Thursday, December 31, 2009

HIIT Me! (H.I.I.T. Highly Intense Interval Training)

Oh, you don't know about H.I.I.T.? Well, don't feel badly, I just found out and I'm 48. Highly Intense Interval Training is simply this: specific exercises using greater weight than you are use to using. The idea (simplified) is to use the weight training specifically targeted to build certain muscle groups, i.e. the arms, the legs, the butt, the gut. (Can you tell I'm not an expert?) Now, I'm not a fitness trainer, I'm not a medical doctor, and I don't have all the answers, but it seems to me that if the U.S. Army can do this type of fast and furious training and get the results they've been getting -- I should at least give it a try.

Here's what I know: I go to a gym and I noticed a guy doing extreme weight training for a very short period of time. He didn't come back the next day, but he did come back the day after that. I asked him about it. I asked him why he did a 15-20 minute work out with heavy weights and lots of reps, and why he lowered the weight amount after the three set. He said it was the H.I.I.T. method and he said he felt kind of funny talking about it because there was a time that he was fired for telling someone about it.

See, the H.I.T.T. method has been used for years by professional and college athletes and the trainers in these professional and college level gyms are all but sworn to secrecy about it, or so he said they were. He told me that as a professional trainer in L.A. for 2 years he saw many people's lives changed by the method and he wanted to share this style of exercise and program so that others could lose more weight, burn more fat, and become healthier than they have ever been. His boss had other plans. By leaking out the secrets of the high-paying mega bodied celebrities and athletes to the common man/woman it put the gym at jeopardy. If someone loses the weight faster than usual they may leave the gym and there goes the mainstay of the facility. The celebrities and athletes were pulls, draws for clients to keep paying, but the trainers knew they had limited time with these people. The regular clients were told that steady 30-60-90 minute work outs with treadmills, bikes, laps, and crunches or classes were best for them.

Jake, the ex-trainer and now buddy told me that he's kept his weight down to what it is by using the H.I.T.T. method, and that he's shared the training program with about 10-15 of his friends who have kept their weight down and bodies in toned shape for years - but that telling the average person is hard because of all the things we've been told in the past. Sometimes people just don't believe that 15-20 minutes 3 times a week is all you need. But the physics prove it is.

I looked it up - - studied it and now am about to employ it. I encourage you to do the same. NOW, if you're one that HAS to have a book to look at, there is an e-book by a couple called the "15-Minute Fat Furnace" and you can download it for about $5.00. I just prefer doing the study myself and talking to Jake who I think I can trust - - at least I can physically see with my eyes that he's in shape; I have to trust what he says is true.

For 5 minutes you use as much weight as you can handle for a certain group of muscles. Let's say we're doing upper body today. Do the chest first, all the machines you can with as much weight as you can take for 20 second reps. Fast and hard reps for 20 seconds and then rest. Change machines during the 5 minutes is OK if you want to, but keep the area of the muscles focused. Rest between machines for about 30 seconds. 2 or 3 reps should do it per machine. Then target the arms for the next 5 minutes - again with as much weight as possible. Rep. rest. rep. rest. The last 5 minutes is done at a medium weight level and slower reps. It's sort of a cool down period. Again, focus on the chest for 5 minutes, and then the arms for 5 minutes. It takes 20 minutes total.

OK....and this is REALLY important. Shower. Take a shower or soak in the hot tub for a while to get the muscles loosened up. Over the next 24 hours your body will be screaming at you - literally shaken by the intense work you put it through, but that's OK. The nostrils and mouth are bringing in so much more oxygen than they normally bring in and you're body is burning so much more fat because of it. In most cases (I read) 9 times as much fat!

This workout is done 3-4 times a week. One day you focus on the top part of your body, the next time the lower half. Oh, and you have to eat sensibly. You know how to eat correctly, just do what you know to do and do it early enough. If you have to eat later in the evening eat fruits and vegetables or nuts. The H.I.I.T. method is real, and I can't believe I didn't know about it before; but I didn't. I do now, and I think I'll keep a journal to see the dramatic difference. Wish me good work, luck will have nothing to do with it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The BEST Year! 2010

Some people eat black-eyed peas and cornbread for good luck on January 1, but I plan on doing something FAR more productive. I'm going to pray and thank God for the gift of allowing me to receive my son Reuben back from his 3.5 years in the United States Army. WHAT a better way to start off an amazing year? God is GREAT.

When I heard Reuben was going to be coming home for Christmas I was really excited. I thought to myself "Oh, the perfect Christmas miracle story ever!" My son would be coming home on Faith's 7th birthday, and she would be so unaware until she saw him and then go crazy in the baggage department at the airport when she realized it was him. Oh, it was going to truly be the moment of a lifetime...but the Army changed their minds. They recalculated my son's departure date and set it back to January 1,2010. Of course I felt deflated at the news - - but then I realized that if he was coming home on the VERY first day of the new year then the new year must be so much better than the closing of this past year!

OK, it's all in how you look at life, right? Take a lemon and turn it into lemonade as they say - - just decide to see the bright side, decide to see the light! My son is coming home on the first day of a year that is destined to be so very amazing. My book is going to be picked up by a publisher. Anthony Tortoriello and I are going to do a children's book! My daughters will be employed full time. My son will attend college and play ball. The Faith Train is pulling out of more and more stations! Cher Marketing is going to sell lots and lots of Faith-inspired gear and we can help animal shelters like C.A.R.E. and the Michigan rescue groups that Norma backs. My daughters will enroll in college and probably NOT play ball - - which is a good thing really. I'll be moving to Chicago to write! I'll be carless and kidless and have only one dog (Faith). I'm going to meet friends in person who I've only been acquainted with online. I'll be working with people who I both admire and love...this is going to be a banner year. THANK YOU Jesus for holding Reuben's arrival. WOW - - who would have thought?

So, this having been a great and educational year, I am looking forward to the new one with the surprises, the gifts, the laughs, the soldiers, the work, the books, the move, the kids, the man....EVERYTHING. I may even get a new turtle this summer for just never know what a girl has planned for a great and new start from a great and new year.

Viva La Life! Choose wisely!

Monday, December 28, 2009

After Christmas Promises to Myself

I do it every year and actually, to be honest, I've kept my word! I bought myself a great recumbent bike last year and I ride it all the time. I'm taking it further this year and getting myself into the gym on a daily basis. I wanted to get a few pounds off before I actually started the hard-core training. One thing I don't want for myself is to have muscles sitting on top of fat cells. The plan to remove the fat surgically hasn't changed - - but I can at least get as much of it off as I can on my own (or with the help of Ug-Man the trainer) and then go under the knife.

I'm in a bit of a situation here - - currently I live in a small town in Oklahoma, where the gym is nicely priced, I can get to it easily, work out daily, and have the best of the best with regard to personal trainers because they have more equipment and more team members than the average big city facility. However, the problem is that I'll be moving to Chicago soon and live in a glorious downtown condo with a fitness center on a certain floor but without trainers and I'll have to work out my schedule to avoid the uppy-yuppies that parade around so wonderfully in brightly plumed outfits that fit just a bit better than my own.

When I do move I hope I at least have a shot at fitting in - - and by fitting in I am referring to the Spandex. At this point I have 23 pounds to go. I know I can muster the will, strength, and persistence to carve about 11 off before the doctors carve off the rest. When we're all (all of us) finished I should be a well-rounded, and/or curvy size 9 body standing 5'7". Nope, not going for the wispy look. Not going for the run-way model -- just me a little smaller here, a little flatter there, and by all means a LOT flatter UP there. Anyone want an extra pair of boobies just let me know, I plan on leaving 1/2 of mine behind....thank you 2010! This is going to be the year of change.

