Friday, January 29, 2010

Smile When You Say That

I need a camera. Casey and I used to have three decent ones. We are down to one that consistenly works well. She may as well have it since she has the kids most frequently. That means I need a new one! This Samsung looks like a good choice. I've loved my Samsung netbook so far! OK, yes, maybe not so much the pink for me. :) It is a Samsung SL-102, 10 megapixel with 3x optical zoom.

TestFreaks gives it a 8.5 out of 10. Not bad for a camera you can get on sale for $99. Another review site is similar. Seems the main idea is that it is a good camera for that price range. Great for taking on the go due to its small size. For a woman that does not carry a purse, so everything goes into pockets, that is a key factor!

The kids are always on the go, doing things I would like to capture. They are growing so fast! Formerly, Casey has been the family photographer. Now, looks like I need to step up! So, guess getting a camera that is mine is on my list of to-dos....maybe I will give my mom a hint for my birthday! On the other hand, cash is great, too! Pick out the one I want that way!

Flash of Light

Kids are not good at remembering to turn off flashlights. I cannot even tell you how many times I have found a flashlight left on the floor or on a bed, with just the smallest flicker of the bulb, having been left by one of the kids hours ago. Or..they made it back to the cabinet where flashlights live, but when I go to use it, dead batteries.

That is why the crank flashlights are so cool! Never need to replace batteries, just crank the lever for a minute or so, and go. For those of us who get out in the rain, or on a boat, or anywhere that there is an abundance of water - this is awsome: It is a waterproof crank flashlight!

This puppy is waterproof to 33 feet, so you can actually take it diving with you. It was not that long ago that I was out in the dark trying to repair the fence with our neighbor, Kelton holding a small flashlight as the rain started. This crank light would definitely have come in handy on that dark - and muddy - night.

We actually do have a few very small crank lights - great for the car and for those "just in case" the batteries are dead on the big flashlight moments. I think it would be great to have a few bigger ones, too though. You can pick up a good flashlight for $20, though this one is on sale for half that price.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Life is a Highway

Does it make me deep or shallow that I am finding life philosophy in Disney/Pixar theme songs? (OK, so Tom Cochrane actually wrote it long before the movie, "Cars," but that is not nearly as amusing as thinking it was written for the film.) Life's a ride, might as well enjoy the journey, right?

Life is a Highway

Well, life's like a road that you travel on
There's one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind

There's a world outside every darkened door
Where Blues won't haunt you anymore
For the brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore

We won't hesitate
To break down the guarding gate
There's not much time left today, yeay

Life is a highway, I wanna ride it
All night long
If you're going my way, I wanna drive it
All night long

Through all these cities and all these towns
It's in my blood and it's all around
I love now like I loved you then
This is the road and these are the hands
From Mozambique to those Memphis nights
The Khyber Pass to Vancouver's lights

They knock me down
And back up again
You're in my blood
I'm not a lonely man
There's no load I can't hold
The road's so rough this I know
I'll be there when the light comes in
Just tell 'em we're survivors

Life is a highway, I wanna ride it
All night long
If your going my way, I wanna drive it
All night long

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, yeah

Life is a highway, I wanna ride it
All night long (mmmm yeah)
If your going my way, I wanna drive it
All night long

There was a distance between you and I
(between you and I)
A misunderstanding once
But now, we look it in the eye


There ain't no load that I can't hold
The road's so rough this I know
I'll be there when the light comes in
Just tell 'em we're survivors

Life is a highway, I wanna ride it
All night long (all night long, yeah hey)
If your going my way, I wanna drive it
All night long

Life is a highway, I wanna ride it
All night long
If your going my way, I wanna drive it
All night long

Life is a highway, I wanna ride it
All night long
If your going my way, I wanna drive it
All night long

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, yeah

Friday, January 22, 2010

School House Rock!

OK - to all of you my age, or close to it, here is a blast from the past: Schoolhouse Rock - 30th Anniversary Edition. Who could forget the catchy little tunes and cartoon characters teaching us important lessons about grammar, history, government and more? Those were some of my favorite moments of Saturday mornings. I memorized all of the songs, right along with the rest of you, right?

Schoolhouse Rock - "Where Knowledge is Power!" Casey and I purchased one of these sets when Kelton was very young. We got it out once, but he was still too young to really enjoy it. I really need to dig it out again now that both kids are old enough to appreciate it.

The songs include, "I'm Just a Bill," "Three is a Magic Number," "Interjections," and so many more. This set includes all the School House Rock songs ever recorded. Remember..."I'm just a bill, yes, I'm only a bill, and I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill?" So fun! How about, "And, but and Or, they will get you very far now..."? It is fun these are on sale now that those of us that grew up on this stuff have kids of our own...oh, heck, some of us are getting close to having grandchildren that could be watching these dynamite little educational gems.

No fancy special effects....simple graphic arts....wonderful music...artfully educational messages. Sweet!

