Tuesday, January 31, 2006

By popular demand...well, Jodes' demand

Sorry I haven't been around much. Life has picked up the pace quite a bit. A week ago today my thesis advisor basically told me I was going to finish my thesis and I wasn't going to graduate. After a couple of days of pity parties, my thesis advisor gave me rather encouraging compliments and informed me that her previous "lecture" was only meant to be an encourager to work harder and faster, not a complete discourager, which I took it as. She's always had to use a bit of tough love on me and she didn't realize she'd pushed too far until I shut down. Those two days could have quite possibly been the worse two days of my life since I moved out of my dad's house. I didn't eat, didn't sleep (much), didn't do any work. I just sat in a dark room and zoned. I had no idea what to do next. But, it's all good because I'm going to finish my thesis and Cinco de Mayo is going to be a kicking celebration (graduation date). She said I have a really unique thesis, very interdisciplinary, very well researched. She said she's really proud of me and wants me to continue so she can sign off on an excellent thesis. Besides, she loves my mom and wants to be able to see her at all the final festivities.

After all of that, I decided to take off for the weekend. I needed a jumpstart to get back into things. So, late Friday evening, I decided I was going home. I spent Friday night in Kevin's arms and it felt so good. Perhaps it's too much to share here, but it's really nice to be able to sleep with someone and just cuddle. He totally respects the no sex boundary I set. He understands and is satisfied with hugs, kisses, and cuddles. Saturday I was supposed to spend the day reading, but I spent it hanging out with my mom instead. It was nice to pass the day doing a little of this and that and not much of anything in particular. That evening Kevin and I were supposed to go see a friend of mine who was in town for his grandfather's funeral (from Maryland). Everything went to crap and that didn't happen. So, we hung out and went for icecream with his brother and my best friend (his brother's fiancee). Afterward my stomach hurt so bad!!! I don't know if it was the icecream, the fact that the icecream was my dinner, or the fact that my eating has been less than regular this past week. I wound up falling sleep during SNL. I didn't realize I was so tired and I jumped about three feet in the air when Kevin leaned over and took my glasses off my face. He tried to get me to tell him whether or not my mom was expecting me home. I fell asleep about 3 more times before we finally established she was and I text messaged her to let her know I wasn't.

Sunday my mom and a friend of the family and I went to Sea World. My ex gave us passes that expired today, so my mom wanted one last hurrah. The woman we took with us has been part of our "family" since I was about 9 months old. She hadn't been to Sea World in almost 20 years. We had a blast laughing and talking all day long. She jumped and screamed when the stingrays took the food from her hands and bounced up and down when she touched the dolphins we fed. It was neat to experience it through her "new" eyes. As the day drew to a close, we hopped into our separate cars, my mom and friend heading for home, me heading back to school. The drive was long and hard, but the day was fun.

Yesterday was spent doing odds and ends and a bit of homework. I'm SOO exhausted from my weekend excursion. Today I've spent the day working on my thesis--corrections, modifications, and addition of new material--and actually have gotten a few more pages added. Oh! I filed my taxes and I'm actually getting a meager return. I was worried that after working as a server for a few months that I'd be paying instead. It was a pleasant surprise before a lovely dinner out with a friend and the ever expensive trips to Target.

Again, sorry for the delay in posting. There might not be a whole lot going on around here for the next couple of months. Once my thesis is done, however, there will be an electronic archive, so I'll be sure to link that so you can see what I've been working on all these months. Sweet dreams and good day to all!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

To be or not to be....proud??

Sometimes I claim that I'm an only child because I was practically raised as one. However, biologically, I am not an only child. Sometimes I like to claim to have a sibling, even though we were raised almost separately. It's days like this that I can't decide whether to claim him or not.

Take a look and you tell me if I should be proud or not.

My brother, the doof!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Adventures in Babysitting

I haven't added much to this topic in awhile. My charge finally got used to my style and we came to an agreement. Well, then we had a month away from each other and lately we've had some reuniting pains. It's getting better though. This morning we had an interesting discourse that I'm sure you mom's will be able to appreciate.

Rebecca came storming out of the bathroom after she brushed her teeth "I am so mad at my mom"

"Why are you mad at her?"

"Because look (pointing to the space between her teeth, that has always been there), last night she brushed my teeth so hard she separated my teeth! Now there's a big space that wasn't there before! They were all bloody and now look! You can see what she did!"

I really couldn't help but laugh as I tried to convince her that her mother hadn't moved her teeth. She insisted that her mother had brushed SO HARD that her teeth had at least bled. I couldn't tell her it was because she never really brushed well and her gums were probably as soft as tissue paper. It was SOOO funny, but she did get a bit upset at my laughter. I really couldn't hold it back though.

Happy Hump Day!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

So this is what it feels like

I know I haven't really be posting much lately, but I appreciate those who do still check in on me. My life has taken some pretty amazing turns lately. Well, maybe not turns, but progressions.

