Monday, December 29, 2008

The year in review

2008 has been a whirlwind year. I know pretty much everyone will agree with me on this, as a child we think that the years tick by so slowly, then as we get older they tend to travel in a pretty normal time. Now that we are adults all we can think is , wow where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday we were still trying to remember to date our check with 2008. In just 2 short days we will be in the year 2009.

What has the past year brought to my small family? Well in March or April I found out I was going to be an aunt. Also in March Jake and I celebrated our 12 year anniversary.

In May I started bloging, played in my first roller derby bout, and hit a deer.

In June the inaugural season for the Stateline Divas concluded.

In July we found out one of our teammates was heading to Denver and wished her well, only to be left with a feeling of betrayal a few months later when she joined a rival league to spend her last few months in Illinios with. We understood her reasons for doing so, it just didn't make the hurt any easier to deal with.

In August Jake and I traveld to Iowa. The first real motorcycle trip we have taken since moving up here in 2002. We went with my aunt and uncle their friends and our neighbors. We had a great time away from home on the road and look forward to more trips in the future.

In August My roller derby team also started the process of reinventing ourselves with new skaters and a new board of directors.

In October my constant search for a new job was given a boost of urgency with the announcement that my company was going to be relocating to Florida.

November and December came and brought with them falling gas prices, a historical presidential election, a new niece named Lyndi, well as another Illinois govenor arrested on corruption charges. Another revelation brought to me in December was the fact that in just 5 short months I will mark the 15 year anniversary of my high school graduation.

Well that is all that I can honestly remember about 2008, though I am sure there were more events that will come to me later.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Who says the parking lot is full?

Jake and I went out to eat today. We drove around the parking lot looking for an open space, there was one couple pulling out so we waited. After they had left Jake noticed that they had been taking up two parking spaces. Now I really couldn't fault them as one of the spaces was half filled with the snow the plows had piled up, Jake on the other hand declared "That is what 4-wheel drive is for." and pulled in, climbing the small hill. "There, now if anyone else decides to eat here, they can have front door parking as well."No one parked beside us. I think they were worried we would slide into them from the side, but if you look we are parked inside the lines.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cabin Fever

I feel as if I have been stuck in the house for too long. Oh, sure I have gone to work and to the store, but I haven't seen any of my friends in over a week, and we haven't had practice since either the 12th or 15th, it has been so long, I can't even remember. I am feeling trapped. The good news is though that my kitchen counter is no longer a catch all, at least for the next few weeks. Now I have to work on the living room.

On another note, I have slowly been upgrading my wardrobe (if you can call a closet full of t-shirts a wardrobe). I decided that if I am applying to all of these office type positions I had better start dressing the part. I really hate clothes shopping. I can never find what I like in a cut that looks good on me. The hardest part about starting to dress grown up is I am going to have to learn how to do my hair, and make up. I haven't worn make up in so long, the only make up I have really ever worn was eye liner and mascara.

Anyone want to teach a tomboy how to apply make up?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Luck, Smuck!

I swear, if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all. Sunday morning, very early Sunday morning I was driving home from staking with a few friends. We were having some really heavy winds and of course a snow storm. I was doing fine, driving down a road that only had one lane open, huge snow drifts the size of my car were in the other lane. I wasn't going fast, but I kept enough speed so my little Accent would not get stuck halfway through one of the drifts. I was just topping a rise when I saw ahead of me a car in the ditch and a squad car on the road with it's lights on. I took my foot off the accelerator, didn't even touch the break. Apparently the loss of momentum was all the evil snow drifts were waiting for. The next drift I hit I bounced off of instead of plowing through. I ended up in the ditch as well, only looking the way I had just came.

It wasn't as bad as it sounds. I was only a foot or so off the road, I got out of the car and cleared a path for my front tires and was able to drive back out onto the road. I got out of the car and took stock. I had what appeared to be a softball sized dent in the front driver's side quarter panel, low, between the wheel well and the door. No biggie, but the door is a bit hard to open. When I get home and look at the damage in the day light it still doesn't look to bad, but every time I open the door it catches on the fender. After opening the door for 3 days it is really bad. I can now only open my door half way and the dent has gotten much worse. Now I have to call the insurance company. I really hate calling the insurance company, that just means I am going to have another bill and be without my car.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An Interview.

Jane posted this earlier this week and I haven't posted in a while so I thought I'd give it a go.

1.) If you were set for life with money and never had to work for a living again in order to keep the lifestyle you currently have, what would you do? Would you work, and where? If not, what would you do with your free time?

Yes, I would work. Depending on where we ended up living I would work part time in a book store. A mom and pop type of book store where I could put in 20 hours a week and still know when the newest releases came out.

2.) On the motorcycle, for you, personally - helmet or no helmet and why? For everyone else, legislated by the state, helmet law or no helmet law and why?
Personally, Helmet. A couple of reasons. First I bounced my head off the street a few years ago when an idiot with no tail lights stopped right in front of me and the entire driving lane I was in was covered in oil. Secondly, I hate trying to comb my hair out of all the tangles. No matter how well I think I have pulled it back, it still gets all tangled up. I think it should be a personal choice for people over the age of 18 and their families. Just because you are wearing a helmet doesn't mean it's going to save you when the time comes. Maybe your destiny is to be an example for someone else.

3.) Have you ever been in love with a car? If so, what was your first car-love, and did you ever own it?
I don't think you could call it love, but I really like the VW Beatles, especially the convertibles. I haven't ever owned one though. If I never get one, it won't be a big deal either. Now Motorcycles is another story. I Love the Heritage Softail Classic, with the big windshield, three head lights and all that leather. Dream bike that I one day hope to have.

4.) What is the largest city you would feel comfortable living in? What is the smallest town/most rural area you'd feel comfortable living in?
The largest would be something the size of Rockford, and that is even too big really. I don't mind visiting and being close enough that I can run to town, but I am not a big crowd person. Smallest...see that farm house out there as you are driving through the country? The one whose closest neighbour is a half mile away? now see that the nearest town is 10 to 15 miles away. That's what I want. Lots of room to move, no one peeping in my window.

5.) Do you have tattoos? What and where? Do you ever plan on getting one/more?
Nope, no tattoos. I have thought about getting one for many years, something with a dragon in it, but I have never gotten around to getting one, probably won't happen any time soon if ever. If I did get one it would be on my right leg, above my ankle, though.

Bored and looking for ways to pass your day? Care to play along?
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow

I am not going to say I hate the snow. I actually love how pretty it is, especially when it hasn't been disturbed yet. I don't mind driving in it as long as there isn't much traffic and the drifts are minimal. With that being said it has been snowing since about 2-2:30 and it is now ten till midnight. The projected accumulation is 3 to 5 inches. Of course it will have stopped by the time I have to go to work tomorrow and the roads, major roads that is, will be passably clear. Just in time for another round of freezing rain and snow again on Thursday. The only problem I am currently having with our weather is that it chooses practice days to dump on us.

Well, stay warm and dry everyone.

And mom, I still like four seasons up here better than the two down there. Love you.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Too much to do, too little time.

