Monday, December 28, 2009


I totally color my hair. And I don't lie about it. When someone tells me they like my hair, I say 'Thank you. Loreal 4M!'

I don't do it very often. I usually wait until the roots are 3 or 4 inches long. It's not a major color change for me, just a little redder than my own. So I let it grow out. Then when I dye, I dye my whole head.

Apparently, yesterday afternoon I didn't rinse well enough. After a couple of hours my head was burning in a few places. So I rinsed my hair again. Wow, I did NOT rinse it well enough the first time. I was still washing LOTS of color out of my hair.

So, I have 3 spots that have obvious chemical burns. You can't tell by looking at my head, but I can tell when I go to scratch an itchy spot. YOW! Burn!

So, PSA: Rinse hair THOROUGHLY when you dye your hair.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas at Home

So, remember when I said that Christmas is for kids, and that all those screaming kids put me in a very Christmas mood? Turns out I was right.

My niece is 4 1/2, and she was so excited that she infected the rest of us, too. It was fun and full of laughter and gentleness and family affection. My dad and brother got along pretty well, mom was up and awake and a little more like her old self. My SIL and her mother got along pretty well, that can at times be a difficult.

We did Christmas presents on Christmas eve. I spent way too much on my niece, and had nice interesting gifts for the rest of the family, too. I got some nice things, a good bottle of wine, some pretty place mats, gift certificate to Home Depot, and lots of fun time with family.

Christmas day we went to church, then went to Bro and SIL's house for Christmas Dinner. The Hungarian tradition is to have fish for Christmas, so every year we have fish. This year it was a white fish, very good. But SIL still likes salmon, so we had an appetizer of french bread with cream cheese spread topped with smoked salmon and cucumber. mmm smoked salmon.

Sunday after noon mom and dad left to go Illinois, Bro went to work (he has an excellent extra-job, security $40/hour Double time for Christmas, then time and a 1/2 for regular shift), it was just me and SIL, her mother and my niece. We played Wii, ate sweets, drank a little alcohol and just enjoyed time together.

There was one small dark spot. My parent's have 2 cats. When I got home wednesday, they asked me to go look at her, she was a little sick. She wasn't a little sick, her gums were completely white, her ears were completely white and cold and she was so very lethargic. This was one very sick cat. The vet was open Christmas Eve morning, we were the first ones in. She was so very dehydrated he couldn't get any blood. Finally we did a toe clip and managed to get the necessary 3 drops of blood, and she tested POSITIVE (that's very quickly positive) for Feline Leukemia. There wasn't anything that could be done, good food, a good life and regular vaccinations helped her live for several years longer than she would have in the wild. Because he couldn't get any sort of a vein, he overdosed her on anesthesia, and when she was asleep enough he would do a cardiac injection of the medication to put her down. As sick as she was, it might not even take the extra medicine. However, because her blood pressure was so low, it was taking quite a long time for the anesthesia to work. We had to leave her there with the vet, and mom and dad would pick her up next week and bury her at home. While it was hard, there was peace that it was done before Christmas. There wouldn't be the worry over their vacation, and their other cat, LC, would be happier as a single cat. But still, it was hard. It was, finally, a peaceful passing. An overdose of anesthesia, she just went to sleep. But still, hard.

Dear God, Thank you for the gift of your Son, the reason for this thankful season. Thank you for the peaceful and pleasant Christmas. Thank you for good food to eat, warm houses, and money for presents. Remind us that all good things come from you. Thank you for the time spent with beloved pets, even though we know that our time with them is limited. Remind us that like all things, our time in this world is short and that we must love and live in the time we are given. Amen.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Is Christmas done yet?

I haven't been in a very Christmas'y mood this year. In fact, not for several years. I mean, as a religious season I like it, but I'm not personally excited about Christmas. Family is so hard right now, and has been now for several years. I miss my mom. I miss her infectious laughter and her joy of the season.

I was told that I just needed to decorate for Christmas and that I'd feel more Christmas-y. I tried that the last 2 years, and it didn't really help.

I did a Christmas Party this year. My house isn't big enough, so my friend Matthew let me use his house. This has created a flurry of twitters and winking at me. See, my friends are quite convinced that Matthew and I should date. I have thought about it, and I am of two minds. I can't decide if he's completely clueless, and it just doesn't dawn on him, or he's considered it and decided against it. And based on my dating past, recently, and not so recently, I'm not overly willing to put myself into another situation where I can be rejected. Again.

That sort of went the wrong way.

Ok, try again. We had a Christmas party saturday night. It was fun, there were 12 adults and 7 kids. The kids ranged from 6 years to 4 months. It cracked me up to listen to all of those kids run screaming through the house. They were laughing and playing and running in circles through the house. The parents kept trying to get them to calm down but it was pretty much a pointless gesture. Sugar and caffeine and new friends and presents make for excited children.

