Monday, March 31, 2008

Needing a Forklift to Keep my Chin Up

Warning: Premenstrual emotional state directly ahead.

I have just had a hard day. I am sure that most of this is due to an impending period. But I started out with what looked like a relatively free day. . . I had work to do, of course but it was not an overwhelming amount for once.

Then the day actually started. I was up until almost 2 then got up about 7.
I got an email that the huge project I finished at almost 2 was not, after all, complete and I had to go back over all of them by Thursday night.
Then I had to take a 2 hour teleconference call that was soooooo dull that I actually organized my bookmarks, YES, organized. my. bookmarks. while I was talking.
THEN, my hubby called my mother in law and she was in the ER Sunday having a CAT scan. It identified a mass in her abdomen. She gets the report on it tomorrow. Now, the woman is 86 but still . . . she is the last of the grandparents left. We lost my dad two years ago and my mom two months ago and I just cannot imagine losing my dear mother in law soon too. Hearing about her just brings back all the emotions I have over my parents and it still hurts just as much.
Lastly, I have been looking forward to one of my all time favorite authors coming to Portland for months. She was here tonight and because I had all of this work to do, I couldn't go. That really, really bummed me out.
Combine all of that with slight cramps and PMS and it makes for a weepy woman. I'd like to wait out the emotions by curling up in bed and pulling the covers over my head rather than writing out explanations for 240 questions.
I know, I know dad. This too will pass. (He always told me that in times of distress.) But could it please hurry up?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Have a Good Time and Try not to get Shot at School Today

Yes, those are the very words I said to two of my children at the dark, ungodly hour of 6 a.m this morning. It caused both to snicker, which was my intent. As life long homeschoolers, the concept of getting up, eating fast and hustling out the door to go to school is a foreign one. Today, however, they are participating in a SWAT demonstration, thanks to Nicole's involvement with Search and Rescue. They are going into different schools (which are empty for spring break) and pretending to be involved in a school shooting so the SWAT team gets practice on how to handle the situation. Last I talked to Nicole, they were having pizza and Caspian was having a great time screaming and running with her.

I am cherishing my moments with Nicole right now . . . we have put some tentative plans into place for how she will be spending the next year of her life and the GOOD mother is thrilled because I think it is a fabulous choice. The BAD mother thinks that her heart may just shatter on the ground when she has to say goodbye for (potentially) 10 months. The idea of her traveling about the world with others is both terrifying and thrilling for me. It about killed me when her older sister did it and this is even harder because age has not brought a wedge between us. We are each other's dearest friends. If she ends up based in Sacramento, California, which we are hoping, then she will only be 10 hours away and we can see her. If she is sent to the Maryland campus . . well . . . not.

I keep reassuring myself that if our children are ready to spread their wings and fly away from home, that means we did the whole parenting thing right. There is an element of comfort in that but mostly I just see this huge void that she will leave when she goes. I'm still grappling with the void my mom and dad have left and so far, 3 months and 2 years later respectively, it hasn't shrunk any.

Clearly, life is full of change. Most of the time, I really, really like it but I have to admit that letting my children go is one of the hardest ones. I know that I will always have a place in their hearts (even if they seem to not realize it at times) but I just won't have a daily presence in their lives. After being so close for so many years, that is a tough life lesson.

Sigh. On the other hand, I got a report from the wonderful world of Social Security in the mail last week. They gleefully informed me that if I keep working until I am 70, I will get a monthly check for $2500. Sigh. I have to wonder if my wrists and eyes will last another 21 plus years. Of course, the idea that 70 is only 21 years away is sobering enough that I have to quit writing now and recover emotionally.

Monday, March 24, 2008

All Nighters Suck

I used to be SO good at all nighters. In college, I would curl up in chair in the dorm lounge, surrounded by a cold soda, a pile of M and M's, my textbooks and notes and study up a storm. I memorized really well and in the late night hours, everything seemed so crystal clear to me. I would go in the next day and ace the test, then spend the afternoon celebrating instead of napping.