Isn't that always the case? First off it didn't help that I spent over an hour and a half at Wal-Mart waiting for a prescription refill, that I was told would only take a half hour. I will say I was able to get all of my Christmas cards addressed, and about half of them stamped before I ran out of postage. I also got one package packed, addressed and sealed All that's left is to take it to the post office on Monday.

Yesterday we had 3 parties we were invited to attend, and of course all of them started at the same time and were in 3 different towns. So we opted to go to the party we had already paid for. Jake's shift party is always fun. We had a great dinner and got to watch lots of drunken karaoke before someone walked into the stand holding the monitor causing the small (thank goodness) T.V. to fall to the ground. Luckily the D.J. wasn't too upset and continued to play dance music the rest of the night.

To day is another day of laundry and dishes. With only two of us and the fact we hardly ever are at home to eat a meal it is pointless to do dishes every day so we end up doing them when we run out of clean ones.

Then I also have to run to the store for food for the week. Yeah the day is already half over and here I sit in my p.j.s blogging. ☺

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not Surprised, but still disapointed

Yesterday the Governor of Illinois was arrested for trying to auction off a senate seat to the highest bidder. While I am not surprised that he is corrupt it saddens me that the main reason I am so mad at him is that he let one of my friends down.

For the last few months My friend and I have had a difference of opinion about how the Gov was handling a budget crisis. He chose to close several state parks around the state, including 2 just down the road. What he failed to realize is that while some parks he was closing were not making money others were in fact pulling in a profit. I could see the good business practice of closing a park that could not support itself but closing something that was making money just didn't sit right with me. Yes I know it was a political play to get a budget approved by closing parks in one specific area, the area of the party you were fighting against, but come on. There are other areas that could have been cut. Say for instance the money spent flying back and forth to Chicago from Springfield, and how many planes was it reported were at the Governor's beck and call?

No, my friends, I am not sad because yet another Illinois Governor has been arrested what saddens me the most is how he has made my friend feel.

Shame on you Mr. Blagojevich.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Oh Lazy Day

For the longest time now it seems as if we have been constantly running, all week it's been work and derby, then on the weekends Its been hunting, friends and more roller derby. This weekend I have left the house once. I debated about leaving today to deliver some items to Jake's mother, but decided he could take it to her tomorrow.

Although I really just wanted to stay in bed this whole weekend I have been slowly working my way through a mountain of laundry and playing stupid games on line. I have also been catching up on my writing. I am all caught up on the things I needed to respond to.

I think this is the first weekend I have actually relaxed a bit, the sad part is that because I have relaxed my weekend away Monday is now much closer than is comfortable.

Boo to you Monday, go away.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Harvest Complete

Well the first day of second season for firearm deer hunting was this past Thursday. Jake was up before dawn and at his mom's house bright and early in a balmy 6 degree temp. The ground was covered in snow. He made his way to the tree stand and before his feet had the chance to get cold he filled his tag. A 2 and a half year old doe.Now we have her at the processor for them to do their magic and turn all that meat into jerky, snack sticks, summer sausage and of course steaks and chops...mmm we will have meat in our freezer!


For the record, I would just like to say that I spelled my neice Lyndi's name the way James sent it to me in a text message.

So the correct spelling of James and Nicole's little peanut is Lyndi Jean Thompson. All the other information provided in the previous post is correct to my knowledge.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Welcome my Niece Lyndi Jean

At 8:38pm Arizona time December 1st 2008 James and Nicole welcomed Lyndi Jean Thompson into the world. I have posted this to my Brother and sister-in laws page at Nicole's request.
I figure it is now safe to post here so any of our family that happen to read my blog but not theirs will get the info.
Lyndi weighed in at 6 lbs 4 oz and was a tall 19 inches long.
Mom and baby are doing well and dad is already getting down to the buisness of dirty dipers. Way to train him right Nicole.
Grandma is totally in love with the newest bundle of joy to drop into our lives.


Well it is the third day of December and we are getting our second snow storm. It snowed Sunday night and it was supposed to start snowing last night. Well the storm was about 9 and a half hours late. I woke up this morning to cloudy but clear skies and now, looking out my office window I see it is snowing like crazy.

The rush to find a new job has stalled. I finally decided that the only way I am possibly going to get out of my current position is to apply at a temp to hire job agency. I have an interview with them next week. Keep your fingers crossed. I know I have been asking that of you a lot recently and they have probably cramped up by now, but every bit helps.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Who would have thunk it?

Well, as most of my readers would know, I work for a company that answers phones for a lot of magazine titles. You would be amazed at the phone calls we get. Most of the calls I answer are standard where is my magazine, I want to buy a gift for someone, or...did you get my payment yet. Occasionally we get phone calls from a secretary for someone who is nationally known and too busy to talk to us common folk who actually have to work for a living. Well tonight was one such night for me.

I got to answer a call from Governor Palin's secretary. It turns out someone has been prank subscribing one of her children to all sorts of magazine subscriptions. Now before you go and say it is abuse of power having her secretary make all the calls to cancel the accounts in all fairness they were being sent to government offices.

I really had no point to this post other than saying I was one person away via phone from a nationally know person for 180 seconds tonight.

Oh, by the way as of 8:38 tonight I am officially an Aunt. I will wait until my sister in-law or brother update their blog before I post anything here. For those of you I actually talk to I will tell you in person later.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Just another day

Yup, it's just another day here. Luckily though no work until Monday Yea! Tomorrow, Jake will be sleeping all day so he can go to work, nothing new as he works most turkey days. Instead of going to the mother in laws I am heading over to a friend's dinner. She was kind enough to invite me over. I have 2 pies in the oven as we speak. I am not talented enough to make my own pie crust and the ones I bought were too shallow for one pie like the recipe calls for so I'm taking two.

The cheese cake for Jake to take to work is in the fridge and all that's left is for me to hit the sack.

Have a great day everyone. May your turkeys be juicy and your stuffing moist. May your day be bright and full of joy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's been how long?

It's hard to believe it has been a year already since I have really talked to my best friend.
I met Tara in one of my online roll playing/writing groups when I first got the internet. Well about 2 years ago due to her work and life she had to fall out of the groups we were in, but we kept in touch and I even went to Florida to visit her for Halloween last year.

Well this past year has been a very exciting year for her. She ended up following the love of her life to North Carolina, giving up the Wonderful World of Disney to follow a different dream. The dream of a husband.

We kinda lost touch over the ensuing months, we kept in contact via email and the occasional text message, but not like we used to. Then last week I got a message. It seems she just couldn't stay away and She is returning to our little writing group! Welcome back Tara. You have been missed. Surprisingly hardly anything has changed since you left.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Smarter than we think.

