Tuesday, October 21, 2008



So, I decided what the hell...I vacuumed the floors and mopped, Step MIL (don't even like referring to her as that, that means we acknowledge her as a Step) is coming with FIL to watch the World Series game. And then Brian's friends (Charlie's human breeders...would that make them god-grandparents...since my parents were his grandparents?) are coming on Thursday night....decided that I didn't want my first impression of my house to be chewed up sticks in the floor and Chance's vomit pile from eating his rubber ball last night...I tried to tell him. .....so I ran the vacuum and steam mopped the floors. This sounds like a lot of work, but I have a Dyson Animal, and it takes like 15 minutes to do all 2200 sqft and then like another 15 to push around the steam mop whilst it does magic...no chemicals needed. I'm so green i love it. And since I didn't take Chancey for a walk this evening. DH was kind enough to go for a long run and drag the dog with him...don't think the dog wanted to go and he's been passed out every since, guess he's not recouped from eating the rubber ball last night.

And to reward my puppy for eating a rubber ball and throwing it up this morning at 4:15 and waking me in a panic (since Charlie died ultimately from what started as a casual vomit, I now freak anytime a dog does so), I've been up every since.

And I am feeling like it's Friday and it's only Tuesday...I'm an old person. When I work (which is usually always except when I am fortunate enough to have the Army displace me from my comfortable homey surroundings or when my company goes belly up and lays me off), I get up early and go to bed late all week, and by Friday I crash at like 8:30 when most people are just starting to celebrate the weekend with large amounts of beer and little sleep. Then I use the rest of the weekend to veg and catch up on my week's missed TV shows and sleep. Well, this week, I have a game, twice the company load of normal...twice isn't even justice. My house normally consists of me, Chance, and DH. Tomorrow, it will boast an additional two people, and one whom makes me uncomfortable to be around.

Then, on Thursday, add to the above, a very sleep deprived me from being out too late at the game the night before and still rising for walking the dog before a WHOLE DAY OF WORK and coming home to DH who's off, and FIL and STEP MIL. Then enter Friend, Shane, wife, and little girl, oh, and the dog they are bringing for us to babysit (I did not sign up for this, and do not mind but keep in mind I am freaking about my test...and you see why).

Mind you, I still have to work all week, cram some more, and sleep...not possible, entertain these people, cause God forbid if I act like DH when I have company and hide, they'll all think I'm a horrid B#*&^. And they'll act all weird around me, and DH will be upset but will bottle it up like everything else. So, I have to play hostess, worker, cook, maid, dogwalker, student, and happy person. Oh, and I have PMS and have been sick with either a hole in my stomach, h. pylorii, or colon polyps for 4 weeks now.

DH leaves for work trip on Sunday. Can't wait, I will miss him badly, but that means all company will be gone, I can sleep and rest and reclaim my house...cause I feel that it's wrecked now and really will be once the whirlwind of people is gone.

Should be fun though. I enjoy company, just why does it always fall that Murphy picks the most inopportune times to invite himself and guests to my home?

Oh, I almost forgot the topic of my post. So, I sucked it up and took my last single practice section...Data Sufficiency. I breezed through the questions, deciding that they were rather easy. Then I got my score. I missed 7 out of 15!!!!!!! GMAT, you're kicking my ass and it's only spring training.

Well, I intend to take Practice Test #2 Thursday and kick ass...I at least hope my score goes up by 40 points. That way, I can sleep on Friday and prepare to do well on Saturday...even if it means going to stay in a hotel. Oh, BTW, anyone want to come visit...I got a cot I can pull out and a blow up mattress...


I took almost all of my practice tests today...need a miracle at this point. Stats follow:

Critical Reasoning: 5/15
Reading Comprehension: 10/15
Sentence Correction: 12/15
Problem Solving: 12/15

Left to determine:

Data Sufficiency (tomorrow)

Practice test #2

I did manage to make my study notes for math. Apparently, I need some critical reasoning notes too...or maybe just sleep.

Did good. Bought a TB baseball cap...already have a Navy and Sky Blue warm-up suit that I decided I'd wear to the game. Hey, already spent $650 on this game, I'm not buying a Rays outfit.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The GMAT World Series

I sucked it up and registered for the GMAT for this Saturday, the 25th. Thanks to my good friend Dr. Wifey, I forced my conscious self to agree with my subconscious self and face the fiddler: I would not study any harder if I had 4 months to prepare versus 4 days. In fact, I would still postpone it.

