Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!!! Trevor wanted to let you all see his costume. He made it himself. Pssst...(whisper)..he borrowed Brit Boy's handkerchief and kept running around saying, "I'm a ghost...boo!" LOL. Anyway, we just humor our little mascot around here :-) Here's a photo.




Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Casting My Vote

I just wanted to give an update on my absentee ballot. I had written before about waiting for it to come. Well I finally did get my ballot, but it was a long road to get it here.

When I wrote about it before, I was hoping that it would arrive that week. Well, it didn’t come, but I did receive a new voter precinct card with my married name on it about two weeks later. I was puzzled. I did see one bright spot in that my precinct card had arrived, so I was glad that they seemed to have the address right. The clock started ticking loudly in my ears at this point. It was getting into October a bit and I still didn’t have my ballot.

So I called the local voting office back home again and explained my situation. I was able to talk to a nice lady who was very helpful. She looked at their records and saw that my married name was on the voter rolls and that they hadn’t mistakenly sent my ballot to my former address. So that was good. But who knows? :-) My first ballot is out there floating in the ether somewhere.

Anyway, we both sprung into action. The voting lady told me that they could issue me another ballot and cancel the old one. I had to fax them a statement saying that I would destroy the other ballot if it came and then I had to sign the letter. Well, that first ballot hasn’t come and if it EVER does, you can be sure that I will destroy the heck out of it. LOL. I don’t want any troubles like that. And anyway, I , deep down in my soul believe in one person…one vote. I kind of believe that it just slipped through the cracks and never got mailed.

So back to my story, we don’t have a fax machine, but we were going to use a faxing program that is on Brit Boy’s computer. Well of course when the time came, it didn’t work. I had to call the voting lady back and ask if I could send her the scanned statement by email instead. She had to go and ask her manager to make sure and then she gave me the go ahead. Well, let’s just say that Murphy’s Law was in full force ;-) At that VERY moment, our broadband connection went down. After a few choice, colorful words, all that Brit Boy and I could do was laugh. So we switched the broadband off and on and it came back to life. It is so temperamental sometimes. Then, I kid you not, my email provider had glitches…..Ugh!!!! LOL. So I said it like my mom would have said it, “I’m gonna pray over it.” And I walked away from it for a minute. To let you peek into my mind a bit, in my head, I was singing the song “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers to myself to calm my nerves. LOL. This song always puts me into a good frame of mind. I was not gonna be beaten.



Finally, we were able to get into the email, and I sent the statement and did my happy dance :-) Since Murphy’s Law was kicking my backside that day, I called and made sure that the email had gone through and that my statement was okay. I know I made the phone company so rich that day :-) The voting lady did receive it and it was fine. I thanked her so much for her help.

So they mailed another one to me and I finally got it. But I wondered if this was perhaps my first ballot. There was no real way to tell from the postmark. I had to save my happy dance for later. With the time difference, I had to wait until after 2pm my time in order to call her. We were old friends by now :-) She asked me what the number was next to my name and I told her and added that there was an asterisk next to it. She said that this was for sure my new ballot. She had added the asterisk in order to differentiate them in the system and I felt good because with me mentioning that without her prompting, it showed that I was playing fair. I thanked her that one last time and felt like we should be sharing a drink or something after all of our talks :-)

I finally was able to mail off my absentee ballot last week and it felt good. I have always voted and I never take it for granted because my grandparents and even my parents for a time, could not cast a vote. So it is always a duty that I carry with me for them. And you know, this experience of having such a hard time in trying to cast my vote, it just makes me appreciate it even more. Even though no one was physically standing in my way to bar me from voting, circumstances were making it seem like I was being kept from it. This was an odd feeling. And these are the times when I feel isolated from back home…times when I can’t do what I need to do and want to do. I will say that through it all I held my cool really well and the amount of laughs at the annoyances are letting me know that I’m learning to release and let go a whole lot better :-)

Happy voting to all of my fellow citizens back home and around the world! :-)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My 100th Post

Today is a milestone for me. This is my 100th post!!!! I’m thrilled that I’ve made it this far. (smile) When I started off on this journey, I didn’t know where it would go…I just knew that it was the thing for me to do. When I started out back in March of this year, I was in a different place in my heart and mind. Even though I was coming into my second year of being here, I was just starting to find my footing. My life felt like a whirlwind and the uproar was just beginning to subside. I had been feeling that my life was adrift almost and I was mourning the loss of my roots. I knew that I had to find something that was mine in order to ground myself here in this new place.

