Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another door opens.

I was fine up until 7pm this evening. Chris and I talked about 3:45. He usually leaves work about 4. Today however he had to go to one of his projects to do a final inspection and to remove the permit. So, I naturally thought that the latest he would be walking in the door would be 5:30. So needless to say, I had supper ready and on the table. No Chris. I called his cell and it rang about 4 times before going into his voice mail. No big deal I thought, he probably has the radio on too loud in the car. Since the meal was all ready the kids and I started without him. We finished about 6 and Katie cleared the table while Jeff went to get ready for work.

I called about 6:15 and the phone rang and went into voicemail. "Ok, they must have had an impromptu meeting regarding the floating island that was defective." I told myself. He should be home by the time I drop Jeff off at work. Katie and I got home about 7pm. No Chris. Now I am starting to get worried. He hadn't called my cell and the caller I.D. didn't show he called home. I called again. It rang and went into voice mail. This time I left a message stating that I am a little worried and to please call.

I washed the pots and loaded the dishwasher. Still no sign of Chris. It is now 7:30. And I am upset and worried and my stomach is in knots. That's how I roll. Get worried or upset and my stomach produces mad amounts acid. If I am not careful it doesn't stay in the stomach. Or worse it starts to aggravate the ulcer. I go out onto the lanai and proceed to smoke like a chimney. It is now 8pm and yep… no Chris. Now I am on the verge of trying to calm myself down because I so want to call every hospital. I want to call the police station and even his dad. But I refrain because surely there must be a damn good reason why he hasn't bothered to call home. I decide to wait until 9pm of course that is after I call for the last time around 8. At exactly 8:15. Chris finally calls home. I quickly answer the phone.

"Hey Babe, just wanted to let you know we had a pretty funny incident here at the project. This guy lost power to his boat and was headed toward the docks here. We had to walk him in and before we could get his boat stable, the guy decided to jump out and his boat cap sides onto the rocks. So we had to call the police and I had to fill out an incident report. The guy was severely intoxicated".

I asked him why he didn't answer his phone. He tells me that because it was raining when he got there he just left the phone in the car. He didn't want to take a chance with it out in the rain. He notices that I am somewhat quiet and he asks me what's wrong. I tell him that I was worried and upset that I couldn't get in touch with him. He automatically gets defensive and states that it doesn't sound like I am upset but actually pissed. That's when I lost it. Not lost it as I started to yell and scream at him like I normally would have but I started to cry. Chris however didn't notice because he hung up on me.

That's when another revelation hit me. I now know why I get upset when he doesn't call after being hours late from getting home. It doesn't happen a lot but it's happened enough that we have had some heavy fighting afterwards. When I was younger, and my mom started her new career there were numerous times that she would not bother to call home if she was planning on being late. I cannot count how many times because it was often and continued for many years. Many times my sisters and I would have already eaten dinner and gone to bed before I would hear the screaming emulating from downstairs. When I would look over at the clock to see what time it was it would be after 10pm or later. Majority of the time she would be drunk. Now I am not saying that I worry that Chris is out drinking but it's that feeling of not knowing. I don't even know if I can put it into words. I just know that I get those feelings when he is not home when he's supposed to be.

I haven't told Chris about this yet. I just let it drop when he got home. Part of me was too drained to deal with it. But I will try and state to him how important it is to call and let me know if he's going to be later than anticipated. I wanted to ask Chris why he just didn't borrow a phone to call home. Surely they would've have understood that it's the only responsible and courteous thing to do. I decide to keep mum.

So even though a few hours went by where I actually started to feel sick with worry another door into my dark past decided to reveal the skeletons of my mansion. I refuse to call it a closet because quite honestly… it's much bigger than that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Still dreaming…

Finally the ordeal with Bryn-Alan Studios is over. When I checked our account this morning, I noticed that charge was still there although no fees were posted yet. So, I called our bank once again to see if the studio released the hold yet. It had not and in fact the charge went through. The rep told me that in order not to have any fees attached on it should be resolved today on the studio's end. I called Chris and he told me he would call. He knows that I would have ripped into them.

So… he talked to the manager explained to him that although on their side they show no order, on our side it shows the full amount was charged. He calmly explained to them that we could go after them for a felony fraud charge but that we wouldn't have to go there because he knew that they would take care of it today. In a little over two hours the charge was removed and we had a positive balance again. The manager also stated that if we wished to still place the order down the road to call him directly and he would personally deal with us and of course give us a good deal. I respect that. But, I am not sure I want to take him up on his offer. Chris told me it was up to me whether or not we did it.

Today, I talked to my friend, Jen, while she drove from Columbus to Cleveland, Ohio. She called me to keep her distracted on the way to see her grandmother who not only suffered a stroke but also a seizure on Monday. She is still in the hospital and if it's anything like last time in April she will be there for a few weeks. We share a lot in common. Not only we do have children by the same man, our personalities are very similar. Chris always thought that I was one of a kind until he met Jen. So as she was driving to visit her grandmother we talked about a lot of stuff. I told her how Chris and I are seriously searching for a house. It's a buyer's market at the moment so we would be really stupid not to jump at the chance. Chris' parents have expressed in the past about helping out with financing if we could not do it ourselves. Jen told me that she and John, her fiancé, purchased their house on an assumable mortgage. They just basically picked up where the owner left off. No out of pocket expenses and the owner saved her credit. Now, if only we can find something like that here. But I am not even sure how to go about finding something like that. We have found a house not to from where we are now and in the same school district that looks to be a great deal. Chris would like to set up a time for this weekend to take a walk through. He has the knowledge to inspect the property and see what repairs, if any would need to be done and approximately what the cost to do so would be. We have already looked up the property on the appraisal site for the county and we know what the market value of the home is. Compared to what they are asking for it, it would be insane not to look into. But then again it all depends on the condition of the house as well. It does have an in ground pool and Jacuzzi that is under a screened in lanai. The only thing that I am not that thrilled about is that it's tile throughout the house. That's a lot of floor scrubbing. It comes with all the appliances including the washer/dryer. We also like the fact the backyard is completely fenced in and it butts up to a canal. So it's technically considered waterfront property as well. When Chris gets home from work we are going to do a little numbers crunching and search for more homes on the site and make a list to set up for this weekend. I sure hope that we can do this though because doing all this work and only to find out later that it won't pan out will just break my heart.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I am so happy

