Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dance - a mother's definition

...... The art by which the music which flows through ears is portrayed to others via the movement of body, hands, feet and facial expressions.

...... An addiction which causes happiness.

...... An action which happens with out conscious thought or direction

...... A passion which is learned and kept within the heart; and expressed by the feet

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The evolution of dance (You Tube)

I am just going to preface this post with the caution that I have not listened to this video. So I apologize in advance if there is any offensive language used.

I watched the video without the sound since I was at my desk at work.

Thanks to Deb for sharing!

Blog Supreme

I fully admit that I am fascinated by expert bloggers. Me, I am just a newbie and no one ever reads my blog. {sigh, alas, maybe one day} But for now I am really enjoying the blogs that I stumble on.

This blog was pointed out to me via igoogle and once I read it, I knew it would quickly become one of my favorites:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy New Year

Seems like a strange title for the end of July, but all the same, it's very appropriate. Today marks the start of the new year. Manda started back to school today, and dance is having their "Open House" to kick off the new dance season. Dance operates on a school year calendar also.

My life does revolve more around the school year/ dance calendar than a fiscal one. From the end of July to the middle of June our schedule is set in motion by what time Manda has to be on campus every morning, what time she gets out of school, and where she has to be after school.
A typical day starts at 5 am. We leave the house no later than 7:15 am and frequently do not arrive back home until 9 pm.

Manda is a part of the freshman orientation and intervention program this year; and today is the first of 14 days she'll be spending on campus helping to provide motivation to the incoming freshman class. Last year, Manda was one of the students who participated in the program as an incoming lower class student. She didn't need the intervention, she just needed to have confidence in herself as a high school student on the "big campus."

I love the routine and order of her schedule! For those few weeks that she is not active with school and dance, I find it hard to get up and get moving in the morning, and much like my teen ~ I would prefer to sleep in and take my own sweet time getting ready for my day. It is not unusual for me to (finally!) arrive at work around 9 :15 on those mornings, but today it was easy to arrive in while the morning was still peaceful and new. I logged into my work station at 7:12 this morning.

Happy New Year!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wikihow on two of my favorite subjects

I was cruising the web this morning and stumbled upon a new (to me) web area:

Wiki How so I typed in tap dance and rubber stamp, and these are what I found:

Calif. Prescription Card Offers Up To 75% Discount

This was in my email today. Thank you to Maria Angel Garcia for sharing!

From Channel 13 News, July 25, 2008:

Calif. Prescription Card Offers Up To 75% Discount
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)A new prescription drug card program gives California consumers discounts of up to 75 percent at pharmacies statewide. The California Drug Card Program is different from government and other private discount programs because it is not limited to low-income people or senior citizens. Anyone is eligible, regardless of income, membership or age. The initiative from United Networks of America was initially aimed at the uninsured and underinsured, but the card can also be used by those whose health plans offer little or no drug benefits. The free card can be downloaded and printed by logging onto a Web site, and is accepted at most big chains and independent pharmacies. Click here to go to the website for the prescription discount card.

Maria Angel Garcia
Office of the Chief Counsel
Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB)
1000 G Street, Suite 450
Sacramento, CA 95814

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Good test for motion sickness

This was posted to the comments of one of the blogs I read. I had to share it.
(with thanks to "Mama C" for finding it orginally)

driven by Manda

This is our princess. She is not one of those "mean girls" nor is she perfect. She just makes our lives perfectly happy. Amanda is just a great kid to be around, and I am so thankful she is our daughter. She makes me laugh and smile, she keeps me on my toes and makes those every day details of life seem special.

Manda is learning to drive. Her high school had a GSSR class which was part of the freshman curriculum. She finished up GSSR in mid-May just about the time she was officially 15 1/2. On May 22, she obtained her permit. Driving has taken on a whole new excitement in our house. After all, our permitted driver needs as much experience as she can get before she is allowed to get behind the wheel and drive off by herself the first time. So right now, Manda drives us everywhere.

She is doing very well driving. Much better than I even expected her to do. Her first freeway lesson is still several weeks away, but we fully believe in making certain she is as prepared as possible, so on Saturday morning while the traffic was still moderate, we let her drive to Penryn. Then I let her drive on the freeway on Tuesday night. Granted, it was only from one exit to the next, but ~ it was still on the freeway after 9pm.

Yesterday afternoon we practiced "merging." The Kaiser Hospital on Douglas Boulevard in Roseville is a great area to practice since it sits on one square block. Manda can just drive endlessly around the block making repetitive right hand turns.

