Now I hope you don't mind, let me clear my throat!


All things V

Sitting on the couch in the dark. Scott is in bed, so the tv noise that seems to be a constant in this house is now silenced. I was enjoying the silence, but happened to click on the "last fm" box in my sidebar and it took me to my profile. After I saw all the music listed there and a compilation of artists that I am most likely to enjoy, I smiled thinking "yep, that sums me up." So now, I am sitting here enjoying the silky smooth voice of Norah Jones serenading me into the final hours of my night.

My birthday is officially one week away. The big 3-6! I know that's not that bad, but when you still see yourself as the big 1-6, then naturally you can see where the dilemma comes in. I've decided that for the next week I'm going to spend some time reflecting and pondering about the woman I have become. What makes me me? What makes me tick? What have I learned? I haven't thought it out enough yet to know just what form this will take or if it will have any order whatsoever. Maybe I'll just throw random lists out there as they occur to me. I'll have to sleep on it, I suppose.

For tonight, I'm going to throw some random things that I've learned about myself and the world out there for the universe to enjoy.

  • I always wait too long to quit a bad job or end a bad relationship. I always have hope that any minute now it's going to be better if I have faith and are there for them. Why I have this unfailing loyalty to such undeserving situations is beyond me.
  • It's almost never worth it to try and save an alcoholic or person with severe mental illness. I just don't have the strength anymore to fight other people's demons.
  • The boy who tells you you're sexy when you talk about something smart is worth a million other boys.
  • As Frederick Douglas said, "It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." Amen.
  • The only person you have to live with for the rest of your life is yourself.
  • Don't ask questions that you really don't want the answers to.
  • I get very quiet when I'm hurt or nervous.
  • Crunchy is pretty much a necessary texture. I can't stand anything soggy or mushy.
  • Light sauce--on EVERYTHING (meaning light jelly, light ketchup, etc.) It all goes back to the soggy/mushy thing.
  • I was flirted with recently and even told I was pretty and it felt really good. It's been a long time since I was flirted with by anyone that meant something to me or that I actually wanted to flirt with me. Everyone needs a mojo check once in a while.
  • I believe there are soul mates and there are love mates. Soul mates are those who you seem to have an instant connection to that never seems to go away (even if you don't get to be with that person or even if they're just a friend). You teach each other lessons. Love mates are those that you choose to love and have in your life.
  • I'm afraid of dogs.
  • I'm such a homebody it isn't funny.
  • I am a horrible singer! But that makes it even funnier to watch me karaoke.
  • I've never lived alone once in my whole life.
  • My short-term memory stinks, but my long-term memory is amazing. I can remember book/chapter/verse of events.
  • I'm bad at finishing what I start. I think it's because I tend to feel very passionately about things and pour myself into them...and then get tired. I've gotta learn to pace myself more, but that's so hard when you enjoy what you're doing.
  • In men, I'm drawn to virgos and scorpios. I don't do well with aquarius or sagittarius. My husband is none of the above--go figure.

Graphic of the day


Stuck in my head

When Your Body Gets Weak

Every Time I Think Of You
The Babys

Just finished

Loved The Book of Joe, so thought I'd give his other books a shot. It was okay, but not nearly as good as the other. I'm working on one more of his books right now--so far it doesn't compare either.


Dear Goldschlager, drop dead

Oh, where to even begin??? I'm sitting here shaking my head and laughing at myself because man oh man did I make a mess of things last night! Okay, a little back-story first.

I went up north on Friday to see Darren for Christmas, to let Courtney see her dad for her birthday and to attend our family Christmas party on Saturday. Things were going smoothly...traffic not bad, checked into hotel, all the necessary running around complete, settled into the hotel, kids swimming, slept great, etc. Went to family party, had a nice (benign) time. (Accidentally) vented at my mom about family garbage later (thanks Mom...I got over it pretty quickly like I usually do). I'm thinking I'm ready to pack up and go home when my cousin Michelle and her husband Dewey convince me to stay the night at their house and continue the "REAL" family Christmas party with a few people who were staying over to drink and sing karaoke. After a little convincing (I didn't have any kids with me at this point), I said yes.

