Friday, January 29, 2010

Repression.....Compression.....Critical Mass...Explosion

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday's Thoughts

The Thought of the Day

The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and
bear the deepest wounds and scars of war - General Douglas McArthur

Please people, please, please, please stop talking about the American soldier like you know him. I understand that many of you have family that serve. But for you to say that any soldier would "gladly give his life for freedom" means that you likely don't understand the soldier at all. I, of course, can not speak for every soldier either. I will therefore concentrate on my own feelings for a moment. I am honored to be a member of the United States Army. We are a fine and necessary tradition. I follow the orders of the President and the officers appointed over me. So when They tell me it's time to leave my family, I do so. This is not something we as soldiers vote on, we do not get an option of supporting the fight, (the army wouldn't work if we did) we simply do as we are told. I will fight to defend my fellow soldier, and I know that this fight may cause me harm, but I never do so "gladly". I would gladly live in a world of peace, I would gladly sit down with our enemies and discuss a non-violent solution to our differences, but I would not gladly kill or be killed war. There are heroes that do give their life for others. These are the men and women that throw themselves on a hand-grenade or charge a bunker to protect their fellow soldiers. These men could be said to have given their lives, but the soldier that is killed by a roadside bomb placed by an insurgent would very likely say that his life was taken from him. And I believe that this is an important distinction. I think that perhaps the fallen soldiers families would think so too.
So I ask that in the future you refrain from speaking of soldiers giving their lives for freedom. If you must thank us, thank us for the sacrifice of leaving our families, thank us for the risk we take, or more importantly thank our families for the losses they incur. But the best support you can show is a desire for a peaceful resolution.

I always say,

give a small person a little power, and they will turn into Hitler. Well, maybe not so bad in THIS situation, but bad enough to send me to my treadmill to try to sweat out my anger. Someone needs to tell my weight watchers leader that exercise doesn't make the anger go away. It did however make me too tired to go back to the kitchen to GET the food. So maybe she was right, after all.

Every afternoon I spend about two hours in my car waiting for my kids after school. You have to get to the school to start the line if you are going to get out of the parking lot at any sort of decent hour. After picking Laurel up, I drive over to Miah's school, where I wait another hour. At Miah's school they have these evil little kids who are supposed to open your car door to let your kid in the car, teachers to micromanage how and when you drive, and more teachers to call out the name of students who's parents are ready to pick them up. Too many small people, with just enough power to make a regular gal crazy. Normally everything runs smoothly, not to include the time one of the kids slammed Miah's foot in the sliding van door. (Kids don't touch my car any more. The VP made sure of this. It's a huge bone of contention for me. My nine year old knows how to OPEN a CAR door!, but I digress) yesterday there was a substitute teacher on the sidewalk. I'm assuming that her job there was to keep order and make sure that there are no students running off. I've never seen her before, and she has no clue who I am, or which car Miah is supposed to go to, so she couldn't possibly be in charge of students getting to the proper car! I was parked where I always am, in line, ready to pull up. Miah saw my van and starts walking towards me like she always does, when this broad throws her arm up to cut her off and tells her to walk in the opposite direction. Miah tried to pipe up and let her know that I was a mere five feet away, well within the safety zone, but the woman refused to listen to Miah, and cut her off. Miah sighed and started walking, while I am starting to wonder what the bleep is going on. I pull forward to get into Miah's line of sight and tell her to hurry up and get into the car. We have a limited amount of time in which she needs to get home, do homework, do her chores, and get ready to do spelling with Daddy when he gets home. We have two hours a night with Jay, in which dinner, spelling practice, how was your day talk, and possibly a little tv and kids cuddling with their dad on the couch. So I'm not messing around. The dog needs to go out as soon as we get home, and she won't wait! Miah does as she is told, like the good little girl she is. SHE knows who her boss is. The teacher actually walked up to MY car, and grabbed Miah's shoulder as if to pull her out of the car, and tells her that she WILL walk to the end of the sidewalk, and she WILL follow the rules. I told her (the teacher) at least three times to please just let Miah in the car b/c hell, she's already half in! She starts talking about how the rules this and the rules that, and blah blah blah....and how if I stop there then I'm holding up the line. Was the line moving at this point, you ask? NO! WHY you say? Well, because this woman is yelling into my car, that's why! She actually started to correct Miah in my presence, and tell her to not listen to me, that there are rules, and poor Miah has a look on her face, as Laurel described it that said "Oh, some one's HEAD is going to come off" She was actually ducking and cowering in the opening of the door! I saw all this and told Miah under no uncertain terms that she was to get in the car and buckle up. The teacher said, well, I'll just go talk to Mr. (*****) the principal. So I said, "Go ahead, but it won't matter, because I'M her MOTHER!)
She never did talk to the principal....but I DID. I was up half the night yelling at them in my head. I wanted to yank her ear off. This morning Jay and I dropped Miah off in the Lobby, and headed to the office. Thankfully the principal was nice, he listened, and offered to talk to Miah (Which we did already, she was disturbed to say the least) Needless to say, that teacher won't be getting any jobs any time soon at that school. I'm still so irritated I could choke someone. I can't believe that any woman would dare put a hand on my kid. Jay's main concern was that if she was willing to grab Miah and get physical in front of me, what is she willing to do when alone? I've met some evil subs, some of which went home crying after my dad got a hold of them, but even at their worst, I've NEVER seen a teacher put a hand on a student!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weight Watchers