Those kids running around the house made me feel like Christmas more than anything has for several years. Those were Christmas parties when I was a kid.

When we went north to Illinois for Christmas as kids, we spent Christmas Eve at a family friend's house, the family of my dad's best friend when he was in high school. They had 6 kids, and all of the kids had at least 2 or 3 kids each, all very close in age. That's around 10-15 kids present at any given time during the evening, ranging in age from baby to teen. Always running and playing and screaming through the house until it was time for presents. Then it was PRESENTS!!! The next day was with my mom's family, we went to church in the morning and came home, had a HUGE meal and presents and time together, with my mom's brother and sister and their families and more kids playing. My brother is the oldest, he's 38 now, then my cousin Brian, 35, me 34, my cousin Jaimie 21 and her brother 19. When Kiel was born, my brother was 19, Brian was 16, I was 15, and Jaime was 3. Still kids playing and laughing and presents and family still in a good mood.

That was Christmas. Kids and too much food and get-togethers. I think that's why the party saturday hit such a strong note with me. Kids and too much food and adults talking and laughing. I don't express it, but I'm often afraid that my chance to have that, kids running around and family and friends over, has passed me by. That somewhere, somehow I missed that chance.

Dear God, Thank you for friends and good times, especially in this thankful season. Please don't let my chance be gone. Amen.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hospital Pharmacy

So, we're attached to a Hospital. A state Hospital that has all of the features of any other State Hospital.

I'm in research. I'm not a clinician, I'm not a nurse, I'm not associated in any way with what goes on in that hospital. I am often exempt from some of the rules that those with direct patient care have to follow, simply because I don't have the same restrictions.

In the last 6 years, whenever I need something from the pharmacy (antibiotics, isoflurane, stuff like that) I simply called the storeroom, told them what I needed and picked it up. Simple, right? Apparently Official Pharmacy Protocols dictate that in order to pick up an item right away, I have to have my Form 16 in their little in-box by 10AM for same day pickup. Otherwise it will be available the next day.

I didn't know this. In 6 years I have not ever been told I need to do this. 6 years.

All I need is sterile water. It's specific water, it has to be pyrogen free, which means it has been tested to show that it does not, on its own, to have any fever-inducing properties. This is not available at any of the regular storerooms that I have access to as a researcher. The only place to get it is from the hospital Pharmacy.

I went to go pick it up. It's a very small box, maybe 3"x3", 25 vials of 10ml each. I want 4. This is a simple request. One that should take, maximum, 5 minutes. No no, not today. Today I had to FAX over the order for 4 3"x3" boxes. Will it be ready today? 'I'm not sure'. ...????? WTH? Seriously, it's WATER. WATER people.

Ok, I could see maybe an actual drug, you have to wait in line blah blah blah. But really. WATER?!?!?!?!?

In the time it will take you to read the fax, type it into the computer, put it on a shelf for me and then CALL me for it to be picked up, you could just have let me have it when I walked over there, and had 3 or 4 extra minutes to process the next request.

*shaking head* Really? for WATER???

Can I use the tag 'rant' and 'speechless' in the same post??
I totally stole this from GoodMom/BadMom. Because it is

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Christmas

HAHA Rockle! I found one, too!

Eating my own christmas goodies

I've been slowly eating my cookies that I baked to give away.

I finally FINALLY bought cute (I wrote cult originally, freudian slip) little boxes and made them up and gave them away today.

I got 4 very nice thank you's (which isn't really relevant, since I don't do it for the nice thank you's).

BTW, I only have 31 days until my cruise in January. YIPPEE!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Party

So tonight I helped my friend clean his house.

WHAT? you might ask yourself, and reasonably so. I don't like to clean my own house, why would I go help someone else clean theirs?

Well, this particular friend has agreed to let me have my Christmas party at his house. He's terrible housekeeper. I'm not the best in the world, but he's pretty bad. I polished wood (I'll never have wood paneling in my house. ever) and when I got to his dining chairs, they were growing mildew on the braces. Not terribly, but mildew none-the-less. And his garage, holy cow. It smells like a musty moldy room that never got opened to the air. It made me cough.

Anyway, the house looks pretty good already, and he's having the carpets cleaned tomorrow. The house will look really nice come saturday evening.

I helped him on saturday, too. We put up some of his decorations.

Tonight he told me he was glad that I asked him to do it at his house, and glad that he agreed, because it made him decorate and put him in a better mood. He lost his Dad and Stepdad within 6 weeks of each other this summer/fall. I can't imagine how hard Christmas must be this year for them, for the whole family.

I've decided that I'm not going to Illinois with my mom and dad this year. Many years I went because it meant so much to Grandma. Grandpa is beginning to lose reality, he doesn't always recognize my cousins, he knows he has grandkids, but doesn't know who J and K are specifically.