The past few days I have been experiencing a sense of euphoric high. Nothing has really gotten me down. Not even the whole incident with the studio fiasco. I may have gotten angry at the situation but I didn't let that affect my mood. In the end it will all work out. And no, my bank account has not shown the reversal yet. I will give it until tomorrow morning to go into effect. If it doesn't than I will call them again and this time let them have it. The bank rep informed us that if they do not comply within the stated time that they said, then they are in wrong and can be charged with a felony fraud count. So… we shall see.

Even though today has been kind of a wash out due to the terrific thunderstorms we are having, I have kept busy with school work, cleaning house and even playing with Katie. My kids have noticed the difference in my mood. Jeff jokingly asked if I was taking any sort of mood enhancer because I have not been happy for this long period of time. Geez… that's a real eye opener! I am so glad that all the crap that I have been carrying for most of my life has surfaced, and that there is no way in hell I will ever retreat to that dark place again. With that said, I am moving on.

For the past few weeks now, Chris and I have discussed about what I am going to do once the kids returned back to school. I would like to start working again. However, the jobs are not there. So, I decided and also talked it over with Chris that I am going to start cleaning for other people again. I haven't done it in over 10 years but I do have the knowledge, the experience and the drive to do it. After a lot of research and putting together a business plan along with a three year business forecast. I am going into business for myself. Not quite sure on the name but Chris did mention that I use the name of my blog. Sort of a play on words approach. What do you guys think? You have any suggestions? I have already gotten the paperwork to become licensed, insured and bonded. This will be a sole proprietorship and if I do allow anyone to work with me they will be sub contractors only. I am not going to deal with their taxes and what not. I have already put the buzz out. My parents are in the field of either managing or in the maintenance part of high end condo associations on Siesta Key and Longboat Key. Many of the condo owners have expressed interest. Apparently they are not happy with their services now. That sounds promising. However, I will not start until the kids are back in school. So in another four weeks I am looking to venture out. I do want to have all the necessary paperwork dealt with by then also.

Getting back into the cleaning business will not only help with the bringing in of extra income but it will get me to lose the weight a lot faster. I won't have to rely on diet supplements like that of Fenphedra or anything else like it to help me lose weight. I am a firm believer that the longer it takes you to lose the weight the longer it will stay off. No more yo - yo dieting for me. I have put my body through enough stress.

Chris and I have been very attentive towards one another and we have not had any arguments. Not to say we haven't had disagreements because no relationship is perfect. I have noticed that he responds to me differently than before. My kids even treat me differently. I am just so amazed that I couldn't see how I was affecting my family. I can't say that I won't have bad days but it will be short lived because I will be aware of it. Chris promised me that he would be the first one to let me know when I start down the wrong road again. I am so grateful that I have him to lean on. I don't think anyone else would have had the patience and I don't think I would want anyone else to do it. I think that is what God intended. I see it so clearly.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Bryn – Alan’s customer service is a joke!!!

Yesterday, Chris and I were trying to place the order online for my son's senior pictures. We wanted to take advantage of the 10% off deal and the deadline to do so was today. We were under the impression that you could not only save 10% by placing the order online but that you could also just pay a 50% deposit and then pay the rest when the pictures were ready. Not so apparently.

When we set up the package we wanted to buy and proceeded to the checkout and after entering the credit card number it came back that it was declined. So… we knew right away that they tried to charge the full amount which we didn't have. No big deal, I thought. I will just take the proofs and my order to the studio in Bradenton and just order in person. I knew that we wouldn't be able to receive the discount but I accepted that. That was until Chris checked our bank account online and found out that the full charge went through and that we now have a negative balance. Even then neither of us got upset because we figured that could easily be corrected. How wrong we were.

This morning I tried to call the local studio in Bradenton and immediately the message stated that their office hours were Monday – Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm. If I was getting this message during regular business hours that all reps were busy handling other VALUABLE customers. Ok, I thought. After all it is Monday, I can understand it being busy. So I decided to call the toll free number for order assistance thinking I could talk with a customer service rep and get the situation corrected. This was where it started rolling down hill.

After waiting on the phone for a good 20 minutes I finally got to speak with Desiree. This is the conversation:

Desiree – "Thank you for calling bryn – alan, This is Desiree, how may I help you?"

Me – "Hello Desiree, I am hoping you can help me correct a situation. We tried to order online last night and when we got to the check out it declined our payment. But we have still been charged and now my account is in the negative."

Desiree – "Did you receive a confirmation number?"

Me – "No, it declined."

Desiree – "Well, then you weren't charged"

Me – "Yes we where. My account is in the negative."

Desiree – "Why would you order a package online if you didn't have the money to pay for it?"

Me (and surprisingly I held my cool) "We were under the impression that we could just make a 50% deposit as it stated. "

Desiree – "No, that is if you mailed it in. All credit card orders must be paid in full."

Me – "That is not what the website implies." Anyway… the order was declined but my account was still charged. " I am getting rather angry right now.

