Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hello, Again.

I am SO, SO sorry I've been absent much of this last week. It's been a Lil Crazy here at Casa NAMG.

Long story short, in the last 14 days we have had 6 people in my family go into the hospital for various things. I THINK it's all over with now and regular posting shall resume!

Again, my apologies and I hope you'll stick around. The weight loss posts are about to ramp up as are the "My Child so CRAZY" posts, as he is returning soon from his vacation in Abilene.

See ya's soon.

Friday, July 25, 2008



I got a clean bill of health. I apparently have a VERY healthy heart. Better than it has a right to be with my weight! WOOT! My lungs are STRONG! ::flexes lungs for a better view::

Apparently, my little breathing issues were brought on by stress and anxiety and it just presented in an odd way. I've had panic attacks and anxiety attacks before and NONE of them acted like this. I mean... not really. Yes, the tightness in the chest and feeling like I can't breathe were similar but my mind wasn't racing... wasn't flying all over the place trying to control the "event" and causing the panic to worsen...

However, I HAVE had a lot of stress over the last year. The last two weeks have upped the ante stress-wise. My surgery, my nephew's surgery, Unca B's surgery, struggling with whether or not I should return to the lake for the school year and continue my weight loss efforts there. Should I keep Adrian in that environment and community another year and let him become more invested in it before, ultimately, ripping him out of it and bringing him back to Houston where he'll have to start over in the 4th grade. I will have to learn to manage my eating here. I will have to learn to make it work in THIS environment... but is now the time? Just lots of... stuff... going on in my head. I supposed it IS entirely possible it was panic and stress.

Regardless, I AM HOME! I do have to say, if any of you are in the Houston area and have to go to the hospital... Houston North West Hospital just offa FM 1960 is great. It's clean and modern. The staff if knowledgeable and personable. Very friendly and caring. They encourage questions and give detailed answers. They WILL take the time to make you comfortable in all ways. My family and I were very impressed. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Humble Pie

I was admitted to the hospital today. I've been having pressure on the left side of my chest and feeling like I'm unable to get my breath for 2 days. Husband took me to the ER this morning after that sensation woke me out of a deep sleep and then my left arm started feeling tired and weak. We feared blood clots had made their way to my lungs but a chest CT showed no clotting. Thank God. Now I'm being worked up for cardiac issues but everything thus far has come back negative for problems. Tomorrow I have the 2nd part of my cardiac stress test and we should know more then.

My friends and family have really lifted me up throughout all of this and I am so, SO grateful to have you all in my life.

I want to thank each and every one of you for the kind words, thoughts, and prayers you've been sending my way during this whole Pain/Surgical drama. The support of my friends and family has been wonderful and has made a HUGE difference in my outlook and mindset.

You have managed to keep a smile on my face and laughter in my heart when I've been hurting more than I can describe and scared out of my mind. You bring me Peace. You are the greatest gift I've ever been given. Thank you so much.

Guest Post-A-Palooza Day 8 - The Final Chapter

KDFrawg is a writer from Kansas and the proprietor or

People, Plurk, and Reality

People, as a rule, are great. I like to keep that in my mind at all times, because it can be easy to forget and I never want to let the thought go. Sometimes things happen that shake our faith in people, like the recent LillyAnn episode. No matter what the truth turns out to be, the incident will have made us question the efficacy of our fellow man. Questioning is all right; it makes us better. But losing faith is not right, because it makes us worse.

I have witnessed incidents similar to this one unfold on the Internet for over 25 years. People have seen things like this happen in the non-virtual world since humans made their way down from the trees, and perhaps before. Many of them start out as little white lies that get big and dark gray. Others begin life as black like deep midnight and go downhill from there. I don't care how the latest incident came about. It just doesn't matter.

What matters is that people care enough to be deceived once in a while. There is no shame in that. In our haste to help, sometimes we give too much and too soon. It is better to err on the side of humanity, as long as we do not lose anything really meaningful, like our love for our fellow human beings. We can lose a little money once in a while and recover from it. If you lost love and faith, you have lost it all.

Think instead about the people you care about, like NotAMeanGirl, and about the real problems they face, like surgery. We are sure that our friend will come back to us better, with fewer problems than before. Still, we can't help but worry because we are good people, and we care. Don't let the occasional bad person alienate you from all the great people. Stop spending negative energy thinking about scams, and start sending positive energy towards NotAMeanGirl for her quick recovery, and for a better life, problems solved.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Guest Post-A-Palooza Day 7

Plurk Friends

Hi, I am Laura Iriarte and I am guest blogging for Tessa/NotAMeanGirl while she recovers from surgery. I met Tessa on is a social networking site that consists of a timeline broken down to the minute. Members or plurkers post comments or questions in 140 characters. Similar to, other members can comment or reply to someone else's plurk. In this way it is easy to have a conversation with one or more people.

