Support Relay for Life

Hi, everyone!

It's not often that I come to others to ask for support - in fact, the last time I participated in a fundraising event, I was in college! - but I'm posting today to ask for your support in reaching my fundraising goal for Relay for Life.

Cancer kills thousands of people every year - and I'll bet that all of you have been affected in some way by someone in your family or circle of friends. I've been asked to lead a team for my company, American Airlines, and in doing so, am participating as a walker in Relay for Life myself.

The big event is from 6 PM to 6 AM on April 18th and 19th in Euless, Texas. I'll be there with my teammates, keeping someone on the track continuously for the 12-hour event.

But before that big event, I need your support in raising money, through Relay for Life, for the American Cancer Society. Even donations of $1 or $5 can help the ACS work towards finding a cure for cancer so that we can stop losing our friends and family to this terrible disease.

To support me in relay for life, please visit my personal page here.

Thank you for your consideration and support!


Thursday Thirteen #14

Hi, ya'll! This week, I'll be continuing with another idea from my husband, and giving you...

  1. South Padre Island - been there; want to go again. BEACH!
  2. Austin - I've driven through many times; I've even spent a weekend on the UT campus teaching a leadership course. But I've never gone to Austin just to see Austin!
  3. Houston - I've driven through and flown through, but there's got to be more to Houston than that, right? I think I'll let Kristen show me around in May when we spend a day down there watching my Philadelphia Phillies face off against the Astros.
  4. El Paso - I want to see if my memory is correct: I took a train through El Paso to Arizona (from Chicago) when I was a little kid, and all I remember is barbed wire - surely, this city has more than a fence on the border - so I want to go see.
  5. Big Bend National Park - out in west Texas, this park is the size of Rhode Island. I'm not kidding. Definitely on the list.
  6. Midland and
  7. Odessa - Oil towns, west Texas, doesn't seem exciting, does it? But I think it would be fascinating to at least visit.
  8. Fredericksburg - The home of bed and breakfasts and museums - sounds like the perfect weekend trip!
  9. Galveston - I spent about 6 hours on Galveston Island over Christmas break and need more time there! It's a beautiful and intriguing area. I'd like to go see during Mardi Gras.
  10. College Station - I spent a weekend there a few years ago, but didn't really see much. My husband lived there for a year and loved it. That means it's a must-do!
  11. San Antonio - I've spent a bit of time in San Antonio, exploring the Alamo and Riverwalk area, but I'd like to spend more time looking at "less visited" areas.
  12. Corpus Christi - Chris lived here for a couple years and although we've driven through together, we haven't had time to go down so he can show me around properly. I'm looking forward to it!
  13. East Texas - camping! We were supposed to do this for my birthday, and ended up painting and laying hardwood on our stairs instead.'s time to reschedule!

And there you have it! And I actually did it on Thursday this time! No Linky this week - just leave me a comment!! :-)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


I've been such a disgraceful slacker this year, but I finally caught up with a project. My book review blog is now UP TO DATE! I was seventeen books behind as of today, but they are all now blogged on, and appropriately backdated.

You really should go read.

Read and Release: Tiffany's Tomes.


Stolen Fun MeMe

Ok, I was just out checking on Lisa's blog to see if she'd posted on whether she might take off this week for Manic Monday with the holiday and all and found this really cute MeMe that I'm going to post for your viewing pleasure. Steal away!

What color is your bra? White

Do you straighten your hair everyday? No. I curl it most work days.

Do you worry about the size of your boobs? Ugh.

What’s your favorite girly magazine? idea.

Would you kill for chocolate? Is it GERTRUDE HAWK? If so, yes. Hell, yes. Repeatedly.

Jeans or Skirts? Depends on mood/setting.

Do you wear clothes/shoes/jewelry that’s uncomfortable? If I have to.

Did you ever spend all day/night getting pretty for a guy?
Does Prom count?

Did you ever cry during a romantic movie? Yes. Let's blame hormones.

Would you leave the house without makeup on? I do on nearly a daily basis. I'm not so much the makeup type.

