Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Self Worth.. Remember Yours!

I have to tell you about last night. I volunteered to teach the webelos cub scouts about forestry and guide them to earning their forestry pin achievement award (yes, I have so much free time) heehee

I was sincerely nervous that I had forgotten most of my forestry college education. I stressed and finally put together a packet to help them. and by the time I was done, I felt really good that I had not forgotten, that I am not a total fraud, and that I was able to do my best.

it is really easy to forget who we are, what our talents are and what we can accomplish when to often people that are really just stupid and selfish unload their problems on us. try to drag us into their drama and it completely undermines our own self confidence.

I need to remember that I am very special and that I am really quite brilliant. I was able to keep 10 wiggly 10 year olds and 5 grown up completely focused on the assignment for 1.5 hours and get the job done. I just had to relax, and remember that I am an amazing person.

I think that you are pretty brilliant as well!

Webelos Forestry Pin

I created a packet that has color examples of the local flora. Pictures of tree rings. and diagrams of the layers of a forest. we covered everything in one hour and I felt that I remembered a lot of things about forestry that I was afraid that I had forgotten.

I am seriously thinking about making more packets and doing this more often. the boys were very attentive and the whole presentation went very well. I miss forestry on some levels.

tree packet
tree rings
tree rings summary
forest layers

My notes included the following:
Cub Scouts are our future Leaders
Future Leaders need to develope reverance for the land and its resources
always remember to 'leave no trace'

standing in a park, remember that Urban forestry is just as real as the forest that are in our national forests.
a forest contains:
with these 5 critical items, there is an indicator of the health of the area that benefits humans as well as the environment.
(2) tree / shrub layer map - label (sitting at picnic tables)

Adventure - Treasure hunt:
(3) find and identify using the booklets, 6 trees,
talk about how trees benefit wildlife by offering shelter away from pedators and dead trees offer homes to endangered species like piliated wood peckers and spotted owls. how trees provide oxygen and shelter.

(4) find and identify using the booklets, 6 forest plants
how plants offer food to deer and elk and how even a forest fire can help replenish those grasses by releasing nitrogen back into the soil for the next growth of grasses. and how the shrubs and grasses offer shelter from predators to mice and squirrels.

talk about how evaporation at the edge of the forest limits growth, and how direct sunlight at the edge of the forest causes sunburns on leaves. how cypress live in the water and need 'toes' and 'knees' to breath when all the roots are under water.

Back to tables for Tree Rings
(6) life history in tree rings
identify the 'birth' year and the ring of the class average birth year on the tree ring (about 10 rings in from bark) locate and identify the heartwood, the sap wood, the pith and the phloem.
center a small core of pith formed when
the tree was a sapling. Then comes a cylinder of dark dense wood --
the heartwood -- with annual rings which are often very narrow near
the core because as a youngster it grew in the shade of older trees and
did not get enough light. Surrounding that is a collar of lighter-colored
wood -- the sapwood -- with a smaller number of rings. Beyond that
and just inside the rough outer bark is a spongy layer of inner bark
called the phloem.

(9)Finally we talked about the wildfires in California and how Native Americans would burn in the spring while the ground was still damp, the grasses and bushes, removing the step in the ladder, and thus reducing the fire hazard. without the bushes step, the fire can not get to the forest tree layer, and jump from crown to crown and thus kill the whole forest. how after a pine beetle infestation, a fire is a healthy way to treat the forest.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


work... omg yes, I have work to do.

I have a monster session to proof... 481 images, I want to only show the best 75

Jordan is being a total whiney butt, really getting on my nerves lately because he thinks that he needs to be held 24/7. I pick him up about every 20 minutes, hold him until he starts getting into stuff, and then put him back down. eventually he will learn to play on his own.

he is crawling like crazy. and pulling up on everything, he is advanced like his mom and will be an early walker if he gets enough floor time.

took the family sans Sverre camping, made a butt load of smores.
we went really fancy marshmallow forks that work well for hot dogs as well. had so many smores, that now my whole colon is screaming at me. ;) good news is that I am still at 146 lbs.

speaking of camping.