Plurkers are friendly and warm, if I plurk simply, "hello", I will easily have 10 responses from other plurkers saying hello back. I love that! Even though I have many more twitter followers and some friends on twitter I adore, that doesn't happen on twitter. If I say hello on twitter, I will get one or two responses max, sometimes zero.

If I ask a question on twitter, it's debatable whether someone will answer it. I've gotten mixed results. But on Plurk, plurkers are out in full force to help each other. It's really nice. I really enjoy the friendly and fun plurk community. I've met some very nice people.

NotAMeanGirl is one of them. And when she put out a request for guest bloggers while she was recuperating, many of us raised our plurky hands to help her out. That's what plurkers do. If you are looking for and enjoyable way to pass some time, give a try.

I'll see you there!

Note: My plurk name is lauralovesart, and well, of course, NotAMeanGirl's is NotAMeanGirl. I regularly blog at: Please come and visit!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Guest Post-A-Palooza Day 6

The Accidental Racist


Years ago I was actively involved in a number of spirited and deeply felt blog conversations on race. One of the most insightful bloggers involved posted a question: "What did you know and when did you know it?", asking us when we first became aware of race and how. In response I posted the story of my childhood in Oakland in the mid-60's, when I was staying with my grandparents as the first African-Americans moved into the neighborhood. I related the terrible racism of my grandfather, a hard-working salt of the earth man who hated everyone who was not pure white and from the right areas of Europe, and how I defiantly befriended the children of the first black family to move in down the street. I was a socially inept child that was often the victim of the cool kids (yes, even in Kindergarten), and as such I was very grateful to have friends who didn't enjoy tricking me into 'drinking' cups full of sand, among other juvenile humiliations I endured.Nathan and Lionel were my best friends that year, and i related this story in the effort to make myself sound like the 'good white person', the one who looked past skin color and familial influences and saw the nice children who would not do hurtful things to me.

As I related this story I cast myself as a social misfit, and concluded by saying that I was glad not to be like the 'normal' children who tormented me so, and in doing so showed my ignorance to my own racism. Yes, my own racism. Because just rebelling against the status quo and identifying myself as an outsider in that neighborhood by virtue of my choice of playmates, I was unknowingly reinforcing the prejudices that I carried. Without even realizing what I was saying, I came right out and said that white was 'normal'.

So there I was, congratulating myself for being ahead of my time in open-mindedness, when I was completely blindsided by the following response:
The average human being is a person of color, with dark hair, dark eyes, and non-white skin. To be a person of color is to be 'normal'.

White people have forced 'whiteness' on the psyche of the world as being 'normal' through sheer brute know, the whole domination,colonization, oppression of the world's people of color bit.

I have been approached by people like you in my life, either for friendship or dating, who didn't see themselves as 'normal' white people and felt some sort of kinship or affinity towards people of color because of this. Yeah,I've heard it all before from white people coming at me with Freaks unite!Oddballs rule! Hmmmph, as if I am inherently a freak or oddball or not 'normal' because I am black. This is insulting, on so many levels. It is condescending. It is rude. It is hurtful.

I remember reading this comment and feeling dizzy with shame, because let's face it that's just what I did. And this shook me to the core. It took from me my illusions of being better than the racists that raised me, of having overcome the challenges of my upbringing and grown up to be an enlightened being. I looked from my grandparents' generation to my parents, who considered themselves very tolerant of 'different' people, yet who could not bring up a non-caucasian person in conversation without identifying them with a racial label. They thought they were the good white people too. And then I looked from my parents' generation to myself, and realized that my insistence that I "didn't see color" was really an insult to the people whose color i claimed not to see. I realized that defeating racism did not mean acting as if race did not exist.

Since then, I have learned to see in color. I have learned that my acquired color-blindness was not the answer and, like Devyl,to teach my children about racism. My strategy, had it not been for this eye-opening, would have been to teach my children to ignore the differences of race and color, rather than to embrace and honor them, and to listen and learn and try to understand. I learned that it is one of my most important tasks as a parent not to teach my children 'tolerance', as if differences are something we need to tolerate, to endure; a burden. If I succeed in this, my children will never accidentally blurt out some ignorant remark that reveals a deep flaw in their perspective, where they see themselves as gracious in their acceptance of others. Acceptance is something we have for shortcomings, tolerance is something we have for pain. Acceptance of race is not grace, it is arrogance. So, this is my goal for my children, but what of myself? In truth I am not even sure I am not practicing some insidious form of condescending whiteness in writing this. What I have learned in the intervening six years since the blog post mentioned above, is that I have some wonderful friends on the Internet who have put up with me through my ignorance and provided a gentle education as I struggle to get it right.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Guest Post-A-Palooza Day 5

How much food goes to waste in YOUR household?