BIG MISTAKE. See, I'm not normally a drinker. Oh, maybe once or twice a year I might have A (read: singular) drink, but really I can count on my fingers how many times in my life I've been drunkety-drunk-drunk-drunk. Because of this, I have a somewhat low tolerance and usually feel it pretty quick and don't have to drink much. WELL... (laughing at myself again because I can't believe how stupid I am)....

Michelle says, "Dewey wants you in the basement to do some shots with him." As we all sit around shooting the breeze and doing a few shots of Goldschlager (a cinnamon schnapps with gold flakes floating in it-- you know, the stuff from the movie "superbad"? "chicki-chicki-yeah,yeah"), I comment to Michelle what a wimp she is because she's doing these itty-bitty shots and I can't feel any effects whatsoever. She says, "just wait till you stand up--you'll see who was smarter" and her wonderful husband continues to fill my shot glass--and I'm dumb enough to keep knocking them back with him. It happened over such a lenght of time that it wasn't obvious to me how many we had done because we had been talking and laughing, then as the drinks started kicking in we even started crying together, then laughing some more....I had no clue how many until I heard Michelle return to the basement after leaving to do some karaoke. "YOU'RE STILL GIVING HER SHOTS??? DEWEY, WHAT THE **** ARE YOU DOING???" And yep...I am absolutely SCHNOCKERED. He (and much of the rest of my family) thought it was hillarious (and so did the people I drunk dialed), but my stomach and his toilet didn't think it was so funny.

My husband called right before I got sick and within seconds he said, "are you DRUNK???" I said, "jush a lil bit." He asked, "what the heck are you drinking that has you THIS hammered?" "I'm not sure...shome shtuff that hash gold floating around in it." He immediately starts laughing and saying, "oh no!!!" I ask if that's bad and he just laughs and says, "uh huh." I then call Allison and continue to tell her, Shawnda & Heather (they were visiting) just how pretty and smart they all are and how much I love them. Thank God, gmail has "mail goggles", which is an application that prevents you from sending email after a certain hour unless you can answer a series of math questions, or else I may have drunk-mailed a bunch of people too!

I ended up sick as a dog with Michelle telling Dewey, "this was YOUR doing...you sit here with her and make sure she's okay." Bless his heart, he even knocked on the bathroom door and asked if I needed him to hold my hair back. lol He and my cousin Ken got me into bed, where I layed for a good few hours with Dewey talking to me about everything under the sun. I just kept laughing and telling him really stupid stuff that I'm sure I'm better off not remembering most of anyways.

Ken came upstairs a few times to check on me and asked me if anything was spinning yet and when I confirmed that everything was, he told me I wasn't allowed to go to sleep, that I needed to get up and try to shake it off now or I would be sorry in the morning. So, eventually I felt better enough to go downstairs and sing karaoke with Michelle for another two hours or so.

Eventually, I crawled into bed after taking two Tyelenol, a phenergan (for nausea), a protonix (for acid) and drinking a ton of water. As I drifted off into a nauseous, spinning sleep I quietly thought to myself, "this is NOT going to be good." Surprisingly enough, I woke up this morning relatively unscathed. No headache, no sicky-icky hangover. I felt no different than any other morning. The only difference between this and any other morning is that I now had to do the walk of shame down the stairs to see my waiting family gathered around the breakfast table.

I have to say, at least something good came of this travesty. Before the evening started, I was pretty irritated with my family and really didn't want much to do with them for a while. After the party, that's all healed because as strange as it sounds, I connected with many of them last night and it healed a lot of things. When the puke hit the toilet, my family was there to hold my hair back and get my butt into bed...and there to laugh at me in the morning. They took care of me and that's more than I get from most of them...well, ever. Sad that it had to come to that and I definitely won't be conducting that experiment again any time soon, but it's still nice to know.


