Friday, April 28, 2006

lessons learned this week

  • Ghosts prefer Buzz Lightyear shoes with shoestrings over Thomas the Tank Engine Train shoes with velcro straps. - or at least they don't mess with the thomas shoes as they seem to keep staying in the place they are left - and I still haven't found the other shoes!
  • That I'm getting better at keeping out of 'office politics' that don't need to concern me. I can just do my work, get recognized for it and not need to point out that what someone else couldn't do in two weeks was completed in only a few days once I started working on it.
  • That I'm more concerned that I can get pregnant than I probably should be... darn the suggestive capabilities of my mind!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

No longer late -- definitely TMI for some

OK, so I started spotting this weekend. Kept a close eye on it because the second it started for real I was going to be able to cancel that doctor's appointment I ended up going to on Monday.

Tuesday, I started in full - of course, after the doctor's appointment, not before. Murphy's law, right?

This morning - I passed an excessively large clot - larger than a quarter. I debated for several minutes as to whether or not to 'obtain' it and take it to the doctors office. I ended up deciding against it, mainly because of the huge 'uck' factor.

I'm aware that there are some women whose late cycles are actually very early miscarriages (and that these often don't show a positive on pg tests because of low hormones) - and since I'm NEVER EVER this late, it's very, very, slightly possible that this might have been what happened. With it, I might be able to convince my doctor that it might have been a miscarriage and that I need to have a procedure to determine the effectiveness of my tubal. Without it, I'm certain my doctor would never agree to that test becuase of course - as far as doctor's are concerned tubals are 100% effective (they hate to discuss the failures of anything they do, and who would blame them).

I don't know - I'm probably obsessing over something that I shouldn't be. I guess because little A was such a miracle baby, and with April pg when she had an IUD - I'm much more concerned about the risks than I should be. I hate though, to sit back and just assume that it's fine until I get proven otherwise.... because what a life changing event that would be - AGAIN. Of course, it's not like I'm willing to give up sex or anything - LOL!

Possible Work-at-home position

The whispered word is that the guys I've been working with who are officially "process analysts" are probably going to have someone else hired to work with them. They've forwarded the word to my supervisor who has asked if I'd be interested... and that she'd let me know if it gets posted. Good news, it probably makes more money and it's something that if I address it correctly at the interview could lead to a true work-at-home position. AND, they love my work and know that I understand what they're trying to do. Bad news is that I don't have a lot of Six Sigma/PMI training which is indirectly related to a lot of what they're doing.

So, I'll keep my ears open and wait and see!

Happily busy at work

Due to an emergency that arose where six different analysts were working on the same project but not coordinating their work, they've decided to pull myself and another analyst in to assist with cleaning up the requirements. Which means I'm actually working on a couple of projects, and I'm actually busy at work and have things to do. Not for too terribly long, I'm sure. They've estimated that it will take the two of us three weeks to remove duplicates, and clean up the system and provide updated documentation. Um... about 12 hours after that announcement we're probably almost half-way done. So, we're looking at being possibly done by at least, no later than the beginning of next week.

As our supervisor commented - they don't quite get that my time and this other analyst's time is really almost double to triple that of another, less skilled analyst's time. We've worked together on several projects before, we both get what needs to be done, we both are efficient and work together pretty well. Seems like a good match to put us together to clean up their mess.

I'm waiting for him to get back from lunch as he's working on one section while I was working on another, and I've now finished my piece and can figure out where I can assist him. See - it's all about coordinating effort.

I'm trying to stay out of the politics that's going on right now. They've added 'requirement managers' for the purpose of keeping multiple analysts on a project coordinated. Suffice it to say, it really didn't work out in this case. But, I just keep telling myself, keep my mouth shut, do what they ask me to do, and don't offer advice that isn't requested.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

On Little A's shoes

For several weeks now we've been having issues with baby shoes. They never seem to be easy to find during the morning rush. I can remember having the same issues with Big A's shoes when he was little. I know that, in fact, he still has that issue (although it's no longer my issue). The simple fact is that if you never leave them in the same place twice, it's hard to remember where they are in the morning. Or so I thought.

Sunday night, I decide to set Little A's shoes next to his bed so that we could find them in the morning. I make a point of setting them in place. He did manage to sneak out of his bedroom at one point that night - per Mr M, he darted out, grabbed a couple of cars to play with and darted back to the bedroom before I saw him - lol! But, lo and behold, the next morning, there's only one shoe in the bedroom... the other is in the kitchen. Now, you might be tempted to suggest that at some point in the night he took it to the kitchen. And while that's feasible, it doesn't explain what happened last night.

