Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ain't Life A Bitch?

RockCrawlinChef brought home a "boyfriend" for our female cat, Gizmo, on MLK Day.  Scamp's a cutie and has definitely warmed up to our house.  Gizmo, on the other hand, has no interest in Scamp; not that I can blame her, he's only about ten weeks old, a little young for her interest.

Gizmo throws beautiful babies and her last two "boyfriends" met untimely deaths, probably coyote or Goodyear food, within just a few weeks of each other, so we'll be keeping a much closer eye on Scamp.  He won't be an indoor/outdoor cat like the others.  Gizmo comes and goes, but never strays far from home.  If she goes out in the morning, she's always back by late afternoon.

She's a bit of a slut, but a good mommy, and we've never had problems placing all of her babies in good homes.  We were a little sad that she wouldn't have any more kittens, which I'm sure is RockCrawlinChef's reason for bringing home Scamp. 

Except that Karma bit us in the butt.  Just when we were sure that Gizmo wouldn't have any more kittens, got her a new boyfriend, and got him settled in, she turns up pregnant.  Yep, no doubt about it, she is with kittens, which I'm sure will make their appearance in a month or so.  Shortly we will have a two and a half month old kitten and a litter of newborns.  That'll teach us.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Joke of the Day

A friend of mine emailed this to me and it cracked me the eff up!  I'd credit the author, but I have no idea who it is...

A Country wife came home just in time to find her husband in bed with another woman. With super-human strength, borne of fury, and cutting firewood, lifting sacks of feed, and bales of hay, she dragged him down the stairs, out the back door, and into the barn. She put his manhood in a vice and then secured it tightly and removed the handle. Next she picked up an old carpenter's saw.
The banged up cheater was terrified, and hollered, "Stop! Stop! You're not gonna cut it off with that rusty saw, are you?"
The wife, with a gleam of revenge in her eye, put the saw in her husband's hand and said........
"Nope...You are! I'm gonna burn down the Barn!!!"

Friday, January 29, 2010

I Can't Believe I Just Did It...

I finally bit the bullet and registered for the Writer's Police Academy in September.  Terry Odell, mystery writer extraordinaire, over at Terry's Place "introduced" me to Lee Lofland of The Graveyard Shift, author and font of knowledge regarding police procedure.

From the moment I found out about WPA, I've been dying to go.  It's three full days of instruction in police procedure; everything from shooting to driving to crime scene procedure.  The keynote speaker is Jeffrey Deaver, who first whetted my appetite for a well-written forensic novel.  I fell in love with "The Bone Collector" and quicky ate up the whole series.  Shortly thereafter, I found Patricia Cornwell, who cemented my love for forensic novels.

I've been kicking around the idea for a month or more, trying to justify the expense of both the conference and the travel.  I'm pretty sure that my work family is tired of me debating back and forth, so they'll be thrilled to find out that I finally registered for it. I saved a good bit by registering early and I love a good deal, so I was able to pay for the registration for the conference and pay for the FATS (Firearms Training Simulator) training for less than if I'd waited another week.

Now I've just got to stave off the nervous breakdown brought on by spending that money.  By God, I had better learn a TON in those three semi-expensive days.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday

I can just continue to recycle the same old, same old...

However...I'm not so distressed about it considering I haven't been able to do a whole a lot about it, meaning that I really, truly don't have time to go to the gym.  I want to, I really, really do.  I feel like crap now that I haven't been able to go at least once a week.  My knees are creaky and achy, I'm lethargic and pissy, and generally not pleasant to be around.  But you know what?  I only have five more fourteen hour days ahead of me and only four more ten hour days ahead of me.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as work goes this mod, so I'm not at all disappointed in maintaining my weight, though I'd much rather be losing it.

RockCrawlinChef's weigh in...crickets...crickets...crickets...yeah, he's not saying and I'm too tired to upstairs, get the camera, and upload the photo.  Honestly, when I go upstairs tonight, I'm not coming down until it's time to leave for work in the morning.  So he'll be granted a reprieve on his weigh in picture until probably next week.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Random Thought Of The Day...

Just a sample of the thoughts that bounce around in my little pea-brain.

So...if someone is DADT'd (Don't ask, don't tell) out of the military, but undergoes gender reassignment, can he or she re-up in the military?  Because now he or she would be straight, not gay. 

New Family Members

I've been so busy that I forgot to mention our new family members!

On MLK Day, RockCrawlinChef brought home a cute little kitten, who he promptly named Scamp.  Scamp is part Ocecat, which makes him so very cute, and part Siamese, which makes him very mouthy.  The damn kitten has an opinion about everything and will get in your face to tell you about it.  He also thinks that pets are damn near orgasmic and just can't contain himself when he's being petted... should see him when he gets petted with two hands - he starts to look like a Chuckle Buddy, rolling, rolling, he just can't help himself.

A month or so ago, Ashee-butt and I had a knock-down, drag-out fight about whether or not I'd allow her to get a dog.  After a day of her not speaking to me, her boyfriend suggested to her that maybe I'd let her get a hedgehog.  Can I just say that CJ is my hero?  'Cause he saved us both more very ugly fighting.  I think she thought that I'd tell her no to the hedgehog and allow her to get a dog instead.  Yeah, not so much.  She had her heart set on a hedgehog and was willing to pay for it (at least that's what her arguement was), so I said yes.  She spent a couple of weeks finding a breeder and researching them before we found a local breeder.  So, on Thursday, Dashurie (which Ashee-butt says means "love", but I'm pretty sure means "cuddle with a hay bale") joined the household.

She looks cuddly, but it really is like cuddling with a hay bale.  While I'm really loving Dash, I always feel like I've been stacking hay when I put her down.  I'm constantly checking my hands for the hay cuts I just know have to be there.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Welcome To My Life

Note to CTM:  I'm not trying to be an MRL.  Really, I'm not.  Call my boss, she'll vouch for me.

