Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Jaxon

Its been a while since I posted any pictures or antics of Jaxon Gibbs the Pup.  Here's some stuff he has been up to lately.


That is a stuffed tree trunk with 3 stuffed squirrels and one rabbit.

He is digging for..........

The RABBIT!  He left all the squirrels inside.

He also loves to chew on the tree and I have sewn it up at least 3 times.
Kimber is going to get us another one soon!

Yes, that is a Tomato.
He loves to pick his own.  If there are any low enough to reach, he will grab it and eat it.

He's a Jersey Dog.
You know, like Jersey Fresh? 
Weak, I know.  lol

YUM!  can I have more, please?

Isn't he SWEET?

Monday, August 30, 2010


Son is home and we are on vacation!  Well, we are not going anywhere special, just hanging out with each other.  I am planning a couple of day trips and Son has a book to finish before school starts next week.

So I will see ya'll next week!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Finally Friday

I am SO happy its Friday!  It has been a long and crazy work week for me.  Usually, I sit in my office and write applications begging for money.  Not this week!  I started out the week having to go to the Administrative office to hear how much more money they were taking from me for my health benefits.  OUCH.  But I need the bennies.

Tuesday, I had to go to another of our offices because they were being inspected by the licensing department of the state.  Since I wrote the Policies and Procedures and know all about the licensing inspections, they wanted me there.  Ok, no problem.  My part of the inspection went great!  There were some things missing from the wall that are supposed to be posted but I was able to get them posted before the inspector left so she was ok with all that.  She LOVED my P&P manual and wanted a copy on CD to be able to share with other agencies in the state.  She wants to use MY P&P manual as an example of how it should be done.  High five for me!  She even said that in front of the all the bosses so I have points there.  Now, the clinical files were completely other story.  They were HORRID!  And the inspector was not happy about any of them that she reviewed.  Which in turn didn't make the bosses happy.  I have been getting phone calls from all the bosses asking for my help with fixing the charts and the forms so this doesn't happen at the next site visit.

On Wednesday, I was able to stay in my office and beg for money.  YAY!  Thursday, I planned the same but was derailed when one of the counties sent out a notice that they have money to give out and they want proposals back to them by September 8th.  Sounds like a lot of time right?  Usually, yes its a very generous time frame.  BUT, I will be on vacation as of 4 pm Friday until September 8th.

So I hurried up and wrote 2 proposals, drove to the administrative office for original signatures and turned them in yesterday.  Woo ho!  Fortunately, the money they are offering is for programs that we are already doing and have been doing for many years for this county.  I basically took last years proposals, updated staffing, levels of service, and dates.  The hardest part was driving up to the administrative offices.

Today, I am sitting at my desk with plans of starting the company newsletter, reading some blogs and working on a program description.  At 4 pm, I am leaving here and am on vacation for 10 days!  I can't wait!

On the homefront, the house has been quiet with Son visiting his father.  He will be home Sunday night and I am sort of looking forward to it.  I have been enjoying the quiet, the freedom and just everything while he has been away.  I have been missing the hugs, the snuggles, the arguments, the noise, everything that comes with him.

We don't have a lot planned for vacation.  One day, we will be going to the beach so he can be Sailor For A Day on a Tall Ship while I relax on the beach with Neicy.  I know he will have a good time and he was so excited when I told him that I made the reservations.  Another day, we will be going to Maryland to visit friends.  We are also going to be taking care of Kathy's puppies and kitties because she and my parents will be going to Tennessee to visit family there.

So that is my life this week in a nutshell.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  I have plans to enjoy my last couple of days of quiet.  :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Positive Thinking. Positive Living.

On my short drive to work today, I was thinking about how much negative thoughts I have every day. How judgmental I can be, even if its just in my head. I also was thinking about Dharma (from Dharma and Greg, the TV show) and how she is so free and loving of all things. She doesn’t get mad at anything or anyone. She has fun at everything she does, even a trip to the hardware store. Dharma is just free and easy and that flows over into everyone and everything in her life. Yes, I know it’s a TV show and everything works out perfectly in the end. Why can’t I be more like her and see the good/fun in everything?

