Thursday, December 30, 2004

It's December 31st...

It’s just another day…but it doesn’t feel like that, does it? Going from December 31st to January 1st is a good thing…you have a whole new year to get it right…

2004 ... lessons learned
1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before? Started an online journal. 
2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I never make any resolutions…I have no willpower. 
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No 
4. Did anyone close to you die? No 
5. What countries did you visit? None besides my own... 
6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004? Some semblance of order in my life… 
7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Dec.26…I still can’t believe the enormity of what happened… 
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I made it through, still mostly sane… 
9. What was your biggest failure? I hate to lose. And if I do, I never talk about it. Next question, please… 
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No…my daughter did and still is suffering with her ear, I wish it was me instead of her… 
11. What was the best thing you bought? My DVDs…few, but so cool… 
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I don’t know… 
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I don’t know… 
14. Where did most of your money go? Practically? Bills… Frivolously? Books, as usual… 
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? It may be superficial, but every time I got an unexpected check in the mail, my daughter and I did the ‘happy money yay!’ dance… 
16. What song will always remind you of 2004? 2004? I’m still stuck in 1984 and have the playlist to prove it… 
17. Compared to this time last year, you are: One year older…stronger…sheesh, everything else is the same! 
18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Sleep 
19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Waste time 
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Oops…I’m answering this after Christmas…I spent Christmas with my family, grandparents, aunts, cousins and all… 

21. How would you rather be spending Christmas? After experiencing Christmas with my family, grandparents , aunts, cousins and all…I’d rather be spending Christmas ALONE 
22. Did you fall in love in 2004? No, I’m already in love… 
23. How many one-night stands? None! 
24. What was your favorite TV program? I discovered Charmed this year! Why didn’t anyone tell me sooner!? 
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? I don’t hate anyone. 
26. What was the best book you read? I can’t pick just one… 
27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Randy Travis! Wow! 
28. What did you want and get? Buffy Season 7 to complete my collection… 
29. What did you want and not get? Still frivolous…this question probably wasn’t meant to be about material things…but I so need a sustainer pedal for my keyboard…my family keeps dodging the hints… 
30. What was your favorite film of this year? I don’t know…I have to think about it… 
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I took the day off…can’t remember what I did, I think my mindset was, "I’m doing whatever I want because it’s my birthday"…but I’m sure I still had to get up early, take my daughter to school, pick her up from school, help her with her homework, do laundry…I was 31. 
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? To have been able to hold my family and myself together a little better towards the end of the year… 
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004? I have no fashion concept!
34. What kept you sane?

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? None
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Locally, this stupid ‘Say Yes’ amendment (defining marriage between one man and one woman)…there were bumper stickers and signs in yards and it was without a doubt the most mean-spirited, terrible thing…I couldn’t believe it was even on the ballot, and then I really couldn’t believe that my state voted for it… 

37. Who did you miss? Mrs. Barbara, a wonderful person who’s in heaven now… 
38. Who was the best new person you met? I met many awesome new people this year! 
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004: Go to the doctor, they can help…children blossom under your attention…and…strength training not only makes you stronger and more toned, it makes you more coordinated so you don’t knock things over as much as you used to!

Last day...

It's my last day of work until 2005...yay!  I've been waiting for this day, I think, when I used up the last of my vacation days...they start all over again in January.
How's this for a New Year Resolution?  I WILL NOT USE ALL MY DAYS TOO QUICKLY!
I have a real's called, if I have a day off available, I WILL USE IT! What else is it for!? LOL...
So, off to work I go...last night when I came home, I got stuck coming into my's been above freezing and melting the foot of snow which isn't as good as it sounds, because now there's no traction, hence, my getting stuck...
I ended up parking half in my grandparent's driveway and half on the sidewalk, that's as far as I could go, so hopefully I won't get stuck trying to get out today...

Monday, December 27, 2004

Well, Hello...

Christmas Blessings 2004:
1. I am blessed by all my wonderful J-land friends, who prayed for and sent healing thoughts for and asked about my daughter...
2. I am blessed by my daughter, who, even with her leaky, itchy ear, dived right into enjoying every minute of Christmas...
3. I am blessed by Him, who managed to look over me in the past seven days and helped me take care of getting my insurance card, my license tags, my traffic ticket, my Christmas presents, my brother's birthday present, my daughter's doctor appointment...I managed to finish decorating my daughter had her oral antibiotic twice a day all week, as well as her antibiotic eardrops twice a day all week, I caught and got over a terrible headcold and cough that stuck me in bed for a day, and we had a blizzard that dumped ice and snow on the ground and then brought subzero temperatures and my car wouldn't get out of the driveway and there's still cars getting stuck around town...and yet I'm still making it...
4. I am blessed by Himself, the reason for it all...
5. Special recognition goes out this year for the most useful blessing: That of an SUV in the family when a blizzard hits the Ohio Valley three days before Christmas...The 9-12 inches of ice then snow then ice then snow meant that the roads of my city were impassable by all but four-wheel drive mom and her Ford Escape became very, very popular this week...
I've been extremely neglectful of my journal this past week...just too, too much to deal with...My daughter is doing okay...her ear has been draining for almost two weeks now, but it's less swollen than it was...I have no idea if this is good or bad...her ENT appointment will be Jan. 10.  She has been having a real problem with it itching, especially at night! We've had several sleepless nights lately, with her crying and wanting me to hold her ear...I feel like this has been going on forever...I think it has, right?
And the combination of the foot of snow outside and the girl who loves to sled and make snow angels inside was almost too much for me to take...I couldn't let her go out because of her ear...that was a rough one!
But things are good! I drove my car today for the first time since last Monday...and didn't even get stuck in the snow, like many people in my city are still doing on a daily basis...My daughter has jumped into decorating for the next holiday, Valentine's Day, and already has hearts all over her room (don't ask me what happened to New Year's, I don't know...)...We went to my brother's house for his birthday party and enjoyed a nice, restful evening (always a pleasant surprise when my brother's involved!) favorite moment of the day was watching my nephew play with my nephew is named after my was quite a wonderful sight, seeing the 74-year old J.W. sprawled on the floor playing GI Joes with his great-grandson, the 3-year old J.W....and best of all, I caught up on my journals and even got to make a journal entry!
I am...accomplished!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Help Wanted...

