Tag Archives: Me

A Year Wrap-Up

Through life’s lessons, I’ve learned to take things as they come, learn from them and endeavour to slowly move on.  Nothing is gained from dwelling on the past if the dwelling merely brings negative thoughts and bad vibes; and yet, without trials and hard times, one could not grow and develop, nor could one fully appreciate all the great times with absolutely nothing to compare with.  It is the savour of life.  Salt.  So, with that, let’s do a little comparison, shall we?  (And probably rub some salt in the proverbial wound in the meantime.)

Here were 2008’s ASPIRATIONS:

1. Make friends with your new sewing machine.

  • First point of action: remove it from its taped up box
  • Re-learn how to use it after a eighteen-year hiatus
  • Harness its capabilities and overlook the mind-consuming danger that you could ram the high speed needle into your left forefinger
  • Make some rawkin’ things with it, including a Rag Quilt

2. Recycle more to fit more rubbish in the wheelie bin. How can such a small family generate so much crap?

3. Revolutionise Your Blogging Experience

  • Move blog (and archives–BAH!) to another server

MSN has been getting my knickers in a twist for a very long time. Despite blogging here for the past 2.5 years, becoming Space of the Week twice, being featured on The MSN Homepage and having over 207,000 hits under my belt, I have taken all I can stomach with the Nuisance. The catalyst was the most recent of changes: No basic or advanced HTML in the Sandbox. At all. Basically, you can’t make a clickable header anymore, which is why mine has huge ugly white spaces all over it. My other option is to just leave it altogether.

  • Be done with Blogging
That’s a goal, right?
  1. I have continued to stare at the taped up box.  I have, in my own defense, made conversation about said ‘taped up box’ and have been promised some how-to times ahead.  Don’t judge me.  Actually, go ahead.
  2. I have been recycling like a mad woman — much to my husband’s chagrin (I shouldn’t really have to say that we have to travel the 45 miles to Missoula to drop it off, should I?) — and have even recruited my 4-year-old in the processes, adding this new word into his vocab in the emerging months of 2008.
  3. It’s hard to believe I have been with WordPress a year now, and although I have moved the biggest majority of my posts over, I have a few months left to do.  It’s labourious mostly because I have to do it by hand, one-by-one and I am peeved that WP doesn’t allow you to export files from any server, and not just Blogger and Typepad (to name the very few).  Which, consequently, means I have lost all my precious comments too.  All three of them.  However, I have not — as the savvy-eyed among you will have noticed — given up blogging.  Although I will say, I have come very close to it, particularly 2 weeks ago.

In retrospect, although 2008 had it’s downs, there were ups amidst those downs; sweet moments I cherish.  Quiet moments as death approached both my Gran and Grandpa-in-law that I hold dearly to:  My Gran gently stroking my hair as I showed her the back of my still-thick hair (compared to my poor Mum’s!) and the still, quiet moments I shared with Clifford, a shell of who he once was.  There is nothing more bitter-sweet than to sit in a quiet room with those who are departing.  The Spirit is very strong, almost overpowering at times.  The tears would come, just from the sheer intensity of peace/love/tranquility in the rooms.

I am grateful for the departure of two thousand and eight.  It hasn’t been bad, per se, but I have done a lot of growing and molding this past year.  Things I don’t really care to revisit, but instances where I have grown the most.  One of the hardest things for me to deal with was returning to Montana after being in Scotland for three weeks.  I hadn’t set foot in the UK in five years, and naively thought I could handle it, considering my last trip was a breeze.  I was overloaded with excitement to be there, to even just stand in a supermarket (Morrison’s or Tesco) and just stare at the shelves while others meandered past, barely paying attention to my quiet enthusiasm.  Essentially, I rediscovered my homeland, something I never thought possible.  Returning to Montana was the antithesis of the trip: dormant grass, a lack of infrastructure, people, buildings, city life and importantly, my family.  What a rough, turbulent month I had after my return, and, like usual, I grinned and beared it.

So, I have waved farewell to 2008 and heralded in 2009 in great style.