Promises, promises, promises. I trust me, and when I say something I mean it. If I promise myself I'll do it then by golly and all things holy I'll do it. This will be the year of persistent health, better eating, more salads, less meat (if that's possible) and more and more and more attention to the smile. Don't be surprised if in the future you encounter a metal-mouthed, red-headed, Jude walking right up to you and smiling big enough for you to see the wires! If I'm paying for them you're going to look at them. It's MY turn, thank you very much, and this is the year the girl gets an overhaul - - I don't mind the sweating if you don't.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa in Baghdad - Merry Christmas

The red glow was unmistakeable.

The young soldier saw him coming from the air and warned the others - - his eyes couldn't believe what he was witnessing first-hand. It wasn't a missle, it wasn't an air assault of any kind. It was a sled, a very large sled, pulled by 9 furry reindeer; the first with a signature red-nose. The light from Rudolph's nose blasting through the Middle-Eastern fog...just before midnight.

As the soldiers came out of their make-shift barracks to greet the old man they did something they never do - - they put down their weapons. There was absolutely no threat here. Hooves landed softly on the sand, clattering and tearing at the soil as Santa called for them to halt. This visit was his first of the very long night that lay before him.

From their vantage point they could see that there were no presents in the sleigh for them, but then again, they knew each one of them were a little too old to expect anything from Santa - - but still there he was. One of the soldiers that approached the slick red sleigh was a woman; a Spc. infact, Ali Hargis of Ardmore, OK. She smiled as she reached to hug the old man - - and he accepted her. As he drew her close to squeeze her tight others wondered why she had been chosen, and how she knew instinctively to go to him. It wasn't magic, not really. Ali's little brother Rocky had just recieved HIS gift from St. Nick. He wanted to wish his big sister, his hero, a Merry Christmas. Santa and Rocky were Facebook friends. Of course he would know where she was.

Santa stood before a hundred or more soldiers - - and he did something he doesn't usually do. Santa cried. As he stood perfectly still in the dead of the night, a sense of unspeakable awe surrounded every one of them. Before he turned to continue his long and wonderful journey around the world Santa paused. With his chin held up just a little higher, and his lips trembling ever so slightly, the old man's right hand came up as he addressed the soldiers perfectly - - with a salute. "Gentlemen, Ladies" he whispered, "Thank you so very much. Thank you." Not another word was spoken. How could it be?

As the reindeer bowed their heads to show honor and respect Santa jiggled the reins twice. It was then that the silence was broken, and as if in unison the soldiers waved and called out "Merry Christmas Santa!" and with that, the soldiers picked up their weapons again and continued doing what they do - - it's my turn now to say it.

THANK YOU. Thank you so very very much!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Faith - - 7 is a Good Age

Faithy is 7 today, she's celebrating with her brothers and her little sister under the bed. I made them all eggs with cheese and they're just chomping away, kicking each other out of the way, and pulling on each others tails to get to the bowls that aren't their own. They're just such dogs!

We have six dogs right now. All of which are ours. We're not fostering any others at this time. When I move to Chicago I'll take Brody with me and of course Faith. She and I will have to cuddle really close to get away from the Chicago wind, but it looks like it may be as late as Spring before I get that opportunity so who knows. Brody's real name is: Sir Henry Wallace Broderick. I named him. He's a special needs little guy too -- he was dropped. The damage isn't too bad, but he's just a bit slower than most active and off-the-wall crazy Jack Russells. He's the little tri-colored dog.

We have Brody's sister Teagan, she's yellow and white - - a very normal and active Jack Russell. She belongs to Caity and will travel with Caity when we all disperse and go our separate ways. While Caity currently also owns King, and I also own Matrix, these dogs will go to live with Reuben when he comes home in January and sets up his homestead. He will have a nice backyard and will be able to take great care of the mutts given to him in love. Matrix is 10. I don't want to force him to move to Chicago where he'd be in the apartment more than outside. He's use to going in and out the backdoor at least 20 times a day if for no other reason than to say that he does. He would go crazy in a high rise.

Laura has her little Yuki mutt. He's a black Chihuahua mix with the disposition of a tiger or a big bull that has no intention of letting you in his fence. He down right adores Laura and we think he actually worships her. We love on him of course, but the instant she comes into sight, hearing, or smell, we are worthless beings in his heart. She is his world. She will of course take Yuki. For a while Laura and Reuben will be together, until such time that they both realize that they love each other but can't live together -- it's probably going to take 3-4 months.

So, all together now, the dogs are happy, laying around and playing. Soon they will be in separate houses living in California (Caity) Illinois (me) and Oklahoma (Laura & Reuben) - - it's a good birthday for Faith; one I hope she remembers and cherishes for a very long time. We think she's pretty happy - - she's still wagging the tongue anyway.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Humbled and Honored - Thank You

When I was called by Sue Manning of the Associated Press and she asked me a few questions about my dog Faith, I was sure her story would be heartwarming and it would probably be picked up by a few of the papers and television news anchors across the country. I even went so far as to let myself believe that a handful of countries outside of the United States would be picking it up too. I know Faith is popular in Japan, Australia, and the UK for example.

About a year ago I began asking God (yes, I do that, I talk one on one with the Almighty and I actually believe in my heart that He cares about me enough to listen and respond)to help me to understand my mission with Faith. I wanted Him to show me something, and I remember asking Him to bless me, but I added a caveat. I said out loud "God, bless me beyond my imagination" let me see something that I couldn't have foreseen. Well - - that happened.

December 17, 2009 my dog's story as told by Sue Manning over the wire was the #1 story on capital news agencies such as MSNBC and Yahoo! My dog's face (and sadly my non-makeup face LOL) was seen everywhere - EVERYWHERE. What I was most surprised with were the numbers coming out of Russia! RUSSIA!! Who knew? I was floored and I was excited!! WOW - - my web developer was just as shocked. He started spitting out numbers and techy stats at me faster than I could say "I really don't understand a single word you're saying to me right now." I say that a lot to Randall Goya. He's one of those IT guys -- you know, a real geek. Someone I have only dreamed of being - but know my brain would explode if I tried any harder than I do now to "get it". I don't get it.

HUMBLED is the only word I can use, and hey, being a SOONER -- "humble" doesn't come to mind or heart all that often. This has been a very humbling year - - both with football of course, and with my dog. I have just been so amazed at the outpouring of love and the feedback we have been receiving on my site at I say it all the time; when I feel down I just have to look up a few of these comments and know that whatever I may be experiencing at that moment will pass -- it has to, I have a job to do. I have work to finish, and it includes talking to, hugging on, and walking around with a little yellow mutt who simply chooses - chooses- to smile. It's not the easiest decision sometimes, but one I have to make.

Thank you Sue. Thank you Yahoo! Thank you WORLD!! (But mainly - - Thank you Jesus. Without your sense of humor and plan to give a little dog to a lady with a big mouth - - YOU ROCK!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Who Wants to Sleep in Seattle?

Well, the answer to the question "Who wants to sleep in Seattle?" would be FAITH. She was such a tired puppy after all the fun she had at the PX and BX and then the Public Market.

We went to Seattle to celebrate Faith's 7th birthday. It won't be until December 22, but we knew we'd have fun going up a little early! The Associated Press came out, they brought Manuel Valquez as a videographer from Seattle. We got to play with him a bit. He's adorable. He said he'd rather cover stories like Faith and the soldiers anyday! He is usually stuck following boring professionals and business situations! Of course it's more fun following a happy-go-lucky mutt with a bunch of soldiers!!

