Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Re-posted The Dash

it's worth posting again.....I hope you all live your Dash everyday

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak, at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on this tombstone from beginning ….to the end.

He noted that first came his date of birth and spoke the following with tears.

But he said what mattered most of all, was the dash in between those years.

For the dash represents, all the time he spent alive on earth.

And how only those who loved him know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own; the cars, the house, the cash, what matters most is how we live and love and how we spend our dash…

So think about this long and hard. Are there things you'd like to change?

For you never know how much time is left, that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough, to consider what is true and real.

And always try to understand, the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more,and love the people in our lives like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile…Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life's actions to rehashwould you be proud of the things they say and how your spent your dash?

by Linda Ellis

One night

For the past few weeks I have been in a near manic frenzy trying to get things done and organized. I wasn't really sure what was driving me to such madness but I think I know now. I was prepparing for the tidal wave. This night last year, and the week that followed it, is swimming in my head and I have been doing my best to keep ontop of it.'s quiet. Everything is done and it's time to talk about how everything in my life changed on this night one year ago.

One year... good god, how can I possibly even begin to start to conquer what this day means and explain how everything in my life changed starting with this night last year. Everyone has heard someone say that your life can change in an instant. Sometimes you get to know what those moments are and sometimes they slip past you and you can try and try to figure out when it all flipped but never pin it down. But sometimes, those moments are Mack trucks barreling down the highway and smack into you and hit you so hard you explode like a watermelon being dropped off a 10 story building. That would be a pretty good visual of what happened to me this night last year.

Note: I am going to retell my tale from my own point of view. I need to be very clear that I am sharing my story and will share events to the best of my oh-so fragmented recollection. It is not my intention to share any one's story but mine- my family never asked to be featured in my blog so I do my best to respect their privacy. While the following events obviously impacted my family and friends it is not my place to tell their stories and I have always tried hard in this space to tell only my story and not theirs. Nor have I consulted with anyone of my family members to compare notes of what happened or how it happened. I don't fully trust my own memories but they are all I have, they may not be accurate but its how it happened in my head so I apologize in advance (to everyone) for anything that is incorrect. I just want to capture it for myself and save what I can.

I had been home from Christmas for 4 days. I flew home on 12/27 (my mother's birthday) and was so glad to be back in my world. I unpacked, did my laundry and settled back into my life in AZ after 10 long days in the cold midwest deep freeze. I must have gone back to work for one day but for the life of me I can't recall going. I had only just started my job and was feeling guilty taking 10 days off after just being there for 2 weeks. I am not a big New Year's eve party person on my best days and after being gone for so long I was very much looking forward to a quiet night. When I was back home my sister made me hot chocolate every night and I was missing it so when I got home I made myself a big steaming mug of it and laced it liberally with Bailey's Carmel- a drink I was denied by my siblings at our xmas eve party and a drink I have never had since. I was all ready to snuggle in for a long night of ball dropping and movies.

My phone rang and it was my sister. She had said that my niece had decorated for a little New year's eve party but she had a bad feeling and needed to find my brother Troy. No one had seen him or spoke to him and she was worried. She said she was headed over to his house and she would call me later. I hung up and was worried but in that "it will be fine, he's just laying low" kinda way. Besides, being so far away there isn't much I could do anyways.

I sat and slurped down my cocoa feeling all warm from the inside out. I was curled up on the couch and getting kinda sleepy when my phone rang again.....(que the Mack truck). It was Toni and she was crying. She said "the worst has happened". I asked what she meant and she said she found Troy and he was dead. I remember hearing the words and understanding but not feeling anything. I just could not process the information. I asked her again what she meant and she said she had found Troy in his truck and he was gone. I don't remember the rest of the conversation other than she explained that my Dad and stepmom were on their way to his house and the police were going to be getting a hold of my sister in law and the kids who were in Minneapolis visiting her sister. She had to go and talk to the cops but asked me to call our mother and my brother Cory. I said I would and hung up.

I started to dial the phone but hung up. What if I was wrong, what if I heard her wrong. I could not tell anyone this and be wrong about it so I called Toni back and asked her again. She confirmed it and I could tell she was falling apart and she told me I needed to get home as soon as I could. I hung up again and I remember looking at my glass of hot chocolate thinking how good it was and how in the course of drinking one mug my life was shattered.

I called Cory first and he was driving somewhere. I heard his voice and that wa the first time I started to cry and break down. I told himwhat happened and what was going on. He snapped right into crisis mode and was very stoic with me. I was so mad at him for that. I wanted him to break down with me but he went right into some kind of emergency checklist of "things to do in a crisis". I guess falling apart wasn't on his to-do list. I told him I was going to call mom next and hung up and dialed my mother.

Have you ever had to tell someone their child is dead? It's not something I hope anyone ever has to experience. I was fully aware of the responsibility I had in delivering this news but I felt so guilty already that Toni was shouldering most of the drama and I wasn't able to help her, but this was mine to do. I called Mom and I was full on sobbing at this point. I needed to tell her this awful news but at the same time I needed my mommy and wanted her to comfort me before she even knew what it was I had to say. I was still physically in Phoenix but emotionally I was 1000% in Iowa. She answered and I think I just blurted it out, there is no tactful way to tell someone their son is dead is there? I just remember her scream, not a shrill scream more just actually hearing the emotion of "anguish." I had never really heard anguish before but that had to be what it sounds like. My stepfather was in the background and she repeated it to him and I heard his cry of "Noooo". I don't remember what else was said, really what else was there to say after that? At some point later on I spoke to Toni again to let her know I had informed Mom and Cory, they were headed home at last and the whirlwind of what was to come started to whip into high gear.

For my part, my only job was to GET HOME. I have never had to fly somewhere on the spur of the moment before so I had no idea what to do or what it would cost. I had heard that airlines offered discounts in such instances so I got online and called a few airlines that I knew flew to Iowa and apparently they don't offer that anymore. I checked flights and got a direct flight the next day- no clue at all of how long I'd be gone just a frantic need to GET HOME. I didn't want to deal with switching planes so the first flight I could get left at 7pm the next day getting into Des Moines at midnight. I booked the one way flight and grabbed my suitcase that I had only just put away and repacked the clothes I had just washed and put away. I packed my bag and the came back to my living room and sat down. Numb, empty, alone, powerless.

I must have emailed my boss while I was online to tell him what had happened and that I was going home and had no idea when I would be back. I must have... but I don't remember doing it.

I have never heard such a silence in my life as being alone in my house that night. Everyone I loved was in crushing, agonizing pain and I was alone and powerless to do anything to help. I just sat there and felt my soul begin to bleed.

I looked at my phone. Who do you call. Who in the fucking hell do you call at 10pm on new year's fucking eve and tell them your brother is dead? No one- that's who. You call your sister and give her your flight info and there is only so much you can say after that other than hear her say "I wish you were here, I need you here." You sit and let the slient tears flow, the firsts of thousands to come. You wait for the time to pass and you aren't going to sleep and you know, without a doubt that it will not be a very happy new year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Sunday, December 28, 2008


Current mood: giddy

Category: Life

I am sooooo gonna scream. I just typed out the world's best blog entry (I am certain of it) and it all just disappeared for no damn reason. Ok, my computer programming teacher always joked that it types in faster the second time so we will see if he is right....although if he was here and said that I think I'd have to kick him in the nuts first.

