Welcome- Come on in and stay awhile.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Oh Spring, where art thou?

I miss warm weather. I miss flip flops, strappy sandals, and my favorite capri pants. I miss the smell of sunscreen and freshly cut grass. I'm tired of 20 degree weather at the BEACH. No doubt when its 100 degrees and 100% humidity I will be complaining about that too.....

I cant wait for spring and I'm so looking forward to getting more daylight hours. Are you all as anxious as I am?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kentucky Disaster Recovery Trip

We got back from Kentucky late Sunday night- I'm still tired! As a group we worked on about 12 different homes- we helped a lot of people and the trip was well worth it. We used a lot of chainsaws and pulled a lot of heavy limbs. Seriously people a lot of HEAVY limbs. There are advantages and disadvantages of being 1 of 3 women on a trip like this (although honestly only 2 of us did any heavy lifting).


- In a group of 26 men we do not blend in- its obvious if you are an asset or if you're just taking up space.

- I felt like I had to work twice as hard as the guys to be viewed as aforementioned asset

- When the men are running chainsaws, driving tractors, and hanging from the treetops who do u think is left to pull all those limbs?

- The guys try to be gentlemen but they kept getting in my way- "I don't need help with this 50 pound tree branch and you're slowing me down Bubba so speed up or turn loose and get outta my way!" (I'm very strong and underestimated all the time!)

- When you add a GPS to the already out of control male stubbornness- they will NEVER stop and ask for directions- even when it's 10:30 pm and you've been lost for an hour and the GPS keeps insisting that you have arrived!


- One of the guys on the trip has a wonderful sister who lives in Lexington, KY about 45 minutes from where we were working- with 3 beautiful, plush guestrooms. She offered them to the women bc the guys were staying in the baptist association's bus warehouse- yes really (there were no churches big enough to accommodate the group in this rural area). Her home is amazing and I didn't want to leave!

By the way, the guest room had queen size beds so logically my husband was invited to stay with us. The other guys on the trip got jealous bc of their less than desirable "Accommodations" and one specifically got ticked off at my husband. My husband quickly pointed out that no one else was going to be sleeping beside me so it didn't affect this guy in the least lol.

- With 26 guys who couldn't wait to get a turn at driving- I didn't have to drive one mile.
The above photo is of me standing in front of 1 of 3 same size piles of tree branches at one home.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Grown Up Friends

A topic at GDNNOP got me thinking about a game I used to play with my mom when I was little called Grwon-up Friends, and I intoduced our little girl to that game this morning while we waited for her school bus.

How to play: Child pretends to be the adult friend of the mommy, the friends discuss their day, their jobs, their families etc.

What I learned about my "grown-up friend" today:
Her plans today are-
stapling papers together (3 at one time), buying 80 eggs, going to the milk station "for 5 milks", cutting down the grass, and going to work

And apparently her husband "died in the 80's". I didnt know she knew the 80's ever existed.
She wants to play again when she gets home and I can't wait to hear about her day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I've Been Tagged: True Confessions

I've been tagged by themrs.

Okay..... true confessions....hmmm......

1) I had a PHOBIA of dogs til I was 11 and my parents bought one to "get me over it"- a fluffy little mop of fur... the horror! But it worked! I hated it to begin with, I felt like a prisoner in my own home, but within a few weeks I was no longer afraid of dogs.

2) I HATE mayo, cream cheese, whipped cream, sour cream, salad dressings, seafood, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, marshmallows in my hot chocolate, veggie dips, broccoli, coffee, and pie to name a few. . . .

3) I'm slightly (majorly) addicted to hand sanitizer

4) I refuse to watch sad movies, read sad books, or listen to sad songs: I cry easily and I want my entertainment to be happy- there is enough in real life to feel sad about.

