Saturday, July 30, 2005

Finally, a weekend!

I gave in and went to see the doctor over my lunchbreak yesterday. The only reason I did so was because I could no longer hear. Ok, so that's a little dramatic. I could hear, only it was all muffled and my ears ached like someone had shoved knitting needles into them.

According to the doc, I've got the "gnarliest ear infection" he's ever seen. Why does that make me somewhat proud? As if I should be standing here with some sort of medical trophy instead of an aching head and a bottle of horse-pills.

So I've got bilateral ear infections and a disgusting sinus infection. That's what happens when you're stubborn and don't go to the doctor until you're desperate.

I can't even explain what it is I hate so much about going, either. Maybe it's just the fact that you have to admit defeat, that you can't do it on your own. Or maybe it's just a lack of confidence in modern medicine. I mean hell, if they're so good, why are people still getting so sick. Truly, doctors seem more like paid pill-pushers for the pharmaceutical industry than people sworn to help the sick.

But honestly, I probably have the coolest doctor in the entire county. He's down to earth, chats with you about life in general, dispalys photos of his fishing trips in the office, wears a hawaiian shirt and khakis to work. Heck, he even lets a curse word slip now and then. He makes you feel comfortable when you're there, and his office is more homey instead of clinical. You'd think I wouldn't mind going in there every now and then instead of getting into the shape I'm in right now.

Anyway, it's Saturday, finally. I want nothing more than to climb into bed and pull the blanket over my throbbng head. But I'm back to working full-time again. That means the house is a disaster, and I haven't really had a chance to play with my son all week. I can't justify lying around all day when there's a cute little kid smiling and cooing at me from the living room.

So we're going shoe shopping. Not for me. I'm not a shoe person. I've got one pair of sneakers, and that's plenty! But Jonas needs new kicks. His sandals are two sizes too small, his sneakers about a centimeter from being outgrown. And it's tax-free week down here, so why not?

Wil wants to go to the spanish market afterwards and get himself a Malta. Ugh. *cringe* Have YOU ever tried one of those things? Disgusting. But they have a bakery there, and a deli, and they make a killer sandwich, an empanada to die for, and I could always go for a guava pastry. So much for weight-watching. I'm a sucker for latin food, and men, for the most part. I can get my dose of both today.

Y'all enjoy your weekends, too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Like I said

the words are gone.

Here is the result of nearly two years of stagnation. I guess it's true... when you don't use it, it goes away.


And there we were,
all crowded into that tiny
room with monitors
beeping and me,
moaning that I couldn’t do it.

Couldn’t do it.

“You will,” snapped the doctor.
(I never liked him anyway:
fucking humorless troll)

Legs forming a faulty stage
for the mass of peering onlookers,
improper angles propped
in the arms of husband and mother.
I bore down against bony grind as
shoulders rotated within their pelvic prison.

He arrived in the rush of a scream,
wet on my belly and writhing,
admonishing me for disturbing his slumber.

And all I could do was stare,
frightened by the miracle
of two tiny cells and a creation
that was never meant to be.

Ok, so it's written in past-tense, there are tons of gerunds, and it really just plain old sucks, but hey, I wrote it, and that, my friends, is the first step. Right?

Revision 1


I couldn't do it.

There we were,
crowded into that tiny
room with monitors
beeping and me,
moaning that I couldn’t do it.

“You will,” snapped the doctor.
(I never did like him:
humorless troll)

Legs parted
reavealing a faulty stage
for the eager audience.
With improper angles propped
in the arms of husband and mother,
I bore down against bony grind as
shoulders rotated within their pelvic prison.

He arrived in the rush of a scream,
wet on my belly and writhing,
admonishing me for disturbing his slumber.

And all I could do was stare,
frightened by this miracle:
Two tiny cells and a creation
that was never meant to be.

***I think I might have liked it better before.

I'm gonna do it, I swear.

With a head full of snot and red, watery eyes, I dropped Jonas off at Abuela's today so that I could come home and "relax". Yeah right, me relax? I know that's a ridiculous statement. I've already filled my calendar with catch-up housework to do.

But seriously, if I get it all out of the way now, I'll have a couple of hours to just be lazy. Of course, we all know that I'm incapable of just sitting around and doing nothing, don't we?