We spent the day with a family from our Church and a big handful of friends.  To say their home is huge is a slight understatement.  Adding their shop and a few other things, it spans a whopping 12,000 square feet.  They have a large swimming pool, a billiards table, air hockey, a ginormous kitchen and many, many rooms.  I used a bathroom to change my clothes from sledding down their hill repeatedly (and consequently being transported back up the hill on either a Rhino or a snow mobile) and tried to guesstimate its size.  It was definitely around 16′ x 16′.  They are a great family, with huge hearts and we really had a fantastic time — maybe except for Cameron, where, on his maiden and only voyage downhill strapped onto the long plastic sled under us by my legs only, slid so far down, I had to clench his heid with my thighs in-between the air we caught.  After he retained composure, he even went in a pool for the first time (and if you think I did, you are sadly mistaken!  I am, however, going to buy a pair of women’s surf shorts and a tankini top, because that(?) my friends, is a bloody great idea!  Exclamation POINT!).

I, of course, had to stuff my face completely and ate a bit of everything everyone brought.  You have to!  What kind of person would I be if I left anyone’s dish out?!  That’s just uncalled for.

A final comparison to this time last year is that although we are a good nine days into the year, I have yet to come up with anything new I want/need to accomplish.  There’s time yet, I suppose.


Gaining Some Headway

I can physically feel my stress levels plummet since Thursday.  I loved the Internal Medicine doctor!  Wow, talk about thorough!  I spent quite a bit of time with him and then another twenty minutes with his nurse.  She even took the time to recommend some doctors for me, you know, since my Gyne up and died the end of October.  He ordered a lot more blood work to be done.  He’s having my DHEA levels check again and they’re checking my liver and kidney functions, total blood count, urinalysis and quite a few others — they’re even testing me for pregnancy. I could’ve told them that one!  They needn’t have bothered wasting their time doing that!

I really have to say though, I was impressed by how in-depth he got with my medical history.  I casually mentioned I had had a colonoscopy and endoscopy about six-and-a-half/seven years ago and he filled out the paperwork to request those records too.  He was impressed with my list and we spoke about each symptom individually.  He checked my hairline, noted the hair loss, reassured me it was scattered and imagines my hair will be regrown in 6 months.  I really hope so.

But, I’m no longer worrying about as much.  I will admit, I don’t like washing and styling my hair like I used to, but when he told me he doesn’t think I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), I breathed a sigh of relief.  He concluded my fertility had been kick started in September of 2003 and how I hadn’t struggled getting pregnant with Cameron.  It’s also clear it’s not PCOS because my glucose and insulin levels are normal.  He wants to hold off sending me to the Endocrinologist to see what kind of outcome we get with the further blood tests.  This much we know for sure from the last series of tests:  It’s definitely not my thyroid.

From what I told him with my history of depression with Ian, he said everything I am experiencing could be a mild form of depression, owing to the fact that I can still function, whereas before, functioning with even an option.  It was then he talked about referring me to a Psychiatrist for a consultation.  That’s a first.  Then again, it almost seems the quintessential American thing to do, and you really haven’t lived until you’ve sat in ‘the comfy chair’, have you?

One thing he did tell me about that does concern me though is when someone is first put on anti-depressants they’re on for a short period of time and weaned off.  The second time, his recommendation is 12-15 months and the third time?  They’re on for life.  That is depressing in and of itself!  I don’t feel at this point like I would depend on the medication to function, I do fine all by myself.  I do have those niggling (or nagging) feelings that float past every-so-often, but for the most part, I can deal with it and I move on.  It makes sense that that is what it is, I should have realised before now.  If that’s what it is, of course.
So what now?  I just sit and wait for the results and move on from there.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

On a side note, I invited friends over for an impromptu visit last night.  They have three girls, one of which is just a few months older than Cameron.  I knew it would be great company for the boys and to be quite honest, we don’t invite friends over quite as much as we’d like (or should).

So anyway, I was checking the bathroom for toilet paper (as you do), and as I was coming out, Ian ran at me full blast gasping to get his words out:

“Mummy, the paper got on the fire and it floated off and got on the carpet and it’s STILL ON FIRE!”

After the nanosecond it took for what he’d just squawk at me sunk in, I ran to the kitchen/dining area where the floor changes from laminate tile to carpet and saw burning embers smoldering my carpet.  At least it wasn’t engulfed like my imagination thought!  I grabbed some paper and wafted off the offending charred paper and viewed the damage.  Not AS bad as it could have been, but enough to raise my stress level.  t.  There’s nothing like the smell of burning carpet to say “welcome, come put your feet up and relax.”

