Life as a reformed Zookeeper. Now living a life as a working mother who dabbles in karate, scrapbooking, and Coors Light!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Come Sail Away....

....anyone wanna run away? Actually, I'm not feeling that bad off. Was a busy day. Had a four hour meeting over lunch today. Which usually hoses me as far as getting things done. And I'll not kid you by saying that my inbox is empty. Cos it sure as hell is not. But am feeling like I'll be able to see the end of it soon. And hopefully I'll be able to get other things done that get shoved off because I'm too scatterbrained and busy to get them done. Three of the four "accounting people" will be gone for all intents and purposes next week. So am hoping to get lots accomplished! We shall see.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday Tantrums...., ok. Maybe not tantrums...until this very minute. Am through with my lovely sweet daughter screaming at me with every little thing that she deems I've messed up. It's such a heavy feeling to know that you've the ability to fuck someone's little world right up at any given moment. So Aaron's taking care of business so that I let her live to see another day.
....The twins and I just spent the evening at Aaron's parents' house for my mother-in-law's jewelry party. I added to my ever-increasing stash of jewelry. And the twins were good. Until we went to leave. Then Erin's mood went south very quickly.
....The picture you see here is one of my many good pictures at the Butterfly House in Put-In-Bay. I'm excited to print out several of these (like four to a 4x6 sheet?) and make a mini album out of them.... Must do this soon, or they will remain on my computer.
..Speaking of having pictures printed out, I've now tried two new picture processing places online. Because each of them offered me 50 free prints to try them out. So am using this to comparison shop. We'll see how it goes, and I'll let you know what I think....because you know I'll always have an opinion.
....Am going to go stretch out my angry body now. Laying off a week and then working out pretty well in two days has left me a bit sore. My back is also unhappy, so I now know for certain that I must remain active, or succumb to taking muscle relaxers. *sigh* Getting old....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Man, I Wish I Were There Again....

.....Can I just say that I really, really wish that my vacation could have lasted a wee bit longer. It's funny, though, and one of my colleagues at work said the same thing, it does help in getting back to dealing with the bullshit that comes from being in management. And we've a lot of bullshit to wade through right now. Yippy! But I feel refreshed and a lot less suicidal/homocidal than a week and a half ago. Sitting on a beach sounds damn skippy, though! my poor body is screaming at me from two days of my black belt prep work out. And both days I didn't even do the whole thing. When I work out on my own, I do the full warm up set, which is 100 jumping jacks, 50 push-ups (I try to accomplish 10-20 full-out plank and then do the rest on my knees...the goal being to do all of them full-out plank style), and 50 sit ups. Then, we have learned six katas. We are supposed to do each of them four times. And then cool down with 75 jumping jacks, 50 push-ups and 50 sit ups. Well, the best place for me to run kata is out in my yard. Not very easy when it's summer and freaking hotter than hell out. And it's not even excruciatingly hot out, but it's soooo HUMID. So, I usually get through about half of it before heading inside and grabbing the water, heart thumping through my shirt. I would so quit, but am selfishily becoming accustomed to being able to fit in single digit pants for the first time in nearly ten years, so I think I will keep at it, yes?
....Another karate-related thing I've done recently is to read a book on how martial arts aids in health and fitness. And you already know that I can't say enough about it. But this book has given me even more things to think about and try. Like it has a whole bunch of stretches to do. And I've been doing them, in hopes that eventually I can be a really cool person who doesn't wind up hurt all the time. Because what is more pathetic than someone who is on the brink of something really cool, but then has set-backs when they're hurt? Sucks buttermilk, folks!
...And the final karate related thing is that I'm up for two awards at the end of next month for the competition circuit that I belong to. Sixth in kata and ninth in sparring. Am really debating on going to the banquet (which they hose you into going, or you don't get your award...kind of shitty, but I see their point to an extent...). Of course, it costs money. Have told Aaron that if I really want to go, that it can be my birthday present. In a way, I feel silly about it. On the other hand, the season started in July of LAST year, and I only started competing in February of THIS year. So the fact that I've gotten this far says a bit, even if it's silly, no? I don't know. I go back and forth a bit. We shall see.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Few Of My Fave Shots Of Vaca....

.....and a little reaffirmation that I would so love to get a new camera. But Whatever. so in love with this shot of my girlie's skinny little sand-covered tushy. She's such a girlie-girl, but can't quite pull it off to the fullest extent. Just like her momma!

....have had some fun playing with angles and some fun shots at the beach, amongst all the average ones.

