Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sure Happy It's Thursday, not TGIF

Oh, the sheer unbridled joy of a vacation day all to myself! I scheduled it last week - just a day for me. And in advance, so I didn't have to come up with some lame-ass reason for calling in sick that no one would be believe anyway. I did it right - no karma is going to wreck this for me!

A day to clean out the closets, or not. A day to take a nap, or not. A day to have a long lunch with a girlfriend, or not. The whole dang day, with the exception of an hour's worth of errands. Mine, Mine, Mine, all Mine!!!

You already know where this is going, don't you?

What good is a day off if you're on mom duty all day? And so it began, as I was dropping LittleG off at daycare:


Yes, LittleG.

My ear hurts.

Hurts like it needs a kiss or hurts like you're sick?

Like it needs a kiss.



Yes, LittleG

My ear still hurts. Can I go see Doctor Kay?

We'll see, baby. I will call and get you an appointment for VERY late this afternoon.

Ok, Mom.

Hello, pediatrician's office? I need an appointment for my kid. What do you have late in the day? Oh, everyone is out today? That's a shame. How about tomorrow? 2 pm? Great, I'll take it.

My Mommy Instinct told me right then just to listen for the "Brown Eyed Girl" ringtone to bust out from my current POS phone. Lo and behold, it did.


Yes, Miss Sally.

LittleG has been complaining that her ear hurts.

And, just like that - vacation day, gone. Poof!

Luckily, we have an after hours urgent care clinic at our doctor's office. There is a note on the check-in desk that says to sign the arrival time sheet and that the receptionist will begin checking patients in at 5 pm. The doctor could arrive as late as 5:30, so be prepared to wait. In other words, sucks that you're sick, but please sit down until we call your name.

LittleG and I got there at 4:25 and signed in. That's when the karma kicked in for me. At 4:30, the receptionist magically appeared. At 4:35, the doctor strolled in. We were first on the list, in and out of there, prescription in hand, before the stroke of 5. And that included wait time at the pharmacy.

So we are a few hours in on the first dose of Augmentin. She ate a good dinner, had a nice bath, and conked out three songs into the night night music.

If the karma holds, then she'll be good to go by Monday when we are supposed to start swimming lessons. I shudder to think how our luck would have gone if I'd rolled the dice and called in sick today instead......

Ever forward, friends.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Praise the Lord and pass the Munchos!!

I read on CNN today that Rep. Barney "The Doob" Frank has recommended that the government spend a little less time and money chasing the casual pot smoker.

You can read the full story here:
Legislators aim to snuff out penalties for pot use..

The Doob seems to think that what most of us do shouldn't be any business of the government. For the record, I also believe that should extend to the privacy of one's own home and bedroom. This from a heterosexual 40-year old wife and mom. But that's another blog.

You won't find me siding with the lawmakers very often, but here's a resolution I could really get behind.

Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

9 Days and Counting!!!

Well, I've done it. I've jumped on the iPhone band wagon. On Monday, I stood in line for 30 minutes at AT&T where a nice lady named Theresa stifled a giggle when I asked her if there was any chance at all I could get a phone that day.

With her coworkers snickering at me, Theresa tapped out some stuff on her keyboard, I swiped my Amex card, and she sent me out of the store with a promise to call as soon as the phone gets to the store. Two weeks, she says, but they've been coming much sooner, like 10 days. Much sooner to me is 10 hours, so clearly we are not on the same wavelength.

I'm beginning to feel like a teenager in love. I keep driving by the AT&T store, hoping against hope that Theresa will be dialing my current POS phone at the exact minute I am driving by. It's the grownup equivalent of "is he looking through the window?" In the meantime, the people in the Chipotle across the street probably think I'm a stalker.

I CAN. NOT. WAIT. to get my hand on this little electronic nugget! 16G of space that I can fill to my little heart's content. And it's BLACK - dark and sinister like the bad Spiderman guy. No mamby pamby white one for this minivan mom!!!