Drum roll please......Thank you!
This week I lost 1.4 lbs, and Jay lost 4lbs! (gonna sneak feed him m&m's in his sleep...) This means that with last week's .6b loss, I get to add two more beads to my bracelet! Yay!

Friday, January 22, 2010

What are you afraid of?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday's Thoughts

The thought of the day:
It amazes me to think of how much difference each little change can make.
I'm deep in the middle of Stephen King's latest novel. I don't get a lot of time to read these days, so it is taking me a lot longer than should, but I'm very impressed at how much Mr. King points out that so many things could have turned out drastically different if some nearly insignificant changes had been made. I've discussed chaos theory and the butterfly effect on this blog before, but I come to it again. The novel makes me realize that we tend to define our lives by moments when big things happen, but the "big" moments were no more important than any other moment. They have all had some effect on not only our lives but others. Realizing that each decision you make is important, we should all strive to think more about consequences.

Grandma's Button Box

Inspired by my Grandma's button box. All buttons are antique shell buttons just like the ones I used to run my fingers through when I was little. They even smell the same. Call it a "great memories" necklace. More to come!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I lost .6 lbs this week. No more using my extra weekly points. I hardly used any, but it made a huge difference! I also started exercising more. I hurt. It's worth it. I've been leaving January's O magazine open in the bathroom, to all the incredibly encouraging advice. It reminds me to say this mantra, which is helping, a bit at a time, "I've done it before, I'll do it again!" The year Jay was in Korea, I lost about 80 lbs, so I know I have the strength to do it. I'm going to do it again!

Steaming Broccoli

Steamed Broccoli

How to steam broccoli.

Something I've never done before, I had to look up the instructions on this website. Usually I either eat broccoli raw, or stir fry, so this is completely new to me. I thought someone else might benefit as well, so here goes!

Before you cook:

1. Wash the broccoli thoroughly under cool running water.

2. Cut off the thickest portion of the stalks, removing the fibrous, woody bases.

3. Either chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces or cut it into thin stalks with florets at the top so it looks like a group of small trees.

Stove top steaming:

There are various kitchen implements available for stove top steaming. You may use either a folding metal steaming basket or a hard pan-insert designed for steaming or a steaming basket made of wood. Whichever steaming tool you select, it should be placed in a pan that has a tightly fitting lid.

1. Fill the base of the pan with water so it is up to the level of the steamer, but does not rise up into the steamer.

2. Set the stove burner to high.

3. Once the water is boiling, place the broccoli loosely in the steamer. It is okay to fill the steamer, but it should not be packed with broccoli.

3. Cover the pan.

4. Allow the broccoli to cook three to five minutes. If the pan is really full, you may need additional time.

5. Make sure to remove the pan from the heat source and to remove the lid once the broccoli is done or it will continue to cook.

It turned out perfectly, Laurel especially was happy! I think I'm going to be making my veggies this way from now on. No oil, no huge cleanup and all the vitamins left intact. How can you go wrong?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Best potatoes ever!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips


Serves 10

Parsnips, which look a bit like cream-colored carrots, add flavor and texture to otherwise traditional mashed potatoes. Stir in a handful of chopped green onions or grated cheddar cheese before serving, if you like.


4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup milk, hot
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground white pepper
Salt and pepper to taste


Place potatoes and parsnips in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and summer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. or until potatoes are very tender. Drain well, return to pot, add milk and butter and mash until almost smooth (or leave slightly chunky, if you prefer). Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Per Serving (292g-wt.): 300 calories (80 from fat), 9g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 7g protein, 46g total carbohydrate (5g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 25mg cholesterol, 810mg sodium

I told him...