Some may question that I found what I needed in a blog. But, yeah, I did. It illuminated the way for me…it was an outlet. I could have continued with just writing in my journals, but I felt that I was turning too inward since I’ve been here, so a blog was the nudge that I needed. And it has helped me to see the humor and fun in life again as I examine my thoughts. Writing has always been a comfort to me in my life and I’ve kept journals off and on since I was a kid. In times of turmoil in my life, I always turned to writing it out. I wrote on the day that my daddy passed, because at twelve, I didn’t know what to do with myself that day. I was lonely that day and it helped somewhat to write out my fears. Writing was still my friend on the very first day of the year, many years later, when my mom passed away. Even though I was a grown woman, and not a twelve year old, I still didn’t know what to do with myself or my thoughts. So when I don’t have anyone to talk to, I find peace in just writing it out.

So getting to this 100th post is great. It is a milestone that fuses together my love I’ve always had…writing…and my new love…blogging. Blogging has brought lots of comfort to me. I’ve cultivated more discipline and I’m less of a procrastinator. (smile) But the best part of blogging is the sense of community that I feel now. I’ve gained some wonderful blogging friendships and I’ve realized that no matter what continent you are on, some things are just universal. It’s a cliché, but I’ve found that it’s true…we are more alike than we are different. That realization has been a great gift to me.

And thank you to all of my blogging friends and readers and commenters for supporting me and my blog. (smile) I’m just so grateful to have found you all when I needed you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Guess what, even though I am well past the fever that I had and I generally feel a lot better, I still have a rather raspy voice. And you know what? I kinda like it. (a raspy) LOL. It makes me sound all sophisticated and film noir-esque. I also thought that it is cool for Halloween. If we have any trick or treaters, I can put on a mask and have the raspy voice to go with it :-) So I’m keeping my sense of humor with it all and am just glad that my throat doesn’t affect my hands, so I can type :-)

Anyway, enough of my sickly tales ;-)

I posted before about National Breast Cancer Month and featured my t-shirts. So I just thought that I would add another post about what I do to keep tabs on myself. Breast cancer awareness and research are so important to the lives of women and men, so I wanted to highlight it again.

I mentioned in my previous post that this month always reminds me to be more vigilant in checking myself, so I am recommitting myself to using all that I have available. I thought that I would share something with you that I do. In addition to doing the normal breast self-exam, I have recently been using another tool also. It’s a breast self-examination glove. It’s not a new development, and I figure that some of you already have one or have heard of them, but for anyone who doesn’t know, here is a photo. Mine came in this little pink gauzy pouch which my girly side really loves :-)



And here’s a photo of the glove on my hand.




It has a gel-like substance in it, and when you use it, the gel is between your hand and your breast. So in addition to doing a regular self-exam, I use this also. It magnifies the fingertip’s sensitivity and reduces the friction on the skin, so I find that it is a great addition to my self-checks. Mine also came with an instructional DVD.

I just wanted to share this bit of information about something that I use in my life. I'm no doctor and I'm certainly not passing on advice here, but I wanted to share what I do, just to share, just because :-) I bought mine here at Lloyds Pharmacy, but they are sold other places here in the UK as well as back home in the US. Here are links to some of the places that sell them, that I have found online:

Lloyd's Pharmacy

Bath & Body Works

So as we come to the last few days of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I just wanted to highlight this once more. This cause is so important and this disease robs us of so many people every day. Please check out the button on my sidebar, from thebreastcancersite.com . They are doing great work to help. And please join me in keeping up with self-exams all the year round, during every month :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Much Better Today

I just wanted to write a quick post to thank all of my readers/friends who left nice messages for me while I was sick. Y'all are great. :-) It certainly lifted my spirits to read what you had written. Thanks for your support and for coming back to check on me even though I haven't been feeling well enough to post.

I'm doing much better today. I'm not at 100%, but I am just so glad that the worst seems to be over with all of that. :-) Still, I'll be a good patient and finish all of my meds. ;-)

The sun is shining today, so that warms my heart and my bones.

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend everybody! :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm Without My Voice Today

This will be a short post today. For the last couple of days I have been sick, so I haven't been able to do a lot of Entrecard dropping, but I did finally respond to comments on my previous post. So please accept my apologies, my fellow Entrecarders. I hope to return drops tomorrow. I was so pleased that many of you enjoyed my "7 Things" post and I wanted to respond back to show my appreciation. Here's a photo of our bed and I've posted it before, but I post it again because this is where I have been for a couple of days :-)



I have had this congestion and fever, coupled with a bad sore throat that has graduated to a bit of laryngitis. It was awful yesterday. I got some meds from the doctor and today I am feeling a bit better, so hopefully tomorrow I will be on my feet. Thanks for visiting me again. :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

7 Things About Me

I have been tagged by my bloggy buddy Jewelry Rockstar to tell 7 things about me. This is my first tagging like this, so I’m excited. :-) Here it goes.