we got a new tent (10x13). and while it is better for the space on the floor, it doesn't retain the body heat as nicely as the smaller (6x9) one did. the boys had a blast hanging out with all the other cub scouts and the lake was beautiful.

still having issues with Krys not wanting to put more of her stuff in storage, she truly doesn't have the room in her two rooms for it all and she has a 10x20 storage with tons of room that is only .9 miles away so it is not like she has to drive or anything to get something. very frustrating. I took another load over last night from the garage, I really need to be able to get to my studio equipment and she is totally blocking me.

the current book that i am reading is called dragonfly in amber, it is the first sequel to Outlander and is just as good as Outlander although in a different way. While Outlander focuses on the romance of Claire and Jamie this book focuses heavily on the political aspects of the time Claire has traveled back to.

I also need to edit some more of the 'class' photos from the school that I did last week. so I really shouldnt be peeking through the campout session, huh?

Campin with the Cubbies

Monday, October 29, 2007

Parliamentary Procedures

a male recently attacked me verbally in a public place, without merit. I discussed this with a neutral third party, while the wife of the male was eavesdropping. a second man verbally attacked in on a related issue, It was really not my day. when the first two men complained to a supervisory figure, he pulled me aside and counseled me. I related the second incident that I found to be much more aggressive as well as vindictive and therefore more abusive and disrespectful but upon reflection, both males were entirely too hostile and belligerent.

during my discussion with the supervisor, the wife again eavesdropping, interrupted with her defense of her spouse. of which was not a solicited response and totally unnecessary. Immediately, I determined if her husband was antagonistic #1 or antagonistic #2. She verified that he was #1. I promptly informed her that he was not the topic of discussion and that since this was not an open forum, her commentary was not necessary, nor welcomed. I also explained that should she continue to voice her opinion, I would have to remind her that in deference to the rules of parliamentary procedure, as that her comments added no value to the discussion, the chair would not recognize her or listen to her tirade.

I swear, the drama at social event with adults is just never ending.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lake Livingston, Texas

Sunrise over the lake

Tiger Cubs participating in Physical Fitness badge

Magnus competing in the Raingutter Regatta

Lake Livingston, Texas - Trinity River Authority

Erik winning the Raingutter Regatta heat

The regatta boat kit, available from the Scout Shop, has a pre-shaped balsa hull, metal keel and plastic sail. The hulls are sanded and shaped, and are colorfully painted. Hull and sail are then decorated with decal kits (also available at the Scout Shop). The boats race in pairs on raingutter courses propelled by the boys blowing into the sails.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Holloween

Click on the pumpkin and enjoy your own pumpkin carving without the mess!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

AWE... That is sweet...

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighbourhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was 'Information Please' and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbour. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. 'Information, please' I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.


'I hurt my finger...' I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.

'Isn't your mother home?' came the question.

'Nobody's home but me,' I blubbered.

'Are you bleeding?' the voice asked.

'No,' I replied. 'I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.'

'Can you open the icebox?' she asked.

I said I could.

'Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,' said the voice.

After that, I called 'Information Please' for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, Information Please,' and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, 'Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?'

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, 'Wayne always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.'

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone, 'Information Please.'

'Information,' said in the now familiar voice. 'How do I spell fix?' I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. 'Information Please' belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.

Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle . I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialled my hometown Operator and said, 'Information Please.'

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. 'Information..'

I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, 'Could you please tell me how to spell fix?'

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, 'I guess your finger must have healed by now.'

I laughed, 'So it's really you,' I said. 'I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?'

I wonder,' she said, 'if you know how much your call meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.'

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

'Please do', she said. 'Just ask for Sally.'

Three months later I was back in Seattle . A different voice answered 'Information.' I asked for Sally.

'Are you a friend?' she said.

'Yes, a very old friend,' I answered.

'I'm sorry to have to tell you this,' she said. 'Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died
five weeks ago.'

Before I could hang up she said, 'Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne ?' 'Yes.' I answered.

'Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called.

Let me read it to you.
The note said, 'Tell him there are other worlds to sing in.. He'll know what I mean.'

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others..

Whose life have you touched today?

