetings! But then, the moment we were waiting for arrived! Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football! Are you ready for some football!??! We sure were! We had hot wings, great friends, and dozens of TVs. It just couldn't have been better.

Thanks for such a great time!! Rainman and I don't get out together too often! So it was alot of fun.

"If you are going through hell, keep going."
--- Sir Winston Churchill

group shot!! Smiles everywhere... Heaven, Cowboy and Kat!! BIG FUN!! Posted by Hello

Kat and Cowboy - She really does like football! Who knew?!? Posted by Hello

Heaven and Cowboy! Sure was great to meet in person 0 FINALLY!!  Posted by Hello

Heaven and Rainman.........enjoying some wings and football with friends!! Posted by Hello

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Totally Crazy Emotional Day

what the hell happened?

I don't always say the "right" thing at the "right" time, but sometimes the truth hurts and I don't mean to be mean. Today was no exception. I insulted my soon-to-be departed boyfriend without meaning to, because I simply spoke the truth. I have a feeling that it's more than over. There's no turning back what I said. I didn't mean to hurt his feelings, but I did. He was supposed to take me Christmas Shopping because I can't drive right now, but he stormed out and didn't take me. Well, I think he thought it was 'crush' me or something, but it didn't. My son took me. We had a blast!

I got more of my shopping done, on top of the online shopping that I completed today. Once everything comes in, I only have a few more things to pick up. Then I'll be done. And some of that can be done online :)

I treated myself to a new laptop tonight. It's a Dell and I'm excited. I'll probably have it around the 13th or 14th! I'm gonna need it and I've always wanted to buy myself a laptop. I always use the one issued by work. Let's see, I've had all kinds, some really great machines, top of the line $5K+ and then some totally crappy ones, like where I work now, I had one of the crappiest around, it died so many times. But now they gave me a high powered Latitude. It rocks! My home machine will be nice to have - wireless - yippee!! I picture myself writing my blog on a Saturday morning at Starbucks having a venti fat-free skim milk latte and low fat cinnamon coffee cake. MMMMmmmmmmmmm!

Well, I've saved all year for Christmas and so far I'm on budget, including the laptop. So glad I opened that savings account!

Gotta go.........hope my boyfriend thinks about the things I said and realizes that there is truth in it, even though it's brutal. By the time he moves, he won't want to talk to me anymore, I can tell. Maybe that's what I want, I don't know. It's hard to tell at this point. All I know, my kids are ready for him to go and they told me that I can depend on them to help me, not to depend on him. So, that's what I'll do - see, I told you I have great kids!!

Friday, December 03, 2004

My pic

That's Me!  Posted by Hello

I was actually trying to get this pic to show in my profile, but it was fruitless. So, here it is in my Blog. I used Hello tool, it's very easy!

Oak Tree Montessori

give a gift of love

Last night, we attended the fundraiser for Oak Tree Montessori School sponsored by The Women's Circuit and other IT groups in Cincinnati. It was a great event, held at Bella's downtown. There were so many people there and the donations were pouring in! I hope they raised quite a bit of money and donations! It's a great cause, I urge you to donate!! Check out their wishlist and help make it come true! Thanks for a wonderful time!!

I attended with my european colleague. We had quite a bit of fun, talking to many people. Sue introduced us to more people and I ran into quite a few that I already knew. It was great to see everyone. Cincinnati has such a cool IT community. We may compete for business, but we also help each other in finding positions, resources, or help of any kind. It's the Mid-West way :)

The biggest surprise of the evening was running into Chad! I was so glad to see him. We used to work together at OneNet back in the "hey-day"! He was my account executive. He and I worked on multiple successful web projects. He would identify a need and had a good sense of estimations for the purposes of discussions with the client. Then he would bring me into the meetings and help define the project to bring it to fruition. We made a GREAT TEAM!! He and I were always #1 in sales/revenue for the year.

When OneNet started disbanding it's employees, he went to work with the original founders in a telecom company. Everything was going along at quite a good pace and two years ago, they contacted me to come to work with them. I ALMOST DID IT. I thought about it alot, I was really unhappy in my current position because we had no work, there was discussion of laying off my team or at least parts of it, and my hands were tied because I wasn't empowered to do more business development at the time. Things here were pretty dismal. So, their offer was quite entertaining and tempting.

