Thursday, December 27, 2007

Just Breathe......

I have had a really bad head cold this past week. Made for a painful trip up into the mountains, and even worse coming home - I was sure my eardrums were both about to rupture, and was driven to tears by the time we pulled into the driveway. Benadryl and Sudafed (alternating) didn't do me much good. Christmas Day was a near-deaf experience. Like I was underwater, trying to hear what everyone else was saying. Finally, on Wednesday, I could feel a little less pressure in my ears, so I had Dh bring me home a nasal rinse kit (by NielMed). It was too close to bed time to use it last night (you have to stay up at least an hour afterward, so none of the rinsing solution is ingested), so I put it off until this morning.

I have to say, the idea of leaning over the sink while I pump what amounts to sophisticated salt water up my nose, was a little.... well, strange. But Dh assured me that NONE of the patients he has ever recommended it to have complained. In fact, they seek him out, specifically to THANK him for the recommendation. My sister swears it is the meaning of life, as does SIL. So I was wiling to give it a try.

WOW!! I'll warn you this is a little gross, so you can LOOK AWAY NOW, if you are squeamish.....

OK - You know whan a child with a cold sneezes, and they produce the longest darn string you've ever seen? This was TWICE as long as that. I started laughing so hard, and even made dh look. It was so highly amusing (yes, I live a quiet life).

And IMMEDIATELY after completing the rinse..... I CAN BREATHE AGAIN!!!!! For the first time in a week, my sinuses are completely clear. WOW - You really take breathing for granted, you know???

I could really have used this when I was pregnant with LittleBit - I don't think my cold would have been so bad!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I have waaaaaay too much!

I saw message on freecycle, asking for toiletries for a women's shelter. I emailed the poster, and said i had a few things I could spare.

So I grabbed the soaps that we don't use - DH and I both prefer to use liquid soap, and with sensitive skin, we're picky about what we use. So why do I have 10-15 bars of soap in the hall closet? What soap emergency am I expecting?

I then saw the stash of shampoo and conditioner - brands we no longer use, for the same soap emergency, I guess.

While I'm at it, I changed to mineral cosmetics, and have a whole drawer full of barely-used (and some brand new) makeup. And why do I have 6 boxes of hot oil? I don't USE hot oil. and bubblebath? Wow - this stuff has been moving from house to house with me for 10 or more years, for the "what if". I don't have a large enough tub for bubblebaths, and MiniMe and LittleBit both have eczema - they can only use very gentle soaps, too.

Hey, is that a multi-pack of deodorant? In the brand Dh is allergic to?

How on EARTH did my closet become a repository of products from my past? I like the smell of something, and buy a ton of it, so I don't run out. Then, before I get through my stash, I have a reaction, or Dh one of the kids has one. So I switch to the next thing, and repeat the process.

Granted, the shampoos are a brand I've used for years. Then I discovered that is why my hair looks like straw, and recently found a product that has fixed my hair. So why did I still have a closet full of stuff?

SO I thought I'd give her a few items, and it turns out the giant shipping carton a recent gift was shipped in (the gift was 1/6 the size of the shipping carton), is overflowing, and took two of us to carry.

But my closet is a little cleaner (needed to do that before we move next summer, anyway!), and my burdens a lot lighter.

I have been so very blessed. I have a wonderful husband, beautiful, amazing children, a roof over my head, car to drive, food in my cupboards, clothes in my closet. It really reminded me not to take any of that for granted.

My kids have no idea what "poor" feels like. We are poor, but they don't know it. We have been living on student loans (and a couple credit cards) to get dh through grad school, and in some ways, it's been tough. But overall, we have had sufficient for our needs. And then some. We have supportive extended family and friends, and best of all? We have each other.

My kids have never been HUNGRY. I have, I know what having no money really feels like. I know what it's like to have a bag of beans, and have to make them last a week. But even then, I still had a roof over my head. Granted, it was a room for rent in a basement, in a house where I was not allowed to turn the heat above 50 degrees, or light a fire in the fireplace. But for $150, it kept me off the streets. And that in itself was a HUGE blessing.

I heard on the news this morning, that over 100 homeless people died in Denver last year - or maybe it was all of Colorado. Either way, that is STAGGERING.

A little soap hardly scratches the surface.

So many homeless, so many CLOSE to homelessness. And no matter how tight things have been, we have always had the light at the end of the tunnel. Always had some place to stay, if we could no longer afford to stay in our little rental house. And we've just been BLESSED. Always, and in ALL WAYS.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I am enjoying the van thus far. Very nice little marketing idea. Get 300 housewives hooked on your van, by showing them how quickly they could get used to all the bells and whistles, lol.

