STARTING 4/8/17: Six Word Saturday is now being hosted by the lovely Debbie at Travel With Intent. If you aren't already following Debbie, please visit her blog for Six Word Saturday and her beautiful photos. I'll continue to participate from time to time but please go to Debbie's for the official posts.

If you aren't receiving email replies to your comments, please see this post.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Amazon Kindle Review

me: Isn't this purse great? It's 50% off and it's big enough I can fit my Kindle in it!
Rob: Why are you carrying around firewood?
For the record, I was not even talking to Rob (my smart-mouth brother). I was talking to Joe (my holder-of-the-credit-card husband).

I've been promising to post about my Kindle for a few months now but there's good reason why I haven't. No, not laziness. It just took me that long to warm up to the idea and use it enough to post any kind of review beyond "the packaging is nice!".

For those of you who may be unaware, the Kindle is Amazon's e-book reader. I have the Kindle 2 which is the newer version of the smaller device. This was a birthday gift from Joe. I have to admit I was a little taken aback when I opened it - the idea of reading books on a screen didn't seem comfortable. I was certain it would strain my eyes and feel clunky to hold. However, this was not the case.

The Kindle is about 8x5 inches and with the leather case I put on mine, about half an inch thick. It does fit nicely in a purse. The screen display is awesome - glare isn't an issue because it actually creates each page using electronic ink. You can hold it at many angles and read just fine, no different from text on a paper page. When you move between pages, the page redraws itself very quickly. And while photos are grayscale, the quality is certainly acceptable.

The Kindle has many neat features including the ability to easily adjust text size or even to have the book read to you if you plug in your headphones (I haven't used this feature except to verify it works). It also has a built-in dictionary and link to Wikipedia in case you need more information on something you're reading.

Books can be purchased via Amazon using "Whispersync" - the Kindle is always able to be online, sort of like a cellphone. Full-length books (generally costing around $10) are delivered in less than one minute to the phone. I've even found sites with full books available for free and was able to email those to the device. Also, there is an experimental web browser which I've used to read blogs and visit several other sites - this feature is a bit slow (it's not a primary function) but it does work. You can also pay to subscribe to certain magazines, newspapers and blogs.

I finally started using my Kindle last week. I'm finding it to be great for waiting rooms. Since it fits neatly in my purse, I can just pop it out and read for awhile. It's nice to have multiple books available without needing to drag them all along with me.

The reading experience itself has been very comfortable. No eyestrain and since it's so light, it's easy to just hold in one hand if you desire. I'm not too sure about battery life at this point except to say it charges quickly. I haven't been using it regularly for long enough to say how long a charge lasts.

If you rely on libraries for your books, the Kindle may not be for you. For me, now that I've truly given it a chance, I'm really enjoying it.

So three months later, thank you Joe! It was one of those awesome gifts I didn't even know I wanted but he was completely right in buying it for me. I <3 that guy.

P.S. - Yeah, I realize probably nobody is ever going to pay me to do a product review. I don't think it's an area where I possess mad skillz, yo.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Today's post brought to you by the color white.

My screen is white. It's been white for many cumulative hours while I tried to think of something to post here today. And all that I can think is "white, white, white" so I'm not going to fight it anymore

Snow is white. Where I live now, snow doesn't often fall. When it does, it shuts us down until it melts. I kinda like it that way. Growing up, we had beaucoups de snow. It would accumulate for weeks or months. I could built forts and snowmen that would last for extended periods of time. And it was always so peaceful to lay in a pile of freezing cold snow, bundled up nice and warm, and just listen to the silence around me.

Tonya's fluffy belly is white. The belly she tempts me to pet each morning only because she knows I can't resist even though it makes my allergies flair. Her teeth are kinda white too as she sinks them into my hand because I haven't fed her yet. Thanks, cat.

Daisies are white. I'm not a big fan. They make me think of my mother.

My vicodin is white. I know this because I took one recently. It makes me a bit loopy. Can you tell?

P.S. - Later this week you'll be treated to a review of my Kindle, a wordle, and a post from kitties. We just need to survive Monday first.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I'm so behind...

I have a confession to make... I'm way behind here in bloggyland.

My reader is screaming at me with unread posts.

I haven't visited hardly any of your Six Word Saturday entries.

Pre-writing my entries the night before? Practically unheard of this past week.

I'm also way behind outside of the interwebz. Chores around the house mostly. Little things that haven't been done and make me feel sorta crazier than usual.

My goal is to be caught up today. We're planning a nice day full of downtime. I'll do some catching up on house chores (yuck but I feel better when my house is in order) and blog "stuff" (yay because that's fun).

If I can just get caught up on some basics, I'll feel better about tackling new projects. Universe back in order, plans to put in motion. And since I posted about it here, I expect you all to hold me accountable and punch me in the face if I don't do it.

Good stuff around the corner. Just need to get there.

P.S. - Yeah, I realize that's not much of a post. Definitely a "discipline" day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Six Word Saturday

My apologies for the late post - I scheduled it with Blogger and Blogger didn't cooperate. Seems they need a punch in the face...