Through a great deal of soul-searching and discussions with my management, I decided to stay here and with their blessings, really help build the business. For those of you that really know me, you know I don't do anything half-way! I shoot for the stars, I work really hard and I thrive on achievements. I felt my job here wasn't done and I hadn't proven my full potential at that point. Since then, I fulfilled my obligation and increased revenue in my group that first year by about 25% and then doubled it this year. It was a concerted team effort and I am very grateful to my team for working so hard and being so dedicated. If I moved on now, I would have no regrets. I feel that I have more than fulfilled my obligation and have built a wonderful business in my area.

Chad informed me that he has since left that company due to low revenues and loss/lack of business. I'm sorry to hear they are struggling, they are such a great group of guys. But I'm relieved to know I made the right choice. And believe me, the choice came at a cost! I've been through quite a lot over the last 2 years in my career. Nice to see you old friend!

Gotta get going to work. Hope everyone has a great day - it's Friday - TGIF!!

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
- Robert F Kennedy

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Holiday far good!!

What a FANTASTIC week it's been! I've been so busy, I haven't had time to give you an update! So here it is! ...

I've had more opportunities this week to spend time with my youngest daughter. I mean, as a Mom, it's fantastic to spend time with my teenagers. They don't always want to "hang out" with me, but they do like to be with me and do things with me. So that's really fun. I suspect that in January, they will be doing more with me then. Because my significant other gave a bid on another place to live this week and they accepted the offer. I imagine that he'll be moving in about 10-15 days from now. We'll all have our own space - which is really needed at this point - and everyone will be happy.

Anyway, Monday night, she and I hung out, made some plans for her upcoming birthday, went to the salon for her nails and just talked about the family, things going on, future plans. It was totally cool.

Then on Tuesday, I was invited to attend an awards ceremony at University of Cincinnati in the newly built and absolutely gorgeous Tangeman Center. The presentation was held in the Great Room, which is a wonderful space. It can hold over a 1,000 people, has a spectacular view overlooking Nippert Stadium. The new Tangeman Center is located in the Main Street Area on campus. It's phenomenal! As a former student, the campus has definitely changed and improved. It was fascinating to visit campus again! Makes me want to take more classes :)

I am so glad that I attended the awards ceremony. I nominated one of my former professors, Dr. Grace Auyang, Behavioral Sciences. She taught me so much, sparked an interest in sociology for me that is still alive. I use it daily in my career and in meeting people. It's very rewarding to have broadened my horizons and to have the desire to challenge myself with interpersonal/team building skills. She was one of the awardees. I was her official cheerleader and photographer! I took photos of the presenters including: Dr. Nancy Zimpher, the President of the University, Dr. Mitchell Livingston, Vice-President for Student Affairs and Services, and Professor Barr, the initiator of the diversity program. I also took photos of Grace and her other colleagues and friends. I was fortunate enough to have my picture taken with many of her colleagues and friends, including Dr. Zimpher and Dr. Livingston. I was very impressed with the presentation and the organization of this event. It was wonderful to see some of my acquaintances from my university days there also. Overall, it was a rewarding experience. I hope to attend others on campus.

Later that night, a friend and colleague of mine arrived here from Brussels to work for the week. I love when he's in town. We have so much fun and he loves to shop - a guy that loves to shop is a girl's best friend!! He attended his day long of meetings on Wednesday and then afterwards we went shopping. He visited my house for the first since we've known yesterday, gave me a few pointers on my newly painted kitchen, and then helped me pick out accessories and my quest for new dishes at the Jeffersonville Prime Outlets. We visited quite a few stores: Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Kirklands, Pottery Barn, Oneida, Kitchen Collections, and some others. We bought some clothing for gifts, some decor for my kitchen, but came up empty on the dinnerware. So the search for the perfect dinnerware pattern is still on!!

After we shopped, which went on for many hours, we went to Montgomery Inn for a delicious dinner of the World's Greatest Ribs! Well, the guys had ribs, I had a blackened scallop salad. Very nice combination of greens and scallops with fat free honey mustard dressing - still trying to make good chioces - keep off the 35 pounds that I've lost :) and continue to lose more!! Dinner was great and we had so much fun, talking and laughing. I really love when he's in town. I want to travel to Europe and visit him in his own environment, I'm sure we would have a wonderful time.

