Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Okay, I Gotta Blog About This...

DH and I decided to go out to the Dollar Tree tonight to buy new ornaments for our Christmas tree.  Yes, we're on a budget since DH lost his job, so we can't (or shouldn't) buy the uber-expensive nice Christmas ornaments.  Believe it or not, Dollar Tree had some decent stuff.  In fact, I'll probably go back when it's time to fill up on stocking stuffers.

Anyhow.  So we come out and realize we gotta go to Target (same parking lot) for a tree topper, as they didn't have anything we liked there.  No prob.  On our way out to the car, we meet up with some people who are selling tamales for $1.00.  Ooo, we think.  Awesome.  But we still gotta go to Target.  We tell them we'll be back because we wanted the tamales to stay hot while we shop.

We get our tree topper, come back, and there's a few people buying tamales from these people already.  Now mind, they're just average people selling food off the back of their truck, with tamales in ice coolers, presumably to keep them warm.  So, DH and I buy 20 of them, because there were two kinds, made with either red or green sauce.  We got 10 of each.

Now, these people were very nice, and they were also offering free Mexican hot chocolate, which has a distinct flavor of something cinnamony.  It was really good.  They had their kid with them, and they seemed more than happy to serve us, along with two other ladies who'd noticed them selling tamales.

Of course, the draw of tamales is that it's one of my favorite Mexican foods, and handmade tamales are the shizzy.  Not to mention tamales made by Mexican folk.  Our neighbors, whose daughter is our daughters' best friend, make kick-ass Mexican food.  They sometimes send over their Chicken Mole or homemade tamales and tortillas to which we will never say no.  Scoring Mexican food made by Mexican people is nothing but a win-win situation in my book.

We come home, we eat, and I feel the need to Twitter my experience because the tamales are frickin' good--better than I've ever made.  Two of my Twitter friends are aghast that DH and I trusted random strangers with food in a parking lot.  I've got to wonder to myself...  why?

These folks were obviously thinking outside the box to earn a little extra cash for the holidays.  They knew people love tamales - they could make tamales - sell them for a buck each and have a few extra dollars in their pocket.  What's the harm?

I can only think it's the inherent "terror" we have of "strangers".  You all remember hearing, "Don't take candy from strangers!" as a kid.  Or the reports of wackos putting razor blades in carmel apples for Halloween (as a result I could never have any homemade stuff little old ladies dropped in my Halloween bag as a kid because my parents were paranoid).  But seriously, is this where the "fear" of strangers comes from?  

I believe most people are good.  They are.  What's wrong with trusting someone you don't know?It's few and far between you'll meet someone who actually *is* a wacko out to specifically hurt you.  

"But Becka," you say, "They could have spat in those tamales!"  (because I'm seriously not gonna buy the "razor blades" in the tamales argument, come on! --cue Gob from Arrested Development).  Well, seriously, how is it any different than buying a tamale from a restaurant?  Or a roach coach that's in a random parking lot?  Because they have a license to make it?  Because they're in an "establishment"?  Reality check, folks.  ANYONE CAN SPIT IN YOUR FOOD, DON'T MATTER WHERE YOU EAT.

So, I choose to believe most people are good, and I choose to give most people the benefit of the doubt.  Just because some old man behind me in line might pat my kid on the shoulder doesn't mean he's an OMGCHILDMOLESTER - KILL IT WITH FIRE!  lol

You get my point.

So, someone explain to me how buying tamales in a parking lot is any different than accepting food from my neighbors or buying it from a roach coach.  It's not, really.  Like I told my friend on Twitter, it's not like they were in a back alley selling crack, stolen watches... and tamales!  I seriously doubt food made for the public would be made in unsanitary conditions.  I suppose it *could* happen, but no, again, I choose the benefit of the doubt.

Bottom line here is...  Christ would have eaten those tamales from the poor folks trying to make a buck for the holidays..  I'm confident of that.  (They were chicken, not pork thankfully haha)  That's good enough for me.

Then again, they *were* made with lard...  Perhaps He wouldn't have after all.  LOL


Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Adventure That Is My Life

Okay, so yesterday, I decided to go to KFC to pick up dinner for the fam. As I'm leaving, DH gives me a grin and tells me to pick up some wood while I'm out, as he wanted to start a fire. With all the camping we've done this year, we depleted our wood supply. *SIGH* All right, I'll go, but only because I need to get dog food, too.