You know what to do! Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here.

My six words:

Thanks, Captain Obvious. Already knew that.

All that's necessary to participate is to post your own six words. If you do so in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below!) but I'm not going to delete your entry or punch you in the face if you don't. Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in the post as a comment.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cate's Summer Reading List

This summer, I've decided to revisit some classics because I found a way to load them for free on my Kindle sometimes we just need to return to childhood for awhile. Not that childhood was such a great experience for me overall - but it was a time when I lived to read. I'd like to reestablish that passion so I thought maybe visiting some old friends would be a great way to start.

Over the next few months, I'm returning to those books I read hiding under the covers with a flashlight long after my bedtime or while perched on my limb of the tree in the neighbor's field. Tentatively I plan to cover the Anne of Green Gables series (started yesterday) and Little House on the Prairie. Depending on how long that takes, I'll see what else I can dig up. I'd also like to revisit a few more recent purchases like The Time Traveler's Wife (because I hated it and everyone else loved it and now they're all hyped for the movie and I'm SO not plus I don't like Rachel McAdams and this is going to be The Notebook all over again with everyone else in awe and me puking at the whole thing) and The Thirteenth Tale (which I thought was excellent).

In the meantime, I'll figure out my Fall reading list. I have a lot of books sitting at home to read. And I've discovered that my Kindle is made of awesome (I promised to review it months ago but I've been drowning in library books so I haven't really used it until now) so I'll be buying some books for that as well.

I didn't really make a Spring reading list. At least not officially. Still, I read a few books - just not as many as I would've liked.
  • The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
  • The 6th Target - James Patterson (Women's Murder Club)
  • 7th Heaven - James Patterson (Women's Murder Club)
  • 2 books on Buddhism
Seems there may have been a few more but I'm drawing a blank right now.

What are you reading this summer? What have you finished recently that you'd recommend?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The "other" side of Joe

Seems Joe is getting a bit of a hero complex reading some of the comments about him around here. And while he is my hero, I have to let you know that he's also not without a few faults.

Sometimes, when he's driving, he puts all the windows down from the controls on his door. I have longish hair. I do not want my window down. When I try to put it back up, I discover he has the child window lock thingies on so I can't. All of that isn't even the bad part. The bad part is when he laughs at me.

Remember my update about the Elevator of Death? And how it didn't ding anymore? My theory was that maybe you had to travel more than one floor for it to ding. Whatever, I totally avoided the elevator for the weekend until we were checking out because we had all that stuff. So as we hop in, Joe kindly pushes the button for the top floor. I can tell you that the ding did in fact sound if you ascended more than one floor. I can't tell you if it also sounded if you descended more than one floor because I punched Joe in the face gave Joe a VERY dirty look and hopped out when it stopped, leaving him alone in the elevator to deal with all my crap while I took the stairs.

And a final example of what a mean and horrible person Joe can be... He snores. Yep. Inexcusable. Though, it's kind of nice knowing that he's there. And still breathing. I prefer my Joe to be breathing. Just maybe not so loudly.

Yeah, that's really about the best I can share for "Reasons Joe is Evil and You Should All Stop Inflating His Ego". Guess he's not such a bad guy after all...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New blogging philosophy

After much soul searching and many sleepless nights, I've reached a decision about the future of this blog.

I'm ceasing operations immediately.


Step away from that ledge; it was a lie. All of it. A damn dirty lie.

No, but what I am going to start doing is replying to your fantasticeriffic comments via email. Because I really appreciate your responses to my profound words of wisdom sometimes partially intelligible babbles.

However, this means is that some of you need to do me an itty bitty favor. When your comments are emailed to me, some of you don't have your email addresses included. I type out a brilliant, funny, world-changing response only to realize it's being sent to This makes Cate cry. And you know what happens when you make Cate cry, right? If you don't know, ask around. It's not pretty.

I'm not going to bother writing out the "how to fix it" myself because I'm lazy other people have already done a much better job according to my BFF Google. Go see the lovely tutorial at GoodNCrazy. There are other how-tos there that I'll check out soon. Maybe you should too. Or not. Up to you.

But please do consider updating your profile. From now on, if you comment on this blog and don't at least receive a quick "hi" in return, assume it's you, not me. And if you don't for some reason wish to enable your email address even though I've promised not to stalk you at least not anymore, I'll try not to take it personally. While I'm rocking back and forth in the corner chewing on 8-tracks and humming the theme to MacGyver.

Sorry to those of you who are already complying and making me a happy girl. No punches in the face for you. Instead Tonya has agreed to reward you with all the cat hair you can eat!

It's your lucky day. For reals.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My first time

I love writing about my first time. In fact, I think I've written about my first time before on this blog. Since it was my first time, I was scared but once I was able to relax, I really enjoyed it. More importantly, I felt great afterwards and immediately wanted to do it again!

No, not that.

I'm talking about my first massage!

Joe has, of course, given me the occasional uneducated but appreciated massage. It's nice and something I wish he would do more often. But this time he outdid himself by booking us a couples massage.

