Apr 27


Just thought I’d get that out of the way now.

You all know we came back on Sunday, and you all know about the lethal amount of money spent, which, after balancing my checkbook, ended up being not so lethal, so that’s good…and of course the last night of my class.

But I haven’t told you about how friggin’ swamped I’ve been since coming back. First, my bookkeeper is doing a relief job for her aunt (Susie) who owns the cafe. Susie and I scheduled her son’s open heart surgery around my conference because the choice was the week of my conference of the week after. I felt enormously guilty but her son and Susie both insisted that I not be left hanging. Oh my GOD, could you all die over my amazing friends? He came through the surgery beautifully by the way. Aaaaaaaaanyway, so that leaves me without said book keeper all week. Plus, my quasi-son is in Washington D.C. on a school trip. Which by the way, he was picked because of his grades in school. I am so proud of him. Also? He’s never been out of the state. NEVER! His grandmother said he’s having a blast and I’m so happy for him. But. He’s a good worker too and we’re without him this week as well. Throw in medical leave for Mr. Ironic, and another cashier who can only work on weekends, and you’ve got me and Howard all week. Now normally that’s no biggie but being we were out of the office all last week for the conference, we’re now at least a week behind in our work. Holy shit. I JUST finished two weeks worth of paper work that I was already behind on because I was sick. Today? Just began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Which is good because my final paper is due Monday by midnight. And seeing as I’ll be working all weekend, looks like my insomnia will for once, come in handy as I’ll most certainly be burning the midnight oil trying to get this paper finished.

But there is one highlight of this week. Well actually two. But one is in strict confidence and I won’t be able to reveal it until much later.

The other one is that one of my dearest friends in the world extricated herself from a soul-crushing relationship. Ya’ll seriously. I cried. Because I’ve been worried about her since seeing her last. It had gotten to the point where I couldn’t talk to Howard about it anymore because I would tear up and and he can’t stand to see me upset. But I love this friend dearly and KNOW in my heart of hearts this is the start of a beautiful new beginning for her. I think Tim McGraw sang it best (Jennings wrote it though) when he sang:

“The days keep coming without fail, a new wind is gonna find your sail, that’s where your journey starts, you’ll find better love, strong as it ever was, deep as the river runs, warm as the morning sun.”

Work/life/school load ain’t got shit on happiness. Can I get an Amen?

Apr 26

Tonight was the last night of class for me.

And in all of my college classes over the years, this was by far the most emotional of goodbyes to my fellow students.

I would guess that out of all 15 students almost all of us cried, including the professor. We have all grown incredibly close with each other. We’re not sure why the connection was so strong. The professor even came up clueless as to why. But he too admitted to feeling a strong connection with all of us.

We each reflected our impressions of the class, what we will remember about it in 20 years, and most importantly what we learned.

Of course, I barely made it through my “reflection”, without choking up. Mainly I complimented my inspirational classmates. We have two graduates this year, both natives majoring in Alaska Native Languages. Both graduates have over 5 children each. Both live in remote villages and have had to overcome incredible challenges. But both of them managed to finish school and with degrees which will contribute to the preservation of their rapidly disappearing culture. Wow. And here I was whining about one little class. I was/am humbled.

I will miss each and every person. But I am grateful for having been touched by each classmate and by such a wonderful professor.

Education is priceless but the relationships you form through getting that education is out of this world.

Apr 23

We’re back!

Got back this morning after circling McGrath at least 50 times due to being shrouded in fog. We were in the Metroliner that doesn’t have a bathroom and ya’ll? I had to go. I was seriously coming up with a game plan to possibly pee in my empty soda cup.

But finally the pilot found a hole and we landed. THANK GOD.

The week was okay. I learned a lot. Mainly that WOW. I really DO hate my job.

They stuffed us like pigs foodwise though, which I enjoyed but the button on my jeans did not.

I am also VERY VERY disappointed because I didn’t get to see Tess at ALL. They kept all of us store managers away from the actual office this time, which made me sad because I was so looking forward to sneaking kitty litter into certain people’s coffee cups. But mainly because I didn’t get to see my favorite people. Mainly miss Tess.

The rest of the week involved a lethal amount of retail therapy. I don’t even want to sit down and balance my check book right now. However, I should own stock in Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, and Nordstrom’s.

We took Pepper with us because he need a check up and a good grooming and Lucky and Katie just needed a break from his hyper little ass.