Desiree – "No it wasn't, if it was, you would have a confirmation number."

Me – "Do you have a supervisor that I could speak with please."

Desiree – "No"

Me – You don't have a supervisor? Do you have a manager?"

Desiree – "Yes, we do have a manager." Apparently they do not know that supervisor or manager is relatively the same.

Me – "May I speak with your manager then?"

Desiree – "No, he is not in today."

Me – "You must have someone that can help me when the manager is not in"

Desiree – "No we don't"

Me – "Then what I am I supposed to do to get this cleared up?"

Desiree – "You can try and call back tomorrow."

Me – "I can try and call back tomorrow? I think it's important to get this cleared today."

Desiree – "If you were charged, then it would be your banks fault. I would call your bank." She emphasized the If… like I was lying.

She hung up after that.

I called Chris at work and explained it to him. He called the bank and had to conference the call since my card was used in the transaction. She had to verify my identity. It doesn't matter that it is a joint account. That I can understand.

We both talked to our rep and she told me that yes, it was charged and it would be easy to reverse it. I needed to call bryn – alan studios back and have them contact their merchant and have them either call her directly with the 6 digit code or I could call her back with the code. She also insured me since we made her aware of the situation that our account would not be charged any fees. That was a relief.

So I called back again and this time after waiting about 30 minutes, I spoke with Melinda.

The conversation went basically the same way with one exception. She did admit that there would be a hold and that it would take 24 to 48 hours for my account to see the charges refunded. I had a real problem with that. If my account was declined to begin with then why did it charge it anyway? I also said that if she could call their merchant and get the six digit code than I wouldn't have to wait the 24-48 hours.

Melinda told me that she could not do that. That is not their policy and that there was no one there that could and that I would need to wait until tomorrow to speak with Greg Clonts, the manager. IF, he would be in because he has been sick. So the best thing for me to do is what the 24-48 hours. By now I had fumes streaming from my ears people. So…

That is when I decided to drive to the bryn – alan studio in Bradenton. I was going to just tell them what pose to put into the yearbook and return the proofs. And if they asked me if I would be purchasing any photos then and only then would I tell them my displeasure in their company. Now, if they by chance they could have corrected it right there, then I would go ahead and order. I understand that it was not their incompetence and that their customer service reps in Tampa are morons!

However, when I pulled into their parking lot we noticed a sign on their door claiming to be closed and that they are open Tuesday – Saturday from 9-6. That was not what their voicemail said. And now I was livid. So again I called their customer service number to tell them that I wanted to make sure my son's photo gets in for the yearbook, because that was already paid for and that I would be mailing the proofs today and wanted to make sure that I would not get charged for the proofs because it would be after the deadline date. Tekisha assured me that the deadline was only for the online discount. I told her that the brochure has it written in several places that the proofs and/or order must be in by today or his yearbook photo would not be included in time. Her statement: " I know it states that but that's not what it means." OMG! I so wanted to reach into the phone and slap this woman. I was so pissed! Does anybody at that damn place know what they are doing? C'mon people wake the hell up and do your job!

Tekisha informed me to fill out the ala carte order form to choose his yearbook photo and mail back the proofs and everything will be fine. I asked her if I could have some kind of assurance that what I feared would not happen. She told me that I wouldn't need one. Somehow, I highly doubt that!

So I have recorded today's event and the names are their actual names. I will not be ordering any photos from bryn – alan and we will be getting Jeff's senior portraits done somewhere else. And if you are wondering why we didn't pick another studio to begin with… well… apparently bryn- alan has the senior yearbook account with just about every school in Sarasota/Manatee county. They basically monopolized that market. And if anyone has any more suggestions on what I can do, please leave me a comment or email me at Thanks!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Killing two birds with one stone.

Since the beginning of summer, I have been spending a lot of time with Katie. Working with her to strengthen her memorization and trying to build her reading skills. It's been a challenge to keep her interest. So I had to come up with things to entice her with.

Every day that she does not put up a fight about her study time, we cook something together. Katie is all about learning to cook. She has always wanted to help out in the kitchen. I can really see her becoming a chef one day.

We do not cook elaborate meals in fact this doesn't involve meals at all. We create healthy snacks. I have gotten quite a few ideas from the Kellogg's Snacktivate site. Katie loves a lot of these recipes. She is also reading the recipes to me and that helps with her reading skills. The great thing about that is she doesn't connect that with helping with her reading skills.

So turning something that she once thought was boring into something fun has made working with her much easier. Also knowing that she is learning healthier eating habits makes me feel a lot better. Teaching her now will help her make better choices when she is older. Now… I just need to work on Chris and Jeff.

My Enlightenment

I am choosing to go public with what I have been dealing with for most of my life. If you care to read be my guest and if not move on.

I hate who I am. I hate the fact that I have been weak all my life and could never stand up for myself. I hate that I allowed certain individuals influence me in such negative ways and I hate that I embraced it with open arms.

For as long as I can remember I was a painfully shy child. I don't know what transpired to influence that but something did. Maybe my brain has purposely blocked that out. This is not the only time I have tried to think back and not get anywhere.

I am the poster child that will back up that what you are exposed to as a child will have an impact for the rest of your life. From the time I was at least seven till the time I was in my twenties, my parents did not get along. They constantly argued and spewed hateful words at one another. Many times I would hide in my room and pray that God would just let me die so that I could not witness this anymore.