Well, the first weekend of shotgun season has come and gone. My freezer is still empty. All during archery season we would see plenty of deer making their way across our paths, unfortunately they would not stop in a position that gave us a clear shot for a bow. Now if it had been shotgun season we would have been able to fill our freezer at least 3 times. But of course that didn't happen. This weekend Jake took his shotgun out and sat in the tree stand all weekend. He saw a few and had a shot at them, but alas they were not on the correct side of the property line. We have had a problem in the past with the neighbor and wondering if the animals he shot and tracked were on his property when he shot them (his tree stands all sit either on the property line or are within feet of it). We have never been able to prove anything, but we also do not want to be accused of shooting off property. We have 2 weeks of archery season again before 2nd shotgun season opens. Then we have about a month or month and a half before CWD (Chronic Wasting Diesase) season, where anyone with a license can purchase a tag with out going into the lottery. I did not put in this year for shotgun season, but will probably buy a CWD tag in January. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hope don't float

Well, to say today's interview was a disappointment would be an understatement. When will I learn not to go into these things with my hopes or expectations too high. I went in thinking we were going to talk about multiple openings in the many companies under one name. What we ended up discussing is how many people work at my current job, how long until the company moves, what was my usual call volume. It felt like I was being interrogated so that when my current company does leave the one I was interviewing for will know how many people they can hire off the street. The position I was really looking forward to hearing about had already been filled and the only openings currently available were in another call center. I would be doing pretty much the same thing I do now, underground, in a basement, no windows. The hours would be 24/7 as they are an answering service, so there would be no set schedule. Also, during the dead times between calls I would not be allowed to read anything that wasn't work related. On top of all that I would have to take a pay cut to work there. So yeah, I have come to the conclusion, believing in faith, and working hard to get what you want doesn't work. No matter how hard I have tried no matter how hard I have asked, it seems as if nothing will work out right.

On a brighter note I guess I do have a few things to be thankful for this holiday season. In just a few short days, my brother and his lovely wife will be proud parents. I have the love and support of a good husband, who holds my hand and tries to comfort me when I feel like the world is crashing down around us. I have wonderful parents who I know are always thinking of me, and I have such a strong group of women skating along beside me willing to give and take a hit for and from me.

Thank you all for being there.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hope springs once more

I have been very depressed lately at the current job market. dreading the fact that I may be forced to take a job I do not want to take, just so I have one. If all goes well this week I won't have to worry about that any longer. I got a call from one of my former employers last week. The company I had worked for before going to Kable has many different areas of business. I used to be a security officer for them. I put in an application to work in their call center, even though the last thing I want to do is answer more phones. I was contacted about several positions in the companies and I am interviewing on Wed. Wish me good luck that the one position I am most interested in is still available.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

DD Mechanic?

Well, unfortunately another weekend has come and gone. Why do they always go by so fast? I feel as if I have gotten nothing accomplished. Friday night was very pleasant... wait a minute, lets back this up one day. Thursday was a crappy day at work, as most days are lately. But I was happy when 5:00 rolled around and I was headed to Derby practice. Because this was the first Thursday of the month we had our monthly league meeting after an hour of practice, which we spent checking the skaters present for our minimum skills tests. Just as the meeting was ending my phone started vibrating, because we were in the meeting I ignored it. After words I listened to my voice mail and found out Jake was heading to the emergency room from training. Thanks Racy Tracy for driving Bombadee home for me!

Redneck and I headed off to the emergency room to keep Jake company while he waited to have his little finger put back in the right place. About a year ago he dislocated the first bone of his little finger, it was basically sitting on top of the second bone. Well it happened again, and of course even though everyone tried no one at work could get it to pop back into place.

so Jake has been home all weekend instead of working due to the pain meds the doctor put him on.

Friday was nice after work, went to a friends house to play games, Redneck Life, which I lost miserably, and a card game called Flux. That was interesting and very fast paced.

Saturday I did a few loads of laundry before heading to Milwaukee for a double header roller derby bout hosted by the BrewCity Bruisers. It was great, I met up with Bombadee and Powerhouse and drove up. The games were close in the first halves but during the second halves the point spreads grew. So the Shevil Kanevils lost to the Crazy Eights and the Maiden Milwaukees lost to the Russian Rollettes. No matter what the score board said, fun was had by all.

When we got back to the stateline and I dropped Powerhouse off at her car my brakes started grinding, wonderful, I thought the rest of the way home. Now I need to fix my breaks, and Jacob has a finger in a splint, which means I'm going to have to do it.

Changing out my break pads turned out to be easier than I thought. Jake did the first one while I watched. Cursing every time his splint bumped into something luckily it was his left hand not his right. Then I did the second one. I can honestly say that I didn't have to use as much muscle as I thought I would and now my car stops without grinding.

Oh, and it won't be much longer until I'm an aunt. My little brother and his wife are expecting a little bundle of joy by the end of the month. They posted a few 3-d ultra sounds of the little "Peanut" as they are calling the child, they chose not to know if it will be a boy or girl until delivery. Check out my Denise or Denephew (lol, little redneck joke, I have no clue what the real name will be.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

I will be the first to admit I do not follow politics. Even in this very heated election, I know each candidate has good points and each candidate has bad points. I honestly don't know who I should believe. I am not going to say who I voted for because I have close friends and family on both sides of the line. I don't want to have to explain my choice or defend my decision. All I can say whom ever wins tonight, I hope we as a country have made the right decision based on what we need to rise out of the economic pit we have slid into.

I hope we have not made our decisions based on stage appeal, or pretty words. I just hope we all remember that both men who are running are politicians, and I have met a few politicians and can honestly say there is only one of them I would trust to do what he has promised (and he isn't on the presidential ballot).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rocky Horror Picture Show + Geek Convention = fun for all

This past weekend was like all of my weekends lately. Jam packed with events. I got off work at 7:30 Friday night and headed home to get dressed up for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. One of the local community colleges in the area was having a midnight showing. Thanks Tally for texting me. I had a great time going out with you. The best part was now if Jake and I ever go to a show in Chicago I won't have to place a giant 'V' on my forehead.

Then Saturday I got up, got dressed as DD Hunter, in my derby uniform and headed to the Indoor Sports Center.

One of my Diva Teammates, Bombadee, and her husband, Crabby Dan, have created a board game based on roller derby. They titled it 'Roller Derby Mayhem.' We have spent many a night test playing the game debating over rules, penalties, and other small details. I am very honored to have been able to provide my two cents in the creation of this game. Including providing Dan with the catch phrase of "All the action and strategy, none of the bruises." which he shortened to: "Roller Derby Mayhem, All of the action, None of the Bruises."

We played the game at Rock-Con from 2pm to 6pm. It was great, the first group of players were roller derby fans from out of town, they already knew all the basic derby rules so the game was really intense. We ended up calling the game off with a score of 0/0.

After that first jam the 3 gentlemen left and were replaced by more gamers. One of who stayed until 6pm when we had to turn our table over to a new game. We had a blast and were attracting spectators with our shouting "Hit her" and "Come on 1!" after we were done and had left for the evening Dan stayed to play other games. He came home and informed us one of the players who stayed a while was going around showing off the t-shirt we gave away, which he had won. All in all I think our game was a big hit and I hope the people who have first refusal decide to market it. I know I would be buying it for my home.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Only 10 more weekends in 2008

Wow, when I thought up what the title for this post would be I didn't think we were so close to 2009. I just didn't want something cheesy like 'Another one bites the dust.'

This weekend was a long one for me, but it didn't seem like it. I took Thursday off to job hunt and Friday off to Deer hunt. So Friday and Saturday Jake and I got up before dawn and drove out to his mother's property and sat in a tree stand. We didn't freeze, but it wasn't exactly warm either. We would have gone out this morning as well but it was too windy. Here is a picture of Jake aiming at an imaginary deer. We saw plenty of does and one spike, but none would come into range. That is one of the hardest things I am finding about archery, unlike shotgun, you have to have the animal close enough so there is nothing between you and them but air.