#1 – When I was in middle school, I was tapped into the Junior Beta Club. This is as, the name implies, the junior version of the National Beta Club. It’s an academic achievement society. I mentioned being "tapped in" when I was in middle school. Well in my school, they had us in an assembly and had us to put our heads down on the table and then they came around and tapped you if you were being taken into the club. Well, they didn’t really tell us what we were doing or perhaps I was talking to my friend at the time. So it was all a surprise to me. :-) And as a kid, who knows about these things? LOL. Anyway, I got tapped and for a moment I was kind of puzzled and thought that I was on the way to the principal’s office or something. LOL. I still remember my momentary panic. But I was cool on the outside though and followed the girl up to the front of the room. So I used to be a brainy kid…now, I’m just beautifully average. LOL. ;-) My pin and certificate are somewhere in storage.

#2 – I played the flute when I was a teenager and I won a few ribbons in competitions. I just took to it like a duck to water. However, I haven’t played in a long while now. I have to pick this up again. Might be fun. :-)

#3 – This week I have been getting back on track with my fitness. I worked out today and even though it is hard to start, I felt better after I finished. I am even cutting back on drinking the sodas. That is tough…eek! :-) I'm am such a soda fiend. I just had some green tea, so I am on my way to doing better.

#4 – I have been growing my hair out over the past year or so. I've been wearing my hair closely cropped for about ten years, so for a change of pace, I am now sporting longer, wavy curls.

#5 – I love watching TV shows and movies about ghosts and haunted places. I just don’t want to see a ghost though…I would probably break my neck trying to run away. LOL.

#6 – I am about nine months older than my husband, Brit Boy, so I love to call him, “My Younger Man” ;-)

#7 – I love to read and I love to write… I love my books. So one day I hope to walk into a store and see my book on the shelf.

There you have it. I scratched my head a lot, but I finally came up with seven. Now I’m going to pass this on and tag some others out there. They are:

Regina's Family Seasons
Health Nut Wannabee Mom
The Leaping Thought
Cutie Booty Cakes
Red Pine Mountain
Just Me
Confessions of a Fitness Diva

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tickled Pink

Yesterday, Brit Boy and I took a trip into town, and while we were there, I bought a very important shirt. I bought a Tickled Pink shirt just like I did last year. Here’s my shirt from this year. It has three quarter length sleeves and it was very comfortable when I tried it on. I’m so happy to have a new shirt to wear proudly.




And here is my Tickled Pink shirt from last year. It’s a comfy pink one and it used to have feathers adorning the drawn on feather on the front, but the feathers have fallen off over time. :-) It is probably my favorite t-shirt for two reasons…#1: It is really comfy and soft and #2: It is for a cause that is close to my heart and indeed to my breasts. :-) Please excuse the wrinkled appearance of both shirts. They were both headed to the washing machine.

October, as many of you know, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As a woman, I am always doing my best to check myself regularly, but sometimes I slip up. Breast Cancer Awareness Month always brings me back to what I should be doing for myself and my health and also for Brit Boy’s sake too. I want to be around to hang out with him for a few more decades. :-) Life is so precious.

As I mentioned before, the Tickled Pink campaign is a great way to help to fund research into cancer treatment and there are many more places to find out about what is going on and also to lend a hand. Here are a few that I love:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Breast Cancer Care
Breast Cancer Campaign

So ladies, just a reminder from a friend, please remember to check yourselves and to take care. Please remind your mothers, sisters, and friends. And guys, please remind your wives and mothers and sisters that it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Also check yourselves because men can get this kind of cancer too. We all need to work together to take care of each other. :-)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Windy Days

Today I walked up to the High Street. I had to mail a letter and I went to pick up a few things at the grocery store. I am trying to get more walking in these days for the exercise, and since the walk is mostly uphill and then uphill again, it is a really good workout. I know because I had a sweaty brow when I got there and it is a rather breezy day. LOL. I didn’t get out of breath though, so I held my own. I enjoyed the walk because this time of the year is my favorite with all of the leaves changing color. I love walking along and some of the leaves come showering down around you or fall like a path for your feet to follow as you make your way along. All of the golds, reds, and yellows are just beautiful.

When I made it to the High Street, I went inside the post office, got my postage and then dropped my letter in the big red mailbox outside. Then I walked around the corner to the grocery store. There is a wedding shop on the way and I always peek into the window to see what new things they have. I’ve been married a bit over two years now, so there is no need for a wedding dress. But it's still fun to look inside.