Not just is needed...
My beautiful daughter not only still has an ear infection...she has the worst ear infection she's ever had...and that's saying something from one who's had four surgeries in that ear...
Took her back to the follow-up appointment Wednesday...she was NOT better at all, at all...she was in fact much worse than she was when she went to acute care on Sunday.  The doctor changed her antibiotic...
I think this has gone on for five or six weeks least four different antibiotics...three different types of eardrops...four or five different doctor appointments...numerous phone calls to the doctor...
It's so bad now that it's obviously swollen, from the outside you can see well as a raw spot on the outside of her ear from where it keeps draining...
Since it's her weak ear I'm also worried about her eardrum possibly rupturing, but her doctor said we can't worry about it now since her ear canal is so swollen we cannot see in there to do anything about it anyway, and we have to heal that first before doing anything else. 
I'm calling an ENT on Monday...not her old one that put her through all those surgeries, this time a different, highly recommended doctor...her pediatrician said not to worry about an ENT but I can't help it, I think weeks of this is just too much, given her history.
I'll feel a litle better later on tonight, I'm just a little upset right now, having just spent a half hour doctoring her ear for the night...I'm so discouraged and worried.
We need lots of prayer...please...

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Tears, loneliness, pain, really bad day, just move along...

I took her to the acute care center again many times have I taken her for this ongoing issue now, and it still hasn't gotten better?...
(History of my daughter's ear problems: She's twelve years old her life, she's had tubes in both ears three different times.  The last time was about four or five years ago... She seemed to outgrow the ear problems, except for her right ear...turned out that she had a hole in her right eardrum from the last time the tubes were in, that never healed up... She had to have surgery to repair the hole about three years ago, meaning cartilage taken from the outside of her ear grafted onto the hole in her eardrum... so now she has one cute little ear and one cute little slightly different ear because it's missing that bumpy thing and has a scar on it... and ever since then whenever she has an ear infection, it's always in that bad right ear that she had that fourth surgery in... the worst ear infection she ever had was about two years ago was when she had swimmer's ear...)
So we went to the acute care center today and sat back there for two hours, me with a massive headache (as usual) and herself with a massive earache...and himself sitting in the lobby getting more and more upset as he sees people come in after us and leave before us...and anyway, it turns out she has swimmer's ear again, which is extremely painful and I feel so stupid because she had it before and I should have caught it before now...
She cried alternatively off and on all day, the last time before she went to sleep...I know that this is my fault, every time she goes swimming at the Y this happens and I somehow forgot this, I just feel so terrible.
My brother and I somehow got off speaking terms brother, or, to those who don't know him, BOSSY JERK THAT HE IS, was his regular mean self today...but somehow, the combination of C's pain and my headache and my family members who are sometimes so mean to each other and also that my medicine ran out Friday and I didn't have it yesterday or today culminated in a crying jag with D in the car that lasted a good ten minutes... poor D didn't know what to do, and so he decided toblame my brother, because it usually is him who makes people cry, me, or my mom, or my grandma, or my aunt, or my cousin... my brother just has a special talent for hurting people...
But families do that...particularly a close family like I have, my family members will go to bat for me whenever I need them, but they also feel they have the right to say whatever they want, whenever they feel like it, and who cares if it's true, or if it hurts?
If I can just make it to tomorrow, and get up, and take her to school, and go to Walgreens, and get my medicine, and take it, and get to work on time, I'm pretty sure I'll be okay and out of this funk...
On the plus side, I got to see my two favorite rednecks make it to the final two on Survivor tonight...It was like a dream come true, seeing both Chris AND Twila make it, because they've been my two favorites from way back. WOW! It's like I was psychic or something...

On the run...

I haven't had time lately. 
And now someone's knocking at the door... 
It's himself, of course. 
And my daughter's ear still isn't better.  It's worse.  I just don't know what to do. 
I guess I'll go let him in now, he's still knocking...

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Blessing for today...

May the God of heaven's vault bless you
May the God of shimmering moonlight love you
May the God of sparkling stars lead you
May the God of haunting songs cheer you
May the God of strange shadows calm your nerves
May the God of straight roads bring you home
May God be watching from a familiar window
And hand in hand with Him may you wait for dawn.

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Wishing to be, um, not me...

Picture from Hometown  
I got a ticket Friday.
The very nice police officer gave me a ticket for not having my new sticker thingy.  My tags expired in August.
I also didn't have my latest insurance card with me, but he didn't cite me for that.  He was very, very nice.
This is what I DIDN'T say to the very nice police officer:
"Thank you so much, sir, for pulling me over, because I delay and delay getting my tags every year until I'm made to do it, usually by one of your esteemed colleagues..."
I'm tired of being me.  I'm tired of driving around with expired tags all the time because I forget to do anything about it, and I'm not even really clear on how to do it because I'm leasing my car (and leasing is a very stupid thing to do, it's right at the top of the list)...and how can I remember anyway because my birthday is in February and the tags expire in August, that's totally nonsensical...and I'm tired of not having my insurance card because I lost it right after it came in the mail and I haven't had it in four months...and I could go on and on...
I'm a college graduate, for goodness' sake, and I'm very successful at my job ... I'm the mother of an almost teenager (!) ... I'm in my THIRTIES now (I can't believe I just said that) ...
So WHY do I need a keeper?
Sheesh, I feel like Arthur.
Good night.
p.s.  Once I got pulled over for expired tags (I think I've been pulled over four different times over the years for expired tags...) and I HAD the tags, they had been in my glove compartment for months, I just hadn't put them on my license plate yet.  I have never seen anyone look as exasperated as that police officer did, when he ordered me to get out of the car right then and there, and go around to the back, and PUT THAT STICKER ON MY CAR.  :) 

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Being normal...

