Sunday, December 30, 2012

Major steps...

Today - I actually made it to the movie theater and saw "The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey."  I loved it.  I loved sitting at the back of the theater in the seat at the top of the stairs.  I did not have to deal with people walking over me to go to the bathroom or what have you.  I was all snuggled in my warm coat with a small popcorn and medium diet coke.  Granted, I polished off the popcorn before the movie started, that was because I attended the 10 AM showing and had not had breakfast.

Still, I truly enjoyed myself in watching something on the "big" screen.  It was my private rollercoaster ride and I savored every moment.  Granted, I had been to see the James Bond movie, "Skyfall", but dealt with people talking through the movie.  Here, no one talked during the movie.  It was truly an enjoyable experience.

Tonight, I cooked a prime rib roast, made faux mashed potatoes with cauliflower, and sauteed some brussel sprouts.  Faux mashed potatoes was fabulous.  Very happy to learn this new recipe because it allows me to use cauliflower in place of potatoes.  The brussel sprouts were not soft enough, so next time, I am going to steam those before I sautee them.

The code weather is causing Chloe some issues with walking.  I can see where she is limping around and not really wanting to walk.  Also, she is more prone to sleep in the bedroom.  I am going to put up my left overs and whip up the cheese ball mix, so that it can firm up over night.

Tomorrow, I have to go into work to deal with some stuff, but hoping not to stay there all day.  I would like to come home, straighten up the apartment, then get on with fixing the goodies for NYE.  On NYD, I will need to drive downtown and give a friend of mine a NYD dinner.  She ended up in the hospital before Christmas and not sure if she will be heading home soon.  Seems like she had pneumonia and must have caught whatever was going around where she was working.  She recently went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments for breast cancer.  I know that her system is weak and prone to getting viruses.

Today's Message from God:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

your talent is God's gift to you.

What you do with it is your gift back to God.

Really do not have anything to say about this.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Between holidays...

The Christmas holiday time was incredibly hectic.  I found myself rushing around to get various things done, but none of the important stuff done.  Oh, well.  That is what happens during the holidays - you just put off until another opportunity.

When it comes to managing my diabetes and the holidays, just forget it.  I can try and try, but it never quite works.  You know the old saying about the road to hell being built on good intentions.  It is true.  I do admit, I made lots of goodies for various people because I knew that they liked that sort of thing.  Also, they knew I put effort and care into what I created.  Some people do not see that, but that is okay.  I realize that others do the same, so I try to be as accommodating as I can.  Just really difficult when you want to eat the "bad for you" stuff and know what the results will be.

On Thursday, I took an old friend I have known since 7th grade out to dinner at a hibachi restaurant.  I had wanted to visit Japanese Palace, but knowing she had to be up before the birds, I thought we could try this place in Burleson, actually named "Hibachi." 

It is a really nice restaurant.  We both ordered the "Chef Special" and added on for the fried rice.  The food was very delicious.  We got the onion soup as part of our meal.  The soup was very tasty and hit the right spot for a cold evening.  Next, we got a small salad, then got the cooking performance. 

Basically, the cooking performance has the same tricks and jokes, but it is so fun to watch the whole cooking process.  It always amazes me.  Actually, when the chef cleans the cooking surface - that amazes me more.  (Okay - simple things impress me.  That is not a bad thing.)

The next day, my father set up the "smart" 3D TV and 3D blu-ray player in the living room.  I helped him with cleaning up the dust (OMG - it was really dirty!) and moving stuff around, so that we could get the old TV out of the bookcase.  My biggest fear was that the new TV would not fit.  I fretted over that for several days.  Not only did the TV fit, there was room to spare.  I probably could have gotten him a 37", but that is the breaks.  It is still a really nice TV.

Since my father's girlfriend wanted to go out to eat that night, my father made sure that the DirecTV box and DVD player were working.  We watched a little bit of "John Carter" in 3D.  My only negative to take away from that experience:  I have to wear my glasses to really see what is happening on the TV.  Well, I have to put the 3D glasses on over my glasses to watch the show.  It was uncomfortable.  Have to see if there is anything such as 3D clip-on.

The smart TV portion was quite an experience.  I think if my father had faster internet speeds, it would really be something else.  I played around with a few applications.  I found it interesting that there is a "fit" and "yoda" channel.

On Saturday, I met my father's girlfriends' step daughter and her family.  The family seemed really genuinely nice and all were very funny.  I liked how they all joked around and were very comfortable.  I just felt bad that I had not brought them a present.  I was given a present of body scents and lotion.  My father's girlfriend gave me one of those slap choppers that have been advertised on TV.  The step daughter's family gave the girlfriend a KitchenAid stand mixer.  She was very pleased with that gift.  In fact, that Monday, she had used the mixer to make her chocolate cheesecake.

Sunday was a day for rest.  I went out to Target and the grocery store, but not much else.  I watched videos or TV.  The next day was a work day, so I tried not to stay up too late.

Oddly enough, work was full throttle.  I was just glad that I chose to work from home.  Apparently, no one was in the office.  At some point, I think most people will just work from home a majority of the time.  I know I would rather do that.  Granted, that might decrease my relationships with other people, but I see some advantages for it.

Rather than getting to take some time off early, I ended up working most of the day.  I went over to my father's girlfriend's house after I decided where to end the day and I took the dogs with me.  I really hate leaving them by themselves and they are pretty well behaved while they are there.  It just took getting used to the new surroundings and everything fell into place.

We had dinner and my father picked out a pretty bad B movie to watch.  I had to laugh.  The first half of the evening was spent watching "It's a Wonderful Life", then some B shoot'em up movie.  The second movie was nowhere related to anything for Christmas.  LOL

We opened the presents we had for one another, then I headed home.  I wanted to get home before the rain storms hit.  Out in the country area, it is pretty dark and I really do not like being out there so late.  However, with the rain, I would have been more than miserable.  Chloe whined a lot in the back seat.  I guess she felt the same way. 

After we went to bed, the storms hit.  Chloe was almost on top of my head and Bo jumped off the bed to crawl under it for safety.  Lots of thunder and hail.  To make matters worse, the electricity went out for a few hours.  I really did not get to sleep that night, so when it came time to do the morning breakfast, I texted my father that I wanted to sleep in for the morning.  I am glad I did because I felt a lot better after some sleep. 

Christmas afternoon, it started to snow outside and I was off for the girlfriend's family gathering.  Originally, the house was to be packed with 35 people.  With the bad weather and such, many people bowed out of attending.  The two sons and their wives had put together a pretty nice spread.  Her youngest son had smoked a pork roast and it was really good.  The ham was good, but it was a bit overpowered by the glaze.

From the gift exchange, I got $20 in cash.  I worked that out right - made sure my gift was frozen so no one could take it.  After that,  the "adults" got together and played card games.  That was something I had missed about the holidays.  It was a tradition to buy a new jigsaw puzzle and put one together starting on Christmas Eve and work on it through New Years' Day.  One year, we did a 3-D puzzle and that was loads of fun.  Before that, we would play Monopoly.  I suck at playing games, but I love to watch and learn.

Anyway, the first couple of games we played was "Screw Your Neighbor".  It was $3 to play and there was 10 of us.  I had beginner's luck.  I won the first round, so I got $30.  Next round, I ended up losing, but I had fun learning the game.

When I tried playing Texas Hold'em, I just stunk.  Now, I am playing around with some electronic hold'em games to learn strategy and get down the various cards one can have.  I find that interesting.

Thursday, my father and I took the old TV to Best Buy to be recycled.  My father located a cable to connect his old home theater system to the the TV.  Once he got that set up, the system nearly blew me out of the house.  That evening, we went to Hibachi for dinner. 

On Friday morning, I made the unfortunate discovery.  The refrigerator my parents had for 42 years had finally quit cooling.  It still made a sound like it was trying to run and the light came on, but it was no good.  Confirmation of this was when I checked the freezer.  I had a small container of sugar free vanilla ice cream.  It had melted completely.  Ugh!