I've been surfing the Apple website for three days now, trying to figure out how not to go broke buying cool stuff for the phone. My wish list is long and distinguished already. There's a shopping list that will surely revolutionize the way I work the Walmart. (That sounds a little dirty, but you know exactly what I mean!!). And electronic books, because the audio books and real live ink and paper ones I have in my "to read" stack certainly are not reading themselves. And games, and music, and navigation, and something called Twitter, which I can apparently use to broadcast my every move. Heavens - I may never turn the damn thing off!!

I sort of feel like LittleG...."Mom, is it time yet?"
"Mom, when will it be time?"
"Mom, this is taking forever!"
"Mom, is it time yet???"

Come on AT&T, help a mother out here, will ya???

Monday, July 28, 2008

My uncle, Don Ogg

Donald L. Ogg
September 24, 1943 ~ July 17, 2008

Unique. Eccentric. Unusual. Odd. Curious. Weird. Exceptional. All of these are words I've used or heard used over the past ten days to describe my uncle, Don Ogg. They are all perfect descriptions, yet none by itself quite does him justice.

My uncle was the second of five children, and my aunts referred to him as the Odd Ogg. He lived a strange existence over the past decades, often living in warehouse space for cheap or for free for various employers over the years.

He had a childlike innocence and a happy nature that went to his core. He was who he was, and he was happy with his place in life. He took pleasure in his hobbies, his family, and his faith, not necessarily in that order, and he was a joy to be around.

It was often said that he marched to the beat of his own drummer. I can assure you that he marched to the beat of a drum he built himself out of sticks, dirt, some washers, and duct tape. And maybe some magic.

He was a Boy Scout leader for many years and led his scouts proudly. He was so good with children, from the scouts to Vacation Bible School, to my generation of cousins, to my daughter and his other great nieces and nephews. He had the patience of Job with the children, and was as trustworthy as they come. I always knew my child was safe when Uncle Don was on kid duty, and I was thankful for the times they spent together.

Dyslexic in the days before it was recognized as a learning disability, my uncle learned to get by in a world that was wired differently than he. I personally think the guy was brilliant, but on a different plane than the rest of us. He made things with his hands - clothes and tools and gadgets, and even built his own vehicle. Not once, but twice.

He served our country in the Navy and was honorably discharged. He was proud of his service to our country, and one of his wishes was that we bury him in the veterans cemetary, which we did on July 22nd.

I don't think any of us really understood this strange man. He loved the earth and was just happy existing in whatever place he happened to land. One thing that was clear was that he loved us, unequivocally and without question. And we loved him, too. We just didn't know that so many others felt the same way.

He was a "mountain man," fiercely proud of his group of friends. His hobby, inexplible to this city slicker, was historical reenactments. He and his cronies would get together and camp out the way folks lived in the 1800s, complete with homemade clothing, hats, tents, and black powder rifles. One of his friends memorialized him on his blog here:
Don Ogg Memorial, and it's clear to see that the mountain men loved him, too.

His church was important to him, and we knew his church family was a big part of his life. What we didn't know was that he was such a huge part of the church. We honestly didn't know what to expect when we headed to Yoakum, Texas, to lay him to rest.

We found a loving church family who is mourning the loss of my uncle, quite possibly as much as we are. This group could have looked down upon his long hair and beard and "mother earth" ways, but instead, they wrapped their arms around him and welcomed him into their church. They trusted him with their children and relied upon him for Vacation Bible School, Sunday school, and church celebrations. They celebrated his life and his passage to heaven, and I can tell you that no one in that church doubts where Uncle Don ended up.

We are so grateful for the people who traveled from far and wide to pay their final respects. Big, strong men cried with us as they told us of their histories with, and their fondess for, a man unlike any other. Young and old alike were touched by him.

We take comfort in knowing that so many people loved him, and we are thankful for the people who were with him when his time came to go to the great big campsite in the sky. The doctors tell us he probably went very quickly and did not suffer much.

The ones who suffer are those he left behind. Yet even that suffering is bittersweet, because we know he's moved on to a place where there are no tears, and there is no sadness. I suspect he's surrounded by others who moved on before him ... his parents, his grandparents, and my father, just to name a few. MrG speculated that upon Uncle Don's arrival, my father quit playing cards with his army buddies and welcomed him to the party. I'd like to think that's how it played out.

