Monday, June 30, 2008


I'm beginning to hate trees. Truly. This morning we woke up and discovered that the storms last night had impaled a rather large tree branch into the roof of our shed. It's poking all the way through the plywood. It's probably a $20 fix, so it isn't worth submitting to the insurance company, but it's going to be a royal pain to fix.

At least it's not over the cat side of the shed, so it won't leak on them.

However, all of my stuff from when I moved is stored in the top of the shed, boxes of books and photo albums etc, and if that stuff gets ruined I will seriously shit a brick. I can't afford to replace some of that stuff, and the things like the photos are irreplaceable. 

At least we got rain right? 

It rained so hard that Livvie's pool was filled this morning, and so was her water table. That's just crazy. The airport is registering 1.3 inches from yesterday, but I'd wager we got more than that here. We desperately needed it too. The lake levels are falling again, and we're once again classified in Severe Drought conditions, so the more we get the better. I'm actually hoping for a good tropical storm to come along this summer and give us a good dousing.

No hurricanes though. I still remember Fran, Floyd, and Dennis.

Here's Fran:

After Fran made landfall the entire state of NC was covered. So were many parts of Virginia. And Maryland. And Delaware. It was the largest storm I have ever seen. It was my second Hurricane down here. The first one was Bertha about a month before. Bertha did some damage to the eastern part of the state, but most of Fran's fury was concentrated on central NC. It was just awful. My ex in-laws had about 20 trees in their backyard uprooted totally, and it took them weeks to cut them up and haul them away.

If we get a hurricane coming up from the south this year the entire second half of Eric the Half a Tree will come down, roots and all. Thankfully it's positioned so that it won't hit the house, but it would probably cost about $1000 to get it removed. We also have many dead pines that would come down, and I'm not so certain that the roof of the house could withstand it.

I love storms, except for the part where they freak out my dogs. I hate wind. I DESPISE wind. 

Keep your fingers crossed that it's a fairly uneventful summer. Hurricane season started on June 1st, but they normally don't head for NC until August and September. I have no idea why.

Oh, and remind me to start stocking up on gallons of water to store in the shed. We have a well. If we lose power we have no water. And not being able to flush the toilet would suck ass.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Our Plans for Today

Hulk Smash. 

Yep, we're off to see The Incredible Hulk. BFF and I needed to go to the movies so this is our choice. I'm really hoping this one is better than the last one. It's getting fairly decent reviews so we'll see.

Even if it sucks we'll get a good deal of colossal fighting and some explosions out of it, and hey, what's a big screen for if not for that? Does anyone honestly go see dramas and love stories on the big screen? and if so, why?

After the movie I have to come home and get on with the chores while Rich does his thing outside. I have laundry and dishes to do, and I still haven't gotten around to dusting the bedroom TV and its components. That desperately needs to be done. 

Did I mention I get to have popcorn today?

Absolute favorite part of the movie-going experience. Theater popcorn, no butter. That "butter" stuff they use is disgusting and can kill you within 3 days, so why bother?

BFF always gets an Icee, which is I think her absolute favorite part of the movie-going experience. She might even get some M&Ms. We'll see if she's in a wild and crazy mood. I content myself with no drink, because I have no intention ever of having to leave the theater to go pee. I refuse.

I sat through all of each LOTR movie without having to get up to pee even once. I consider that a victory.

So what are your plans for this lovely Sunday? I hope everyone has a pleasant one. I'll update later with a short review of the movie. Take care!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dammit All

My Hibiscus is blooming. The flowers are huge. I had planned to take pics of them when they bloomed and post them here so you could all ooooh and aaah over them, but alas, I can't.

They're full of holes.

Japanese Beetles have found them, and they're completely decimating the plant. The leaves, the buds, the flowers themselves. They're treating it as a free buffet, and it's driving me nuts. I have to go get some spray for them. I hate poisons, but this plant is far too important to me to mess around.

At least I don't have roses, right?

To me this means that the moles that destroy our lawn aren't doing their jobs. Moles eat Japanese Beetle grubs, it's one of their favorite delicacies, and one would think that given how many tunnels we currently have in our lawn that the mole population would be enormous. Apparently not. In my opinion the robins aren't doing their jobs either. Asshat fauna.

So I guess it's off to the Depot to get myself some godawful spray. I'm not sure what else to do. A friend let me know that the traps don't really work because they'll actually attract them, like they're supposed to, but that before they hit the trap they'll hit the plants. Lovely.

I wish that I had thought of this prior, but last year we didn't have this problem, so how was I to know? It not like I'm used to these fuckers being in the yard. They don't even munch on our wild roses in the side yard.

So cross your fingers that I can kill these bitches before the last flower blooms. I really want to show you how very awesome these are, as I've never seen Hibiscus so giant outside of photos of the islands. 

Thanks, and have a happy Saturday.

Friday, June 27, 2008


The baby bug has bitten me. I don't know when or how this happened, but one day recently I realized I didn't want Livvie to be an only child. I was an only child and it sucked. It still sucks. My mom is 77 years old, and if anything ever happens to her (which is bound to happen) I will have no support at all.