Last night, I try again... this time I take the pair of shoes and set them right next to the door just inside his room. I woke up this morning, saw the pair of toes sticking out and thought - aha, the shoes are where I left them... until I took a closer look. This time, there was a different pair of shoes in the exact place where I left the other pair of shoes. We spent ten minutes searching for the 'buzz lightyear' shoes that little A insisted he wanted to wear... they are no where in the house, nor in the yard, nor in the cars... I still have to search the garage, but literally, they couldn't be found this morning. So... I would love a skeptical solution as to why the shoes I set out were missing and a different pair left in their place. I really would.

ABC Meme

Accent: Midwestern USA
Booze: I have to pick just one? Ummm currently - baileys & butter shots - but that's because I'm not drinking very often or very much these days... and it makes a nice sipping drink.
Chore I Hate: Cleaning house - it's an unending job these days.
Dog or Cat: I love both - cats are just easier to tend to.
Essential Electronics: Tivo - can't imagine living without it.
Favorite Cologne(s): I don’t wear perfume - can't find one I like with my chemistry.
Gold or Silver: I love both. Probably own more gold at this point, but my medical alerts are in silver, so I've started wearing more of it.
Hometown: Itty, bitty farming village in the middle of nowhere Iowa
Insomnia: Sometimes, very badly, Sometimes, not at all.
Job Title: Business Analyst
Kids: Yes - but NO MORE than I already have, please
Living arrangements: Own my own house and live alone with my two children - although that will be changing very, very soon.
Most admirable trait: Kindness
Number of sexual partners: A secret
Overnight hospital stays: Four - I had my my tonsils removed when I was 12, Big A born when I was (almost) 22, Little A born when I was (just) 37, Pulmonary Embolism when I was 38.
Phobias: snakes - although I can pet them, I just can't stand getting 'suprised' by them, and apparently, can't bring myself to pull dead ones out of hot tub heating spaces no matter how much I want to get rid of them.
Quote: too many to pick from.
Religion: Techncially Lutheran - but feeling pretty agnostic these days.
Siblings: Four half-siblings - my sister and three brothers. Sister is 12 years older than I and a Registered Nurse. Brother 1 is 8 years older than I and is an over-achiever - supervisor of engineering at a manufacturing plant, farmer, co-owner in a restaurant/bar where he cooks a couple of nights a week. Brother 2 is 7 years older than I and is a supervisor at a pre-fabricated builing plant. Brother 3 is 10 years younger than I and I don't remember where/what he's doing these days as he's spent some time these last few years changing careers pretty often.
Time I wake up: 7 am - grrrrr... that's the time I want to be at work by with almost an hour commute. But, even going to bed at 8 or 9 pm isn't getting me up any sooner. Wish I felt better.
Unusual talent or skill: picking things up with my toes, tying a cherry stem with my tongue - totally useless, but sometimes entertaining
Vegetable I refuse to eat: kolrahbi - nasty stuff, I have at least tried it, don't care for it
Worst habit: sloth - it's getting really bad lately. so much I want to do, so little gets done... do I get to blame this on exhaustion and illness too?
X-rays: teeth - wrist when I sprained it at 12 and learned that I wasn't going to grow any taller, many, many, many chest x-rays which are ridiculous because they are useless in diagnosing Pulmonary Embolisms - yet every ER doc orders them anyway.
Yummy foods I make: cookies, brownies, muffins - and I'm bound and determined to get as good as mom at making mom's rolls-someday!
Zodiac sign: cancer

Monday, April 24, 2006

Negative - per Doc

OK, I can breath easier now, all is well. I'm NOT pg. Repeat NOT pg.

I didn't stick around and find out why I'm two weeks late as the doctor won't know. After all, it could be all the things it could be - except pg.

As for why I'm loosing breakfast and why my boobs hurt, well, who knows? After all the tests and all the issues with my health - it's really kind of the least of my worries now that I've got the official Negative.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Mr M and secretive me

Mr M & I had a chat last weekend after test # 1 came back negative. I told him that

1 - I'm not pregnant
2- That I was late and had tested and no little blue line appeared
3 - That the reason I tested was because I found on the internet a spot where it says that a 'clip'
tubal can fail 4% of the time
4 - That I wasn't comfortable with a 4% risk and didn't want to have a baby (which he agreed
with)
5 - That I wanted to 'double-up' on protection and wanted to discuss options

We agreed that adding a contraceptive jelly to the mix would be minimal cost and effort and while not effective alone, should be enough combined with the tubal being 96% effective.

I didn't tell him about test #2 because it was also negative - so as far as I know, I'm still in the same condition I was when we last discussed it.

This weekend... I hesitate to say anything about my doctor visit on Monday, since there really isn't any reason to be "sure" until after the doctor runs some tests - is it worth it for both of us to be nervous and waiting for other information? If I end up racing to the bathroom for quality time with the toilet, then I might have to confess all.

Teenager Logic!