I had to take everything out of the refrigerator and pack it and everything else in my car.  My apartment complex has a garbage compactor, so once I got to the apartment, that was the first thing leaving my car.  Luckily, the garbage did not start smelling up the car, but I was pretty pissed about the situation.  I should realize by now the following is true - things break and it is never planned.

Now, I am back home and trying to pull everything back together.  I bought all of the stuff for making snacks for New Year's Eve and got a ham and such for New Year's Day.  I should have plenty of food for the upcoming week.  Most of which should be healthy.

Today's Message from God:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

your soul wants the freedom to sing, dance, love.

As your body needs nourishment - food, drink, sleep, so does your soul need nourishment - sing, dance, love. Life is not all work, work is not all hard toil. Nourish your soul with the food that is right for it, for it is the altar of your own inner temple.

Sort of had this discussion with RandomCathy during lunch.  I truly feel that I have to find that place in life where work has its place.  We have to work to live, but not live to work.  I want to do some fun things and just live life.  I know that is what my mom wanted for me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Horribly sad ending of the day...

I scheduled Bo and Chloe for a vet visit today.  Chloe was due for her annual shots, Bo needed his bordetella (sp?), and both needed a bath and groom.  So both were shipped off to the vet's office at 8:30 AM. 

I got cleaned up, dropped off a present for my co-worker at work, then headed back north to get another Christmas present.  While I was thinking about Christmas, I thought it would be nice to give the vet's office some goodies.  The vet and his staff have been really wonderful with working with me and taking such good care with the dogs.

I picked up some cookies, cake balls, and "bundtinis" to drop off.  As I was heading in the direction back to my apartment, the vet's office called to let me know that Bo and Chloe were ready.

Once I got there, I brought in the goodies and the vet was quite surprised.  While talking about how our dogs get  particular on their bed time schedules and how they let us know "it's time to go to bed", the vet stopped and said "we have an emergency."

I turned to see who was coming in the front door.  There was woman in her 30's helping a crying teenager carrying her dog.  The poor dog had blood and foam coming from its mouth.  A younger child was coming in as well.  The teenager was becoming more and more hysterical, which only made sense to me.  The young girl seemed rather unaffected.

The woman had seen the two girls carrying the dog, so she stopped to get them to the vet's office.  Something had happened at the playground, but I never found out what happened exactly to the dog.  The girls' mother was nowhere to be found.  The woman left her number and asked to be called for an update on the dog, but she had to leave.

During all of this, one of the techs brought out Bo and Chloe.  As I was trying to get hold of them, he started to apologize for my having seen the poor dog.  I told him he never had to apologize to me.  It is a vet's office - people bring in their sick or injured dogs.  It was not the first time and probably won't be the last time something like that would happen.  I understood.

I took Bo and Chloe back to the car, then went back in to pay the bill.  The receptionist was visibly upset and having a difficult time getting the young girl to talk.  Maybe it was just something I don't get, but the little girl seemed so unaffected.  The receptionist had gotten enough information from the young girl to call their mother, but the young girl had no clue as to how long it would take for her to get to the vet's office.  I offered to stay and even pay for any services.  I was concerned for the injured dog.  I offered to stay with the girl so that she would not be alone.

I had brought Bo and Chloe back into the office.  Bo and Chloe tried to play with the little girl, but she wanted nothing to do with them.  So, I got my dogs to settle down and just wait.

The same tech came back out and helped me get Bo and Chloe back to the car.  He walked me out to the car and quietly told me that the vet and etc thanked me for offering to pay, but the dog had already passed away.  I felt awful for the teenager.  I had been in that similar position.  You rush your beloved pet to the vet, praying that the vet will produce a miracle, but the vet can't.  My memories of Stormy's death came rushing back to me.

I got Bo and Chloe home.  As I walked the dogs, I cried.  I cried for the teenager who apparently loved the dog.  I cried because the dog could not be saved.  I cried because I knew the pain.  I hugged and loved Bo and Chloe for a long time.  I was very thankful to have both of them.  I know I am on borrowed time with Chloe, but I do cherish every day that I get to spend with her.  Both Bo and Chloe remind me every day about how much they mean to me.  Seeing those happy faces and wagging tails when I come home - I don't need anything else.  When I feel that no one loves me, I remember I do have two little furry friends who love me no matter what.

I pray that the dog's family finds comfort and peace and that the dog is in heaven chasing those squirrels and rabbits to its heart's content.

Nerdy, geeky post...

Today, I am going to stray away from my normal posts and turn into the happy nerdy, geek that I am.  So - you have been warned.  :-)

I decided to take a distance learning course from Collin County Community College.  Right now, I take the continuing education courses because there is really not much stress with studying and trying to make good grades.  It is about learning something new.  Learning something to help you.  I have taken the classes where you actually go to the college to be taught by an instructor.  I like those as well.  Also, the courses, in my opinion, are reasonably priced.  My mind has been wandering away from the normal "computer" courses to over to creative writing, but that is another story.

This short semester, I am taking "Introduction to Oracle."  I took a similar course back in 1999 at Tarrant County College.  I learned a lot about PL*SQL, but a lot of that I knew from when I had my first database course from UNT.  The course helped me with doing various projects at work. 

Now, I am trying to sort out exactly where do I want to go with my career.  Perhaps, make a new direction and become a database administrator or become a better programmer with SQL skills.  I take this course as a way to enhance my current skills.  Also, I want to learn more about installing, configurating, and administering a database.

For years, I have off and on set up a Linux operating system and installed Oracle DB.  Each time, there was always something a little funky off and the whole thing did not work.  This time, I worked on setting a similar configuration up for the class.

In 2006, I purchased my first Toshiba laptop for a class I was taking at UTD.  Over the years, I had used it and really considered the laptop very reliable.  With Dell machines, not sure why, but they have a tendency to "freeze" up on me, even with a large amount of memory.  However, the Toshiba has been unbelievable.

Long story short, somehow, a virus got onto the laptop.  My father worked on it to remove the virus, but it had done some serious damage to the files on the hard drive.  Best way to resolve that was for me to replace the hard drive.  I still have the other hard drive and I need to use my Linux system to pull the data off of it.  Luckily, there are tools within Linux that will allow me to do that without the virus spreading to the system.

I was not really using the system, so I got another hard drive.  I installed it, then loaded Fedora Core 14 on the laptop.  Once I did that, I downloaded the Oracle 11g database software.  I found installation instructions on the web, then worked on following them, but making changes to do what I wanted.  Found that really screwed up stuff.  So, I cratered the entire system and reloaded everything.  At this point, I followed the instructions strictly and did not set up a hostname.  This time, the database and the environment manager would start with no issues.

Now, the next thing was getting the system to automatically start and stop the database whenever I stopped and started the system.  Again, found great instructions for this on the web.  I need to pull all of this data together and save it somewhere.  Now, I can create a multitude of databases and they will all get started and stopped.  I was pretty happy over this.

At this point, I want to set up my "black box" system with the latest version of CentOS, 64-bit Linux operating system and get Oracle installed there.  However, I want to do this with using VMWare.  The reason for using VMWare is to allow me to test making departures to customize my installation of the software and get it to work.  VMWare will allow me to create a "saving" place - sort of like in today's video games - you save a place, so that if your character dies, you can go back to the place you were before the character was killed.  It prevents you from doing everything all over again.  Also, it gives me a chance to work with VM Ware for Linux.  I have played around with it using Windows, but this would be new.

In other nerdy news, a friend of mine from the days tweeted that she was going to take a free pre-calc course over the web.  I think that is pretty cool, especially if you want to just exercise the grey cells.  I was thinking of looking further into that.  This summer, I downloaded some iTunesU statistics course, but have not had a chance to go over that. 

As for the pre-calc course, I might do that as well.  It is interesting to see what I have forgotten and what I remember over the years.  When taking Linear Algebra in 2008, it was amazing how much stuff from Algebra II and College Algebra started rushing back.  It was pretty weird, but great at the same time.