Rich and I talked about it yesterday, and his opinion is that we should wait because he doesn't want to be stuck at this job that he abhors forever. I can see his point. He'd like to know that if necessary he can leave there and take a lower paying job and still be able to support his family. I get that, I really do. However, when he said we should wait he added that there's still time because "people are having babies forever these days." Um, no they aren't not without assistance anyway, which we would never be able to afford.

I'm 37 years old, and my eggies ain't getting any younger. We lucked out this last time by having a healthy kid with no problems. ANYTHING can happen the older you get. I would love and cherish a disabled child, but honestly, who really wants one?

Also, as much as I really want Livvie to be potty trained prior to another kid, I think she'd be more prone to jealousy the older she gets. She already gets all of my time as it is, and I just feel that if she's say, 5 years old she'd be more inclined to despise an interloper. That would not be good.

The other reason this would be tough is that we barely have room for the three of us right now, so a new baby would have to live in the living room until Livvie is old enough for a toddler bed and the baby could have the crib. We have the pack and play which would be fine for sleeping for awhile, but in my memory that was a pain in the ass as once you remove the top part it's almost impossible to lower a baby into the bottom part without waking them up. It kind of sucked.

We've also gotten rid of all of our high ticket items like her swing, her bouncer, her infant car seat, etc. I have a 2 seater vehicle so I'd have to get another car. That would suck balls. We sort of need the truck, as we use it regularly these days for the things it's meant for. We can't afford 3 vehicles. We just can't.

So I don't know what to do. I'm waffling on this one, as it would REALLY make me happy for Livvie to have a sibling, but it would just be so tough. I have no idea what we'll do and when. But for now I guess I wait.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I am not getting enough sleep. I'm going to bed every night at 9, and generally conking out by 915, but I keep waking up all night and then end up awake from about 530 on. This morning I woke up at around 5 and stayed in bed begging to go back to sleep. I finally got up at 749 and Livvie woke up at 750, so that was good timing.

Last night I even took the clonazepam to help me sleep through the night and it just didn't work. I just don't know what to do anymore. Every day I sit here and get sleepier and sleepier, but I can't even nap when Livvie does because during the day I can't shut off my brain enough to fall asleep.

I tried Lunesta back when I first started seeing the headologist and had this problem, and it was a joke. It didn't help me fall asleep, it didn't help me stay asleep, it did nothing. I'm afraid to take Ambien because of the sleep walking/driving/eating side effects that can happen. 

I know that for some people the answer is to get more exercise and wear yourself out, but the only time I would have to do so is after Rich gets home at 430, and you're really not supposed to exercise past 4 because it will actually stimulate you so that you can't sleep.

Therefore I'm stumped.

I wish I could be like normal people and sink into my covers and remain there all night long without tossing and turning. I wish I didn't wake up when Rich comes into the room and remain awake for up to an hour. I wish that when I do fall asleep I didn't snore, which also wakes me up.

I don't know if this is hypomania or not. It doesn't feel like it. I also don't feel depressed. I just want and need to sleep.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Too Much

Smoking too much. Can't stop. Feel like my throat has ingested sand. Can't stop coughing. Feel sooooo tired. Don't know what to do.

I've documented my love affair with smoking here before, so I won't bore you now. All I know is that I'm an addict, and it sucks. Goddamn the tobacco companies and their additives. Screw them for making it so hard to quit. And in some packs comes a little pamphlet. "Information for smokers." It's supposed to give you support if you want to quit. Um, how ridiculous is that? Like they even WANT you to quit.

I live in tobacco country where smokes are CHEAP compared to other places. I don't even want to know what they're paying in NYC now. I know that in NJ they're up to about $7 a pack. We're paying $4.14 for a pack at the gas station, and if we get a carton at the grocery store it's $29.50. That works out to $2.95 a pack. It's insane. We often get cartons. The problem with cartons is: we end up smoking too much because we know they're there.

Today I have already smoked over a half a pack, and I've only been up for 5 hours. This should not be. I smoke wayyyyy too much while Livvie naps because there's nothing else to do. I smoke out of boredom. I smoke when I'm hungry. I smoke because it's there.

I really truly need to quit and soon. If Livvie is out on the deck and I smoke a cigarette (about 20 feet away) she stops what she's doing and watches me. I don't want her to know what I'm doing. I don't want her to think it's ok. When she gets older she'll model her behavior on us, and for her to think smoking is just what people do is unacceptable. It sucks.

Given how much I'm smoking right now quitting is going to be super hard. I'm up to a pack and a half a day now, which is even more than the gum or the lozenges are really supposed to be able to handle. The 4mg lozenge says it's for people who smoke within 30 minutes of waking up. Um, try 2 minutes?

That's right. I wake up, go pee, walk outside and smoke. So yeah, 2 minutes. If Livvie wakes up first it might be 5 minutes, because I immediately install her in her high chair and go outside. I don't even wait for my coffee to be done. Smoking comes first.

