Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!

I hope 2008 brings everyone much joy, happiness and just enough pain and sorrow to make the good stuff better. Good balance, good balance. This year I'm not going to make any traditional resolutions. I know the things in my life that I want fixed and I'll work on them, but I'm not going to resolve to do it. Those things get forgotten by mid-February anyway, and then when you realize around June that you haven't fulfilled them you feel like shit. So no, I'm not going to resolve to lose 10lbs, I'm not going to resolve to quit smoking, I'm not going to resolve to get a job/car/house. I am going to resolve, simply, to "make change". That's it. Even if I learn something new, I'll have fulfilled my promise to myself. Then I can feel good. Confidence builder. ^_^ Then I can push myself without feeling like I have to do anything. I can go back to pushing myself because I want to. Setting my own goals for the sake of wanting to.

I do have at least one thing to look forward to this coming year. Aside from a whole extra 24 hours. This coming year on my birthday is a full moon and it's my 10 year anniversary as a Wiccan. 10 years. Sure I'll be just shy of 30 years old, but it's an accomplishment. And being on a full moon was just luck, so I'm definetly going to take advantage of it and plan out something special. I should start planning tonight before I get all busy and another year just flies by without my noticing. Oh! Also, this (coming) year, my time with Aaron will officially be my longest relationship. Hurray!! Took long enough. lol He'll say us getting married negated all that, but for my own piece of mind I'm glad that milestone'll be crossed. The last vestige of a relationship that was over before it was over. I won't go into it, I may have already, but if not, it's something for another day.

Y'all be safe tonight! Remember, if you have to work, tomorrow was the kind of day that sick days were made for. ^_^

Friday, December 28, 2007

Contagious Neurosis

This is funny. Aaron and I went to Wal*Mart yesterday and were going through the big $5 DVD bin. I didn't know what kind of movie he wanted, and since the bin was thrashed, I started lining up the DVDs that he'd already gone through and double checking to make sure something wasn't overlooked in the mayhem. I had the bin about 1/3 organized and pretty when a guy came up to dig through them. At first he just tossed through them like normal. Thankfully on the side I hadn't gotten to yet. After about 3 or 4 minutes he started lining them up too! HA! Between me, Aaron (who joined in as well) and this guy we had the whole bin all set up by the time Aaron decided on a movie. ^_^ At one point a Wal*Mart employee came buy to put some more movies in there and just looked at us like we were crazy. Hilarious. When he (the employee) left Aaron said, "You're welcome!" Too funny.

Also, we have a few more crane prizes we've picked up over the past couple of week I haven't posted yet. I'll probably do them all at once (as soon as I can find the blasted camera again!) in a catch up picture.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mix Tape

This is something I've probably been giving more thought to than I should. I think the new digital age has pretty much ruined the Mix Tape concept. There, I said it. Back in the day when someone made you a mix tape, you know they put a great deal of effort into it. Even if you already had tapes with songs on them that you wanted to put on the mix tape, you had to set up your double tape player, line up the song, sit through it and stop it. If you weren't lucky enough to have both of these things, you had to sit with the tape in the player, listen to the radio and hope that the songs you were looking for came on. That's when you get snippets of DJs or commercials. ^_^ Which, in my opinion, added character. Then there was the dreaded method of holding the microphone up to the TV or radio which screwed up the sound pretty bad, but still showed effort on the givee's part.

Now, what? Mixed CDs? Whiptee-doo. Ya set up your computer, download the songs overnight (while you sleep, such efforts) and burn them to a disc. 3 for a dollar at Dollar Tree. If you're really feeling generous you can print off a label for the CD with a nice preformated program. *rolls eyes* I loved getting mix tapes with artwork drawn directly onto it. It showed effort. That old adage "It's the thought that counts"? That sort of applies here. Only it's not really thought, it's effort. I could sit here and burn off 6 CDs (that's how many blank ones I have laying around) in under an hour. And what does it mean? Nothing. It means I'm bored and wanted to burn off a CD. Cuz it's that easy now.

If someone's going to burn off a mix CD and expect it to have even 1/2 the impact of a well thought out mix tape, then they better really put some effort into it. Songs no one else knows you like, snappy artwork that fits your personality. And hey, take the time to make up a case for it. Oh, and just a tip. Make sure it's not re-writeable. Otherwise it will be.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Pet Looks

I know it hasn't been all that long, but I've done some interesting things with my pets that I wanted to share. ^_^ Hopefully these will come out right the first time I try to do it . . . .

And, of course, my pride and joy. My baby girl. I've got her pre-Christmas and post-Christmas. (the other ones are the same as they've been for a while, she's the only one who's changed since)

So, yeah, that's it for now. Hopefully next time I'll have something really interesting. lol

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Sick Cats, Battlefields & Jingly Bells

I was going to put this off until tomorrow, but I was working on a buddy's laptop, had to connect for some stuff anyway and figured why the hell not?

First part is a warning for you cat lovers out there. Remember we got Buzz from my granpa a little ways back? Well, poor kitty was having a REALLY bad day the other day. He couldn't poop. He tried, and when he tried, he'd vomit. Apparently, this is not uncommon in older cats. Especially male cats. The best thing to do is to have them on a 90% moist food diet. If the cat gets to the point where they can't poop, try to get them to eat either pumpkin pie filling, or mineral oil. If that doesn't help, it's either a very expensive vet visit or . . . yeah. We're not 100% sure he's pooped, but he's eating his cans now and he looks infinitely better. We just have to keep his and Onyx's food seperate now.

We made the mistake of going out on the 23rd for a last minute present. *faints* It was terrible!! It's something we usually try to avoid at all costs, but some people can be so hard to shop for. lol We did, good, though. We were like Ninjas. Made it in and out of Wal*Mart in 1/2 an hour. *whoot*

Last night we went out to Autumn & Frankie's for the pre-Christmas dinner and gift exchange. We did so well! Minus Gavin was a little less than enthused, Maddy got exactly what she asked for (which we knew nothing about until after we got it), got Frankie something he's been wanting for work (which we didn't know until after he opened it), and Autumn LOVED what we got her. Apparently the fancy sun's have two different kinds of faces. One plain and one more detailed and we got her the kind she likes! Yipee!

My dad was ecstatic about his mp3 player and my mom can't wait to get pictures into her digital photo keychain. Everyone liked what we got them, and that's what matters . . . to us. lol Oh! We got a cute little dress for Jet!!! She looks so adorable in it! It's wierd, cuz it fits, but it's shorter than I expected, but that's good, because it leaves her belly exposed so she doesn't over-heat.

Hope everyone out there in web-land had a Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Yule Faeries

The Yule Faeries - A Winter Solstice Story
(author unknown)

A group of little Faeries huddled in their home deep under the roots of a giant oak tree. They were safe and snug in their tiny underground cave lined with dandelion fluff, bird feathers, and dried moss. Outside, the wind blew cold and the snow fell softly down to cover the ground.

"I saw the Sun King today," the faerie named Rose said as she pulled her mossy cloak tighter about her. "He looked so old and tired as he walked off through the forest. What is wrong with him? The great oak said he's dying" answered Daffodil. Dying? Oh, what will we do now?" Little Meadow Grass started to cry

"If the sun King dies, our little plant friends will not grow. The Birds will not come and sing again.Everything will be winter for ever!" Lilac, Dandelion and Elder Blossom tried to comfort their friend, but they were all very sad. As they huddled together, there was a knock on the tiny door.

"Open up, Faeries," called out a loud voice. "Why are you hiding instead of joining us in our Solstice celebration?" Rose opened the door and the little gnome Brown Knobby pushed inside, shaking the glistening snowflakes off his brown coat and hat. "We are too sad to celebrate," Daffodil said wiping her eyes, "the Sun King is dying, haven't you heard?"

"He is dead you silly Faeries." Brown Knobby's round dark eyes sparkled with laughter. "now hurry, or we'll be late for the celebration!"

"How can you be happy and laughing?!" Elder Blossom stamped her little foot and frowned at the gnome. "If the Sun King Is dead, it will be winter always. We will never see the Sun again!"

"Silly little child-Faeries." Brown Knobby grabbed Dandelion by the hand and pulled her to her feet. "There is a secret to the Winter Solstice. Don't you want to know what it is?"

The Faeries looked at him in surprise. "Secret?" they all said. "What secret? We are only new little Faeries, you silly gnome. We've never been to a Solstice celebration before."

"Come and see. Come and see. Get your capes and come with me." Brown Knobby danced and jigged around the room. "Hurry, Hurry, don't be slow! To the sacred oak grove through the snow!" He danced out of the door and disappeared.

"What did that gnome mean?" Rose asked as she gathered up her cloak of dried rose petals held together with cobwebs and lined with goose down.

"I don't know, but the Lady lives in the sacred grove." Meadow Grass pulled on her hat.

"Perhaps if we go to see the Goddess, She can explain what Brown Knobby was talking about". The Faeries left their snug little home and trudged off through the snow toward the sacred oak grove. The forest was dark with only the light of the Moon shining down through the thick fir branches and bare limbs of maple and hawthorn. It was very difficult for them to get through the snow because they were very, very small. As they waded through the wet snow and shivered in the cold wind, they met a fox.

