Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's Super Jill!!!!

Last night, I worked late. I didn't leave work until about 7:00 and it had been a really crappy week. My friend Kris and I decided to go out for a glass of wine since we were both a bit frazzled from the week. At about 8:30, I headed out of Lewiston for home. It was pouring rain so the ride was a little slow going. There were these huge puddles because of the snow banks on the side of the road, so the rain had nowhere to go. I decided to take a different way home last night because I figured the side roads would be really awful, better to take the main road.
I had just called Mark to tell him that I was on my way home. I was listening to "piano jazz' on the radio (don't ask me why- I never listen to piano jazz) and I really wasn't thinking about anything when all of a sudden the car in front of me slammed on the brakes.
I hit the brakes and slowed way down and then I saw them. Two adorable basset hounds running down the middle of the busy road. There was now a line of 10 cars that had slowed down since these dogs were running all over the road. I pulled over along with two other cars, the rest of the cars still backed up behind us. I got out and called the dogs and they came running to me. I immediately put them in the jeep and smiled at every driver who now drove by and glared at me, thinking they were my dogs and that I had caused this traffic snafu. The woman in the car in front of me came walking over and asked me if I needed help with finding their owners. I told her I was fine and that I was going to go to a parking lot where I could check their tags and see where they belonged. Meanwhile "Marley" (that's what the tag said) and his pal (no tag) were romping about my jeep, soaking wet.
After getting to a safe spot, I checked Marley's tag and called the phone number listed. It rolled right to the answering machine, so I called Mark and asked him to "mapquest" the address so I could find it. It turns out these little wet smelly hounds were about a mile from home. I drove to the street (aided by my personal gps -mark) and as I turned down their street, I saw a truck driving by and I heard the woman yelling for "Marley." I pulled over and yelled out that I had them. Well, you know what happened next, a tearfilled family reunion. Apparently my furry friends had somehow gotten out of the backyard. Their owners said they had never gotten out before so they knew they would be in a lot of danger. (Running down 196 on a rainy Friday night-yup that's danger)
As I got back on the road to head home, I felt like a superhero! This one 30 minute episode totally changed my perspective on the week. What a great way to end the week. Sure, the jeep still smells like wet dog but who cares? I am still basking in the warmth of my "good samaritan" effort. It feels great!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A journey of self discovery

I have been really introspective lately( hence, my silly blog). I think it's the impending 40th birthday that has got me on this journey of self discovery. I am revisiting topics that I thought I understood but clearly didn't in an effort to figure out who I want to be. Now, don't worry I am not going to go out and join the peace corps or start walking the earth like Cane on Kung Fu. I am just spending a great deal more time with myself. I am also spending a lot more time with Jesus too. I have started going to church again and I have even joined a six week prayer group for lent. I realized that I don't know much about "my church" and I really am interested in learning more. I also feel in these uncertain times, that my faith is helping me to cope.

My 5 year old asked me at dinner tonight, "mommy what was your first job?" I told him I had a job as a dishwasher (at that fine restaurant Jake Copley's). Like any good five year old would, he then asked me about my second job and my third job, etc, etc. I found myself reviewing my entire employment history over Pork Tenderloin with a 5 year old. It felt like a job interview. But it made me realize that I have been many things in my life. I have been a dishwasher, a shoe salesperson (the perks at Thom McAn were sweet), a waitress, an office assistant, a telemarketer (ugh!), a collector, a manager, a senior manager, A senior vice president and on and on. But that's not really what defines me. If I go back through my "careers" I really have been a social butterfly, a schmoozer, a communicator, a coach, a teacher, an organizer, a planner etc. Then I look at my life and think actually I have been a talker, a flirt, a partier, a girlfriend, a wife, a mother, a volunteer, a steward, a daughter, a sister and a friend. And I am adding to that list, "an active catholic." That's something I haven't been in a long time and I am really enjoying it. Be sure to pray for the people in my prayer group....oh wait, you won't have to, we'll do it ourselves. God Bless