A professional massage is something I've wanted to do for awhile but I've always been too afraid. Cost, weight, strangers in my space. All of these have been issues that kept me from going. But since Joe booked and insisted, I did what anyone else would do.

I hyperventilated. I begged him to cancel. I freaked.

Then I shaved my legs, popped a xanax, and off we went.

We were greeted by two lovely ladies. The introduced themselves as Tonya and Kat. Perfect. Nothing could possibly induce an image of relaxation more than my Tonya-cat. The ladies appeared to be without fur and claws so we proceeded.

Kat was great about explaining exactly what was going to happen and asking if there were any specific areas to either focus on or avoid.

The massage itself was fantastic. I was so relaxed I actually fell asleep a few times. My friend who is currently in school to become a licensed massage therapist assures me this is a compliment and not a bad thing. She even assured me that a bit of snoring is seen as a good thing. Yeah, maybe to a masseuse. Not so much to a spouse.

Afterwards, I was hooked. I wanted to repeat that feeling over and over agian. Warmth, relaxation, not a care in the world. Until they hit you with "and now it's time to pay!". I sorta wandered off and let Joe take care of that part. Maybe he can pre-pay for any of my future sessions so I can just pretend it's free.

For someone who hates to be touched and has major trust issues, I'm surprised I enjoyed this so much. I can't wait to go again!

P.S. - Aren't first times fun?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Feedburner can bite me and so can Monday

It's Monday and I've got nothing.

Which is just as well because apparently my posts aren't showing up in your feeds anyways. Even though I haven't changed anything. It's like Feedburner hates me so much it's now eating my feeds even though I don't use them anymore.

For those of you NOT receiving my feeds who actually wish to receive them, could you make sure you're subscribed to (good!) and not (bad!)? Or maybe resubscribe and that will take care of it?

I have no idea. All I know is that Feedburner is a punk. And beyond that, I have nothing to say this morning.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A letter on Father's Day

Dear Dad,

You probably received my card in the mail yesterday. It was a "funny" card. Something about golf or grilling or tools. That's not the card I wanted to send but it was the safe card for keeping peace in the family.

It's because of the strained relationship with mom that I had to send you the funny card. Because I sent her a funny card. I can't bring myself to send her something insincere. She's not my best friend or my inspiration. She hasn't supported me or been there for me. Unfortunately this means not being able to send you a card that says what is in my heart.

And so here is what I really wanted to say to you:

You are a good man. A caring friend, a loving father. You have a very tender heart and feel so deeply the joys and disappointments of others. I bounce uncontrollably around my spiritual life while you possess a faith I haven't been able to find or understand. You would drop everything to help a friend in need and even more than that to help one of your children.

I know you said spending time with Collin, your first grandson, has made you realize how many things you missed while we were growing up. But I don't remember an absent father.

I remember a father that did his best to attend school functions, proudly recorded all of my concerts, and bought me roses on Valentine's Day. I remember a father who cried as he drove me to my first formal dinner and dance because he had wanted to take me out for a fancy dinner himself before "losing" me to a boy.

I remember a father who cried as he walked me down the aisle and pre-recorded a song to surprise me for our father-daughter dance because he knew his emotions would never let him get through a live performance like you wanted.

I remember a father who doesn't laugh when I call him in a panic because the freezer is "burning" but instead calmly explains "automatic defrosting". I remember a father who tells me he prays for me every night. I remember a father who is both sad and proud that his little girl is mostly able to take care of herself and no longer calls him first for help - but leans on her husband instead.

And I remember a father who so many times has apologized for being inadequate. Not strong enough, loving enough, rich enough, patient enough. And yet you were all of those things. And you still are.

My wish for you is happiness, contentment, respect. Please don't settle for less.

Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Six Word Saturday

You know what to do! Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here.

My six words:

Time to do something about it

Please share your six words either in the comments or on your blog - be sure to use Mr. Linky below so we can all visit! And here's the code to link back with the shiny button if you like:

Friday, June 19, 2009

What if...

Walrussian invasion!!! I really tried to write something else but these are the thoughts consuming me. They won't be denied, they have to bet let out.

Hey, at least it's not a vacation or cat post!

What if...

...I lived closer to my family? Would it force resolution of these issues instead of trying to smooth over them to make our infrequent visits pleasant?

...I had more self-confidence? And what would it take? A fulfilling career doing something I can't even define? A hot body? Feeling as if my husband worships the ground I walk on? mother hadn't raised me to live in constant fear of anything new or different?

...I truly possessed focus, self-control, and dedication? Instead of routine, fear, and inability to change? dad had a spine and had stood up for me or had acknowledged the truth? Or had stood up for himself and sought happiness instead of peace-keeping?

...J was still alive? And my mother hadn't lied?

...I didn't feel so uncertain about situations that have been plaguing me for years? If I knew my own mind instead of being confused between what I want and what I've talked myself into settling for instead?

...I had started a family with Joe ten years ago when we were first married and I knew it was what I wanted? hobbies and dreams and self were still intact instead of being talked down or otherwise made unrecognizable?

