Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

When will I learn?

When I have a blog halfway planned in my mind, I should never read other blogs before writing mine. Now I have everyone's Year In Review in my mind and, there are some really well written blogs that I read, they are a little intimidating.

It is difficult to believe another year has passed. It seems just minutes ago we were ushering in 2008 (ok, it was only about 2 weeks ago we were ushering in 2000), but January seems so long ago.

I am not sure how to categorize 2008.

The elections drug on waaaay too long, but, in the end, the country has a fine man ready to step up and do his best to turn us around.

The LeftLeaning household took a personal hit when BabyBoy lost his job in Aug and then DSD lost his in Sep. Neither of them have found work, although, to be fair, BabyBoy's class load was a bit too much for him to hold down a job, so he has only been looking for a couple of weeks.

The economy is in the toilet.

People are losing their homes.

But gas prices are lower than I ever expected them to be again in my life. After they got higher than I ever expected them to be in my lifetime.

Osama bin Laden is still on the loose.

Men and women are still dying on foreign soil. And many who aren't dying are not getting the help they need.

But there have been enough breakthroughs in AIDS treatment that contracting the disease is no longer a death sentence.

Homosexuals now have the right to marry in a couple of states, but their rights took a huge hit on election day with Prop 8 & Amend 2.

My son carried signs encouraging people to defeat Amendment 2 and voted in his first ever Presidential election.

I won $1500 in a 'Slot' tourney in Biloxi.

Many thousands more are without healthcare today than were without healthcare 1 year ago.

There is no peace in the Middle East.

So I guess, after reading this, 2008 could be categorized as lousy.

But, personally, my family is healthy. My parents are now in their early 60's, thinking of retiring and doing great. My brother's children are not pregnant and have not been arrested ('nuff said.) I am still employed, DSD has his retirement and we are not in danger of losing the house.

Here's wishing a happy, healthy, wondrous 2009 for the entire world. I hope all of our hopes, wishes and dreams, for our country, for our family, for our world come true.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

On the weekends I like to bury myself away from the news and reports of what is going on in the world. I don't read the web, except for an occasional blog and DSD usually has control of the remote and is watching football, so even the local news is a miss some weekends.

But news of what is happening in Gaza would have been impossible to miss without disconnecting electricity to my home and locking myself inside (not very bright, because it would have been uncomfortably warm).

So, I broke down and read numerous articles in Time and on various news pages.

And I don't get it.

Of course I've never understood the Middle East issues. Many, many, many people obviously don't or maybe they could have solved them by now.

I understand disliking, or even hating, your neighbors. The house next door to mine is a rental and there have been plenty of nasty people living there through the years I have owned the house. The worse was the ones with several dogs, several cats and an eight foot albino boa. We're pretty sure they were selling drugs out of the house, but the police wouldn't do anything about it unless I did all the work for them, i.e., keep a log of vehicles, time in, time out and tag numbers. Impossible unless I sat on my front porch all day and night. My employers would have loved that. And I do love to sleep.

I really hated those people. And I did call the police on them as often as I could.

But it never occurred to me to shoot them.

Or firebomb them.

Because they were human beings, even if they didn't always act like it.

So I understand that I may be simple, or even slightly stupid, but why can't the Israelis and the Palestinians just stop the damn fighting? Can't they just ignore each other?

I've researched the history of the region. Both sides have legitimate complaints. But both sides are wrong when they decide to settle their complaints with their (metaphorical) fists.

Why CAN'T we all just get along?

More Information on Being a Sore Loser

It was overheard, prior to the decision of who would win the Yearly Award, a couple of the voters discussing who had or had not won this award before. I won it in 2001; the first year of its existence. Apparently anyone who had won already was not in contention for winning it again.

So I never had a shot.

For some reason that made me feel better.

I am hoping to discuss this with one of those voters, behind closed doors and explain how ridiculous a policy it is.

My last raise was less than $0.20 an hour. Before this year we received the standard 3% cost of livng raises, but not anymore.

I am being paid about $8,000.00 a year less than what my company's own website states is starting pay for my job.

