Saturday, November 15, 2008

More Recipes for the Cooking-Impaired

It’s that time again. The time of the year when potlucks and family dinners abound… The time of year that puts fear into the hearts of the culinarily-challenged… Is your idea of a gourmet meal macaroni and cheese with cut up hotdogs? Mine too! So once again, I have decided to share one or two of my “Recipes for the Cooking-Impaired” to help you through the month ahead.

Black Forest Angel Food Cake

1 Box Angel Food Cake Mix
1 Can Cherry Pie Filling
4 Tbs Cocoa
Top with Cool Whip after cooling

Dump angel food cake mix, cocoa, and cherry pie filling into a mixing bowl.
Mix together for one minute on medium speed.
Pour into non-greased, non-floured angel food cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes.

Or, for the Slightly More Courageous…

Holiday Potatoes

8-10 potatoes
1 cup sour cream
1 - 8 oz bar cream cheese
1 tsp onion powder
1 stick butter
½ tsp garlic powder

Boil and mash 8-10 potatoes.
Add all additional ingredients.
(Salt and pepper to taste.)
Mix well.
Grease deep casserole bowl with butter.

Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for one hour.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Time Flies

Holy crapfire! My homestudy is in 12 days!!! I could have a baby before the first of the year at this rate!

The training is going really well. Lots of things to think about and there are some really nice families going through the training as well. Definitely a wide variety of people... I think we've weeded out the crazys though. We had the creepy, obnoxious guy who was too stupid to figure out that he wanted to adopt, not foster. And most recently, we lost the couple who swore that it was a "deal-breaker" if they weren't allowed to carry their loaded, concealed weapons while they were carrying the baby. Bummer.

My mom's going through all of the classes with me (thank goodness!). I definitely need the extra set of ears and all of the support. My dad came over last weekend and installed the child locks on the cabinets for me. And Lori came down from Oklahoma and helped me register at Target. I decided I should get to have some scanning fun even though I'm not squeezing a squirming infant out of my nether regions. I still have a TON of stuff to do and buy before the homestudy, but it's coming along well. Luckily, Christy has two of everything and boy and girl stuff that I can borrow until I get my own!

I'm nervous. I'm excited. I'm freaking out! But I can't wait!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Many a Time We-Moved

Several years ago, my sister, my cousins, and I had a Girls' Night... And somehow, we ended up discussing the confusing nature of the whole "2nd cousin, twice removed" thing. WHAT THE HECK IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?!? Are they my cousin's cousin on the other side who have married and divorced two times? At that point, are they really even my cousin? I have my step-grandfather's, step-grandson who I call my semi-sort of step-step cousin. Does that make him my 4th cousin thrice removed? Personally, I think if they are not a direct blood relative of your blood aunt or uncle, then they are NOT YOUR COUSIN!!! The numbering system is way too complicated.

That night, the girls and I decided that the "removed" portion of the phrase is actually meant to be "we-moved." For example, at the time Ariel was my 1st cousin, once we-moved (because she had only moved once). Sheena was my 1st cousin, twice we-moved (she had moved twice). Christy was the girls' 1st cousin I believe quadruple-a-time we-moved (she'd moved several times by that point). I, however, am the big winner at 1st cousin many-a-time we-moved (I've moved more times than I can count thanks to my crazy bipolar tendencies, and I don't think there's a fancy word for "23").

This leads me to my dilemma. I'm in the process of completing my agency application, and they are asking for my address history over the past ten years. Seeing as how I've lived in at least EIGHT places over the past ten years, I'm a little at a loss for the addresses and timing of it all. I don't suppose any of you have an old address book with multiple scratched out entries for me, do you? If you could possibly send me the addresses that you might have for me, I can figure out the timing.

Quite honestly, there were a few places that I have chosen to block from my memory... Places that I won't be discussing with the social worker. I don't think they need to know about "the early years." No Porno Guy and the Sex People... (Brings back memories, doesn't it Case?) No getting locked IN the same apartment because the "safety" lock got stuck... No rotting rat corpses... No having to duck below the window sills at night for fear of being shot at by the neighbors housed in the hotel where people lived across the street... No having to move out early because Sam threw up on our carpet... No holes being BURNED in our carpet because Sam felt the need to play with lighters... On second thought... Maybe I just won't mention Sam. He seems to be the trouble-maker here. (Love you, babe!)

And I'll leave out the little details about our neighbors in the Portland apartment. They don't need to know that Melissa and I got stoned every day off of the second-hand pot smoke from the downstairs neighbors or that Sheena's virgin ears were introduced to the sounds of seriously loud lovin' from the same people (Well, the man and his mistress anyway. His wife was having NONE of him at the time, a fact that we were also aware of from the screaming fights). I might also omit the fact that I had to duct tape my back door shut in the duplex to keep the critters from crawling in because the builder refused to come out and put the weather stripping on.

I'm not too concerned. I mean, really! How many of us haven't had daily contact with Ugly Naked Guy? Isn't that just normal? And it really shouldn't shock the social worker when they enter my apartment and it sounds like the ceiling is going to cave in from the all-hours love fest coming from upstairs. Love is a beautiful thing, isn't it?

So, send me any addresses old or new that you might have for me from over the years (along with any fun stories that you might remember from the different places I've lived... Might be good for my book, even if they don't bode well for the homestudy...).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting Ready

Wow! It looks like I hit the foster/adopt agency at just the right time. The agency that I chose is having their next session of training classes from October 20th - November 8th, and I start the homestudy immediately after that. It looks like I might have a kiddo in the house in the next few months! YIKES!