What are your what-ifs? Over the years, I've mostly learned how to let them go. You know, the whole "Serenity Prayer" thing.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

But sometimes the what-ifs creep up and take over. Right now, I'm drowning in them.

There's so much left to tell. Some day, maybe...

P.S. Come back tomorrow for Six Word Saturday with a return-to-normal Mr. Linky and a less contemplative Cate. Promise!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's like the Grammys, with more bruising

It's time once again for my "Punch in the Face" award. I am handing it out to two new worthy recipients.

Dear New Mom,

Thank you for sharing with me the contents of every diaper, the details of every breast-feeding, your exact sleep schedule, and the fact that your baby has gas. Also, I am in awe of your ability to ignore all of the other mothers who tell you it's because you keep eating broccoli. Until, of course, your doctor confirms broccoli is the likely culprit. Please accept this award on the behalf of all of us who were really hoping you'd spend some time offline bonding and napping after the baby arrived.

You make me want to kick puppies,

Dear Sports Fan,

When I emailed you, asking where I could watch the game in your town, it was because I was traveling there that weekend with my husband. I'm flattered that you chose to respond by hitting on me and offering to buy me a drink. I am writing now to accept your offer - Joe is very excited for the three of us to watch the game together with someone else picking up my bar tab for the night. However, please keep your hands to yourself or I may have to give you a second award.

Make mine a double,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Adventures in Kittysitting

When we go away on vacation for more than a couple of days/nights, we hire a pet sitter. She is a lovely lady and stops in every day to feed, scoop and pay attention to the kitties. At the end of each visit, she leaves a quick note on the counter. Here are her notes from last week:

Day One:

Dear Cate & Joe -

No problems today letting myself into the house. Rusty was a bit wary at first but accepted some treats and seemed happy to see me. Tonya was on the coffee table.

Day Two:

Dear C&J -

I am enjoying my time caring for Tonya and Rusty. Rusty let me hug and kiss him yesterday after we played for awhile. He seems to be running around everywhere as usual. Tonya was hanging out on the coffee table.

Day Three:

Dear C&J -

Today Rusty greeted me at the door. He even meowed for his food when I filled his bowl. So cute! Tonya was asleep on the coffee table.

Day Four:

Dear C&J -

Rusty has been following me around and rubbing against my legs while I watered your plants. Is Tonya supposed to be on the coffee table?

Day Five:

Dear C&J -

I said my goodbyes to Rusty today and assured him you'd be returning home tomorrrow. I'll miss that friendly little guy. I decided I should make sure Tonya wasn't somehow permanently attached to the coffee table and tried to pet her. I'm hoping she comes out of the hall closet before you return home but if you're looking for her, try there first. Otherwise, give me a call - I'll have my husband answer if I'm not back yet from Urgent Care getting my wounds stitched. Sorry.

P.S. I'm never sure what to tip the kittysitter. 20%? Or just offer to pay for her medical care?

P.P.S. Don't forget to vote in the poll to the right.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Which neighbor are you?

I've mentioned angry neighbor, hot shirtless running neighbor, Canadian neighbor, tree hugger neighbor. But now I'm wondering - which neighbors are we?

Hermit neighbors: We have a fabulous screened porch and deck on the back of our house so we don't hang out in the front. Ever. Also, I tend to keep all the blinds shut on the front windows because people are nosy bitches I hate cleaning it keeps the house cooler. To add to this theory, we never manage to make it to the neighborhood parties - but that's always because of scheduling issues.

Neighbors who don't mow their lawn: I am morally opposed too lazy allergic to an entire list of grasses, pollens, trees, molds, mildews and dust. This makes it impossible for me to mow the yard, leaving the task to Joe. When the man doesn't arrive home until 7pm most nights, this means the lawn often has to wait for the weekend. If it's raining? Too bad, not gonna happen! If we're out of town? If he's just completely spent from the week and doesn't feel like it? Yep, we're the house on the corner in front growing patches of weeds.

Neighbors with the stupid pear tree that looks awful and spews fruit that draws bees and overhangs the sidewalk so nobody can get by: It's all true. I can say only two things in our defense - we didn't plant it (you can thank the previous owners) and we hate it as much as you do. Since I drafted this post three weeks ago, we've actually had it removed.

I guess we're not very interesting neighbors. We try not to be loud very often and never at odd hours. We try not to poke into other neighbors' business. And I'd still rather be any of these things than angry neighbor. At least people don't run away when they see me coming.

The neighbors next to us, "Fake Flowers in the Yard and Neon Mailbox Neighbors", are moving out. They've always been a bit odd but very quiet. I won't be greedy and hope for really hot replacements. Maybe new BFFs? Nuns? Celebrity chefs?

P.S. By the way, hot shirtless running neighbor hasn't been around lately. I'm wondering how to lure him back. Maybe if I set up a water station in my yard?

Monday, June 15, 2009

SWYMM: Overheard on vacation edition

Just a few tidbits from the past week.