Do you consider making out “unladylike”?
Yes. Most definitely. Not just unladylike, but also unseemly. But that's just in public. In my own house, with no one around, I'll do what I damn well please.

On a scale of 1-10, how fun is shopping? 0. Hate it.

Are you spoiled? My husband is good to me. :-)

Do you think lip gloss is the best? The best at what? For what? With what?

Do you freak out if you miss your favorite show? That's why God invented DVRs.

Do you yell a lot? If I'm yelling, chances are it's at (a) the idiot in front of my on the freeway, (b) the Democrat ticking me off on TV, or (c) my mother on the phone. Otherwise, no.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Depends on what I'm getting ready for. Typical work day? 40 minutes, tops, including shower and breakfast. Big-time kinda day...up to 90 minutes.

Do you wear sweatpants/pajama pants to school/work? Yeah, right. I work for the largest airline in the world, in the corporate office with VPs in my wing. That would go over like a LEAD BALLOON!

Accessories make the outfit; true or false? Eh.

Is pink truly the best color in the entire universe? Gross.

Lip gloss a must? I do believe that the last time I actually work lip gloss was middle school and it was Bonnie Bell. So no, definitely not a must.

Status? Is this like when people used to type "A/S/L" in chat rooms back in the mid 90s?

Have you ever dressed unlike yourself to impress a guy? Sure.

Do you often wish there was something you could change about yourself? Yes.

Gold or silver? Silver or white gold. (I'm going to leave Lisa's answer, because it's perfect.)

The guy that you like/love/whatever, what does his name begin with?
A letter. Duh.

Do you dress up too much for holidays?
For church, yes and always. For dinner afterwards, I've learned not to, although it still makes me a bit uncomfortable to sit down to a holiday dinner in jeans.

Do you like wearing dresses?
Yes, at times.

Do you write a lot of mushy love poems?
The last time I even attempted a poem was junior year of high school.

What makeup could you not live without? The only makeup I wear regularly is mascara.

Friday Feast #13


Again, doing this on Sunday evening instead of Friday morning...ok, ok, I feel guilty enough already.

Friday Feast...late style.

Given the choice, would you prefer to live in the country or in the city?
Mmm...I'm going to split hairs here and say suburbs. I would never want to live IN a big city - aka Manhattan or downtown Dallas - but I wouldn't want to live in an isolated area either. I like midway. Close to stuff, yet on a good-sized piece of land in a neighborhood.

Who is the cutest kid you know?
Oh, there are so very many...

Fill in the blank: I couldn’t believe it when I heard ___________.
...that it was already Sunday and I hadn't done two MeMes I'd intended to do from Thursday and Friday!

Main Course
If you could star in a commercial for one of your favorite products, which one would you want to advertise?
Mmm...I'd like to do kitchen/cooking products.

What type(s) of vitamins and/or supplements do you take on a regular basis?
Just a multi.

Again...way past Friday, so no linky, but feel free to leave me comments!

Thursday Thirteen #13


Yeah, I'm doing this on Sunday evening. I'm pathetic. I know!

So...remember that Thursday Thirteen where my dear husband gave me Thirteen Ideas for Thursday Thirteens? Well...I'm going to capitalize on that!

Here are...

Thirteen Ice Cream Flavors I Love

I know...kind of a simpleton topic, but I'm really loving my ice cream these days, so we're going with it!
  1. Vanilla
  2. Chocolate
  3. Strawberry
  4. Mint chocolate chip
  5. Chocolate peanut butter
  6. Peanut Butter Cup (NOT the same as Chocolate PB!)
  7. Chocolate chip
  8. Cookie dough
  9. Vanilla soft serve
  10. Chocolate soft serve
  11. Twist soft serve
  12. Chocolate fudge
  13. Cookies-n-cream <-- MY FAVORITE!
It's way past Thursday, so no linky, but feel free to leave me comments!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

I lied :-(

I lied, and I truly didn't mean to...I'm sorry!!!

