Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snowmageddon - January 28 - ??? 2014

Yes, I realize that 4 inches of snow is not very much in comparison to what other areas of the country receive on a regular basis during the winter months.  But for Atlanta - it causes a serious clusterf*ck.

I work for a company that is located in Atlanta, just south of Turner Field, on University Avenue.  We were released from work at noon to go home.  Being that I live all the way out in Carroll County, I should have left around 11am, as the snow storm was hitting out there first, and I was told the snow was already coming down and sticking around that time.  My boss also lives in Carrollton, and we were going to leave at 11:30.  But I didn't want to leave before everyone else, as some people just don't seem to understand why it would have been appropriate for some of us to leave earlier than they could, and I just didn't want to have to hear the bitching that would just be never ending.

And yes, I understand that no one can force anyone to stay at work when they feel that they need to leave due to hazardous conditions.  Those that chose to stay until we were released, did so because they were concerned that they wouldn't be paid for the missed time if they chose to leave before being released.  (our company is typically quite generous when closing for weather conditions, and pays us for the days we are out of work, provided that we are there until they release us or that we leave with their blessings)

My boss left a few minutes before I did, and kept me in the loop on what to expect on the road - it was not good.  Here's what it looked like at Lee Road on I-20:

And, here's what it looked like about 7 miles further down the road, by the Highway 5 exit:

10 miles further down I-20, the Villa Rica/Carrollton exit:

That's my exit - took me about 15 minutes to move off the exit.  My whole ride home took 3 hours (my normal commute is about 1 hour 15 minutes).  I also got into a little fender bender when I was only a few miles away from home - this little old man backed his big old pick-up truck into the front end of my little car, but miraculously there was no damage to either vehicle so we both went on our way.

I also had a scare when I was trying to turn off Hwy 16 - I braked and started skidding, so I let off the gas, straightened up and passed up my turn.  I went down to a local church and turned around, and made it home safely.  

Work was called off yesterday and today, and we just have cabin fever.  But better safe than sorry.

I hope that all my readers are safe and sound and warm!

Here's some photos of my boys, out in the snow:


                                                    Dominion, smiling!

                                                   My son, Steven

                                                  Dominion in the front, Gabriel has that "derp face" look

                                                     Dominion in the backyard

                                                  Gabriel in the backyard

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Warning Signs of an Abuser

There's been something weighing on me for a while now, and I wanted to talk about it.  It has to do with abusive relationships.  I was in one, as many of you know, for far too long.  There were signs before I married him, and I knew they were red flags, but I chose to ignore them.  Throughout the course of my first marriage, I experienced most of the things on the list below that I took from Dear Abby - take a quick look at the warning signs of an abuser:

(1) PUSHES FOR QUICK INVOLVEMENT: Comes on strong, claiming, I've never felt loved like this by anyone. An abuser pressures the new partner for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.

(2) JEALOUS: Excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly; prevents you from going to work because you might meet someone; checks the mileage on your car.

(3) CONTROLLING: If you are late, interrogates you intensively about whom you talked to and where you were; keeps all the money; insists you ask permission to go anywhere or do anything.

(4) UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: Expects you to be the perfect mate and meet his or her every need.

(5) ISOLATION: Tries to isolate you from family and friends; accuses people who are your supporters of causing trouble. The abuser may deprive you of a phone or car, or try to prevent you from holding a job.

(6) BLAMES OTHERS FOR PROBLEMS OR MISTAKES: It's always someone else's fault if something goes wrong.

(7) MAKES OTHERS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OR HER FEELINGS: The abuser says, You make me angry instead of I am angry, or says, You're hurting me by not doing what I tell you.

(8) HYPERSENSITIVITY: Is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he or she is really mad. Rants about the injustice of things that are just a part of life.

(9) CRUELTY TO ANIMALS OR CHILDREN: Kills or punishes animals brutally. Also may expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability (whips a 3-year-old for wetting a diaper) or may tease them until they cry. Sixty-five percent of abusers who beat their partners will also abuse children.

(10) PLAYFUL USE OF FORCE DURING SEX: Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will during sex; finds the idea of rape exciting.

(11) VERBAL ABUSE: Constantly criticizes or says blatantly cruel things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names. This may also involve sleep deprivation, waking you with relentless verbal abuse.

(12) RIGID GENDER ROLES: Expects you to serve, obey, remain at home.

