I can't get over this funk that I have been in with JTL... I feel like I have zero to write about.

My life has been so consumed with work, school, kids, family.

I have been cooking/baking a ton more so that could be a new direction I take with this blog. I just really need to do some soul searching and commit to this again. It's been far too long.

My calling...

Ok... I am going to get spiritual here...

I became a new member of a church within the last couple of years and annually we get a mailer with activities within the church that parishoners want to get involved in. There was one for the Bereavment Group. I expressed an interest and about a month later I got a phone call and set up a meeting. I met with Jane (not real name) and asked her what the parish does for loved ones who pass away. She said all they do is mail a card. I then began to spill to her what I believe the church should do. While the gesture of a card is really nice, what happens two weeks after the card is recieved?

So I told her about my life story of losses and how I wished there was some sort of support group to talk about my loved one(s) to help the healing process. She thought it was a wonderful idea and she believes that it would be a great asset to the church community in my area. I was then asked to contact someone in the Diocese to see if he would be willing to instruct a class for our Church Cluster community.

Fast-forward to today... Tuesday will be my last class in a 7 class course. I have to admit going to these classes have been very eye-opening and it's nice to have a small support group of others who are attending with me from other parishes.

After all of these years I have lost my father, I believe I have found my calling. A way to live out his legacy. I will be Co-Founder of this group with Jane.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!

After being back WAY too long I am finally getting the time to update.

I came, I saw - Oprah. I must admit getting up at 5AM to primp up wasn't bad. I nursed a Venti coffee from Starbucks to get me through the first party of my morning. The whole Oprah process wasn't too bad. We waited in line then as we walked through the door, the Harpo staff asked us to take our coats off for our coat check. Then we checked in -- I will circle back to this in a few. After we checked in we went through security. Security searched through our purses taking our cell phones, pens and any paper and keeping it in a zip lock bag. After those items were removed we were able to get our purses back. We headed upstairs to a holding room. We are told what the show is going to be -- Friday's Live Show... We waited there for a little over an hour. In the room were big flat screen televisions showing clips with Oprah and some of her notable shows. After an hour there were parties called by name. Turns out these people were hand selected by the person checking us in. They have you take your coat off to see what you are wearing. So evidently we didn't make the cut... No biggie. After the bottom part of her studio was filled in then we were called in by number.

Walking into Oprah's studio was exilirating! The next thing I thought was this place really isn't as big as it looks. I guess the cameras add 15 pounds to the set too. We get seated and we are told who is going to be on the show, Jimmy Fallon and the founder of Facebook and the men in the Christian the Lion video. While I don't really care for the live show I thought it was very interesting to see a live show filmed.

Before the hosts appear on stage there is a woman that comes out to hype us up with music and getting us pumped to see Oprah.

Then Mark Consuelous is introduced, Oprah comes out with Alli, then Gayle.

Oprah seemed to be tired and a little pissy. I was disappointed of her attitude and lack of interaction with her audience. I guess I just expected more. I know she had an after the show tapings where she actually talked to her audience. We all have bad mornings and even bad days. I won't hold it against her. So I think that's what I was expecting. But none-the-less I was very happy I went. We had the opportunity to attend the second taping of the day and we missed out by 3 people! It was a bummer, but obviously it wasn't meant to be. We headed over to Oprah's store and I bought a t-shirt.

We went to lunch at Ed Debevicks and that was an interesting visit... But it was funny. The food was mediocre at best but the entertainment was funny.

For Saint Patricks Day we went to see the Dying of the Chicago River. That was really a lot of fun. We got a nice spot right on the river and froze our asses off. But it was very neat. The local plumbers union uses an orange vegtable based powder to turn the river green and the zip along the river in little boats to stir up the waters. We got some good pics and I got a picture with a Mounted Chicago Policeman.

Later that afternoon we went to lunch at a Thai place. I didn't pick the best dish. I went with the recommended one something with basil instead of what I was eying out. I hate it when that happens! Afterwards we went out to Howl at the Moon and were there until about midnight. We had a blast! They had a live dualing pianists, fiddler and a drummer. There may have been more but I can't recall. We met some really cool people, Kim, Tom, "Bullshirt" dude, Heath, and our waiter to name a few.

Here's to hoping I go next year!

What should I wear to Oprah?

It is now T- minus 3 days before I am under the same roof as Oprah Winfrey. I will actually see her in person. I need to dress to impress even though I will be lost in the sea of her audience. Who knows if the topic will require audience participation. I am a loud mouth and would probably raise my hand for actual bragging rights that I was there. I can't bring in my camera so there goes my chance of taking a snap shot of Lady O. I can't Photo Shop myself in with her giving me a hug or a high five. So I will resort to memories. Hell I have got this far... I am not going back now.