A friend had bought me a vanilla and caramel Yankee Candle for my birthday and I took the liberty of lighting it.  It could have been worse, a lot worse and I suppose I should be grateful for that, but good grief, you teach your boys not to touch a gas stove and you assume that same thinking would be applied to an open flame.  If I am the poster child mother for these types of shenanigans and tomfoolery, so be it.

Hidden Talent

PhotoStory Friday

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

I’ve had some really nice feedback on my new profile photo I posted and I wanted to share the secret.  Well, it’s not really a secret, but it sounds better, doesn’t it?  My husband didn’t take it, in fact, someone over 4 feet didn’t even take it.  Who took it?  My 4-year-old.  I just sat in the grass and he wouldn’t stop clicking, so I played along.  Here’s a sample:

At this rate, he’ll be paying for me to live in the lifestyle I’ll have become accustomed to.

Thirteen Questions to Ask a Foreign National

1. Have you ever seen the Loch Ness Monster?
A: In the interests of tourism: YES!

2. What’s worn under the kilt?
A: Hopefully everything’s in perfect working order.

3. Is any of your family here with you from Scotland?
A: No, just me.

4. Does your mother have a normal name?
A: Her name is Linda, if that’s what you’re inferring.

5. How long have you been speaking English?
A: Yes.

6. Do you celebrate Christmas/Hallowe’en in Scotland?
A: We don’t celebrate Christmas. We’re barefooted heathenistic Pagans who take a 3-day pilgrimage to Stonehenge (usually on a bus tour stopping at Blackpool Pleasure Beach) called Henge it Up! during the Winter Solstice. We might move it to The Orkney’s, but the Henge there needs to be expanded for crowd control issues and seating concerns. As for Hallowe’en–we invented it.

7. Do you have electricity and running water?
A: Mum was always bad at remembering to pay the bills…

8. Do you know Bono?
A: He’s Irish. And no.

9. I’m from the Buchanan line near Edinburgh; do you know them?
A: I have no words for that.

10. Do people really eat black pudding and haggis there?
A: Usually not on the same plate, but yes. I’ve tried both but generally only ate haggis once a year on Burns’ Night.

11. Do you live in a castle?
A: I wish. I wish I had that much money too.

12. Do you belong to a Clan?
A: Yes, and we pillage and fight the Sassanacks with trebuchets and knitting needles.

13. How come you’re Scottish and have an Irish name?
A: My Mum broke protocol and picked a name she liked. Plus, there’s no rules in name-calling. It’s better that than pillock.

Crunch Time

Today has been somewhat difficult for me. I’ve decided to make changes and I know it’s not going to be easy. But so far so good.

Yesterday, Bryan and I decided to make some long-term investments and bought some weights, a resistance cord kit and a nifty scale that measures more than I care to know quite frankly.

Before I got pregnant with Ian, I was the heaviest I have ever been in my life. I was always a svelte 123-128 pounds (about 8 stone 12 pounds and a US size 6) in Scotland, and generally just fluctuated those five pounds every-so-often. I walked to public transport hubs: train stations, bus stops and the occasional tube station. When I lived in a flat in Paisley, Scotland, the train station was a good 25-minute walk from home. I also went Clubbing once a week and burned off a few hundred calories there too I’m sure.

Food was never a deterrent to my lifestyle. In other words, I ate what I wanted and never suffered the consequences.

After a few months of being in California, I started to wonder if my clothes were shrinking. Were they thrown in the dryer by mistake? Hems were mysteriously getting shorter and I had to mend a zipper that came unattached. It wasn’t long before I realised I was putting on weight–and fast. Portion sizes in restaurants were bigger, fat content in foods were higher and I certainly wasn’t given much opportunity to walk anywhere.

Before I married in 2001, I was back down to a size 8. I worked hard and tried my best to get off that extra poundage that just crept up on me. By 2003, my weight had shot up to a whopping 153 pounds. I was miserable but suddenly had a newfound appreciation for the stigma of being overweight. I was uncomfortably wearing a size 14. It sucked and I didn’t like it one bit.

