Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Keeping a promise..............................

Always wanting to share the joy of my blog, I told several people about it while on vacation. One person in particular was interested in what I would have to say about him in the blog. I explained the fact that I choose not to use real names, and told him that I would be referring to him as "eighteen" which was the case that he picked during the game of deal or no deal that we attended while on the ship.

The way the game was played was first a game of bingo was played (at $10 a card or 3 for $20) and then the winner of the bingo game went up on stage and played a game of deal or no deal for big money (a thousand one game, and two thousand the next game). When I play along at home I am usually pretty good at picking the winning case, but this particular time eighteen picked a case with more money in it than I had in my case, which happen to be the same case the contestant picked. Lucky for her she took the deal and ended up with more than the three hundred dollars that was in our case.

In talking with eighteen, I found out that he was a fellow Dave Ramsey listener. Listener that is, to most of Dave's principals. You see, eighteen flips houses and uses credit to do so. Dave recommends that all real estate deals be done with cash to lower the risk. Eighteen seems to think that this would take too long to build up a fortune so he opts out on this piece of "Dave advise." I've got to say that I had a good time poking fun at him about this, even though I also have selective hearing when it comes to Dave's advice...

I have no problem not using credit cards (or any other loans for that matter). In fact today/this month marks the four year anniversary of our not using credit. We are working the debt snowball, paying off off our bills smallest to largest except for the one bill that we put the temperpedic beds for the OPs on since that interest is a business expense and tax deductible. Dave would understand the reasoning behind that now wouldn't he? NOT!

Since I met eighteen on a cruise ship, it is also apparent that I am not following Dave's advice to not take any vacations until we are out of debt. My rational for that is the fact that I have a twenty-four/seven business in my home and if I don't get away from the business from time to time I will not be a quality caregiver. I think of my vacations as business expenses. Right?

The one other thing we do even though Dave says not to, is to continue to contribute to (my) Mister's 401K plan. His company matches 2 to 1 and we are not spring chickens anymore. Since we will be out of debt within six months it doesn't make sense to stop it just to start it again in such a short time now does it? Or so I rationalize.

Okay, so I have no room to talk about eighteen using credit to finance his deals, as I have not drunk the kool-aid myself when it comes to Dave's principals. That is the thing about humans and free-will choice. We get really good at hearing and seeing what we want to see and hear and just as good at ignoring what we don't want to see and hear. It only becomes an issue when things don't turn out the way we thought they were going to. When that happens we are full of "if onlys and I should haves" until we figure out how to rationalize the way things turned out into being "the way we wanted them to turn out all along."

On a more positive note............................

I found the below information in one of the raw food newsletters I receive and thought I would share it in case any of you would be interested in joining in. It is a proven fact that there is power in prayer, and the more people praying the more powerful the prayer. Here is a chance to join in and make a difference:

One Minute Every Night

In WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every night at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England , its people and peace. There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America.

If you would like to participate: Each evening at 9:00 pm Eastern Time 8:00 PM Central) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a Godly nation.

If you know anyone who would like to participate, please pass this along. Someone said if Christians really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.

Together, we "CAN" make a difference!
Thank You, and God Bless America !

There's no place like home...........................

Even though I had a fabulous time while I was away, I am thrilled to be home again. (my) Mister did such a good job of taking care of things in my absence, that he thinks the OPs didn't even realize I was gone. I really must find a "WORLDS BEST HUSBAND" contest to enter him in, as I know he would win hands down (and then be happy to give me the prize money to spend on my next vacation).

I am sorry to say that I did not see the three people I was hoping to see, but the spirit of New Orleans is alive and well. Everyone I talked with was hopeful that in time things would return to the old normal. As you can see from the above pictures, a lot of the art work expresses the frustration that the entire city feels regarding the way things have been handled. It was good to see first hand how they are bouncing back.
So today is devoted to getting back into the rhythm of life, and to begin unpacking. My clothes are not going to know what to do when they are back in their normal resting places since they have been packed in a suitcase for the last month. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before I stop going to the suitcase whenever I need to change clothes.
I missed reading all of the blogs I follow, so before I unpack I am going to go check in with a few, at a slow, leisurely pace without worrying about the Internet minutes. It's so good to be home where I am loved and spoiled.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fly away................................

Keep me in your thoughts today as I make my way back home. We did tons of walking yesterday, met an actual Voodoo Priestess, had an angel reading, and my legs feel a lot better than yesterday.

I was also able to talk with my sister, and she is doing well. She is learning how to apply the bag used for urine collection, and the docs said all of the biopsies came back negative for cancer in other areas. Thanks for all your good wishes and prayers for her.

Okay, gotta fly (pun intended). Will share more about my trip tomorrow.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

We were awesome.............................................
This post is going to be a short one (but I had to write something because I know you are all waiting to hear how we did), because I am going to bed despite the fact that it is only 6:30 in the evening. My legs/butt are not at all happy with me right now, but they will get over it in a day or two.
My oldest finished the race in two hours and four minutes and I crossed the finish line at two hours and thirty minutes. Not the time I had hoped to make, but still eight minutes off my last half-marathon race time so I am pretty happy with it. It was a really fun race and I had a terrific time so that is what is really important.
We are staying in New Orleans one more day and then it is back to the real world. Hope all is well with all of you.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Can it be Friday already?..............................

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and it would seem that I have proven that statement, and because of that fact am have a small panic attack this morning. After all the walking I did for my shore excursions along with the fact that I hate taking the elevators (I can’t stand the notion of people thinking I am a slacker don’t ya know?) my legs are feeling pretty tired at the moment. Tired legs going into a race is not a good thing, so I have vowed to use the elevators, like it or not, and my big plans for today and tomorrow are to lay around so I am sure that I will be fine by Sunday. Oh ya, I have placed myself on restrictions; NO heels (except for dinner) no matter how bad my outfit might look in my flat sandals. Say a prayer that I am successful at resting my legs so that during the race I might focus on my prayer list instead of how crappy/tired my legs feel.