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jilly's Doggie Retraction

Well, now I feel really bad. It turns out Putty truly is sick and not just being his usual neurotic self. He woke up this morning and appeared to be having muscle spasms in his right shoulder. He was also still really listless. So, I called the vet first thing and we took him in. Now, I find veterinary care fascinating. It appears that animal illnesses are much harder to diagnose and often vets will treat what they "think it might" be rather than subjecting the pet (and their owner's wallet) to many costly tests. If you or me were having muscle spasms and difficulty getting around, you can be sure we would have every test imaginable to find out what was wrong. But, with a dog, it's more of a crap shoot. And, since your paying out of pocket, the vet is usually less likely to order tests because they are concerned about the cost.
Of course, when your pet is a member of the family like ours, we authorized all the tests. We still walked out of there with a very fuzzy diagnosis and a whole bunch of medication. And my wallet was $431 lighter ---OUCH!
It appears that Putty may have an infection under the skin on his right shoulder called "Cellulitis." It's obvious he has some type of growth in that area, but they really can't tell what it is without surgery and that would be 'crazy expensive' So, we are going to treat it with antibiotics and pain meds and see what happens.
So, now I'm broke, my dog is high on the equivalent of doggie Oxycontin, I still don't know what's wrong with him and I feel like a heel for joking about him being so pathetic in my last blog.
I need to do pennance or something. Pray for Putty and me too.....:-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


We have a beagle. An adorable cutie patooty beagle named Putty. Well, Putty has been really out of sorts since our Alpha Male (Mark) went off to Oklahoma City and left the Parker "Pack" behind. I had hoped that Putty would step up to lead the pack in his absence, but to be honest, the little guy has just fallen apart. He's in a deep depression and it's clear that he needs so doggie Zoloft or something because he really is a mess. When he's not sleeping, he's sitting by the mud room door staring at it, like he's waiting for Mark to come in. Last night he slept on Mark's pillow and kept me up with whining and sighing ALL NIGHT LONG! He was whimpering like a baby. I actually stayed up with him from 1:00 AM to 3:00 AM thinking there was something wrong with him. Then I figured out, he's just experiencing separation anxiety since Mark is missing from the pack. I don't have the heart to tell him that Mark's going to be gone until Thursday. I am afraid he will have a complete breakdown. I think we may need to get him some therapy in the meantime.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Missing Marker

Hubby is out of town for several days in Oklahoma City visiting high schools with our 8th grader. She will likely be going to school out there next year, so we are in search of a good private catholic school for her. He left yesterday and I am already going out of my head missing him. Last night, my mom was here so she kept me occupied, but tonight it's just me and the kiddos and I am already going kooky. It's funny, we have been apart on numerous occasions for a few days at a time since we got married, but it's usually me who is going away and he is stuck at home with the kids. Now I know why he always wanted to have these long phone conversations when I call him from business trips and conferences. It is really boring being alone with the kids. Sure we fingerpainted today and played Mario Kart. I worked for most of the day but still I had noone to talk to and I was bored to tears. I have played seventeen games of online yahtzee and finished a book too. When you don't have another adult to talk to, it's really difficult. So, all I can say is babe, I have developed all new respect for you. I am sorry that I leave you alone with these children so often and I will try to do it less in the future. I miss you terribly and can't wait for you to come home.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Ultimate IPOD Playlist

