Friday, November 24, 2006

Most of you have probably read the news about the school bus accident that happened on Monday in Huntsville, Alabama. I couldn't believe I was actually reading THIS ARTICLE this morning about the Hate Group that will be protesting near the funeral of one of the victims today. If you click on the link I provided for the story, you will see that other links are on that page where you can read the entire story. Our governor announced that although America is a free country and this group of protesters are protected under the freedom of speech, they are not invited and they are not welcome. This is one time that I say BRAVO to our governor.

There will be another group attending today; A group who will be guarding the grieving families from the hate group. God Bless the Patriot Guard Riders!  They are always welcome in Alabama!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Subject Very Close To My Heart

Please take time to read this article. Especially if you live in the state of Alabama.

I often talk about how much I love Alabama. But THIS is one thing I don't love about it and it is a concern that weighs heavy on my mind. A concern that grows deeper every day.

What will it take for our politicians to care enough to do something about this problem?

 

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Chicken Pot Pie

My family liked this so much, it didn't last long enough for photography. Maybe I'll get a shot next time.

note: If you like spicy food, you may not like this. I don't do spicy because my family can't take it. So to some, this dish may be considered bland, you can add whatever spices your family likes.

Ingredients:

chicken breasts (I used 3, boneless and skinless)
enough chicken broth to cover the breasts, if you're cooking chicken without bones and skin.
diced potatoes and carrots (or whatever veg's you prefer)
chopped onion
chopped celery
minced clove or two of garlic
extra virgin olive oil (for sautéing the celery, onion and garlic)
salt and pepper to taste
a few tablespoons of butter
a few tablespoons of flour
about a cup of chicken broth
about a cup of milk
one pie crust (I used Pillsbury, refrigerated crust)
A deep dish pie pan

Bring the broth to a boil and then add your chicken. Cover and turn down heat. DO NOT boil the chicken rapidly, it will not be tender and juicy. Cover and cook with just a little bit more heat than a simmer. 

While your chicken is cooking, throw the potatoes and carrots in a pot of water and cook till tender.
While the chicken and veg's cook, saute your celery and onion in olive oil till transparent, then add your garlic. Careful not to burn the garlic. It's best to turn down the heat before adding the garlic. You don't want any of this mixture to brown. After this is done, I transfer it to a paper towel. NOTE:  you can just throw all of this in with the other veg's while they cook, if you'd rather not saute.

After the chicken is done and you have allowed it to cool enough to touch, dice it up and add to a bowl along with the drained veg's, garlic, onion and celery.

I have gotten to the point I absolutely HATE canned soup, so I decided to make my own chicken-flavored cream base for this. If you like the taste of canned cream of chicken soup, knock yourself out, it's way more convenient. Basic white sauce takes a little practice but practice makes perfect, right? Don't feel intimidated. So, here's what you do:

Add the butter and flour to a pan set to medium heat. You can also add your favorite seasoning to the butter and flour, such as poultry seasoning, thyme, etc. I didn't, because like I said, we don't do spicy. You want to let the flour cook in the melted butter for a while or it will have the taste of raw dough. But, you don't want this to brown (unless you're making brown gravy). Whisk in your chicken broth. I used (and I LOVE this stuff!) Knorr concentrated chicken broth, which can be found next to the chicken broth and bullion. It has a rich flavor and all you do is add a little water to it and, voila, you have very tasty broth! You don't want to make your sauce too thin with the broth because you will whisk your milk in last. Let the milk and broth bubble around in the flour and butter till it's as thick as you want. Continue whisking, so it doesn't clump. If it becomes too thick, add more liquid. You just have to use your judgment on this. I didn't really measure the stuff. The sauce-making process should only last a couple of minutes. You don't want to turn your back on it.

Add the sauce to your chicken and vegetable mixture, pour into the pie pan and put the crust on top. Flute the edges of the pie pastry and cut slits in the top so steam can escape. Bake at 450 for about 12-15 minutes till golden brown.