Such is youth.

Flash forward to today, or to be more accurate, yesterday. It became abundantly clear to me by mid afternoon that what I had figured would take me 6-7 hours was actually going to take more than 10. As the evening wore down and everyone began to get ready for bed, I knew I was in for a long one.

At midnight, everyone was in bed. I shifted to my upstairs office because at night it feels cozier and more comfortable than the one I have in the living room. I put on some stupid sitcom repeat that keeps me company without acutally having to watch it closely and typed away. One became two became three became . . . well let's just say that when J got up at 7:30, I was just finishing up. It was one L O N G night.

At 7:30, I crawled into the best bed in the universe and closed my eyes. 50 minutes later, the phone rang. J was gone, taking Nicole to her bus stop, so I had to answer it (yes, it's a compulsion). It was a fax which meant I had to get up, go push the button and then stand there to get the (sigh) nine page fax. By then, J came home. We chit chatted, I answered some emails, looked at the day's schedules, read the newspaper's comics and then at 9:10, I laid back down. 70 minutes later, the phone rang. J was on his cell phone so he couldn't answer it. I did and guess what? It was another fax. Sigh.

I gave up. I got up. I've been going ever since.

So my eyes feel like sandpaper. I have a sore throat. My mind feels pretty dull. I work for 10 minutes and take a break. My all nighter abilities have clearly faded away (although I bet I'd perk up if someone would only bring me some M and M's.) The day seems really, really long and it's only 1:00.

It's a long way to 11 tonight and if I could only perk up just a little bit, I could get so much done. Today was supposed to be the first day of my week off, but it ain't happenin. I fell behind and now I've got stuff due all week. It is lighter than usual though, so I am hoping to only put in 5-6 hours a day and then claim the rest for the fun stuff I had planned like reading, going shopping with my good friend Susan, spending a day out with Nicole, having a family slide show, reading, rearranging my office somewhat, going to a homeschool conference to do a book signing, reading and of course NAPPING without guilt.

But before I get there, I have two 120 question tests and a book to write. Is it vacation time yet? You can bet when it is, I will NOT be pulling any all nighters.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I Miss my Mom

Today is a good day . . . I've had some great writing projects come through that will make my income go up. It's the weekend. I just set something up for Nicole that has us all pretty darn tickled. Yet, I am feeling maudlin as hell because I miss my mom.

My mom was my biggest fan. She always told me I 'knocked her socks off'. She always, always wanted to hear news about me, my work and the kids. I never felt like it bored her. I have called my mom every 3 or so days my entire life, through college, marriage, kids, moving, whatever. There are days where I miss the sound of her voice so much, I think that I can't stand it. Now and then I hear her voice in my own and it makes me want to cry. I know that she had a long life and that I should be grateful for the relationship we had, but that none of that makes this one bit easier. I was just SO NOT ready for this. She was fine and on life support in 72 hours. It's like my brain has accepted it but my heart hasn't even come close.

I am flirting with the possibility of going back to Indiana to go through her house before it is sold and everything is given away or sold. I need to hold her things again and take those that are meaningful to me. I am hoping it will bring me some closure and some sense of peace. For now, I just have this big, empty hole in my life that no one else can fill. I know that somehow she knows this too and wants to give me a hug more than anything . . . I can feel her sometimes and hear her thoughts. Sometimes it makes me cry (like now) and sometimes, I burst out laughing.

It's sure hard to lose someone you love. Without both of my parents, I feel like my anchor to my life and who I am has been cast adrift. My darlin hubby and kids are still there, keeping me steady and safe but it still a lonely place to be.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gee, My Job is Such Fun!!

This week has been a real challenge for me. I have just had two plus months of nonstop work that is wearing me down. I started writing out an hour by hour schedule this year. I start at 8 a.m. and write out work until midnight. Now that is just beginning to get a littttttttttle old.