Miraculously, I have been able to get out and run, not once, but twice this weekend. Sure, it was cold (27 degrees brrrrr) but to get out and get some fresh air on a sunny, albeit chilly Saturday in February is altogether something special. I bundled up the layers, charged up the IPOD and headed out. So, while I was ambling through Bowdoinham, I got to thinking about the songs on my ipod. Those of you who spend time on Facebook know that I have already declared "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock one of the greatest running songs of all time. But, there's more to the story. When you think of it, the songs on the ipod are the soundtrack of your life. There are tunes that bring you right back to a certain place and time as if it were yesterday. I have had the chance to glance at other people's Ipods and it never ceases to amaze me what an eclectic mix of music most people have. I love seeing someone who has a playlist with Megadeth and Manilow back to back. That's my kinda music fan. Anyone who can appreciate Guns and Roses along with Neil Diamond gets the point of the music. It's about place and time. A memory of something great, or horrible, or romantic or heartbreaking. Whatever it is, the song always takes us back. Armed with this self realization (all in a 45 minute run) I came back and immediately started to think of what my soundtrack would be. If they ever decided to produce, "Jill Parker, the Musical" what songs would be on the soundtrack? Here's what I came up with.

1. Crocodile Rock--I remember hearing this song as a kid and thinking it was really cool. (Age 6--just figuring out what Music could do)
2. The Night Chicago Died--It was on a K-Tel "Believe in Music" Album my parents had and I loved it! (Age 10)
3. You Shook Me All Night Long--My first real makeout session was to this song, with Scott Evans at Shelley Wolfe's Birthday Party. No offense to Dr. Evans, but he was a sloppy kisser. (Age 12)
4. This Christmas I Spend with You- This was a Robert Goulet song on the greatest Holiday Album ever. (This is the soundtrack to every christmas of my childhood)
5. Wide Awake in America by U2- Shelffo and I listened to this song every morning in the skyfart on the way to High School
6. Sweet Caroline- Sung way too many drunken nights in College at Maggie's Bar at Syracuse. Explains why I never finished.
7. Island by Jimmy Buffett- I spent the summers after college at "Great Woods" in Massachusetts for the Annual Labor Day Weekend Show
8. Friends in Low Places- This kind of explains my first marriage
9. At Last- This really explains my second marriage (and it was my wedding song)
10. Start the Commotion by the WiseGuys--This was the pinnacle of my Beach 2 Beacon Playlist when I ran my first 10K and proved that I could be a runner
11. Everything- By Michael Buble--Says it all about where I am in my relationship with my husband
12. AM Radio by Everclear--A favorite sing along song for the Parker's (my kids love this song, especially my five year old.)
13. Don't Worry Bout a Thing--By Shedaisy. This is the quintissential song for my life right now.

So how bout you? What's on your playlist? Is it the soundtrack to your life? Mine sure is.
Come to think of it, I think there's a few others I need to download.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's 7:30 on a Friday Night.......

I was just on facebook, chatting with a few folks. Caught up with an old friend a bit. Checking out some new pictures someone posted. Then I noticed that under the "What are you doing right now?" question, a friend had posted..."I am ready for bed at 7:30 on a FridayNight" or something to that effect. Within minutes, three other women, all working moms chimed in with "I hear you" and "I Know, I'm exhausted too." It's amazing that the first woman made one comment and instantly, we had a Quorum. Ya know why? Because we are all freaking pooped. Sleep is now a premium and without the requisite number of hours, we just struggle to function. We struggle, but we do it.
But remember when........
We used to be cool and hip, drinking cosmos with our girlfriends on a Friday night. Now we are lucky if we down a Mich Ultra with our leftover mac and cheese right out of the pan.
What the hell happened? How did we let ourselves get this way? I'll tell ya how. It's those damn kids. They suck the energy right out of you. It's a constant barrage of "Mama, can I have" It's dishes in the sink. It's somebody feed the dog. It's where the heck's my permission slip. All of that is exhausting. Throw on top of that some gainful employment outside the home and lord help me.
But, to be honest, we wouldn't trade it for anything. What we gave up in happy hours at some club, we make up for in happy hours at the school play, or playing super mario Kart on game cube. Still, once in a while, it would be nice if we could stay up past 8 on a Friday night and maybe have a cosmo or two with the girls. I think I need to make that a goal. Whose with me?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Day