He was such a good boy though. And everyone fell in love with him. He’s healthy and now looks like a miniature Schnauzer. He’s fucking adorable!

We came home this morning and Lucky was lying on the loveseat, still and quiet and appeared to not be breathing. I froze. My heart jumped up into my throat. I called for Howard to check him. Howard gingerly walked over and checked. Lucky woke up suddenly and then leaped off the couch and over to my waiting arms. Scared the living hell out of me. I guess it’s a sign that he’s getting older. Or perhaps he was blissfully enjoying his time not being nipped and barked at by his new little brother.

Oddly enough though, both of them are very mellow now. Pepper’s leaving Lucky alone and they seem to be getting along much better. Not sure what it is, but we’re all happy right now.

We did get to see Ben and Kristen and it was fabulous. It was as if we’d never been apart. Howard and Ben especially.

Mentally wise, I’m torn up in knots again. I’m just one big fucking mess. I feel like I need to either lock myself in the bathroom and cry for an hour or I need to have a good psychotic episode. Perhaps both.

But hey, did ya’ll love Roxy’s posts? Is she not the cutest Beagle on the earth? Seriously. Thank you Roxy. I owe you an ear scratch and big chew toy.

More later. Pictures are coming! I promise!

Apr 21

Roxy here again.

So I didn’t update at all this week…sorry. But I AM a dog…and finding time to type on the computer is not one of my priorities. Sniffing the bottom of peoples shoes? Now that is some good times. I always make time for that. Attacking the loud machine that sucks up the grass- a good time had by all. Sticking my head in the bathroom trash can? Always and adventure. Updating the computer? While fun…sometimes I just have to nap instead.

I hope that our usual hostess is fitting some fun stuff into her trip.

So now for the important stuff…who wants to pet me or scratch my ears?

Apr 17

Hello people!!! Chris is away…and Roxy has come out to play. Let me introduce myself to you who are not familiar with me. My name is Roxy Carmichael Quicksilver and I am an almost-four-year-old beagle. This is what I look like:

I know…I am gorgeous. Can you stand how gorgeous I am??? Anyhoo…your usual hostess is away in Anchorage going to meetings and such and I thought I would keep you company, since I am now a beagle with a webpresence. That is right. I have my own myspace page and account. If you have myspace feel free to stop by and ask me to be your friend…unless you are a squirrel or cat or opossum. You can find me here on myspace: Roxy’s Myspace Page

But worry not- I will be back…tomorrow for some thing a little more substantial.

Apr 15

Ya’ll won’t see much of me for the next week because I’ll be in Anchorage for our annual management conference.

Guest posting is always open to Tess and Amy but I know Tess will be busy because she’ll have all of us store managers monopolizing most of her time. And Amy? Well she’s a working girl too, so you may or may not see updates but anyway: be excited for me because I get to drive in traffic! shop at Old Navy! Wal-Mart! Nordstroms! Go to movies!

But please cry for me because I also have to attend meetings all day. Boring BORING meetings.

So be good and I’ll be back soon.

Apr 12

Here’s some better photos of Pepper. He’s discovered shoes. I thought we might just slip past the old shoe chewing stage but no.

And trust me, he has plenty of rawhides and other various chew toys. Also in the picture with the shoes? A sandal that I haven’t worn since we lived in St. Mike. Don’t even know where he pulled it from. Also an appearance of my trusty Columbia Bugabootoo boot. Also? Do you see the ugly bookshelf circa 1978? Notice how he’s decided to chew on that too. I swear we left a clean house when we went to work this morning. This? Is usually the mess we come home too. Toys, shoes, Pepper’s purple sweater. Shut up. His previous owner bought it for him. Obviously Pepper thinks it’s just something else to play with.

(Disclaimer: We live in a furnished house provided by the company we work for, therefore I did not pick out the hideously worn couch, the ugly blue worn out carpet, or the bookshelf circa 1978. Though I did manage to talk my boss into allowing me to order a new sofa and loveseat, so yay me!)

I just love the picture of Lucky and Pepper: Lucky’s all “Fucking bastard dog, chewing up my mommy’s shoes and stealing all the love” Pepper’s all “Did you say shoe? Where’s a shoe? I’d like to sink my teeth into a shoe about now.”

Anyway, enjoy the pics.

Apr 11

I saw this over at Amy’s site and finally got around to doing it.

