My Nightmares Involve Missing People

There was a time in my life when I became obsessed with missing people. I’d spend hours searching the internet for stories about those that went missing, digging up every bit of information I could in regard to the events surrounding their disappearance. I’d scroll through the missing individuals Facebook page, and that of their parents / loved ones. Part of me has always been curious and intrigued about missing people, but my interest has grown throughout the years.

The part that I obsess about more than anything else is the unanswered question of WHERE IN THE HELL DO THEY GO? Why are there no clues, no remains, no confession or guilt ridden individuals? When I’m bored and have nothing else to do I let my imagination run wild. I’m on a mission to find the “land of the lost”, and when I find it, I will also find all those people who seemingly vanished into thin air.

I’m pretty sure my obsession comes from in intense fear of disappearing myself. Nothing in this world could be worse than disappearing, leaving those you love with unanswered questions. Perhaps my coffee would be half finished, or I’d be in the middle of a text message. Maybe I hadn’t transferred the wet clothes to the dryer yet or I was in the process of browning rice. I literally have a thousand reasons that would make disappearing the worst thing that could ever happen to me. One thing will always be scarier than disappearing, and that is having someone I love disappear.

In 2007 my younger brother vanished. One minute he was standing outside our front door, and then he was gone. I never heard his usual gallop / stomp down the outside stairs to the parking lot. It was as if he opened that door and evaporated into thin air. The worst hell is not knowing. I’ve heard many people say this exact thing, and it’s true. If you ever feel like going completely crazy and on the very verge of losing your shit 24 hours a day, try experiencing this whole missing persons stuff. My brother was missing but I also lost my job, was going through a divorce, couldn’t pay my rent and was watching my entire world fall apart. This was the lowest point in my life.

Years of therapy and thousands of dollars later, I’m able to better understand my obsession with missing people. I can relate to this event. I want to see how their stories turn out, because I already know the ending of mine. Tonight as I go over the newest missing people’s posters I study each face and the features on it. I might stare a little too long at the grocery store clerk, scanning her face for similarities or randomly call my teens just to make sure they answer.

In 2004 Kimberly Forbes went missing from Hood River, Oregon. Her case is one that I’ve checked in on for several years now. I find her case most intriguing because there are so many factors and clues, all leading to nothing. You can check out her case on the Namus Website. Currently, there are over 400 missing individuals just in Oregon on the Namus site. Maybe my fear of disappearing isn’t so irrational after all.

 

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Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) wants you to give some summer lovin’ to your teeth!

What better time than the present to ensure you’re taking tip top care of your teeth? Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) wants you to give some summer tips to keep those pearly whites happy and healthy.

Tip 1: When at a backyard BBQ, bring a cheese tray so you know you’ll have something healthy to nibble on! Cheese is not only healthy for you, but it’s also tasty and the calcium and phosphates help neutralize plaque acid, which ultimately reduces cavities.

Tip 2: While camping, it’s hard to stay away from the s’mores and sweets. Be sure to drink a lot of water and brush and floss when you’re done. Water helps wash away food debris and keeps your saliva levels high. Saliva is your mouths best defense against tooth decay because the proteins and minerals counteract enamel-eating acids.

Tip 3: Taking a trip to the beach? Pack simple snacks, like apples, almonds, and carrots. Fruits and veggies are high in fiber and produce salvia, which rinses away bacteria and food particles. Almonds are also great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein, but low in sugar.

These easy to implement tips are good for the whole family! Thanks Great Expressions Dental Centers for the tips!

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Watch the official trailer for Daddy’s Home 2 in theaters November 10! 

More daddies, more problems.
Watch the official trailer for Daddy’s Home 2 in theaters November 10
Directed by: Sean Anders
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, John Cena, John Lithgow & Mel Gibson
 
In the sequel to the 2015 global smash, father and stepfather, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad (Will Ferrell) have joined forces to provide their kids with t he perfect Christmas. Their newfound partnership is put to the test when Dusty’s old-school, macho Dad (Mel Gibson) and Brad’s ultra-affectionate and emotional Dad (John Lithgow) arrive just in time to throw the holiday into complete chaos.
DADDY’S HOME 2 Social Handles
#DaddysHome2
Facebook: /daddyshomemovie
Twitter: @daddyshome
Instagram: @daddyshomemovie
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Walt Disney Animation Studios Unwraps OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE – Watch The Trailer

Featuring four new original songs, the 21-minute featurette welcomes the original cast and characters back to the big screen, including Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), who is on a mission to harness the best holiday traditions for Anna (voice of Kristen Bell), Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) and Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff). Directed by Emmy®-winning filmmakers Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (“Prep & Landing”), produced by Oscar® winner Roy Conli (“Big Hero 6”), with original songs by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson (“Between the Lines”), OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE will be in theaters for a limited time beginning Nov. 22.