I continue to be having a blast, and my angels continue to send people into my days at just the right moment. My first excursion, I got on the bus and just before take off a real sweetie from New Orleans ask if he might sit in the empty seat beside me. I am sure I was a bad influence on him because we spent the tour laughing more than we did listening to the tour guide. Can I help it if I have ADHD and am easily distracted? And just in case anyone out there is interested, he is forty-two, successfully self-employed, and available (Check him out in the pic above). He was on the cruise with his family, celebrating his parent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. His dad is experiencing a pretty significant health decline so I educated him about hospice and he was very appreciative, being a caring, concerned son. Oh ya, and he has never been married so he doesn’t that the baggage that goes along with that. So, if anyone out there is interested, let me know quick and I will ask my angels to find him for me before I get off the ship, since I have not ran into him since the excursion ended.

Enough about cruising for now, I need a favor…
I have been keeping a pretty serious situation under wraps for a few weeks now because it has been really hard to even think about let alone talk about. My sister (the one that had a heart attack last May, you know the only sister that I have left, the sister that I can’t even imagine not having in my life) was diagnosed with bladder cancer several weeks back. Her urologist went in and removed the mass from her bladder, but it had grown into the wall of the bladder so yesterday she underwent an operation to have her bladder removed as well as having a new one fashioned out of part of her intestines. (Nope! I didn’t know that one could live without a bladder either, but thank goodness I was wrong.) My niece-in-law (her son’s fiancĂ©) let me know through e-mail that she came through the surgery and now the recovery phase begins. Please keep her in her prayers that things will progress just the way they are suppose to and that her body adapts to the new situation without serious trauma to her body, mind, and spirit. Thanks for your support guys, I don’t know what I would do without you.

Sorry about the format, I don't want to waste minutes figuring out what happen when I cut and pasted so deal with it for now okay?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

High seas Tuesday……………………….

Since I am on vacation, I opted to NOT set an alarm and managed to sleep in until six this morning. Unbelievable as it seems I was still the only person on the track jogging at 6:30. I figured the place would be crowed by that time.

After my run, I went to a stretching class and a yoga class. I am lovingly referring to the (guy) instructor as the yoga mat Nazi (as in the “soup Nazi”) as he made us all sit on a chair why he got out and arranged all the mats just so, and then wouldn’t let anyone take care of them after the class. Who can say OCD?

After the classes I went to breakfast, but everyone else was up by this time so the line was too long to stand in just for food, there was sun out there waiting to be soaked up! I will just get an early lunch. I ate a pear and drank coffee while chatting with a guy here on his honeymoon. Isn’t he just the sweetest husband letting his new wife sleep in? Of course, had that been me, I would have woke up pissed because, oh I don’t know, what is it two newly married people are suppose to be doing on a honeymoon, and you go off and leave me alone just because I am still sleeping! Said honeymoon is OVER HONEY, go sleep on one of the lounge chairs on deck! He was my age, so maybe they got married for other reasons than so they could do it like rabbits. You think?


As I type this, it is Wednesday and we will soon be stopping in Costa Maya to spend the day there.

Just to catch you up, I finally had tea yesterday. I say finally because I have been going to do that each time I cruised and never got around to it. The other thing that I think is kind of interesting is that being here alone, I am changing my clothes more than I ever did on the other cruises. Normally I haul all kinds of stuff and take most of it home un-worn. I have already worn seven of the eight pair of shoes I brought with me, which totally makes me wonder why I didn’t bring more. Next time! I think the reason I am able to play dress up more than usual must be because I have more free time. Translation…I am not spending time running around the ship trying to hook up with someone in my group. It is kind of nice to not have to worry about anyone’s happiness/well being for a change!
Okay, I am going to get on line and post the update now. Of course they charge an arm an a leg for internet hook up, so I type on works and then cut and paste it into the blog. See, I really do know how to stretch a buck…Get on, get off, and answer any comments/catch up on blogs when I get back home.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Vacation bound…………………………

I am about to make every single one of you jealous, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I got up this morning and right after I got done hiding my sticky notes for my youngest and (my) Mister to find I got a HUGE surprise of my own.

My youngest had left ME sticky notes on all of my luggage. They said:

Have a safe flight, a great trip, and an awesome run. I (then a picture of a) heart my mommy

Hope you have a blast !! (with a smiley face under the exclamation points) Enjoy the sun for me.

DON’T forget the souvenirs !! (another smiley)

I’ll be missing you (with hearts and sad faces floating around)

And on top of that (my) Mister got up with me at 2:30 in the morning so that he could load my luggage and give me a proper good-bye kiss.


I am currently killing a bit of time until the bus comes to take me to the ship, so I wanted to share that with you. I will continue with my adventures at some point today and then get logged on and post everything so you can share in the fun.

Oh! Almost forgot to tell you the MOST important thing…All eight pairs of shoes arrived (along with the rest of my stuff) in one piece. Can you believe I am going to be gone for nine days and limited myself to only eight pair? It was tough, but I think I will be able to manage somehow.

Cruising down the Mississippi…………………

I have been having a blast asking people to take pictures of me. Normally I hate getting my picture taken, but what fun are vacation places of places and not people? Since it is only me, what other choice do I have? Maybe I will just start taking pictures of other people and give them names. After all, you don’t know who I know so how will you know if I REALLY know them?

As you can tell by the pic with me in the life jacket, we had a boat drill, and we are now on our way. Remember hearing about entire boat full of people getting sick while cruising? I was thrilled to see the new addition of paper by the bathroom (stall) doors for our use. That is one of my worst pet peeves, when I wash my hands and then have to open the door with my shirt as there is no paper towels to open the door with and once you touch the door that someone else just touched you are all germy again. YUCK!

I managed to run a couple of miles before boat drill, so I am going to go take a shower and then it is time for sushi! The only time I ever eat it is on a cruise ship, and nothing raw for me thanks, only veggies.

When I got to the sushi bar, I met four young guys in their twenties and we shared a table. After we finished eating, I talked them into posing for a picture with me. You will have to wait to see it until I get home becasue I don't have any way of loading it onto my computer.

Be checking in soon!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

ME AND DAVE RAMSEY.......................................

I am REALLY sorry guys that I am incompetent and can't get the pictures to be right end up so you all don't have to stand on your heads to look at them. To make up for it I left my face in this one as a special treat for everyone. WHAT? You would rather have the picture rotated instead? Me to be us hu?

Oh! Ya...We had a fabulous time with Dave and learned a couple of things as well.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Stressed to the max...................

I have to say that I would rather work my butt off physically any day than deal with emotional stress. My friend made the decision today not to go on the cruise. Her husband is doing better, but has still not reached a point to where she could take off and relax instead of just worrying all the time she is away about how he was doing.

