Friday, March 27, 2009


We've been eating extremely unhealthy foods for the past month or more - stuff I had really gotten away from eating, like Chicken McNuggets and cheeseburgers and fries and chips. I had been doing pretty well before - I wasn't losing weight, but I was eating mostly vegetarian, and lots and lots of fruits and veggies. Too much bread and pasta and butter and oils, but at least soda and processed chicken parts were no longer a part of my daily diet....

I eat when I'm stressed, when I'm sad, when I'm celebrating, when I'm bored - you get the idea. When I'm packing up my house and moving, healthy eating is generally too much to ask of me. I know this is bad, and I know this leads to my body feeling horrible. I'm sure part of the reason for this ungodly sinus infection is because I hadn't had a single healthy thing to eat in weeks.

But now that all that fun stuff is behind me, I'm attempting a raw diet. I've done it in the past - briefly, for about a month - but I really felt great while I was on it. It was a good way to kick start healthier eating habits then, and I'm hoping to do the same thing now. Most of the weight I'd lost over the last few years has slowly found it's way back home, and it's time to do something about it.*

Tuesday, the adults of the house started raw. Our commitment is for two weeks, and then we'll re-assess.** I'm finding it's much easier to stick to soemthing like this while living with other people who are doing to do it with you. (MM was a steak and potatoes kind of guy, and he would have no part in the experiment.)

So, day four into the whole thing, and other than some hot tea one day and organic brown rice (vegan, even!) sushi, I've done well. Other than the bread*** I haven't even felt like I had to try that hard to stay raw. (Although, there's home-made bread in the other room, and I swear to you it is summoning me as we speak.) I haven't even had COFFEE for four days. Considering all the coffee and coke and diet Dr. Pepper I'd been guzzling before this, that's quite an accomplishment.

I do find it odd though - going from all caffeine all the time to nothing, I'd expect some side-effects. Maybe they're building up, waiting to burst forth at some inopportune moment. I'll let you know, should that be the case. In the meantime, I'll take it as an sign that my body was sick of the garbage I'd been giving it, and happy for the change.

Wish me luck, everyone. It's not easy for me to eat healthy, as my ass constantly reminds me. I need to make some permanent changes. Hopefully this will get me started with a healthier, more whole way of eating for good.


*Hopefully this will last longer than my half-marathon training plan. And by plan, I mean I walked for a week or so, skipped several days, started over, and then gave up all pretenses of doing it and deleted all records from my blog sidebar.

**I originally typed re-assess as reasses. Which amused me because I instantly tried to use re-ass in a sentence. As in, "I've re-assed since I stopped exercising." [Thank you everyone, I'll be here all week!]

***I swear I start to salivate every time I think of it. Home made bread.....Mmmm.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spiders Have Implanted Eggs in my HEAD

Not really, but that's the first thing I thought of when I found these ginormous lumps in the back of my head a week ago. Did you know you have lymph nodes in the back of your head? Me neither.

So going up over the mountains to Phoenix made my sinuses freak out, and typical me figures I'll just ride it out. By Friday, I decided a week of this crap was enough, so I hit the Walgreens Take Care clinic - did you know that some Walgreens have little medical clinics in them?

Anyway, I told them I'm allergic to penicillin.

"But can you take sulfa?" they ask.

"Ummmm, well, I have this weird reaction to alcohol sometimes...." I respond.*

"But are you allergic to sulfa?"

"I don't know....Not that I'm aware of....."

So guess what? I have a reaction to sulfa. I get all red and prickly.** Just like when I drink wine or eat certain foods. The reaction is mild, and I really don't want to get a different prescription at this point (four days in), am I being stupid to just live with it? And do I explain to people that just because I'm bright red and twitchy (the prickles kind of feel like bugs in my hair) that I'm not drunk and/or mentally unstable?***

And since we're on the topic of medications, I found out this week that the med we give our dog for her seizures is some sort of bitchin' get-you-high prescription drug. The vet kept saying it was a controlled substance, but I didn't really think too much about it until my husband LOST two months worth of pills during the move.****

Calling the vet and begging them to call in another prescription to a pharmacy in another state was fun. It's a good thing my vet is awesome and knows us pretty well. They've spent a lot of time with us trying to get the seizures under control so they know we're not just drug addicts using our dog as a cover. I hope. I guess if we lost pills on a regular basis, one would wonder.

Moving on.