I admit, I am a sick puppy when it comes to going to school.  I love going back to college.  It is just one of those things - learning new things, seeing a different point of view, and hanging out with the "kids."  It is a huge dream for me to be able to quit working and go back to school full-time to complete my degree.  Of course, I would need to have won the lottery.  LOL  However, it would be fun to go back and be able to do the things I wished I had been able to do 25 years ago.

Today's Message from God:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

she who kneels before God can stand before anyone.

Take refuge in God and you will be able to handle anything life throws your way.

I think that says it all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Senseless acts...

Since 2006, I have had a very difficult time enjoying the Christmas season.  Dealt with the rude crowds at the shopping malls, not having enough money to get people gifts and feeling guilty, dealing with the family arguments when my mother spent a lot of money on my father and he did not get her anything, then having to try to manage a Christmas spirit when my mother was dying.

The situation does not get better when some kid goes into an elementary school and guns down twenty six to seven year old kids.  When I heard about the massacre (that was what it was), I had no feeling.  I could not fathom it.  The most I could generate was just saying "How horrible" and thinking, "Where is this world going?  Just had a mall shooting last week!"

After a few days, the emotions just washed over me and the tears fell.  It is not that I do not like kids that I never got married and had kids.  I had the dream of getting married and having children just like every young girl.  The reality was - I was just never chosen. So, when I turned 40, I kissed all of those dreams good-bye and got a dog.

I feel sad for the parents of those children and for the families and loved ones of the principal and teachers.  I felt particularly emotional over one teacher where her boyfriend was going to propose to her.  Now, he can't.

I think where I feel the most sadness is that for these families, the Christmas holidays are going to be a very sad time of the year.  Granted, time heals all wounds, but it takes awhile - I know.  So, even though I try to be all cheerful and get into the Christmas spirit, I understand the underlying pain others go through during this time of the year.

I had to get that out of my system.  I had lunch with a friend and mentioned that I must be turning ice cold.  Someone was showing off their stuff for their iPad and I feigned how impressed I was.  I felt awful about it.  I have to wonder what is going on with me.

On a more positive note, my blood sugar levels are staying down with the new meds.  I still get my spikes from time to time, but I can pretty much account for what I ate to cause them.  Another reason why this time of the year kills me - I cannot eat all of the wonderful goodies.  *sigh*

Today's Message From God:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

God doesn't give you what you want, God gives you according to who you are.

Change who you are to change your life.

Hmmmm...I will have to think on how to go about that.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Changing a negative to a positive...

I love to cook.  The one area where I excel is making sweets.  My mother gave me the keys to baking some really wonderful and rare goodies.  I refined the process for making fudge.  After my trip to New Orleans, I figured I would work on making pralines.  I have two pretty popular recipes that taste testers at work really enjoy.

For the past month, I have been trying to get together for dinner with a few friends.  It is always something.  Last night, I took it personally.  Mainly because I tried to reach one friend several times with no response.  I end up at the restaurant waiting and no show.

I can understand emergencies, but at least, return a phone call.  If you do not want to hang out with me, tell me.  Sure, it will hurt, but I would appreciate the honesty.

The unfortunate part is I have all of these goodies I made for everyone.  I put in a lot of hard work and giving them away fresh is important.  I tried to keep it from being personal, but I was angry that I put my heart into making these goodies.

My father and his girlfriend joined me for dinner at a different restaurant.  I paid for dinner because they did not have to do that.  Also, this is a place I go where I am stood up.

I went to bed still upset.  The whole thing made me so incredibly sad.  When I got up in the morning, I saw the bags of goodies.  Rather than get upset all over again, it came to me to give these gifts to my friends at work.  They would appreciate them.  So, not all is lost and it gives me more time to spend working on my apartment.  If my friends decide to do dinner again, I will just pick up some gift cards. 

Today's Message From God:

Today,  we believe God wants you to know that ...

God is crazy about you.

God sends you fresh flowers every spring, a breathtaking sunrise every morning. If God had a wallet, your picture would be in it. If God has a refrigerator, your childhood scribbles would be on it.

Now, come on - God is crazy about everyone because all of those things, God gives to all of us every day.  :-)

Final thoughts:

Since seeing the specialist for my blood sugar, my levels have dropped considerably.  I am not feeling quite so wiped out these days and that is a good thing.  I still try to eat healthy.  Even with baking all sorts of sweet goodies, I have found some major restraint on eating that stuff.  That is the most amazing part for me.  Even when I am so depressed on things not working out, rather than fill my face with crap food, I maintained.

I still have a few things to get Christmas shopping wise.  I hope to knock those out tomorrow, then be free for the rest of the week.  My main goal is to clear out the apartment and get a really comfortable, cozy feel.  My home is my refuge from the harsh world.  The one place where I can go and just calm down.  However, I cannot calm down when it is a mess.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Enjoying "me" time...

Taking a day off today, so that I can work on a few projects in my apartment.  Right now, just relaxing with a cup of coffee and trying not to overwhelm myself over what all I should do.  I have another vacation day on Friday and the entire following week.  I hope to get a lot of personal stuff done.

It is bitter cold outside, but that is what makes it feel more like Christmas for me.  There was a very light dusting of snow, which was nice to see.  The dogs enjoyed being out for a walk this morning.  Now, both have found their respective places and are sound asleep.

For the past several years, I just do not get into decorating for Christmas.  That is because for several years, Christmas was a very bitter time. There was a lot of fighting and nothing seemed "good" about Christmas.  With my mom gone, it is even harder.

The other day, I was thinking about "forgiveness".  One can forgive, but the biggest problem is that it is so hard to forget.  Before my mom passed away, there were some outstanding issues that she had.  I know she could never forgive, but upon reflection, I think she should have.  Never forget, but forgive and let it go.  I have had some instances where I struggled with issues I did not understand.  I finally decided it was best to forgive and move on.  However, the hardest part is just forgetting.  Every once in awhile, the memory will pop up out of nowhere.  I don't pick when it happens, but it does.  I have already reconciled the situation and forgiven it, but here is the memory of it.

Perhaps, you are not to ever forget it.  It is a lesson one learns in life.  Sure, forgive, but learn the lesson.

Today's Message from God:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

you influence those around you.

Think well about the seeds you are planting as you influence the people around you every day. You can plant seeds of impatience, fear, and frustration, or of love, contentment, and faith. It's up to you!

I try to plant the seeds of laughter, sunshine, and love.  I know I have my negative days.  I get my negative days when my paranoia gets the better of me.  When it comes to others, I try to make sure that they feel safe, rather than afraid.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Vicious circles...

Yesterday, I thought I was doing well with managing my blood sugar.  I had a salad and a cup of potato soup from Cracker Barrel last night.  Two hours after I ate, my blood sugar was 165.  Two hours later, my blood sugar was 200. I figured I probably needed to get a small protein sandwich, so I fixed a pimento sandwich and went to bed.  (Yes, I did take my meds before going to bed.)

This morning, I woke up sweating, which was odd.  I measured my blood sugar and it was 245.  I thought "WTH!  I haven't even eaten anything in several hours!"  I calmed down, drank some water, and watch the last episode of "Sherlock" Season 1.  When I measured my blood sugar, it was 271.  Good grief!

I decided that it was time to eat some breakfast.  I prepared two hard boiled eggs and some microwave bacon.  I took the NovoLog and the new medication I am supposed to take at breakfast.  I hope that I see a decreasing change in my blood sugar in two hours.  I just find the whole thing upsetting.

Since I went to Fort Worth to visit my parents' home, the dogs got more out of hand with their barking.  I would look outside to see what was going on to cause them to bark so wildly, but not much there.  I decided to go to PetSmart to get a bark collar.  I did not want to do that, but when I take them both on a walk at the apartment complex, both dogs bark at other people and dogs.  It is really annoying.