Then because I live just outside of town, I got to work and this train of thought was replaced with the piles on my desk.

When I was going through my email there was one in there that made me continue my thoughts on positive thinking. I subscribe to a Thought for Today email service. Lots of times, I read it and just delete it. Other days, it really hits home. Today was one of those Hit Home days.

“When a person drowns himself in negative thinking he is committing an unspeakable crime against himself. – Maxwell Maltz”

It goes on to explain that we get power from holding a dismal and gloomy outlook can deprive us of the positive and pleasant parts of life. We emotionally beat ourselves up before life and others can do it for us. By being negative first, we think we are saving ourselves from being hurt. I am guilty of this. The therapist suggested that I am “emotionally cutting” myself. Nice, huh?

Giving up the negative feelings and therefore the “power” is risky to us. And its not something that can be done in one day. Its recommended that we start by imagining ourselves with a more open attitude toward ourselves and the world. Then, you can try it out in the world, just a little bit at a time. Eventually, this will become a habit and there you will be with a more positive attitude about life and ourselves in general.

Before I read this email, I had already decided to challenge myself with being more positive today. It started with a post to facebook “Happy Wednesday.” No complaints that there are still workdays left, about Jaxon chewing my shoes or any number of negative things I could have found. Just “lets be happy for today.” One of my friends replied asking what was so good about it. She was just kidding and wished me a great day (Thanks and hugs, Janet!). I still responded to her with a list of what I had found to be happy about today.

The other part of the challenge was for me to smile at 10 people today. I usually keep to myself or just talk with Neicy when we are out walking. Well, today I am going to keep my head up (except on the rough parts of the sidewalks), look people in the eye, and smile. Hopefully, they will smile back.

As they smile back, my confidence in myself should increase and happy feeling should flood my brain. Then I will become addicted to the happy feelings and I will realize that I don’t have to hurt myself first to have power over me and my life.

So Neicy and I had our first walk today and as we were walking toward each other, she commented how good I look today. There were some happy feelings right there. Thanks and hugs, Neicy! We did our walk, chatting the whole time as usual. But I was looking up and around and making eye contact with people we passed. Then I smiled at a little old lady. Her face lit up, she smiled back, asked how we were doing, and I know I just made her day. Same as she made mine.
Where’s my easy button? That was SO easy. Of course, it was easy today because I was already feeling pretty good about myself, with a new haircut (LOVE IT!) and great push up bra (where'd they come from)!  Eventually, I will become more like Dharma, enjoying everything and everyone in my life, with little negativity.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Parade of Butterflies

Jakes is leaving tonight for another week at his dads and I have a full weekend planned. I  have shopping to do, a BBQ to attend with some great friends and I am making ice cream!  My family loves my ice cream. 

Throughout the week, I also plan to cook at home more, ride my bike and take Jaxon for walks.  Lots of relaxing ME time.  I will miss my son but I will be a much better mom with the week off.

Work has been a little frustrating for me.  I am working on a project which is clinical in nature and I am far from clinical.  I have read the text books (BORING!) and started writing but am now stuck.  So I have to read the book again.  OH help!

I bought a Butterfly Bush and here are some pictures from this week.

kitters went butterfly hunting with me
I forgot to explain the rules to him

He decided to be sneaky and hide in the bush instead.

So pretty!

I think this is my favorite of the pictures I took.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Brush - Theme Thursday

She pulled the pins, shook her head, and felt the silky strands cascade over her shoulders. In the sunlight, her hair looked like liquid gold flowing down her back. He reached around her for the brush and proceeded to pull it through ever so gently. Working from the ends up to her head, he ensured there were no knots to create a distracting pain. Once there, he proceeded to brush her hair from crown to tip.

She loved the tender scrape of the bristles on her scalp, the tickling of his fingers as he picked up a new section to start on. He brushed her hair every night like this, he liked to pamper her, he loved to feel her hair, loved to see the look of pleasure on her face while he worked.

This is an entry for Theme Thursday.  Go here to check out other creativeness!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Therapy Again

Therapy has been going pretty well.  Last time she bumped us down to every other week.  Woohoooooo!  So there has been progress.  We sit and chat like we are old friends.  I love that about meeting with her, its like its not even therapy, which in my book is how its supposed to be.  In my opinion, more gets accomplished.