So I guess it's time to pick a date again. I have no idea when that will be. It really does need to be soon. This is getting unbearable.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Your Pic for the Day


This is PuttPutt when he was a kitten and was incapable of washing his own face. Ginny is helping him out.

Today I feel a bit too good. I am having insomnia issues which is never a good sign. I might have to start taking clonazepam at night just to get some sleep. That sucks.

I'm having to go to Target today to get diapers and a case of water. I hate going to Target. It's always wicked crowded and the lines at the checkouts are ridiculous.

Rich just got home from Home Depot where he purchased so many bushes that I don't even want to know how much he spent. He's planning to install them in the natural areas out front, which, granted, will look nice, but I didn't think they were really necessary. As long as I don't have to plant them though I'm fine with it.

I was writing in my journal today about how we tend to view our parents when we're young. It seems that to me anyway, my parents were handsome and beautiful and just the most awesomest ever. In retrospect my father had been showing his illness on his face for some time and looked terrible. My mother was overweight, still gorgeous, but overweight. I never even noticed these things about them. Today my mom is exceptionally overweight, considered obese even, but to me she looks fine. I guess that's a carryover from when I was a kid. I often wonder what my father would look like now, as he'd be 72 years old this year. He'd probably be bald as a melon and have shrunk a bit. He was only 5'8" when I knew him, but he comes from a short family.

Have a great day everyone. I'll catch you tomorrow.

Oh, and RIP George Carlin. You will be very missed.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I picked up my Abilify today. Just to let you all know. I was so grateful to have it that I took it in the car with an old bottle of water I found behind the front seat. Yuck. Oh well. At least it's in my system now. I'm not sure what the half life of it is, and I probably would be fine, but better safe than sorry you know?

Let me tell you how I've been, and what this drug does for me.

I can feel the teases of hypomania in the front of my brain. It's like a tickling sensation that makes me realize that something is up. Abilify will usually keep me from tipping over the edge. Even though I can feel the tickle, that's where it usually stops. If the Abilify fails to stop it I have the Seroquel for emergencies. That's what I took yesterday. It did help.

Now, I need to talk about the Lamictal. Lamictal is for Bipolar depression, which isn't like standard depression. There's no low level sadness. If you hit Bipolar depression you're in a black well of despair that you have no way to crawl out of. Or so it seems. In effect, you basically feel like your life is over. It truly sucks. The Lamictal is a mood stabilizer that keeps you from hitting that low. And for me at least, it works. I haven't had a depressive incident since I started the therapeutic dose of Lamictal over a year ago. 

I'm eternally grateful for my meds. They allow me to live like a normal person for the most part. That isn't to say that I don't feel happy or sad sometimes, but they're normal levels of both. I think I would have been dead by now if I hadn't seen the doctor a year ago, and I'm not exaggerating. It would have been awful.

On a lighter note, I did manage to get a photo of Livvie this morning. You remember her, the reason I actually take my meds? Anyway, here it is:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I am an IDIOT

I never picked up my Abilify yesterday because I figured I needed Rich's car since mine has been acting up (pulling hard to the left at stops, burning smell, lack of acceleration). Hence I am out of Abilify today. I ended up taking a Seroquel this morning just to head off any mania that might occur. I don't know if one missed dosage can lead to problems or not, but I do know I won't take that chance.

Why I'm an idiot? Well, it because I knew I wouldn't be able to go out for it again today, and instead of taking the Seroquel last night I took it this morning. I'm now so sleepy I could just about fall asleep here at the computer. It sucks. My head is also now pounding because Seroquel can cause headaches. It's just lovely.

Meanwhile, I haven't been manic in quite awhile, but I'm certainly depressed today. My friend Dagny was having IVF done, and the one egg that managed to become fertilized has now died. Effectively she's had a miscarriage. Considering that she had no plans to ever try this route again, this might have been her one and only shot. It's awful, I'm pissed at the world, and there's nothing I can do to help. Not at all. I can't even imagine what she's going through. My 3 miscarriages occurred when I didn't even know I was pregnant. There was nothing to grieve, no loss felt. Only a very heavy and extended period that took forever to go away. And the doctors telling me that a baby might have been had.

In retrospect I am thankful for those, because I was not in the correct relationships at the times to even consider a child, so I have no idea how to deal with Dagny's loss. I can be supportive and love her, as I try to do anyway, but nothing I can say or do will feel anything except trite.

Please send a prayer or positive thoughts for Dagny today. I want her to feel better about herself. I want her to know that this situation is not in fact the end of the world. And I want her to know how many people love her.

Thank you.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sunday #2

Today's official weigh-in was 145.5 pounds. That puts me a half a pound away from my original goal. That rocks.

My cousin Scott was hospitalized for crazyness recently and has been officially diagnosed as Bipolar. He's also an alcoholic. He's been busted for DUI. I feel very bad for him, although the DUI is unacceptable. I contacted his mother and let her know which meds I'm on, and also offered my support whenever it's needed. I'm not sure whether it'll be accepted or not. I haven't seen Scott since about 1996.