Well there is alot going on in Tracey's brain so I will try to recap with the same technicolor details and brilliance I just did in my last entry which only the little pixels out in cyber space ever got to see (I'm over it, moving on- I swear).

The Diet

As I mentioned today was my doctor's appt at the weight loss clinic. I have been dreading the visit ever since last month when Dr. Flores said she was going to have me take a few weeks off, a few being 6-8 which sounds like forever when you are trying to hit a goal. I was fully preparred to try and get her to come down to just 4 weeks but she had her devious plan all laid out- damn her! I told her that I feel like I have gone through rehab and have been living in the Halfway House. That has been going well, plenty of tempation around but I am "working the program" and sticking to my guns. Now I am being told I have to (temporarily) move out of the Halfway House and into th "real world". This is a very very scary place and one I have never even visited. Never in my life have I ever eaten a healthy diet. I have no idea what that looks like. I am all safe and secure here in my world of this diet. It has rules and structure and I know what to do and what to expect. The real world is vast and scary and it sets you up to fail with every option.

But, this isn't their first time at the rodeo and Dr. Flores had a plan for me. Basically I am going to be going from 800 calories a day to 1200. I should still lose at that level but not a quickly and will give my body a breather after shedding 158 lbs (**update) in 9 months. I will still be going in to weigh in once a week so they can monitor me and I so weigh myself every morning (and who ever thought I'd be a person who hoped on the scale first thing each a.m.- one guess...not me!)
How will I do this? Over the next 2 weeks I will first add in lunch and then breakfast to my know, like "normal" people eat. Weird.

Lunch....doesn't sound scary does it? It sounds like a perfectly friendly meal that just sits there in the middle of the day waiting for you. A meal so umremarkable that if you aren't watching the clock you might miss it. So why is lunch such a hugh step for me? Well for starters I haven't had lunch since March- literally. And I mentioned the plan the doctor gave me right?
Here is the sample lunch they list for me:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on two slices of lite bread with 2 tbsp peanut butter and 2 tsps jelly
1 C raw salad greens
2 tbsp reduced-fat salad dressing
8 floz water

Ummm, show of hands the last time you had a salad with your PB&J?? Anyone? Yeah, me neither....not that I would know I guess but really now...salad? Really?? And what happens if I mix up my tbsp and tsp's?? Yeah, so like anything I am going to have to take what they give me and try to bend it to what works for me. Should be interesting...stay tuned.
I was actully thinking of grabbing some of the Scottsdale (aka- rich trophy wives) Ladies who Lunch to ask some advice. These chicks have made lunch into an all day artform and they are all skinny bitches. They gotta know something the rest of us don't!

I also have to keep a food journal so I can get a feel for how many calories a day I am eating and what a "normal, healthy" diet looks like. As I clearly have no clue about this I was a very good little solider and went right to Border's (love gift cards) after my appt and bought "The Dieter's Diary" (with places to record every calorie consumed every day) and "The Ultimate Calorie, Card & Fat Gram Counter" (cuz seriously, haven't a clue here) as well as the American Heart Association's "Low Fat Low Cholestrol Cookbook" (at least it will looks pretty on my shelf, I don't cook- sue me). Tools for battle my friends, make no mistakes.

My days will now look like this:

7:30 am- shake (what I am doing now)

10 am- soup or cookie

12 pm- lunch (???)

2 pm- cookie

4pm- cookie

6ish pm- dinner (same as now)

Next week we add in breakfast which will be a whole other thing. I have never been a big breakfast person even though I understand that it kicks starts your metabolism, yadda yadda yadda....we will see how that goes but that is next week's problem.

Dr. Flores is also going to see about getting my some referrals for a nip/tuck. I am really freaked out about that as I have never had any surgery or ever been hosptialized but there is not way around the fact I am going to need it and I won't feel "done" until it happens. This will be Phase II and frankly is tomorrow's problem but just throwing it out there as it is part of the Master Plan. Phase I is to reach my goal weight of 145 by the end of June. This "break" put a curve into my schedule but I should still be able to hit it by then. The end of June even adds in a bit of wiggle room as I know the last few pounds will be the hardest to get off. That seems as unfair as loosing weight in your boobs first. Someone, somewhere has a real sick sense of humor I gotta say.

Ontop of all this change today was Dr. Flores last day. She was very cute and actually pouted a bit at the thought of not keeping up with me but I gave her my info so we can keep in touch and she may even be reading this blog right now (hi!). She is great and I will miss her but I feel ok about this new plan....until I start it tomorrow that is...

I have to throw this in sidenote if you will....I went shopping today (had to use a coupon, yes I did too have to!) and I got some new clothes. I am now wearing size 14/16. Now this is remarkable because I don't ever remember wearing size 14/16 ever. Pants and shirts for the record. It just makes such a difference wearing clothes that fit. I tried them on thinking they would be snug but yay- they fit! Another step in thr right direction and I am giving away faster than I am buying new because I have no intention of ever going back!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Current mood: sad

Category: Life

So the good news is I just won myself a new ipod off ebay. The bad news is my brother is still dead.

I picked up my mail on the way in the house after work today (4 day weekend- yay!) and there was a card from my sister with 2 gift cards. One was for Barnes and Noble so I went online and used that one right away and the other was for ebay. I am not an ebay person so this was a bit random (although greatly appreciated) so I hoped online to use it cuz if I don't use it now I will find in a year and wonder- wtf is this? The only thing in the world materialistically speaking I want is an ipod nano. Its been on my list for awhile so I decided to check them out. I found an auction with 10 mins left so I placed my bid. At 2 mins I was almost outbid but was able to counter and I won! (suckers!!) I now have a new pink nano for $112 minus the $50 gift card. So yay me.

But my brother is still dead.

I have been trying very very hard since last night to do something my niece and I talked about (and by talk I mean IM of course) last week. Sadness right now feels like a huge bone-crushing wave that is just about to overtake us. Now we have a decision to make. Do we give up and let it pull us under or do we try to swim on top of it? (just keep swimming) I have been doing my best to swim ontop of it. Work has been a stellar distraction. I have literally gutted the office (now that I am boss) and gone through all the files and every piece of paper in the place. There is literally not one single thing that does not have an organized, proper home right now. I have been using work to beat back the sadness like riot cops hold those sheilds in front of them to hold back the crowds. But now the office is closed until Monday and there is nothing left to do but let the memories come.

Without cracking open the entire can of family worms suffice to say that over the years my families xmas eve rountine has morphed and changed. What is tradition now, and has been for many years, is that we have a "sibling xmas" on xmas eve. When I am home we all gather at my sisters and exchange presents and sing and play games. I have to say my siblings are magnificant people all so this is always a very good time. The only downside is that I always have to keep an eye on my brother and sister to make sure they do not revert to our childhood and they start remembering how much fun it is to gang up on me and torture me. They are excellent button pushers as they were the ones who installed them originally.

Last year I was home and we did get together at my sister's house which is very much my primary home when I am in Iowa. I sleep at my Dad's but 90% of my time is spent at my sister's. We had gotten together at Troy's house the night or so before and played 80's singing games. To be fair we had to divide up the siblings, no fair to have 2 of us on any one team. We rock -way- too much.

Because that was so much fun when I was out shopping I had found the board game of the show "Singing Bee". We sat in a big circle and started to play. As per usual we quickly abanded the rules and just started reading the clues. It was a blast and we were horribly awesome at the game. Awesome at getting the right answers, horrible at the performance of the songs. The point of the game is to eventually get down to 2 players and have a "Final Countdown". Of course, no one on earth can hear that phrase and not sing the song right? Dooo do dot we sang it, a lot. I mean a HELLA lot and it cracked us all up to no end. (**and is now my text alert as a reminder of this night).