We drove by our ex-house last night, and there were lights on and I kind of freaked out. It was weird to leave my husband and dogs in Phoenix. We lived there for so many years, we have so many friends there, it really is 'home' for me. Coming back here where I basically have M2 and her family as my only close friends, where I have no house of my own, where MM is not, where I never really fit in - I feel very much like I don't belong here, like I shouldn't be here. It was very hard to come back. I'm not sure why, but I didn't expect to feel that way. I'm thankful I'm so comfortable with M2 and her family. Even though I don't really want to be where I'm at locationally,***** I do feel welcomed and at home in my temporary residence. How many people can you feel that way with?

We are once again financially stable - with even a little bit of wiggle room. Our debts are mostly paid off, just our (smallish) car payments and student loans left. We have money to live off of, a decent sized income from unemployment benefits, and enough money for a down payment on our next house. We left Phoenix at the right time - when housing prices were near their peak - and we're coming back at the right time - when housing prices have plummeted.

Life is good, what more can I say?

*I get all red and flushed when I drink even the tiniest bits of wine. Someone told me it was sulfides, sulfates, something like that. I didn't know it was all related. But I'd have thought that statement would have triggered more than a blank stare from a pharmacist....Live and learn.

**And not in a good way, either.

***This totally explains the strange looks at the zoo yesterday. I thought it was because I forgot to rinse the conditioner out of my hair again. Does anyone else do that, or is it just me? Because I'm sad to say this isn't the first time.....

At least I think he lost it. Now I'm thinking maybe someone just stole them for nefarious purposes. Leaving my dog to seize. Bastards.

*****Is too a word.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm Ba-aaack!

I feel like I've been gone so long!

I thought I'd drop in and say hello! I'm still alive, MM and the pups are settled in AZ, and BW and I are safely back in TX after our AZ visit. I'm getting over a nasty sinus infection and I have piles of laundry to do, but all is well.

I'll have more to say tomorrow - right now I'm still trying to settle in after the drive from Albuquerque* and FIVE FRICKIN' HOURS of BW's chatter. As I type, he's sitting on the bed behind me waving his wand around and trying to stupefy me. Now he's attempting to levitate my cup. The child is never quiet. It's exhausting.


*Our favorite stop-over when we don't go straight through. Have you been to the Albuquerque Zoo? It's great. And cheap. My two favorite things! And also, on a somewhat unrelated note, Albuquerque is one of my most favorite words to spell. See? I'll bet you didn't even realize you wanted to know that until I told you.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's Done

Whew! We are officially out of the house, the papers are signed, the buyers' loan has funded, and we are done. I'm semi-settled with BW at M2's place.* MM and the dogs have arrived safely in AZ and the truck is unloaded. BW and I will be heading out there to spend a week visiting, and then it's back to Texas until May for the two of us.

I'm relieved it's all done - relieved the house sold before the job went. Relieved that even though we had to struggle financially for a bit, we made it through. Relieved that we'll be OK until MM finds work again. I'm feeling safe and welcomed and loved, and it's a little overwhelming.

We've always known that our friends and family would come through for us anytime we needed them, but it's still humbling to see it in action. We've had to borrow money to get by while waiting for funds to come in. We've asked to be taken in by our friends until I finished this semester of school, while MM looked for work, until we could find a place of our own.

Everyone has been there for us, doing everything they could do to help, happily, without reservation, through it all. It's amazing to know all these wonderful people, and I'm so thankful to have them all in my life.

I'll be busy, busy, busy next week taking care of some stuff in Arizona, so I probably won't be posting for a while. Until then, everyone have a happy week!


* Did I mention how awesome my friends are? Because seriously, they are some pretty incredible people....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WARNING: The Only Purpose of This Post is A Painfullly Bad Pun*

My husband and I just used our son's skateboard to move our washer and dryer into the U-Haul. Because that's how we roll.


* And a little alliteration, just for fun.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Describe Yourself in Song

M2 told me about this a while back, but I never saw it posted in her Facebook notes. I keep stumbling across it, it looks like fun,* I'm bored, and I need a study break - so here goes.

Using only song titles from ONE artist (your choice), cleverly answer these questions.

I chose to use songs by artist: Tom Petty

1. Are you male or female: American Girl

2. Describe yourself: Alright For Now

3. How do you feel about yourself: Between Two Worlds

4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: Change of Heart

5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: Built To Last

6. Describe your current location: One Story Town or Zombie Zoo

7. Describe where you want to be: Runnin' Down A Dream

8. Your best friends are: Like A Diamond

9. Your favorite color is: Blue Sunday

10. You know that: It'll All Work Out

11. What's the weather like: Can't Stop The Sun

12. If your life was a television show what would it be called? Learning To Fly

13. What is life to you: Too Good To Be True

14. What is the best advice you have to give: Won't Last Long


*Yep, this is my idea of fun. I'm just a fiery ball of excitement, aren't I?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Decapitation: The Next Step

BW's been in rare form lately with the whining and talking back and being difficult. We're trying to be patient since there's so much going on and things are all crazy around here, but eventually he pushes us too far and he gets in trouble.