Life will go on here, and I hope that we all take something away from our time with Uncle Don. Whether it be the wonder of watching the sunrise over camp, the sheer joy of watching a child laugh, or the desire to build something out of nothing, it would be a shame to waste those lessons.

Rest in peace, Uncle Don, and I'll see you on the flip side.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

47 Things

Our family has had some sadness this week that I’m just not ready to put out there yet for the unwashed masses to read about. I’m still processing how I feel about our loss and how to properly pay tribute to a man unlike any other in the world,who touched not only my family, but hundreds of others around him. I’m going to think on this one awhile, and I really hope it will be worth it when it finally comes out.

In the meantime, I want to give a shout out to my Uncle Jim, who got a little coverage in Finding your passion at work. Uncle Jim and I have a lot in common, one of which is a strange attraction to the numbers 74 and 47. Since I’m feeling pretty lazy and this has been one beat-down of a week, I’m going to give you my top 47.

The 47 things on this list fall into one of three categories: guilty pleasures, things I can’t live without, and random stuff that brings me joy. It’s impossible to rank these in order of importance or preference. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, I need some sort of order in my life, so here’s my list, alphabetically:

1. A brand new novel from a favorite author
2. A fresh satin pillowcase, cool on my face at night
3. A handful of precious friends who mean more to me than they will ever know
4. Afternoon naps
5. Ahi Tuna Tower and Sundae Roll from Bluefish
6. Being recognized for an accomplishment in a group of my peers
Big Brother and Survivor
8. Brand new babies – soft and powdery, full of promise
9. Chick flicks
10. Chocolate mint ice cream
11. Decorating cakes
12. DVR
13. Family I truly, truly love. You know who you are.
14. Hearing my nephew say, “I love you Aunt NiNi”
15. Hearing my niece laugh
16. Holding hands with people I love
17. Hot salty popcorn and Milk Duds, all mixed up together at the movies
18. Icy cold beer
19. Landing a really big sale
20. Landing a small sale I had to work really hard to earn
21. Laughing with my best friend till my sides ache and tears run down my face
22. Lilly, greeting me as though I am the most important person on the planet
23. Lincee Ray from
24. LittleG, tousled and sleepy, first thing in the morning
25. Making people laugh or touching them enough that they cry
26. Michael Row the Boat Ashore
27. MrG
28. My iPod
29. My SonicCare toothbrush
30. Peeps
Play that Funky Music by White Cherry
32. Pretty necklaces
33. Seeing MrG and LittleG curled up together watching a favorite show
34. Shiny cars, fresh from the car wash
35. Singing Veggie Tales songs with LittleG in the car
36. Starbucks Iced Venti Quad Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte
37. Sugar cracking on a crème brulee
38. Texas A&M
39. Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
40. The first rainstorm after a long hot summer
41. The perfectly mixed Cape Cod
42. The season’s first chill in the air
43. The warm spot the dog leaves when she’s curled up on the foot of my bed
44. The way a freshly made bed with fragrant, soft linens feels when you first slide under the covers
45. Trinity, lounging on the patio even though the pavestone is probably hot enough to sear flesh
46. Watching
You’ve Got Mail
47. Wendi Aarons

You think you can come up with 47 of your own? I’d love to hear your list!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Meditation? I think NOT!

A trusted advisor recently suggested that perhaps some meditation might do my soul some good. Please note that says meditation, not medication, which I really think would be a better bet. But I digress.

So, following the lead of my trusted advisor, I ordered Shakti Gawain's Creative Visualization Meditations on CD from our friends at “Great news!” my email proclaims! The CD is in stock and will be sent immediately!

I eagerly await my new CD as surely the mere action of downloading such powerful meditations onto my iPod would bring about a new, Zen-like calmness.

After a week or so of increasingly more urgent desires to be peaceful in my soul, I jump on to Amazon to check the status of my order. Because as we all know, just because they say it will ship doesn't really mean it will ship. Lo and behold, my Amazon profile shows that the CD was delivered to my office by JR's Courier Service. At 8:00........P.M....... on June 30.

A reminder for those of you who work from home, or anyone who has never worked at or driven past a corporate America office building, there's not really ANYONE AT THE OFFICE TO ACCEPT A PACKAGE AT 8:00 P.M.