Monday, October 22, 2007

okay for a day or two


Townhouse Built in 1982 - 3 bedroom and 2 bath - 1679 sqft


"B" Houston

Individual house built in 1997 - 5 bedroom and 5.5 bath - 4808 sqft


Thursday, October 18, 2007

talked until 2 am

it looks like it rained again last night while we were sleeping, I am sure that this storm will eventually get over to mississippi and alabama.

had another long talk with sverre about 'stuff' and he is adamant about moving, he truly hates texas but we are not even going to put our resumes until after jason has a permanent duty station and krys is settled.

mean while today I am going to finish picking up the house, it has really 'gone to hell' in the last week with my 'other job' as a mom with a camera. while krys is at work, I will sort through her 'treasure' collection and move it to storage so that we have enough room to move through the house, that seems to be sverre's second worse issue, the first being the number of days that krys's dogs were here while we found them a suitable place to stay.

we have lost power here three times in the last two days which has cut into my photo processing time. I have 50 parents that are really looking forward to the pictures. one mom, Cole's mom, told him that if he didnt smile for his pictures that he could not go hunting with his dad at the deer lease and that she would give him a spanking when he got home. I felt so bad for the little guy (3 years old) that we worked REALLY hard to make sure that he got a photo and not a butt beating last night. he finally warmed up and took his picture. heehee

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

feel overwhelmed

how are things going, I am starting to and not necessarily in a good way.

Krys has always dominated a lot of my time, Grandbaby Jordan has encroached significantly. I watch him about 40 hours a week. I am the cub scout den leader for Magnus group and between him and Erik, it is much more than just a couple of hours a week. I just finished sewing on the boys's patches for their uniforms, that was a chore. I have been doing a little tutoring of the boys in their homework that doesnt always make sense to them. naturally there is the various thankless jobs around the house like completely striping out the refrigerator and washing it down, completely packing up krys's house and moving it to storage, and making beds, loading and unloading the dishwasher, photographing friends and family. OH somehow I got volunteered to take the PACK 1550 Cub Scout Photo. 97 boys, and they wiggle a lot. we had a field trip on monday, and we are going camping in two weeks.
my photography business is coasting and that is not a good thing financially but fantastic considering how much time everyone else in my life DEMANDS.
last night I had a long drawn out conversation with my husband about the choices that I am making, he feels that I am not contributing enough around the house. that I do not help out with putting the boys to bed or get them up for school or whatever. yesterday he was in such a bad mood that he kicked my chair while I was talking to a client and essentially said that I didnt get the taco shells when I was out shopping as if I was an incompetent idiot. I was not at the 'proper' store for those items and I know that I if I fail to get the EXACT item that he DEMANDS, then I might as well not have done it at all. it is exhausting living up to his expectations. the current hissy fit is that krys lives with us now that jason has joined the military and that all her stuff SMELLS like mold. and that her dogs that he was adamantly against staying with us are still here because the person that we made arrangements with turned out to be a full fledged FLAKE! so we had to rescue them in the middle of the night so to speak. HE thinks that I am not working enough on my photography business and yet I am wasting the planets resources to drive 75 miles to the jobs that I am able to secure. I swear! but I am starting to rant.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tropical Storm

rain? you really want to talk about rain? most of the parking lots here are still flooded today, it rained big time yesterday. sverre was happy as a pig in a puddle getting soaked riding his bike home. he is just insane.

I have been working more, not every day, but about three days a week, which is just about right, just enough stress without driving me to drink.

went shopping today, got some odds and ends to take the boys camping in a couple of weeks. fancy smancy wienier roasting sticks and propane bottles for the coleman stove. packed up the paper plates and plastic forks in my camping kitchen box. got the little ketsup and mayonaise packets. this girl does not 'rough it'

krys is completely out of her house and totally in our house or storage and we are 'shuffling things' to get everything to fit. she is settling into the house and learning not to snap and snarl at me too much.