Most people have nine months to prepare, so I'm cramming nine months of "nesting" into about four weeks. Apparently they like potential families to have things pretty well set up before the homestudy so they know you're prepared. Thank goodness Christy has boy/girl twins and hasn't gotten rid of all of their stuff yet! That should help out until I can pull together everything of my own.

I'm so excited! I've decided to request only infants (under 1 year old) to start out while the twins are still young. They are much more comfortable around younger children than they are with older kids. I'll just increase the ages I'd be willing to accept as the twins get older. Because our family is so close, I need to make sure this is right for everyone. While I think it will be harder to return a baby that I've had from a young age (essential being the only "mom" it has ever known), the day-to-day living will be easier than taking in an older child with more severe emotional needs. I would worry too much about how an older child would interact with the twins. I definitely want to take in older children eventually, but I want to wait until the twins are old enough to stand up for themselves. (Although Ka-Diva is pretty pushy already... My "Mini-Me"... I might be more worried about a 10-year-old foster child if it was just Ka-Diva!)

So it looks like before long, my life will be filled with poopy diapers and paperwork galore. My hope is that the child only poops while in the care of others. That will be our first conversation. "Hi, sweet baby! I'm going to be your mommy for a little while. Please no pooping unless you're at Nana's or Aunt Christy's houses." I'm really excited about the paperwork though. I LOVE lists, forms, and highlighters!!! It's a good thing too, because apparently every little thing has to be documented. I'm going to have to update my "Who I'd Like to Meet" section on MySpace with, "a man who brings me office supplies and changes poopy diapers!" He would make me happy!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Big Decision

I'm a kid magnet. For some reason, kids are drawn to me like I have candy popping out of my pores. I'm the person who lost children approach in the store for help finding their parents. At 33-years-old, I still sit at the kids' table during family holidays because the kids are glued to my side. I've taught PE, tutored, coached gymnastics, volunteered to work with youth and children's groups at church, and worked summer day care and after school care at the YMCA. Luckily for me, I love the kids just as much as they love me.

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to have a whole litter of kids of my own. But for me, my idea of "my own" kids has always been a houseful of children I've adopted. You see, there are these things called "pregnancy" and "childbirth" and "breastfeeding" ...and these things have never appealled to me one bit! I think God knew what he was doing when he afflicted me with endometriosis and cysts the size of baseballs that resulted in my having a hysterectomy at the age of 30. I don't think I'd make a very pleasant pregnant person. Having some little parasite sucking the life out of me for nine months, having to push the squirming creature out of my hoo-ha, and THEN allowing it to chew on my ta-ta's for months after that... I THINK NOT! Just hand it over after it's out, and I'll take it from there. I'll make an AMAZING mom... I would NOT make a good pregnant person.

So after years of soul-searching, hours of prayer, and many lists of pros and cons, I've decided to become a foster parent. I've always shied away from fostering in the past. My main fear is that I would become too attached and something would happen that would result in having a child taken away from me after years of being their "mom." But this year, my mindset has begun shifting from "this child is mine" to "I can help this child for as long as they need me." Yes, I will be heartbroken after a child leaves my home, especially if they've been with me for years... But at least I'll know that I made a difference in their lives while I had them, and as their foster mom, I'll get the first chance to officially adopt them as they become eligible. It looks like I'll have my litter of kids after all!

So today, the journey begins! I go to my first foster/adopt meeting tonight! Wish me luck as I go through the process, and don't be surprised if I ask some of you to fill out reference forms for me. I'll be blogging throughout the whole process, so feel free to take the journey with me! I can't wait!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Passing the Time...

1. Is it cute when guys kiss you on your forehead?
It's sweet! It's nice to feel loved without being groped all the time.

2. A big poofy dress or a short party dress?
Good grief, I'm poofy enough without adding to it with the dress!!!

3. What would you do if you received a long love letter?
Well, I supposed I would read it. DUH!

4. Group dates or single dates?
At this point, ANY DATE would be lovely!

5. Do you hate it when guys act different around their friends?
I don't care how he acts if I'm not there... As long as he's not messing with other girls and I don't have to come bail his butt out of jail, he can act as stupid as he wants with his friends.

6. Are diamonds a girl's best friend?
They're nice and all, but I'll marry the man who proposes to me with a variety pack of mulit-color, free-flow ink highlighters!

7. Is your hair up or down today?
Up right now... Down during the day...

8. Do you straighten your hair?
Usually curl it... I only straighten it when it's short.

9. Favorite mascara?
Clear! I'm allergic to that other stuff, so it just smears from my eyes watering.

10. Do you get your nails done?
I am NOT paying $35 to get my nails done when I can buy Diet Coke or go to Girls' Night instead! One has to have priorities, you know...

11. Small or large purses?
One with lots of compartments... I have to be organized. The OCD in me...

12. In your purse, what are your must haves?
Cell phone, glasses, debit card, ID, lip gloss, and anti-crazy meds...

13. Jeans or sweats?
Jeans in public... Yoga pants around the house or to paint in... Sweat bottoms are just WRONG!

14. Do you wear clothes/shoes/jewelry that's uncomfortable?
It is painful to be this stinkin' hot, you know... (OMG! I almost managed to type that without bursting into laughter!)