When I met with her by myself, we covered stuff from his sessions with her as well as worked on some of my many issues.   She had lots of interesting things to share about Son.  She loves her sessions with him and thinks he is the neatest kid.  I'm discovering that too.

We talked about what may have caused us to deteriorate to the point of more therapy.  She suggested that all kids go through developmental stages and Son may have entered one when we started having problems.  He probably didn't know how to deal with the new things happening to his body and his feelings.  If that is the reason for everything, we very well could be back in therapy throughout different stages of his growing up.  But, I know where and when to get help for us.

We talked about the CHOP study and their diagnosis of ADHD instead of Aspergers.  Vickie definitely sees more sensory issues with Son and while she knows he is a very high functioning AS kid, she doesn't feel that he is ADHD.  Of course, she wants to see the results of the testing done by CHOP to compare with what she knows of Son.  She said she will be glad to point me toward the appropriate doctor when I get the results of the study just to make sure I am getting all the appropriate therapies for Son.

We talked about socialization opportunities for Son.  Given where we live (in the middle of NO-WHERE, NJ) its going to take being creative.  I suggested that we might go back to the Autism Center and she made a face.  Not a good face either.  She suggested that since Son is such high functioning AS, that he might not benefit from the groups there.  He might be the one that the other kids aspire to be like.  And while that is a wonderful thing, Son might not "get it" and might be more frustrated by the groups than getting anything out of it.  She suggested Big Brothers / Big Sisters, finding a mentor from the local fire department, Boy Scouts, or back into swim lessons.  I have to look into some of these options.  If you have any suggestions, throw them my way, please! 

One of the things she told me broke Son's confidentiality so you have to keep this to yourself!  Promise and pinky swear, ok?  Good.

She asked Son if there was anything about me that he would want to change.  He said he wants a "Hot Mom".  WHAT??!?!?!?!?!?  But he was not able to articulate his version of a "Hot Mom". tee he!  Even my son doesn't think I am hot.  No wonder my self esteem is in the toilet.  Yesterday when we were there, I looked in the mirror and was shocked at what I saw looking back.  Crazy hair, no make up, sand on my shoulders, mismatched clothes, it was that "just back from the shore look" (cause I spent the day on the shore!).  I was very much a mess and I was out in public.  OMG.  He doesn't want a hot mom, he wants a mom that is at least presentable.

Last nights session really frustrated Son because I was practicing reflective listening.  Because this technique basically shuts down the argument, Son didn't like it.   He wasn't able to draw me into an argument and push my buttons.  And he didn't like it.  He spent a good bit of time away from us pouting and crying. 

But he wanted to talk about it on the way home and we discussed why its used.  He agreed that it could be a good way to stop arguments between us from getting out of hand.  I think he will be ok with it as long as I don't use it continuously in our conversations.

So that is an update on Son's therapy.  We are still going to be going every other week and I will still be practicing my homework with him.  Eventually, we will have a happy and peaceful home.  Then he will become a TEEN.  Oh help!  lol

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Daddy Let's Me Play with Power Tools

I sold my house because I couldn't and didn't want to have to worry about home repairs and up keep. I moved near my parents and the compound came with a wonderful landlord and handiman.  Since then the handiman (Daddy) has gotten sick and isn't supposed to do anything around the place.  But if anything needs to be done, he thinks he can do it. 

Since I don't want Daddy to make himself worse, I have been offering to do stuff around here.  Whatever needs to be done.  My latest project was to water proof the decks after they were power washed.  Dad said he was going to do them so I hurried up and got started on them.  The first one I painted with a brush and it took me several hours over the course of a week.  ugh.  In the hot weather, on a ladder, with Humming birds dive bombing me. 

The deck I painted by brush

Then Daddy decided that he would help me out.  He bought me this:


Being a girl and all, I was skeptical that this would be eaiser/faster to use.  Let me tell you, HEAVEN!  I knocked out their second deck in 3 hours, including clean up!  Again, its a second story deck and required me on a ladder but the Humming birds were thankfully absent!