Running Away / Running Towards

I've mentioned that my healthy way of dealing with stress has been to go walking...generally just that - walking, not jogging or running. Once this summer I cranked it up to all out running. "Exorcising my demons" I believe I told a friend. Get physically exhausted enough, it puts the emotions in perspective, or makes them harder to feel, or something too profound to illuminate since I am only on my first cup of coffee. Although with the rain that is soon expected, the option of an indoor nordic track would be nice, there is something therapeutic about getting out into nature. It was a gorgeous day yesterday. I walked 3 miles.

Getting healthy - mind, body and soul. One step at a time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Life of a Nomad

Just as there is no way to obtain quick and easy weight loss, there is no quick and easy way through life transitions. As many of you know, I am no longer living in our family home. In order to make the break-up easier for all, and to begin building a new structure for the kids (and Casey and I), I am living at a variety of places - homes of friends and family who have generously taken me in. I have not moved out, and also have not moved in anywhere. I am a nomad. Right now, I find some humor in that. I probably will not for long. Eventually, I will need a place to call my own.

I will say that moving out has made the relationship between Casey and I better than it has been in quite some time. We can talk as respectful adults now, the tension is less, we can joke around with each other, and are being better co-parents than we have been in months...maybe years. I think we are both seeing that this is going to work, and end up good for us all. Keeping the kids as first priority underlies all of our communication, and I think it is working.

Thanks to those who have been sending kind words of support, and for the real life friends who are helping both of us through all of this craziness!

Resisting all but temptation

Perhaps eating the cookies left out in the workroom/kitchen area at work is not the best way to deal with stress. C'mon though, peppermint Oreo-looking cookies...who can resist that? Chocolately goodness filled with a creamy white filling...sugar, surrounded by more sugar. What's not to love? Oh, right, my pants getting tighter. Lately, not been so much of a problem. Using a belt with all of my work pants! Won't be needing a fat burner supplement as long as I don't completely over-indulge.

I am fortunate in that during bar review, I took up walking as a healthy way of managing stress. Now, whenever the worries of money, home, job, health..etc...seem like too much to handle by just sitting and starting at a computer screen, I take off walking. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekend Part III

Yes, so the kids enjoyed Planet 51 and so did I. I took the kids to the mall by myself - something I've hardly ever done - and bought a new $100 water and wind-resistant coat for $30. Score! Last year's winter coat bit the dust...killed the zipper.

Anyway, we spent lots of good time together, sometimes I played with the kids, sometimes they played with each other or by themselves. The frantic-ness of needing MY time ALL the time was greatly diminished by the second day. Better than it has been in months. I think the kids have felt the reduction of tension, and even though it is hard to be separated, I think they are experiencing some benefits, too.

I do find myself eating a lot more junk food when with them. I am not at the point of needing slimming pills after a weekend with them...but if I don't watch myself, I will! We polished off a pack of cookies, movie candy and popcorn. My blood gets thicker just thinking about it. Glad to be back on the green smoothies today!

Weekend Part II

What did we do this weekend? Lots of running around, and lots of playing. We hung out, watched TV, watched Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs on Friday, which is Boy Wonder's new favorite movie. Found out I know nothing about diamonds, but should because a very good friend just got engaged and is rock shopping. I also know nothing about human growth hormone. I better jump on wikipedia this afternoon. Anyway, let's see, did a bit of shopping, took pants in to be hemmed...some are more than a year old. Took kids to see Planet 51, which they both loved and I actually thought it was quite cute, too.

Gotta run...more in just a bit.....

Weekend Part I

It was a good long weekends with the kids. I will say that they wake up far too early for a mom who did not get to bed a couple of nights until almost midnight (no wild parties - simply emailing friends and applying for jobs...both things that needed to be done after the kids were asleep). I had a green smoothie the first morning and then skipped the rest of the weekend. Never a good idea for me. On those days I need not only the best prenatal vitamins (No - not pregnant - they are just good vitamins!), but also the best vitamins for men. Anything to keep me going. Sugar and caffeine only do so much...

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Very Nice Christmas Gift

Hey - in all the drama of my life (not that much has been posted here), I forgot to write that I got the netbook I have been wanting! Casey very generously actually purchased an even newer model, the Samsung NC310 Go Netbook as a Christmas gift for me. This baby is a true beauty. Just look at her:

It has a textured exterior that does not hold the fingerprints the way the shinier model does, plus doesn't slip as easily. It is the perfect size for keeping in the bag I carry around to work all the time. It's just like having a medium-sized hardback book with light and convenient! The nearly full-size keyboard and textured keys are a pleasure to type on, and the screen is sharp and clear.

So far, I have mostly been surfing the internet, doing email, playing music through Pandora, that sort of thing. I did download OpenOffice, a Word-like open access program. I have not used it, yet, but wanted to try it.

