about
Name: bdogg_mcgee

From: Big D, Texas, United States

About me: The observations and musings of a transplanted Houstonian, married to the love of my life and living on the plains of North Texas.

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2.28.2006,2/28/2006 08:34:00 PM
Bleh
Sorry for not posting! Went to the doctor thinking I might be coming down with bronchitis--sore throat, swollen tonsils, pain in chest when I breathe. Turns out I have strep throat instead. Which is funny, because even though my throat hurts, it's not like I'm swallowing razor blades like it is when I normally have strep.

At the moment, I'm just really freakin' exhausted. I think I'm going to go to bed, now.
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 10 comments
2.27.2006,2/27/2006 12:44:00 PM
High School Meme
Got this from Poppy, and it's fitting that I do this, since lately I've been finding all sorts of high-school friends through MySpace, most recently my good friend Josh, who sent me pics of his little boy! Yay!

I'm not gonna tag anyone, so if you feel like participating, go right ahead!

Year: 1995, baby!

1. Who was your best friend?
Lesley, but then I couldn't really call her a friend since she became a mega-bitch to me last half of senior year, so I'd have to go with Dave.

2. What sports did you play?
Moi? Ha! I was a basketball manager freshman-junior year, though.

3. What kind of car did you drive?
A grey 1986 Chevy Cavalier. Hell yeah.

4. It's Friday night, where are you at?
Either hanging out or at home watching X-Files.

5. Were you a party animal?
Um, yeah! See above question...

6. Were you in the "In Crowd"?
If you mean the drill team girls and football players? No. I was way too cool for that.

7. Ever skip school?
Hell yes, I did! Especially last semester of senior year, when I had student assistant and creative writing the last two periods.

8. Ever smoke a cigarette?
Yep. After prom, when we went to Galveston for the day. That's when I learned to smoke. I got sick as a dog afterwards...

9. Were you a nerd?
Probably. I got good grades and hung out in the drama/choir/band crowd, so I guess I was?

10. Did you ever get suspended/expelled?
No. I was too much of a goody-goody. I hated (and still do) getting reprimanded.

11. Can you sing the Alma Mater?
Yes, I can! In four-part harmony! (Let me amend #9. I'm a huge nerd)

12. Who was your favorite teacher?
Mr. Quaid and Mrs. Hicks

13. Favorite class?
Choir

14. What was your school's full name?
CFHS--that's as much as you get.

15. School mascot?
Bobcats

16. Did you go to Prom?
I did--with the boy that eventually became Mrs. Wallington's boyfriend.

17. Would you go back again and do it over?
I could be persuaded. If I was given a lot of money. But I would only go back if we could go back to high school when I was in high school. None of that growing up today crap. I would hate to be a teenager now.

18. What do you remember most about graduation?
My outfit--this really cute, short pink dress with an empire waist that had a white satin ribbon around it. And asking Shan to hold my keys, since I didn't bring my purse (we sat next to each other.)

19. Favorite memory of senior year?
Every choir function.

20. Were you ever posted on the senior wall?
Um, I don't know what that is....

21. Did you have a job your senior year?
I worked in the florist section of the supermarket.

22. Who did you date?
Nobody--I pined after someone, but it never worked out.

23. Have you gained weight since then?
God yes.

24. What did you do after graduation?
Went to college, left, went to another college, got engaged, broke it off, graduated, got a job, got another job, met DH, got laid off, moved to Dallas, got married, got another job, got laid off AGAIN, got another job and that's about it!
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 5 comments
2.26.2006,2/26/2006 05:57:00 PM
The Days of our Lives...
Brought to you by "What do you want for dinner? I don't know, what do YOU want for dinner?" dialog generator.

Here's a frequent conversation we have in our household, and wouldn't you know it, they have a dialog generator for it. Enjoy.