The only complaint I got was that I didn't make enough ...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Patches

We're keeping this one  - He said, as my husband held her up to show me the runt of the litter for the first time. (Which sounded strange, coming from a man who didn't even want a cat when we adopted her mother) Her first meow was almost silent, it was so faint. From that moment on, the two of them became attached. He was the first to see her, the first to hold her. Her first hiding place was his boot; she was so tiny, she could hide right in the toe of it.  She was born on June 9th, 2002. We named her Patches. We often laughed at her because she could get herself into some of the most unimaginable predicaments. Just this time last year, we discovered how allergic she was to yellow jackets. We were raking leaves in the back yard, which got them stirred up and angry enough to swarm around us. Patches and Stephen were playing in a pile of leaves when we noticed the yellow jackets. Patches began chasing them which made Stephen laugh so hard, he fell over and nearly lost his breath. I ran to him, picked him up and brought him in the house to protect him from the yellow jackets. I yelled, "come on!" to Patches, but she was having too much fun and ignored me. The next morning, I looked at her and realized her head was too big for her body. We realized that obviously, she must have gotten stung the day before.  This was her first visit with the veterinarian for yellow jacket stings, but not the last. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had to take her to him again for the same thing. This last time, her reaction was a little worse but after a day or so, she was back to her old self.
 
It makes me so sad to type this -- We lost Patches last night. I still can't believe it when I think about it. Yesterday morning around 4:30, she meowed at my husband to let him know that she needed to go outside, like she's done every morning for four years.  She usually went outside to do her business and play a little, then she'd come back in by breakfast time. I started calling her yesterday morning and she didn't come. She' s done this before, especially when she was having an extra good time, so I've learned to not be too worried until evening fell and she still hasn't answered our calls. That's what happened yesterday. I stepped outside a few times to call her and she didn't come. The husband got home sometime after 5 from work and I told him that I called her all day and she never came. He began to walk around and called for her. He called and told me that he found her in a tree in the woods behind our house. After he started calling her, he could hear her meowing back to him, like she was pleading for help. He went to borrow a ladder from a neighbor and he wanted me and Stephen to come out to the woods so we could be there to go get help in case he fell because she was pretty high up there. He warned me that this was not your typical, cat in a tree situation. Apparently, she had climbed way up in the tree and fell into the fork in the middle of it and got wedged in it. At that point, we thought the hardest thing was to get her loose and down to the ground. But after he finally unwedged her and climbed down with her, he tried to see if she could walk and she couldn't. When he first climbed down with her, she looked so relieved, but then, within minutes, she started going into shock. He rushed her to the animal hospital. I thought for sure, she had a fracture, but she'd be okay. Then I started thinking about how long she may have been wedged in that position and I started to worry about her circulation. My next thought was, amputation. But I never thought she would develop blood clots that would move to her heart and end her life. I'm guessing that she must have also had some internal injuries from the fall. At about 7:30-ish, the phone rang and it was about her. She's gone, honey. I just watched her take her last breath my husband said as his voice began to shake from trying to hold himself together. He lost that battle when I began to cry. Actually, I was sobbing. He composed himself enough to ask if I wanted to have her cremated or bury her in the yard. I didn't even have to think about it. Even though we're renting and not planning to stay here much longer, this was her home. She loved it here. So, he brought her home, we each said our good-byes and we laid her to rest in her favorite spot in the yard. The spot she liked to lay in and roll in the dirt and play. Stephen was the only one who didn't cry, and that's because he doesn't understand death. He probably thought she was sleeping when he pet her for the last time and his daddy covered her with the blanket. He tried to wake her up. We told him that she's gone, but she'll be waiting for us at rainbow bridge. I don't believe that God would create something that lives, breathes and loves with a heart like ours, and not give them a spirit. I just don't believe that.   
 