Only one week in to my Hell Month, I'm already falling behind, and for that I apologize.  Many of you know that I'm an Associate Dean at a career college.  Sounds kinda like a cushy job, doesn't it?  In addition to being the Associate Dean, I'm also the primary medical instructor.  I love teaching and have no desire to give it up.  However...I would maybe like to teach a lot fewer classes than I am this month.  Our college runs an accelerated program, so the students get a full semester's worth of information in just four short weeks (eight class periods, four hours apiece, for a total of thirty-two hours.  The remaining eight hours are to be done on their own time.).  It's very much like an immersion program and I'm impressed by the students who can stick it out and graduate.

We also have rolling enrollments, which means that every four weeks, we have new students starting, so there is no point where all of the students are at the same level.  Most of the time it works out and we can find classes for everyone.  Ocassionally, though, we run into a snag where we've got students close to graduating who need classes and students who are starting need classes and none of those classes are the same.  We're one week into one of those periods; Thank God it's only four weeks long.

Since I have students who need classes to graduate on time and I have new students who need beginner classes and only have three other medical instructors, it means a whole heap of extra work for somebody.  Being the salaried one, it means that I often take on a lot more than I can chew.  *I'm so not whining, I do it to myself, and I love it.*  

Here's an example of my week:
  • Monday: Teach four classes (ranging from 1 - 1 1/2 hours; all are directed studies), meet with the Education Department, get ready to pull from the corporate database for scheduling.
  • Tuesday: Teach three classes (two four-hour classes and one one-hour directed study); meet with the Dean, set the class schedule for next mod; attend a two-hour Management meeting.
  • Wednesday: Teach three classes (ranging from 1 - 1 1/2 hours; all directed studies); begin scheduling my 280-some medical students into the appropriate classes.
  • Thursday: Teach three classes (see Tuesday); finish scheduling 280-some medical students into classes
  • Friday:  Print and distribute 280-some schedules to the appropriate Academic Advisors; attend a Phlebotomy coalition meeting in Denver for the 9Health Fair coming up in April.  And, oh yeah, I forgot, working at the gun shop after my meeting in Denver.  I really must find some time to go shooting so I can remember why I torture myself doing data entry at the shop.
And I'm not the only one pulling this duty; everyone in my office works just as hard.  I work with a kick-ass team of women and I'm lucky to get to go to work with them every day; it's nice to know we're all in this together.

When I was whining talking to my sister about it last week, she said that it reminded her of Hell Week from G.I. Jane.  And it soooooo is.  Well, except for the hard-core exercise and Demi Moore's kick-ass body.  In that vein, I leave you with a brief clip of how my week feels, even if I'm not actually crawling under barbed wire in the mud while people are shooting over me.  It's really too bad I don't get to crawl through mud and do all of the physical activity, 'cause I'm afraid I'll never see the scale move if I can't find time to go to the gym. It just ain't happening for the next three weeks, not with working two 14.5 hour days and two 10.5 hour days (and that's just what I'm scheduled for, not what I'll actually work). Maybe being so busy, I won't have time to get bored and just munch though.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Alpha Beta Kappa

Two Fridays ago (whew, am I behind!), we had our Inaugural Induction Ceremony for Alpha Beta Kappa, a National Honor Society.  In order for a student to be inducted, he or she must maintain at least a 3.8 GPA and have completed at least 75% of his or her program.

We inducted eleven students into ABK, all of whom were women, though it is open to men as well.

*Warning: Soapbox moment*
So for all of you so-called experts who tell our young women that they aren't as good as men in math and science, bite me.  Every single one of our inductees majored in either math (Business Accounting) or science (Medical Specialties).
Congrats to all of the young women who worked unbelievably hard for this accomplishment, all while attending an accelerated program, which brings many people to their knees.  You worked hard and deserve the honor; I'm unwaveringly proud of you.

:( Some of the inductees couldn't make it to the ceremony.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Field Trip!!!!!

The weather's been kind of lousy for most of us (though it's been beautiful in Colorado for the last few days), rain and snow and cold.  And I don't know about you, but getting into the swing of things at work after the holidays has been kind of tough.  Sooooooo....let's all take a field trip to Cinque Terre, Italy!  Join me over at Terry's Place, where she's been kind enough to organize our trip to my favorite place on the planet.

Terry is an author who "straddles the genres of mystery and romance", whom I've been following for quite a while now.  Her blog gives great insight to what authors, even published, well-known, authors go through to get the perfect book into our hands.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday

Scale Has Not Budged.

No new pics, as I left my camera at work, but since the stupid scale hasn't budged, if you really need to see a picture of my desperately-in-need-of-a-pedicure feet on the scale, go to last week's post.  Same damn thing.

I didn't even ask RockCrawlinChef what the scale said for him. 

Knew it would just piss me off.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Limited Exposure

On Friday, over at Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit, he had a guest blogger, Michelle, who started the Exposed Movement in which she "exposed" herself and decided to celebrate her body rather than hate on it.  This is her self celebratory photo...

I, however, am not that brave.  Nor am I that talented at manipulating photos.  I tried to do the whole writing on the photo thing and it didn't work out so well for me, so what you get is "Limited Exposure"; the most recent, fully clothed, full body photo I could find.  I've been avoiding the camera like the plague, and was thoroughly disgusted by these photos until I looked at them with fresh eyes, thanks to Michelle.

Arms, shoulders, and back: Have lifted literally tons of hay and thrown hundreds of saddles.  Have shot handguns and long guns in calibers ranging from .22 to .454 Casull to .50 Beowolf.  Have carried and moved my children, most notably my oldest son, during his paralytic episodes.  Hands:  Completed NaNoWriMo 2009, act as my spell check when I use sign language to remember how to spell hard words.
Belly, Butt and Hips:  Have carried and birthed three healthy children.
Legs and Feet:  Have ridden countless miles both in a saddle and bareback.  Have carried me through cities in England, Scotland, Ireland and Italy.  Have provided me with hours of fun with my friends playing soccer.