For awhile my parents just slung back and forth at one another. When I reached my teens, my dad turned on me. Verbally abusive not physically but what difference does that make right? I don't know how many times that I was told that I was just like my mother and given the fact that I know he wasn't happy with her that meant he was certainly not happy with me. My mother did her job on me too. Not abusive but manipulative. I won't go into the things they did to hurt one another out of respect. I say that now because somehow, some way they worked things out and are not the same people. In their defense there must have been some love left between them because in May they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

I think that was the start of how I perceived myself. I was called a lot of names and all of them mean and unflattering. The two that stand out the most… Bitch and Stupid. Whore and slut come to mind also.. this is funny since I held on tight to my virginity until I was 19. I looked for love in the wrong places. When I met Jeff's dad he knew the right things to say and for the first time I trusted someone to care for me. The truth is that I just wanted to be out of my house. I never would have admitted that to anyone let alone admitting that to myself. It wasn't until after the birth of my son that I acted out on all those years of being called a slut. Why not? I was already tainted, used goods, not good for anything. One of my parent's friends actually told me that I would latch on to the next man that would have me and there wouldn't be many. Needless to say that I didn't date anyone until Jeff was over two years old. He must have been right! So of course I latched on to the next man. He happened to be 9 years older, never been married and a man of God.

I emphasize a man of God because my family went to church every Sunday. Although my parents acted a certain way at home they were completely different in the Church setting. I grew up in the faith but I don't think I ever really had it. It was hard for me to think that God loved me because as many times that I prayed, nothing changed. In fact I truly believed that God was ashamed of me and therefore not worthy of His love. But whenever I met someone who proclaimed to be a Christian I wanted so much to make myself like glue and attach myself to them. It attracted me because they acted so much different than what I was used to. They personified on the outside what I was looking for. I was looking for a savior not Thee
Savior. There is a BIG difference. And every time I was let down I blamed God.

That was the beginning of the real downward spiral. This guy had me thinking that I was like Delilah from the bible, using my womanly ways to seduce him. Sure I was attracted to him and being that he quoted the Bible all the time and seemed real sweet in the beginning I attached myself to him. I opened up to him and he would "help" me with getting back in touch with God by breaking me down. I can remember like it was yesterday how he told me how cheated he felt because I was not the woman of his youth. Meaning, because I was not a virgin and already a mother and although he was 9 years older that it was somehow my fault that I wasn't this Goddess that God promised him. Day after day he would peel me like an onion just to criticize me. For every action that he did, that he later regretted, it was my fault. We would argue on almost a daily basis and most of the time over the phone until wee hours of the morning. When I finally had enough he would show up at my door and demand that I placate him by doing some sexual favor because it was MY FAULT he got so worked up. There was a period of about 6 months that we parted ways. Somehow and really I don't remember how but we started to talk again and yep one thing led to another. He had me so confused and so unsure of myself that he actually convinced me that to know whether or not God wanted us together that it was my duty to allow him to pursue other women and that he had direction from God to see if maybe they were the wife that God had intended for him. I did what he asked me. That took 5 years from my life. Do you see the type of crap I put myself through? You would think I would know when to stop. Nope. I truly believed that I was never supposed to be happy. I figured that every guy that I met would have to treat me a certain way because that was my reason for being here. The way I carried myself and the timidity that poured out of every pore attracted these men and the worse thing was that I was drawn to them as well.

When I was 13, I met a boy a year older than me, and he came from a Christian family and he was so nice and kind and mature and I didn't want to let him go. Since I met him in Florida while visiting my grandparents and he actually lived in S. Carolina the next best thing was to become pen pals. I saw him only one more time the next year but I wrote him all the time and for the most part he wrote back. Until he went off to college and the letters were fewer and then I found out that he had met someone and was getting married and my whole world fell apart. I think I was 20? I know Jeff was already born. But in my mind, in my own little twisted world that I chose to live in, that wasn't supposed to happen. I think he knew how I felt about him but I am not really sure anymore. The letters that I held onto for a long time have been discarded. I did that on purpose because it felt like the door to my happiness slammed shut. There have been a few good men that I didn't let in. I thought I wasn't what they really wanted, and in time they would figure that out and leave.

Chris has been the exception in time though because our relationship started out like most of mine did and it wasn't good. I believe that it was not our wants and desires that lead to us staying together. When looking back at everything that transpired, I know in my heart that God intervened and worked slowly but surely in our growth as a couple. God chose to work on Chris first. Chris will be the first one to tell you that he is not the same man that many knew 11 years ago. He has already gone through his enlightenment. He didn't make it public but I noticed immediately that something was different. I will be the first to say that I was angry and jealous. We still had many fights regarding my attitude and the unwillingness to search my own heart. I did however seek counseling after 3 years but nothing came of it because I chose not to open up. It was when I wasn't given an ultimatum of keeping our relationship in tact that I noticed a small change in myself. Little by little that small voice became louder and more determined to get me to listen. That began a little over a year ago. Although I was still stubborn and would ignore the necessity of confronting my fears, it would not go away.

On Friday night, I let it all go. It was after chatting through AIM with the man that I mentioned as my pen pal. I won't name him. He knows about my blog and this will probably come as a shock to him because our conversation didn't include what I was struggling with. It was innocent and mostly just catching up since I have not been in contact with him for over 16 years. It wasn't a long conversation but something about it stirred the emotions and the inner demon that I have been fighting with. When the conversation ended and I was left with the nagging emotions, I started to think about what it was that made me the way that I am. I prayed for the first time in many months. I prayed for a long time and for a period of time I just sat in silence because words escaped me. Then the flooding of emotions, the truth and the revelation happened so fast that I thought I was not going to survive. I cried not just with tears but through my whole body. The pain in my chest was overwhelming and I begged God to stop it. I was sure I could not handle it. Everything played on in my head as if I was watching a movie. I felt purged and it continued to come in waves and when it stopped, I cried. These tears were because I was finally released from the prison that I put myself in. From 11pm through 7:30 am I went through my enlightenment.

