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New Year, New Life

My niece gave birth to her third baby tonight. We passed part of the evening playing Uno in the waiting room. Here's Stephanie and Allison and Lance playing cards. Allison was plugging her ears because we were being too noisy apparently. She doesn't do well with noise and especially any arguing.



Here's Lance and Ashely....




And here's the most wonderful reason we put aside our grand new year's eve party plans. Our newest family member....



As I was walking down the hall from the birthing room, I was crying. One of the nurses asked me if I was ok. I said yes. She followed me a little further and I kept crying.

"Are you sure you're ok?"
"Yes...I just wish I could turn my teenagers back that small again"
"Oh honey.....I totally understand. Boy do I."

Sigh.

The Last Monday of 2007

Exciting, no?
No?
Well, ok.

Today's agenda. Find out why my phone is interfering with my wifi connection. This does not make me happy. I'm #34 in line to chat with an online-customer-care professional. My fervent hope is that they speak enough English for me to understand them.

I brought my husband breakfast in bed this morning. He's so sweet....and deserves it far more often.

So many things to think about for the coming year-- but nothing I care to write about here for now.

Happy New Year!

Saturday

I woke up this morning and my eyes were aching--a sure sign that things aren't going to go well visually for me today.

I did manage to proof ten articles I'd somehow managed to write this week--and found that I must have been on crack when I wrote them. There were an amazing number of incomplete sentences, sentences that made no sense whatsoever and bad grammar abounded. I knew I wasn't thinking clearly last week, but goodness.

At any rate.... one ebook off to a client, five articles off to another and the ten uploaded to my site for my subscribers and I think I need to rest my eyes for a bit before they explode.

and people don't think I work..... Ha.

Remote Controls and Imminent Death

Remote Controls and PMS
Pamela's column for December 26, 2007

You’d think that after being married for twenty years, my husband would have learned how to catch any subtle hint I may toss his way. Sometimes I’ll shiver and he’ll know I’m cold. Or I’ll suddenly turn bright orange and have flames shooting out the top of my head and he might understand that I’m having a hot flash and know that it’s time to duck, cover and roll.

As I said, a husband should just understand the hints that his wife sets before him. Like the one I casually made yesterday. It went something like this:
“Get me a remote control that works for the tv or I will kill you”

Not subtle enough?

Last night in bed we were watching some show and the commercial came on. You know how commercials suddenly raise the volume on the television from just right straight to I will make your ears bleed? Well I was working on my laptop and the noise was deafening and distracting so I asked him to mute it for me.

He stuck his finger…

Courage....

I learned it from my daughter. This is Miss Ashley Rose, taken this month at my Aunt Helen's funeral.



If you look closely (and you'd have to look closely because it's not easy to see unless you're looking for it) you'll see that her right hand is paralyzed. My little angel had a stroke in the womb. The right side of her body doesn't work like everyone else's does. She has defined courage for me since her birth 9 short years ago.

Not expected to walk, much less talk, my baby angel is a walking talking miracle with more courage in her little pinky than most have in their entire, healthy bodies.

As most of you know, I've been having some health issues lately. Today I was finally told what's wrong with me. I have Multiple Sclerosis.

I will not let it beat me. I have a courageous little angel who has shown me the way and I will not let her down. I can't.

I can beat this. I will beat this.

Things could be worse, yes I know. Thank you.

Since we only have one vehicle now (thanks Chris) I drive Lance to work around three every day. Today I drove him the massive 4 minutes to work, then turned around and was pulling out back on to busy 176th and saw a black cloud, a fireball explode into the sky....oh, just about where my house was.

Hand over my mouth all I could say was "Oh please Lord...not my house...my children...Oh, oh..oh...."

It wasn't my home, thank goodness, but it was close. I'm still not sure what happened, but in the space of just minutes there was no fire and then the entire house was engulfed and burning to the ground.

Naturally I took a cellphone video. Perhaps this was the universe's way of showing me, 'see? it CAN be worse!'

Eye'll be home for Christmas....

Yesterday hubby took me to eye doc.

Eye Doc: "Have you been in a car accident recently?"
Me: "No"
Eye Doc: Have you had a head injury recently?"
Me: "No"
Eye Doc: "hmmm...."

I hate it when they say hmmmm.

Eye Doc: "when is your MRI?"
Me: "Tomorrow"
Eye Doc: "Good"


You know the feeling you get after you take cold medicine? Your head feels all big and floaty? Yeah. Only I haven't taken any cold medicine. And my eyes keep going wonky on me. This doesn't make my writing work flow like it usually does.

The good news is that my retinas are still attached. Yeah for attached retinas! The bad news is....we don't know.

Hmmmm......

On the 14th Day of Christmas you don't want to know ...

But you're going to find out anyway so I might as well share with you my very own personal version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

I'm sure you're thrilled. Go ahead, sing along. After all, it's going to be so festive. No, really. I promise. Break out the eggnog.