(13) SUDDEN MOOD SWINGS: Switches from sweet to violent in minutes.

(14) PAST BATTERING: Admits to hitting a mate in the past, but says the person made him (or her) do it.

(15) THREATS OF VIOLENCE: Says things like, I'll break your neck or I'll kill you, and then dismisses them with, Everybody talks that way, or I didn't really mean it.

Readers, if you feel you are at risk, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or  And remember folks - the abuser doesn't have to be a man - there are plenty of female abusers out there, men are just often times too ashamed to admit that their female partners are abusing them.

The reason this subject is again weighing on my mind and my heart, is that I am seeing some signs of this in someone else's relationship.  The jealousy, the controlling things, the isolation from family and friends.  It really is sad to see. 

If you read this and you think I'm talking about your relationship - do something about it, within your relationship.  Don't bother me with denying that you are abusive, or justifying your abusive actions - there's nothing you can say to convince me that what you are doing is okay. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

January 11, 2014 - Can we say "Random?"

Yes, today is really gonna be a random, picture blog kind of day!

Today is Brian's first day back at drill since returning from Kosovo in September 2012.  Yes, it's been over a year, because of his shoulder surgery last January, and then the accident in June last year that gave him 2 surgeries on his elbow.  I can't even imagine what he goes through with that, other than what he shares with me, and he doesn't always share everything when it comes to his aches and pains and "feel bads".  I just know - he has a harder time with the arm than I think he's willing to admit to us.

We are having rain, a small amount of thunder, and most of the northern half of the state has a tornado watch in effect until some time later this afternoon.

Here's a picture of the visibility from last night - foggy and a very heavy misty rain:

We were forecast this past Sunday night with an 80% chance of snow.  This is what I woke up to Monday morning:

That was our snow - looks more like sea salt - and it wasn't ice pellets, it was actually snow that had clumped together like little pellets.  I didn't take a photo of the snow on my car, but it kinda looked like tiny Styrofoam ball pellets.  It snowed some on my way to work, at least until I got to Douglasville, and it snowed on and off at work but of course nothing stuck. 

We got a freebie day at work on Tuesday - the temps dropped down to around 5 degrees, with a wind chill of 13 below zero, so the boss man decided he didn't want the employees out in the cold.  I didn't find it to feel as cold as it should have, but then again every time I went out I had my heavy coat, gloves, and a hat on.

Here's Dominion, waiting on us to come to bed one of those cold nights:

After graduating from USC in 1991, our vehicles are finally adorned with front license plates to support our team!

We got $ for Christmas from my mom and stepdad, and this is one of the things we bought with it - an area rug for the living room:

We needed a rug, to absorb the sound from the TV, and also so the pups would have something to lay on.  Dominion paces a lot because he doesn't like the floor, and we've noticed Gabriel has trouble getting comfortable laying on the floors, so the rug is an option to try to keep them off the furniture.  It doesn't always work, however:

While talking to Brian on the phone this morning, Dominion made some cute poses and faces, as he knew I was talking to his "daddy".  The best one I missed, because as soon as I got my phone ready, he got up and walked to the window.  However, I got this one of him, and it was perfect, as he turned his head to me right as the camera was clicking the picture:

Steven had long hair for quite a while, it surprised me that he let it grow as long as he did:

It surprised me even more when he decided to cut it off:
Brian aggravates him about his hair, telling him he's going to shave his head or cut it all off, but this haircut was 100% Steven's idea.  He texted me while I was at work and asked when he could get his hair cut.  I took him that night after dinner.  He said he was tired of spending 20+ minutes blowing it dry every day.  I certainly know the feeling, which is why I usually let mine air dry.

Here's another pic of Steven from the night we ate at Joe's Crab Shack - he'd never had a steam pot before:
He was the only one that wore a bib.  Too bad it didn't cover his pants, as he ended up spilling the melted butter all over the table and his shorts.  Oh well, that's what detergent is for!

The pet rat finally has a name - meet Jerry!

Steven came up with the name - Jerry from Tom and Jerry.  Yes I know, the rat doesn't look like Jerry, but that's ok.  He's still pretty skittish, but will let me pet him.  Gabriel still wants to eat him.  He loves pears.

Had a rough night last night - Gabriel was up sick all night.  He's like a child when he doesn't feel well - he wants to cuddle with mommy.  He is so restless when he has a sick stomach - on and off the bed, moving all over the bed, cannot get comfortable.  He at least has the sense to jump off the bed when he starts throwing up.  Had a lengthy episode around 2:40am, and another shorter episode around 4:30am.  