The saleswoman and dog trainer suggested that I get the Sonic Egg.  The egg detects the loud barking and emits a sound that only the dogs can hear.  I tried it out and it seems to work, but with the other ambient noises, that causes the egg to emit more sound.  Now, Bo is scared to go outside and do his business.  I think I will have to use this as a training tool - when they are out there barking, make sure I tell them "Quiet!" and use the egg to get them to be quiet.  Maybe, if they put together the barking and the noise that they do not like, they will start using their lower bark.

Today's Message from God:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

the world never delivers on its promises.

Make more money and you'll be happier, get a bigger house and you'll feel satisfied, buy fancier clothes and people will admire you - the materialist's mantra. But there is always a bigger house, someone making more money and a new style that makes your expensive wardrobe obsolete. Pursue things that deliver: take care of each other, love one another and believe in God. These are things that deliver, and that's a promise.

Making more money does not make one happier.  I know this.  However, is it wrong to want a house because you live in an apartment?  Wanting to look nicer in clothes rather than drab?  Having more money to solve some of the money issue we incur, like medical issues and the like?  I know that there are lessons to be learned, but sometimes, it makes for such dark times. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Weekend rest...

I have noticed something over the past few days.  After seeing the diabetes specialist on Monday, most of the week, I was still dragging.  I would get home and be so exhausted that I would lie down and sleep for about 2 to 3 hours or go to bed ridiculously early.

By Thursday, I noticed a bit of change.  I seemed to have more energy and was able to stay up longer.  By 5:30 PM, I was not really feeling like my energy levels were so low that I needed to get some rest.  That was definitely a bonus because I really hate having that dragging feeling.

I have been keeping regular tabs on my blood sugar levels.  I want the specialists to see if there is any real patterns.  Also, I want to see what patterns there are as well as how the additional medications are handling my blood sugar.

I have only be at it for 4.5 days, but I can see a slow decrease on the blood sugar levels in my system.  Two hours after breakfast, I seem to have my biggest spike.  I do decently for lunch and dinner.  Of course, lately, I have been back to eating proper foods.  For example, last night, my father and his girlfriend took me out to dinner at Red Lobster.  I had the half-order of grilled salmon with rice and broccoli.  It came with a salad and I had one cheddar bay biscuit (the entree took a bit too long for me to come out, so I succumbed to having one.)  That night, my blood sugar stayed under 200.  I was quite thankful for that.

Today, however, I got a sausage, egg, and cheese McMuffin and a large cafe latte from McDonald's.  My mistake.  The McMuffin is not what got me, but the latte.  I could taste that there was something sweet in it.  I did not ask for any syrup or sugar.  Two hours after eating, I measured my blood sugar and it was 283.  Before eating, it was 193.  Something is not right there, that is for certain.

So, it is probably really good that I continue monitoring closely what is happening with my system.  I know it gets to be a real drag, but I just have to put my head down and get used to this.  I cannot allow myself to get lazy or give up on getting this under control.

Today's Message From God:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

nature is the best cure.

Whenever you are stressed or worried or uneasy, take a nice long walk in the nature, touch the ground with your feet, touch the trees with your hands, and the Divine nature of life will flow into you to ease your pain.

This leads me to my dream home.  I would like to have a house with lots of trees surrounding it and the neighbors are spread out quite a bit.  That way, I could walk on my own property and experience the beauty that nature provides.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

End of a Long Week...

Most of the week, I have felt really run down and exhausted.  Today, feeling more energized than I can remember.  That seems to be some progress, but I don't want to jinx it.

Today is my "Friday" and I worked from home so that I could get a couple of things done.  First, I need time to get some courses for contingency planning done.  Second, waiting on the apartment maintenance to change out the lights in the stairwell.  I got quite a bit accomplished on my first item, but no one showed up to change out the lights.  Seems like there is some excuse that the maintenance makes for not coming in to do the work.  What kills me is that the apartment management will worry me to death over if I am happy.  No, not happy, but I cannot move.  Seriously thinking of hiring a "handy man", then giving the bill over to the apartment managers to pay because obviously, their maintenance staff is just too busy.

I met up with my friend, Random Cathy, for our new ritual:  mani/pedi, then dinner.  I love it!  I get to see her and hear about everything going on with her.  I always feel positive and uplifted after our ritual. 

I have been working diligently to take my meds as prescribed and measure my blood sugar.  Amazingly enough, my blood sugar after dinner tonight was 179!  Believe me - I was very excited about that considering I did have some rice.  Rice, bread, and other sweets just spike my blood sugar to no end.  Hope that trend continues - I will work hard to be more diligent on what I eat, but sometimes, I just have to have a piece of cake.  Thank goodness people make cupcakes.  :-)

I will retest my blood sugar in a few minutes.  I could not help myself tonight.  I had to run by Starbucks to get a grande Cafe Latte.  No sugar added, other than what carbs are in the milk.  I remember when I did not care too much for Cafe Latte, but now, considering it is better for me than Cafe Mocha (or even worse - Cafe White Chocolate Mocha), I really like it.

Today's "God wants you to know":

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

every day you are choosing either to be grateful or to be disappointed.

You can worry to no end about what you don't have. Or you can marvel at God's breathtaking gifts: the morning dew, the sun, the clouds, the trees, the flowers, the birds. Could you create any of these? These miracles of life are always around you, ready to be celebrated, ready to be welcomed into your life.

This reminded me of a few conversations I have had.  Why do I worry?  With work, I worry that someone will mess up something and for whatever reason, the problem comes back to me.  Not that I did anything wrong, but that they want explanations or have me clean up the mess.  I agree that if I caused the mess, then I most certainly should clean up/fix the issue.  However, when someone else does it, they should be responsible for doing the same.  We learn from our mistakes.  If everything is perfect, then we never learn the pitfalls for going outside the lines or process.

In life, I feel I have to get so much done.  All of it needs to be done "NOW!"  That is probably a huge misconception on my part.  Not everything has to be NOW.  It can wait, but don't let it slip by you.

I have my days where I like to sit on the balcony and just look at the clouds and think or watch the people going through their daily activities.  I see a lot of beauty, but I also see a lot of ugly, too.  I suppose the ugly should be part of the beauty of this world, but it is not something we really want to consider.

Monday, December 3, 2012

New doctor visit...

I probably should have figured this visit would take longer than 2 hours.  I had to leave work early to get to the center 45 minutes before my appointment.  I went through the normal "new patient" formalities.  Once done, I sat down with a cup of water and waited a bit. 

I did not have to wait long.  Technician came for me.  I got weighed (ugh!  Horrible reality slap in the face), blood pressure (a little high, but normal for me when I visit the doctor's office), blood sugar and A1C measures.  Here was when things got out of hand - not that I am making light of the situation.  My blood sugar was 458 (very, VERY bad) and my A1C was 11.5.  I got my retinas checked and all was clear, but the business regarding my blood sugar freaked the staff.

I am not making light of the situation.  However, it does nothing but irritate me when people are flying around me and trying to talk down to me.  I need to remain calm.  Yes, the situation is not pretty, but when I get irritated or annoyed, my blood sugar is not going to rectify itself.  Besides, isn't this the reason why I am here?

I was really annoyed with my general physician's office manager.  I had called the office the day I made the appointment and asked that my records be faxed to this office.  That was on Wednesday and it was Monday - nothing had been done.  I called again and got the office manager's voice mail again.  I needed the paperwork faxed before my appointment.  Grrr...  (Side note:  Office manager made a point of not refilling my prescriptions until I made another appointment with my GP, but I cannot get her to fax information to the specialist that her boss referred me.)

I must have a problem communicating because the "Educator" annoyed me when I was trying to explain my blood sugar situation.  She could not understand what I meant by I was doing "good" because all she could see was I was doing poorly.  I realized that they did not have my information, so I broke it down like this:

No - I am not doing good, but when I visited my doctor in late February, my A1C was 13.2, which is really bad.  Doctor suggested using Lantus, insulin, to get my blood sugar under control.  A month later,  I informed her that I noticed that my blood sugar was taking too long to lower.  That meant, even after 2 hours, my blood sugar was still quite high.  So, my doctor prescribed a low dose of Metformin.

