Spread Your Wings and Fly

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

What to say?

I'm having a difficult time finding my voice today. There is so much going on and I'm not quite sure where to start. It's all emotional and I know it's a defensive mechanism not talking about it. I'm going to just give you all the facts.
My mother is getting sicker and the cancer has spread to her lungs. She is also suffering from ascites being caused by the cancer in her liver. The diagnosis means more surgery. Its very bad news for our family and I appreciate your good thoughts.
I talked to my brother today and he's just not dealing at all with the reality of the situation. He's worried about how we can have a good Christmas. How important it is we celebrate it at his home and getting our mother to agree. I'm concerned about much more than that and don't really care where we spend the holidays. For him, it's all he can worry and talk about. This year it's just really something he wants. We're going to try and figure it out.
I'm just taking one day at a time and hoping for the best.

Posted by J.J. :: 8:45 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Mouse King

This morning I moved a large dresser while cleaning. Before you are too impressed, moving the furniture is not something I usually do while vacuuming. I moved the dresser away from the wall and found this huge stash of cat toys.
I have a 3 year old cat named Ollie and he LOVES toys. His favorite without a doubt are the plastic rings from milk containers. He will chase, fetch and carry these all over my house. If you throw one for him he'll bring it back to you over and over again. It's a remarkable talent (for a cat...Specially this cat) and most of the time I'm happy he's learned this trick. The only time it's not particularly cute is the middle of the night or early morning when he drops a milk ring on my head.
This morning Ollie was so excited to get his paws on the milk rings and mice. They had been just out of his reach for so long he wasn't sure what to do first. He quickly picked up a mouse, growled and hustled out of the bedroom.

Posted by J.J. :: 2:25 PM :: 3 Comments:

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Fun Holiday Fact #1

I'm going on holiday vacation starting December 16th until January 3rd. As if that isn't good enough news, each of the next three weeks are 4 day work weeks!!

Fa La La La La
La La La La

Posted by J.J. :: 12:52 PM :: 0 Comments:

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A Short Month

Christmas is one month from today and I've very unprepared. Today starts my countdown with a whirlwind of activity to have the best holiday for my family. It's a bold statement, but I'm very determined to make this holiday special and a success. The holidays and I haven't always had such a good relationship. Several years ago I would have easily skipped from the day before Thanksgiving to mid January without even blinking as eye.
It was very difficult growing up with an alcoholic father, everyday was difficult but the holidays were always worse. We always pretended to be "happy" during the holidays, but we weren't kidding anyone I'm sure. There weren't any presents (one year I got purple earmuffs from the drug store) or stockings and my father would always sneak away during the day to drink. My cousins would open fabulous gifts and I would be so jealous. I did understand my family was different; we were poor and my father didn't work. I knew it and I lived it everyday. That didn't keep me from hoping one year might be different. It never was, it was the same every year and as I grew older I dreaded the holidays more and more. I've had a hard time getting rid of the bad feelings for Christmas.
This year I'm looking forward to the holidays and I want to make them the best. It's very important for my family to spend this time together and I'm realistic this may be our last. We need to make (and have) good memories this year. I'm starting today to make sure that happens.
Start the countdown 'til December 25th!

Posted by J.J. :: 8:35 AM :: 1 Comments:

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a fun, happy, thankful and safe holiday.

Posted by J.J. :: 8:49 AM :: 1 Comments:

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Bizarro World

I spent Saturday visiting my brother and his wife. They don't live too far away and it was a beautiful day for a drive down the turnpike. We were sitting outside and enjoying the day when the conversation of my mother started. I swear, that was when I entered the bizarro world of non-reality. If you aren't familiar with the bizarro world, it's a world where everything is the same of our world except bizarrely opposite.
We started talking about how the Holidays are coming and we'd like my mother to spend them with all of us. She's so very sick and most days doesn't leave the house, so spending the time at my brother's would be a large task. My sister in law asked how she's doing (remember my brother talks to my mother everyday and knows her condition) and if she's just tired? I explained what her situation is right now and how I'm worried it's going to be too much. Then I'm asked if she's going to start chemo again after the New Year? She isn't going back to work? What about her insurance and long term disability? I've always thought we're all on the same page here, please let me give you the facts as I know them.
My mother isn't able to work due to advanced colon cancer. It has now spread to her stomach and liver.
She doesn't have long term disability and her short term disability runs out at the end of December.
She won't be able to work and then will lose her insurance.
She isn't old enough (yet) for social security and doesn't have a retirement plan.
She doesn't want to go though another session of chemo.

I went over the facts with them as calmly as I could, but inside I was screaming mad. How could they not know all this! I drove home and thought, "Is it just me? Am I too sensitive and over reacting?" I wish we could all be handling this and making decisions together but it's just not happening. I don't know the answers but I wish they would at least read the questions.