15. Do you text message a lot?
I'm usually right around my 200 a month allotment.

16. What would you do if you got pregnant?
SUE THE FREAKIN' HECK OUT OF MY OBGYN!!! I had a hysterectomy three years ago! (Although I'd probably be thrilled silly and then sell my story to the trash mags. "Woman With No Uterus Has Bouncing Baby Boy!")

17. What's your favorite color?
Crayola Crayon Midnight Blue (It HAS to be that brand too!)

18. Heels or flats?
Chunky heels or wedges

19. Did you ever cry during a romantic movie?
Of course! I DO have feelings you know!

20. Would you ever leave the house without make-up on?
Depends on where I'm going, but I don't really have a problem with it either way.

21. Walmart or Target?
I have to go to BOTH because neither one carries ALL of what I need to buy!

22. Do you wear collared shirts?

23. Do you like preppy boys?
Depends... I'd like to find a guy who can easily convert back and forth from preppy to tough cowboy to scruffy biker guy. That's HOT AS HELL!!!

24. Do you think lip gloss is the best!?
Um, no. I can think of all sorts of other things that top lip gloss on my list of "best things." World peace, an end to homelessness, my electric stapler with rechargable batteries...

25. Do you own any big sunglasses?

26. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
27 minutes exactly

27. Do you like to wear band-aids?
Am I bleeding?

28. Do you like skater boys?
Skater? No. Biker? Yes.

29. Do you often wish there was something you could change?
Well, I sure as heck wish that OTHER PEOPLE would change the darn toilet paper rolls once in a while! There is NOTHING more irritating than walking into a bathroom with three mostly-used rolls of toilet paper sitting on the back of the toilet and a COMPLETELY EMPTY ROLL on the holder!!!

30. Gold or silver?
Definitely silver

31. Do you like to receive flowers?
I love flowers. I would love to RECEIVE flowers. However, no one ever gets them for me unless I'm having body parts removed.

32. Do you like surfer boys?
Depends on if he can do the whole rough and tough thing too. And if he says things like "DUDE!" and "NARLY!" it would be a total NO!

33. Do you dress up for the holidays?
Depends on the occassion.

34. Do you like to wear dresses?
Not if it means wearing nylons. Those things are EVIL!!!

35. On a scale of 1-10 how much do guys confuse you?
Not much... I think I confuse them more.

36. In the last 48 hours have you hung out with a guy?
Only my adorable nephew

37. Would you date a guy shorter than you?
No... I'm only 5'2"! Besides, I don't want to have to feel like I have to protect him!

38. Do you like to hold hands?
Of course

39. What is the youngest you would date?
It would depend on how mature he is. I'd prefer he have a real job and not live with his parents.

40. What is the oldest you would date?
see 39.

41. What do you notice when you first meet a guy?
His eyes and smile (teeth)

42. Is it hot when guys sweat?
It is if I don't have to touch them or smell them.  And I'm sure it probably is hot if he's sweating.

43. What is the best feature in a guy?
His smile and personality

44. Do you like making eye contact?
I'm a flirt, so I love the eye thing.

46. Would you kill for chocolate?
No. Killing is bad.

47. Did you ever spend all day/night getting pretty for a guy?
Hell no! I'll spend a few hours getting pretty for ME, and if a guy likes it, that's just an added bonus.

48. On a scale from 1-10 how fun is shopping?
Do I have money?

49. Do you freak out if you miss your favorite show?
I don't miss my shows. I have a DVR! I salute YOU, Mr. DVR Invention Guy! You are a REAL MAN OF GENIOUS.

50. Do you yell a lot?
No. I tend to get very quiet when I'm pissed off. I yell at hockey games though. I LOVE HOCKEY!!!

51. Do you wear sweatpants/pajamas to school/work?
My @ss would be fired.

52. Have you ever dressed unlike yourself to impress a guy?

53. Do you write a lot of mushy love poems?
Ewww... No. But I do write a lot. Stories, poetry, etc.

54. What makeup could you not live w/out?
I love my lipstick and all, but I'm sure I would continue living without it.

55. Do you fall in love easily?
Nope. So if I say "I love you," you can know I definitely mean it.

56. Do you have cramps?
Not any more, THANK GOD (and my OBGYN!!!)

57. Do you think you have the bestest friend ever?
I have a few of the "bestest friends ever." I'm a very, very lucky girl!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

And the Winner Is...

It was a monumental day in CBC Land today. Were the 1100 already underpaid employees given cost of living increases to help them out and possibly improve morale a bit? Did management decide to give bonuses to the employees whose workload more than doubled after our merge with another blood center? Of course not! That would just be silly!...

Today marked what I believe is the 37th week in a row where an already-established member of management was promoted to an even higher level of management. Now that's just what we needed! A Senior, Senior Director under the COO, but over the Senior Director over the Director over the three Managers over the one (I kid you not, ONE) employee in the Facilities department... Can anyone say, "top-heavy?"

I have to admit, I'm a little bummed. Not because it seems that I will soon have seven bosses within a ten person department (we only have three right now, so we're overdue for some new management positions by CBC standards), but because no one let me in on how I can get one of these positions! I have my theories, of course. And I have decided to try them out one at a time until I find the one that works.

Week One in Tammy's Quest for Directorship - "Calling Dibs"As soon as this week's new Director was announced, I jumped up on my chair and loudly exclaimed, "I CALL DIBS ON NEXT WEEK'S DIRECTOR POSITION!!!" I think it is quite possible that whoever screamed the loudest might get the job. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, although I might have to fight my Accounting Manager for it. He yelled rather loudly himself, and then he proceeded to challenge me to a game of "rock, paper, scissors" for it. He doesn't scare me though. I can outsmart him.