So I get to Safeway, and notice a minivan with the driver door wide open, lights on, nobody's home. I didn't think much of it, I thought perhaps the owner was scrounging for something and I just couldn't see them. But it still raised a red flag for me. My daughter Simone and I go in, pick up the dog food and the wood, pay, then go back out to the car. As I'm loading up, I notice the van is still wide open with no one in it. I warred with my own conscience at that moment, because I was so very hungry, you see, but being somewhat of a goodie-two-shoes, I knew *I* would want to know if I accidentally left my car door open.

I go back inside to the customer service desk and wait for about 5 minutes to tell someone about this, after I got the license plate number of the car.  Finally, someone took down the info I had and announced it over the loudspeaker in the store.  Feeling good for doing a good deed, I go back out to the parking lot with my daughter, only to find the minivan was gone.  I'm happy the person who owned the vehicle (I'm assuming) drove off after realizing their mistake, however, I became extremely annoyed that I'd "wasted" 5 minutes of my time going back into the store to do my good deed for the day when the person had already left the parking lot.

At this point, I keep telling myself I'm racking up treasures in Heaven.  Treasures in Heaven, Becka.  LOL

Okay, so we drive to the KFC, order our food, and the guy taking my cash has an "Are you kidding me?!?" moment.  My order was $30.04.  I handed him $40.04 in cash.  This kid hit some button that didn't show him the change he needed to give me, so he LITERALLY, and I kid you not, hit the cancel key to re-enter it so he could figure out my change.  I'm staring at this kid in disbelief, mind, because my own seven-year-old could tell you I should get back a ten dollar bill.  YOU knew that, right?  Because I couldn't believe this kid wasn't that bright.  Maybe I didn't understand what he was doing and he had to do that for the drawer count after hours.  But I don't think so.  WOW.

So after we get our food, I have to remind them of one other meal I'd ordered (they'd forgotten it in the bag), then I go back out to the parking lot only to find someone had parked their GIANT SUV about 6 inches away from the driver's side of my car.  Like, literally, I'm surprised my side-view mirror was still attached!  My daughter had to slide in from the other side while I went around to assess whether or not I could get in the car.

Despite my giant 8-month-pregnant belly, there was NO way.  Not even a super skinny person could have done it. 

At this point, I'm so upset (low blood sugar + pregnant + are you kidding me moments = cranky Becka), but I'm one of those "non-confrontational" people.  I'll get in your face if you get in mine, and I'm a biatch on the road, but I don't go looking for a fight.  So while marching back into the restaurant and giving the SUV owner a piece of my mind made my inner dark side grin with glee, I resisted the urge.  If I'd had a piece of paper and a pen, I WOULD have left a note on their car.  I was sorely disappointed I didn't have any.  GRRR

In order to appease my raging temper, images of slashing tires and keying their passenger door flitted through my mind with unabashed abandon, no doubt cancelling out the "treasures in Heaven" I had just racked up for my good deed of the day not 15 minutes earlier.  

Therefore, I had to get into my car through the passenger side and climb over the console into the driver's seat while being both overweight and 8 months pregnant.  It must have been comical.  I think I sat on the emergency brake.  Fortunately, there wasn't anyone else in the parking lot to observe, other than my daughter, who thankfully, didn't laugh at her mama.

I hate people.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Dreaded Dentist

Oh yeah, the dentist. DH and I are actively trying to spend our flexible spending account for health related issues through his old work, because if we don't use it by November 30th, we lose it.

So, we've been to the eye doctor, gotten new glasses for him, me, and our youngest daughter Simone. Now, it's on to the dentist.

They called us out of the blue to schedule cleanings for us, so we decided to go. I knew I had some cavities which I neglected to take care of due to the hubbub of my pregnancy, and let's face it, my own procrastination. Well, they wanted to EXTRACT my wisdom teeth! GAH! No, didn't want to go through that while pregnant.

Come to find out, my dentist tells me after the age of 25, they don't like to extract wisdom teeth unless they REALLY REALLY have to, because recovery time is so much longer and painful for us fogies. I have a couple of cavities in them, but she was confident she could fill them rather than pull them. She didn't want me to be in agony with only a few weeks until baby bunting is born. Nice lady. We like this doc.

So, I schedule my first filling appointment for the very next day after my cleaning (which was today) and now my teefies hurt. :P Of course, that is to be expected with all the poking, proding, and **shudder** drilling they were doing. I have to go in next Tuesday to get the other side worked on, as well as a third appointment yet to be scheduled. ACK!

