"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, February 28, 2009

10K Update!

Just stopping long enough to post that my first 10K is behind me. Race time was 1:05:58, which included walking the last mile with a lost boy (5 years old). My split time at the 3.1 mile mark was 21 minutes. That means I could have ended with a 42 minutes time if I hadn't been a good Samaritan.

My thighs hate me at the moment and my stomach is telling me that it needs some attention as well. Other than that, I am remarked calm and energized. I am off to eat something with protein (shake most likely) and soak in a hot tub with some lavender sea salt. From there I have a date this evening, so I will have to post pictures and more about the race later!

Have a great Saturday afternoon!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday Temptations

Wow! First my personal countdown has started. The 10K is this Saturday. I have three days left. Just three and no more, so if I am not ready now, then I will never be. I went to the YMCA tonight and put myself through a strenuous workout on the treadmill. I was soaking wet when I was done. It was worth it!

For what it is worth, I really don't want any audience. I just want to run the race and accomplish my goal, finishing. However, that is not an option. S.F has insisted on being there for me. She means well and wants to show me that my wants and needs are important enough to support. She is "allowed" to come on one very strict condition. She CANNOT cheer. I do not like that and her life will not be worth a plugged nickle if I hear her. She also had to agree to no pictures. She has agreed and is more excited than I am. My friend David also wants to come. He and I have to have a come to Jesus meeting so that he also knows I will hurt him if he cheers too.

So, what are my temptations this week?

They are simple rewards for myself for the training and effort that I have put forth for this event. As soon as the race is over and I have made it back to the car, I want to go to the YMCA and get in the sauna. I think that a relaxing session in there will enable me to come home and take a nap. S.F. also knows that I have been craving a bad for you hamburger. I would want to go here, but I don't think we can on the 28th, as they are only open from 11 AM to 5 PM and I don't want to have to rush. We are still exploring what other places will suffice or if she will take me to another place she has been dying for me to try. One thing is certain, we have a date that includes a show that starts at 9:30 PM. We will need to have dinner beforehand, so I am at her mercy, and I really do want her to pick this time.

The following week, I plan to treat myself to a manicure and a pedicure. I have been thinking about this place. There are certainly places that are closer and cheaper; however, I have utilized this place in the past and after four months of training, I think I deserve a treat. and after I am done there, I think I should treat myself to a meal here. I can get something wonderful to eat and a glass of wine too.

One of the goals I set for myself this year was to be in a two piece bathing suit by May. I want this one, hand down. I also would love this one and the matching cover-up too. I am so close to the size I want to be, so all that is left is to get the tone I want. I also know that I should entertain a one-piece for pool parties, so I landed on this one first. But I could also see myself in this one.

Simple enough! I want to make it through this week in one piece. Finish the race. Reward myself with some pampering.

Off to sleep....floating, soaring, believing in all that has happened and all that is yet to come....

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Simply Saturday....

Another Saturday night comes to a close. First, thank you to each and everyone of you that commented on the Thursday post. It was a cleansing that has been long overdue, and to Miss Me, your Phoenix from the ashes comment actually made me misty-eyed....

The day started great! Coffee sitting in my new chair!

I digress a moment. First, I have to thank the wonderful staff at UPS. I called them early (6:00 AM CST) Friday to see if I could have the chair routed to my office instead of the apartment. The wonderful young girl told me that she could change the delivery address but that I would not actually get the chair until Monday since the driver was already on his route. No Problem! Imagine my surprise when my Shipping Clerk, KT, called me to tell me he was on the way up to my desk with the box. He helped me load it into the back of the Caliber.

When I got home, I was so excited. The instructions said four easy steps....they lie! Thank god my friend Adam was more than happy to assist me. He had the whole chair assembled in about fifteen minutes. Naturally, I gave him the first test drive! Below, feast your eyes on the chair! Jessica, now you need to be friend number two that gets to sit in the new chair! Now, I am patiently (not really) waiting for the love seat to be off of back-order. Or, I may just get another chair and pair them together.