On the first day of Christmas
My cell phone company gave to me
notice that my son had texted fourteen hundred times in one week

On the second day of Christmas
My son gave to me
notice that he was failing math

On the third day of Christmas
my coed called to say
You have to come and get me
and I'm not flying home alone either!

On the fourth day of Christmas
my husband said to me
The cats have horked in two places
and if you don't put them outside I will be killing them soon

On the fifth day of Christmas
I had a stroke!

Fourteen hundred text messages!
Son failing math!
Girl NOT flying home!
Cat hork on carpeting
and a stroke in my parietal lobe!

On the sixth day of Christmas
my true love gave me to me
CAT scan and bloodwor…

If you could see how I feel....

This is what you'd see.....



Festive, no?

Another ER, another cute ER Doc

I've been working from a local kawfee shop the past few weeks. It helps to get me out of the house so the mattress monster can't suck me back into bed. On Monday I was working for about four hours and I was on a roll.....really getting a lot done.

Suddenly my left eye started giving me some weird signals. There was a lovely little circle of flashing colored lights. It started out small and then got bigger and bigger and bigger until it was REALLY festive! So festive in fact that I had trouble seeing anything BUT the blinkie little lights. Wheee!

So I did what any sane person would do. I unplugged my laptop, packed it up, got my keys and drove myself home.

Yes, I made it. Hubby was not too pleased that I'd done that of course. I was just scared and wanted to get to him.

My blinky lights had cleared up by the time the ER doc saw me. The CT scan was fine, as was the bloodwork. Now I'll be having an MRI and a heart echo to see if I'm throwing tiny clots.

Th…

Committed to the Holiday Season

Happy Holidays!
Pamela's column for Pacific Publishing December 5, 2007

As the old year fades and the New Year approaches our thoughts turn to the important things that we ponder every year around this time: can I eat one more frosted sugar cookie in the shape of a Christmas tree and not have the buttons on my shirt turn into projectiles that will take out everyone in the room?

Overindulging at this time of year is a big problem, one that causes bigger problems, big being the operative word here. I’ve decided that it’s time to take drastic measures and I’m going to take you with me because I’m too afraid to go alone.

I have discovered a way to keep fit and trim and during this perilously high caloric season of overindulgence and I owe it all to my youngest child.

In watching her behavior over the past year I’ve noticed that she tends to eat what she wants and never appears to put on any extra poundage or have her clothing turn into weapons of mass destruction. It took me awhile but …

Snow? Riiiiiiight

I have come to realize that when the weatherman is shooting off weather bulletins every other commercial as breaking news and telling us that snow is imminent, that we will in point of fact receive nary a flake.

Except for the flake on the television promising my children snow.

It's when they don't warn you that you're gonna get hammered. That's just how it works.

Ok, back to work on this.

My Website Launch!

It's up! It's running! It's ALIVE! Pamela's Ghostwriting Service & Exclusive PLR Membership Site

It looks good in IE but sorta icky in Firefox. I will be fixing that shortly, and when I say 'I', I mean my programmer because I am a clueless wonder when it comes to programming.

I'm also offering my members a private forum, article directory in English and soon to be in Spanish as well.

I was up until 3:30 this morning working via the web with my very patient and very ill programmer, Jeri Lynn. She was so sick, but kept on working. She's an amazingly wonderful person. I recommend her quite highly.

At any rate, there it is.

I think I'll go fall over now.

My Birthday!

Thursday is my birthday. I won't tell you exactly how old I'll be, but suffice it to say that it's an anniversary of my 25th. No, I'm not 50, so hush.

For my birthday I'm launching a new writing business venture that I hope will be wildly successful.

I plan to donate a portion of the proceeds from this to Wonderland Developmental Center. This is where our baby Ashley was welcomed after her stroke. They taught her to talk, to walk, to be all that she could be, despite the limitations imposed upon her by her disability. Without their love and care, I'm not sure where she'd be today.

So, stay tuned for the link to my new venture. It will go LIVE on Thursday as a birthday present to myself and a huge thank you to the wonderful, caring staff at Wonderland Developmental Center.

Cascade Effect...

I got a phone call yesterday afternoon from my sister. Seems her 11 year old was throwing up.
My 11 year old is staying with them.

The next thing I hear is the sound of puking coming from her 14 year old, who is staying with us. She threw up all over the family room.

Then I hear the unmistakable sounds of my 9 year old tossing HER cookies all over our bedroom floor.

Later, it's the 18 year old, home for Thanksgiving from college, rushing to the bathroom to upchuck as well.

We spend the night cleaning up puke, bathing children covered in puke, washing sheets and blankets and towels covered in said puke.

I got a phone call this morning that my 11 year old is now throwing up as well.

I'm not feeling too well myself right now....

....If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all....gloom, despair and agony on meeeeee.....

Anyone recognize where that song came from?

Black Friday

Not sure why they call it that.....and don't feel inclined to google it either.

