Psalm 23:4 - Pit Bull Translation

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for I am the baddest dog in the valley"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Death of a Laptop

(Taps playing in the background)..........

My laptop finally succumbed to years of use and abuse. I didn't get the dreaded blue screen; it can't even get that far. I don't know what to do. It's very old, should I replace it (like I have money for that HA HA)? Should I repair it? Are you kidding, they'd laugh at me it's so old. It might not even be worth the money to find out exactly what's wrong.

Fortunately I knew it was going and two days before it dropped dead I backed up the hard drive. That is how I know there is a G-d and he loves me. Because anyone who knows me, knows that only a miracle could override by ability to procrastinate and get that done.

I need advice. All I use the thing for is blogging, email/Internet and downloading photo's from my camera, which I then transfer to CD when I get enough to fill a CD, then delete. I also use it to copy CD's and DVD's.

What should I do?

RIP Rusty's Laptop, you served me well and I'll miss you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yes, there are good people out there.

The last week has been a difficult one. A couple of things happened that really rocked me. One I've completely put behind me and after the second one occurred it really highlighted how insignificant the first one really was. I know it's mean to do this but I can't talk about either one of them yet. For now you'll just have to know that it was a crappy week.

I usually work on Saturday nights but yesterday I switched shifts with another EMT so he could pick up another shift at another squad. So I worked during the day yesterday and was home last night. This morning I woke up, rested, at about 9 AM. I was ready to spend the day with the family and was looking forward to it. At 9:15 AM my cell phone rang and ruined all my plans. It was my boss. She asked me if I was planning to come to work today. At that very moment I remembered that I was supposed to be at work at 7 AM. Apparently they didn't notice I wasn't there until 9 AM (just kidding). My boss, being ever so empathetic told me to get my ass to work. She told me to shower when I got there. Of course I said sure, knowing that there is no way I am stepping foot in the showers at the squad. I told myself as I jumped in the shower that by the time I gathered all the necessary items to shower there I'd be done my shower. While I'm in the shower my husband asks what he can do to help me. I asked him to pack my breakfast. I didn't know what to tell him about lunch. So I get to work and we get a call right away. Then on the way back we were going to stop at the grocery store and as we were pulling into the parking lot we were dispatched to that very grocery store for a seizure patient. So I didn't get my lunch but we got there pretty quick to help him.

On the way back from the hospital we stop at a convenience store. I go in and get my food and I go to check out and my debit card is declined. I am surprised and don't really know what to do. All I have is the debit card, no cash, no other cards and me not eating a meal is very bad indeed. The clerk is kind but there isn't anything she can do. I go over to the ATM to check my balance and it tells me I have $2.00 in my checking account. That's it, it's over, no food for me. Dejected I walk back over to the clerk to tell her I don't have the money and to put the stuff back. As I'm walking over the gentleman who was standing behind me in line asks me if I have the money for my lunch. I told him I was embarrassed to say that I didn't. Bless his kind heart he offered to pay for my food. One of the tenants of OA is learning to accept help when you need it. I told him that my meal was expensive. You can find an abstinent meal at a convenience store but you're going to pay for it. He said it didn't matter, that he wanted to buy my meal. He told me he wanted to help me since I help others (don't forget I was in uniform). I was touched by his generosity and accepted his offer of help.

I need to remember that there are more good people than bad out there. His kindness meant more to me than he could ever know. Skipping meals can trigger cravings which could be a disaster. With his simple offer he may have prevented me making a bad decision. What could have really been the icing on the cake for this crappy week turned into a bright spot.

Thank you Mr. Elderly Gentleman. I hope you never need my services but I'll be there if you do.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pa Motor Vehicle Code: Chapter 33 Subchapter B 3325

§ 3325. Duty of driver on approach of emergency vehicle.

(a) General rule.--Upon the immediate approach of an emergency vehicle making use of an audible signal and visual signals meeting the requirements and standards set forth in regulations adopted by the department, the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway clear of any intersection and shall stop and remain in that position until the emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer or an appropriately attired person authorized to direct, control or regulate traffic. On one-way roadways a driver may comply by driving to the edge or curb which is nearest to the lane in which he is traveling.