Today I took a drive up to Beloit to meet
Keisha Rass Goodbye (say it really fast) to discuss what we are doing for the skating rink on Halloween. We wanted to have an idea of what the owner would like us to do before we show up. While up there I stopped and took a few river shots. This is the drive I get to see twice a week. Just another reason I left the desert.

After I shot my photos I headed back to Forreston where Jake, Kathy and Bret were busy in Bret's workshop making display stands for a local fur company. It is a major project. Bret has to have 30 display stands built and shipped to Indiana by Nov 1st. Gander Mountain, a small outdoor hunting/fishing chain contracted the local fur company to sell pelts in all their stores. The company contracted Bret to build all the stands. So if in the next few months you happen to be in a Gander Mountain look for a wooden display holding fur pelts. On the bottom rung you will see a small brand, "Handcrafted by Bret Schemel, Forreston, IL" Jake helped to build those.

In the first picture you can see how much saw dust was in the air, I took that without the flash. The one I took, with the flash you couldn't even see Jake or Bret due to all the motes of dust my camera focused on.

Friday, October 17, 2008

But baby it's cold outside.

Well last night was the first night we made it to the freezing mark. Yup, that's right folks our low temp last night got to 32 degrees. Last weekend while Jake was at work I headed out to get the plastic shrink wrap for our windows. This will be the first year in our current house where we put the stuff up. We are totally going for the energy saving winter. Last year we did pretty good, we kept the thermostat at 65 and used space heaters for the rooms we occupied the most.

The Incredible Duke he may not be, but he sure can shrink wrap a window.

This morning we headed out to the tree stand and froze our bottoms off. We saw four does, but they did not come with in bow range. If it had been shotgun season we would have had at least one deer for the freezer.

Tomorrow we will be heading out again, though it will be another short day as we have plans with the American Legion and have to help our buddy set up. Then Sunday it is supposed to hit 68, we will try our luck once more. We have seen more deer this year than last, but haven't had the shots, hopefully we can get something this weekend.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nail Bitting Derby Action

This weekend was the Eastern WFTDA regional tournament. Due to the wonderful economy and my oh so stable job security I was unable to attend a 3 day derby feast just 2 hours to the north.

I was lucky though thanks to DNN (the Derby News Network) I was able to watch Derby in Dairyland from the comfort of my own home. Live and streaming. If you read this before 4 pm central on Sunday the 12th you too can watch the most intense derby this side of the Mississippi. Just Click Here!

If you miss the web-cast you can still check in on the DID web page for pictures.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Why am I so surprised?

Back in July wrote Job security, is it a thing of the past? Well apparently I was right.

Back then our new manager promised us, "I have been given the go ahead to hire ten people a month to get our numbers up. We are not going anywhere. The company already owns the buildings and property here in Illinois, it is more cost effective to keep us open. Right now they are renting property in Florida."

Well when I drove into the parking lot today I saw one woman outside on her cell phone, I could tell she was crying, she would blot her eyes on the hem of her shirt. At first I didn't think anything of it, people get bad calls while they are at work. When I walk in to the building the switchboard operator tells me it's over. They are going to be closing and moving everything to Florida. Depending on what department you are in you could have anywhere from 6 months to 2 years left.

What I want to know is as employees we all saw this coming, but time and time again we were told it wasn't true. Not only by our own manager, who found out about the decision yesterday but by the upper management who have been running things from Florida since Dec. Why were we lied to? Why did Amrep not tell it's Kable employees that when they, our parent company bought Palm Coast Data in 2007 they would eventually close all operations and move everything to Florida? Why the deceit?

Now it is all over the news and the internet:

Palm Coast Data Eyes Consolidation Reports: Kable's fulfillment operations could move to new Florida Location.

And more here.

But the on that hurts the most:

Kable News relocation to cost Mount Morris hundreds of jobs.... (including mine)


Well, I hadn't really realized I had been gone so long. Nothing really has been going on and I have felt kinda blah when it came to writing. Anyways, I guess I will get you caught up on my life for the past 2 weeks.

Work, Derby practice, work, more practice and yup, you guessed it, more work. The sad thing is, after all that work, I don't see any increase in my bank balance. The good news though is the fresh meat for our derby team are skating wonderfully!

We have a few minimum requirements that each skater must meet. Two of them are speed and endurance tests. Well last Thursday and this past Tuesday we did our time trials to see where everyone was and to give everyone goals to work for as the season progresses. One of the tests we have is to do 5 laps on the track in under 1 minute. I think almost everyone passed the one or two who didn't were not far off the mark. The second test was for endurance, 20 laps in under 5 minutes. Again on this one almost everyone passed and I don't think anyone went over the 5 min, 20 sec mark. I am so excited. Not only is our team coming together skating wise but they are also understanding the game a lot faster than we thought. To be bouting by the end of Dec early Jan is no longer just a glimmer of hope on the horizon...I can actually see it, it is with in reach!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The joys of the job seeker.

Alright, so today I went to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and retrieved my user name and password so I could update my employment profile and start getting down to really searching for a new job. While there I check out the current local job postings and pick up application information.

When I get home, log on to the IDES website, update the sight with the last 3 years worth of information. I hit Search for jobs.... only one match pops up, security officer. You have got to be kidding me! Three years of office work, with daily computer operation and switchboard skills and the only job I match up to is security officer?!? Sorry, been there done that, got the lousy t-shirt.

Argh! Oh well, I have a few leads that I am going to follow up on from the local office. Wish me good luck.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Summer comes to an end

It seems that my life hasn't slowed down at all this summer. There were so many things I wanted to do but got caught up with other events that I completely forgot about them. I wanted to take a trip to Six Flags this year, instead I went to Iowa with my Aunt and Uncle.

This weekend marked the official end of summer and I celebrated by getting up a 2 am on Friday and driving to Ft Wayne, Indiana to visit with my family and catch 13 straight hours of roller derby.

I was glad I left so early, the time I reached the Indiana side of Chicago is when the first traffic report came over the radio. Woo hoo, no rush hour for me! I got to my grandmother's house by 10 am Ft Wayne time. We spent about an hour and half just talking and catching up on the cousins. Then we headed to McDonald's for lunch.

My grandmother goes the the same McDonald's that my parents worked at when they were in high school. She goes there everyday, sometimes twice a day to meet her friends. Sometimes they play bingo and others they just eat and chat. I got to me a few of her friends and she bragged about how I was a roller derby girl. I loved watching their eyes light up as they remembered the roller derby of yesteryear.

So after lunch we headed back and hung out, just relaxing. Grandma, Bob, and I each ended up taking a cat nap in the living room then my cousin came over with her year old son for dinner. I got to spend some quality time with young Carter while his mom went to work before his dad came to get him. He is such a happy little boy.

Saturday I drove to the Allen County Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the Fall Brawl. I stayed on the non- WFTDA track so I could cheer on the Chicago Outfit. We played them in May and got creamed. They are a bunch of hard hitting, fast skating superwomen. They played some really great games and in the end came out on top.