I'm constantly telling my kids when they complain that they need to name five positive things, even if it's "the sky is blue today", just so that they get in the habit of looking at things in a more positive manner.  Problem is, I've been guilty of looking at the bad side of my body and forgetting to look at all of the great things it has helped me to accomplish. 

K. Erickson over at Preachers and Horse Thieves will probably reach through cyberspace and slap me upside the head, because he's been telling me ever since I started with LIB that my attitude sucks.  Though he's too much of a gentleman to actually say those words.  So, K., I'm listening.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm Not Really Feeling It, But...

...I'm going to try to improve my mood.    Yesterday was an absolutey wonderful day spent with the RockCrawlinChef at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo.  A visit to the Stock Show is a tradition for my family, but it was the first time that he and I have gone together.

I didn't work out officially yesterday, but I'm going to count the hours we spent walking around looking at the exhibits as my exercise.  During our wandering we came across this...

and this...

Now at the risk of pissing off people and losing new followers, I have to tell you that the Purell displays really and truly pissed me off.  This is the Stock Show people!  Let your kids get freakin' dirty for once.  Has anyone ever thought that the reason we have so many illnesses/allergies/general wussiness is that we don't allow our immune systems to do their job?  And has anyone ever thought about how the over-use of hand sanitizer will affect us in the future?  I see hand sanitizer and I see nothing but a new superbug in the making.  Didn't we learn our lesson with penicillin?  The fact is that hand sanitizer only works if it's used properly and more than 90% of the population mis-uses it.  By not following the directions and mis-using it, we're just killing off the weak antigens and allowing the strong ones to flourish. 

Mark my words: it won't be long before we have 1) newly developed allergies to hand sanitizer and 2) sanitizer-resistant antigens.

Plain old soap and water is still the best thing you can do for your health.

*Stepping off the Soapbox and returning to the regularly scheduled post...*

We also saw this...

Now that's a smoker!  I tried to calculate how much meat could be cooked at once on it and promptly gave myself a headache.  I think that I've just found my grill's new significant other!  Doesn't matter that we'd never have a need to cook that much meat at once (in addition to the grill's capacity), I just love it.

The only thing we had planned when we left the house was to attend the Dog Pulls.  The Chef just loves them and I'm amazed at how much weight a dog can pull.  The conversation taking place behind us, though, was more interesting than the pulls.

Man to family:  I think the hay's kicked up my allergies.  It's seven o'clock and we haven't eaten yet. Me thinking:  Really?  Look around, we're surrounded by food.
Wife:  I've never seen this, wonder what it's all about.  Is that an Irish Wolfhound?  Me thinking:  No, it's an Alaskan Malamute.
Daughter:  I can't believe they're making their dogs do this.  It's torture.  Me thinking:  Poor city kid.  She doesn't get it.

The crowd starts cheering as a dog bears down and scrambles down the track.  The announcer reassures everyone that the dogs will not hurt themselves and that they will stop pulling before they get hurt.  Wife and Daughter get caught up in the excitement. 

Man:  It's seven o'clock and we really need to leave so we can eat.  (It's obvious that he has no intention of eating fair food like the rest of us.)  Me:  WTF?  Grow a pair.
Wife:  Just let us see three.
Man (two pulls later):  That's three.  Let's go this is ridiculous.  It's seven o'clock and we won't get home before bedtime and we haven't even eaten yet.  Me:  Seriously?  Where do you live that you're not going to be home by bedtime?  And what's wrong with fair food?
Wife:  That was just two...
Daughter:  But I want to see this...
Man: We're leaving.  Me:  Really.  Man up and grow a pair.  Your wife and daughter are having a good time, it's the weekend, let them have some fun.

RockCrawlinChef and I thought this was a fairly ridiculous exchange ourselves and took a look at Man as they leave, wondering why the heck he was hungry when we were surrounded by food.  One look and it's immediately apparent.  Accidentally outloud from both of us at Man's retreating back:  "Grow a pair and man up."  This boy was city, through and through.  Probably vegan as well.  And, from his attitude with his family, a control freak.  So wouldn't be surprised to find out that his daughter got "a little discipline" for voicing her opinion about wanting to stay and watch.  Poor kid.  He had the chance to actually educate her about where her food comes from and some of the other agri uses of animals, but since he obviously found the Stock Show distasteful and dirty, he lost out on a good teaching opportunity.

We left the Dog Pulls shortly after and headed over to the Rodeo.  It was a great time, and though I feel for the cowboys, the animals won almost every event.  We got home well after bed time, but since we weren't afraid to eat at the food tents, we didn't go hungry.  Man, I love fair food!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Who Is That Fatso In The Mirror?

I'm facing a bit of a disconnect.  I'm working out, I'm feeling great: strong and healthy.  So who is the fat bitch in my mirror?  I was honestly surprised yesterday when I got back from my workout and saw myself in the mirror as I was getting into the shower.  I don't feel like I weigh as much as I do; I feel better than I have in months, so why don't I look like I feel? 

I know it will take time to get my body to catch up to how I feel, but since my resolution was to be healthier, I suppose I'm meeting that resolution.  But, Body, please, please, please hurry up and catch up, I don't like seeing that fat bitch in my mirror.  Please can't we replace her with the skinny hottie that I know is lurking in there somewhere?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Making The World A Better Place...

...Two Phlebotomists, four Medical Assistants, and one Pharmacy Technician at a time!

The best part of my job is when I know that I've done the best I can for my students.  I set the bar high for them and expect them to put in the work to make it and it's an amazing feeling when they do.  Yesterday was the day that I sent my "babies" off to slaughter - I mean to sit for their National Certification exams.