I posted on Wednesday that I'd be back with a Thursday Thirteen and I also hoped to do a Friday Feast...and I ended up doing neither. I'm sorry! :-(

Between the kids getting here Wednesday night, my brother-in-law getting here late morning on Thursday, trying to work from home on Thursday around going to the airport, and then general family activity kinds of things ever since, yeah, time got away from me.

And it turns out that the Army is *slightly* more disorganized than I thought (and than I've experienced in the past, when I've been able to know EXACTLY when a friend would get in on leave) but not as disorganized as the brother-in-law claims. While we could have received a LOT of warning for when he'd be arriving at DFW, he chose not to call us until he was already at the airport, off the plane, and had his bags. And so I'm left really not feeling bad at all that he had to sit for 45 minutes outside the terminal until we got the kids up and dressed, in the car, and then fought the remnants of rush hour traffic to travel the almost-20 miles to the airport. With warning, we would have been way more organized, but the time span we were given to expect was anywhere from late morning to late evening. Oh, well!

Anyway, this is the first time I've been on the computer for longer than 30 seconds since working from home on Thursday! Isn't that sad?

So I'm going to cheat a bit. I'm going to retro-post my Thursday Thirteen and Friday Feast and then, if Lisa is around for a Manic Monday this week, get that up as well!

And if I'm still awake after all that, I'll head over to Read and Release and post a few more book reviews, since I'm now something like FIFTEEN books behind!

Ta ta for now!


I am so smart...S-M-R-T

So I've been lamenting, to myself, that it takes me forever to flip through all of the links to all of my bloggy friends to see who has updated and who is up to what. Basically, because I come stalk you all, even when I'm not leaving comments. It's a sign that I care. Put down the phone; the cops are completely unnecessary. :-)

So I just did myself a MAJOR favor and signed up for Google Reader and spent my lunch break today (since I forgot my book at home) logging all of ya'lls feeds into my that nifty, neato little device can tell me when you all have actually posted, and give me a preview of the post so I can see if it's necessary for me to crawl out from my cloak of darkness and leave you a comment that will light up your life. Or something like that.

I'm in a weird mood today. Roll with it. I am...I have no other choice! The niece and nephew arrive tonight just after 7 (yahoo!) and the brother-in-law supposedly arrives tomorrow morning but since he *still* won't share his actual travel plans from Iraq to Kuwait to Atlanta to Dallas, I have no actual idea when he'll be here. He says he has no flight number/info. I say that even the Army ain't that disorganized. Oh, well. Anywho, full house for the next week. Then a trickle down...the mother-in-law ends her 20-week visit on March 25th. The kiddos head back to the coldness that is Canada on March 26th. Presumably, the brother-in-law will leave on the same day, since his girlfriend is arriving in town and has a hotel room booked. So that just leaves us with the husband's coworker, who will be with us Wednesday-Saturday indefinitely until the State of Texas removes its rather bloated head from its rather tight ass and confirms her transfer. (Can ya tell that I'm still furious with the State over other issues, but the husband has again asked me to refrain from posting over how much I loathe portions of his agency until an outcome on the latest issue is reached.) And potentially the brother-in-law for a couple more days after the brother-in-law's-girlfriend leaves but before he heads back to Iraq by way of Atlanta and Kuwait. Sometime the first week of April. Or something like that.


very ready

That is all for now. I'm off to continue my weird-mood day elsewhere, wreaking havoc on my coworkers, as I'm off starting this afternoon and through Wednesday of next week.

Ah, yes. And there WILL be a Thursday Thirteen tomorrow. Oh yes, there will. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!

Manic Monday #13

Thanks to the lovely Lisa...we have this week's Manic Monday!

If you could have any music group or musician play at a party, who would you hire?

Name three things to be happy about today.
1. It's St. Patrick's Day!
2. Easter is soon!
3. My niece and nephew arrive even sooner!

How do you release frustration?
Vent. Read. Drive.

Your turn!

Update, Update

Hey, ya'll!

First, many apologies, again, that I've been away for a month. I've slowly but surely getting around to visit everyone. Sometimes life just gets so crazy that you have to bug out for awhile, ya know what I mean?