OK - so you're 17 and you have a car which you've had for about eight months. So, you wake up and it's time to go to school (which is about a 20 minute walk away and a 10 minute bike ride away) and the car doesn't start. What do you do?

Apparently, you call your mother and stay home because apparently, you don't know how to go to school when the car doesn't run.

Ummm.... NO. You get off your *ss and you walk or ride your *ss to school anyway! It's not like it's 30 miles away now is it????!

Geez - and he's supposed to be an adult in two months? Lord Help Him!

Edited to add:

Oh, and the car not starting? Apparently he didn't realize that you could 'lock' the steering wheel and starter and had accidently locked it. So, the key wouldn't turn in the ignition because he wasn't touching the steering wheel.

They do grow up eventually, right?

Dr Appt Made for Monday

OK - between the morning nauseau (which did, fortunately go away by 11am, and seems to be letting up a bit this morning)... sore boobs, and now being a week and a half late... I went ahead and scheduled the appointment with my OB/GYN. He didn't have any time yesterday, I don't have any time today - but Monday should work out just fine.

I guess that if it's possible to be pg (4% possibility) - there's like a 30% chance it's a tubal pg - so if I start cramping up, I should rush in right away. Otherwise, it's not something that can't wait until Monday.

In the meantime, I'm going to spend a great deal of time telling myself that it's all in my head.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

6 things no one knows about me

Man, is this ever going to be hard. I seem to have the ability to confide my life's story in very little time to just about everyone who listens... so what on earth could it be that you don't know about me? Add a game of "I NEVER" and you've got pretty much everything out there.

It seems like about the only things I can think of are entirely a bit too morbid or depressing! So, I'll have to think a bit harder for some juicy ones for you to enjoy! So, light hearted ones are 1-3, stop reading there if you don't want to delve into the nasty, depressing onces.
  1. I've always wanted to write a novel... but don't feel like I have the ability nor the imagination... so I doubt that I would ever try.

  2. I had a secret crush on a married man I used to work with - remember Alex from APAC??? Nothing would ever happen, even if he would cheat on his wife - I wouldn't help him do it in a million years. But, that didn't mean I didn't enjoy several nasty fantasies! Thing is, he's not that good looking? But fantasies are just that... and you can make them (or him) into anything you want.
  3. I went to six flags in Chicago with my first ex-husband and a couple that we were staying with with very little money when I was 18 - and we all took turns shop-lifting souveniers and then swiped a couple of cases of pop for ourselves and their two little girls. Peer pressure! I'm sure that's all it was was peer pressure! I've never stolen anything since.
  4. When I was laying in bed dizzy and unable to function... I set aside some pain killers for 'just in case'. Just in case - I got worse. Just in case - I didn't get better. Just in case - I became a burden to those I loved. Just in case - there was no hope for going back to work and taking care of myself. Just in case - I was going to commit suicide. Hence the reason I went to the doctor to get new anti-depressent. Obviously, I am better... obviously, I don't need to hold onto them. But, there were a few, dark days where I was suicidal.
  5. While I'm certainly not ready to die anytime in the near future. I'm no longer afraid of it. I've been closer than I'd like to have been. I've thought about it enough since but am not really dwelling on it (anymore anyway). I just know that given my current and recent health that the odds aren't so good that I'll live to a ripe old age. I want to stick around long enough to see grandkids! I want to spoil them rotten and laugh when my kids complain about it! But, since I already feel like I'm living on borrowed time. I feel a bit of peace about the possibility that things can go wrong again and that when it happens, it happens. I suppose it doesn't help that I feel like an 80 year old women these days?
  6. My first sexual encounter was at the ripe age of six. Not really looking for sympathy here... I know it's wrong - the guy it was with knew it was wrong... but I've talked to the counselors and the doctors... and let's face it. At some point in your life you just get over old pains and move on. I feel like I did that ages and ages ago.

I warned you... again, not looking for sympathy - just that I suppose the darker things are the things that are harder to share with friends....

Not dizzy - but nauseaus...

Just had a bit of a morning greeting with the toilet.

BUT I SWEAR THE TESTS WERE NEGATIVE!

I SWEAR I HAD MY TUBES TIED IN 2003!!!

WTF???

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Second test - also negative

Now, I'll just wait it out and see if I miss next month as well. If I do, I'll head in and see if they have any idea why.

The Muppet Personality Test

OK - so I cheated - I picked the answers that would get me my favorite:

You Are Animal
A complete lunatic, you're operating on 100% animal instincts.You thrive on uncontrolled energy, and you're downright scary.But you sure can beat a good drum."Kill! Kill!"

Another test? ... and some basic ranting

Well, it's now eight days late... and no 'indicators' that it's going to change soon. Although I really don't feel pg - which is good, right? But then I don't feel pms-ey either. Maybe I'm just going through the change early - ??? probably grasping at straws, huh?