I decided not to go to the after bout party as I was staying with grandma and didn't want her to have to stay up late wondering when I would get home. So after the final bout for the Outfit I headed home.

I got to sleep in a bit on Sunday then headed over to my other grandparents house. I got to see all my uncles and most of my cousins and of course more babies. My grandparents on both sides of the family do not have to worry about the family ending any time soon.

As all good things must come to an end, my time grew short and I had to head home. As I drove off into the sunset all I could think about was I can't wait to do it again next year!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Still here

Just in case you were wondering, no I haven't disappeared. This week has just been real busy and by the time I get on the computer, I am too tired and completely unmotivated to write anything.

Sunday the Divas had our recruitment party. I think it was a hit. We had quiet a few interested ladies. A few filled out the welcome packets and turned them in right there, others took them home to sleep on it.

Monday was a long day at work. The regular receptionist wasn't feeling well so she went home early and I covered for her in the afternoon. At 5 it was back to the customer service floor where time always drags on.

Tuesday was one of my short days at work, followed by the first practice of the 2008/2009 roller derby season. We are going back to basics and even now, after 24 hours I still hurt. The squats we did didn't hurt as much as the lunges. We lunged the length of the rink and back. The best part about practice other than being back on skates is that we had 4 girls from out recruitment party attend practice and 2 of them were on skates, yay!

Today was another long day at work, but it was shortened by a quick training session. I was trained in a computer system that very few reps are trained in. After the training I spent the rest of the shift off the phones working on prints that the newer reps didn't know or did not have access to process.

Tomorrow is Thursday, 6 hour shift then it is off to Rockford to participate in the Light the Night Cancer walk. So even though I won't be on skates, I will be getting exercise. Then home for a quick nap and I am planning on being out the door by 3 am so I can spend most of the day with my grandmother in Ft. Wayne on Friday.

Saturday is going to be roller derby all day, the first bout will start around 8:30 am and the after bout party is scheduled to start at 10:00 pm. I don't plan on going to the party, but I plan on being there to see who wins the tournament.

Sunday I am planning on spending with my other grandparents to leave by 5:00 pm Indiana time and hopefully I will be home by 11:00 pm my time. so a busy week leads into a busy weekend only to head right back to work Monday morning.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Attack of the killer dust bunnies.

About a month or so ago my RPG group had a character contest. The character we created had to be a very manly type of character with one major flaw. He had to have a very strange phobia. I created my character with the fear of dust bunnies. His fear is so great the if he even sees a stirring of dust that could form into said creature her would start to hyperventilate until he had prevented the bunny from forming.

Last night while over at a friend's house we were playing a game and talking about random things. I really don't even know how we got into the conversation. It started out talking about fiddler crabs and fish tanks. I used to have a male and female fiddler crab in my tank and knew from experience that they are little escape artists. We had to tape up the hole in the back of the tank where the air hose entered to keep them contained.

Well one of the players at the table had had the same experience only with crawdads. He had a crawdad in a fish tank that had escaped. They didn't notice the missing creature until his roommate came across a rather large dust bunny with claws.

I'm just glad crawdads don't exist in the same world as my character...though then again, I just might be able to find an alternative creature to substitute....Bwahahaha.

Monday, September 8, 2008

What dreams may come...

I very rarely remember my dreams. Usually the only ones I do remember are the weird ones. The ones that make sense in pieces, but as a whole are just so jumbled it comes out quite comical. Well, this morning was one of those times.

I say this morning, because like all Sunday nights I had a hard time sleeping, my subconscious was dreading another Monday so my body was saying, if you don't sleep, Monday will not get here and you won't have to go to work. (If only it were true.)

What I can remember of my dream is this...

Think of a Grease like setting, the high school in my dream however was the elementary school I attended when I lived in the Quad Cities.

I was the new girl in school (aka Sandy) only instead of wanting to fit in with the Pink Ladies, I was trying to fit in with the girls who played on the roller derby team. The rival school was the Rockford Rage and our high school principal was the current manager for the customer service department where I work. He kept following me around telling me what I was doing wrong and how to properly do something simple, for example: you can open the door, but you have to turn the knob to the right, if you turn the door knob to the left, it may open but that is the wrong way to open the door. The first time you are caught opening the door that way you will receive a warning. Ugh!! Not to mention the fact that the roller derby girls were always on skates, including myself and the sidewalk was crumbling away, with huge chunks missing from it.

I wish I had more to add to this, but like most mornings, my alarm went off and brought an end to my attempt at sleep.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Trip down memory lane

When I was a young girl, we're talking grade school here, I lived in Iowa. My father, a US Marine was stationed at the Rock Island Arsenal he had the opportunity to play an extra in a movie called Hard Knox. Now I don't know why, but for some reason lately I have been wanting to watch the movie again. Before we left on our trip to Marshalltown I was able to locate a seller on Ebay who had a copy for sale. I just got the movie today. I can't wait till the end of the movie when I spy my father sitting behind the American flag during the awards ceremony at the end.

Now on another note as I am watching the opening of the movie I already knew it was filmed partially at MCAS Yuma. What I didn't know was that the school that they filmed most of the movie at is (or was) located in Mt Carroll, IL, a town we drove through on Friday.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Up Up and Away

Saturday evening we had a gentleman bring his hot air balloon out and provide free tethered rides. Jake and Bret helped inflate the huge balloon then Jake and I were the first to go up. It was a truly awe inspiring few minutes. It only makes me want to go higher for a longer period of time.
After we landed it was Bret and Kathy's turn.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Romping in Iowa

(I am so proud of myself, I took 2 photos and one graphic to create what you see above.)

Saturday was a day full of events, do it yourself tours of the local area along with guided tours to local attractions. We had originally planed to make the trip to Freedom Rock. This is a huge boulder out in the middle of Iowa that is painted every year. When we looked at the directions to this site the miles added up to about 60. Right before the tour group set off we were told it was over 100 miles one way. In all honesty we did not want to put in another 200 miles on Saturday so we skipped the trip and went to the Harley dealer in Ames then came back to the romp host town for a little R and R. This was after all our vacation. Jake, Bret and Kathy headed to the hotel for a nap and I headed to the local library to try and log in. The library was closed so I posted from the hotel next door.

At 4 the people games started at the romp grounds. There was a corn shucking contest and trike games. Jake and I both competed in the trike games and each of us came in second in our own heats, only the first place person advanced to the next level.
It turned out to be nice that we stuck around close by. The tour to Freedom Rock left at 9:00 and didn't get back until around 5:00. We live close enough to catch the rock at a later date when we aren't tired from a long ride and a night of fun.

The dinner was very tasty and very much a representation of Iowa. Smoked pork tenderloin served with corn on the cob.

Well, that's all for now, stay tuned for more.

It's a small world after all

Well, this was a long weekend and I had so much fun I am gonna post it as a few short snips.

Friday evening we registered at the event and start walking around. You know the normal thing you would do at any event where people are all apart of a club, organization, or have a single thing that binds them together, be it scrap-booking, roller derby, political affiliations, or motorcycles.

