Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Recovery score--ME, 1 and ED, 0

"Look at you looking all sexy today!"

After a tiring day, those were the words said to me by my neighbor as I came home for a quick break.

All I was wearing was a simple black shirt dress with green pumps. Dressy enough for a college trustee  meeting but comfortable enough for the office. With a cute bob, I was looking decent. It is amazing how an outfit and nice words can perk a person up.

Today, I feel pretty. And my inner voice drowned out ED's voice. Most days, it has been a 50/50 split of the two voices. On bad days, it is 90 percent  ED and 10 percent me. 

But today, it was 100 percent me telling myself that I looked good and had done well for myself these last crazy few months. So yes, I strutted my stuff in my black dress and green pumps. And looked good doing it.

Today, August 28, 2012, was a good day. Me--1, ED--O. 


1. Having turkey lasgna and a salad for lunch.

2. Even better--cheesecake with strawberries on top for dessert. 

3. Being around positive people!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

12 inches of rain in three hours and other adventures...

It has been quite a day in RR. We got 12 inches of rain in a few hours which resulted in massive flooding around the city. This was the perfect day to curl up with a good book. But not for me, it was my weekend to work.

My day at 8 a.m. started with several texts on the situation. As I started my 5 minute commute, I noticed several yards that looked like rivers.

I drove through this  "lake".  In the future, I will be much more careful.
 Let me preface what I am about to say with I am okay. Emergency management says never to cross standing water on a road. I did and as I was in the middle of doing it, I thought you are so stupid for doing this. I made it to the other side safely. And after thanking God, I vowed never to do this again.  My five minute commute took about 20 minutes because most of my normal route was under water.

This is not a pond but a road and someone's yard in RR.
Today, I have been from side of the city to another. RR is home to 15,000 people so you can imagine how big it is. I have been to places that I didn't even know existed in this city.

My home is okay with no flooding. I have talked with people who had cars and homes under water and had to be evacuated by boat. I feel so blessed. I am exhausted but I know I will be able to go home and climb into my cozy bed. Most of these people will be at Recreation Center on a cot.

I have seen some amazing and scary things today. I am glad I was able to play a part in keeping people informed about what was going on. I feel satisfied but tired.


1. Caffeine and I have become bff.

2. Skittles are great for a quick sugar buzz.

3. Being able to do my job!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Makes me feel old

Every year, there is a college in Beloit, Wis. that releases its Mindset List to give a snapshot of how the incoming freshmen class  views the world. It amazes me some of the things these kids may not know. They were born in 1994.

By this time, I was deep in college and my ED. In another year, I would have an suicide thoughts, be hospitalized for a week and then spent a year out of college working in the real world making car brakes.

According to this list:
--They have always lived in cyberspace, addicted to a new generation of “electronic narcotics.”
--They have never seen an airplane “ticket.” (They probably don’t know what it was like to get on airplane without being patted down.)
Having grown up with MP3s and iPods, they never listen to music on the car radio and really have no use for radio at all. (I have an MP3 but couldn’t imagine life without the car radio.)
Their folks have never gazed with pride on a new set of bound encyclopedias on the bookshelf. (My grandmother scrapped and saved so me and my cousins could have a set of encyclopedias. I learned so much from Encyclopedia Americana especially on a hot summer day. Thanks Grandma!)
--They have lived in an era of instant stardom and self-proclaimed celebrities, famous for being famous.
--While the iconic TV series for their older siblings was the sci-fi show Lost, for them it’s Breaking Bad, a gritty crime story motivated by desperate economic circumstances. (I have never seen Breaking Bad but LOST was AWESOME.)
--Before they buy an assigned textbook, they will check to see whether it’s available for rent or purchase as an e-book. (I remember heading for the college book store hoping some textbooks would be left.)
--L.L. Bean hunting shoes have always been known as just plain Bean Boots.
--Mr. Burns has replaced J.R. Ewing as the most-shot-at man on American television.
--History has always had its own channel.
--They watch television everywhere but on a television. (Call me crazy. I still watch tv on tv except for Grey’s Anatomy online.)
--Point-and-shoot cameras are soooooo last millennium. (I miss getting film developed. I always loved not knowing what was on there.”

1. Having chocolate chip waffles for lunch!
2. Seeing the benefits of drinking more water!
3. Finding the latest issue of Vogue on my desk at work. Thanks magazine fairy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Remembering my mother

Recently, my newspaper had a company picnic. It was nice but there was a moment there in which I had to pause. There was watermelon slices there. I haven’t touched watermelon since my mom died in 2010. She loved watermelons. She could eat them morning, noon and night. Whenever I visited her, I always brought her a watermelon. Each summer, it has been hard passing a produce stand and seeing watermelons. Usually I have the urge to stop and buy her one. I like watermelon but not enough to buy a whole one.

So on Sunday, I had a slice in her memory. I miss her. There are so many times I reached for the phone to talk to her about my day or to make a comment about a show or song she would like.
I have simple tribute to my mom that happens five days a week--my  newspaper byline. Professionally, I am known as Jacqueline Hough. Friends call me Jackie.