I suppose I need to test again... I don't want to, though. I really, really like having gotten a negative on the first test, and would love to put blinders on and pretend that it's the final say.

If I test positive, then I need to race off and head to the doctor's office... I guess the odds of having an ectopic pregnancy is about 40% if you've had your tubes tied... and if you have an ectopic, it lowers the hcg levels (what pg tests test for) which might explain an early negative. So, they'd want to run a bunch of tests to determine if that's what's going on.

So, in the meantime, I'm at work with about ten minutes worth of work to do... so I'm bored and have plenty of time to imagine the worst case scenario here. which pretty much sucks...

As much as I love my job, I wish they would multi-task a bit with me so I wouldn't have so much down time. It's next to impossible to drag myself out of bed so I can spend $10 in gas and drive to an office to sit in a cube to browse on the internet.

Oh, and Cindy called last night as I was getting ready to go to bed. She needed me to file her tax return for her... she meant to do it at work... then she meant to do it at mom's house... but... but... she didn't. So, she calls me and I do her taxes on-line over a really poor cell phone connection. It only took about 20 minutes - but still... what a pain. It's not like she couldn't have filed sooner. So, it comes time to pay $15 for the filing - and of course, she doesn't have a credit card she can charge against because her credit cards are maxed out... so that means I get to pay for it. I should have been mean and had them deduct it from her tax return - the company charges and additional $15 if you choose that option. But, I'm too nice, and instead I paid it for her... which means I'll probably never see the repayment. I don't think she realizes just how often she 'uses' people. She's got a good heart and will do anything for anyone... but she calls me up at bedtime on the last possible day she can file and of course, what choice do I have - I can't very well say no.

Mr M is still awesome... he likes to wake Alex up in the morning to get ready for his day - since Alex is pretty cuddly when he first wakes up. So he brings him to me and I get him dressed for the day... then he carries him out to the car so I can carry my bags - you know, purse, diaper bag, laptop bag, lunch, shoes, etc... After reading Stef's post about dating, it really makes me feel pretty good that I got so lucky this time around. I remember my last round of dating (pre-John) and there's a lot of creeps and jerks out there... it's hard to find someone nice, let alone normal. I hope that test two comes back normal - to be honest, getting pg only two months into dating would be pretty rough. I'd like to think we could work through whatever, but to be completely honest - we really don't know each other well enough to assume anything - you know?

OK - back to pretending to work...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Heeren family tree

Mr M's father Nyle is very into genealogy - and he did a five minute search and found my grandfather & great-grandfather. He printed out two sheets of information - one was the 1920's census and the other was my great-grandfather's draft card from World War I - with his signiture plain as day. I think it's very cool. I know very little about my father's family and was very excited to get this information. Now, I just want to dig even more though - lol!

Seven days late - still waiting

At least the test was negative!

Oh, and the DAMN doctor who did my tubal? He used clips which he had informed me were very safe and very reliable - are only 96% effective.... wtf? Hence the reason I felt I had to test. Still not feeling very PMS-ey... just feeling quite tired and fat.

Anyway, Mr M & I had a chat, and we've agreed to double-up on some protection. No sense taking any chances with that 4% failure rate. Right?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Update - stick says NOT pregnant

Now, I can pack pads & tampons and spend the weekend worry free.

WTF?

Oh, and a previous post made me double-check my calendar. I'm four days late.... surely, it's nothing and I can expect a change any day. After all tubal ligation is 99% effective, right? AND I DON'T NEED ANYONE REMINDING ME OF MY LAST PREGNANCY WHILE ON BIRTH CONTROL, thank you very much!

I don't suppose I can just spend the next few days hiding in the bathroom until I start, can I?

Lessons learned

  • Little A loves to remove his own diaper post BM.... which requires immediate attention or we end up cleaning the carpet on our hands and knees and asking questions like - Can you still smell it? to unsuspecting teenagers
  • Big A had no idea that not applying for college this last fall and getting a D average his senior year would have an adverse reaction like not getting to spend the summer living off his mother
  • Big A has listened to me & his grandmother at least a few times in his life - and is picking up after himself after almost losing all rights to having lan parties for the remainder of the time he lives under my roof.
  • Getting invited to boyfriend's parents house for Easter after dating only two months feels pretty damn stressful - I'm sure it will be fine, but might prompt me to discuss with him the need to slow this shit down from here on out.
  • Little A's favorite restaurant is officially 'burker key' and he prefers crowns that fall down to his shoulders and make him giggle.
  • Little A does NOT want to go to the sitters and would like to go to "Chris's" more... who knew that he'd have a preference in day care and be able to share it at 2 1/2?
  • Oh - and our ghostly investigators have found out that the ex-husband to the woman's who picture appeared - he's the caretaker for the City of Newton GRAVEYARD?!