DH: So, what do you want to eat?
BDogg: I don't know what do you want to eat?
DH: I guess I'm not really that hungry.
BDogg: Yeah, me neither.
DH: How does Tacos sound?
BDogg: Hmm, we have that a lot.
DH: yeah.
BDogg: So you're really not hungry?
DH: Well, I could probably eat something.
BDogg: Like what?
DH: Just about anything, really.
BDogg: How about Fish?
DH: Yeah, I guess that's ok.
BDogg: I don't know now.
DH: You don't know? Come on.
BDogg: We could order Chinese.
DH: You're too lazy to go out and get food?
BDogg: No, I guess not. Where do you want to go?
DH: I was thinking that new Tacos place.
BDogg: That's all the way downtown!
DH: It's supposed to be good.
BDogg: I guess I'm just not in the mood.
DH: Well, what are you in the mood for?
BDogg: You said just about anything.
DH: Anything but Tacos.
BDogg: You suggested that earlier.
DH: I did? hmmm.
BDogg: I always feel like Fish, but we never go.
DH: That's fine..
BDogg: I guess I'm just not in the mood.
DH: Well, I could probably eat something.
BDogg: We could order Chinese.
DH: yeah.
BDogg: You said just about anything.
DH: I was thinking that new Tacos place.
BDogg: You suggested that earlier.
DH: We could flip for it.
BDogg: What are we arguing over?
DH: Tacos or hamburgers.
BDogg: heads.
DH: I don't have a quarter.
BDogg: Fish.
DH: Yeah, I guess that's ok.
BDogg: Let's get a pizza.
DH: Yeah, ok.
BDogg: What's your favorite number?
DH: 99.
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 7 comments
2.21.2006,2/21/2006 08:20:00 PM
What's for Dinner?



Christine turned me on to this dish. I like to call it MexiMac.

Here's what I did:

Browned 1 lb. of ground turkey and seasoned it with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, coriander, chili powder, oregano, and cayenne. I could have used taco seasoning, but there is a ton of sodium in that stuff, and since I had the spices already on hand that are the same as in the prepackaged stuff, I used that.

Meanwhile, boil corkscrew pasta until tender. When the meat is browned, add one can of Spicy Ro-Tel and a can of regular diced tomatoes, and a small can of tomato paste. Work the paste into the dish to thicken the sauce.

Drain the pasta, add to the meat, and stir until the pasta is coated. I dished mine up and topped it with cheddar cheese, a dollop of light sour cream, and pico de gallo. I only allowed myself one bowl, but man, I could have eaten the entire skilletful, it was that good.

Yummmmmm!
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 5 comments
,2/21/2006 09:22:00 AM
Tuesday is Choose Day

From Tuesday is Choose Day....

Would you rather:


Be forced to eat 2 pounds of conversation hearts OR 10 pounds of chocolate truffles?
--I HATE conversation hearts, so truffles. :)

Have somebody give you a dozen dead roses OR a decapitated teddy bear?
--Hmmm...decapitated teddy bear? I think that would be more fun.

Forget to get your valentine something for valentine's day OR accuse a 300-pound hell's angel of being gay?
--I'd have to go with forgetting to get your valentine something. There's always a way to fix that one, but you can't easily fix a broken face.

Loved and lost OR never loved at all?

--Definitely loved and lost. My past relationships taught me A LOT. And I am grateful that I had those experiences, even if some of them ended painfully. PLUS, it brought me to DH, so it was worth it. (kisskiss)

posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 5 comments
2.20.2006,2/20/2006 11:39:00 AM
Boys and Girls....
I found this via a link through Bearette's blog, it's called Monday Madness. And since all of you know how I love a good meme, here goes:

Pick a letter from the alphabet, and then make a list of all the boy (or girl), (or both) names, that you can think of, which start with that letter.

Okay. I'll pick the letter "B" since it's my first initial as well as DH's....

Bernard
Belle
Bronwyn
Beatrice
Becky
Bill
Brenda
Brandon
Bethany
Blake
Bridget
Brent
Bradley
Benjamin
Boniface
Bonnie
Brunhilda
Bertha
Bailey
Balthazar
Barney
Barrett
Bartholomew
Beau
Belinda
Bernadette
Beyonce
Bianca
Bliss
Blaine
Bjork

Whew! That was interesting....
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 5 comments
,2/20/2006 08:45:00 AM
A Nice Surprise
About a month ago I posted about the goodness that is Larabar. Didn't think anything of it, I just wanted to let my readers know that these exist and taste really good.

Well, a couple of weeks after my post, an employee of the company contacted me by e-mail, saying he'd read my blog and that they wanted to send me some samples as a thank you.