Tonight, is the Women's Circuit Holiday Party at Oaktree Montessori School in Over-The-Rhine. It is going to be quite an event, to say the least! I'll write more about it tomorrow.

Hey, I gotta get going. Thanks for reading. Please send comments!!

Happy far!!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Christmas Shopping


I am going to try to buy as much of my list online this year. The easy part is I already have my youngest daughter's birthday and Christmas present already bought. My son can't seem to choose what he would like, so it's totally up to me. And my oldest daughter "never cares" so I will give her a gift plus ca$h! Pretty easy. I am not exchanging gifts this year with my boyfriend. He's spending all of his available cash on a mobile home, so no gifts this year. That's fine with me. Just makes it easier.

Actually, I would like to buy my family a vacation and a computer. Or fix my desktop computer ONE MORE TIME and buy a laptop. I would love to have my own laptop. Just never know when I'll need it! I have these fantasies of sitting in a cafe in Paris, with my laptop, emailing and checking on my business, while I am having the best coffee and pastry on the planet!! Just relaxing and enjoying some time. So, that would be the best gift of all - vacation, work, and computer all in one!

Well, you never know. I'll start looking now and deciding which is the best way to spend my money.

In the meantime, I have been shopping for accessories for my newly painted kitchen. I bought some pretty fun things last night - some wine decor and pudgy chef decor. Very cute. Plus, I bought some frames, so I could finally frame the prints I bought in Oxford, England in 1999. Gonna get them hung up today, as a matter of fact, in my living room.

But for now, happy shopping ......... online!

My favorite stores:,, delta airlines and Best Buy so far. I'll add more to it, as my list grows!

Saturday, November 27, 2004


How much do you respect the covenant?

My cousin has this theory about failed relationships - it's called BREACH OF CONTRACT. It makes perfect sense. When you meet someone and begin a new relationship you put your best foot forward to make a good impression. You are on your best behavior while the relationship is new. During the "courtship" the relationship continues to be good. Both the guy and the girl are willing to compromise for the better of the relationship. They like each other's friends, go to sporting events together and are even willing to go to the Symphony to enjoy each other.

As the relationship matures, they love spending holidays with each other's families, shop with the future in-laws and even entertain the soon-to-be brothers- and sisters-in-law. They share everything - their hopes, dreams, aspirations. They plan a wedding - which we know takes alot of time and planning - and then suddenly the relationship is elevated to a MARRIAGE!

The honeymoon year(s) are upon them and things are still perfectly wonderful. They are working on their careers, buying a new house, still hanging out with their friends and basically their life is continuing as it was before the marriage - blissful.

Then, either planned or unplanned, they welcome children into their family to make them "complete". They are so excited and enjoy learning the newness of parenthood together. Then, after some time, they have another child and possibly another. And get busier and busier, oftentimes separately. Sometimes the woman takes time off from her career to take care of the children. This is an honorable decision, if they can afford it financially.

The man goes off to work and meets so many young, professional people, including other women, throughout his work week. Everyone is so polite and nice because that's the way it is when you have professional relationships, everyone's on their best behavior.

Meanwhile, back at the house, the woman is feeling left out, trapped by the very choice she made to stay home and be the "mom". She interacts with kids all day long, takes them to the park, cleans the house, runs the errands and cooks the meals. After a period of time, she feels like a "scullery maid"! (that's for you, cousin :) She doesn't feel appreciated, she doesn't feel romantically satisfied, she doesn't feel wanted by him. Sometimes, she gains weight and her self-esteem becomes very low. She has changed since the beginning of the marriage, blames everything on the husband and gives into a depression. When the man comes home from work, she bitches at him, nags him to help her, whines about him not spending more time with her, and so on.

She has become someone that she was not. BREACH OF CONTRACT

At the same time, there's him. He goes to the office, possibly has martinis during lunch and flirts with the women in his office or his female clients. It all starts fairly innocently. Just a brief smile here, some eye contact there, lunches which can turn into dinners, drinks which can lead to intimate conversations, and time spent with someone that thinks he's terrific and not the poor bastard that "just doesn't understand". He plays golf more than he ever did before. He ordered season tickets for him and his brother or a friend. He works late into the night. He drinks more than he ever did. He doesn't talk to her or spend time with her.

It's seriously a relationship in decay. It's sad, it's what happens and they both "BREACH THE CONTRACT". The contract that said they would love each other, take care of each other, be with each other, grow over time with each other and support each other. It's a contract that promised one thing, yet delivered something else.