I went shopping specifically for the show. I have nice clothes, but I wanted to look perfect for Oprah. So during my lunch hour I tried on as many clothes as I could and actually found two perfect outfits. One is a purple-ish/pink-ish long sleeve top with steel grey shimmery pants and the other is black pants with a black and cream swirly design. Both are very cute and comfortable. I already know what shoes I am going to wear. I just need to settle on an outfit. It will depend on how I feel.... You know the typical "this makes me look fat". I try to post pics, not sure if I will get pics with me dressed in the clothes as I am pressed for time until I leave.

I can't wait to see what the topic is going to be. My only hope is I am not bawling my eyes out... People I work with keep saying I hope you win something and honestly I am perfectly content with the opportunity to participate in the audience. Whatever happens, happens. I am fortunate enough to be able to go.

All I keep thinking is -- I want to make a good impression. Sometimes under pressure and this is the ultimate pressure I make a total fool of myself... I hold meetings and have presentations, but this is at a grand scale not to mention I am not the one on stage!! Let's just hope I don't walk out of the bathroom with toilet paper on my shoe or sticking out my pants. Then Oprah would deny she ever saw me!

The things die-hard fans go through... I swear. See you soon Oprah!! I never in a million years thought I would say that.

Who watches....

Brothers & Sisters? I love this show! While I know the Walker family is totally fictonal. I think they portray some current day situations.

I think the writers of this show are a-mazing! I can't wait for next week.

What do you call it?

This very topic is always one in my house. Considering I am a transplant to Ohio. What do you call your carbonated beverages? I have always called it "soda". Here it is called "pop".

The picture below is a breakdown by state and county of what certain demographics call soda.

I find it very interesting as in all of my travels I holds relatively true to this map.

Oprah here I come!!!

Today a wish came true for me... I was finally able to get tickets to the Oprah Show.

My girlfriends and I are going on a weekend trip to Chicago in March and we figured we would try to see Oprah. Tickets were available on February 13th. I was unable to call Friday as I was traveling to Southern Ohio with my boss. I tried ALL day on Friday, including my hubby and one of my girlfriends that is going on our trip.

I was calling on 2 phones approximately 10 calls a minute... Multiply our efforts by a solid 6 hours and yeah, you get the math.

I was very pissed at Oprah yesterday because I was able to get through but missed the voice prompt due to a crabby baby. Ugh... So today I figured I would give it a shot here and there in between work. Ten minutes before I left I was winding down my day and figured what the hell... What do I have to lose? I tried about 6 times. THE PHONE RINGS!!! I couldn't believe it... Today I kept getting an "all circuits busy" message. A message I didn't receive yesterday. So I fully expected the same messages for the remaining 10 minutes of my day. So... back to THE PHONE RINGS!!!

I am prompted by a friendly Oprah Winfrey employee voice. She said if you want ticket reservations, Press 1 -- what I missed yesterday. Now comes the hold music. I text my girlfriends and tell them I got through and told them to pray. At 4pm CST Oprah's phone lines close. With my luck I was totally expecting my call to be dropped. I continue waiting... and waiting...

The hold music changes and an my Oprah Angel, Mark, answers the phone. He tells me what days there are available, all Wednesday's and Thursday's and one Friday. I sigh in disbelief. I am disappointed, but I accept it. I then ask what time she tapes again as I was dumb founded and couldn't remember. I fly into Chicago on a Thursday around 3. I then ask if we could go on a stand-by or a waiting list... I told Mark that this is our only chance... We are away from our hubby's and our babies and it's a girls weekend. Mark then says he has 3 available seats for her morning taping... I damn near jumped through the phone. I told Mark if I could jump through the phone I'd kiss him. Afterwards he took all of our information and gave us instructions for the show and told me he'd "see us at the show". Before I said good-bye I told Mark he was an Angel and I thanked him profusely. He was so pleasant and kind. I can't imagine having to be in that position of having to answer the phone of crazed fans... Perhaps that's why you listen to calming hold music for 20 minutes!

I am *bleeping* excited I can't stand it. Never in a million years did I ever think I'd be given the opportunity to go see her show.

I just won the lottery, literally...

iPod revisited

Back in September 2005 I wrote about iPods. I wrote because I didn't understand the concept of a small "thing" that played music without a tape or a CD.

Well fast forward to now... I own an iPod and I LOVE IT! I finally have grasped the idea of an iPod. I listen to it at work and while I work out at the gym.

And I didn't pay for it. I earned enough points from my bank to get it for FREE!! I love that word.

So cheers to me and joining the new electronic age. So long to carrying around a shit-ton of CD's in the truck and HELLO little iPod.

Never say never...

I am not well versed on politics. In fact essentially what I get is what I catch on FoxNews on my XM to and from work. I may listen on my XM in the office if I am bored with my play list on my *new* iPod.