I take a deep, cleansing breath, and call our friends at Which is no small effort, since you won't find a customer service phone number very easily online. But again, I digress.

Our friends over at helped, though, and soon enough I was connected to a great guy who called himself Ted. Technically, I'm pretty sure Ted's real name was something like Rashid or Farhan or Saeed, but since I'm such an ugly American, he dumbed it down for me.

I explained my situation to Ted, and he proceeded to use his best meditative voice and tell me that my package had indeed been delivered. Says so right there, at 8:00 pm on June 30. Clearly, Ted has that whole long distance thing working for him, so I am not able to punch him in the nose.

I try not to sound like a psychopathic killer when I request calmly that he track down JR (whoever the hell he is), and ask for signature proof of delivery. At that point, Ted's manager, Bob, who is spying on our call with his manager button, uses sign language to tell Ted that he would be better off just shipping me a new CD because he's pretty sure his continent is really not that far from the US after all.

Ted mythically changes his mind and tells me, Miss Gar-sha, that he will indeed ship me a new one right away. At no charge whatsoever to me. Good thinking, Ted, and thanks, Bob, for the help.

The very next day, our friends from UPS show up with a fresh new package from, which coincidentally has a warehouse close enough for me to see from my office window. Good job, guys in brown!

I open my new package, fingers trembling with the energy field from my soul. Or maybe the quad venti iced latte, hard to tell. I open the package, check out the jewel case, and my heart actually skips a beat. Or maybe doubles up. Whatever it was, it was not fun. And the cause of my discomfort???......

The genius who is Shakti Gawain (but please call her Cindy), has packaged her CD in a jewel case with the covers reversed. That’s right campers. An item that’s aimed at high strung, neurotic, OCD types has a front cover that faces upright, and a back cover that is upside down. It just keeps getting better!

I feel my blood pressure begin to rise and decide this is not a good way to start. But, I’m not about to call Ted again and ask for my money back, so I plug that sucker in and dump it into iTunes. I synch my iPod and find a quiet place to contemplate harmony in the universe.

May have been bad judgment on my part, but I decided the most peaceful place I could be is prone on my bed with the lights out and the ceiling fan blowing.

I hook up the ear pods, push the button, and stomach the intro about how I will find the fulfillment I’ve been looking for by utilizing daily meditations and tapping into the strength of my energy field. At this point, Cindy loses me because she shouldn’t use the word “utilizing” when “using” will work just fine.

I suck it up and get past her poor word choice when she launches into the Grounding Yourself technique. I’m paraphrasing here, but she basically tells me to imagine two energy fields, one coming up from the ground and one coming down from the sky, converging in the center of my being, flooding me with powerful, relaxing energy, connecting my inner soul to all things that are right and good in the world.

Didn’t I just use words like high strung and neurotic? In my world, the two energy forces don’t converge in my center. They run head on into each other and explode, spewing little cosmic pieces of my innards all over my psyche.

At that point, I make the mental call to suffer through this for a few more minutes and if Cindy doesn’t bring it around for me, I’m through. Two hours later, MrG wakes me up and takes my iPod away.

So I decide a couple days later that Cindy needs another chance. I get settled, again in the bed with the lights off and fans on, and search to find the tranquility in my spirit. I get past the exploding innards thing and decide that Cindy might be on to something. She leads me gently through some deep breaths and introduces the Pink Bubble technique.

That’s as far as I get, folks, when MrG comes in again (damn him, can’t he find another room to sleep in??), and takes my iPod away from me. This time, he doesn’t wake me, because he can’t. Whatever is in Cindy’s pink bubbles, it’s sure as hell doing the trick for me.

The jury is out right now on whether I give Cindy another chance or not. I’m sort of sorry to admit that I’ve not even made it to the halfway point of my Creative Meditations. Apparently, if I keep trying I’m going to open my energy centers, do some affirmations, and take a deep relaxation journey…..I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it.

We kind of got off to a rough start, Cindy and me, but I’m glad I gave her a second chance. I might just give her a third shot. At the very least, I’ve gotten two really good nights of sleep out of the deal…..