I overslept and was late to work. My boss (me) was not happy and although I have no fear of being fired, I do fear she will force me to work overtime today to make up for my lack of punctuality.

I took the ENTIRE day off yesterday! My fingers did not touch a keyboard for over 24 hours. And lo, the world did not cease to exist. Miracle of miracles!

We went up to Seattle and had Thanksgiving with the family. Good food, good times.

Came home and cleaned up the kitchen from the previous night's pumpkin/cherry pie baking frenzy and spent the remainder of the evening reading! Yes! It was heaven. Hubby asked me how I could stand to read when my entire life seems consumed by words. How could I want to read when I spend all day writing? I explained that it's a different dynamic. I get to be entertained, rather than be the one entertaining. I'm taken away and relaxed.

It's all good.

O…

Pamela's Lament

I walked into the store this morning and saw a sign that read:

35 Days Till Christmas

I was less than amused.

And just a little frightened.

I saw a house with Christmas lights aglow tonight.

Too much is hurried these days. One season bleeds into the next, with no defined edges. I like edges. I like order.

There's not enough of it in my life sometimes.

Ghostwriting

No, I'm not writing while wearing a white sheet over my head--although that does sound appealing at the moment. I'm ghost-writing an eBook on ancient eastern wisdom for a client, writing various and sundry introductions on webpages for another client, finishing up another eBook on slow cooker cooking for yet another client and managing to do so from the warmth of a lovely coffee shop.

Speaking of doing things in a ghostly manner: my two youngest girls were playing a rousing game of Ghost tag the other evening with one of their friends. Ghost tag involves putting a sheet over your head (sans eye holes) and racing around the house at top speed.

You can just imagine what's going to happen next, right? Right. Head first into the wall.

Hey, where did that wall come from? Who put that there?

Ashley didn't break her nose, but it wasn't pretty.

Ghost tag is now verboten.

My Baby is Baaaaaaack!

She's home from college. From her first semester away. Home for Thanksgiving.

She stumbled into the house around 3 a.m after driving for 12 hours with some other college friends. She'd never looked more beautiful.

I hugged her until she said, "uh....ok, that's enough. Hello? Mom? Stop!"

I figured I was entitled since it had been three months since I'd seen her. Oh sure, we talked on the phone, texted and exchanged emails, but that's not physical contact. I just needed to hold her for a few hours minutes.

You know how us moms are.....

Forza

I've found a new place to love. Forza. It's like a starbucks without all the pretentious coffee-speak and high prices. It also has FREE WI-FI!

I've been here for three hours and have gotten a lot done. I plan on staying for a few more hours until I finish up at least two eBooks.

Then I'm off to the grade school to work at the book fair. After that it's a doc appt. for me. (Double vision attack last night--never a good thing)

Then it's piano lessons for Ally and the whole make-dinner-clean-up-do-homework-drive-son-to-gf's-house deal. Busy, busy, busy.

Still working on my website launch. New scheduled date is the Monday after Thanksgiving. I sure hope it's able to work this time!

Migraine

I spent the entire day in bed.

Well, not the entire day. I got up at six to take The Boy to seminary but the surburban wouldn't start. It was frozen solid but I'm not sure that had anything to do with it.

I crawled back into bed for a bit.

That 'bit' lasted all day.

I do not like migraines. No siree. It's put me way behind.

Eggnog

My sweet Ashley handed me a glass of eggnog just a bit ago. I hadn't asked for one and probably shouldn't have had one. My other sweet daughter Allison said, "Mom, she just pretty much handed you a glass full of death"

Hey, when you're right, you're right.

Doesn't mean I didn't drink it down of course. sigh.

T-mobile hot spots

I'm such a newbie to this whole wi-fi hotspot starbucks thing. When I purchased a day pass on Thursday to work on my laptop there I assumed that the 24 hour pass I bought could be used anytime until the time was up.

Turns out it's a consecutive pass, meaning to take full advantage of it I'd have to be here at Starbucks for a full 24 hours. Now I don't know about you, but hello?? I don't know of a 24 hour starbucks and I certainly would not and COULD not spend a full 24 hours there working.

In the first place, my brain would explode from attempting to write 24 hours non-stop, secondly, I'd be buying too many caramel apple ciders and eat up any writing profits I'd hope to make during that time. It's not exactly a win-win.

So when I couldn't sign in today you can understand my confusion when it said I had to buy more time. I called, they understood my problem and gave me another day pass, that I have to use for a consecutive 24 hours to receive th…

Starbucks

No, I don't drink coffee, but I do enjoy a nice hot apple caramel cider occasionally and I'm enjoying one right now. I decided that I was too distracted at home lately so I'm trying an experiment. After I drop Chris off in the morning I go right to the Starbucks and work from there for four or five hours.

This also has the added benefit of keeping me awake and not being sucked back into bed, which happens sometimes.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday is the new Monday...