I provided my address, and a few days later, an ENTIRE box of every flavor they carry arrived on my doorstep.

Wow! I have eaten most of them now, as this happened a little while ago, but I just wanted to send out a thank you to Larabar for the wonderful product! I can't tell y'all enough how good these bars are, so, if you're looking for a snack that's tasty and good for you, go pick up a few....
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 7 comments
2.17.2006,2/17/2006 08:44:00 AM
I Hate Waiting...
A couple of weeks ago I picked up a mini-flower pot from the $1 bin at Target. They're forget-me-nots, which I love. You know Elizabeth I loved forget-me-nots, too? I think she gave the Earl of Essex or Robin Dudley or someone like that a ring with enamel forget-me-nots on it. She was ever the little vixen, playing all those men and letting them think she was going to marry one! She fooled them! Ha!

But I digress....


I picked up this charming little flower pot, and inside was a little hard disc and a packet of seeds. The hard disc was actually a "soil pellet" that I was supposed to soak in a bit of water.



Kinda looks like poo, but it's SOIL, people!


Then, I sowed six tiny little seeds in the charming little flower pot filled with rehydrated soil. It says to put it in a sunny spot, but I don't have a window, so the fluorescent light on my desk will have to do.


But I hate this game of "will it work?" Did anyone else do that class science experiment in elementary school where you put a lima bean in some soil and tried to see if it would germinate and grow? Well, mine never grew, but there were kids whose beans grew like six feet tall--well, maybe not six feet, but those little stalks got up there.


So I kinda feel like I'm that kid in 4th grade science class, hoping that my seeds will germinate and give me beautiful flowers.

Wow, that kinda sounded like a pregnancy analogy....

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 6 comments
2.14.2006,2/14/2006 12:22:00 PM
While I'm at it....
I've been thinking about vacation time with DH again. (I'm the activities director/event planner for the family)

Last year we went to a cottage in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas (absolutely beautiful!) What we liked about that is the fact that it was all our own for a week, nobody bothered us, and we could cook our own food and save some money that way. I'm the kind of person who doesn't like a lot of adventure on vacations, I like to relax. Good thing I married someone who thinks like me.

But this year, well, I'm stumped.

I'd originally thought about going back to where we went last year, but the bed there was so uncomfortable that I thought I was going to die toward the end of the trip, I was so stiff. Plus, I'd like for us to go somewhere different.

We aren't really beach people, so that's out. (we do like lakes/rivers though) We don't want to spend a whole lot of money, so my dream of going to London is out. I'll be in Vegas in March for a tradeshow, so we probably don't want to do that. Also, we'd like to stick to a 4-6 hour drive, unless flights are dirt cheap. I'm thinking end of May, for 3-4 nights. Plus, since this is most likely the last time we'll be vacationing together alone for quite a while, we'd like it to be sort of romantic.

So, does anyone have any suggestions?

I've found this and this, and have been debating the merits of each.....
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 5 comments
,2/14/2006 10:31:00 AM
Hmmm...
I haven't been feeling rather inspired lately. I think it might have to do with the fact that my hormones are going a bit crazy right now. This is my first "time of the month" since I got off the Pill, and I was two weeks late. Countless negative pregnancy tests later, my "friend" came on Saturday, and I have to say I was a bit relieved. So, you know what we did to celebrate?

We drank A LOT OF ALCOHOL.

DH and I went to the liquor store and bought a bottle of Maker's Mark and a bottle of Bacardi. He made us daiquiris and mint juleps (the daiquiris were FABULOUS, the mint juleps, okay) and we ate pizza and watched Napoleon Dynamite, which, I must say, is about 10 times funnier when you're under the influence.

So, Bdogg, what kind of daquiris did you make? Well we made real ones, not the frozen, neon-colored concoctions that are the norm nowadays. They consist of lime juice, simple syrup, and rum, shaken and poured into a martini glass. Heaven. You can get the recipe here, courtesy of Alton Brown.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I have a question for all you ladies out there, and men, I guess, if you sit down to pee.

Do you use the paper toilet-seat covers? If so, do you use them all the time, or in certain situations?