By June, my A1C had lowered down to 9.3, which made me happy because my body was responding well and I was on my way to reaching my goal.  After that appointment, work just got crazy and life just went completely out of whack.  I explained the drastic number drop I got when I went on vacation.  Both the "Educator" and the "Specialist" stated that lowering the numbers that quickly is not good and could make me feel worse.  That might explain the situation with my feet.

I tied up the story that when I saw the doctor last Wednesday, my A1C was 10.9.  Come to find out, my fasting blood sugar was 185.  Still, I had no real clue why my blood sugar, today of all days, was so high.

The specialist wanted me to take 10 units of one of the fast acting/rapid insulins.  The educator watched me administer the shot - that was weird.  I have to lift up my shirt, pinch an area of my stomach around the mid-section area, then insert the needle and press down on the top of the pen.  (Funny, I hated the whole idea of this, but now, it is just second nature.)

The "Specialist" checked me out - feet, reflexes, and etc.  Next, she told me about the insulin she wanted me to take along with another medication that has Metformin in it.  I will need to keep track of my blood sugar and send in the readings.  Try to get some good readings, so that she can see patterns.  She was really nice and gave me some samples, but also submitted prescriptions for the meds.  I go back on 1/2 for update.

This is the first phase - getting the blood sugar under control.  The next phase will be to get me to use hormonal insulin, which will help with weight loss.  Maybe by eating better again, I can drop some weight and that will help with the other.

Trying to stay positive, but today was a bit nerve wrecking.

Let's see what God wants me to know today:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

forgiveness is more powerful than revenge.

Vengeance only begets vengeance. It is a destructive cycle. But when you forgive, you inspire change in both yourself and the other. Forgiveness has the power to transform people and create better world for all.

There are some things that have happened in my life that I have a very difficult time with forgiving.  Then, again, there are those times where I just say, "Let God handle it", but those acts still sting in my mind.  I suppose I can forgive, but asking me to forget is impossible.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lost relationships...

My mother passed away close to 3 years ago.  I still feel her loss every day.  I cry and let it out, then move forward as I know that is what she would want.

The other day, while at my parents home, I found a Christmas card that a friend of hers had sent.  The two of them had lost touch many years ago.  I opened the card and it said "I want to be friends again.  Please, call me" and she had provided various numbers where she could be reached.

I remembered my father telling me that this friend had called and he broke the sad news to her.  Still, that card pained me in many ways.  I know the saying that sometimes friends are in your life for a certain time, then they are out of your life for a reason.  However, this just made my heart so sad. 

I thought about the situation the other day.  This friend will never have the chance to talk to my mom and straighten out whatever caused them to no longer be friends.  It made me think of a friend I have in Germany.  She moved there 6 months after my mother passed away.  I had gotten a Christmas card from her, but could not make out the address.  Finally, thanks to the web, I figured out where she was working and sent an email.  She got my email and responded with her email, home addresses and her phone numbers.  I responded to her email, then waited for a  response.

I never got a response back, so I emailed her last night, then called her today as I was writing this blog.  She was very happy to hear from me.  She had recently had surgery on her hip and was telling me about all of her projects there in Germany.  Sounds like she is "home" there.

Me?  I have a new app on my phone to keep in touch with her better, but will start writing emails each week, no matter what.  I value our friendship and I don't want it to ever be too late.

Today's Message from God:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

you are unique and precious.

When you try to value yourself for being the best in something, you are bound to fail. Even Olympic champions are the best only for a few years. You are precious to God not because there is no one better than you, but because you are a unique creation of mind, body and spirit, - there is no one like you, - and that is exactly what makes you so indescribably precious.

There is some truth to this message.  I heard it on the radio not too long ago as well.  There is always a rise and a fall.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New turns...

I did my fasting and went into the doctor's office with my head held high and taking responsibility for my failures to keep up with what I need to do.  Oddly enough, my cholesterol numbers, good and bad, were fabulous.  My doctor was thrilled over that.  However, I went up a point on my A1C and my triglycerides were elevated.  Not good, but honestly, I knew that was going to happen.

Thankful that I only went up a small amount, but I need to reverse that.  Furthermore, doctor confirmed my suspicions - the stress is really causing my blood sugar to spike badly.  I told her of the total exhaustion I get the week before and of that time of the month.  At that point, she decided it was time to bring in a specialist.  My issues are hormonal and a specialist may be able to do more for me than she can. 

My doctor referred me to an endocronologist to start working with me.  I have my first appointment on 12/3.  My doctor believes that the specialist can get me onto medications that will help me manage my blood sugar better as well as help me lose weight.  I remain positive that I can get something done.  I have done it before and I need to do it again and make sure that the weight stays off.

In other news, I managed to get some of my father's Christmas presents purchased.  That is a relief for me.  I also indulged in my guilty pleasure - shopping at Beauty Brands and Sephora.  I can never leave either place without getting something. 

Time to go back to relaxing and cleaning.  Somehow, those two should not go together.  LOL

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Finally - a week to myself...sort of...

As the days grow closer to the end of the year, I have half my vacation time to spend between now and then.  This week is my week to myself.  I say sort of because the dogs are here.  LOL

My thoughts of what to do ping all over my mind.  I know I want to spend time clearing out the clutter and cleaning.  It may do me a world of good to flush out the stuff that bothers me.  Learn to say "no", so that I can use that when I go back to work.  Do stuff that is good for me - get a hair cut, get maintenance done on my car, like oil change and tire rotation, get a mani/pedi, play with the PlayStation 3 or XBox 360, or just spend time doing what I enjoy.

Tomorrow is my diabetes check up.  I have extended the period a bit too long because I knew my numbers were not good.  I know my main issue is stress and I need to locate something that will help me reach a medium between work and personal life.  I need more of a personal life.

Also, I need to exercise more.  I know I feel better when I do.  That is why I mentioned the XBOX 360.  I got Kinetic for it and purchased one of the exercise activities.  A friend of mine suggested that I come back to Curves as they have a new program and another friend has lost about 70 lbs on Medifast.  I know for a fact that if I drop weight, my blood sugar will drop as well.  I need to force myself to do better because I know I can do this.  I just wish I knew what was stopping me for certain.

I mean, I do well and start losing, then I start to fail and gain weight.  Why do I do that?  Is it fear of the unknown?  Is it that I cannot handle the compliments?  Honestly, I do not want to be stick thin.  That is not my goal.  Heck, I will settle for weight between 180-200 lbs.  I just want to be healthy and feel energized.  Losing the weight will not get me the man of my dreams - I should know that.  Then, again, maybe that is why I start to fail.

I just need to think - I need to do this for ME.  Losing the weight and getting the blood sugar under control enables me to feel better and do the things I want to do for me.  I want so much to dress better and feel comfortable around others, rather than feeling ashamed.  I can do this!

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

although forgiveness is very hard, it is necessary.

Holding onto anger and old hurts hardens your heart and hurts only you. Ask for help in letting go of the anger. Ask to see the situation through the eyes of compassion. Allow yourself to feel the lightness of forgiveness.

I will work on that as well.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nasty Politics...

All my life, politics has never been my strong suit.  When it comes to religion and politics, I listen to various points of view, but I just do not try to be that engaging.  Should I oppose one's views, the conversation always turns nasty, so I tread lightly.

Election Day has come and past, but still there is a lot of rhetoric.  Those of you whose candidate won, congratulations.  Those of you whose candidate lost, maybe next time, but in the mean time, get involved with your party and find ways to better help that person win that position.  The whole thing is done - either you are happy or not thrilled, but life goes on and we must manage.

I doubt that will make a dent in anyone's attitude, but it is how we all should act.  I willingly admit I did not follow the election process as I had wanted to do.  I knew I did not have all of the facts and mainly that is because there are so many other things going on in my life.  My current thoughts are to see what happens with the next set of elections due in 2 years.  I know there will be some changes at that time.  Once those are over, there is another chance to be more informed.