I totally understand where she is coming from, and completely support her decision, it is just her decision made me make a decision. First, she offered to move her family in here and watch the OPs for us so (my) Mister could go in her place. As much as I would have loved to do this, for the same reason she cancelled I could not go and have a good time worrying if she was doing okay with her husband and the OPs, etc... so we decided (my) Mister would stay home. Then we explored my youngest going in her place. Up and down, thinking of all the things that that would entail. My youngest decide that as much fun as it would be to go, she really needed to stay home and go to school as she had missed three days last week being ill (is she responsible or what? I think I might have said screw school). So that only left me deciding to go by myself, or to cancel along with my friend. (P.S. This is why I get trip insurance so that cancelling can be an option.)

(my) Mister wanted me to still go and to have a good time as he is so very loving and supportive of me. I had to weigh how selfish doing this would make me feel. Regardless whether or not I cruise, I would still have to spend extra money on a plane ticket to get down to the race. Bottom line, I decided to go ahead and go by myself, selfish or not.

Imagine this, five days in which you didn't have to speak to a soul unless you want to, can do exactly what you want without regard to anyone Else's feelings, can do exactly what YOU want to do and ONLY what YOU want to do, oh ya! Did I mention the no responsibility part for FIVE ENTIRE DAYS?...Pretty much my idea of heaven, though I know I wouldn't want a steady diet of it for long. But that is the beauty of it...With my personality, if I want company I will just go introduce myself to someone and hang out with them until I want to go do something else.

I am really feeling that "everything happens for a reason" feeling, and totally okay with (and excited about) my decision to cruise alone.

But before I relax and get totally excited I need to put out one more little fire. Tomorrow is the day we get to have lunch with Dave Ramsey and hear him talk. Problem is I thought it started at noon and it starts at eleven so I have to magically come up with someone willing to do OP care for an hour before my assistant is scheduled to arrive. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Paying attention...Sorta..........................

Around the time the universe was hinting me over the head, (the day after I heard the Priest on Dr. Oz's talk show) he had a guest that I had heard before. Not taking any chances on missing another message I got on-line during the show and ordered the guy's (David Kuo) book titled, "Tempting Faith." Do you know how easy it is to order used books on Amazon? Once you give them your information, you can order books with one simple click. Talk about encouraging impulse shopping! Good for them, dangerous for me! Anyway, the day before yesterday the book came in the mail, and I had totally forgot that I had ordered it. Now it is sitting on the table beside the chair I hang out in, taunting me as I have yet to pick it up and read it. I know there is something in it that will enrich my life, so why have I not picked the book up to find out what that something is? I tell myself I don't have time to read it for any length of time and I don't want to get into it and then go on vacation (it is a hard cover book and too heavy for carry-on is my excuse for that one. Besides one is suppose to read fluff on vacation, not serious stuff. Right?)

Okay, so, the other night we ordered Chinese, and this was my fortune:

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy."

Since when did they start putting such deep stuff in fortune cookies? Or am I just reading something into it? Maybe I just needed to be reminded of this simple little fact?

Well, one doesn't have to beat me over the head with said fortune cookie saying to get me to knock off for the rest of the night and "just be happy." To not do all the things that I had been planning to do. To just be happy to veg in front of the television catching up on all the nonsense that is on the tube. Nope... I had no problem doing this at all.

The following day, the artist's newsletter arrived and someone has written to him to ask why she needed to spend time on the "business/marketing" side of art when all she wanted to be doing was explore the creative side of art? His reply: "Unfortunately, our world is so constituted that it seldom pays individuals who merely dance (his metaphor for focusing only on creating art). This goes for most professions. A dentist who fixes only the teeth he feels like fixing, or wanders off to look into other mouths before he finishes the ones he has started, is soon looking for other employment."

While I found his example funny, I wasn't interested in exploring the message as I am still focused on "just be happy." He seems to want to send me back to the not as fun pursuit aspect. Shame on him...that letter went right into the trash folder and my fortune remains propped up beside my chair to remind me of just what I want to be reminded of. Who said I was manipulative/justifying/seeing only what I want to see? I'll get back into pursuit mode eventually, but right now I am revving up vacation mode so just leave me alone and let me be "just HAPPY" would you? In fact, why don't you join me? If misery can love company, then so can happiness. I'll give you the permission that you might not give to yourself.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day..............................

You would have loved to be around our house last night. The air was charged just like Christmas eve, with that air of expectancy that the big day has finally arrived. I was so excited that I made (my) Mister open the perfect card (I saved the mushy one for today) that I found for him. Oh, goodie! You're wondering what it said....I will share:

I do things that



and since it's Valentine's Day,
I just wanted to say...

(open card at this point)

Aren't you glad it's just SOMETIMES?

(NOTE: (my)Mister was in TOTAL agreement with the sentiment, in a good way.)

My youngest got parental permission (from both sides) and decorated her boyfriend's room for Valentine's day (he works on Tuesday night, so he came home to a big surprise). From the comments she found on her my-space this morning he loved it. She has to work tonight, but the Valentine Angels brought lots of drifting and blowing snow last night so school is cancelled and they get to go out for a Valentine's Day lunch. She was so excited (since she didn't think she would see him today) that she could hardly go back to sleep, but in the end she managed to do so (you know...that unwritten rule that one MUST sleep in on a day that school is cancelled, or else be considered a freak). When she gets up later we will make her heart shaped cookies for her to take into work with her this evening in celebration of the day.

I hope you all have a wonderful, love filled day. I can't wait for the mail this morning...I just know there will be at least one valentine hidden among all the junk mail. I'm SO excited!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy anniversary to (my) Mister and me...........................
We married seven years ago today. I thought I would share these pictures as they really don't show our faces. (The watch on my arm was my wedding day present from (my) Mister which is why I was wearing it on the outside of my sleeve, fashion fauxpas or not.)

Looking up as I typed, just now, all I could think was, "BOY! That Dress sure makes my butt look big." Oh well, nothing I can do about it now is there? I made the dress, the upper part is dark brown velvet, the bottom something satiny, and I felt like a princess in it. Or maybe I felt like a princess because I had people helping me dress, doing my hair and make-up, and jumping at my every need. How could I not feel like a princess?

