Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of the year thoughts

I'm not going to whine about how bad this year has been - there have been good times and bad, as there usually are.  A lot of good, even.

We started the year on a sad note, having to put Sugar down.  It was terrible to see her suffering.  In the midst of that, I got hearing aids for both ears.  I could mope about losing my cat and my hearing, but everyone has their cross to bear, right?  What's the difference between hearing aids or eye glasses?  Same same.  And maybe a new kitty will make her way into our lives next year.  The stress surrounding changes on the weekend shift was a little harder to take.  Maybe because my boss acted like a cretin.  Extra hours at another hospital this year gave me some perspective on it, though.  Applying for three positions in one year is not something I will ever do again.  And I will start speaking up for myself a little more forcibly - what do I have to lose?  My new co-worker turned out to be nicer than I initially thought, and the weekends are tolerable, but not as fun as they once were.  I am looking forward to changing shifts in the coming weeks, and though I know the change will be tricky at first, I believe it will be better for me.  I did a lot of venting to co-workers this year - thank goodness there were people who understood and were willing to listen.  Wine clubs added fun to the time Hubby and I spent together this year.  It mostly involves sitting with your feet up, listening to live music and enjoying a great view while you nosh on delicious things and drink wine.  There are no downsides to that I can see.  Unlike Hubby's new job, which was not the answer to a prayer we thought it was going to be.  But since he flip flops a lot on the issue, I don't really know what to think.  Is there a perfect job out there?  We are in no financial straits, which is good.  The drought ended this year and  we got a lot of rain - too late to save our backyard, but that can be something I spend time fixing in the spring, now that we have a new fence.   Grayson had a successful experience at Philmont and Hubby and I took an interesting road trip.  It was so good to get home, but overall I did enjoy getting to Go and Do, so we should plan something like that again in the new year.  Getting started on physical therapy for my elbow was a smart move - turns out it was tendonosis, which is harder to address and takes longer to resolve.  At this writing, it is still hurting but less so.  And the PT thinks it will continue to improve.  One thing I know for sure is that I will be more careful with treating elbow pain with Motrin - the ulcer I got from that was not worth the very small amount of pain relief it provided.  The Fall was crazy busy and I was not sad to see Grayson's senior year of marching band come to a close.  My guess is, neither was he. Finishing up his Eagle Scout work was stressful, to say the least.  But it's DONE and I know that he and Mark are thrilled.  My years of diligence with saving and paying bills on time paid off BIG as we were able to swing a purchase of land in Burnet.  It has given Mark something positive to focus on and will be a great investment for us. Spencer boomeranged home for a couple of months and I have been good about not doing his laundry and not making comments about his beer drinking and vaping and incense burning.  I am ready for him to leave the nest once and for all, and since he has found a place, it looks like that will happen soon.  Dylan is still stuck in a happy neutral with his photography job and girlfriend but things are going to change soon for him, too.. I had hoped that my mother could continue to live alone for a few more years as she is fairly capable and in good health.  But breaking her arm in a fall may be a game-changer.  In the new year, I will have a frank discussion with her.  Thanksgiving was great at our house though we were all tired from moving Chloe the day before.  I hope she will be happy and comfy in her new place with no roomie to cause her stress.  She told me that she wants Teddy classified as a therapy dog and that her outlook without him was so bleak.  That makes me feel terrible for her, but grateful that she found her furry companion when she did.  I look around at my clean and comfy home and feel so lucky that we have this place.  I have many fix-it projects to do in the new year, but we will have the resources and time to do so.
So I have to say that maybe 2016 qualifies as equally good and bad, although I miss some of the "things" in my life that I really want back.  
Real life rolled up into 12 untidy months.  
Bring it, 2017.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Running behind this Christmas

I'm really struggling this year with Christmas shopping.  I have only a few thing purchased at this late date and limited time to get it done.  So, I asked my peeps for lists, but I only got ONE email from ONE person listing ONE item.  This is not helping the general feeling of seasonal blah I have.
I got on Etsy and Amazon today and ordered a couple of things for Mark with the symbol he has chosen for Highlands.  I also have a handmade item I will do for him, a new travel bag for his toiletries and some stocking stuffers.  But I guess I will have to put on my thinking cap and get creative with these folks.  Meanwhile, time is running out and I have many other things I need to be working on!  You know, I used to be so on top of Christmas.  I started my shopping weeks in advance, had the house all done up much earlier, had menus planned...we even had time for fun activities.  I'm still going to try to get it all accomplished.  It just feels like I am running behind.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Santa puked and I feel like doing the same

I feel like it took me forever to decorate for Christmas this year.  I even changed up the routine; Put only the main tree out after we returned from the tree farm.  Decorate it.  Sweep up. Relax. In years' past I tried to get it all done the day after Thanksgiving so we could all enjoy it as soon as possible and as long as possible.

