Wednesday, September 28, 2005

9 years today

It's hard to imagine that someone's put up with me that long. The man deserves a medal. Happy anniversary, hon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

All aboard!

Growing up, I knew my father was an engineer. And the only type of engineer I knew drove trains. I wondered why he didn't wear the striped suit with the funny hat to work. My husband never really believed me when I told him this- he just thought it was a funny story I liked to tell.

Well, with schools closed due to the hurricane, hubby is getting lots of quality time with the kids. The boy started asking lots of questions when they were watching CNBC. What does the green arrow mean? What does the red arrow mean? What are those letters across the bottom of the screen? Hubby proceeds to explain the stock market. Then he asks the boy how mommy and daddy earn their money. He answers with mommy is an engineer. So, what does she do at work? The boy answers she drives trains. Ha.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Here are some of the more common misconceptions about atheists that I would really like people to understand:

  • We are not a unified group. We do not belong to an organization, we do not meet every week to discuss our non-god beliefs and how to overthrow the ones who do.
  • We have ethics and morals. They are just not based on punishment and reward after we die. We are not good to get the golden ticket in the afterlife and avoid the incinerator. They are simply based on living in harmony with their fellow neighbor.
  • The bible is a book. A very old book written by some people a long, long time ago. It is nothing more than that. It is certainly not a guide book. Arguing with passages from the bible doesn't mean a hill of beans to us.
  • Some are afraid to express their beliefs not because of embarrassment, but because of discrimination.
  • We do not want to be 'saved', learn why our beliefs are wrong, or really hear anything else about why we're going to hell. Many of us got here through deep introspection, not because we're 'looking for the easy way out'. And the hell references have no impact, see #3.
  • Just because we don't believe in a all mighty power, does not mean we are bad people.
  • We are able to give from our hearts without strings attached. We don't have an ulterior motive, not looking to change other people, just to pass on good will and live harmoniously with others.

Any, all, or none of this may apply. The reason being, atheists are not a group. They are individuals finding their own way. They are conservatives, liberals and everything in between.

My Rita evacuation story

I'm not sure you can call it an evacuation, since this weekend was our extended family's annual trip to New Braunfels. Early in the week last week, I was calm, cool and collected. Glad that we already had reservations for the weekend and we would be out of town. As Wednesday started, my nerves caught up to me. I left work after lunch to make preparations at home. After the boy's school was cancelled for the remainder of the week, I decided we would leave Thursday morning instead of the afternoon.

Wednesday I spent packing up the few things that are irreplaceable- scrapbooks, wedding album and all important documents. We continued to pack for our trip, put everything from the back yard into the garage. I felt the need to clean, to clean everything. I also understood how ridiculous that seemed. Watching the news just increased my tension, yet I couldn't turn away. We finally went to bed at midnight Wednesday and were awakened at 3:30 am by my father. The eye of the category 5 storm was to pass right over our suburban town with 140 mile an hour winds. My parents hit the road and tell us to do the same. My husband insists on waiting. We're not sure what to do with the animals as the place we're staying does not allow pets. So, we sit and wait and watch the weather non-stop. At 4:30 am we start packing the truck. As the path shifts east, we decide it's safe to leave the animals.

After watching hours of stranded motorists on TV, we head out at 8:30 am Thursday. Years of my husband's fascination with taking the back roads finally paid off. We make it to New Braunfels in 5 hours. Some in our party took 11 and 12 hours to make the journey, so we felt fortunate. But mostly we were happy the family was safe and all together. Our usual vacation spent floating in the river, wasting the days away were instead spent interrupted with MSNBC updates. We arrived home yesterday afternoon to find not a drop of damage. The neighbors informed us we didn't even get any rain. We are all so thankful that the storm took itself elsewhere, but sad and concerned for those in its path.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Man versus juice drink

Hubby volunteered at the boy's school on Tuesday and then went to lunch with him. The boy was so excited to have his dad there and kept offering to share his lunch. Volunteer positions were filled by other parents, assisting the kids with opening condiment packages and juice boxes. The little girl sitting across from them (whom my son has a crush on) was having difficulty opening her juice drink. Hubby offers to help and after repeating attempts my son asks if he wants to ask one of the other adults to come help.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Ugh, doctors

I went to the dermatologist yesterday because of a rash I've had on and off. It's only been on my arms, but when it spread to my neck, I decided to take action. Knowing that it might take months to get in to see my dermatologist, I take a recommendation from my mom. They were able to see me that day. I wait the standard hour in the waiting room and am finally escorted back to my new waiting spot. The nurse comes in, writes down my complaints and steps out. The doctor comes in almost immediately, says "it hasn't been that long since I've seen you" to which I reply "this is my first time here". He looks at me for less than 20 seconds mumbles something about nonspecific dermititis and dry, sensitive skin and then starts listing off the medications he is prescribing. Two minutes later, he walks out and I have four prescriptions in my hand with instructions to come back in 3 weeks. Yeah, right. Of course, they are all name-brand, the tv advertised pills.

I am so fed up with doctors. I am beginning to think they are as crooked as politicians. In bed with the drug companies. Did I forget to mention the pharmaceutical sales rep that came in while I was waiting and I heard him passing out candy bars to the staff? Wonder what goodies the good doctor gets. Trips to the Bahamas?

Having said that, I do believe there are doctors out there that care, I have a few on my team. But as a healthy 30 year old, I have been prescribed more drugs than I care to count. And the fact that I have a team, that's sad in itself. Endocrinologist for thyroid problems, dermatologist since I'm the poster child for skin cancer with blond hair and blue eyes, gynecologist cuz I'm a girl. Don't even get me started on the rest of the family's team.

There has to be a better way. One person who will treat me, not just a specific symptom. One that will take the time to determine the cause rather than immediately reaching for the script pad. Someone who believes that medicine is a last resort.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The sky is falling!

Last evening, as hubby and I were watching Rock Star INXS, a loud crash along with the sound of glass breaking came from below. Thinking the cat or dog knocked something off the kitchen counter or a mirror fell off the wall, we slowly walked down the stairs. Imagine our surprise to discover the ceiling fan had fallen from the ceiling and broken the glass top on the coffee table below.

Almost as bizarre as our shower door shattering in the middle of the night. Maybe our house is haunted.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


My employer is asking people to volunteer for an assignment working with FEMA for the hurricane Katrina victims. It's a 12 hour day, 7 days a week job for a minimum 30 days doing whatever FEMA needs. I feel like I really need to help out. I also worry about how my family would cope in my absence. I know the 30 days is unrealistic and I would most likely be gone for 4 - 6 months. Is it fair to ask my parents to take over my duties? Is it fair to my kids to be without their mother for months on end? I am torn between my sense of duty to my family and my country.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I can appreciate the irony

A week before last Friday, the evening my daughter ended up in the hospital, I received an unexpected and alarming phone call. It was from a law office and one of our rent houses was due to be sold on the courthouse steps in a little over a week. One of the main aspects of our business is helping people out of situations like this. Imagine our surprise at being in the very situation ourselves. Turns out we neglected to change our address with the homeowner's association and the association was foreclosing because of our deliquent dues. The following Monday I took in a cashier's check four times the original amount to save our property. I can certainly appreciate the irony.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blogging the aftermath

If you're anything like me, you're constantly scanning the news for updates in the New Orleans area. Here are several blogs that I've been following:

Josh Britton
Kaye's Hurricane Katrina Blog

I can only imagine the desperation felt by all of those affected by hurricane Katrina. Natural disasters like this expose not only the dark side of human nature but also the good side as well. I know as a nation we will pull together and do whatever it takes to help those in need.