We eventually exchanged gifts and I had gotten Troy's name. I didn't shop in Phoenix so I had to do all my shopping last minute in Iowa and got his gift at Target. It was a complete afterthought. No effort whatsoever was put into it. I didn't even remember to grab him something until I was checking out and I just grabbed the new Dane Cook comedy CD thinking funny is better than mushy this year. So I gave it to him along with some books I was going to pass on to him anyways (the 3 of us had gotten into a book club of sorts where we shared the books we read- Toni and I are consistent but Troy playing with us was new and cool). So that was my gift, my last gift to my brother. He liked it I think, not sure if he ever listened to the CD but I hope so, and I hope it made him laugh. He had a great laugh.

We talked and played and everyone drank all the carmel Bailey's I had bought to get good and sloshed on. I think I had one drink before it was all gone (damn them all). And then Troy, Debbie, Nolan and Holli got their coats and left. We are big on hugging when we leave so I gave everyone a big hug and told everyone our family catchphrase "loveubye". (You have to say it as one word or it doesn't count) So I was standing by the front door and Troy came up to me and I gave him a big hug and told him "loveubye". Then he left without me having any idea in the whole world it would be the last time I ever saw him, spoke to him, touched him or got to hug him ever again in my life. Never ever again.

I have wondered since that night if I had known what was going to happen what I might have said to him... There are a million options but I guess they all boil down to a version of what we always say to each other or text to each other when we part.

loveubye...what else can you say? And as last words go to say to someone you love so very much, I guess they are better than most. I am glad I got to say them to him and they will hover in the air around the memory of that night, this night a year ago, forever.

loveubye Troy....I am thinking of you

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bean Bag

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bean Bag

Current mood: accomplished

Category: Life

I have been a busy little beaver this weekend (eww, don't go there). Now that I am the H.B.I.C. at my office (Head Bitch In Charge) I have been in a bit of a frenzy going through files and organizing. I also bought a fake tree. This is to become our TREE OF PROSPERITY. The only problem with it was it was filthy! Hey, what do you expect for a $10 fake tree from Goodwill. It literally took me like an hour to dust it off and see that the leaves are indeed green and not beige. I did clean it and re-arrange the branches so it looks all full and lush (and dust free!) so here's hoping it does it's job, all while adding a certain home-y touch to the office. I also did a cleansing with a sage stick. Believe what you want but if it was good enough for the Native American Spirit Leaders it is good enough for me. The only draw back is now I smell like a doobie. Hmmmm
So if you saw my newest pic you might be aware I have "officially" hit being down 150 lbs. That is 16lbs a month for 9 months if you are playing the home game. And by official I mean I am not just saying "close enough, rounding up!". If you look at my myspace photo gallery you can obsess right along with me the full legth pics I have taken this year and scrutinize every detail and see what has changed and where. It's kept me busy for hours and hours this weekend. Like how sad does my deflated chin look. Oh I know you noticed too! If you do compare my new pic to that simulated pic of me down 50lbs you can see they were a bit generous on the hips shrinking but my face is def. thinner in real time. Sooooo gonna need nipped and tucked but that is a problem for another day.

I have decided I am a bean bag. You know, the kind you threw at school festivals or that tic tac toe game where the blocks spun? I still have plenty of beans in the bag but there is way more sack than beans. Yup, that's me- a squishy bean bag.

I go to the doc next week and get instructions for my "month off". The doctor wants me to go up to 1400-1600 calories a day from the 800 I am on now. I am more than a bit freaked out by this but I will not leave until I have VERY specific instructions. This will be a good trial run for when I get into maintance phase but its still freaks me out. My goal is to be at or about 145 by the end of June. We will see how it goes. When I come back I think I will go ahead and start on the "new"cookies. They are smaller and taste more like real cookies- in fact they remind me of the cereal Cookie Crisp- anyone remember that? And I guess they have more nutrients stuffed in 'em cuz you don't have to take as many supplements as I do now when you are eating these guys. They are supposed to be coming out with more options (soups, chips, shakes) too so I guess I will try it.

Aside from that I am just gliding along. I haven't been thinking much about the Holidays. Just not on my radar. Work is an excellent distraction which is a good thing. I am sure it will hit me on the day but for now I am staying above the waves.

I do wish you are yours the best-do me a favor and make sure you tell everyone you love how much they mean to you. Life is too short not to love as much as you can everyday!

My love goes out to each of you....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Today was a good day

Monday, December 15, 2008

Today was a good day

Current mood: excited

Category: Life

I know I know, yes you are still reading MY blog. It's shocking but true- today was a GOOD DAY!!

It has a sad prequel which is one of my co-workers was laid off due to the economy. She is fantastic and fabulous and I know she will land on her 5 inch heels in a much much better role. Love ya doll! But it is the nature of our business (staffing/recruiting) that things can, will, and often do change so there are really no shocks left anymore.

So the good part is that after one year and 3 managers at my office -I- am now overseeing the entire Phoenix office!! For those of you who haven't a clue what I do...well I am not gonna give you the gritty detail but suffice to say that recruiting has 2 arms- executive search and staffing. In executive search (my speciality) all our placements are permanate. We make the match then my candidates work directly for my client. On the staffing side the hires are temp or temp to perm. I have never dealt with this side of the business, and in fact have avoided it like the plague up until now but I am excited to take on a new challenge and will have a LOT to learn.I'll be going to corp to a staffing boot camp after the Holidays.

Change is good and having a new big challenge I think will put me back in control of my world. I am always best under pressure and the pressure is most certainly ON. I will have a new team to mentor and help grow which is something I am very passionate about. In fact my admin today was the best part of my day. She totally stepped up to the new roles and responsibilites she will have now and we both dug in and spent the day gettting organized and prepared for the new year. I had my doubts about her but I was thrilled at her reaction to the changes- including some very straight talk about some things that hadn't been going well. In one convo I saw a total turn around in attitude and enthusiasm.

My new recruiter will start after the first of the year and if all goes well I will add another after the first quarter. Everything happens for a reason and I gotta believe this opportunity is my chance to finally swing across to the other side and finally leave this horrible, hideous year behind me and wipe the slate clean.

Yay! Oh....and I am getting a shiny new phone tomorrow for FREE. Free and shiny, 2 great tastes that taste great together!! hehehehe- qwerty keyboard here I come!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My own Virginia

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My own Virginia

Current mood: Loved

Category: Life

I have had the pleasure and joy of having my very own Virginia in my life and every year she has faithfully (and at my request) read me the letter "Yes Virgina, there is a Santa Claus". After an evening of watching Christmas specials I am moved to share my most cherished Christmas memory with you. My own Virginia is my grandmother and it was always almost magical that this letter was about another Virginia. It made me feel very special and proud to have a Virginia of my own in my life and her love and influence has touched me everyday. She even gave me my middle name which was her first daughter's middle name- Sandy Luann. Sandy died when she was 17 so I have always been proud to carry her name and have tried to be as good a grand-daughter as she was a daughter.

My Grandma didn't just share this story with my family. For many years she was a Foster Grandma for the kindergartner classes at United School. Every year, ever new class she would tell the story and would add her own spin to it, hey it was her right- she had the name to do it! I have often wondered if any of those kids grew up with a special place in their heart for that story because of how my Grandma would tell it with such love and animation.