For those of you just joining us, the cast includes:
  • me
  • Joe
  • Mother
  • Dad
  • Rob (brother)
  • Rochelle (SIL)
  • Tina (sister, 2 mos pregnant)
  • Dan (BIL)
  • Collin (14 mo nephew)
And apparently either we're all hard-of-hearing or suck at listening.
Dad: Let's give Collin a flavor-ice by the pool.
Rob: A flea dip? In the pool?
Rob: You're not Roch.
me: I'm not rich? What?
Mother: Collin would like a little cousin Aunt Cate!
me: And I'd like another beer.
Collin: yabba blah blah EEEEEE gah gah!!!!
Dad: Cate's mother has really let herself go. And become a total pain in the ass.
Joe: Uh...
While playing Uno:
Dan (seated between me and Tina): Haha, I'm totally nailing Cate.
Rob: Wrong sister.
Cards reverse direction of play:
Dan: Ha, now I'm totally nailing Tina!
Rob: That would explain why she's knocked up.
Really smooth, my family.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Babbles from a confused & overloaded mind

Warning: I have no real post today so I'm just going to babble and decompress what's in my head a bit.

I'm home.


It's blissfully quiet here. And clean. And organized. My mind seems to be slowing from the breakneck pace it kept all week.

I miss the hell out of my nephew though. His goofy smile. His smooshy face. His smooth cool baby skin. Oh, that giggle. Even the shrieks.

After holding it together all week (except for the part where I broke the baby), I returned home and promptly broke down. Sobs and sadness for missing Collin, strained relationships, choices people have made that make their lives so unnecessarily difficult. I wish I lived closer. I wish I lived further away. I want to visit more often but also not at all. I'm sad to think of what I've missed of Collin's last 14 months, miserable about what I'll miss before I see him again, grateful for what I experienced this week and yet wishing I hadn't seen him at all to put these thoughts in motion.

Other than a couple of comments asking about my plans for children, the week was rather non-confrontational. Still my mother is just LOUD. Collin's brand of loud is forgivable at fourteen months. My mother, at 55, is old enough to understand about an inside voice.

As always, I ended up feeling bad for my father. Sunday night, the guys tried to grill chicken on the charcoal grill from hell. Only, if it had been from hell it would've actually retained heat. It took forever and even then some of the pieces weren't cooked through. And Dad felt bad about it. And my mother went on and on about it in a way that made him feel worse. Yesterday, he wanted to eat at Waffle House on the way home. So after over an hour of driving, we reached Waffle House, everyone expressing their starvation on the way in, only to find it completely crammed. He decided to just go to McDonalds instead so they could get on the road. And Dad felt bad about it. And my mother went on and on about it in a way that made him feel worse. I could cite another twenty examples exactly like that. And when Dad feels bad, I feel bad. And when Mom makes him feel worse, I want to punch her in the face.

There was a lot of good in the trip. I plan to recount some of that in future posts. I've probably got a couple of not-so-good things I'll babble about as well. Hopefully in a more entertaining organized fashion.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Six Word Saturday

You know what to do! Describe your life (or something) in just six words. For more information, try clicking here.

My six words:
This WON'T be an annual trip

Please share your six words either in the comments or on your blog - be sure to use Mr. Linky below so we can all visit! And here's the code to link back with the shiny button if you like:

Friday, June 12, 2009


For exactly half of my family "eating out" is a big deal reserved only for the most special of occasions. This half of the family consists of mother, father, sister, BIL.

For the other half of my family, "eating out" is a fun treat and should happen often on vacation. Vacation is a good time to splurge and enjoy! This half, by the process of elimination, consists of me, Joe, brother, SIL.

So Wednesday night was our one dinner out. Brother & SIL opted out and instead went to dinner on their own. Lucky bastards. My sister chose our dining location - a local BBQ restaurant. Now, Joe and I have eaten there before. It was ok but not amazing. The biggest issue is that it specializes in Eastern-style bbq, aka slow-cooked and vinegar-based. Their idea of bbq is grilled with some tomato-based sweet sauce.

It doesn't matter that I warned them this would not be the case. It doesn't matter that when sister specifically mentioned looking forward to honey bbq wings I told her wings were highly unlikely.

When we placed our orders, my sister ordered chicken tenders. So much for bbq! Then she griped about the sauce (which was served on the side - no idea what it actually was but it wasn't the regional specialty). She complained about the price. She made it known that she could've bought a better chicken sandwich for her husband at McDonald's. She didn't like her soda. To make matters worse, my parents barely ate their meals. Yeah, well, I knew they probably wouldn't. There was no winning in this situation unless we ate at the house yet again.

All of this whining as if it had been forced upon her to eat there. I could've screamed. I refrained. I ate my mediocre meal mostly in silence, trying not to take it personally, while thinking of the delicious meal my brother and SIL were eating at the bakery we had lunched at the day before.

The week has mostly gone about like this. I internalize and feel guilty like I should fix it because somehow it's my responsibility. I know better and I've improved drastically in not taking it quite so much to heart. Still, it's the place I seem to go when the complaining begins.