I didn't go to bed last night until about 2 a.m. ... I had my alarms set for 6 a.m. ... I woke up (I thought) without my alarm and enjoyed a few seconds of smugness, as in, "Ha! I didn't even need my alarm clocks today!", before I realized that I didn't feel the least bit tired and that there was a gray light shining through my windows.
!#$%^&!!!  I overslept!
I knew that I'd be out of sorts the rest of the day. I hate that!  I got my daughter to school late, and she forgot her binder...I had to run out the door to work without blow drying my hair...when I got to work, I realized I had forgotten my daily meds (you know, the ones that keep me sane and pain-free), and, even worse, I didn't have my book to read during my lunch!
And plus, it was doing that cold, rainy, drizzle thing all day.
But, thankfully, I survived the day.  After my hair dried, I went to the bathroom and combed it (it went from long tangly curls to long frizzy curls, but that's okay...).  I had some emergency pills in my purse, not quite as effective but at least they got me through the did the emergency books I had in my car...
I went to the gym daughter came with me, climbed the rock climbing wall, did her homework in the teen room and then went swimming while I worked out. Being as it was cold and drizzly and 8:30 p.m., she was the only one in the pool, but she insisted!
Hadn't been to the gym in a while, since I suddenly got busy-er than I was at first tonight my body hated me, and my mind was saying, "Please walk out now!"...but then after I finished my cardio, my body was saying, "Thank you! Thank you!", and my mind was saying, "I am so proud of you, Michelle, now get to that strength training!". Woo-hoo, I love going to the gym...a year ago I would NEVER have thought I would say that!
ANYWAY, I finished strength training, retrieved my daughter from the pool, and as we walked to the car I thought, "Wow, we did some normal things..."  Last night, she went to the skating rink, and I dropped her off and picked her up...and tonight, we did all these activity-things...  It feels like lately with all the worries and the doctor visits and the counselors and the issues and the dramas we've forgotten to do just 'normal' things.  Like venturing out...
It feels really, really nice, kind of like a big accomplishment.  I think it is...

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Big scary world...

What IS that feeling?  When nothing feels right, and may never feel right, and the only possible option is getting in bed and pulling the covers over your head and never coming out...
Why does it come so suddenly?  What triggers it?  What makes it go away, and when it goes away, where does it go? 
Everything's okay here, I'm just having one of those big scary world moments and I have to go to bed now.  Good night...

Saturday, November 27, 2004

A few days late...

I took the beloved child back to the doctor Wednesday...he looked at her ear...and looked some more...said "hmm"...and, "We have a dilemma"...but easily remedied, thank goodness.  New eardrops, this time antibiotic with steroids that DO NOT STING going in, as the Zithromax had not completely cleared up the infection.  Two times a day, and things have been going great so far!
The migraines are back, but now I have medicine to combat them.  If I would only take the medicine properly, I'm sure I would never have migraines at all anymore...
I got off early Wednesday for my doctor appointment, and then I went ahead and took her to the doctor, too.  My appointment was...okay...I thought about cancelling it several times but the last time I had been in my doctor specifically told me to make sure I kept my next appointment.  Every time I picked up the phone to cancel, I could hear his voice in my head saying, "Do NOT cancel this appointment, Michelle!".  How do doctors know this stuff?  It's scary...
My eczema started acting up on my hand had to be nerves either from the appointment or Thursday morning it was angry red hives...THAT'S a new one, it's never taken that form boyfriend had to stop at Walgreens and get some Benadryl and hydrocortisone for me so I could try to get myself to normal before going to his mom's for Thanksgiving dinner.  It's so embarassing when it flares up...and of course, by Thursday night, it was all back to mostly's terrible how your body gives you away sometimes!
Thanksgiving day was wonderful...went to D's mom's for dinner....then we went to my grandma's for dinner and stayed the rest of the day (that was a long journey LOL as my grandma lives all the way next door to my house)...All the members of my family were on their best behavior and so, thank goodness, no major drama like there have been at most of the recent family events, just good food and fun and playing with the kids. I'm so very thankful for my family, hard-headed and stubborn though they are, they're mine and I love them all, my daughter and mother and grandparents and brother and SIL and nephew and cousin and aunts...and the rest of my family, my dad and my uncles and aunts and cousins...and D's family, they feel like my own and they love me and my daughter like we're theirs...and I'm thankful for all my wonderful friends, I feel very blessed!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


I'm stealing time from getting ready to work to write this...that's bad.
I hate not having time to write here. :(
Too bad I'll get in trouble if I access it from work, I have lots of time there! LOL
Well, my daughter is STILL sick...I thought the antibiotic worked, but then her ear started itching uncontrollably...the doctor called her in eardrops...I put the eardrops in last night and she screamed from the pain! I have no idea, the eardrops are supposed to be numbing and RELIEVE pain.  So I will have to call the doctor again today and probably take her in.  Thank goodness it's Wednesday...
It's 8:54 a.m. and I have to leave in six minutes and I still have to get dressed and blow dry my hair.  I can do it!  I can do it!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

I hate it when my eyes won't stay open...

One of my favorite artists is Grimshaw...
Well, my daughter missed school Monday and I took her to the doctor...came home without an antibiotic, I knew we would....just like last time, and I knew she would get sicker and end up on it anyway...sure enough, by Thursday, she had the ear infection to end all ear infections and missed school again, and is back on an antibiotic (sigh)...but by Friday evening she seemed to be feeling a lot better, so that's good.  At least she wasn't on the bed, holding her ear and crying anymore.  I know it's not the doctors' fault, so it's no use being upset with them, right? !!!
I'm done! I'm done! I started painting my daughter's room...two weeks ago...and we're finally done! Last night, I was painting the baseboards and got closer and closer to the end, I kept hearing the "Hallelujah" chorus in my head...I'm done! I'm done!
Well, sort of.  She wants to sponge paint purple and pink designs on the new white walls...that's fine...and all her furniture is still spread throughout the rest of the house...that's fine, okay, I'm MOSTLY done!  I'm MOSTLY done!
I think I slept the whole night through last night.  I'm so proud of myself!  (LOL just like a new baby...)  Well, I vaguely remember getting up once to use the bathroom and then bumping into the wall and saying "Ouch" and then falling back into bed, but that doesn't count since I went right back to sleep. 
The lightbulb is still out in my room.  It's hard to get anything done when it's dark in here all the time.  Will someone change it already?  Do I have to do everything around here?!  Wait...(looking around)....(signs are pointing to 'Yes')...(unless I make the short 12-year old do it)...okay...maybe I'll change it today.
Since it's Saturday and 7:30 a.m., I think I'm going to make myself a Diet Pepsi and get back in bed and read my book for a couple hours...with a flashlight.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Great Fun

