Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year - from a Boar!

I couldn't resist pulling up my Chinese New Year Horoscope this morning...It almost brought me to tears when I read it... I really must go get ready for work now and stop procrastinating

Pig Overview
The Pig has many opportunities to shine this year. Your generous nature is apparent in all aspects of your life. It is an admired quality that people respect. This year, your inherent generosity plays a large role in areas that you may not even be aware and may pave the way to a possible career change. You have an abundance of friends and you are well loved by your family. this year will only enhance these relations. One area that may create some issues is that you seem to overextend yourself to a point where there isn't any time left for you. This could lead to a change in priorities and could promote some better organizational skills.

Pig Rating
53% (2 favorable 9 neutral and 1 unfavorable month)

Pig Career
The Pig may feel complacency in your current job position. This could be a year that you may need a change towards something that is more suitable for your needs. You may gravitate towards something that is more of a position that provides service to others, perhaps a non-profit organization or a customer service based position. Your busy schedule will also play a part in your work. You may be forced to choose between certain activities, as there are only seven, not eight days in a week. Whatever the course may be for your career, you will fit in well with your endearing personality.

Pig Relationships
Personally, 2009 will be a year that the Pig will enjoy much happiness. Both your social and domestic life will be endearing to you, providing you with encouragement and advice. Your family and friends will be the source of many memorable occasions this year. For the unattached Pig, there will be some romantic opportunities. Be careful who you let into your circle, as you tend to give others too much credit. July is a particularly favorable month for all Pigs.

Pig Health
The Pig would do well to watch your health this year. There may be an unforeseen incident that arises sometime during the year, most likely in late April or early May. This may cause you to look at your habits relating to your health. One area in particular is your diet. This year could provide a change in your eating habits, which could help other areas of your health.

Pig Wealth
There may be times this year when you are uncertain about your financial future, but there are things in your life that take precedence over money. You will be taken care of, but there may be times of financial uncertainty. A change will come in the second half of the year that will provide greater financial comfort and allow you to live at a means that is more accustomed to your liking. Be patient, as the change will come.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Heart Song

This song has been running through my heart for a while. I don't know where we will find ourselves at next but I know that God knows and this gives me great comfort. I read something this morning from my Grace for the Moment Devotional that struck a chord and rings so true to my heart....

"My kingdom does not belong to this world. John 18:36" Unhappiness on earth cultivates a hunger for heaven. By gracing us with a deep dissatisfaction, God holds our attention. The only tragedy, then, is to be satisfied prematurely. To settle for earth. To be content in a strange land....We are not happy here because we are not at home here. We are not happy here because we are not supposed to be happy here. We are "like foreigners and strangers in this world"(1 Peter 2:11)...And you will never be completely happy on earth simply because you were not made for earth. Oh, you will have your moments of joy. You will catch glimpses of light. You will know moments or even days of peace. But they simply do not compare with the happiness that lies ahead. When God Whispers Your Name

...and today's devotional A HEART LIKE HIS
"we are like clay and you are the potter; your hands made us all." Isaiah 64:8
God wants us to be just like Jesus. Isn't that good news? You aren't stuck with today's personality. You aren't condemned to "grumpydom" You are tweakable. Even if you've worried each day of your life, you needn't worry the rest of your life. So what if you were born a bigot? You don't have to die one. Where did we get the idea that we can't change? From whence come statements such as, "It's just my nature to worry" or, "I'll always be pessimistic. I'm just that way."...Who says? Would we make similar statements about our bodies? "It's just my nature to have a broken leg. I can't do anything about it." Of course not. If our bodies malfunction, we seek help. Shouldn't we do the same with our hearts? Shouldn't we seek aid for our sour attitudes? Can't we request treatment for our selfish tirades? Of course we can. Jesus can change our hearts. He wants us to have a heart like his. Just Like Jesus

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In GOD We Trust, All others we monitor

I am an optimist (most of the time) but today is a sad day for me. Its hard to watch an end of an era come without some reflection on the past. GW has been our faithful leader since he became Govenor of Texas in 1994. 15 years of leadership under his wing. I wish him and Lady Laura all the very best in their new Texas home. I hope he left Washington with a sense of peace. I hope he leaves with his sense of self intact and his faith as his guide. The same smiling faces that greeted him coming in 8 years ago are now greeting a new President and a new era is beginning. Will a difference be made? GW had such great hope for our nation and look where we are now. And all because of greed and selfishness. Where are we headed as a nation? Only God knows. If this is the beginning to the end we all know how that story plays out. It is a promise worth more than anything. It is hope. Hope trumps fear on any day, in any place, at any time. May God Bless America Always.