Week Two, Should Week One Fail - "Entering the Raffle"I believe it's highly possible that everyone has been entering some sort of Management Raffle that I don't know about. I know I've seen my bosses take out what look suspiciously like ticket stubs around the same time every week, just before the new promotions are announced. I just need to find out where I can purchase those tickets, and I'm in! If I buy enough of those puppies, I bet I could move from Supervisor to "Triple Platinum Senior Director to the 25th Power" in no time!!! That'd be cool.

Week Three - "Discover the Secret Handshake"It has occurred to me that promotion to a management position might not be as straightforward as calling dibs or entering a raffle. I have decided that I must also watch our steadily-growing management team for unusual behavior such as a secret handshake when they think no one is looking, or the utterance of the week's new secret password. I'm fairly certain I saw this week's winner and a couple of the chief officers bump knuckles, dance a Riverdance jig, cross their arms in that rapper pose, and utter something that sounded like, "Cock-a-doodle-doo! Peace out" when they thought they were alone. I'll have my eye on them, that's for sure!

Week Four - "Promote Myself"Shoot! With over 500 supervisors, managers, directors, senior directors, chief officers, etc. already in place, who the heck is going to notice if I start showing up to management meetings?!? I'm already one of the chosen few with access to "All Users" via email. I think I might just send out an email telling everyone to join in congratulating me to my new, well-earned position as "Super-Duper, Big Boss Lady Over Everyone and Everything."

I'm sure there are plenty of other strategies that I can use to further my CBC career and head in the direction of management. Honestly, I think it might be more difficult to avoid promotion into management at the rate they're going! It's actually become a big joke among the "little people" at the office. So next week, when the 501st person is promoted and you hear hysterical laughter coming from CBC headquarters, don't be surprised. Just be kicking yourself for not learning the secret interpretive dance. It could have been you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Letting Go...

So I left work today with every intention of writing one of my scathingly brilliant monologues similar to the one praising the wonderfulness of my oh-so-FABULOUS stapler or my dream of meeting Mr. Sweaty Lawnmower Man, but I started getting all contemplative and philosophical with myself.

I usually dig through my journal before I write to give me a little inspiration or boost of imagination, and I came across a poem that I had totally forgotten about. Do you know that feeling that you sometimes get during the pastor's sermon on Sunday morning? ...the feeling that he has somehow been spying on you all week, and he's decided to revolve his entire sermon around your life? WTF?!? How the bleepin' heck did he know about THAT?!? That's kind of what this poem made me feel.

I think I stumbled across it at exactly the right time (for me, and for a few friends of mine who I know are going through some similar things). It's about letting go...

"Letting Go"
By: Anonymous

To let go doesn't mean to stop caring,
It means I can't do it for someone else...

To let go is not to cut myself off,
It is the realization that I can't control another...

To let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences...

To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means that the outcome is not in my hands...

To let go is not to try to change or blame another,
I can only change myself...

To let go is not to care for,
but to care about...

To let go is not to fix,
but to be supportive...

To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be human...

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own outcomes...

To let go is not to be protective,
It is to permit another to face reality...

To let go is not to deny,
but to accept...

To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them...

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the moment...

To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be...

To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future...

To let go is to fear less, and love more.

I have struggled with "letting go" practically my entire life. I've always found it difficult to let go of resentment and anger (that's an entirely different post). I've never been able to let go of control over most situations without having a major panic attack. I've found it nearly impossible to let go of my own dreams for other people. I tend to cling to one-sided friendships in the hopes that maybe they'll come around one day and realize that I'm a pretty great person to have around. One of the hardest things I've found to let go of has been my definition of a fulfilled, happy, secure life and a "better" me.

Up until very recently, I've always had this checklist that defined what a "happy" life would be. Some of the list was influenced by what everyone else thinks I need to be happy, but most of it was my idealistic views of what life should be. "A person will be happy if they have a loving spouse, a handful of children, a close extended family who enjoys spending time with everyone, friends who care about me as much as I care about them, a couple of pets, an emotionally fulfilling job, a nice house in the suburbs, little to no debt, a knock-out bod," blah, blah, blah... I've spent so much time thinking about all of the things on my "List of Ideals" that I don't have, that I've lost sight of what I do have. So this poem came at exactly the right time for me.

This year has been a year of awakening, transition, and hopefully a new me. So my "List of Ideals" isn't entirely checked off. I plan on amending my list to include only the great things that I do have in my life. So I don't have a husband! Big deal! I'd make a better mother than I would a wife anyway! I'll just adopt a truckload of kids, load them all up in my used car along with my chunky-monkey self, and drive them over for Sunday dinner to my parents' house where they can play with their awesome cousins and get spoiled rotten by Nana, Papa, Aunt Christy, and Uncle Chris. I might even have their honorary Aunties come and spoil them too! (Actually, I think Christy and I'll let the kids stay at my parents' house and all of the Aunties and I can go have Girls' Night.)

So I'm learning. I'm learning what it means to let go of what I don't need in my life... and I'm learning what it means to be happy with what I have when I have it.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Getting "Google-y"

So I was bored and decided to do that Google search thing that everyone is doing with "Tammy likes to." I can tell you that now is NOT a good time to be named "Tammy" because "Tammy" apparently likes to do quite a lot of things... NONE of which are appropriate for posting on the Internet.  I would never be able to foster again!