After I had Ian, the weight came off steadily and before long, I was back to a very healthy 135, all without exercise. I know, you can throw something if you like. I was ecstatic. I was suddenly lighter than I was before I’d gotten pregnant! We had a multi-level home back in Utah and I’m sure that helped as some sort of calorie deterrent.

The weight gain carrying Cameron was very stagnated. It took until 16 week gestation to put anything on. Believe me, I wasn’t complaining! Here I am at 21 weeks along. Things were a lot different carrying Ian, believe me.

With Cameron, the pregnancy weight has come off pretty rapidly, and for that I am glad. I got down to a size 10 in no time. I thought it was safe to assume I was 135-140. In fact, I remember being weighed somewhere and having 135 indelibly tattooed on the inside on my forehead. That’s how certain I am.

Imagine my shock when I stepped on our new fangled scale last night and saw this:

weight: 151.4 lbs
fat: 31.1 %
bone density: 4.4 lbs
water: 50 % (normal)
muscle mass: 35.9 %

And as a side note: BMI = 25.2

All that ran through my mind was: How could I possibly be that heavy and fit into a size 10 comfortably? I was shocked, humiliated, sad and disappointed all in one go.

So, I made a huge decision. I have decided to track my weight loss in a public forum to motivate and inspire me. I will be updating every Tuesday, without fail.

Plus, I need the support!

Resolutions? Nay, Aspirations!

He apologises in advance for making anyone’s uterus ache.

My biggest hurdle of 2007? It was tiny. A tiny little package of frogs, snails and puppy dogs’ tails. My trip-and-land-flat-on-your-face of choice was transitioning from one child to two. It was a complete adjustment in its entirety. Shifting from a self-sufficient, independent toddler to coping and managing (and ENJOYING) two little souls really threw me for a loop. You go from knowing, loving and embracing your current routine then, in the blink of an eye you’re thrown headfirst into a place of familiar unfamiliarity; feeling lost and discombobulated all in a hair’s breath. My fingers felt like huge sausages, cumbersome and clumsy. How could I change this tiny one’s nappy or bathe him delicately? My footsteps and voice were suddenly booming and echo-y. Excuse me? But how do you care for the soon-to-be bellybutton again? Sorry, I forget. I know I’m meant to know, so I won’t ask. I’m the old-timer here; seasoned and under control. So while I’m standing haphazardly in my pink hospital gown and gorgeous blue slipper socks, speed-reading up on it on my fact sheet so I don’t have to call on the nurse, a jet-powered stream of baby pee covers his face, legs, arms, hospital bassinet–and quite possibly the adjacent wall.

No option now but to call the nurse.

Once I adjusted to my life slowing once again to the pace of the little one, I relaxed, breathed and approached it differently. It took quite a few weeks to realign everything. So, I metaphorically stand before you now and say: If and when the time arises, I’m hoping 2-3 is not such a long-winded, confusing event. Emphasis delicately placed on the if.

So, this brings me to 2008 and all It has to offer. You should know, I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in years. I decided a long time ago, I would rather set goals for myself rather than come up with some collection of senseless ideas that I would probably never keep. [cough, mutter] Like exercising. Sometimes the goal is lengthy and time-consuming, like Learn to Touch Type (post script: without cursing at Mavis Beacon) or Teach Yourself Basic AND Advanced HTML. Sometimes they’re simple, like Learn How to Play Backgammon (even if your opponent happens to be the bias Computer) or Take More Photographs.

I usually don’t come up with the aspirations until post-Ne’er Day, but I do come up with them nonetheless.

1. Make friends with your new sewing machine.

  • First point of action: remove it from its taped up box
  • Re-learn how to use it after a eigh****-year hiatus
  • Harness its capabilities and overlook the mind-consuming danger that you could ram the high speed needle into your left forefinger
  • Make some rawkin’ things with it, including a Rag Quilt

2. Recycle more to fit more rubbish in the wheelie bin. How can such a small family generate so much crap?

3. Revolutionise Your Blogging Experience

  • Move blog (and archives–BAH!) to another server

MSN has been getting my knickers in a twist for a very long time. Despite blogging here for the past 2.5 years, becoming Space of the Week twice, being featured on The MSN Homepage and having over 207,000 hits under my belt, I have taken all I can stomach with the Nuisance. The catalyst was the most recent of changes: No basic or advanced HTML in the Sandbox. At all. Basically, you can’t make a clickable header anymore, which is why mine has huge ugly white spaces all over it. My other option is to just leave it altogether.