Last night was a bear. I had something to do that was due today and so I stayed up until 4 a.m. to do it. Sigh. It was fun when I was in college. It isn't fun today. I'm just too frickin old. I slept until 8:15 when kids walking by the house awakened me by yelling at each other. Got up, put in another two hours and then took a 90 minute nap. (Delicious!)

Since then, I have been working nonstop. I did all the revisions on a book and turned it in. I rewrote 7 items that needed to be altered. Now I am writing narration notes to one of the most boring college courses on the planet (take a hint from the name: Project Integration Framework). Perfect insomnia cure for sure.

In the middle of it, I got a very angry email from an editor accusing me of breeching contract, failure to communicate and other such nastiness. I immediately called her as I was not guilty of anything she just accused me of. Clearly the editor I work with is not telling me the same story that he is telling her. She now knows she was wrong and I am innocent of any wrong doing. Did I get an apology? Ha. Nope.

I have seven assignments left for the month. I SO want to get them done as quickly as possible so I can take a few days off next week and just veg out. I certainly need it.

People ask me what I like to do in my "free time". I tell them it is not a familiar concept. Lately, my "free time" is when I go to the restroom, eat a meal, walk out to get the mail or crawl into bed. Apparently I spend some of it bitching too, eh?

Thanks for listening to me rant.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Game of Tag I Actually LIKE

Man, did I ever hate playing Tag when I was a kid. I was a slow runner and not well liked in the first placeso this put a huge red TARGET sign on my back. I still shudder when I think about it. ANYWAY, this is a new kind of Tag and I like it (and it doesn't make me feel inferior either!)

I was tagged by my good friend Susan at Am I Mental ( and she said some amazingly nice things about me. (See the post "This Should Really be Called a Youyou") So I am passing the ball to keep the game going. Here are the Rules:

The rules:
(1) Link to the person that tagged you.
(2) Post the rules on your blog.
(3) Share six things you love about a friend, doesn't have to be the same friend who wrote about you, really!
(4) Tag other random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs

So, I am going to bend the rules just a little and tag my darlin daughter, Nicole. (Check out her blog "A Myriad of Mosaics").

(1) She makes me laugh.
She is one person on the planet who can make me laugh so hard I am always grateful I don't need to pee or have anything liquid in my mouth at the time. I literally laugh so much when I hang with her that my ribs hurt. Our sense of humor is very similar and we have the kind of relationship that we can talk in shorthand and know exactly what the other person means. If I am going to hang out with someone just for fun, she is my top choice.

(2) She has a gentle spirit.
This girl has a tough exterior, lemme tell ya. She hikes and climbs and carries and lifts and just keeps on going. If she gets hurt, she pauses, swears a little and keeps going. And harbored inside this durable outer layer is the most gentle spirit I've ever met. She is kind and considerate and patient and loves people so much she wants to donate her life to helping them. This gentle spirit has weathered a few of life's harshest experiences too--and remains this special. Wow.

(3) She is my sweet sounding board.
This wonderful girl listens to her mother rant and rave against men, editors, work, editors, her brothers, editors and life in general. She chuckles, commiserates, never tells me what to do and then gives me a great hug (and if I'm really bent out of shape, a great massage too!)

(4) She makes us proud every day.
I know that eventually the moment will have to come where she does something that shocks and appalls me . . . but it hasn't so far. She never treats us like we're stupid or interfering. She listens to my hubby and I and takes to heart what we say. She spends her time willingly doing things that I would pay someone not to make me do and all we can do is shake our heads and marvel at this creature we somehow built almost 18 years ago.

(5) I have a great time being with her.
I know I said it before but what a treasure it is to spend the afternoon hanging out at stores or the moveis and have a wonderful time. Heck, we've been known to create quite a scene while grocery shopping. We aren't quiet or demure. We laugh and insult each other and point at cute guys and debate the merits of potato chips with flare.

(6) She truly is more than a daughter--she's my friend.
You love your children because they are your children. You may not like what they are doing, but you always love them. With Nicole, it's as easy as breathing. If I wasn't remotely related to her, I'd still adore her.