My aunt has forgotten who her grandchildren are, which isn't surprising since she hasn't seen most of them in about 3 years. Her granddaughter Laure stopped by the other night out of nowhere and my aunt had no idea who she was. She also had no idea whether she had eaten that night, although they had just returned home from dinner. It's odd, because I haven't seen her in almost 2 years now, and every time I call she recognizes my voice and asks about Livvie. I'm not sure she'd know me if she actually saw me though.

I have nothing else to report today. I hope everyone has a great Saturday.

Friday, June 20, 2008

In Our Yard

Baby Bucks, still with fuzzy antlers. They were busted eating blackberries off of the vines. Sorry, the zoom on my camera sucks ass.

Today I saved the same honeybee from the pool 6 times. Every time I got him out and put him somewhere, sometimes even 20 feet away, the bee would be back in the pool within 5 minutes. After the sixth time he finally gave up. I assumed he was suicidal.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Go Me

Ugly, isn't it?

Tonight I am making flounder for myself for dinner. I asked Rich if he wanted some and he said he'd try it, but to keep a leftover pork chop on standby. I agreed. Go Rich. It's hard to get him to try new things sometimes. Although he did in fact try the stewed yellow squash with onions the other night. Said it was tasty but mushy.

This morning I ran the dishwasher, folded laundry, did another load of laundry, cleaned the bathroom, cleaned and bleached the kitchen sinks, wiped down the kitchen table, and got the coffee ready for tomorrow. The dryer is in fact done now, so it's time to fold the second load. I hate folding.

I forgot to mention before, inspired by Nina I bought myself a genuine, white cotton granny gown (or Victorian inspired gown as the website proclaimed) with some of my birthday money. I absolutely love it. It makes me feel all feminine, which doesn't happen often. The only problem is that it's a bit see-through, which makes for some modesty issues. Seriously, for a gown that's supposed to be all about modesty, it's not.

Things are good here at the moment. Livvie and the dogs are sleeping, the TV is on the Discovery Channel, I just ate a tuna sammich and a peach for lunch, and I drank my 5th glass of water. I guess one could say that I'm content. Which doesn't happen that often.

Have a great Thursday everyone, and see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Oh beer, I'm missing you so.

There has been no beer in the house for 2 nights now. Rich has quit drinking. Given that he could put away several a night, this is huge.

Unfortunately this also means that I have quit beer totally too. I'm missing sitting out on the deck at 830 at night, sipping a beer while smoking a cigarette, watching the traffic go by.

Even though I had cut down to 1-2 a night, it was nice to have that little friend. It was something to do to alleviate boredom. It was (not) tasty, being Bud Light, but it was beer after all, and beer is life. Beer is enjoyable. Beer is fizzy.

On the plus side, given that there was no purchase of beer and bags of ice, we saved $25 in 2 days. That's right, $25. We're going through bottled water like crazy however, and I'm getting irritated because I considered that water mine for my new diet, and Rich is charging through it.

My water. Mine.

The other plus side to no beer for Rich is that his blood pressure will most assuredly go down, and that is extremely important. I don't think he's had his blood pressure taken since the Flu of 2005, but I'm pretty sure, as was he, that it was fairly high. Hopefully this will help considerably.

I had one Gin and Tonic last night, but it wasn't the same as sitting with the beer. And, after having NOT had one for several days the tonic water had de-fizzed, so it was quite the substandard drink. It was a bummer. I'd have definitely preferred a beer.

So I'm not sure if this is just going to be a work night thing alone or if he's planning on no beer over the weekends too. I haven't asked him. I'm thinking not though. I'm thinking that on Fridays and Saturdays there will in fact be beer. Maybe though he'll content himself with a six pack and I'll drink only one. That would be lovely. I really do miss it already.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oh Joy

This afternoon I have one of my famous 15 minute appointments with Headologist #1. 15 minutes for $80. I have to leave here at 150 to be there at 230, because I have to drive on one of the most heavily traveled streets in town.

It's just a follow-up appointment. Nothing major is going on, so I get to tell her that yes, my meds are in fact working, that no, in fact, I do not need the anxiety therapist anymore, and that I need refills for all of my drugs.

These appointments irritate the fuck out of me. Mainly because of the cost and the short amount of time alloted, but also because she only writes scrips for 3 months at a time. I honestly don't see why she doesn't write them a year out, because it can't be because she wants to make sure I'll come in for my visits. If that were the case she'd refuse to call in scrips for me without seeing me first. It's ridiculous.

The other thing that's pissing me off is that my Lamictal was supposed to go generic in May and it hasn't yet. That means $40 out of my pocket for that one every month, plus another $40 for the Abilify. It's insane. Thank the gods I only have to see the headologist once every 3 months for now, because I don't think I could afford it. As it is, right now I've spent the $40 for the Lamictal yesterday, $80 today, and then another $40 for the Abilify coming up on Friday. If you aren't doing the math, that's $160 in one week folks. Just for my brain.

Yes, yes, my brain is worth it. But it would make me a hell of a lot happier to have that generic available.