But my new plan left all of the other stuff to do after I had already worked my 40 hour week:  The kids' tree, the mantel, the other odds and ends Christmas that goes up.  Christmas in just about every room - two trees, Christmas mugs, magnets on the fridge, mini trees in the china cabinet, decorated pillows, wreaths and pinecones...And I started stressing it.  Too much Christmas.

I just don't feel Christmas.  I haven't for the last three years or so.  I know that is bratty beyond belief - we have a beautiful home and it smells good and is clean, with indoor heat and plumbing, enough food in the fridge and freezer, clothes to wear.  I just dread the commercialism and materialism and stress the holidays bring.  I want to make it more meaningful.  Somehow, Santa doesn't do it for me.  And there are Santas and angels puking all over my house.

My daughter and I had a convo about it.
Me:  There is too damn much Christmas here.  I am toning it way down next year.  Going to give some of it to you to pretty up your place.
She: Christmas is good.
Me:  Yes.  But I feel stressed.  We own so much of it.  Every year I purge it.  Every year it seems to grow by itself!
She:  Oh that's no good.  I decorated my tree as I waited for the AT&T guy on Monday.
Me:  It's a lot to put up and take down.  We decorated the kids' tree and I. Am. Done.
She:  Santa puke is pretty.
Me:  Blergggggg

I mean, I love seeing all of the things that remind us of happier times, but maybe that's what's doing me in.  Seeing those things and realizing how different our lives are now.  It's not that our life is bad by any means, but there's something about having your kids grow up and the whole family, parents included, experience Christmas a lot differently.  And the reality is, all of the decor is just noise that drowns out the focus of the season itself anyway.
I need to relax a little and try not to stress it, I know.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Garage and other woes

A couple of weeks ago, Spencer moved back in with us for a couple of months.  Believe me when I tell you, it gave me the shivers typing 'a couple of months' as I believe it will be closer to the end of January (or February).  At least that is what I tell myself, rather than be disappointed when January gets here and he is still no closer than being out on his own for good.

He came here one day, moving boxes into the newly cleaned and arranged garage, and gave me lip about borrowing the vacuum.  Oh, and his displeasure with the van.  Which belongs still to ME.  I won't go into great detail here, but basically I told him he could pack all of his crap back into  the van, dump it all at Goodwill, and bring me MY van and keys back.  I might have done that in a loud voice for all of the neighbors to hear.  But in my defense, if they have boomerang kids, they understand..

Instead, he calmly unloaded his crap, and went back to his apartment for another load.
Today I went out there, organized it all, washed his nasty dishes and towels, and made more space in my garage.  Question:  Have I lost my mind?  My mother claims I have no common sense.  But it's my house, and we have to be able to navigate the garage for two more months.  Plus, my idiot child packed DIRTY dishes and clothes, and brought and empty boxes (no roaches wanted, thank you) and has been going back and forth from his room to the garage for forgotten items.  Am I the one with no common sense to want a member of my family to make strides forward so I can get the hell out of here guilt-free?   Burnet awaits, even with Hubby acting the fool over getting the property clean and pristine before the holidays.
Please advise.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The last time for a while...

This is the last post I will write about my sister for a while.  I feel like I am harping on her, and really, I don't wish it to be that way.  I've actually been remembering her in my prayers this week as I have come to the belief that she is having a very hard time in life, and I feel sad about that. But I feel like  she took it out on my mother.  Know this:  as people age in physical years, they tend to regress somewhat emotionally.  It's altogether too easy to hurt my mother's feelings, even if unintentional.  But why would you purposely do so?  Why would you state to her "I'm coming to get you", drive 2 hours to take her to your house, then spend the next three weeks getting even with her for what you see as a craptastic childhood?  Tell her you are "getting tired of being the maid"?   I know she "zingers" you - I've had my fair share of it, too.  But if that's a problem for you, don't volunteer yourself for that, for goodness sake!