As you all know (or if you are like me and live under a rock--you may not know), the World Series of Baseball begins Wednesday, the 22nd. Being a resident of Hillsborough County now, I find it fitting that I should attend. I won't go into the details of my sarcasm, let's just say that the $640 I spent (unknowingly of course) on tickets would have better suited my taste to be turned into a $1400 net profit ($2000 selling price for the purchase of my tickets to a game that I could care less about attending)...to be spent on upgrades to our home, or the principal balance of our mortgage. Remember, I am of the Dave Ramsey school of thought. However, my DH and his DD are like two kids in a candy store.

Now, instead of giving up a night of my life and the precious cramming and restful sleep that I could be enjoying, I will be attending Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday. And as for the rest of the week, beginning tomorrow, well, it will be filled with DH's DD and SM...

Don't get me wrong. I am truly happy that DH can go to this game. Seems like a big deal to him. It'd be like me going to the Kentucky Derby or the Women's Championship Basketball in which TN was seated to take the title (ah-hemm spring 2008). So, I get it, and that's why I'm being a sport and going along with it, afterall, it was my good fortune to provide the opportunity to go. And I am even more thrilled that DH's DD is coming down to go. I sometimes wonder if DH cares (or if it bothers him) that DD doesn't come around more often. So, this shall be an eventful moment in our lives--as the family we are....

And you knew there'd be a BUT......

But, for cryin' out loud, could it not have happened the week before this, or the week after this!!! No, of course not, it's Murphy showing up. Don't want to think of what else (or breathe out loud or type what I already think) Murphy could do to make it even more challenging.

And since I just said it, challenging. That's just what this will be, and I am up for a challenge. Challenge: to study adequately as possible for my GMAT (which I hope all of you do your prayers, rain dances, or sage wands to bid me well) on Saturday morning at 8:00 am......

My solution: study tonight, tomorrow night, and Wednesday on the way to the game, Thursday night, and Friday night long as I go to bed early. Then Saturday after the test, I am attending a hog roast that our first two FL friends are throwing. I suppose it may come as no surprise that on Sunday I am sleeping, and resting, and maybe, just maybe Chance and I will go tot he beach and soak up some rays on our toes.

Good luck Rays, I am off to find a cowbell (the #1 marker of a true Rays fan...besides the Mohawk...and yes, I am brave enough to do it--just ask Frog, I've shaved my head before, but not a big enough fan)...and I am going to learn some more geometry.

Oh, in my AL series playoff for the GMAT (since we're talking baseball), I made a 420. Not too good. I need a 500. But, I was also doped on sinus meds. OH, brother, that's another stone in the fire, I'm not feeling well...I just was reminded of that!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Juggling Time

I've been whining about studying for the GMAT for what, months now? I still haven't studied. The thought of it sends me in the opposite direction. I started looking for classes to take to help me prepare, and they are already in session. And I started the new job, meaning that when I get home in the evening, after running or walking the dog, catching up on emails, laundry, and household chores, and cooking supper, I am spent and have no energy left to study. What I need is a course in time management...back to the type I had in high school when I could do everything on my weekly to-do list in one day.

Last week was my first week of work. The locality so that I can come home for lunch is great. Work is sort of boring because I haven't been trained on the instruments yet. But I did learn 3 new softwares. I think I need to keep a list of all the softwares I am fluent with.

I still like FL, I mean hey, it's mid-October, and I'm still sweating when merely walking the dog first thing in the morning. I thought we were due for a cool spell this week, and just checked the weather and the highs are in the 90s.

What sucks about this move: I don't have enough vacation time on the new job to go home for Christmas (and possibly Thanksgiving).... We are in fact 12 hours from home, and flying is so out of the way, it's not really an option. Both DH and I took a paycut to move here. The cost of living is about 2x what it is elsewhere. My friends are all somewhere else.

What's nice: I just discovered some nice beaches, good shopping, and am taking Chance to a beach for dogs next weekend. And we are starting to find some good restaurants. DH is home a lot more.

I need something to turn my attitude around. A new purse would be nice, or a planner that fits me, or this guy to come out and give the fencing estimate so I can prepare myself for my new enclosed yard.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Getting There

Chance and I rose late today. I was one of the idiots watching last night's pathetic debate. I'm sorry but he said, she said is not debate. These candidates need to go back to college and learn the rules of engagement. Least I remember the formalities.

Today, we completed training # 17 of 27. We are 63% of the way. I am working on eating habits, rather than weights. I have decided to postpone weights until I complete the 9 week training program. No, I am not going to stop running, but I feel that that is a goal that needs to be accomplished first before I add a new one. Plus, I need to learn to manage working, and running, before juggling some more stuff in.