For two to three heart wrenching hours, I have to let my babies, whom I've cursed, cajoled, threatened and cried over out of my control while they take their National Certification Exams.  I pace like a daddy outside the birthing room the whole time they're in with that other person, the test proctor.

The stress is different than what I usually feel.  For the students that I directly had a hand in teaching and bringing along, I worry that there was something important that I forgot to teach them that will make or break their certification.  For the students that I didn't directly have a hand in teaching, I worry that I didn't give their instructor enough information or support and therefore have failed the students in that aspect. 

The certification tests are HARD and they're supposed to be; you wouldn't want anyone working on you or your family members who didn't have to pass a stringent exam, but it still breaks my heart when I have a student who I know works his/her ass off and just barely misses their certification.  It always makes me want to cry when one of my babies doesn't pass their first time through.

And just because, here's today's workout:

  • 15 minutes interval training on the elliptical machine (levels 1 and 8)

  • 2 sets of 20 reps standing alternating bicep curls (10#)

  • 2 sets of 20 reps standing alternating tricep extentions (10#)

  • 2 sets of 10 reps standing front raises (anterior deltoid) (10#)

  • 2 sets of 20 reps vertical crunches

I was short on time, so I cut out some of my cardio.  Knowing that muscle burns more calories, I've decided to incorporate more weightlifting in my workouts, which I love.  Probably next week, I'll switch to fifteen minutes of cardio, thirty minutes of lifting, and finish with fifteen minutes of cardio, which ensures that I keep my heart rate up for the entire hour I'm working out. 

I also "super set" when I lift, moving from one exercise to another, so for example I'll do my bicep curls, then tricep extensions, then front raises, then crunches, and then rest for 30 seconds before starting my super set again.  My trainer turned me on to the super sets when I ran into time issues, because it allows one set of muscles to rest without while you're working another set without having to stop exercise.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday (AKA WTF? Wednesday)

First, let me just say I'm pissed as hell.  I've been going to the gym on a semi-regular basis; have increased my water intake; have decreased my Coke intake (though we all now know about the hot chocolate fiasco); and have reduced my portions; when I'm full I stop, even if there's just a bite or two left.  My DH, on the other hand, hasn't stepped on foot in the gym and has eaten a couple of salads.  By a couple of salads, that's what I mean, like, two.  That's what he's done for his weight loss.  Knowing that, here are the results of our weigh-in today...

That's right, all that freakin' work and the GunDiva's exactly the freakin' same!  Yes, the scale says 184.5#, which still leaves me with a BMI of 35.4, which is still freakin' obese. C'mon!  I'm working to lose weight and the scale's not. effing. budging.

So, here's the result of the RockCrawlinChef's no gym, two freakin salads week...

Yep.  No gym time, two goddamn salads and he's down to 195.0# with a BMI of 28.8, which is overweight, but not freakin' obese.  He's down 3.5#, a loss of 1.7%.  His BMI is down 1.4 points from obese to overweight.  Wanna know what really trips my trigger?  Last Wednesday, when I didn't post our weight?  It's because he was UP to 204#, so since last freakin' Wednesday he's lost 9#.  He's only down 3.5# from his original weigh-in, but 9# since last week.  Really?

I'm happy that he's been able to lose weight but pissed as hell that he hasn't had to to a damn thing to do it.  Effing men!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Night's Workout

Ok, just for the sake of getting it down, here's tonight's workout:
  • 28 minutes on the elliptical machine (weight loss setting), increased resistance to 2 and 8 from 1 and 7
  • 3 sets of 10 reps (10#) supine fly (pecs) on the fitball
  • 3 sets of 10 reps (10#) tricep extensions on the fitball
  • 3 sets of 10 reps (10#) supine press (pecs) on the fitball
  • 3 sets of 20 reps (10#) bicep curls on the fitball
  • 3 sets of 15 reps fitball crunches
Today was a bad Coke day; super stressful, so I had two Cokes and one hot chocolate, which is one Coke and one hot chocolate more than my allowed amount.  I did match my Cokes with one liter of water and made sure that I burned off those extra 250 calories on the elliptical machine before I stepped off of it, so I'm not feeling so bad about blowing it.

My upper body is going to be sore tomorrow, even though I only lifted 10#, but it's a start.  Every time I get discouraged about my lack of progress, I remind myself that the last time I started working out I couldn't complete nine minutes on the elliptical machine (resistance 1, no incline/intervals).  Here I am, 35# heavier than the last time and right off the bat I could complete 28 minutes on the weight loss setting.  I think I'm going to have to hold onto that thought for a while, as this is really slow going.

WTH Monday

I know it's early on a Monday to already be posting a "WTH?", because there are still hours and hours left for the day to go to crap. 

However, I just found out that my one eight-ounce cup of hot chocolate has as many calories as my one twelve-ounce can of Coke.  Too bad I didn't figure that out until after I'd already made it!  No wonder my scale's not been budging.  I've been cutting out Coke by adding in other drinks, including hot chocolate, and inadvertently increasing my caloric intake, what with drinking three to four hot chocolates a day instead of my one Coke.  Don't know why it didn't dawn on me earlier to check the calories in hot chocolate, but I'm going to savor this one, which will be my last for a while.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Cragislist Rant

Note:  A friend of mine from work found this on Craigslist and thought of me...

To the Thug Latino Guy With the Dumb Looking Mustache Who Tried to Mug Me in Downtown Miami night before last:

I can only hope that you somehow come across this rather important message.

I was the guy wearing the black Burberry jacket that you demanded that I hand over, shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend, threatening our lives. You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings.