In other news, I did manage to sign up for the distance learning course, "Introduction to Oracle."  I am taking the course so that I can refresh myself on using SQL and learn more about the Oracle DB system.  Next, I will take the intermediate course.  I like the distance learning courses because they are inexpensive and I can work on the courses on my own time - I do not have to be in class to do it.  That takes a lot of wear and tear off of me.

I do wish to go back and take courses at UNT to complete my degree.  I honestly love going to school.  I know - I am a real sicko, but I like being with the younger generation as well as learning so many new things.  I get such a thrill to be there - I have so much motivation.  It allows me to open my eyes to new concepts, where I do not get to see that sort of thing elsewhere.

Today - God wants me to know:

On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know ... that today is a whole day for you to do good.
What you do today is important because you are exchanging a whole day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; and in its place will be something that you had left behind... let it be something good.
I try to do good every day.  I like being able to go to bed feeling that something good came out of whatever I did that day.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Help - What to do when you get the wrong kind?

No, this is not a conversation on how to avoid the wrong kind of help.  It is a discussion on accepting help and constantly getting the wrong kind.  You know the kind - you were probably better off doing it by yourself than having others help.  I get this sort of help all of the time.

It is bad enough I struggle letting go enough to allow someone to help, but it is quite a different thing when the help you get makes a lot of mistakes.  My immediate reaction is "Why did I ask for help?"  For the most part, the work is obviously overwhelming and would take more time if I do it by myself.  If I have help, then it should take less time.  It always does.  However, what seems to happen is that there is always some fall out and I spend even more time on resolving that than I do if I had done the job myself.

It is purely human error.  However, from my point of view, the environment simply cannot deal with human error.  When I discover it is human error, there is always a huge debate as to why it happened.  Apparently, no one thinks about the old saying "Stuff happens".  I try to manage it, but I also see the other side in that it takes time to discover human error.  That is the part that is most precious.  When it happens to others, the issue is brushed aside, but when I experience it, parties are aghast and want to know why it happened.

My past endeavors of getting help have persuaded me to do one of two things:  1) Automate or 2) Do it by myself.  That means no acceptance of no help.  Not really the way I should be, but it is frustrating.

I think it is time to hit for some more self-help books.  :-)  This is and will always be an issue I will struggle with getting a handle.

On another subject, today's "Message from God.":

On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know ... that when you pursue your dreams, every second is an encounter with God.
Following your dreams opens your heart allowing God to enter and fill you with bliss.
 I need to really think about what it is I want out of life.  I want to be creative, live life to its fullest, and be successful at it all.  Tall order, I know.  However, I am in awe of the simple things in life.  I get a huge thrill out of doing something by myself and doing it right.  Even if I do it wrong, I gain knowledge in learning from my mistakes.  However, what really are my dreams?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I definitely needed the extra hour of sleep that I got today.  Since I had the balcony door fixed, I decided to allow Bo and Chloe to have "Barkfest 2012 - Fall Version".  Both have been getting their barks in with various people and animals passing.  Also, by opening the balcony, it gives both dogs an opportunity to lie in in the sun.  However, neither seem to be doing that.

While I am thankful to have a well paying job, I need to learn to separate myself from it.  I need a life outside of work and work should not be all consuming.  It should be okay for me not to answer my pager all of the time.  When I am on-call, that is a different story.  However, once being off on-call, I need to step back and refocus on the things that are more important in my life.  If I would do that, my apartment would not be in the mess that it is today.

I need to see a brighter future.  For quite some time, I feel I live in some fairly dark times.  Even when the sun is shining, life seems so dark.  It should not be like that.

So, I am trying to take hold of life's reins and get moving on getting stuff done that is important to me.  I managed to empty the dishwasher and fill it again.  I have another load of dishes to do, then I should be fine for a few hours.  LOL  I also have tons of laundry to do.  When I get "lost" in all that everyone needs/wants, I tend to forget myself and the things that need to be done, like laundry.  Then, I get piles of stuff to do.  I figure that is where the "clutter bug" in me comes.  I do not like it, but it is something I need to get a handle.

How do others handle this sort of thing and manage without a house keeper?  I mean, people I work with have gotten house keepers for their wives.  I cannot even fathom doing that and figure my mom would be rolling in her urn.  I know it is not a sign of failure, but then again, how do I handle it otherwise?

Another thing I am doing today is cooking.  I am going to make the roasted chicken breasts, so that I have something healthy for lunch today and can have the leftovers for lunch and dinner tomorrow.  I will make Hungarian Chicken Goulash for dinner tonight, then have everything ready to make shrimp gumbo for Monday night.  Later in the week, I may make jambalaya.  The bonus piece - I will be saving myself money and preparing something that should be relatively healthy in that I know what is going into making it.

I need to be more thought provoking with this blog.  It has become more of an open journal than really a blog.  Perhaps, make one day a day where I think of something thought provoking.

In regards to thought provoking, here is my daily message from God - I read these to see how closely they match up to what is going on in my life:

On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know ... that life is not meant to be a speedway.
Slow down to savor the gifts that God has already showered you with.
Okay - if life is not meant to be a speedway, then why does everyone else have to be in such a rush?  Why do people provide insane deadlines on projects?  I may be the slow turtle, but one thing I have confidence - when I complete it, it will be damn near perfect and I will have learned more than you can ever figure from the experience.

Carrying the heavy load...

Today's Message From God:

On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know ... that the weight you carry on your shoulders is much too heavy for one human being.
Give some of that weight where it belongs, - to God, and have faith that what happens is for the best, whether you understand it or not.
I probably do carry more weight than I should and not just physically.  I am sure most of it is from fear or maybe to prove that I can do the job.  I feel overlooked a lot.  Not that I want to look bad, but just for someone to say "Hey - she can do this and I depend upon her."  Somehow, that is all back firing on me these days.

Difficult people and having no patience...

I have learned over the years that I have less patience with people.  If I know someone is really struggling, I tend to pull what patience I have and work harder.  However, my problem is with people who just refuse to get it or work for the answer.

In school, we are taught to do your own work, not to collaborate.  Why?  It teaches you self-reliance and teaches you important problem solving skills. As one of my favorite professors used to say:

If I do the debugging for you, who learns from it?  Me.  I just improves the debugging skills I already have.  For you, it does nothing because you did not try.

I suppose my frustration stems from too many people who just are not able to see the forest for the trees.  Yes, I have my times where I go through that, but I also struggle with a problem and provide the person whom I ask help for what I have done to debug an issue.  If it is simple resolution, I kick myself pretty hard for not figuring it out.  If it is not, I do not feel so bad.  :-)

However, I do not even see that sort of thing happening.  If there is a problem, rather than solve it, I get the issue and have to dig for the answers.  It might be more interesting if it were a different problem, but it is the same issue over and over.

I feel problem solving skills have a lot to do with understanding history and how it affects you.  Many people do not like history.  They find it boring.  The thing is, if you see something happening one time, if you remember it, you can prevent it from happening again.  Problem is, no one wants to remember what happened and just move on to something else. 

So, I know I have issues with difficult people.  I try to deal with them as best as I can, but man, some days, I have to ask God:  "Really?!"

Funny how today's message from God revolves around this subject matter:

On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know ... that difficult people are very important, - they teach you tolerance and acceptance.
If all was going your way all the time, you would become a spoiled child, wouldn't everyone? Difficult people are just one of the ways God teaches us to expand beyond our egos and accept other perspectives on life.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Minor accomplishments...

Even though the dogs woke me up early this morning, I still had problems getting it together.  I need to just suck it up and get crackin'!

I managed to clear off the sofa and it looks much better.  Working on the kitchen and trying to get stuff out of sight.  I also threw away a lot of paper clutter.  The flyers and such are such a headache.

I think a male friend of mine coined it best.  I am the queen of misplaced things.  I was going through my mom's jewelry that she had given to me before she passed away and noticed that a bracelet I gave her is not there.  I hope the bracelet is with my aunt and I have forgotten.  I did manage to locate the charm with my mom's ashes.  It is in my purse!  Silly me.  She has been with me all of this time!