Right now, because I'm stuck in a disciplinary rut, he gets grounded. Usually just for a day or two, the things he does normally aren't too serious. Yesterday he was really on a roll, and he got a week.

I announced his fate, and he broke down and started in with his normal complaints - we're mean, we ground him every second of every day of his life, we don't like him. And then he screams, "You'll probably chop off my head next!!!"


Me: "Why on earth would we chop off your head?"
BW: "Because you don't like me and I'm in trouble."
Me: "So you think we'd chop off your head?"
BW: "Probably!"

Apparently, to my seven year old, decapitation is a logical progression from grounding. I'm not sure whether or not I should be worried about this. Is this normal? He's a pretty dramatic kid, especially when he's upset. Or does my child really think we're monsters who would chop off his head because he argued with us one too many times?

I'm getting pretty frustrated with him, and so is his father. Much more so than usual. I know it's just the stress of packing up the house, the pending move, no income, etc. Our routine (which wasn't all that much to begin with) is all shot to hell, our house is a huge disaster, we're all short-tempered. I keep telling myself to just get through the week (one more week, yay!!!) and then I can focus on correcting this habit we've gotten into of being impatient and sniping at each other all the time.

But, in the meantime, I've got a seven year old who thinks we don't like him and we're sharpening our axes out back for when he steps too far out of line. Maybe next I could convince him that Captain Subtext will sneak into his room at night and use a tiny guillotine to chop off segments of his penis each time he lies.* Better or worse?


*Anyone watch Coupling? "Go ahead, tell another lie Jeffrey! I've always wanted a daughter." Maybe we could work out a whole plan for raising him based on episodes of Coupling. When he's older, MM could warn him of the Melty Man - the arch enemy of trouser confidence.**

**Just to be absolutely clear, the Melty Man is from another Coupling episode...not MM's personal experience. He'd be appalled if that were misconstrued.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I am sad to report I failed miserably this last month. No litter walks and very little recycling, although the stack of things to recycle via garage sales, giving to friends, and donating to Goodwill is staggering. I'm using that to alleviate my guilt.

For next month, I plan on continuing to add to my pile of things to donate/recycle/gift. We will be purchasing a used, very economical car - although it's not a hybrid, it's the best we can do right now. Other than that, I really can't commit to anything else.

For more on this commitment to make one change every month to make a difference, check out MaryP and Zayna's blogs!

Dear Direct TV,

Please allow me to first address losing my temper with your representative. I know that listening to someone rant, rave, curse (although I hardly feel one piddly little 'damn' qualifies as cursing), and then hang up on you is probably the worst part of a customer service rep's job. I hope you will accept my sincerest of apologies for this transgression. I hope you'll also note that I made my husband call back immediately and apologize for my behavior, as I was too embarrassed to do it myself. That being said, let me explain why I instantly exploded when when you told me I owed an early termination fee.

Several months ago I called to inquire about canceling my service and was told that there would be a fee. I argued the validity of this and was told that a swap of equipment (from a HD receiver to a DVR) in July of 2007 did, in fact, renew my commitment to you for an additional two years. I escalated my complaint to a supervisor, and was told that if I chose to cancel I would not be charged a fee. We then discussed how you had been incorrectly charging me for a service I no longer had, and you made several adjustments to my account. We decided to keep our service at that time, because although there were problems, they were handled in a manner that satisfied me.

When I called to cancel my service with you this time, again, the dreaded fee was broached. I argued said fee, and told you of my previous experience. I was told you had no record of that. At that point, I am ashamed to say I lost my temper, asked for the amount of the 'damn fee' ($62.50), demanded immediate cancellation, and hung up on your rep.

When my husband called back to make amends and confirm cancellation, he was told our fee would be "approximately $50.00" and that we had four receivers to return. It took the better part of an hour for you to correct this error, as we only have three. Luckily, my husband was somewhat more patient than I.

When I fired off a strongly worded but extremely polite e-mail complaining about your horrible service and the fee, I received a prompt response now telling us that we owed $112.50 for cancelling early. Be glad this was sent to me in writing, because if you think I lost my temper during the first phone call, well, let's just say that was nothing.

Again, the issue was escalated. I demanded an apology, and that you waive the fee for the time and hassle we had to go through. You did respond that although you were "terribly sorry" for our cancellation and the incorrect information your representatives kept giving us, you were unable to waive the fee. The correct fee now being fifty some odd dollars.