I had other ideas about what I would blog about tonight, grand ideas that would take some time to research. However, I find that right now, all I want to do is rant. So, I am going to have a semi-productive rant.

I live on a *very* limited income. I share a large-ish house with two other adults (they are brother and sister, and I claim them as my brother and sister because they are my best friend's brother and sister), their three children (she has two, he has one), and my child. We split the rent (2/2/1, with *him* having the one/fifth ratio), the bills (1/1/1), and the food (1/1/1/).

Being in this situation, it is obvious to me that we should be respectful to one another and conserve as much energy, food, and water as possible. We should not be letting water run in the sink untended, putting the air down to 70 degrees during the day when nobody is home, or wasting food. Right? Common sense, I would think.

However, since we *first* moved in together, my child and I have limited most of our showers to 15 minutes or less, with a few running longer if we were hurt, tired, or stressed out. My roommate takes 20 minute showers, daily. Her son would turn the water on, sit on the toilet for 20 minutes, then get in the shower and bathe for 10 minutes. It has bothered me since we moved in together, but no matter what I say, she *insists* that my child and I use more water than they do, collectively. Whatever.

I have a habit of setting my thermostat and leaving it be. If i get hot, i put on a fan. If i get cold, I pull on a blanket. I probably don't conserve as much energy as I should with the thermostat, and I will gladly admit that I am spoiled in that I have almost *always* had air conditioning and like to use it during the summer. However, I do shut off lights when I'm not using them. I turn off the tvs and radios overnight, and I trained my child years ago to turn off light switches when leaving the room. My roommate? They leave lights on through the whole main part of the house - hallway, living room, kitchen - whether they are using them or not, because they don't like the dark. Both my roommate and her son leave their radios on all night long. They turn the air to an extreme to cool/warm the *whole* house instead of using the space heater or fan to cool off the *one* room they are using to hang out.

I like to recycle. I think it is healthy, I think it is helpful - no matter how little my effort counts in the scope of the world, I think it only takes a minimal effort on my part to make a huge difference in my own contribution to the trash. My roommates? No. They don't recycle. They don't like to rinse the cans out before they put them in the trash. They figure it all gets dumped in the same place anyway, what's the point?

Now, here's my biggest pet peeve. Food.

When I cook, I cook a lot of food, because I know I like it - and I can eat it the next day or the day after. I put food in the refrigerator and take care to package it properly so that it will be as "fresh" as possible the next day. When i cook, my leftovers do *not* go to waste. It is amazing how much food I throw away every week out of the refrigerator. Meat that was prepared but not cooked. Half-drank sodas or juice boxes. A can of soup half eaten. A head of lettuce used once for a sandwich. Tomatoes that didn't get touched because I was told they were for a particular purpose, but that purpose never came about. A whole box of pasta that was prepared but not used because they didn't have the milk or the butter to put into sauce. Half-eaten fruit. Half-eaten dishes. Bread that got hard or moldy because they don't like to keep it int he refrigerator, where it will last longer, but they ALSO don't like to keep the twist-tie on it - they just fold it over and call it done (ew, gross!). At least one a month, I fill an entire trash bag with wasted food. What the heck is going on here?

There are five of them in the house. Why aren't they eating all these leftovers and all this food? What in the world is going on? I asked once. I was told, "I do not like leftovers. When we were growing up, we didn't eat them. Only Mom ate the leftovers." You know why? Because they were so poor, there was *only* enough food to cook one meal at a time, and there were six of them in the family, so that food got eaten up really freaking quickly! So, why cook so much if you're not going to eat it the next day? Well, because they want there to be plenty now. *Insert eye roll here.*

I know I could do better with the other resources we use. I *know* I could conserve more energy and water. I do not think, however, that I waste either needlessly. My thermostat goes up during the day because I'm not here (or down during the winter), and while I take long showers, I don't run the water the whole time, plus I use a thingamajig that helps conserve water. But the waste of food? That is a very physical, very noticeable, very tangible waste of resources and money. Not to mention all the starving kids it could feed if it were possible to get it to them.

I'm disgusted by it. Once again, I am going to make more of an effort to rescue what they are wasting. Wish me luck!

Oh, and if you want to discuss, answer this: How much food do YOU waste in your household??