Our wedding day was a very magical love filled day, and everyone that attended told us they had never been in a room where they felt more love than they did that day. It was practical as well. We got married in a local opera house. Everyone came in and sat at their table munching on snacks (the kids coloring with the crayons provided) while we said our vows. When we were pronounced "husband and wife,"the caterers started serving the salad as (my) Mister and I went around and greeted everyone individually. Can you tell I hate those weddings where you have to stand in a receiving line for two hours and then have to wait another hour or so for the couple to take pictures before they show up at the reception and you get to eat? This way was considerate of everyone.

My oldest was my maid of honor, and my son best man. As we gathered around to start the ceremony, my oldest started crying, which got my youngest crying (when one of us cries we all have to join in), so I left my husband-to-be to go and dry their tears and then we started again. When it came time for my oldest to make a toast, it was a good thing that she had written it down, because she started crying again and I ended up reading the toast for her. (my) Mister was patient through all of this which is a big part of why I wanted to marry him in the first place.

Have all our days been champagne and chocolates? Of course not (mostly because of my stubbornness, but he has his less than stellar moments as well) But then I am a firm believer that if one never has bad times they cannot appreciate good times as much as good times should be appreciated. Marriage is really not about happily-ever-after, but about one's willingness to hang in there, striving to be the best spouse one can be. It isn't about the messing up, but about the willingness to do what needs to be done about the mess up. Marriage is about mutual respect, regard, and support of one another. On these points I would rate both (my) Mister and myself fairly high. And after all, his and my opinions are really the only ones that count when deciding if we have a good marriage or not. Right?

MINE ALL MINE! Didn't I tell you it was fabulous?
I've got to pay better attention............................

(my) Mister has the day off from work today. Some dead president's birthday or something like that. What it means to me is that the mail won't run either (right?) so that means some of my valentines won't arrive at their final destinations by Wednesday. Drats! If you happen to be the lucky recipient of one of them and it doesn't get there on time, trust really IS in the mail, and sorry it is late.

I have really been taking this no stress thing to heart and the fact that the valentines were not mailed out by last Friday is just one more example of this fact. Before you know it, I am going to have grown into a full blown procrastinator, and I will get to see how the other half live.

Last Friday the husband of the friend that I am cruising with fell twelve feet and landed flat on his back onto concrete (he is a construction worker). He is pretty messed up with two broken/shattered scapula (the wings or backbones that stick out), three broken ribs, a piece broken on one of his lower vertebra (spine), and of course bruised his lungs. The big problem is that none of the breaks can be repaired because of their locations so they just have to heal with time. Please pray for him. Whenever he tries to breath it hurts like a _____ and so he tries to breath shallow and then his oxygen levels drop (trust me not a good thing for the body) and so he has to be pretty doped up to keep his breathing level, and on O2 to keep the levels up. My friend is busy being thankful that he is only hurt this bad, as it really could have been much worse. We are not yet cancelling the cruise...

But then yesterday I heard on the news that the ship we are to sail on was hit by another boat and had to cancel the cruise scheduled for this week. I am wondering if these two events back to back are one of those signs that we shouldn't be going out of town right now? You know, those signs that start out small and then when you don't pay attention to them, get bigger and bigger until you scream, "Damn it to hell, why didn't I listen in the first place?" This couldn't be one of those times. Could it? If it turns out that it is indeed one of those times Patty will have an interesting adventure to blog about won't she? I sure could use a Crystal ball right now, but what fun would that be?

I think it is because Valentine's day is so close, but I AM IN LOVE! When I was at Macy's buying the Lancome lipstick (that is really more like a colored gloss as real lipstick dries out my lips. AND I was totally thrilled to find that they had their "free gift with purchase" going on so I got totally hooked up with that...BONUS!), checking the clearance racks as I always do, I FOUND IT! A "mock crock" navy blue leather jacket. It is fitted through the waist, zips up the front, has zipper pockets in the lower front, zippers at the lower sleeves, and looks FABULOUS on me even if I do say so myself. I put it on and wore it around the store for a while (you know, just to make sure it was comfortable) and then put it back on the rack because it was only thirty percent off and still over a hundred dollars. I consoled myself by calling (my) Mister on the way out of the store and making him tell me he was proud of me for showing so much restraint.

Then yesterday afternoon I was reading the sale fliers from the Sunday paper and in the Macy's ad was an all day savings pass for an additional fifteen percent off all apparel. What was I saying above about signs? (my) Mister is in agreement (I sooooo should have been an attorney I can plead a case better than anyone I know) that the jacket would add all kinds of life to my current wardrobe (and will look great on me as I Purus up and down the isles of the grocery store since this is the only place I ever go), so I am going back to get her today. Since it is such an event, my youngest is going to take the afternoon off from school (only one un-important class really) so she can share in the experience. Now if the jacket has not been stolen by some impulse shopper over the last forty-eight hours this story will have a happy ending. Keep your fingers crossed. It sooooo better be there or I will cry.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Valentine story........................

As much as it seemed it was just August, here it was February and time to take the wedding rings in for their bi-yearly inspection in order to keep the service plan valid. Dilly stood among the twenty-plus other customers either picking out valentine surprises or waiting to be waited on, contemplating whether or not it would be better to wait for her turn or come back on a week day. Flipping an imaginary coin she opted to wait and pass the time people watching. There were enough of them in the store that at least one of them should be an interesting study

After forever (okay, seven minutes or so, Dilly never has been strong on patience), Dilly made it to the counter to be next in line. The person in front of her was a young man in his early to mid-twenties, with a young child in tow. After the salesperson had wrapped and bagged his purchase he handed her his credit card to pay. For whatever reason, the computer decided that he needed to have fifty dollars down to complete the transaction. Damn computers!

The young man told the salesperson he would be able to give her twenty dollars right then and there, but that stupid computer wanted the full fifty. Never one to let computers get the better of her (piss her off yes, but in the end she always won!) Dilly reached into her wallet and took out thirty of the fifty dollars she had just gotten from cashing in a rebate check. She placed it on the counter in front of the young man saying, "Well, if you've got twenty, I've got thirty, and that ought to satisfy the computer." The young man was so stunned that he was speechless, but the ladies behind the counter stated in near unision, "I have NEVER seen anyone do anything like that before!" Dilly had a fleeting thought about how sad that statement was, but let it pass and told the young man the following story while the salesperson rang up his order:

Once upon a time, there was a young girl celebrating her first Valentine's day as a wife. She had this grand idea of getting matching fleece lined snow boots for her and her husband so they could take winter walks and play in the snow together. The young girl searched for a good deal, and drove to the store to make her purchase. She was so excited about her Valentine surprise as she headed to the counter, and crestfallen when she realized she only had $38.70 of the needed $40.00 to purchase the boots. The kind gentleman behind the counter looked at the girl, smiled, and said, "That's okay! This is close enough." The girl was extremely grateful and vowed to pay the favor forward someday.