I use them only in certain situations, like if I'm in a bathroom stall that I've had to wipe down due to suspicious droplets on the seat. If I'm at work, though, I don't use them. After all, it's just your butt that's touching it, not like you're licking the toilet seat or anything.

I know it's a random question, but I was just wondering, because there are people I've worked with in the past who used them EVERY time they sat on a toilet seat at work, and it seemed kind of pointless to me.

Thoughts??
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 8 comments
2.12.2006,2/12/2006 01:18:00 PM
Ah-CHOO! The Viral Meme
Epiphany tagged me with this way back when (like last week) so I thought I'd oblige today.....

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.
1) Irish and Dangerous
2) St. Peter’s Helpers
3) SFO Mom
4) Minivan Mom
5) Bdogg McGee


Select Five People To Tag:
Poppy
P'nut
Lost in TX
Lisa
Bearette

What Were You Doing 10 Years Ago?
I remember this as the year that sleet and ice came to San Marcos. (I was a freshman in college at the time) We had the day off and I went out with my friends and wreaked havoc (or watched, anyway) on campus.

What Were You Doing A Year Ago?
I was SURFING! (The Internet)

Five Snacks You Enjoy:
1. Cheese & Crackers
2. Chocolate--anything will do
3. Larabar
4. Veggie platter
5. Baked Cheetos

Five Songs You Know All The Words To:
1. "Big Spender" Peggy Lee
2. Pretty much all NIN
3. "Baby Got Back" Sir Mix a Lot
4. "Como la Flor" Selena
5. "Just like Heaven" The Cure (the song Mrs. Wallington and I used to dance to at Numbers together. Memories!)

Five Things You Would Do If You Were A Millionare:
1. Pay off all our debts
2. Invest some of it
3. Buy a house and pay someone else to clean it!!!
4. Travel
5. Work somewhere fun, like Bath Junkie or Barnes & Noble, one or two days a week.

Five Bad Habits:
1. Biting my nails
2. Not exercising
3. Procrastinating
4. Messiness
5. oops! My messiness spilled over to #5

Five Things You Enjoy Doing:
1. Reading
2. Sewing
3. Traveling
4. Snuggling with DH
5. Soaking in a hot bath

Five Things You Will Never Wear Again:
1. Bras that aren't the right size
2. Scrunchies
3. Acid-wash jeans
4. My wedding dress
5. Birkenstocks (that part of my life is WAY over)

Five Favorite Toys:
1. DH
2. My car, Vanessa
3. iPod
4. My laptop
5. Do books count???
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 3 comments
2.06.2006,2/06/2006 08:07:00 AM
Random Questions
Since last week was full of very emotional posts, I thought I'd start this week with something a bit lighter. Haggis tagged me on this one, and I'm finally getting around to it.

[1] When was the last time you went to the bathroom outside?
Probably camping, but the last time I was camping was like 15 years ago.

[2] When was the last time you saw one of your parents?
Christmas

[3] Which family member do you most resemble?
My biological mom and I have similar features. :)

[4] Do you wear cologne/perfume?
I used to wear Pleasures, and I also have Kenneth Cole Black for Her, but haven't worn it in a while. The last time I wore perfume I had a wicked cold and it made me sneeze for EVER.

[5] Do you wear deodorant?
Yes--Dove Radiant Silk. One time in college I actually skipped class because I'd forgotten to put on deodorant. I'm such a weirdo.

[6] Do you ‘clean up nice’?
Yes. Look at my wedding pic! :)

[7] When was the last time you tripped and fell?
Going to a meeting at Mockingbird Station in Dallas June 3, 2004. The heel of my shoe got caught on the cobblestones and down I went. Nobody even stopped to help me--one guy just looked down at me and walked on by. Bastard. Ended up with a sprained ankle.

[8] Where was the last place you slept besides your home?
Mrs. Wallington's lovely and cozy apartment.

[9] What are you listening to right now?
Coworkers talking.

[10] Have you ever started an uncontrollable fire?
No, thank goodness. I have lit stuff on fire though--I was a horrible pyro when I was young.

[11] Ever run out of gas on the road?
No, but I've locked my keys in my car quite a bit before I got the keyless entry stuff.

[12] Would you rather cut the grass or rake the leaves?
Neither. I don't do yard work. I might garden, though, when we get a house of our own.