"Where are you going, Faeries?" the fox asked.

"To the sacred grove," they answered, they were cold and shivering.

"Climb on my back and I will take you there swiftly." The fox knelt down so the Faeries could climb up. Then he raced off through the dark.

"Listen!" Lilac said as they neared the grove of sacred trees. "Someone is singing happy songs. A Lot of someones." The beautiful music carried over the cold, still, moonlit air. It was the most beautiful music the Faeries had ever heard. The fox carried the Faeries right to the edge of the stone altar in the center of the grove,
then knelt down.

"Look!" said Elder Blossom as they slid to the snow covered ground. "There is the Maiden and the Mother and the Old Wise One, And many other Little People."
"They are all smiling and happy," said Lilac as she looked around at all the creatures.

"All the animals are here too," whispered Dandelion. "why are they all looking at the Mother?" The Faeries moved closer to the three Ladies seated on the altar stone. The Mother held a bundle close in Her arms, smiling down at it. The Maiden reached down and took the Faeries gently in her Hands. She held them close to the Mother so they could see what She held.

"A Baby!" the Faeries cried. " A new little Baby! Look how he glows!"

"He is the newborn Sun King," said the Maiden smiling.

"But Brown Knobby and the old oak tree said the Sun King was dead," the Faeries answered her. "How can this little baby be the Sun King?"

"That is the secret of the Winter Solstice." The Old Wise One touched the baby's cheek with her wrinkled hand. "Every year the Sun King must come to the sacred grove during the darkest days of winter where he dies. I take his spirit to the Mother who gives him new life again. This is the way for
all creatures, not just the Sun King."

" You mean everything lives and dies and lives again? the Faeries looked down in wonder at the baby Sun King, nestled in the arms of the Mother.

" Yes Little Ones," answered the Old Wise One. "There is never an end to life. This is the great mystical secret of the Winter Solstice." The Faeries laughed because they were so happy.

"I think the little Sun King should have gifts," said Rose. "I will show him where the wild roses bloom in the early summer."

"And, I will teach him to call the birds and listen to the songs of the wind," exclaimed Dandelion.

"When he is older and stronger, " said the Mother, "then the flowers will bloom at his touch, the birds will return to sing their songs, and the air will be warm from his breath, and winter will be gone for a time. Then the Sun King will run and play with you in the forest." The little Faeries sang to the Baby Sun King, songs of the coming spring, the sweet smelling flowers, the bumbling bees, and all the secrets of the forest. And all the creatures within the sacred grove sang with them. Then the fox took them back to their snug home under the roots of the giant oak tree where they dreamed wonderful dreams, waiting for the warmth of spring and the fun they would have with the little Sun King.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Green in '08

JANUARY—Raid the refrigerator
I've been in the same apartment for about 10 years. And the apartment
came with a refrigerator that had been there a lot longer than that.
My first clue that something might be up with the door seal was the
layer of rust that pitted the length of the door. My second clue
should have been that my electric bill was about $80 to $100 a month,
which is pretty steep for a one-bedroom apartment, even in L.A.
Finally, last year my fridge gave up the ghost and my landlord sprung
for a new Energy Star-rated fridge. Not top of the line, but a decent
$400 model. My electric bill dropped $60 the first month. If I had
bought that fridge when I moved in, I would have paid it off in
electricity savings in just over six months, and I would have
pocketed around $6,800 that instead I parceled out to Southern
California Edison over the years. Try placing a dollar bill in your
refrigerator door—if it comes out too easily once the door is closed,
you might have a bad seal. By having your refrigerator resealed or by
upgrading your refrigerator, you can save a LOT of money, not to
mention what you're doing for the planet. Refrigerators are the worst
power consumers, but it's worth checking all of your appliances,
including air conditioners, televisions, microwaves, etc., to see if
they are Energy Star-rated and if it might be worth your while to
upgrade. Some electric companies will offer incentives to replace
power-abusing appliances.

FEBRUARY—Don't be a dim bulb
You've probably seen more and more of these spiral-shaped fluorescent
bulbs around. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) cost a bit more
than regular incandescent bulbs but only use about a quarter of the
electricity—one bulb can save you up to $30 over the course of its
lifetime (which is long, up to 15,000 hours compared to the paltry
750 to 1,000 hours of the incandescent bulb). Count up the light
bulbs in your house—that's a lot of money saved. With numbers like
that, you can see why countries like Australia have begun phasing in
these super-green bulbs by law, and have started banning
incandescents. But even on a voluntary basis, the green you save by
going green should be a pretty good incentive. For those who believe
fluorescent lighting is too cold and don't want their living area lit
like an airport restroom, take a look at the newer CFLs—as they've
grown in popularity, manufacturers have developed new ways to adjust
their color temperature. People who visit my CFL-lit abode can't even
tell I've replaced my incandescents—and my electric bill dropped
another $5 a month. Again, check with your electric company to verify
whether any incentive programs exist for replacing your bulbs with

MARCH—Sack the plastic bag
Once better recycling techniques were developed for plastic bags,
supermarkets were off to the races using the cheaply produced plastic
bags. They even put the paper bags in plastic bags. The problem: the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that only about 1
percent of the bags get recycled. The rest end up in landfills or as
litter, where they begin their 1,000-year decomposition process,
leaching their petrochemicals into the soil and groundwater. Other
bags go on to become toxic threats to wildlife and sea animals. Many
stores have begun refusing to carry these eco-terrors, and almost all
now offer some reusable alternative at a reasonable price. Some
supermarkets offer discounts or prize drawings for customers who
bring their own bags. Plus, the cloth bags are a lot nicer—they don't
dig into your hands. And since I keep about 20 in the back of my car
(because about another 10 are usually forgotten in my apartment), I
always have padding for fragile items.

APRIL—Ban the bottle
We've featured a number of articles in this newsletter about the
putative health benefits of bottled water, and largely, we don't
believe the hype. The bottled-water industry is largely unregulated,
so you can never be 100-percent sure what you're going to get. Tap
water, on the other hand, is heavily regulated by the EPA, in
addition to state and local agencies, so you can be pretty sure what
you're going to get. And there are plenty of affordable filters
available to make the tap water taste as good as your favorite
bottled brand. You'll save tons of money by switching to tap, paying
pennies instead of dollars for a liter or two of the wet stuff, but
more importantly, you'll be helping the environment in two ways.
First, much like the plastic bags, the petroleum-based plastic
bottles are largely eco-unfriendly. They can be recycled, but the
ones that aren't end up on the millennium-decomposition plan with
their plastic bag brethren. Secondly, there's the enormous
transportation costs—especially if you're getting your fancy water
shipped in from Fiji or Norway. Does American water really taste that
much worse that it's worth polluting the oceans, the air, and the
land to transport a bottle of H20 halfway across the globe?

MAY—Better bathroom habits
And we're not just talking about leaving the seat up or down. Our
morning hygiene routines can be the most wasteful part of the day.
Starting with brushing your teeth—if you leave the sink running while
you brush your teeth for two minutes, about three gallons of water
are going down the drain. Then when you hop in the shower, you're
using 2.5 gallons of water per minute. And if your toilet's a bit on
the older side, add another 5 gallons per flush. So a 2-minute tooth
brushing, 10-minute shower, and toilet flush send a grand total of 33
gallons down the pipes. You can knock down the total by cutting your
shower time in half. You can also install a low-flow shower head or
faucet aerator, which can cut your water use in half and save you up
to $250 a year. Also, if you still have one those water bottles that
you stopped using in April lying around, you can fill it with water
and put it in your toilet tank. By displacing the tank water, you'll
have less wasteful flushes. Replacing your toilet with a newer low-
flow model can reduce your flush from 5 gallons to as low as 1.5
gallons. And honestly, if your toilet is old enough to be a 5-gallon
model, it's probably a little crusty anyway.

JUNE—Shop local
Summer is the perfect time to start getting to know your local
farmers' market. If you don't know where yours is, do a little
Internet surfing—most communities have farmers' markets or at least
cooperatives that allow you the opportunity to shop locally. The
advantages are many. You help support your community. You get food so
fresh that it may have been in the ground the day before. You can get
food with fewer chemicals and preservatives or at least be able to
look the producer in the eye and ask, "What's on your apple?" You can
save money since you aren't paying for the food to be shipped from
some faraway land, which wastes petroleum resources and causes air,
sea, and land pollution as with the bottled water. If you have to
shop at the supermarket, check what you buy to see where it's
produced and try buying products produced locally. Also, don't be
afraid to let your supermarket managers know that you'd like them to
stock locally grown stuff. If they know you're interested, they'll
also be interested. Even better, shop at independently owned grocery
stores where the person making the buying decisions is on site.