We talked to people from Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and even Connecticut and Ohio. There were American Legion Riders from all over. Well one thing lead to another and our friend Bret met a gentleman from Ohio. I don't know what started their line of mutual questions but it turned out their extended families were from the same two towns in Kentucky. They started naming off families and acquaintances. Then Tank says, "My father has family with that last name too, let me call mom and ask about his family."

Well, after about a 10 minute call to his mom we find out that Tank and Brett share a few great aunts and uncles.

Can you imagine traveling to a different state to attend a convention only to meet a family you never knew you had?
My friend Bret is the taller of the two, and the rider on your right is Tank, the long lost cousin.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

How bout that view

Well today is day two of my Romp in the Midwest. We left yesterday, Friday. We drove over the metal grate bridge that links Savannah IL to Sabula IA. This bridge is fine to drive over in a car, you have four wheels and you can't really look down. On a bike I was tense. I had never driven over it myself, only on the back of the bike, never looking down. Because it is a grated metal bridge it tends to grab your tire and change your direction a bit. I was doing good, looking straight ahead, keeping a firm grip on the handle bars going pretty straight, then about 3/4Th's the way across we come to a stop light...on the bridge. NO! my mind screams as we stop and I try not to look down. Let me tell you I was glad when the light turned green. It is a bit unnerving to look below and see the only thing between you and the mighty Mississippi is basically a catwalk big enough to drive your car over.

Well, I am posting from the hotel next door's computer so I had better cut this short before they realize that my hotel sent me over here and I am not putting any money into their pockets. Will update more at a later date. But so far the trip has been fun.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Favorite time of year

Now I know it is still technically summer, but with the weather we have been having it feels more like fall. It is not quite harvest time but everyone around who planted gardens are starting to reap the fruits and vegetables of their labor. We got a call early last week from my mother in-law telling us to come and take home some produce. So Sunday afternoon we made the short trip and browsed her garden. We were rewarded with acorn squash, yellow squash, zucchini, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes. When we got home I looked into the sink I was washing everything in and all I could think was, 'wow, all I need is a few carrots and I could make a stew with the deer meat I have in the freezer.'

I think that I will get a few carrots when we get back from Iowa next week and make that stew.
Here is a picture of one of the potatoes we dug up. Keep in mind it was a red potato, which I understand is supposed to be smaller than say a russet. If I'm wrong, someone let me know.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Now that's fashionable.

You know you will be a hit on the runways of Paris when your drink matches your outfit.

The County Fair

This weekend marks the final days of the Stephenson County Fair. Normally every year we make it a point to visit the 3 county fairs we consider our county fairs. Ogle, the county we live in, Winnebago, the county Jake works for, and Stephenson, the county where we buy our food in. This year however we didn't get to the Ogle or Winnebago so we missed out on 2 weeks worth of fair food. Today however we made it to the fair, had fresh squashed (yes squashed, not squeezed) lemonade. This was somewhat disappointing, as it was weaker than what the Dakota Marching Band usually sells. We go to the fair just for their lemonade! We also hit the Illinois Pork Producers Hog Heaven stand and had lunch. We watched 2 tractor pulls. The first had a winning weight of 12,750 lbs for 11 feet and 7 inches.

The second tractor pull had a winning weight of 30 lbs for 29 feet 5 inches.

All in all, it was a good day at the fair.


Tonight (Friday night) marked a small milestone in my life. I had a girls night out with non-family members. Although there were quite a few derby girls there, it was not derby related. We had a great night, wonderful sushi followed by chocolate topped off with pool and a juke box in what used to be a smoke filled basement (before the Illinois non-smoking laws went into effect). All in all, I can't wait to do it again next month.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Randomness, it's all good.

Most of you know I work customer service for a magazine fulfillment company. From time to time I pick up an issue to browse. Just to see what all the fuss is about, just to try and see into the minds of our customers. I do this so I can learn why the delivery of an issue is a matter of life or death.

Today I found a copy of a publication entitled The Onion. Now when I was working emails I would get quite a few complaints in regards to the ads this publication would occasionally run. Like a good little worker, I dutifully forwarded the offensive ad to the publisher, who stated,

"We at the Onion try to offend everyone equally, said subscriber did not complain about the same type of ad depicting the catholic faith."

The ad was a picture of Sheba (Hindu goddess with multiple arms) She had a phone handset in each had with the caption reading "Thank you for calling customer service, please hold while we die of some illness I can't remember." My first thought while reading this ad was...oh, that's wrong, funny, but wrong. So when I came across an actual paper, I couldn't pass it up.

Here was the lead story Al Gore Places Infant Son in Rocket to Escape Dying Planet. I hope you find it as funny as I did. If it weren't for the fact that this paper is out of my price range, I would seriously think about subscribing, and actually reading it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Where did it go?

Where oh where did my weekend go? Oh where or where could it be?

Wow, time went by way to quickly this weekend. We went down to the Quad Cities for a surprise birthday party that turned out to not be a surprise, and not a party. Instead the birthday girl, her husband, myself and Jake ended up going out to a great little place down on the river (Mississippi for those who don't know about the QC). While we were walking to the entrance we had to walk by the patio area. A couple of waiters were out lighting the tiki torches. One of the torches shot part of it's flaming wick into the landscaping off the patio. The waiters attempted to put it out with water, silly men, oil and water do not mix so it did not put out the small fire. Like the responsible person I am, I walked back to the small flame and stepped on it to extinguish it. The waiters thanked me and said "You didn't have to do that." They were going to walk around and get it. It was no big deal, it is really what any normal person should have done.

So we go in the front door and request a patio seat. Our table overlooked the river and the baseball stadium, I was called "our volunteer firefighter all night by a very friendly waiter. We ordered the cheapest thing on the menu, sat back and talked. At the end of our meal the baseball game finished and we had front row seats for the fireworks. Our Waiter, Tim brought out our check and said, "I took 15% off of your order as thanks for putting out the fire." Wow, thanks! Then my girlfriend mentions it's her birthday. Tim promptly picks up both checks and later returns giving both couples 15% off the entire bill. Tim was great! He even gave us coupons for our next visit. Not only was the service the best I have had in a very long time, the food was most excellent. Jacob got the river burger with a south west twist, it had pepper jack cheese, green chillies and chipolte mayo. I had the blues burger, it was stuffed with blue cheese. We each cut our sandwich in half and shared. All I can say is yum!

Next we walked down to the Rhythm City riverboat casino, we each lost $3.00 on the nickel machines. (I know, slots are not where you go to win, but we were only willing to play $3.00 each and the tables had minimum $5.00 and up bets) Once we had lost our money we walked back to the restaurant, which shared a building with a comedy club. This was my first experience with this type of club and all I can think of was it was such a waste of money. The waiter took our drink order, then came back about 20 minutes later, dumped our order on top of a lady sitting in front of us then took another 15 minutes to return. And the comedians weren't that great either. I just hope that if, in the future, when we attend another comedy club, it is better, heck, it couldn't get any worse.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sinking Ships

My roller derby team has been on vacation since our last bout. We were informed that our League VP was going to be moving to Denver. We all wished her well we knew she was bettering her lot in life. Shortly after we found out our newly elected athletic director quit and joined another league. Then the President resigned, now our secretary has decided to leave for the other league as well.