Found this in Becky's journal, and I love it!:
Your Random Mix, 2004
1. Open up the music player on your computer.
2. Set it to play your entire music collection.
3. Hit the "shuffle" command.
4. Tell us the title of the next ten songs that show up (with their musicians), no matter how embarassing. That's right, no skipping that Carpenters tune that will totally destroy your hip credibility. It's time for total musical honesty. You can put the list in the comment thread, or write it up in your Journal and then post a link in the comments.
Here's what I came up with:
1.Redeemer - Nicole C. Mullen
2.Border Song - Elton John
3.Sad But True - Metallica
4.The Legend Spreads-The London Symphony Orchestra ('Braveheart' Soundtrack)
5.Dreaming of You - Selena
6.I'll Be Home With Bells On - Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers (Hey! Be quiet! I LOVE this song!)
7.I'll Be - Edwin McCain
8.Il Mistero dell'Amore - Andrea Bocelli (Huh?)
9.Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata performed by Bettine Clemen and Richard Patterson
10.Feelin' Groovy - Simon & Garfunkel
So I tried the next ten, hoping to be a little less, I don't know, BLAND, and here's what came up:
1.All This Time - Sting
2.For Whom The Bell Tolls - Metallica
3.Dreams - The Cranberries
4.I'll Try - Jonatha Brooke ('Return to Neverland' Soundtrack) (Definitely my daughter's...but I like it :)...)
5.The Great Gig in the Sky - Pink Floyd
6.Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid
7.Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles
8.Winnie-the-Pooh - Disney Studio Chorus (My daughter has infiltrated my computer, obviously...)
9.Sad Songs (Say So Much) - Elton John
10.If I Should Fall Behind - Bruce Springsteen
See, great fun!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Picture from Hometown
I'm not here...
I've run away to Tahiti.
No, really, I'm just going to work.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Sunday Minutes...

Picture from Hometown 
It's one of my favorite paintings...:)
The lightbulb is out in my's kind of nice...I probably won't think that in the morning!
It's 11:00 p.m. ... I put my daughter in bed over an hour ago, and she's still awake, up and down, re-tucked in twice, and it seems her sinus troubles are back and I had to give her more medicine...(sigh)...
The mantra of all parents: "I just wish she would go to sleep..." anytime now...and why is she sick again anyway?  Why didn't that Zithromax work?!  I mean, I guess it did work, but only for a couple weeks, it seems...(SIGH)...
My Sunday:
8:00 a.m.: Up and in the shower...
8:30 a.m.: My daughter up and eating breakfast...
8:50 a.m.: Skirmish #1 between daughter and self...(involving hair accessories)...
8:55 a.m.: Skirmish #2 between daughter and self...(involving shoes)...
8:57 a.m.: Sent daughter out of house and next door to grandparents so they could take her to church... (No, I wasn't being mean!  She always goes to church with them.  Something about me being late everywhere I go and her not wanting to be late, I don't know...)
9:05 a.m.: Open door to D, who's come to pick me up for church. 
9:20 a.m.: Actually leaving for church.
9:30 a.m.: In Sunday School, ON TIME I might add, thank you very much.  I go to the 'Single Again' Sunday School Class at my church, which was started for people in our church who had been divorced.  Only one divorced person actually goes to the class, everyone else is part of a couple.  And then there's me, the only single never married mom at my church, that I know of at least...
10:20 a.m.: Going over to church, headed for my usual back row...
10:30 a.m.: Safely ensconced in the back row on the right, with daughter, D, mother, brother (SIL is home sick, unfortunately) :(, and Donna, Steve, and little Mackenzie :) (newly home from China, yay!)...My grandparents and aunt also go to my church, but they sit near the way can I sit up there...nephew is in children's church, which is a very good thing to have...
12 noon: Church is over, it's been a very good time, having spent most of it admiring the beautiful baby Mackenzie...
12:!5 p.m.: Safely in the car, having been sidelined by several people...including the preacher, complimenting me on the decorations for the missions conference we're having this week.  And a couple of people who stopped me to tell me they were going to be at church tonight...(well, DARN, since when did I get so visible? Now I have to be there tonight!  haha  No really, just kidding...sort of...)
12:20 p.m.: On the way to lunch, we saw a boat on the side of the road.  Cool!  I was all for stopping and towing it.  "No," D said, "we don't have a hitch."  Oh.  "Well," I said, "Call your brother, doesn't he have one?"  Then I got a long lesson from D on 'stealing', as in 'just because it's on the side of the ride doesn't mean you can take it, it's just like a car'.  See, I'm one of those non-moral Democrats, I don't know these things! LOL! (Kidding, kidding, well, not about the Democrat part, I AM A DEMOCRAT AND PROUD OF IT!, but about the non-moral part, I didn't REALLY intend to steal the boat, THAT much, I mean, where would I put it?).
Okay, I'm done with this, not even halfway through my day and I'm tired of writing about it!  We went out to lunch, I came home and did dishes, laundry, computer, then we went shopping to fill up more shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, went back to church, where I will be spending my life for the next few days for this missions conference, watched the beautiful Mackenzie some more until they turned off the lights and showed a movie and I fell asleep (it's not my fault, it's that migraine medicine I'm taking!), left church, went out to dinner (Mexican), and finally came home (thank goodness!).
I hope my daughter is feeling better in the morning, I think she's finally asleep, I don't hear her tossing and turning anymore...
We had a couple more skirmishes today that I forgot to mention...but even with the skirmishes, I'm very blessed to have such a wonderful, beautiful, generous child.

Friday, November 12, 2004

New York in April?