[13] Your name spelled backwards?
ggodb

[14] What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer?
iTunes on my work machine.

[15] Last time you swam in a pool?
I honestly have no idea--probably at my parents' old house.

[16] Have you ever been in a school play?
Yes! I was the Sherriff in "Robin Hood" in 4th grade, in two leading roles in One Act Play in high school in Sudan, and a fairy in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" my senior year. I was also in a couple of plays in college. Man that's a blast from the past!

[17] How many kids do you want?
Um, well, let's just see how we do after one, but, ideally? Three.

[18] Type of music you dislike most?
Classic rock

[19] Are you registered to vote?
Sure am!

[21] Ever prank call anybody?
Of course!

[22] Best friends?
DH, Mrs. Wallington, Krissypoo--physical. Poppy--virtual.

[23] Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?
I might consider tandem sky diving, but historically I'm super afraid of heights.

[24] Do you have a garden?
No. Our yard kinda sucks.

[25] What’s your favorite comic strip?
Loved Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, Get Fuzzy, and Mutts. Haven't read comics in a while, though.

[26] Bath or shower, morning or night?
Shower, morning. Bath, night. Not on the same day!

[27] Best movie you’ve seen in the past month?
I don't think I've seen a movie in the past month. DH, can you help me out on this?

[28] Favorite pizza topping?
Veggie pizza or Canadian Bacon and pineapple

[29] Chips or popcorn?
God, definitely chips.

[30] What color lipstick do you usually wear?
I don't usually wear it, but when I do, it's some kind of lip gloss from Sephora.

[31] Have you ever smoked peanut shells?
What kind of question is that??? Can you actually DO that? Where the hell have I been?

[32] Orange juice or apple?
Neither--orange juice hurts my stomach and apple juice is just vile. I think it's the smell--always makes me gag.

[33] Favorite type of chocolate bar?
Cadbury Dairy Milk or Cadbury Flake

[34] When was the last time you voted at the polls?
To vote against the amendment banning same sex marriage. Grr.

[35] Last time you ate a home-grown tomato?
Man, a LONG time. I love those things.

[36] Are you a good cook?
I like to think so....except for that burnt chicken thing I made a couple of years ago. Sorry, DH.

[37] Ever order anything from an infomercial?
Oh gosh, I ordered that Nad's hair removal stuff. Didn't work for shit.

[38] Sprite or 7-up?
Diet 7-up with Splenda

[39] Have you ever had to wear a uniform to work?
Yes--Gerland's and Baskin-Robbins

[40] Ever thrown up in public?
I threw up all over the cafeteria floor in Kindergarten. In the morning walking in, though. Not during lunch.

[41] Would you prefer being a millionaire or find true love?
"And wuv, TWOO WUV, will fowow you forevah...."

[42] Do you believe in love at first sight?
My heart says yes, my head feels otherwise.

[43] Can exes be friends?
Amazingly enough, I've been able to stay friends with all of my exes but one. I'm not saying that we call each other every day, but we're friendly and sometimes even hang out together. (Festivus..WOO!)

[44] Who was the last person you visited in a hospital?
My sister-in-law when Timothy was born.

[45] Did you have a lot of hair as a baby?
I had no hair for the longest time. Now I have way too much.

[46] What message is on your answering machine?
Saying that you've reached me but I'm not there and if you'll leave a message I'll get back to you!

[47] What do you think about most ?
Getting pregnant.

[48] Favorite form of travel?
I've only flown in a plane and driven places. I'd have to say fly, but that's only because I get there quicker. I actually don't like flying--makes me nervous.

[49] Ever drink rotten milk?
I don't drink milk!
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 1 comments
2.03.2006,2/03/2006 03:22:00 PM
How I Met My (Biological) Mother, Conclusion
Since I have your attention, I think I'll finish the story.

So I was waiting for Charli (short for Charlotte) to call me back, hoping that she hadn't gone up to Dallas like she had talked about, and finally, after DH and I had gotten to Mrs. Wallington's house and had several beers, Charli called.

I asked, "What are you doing tomorrow?"

She said, "Oh just finishing up my packing."

I asked, "Well, I was wondering if you'd like to meet tomorrow?"