I hope she will always know that there will never be a Christmas as long as I live that I won't read this letter at Christmas and be very very grateful and filled with love for the wonderful Virginia I got to have in my life and am even more honored to have this year.

I love you Grandma sooooo much. Thanks for being MY Virginia!!

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. "Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. "Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' "Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?"


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia,

nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Canned food and shotguns

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Canned food and shotguns

Current mood: Purged

Category: Life

If I had any money to invest that is where I'd sink it- with canned food and shotguns you pretty much have your worst case scenario's covered. However, as I have no means to invest in anything other than those items which directly benefit Tracey Inc. right now I have been semi-obsessed with doing other things to prep for hard times (while wishing for good of course).
I have been cutting down on extra's of course, as are many people. I just got my xmas present from my father (it was a check- always the right size and color) and I went online and bought 2 new pairs of shoes (love Zappo's) but when I got them I had second thoughts and sent them back (they have the easiest return policy ever!) What I didn't spend on the shoes I put directly towardds paying down my credit cards. Further than that, I find myself stocking up on the basics. I just went to the grocery store and I bought: papertowels (generic), paper plates (generic), TP (never generic, my butt deserves the best however I bought the brand on sale), garbage bags, toothpaste and laundry detergent- all the lowest price brands I could find. I didn't need any of those things per se but its all the things I could think of that I'd need no matter what and it just seems like a good idea to stock up on those items.

I also have been thinning out my belongings. After coming from a long line of pack rats and garage sale specialists, once on my own I began to appreciate the minimalists and do my best to keep clutter to its barest form and I reguarlly give stuff to Goodwill. Right now I have stripped my wardrobe down to what I wear often and have given the rest to charity or sent home to my sister. Today I was going through drawers and closets looking for anything I didn't need. I guess my logic is that if I don't need it or use it maybe someone else can or will so let them have it. I have been making trips out to the car all day and now have the back of my SVU pretty full of stuff to haul to Goodwill tomorrow. I really like that feeling of knowing everything I have is what I love and need. Nothing extra.

At first it seems odd to be hoarding some items but purging others but it fits to me. I also am on a mission to use some surplus items I have. I gathered together all my cosmetic items into a box and threw out everything over a year old (which you should do, well...once a year) and found I have dozens of bottles and tubes of lotion. How the heck I accumulated so many I have no idea (and ironically today I get a gift card in the mail from- Bath and Body). So now Operation Moisturize is in full effect! I will not buy another bottle of lotion until I have worked through my entire secret stash! Same goes for body wash too BUT the good news is that no one, but no one will be able to say I stink for the forseeable future! And I'll have soft supple skin-ooooh!

I also have dozens of pads of paper and notebooks in various stages of use. I went through them all and tore out all used sheets so now I guess I have to find stuff to physically write down to get through all these sheets of paper. Anyone need a quick haiku jotted down for them?
I don't know if I am the only one who feels this compulsion but it feels like the right thing to do right now. Buy it if you need it and will use it and if you don't need it- give it to someone who does!

Personal and Professional Goals for 2009


1. Hit goal weight of (at or about) 145 lbs
2. Get clean bill of health (cholesterol, lymphodema)
3. Begin a exercise program, in addition to yoga
4. Spend quality time with my family- go home for a visit
5. Get a pet
6. Pay off all credit cards- raise credit score
7. Write more- get blog more readers
8. Paint my condo
9. Take art class
10. DOE (depending on economy) re-enroll and finish degree


1. Bill min of 200k perm
2. Build staffing to profitable (x)
3. Have 10 new billing clients plus bill with all 6 current clients
4. Lead Phoenix office to top 3 TriStaff offices
5. Support Michael to build billing clients
6. Focus on activity- self and team
7. Hire new recruiter/office manager
8. Become VP of AZSalesPro’s
9. Build TriStaff brand in Phoenix- RankingAZ, etc
10. Write professional articles (AZ Republic, SJN)

Ok, so these are my goals for 2009. I invite you all to put together your own goals and if you would care to share them I think there is a BIG value in letting others know what you want to accomplish and asking them to help hold you accountable and keep you on track and focused on meeting and exceeding your goals.
I wish everyone luck in whatever you plan for next year!

Go forth in HOPE

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Go forth in HOPE

Current mood: inspired

Category: Life

Tough times don't last, tough people do.

There is no denying that these are tough times. We all have our own challenges and struggles that make this a particularly tough period of our lives. God knows I have my own little daily drama that I have a starring role in everyday and I would probably have every one's sympathy and support if I curled into a little ball and tried to hide and wait out the horrible waves that are crashing down upon me. BUT what good would that do? I choose to be an active participant in my own life and live and die by my choices. I choose not to give in to the sadness and the thousands of great reasons (or more accurately, excuses) to give up and not try and let life happen to me- come what may.

I haven't been doing all I could or should to keep all the plates in my life spinning so I need to dedicate more time and resources to taking care of those critical things cuz I do not have much of a safety net right now. If I lost my job tomorrow I would be in a world of hurt and for many of us that is a very clear possibility. I talk to people all the time about how to set yourself up for success. Always market yourself and keep networking. Always keep your eye on the prize and options open while staying focused on doing a great job where you are. Now is NOT the time to let the bad economy be your excuse to give up and not do what you know you need to do. Now IS the time to dig in and do 100% more than you used to and hope it gets you half as far.

I am starting to work on my own 2009 personal and professional goals and start thinking about what I want to create with my life next year. As crazy as life is right now I really do believe we are on the edge of greatness. Say what you will about our President-Elect but I can never remember having such a charismatic leader who has inspired such hope in the world. Now that he has the gig he has to execute but it is our job as citizens to make that job as easy as possible by having some hope and faith in his leadership and the power of change. We are always stronger as individuals and as a people when we come from a place of hope. Hope breeds strength and confidence and the will to MAKE IT HAPPEN. It is the oven from which creative thoughts and ideas are baked into reality. Amazing things can and will happen in the next year. Yes, some challenging things will happen too but even from them the most amazing moments can arise.

I call upon the world to take ownership of your role in this challenging time and believe in the power of change, believe things are going to get better and whatever you can offer as a solution- even if it is as little as using cloth bags for your groceries- DO IT NOW and commit to doing it everyday.

And most of all, more critical than anything else. Believe in the extraordinary and go forth in hope....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Who- can save me?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Who can save me?

Current mood: grateful

Category: Life

I have said it before, my biggest goal behind writing this blog is it gives me some perspective and clarity into my own issues. As many of my nearest and dearest know I am big on dishing out the advice. One of my most beloved friends and I even call it having "WWTD" moments (what would tracey do?) heh

See... I can dole out the advice for everyone else BUT myself. However when I write out my issues and then come back and re-read them (which is only kinda fun cuz I already know how it ends) I can get some distance and perspective.

Ok- so what I have figured out from this last series of events is that I went into to the dating world with what started as the right intentions (flirting, having fun, meet new people) but what it quickly turned into was a hunt for someone to rescue and take care of me. I have been on my own for so long (please note I did NOT say lonely, there is a big difference between being alone and being lonely) that I just went overboard frankly. Of course those who know we well know it is beyond ironic that I would want anyone to save or rescue me- a job that I make quite clear does NOT need filling to almost everyone who knows me. During the week I was home for my brother's funeral my brother-in-law did a great job of really stepping up and taking care of the family. In a quiet moment my sister told me how glad she was to have him because he has been her "soft place to land". That phrase hit my heart and has stuck with me ever since. I think with the holidays looming I almost went into panic mode over the thought of being alone and wanting my own "soft place to land". I wanted to find someone who will be there for me and take care of me and hold me and protect me. I spend all my time trying to be strong for my family I got carried away with the ideal of having someone be that for me....