Friday, January 16, 2009

YO-YO of emotions

Yesterday I should have known something was up when I was in a really really good mood on the way to work. It was an off feeling after a week of being in the blahs. I just felt HAPPY like everything was going to be matter what. Well by midafternoon I felt like the tide was starting to turn and my emotional outlook was boiling....turbulent and restless would describe it very nicely. My dear sweet hubs was caught right in the brunt of my emotional distress and didn't know what was going on. We took a midafternoon jaunt to Lowe's after dropping the SUV off at the dealership to repair a broken hinge on the back window. We were planning on purchasing knobs for our kitchen cabinet...we even got so far as picking out some really nice one and counting them out...then I had a major meltdown when we figured up the cost. While $90 may not seem much it suddenly hit me that every bit and piece we are putting into our house is just another chunk of our savings that we are giving away. We are going to be LUCKY if we can give our house away. It is an "investment" that went bad...way bad.

We have been thinking about the future and what the next few months will bring. Scott will retire on March 20th and then we embark upon a new life. A whole new life in the midst of a recession. The dream of moving to Texas has pretty much been shot down. I've come to the realization that my mom needs me closer so after 20 years of being away I am finally making the effort to move closer but we are finding that even that may not be possible. Finding jobs and an affordable house in Arkansas is turning out to be a lot more difficult than we ever dreamed.

So what happens now? Where do we go from here? We can't live here on one income and we can't move with zero income. The job market here is not all that great either but at least I am still working so that is something to be thankful for. We may have to stay here longer than we had ever hoped and that is something I am trying to figure out how to be thankful for. We are now two years into a 5 year ARM loan and we have one year to move and have it paid for by the AF. After August Cody will be starting his senior year...our window of opportunity to move away from here shrinks more and more every day.

So am I a bit out of whack or what???

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Sure we have been experiencing some serious cold this week...with temps somewhere around -44 with wind chill. Why that just means we are a ginormic gourmet refrigerator! With winters that last somewhere around 7 months the residents here never get old...just well preserved! :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chatter from the North (will post translation on Friday)

Oop Nort Dere
This should take you a minute or two!!!!!If you can read this, you are a TRUE MINNESOOTIN!*
Ven Two Minnesootins Meet Oop Nort On Da Lake Fichen!
Crieps, cetchenenny?
Oofda, ittenard?
Oh, Vachadrinkin?
Da Ent!!!
If you can't read this, translation can be supplied by Opp Nort