Thanks for listening (reading)

Oh, and if you want to know more about me, or you like randomness, check out my blog, "Random Thoughts and Musings," at


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Guest Post-A-Palooza Day 4

Fajar Jasmin is an aspiring writer from Indonesia. Having a background as a Certified Technical Writer, he does have an unhealthy fascination of details, - which he shamelessly indulge on when working on his first novel.

That being said, he's also a pompous smartass. Proud father. Inconsistent blogger. Self-styled writer. Avid reader. Book kisser. Passionate lover. Industrial music evangelist. Dumb loyalist. Top-notch timewaster. Football philosopher. Tolstoy apostle. Lucky bastard. Ping-pong spin doctor. And a Hopeless romantic.

For more info about him, visit his personal blog at

Dear Butterfly,

Are you there ? Wherever there is ? Are you there, crossing your feet on top of each other, sipping your coffee while observing the sky from behind those cat-eye glasses of yours ?

3 days, 8 months and 11 years. That’s exactly how long since the last time I’ve seen you. You see, I’ve been counting. I’ve been counting my days since I walked out of your door that Sunday evening. And wondering. What happened ? What happened to our warm bubble of lovemaking ? What happened to turn a butterfly back to what it used to be, - an ugly caterpillar ? Reverse metamorphosis ? Unable to find out, I did likewise. I regressed to mankind’s most primal existence. I dug deep to its most primitive desire. I feed.

It’s been downhill since. Life after you was black. Black. Bleak. Dark. Naked. Torn. I can only see two colors now : Black and Red. And because red is the only bright hue I can see in this otherwise insipid monochrome damned world of mine, I got addicted to it. And because there is nothing redder than blood. The beautiful crimson. Once tasted, forever hooked.

I wonder how does it feel like ? Sitting on the lap of somebody who betrayed your closest one ? Prowling around on the green grass like two carefree children who escaped their mother’s vigilant attention ? Basking in the orange rays of Singaporean dusk, I bet treason tasted good then, eh ? You see, what dumbfounded me was, - and constantly is, what was on your mind ? Why would you do such thing ? Broken promises ? Unsung odes ? I searched and searched and searched, until it hit me. It’s just a plain, blatant, stinking backstabbing at its most ugliest.

They say fight fire with fire. Would a fire be hot enough to consume the vile stench of what you did ? When you kill someone, the best way to avoid the stinky decomposition fumes is by eating the body. See the logic now ? I do not eat to hide the traces. I feast on the glorious vermillion of blood and meat and eliminates the obnoxious smell at one stroke.

In a way, what I’ve been doing is searching. I’ve been searching for that critical point where our universe was bent into an unrecognizable shape. Answers. Reasons. Motives. Explanations. Triggers. Did I start the doomed chain reaction myself ? Was it some involuntary decision of mine that somehow created a different, twisted perception to you ? And searched I did.

Even until I found you myself. Even until I chew on your finger one by one. Even as portions of our limbs are joined together in my grinder to create the most tantalizing and delectable meat paté you’ve ever had. I won’t stop, my dear butterfly. If I can not bend heaven, then I will stir hell for an answer. And before I can do that, I will have to pass the ultimate border of all : death itself. Oh, I’ll do it gladly enough. We’ll do it together, remember ? I will die asking, slowly, smiling. Looking into diminishing glow of life in your pretty eyes.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Guest Post-A-Palooza Day 3

Normally, I write about techno-web design and SEO. It pretty much consumes my life. I'm actually really excited to get to write a post that doesn't need to sound smart and cutting edge.
I'm honored to post here because I understand what its like to go through horrible, horrible pain and medical issues. I'm always interested to see how people react to the stress and lifestyle changes. Some people slow down and pity themselves while other stay positive and inspire others; it is a strange continuum. I want to share a little bit of my story, and hopefully it will be uplifting to you.

In March of '06 I began a terrible journey. It stared with what I thought was a bad case of the stomach flu. It wouldn't go away. After a month of pain I just started hopping through specialists: gyns, GIs, urologists, no one could really pinpoint what was wrong. But it hurt, and I suffered. I was taking 20 hour in my junior year of college and working. I was also planning a wedding, even though that quickly came to a stand still.