She said, "I KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO CALL AND ASK ME THAT!"

We set a meeting time for 2 pm on Sunday afternoon down in San Marcos, which was about the halfway point from Austin and San Antonio.

Of course, Saturday night was the meeting of the Blogger minds, and it was a great time indeed. But you're not reading this to read about that..... :)

Sunday was the big day. I made myself look all pretty, and DH and I said goodbye and thanks for the wonderful hospitality to my good friend Mrs. Wallington, and set off to drive to San Marcos.

We'd arranged to meet on the square--if any of you are familiar with San Marcos, in the middle of town is the square, where the courthouse is, yada yada yada, and it is lined with shops and restaurants on the outside (Paper Bear Represent!) I drove down toward the square and passed a woman with red hair sitting on one of the benches.

To DH I exclaimed, "THERE SHE IS!!" To which he immediately reached into my purse, pulled out my packet of tissues, pulled out two, and kept them at the ready.

We parked a little way away, and walked around the corner to meet Charli. When she saw us she got up and walked toward me, and we hugged.

And kept hugging.

And you know, I was okay. I was a little teary, but nothing I couldn't handle (this is the woman that doesn't cry, after all.) Then, as she pulled away from me, she looked at me and said, "Are you okay?"

And THAT'S when the floodgates opened. Dammit, I KNEW I shouldn't have gone off the Pill and my anti-depressants at the same time! :) And, according to Charli, you never cry alone with her around...

At that moment, we both looked at DH, who whipped out his stash of tissues, like the man who saved the day.

From there, we decided that, since it was way too beautiful a day to sit inside a restaurant (80 degrees in January, go Texas,) we ended up at River Pub, which is a restaurant by the San Marcos River. We got a table out on the deck, overlooking the river, and ordered drinks and a late lunch. And then talked and talked and talked. Every once in a while she would just LOOK at me, as if I were a figment of her imagination and would disappear at any moment.

Those four hours were the quickest four hours ever. It was as if we'd just sat down and then POOF! 6 pm! Since DH and I had a four hour drive ahead of us, we decided it was time to say goodbye. But, we got some pictures, one of which I'd like to share. DH was saying something funny, which is why we're both laughing. It's my favorite out of the five or six we took.



So, what now? We're taking it day by day, getting to know one another, and I'm so happy that I wrote that letter. I have absolutely no regrets.

I felt like I needed to tell this story, hoping that another adopted child out there who is struggling with the decision to contact his or her birth parents will find what I've written here, and say to themselves, "so it's not always an unhappy ending."

I think I can safely say that this is a happy beginning instead of an ending, though.....
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 13 comments
,2/03/2006 08:31:00 AM
Remembering a Friend....
Today marks the second anniversary of the passing of my dear friend Caroline. She would have been 43 years old if she'd lived.

Our relationship was an interesting one. She started out as my boss--I can still remember her interviewing me, and it ended up being a conversation about our favorite Marilyn Monroe movies instead of how I could best fit the company. I couldn't quite explain it, but it was almost like we'd known each other before, you know?

Of course, now, I realize that we were somehow linked in a past life (I'm a big believer in reincarnation, and that people that you know in this life are always in your life in differing capacities in past ones), and that we had found each other again.

We fought like cats and dogs sometimes, and she drove me completely up the wall, but I still loved her like I would an older sister. And, boy, did she ever get me into trouble! I've always been a bit of a goody-goody, always with a toe on the line, afraid to incur the wrath or disappointment of others. Caroline taught me to let loose every once in a while, and that it's okay to be a bad girl.

I worked for her for two years, and then moved on to another job. After that, it was almost as if the glue that held her together started slowly disintegrating. Her husband was unfaithful to her--they tried to get counseling, and were working it out, but I think that she was just denying and delaying the inevitable. She got laid off from her job, and several months after her layoff, her husband got fired from his. In order to get a little money coming in, she started working at a small boutique in Rice Village that sold bath products and candles.

The last time I heard her voice was on my birthday in 2004. She'd called and sang to me in her really high-pitched, kinda tone-deaf voice. And, since it was the year the Super Bowl was being held in Houston and she was working at part of it, I held back and didn't call her, thinking, "Oh, I'll call her this week after all the hoopla dies down."