“I’m thrilled that Disney Animation’s featurette OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE will be coming to theaters in November with Pixar’s COCO, said John Lasseter, chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. “It’s a perfect pairing – they’re both beautiful, heartfelt films about families and how people carry traditions forward. I can’t wait for audiences to get to see both of these terrific projects together on the big screen.”

“Stevie and I were deeply honored to be entrusted by John [Lasseter] to create an all-new story with these characters we love,” said Deters. “We’re thrilled to have our film play on the big screen with COCO during the holidays.”

“We loved getting in the recording booth with these incredible actors who know their characters inside and out,” added Wermers-Skelton. “We can’t wait for audiences to see the featurette, enjoy their performances, and hear the incredible new songs written by Elyssa and Kate.”

OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE celebrates characters who won over audiences worldwide when FROZEN first hit the big screen in 2013. Earning more than $1.27 billion globally, the film won two Academy Awards® (best animated film and best original song with “Let It Go”) and a Golden Globe® (best animated feature film). Slated for November 2019, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ untitled feature-length follow-up to the hit film reunites filmmakers Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck and Peter Del Vecho with the Grammy®- and Oscar®-winning songwriting duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

BOUT WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS’ “OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE”

Olaf (voice of Josh Gad) teams up with Sven on a merry mission in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 21-minute featurette “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.” It’s the first holiday season since the gates reopened and Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) and Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) host a celebration for all of Arendelle. When the townspeople unexpectedly leave early to enjoy their individual holiday customs, the sisters realize they have no family traditions of their own. So, Olaf sets out to comb the kingdom to bring home the best traditions and save this first Christmas for his friends. Directed by Emmy®-winning filmmakers Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (“Prep & Landing”), produced by Oscar® winner Roy Conli (“Big Hero 6”), and featuring a screenplay by Jac Schaeffer and four original songs by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” opens in front of Disney•Pixar’s original feature “Coco” in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.

ABOUT DISNEY•PIXAR’S “COCO”

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself magically transported to the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.

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How to Get a Job in The Dalles, Oregon

A couple of weeks ago I got a hair up my butt and decided I needed a J.O.B. A real job. You may remember my post where I expressed my displeasure in “real jobs” but I suddenly felt as if I must have a job – a real one.

I’m not 100% ready to start working yet but after hearing some of the locals speak, I figured I’d better get a running start. I was under the impression that jobs are hard to come by. I didn’t have that experience when job searching. I cruised the Gorge section of Craigslist and also utilized Indeed for my job search. There are TONS of jobs in The Dalles, Hood River and across the river. Not all of these jobs are desirable positions but if I ever became desperate for money, I like knowing that I could go out and get one of those jobs immediately. I applied for 7 positions and received an interview invite for 4 of those.

The first interview was at Coastal Farm and Ranch. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked in retail but a low stress, low responsibility job sounded really nice. Coastal has really good employee ratings on Indeed.com so I felt really good submitting my application. I got a call from the Assistant Manager just an hour or so after applying and I scheduled an interview. I haven’t been on the applicant side of the interview table in over 10 years, so I was pretty nervous. The interview went well and I felt empowered knowing that I wanted this job vs. needing this job. Unfortunately, I was dismayed to be told that they only start associates out at $10.25/hr. I was momentarily tempted to proceed with the interview but decided I didn’t want to waste anyones time – mostly my own. The interview was good practice and a good ice breaker for future interviews.

I had 3 other interviews scheduled for this week but after some reflection and a pep talk from my husband I decided that working outside the home isn’t what I want or need right now. I’ve been feeling down about my eBay sales being slow but I realized that I’m still making more than I would at a part-time entry level position. I also have all the perks of working from home: unlimited coffee breaks, a person kitchen full of snacks, working in my pj’s, and endless mom-buns. If I’m being honest with myself, I need to up my eBay game a little and get back to where I was 3 months ago. There was a time not that long ago that I consistently made $200+ every single day. I’m currently making about $40 a day and it just feels bad.

I’ve decided to push the idea of finding a job out a few months. I am going to set some clear and precise WAHM goals and see what happens in the next few months. My youngest starts Kindergarten in the fall so I need to be home with him until that point. What I’ve learned from this experience is that if you can’t find a job in The Dalles its most likely because you’re not willing to do what it takes to get a job. There are many companies out there that are desperate for good workers, go hit the pavement!

 

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Craving Sweets While on Weight Watchers – Arctic Zero to the Rescue!

I purposely skipped my Monday Weight Watchers weigh in this week. I had a pretty rough weekend with all the Memorial Day BBQ’s and ended up eating ALL the food for three straight days. So, with that being the case I figured I’d just get back on track and weigh in next Monday as planned.

Today, (Tuesday) was pretty uneventful, for the most part, with respect to my food intake. 