  • Be done with Blogging
That’s a goal, right?

A Fake Haiku

McDonald’s and your grilled Chicken BLT
We were just acquainted
Ten hours later you betrayed me.

McDonald’s and your fast food frenzy
Oh, how I hate you
I didn’t have a happy meal.

McDonald’s and that Ranch dressing sandwich
I never liked Ranch anyway
Three dress sizes gone and a tummy ache to despise.

Take 5 For a Meme of 7

Cool.  I’ve been tagged for a Meme by Sandy@ http://www.momisodes.com.  I love it when other people give you blogging fodder, it makes life a little more palatable.

1. Link to the people that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven Weird and|or Random Facts About Me

1.  I hate the smell of liver (and kidney), but will happily eat pâté.  The smell of warm milk makes me gag too.

2.  When I was a tweenie, people would mistake me for a boy ALL THE TIME.  I hated it but never got the nerve to say anything rude back.

3.  When I was 10, I crossed a live train track (I did it quite frequently), however, this specific area of the track had a blind corner.  I heard the train speeding around the corner after just leaving a station and it honked loudly at me. I was in the middle of the two tracks at the time and had no idea which direction it was coming from.  Luckily, it went behind me after I bounded across to the other side (in slow motion).  I never, ever crossed another track again.
4.  I despise white socks and dark trousers with a passion.  Not much else to say on that one.
5.  I was followed home from work one night by a guy I went through training with.  He’d e-mailed me (AT WORK, mind) for a few weeks prior to this, asking me strange and|or inappropriate questions (what size did I think was normal, etc.)  I phoned the police on him and he was fired.  Then I found out Scotland doesn’t have stalking laws and all they could charge him with was Breach of the Peace.  I was mad.  (He wasn’t even good-looking.  Are they ever?)
6.  When I was 24, I dated a guy (his name really was Guy, lol) back in Scotland who I thought was 30.  The day of our date, he told me he was 40 after much prodding from me (and thankfully we were on the phone at the time so he didn’t see my jaw drop).  By then, it was too late to back out.
7.  Caught in a torrential downpour whilst running home from High School (I was about 12) one day, I was faced with a dilemma: I really needed to pee.  I was still a good five minutes from walking through my front door and was completely soaked head to toe.  Everything.  My blazer, pullover, shirt, tie, skirt, slip, thick tights, knickers – the lot*.  So I did what any desperate person would have done.  I just let it go.  You’re the first one I’ve told.  My poor wee Mum doesn’t even know this story.

* Every school in the UK wear a uniform, not just Catholic, like the US.

If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged.

Help I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

I’ve cornered myself into a self-made trap.  Okay, it wasn’t all self-made, but still, I pretty much allowed it.

In September, a good friend of mine invited me over for a night with the girls.  Not just any ordinary night, though.  No.  A Pampered Chef fancy pants night.

Ten years ago, you could safely say I didn’t know much (okay, anything) about Pampered Chef.  A friend of mine bought me a Cookie Press about seven years ago, which, admittedly, I still haven’t used.  I looked the company up online and browsed through their products, that was about it.  Then five years later, I went to a party and checked out their regalia in the catalogue and became a total skeptic.  I saw the prices and my jaw dropped.

So, I’m sitting next to a dear friend of mine, Diane, an older lady with a sweet heart and an engaging personality.  Since moving here just over a year ago, I have lynched on to a few select people.  The type of people you just mesh with right off the bat.  The ones who let you be your complete self.  She was one of them.  I had heard her talk in front of a crowd a few times and I was just drawn to her.  Her experiences and trials just amazed me.  She had that way of making you laugh and cry all in the same instance.