In April they finally hospitalized me for throwing up bile and not keeping any fluids down for 48 hours. Upon my admission to the emergencey room they shot me up with morphine. It didn't even touch the pain. When I told the doctors how much I still hurt they proceded to tell my parents that I was "drug-seeking" and they would hold me for viewing but would not give me any more medication. Imagine being locked in a little cell with IV fluids, balled up in pain, telling you to stop lying about how bad you feel and they won't even let you have visitors.
At the end of the second day I had a bleed. They did an emergency colonoscopy (not fun). And discovered I had Msenteric ischemia:

Mesenteric ischemia - acute mesenteric ischemia is an uncommon life-threatening clinical entity that ultimately leads to death unless it is diagnosed and treated appropriately. Despite diagnostic and therapeutic advances and an improved understanding of the pathophysiology, the morbidity and mortality associated with acute mesenteric ischemia remain high, having changed relatively little over the past several decades. Accordingly, the index of suspicion for this disease should be high whenever a patient presents with acute-onset severe abdominal pain that is out of proportion to the physical findings. Once the diagnosis is made, prompt intervention is required to minimize morbidity and mortality.Acute mesenteric ischemia can result from any of four distinct processes: (1) embolic occlusion of the mesenteric circulation (usually the superior mesenteric artery [SMA]); (2) acute thrombosis of the mesenteric circulation; (3) intense splanchnic vasoconstriction—so-called nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia (NOMI)—which is usually associated with a low-flow state or profound hypovolemia; or (4) mesenteric venous thrombosis (MVT). (

In layman's terms, it doesn't usually happen until you are 60 or older. It also has a 1% survival chance if not discovered in 24 hours. You know what ulcers are? Imagine that along 26 feet of intestine. They told me I was going to die and there was nothing they could do. (On the up side, they did give me my own pain specialist... and he was hot. I wanted to marry this guy: gorgeous, doctor and makes all the bad things go away!)

My mother, God bless her, didn't believe them. She had me careflighted from Dallas to Pittsburg to see one of three doctors could could preform the triple organ transplant they thought I needeed. On the plane I lost all my vitals (death escape #2). But right when I flatlined, I came back.

In Pittsburg I experienced my next real miracle. They did another colonoscopy. All the raw places in my intestines were gone. In fact, they wouldn't have believed they were ever there if they didn't have photographic evidence. I no longered needed a transplant. However, in the next week my small bowel ruptured. (death escape #3) But we didn't know. I was sick, very sick, and my intestines were leaking, but no one knew. A few more weeks go by, they were running tests to find the source of infection, to no avail. Finally, we go in for surgery. Surgery was a great risk, due to a childhood defect (which may or may not be related to the ischemia) I had naturally low platelets as well as extra varicose veins covering all my organs. The risk of internal bleeding was incredible. (death escape #4)

Surgery should have taken 2-4 hours. It took 12. I have read the surgeon's log, its not pretty (even when its all facts and no emotion). They spent hours trimming back veins, each one liable to kill me, just to get to the rupture. I was completely seperated, my colon had wrapped around the two pieces small intestine and held them together, forming a kind of capsule which kept me from dying. Even the surgeon told my family: God's the only reason she's still alive.

I spent another month in recovery. I now have a 24 inch scar across my stomach in the shape of a Mercedes Benz symbol. I lead a completely normal life besides blood thinners and regular labs. All that time in the hospital people around the world prayed for me, sent good thoughts my way, etc. Many of these people I didn't even know. I'm not advocating religion, but I do think the positive thoughts of people can make a difference in someone's life. I never really believed I was going to die, maybe it was denial but I think I just knew somehow that I would make it.

I often wonder why I was saved. So many people die in accidents every day. But I have made it my mission to live every day better because I'm so lucky. I plan to write about my experiences in the hopsital (this barely scratches the surface). Every morning I get in the shower and see that scar and it reminds me of my promise. I hope reading this makes you think about what is most important to you and if your life was cut short tomorrow what would you do? Take that thought and live everyday like its your last. The richness I have discovered by doing this has made me a better person and I wouldn't change anything that has happened... except the medical bills, those sucked.

If you are interested in more of my writing, including stuff about my upcoming book it is here: Kat Scratch or you can check out my business blog:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Guest Post-A-Palooza Day 2

Todays guest blog is by Claudia of StoriesByClaudia. She's a friend of mine from Plurk! She's written a short story for your consideration:

Hard Blue Plastic Chair

The glow of the monitor displays outlined Rebecca Hargreaves’ grief stricken profile. Her shoulders slumped under the weight of her guilt. She scooted the hard blue plastic chair closer to her daughter Alex’s bed in the Intensive Care Unit of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver Colorado.

As if in a trance, Rebecca watched the lights bounce up and down on the screens. These unintelligible machines were the only thing that stood between her vibrant daughter and death.