I remember reading this (which was copied directly from PA Title 75 (that's the vehicle code folks)) when I took my written test to get my permit many moons ago. You would be surprised at how many people just do not know what to do when they see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching. Some people pull to the left, some try to out run you, some pull to the right but don't stop. That seems like it might work just fine, unless I need to make a right turn. Some times people just panic and slam on their brakes and stop in the middle of the roadway. They're my favorites.

Pull to the right and stop. Six words. Of course, lawyers and legislators expanded that to an entire paragraph but that sums it up.

I have no idea what the other 49 states have written in their vehicle codes. But probably without fail it would amount to pull to the right and stop. It's so simple it's hard to believe.

Well it does help if your music isn't turned up so loud you can't hear the sirens blaring. Or that you're so engrossed in your phone conversation that you don't notice the flashing red lights. But I'll save that rant for another post.

Hope this public service announcement clears up any confusion on what to do if you see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

100 Days

As of midnight last night I have completed 100 days of abstinence. No flour, no sugar, no alcohol, no compulsive eating and no binge foods. As of August 1st I have lost 36 lbs.

I can now wear clothes that haven't fit me in two years, maybe more. I can now grocery shop without anxiety.

I still have trouble making meals for my family that I can not eat. The Engineer is working hard at being patient.

I still go to at least three meetings a week. I talk to my sponsor almost every day. I diligently work the steps.

The first thirty days were hard. The next sixty flew by. The last ten have been difficult.

For every door I slam close on my disease it works diligently to find another way in. It is relentless. It looks for any opportunity to trip me up.

I pray daily for the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Before program these words meant nothing to me. Now they mean everything.

My Higher Power is my only defense. Self-will avails me nothing.

One day at a time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Comic Sans - Love it or Hate it ?

I admit it, I love comic sans. I'm going to make a bumper sticker that says just that. Oh, wait a minute, I forgot, I don't do bumper stickers. Okay, how about a magnet. "Don't hate me because I heart Comic Sans."

I know it is vilified by font elitists everywhere. I don't care. Now, of course, I know it doesn't belong in certain places, resumes and business letters come to mind. But if I want to type all my personal email in comic sans I'm going to and if you don't like it there's this key with "delete" written on it that I'm sure is fully functional on your keyboard.

Tough crap...font elitists, grammar police and food snobs everywhere can pound sand for all I care. I'm continuing to hold my head high as I sprinkle Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt on my food, use run on sentences, dangle my participles and send emails using comic sans.

Woe, you ask, how the heck did the grammar police and food snobs get sucked into my rant on font elitists. It just popped into my head so I let it run right out my fingers. It's why I have a blog in the first place. Have a great day!

Monday, August 9, 2010

It Started with a Blood Test: cont...

Before reading this post go back and read this one or it will make no sense. Unless of course you have an incredible memory for useless information, then you can just read on.

It took forever for the secondary test results to come back. They said 60 days and it was even longer than that. I can't imagine what the patient and his family were feeling during that time. I may never know. The good news is the results came back positive. I am a match. The bad news is the patients "situation" has changed and he is no longer a candidate for a bone marrow transplant. Now this could mean several things. The worst news would be that he died waiting. Or his condition could have worsened to the point that he wouldn't survive the necessary assault on his current bone marrow to prepare him for a transplant. The best news would be that he has gone into spontaneous remission and no longer needs a transplant. I don't know, and probably will never know what happened. I try to remain hopeful that he experienced a positive outcome but the cynical black cloud I carry around keeps me from accepting that possibility.

The consolation prize in all this is that my secondary test results are now on file. The next time I am a preliminary match there will be no waiting period to find out if I am a true match. Maybe someone else will benefit.

I pray that my brother in bone marrow has had a significant recovery and he should know that if that should ever change it will be my honor to share the gift of life with him.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Book Review: Food Addiction: The Body Knows

Book Review-Food Addiction: The Body Knows by Kay Sheppard

Hope your not expecting something literary. Because you're not going to get it.