I read a blog from one of Wifey's friend bloggers...about eating disorders and compulsive eating. I do that, I eat for no reason, and my mission this month, since Flylady says it takes a month to learn a new habit is to eat better. Not off to a good start. Since DH is away, I've dined on rotel and chips and red-beans and rice, two of my favorites that he will not eat. But I'm diving into apples and veggies for supper and going to keep trying. My return to vitamins and natural energy sources like caffeine (I know, it's not natural but I need it...I don't drink cokes, but I crave caffeine) is helping. So is being sick every time I eat food re-heated in the microwave. DH says to go to the dr, but maybe it's good for me. maybe there's an underlying condition, like stop eating microwaved food! We'll see. No dr.'s though, they don't usually have your best interest, unless you wave money at them.

Two of my special people

I know, DH will die that I put this on here, but I love this photo. And these two are rarely seen being friends...it's usually a big event that they even speak. Usually, DH spends two days talking about lemon juice, or grapefruit juice to prod DN to correct him in calling her cat's name...the cat is orange and her name is Orange Juice, named by moi. There was a smoky grey boy whose name was Burnt Toast, again, complements of moi, but he left us for better opportunities. Anyhoo, downloading pics today and came across this. I love it, and I miss them both. So, ta-da.

My, My What a Surprise

I walked out in the yard yesterday morning, something I do every day, but yesterday was different. I'd cut down all the Mexican petunias the evening before, and I was inspecting the newly opened up space and how much I didn't like seeing the parts of the fence the petunias used to cover. They will grow back, and judging from the size of the stalks, they'd not been pruned back--ever!! Much to my amazement, there was a grand 12" long bloom stalk off a cactus, that just sprouted overnight. And the flower was opening up with the sun emerging over the treeline. I am overjoyed that I saw this spectacle, as often cacti only bloom momentarily and can often do so without being noticed. The photos do not do it justice, but they're the only preservative I have. And to think, I'd thought about giving all my cacti away to keep pets and small children safe. Glad I've held on to them, further reinforcement that they truly are spectacular and amazing.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dental Check-up

Most people hate going to the dentist. I never have minded it. The past 3 years, my dentist used a fluoride rinse on me, and it usually made me sick to my stomach, but aside from that, my trips are never that bad. I don't get cavities. I've had like 2 in my whole life. I just get plaque build-up...so does my Dad...another great thing I inherited (feel the sarcasm...sorry dad). And I'm not a ritual flosser, so my gums bleed sometimes. But I never get cavities!!! You hear me. Just plaque. And I go every 6 months. I even go the extra mile to remind myself to find a new one when we move. No forcing me to go.

Today, as I am sure you have figured out, I went to the dentist. I chose the one in the Lake St Charles shopping complex in front of my neighborhood. Figured I may as well use the convenience. Ok, big mistake!

The dental office was very unusual. Tastefully decorated. Not something I've experienced in a dentist office. Every room was decorated in greenery and antiques or old shabby chic. I loved it. Wow! I thought. This is going to be a great dentist. I asked the assistants who decorated it, they told me the dentist did. Ok, it's a male. And while that's fine, I have never known too many men to be decorators. So, I was struck a little off.

First, they started promoting the whitening. Ok, I came in for a cleaning, and yes, I need to have my teeth whitened. But the last thing I want from a dentist is a salesman. Look out for my health. I'll ask you about the whitening if I want it...it is COSMETIC you know, not necessary!!!

So, then they take x-rays...in some of the oddest places I've ever seen. Yes, they were all of my mouth, but I've never had them shoot the backs of my front teeth. I blow it off, in the back of my mind, I feel that I am getting a good dentist.

Dentist comes in right away and makes small talk, where am I from, etc. Oh, he's wearing a very trendy shirt and tie, very trendy, too trendy to dig around in someone's mouth all day, but still, I am open-minded.

I told him I'm originally from NE MS. Ok, get a friggin map, dude!!! He keeps asking me if we got flooding this summer "down there", if we get a lot of crawfish, if we see all the boats come off the MS River. Ok, I said I was from NE MS like 5 times, and pointed out that it was the corner of TN, MS, and AL. But he never got that.

So, while he's poking on my teeth, he proceeds to tell me I have 5 cavities! Only he tells the assistant in dental code. I quickly asked him what that meant, and he said cavities.

Me: 5, are you sure, because I never get cavities, and I can believe that one, wight eara, but, not the other ones. (with my hand in my mouth pointing and talking so use your imagination as to how it sounded).

Dentist: Yes, did you not feel the pic:?

Me: no, only slightly on one.

Dentist: I can fill them today.

He writes something, hands me a sheet of paper and asks me to sign it. It's the estimate. Ok, I'm not at an auto shop. Don't most dentists have so much business they have you come in later to get your fillings filled. On his "estimate" he has prices for 5 fillings, a cleaning, and a whitening treatment. All complete with the insurance prices and my part. Ok, most dentists I know don't even know this shit, they have their receptionist person/insurance person do that. What the F^&*?