My mother doesn't cry all that often, but lately she's been telling me she cries every day.  That makes me want to call my sister and have a serious talk with her.  Of course I won't, though.  I still love her, as my sister, I can't help it.  But I dislike so many things she says and does.  And maybe I have it all wrong and Mother is the instigator here.  There's a lot of she said/she said - who to believe?  I think it's best I stay out of it entirely.  What I really want is for God to look after them both and help us all move past the past. Maybe be a little more understanding and kind to each other...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Where it stands, a year later

Please enjoy this pic of my sister from about 6 years ago...
 Back then she was so thin.  You could cut yourself on that chin, for real.  Always very stylish and well dressed, hair and makeup, the whole nine yards.  It's something I always admired about her.  She was very feminine and put together, on the outside if not the inside.

I figured it would be a while before I saw my sister again - heck, I thought it would be at someone's funeral.  I figured she would at least acknowledge me the next time I saw her.  I was at her house recently to pick up my mother and got there a few minutes early.  My mother answered the door, not my sister.  My mother said "Have you seen Melissa's new house?" and showed me in, not my sister.  Instead, she stood with her back to me, making a sandwich in the kitchen.  {I'm guessing she was trying to get that done before I appeared.}  She answered one or two questions from my mother without turning around to face us, then gathered up her plate, said she had to get back to her desk, and beat a hasty retreat without so much as look at me.  Pretty rude when you consider...
But here is what I was struck by:  I wasn't even 100% sure it was her, at first.  She was thin, but not painfully so.  Her hair was very short, very thin, and white.  Had I seen her in public, I'm not sure I would have recognized her.  Aside from that, I got the very real feeling that she is done with me forever.  She couldn't put on her game face and say hello, even in front of her mother.  It felt strange to me, maybe because for all of these years, she's done just that - pretended like she and I were close, when that was never really the truth, at least for her.  So, at that moment she felt like just another person off the street to me, and I was ok with it.  And, I guess this is where I will leave it - for now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


     Spencer approached me about a month ago, wanting to move back home temporarily.  His apartment is upping his rent, as apartments in this town do, and its a terrible apartment anyway.  Small, shabby, loud.  Plus, the electricity has gone out several times.  He has no closet, no washer and dryer, a teeny tiny fridge and stove.  But,  I am torn up about the whole thing.
     I want my son to have a decent place to live and not struggle to afford it.  I want him to have  working appliances, a place he can safely do laundry, a reasonable commute to where he works, and room to relax at the end of his long day.  He works long hours in an un-airconditioned building for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week.  But I don't know that I want him to move back to Camp Rustown.  I know it's not unusual for adult people to move out on their own in fits and starts, but this is his third apartment.  And it feels like he is not making progress towards adulting.

     He signs a one year lease, then realizes it's too "something" - expensive, far from work, whatever.  Then he moves back in for a month or so, then starts all over again. The last  time I am sure he lost his deposit because he left the place a wreck, depending on the roomie to finish cleaning it up.  {Shockingly, said roomie was not on the lease}  And the last time he moved out of our house, it took me a couple of weeks to get the room back in shape.  It had stains on the carpet and a funk in the air.  I'm so not down for that this time.
     I'm sure it's very stressful on him, too.  Austin is a hard town to live in if you are blue collar.  The cost of living is high. And the places he can actually afford are in unsafe neighborhoods, yet their rent continues to go up, too.  Wah, wah, I know.  Everyone has to struggle a little when they are young, right?  At Spencer's age, I had Mark, and we had been married a year... I didn't know what I didn't know about life, so I didn't stress it.  I just assumed we would raise a happy family and everything would work out.  
     It really sucks that he cannot make a clean break from us and live life on his own terms.  I don't want to legislate how much beer he brings into the house, or how long his hot showers last, or whether he has incense going in the bedroom, but dammit I also want to be done raising him and let him go on to adulthood.  I still have a 17 year old to finish raising, along with everything that comes  with that, plus I have another that I need to start shoving closer to the edge of the nest.
     I want to be done raising kids, and get to the part where you enjoy them as family members, with none of that other stuff.  I know that's unreasonable, life comes with problems.  I wish I had the answers to some of them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Well, that didn't last long...