Tomorrow, I hope to get a lot more accomplished.  I have to keep reminding me that every little bit that I do is a step further in accomplishing my goal.

Today's message from God:

On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know ... that you are asked for very little, - just the totality of your being.
God demands the totality of your being. That you invest all of yourSelf into celebrating the glory and the preciousness of being alive right now, no holding back and saving for later.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Taking a break...

This evening, I met up with Random Cathy and we enjoyed a mani/pedi at Polished, then had dinner at Snappy Salads.  I like getting a mani/pedi, but it was a lot more fun with Cathy there.  I really appreciate her paying for mine, but I feel my manners were completely missing.  I should have paid for her dinner - that would have been more appropriate.  I hope she will forgive me and I will get a chance to take her out for dinner in a couple of weeks.

Yesterday, I felt so drained and really uncomfortable.  Indigestion and other ailments came upon me.  I was able to stay awake long enough to watch some of the original Frankenstein, then the beginning of the Maverick game.  I ended up sleeping pretty hard and not waking up when someone from work called at 2 AM.  Oops.

I must have had a serious blood sugar issue last night.  This weekend, I am going to cook a lot of stuff.  I will be going on-call next week and it is always easier to just throw something in the microwave or reheat in the oven.  I am not going to mention the menu because it might change.

Sort of reminds me of the conversation Cathy and I had regarding cooking.  I think we all start with some "basics" that we know we can handle.  Buying "whatever" Helper is always a good starter.  When I moved away from home, I was pretty good at making my mom's crispy herbed chicken with stewed tomatoes and pasta.  Next, was tuna noodle casserole.  I did a dinner from Cooking Light, which ultimately sucked.  I ate my mistake and forged forward with my cooking endeavors. 

When I went home, I would watch my mom cook or when she was unable to cook, I would cook a meal that she would tell me how to prepare.  It was easier to manage that because I did not have her standing over me telling me everything I was doing wrong.

Pretty soon, I was watching Food Network and really watching how the various chefs prepared meals.  The best show was How To Boil Water.  The guy on the show was really cute and he had a chef sitting on the side giving him directions on how to cook something.  It was corny, but very practical.  It was the very basics for cooking and going from that point.

When I moved into my current apartment, I had more space for cooking and that was important to me.  Around this time, in 2005, I watched an episode of How To Boil Water that featured Tyler Florence.  He was showing how kids could make "Nut Brittle."  I watch him make it and thought, "Man, that looks pretty easy."  I looked up the recipe on the internet, printed it, then proceeded to get the ingredients to make the candy.  Man - it really was easy and it was fun!  I had been baking cakes and cookies to help with stress relief.  My co-workers were reaping the benefits of that in more than one way.  LOL

Since that time, I have had the opportunity to work on more meals.  I have made different types of jambalaya, pastas, rice, and seafood meals.  I have tried my hand at quinoa and fell in love with it.  I have taken a new interest in vegetables.  For instance, heirloom tomatoes, purple, orange, and green cauliflower, red, yellow, orange, and white bell peppers.  Since the type 2 diagnosis, I have a renewed interest in fresh veggies.  I love to roast and steam.  Squash - a whole new area!  I know my mom would be very happy to know how much I have opened my mind and she was the first to start me on broccoli and brussel sprouts.

Cooking just provides me with new ways to incorporate these very interesting vegetables into my diet.  I try to make it fun to eat - the more colorful, the more interesting.

On the baking side, by making my own meals, that gives me more control.  I can have something really good and quit eating stale food from the market.  I will never forget when I tried to make banana nut bread.  It took a couple of tries, but my mom would taste it and tell me where I was going wrong.  I know she would have enjoyed the praline experiment I have been working on since my NOLA trip.  She taught me how to make really good fudge and passed down all of the secret recipes for all of the cakes and such she used to make from memory.  I find a lot of comfort in cooking - it makes the foodie in me very happy.

God's message to me today:

On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know ... that you are blessed.
You may think you have challenges, but you have so many blessings. Sometimes it takes only a moment of conscious effort to recognize those blessings. Once you focus on the gifts instead of the problems, your whole perspective will change and you will see blessings everywhere.
Yes, I am more ways than I could ever know.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Odd that I would get this message:

On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know ... that there are many truths, and they all point to one source - God.
Do not spend energy arguing whose truth is righter, - just like all life springs forth from one source, so are all truths but a reflection of God. Accept another truth as another way of loving God.
Not spending time on who is right - just very disappointed in the knowledge of a lie.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Just the way you are...

I saw this today:

On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know ... that you are perfect as you are.
God doesn't create faulty life. No. Everything created by God is perfect, and so are you. So stop driving yourself mad with endless ways to improve, and just accept the glory of your being as is.
Leaves one wondering - why do others find so much inperfection, then?

Early morning grumpiness...

Last night, I fell asleep watching Miranda on PBS.  I love that show.  She is quirky and basically a very "normal" person whom I can relate.  Like her mother, my mom was very pretty and before she got married, she had several boyfriends.  Me?  Completely different story.

Anyway, my work cell phone started ringing at 6:30 AM.  I have been up since that time, so that required a visit to Starbucks for a venti pumpkin spice latte.  I also picked up a sausage egg mcmuffin with cheese.  I feel a bit better now.

I have made out my grocery list.  I will be heading over to the grocery store to get those items as long as something for lunch.  Dedicating the rest of my day for cleaning the kitchen and living room.  I can finally open the balcony door and allow the dogs to go out there while I vacuum the floors.

I am not really committed to much today.  I am sure that there are more "important" things that I should be doing according to some.  However, this business regarding my apartment is more pressing.  I live here and I am tired of the mounting mess.

My other goal is to take back my life.  I know I say it all of the time, but it is something I need to do.  I need to make changes in my life to make "me" happy.  Yes, damn it!  I am going to be selfish for a change.  I have put others and their opinions before myself.  When these people start living my life, then we can talk.  Otherwise, take a stinking hike!

One thing I have toyed around in my mind is really radical.  I have thought about dying my hair jet black and getting hot pink and blue streaks.  Why?  Heck - sounds like it would be fun.  I know a woman at work with hot pink streaks in her hair.  I figure, why not?  Would my hair be that much of a distraction?

I know - 46 year old trying to be a kid.  Of course, it was something I always wanted to do with my hair.  I guess my inner rebel is dying to break out and do a little dance!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Love Lost on Some...

Everyone wants to find that special someone.  Most are lucky to have found their "mate"' when they are  in high school or college.  Others, get the degree and job, then find their "mate."  Some of us, well, we just never find that "mate."

I never dated in high school.  Let's be honest, no one ever asked me out on a date.  So many factors there:  I was overweight or I was a bitch.  I did date a few times over the internet, but nothing ever came from those other than a free meal.  (Mind you, I did try to pay for my meals.  I did not believe it was fair for someone to buy you dinner if it was a one time thing.  That is just taking advantage.)

I quit the internet thing because I was getting hit on by married men and let's fact it, that is just asking for trouble.  That was all at the end of my 20's and beginning of my 30's.  I had my crushes and all of them crushed me.  Heck, I even sought therapy for my love-lorn issues and here I am.

When I turned 40, I took a long, hard look at myself.  What was wrong with me?  Was I really a homosexual and had no clue? 

Well, the homosexual side could not be the case.  Too many times, I would think about how hot a guy was and I had very little interest in women in that manner.  That answered that question.  However, I still could not figure out what was wrong with "me?"  Why couldn't a man be interested in me?

I must have tons of warts and horrible smells to drive men away.  My co-workers say it is because I am not needy enough.  I need to be more helpless.  Is that what is really driving the men away?  I am not helpless?

A lot of the time, I just figure that maybe God does not have a mate for everyone.  That is just how it is - some have their mates and others are the loners reserved for some special purpose.  I just happen to fall in the latter category - it just isn't meant to be.