Kevin is truly wonderful and I thank God for his presence in my life. He keeps me grounded when I start to freak out, motivated when I want to quit, and comforted at all times. His love has brought about a new look on life. I have to admit, I find myself pondering what the future might be like with him. It's kind of scary, but in a good way.

I'm back at school, now. My thesis is actually going pretty smoothly at the moment. Slow, but steady is my mantra. It doesn't have to all get done today, but something has to get done today. I'm finally at the point where this whole thing seems conquerable and I'm stoaked.

Kevin starts school on Jan 23rd. I'm so proud of him for going back. It's going to be a hard road for us since he'll be working full time and going to classes full time in the evenings. But, if it's meant to be, we'll make it through somehow. He'll be happier once he's done and he'll have a degree. I'm so proud and happy for him.

Today I turned in my application for graduation. With it I had to fill out a piece of paper that shows I've fulfilled all general requirements, all concentration requirements, and all minor requirements. It was odd to hand my entire college career over on one piece of paper. Looking back, thinking of the various roommates, classes, professors, boyfriends, and other various moments in my life over the past four years made me realize how far I've come. It's a rather interesting feeling to know that I've done it and I'm going to be a college graduate come May. I'll have a higher level of education than my mom, my dad, and my older brother (they all have 2 year degrees). Weird.

So, today is a good day, as many days have been lately. Life is good. Even though I have no idea where I'll be a year from now, I know God will take care of me and everything will work out fine. Here's to life and all the glories of it!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Stinging Start

Happy New Year to one and all!! I hope the old year treated you well and the one that lay before us is full of hope and blessings.

Yesterday, my mom and Kevin had the day off. So we packed up the car and headed to Fort
DeSoto Park. It's home to the Spanish fort after which it is named. It's now a large park/nature reserve/beach/camping/picnic area. We used to go there when I was younger all the time. It really is a beautiful and fun place to visit.

The day started out swimmingly enough. We tried to start the fire in the grill and realized we'd left the lighter fluid at home and the charcoal I'd bought was not quick lighting. So we began collecting dried palm frans and sticks and Spanish moss and anything else we though would burn long enough to ignite the charcoal. Once we had the fire going, we had plenty of time to explore while the charcoal warmed.

Kevin and I saw some rocks jutting out into the water which I found necessary to assess their accessibility. After switching to sneakers (out of flip flops), I turned up the shirt part of my skorts and started off. Was this my tragic downfall of the day? We may never know. But, off I went. Climbing over the sea wall to the rocks below, through the mangroves which carefully guarded the middle section of rocks, out to the larger rocks sitting alone in the blue water. Ha ha!! I made it, and without a single body part wet, cut, or scratched. There was a young boy out there (whom I hadn't seen upon first glance), so I left him to his fishing and returned to shore to retrieve my boyfriend before heading back to the picnic site where my mom was tending to lunch.

Once back, Kevin and I decided to climb the trees. Well, I decided to climb the trees and coerced him into joining me. Perhaps this was my tragic downfall... Like the monkey my mom deemed me as a child, I joyfully scaled the trees in the picnic site, careful not to get myself to a point of no return. Kevin wasn't nearly as adventuresome. We'll have to work on that.

Lunch was pleasant, grilled chicken marinated in my great-grandmother's blonde barbeque sauce, potato salad, and chips...with room for desert. No picnic would be complete without roasted marshmallows and S'Mores!!!

Then we packed up and started to head out, not before checking out the bicycle rentals and ferry costs, for another day. As we were getting back into the car, I felt something biting me on my neck. I reached up to flick it off and felt something furry that wasn't being dislodged easily. As it continued to bite, I started to panic. I jumped out of the car trying desperately to get this creature off of me. Kevin ordered me to stop moving and finally flicked it off of me. I was already in immense pain and my neck was red, starting to swell where I had been affected. My mom's tone of voice was disturbing as she insisted we collect the furry little creature "in case we need it later."

The pain increased as I tried to convince myself that it was off of me and there wasn't another one on me. We drove toward the exit, stopping at the Ranger Station. They had seen and heard tales of the specimen my mother showed them. They pulled out there book of wildlife to be found at the park and encountered the
Puss Caterpillar, the most deadly caterpillar in the world. Okay, maybe I'm being a bit over dramatic, but rest assured, they are the most poisonous in the United States. Most of the stuff I've found online refers to a single sting on the hand (usually obtained from touching this creature). However, I have repeated stings across the back of my neck. I have to say, this is one of the most painful things I've ever been through. Probably second only to the time I sliced the bottom of my foot open, needing 6 stitches (please note, while female, the author has yet to join the reproductive ranks, thereby unable to compare to the expected trauma of childbirth).

I spent the rest of the day laying down, doped up on bendryl, with cream smeared all over me. I felt MISERABLE. When the little creature stowed away on my neck, I may never know. However, I know that I WILL be more careful in the future.

Here's to hoping the rest of the year runs a bit more smoothly!!