We're both very hurt and sad. I can't even bring myself to throw her food and water bowls out yet. I guess that would sound silly to someone who isn't an animal lover. But Patches brought much joy to this home and to say we'll miss her would be an understatement. I didn't sleep well last night and I noticed that the hubs tossed and turned, too. For the first time in a long time, we could both stretch our legs out on the bed without having to worry about kicking Patches off the end of it, and we just couldn't get comfortable not having her there, I suppose. I finally got up at 4:30, which was about the time she always wanted to get up. I watched my husband sleep and I thought about how difficult this must be for him. He was the first one to hold her when she took her first breath and he was the one who held her as she took her last. She loved us all, but he was her pick. That's how she would have wanted it.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Evidence That Fall Is Around The Corner

When I got up at 5:15 this morning, it was 49 degrees outside. The weather man says the high today will be 73. The older I get, the less I like cold weather (to me, anything under 60 is cold weather!). Summer is my favorite time of year. Even in Alabama where it is so humid in the summer. My knees have been throbbing all week and that is a sure sign that summer is leaving. Old Arthur is knocking.

Tuesday, I swept a lot of dried leaves off the porch. As you can see from the photo up there, a few more had fallen by the time I got home yesterday, along with a few acorns or hickory nuts or ... whatever they are. I do love the color of fall. I'm a colorful person and I enjoy watching the leaves change. Seeing the pretty reds and yellows made me want to get my camera out.

Last Saturday, our Library had their Fall festival which includes pony rides and a used book sale.  Stephen goes for the horses, of course. I love the used books and arts and crafts. We've been doing this since he was about five or six. The owners of the horses saw us coming and shouted, "There's Stephen! We were hoping y'all would make it!" I couldn't believe they remembered us by name ... then again, it's hard to forget Stephen. ;-) We paid for three rides and he enjoyed every one of them. Come to find out, they own a ranch close by and the lady has worked with special needs children at the Special Equestrians Foundation,which I've been trying to get him into for the last few years. The reason he hasn't been yet is because they send you a stack of papers as thick as War And Peace to have signed by every doctor and physical therapist he's ever seen. I've gotten about half way through that paperwork. You all know what a procrastinator I am, plus, I suffer severely from adult ADD, so it may never happen. The nice lady who owns the ranch also gives riding lessons! Cool, right? We have her card, she says never mind the mile-high paperwork, just bring him. Upon hearing this, he clapped his hands, very happily. That means, YAY! in Stephen language. 

So it's time I sign off and get started on housework. =) Y'all take care!  
 
ps: Apparently, the code isn't working for the photo ... I'll have to go to my website and make sure it's working. Sorry guys :(

Friday, September 22, 2006

Random Questions

Just to let y'all know I'm still hangin' in there (and because I don't feel like putting a lot of thought into anything right now) ...  

When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Ugh!!!

How much cash do you have on you?
about seven dollars

What's a word that rhymes with "TEST"
rest

Favorite planet?
Earth

What is your favorite ring on your phone?
I just have a plain old ringtone

What shirt are you wearing?
black T-shirt

Do you "label" yourself?
Yeah, I do :-(

Name the brand of your shoes you're currently wearing.
crocs (I LIVE in them!)

Bright or Dark Room?
depends on my mood

What were you doing at midnight last night?
sleeping

What's a saying that you use a lot?
The End.  As in: Son, you're not eating that on the couch! ... "THE END!"

Who told you they loved you last?
my mama

Last furry thing you touched? my cat, Patches.

How Many Drugs Have You Done In The Past three Days? nothing but caffeine and BC pills. Oh, and advil. Then there was the benedryl last night ... :-/

How many rolls of film do you need to get developed? several, and they're several years old


Favorite age you have been so far? 19

Your worst enemy? myself

What is your current desktop picture? some sort of landscape that was already on the computer

What was the last thing you said to someone? After I am finished with hair cuts this morning, I'll come over and help you with you medicine. Love you, too. Bye --- talking to my mom on the phone.

If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly, which would you choose? Since I don't like to fly--like, at all--I'll go with the million bucks.