I think that is one of the things I'll regret for the rest of my life.

I called her on Wednesday, February 3, and got her voice mail. Figuring she was working or busy, I left a message. At this time DH and I were in Dallas looking for a place to live, so I didn't think much more about it, thinking that she'd call me back soon enough.

Thursday night, while I was sleeping I had a dream. In my dream, Caroline was standing with me, her long dark hair all wavy (she used to straighten it religiously,) and she was holding my hand, looking at me with the saddest expression on her face.

When I woke up, the phone was ringing. Her husband called and left me a message that Caroline had passed away on the night of February 3--it was a sudden heart attack. I am convinced that she came to me in that dream to say goodbye. Of course, it doesn't make it any easier.

Her memorial service was packed, and one of the songs played was "Sweet Caroline," by Neil Diamond. However, I like to remember her by listening to "Hey Ya," by OutKast, because that's what she'd play at full blast in her red BMW 5-series and sing at the top of her lungs.

I think she'd like that. I miss you, my friend, and I will never ever forget you.
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 3 comments
2.02.2006,2/02/2006 04:20:00 PM
How I Met My (Biological) Mother, Part II
Okay, friends. When I last left the story, I was waiting for an answer from my birth mom--you know, I'm going to call her by her first initial, "C," and if she doesn't mind my putting her name on my blog, then I'll share her name with you. It's a beautiful name, one of my favorites, actually.

Anyhoo...one evening, a couple of weeks after I wrote the letter to C, I was sifting through the mail that DH had gotten and put on the bar. Absently looking at the bills (ugh) and other pieces of paper, I suddenly froze, and said, "Oh my God."

DH said, "What???" to which I replied, "It's a letter from C."

And I tell you, he was up off that couch like a shot, and came to stand behind me while I opened the envelope.

Inside was a card, which I opened with shaking hands, and saw, in purple ink:

"With love, forever and still....."

And I completely lost it.

For the record, I am not much of a crier. But, according to DH, I went from "zero to super-emotional in about 3 tenths of a second." (mind you, all this is still a bit of a blur) And I'm not talking about little bitty tears here. It was like racking sobs, like nearly 30 years of the same question, wondering with every birthday, "Does she still think about me? Does she wonder how I am doing?" finally being answered. And with those five words, I knew that she did.

DH ushered me gently over to the couch, where I opened the letter that was enclosed in the card, and looked at the pictures she sent. She told me that she'd always hoped I would contact her, that she's always loved me. I also found out that I have a half sister who is three years younger than me, who is married and has a little girl.

I think it took me about three hours to finally sit and read the letter, taking in everything she wrote. She'd enclosed her e-mail address and phone numbers, and it took every ounce of restraint not to run over to the computer and fire off an e-mail to her.

So I waited a few days and let everything digest, and e-mailed her. I told her that I would love to meet eventually, but I really wanted to get to know each other and take it slowly.

We e-mailed each other back and forth for a while, and discovered that we were VERY much alike. One thing that's really cool? She loves Nine Inch Nails. How crazy is that? I also learned that she was taking a job at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs (she retired with 20 years of service and is now working as a civilian) in February.

Then, right before my birthday, I asked if she'd like it if I gave her a call. Of course C said yes and I called her at 7 pm that night, and we talked for 5 hours.

About what, you ask? Well, everything. And nothing. It seemed like 5 minutes instead of 5 hours. I told her that I was coming to Austin that weekend for the Great Austin Blogger Encounter, and that maybe it would be better if I came up to Colorado and met her there when she was all settled. C was a little disappointed, but she understood, and wished me a happy birthday and a great weekend.

DH and I were driving up to Austin last Saturday morning and I said, "I can't be this close to C and not meet her," so I called my mom and asked for her blessing. I told her that if she was uncomfortable with me meeting C that weekend that I would wait, and my mom said, "I am very secure with our relationship, and if you want to meet her, then do it." Right after I got off the phone with my mom I called C and got her voice mail, left a message and waited with bated breath for her to call me back.

More tomorrow.....
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 4 comments
,2/02/2006 08:15:00 AM
My "Secret" Wedding...
I've been married twice.