Long day. Ashley had x-ray time after a doctor visit. Her weak foot was injured/strained in gym class. Then last night she had a strange thing happen. It wasn't a seizure, but it looked like one. Her right side locked up and she was in pain.

Something is going on...

I think tomorow I will go and write during the day in nearby starbucks. There's less distractions there than here at home and I seem to be easily distracted of late.

My new website launch has been pushed back until we can work out some glitches in the system. I have the BEST people working on it. I am surrounded by good friends and I am blessed.

Bwuahahahahahaha!

In my quest to take over the world Internet, my programmer and webmistress are here today, tonight and even spending the night. We're working on my launch that is scheduled for Monday.

Stay tuned for more details.... We're pulling an all-nighter, something I haven't done since college (or with sick kids after that) with the hope of getting everything up and running.

Procrastinator Thy Name Is Pamela

Do you ever do something you don't want to do, in order to get out of doing something else that you don't want to do?

I did that today. I spent all morning cleaning and de-junking our bedroom/office because when I sat down at my desk and saw all the clutter I just couldn't work with all of it around me. Uh huh.

It didn't stop me for the past month, but suddenly it's annoying me now? Yeah, I don't think so.

I think I've just been putting off finishing up this eBook for a client because I can't get my mind around it....sooooooo I'm stalling. Procrastinating.

Now my room is clean and I'm STILL not working.

Get a grip Pammy. Anyone have a grip they can loan me? Mine seems to be out of service right now

And with that I'll end with a picture of my girls Allison and Ashley and my niece Nicole standing in front of a Llama this weekend. We went to a pumpkin farm with them and they had a blast. (My girls are on the right)


Schwarzenegger an action hero yet again?

I was watching CNN (gag, choke) and just heard Wolf Blitzer ask if Gov. Schwarzenegger is reprising his role as an action hero in the California fires.

I've talked to family and friends down there and so far they're all right, but are packed and ready to run.

Horrible.....

How to Balance work and family

Is it possible? I feel torn most of the time. I've got so much work to do, and I love the work I'm doing. It feeds me, creatively.

Then I feel as though I'm neglecting my children at times because I AM working so much.

It's a fine line. Does anyone have some advice?

Autumn colors

Hubby kidnapped me on Tuesday and forced me to drive though a beautiful valley, full of trees that are changing colors then took me to a bakery and coerced me into buying a cinnamon roll. I told him my boss wasn't going to like it that I was missing work

Here's a tree at Flaming Geyser State Park. If you look closely you can see the Green River.

Wind Storm?

They've issued a wind watch for today and tonight. Wheeeeee!

Last year's windstorm was such fun. Hopefully it won't be a repeat. I took the girls shopping yesterday and picked up some coats on sale to keep them warm. Here's Ashley all winterized. She was so proud that she got her gloves on all by herself.



I'd post a picture of Ally too but for some reason my cell didn't send me the picture....

I have about 16 more eBooks to finish writing for clients so I'd better get to it. This week I've written eBooks on the Law of Attraction, Visualization, Cold Sores and Fever Blisters, and there were a couple more that I can't think of right now.

Anyways....off to work.

Pumpkin Seeds and More!

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I'm only selling a LIMITED number of these eBooks, so hurry and get yours now!!
Happy Halloween!!!

Someone has an ugly sense of humor...

Just before one in the morning my cell phone rang. I'm always up that late, usually I'm up until three or four in the morning working.

I looked at my cell phone and it read Restricted. When I answered I heard someone sobbing. A woman. I thought it was my sister. She kept saying that dad was dead.....dad was dead.

I nearly came undone.

After a few moments I realized that it wasn't my sister, and I thought some poor soul had called my number by mistake.

Until I found out this morning that my sister's phone had run a few minutes after my phone call. The number was Restricted.

I'm thankful that my father is all right and once again I'm disappointed in some of my fellow human beings.

It's all fun and games untill someone loses a cell phone

Ah yes. Such fun.

I drove up to Seattle to take my Dad to lunch. We ate haute cuisine at the Northgate Mall. Ally and Ash had Kidd Valley of course.



Then we visited my sister for awhile and I tried to do some work on my laptop while I was there but the system I was piggy backing on wasn't strong enough to send files and I had to shut my system down. We played at Paramount Park, and then at Carkeek Park. This was the park of my high school youth. I stood there in the middle of the big green field and I swear if I squinted I could see Ben, John, Kevin, Carin and I running around, laughing and playing frisbee.

So I called my best friend Carin, who has mysteriously gone from a Pacific Northwest girl, to a desert dwelling suburban mom. I sat here.....



and as I watched the sunset, we reminisced about the fun we'd had, and how odd it was to be standing where I was, with my son who is now the age I was when this was my park.

Melancholy.... and some sadness. It's a strang…

Tuesday....

Can it already be Tuesday? It must be. But I thought it was Friday yesterday....I'm so out of whack with my days and nights.