JULY—Walk, don't drive
As a resident of Los Angeles, this is almost heresy to say, but by
getting out of your car, you'll be saving fuel and helping your
health. You inhale way more pollutants when you're inside your car
than when you're outside walking past the traffic. Plus, you're
giving yourself huge cardiovascular benefits by getting out and
stretching your legs. Think about all your daily errands and consider
if any of them could have your car taken out of the equation. Even
small changes in your routine can lead to big overall savings in gas
and make you and the planet healthier. Think about carpooling or
taking public transportation if it's available. You save gas and you
can read the paper in the morning instead of cursing the slowpoke
driving five miles per hour in front of you. If you have to drive,
there are still some ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Try not to
be a stop-and-go driver. People who habitually ride the brake and
accelerator use up to 30 percent more gas than the people who drive
more evenly. Keeping the pressure in your tires up is another way to
make your drive more efficient. By losing the junk in the trunk, you
can make your ride lighter and you use less gas. By keeping your
windows rolled up, you reduce the drag on your car—your car becomes
more aerodynamic and requires less fuel. And by going 50 miles per
hour instead of 70, you can save 25 percent in fuel efficiency.

AUGUST—Less paper, more room
If there's one thing that single-handedly contributes the most to the
messy rooms piled with junk that I call home, it's paper. By the end
of every week I have a waist-high stack of newspapers poised to
collapse in my living room. My bedroom floor is littered with
subscription cards which have fallen out of magazines that I already
have subscriptions to. The top of my desk is a distant memory, buried
under stacks of mail mostly unopened. My bookshelves have been
crammed to bursting, because apparently on my next day off, I plan to
plow through the hundred or so books I impulse-bought to read in my
spare time. All of this is at odds with the minimalist aesthetic I
claim to pursue. I recycle as much paper as I can, but do I really
need all this in the first place? Where to begin? First off, take a
magic marker with you when you check the mail. Three magic
words, "Return to Sender," or three others, "Remove from List," can
begin to make your life a lot less cluttered and ultimately save a
lot of paper. Hopefully, people will stop sending you junk, or at the
very least, the junk never makes it into your home. There are also
services available online that for a small fee will get your name and
address scrubbed from most lists. Check with your various credit card
and utility companies to see if you can go paperless and receive your
bills via email. Also, email the companies who send you catalogs to
tell them you'd prefer to receive their information electronically.
See if electronic versions of your favorite newspapers and magazines
are available. Most have the extra advantage of having an online
archive, so, unlike me, you won't have that milk crate full of old
New Yorkers that you never had time to finish reading but couldn't
bear to throw away. Get to know your library. You can save a fortune
on books, and instead of taking up residence in your home, those
books that turned out to be not-so-hot only visit you for two or
three weeks.

SEPTEMBER—One man's trash, another's treasure
As a consumer society, we literally have tons of stuff that we
discard every year. Sure, a lot of it we should never have bought in
the first place, but once we have it, we're stuck with it; and if we
don't get rid of it, we can't get new stuff! We try to recycle the
stuff we can, and can sometimes even talk the city into coming and
picking up our toxic stuff like old fridges and TVs. But some stuff
just seems destined to go to the junkyard or landfill. Before we let
our misguided purchases shuffle off to begin their centuries of
decomposition, however, try finding a new home for your soon-to-be-
orphaned junk. Have a yard sale. It's a great way to make a little
cash and meet your neighbors. You can get your neighbors involved
with the sale too. Everyone's got some junk to get rid of. Or see if
any of your local thrift stores or charities would be interested. Or
try posting on a trading site like eBay or Craigslist—you might even
make a buck or two. If you don't even think it's worth a buck or
you're just feeling charitable, give the stuff away on
The important thing is to keep it out of the landfill.

OCTOBER—Go green when you clean
If you're like me, the most toxic place in the house is under the
kitchen sink. I have enough chemical solutions to start my own meth
lab, which is probably a bit of overkill when all I really need is a
little something to wipe off my stovetop once in a while. And the
scary part—I'm spraying all my surfaces with these toxins and then
making food on them. I'm paying top dollar to coat my kitchen in
poison and then send toxins down the drain to pollute the groundwater
or the ocean or wherever my drain ultimately goes. So I'm getting rid
of my most hazardous cleaners and going old school with the cleaning.
Almost all of your kitchen-cleaning needs can be handled with baking
soda or distilled vinegar (although not together—remember those make-
your-own-volcano science projects?). If there's something that these
two cleaning titans can't handle, try Googling around for a green
solution. There are message boards all over the place and someone
must have found a way to solve the problem without having to resort
to chemical warfare.

NOVEMBER—Veg out once in a while
Beef, chicken, pork, lamb. They're all delicious, and in low-fat,
preferably organic varieties, they're also nutritious. But the
environmental cost of bringing meat to our dinner tables is huge.
Rainforests are cut down to make way for grazing land. All of the
cows bred for beef create an enormous methane problem, the old-
fashioned way. Plus it takes thousands of gallons of water to produce
meat, aside from the fact that it burns tons of fuel and creates tons
of pollution to transport it. If we all went vegetarian, or even
better, vegan, just one day a week, it would make an enormous impact
on the environment. A veg-out day could have cleansing properties for
your body and make it a bit easier on your pocketbook.

DECEMBER—Have a green Christmas
The lights, the sounds, the presents—the holidays are here. And even
the Grinch wouldn't ask us not to indulge in our annual festival of
excess, but there a few things we can do to help the environment
without spoiling the fun. Like try hanging LED Christmas lights
instead of incandescents. You'll save a lot of energy for the planet
and a lot of money on your electric bill. Buy recycled gift wrap. Or
find creative ways to wrap presents that don't require gift wrap—like
using reusable gift bags or making the gift wrap part of the present.
I wrap my tabloid-loving friend's presents in the latest supermarket
rag. Think about exchanging e-cards this holiday season. It's less of
a hassle, saves a lot on postage, and helps the environment by saving
paper and the fuel required to deliver the cards via snail mail. If
you can't imagine the holidays without a mantel full of cards, at
least buy recycled cards. And when the holidays are over, you can
take the fronts of the cards and donate them to various charities
that recycle them and sell them to raise money the following year.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Wow. I think since I opened up my Myspace account this is the first day I've logged on to absolutely nothing. Hope y'all are okay out there. I'm super thrilled cuz I just found out that neocash items (most of 'em anyway) don't expire anymore! Yay! When I got my neocash card I felt kinda guilty that the items were only gonna last a year, even though a year's a long time, but they changed their policy and now most items will not expire. I went through the NC Mall and checked all of the times I got from there and none of 'em are gonna expire! *whoot!*

Yes, I'm fully aware that Christmas is right around the corner. You'll have to excuse me for not jumping up and down with glee. Yule is in only 10 days and I still don't know what I'm gonna do for that. With all of the staples and stuff we still have to pick up for Elvis it's gonna be a pretty slim Christmas, but that's not what it's really about now is it? It's the joy of giving (we're donating a large portion of our crane prizes to the less fortunate kiddies) and spending time with loved ones.

Speaking of charitable donations, I'm not sure if y'all heard, but they said on the news that there is this guy (I don't know his name, my mom was telling me about it) who won $300million in the lottery (lucky bastard) and not only did he donate a ton of toys, he also went by a homeless shelter and took 381 homeless on a shopping spree in Target! That man deserves an award for best use of lottery winnin's I've ever heard of. Most people say "If (we say when) I win the lotto, I'm gonna use the $$ to help people" but he actually made good on it. You go guy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Neopets Fun

Okay. Some of you won't get how cool/funny this is, but some of you will. I was fiddling around on my side account since I had done everything I wanted to on my main account. I took my Xweetok to the NC Mall to try on some stuff to see if I could make her creepy. It didn't work. All the creepy accessories on neopets can not make a Xweetok un-cute. Anyway, I decided to check my deposit box and I still had my two 'starter' paint brushes. Then I remembered two things. 1 - That I had an Usul. 2 - In my main account I had Usul accesories from when I had an Usul and zapped it into something else. Hrm. The gears started to turn and I had the funniest (to me at least) idea! I took both paint brushes and my Usul to the Rainbow fountain. I used both of 'em, then went to customize her and came up with this:

A green Usul with a red headband and blue bow!!! Good stuff.

On my main account, I've collected all of the Altador Cup Team backgrounds. I'll probably never use most of 'em, but I have 'em in case I want to. My pets have changed up a lot (except for my main one) with stuff I've collected both on my own and through the Advent Calendar. Some of the prizes have been great, some crap, some okay. All in all I think it's better than last year. And now I've got my neohome I'm working on so I'm making sure I don't get rid of any of the furniture like I used to. *sigh* The stuff I used to have. Whatever. I know better now. There's a lot of stuff I'm not getting rid of just in case it turns into something for customizing later. lol

Friday, December 7, 2007


I have finally finished 'Salem's Lot! The book (story part, that is), the "deleted scenes" as they're called which were excerpts from the original transcript, and the 'afterword'. Finally!! But. . . . now I don't have anything to read in the bathroom. lol I'll find something. For those of you who read this that I haven't talked to already, Elvis is doing okay, but not as good as he was. Today we're going to pick up that joint medicine (it's been a long week) and hopefully some shampoo to help with his skin. If the joint stuff doesn't help, then we may have to put him on a puppy asprin (yes, there is such a thing) regimen; and hope like hell that he's not allergic. At least he finally ate! It was kind of scary with him vomiting and then not mushing us for our pizza, but he finally ate his mighty dog and some of his kibble. *phew* Just right now he's on his back precariously close to the edge of the bed and if Aaron rolls over I'm afraid he's gonna get knocked off . . . . such perils.