So, if you're relationship is one like this - think about it - who's breaching the contract? Is it you? So, go on a diet, workout more, get back into that sexy shape that your spouse loved so much! Talk to each other, fix it!! It's the best way to be.

If it's not fixable, agree to disagree and part friends. Why take each other to the cleaners? Why pay the attorneys more than what you'll get in the end? Why hate each other? Why torture the kids because you can't get along?

But in the end, look back, analyze what went wrong, take responsibility for your part, learn from your mistakes and move on. When you find someone else, because you will, remember that now you have baggage and more-than-likely so do they. It gets more complicated because there may be hurtful relationships in their past that they cannot get over. There might be kids on both sides, or not, either way, it can be complicated. Remember that it will NEVER be perfect, but it will be what you put into it. If you love and support - the hope is that you will get love and support back. Conversely, if you bitch and complain - you will get back unhappiness and discord.

Just is short and love is viral, it only grows as you give it away.

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. :)"
- The Beatles, 1969

Friday, November 26, 2004

Thanksgiving with my kids

the day after is our time.

Yes, that's right, the day after Thanksgiving is our time as a family to invite our friends and loved ones over and share the feast with them. I am a thankful parent, as you must know from reading my blog. I am a grateful friend for all of the support that I get. This is one way for me to show people how I feel about them. I love to entertain but over the last couple of months, so much has happened with my 'love interest' that I didn't feel comfortable inviting a bunch of people over this year. Maybe after he moves out, I will begin to entertain more extensively again.

So, I only mentioned it to a few people, some of the "regulars", but due to conflict of schedules they were not able to make it. But I still enjoyed cooking for my kids. They were all here and ate dinner, enjoyed each other totally. Yesterday, we were fragged in different places, visiting their Dad's side of the family. But not today. Today was my day, our day.

Thanks kids, you are the reason why I strive so much to excel. You are the reason why I work so hard. You are the reason why I love so much!! :)

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Family Feast

and fun!

I always thought my family was typical, even normal. But, have realized over the years that we are a totally awesome family!! Everyone is married or divorced and remarried or just divorced (like me!). We all have kids, houses, careers, cars, and the normal stuff in life. We had terrific mothers: ethical, moral, strong, determined, survivors, role-models. Some of us had crappy dads - but the moms were so awesome, that it made up the difference. And for those that didn't have great moms, there were really strong grandmothers helping out!

We are a close-knit family, very supportive of each other, helping each other out when needed. We get together about 4 or 5 times a year, Easter, Summer party, Thanksgiving & Christmas at least, plus any graduations or weddings in between! Originally, there were 4 sisters, which turned into 55 descendents counting spouses. Every year, all the cousins, parents, aunt & uncles get together and share stories about life, vacations, careers, kids, actually everything! When I mentioned these dinners to my friends over the years, they're reactions surprised me. I thought all families did this, but come to realize that there are families that live in the same small community and don't even know each other! What a blow-away!

I used to have a pretty poor self-esteem issues. I used to think that because I was adopted and they were all part of the "Real" family that they didn't care as much about me as the rest. But, over the years, I realized that I was not right in feeling that way and they loved me unconditionally. I could tell you some stories that put it to the test, not sure if today will be the day :) But overall, through the years, I have arrived at a place where I am the most comfortable in my own skin than ever before. I have the most confidence and the most satisfaction in being who I am. It's a wonderful feeling!

Anyway, there's about 25 or so that get together on Thanksgiving. Then at Christmas everyone shows up that is in town. Thanksgiving is much more relaxed. Much easier to spend time and talk with everyone than at Christmas. And this year was no different from the others. One of my cousins, with whom I share my birthdate with, never comes to Thanksgiving Dinner because she lives out of town. Over the years she has lived in Nashville, Cleveland and now Washington D.C. But this year, she was at dinner - the first in 18 years! I missed her so much and at Christmas, we don't get to talk as much as we like. Her brother (my cousin), his wife and girls live in Cincinnati. Due to both family obligations and the age of their daughters, they didn't attend all the dinners. As a result, I've not gotten much time to get to know her either. The three of us hung out and chatted for hours. It was fantastic!