First, I'd like to apologize for your embarrassment; I didn't expect you to actually crap in your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket. The evening was not that cold, and I was wearing the jacket for a reason. My girlfriend had just bought me that Kimber Model 1911 .45 ACP pistol for my birthday, and we had picked up a shoulder holster for it that very evening. Obviously you agree that it is a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head ... Isn't it?!

I know it probably wasn't fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with that brown sludge in your pants.. I'm sure it was even worse walking bare-footed since I made you leave your shoes, cell phone, and wallet with me. [That prevented you from calling or running to your buddies to come help mug us again].

After I called your "Mami" as you had her listed in your cell, I explained the entire episode of what you'd done. Then I went and filled up my gas tank as well as those of four other people in the gas station, -- on your credit card. The guy with the big motor home took 150 gallons and was extremely grateful!

I gave your shoes to a homeless guy outside Vagabond, along with all the cash in your wallet. [That made his day!]

I then threw your wallet into the big pink "pimp mobile" that was parked at the curb ... After I broke the windshield and side window and keyed the entire driver's side of the car.

Later, I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell phone. The phone company just now shut down the line, although I only used the phone for a little over a day now, so what 's going on with that? Earlier, I managed to get in two threatening phone calls to the DA's office and one to the FBI, while mentioning President Obama as my possible target.

The FBI guy seemed really intense and we had a nice long chat (I guess while he traced your number etc.).

In a way, perhaps I should apologize for not killing you ... But I feel this type of retribution is a far more appropriate punishment for your threatened crime. I wish you well as you try to sort through some of these rather immediate pressing issues, and can only hope that you have the opportunity to reflect upon, and perhaps reconsider, the career path you've chosen to pursue in life and the kind of crap that you put other people through every day.

Remember, next time you might not be so lucky.Have a good day!

Thoughtfully yours,


P.S. Remember this motto ... An armed society makes a civil society!

Location: Miami

GunDiva's Note:  Boy, I hope that I remember the whole take his shoes, wallet and cell phone thing if anyone thinks to mug me.  That, my friends, was a stroke of pure genius!  Possibly, calling the DA's office was over the top, but you gotta give Alex an A+ for inventiveness.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dear Crazy: A Rant

Dear Crazy Ex-Girlfriend of My Darling Oldest Son:
I know you've never been told "no" in your life, and I'm proud of my son for being the first to do so.  Now, never having heard the word "no", I understand that maybe you don't know that "no means no". 

It means that you can't have whatever it is you want.  In this case, my son.  Nope, can't have him.  He doesn't want you.  In order for a relationship to work, both parties have to be interested.  I realize this is harsh, but true.

If showing up crying at our house at all hours of the day and night didn't work.  And texting my Darling Youngest Son non-stop didn't work.  And telling him you're pregnant when you're not didn't work.  Why the hell did you think that permanently marking yourself with a tattoo of his initials on the palmar side of your finger will work in your quest to get him back?


You're nuttier than a fruitcake and you're right to be hiding that tattoo from your parents, 'cause they might just knock your head off'n your shoulders and they'd be right to do so.

Girl, I'd tell you how much you're going to live to regret that decision, but you'll find out soon enough when you have to explain to your next boyfriend why you have your ex-boyfriend's initials permanently engraved into your finger, which you're currently hiding by wearing the ring my son gave you.

Really, just grow up and get over him.  He's over you and has moved one, without permanently marking his body.

Disgusted Mother Whose Son Is Over You

Friday, January 8, 2010

To The Gym, To The Gym, Rinny-Tin-Tin

Well, I've managed to make it two times in a row to the gym.  I got a bit of a late start, so I shorted myself the time I would have used to lift.  I did manage another 28 minutes on the elliptical machine; 1.96 miles this time, as I was having a hard time regulating my heart rate.  I have this pesky little condition called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia - so my heart races out of control for no reason.  It's controlled by medication most of the time, but tonight, not so much.  I spent a great deal of my time trying to keep my heart rate less than 150 bpm, which is typically my "tripping point"; the point at which I can flip myself into tach.

Maybe tomorrow's workout will go better.  I'll have time to lift as well as do cardio, which I'm looking forward to.  AND...the weather's supposed to warm up to above freezing.  It'll be a good day.

Turn The Clock Back

Note:  This was scheduled for tomorrow, but blankity-blank Blogger scheduler apparently isn't working.  Sorry.

I miss being a kid.  Especially when it's cold out - and it's been cold.  Not just here, but every where.  I hate the booger freezing cold that we've been having and I hate having to be the Mommy when it's this cold out.

I miss being a kid.  When I was a kid, I was too little to have to go out and start the car when it was cold. I just had to bundle up in my coat and make it from the house to the already-warmed up car.  There wasn't any of this booger freezing shit scraping rock-hard frost from the windows.  Nope.  When I was a kid, I just stayed in the house, nice and toasty until it was time to put my coat and mittens on and go to the car.  I miss that.

You know what else I miss?  Kind of along the same lines.  I miss footie pajamas.  I never had cold feet in footie pajamas.  Know what was the best?  When we'd be out somewhere late and we'd change into our pajamas where ever we were.  Then Mom or Dad would go out and warm up the car.  We'd get into our nice warm pajamas, put on our nice warm coats and mittens, and get into our nice warm car.  It would be so nice and cozy that inevitably I'd fall asleep and get carried into the house and slip right into bed.  I miss that.  I want to be the one getting carried in all nice and cozy like.  I don't like being the one to have to do the carrying in and shit.

Being a Mommy sucks sometimes.  But, most notably in the winter.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Well, I finally made it to the gym.  Was supposed to start Monday and that didn't happen.  Was supposed to go Tuesday and that didn't happen.  Yesterday? Nope.  But today...I made it!