Do you like someone? yes

The last song you listened to? Hang: by Matchbox Twenty
 
What's your favorite sports drink? Hmm .. can't say I like any of them. I drink a lot of water and tea

Do you download music legally or illegally? I haven't downloaded anything in a long time. Not since I had to give up high-speed connection. :-(

Favorite kind of potato chips? Golden Flake, baby!

What's the one thing you couldn't afford to leave behind on a vacation?
my camera

Can you watch golf on TV for more than 15 minutes?
no, but Ienjoy playing golf even though I'm not great at it

What kind of toothpaste do you use? usually Colgate Total plus whitening

Best pizza place in town? Patera's is GOOD!

How many friends on your MySpace list? nine

How many of those do you know personally? most all of them. Most are relatives.

If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do?
cry, lots. Spend every minute with my family and best friends.  If I had an appetite [which, I doubt I would] I'd eat everything I love that isn't good for me.

Coke or Pepsi?  either

How bad are your allergies? Pretty bad this week.

Have you ever ridden a mechanical bull? not to my knowledge

If you were working on a pirate ship, what would you most likely be? Probably the cook and maid, that's what I do at home!

What is the most expensive thing you've bought recently? A new bathtub. Sad, isn't it?

Do you remember your favorite book from childhood?
Charlotte's Web!

When was the last time you were scared?
Talking with Mom's surgeon.

Share a random fact about yourself:
I'm very thrifty! I can't stand to buy anything that isn't on sale. The words, "clearance" or "50% off" puts a smile on my face! I love thrift stores and yard sales. But, I refuse to buy useless junk.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Fall Is In The Air

It's true. Fall is in the air. It dipped down into the mid-eighties yesterday and today. This morning, I didn't even break out into a sweat when I helped Stephen out to the bus. Next thing you know, we'll be breaking out the jackets and sweaters. Then for the longest, we'll have to wear long sleeves in the morning and short sleeves and shorts in the afternoon. Fall and winter in Alabama is always a guessing game. It could be freezing during the holidays or it could be warm. But, no guessing needed in the summer around here. It's hot ... Dang-HOT! You can cut the humidity with a knife. I'm not complaining. I love Alabama, sticky-humidity and all.
 
I'm due for an update and I have much to say, it's just that ... I don't feel like it right now. I'm still here and we're still hanging in there. Mom is doing okay. Daddy and I took her to meet the surgeon this morning.  ... Which is why we've all had a long day and I have a stress headache.  So - I'll catch up with you all soon.  
 
Take care!
 
 

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

update

What's been going on?
The last few weeks have been a blur.
* I survived my birthday, flat tire and all. Managed to spend some time with my non biological twin to celebrate our fortieth. We had delicious food, saw a not-so-great movie and shared many laughs.
* School is officially back in full swing. I hope his experience with seventh grade is smoother than mine was. The school year of 1978/79 was a traumatic year for me. I wouldn't go back and relive that year if you paid me. I still have nightmares about it. I'll spare you the horrid details about the time a group of mean girls beat me up, locked me in the bathroom and took my clothes away from me. I was small for my age, very fragile and painfully shy at the time. I did absolutely nothing to them. They picked on me simply because they could. I was an easy target. No wonder I started falling behind that year ... I was always looking over my shoulder. They made my life a living hell. I still see a couple of these girls from time to time around town. I always remember that horrible year when I see them. Oh, I said I'd spare you didn't I. I'll shut up about that.
* Most importantly, my mother got the news this week she didn't want to hear. The surgeon wants to go ahead and do surgery to repair the aneurysm. It isn't responding to the medication and is growing at a steady pace. I wouldn't be as concerned if she were strong and in good health, but she has gone downhill at a steady pace as well. I'm sure that smoking multiple packs of cigarettes daily has contributed to the decline in her health. The cardiologist told her that he wasn't going to sugarcoat anything, considering the location of the aneurysm and the severity of her condition, it's going to be risky. But without it, she'll surely die. Hearing those words made me feel numb all over. For a moment, I forgot to breathe. Suddenly, all of the issues I've had with my mother seemed so unimportant.
I cooked extra supper last night and delivered their meal. They were pleasantly surprised. If you're reading this, spinthemoon, I cooked your pork chops. or chicken. recipe (the chicken version) they loved it! That's a huge compliment coming from my parents. My mother is a very good cook and they are picky eaters. They ate the chicken and rice without even looking up from their plates until every morsel was gone. They were very pleased that I brought enough for them to have leftovers tonight. :-)
So that about wraps up my update. I will be in and out of my journal community in the weeks/months to come. I would like to take this time to ask you all to send your prayers and well wishes to my Mom and our family during this difficult time. I will update as often as I can.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Turning Forty With An Attitude Of Gratitude