Afterwards, I should add, my parents took nephew Collin back to bed while the rest of us played a round of mini-golf. We actually had a really good time together. I just wish it could be less of a roller coaster of emotions. And Thursday was our night to make dinner at the house - our pork ribs were a massive success, even with Collin. Big win!

Tomorrow is the last day. I'm very torn between being overjoyed and sad it's ending. But most of all, I'm a little relieved that I can relax and be less on-edge. I don't know how much more of this constant trying to please and feeling responsible I can take. It's not over yet but I've mostly done well. At the same time, I'm quite excited to return to "normal".

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Want to know how to make your vacation feel like it lasts forever? Take the trip with your entire family.

Wednesday has come and gone with no injuries. No breaking of babies, no breaking of me. Early vacation wounds (sunburns) are healing. Bug bites are still itching. And the bumps and bruises from Tuesday night's Trip Down Clumsy Ass Lane are still quite uncomfortable but temporarily soothed by alcohol and the hot tub.

The old wounds though will likely never heal. The deep wounds to the heart. The inability to trust. The feeling of constantly playing defense against some verbal/mental attack. Sometimes, we almost feel like a normal family. A close family. Other times, I'm reminded exactly why we moved so far away from these people. It's been more about demeanor and attitude this week than actual words. Still, I'm over-sensitive and feel like it's all my fault. Every word feels like an accusation and the roller coaster of "yay" and "save me" is exhausting. Even though things have been mostly low-key, I can't help wondering if we're really going to survive the entire week without a confrontation of some sort.

I realize this isn't a brilliant post. I'm tired after not sleeping last night. Also, it hurts to type. So instead of brilliance, you just get a peek at what's been inside my mind. And then I hopefully drift off to dreamland.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Somehow I topped Monday

Tuesday was a stellar day. I started off in the pool with Collin and Tina. Afterwards, I took off with Joe, my brother Rob, and SIL Rochelle for a fantastic lunch, some shopping, and a visit to a turtle rehab hospital. (No, the turtles were not recovering alcoholics or drug addicts.) Then a swim, Rochelle's awesome spaghetti, and a nice walk on the beach with the whole family.

Which is about where the day went to hell.

Rob (my brother) pointed out that instead of walking on the road, there was a little wooden boardwalk. The short story is that for a million reasons, I tripped, fell on my ass, and broke myself. I swear I heard Collin smile and say something about karma or revenge. Speaking of swearing, I let out the mother of all obscenities but I think only my brother heard me. Appropriate since I've decided it was his fault.

My knee and both hands are scraped but my right ring finger and right elbow took the worst of it. I'm not sure if the finger is jammed or sprained or what you want to call it but it's not taking pressure very well. Not even for typing this post.

While insisting I was ok to finish our walk, a storm blew in, sending us all flying back to the house. Joe, BIL and brother ran as fast as they could with Collin in the stroller. (Collin of course thought this was brilliant fun!) The rest of us followed as fast as we could with two old people, a pregnant woman, and me hobbling along. We spent the last of the night hanging out inside, hiding from the storm.

So on Monday I broke the baby, on Tuesday I broke me. I'm hoping that on Wednesday I don't cause any breaking to anyone or anything. Is that too much to ask?

P.S. I really miss Tonya and Rusty. I hope they're behaving and the kitty sitter is taking good care of them. I haven't managed to catch her on the webcams.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Rough day in Vacationland

Yesterday (Monday) was a bit of a rough day.

We were off to a bit of a rough start with my sister-in-law received word that her grandmother had passed away. Yes, grandmother was 87 and had been in poor health for awhile. It wasn't unexpected. But it was still unpleasant and will result in them cutting their stay short. I feel horrible for her. And on a selfish level, I'm really sorry to see our partners-in-crime leave the trip so soon.

Next, the aquarium. Collin loved it. We had a great time looking at the fishies and playing on the stairs. He's actually been very comfortable around me - I'm not sure if it's the family resemblance and similar hair as sister but I've enjoyed a lot of snuggle times. After dinner, my sister and BIL took off for a walk, leaving the rest of us with the little guy. SIL and I fed him his dinner, alternating spoonfuls of yogurt and orange pieces. Fun was had by all!!! Until Collin rolled off Auntie Cate into a porch chair. Seems harmless enough, right?

No, of course not. He had stuck his little fingers through a slat in the chair seat before he rolled, resulting in cuts on two of his fingers and yanking them all backwards. This brought on bleeding and screaming. I handed him off to my dad and made sure Collin was taken care of before literally curling up in a corner of our room and sobbing. I felt so bad about breaking the baby.

It took awhile before I was able to pull myself back together. When my sister returned, I apologized. They had shown her the damage but didn't rat me out. She was actually very cool about it. For the record, Collin had forgiven me by the time I saw him next. Smiles and ready to play with his snail on the stairs.

I realize that these things happen and it wasn't my fault. But it still breaks my heart that he was hurt and screaming like that when I was in closest proximity. How do parents do it? Maybe it's somehow worse when you break a baby that's not your own?