If it were up to MiniMe, Santa would be letting us keep this one.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Aurora Borealis Explained

Ever wonder what causes Aurora Borealis? Now they know.....

Energy source of northern lights found

Tue Dec 11, 6:21 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO - Scientists think they have discovered the energy source of the spectacular color displays seen in the northern lights. New data from NASA's Themis mission, a quintet of satellites launched this winter, found the energy comes from a stream of charged particles from the sun flowing like a current through twisted bundles of magnetic fields connecting Earth's upper atmosphere to the sun.... [click for full article]

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Soldier Girl

I was at the mall today with my 2yo and 5yo, doing, what else, a little Christmas shopping. A young woman in an army uniform (fatigues) was in front of us on the escalator. I was juggling m 2yo, and carrying two heavy bags plus all our coats, and trying to keep my 5yo off the escalator railing. When we got to the top, I told my 5yo we needed to say thank you to the soldier. So we re-balanced the packages (and the toddler), and by then, the soldier was gone.

Mini-me (my 5yo) has eagle eyes, however, and noticed which store she and her (civilian) friends went in. So we followed her. She walked faster than I could, and it took us a bit to catch up to her. When we did, I stopped her, and thanked her. I thanked her for the service she is giving her country, and the service she thereby gives MY family.

She thanked ME, for thanking her. By this time, my heart (and eyes) was too full, so I thanked her again, and left before I stated bawling in the clothing store.

When we headed out to the car, Mini-me asked what we thanked her for. How do you explain all that our servicemen and women risk by putting on that uniform? I told her that soldiers work very hard to protect the rest of us from people that hate us, simply because they don't like our country. That sometimes they have to fight, and sometimes they get hurt, or even die. But that they do it for ALL OF US, because they love their country.

I cannot pass a fireman or a soldier, without my heart swelling with thanks. It's almost embarrassing, because I know if I try to explain how grateful I am for them, I just might start blubbering.

It may seem like just another job to you. But I am profoundly aware of the risk they take, by the very nature of their "jobs". They literally put their life on the line. Not quite the same thing as risking a paper cut, in my previous jobs. Aside from the two crazy people (different jobs) that security had to be notified about, and the trouble makers on the midnight bus I had to ride home from downtown, I have always had very safe jobs. And there was no expectation of danger of any kind.

No, it is a VERY different thing to go to work, KNOWING that the VERY NATURE of your job may require you to give up your own life, for someone you don't even know. That's the very definition of a hero, as far as I am concerned. Even if they never see combat, a soldier is already a hero, the minute they put on that uniform (and likely long before, given the character one would expect in a soldier).

And a fireman exists for the sole purpose of rescuing other people. How can that not move you with gratitude?

Mini-Me and LittleBit may not comprehend everything I said to them today. And they may not understand (for many years, at least) why Mommy cries when she sees soldiers and firemen. But someday they will. Someday, they will understand the difference between wolves and Sheepdogs. And that every single one of them, deserves our respect.

When I got to the car, and got the kids buckled into their car seats, I called my favorite soldier, to say thanks.

Monday, December 10, 2007

On display

Don't you hate it when you are out in public, you crouch down to sit in a tiny chair (like 8 inches tall, but it was a STURDY chair), and you hear that HORRIBLE NOISE???

Yes, my pants split right open. At the Children's Museum. Had to cut short our visit and run out of there so I could go home and change my pants.

my 5yo thinks it's hilarious.

Gun control

Is Gun Control a good idea?

Is it even legal?

Read these two articles, and come to your own conclusions; I firmly believe that the Right to Bear Arms is a fundamental right, that a government has neither the right to amend or withhold. We have a HUMAN right to protect ourselves and our families.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — When a gunman walked into New Life Church on Sunday and started shooting, he was met with the church's first line of defense: a congregant with a concealed weapons permit and a law enforcement background.

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan TEST DRIVE

I have been "selected" to be one of 300 moms nationwide to test drive a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan for 6 days.

We are planning to buy a van in the next year, so I thought this would be a great way to decide whether this one makes the short list, or is crossed off altogether. So far, DH and I are leaning toward the Honda Odyssey, or MAYBE the Toyota Sienna. I do have a 1996 Neon, and have not been impressed with Chrysler's customer service, so it will have to be a pretty fantastic van to overcome that.

On the other hand, I DID try to win one from Regis and Kelly (Nope, didn't win!), so I'm certainly willing to try it out!! Of course, that was the Chrysler Town and Country, not the Dodge Caravan. But let's face it - they are made by the same company, and are likely very similar.

For updates, click here.

And if anyone else is interested in doing this, HERE is where you can get more info.