Thursday, December 25, 2008

Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!!! I hope you are enjoying the spirit of the season and creating memories to last a lifetime.

This is one of the best Christmases we've had together! Last year we spent a lonely Christmas in SA and next year LT will be overseas, so the timing couldn't be any better to have a GREAT Christmas together. I'm so grateful to my Dad for calling me last February to let me know his plans for this Christmas. Truthfully, I complained and whined a little because I wanted to make my own Christmas plans. Isn't that a typical response for a child? Anyway, our little family traveled to Sun Valley, ID to spend a week with my family. The entire gang was there; Mum, Dad, Brother,Wife, and Cousins. My Dad put us up in condos and we've spent tons of hours playing games, frosting cookies and playing in the snow. My Mum brought up her Wii game and I've been challenging the twins on the Wii Fit game. I'm a little bit competitive and made sure I was 1st in as many events as possible. Is that bad???

I don't think it's stopped snowing for more than a couple of hours since we arrived on Saturday. I love the muted sounds of winter. When I'm outside I feel like I'm in a snow globe and everything feels smaller. OH! How I've missed the crunching that only snow makes when you trudge through it. I'm pretty sure this will be Olivias first memory of snow. She's been singing the snowman song FOREVER and now she finally has a chance to make one. As soon as we arrived, and she saw the snow, she wanted to touch it. Being the good mom that I am, I let her bend over, sans gloves, and pick up a bunch. Her eyes widened with a little panic. She looked at me, dropped what she could of the snow, and said "cold".

Fortunately that didn't turn her off of it. She LOVES it. We've tried sledding with her, but she didn't weigh enough to slide down the hill. When I gave the sled a little push, it moved about an inch and O slid right off and down the hill. I think we need a little more practice. We've also had enough powdery snow that we've played a game of "Toss Olivia". I almost lost her once. It's a good thing LT was filming it, otherwise I wouldn't have known where to look to find her. Ha ha. I'll try to upload some videos to youtube and I'll post some pictures of our adventures on here soon.

Love to you all

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A simple case of Murphy's Law

I have many good intentions of "catching up" and posting some of the significant events of 2008. This post is one attempt to do so.

In August LT and I were in AZ for some court proceedings for our pending adoption. They didn't finish while we were there so we left our car and flew home. The following week I flew back to attend the last 90 minutes of court and then started the long drive back to TX. I was actually excited to have a road trip all to myself. I was looking forward to finally getting a good nights sleep. O still doesn't sleep through the night so I'm going on 2 plus years of sleep deprivation. Anyway, the following is an excerpt of an account of my experience on the way home.

I don't know why I have the luck with hotels I do.

Many of you may recall what I wrote about my hotel experience when I went to visit LT in FL 3 years ago. I had booked the reservation online with a hotel that seemed reputable. Once I arrived, l found it looked like the ones you see on the TV show COPS. You know, the one where they bust down the doors and break up some illegal activity. It was late when I arrived there and I didn't know where else to go. I hardly slept that night. The room next to me had visitors coming and going all night long. I imagined it was a drug spot or a prostitute ring.

With those images in your mind, join me as I describe the first hotel I tried on my way home from AZ. I was somewhere between "Who Knows Where" NM and "Last Chance For Cell Phone Reception" AZ when I knew I needed to stop for the night. I pulled over at the first town that had three exits, a huge step up from the other one-exit-towns I'd passed that only sported a truck stop and a restaurant. I was thinking a three-exit-town had to mean there was hope for a decent hotel. I pulled over at the second exit and had a choice of three hotels. I picked one and when entered the creepy reception room I should have know right then and there it was a bad choice. BUT I was SO TIRED from my early flight, time in court and long drive, I ignored the creepiness. I asked for a non-smoking room, paid my fee and headed to my room. It was close to 11:00 now and I was tired.

I pulled up to my door and winced when I saw it was next door to a shirtless man standing outside his room smoking. (Let me pause here to explain that cigarette smoke is a HUGE trigger for my migraines and that is why I point it out. I want my readers to understand it is the smoke and not the smoker I dislike. There, we can continue). GREAT!!! I'd already taken a headache pill earlier and the last thing I needed was a scent to nauseate me. The creepy, middle aged shirtless man eyed me and smiled at me while I was in my car. I instantly looked down and pretended to search for something. I'm certain my survival instincts were kicking in. I stayed busy in my car waiting for him to finish his smoke, hoping he'd go inside. He didn't.


I decided I had to dash to my door and get inside. I psyched myself up, popped the trunk, quickly got out of my car and he said, "Hi". I made no eye contact and grabbed my suitcase, said "hi" back and darted for my door. "How are ya doin tonight"? I'm sure he eyed me greedily but I didn't look. I responded "fine" and shut the door behind me. Thank goodness, I made it. I dead bolted the door and considered moving the table in front of it.But I didn't, I was distracted when I viewed my room.