Do I want to get married?  That is not a "must" for me.  I just wish I had someone who would want to spend time with me.

God's Message To Me:

On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know ... that there is no need to obsess over a decision.
God has more in store for us than we can ever predict, and what we fear are bad choices frequently turn out for the best, because our hidden aspirations know better where we are going than our rational minds.
Always interesting...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Difficult week behind me...

This week has not been an easy one.  Yesterday, I found out that a possible job opportunity had been removed in favor of hiring contractors for the position.  *sigh*  It made me incredibly sad.  I was hoping to work with a former manager and possibly get away from the high stress. 

I allowed myself to wallow in the anger, resentment, and depression.  Now, it is time to reflect on what it is that I really want and how to go about getting it.  My main goal is to reduce the stress and gain more time to do the things that I value the most. 

In other news, the weather is starting to actually feel like "fall."  It is a bit nippy outside and of course, the dogs love that.  This is their kind of weather.  Tomorrow morning, it is supposed to get into the upper 30's.  Now, there is a cold snap.  Perfect weather for me to turn on the self-cleaning for the oven - warm the apartment without using the heater.  :-)

Tomorrow, I definitely need to concentrate on the things I need to get done.  I am over my "energy crisis"...well, somewhat.  I am still suffering from the all nighter pulled last weekend.  Laundry and dishes are on the top of my list.  After that, clear clutter in the living room, then work on the kitchen.  Sunday, work on the bedroom.

Next weekend, I hope to go see two movies.  Alex Cross and Chasing Mavericks.  I love the Alex Cross series by James Patterson.  I like "talk radio" for when I am working.  I guess I like it because I can work and follow along at the same time.  Also, I have this fascination with just listening to the radio as many people did in the early 1900's.  I do not need TV all of the time.

Anyway, I got hooked on Alex Cross series by listening to the audio book London Bridges.  After that, I started reading the paperbacks that my mom had.  She was amazed that I read 3 books in one day and could actually talk about what I had read.  So, I had my own mind set for who should play the various parts.  I think Tyler Perry will make a great Alex Cross.

As for Chasing Mavericks, all I am going to claim is that I love Gerard Butler.  I won't deny it - he is handsome and the voice...that is all it takes.  Still, he is a great actor as well.

This evening, I watched Mockingbird Land.  It is a revamp for The Munsters.  I love Eddie Izzard, but the show itself was very clever and I loved how they updated the various characters.  Too bad that it was just a one-off.  Maybe the ratings will help it along...who knows.

Time to watch this week's episode of Elementary.  Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are great as Sherlock Holmes and Watson.  Making Sherlock a recovering addict is a very modern twist.  I have watched the Sherlock BBC Series and loved that as well.  Heck - I even love the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. All are very well done in my opinion.

Time to just relax...oh, I cannot forget today's message from God:

On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know ... that you are a human being, not a human doing.
Take time to just be, to breathe slowly, to feel your body that is the temple of your soul. No activities, no worries, no buzzing.
Hmmm...maybe we are both on the same wavelength?  BTW - where is that successful man who is in the medical field who will be crazy about me?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is God Really Trying to Reach Me...

On FaceBook, I always take a moment to read the "God Wants You to Know..." messages.  In my mind, I know it is all for "fun."  However, there is a small piece that mulls over how close these messages are.  Take today for instance:

On this day of your life, we believe God wants you to know ... that if you relax, it comes.
Don't seek, don't search, don't ask, don't knock, don't demand - relax. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, God shows you the way.
Someone obviously knows I am highly stressed.  Of course, anyone that knows me knows that I have way too much stress.  I can never seem to relax.
My hope is to relax some this weekend.  Granted, I will be working on removing clutter, but I do not want to worry or stress over anything.

Dark Times Lie Ahead...

It is never easy handling a situation when everything that worked wonderfully craters before your very eyes.  I have no solid explanation why so many things failed, but it was a good definition for EPIC FAIL.

I am shell shocked and mortified.  I do not even want to go into the office.  I am trying diligently to sort out the matter.  What I can say is that I did not work in the areas where the failures occurred.  There are some people who continually refuse to read and follow directions.  I wrote out a document specifying exactly where everything was located and indicated which area.  I am at a loss of what to do.

So, I sit in this dark, cold time trying to determine what are the next steps.  I know God puts all of us through a test of some sort.  These types of tests, I could really do without, but apparently, I need to figure out how to fix this issue once and for all.

I am angered by the fact that whatever I say, others take offense.  My goal is not to blame - just get the facts and present them.  If I am wrong, then so be it.  I just want to make the situation better for the future.  I cannot sit back and constantly deal with finger pointing.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Seems like there is no time...

When preparing for a major release where I work, it seems that there is never enough time to get everything done.  To make matters worse, others continue to fill my plate with their "priorities".  I am past the "worrying" stage and entering the "accepting" stage.  It won't be perfect - these things rarely are perfect.  Simply go with the flow and fix the things that you can.

Due to all of that, my minimalist or clutter cleaning activities have come to a screeching halt.  Not surprising.  That tends to happen from time to time.  Work starts full blast and I feel I barely have enough time to walk the dogs and get something to eat.

On the doggy front, Bo has strained his back.  What does not make it better is that Chloe will occasionally attack him on walks.  Seems like she is trying to charge at some animal in the bushes and Bo happens to be in the way.  So, I end up getting onto her for hurting him.  Not that it really makes much of a difference.

I am going to just try to find that serene place and try to regain some sanity.  I am sure that will help.

My Daily "God wants You to Know":

we believe God wants you to know ... that every time you pretend to love, you impoverish yourself more and more.
Love has great potential to enrich your life. But if you are just playing a role, pretending to love, it's only going to poison you. Because you are teaching yourself that it's just a game, and slowly but surely you will lose the capacity to open in love.
 I thought about this for awhile.  "Pretend to love"?  I am not sure how to take that, really.  I love a lot of things and those things I do not love, well, I try not to bother.  In regard to "love" with a special person, you have to meet someone before even attempting that.

Something to ponder...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Worrying Over My Furry Babies...

He is my "special little guy."  I adopted Bo April 2, 2007.  Little did I know how sick he was until I got him.  I took Bo to introduce him to the family when I got him.  My mom could tell that he was very sick.  The poor little guy only weighed 8.6 lbs and you could easily feel between the ribs.

When I headed home with my new "baby", my mom cried because she believed that he would not make it because he was so sick.  She was worried about what his death would do to me.

Well, I got him to our usual vet and she got the little guy all fixed up.  He had almost every kind of worm and to top it off, he had an intestinal infection.  Also, the food I gave him would come right back out - quickly.

He got the shots and meds and I started seeing the little dog I thought I would be getting - "Mr. Playful" showed up.

Years later, Bo is still around and very much healthy.  He weighs 16.4 lbs and is quite happy.  Unfortunately, we have to deal with the occasional back problem.  Sunday was the start of one of those days.

I noticed Bo had hopped up on the sofa and fell asleep.  I did not bother him, so after I sat down to eat, I began to see that something was not quite right.  I gave him some pain meds, but that did not seem to work for him.  We ended up at the vet this morning because I just did not want this to continue.

He had to be sedated for X-Rays, got an injection for pain, pain pills, and instructions to restrict activity for the next 60 days.  Yeah - I can try, but I cannot promise much on that.  If you know Bo, he has a mind of his own.  However, right now, I can control his activity because he really does not want to move. 

I realized that I am lucky that this is the worse for him.  Another friend had to make that tough decision for his "baby" today.  While I was sitting in the office, I teared up because I know I will have to face that at some point.  Right now, I will do what I can for Bo to get him better. 

Today's Message From God to Me:

On this day of your life, Melissa, we believe God wants you to know ... that it's okay to ask for help.
Sometimes we get overwhelmed with the details and complexities of our lives. Sometimes we need some help to get untangled, to gain a new perspective. Ask for help. Help may come in human or divine form. It may be seen or unseen. Ask, and ye shall receive.