Yeah, I'm bored. Just typing to hear myself type, I suppose. lol Had another crap haul from the neopets Advent Calendar. I hung onto 'em just in case, though, cuz they seem like they could end up being something useful later on. *shrugs* And if not then whatever. I don't keep much in my SDB anyways. Some avatar/sidebar stuff, furniture for rooms as yet unbuilt and random crap that may or may not be useful some day. ^_^ I'm almost back up to a million neopoints. Which means just 10 more million for the avatar I'm going for. whipee

I'm sorta happy and sorta sad. My dad has had the worst most hellacious week, so when he gets home we're making homemade lasagna and pineapple upside-down cake. Yummy!! Two of my favorite foods as well, but the circumstances suck. I wish Schneider would quit trying to fuck him just cuz he's one of the strongest non-supporters of being shuttled to and from Dallas!! Can you believe that shit?! First they close down the lot next to that church across from PuttPutt, and now they're trying to close down the one behind HEB in Heights so they can spend all kinds of money shuttling their truckers all the way from fucking DALLAS and back. SHUTTLING!!! Like he said, "What happens if I run into traffic or have a problem with my load and don't get into the lot until just after the shuttle leaves?" He's got 2 days every 2 weeks, why the hell would he want to spend it in Dallas waiting for a shuttle to come and get him and then have to leave early to get back up there? Un-freakin-believable. I tell ya, once Aaron and I win the lottery, that man will never have to work again unless he wants to. None of this workin' a job he hates just to pay the bills bullshit.

Man I wish I wasn't so tired so I could catch more of this Monk marathon. Such a funny show.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Why fight for something you don't want or need? Believe me, I fully understand the "principle of the matter" argument, but there comes a time when you need to just step back and say enough is enough. You've made your point, you know what's going on and that is what's important. By pushing and pushing and pushing, you only hurt yourself. While I believe in reincarnation, I also believe that this life is short. Don't waste time with petiness. The real strength comes in realizing that someone or something is not worth your time, being the bigger person and moving on yourself. Let others destroy themselves. It's far easier to shine bright and utilize your energy for positive purposes than it is to dust off the negativity flung by others.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Understanding Sexual Dreams

Yeah, yeah, yeah, go ahead and pretend like you've never had one. *yawns* Well here's the info anyway.
The Purpose of Sex Dreams:
Sexual dreams allow us to work through problems. Either with ourself or our relationship. They let us act out or revisit a scenario, focusing on unresolved issues. It is a way for us to deal with unfinished business, such as from an old relationship. Some are simply a way for us to celebrate life or satisfy a need that is not being met in our waking lives.
Sex with your current partner:
These dreams act to reassure and strenthen bonds. They counteract any emotional insecurity that you may be having. Clues to look for here relate to how your current partner is responding toward you in the dream, this will help you understand what needs to be worked on in your waking life.
Rape dreams:
If, in waking life, there has been any sexual violence in your life, then this dream is part of the process of healing. It can help restore and reclaim your own personal identity which has been invaded.
Sex with a family member:
Unless familial sexual abuse has occured, this type of dream represents a closed inward perspective. It can be a focus of attention on an activity that might bring some shame or regret. Be aware of the dream's atmosphere and your feelings toward the family member involved to find clues at to the issues that are present in waking life.
Sex with a stranger:
The stranger in the dream is symbolic of a lack of self-awareness. Your subconscious is trying to grasp at anything or anyone in order to better understand itself.
Homosexual dream:
This reflects a yearning to be like someone you admire.
Voyeurism in dreams:
Having (dream) sex in a public place can indicate a yearning to be more extroverted and expressive around others.
Sex with a friend or colleague:
In a more literal dream, this signifies a strong physical connection, attraction or desire which may or may not be recognized in your waking life. Meaphorically it symbolizes an equality in the friendship.
Sex with a celebrity:
This symbolizes an aspiration to be 'in their shoes'. In this way you are getting a taste of fame and recognition. As a dream omen, this could mean that help with a current problem will arive from an unexpected source.
So there you have it. If you've got a sex dream that's not covered here and you'd like help figuring it out, feel free to contact me. You can send me a private message if you're shy or it's a sensitive situation. I'm always here to help in any way I can.
P.S. Will ya look at that?! They finally added new "moods" to that list! ^_^ Nifty.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Belated Birthday

Hope y'all like the new layout here. ^_^ I might change the 'comment' colors to something a little more toned down. Little bright, little bright. So today Aaron and I went out (it's so nice to go out together again) and we swung by Tim & Faith's to pick up my birthday present. Gift card for Silver Eagle! *swoons* I looked around a bit. Was hoping to find a good crystal ball (for scrying of course), but they didn't really have what I was looking for. And they don't really have much in the way of stones like they used to, so I hit the chest of stones. And hard! ^_^ I got one bag of all quartz, cuz quartz is a good stone to have a lot of; one bag of mostly hematite, good for absorbing negative energy and grounding and some pretty striped brown ones. Not tiger's eye, something else I'll have to look up. And I got a bag with a bunch of swirly pretty colored ones. And some more quartz thrown in. ^_^ I'm gonna see if I finagled myself some similar shaped ones and maybe make myself a pair of earrings to go with the necklace I made. Also, so that she didn't have to write out another gift certificate for the change, I picked through the foreign coin bin which I haven't been in for years. I got a square shaped one, a pfennig for luck, and a couple of asian coins. ^_^ They're my favorites. I had fully intended to post up a picture of my bounty, but the camera's disappeared again! I keep seeing it, but then when I look for it it's not where I remember seeing it. Like a mirage. Wierd. I'll get that up as soon as I find the camera, though.
I'm finally almost done with Salem's Lot! I'm actually done with the story part, and the after story, now I'm working on a part at the end which is (as relates to the book) {OHMYFREAKINGGAWD!!!! The APA is on RAW!!!!! I'll be shitted!!! Lookie Farooq & Bradshaw!!!! *swoons* I feel like I've gone back in time, and it's pretty. I'm starting to think Hornswaggle really is a freakin' leprechaun! *sigh*} letters from a man who was living in the house prior to the story, and diary excerpts from his family that used to live in the house. I'm actually liking this part better than the story itself. ^_^

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Finally, Someone Gets It

A Christian Speaks of Wicca and Witchcraft
by James Clement Taylor

------------ --------- --------- ---

I am a Christian and not a Wiccan. A Christian is one who has been baptized
in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and who has made a
personal, free-will decision to commit himself and all his or her life to
our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Both of these things are true of
me. I am a member of St. Mary's Eastern Orthodox Church, Calhan, Colorado.
In this paper, I am not speaking as agent for any church, but I am, entirely
on my own responsibility, speaking the truth in love, as we Christians are
supposed to do.

A Situation of Strife and Shame:

There are many Christians today who believe that anyone who is not a
Christian is doomed to an eternity of suffering in hell. Any decent person,
believing this, would be compelled to try to save as many people from this
fate as possible. But is this belief correct? Jesus Christ, having noted the
faith and righteousness of a Roman centurion, a Pagan, proclaimed:

"Assuredly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in
Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit
down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons
of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping
and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:10-12)

If we accept these words as true, and surely we should, then it is clear
that heaven will contain many who are not Christians, and hell will contain
many who are! Clearly, throughout the Gospels, Jesus Christ sets forth the
criteria for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, and those criteria include
love, kindness, forgiveness, and a refusal to judge others:

"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also
forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will
your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:14-15)

"For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same
measure you use, it will be measured back to you." (Matthew 7:2)

"But go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy and not sacrifice.'"
(Matthew 9:13)

"Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and
you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven." (Luke 6:36-38)

Is it not clear? Anyone who fails in these things, will calling himself a
Christian save him? Anyone who obeys God in these things, will being
unbaptized condemn him? Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord,
Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My
Father in heaven." (Matthew 7:21)

Yet it is not by good works that we earn our way into heaven, because there
is no way we can earn the free gift of God's mercy and grace, which alone
can save us. But it is clear that it is not by faith, in the sense of
sharing the Christian faith, that we are saved, either. The faith which
saves us is not faith in the goodness of our works, nor faith that we have
the right theology and/or belong to the right church. Rather, it is faith in
God, and in His mercy:

"So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who has
mercy." (Romans 9:16)

But the Wiccans, you will say, do not have faith in God. Yet by their own
theology, they certainly do. Those who call them Satan-worshippers are
entirely wrong. They do not worship Satan, or even believe that Satan
exists. Instead, they worship a Goddess and a God whom they understand as
manifestations of a higher and unknown Deity.

Now if you are a Christian, this will sound familiar to you, and it should.
In the Bible we find the following:

"Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, `Men of Athens, I
perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing
through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar
with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, The One whom you
worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you" (Acts 17:22-23)

The Wiccans worship the Unknown God, as manifested to them in the form of a
Goddess and a God. Therefore, our Bible tells us they worship the same God
we do; and if they do not know this, we should know it!