Tuesday, January 13, 2009



"Sorry, but I'm suffering from a biochemical imbalance of my hypothalamus triggered by a melatonin deficiency in my pineal gland."
When the days start getting shorter and colder, and the nights longer and darker, many people start to suffer from winter depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.) We outline some strategies for dealing with those winter blues.
Cheer up, you have a recognized medical condition: It might seems like curious advice, but for many sufferers the effects of SAD are greatly exacerbated by the fact that they just can't understand why they feel so darned miserable, and blame themselves for their grumpiness rather than a genuine mood disorder.
Thanks, however, to the pioneering work of U.S. doctor Norman E. Rosenthal -- who coined the term SAD in 1984 -- it is now widely acknowledged that winter depression has a sound medical basis, involving changes in the body's mood centers brought on by shorter daylight hours and a lack of sunlight.
If anyone accuses you of being a surly misanthrope between the months of November to February, you can justify yourself with words to the effect of: "Sorry, but I'm suffering from a biochemical imbalance of my hypothalamus triggered by a melatonin deficiency in my pineal gland. So get off my back!"
Cheer up even more, you're one of many. One of the worst aspects of any form of depressive illness is the sense of utter isolation and loneliness it induces.
There is thus some comfort to be drawn by SAD sufferers from the fact that you are surrounded by people who feel equally grouchy and nihilistic around this time of year. In the UK, according to the SAD Association, 500,000 people experience some form of winter depression, while in Sweden doctors have estimated that 20 percent of the population -- almost 2 million people -- are affected. One of the earliest descriptions of SAD comes from the Sixth Century chronicler Jordanes who, in his Origin and Deeds of the Goths, describes the excessively gloomy winter disposition of the inhabitants of Scandza, or Scandanavia.
Get more light: Without doubt the most effective clinically proven remedy for SAD is "light therapy," which has been shown to benefit some 80-85 percent of cases. Simple as it sounds this actually involves rather more than just turning on a light and sitting beside it for a while twiddling your thumbs as renewed cheer inexorably suffuses your being.
The average domestic or office light emits a paltry 200-500 lux (a lux is a unit of illuminance,) whereas a minimum of 2,500 lux is required to alleviate the symptoms of SAD. For the record, a clear summer's day can reach an intensity of 100,000 lux.
Fortunately, specially designed light boxes have been developed that emit precisely the right amount of illumination. These can be bought from specialist retailers and, at their most basic, cost around $190 (£100.) By sitting in front of one for a certain period each day -- 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the severity of your conditions -- symptoms gradually subside. Sadly, though, you won't be left with a suntan.
Try drugs or therapy: While greater light exposure is far and away the best treatment for SAD, addressing as it does root causes rather than just symptoms, both anti-depressant drugs and psychotherapy have also proved helpful to sufferers, especially those with especially severe symptoms. If you wish to go down this route you should seek advice from a medical professional, or else contact one of the many SAD support organizations that exist around the world (type Seasonal Affective Disorder help into an Internet search engine for an exhaustive list of such organizations.)
Move south (or north) for the winter: This may or may not be practical, depending on your circumstances, but studies have shown that the incidence of SAD increases dramatically the further north, or south, you go from 30 degrees of latitude. The condition is virtually unheard of in the Tropics, on the other hand, and it therefore stands to reason that a move to anywhere in the vicinity of the Equator for the duration of the winter should go a long way towards improving your mood (although whether three months in Mogadishu will completely cure you of the blues is uncertain.)
Watch Lawrence of Arabia, over and over again: Unlikely as it sounds, research has shown that winter depressives who watch films featuring warm, sunny, summery climates show demonstrable improvements in mood. Anything with clear blue cloudless skies, palm trees and an absence of snow ploughs should do, although with its endless shimmering desert vistas and eye-watering three and a half hour running time, David Lean's 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia probably offers the most intensive movie therapy available.
Watching cricket or golf can, apparently, have the same mood-enhancing effect. Over-exposure to snooker, darts and indoor bowling on the other hand, has been known to bring on a state of depressive, trance-like catatonia that, in severe cases, culminates in complete mental breakdown.

Monday, January 12, 2009

ND Winter Humor

True Meaning of Temperatures in North Dakota

60 above zero: Floridians turn on the heat. People in North
Dakota plant gardens.
(I planted pansies and johnny jump ups on Saturday - it was somewhere around zero out)
50 above zero: Californians shiver uncontrollably. People in
North Dakota sunbathe.
40 above zero: Italian & English cars won't start. People in
North Dakota drive with the windows down.
32 above zero: Distilled water freezes. The water in North
Dakota gets thicker.
20 above zero: Floridians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves,
wool hats. People in North Dakota throw on a flannel shirt.
15 above zero: New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in North Dakota have the last cookout before it gets cold.
Zero: ; People in Miami all die. People in North Dakota
close the windows.
10 below zero: Californians fly away to Mexico People in North
Dakota get out their winter coats.
25 below zero: Hollywood disintegrates. The Girl Scouts in North
Dakota are selling cookies door to door.
40 below zero: Washington DC runs out of hot air. People in
North Dakota let the dogs sleep indoors.
100 below zero: Santa Claus abandons the North Pole. North Dakotan's
get upset because they can't start the Mini-Van.
460 below zero: ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero on the Kelvin
scale.) People in North Dakota start saying..."Cold 'nuff fer ya?"
500 below zero: Hell freezes over. North Dakota public schools will
open 2 hours late.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I was tagged by Dusty the other day to post the fourth photo from the fourth album on my computer. I have put all my photos onto an external notebook so this is one from way back. It is Christmas 1996 and we are at Scott's Mom and Dad's house in Albany. This is one of our rare Christmases spent with Mike and Sarah. I think they were passing through Minnesota that year for a visit to their Mom's sister.