Now, I'm supposed to tag someone but I don't have that many people who read my blog . So I will just do as Susan did and invite anyone who wants to post about a friend to do so. Heck, it can even be one of your own kids!

One Reason I'm Getting Gray

I'd like to briefly explain my morning to you--only one hour, mind you--which will explain in many ways why I am getting gray and I desperately need a vacation.

I was awakened at 9:13 a.m. (I'd been up til 3 the night before) to do an interview with a reporter from a Bend, Oregon newspaper on unschooling. Yup, sound brilliant and witty three seconds after opening your eyes.

Finished that, came downstairs and looked at my email. 24 messages so far. About 15 were about work.

The first two were yelling at me in formal tones (that goodness our world doesn't have howlers!!) because I had turned in an assignment at midnight MY time instead of midnight THEIR time. Now, it's not like they were AT work waiting for these to come in. My work was accepted but with a warning to be ON TIME next time.

Then I had to quickly re-submit a chart to an editor who needed it ASAP. So I looked it up and shot it off to him.

Then I had to approve a chart an editor is adding to one of my books. Okayed and returned.

Then I had to write to another editor and apologize for being late on something. Apparently 12 to 14 hours a day working is not enough for me to keep up.

Then I got a call from another editor explaining that work has been delayed a week or so--great news in my opinion because I don't have to think about it for a while. I also had sent her the wrong invoice for work already done and so had to re-email the right one.

I haven't been up 45 minutes at this point.

Now, I am sitting here and looking at my to do list and already feeling tired. I have two books to write the back matter for, then I have an entire SAT English test to write (60 questions, 2 essays) and turn in today. Then I have a book due tomorrow that I haven't started.

Is it vacation yet?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Professional Pet Peeve

I am grumbling and mumbling this morning NOT because I played host to 13 teenagers last night and they ended up staying up all night (thank goodness we sleep upstairs) but because of (said with the same sigh of frustration as many women say "Men!")--"EDITORS!"

Four times in the past week I have had editors come back to me with work I've done and asked me to re-write it. Now if I have done it poorly or haven't followed directions then I would understand. I might grumble a little about it, mind you, but I do it because it is part of my job and I am the one that screwed up. BUT what I do really detest is when I get APPROVAL from the editor for a topic, I write it and then the editor changes his/her mind about it and wants me to replace it. Now that irritates me no end. It means I have to write something completely new and of course, I am not paid for that. GRRRRRR. With it happening so often, I really, really get irritated. My time is already to packed with work that it just seems downright unfair to have to go back and re-do like that.

So I grumble and mumble and bitch about it, grit my teeth and do it anyway. But at least I can vent a little beforehand. See the steam rolling off this post?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

All is Quiet on the Pacific Northwestern Front

I haven't posted for a few days simply because it has been such a quiet week. It has been a nice one though. I am getting (sshhhhh, don't tell anyone) slightly caught up, or at least enough so that I don't lie in bed at night awake obsessing over how much I have to get done the next day or wake the next morning already tensing up over my to do list. This good, very good.

I'm trying to keep a block of precious days open later this month for some serious FAMILY TIME. I am already making a list of what I want to do on those days. So far, I've included going to the movies, reading, having a chick day out with Nicole (we go to the stores the men hate and eat someplace decadent and laugh and talk and cherish each minute), reading, getting out all of the family slides from Joseph and I's childhood and doing a slide show guaranteed to make me cry since I've lost both my parents since the last time I saw them, reading and of course, hanging out in Goodwills and bookstores--and reading. I know that many would not consider that a very exciting way to spend time off but to me, it sounds heavenly. I cannot wait.

Speaking of reading, it's time for me to sign off this blasted computer, go upstairs, crawl in bed and read my 30 minutes before turning out the lights. I am making an effort to do this so that my mind slows down a bit before I go to bed. Going straight to bed from working isn't good for me because I can't slow my mind down enough to relax. Let's see how this works.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Memorable Date

I had a wonderful experience tonight. My daughter was off with friends. My husband was at his weekly VW meeting. My youngest son was at a friend's house. The only people left at home were myself and my oldest son, Caspian (almost 15). I asked him if he'd like to be my date for dinner and he was just so pleased. We went to Applebee's and he opened the doors for me and put his arm around me going in and coming out. We ordered and chatted and laughed and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. I really relished how special it was to be able to spend time with this amazingly handsome young man because I am aware of how limited that time to be together is.