Chris found me out on our lanai with wet eyes and tears streaming down my face. He knew. Even before I spoke a word he knew. So for a few hours we talked and I was excited and carefree and just became this transparent person. I laid it all on the table. For the first time in my life I was not afraid.


2 Corinthians 5:12

Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Does anybody hear her (Me)

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon's ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She's another two years older
And she's three more steps behind

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even knows she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even knows she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

If judgment looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

If judgment looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even knows she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

He is running a hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction.

Casting Crowns

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Have you ever had the shingles removed from your eyes?

While I was finishing up on my assigned reading for Interpersonal Communications I was reading a paragraph that just slapped me dead in the face.

It talks about Self Sabotage. This my friends is me. " One of the most crippling kinds of self-talk we can engage in is self-sabotage. This involves telling ourselves we are no good, we can't do something, there's no point in trying to change, an so forth. Self sabotage defeats us because it undermines beliefs in ourselves. Self-sabotage is poisonous; it destroys our motivation to change and grow" (Julia T. Wood, Interpersonal Communication 2007)

For as long as I can remember I have felt unworthy of love, respect and self worth. Now I can't really pinpoint exactly when that started but I do know it has been the basis of who I was, am and if I don't change it who I always will be. Many decisions I have made in the past was affected by how I perceived myself. The boys I dated, the friends I had, just everything.
Now, I am not saying I didn't have positive influences but I shyed away from their perception of me because I did not believe them. I have had some real winners in the love relationships and there were the few nice guys that I purposely ended contact with because once again I felt I didn't deserve that person.

When I met Chris, he was one of the "bad boys" and our relationship started out rocky and was self destructing. But because he realized his need for growth and needing to change the person he was, is the only reason he didn't leave me like so many others before. He grew and changed and loved me through it all. I can't count how many times we argued over my negativeness, my unwillingness to see that I, me, Mindy needed to change as well. That I was not right in my thinking, in my perception of not only myself but in others that truly and deeply care for me.

Now as much as I hate admitting that he is right, I can not deny it now. Sure, he may gloat for a short time but I can tell when I admit to my faults, he is proud that I am finally seeing what he has seen for 10 plus years. I am someone to be proud of, I have accomplished things in my life that I can be proud of. Now comes the hard part.... the willingness to change it for good. The perseverance to conquer this inner demon. It won't happen overnight... nothing is that easy. However, I do have the desire and stubbornness to take it to the end. I also have the best advocate that supports me even though I am like a pendulum of self destruction. I always feared that he would tire of me and walk out. I don't feel that way anymore. So, a little piece of insecurity has been replaced with bigger piece confidence of being worthy of love.

No, I am not changing for Chris, I am changing because of him. He has been my rock and the gift that I have prayed for, for so many years.

More than I have ever wanted to share.

but I am at a loss.
WARNING: TMI moment: I have been struggling with the fact that I am getting older. I have been dealing with menopausal symptoms since I had tubal ligation in 2001. Not saying that automatically happens to every woman but it did happen to me. For 7 years now I have been suffering. Every year another symptom pops its ugly head. This year I have been battling insomnia and an increase for wanting sex.

The insomnia alone I could probably deal with but the wanting sex on a daily basis is driving me insane. Chris would probably tell you I was always insane but whatever... Needless to say, I don't get obliged on a daily basis. I am lucky if I get it once a week. I seriously need advice on how to handle this. Chris is not a robot. He can't be demanded to get naked all the time, he works hard and has troubles of his own in the sleeping department. I can't stand the person that I have become. My mood swings all over the place. I would not want to live with me right now!

I have been to the doctors before when I noticed things were different. There are no supplements, hormones or anything else I can take because I am not full blown. My body is still making the hormones. I have tried different remedies and certain health supplements and nothing has worked. I try to not let this get me down but every night that I get turned down for sex I feel unwanted, unloved and unattractive. When I have told Chris how I feel he thinks I am reading to much into things or being too emotional. HELLO... I am a girl. We are known for that! I just don't know what to do anymore. I am lost.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I finally got my ring

About two weeks ago, my mother's ring came in. Chris and Jeff ordered it back in April but because the ring was a popular style it was back ordered. Although it may not be of handcrafted jewelry quality, I still love it.

I would take a picture of it but no one can find their cables to download a picture. So I will do my best to describe to you…. Eventually I will post a picture.

  1. It is 10kt white gold – I love that!
  2. It has three hearts in a row that hold three birthstones
  3. The first birthstone is Garnett (January) which is Jeff's
  4. The second birthstone (middle) is Blue Zircon (December) which is mine
  5. The third birthstone is Rose Zircon (October) which is Katie's.
  6. One either side of the kid's birthstones it has their name scripted on it.

Originally I wanted all genuine birthstones. Namely because it would have been cool to have a patriotic theme. Red (Garnett), White (Opal for October) and blue. But Chris and Jeff both said they liked the one they got me better. I have to agree that I love it very much and Katie is happy because her favorite color is pink. So… everyone all around is happy with the ring.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just another day

I am just sitting here contemplating what exactly I want to accomplish today. I am in one of those "where is my life going" moods. No, I am not depressed just unsure. I have been jobless for a little over 4 months and I have been actively searching for jobs via newspaper and online and it is so depressing not seeing much of anything out there. And the occasional good find has over 2000 applicants fighting for the same job. Ridiculous!
I don't necessarily have to work but the extra income was nice. I am trying to find other ways to bring in income but so far it is very small. I am pretty sure that we will be looking for another place in the coming months. Our rent does not justify the dwelling we are in. Not saying that it's a downright dump but we are paying way too much. Especially since our neighbor approached us with an offer to rent their house for way less than what we are paying here.