I quickly switched to "Tammy needs..." This was a bit better...

1. Tammy needs "your prayers and good wishes." - Always! Who doesn't need that?

2. Tammy needs "a baby." - CREEPY!!! How did Google know THAT?!?

3. Tammy needs "constant care." - Hee-hee... You're not kidding! :-)

4. Tammy needs "a bib." - Well, a bib would have come in handy before my breast reduction, that's for sure! I never did understand the point of putting a napkin in your LAP when the food never made it that far in the first place.

5. Tammy needs "clear behavior guidelines." - I think I'm fairly well-behaved, thank you!

6. Tammy needs "to think before she talks." - I would have to agree with this one. I sometimes seem to be missing that switch that prevents me from saying EXACTLY what's on my mind.

7. Tammy needs "to seek psychological treatment." - Been there, done that. I would have to agree.

8. Tammy needs "a good, but reasonably priced accountant." - Well, I guess it couldn't hurt.

9. Tammy needs "minimal correction when on a leash." - I really don't know what to say about this one.

10.  Tammy needs "to go to Vegas." - Whoa...  They're GOOD!!!

11.  Tammy needs "to vent about it somewhere." - That is why I have this blog!  :-)

12.  Tammy needs " a blog AND a TV show!" - Well, now we're talkin'!  I am pretty awesome. :-)

13.  Tammy needs "support, as she has some mental problems." - Don't make me go all "Bipolar Girl" on your butt!

14.  Tammy needs "some love." - Why yes...  Yes I do!


16.  Tammy needs "to know that the answer is inside herself." - Wow...  Now that's deep.

17.  Tammy needs "a serious tan." - You're not kidding!  Albino white girl here, blinding poor, unsuspecting souls when I step into the sun...

18.  Tammy needs "to talk about it before she forgets her brilliant observations." - That is precisely why I have this blog!  One must never forget the importance of Toilet Paper Etiquette or the dangers of paper products.  And I just HAD to share my insights on how to get ahead at work.  I'm onto them, I tell you!

19.  Tammy needs "to be lifted by eight firemen." - Ohhhh, yeah!!!  I love me some firemen!!!  I firmly believe firemen are the sexiest men on the planet.  :-)

20. Tammy needs "to ask herself, 'What would Jesus do.'" - I'm not sure I can top this one, so I think I'll just stop here.

So what does Mr. Google say that you need?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A False Sense of Security

I had my week off between classes, so I took a little trip to Tyler to relax at my grandparents' house on the lake, and took today off to decompress and get back into work mode for tomorrow. Having the day off, I thought I'd log into my next class that starts tomorrow and see if the syllabus had been posted.

I now realize that this school lulls you into a false sense of security about the workload in the classes, and have realized that I am going to have ABSOLUTELY NO LIFE for the next two years (four years, really because I want my Masters too).

They "introduce" you to the university with the first course. It's a ridiculously easy class with only a couple of major papers and quick and easy weekly discussion questions... I made a 99.

Class 2 proved to be a bit more challenging in that they added more major projects and got somewhat picky on the length and quality of our discussion questions. That wasn't too bad, as I can pretty well B.S. my way through just about anything, but it was irritating to have more work when I'd gotten used to Class 1. I made an 89 in that one because I didn't end up doing that one paper. I realized it was only worth 10 points, and didn't think it was worth the headache.

Class 3 seems to have DOUBLED the writing and project requirements of Class 2! I've got a major paper and slide presentation due every week, along with two shorter papers and participation requirements to deal with. To make matters worse, there are a couple of the Scary Church Ladies in this class! (Luckily the Leader of the SCLs doesn't seem to be in there, but these other two were nearly as frightening.)

I don't even want to think about how much work my NEXT class is going to have. But I have to admit... This whole five weeks per class and moving on to the next one works out really well for me. I can handle five weeks without getting too bored and wanting to drop out. And I'm taking a week off between classes so I can have a little bit of fun in between. I might take two weeks next time though and take a little beach vacation before hurricane season hits.

Anyway... If you see any more posts about me procrastinating or hear me mentioning that I have a 12-page paper due that I haven't started, feel free to hit me over the head with something hard and tell me to get my little fingers to typing. Remind me that I currently pay bills for a living, and I'd MUCH rather be the BOSS.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

SOOOO Procrastinating...

I'm supposed to be writing a 7-page paper describing the four key elements of a working agreement and applying them to a hypothetical situation... So I'm writing a blog post instead.

I've spent today knowing that I have a paper due on Monday, but instead I've done the following:

1. I woke up around 11:30am and took a shower.

2. I watched a show on the 10 Best Beaches in Florida.

3. I got online and searched for those beaches in Florida.

4. I changed my "status" on MySpace.

5. I searched online for my next few tattoos even though I already know what I'm getting.

6. I logged into my class (PROGRESS! :-D )

7. I logged OUT of my class (not as much progress as I thought).

8. I made some of that yummy gourmet popcorn for lunch/dinner.

9. I opened my textbook to find out what the heck this paper was supposed to be about. (PROGRESS! :-D )

10. I sighed, "Well, crap!" and closed the notebook. (not so much progress)

11. I changed my "status" on MySpace again.

12. I went through my online photos and arranged them in chronological order within subcategories.

13. I took another shower. (I had forgotten about the first one at the time, and then wondered why everything was wet.)

14. I watched another travel show on the 10 Best Carribbean Resorts (I want to go to St. John, USVI SO BAD!!!)

15. (I'll bet you think I got online and searched for those resorts, don't you?) Well, I'll never tell!!!