We played at the Ft. Lewis BX with Ultimate Fighter Todd Duffee -- photos coming soon, and we played with the Buffalo JILLS, the Buffalo Bills cheerleaders Alyssa and LaKeisha! WOW are they gorgeous, and YES, LaKeisha is 6'6" I think. They're fun! We took our pictures with these girls and pretended we were Jills too! AS IF!! LOL

We played with soldiers, we played with Airmen. We played with staff from both the BX and the PX, we played with families of the soldiers, and we played with thousands of people at the Public Market including the Fishermen! Caity is in love with one named Ryan, so we had to stop by and have her picture taken with him. It will be loaded soon too, and I'm sure they'll be married and she'll have free sushi at the reception! LOL

We went to the original Starbucks, but we also went to Faith's #579 and #580th Starbucks too. She and I have been to so many stores you'd think Starbucks would want to make us their spokesperson/dog! We'd say yes....if they asked. (Go ahead Starbucks, ask!!)

We truly had the best times again - - as we always do, and I wanted to thank Pat McGhee of the Ft. Lewis PX for hosting us. He took us to an Open House where we met lots of higher ranking soldiers who were having an awards ceremony. Faith met Jason Haynes, the guy who MAKES the challenge coins for the soldiers. He's going to make one JUST for her!! I'll get to pass them out to people who have helped Faith to make it this far in her journey.

We also met up with author and fantastic ghost writer Rudy Yuly!! Photos soon! Rudy and I are writing Faith's book "Faith Walks" and I can't tell you how much fun that was. You meet someone online, you work with them, talk on the phone, get to know each other, but meeting in person!!! That was fun and great and rewarding. He said his ex-sister in law is a dog psychic and she'll be so jealous that he got to meet Faith in person!! I hope to meet her soon too. That will be fun to see what she has to say about Faith's future and maybe she'll let me in on a little secret Faith has been keeping from me all this time! LOL

Well, we had so much fun we didn't sleep that much - - but Faith did. She crashed every night and slept hard! She was of course ready for the fun and frolick of the next day -- and with love for all the OPS staff at the PX including: Meghan, Little Maegan, Elizabeth, Nora, and Mary - - THANK YOU!!!! Thanks for putting up with us, and for going with us, laughing at my jokes - - which is hard sometimes, and for just being great!!

Oh, and thanks to Tom for being so sweet to Caity, Oklahoma's not too far to travel to see a girl, right?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Twisters and Storms = OMG

Why is it that we untouchable humans get the fear of God in us when the weather kicks up a bit? I'm the biggest wussie, bigger than any of them. I have always fallen flat on my face first thing and acknowledged the power of my Almighty God. I'm not about to oh, I don't know, sit on top of a mast and scream at God to bring it on...nope, let Lt. Dan do that, for me it's a bit more like falling to my knees in the closet with the mattress over my head when the winds reach 250 mph and they're 10 miles away. That's me praying and begging God to forgive me for making fun of Sarah Kesler in the 2nd grade! God just has a way of getting to me in a storm.

It was 2003 I think, Laura and I were on our way back from Arnett, Oklahoma, a little community way out West. So far west you could say Eastern Texas Panhandle and still be describing it. The area is KNOWN for being the starting point for whirlwinds that turn into tornadoes. It is just a point on a map, just a little piece of land, but over that land are clouds and winds forming from the weather combining after moving east from the Rockies and North from the Gulf. If you live in Lawton, Oklahoma or Arnett/Gage, Oklahoma, you don't worry so much because the winds only START there - - they move on!

Laura and I were coming home, home was EAST of Arnett -- and so were the winds. My car was moving about 70 mph but the winds, God's winds, decided to pick it up a bit - - they ran closer to 100-110 mph, and within minutes of the radio broadcast alerting drivers to pull over -- we were engulfed. We had baby tornadoes, F1 and F2 factors both behind us and in front of us! We were in the middle and with absolutely NO WHERE to pull over it was up to GOD Himself to keep His winds rolling and spitting around us, I couldn't let the one behind me gain on me, and I couldn't creep up on the one in front of me. Talk about a constant and open means of Divine communication. God and I are on a first name basis of course, but I was actually thinking about letting the 13 year old drive while I confessed everything possible in the passenger seat. I would have too, but she was more interested in praying herself and asking God to help, stop or do something.

When we did finally find a place to pull over it was none to soon. We found a bathroom at a convenience store with a solid metal door. It was open, we could see that from the road. We pulled into the parking lot, jumped out, got into the bathroom, locked the door (as if) and then I pushed baby Laura (13) behind the plumbing of the sink and just laid myself over her. Within minutes the twister behind us had passed us and we were safe to travel again behind the storm, but all the while knowing it was going where we were going. I couldn't reach my other kids because cell towers were down. BACK TO PRAYER! God works better than U.S. Cellular at this point.

When we got home and found my two others in the shelter and safe, coming out of it and eating popcorn - - I thought "Wow, I'm so glad I don't have to convert to Christianity, I'm there." You never hear of anyone begging Satan or anyone else to help them in a storm - - seems like most people understand that these matters are controlled by God. Call me crazy, but I think He just likes to hear from me sometimes...I figure the more I talk to Him BETWEEN the storms the less I have to confess when they do show up. Besides, He know my sins...He made me.

I've read where some people convert to God or faith during a storm - - OK, that's probably good, but what about when the tide is fine and all the clouds look like marshmellows? I'd like to think this would be a good time to thank Him for the day.

Tiger Woods Effect

Whatever goes on with this man has absolutely NOTHING to do with the diet and/or commitment I'm on, so no, this blog won't be that much about what I'm eating today. I will say that I was a very obedient committed person and did what I'm suppose to do. That's me, I always do what I'm suppose to do -- sit here minding my own business constantly. There just seems to be a lot of stuff going around me at all times and from time to time when I stand up, no longer sitting down while minding my own business, I get hit in the fact with drama - - and lots of it. THANK GOD for Tiger Woods! The attention really isn't on me that much these days. Sorry T. That was low and I didn't need to say it - - when you wake up from your Ambiene (sp) NAP I'll apologize for real.

OK - - is it just me, or doesn't it seem like the men in Hollywood are getting more or less caught with their proverbial pants down? Listen, if it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and looks like a duck ladies - - you can bet it has mites and scratches itself in public while wading through mud. He's A MAN!! Now, that being said I do know two men that wouldn't cheat if they were billionaires and could get away with it; my dad - - who would have to ask permission and mom would never say yes, and my son, because he....oh wait, there's my dad! My dad would simply just go to town and buy a few things and come home and ask Mom what she thought of them. I think Mom actually took out a part of Dad's brain when they got married, the part that said "Oh hey look, another woman!" She's mean like that.

I think the situation with Tiger is ugly at best, and although everyone is talking about it I just wish they'd stop -- which of course means I should stop. I think men in Hollywood are absolutely under the microscope now, and there will no doubt be a few "damage control" tactics soon being revealed wherein a man of higher expectation will come forth and make the announcement that yes he has been unfaithful to his wife, names will be named, talk will be talked, but it will be out there without being the subject of an exposure! It may be a good thing, it may draw out the truth behind so many "rumors" or "secrets" and then it will all be rolled over and discussed, but having been brave enough to come out with it rather than being caught with it - - may be the difference between keeping those endorsements. Sort of like when Michael Phelps was caught smoking weed - - so what. I'm Nike, I'm EverReady, or I'm Wheaties, I'm not going to pull a deal over it - - maybe I'll reach another group of people not usually associated with my product. However, I'm a right-sided conservative business company and I see the player(s) aren't playing the "family" game the best they could - - maybe I'll give the endorsement to someone else. Tiger will be fine - - he'll lose millions but he has more. It's not a money issue that Tiger or any of these people have to deal with - - it's age-old MORALS and integrity - - tell the truth and nothing really that bad happens. (maybe a little)