For those of us who are unable to simply stand on God's Word, and must prove
to themselves the truth of what it proclaims the holy Apostle John has given
us the method for doing this. You have only to attend any public Wiccan
ceremony, and test the spirits which are there, to see "whether they are of
God" (1 John 4:1). You will find that, while the power manifested there may
be less than what you have experienced as a Christian, that power is clearly
the power of God.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, these people of Wicca have been
terribly slandered by us. They have lost jobs, and homes, and places of
business because we have assured others that they worship Satan, which they
do not. We have persecuted them, and God will hold us accountable for this,
you may be sure, for He has said, "Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you
did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (Matthew

Let us, from this point onward, repent of our misdeeds and declare that
henceforth we shall obey Christ our God, and not judge others or condemn
them, so that He will not have to judge and condemn us for our sins.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Eating Pineapple

I'm sitting here eating a can of pineapple in it's own juices. None of that syrupy stuff thank you. And I'm thinking.

*Aaron really loves me because he risked slicing his fingers to get the rest of the top off for me.

*I wonder what the basis is for my mom thinking my sister's so much better than me.

*Crap. We still have to take out the trash.

*I've eaten almost a whole pineapple in 20 minutes

*Just because I don't feel the need to voice every thought that pops into my head, or everything I'm doing or have done, does not mean someone else was first

*I'm out of pineapple

*There are only a handful of people that I really care about, and I always wish there was more I could do to help them

*I wonder how these pants got a hole in them

*Why do so many people suck at driving

*Some days I really don't want to wake up

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Misc Stuff

First off, Elvis is doing even better. Aaron went out last night and I had to go pick him up, and the room was not torn to hell when we got back. ^_^ Yay. We've been able to move around, keep the light on and talk in normal speaking voices. Hurray! And, those pills we picked up to calm him down, we're giving him 1/2 of what we were. He doesn't need the full dose, so we're not gonna give it to him just to knock him out. And thank you Jarly, for the info on Tractor Supply. ^_^ If we can get the flea drops there for cheaper, then that saves us a trip to the vet.

I finished up the Game Master Challange. On the first last day (they extended it 1/2 a day) before I even took my dad to work. ^_^ The prizes weren't super great, but there were a few books and plushies, which was nice. I got a Split Lenny Morphing Potion which I'm hanging onto. The market's saturated with 'em now, so I'll give it time. Unless I end up deciding to use it. Maybe I'll pick up another one while they're so cheap, just in case. ^_^ They've got the Advent Calendar coming up in a couple of days. *runs around in circles* Hopefully this year I'll be able to get it every day.

Dang. I need to get to the bank. I've been doing so well keeping my checking account afloat, and I am loving this notebook thing, I don't wanna screw it up right before Christmas. Dang! Especially since I just checked the site and they're supposed to be shipping out my next set of pages tomorrow! Dang. lol I hope there's more of the birth chart ones in there. It's going to have 200 pages for the astrology section alone, and I know I've got that site where I can generate my birth chart, but I want to be able to actually do it myself.

Now that things are heading back towards "normal", I've had some ideas for pics so I can get one that better suits my cutesy profile. ^_^ Oh, and "Stranger Than Fiction" was a damn good movie. It did not disappoint.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back From The Vet

First off, I have to give credit where due. Elvis was such a good boy for his first vet visit! Such a good boy. His parents are ever so very proud of him! ^_^ Now, we couldn't afford any in-depth diagnostics, but Aaron talked to the vet about everything he's been doing and answered all of the vet's questions and he (the vet) said it did not sound like a stroke or seizures. Since he doesn't have any tender areas it's unlikely that he's injured his back. So *phew*! Without the diagnostics he couldn't say for 100% sure, but he said it's probably either the fleas (we have kind of country living, so fleas happen) so we need to make extra certain to keep those in check, or it could be his joints, like arthritis or just weak joints. The lady next door highly recommends this stuff she gets for Gracie, she's not 100% sure, but she thinks it's called Optima 365 or something? They're picking some up either tomorrow or Thursday so she can show me the bottle before I go out and we'll pick some up for him. It's almost $20 a bottle, but he's more than worth it. They were also very impressed with the herbal supplement I picked up for him with the valerian in it. Said it won't hurt him, and if it's helping then there's no reason not to give it to him. Also said if that's "the way we want to go" then we can look up herbal stuff for his joints. Although, they did "recommend" a prescription. Hopefully I'll be working come January, so if things don't greatly improve with what we're doing then that's our first order of business is taking him back for some diagnostics. Hopefully, though, it won't be an issue. They have a strick policy of treating dogs who have fleas (with flea killer) so we paid for that, and he seems to be doing a lot better already. He was a little anxious in the car (he always is, never likes going in the car), but other than that he's only had a couple of little twinges. *fingers crossed* Oh. lol Only thing he had exception with was getting his temperature taken. ^_^ Didn't like the thermometer up the butt. Other than that he behaved so much better than we could have dreamed.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Vet Later

Hrm . . . updated my blog settings and it's still not keeping the font. *shrugs* Anyway, yesterday was better as far as he had 3 cans of Mighty Dog and we actually didn't have to take him out every time he woke up. A couple of times he actually just wanted water. But, he's still having problems with his legs. Or his back . . . wherever the actual problem is. I think the worst part is not knowing. So, anyway, his sister is taking us all to the vet tomorrow. We're looking at Banfield which is connected with PetSmart, so I'm really hoping it's an actual vet that we can take him to. If it is, it's likely our best shot. I'm so nervouse and anxious. But, it's been over a week and hasn't gone away on it's own, so we have no other choice. We have to do it. Unless we have an overnight miracle. So, yeah, I'll let y'all know how it went. And if you don't hear from me, then you already know.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Game Master Challenge (neopets)

Firstly, for my faithful readers, Elvis has done really well today. The morning started off rough with the leg twitching, but he slept a lot and even ate at least 1 big ol' handful of turkey! Of course, this is why the scientific method works, cuz we have no idea if it was his time with Gracie (dog next door), the pills I got him, the turkey, the lavendar scent everywhere or just passing time. lol Either way, I'm hoping for an even better tomorrow and a decent night's sleep tonight.

Now, I've been passing my time with the new challange they have on neopets. It's not like the Daily Dare from before (which I was kinda hoping it would be). It's got 5 challanges every day for a week. Every five challanges nets a trophy upgrade. *hurray!* Only two more days left. I'm all caught up so far, but I have a feeling these last two days are gonna be tough! I'm going for top prize, though. Just wondering if the last day of challenges is going to be the last day to complete them. Wouldn't that be something? lol

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving. ^_^ I am thankful for my loving husband and my sweet puppy. (shut up, he is too a puppy) I'm thankful for a roof over my head and food in my belly. I'm thankful for my family and friends, both online and off. I'm thankful for years past and years still to come. I'm thankful for my health. And I'm super thankful for the scrumptious turkey and sweet sweet pumpkin pie I'm having tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Like Flies

One day I'll get around to listing my Top 10 list of favorite Futurama quotes like I wanna. Instead I find myself wondering two things. Whatever happened to that surplus army issue silver (probably aluminum) cross on the thick black string I got? Thank you very much Mr. King for putting such things in my mind. And whatever happened to that huge (softball sized) chunk of quartz my dad found in a parking lot and gave to me? I really wish I had that right now. I have another big chunk that's slightly smaller, but kind of yellow. The one my dad found is white and clear. I know Aaron remembers that quartz, cuz it's one of the first things that made me know that he was OK with who I am. I also wonder whatever happened to the other silviron ring I got for Aaron (aka, my engagement ring to him) and my poison ring which just vanished into thin air. Likely before we moved, since I can't remember the last time I saw it. I really want to either find it or get another one. Also, why is it that out of all the earrings in my jewelry box, not a single one has a matching pair!? They're all single earrings. It makes no sense. I think the dryer monster's been rifling through my shit. The worry dolls Aaron got for me after we got married are MIA also. I tell ya, as soon as we're moving into our own place, I'm going through every single box and bag piece by piece by piece. Between both of our stuff it'll be a helluva haul, but it'll let me know what needs to be replaced. . . . except I better find that silviron ring since (refers to previous blog) I can't replace it. Also, Sandy, if you're reading this, did you take that cute little green dress with you, or leave it with me? If I've got it, I'm definetly looking for it cuz it looked great on me. ^_^