So, a girl walks into a delivery room.....

...and she rolled out a mother. And her life would never be the same.

I reposted an old blog of mine (underneath this one) to remind myself and everyone else where we've come from. I used to worry about my girl so much. We'd both been through tragedy, she'd been through trauma. She rebelled, I disciplined. On and on it went. There were many points when I never thought we'd see this day. There were many other points when I thought if we did see this day that it would look much, much different than it actually does.

My little girl turned seventeen today; a very bittersweet moment for me. Thinking about letting her go is enough to already make me want to lay down in a fetal position. The other part is so insanely proud of her for becoming the young-woman she now is. I dropped her off at her fathers today and told him, "she's only FIVE weeks younger than I was when we got married." He gasped and shook his head in disbelief. On one hand, she's pretty-much a woman now. But on the other hand, she has a mom who's not going to let her pitch it all down the toilet. My mom must've trusted me a whole lot more! lol Cuz I don't trust this girl to go out into the world yet! Not even close! But we're closer than we were before.

Today in the car, Courtney looked at me and said, "Mom...I'm 17 today."

"I know Courtney." I smiled and patted her hand turning my eyes back to the road.

"No mom, I'm SEVENTEEN...and I'm not pregnant, not whoring it up, not skipping school, not doing drugs or drinking, not getting detentions, not failing school. I'm DOING IT."

Tears fill my eyes as I realize the place in her that this little speech has come from. She had as much doubt about her future for a while as I did....and now we can exhale.

"I know babe, you're right. You are DOING it. You are. I'm so proud of you for turning it around onto the good path that you're on. And if you stick to it, you're on your way to having a wonderful life Courtney. You're doing it babe....but actually, we did it together didn't we?" She smiles and shakes her head. "Yeah, honey you have a mom who refused to hand her little girl over to the world on a silver platter! I went kicking and screaming all the way and while the world was pulling on your arms, I grabbed your feet and fought even harder to keep you with me--I would NOT let you go down the wrong path without fighting tooth and nail for you. But you finally made the decision to start fighting for yourself--and that's when you finally started winning."

She sat quietly and smiling for a little while before jokingly saying, "Now I'm gonna run away and get married." I smacked her just as playfully and reminded her that she'd have big mama to answer to.

All joking aside, I have raised an extremely strong-personalitied young woman who has opinions, has never met a stranger, is intelligent, stylish and FUNNY. She is spunky and sometimes cranky, but without a doubt, always Courtney. Most importantly though, she has a heart. Courtney is one of the most thoughtful and giving people I've ever met who would gladly go without something so that someone else might have it. She is beautiful inside just like she is outside. It makes me sad that this journey is beginning to wind up, but it pleases me to know that it's looking like it will be declared a success.

Happy birthday my pretty, pretty girl, with the slammin' body and the junk in the trunk (Courtney got a donk!), to my funny (your MOM is funny!) Corki (Corkia Big-booty Judy) who would rather sit around in pajamas with her family dancing funny and making faces with us than anywhere else. You make our lives complete. You have added so much sheer, unadulterated FUN to my life in the past 17 years and every day has been more colorful and complete since the day I met you. On December 26th, 1991, at 4:01 p.m., in Ft. Polk Louisiana my life changed forever. God used you and your powerful personality to make me a momma--and it's been just you and me since then. There have been bad times and not so bad times, but through all the times after the other parts fall away, it really is just you and me sweetie, fighting against the world. Thank you for being my girl and loving me. I am SO PROUD of you and what you've accomplished and I am so proud to say that I know you and to be able to point at you and yell "I made that!!!" :) You're awesome Courtney. You rock and you know it. Keep being you and keep being good. Create a good life for yourself. Make good decisions and keep God in your life. You got good stuff coming your way. You've already been through some of the bad stuff and have made some good choices lately---do more of that! I love you--happy birthday Courtney. (Now I get to come spank you! heeheehee!)