....I got some of my all-time favorite pics at the Butterfly House. Of all the tourist traps on Put-In-Bay, this was by far my favorite. I will be making a mini-book of all the great butterfly pics!

....I so want to be Tara Whitney with this kind of shot.... We ate at this place for lunch. They had good burgers at Red Robin prices...

....I always tell Aaron that I don't have enough pics of me. And I don't. Which I mostly don't mind. But the kids will want to know what I look like when I'm dead and gone, so I have to get over the fact that I think my nose is too big and my face too pimply to always refrain from getting my picture taken. So I'm turning over the camera to him sometimes.

We're Home! we went to East Harbor State Park on Lake Erie for vacation. All in all, I think we had a pretty good time. Sure, there were times where I thought I'd strangle someone, but for the most part, it was a good time. Despite the activity of the week, I got the chance to get in some much-needed relaxation. The picture of me here is at Marblehead Lighthouse State Park. The weather was unpredictable while we were there, and this day there was a storm getting ready to blow over. The water was choppy and the waves were loud. It was so very pleasant, though, and peaceful. This was probably my favorite part of the whole vacation. And it was the last day.

....You would never guess that I did a lot of cooking this vacation. I learned to cook over the campfire! It was an adventure for me. One that I actually enjoyed. We made pie iron pizzas on Monday night (thanks to Katie for lending us her pie irons and giving me the idea!) and I made silver turtles, or tin foil meals, with the twins on Wednesday night while Aaron and Collin were at Cedar Point. I enjoyed myself, but the twins didn't care much for the food.

....Among the activities were going to the beach (free of trash, thankyouverymuch), taking a ferry to South Bass Island, or Put-In-Bay, going to a Butterfly House, eating South Bend Chocolate Company chocolate (I was so very disappointed to go to Put-In-Bay Island and get chocolate that I could have snagged at Castleton Square Mall, located less than ten miles from my house!), touring a winery, walking through the one of the only caves made from a geode (another thing I found funny, since we found geodes all the time growing up in Southern Indiana), and snapping pics of everything!

.....And you might be wondering why Aaron's making the odd appearance on my blog, especially now that he's got his own? Well, eleven years ago today, on the hottest damn day of the year, we got hitched. Happy Anniversary, Aaron!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Home beginning Sunday Night... we'll see how this goes. I've checked the weather for where we'll be, and it's going to be amazingly cool....for which I'm thankful. But that hampers going in the water to a degree.
....I need to pack today. Aaron got himself and the twins packed already. He's got the camper filled with stuff that's not clothes and food, and now we just need to get that stuff together.
....I might need to swing by someplace and see about getting some different shorts or pants. I keep running into situations where I don't have any clothes that fit me well. And all my shorts are from my daycare days, so they're stained as well as too big. I wish someone was around to be my fashion conscience.....
....Will likely not post again until Thursday or Friday.... so don't do anything fun while I'm away!

Friday, July 18, 2008


OK, so I cancelled Orchard Beach State Park in Michigan, and reserved East Harbor State Park in Ohio instead. This one will be within walking distance to the beach, too. Lake Erie's beach. Someone tell me if there is a trash contamination there, too, eh?

Am trying to remain positive about all of this. I feel like I can't win. Seriously am feeling like Midas' archnemesis....everything I touch turns to shit.

So East Harbor is on Lake Erie, just south of some islands that double as tourist traps. If we'd wanted to only camp during the week, we could have camped right on one of the islands, which holds some appeal. But for this trip, I'll settle for taking the ferry and island hopping. Surely to all that is good and holy we will find something to do and refrain from killing eachother for four nights and five days. always....we shall see.

BFL family strikes again!


Feel free to give me ideas on where we can go..... we're tossing up ideas of perhaps Wisconsin Dells or St. Louis, but you know what? I really don't want to plan a vacation now. I had planned one, and now it's not happening. At the very least, it only cost me $18.


...ok, Alaina? Perhaps a 4? The pic is to prove that my whining about acne at 31 is not an invalid complaint. And Katie? It's close enough to 31, babes....

....and I hate when my intuition is correct. Hunches are not good with me, as they tend to prove right. And most often it's not good. When good things come my way, it's a big, fat surprise. I suppose that is the silver lining to this big, black rain cloud. My intuitions lately have been telling me that people aren't effectively doing their jobs. And I was right. And my work life will continue to suffer until we can figure out how to make it right. Aaah, the joys of being in upper management.

....T-minus two and a half hours and counting... and then I won't have to think about it for five days.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Things That Piss Me Off...