It has been a long day . . . I've worked a lot and don't really feel like I made much progress. My back is better though and that is very appreciated. I like being able to move around with moaning and groaning all the time.

Yawn . . . I'm off to write a little longer and then head to bed. I'm glad that it's going to get colder and rain for a few days because it's mighty hard to stay in my computer chair when it's mid 60s and sunny outside. I keep hearing my name on the spring breeze luring me out to the upper deck to soak up sunshine and talk to my plants. Soothing indeed but it doesn't get my work done. Where is a clone when I need one anyway?

Sunday, March 9, 2008


I do not know yet how to go in and edit a posted blog. . but in the last post I meant HELPLESS not HOPELESS. Sheeeesh. I guess I need an editor in everything I write . . .

A PenPal across Time

I face this morning with the bleary confusion of a person who spent most of her life living in a state that never changed their clocks and still isn't used to it. I also face it somewhat relaxed as I actually took last night off and sat at a bookstore, listening to a psychiatrist-guitarist play some of my favorite songs from the 60s and 70s.

I spent the time writing a 7 page letter to a friend of mine . . . long, long story but here's the condensed version: I started writing him in 1984. He was in prison and I was going through my penpal phase of life (reached more than 75 people at one time--now it's two, repeat, two and one is my mother in law). Somehow, over the years, we have maintained contact and become dear friends. I've learned his story, his crime, his prison life--and I"m still here. I'm the closest thing to family he has ever had. He has written to my kids, my husband. He has never once asked me for money or anything else. He wanted nothing other than having someone out here in the real world care about him. When I lived in Indiana, he transferred to PA to be closer to me. Then we moved to Oregon. Crap. Didn't think about this when we made those plans.

For a while, we lost touch (and yes, this still is the condensed version. I mean, it IS 24 years here) and then in January, I got my first letter in quite a while. He told me he has pancreatic cancer. It is fatal. He is dying. He has already lived 6 months longer than the doctors projected. He is not doing the meds or the chemo that they recommended because they also assured him that it would not extend his life by more than a few weeks at best.

He goes up for parole this month for the 6th time. If he is turned down, as he has been each time before, he will die in prison. After 24 years of writing, we will never meet. It makes me so very, very sad and I feel completley hopeless. There's a rule in his prison that if you are terminally ill and you come up for parole, it is automatically granted so you can die with your family. It must be a blood relative though, which I am not. His blood relatives, his parents who abused him in ways I didn't know existed, are dead. I'm it. He is sending his ashes to me when he dies--says he doesn't know what else he could ever give me to thank me enough for the years I've stood by him, loved him, advised him and made him laugh. I said, that's what family is for.

Right now all I am good for is long letters every chance I get (which is rare) and good thoughts. When someone is dying alone, someone who hasn't seen the sunshine in more than a decade or walked down a city street for three decades, that seems mighty insignificant.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Of Chewing and Back Spasms

Yesterday I had an orgasmic experience and no, not THAT kind (darn it). After three days of organic fruit and vegetable juices and three more of just water and hot tea, I ate dinner. It was good. It was really good. We ended our fast and have segued into a low fat/calorie/carb diet that is actually delicious. I'm joining Curve's this week and I start a swim class in a few weeks. I'm feeling good--in control, happy and positive.

On the less than happy side, I developed the first ever back spasm of my life that didn't just go OUCH and then fade away. I"ve had this about 4 hours now and still can't walk upright. If I lie down and don't move at all, it's bearable. Too bad that isn't remotely possible with my schedule. So I keep putting the heat pack on and gritting my teeth and swearing. J has, of course, worked with me several times but I just had a major massage yesterday and am still skin sore from it so it hurts before he can even apply pressure. My next recourse is a hot shower. With my weekend schedule of work, this just will not work.