I've heard this song thousands of times since I was a little girl. Today, I get it.
 
 
Time In A Bottle
 
If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
Id save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with
 
I have arrived at the realization that life doesn't go on forever. Isn't it funny how, when we are young, time goes by so slow? We have all of our goals and dreams in front of us and we are so impatient to see them come to pass. Remember how slow time passed? Such as ... waiting for the ice cream truck, waiting for Friday to get here, summer vacation, the Holidays, and yes, our birthdays. Remember when you didn't think your sixteenth birthday would ever get here? Then, your eighteenth, your twenty first. I stopped feeling all giddy about birthdays around the age of twenty seven because I knew I was approaching thirty and thirty was the year I was supposed to have this and that accomplished, or, at least thirty was to be a benchmark for me. Wait. Didn't I just turn 30 last year? Where did those 10 years go? In those ten years, a lot has changed. Physically, that is. My situation is still the same though. ::sigh:: I'm a planner. There is nothing worse or more depressing to a planning, control-freak than not seeing those plans achieved. A good friend sent me a card that reads, "Forty is Fabulous." I needed to hear that and more importantly, I need to agree with it. Because I've been feeling that for me, Forty is Failure. Forty was the big one in my eyes. (Imagine how I'll feel at 50 and so on if I keep this up) Since I hadn't achieved any of my goals, (except for having a baby, that is, which is the best thing I've ever done) by the time I was thirty, I had given myself another ten year grace period to make those dreams come true. Well, as of yesterday, those ten years are up. Ten years ago, we moved here to save money for our "dream home" and I'll be totally honest with you, we haven't saved one red cent. I had planned to go back to work, but I was living in denial, thinking that Stephen's health was going to improve and maybe he'd "grow out of it." One positive thing has happened over the last decade: I've accepted the truth. Acceptance of imperfection is hard on a perfectionist. I've mastered that one. Took many years of depression and a few years of self-abuse and within a hair of complete self destruction that I won't mention at this time, but I have finally accepted my hand and even more, I appreciate it. Yes, I said that. I appreciate it. I feel that nothing is by accident. Even when we don't know who we are, where we are or where we're going, God knows. He also cares. Not only that, but he has it all under control IF we let go of the reigns. Whew! What a relief! It's a relief to let go of a life that I totally screwed up, trying to do it all myself and put my future in the hands of someone who does have forever on their side and who is actually capable of miracles. The pressure is off.
 
So, what started out to be the dreaded fortieth, wasn't so bad. I had hoped for some kind of epiphany and I choose to see the bright side. I wasted so many years dwelling on the future and reliving the past mistakes, I forgot what it's like to live in the moment or how to enjoy it. Stephen has taught me to do that again. Like I said, when you're a planner, a control freak, it's hard to let go. But that is my new goal in life. My goal is to enjoy, appreciate and take one day at a time. Learning and growing in spirit. Spending time with my family and friends. My new goal involves dwelling on things that really are important and I want to let go of the pressures of society. Materialism. If you don't have "things," if you are what society calls, "poor" and you allow it get you down and let it identify you, you are just as materialistic as someone who has it all and keeps wanting more. I choose to let go of stuff, or the desire thereof and concentrate on family. I want to spend my time enjoying life, not regretting it.
 
