Life thru the haze of cat hair.

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One thing I’ve never had is a charm bracelet. I find them fascinating. Each piece telling a story about the person – where they’ve been, who they’ve loved.

When my niece was born, I started a charm bracelet for her. For the first 10 years, I kept it to myself. I tried to find charms reflective of what she was into that particular year. On her 10th birthday, I gave it to her. And now every year I send her another charm. Honestly, I don’t even know if she still has it. I’d like to think she does and that she appreciates it.

The past few years have sucked been less than optimal, I think, for many people. So last year, I decided I needed a reminder of good things – affirmations, if you will.

I decided to make myself a charm bracelet.

However, there are some drawbacks with charm bracelets. They can be very jingly, which some people at the Gas ‘n Sip would find annoying. (I know I shouldn’t care about that, but there you go.) Also, by being jingly, they can prompt questions from random people; people who don’t need to know what’s going on in my life. People who don’t care, really, about what I’m trying to say with my charms.

So instead, I bought myself a 24″ sterling silver necklace. It’s long enough that it hangs near my heart, and it stays tucked into my shirt, so no one else needs to know it’s there. Also? No jingle. Ergo? No questions. Now if I’m playing with it or someone sees it, and they ask questions, I can tuck it back in, out of sight. Or I can answer questions if I choose.

Why am I telling you this now? Excellent question. I’m telling you now because I am using this now, not so much as a chain of affirmations, but more of a reminder of the journey. Does that make sense?  It’s much less a tangible life raft, and more of a comfortable friend. I don’t need it to be a secret anymore.

So. Do you want to see it?


Fabulous, right? Now, would you like to know what they are?

Okay. Since you’ve asked nicely. And really, more that despite WEEKS or MONTHS of no activity, you still keep coming back. (What is wrong with you? *snort*)

I’ll start from the right, because they have been around the longest.

(OMGoat. Why am I nervous??)

The Beginning

The first 3 disks go together. They say Fear, Less, Ness.  Sometime ago I wrote a post that I wanted to get that in a tattoo. But who knows what I called it. I looked for the link but can’t find it. I bought the disks from someone on Etsy. I would totally post links to the store (well, stores really, because a few of these are from Etsy) but again. My organization leaves a lot to be desired.

Anyhoo. Fearlessness is a term I love. And aspire too. I found it on Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart site. She sells one there that is gorgeous (and you can see her wearing it every week on her show) but last time I looked it was $450. Love the sentiment. Don’t love the price.

The next is a heart. It’s to remind me to keep my heart open.

You can’t really see the little clear crystal thing I have. It’s my faux diamond. Because I deserve diamonds.

And the last in this grouping is for courage. Similar to fearlessness. But it’s a reminder to step out of my comfort zone more often. I tend to limit my risks. About this time last year, I broke my comfort zone by signing up for a triathlon.

Next group:

The Year Continues

From right to left: “Follow Your Bliss”, a faux topaz, “I Am Enough” and a little prayer box.

Follow your bliss is something I got at Etsy also. We all need to do this. Listen to your heart. It knows what is right. Also, don’t get trapped in doing what other people want you to do, what will make them happy. Follow your own path.

The topaz is my mother’s birthstone. I have written about her a lot. She is my hero.

I am enough. How many of you can say that, on a regular basis, with conviction? I got this from Tracey Clark’s wonderful blog. There hasn’t been an updated post there in a while, but the message is still true. Have you had your breakthrough moment yet? That moment where you have the epiphany that yes, you are enough?

The last one in this group is a little prayer box. It opens up, so you can put a prayer/wish/plea out to the universe. Once it is out there, the universe begins to conspire to make it happen. I change out my little slips of paper about once a month.

And finally:

Last, but not least. And I'm not done yet.

 This group shows a little disco ball, a butterfly, a breast cancer ribbon (with a little rubber ring) and an owl.

The disco ball is just a reminder to have fun. Dance when I feel like it. Listen to music that makes me happy.