Just stay---reprinted from 1/27/07

Just stay (1/27/07)

The wind was bitter cold blowing against our tear-stained faces. We were standing in the middle of a January-in-Cleveland snow hugging each other on the sidewalk in front of the counseling center trying to make some kind of ammends after the mess that had been our week. I've seen so many things. I've travelled so many roads. I have so much life under my belt for my short 34 years that it's easy for me to look at this situation and start to rationalize some things and to just have a basic faith that it's going to be ok. But she doesn't. She's looking at this with her 15-year-old brain and it scares her and it changes who she is. I hate that. She's so much like me. She's passionate and she's impulsive. She's dramatic and likes to think out loud...alot of times instantly regretting what just came out of her mouth. And like me she's also prone to depression...and that scares me. Will she do something to hurt herself? Will she run away? That's why standing in the middle of the cold sidewalk I held her and reminded her that "we can get through anything...it's always been you and me Courtney...I was the very first person to ever see your face and I will be the last one standing there with you in the end...I WILL NOT GIVE UP ON YOU."

I was only 18 years old and thought I was grown. I had been married for almost two years, I lived 1200 miles away from home and I had just had a baby...what a journey I had before me. What lessons still to come. But here I was with this tiny little girl all pink from laying under the bili lights, iv's in her arm for the antibiotics (she was septic from being born with group b strep). I sat night after night in the nursery all alone...just me and her. Occassionally a doctor would mosey through and stand behind my rocking chair handing me a tissue, the nurses were horrible...i won't even go there...but in the still of the night it was just me and her. I would watch her...and cry...pray...and cry...stare at her face while begging her to nurse...and cry. And I would just look at her and think...I know you don't feel good, and I know this is going to be hard...but I'm here for you...you and me...I won't give up on you...JUST STAY...please don't go. Get mad...get loud...just stay.

It's amazing that 15 years later I'm still silently whispering the same things to her. I know this is hard Courtney...I know this process doesn't feel good...but I'm here for you...you and me...I won't give up on you...lets do whatever it takes to get better...just stay.


Santa came!!!

Christmas pics are up on our family blog!!!

Why don't you pop over and check them out? :)


Santa Will Find You


Merry Christmas Eve

My true love gave to me...

Okay, since I'm broke I can't get you all gifts, but honestly what says love more than some lol cats??? To celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, I am generously gifting you with 12 funny kitty pictures. And by the way, the irony of my not being an animal person yet loving these pictures is not lost on me. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


In case this big ol' sky should fall on our heads

I was just watching "Little People Big World" (does anyone else watch that show?) and their good family friend Mike passed away. It was such a sad episode because over the years these people have been in our home and have become like our family. I cried for the loss of this man that I had never met and for the pain that this family that I haven't met either, yet care for like family and their broken hearts.

I started thinking about the people in my life that I might talk to often--or maybe not, as there are a ton of people that I love that I don't talk to very often anymore--but yet I don't take the time to tell them how much I have appreciated them and their place in my life. Family, friends, kids, loves (old and new), even all of my school friends that I have recently reconnected with--you have all played an integral part in making me who I am. Every phone call I receive, hug I give, patient I take care of, comment I receive on this blog...they are all building blocks in my life.

So, in case this big ol' sky should fall on our heads--I love you all. Thank you so much for being a part of my life, whether short-term or long-term, thank you. Love y'all!