With her busy schedule of school, after school activities and her passion and need to dance I am looking forward to her being able to drive herself to dance this year. That will give her a great sense of pride, responsibility, confidence and maturity.

Of course, being a sophomore in high school on a campus where parking is at a premium, she won't be able to drive her car to school at all this year. She'll still have to walk home. Then she can get into her car, and drive.

Speaking of dance, Amanda dances for Cast and Company Dance Alliance.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And this person is proud of this fact?

After reading the headline of the article above, I knew what my blog was going to be about today: my belief on abortion.

I do not believe in abortion as a method of birth control. If a person is mature enough to make the choice to have a sexual relationship, then that person needs to be mature enough to understand the implications of having sex: pregnancy and STD's are but two concerns connected to intercourse.

If you do not want to have children, then do not have unprotected sex, or rely on just one method of birth control and NEVER allow the other person to be in charge of protection. Take the time to make a mature decision about sex. Unfortunately that is an oxymoron in and of itself as many times the couple whom are engaging in sexual activity are not mature enough to act in a responsible manner. (Or they wouldn't be having sexual relations outside of a committed relationship where both parties have made informed decisions about the future of the relationship.)

If you are not in a monogamous relationship, sexual activity should not even be occurring. In today's society our children and teens are taught about sexual diseases and contraceptives in elementary school. There is no reason not to have an education about the complications of sexual intercourse.

We all know that children are not gotten from the cabbage patch, or bought from the local discount store.

Children are conceived through the swapping of bodily fluids during sex.

Conception can be prevented.

Conception should be prevented if you do not want to have children.

Once a child is conceived, it should not be treated like your cable service and "terminated" just because you can't afford to pay the price. The life of a child is precious. I believe that only God and Mother Nature have the ultimate right (through miscarriage) to terminate a pregnancy at will.

Don't get me wrong, I will state that I have a somewhat flexible stance in my beliefs.

I do believe that if a woman conceives through the violent act of rape (and I am not talking "date rape" where the woman most likely knows her attacker, but a rape committed as an act of random violence) she should have the right to a safe and legal abortion.

I do believe that if a woman's health seriously is compromised (especially if she already has other children) by the pregnancy and carrying the child would more than likely lead to a vegetative state or her death, then the woman should have the right to a safe and legal abortion.
I do believe that if a child is conceived through an act of incest, then abortion should be an option.

I do believe that if a child is conceived by an mentally unstable, or severely mentally challenged woman who is not capable of making mature decisions, then abortion should be a legal, safe option.

Notice I do say that abortion should be an option. It should not be an automatic choice. But I do believe that that "final, no other choice is acceptable" option of abortion should be a legal, safe right.

I just think abortions are used far too often as an easy out. I do not believe that abortion should ever be the option when two people who should have been responsible were not mature enough to prevent pregnancy from occurring.

Abortion is a radical procedure that involves taking the life of a fetus.

Choose to abstain, choose to prevent, choose to make mature decisions.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

quite possibly Every Woman's Dream Cake!

This arrived in my email courtesy of my mom, and I have to share it with everyone:


This should be re-named " Every Woman's Dream Cake" !


1 (18.25 ounce) chocolate fudge cake mix (with pudding in mix)
16 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet morsels
2 eggs
1/2 cup Kahlua
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.
Combine ingredients with electric mixer; beat about 4 minutes.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until cake tester (or wooden pick) inserted comes out clean.
Cool in pan 15 - 20 minutes; turn onto cake plate.

Chocolate Kahlua Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon margarine, softened
1 tablespoon Kahlua
1 tablespoon water

bringing home the bacon

I already hate to go to the grocery store. I feel like my dollar just does not stretch far enough as it is, and now it sounds like it is not going to get any cheaper anytime soon.

Mind you, I do not blame the stores, they have to make a living and provide a wage for their employees just like everyone else does.

Guess I will be clipping more coupons, and trying to make certain I am shopping smart. The higher prices could definitely lead to one good thing, I could lose those extra pounds.

Manda and I made a great salad for dinner last night:

3 cups Lettuce,
1 cup Shredded carrots,
2 sliced Cucumber,
1 diced Avocado,
2 fresh peaches (chopped into bite sized pieces),
2 Aidelle's chicken burgers (chopped into bite sized pieces),
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 cup Catalina dressing

It was scrumptious! Russ of course settled for a basic salad and a ham sandwich.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Monday

What a great weekend!

Friday night after grocery shopping (which I really dislike to do!) I rounded the corner of our street, and was thrilled to see that Private First Class Ryan Slechta had arrived home from boot camp. He was standing in the yard with his dad. The two men were standing side by side, tall and proud sharing a moment.