That being said, I bet the Tiger Woods Syndrome as it is being called, will be a virus infecting many men and women who will have to make the publicity call as to whether they want to tell the truth and keep the fans, or be caught taking a nap while driving, wrecking their cars, and having beautiful models beating their company car with their 3 iron - - or was it a wood? Do they even play with wood clubs now? Shows you what I know. I do know this - - if Dad ever did caught by Mom having an affair - - we'd all laugh. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US - - nope, the truth is, that one was a keeper! (and MOM can keep him. I couldn't be married to him. He's a Democrat!) LOL

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day Whatever of the Commitment - I Feel Great

OK, so let's see, let's count. Today is the 6th day of the commitment, the diet, the way of life, whatever you want to call it. It's not been the slightest problem so far -- well, I did go one full day without blueberries and that was a major set back. I had to fall back on cranberries and just DEAL with it! LOL

In the morning we're still blending - bananas, blueberries, hummus or garbanzo powder, yogurt, and now I throw in those billions of cultured live cells that you can pick up in the health food store (liquid). I'm so freaking healthy guys! Just so freaking healthy. I do the coffee of course as well, and drinking water is just what I do. I think between the coffee, the tea, the water and the juice, I've raised my 95% water capacity to 98% and I'm more than sure I'll be solvent if I step out into the rain or snow this weekend in Seattle. Just one big puddle...and 2% of bone.
The dogs will love me. I'll go down in history as making a grand sacrifice for the animals in my life.

There's no way I can tell you if I've lost weight, I think so, I believe I have, but because I don't weigh myself there isn't a number to tell you. I'm thinner. I'm pulling up the jeans easier, I'm bending over in the jeans easier, and I'm dancing faster, more smoothly - - this is a good indicator that I'll be juicing a bit longer than the original 21 days. I'll keep up the habit, can't hurt and with the way my waist seems to be trimming down some I may not have to fear the KNIFE so much. The doctor can use a much smaller blade now....put away the machete Doc, it's better now.

So, we're getting rain and possibly snow here in Oklahoma. I have my phone and weather guides on my computer set to whatever the weather is in Chicago. Visualizing is everything, so I go into the Chicago mode now and then and see how my new condo is doing. I pull it up on the Google maps and stare at the front doors. I check out the area web cams and see the people bustling, moving around -- that's going to be me all wrapped up and cussing at the wind! I'm going to be the one trudging to the store for a couple of bags of groceries and fighting back the blistering blizzard. Can't wait - - and I'll do it with LESS weight on my butt....all the more reason to celebrate, and to add a bit of a kick to my step! YEA!!

OK, now you're wondering what EXACTLY I really am putting in these juices aren't you? LOL

Today for lunch: 1 cucumber, 1 vine ripe tomato, 2 carrots, 1 sweet small sweet potato, 2 granny smith apples and a cube (1") of ginger - - and I'm full! Not to mention I have this mental illusion that I can actually spin/leap from one building to the next up in Chicago to get to Dominick's, but I'm wondering how I'll manage it on my way home with the bags bulging...probably can't. Sigh.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Trig? Tripp? Triangle? I Can't Keep Up.

Let's just say that I've never believed that Trig Palin, the 5th kid, was actually born to Sarah and Todd Palin. Sarah, according to two sources now, has called Trig her (and I quote them) "little retarded baby boy". Now, call me crazy, but if my kid had down-syndrome I wouldn't refer to him as retarded. I'm not even all that politically savvy and I know the difference between addressing someone as challenged and someone as retarded. Seems to me that the MOTHER of little Trig would be a bit more careful with her words; as well as the way she holds HER baby. Bristol holds Trig lovingly. I've seen Sarah's way of holding Trig, and believe me, it's as if she's being forced to babysit! Sometimes I think Piper gets in her way, she wouldn't have had another kid at her age and there's NO WAY IN HELL she boarded an Alaskan Airlines plane in Dallas after she confirmed with people in Alaska by telephone that her water had just broken - - wow, does this make me cynical? NO, it makes me concerned that a leader in my own party could think for 1/2 a second that any of us was truly that ignorant. JUST TELL THE TRUTH PALIN!

I hadn't even heard of Andrew Sullivan until Sarah Palin decided to write a book that I have read several excerpts from. I have yet to read the book entirely as I just can't wrap my brain around the Trig question. As a mother it REEKS with (in my opinion) lies and substandard explanations about her pregnancy. Seems NO ONE really knew about her expecting until the end and wow, looky there -- a baby! Oh, but where's Bristol? NO ONE could really give us that information now could they? When asked by a journalist about a possible cover-up involving Bristol and her teenage boyfriend which may or may not have been Levi Johnston, reporters say Palin was ready to sue reporters for asking! HELLO -- they can ask anything! As a candidate for the Vice Presidency of our nation - - you bet your butt you're expected to answer these questions too. Why would I want ANYONE in office that can't answer THAT question? PLEASE!

Well, to be honest with you, and I guess now that General Patreaus as answered honestly about it; I didn't vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin this past election. No, I didn't vote for Senator (now Pres.) Obama either. I wrote in my choice for President of the United States of America as I'm sure at least a few others did. I wanted Colin Powell. Since he didn't run I didn't add a Vice Presidential choice but come to think of it, maybe General P would have been a pretty good choice. At least I can say with near perfect accuracy that neither of them had embarrassed me, their party or the nation by NOT answering simple and straight forward questions like "who is Trig's real mother?" Would it really matter if anyone had said Bristol? That's like saying you don't dye your hair, or you didn't get vanity surgeries. Having babies out of wedlock isn't the end of the world. I don't recommend it. I did it too, but it's not the worst thing that can happen - - lying is. Did you hear me? LYING is the worst.

Levi's not the brightest bulb in the box, but I gotta hand it to the kid, he's not letting the hockey-mom hunter get under his skin, and something tells me that as little Trig and Tripp grow up their DNA may be very interesting for say - - a science discussion!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 3 - and Actually Not Really Counting

So, it's my third day on the juice diet but I have to repeat that I hate the word "diet" so we'll do the commitment thing again. Third day being great to myself, and doing a bit more research on all the benefits of juicing things like ginger root, horseradish, and things that make your eyes water. I am amazed at the information you can pull off the internet. I found a great recipe for "Purple Passion" which I'll try tomorrow after I go back to the Farmers Market for a few fresh grapefruits. Today it was a standard: Tomatoes, carrots, blueberries, sweet potato, celery, and cranberries - - but I did throw in a cube of ginger!!

Purple Passion:

8 oz of blueberries
1 1/2 of a grapefruit
1 cube of ginger (juiced)
2 small or 1 medium apple

JUICE THAT and drink it. Wow - - powerful stuff. I'm told it will not only have all the antioxidants one needs for the day, but ginger helps with stomach problems, gas, bloating, even helps to eliminate bad breath like garlic does. It use to be the 2nd most popular spice in India and Europe back in the day, right next to pepper. I can see the similarities. Ginger is really strong, but unlike pepper it can be juiced easier and has a certain aphrodisiac effect as well - - yeah, and that can't be bad right? LOL

So, my littlest one asked me (on my fourth trip to the store) to pick her up a comb so she could better even out her haircut - the one I told her was a bit choppy. I did that. I got her the comb. Turns out I didn't need to spend that $1.55 after all - - I mean, maybe in 6 months she can use the comb again, but not at this moment - - as you can see from the photos up on top, she has nothing up on top now! This is my life people. I come home to this sort of thing on a daily basis, and NO I am not really shocked anymore. I think of it as another day, another adventure. Today she has no hair, tomorrow she'll be starring in a new Sci-Fi or something, or I'll have new furniture, perhaps my bathroom doors will be inverted, or my Christmas tree limbs pushed upward creating an ARROW effect. I have NO idea what to expect with Caity, and that's OK...I love the journey.  What's NOT fair, is that she's gorgeous with and without hair. NOT fair.