Yes, for all ya'll out there that didn't know - Scott had two kids and was still married when I met him. (We were well into our relationship before I knew this) He got married in the Phillipines. We met in San Antonio in 1992.

We rarely see them at all now. Mike now lives in Wisconsin and Sarah lives in Missouri with her Mom. There are a lot of history that I could share but this is not the time or place. If your curious just ask.

Total ICE-solation

Today marks the second year of our arrival to Grand Forks. That memory is burned into my memory for life. We left Albany that morning to temps in the mid 30s, as we drove the 3.5 hours to Grand Forks we watched as the temp gauge on the SUV progressively dropped into the sub zero range. The kids and I had never experienced sub zero before so when we arrived in Grand Forks, opened the car door and received our first icy blast of north wind it literally took our breath away. It felt like a knife stabbing into our lungs.

Today as I reflect back over the past two years I still have that same feeling of total isolation that we felt when we arrived. Who in their right minds would live here on this tundra of frigid northern valley? What were we thinking to come here?

I have never felt so alone in my life as I do here. My family is far far away and we only see Scott's family when we go visit them or their very rare visits here. Last time they came here was October. No one wants to come here in winter. No one wants to be here in winter. But those that can't get away are stuck here until spring thaw...whenever that may be. As I sit here looking out my window at the 5 ft snow drift outside the window I wonder just what spring is going to be like. They are predicting floods similar to that of the big one in 97' We still have months of snowfall ahead of us before spring comes. The snow so far has come from the west; it is dry and fluffy. The heavy snow comes when there is a storm from the south. So the guys that I work with are saying we haven't seen anything yet. The icy blast coming down next week is something the guys I work with have never seen here before. I think they always overdramatize things a bit but the last few storms they have actually been pretty accurate on so I don't plan on any outside activities in the upcoming week. With that said, Scott is helping his brother Joel this weekend to put siding on the outside of his sunporch. He needs it completed before he can refinance his house. Its a great time to refinance but I don't see paying a $4000 closing cost just to lower my interest rate a percent or two a huge savings. I cannot see why it costs so much to change paperwork. I deal with finacial paperwork all day every day and I know it can be done. Between you and me I think America is getting scammed. The American dream is dead and our futures are an uncertain abyss. I am just full of optimism and cheer today aren't I? Just rambling my thoughts and putting them on record. Thats the way it rolls. Peace out!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Survival Mode

Well, its official. The winter blahs have set in. Its a long time till spring and I am already getting that cooped up feeling and all I want to do is hibernate the winter away. If I could just sleep till spring I would be totally happy...but I have to get up each day and go to work at the NWS and hear yet again how cold it is and how cold it is going to is one thing to feel it in your bones but to sit and hear it ALL DAY is just about to drive me crazy. We are supposed to have a record breaking cold front come through next week...So if I lose it and start to ramble on about crazy things at random just chalk it up to winter taking yet another victim. I don't mean to be negative but this is how it rolls. Happy Winter Ya'll!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Tell me WHY...

Now tell these look like the faces of criminals to you? They even came wrapped in the smell of sweetness and baby powder...
But now check out the bondage that they had to been unleashed from before they could be given the much deserved hugs and cuddles that they require

Now tell me...what child age 2 and up other than baby hudini himself can unleash these sweet babes from their packaging??? takes Mom and Dad and some pliers and much perserverence to get the multiple layers of bondage from around their sweet little necks and feet...this is just wrong. Wrong I tell you. These kids are under tighter security than most national prisons. Why??? Why are these toys being subjected to such unjust and cruel punishment...not to mention the cruelty to parents that have to release them from their prisons before they can truly become a gift worthy of giving.