Icicle Queen, Name the Sickness, Job Opportunities


I use icicles on our Christmas tree. If you look at the ornament in the picture above, you can see them.

You don’t hear of people using icicles anymore. At least, I don’t. And I’ve been keeping an ear out – or at least, an eye out as I look at pictures bloggers post of their Christmas trees. (And it’s not like I go around and peer into people’s houses at their Christmas trees – though I totally would, because I’m super curious like that, if I didn’t think I’d be arrested for peeping tom-foolery).

But I use icicles. I like them. I don’t care what anyone says or thinks. We used them on our trees when I was a kid, and I’ve used them every year since being on my own.

*Side note: Why do cats love to eat icicles? They only throw them back up. I’ve always wondered.

I like icicles because they add a finishing touch to the tree. They make the tree sparkle and shimmer and give it an old-fashion feel.

My mother-in-law tickles me. She comes over, every year, and acts super impressed by our tree, every year.

Our tree is not impressive. It never really changes. It is, however, personal and well loved. Nearly every ornament on the tree is from a memory, whether it was given, or we purchased it or we picked it up at an event somewhere. There is absolutely nothing commercial about our tree. And we love it that way.

But my MIL comes over and oohs and aahs over it and ALWAYS, ALWAYS comments, in surprise, mind you, over my decision to use icicles.

*Side note: My mom used to save, and reuse, our icicles every year. I remember pulling icicles out of the box that looked like accordions some years because they were so crumpled. But we were poor, and my mom saved them so she wouldn’t have to spend another $0.25 buying another box. Kevin always laughs at that story. (Sorry mom, I couldn’t resist giving you a hard time about our recycled icicles. And I know, a quarter doesn’t seem like much, until you don’t have one).

I put them on the tree every year. There is no surprise. Perhaps she comments on our tree to make me feel good. Or perhaps she claims she loves it when she’s really thinking, “Gah. What an ugly tree.”

It doesn’t matter and I won’t apologize – our tree would not be complete without our icicles.


I got mad at Kevin the other day.

I had to. He simply didn’t give me a choice. He wouldn’t take me, or the fact that he’s had a cough for a solid month now, seriously. In addition to his cough, he sounds congested and can’t smell anything. When he told me the other night at dinner that he couldn’t taste anything, that’s when I knew it was time to go to the doctor. (And if I were to guess, I’d say he has a sinus infection).

I made him go to the doctor.

Actually, we went to a clinic. We went to a different clinic than the one I usually use. We chose this clinic because it’s owned by his primary doctor. (Though that will change shortly. Under the new health care law, doctors are no longer allowed to own their own clinics. In fact, the clinic had notices posted about the impending sale. And given this economy? I’m betting the clinic probably WON’T sale, which means there will likely be more people out of a job. THANKS Obama).

We walked in around 1:00 – we didn’t leave until nearly 2:30. They took an x-ray of Kevin’s chest, gave him a breathing treatment, gave him a prescription for three different medicines and then sent him on his way.

They didn’t tell him what was wrong, what he had and Kevin didn’t ask any questions.

AARGH! Talk about frustrating!

They gave him a prescription for some Mucinex (which we actually bought over-the-counter), an inhaler for breathing treatments (which is the same medicine I have to use on Jazz when his seasonal allergies morph into asthma) and antibiotics.

I’m now thinking his antibiotics are not strong enough because he still can’t smell or taste anything.

It’s going on day three. Though I wouldn’t expect him to be 100% by this time, he should have at least regained his sense of taste. We may have to go to a different clinic and request a stronger antibiotic. We’re giving it a few more days.

But this experience sort of sums up what is wrong with our health care system. The doctor at the clinic went through the motions. He took an x-ray that probably wasn’t needed (and we’re only hypothesizing, we think getting the x-ray was a ploy to get more money out of our insurance – we’re only guessing, I mean, it might have been necessary, but Kevin doesn’t think so), they gave him a breathing treatment that did absolutely nothing for him, shoved a prescription into his hand and sent him on his way without talking to him about what he had and what he could do in the future to avoid getting it again.

*Side note: Some of the best advice I ever got from a doctor concerning my sinus infection was, “Have you ever tried nose spray?” Ever since then, I’ve used nose spray whenever I get clogged up and I haven’t had a sinus infection since. THAT’S the sort of advice that comes in handy – give patients tips on how to stay healthy.

It’s like, people go to the doctor expecting him/her to fix whatever ails them, and rightly so, of course, but instead of learning about their condition and being educated on how they can take care of themselves to avoid future visits, patients just expect some sort of drug to be prescribed. So, the doctors give them what they expect and send them on their way. As my dads says, “the health care industry is a business. They don’t really care about you as a person, they care about getting you out of their office as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next person.”

Like cattle.

I thought that was a cold assessment when he first said it, but the more I think about it, the more I think he’s right.


Feel sorry for me? I feel sorry for me. But it’s not like we ever have any big plans for New Year’s Eve – we stay home, watch a movie, struggle to stay awake until midnight, give each other a quick kiss and then go to bed.

But the fact that he won’t BE here is what blows.

But like he said, at least he’s getting paid and he truly loves playing so … such is the life of a rock star, I suppose.


I really want to work at Missouri State University (MSU).

I know you’re thinking, “what happened to the whole paralegal idea??”

Good question! I haven’t ruled it out entirely, but I got to thinking. Paralegals work long hours, especially when their lawyers are going to trial. They also have to travel to take depositions …

Long hours and travel … do I really want to be away from my family that much? BUT, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for opportunities.

In the meantime, I’ve been trolling the MSU website and have my eye on a receptionist’s job. I’m hoping that my Bachelor’s degree (that I earned FROM MSU), will help set me above the pack. Not to mention, I have excellent writing skills (naturally *snort*), and have excellent secretarial skills.

I want to work at MSU because I love the university AND because I’m hoping they offer discounts on classes … discounts that we might be able to use if the boys decide they want to go to college there. (OR for me – I would LOVE to get my Masters degree).

I’m tempted to apply. I’m ready to apply, but Kevin is vetoing it, for now. (The reason why will be disclosed in a later post).


The book store is booming. We’ve been selling a lot of books and the boys are raking in the cash. In fact, Dude has enough money saved up that he can build his dream machine – a gaming computer.

He and Kevin have been discussing the various components involved and where to get the best deal. I imagine Dude will be ready to order the parts in the next few days so he’ll have everything to assemble over Christmas break.

He’s on his own. Dude has been doing researching and comparative shopping all on his own. He’s been asking for Kevin’s opinion, but he’s making the final decisions. He’s also putting this computer together all by himself. It’ll be good practice for him.

To say he’s excited about this would be putting it mildly.


I’m concerned about Dude’s hair. It’s a rat’s nest and he never takes care of it, so it looks greasy and bad all the time. In an effort to condition him for the work world, I bribed him into getting a traditional “boy” cut, and then keeping it that way. I told him we’d pay $30 of the total cost of his computer and to my utter surprise, he agreed!

However. He has requested that we not get it done until after school on the last day before Christmas break so he can get used to it.

I’ll be posting before and after pictures, of course.


I will also be posting video of Jazz’s Christmas concert at school next week, too. He told me that he volunteered for a solo and he’s quite looking forward to playing it for us.

I’m telling you guys, if Jazz keeps up with his grades and maintains his excellent GPA, he just MIGHT be eligible for a music scholarship.

We’re crossing our fingers.


Pass the tape, won’t you?

Christmas song #16 I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Josh Grobin