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I really need to change my setting so it automatically starts typing in this font. Pup's been doing really well. Only a couple of leg kicks that could have been his foot bothering him cuz he keeps chewing on it! Aside from the initial panic attack of "what the hell are we gonna do if something really bad happens!?!" it's been nice not having my mom around the past couple of days. I feel bad for Jet cuz she keeps getting shuffled between outside and the bathroom. (She can't be trusted by herself cuz she's still in that "I'll eat whatever I see" phase) But mom'll be home tomorrow (today) and she can spend all kinds of time with her. Whether she wants to or not. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I'm really hoping my dad doesn't come back until Friday or Saturday cuz I am NOT going out Thursday to pick up the last of the stuff we need. Uh-uh, no way, not me. Nope. This stupid crackhead town is full of crackheads who have to wait until the very last possible freakin' second to get their holiday fixin's and I'm not gonna deal with them. Tough shit if we have to have Thanksgiving on Friday. At least we already got the turkey. Aaron named it Simon. Yes, we name our turkeys too. I'm almost 2/3 done with Salem's Lot now. I'm liking it. I think I just started it too soon after coming off the Dark Tower series. lol Stephen King overload!! Speaking off, still gotta see 1408 and I really wanna see The Mist. *sigh* Some day. I'm caught up on dishes and the refridgerator is finally keeping itself under 38 degrees! *whoot* I know, I got skillz. I'm working on a humungous cross-stitch for my mom. Probably won't be done by Christmas like she wanted, but I've made a lot of progress these past couple of days. Uhm . . . I guess that's it! *yay*

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Stupid Internet

Ever notice how when you're just screwing around looking for something you can easily find exactly what you're looking for; but when you're really trying to look up something important the internet suddenly goes retarded?! You know the information is there, you just don't know where, so you go to your favorite search engine, type in what you're looking for. Then, all of the results end up being porn or those stupid "Hey, lookie the search results we found" pages! What the hell is up with those?! You could go around in circles for hours flipping through those sites cuz none of them lead anywhere!! And what the hell's up with being able to buy anything at eBay or I hate to tell 'em, but intangibles are unbuyable on this plane of existence. No matter how badly you may want to sell it. "Buy my refridgerator's smoking Cheap at (fill in the blank)." You know your search has come up empty when all of the sites listed have your keywords strewn in with 20 other "popular search terms" all jumbled up in the description. Hey, people, meta tags are to be used, not abused. I'm not looking for "dog Britney Spears real estate health movie PS3 furniture tickets natural big black cock". Not even close. Even worse than that is when you get a search result for a forum. Hey, look, someone actually asked my exact question, I wonder if they got any answers? You get there, and lo and behold! it's not there. Hey, search engine guys, if you're gonna tease me with a forum result, take me to the bloody page that has the stuff I'm looking for! Don't make me try and guess where something might be in a site I'm unfamiliar with. It's not funny and it's certainly not nice. So which search engine is the best? Puh-leeze. It depends on what you're looking for. And get this, it changes! Oh yeah. Best overall used to be yahoo search, then askjeeves, then back to yahoo, then hotbot, then google . . . now I usually start with yahoo, then try google, then ask, then altavista if nothing else comes up. Unless I'm looking for pictures (or a translation) then I jump straight to altavista. Did ya notice how the engine that powers the little blog add on thingy there is on crack too? I can't find my version of Salem's Lot anymore! How are the 5 or 6 different releases NOT the first five or six results? I think the internet needs to join narc-anon.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Puppy Update

t's been 25 hours since his last really bad episode. *phew* He had a couple of twitched a few hours ago, but nothing like yesterday. I don't think we're out of the woods. We're still keeping a close eye on him, making him as calm and comfortable as we can. We are very happy that he's been doing so well today. ^_^ Went to HEB today and they had all leftover Halloween stuff on sale for 10 cents a piece. They had puppy costumes still!! I picked him up a pirate costume and a little devil costume for a grand total of 22 cents. He's going to be so cute. I'll keep everyone updated on how he's doing. Thank y'all so much for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers. It means more to us then you'll ever know. }}Hugs{{

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Please Pray

Everyone please keep Elvis in your thoughts and prayers. He's not doing well. And not like normal where it's just his stomach messing with him. He's been twitching his back legs and today he started whining. We're doing what we can to try and make him as comfortable as possible, but we're both very scared for him and it's hard! I know when we're calm he's calm(er), but it's so hard seeing him like this. He won't sit still for more than 3 minutes. Even his normal 'medicine' doesn't seem to do much. We've been keeping up with his joint pills, he doesn't seem to have any sensitive spots on his skin, he's been chewing up his feet, but he doesn't whine when he walks, just when the twitching gets bad. ------ Just got back in from outside. We did a few laps with him and Jet around the house. Seems better. Still, whoever you pray to, please do.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day (observed)

Yes, that day. It's sad cuz a lot of people just figure it as another holiday. I have a lot of family members who've served in each branch of the military. I guess, just last night I was thinking about when my own parents pass. I'm lucky in a lot of ways. They're smart. They've both got wills and living wills, and have all of the funeral arrangements already made. They're gonna be cremated and stuck in a hole in the wall. Same hole. I think that's nice. I just know, I know, it's going to get me. I'm really good with death since my first dog passed. That killed me, but since then I've gotten more philisophical about it. Aaron gets hit hard, so I guess it's good to have that balance. But since both of my parents served, at each service (being the oldest) I'm gonna get handed that flag. I dread that moment, cuz I think that's what's gonna break me. That passing of the flag and everything it represents. I know it's going to be a long time (it damn well better be), but I'm still not looking forward to it. I just had to share.

Alfredo's Arduous Adventures

If you remember Big Blue Disk from back in the day, you know what I'm talking about. ^_^ It's the inspiration for my little stick figure gifs. Not stick figure death theater, which is cool in it's own rights, but nothing compared to Alfredo. I was doing a search for these little video clips of nostalgia and the only site that was supposed to have them . . . well, I couldn't find them. I'm not saying they weren't there, but if they were, I couldn't find 'em. Fortunately I did find them on YouTube. All told it took me about 20 hours on dial-up to get them all (I have a program to record video from online and save it to my comp) but it was totally worth it. ^_^ Anyway, if you've got some "bored" time, then check 'em out. I don't know if you can get my playlist to load, but if you can there all here. If not, then check here and they're in there. You just gotta look for the ones with "Alfredo" in the title. There's 10 in all. It's good old school fun.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Calling On Your Ancestors

As part of preparation

Meditate on your family tree. Not on anyone in particular, but your family tree in general. Visualize the sheer magnitude of people who's blood runs in your veins. When you are ready, light a white or purple candle and say:

"I ask for those who are my ancestors to please hear me now. This working I am about to do is very important to me. For that reason, I am calling on you to please lend me your strength, wisdom and power. If you find merit in what I do today, aid me! Help me to achieve the best possible results."

Don't forget to thank them at the end of the day, or once your mission is accomplished, and leave some sort of offering to them.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You?

Let me just say that this was not my favorite book growing up. That would be "The Digginest Dog" as evidenced by my dad's ability to recite it word for word. Seriously, he just did it last time he was home. Seriously. All that pot in the 70s didn't hurt his memory one bit.

Anyway, since I referenced Dr. Seuss in the last survey thing, it occured to me that there are probably some people who may know the good doctor, but still not catch the reference. So there it is. Pontoffel Pock was made into an animated movie in 1980 and you know Dr. Seuss is so freakin' catchy there are parts of it that are still stuck in my head. I was going through a list of Dr. Seuss titles and was amazed, and slightly scared, at how many I remember. ^_^

The story of Pontoffel Pock is that he worked in a dill pickle factory, but he sucked at it. So he wanted to get away. Then this guy shows up with a magic piano that will take him anywhere in the world. You press a few keys and then pick one of the hundreds of colored buttons and *zooom* you're there. So anyway, he ends up in some kind of middle eastern place, runs into a belly dancer, the Sultan is chasing them, then get to the piano and he says, "Pick a color, any color" and she yells "White!". So, that's where that came from. Oh, and just so I don't leave you in suspense, they end up back at the dill pickle factory, but I'm pretty sure the piano got smashed to smithereens and they both end up working in the factory. After his adventures he doesn't suck at jarring pickles anymore. (You push on the Pushem and pull on the Pullem, how hard is that to begin with?)

Friday, November 9, 2007

I've Still Got It

Just did something today that I haven't done in years. Changed a diaper. *faints* lol Luckily it wasn't a poopy filled diaper. Just wet. Very very wet. Did good, though. All straight and snug, but not too tight. Yup. I still got it. ^_^ I also managed to dump juice all over my cell phone. So, yeah, still a klutz too.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Heilige Karotte

Figures, don't it? I post up pics of my pets and then the lab ray goes and turns my Chia into . . . . *drumroll*
A carrot! roflmao I think I'm going to keep it. For a while at least. Which leaves me with the Scorchio (the red dragon looking one) for zapping. Since I don't have much else going on, that's it for now. I am making progress on 'Salem's Lot, though. I'm about 1/3 of the way through. I had to take a break from it prior, but I'm back on the ball now.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Okay, so when TNT (The Neopets Team) decided they were going to make it so you could put clothes and stuff on your pets, I was all excited. Then the way they went about it with certain colors not being able to wear the clothes and putting out so few that they were all kinds of expensive, I scoffed. But, time moves on. Last week Aaron picked up a Neocash card for me (available only at Target ^_^) and I found a few things that were neopoints cheap, and here's what I've got:

First let me introduce to you JubJubLucky4Me. He started out as a JubJub. This is my Lab Ray pet, so he changes a lot. You can see him here looking stylish in a potato sack and an orange/purple split background.