Yes, dear bloggers. I have two weddings under my belt. The first one took place two years ago today, at 9 am in the JP's office at the Harris County Courthouse on Cypresswood Drive.

The bride wore a black tank with a white button-down over it, jeans, and pearls. I can't remember what the groom wore, but I think it was jeans as well. For those of you who were married in a religious ceremony, this is what a JP ceremony consisted of:

JP: All right. Do you take him to be your husband?

Bride: I do.

JP: Do you take her to be your wife?

Groom: I do.

JP: All right, then. You're married--give her a kiss.


The wedding breakfast was held at Victor's Delicatessen on 1960 and Stuebner Airline, and I think the bride had pancakes. Then the bride and groom drove off to Dallas to look for a place to live, since the groom had gotten a new job there and had to report in two weeks.

Yes. I have been married twice. To the same man.

February 2, 2004, is the legal anniversary. We got married for insurance purposes, as by the time we were in the process of moving I still didn't have a job and was paying exorbitant COBRA premiums. For some reason, DH didn't think his parents would mind having our marriage certificate sent to his parents' house. He was sure they wouldn't open the envelope, and, if they did, well, they'd understand why we did it.

Boy, were we ever wrong.

Flash forward to March--I'd gone down to Houston for my bridal shower, and DH calls me.

DH: My mom got the marriage certificate in the mail.

Me: Uh oh.

DH: SHE IS PISSED.

Me: Holy shit!


In the end, everything worked out okay, and we still had the wedding in New Orleans April 10. It was a wonderful time, and we loved being there with all our family.

But, you know, if I had to go back and do it all over again, I would still marry DH in my jeans and pearls on that cool February morning.

Happy "Secret" Anniversary, honey. Marrying you was the smartest thing I've ever done.
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 5 comments
2.01.2006,2/01/2006 03:18:00 PM
How I Met My (Biological) Mother
This past weekend was a very memorable one for me in more ways than one. Not only did I get to meet some of the greatest Bloggers ever, I also, for the very first time, met my biological mother.

I am adopted, and have always known I was adopted. My biological mother, who was quite young when she gave birth to me, gave me up for adoption, (I'm telling the condensed version) and I was raised by the best set of parents a girl could ask for. They've always been very open about my adoption and told me that if I wanted to locate my birth mother that they would not stand in my way.

When I was about 26 I got my adoption papers from my dad (my parents divorced when I was 4) and I found the names of my birth parents. One day, on a whim, I did a search on Classmates.com for my birth mother and BAM! Her name was right in front of me. After a little detective work, I found out that she lived near San Antonio.

And then I waited.

Why, I really don't know. I don't think I was ready for it.. Adopted children hear all these horror stories of "I contacted my biological parents and they didn't want to have anything to do with me, " or just the opposite, that they wouldn't leave them alone, and that scared me. And even though my mom said she was okay with me finding my birth mother, I knew she was a little scared about the whole thing--that I would never want to be around her again, and spend all my time with my "real" mother. Plus, DH and I had both just lost our jobs, we were relocating to a new city, and were in the process of planning our wedding (which, admittedly, took about 3 minutes, but it was a stressful 3 minutes). I was under a tremendous amount of stress and wasn't sure if I could handle the potential rejection if the attempt to contact my birth mother was not well received.

DH, of course, was all for me contacting my birth mother, but he kept out of it, waiting until it was the right time for me.

About 2 months ago, I was lying in bed reading, in my usual fashion, and I got this feeling. I can't explain it, I just felt that I had to write my birth mother a letter rightthenandthere. Before I lost my nerve, I jumped out of bed and typed off a letter. The content of the letter explained who I was, who I thought she was in relation to me, and that I turned out okay--I've had a really good life, I was raised by great parents, and I wanted her to know that I was very grateful that she carried me and gave me life, when she could just as easily have terminated the pregnancy.

I knew that if I didn't hear from my birth mother, I would be okay with it. From what spotty details I had, the circumstances regarding my birth were very difficult, and she might not have wanted to have anything to do with me. But, for my peace of mind, I had to let her know I was okay.

I mailed the letter the very next day, and waited. Again.

This is beginning to be a really long post, so I'll continue it in another one....later.....
posted by bdogg_mcgee
Permalink | 5 comments
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