The first time I chatted with her, I knew she had been one of those women who’d been hardened by life experiences – I was a small reflection of her when I was younger.  I think that was the reason I looked up to her so much.  She was my Gran to me, and I just adored that woman.  I looked on her that way anyway and she knows it (she’s since moved away and I’m still pretty cut up about it).  Anyway, we got quietly chatting and I asked her opinion on a few of the things in the catalogue.  I knew she’d give me a straight answer and would tell me if I was wasting my money or not.  She’s the type of woman that has seen a lot and been through so much that you just instantly trust and respect their opinion.  So I did.  Then I ordered a few things and filled out one of those gimmick cards to enter the instant drawing.

Would you be interested in hosting a Show?  Yes.  No.  Maybe.

Being the indecisive person that I can be on occasion, I marked “maybe”.  I didn’t feel like committing to anything, but the thought of having people over and entertaining, intrigued me.  Inevitably, the consultant talked me into it.  A month and a half later (15 Oct), I hosted my show.  I was fairly nervous leading up to it.  In the six-and-a-half years Bryan and I have been married, I’ve never once entertained for a crowd of non-relatives.  I really had a great time.  Sixteen people came and a few others dropped by and some ordered online or over the phone.  It was really quite successful, but to be truthful, I didn’t do it for the kickback, I did it for the social side of it.  Despite that, I got a really nice return on it and picked out quite a few free products, so I was really happy.

Another friend of mine from the previous party hosted too.  Hers was on Thursday.  She came to mine, so I went to hers.  You know that one.  A neighbour of mine who was at my party received a lot of P.C. items as wedding gifts, so she was all over the idea of hosting too.  So, guess where I’m headed 12th December?  Yeah.  Up the street.

I have a feeling the cycle’s going to keep going and I’ll be doing this for the next few months.  If I do keep it up though, the consultant will start using her Jedi mind tricks on me, and I’m pretty sure Life Alert will drop kick me for paging them for that.

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

We closed on our Utah home last Thursday, selling it to a young couple purchasing their first home together.  I know I’m supposed to be happy that we finally got the double mortgage headache off our minds (and wallets), but I can’t help but feel remorse knowing that it’s finally gone.  It still feels like my home; and although we’ve hung pictures and have everything settled here, I’ll always love our first home there.  Thankfully I’ve found solace in the arms of a tiny newborn who is willing to offer unconditional love and great bear hugs whenever I need them.  There’s nothing like that quiet serenity to bring peace and calmness to a emotional day (or two).
In spite of myself, I think I’m getting used to living here.  I still miss my previous neighbourhood, but I enjoy the peace and quiet here (overlooking Ian’s noises) and the less stressful traffic.  All we have is a 4-way stop, not much else.
The biggest help has been Bryan, who makes everything all worth it.  He is my advocate, even when I least expect it.
For Valentine’s Day, he ordered some British goods from an online vendor and paid extra to have it to me on time.  Sadly, it arrived very late (and with a packing slip, complete with pricing, which he asked to be excluded).  Anyway, he wrote them an e-mail and really touched me with his words:
I was quite disappointed when I found out that the gift I had sent included a print out of the pricing which I had left instructions to not include.

In fact, I have the print out that states, “Is this a Gift?: Yes– Do not include price on packing list.”

When my wife opened the package the first thing she found was this print out with all the pricing listed on it and the total including shipping.  Not only is this embarrassing to me, but it also took away from the surprise I was trying to send her.

My wife left her family over 5 (technically 7, but we married over 5 years ago – Siobhan) years ago to move to America with me and have our two children.  As you can imagine it has not always been easy for her and she gets homesick.  We do not have the funds to visit her family much and our only communication is via e-mail and telephone.  I wanted to give her something from home, something to help her find a little taste when she was feeling homesick.  Her grandmother has been sick as of late and she wishes she was there.

To add to this complication, we recently moved to a new home and a new state in efforts to better our situation financially.  I have been saving money on the side to buy her this gift.  This money could have been used for new clothes, or to pay bills, but I wanted to do something just for her, she deserved it.

I hope by giving you this information you will better understand how much this error on your part has affected us.  We are very hurt and upset.  I have found myself wishing I had made another choice in vendors.

Bryan W.

After all that, their only response was “Sorry.”  As you can imagine, this infuriated Bryan and he’s made formal complaints against Goodwoods.com.

I’m starting to wish there was a British Imports store closeby.