Excellence is in no way, shape, or form rewarded.

So, if I am not eligible for this reward what point is there in my striving for excellence?

Ok, I'm going to do my job to the best of my ability and, had I known I was not eligible for the award at the beginning of the year, I still would have done the little extra things that I did to keep this place running smoothly. But I don't want someone else to get screwed next year for the same stupid policy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Crafty Mom! ****Updated**** Now contains a picture of my project

I am normally not a crafty person. I don't mean that I can't be sneaky and sly, people, I mean, I do not 'rag' my walls (whatever the hell that is) and I didn't know what decoupage was until I was in my late 30's and I still have never tried it. And am not really sure WHY anyone would.

Now that does not mean that I do not appreciate those whose talents fall in the arts and crafts arena. Shel, who normally does her blogging on Yah Sure, You Betcha!, also has a blog on scrapbooking and I have been there and I have no idea what she is talking about. But everything is very nice. Many people paint, scrapbook, do beadwork, etc and thoroughly enjoy it and that is wonderful, but my interests have never run in that particular direction.

Last month when BabyBoy had his theatrical debut, I wanted to do something for him. Flowers seemed lame, since, you know, male. Not into flowers. So I wrestled with the whole thing and then contacted MustangBobby, because he is a playwrite and spends a lot of time in and around the theatre. He had the brilliant suggestion of having BabyBoy's program matted and framed. Genius!

But I went to the conference at Disney, came home to Thanksgiving and never got it done. I figured it would be ok, I would have it done for Christmas. No problem. Buy a frame. Buy a matt. Done.

Only finding the correct size matting proved impossible. So then I was looking at custom matting. $$$$$$$ And I wanted to get him more than just the one gift!

There had to be a solution.

And I found it. I bought an inexpensive 16x20 frame, poster board, construction paper, scrapbooking glue, and some really adorable scrapbooking thingys (I'm certain there is a correct term for them, but I have no idea what it is). BabyBoy's girlfriend managed to snag some pictures of him on stage and I set to work.

And this was work! Which picture should be prominent? What colors should I use? White background? Yellow? The red that was orange, I don't care what the sign said?

The entire thing took HOURS and more trips to the arts and crafts store than I made during the entire year I planned my wedding.

But it's done. And I am so proud of it! And I hope he loves it. I really wanted something that would commemorate his first role in a real play and that showed him how very proud I am that he is following his dreams. I don't know if I managed to convey all that, but I am very ready for Christmas morning when he opens it.

I hope you managed to find, buy, create that perfect gift for your loved ones. And I hope your holidays are the best ever.

The LeftLeaning household wishes you and yours Happy Holidays and a very, very Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Proud Mom!

BabyBoy has been attending the local community college for 3 semesters now. His performance has been, shall we say, less than stellar. He seems to be taking a while to get the hang of college and has been hesitant to ask for help. I don't know why and it annoys me, because he would not have gotten a 50% on his term paper in Eng1102 if I had looked it over.

BUT, he has done well enough this year to pick up a $700.00 scholarship from the theatre department and this will go a long way toward paying for next semester's classes. And should even give him a couple of dollars spending money.

So I am very proud of him and the strides he is making. Hopefully next semester will be the one where he REALLY gets his act together and manages to get the grades I know he is capable of.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And the Fun Never Stops!

Despite everything I did to ensure that I stayed well, even though those around me were toppling like a house of cards set upon a charge of dynamite, I woke up Saturday morning with a scratchy throat. I don't think I have it as bad as many others, and I am feeling better already, but I still have an ugly sounding cough.

So I decided to pamper myself on Tuesday and Wednesday by sleeping in and going to work late. I worked late on Monday, so the 6 1/2 hours I worked on Tuesday was not going suck too many of my vacation hours (I have quite a few on the books), and I figured I was worth it to kick this cold out of my life.

At 7:45 Wednesday morning I am awakened by DSD rushing into the bedroom.

"I am so sorry to wake you, I really hate to do this, I am so sorry, but really, wake up. Lola pooped (yes, we say poop at our house), I cleaned her up, I cleaned up her crate, I fed her, but then she (insert your favorite gagging noise here) threw up all over the carpet. I am so sorry to wake you up like this."