Okay, back to today. After doing most of my errands on Friday night I was able to sleep in a bit this morning. I made myself coffee and watched the Weather Channel for a few minutes to get the Local on the 8's so that I could plan the outfit for the day. After two cups of coffee, I am caffeinated and ready to shower. Jeans and a button-front black long-sleeve blouse with black boots was the perfect outfit. We (S.F. and I) had agreed to meet for Brunch.

A Mucky Duck Brunch
with Liz

This Saturday 11am – 2pm

Our Delicious Offerings:

The Duckelet

bacon, mushroom, and cheese omelet served with fried potatoes and an
English muffin, toast, or biscuit. 8

The John Evans Breakfast

bacon, sausage, eggs, potatoes, choice of muffin, toast, or biscuit. served with a side of whiskey. (ok. Not really.) 7


traditional Mexican breakfast dish with scrambled eggs, corn tortilla strips, tomatoes, cheese, and onions. 7

Eggs Benedict

poached egg atop an english muffin with Canadian bacon covered in Hollandaise sauce. Served with potatoes. 8

The Brave Combo

pancakes or waffles so good even you will feel brave. served with

sausage and Eggs. 7

Hair of the Dog

Mimosa with a fresh strawberry 3.50

Pitcher of Mimosa with fresh strawberries. 15

After two hours of eating and drinking mimosas, we headed to The Galleria to finally take care of the Valentine's Present. S.F. had acquired the watch she originally wanted to give me (with the Black Mother of Pearl dial) and was ready to show it to me. I tried it on in florescent lights and in natural lights. I was smitten. We went to the store and her salesman was expecting us. He apologized for the horrid treatment that I had experienced the Sunday before. First, he refunded the original purchase price for the first one back to S.F. and when they were done with that, we proceeded to size the one I was keeping. Since my wrist is so small, he had to remove three links. The pictures below are not the best but you can see that I am actually wearing it and I am happy.

The Black Mother of Pearl face changes colors depending of the lighting and what it is near. The watch is quite impressive and will make the new look I am shooting for perfect. I cannot imagine that I would have ever picked out a watch this size, but I am glad that S.F. took the chance and decided that it was perfect. She needs to be careful....I think I like watches a lot more now and might NEED more.....

After we were finished with the watch, we headed to White House Black Market. She was wonderful to shop with. I tried on several dresses and she even found a few that she liked and I tried them on as well. I am pleased to announce that I was trying on size 12's. They were snug and if I ate, they would be uncomfortable. All that I need to do is get back on the diet and exercise the upper body more and then they will be perfect. I think that this one will be the first 12 I plan on getting. It looked great and felt wonderful!

S.F. picked this skirt and this top that she paired with this. I was pleasantly surprised. She also liked this top for casual wear with dark jeans. She also liked this dress but we couldn't decide what kind of top/jacket would work for a business look. She even suggested this belt. I must admit. Shopping with her was very different. Every time I asked about something, she would say, "I can't tell on the hanger. Try it on. If you like it, then show me." She reminded me that she would never tell me what to get, instead, she would tell me if it was flattering or not.

Having had fun at one store, she suggested that we try another. We went to Cache and it was just as much fun. I love this look. The pre-prom group was in there so we didn't stay long. From there she wanted me to go to Zales with her. She wanted to know what I thought about this ring and this one too. Uncertain of her logic, I tried them on and commented on them. She made no indication on why we tried them on and I find it best not to ask questions sometimes.

The last store was Fossil. She wanted me to see the University of Tennessee watch. I know she loves orange and the University of Tennessee, so I humored her. I made her try on this one, this one, and this one. Turn about is fair play and she made me try on this one, this one, and this one. All are in the Causal/Sport category. Now if she hadn't already surprised me, she started looking at handbags. She fell in love with this one for me. She also found this belt, this belt, and this belt. Give the woman a challenge and she is on a mission. I have no doubt she will be on the lookout for more things now that she knows what I am looking to accomplish.

As usual, the evening draws to a close too soon. We had a few shared moments discussing things that still lingered in either of our minds from the day's activity. I made certain that I thanked her again for the watch. She was so warm and it made the thank you all the more special. She reminded me how much fun simple and regular day to day life can be when shared with someone that feels the same about you as you do about them.