Always a beautiful woman, a Senator’s wife, Rebecca’s face reflected the strain of last twelve hours. Her large hazel eyes were red and swollen from weeping into her husband’s tight embrace. Under a mask of make-up perfection, she looked pale and tired. Her pert Cupid’s bow lips, usually turned in a bright smile, held a tight line as if guarding against a scream that lingered just behind Rebecca’s teeth.

She closed her eyes to say a silent prayer of gratitude for the guards outside the curtain. While protecting her daughter’s safety, they also ensured that Rebecca’s distraught photo would not appear on page six of the New York Post.

Turning her head away from her daughter, and the awful machines, Rebecca crossed her arms over her chest. This time, she remembered to dress for the iceberg ICU by wearing a soft hand knit sweater. Her perfectly manicured hands moved along her arms, caressing the wool, in a desperate attempt to create comfort in this frigid, sterile environment.

She turned her eyes to the bed where her daughter lay under blue hospital blankets, white sheets, and a mile of gauze. Short, brown stubble peeked from a turban of bandages that encompassed Alex’s head. Her taut body was a horror show of tubes, drains, and shunts. The clear plastic pipe jammed into her throat forced Alex to take one breath, and then another. Her right hand, its cuticles ragged and skin calloused, lay just inches from Rebecca’s face where Alex’s husband had placed it before walking from her bedside.

Watching her daughter’s hand, Rebecca wondered if she would feel better if she held it close to her heart, as Alex’s husband had done. Caught between action and inaction, Rebecca could only stare. Her heart longed for the chance to connect but her mind saw only decades of estrangement and mistrust.

Rebecca scooted the hard blue plastic chair closer to the bed. Making an effort to ignore the chewed fingernails, small scabs, and calluses, Rebecca reached for the hand. Her hands stopped for a moment, as if to say “Do I have to?”, before they wrapped around Alex’s hand.

Rebecca flushed with the immediate warmth, love and acceptance that radiated from Alex. Alex loved Rebecca. Her precious daughter loved her. Caught in the moment, Rebecca lost track of the bouncing lights. Only this hand, and her love for her child, mattered now.

“Mom,” Rebecca’s youngest daughter stood in the doorway, “It’s time.”

Once attained, she wasn’t sure how to let go of her daughter’s hand. Holding the hand softly between her own, she stood from the hard blue plastic chair. She kissed the rough hand, leaving a red imprint from her lipstick, then placed it carefully on the bed.

Rebecca walked past her youngest daughter and out of the ICU.
Rebecca and Alex Hargreaves are part of a women’s thriller series called “The Fey.”
claudia hall christian is a novelist. claudia is currently working on a serial fiction ( set in Denver as well as the Fey thriller series. claudia’s stories can be found at:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Guest Post-A-Palooza

Howdy Ho NotAMeanGirl friends and readers!

As most of you are aware, our sweetie, Not A Mean Girl will be out sick for the next few days. Because she knew she was going into surgery, Not A Mean Girl asked if anyone from would like to guest post on her blog during her absence. Enter - me.

My name is Cylithria. Yes, that is my real name. No, it has no genealogical background. Yes, it's a long story. No, I won't bore you with it. - Oh wait, I'm probably boring you already. Phooey. Hate it when that happens. Anyway, back to Not A Mean Girl asking for guest bloggers on

When I read her request, I jumped! I mean guest posting.... on someone else's blog..... w00t, that's like going to someone else's house and eating all their chocolate cake and not have to do dishes afterwards. It's truly the bee's knees!! Of course, when Not A Mean Girl accepted my offer to guest post, she probably thought she'd get something... worthwhile. whoops.

I have to be honest here, I haven't been reading Not A Mean Girl's blog for very long. I cyber met Not A Mean Girl at I don't recall who friended who first, but fact remains we are steadfast plurktopian friends now. It's what happens on Plurk, you see a user name, start following their timeline, you reply to their plurks, they swing by and reply to yours, and soon enough your friending one another and asking some nutball like me to guest post on your blog! (Or you're hiding their emailed guest post in your inbox and telling that crazy, insane plurker that you never got it, in which case none of you will read this!)

So where was I, oh yeah, becoming friends via Plurk. I'm not the only pleep (what we call fellow plurkers) who will be guest posting during Not A Mean Girl's blog. Rumor has it (meaning I read it in the Plurk replies) there will be some really cool guest posts not written by really whacky plurkers like me. :) And Not A Mean Girl is optimistic that she will be able to once again post in about a week or so. So fear not fellow plurkers, bloggers, friends and family..... Not A Mean Girl WILL be back, and she will not write useless drivel like this. (That's my job now)

I really only guest blogged for two reasons, one to show Not A Mean Girl I really admire her courage, her strength and her optimism in the face of scary times and two to tell all of her readers you BEST stop in during this week and leave a comment of support. I mean it folks, Not A Mean Girl is not mean.... but well I can be a kind of twisted, whacky, insane mean and I won't be afraid to use it and come guest post at YOUR blogs if I find out you're not commenting and leaving best wishes.