With hubby working the swing shift, neither one of us manages to get to sleep before three in the morning most of the time. Its insane.

We're hopeful he can get on days soon so we can get our days and nights back the way they're supposed to be.

Since it's only 11:15 I still have four hours at least to finish writing that client's eBook.

Ok Pammy....back to work.

My Miracle

b Happy Birthday Ashley!!



Nine years ago today they wheeled me into the operating room after telling me you might not survive. No one knew you'd had a stroke, we only knew you'd stopped moving and your heartbeat was fading.

Then they told us you wouldn't walk or talk or become all the things that you've grown up to be today. You are truly my miracle child, the child so close to my heart that when you hurt, I cry.

I'm grateful every day for you and for the things you taught me. Thank you for being my baby angel, baby girl.

Little Gym

I took a break from writing today to take my two girls to the Little Gym for a free class to see if they enjoyed it.

They did! I brought my laptop with me so I could work while they were in there tumbling and rolling and racing around. It looked like they were having such a good time. I think I'll sign them up for this.

Also, I took down the comment moderation thingy, but I'm afraid I'll have to put it back up again as there are some very ugly-souled people out there who don't seem to have a sense of humor about much. I don't need that negativity in my life...and neither does anyone else coming here to read.

Buh-Bye mean spirited people.

And now....back to work. Yes, it's nearly midnight. No, I'm not done yet.

Busy...

Busy...busy.....busy.......busy.....busy....busy.....

did I mention busy?

It's truly amazing the difference a week makes in your life when there's been such enormus changes taking place.

I may not be around as much....but I'm all right. I'm good in fact. Life is good. And only getting better.

Weekend is done....

I spent the majority of the weekend working, sending three finished eBooks to clients. I'm loving what I'm doing more than I ever believed possible. I received an email from a client this morning and I thought I'd share it.

Hi Pamela,

I must say I'm very impressed with what you've given me here. Your writing style stands out for me as world-class. I was a newspaper reporter for six years and editor for four, and I know an exceptional writer when I see one.

Your work also stands out for me in how you went to the added step of adding appropriate graphics and formatting it... a very nice touch I appreciate.

In fact, this is the first time I've received a ghostwritten book that would be ready to sell as is. In other words, dare I say it's perfect as it is?

Thank you - you impress me as being in a league of your own, and I am interested in learning about your services for other projects, although now that I've swelled your head ;-))....



So I sent him my client p…

Life is good....

...and getting better all the time.

I've been working extra hard of late, even having to miss out on going to the fair with hubby and the girls in order to work for twelve hours that day.

I'm quite excited about my work now, mostly due to the fact that I've been given so much of it, and am getting more all the time. I'm a bit overwhelmed with the amount of work ahead of me, but I'll handle it. I've delivered three eBooks to clients in the past three days and I have more to go.

Today I took the grand step of talking to an acountant and began the process of setting up an LLC for my business.

Next step, taking the family to Hawaii! Wheeeeeee!

So You Want To Make Money Online??

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If you’re interested in purchasing my eBook, send $21.77 to my paypal account at pamelatroeppl at Comcast.net, then email me the confirmation number and I’ll send you this incredibly fun and easy guide to making money doing what you love.

WRITING!!

For everyone that purchases my eBook, I’m tossing in an EXTRA BONUS that will make you even MORE money!

I'm having such fun with this and you can too!! Come on and join the party!!

I'm Being Stalked

Pamela's Column for Pacific Publishing

September 16, 2007


I’m being stalked. I’m not sure the police can help me with my situation. To tell you the truth I probably brought this on myself. I was too nice, too giving, too available and encouraged the attention from this person when deep down inside I sometimes felt like screaming “Leave me alone!!” and running far, far away. But I didn’t. I stayed in this relationship probably longer than was healthy and I fear I caused this dependence. I know the experts counsel stalking victims that it’s really not their fault, that the stalker has issues and that you are not to blame.
They couldn’t be more wrong in this case. I know I made mistakes with this person. I gave them money, I paid for their cell phone and I even bought them clothes. When we went out to eat, I always paid. I know, I know, I was gullible. I should have known better and stood up for myself.


I admit it. It’s my fault.


In the past week I’ve gotten 1,375 text messages…

I'm Being Stalked

There’s something to be said for having the kids back in school and being able to spend time alone with the spousal unit. We got up this morning and got all the offspring off to school then fell back into bed and slept. Sleep = exciting for us middle aged doddering fools.

I’ve been texted, emailed, phoned and harassed by the freshman college daughter for the past week. I’m considering changing my phone number, my email address and quite possibly my home address if this keeps up. I think she’s stalking me. A restraining order is not out of the question.
Ah yes, this is what I dreamed of when I thought of my fledglings leaving the nest and being adults. It’s thrilling. It’s amazing, really. I feel incredibly free. No, really.

I can hardly wait for an entire empty nest. I think around that time I’ll be moving to a cave in the Andes with no cell service.