I must admit I pretty much swore I would never write about politics or religion on here for the pure fact that I don't want to get flamed for my beliefs or views on the world. But hey, what the hell?

Admission #2 - I was a sore loser in November. While I wasn't pro-McCain(the person) I was pro-McCain for the Republican party as a whole. I really liked Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney and wonder what would have happened had their name been on the ballot. I chose the lesser of the "Weenies" who wanted the prestigious title of President.

I know a lot of Republicans voted Democrat because Bush "effed" up the whole economy. But here's my analogy... Much like football the coach gets all of the brunt. If the star quarterback throws 4 interceptions. The teams star wide-receiver fumbles the ball and screws up who gets the blame?? The coach. Essentially there is more than ONE person running this fabulous country we call the United States of America. But ONE person got the blame.

Here are two examples that chaps my ass and I am SO SICK of hearing:

Hurricane Katrina, Bush was blamed, why??? What did he have to do with Mother Nature?? Why didn't the blame and the bad rep go to the local government?? No, it was Bush's fault. Period.

Iraq - Bush kept terrorists at bay from the US by having our soldiers do what they enlisted to do. Fight for OUR country. Now within 16 months Obama is going to pull our troops. For what?? Another Vietnam? How sad after all of these years. It makes me sick. I must say though I wish there was an end to our "War on Terror". I hate that our troops are still in the "Sandbox" and I want them home with their families. I have family and friends who are over there or who have served and I pray daily they come home safely. These men and women enlisted for a reason. Whether it be to follow in the footsteps of their father, to carry on a family tradition, to fight for America, or for a college education. All of our enlistees are serving because they wanted to.

Admission #3 - I honestly thought a black man would ever be elected president in my lifetime. I am not prejudiced at all. But I am a people watcher and watch the idiots who are interviewed on television. I still see such a division of race, everywhere.

After Obama was elected the blacks in my area are interviewed on television saying now Obama is going to fix "everything". What is this man?? Jesus? Come'on. Honestly. Please. We already have government aid available to you if you are eligible. You do not need a black democrat in office to feed you and pay your bills.

Admission #4 - I have told my very good girlfriend during the election that I "Republican" is a swear word to her. She went to the inauguration. I thought it was "insane" mainly because there was a ton of people there and I couldn't handle it. She went there to view history.

Admission #5 - When Obama speaks I think he is trying to sounds like Martin Luther King. I think he is trying to follow in his footsteps.

Admission #6 - When I hear the audio of Obama's Presidential Oath I cringe and I get very sick to my stomach. Hussein shudders through my body and it creates a state of panic. Not that he is Saddam, but the co-relation is enough. The mental images in my head from when Saddam was in power.

Admission #7 - This "Stimulus" package scares the bloody hell out of me. I think my kids and my grandkids are going to be screwed in their adult lives. I was listening to Glen Beck today and he said it right... "This is not a stimulus package it is a spending package."

Our main focus right now needs to be the housing market and jobs. Obama speaks of a stimulus package for small businesses. Ok, sounds great, but how good is the stimulus going to be when all of our countries small businesses are going out of business?? My in-laws own their own business and have been laid off over half of their employees and this has been since November. They do not see business picking up for months. In their 33 years in business this is the worst they have ever seen things. How scary is that?!

I think we need a "Blended Party".... One who is not soley Republican nor Democrat. I think we need to educate our young... America is not a totally socialist country. I work for my money and I would love for nothing more than to keep it. Why do I want to give my hard-earned money to someone else? I have a family and a roof over my head to maintain. If I wanted to support others I would manually sign up for it not be forced into doing it.

I am going to get off of this rant now... I have said enough...

Crazy weird...

Last night Em had a Girl Scout sleep over. I picked up a few appetizers for dinner from Applebee's on my way home. We are sitting at the table.

I am looking out the window at a vehicle going down the street...
I see our storm door open...
I see the knob open of our front door...
I hear a guy say "I don't care I am going to walk right in."...
The door opens all the way...
There are two guys standing in my foyer...
The guy is staring at us asking us if this is his sister's house... Um, no. You dip shit.
He looks at me, dunno why. Like he wants me to claim him as his brother, hell I dunno.

After a few blank stares the man excuses himself from our house. It was a rather interesting experience. I mean we were dumbfounded in our own home. Even my police officer husband was at a loss.

I guess that will teach us to lock the door right away, forcing one to actually knock or ring my doorbell.

Ringing in 2009

Well Merry Christmas and Happy New Year... We were out of town over Christmas and since we have been back I have been trying to catch up with life in general.

I am going to be getting a promotion this week. I am very excited. I have been at my company for 9 years so it's nice to finally be recognized.

Tomorrow is my 10 year wedding anniversary... So hard to believe how time flies!