Now you have to understand that DSD is not, normally, a baby about bodily functions, or anything else for that matter. He did an expert job of doctoring my poor, beleaguered bottom and he was a Navy hard hat diver for 22 years (the ones who pull dead bodies out of the water), but the poor man CAN NOT handle vomit. He is what I call a "sympathetic puker," kind of like Dolly Parton in Steel Magnolias, "I have a firm rule that no one shall cry alone in my presence," DSD has a firm rule that no one shall puke alone in his presence. You know that commercial with the baby (it may be e*trade) on the computer talking about trading stocks? At the end of one the baby spits up a little, DSD is almost sick every time.

So I didn't fuss at him. I got out of bed to find Lola in her crate and an enormous pile of dog food in the middle of the floor.. on the carpet, of course. I got the pile into the trash and was attempting to get the spot out of the carpet when the poor baby threw up in her crate. So, I moved her to the back porch (screened, nothing for her to get into) and starting cleaning up her crate. Unfortunately I was very worried about dehydration at this point and gave her a large bowl of water. Not the best idea in the world when the poor puppy's belly is empty.

So she threw up again and again and again. Luckily, mostly on the concrete, but by this time, I was VERY worried. I called work to let them know I may not be in (oh, boy is that going to be an interesting post) and then called the vet. It was 8:28 by then; the vet opens at 8:30. I jumped in the shower, DSD called the vet when they opened and loaded Lola's crate into the back of the trunk and loaded Lola into the crate and off we went.

Did you know that sago palms are POISONOUS for dogs?

Well, I didn't. But the sago palm is gone from the back yard. Thank goodness we never got around to planting it in the yard and it was still in its pot. Laziness wins one!

We are not sure if that was the culprit or not. She was given drugs (shots and pills). More rice. Ice cubes instead of water. (She loves loves loves ice cubes, so this was a special treat for her, because she likes to eat them on the carpet leaving little puddles of water everywhere.) This morning she had a little dog food mixed with the rice and actual water. When I talked to DSD about lunchtime he said they had played fetch for about 5 minutes before she needed a nap.

She seems to be on the mend, but cross your fingers that we don't have another emergency with her anytime soon. She is still a baby (7 1/2 months old) and her poor body can't take too much of this.

I sat on the floor last night to pet her, turned toward her and found myself looking straight into her eyes! She's huge. And my "should reach about 45 pounds" puppy is topping the scale at just under 61.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Am I a Sore Loser?


I'm not really comfortable saying too much about my job in my blog. It's not that I work with or on classified material. A lot of what is done at my place of work can be found in magazines, books or on the internet, but since my time in the Air Force (when I did work with classified material), I am uberconscious about security. In today's world, you never know who is lurking around a corner to pick up teeny bits of information from several different sources. Or maybe I am psychotically paranoid as well as being a sore loser.

Anyway, last night was the annual Holiday Party. DSD was not too hip on going (he always has a good time), but this year I was insistent, because the Yearly Awards are given at the party and I KNEW I was going to win. Who else? I have been very pivotal in pushing through paperwork this year that allows us to keep working and I have (almost single handedly) set up new procedures that brought us new customers, allowing us to make more money, on top of performing my regular duties which include every day paperwork, slight accounting and a tiny bit of contracts paperwork. Pretty impressive, huh?

Apparently not impressive enough.

Because I did not win.

The receptionist did.


Now yes, she does have (a few) duties that are outside the realm of actually being a receptionist, and she received a promotion a month ago, so she is no longer the receptionist. She is now the executive assistant to the BigGuy. But for 10 months of the year, she was the GD receptionist. And it is part of MY job description that if she is out, I am part of the team who covers the receptionist duties. So, trust me, this isn't a really difficult job. Answer the phone, page people over the loud speaker*, tranfer phone calls, take messages, etc.

So I am pissed! Receiving a promotion is not grounds for a yearly award. Neither is answering the damn phones. Sadly, I really like the woman who won. She is very pleasant and I don't wish her ill, I just don't think she's done a damn thing (except for be pleasant) that warrants this award. And I was hoping to parlay MY winning into a big, fat raise.