The specs are the same as the NC 10 I have written about before, so will not go into that again. I will say that I am not much of computer geek so all of the numbers don't mean much to me. What does mean a lot is that it is fast, easy and comfortable to use. There is no disk drive, but there are lots of USB ports, and the abiity to plug in an exterior drive, as needed. I will probably get one at some point, but do not need it, yet. Might be nice for downloading software easily and for watching movies. The screen would be about like a portable DVD player, so would be fine for viewing for one now and then.

The charge is supposed to last for about 6 hours...which is really long life for a laptop/netbook. Charge time seems fast to me. Downloading time and connecting to wireless internet has been easy. All runs on Windows XP. What else can I say? So far - I love this machine!

I know that we found an amazing sale price on this netbook...better than even the older model was selling for. Yeah Christmas sales! If you are looking for a netbook, this one gets amazing reviews and I can say that I could not be more pleased.

Odd Posts?

Sometimes as a blogger, it is hard to know what to blog about. Sure, the personal life stuff sure gets the stats up there, and sometimes gets some interesting emails and comments flying, but a person has to be cautious about how much to put out there into the blogosphere. You want to inform friends, but not the freaks. Finding a balance between talking about personal life, the benefits of colon cleanse, digital photo frames and the weather can be a tricky business. Sometimes, I guess I just write about whatever strikes me, and hope it is at least mildly entertaining. My weekend with the kids is coming up....perhaps next week there will be photos!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lots to Do!

Doesn't it sometimes seem like a great idea to just hop on the first plane departing your local airport? Whether you ended up in Mexico, or new orleans louisiana, or New York City, you would be somewhere different, on an adventure, and not dealing with the reality of your own life. I do not mean this in the way it might come across. I am not feeling sorry for myself - not much, really. Just that fun is more fun than work, or looking for a job, or figuring out how to get a job and move your family 200 miles away.

Cris Williamson, women's music legend, said in one of her concerts, and at a song-writing workshop I once attended, that work is work, otherwise, they would call it "fiesta." Amen, sister!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


As some of you know, at some point, probably this summer, our family will pack up and head a bit north. We won't need cross country movers, but a moving van will be in order for the 4 hour trip. We won't end up moving in together at the end of the road, but at least hopefully within a reasonable driving distance. It is odd to already hear the kids arguing about who gets the bigger room in their new house. It is healthy for them to have something to look forward to - and something tangible. Not knowing is hard enough on adults, it is maybe even more difficult for kids because they can imagine things that are so far from reality. A blessing and a curse, I suppose. Isn't being able to imagine things far from reality a sign of creativity?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

All About the Journey

At transitional times, people often become reflective and talk about how it's not about the destination, but about the journey. It occurs to me that this is a healthy attitude to adopt at all points in life. Destinations are not really end goals, but more like scenic stops along the way - certainly to be enjoyed and reflected upon, but then, a new destination is in order.

Searching for a job, breaking apart the old family structure and creating a new one, figuring out who I am and what I want now that the BIG GOAL of OBTAIN LAW DEGREE has been reached - I am definitely doing my share of journeying!

I looked up a few quotes today. Here are a couple of good ones:

- If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all.
- Dan Rather

- The journey is the reward.
- Chinese proverb

Odd that these seem diametrically opposed, yet both are completely true.

Maybe this quote helps to link them:

- If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.
- Frank A. Clark

Friday, January 08, 2010

Transitions...Week 1

Well, we've pretty much made it through our first week under this transitional structure. The kids and I had a good time last night. They got a bit wild while playing with the various rhythms and sounds on our electric keyboard, and then a rousing game of Trouble did nothing to calm them down. So, it took a bit for them to settle down at bedtime, but it went well.

This weekend I will go play with old friends and not worry too much about adult responsibilities. I am so happy for one of them....she is my age and is getting married for the first time. It certainly appears she held out for the right man. He is a sweetheart, handsome, and has a British accent! (We are all suckers for accents, aren't we?) We are going to go do bridal shows and she will regale me with "straight girl" details that I haven't a clue about, I will nod and smile, and all will be good!

The car is gassed up, I need to do a phone check, and hopefully hit the road before traffic gets too bad. It will be strange to not see my kids, but at least I will be well-distracted. Next visit - Tuesday night. How odd that I am now "visiting" my children. *sigh*

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The New Year Begins

So it begins....every other weekend visits with my kids, and a couple dinners/bedtimes per week. Sad. Sad to not wake up and find a little boy stumbling out of bed so he can spend time with me before work, or a little girl sneaking around the corner, happy to have woken up in time to say "Good morning" in her sweet, little voice.

In some ways, this will not be terribly different from how much I saw them during law school...when weekends were only one day per I have them two days in a row, every other week. Not much different...and very different.

Here are some pictures from the fun we had this past weekend...making crayons in Kelton's new crayon melting machine, and making edible play-doh that the kids decorated as cookies and ate.

Know that both of your mommies love you, little ones.