-and then something wonderous happened in Who-ville-

I started deleting "toxic" people from my phone. You know, those who get all the texts in our weaker moments?? Yeah, them. Gone. All gone. And as I deleted those 4-5 people I was scrolling through the 100 other entries in my phone. Most of them who are people who already love me, have been there for me, would LOVE for me to call them and who would do anything to rescue me and be MY soft place to land!

And you are probably even reading this message right now cheering at the idea that this notion has finally sunk into my head!

Well, it has and it is appreciated and I think the next phase of my healing is to not look for any outside force to "fix" or heal me OR hide away and do it all on my own...but to truly allow the love and support that has been around me for so long sink into me and fill up all those dark and lonely places because I do know you love me and want to help me and that you will always be there for me. I do know it and appreciate it and I will do my best to reach out in that moment and not just let you read about it later. :)

::::and what happened next on that glorious day? Well our hero's heart grew 3 sizes they say!!::::::::

I love you all and am utterly grateful for you....thanks for being my friend.

Thank you for saving me.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Speaking of dark and is a bit about my love life

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Speaking of dark and is a bit about my love life

Current mood: amused

Category: Life

So one of the good by products of losing a bunch of weight is you are looking better, feeling better and you want to show it off right? Well ,that is what I decided to do a few weeks ago. I have a friend who has been heavy into the dating scene and asked him how he was meeting people. He told me the names of a few dating sites he has used and suggested I get myself "out there".
Now...back in the D when I lived in Chicago I did the online dating thing a lot so I have no issue or judgements about doing it at all but I am in a unique situation right now. I have never had any illusions about how I look and the judgements people have. It's not about size or beauty it is about asthetics and yet there are a huge group of people (let's call this group "the men I want" for arguments sake) who do judge and when asked want a "trim, athletic girl who takes care of herself". They tend to not be terribly interested in a work-in-progress like myself. However, its worth a shot right? You never know until you "get out there" and so it was with that attitude I grabbed a pole and headed out into cyber space to cast my line on a site called (I swear I am not making this up) One of my friends asked if they named it that because Plenty of P*ssy was taken and I gotta say, I couldn't argue...

So I have been on this site for about a month and here are the results of the 3 dates I have had so far....

Prequel: I very much realize that I am in the middle of a very drastic process and its hard to expect anyone to really grasp what has happened in my life the last year (least of all me). I like to think of myself as a low maintenance and drama free girl (even put that in my profile-ha!) and yet, one of my ex's did ohso kindly point out that "hot mess" might be a bit more accurate a description right now. Not through any fault of my own (of course not) but I do tend to be pretty emotional, on the verge of a major depression and am physcially changing a bit everyday. GOD I am such a catch...who wouldn't want me??

Also, I am totally outspoken when it comes to my very liberal views (let my gays get married, they have THE BEST receptions!!) and voted blue in this very very red state. I also have very few inhibitions (you call it "easy" I call it being 38 and what the hell are we waiting for?) and pretty much say every thought in my head, oh and I kinda think I am right about...well, most things (although I do admit it when I am wrong, never happy about it but do admit it).

Lastly, the diet. Really fucks with the dating process. I can't drink so there goes 70% of what gets suggested for a first date. I don't eat lunch so that only leaves dinner and it has to be someplace where I can eat healthy. Yeah, you try to pick a romantic restaurant that serves a "lite" menu. Seriously, make a list and send it to me. And while I may be inclined to not talk about the diet on the first date (obviously it opens a whole big can o worms) its hard to explain my restrictions without getting into it all and risk overwhelming my poor poor date.

Ok, you got the let us see what happens.

Bachelor 1- Jares

(I am not changing the names btw cuz well...fuck em and no one here knows them anyways screw it. )

Nice guy, in his 40's and his whole family is in CO. All kids are grown up. This is important because I do not have or want kids and don't really want to become a stepmommy dearest. We talked via IM on this site then talked on the phone. (Note- I do 90% of my business over the phone and I do know I have a pretty good voice so this part is always the most comfortable for me, this is my house and I am sooo in control at this point). We have great chemistry on the phone and talk well into the dark of saturday night. We make plans for dinner at 7pm and after texting and calling all day he ends up showing up at my house about 3:30. We hang out and have a lovely time (its code, figure itout) then go out for dinner (a bit backwards, so sue me). Then he leaves with the promise of getting together later in the week.

The next day I send a few texts (the grown up version of passing him a note during study hall) and no repsonse. Now I knew there was some work drama going on and some people were going to get let go. I did have a professional interest in this as I am a recruiter and wanted to offer my help. I got no reply and since we never talked about how we liked to communicate I let it go. I get hom that evening and then proceeded to have a series of highly emotional conversations with some family members which upset me greatly (read; I was a weeping, sobby hysterical mess) and I get online and see him there. Yay, a friendly face! So I send him and IM and get back the message "this user does not want to speak to you". Wow, burn. I was shocked. Totally stunned.
Ok....this is where I prove what a totally emotionally stable person I am BUT in my defense all it would have taken to avoid all this is ONE text saying "I'm tired, ttyl". :::sigh::::

So after getting this message I proceed to send...oh, about 10 texts, 2 emails and 3-4 vm's all with various versions of "wtf?" Yeah,......I'm not proud and TOTALLY ADMIT I over-reacted (see, I can admit when I am wrong). Needless to say I didn't hear from him. I did get a text the next day saying he was tired (couldn't have said that before??) and my reaction "has him very concerned" really?? Ya think? Hmmm, so that was that.

Update **I have had one more convo with him where I explained my state of mind and he said he was wrong as well but as of today have not got together again.

Bachelor 2- Eric

I spoke to Eric via IM on a friday night then he called me. Had an OK convo but not a ton of chemistry but I thought we could hang out and be friends. We made dinner plans and since I wasn't drinking and he wanted to, I drove. We had a nice dinner (got into an arguement about gay marriage- told you I am liberal) but all in all a good time. We then went out for more drinks (him) and then came back to my house. He had mentioned it had "been ahwile" and really liked an aggressive, confident girl. He ended up, well....let's just say he had an issue I hadn't encounter since I stopped dating frat guys. Ugh.

He then ended up sleeping in the middle of my bed and when he left the next day (walk of shame baby). We spoke of having dinner as well as attending a networking event (he is launching a new biz and we were talking about getting out and marketing it). I gave him my card and told him to email me and I'd send him the info for the event. When I got into the office the next day I texted him and asked him for the email so I could forward the e-vite. By noon I hadn't heard from him so I called and left a vm asking for his email address to send him the stuff (just so I could delete it and check that off my "to-do" list) and asked when he wanted to do dinner. I got a text back later in the afternoon saying I was moving to fast and he was not looking for a relationship. Ummm,what? Since when is a 2nd date a relationship?? I told him that and informed him I was deleting his number from my phone (jsut safer that way- if they are in my phone I have weak moments and call) but if he wanted to be friends that was cool and he could call me.He replied that "friends is fine" and.....haven't heard from him since. Shocker.