Instead, I will just sulk quietly to a few (very few) of my trusted co-workers and bitch on here. There is no way to find out who even voted for her and not me. And I will hold this close and nurture my anger, because that is what I do!

*I have on 3 separate occassions paged myself. I always had a reason, once to check the system, twice to train others how to work the system. It tickles me every time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lola is better...

As a mom, I've known about the B.R.A.T. diet for year. No, that isn't the diet you feed your brat, it is the diet you feed your lovely, well-behaved child when they have diarrhea. Bananas, Rice, Apple Sauce, Toast. Dry toast.

Well, everything dear ol' Google gave me said 'rice' for dogs, there was no mention of the other 3. And I was afraid to try apple sauce or bananas, since we are a strict 'dog food only' household. But the rice seems to have worked. She hasn't had an accident since Wednesday morning. We aren't sure that she has gone at all. She likes to go around to the other side of the house when she does her business, where there are no lights after dark. But this morning she ate normally, and pooped close to normally. How crazy is my life when I spend my days blogging about dog poop? You should see the lovely notes I leave DSD in the morning before work. In the past the notes were sweet and silly and loving, this morning's note read,
"Good morning,
Lola DID poop this morning. It started out healthy, but was a little runny near the end so keep a close eye on her.
See you this afternoon.

Nice, huh?

Unfortunately, DSD and BabyBoy have the cold that is going around. So does my boss and several other people at work. I'm taking my Vitamin C, washing my hands thoroughly and using my hand sanitizer, hopefully that will be enough.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sick Baby!

Yesterday morning, after my shower, I walked down the hallway and smelled.. crap. While I was hoping that Lola was just a bit gassy, I knew in my heart that the smell was too overwhelming to just be gas.

Now I am a believer in crate training and Lola loves her "bed." She goes into it happily whenever we tell her to and hasn't fussed about it in forever. Very seldom do dogs soil inside their crate, so I knew this was something that she could not help. I let her outside, cleaned up her and her crate, fed her, gave her some water and put her back in the crate. DSD gave her a full on bath later in the afternoon (there are some benefits to his being out of work!). By the time I went to bed last night, she was going every 15 minutes or so and had diarrhea.

This morning, her bed was dirty again (although she hadn't stepped in it or rolled in as she had yesterday morning) and she pooped again (very watery) three times. I didn't feed her much, but apparently I shouldn't have fed her at all. I am not rushing her to the vet, because she isn't acting sick. She's still very hyper, very loving and very playful. She does not seem to be in any pain, she isn't lathargic; she just has diarrhea. From something she ate that she should not have, I am certain. I had to take my cell phone out of her mouth on Monday afternoon.

So DSD is going to start her on a rice only diet and give her plenty of water and we will watch her very carefully over the next couple of days. I am very lucky that I have my vet's personal cell phone number. We chose him because we were already very good friends with his girlfriend; the fact that he is a Florida graduate and huge football fan was just a bonus.

So think sweet thoughts about my baby girl that she gets over this quickly. And enjoy these photos that I have been going to post anyway!

From this summer. She won't get anywhere near the pool now. That water is cold. My baby girl isn't stupid!

From October. She has gotten so big! She is such a great addition to the family. If I could just get her to stop JUMPING on my guests.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Feeling better and Headed to Miami!

Well, I am not personally headed to Miami. I have thought about it. I have considered the feasibility of leaving here on Jan 7, trying to find a scalper some time on Jan 8 and watching the game that evening. What game?

The NCAA Div 1A National Championship Game! Where the University of Florida Gators will put their #9 Defense against the University of Oklahoma's over powering offense.

Yes, I know this is a fictional title. Only playoffs are going to make it fair to ALL of the teams. But if a fictional title has to be awarded, I would like for it to go to my Gators, who covered the spread in a 31-20 win over Alabama's Crimson Tide on Saturday.

But I am not going to Miami. I am going to watch the game in the warmth and comfort of my living room, mainly, because I can't see spending the money right now.