All is right with the world. Tonight I drift off to sleep preparing for a busy day tomorrow. Tomorrow's post will have a few surprises!

Sleep tight my friends!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thoughts on Thursday

Yes, it has been a while since I did thoughts on Thursday. I am home from class and feeling a bit of a funk trying to creep in. Blogs are a place to feel free and write what one thinks. Not really....since it's inception I have been walking on egg shells to protect people. Why, because an ex mandated it. I was compliant but I was hiding. No more!

First, to my best friend and big sister. Let me pour this out while I am able. Do not worry. I am fine but this is necessary to finally shed the life I have fought hard to overcome all these months. It is time to be the person, the woman, that I am and can be. It is time for me to no longer be afraid or worry about what she or her friends will read and report to each other. It is time for me to no longer be afraid of my daughters reading about my life. If they love me, they will be fine and we can all heal and close this last chapter. It is necessary for me so that I can live the life I deserve.

To those of you that I have had correspondence with "off-line", bear with me. Many of you know details that have been omitted or "altered" for the sake of the blog. Those of you that know, will understand the need to be able to be "free". Now, that is not to say that I will provide names for everyone or divulge anyone unless I know I have their blessings.

I cannot go back through every entry and provide the missing details but I can promise myself that from this entry forward, I will not hide behind mandates from an ex that has not been open and honest with herself and has more ghosts in her closets than I do at this point. I feel that this line from Labyrinth is best suited to this situation. The final line from Sarah is, "You have no power over me". And having said that, she does not.

Stephanie (aka Trouble) has long wished for me to be the strong woman that she knew was hidden inside. She and Jack have been so motivational to me. They worship each other and I think that the life lessons I tried to teach both girls about what a relationship should and could be made it into her head. They love each other and everyone can tell. She and Jack adore S.F. (have not asked her for permission to use her name) and have told me that they can tell that the love and respect that continues to develop between us is testament to wanting to be certain that we both are ready to move to the next part of a relationship.

What is that you may ask? Well, in the past, we both have been guilty of letting pure lust, for lack of a better way to describe it, cloud our minds. This time, we have taken all the time we need. We started as friends. Friends that just wanted to get to know each other. No strings attached and no intimate (aka carnal) knowledge exchanged. From there, we agreed to move forward with "dates" that were public and had boundaries. These dates have continued and I love them. I have the utmost respect for her wisdom in this situation and in reality, could not have progressed any faster. Not that I do not want to move to the next level. I am human after all.

I have come to terms with living alone. If the laundry is not done, there is no one to blame but myself. If the bed is not made, or the bathroom is not clean, or the litter boxes need to be cleaned, again I have no one to blame but myself. I am responsible for my own meals and my own health. I am no longer on any medications. They are no longer needed. I have no anxiety and I sleep like a baby. Truth be told, I love my space. I like the fact that it is mine and I can re-arrange the furniture daily if I want. I can do almost anything I want and no one can tell me not to (within the limits of the lease). Do I want to live alone forever. No. I am not made of the fabric needed to live alone for the rest of my life. I have the need to nurture and love and living alone is not conducive to that.

Do I miss the life I once wrote about? I miss the gardens. I miss the yard. I do not miss anything else at this point. I have allowed that part of my life to die gracefully and want to be able to move on. I even have it in me to be the bigger person when I see the ex and her friends. Just as I did at Megan's (Aka Munchkin) birthday. One of the ex's oldest friends was at the same place we were celebrating. I made it a point to extend pleasantries with her and let her know that both girls and the baby would be arriving.

She was less than pleasant but I did moved on. I do sincerely wish Michelle well (especially with the death of her mother in December). I also wish Ruth and Terri well. I hope that they are happy together. I always wanted Ruth to meet a woman that would love her the way she deserved to be loved. As odd as this will sound, I also wish Barbara and Donece (aka Special Couple) well. I hope that Donece will learn to tell Barbara the truth and stop with her insistence that what she doesn't know won't hurt her. Failure to tell one's partner the truth is just lying no matter how you slice it. And I also do really wish the ex all the best as well. I hope that she can cleanse her closet of the ghosts she has refused to face and then she will be able to meet someone else that may be able to love her unconditionally.