Friday five

  1. Took the kids to Indiana today for a long weekend with friends which translates to lots of quiet time for me. :)
  2. Because of this, I had a lovely 3 hour (plus) long dinner with friends and loved every moment of it.
  3. I've discovered my favorite "Lawsons" chip dip, which they sell at Circle K as it turns out. There is no better chip dip anywhere.
  4. Considering going back to school. I should have been graduating this summer but because of the leave of absence I took, who knows how long it will be.
  5. I dug up a ton of old (I'm talking Jr. High-ish) pictures and put them on facebook for all of my old friends to enjoy. Some of them were so bad! But everyone has enjoyed them a great deal. There's been an explosion of people on facebook in the past few weeks that I grew up with and it has been so awesome to get reaquainted with everyone.


Graphic of the day

Why am I married?

I was looking through my old emails and this is one I received from a friend a long time ago and it made me giggle. I thought I'd share. Enjoy! :)

You have two choices in life:
You can stay single and be miserable,
or get married and wish you were dead.

At a cocktail party, one woman said to another,
"Aren't you wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger?"
"Yes, I am. I married the wrong man."

A lady inserted an ad in the classifieds:
"Husband Wanted".
Next day she received a hundred letters.
They all said the same thing:
"You can have mine."

When a woman steals your husband,
there is no better revenge than to let her keep him.

A woman is incomplete until she is married. Then she is finished .

A little boy asked his father,
"Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?"
Father replied, "I don't know son, I'm still paying."

A young son asked,
"Is it true Dad, that in some parts of Africa
a man doesn't know his wife until he marries her?"
Dad replied, "That happens in every country, son."

Then there was a woman who said,
"I never knew what real happiness was until I got married,
and by then, it was too late."

Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

If you want your spouse to listen and
pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep.

Just think, if it weren't for marriage, men would go through life
thinking they had no faults at all.

First guy says, "My wife's an angel!"
Second guy remarks, "You're lucky, mine's still alive."

"A Woman's Prayer:
Dear Lord, I pray for: Wisdom, To understand a man , to Love and to
forgive him , and for patience, For his moods. Because Lord, if I pray for
Strength I'll just beat him to death"


Husband and wife are waiting at the bus stop with their nine children.
A blind man joins them after a few minutes. When the bus arrives, they
find it overloaded and only the wife and the nine kids are able to fit
onto the bus.

So the husband and the blind man decide to walk. After a while, the
husband gets irritated by the ticking of the stick of the blind man as he
taps it on the sidewalk, and says to him, "Why don't you put a piece of
rubber at the end of your stick? That ticking sound is driving me

The blind man replies, "If you had put a rubber at the end of YOUR
stick, we'd be riding the bus, so shut up!


Scott came over from the shelter today and said that pending final approval, he is set to leave for truck driving school on the 29th. That is a very, very exciting thing for his life and I am praying that it happens and that the other shoe doesn't drop. It will not only discourage me, but it will discourage him. It's taken him 37 years to try and break out of the same horrible patterns in his life and I want to see him succeed so that he can start building a life for himself. He needs to learn how to be a man, a husband, a father and a friend and this could be the first step and he is so excited to be doing it--which is new for him as well. I wish him so much luck in spite of what foolish things he has done in his past. Repentance + change = a fresh start and I hope it happens for him.



I may no longer celebrate his birthday or our anniversary, but this is a day that I will celebrate for the rest of my life! December 18th is now and will forever be known as the day that God's justice visited our family. For those of you who've only met me recently, my ex-husband aka son of the devil was found out (on 12/18/02) to be hurting my little girl. Turns out he had been hurting her for two years every night when I was at work. His selfishness left a wake of destruction behind him in the form of little girls who would lose their father, the innocence of a little girl who will forever be changed by his evil need and he is one of the major building blocks in the anatomy of bitterness that is me today.