During that conversation, we talked about the kids - how, when we were kids, we were NOT allowed to act up in any way. We had to eat at the kid's table, until we were married. We were expected to act appropriately, like we were out in a restaurant through dinner and if we misbehaved, or even one of us, and a parent had to come to the table, we all got in trouble. We laughed about the fun we had as kids. Dressing up, pretending, playing Mouse Trap and other board games. We would go outside and play. The goal was to play nicely, behave and allow the parents to have some time together. I totally respect how they raised us.

Now, things are a little different. The kids sit at the table with their parents. We suspect it's began because they couldn't behave without their parents sitting right there. Then the way they behave when they play is so different from what we were allowed to do. They are loud, physical, pick on each other, not really play together. They are growing up now, the oldest of that generation is 12. We guessed they will get better as they get older. At least we hope so!!

We discussed about marriages and why they break up - so much so that even our family is not above the divorce epidemic. My cousin had an interesting theory - she called it the "BREACH OF CONTRACT". (I am going to borrow that and start a blog just about the Breach of Contract.) What that is, is when after a "period of time" in a marriage, they have kids and get busy with the family or work or the school/community, and forget to pay attention to each other, forget to work out, forget to be the person that they were when they fell in love. Then they wonder why things are such a mess. It's clearly a Breach of Contract. It's so totally true and goes both ways for husbands or wives that change.

Then I found out that my cousin who lives in Washington D.C. and I have so much more in common than I thought. For one, we both supported George W. Bush and are conservative republicans - just like the rest of the family. We both like to read auto- and biographies and listen to Sean Hannity! And of course, we get our news from Fox News, Fair and Balanced. It's terrific!! She shared with me that she and her husband were able to go to former President Ronald Reagan's funeral. I would have loved to attend his funeral. Nancy Reagan's limo drove past them, she waved at them and she said it was very moving. I would love to take a trip to Simi Valley, CA and visit The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. It would be a great trip!!

We ended up talking until everyone was leaving around 10pm. It was fantastic to have 'girl time' and just catch up, learn more about each other and build the legacy to carry on into the generation. So this year, Thanksgiving was a total blessing!

I can't forget to mention: Hi Mom, I sure missed you! I hope you are enjoying your time with Grandma and Grandpa, Dad and his family, your sisters and all others that have gone before me! Hi Aunt Ruth and Aunt Edna! Miss you too!! Love you all!! And can't forget about Dad - love you and miss you! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

A time to give thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you! Today is a time to reflect and give thanks for all the wonderful miracles and blessings we have in our lives. I am very appreciative of so many gifts from God.

> My outstanding children - they make me proud every day of my life.
> My endearing friends - we have stood by each other over the years through thick and thin and everything in between.
> My close knit family - my parents, cousins, aunts and uncles, those here and those that have gone before me.
> My satisfying career - not everyone can say that they enjoy what they do.
> My house that provides us with more than just a place to live - but the memories of a happy family.

I just want to thank everyone for everything that they have done for me and allowed me to do for them. My life is rewarding and I am content in the pleasures that God has bestowed upon me. All the times that were rough, so that I could appreciate the times that are sweet! Like now!

Happy Thanksgiving - enjoy the turkey, the food, the family and friends!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Mobile Homes and Moving In

wonder how soon?

I think he will be happier living alone. He's already raised his family; they are grown up and have moved out. Hey, I don't blame him, there is a lot of activity in my house - I mean, 3 teenagers are living here right now. They come and go at all hours of the day and evening because of work and school. It's quite a bit if a persons not used to it.

I know I will be happier not dealing with the clutter and extra stuff crammed in the basement and kind of all over the house. I am such a "neat freak" that I am having a tough time with too much stuff in my house, too many clothes in my closets, things not organized or put away, for way too long of a time. He moved it in back in March while he still owned the condo and was painting it and fixing it up - so it's overrun my entire basement for that long. It's definitely got to go!

One possible solution would have been for him to move the boxes and other stuff into a storage unit. That really isn't a good solution for him, he likes his stuff to be with him. His grand scheme is simple: buy a mobile home now and move in. Then "one of these days", when my kids are grown and gone, I can sell my house. He and I can build a house out in the "sticks" where we have some privacy. While we are building, we can live in the mobile home. Then we can move it to the property to have as a guest house. Sounds like a plan! So, the search for a mobile home is on. Today, we looked at one that was REALLY nice.