April is expecting

April (my niece) came home from Texas this weekend, catching a ride home in a semi driven by one of her husband's relatives that had stopped by to visit.

She's pregnant... supposedly while using an IUD. According to her they've removed the IUD and she's had three ultrasounds to verify that she hasn't miscarried...

Little Benjamin (2 years old) is telling mom that there's two babies, and even though she's had three ultrasounds that no one mentioned the possiblity, she and grandma (my sister) have decided that Benjamin is obviously psychic and she's having twins. I'm a bit dubious.

I want to be happy for her, but I struggle with it. I know that she's young and that I was young and pregnant once too. I try to remember that your emotions tend to run your life a bit.

But, I also know that she struggles with putting her son she has now first in her life, she's living in Texas with a man she admits to not loving, she has a two year old who is already being somewhat neglected... and now she's pregnant - with her husband leaving for Iraq by this fall. At this point she's considering moving back to Iowa when he leaves for Iraq. But if she doesn't there's a possibility that he might get a chance at not having to leave for Iraq quite as soon... as other expectant fathers have in the past been given a three-month delay so they can be home for their child's birth.

Is it wrong to wish for more for the child? I need to give Alex ten more hugs tonight when I get home.

More typical than most people know

I'm convinced abusive men have a screw loose! Woman killed after refusing to heat up sandwiches.

I love the statement - "I didn't mean to kill her" followed by "He went downstairs and drank a bear before going to another neighbor's home to call 911". Asshole!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

On debt reduction

OK... so I talked to one company so far. They do debt reduction. They appear to be a reasonably 'legit' business.

Here would be their plan for reducing my approx $30000 in credit card & health debt - yes that's right there are FIVE zeroes behind that 3. Grrr...

I put approx. $450 a month into a fund that I control. They take a 12% fee which would equal $3600 in ten equal payments... which would be $360/mo for the first ten months. Then the remaining funds would sit in this account until there is enough in it to settle with my lowest creditor. They would settle it for approximately 40% of the debt owed. In the meantime, I would accumulate negative ratings on my credit rating until it's paid, but then it would show it was settled and paid. Then, they would go onto my next creditor, and so forth. They would estimate that I could settle for approx $15,600 (including their fees).

What I don't like is that their fees come out of the first ten months and take a huge amount of the money I'm setting aside for payments to debtors.

If I can handle the creditor hassle calls in the short term, I could do a similar thing on my own... just stop paying EVERYONE a little (since I'm already showing up as non-current anyway). And start with my littlest creditor. Sure, I might have trouble settling for 40%, but if I can even get them to settle for 50-60%, I might be in good shape. But, it's the hassle of the phone calls. They can get really nasty if all you've done is forgotten to mail a payment (as I have in the past)... let alone if you're not making payments and not sure you'll be able to soon. The benefit of going with a company is that the collection calls end.

Any whoo - I think I'll talk to debt consolidation and debt counselors first because I just can't see going this way unless the other ways don't work.

Relationships - part two

OK - I know I'm not ready to commit to a long-term relationship. I know that Mr M isn't asking me to. Combining children in activities and meeting parents for holiday dinners feels like it's a commitment.

So... Mark is awesome and he fits so easily into my busy life. Since he works nights, and I'm so busy during the week... this works well. He likes to just veg on the couch and watch movies and cuddle... he likes spending time outdoors... he's good with helping around the house or with odds and ends like - he wants to make sure to tack up a piece of the soffit that's drooping at the front of the house for me.

If I take away the fear of marriage and the fear of living with a man... and we just stay bf & gf... I can see myself continuing to date him for as long as he's willing. I'm looking at moving this summer - and while he obviously would prefer me moving to Eastern Iowa closer to him, he's also been willing to discuss with me my options willingly. Understanding that the job opportunities aren't as open in Eastern Iowa, he's even gone so far to ask about other opportunities. I keep thinking about working from home... I guess because it frees up my options and means I don't have to stress about where I HAVE to live to make a living. A question I have is how well would he handle me moving to Des Moines area if that's what my options leave. I'll be honest, I don't really want to live in Des Moines. I hate the traffic, the noise, and to be completely honest, I've still got a lot of bad feelings left over from when I was living in Des Moines, starving myself, trying to put myself through college and supporting my abusive, cheating ex-husband.

I'm not sure how well he'd handle it... although my gut tells me he'd be ok. As it is he drives an hour each way to spend time with me. Which is a lot, but, he just smiles and says that he doesn't really mind it as long as he gets to see me.

As much as I enjoy being with him... I do feel that there's a bit of me that's still 'reserved'. My walls are pretty thick and it takes time to punch your way through. I don't know, is Mr M patient enough for them to fall?

On our first couple of dates he said something that sticks with me... and it speaks to his intention to find someone to stay with for long term...