I know they said it wasn't personal, they had to do what they felt was the best for them, but I am sorry I feel as though my team and I are being abandoned. I never thought I would feel this way about my derby sisters, but, only the rats abandon a sinking ship. The captain and crew repair the holes and start the bilge pump. Then again maybe the bilge pump has already been started.

I am sorry this seems very bitter, I really have no explanation other than this all seemed to come out of the blue, and with 3 out of the 4 girls going back to the team that turned it's backs on them... it just makes me wonder...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I was born to which generation?

Have you ever felt out of touch with people your own age? I have, I always have. I very seldom had friends that were the same age as I am or was. In high school, I was always hanging out with the older kids. My senior year, I only had a few friends that I spoke to outside of class.

Then as I started my adult life, my older coworkers became my friends, I was never into the party scene that drew my peers. After I married, we became involved in the local H.O.G. chapter. Our fellow members were 10 to 50 years older than we were, but they were our closest friends. Jake and I have always gotten along with people our parents age better than with people our own age.

This weekend has just reminded me of this fact, it has also made me wonder.... am I really that crotchety old lady at the dinner already?

Saturday evening we went to a going away party for one of Jake's coworkers. He will be leaving for Afghanistan in about 2 weeks, this weekend was the last free weekend his shift would have to send him off. While at the party there were people our age, younger and older. Everyone was told that due to the drive they could pitch a tent in the back yard, rather than drive home drunk. As the night progressed, the people our age and younger were focused on pouring as much alcohol down their throats as possible. The older crowd made sure at least one of them was sober enough to drive home, if not all of them.

Jake and I took the bikes and brought our tent, that way we wouldn't even have to worry about going home until morning. We each had a few drinks, but were far from stumbling around on our feet. I had gotten a headache and headed to the tent around 12:30. I was almost asleep when I hear a commotion from a few tents down. Our guest of honor started to get rid of all he had drank. I just shook my head and went back to sleep as his friends and wife took care of him.

This morning we got up with the sun, which if you have ever slept in a tent know is pretty much par for the course, as it is almost impossible to sleep with that much light in your face. We packed everything up and rode home.

Once we got home, I wasn't in the mood to fix breakfast so we headed out to the little dinner in town, Farmer's Family Restaurant. This is a small family run place where Monday through Friday from oh, bout 5:30 to 10 you can go and sit in a corner booth and watch as all the local farmers, from the old men in their 70's to the younger guys just barely 19, come in for breakfast. There is a long section of small tables set in the center of the dinning room where they all congregate to have their meals. As one seat is vacated it will be filled a few moments later by the next farmer. Jake and I used to meet there every other Thursday morning for breakfast after we got off work, now, we hardly go there. One of my favorite things is listening to the older gentlemen tell their stories, stories of the weather, the crops, town gossip, nothing major, but you learn interesting facts and tidbits.

Well this morning as Jake and I are eating our breakfast I overhear one gentlemen say how recently at the store his total had come to 5.87 or some such odd number. When he gave the cashier his money he handed over $10.02, so that he wouldn't be stuck with pennies. The cashier gave him a funny look, and didn't know what to do. Another gentlemen stated something along the same lines, "I had a total that came to $17.00 and when I gave the cashier $22.00 they just couldn't understand that I wanted a $5.00 bill back." The funny yet sad part about this whole story is that it is so true. One thing I like to do at a store or restaurant is to give the cashier over the amount so I get specific change back, or no pennies. I do it just to see, to test, if you will, the common sense of the cashier. Is it just me, or is it sad that with out a computer or cash register there to tell the clerk how much change to give you, you would probably never get the right amount back.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Storms, and Authors, and Skunks...Oh my!

It is not often I can honestly say, this has been one crazy week.

It started out like any other week, it was a Monday. It looked like rain so I ended up taking the car to work. Now, I try not to be a fair weather rider. I have no qualms riding in the rain, that is what I bought a rain suit for, but I wasn't going to ride in the rain for a 10 hour work day. I get to work and actually get a break from the customer service phones and I get to work the switch board from 1 to 5. As I am sitting at the front door, I have a huge window I can look out. It looks so nice and Sunny out, I start to regret bringing the car to work.

At 5 I head upstairs and get on the phones. An hour and a half later black clouds darken the sky, the wind starts howling, and rain is pelting the small window by my cubical, then the power goes out. Good thing I didn't bring the bike. The tornado sirens go off, we all head down stairs for about an hour until the warning is over then it is back up stairs. Now here is the funny part. There is no power and no phone. We had to sit up there until 8 before we were allowed to go home.

As I am driving home I see pieces of buildings along side the road, and a small plot of trees is missing about half of them now, twisted off due to storm winds. When I get home we are also without power. It was a long night, Jake was helping to clear trees off the roads with the city guys so I was home alone. Not that I minded, I just hate reading by candle light and all of our flash lights had dead batteries. Since the power was off I set the alarm on my phone, but luckily the power came back around 1 am. Work however wasn't so lucky.

I spent much of the day on Tuesday calling into work every few hours for updates. At 3:00 was able to stop calling because the next update was going to be after I would have normally gotten off work. So I have a day off, I was able to catch up on my email and relax.

Wednesday I spent with my Friend, we spent almost an hour in a used bookstore in Sterling, before we headed out to Oak Brook for Sherrilyn Kenyon's book signing. As is fitting a Kenyon Minion I dressed the part of one character, Simi. She is a child like demon who loves her BBQ. K is the smiling blond right behind me.

The signing started at 7:30, there were lots of questions and stories. Fellow author Dinna Love-Snell was there keeping everyone entertained while SK signed books.

I was drawn for a door prize, a pin letting everyone know I am under the protection of Acheron. K and I didn't leave the Borders until around 12:30 am. SK was wonderful. She remembered me from last year. She asked why I wasn't on the bike and I told her I had converted another reader. The ride home was alright, I was happy, I kept asking my friend if she now understood why I had been disappointed in another book signing we went to last year. She completely agreed. Sherrilyn is so personable not only to the crowd, but even more so when you get your one on one time with her. Well we made it home at 3 am and were in bed by 4, K staying the rest of the morning.

I knew it was going to be a long night Wed, so I took Thursday off of work as well. I vegged around the house, finally getting dressed around 2'ish, K had to leave around 10 so she could be in Iowa City by 1:00.

Later that afternoon, I get a call from one of my Diva's. It has been 2 weeks since the last time I went skating so we arranged to meet later in the evening. I called 2 more Divas and we decided to carpool. (Yay car pool!)

We had so much fun being back on skates as a group. We did a few derby type fun things, but mostly it was a chance to catch up with everyone and work off our withdrawals. (yes skating is an addiction, and you do go through withdrawals) After a good sweaty workout we headed out to the bar for a snack and drink before heading home. Now, one of the girls I ride with always calls shotgun (needlessly, cause I would rather sit in back so I can hear everything) and I am thinking that last night she regretted it.

We hadn't even gotten out of Rockford when a skunk ran out in front of the Jeep we were in. We didn't hit it, we drove over it, right between the tires, but we scared it bad enough it sprayed the SUV. Ugh! it stunk, it hit the engine and cooked, now riding in the front seat, directly in front of the vents causes the smells to flow right on to you. When we got back to town we got out of the vehicle only to have the o'de skunk follow. It was in our clothes. It wasn't real strong, but it was there. I lucked out, because I was sitting in back, at least my hair still smelled like fresh sweat, not sweaty skunk (Love ya B).