As for me, I am now able to move on and forge onward. I want to soar. I want to evolve. I want to love and cherish one person with all that I have within myself. I want to feel safe and free to express my innermost thoughts and desires without fearing rejection or ridicule. I want to share and laugh over the silliest of things. I want to be spontaneous again. I want to dance in the kitchen if the mood strikes me. I want to eat ice cream for breakfast if I want to. I want another tattoo (or maybe two). I want a motorcycle and not just to ride in the country on a deserted road. I want to live and know that I have loved.

I also want to share with my friends. I am human and I am not afraid to admit that I am not perfect. I cannot be. I am also not afraid to admit that I am not always right. I want to be but realize that is impossible.

Okay...signing off now. Bear with me as I evolve again. Questions? I hope so, because god knows I have some....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday Temptations on Wednesday

Yes, a day late, but I have been busy with hands on research for this one. From the last post, you are all aware that S.F. gave me a Tissot watch. After a serious discussion about it, we have reached an agreement on gifts for the time being.

Having said that, her original intent was to purchase this one for me. She was worried that if she purchased one that I had not tried on that I wouldn't like it. Now before you admonish me, hear me out. I am not a watch person and the ones I have are very small and dainty. Imagine that. Yes, my largest one has a dial that is just a smidgen larger than a nickle. S.F. thought that I needed a more substantial one to go along with the job requirements I have now. It will help project an image. Sunday I did go to the mall and try on this one, but with a pale blue mother of pearl face. I must admit, I did really like the overall look, but the blue was just not me. S.F. has spoken with her sales person and the black-faced one is being sent to the store for me to look at. I must admit I am excited about it. I promise to keep you posted.

Now, this is where the research has been involved. I must admit, I could use Miss Ginger's assistance at this point, as I do not want to take S.F. shopping for clothes, yet. Not that I don't want her opinion, I want my own first. And Miss Ginger has expertise in this area. What could I possibly need assistance with? Fashion of course.....duh!

I want skirts! I found this, this, this, and this at Express. I also tried on this, this, this, and this at The Limited. I liked this but did not try it on. I also ventured into White House/Black Market. I was pleasantly surprised. I tried on this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this.

I need a girls shopping day and that seems to be that. I want an image that is sassy and sexy but classic.....any ideas Miss Ginger? Any ideas from the rest of you?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Floating off to sleep

So, I have a few things to get off my chest.

First, I want to let my swap buddy, Woolninny, know that her swap package was wonderful! There are pictures on the slide show of the treasures. The book made me get misty eyed and I can't wait to make something for Zoe so that I can use the tags! The yarn is scrumptious! Short of the presents from S.F., her gift ROCKED!

Second, Munchkin was born on Valentine's Day 23 years ago. She is the best present ever and because of that, Valentine's Day has usually been about Munchkin. This year I tried to make that rule stick but I made some exceptions. I knew that my ex-husband was in town with his girlfriend to see Zoe, so I added them to the guest list.

That part was fine. He was delightful and we had fun. His girlfriend is a wonderful woman as well and I enjoy her company as well. S.F. was part of the celebration too and she liked them both too. Trouble and Jack were present too with Zoe. She was dressed in a Red outfit with a white crocheted cardigan and the red cap from melaswell. She was adorable.

I have a rant but this is not the place for it. Let's just say that Munchkin and I need to have a heart-to-heart OR a come to Jesus meeting! Enough said.

I also want to share that S.F. has a puppy, Frankie, that has a degenerative back condition that flared up Wednesday night. She had to take Thursday and Friday off to care for him. He is in pain and is on medication. He is resting and we are hopeful that we can get him through this. Her attendance tonight was in question if he hadn't gotten better.