Posted by J.J. :: 7:15 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Forget Sliced Bread

I've just ordered the new video iPod and can't wait to start using it tomorrow. If you haven't heard or don't know this is the latest and greatest in the iPod family. The video iPod is smaller in size (under half and inch think), has a large 2.5 inch color display and improved battery life. It not only plays music but also videos, pictures and you can download your favorite TV shows (LOST). I travel quite a bit so I really need to have this added functionality. ( I really do...honest).
Don't I already have an iPod, you ask? Well, yes I do but it's an old (3 years!) 3rd generation and I've filled it already and the battery isn't what it should be. I use it everyday and need the latest and greatest to work to my potential.
What am I doing with my old iPod? I do love it and the little guy and I have been through so many good (and bad) times together. We've spent countless hours listening to The Fray, Disturbed, and O.A.R just to name a few, but it's time to move on. I'm going to give him to a friend of mine who's never experienced the wonder of the iPod. I'm sure they will get along just fine.
If you haven't gone to the bright white (or black now) of the iPod, please give it a try. The days of using (and buying) CDs will be gone forever. If you are at all a music fan you will love it!

Posted by J.J. :: 6:22 PM :: 2 Comments:

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Guilt-Free Pleasure

I was reading Jennsylvania this afternoon and she mentioned a web site that I now LOVE.
Have you been ever been to Paperdoll Heaven? It's so much fun and very addictive. When I was a little girl I loved paper dolls and my mother always got them for me. We wouldn't even be in the car and I would be looking at the wonderful book of dolls. In my mind I was already planning what outfit I would dress them in first and where they would be going. The choices were endless and all up to me. I would sit on the floor and carefully choose the clothing and the dolls. Playing with paperdolls was my own escape and indulgence, and it's still fun.
The high tech verison is much easier and loads of fun. You can pick many from many different people (men and women) and various hair, make-up, shoes and clothing combinations. I highly recommend it, and if you'll excuse me Jennifer Aniston requires my help picking an outfit.

Posted by J.J. :: 6:28 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Put the Phone Down

'I love a martini, two at the most.
after three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under the host.'
-Dorothy Parker

I'm forced to admit I can no longer hold my alcohol and I don't know when it happened. My friends know that after 3 appletinies someone has to take my car keys and my cell phone. Unless it is an emergency, there is no reasonable excuse to call anyone after 11pm. I'm always nervous answering the phone late in the evening. It's either bad news (sick cat or the car won't start) or some drunk person needing to share the humor of The Andy Griffith Show.
I'll I'm asking is, if you need to have the 4th martini.....Please turn off your phone and give it to a responsible adult.
Trust me, my phone is off now too.....Better safe than sorry.

Posted by J.J. :: 9:28 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

My Mother

This is one of my favorite pictures of my Mother. She's about 21 and hasn't gotten married or had children. She's looking at my father and she just looks so happy. I would have loved to have know her then. She was going to college, singing on a regular basis, working and dating my father. What was she like before all the pressures of life took over? There is so much still I want to know.
She has so many memories and pictures that I don't want to just disappear. The pictures are easy to deal with, I'm organizing and scanning many and putting them on disks. There are also slides and movies that need to be preserved too. My family took pictures of everything and one day I'd like to share them with my children. The memories aren't as easy to catalog. We're spending time now just talking. I ask her about her life, both the good times and bad, even the history I know because I don't want to forget.
You can see my progress at Flickr.

Posted by J.J. :: 4:59 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

"Illusions are dangerous, they don't have any flaws...."

Posted by J.J. :: 10:40 AM :: 2 Comments:

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Friday, November 11, 2005

A Real Bad Habit

Wow....I think I've either gotten dull and in a rut. I'm very much a creature of habit and like that sense of control. I do the same things everyday and in the exact same order. This is my schedule in the morning and honestly I do this exact thing every day.

Get Up
Take a shower
rinse conditioner out
apply lotion
eat breakfast
dry my hair
make my bed
brush my teeth
get dressed
make my lunch
go to work

I know why I do things in the same order in the shower. I don't really pay attention that early in the morning and sometimes "forget" if I'd washed my hair.
This morning I realized my schedule never varies, EVER! There's no reason I can't change and mix things up. I could work out early or go out to breakfast on my way to work. Monday morning I'm going to do something different in my day. I know....I'm crazy out of control!

Posted by J.J. :: 7:19 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

9 to 5

The hours of 9-5 have been really tough this week. I've really struggled to put on a happy face, smile, talk to my "clients" and just making it through the day. I have (had) a good friend there but we're just so distant now. I'm angry, jealous, hurt that she isn't supportive or at least acknowledge my feelings. She disagrees with my decisions and even tells me how I'm feeling is wrong (how can my feelings be wrong?). I can't even talk to her because it makes me so angry. I'm upset and she's being "politically" correct.....it just makes me angrier. The thing is I'm always supportive of her decision, even when I think they are wrong. Isn't that what friends are for?
This is all just typical of my life right now.* I feel like the weight of my world is falling off my shoulders. Everything (and everyone) I love is slipping away....my friends, my mother and the life that I was working towards. I don't want to start over!

*This is just a rant a I know it's a little drama but I wanted to get this all out.