16. I went and made myself a HUGANTOR amaretto sour, and then nearly started to cry because I used the last of my amaretto.

17. I changed my "status" on MySpace, and proceeded to write this blog post.

Now, I realize that I might not have been the most productive member of society today, and I CLEARLY haven't performed at my academic peak, but you have to admit I do know how to procrastinate!

I think I'm going to finish my drink, hit the cheap vodka and fake cranberry juice and try to write a drunk Hypothetical Working Agreement. Now that would be a challenge! Heck, I have enough points in the class to pass anyway. I really don't even have to do the paper if I don't want to!

Maybe I'll go take another shower instead. :-D

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Scary Church Ladies

You know it's bad when your college professor has to verbally-chastise grown adults in a public forum. Not just grown adults, mind you... But the self-proclaimed religious, God-fearing adults!!! After my last blog about my class, things got really heated on the message boards... Not as a response to my post... The unyielding Scary Church Ladies (SCL's) didn't bother to respond to me. Apparently I'm just a commoner in the realms of the holy world. But they are now on a Bible-thumping kick on the evils of, well... Everything basically!

These women are SCARY!!! We're all going to hell no matter what we do apparently (except for them, of course... They are servants of the Lord.) I'm beginning to think I'm a freak in the world of Christianity as well as in the human services profession! Call me crazy (most people do), but I always thought that being a Christian meant that you tried to treat everyone with respect whether you agreed with their personal beliefs or not. "Do unto others..." and all that...

Our class has been informed by the leader of the SCL's that our primary job as human services professionals and as Christians (again, a rash generalization that all human services professionals are Christians in the first place) is to spread the Word of God.  Really?  I thought the primary job of a human services professional is to help people!!! Certainly not to beat them over the head with your personal beliefs and tell them they're going to hell for their lifestyles...

Anyway... After we were all told that every word of the Bible should be taken literally and that those who don't will be condemned to eternal hellfire, our professor had to post a message about treating each other with respect regardless of our differing opinions and religious beliefs. She then had to go back and tell the leader of the SCL's to "please review my post on respect" after she said (IN ALL CAPS) that the subject we were discussing was a sin. It is Biblical. We can't change it or wish it away or rationalize it. And anyone who does it is going to hell. Period. "GOD HAS THE FINAL ANSWER! IT IS SIN!!!" She frightens me.

So the SCL's went and pissed me off and I decided to post my honest, yet professional responses to each subject they were preaching about. I got slammed by the SCL's, but I received tons of "THANK YOU's" from the students who are there for a real education in the field. And, I posted the following to their leader...

"I really didn't want to be sucked into a religious debate, but I do feel the need to ask... As a Christian, don't you also believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins? I think it can be easy to look at the Old Testament and take it very literally, but the New Testament, the life and death of Jesus, shows us that God is also a forgiving God. I think if we are going to judge people for their beliefs and actions, we must also be able to forgive."

I'll keep you all posted and let you know how that one goes over.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I've Been a Bad, Bad Girl...

Yep... I've gone and done it now...

Quite a bit of my schooling is done on message boards... The professor presents a discussion question, and everyone responds with their input and furthers the conversation throughout the week. For those of you who don't know, I'm majoring in Human Services Management. The "helping" profession, for crying out loud! And I swear, this group of people in this class have to be the most judgmental, biased group of individuals who have ever walked the planet!

WHY ON EARTH would someone ever enter into this field when they have such strong negative opinions about everyone different from them?!? One of the discussion questions this week was, "Would you ever agree to work with a sexual deviant?" Out of 20 people, only three of us said that we'd be willing to try! Most of these women were like, "Oh HELLLLLL NO! They should be be strung up and publically flogged and castrated and killed!" (Which I don't entirely disagree with, but it's not my place to do that. Personally, I think if there is even a chance that rehabilitation could work, we should at least try. These people are going to be out there regardless of whether or not we try to rehabilitate them. I'd rather know that someone was trying, rather than just letting them loose and hoping for the best.) Half of these chicks went on to talk about all of the immigrants needing to go back to their own countries (apparently all sexual deviants are immigrants in their minds), about abusive mothers (apparently they are all prostitutes), and about "those alternative lifestyle people". These conversations carried on all week. And tonight, I'd had enough! I decided to stir the pot a little bit and say something about it. Bad, Tammy!

I just said that I was curious to see what everyone's opinion was on the importance of tolerance and acceptance in the human services field. I told them that I've always felt that people choosing to enter this field should be more tolerant of alternative lifestyles, cultural, religious, economic, ethnic differences, etc. in order to provide unbiased, non-judgmental, unconditional positive regard. I asked if it is even possible to do an effective job of counseling someone if you've gone into the session already condemning the client for their lifestyles, beliefs, or even their past crimes? I asked, if you refer all of your clients to other counselors because you don't think you could work with them, why go into this field in the first place? Then I said that I might be wrong, but I've always thought that people who have chosen to spend their lives in a "helping" profession would naturally be more accepting than society as a whole. And THEN... Bad, Tammy! I said that I was really surprised, and rather disappointed by most of the responses I'd seen up to this point, and really hoped someone could clarify their opinions for me because I just didn't understand how someone in this field could be that unmoving in their opinions. I can't wait to see what everyone has to say about that!!!