My Personal Dna Report

Apr 10

Hi Mom,

I wanted to do another “reflective” post again for your birthday but one that wasn’t so damn depressing like last year. Holy shit, break out the razor blades and the Billie Holiday right?

When I look back on my childhood, it’s easy to remember all the bad things. Probably because in reality? It wasn’t that damn bad. But I like to fall back on it in times of weakness, when I can’t just admit that I’m being completely dumb about something and it’s all my own fault.

I remember when you were first teaching me to drive. How we would drive just around the house at first, and man that first time, I nearly put you through the wind shield because I kept tapping the break. Gas. Break. Gas. Break. But you withstood it. Sure you cussed a little bit and scared me just a little because of it, but we were able to laugh about it later.

When I could drive, I remember how you insisted I learn how to drive a stick. “You could end up like me, totally dependant on yourself to get around, never EVER assume you’ll have a man to chauffeur you around and you’ll never have to drive a stick.” you’d say.

So you taught me and I learned. And I’m damn proud of it too. I’m amazed that there are still women out there who don’t know how to drive a stick shift. (Girls. You’re making us all look bad. I promise it’s not that hard.)

I also remember how you taught me to be independent in other aspects. How to rely solely on myself financially and spiritually, basically at life in general. Even now when I have a husband who is completely dependable, I know that if anything happened to him, I could easily make it on my own.

You taught me to stand up for myself. To never be afraid to speak my mind. But at the same time, how to act like a lady. I know the “watch your language” aspect never really stuck, and I’m sorry about that. But I am working on it! God damn it.

You also taught me to try new things, especially food. I remember the first time you took me to eat Chinese food. And Italian food, and Mexican food. You weren’t much of a cook yourself, (which you readily admit) but you always had good taste in restaurants. When Kim proved resistant to anything but American and later moved out, you worked extra hard to make sure I could have an open mind about other ethnic foods. It didn’t mean you loved her any less, you just basically learned from your mistakes with her and tried to do better with me. I can respect that. You were a single mother doing the best you knew how.

I remember how you always gave me a curfew. How I had to have a chaperone on all dates until I turned 16. And I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without your permission first. And you had to know WHERE and WHO I was going with too. At the time I resented it. I felt so “restricted”. So “confined”. But I look back now and I’m so proud of you as a parent. That structure made me feel secure at a time when everything else in my life seemed upended. It took me a long time and a lot of growing up to realize that. Thanks for raising me right.

I know that we go weeks without speaking to each other. I know that at times our communication even seems a bit strained. You and I both go through our “little phases”. I get my quirkiness from you, no doubt. But I know that anytime I need you, you’ll be there. You’ll always be my “mommy.” I’ll always be your “baby.” I’m old enough to appreciate you always calling me that. I love you more than all the breaths I’ll ever take.

Happy Birthday!
Christina Renee

Apr 7

Pictures of my Schnoodle. Lord ya’ll. This little guy is amazing. He’s completely housebroken but wired for sound. He’s always “ON!” or he’s sleeping. There is not happy medium. Also? You know how they make squeaky toys for dogs but the dog really doesn’t use them? Well Pepper does. When he wants to get your attention, he’ll get his squeaky toy and make it squeak over and over again until you give him your full attention. You can ask him “Do you need to pee pee?” and he’ll immediately know what you’re talking about. Dude. The damn dog is a genius.

But. Those of you who are wondering about my other babies? Lucky is and will always be my most “special boy”. He’s my little soulmate. And I’ve gone out of my way to make sure he knows it.

But boy does Pepper love him. He always wants to be where Lucky is. If he’s lying on the floor, Pepper wants to lie with him. Lucky doesn’t like to show it but you can tell he kind of likes it.

And Katie. He’ll play with Katie until she gets tired of it and then she kicks his ass into submission. Pretty damn cool considering she’s declawed. She’s one tough little kitty cat, don’t fuck with her.

Anyway…today we tried to get a good picture of the little guy but he wouldn’t sit still long enough to get a really good one. We managed to get one of him running down the trail in our yard and the other one is me actually holding him in the air because it was the only way to get a close up shot of his curly haired little face. Still doesn’t do him justice. Did I mention he loves the snow? He LOVES to just run in it, and dig and kick it around. He’s really fucking adorable. Anyway. Tess said if I really loved her, I’d post pictures of him so here they are. Enjoy!

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