So, for now, we are kind of in limbo. Although, he can move into a temporary situation if the need arises. I won't hesitate to insist if the situation warrants more space between us. It is kind of comforting in a way, it's not really like a break-up in some ways, but I often wonder if it will lead to a break up. I mean, it's going to be wierd again - him living somewhere else, but in many ways, I will enjoy having my time and space back to myself. Especially with so much going on in my life right now.

I like to fix up my house and I will miss him being here, just fixing things as he sees fit. So, that part will be strange, but I can always ask him to fix something for me. And I won't mind sleeping alone. I rather enjoy it. I get a much better nights sleep without him tossing and turning. He likes to listen to the radio and I can't sleep with it on. He's a night owl and I'm a morning person - GEE, I THOUGHT I WOULD NEVER SAY THAT!! So, there are going to be some advantages.

On the flip side, I will miss having dinner with him at night and having someone to talk to. I wonder if that means that I will blog even more as an outlet. I also wonder if he'll see other people. He might meet someone that just adores him. I tell you it's not hard to adore him - he's so sweet, kind and nice. He's been wonderful to me over the past (nearly) 3 years. I know everything about him and he knows all about me. I will miss that. I don't like that part of a relationship - the inital getting to know you stuff is fun - but the REAL person - now that's different. Getting to know that person and trusting them. That takes work and I don't want to do that for now. I just want to have a nice evening, nice fun, and enjoy the things that we enjoy - news programs, sports, and talking. I like movies and he's not much of a movie person - but for me he watches them. :)

Well, we'll see what happens. I know that in many other ways, I will miss him being with me daily. But only for a short time, I'll get used to it. I mean, he can always come here and I can always go to his place. That's why he is asking me to go with him - so I can be part of the decision. Maybe this time alone will allow him to get some things in order for himself. Give him his own space - which he desperately needs - provide him an sanctuary for his thoughts and privacy for his daily activities. I do love him and only want what's best for him :)

Gotta go, only have a few touch-ups on the kitchen - want to get it done!!

Monday, November 22, 2004

my NEW kitchen

I'm almost done!!

I've been painting a little each day since Saturday. Mostly 2nd and 3rd coats as needed, some cutting in and lots of breaks in between. Now, I only have to touch up the red where I cut in for the first time last night and one spot of green. It needs another coat. Other than that, I'm pretty much done with the painting.

Now, I have to scrub the floor, put the refrigerator in the corner, to try to save some room. Then start putting things back together. I'm not sure I want to put everything back the way it was, I think I can rearrange. I would really love to put a small desk in there for the computer and a bill paying area. That way I could get it out of my bedroom. Then I would like a small table with at least 4 chairs. I used to have a table, but it's too big so I gave it away. I've been using Robert's but since he's buying a mobile home, he'll need his furniture. Besides the chairs are broken. I would prefer to have a new look that's my own.

I'm pretty excited, I stopped while I was out today and looked at dishes and accessories. I think now I'm definitely going with a fruit/vegetable/floral combination. I've seen some beautiful towels, rugs, dishes and accessories. I bought the towels but that's it for today. I want to look at a few more places. Then I want to find some colorful ceramic accents to hang over the cabinets. Wow, it's going to be soooooooooo nice!!

Well, I'm off to clean and start moving things back. Yippee!!
Pictures later....

My remodeling project

it's looking pretty terrific!

I'm afraid of color. I have lived in house my whole life where everything was stark white with beige carpet and the only color in the rooms were the furniture or slip covers or pillows. Nothing overly dramatic....

My living room is the first room in my house that got dressed up 3 years ago and I still love it! I get so many compliments on it, from my neighbors that can see in, my friends that come over and my family. It's a wonderful room. Anitque white on 3 walls, then on the wall with the fireplace - the fireplace is bright white high gloss, the wall behind it is a deep royal blue. It's gorgeous, the wall really pops and the fireplace pops off of it! I'll post pictures!

So next room I tackled was my bedroom. I did that 2 years ago. I was going to go for a fantastic shade of pink/red with leaf-green accents, but at the last minute, I chickened out and just went with the leaf-green walls. I want to accent some of the furniture in the room with some purple and pinks with leaf-green mixed in. I think it will look great and I am just looking for the right patterns and colors to mix. I need inspiration or I can't do it.