On another front, the tree guy was supposed to come and cut down Eric the Half a Tree yesterday but never showed up. He called and said his son was sick, and that he'd be here first thing in the morning today. Well, it's 9am, first thing in the morning has passed, and he's still not here yet. Both Rich and I are getting pissed. Rich because he has spent 2 mornings working from home now, and me because Rich is. Oh, I'm also pissed because that Half a Tree is dangerous and needs to come down. Now.

I hope everyone has a great Tuesday. Enjoy yourselves for me, ok?

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Sunday is the day I have chosen for my weekly weigh in. It makes sense to me, as Saturdays are the days where I will blow the calories a little bit more than during the rest of the week.

So if you'll remember, the other day I started out at 155 pounds. My goal was 145 or even 140, but I'd be happy with 145. I've eaten very well these past few days, taking in fewer calories, choosing healthily, drinking plenty of water...

Yesterday I ate a bit less well, having made rosemary roasted potatoes for dinner and eating a bunch of those (read: starch). Rich went to McDonald's for lunch but I got the Southwestern Chicken Salad, which is fantastic if you've never tried it. I drank a ton of water all day, and although I DID blow some calories last night on 3 beers, this morning I weighed...


This means I've lost 8 pounds in 5 days. Just by cutting out booze and eating breakfast and eating more vegetables. Oh, and drinking tons of water. Let's not forget the water.

So now I sit here thinking: if it was so easy for me to get to 147, how hard can it be to get to 140? I'd still be wearing a size 10 I assume, and 140 is still a very healthy weight for my height and bone structure. It would put me at 25 pounds less than my full term pregnancy weight, which is much more acceptable. Of course, the size of my booty would be reduced, but that's ok. While I don't mind having junk in the trunk, I do mind hanging out of my swimsuit and constantly having to pull the leg holes down.

So now the challenge is to keep this up. It's easy enough to do it for 5 days, but to make a true habit out of it and continue treating myself better could be a bit difficult. Last time I tried this I made it 5 pounds before switching back to my general eating habits. 

I'll tell you what. If I make it to 140, I'll quit smoking. There's a decent reason for a goal...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More Wildlife Weirdness

Last night we were watching 4 deer eat leaves in the woods on the side of the house. Eventually one followed the path back into our backyard and stopped to look at us. Then she sneezed. Twice. She then lifted her back foot and scratched her nose with it before heading off into the back woods.

This morning I went over to the cooler to put my Coke Zero in it, and there was a white moth on the lid. I lifted the lid, placed my soda inside, and then shut the lid to discover a black moth in the spot where the white moth had been. 

That's my only report for this morning. I'll keep an eye out for other oddities throughout the day. I'll report back again if I find any.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, June 13, 2008

In Bloom at Chez Julie




The deck smells amazing as the Gardenia bush is right next to it. Unfortunately the Hydrangeas are at the side/rear of the house, and so aren't very viewable. The Lavender is back in my giant garden, and it's currently being attacked by bumble bees.

I love bumble bees.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Post #2: Ice

I'm not sure exactly when it started. I believe it was last summer. Anyway, one day we bought a 12 pack and didn't have room in the refrigerator for it, so we bought a bag of ice and put it in the cooler.

Surprise, the beer was far colder than it had ever been in the fridge. Hence, the beer tasted far better than it had ever done out of the fridge. We were hooked.

Of course, this means that when we buy beer daily we also are required to buy a bag of ice. This gets expensive. I believe the ice at the Exxon up the street is $1.79 a bag. Add that to the $9.99 12 pack and you can see where this starts to add up. If we get an 18 pack at the grocery store and buy the large bag of ice it's $2.89. Yep, so that's about $15 for an evening or two's worth of entertainment.

Here's where the real point of this post arrives. Ice is different. I was not aware that the cubes that are bagged by different companies can be so much different from each other. You have your squares, your rather large tubes, and your little attached stacks. I have to say, the little attached stacks suck balls. We get those at the Exxon.

They not only stick together and don't break up easily when you bang the bag on the ground, but the also melt too fast. I'm serious, even when it isn't 101 degrees outside, if we use the little stacked ice cubes they're melted by the end of the evening. that's usually 5 hours.

On the other hand, the grocery store ice is the tubular shaped kind. they're fat and happy and they don't in fact stick together. If we buy a bag of grocery store ice at 4pm it's still ice (granted, far less of it, but ice) by the next morning. 

The Citgo ice (last source for us) is like little balls with holes in them. They tend to last a decent amount of time as well, usually there's a great deal of water the next morning but enough ice left to make sure my Coke Zeros will still be cold by 10am. I like the Citgo ice, and have repeatedly asked Rich to go to Citgo for the beer and ice but A) it's farther away, and B) the beer is a dollar more expensive.

All of this might be moot, as I'm down to 2 beers a night now, possibly 1 soon, and we might not end up needing 12 packs much longer. And yes, Rich and I could put a 12 pack away together in one evening prior to this.

So there you have it. A completely nonsensical post because Livvie is napping and I'm bored. 

Stay cool.

Good God...