     I had to change up the Daily Plan as recently I picked up some extra work shifts.  I think the key to me not losing my mind this fall is ORGANIZING.   I also need to get into the habit of looking at my planner every morning and every evening.  It will help me to refer to it often, as already I have gotten Grayson up early on days he doesn't go in early.  Getting up early for no reason is not a good thing to a teenager...
     Also, I realized that I could let some of those things drop off the list.  I have pretty much given up on my nails ever recovering from whatever it is that is making them break and peel.  I just cut them short and coat them with strengthener.  Obsessively rubbing Barielle into them is doing nothing, nor is taking supplements and vitamins and such.   Likewise, the stress over my hair falling out - I cut it a little shorter and am just not worrying about it anymore.  Anyhoo, this post was written last week before I actually started working more hours.  I hope my future self is not losing her mind...
The Daily Plan
Saturday and Sunday – One cup of coffee, no creamer. Have a decent breakfast! Drink 4 tumblers of water. Brush teeth at least once. No candy or fried foods. Pack a protein drink and lunch on Sunday night for Monday, and set out scrubs. Fish oil at bedtime. No chores on the weekend!

Monday – One cup of black coffee. Be sure to drink lots of water while at work. In the afternoon set out scrubs, pack a lunch and protein drink for Tuesday breakfast. Meditate. Make dinner, clean kitchen. Weigh, and fish oil at bedtime.

Tuesday – One cup of black coffee. Be sure to drink lots of water while at work. Meditate. Wash tumbler on Tuesday and place in cleared out tote. Vac carpets, mop floors, make dinner, make To Do list for the rest of the week, clean kitchen. Fish oil at bedtime.

For W,Th,F – One cup of black coffee and follow 4 tumbler of water plan, take vitamins and supplements, with fish oil at bedtime. Lunch at home preferred, once a week out is OK. Aim for 12K steps, write blog posts.

Wednesday – Pedicure day, Weigh myself. Grocery shop and errands. Plan menus for next week. Write blog posts, do laundry, iron.

Thursday – Work extra hours. Wash sheets and towels.

Friday – Work extra hours, clean bathrooms, gas up car, finish up To Do list for the week. Pack Sat./Sun. Lunches. Set out scrubs.

At work avoid venting.
At home don't dwell on work issues and only check work email when at work.
Focus on self-improvement and health. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

It's always something

From the Good News/Bad News Department:
My back pain is significantly improved!  But there is still pain somewhere else!

My elbow feels like it might fall off!
I saw the physical therapist yesterday and we have a Plan for that.  So today I have it taped, I am wearing my brace, taking tylenol, doing stretches, and massaging the tendon.  Plus, she is going to use "phonophonesis" on it, whatever that is.
We'll see how that all goes.  And I'm sure I will report back, right here in this space.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Plan for living update

The Daily Plan
Saturday and Sunday – One cup of coffee, no creamer. Have a diet drink for breakfast with almonds for snack. Drink 4 tumblers of water. Brush teeth at least once. Do not eat candy or fried foods. Pack a Monday protein drink and lunch on Sunday night and set out scrubs. Fish oil at bedtime. No cooking duties on the weekend.

Monday – One cup of black coffee. Be sure to drink lots of water while at work. In the afternoon set out scrubs, pack a lunch and protein drink for Tuesday breakfast. Meditate. Start laundry. Make dinner, clean kitchen, mop floor. Weigh, and fish oil at bedtime.

Tuesday – One cup of black coffee. Be sure to drink lots of water while at work. Meditate. Wash tumbler on Tuesday and place in cleared out tote. Vac carpets, make dinner, clean kitchen, finish up laundry. Fish oil at bedtime.

For W,Th,F – One cup of black coffee and follow 4 tumbler of water plan, take vitamins and supplements, with fish oil at bedtime. Lunch at home preferred, once a week out is OK. Aim for 12K steps. Use Barielle twice daily.

Wednesday – Pedicure day, Weigh myself. Grocery shop and errands. Write blog posts, make To Do lists, clean floors, stitch or create.