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Friends from far and wide

Ohmygoodness.....what a shock! I have an analytics program that tracks website visitors, and I was shocked to see today that I've had visitors from 11 different states!!

CA, CO, OK, TX, MS, AL, IL, KY, VA, and NY! And some random Canuck! Take Off! (BTW - Take off is an expression of disbelief in the great white north...)

How nice. I've gone international!! Surprisingly, I have almost as many visitors from Washington DC as I do from Texas. Must be W and his gang checking up on me.

Whoever you are and however you got here, thanks for reading!


Monday, July 14, 2008

My brush with celebrity

Sometimes I think I'm just a mom and that my only claim to fame will be this fabulous child MrG and I are raising. Other times, I count myself lucky to have rubbed elbows with some really famous folks:

Ann Richards - I was a Texas Jaycee (B/CS to be exact) in the very late 80s, and we were traveling to Abilene for some sort of Jaycee political shindig. Ann Richards was either running or just about to run for the office of the Governor of Texas (who knew? I was in college and drank a lot then....). Anyway, she was at the convention center for some sort of function, and I got my picture taken with her. She was about as nice a person as I'd ever met, and I watched quietly in stunned silence a few months later as my very Republican Aggie boyfriend and all of his buddies swore at the television screen as she defeated Clayton Williams, Jr.

Tom James - this name may mean nothing to you, as it did to me the first time I heard it. All I knew is that he was an unhappy customer. The story is too long to tell, so here it is, condensed. Unhappy guy, really outstanding customer service and sucking up, helluva sales job, happy guy. After we got him all fixed up, I found out that he was the head of James Industries, the company who makes Slinky toys. Not only that, but he is the son of the guy who actually invented Slinky. And, the most amazing of all, my friend Tom James is the person who figured out that Slinkies can walk down stairs. He sent me an autographed Slinky one time, and I count it as one of my favorite possessions. By the way, he autographed the box, not the Slinky.

I've also had the opportunity through my job to meet Frank Abagnale, the guy
Catch Me If you Can was written about. Same with Chris Gardener, from the Pursuit of Happyness. And early this year, I spent a few amazing minutes visiting with Archie Manning, the father of Peyton & Eli Manning.

I could tell you all about how I was supposed to ferry Cal Ripken around the back of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on my scooter, but then I'd have to fess up to a change in plans that left me broken hearted. I also got to see Magic Johnson as he walked past me in the hall (man that guy is TALL!), but I didn't get to actually meet him.

My only real brush with fame came in college when I was a disc jockey at the local radio station. I was Deanna Scott, on 98 Country, K.O.R.A. I was the worst DJ ever to hit the Bryan College Station airways, but in hindsight, it's a cool little piece of trivia.

I'll probably never be famous, and I truly think that my fifteen minutes of fame is being spread out in 14 second increments. But it's good to know I've met some cool people. And I'm glad for my blog friends who faithfully check in with me a couple times a week (thanks, MK) and make me feel interesting.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Random Friday Stuff

Here's an update on the dog. After several vet trips and approximately 1 1/2 mortgage payments later, we think she's on the upswing. Dr. B (aforementioned BEST.VET.IN.THE.WORLD!) tells us she seems to be doing better.

He did some exploratory surgery to see if he could figure out what the problem is, and so far, all we have to show for it is some stitches. On the upside, she is chasing Lilly around again and playing tug of war with the rope. So, I guess that's good news. And really, the best news of all is that we don't have any bad news.

I had a big ugly deadline at work yesterday. Being in sales can be as exhilarating as it is terrifying, and believe me I've been on both ends of the spectrum all week. I had a major sale close today, much more than I had planned or prepared for, but I was delighted for my success. My numbers aren't where they need to be yet but we still have a few days of wiggle room, so the final tally remains to be seen. My goal over the next week or so is to try to get a good night's sleep each night and go in fresh, prepared for whatever the day may bring.

In spite of the fact that our office officially closed at noon today for summer hours, I stuck it out until after 5 (5:05 qualifies as after 5!) and just kept on plugging away. I'm really proud that I had the internal fortitude to do what needed to be done, even when no one was watching. I think that has something to do with work ethic or maybe integrity, but regardless, I was proud of myself for not throwing in the towel and going for a martini around 2.