So I'm going to actually try to write something. Write what? No idea. There's not even an idea in my head to start with. It's so frustrating to be pressed up against this wall where everything is so bland and colorless.

I've always known that writers think differently than the rest of the world. We think in metaphors and winding paths. There's rarely a straight line between two points, but lately it seems my mind has been practicing for a DUI checkpoint or something. See, I can't even be creative in my description of my uncreativity! Arg!

But I'm going to do it. Just as soon as I get the laundry caught up, and the litter box cleaned, and the floors swept and Jonas' birthday invitations addressed. I promise.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Now and Then

In a totally selfish and needy mood today, I dropped Jonas off with his Abuela and did a little shopping. Hey! I'm justified. It's not everyday that you lose over 40 lbs now is it? I think part of the reason that I've felt so bad about myself lately is because I look totally frumpy in all of my oversized clothes. I guess it doesn't matter what your body looks like when you're hiding it underneath ancient clothes that are 4 sizes too big.

I am basically lost when it comes to clothes shopping. When you're big, there's no such thing as style, really. It's just a matter of finding enough material to cover your ass. Sure, there are some places that sell nice looking plus-sized clothes, but they charge an outrageous amount for them. So, if you're the budget shopper that I am, you usually end up in mens t-shirts, and some jeans. Yes, I buy mens jeans too. They take all the guess-work out, look right on the tag, they give you a size, in inches. No need to depress yourself in the fitting room with those mystery women's sizes that fluctuate from brand to brand. We all know it's a conspiracy anyway, right?

So I shopped for myself today, in the sections that have, until now, been off-limits to me. I felt like an invader, an outsider who had forgotten her place. But I pressed on, tried on a few things, even found a few that were ok. So, four hours later I have returned home, spending under $100 and I now have two pairs of shorts, two skirts, three shirts, and two bras that fit. Let me not forget to mention that I also picked up an organizer for the desk (which is now much more user-friendly), and a new shirt for Jonas with that money as well.

I guess years of poverty have been good for something...

So anyway, here are the pictures, then and now. Not because I want to brag about how much smaller I am, but more because I'm still so damn self conscious about my looks that doing this is somewhat therapeutic. In the interest of not taking up too much space here, I've only posted thumbnails. You can, of course, click on the pics expand them to a more life-sized version of me.

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Ok, so the colors are a bit bold, but I needed a change from the drabness of my normal wardrobe. Deal with it. :)

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Excuse Mocha's head. She always has to be by my side. (To be read, she's one of those damn up-the-butt dogs.

Ok.... and now for the older stuff.

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This one is from Easter. Notice the strategic placement of the baby.

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And finally, Christmas/New Year. I particularly love this one because of the look on Jonas' face. The lovely ladies with me, as if you couldn't tell, are my Mom and my Tooter.

Ok, so now that you've seen the before and afters, whaddaya think?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


If I could take a picture of my desk right now, I'd share it with you in all it's jumbled glory. Just to reach the keyboard I'm having to stretch over a pile of bills, a stack of reciepts, a cat and a flashlight. Why the hell there's a flashlight on the desk is still a mystery. I'm assuming it was something pried from J-man's little hand and placed out of his reach, but I'm not sure.

Seriously, there's not a single inch of empty space on the thing. I can't work like this. I can't stand clutter. You wouldn't know it to look at this house, but I'm really a neat freak inside. I need order and structure in order to function. This desk contains neither.

It's hard sharing space with a person who's such a polar opposite sometimes. Wil makes piles. That's how he organizes, piles. Stacks turned this way and that, and when the piles take over all the flat surfaces, he'll pile piles on top of piles. Hell, he's even dragged over a tv tray to accomodate the things that no longer fit on the desk. It's truly disgusting.

Tomorrow is my last day off for a while. Natasha goes on maternity leave as of Friday. It seems like I'm always the one that gets screwed when someone takes time off. What part of part-time employee do they not understand? I don't want to be there at all anymore, much less six days a week, 12 hours a day. It's just ridiculous, but quitting is not an option yet, so I suppose I have to suck it up and play by their rules.