Not all of my fillings are for cavities, per se. Some of my teeth are cracked on the top, needing to be filled in lest they become top cavities or what have you. I dunno, I'm not a dentist. Thankfully, they break it all up so I don't have to endure a marathon dental hell.

But it does mean all my appointments have to be close together in order to use up the flexible spending. And damn Thanksgiving for closing down the dentist! That third appointment I've got to make will likely be in December, meaning I'll have to pay out of pocket for that one. But oh well. At least I'll have all my dental crappola done once Sophie arrives, AND, I don't have to have my wisdom teeth extracted!

The dentist did say they have to be diligently brushed more than the other teeth, since they're against my actual jawbone and hard to get a brush back there (hence my cavities), but just because you have wisdom teeth doesn't mean they have to come out. Truth be told, they've never bothered me. I had enough room in my mouth for them to come in without crowding my other teeth, and they came in straight. Other than filling them, I've had no problems. So yay! No horrific torture for me!

The dentist did keep telling me I didn't "look" 8 months pregnant, which I'm still trying to decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing... I seem obviously pregnant to myself and to friends, and the dental assistants had no problem assessing the state of my pregnant-ness. Of course, the doctor didn't see me STANDING, which could have been part of the problem. When I sit, I do resemble just a fat lady with a Buddha belly. LOL

Maybe I *should* take offense to that after all... :P


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Operation Christmas Child

I heard about Operation Christmas Child back in July, but decided to put off blogging about it until closer to... Christmas. I'd never heard of it before, but it's apparently a big organization, bent on giving children in need gifts for Christmas from total strangers in a shoebox. Here's the link to the webpage:

It's a Christian organization, in case you haven't put 2+2 together, but you don't have to have anything Christian in the shoebox or BE a Christian to donate. Here's the link to how to pack the shoebox:

Basically, you find a standard size shoebox OR one of those shoebox sized Rubbermaid containers. You don't wrap the gifts inside, but you can wrap the box and the lid separately, so don't wrap it as a single gift. They have to open the boxes to inspect what's inside to make sure people aren't giving knives and shards of glass, etc.

You determine if your box will be for a boy or a girl, and you print out their nifty boy/girl card on their site along with a $7 donation (to cover the cost of shipping and such) and put this inside your box as well. You also determine the age group of your child, so toddler, child, or teen.

Then, you go to any store you like and buy small items that would make a child happy. Here's a list of their gift ideas.


small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch®, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky®, etc.

pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.

toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.

Hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps; sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)

In a separate envelope, you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)

Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol can.


If you want to send a shoebox, you need to do it fairly quickly, as the drop off times are this month. Here's the info:

Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop off at the Collection Center nearest you during our collection week November 17 - 24.

For locations and hours of collection visit our Drop-Off Locations page where you can find the nearest place to take your shoe box by entering your ZIP Code or you can call 1-800-353-5949.


I just love this idea, it's cheap, and if you go on You Tube and look up Operation Christmas Child, you'll find so many inspiring videos of kids who literally light up upon opening their box full of awesome "wonders" to them. I've become a sap since I've had my own children, and watching TV shows and commercials with children in need, sad, or injured, makes me tear up and ball like a baby myself. So I think I'm going to do this, which means I need to get out and shop NOW, but how awesome for some little kid somewhere in the world who can have a Christmas morning because of you. :) Make the world a better place, one child at a time!


Saturday, November 08, 2008

31 Weeks Pregnant

I'm 31 weeks pregnant today! Which means "little" Sophie is about 4 pounds and 17 inches long. At my last ultrasound, she was 3.3 pounds, which was 3 1/2 weeks ago. Considering the baby will be gaining about 1/2 pound a week until birth, I figure since then she's got to be around 4 lbs.

My Braxton Hicks contractions are getting a little more "powerful" than a mere tightening in my belly. Whenever I get them, they last for about an hour or so. They're more uncomfortable than they've been in the past, so whenever I get them, I'm very aware of how long they last and how frequent they come. I've never had a baby *this* early, but dang, these contractions sometimes feel like the beginnings of real labor, so I'm more in tune with them.

