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The difference of six years  
10:23pm 02/03/2014
So on my 30th birthday I spent the day fencing. And on my 36th birthday I again spent my day fighting. So in those 6 years I have had 3 surgeries, two of them major surgeries, Pneumonia, asthma, and the worst back problems I had ever felt. And the differences are this; I fought heavy this year. Something I have wanted to do since I was 20 years old. I was drenched in sweat and I have some spectacular bruises on my hip. 6 years ago, I wore out fast, I was frustrated easily, and I just didn't feel good about my fencing. I fought melee all day and my team stunk. Nobody could hear my directions, and I was unsure.
So fast forward to yesterday. I fought for hours with one water break and sitting down once. I wasn't exhausted when I finished. I felt good about my fighting. I was not frustrated, I was surrounded by friends and family. I was happy. So people joke about denying my age, but I see 36 as one of the healthiest and most productive years I have had in a long time. I am hopeful. I just have to keep getting back up.

Here I come year 36, you don't stand a chance.
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An emotional weekend  
12:21am 24/02/2014
A week ago today I got some of the greatest news I had heard in a very long time. Rob was being put on vigil. The rest of the week was full of secretive plan making and preparations. Everything went off mostly without a hitch. Rob and Jon made it down to the hotel Friday night at a decent time. Rocky and Jane were there and plans had been set to ensure we stayed hidden. Our drive was fairly uneventful (which is always a good thing) except for the unexpected slalom through the section of cars caught in a speed trap and the "car game" where we began building a car out of parts in the ditch and median on the side of the road. Kentucky finished our game with an entire car deep in a ditch, much to our delight. We got on site around 2:30 just as we had planned and spent the remaining four hours hiding in the royalty room. Except when we had to venture out to use the restroom facilities...
This is where everything was almost for naught and we were nearly discovered. I had to use the restroom, so the plan was put to action with Maria Teresa as lookout and a young assistant as my escort. A scrap of fabric draped over me in a Quasimodo fashion and I was given the green light to run to the cover of the outside. Have you ever tried to run in hakama? This did not go well and I fell in a semi soft section of wet dirt. Once I had recovered we continued our trek around the outside of the building to the doors at the far end and then to the bathroom.

We soon began the covert journey back to the royalty room and I worried Murphy's law would continue to taunt me so I checked around every corner on my route. Which posed to be the only reason I was not discovered. I neared the final corner and peered around the commotion of a merchant who had the misfortune to spill his belongings on the concrete directly in front of the doors. I checked once, prepared to move, checked twice, and dove for cover in the shadows of the brick wall framing the main doors as Rob tried to make his way to the parking lot to retrieve clean clothes. Once he was far enough away I was able to slip back inside and dart the final few feet into the protection of the royalty room.

Upon my return, I found out that Sir Guerric had gone out looking for me to make sure I was not seen.

Court went well, though I shook like a gazelle taking it's first steps trying to stay hidden and still hand Her Majesty the beautiful tokens that accompanied the awards given out in court.

Duke Bardolph was called forth and I trembled even harder with excitement. Alzbeta began reading Robert's words back to him and his realization dawned. The present members of the Chivalric order were called upon to give their blessing, Robert approached the thrones and was halted by His Majesty and informed that he seemed to be missing something. After checking his personage (ever have that dream where you are getting the recognition of your lifetime and you discover you aren't wearing pants?) once he realized he was indeed clothed he looked up and saw Constance and immediately dropped to one knee and took her by the hand. Once their joyful greetings had concluded, he was beckoned to continue to the thrones. I snuck my head out of hiding and snapped a quick photo of them kneeling, and that is when he knew where I had been hiding. My camera has an extremely distinctive click of the mirrors moving to capture the light of the moment. My next picture was of him looking directly at me and that was the last shot I was able to take before emotion overtook me and I began making my way to surface from behind the thrones. We embraced and he was escorted off with the order of the chivalry to the rear of court where dozens of people eagerly waited to congratulate him. Tears of joy flowed freely as we all shared a moment of elation. Then, court was wrapped up and we had to hurriedly vacate the site. Dinner was held with good food and even better company. We all retired to the hotel where the men drank beer and smoked cigars as we women tried to stay awake. Constance, Alzbeta and I slept soundly albeit not nearly long enough. Alzbeta rose early to return home in time for the Arts and Sciences meeting while Comstance and I rode home with Rocky and Jane. After a much too long ride in the company of some very dear people we finally made it home to rest, recover, and plan.