I'm almost manic with all the things I need to get done tomorrow. You'd think, being my last day off and all, I'd plan something relaxing... maybe a few lazy hours at the coffeehouse with a good book, or maybe a stroll around the park with Jonas, but no, instead, all I can think about are all the chores I need to get done in order to maintain some level of cleanliness around here once I don't have the time for daily touch-ups.

And that brings me to my next delimma. I love my cats dearly. They're like furry children to me, but they've gotta go. It's a truth I've been wrestling with for a while, but I can't put it off much longer. Not only do I suspect that my son is somewhat allergic to them, hence his constantly runny nose, wheezy chest and red eyes, but I don't need the extra burden of having to clean up after them constantly. You see, I don't have the sort of cats that just laze around in sunny patches all day. My cats are like 12 week old puppies. They get into everything, chew things up, constantly demand attention. They have effectively ruined my entire house. Before Jonas I had more patience with them, but now I don't have the time for it, and it's not fair to them. And I'm tired of my house constantly smelling like a litter box. I clean it twice a day, and maybe it's all in my head, but I can't stand even the idea that my house might smell like a dirty litter box. Ick. Not to mention Jonas has recently taken an interest in that cool little sandbox the cats play in.

So I've got to find them homes. I'm not just going to drop them off at the shelter or toss them out the door, I'm going to do it the right way and make sure that they're happy wherever they end up. I'm not getting rid of them because I hate them, I'm getting rid of them because I want something better for them than what I'm giving them. Isn't that what a responsible owner should do? Or maybe this is all a bunch of bullshit to convince myself that I'm not just being selfish and irresponsible. Either wy, they're going.

And in other news... remember that whole diet thing I was doing? Yeah, the one where my goal was to get into the 150's and be able to wear a size 12. Well, today I weighed in for the first time in a while and I'm at 149, and even my size 10 jeans are feeling a bit baggy.

Sure, that's reason to celebrate and all, but I still don't see myself as thin. Not at all. Now I just look like a heap of leftover skin with a long skinny face. And I was just sure I'd be more attractive when I got smaller. Now I'm starting to wonder if maybe I was more attractive when I was fat. At least then I wasn't saggy and droopy all over. I don't know if there's any amount of gym that can fix me.

And this, my friends, has been a load of negativity.

No shit.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


I've been out of the writing loop for so long now that it almost seems like it never existed at all.

There once was a time when words seemed to simply spill out of my head with little effort. Now, regardless of how hard I try, there's just this dry lakebed of what once was poetry. I barely form coherant thoughts these days.

Sure, there are plenty of excuses... first it was, "I'm pregnant, my hormones are a mess and I can't think straight." Then it became "I'm on bedrest, and I can't write without the computer." and then, of course, there's the "I've got an infant to care for, how the hell am I supposed to find time to write?"

Truth is, I've had the time all along, I've just been avoiding it. It's work to write well, and I'm the definition of lazy when it's not a necessity. That and I seem to have no inspiration. Sure, there's Jonas, but don't I write about him enough without writing a whole bunch of sappy, crappy poetry about him, too? And let's face it, my strong suit has never been the sappy, lovey type of poetry, has it?

So how does one get back into writing after neary two years off? Where do you look to find your muse again? (Doesn't that word irk you, too? Muse, as if some little mythical fairy is going to come and plop herself down in my head and all of a sudden I'm going to be a poet again. Whatthefuckever)

But seriously, I know we all go through periods where writing is more of a chore than a hobby. How do you break it?


It's amazing how our children seem to change overnight.

Last night, sitting in his highchair and waiting for some grub, Jonas began humming and babbling while waving his hands above his head. To someone who's not his Mommy, it'd be cute, for sure, but I knew exactly what he was doing... The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Oh my god, we sang that song about a hundred times before bed, all the while, his little pudgy hands making thier best replication of a creepy crawly spider.

This morning at breakfast, he began doing Pat-a-cake.

Yes, I know, nothing earth-shattering, but it's so incredible to get to watch these little milestones every day.

Ok, thanks for indulging me.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hi kiddo

I'm a private person. I've always kept my writing to myself and have especially avoided showing it to family. They just wouldn't get it... wouldn't understand it. Most importantly, it would most likely hurt them. Why do that?

No one I know personally knows that I have a blog. I don't even think my husband knows, or if he does, he certainly doesn't read it. I like it that way. Just words poured out into the stream of consciousness to be digested by a select few.