I'm SOOO bad! I can't wait to see what all of those chick-a-dees have to say for themselves!

Monday, February 25, 2008

My New Mission

During my quest toward self-actualization and journey to find happiness again, I've decided to make it my mission to start blogging regularly. It might be serious. It might be Jack Handey-type "Deep Thoughts." Maybe something that I found that made me laugh or something that I'm thankful for. Today, I have decided to present you with my Positive Thought for the Day.

I was sitting here at work, opening the first massive stack of mail that we get every Monday, and it suddenly dawned on me.


You might think this is not something to be overly-excited about. You might think I forgot to take my meds this morning, but you'd be wrong. I JUST LOVE MY STAPLER!!! (:-D) It is a Swingline, rechargeable, battery operated, electric stapler that handles up to 20 sheets of paper at a time! ...and it only took me 5 years to convince my boss that I was worth the $40 it would cost to get me one.

You see, I go through about 500 staples a day, and using the big heavy manual stapler was just not hacking it. Now that I think about it, I think the only reason that my boss agreed to buy me the electric stapler was that I was beginning to show the early symptoms of carpal tunal syndrome, and he just didn't want to have to do my job if I had to be out for another surgery. But hey! Whatever works, right?

So today, I salute you, Mr. Swingline, rechargeable, battery-operated, electric stapler! You are truly a blessing in my life.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Survived...

Well, I survived my first visit with the loony doctor. I was fine all morning, and did really well for the first 10 minutes or so. No anxiety attacks, no hysterical crying...

We talk about my hysterectomy. We talk about my family history. We talk about my issues with food. We talk about things that I've done during my "manic" periods. I did REALLY well until he asked me, "How do you see your life in the future?" Not a hard question... But I LOST IT! I know how I want my life to be, but I basically see myself alone and miserable for the rest of my life. I started bawling like a baby.

Then he asks me, "Do you feel like life is worth living?" (DO YOU NOT SEE ME BAWLING HERE?!?) I take his question to mean, "Are you suicidal?" and my answer was, "Well, I'm not suicidal or anything." But he says, "That's not what I asked." I'd never thought about that before. I sat there for a minute and realized that it really just depended on whether I was on an high or not. When I'm on a high, I think I change the world with my smile and scathing wit. I can do anything I want. But most days, I kind of feel like "what's the point?" I eat, I sleep, I pay bills. Whoop-dee-do!

After going over a rundown of all of my history, he said I definitely sound like I have bipolar tendencies. Definitely severe depression and anxiety issues. He's changing my medications all up. He wants to get me on a broader range of medications to try to help with the depression, anxiety, mood swings, and my manic episodes. He wants to concentrate on the depression and anxiety first because that seems to be giving me the most problems right now. And lucky me! I get to start seeing him once a week until we get the medications regulated.

He also said that he's changing things up from what I'm already on quite a bit, so there's really no telling how I'm going to react until I've been on them for a couple of weeks. If I'm more loony than usual, just tell me so I can tell him. And THEN (lucky me again!), he's going to see about getting me on a mood stabilizer if I keep having the manic episodes. Hopefully I won't need it. But heck, I'll take ANYTHING if I start feeling like a real person again!

So... I braved the unknown. I bawled in front of someone and the world didn't come to an end. Then I came back to work and made Delma cry because I was still weepy. I'm sure they all appreciated that. But at least now I know that I can talk to a shrink and it won't kill me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pardon Me While I Freak Out a Bit...


Thank you. I feel better now.

I did it. After 10 months of putting it off (well, more like 15 years), I just got up the nerve and called the shrink. It took about 30 minutes of pacing and three or four attempts at dialing the number, but I actually did it! Those people don't give you a chance to back out either! They picked up BEFORE the first ring, and scheduled my appointment for first thing tomorrow morning. YIKES! I was thinking I'd have a week or so to psych myself up for it! Now I'm having a freaking panic attack!!!

I almost didn't call because I've been on a pretty good high the past few days. I'm feeling GOOD! I want to go back to school! I want to get more tats, dress like a hoochie-mama and dance on bars (just ask Michele and Sasha... I expressed my desire to do just that on Saturday!). Just this morning I had a sudden urge to ask Jake to take me to the shooting range and teach me how to shoot! Where the heck did THAT come from?!? Sure, I'd been watching Law & Order: SVU, but why would that give me the sudden urge to want to shoot at things?!?

Then I got an email from my mom this afternoon telling me all about a relative's latest "freak out" (we don't get this mental stuff from any stranger, that's for sure), and I realized that I was going a little loony myself. Table-dancing and dressing like a streetwalker are NOT "normal, sane" things for me to want to do. So I got up the nerve, and called. And NOW, I actually have to go!

So yes. I am FREAKING OUT!!! But hopefully the psychiatrist can figure out once and for all why I'm having these ridiculous mood swings and doing some seriously stupid things. Let's hope I don't back out of my appointment. Wish me luck. ...and wish the shrink luck. ...and I wish all of you luck! You're gonna need it having to deal with me.

Thank you for all of the support and encouragement. I definitely appreciate it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fearing the Journey

I found a quote when I was going through my journal that really hit home with me. It was something that I'd read in a book called "The Locket" by Richard Paul Evans.