And now I sit in my cooling bath water soaking my swollen and bruised leg reflecting on an amazing weekend with truly wonderful people and feel blessed beyond measure that I am honored to call so many of them friend. My heart is full of love in an extremely trying point in my life and I feel ready to face the challenges head on.
mood: jubilantjubilant
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I've been gone so long  
02:02am 25/06/2013
I really need to update more on here. And keep up on what is going on in my friends' lives. It's 1:30 in the morning and I am physically exhausted. Unfortunately I cannot sleep. Again. Of course this may have something to do with the fact that I forgot to take my bedtime meds...

I am laying in my bed and my mind is zooming about.

I graduated college and yet I felt no relief, no joy, no sense of accomplishment. I left school with the understanding that what I know is a mere fraction of what I should know, of what I want to know. I graduated with a sense of fear, a $45,000 cloud of anxiety and fear follows me around as I search for a job to launch my career. Something to validate the last four years of my life. I learned so much in school but I know there is so much more out there to be learned. A vast fountain of knowledge and skill and understanding just waiting to be explored just as long as I can survive the waves of debt blocking out the sun.

Why does it cost so much to get an education? Why do schools crank out students with dead end degrees? Why do I feel like I went in with hope and expectation only to be continuously beaten broken down and bloodied until all i wanted was out before my spark was completely gone and I too fell into the ranks of the mindless puppets? The people who encouraged me to blossom and chase my dreams are people who will always be dear to me. So many wonderful people trying to stuff our heads with as much knowledge as they could before we were processed out and left to dangle on the end of a line.

I am disappointed, the job market has barely improved in the four years of my absence. Companies dangle carrots to watch the people dance simply for their amusement, and just when the carrot looks to be in reach it is again yanked away as bellies rumble and muscles shake. With the job market filling with prime choices minnows are disposable. Employees are disposable. Long gone are the days of Henry Ford's plan to build a product his employees could afford, and to pay his employees enough that they can afford what their blood and sweat shapes.

Every day I look for my diploma, my $45,000 piece of paper worried that another battle awaits, another beating I have yet to endure before I can finally take my paper and walk MY path, not the one they have set for me.

Once upon a time the American dream was a house, land to call your own, a steady income, and a well fed family. Now the American dream is some big pay off be it at the expense of someone else, or luck of the draw so you can afford to chase your dreams.

What the hell happened?
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Counting my blessings  
09:52pm 07/05/2013
Yesterday I was rear ended and the driver took off. My car is banged up, I am banged up. Tempe is ok. I was pretty mad that the girls took off, I was upset and frustrated at what it has done to my hysterectomy recovery, and I was very upset with the timing.

Now that the initial shock has worn off, I am counting my blessings. I am ok. My daughter is ok. I had full coverage on the car, so insurance will pay for the repairs. I have had a major amount of support from friends and family.

Last night, my daughter chose to stay at the hospital, by my side, bored. Than go home and play on the lap top. I have a pretty amazing kid. And tomorrow night, I get to watch her be honored for her academic achievements!