At the end of last week, I was still planning to keep the doctor's appointment that I had scheduled for tomorrow as a follow-up to last week's issues. But I woke up Saturday morning feeling like new and have not had a problem since. I think I will stick to the bland diet for a while and give my internals a bit more time to heal. But, for now, I am doing wonderfully.

I hope your weekend was as good as mine!

Go Gators!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Little Football Poetry

Obviously doing some stealing from " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas," my brother wrote this one day last week. All Gator fans just hope it is true. We will know tomorrow, won't we?

'Twas the night before the SEC Championship game
And all through Nick Saban's house
Everyone was worried
Including the mouse

Nick was up late watching game film
Of Florida's wide open attack
Wondering if Urban Meyer
Might cut him some slack

Watching Percy Harvin run the ball
He thought, "How can we stop him?
My defense couldn't catch him
Even if he was hoppin'."

"Then there's Rainey and Demps
A very scary combination
They hit the hole and they're gone
Without any hesitation"

And he thought about Tebow,
"Will he throw it or run?
The chances of stopping him
Are between slim and none."

He turned off the game film
And said to himself with a frown,
"I guess after tomorrow
I'll be Sugar Bowl bound."

Don't get me wrong, of course, I hope the Gators win and then play for the National Championship against whichever Big 12 team goes. But 'Bama has a lot to be proud of. They are undefeated so far. They are #1 in all the polls. And they whooped Auburn.

And I wish them all the luck in the world, beating Utah in the Sugar Bowl!

Go Gators!

Have a Drink on Me!

Today is the anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment to our beloved Constitution. This is the only amendment whose only purpose was the repeal of another (earlier) amendment, the 18th Amendment aka the Prohibition amendment.

So, in celebration of the fact that it is legal to do so, have a drink!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

After Another Trip to the Doctor...

When I was about 27 or 28, a friend told me to 'watch out, everything goes down hill when you hit 30.' Well I was a little traumatized by the thought, but I turned 30 and I didn't seem to be as broken and sickly as my friend did. So I figured they were nuts and moved on with my life. 35 snuck up on me and so did my weight, but I managed to beat it back down (somewhat!) and keep going. I turned 40 last year, and aside from a bad cold last year about this time, everything has been swell.

I turned 41 in April and everything seems to be going downhill. First there was this, then this. both of which were taken care of and I seem to be doing wonderfully.

So Sunday night (about 5:30) I decided I would have pumpkin pie before I had my dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers. Why? Because I am grown and I could and I hadn't had any desserts for all of the Thanksgiving season. But I only had 1 piece and then I fixed myself a lovely plate of leftovers, turkey, dressing, black eyed peas and green bean casserole. About 3 /4 of the way through my plate I started feeling a strange pressure underneath my sternum, so I stopped eating, scraped my plate and took a couple of Tums. The pressure worsened and turned to a burning sensation and I was miserable. I took a couple more Tums and chugged a soda, because that has always worked in the past for acid indigestion. I burped, some. I received a little relief, but it didn't last.

This went on for hours.

About 9 I made myself throw up. Didn't help. I finally thought, 'screw it' and took some pain pills leftover from this summer's fun and passed out.

And woke up 2 hours later pretty sure I was going to die. Unfortunately at this point I was still incredibly groggy from the drugs, so while I was trying to figure out if I should get a ride to the ER or call 911 and where are my clothes? I passed out again.

And woke up about 90 minutes later feeling just fine.

I came to work yesterday and explained what had happened to Dr. A. He told me to make an appt with my doctor right away. "It's probably acid reflux, or just indigestion, but," then he went down the list of possible issues including myocardial infarction (I don't ever want one, but that is a cool word!).

There was an EKG done immediately this morning and it was not my heart. It looks like I probably just strained something with all the overeating at Thanksgiving... really. So I am on Protonix, which is supposed to heal whatever issues I am having.

I hope so. There is still some discomfort and I am paranoid to eat much. Maybe I can drop those last 10 pounds, but wouldn't going to the gym or for a walk be a better way?

Monday, December 1, 2008