Posted by J.J. :: 8:59 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Old Habits

I have a confession to make and it's not something I'm very proud of. I've been having a really tough time lately. Work, life, sickness all adding to the everyday stresses. I also have an eating disorder that I struggle with everyday, and I've been really fighting (and losing) the past 5 days.
I have fallen back into many of my old habits (and I'm not ready to discuss them....yet) and totally knew what I was doing, but did it anyway. The difference this time is I don't want to keep doing it, I don't want to go a 6th day. I want to stop.
Tonight is my group meeting and I want to discuss this past week and my struggles. It's been a long path to get to this point but I really think it will do me good.
I'm going to have a good day and I hope you do the same.

Posted by J.J. :: 8:00 AM :: 1 Comments:

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Blue Monday

"Did you set the date yet?" She asked when I started talking about my day.

"Date?" Was my only reply, not quite sure what she was asking.

She kept talking, "I'm getting sicker everyday, and you need to encourage Chris to set the date."

I didn't know what to say and felt a huge knot in my stomach. Chris was my ex and we broke up over three years ago. This was a bad day for my mother and there was nothing I could do to help.

She said it again, "I'm not going to be here if you don't do it soon. I'm getting sicker everyday".

"I know Mom, and I'll talk to him and to set a date soon." I just told her what I thought would make her happy. I didn't want her to be upset tonight and tomorrow she won't even remember we had this conversation.

Posted by J.J. :: 9:38 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Good Life

We should all have it so good.

Posted by J.J. :: 2:12 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Do you really know?

How well do you know your friends?

If you're like me, I'm sure you'll say pretty well. I have a close group of people and I think I know them and their lives pretty well. However, the other night when speaking with some of them I was surprised (as they were about me) with information we didn't know. I'm not talking about anything twisted or Desperate Housewives material, but just new information. This is my admission and my friends were surprised.

I volunteer once a week at a hospital holding babies. There are studies that show premature babies heal, are more comfortable and grow better with increased close contact. Volunteers fill the time when parents can't be at the hospital. The hospital I work at has a whole volunteer program that works to have babies held as much as possible. This program works around the clock seven days a week. It is amazing to see how a fussy baby in a crib can become calm and tranquil while being held. I’ve been doing this for quite awhile and it’s one of my favorite parts of my week. When I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed (like yesterday), it was an amazing feeling to sit, refocus, and just concentrate of this tiny life. It made my problems just fall away.

I'm not sharing this part of my live to get a great big "Yeah" ! I'm far from a perfect example. My friends were surprised when I told them and they questioned me "why didn't you say anything" ? I'm not sure how to answer this, except it seems selfish to me. These children are struggling to live and their parents are praying, hoping and hurting everyday being separated from them. This is something I rarely talk about out of respect for the families.

All my friends are now asking more questions of each other.
What is really important to you?
If you could change your life, what would you do?
How do you stay happy?

Posted by J.J. :: 11:27 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday at Five O'clock

It is official, I've been "reorg'd. It happened as it usually does, Friday at the last part of the day. I didn't take the sick day, but I should have. I was given the news that the decisions had been made and this is what's going to happen to me. The reorg was worse that I had thought. I don't get a promotion or even keep my current responsibilities; I get to do what I was doing 5 years ago!
Great news!

It's a new position for my group (although I did this before) and I'm responsible for a major part of our operations. I'm told my skills are valued by the organization and they don't want to lose me.
I thought people got advanced for these complements? The hardest thing for to accept is my effort of the past years have been for nothing. I get to go back exactly where I was.
I can't wait until Monday and face the humiliation of "the others", explain why I don't get the big office, and how I'm no longer the #2 in my group.
I'm going to make another appletini, I think it is going to be a long weekend.

Posted by J.J. :: 7:57 PM :: 2 Comments:

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

3 day weekend

Shhhh.........I'm taking a sick day tomorrow.

Posted by J.J. :: 9:10 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Happy Birthday Wil!

Posted by J.J. :: 7:43 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Now I'm (not) cooking!

I can't cook.

At All.

The exchange below, yes that was me. I can't cook. I burn, over season,undercook, and over mix food all the time. Its not just that I don't cook often or don't have time, but I'm just missing the cooking gene in my DNA. I try and follow receipts for basic cooking and it doesn't seem to work out. I get distracted when I put things in the oven and only remember when the can smell the smoke (I don't have a timer on my oven and that doesn't help either). Since I don't cook I don't own very many cooking supplies. This always becomes a problem when people come over and try to make dinner.

"Where is your cheese grater?"
"How can you not have a cookie sheet?"
"Why don't you own salad tongs?"

I just look at them and smile. I've never had the need for such things. You buy grated cheese, cookies and salad all ready to eat! That's why we have grocery stores. Hello! Am I wrong here?

I fear though this holiday season I'm going to get cooking supplies as gifts. People I know are shocked at the state of my pans and utensils. They are certain I'm going to poison myself (or them) if I continue using theses relics from the 1950s. I continue to tell them, Don't waste your money on such things, you put the Lean Cuisine in the microwave and the pizza doesn't need a pan. There are somethings a beautiful sheet of pots or a bright pink Kitchen Aid mixed just can't fix, My cooking skills is one. I appreciate the thoughts that these things will help me, but they will just gather dust in my kitchen.

Please, save yourselves and let me make dinner reservations.

Posted by J.J. :: 8:06 AM :: 2 Comments:

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