Tonight I attended my last class at Bradley. It was very bittersweet. The class that it was in was one of my favorites. Telling the teacher bye will be tough Thursday night. I also need to take the 1,000 paper cranes to my other teacher. Telling her bye will also be rough. Sigh, but I can do this. I will be able to rely on them for references and hopefully support. I have met some amazing people in my four years. It hasn't all been great, but it has all been educational. And now to rest.
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Gotta brag...  
12:32am 15/04/2013
Yesterday Tempe kicked serious ass at county. They lost their first game by 40 points. Her brain wasn't firing yet, it happens. She was still doing very well even with a couple of misfires. Then her second game she seriously rocked. But the final game was a thing of beauty to watch. She was on fire (for all of you sarcasm loving friends, figuratively), it was almost zen like. By the end of the match the moderator didn't even need the captain to tell him she was deferring to Tempest. Tempe would tell the girl to call time and the moderator would say "go ahead Tempest", and she would read off the answers. Of course she still got her share wrong too, and the entire team kicked butt. Their coach is an awesome person, I am going to miss the middle school people when Tempe graduates.

Now, the best part of the day. We sat in on her friend's game after Tempe's last game and then waited the final scores in the cafeteria. Just as Tempe was preparing to leave for a day of fun with said friend, her coach comes over and tells me she can't leave yet. She was one of the top scorers of the day and was going to be presented with a medal. So I grab her and put her back in her seat, another friend comes running over to tell her that she was the TOP scoring student of the day! She just kinda sat there in awe for a bit, until the guy started walking around handing out the medals. Then her excitement picked up, as I cursed myself for not bringing my camera. The guy handed her the medal and told her that he was very impressed with her (170 points, and that does not include all of the bonus questions she answered correctly because that is harder to track). Beaming with pride, I recorded my baby girl getting her first first place medal ever. The first of many, I think.

Considering the two Dunlap schools massacre the other teams every year, this was a major shock to her. She hadn't even fathomed that it was a possibility. I am so very proud of her. Beating out all of the players from those two teams is not an easy feat. Well, maybe to for anyone other than her. Chuckle.
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A very overdue post  
01:28am 13/04/2013
Life has kept me away again. I have managed to get on here long enough to read a few blogs and comment. I am at the third week mark of my recovery from my hysterectomy. I am in some pretty bad pain tonight. If I hadn't had the surgery I would be starting my period now,so I am assuming that is the underlying factor.

I am waiting for my tylenol-3 to kick in so I can get some rest. Tempe has county scholastic bowl in the morning. One more chance against Dunlap middle school. Every year they have gotten creamed by this team. Hopefully this year will go better for them.

I have been struggling pretty hard this week. Frustrated with the rate at which I am recovering, and trying to remind myself had it not been laparoscopic I would still be in the hospital. I also never know how many spoons I am going to get in any given day. I keep trying to conserve energy and it just doesn't work, I still get wiped out randomly.

I have been down as well. Just can't shake this feeling, and then my mind starts sabotaging my positive thoughts. Kinda sucks when your own body is working against you. I am drinking green tea to try to balance out my hormones naturally but I do have an appointment Tuesday with the doctor.

I really need my pain pill to kick in. I need sleep and its not gonna happen with this much pain. Nearly in tears.

On a positive note, I am almost done with school. I am looking for places to hold my graduation party. It may be a duel party for Tempe as well. She wants karaoke.
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12:04am 11/12/2012
LJ just ate my post! I will try again tomorrow. Chuckle
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12:48am 18/11/2012
Life is trying to drag me down pretty hard right now. So much stress piling up on my shoulders. It is the time of year I call "the end of semester crunch" where the teachers realize how close we are to the end of the semester and how much we still have to get done. So they begin piling on the work with shorter and shorter deadlines. On top of all this, I am having abnormal cramping and bleeding. Pain so bad I wish I had some Vicodin. I stayed home from school Wednesday and Thursday. Tempe came home Wednesday and found me in bed, she came in to the bedroom and said "you stayed home from school? You must be really sick, what's wrong?" As soon as I noticed the bleeding I called my doctor and got in for an appointment. They ran tests to check for infection. The first test came back negative, I am waiting on one more test before they will do anything else.

I did go to painting class Wednesday night, and then shot my pictures that were due Thursday so I could at least email them to my teacher. But the pain got so bad while shooting that I wound up curled up in a ball crying for about 20 minutes.

I had thought the problem was a cyst. But the pain is on both sides, so if it is cyst related, it is a cyst on each ovary. Or it is endometriosis, or something else entirely. All I can do right now is wait.