Just 6 weeks ago Ryan was a 17 year old kid. He elected not to graduate with his class at OHS, but to enlist with the Marines and invest in his future. He turned 18 while at boot camp.

Let me tell you, just seeing Ryan standing so tall, so proud made me proud to be his neighbor. Ryan has always been one of my favorite kids on the block. He beat to his own drum, and has charm and personality. Unfortunately that drum did not always produce an acceptable beat for society. Going in the the Marines was a great choice for Ryan.

I parked and got out of the car, intending to cross the street and welcome Ryan home. By the time I closed my car door and turned around, Ryan was standing in front of me. I cried. He carries himself with a pride that I have not seen him have since he was much younger. He carries himself with dignity. His voice is confident.

Yesterday the entire neighborhood got together to celebrate Ryan. It was a wonderful afternoon. Ryan dressed in full uniform and cover to greet each new arrival to the party. Not a single one of us moms were dry eyed. Our teen aged girls were misty eyed too. The boys were in awe (for about 42 seconds, then they became normal again.)

Ryan became choked up when he gave his thanks to his parents for there love and support. He apologized to several of the neighbors for his previous youthful discretion. Two of Ryan's recruiters were able to attend the party, and he thanked them for giving him this wonderful opportunity to make a difference in his own life.

Ryan will be leaving for Camp Pendelton in 8 days. I can not wait to see how his life begins to unfold and see the journey he'll be making with pride and confidence.

I was honored to be a part of this wonderful celebration of this adult that I have watched grow from child to man.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Clients, gotta love them (and educate them, and hold their hands ..)

People are funny. I have a client (one of several) who is not paying their bills. I have been trying to collect for almost 4 1/2 months now. I have submitted each invoice on time, sent out "friendly reminders," made phone calls to their accounts payable and spoken with the business manager.

I have sent numerous emails to the client with each invoice carefully detailed on the statement, and I have attached copies of each invoice to the email. My reminders become a little more stern each time, and it is harder to remain polite. But, not being polite would be unacceptable. I don't find that rudeness makes anyone pay a bill any faster.

Collecting past due amounts is like a game, or a complicated two step. I find for every one step I get to take forward in resolving the amount due, the client takes two very clever, much quicker steps away from me. But, even an old dog can learn new tricks, and I apply their newest tactics against my other clients as they play the game.

Even as I learn the new tricks to try and extract blood from a turnip, I find that the clients continue to increase their skill level at trying to avoid making payment. Some days I feel very triumphant in my endeavors; but on days like today I am reminded that I am but one humble accounting cleric, doing my best to make a positive difference and yet knowing that I can not always do so.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oh what a beautiful morning!

....... the sun is shining, the air is warm, but not yet too hot, and there is a slight breeze teasing my senses.

This weekend is going to be fast and furiously fun. On Saturday morning we'll make the mad dash up and over the hill into Reno and then onto Carson City where we will be celebrating my brother Randy's birthday.

Randy is the best brother. I love him so much, and I enjoy going to see him. He has rebuilt his life and is living happily. I have to admit that 8 years ago I would have never believed this could happen, and in fact, I expected to have to "wash my hands" of him for good.

I love being proved wrong! And I love being Randy's little sister. He makes me laugh, makes me think, and reminds me to appreciate the little things in life which are important: family, love, laughter and the strength to pick your self up after a fall.

Happy almost birthday to my favorite brother!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The BEST sandwich in town ....

... is from Lenny's Sub Shop over by the Roseville Galleria. YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can not even begin to tell you how much my family and I enjoy the food.

Our favorite is the number 2 on white. It is an Italian sub with ham, salami, provolone, copacola, proscuitto, lettuce, tomato, onion and red peppers. It's flavorful and fresh tasting every time.

Russ found the place about a year ago, and we've been there at least once a week since. Usually by now if I have eaten somewhere that frequently, I have gotten bored with the food, and try to avoid going there. This just has not happened at Lenny's Sub Shop. The food is yummy, the place is spotless and smells clean. The staff is nice, and they provide good, quick service. Not only is the food scrumptious, but the price is reasonable too. A regular size sandwich measures about 6 inches long, and is piled high with freshly sliced meats, cheese, and fresh vegetables. The cost is under $6.00.

Lenny's Sub Shop. You have to give it a try.

Go on, try it. You'll like it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rants and Raves

I am climbing on my soapbox for a moment.....

Gay / Lesbian marriage: Why? Why does this have to be legal? I am not overly religious, so this is not from a religious perspective. But I do fully believe and support that marriage is between a MAN and a WOMAN and that a true family is built from that basic foundation.