I just wanted to post on what has been keeping me busy and away from my dear virtual friends. On the minor side of things, works been crazy as hell (Chris is right - I probably do bring this on myself in that I never say "no" when I'm asked to take on a project; we've been getting ready for our week-long visit with my niece, nephew and brother-in-law; we have a new resident, in the form of one of Chris' coworkers who needed a place to stay when the state screwed around with her transfer date, leaving her momentarily homeless; and we've had EXTENSIVE work done in our yard (I'm talking HOLY COW, BATMAN) and getting that project off the ground was a pain.

On the semi-major side of things, we've had some schtuff going on that's been keeping us occupied. Nothing bad...all is well. But kinda big. More on that to come...that's not really the main point of this post. Stop worrying; nothing is wrong.

And on the major side of things, my Dad has taken a major downturn. As much as I hate to be typing these words, it looks like the end is most likely fairly close. You've seen me blog on Dad, here and here. optimistic as I was in some of those posts that Dad would eventually be able to join us in Texas (a goal that even made it to my 101 in 1001 (which, by the way, has been updated), it now looks like it's time for practicality to win out over hope.

Let me share what's been going on.

First, a word on my mother. Ah, my mother. The woman who calls only when she wants me to pay her bills. And purposefully calls when she knows I won't be home so she can make me feel guilty by voicemail that I wasn't around to talk to my Dad. (Hello, call my CELL???) Mom isn't good at priorities. She calls me for stupid shit, not for big-time life-changing maybe-I-should-know-this shit. So at 7:00 in the morning last Wednesday, she called me to say that Dad had been given a terminal diagnosis the day before and was considered to be at end-of-life. Just like that. Out of the blue. No preamble. No warning. No prior updates other than to say "well, nothing really has changed" when I would ask.

That's a VERY good way to get Tiffany to freak out. I hung up on her and called the nursing home to get the real story. Turns out that Mom wasn't exaggerating for once. Dad had sustained a fever of 104 for more than a week, completely unexplained and uncontrollable. At that point, he was 100% unresponsive and not considered to make it much longer. I hung up, called my boss, explained the situation, and got Chris and I two confirmed seats to PHL about 4 hours later. (Perk of working for the airline...although we have to fly stand-by for leisure travel, we're allowed emergency travel, free of charge, in confirmed seats. Yay for AA!) I then called my mother to tell her to expect us in time for dinner.

What did Mom say? She asked us not to come. Said it wasn't a good time. She wasn't up for visitors. (Um, we're not coming to see YOU!) She said that the doctor had told her it was impossible to predict when Dad would pass, so why bother coming up "early". Wow. The woman amazes even me.

Needless to say, we ignored her. Even after she conned the doctor into telling me to wait a "day or so". Even after she told us that she didn't want visitors, so we'd have to stay at a hotel. This is about DAD.

We got up there too late on Wednesday to see him, but were there first thing the next morning. In the meantime, they'd sent him back through every medical test known to mankind; nothing conclusive. The fever came down to 99...but then went back to 101, where it has remained. His eyes were open, but he wasn't responsive. He couldn't talk, walk, hold a drink, or feed himself.

But he could hold hands.

And so that's what we did a lot of...holding hands. We stayed in PA for 5 days...attempting to fly home on Sunday but getting stuck in PHL due to weight and balance issues. (Ever wonder why planes fly with empty seats, even when there are people waiting to get on? It's probably because of either weather that necessitates a lighter load, or a heavy cargo just lost out to the U.S. Mail.) Finally got home on Monday, and are now simply on call for what may come next. We plan to go up to PA for a weekend in late April, pending necessitation of an earlier trip.

Dad could live another few days, or weeks, or even months. But it just isn't good. He has to be fed...and can only eat pureed foods. A straw has to be guided into his mouth for him to drink...and he can only have thickened liquids. He can gaze at you for hours...but not see a thing. By the time we left, he'd actually said about 20 words. About half were in response to direct yes/no questions...and the rest were gibberish. All were spoken in a tone so low that they were almost impossible to hear. I'm still not convinced that he knowingly responded to the yes/no wouldn't surprise me if some part of his brain had just fired off a synapse that responded instinctually instead of knowingly.