So that's my news. Hopefully tomorrow's blog will tell you how I am pain free and catching up any time lost today.

Are we holding our breath?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

And the Week Goes on . . . . (sung to the tune of The Beat Goes On)

Thursday morning has arrived, bringing with it three demands from editors asking for additional references, resources and pictures. . . .argh. My first hour is spent putting out there fires that seem to arrive on a far too regular basis. It's only 9 and already I am behind. That does not bode well for the day.

It's quiet in my house at the moment. I have actually been up an hour and haven't turned on any music. (Ok, rectified that.) All kids are still sleeping. Caspian has a cold--the first time he has been sick in more than 6 years. He's a sturdy kid. Yesterday I pampered him a bit (got him his robe and slippers, made him a bed on the couch) and he grinned at me . . . I could see that three year old so clearly. Sigh. They grow too fast.

Coryn is also still asleep which is rare. He is our earliest riser. He slept fitfully last night which I happen to know as he crawled in bed with me about 2 because he "couldn't sleep" and then was asleep by the time he finished saying it. Nicole just this moment stumbled out of bed and after 5 days of doing a juice fast is READY TO EAT. She is pulling bread and eggs out of the frig with a gleeful grin.

Joseph and I were marveling at how, even after all of these years, when the weekend comes it feels so good. I mean, really, WHY should it? (A) Joseph is retired so it's not like he doesn't have to go to work on those days. (B) The kids are all homeschooled so it's not like they get to stay home those days. (C) I work at home and I always, always, always work through the entire weekend anyway. So, tell me, WHY does Friday afternoon make us feel a little giddy and happy? Why does Friday night still have an excitement to it? Why does Saturday morning tingle with anticipation and Sunday night feel so disappointing? I just do NOT get it.

Enough meanderings for today. Time to look at today's TO DO list and start doing. My favorite part of making lists? Checking things off at the end of the day. Maybe I really do need to get out more . . ..

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Semblance of Control

Blame it on the fasting. Blame it on the barometric pressure. Blame it on hormones. Heck, blame it on the dog, but I have this sense that I am getting my life together a little better right now. . . . as a friend of mine put it, "a sense of well being". I'm putting plans in place for two exercise programs once my fast is done (yes, i have set a tentative end date) and am actually able to imagine achieving this one last goal of being thin again--or at least curvy. I've really accomplished almost all of my goals in life--a wonderful marriage of 25 plus years, four beautiful children who amaze me daily, a career that allows me to stay at home and make a good income (albeit working too many hours) and a life in one of the most incredible cities in the world. I really only had one goal left and this is it. I've reached for it more times than I can count now and the constant failure has been devastating.

For inspiration I imagine the following:
having to go back to Indiana for someting and shocking the crap out of my brother who treats me like someone who, for every pound I gained past 21, has become 10 points lower on the IQ scale
donating all of my clothes to Goodwill and starting over WITHOUT having to go to the Plus size aisle to find them.
feeling happy when J introduces me to people because they won't be thinking why is that good looking guy with HER?
being able to ACTUALLY look in the mirror and not just at my hair or my outfit but at me and not cringe
being one of those people they put on CNN with headlines like "Author Loses 150 Pounds and Becomes Trainer", except I want mine to read "Authot Loses 150 Pounds and Becomes Richer, Younger, Sexier and Smarter"
remembering a horrible moment in Las Vegas when 5 of us had to pile into a cab and the driver made me get out and get in front because otherwise "we'd never fit"
remembering standing in the funeral home for my dad's funeral 2 years ago and having a relative come over to say hello and on the way hearing someone say, "My god you could still recognize her?" and she replied, "Well, her face is almost the same" and going into the bathroom to cry

Talk about cathartic. Man, that is stuff I never told anyone and I'm putting in on the net. Sheeesh. I'm either incredibly stupid or incredibly brave. :) Maybe my mind thinks that if I post it for the world to see, I can't back out at the last minute because I will be completely humiliated. . . hmmm, interesting tactics my brain has going. I'm not sure I agree with them . . . but let's see what happens.