The 3 hour deck

I knew there was a reason I loved my Daddy!

I was not paid or reimbursed by Wagner at all for this post but I should be!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pamper Me Missions

I am a work in progress. I am figuring out WHO I am and learning to love me for who I am.  One of the things I realized is that I am all about the other people in my life.  And while there is nothing wrong with that, I need to find a way to make sure I take care of myself, I need to find a way to put myself on the same page as I put others.

So with that in mind, I am going to start pampering myself a little bit.  Each month I will pick some way to pamper and take care of myself.  It could be something simple like taking 10 minutes to meditate or give myself a manicure or learning something new like knitting.  For one month, I will pamper myself at least 3 times per week with the Pamper Me Mission of my choice.  And I am looking for suggestions!  What do you do to pamper yourself?

This month, my mission will be my feet.  I hate shoes and go barefoot as much as possible.  Even in the winter, I would walk Jaxon barefoot as long as there wasn't snow on the ground.  Of course, this leaves my feet SUPER calloused and yucky.

Before Neicy went on vacation, we got together for pedicures so she would have pretty toes.  Her feet were nice and smooth and didn't need too much attention.  My girl had to get a special tool to shave the callouses on the bottoms of my feet.  And not just my heels.  Gross!  She ended up with nasty shavings in her lap.

So, for the month of August, I am going to pamper my feet.  I am going to soak them and pulmice the rough spots off.  I will massage them with lotion and baby them.  I will keep my toes painted pretty.  By the end of the month, I will have pretty and soft feet.   I might even consider wearing shoes more.

I also will have taken care of ME, putting me on the same page as everyone else.  Not first and probably not even second.  But its a start!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


When you look at a person's palm, what other body part is it supposed to equate?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tractor Pulls

At the County Fair, they had Antique tractor pulls on Wednesday and Friday.  Son LOVES the tractor pulls so I try to make sure he gets to see as much of them as possible.  Enjoy some pictures from Friday night.......

Watching them prepare the track.

The sled.

ALL the tractor lined up before the competition.


Girl Power!  There were lots of girl drivers this year!

Unusual Tractor

They even hold races for the kids.  Son was too old for them this year.  :(

While Son watched the Big tractors pull, I either wandered the fair or sat and read my book to keep an eye on Son.  I love the fair because you can let your kids run around or you can leave them and you run around!  Eventually, they make their way back to you and there is usually 15 people who know your kid and more than likely, they are related to you!

We stayed until way after dark and I was finally able to bribe Jakes to leave with me.  Of course getting out of the parking area took 30 minutes itself but we expected that.  Overall, it was a great fair and we can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Random Thought Tuesday

Woo ho!  its Tuesday! And my first day of work for the week.  I like short work weeks.  Next week will be the same!  Woo ho!

At last weeks therapy session, Vickie was pleased with both of our progress and is recommending we step down to every other week.  I imagine that in a month or so, we will be done with therapy.  Things at home are better and will continue to get better as we both work on our lessons.  Woo ho!

I get to have Jakes for a WHOLE weekend!  He has been with his dad for the past 3 because of vacation and regularly scheduled weekends.  Its going to be weird having him all weekend.  A good weird though!

Neicy is back from Vacation.  She was gone for 10 days to North Dakota where she grew up and her family still resides.  I missed her!  Definitely getting water ice at the Farmers Market this week to celebrate.  :)

I haven't seen my dad as much lately as I had been seeing him.  Kathy told me yesterday that they changed one of his meds and she sees that he seems more tired and gets dizzy easier.  Gonna have to talk to him about that!

Speaking of Kathy.  In June she had a mastectomy and has been recovering nicely.  Yesterday, she and I went shopping for bras for her.  For the first time in 2 months, Kathy was able to wear a boob shirt!  She was so funny, going around shaking her boobs in every one's faces.  I almost pee'd my pants when she did it to Dad!  HA!

How do people wear the ear buds?  You know, those ear phones that you stick in your ears while listening to your iPod?  I can't get any to stay in my ear.  I spend most of my bike ride tucking them back in.   Frustrating!  Any suggestions to help?  Or suggestions of a better type of headphone?  Thanks!