I've got to believe that his current state is entirely, 100% due to that fever. A fever that high, for that long? It's gotta fry your brain. Beforehand, even on his foggiest days, he'd maintain a conversation and amble around with his fixed hip. Now? He's like a shell.

My big victory came on the Saturday we were there. I wheeled him into the rec room of the nursing home to play Bingo. What that meant was that I played Bingo, kept him from trying to put chips in his mouth, and tried to figure out a way to get Dad to focus on the card. Well...his card won. I coached him for what seemed like an eternity, and finally he said...BINGO. His prize was a mashed banana, and while feeding it to him, along with a lot more coaching, I got him to say YUM.

It's the small things in life.

Due to the fever, he endured a horrific trip to the hospital the week before we were there and was left neglected on a gurney for 8 or so hours...which lead to the development of sores. Ugh. They left him in so much pain...he was constantly trying to shift his weight in his chair but wasn't strong enough/coordinated enough to do so. And then...the dryness. The nurses tried their best to keep him hydrated, but he got so dried out that Dad's entire head was flaking - scalp AND face.

We found some Bag Balm (which my husband swears by) at the CVS and basically scrubbed it into his face and scalp. The good news is that we got all the flakes rubbed off...Chris got him shaved up and even gave him a little hair cut...and I got his nails trimmed down. Dad may not be with it, but at least he looks spiffy. What can you do? It's basically the only damn thing we could do for him.

It was hard to leave. Probably the first time I've felt bad about leaving PA since escaping moving from there six years ago. He kept reaching for my hand. He wasn't really aware, I don't think...but we'd spent so much time holding hands while we were there that he'd gotten used to it.

So now you're updated on Dad. Chris tells me that he swears that Dad was not only aware that I was there but of what was going on (another story for another time) and that at least makes me feel good. It was a hell of a trip. We went fully prepared for a funeral...I even wrote an obit on the way up...but it looks like Dad will hang on for a little bit longer, at least.

He's not going to's far beyond that...but please pray that he's at least comfortable and passes easily.

More updates to come...later on! Also, I'm going to re-start posting my goals, soon, and also post some new writing for you all to read - both short stories and excerpts from my various WIPs!


Friday Feast #12

*deep breath*

This is my first MeMe in FOREVER!

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how much do you like your own handwriting?
1 - hate it.

Do you prefer baths or showers?
Baths - always. However, I get *maybe* 1 bath every 3 months, and by sake of necessity and lack of time, am stuck with showers the rest of the time.

What was the last bad movie you watched?
Mmm. Don't know. I don't watch many movies. I used to get to movies with Kristen like once a month or more but that's tapered off almost entirely. And forget it on TV...I just don't have the patience these days to watch anything. Which reminds me that I have to find movies to watch tomorrow night since a few of my girlfriends are coming over to hang out for the first time in, well...forever!

Main Course
Name something you are addicted to and describe how it affects your life.
Reading. Takes over everything else. Totally.

Which instrument is your favorite to listen to?
Piano or organ.

I can't get the signer-upper-thingie working today, so just leave me a comment! :-)

It's been a MONTH!

Yikes! How in the heck have I let a whole month go by without posting once?

Well...a lot has been going on, and honestly, I was just overwhelmed and took a COMPLETE break from ALL writing - freelance, fiction AND blogging. I can't promise that I'm ready to jump back into everything with both feet, but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to start juggling things again really soon!

I have a million of you to come visit, awards to claim and give back out, MeMes to do...and I owe you all an update on why I've been gone. I'm going to be spending some time tonight trying to catch up on just that...and tomorrow night, as well.

In the meantime, thanks for your patience with me, and I hope to see you in the blogosphere REALLY soon!



New Awards!

Thanks, as always, to Siani for passing along these beautiful awards!

Lazy time - if you're on my blog roll and you'd like to grab one of these, go for it! :-)