So, toot toot for me. Speaking of Toot, Toot, I have to give a shout out to my baby sister who has been nominated as a Woman to Watch in the Illinois CPA society. She is a CPA who until a year ago was at a public firm in Chicago. She was recruited as a CFO for a homebuilder and has somehow managed to keep the ship afloat during the past year, riding the wave of housing woe after housing woe. People she worked for and now works for said really nice things about her, and even if she doesn't "win" I think she's truly proud to have been nominated. And I am proud for her. And our dad, who was himself a CPA, is surely smiling down upon his youngest daughter.

I'm a little sad that the Bachelorette has come to an end. I truly can't stand the show, but I got hooked on Lincee Ray's blog a couple years ago, and watching the show just makes her writing that much better. You can read all about her at (

I'm excited that Big Brother will be starting again this weekend. We are having Fajita-Rama at Casa Garcia, where the foolish among us (read me and my best friend) will watch the premier of the summer season. And of course, there's a blog to go along with that,too. Catch Hamster Dame on (

MrG and I will have some quality grown up time this weekend, thanks to Nana. I think we are going to do something exciting like buy new barstools for the kitchen. And I'm definitely getting a pedicure. And maybe a nap. Good times, friends, good times.

Happy weekend to all, and cross your fingers that my muse comes up with something interesting for the next blog.


Baby Boomers


1. Turn your speakers on.
2. Click below.
3. Laugh your tired old ass off.


Might hit a little too close to home for some of us, I fear.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lincee's Bachelorette Blog

I have an update on Lincee and her blog it is from Lincee herself:

"It was down due to high traffic. Then Jason got it back up. And then I posted. And it was up for five seconds. And now the server people are having some sort of weird connection between Eurpose and the US. So it's just can't log on. I think I might jump out my window. Keep checking. Should be fixed soon. "

Friends, a moment of silent prayer, if you will, so that Lincee doesn't fling herself from the window. The second story fall isn't enough to really hurt her, but she might break a hand or something, and then she couldn't blog. And that would suck. For all of us.

Let's hope this downtime gives her the chance to work on her important list of questions that we all submitted.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Trinity Ann Garcia, part 2

1 sleep deprived mommy + 1 huge ugly deadline at work + 1 dog with a gimp = 1 overly emotional blog entry

The short story about Trinity is that she has a wound on her back paw that's about a month old. The vet thinks she has a spider bite. All we know is that she's been uncomfortable and alternately bleeding and infected. I'll save you the details, but it's been several trips to the vet and more money than I want to consider. All for a damn spider bite.

I wasn't too worried about her until last night when MrG said he was afraid she was going to lose her leg. Cue the dark scary music and let the waterworks commence.

I was too freaked out to sleep well - after all, that sweet dog snuggled against me under the covers could be losing her leg. Heavens, what if she's so badly infected that she dies? Oh my gosh, is she breathing right now? What will we do when we lose her? LittleG will be crushed. Can she breathe under there? Rewind. Repeat. Rewind. Repeat. You get the picture.

Anyway, Dr B ( the world's greatest vet, by the way, says she is improving but we need to keep an eye on her. Another shot, another chunk of cash, and she's home with us tonight. Thank heavens.

We are boarding her for the Annual 4th of July Pilgrimage to Pecos to visit Los Abuelos and the Tias, so she will be in good hands over the weekend.

Keep your fingers crossed and whisper a novena to St. Francis of Assisi that our sweet girl gets better soon. And if you would, please, say your prayers and pass the prozac that I make it through it all.

Trinity Ann Garcia

Sweet Trinity Ann
Tiny puppy in a cage
For us, instant love

Baby powder scent
Soft and sleek with eyes aglow
You called out to us

We held you tight
And knew what love you would bring
To our home and hearth

For eight years now
You have loved us without fail
Faithful companion

Sitting on my lap
Warming my soul with your love
Keeping me centered

Mornings in the yard
Each night as you hop in bed
Always near to us

Now our fear for you
As you’re just not getting well
That you might be lost

We love you, brown dog
And our lives have been so full
With you in our midst

Get well for us please
We cannot bear to lose you
Our hearts will break