As Dilly was finishing up the story (Wiping her eyes and blowing her nose because she still cries when she recalls the kindness of that gentleman) and telling the young man that someday he would be in a position to pass on the gift, tell the story to someone, and add his own to it, the salesperson finished with his paperwork and he and the little girl left the store. After he had gone and the salesperson began to wait on Dilly, she said to her, "That was a really kind thing you did for him. I want you to know that what he was going to put back (he had purchased two things, and thus had the option of picking one and putting one back instead of putting the fifty dollars down) was a ring that said "I love you" on it that he got for the little girl to give to her mommy." As the enormity of that statement washed over her, Dilly knew exactly why she had decided to wait in line instead of coming back. She also knew the thirty dollars had purchased much better memories than any souvenir she might have bought with it on vacation which was what the original plan for the money had been.

Leaving the store to get on with the rest of her day, Dilly was filled with love, joy, and thankfulness for her ability to be able to help out the young man, and excited because her favorite holiday, Valentine's day, was only three days away. Life is indeed good!

Friday, February 09, 2007

A massage critique...........................

For Christmas I was the lucky recipient of a gift certificate for a hot stone massage. I used it last night, and should have had my first clue of the coming experience when I called to make the appointment, used the above "lucky recipient" line with the person on the phone, and was greeted with dead silence. Not a lot of humor in the place hu? Well, it's free so I might as well take advantage of it right?

Don't get me wrong, I REALLY appreciate the gift, and enjoyed the massage. The massage therapist was nice enough, and her skills were okay to good, it is just being a trained professional I couldn't help but notice lots of things that could have been improved upon.

First, from a clinical perspective, I was not ask to fill out any paperwork, sign any waver, or given any instruction on what would be happening or to indicate if the massage was too hard/soft/hot/cold, if I had any special needs/sensitive areas/ allergies to anything, I could go on and on. Simply "undress and lay face up on the table." Talk about opening one up to a lawsuit! Also at the end of the massage, she didn't tell me anything about the fact that I should drink lots of fluids to flush out any toxins she mights have released or that some of my muscles could feel a bit sore tomorrow from having been worked on. Again, elementary disclaimers of the profession.

Second, ya all know that I have been logging lots of miles training for the half, and I specifically ask the therapist to "please work on my hamstrings and gluts" (upper back of the legs and butt) as these areas were really tight. The areas that were massaged were: lower legs and about five inches of my upper legs getting about 1/3 of the hamstring, my arms, and the upper two thirds of my back for about two minutes. If the therapist had a phobia about touching the other parts of my body (besides being in the wrong profession) she should have at least had the common courtesy to point this out to me, NOT just ignore my request.

Third, the room was set up in such a way that she was constantly breaking contact with my body to go get different stones or lotion, the first cardinal no no of massage. This constant breaking away prevents one from being able to relax deeply and trust that they are in competent hands. It is more like being startled just at the moment one begins to doze off. How relaxed do you feel when that happens?

Except for feeling really bad that someone I like spent eighty bucks on such crappy service, the above would not be something to bitch about, but rather just chalk up to a bad experience and move on. The part that really bothers me is that it was VERY apparent that this nice young girl did not really like her job. Like I said, she was pleasant enough, and skilled enough, but her heart was just not in the work. We are not talking filing papers, or dumping garbage, but body work ON A FELLOW HUMAN BEING. When one does this work, there is a transference of energy. I could feel hers and it wasn't a good feeling.

When I massage anyone (but especially those people that I have a strong connection with) if I am not careful to center myself, put a circle of protection around myself, and wear shoes to ground me, I will end up literally taking their pain into my body in whatever area their pain was in. I learned this over time, the hard way. I have no idea how long this therapist has been practicing, but I don't think she has figured this out yet. Come to think of it, it is probably a good thing that she didn't work on my gluts and hammies or she would have gone home wondering why her a$$ hurt so darn much!

Anyway, after giving up the notion that I was going to be able to relax and let my thoughts empty out, I worked on sending her loving energy while she was working on me. Maybe this wasn't totally ethical to take advantage of her being open without directly letting her know that I was doing so, but I did it anyway, as my heart was well meaning. (AND, in case you are wondering, I try and only use my "powers" for good. One has to piss me off pretty bad to get me to send them evil thoughts... Why is it that as I typed that I got this picture of the principal and the cross country coach in my mind? Bad Patty!) I hope it helped her to make it through the rest of her evening feeling a bit better. I know it made me feel better about my entire experience.

Now I just have to decide if I am going to share the (clinical) truth of the experience with the person that gave me the gift certificate. Does this qualify as one of those times where holding back is kinder? I am SO bad at holding anything I feel back knowing me I probably will end up sharing. What if she decides to give me another one? I know places where I can get a much better massage for less money, so really wouldn't I be doing her a service in sharing? Go ahead, call me the world's best justifier. See if I care!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Being nagged, in a good way...............

Interesting day yesterday. Maybe you have had them before. The ones where no matter where you go, or what you do the messages get through LOUD AND CLEAR. This always makes me wonder how long I have been getting little hint messages and choosing to ignore them. Anyway...

My morning started yesterday with me checking my e-mail as usual. My in-box contained a letter from Jana Stanfield sharing about her current working trip to Australia. She is speaking at a teachers conference, and this is a quote from the person that put together the conference:

"My dream has always been and still is to inspire our teachers so they can inspire our kids to greatness, whether that be going on to make a difference in the world or just having a happy, fulfilled life. I want the light and sparkle that a five year old child has in their eyes - the joy and love of learning - to remain with them at all times, not to start to die and diminish at the age of six or seven. My mission is to leave a legacy in education."

My first thought was "too bad there were not people like this in my school district, but second this spoke to me about my own dreams and life mission. Have I really been doing anything lately to foster them? Kind of a kick in the pants, but in a good way.