All that said, someone from Memphis has found me. I can only assume that it was my baby sister. Ok, so she's not a baby, she's a full-fledged adult. Sorry Jess, I just can't get my head around that.

So I'd like to say hello, sweet little sister, and welcome you to my mental ramblings. Feel free to hang around, now that you've found me. Maybe you can share your world with me, too.

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Someone once asked me why I drank my coffee so strong. At the time, I just sort of shrugged and told them that's the way I like it. And I do like it that way. Black, strong, almost thick. If I'm gonna drink the stuff, it had better pack a punch. No dirty brown water for me, I want COFFEE!

Now that I've had some time to think about it, I realize that my coffee habit is probably more a reflection of my entire being. I'm one of those folks that feels very little on the surface. Maybe it's a survival technique that I haven't been able to drop, or maybe it's just the way I was naturally wired at birth. Either way, it's just the way it is.

A lot of people who don't know me well consider me cold and unfeeling. I don't share or show my emotions much. It's hard to elicit a smile from my lips, harder still is anger or pain. Sure, I feel it, it's the expression part that doesn't happen.

A little known fact: I used to cut myself in order to feel. Or maybe it was a control thing. I could inflict the pain, tangible pain that I could then heal. A sick sort of self-loving I guess. I wasn't in the greatest of mental places, I suppose. I don't do that anymore. Haven't in more than 3 years, but sometimes the craving is there. Sometimes it's like a bee buzzing around in a glass jar, angry and desperately hunting escape. It was that way the other day, standing in the kitchen, washing bottles in the pre-dawn silence, eyes caught on the shapely handles of my knives arranged so neatly in their little block. I wanted so badly to feel the blade against my skin, melting through my skin, the warm release.

I'm over it. I don't do those things anymore. As a matter of fact, it disgusts me that I even still think about it at all.

But I am a person who needs extremes in order to feel, in order to be normal. So why do I drink my coffee so damn black? Probably to make up for some sort of emptiness that I don't even know exists yet.

And this has been a strange and disjointed post from the dark corner of my mind.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


I feel so damn unprepared to make a decision on a new house. We've done our research, to be sure. We've visited every home builder in the county, we've researched each one of their reputations. We've tossed around the idea of purchasing an already built home. And we're no closer to an answer than we were when we first began.

Wil is more in favor of building rather than buying. His logic is that you get a brand new house... there's nothing possibly wrong with it. I agree with that, but there's also the fact that you're paying top dollar for a basic house when you could buy a pre-existing house that someone else has already taken the time to upgrade and make nice. And there are LOTS of houses out there right now that are only a year or two old.

The second factor to consider is that if we decide to build, we'll either have to settle for something out in the boonies with well water. I like the boonies and the idea of houses not stacked on top of one another. If I were building a house just for myself, this would be ideal. But we have to think of Jonas's well-being, and that of any future additions to our family. Do we want him growing up out where there are no sidewalks and streetlights and no other children to play with? I do realize that most of children's playdates now are arranged through other venues, but I can't help but think that living in an area where other children are is more beneficial. Some of my fondest memories are of being able to ride my bike through the neighborhood, and of walking to school with the other children. We always had someone to play with and hang out with and we didn't have to have our parents drive us across town to do so.

I, up until now, have been totally against the cookie-cutter neighborhoods that are built down here. You get less than a quarter acre, and you can practically knock on the neighbors door from your own driveway. But living in such a place will ensure Jonas a relatively safe place to grow up. There are sidewalks, community pools and playgrounds, all the things I want him to have. So is it fair of me to move him out farther from civilization just because I have an aversion to planned communities?

The houses in the neighborhoods are nice, new, have all the things we want. Open floorplans, great kitchens. Truth be told, they're the exact same houses we're thinking of building, only someone else already built them. And they're in the same price-range. I personally think that they're the best option. Convincing Wil of this may take time.

See what I mean? One minute I'm all excited about finding the floorplan we love, and then next, I'm throwing that out the window for something else. Someone with some common sense, or at least some experience in the real estate market, HELP! What really IS the best decision.