Breakfast: Cold Brew Coffee with Half / Half = 4 Points

Lunch: Watermelon, celery, apricot, 1/4 cup of roasted almonds = 4 Points

Snack: Apricot – 0 Points

Dinner: 1 meatball, Cabbage Soup & 1 slice of buttered toast: 8 points

As usual my cravings hit after dinner time. I wanted something sweet. I have been trying to find things that are both Weight Watchers friendly, but also taste friendly! It’s hard! Many of the treats I have attempted to eat are full of artificial flavors and sugars, which always taste weird to me. Today, I browsed the freezer case at Fred Meyers and saw that Arctic Zero had a few enticing flavors. One serving of Arctic Zero (1/2 cup) is only 1 WW Point – but you can eat the entire pint for just 4 points. Unbelievable right?! I may have done a little jig, right there in the freezer isle of Fred Meyer. I think that different flavors may have slightly different point values, but the flavor I chose had the point values listed above.

Arctic Zero Cookie Shake is a healthier ice-cream, but tastes nearly as good as the “real stuff”. I was all set up on the deck, ready to devour my frozen dessert when I saw this:

Choices: To wait or not? It was a hard choice but I ended up going back inside and waiting the recommended time frame to enjoy a creamier treat – well, I waited about 8 minutes anyway.

The verdict: Arctic Zero feels like cheating, but it’s not! Of course, I ate the whole pint. It was delicious and worth every point. While I typically feel guilty about having treats, there is nothing to feel about this. I saved enough point to enjoy it and even if I had only had 1 serving, I would have been satisfied.

  • GMO Free
  • 3 Grams of Protein per serving
  • Lactose, Gluten & Fat Free
  • Low Glycemic

Knowing that I have options to eat sweets and still keep within my WW points, makes me feel like maybe I can do this long term. The older I get the more I want to change my way of eating, for life – not as a crash diet. I think I can do that with Arctic Zero on my side. Arctic Zero is sold at Fred Meyer in The Dalles or at Safeway & Rosauers in Hood River. Check it out!

Like Arctic Zero on Facebook to stay up to date on the happenings!

Disclosure: I was provided with money saving coupons in exchange for this post. All opinions stated here are my own. Post may contain affiliate links.

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I Tell My Kids They Can Drop Out of School

The school year is coming to an end and it seems everyone has checked out as of last week. On Monday of last week my son’s teacher called to tell me he was having a problem with being tardy as of late. She also mentioned that he was being an asshole (my words, not hers) in class that morning when she asked him to remove his sunglasses. I should have been mad. I should have cared. Instead, I just thought, “I’m sick of this shit”.

I am a huge supporter of public schools and teachers. I cannot even imagine the struggles they must have in dealing with students, parents, regulations and social criticism. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would choose such a thankless profession. Maybe it just feels that way to me, perhaps there are also rewarding aspects of the job that I’m not picking up on.

My son, “M” is an average student, a C student for the most part. There’s always the occasional A or D thrown into the mix. For the most part I leave him alone about school. I don’t expect straight A’s, I expect effort and a good attitude. Giving your teacher shit about removing sunglasses in class is not acceptable. When I brought the issues up the second he walked in the door from school he had a few excuses for being late but was absolutely confused about the sunglasses incident. If you have kids you’ll understand why I had so many questions:

“Did she ask you to remove ANYTHING this morning?”

“Could it have happened YESTERDAY instead?”

“Did an incident similar to this EVER happen?”

“Was another child asked to remove sunglasses this morning?”

He answered “no” to all questions. I typed up an email to his teacher asking if there had been a mistake, all the while warning “M” that he better not make me look like an idiot. A few hours later I received an apologetic email from her. She had called to tell me about the tardies but in the middle of the call got me mixed up with another parent. It was NOT my son who got snooty with her. Well, I guess there’s something to be thankful for.

However, the very next day I got a call from this same child’s Math teacher to tell me that he didn’t do any of his work in class that day. He just sat there and didn’t say a thing until the end of class when he told her he didn’t understand the assignment. The teacher asked me to work with him that weekend to get it done. I nearly told her “I’ve been failing math since 1984…” Luckily, my oldest is a math wiz, actually an everything wiz, and he helped get it all sorted out.

The older I get, the more people I meet and the more I’ve come to the conclusion that education is not the final say in the life you have. Your effort and hard work is. Sure, you can argue with me and you probably will. I have one child who I am almost certain will go off to college and graduate with some fancy degree. I am 100% OK and supporting of this. I have another couple of kids who will most likely get their GED’s and attend a trade school. I am also 100% OK with this. My youngest is still too young to make any assumptions. Once my kids turn 16, if they want to get their GED and start making plans for their adult lives, I am fine with this! They all know this is their choice and an option I will support them in.