My sleep patterns are all messed up...since my doctor put me on a million different medicines, my eyes shut at 11 p.m. ... and then I wake up at 4 a.m. ... and then I try to go back to sleep, and then oversleep...
And today, my daughter doesn't have school which SHOULD mean an extra hour of sleep for me (yay!), but instead, here I am, wide awake... :(
I've been way too busy lately...I can't help but think, if I had gone to school this semester like I was supposed to, how in the world would I be managing it?  Even scarier, how will I manage it in January?  Best not to think about things like that, though...Better to just blindly move forward and assume things will work out...they usually do...
Well, my daughter brought home, FINALLY, the information on this year's middle school field trip.  After last year's less than stellar time (for a recap, see here), I'd decided that it didn't matter WHERE they were going, we were not falling for it again.  The thought of watching my tender 12-year old girl be ignored by all the snobby girls who go on the trip (because, as we discovered last year, only the snobby girls go on trips like this, the regular nice girls stay home) is NOT my idea of fun.  But then she brings home this year's destination: New York City...
See, I'm weak, and a traveler at heart, which is a bad combination...
I've been to eight different countries and twenty-three different states...I've been to Windsor Castle and the Black Forest, I've been to the Badlands in South Dakota and Pikes Peak in Colorado...but I've never been to NEW YORK CITY.
So what am I going to do?  She's already begging me, "Please, pleeeaaaasssseeee, Mommy, can we go? Please?".  I've reminded her of how things went last time, but she keeps assuring me that the snobby girls don't matter, as long as we have each other (does my girl know how to work it or what? LOL!). 
I just have a bad feeling that I'm going to cave, what with her constant pressure and my avarice to go somewhere new.  Is caving such a bad thing?
I'm already going around humming songs like "New York State of Mind"...

Thursday, November 11, 2004

What time is it in Iraq?

Scary place, and the name brings fear, and it's all I've been thinking about the past few days...
I love our men and women over there and I'm praying for them and their families.

Sunday, November 7, 2004

Not tonight...

Why is life so hard sometimes?
Okay, it LIFE that's so hard, or HUMAN LIFE that's so hard?
Because plants are alive, but I refuse to believe that they have a hard life.
I'm also assuming that all human life is hard, when maybe it's just MY human life (as opposed to my non-human life!).  I would ask the question, Why is MY life so hard sometimes?, but it just doesn't sound right.  I KNOW life is hard for EVERYONE sometimes.
Is the answer that most common..."Because if it were easy, everyone would do it!"  Of course not!  Everyone does do it!
It can't be the 'Job' thing (as in Book of, not employment)...can it?  We ALL can't be Job.
I don't know...
Maybe life is so hard sometimes to show what an amazing gift it really is.  Life hurts but it can also be glorious, and it's always REAL.

Friday, November 5, 2004

Call me...Shelly?

There are lots of things to be learned from the baby picture contest currently going on at work.  Today was the last day to bring your picture...the contest will be held Monday.
Scenario: Bring in your baby picture (0-5 years old) gets put onto the bulletin board...with no name...
Objective: Be the one to correctly match the most baby pictures to your co-workers.
This is what I learned:
1. I learned that EVERYONE loves baby pictures!  There were about 45 pictures on the bulletin board today, and at all times you couldn't walk past it without five or six people standing there, admiring the pictures and puzzling out who was who.  Not much work was done today, unless you count the intense studying of the bulletin board.
2. I learned that it doesn't matter how old you get...Just about everyone, including me, got their baby pictures by asking their mother to get one out for them. 
3. I learned that great memories can come unexpectedly...I experienced another sweet moment with my grandparents and my great-aunt, when I went over to see if my grandma might have a different picture that my mom didn't.  We started looking at REALLY old pictures, of my great-great and three greats grandparents!  It was great to hear some stories that I'd never heard before.
4. I learned that I could feel a little sad over the loss of a name...Up until I started Kindergarten, everyone called me Shelly...and then suddenly stopped.  I don't remember when everyone called me Shelly, and it's always disconcerting to meet someone from my parent's past who doesn't know that my name has changed..."Shelly?"... "No, Michelle".  My grandfather on my dad's side was the only one who refused to change names, he called me Shelly until the day he died. 
The point is, I pulled out one of my baby pictures and got quite a shock when I turned it over and it said, Shelly, 1 1/2 years. 
Who?  Oh right, that's me...
5. I learned that if I'm going to enter a baby contest and try to stump people, I need to think a little smarter.  I picked out a picture that looked completely different from me now...I THOUGHT.  The picture I picked was me at three years old...with blond hair and bangs, not like me at all now!
So I confidently took the picture in, sure that no one would know it was me.  But guess what?  EVERYONE knew it was me.  People from all over the floor were coming to me...hey Michelle, you're #40, right?
What gave me away?
MY OWN DAUGHTER, apparently, if you listen to anyone that has ever seen my blond-haired, blue eyed daughter, or the pictures of her on my desk! stump people on the baby pictures...It would be a good idea to try NOT to enter the picture that shows you as a lookalike to your child!  You WILL be found out!
This contest hasn't even started, and it has been great fun so far!

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

20 questions...

I convinced my daughter to go to was about 10:30 p.m. (only an hour after her bedtime!)...
I was completely exhausted from the parenting effort this evening.  I climbed in my own bed, telling myself it was for just a minute, and then I would get back up and finish cleaning and then go to sleep.
But...I was watching the pretty pictures on my computer and I fell asleep.  And woke up at 2 a.m., feeling VERY refreshed! LOL  So I took my nighttime meds and I'm waiting to get tired again to go back to sleep...
In the meantime, I saw these twenty questions on Heather's journal, and I haven't done any in a while, so here goes...:
1. What's your favorite Halloween candy?
Anything with chocolate and peanut butter.  I think that means Reese's! 
2.You're stranded on a tropical island with 2 people. One is really attractive but dumb as a post and the other is smart and funny but not that attractive who do you spend your time with? 
But are they NICE?, that's the important thing...
3.What color is your toothbrush?
Dark pink and white
4. Have you or a friend ever seen a ghost?
No, no ghost. friend Heather has!
5. What's your favorite horror movie?
I can't watch horror movies anymore.  They stay with me and terrorize melong after I see them...Wait...I guess I'll have to say Scream 2, I convinced myself to go to the movies and see it even though I had a phobia.  I'm still deeply regretting it, although I really liked the movie.  I haven't been able to see Scream 3 and I don't plan on it!  I instead went to and got the scoop on it.
6. Have you ever met the person you thought was the one? 
7. Whose your favorite stand-up comic?
Of all-time?  Janean Garofalo
8. Have you ever asked someone out? 
Romantic-wise? No, I've always been the askee, not the asker.  I'm shy.
9. What's your least favorite color?
I don't have one.
10. Are there any celebrities you have a crush on?
You mean besides Ed Harris?  No...
11. What's your favorite holiday special cartoon?
12. What was the last cd you bought?
Jeff Buckley - Grace
13. What's your favorite song?
Too many to count...
14. Microwave popcorn or potato chips?
15.  If you had one day to do whatever you wanted what would you do?
I have to think about this one...the first thing I think of is to clean off this stupid desk, as it has only gotten worse since the last time I complained about it.  I don't know what's holding me back.
16. What was your favorite tv show as a child?
I didn't watch much TV as a dad had control of the TV...and when we lived in Germany we only got one American channel...I'm going with THE COSBY SHOW.
17. What the first thing you notice about a person?
Their hair, of course.  What, you don't?
18. What was your first date like?
I honestly cannot remember my first date. 
19. Where was the last place you went out to eat or the last place you ordered take out from?
Cracker Barrel...
20. What did you have to eat?
Homestyle chicken, hash browns plain with onion (no cheese), french fries.  The best thing is you get two huge pieces of chicken, so I also had leftover Cracker Barrel for lunch today! Yay!