........Acne at age 31. Who's idea of a cruel joke is that?

........Kids at an ADULT karate class. Kids who don't act remotely like adults.

........Not being able to pay the internet bill ONLINE. Seriously, dude?!

.........Kids who won't clean their rooms, yet go ape shit when you put a toy in the wrong place.

The list is seriously neverending right now. Am on a very short fuse, and people do their best to light it for me. Am in the process of trying to gain some perspective. Am hoping to get a good night's sleep tonight, have a productive work day tomorrow, and enjoy having eight of the next nine days off work. We shall see.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stressed Out....

....but I really do love this pic of Collin with Erin. They were at our friends' Stephenie and Paul's, who have planted a box garden in their backyard...full of strawberries! So a few weeks ago, while we were there, they picked some. Of course, the fun lasted not very long, but I did get this pic. I love the way Collin has been interacting with the twins lately. While we have the squabbles associated with sibling life, he has been actively playing with them lately. And I'm sure that it's not always a barrel of laughs for him. But he's been including them more and more in his play life. And that warms my heart.
....Am a bit stressed out with work right now. We'll leave it at that, but my job satisfaction isn't exactly at its height right now. *sigh*

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


....guess who's tied for second in the state in sparring??

Reinstitution of an Old Fave....

... you see, this lovely concoction of gin and diet Cherry Lime-Aid went by the wayside a few years back, due to a most unfortunate incident involving chocolate cake and a puke bowl. But Sunday found me in an adventurous sort of mood, and I reinstated this pink-colored glass of summer refreshment. To make it, you simply need some Tanqueray, two shots' worth, poured over ice...then you fill the rest of the glass with Minute Maid's diet Cherry Lime-Aid. Voila! Summer refreshment! And, once you've had your fill of this drink and a LOT of good food, you may enjoy two or three beers to top it off. You must be warned, however, that you might need to sleep with one foot on the floor to steady the spinning of the room that may or may not disturb your night's sleep.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Playing Around... Sunday night we had the Phillips and Workman families over for s'mores in the fire pit. I told Rebecca that I needed a new pic for my blog and she obliged me by taking about 100 pics of me. Am not used to such attention. Am usually the one encouraging others to ham it up. So here's a tipsy me.
....tonight found me in a community south of Indianapolis at a meeting to re-zone some land for one of our communities. I find this kind of thing to be interesting, to say the very least, so I'm glad I was invited to go along. I really wish that I'd visited the land before the meeting, though, as there is one aspect of all this that we kind of got hosed by. Such is life when dealing with the public and the growing community. We shall see what happens with it. I just hope that they let me in on the future of this project, as this is about as excited about work as I've been for a long time.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

fun night....

...why yes, you get another drunk post.... was a fun evening....

Relaxed... the weekend's been fairly relaxing. After we picked Collin up we hung out at home, getting his gear cleaned up. the afternoon I went to Kohl's to get a new outfit for tomorrow. I've come to the realization that I'm going to need to take my friends with me shopping so that I don't buy clothes that are ill-fitting. On Friday, I did, however, buy myself a new pair of jeans without any input. I am afraid to buy new clothes at the moment, thinking always in the back of my head "What if I gain all my weight back?" I've given away many things that are too big, or have given them to Goodwill. Would so rather make payments on a new camera than buy new clothes. the evening we went over to my friend Melissa's house, where we were promised a night with pizza and beer. It wound up being a night at a bar with beer and food. She has a fifteen year old daughter, who they conned into watching the kids. Hey, I'm not mad at them! But, I feel a bit on the guilty side that our kids were thrust upon her. She did say that they were good. So for that I'm glad.

....this morning has been more of the same...being lazy. I've been working on the same scrapbook page for a while now. Have a severe case of scrapper's block where this page is concerned....go see it at my scrapping blog to give me input.....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Collin's Home!! after a week of being gone, he's home! It's so very weird to me to have any of my family members gone. Am happy he's home. He confessed to me that last year he was incredibly homesick the entire time. And how he was so happy that he wasn't as homesick this year. Broke my heart to know that he was homesick last year and didn't say anything.
....Oh! Before I forget, my young man promoted to the next level of scouting...he's now a Second Class scout! Am very proud of him for his efforts. I know that you've all heard me piss and moan about the times that he appears to not give two shits about much. But he worked his buns off this past week and had a blast. So for that I am incredibly proud of him!
.... Friday afternoon one of the guys at work asked me what I was doing Monday evening. Aside from my main karate class of the week, I am not doing anything. So where will I be Monday? At a town council meeting, being the American face for my company. Sweet! The problem? NONE of my professional clothes looks anything less than a potato sack on me....I really hate to shop these days....for anything. So I'm not entirely thrilled by this, but I'm going to have to buy a professional set of clothes that doesn't make me look any more homely than I already am. *sigh*

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lightning McQueen is in Da House... I got my car back already. All fixed. Handed over my 500 bucks, and called it a day. I'm still so very upset with myself for the accident, but what's done is done.