I believe that everyone has a right to love and be loved and to choose the person they fall in love with. I believe that if you want to engage in a same sex relationship that is your business, and your choice. But, it should be deemed a relationship.

Allow the state of holy matrimony to remain a sacred state between a MAN and a WOMAN. This is what happens when there is a separation of church and state, and we forget to live as "One nation, under God!"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Monday (it's almost Tuesday)

Why is it when "life gives you lemons," you are supposed to "make lemonaid?'

Why can't I make a lemon meringue pie?
Or use the lemon in a glass of iced tea?
Couldn't I also use the lemons as a natural cream rinse to add bounce and shine to my hair?
Or, what about taking the lemons and putting them down the garbage disposal to create a fresh and clean scented garbage disposal?
What if I used the lemons to create a pretty centerpiece or decorative filling for a vase?

Do I have to make lemonaid? Or can I be myself, and "recreate the wheel?"

Happy Monday! Enjoy a bit of sweetness in your day!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fun for Friday (posted a lil early!)

One of my friends, Michelle S., sent this to me. I thought it was fun to do and decided to share it on my blog. Thanks Michelle!

Answer the 30 questions at the end and send it to your friends (including me, leave the answer as a comment).

This is for your entire life!

(x)Gone on a blind date?
(X)Skipped school?
(X)Watched someone die?
( )Been to Canada?
( )Been to Mexico?
( )Been to Florida?
(X)Been on a plane?
(X)Been lost?
(X)Been on the opposite side of the country?
( )Gone to Washington, DC?
(X)Swam in the ocean?
(X)Cried yourself to sleep?
(X)Played cops and robbers?
(X)Recently colored with crayons?
(X)Sang Karaoke?
(X)Paid for a meal with coins only?
(X)Done something you told yourself you wouldn't?
(X)Made prank phone calls?
(X)Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose?
(X)Caught a snowflake on your tongue?
(X)Danced in the rain?
(X)Written a letter to Santa Claus?
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe?
(X)Watched the sunrise with someone you care about?
(X)Blown bubbles?
(X)Gone ice-skating?
(X)Been skinny dipping outdoors?
(X) Gone to the movies?
1. Any nick name? “BOB” It’s an old story
2. Mother's name? Gail
3. Favorite drink? McDonald’s icy cold Coca Cola!
4. Tattoo? None
5. Body Piercings? Ears
6. How much do you love your job? I LOVE it!!!!
7. Birthplace: California
8. Favorite vacation spot? Nothing too hot, and NEVER a cruise!
9. Ever been to Africa? Nope
10. Ever eaten cookies for dinner? Oh yeah!
11. Ever been on TV? A few times
12. Ever steal any traffic signs? Yes
13. Ever been in a car accident? Yes
14. Drive a motor cycle? No, but have had fun on the back
15. Favorite salad dressing? Manda’s homemade 1000 Island
16. Favorite pie? Suzette’s Apple (simply THE best!)
17. Favorite number? 3
18. Favorite movie? I like silly, light hearted make me laugh and cry chick flicks
19. Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving
20. Favorite dessert? Ice Cream
21. Favorite food? Pasta and salad
22. Favorite day of the week? Friday night
23. Favorite brand of body wash? Don’t have one
24. Favorite toothpaste? Any mint-gel (no paste)
25. Favorite smell? It’s a toss up between, the scent of my mom when she hugs me and the scent of my Grams Butter Cookies baking in the oven… both sweet, pure and delightful!
26. What do you do to relax? Stamping, reading, blogging
28. How do you see yourself in 10 years? 10 years older, maybe a little wiser
29. Furthest place you will send this message? Maryland
30. Who will respond to this the fastest? Surprise me!

My mind is a blank ..

Not having slept well last night, I am finding that my mind seems to be set on "slow" or stuck in "park."

Oh, that helped!

Last night Manda and I were going out to a friend's house. Our friends were away for the evening visiting family in the Bay Area, and didn't take their dogs with them. You have to know that the dogs are loved as much as their human children. The eldest dog is (we think) a 13 year old English Mastiff. She came to their family 8 years ago from a Mastiff rescue program. She is totally adorable, but showing signs of her age. The younger dog is an absolutely adorable yellow lab pup who is not quite a year old. Both dogs are very well mannered, and love to be with people.

So, after work, Manda drove me out to the river so we could go and play with the dogs for awhile. We took the back way, heading out Baseline Road which turns into Riago Road and crosses the freeway before connecting to PowerLine Road which runs parallel to the airport.