Monday, November 1, 2004

No buttonholes...

I've been homesick for my journal...all day I think, I must remember to write this in my journal...then events conspire to keep me from composing an entry that night.  So here I am, stealing moments in the morning before I start getting ready for work...

I can't believe it's Monday and tomorrow really is election day.  Thank goodness!  I've kept away from political comments here...or any kind of comments, really...but why not change? It's my journal!

So here goes...

(Politics Lite)...

I had already fallen for D and we were entrenched in our relationship before it was revealed to me that he was a...Republican.  Yes, it turns out that my love is a Republican.  How did that happen?  He's such an easy-going and, well, nice person, my radar didn't catch on to it at all!  He's very low-key about it, so it's hard to spot at first.  But it's definitely there...

It's been very hard.  He's not dyed-in-the-wool...he's more of a moderate-type, I think...I'm not sure, I don't know much about Republicans!  Just that they're not me!  The reason that it's hard is specifically because he IS so easy-going and low-key, I forget sometimes that he is what he is.


The other night, for instance, an ad came on TV for someone running for US Senate.  So of course, I'm thinking, do these people really think we're so stupid as to fall for these ads, come on, I'm researching the issues, leave me alone already!  But then D says, "I'm not voting for so-and-so because he supports THIS", spouting the ad word for word. 


I forgot who I was with! 

So of course, I accused him of being Mr. Party line all the way, and he accused me of being a liberal left-winger, and I called him a Republican sheep, and he called me a tree-hugger...





Life is SO interesting and fun, sometimes.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Blueberry candles...

I went to the doctor yesterday...again...this time specifically for my migraines.  He asked me how I was doing with the Topamax he gave me last week.
You know, I vaguely remembered him giving me that sample packet, and a prescription, and saying it would help my headaches...but what I really heard was that it would make me sleepy, so, I didn't take it.  Didn't even think about it anymore. 
Turns out that was the wrong move.
My doctor very gently explained why I start taking minimal bedtime...for that very reason...etc., etc.
I humbly agreed to take the medicine he prescribes for me from now on.  I also now have to take some kind of blood pressure medicine, along with 800 mg Ibuprofen as needed, along with the happy medicine I was already taking.  Five different medicines in all...I don't think I'm THAT sick, actually, I just think he likes to write prescriptions.
I lit a blueberry candle when I got home from work ... that was about six p.m.  I've moved it from the living room into my bedroom, and I'm looking at it now.  For some reason it's just really calmed and contented me all evening...I don't know if it's because of the smell, or if it's because I lit it.
I have to go to bed now and I hate to blow it out.  Blueberry candles, what an epiphany...

Monday, October 25, 2004

I'm through...

My head hurts...
Why has my head hurt every day for the last month?  Why why why?
I take it back, I think there were two days this month that I didn't have to take any headache medicine.  But for the most part, it's been like today, my head gripped in this intense migraine that not even Excedrin can get rid of...
It's really affecting my rosy outlook on life, you know?
I got the bank straightened out, for now, and it only cost me $180 in overdraft charges.  Yes...$180.  My head hurts so much I'm not even calling them to complain...maybe if I feel better...someday...I'll have the strength to argue with them!
My daughter has finally gone to bed.  I practically had to beg...if I wasn't suffering this debilitating headache, she wouldn't have gotten past me and past her bedtime like this.  This is a sure indication that she's feeling better, since first she was doing something with her beads/craft kit...and then her fingernails didn't look right...and then she wanted to read the last chapter of her book. (sigh) Okay, there's no 'practically' about it, I DID have to beg!
Is there life outside this headache?  What's life like without this headache?  Are there people having fun out there, with no headaches?
Headache, headache...will you PLEASE GO NOW?!

Strange noises...

Catching up...
My daughter did have a sinus infection when we took her to the doctor, and they put her on Zithromax and something for the sinus drainage...
She was so miserable.  I took her last Sunday and they said bed rest, Motrin, etc. ... why couldn't they have given her the antibiotic then?  Is it because it was acute care?  (sigh) I'm just a little frustrated over having to take her BACK to the doctor just a few days later, even sicker...
But she is doing much better now.  I hope...I've said that before and then she got sick again!  But not this time, right?!!! 
I have so much I want to talk about, but by the time I sit down it's time for bed!  (okay, past time, since it's now 3:12 a.m. and I have to get up at 6 a.m.!).  I'm going to be sensible now and go claim my two and half hours sleep! :)
More tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


There are some very bad things going on with my checking account this week...I've decided that ignoring it is the best course of action.
I thought my daughter was doing better, but she woke up twice last night, crying, with ear pain...I'm taking her to the doctor tomorrow morning.  That will make the fourth doctor visit for us, in the last five days...I'm hoping this is the last one for a while.  It seems to be just at night that she is having problems, once she gets up and gets moving she seems to be fine.  That makes me think it's drainage, causing her ears to hurt and her cough to get worse at night...I'm not sure, hopefully this doctor tomorrow will help us a little more!
I've been kind of out of sync and my journal is suffering because of it...I miss it!
My grandma wanted to know what we thought about drawing names for Christmas this year, instead of buying for everybody (not including the kids, they will get presents from everyone).  GREAT!  It means less presents for me, but also more money for me!  GREAT!  So I asked my mom how she thought we would do my boyfriend's gift, since he usually gets my mom and my grandparents something, and they get him something, but he doesn't buy for the rest of the family (aunts, cousins, brother, SIL, etc.), so we wouldn't want to put his name in and draw my SIL, for instance.
My mom was stumped by that one...until she glared at me and said, "You know, you would solve so many problems by just marrying him!"
"What? You want me to marry him so we can solve the present-giving issue?"
LOL This is a new one!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Cold, oh so cold...