Now, this is the part where I made another exception to the celebration for the day. I had already told S.F. that we would have to celebrate Valentine's Day some other day so that we did not intrude on Munchkin's birthday. As part of that deal, we were not going to exchange gifts, just cards. She had agreed and that was that, or so I thought. She asked me to meet her at our favorite meeting place about an hour before we were scheduled to join the group at the restaurant for the birthday celebration. I agreed, as I never turn down a chance to spend time together. I'm not that crazy.... ;)

Why did she want to meet early, look closely at the slide show. The gold gift bag was the first thing she presented me. It contained a chocolate rose covered in red foil. The bag also contained a card. The card is one of those that you can record a message and hear music. The song was sung by Leo Sayer. The gift was Ed Hardy Love and Luck Eau de Parfum. I protested....but I was happy that she broke her own rule. That let me know she thinks more about me than she wanted me to know....sly one, but now the gloves are off...... The gift also came with an Ed Hardy Geisha bag as well.

Now, if one gift was already against the rules, she slyly handed me a second wrapped in the deepest purple paper I have ever seen. It had a beautiful silver card attached and a beautiful ribbon. It was VERY heavy. I am already speechless at this point and have no more admonishments for her failure to follow the rules. The card was simple and beautifully written. I removed the ribbon and carefully removed the paper. OMG - she had purchased the watch we had looked at together the day we had spent trying on rings.

I am still floating from the emotions involved. She said that she felt that I needed a professional watch for my job and she thought that it was just elegant and sophisticated enough for me. As a watch connoisseur, she has an eye for these things. She has some made by Swiss Army, Fossil, Orange County Choppers, and a Rolex. I know she has others, but for the life of me I cannot remember their manufacturers.

I have two. One is a ESQ that I bought ten years ago. The other is Merona that I bought because it had six gemstones in the band. I think it was about $30.00 at Target ten years ago. After a conversation with S.F., I know I need a dress watch, one for casual evenings out, and one for sporting events. That means that I need to acquire a sports model and get a new band for the ESQ. I will move the ESQ to the casual position as soon as I have the links removed in the Tissot tomorrow.

Enjoy the slide show and I hope that everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day....

and a shot of Big Mama with Zoe.....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th!

Well, another week comes to an end. I sit here sipping the end of my wine after a long week. I worked 45 hours this week plus classes. I had a paper due in my history class and two web design assignments...OY. Add to that the upcoming birthday for Munchkin and Valentine's Day in general.

I am proud to say that I do have all of Munchkin's gifts and tomorrow morning I will be wrapping them. I am also happy to report that I have cards for Munchkin, Stephanie/Jack/Zoe, and S.F. ready to distribute. Ms. Zoe also has a special dress from me....

I have a few errands to run tomorrow morning...I promised to have some links taken out of a bracelet for S.F and I also need to pick up my dry cleaning. We are scheduled to have some much needed rain, so I cannot wash the car like I wanted to but it will be okay.

The ex-husband and his girlfriend are joining S.F., Trouble, Jack, Zoe, Munchkin and I for her party. It should be fun. He and I have been able to be amicable the last few years and I hope tomorrow is no exception.

I have two outfits prepared. One is a black skirt with a red v-necked knit shirt....meow....and the other is new jeans (Size 12 FINALLY!) and a v-neck sweater.....I will decide on which one after I see the weather forecast in the morning. I want S.F. to be totally distracted and the ex-husband to be bug-eyed! Not that I would ever want him back. I just want to ooze so much sex appeal that neither will know which way is up!

On a serious note, we are keeping our fingers crossed and prayers flowing for S.F.'s dog Frankie. He has a degenerative back problem that has flared up again and the vet isn't sure what can be done this time. If the meds and immobility do not fix it we may have to discuss the other alternatives. He is a French Bulldog and is the sweetest little man. S.F. is very upset and I wish I could do more. I feel so utterly helpless. I know that she is aware of how I feel and will let me help when she needs me to, so I wait.....

I will also tempt you with this....I have given the rocking chair that belonged to Emma to Trouble, as Zoe loves to be rocked and Emma and Trouble share a birthday. Add to that the fact that the chair I have that belonged to my parents needs some minor repairs, I needed another chair. I couldn't resit it. I love the color and the fabric. I may have to order the ottoman and the sofa too....I would love the love seat instead of the sofa, but it seems to be out of stock alot...