 ~ Maybe now that I'm letting go, the writer's block will subside. Maybe I can finally finish that dusty novel on the shelf that I gave myself till age forty to finish. (?) Well, it's a thought. No pressure. If it's meant to be, the words will come to me.  Meanwhile, I will sign off of here, and register my son for seventh grade today! Maybe take him to his favorite restaurant. McDonalds. 
 
Forty!?! Bring it on! I can handle it. :-)
 
Edit: Hah! I have to tell you this. After I signed off and went to the middle school, the bank,  McDonalds, etc today, I turned on my street and heard a thump, thump, thump ... I had a flat tire. My cell phone was dunked in a glass of iced tea (twice) by you-know-who (Stephen, for those of you who do not know) and I had no way to call out for help. So I drove the doggone truck in the driveway and um, it was off the rim. (oops!) After repeating several bad words in front of my child's tender ears, I took a deep breath and remembered that I was going to start looking at the bright side. Tomorrow Stephen has an appointment in B'ham with his cardiologist. Thank God this didn't happen tomorrow. It didn't happen while on the busy highway earlier today. (I swear, the tire wasn't even low when I left the bank!) When I said, "Forty, bring it on!" .. I think it heard me ...
Thought for the day:  Be ready and willing to back up what your big mouth says. Oh, and, if you cuss in front of your child, you should pray for forgiveness in front of them too, so they know that you make mistakes and need forgiveness from time to time, just like everyone else.   

Friday, June 30, 2006

Facing Your Problems (and confusion) Straight On

Meet Patches, the family feline. Amazingly sociable and friendly, yet, fearless. Patches just turned four years old this month. Because we live in the country, she is an indoor/outdoor cat. We couldn’t turn her into a little princess if we tried. There’s too much to do out here in the woods. Patches has field mice to chase and ground squirrels to torment (she leaves these victims at our front door as gifts) Another thing about Patches, she suffers from gender confusion. She believes she is a tomcat. Her best friend is the neighborhood tom, who has taught her everything he knows about being a tomcat, including spraying things to mark her territory. Oh, nothing happens when she thinks she is spraying something, but she‘s making her point well known.

I will give you another tidbit of information, Patches behaves very much like a dog. That could be because we’ve never been cat people, we were dog people. We adopted Patches’ mother four and a half years ago when she wandered upon our porch one night, skinny and starving. We treated these cats the only way we knew to treat a pet. Like a dog. Our neighbors seem to get a kick out of the fact, Patches follows us everywhere we go. We walk around the neighborhood, she follows us just like … a dog. When it’s time to go home, we whistle and say, “Patches, come!” and she always obeys the command. When she has to do her business, she scratches on the door to let us know and we open it for her go outside. She's never even seen a litter box.  But that is where her similarity to the canine ends. By no means does she care to socialize with the neighborhood dogs. In fact, she is a bona fide dog-hater. If we didn’t know that before, we know it now. We have two new dogs in the neighborhood. A black lab and a white lab. Ebony and Ivory, we call them, although we have no idea what their real names are. In the photo above, you can see that she didn’t take a liking to Ivory and was defending her territory last Friday. No way was she going to let Ivory come on the porch to play with her family. NO-WAY! She nipped that little problem right in the bud. Today however, was a different story. Ebony bypassed Patches somehow, came on the deck and had the audacity to eat her tuna and liver flavored cat food! Paul got home and caught him in the act, just as he was finishing off his meal with her water! Poor Patches, just waking from a little cat nap was down in the yard looking up at Ebony in disbelief, then at Paul in disgust as if to say, “Your going to let him get away with that? You coward! Do I have to do everything around here?” Patches arched her back like a cat and growled like a dog until Ebony decided he’d had all the fun he could stand, then he barked at her and left. I don’t know if Ebony or Patches won that battle. He did leave after she warned him, yet he’d already helped himself to her lunch. So that’s a tough call. Ivory has only come back as close as the driveway, but he’s refused to enter the yard after their standoff last week (which you see up there in the photo) Patches won that battle, hands down.