So this year, for the first time in many years, I'm going to take my Christmas break for myself. I'm going to go see a friend of mine on the 27 and 28, maybe the 29, then go to another town with a friend I haven't seen in 10 years and have a fun New Year's Eve. I'm very excited. Last year I spent New Year's Eve in a crappy hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas with my parents. We were asleep by 11pm.

I wondered away a little. So, this weekend Christmas Party. I've invited my Movie Night friends and some work and other friends. Right now we've got 8 people for sure, with the possibility of up to 15 or so. I think it will be lots of fun. We'll have Spiced Apple Cider (really good with a little Wild Turkey), I think Champaign Punch, sausage balls, queso, spinach and artichoke dip, and right now some desserts. I think there will be some more food, but I haven't thought of else. My very good friend Karen used to organize conventions, so she's going to give me some helpful hints, we're having lunch on thursday.

I think that's it for tonight.

I'm going to try to post a little more often than I have been lately. I like my blog, and I like TO blog, but it seems to be at the bottom of my to-do pile.

Elevator questions

Why do you always stand to one side in the elevator, even if you're the only one in it? why do you always seem to lean sideways?

Why, if you are getting on the elevator and going down and you're on level 2, do you feel the need to check which floor the elevator is going to. You're on 2. You want to go to 1. If it's going down, there's only one option, 1st floor.

By the same token, if you are on the top floor, why do you check and make sure it's going down? You're on the top floor. It can't go anywhere but down.

Why do you push the up, down, or floor buttons several times? It's not going to go faster just because you pushed the button 2 or 3 times in a row. And why, when you come upon an elevator and the up or down button is lit, and someone is standing there waiting for the elevator, do you push the already lit button? It's already on its way. The elevator isn't going to think, 'Oh! JOE pushed the button! Better hurry then!'

And how does it always seem to happen that the person who wants off on the second floor is at the back of the elevator? Or someone sees a full elevator and try to cram yourself AND your cart full of crap into it?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Sunday I attempted to make toffee and fudge. I pretty much failed a both of them.

The toffee didn't cook long enough, it didn't set hard and was gritty. Still, butter sugar chocolate and pecans aren't a bad mix. Just not toffee.

I tried the toffee again last night and it worked perfectly. Crispy and creamy and buttery goodness. It helped that I went out and bought an actual real candy thermometer.

The fudge is just bad. Taste's fine, dark and sweet and pecan-y, but the texture is grainy and crumbly, it just falls apart when you try to cut it. Not the fudge I was trying to make. It took A LOT of ingredients, so I'm not sure I want to make more of that. I found a quick and easy cheat for fudge, so if I decided that I really want to give fudge away for Christmas, I'll try that recipe.

I made the dough for Snowball cookies, but these cookies will wrap around a chocolate kiss, THEN be rolled in powdered sugar. I hope they turn out OK, they seem like they would. I'll finish those tonight.

I think I want to try some Pecan Tassies, too. I can make the dough/crust tonight and leave it in the fridge until Friday when I could finish them.

The problem I can see here is that I'll run out of containers before I run out of cookie ideas. I also need to go buy some sort of bag or package or box to put the candy/sweets in to give away.

I have a list of people at work who are good to me throughout the year, this is a good way to say thank you without costing me a small fortune. Plus, they're homemade treats, who doesn't like that?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I wonder what it must be like to be normal

In the past I've been rather hard on myself.

I'm pretty sure that I'm currently in a manic state, that I'm not well controlled AT ALL. The thing is, though, I'm the only one who can see it. Otherwise I look and act like I'm just in a good mood. I'm the only one who can see the reasoning and logic behind the things I do, and that often they are not motivated by a desire to do good things for others. Often they are motivated by how that course of action will make me happy, or give me something I want, or get me something I think I need. The mania makes me intensely Self-absorbed. I have a hard time seeing beyond my own wants and perceived needs.

In the past I didn't like who I was because of the things I did and said, I didn't like who I became sometimes. Now I know it's the Bi-polar, and that makes it sort of worse. Because I KNOW the reason, and I still can't control it. I KNOW what it is that makes me act like that and say those things and think those thoughts, and I REALLY REALLY want to be able to control it, and I feel like I SHOULD be able to control it. But that's one of the things about Bi-polar. I really can't control it. And that feeds into the cycle of not liking myself.

It's hard to break out of the cycle. I have to stop being so hard on myself, forgive myself for doing some of the things I do and say and think, but I can't make other people forgive me for the things I do and say. So I feel bad, and then I don't like myself, and there I go again.

I hate that often I'm self-centered and self-absorbed, but I don't quite know how to NOT be that way. Even when I do something for someone else, in my own mind, I question my motives. I try overly hard sometimes to not be self-absorbed, but that doesn't really work, at least, not for long. I come off looking ingratiating, like I'm kissing up to someone, insincere, overly flattering, just generally kind of a jerk.

I'm tired of being Bi-Polar.

Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to be normal.