5) I avoid petting zoos bc I'm . . . . afraid of goats. I was once chased by a billy goat. .. . I was 5 and it was huge. Enough said :)

Monicaw42 consider yourself tagged!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Kentucky or Bust

My husband and I started volunteering with a Disaster Recovery team in our town, I've been on one trip, he's been on two, and we are embarking on another one on Thursday. We are heading to Kentucky in the wake of recent ice storms- not quite sure what to expect yet, our "briefing" is tomorrow afternoon. The last trip that I went on was because of the Ice Storms in Oklahoma in 2007- it was a a lot of work and in less than desirable conditions. (The wind really does go sweeping down the plains!) Down trees covered peoples homes, vehicles, and property- we mostly helped the elderly on our last trip, there was no way they could do the work themselves and certainly couldn't afford to pay someone to do it. They were so grateful and it was very rewarding. They couldn't understand why we spent our New Years traveling 20 hours away to help people we didn't know in frigid cold temperatures. According to reports from mission leaders until very recently (in rural areas of Kentucky) people were still being found frozen to death in their beds.

I can't wait to let you all know how it goes, say a prayer for our group :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Little Debbie: You Deceitful Witch

Still plugging along towards my weight loss goal (I'm down one dress size so far) and I'm always looking for new low calorie options. I was pleasantly surprised to find 100 calorie Little Debbie cakes in the store a few days ago. Until I got it home and opened the box. Note the size in the picture. I wasn't expecting anything gigantic but seriously? I would rather have a little more of a less tasty treat- this is just enough to make me remember what chocolate tastes like. It looked like a regular size portion on the box. Little Debbie, how could you?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Skunk and Me

As if hormones, breakouts, and pop quizzes weren't enough for any 14 year old to contend with Pepe Le Pew decided my life could use a little more. . . . fragrance.

Picture it: Sicily 1945. . . . Just kidding. I can't help but reference the Golden Girls occasionally.

One night (when I was 14) I awoke at about 3 am to a truly putrid smell. Groggy- I couldn't imagine what it was. I tried to go back to sleep but this was a smell that would not be ignored. My parents woke up about the same time and after some investigation we found the offending culprit- a SKUNK somehow got underneath the house and couldn't get back out again. In a panic it began flinging itself against the wall over and over and over again- spraying its powerful scent each time.

There was no going back to sleep that night and there was nothing to do but wait for the skunk to find its way out- which eventually it did, but not before filling our home with it's super skunk spray. After a few hours the smell seemed to clear out and since it was too late to get much rest at that point, I got ready for school and my dad and I went out for an early breakfast.

Next stop: Junior High. Imagery is vital here. Imagine with me, if you will a bustling 8th grade hallway, 13-14 year olds milling around, chatting, getting books out of lockers, cheerleaders discussing last nights episode of 90210 and "how like, totally cute Luke Perry is". .

I took about 3 steps down the hall when just like a scene from a movie- the crowd parted, audible gasps could be heard all around as hands flew to protect noses, and one 6'2'' football player, towering over the crowd yelled out "SHOOOOOWEEEEE! WHO GOT SPRAYED?!?"

I was horrified, Praying to God no one knew it was me. How did we not know the smell was all over our clothes?!?!? I flew to my classroom, dumped by books and bolted for the Principal's office to call my mother. Before however, I could make my get away- a boy who had a slightly obsessive crush on me met me with a smile and a barrage of questions. "Hey Sam- You look good today. How was your night? Can I sit with you at lunch? Do you smell that? What's wrong? Wait, where are you going?" and lastly yelling after me as I ran down the hall "Did I do something wrong?!?"

By the time I made my way to the office school "officials" were already trying to figure out where the smell was coming from. I tearfully explained to the secretary why I needed to call my mom. They were all VERY sympathetic, not to mention eager to get me out of there! I called my mom's office and her assistant informed me she was already on the way- apparently she had been humiliated at work as well. Just then my favorite teacher from the previous year walked in and saw me in tears. The secretary- God bless her, explained for me because I was too busy dying of embarassment. Mrs. Patrick (the best teacher I ever had) felt so badly for me that she wrapped me in a huge bear hug. Yes, covered in skunk spray, she hugged me and told me that one day it would just be a funny story- and it is. She probably had to burn her outfit.