Okay gang....wine is done...bed calls....busy day tomorrow....

Wishing each of you a Happy Valentine's Day......

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Did You Miss Me?

Okay...yes it has been nine days since my last post. And no, this is not confession. What have I been doing?

Well, first last week was rough. I was so far behind the eight ball on sleep that I got as much as I could when ever I could. I had classes to attend to and work so that I can still pay the bills. Not to mention the open house that we had on Friday for our customers.

I was too tired for Temptations, too tired for Thoughts on Thursday, and Saturday was a special day with S.F., Trouble, Jack, and Zoe. I did go to Waldo's on Wednesday for the Hurly Knitters. For those of you on Ravelry, check it out! I love the both Jessica's and Spiffy Jenny! It was a much needed lift in my week. And for those of you that knit and do not have a knitting support group in your life, FIND ONE! These women Rock and I love them all!

Friday was the Customer Appreciation Event at the facility. I was dressed in a burgundy dress with a matching jacket and appropriate heels. The event was wonderful and at 6:40 PM I left to meet S.F. and Chuck and Jana at the Duck. Chimay Ale was the Happy Hour beer with Keep the Glass option. When I arrived at 7:15 PM, the three of them were lit. The cat calls and the comments from the peanut gallery could have been embarrassing, but I actually was prepared. S.F. can't help herself sometimes....she just calls it as she sees it, and her opinion, I was hot....so, I graciously accepted and moved on. I had one beer and that was all. We went for dinner and when we returned to S.F.'s truck, she had a flat. She and Chuck changed it while Jana and I sat in the VW Bug and chatted. After all I was wearing a dress and couldn't really be expected to "perform" now could I? After they were finished, we all said our good nights and goodbyes.

Saturday, even though we had plans, I knew I could sleep in a bit. I managed to get eight full hours of sleep. Eraser and Sassy left me alone and stayed very quiet so I could sleep. It wasn't enough sleep to fill the deficit but it did help. I showered and dressed and S.F. and I met to run a few errands and purchase birthday gifts for Munchkin's birthday on Valentine's Day. We headed up to see Jack, Trouble and Zoe. We had so much fun. S.F. was such a good sport. If for no other reason than that, she would be worth her weight in gold.

Sunday I was able to sleep in again for another eight hours. When I finally was "alive" I cleaned the place from top to bottom and purged some things that I no longer needed to hang on to, as their usefulness was gone. Knitting did occur and I will be taking pictures soon.

My first ex, Trouble and Munchkin's dad is in town to see them as well as his grand daughter. I am actually looking forward to seeing him and his girlfriend Mary on Saturday as we celebrate Munchkin's 23rd birthday. S.F. will be with us and after we are done celebrating Munchkin's special day, we will try to make a new tradition for ourselves. I have no clues what we will decide, but I am looking forward to it. S.F. believes that a relationship that is built correctly and maintained correctly celebrates Valentine's Day daily, so not too much extra should have to happen. We will see what happens since this is our first one...

The week has been packed with activity already and we are only two days into it. I will attempt to resume Temptations next week....

Have a great week all and Happy Valentine's Day should I forget to post...

BTW - Happy Birthday to Rich Neel (7th), Jessica (9th), Micah (13th), Munchkin (14th), Amy (17th), Kevin (19th), and Sassy (20th).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Introducing Zoe Raven

Okay, very short post due to lack of sleep.

Yesterday after a much needed hair cut and a late lunch/early dinner, S.F. and I received the word that Trouble was indeed in labor and that she had been induced. We headed up there post haste!

Zoe Raven made her debut appearance Sunday, February 01, 2009 at 1:21 AM. She weighed in at 7 pounds 8 ounces and is 20 inches long. Trouble is tired and sore but she is doing well enough to be released tomorrow.

I am so very proud of both Trouble and Jack. They did so good as a team and I was a part of the birthing team. It was an amazing thing to be asked to be present in the actual delivery of this small miracle of life. I was present to see my first child give birth to her first child. Three generations all in the same room.....

I will write more later, I just had to share this. My heart is filled with so much joy and happiness. Special thanks to S.F. for being there for me when I needed it last night.....