I think the butterfly is pretty self-explanatory. I know that I am working towards becoming something more beautiful than what I started with. And I don’t mean just physically. I know I am becoming a nicer person. I can feel it. The outward appearance is just window dressing.

The breast cancer ribbon? I gave that to myself after I completed the triathlon. It wasn’t pretty, but that wasn’t my goal. I finished – and was seen in public in a wetsuit – and I am still pretty damn proud of that. The little rubber ring came with the ribbon. I like to think of that as the life-saving ring that I might have needed during the swim portion. 8^D

And finally, the owl. Debra got me started with the owls. (Turns out, owls are the new *it* girl). Everyone loves owls now. But for me? Debra reminded me that I am wise, and that inside me is the wisdom I need to succeed. Plus? It’s sparkly.

So that’s my charm necklace. I didn’t buy all the charms at once. I buy a new one when I see something that strikes me. I don’t think the owl will be the last one either. Just as I’m not done improving, my necklace needs to reflect that.  The first charms – Fear, Less, Ness – are looking pretty beat up and worse for wear. But they’ve been with me the longest. The owl? Still pretty new.

There is your glimpse into my life. I don’t let it show often. But Courage, right? If I don’t show it, I won’t have new experiences. And that’s what life is for.


From the junior high school gym in the middle of nowhere, I present “What I Love About Me”

I love that I do nice things for people. I hold open doors, pull out chairs, get things off of shelves, and lift heavy things for people. Even random strangers. I will remember that you mentioned that you really like “The Giving Tree” and buy it for you. I will do research to find the best deal on a purchase for you.

Even more, I love that I am raising my kids to be the same way. We need more nice people in the world.

Hi.  I’m Texas Emerald.  Or ~moo~, depending on how well you know me.  Perhaps we’ve met?

At any rate, my sweet friend, MagandMoo, is making a change in her life.  I am so very proud of her.  And a little jealous.

So, I promised her that I would help.  I am cheering for her as loud as I can from 2,000 miles away.

I told MagandMoo that I would do 30 days of truth with her.  The silly girl suggested that we start tomorrow…oh no ma’am.  We’re not getting back in that wagon.

While she’s hyperventilating in a paperbag in the corner, here is my post for the day.

“Something you hate about yourself”

I am an epic procrastinator.  I’m in college.  I will graduate as soon as I finish 1 class and a Capstone project.  1 class people!  So, I watch Criminal Minds instead.

I’m overweight.  Not elephant sized, but more than portly.  I want to make a significant change to my weight before I turn 35.  In 9 months.  So, I…um…do nothing.  Oh, except have an after dinner Drumstick. WIN!

So, my *hate* thing, I’m freaking lazy. 

Your turn MagandMoo.

Oh, hello. Come in. Have a popsicle.

Some of my pictures:









That’s all. Have a lovely day.

Oh, hello! Come on in and have a cup of tea with me.

I was brough up in a Catholic household. Church every weekend, Sunday school, confirmation, the whole works. It was fine then. It was all I knew. I’d look around at all the people and silently make disparaging comments about them in my mind. I didn’t know better.

When I finally started paying attention, I decided that I didn’t really like what they were saying. It wasn’t that they were saying anything different or new, it is just that I started having my own opinions that didn’t necessarily agree with theirs. I don’t think either opinion could be labeled right or wrong – just differing. I was my opinion that going to church was being preached AT, rather than preached TO. There were the commandments – you can’t do this or that. And obviously, murder and adultery are not good things. (Well, adultery might be, depending upon your own moral compass. I’m not judging. But murder? Still bad.)

Like many others, I consider myself to be more spiritual than religious. I still pray. I still believe there is something greater “up there”, or wherever. And it has crossed my mind more and more frequently that I might like to find a new church. Being the card-carrying lazy apathist (yes, I just made that up – you’re welcome) I am, I haven’t made the effort to go visit any churches to see if their philosophies more closely match mine.