Optimism will be your downfall.
Actively decide who you are!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday's Thoughts

The thought of the day:
What you don't know can't hurt you
Bullshit. Anyone who believes this is lying to themselves. It is often the things that we don't know that come back to hurt us the most. What you don't know you don't have to deal with, but not dealing with something often makes it worse. And this applies to almost every aspect of life.
The reason I bring it up today is that I am soon to be looked at for promotion. A very big part of this is ensuring that my records are complete and accurate. In the course of correcting these records, I had an appointment with the civilian who is in charge of records for the entire base. My personnel departments has either failed to update my records, or updated them incorrectly for so long now that it took her almost an hour just to write down all the changes she needed to make. This is the same record that was looked at last year, the one I was told was good to go. And not only did she make the changes that I needed, but she also ensured that I understood them. What I didn't know last year hurt my chances severely. Now all I need is a lot of open slots and a little luck.

I Don't Think So, Tim!

There is no way in hell I will ever fly again. This is a huge privacy violation! My Dr. has never even seen this much of me! How can anyone agree to this? It's just another one of those stupid security measures that takes away a little bit more of our freedom (from embarrassment this time) just to make everyone feel safe. Did anyone catch the tiny news flash that the "Under ware Bomber" went through an airport that used these machines? No one knows if HE went through one, and there's the problem! The guy was acting strangely throughout the airport, had no luggage on a country to country flight....this was clearly a failing of the personnel, not the security measures.
I'm angry. This country gave away it's freedom for safety. As Thomas Jefferson said:
Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.

I truly believe that 9/11 was a special case. I'm not going to say it will never happen again, but I doubt that something of that magnitude will again. It's not because of the war, or security's because they blew their wad with that one! Every attempt (that the powers that be let us know about) has been tiny. All of which have been stopped by the people around them. The only thing we need to do to be safe is keep our government under control and in it's place, and be personally vigilant. Pay attention to what's going on around you. Certainly not by showing my naked body to a bunch of airline jerks who will (I promise) find a way to record these images and post them on the Internet. There will be jokes about fat people, and pretty girls will be singled out. Maybe not everywhere, but you know there are a certain group of people in the world that will take advantage.
The world is starting to look more and more like George Orwell's nightmares....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Old Idea, New Application

I was thinking in the car, waiting for the girls to get out of school, that I need a visual reminder of my weight loss journey. If I had something I could keep with me all the time that would remind me of my ultimate goal, it might be easier to stick to it. I got to thinking about other ways I had marked time, or achievements and thought I'd steal from one of my own favorite ideas. When Jay leaves for training or war (Said so casually now, how sad.) The girls and I make either pie charts out of paper plates marking the passage of months, or paper chains marking the days. I didn't want to start a chain mail sort of project to mark each pound lost because it wouldn't be wearable for a long while, so rather I thought to make a bracelet that I could mark each pound lost with a bead. So, above you have the start of my project. Every week (hopefully) I will be able to add another bead...I'm just not sure yet if I will draw from the same few beads, or if it will be a mishmash of many different kinds. Maybe for particularly hard weeks, or special goals met I'll find something special to add, like a charm, or elaborate silver bead. I'm just not sure yet. I used brass, copper and sterling silver metals together to give myself some versatility, the large round beads are those luscious garnet beads I love so much, and the dangles are pearl, and a mystery bead I have a strand of. I hate it when bead shops don't label things. I'll never remember what it is, and it would be so helpful to have the knowledge!
I have a couple of projects in the works, so I hope to get those posted soon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Weight Watchers!

I lost two pounds this week!
In other news, the man I'm married to lost five. Bah!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Locks of Love Part Deux

Me, before:

Me, after:

Isn't it funny sometimes, how life puts you exactly where you need to be? I made an appointment at a salon that was literally around the corner from my house. It's the only one that I've seen down here and remembered the location, because the name is Sybil's which reminds me of the novel of the same name about a girl with multiple personalities. It's funny, because the place sells wigs....Get it? Each time one of my girls dons a wig, they have a different personality, grandma, princess....maybe it's just me. I think it's funny, and that's why this place stuck in my memory. It turns out that these guys do so many Locks of Love donations that now they put them in a box and send them all off for the customer instead of having them sent off individually. Sue played with my now short hair, and talked me into trusting her (I know!) and I ended up with this cute little bob. The picture doesn't do it justice, because it's fluffy and bouncy, and curled under just so...Sue even showed me how to do it. How cool is that? I have never walked into a place with a picture of the cut I want and had anyone have the guts to tell me it wasn't right for me. And sure as heck never showed me how to fix it up!
As soon as I was done I had just enough time to run to target while I still remembered all the things she told me I needed. I spent a little too much, but it was fun to be girly for once. The problem is that with all of this arctic wind, my hair fell flat as soon a a gust hit me in the face! Bah!
I can't tell you how good it feels to have 12 inches cut off my hair. My head felt lighter immediately! Also, instead of a half an hour to blow dry my hair, it too maybe 5 minutes to get done, and it swishes when I tip my head. I love it. It feels free! I did notice under all those nasty lights that I have the widest jaw on the planet! When did that happen, and why is it that your mirror at home tells you you look great, and when you go out every reflective surface you encounter calls your mirror a lying bastard? I call bullshit! I resolve to never glimpse in someone Else's mirror again....
In other news, I've been sooooo good this week. I actually can't wait to get on the scale! I'll pretend that I'm not getting the munchies at 3 every day, if only this extra weight will go away faster. Hopefully this time next year I'll be laughing at three o' clock!
So, what do you think of the new do?