"I don't see why two sane & sensible people who care about each other can't just work through all the details and make it work"

He's admitted to screwing up in the past (which makes it sound like he blames himself for his divorce)... but that he's learned a lot from it. He didn't admit the 'what' part of screwing up.

My last two bf's I rarely saw and they didn't want to make commitments... the one before I rarely saw, but he asked me to marry him within two months of my divorce... I just want someone to hang out with, enjoy time with, and be with... long term preferably... but consistently. Mark does seem to be right there and willing to hang out and wait.

I guess I'm ok with this weekend... although things get any more serious, I'm in serious trouble. I like things the way they are now. Adding family members to the mix is ok, even though it seems like things are moving really, really fast! I just want it to all slow down and just enjoy the journey right now.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

On relationships

Mr M wanted me to meet his kids the last time they visited, only that was the weekend DIEPART visited... so I put it off.

The following weekend was our trip to St Louis, and since I had to drive within 5 miles of his place to drop little A off at Grandma's... and since there's awesome food to be had at my brother's place within a block of Grandma's... and since I brag about that awesome food all the time... and since Mr M loves a good restaurant... it seemed quite normal to invite him to dinner there. Which meant that he got to meet my parents. Big step for me, as they don't usually meet the guys I'm dating unless they already knew them before I started to date them.

Easter weekend is only a few days away, and Mr M has his boys again... so he's invited us to spend the day Saturday with them... rent some movies, make some dinner. Sounds good to me... another big, big step though. So - a little scary. But, truth is their 10 & 13 yr old boys... and boys are easy. You talk about things boys like to talk about and don't get into deep conversation and you get along just fine.

But, then, to really, REALLY freak me completely out - he's now invited us to Easter Dinner with his parents.! I mean, I'm ok with it, and it's only natural, and he's already met my parents. So, it shouldn't be that big of a deal. And it's not like I'm uncomfortable meeting new people. It's more the feeling like this is heading somewhere almost into new family traditions territory. So, I'm completely freaked out now! Am I ready for this? I've been dating the guy for only two months. I like him a LOT.... he's awesome with my kids.... he loves to cook.... he loves to be of 'help' for things like picking up a ton of furniture for me and towing it back to Newton from St Louis... he's kind and fun and comfortable and sexy.... I guess I just didn't expect this to go as well as it is! I figured I'd have to date another half dozen losers before I met someone that I like half as well as Mr M.

As he's getting ready to go to sleep it's "good night, dear" and I don't know how to respond to that. This is where the TOO MANY FAILURES starts to kick in and I can't remember how to handle successful relationships anymore. I just keep thinking about guys who screw me over long before we get to this stage. Or the things I screwed up before we get to this stage... and I wonder how I got here already and am I ready to deal with all of this?

Toddlers

Ok - a positive vent instead...

God must make toddlers just so adoreable so that you don't kill them when they become teenagers...

Little A chanted all the way to meeting the sitters at Burger King "burker key, burker key" - how cute is that???

Teenagers!

OK - a definite vent post required here.

Yesterday, I worked from home so that I could accompany Big A to the department of DOT because he received a moving violation while driving with a graduated license. And being under 18, a parent is required to accompany him.

Because he coasted through a stop sign at around 2:00 am when he wasn't supposed to drive past 11:30 pm last January when I was laid up... he got two moving violations. Then, when I staying at my mom's - about three weeks later, he drove out to see me... and got a speeding ticket. Suprisingly, they cut him a break. Instead of writing the ticket for the actual speed of 110, they wrote it at 90 in a 70 zone. Can you say "LEAD FOOT"!!!!

I didn't call him on it other than to cuff him on the back of the head with a 'what were you thinking' and 'you could have killed yourself' - I didn't say too much at the time. of course, I was laid up on the bed/couch unable to walk at the time and certainly not in the best of spirits. Grandma chewed him out a bit for not being more concerned about the affect of these things on my life... but otherwise, he got off pretty lightly.

I've paid the first ticket - as he has no money and owes me a fortune... and he paid the second ticket. The speeding ticket is now overdue - and he now owes $188 for it and has about $130 in the bank with no new job in sight. It has to be paid by the end of the month. So, I'm going to commandere the checking account funds... and probably put in the other $50 so it at least gets paid.

In the meantime... the DOT appointment was to discuss ways to ensure that he becomes a more responsible driver... and to inform him that three moving violations (don't ask me why the driving after 12:30 pm counts as a moving violation - I don't get it) means he will get his license suspended for 60 days. The start date hasn't been determined yet as we haven't paid the speeding fine yet. But once we pay it, and it gets through the DOT system, they'll send us the notification with a 30-day wait to take effect. Which means that he'll probably lose his license around June.