This is our favorite way to go out to Jill's. Amanda likes to watch the planes as they taxi the runways, take off or land. It's a peaceful drive, not congested like the freeway even though the road reminds me of a two-laned highway since the speed limit is 55.

Manda did really well keeping up with the flow of traffic and maintaining control over my car.

The dogs were excited to see us, Marina was all smiles and had to bring us all of the toys from her toy box to play with. Gracie as usual, just loves me cuz' I spoil her and give her treats. Manda, the dogs and I shared a picnic dinner on the deck, relaxed and had a great evening.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

I am not sure what happened to Tuesday, but it is gone. It was one of those really busy days that flew by before I even had a chance to open my eyes.

Since Monday's post was negative in nature I thought I would post some of the the positive, upbeat things that I enjoy about life. The list is not in any particular order.

My husband and daughter
Our four-legged family members (yes, I do mean the cats and dog)
Our wonderful friends who are so special
Sharing a smile
Sharing a conversation
Sunshine in the morning
The breezes that come across the valley
Air conditioning
Running water
Ice Cream
Playing in the park
Swinging on a swing
The sound of water lapping on the banks of the river
The sound of a cat purring
Playing in the sprinklers
Tomato soup
Spending time with my teen-aged daughter
Listening to the laughter of Manda and her friends
Talking on the phone
Reading (I love to read!)
A good night's sleep
Holding my husband's hand
Tap dancing
Reaching goals
Sharing dreams
My sister-in-law (Suzette)
My brother's sobriety
My mother's happiness
My husband's new schedule

Of course there are many, many, many more things I love about life!

Happy Wendesday, I hope you are happy too!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday Moans

So I have to admit I had a pretty great weekend. The fourth was relaxing and fun. We did not do fireworks at all: too dry, and the fire risk way too high. Instead we made a small donation to the local fireworks booth we normally buy our fireworks from.

We did bbq, and have a wonderful dinner and lots of laughter. And, really isn't that what a holiday is really all about? Sharing quality time with your family?

So it's Monday and I thought I would moan about a few items. No details, just a list of stuff that makes me crazy:

1) not enough sleep
2) snoring
3) nocturnal playtime (the cats!)
4) selfishness
5) the cost of fuel
6) the price of groceries
7) being told what to do by someone who has "no clue"
8) being tired
9) raging hormones
10) boredom

Whine session over.

Have a WONDERFUL day!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

TGIF (technically, that is!)

I am so very happy that it is Friday - okay so it is really only Thursday, but I am off tomorrow and looking forward to spending the day with my family!

What is it about clients? They sign a contract, agree to the price and then complain loudly when they get the bill? "Hello??? Did you not read your contract and agree to the price?" Granted, our economy is in a definate downturn right now, and just making ends meet is a daily struggle. But, if you can not pay the price, don't sign the contract.

Ugh! I LOVE my job, and I LOVE people, but I hate (yes, it is a strong word) when clients whine. I don't serve cheese and crackers people.

Thought for the day ~

Safety first!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Please note - spelling and grammer errors in that last post were on purpose!

Reading, Writing and no arithmetic (please!)

I am a frequent reader of other blogs, and on one of my new favorites I saw this. I had to do one for mine. Thanks you "In My Opinion" for always posting great blogs; and for unknowingly allowing me to share.

blog readability test

Movie Reviews


I am not sure where exactly Tuesday went, but it did. Hard to believe the first of July has come and gone.

Manda ran her first STOP sign yesterday. "Hello!!!!!!! Did you not see that big red sign with the white letters?????" I made her turn around and go back through the same intersection several times after that. Then a little while later, we witnessed a close call when another car ran a red light at Douglas and Harding. Luckily the car in front of us had the fore-sight to wait a second before she started moving forward. As it was, the driver of the silver compact narrowly missed the front end of the red mini-Cooper. I do have to say that it really made Manda sit up and take notice. Manda is doing very well driving. Her confidence is getting better everyday.

Why do people resist change and complain about the changes that are made? California was a state on whine overload yesterday...... The hands-free cell phone law became enforceable on July 1. We have known it was coming for the past 18 months. It's not like it popped out like a jack in the box to surprise us.

Bluetooth people. Safety first. I love the new law especially the part of it which prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using their cell phones while driving, even with a hand free device. Having a new driver in the family, I can tell you, I don't want her on her cell phone while she is navigating the craziness of traffic.

I have been driving her car this week. It is equipped with SYNC by microsoft. Its like being inside of your bluetooth. And, then I don't have to have my ear piece. But, when I drive my car, I have been using my bluetooth for more than a year now. Its almost second nature.

Happy Wednesday!

Thought for the day ~

Embrace change, you may learn a new lesson!