I guess a lot of my mood is based on the fact that I don't go anywhere other than the regular grocery shopping trips, picking up my son from his summer school course and the occasional driving of my friend Kat to her doctors appointments. I feel like a recluse. No adult interaction all day so I am all up Chris' butt the moment he comes home. I want to be able to go out and do something but then I remember the price of gas and to me it is not worth it. This economy thing sucks big time.

Maybe I need to find some kind of support group. Although I don't know what kind of support I need. In September, Chris' best friend, Phil will be staying with us the whole month so I won't be lonely when he comes but I probably won't be sober either... he is a bartender by trade and lets just say he loves to drink with a partner. Chris will drink but I think they conspire to get me shitfaced. Apparently I am funny. Or vunerable not sure which! I am not an avid drinker so when I do drink it doesn't take much.

So, generally I am in a funk. Any ideas on how to snap out of it?

Belle & Cuddles

These two are going to rule the roost!

Cute aren't they?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Watching my dream possibly fade into the distance

With the steady decline of the economy and the skyrocketing foreclosures, where would one find honest and fair mortgage lenders?

Chris and I have entertained the idea of finally buying our own home. We have not fully investigated the procedure or what we would be qualified for. Both mine and Chris' credit score before the change would have allowed us to obtain a mortgage with no problem. The reason we did not buy a home then was because the prices of houses in Sarasota a few years ago were downright stupid. I could not in my mind justify paying over a quarter of a million dollars for a modest three bedroom home. I am so thankful that we did not get caught up in the fiasco of what is going on today with so many foreclosures. I have to agree that the housing is just now getting back to reality and the houses are dropping in prices but with the new credit score system we would be in the category of the least likely to get a regular mortgage. We would be paying a higher interest rate. I think that is a slap in the face.

Still it doesn't deter me from researching houses for sale now. It's still a dream that Chris and I are wanting. For the past 7 years that we have been living together we have a perfect renting background. Never missing a payment and always making sure that our utilities bills were paid each month with extra to credit the next month's bill. I just do not think it will be enough to show how credit worthy we are.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Quest still continues.

Ok… I know I have talked about certain weight loss pills before. However, in my never ending quest to find the right and most helpful weight loss pill, I have come across Phentermine. It is FDA approved and has been on the market quite some time. It was originally prescribed in the 1970's and over the years has moved to OTC(over the counter) status. It is designed to fool your body into not being hungry and therefore you won't eat. It also sends a message to your brain to release certain chemicals like adrenaline which I assume give you the same effect of having energy. I haven't found much evidence on whether or not it gives you the shakes since I do not see ephedra or ephedra alkaloids in the description. Again, I am asking if anyone has taken this diet drug and whether or not you seen actual results or if this is another dead end.

Time keeps on slipping...

My days seem to be running together. The weekend was here just a minute ago!
Maybe it's the fact that I am no longer working.. or maybe it's just that my hormones are so out of whack that my mind is not deciphering time. What? My memory is crap. That can be blaimed on the pre menopause. That's my story and I am sticking to it!

We finally are the proud family to Belle and Cuddles. They came on Sunday. They are a little shy and reserved but that is to be expected with kittens. Belle is the more reserved kitten. She watches to see how Cuddles will react first to see whether or not she wants to participate. They are slowly warming up and I am sure that Katie will be their primary target when it comes to the affection giving. Although I have gotten them to purr and quite loudly I might add. Jeff has taken some pictures and he will help me upload them so I can share the cuties with you.

I have been hopping around on myspace to relieve some tension from the research work I am doing for one of my classes. Needless to say that I have found two guys from years past that I never thought in a million years that I would ever speak or hear from again. It was a fluke really. One happens to be a boyfriend from when I was a sophomore in high school. He broke my heart back then, but that's what teenagers do. It's practice for the real world.
The other was a long time pen pal. I met him through my grandparents. He was the grandson to their neighbor. I had such a crush on him. We communicated by snail mail for years. All through my high school years and a year or two out of high school. He ended up getting married and needless to say that's when the communication stopped. It was always my luck.

Anyway, it was nice to see that they remembered me. And actually seemed happy to have been contacted. I have always been the type of person that I would think would be easily forgotten. I know.. I am way too hard on myself. I have communicated with them briefly and we have added each other on our friends list. It's just amazing how small of a world we live in that we can easily track people down if they have a myspace account. I am just looking forward to reminiscing old times. And in case you are wondering... Chris knows. I tell him everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. He just looked at me and said "Isn't that what myspace is for? to connect with people?" Such a smart arse!

We received Jeff's proofs back from his senior pictures and we have put together the package we want. With all that said and done it will cost us about $310.00. I don't know what mine cost way back when but I am sure it was not $310! And that was a conservative package. The top dollar one was almost $600.oo We should get them back in a few weeks. With all the money I am going to have to shell out for graduation, party, hat and gown... I better see some money fall from the sky. This is getting ridiculous... Next I will have to sell my body... no not for sex more like for experimentation. Please people get your mind out of the gutters..

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My video game addicted son

How many of you out there are avid video gamers or have family members that spend majority of their time playing games? I keep no secrets as to my game of choice which happens to the Sims but mine is on the computer. Chris is a WOW fanatic and Jeff will play anything on any system.