So here's to losing weight (10 lbs so far), pursuing two exercises classes and grabbing that semblance of control while I can. Send positive thoughts my way, people. The universe needs to be with me on this one.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Day 4 of No Chewing

I've been asked by a couple of friends how the juice fast is going, so here is an update.

Today is the fourth day.
I am down almost 9 lbs. so far.
My blood pressure has dropped to roughly 135/90 which is NORMAL.
I am sleeping WAY better.
I am overall feeling less body pain--you know, the achey back, the headache, etc.
I am rarely hungry anymore--usually only when Joseph is making food for the kids and I smell it. I tend to go outside or upstairs then.
I miss mealtimes. That is when we would all gather and chat. Now the boys eat alone and that bothers me.
Next question--how long am I going to do this? I don't honestly know. Joseph hits two weeks tomorrow. I admire him. He has willpower enough for ten. He just makes a mental decision and it works for him. I, on the other hand, go through emotional crap now and then . The idiot reads cookbooks now for fun (sublimation?) and I don't even want to look at them, let alone the best recipes he has found.
Ideally, yea, I would do this for some weeks until I got my weight to a place where I felt I could start to eat again but very carefully to maintain weight loss. It is fun to get on the scales and have lost 2 lounds since the previous morning. It is what keeps this going for me.

As for the rest of life, it's going ok. Lots and lots and lots of work and as many hours as I put in, I never seem to be able to catch up. The latter part of this month is starting to stretch out nicely though, so I am hoping I might have some days off to just hang with the family and nothing else.

I've been missing my mom more lately. I still dream about her 5 nights out of 7. She is always chatting with me and we are laughing and while I appreciate those visits, it makes waking up a little sadder. Yesterday, I called and cancelled her QVC account--this woman loved QVC more than anyone I know. It made me cry. I had sent her a gift certificate for Christmas and she hadn't had time to use it before she went to the hospital. It's mine now and it feels strange to have it back.

Enough for now. Check in again soon!

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Link

Just in case you would like to hear a live radio interview I did recently about homeschooling, you can link to it here:

Why are Mondays so MONDAY?

I tried. I really, really tried. I ignored the Carpenter's "Rainy Days and Mondays" lyrics in my head (although it was drizzling when I got up). I gave myself a pep talk. I put on a big smile.

Yet, it is still Monday and insists on being so until midnight tonight, damn it.

And WHAT a Monday too. It is one of those days when I truly ask myself WHY I do the work I do. It seems like every time I turn something in, it comes back asking for changes, revisions, expansion, reduction---argh. Don't editors understand that when I send it to them I never, ever, ever want to see it again? I want my money and that's it. I'm done. Apparently they overlook this fine detail. My entire day has been spent on making changes, looking up obscure references and wondering what it must be like to retire. . . .

Then, to put all of it in perspective, I found out that my editor/friend's son was killed over the weekend in a motorcycle accident. He was 32--her only child--and dad to three little ones. It made me take my whineiness and stuff it away while taking a moment to hug my kids a little tighter than usual.

On the bright side, Nicole had a date with a new boy this morning and it went pretty darn well. I am down another 3 pounds. I'm almost not hungry anymore. Spring is coming. My blood pressure is dropping.

Now if the Carpenters would quit singing to me, I would be all set.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Nightly List of Jeers and Cheers

The weekend is coming to an end and I am cataloguing what I am quite pleased about accomplishing, as well as the things I am endlessly annoyed at myself for not accomplishing.

So, on the positive side:
I finished one writing project and got started on the next one.
I didn't eat a damn thing all day and just relished my juice and water.
I weigh 1.5 lbs less than I did yesterday.
I went to the track with my kids and walked two laps.
I got to go to Goodwill for about 30 quick minutes and managed to nab a couple of good cds.
I sat down and, while working, watched a movie with two of my kids.