Cascade Orthotics Casting Day...

Ashley was pretty good about the whole thing. She should be, I think this is her 7 or 8th time being casted for a new leg brace. You can see a slideshow of her here doing her thang.



She's getting a new kind of DAFO, which moves easier and is designed to help children with her form of cerebral palsy move more naturally.

Casting

Hubby and I are taking our youngest to Seattle to be casted for a new DAFO (an articulated leg brace to help with her spasticity issues). I'm truly amazed that she's being so good about this, as she's refused to wear her brace for some time now.

The old one has grown too small and a new one is needed. She's even expressed interest in getting a hand brace to keep her thumb out of her fisted hand. I'm so thankful for her willingless to do this and that her level of maturity is allowing her to recognize the need. And all this from a little 8 year old!

What a long strange and expensive trip it's been....

She's gone. Off at college. Another state away from me and I've never spoken to her more. Text messaging, phone calls and emails. I know this is going to be a struggle for her, but growth doesn't come without struggle. Please keep her in your prayers.

We had a serious car malfunction while we were there and had to cut our trip a day short. Seems the back axle seal broke and the fluid that spewed out, contaminating the brake pads and other stuff. Ever try to find a car service place open in Idaho on a Sunday afternoon? Yeah, it's not easy. We had to pay them to tell us there was something wrong with it. Hello.....we already knew that.

Then they told us exactly what the problem was and how much it would cost to fix it. This is when I threw myself on the floor, kicking and screaming and begging for mercy. Or at least to have them take my first born in payment. No deal.

We decided to try and limp it home as slowly as we could. Ever drive 800 plus miles below the …

Me? Cry?

I finally packed it in around 2:30 a.m. this morning. Another three hours and I would have been up for a total of 24 hours. Go me! I would have gone to bed earlier, but I was finishing up (or trying to!) the last of some client's articles on the game of pool. I was contracted to write 25 of them. I'd like to finish them before we leave to take Steph off to college. Then I won't have any writing projects until I get back, which will be nice. I'll be able to concentrate on crying about my baby girl leaving the nest for the first time.

...I will not cry, I will not cry, I will not cry........

Ok, I'm going to cry. There's this little squeezing that's starting in my heart and is only going to get stronger as the time nears for me to get her situated in her dorm room and hug her goodbye.

I'd better pack some tissues!

Nap? Are you kidding?

Yeah, that nap I thought I was going to get? Didn’t happen. I’m a mom and I work from home so that’s why. I’ve spent all morning working on writing articles, learning more about SEO and Internet marketing strategies and niche marketing and affiliate marketing.

My head is buzzing and no it’s not from the No Fear I’ve consumed. Ok, maybe it’s partially due to the energy drink I just had.

I’ve made a big pot of chicken and dumplings for dinner tonight, the kids are still at school (yay!) and I have more time to write and get some work done.

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy being on a schedule again? Oh yes. Yes, I do. Muchly.

Ok, I'm up already!

One child off to the first day of seminary and school, the next two are laying in bed just waiting for me to tickle their toes and wake them up.

Or not.

I finally fell asleep around 3 this morning and was up by 5:30. Let’s see….carry the two, multiply by the square root of zippety-do-dah and ayup, no meaningful sleep for me!

Once the lil darlin’s are off on their bus, I think I might hear my bed calling to me. Do you hear it too?
It's back to school time once again. Tonight was the Back to School Barbecue at the elementary school. Mmm....nothing says the end of summer like burnt hot dogs and lukewarm lemonade! Yum!

My girls brought their backpacks and their school stuff. We met their teachers and I like both of them, as do the girls. One mother told me the summer is too short, when I was thinking it was too long. Another said it was just fine. It's funny how opinions differ from one family to another. I only think the summer is too long because I'm not a fan of the high temperatures we sometimes suffer have here.

Here are my beautiful girls, waiting to see their teachers.



Tomorrow is the first day for Chris as a junior in high school, Ally as a sixth grader and Ashley as a third grader. Ash is in a 3rd/4th classroom split, so she'll be getting some extras, which is great.

And The Girl heads to college at the end of the week. Listen and you'll probably hear my tears falling around tha…

She's going to need a fork...

Column for Pacific Publishing
September 1, 2007


As a lot of you know, our first born tax deduction will be leaving the nest this week and going to college in another state. Which state you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I think she’s going to be in the state of Confusion, which is not to be confused with the state of Yes-I’m-Blond-Why-Do-You-Ask?.

Case in point. My little fledgling will be living in a dorm with four other girls. There will be a kitchen there. For cooking. Meals. Do you see where I’m going with this? If she wants to eat food she will need to make it herself. This will require some work on her part other than walking into the kitchen, saying ‘ooh that smells good when is dinner?’.

A few months ago she made a frozen pizza and nearly had a meltdown. This is a girl who aced her SAT, who was in the Gifted Programs through school and who reads the classics for relaxation. This is not a dumb girl, but she could not figure out how to bake the pizza and asked me to b…

Ebay here I come!