Now, my kitchen. Well, if you have looked around my website (click on the sun at the top of the page) then you will see my DIY link and how ugly my kitchen is. That was until a couple of days ago. On Friday, I went to the hardware store, picked up the paint and came home to empty out the kitchen. I moved some of the serving pieces to the basement bar for storage and to make more room in the cabinets. On Saturday, my youngest daughter and I started working on the kitchen. She caulked and sanded the blemishes on the walls and ceiling. We taped off the kitchen and she painted the ceiling, then cut in the walls. I rolled out the ceiling and the walls. The colors are VERY DRAMATIC and beautiful!! Two walls are a bold red/orange and the other two with some extra cuts are a subtle sage green. Absolutely wonderful. I've been taking pictures and will upload them tomorrow.

My goal tomorrow is to finish the green and the cuts, pull the tape off and start making the kitchen look like a kitchen again. I'm going to make curtains - I have some fabulous fabric that I bought at a yard sale from a designer. I paid $5, he paid about $160/yard and there's close to 5 yards!! What a great deal and it looks marvelous!! Then I'm going to get a new shelf to put in front of my picture window for plants and the microwave. I'd like to accent with as much color as I can. It's great, I didn't realize that color begets more color!! It's a totally wonderful thing! I'd like to hang some shelves above my cabinets for little plants and doo-dads. A new table and some great looking tablecloths and napkins. Matching dishes and glasses. So far, I've spent a total of $125 including a runner, fabric, and paint.

Tomorrow, I'm heading to the carpet store and order linoleum to be installed by the holidays (I HOPE). And that should pull it all together :)

I'll be so excited to start entertaining!!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Politics Among Friends

Agree to Disagree...

I received this email from a dear friend of mine today:

We are all receiving and sending pertinent email, reading articles online and in print, watching the news, listening to the radio, or locking ourselves in a dark room--trying to make sense of the stunning election result. This made me think and I wanted to share it with you. It's impossible for us all to reach the exact same conclusions about how this happened, why it happened and where we go from here, but I did take away something positive from this essay.

In the 144 years since Lincoln was elected as the first Republican to the White House, Democrats have only held office 60 years while Republicans have held it 84 years. Even this is deceptive because there have been long periods when Democrats have been virtually shut out completely. From 1860 to 1932, a period of 72 years, only two Democrats were elected (Cleveland and Wilson) for a total of 16 years. The anomaly is the period between 1932 and 1968, when Democrats actually were in the White House for 28 years. Since 1968 we have reverted to our earlier pattern -- between 1968 and 2004, Democrats have only been in the White House for 12 years (Carter's one term, Clinton's two terms.)

The message from this pattern is this was not the "Armageddon" election; it was business as usual. While the Democratic Party is strong in many states at the state and local level, it's always been a hard road to elect a Democrat president. What this reminds me of is that this country is, and has been for a long time, culturally conservative. Nor is the Christian right a new phenomenon. Christian fundamentalism -- reading the Bible literally -- is an American invention and rightwing Christians have always attempted to impose their views politically. The high point of that
activism was actually in the 20s when they managed to get a constitutional amendment passed banning alcohol and when states passed laws outlawing the teaching of evolution (remember the Scopes trial.) So, again, I think it's a mistake to view the election as some kind of turning point.

What is different is not that the strength of cultural conservatives and Christians but that there is now a cultural counterweight to those groups which is, if we just go by the vote, almost half the country. We are the counterweight and we are not just some embattled minority. Depending on the issue (abortion for example) we are in the majority. The pace of change in the consciousness of the culture has been breathtaking; when I was in college in the early 70s, gays and lesbians couldn't get a license to practice law in California because homosexuality made them morally unfit per se and until 1974, California had a sodomy law. Now we're talking about gay

The right is not made up of super humans. It's made up of a lot of frightened people who want to turn back the clock but history is inexorable and the real history of the last few decades on a social and cultural level, at least, is not the right-wing primacy but the increase in diversity and sensitivity to and tolerance for difference that is reflected in, among other things, the incredible gains made by the lesbian and gay rights movement.

Progressive people need to own their power. The more vicious and vocal people on the right may claim that we are not Americans but that's only true if we agree with them. Let's not. Langston Hughes said it in a race context that's relevant beyond race: "You are white -- yet a part of me, as I am a part of me. That's American./Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me./Nor do I often want to be a part of you./But we are, that's true!"