The letter goes on to share the title of the new song Jana is working on:


WOW! When I read those words I felt as if I was being hit over the head with a frying pan (NOT that I have ever been hit over the head with a frying pan though my first husband shared his experience with me of having been hit in the head with a frying pan by his younger brother when they were kids, and he said it made him sit up and take notice so I am borrowing from his experience here). How many times do I say no to my destiny before giving in and saying yes?

Finally, I was listening to Dr. Oz's radio show on my XM radio and his guest was a priest that is considered a sort of "renegade" for his thinking and beliefs. His ideas about prayer, that "it isn't as much about asking God for favors as it is about just being still and listening" touched a cord of truth in my soul. He talked about walking down the streets of New York city on his way to the studio in a "state of prayer." What he described was trying to hold an empty mind and just letting whatever flowed into it (it being his mind) flow on through in a spirit of love. As he would see various people he would let the thoughts flow rather than hang onto them and try and control/make sense out of them, and he was filled with an incredible sense of peace and love. I have felt similar feelings, say, while taking a quiet walk through nature on a beautiful sunny day not really thinking about anything except for the contentment of the moment.

He went on to talk about prayer being something that we should be doing constantly, again not the bargaining, big process, "Please keep the light green for me I am late" (HUGELY GUILTY of this one folks)but rather that open state of mind in which we allow what we are suppose to be hearing in because we aren't busy only listening/hearing what we WANT to hear.

Disclaimer here...This is what I took away from the radio show. It is what I think I needed to take away from the show. It is very possible that it was not the intended message, or that is was the intended message for everyone else listening to the show. We all know that whenever two people hear exactly the same thing they will each have a little different take on it, and there is nothing wrong with that.

All I know is that reading and hearing these things yesterday gave me lots of food for thought, while at the same time giving me a great sense of peace. Two things in particular that were said that I think are wonderful things to sit with:

"Be not afraid" and "God already knows your needs and desires."

That takes all the pressure off doesn't it? Except the pressure to trust and believe in the above two statements. That is the hard part, and I think that is why prayer needs to be a practice and a constant in our lives.

This might be another disclaimer, but is also another reason I connected with the priest. He talked a bit about organized religion and how there is a danger in each of the different religions believing that theirs is the one true and right one (I told you he was considered a renegade). In my lifetime I have attended many different churches and currently don't attend any formal worship service. Regardless of what church I attended (or am not attending) I continued to hear the concept of love being supreme, no matter what other things were being taught. This is why it doesn't matter to me and (I have great respect) for whatever way you choose to express the concept of "love one another" and use terms like pray/positive thoughts/universal good will/whatever you choose to call it interchangeably. I guess what I am trying to say is to not be offended by the messenger's choice of words, but focus on what the message is saying to you personally and adapt it as you need to so that you might get the most out of it. Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Prayer/positive energy/good thoughts: needed AND requested...............

Yippee! It is less than two weeks and counting until my vacation begins. Whatever your spiritual belief, I am venturing out for some assistance. First, my need:

My family vacationed in New Orleans the week prior to hurricane Katrina hitting the area. There are three faces that have stayed with me from that trip since viewing Katrina's devastation on the television. One was a very entertaining street clown. I have a picture of him and me holding the balloon he fashioned into heart. The second person was a homeless woman that we saw several times a day as she pushed her shopping cart full of possessions around town with her cat perched proudly on top of the pile. The third person was a palm reader. (my) Mister and I were out taking a walk and we stopped to have our palms read "for fun," and to help the guy out. The interesting thing about this was not the reading, but the conversation. I told him what I did for a living and we had a wonderful conversation about death and dying. He was questioning how someone came to terms with dying if they knew about it before it happened (IE: DX of a terminal illness), and would he like to know or would he rather have death happen without warning? (Considering what happen a week later, doesn't that conversation send a little chill up your spin?) After the hurricane hit I have thought about and prayed for these three people on a regular basis.

As much of an impossibility as it might sound, it is my prayer/positive energy/good thoughts that I see these people while in New Orleans so I know that they came through the hurricane okay. I believe that this IS possible, and I believe that the more people praying/sending positive energy/good thoughts for this to happen the greater the chances of this happening. This is my request to all of you. Yes! I am sure there are many needs greater than this one of mine, but I also believe that there is no need/desire too small to request. Thank you in advance for your help.

Now on to the next request...

I read this idea in a Runner's World magazine and I am totally stealing it for myself. Two women ran a marathon together. To help them pass the time, and focus on something else besides the tiredness and pain towards the end of the race, they made up a list of twenty six people to prayer for, one for each mile of the race. I think this is a really great idea and would like to give it a try during my next race. I could come up with things of my own, but I have been thinking about it, and would like to open it up to all of my readers to send in requests. If you don't believe in prayer/God, tell me how/to who you would like the request formed and I will do that for you. Think of it as a little thank you for brightening my life with your gifts of friendship that you give to me through my blog.

This is how it will work... Send your requests to It is also okay to put anonymous requests in the comment section if you would rather not be identified. When I get all the requests in I will transfer them to index cards, carry them with me on the race and work through the cards mile after mile. If I have more than thirteen requests I will divide them up accordingly. So, send in your requests and be joined with me in spirit on my race. I am really excited about this idea and hope you are also excited enough about it to send me your request. Ah... The post is over... Get typing those e-mails! NOW! JK!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Weirdness part two.......................................

I have been ask to list six weird things about myself by my dear friend
Jenna. I think I have done this in the past, but ya all know that there is plenty of weirdness to go around in my neck of the woods.

Here are the rules: Each player starts by blogging about six weird things (or memes) about themselves. Those tagged must also blog the rules in their blog while tagging a half a dozen people of their own. It's also important to inform the tagees that they've been tagged.

1. Cleaning ALWAYS makes me feel better. Not that I always do it, my house certainly isn't spotless, but for me cleaning is a way of feeling in control. When I was in college and took a psychology class we had to do this paper on a habitual habit. I discovered at that time whenever I left my house, the first thing I did when I came home was straighten something up in my house. To this day, I still do this. Pick up something off the floor, wipe off a counter, it doesn't matter what I do, but I have to fix/straighten (those damn pillows)/or clean something to re-claim my territory. Kind of an Alpha dog thing I guess.

2. I enjoy canned veggies best cold, straight out of the can. Which will be a great thing if I am ever stranded on a deserted island with only canned veggies and no fire. Hopefully I will also have a can opener. I prefer fresh or frozen veggies, but canned beets and spinach are petty tasty right out of the can. I used to have these for lunch, and on the occasion that I would have a working lunch everyone would be grossed out by my choice. I never did figure out if it was the choice of veggies themselves or the fact that I was eating them cold, out of the can. And yes, I used a fork. I do have some manners.