Bachelor 3- Bob

Hot. Very hot...successful, sexy and all together yummy. We spoke right before Thanksgiving (yeah, this is fresh drama) and he had gone home to NM for the holiday. We had planned to go out on wednesday but had so much fun flirting we moved it up to dinner after his flight on sunday. The flight was delayed so we ended up meeting for drinks after work monday instead. Before we met he had told me he was "picky and shallow" so I told him let's forget it. If a guy describes himself that way I have no illusions that I will be able to leap that fence. He also said he was conservative and had high morals. (anyone else see the "danger, road closed ahead" sign yet? I sure didn't...and did I emphasis how hot he is??)

So we meet and click very well great convo he seems into me and keep talking about how impressed he is by me. I am feeling so comfortable I spill a ton of my last years events and he seems cool with it all. We walk to my car and he kisses me and it lasts for 20 mins. If I was Bobby Brady and my life was the Brady Bunch this would be the episode where fireworks go off after he has his first kiss (before he finds out she has the measels). He nearly caves on the whole morals thing (I live 5 mins away) but he holds and I don't push (cuz I am cool like that). We confirm we are going out on wednesday then we spend the rest of the night texting naughty things like we are 2 horny teenagers. I am literally twitterpated and let my hopes soar. He is my very own McDreamy and I am already thinking about all the fun things we can do. So I text and call the next day but hear nothing and by noon I have a sinking feeling and try to stay focused on my wor day. I get home and check my email to find a note from him saying he was sorry he let himself get carried away but had "no intension of seeing you ever again". He said he is way to conservative for me but wished me well. I was crushed and I tried to call but got nada response.


So...what have we learned boys and girls? Am I ready to date or am I WAY too much of a hot mess? Do I hold back and not share as much, but doing that would not be me and aren't you always supposed to be yourself and if they like you great, if not at least you were yourself? Do I keep trudging on or do I pull back until I am at the end of my transformation?
questions, questions, questions....ironically if anyone else had presented me this issue I could totally talk it out with them and come up with a solid plan and be supportive in the execution of said plan. But for me?I got nothing....

At this point I have no clue if I am going to keep trying to "get out there" or not....time will tell BUT here is the good news.


We now join our show already in progress...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

We now join our show already in progress...

Current mood: chill

Category: chill Life

It's time for a big update so those of you in my life who are in the inner circle and get the daily updates can skip this one (or just skip down to where it says CURRENT for the latest update) but I have picked up several new friends/readers over the last few months and for those of you who might wonder or have questions and don't have the time/desire to go back and read the archives (which is easier to do on my Blogger acct than it is on myspace- here is the Blogger link if you want to check that one out- it has pics!!
So let's start with what kicked off the need to write a blog. My brother Troy passed away on December 31, 2007. He was 42 and he killed himself. I had gone home for Christmas last year to spend time with my Grandma who is at the Eastern Star nursing home and so from the time I got there to the day I left I spent as much time as I could with her thinking it might be the last chance I got to see her- it is beyond ironic that it instead turned out to be the last time I saw my brother alive and have seen my Grandma several more times). She is in her 90's and her quality of life is slipping, as it does for anyone in their 90's. I flew back to Phoenix on the 27th of december and then on new years eve got the phone call that changed my life forever. I will go into more detail about that night and the events that followed later but suffice to say for now that my life got flipped upside down that day and hasn't landed yet. Everything is still in the air for me and my entire family. As it turns out we are not a group who is very good at getting over things...not that you could ever get over losing someone this way.

So, after spending a week back home to be with my family and then flying the longest and most painful flight of my life back to Phoenix I was alone. Very alone. I have lived alone for a long time and have often had to explain the difference of "being alone" and "being lonely" to married people especially but this is the first time in my life I felt frozen and isolated and utterly totally alone in the universe. I was in so much pain and couldn't reach out to anyone else because the only people who knew what I was going through werein just as much pain and couldn't help me.In fact, I have been taksed as being "the strong one" at a time when I was crumbling a bit more and more everyday. I had a lot of time to think and reflect and try to figure out answers to the 10,000 versions of the question "why" that thumped in my temples like a raging migraine. I saw what happened to my family after losing someone and I took a good long look in the mirror and thought about where I am in my life and if I am leading the kind of life I wanted. One of my favorite quotes is "your life is a reflection of your mind" and I could not say that I felt my life reflected who I feel like I am inside my mind and heart. SO....I decided to do what I could to make some good come out of losing my brother and give me something BIG to focus my energies on. Truth be told I had aleady been making the shift towards this path for months before but the death of my brother is def. the catalyst that was the final push to walk the plank.

On April 3, 2007 I began a program called Smart for Life. This is also known as the cookie diet but that is a bit misleading, tell you why in a second. The local radio station I listen to is KISS and one of the DJ's on there had been on this diet and lost over 100lbs. It sounded like a good fit for me so I checked it out then made an appt. The initial assessment includes an EKG, BMI (measure your Boby Mass Index) and metabolic blood work. Then they explain the diet which is an 800 calorie diet and your meals consist of these "cookies" you eat during the day (which are organic, and scientifically developed by a food scientist and are very dry "health food" like and do not taste like cookies!) and at night you have a "regular" meal of 6 oz of lean protein (no beef- chicken, fish and turkey) and 2 servings of veggies.

Now I have been on it awhile now so I sub out some of my cookies for the shakes and soups they have. At this point my daily food is 1 shake for breakfast (which equals 2 cookies) then I have one cookie about 10ish then for lunch I have soup (just started the soup and its soo good in the winter, guess it just never sounded good when it was 120 degrees out). Then before 5 I have 2 more cookies (been microwaving them now and it makes them taste better). There are 8 flavors of cookies but I stick with 2- banana and chocolate chip. The banana tastes a bit like banana bread when warm. The soup is the chicken soup- they have beef but I don't go there. At home I eat a lot of fish (throw a couple of frozen tilapia fillets in the oven) or I'll bake some chicken and have a salad or make some steamed veggies. I can have frozen dinners no more than 3 nights a week and they have to be under 300 calories. The Lean Cuisine fish entrees are my faves!
After my inital assessment I was advised to go to my doctor because I had a pretty severe wound on my leg. It had been developing for months and was causing my legs and feet to swell to the point where I could only wear flip flops and crocs for shoes (which was sooo much fun wearing back in Iowa in the winter). I had noticed months before that I had these bumps (acne like) that would burst and leak a clear fluid. They kept getting worse as I waited for it to get better and my legs and ankles swelled to the point where there was a deep ridge around my ankle that was getting raw and sore from all this fluid accumulating. So the doctor sent me to my doctor who didn't know what it was but sent me to the Wound Care Clinic. I went and for the first time hear the word "lymphodema". No one explained what that was but a lymphodema pump was perscribed which is a $4,000 piece of durable medical equipment which I was told was the only fix (it basically "milks" the accumulated fluid up and out of your legs by sequential squeezing) and which kicked off a 3 month battle with my insurance company to get said piece of equipment. In the meantime my wounds were getting much worse and the only thing the wound care doc was telling me was to keep the wounds dry. This meant taping 3-4 4x4 gauge pads together to cover the wound (it has spread that much) and my ankle wrapped to keep the crease as dry as possible. This went on for months until I was finally referred to the Lymphodema clinic at Scottsdale Healthcare. It took several weeks to get in but thank god I know the Director there so I was able to pull some strings and get an earlier appointment. This is where I learned what I had and what to do about it.