That’s what I admire about Patches. She may be confused about her gender and she may behave a little like a dog, but she knows that this is her home, by-golly, and no dog is going to come into her yard if she can help it. Of all the times I’ve seen her approached by dogs, I’ve never seen her back down. She stares them down until eventually, they leave.

Five things I’ve learned from my cat:

1. The one who meows the loudest, gets the milk.

2. If you never back down, you’ll win your battles.

3. If you waste your time sleeping, somebody will come along and stomp all over your territory. Stay awake, be watchful!

4. You don’t have to be a male to know your territory and how to claim it

5. If you’re treated like a dog, you’ll act like one.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I Am Still On Planet Earth ...

I tried to post this entry yesterday but my aol browser was not working. It still isn't, but I am posting through Internet Explorer. It's a pain but this motivates me to go computer shopping. By the way, this is my first post to my AOL journal since they've added all the new tools. ... CoooL!  :-)

here goes ~

 Just to prove that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth and to include my AOL-J friends in my latest happenings (however boring my life may be)  - I have decided to finally update my aol journal and my other, non-aol journal. By the way,  If you are not an AOL member and wish to access my non-aol journal, Email me (aims814@aol.com) and I will send you the link. For some reason, my AOL-J friends are having trouble accessing my other journal and vise versa.  Being the people-pleaser that I am, I am now going to have two journals. It shouldn't be that difficult. Type my entry in MS Word, copy and paste to AOL and other (new) journal, right? Hmm, well, we'll see.

 
So summer is here and I'll have even less time now to surf the net and update my journal(s) but I am going to try. When I have time, I'm going to buy a new computer because this old one has dealt me fits for too long now and that is another huge reason why I am spending less time online. Since too much time has passed since my last update, it'd take more time than I have for online playing today to catch up. This is what I will do instead - - If you've seen the movie, "Because Of Winn Dixie" you'll get it. It occurred to me that in my three years of online blogging, I really don't get into details about me. So if you're interested:  
 
- Ten Things About Me -
 
1. My birthday is July 24th. Next month I am turning 40. Saying that almost makes me hyperventilate.  (oops, that was two things in one)
 
2. I don't own a house yet, and the thought of not doing so before I'm 40, really depresses me. I have exactly 40 days left to do something about that. :-/
 
3. (I'm already running out of things to say) Oh! -- I talk to myself too much.
 
4. I also answer myself. (That's normal, right?)
 
5. I am still very close to my two best friends from childhood. I've been told that this is rare and very special. I know for sure that they are.
 
6. I am a true Alabamian. I was born here. I love it here and I never want to move. I've moved out of state twice and I was very homesick both times.  
 
7. I have Irish and Cherokee blood for sure and I'm uncertain about the rest. I keep saying I'm going to dig deeper into my ancestral roots, but who has time?  It is something I really want to make a priority. 
 
8. I live in fear most of the time. Of what, I am not sure. I am a creature of habit and anything unfamiliar terrifies me. I was raised to fear (among hundreds of other things) driving and water. Therefore, I hate to drive outside of my city limits and I hate to be in water that is more than waste-deep. I swim like a rock.
 
9. The above statement makes me feel very angry towards my mom because when I was young and wanted to do those things, she wouldn't let me. She convinced me that I couldn't do them. I've believed her ever since. Isn't it funny how it's easier to believe the negative? Especially when it comes from a parent? I realize that those are her fears, passed down and she thought she was protecting me.
 
10. Even though I am afraid to drive, I love to travel (as long as someone else is doing the driving) I love the ocean, the lake, and even the pool (the wading pool, that is) I just don't want to get in too deep. Such is life for me. I don't want to get into anything too deep. I guess that would be a fear of intimacy? Commitment? Add those to my long list of fears.
 
Reading over numbers 8-10, I realize they are all very good reasons to seek therapy.
 
... I've said too much already and I am sure panic and regret will rush all over me the moment I click the save button.  I should have signed off long ago. My online time is over for today but I am going to get the camera out, and try to get back to my old self, soon. I hope to do some photo-journal stuff again, very soon. I have missed photography and writing. I'm rusty at both. Have a great summer!