No matter where we go, the property value is going to do nothing but increase, but are the planned communities more desireable than the boonies? Or are people trending more towards the open space? And does any of this really matter in the grand scheme of things?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Eleven months

My son is eleven months old today. It's been an amazing journey to this point, and one I find myself more grateful every day to be a part of.

Last night I poured over old pictures, laughing and crying in all the right places, stroking his tiny pixelated cheeks on the computer screen. Sometimes I think I'm a terrible mom. Jonas doesn't have a baby book, or even a photo album. There's just these hundreds and hundreds of pictures saved to the computer and occasionally e-mailed to friends and family. What kind of new mother doesn't make a baby book for their child?

The tired one.

It's been a rough year, not just having to adapt to a life of being needed constantly by an infant, but a year of recovering from hurricane damage, of working full-time, of worrying about daycares. It's been a year of nearly non-stop illnesses. None of these are excuses, though.

I tell myself that next year will be different. Jonas will be a little more self-reliant, or at least self-entertaining. We will, hopefully, be in a new home that isn't constantly crumbling away beneath us. And I will be a stay at home mom. I am determined of that. No more spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month on daycare, when I could be spending that money on other things, like a better place to live, food for our bellies, a reliable car.

Before Jonas, I was complacent. I'd settle for the bottom of the barrel, with the excuse that anything else just wasn't worth the struggle. Now, having the responsibility of a child, I want better. It's not that I want to be rich, live in some fancy upscale neighborhood where all my neighbors drive Jaguars and BMW's. But I do want my son to live somewhere safe, somewhere large enough for there to be room for his toys. He doesn't have that here.

So we've taken out our equity loan. Not much money, really, just enough to make some necessary repairs, pay off a couple of debts, pay for my classes. My goal is to, in the next six months, complete my courses, work from home, and be well on the way to selling this shitbox we live in.

We don't have the luxury of taking our time on this. Just in the last three months property values have risen even higher. Land that was selling for $35,000 back in March is now selling for $55,000. If we don't buy soon, we're not going to be able to buy at all.

And so, on my son's eleven month birthday, I sit and I make a promise to him, next year won't be this way.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Goodbye Green

The tractors and the county trucks just arrived. They're tearing down the lot next door. I guess we always new that one day we'd lose our little oasis in the middle of nowhere, but it's disgusting just the same.

Death to Meteorology

I swear to god the weatherman has a boner. It's the most disgusting thing I've ever seen, but it's true. With two storms recently forming and making landfall, even his wife has never seen him so hard.

June is like a month of foreplay as hurricane season gets underway. Even before the tropics become active, they can get away with talking about last year's season, and how important it is to prepare. They offer you those free tracking maps so you can hang them on your kitchen wall and trace the progress of each storm with them. They show footage of themselves last year, clad in yellow rain suits, being blown about, debris narrowly missing them as they tell us to stay inside.

Then season actually starts, and like pimply-faced boys at the junior prom, they're basically hunching your leg through the television as they report the coordinates of the first storm of the season. It could be a million miles away from any sort of land, and yet they'll get all wound up over it. And of course, they'll never tell you that "This storm will not pose any sort of threat to the state", but instead, have to tell you to "keep watching as we track the path of this potentially dangerous weathermaker over the next 24-48 hours."

It's just disgusting. Have some remorse, or at least feign sympathy for those of us who lost everything we owned while you sat there creaming your BVD's because your ratings were going through the roof. And for God's sake! Stop over-sensationalizing. Yes, we all know that we need to prepare early. We don't need reminders of that in January. And those of us who are too lazy to go out and buy supplies early, (myself included) let us stand in ridiculous lines and get ripped off. At least then, you can work the "I told you so" angle into your next broadcast.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I think it's hilarious

that my blog comes up as the number one site when a search for "Testicle Stomping" is done in yahoo.

It's even more amusing that two folks have found me via said search.

In the middle, dammit!

He's the kind of guy I would definitely date, were I single. Handsome, ambitious, driven. He's caring and loving and expressive, loves children, wants a family, will go to the ends of the earth for you.

She's the kind of girl that's had it rough. Abusive boyfriends, a child at 19, no one to ever show her how special she deserves to be treated. She's stoic and closed off when it comes to emotions. She needed someone to love her, teach her that she was worth something.