Clydie and I went out today - had to get my toes did, do a little shopping and had lunch out.  The weather ended up being very nice - had started out rainy and comfortable, and ended up sunshiny and downright warm.  I actually had to turn on the A/C for a few minutes when we got home because it was really warm in the house.

Well folks, hope you enjoyed the randomness of my mind today.  Nothing important going on at the moment, just a hodge-podge of stuff.  Have a great rest of the weekend!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wow, it's 2014!  And so far, I haven't written or typed the wrong year yet.  Yes, I know, the year is young, and I will inevitably screw it up at some point, but that's ok.  I don't really care.

My mom and her husband went back to England yesterday.  They won't be back until May.  I am just so emotionally spent whenever she leaves - I don't know why I get so upset and carry on like I do, I love her and miss her horribly, but I know she will be back home.  It just isn't the same without her here, though. 

Of course she had to plan her trip back when I'm in the throes of PMS.  I am just in a funk and want to stay in bed, with my heating pad and some good pain pills, and mope around, but that's just not me.  I spent entirely too many days moping around and in bed previously in my life, and laying around being depressed just doesn't do anything for me.  It was a great escape from my life back then, but I'm no longer like that.  I enjoy my life and don't want to miss a thing.  But there are days like today that laying in bed, with the heating pad and drugs, are really tempting.

It's supposed to snow tonight - 80% chance.  Temps will drop to the 20's, and the wind chills are going to be obscenely low, too.  Tuesday morning the temp in Carrollton is supposed to be 6, with a wind chill of -13.  Yes that's NEGATIVE 13 degrees!!!  I don't know that I've ever experienced temperatures or wind chills that cold before.  I suppose I will pull out my knit hat and scarf to wear, in the event we are able to go to work tomorrow and Tuesday.  Something tells me that tomorrow, I will likely be heading in late, to give anything frozen on the roads a chance to thaw, or for road crews to do something about any icy patches.  Tuesday, we will just wait and see.

I have a favor to ask of all my pet-owning friends - please make sure your furbabies are inside, warm and dry.  If for some reason you cannot bring them inside your home, please make room for them in your garage, or make sure they have warm shelter elsewhere.  I know not everyone has the ability to have their pets inside their homes, but for these extremely cold nights/mornings, please make an exception.  If you are cold outside, they are cold outside!  Even though my babies are Siberian Huskies and enjoy the cooler temps, they are indoor pets and I would never dream of leaving them outside in the cold.

Y'all stay warm and dry, and drive safely if you must drive tonight or tomorrow!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Out with the negative, in with the positives.....

Or at least, that's how I'd like this year to be. 

I saw that quote on Facebook last week, and decided to create a pretty version of it to print out, frame, and put on my desk at work.  I deal with a lot of negativity at work, and while I can understand where it is coming from to an extent and even participate in it at times, it really is a draining, downer experience to have to hear it every day, multiples times per day.  So, if you're reading this, and you work with me - if you start getting negative with me and I point to my sign - shush, smile and take your negativity someplace else please.  Positive vibes only for me!

And that's pretty much my motto.  Stressing about things only produces gray hair, wrinkles and upset stomachs.  That's not to say I don't get stressed out or upset when things don't go the way I think they should, cause great googly moogly I do and can be the queen of freaking out.  I try to pick my battles, so to speak, and have to decide what's worth the stressing over and what's not.  One great example was at my wedding - the cake had not arrived as scheduled - I had not even noticed, because I was more focused on the friends and family and what we were there for, not a silly cake.  Someone mentioned it to me and I very calmly called the bakery - the owner was not pleased with how her apprentice had decorated the cake, so she had scraped the cake down and redid it, and would be on her way shortly.  She arrived during the ceremony, and my aunt assisted the bakery folks in placing the cake in the appropriate place and all was fine.  The cake was NOT decorated how I had asked for it to be done, but it was still a pretty cake and tasted good, too.  Some of my friends just could not believe that I wasn't all upset about the cake being late, but I was like "what good would it have done to fret over it?  It still showed up in time for us to cut and serve it, and to me the day was about the vows and my husband, not about some silly confection."

I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore, as they never last and I never stick with them.  But I think I will stick with the pushing out the negative and maintaining the positive idea.  It's a great one, and one that a lot more people should practice.