Every year Jeff usually requests some type of video game or the next video game system. This year is no different. He has made his Christmas/Birthday list early. He is requesting a PS3 system. I will give the kid credit on being persistent but each year he makes the request I have to remind him that he has not shown enough self control to warrant such a purchase. This kid would play day and night if we did not set ground rules

Jeff for the most part takes on the attitude of how unfair we are to him. To which I reply that life in itself is unfair. Am I wrong? Maybe but I do not want my son to squander the rest of his life on being a couch potato gamer. It would be a whole different story if he was more responsible. Some may say that teenagers for the most part are irresponsible. I disagree. It's the parent's job to teach their children early on about responsibility and what is expected of them later on in life. That is why I stress the importance of succeeding in high school and going to college. My parents put a lot of responsibility on me as a teenager and to be honest well before that. They both worked and the job of making dinner and cleaning house fell on my shoulders. I may have felt it was unfair at the time but I am so damn appreciative of it now because it taught me to be self sufficient at an early age. By the time Jeff came along I was not in any way ill prepared. I worked my butt off to provide for him and had a clean house and nutritious meals for him. And I did it all by myself. Imagine that.

Now if Jeff wants to purchase all the stuff he wants then I say go for it but as long as you live under my roof there will be rules to follow. He argues with me on that point. His belief is that if he buys it with his own money than he should not be sanctioned on the time allotment of his game playing. Hence the reason he has not bought his own system yet. I don't play around and neither does his dad. Believe it or not but I am not the heavy hitter in the discipline department of the household. His dad is steadfast more so on this subject than I am. I am willing to give him time but his dad would actually like to see more self control on Jeff's part. We have tried to give Jeff the opportunity to prove his self control and he has failed every time. I don't know when the light bulb will finally go on his head but I sure as hell hope it's soon. He will be a senior this year and geez it would be so nice to know that he finally realizes that his parents do know a thing or two.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Walking off the fat.

I have been walking about 30 minutes a day for about 4 days now. I take Katie with me so I don't walk as fast as I normally would. I have been contemplating on whether or not to just wait for Chris to get home to take my walks.

I am not the type that really likes to walk by myself but at this point I see no other choice. Chris is not one for walks and he is always suggesting that I take the dogs with me as company. Picture a short fat woman with three dogs in tow and not going anywhere fast. I would end up coming home exhausted but not from walking. It would be from all the damn pulling back to keep the dogs from dragging my ass all over the place. Yes I know that they are not big dogs, but they can run circles around me.

I also tend to get bored when taking walks. When I was younger I would take my walkman with me and I would have no problems. Yep, I am ancient. Anyway, I have thought about looking into MP3 players. Now my son, Jeff, has one but the music he has on it is not for me. Chris also has a smaller one that might work out better for me, but then again, it has mostly country songs and that is not my style either. I admit I like some country songs but not a whole playlist. So I guess I will have to do my usual research and look into purchasing one that will benefit me and my needs.

No. I won't quit walking but this will give me an incentive to find one sooner. I tend to walk faster when I have the right music. And faster means that my heart will work harder and therefore burn those nasty calories that make my butt look like cottage cheese. Hey… I can admit that.

Bait and Switch

We all know that posting one price but then charging another is illegal. So how in the hell are gas stations getting away with it? The word on this is that they display one price, but if you pay by credit card at the pump it charges you more. Is this legal? I don't think so. I think it is down right sneaky.

Many gas station owners are claiming that because credit card companies charge a percentage to be able to accept their card that the public should be made to pay for that tiny percentage. WTF?
Some gas stations have posted the different prices. That would be acceptable but others are still trying to hide the fact that they are charging customers using their credit cards a higher rate. Some charge 8 cents more per gallon but others have been caught charging up to 50 cents more per gallon. My advice to anyone who pays at the pump is to watch out for the ol Bait and Switch. If you happen to catch one in your area please report them as soon as possible. We are paying out the butt for gas as it is, we shouldn't be raped along with it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Counting down till the kittens are here.

In preparation of having two new additions to the family, and no we are not talking babies. I have had Katie clean out her room. The kittens will be bunking with in her room until they get used to the rest of the family. The dogs will be kept away from them until the kittens show that they are ready to interact with the dogs.

So.. Anyway, while Katie was going through EVERYTHING    I noticed that she has a hat for every occasion. I don't remember her collecting hats but apparently she needs them all. Because try as I might I could not get her to give up any of them. Chris told her that he would construct some kind of hat rack. I say good luck with that J

Other than the hat catastrophe, she has pretty much let go of things she hasn't laid eyes on since who knows when. She is a trooper. Now her room is kitten proof and ready. She will be their primary caretaker. Of course I will supervise the caretaking. She has been begging for a kitten for over two years. And although Chris is allergic to them, he gave in. **Can you say SUCKER?** In preparation for them Chris has been taking his allergy meds every day. He is hoping that his body will build up some kind of resistance to the kittens. Either way the kittens stay. That has been my motto for over three months now since we have been on the lookout. That means he cannot in any way go back on his word and tell Katie that they have to go. This house does not play by those rules. He told her she could have one and instead he got her two. So, he literally dug his own grave. Wouldn't you say so?

They have been fixed and we should have them in the next day or so. I will post pictures when I can.

The beginning of the planning stages.

Normally in July is when I start to prepare for when the kids are going back to school. That means all necessary Doctor and Optometrist appointments are made. Katie has to have her eyes checked yearly and usually gets a new pair of eyeglasses. Jeff on the other hand is the lucky one. He hasn't had to have his prescription changed and his astigmatism is where it has been for several years. Katie however has taken after me. Nearsighted and blind as a bat without her glasses on. It also doesn't help that both of them have Coloboma. This is a rare defect that commonly occurs with the Iris not fully forming. I would include a picture but the ones that I have found online do not represent what theirs look like. Imagine an old fashioned keyhole instead of a circle for the pupil and there you have it. It is a recessive trait that apparently I carried. They both are very sensitive to bright lights. Katie's glasses are tinted to protect her eyes.