Lymphodema is a chronic condition, meaning I have it and will have it for the rest of my life. It is a failure of the lymph nodes to regualte the flow of lymphatic fluid through your body and in my case my legs were affected (some people have it in their arms). If you think of waiter doors- one swings in and one swings out door is broken so all the fluid accumulates in my legs and doesn't get pushed out properly). It very very often goes undiagnosed in overweight people because doctors attribute it to the weight and think more about the heart than the lymph system. I began treatment which was a very specific clincial massage and then wrapping my legs. If you have looked at my myspace pics those are what you see there. I started by keeping my legs wrapped 24/7 for almost 3 weeks while I was getting treatment and during that time I lost the equivalent of three 2 liter bottles of fluid from my legs and the wounds totally healed up. The next step was for me to wear compression stockings during the day (that nice, attractive medical stocking brown color of course) and wrap my legs up at night. Oh and the pump I fought like a banshee for with my insurance company that cost 4 grand? Yeah, didn't need it so much after all but I have it. It doesn't hurt using it but that alone never would have been affective.
At this point my leg care is: get out of bed, take off leg wrappings (5 layers of bandages), get ready for my day then put on the compression stockings (they basically just keep fluid from accumulating in my legs during the day). Get home, do 30 mins (down from an hour) of self massage in my lymph nodes (groin, neck, armpits and tummy) then by 8pm wrap up my legs. I have a special tool to wrap them because it takes a good 45 mins to wrap them manually and 25 mins to do it the bandage roller I bought. At least now that it is not 114 degrees is it not so bad wearing them and it was a great great day when I could start wearing "normal" shoes again!
I also wear bike shorts (compression shorts) at night to keep the lymphatic fluid from pooling in my thigh area or (gasp) gential area! Fun eh?

The prognosis for my legs is unknown. As I lose the weight it will lessen the pressure on the lymph nodes and I may be able to lose the wrapping at some point and just wear the compression stockings but this is chronic and will always be there so really only time will tell. So the rountine I just explained will be in place until....???

Still with me? Told you this was a super fun recap. OK, the blood work also confirmed that I have a thyroid isses which I knew and I got back on meds to correct that. I go every 6 weeks to get my blood checked and everything is fine. I get a full cholesterol panel done as well and my cholestrerol went from 240 to 177. All other functions (liver, sugars, etc...) are normal so I am being very careful about doing this weight loss thing as healthy as possible.

CURRENT: (in case anyone wanted to just skip to the good stuff) As you know I go every week to get weighed in and as of yesterday I am down a total of 147 lbs. The interesting news is the doctor wants me to take a break to let my body rest for a bit. Guess you can't live on 800 calories forever but I have obvious concerns of stopping before I hit my goal. My ultimate goal is to hit 145. That is the low end of the healthy range for my height/age/weight according to the BMI. I am not stuck on that number per se but it is the goal for now. I am scared to stop and lose momentum and what if I don't lose or even gain while I take this break? I will do what the doctor says because I do want to do what is best for my body but I am concerned. We shall see what happens.I guess she wants to take me up to 1400-1600 calories a day so I should still lose and be able to exercise more.

You may recall that I had talked about doing yoga and walking a mile a day? Well I had to stop that because I wasn't losing any weight. I was cutting into the core 600 you need to stay alive and keep your prgans functioning and my body was going into starvation mode so I had to cut the exercise for now. Which was bummer because I really liked it. So if I add in more calories I can do more. It's back to my analogy that your body is a car with a one day tank. You only put as much in the tank for as far as you want to go that day. If I put more in the tank I can do more.

Wow, that seems like a ton of information and I hope it catches everyone up. I have to admit that I have been very honest and open here knowing the small pool that has been following my adventures but now as I learn more people are reading it I am feeling a bit self conscious. I think it may be a high school reaction to because the Boone High Class of 88 has found Facebook and declared it to be the new "3rd floor". I guess I am hoping that there are no judgements thrown out there. The 38 year old me is all "I am a grown woman so who give a shit" but the 16 year old me still wants everyone to like me. Especially since so many of you still live around my family. I am all safe here in Phoenix but I have this little movie in my head where someone sees my sister or mother at Hy-Vee and proceeds to give a commentary on my blog. You can take the girl outta the small town...but her family still lives there.

But, at the end of the day this is my space to with what I want and I am putting it out there in truth, honesty and with the goal fo healing myself and doing the best I can to tell my story in my way.

If you have any question feel free to ask and I there will be much more to come....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Make a different choice

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Make a different choice

Current mood: focused

Category: Life

Ok, self ass kicking time. I preach and preach to the people in my life about taking accountability and responsibility for their lives and their choices. Life doesn't just happen to you, you control the events of your life with the choices that you make everyday and each day is anopportunity to make a difference choice. If you don't like what happened today then make a different choice tomorrow!

I have let myself slip into a dark place. As my sister told me last night- you don't need to read a blog to know where my head is at. I have been guilty of letting a few people really effect some personal choices and decisons I have made so it's high time that I am remind myself that -I- am in charge of my life. As much as I wish I could, I have not yet mastered the ability to make the kids play MY reindeer games (like the seasonal reference?? thought so...) but be warned- shit's gonna go down differently once I master the Jedi Mind trick!! (And I just watched Star Wars (the OG) last night so watch out!!)

So.....time to do what I can with what I have. I need to be a bit more selfish and realize that as I keep myself healthy and strong that will benefit everyone around me. I can't lift anyone up if I am sinking in the water myself. The first rule of emergency rescue is always secure your own safety first. That is what I need to do now. I will secure my own safety lines (wow, can you tell I watched Whale Wars today?) and make sure the first person I save- is myself.

I don't plan on being perfect and I'll probably stumble in the next few weeks but I am going to keep coming back to the line in the sand I am drawing right now and remember that TODAY I am making different choices that will set me up as best I can for tomorrow and beyond. I can, I will and I must succeed!

Friday, November 28, 2008

A letter for Bubba

Friday, November 28, 2008

A letter for Bubba

Current mood: sad

Category: Life

Dear Troy-

I have been writing this to you in my head for the past few weeks. That must be why you keep popping into my dreams. The dreams are always the same. So many people milling around and I somehow get you alone for one last chance to talk you out of it. One last moment to do what I can to change things and stop you. It never works and I wake up everyday feeling like I have failed you. One of my friends asked me if there is anything that could have changed things and I think we all know its a moot point. So many questions people ask me about you are pointless. "Why" is still the big one....people have this out of control need to have "x" as the reason and be able to put it all in a little cubbyhole so it makes sense and the world can be right again. I am getting tired of fighting the battle of trying to explain that the reason they are looking for is for them and doesn't matter one little bit to you or the people who love you. None of us will ever know what was going on in your head or heart and in the end- it does not matter at all.

I have been trying to focus on the good memories, really been making an effort but the holidays are looming like the biggest, darkest of clouds coming over the horizon and there is no escape. I will not be going home and while that does ease some tension and won't stress me financially it does mean that I will be here alone dealing with my own pain. I have tried to hard to be strong for the family and I don't think I have done enough- I know I haven't. I can use the excuse of distance but that doesn't matter. And certainly if someone doesn't want to be helped they won't be. I just wanted to badly to be the one who eased the pain of others and in many ways I think this past year has really put the spotlight on some fatal flaws and rifts in the family. I want to fix them all, I really do but at what expense? I want to talk about and really mend some of the issues that go back for years but if the other party doesn't want to look into that mirror and face that their actions hurt many people, what can you do? It's the nature of loving someone that they can hurt you the deepest and I am on my knees trying to fix or mend or at least be honest for the first time about the hurting but I am the bad guy then. Your way of dealing was just to unplug and "don't play". Somedays I think that is a great idea but then, that didn't work out so well for you did it?