It only seemed natural that they should fall in love. I didn't exactly hook them up or anything, but I will admit that, when asked my opinion, I urged both sides to give it a try.

Over the past couple of years they've lived together, done all sorts of fun things together. They've shared trips to Vegas, New York, Tampa, Buffett concerts. He's romantic, cooks fancy dinners, spoils her rotten, considers her daughter his own.

But she can't change. She can't open herself up and let him inside. I suppose I should be able to relate to this, being an active participant in a terrible relationship myself. But I see the way he looks at her, the way he gives himself completely to her, and I can't understand how she doesn't see it, too. How can she be so closed and cold to him?

This week, after he returned from a fishing trip to Canada, she dumped him. Spent the week he was gone emptying her stuff from his house. Left nothing of herself behind but a memory and a garden full of flowers they planted together that he must now tend alone.

He cried today as I hugged him, said he just didn't get it. Promised that he'd try harder, if she'd let him. And I, being a total loser when it comes to speaking my heart, could offer only palatatudes and cliches.

And it's really my fault that he's hurting this way. I should know better than to try and play cupid, but it's so hard when you see two folks both missing something in their lives.

Damn, it feels like I'm the one breaking hearts.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

There's a Yak in my Kitchen!

My sick son, who hasn't eaten in two days, just scarfed down about 8 oz of baby food. When I was done feeding him, I handed him his spoon to play with while I washed out his bowl.

Just as soon as I turned my back, I heard the tell-tale sound of spoon in throat, and turned around just in time to watch him erupt like a mini Mount Vesuvius. Aww Gawd... if I could lift the highchair into the tub, I would have just hosed him down right there.

Eight ounces doesn't seem like much until it's coming back out of where it should be.

And I was so proud that he finally ate something. :)

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Remembering the fourth

Erin recently asked, "What does the fourth of July mean to you?" Poetic-Acceptance

I don't remember ever having big barbecues, or family reunions. Nothing big and fancy like that, but this time of year does bring back fond memories of my Grandaddy.

Every year, a few days before the fourth, he'd tuck a ten dollar bill into my brother and my pocket, and we'd take a trip down to Mississippi to a little shack called The Cotton Cabin.

I remember it as this giant place filled with every sort of firework your could imagine. If placed against the mega-stores of today, it would probably seem dinky and podunk, but to us, it was massive!

We'd wander the aisles, wide eyed, planning out our purchases. Some years Brian would convince me to pool our money and buy the big stuff, but usually, I opted for the more kid friendly sparklers, sparkle fountains, and roman candles. Brian always went for the bang. Firecrackers, cherry bombs, all noise, no show. We'd carefully count out our purchases, making sure there wasn't a single penny leftover, and home we'd go, little brown paper bags full of joy.

On the fourth, Grandaddy'd take us to Germantown park to watch the big display over the lake. It was my job to pick our spot. I'd scout the entire bank looking for just the perfect place to spread our blanket, and as the sun set, and the orchestra began warming up under the pavilion, we'd lay back upon the warm earth with the scent of muddy lake water in our nostrils, and wait for the show to begin.

I hardly remember the display, even though we watched it every single year. I doubt that my brother does, either. They may have been huge and glamorous, but we were always more intent on getting back to Grandaddy's so that we could blow up our own stuff.

And we would. Lord, we would.

I remember the pebbly surface of the driveway against my feet, the lighting and running, and watching with awe at each of our little fireworks. There were the occasional burnt fingers, of course, but we never did manage to blast the fingers off of our hands, as mother swore we were certain to do.

And as the din of bottlerockets and firecrackers faded into the late hours of night, we'd settle in and just watch the stars and feel so special because we were allowed to stay up late.

To cap off the night, Grandddy would tie an entire pack of blackcats to the bird feeder and they would explode into what seemed like a 20 minute salute to summer.

And so now, much older, what does the fourth mean to me? It's a reminder of my Grandaddy. The man that showed us the world, loved us unconditionally, and left us way too soon.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Worth It

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I just spent my last $10 on this.

It's not that it's worth that much, but every penny goes toward cancer research.

Each of the beads represents a different type of cancer.

I know that $10 isn't much, but maybe, just maybe it's the $10 that will help someone not have to suffer the long, slow process of the disease.