Speaking of iPods, I need to update my playlist for while I'm biking.  The one I have is pretty good and I have gotten used to it but I need to switch it up and challenge myself a bit more.  Of course, in my last ride, I looked down and I was cruising along at 17 mph and wasn't winded!   I love those upbeat songs!  I get so into the music, I don't realize that I am peddling to the beat.  The faster the beat, the faster I peddle.  Pretty cool until I have gone 3 miles and can't feel my legs.  LOL

Okay, Friends, go Random-up with the Un Mom for more Tuesday Randomness!  Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hi there!

Hi there!  I am baaack!  After a couple of zombie days, I am back and feeling pretty good.  Thanks again for the well wishes!  I just want to say one thing:  Summer Colds SUCK.

Now that's outta the way....  My weekend was fun-filled and BUSY.  Our County fair was this week and Jakes and I were there on Tuesday and Friday.  We had planned to be there on Wednesday as well but that didn't work out. Oh well, Jakes adapted very well and I thanked him for it.  Such a sweetie when Mom is sick!

The local paper reported that there was over 20,000 people who visited the fair grounds over the week.  WOW!  I didn't realize that there were that many people in the county.  Guess I need to brush up on my census facts! 

Its the typical county fair with tractors, animals, crafters, cow queen contest, and good country food.  Jakes and I checked out all of it.  My Step-Mom had a booth there for the county tourism department.  We hung out with her for a bit as well.  Its pretty nice to have a "home base" of sorts to meet back and regroup.

People entered their prize veggies, photos, art works, quilts and other home made treasures.  There wasn't as much home made treasures this year as in the past.  Only about 8 handmade quilts.   This building was my favorite to wander through.  I was so into seeing what was entered, I forgot to take pictures.  Years ago, my mom entered quilts that she made and she won first place!  Mom was very talented. :)

On with the pictures!

Old Tractors

New Tractors


Big Animals

Fast Animals


Isn't he CUTE?

The Stage for the Fair Queen Contest.
Yes, I entered when I was younger.  I didn't win.

Don't worry, I shared with my step mom.  :)

Overall, Son and I had a grand time and can't wait for next years festivities!

Friday, August 6, 2010


I wanted to leave this week with some silliness.

You might be a redneck ..............

Son and I are off to the County Fair tonight!  Son will be at the Tractor Pulls and I will be wandering checking out everything else.  I will share pictures next week.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Checking in


Thanks for the well wishes.  I am doing better.  Still sick but can keep my eyes open and my body doesn't ache as much.

Sitting at work trying to read about substance abuse for persons with co-occurring disorders.  Can you say "naptime"?

I am planning a REAL post for tomorrow.  Till then


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

summer cold

I have managed to catch a summer cold and am not happy.  See you in a couple of days.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Quickie!

At 4:55 Monday, my boss called me and asked me to come up to headquarters on Tuesday.  And I can say "no" how?  This should be fun.  They have another project for me.  I don't like projects.  They keep me in headquarters and therefore around the bosses.  I have gotten to like my low profile.

     Jakes came home from his dad's house one tooth less.  Which is good because they won't do anything about his braces until more of his baby teeth are gone.  The bad part is that the toothfairy apparently couldn't find his dad's house.  So we left a message for the toothfairy on facebook and hopefully she will come tonight.

My BFF Neicy is in North Dakota on vacation this week and won't be back until Saturday.  I miss her!

      Jaxon gets car sick, even with Dr recommended Benadryl.  Very badly.  On the way to Kimber's he puked 4 times.  At least I remembered to put the towels down!  Don't worry, Janet, I will make sure the seats are clean before Saturday!  Promise.

Kimber, Janet (another good friend from high school found on facebook) and I are going to a late lunch on Saturday.  We are meeting about halfway between Kimber's and our homes.  There will be lots of memories shared, laughter and male bashing!  Sorry guys!

   I found out that you shouldn't brag too much about how good your kid is doing at something.  They will promptly make you look stupid.  I was bragging about how good Jakes was doing in summer camp this year; that the YMCA Director was impressed as well.  SO, Jakes had a rough first day back to camp today.  I don't know if it is just him having to get used to things with me or if he was just so tired from his vacation that he couldn't apply the skills.  Probably a combo of both.  So, we talked and decided that he would get to bed a bit earlier and see how tomorrow is.  I am thinking that he will be just fine.