I feel so lost most of the time. I wish I could call you at least once a day and tell you how wrong you were and explain what a hole you have left in everyone's life. How did you ever think that leaving us would help? It's been almost a year and I think everyone is still stuck. Everyone is hurting and at this point, I don't know what its going to take to get back on track. You can't really say get over it can you? I don't know how to get over losing you and I don't ever want to. I still don't know that I feel you with me but I have been assured many times that you are. I hope so, its a nice feeling thinking that I do have someone out there on my side, rooting for me and proud of me. I swear I am trying Troy and if you know what else I can be doing please find a way to let me know. You are missing so much and it hurts everytime something happens that I know would make you laugh or make you proud.

I don't know how to get through the next couple of weeks and I would rather abolish the holidays and never even aknowledge them ever again but I don't think the world will cooperate with me on that. So much is still broken and I can't fix it and that makes me crazy. It is so frustrating.

All I can say is I love you, I love you, I love you a million times and hope it reaches you and some of that peace that I hope you have found finds it's way into the hearts of everyone who loves you. That would be my holiday wish for everyone. Just one moment of perfect peace.
I love you and will hold you in my heart forever- you are my big brother and I hope you are there, protecting me and my heart and all the family the best way you can.

Your sis,


And because it means so much to me (and I hope you like it too)

From The Little Prince:"All men have the stars but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You–you alone–will have the stars as no one else has them–"

"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night… You–only you–will have stars that can laugh!"

"And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, 'Yes, the stars always make me laugh!'"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let them run free

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Let them run free

Current mood: exhausted

Category: Life

So it's finally happened....I knew it was a risk when I started this blog that at some point someone might get upset with what I write and now it has come to pass. This is sacred space to me where I can come and pour out the toxic thoughts that have literally posioned and killed people I love. This is where I can -in a safe place- give voice to those dark thoughts and release them so I can move on and maybe get some support along the way. What you read here tends to be my extremes, that is what drives me to write and to detox so yeah, if all you knew of me was this blog you might worry about my mental health and attitude and...whatever else. The truth is that 80% of the time I am fine but its that 20% that talks here. I guess that is where I give you guys some credit to realize this and know that there is plenty of OK stuff, there is some good stuff and yeah...there is plenty of bad.

Again, I appreciate the support and concern but please know that I am, will and do ask for help when I need it and if I post something here it may be a reaction to a specific event and part of me processing it and getting over it -is to post. It may not be how I feel an hour, day or week later but it was my honest emotion and reaction at the time. This is my inner chatter and where my dark thoughts (and some fun silly ones too) can run free. I am sharing it with you hopefully not to be judged by it but to give you some insight into my journey and what I struggle with on a daily basis. I own and take responsibility for everything I write here. I have chosen to do it to be 100% transparent about everything I am going through but if you have questions or concerns it is up to you to ask me about it directly. God knows I am not shy!!

So now because of all this drama my head hurts and I just want to crawl into bed. No need to send medics, just try to understand me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It’s like they know

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It’s like they know

Current mood: disappointed
Category: Life

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It’s like they know Current mood: disappointed Category: Life

My Horoscope for today (Cancer)

You have probably grown tired of being a caretaker to your boss, your peers, your friends and even your family. Don't waste energy being hard on yourself, for too much self-criticism can lead to despair without a healthy perspective. But it's a tricky balance, for obsessive-compulsive behavior could transform a whimsical thought into a manifesto. If at all possible, steal away for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.

This, in a nut shell, sums up my week so far.....why do I have to be the one to chase everyone down to get them to take advantage of great opportunities that I created for them? I want to help and I want to help great things happen for the people I love but when I don't even get the respect of a phone call (hell, even a text) then why should I even bother? If I am worthy of such little consideration and repsect then I frickin give up. Communication....closeness.....respect. I don't feel it. So screw em.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes we can

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes we can

Current mood: contemplative

Category: Life

Wow- it would be nearly impossible for anyone to put into words the emotions of a night like tonight. I don't care who you voted for or who you are, there is no denying that something in the world shifted today. Back in the day I was a psych/soc major which bascially means the people fascinate the shit outta me and watching cultural events like this are mind boggling. This is another "do you remember where you were when...." moment and we should all be grateful for the chance to have experienced a living slice of history unroll before us.

Tonight, for me anyways, it was hard to not think of 9/11 and how time just utterly stopped and the whole world just froze. It might seem wrong to compare such a happy event as tonight's election to that horrible day but it was perhaps the first time in my life a few things became clear. It was the first time I felt a real bond to my country, it was the first time I felt connected to every other American in the world and most importantly it was the first time I began to think about and know I had a duty to sacrifice for my country and my way of life.

Obama touched on those tonight so in a really beautiful way it brought back the best of that horrible moment in out history for me because it was mostly certainly one of the building blocks that will make up the tale of our generation. I had never before thought about the freedom I enjoy and how I was able to live the life I had ,just as I am sure kids of today don't give it a thought, but these freedoms were fought and paid for by the blood of people who died for this country. When the towers fell that was the first time I knew that my generation had to pay a price for freedom as well- that it wasn't just about stories from a history book. Everyone has to sacrifice and serve to earn the right to enjoy the things we take most for granted. As bad as the economic situation is (and its gonna get worse before it gets better) going through this time -and more importantly fighting our way out of it -and being better off for having fought and won the battle- is our price to pay. We have to bleed for our rights and freedoms the same as anyone who gets shipped off to Iraq.

Tonight we all felt a cool breeze blow by and it holds the promise of something new, something better, something we all hope we can accomplish but are to scared to reach out for... but it's there. We can grab it. We can CREATE something new because we wear the ruby slippers and we can do anything. Tonight we know that we aren't alone, we are all united and we do have to give back, and serve, and sacrifice. It is worth it. There is a price to pay but there are riches beyond our dreams to behold. It can happen and if we all do what we can(and there is no choice, it is our price to pay) we can create a new and better world so the next generation can have bigger dreams and create their own new world.

I challenge everyone to really reflect on what you can do beyond tonight to make a lasting change. Recycle, give to Goodwill, start a food drive for your local foodbanks, adopt a pet, mentor a child....whatever you have it in you to do. It's not -if- you can. It's your duty to do it. If it hurts (time, etc) well, others found time to make sacrifices you were able to benefit from right? Look deep into the mirror then make a list of all the things you -will- do and start doing them. Not just for today but make them a part of your life and start living a life of serving others. The more people we lift up the more people will be there to lift us when we stumble, as we all do from time to time. We could all do worse than to teach each other and take others examples to do more for others. What would the world look like if we all lead a more self-less life?

In the words of our new President....yes we can.

Sen. Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled ¿ Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation's next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House. And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics ¿ you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to ¿ it belongs to you.
I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington ¿ it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.
It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth.

This is your victory.

I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime ¿ two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America ¿ I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you ¿ we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years ¿ block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek ¿ it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers ¿ in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.
Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House ¿ a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends¿though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection." And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn ¿ I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world ¿ our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down ¿ we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security ¿ we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright ¿ tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America ¿ that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing ¿ Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons ¿ because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America ¿ the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves ¿ if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time ¿ to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth ¿ that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.