The election was not the end of anything and not the beginning of anything. It's another day in the struggle to create a different consciousness in a very hidebound culture. What I plan to do is sit down and write a list of 10 things I can personally do to keep the struggle going.

- author is an attorney in Florida, I will reveal upon request as this was from a public email that was sent to many mailing lists throughout the internet. Please write to me if you would like his information.

I have received many of these types of emails since the re-election of George W. Bush. I have a response to these folks where ever they are out there....

I take offense to quite a few of the issues raised by this attorney and others. First of all, if the Democrats have done so poorly, why don't they reexamine their platforms and their candidates. If they are truly the party of the people, then why are most of their candidates silver-spoon rich types who can't fatham what it's like to get a student loan or be turned down for one; work nights while going to school in the daytime; being a single mom living on welfare and food stamps; working their ass off for minimum wage; riding the public bus; living on the street; or any of the other plights that regular people go through. At least the Republicans don't pretend to know what it's like and they don't pretend to say they are going to "save everyone". No one can "save everyone"!

Then I take exception to the fact that reading the Bible is an American-made tradition. My grandmother and her brothers and sisters came to the US from Germany. They read the Bible before they came here and took it literally. Maybe this attorney is a member of a religion that doesn't read the Bible on his own, and only knows the Word of God from having someone else read it to him, perhaps he only reads the responses. I really don't know, but he is totally uninformed.

As for being "frightened" - get real! The only frightening thing is to sit through an election where the candidates don't even reveal their beliefs, their platform, only their negativity. We are in a fricken war, that was caused by a terrorist attack. All the rhetoric from White House aides, former administration, the media and even Hollywood does not fool the grass roots of America. Afterall, who's kids are fighting the war? That's right, the grass roots. The people that the media has called "STUPID" and that this man refers to as "FRIGHTENED". Terrorism is frightening and people that don't take a strong stand against it are stupid.

Look, I have voted many ways over the years. I have cast my ballot for Democrats, Independents, Republicans, and even the Green Party. I have voted my conscious over the years, and unfortunately the state of the union required us to stay the course, fight the good fight and not have to deal with all the unknowns of John Kerry. Look at him - he's so totally out of touch with the regular folks; a Vietnam Vet - that had quite a few other vets against him for reasons that ONLY THEY CAN UNDERSTAND BECAUSE WE WERE NOT IN VIETNAM WITH THEM!!

I am an American, a proud American. I have worked hard to grow in my career, to improve my life so that my kids would know that there is a better way. They have learned that hard work and perseverance pays off. My kids are independent and have their own beliefs. Two of them voted for John Kerry and that's fine. They are entitled but they didn't cry when he lost, they didn't get depressed and they didn't send emails to their friends that were offensively accusing their friends of being less of a person for the way they cast their vote.

For the record, I totally love my friends and I especially love the friend that sent me this email. His was the straw that broke the camel's back. I have received all sorts of grief from my friends, tons of emails, videos to watch, nearly shrines to Michael Moore and others. Then, I have seen them literally crying over the election results. I have avoided this topic of conversation over and over again at work and at social events - until now!

Please understand that in four years, I will vote for the person that I think is the right person for the job. I believe in equal rights for all people including equal pay for equal work - that is a fight that has been going on for over 30 years and I'M STILL WAITING!!; gay rights & marriage/civil union - which ever is the best choice; women's right to have an abortion (not partial-birth abortion); fathers paying their child support; men being arrested and convicted of domestic violence, rape and other crimes against women and children; living in a safe neighborhood with police that are not corrupt, attorneys and judges that really help to see that the law is upheld; animal rights; single women that get help by training them to become self-sufficient. I don't believe that women get on welfare continually have children to live in the 'lap of luxury'. People that believe that have never seen the size of a welfare check and had to figure out how to pay for the water or the electric!

I believe that people should help other people, but that the government doesn't need to tell me what to do, when to do it and how to do it. I am an adult, I am responsible for myself and my kids, not the government. It is my responsibility to pay my bills; have health care for my children; show my children the difference between right and wrong; teach them how to make choices and decisions understanding that there are consequences for their actions. My greatest legacy is to have children that become adults that participate positively in life, make a change. But part of that is to NOT JUDGE others and assume because their beliefs are different from mine that they are STUPID.

I hope that all those folks out there that are sending these types of emails will finally get it and realize that the election is a done deal. Better luck next time!!