Laura? Oh, she's working, paying bills, dancing, singing, and learning to speak Japanese, same as she was last time - - but I still don't turn my back on her too long either. She has an mischievous streak in her at times too. Another day, another good and happy memory.

17 more days until my son comes home!!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Smoothies, Yoga and Muddy Paws

What a day so far! I woke up to the wet muddy paws of an over grown puppy. King had been let out and he played a while and then when he came back into the house he immediately greeted me with his large slobbering face (St. Bernard/Dane mix) and his freshly soaked muddy paws -- he has four of them. All four of these paws were decorating my bed and corrupting my sheets and blankets while I lay there covering up my face so as to protect myself from his overt rambunctious play....and that my friends, is my alarm clock!

It really is a good thing that I have an alarm clock otherwise I'd sleep past 10 and miss out on all the fun stuff that people do in the morning. I'm going to have to start setting the electrontic type clock soon and wake up around 7:30 not only to be the one to let the dogs out, but also to go to yoga class! When I move to Chicago one of the things I really am looking forward to is yoga! Since Chicago is so freaking cold in the winter time I'll wait until it thaws a bit to join so I can get my 1.5 mile walk in before class as the class is actually held on or near DePaul University - - I'll be in Streeterville just a bit north. CAN'T WAIT

OK...and now for the update on the weight thing. I made myself a dinner last night of 6 veggies and 2 fruits. I drank it all and thought a little carbs won't hurt so I toasted a muffin too. I always toss in a little protein powder with my drinks giving me the garbanza bean boost I need to take on the world -- and you're suppose to watch the protein intake when one goes on a juice diet too. This morning I made the BEST damn smoothie I've ever made. Ready:

1 large banana
2 oz of Raspberry Goyi juice from V8 Frusion stuff
4 oz skim milk
1 heaping Tablespoon of gabanza bean protein flour powder
1 raw egg
and a little clove powder -- because I can

I blended it up and BAM - - wow, wow, wow, I'm in love, I'm in Heaven, I'm fine! Just after drinking it I thought I can't wait to do this again tomorrow. I make myself wait - - I could completely spoil me, but I won't. However, lunch is JUST around the corner and it looks like: tomatoes, zuccini, carrots, cranberries, sweet potato and 2 Granny Smith apples are on the menu - by on the menu I men IN the juicer. YES. LUCKY ME!! I'm so good to me.

And now, to bathe the dogs, wash the linens, and start all over again.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You Can Do Anything For 21 Days Right? LOL

Here we are on the 3rd of December. I've decided to make the next 3 weeks JUDE days, just days for me. ME, ME, ME, ME, ME....because I'm needy. I love me, and I tell myself all the time that if I hadn't been me, and I had just met me on the street or probably at a Starbucks, I'd like me. I'd find me to be happy, open, and honest, not to mention cute and sassy -- oh, and if I wasn't dating (which I'm not) I'd ask me out of a date and I'd probably go - - so these next three weeks are just about that. What I would do with me if I could - and I can, so I will.

Me and I are going on a 21-day date with the juicer, the blender, and the salad bowl. For the next 21 days I'm on a 2/3 juice diet and 1/3 solids. For breakfast we're doing the banana, strawberry, zucchini smoothie, and of course we'll mix that up a bit. For lunch it's all about the 5-8 servings of veggies and fruits, and for dinner the same. The difference is, I'll throw a small salad in 2 or 3 times a week, and a several handfuls of nuts and raisins. God knows, I love raisins.

According to the internet and all the sources I can find, going on a juice fast before a holiday like Christmas is perfectly acceptable. It can actually train the mind and body NOT to over eat at parties and gatherings, and it can be a great excuse not to over indulge at all - - just say "Oh, I think it looks great, probably tastes great too, but I'm really trying to stick to this commitment I made for myself." I don't like the word "diet", it's meaningless these days - - so, it's a commitment. I don't know if I can do it the full three weeks, but I can try can't I? I still have that 20-25 pounds to go, and I think it may help.

Oh, and the best part is, I'm exercising too, going to the gym, and doing the balance ball at home with my daily yoga stuff. Who knows, maybe I can give myself a new body for least a healthy one. Juicing is so much better for you than eating the fruits or veggies in chunks. You get 7-10x the nutrients from them. Oh, and I throw in ginger root, sage, all sorts of herbs along the way - - it's all about the antioxidants....that's the part that cleans you out and releases the fat junk hanging out in the cells....more ginger please, thanks!

There you have it, let's see if I can do this, and what I'm thinking along the way - - just 21 days I promise, then it's CHRISTMAS!! Oh, and I'll tell you about Reuben coming home and the girls working, and all that fun information - - but remember, it's all about ME! LOL LOL LOL....go ahead, it's OK to slap me. (I may like it!) LOL

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Crimson or Orange? What's best for the Season? LOL LOL LOL

Oh, I make myself laugh sometimes. I do it just because it releases the nervous tension. The nervous tension I had BEFORE the game started that is - - the OU/OSU game that is...Bedlam. There is only ONE other game we Sooners really get all tensed up and scared about and since we barely came out of Texas with our pride stomped on with a 14-13 loss to the Texas Longhorns, the Oklahoma State Cowboys was the last of the nerve-ending games. No worries...we got this one.

EIGHT years is it now? EIGHT years in a row I think we've beat the Cowboys, but I'd have to look that up, I lost count and wouldn't want to be overstating it if it's only 6 or 7. I know last year it was a mere 61-41 win. We only beat the Pokes by 20. THIS YEAR - - well, we shut them up, I mean, we shut them out....27 to what? Oh yes, to! I should try to rein that in a bit before I get my tongue chopped off by a few of my really good friends wearing wilted colors up in Stillwater tonight. Sorry guys, we may not have beat Texas Tech like you did, but we beat the snot out of you today - - even with the 1 hour first quarter where the referees weren't sure which side of I-40 they were closer to. OH, and before you say a damn thing about DeMarco Murray's fly-in leap to the make the first touchdown, I want it on record that I said it wasn't a touchdown! I wanted it reviewed, I wanted it replayed, because I can't stand all the whining about it later on...but since we beat you by 27 - - no worries.

Thanksgiving is OVER....Christmas is brainer on the title question. Should we be wearing Orange? NO. No way - - CRIMSON baby! Another full 365 days of bragging our faces off to any and every Oklahoma State University alumni, current student, faculty, or just someone silly enough to show up wearing something with Pistol Pete on it. I think it would have been hilarious if the Norman police had arrested the mascot for shooting off his guns in the city limits! That would have been so funny - - and probably been worth the ticket price! Oh wait, the SCORE was more than worth the ticket price!! 27-0...say what? YES, 27 points Oklahoma, ZERO for Oklahoma State. Or as Jeannie's daughter Julie put it "Shut out means SHUT UP!"

Wow, I really should stop before I upset the others living in my house. We have a house divided you see; something I swore wouldn't happen. When the girls enrolled in Oklahoma State University in 2007 I kicked them out. They lived ON THEIR OWN. We don't do the house divided thing. Sooners live in this place....there's a sign on the door just in case you weren't sure. SOONERS LIVE IN THIS HOUSE! The sign should read "Don't even think about ringing the door bell if the game is on" but I don't have that sign. I have the one that says "SOONERS LIVE IN THIS HOUSE!" but I guess now I can add "WINNERS LIVE IN THIS HOUSE"....what do you think? No? Oh, you're only saying that because you either wear orange, or you aren't from the .... the SOONER, did you see that, it's not the COWBOY state, it's Oklahoma, the SOONER State..yes. LOL couldn't resist.