So, the V-Day holiday is upon us and that is always a big bone of contention in the Parker house. Why? Why, when two people are so clearly madly in love would a romantic holiday such as this one cause such stress and strife you ask? Well, that's a hard question to answer. You see, I love holidays like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Birthdays, Arbor Day, Secretary's Day, Sweetest Day etc. I love any excuse to tell the people you care about, just how much you care about them. I am one of those people who loves to see the look on someone's face when they read a card or receive a gift that comes from the heart. It gives me a lot of joy. I also like when people are surprised by a small token that happens on these types of special days. For example, I just finished writing out "Spongebob Squarepants" Valentine Cards for all the people at the office. I am sure the VP of Accounting is going to love her card and candy "crabby patty." And when your in your 30's and 40's you probably don't get too many valentines so I am hoping it brings a smile to people's faces in an otherwise dreary day. (and believe me we have had some dreary ones lately. )
So what's Marker Parker's problem with the Valentine's Day Holiday? I believe it's a combination of things. First, there is the fiscal aspect. A dozen roses for your beautiful and enchanting wife will cost you about 30 bucks any day of the year, but in the run up to cupid's day, they jack up the price about 200%. And you all know my man is extraordinarily cheap so it's tough for him to pull the trigger on such a frivolous expense. Second, I think he gets jammed up by the expectation. It's one of those Hallmark holidays that marketers create in order to create expectation among women and force men to buy cards, chocolate and flowers. Third and finally, he doesn't like to be told he has to do anything, so this massive ridiculous marketing guilt barrage that he receives from television, radio, my kids and maybe me just makes him want to dig his heels in even further.
But here's the rub. I love cards and flowers and thoughtful notes and romance and all that silly girly stuff. And it really doesn't have to happen on this particular day. So I could get on board with his position on this holiday if perhaps I was receiving flowers, cards, a tic tac or something on other days of the year, but that's not really his thing either. So, here we sit.....the dreaded holiday is upon us.
And, I for one am going to celebrate. Celebrate my friendships, my marriage, my family etc. And for the first time, I am letting Mark off the hook. It's not about this day. It's about every day. And I love him more every day. (just pick me a daisy once in awhile ok?) Besides, I am on weight watchers and I can't eat chocolate anyway.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I am finally starting to feel better. My husband fired up the humidifier in our room last night and it was downright tropical in our bedroom. I felt like I was in the Congo or something, but, it surely worked because the congestion seems to be clearing and I can finally hold my head up for longer than a few minutes. Thank Goodness! So, on to other things. Since I had to "take to my bed" due to illness ,I have been unable to train. And though I have missed the treadmill greatly (not!) I have had plenty of quality time with my good friend, FACEBOOK. After wasting hours on this thing for the last several days, I can truly say that FACEBOOK really does bring people together in so many ways. I have outlined some of them for you here so you can see how wonderful (and miraculously random) Facebook is....

1. I have started up a wonderful renewed friendship with one of my dear friends from high school who has long sinced moved south the warmer weather (bitch.) But seriously, it's amazing how much we still have in common since we have both changed so much. We share a love of distance running, family and the tv show, "Intervention" Weird
2. I now talk to my brother more than I ever did before. We never speak on the phone (i hate the telephone) so we only catch up when we get together at Jer and Ar's for holidays and such. Now I know what he's doing most weekends and I get to see pictures of his adorable kids on a regular basis "BONUS"
3. I have connected with many old high school friends and some of their memories make me chuckle. For instance, one of my jr. high boyfriends was kind enough to remind me of the time that he "felt me up" in the 7th grade. Now that's just a hoot.
4. I have found other common ground as well. I have joined some great Facebook groups such as the "Moms who sometimes have to go out with their girlfriends and drink Secret Society" and the "I'm addicted Intervention" group. How fabulous is that?
5. And finally, my husband is enjoying Facebook too. Last night, as we sat next to each other on the bed, almost touching. He lovingly posted a message asking me for a bowl of ice cream. How romantic! I can't wait to see what he posts on my wall for valentine's day :-)

But seriously, I really am loving Facebook. Sure, it's a humongous time sponge and a colossal waste of energy, but what else am I going to do? Cook nutritious meals for my family, talk to my kids about their day? I think not. (just kidding)
Gotta go, I think I need to post a group message for my friends in the "Billy Mays Why are you Yelling At Me" Support Group.
Have a good one.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cough Due to Cold......Can you OD on Nyquil?

