Lead Balloon

February 21, 2008, 4:32 pm
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This is a fascinating article on Millennials. That’s a new term for me, but the concept written about here is not new to me at all.



February 20, 2008, 7:06 am
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I’m sitting here, starving. I have to do a fasting cholesterol check this morning at 8:30. And this is torture! I can smell Todd brewing the delicious coffee we bought at Sprouts last weekend, down in the kitchen. I can even hear him opening and closing the refrigerator door (likely getting Natalie’s bottles ready for the day), but all it makes me think about is the milk…sitting there, so innocently, in the door of the fridge…it’s the same milk that goes into my coffee, all swirly and milky and turning my coffee just the right color and temperature. And just a few feet away from that is the pantry…where the granola bars are…my morning staple.

An 8:30 am lab appointment might not seem too bad to most of you, especially those of you who don’t even roll out of bed until 7:00 or so…But for me, the person who wakes up at 4:59 am every morning to the sweet sounds of a baby angel girl lying in her crib, talking to the crib and the animals on the mobile above her…the minutes between 4:59 am and 8:30 am are killing me this morning. Really, I’m only making this post this morning to distract myself. If I’m suddenly “rushed” to get out the door here in a little while then the hunger won’t be nagging at me so much. The fear of being late will. That’s just how it works.

The real torture will be this: I’m taking my “to-go” cup of coffee with me. I’m going to prepare it and take it with me, even into the doctor’s office, and right into the lab…so that as soon as that blood is drawn, I will enjoy the sweet goodness of that cup of heavenly coffee. Then I will pull the granola bar out of my pocket, tear into it, and devour it, right there in the place where peoples’ bodily fluids are extracted into small vials for testing. Right where even the people who WORK there all day wear all kinds of latex on their bodies to protect themselves from the funk that might be living in someone’s blood. I’m going to enjoy my coffee and granola bar, right there in that seat. And it will be glorious.

Sweet Jackie.
February 12, 2008, 10:15 am
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If anyone ever says to me, “I’m thinking about getting a dog,” I will always respond with “What you need is a Westie.” All dog owners are biased, I know this. You probably want me to get a dog just like yours. And I would, really, if I had a bigger yard. I WOULD, I PROMISE!

We got Jack from a “home breeder” in east Texas. I understand that it’s not very PC to support those puppy farms…Many people will only get a dog from a rescue organization, which is quite admirable, I must say. But I’d had my heart set on a Westie for so many years. And while I did religiously check rescue organization Web sites and made visits to the shelter looking for that one dog, it never panned out. Then I stumbled across this family in east Texas that breeds and raises Westies. I’ve told the story of his adoption and our road trip to pick him up several times, I think, on previous blogs. So I won’t bore you with any of that again.

The point of this post is to promote how “kid friendly” the Westie is. Or, Jack, specifically. Jack loves Natalie so much that it tears my heart into thousands of pieces to see him with her. Really, Jack is the best dog in the world. If he didn’t bark at the mailman, the FedEx guy, the UPS guy, and random, large pieces of Styrofoam that are flying down the street, he’d be the most perfect dog in the universe. But we’re working on that. With Natalie…he’s perfection for sure.

When she was only a few weeks old, Jack would “alert” us to her crying (which we’d already be hearing on the monitor) by running up and down the stairs to tell us that something was wrong. I know what you’re thinking…”That dog is so smart, like Lassie!” Well, you’re right, mister. Or miss. Or Mrs. Whatever.

He’s always greeted us at the door, demanding “high fives” from Todd as soon as he crosses the threshold…But now, if Natalie is in tow, there is no love for us. He has a very important job to do before he can show us any love. He’s got to do a full inspection of her, smelling our out, giving her a lick here and there, to make sure she’s okay and in the same condition she was in when Jack gave her the goodbye kisses on the way OUT the door.

But yesterday, his love for her reached an all new level. And it almost brought tears to my eyes. I picked her up a little earlier than usual because I had a late afternoon doctor’s appointment yesterday. So I brought her home, Jack did his inspection, and we all came upstairs to my office so I could wrap up a few work things. I put Natalie in her bouncy seat so that she could play (swat at) the toys on it and entertain herself until I was done. She was being so good, and so was Jack, that I really hadn’t been paying too much attention to either of them (go ahead, call CPS). I looked down, though, and there was Jack, sitting right next to her bouncy, looking at her. And in her bouncy…were his toys. He’d brought her his favorites – his “baby” (stuffed monkey) and his ball, and placed them right inside the bouncy seat with her, and was looking at her like, “So, do you want to play with those?”

Just the sweetest thing in the whole wide world. Sweeter than Hallmark commercials. Sweeter than Cadbury eggs. Sweeeeeeeeet.

Last night we tried, for the very first time, to let Natalie “cry through” one of her night wakings. Of course, this didn’t last very long, I was in there in about 5 minutes, picking her up, rocking her, responding to her manipulation. But for those five minutes, Jack was so hurt by her crying. He was pacing in and out of her room and ours, and finally jumped up into our bed. He cuddled up next to me (something he never does in the middle of the night) like he was really sad and hurt by her crying. He was feeling her pain and needed a little comforting himself. But mostly, he just wanted us to take care of her.

Sweet baby. I just wanted to share his sweetness with you, the world wide Web, and convince you that you need a Jack. If not a Westie, a dog that is kind and sweet and gentle and loving…and perfect. Like Jack. You need to pay a lot of money to clone my Jackie.
Jack Baby

Super Tuesday…Ash Wednesday…Maundy Thursday….Good Friday…
February 6, 2008, 8:24 am
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Aren’t these presidential primaries exciting??? We stayed up last night past our normal bedtime of 8:30 pm to watch some of the results come in. We couldn’t, however, stay up to wait for those West coast results. Looks like McCain is the man to beat on the GOP side, no real shocker there. But I love how tight the race is between Obama and Clinton. Can’t wait to see how that pans out. So exciting! Bill and Hillary…maybe Chelsea…Barack…better pay us a visit here in Texas…rally things up! March 4 rolls around and you know what’s going to happen…Texas votes…and I will turn 32 freakin’ years old. Holy cow!

The primaries are so confusing in so many ways. Delegates and superdelegates…caucuses versus elections… Every state does it differently and there are even differences between the two parties of how they place the nominations at the big party conventions. I had to pull out some old college textbooks to refresh my memory, and even then, it was just a swarm of confusion at the Luckey house. Even if I did have a really good grasp on each state and each party and how the votes were cast, it wouldn’t matter…it will be what it will be, no matter how hard I try to make a good prediction!

But – I can’t wait to see what it will be. Let’s just get this over and done with, get our two candidates, let them choose their running mates, and let the mud slinging begin! Yay! I’m not sure if I’m so excited because I want to get the current dog-and-pony show OUT of there, or if it’s because this race rolls around only every four years. Like waiting for a comet or something.

And, today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Todd and I talked about what we’re “giving up” this season. Of course, you don’t always have to give something up – you can take on something good, or better. Last year around this time I was pregnant and had given up so much already (specifically red wine and soft cheeses) that I just lumped all my sacrifices into one Lenten pot. This year, it’s not so easy. We thought of giving up Natalie for 40 days…But no one would take her. So we had an idea…giving up one of our salaries for the season. The whole point of Lent is to become aware of the things in your life that you put before God. (Meaning, ahead of him…in higher priority than him…) It’s about sacrifice and fasting. Atonement. Living with less than what we’re accustomed to, financially, will certainly help us get the perspective we need this season. Who knows, maybe we can’t do it? We’ll see. I think we’re going to try.