I grumble about the gym, but it's not the gym I don't like, it's the getting off my polar bear ass and going to the gym.  Once I'm there, it's all good.  I love the smell.  I love the sweat.  And I really, really love the feeling the next day of the fatigued muscles and the sense of accomplishment.  I don't, however, like the painful soreness.  Fatigue is one thing; pain is entirely different.

I may, if I play my cards right, be able to make it tomorrow and Saturday, which will make it three days this week and squeak in my goal to make it three times a week.

Today's workout:
  • 28 minutes on the elliptical machine (1.99 miles, 3250 strides)
  • 2 sets of 20 crunches on the crunch machine (10#)
  • 2 sets of 20 on the obliques machine (10#)
I've got to find my workout cards, 'cause I'm lost without them.  I've got a great set of cards that I made from the workouts my former trainer gave me that are broken down into arms, legs, chest and back that I can rotate through.  Grrr...I hate when I put things some place safe and can't find them again.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday

I debated on whether or not to post today because it's only been three days since we started this thing and I didn't anticipate seeing any changes.  I was right...the scale's exactly the same for me, though it's a bit meaner for Jay.  He's up, rather than down, so he took a salad to work to munch on all day. 

One of the things we're going to try to do is not eat after seven p.m.  He did that last time he lost a ton of weight and it really helped, so we'll be giving that a go. That's going to be really hard for me from mid-Jan through mid-Feb, because I'll be working late four days a week, but I'll do my best to stick with it.

Thanks, everybody, for all the support and I'll have pics up next Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Thought-Provoking Post

My friend, K. Erickson, over at Preachers and Horse Thieves had a very interesting post today; one that had me thinking.  Check out A Modest Proposal.  I found the history lesson quite informative and dusted off some brain cells I hadn't been using in a while.

The Scariest Road Trip I've Ever Taken

As I was writing about .38 and River for Tales From The Trail, I couldn't help but think about the trip to Arizona.  Since I was working as a medical assistant at the time and the clinic I was working at was open right up until the day before Thanksgiving, the kids and I didn't leave until really early Thanksgiving morning for our fifteen-hour drive to southern Arizona.

At that point, road trips with the kids were actually not too bad.  They were small enough that I could put one on each side of the backseat with a cooler in the middle and the oldest in the front seat.  We'd leave at four a.m., because, by my reasoning, the drunks were either home or had already killed themselves and the morning commuters wouldn't have left for home yet.  The greatest part was that we'd be in Colorado Springs, almost out of the state, before the kids would wake up and want breakfast and we'd be in need of a fill-up at that point anyway.

The morning started off well; I got the kids loaded in the car and we got out on time, which is pretty amazing.  They slept until we were almost to Raton, which made me think the trip was going to go unbelievably smoothly.  Boy was I wrong.  The kids woke up, dove into the cooler and ate some of the road trip crap I'd packed.  Beef jerky, Coke, Twizzlers.  You know, the stuff you can't live without when traveling.  They didn't whine too much about being in the car and didn't even start fighting.  Really, really thought the day was going to go well.

About twenty miles north of Albequerque the car started sputtering and acting up.  It was missing and acting like it wasn't hitting on all four cylinders, so I pulled off to check under the hood.  I wiggled the spark plug wires and one came off in my hand.  Not a big deal, I'd just pop it back onto the spark plug...wait, where the hell's the spark plug?  It's not in the little holey-thingy where it belongs.  I start looking around the engine, thinking that it had fallen out when the plug wire popped loose.  It wasn't there.  Just as I was thinking I'd lost my mind, I happened to glance at the end of the plug wire and there was my spark plug.  I tried to pluck the spark plug from the wire and couldn't, so I grabbed a hold of it and yanked.  And out came the spark plug and a little surprise.  The connector thingy that is supposed to be part of the plug wire that clamps onto the spark plug itself.  Oops.  Not a big deal, though, because waaaaaaaayyyy back when, I had learned to tune up a car when there weren't different lengths of spark plug wires, you just cut them to size, slid the boot back, and clamped on the connector thingy.  Hell, it hadn't been so long that I couldn't remember how to do that.

Except, apparently, things had changed since then.  The wires were fixed lengths and the boot wouldn't slide back.  I mucked around and mucked around before I finally just said screw it, screwed the spark plug back into its hole and jammed the plug wire on as tightly as I could, fully intending to pull into the next open place I saw and buy new damn plug wires.

I managed to limp into Albequerque and pull into the only freakin' open place...WalMart.  Yep, Thanksgiving day and the only thing open is WalMart.  Does WalMart have spark plug wires?  Not the one I went to.  Nor the second one I went to.  Finally, I got smart and had them call the other stores to see which one might have spark plug wires for me to buy.  After much cajoling and maybe a little bit of threatening, I managed to talk someone in the automotive department into chasing some down for me and giving me directions.

Finally, after a delay of more than two hours, the kids and I were back on the road and headed to Arizona.  The plan was to drive south through New Mexico and hang a right at Hatch.  From there I had some less-than-clear directions that I was assured would make sense once I got there.  Uh.  Okay.  It meant riding in warm southern Arizona and I figured I could always find a gas station or something/someone to give me directions to the ranch.

Despite the delay, the kids were still pretty much rock stars.  I only had to threaten them a couple of times.  I do believe that I promised to dump their bodies in the Arizona desert where the critters would scatter their bones far and wide and their bodies would never be found.  Surprisingly, it worked.  Eventually flat-out boredom struck and they all fell asleep as the sun went down.

I did okay until I made the right turn at Hatch.  By that time, it was dark and the landmarks were hard to find, so each time I thought I was approaching an intersection, I slowed to a crawl, which put us even further behind schedule.  From Hatch, I'd called the ranch to let them know where I was and verify the directions.  They told me I was only a few hours away.  Heck, after all the time we'd already spent in the car, what was another few hours?

I managed to find the correct county road and I was on my way!