...was never so glad to have my car back. I know, I least I had a car to drive in the interim. But let me just say that a Chevy Cobalt is not my idea of a good time. Matt told me that it would be what the Mazda 3 would feel like had it an automatic transmission in lieu of the manual. Which I have. Which I love, except in stop and go traffic. I do love me some Zoom Zoom. And on Wednesday? The Cobalt's remote to lock and unlock? The battery died. So I had to figure out how to make the alarm stop after keying into the car. I've never had that happen to me. It was outside the karate dojo. I'd just gotten the freaking car! Anyway... so very glad to have my little red car back.

....quite a few people asked me if Aaron was upset with me over the accident. Don't get me wrong. He was a bit upset. But not as upset as most people would have thought. Why? Because he knew I was more upset with me than he could ever be.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Love This Picture.... Katie and Greg live in a subdivision that's had a few retention ponds in the front as you come in. There are a TON of ducks and geese to see. On Sunday before the cookout, I took the little kids to the pond so that Katie could catch her breath. Of course, I snapped several pictures, and loved the way some of them turned out. still living in a bit of a fog today. Am tired from staying up too late. I invaded Katie's house and we spent half the night catching up. Was awesome. I shall be going to bed early tonight!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Because There is Not Always Bad Going On....

....Sunday morning, I took the twins to McD's for lunch and to a new sprinkler park to play. They had a lot of fun, and I got to play with my camera. See? Life is good, really. I just have to hang on to that when I'm feeling a bit on the psycho side (shuddup, you in the peanut gallery who are asking when I'm NOT feeling on the psycho side! *winks*).

Lucky... am lucky enough to have driven my car around yesterday and not have the hood fly up and smack my windshield. Apparently appearances on my car were deceiving, as they've deemed it unsafe to drive. Picking up rental car at 4:00 today. It's always a surprise on what you're going to get with those.... like Christmas!

...The twins did their karate class yesterday, and Erin managed to stay on the mat the entire time. Thank the forces that be for small favors. Perhaps he/she/it recognized the small fact that I'm teetering on the edge?

....Aaron, recognizing my close proximity to the edge, hired our neighbor to babysit for us while we went out to spend the gift certificate that Aaron's grandpa gave us last year for our anniversary. We went to Red Lobster and spent the entire thing. Was nice to get out and have a meal that didn't include yelling at anyone. Afterward, I drug him to Archiver's to spend my coupons (sorry, Judy, I know I usually hand them off to you!). the field guide I bought for my camera is making me like it a bit more. Apparently there is all kinds of stuff I can do to get good pictures. I still have to figure out how to make the equation work to not get grainy pictures in certain situations, but we'll see. I'm looking forward to the class on Sunday.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Trying to Remain Positive....

...because honestly? There are worse things that could be happening to me than what are. I am still quite down in the dumps, despite all the rationalization that's going on in my mind right now. the one thing that I can hold on to is that after all the stress and exercise, the scale's at 131 today. I hopped on and off the scales three times to verify, making sure that the dial hadn't accidentally gotten bumped to weigh light. And, being the total pessimist that I am lately, I only see that girl who was busting out of her size 14 pants. The girl who was closer to 200 than to 100. Not the girl who can't keep size 12 on her butt. It's funny how you only see yourself in a negative light most often. I know that I'm leaner and stronger than even a year ago. But I don't feel that way in my mind....I still laugh at the fact that if I didn't drink beer or eat McDonald's that I'd be scary thin! So my bad habits have kept me from wasting away to nothing.

...I wish that antidepressants didn't make me so relaxed that I eat myself into an oblivion. Though I suppose if I gained weight again, I'd have boobs that didn't look like the old lady's on There's Something About Mary (minus the horrid tan, mind you)........

Monday, July 07, 2008 New Camera For Me.....