COLUMBIA, N.C. — State crews checked the air quality around an eastern North Carolina wildfire, while forecasters said a wind shift could blow smoke to Raleigh, Durham and Greensboro on Thursday.
WRAL viewers said smoke was creating haze and they could smell smoke in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday evening.They said they could smell it in Chapel Hill and Carrboro on Thursday morning.
The National Weather Service confirmed their observations. "Areas of smoke from a large wildfire over coastal North Carolina have spread westward into portions of central North Carolina this morning," the service's Raleigh office said in an advisory. "County officials report that the smoke is not very dense but that the smell of the smoke is very strong. The very young, the elderly and people with respiratory difficulties should remain indoors as much as possible through mid-morning, when the smoke is expected to thin out."

Smoke reduced visibility on roads around Goldsboro, Nashville, Rocky Mount, Smithfield and Wilson to less than 2 miles, according to the weather service.
Forecasters said lighter winds will allow conditions to worsen overnight, and the smoky air could persist for days.
Air quality from Raleigh to Winston-Salem could be affected by smoke carried by winds blowing to the southwest, Bill Swartley, a spokesman for the State Forest Division, said in a statement.
Field observers said the fire had burned about 39,779 acres, or about 62 square miles, and was about 40 percent contained, Swartley said. The figure was a revision of an earlier, slightly larger estimate Wednesday.

The smoke is everywhere. It's outside, it's in the house now; I assume because it's leaking in through the windows. I can't take Livvie outside for a few days because when you go outdoors it burns your throat. I have even brought the smell inside with me on my clothes.
The fire itself is about 3 hours away to the east. It's just crazy.
Hope everyone else has a wonderful day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Yesterday I drank 9 bottles of water, 2 Coke Zeros, 1 glass of tonic water, and that's about it. I thought about sleeping on the bathroom floor as that's where I spent the majority of my day (I was practically floating), but in the end I went to bed where I did not sleep because Rich kept stealing the covers.

I ate a lot, but I made healthy choices. Yogurt and a banana for breakfast, tunafish and a cucumber sammich for lunch, fish and cauliflower for dinner. My snacks were Sun Chips and Triscuits with hummus. Go whole grain...

Oh, I also only had 2 beers last night. Light beer to boot, which is all Rich will drink. I made sure I enjoyed the beer, sitting out on the deck enjoying the evening (merely) 94 degree weather, which actually feels cool to us now.

I've lost 2 pounds since yesterday morning. This leads me to believe that those 2 pounds were water weight that I managed to flush out of my system. This will be my last weight check until a week from now I hope. I don't want to be chained to the scale. It's more important for me to determine how my clothes fit.

I'll try to report once a week, probably on the day I weigh myself, as a daily report is quite retarded and would be boring for all of you. 

On another note, the DVD player has become the Wiggles all over again. I shut off the DVD player yesterday after Livvie's movie ended and she lost her mind completely. She cried for about 15 minutes until I gave her a cookie to distract her. It was absolutely ridiculous. This morning I plan a Nemo and Mulan free day. The news is on this morning and then the Discovery channel is going on for the rest of the day. Hopefully she won't be too fussy today.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Suck it Up

I'm no crazy creep, I've got it coming
To me because I'm not satisfied
The hunger keeps on growing
I eat too much
I drink too much
I want too much
Too much

And I do. I can't stop eating, and I've been drinking an inordinate amount of EVERYTHING. Not just booze. The booze is the problem, obviously, because who cares if I drink 8 bottles of water a day...

This is leading to... tight clothing. Again. I measured my waist and it's 30 inches. 1 inch less than Rich's. Now, I'm sorry, but for me anyway, being able to wear my husband's clothes and have them fit perfectly is unacceptable.

I honestly didn't mind being 150 so much, but now that I've hit 155 it's made me realize that I'm 10 pounds away from my full term pregnancy weight. And I had gained 35 pounds when pregnant. So since last spring I've gained 25 pounds. 25 pounds of pressure on my back, fat that could lead to health problems, and snoring issues. Lovely.

So now I have to have a plan. Dieting is out of the question, as I am not making 2 dinners for us every night. All I can do is watch what I eat during the day and then eat small amounts of whatever is for dinner at night I guess. I need to get some more vegetables into my diet and less booze. I've already begun that one, as I had 1 beer yesterday and then "only" 2 gin and tonics. My goal is to cut totally back to 1 beer a day and that's all. I might start that tonight.

As for vegetables, I have to hit the grocery store and actually buy some. I need to hit the farm stand for tomatoes, because I'll be damned if I'll buy salmonella laden tomatoes at the store (did you hear about that?? Insane). And I guess I'll have to cut out a great deal of our starches. We live on potatoes and pasta. I have switched to whole wheat pasta, but I'm not sure that's a whole lot better for you. Probably not much, calorie wise.

So today I have stocked the cooler and fridge with Coke Zeros and water bottles, and will be back on my prior thing of drinking as much fluid as I can in a day to fill up and not be hungry. I tried it with the water yesterday and it didn't really work well, but I think I only had 5 bottles of water total. My goal is 8. Last time I tried to get back down to 140 I was drinking 96 oz of water in a day and I lost 5 pounds. I'm trying this time to get down to about 145, so that's 10 pounds I need to lose.