And, on the negative:
Despite what I've gotten done, I am STILL, ALWAYS, FOREVER behind on my deadlines.
I thought about food 4.5 billion times.
I didn't get to writing the letter I've been wanting to write for three weeks.
I realized (to my utter embarassment) WHY I took my meds yesterday and 30 minutes later was literally collapsing into bed . . . . I had accidentally taken a Xanax instead of the blood pressure pill. One Xanax plus no food meant Tami took an unexpected (albeit lovely) nap.
I let time slip away from me too damn fast again and now it's almost Monday.

And life goes on . ...

Sunday at the Orr House

It's Sunday morning here. That means that Joseph is up and bustling about getting ready to make juice, I am looking over my list of what has to be accomplished today and the kids are all sleeping. Of course, that won't last long. Within the next 30 minutes, Nicole will be up, on her computer and making plans to meet friends later this afternoon. Caspian will be up and dressed to go to his 7th day in a row helping a group of volunteers build a cob-style martial arts studio. It has been an amazing experience for him as he has put in 7-8 hours each day doing hard physical labor and bonding with a new group of people. For Caspian, this is a golden opportunity. He has struggled to find a group that he fits in with for a couple of years. Sometimes yo find them in the most unexpected places. We have seen huge changes in his personality and attitude as a result from this experience. As for Coryn, he will spend his time on World of Warcraft, following by his trial week of Lord of the Rings online, then curl up on the couch and read a book twice as fast as I can.

As for me. Sigh. Seeing as I am a freelancer, my time off is usually nonexistent--esp. this month. I started Feb off with 29 days and almost 40 projects to do. Yes, I bit off WAY more than I could chew. Now the new month has started and I'm still finishing up those projects that were due the end of last week.I am pretty desperately looking forward to a day when I can decide I don't have to work all day that day--or at the very least, take off a weekend now and then. The pleasures of self-employment, you know?

All of this will go on fairly smoothly and the day will zip by far, far too quickly and then it will be (sigh) Monday again. It's a shame those always have to follow the weekends.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Day 1 of No Chewing

Today marks day one of my juice fast.
Can you hear my enthusiasm?
My hubby started on his 9 days ago and I have watched as his weight as literally melted off of him. Already, in 9 days, he has lost 18 pounds. He looks younger. Healthier. Skinnier. God, I wish I could hate that man.

So, here I go . . . .following his footsteps. Mentally I am thinking okay, if I do this for a month I could be down about 50 lbs. That makes me willing to face summer although still not wear a swimsuit in public. It will take 100 before I will let me picture be taken willingly. I've been down this pathway before of course. The Atkins path. The paleo path. The low fat path. The vegetarian path. Each one seems to circle right back to the overweight path. Now I am grappling with high blood pressure, sleep apnea and constant fatigue. I know each one will get better as I get skinnier. It becomes my mantra as I start fantasizing about oriental chicken salads, broccoli and cheese soup and endless glasses of ice tea. Sheesh. One day of not eating and already I feel like life is ending as I know it. Of course, doing it with a husband who finds the whole experience "exciting" and "an adventure" doesn't help. He is all excited. I am just hungry. Couldn't we find a way to juice a cheeseburger and fries and make it not disgusting? Apparently not.

SO hang in with me gang. I wouldn't announce my actual weight out loud if you tortured me with fish hooks and hot pokers but I WILL let you know how much the numbers change each day. Yes, my man went out and bought two, not one, but two sets of doctor's scales so we can weigh in each morning. Didn't Dante include this as his 10th circle of hell?

Introduction of Sorts

Thanks to the gentle and well intentioned nagging of my darlin daughter, as well as my dear friend, I have finally started a blog. I plan to write about my life as a wife, daughter, mother, author and woman. Love to have anyone who wants to come along on the journey. At least if I can't hit the road literally, it's nice to take a metaphorical trip.

This is my 17-yr-old daughter Nicole and I on last year's summer vacation. She also happens to be my best buddy.