He came back to me saying, that'll work, I can get by with my license suspended during summer vacation. Huh? Summer vacation? Since he now holds a D average and hasn't applied for any schools, nor applied for any financial aid... it's not likely he's going away to any school other than perhaps a community college. Which is fine by me... but he can't afford that if he doesn't start working immediately. Apparently I didn't make myself clear enough that last summer was his LAST summer vacation. He's 18 this summer. He's out of high school. Doesn't that all mean he's a grown up? Doesn't that mean that he's officially in charge of supporting himself?

My mom was quite upset with me about it all - she says he has his whole life to work, why does he have to start this summer? My answer - is that since he has to learn the hard way about everything, the sooner the lesson starts the better. I'm not supplying free room and board to an adult who is perfectly capable of making a living for the near forseeable future simply because he'd rather play computer games than work.

So, he got a bit of a rude awakening yesterday when we discussed this. On top of losing his license, he's learning that he's going to have to start supporting himself sooner than later. All I know is that as I start looking for an apartment this summer, I'm going to have add to the consideration that his life shouldn't stay as cozy as it has been. He's WAY too comfortable in that basement!

Monday, April 10, 2006

DIEPART audio recordings as previously promised

DIEPART recordings

Detroit 5 year old dialing 911

I know that there are a lot of nuisance and prank 911 calls... but isn't it sad that the mother died even though her five year old knew to call 911? Around here, if they think it might be a prank, they call back and try to talk to an adult. And if that doesn't work, they send an officer around.

In 2005 when I was in Detroit, I had been a bit shocked to see billboards declaring that a certain Emergency Room would guaranteee you a viewing by the Doctor within an hour. I can guarantee there isn't a single place in Iowa that would be proud of a stat like that. If anyone posted a statement like that, you'd find a lot of irate Iowans demanding why it took that long.

I guess, it all goes to show some of the differences in our little world and how overwhelmed the Detroit area is with much more serious issues.

Diepart initial information

Here's the information so far that diepart has published... on MY house!!

Fun in St Louis

Mr M & I had a blast in St Louis... we arrived Friday afternoon and spent the afternoon helping Phil avoid her 'packing' duties as we wandered around identifying what we might be able to move. We did help her sort out some of her stuff, but only by a bit. But that's ok, we went off for drinks at Tuckers - good food, good friends, good conversation and GREAT alcohol. Thank you mom for babysitting so I could partake.

Saturday the packers arrived and packed up the entire house in under five hours - absolutely amazing. And if you're ever moving a great distance and paying an arm and a leg to move anyway - these are the guys to hire! They only charged $900 to pack the entire house - about 10% of the moving costs, which is nothing considering the work that it would have taken for Phil & Trev o pack. That afternoon Trev, Mr M & I packed up a uhaul with a great deal of very lovely furniture that will not be taken to New York. Dear Phil has kindly offered to donate them to the Heeren family in crisis charity - or as I like to call it, woohoo - free shit!

We rented the largest trailer available - which was the same cost as the next size down. A good thing too... as the trailer was packed from end to end, as was the back of the truck as was the king cab. Of course, basically, the way things went was as Phil was sorting things for the packer she'd say something like "so could you use this" or "would you want this" and my response was "if it fits, heck ya" and we managed to get it all to fit.

I think the only things I turned down were things like mint jelly and an English stereo system... lol!

I even got a bunch of empty boxes that I can use for my move this coming summer.

Saturday night found us back to Tucker's - man is the food there not the best and really, quite reasonable... although, I still owe Phil & Trev another thank you or two - or a dozen as they treated us to a fantastic meal. We again, had great conversation, food & drink... but called an early night as everyone was quite wiped out by the end of the night.

Sunday came too quickly and it was hard to leave. I think I managed to leave my Pepsi sitting right next to the CD's Phil burned for me that very morning to entertain us on the ride home. It was quite a long ride home... made it to Marengo by 5pm... Mr M made it to my place by 6:30 pm although, I had to run and pick up little A from grandma's so I didn't make it there until 8:00 pm. Good news is that he and Big A had unloaded all the furniture and boxes and returned the trailer by the time I got home. Bad news is that the furniture pads that were to be returned with the trailer are under some of the furniture in the garage. Hopefully, it won't take too terribly long to sort that out tonight after work.

Phil & Trev are heading back to Iowa again twice in the next two months, so hopefully, we'll get a chance to visit again then and maybe treat them to a nice dinner. And then, the current plans are to gather for my 40th birthday at Cedar Point for an adventure together. If that goes through, we'll have to see if we can't get quite a large group together... see if we can't turn it into quite the outing. It should be a blast.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Long Weekend

I'm looking forward to leaving work early today - heading to mom's to drop little A off for the weekend and then Mr M & I are spending the night at his house before heading down to St Louis to help Phil move! Can't wait!!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A couple of freaky recordings from DIEPART

DIEPART sent me a few freaky recordings made, apparently just the first few that they found, as there is more! oh, my!