Instantly I felt I needed to shower. The room was disgusting. I'll spare you the detailed description I originally penned. I was terrified to sleep in the bed, but I was SO TIRED!! I wanted to escape, but I was SO TIRED!! I decided try to unwind a bit by writing. I hoped it would help clear my mind and I'd make a good decision. I went to my car to get a pen and accidentally left the room key inside.


At least my neighbor had gone inside. I had no choice but to head to the office in my pajamas. I shuffled to the creepy office with my arms folded over my chest to cover my womanhoods. It was just my luck to get locked out of my room in a haunted hotel without my bra, and wearing a white t-shirt.

The desk clerk made what he thought were funny comments about me being a woman and a blonde. (Red hair = blonde with a temper.) I endured because I desperately wanted to get back to the safety, comfort and security of my bra. He had the key to my room. It was no time to let my temper flair. I calmed myself and reminded myself, he had the key.

Once that was over I settled back into my room to start writing and then I saw it. A bug scurried across the sheet next to me. The freezing panic lasted a second and I recognized it as a tick. My survival instincts kicked in again and I stabbed at it with my pen. I packed EVERYTHING. When I returned to the office the clerk looked up at me and said, "Don't tell me you locked yourself out AGAIN!" I flatly responded, " No, there was a tick in my bed. May I please get a refund?" He kindly reversed the charge on my credit card and I speed off to find another hotel.

By the time I settled in to bed it was half past Midnight and I was SO TIRED!! Mind you, I'd been up since 4:30 a.m. and I had good reason to be exhausted. I quickly fell asleep only to be awake an hour later with a stomach bug. WHAT?!?!?! Are you kidding me? A stomach bug? I needed medicine, so at 2:00 a.m. I set off to find some miracle medicine to ease my trembling discomfort. I had to travel several miles down the road to find a 24 hour truck stop to get what I needed. I consider "several miles" a HUGE blessing due to me being somewhere between "Who Knows Where" NM and "Last Chance For Cell Phone Reception" AZ.

With Maalox in hand and sleep on my mind, I got back to my hotel and my key didn't work in the door! ARGGGGHH! No way! I can't believe it. I tried buzzing the hotel clerk a dozen times without any luck. Stooopid sleeping hotel clerk! I was at wits end. I said a desperate prayer and tried the key again. It worked. Hallelujah!

Once I returned to my bed I lay there trying to figure out what is wrong with my luck and then it dawned on me. I'M A MURPHY!! It doesn't matter that I changed my name with marriage. I will always be a Murphy and the Law applies.

Needless to say, my return trip to TX wasn't the one of peace and rest I'd imagined. Instead I hardly slept at all.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Anyone who knows me knows I hate strong smells. My little olfactory bulb can only take so much of any strong scent before it raises the "headache on the horizon" flag.

This morning, I was on the treadmill at the gym and I smelled this really overpowering scent. It could have been lotion, deodorant or perfume, whatever it was, it was strong. I considered moving to another treadmill but in a glance I knew I was stuck, there weren't any others and I HATE those goofy running thingies with the arm stuff and there was NO WAY I was going to go to a bike, so I decided to wait it out. 

Maybe it was from someone that just walked by. Then I thought it could have been the lady next to me, she looked like the stinky perfume type. I hoped it wasn't her because I really wanted to work out and there weren't any other treadmills. Fortunately, the smell dissipated and the lady next to me finished her work out. I still don't know if it was her that was fragrant, but it didn't matter, she was gone and the smell was gone. I exercised in peace for a good 15 minutes and then it happened again. I was assaulted by ANOTHER stench. First let me say, I can't stand cigarette smoke, but even worse is the stale cigarette smell on clothing and skin. 

I'm all for people working out and improving their health, but why did the motivated exercising smoker HAVE to park their hide next to me? Me, of all people in the huge gym, why me? Me, the person whose sense of smell is so acute I'm often accused of "search and destroy" missions in my house and car. Me, the person who denies her daughter the joy of some toys simply bcs there is a minute possibility it could leave a stink. Me, the woman who can't wear strong smelling deodorant or perfume because it will cause a headache. Me, the person who made a friend sit out on the patio and talked to her through the screen and positioned the fan to blow out the window because her lotion was too powerful for my sniffer. Did I have a "scentsitive" target on my back/forehead? 

I was wallowing in the why and finally gave up finding an answer. I stopped my workout, cleaned the equipment and went shopping for nose plugs.

It is a sad, sad life I live.