I have a cough, she has a cough and the baby has a cough. yeuck. the house looks like a Cat 5 hit but right now I am down loading memory cards from this mornings shoot, I would guesstimate that I had 12 little clients. 36 on the agenda tomorrow.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fall Campout at Wolf Creek

my camping list of Essentials

1 Tent
1 bedroll / person
1 sleeping bag / person
1 pillow / person
1 propane stove
1 pan
2 bottles of propane
1 mess kit / person (plate, bowl, cup, fork, spoon, knife)
1 wienie / marshmallow stick / person
1 camp chair / person
1 teddy bear / person (we have issues in our family)
wash pan / towel /
toilet paper

for food, we are packing light but essentials:
Bisquick premeasured mix in a bottle, just add water, spatula
Peanut Butter * Jelly * Bread
PM Snack:
cliff bar
wieners & buns and individual condiments (McDonalds)
Marshmallows * Graham Crackers * Chocolate

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just Say No?

I went over the bills from my insurance this year, stinkers.

if I go to an established in network provider, they have not been charging me the deductible, if I go to someone (like current surgeon for well visits) they have a $600 deductible (advertised: $300 deductible if in network) since I went once at my 12 month post op visit and all we did was talk about the blah blah blah that I already know. I figure that I will save the $300 office visit,,,

I AM SERIOUS, St Laurent charged me $300 for the office visit. there was NOTHING WRONG with me.

I am just going to get my lab work done at my Rheumatoid Specialist and read my own results. what a pile of hooey. I just called today and canceled, they seemed surprised that I didn't want to fork out another $300 for a visit. tthhbb

use the money on something practical like visitation to see darling daughter #3. seriously, my plane ticket into a Podunk regional airport (notorious for being over inflated) was cheaper than the office visit.

as for the weight, it has bounced up and down, currently it is at 146, which is right in my comfort zone, 1 lb less would be hysterically nice, but not a goal. I have been munching on carrots and apples to get it back down from 152 of last week. No goofing off in this house. I worked too hard to get here.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Totally Venting.. refraining from all caps

I have no idea how other people move. some may hire someone, I do not know. personally I take advantage of the opportunity to de-clutter, and clean. to get rid of junk and start fresh. I get my boxes months in advance. I pack at leasure and I make sure that every thing is boxed, sealed, labeled.

when moving day comes, I hire a truck, and 4 loaders. they come and it takes about 4 hours to load everything and then I pay them and leave. when I arrived at my hesitation, I hire 4 unloaders, and it takes about 2 hours to put everything in the house and I am done. I get the loaders from where-ever I am renting the truck, and they usually deliver or return the truck for me. it is extremely convenient and they usually work for beer money. Where ever you find rental trucks, you will find "good ol boys" willing to help a girl out.

however, my daughter. oh gracious. my daughter. still has not finished packing and the truck has come and gone. she has had three months to prepare. she has had months to get ready. she has put off everything until the last second. she still has not packed up her ever loving bed and dresser.

Friday night before the truck arives, she should be packing, she wants me to watch her baby and someone eles baby while she goes out to a movie. I have been watching her baby every day for the last week, sometimes over night for well over 18 hours. I say no. she thinks I am being rude. I think that she is insane for going out to a movie when she is supposed to be PACKING!

I tried to help this week, but she just dwaddles. they were supposed to be out of the house on the 1st and use this week to clean. I hired a truck on the 6th, brought it with me, and she was packing boxes and I was packing boxes and we did not utilize all the head space. we got 'most' of the furniture in, all of the 'heavy stuff' but it should have been a one shot deal. load it to the top, haul it over in one shot and be done with it. now there will be several trips with the truck to get everything moved over. what a PITA.

but at least I do not feel obligated to help out other than getting the damn truck unloaded and back to the store.

now for the truck... she swore it was broke down, that the ignition wire was loose. well I picked her up and drove her to work, picked her up and drove her to lunch, and drove her home from work for a week because I am a door mat. Talked to Jason, figured out that it was just out of gas. filled the tank up and now it runs fine. what a PITA.

the truck is fully loaded, ready to be unloaded, but she couldn't do that last night, she had made plans to go to the bar and that takes precedence! nope, I can pay $20 for another day rental, just so long as she can go to the bar with her friends. since the dolly HAD to be returned by morning, I started to unload the dryer and the refrigerator that MUST have a dolly and she threw the worse kind of fit. she is so inconsiderate that I can not image getting through the next 4 months without killing each other. it will be horrible at best.

she can not pack, she can not maintenance a truck. she is rude and obnoxious. where did I go wrong?

phone rings.