I'm going to come back and edit this to add links as soon as I find a good place to host the mp3 files.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Short Work Week

Well, this will be a short work week for me. I work today and tomorrow.

Wednesday I head to Iowa City for the last of my medical tests. They're looking for a PFO - or a hole in the heart that can lead to mini-strokes. Sounds like a simple enough test, they inject a bubble of air into my veins, and look to see where the bubble goes, if it exits the heart the wrong way, I've got a hole - if it just circulates, I'm fine. I asked my sister if a bubble floating around is dangerous - and I guess it was just old beliefs that if you had air in your veins you would be killed... it would have to be a massive amount of air for it to be dangerous.

Thursday back to work for a short day with lunch from my Consulting firm.

Then Friday off for the trip to St Louis with Mr M. Woohoo!

Grandma's babysitting Little A and Big A gets to stay homefor the weekend.

I've got a little bit to do, but to be honest, I'm really at a point where I've 'gathered' all the data I can, and I just need to have the business side figure out what they want and finalize it in my documents... so it's just editing and change control from here on. Simple stuff really.

I've probably got several weeks of editing to do, unfortunately, it will probably only take a few hours a day to do it, which leaves an awful lot of down time. Guess it's time to rent another book on CD!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Evening spent Ghost Hunting

A very large turnout last night with about ten to twelve on the Diepart team showing up at my little house to investigate.

Everyone whipped out their EMF detectors when they arrived and started getting very excited... very, very excited. They couldn't believe how high the emf level was in the middle of the house. It took them over an hour to set up laptops, motion detectors, recorders, parabolic microphones, emf readers, etc all through the upstairs. They put one down in the basement on the bar where there was a lot of emf as well.

Alex ran around everyone's legs getting all excited and 'borrowed' a flashlight so he could 'investigate' as well. Everyone was very kind and enjoyed his curiousity. We rounded up the cats that were setting off the detectors and locked them into the utility room for the evening. Then Alex & I headed to the basement to watch tv and let them do their work.

They had a person in every corner of the living room, a couple of people per bedroom, one in the bathroom, and one in the kitchen. Turned off all the lights and waited.

The first 'excitement' of the evening was a toy going off on them while they were setting up... then it went off again while they were investigating - only they realized that it was a kind of toy that if you touch it, it goes off on it's own for several minutes after wards... lol!

There was an unusual photo which I will post as soon as I get a copy, which was of 'something' kind of hazy in Alex's bedroom.

They were getting periodic flashes of 'something' in the hallway that would set off multiple 'indicators' at once. The temperature would drop by 6-8 degrees and then the motion detectors and emf readers at the floor would kick off. They thought at first it was the furnace kicking on... but since I was in the basement, I said that it hadn't ran yet that evening. To make sure, we turned it off at the thermastat. The next time they saw the emf readers flash, it was the refrigerator kicking on. It didn't do it again after that before they left.

There was one woman who thought she heard a whisper...

There was some banging and knocking heard from the kitchen just as it got a cold spot with the temperature dropping.

There were a few people who would simultaneously get cold and get the hairs on the back of their necks raising - about the same time or shortly before the 'something' in the hallway.

The bathroom door did close on them once, but it wasn't recorded as they were in the middle of taking a break.

Before they left, they asked if they could turn the power off in the house. The thought was that the high emf readings being caused by poor electrical wiring would lower without the power, and then they might see if there's any additional high emf left. There was. My comment to them was that knowing that the whole house wiring is old, what I don't understand was why certain rooms would be higher emf than others knowing the wiring is the same throughout.

When it was time to pack up and leave, they asked if they could come back again... to investigate further and stay overnight once. The 'I have never said this to a home owner before' comment was 'you have a very interesting home'. They said that they had more activity in the few hours they were here than they usually have in an overnight at most homes they investigate. LOL

We'll have to give them a chance to check all the recordings and see if they captured anything 'real' that I can share beyond the photo.

I know I found the whole thing pretty darn interesting and admittedly, entertaining. They did have a gentleman with video recording a large amount of the activity, asking questions, etc... for purpose of putting on television. I don't know if they will or won't, but figure they'll let me know when they decide. Seems like everyone had a good time checking out my house... and I find it pretty funny, after all, this is just my home and to a point, I've just gotten used to some of this... not all, but some.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

What Color Green are You?

OK, so I was just going to do this one to see what the result was... and then I realized how true it is... so I'm going to have to post it after all.

You Are Grass Green

Down to earth and a bit of a hippie, you are very into nature and the outdoors.
You accept the world and people as they are. You don't try to change things.
You are also very comfortable with yourself, flaws and all.
Optimistic about the future, you feel like life is always getting better.

What kind of drunk are you?

You're a Wild Drunk

You can get enough drink. Seriously, you'll just go puke and start pounding them back again!