.....I think my money is best spent elsewhere right now......
......the questions on whether I should buy a camera or get on happy pills were answered within two seconds this afternoon on Keystone Avenue.
......someone pass the cheese....cos there's going to be a lot of whine.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Tournament.... we went today. Here is a little snippet of me in action. I lost this sparring round, and wound up with third place out of four. I got first place in chanbara (padded swords) out of three women and third place out of five women in kata (think dancing with punches in kicks). Not a shabby showing, but feel like I could have done better. Let me just say that I'm crying laughing while I watch this!! Despite my hilarity at this, I do feel like I'm actually a contender. Moreso than when I went to the tournament in February. I've learned a lot. I do not take it as seriously as some of the women (the other in this video, for example) that come.

....Collin leaves for Boy Scout camp tomorrow morning. Aaron and Collin spent the last week amassing all of the necessary things. And it seems like the list was never-ending. Every time we turned around, we needed to shell out more money or go buy more stuff. But it will be worth it in the long run for him, I suppose. Poor Collin will never ever get an allowance though, at this rate. Or else he will certainly have to find some way of supplementing his income. Because he is getting expensive.

....last night found us drunk at the Fleck's house. Their new house is awesome for those with kids. They play either in the back yard or in their basement, and you NEVER know they're there unless they're asking for food. Given that there were about ten kids between everyone who was there, we got asked for food a lot. But it's better than in my house where we're all on top of eachother! It was a fun and relaxing time. And we stayed. Way. Too. Late.

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Way Of Life.....

....karate has become a way of life. Four of the Byers Five are now involved. And for the most part, we love it. Erin, however, has a perfectionist streak a mile long in her (have NO clue at all where she gets that from....*darts eyes, whistling*), so she frequently cries herself off the mat. Yep. Finally captured it. But what stinks is that I can't get her to realize that it's OK. And when she stays on the mat, she's very good!

....Griffin has been doing very well with staying on mat, and has been coming a long way with his skills. At their first gold belt class, Sensei actually accused me of teaching them stuff on the side. Which I'd honestly thought about, but hadn't done. Time so gets in the way.

.....So tomorrow is another tournament. I have convinced my buddy to come up with me, and in preparation, we climbed down into his wicked-cool basement to practice. We stretched out a bit before beginning, and then got our head-gear, hand and feet pads on to start sparring. We're getting into the groove and getting some good hits in on eachother, when he beans me in the eye. I shake it off, laughing. Is occupational hazard to get beaned when your mode of fun is hitting and kicking your friends. It doesn't hurt, really. So I take a breath, and we go at it again. We're working up a sweat, encouraging eachother on what we should do. He then hits me square in the nose, and I get my first bloody nose from sparring. It took me a bit longer to recover from that. We ended the sparring, but did a bit with the chanbara swords and kata. We shall see what happens tomorrow. My buddy is actually a lot better than he would ever give himself credit for. And what's funny is that he helps me see that in myself as well. Over the past few weeks I've learned that no one is going to push me as hard as I'm pushing myself. I really wish it were a bit different, but I think what I'm going to have to do is to figure out the right ways of getting others to help me be able to push myself in the right direction. I honestly could care less on whether I get my black belt two months from now or a year from now. I want someone to let me know how I can keep learning and bettering myself. If I can't get that, then it's tough for me to feel satisfaction from it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Aaron's Mini-Me...

...Griffin has totally always been Aaron's Mini-Me. I love this picture.

....It's been a long week. Have been feeling down in the dumps and incredibly grumpy...the familial units will attest to this. Am sometimes wondering whether life is too short to not be medicated.
....wishing you all a safe holiday!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Tuesday....

....not much ado Chez Byers. While my family was off galavanting to Scotty's Brewhouse (yes, they have a family space) for lunch, and the sprinkler park afterward, I was working. Sometimes I feel like I get a lot accomplished, and then other times I feel like I just spin my wheels. The interuptions are endless.
....So I'm still dreaming of all things Canon XSi. I took a gander at Best Buy tonight. We'll see. I'll likely end up with it sooner or later. Sooner, probably.
...but in the mean time, I think that I just need my buddy Matt to come and take all my pictures for me. He took this photo of Erin, and I. Heart. It.
... OK, off to buy the Field Guide to my camera. That's another thing that Matt and Nay have suggested. Perhaps if I can total figure out what my camera is capable of, I won't feel the burning need to buy another one. I doubt it, but less than 100 bucks between a private class and a field guide might just be what I need.
....Oh, and finally, I will be taking a much needed vacation! I have booked us for three nights at Orchard Beach State Park in Michigan. The campground is just stairs away from the beaches of Lake Michigan. We'll see. It might be hell on earth, but I'd like to think that we'll get away and relax.