I’ve been toying around with different ways to earn my keep here online and there is a massive amount of information on how to do just that. The problem is that most of them cost you money to begin with and I’m more of an ‘I can do this myself’ kind of girl. Just point me in the right direction and I’ll read and study and learn it all by myself. This past week I’ve felt like I’ve gone back to school and am studying full time! (Oy vay such a headache I’ve got!)

I’ve created a SAT prep blog and an SEO marketing blog where I shamelessly promote books and learning courses and the like. I’ve made a little bit, which has only whetted my appetite for learning more.

Now I’ve ventured into ebay and came up with a great idea that I hope might fly. It’s here on ebay if you’d like to see my latest endeavor.

Ah well, this is keeping me off the streets and mostly out of trouble.

Jump Me

I spent an inordinate amount of time in my vehicle today. I waited for The Boy while he had a job interview to work at the Fair starting next week. It was a very long wait. I sat there reading a book, not realizing that my headlights were on. When I tried to start the suburban all I got was click…click….click. Not a sound you want to hear when turning the key in the ignition.
As the clicking was happening, a group of four gangsta lookin' kids were walking past me. One of the kids asked me if I needed a jump and did I have cables. I said yes, I did. He said they'd be back in a few minutes.
I waited. Standing next to my upraised hood with jumper cables in hand, I wondered if I'd been stood up. I wished my beautiful blond daughter was there like the last time I had a dead battery.
The gang of four finally came and jumped my vehicle. I slipped the driver a five dollar bill, thanked him profusely and then said "Please tell your momma that she raised you right'…

Oops!

My newspaper editor sent me an email saying the following:

We got lots of spam....
...but no Pam.

Sadness consumes us.


This would mean I have been neglecting (horribly, woefully and awfully so) my column writing of late. I've been so busy writing articles and web content for OTHER people that I've let go of my own writing career. Not good. I need to find a way to get back on that horse, so to speak. My muse seems to have abandoned me in all the stress of my life. Who could blame her? I'd abandon me too, but I have people that depend upon me so here I'll stay I 'spose.

I'm ok. Just in a funk. Now, back to writing more ezine articles on how to play the game of pool. Billiards. 9-ball. Could anything be more boring? I think not.

Blackberry Season!!!!

Today we took the girls down by the Orting river and picked large amounts of blackberries. I'm quite certain that the girls ate more than they picked, but that's what childhood is for, right? We picked so many that I froze some, made two blackberry pies, plus a rather large blackberry cobbler. Here's our day in pictures. And yes, it is delicious.

Pierce County Fair

Lance and I took the girls to the Pierce County Fair today. The Boy slept in and didn't want to go and The Girl is still up in Seattle, so it was just the four of us. Horses, and doggies and kitties and cows and crafts and carnival rides. Lance and Ally took the rock'o'plane ride together.




They had fun, even if the ride wasn't Allison's favorite experience there.

Here's Ally and Ash with a cow and her calf. Ashley was a bit nervous getting that close to something that wasn't formed into a Big Mac yet. Yee haw!


Games were played and stuffed animals were won. Before this picture was taken, only Allison had won a stuffed animal. Ashley desperately wanted one, but the game required two hands to play and she simply couldn't manage it. Ally said she would play the game again to win her sister a big stuffed animal. Then she leaned into me and said quietly, "And if I don't win, Mom, I'll just give her mine"

My sweet, preciou and giving 11…

Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Ritchie would have done this a long time ago…

Nothing to report. Nothing going on. Oh wait, The Boy has a girlfriend. And The Girl is preparing to empty our bank accounts as she gets ready to leave for college. The two remaining younger girls are once again sans cousins. We've had cousin Nicole living with us for the past year or so. Ok, it was only a week or so. Or longer. I've lost track. I tend to do that a lot lately. Lose track, I mean.
Hubby has been working a bit of over time, I've been spending hours on the computer with my writing and we've turned two house cats into outdoor cats due to their inability to understand that peeing on human bedding is a no-no, that puking up on carpeting is verboten and that soil in pots with plants is not the place to do your bidness. Since Twitchy (an unfortunate creature born of Uncle Daddy and Auntie Mommy) and Mommy have been put outside, there have been no more bio-hazard incidents within the house. We're still feeding them and loving them when we're o…
Hubby surprised me with a beautiful day at Mt. Rainer ~~picnic and all! Just the two of us. It was so nice up there, I could have stayed all day, but he had other plans~~a delicious dinner at a fancy restaurant. Here's a slide show of the pictures we took today.



Our dinner ended with burnt creme on the house at the restaraunt. They even served it to us on special plates.


Twenty years ago today I married my best friend. The man with the kindest most gentle heart. Today we celebrate twenty years of love and struggle and growth and laughter.

Twenty years ago these two young kids had no clue what was about to happen to them.