I haven't turned my heat on yet...and it's so, so cold in my house.  I have an old-fashioned floor furnace, and I have to vacuum it out before turning the heat on.  I meant to do it today, but of course I procrastinated all day long and didn't get it done.  Well, really, it's called "laziness".
I got caught by surprise last night by how cold it was and ended up sleeping with extra clothes on, and double blankets...I got so cold I put my bathrobe on as well, and nice warm socks.  This morning, when I got up, I turned on the stove, left the oven door open, and had to sat in front of it for a half hour before I felt warm.
I promise I will clean the furnace out tomorrow.  It has to be cleaned out before it's turned on...I made the mistake once before of getting too cold and turning it on in the middle of the night when I hadn't first cleaned it, and was promptly followed an hour later by the piercing sound of the smoke alarm.  It's very scary being woken up by that!  But at least I know it works...
Midnight Madness was ALL THAT and more...(Friday night - the first official college basketball practice for the University of Kentucky)...thousands of crazy UK fans milling around downtown Lexington in the middle of the night...huge roar from the crowd as they opened the doors to Memorial Coliseum.  All kinds of fun events inside led up to the 12:01 a.m. appearance of this year's team.  By far the most applause came when Ashley Judd (UK basketball's most famous fan) was introduced and walked into the stadium...she got a standing ovation...I think people were more excited to see her than they were to see Tubby Smith!  Well, okay, that's understandable, because you know, she's ASHLEY JUDD, but still...hello, basketball?...never mind. 
I had to take my daughter to acute care today, she is not feeling well at all...the doctor said they have seen quite a few patients there in the past few days with the same thing and it should clear up in a few days.  She went through stages allday, where she would feel really good and get out puzzles or start cutting paper...and then she would feel bad again and lay down for a while.  I wish she would have just rested all day, but it wasn't going to happen!
Tomorrow is parent-teacher conferences and her follow-up appointment (not for being sick, the other doctor).  I'm a little apprehensive, about both...
I hope this week goes well!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Around the world and far away...

My calendar here at home is still on September...I just noticed that.
That's nothing, I was in my daughter's room the other day and noticed hers was on July.
I've always been vague, and floaty.  Today, influenced by Angel's journal, I thought briefly about opening my eyes and looking around at my life and relationships.
Then I realized why I'm vague, and floaty...what if I look around and don't like what I see?  What if I have to make a change? 
I'm putting my head back in the sand now...maybe sometime in the future I'll try again.
Today was the big day...Donna and Steve finally have Mackenzie!  I'm so happy for my dear friends...this has been a long, long time coming.  They'll be in China for another 1 1/2 weeks, then they're bringing her home!

Monday, October 11, 2004

Just a little silliness...

I sent C off to school this morning, headache-free...still stomach-achy, but I'm attributing that more to going-to-school jitters since I hear that from her roughly every single morning before school, and never on the weekends (!)...
And then I went off to work, with a massive headache...
I had 50 new emails waiting for me when I got there...
A huge stack of paperwork...
In 45 minutes I had three different people come to my desk with major problems that they've apparently been holding onto for me to handle when i got mind swimming with news of a lost $5000 check...a $1.2 million combined shipment...a refund gone awry...
All I wanted to do was finish eating my granola bar (peanut butter and chocolate chunk, please don't think for a minute that it's anything remotely healthy!), drink my first diet Pepsi of the day, and take my three Excedrin Migraines, while scrolling through my emails.
So when I got the following silly email, it made me laugh and I had to post it, even though some of the things NO ONE will understand unless they've lived here, and some of the things are typical of every city, I'm sure...but I still love it!  I have added some disclaimers here and there, though...
You Know You're From Louisville When...
Your "International" airport has only one passenger flight that actually leaves the 48 contiguous U.S. states.
The in-state sports rivalry is given more attention than the national championship.  (1)
You live in an area that occasionally gets considerable snowfalls, floods, and tornadoes... but has no capacity to deal with any of the above. 
You pronounce the name of your city different than anyone else you've heard.  (2)
You ask your doctor for an allergy cure and he tells you to "move."
You've shoveled 10+ inches of snow and worn shorts in the same week.
When people ask what school you went to, they don't mean Vanderbilt, Yale, or Harvard; they mean Male, Manual, Trinity or St. X.  (3)
You know what the Bambi Walk is.
You make an emergency run to Kroger for bread and milk at the first sighting of a snowflake.
At least four times a year, you see a semi truck wedged under the train tracks down by U of L...and the truck driver shaking his head at the clearly marked sign that said his truck wouldn't fit...
You've lived here for years, yet somehow you get hopelessly lost each time you attempt a shortcut through Cherokee Park.
You're convinced turn signals are useless options on a vehicle.
You hold up traffic to let a motorist you don't know into your lane.
You have never been to the Derby, but wouldn't miss the Oaks.  (4)
You call in sick to attend the Oaks and spot your boss - who also called in sick - at the next betting window. 
You think all the REAL hicks live in New Albany.
You think the only thing Southern Indiana is good for is buying pumpkins.
You've built a shrine to Rick Pitino in your basement.  (5)
You want another bridge built over the Ohio River, just so long as it doesn't cut through YOUR neighborhood.
You've experienced a "salt storm" after a two-inch snowfall.
You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Louisville.
disclaimers...: )...
(1) unless, of course, your team has recently won the national championship and lost the in-state game!
(2) and you occasionally pronounce it differently yourself, depending on your mood.  Right now, I'm pronouncing it like this: "LEWUHVUL".
(3) LOL at this one, I went to one of those 'chosen' schools listed and it's true, I'm insufferably proud of it!
(4) Come on, of course I've been to the Derby!  And worked the Derby a few times, too...but the Derby is an occasional thing, tempered by years of getting up the nerve to face the traffic, whereas the Oaks is a MUST, every year.
(5) It's depending on your blue/red affiliation as to whether you STILL have the shrine...
I don't...LOL!
I'm pretty sure we're going to Midnight Madness down in Lexington this Friday...I'm so excited!