This here is Spyke1980. He was Terrawolf's Skeith, which has been zapped. You can see him (her? I'm not sure anymore) at the Altador Cup arena cheering for Team Altador! The neck cuff, tail bracelet and wing bling are all courtesy of his (her?!) stylish desert color. There was a head piece, but I took it off. ^_^

And here comes Hazeynut . . . or is she going? She doesn't seem too sure! She is also at the arena, but cheering for my previous team of Kiko Lake! Note the snazzy wax lips and the floating novas bought fresh from the NC Mall.

Last, but certainly not least, my original pet, my pride and joy, Frijana! Looks like she's been exploring the Faerie Library. But what's that!? There appears to be a Ghostkerchief floating behind her! Now, you can't see it here, but in the flash image of my pet, the library windows open and books and papers fly around the room and the Ghostkerchief floats around also. ^_^

So there's my customized pets. lol

Monday, November 5, 2007

Accupressure Points

First, to answer Sandy's questions, yes, there are acupressure techniques that can be used to help diabetes. Check HERE and for some search results to search through, HERE.
There are pressure points mid-sternum and mid-abdomen which will help with general weakness.
Pressure points at the top of the head, under the nose, and between the shoulder blades can help relieve back pain, stiffness, headaches & stress.
Points at the top of the shoulder, below and to the outside behind the knee, towards the outside of the mid-calf, and the outside of the base of the skull (in the back) are to alleviate headaches, blurred vision and shoulder pain.
Apply pressure to the top of the wrist for insomnia.
For lower back pain or hiccups the pressure point is the top center of the foot, just below the ankle.
Points at the inside of the elbow {one is above and towards your body and one is below and on the outside}, and on the top part of the wrist, one slightly above and one slightly below are good for relieving coughs & general chest congestion.
If you're having a hard time concentrating, apply pressure to the point about 1/4 of the way up your arm from the wrist on the side of your thumb.
For nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and bloating there are points on your lower abdoment in front of where your thigh bone and hip bone connect, and all along your legs from above the knee to your toes. A good leg massage could help greatly.
And for migraines or a stuffy nose, try the points in the middle and at the point closest to your nose on your eyebrows, or about 1/3 up the back of your leg from the knee, about 1/3 down the back of the leg from the knee, and the outside of the ankle.
*phew* That was a lot. For "bigger" health problems (like diabetes), check the first link up there for a list of problems, conditions, etc that have been successfully helped with acupressure. From the same site, check HERE for more information on pulse reading which is used by trained acupressurists to help with these conditions. Like I said before, you have to find the root cause to successfully cure the condition.
I hope this helps, at least in some small way. Take care everybody!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Accupressure and accupuncture work off of the same basic bodily theory. That there are 14 meridian lines (12 major & 2 minor) that run through the body, each associated with a different organ of the body. These meridan lines allow energy to flow through the body. An 'obstruction' within the energy lines is that makes you sick or hurty. Accupuncture uses needles to free the blockages and allow energy to flow more freely. Accupressure works the same, except you can do it yourself without needles. Just your fingertips.

The 14 bodily meridians (energy lines) as they relate to the organs are:
1) Lung - Also affects the skin
2) Large Intestine - Also affects shoulder pain and may manifest as sinusitis
3) Stomach - Affects muscle tone
4) Spleen - Regulates nutrient distribution
5) Heart - Regulates the blook
6) Small Intestine - Affects digestion
7) Bladder - Affects elimination of waste
8) Kidney - Controls the filtration of waste
9) Pericardium - Affects blood flow
10) Triple burner - Relgates body warmth and metabolism
11) Gall Bladder - Regulates bile
12) Liver - Controls nutrient distribution
13) Conception Vessel - Regulates reproductive function
14) Governing Vessel - Regulates stress and behavior

Now, the "big picture" of accupressure is pretty involved. The Chinese methodology of natural healing is the same as several others I have read. Many times when we are sick, the sickness is in itself a symptom of some other root cause. Say you get migraines. You can take all the pills in the world and they will not cure the migraine until you find out and eliminate what is causing them in the first place.

I wish I could say that I could cure everybody of what ails them, but I just can't do that. I could, but it would be a lie. However, tomorrow I'm going to be posting a list of practical accupressure points that you can use to alleviate pains from different parts of the body. (There's even a pressure point for hiccups!)

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Saddest Day

Started taking down the Halloween decorations. *sigh* For the past couple of weeks it's been a war between Halloween and Christmas, and this is the day Christmas wins. It sucks!! For crying out loud, it's not even WINTER until 4 days before Christmas and that's not until the END of December!! What about the whole 2 months left of fall?! What about Thanksgiving!? And of course now my mom's expecting us to put as much effort into Christmas decorations as we did for Halloween. Great. At least the span between Samhain and Yule gives me time for Fall Cleaning! (It's like Spring cleaning, only on the other end of the year) I'm trying to be optimistic, but this is by far my least favorite time of the year. I'm not gonna rant. I'm not. I still have Elvis' halloween costume pic to look forward to (and some crane prizes I'm falling behind on again) and my birthday and Thanksgiving. I'll just do my best to ignore all the garish red, green and gold and whenever I see a jolly fat man I'll just pretend he's Buddha. At least those damn bellringers haven't shown up yet.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Oh what a night! Firstly, we don't have Elvis' costume pics up yet, because we got back a tad late and Aaron's tired and Elvis was upset that we left him so long, so rather than stress him out more, we'll just do that tomorrow. We did get started a little late, but the costumes came together really nicely. (They're in the album, you know where to find it) We left for Morgan's Point to help the kids put on their costumes and do their makeup. As soon as we got there, my mom called. Elvis and Onyx had run out of the house!! I knew Elvis would be fine, but Onyx (for those of you who don't know) is a black cat and I really don't like her getting out on Halloween. Fucking sickos out there. So I was outside talking to her and as soon as I hung up I looked up and petitioned Bast to please watch my kitty. Rather than dwell on it (you have to have faith, if you dwell you defeat your purpose) I went in and helped finish up the kids. They were just too adorable, the pics don't really do them justice. We hooked up with some friends of Autumn and Frankie and their little girl and went trolling the neighborhood for candy. Autumn was upset because 2 years ago lots of houses were done up and just about everyone was handing out candy. This year it was so sparse. Maybe 7 houses really done up (2 we didn't get close to, but you could see the lights) and around 10 with candy. It's okay, though, cuz the kids got tired of walking and it was great for us to actually get to spend our anniversary with people doing something! Also, they're great company, so it was doubly good. ^_^ We got back, hung out a bit, and went to hang out at Nates. I called my mom and she managed to get Elvis back in. Apparently as soon as it got dark he started whining at the door to be let in. Still no Onyx. I told myself she'd be fine and we hung out for a while just bullshitting. We got home and who was on the ramp ready to go in? Onyx. *phew* So I took my lavendar oil out to my special corner of the yard and thanked Bast for watching her. After that I went into the bathroom to pee and take off my tights and I heard purring. I thought it would be Onyx expecting some attention, but none of the cats were near the door. Between that and the woman from yesterday, I think this was the most spiritually fulfilling Samhain for me. I usually celebrate Samhain (pronounced "sow-in") spiritually on November 1st (some traditions do), so it was nice for me to have that on the 31st.

Neopets was great. Aaron and I each got 6 goodie bags with neat stuff inside. I customized my pets since there were wearable items in some of the bags. ^_^ In about 50 minutes I get to try and unlock the Haunted Woods site theme for him. I hope I can get it!! That would be something great for him to wake up to.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Eve

I'll get costume pics (ours and Elvis') up tomorrow. I'm doing this early so we're not dressed up yet. Just had to share an interesting experience we had last night. Aaron and I went to HEB to pick up sodas and some last minute goodies for the goodie bags we're taking for the kids. We were in the Halloween section, sparse as it was, and ran into just the nicest pagan woman I've ever met . . . in person. ^_^ We talked for a long time about Halloween and marriage and kids and more Halloween. *giggles* It was a very ethereal experience, what with the timing of it and all.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Lake: After The Flood

Aaron, Nate and I went out to the lake the other day. It was such a nice day and we got tons of pictures. Okay, 56, but that's still a lot. Filled up the camera. ^_^ The water level has gone down 40 feet since the last lake pics I took, so we could actually get down to the island area. We still had to walk a ways, cuz the gate was closed, but it was a nice day. Anyway, here's some pics. For the rest of them click here. The giant building in the woods is a bathroom pavillion that floated up from the beach area. In one pic you can see a lightbulb that was not busted. lol