My mom loved the name Jacqueline. She admired Jacqueline Kennedy for her style and grace. She taught her daughter would have that. I did but long after I became an adult. Growing up, my mom was very stylish. Even in shorts and t-shirt she had style. Any mom who is stylish wants a stylish daughter. I was a tomboy. I could tell it bothered her that I loved cut off shorts.
As a teen, my mom required my hair be done by at a salon every week so I would look “decent.” She tried to teach me about makeup but it didn’t stick.

The teen years weren’t kind. We fought like cats and dogs about tons of stuff. By college, we kept conversation to 30 minute intervals so we wouldn’t fought.
I would come to visit my grandmother and my mother would look at my plaid shirts and combat books with a shake of the head.

But my 30s, I started to love fashion and creating outfits. I embraced dresses, skirts, cute sweaters and heels. I am glad she got to see this along with us becoming closer.

But I digress--back to the byline. She loved the name and so I use it every day. My first byline didn’t have Jacqueline, it had Jackie. She was proud but asked why I didn’t use Jacqueline. My answer was I am Jackie. Her reply was Jacqueline is beautiful and more professional for a reporter. It took a few years but eventually, it was Jacqueline. It made her happy to pick up a newspaper and see the name. Sometimes you gotta keep mom happy.

I can’t imagine JJ becoming a reporter. But if he does, I am cool with whatever he picks. I mean the kid picked his own nickname--JJ. Plus, a byline with James Edward Hough III would drive some poor design editor crazy. But I don’t think I will have to worry about this. What JJ wants to be when he grows up changes every few days. This week, he wants to be an inventor. Last week, it was to be a new and improved Spiderman.
Whatever he wants to be, I will be proud.


1. The Nifty Thrify Booksale at the local library. Found some deals.

2. Waking up well rested!

3. Turkey Chili

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Living in limbo

For two months, I figured this post would be about me leaving RR and how much I have learned in almost three years. It should have been  but it won't because I am not leaving yet.

After applying for several jobs and two interviews, I was offered a job that was 45 minutes from my son. It was what I have been dreaming about for months. But, I would have had to take a pay cut. In the end, I decided it was best to stay here. I don't regret but I have a lot of what ifs. 

For the next few months, I will be learning to design pages in InDesign to help develop another skill set. I am also looking for a part-time job to help in the mean time.  So I am updating my skills by learning layout and design in InDesign. Learning the new stuff will be in addition to my reporting duties. 

My editor sees something in me that is more than a reporter. He told me it bothered him to see me applying for jobs where I would be paid less than what I make here. One job offered me $9.50.  When I got that offer, I wondered if I had wasted three years of my life here away from my son. So the last week, I have been in limbo. I come home, watch some Olympics and go to bed. I suspended packing and  cleaning. 

I took myself out of limbo status yesterday when I cleaned and mopped my bathroom and kitchen. There are tons of empty boxes in the living room. I guess I am disappointed about not being able to move in the motel. I found out my lease is until mid-December. My rent has become more than I can handle so I am either going to look for a roommate or move to a smaller place.  

The only place I am not in limbo is at work. I am back to covering four school districts. Soon one day, my time will come.


1. Taking a good look at myself nude in the mirror. I didn't cry or break the mirror. Progress!

2. Seeing a difference in drinking more water!

3. Taking life one day at a time

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

After a brief vacation, I am back to my life. 

It was fun while it lasted. I got to spend five uninterrupted days with JJ.  

Despite a hurt toe, the playing must go on!
There was an injury. In a freak accident, a one liter soda fell on JJ’s big toe in the grocery store and split it open. Long story short--tears, lots of blood and an er visit. After some pain meds and skin glue, JJ was good as new. I tore me up to see my baby in pain and bleeding because I wanted to get some orange soda.

Living apart from my son, I have missed a lot of the firsts but I got to be there for his first major er visit. He was very mature about.

JJ, my brother and nephew Devyn
Once the trauma past, we visited by brother and nephew, went to the library and watched tons of movies on dvd. There is nothing in the world like being cuddled up with your son watching the Green Lantern. I miss him so much.

In summary, it was the best vacation I  have had in a long time. I only thought about work a few times.

And now, I return to reality. A reality where ED is trying to rear her ugly head. I have some good days and some bad ones. I take it day by day. And it when it gets to bad, I think about what my son said--"Mommy, no matter what I think you are beautiful."

At times, it bothers me that my six-year-old knows about eating disorders and how it has affected Mommy. He worries if I don't eat and always tries to share with me. He has no clue that he is what keeps me going. During a recent job interview, I was asked about my most important achievement. My answer was an adorable little boy named James Edward, who keeps me going in my darkest days. Without him, I know I wouldn't be alive.


1. Mini Oreos in a bowl of ice cream!

2. Spending time with my son!

Being JJ!
3. Watching the Olympics after a long day of work. GO USA!!!!

Happy New Year!!!!

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