Sunday, October 10, 2004


I realized that it's been a while since I posted anything.  I've been terrifically busy, getting nothing done...
We survived the weekends are so busy I almost long for Monday.
My daughter is feeling better.  Or so she says.  I'm still worrying about the headaches...she didn't complain all day Saturday, but tonight she said she had a headache again.
We went to Six Flags Saturday for the FrightFest.  Of course, she and I both are big scaredy-cats and wouldn't go in the Haunted House!  She rode some roller coasters, we played some games, and my boyfriend limped around with a grimace on his face (courtesy of rheumatoid arthritis - he's only 36!).  It was a great time!
We saw a beautiful tree this weekend in fall colors.  My daughter coined it "Sunset Red".
I walked around a corner and saw the huge wooden rollercoaster at an angle from which I had never seen it before...I was amazed by the beauty and symmetry of it.  It's wonderful that people can design such things.
One of my 5th-graders in Awana tonight finally was able to memorize the Old Testament books of the Bible.  She's been trying to do this since April, and has been unable to get past the first three...she has some learning disabilities and it just seemed an insurmountable task.  I did some research on a different way for her to learn it...the best suggestion I saw was divide it up, and let her say it in sections, and once she gets past a section, that's it and she never has to go back to it.  Tonight I sat down with her and it was absolutely amazing!  Just the simple act of dividing it up and going over it in bits clicked something inside of her brain, and she was able to breeze through it.  She was so proud of herself, and I was so proud of her!  I really love that part of working in Awana...
I'm a little apprehensive about going back to work tomorrow.  It's a combination of not being sure how my supervisor tookme taking three days off unexpectedly, and the fact that I haven't been there in so long...I've gotten used to staying home, and I really like it.  Also, while I've been off, I discovered 'Charmed' comes on at 9 a.m. every morning and I'm going to have to start videotaping it so I don't miss anything.  I may also set the timer to pick up DS9 while I'm at it...most of the TNG episodes I already have, at least.
Obviously, it only takes a few days for me to get completely addicted to the TV.
I still haven't got my ducks in a row, quite...I'm working on it.  I still have a nagging worry about my daughter...wondering if it will ever go away.  I didn't take my medicine today...forgot.
Saturday afternoon, before going to Six Flags, we stopped over at my nephew's soccer game.  It was hard-fought...exciting...and suddenly there seemed to be twice as many players on my nephew's team than on their opponents'!  They were scoring goals!  What's happening here?!
Oh, I see, two of the other teams players are over there...they chased the butterfly to the edge of the field...they're jumping in the air...butterfly is gone now...they're giving it up and sauntering back to join the game.
There is nothing more fun than watching three-year-old boys and girls playing soccer!

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Curious sense of inertia

I can't get moving...
I've gotten back into playing Solitaire, Vegas style.  I'm currently -$653.  I just need one more hand, one more hand, so I don't lose my house...
My daughter didn't go to school Tuesday, or Wednesday.  I stayed home with her, even though I didn't have any days left at work.  Who needs a job?
She went back to school today and I thought, okay, why not take another day off (and really be poor)?  This way, I can get rid of some stuff in her room!  I can never get rid of anything in there while she's home, because she absolutely NEEDS everything she has.  She has stuff in there she hasn't looked at in ten years.  So I got a garbage bag for all the McDonald's toys and scrap paper, and a box to put books in.  She has the same book problem I do, too many books and too little space.
I was really getting somewhere, too, but then I got a call from school to go pick her up, still sick.  So I go get her, bring her back home, and WWIII starts when she realizes I've messed with her books. ! ! ! 
I don't know what I was thinking.  I'm very possessive of my books, and, guess what, so is she!
She was very mad at me.
85% of the books that I had packed to go to Salvation Army are now back on the shelves.  She begrudgingly let me have the other 15%, only because they are books that she either had duplicates of, or never finished because she didn't like them..
I hope she feels better tomorrow...I'm a little worried because she's complaining of a headache, and that's rare for her, especially off and on for two days now.  I hear tummy ache often, but not headache.  I'm taking her to the doctor tomorrow if she still doesn't feel well in the morning.
Otherwise, things are going okay...still having some problems but I'm working through them.  I have a beautiful daughter, and wonderful family and friends.  I'm very blessed and thankful to be here!

Monday, October 4, 2004

Thanks, Gordo

Faith 7
Gemini 5
American hero...
Always cool...
Picture from Hometown The Mercury 7: From left to right, Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Walter Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton.
For an exaggerated Gordo, read The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (or see him portrayed by Dennis Quaid in the movie of the same name!)...
For the real Gordo, read his fascinating autobiography, Leap of Faith: An Astronaut's Journey into the Unknown, published in 2000.
Yes, he really did take a little nap while waiting out the interminable countdown on the last Mercury flight.  Cool, I tell you!
He lived a full and amazing life.  I'll always appreciate what he did for the space program.  Though his life extended far beyond his astronaut years, here is what he wrote just a few years ago, in the final words of his autobiography:
"I was asked recently what I would do if an alien spacecraft landed in my backyard and offered me a ride.  "Would you go or stay, Gordo?"
"Stepping aboard a ship from a distant world could result in something more than an afternoon joyride, I know.  If there is interdimensional travel - and I believe there is - I could return to "Earth time" and find my loved ones and friends long deceased.
"I love my wife and daughters, and I enjoy spending time with my friends and old flying buddies, and I would miss them all.  But I'm still an astronaut at heart.
"I'm going."
Gordon Cooper, NASA Mercury Pioneer, Dies