I told him to just clean my teeth, and he's tells me I can't get this price hardly anywhere else. I say, just clean my teeth. I'll reschedule (with someone else). So, he doesn't even scrape my teeth, something every dentist I have ever been to has done because of my plaque problem. Them he polished them, then he flosses them, if you want to call it that. I don't floss regularly, but I do a much better job. He acts like he's got a plane to catch, or maybe he wants those cavities to multiply. And that's it. No rinse, not even with water, I have to ask for it.

I'm peed. I ask him about the whitening (being a chemist pays). He does not know I am a chemist. He tells me in a very kindergarten explanation how it works. DUH! So, I ask what is the oxidizing agent. He says it's what whitens my teeth. I tell him I am aware that that is what whitening is (oxidizing the yellow organics out of the pores). I ask him what the chemical is. He says peroxide. I say what strength. His face was proof of the pudding. He was stupified. He said, "you know, I'll have to look." I ask is it 30%, or stronger. He says that 30% is strong. I told him you can buy that in stores. And he says that the manufacturers don't even tell him the strength. Ok, my fellow chemists. You must maintain MSDSs for chemicals in your business. We all know this. The MSDS has that information on it. I told him that, told him I was a chemist, and that I would be seeking a 2nd opinion and left.

My teeth feel cleaner, but I feel dirty. And I feel (and I can't believe I'm saying this cause I hate insurance companies) sorry for my insurance company, cause someone is taking them for granted. I am going to file a complaint with the BBB.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Phil Collins was on to something

When he wrote the lyrics, "Oooh, how I wish it would rain now, down on me..." We start the dry season here in FL in today. Well, it actually started here two months ago. I didn't start counting til September. So, rainfall total for September at my house = 0.6" How pitiful. My water bill hurts and our poor diseased grass looks awful. We will be resodding some parts next spring, but I haven't broke the news to DH yet. I convinced him to go ahead and have the fence replaced. Yippee!! Then, I am going to save up and have the curbing put in the front. I will post before and after pics soon. Oh, while my wonderful parents were here last week, the resident forester trimmed trees for me. DH does not like, but DH does not know much about landscaping. Looks much more open, and I do not like that, but you prune for a year's growth, not 6 weeks. Stay tuned for pics.

Gardening tips for fall: Begin saving coffee grounds, egg shells, banana peels. You should save others, but if you don't have a large property or a compost bin (like we don't yet have), this is a great additive to the soil, and the above three break down so fast on your dirt, you don't know you tossed them out after a week. And plants will grow, grow, grow next spring. Also, if you have bushes to prune, get trimming. I don't rake leaves out of beds til spring, it helps to protect tender plants from hard freezes if you grow them like I do (in zones where they really don't belong). Also, trim back perennials. Give them a good fertilizing. They will set new growth for next year before the freeze. IF you are going to bring in plants for winter, set them in the shade now. You might repot to rid of pesky ants that love to hide in pots. Setting them in shade adjusts them to reduced light. I would also cut back on water content. Believe it or not, plants sleep in winter. In fact, many cacti can make it all winter without water or light. Some perennials can, but I give them as minimal of both as I can. I'm too afraid of killing them. However, if you kill a plant, you are learning. That's how I've learned so much. What some gardeners can grow, some can't. I can't grow African violets...but I have my first one ever reblooming. I'm so excited!!!

Counting Down...

Today, I began week 6 of the 5K training schedule. By Sunday, I will be 67% complete. Monday's 20 minute run was a breeze compared to today's 5, 8, 5 minute intervals. Not sure why, but I stepped up my pace a bit, and it was humid, and for some reason, my sinuses are gross today. Think it's a slight weather progression into fall, and my body notices it more that I conscientiously do. Anyhoo, I've been running for a month, and since today is the first (and I like to start things on the 1st), I am going to be tracking my measurements as I begin weight training again.

Weight: 145.5 lbs
Biceps: 11"
Forearm: 10"
Chest: 30.5"
Waist: 32" -- how embarassing!!
Hips: 38" --these were always 41" so I am impressed and only beginning
Thigh: 22" at the fatest part
Calf: 14"

Note to self and readers: my weight usually fluctuates by roughly 3-5 pounds per month, maxing out at 148. For the past month, it held constant at 148, not sure why, but I was pleased that it maintained some constancy.

Next measurement date: Wednesday, October 29

Oh, and the 5K is 17 days away...no, I will not have completed the 9 weeks of training but close enough that I think I will be ready. And my realtor and her chemistry hubby (whom I owe much gratitude to both) are hosting a pig roast that day. I haven't been to one since high school...and I absolutely love this couple. They are both very interesting, and so outgoing. I think it will be great, and a great way to celebrate my first 5K ever!!