So it is off to make those appointments and to sell some pints of blood to pay for it. When I was laid off my health insurance stopped and no way in hell could I afford Cobra. So… this should be interesting.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The morning after

I hope every ones 4th was an enjoyable one. We did not go anywhere to see the fireworks. The weather channel forcasted Thunderstorms early evening and to continue through out the night. Needless to say they were WRONG! So.. instead we set up some lawn chairs and watched as the neighbors did their displays and the gated community across the street really put on a show. They had the mack daddy of all fireworks. The mortar kind. Never saw one police car try to enter that community. Maybe cause they couldn't get in? haha...

Earlier we enjoyed dinner with both sets of parents. Chris' parents hosted. The Salmon was wonderful. I know, not your typical grilling food for the 4th but trust me no one complained. My kids were even into it.

Chris got a call from the Mimi's Rescue on Thursday letting us know that the two kittens we are adopting were going in to be spayed that day and that we should have them either on Saturday or Monday. We originally thought that one of them was a little boy, but nope. It's a girl. Which is cool. We wanted two females to begin with. So at this point in time their names will be Belle ( Katie picked that one) and Cuddles (because it is exactly like the cat Chris had as a child that was named Cuddles) We are so original aren't we? I will have to post some picks as we take them. Belle is a Flame Point Siamese and I am not sure what the other one is but she is cute.

Oh.. I almost forgot. If you choose to go see a movie this weekend. I highly recommend Hancock. Seriously, this is a funny and touching movie. I don't think there was ever a time that I wasn't laughing or teary. It is that good. My whole family enjoyed it and it will be a movie that we will buy when it is released.


Chris always wants me to buy sexy garments. There have been a few times where he will "surprise" me with a little something and I feel obliged to wear it even though I in no way feel comfortable doing it. That is just me not feeling good about my own body but I love the fact that Chris loves me for who I am.

Anyway… when I do lose weight, I want a whole dresser drawer filled with sexy unmentionables. Like the ones from Shirley of Hollywood. They have amazingly cute and sexy pieces and affordable to boot. I would love to be able to wear something like this . But that is not going to happen until most of the weight comes off.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Diet Pills are all the rage.

I used to take ephedra. But, you know what? It actually worked for me. I dropped so much weight in such a short time that I could not believe it. Then people got stupid. Using it out of context and basically abusing it. So because of the stupidity of other people, our government stepped in and banned it.

After about 5 years, I started to go through the early stages of menopause. Not kidding either. I am 37 years old and I have been experiencing: hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia and unfortunately memory loss. The biggest culprit of all though is gaining over 60 pounds. I am 5'2" and that is not the weight I want or need to be at.

So… I have been searching for help. Whether it is trying to walk in this fricking heat for at least 15 minutes, traveling 15 miles to my mom's community to partake in their community swimming pool or dare I say almost starving myself because, truthfully I don't consume mass quantities of food to begin with. No "magical pill" that I have found has produced what they promised and I am tired of wasting hard earned money on just a fad. Through my searches though, I came across Leptovox. Not only is this pill supposed to help you lose weight but it also states that it can improve your skin. Can a pill actually do this? Has anyone had any experience with this weight supplement? I would really like to know how it worked for them. I will not typically go out and try something unless someone has recommended it and have used it themselves. Is there anyone out there that would like to share their success story with me? I am all ears.

Happy Independence Day

I hope that all of you will be relishing in good times with your loved ones. I will be spending my time with my family. Today is an important day to remind us all how truly lucky we are to live in these United States of America! Let your flags wave proudly!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Memories of Tiny

I think all little girls have a dream of owning a pony at one time or another. Truthfully though, I was terrified of them. That was until I woke up to see a full grown horse on top of our backyard hill. We lived in a suburban community in Brunswick, Ohio. Our backyard butted up against the main highway (I-71) and there was a wire fence that semi protected us from the traffic and at least 1000 yards of land between the fence and the highway. I was terrified that the horse would jump the fence and ultimately lose its life on the highway. Not to mention the poor person who happened to hit the horse. So… I grabbed some cubed sugar and an apple to attract the horses attention. I didn't have to coax the horse at all. It was the friendliest horse I have ever come across and although he was HUGE, he was indeed a gentle giant. He didn't have a saddle or reigns and I had a pretty good idea where he came from but wasn't sure how to get him back.

On the next street from ours there was a couple that had enough land to have approximately 5-10 horses. They were the only people in Brunswick that I knew of that had horses. The problem was even though our development had sidewalks the main street that they lived on did not, which meant having to control the horse on the open road. I was not sure that I could do that. Luckily though the couple knew they were missing the horse and had been searching for him when they saw me feeding him the apple. They came prepared with the necessary horse supplies. I learned that this gentle giants name was Tiny and that he was a curious horse and always managed to escape. From that day on I would go and visit Tiny and eventually they taught me how to ride and take care of him and I have been hooked ever since. I would spend every day after school with him and on the weekends I would clean out his stall. Hank and Betty would allow me to ride him in exchange for taking care of him. Back then it was way cheaper to have me help out then to pay someone. Tiny lived until he was 16 years old. I was 19 and pregnant when I learned of his passing. My parents didn't want me to spend time with him while pregnant in case an accident happened and Betty and Hank agreed. Of course at the time I thought it was silly but looking back, I knew they just wanted to take every precaution necessary. Betty actually came to my house to tell me. Apparently he fell ill with the flu and never recovered. She drove me back to their house so that I could say goodbye. I think I spent a good hour just stroking his mane. I have never found another horse like him.