Of course, it could be my own anxious-ness to have the baby. :P

My next doc appt. is on the 13th, next Thursday, and I'm assuming at that point my doc is going to have me schedule my final ultrasound to check baby's weight at 36 weeks. I have 9 more weeks to go, but I'm thinking it's actually going to be sooner than that, since the doc wants to induce me early, and there's talk of doing so before the end of the year. I'm kind of hoping the baby will come on her own in December so I won't have to be induced. I'm not a big fan of "La-tee-da-feelin'-goo-HOLY-CRAP-I'M-IN-HARD-LABOR!!" :P

Anywho, just a quick update with me and bebe. We're doing good, I feel like a stuffed turkey most days, sometimes describing it as feeling "15 months pregnant". LOL The only thing that sucks about Braxton Hicks is the tightening also pulls on my ligaments and I've got to lay down or risk Deep Hurting. Ah well, par for the course, I suppose.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Life, Personal & Political

Wow, so many things to ponder, I don't even know where to start. I'm pretty darned uncomfortable these days, and I can't believe I have just over 9 weeks to go in this pregnancy. UGH. Thankfully, I'm not going to be allowed to go past my due date, and in fact, have probably a 100% chance of delivering early, due to when my doctor wants to induce me. So yay on that front.

Scary thing is, DH was recently laid off from his work, meaning, we'll have to pay for Cobra to keep our health insurance unless he can get a job soon. We might just pay for Cobra until after the baby's born anyhow, since we've already paid all our co-pays with this baby. Good news is, because all the programmers and designers at Jive Software were in their late 20's, early 30's, the premiums for health insurance are relatively low, due to the collective age and good health of the company. Meaning, DH and I won't have to pay out the nose for Cobra. I thought we might end up paying $1500 a month, but it turns out it's only about $650, plus another $125 for dental.

His work laid him off on Oct. 10th, but allowed him to stay on until Oct 31st to wrap up loose ends and such. Because the company was very nice, they decided his official last day was Nov. 1st, so his health insurance wouldn't run out until the end of November. I thought that was very awesome of them, something they totally didn't have to do.

Which means this nation's elections were specifically poignant this time around for the Goings family. DH and I are registered Republicans, but we could not bring ourselves to get behind McCain. His policies were vague where Obama spoke of specific plans, not to mention his age and his unfamiliarity with technology. Or his "yeah yeah yeah we'll get to that" stance on global warming and what we need to do to turn things around.

I voted for Obama, I'll come right out and say it. Why? Because I want health care reform. I want to find other energy sources that don't harm the planet. I want to get out from underneath the Middle East's thumb with regards to foreign oil. I want more jobs here in the U.S. of A. I want the dang national debt to get smaller, if at all possible! Geez! I want my kids to have the opportunity to go to college or at least get college funding if DH and I can't hack it for whatever reason. If these things mean higher taxes, well, then it's got to be done. Taxes aren't necessarily evil. Where does the federal funding for these kinds of projects come from anyway? If we want this country to change, we've all got to do our parts.

Aside from the issues, I just could not stand country bumpkin Sarah Palin. Enough with the winking and the you betchas. Her Christian faith wasn't enough to sway me, nor was the fact she was female. And even the tried and true stance that Republicans are traditionally against abortion wasn't "enough" for me to vote with my party this time around. Not to mention the fact I've become somewhat ashamed to be a Republican in the first place with people shouting "terrorist" and "kill him" at McCain's rallies. Even during McCain's concession speech, they were vehemently booing Obama. Did you watch Obama's acceptance speech? He praised McCain and the crowd was respectful and clapped for him. Where did this hatred in the GOP come from? It disgusts me, frankly.

I'm not a "Democrat", but I'm not sure I'm Republican either, at this point. Heck, even now, I'm not sure what either party stands for.

The fact Obama is a black man never even entered my mind, and shame on those people who didn't vote for him because of it. I must admit, I got a little misty when they announced he'd gone over 270 electoral votes to claim the presidency. My children got to witness history being made. On that note, so did I! I always thought a woman might get there before a black man. But I believe it was Obama's likeability and his clear intelligence that won people over. Imagine, someone who doesn't make stupid jokes and stumble all over himself in the White House! What a breath of fresh air! :P Seriously, who wants a president who acts like your crazy Uncle Jethro you never want to put up with at family BBQ's? We've had enough of that for the past 8 years. God forbid we have more of that with Sarah Palin as veep.

I'm very proud to be an American right now. Not just because the guy I voted for won, but because I believe the best candidate won. And if he can live up to his promises, he just might be one of our greatest presidents. If he doesn't, he could turn out to be one of our worst. Only time will tell. There's a tremendous amount of pressure on the guy right now, but if there's one thing Obama is, it's cool under pressure. Let's hope he brings some of that into his administration.

And let's hope this country is finally headed in the right direction with our heads out of our butts and our priorities straight.