Anyway, that was my crazy week! Sorry this was so long.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Job Security, is it a thing of the past?

Is anyone's job safe? I mean other than the law enforcement field, is there any job that is not going to be outsourced?

In December the Customer Service Manager for my company (my boss, basically) lost his job to someone in Florida. The manager would travel up to Illinois once a month until they decided it would be cheaper to promote one of our current supervisors to the position.

Now last Wednesday we were informed that our Email team would not have a job on Monday. They could either take a sevrens package or go to the phones. Neither one is a good choice. Now the Email did effect me. For the last 7 months if things slowed down, or if the email team needed help I would be pulled off the phone to answer emails. This is much less stressful as you do not have the customer yelling in your ear and calling you all sorts of nasty names. Not only am I now chained to my phone, I will loose one factor when it comes to evaluation for raises.

So today I go into work all ready to spend the day on the phone and 2 hours into my shift I am told We still have emails that need cleaned out. They came in after business closed Friday and the transfer to the mailboxes today. While I am furiously typing away answering questions, or deleting spam one of our human resources people along with our manager start packing up 2 of our supervisor's desks.

So with no warning two supervisors were let go. The explanation we are given is Here in Il our supervisors have teams of 10 to 15 people they oversee, in Fl they each have 20 plus, it is more cost effective to fire these supervisors, we were management heavy.

Ok, reality check, why are you getting rid of supervisors when whenever we need help with something, we can never find one because they are busy doing or helping someone or something else? And another thing, If schools are trying for smaller classroom sizes so that each teacher can spend more time with each student, wouldn't the same hold true in an employment situation?

Well, This is just one more burden added to the load that is driving me to seek employment else where. I mean, if they can come in one day and fire our management with no warning, what is to say the same thing won't happen to the rest of us when they decide to move everything to Florida (which supposedly isn't going to happen)?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I am patiently waiting for the 6th of Aug. This is the day I will not go to work, but travel to Oak Brook to once again meet Mrs Kenyon. I am really excited as this day draws near.

But the countdown is for the release date of a much anticipated book. This book is the reason for the AG's tour.

View My CountDown Page

Create My Own CountDown Page

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This has been one crazy year. In Sept I met a small group of very strong women and I decided to join them. My attempt to skate ended up looking like this:

At first the doctors thought I had broke my elbow, but once someone who knew what they were doing looked at the x-rays they found that I had badly bruised it. I was then off skates for all of Sept and Oct. In Nov I started all over again. I worked my rear off. I skated hard and made it to as many practices as I could. I drove through blizzards to get to the community center to find out practice had been canceled. I would drive over 50 miles one way just so I could get better. My life revolved around this game. I was rewarded in May, I got to skate in my first bout. I was awarded again in June, I was in the starting lineup and skated a good majority of our bout against the North Star girls. But all my hard work was rewarded once more by my team mates this month. I was presented with the Most Improved Skater of the Year Award!

I just want to say Thank you for believing in me!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Call of Nature (part 2)

Over the last 3 months we have been keeping an eye on the nest. Shortly after my first sighting I peeked up to see one of them sitting the nest.
As you can see, this was still early spring, as the tree had not even started to bud out.

A few weeks later, after there were too many leaves to take a decent picture I looked into the nest to see two white fuzz balls. I really wish I could have gotten a picture for you, but I couldn't.

This spring and summer has been very stormy. We have had many severe storms with high winds. About 3 weeks ago we had a storm that caused a tree next door to loose the top half of it. That storm also sent our young birds out of their nest. Thankfully with the aid of their parents they have survived. They have since learned to fly and are still hanging around our house, across the street in the cemetery to be precise.

Tonight I heard the call of the adult Falcons as they hunted rabbits, squirrels and birds. I searched the trees, and I searched the skies until I was lucky enough to see one of the younger birds land on the ground. I quickly went in and got my camera. Here are by baby falcons, I am sure they are learning to hunt on their own now, but mom and dad are still helping them out.

This has been a great spring. It isn't often one has the chance to view the circle of life so close to home, with such rare creatures.

The Call of Nature (part 1)

This was originally written on April 12th.

Today while I stood outside, waiting for my ride to practice to pick me up I heard a bird call. The call was different from your usual crows, or sparrows. I scanned the trees in the neighbors yard and I spotted a pair of Falcons.

I was stunned. I was also happy because I have started carrying my camera every where I go. I was able to get 2 shots before they flew away.

I considered myself very lucky to have been able to see such a rare bird. Yes I live in a very small town of 1500 people, but with all the wooded areas around You would figure these two magnificent creatures would find a more secluded spot to build a nest. Well, you can imagine my surprise when I see one of the Falcons flying over my head with a small branch in it's mouth. It landed in one of the oak trees in my yard!

This is going to be a great spring, this is the first year they are nesting here and I hope they manage to hatch and continue to return every year in the future.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

You bet your sweet behind, I'm biker trash

No, I wasn't raised biker trash, I just became biker trash. When I first met Jake, he had, I believe a '92 Sportster. For the first year we were together, and the first month or so we were married, that bike was our only transportation. It was Arizona, we could get away with it. Then in 1998 Jake bought me my first Harley for our second wedding anniversary. It was a 1987 black-cherry sportser.

I loved that bike. It gave me the freedom to just get up and go when ever I felt like it.

When we lived in Arizona we were very active in our local H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) chapter. We planned, volunteered for, and ran many events including poker runs and bike rodeos. For the last few years we were there, our chapter organized and ran the bike games for the state rally. Our H.O.G. chapter was our second family.

Then in 2002 I talked Jake into leaving Arizona for greener (literally)pastures. We sold my bike to help pay for moving expenses and headed to Illinois. The first year we were here we joined a local chapter, but they were just too big. They were organized to the point of chaos. They had many small day trips, but no large event like we were used to. It was very hard for us to fit in, so we drifted away. We became solitary riders. Independent from any group. Jake and I rode into Milwaukee by ourselves for the 100th anniversary. We rode all over the southern and middle of Wisconsin that week. Always on our own. While it was fun, it just wasn't the comradare we loved in Arizona.

This year, with the soaring gas prices, we have started growing our own little biker gang. One of the Sgt's Jake works with went out and bought himself a full dresser, then his neighbor went out and bought a bike. Suddenly it's "Hey, Jake, when are we gonna go ridding?" and Jake answers, "When you can ride for more than 30 miles at a time" and they laugh.

Then our buddies down the street traded their Honda Shadow in for a full dresser so the wife would be more comfortable on the back. Now it's the same thing, "Hey guys, when are we going to go ridding?" It has taken us 5 years to find a small group of friends we can ride with on a regular basis.

Then about two weeks ago We are told a guy in town is selling his bike for a very reasonable price. We think, well the car will be paid off in 10 weeks, why don't we try for it. We get the call from the bank and Jake is the proud owner of a 1995 dresser (I don't know the model).

And I get my own bike once more.

What is really funny about our bikes is, because they are only a year apart, the colors and the pinstripes match, exactly. No, it wasn't planned.