As I write this Monday night, I'm ready to crash into bed with a half-throbbing head that knows better but a heart that still hurts over those tears in his baby blues. The panic and sick I felt at his sobs rendered me completely incapable of functioning. I can't imagine the anxiety of being responsible for one (or more!) all day every day. Sometimes I really wonder if I'll ever be cut out for this.

P.S. Sorry I haven't been responding to comments like I usually do. I'm finding it all a bit overwhelming but doing my best to kind of leave it alone while I try to enjoy vacation. I am reading and appreciating you all. And I'm totally bringing you all the sand you can eat when I return from the trip!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Math major I am not

No vacay post today. I wrote this before we left in case I was stumped/busy.

Here's something I bet you've never heard before - I'm not a fan of the dentist.

Actually, my dentist isn't so bad. It's the hygienist that cleans my teeth before I see him that makes me crazy.

At the tiny office I go to, there are two regular hygienists to choose from. Hygienist A is quiet, sweet, and rips my mouth apart so my head hurts for three days after the appointment. Hygienist B is the most gentle being on the planet but not only does she expect me to carry on a conversation, she's an emotional basketcase.

Once, she literally stood over me sobbing while cleaning my teeth because her ex-husband was in the hospital dying. I offered to reschedule but she insisted she was fine. No, no she wasn't. At my last cleaning, she actually stopped mid-cleaning to answer her cellphone and argue dinner options with her daughter. We then had a riveting discussion about Steel Magnolias. For real. That Dolly Parton has talent!

Another time, I had a "substitute hygienist" for whatever reason. She's all "I'm gonna go around and poke on your gums and call out numbers based on yadda yadda whatever". I'm thinking "am I supposed to remember them for you? WTH is that about? Will there be a quiz?"

When she finishes with all her "7, 5, 6, 7, 5, 6, 6, 7" crap, I gave her the total.
Weirdo: Huh?
me: I added them up for you.
Weirdo: Why?
me: Because I had no idea what you wanted me to do.
Weirdo: Nobody's ever done that before.

Like I was the one with the problem. I still have no idea what that was all about. Maybe it's weeks until my teeth fall out. Or her checking account number. Whatever.

Maybe next time I have an appointment there I'll take my iPod.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Day of Zen

This is the first full day of family vacation. I'm wrote this post ahead of time because I expected Saturday to be quite full of driving, checking in, setting up shop, and spazzing. I was mostly correct but I'll add a Saturday night update at the end.

Today, I share with you the joy that is Wordle. In the past, I've really only used Wordle to summarize my blog. However Amy K mentioned in a comment to my May in Review post that a friend had framed a Wordle and given it to her as a gift.

Suddenly, I was inspired. Wordle wordle everywhere! These would make great gifts. Or room decorations (as C. Beth created for her Zoodle). Or maybe little reminders not to freak out, as I've created here:

I've printed this one out and tucked it inside one of the books I'm taking along on vacation.

Head on over to to create your own Wordle! Tip: to make some words larger than others, type them additional times. Then customize and enjoy!

Live Update: I spazzed a bit Friday night just before bed. Half a xanax did the trick. The packing and driving went fine. We actually ended up with the "best" bedroom in that it is on the third floor (the other three are on the first floor though sister/husband are sleeping in living room on second) and has a private bath and balcony. Everyone was exhausted and the nephew was a bit cranky at times but mostly it wasn't bad. Sunday, the first full day... Thank you all SO much for the support and well wishes!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Another week, another six words.

Here's what you do:: Describe your life (or something) in just six words. For more information, try clicking here.  Please don't make me feel bad about having to delete your link because you entered it but didn't actually participate.

My six words:

And today begins the family FUN!

Please share your six words either in the comments or on your blog - be sure to use Mr. Linky below so we can all visit! And here's the code to link back with the shiny button if you like:

Mr. Linky is still having some issues so we're still stuck with the "pop up box" version. Click the image below. It'll pop up a separate window where you can enter your name and link. To see the other linkies, click the image and they'll also be in the new window. Sorry it's such a pain but it's out of my control. Get well soon, Mr. Linky!

Friday, June 05, 2009

National Headache Awareness Week

me: Did you know next week is National Headache Awareness Week?
Joe: Oh believe me, I'm very aware of headaches.
me: Think it's a coincidence that we're going on vacation with my family during that time?
June 7-13 is National Headache Awareness Week. I'm posting about it a bit early mostly due to the impending doom family vacation that commences tomorrow.

The goals of National Headache Awareness Week are:
  • to gain recognition of headache pain as a real and legitimate condition,
  • to encourage sufferers to see a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment, and
  • to let sufferers know that there are new treatments available.
As anyone that follows my blog knows, I am a migraine sufferer. I can remember experiencing "bad headaches" as far back as 4th grade. However, it wasn't until my junior year of college that I was officially diagnosed. Over the past ten years, we've managed to decrease frequency from 15+ headaches per month down to one or two. I'm usually able to manage the pain myself using a combination of migraine-specific medications (Relpax though doctor gave me a trial of Treximet for next time), vicodin, ice packs, and dark rooms. If that doesn't do it, I take a trip to the doctor for some injections. Current preventative care really only consists of some hormone manipulation due to migraines being worse around my girly time.