To be clear – I am in no way saying that the Catholic belief system is bad or wrong. It just isn’t for me. I think we should all be able to practice any religion that works for us; worship at the altar that works best for you, and let me do the same.

Then, I see this headline in a Tweet from a local news station:

Maine’s Catholic churches plan a second collection weekend to help the referendum campaign to overturn the law recognizing gay marriages.

And that pisses me off to no end. I would have the same reaction regardless of the religion at the center of the story. While I can appreciate that this does not necessarily fall under the separation of church and state, what business is it of any church to get involve in this law?

This whole gay marriage thing and the opposition against it? It’s beyond my scope of comprehension as to WHY THE PHUCK IS IT ANYONE’S BUSINESS IF TWO PEOPLE WHO LOVE EACH OTHER GET MARRIED????????? We should celebrate MORE love in this world, not try to squelch it. If two people get married, it doesn’t affect my life in any way. I don’t care if they are gay or straight.  And now for the church to get involved?? WHY? So, your beliefs may not be the same, so you have to make others’ beliefs wrong? How is that showing the love of a higher power?

And don’t even bring in “the Bible says it’s wrong” crap. This is NOT A RELIGIOUS ISSUE. It shouldn’t be a state issue. It shouldn’t be ANY issue. If these couples aren’t hurting you or themselves, leave them alone to be who they are.

Dear Catholic Church,

Stay out of it. Take care of your own house before you start finding fault with anyone else’s house. And that goes for all your brother religions as well. Just because you may not believe something doesn’t make it wrong. Isn’t there a “turn the other cheek” edict somewhere that should be followed?

I’ll get off my soapbox now. I’m a little dizzy from the altitude. I just think, again, that we should encourage love. Regardless of the form it takes.

*Maggie tried to stop me from writing this by walking on the keyboard and planting herself on my lap for a number of hours. She knew this would not sit well with folks. But since it is my blog, and my opinion, I’m okay with it.

Oh, hello! Have some beef stew!

So, I had a recent visitor to this little adventure who didn’t seem to like what I had to say. I was asked “what brought this on”. I responded “It’s my blog and I felt like it.” Well, this person saw that and thought my response was too sharp. I did thank the person for her opinion. I really have no issue with anyone disagreeing with me. But don’t be all snotty about it.


I went back to work today after 2 weeks off. My post-vacation glow lasted all day. I haven’t taken a 2 week vacation in a long time. I’m thinking that next year? I’m going to do it twice. A one week vacation is all about decompressing and getting rid of the work ick. Long about Friday, you are feeling pretty good, but you know you have to go back to work on Monday. Tack on a second week and that is all cake. You all but forget there is a job to go to. FAB-U-LOUS!!! If you have the time and ability to take 2 weeks together, I highly recommend it.


Last night, Herb took me out for pizza at my favorite place. He was supposed to meet his girlfriend, so I was second choice, but I don’t care. It was still deeeeeeeeeeeelish! Steak and onions and mushrooms (my half) and green peppers (his half) and garlic on a beer crust. YUM! And there was enough left to bring home for dinner tonight too! SQUEE!


I got notice today that my mortgage has been sold. This? Is a HUGE pain in my arse! I have the payment automatically drafted and now I have to change that, and I think there was already half a payment drafted this month. I have to track that down and find out if it can be recovered and sent to the new place. Oy. What a nightmare. I can totally envision this becoming a full time job to get straightened out.


Okay. I think I’ve blathered on about nothing enough. More tomorrow. Hopefully.

Oh, hello! Have some buttered popcorn!