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Samhain Poem

Twas the evening of Samhain, and all through the place
Were pagans preparing the ritual space.
The candles were set in the corners with care,
In hopes that the Watchtowers soon would be there.
We all had our robes on (as is habitual)
And had just settled down and were starting our ritual
When out on the porch there arose such a chorus
That we went to the door, and waiting there for us
Were children in costumes of various kinds
With visions of chocolate bright in their minds.
In all of our workings, we'd almost forgot,
But we had purchased candy (we'd purchased a LOT),
And so, as they flocked from all over the street,
They all got some chocolate or something else sweet.
We didn't think twice of delaying our rite,
Kids just don't have this much fun every night.
For hours they came, with the time-honored schtick
Of giving a choice: a treat or a trick.
As is proper, the parents were there for the games,
Watching the children and calling their names.
"On Vader, On Leia,
On Dexter and DeeDee,
On Xena, on Buffy,
Casper and Tweety!
To the block of apartments
On the neighboring road;
You'll get so much candy,
You'll have to be TOWED!"
The volume of children eventually dropped,
And as it grew darker, it finally stopped.
But as we prepared to return to our rite,
One child more stepped out of the night.
She couldn't have been more than twelve or thirteen.
Her hair was deep red, and her robe, forest green
With a simple gold cord tying off at the waist.
She'd a staff in her hand and a smile on her face.
No make-up, nor mask, or accompanying kitsch,
So we asked who she was; she replied "I'm a witch.
And no, I don't fly through the sky on my broom;
I only use that thing for cleaning my room.
My magical powers aren't really that neat,
But I won't threaten tricks; I just ask for a treat."
We found it refreshing, so we gave incense cones,
A candle, a crystal, a few other stones,
And the rest of the candy (which might fill a van).
She turned to her father (a man dressed as Pan)
And laughed, "Yes, I know, Dad, it's past time for bed,"
And started to leave, but she first turned and said
"I'm sorry for further delaying your rite.
Blessed Samhain to all, and a magical night."
Written by Cather Steincamp

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Break From Halloween

Quick break, then back to Halloween goodies. ^_^ Over the past couple of days I've been working on a new project. *teehee* Making my own folder icons! You know, when you're going through your computer files and you put them in folders and you click on the picture of the folder. Yeah. I'm making my own. I was looking for some, and found a few that I liked, but I really like ones that look like dressed up folders instead of just random pictures. I couldn't find enough of a variety of folder lookin' ones, so I downloaded a program to make my own! Check 'em out:
The backgrounds are supposed to be invisible. They are on the icons, but these are gifs so you can see what they look like. Anyway, that's what they look like. lol You can probably tell the difference between the first few I did and the most recent. I've gotten more of a hang on the shading and playing with shapes. The program I'm using is only a trial version, but I think I may have found a similar freeware program. I just wish I could find one where I could make the .gifs with invisible backgrounds and if I'm really lucky I'll be able to find one where I can make little animated gifs with invisible backgrounds. Oh the dream. lol

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pumpkin Carving Stencils

I think these stencils would be just a tad big for the traditional turnip carving, so go ahead and pick out a good pumpkin. "They" say you should pick a nice, round pumpkin with a flat bottom for stability, a smooth surface and if one side happens to be flattish, all the better for stencils my dear. Me? I say pick whichever one calls to you. I like lumpy, off-center pumpkins with most of the stem still intact. They have more character. If you want to try your hand at pumpkin stenceling, it's not that hard. There are some really simple designs that come out really cool looking. (After this I'm going to upload this year's first jack-o pic in the Halloween album, so you can check there for an example of simple) Anyway, here's a handful of links to some free pumpkin carving stencils. Just print 'em out, tape one to the face of your pumpkin, use a thumbtack to go around the design, pull off the paper, and carve out your punch-marked areas. Easy peasy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


You may have heard this, you may not have. Some years ago (mid-1990s) I had two ghost experiences of my own. The first was perhaps the most disturbing. It was around 3 or 4 in the morning and I had woken up and gone to the kitchen to get something to drink. The moonlight was coming in through the kitchen window and I saw what I thought was my mom in there making a sandwich. What I saw, in fact, was a woman standing at the counter. She disappeared when I turned on the light.

The second I usually get fought on, but if you had been to the house on Carrollton, you know how the front porch area was set up, with the hedges and the big brick flower box. Anywho, I was sitting in the living room and I heard footsteps crunching on the dried leaves. I looked out the window and saw what appeared to be some kind of salesmen coming up the stairs. He was wearing a brown tweed jacket and a hat of some kind. Probably a fedora. I sat there waiting for him to ring the doorbell so I could tell him we weren't interested, or see the no soliciting sign and leave on his own, but he never did! No figure passed back by the window and no leaves crunched. The only other way he could have gotten out would be by vaulting over the 3 foot flower box and the hedge on the other side.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

Yum. When Autumn rolls around and pumpkins are plentiful, there are few things more delicious than home-made pumpkin cookies!! *drools* I prefer fresh pumpkin, but if you want to try these with canned pumpkin pie filling, make sure to check the label to see which of the spices are already in there. Otherwise you end up with nasty cookies.

To get the pumpkin ready for mixing/baking, you have to cook it first. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out all the innards, butter the cut edge and place it face down on a cookie sheet. Toss into a 300 degree oven and check on it every half hour until it's done. You'll know it's done when you can easily stick a fork in it. Then it's mushy enough to puree. Pull it out, let it cool, peel the skin off and run through a food processor or blender until it's mushy but not liquified. We used to use a food mill and it took hours, but you already know that story from my other cookie recipe. ^_^ Now, on to the cookies!

You will need:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3) Set aside.
4) In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar, add pumpkin, egg and vanilla.
5) Mix wet and dry ingredients together until well blended
6) Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet.
7) Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes (watch them and take them out when they are light brown in color).

And Shed, once again, unless you're using organic eggs (and flour really), you should cook them before eating them. ^_^

Thursday, October 11, 2007


The Irish brought the tradition of the Jack O'Lantern to America. But, the original Jack O'Lantern was not a pumpkin.The Jack O'Lantern legend goes back hundreds of years in Irish History. As the story goes, Stingy Jack was a miserable, old drunk who liked to play tricks on everyone: family, friends, his mother and even the Devil himself. One day, he tricked the Devil into climbing up an apple tree. Once the Devil climbed up the apple tree, Stingy Jack hurriedly placed crosses around the trunk of the tree. The Devil was then unable to get down the tree. Stingy Jack made the Devil promise him not to take his soul when he died. Once the devil promised not to take his soul, Stingy Jack removed the crosses and let the Devil down.
Many years later, when Jack finally died, he went to the pearly gates of Heaven and was told by Saint Peter that he was too mean and too cruel and had led a miserable and worthless life on earth. He was not allowed to enter heaven. He then went down to Hell and the Devil. The Devil kept his promise and would not allow him to enter Hell. Now Jack was scared and had nowhere to go but to wander about forever in the darkness between heaven and hell. He asked the Devil how he could leave as there was no light. The Devil tossed him an ember from the flames of Hell to help him light his way. Jack placed the ember in a hollowed out Turnip, one of his favorite foods which he always carried around with him whenever he could steal one. For that day onward, Stingy Jack roamed the earth without a resting place, lighting his way as he went with his "Jack O'Lantern".
On all Hallow's eve, the Irish hollowed out Turnips, rutabagas, gourds, potatoes and beets. They placed a light in them to ward off evil spirits and keep Stingy Jack away. These were the original Jack O'Lanterns. In the 1800's a couple of waves of Irish immigrants came to America. The Irish immigrants quickly discovered that Pumpkins were bigger and easier to carve out. So they used pumpkins for Jack O'Lanterns.
Courtesy of Pumpkin Nook

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I don't have pictures yet, cuz I haven't seen it yet, but apparently in a field by the lake (towards the island, off to the left in the woods) is a huge bathroom pavillion that floated up from the beach during the big flood. According to Aaron (he was out there) there's even a lightbulb in one of the sockets that's completely intact. How wild is that? So, yeah, I gotta get my butt out there to see it. Man, I gotta do something about my nails. They're getting so long it's starting to hurt when I hit the keys.

I'm pretty excited. I got a thing for a thing called "Enhancing Mind, Body, Spirit". I ordered it. lol It's a notebook and they send you the filler pages something like 10 at a time or so. It's got information on herbs, massage, dreams, aromatherapy, crystal work. All kinds of stuff. Figure it'll give me something to look forward to. And if I come to a point where I need time to get the $$ together, I can put a pause on the shipments. Nice.

We got our first jack-o-lantern out. My mom picked it up and picked out the design. The pic is on my camera so you'll have to wait a bit for that, but it's a ghost. Looks like it's got a moon behind it, so the moon is actually cut out and the ghost itself is pumpkin. It looks kewl. We haven't decided what kind of design we're gonna put on ours, but it'll be kewl too. ^_^

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Flying Dreams

When it comes to dreaming, there are different ways of flying. Here's a handy list to help break down what it means. ^_^
Flying Free: You will achieve your ambitions easily.
Sprouting Wings: Visionary meaning. Possible message from "higher up".
Floating/flying at low altitude: You will be successful in your endeavors, but hard work is required.
Trying to take off and failing: Your spirit is bogged down. Current goals may be out of your reach.
Losing altitude: Your ambition is waning, or your goals are too high.
Flying aided: Flying in an airplane means you expect recognition for your efforts. Hanglider means you will have support in reaching your goals.
Flying toward the light: You are reconnecting with your past, or loved ones who have passed.
Becoming hampered in flight: Setbacks or postponement of your goals. Or a lack of confidence in your ability to reach your goals.