My only problem? I need to eat more fish. Rich doesn't like fish unless it comes in a Mrs Pauls box or a can of tuna. Oh well. Maybe I'll have to start making 2 dinners after all.

Monday, June 09, 2008


I've been tagged by Liz to participate in a meme, so here goes:

A) Four places that I go over and over again: Target, Kmart, Food Lion, and the gas station
B) Four people who e-mail me (regularly): Rich, Mom, Xris, and Freecycle
C) Four of my favorite places to eat: Taco Bell, Las Margaritas, Milton's, and Smithfields Barbecue
D) Four places I would rather be right now: Ireland, Wilmington, Maine, Nova Scotia
E) Four TV shows I watch over and over: House, Hell's Kitchen, Bones, Deadliest Catch
F) Four people I think will respond: Dagny, Jmac, Cyn, and stealing Em.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

My footprint

In the past 636 days I have changed approximately 3816 diapers. I did the math.

Do you know how bad I feel about that? Every time I stick a diaper in the garbage I feel awful for polluting our earth. However, cloth diapers would have been just as bad with the water usage required. Remember our drought? Well we're now at Moderately Dry in our area, which is better than Extreme Drought, but still dry.

So I'm sitting here trying to figure out what else I do that isn't "green." I've come up with a list.

Throwing jars out occasionally instead of rinsing them out and recycling them
Using too much toilet paper
Using paper towels frequently
Paper plates
McDonald's Breakfasts (styrofoam containers for the pancakes)
Shaving legs with shower running
Not cleaning up after my dogs in the back yard
Clay cat litter instead of pine or paper based (but who the hell can afford that???)
Smoking cigarettes (butts in landfill)

That's about it. I could do better, huh?

Here's a list of things where I'm actually ok:

Leaving lights off all day and relying on sunlight
Setting thermostat at 76 (it should be 78, I know, I know, but it's better than 72...)
Recycling all cans and plastic
Not flushing every time I pee (TMI, I know)
No dryer sheets
Low wattage flourescent light bulbs
Run washer only when it's an extra large load
Run dishwasher only when full
4 cylinder vehicle
Make popcorn on the stove instead of microwave bags

So there you have it. I know I could definitely be doing better. 
How about you? Are you good at this or only so-so?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Bummer, Man...

Big Brown, you tried your hardest, and you ran a good race. Sorry about the loss of the Triple Crown dude.

According to Mr. Snowman (our thermometer) it only made it to 99 today. I dunno what it was at the airport where these things are recorded, but whatever. 99 sucks ass. Especially with a heat index of 105.

Tonight I made macaroni salad for the first time this summer. I thought you might like the recipe, as it kicks ass.

Julie's Macaroni Salad:

1 small box of elbow macaroni, boiled and drained
2 cups diced celery
1 cup finely diced onion
1/2 small jar sliced green olives with pimientos
splash of juice from jar of jalapenos
2 tsp celery seed
1 large dollop of mayonnaise

stir all together and refrigerate. serve.

On another bummer note:

Dear Woodrow,

The beautiful and majestic deer are eating my hostas. Please bring your gun and provide me with dinner. Gratefully, Julie

Friday, June 06, 2008

Oh. My. GAH.

I'm serious. Today it was 99 degrees and tomorrow it's going to be 100. We're looking at a few days in the 100s and then mid to high 90s until the 15th or 16th of this month.

It was so bad today that Livvie could only go outside in small, 15 minute chunks. At one point I put my foot in her pool and the water was actually hot. It was disgusting.

Rich just plugged a box fan in on the deck so we can go outside to smoke in comfort. He's a genius.

So the beach yesterday. Well it was 98 here and 85 at the beach, so we escaped the worst of the heat yesterday for most of the day. We started out at 830 in the morning and got there around 1115. The ride was ok, and Livvie behaved basically fairly well for most of it. We had a few instances of fussiness, but it was all good. When we got there we found a place to park (free parking!!) and unloaded our stuff and headed down.
We found a pretty good spot, and Livvie proceeded to run amok. She loved all of the space, but wasn't quite certain about the waves. I'd say that for the first hour they freaked her out completely.

After awhile Rich decided to sit in the surf and hold onto her and let the waves roll in over both of them. That seemed to work. 

I had to chase her around quite a bit, and she was very interested in other people to the point of walking right up to them and being somewhat rude. A few times I had to scoop her up and carry her back to the chair, and at one point some random bird was on the chair and I had to shoo him away.

I took Livvie in with me about waist deep on myself to rinse the sand off of her and got knocked down by a fairly large wave while I was holding onto her. That was a very scary moment, and I've now learned my lesson. Stay on the shore.

We left at about 130, and headed to a store to pick up a portable dvd player for the way home. Thank God we did, because she was FAR more fussy on the way home, naturally, than she was on the way down.

Got home at about 515 after having stopped for lunch etc, and I got everyone showered and bathed and ready for bed. Rich and I discovered that we both had sunburns on our backs, regardless of the SPFs, and looked forward to an interesting night of trying to sleep.