My humiliation wasn't over just yet. The principal- a dear man who really cared about the students escorted me to an empty classroom to wait for my mom. He then opened the window and muttered none too convincingly " Incase you get hot". It was 40 degrees outside. I watched out the window counting the seconds til my mom's car pulled up and when it did I made a break for it. Adding insult to injury as soon as I got to the door I heard Mrs. Phan behind me- exclaiming in her strong Vietnamese accent to no one in particular: Shoo! What died?

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to rid your home of skunk? Your clothes? All your belongings for that matter. Its darn near impossible! It takes washing the tainted items in all sorts of concoctions and lots of prayer. We didn't smell the skunk spray on our belongings because like any smell- we got used to it in the hours we were subjected to it before we left home.
For months afterward I was beyond paranoid that there were traces left of it on my clothes. I nearly drove my best friend crazy shoving things to her face and demanding to know if she smelled skunk! As if I weren't paranoid enough to begin with. . . . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mothers: An Embarrassment to Children Since the Beginning of Time

Our little one is too funny. I was getting her ready for bed tonight and she said "Mommy, your hair needs some poofing up", she started fluffing it up and when it was "poofed" to her satisfaction I struck a little pose. To which she informed me: "Mommy- don't do that, you are not a fashion girl."

A few weeks ago I was getting ready to take her to school. She looks me up and down and says "Uhm Mommy, do you think my friends will like those shoes?" Apparently my tennis shoes were an abomination to the eyes.

Earlier this year her whole school did a South American celebration and when her class did the Mexican hat dance her teacher pulled me out to dance with them. BIG mistake- as soon as it started she whispered to me in this horrified voice "Mommy, go BACK!" It was too late, I was already in the dancing circle and her teacher was holding my hand. I heard about that for days.

Just imagine how much I will embarrass her when she's a teenager!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Feet

Happy Saturday everyone-

Confession: I have disagreeable feet. I have ridiculously high arches and as a result
plantar fasciitis. My heels are very sensitive and sore a huge chunk of the time- when I get up in the morning I gimp around like I'm 110 for the first few minutes- sad but also kid of a funny sight to behold. Apparently I'm somewhere between a size 81/2 and a 9, because often one is a bit too small and the other a bit too big. Oh also my left foot is bigger than my right. So as you might imagine I have a hard time finding shoes that feel good, fit, and aren't an abomination to the eyes.

I have worn my Saucony tennis shoes until they are almost falling apart because they feel really good. Today was the day to find a new pair and after 97 different brands, styles, and sizes one very long suffering sales clerk helped me find a good one. Thank you Sales Guy, you didnt complain, sigh loudly, or roll your eyes not even once. I hope you get a commission. Incase you're wondering what I wound up with: I highly recommend the
Easy Spirit Travel Time Fitness shoe.

I've been thinking about buying a pair of Sperry's but I tried some on today and they feel horrid. Several avid wearers have assured me the leather will stretch and form to my foot and I will be in love BUT I have a closet full of shoes that hurt me. Point in case: New balance shoes are highly suggested for my type of foot pain, I got a pair last year and they have never been comfortable.

Does anybody have a suggestion for foot comfort? I'm all ears. . . . . and feet.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cheeseburger in Paradise

This is what Hungry Looks Like.
Day 9: I'm not handling my new healthier lifestyle very well. I want a cheeseburger and a chocolate shake. SIGH.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mini Post

We had this last night and I just wanted to let you know about a SIMPLE and light side dish we love in our house: Italian Cucumbers

Sliced cucumber "marinated" in Italian dressing and chilled in the fridge before serving- yummy.

Also, totally random thought here but am I the only one who can no longer listen to "Barracuda" (on my playlist at the bottom of the page) without hearing the Guitar Hero commercial???? Just curious!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Better than Raindrops on Roses or Whiskers on Kittens

Hey ladies-

Just a quick post to share a few of my favorite things lately!