Jason got mugged last night, he was held at gun point and they stole his wallet with $26 and both kid's ID, and social security card and military id card. and lighter. good lord. they had no freaking business being out last night, they SHOULD have been PACKING!!!

now today we are supposed to have a leisurely goodbye brunch and photo shoot, but I doubt that will happen, I feel like I am in the car with Ray Charles driving.

Friday, October 05, 2007

back on the scales

okay, I do not know why the up and downs are creating ups and downs, but fine. back down to 148. augh. why couldnt I just hover around 145 instead of 150? blech. maybe it is the muffins? maybe it is the chocolates? maybe it is the open bag of potato chips on my desk. heehee probably.

got krys's storage signed yesterday, she can now start filling it up and getting out of her house. I am seriously considering moving my entertainment center out of her room, there is just no room in there. she needs to move in the crib and a queen size bed and dressers. augh.

breakfast, I really tried, I hard boiled 4 eggs, but they are still in the pan. I made some tea and drank most of it, so I am hydrating. AF seems to be leaving, yahoo!

oh check this out... crap.. it has already slipped my mind. what is up with that? I swear, one minute I have a thought, the next it is gone. poof. there is a little twinge behind my right eye, must be a brain cramp. heehee

okay, so the house is not going to clean itself. I am getting caught up on my tv shows. but ultimately, I am just procrastinating about getting my fall promotion out too all my customers. bad bad bad kitty kat.

just one more thing

so I get my tail out of bed, got a shower, picked up a bag of diapers at the store, get my boys off to school, get krys off to work, and got over and "teach the teacher" about digital photography.

pick Krys up for lunch, get lunch for Jason, Krys, and me from subway, pack up 1/4 of Jordan's room, load it in the car, strap Jordan in, drop Krys off at work, sign the lease on the 10x20 storage unit.

Drive home, unload the car, feed Jordan, rock him to sleep, print out two invoices, clean off my voice mail, make notes, call back my customers, and eat 1/4 of a chocolate chip cookie. I did clean the floor off in Jordan's Cubbie Hole, made him a grape juice bottle but he totally does not want it. need to make him a MILK bottle. fine.

Krys needs to get her tail in gear on her packing, oh and did I mention, that she is 14 days LATE? oh crap! Jason leaves tonight to go 'DOWN TOWN' for his MOMENT OF TRUTH in his enlistment process. His FAREWELL luncheon is here Sunday, and he DEPLOYS Monday Night.

Now the boys are home from school, Jordan is up from his nap, I still have not made a dent in the office that is quite possibly the results of a Cat 5 Hurricane or at the very least a F5 Tornado that has hit. WHAT A MESS!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


my little cubbies... we had 8 of the 10 show up. they are very wiggly, but super cute.

Kole, Nathan, Magnus, Caleb, Liam, Seth, & Noah.

we worked on our Bobcat achievement, the pledge, the salute, the handshake, the motto, the sign. we had a bean / paper towel / zip lock baggie / water activity, hope to get some sprouts.
we did a word search. and we had oreos and milk for snack. Yumm.

same ol same ol

just 5 lbs... I loose it, it finds me, I loose it, it finds me. same 5 lbs over and over and over each month. driving me insane. today AF is here and so is that same *$&!*$&!*$&!*$&! 5lbs.

last night went to a nice concert, opened and I really liked them, were okay, but too much growling.

a couple of weeks ago, we went to see/hear and they were really good, but completely were blown away by

now I am checking out a couple of new recommendations, as well as and, each have at least two songs on their latest cd's that I like. so I am sure that they will grow on me.

as for food. breakfast, I had a muffin, lunch, a bowl of chicken noodle soup, after noon snack a bunch of Kettle Chips, and dinner was single corn hard shell taco with beef.

boring but no getting sick.

emailed my little cubbies a reminder that we have cubscouts today.