I wish we could go again soon, but the cost of the gasoline alone is enough to make that an impossibility. Oh well. At least I got 3 shells and 2 souvenir T-Shirts for Livvie to commemorate her first beach experience.

Have a great weekend everyone. Stay cool.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

It was a Good Day

Will write more tomorrow. Currently I'm fried and need to relax with a beer and a smoke.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I'm so depressed

While we were out this morning THIS happened to our 60-80 year old maple tree.
The limb is being held up by the basketball hoop and also a cedar tree. It's just so upsetting. Not only will the tree be ridiculous looking when we have it removed, but also the shade will decrease dramatically in the front of the house. Leading to higher power bills this summer. Lovely.

This just sucks. I wonder how much it'll cost to have it removed. I guess that's where some of George Bush's money is going. Although we haven't gotten our check yet and this is going to have to be removed within a day or 2, since it's dangerous.

Anyway, I'm depressed about it. Hope everyone else has a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ok, sure.

Our neighbors across the street own a $500,000 home. It IS quite beautiful, and it has a great deal of land for this area. As far as we can tell they own a landscaping business. We aren't sure, because we've never met them.

Also as far as we can tell they were either selling crack or meth at some point because about 10 cars a day would drive in and out of their property, and the cars were always different. It was quite suspicious, and it provided us with great hilarity when we were out on the deck smoking. One time 3 cars arrived within 15 minutes of each other. They also left within a few minutes of arriving, so honestly, we're pretty sure something was up over there.

About a month ago the neighbors installed a gate on their driveway. It's about 8 feet tall and black chain link. It has red reflectors on it and they lock it when they leave. There is no fence. The gate stands alone.

A mother and her son live there, and we have never seen a man who looks like he's a resident. When they pull into the driveway the mother makes the son get out to unlock the gate, and then she continues up the driveway in one of their many vehicles while making her son walk to the house. We find this rude. She even does it to him when it's raining.

So about 2 weeks ago a sign appeared on the gate. "Beware of Dog." This happened to coincide with an African American salesman having gone up and down the street to sell I have no recollection what. After he had visited our house he had crossed the street, walked to one side of the gate, and crossed their yard to the front door. 

The dog? A dachshund. 

Oh, and the traffic over there has reduced considerably now that the gate is up, so maybe they have ended their little side-line.

Now we want our own gate. With one of those little signs that says, "Beware of Owner." 

Monday, June 02, 2008

Alzheimer's Sucks

My mom looks after my dad's sister by living with her. This has been going on ever since my aunt was diagnosed. Things aren't good.

Last night my mom went to sleep at around 11 and woke up to the downstairs bathroom light on at midnight. She assumed she had forgotten to shut it off but didn't get up right away. My aunt then came walking out of the bathroom.

Mom asked her why she was downstairs and my aunt said she had had to go to the bathroom. Mom asked her why she hadn't used the upstairs one and my aunt said she couldn't find it. Mom started to get worried, and told my aunt she should go back to bed.

My aunt went back upstairs for a moment and then came back downstairs. She told my mom she didn't know where she was, and my mom told her she was home. My aunt told her that it wasn't her house. She then went and sat in a living room chair until about 1am, when she finally went back upstairs.

When my mom went up to give her her medication this morning my aunt was in the wrong bedroom, so my mom gave her the pills and led her back to her own room. Mom then had to go to work, and is now sitting at work worrying about her.

So am I. This is the worst she's ever been, and it happened suddenly. Mom is thinking it might have been a mini-stroke, but who knows. All I know is that my aunt, the one who was so much fun when I was growing up, the one who taught me how to dance and used to let me swim in her pool all summer, is gone. And there's nothing that can be done about it.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Feeling lazy

This is a picture of four of my cats back when they didn't live in their own house. From left to right: Remo, Bagheera, Darby, and the late Clancy.

Speaking of their own house, the reason they have one is because they're pee cats, which means they pee outside the box. Clancy started this, and they all followed suit. They had their own room in the house where they hung out overnight and when we left the house, and they absolutely destroyed it. When it came time last year to move Livvie into her own room we needed that room for her, and so Rich built the Cat House.

The Cat House is a room in the shed that he built, walls and all. It's insulated, has air conditioning, and also has heat. They have a shelf that he built onto one wall where they can hang out, and he also put in a window so they can watch the birds.

After we moved the cats to the Cat House we had to gut the room they had been in. We ripped up the carpeting, painted the entire room including the floor instead of putting down carpeting, and replaced the blinds. They had literally destroyed everything. Even trying to keep up with the pee while they lived in there was impossible. No amount of enzyme cleaner or peroxide mixture would touch it. They had saturated down to the wood floor underneath. And yes, it WAS hardwoods underneath. Utterly destroyed.

So that's why the cats have their own house. Even though I look at photos like this and miss them desperately, I know that they at least HAVE a home and A) haven't been thrown outside or B) taken to the shelter for their behavior issues. I love them, I still cuddle with them, and yes, they have peed all over the cat house as well.

Have a great Sunday, and a great week.