My daughters dropped out of school in 2008, but they'll go back in 2010 and they'll be Cowboys again...I don't know why. Oklahoma has a far better medical program. I suppose they won't be going into medicine. It's the only thing I can think of. Laura will get her B.A. in Business Management, and Caity in Business Finance. They'll be rich and I'll say thank you for letting me off the hook that much earlier! BUT...and I mean this, I hope they don't try to get football scholarships because they can't play very well. Wait a minute, they don't have to play well to get one at Oklahoma State do they? Sorry, my bad.

LOVE YOU guys up that way - - you know, up NORTH, in Good luck next year. There's always next year. Looking forward to it!! You'll recognize me, I'll be wearing CRIMSON with 90,000 of my closest friends. I call dibs for first in line at Starbucks!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Soon To Be Carless!!

I have a great new friend online named Mike Doyle. He's the author and/or writer of the blog "Chicago Carless" and he is fantastic and funny -- not to mention he actually lives the way I can't wait to live! WITHOUT A CAR!

I love the fact that I can drive, don't get me wrong. Now, if everyone else in the auto-owner world would also take a minute to learn the rules and laws from behind the wheel we'd all be THAT much better off right? Last year my best friend STEVE (a 2005 Focus) was completely smashed, destroyed, and murdered when a 74-year old woman without insurance decided to pull out into oncoming traffic - - by oncoming I mean ME. I was driving, I was the oncoming traffic. I was in the right, she was in the wrong and the fact that her eyes had been dilated the day before is the ONLY reason I used the word MURDER. It may have been negligent carslaughter, OK, but it was death to the STEVEster and that meant I was walking....until my adorable Dad saved me and gave me his car to drive. (There's another related story about Steve being fixed and then I lost him again, but we won't go there, it's boring and makes me cry when I think about it). Thank you Dad for your loving and kind gesture. I promise just as soon as I put the car in my name - - wait, I'll just give to Caity and she can do that. Good plan.

Losing STEVE made me realize that I am far too dependent on the car. Living in Oklahoma City one is 100% dependent on a car. Living just about anywhere except a larger city like Chicago or New York makes one completely too dependent on cars because most cities don't have the set up to handle those of us who would use the alternative if it were made available. I'm not moving to Chicago JUST for the theatres, jazz, great shopping, and free outdoor concerts - - well, the good food is a pull, but there is another reason...I will be CARLESS IN CHICAGO. (Remember, this Carless in Chicago is NOT to be confused with Mike Doyle's blog Chicago Carless - - follow Mike) LOL

When I'm carless I won't: Pay for gas, pay for insurance, have a car payment, buy a new bumper, get my tires changed, have a blow out on the highway forcing me to call the Highway patrol in 100 degree dry heat and wait 2 hours for it to be fixed. I won't run out of gas because the fuel sensor lied. I won't experience the waiting at the stoplights - - I WILL WALK THROUGH THEM. I won't forget to pay for my tag and get a ticket. I won't speed. Wait, I don't speed now. I won't be passed up for not speeding. I won't have to worry about my neighbors kid keying my car. I won't have to keep my car inside to avoid weather. I won't have to pay for parking. I won't have to look for a spot to park and go shopping. I won't have exhaust smells in my house from the car warming up. I won't have anyone smoking in my car. I won't worry about who sits in front - - there won't be a front!

In my new life, in my new condo, in my new city - - soon - - I will walk where I can. If I can't walk I'll take the bus. If I can't do that I'll take a taxi, and if I really really have to have it, can't do without it - - I will use a ZipCar ( and I will NEVER pay for gas or insurance again! $10 an hour and really - - that's all I'll need it for. Groceries can be delivered in Chicago, and I can literally walk to the Mag-Mile from my backdoor - EVEN when it's 5 degrees outside. I probably won't, but I could, and having that knowledge of I COULD, makes me happy.

There just aren't words to describe the loss I felt when I lost my little STEVE. We had been together from coast to coast to coast and back to the other side, top and bottom of our great country. We had been together 3 years and 85,000 miles...that's a lot of miles for 3 years people....I loved that little car. (Rumor has it that STEVE opted as a hotel now and then for the kids when they drove him too. He was that versatile....that beloved....and he is missed. There will simply never be another STEVE. R.I.P. my friend)

YEP, looking forward to being in the big city soon - - Jan/Feb maybe. No more payments, gasoline, insurance, traffic...oh I'm repeating myself. I'm sorry. It's just sigh.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What a Girl Wants!


For weeks I have been telling my friends and my family that on my birthday (today) I'm going to go to the Old Time Soda Shop in Ardmore, OK and have a burger and fries and a big bowl of ice cream, maybe a shake, and just really let the world know I'm relaxing this one day out of the year. No diet on November 22, 2009 - - NOPE, not going to happen right? So, here's the funny part.

When Laura dressed up a bit old fashioned from the 50's and took me to the shop which is downtown we didn't see any cars outside! We thought "OH NO, it's not open on Sunday!" That was true, the shop wasn't normally open on Sundays, but that wasn't the problem. NO...Benji the owner was tearing out the walls today with his work crew Mark and Juan! They were taking down every wall, re-opening great side windows to let in the Eastern light, and they were painting, staining, changing carpet, changing electrical and mechanical things - - not only was it NOT open, it was being torn down inside the joint. Which of course meant that the graffiti on the walls was being torn down, which meant the "shout out" from Faith was being torn down too!

See, all I really wanted, if truth be known, was a big bowl of their freshly churned Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate ice cream! I didn't care that much about the burger or fries, and secretly wanted to keep to the diet a bit - but I wanted my kids to think I was throwing care to the wind. OH WELL -- whatcha gonna do? Well, here's what I did -- I told the guys fixing up the place that it was my birthday, and I fully intended to scoot over their mess and enjoy my ice cream! (LAUGHING)

They agreed! Mark went straight to the back and brought out a big big bucket of Dutch Chocolate and he and Benjamin (Benji's son) fought the hardened ice cream for a good few minutes until they were able to knock out, chip out (without getting the drill) a full bowl of the good stuff. They didn't even charge me -- why? No register was open, and as Mark pointed out - - HE DOESN'T WORK THERE anyway!! fun is that? This would ONLY happen to me, and it would only happen in Oklahoma where we just don't care about simple protocol. Benji, the owner, was out running around in Mark's truck getting supplies -- so Mark just went into the kitchen of Benji's place and made due! THANKS GUYS....and Benji too, he loved the story when he came back.

Mark, Juan and Benjamin wanted to know more about Faith since I pointed outs he had been there and I left her "shout out" on the back wall. They've decided to take a picture of it and put the picture in a frame on the new walls! YEA! I went home after taking Laura to work, and I brought the real Faith back to the store so Benjamin could get his picture taken and brag in school tomorrow about having met the world's most photograpahed dog in person! They were great, and what a way to get what you want on your birthday!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

100 POUND Puppy! King Leonidas

Our baby mutt has grown up and in less than 1 entire year he has managed to grow to the evenly round score of well -- 5 score! He's 100 POUNDS now. I would have thought, given his giant breed mixes, that he would have reached that weight and more by the time he was six or seven months, but alas, he's a smaller more petite St. Bernard/Dane/Husky mix. Must be the Husky that kept him in his minute tiny frame. (It was fun watching Caity lift him so he could be weighed)

When Caity and I went to the Noah's Ark Animal Shelter adoptathon in February 2009, I was a board member of the shelter -- that means one thing: I was almost required to adopt a puppy. I knew it was a duty really, but then again, adopting dogs has never really been a foreign idea to me or anyone else in my family. With Caity Baby, adopting another dog was almost as easily as breathing in her next breath...she just does it, and we expect it. My question was "Why did she have to pick the biggest puppy in the place?" He was absolutely huge but he was also absolutely undeniably adorable! Those big sad blue puppy eyes - blue! We were goners.