Sugar as an exfoliant really is awesome and better than anything I've bought -I'm soft as a baby's bottom. I use 2 teaspoons with a few drops of water on my face after cleansing, and a couple of tablespoons with a bit of water in the shower, it great for knees and elbows!

I despise mayo but chicken salad has always looked really yummy to me, I've tried it and just cant handle the mayo taste/texture. I decided the other day to try it with a bit of mustard instead and it was aweome! I know that most people love mayo but if you want to avoid the calories and dont like light mayo, may I suggest:

2 cups chicken

2 tablespoons mustard

1 diced celery stalk

3 tablespoons sweet pickle cubes

1/8tsp onion powder (or real onion)

salt and pepper

chopped boiled egg (optional)

It's delicious!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Darn that Billy Mays

I could easily be an "As Seen On TV" addict. The Hope In a Jar skincare infomercial has mesmerized me with their VOO DOO magic. They've made me wonder how I've been living without it all these years, apparenly it doesn't just change your skin it changes your life. Plus If I order right now I'll receive four free gifts- a $42 value!

Some things I want to try:



CaulkDr. Pro- You never know when I might have serious caulking needs.


Shark Steam Mop

Aqua Globes- so what if I don't actually own any plants, I could get some. . . .

Pedi Paws- I just need to get a dog.

Strap Perfect

But WAIT there's MORE!

I don't actually order these things but I'm not above buying them at Walgreens. . . . I had to have Mighty Putty, oh the uses I just new I would have for it. I've used it approximatley ZERO times. I think it's the impeccable acting in these televsion gems that draw me in and if that doesnt convince me they always offer to double my order- free if I call in the next 10 minutes. It's so tempting.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

OCD- A Prison of the Mind

A few months ago a commenter @ gdnnop was very upset that some posters refer to Kate Gosselin as "OCD" bc of her obsessive need for cleanliness and order. She was MAD bc she suffers from OCD and felt that the term is being used too lightly and too often. I commented back to her briefly about my own experiences with ocd and it was the first time I've discussed the issue with anyone other than immediate family. I was thinking about it today and decided to share a little bit about this beast with my blog buddies.

Obsessive Compulsive disorder is most commonly characterized by "intrusive, repetitive thoughts resulting in compulsive behaviors and acts that the person feels driven to perform, according to rules that must be applied rigidly, aimed at preventing some imagined dreaded event"

For me it started when I was a child. I felt these strong urges to do the strangest things. The thoughts were obsessive and if I didn't perform the specific act I was sure something horrible would happen. I knew the thought was irrational, but the anxiety was overwhelming.

My first compulsive behavior popped up when I was 7: taking 3 steps forward and one step back, not subtle and not something you can easily hide. It wasn't all the time and I confined this behavior to home only. My mother thought I was playing. Little did she know I was saving her from some unspeakable calamity that might befall her with my strange little walking "habit".

They rituals changed through the years, it went from the walking thing, to touching things in a certain "pattern", saying my prayers a certain way (If I missed anything or got something out of order I had to start over). I can't remember why but I clenched my hands together really tightly sometimes, I gritted my teeth, I counted things: all WEIRD actions and I knew they were weird. I couldn't explain why I felt like something terrible would happen if I didn't do them and I didn't tell a soul bc I didn't want them to think I was crazy.

I managed to hide it from my mom for a while, but then I hit middle school and the anxiety became overwhelming: I couldnt' hide it anymore. A new "habit" formed. I had to touch the wall in a certain pattern, mess up- start over. I touched everything. Again not something you can hide - I was miserable. My parents couldn't understand why I was doing this, they thought it was a weird habit but didn't realize the depth. I heard this a hundred times a day : "Samantha stop touching things!" It was taking over my life, It was like a mental prison.

