Archive for all me

My Wins

Frustrated with my job (more specifically the mind-numbing lack of) and annoyed with the oodles of hours I’ve been spending seeking other, more gainful employment (what?  the recession is over?  unemployment rates are dropping? PFFT!) I started seeking out sweepstakes and contests.  Christmas is coming and with a big family gathering on the way, there’s lots and lots of little ones (well, teen & under) who need some loot.  Sweeps seemed the way to go.

And it’s addicting.  And, honestly occasionally time-consuming.

But SO MUCH FUN to get that “Congratulations!” email first thing in the morning.  And as someone who’s rarely lucky, never wins anything and is pretty sure if it’s going to rain, it’ll be on me, it’s really REALLY REALLY exciting to get those emails.  I’ll keep a list of my wins & hope I inspire you to go do some sweeps yourself 🙂


Another book win and I’m really excited about this one.  I originally wanted to give it to one person but now i’m thinking someone else…decisions, decisions.  Haven’t really entered any for today.  Don’t feel fantastic and lack the concentration or desire to sift through what I want to enter blah


I don’t actually recall entering this but what the hey.  The Wave by Susan Casey from A Musing Reviews

Choice of Jewelry (up to $35) from Fantasy Jewelry Box.  This will be a Christmas present too, now I just have to figure out what to pick!

*on a separate note, the Namaste foods prize pack arrived today with Taco Pasta & Blondie mix to try out.  Can’t wait!


Ugh.  I missed an email.  It didn’t come with the regular congratulations; I missed my 48-hour respond or die cutoff but am still listed as a winner on the site so we’ll see.  It’s another book…will most likely be a present as well.


On my facebook feed I see a “We have a winner” post from a site and figured I’d click it just to see.  I hadn’t gotten an email so I didn’t figure it was me.  IT WAS!  It’s a really cool necklace from Michelle Chang Jewelry on Etsy.  I won’t tell you which one, but I’ll tell you which it wasn‘t and which I just LOVE:

click to see the full description


Today was another double-win day.  Both are going to be Christmas presents but since I don’t think my cousin Hazel surfs much web quite yet, I can say that one of them is for her – a book and a music CD.   Yay!


Won TWO things today but I’m not posting either as they’re both likely to be Christmas presents 🙂


From The Cartoon Lovin’ Momma I won this sack of Namaste Foods.  I actually can’t wait to try this because I’m curious to know if [expensive] gluten-free  foods might be a little nicer to my Crohn’s Disease.


From a goodreads contest for first-read books.   The site is pretty neat too, since I can’t ever think of something I want to read, and am always scared to pick a new author.  This site has lots of ways to interact and the books have reviews from “real” people, not just the ones boasting how great a book is.  My first win.  Yay be continued…

ps – i won’t be posting any Christmas present wins, that’d defeat the purpose, i’ll just post if I won something I intend on using for Christmas 🙂



In theory, I have a kick ass job.

Every morning after shaking the teen out of bed and shuffling the twins off to school, I get to sit at my computer – sometimes still in my pajamas (read: a T-shirt and sweats), no shoes, usually I haven’t even brushed my hair, just tossed it in a tie.

If my work is slow, I watch the morning news.  I read several newspapers online.  I facebook, I chat, I farm, I rob and level up.

I can do laundry while I’m at work.  I can clean up the kitchen, make dinner, dead head my plants, play with the dogs and pluck my eyebrows.

I’m home when my kids get home from school, I’m here all summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring breaks.   I’m here to help with homework, make sure everyone gets dinner, cleaned and goes to bed at a decent hour.  I can work when they sleep.  Yep, I have a great job.

Obviously neither the fingers nor the ears are engaged...the brain's checked out by this point, too

In theory.

Except that when I do all that – the laundry, cleaning, gardening – I don’t make any money.  I only make money when my ears and fingers are engaged.  I don’t often need to use my brain thanks to heavy repetition and Microsoft’s invention of the Auto Correct feature.

Except that I work ridiculous hours to get good hours (read: guaranteed jobs) usually from 9-3 and again from 7-12 or 1 in the morning.  Some nights, I just want to get in bed at 9:30 or not feel rushed to get everything done in a certain three/four-hour block of time.

Except that here lately, I’ve started taking work too personally.  My job has made me biased against the entire state of Texas as that’s where the majority of my CPS cases come from.  Rhode Island, New Mexico and Ohio – you’re next on the list.  I find that uneducated, slurring and idiocy are the norms, not the exceptions, when listening to some of these caseworkers.   I can take the varying accents; what I take issue with is the murder of the English language, disregard for basic grammar rules and complete lack of common consideration for the person responsible for transcribing these notes.    I take issue with case loads that have not been dictated since January or even 2009.

I take issue with lawyers (who, in my opinion are supposed to be smarty-pants) who cannot pronounce words they expect me to know how to spell.  I take issue with lawyers talking so fast that even slowing it down manually does not help.  That all goes back to common consideration.

I’ve found most recently that the more I type, the more I come to despise the institution that is the Department of Child Welfare.   Doesn’t really matter the state anymore.  Nor the circumstances, I’ve noticed.  I no longer side with CPS in the majority of cases (certain cases always stand out and make me want to hunt down some idiots who procreate).  But for the most part I loathe their existence.

Surely this must say something horrible about me.

That my feelings are unjustified doesn’t really matter.  (Really, I understand I see only a small handful of cases/situations in comparison to the country)  I’m burned out on this job.