I was the only car on the road.  There was nothing, and I mean nothing, to see in front, behind, to the left, or to the right.  Just the stars in the sky above.  The kids were asleep and I'd gone into cruise mode, just me and the car and the road.

I suddenly realized that there was a car behind me with the headlights off.  I'll admit that I'm hyper-vigilant about cars following me, as the kids and I had been trapped in a drive-through a couple of years earlier by my ex-turned-stalker.  Needless to say, a large vehicle pacing me with the headlights off pegged my "Oh Shit" meter.  I reached down with my right hand just to make sure that my Glock hadn't slipped back from where I'd put it between the seat and the console.

The car kept pace with me for a half a mile or more before another large vehicle, also without headlights, turned on to the road next to me.  The second vehicle rode just forward of my left bumper, not leaving me any maneuvering room should the first vehicle crowd me.  I started looking for an escape route, but there wasn't any.  The car to my left kept me from moving into that lane and the car behind me was pretty much on my bumper.  To my right was a large concrete irrigation ditch.  There was nowhere but forward to go.  I was essentially being herded by people I couldn't identify.  Suddenly, my .40 caliber Glock didn't really seem sufficient, but I knew I'd go down shooting if I had to.  I reached down again with my right hand and loosened it from the holster to make sure there wouldn't be any glitches if I had to draw.  At the time Iwas thinking that I'd inadvertently interruped a drug exchange and was hoping that my non-descript gold Honda wouldn't draw too much attention from them.

By this time, I'd been a competitive defensive pistol shooter for over a year and knew I could hit anything I aimed at, but sure the hell didn't want to have to.  As my "Oh Shit" meter continued to climb higher than I ever thought possible, a car pulled out in front of me from a ranch access road on the right. 

As the car turned, my headlights caught the Border Patrol insignia painted on its side.  It was painted in non-reflective paint, so I was lucky to get a look.  I'm pretty sure that the driver's timing was off; if he's pulled out sooner, he would have been outside the range of my headlights.  Or maybe he did it on purpose to see if they'd get a reaction out of me.  As they herded me it dawned on me that I was so close to the border that they were suspicious of me.  Me!  A single woman with three kids in an old, hardly running Honda Accord.

They escorted me like a prisoner for another mile or so, before the one in the back flashed his headlights and the peeled off, one by one, until it was just me and the car and the road.  I slammed the Glock back down into its holster, relieved that I hadn't chosen to try to defend myself against the freakin' Border Patrol.  'Cause guess what?  I'd've lost.

The adrenaline dump, courtesy of the United States Border Patrol, lasted me until I saw the most welcoming sight in the world: the ranch lights.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome, New Followers

Since Saturday morning, my followers have almost doubled.  Hell, if I'd known that all I had to do to increase my followers was to publically announce that I've got a polar bear attached to my ass and I have to lose it to gain followers, I would have done it long ago!  So, welcome and here's a quick history lesson of me and my blog(s).

Why "GunDiva" as a name?  Well, that's easy.  I love, love, love to shoot anything that goes bang.  In the past, I've competed in defensive pistol and long-range rifle matches.  I visited my brother in Arizona one year and we went to the Scottsdale Gun Club.  They had a cute little baby-doll t-shirt with "Gun Diva" printed on it.  I bought the shirt and the nickname GunDiva stuck.

This blog started, I guess, as a way to share stories with my family and friends.  It was kind of just a fun way to write.  This blog, my primary one, is kind of a catch-all for anything.  There's no real theme.  I brag about my students, my horse, my kids and my husband.  I also rant on ocassion, the most recent being about an idiot (if she wasn't an idiot, I wouldn't have had to rant) in a movie theater.  And most recently, my blog is being used to document my 1st resolution of 2010 - to become healthier (I'm trying my best not to say "lose weight").

My second blog, Tales From The Trail, arose from my years as a wrangler in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  I'll be submitting the stories to a publisher (with help from a dear friend and fellow GunDiva) this spring in hopes of getting them published.  Keep your fingers crossed.

My third blog, Lyon's Roar Protection, is a WIP that has been sorely neglected of late.  My hope is to post once a week, but that hasn't been working out so well, with the majority of my energy being directed toward getting Tales published.

I've got three teenagers and a new husband...

...the equine love of my life...

...a cat...

...a step-dog...

...and amazing friends...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lose It Bitch - It's On!

Okay, time to start Resolution #1 (yuck!), but I signed on for it, so I'm going to do it.  And, really, I'll feel much better once I get this polar bear off my ass.  Jay, though he hasn't officially signed on to the contest, is joining me and will be allowing me to post his scale pictures as well.  His goal is to be 170# by his birthday in May.

Okay, deep breath, I can do this...

Yep, that's it 184.5# for me, which gives me a BMI of 35.4, which, as I already knew, is obese.  Damn.

Here's Jay's...

It's 198.5#, which gives him a BMI of 30.2, which is just barely obese.  Bastard.  Why is it men can carry more weight than women?  Grrr....

Yes, the scale's that dusty - that's how long we've been avoiding it.  I'll make sure it's thrown through the window cleaned up and pretty by our next weigh in.

We had every intention of starting our workouts today, but we're both still battling this never-ending cold.  Hopefully, by tomorrow we'll be over our snots and coughs long enough to get on the ellipticals.  I'll be posting our progress every Wednesday, with a final weigh in on April 30.  Wish us luck, we'll freakin' need it.

Anyone who wants to follow along can join us at Lose It, Bitches, where we'll be exchanging dieting and exercise ideas.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 The Year of the Blanket

So...The Christmas theme this year for my family must have been "blanket" 'cause that's what we got.  Lots and lots of them.  My friend at work started the trend with a leopard print Snuggie.  Yes, the leopard print one...