One word description: Helpful

I finished this book a couple of months ago. It was a short easy read. It is not OA approved literature. I just wanted to make that clear. But my sponsor recommended it early on to help me build a food plan. It gives a clear description of food addiction and the long term effects. I didn't identify with it the way I do with the Big Book but the information was clearly stated. It offers several variations of food plans depending on your needs.

One chapter towards the end of the book discusses relapse. I found this chapter immensely helpful. Relapse doesn't occur with the first bite. There are clear warning signals prior to picking up the food. The author lists them clearly but some of her suggestions and questions to ask yourself to avoid the relapse I felt were pretty lame and didn't really address the issues. If I recognized myself in that chapter I would immediately put it down and turn to the Big Book. When it comes to solution that's where the answers lay (or is it lie, this grammar rule will torment me till the day I die).

The book was a tremendous help for setting up a food plan and the chapter on relapse was worth the price of the book. I bought this book at the suggestion of my sponsor and would recommend it as a small part of someones library on food addiction.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Today I rushed three tired kids out of bed and dragged them to an OA meeting. Before we left I made them take showers and eat breakfast. That's because after the meeting we were invited to a fellows house for lunch and a swim. And since my kids are typical they are not concerned with body odor or dirty fingernails. I on the other hand prefer not to smell them and I'm sure I am not the only adult who feels that way. I got the usual complaints: "I'm just going to swim anyway, I just took a shower (yeah, three days ago), nobody cares what I smell like (that's what you think) and many other combinations there of.

After the meeting we pile in the car and off we go. On the way, there is the usual chorus of complaints involving hunger and distance travelled. All of which I ignored like a pro.

We are the first to arrive. Which I found odd since we were the last to leave the meeting but what the heck it gives my kids first shot at the food that was kindly laid out for our dining pleasure. I brought my food but her fruit looked much nicer than mine so I ate that instead. A delicious combination of strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. But, once again I digress.

Anyway, getting slowly closer to the actual point.....

I had a really nice time. I ate my food and just relaxed and enjoyed the conversation. The kids swam and played with the other kids. The daughter of the host had just returned from a trip to Israel and spent over an hour with my girls showing them pictures and sharing stories of her adventure. After a few hours we packed up and headed home.

Here it comes folks, the moment you've been waiting for: The actual point of this....

On the way home this very strange sensation came over me. At first I didn't recognize it. After a few minutes I realized what I was feeling was just plain, simple joy. Nothing more, nothing less. A pleasant afternoon with friends and fellows. The sounds of kids playing. An abstinent meal. This is the direction that my life is heading. The feeling didn't last long. The continuing banter of the kids erupted into a debate over who poked who first and swept the feeling away but it was there, if only for a short time.

Another layer peeled away today. A ray of sunshine made it through, if only for a brief time. One day at a time. Today was a beautiful day.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Why have you forsaken me? blog proverb......

I must admit, for a while I forgot all about blogging. Not only has mine been neglected to the point that it might even be considered abandoned, I wasn't even following along on my favorites. How could this of happened? From a daily blogger to falling off a cliff some where? From someone who had something to say about everything to someone who had nothing to say at all?

It's not like there hasn't been anything happening. My journey in OA continues. My oldest and youngest celebrated birthdays. We finished up a very difficult school year. We added a guinea pig to our pack. We lost two of our chickens to heat stroke. Our broody little girl, Oreo, successfully hatched two chicks. Our flock of chickens continue to use our front walk as a potty station. We had a great party on the 4th of July. Our pool is finally completed and getting an almost daily workout. The neighbors little white fluffy dog continues to torment and harass Mickey. My mother in law visited for almost two weeks. The Scientist has a new obsession. She also completed an almost three month experiment that had three chickens living in our garage. How another kids love of team sports was spoiled by over zealous parents. Camping trips and migraines. There is never a dull moment.

All of this makes for great material. Okay, maybe "great" is a little strong, but I hope it is at least somewhat interesting to someone somewhere. So I hope to share some of these stories with you. Maybe even come up with something else to ramble on about.

What I really want is to start writing again. Mindless stuff, informative stuff (well at least my from my point of view anyway), about my dogs, kids and family. Maybe even a book review or news flash now and again.

Thank you for your patience and since you're reading this for checking in.

I'm going to start blogging again, one day at a time.