When I was 12 my mom took me to talk to a child psychologist but the doctor never mentioned "ocd". At 13 I was eventually able to FORCE myself to stop the touching and other obvious compulsive behaviors. I limited myself to subtle rituals only. The way I tied my shoes, the order I dressed in, the pattern I brushed my teeth in, all things I could hide: but the anxiety was still there. By high school I had stopped 95% of my compulsive behaviors and one day in health class we studied disorders. . . . . I diagnosed myself. It was traumatic but a relief to know that there was a name for this.

As an adult I have to keep it in check. Sometimes I feel the overwhelming urge to check the door I know is locked, to flip the light switch one too many times, to touch the kitchen cabinet repetitively..... I resist. There is one little OCDism that I have to this day, when I'm grocery shopping I wont take the first item in a row. I reach behind and grab the second in the row. . . . I don't know why.

For years I've been dreadfully ashamed to admit this to anyone so even a blog admission is a big step. OCD sufferers know its irrational and thats what separates it from so many other disorders. Well, there you have it folks: My name is Samantha and I beat the begeezes out of OCD.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thank You Blogging Powers That Be

It finally worked- I changed my template....... granted I had to create a new blog but pish posh!

Anyhoo, Thank God it's Friday. No, really. The first week back at school after Christmas has been rough. . . . . I don't enjoy 5:30am, I truly don't.

I envy morning people. So chipper, so. . . . alert. Also, they are always the ones who seem to be super organized, health conscious, and practucally perfect in every way. For example: they can actually park both cars in their garage, they rarely have a junk drawer, and for some reason their idea of a "light" workout is a 6 mile run- with their perfectly behaved yellow lab in tow. Their Christmas decorations come down on the 26th, they never lose their shoes (I have a tendency to lose one), and their closets look like a container store catalogue.

Personally, I'm just starting to get cranked up around dusk. I love night time. I also have a few junk drawers. . . .

We Need To Talk

Dear Blogger,
Clearly you "just aren't that into me." I've been trying to customize you for days. . . it's nothing personal, but your basic templates are a little too blah. Not to be cliche but. . . It's not you, it's me.

Apparently my wish for a different layout is hurtful to you- but really Blogger, the error messages are beginning to seem a little passive aggressive. It's not healthy, communication is an important part of a relationship afterall. You're really breakin' my heart here.

It's been three days Blogger- I'm not asking for much, just a little html switcharoo. It won't hurt a bit, just a little copy and pasting. I added the html/javascript widget like you asked, were you just toying with me? PLEASE JUST DISPLAY MY NEW TEMPLATE! I realize that you fear change, but honestly it's a healthy part of life.

I WILL NOT BE IGNORED BLOGGER. Resistance is futile- eventually I will get my way.

School, To Do Lists, and Dry Skin- Oh My!

Christmas break is over and my little one has gone back to school. She hasn't been looking forward to it and I was afraid we might have major problems this morning! She never stops suprising me and luckily today was no exception. She hopped up ths morning and said "I'm glad to go to school today." Thank you God! It's reassuring to know that your child is happy, especially when she isn't with you.

We spent the past week in my hometown with my family and I've got major catching up to do. Laundry by the TON, manuscripts in my inbox waiting to be reviewed, Christmas gifts to find a spot for, a bathroom to clean, clothes to iron, floors to vacuum- ugh. If only the housecleaning fairy would drop by.......

It's another unseasonably warm day here at the beach- 70 degrees! My family lives in the mountains and my skin went crazy while I was there. Its funny how my body has adapted to elements at the beach and has forgotten that I'm a mountain girl. The freezing cold, dry air and wind zapped the moisture fom my face. I woke up our last day there and my skin was literally flaking off- disgusting to say the least. My forehead, my chin, my temples, the sides of my nose- all like the Sahara. I found a really good moisturizer last night and hopefully it will work.

My sweet husband looks past it all though, last night we were settling ino bed and sweet guy that he is, nuzzles my (DRY) face and whispers"You're beautiful." I love him.