3. Even though I don't leave for vacation until February nineteen, I was totally packed (minus undies) by the end of January.. Maybe this isn't that weird since where I live there is not much need for shorts, swim suits, and summer dresses this time of year, but weird that I go to my suitcase every morning to get things like toothpaste, deodorant, and make-up. Yes! I have too much time on my hands!

4. I have a (very short) list of people that I have forbidden to be allowed to attend my funeral/memorial celebration of my life. These are people that were extremely evil to me at one time in my life, but are also considered upstanding citizens because they hide their true colors so well. They would show up just to gossip (or gloat maybe that the world is now rid of me), but they are just going to have to do it on the street corner because they are NOT GETTING IN! Do you think this makes me sound self-important? Trust me, I have been witness to them talking about someone behind the person's back and then acting like said person is their best friend when said person returns from the bathroom or wherever. I don't want my family to have to listen to their garbage when they know the true story.

5. I OFTEN go three or four days at a time without combing (or brushing) my hair, because I forget to do so. Not weird until one notes that my hair is now down past my shoulders. Not weird considering I am at home all the time, but this is NOT a newly acquired habit. Remember when I went away for the hospice training last year and forgot my hairbrush, going the entire weekend without combing my hair, being around other people all the time? It didn't bother me one bit. My hair is thick and straight enough that it just kind of lays there (even when I try to make it look good), so what is the big deal? Add that to the fact that my outer looks have never been that important to me (which is probably VERY weird in and of itself)and maybe you will understand where I am coming from. Still, in a world where most people wash their hair every day (me once a week or so. If I wash it more often it gets all yucky looking), I am sure this classifies as a weirdness.

6. I often shovel the driveway in shorts and a T-shirt or tank top. As long as I have on gloves and a hat, I am comfortable, as I am not out there that long. And no, you don't get a cold from being cold, you get a cold from coming in contact with a virus. It is a proven scientific fact. If you don't believe me, research it.

I am not going to tag any individuals because I think I have read lists of weird traits on all the blogs I follow. Instead, I challenge those of you that read this blog and never comment to pick up the torch and do so. Then let me know where you are so I can read it. Thanks in advance.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Money class: AKA, We'll do anything for a buck...............................

A while back, I received an e-mail from our credit union announcing a contest to teach teens about money. Besides education on how to handle money, the credit union would be matching all deposits the teen made, up to two hundred dollars. Not only is this "free" money, it is free money that can be invested in the educational Roth and earn some interest over the next three years. What's not to love about that, so we were excited to learn that my youngest had been one of the teens selected to participate.

My youngest went to her budgeting session last Thursday, to come home and tell me that the lady she met with insisted she needed to get a credit card. Okay, this is REALLY funny once you know that the lady doing the buget session works for a debt consolidation company, and it is her job to cut people's credit cards up when they get in trouble with them and come to her for help paying them off. My youngest tried to tell her that she didn't need a credit card as she didn't plan to use credit, but the lady wouldn't take her seriously. Could this be because we live in a credit happy society? No matter, I am not out to change the world, just my family tree.

Anyway, I decided I would go with my youngest to the all day financial seminar just to lend her moral support if it was slanted too far towards trying to teach the notion that credit is neccessary to growing up. I am happy to report that they did a great job of pointing out the pit falls of using credit and how quickly one can get into trouble with them. As part of the day, we made budgets based on goals, and my youngest was able to caculate the fact that she is going to need to save four thousand dollars a month once she graduates from college if she is going to pay cash for a house by the time she is thirty (don't quote my math, I was busy figuring out my buget for going to Hawaii next year). This helped her to realize she needs to get a career that makes enough money to generate this kind of income.

The class also touched a lot on the notion of saving, and saving early in life. It is pretty much a given that kids her age are going to be responsible for their own retirement savings. If they start early, they will have time to let the money sit there and work for them. I think this is one of the best lessons a youngster can learn. Did you know that if one saved twenty dollars a week (the price of a large pizza) for twenty years they would have ten thousand and four hundred dollars at the end of this time. Start early, and leave it alone until turning sixty-five and one would have a tidy little sum of cold hard cash.

I have made many poor choices with money over the years, and am glad that I didn't try and hide these poor choices from my children because they have all learned that they don't want to make the same mistakes that I did. That's progress don't ya think?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

It's taper time!.................................

And I gotta tell you I have never been so excited about taper time as I am this time. What is taper time you ask?

When training for a race, the idea is to slowly increase your mileage until you are at race distance or even a little above. Then two or three weeks before the race you begin to rein in on the miles so that your legs are nice and fresh on race day.

The reason I am so excited that I can begin to run shorter distances from here on in is not because of the distance, but because of the elements. It is friggin cold outside! I ran twelve miles yesterday, and it took me two and a half hours because one it was so cold my muscles never really got warm and then after a couple of hours of being in the cold they became stiff and felt like lead, and two I ended up eating the left over brown sugar cinnamon mixture from the coffee cake I made and FIVE mint cookies. Of course I didn't want real food after binging like this so I had a nice sugar high when I started out and then crashed and had no energy, except what little I got from the box the raisins I eat along the way. Bad Patty!

So, the cool part of the run... The temperature was in the single digits to begin with, and the wind chill made it somewhere around zero. I dress in layers, and I really never felt cold, except the tiny part of my face that is not covered, when running into the wind (which really seemed to be most of the time). I had meant to call the running store and ask the experts how long was okay to be out running in the current temperature, but I got all tied up doing important things like polishing my nails (I got a cruise coming up remember) and playing a computer game (I have won enough that it is really hard to beat my high score now) and totally spaced about making the call. I know, I have to work on getting my priorities straight.

Oh Ya! I forgot to tell you that due to scheduling I was not able to run Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, and so Thursday I went out and ran six miles (at the time I was planning on doing my long run today, Saturday). Much of the route had two and three inch snowdrifts in the road, which doesn't seem like much, but in actuality is just like running on sand. My quads were not happy to find I was running again, especially when the same little drifts were now three and four inches deep. The way to get a muscle stronger is to really fatigue it so I just told my quads to suck it up and stop whining.