The night I found out, after I beat the hell out of him, he stole ALL of our money and our family vehicle (leaving us destitute and without even one Christmas gift for the kids right before Christmas) and tried to run from the police. He made it to Illinois before God got ahold of his conscience and convinced him to turn around and come back. The ONLY positive thing that I can say about him is that he fessed up from the instant he was discovered and he turned himself in. He has been there ever since and is currently incarcerated in prison in Marion, Ohio where I hope he rots. Or is subjected to the same rape every night that he inflicted on my little girl. He will be there until 12/17/2011 and I am still struggling with whether or not I will be trying my best to move on and never think of him again, or if I will haunt him for the rest of his life making sure that every neighbor he ever has knows that he is a sexual predator. He even tried to molest our babysitter it turns out, so I want EVERYONE to know who he is and stay safe from him.



Pit stop

Today was an interesting day; generally good; not what I expected. It started out frustrating because I spent 4 1/2 hours sitting at an appointment and they then told me that they were going to have to reschedule for next week. That set my mood into a downward spiral that only got worse during the first half of the day. The other day, someone at the shelter stole Scott's cell phone. We called and had them lock up the account, but that also means that he can't call me very often, which is a two-edged sword. On one hand, it's a relief. On the other hand, it makes me miss him a little and worry about him a lot. What's worse is that the few times he's called me from the shelter's phone, he has this cough that is getting worse and worse. Every time I talk to him, he is more out of breath and sounds really, really, really bad. All of this was on my mind all morning, but I didn't say anything to him about it. He's really manned-up about this whole situation and hasn't complained about even one thing and hasn't fought with me or even asked to come home. He's taken his lumps and despite cynical thoughts that will certainly be sent my way, is trying to actually do something productive and meaningful to change the situation. More on that later though, for now: back to me. :)
So as I was saying, I was in a bit of a depressed, poopy mood and went to Walmart to do some shopping before picking the kids up. As I was walking around the store buying gifts for the kids, this wave of sadness hit me like a tsunami. I did NOT get married (more than once. okay, more than twice) so that I could Christmas shop alone. What am I doing walking through this world alone AGAIN? After sitting in the parking lot and crying for a while, I got over my mini pity party and headed off to pick up the kids. In the mean time, Scott called and sounded SO bad. I told him to be waiting out front, that I was coming to pick him up. He sounded surprised, but said he would. I wanted to assess the situation and his health first-hand, without really letting him know what I was doing. I acted non-chalant and told him I wanted to run to a few stores then home for dinner and would have him back before 7pm check-in at the shelter. Well, honestly he's lucky he's not back in the hospital because I really thought about taking him. I haven't told him this yet, but he looks and sounds like he's getting pneumonia and I'm kind of worried about him.
Just as I was contemplating asking him if he wanted to sleep on the couch tonight instead of going back, Courtney came home early from work because a major ice storm hit our area and the restaurant closed down early. One of their drivers got in a wreck and the other one fell down a flight of icy stairs. Scott went outside to see how bad it was and fell on the ice within three feet of our door, so needless to say I wasn't going out to take him back. He's here and it's been a pleasant evening. I have no doubt that it will be pleasant at first and I'm not going to give it a chance to not be pleasant because he's not going to be able to stay. He has some work to do and some improvements to make before (and if) he's allowed to come back. But tonight was a nice pit-stop on this race we're running. I even tested his pleasantness threshold by watching a girl-tv marathon this evening. Lets see, I watched "Jon & Kate Plus 8", then I watched "I'm Paralyzed and Pregnant", then "The Bad Girls Club", then the season finale of "Blush". I know, right? ha! Normally he would've been running for the hills or insisting that we watch some stupid computer/ sci-fi show, but he just took it like a good boy. Now if I can just work in some mandatory cuddle time and maybe have him paint my toenails it will be a perfect visit! :)


Six Sentences Sunday

  1. Scott is still at the shelter and there is nothing really new to report there.
  2. Had a rough patch yesterday, he continues to confuse me.
  3. Have a lot to do, yet am so bored, which makes me boring and I don't have much to say.
  4. Trying to relax and it isn't working so well because I'm pretty stressed out.
  5. On Facebook TOO much.
  6. Am glad that my guilt is subsiding in most areas.

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