I went to a movie tonight. K2Kid and I went to see Julie & Julia. We were both a little skeptical about it, because we don’t have the best track record when it comes to picking movies. We saw “The Women” when it came out. I think the theory was that it would be a good “strong independent woman” movie. Two words: SUH-UCKED!! It was awful.  Then we saw Mamma-Mia. Even the ticket guy said, “it’s not a good movie”. But we went into it with no expectations, and it was fun. I mean, how good can a 2 hour Abba video really be? It was fun, until Pierce Brosnan tried to “sing”. *shakes head sadly*

Anyhoo. Julie and Julia. LOVE LOVE LOVE Meryl Streep. LOVE even more Stanley Tucci. Not a fan of Amy Adams. We were thinking that we would tolerate the Julie scenes and really hope for more scenes of Julia. It was that way to a point, but the Julie scenes weren’t as painful as we thought. I haven’t seen Chris Messina, the guy who played her husband, before. I liked him. He was good. 

Meryl Streep rocked it, as usual. She’s so good. (Plus she got to wear kick-ass shoes!!) And she and Stanley Tucci, as her husband, are so cute together. He needs to do more.

So, the down part of the evening? Some chick sat directly behind me, and kicked my chair THE ENTIRE TIME!!! Excuse  me, are you 5?? Between that and the cackling, it was very distracting. I finally moved seats. She just crossed her legs and kept right on kicking. OH. MAH. GAH. Don’t make me punch you in the throat.

So, the point? This is a movie based on 2 true stories (that’s what the credits said, anyway) and Julie has a book out about he experience. I’ve picked up the book, thought about buying it, and couldn’t do it. It just sounded boring. K2Kid did buy it. She said she made it through 3 pages, and yes, it really is boring.  How did this woman get a book deal? I’ve read other blogs with writers who deserve a book. I deserve a book. I don’t know what she had to go through to get published, but mayb

Oh, hello. Come on in and help yourself to some pizza! It’s still warm.

I am a geek. I admit it. I’m the stereotypical bookworm who has too many books. I love books. I love reading. (Jeez! could I say “I” more frequently??)

Anyhoo. The problem with too many books? Sometimes you end up with duplicates. That? is way annoying. So one of the apps on my iPhone is a spreadsheet on which I have a list of every book, both on my Kindle and on my bookshelves, I own. Also, I keep a list of the books I have read. Is that a little OCD? I can’t tell. It has helped with the whole purchase of dupicates, though. So I guess it’s a win.

Geeks Rule!

Hi kids…Sam’s out having lunch with Dad so I thought I’d drop by and fluff the pillows and open the curtains.  I’m Moo…Sam has agreed to let me stop by every now and then and pontificate in her blog…(It’s not as dirty as it sounds, sicko!)

Let me tell you how Sam and I “met”.  As you know, Sam is head Slurpee attendant at the Gas ‘n’ Sip.  Well, I am the beer stock girl from the Beer Barn next door.  And by next door, I mean about 2,000 miles to the left.  You know how people in the same industry make connections…I think it’s called “networking”…

Anyway, Sam and I started cyber chatting about nothing.  It was like a virtual Seinfeld episode.  We managed to make a connection at least once a day to expound on absolutely nothing of relevance.  But, after every time we made a connection, I knew I wanted to talk to Sam again.  And over the course of several connections, Sam and I began to share things that weren’t all fluff and glitter.  We shared some things that were real.

Now, with that said, we’d much rather prefer to discuss our disdain for Kate Goesslin’s bi level, multi striped, reverse mullet or our love for all things Jeffrey Donovan (you’d better believe that we have plans on how lure him into our lair should the situation present itself.)  And we are not completely in agreement on everything in the world (I mean…who doesn’t watch Dancing with the Stars???  Get with the program, Sam!)

But what I know for sure, is that I am so glad that Sam is part of my life…even if it is only virtually.  People don’t make organic connections as often in today’s world (Tell me…when was the last time you walked up to a stranger at Starbucks to discuss last night’s episode of “Castle”???) so it’s become quite normal to meet people online.

What’s amazing to me still is when you meet a person that is SO much like  you…who holds so much draw…who you feel connected with from the word “hello”…that’s when you get lucky.

Anyway, Sam has introduced me to lots of cool stuff that I genuinely enjoy…I hope that one day I return the favor.

Make sure you lock up when you leave…can’t have weirdos in Sam’s place touching her MacGyver collectibles.