I have a cold. A nasty, phleghmy, disgusting cold. I feel achy and tired and just want to sleep. So, last night, I took a nice double shot of Nyquil and had just fallen asleep when the phone rang. It was work. A call from work at 9:30 Pm on a Friday night is never a good thing. Apparently, there were "technical issues" on second shift. Now, I am usually very responsive to these types of things, but when you are working the Nyquil haze, it's hard to be articulate and make key decisions. I was a total moron on the phone. It took me about 10 freaking minutes to figure out what they were telling me and probably another 10 minutes to figure out who I was talking to. When I finally got the message of what was going on, somehow, I pulled the solution out of my ass and saved the day despite my medicinal impediment. I am quite proud of myself. But this morning, I actually had a bit of a Nyquil hangover where I had to ask myself......."did that really happen or did I dream it." Consider yourself warned. That Nyquil is heavy duty stuff.
Have I mentioned that I haven't been on the treadmill in 3 days? My training plan is on hiatus until I can kick this cold. Maybe a bit more Nyquil is in order......hmmmmm.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Who loves ya?

Last night, at my children's school we attended a Prayer Service and Spaghetti Dinner. Obviously, my kids go to Catholic School, because if it was public school, we wouldn't be praying, we would be meditating or something silly like that. Anyway, at the prayer service, they had the children present their families with letters thanking their parents for all they do. Well, our letter from our nine year old made me laugh and cry all at the same time. She thanked me for "making cookies" and "giving her breaks from her little brother." She also thanked me for being patient. But she was most thankful for the fact that I "let her take long showers." Wow, that's random. She thanked Mark for challenging her to do things that may be scary and for being tough on her about her homework.
This letter was a revelation for me, because it dawned on me that kids really appreciate the big things and little things that you do and nothing is insignificant to them. I started to think about this as the prayer service continued and I admit, I started to get pretty emotional. Then, they called each of the families up one at a time so Father Sheehan could "bless the family" It was really special and reminded me how lucky I am, despite any challenges I might have. This made me realize that I am already truly blessed and I need to remember that rather than dwelling on the negative. So that's what I'm gonna do. every day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Punxatawney Phil---I curse your name.

Yup, the little rat saw his shadow this morning, and you know what that means? Six more weeks of winter. Ugh! Has the diminutive little bastard ever not seen his shadow? I doubt it. Big wimp.
Now, living in Maine, I am used to winter, don't like it, but I'm used to it. The problem is (why, oh why, is there always a problem) I am trying to train for a half marathon here people. And......I have this love/hate relationship with my treadmill. It's what one might call, a necessary evil. I need to run at least four times a week to stay on pace with my training plan. I would love to run outside, but it's just not safe. There's six feet of snow on each side of the road. This just makes for a dangerous situation. I live in a pretty rural area so the local yokels drive down the road pretty fast. I'd hate to become a statistic and not live to see my fourtieth birthday just cause "Wilbur" picked me off in his pickup on the way to the ice fishing derby ya know?
So that means I need to embrace the treadmill as best I can. But I really do feel like a hamster on a wheel. I would really prefer to run outside, where I can check out other people's houses while I run and wonder what kind of freaky deaky stuff goes on inside. (oh, you know you do it too) But, according to one ornery little vermin in Pennsylvania, my dreams of running outdoors will have to wait a while longer, like six weeks. bastard.