Locks of Love

I have an appointment in about an hour to chop off all of my hair! I've been holding off for a while, waiting for it to be long enough to donate to I'm going to post pictures after the deed is done. I haven't had hair off my shoulder since Virgil came over one day, saw my new do, and said, "Oh, Stacy, What have you DONE!" Hahaha! That WAS a really bad cut. No kidding, the only pic of that hair was my driver's license, and thank god it's long expired now! I have a pic of the cut I want, so hopefully all will be well. Gulp. See you here in a couple of hours with the results!
From the site:


Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.

And that's just awesome! It's easy to do too.

Desperate people do desperate things

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday's Thoughts

Today's thought:

The world does not have a ctrl-z function.

This is a kind of nerdy way to state an obvious thing; obvious to most people anyway. You can not undo that which has been done. Although you can hit ctrl-z on your computer, undoing the last action, you can not do so in life. The actions you take have repercussions, they have effect on the world, and those effects have effect as well. Some things look like they can be undone, you can tear down a wall, but remember that you can't un-build it. The resources were still used and free movement was for a time suspended. You can fix a broken window, but you can't un-break it. You can clean up pollution, but you can't un-pollute. And although you may pay for your crimes or even seek forgiveness for them, but you can't un-commit them. This knowledge throws a monkey wrench in most religions for me, but but the fact remains that the world does not have an undo.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Never, Ever, Ever

I repeat...Never....

Try to cut your own bangs. Just don't do it.

New Year, New Me?

So, here we go again. I finally went back to weight watchers today. After having issues, I'm good to go back. Err. I forgot what a whole lot of work it is. I have to do something though, because I seem to be sick an awful lot lately, and I need to get healthy. So starting this afternoon I'm back on the wagon. Don't wish me luck, wish me motivation, and will power!
I've really been lax in my blogging lately, mostly because there isn't anything going on that I can talk about. Certainly not anything I'd want to read if I were an outsider reading this blog! The kid went to Florida with Mom and Ron for two weeks over the holidays, which meant that amongst the every-fourth-day staff duty, Jay and I were alone! What did we do with this time? I'm not ashamed to say that we mostly watched every single rated R movie that has come out in the past two years. Oh, was it fun! The two stand outs for me were Inglorious Bastards, and Dead Girl. The former because any type of Hitler era movie/story gets me excited (can't go into detail, b/c a friend hasn't seen it yet, but the movie was intense!) and the latter because it was just so absolutely raw and disturbing.
The other big thing we did was shopping. We went on a hunt for a new table for the front room. We had had a trunk in between the two couches, but it was heavy, hard to move, and too darned tall. We went to South Carolina, several antique shops here, and finally after seeing a huge amount of over priced tables that we'd have top saw the legs off of anyway, we found a rugged, painted, worn down and beat up table that had just enough leg height that we could saw them down to our desired size. It's a funky green now, but as soon as it gets warm out I'll be out there with my sander and some stain. My favorite feature of the table is that it has a leaf, and pulls out really far, so we have enough space to play games, sit Japanese style and eat dinner, or simply plop our stuff and our feet down. We bought a new miter box and took it down about a foot as soon as we got home, and it's perfect!
I spent a lot of time alone too. Between Staff Duty, and the day after catching up on sleep, I spent many an hour trying to entertain myself. Some of which was spent making jewelry See below picture for my latest) and some was spent reading. I read the new thousand page Stephen King novel in less than a week, and started a trashy historical novel I had first read as a kid. Oh, Stephen, your constant reader was not disappointed! As a matter of fact I was quite happy with the ending, which sometimes doesn't happen with one of his novels. Again, I cannot go into the story line because Jay is still reading it, but I'll tell you, it was worth the wait.
Well, sadly, it's time for me to let the dogs back in and go get the girls. I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of my latest necklace...

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, Full of Possibilities