So, King Leonidas got his name easily enough - - being named for the actor Gerard Butler who played the King in the movie "300". Remember the eyes? He's pretty too, and our King was pretty, and big, and hairy - - just like Butler. At just under 8 weeks King was a floppy 16 pounds and as he lived in our house, eating all we could give him, he grew. It wasn't too long after his fourth month that we discovered he had specific allergies that caused his hair to fall out all over his body - - for a St. Bernard that could be rather embarrassing. It was determined that poor Mr. King could no longer consume human food - - he had to stay away from all wheat and/or grains completely until we narrowed it down. ENTER Precise Pet food. Oh, I love Liz Levine-Morken of Precise! She found King (and the others) the best food for his terrible case of the hairlessness backside. He's all healed up now, and really, he doesn't realize he's missing out on too much - - he can have cheese now, so he's good.

For a hundred pound dog you'd think he's be a bit more aggressive, and I shouldn't say this because all the bad-guys out there may try to get past his ferocious roar to come into our yard or home - - KING is a wussie-dog! Seriously, if the bad guys came in he'd greet them kindly and probably show them his lately chew-toy (my new shoe) and he'd take them on a tour of the house where they'd no doubt meet up with the real guard dog - YUKI, the Chihuahua mix; now that dog will tear your leg off one bite at a time! (I can just hear King saying "Oh c'mon Yuki, they're nice, let's just forgive them and play!") Nope, not a guard dog - - not a fighter yet. I'd say he's more like the lap dog you wish your 10 pound dog was, or the 2nd best farter in the house behind Laura. King couldn't be scary and tough if you paid someone to train him. If Caesar was to whisper to King he'd find out that King probably likes High School Musical, soft jazz and key lime pie....I mean, it's not a bad thing, but it was just so completely unexpected. You hear the words Gentle Giant and you now have a new face to put with those words - - King's big woolly bully face. I love the way his jowls slap around and make that flapping noise...he just looks at me when I do that.

At 11 months and a few days, Mr. King (or Kingston, Kingness, Kingly, Hey-Dog, and/or Big Dog)hasn't even learned to hike his leg yet to pee. We think it's because Yuki (11 pounds) told him he couldn't. We're pretty sure that's it, and he doesn't mind. He just obeys...just obeys...and looks at you with those pretty blue eyes. We're still goners for this guy. He's got us all exactly where he wants us, which for King is the OTHER side of the bed because he's taking up one half for sure. Oh, and he's not picky either, he'll kick any of us out of our beds without prejudice - - any one of us.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me! (November 22)

Mariel Hemingway, my Facebook friend, was born on the EXACT day that I was - - here's the proof that God decided one of us should be gorgeous! Hahahha...I love you Mariel, you won that one! At least I have "cute" going on. Some say I got that from my mom, but you should see her father. He was the cutest of the bunch. Old, nearly hairless, big honking nose,ears that stuck straight out and I think his mouth was a bit large too - - and those BEAUTIFUL dentures sparkled! He was adorable.

Being born just three days after my Pop, the day before Thanksgiving, to a set of parents that already had 3 other kids under the age of 3 and 1/2, one may think that I was a bit spoiled. I would have to agree with you on that one. I am 100%, no make that 200% spoiled; just ask my sisters - - Andie was mistreated because she was the oldest, Linda was mistreated because she was the middle kid (and she was mean as hell) and Mike and I were spoiled!! Mike was the only boy you see, and I am - - and will forever be - - the BABY!!! Even at 48, I'm the BABY!! I love my title.

So, what will I do this Sunday to celebrate my 48th birthday on this Earth? Probably hang out with the two most gorgeous young ladies in the world and have ice cream somewhere. My baby boy is still in the Army, but he'll be home soon. A couple of years ago he surprised me on my birthday and came home a little early for R&R - - I was so thrilled!!! In 2006 I was kissed on my 45th birthday by none other than Jesse L. Martin - - and THAT is one heck of a way to celebrate one's birthday ladies. He is so handsome, and he smells - - SO - - good. This year, Ardmore, Oklahoma has me clasped in her hands. I think the girls and I will walk the streets of Downtown, go to the Old Fashioned Soda Shop and just have ourselves a shake. Maybe I'll write my name on the graffiti wall and just be someone special for the day.

My birthday, so close to Thanksgiving, has always been a day for reflection and for thinking about what all God has done for me - - and that could, if I wanted it to, take all day just thinking about that. I suppose for 2009 I can honestly say that I am so very thankful for so many things not the least of which was getting out of Texas when I saw the light - - but I returned too. I went to Strawn and Gordon to hang out with the "Ladies" and Andy Martin of C.A.R.E. and we filmed a little segment for a T.V. show. I've been recorded many times this year on T.V., radio, and podcasting for Faith's message, and that's amazing. I met Norma Palen and Cheryl Maguire of Cher Marketing, they'll be taking Faith's message even further. I met Anthony Tortoriello in 2008, but this year we've gotten so much closer and he's now the official photographer for Faith. I couldn't have made the website without Randall Goya! Man - it has been an enormously fantastic year. Oh, and I have to wave and say hi to CINDY PAPALE .... I met Cindy online too.

The one thing I believe I'll call my birthday present this year is the great proposal that Seattle based author Rudy Yuly and I have come up with called "Faith Walks". A 51-page book proposal now in the hands of the best NYC publishers and editors that Ken Atchity (my agent) could find. Perhaps for my real birthday they'll call Ken and tell him it's a "Go". That will be cause to celebrate....and change my life completely for the much much better. However, kissing Jesse L. Martin was fairly close to perfect! LOL

So, Happy Birthday to me....I love it. I'm exactly where I should be, and Jesus is more than invited to celebrate Sunday with me at the soda shop. I wonder what He would order if He was there in person/God. I bet it's chocolate, WE ALL KNOW He created it because He loved it up in Heaven, c''s CHOCOLATE. Me too God, me too. Thanks for 48 years.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Crying Like a Baby - - Or More Like a Silly Woman

I woke up a few days ago to the site of black rice under my kitchen sink. That can only mean one thing -- I have mice in my house. So, because I don't have a cat, and I don't have a snake, I couldn't expect to catch it and have it be used as a natural source of food. I set out trying to find a way to catch the thing and put it back out into the open field from where it came.

The city I live in obviously hasn't had many women like me - - women who don't want to kill the mouse, but want to let it continue living it's little grey furry life outside where he/she truly belongs. I say that, I say they belong outside, they may feel they have the right to live with me in a warm house with ample food supplies and great pools of water (dog bowls). I began searching the stores for live-traps but didn't have any luck. I got a few stares, I got a few laughs even, but I didn't find any live I waited.

When you have one mouse running around the chances of there being two or three are pretty good. Waiting isn't the best solution. I'm not afraid of them, meaning when they run from the frig to the stove I don't scream. I usually talk to them and say "C'mon I don't want to have to kill you, can't you just go outside?" They don't speak English, these mice. They don't ever speak English - - they don't get it. What they do get is into my dog food, into my apples, into my candy - - and of course when one of them actually ate through my Dove's chocolate bar wrapper stealing my precious chocolate - - my decision was made a bit more clear. He/she had to die.

The choices are terrible! (A) glue boards will certainly do the trick, but they die of starvation and they scream out in fear when they get caught. (B) the wooden/spring traps are scary to work and take two or three tries every time and usually the mouse can outsmart me - - not usually, always...but at least they die quickly. The problem with that is I do not want to take a 1/2 mouse out to the garbage can and try to pick up the other half without looking at it because I'm crying and I can't see straight. (C) poison is out of the question! I say out of the question -- I have dogs. I can't have poison standing around. Even the little black D-Con "house" things are scary because my dogs like to chew things. good choices.