"The most difficult of decisions are often not the ones
in which we cannot determine the correct course,
rather the ones in which we are certain of the path,
but fear the journey."

As I've been struggling with whatever this craziness is that's going on in my head, I've known that I need to talk to someone. I know that I need to see a professional who can actually diagnose me and help me work through this. In the past 10 months I've gone as far as getting pre-approved through my insurance, and then something stops me dead in my tracks. ...the fear of the journey... the fear of what might happen if I'm diagnosed with something that would actually label me as "crazy"... the fear of actually having to answer questions that I've never answered before... the fear of breaking down in front of someone (for the most part, that's something that I've pretty much managed to keep to myself until now)...

So I put off making the appointment in the hopes that this will all go away on its own. I've had manic-depressive tendencies since college (maybe before). I'll suddenly freak out and make major life-altering decisions without thinking about it and then suffer the consequences. (Like having an anxiety attack and packing up and moving an hour and a half away from work because "I JUST NEED SOME QUIET DAMMIT!!!") Then I'll sink into a depression so low that I use every ounce of strength that I have to function for the eight hours a day at work that I sleep for 20 hours a day on the weekends.

Up until this past year, the ups and downs of the roller coaster had been fairly far apart, so I didn't really notice it as much. But now, my mood can change from one minute to the next without warning. I'll be on a total high thinking that I can change the world with my smile alone, then someone will look at me funny and I'll want to tear their limbs off. After that, I'll realize that I'm being irrational and I'll start to cry. Then I think, "Screw it! Let's go to Happy Hour, girls!" It's gotten so bad that I don't even recognize myself anymore. Which brings me back to the "fearing the journey" thing...

I know it's completely ridiculous. I know I'll feel better when I'm diagnosed and can get on the right kind of medication and treatment. Rationally, I know I'll have a better chance of being able to adopt a child once I've gone through treatment and gotten everything under control. But my biggest irrational fear is that the social worker doing the adoption homestudy will read my medical history and fail me on the spot because I've been diagnosed as "crazy." So I sit paralyzed in fear of the journey and of what might come of it.

I am trying. I do realize that I need to get help. I know I'm not going to get better on my own. "The most difficult of decisions are often not the ones in which we cannot determine the correct course, rather the ones in which we are certain of the path, but fear the journey."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Random Ramblings #2

After further contemplation, I have decided that it is not so much sweating that I dislike as it is the exercising itself. (See Blog entitled Random Ramblings #1) I am perfectly content to sit in a piping hot, steamy sauna and sweat my booty off for an hour as long as I don't have to move.  Exercising, on the other hand, SUCKS!!!

This is especially true for chunky ladies. All of that wobbling and jiggling... I really think fat people exercising should post disclaimers on their backs to warn off unsuspecting souls. "Santa Claus Belly Jiggling Ahead. Beware!" We could hurt someone! I've decided this is why I don't exercise. I'm only thinking of others.

Then there's that whole "day after" thing where places of your body hurt that you didn't even know you had. Who would have thought that working out would make your BOOBS hurt, for crying out loud?!? What's up with THAT?!?

Yeah... I'd much rather just lay there in the sauna for an hour or two and sweat it out than have to flop my way around on the treadmill. We'll see how long my "sweating it out" theory works. I'll probably HAVE to start moving eventually. But in the meantime... Just let me take a nap in a 130 degree steam sauna and wake up 3 pounds lighter.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rude Awakening

I was watching The Biggest Loser the other day, reveling in the fact that I would be "the skinny girl" on the show. (You have to gets your jollies somehow.) I was in for a rude awakening during the weigh-in, however, when I realized, "HOLY CRAP!!! That fat chick weighs LESS THAN ME now!!!" I guess WATCHING big people exercise on TV doesn't count as exercise.

Fat Class (aka.Weight Watchers at Work), here I come! Fat Lady Gym, I will once again be entering your doors. Let's hope lightening doesn't strike. Run, Chunky Lady, RUN LIKE THE WIND!!! I might even pay Skinny Bitch (see last year's blog) to yell at me. She was awful, but my massive booty ran. She was scary.

So if you feel the earth trembling beneath your feet, never fear! It's just me with my Santa Claus belly running on the treadmill. If you see me munching on celery, trying to convince you that "It's YUMMY!" just humor me and agree. And if I don't show up to work for a while, check the local jails. I might have assaulted Skinny Bitch. WISH ME LUCK!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Shaking Depression

I'm trying... I'm trying so hard to shake this depression that I've been in for the past year. The battle between logical reasoning and my knee-jerk emotional reactions to situations has definitely taken a toll on me. It's difficult having reactions that are so completely out of proportion to what they should be. "It's a flat Diet Coke for crying out loud! It's NOT the END OF THE WORLD!!!"

I try to hide it as much as I can, but I completely break down when I'm alone. I make jokes about being "crazy" because I'll lose it otherwise. My normal, organized OCD personality is completely gone, and it's all I can do to force myself to check the mail or take out the trash. My house is a mess, my desk is a mess, my purse is a mess, and at this point, it's all so overwhelming I just want to throw it all away and start over. (I actually got a new checking account so I wouldn't have to balance my old one.)

I know so many of my friends and family have been worried about me, and I really do appreciate all of the support even if I can't always show it. Just know that I'm trying to shake this. They're not kidding when they say that depression affects everyone. I know how worried you all are. I'm trying... Just bear with me a while longer. The doctor is working on me, and I'm doing my best to work on myself...

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