Kids in my house have several options, beginning at the age of 16. Unluckily for “M”, he is just about to turn 14 and he has ONE option available to him. Go to school and have a good attitude about it. Keep on keeping’ on kid, you got two years.

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10 Things I’m Doing This Week

  1. Planting a plot of corn
  2. Finishing planting my salsa garden
  3. Watching the Ugandan Kids Choir at Cornerstone Church
  4. Making my boys deep clean their bedrooms
  5. Starting my indoor vermicomposting bins
  6. Applying for a job with the North Wasco County School District (on-call)
  7. Listing 5 items each day on eBay
  8. Catching up on my favorite podcasts
  9. Beginning a serious probiotic regime
  10. Cancelling our cable TV subscription

Planted corn plot

tomato, peppers & onion

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Stopping With The Keto – Starting With Weight Watchers

That’s a wrap with the keto diet. Its been successful in the past but now that I’m older it just isn’t working out. I lost about 8 pounds at first, but the diet has been so restrictive that I just can’t continue. I don’t feel good. The energy I normally have is gone. Two other issues have also plagued me: bad breath and constipation. I haven’t pooped in 4 days. This has got to end.

Being fat has also got to end.

My insurance sends me a postcard to remind us that Weight Watchers is 100% free with my plan. It’s worth a shot right? I literally have nothing to lose!

Starting weight: 199.8

Weight on Day 3: 192.4

Goal Weight: 170

Pounds to lose: 22.4

Yes, I lost over 7 pounds in 3 days. From what I understand it was mostly water weight, I am still feeling good about this. Who wants to be carrying around a bunch of extra fluid? Another clue that it was fluid retention is that I got up to use the restroom 4 times during each night. Typically, I never wake up to use the restroom.

There are several programs to use when doing the weight watchers way of life. I am doing the online only program. In the future if I decide to attend the support meetings there is one held at Oregon Dept of Military (ODM) located at 402 E. Scenic Drive in The Dalles on Thursdays at 5:30 PM. You can check the weight watchers site to see what meetings are close to you.

I’m feeling pretty comfortable with the Weight Watchers program right now. I believe that is a healthier lifestyle than the keto diet. I’m working on portion control and healthier food options. Most fruits and vegetables are worth zero points, so they are unlimited for the most part. You can also earn additional points by being active. I plan on weighing in and posting once per week on my progress. I might even get brave and do some before & after pictures.

 

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Yard Sales in The Gorge Can Be a Success – Selling eBay Dead Stock

eBay is still insanely slow. The norm is 10-30 items sold per day, with a price range from $10 – $60 each. A slow day usually entails only selling 5-10 items at the same price range. Yesterday you hit a new low, your total sales were ZERO. There’s no reason to panic, its the time of year. However, you are wondering if you would feel better if you stopped putting so much time into your eBay store. Currently, you’re working a lot and getting very little return. Perhaps if you worked just a little, the lack of income would feel more inline with your efforts.

You don’t have many bills, and are blessed that your husband pays most of the expenses. However, you still have a small list of financial obligations that you cannot ignore. For instance, you are making payments on a huge lot of Nautica Fleece pajamas  that you bought for resale. They were supposed to arrive around Thanksgiving, just in time to cash in on the Christmas rush. There was an incredible storm and they arrived late, leaving them nearly un-sellable until the upcoming winter. It’s the gamble of reselling.

It’s also yard sale season and the temptation to browse all the sales for items to flip is driving you nuts. As you take a step back to reevaluate your business you decide to focus on higher dollar items, even though you will sell less of them. The first step is to start clearing out some of your lower cost inventory.

YARD SALE

The Dalles seems to be a pretty yard sale friendly town. There are 3 billboards in the town that are specifically for yard sale postings. You enlist your kids to pull out all your old junk / dead stock and slap price tags on them. Meanwhile you drive around, placing flyers on the billboards. You pass Dutch Bros. and see that the line is short, maybe 2 cars, you pull in for a Dutch Freeze. 22 minutes later, you are on your way. You are friendly but feel like asking “what in the hell took so long?”, you resist.

One of the things you love about your house is that it’s hidden. You decide you hate this aspect of your home when it comes to having a yard sale. It is just too hard to find and you believe attendance is down because of that.

After all is said and done, you made a few hundred dollars, met some of your neighbors and still had a truckload of stuff to donate. You’re glad its over. When asked if you found it “worth it” you think it over and quickly decide it is not worth doing again. It’s nearly summertime and weekends will be spent on the deck, hoping that Mt. Adams will be visible, and enjoying the company of your family.

Each day you tell yourself that the summertime eBay lull is temporary, and can’t figure out why you’re so distressed over it. The truth? You don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of crap, cluttering up your home. You’ll keep trying but it’s more of a 1/4 time job now.

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