Which only adds pressure.

Which only makes me hate this job more.

Which makes me dread those five minutes before 9am and 7pm when I’m logging in and settling in to type the same crap over and over again.

I’m looking for a different job but as school lets out in about two weeks, this is not the best time for me to decide it’s time to get out of the house.

Why can’t I just win the lottery?


I wish I knew who else I would have been.*

I wish I had drunk a little (lot) less during my first go at college and finished in Richmond though I know I had no idea what I was doing back then, 17 and a little loopy at the prospect of being out of my parents’ reach.

I was in Richmond to study art…do art…be creative…paint, design, doodle, sketch, make things pretty, cool, original…but I drank too much and who the hell suggested scheduling Art History first thing in the morning?  I don’t think it’s totally unrealistic to hold Hall of the Bulls responsible for the different path I would eventually take because the class was so damn early (and boring).

I wish I could see my other future, a la The Family Man.  Except of course I’d be Tea, not Nicolas.  The future where I gave up being an artist because of the coma-inducing classes you have to take to be one.  The future where, halfway through my second semester I would march into my counselor’s office and tell her that I remembered. That I remembered that the one thing I always wanted to be, the thing that came before, after and in between hopes of being a veterinarian, schoolteacher and singer (what?) – was a writer.

Please, stop laughing about the  singing bit.

I wanted to write in Kindergarten.   I wanted to write in grade school, junior high, high school.  I just never had the confidence to ever follow through.   As a high school freshman, I wrote a short story, pulled from small bits of my life at that suddenly dramatic age of 13/14.  My dad pushed me to enter it into a Seventeen magazine writing contest.  I kicked the idea around and even thought I would actually mail it off.  I then proceeded to nitpick it to pieces and still, at 34, I have every version and copy I ever penned or pecked off with the typewriter.

I wanted to be on the lit mag, the newspaper.  I was so ridiculously shy and the cool kids were on the lit mag and the newspaper.  I knew them but I wasn’t one of them.  My writing probably sucked anyway.  As a sophomore, I wrote a short story, an essay really about an old man and a hot dog cart titled “The Old Man” and submitted it to the Lit Mag.  It’s on Page 29.  But I remember how nervous I was just handing it in, and how many times I agonized over every letter of every line on the page.  As a senior, I submitted my college applications essay to the Lit Mag and it as well was published at the end of the year.  That was it for my mass publication career.

After my untimely release from higher education I tried my hand at living on my own as my parents left Virginia for Illinois.  I followed less than a year later and in less than a year after that I was married and picking out baby clothes.  I still wrote, but it was always for me…added entries to the journal I’d kept since the seventh grade.  To make excuses, young (19) married, a mother and broke doesn’t add up to a whole lot of opportunities to pursue any great writing career.

When the most interesting thing I put to paper usually consisted of “Tyler rolled over/walked/slept/talked/scratched his name into the side of Todd’s car with a rock plane (thanks, Tyler) today!!”…well you know what they say when you don’t exercise your talent.  It gets fat.   And lazy.   And wastes away.

Which is not to say I was never struck with the urge to write.  I was.  I did. I do.  I have folders and notebooks and computer files full of all kinds of one liners, paragraphs, chapters, ideas and a fair amount of utter gobbledygook.  But that’s all I have.  In the 17 years since my last official publication all I have to show for what I once wanted to be are some scribblings on scattered papers.  (And a lot of trees killed in the name of that book I’ve been writing)

“Don’t do like I did and not send your writing in, it’s good, ” my mom told me, even though she hadn’t read anything recent.  (Not that there’s anything recent to read)

But your mom has to love you and support you and nudge you and tell you that you can sing well enough to audition for American Idol even though you’re just going to end up one of the auditions that I can’t not watch and wonder who on earth told this person they could sing well enough to do this.  I should know, as a mother, it would be a mother.

But that book I started and a scattered handful of people read, they all liked it.

But they’re my friends and they have to.

Or this is what I tell myself.

So I’m left standing at the backdoor watching the dogs when a sentence comes to me and I think I should write that down but someone wants dinner, lunch or is trying to beat the world record** for repeating the word “MOM!”  Or I’m taking a shower and trying to write a blog in my head when something really good and interesting pops in and is gone before I can get out, dry off and find a pen that works, let alone a piece of paper.  Or I’m just lazy and think, well I could write…  And I’m then literally staring at the wall completely blank.

I wish I’d studied writing.  Not because I think you have to be formally trained in writing to excel at it.  In fact, I believe the exact opposite.  I wish I’d studied writing because then I would have gained a respect for utilizing what I have and what I love.  I would have learned some of the finer points, gained a foundation, learned to love my ability and watch it grow.

If my dandelion wish came true and I did get that peek of who else I would have been, then what?  Would I be a writer?  A good one?  A journalist, novelist, blogger?  Would you be able to find me on Amazon and download me to your Kindle?  Would I be happy?  Have eight furries to snuggle at any given time and three kids who are growing up too fast?  Would I be working on my 90th anniversary with my husband?

I’ll never know.  And I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t give it up.

But it would be nice to peek.


*I love my kids, yes even when the boy is being teenagery and the girls are being preteenesque.   I love my husband even when I look at him and think holy crap we’ve been married for like 75 years already, and this blog in no way should be interpreted as stating anything else.

** There is no current world record for repeatedly saying “MOM!” I totally think my kids should enter.