Just the threat of me guest posting on your blog should make you leave a comment - BUT, I'll admit it. Anyone who comments or sends good energy and thoughts to Not A Mean Girl during this time is doing it because she is NOT A MEAN GIRL.

We all love you lady. We're pulling for you, praying, thinking of you and one of us is writing whacky blog posts just for you to prove it!

Ciao for now! Cylithria - weird, whacky, plurktopian friend to Not A Mean Girl.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fit Pitching

First let me say, I'm sorry.

If any of you have used the ChipIn button on my blog, I am SO very sorry.

There are things coming out about this situation that don't add up. There is speculation that it's a con. I hope to God that's not the case. I WANT to believe it's not the case. I REFUSE to believe it is the case. However, I felt I owe that warning to anyone considering donating.

I'm leaving the button up because I can't bring myself to POSSIBLY cause some one's demise on the CHANCE that it's not a legitimate cry for help.

I hate that about myself.

I find myself in a huge predicament. I placed my trust in someone with the belief that, like me, they are who they say they are. I stopped looking for a way to help support my family financially because I placed my trust in this person. Someone I'd never met face to face, yet, someone I identified with. Someone I clicked with.

I... am an Internet Newb.

Honestly, I DO know better. I know that the Internet allows for easily hiding one's true nature. That it is a breeding ground for con's and grifters. That the less than ethical among us lurk and lure via the Web waiting to pounce on those less suspicious and less savvy than themselves. This is not an unknown quantity to me... However, I choose to still trust. I choose to still be open with my life and what I've learned from it. I choose to reach out and make those connections with the invisible people the world over. I choose not to let the harsh realities of the predators out there change who I am.

I have a conundrum. I have a child that I have to protect. I'm now a little more wary. I'm now a little less trusting. I'm now unsure that those connections are a good thing... because of him... yet... I don't want it to change who I am... because of him.


Today I go for my pre-op stuff. Chest X-ray... EKG... blood work...

Tomorrow night my folks will arrive.

Weds I have to report to the hospital at 6am.

Surgery will take place at 7:30am.

Mom will be staying a week to help out.

Husband will be off the following week.

Shecky is safely away in Abilene, TX with his Paternal Grandparents for a month.

Last night was a BAD night for pain. I was curled up in a ball crying for much of it. Thank GOD this is coming to a close soon... I hope.

I'm liable to be absent from the blog for several days, maybe a week or more. I'd like to have some guest bloggers come in and post. If anyone is interested, please lemme know.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Cry For Help...

I have mentioned a few times that I am an avid Plurk-a-holic. I have made many friends there and it is just a really great bunch of people.

Unfortunately, one of the people I most admire on there is very ill. She has Lupus, which is bad, but it's actually much worse than that. She only has one kidney and has to have dialysis weekly. She is self-employed and has no insurance. She had to miss several dialysis treatments due to one of the contracts having been arrears in their payments to her.

LillyAnn is now in ICU, unconscious for the most part, fighting for her life. The people on Plurk chipped in as much as they could and managed to fund a dialysis treatment for her. She received it today, but, there were complications and she is now going to have to have surgery to try and save her remaining kidney.

I know it's difficult to put faith in someones story. I know it's easy to be taken in by a scam artist. I know the Internet is a breeding ground for con's... I watched this situation develop slowly over time and, as many others on Plurk, believe the situation and believe in the person involved.

Please look to the top right hand area of my blog page. I have a ChipIn widget there. If you know LillyAnn and want to help and CAN help.. please do.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tell Me Lies... Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

So... Surgery is in one week.... from today.

My child leaves for Abilene to spend time with Husband's side of the family Saturday.

I'm having random crying jags and freaking out of stuff that isn't important...

Yeah... I'm stressing over the surgery.

People keep asking if I'm OK with it and I keep saying, "Yeah! I'm not worried about the SURGERY! It's the recovery I'm dreading! Let's hope it goes better than last time!"


Yeah... I'm scared of the surgery. It's freaking my ass out. My friends, I'm a control freak... this surgery? Yeah, I have NO control over how it goes. I'll be unconscious. Helpless. Ummm... ok... I'm gonna think about something else now... I can feel the panic attack bubbling up again....