While I am no longer surprised by the incompetence of your customer service reps and your shoddy record keeping, I am curious that you will not waive such a small fee in order to make an extremely irritated and wronged customer happy. In today's economy, satellite service is a luxury, and I would hazard a guess that you are losing customers as quickly as rats abandoning a sinking ship. One would think that you would bend over backwards to keep a customer happy, in hopes that they would remember your service fondly and sign back up when times were less troubled. Obviously, this is a mistaken assumption on my part.

Although my readership is not large, and although* a large portion of them are either Canadian** or my mother,*** I hope that, through word of mouth,**** this will cost you at least one customer down the road. One customer in addition to myself, of course. Be warned, Direct TV. People talk, and word gets around.

Sincerely yours,

A Dissatisfied Customer


*I just realized I say 'although' a lot when I'm angry. Odd.

**Hi Zayna!! Do they have Direct TV in Canada? If they do, don't get it!

***Hi Mom!

****And my mouth? It's big.

This is What Happens When You Don't Put The Lid on The Hot Tub, And a Bunch of Other Random Stuff

Eva likes to lounge on top of our hot tub and pretend she's queen of the mountain while Daisy stands at the bottom and barks at her.* MM and BW took a dip last night, and MM forgot to put the lid back on. Can you see where this is going?

Eva had a little surprise this morning. Probably even more surprising to her was when she leaped out of the steaming water and into the 23 degree morning. Brrrr!

We've been trying to keep her off the hot tub. I hadn't thought of this approach, but I'm willing to bet it will work. She's a smart girl - I'm guessing she'll be a little more cautious next time. My biggest regret is that I wasn't there to see it happen. I'm one of those people who find those things hilarious. If you trip and fall down, on the outside I'm all concerned. On the inside, I'm laughing hysterically at you. But still concerned. Always concerned.

It's a little hard to tell in this picture - Eva has a hard time standing still for portraits - but she was soaked from head to tail.


We sort of bought a new car yesterday.** We decided our best bet was to buy one in Phoenix. Rather than buying one here, towing it down, and then transferring the registration and all that good stuff. We found MM a little six speed Nissan Versa hatchback. Great MPG, very low mileage, fairly new, and within our price range. And it's a Nissan. We have good luck with Nissan. It'll be great for us to use to get around town, and we won't have to deal with the big beast of a truck MM uses here. I'm guessing it wouldn't even pass Phoenix's stringent emissions testing, so this works out nicely.


MM is quitting smoking today. He's been talking about it for a few months now, but hasn't actually done anything about it. I've been patient about it, I haven't pressed the issue at all, but I really hate him smoking. The danger to his health, the smell, the expense - they all drive me crazy. We all have our issues, I'm constantly battling with my weight and he with his smoking, so I've kept my mouth shut on this. If you know me at all, you'll understand how difficult this has been.

I crawled into bed last night and my pillows smelt like cigarette smoke. It pushed me over the edge. For some reason, I'd never smelt it in my bed before. I decided that he's wanted to quit, and maybe he needed me to put my foot down. He kept saying he'd stop next week, after the next pack, on his next days off work, but it never happened.

I told him to finish the pack he had, and then that was it. We weren't paying for them anymore, I was worried about his health, sick of the smell, done with spending money on something that was so bad for him. I warned him that from here on out, I was going to be a nagging bitch about it. We'll see if the tough love approach works. I hope it does.

I hate to be that person***, but maybe it's what he needs. He actually seemed pretty happy that I was making the decision for him about quitting NOW. M2 bought him the quit-smoking gum for his birthday, so he's got a crutch. It's time to do it. New state, new job, new house - fresh starts and all, right?

**** (****)

*Daisy has issues. She can't handle other dogs doing things that she won't. Playing catch, for instance. Daisy isn't interested in games of fetch. Much like me in PE, she stands there and watches the whatever you're throwing go by. Unless it's food, then she's all over it. Also, much like me....Anyway. She's highly offended when others want to play, and she voices her complaints with gusto.

**We found one online from a dealer we trust and made a deposit, anyway. I've never bought a car online, without a test drive. I'm feeling rather bold and adventurous. Or very, very stupid. Only time will tell.

I am totally that person, but I'm not happy about it....OK, I'm secretly a little happy about it, but don't tell anyone.

****I've decided to use these little *'s to separate the post from the annotations. And also change the text size. Partly because I'm hoping it'll be easier to read that way, but mostly because I just realized how to change the size of the font. Just thought I'd keep you all in the loop. Because I care.