Someone should have warned us! Now we have teenagers, and mortgages, and car payments and teenagers, and pets and piano lessons and teenagers. Did I mention teenagers? No one stepped up to tell us all these things. Well, one person did tell Lance not to marry me. No, make that two people. I suppose they were trying to help, but since then both of the naysayers have been divorced and we're still going strong.

We have been blessed.

Did I mention teenagers?

Harry Potter

I spent over three hours at McDonald's today. Ally, Nicole and Ashley ate their way through burgers and fries and then played for the rest of the time on the enormous play-thing they had there while I read Harry Potter.
I finished the book.
You see, I had to leave the house in order to do so, because my son kept stealing the book from me. Now it's in his hands and he's reading, reading, reading. I'm grateful he's reading and thankful to Ms. Rowling for creating this series that ignited a reading frenzy in my son, as well as many other children.
I only wish the series wasn't finished….and I also wish I hadn't succumbed and eaten a meal while I was there at McDonalds. Ugh.

Me, three girls and the open road.....

More fun with the girls today. Lance stayed home because we were going to be gone so long. (Didn't get home till after 7:30 this evening) We drove south towards the rivers and lakes and forests as far as the eye could see.

We ended up first at a park on the Cowlitz River, where we had lunch.



There was a play area there and Ashley had some fun with that....



Ally found a tree to climb. She loves climbing trees.



Nicole decided to join her.



The river was a muddy brown and didn't look too enticing for swimming. Here's Ally in front of the river.



The girls thought the boat launch area might be better.....nope. The water was still quite murky.



Further down, there was a lake and we decided that the girls could swim in it. There was a road that went down to the lake...right into the lake. It used to be a road, with a white line down the middle, but I'm not sure just where it used to go. Now it goes straight out into the water..and just keeps on going.



They said the water…

Soggy but fun Monday...

Rain, rain and more rain. Not that I'm complaining. Ok, I'm complaining. It's not the rain per se, it's the humidity. I feel like I'm breathing in water. The air has weight and it sits on you. Surfaces in my house are actually damp with it. Me no like.

This morning we found out that they do a free lunch program thing in town, so we took the girls there for the lunch. Here's Lance with Allison, Nicole and Ashley holding the umbrella.



Then we went to a beautiful park and took a long walk. When I say long, I mean long. Lengthy. Long in length. Unbearably long in the humidity. It wasn't raining but it sure felt like I'd walked through a warm wet drizzle. The girls had a great time running ahead and laughing. I know where all my energy went. They sucked it out of me. Ok, that and the cheetos, but that's a story for another time. We walked a couple of miles. Here are the girls in front of tree that toppled in our last great windstorm.



Mo…

The Grass Is Always Greener…

I had an empty nest for a while. Stephanie moved in with my father, Chris has been on a fifty mile hike with the young men from the church, Allison and Ashley were staying at my father's house for a few days.
The house was eerily quiet. I only had to run the dishwasher every couple of days instead of twice a day. When I put something down, it was there when I went back to retrieve it. The girl's bedroom remained clean and their beds beautifully made. There was no one tugging on me to take them to McDonalds or to the store for something they just had to have. I can't recall anyone opening the fridge and grousing about there being no food in the house.
The first day was sort of nice. By the end of the second day I wanted them all home. It was too quiet. It was too clean. It wasn't right. The silence was ringing in my ears and I didn't like it.
Today we went up to Seattle and brought Ashley, Allison and their cousin Nicole home with us. My ears were ringin…

Flashbacks

I waited until my house cooled down to a balmy 80 degrees before I left my ice cave (only room in the house with an ac unit) in order to clean my kitchen this evening. As I rinsed soggy fruit loops off of cereal bowls, scrubbed oatmeal detritus from spoons and emptied out a plastic container of tomato soup that had reached the stage of a science experiment, I pondered the past twenty years. How many mushy fruit loops have I scraped into the garbage over the years? What amount of desiccated oatmeal have I tried to sandblast off of utensils used by my children?
When I lived away from home for the first time at college, I had five roommates. One of them would get physically ill every time someone had filled a sink with dirty dishes and hot soapy water and then left it to congeal. Sometimes for days. Hey, we were there to get an education, not to be Martha's –in-training, ok? So what little tidbit from my past does my aging brain regurgitate up for me each and every time I come ac…

Happy Birthday Allison

Our third angel turned 11 years old today. It's the hottest day of the year, with the temperatures into 3 digits and we had to have a party. Not inside, nooooooo. This had to be outside in the heat and sunshine. Yes sir, a good time was had by all. She had a pinata filled with candy and an enormous chocolate cake.



Getting ready to bash the pinata!


My father and my sister (with her two daughters) joined us up on Mud Mountain for the party. Here Allison is getting ready to blow out her candles, with her daddy and her papa watching over the excitment.



On our way home I caught a picture of Mt. Rainier in my rear view mirror.