After about two hours of running, I noticed that my waddle (named after that thing that hangs down on a turkey, a fleece thingy that goes around your neck and can cover your mouth, cheeks, and nose if needed) was stiff. The darn thing was frozen all down the front. When I got home and took off my (outer layer) wind-breaker, all these little ice balls fell out. I guess they formed from the sweat I gave off while running. HOW COOL IS THAT? I felt really powerful for having completed what I set out to do in spite of the elements. When (my) Mister told me that my oldest had called and her message to me was that "I was a stud!" I had to agree with her.

Still, there is a part of me (the sane part) that thinks I was foolish to go out for that length of time, and I am glad that I will not be faced with that need again until it is warmer outside.

Well, I have to get ready to go to financial class with my youngest. I will share all the details of that in tomorrows blog, but don't loose any sleep over won't be THAT exciting.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Short, sweet, and to the point..........................

Ya! Like I can ever just get to a point, without first giving great detail of the journey. See, I'm doing it already!

The main point is I actually have to work this morning so I don't have a lot of time to post. My morning started out with one of the worst messes I have seen in quite some time, but I will spare you the details just saying that I was showering a resident BEFORE my first cup of coffee this morning. I bet that drew some sympathy pains from some of you didn't it?

The foot doctor also came this morning. Now this isn't any work for me, but I like to visit with him while he works and this puts me behind on my computer time. Funny, but I don't think any of you will give me any sympathy on this note.

Last evening, around 9:30 (which is akin to Midnight for my body clock) my youngest said she needed to talk to me about a couple of things. When ever she starts a sentence with, "Hey Mommy," I know the translation is that she needs something from me. The first thing she needed was an idea for a paper that she needed to write. The topic was to be about a "life changing event." Come on...the kid is seventeen. What possible event in her life could be that life changing? I gave her a couple of ideas that she thought were too personal (what life changing event wouldn't be personal?), and then she said, "I will just write about when we got Andy (the cat). Now there is a real snoozer for you, but it IS her paper and I didn't have to read and grade it now did I? I gave it one more shot and told her to write about being the baby of the family with the next oldest child being eight years older. She liked that idea and moved on to request number two.

Seems that her bi-weekly cafe something or other (every two weeks for Spanish class they have some kind of food and beverage and have to speak only in Spanish) was today, and EVERY single kid in the class had requested that she bring the coffee cakes that she had brought in once before. She had told them that she didn't have time to make them but that she would see if I would be able to do so. Of course you know that while I secretly was thrilled that they wanted more of my great cooking, I couldn't let her know this. How many times does a parent get to whine and carry on about what a burden it is to be a parent without doing great mental damage to said child? Since it was so late, I didn't do too much, but made up for it this morning when I told her she had better be nominating me for parent of the Century; I deserved much more than parent of the year for agreeing to make her coffee cakes. She just laughed and replied, "Of course I am Mommy." She has learned by now that it is fine to blow me off, as long as she makes the correct noises along the way.

Actually I am glad for an excuse to bake something. The worst thing about giving up sugar is that there is no reason to make deserts any more. I love to bake, find it a good creative outlet, and miss doing it, so really she was doing me a favor. Don't tell her that though. A parent needs to keep an upper hand at all costs. Right now, however, my allotted posting time is over. If I am going to have the coffee cakes out of the oven at just the right time, I had better get out there and rev up the mixer. Have a great day!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Do you like yourself?................

This may sound like a strange question, but I believe many of the things that happen to us on a daily basis have a direct correlation to the answer to that question.

As usual, there are both extremes to this question...Who among us has not encountered that person that likes themselves Soooooo much that they have the expectation that the world (IE. the rest of us) should hand them their every heart's desire on a silver platter. We also might know of someone that puts up with continued physical and/or emotional abuse because somewhere, deep inside, they think they somehow deserve it.

Let's aim for the middle of these two extremes. Do you like yourself enough to exercise on a daily basis, or do you put it off because you are too busy doing things for everyone else in your life? Do you make time to do things you enjoy, or simply to do NOTHING? This is a wonderful way to honor your self-worth.

Without trying to sound too bitter, let me share a true story with you about me in my mid-twenties... I was married (to my first husband) and had two small children. Financially we were struggling to make ends meet. I think you know by now how much I love shoes, so you might agree that it was a great sacrifice that I made sure my babies had Buster Brown Walkers (you young kids won't recognized the brand probably, but back in my day if you loved your kids you bought them these shoes when they were learning to walk or else you ran the risk of destroying the bones in their little feet and legs.) , and my husband had wing-tips for his suit and tie job. I owned one pair of two dollar white keds, and wore these year round. Don't feel sorry for me, I didn't care because I thought I was doing what was best for my family. I also spent absolutely no time on myself, and since I was home all day long, what was the point of buying any clothes besides my functional jeans and T-shirts? Okay, ready for the punch line?

When I discovered my husband was having an affair, of course I ask him what she had that I didn't have. His reply, "She dresses nice, and does sit-ups every night." Of course, had I done these things we would have fought about the money I was spending on clothes and why the house wasn't clean, but my sit-ups were done. The foundation to sustain a marriage just wasn't there. The point I am making was I really didn't think I deserved to spend time or money on myself, and used sacrificing for my family as a way to hide from the truth. Maybe my behavior also gave my former husband the notion that he deserved someone better than me?

And just to share the bitter/vendetta part... When he married his affair, he also inherited the privilege to provide the money for her closets full of clothes,her need to purchase $500.00 Beanie Babies, as well as her insistence on constantly replacing/upgrading home furnishings, television sets, and stereos. It is a good thing we were not married long enough that he had to share his pension with me now isn't it? Maybe, just maybe, he won't have to eat Alpo in his golden years, and all these years later I can be happy about that. There is even a part of me that thinks he has suffered enough. How's that for moving on?

I didn't really mean to get off on such a long tangent, but do you get how me not taking care of me might have added to my unhappiness with my life? It took me many years and many set-backs to finally get to a place where I not only like myself, but think I deserve the good that life has to offer. It was only when I got to this point that good things finally started presenting themselves to me.

So, get out your pen and paper (or keyboard), and make two lists. One list of all the ways you are sabotaging yourself and your happiness/contentment, and one list of all the ways you are supporting those things. Hopefully your second list will be longer than your first. If it isn't, pick one thing you want to improve upon and then tell yourself ten times a day that you deserve to have ____ in your life and start acting like you already have it. Before you know it, it won't be an act.