'Cept on me it doesn't quite look like that.  Apparently it's made for someone 5'9" or so, since it pools around my feet and hangs off my arms.  I feel like a little girl playing dress-up in my Snuggie.  But a warm little girl playing dress-up, which is the important part.  Cheesy as it is, I love my Snuggie.

Fast forward to Christmas Eve.  The Gun Diva gets her presents at Grandma Mary's house - yay!  Present number one: a blue snappy-uppy blanket.  Present number two: a fleece horse throw.  Present number three: a fleece throw that my dad customized using one of his old touring t-shirts.  Laugh if you will, but I'll be warm!

Christmas Day brings Snuggies for all of the children in the family!  Ash gets her own leopard print Snuggie, so now we can be twinsies!

Poor Jay was left out - he didn't get a Snuggie.  But that's okay, 'cause I'll share my snappy-uppy blanket with him.

So, either everyone in my family thinks that my house is too cold or we've become unbelievably difficult to shop for.  I'm going with the family thinks that my house is too cold thing.

But, I tell you, the next time I hear one of the kids whine about being cold...

2010 Resolution #4 - and That's It, No More

I've said it before, but I've got to actually do it this time...I'm going to start my Master's program in Public Health.  My boss wants me to get it in Nurse Education, but that doesn't interest me, which means that I won't put my all into it.  I understand his reasoning - I am, afterall, an Associate Dean dealing primarily with medical assisting students - so Nurse Education seems like the logical choice.  The difference is that I want to do Public Health, which will serve me well if my job at the college ever comes to an end.  I'd like to work for the CDC eventually and a Master's in Nurse Ed just won't get me there.

The great thing is that if I get my Master's through the college I work for, all tuition is paid; I just have to agree to work for two years after I complete my degree.  Trust me, I've been laid off once, which was plenty, and the agreeing to work for two additional years isn't any skin off my nose.  I look at it as guaranteed employment in a job I love.  It could be worse, really.

I will start my program no later than the May module.  That gives me time to get some new instructors hired and trained and get some of my crazy teaching schedule off of my plate.  It also gives me time to make sure that my Resolution #2 is met and I've got my submission to the publisher in and the contest for Resolution #1 should have just wound up.  Estes will appreciate me having lost some weight, I'm sure :)  Starting my program the same month as Estes comes home could make my Resolution #3 a bit more difficult, but still doable if I can get some of my work duties shuffled off to the appropriate people. 

Friday, January 1, 2010

I MISS MY BABY GIRL! and 2010 Resolution #3

*Warning: There are lots of links in this post to make up for the loss of pictures from the ITD my computer contracted.*

The four-legged one, not the teenaged one.  I had this whole year-in-review, decade-in-review thing planned for today, but then started my daily blog crawl and it dawned on me how many horse blogs I follow, just look at my profile for the list (note: Preachers and Horse Thieves is not a horse blog, though K. is a hoot and a half; everyone should read his blog).

Maybe it's because I'm sick yet again, which may be a year-end record for me.  Three illnesses in three months, WTH?  I'm never sick.  Maybe it's because she went down to winter pasture much earlier than the other horses and I haven't had nearly enough time with my baby.  Maybe it's all of the horse blogs I now follow.  Who knows?  What I do know is that I miss her so much it hurts.  I just want my baby girl.

I know that she's nearby - in Lyons - with the rest of the herd.  And I know that she's fine.  And I know that it's better for her to be out running with the herd than up at the Lodge where there's no wind cover and it's too cold and miserable to go for a ride anyway.  But damn it, I miss her terribly.  And I'm terribly envious of my horse blog friends who have their horses either home with them or boarded some place close, who can see their babies any time they want to.  And, if the weather's nice, they can just climb on up and away they go.

So, I guess my current year-in-review is going to involve my baby girl, Miss Estes.  She came home shortly before my wedding, and though she couldn't be in the wedding, I had to share our special day with her...

...yep, up and over the fence in wedding dress and boots!

She wouldn't have anything to do with the RockCrawlinChef being in the picture, but A-butt managed to get a nice shoot of me and Estee...We didn't get to the lodge in time for Estee to get a Spa Day, so she's a little rough around the edges in the picture, and still wooly from the cold.  For some reason, A-butt thought it more important for me to get the whole hair and makeup thing done for the wedding than Estes getting a good grooming.  Crazy kid!

We didn't get nearly enough ride time this summer, I'd blame it on a new husband, but that wasn't the case at all.  I'd gotten a big promotion at work, my counterpart quit as soon as we came back from our Honeymoon, and the librarian walked out without notice shortly thereafter.  The education department in a growing college does not run itself.  Thank God for the then-education department-assistant, Amanda.  Recently, she's been promoted to full-time Academic Advisor, but there wouldn't have been any way for me to keep the department running without her.  So, needless to say, my visions of spending a couple of days a week on the trail went by the wayside.  I did mange to get up the hill most Fridays and we got to go out...

We had good days; we had temper tantrums; and we slayed ghosties.  We rode, as usual, in the 4th of July Parade, but those pictures were lost when my computer crashed.  I think RockCrawlinChef has some pictures on his computer, but, honestly, his Mac scares the crap out of me.  They are not easy computers for us PC-types.

Our riding this summer got cut short by an accident in the pen.  We're not sure what happened to spook the horses, but something set them off and Estee ended up sliding off a short ridge and impaling herself on a tree stump that Missy Meeker and Washoe had chewed up a couple of years before.  Luckily, her injuries weren't too severe, but required time off to heal. 
Mom took great care of her and the good news is that the fall seemed to straighten up whatever was causing her to tighten up.  Let's hear it for natural chiropractic adjustments from falling off a ridge.

I didn't get to spend nearly enough time with her last summer, which leads us to Resolution #3...

More time with Miss Estes.  At least every Friday, but I'm going to make a point of adjusting my work schedule so that I can make it up at least one additional afternoon a week to spend with her.