When I was a little girl I always had this “fantasy self” who loved the idea of traipsing around in a long dress. :-) I was fond of draping myself in my mom’s old dresses or old pieces of cloth strategically placed on me to look fabulous when I was a little girl. (laugh) I guess that some parts of the little girl are always there. I think that that is a good thing and we should always have the part of us that still daydreams no matter what our age. :-)

So I had a thing for long dresses when I was a kid, as I mentioned. And like many kids, I had a vivid imagination and was always dressing up and then I would put on plays for my dolls. Theatrical I was. :-) Anyway, I always loved to be in my dress-up finery when the wind blew. I would go out and stand dramatically on a tree stump or something, with my ponytails flying and my “fabulous gown” flowing in the wind. Once in a strong wind, I lost one piece of my dress and it landed in a bush. It was hilarious. :-)

So now fast forward to my wedding day and I had a full circle moment. We were married here in England. It was spring and the weather was pretty good. But there was a warmish breeze blowing that day and when Brit Boy and I were getting our pictures taken after the ceremony I had a memory of me as a girl. As we stood there on the golf course, with the wind whipping around us, I began to smile. My veil was flying out behind me like a mist and my dress swirled around my legs. And I thought to myself, “Well little girl, you finally got to stand in a dramatic wind with a long dress on and this time hopefully, part of your dress won’t land in that bush over there.” I laughed to myself and it helped me that day. I had just lost my mom a couple of months before and I was missing her and my dad on that day. But this thought brought me back, because I knew if my mom were alive, she would laugh along with me in remembering this. She saw me when I was a kid, doing all of my dress-ups and years later she mentioned it a few times when we would talk. She told me that she used to look out the window and see me and say to herself, “My child…my child…Lord she is creative…I’ll give her that.” :-)

So it was a good walk today. I got to do my shopping and I got to be a little girl for a minute. That ain’t half bad. :-)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

An Awarding Sunday

Happy Sunday to everyone! :-) It’s a rainy, breezy day here today, but I kinda like it. One of my favorite things to do is to be inside all warm and cozy on a day like today, with plenty of movies to watch or a good book to read or to just simply be a couch potato. It’s like the calm before the new week begins. :-)

I just wanted to take a moment today to highlight an award I received from my dear new friend and fellow expat, Ivanhoe at Communique by Ivanhoe. She gave me this award a few days ago and I would now like to pay it forward. First of all, I would like to thank her for being such a good bloggy friend and for her comments and support here at my blog and for thinking of me with this award. Please go by and check her out. She has a great blog. :-)

The award is called, the “Lights Across the Web Award”. I love this award because it is one that shows gratitude for all of the friendship and support and community that we find out here in the blogging world. It's giving thanks for the light within every reader, every commenter, and every friend that comes to share their thoughts. I think that that light is the light of the human spirit. :-)

So I will follow Ivanhoe’s example and pass this award along to all of my readers/followers and commenters here at my blog. The support and sense of community that I have found through blogging has been a blessing in my life. I am so grateful to you all. So please accept this award…you all deserve it! Thank you friends. :-)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Heroes Returns!!!!

I forgot to mention that the new season of "Heroes" is premiering here in England tonight. Brit Boy and I are so excited!!! This time, they are showing it over here right after they show it in the US so we are able to keep up. Yay!!! Before, they were delayed in showing it here a bit.

So now I am signing off to go and watch. Talk to you later. :-)

Ballots and Shortages

Not a whole lot has been happening around here lately. I can’t believe it is October already. I walked up to the High Street here in the village today. It was a cloudy day for a bit and then it was really sunny, so it was a nice walk and it was good exercise, which I needed. :-) I went to pick up a couple of things at the grocery store and then bought a lottery scratch off ticket. I won £6. I felt rich! :-) So it was a profitable walk today.

When I got back, I was hoping the postman would have dropped off something for us, but we didn’t get anything. I am excitedly waiting for my absentee ballot to cast my vote in the election back home. I spoke with the election officials in my county back in Georgia last week and they had just mailed it out, so I hope that it comes this week. This will be my first time casting an absentee ballot. I have been registered to vote since I was eighteen and have always done my best to show up at the polls.

Over the last couple of years of living here, my life has been in a bit of an upheaval, as I have been settling in and getting my official papers in order. But now I am finally getting into a groove. These things take time I guess. So I will be casting my first absentee ballot this time around and it just feels great. :-) I hope that my ballot comes tomorrow.

In other news, I was talking to a friend on the phone the other day who is back in Georgia. She was telling me how bad it is there with trying to get gas. I watch the network news from back home pretty regularly and had heard about this, but it was even more vivid to me in hearing my friend’s account. She said that some places were out of gas and some still had a bit of gas. I come from an area that is a quite a few miles outside of Atlanta, and she said that the other day, she saw people coming off of the interstate out our way in droves, trying to get gas. It is bad. People are having to drive far out of their way to get gas for their cars. I commuted to work in Atlanta for years and this is just awful for a commuter town like Atlanta to be out of gas like that. People need to get to work now more than ever. I feel for them so much. It seems that the hurricanes are partly to blame from what I hear on the news.

It is hard to see so much turmoil going on back home with the gas shortages where I come from and all of the destruction of the hurricanes and all of the economic hardship. With the global economy of today, there are tough times here too. I just sincerely hope and pray for better days ahead for all of us.