And as anyone who follows my Twitter knows, Joe has recently been diagnosed with cluster headaches. This last week has been terrifying for me. He rarely suffers from headaches and those are usually mild and short-lived. He recently began experiencing excrutiating headaches that lasted for 1-3 hours every night. Due to the sudden onset and severity, he saw a doctor last Friday and had a head CT on Tuesday. I've never been so relieved to hear my husband referred to as "normal" and "unremarkable". The doctor ruled out anything more serious than the clusters and now we begin the search for effective pain treatment. In the meantime, it seems that this cluster may be over so we're hoping for a long remission period.

So as they say in the UK, MIND YOUR HEAD! Any sudden headaches or pain that's out of the ordinary for you should be closely monitored. Follow-up with a doctor and take care of yourselves. For more information on headaches, check out the National Headache Foundation.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

First Fursday: Something's up

Hey folks, it's Fursday again.  Long-haired human says she's too busy to blog so while she's running around with a pile of lists, your pal Rusty here is sneaking some time on her laptop.

Something is going on and I'm really scared.  I mentioned those lists?  She's been making them for weeks.  Only now, that laundry machine is going and there are bags everywhere.

Usually this means the humans are going to leave us alone for a night or two but this looks like a lot of bags.  I even think I heard them mention the "kitty sitter".  This can't be good.

I miss my humans when they are away.  Who's going to protect me from Tonya?  She smacks me around and eats all my crunchies.  She also takes the good sleepy spots and hogs the sunshine so I can't lick it.

Plus, there's nobody to purr for.  What purpose does my little furry life serve if I'm not warming a lap and purring loudly?  The kitty sitter doesn't stay long enough for me to spend any quality lap time with her. And last time I tried to snuggle with Tonya, she smacked me across the face and left me bleeding from the head.

Short-haired human brought in a couple more "webcams" and placed them around the house. I'm not exactly sure what they do. I tried to make friends but they aren't very cuddly. I think they could be some sort of spy system to make sure Tonya doesn't eat my face.

I guess I'll have to do my best to stay out of Tonya's way and hope my people aren't gone too long. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Freakus eatmyfaceus

Joe is in the shower, I am putting on my makeup at the sink.
Joe: What kind of bug?
me: The really big scary poisonous kind that kills people!
Joe: Really?
me: Is there any other kind?

It's like he doesn't know me at all.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What would you do if I sang out of tune?

Ever go to a concert and someone beside you is obviously enjoying the show, singing along with every song?

Loudly. With the wrong words. And so out of tune you can't be sure they're even singing the same song, let alone in the same key? In fact, you can't actually be certain they aren't experiencing some sort of medical emergency that requires the attention of that really hot paramedic you saw when you bought your $9 beer.

I guess they're having a good time and that's important. After all, they paid for admission, just like me. When I'm feeling charitable, I usually kinda laugh, appreciate the fact that they're in the moment, and turn my attention back to the show.

When I'm not feeling so generous, I really wish they'd just shut up. I paid to hear Bono, not someone strangling a goat with a Slinky!

Or, maybe sometimes more annoying is the Super Fan. You know the ones. The ones that travel in herds to every show on the tour. They don't just sing along, they sing the harmony. In an intimate venue, trying to enjoy an acoustic set, it's all I can do to NOT turn around and punch them all in the face. You are grown-ass women! He is not your friend - he sees you coming and looks for security because he is AFRAID of you wackos. Get a life!

I do my best to continue my Snoopy dance and enjoy the experience while they do their thing but ugh.

P.S. Yes, I've been known to sing along at a concert. But I would never ever do so in an annoying way. Because I'm delusional awesome.

Monday, June 01, 2009

May in review

Ahh, May, where did you go?

Popular Searches:

I am dominating the interwebz in the area of Alan Rickman. Can you imagine the people who come here looking for hot photos of the guy only to find a dream about how he steals babies?

Also, Call Me Cate nephew. Chances are you are NOT my nephew. He doesn't have internet access. Or a computer. Or the ability to type.

Chocolate covered spinach also got a hit. Sorry to disappoint - only Nutella-covered kittens here.

Someone was searching for Tonya's tail. It's currently on the coffee table in the living room. Swiping back and forth in anger because I made the mistake of trying to pet her. She'll probably eat my face when I fall asleep tonight.

For the person who thought Cate is dumb - you can bite me. I'm really not in the mood. And don't think after calling me dumb that I'm going to be willing to share my MC Hammer pant pattern. Not until you apologize.

When you find out it was all a lie for 4 years, I suggest you punch him in the face. HARD. Then take a stroll through the neighborhood to find that hot running neighbor guy.

Others of interest: big booty woke, booty in my face, and something about lobsters that I won't repeat here. You sick, sick people.

And here's a Wordle for the month of May:

It took several tries to ungroup "pregnancy", "xanax" and "drink".

June's going to be an interesting trip around here with family vacation. If I come out on the other side with my sanity, I think we'll all be amazed.