Cute Shecky Moment:

He got the Iron Man video game for the PS2. Throughout the game Pepper gives you directions when you aren't achieving the goals quickly enough... I heard THIS the other night:

"Yes, I KNOW Pepper! SHUT. IT!"

I about pee'd myself.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Swistle held a HUGE Pay It Forward contest over the 4th of July Weekend. Many Blogs participated. Each held it's own contest with it's own winner. I was one of the winners over at Twists and Turns!!! I NEVER win anything. I'm so stoked! Part of the prize is having my OWN Pay It Forward contest. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to wait for the rest of the winners to do theirs in a mass give away like the original participating blogs or not so I'll hold off for a short while. I'll give y'all more details as they become available!!!

Watch This Space For Contest Rules And Posting!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Job Referral

I just applied for a job on Plurk.... Here's what I sent them...

"Hi there!
I saw some friends Plurking about your posting for a Plurkanista Position with your wonderful company. I'd love to put my name in the hat. I'm a very social person. I get along with just about anyone. I'm friendly, helpful and love particiapting in conversations on any number of subjects. I'm not entirely sure what the position entails or what type of credentials you are looking for, but, if you'll give me some more information I'll give you as much as you can handle! I even have Plurk Pals willing to give me recommendations. :)
Thank you for your consideration.

Tessa Lemmons aka NotAMeanGirl"

I have no clue if it'll do any good but... I had to try!!!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Revelations Chapter 1, Verse 1

I realized something this weekend.

I'm VERY bothered that it seems I'm so far behind in life compared to others my age.

Let me explain. We visited with some folks at the lake this weekend. We'll call them the Purples. The Purples are just a few years older than Husband and I. They are GRANDPARENTS. They are HOMEOWNERS. They are GROWN-UPS.

We, no.. I am not the first two and don't FEEL like the third. Shecky just turned 8. Most people my age have grand kids.... I feel sort of... out of the loop and left behind. How foolish is that?

Then, yesterday, I was conversing with my parents. Dad mentioned the fact that my brother was going to be a grandfather... my YOUNGER brother... and I was MORTIFIED. I was... JEALOUS. I was SAD. He had beaten me to that milestone by a long, LONG margin.

I wouldn't exchange my child for an older one. I don't want to wish away his youth. I'm THRILLED that he keeps me young and keeps me going. However, I can't help feeling like I've missed the bus somewhere and that I'm a failure at being an adult.

By the way, the age of my son isn't the only thing that makes me feel this way. It's just one that KEEPS popping up for me. :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Out of Africa...

Well, out of pocket anyway.

We've gone to the lake for a few days. Shecky turn s 8 TOMORROW!!!! Its so fricking hard to believe!

We're gonna celebrate our butts off! BBQ, Tater Salad, Cake and Fireworks! WOOT!

I'll be back Sunday friends! I hope you all have a fantabulous 4th of July!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Where I Tell It Like I See It.

There's a whole WORLD of E-Drama going on in the blogasphere. She said... She's mean... She's copying Susie... She hurt my feelings....

Lemme get out my big ole Cluebat (Copyright someone much more clever than I am...)

That shit is NOT what life is about. GET OVER YOURSELVES.

My family is in a bad spot financially. My health is crap... its getting better but its NOT good.

My best friend, Unca B... yeah... he has Kidney cancer. He was supposed to have surgery to remove it tomorrow. That's now on hold. His pre-op chest x-ray shows a spot on one of his ribs... they think they cancer may have metastasised to his bones.

Friends of our family lost their 18 year old grandson, who JUST graduated from High School, 2 days ago. He killed himself in a park at 3am with a shotgun.

A friend of mine on Plurk just found out her great-grandmother has lymphatic cancer. She's sharp as a tack and in good health otherwise... at the age of 93.

Folks, THESE are the problems we should be focusing on. THESE are the things that are important and deserve our thoughts, words and energy.

Pray for us all. We're in a hell of a mess when we don't realize what deserves our ire and what doesn't.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Using My Words

Greta over at Does This Blog Make Us Look Fat? Posted her blog's word cloud. I thought it was really quite awesome and stole the idea from here. Here's mine:

Go HERE to make your own.


I feel like I'm out of gas today.
I don't feel "like myself".
I feel that I have nothing to say.
I don't feel like talking will help.

I feel like screaming into the wind.
I don't feel it will do any good.
I feel like something should be coming to an end.
I don't feel hopeful like I thought I would.

I feel angry and sad and anxious and scared.
I don't feel it strongly enough.
I feel like pain halved is not pain shared.
I feel like I'm not very tough.

I feel empty.
I don't feel right.
I feel numb.
I don't feel I have any fight.

I feel... anonymous.