Happy Tuesday!  Make sure to check out Keely at The UnMom for more Randomness!  I hope she's hosting this week!  I had to put this together on Monday night cause I won't have blog access at work tomorrow.  Boo hooo!

True Friends

There’s a saying that a good friend is someone you can call to bail you out of jail. A True Friend will be sitting next to you in the jail cell, saying “That was CooL! Let’s do it again!” I have been blessed to have true friends in my life. The first one to come into my life did so when I was in the 5th grade.


The History:
Everyone was clustered in the school yard comparing new clothes and checking out the new kids when I saw Kimber walking into the yard looking scared. There was something about her that drew me to her and ask what grade she was in. I was hoping that she was in my grade but come to find out, she was in 7th. Oh great! She was one of the older kids and that pretty much guaranteed that we would not be friends. So I pointed her in the direction of where her class would line up and went back to my class.

Over time we would see each other and talk, getting to know each other, becoming friends. As we talked we found out that she was cousins with a girl I was friends with until that girl had to move away. My parents knew Kimber’s family, her grandmother, her mother and her uncles; there’s a lot of history there.

In time we were inseparable, spending weekends at each other houses, on the phone constantly, we were like sisters. Kimber graduated from our school and went to high school. We still hung out but there were new friends who included me too. I finally joined her in high school where we continued to have fun, with new friends and boyfriends. She dated my cousin, I dated hers (neither relationship worked out). We went to formal dances with our boyfriends but always hung out together.

Jaxon getting to know one of Kimber's 4 dogs.
They all got along VERY well!

Then tragedy struck. Kimber’s mom was killed in a car accident and eventually Kimber went to live with her uncle in North Jersey. ACK! What was I going to do without my best friend??!?!?!?

Well, I went to visit her and she came to visit me. We talked on the phone when we could but it wasn’t the same of course. We each made new friends and drifted apart but when we would get together it would be like we had been together yesterday. True friend.

Life goes on, school turns into work, boyfriends turn into husbands, our children expand our families, divorces shrink the family back. We have supported and loved each other through it all.

The Present:
This weekend, I packed Jaxon up and drove two hours north to spend the weekend with Kimber and her family. Kimber and I were going to take an evening for US and go dancing but we never made it there. Doesn’t matter cause we still had SO much FUN!

Jaxon loved Kimber from the start but took a little while to warm up to Dale.
I don't know why!  Dale is a great guy.

Friday when I finally got there, Kimber, Dale (her fiancĂ©) and I headed out to dinner then we were going to find some place to dance. Dinner was great! We talked and laughed and just enjoyed being together. After dinner we ended up over their friends house for a bon fire and drinks. I met some great people and found out that Dale is a great impressionist. I can’t remember when I laughed SO much!

On Saturday, Kimber, her daughter Brianna and I went for manicures. We picked up Brianna’s boyfriend & had lunch. Again, I don’t remember laughing so much. After lunch, we headed to Kimber’s uncles house for a graduation party. I got to see all of Kimber’s relatives, her grandmother, her uncles and their families. I haven’t seen them in several years and I caught hell for that and the fact that Jakes wasn’t with me! They love him too.

They are such a loving family and seeing them again was like we’d been together yesterday. There wasn’t a beat missed. I love that.

After the graduation party, Kimber and I were going clubbing. We have gotten SO old that by the time we got home, neither of us really wanted to go out. So we stayed home and watched a movie (which I fell asleep on!).

Sunday, I drugged Jaxon (that's going to be another post!) and headed home. I miss being there with Kimber and her family but I know that she is there for me the next time I want to do something that will land me in jail! She’ll right there with me. And I'll be right there for her.

I love you Kimber! Thanks for the AWESOME weekend!

While Jaxon had a great time, he was happy to get home. (yes, that's MY pillow)
My Tired Puppy!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My World is Complete!

All because this adorable person that I gave life to is asleep in his bed where he belongs.

I might feel differently tomorrow when we are getting back into the groove.