Finally after talking to the mice, and not being listened to; after realizing their sex lives are far more aggressive than my own and knowing NO mouse wears a condom, I decided that waiting even a week would prove to be a family affair. I got the glue boards. At least with the glue boards I KNOW I'm going to catch mice -- and spiders, and scorpions, and moths, and anything else silly enough to go under the appliances. I KNOW they work - - they're cheap, and the BEST part is I talked my daughter Caity into tracking them and throwing them out when necessary. Not IF necessary, these things work every time.

It happened. Just a few minutes after I sat them in place one of the curious furious came creeping out and didn't like what he/she saw and darted - - not making it across the board before being caught. Wham! FAST! and then I cried. CRIED, and CRIED, and CRIED. I knew I would. I ran to Caity's room and begged her to kill it fast. She did. She used a little bleach on a q-tip and it drank its last. WHY do I have to have such a soft heart? WHY do I have to care so much? It's a MOUSE and it's nasty right? NO, it's not nasty - - they just become nasty if they stay inside. I understand the food chain - - I do. I understand the reason these guys multiply so fast is to keep up their end of that chain too - - owls, snakes, other rodents eat them. They're quite popular lingering down at the lower end of the chain - - but I do wish they'd stop lingering in my house. I can't take much of this.

God bless the Caitys of this world - - and the Laura's too - - I think she may actually speak MOUSE; not sure. One down, many more tears to go. (sighs)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

12 YEARS in PACKER Captivity - I am Free

My boy was 10 years old when he came home from school and announced that he was going to be like Reggie White! I about fell out of my chair. Reggie was the ONE MAN that I had prayed to God about when I was pregnant with my son and not married. I wanted my son to be giant, strong, worthy, God-fearing, and yes, I wanted him to play football. There was NO GREATER man on the field in 1985 (when I was pregnant) than the Philadelphia Eagle's (Not a Packer yet) Reggie White. In 1996 when my baby made that announcement, Reggie was a Packer. We became Packer fans at that minute. No more Chicago Bears for me. I was told by Reuben that (according to Reggie) you had to pick your team. You had to make a choice. You were either a Packer fan or a Bears fan and you could not (under any circumstances) be both a Bears fan and a Packers fan. (The question was, what was I going to do with my Walter Payton jersey?) It was - - Good Bye Superbowl Shuffle, and Hello Pack! Reggie was too big to argue with. He had made a very lasting impression on my son.

Over the next few years Reuben met Reggie on a number of personal visits and occasions. Each time Reggie hugged him, told Reuben to be the best Mama's Boy he could be, because there "ain't nothing better!" Reuben was the man of the house by age 11 and if he said no Chicago Bears - - well, OK, I'd just have to fold up the old SWEETNESS jersey, and root for the Pack. I even wore the Cheesehead.

Reuben knows I'm moving to Chicago. He's 23 now, old enough to be make all of his own life changing decisions, and so I approached him today with one I wanted to make. I wanted to be released from my pact to be a Packers fan for life. I wanted to go back to being a Bears fan for a number of reasons. The Packers were never really MY team, I was a fan by proxy - - all the while, unbeknown to my son, I would secretly cheer for Da' Bears when Reuben wasn't listening -- and if I had nothing else to do, and wanted to rile the boy up -- maybe get a good fight going, I would root for Da Bears when HE WAS LISTENING!! Those were fun moments! I love them...I run fast and hide, but I do love teasing the boy. I did it when he was in Iraq just to make him scream into the phone! It worked.

So, today, October 22, 2009 -- after 12 years of being forced to hide my pride, and to keep my mouth shut on matters of Da Blue and Orange - - I was RELEASED!! It was 5:05 p.m. Central Standard Time.....I was allowed to, by permission of the man of the house, to become (or return to) a Chicago Bears fan again!! YEA!!!! Now, don't get all blown out of shape when you read that the man of the house had to, or needed to give me permission - - it's a respect issue. I let the boy believe he's in control of a few important things, and he lets me think he's a virgin! Hahahahaa...Oh, that's funny, never mind, I'm laughing, I'll be OK in a minute.

I am a Chicago Bears fan again. Wow, just the thought of it makes me want to run out and buy season tickets now. I can say this; although and even though I'm not suppose to, I'm going to be a Packer's fan too - in that I will hope they do OK. I will hope they do well. I will hope they don't get injured and I will pray for their toes to stay warm on the Frozen Tundra....unless they play Da BEARS!! I love it!

THANK YOU REUBEN!!! Oh, and if Reggie had remained an Eagle, well, then I'm sure we'd have been Eagle fans. We're just still 100%, no wait, 1000% Reggie White fans. There ain't no better thing to be. God has Reggie now, and we'll see him when we get to Heaven. He remains my son's eternal hero, and that's OK with me.

I may still be able to fit into my Walter Payton jersey! I just have to find it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More Like "Provolone Hill Puppy"

Photo of the REAL Swiss Mountain Dog is not mine. Just found it on the internet.

We're not telling Brody, our new Jack Russell terrorist, that he's not a REAL Swiss Mountain Dog. We're telling him that his is a "cousin" to that breed, better known as the "Provolone Hill Puppy". You can see by his markings that he's going to be absolutely beautiful when he grows up to be the mammoth that he looks like he could be - - but for now he's just a little thing, a bit too small to jump on the bed without assistance.

Dr. Wayne Dyer would be so proud of me for the empowering and encouraging lectures I give to Brody, whose full name is Sir Henry Wallace Brodrick. I tell Brody that he's big, he's tall, he's brave, he's determined, he's tough, and he's on the path to the being the best Provolone Hill Puppy ever! I read quips and little quotes to him every day from my enlightenment calendars - - things like "From this day forward you are who you believe you are!" I tell him that he's doesn't have to be 120 pounds to be a Big Dog. King can be do that - - Brody just has to be Henry Wallace Broderick, the best puppy God intends him to be. (Right now he's working on surviving being tackled by his more agile and aggressive little sister Teagan who needs absolutely NO encouragement...none. She's got the Jack Russell heart of the fearless down just pat!)

For years I have had a picture of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog on my refrigerator and I sometimes tease Matrix with it, telling him that he'll be replaced when he dies with one of these - and I point to the picture. He usually turns his nose up and walks away - - he knows I love him. For years I've told the kids that if we ever do get a big dog it's going to be a GSMD....and then Caity brought King home. Well, OK, but I want my Swiss Mountain Dog right? I mean, I'm the mom! I'm the one paying the bills (why is that?) I'm the one with the right to say who does and who does not live here (no I don't but I like to pretend I have that power.) So, when Caity got around to ALSO bringing the two little puppies home for us to foster - - for us that means keep, I fell head over heels in love with Brody. Even secretly giggling when the person Caity gave him to got in trouble with her parents and couldn't take him - - OK, c'mon, I only laughed a little bit. I wasn't mean about it, and she never really saw me do it either.

I kidnapped Brody immediately and began whispering in his ears that he was going to be the biggest Provolone Hill Puppy EVER....and where that wasn't quite the very very same as a Swiss Mountain Dog - - it was close! I've always wanted to be Native American, but that's not going to happen either, so I listen to Spirit music, and I go to the woods and meditate - - there are steps you can take to be whatever you wish! For me, I dream. For Brody, he just has to keep gnawing on the giant bones, pretending to be a power chewer and next time when his little sister grabs him by the throat and pulls him to the ground he can.....growl or something. Maybe, if she doesn't take his head off for it.

He's still young, we'll do this! Manifest it Brody boy! Manifest it!!