The biggest worry I have right now is the fact that I have no health insurance. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to find out my "family planning" card (basically covers my annual exam and birth control) covered a majority of my visit Wednesday. Leaving me with $50 to pay. It's better than the $186 the visit costed. The worry is, these bills are going to pile up pretty high if this is something serious.

Considering how much pain I have to be in to want prescription pain meds... As it is, they gave me naproxen the most damaging anti-inflammatory on the market (aka Aleve) and I am taking it. Twice a day. I managed to get most of my homework done today. I still need to put together my presentation for class Monday, and write some poems for class Tuesday. Oh yes, and edit my picture for class Tuesday.

I had been to the gym 5 days in a row before this happened. As soon as it is done I am going back. This will not stop me from my goals. It is only solidifying my determination.
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Frustrated and annoyed  
02:29pm 26/09/2012
I haven't been on here nearly as much as I would like. School is in full swing, between my classes and my two jobs, I am quite busy. I don't have much free time outside of class, and what I do is eaten up with work. Tuesday night practice is a priority though. I barely see Tempe, or anyone outside of school. I am trying to meet people for lunch so I can actually associate with the people I care about. It doesn't always work that way though.

Last week a bunch of my prints were stolen from the drying rack. I spent my lunch hour that Tuesday replacing them. Wednesday morning some of them were gone again. I went through almost an entire box of 25 sheets of photography paper trying to take the pictures from the assignment, and replacing the ones stolen. I got my grade back today, I got a D. I told the teacher when it happened about my prints being stolen. I reminded her today that some of them had been stolen. So now, on top of my regular workload, I have an assignment to redo. After I buy more paper. And I have our current assignment to work on, we are not allowed to go out and shoot during class, so I have to squeeze time in to shoot a roll of film on top of everything else. I think it is time to increase my blueberry intake...

My scooter is not running. We are getting very close to the end of the season for riding and I will most likely miss it all because I can't ride. It is frustrating. I like the feeling of being on my moped and the wind rushing. I like turning with a slight movement of my hips. It is going to be a long winter.

Yesterday when I got home from school Tempe told me that one of the girls is telling everyone her mom thinks Tempe is satanic, because her cat ears look similar to devil horns. It annoys me that this woman is so immature as to say something like that about my child. It pings the protective mom button pretty hard. I offered to let Tempe wear my devil horns I got at jubilee many years ago.

I am so proud of her for being herself and not allowing anyone to make her conform. I am proud of her for making her own path rather than locking up her creativity and personal choices because they are not considered within the realms of the "social norm." It is asinine and juvenile to spread false rumors about someone who chooses to be different. Some do so out of envy, others do it out of fear. Either way, it is wrong. They wrong her by spreading false rumors, they wrong themselves by lashing out at someone who is different. They show the world how closed minded they are, and that they are sheep who do not agree with people who make their own path. They show their ignorance and insecurity, and I find it pathetic. I have no patience for it anymore, and I am sure much of that is due to them poking my cub.
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(no subject)  
10:55pm 08/09/2012
I can't believe it has been 6 years already. Its been 6 years since I have heard his laugh, seen his smile, or touched him. I still remember how his skin felt too big for his frame. We all knew for so long that he was sick, we sat by and worried and worried and could do nothing. The doctors could not find the cancer until it had eaten him up inside. I still ache with the loss of him. The mere thought of going to his grave tomorrow chokes me up.

There is a Toby Keith song I keep thinking about, its called "I'm crying for me". I have been thinking about it a great deal. I would not want him to be alive and in that much pain. I can still recall the panic in his eyes in that hospital bed.

Tomorrow I am getting a tattoo in his honor. My family laughs and points out his diatribe on tattoos. I remember it quite well. I want the world to know what an amazing man he was. There is so much good in me that I got from him.

I am trying so very hard to remember the positives, to celebrate his life and not mourn the loss of him.

I know he was proud of me, and I know how proud he would be of all that I am doing now.
I carry a picture of him in my wallet.
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