Thursday - Ironing day, mop kitchen do Grayson's laundry, pack his summer uniform.

Friday – Clean bathrooms. Gas up car. Finish up To Do list for the week. Wash linens and towels. Pack Sat./Sun. Lunches. Set out scrubs.

At work avoid venting. Stay out of gift shop and cafeteria.
At home don't dwell on work issues and only check Seton email on Friday.
Focus on self-improvement and health.

I think this latest update of my plan is going to serve me better as we move through the Fall.  I want to help y kid survive his senior year intact, so I made plans to help with that, too.  I didn't make that many changes to the Plan as a whole, but I think I can keep myself more accountable for following it. I had been cheating a bit, but NO MORE.  And I have drastically cut down on the wine, which is good for my health AND my budget. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Conversations with Paige

Paige is my husband's niece, so mine by marriage.  She was in her mid-twenties when she was "found down" in her apartment, after having a stroke the day before.  It was such a scary and terrible thing for her family, devastating for her parents.  My husband's sister, Sharon, devoted herself to caring for Paige, all the while losing a battle with breast cancer herself.  Very bad things can happen to good families.  None of us are immune from life.  Anything can happen, any time.

Paige still uses a walker and doesn't have a lot of muscle control on one side of her body.  An aspiring photographer and A student once, days from graduating with a great future ahead of her, the road sharply curved.  She's lost so much, and she suffers still. But every now and again we will have a delightful conversation via text messaging and I say a prayer for her continued health and piece of mind.
Paige                                                                                                                   Me
{first day}

Yes.  But still hot.  Ugh!

Sorry.. Sorry.

{next day}
Yeah, its raining right now.  I don't want to get out of my car and go to work.  I could just fall back asleep here!

I love you!!

We really need to get up to Dallas this Fall and spend time with Paige.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Workplace roadkill

Recent events at work have me feeling like roadkill. Again.

Yesterday I came to a realization.  I was much happier at work when I wasn't involved in gossip, drama, or politics.  I wasn't trying to win any popularity contests - I was simply trying to be a good co-worker.  I clocked in, did my job, clocked out.  I know I have said in the past that I was going to get back to that routine, but now I am determined to do that for my own survival at work.  Too many things make me feel angry and unsatisfied.  Too many things make me feel disappointed and rubbed the wrong way. Too many things make me feel marginalized and devalued.  And the only person in charge of how I feel is me.  I think I need to step waaay back and keep to myself a little more.  One of my Plan for Living items is to keep private life private, which I do for the most part.  There's really only one person I tell things to, and that person happens to be a co-worker.   So, in that regard, I feel like I am hitting the mark.  But for other things that directly involve me on on the job, I'm venting a little more than I think is prudent.  I have a good job, earning decent pay, and I'm not unhappy with my hours.  I think it's time to fly under the radar at work for a while.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wine about it

On Sunday we went to Wimberley Valley Winery, since Hubby was so kind as to stop there BY HIMSELF and enjoy a tasting and commit us to another wine club.  Grr.. I can only get so many weekend days off, dear.  Maybe we should wait until AFTER I find that Monday thru Friday job...

Every winery we visit is so pretty inside.  This one had painted stucco walls with ceramic tile work and gorgeous color everywhere, plus scented candles going and a stone fireplace with big leather couches.  I guess the atmosphere helps them sell wine.  Plus, everyone is always so friendly.   Or maybe it just seems that way since it's always a fun outing for Mark and I.
And this time we brought Spencer.

Getting edumacated at the cigar bus
I know he looks snarly, but I really feel like he enjoyed himself.  Not just because of the wine - I hope he also liked the one on one time with his parents as an adult.  For all but 20 months of his life he's been surrounded by siblings, vying for our attention.  And a lot of his teenage years he was at odds with one or both of us as we struggled to get him to buckle down at school, manage his finances, and make healthy choices.  I think it took us a long time to realize that your kids basically come into this world with their own unique personality.  They are not a blank slate.  And you cannot mold them into what you want them to be, not force upon them what you wished for yourself when you were a child.

Spencer had some missteps along the way - all a part of the learning process, but still I wish some of it hadn't had to happen the way it did.  He was never the kind of kid who could learn by teaching or preaching - only by doing and making mistakes, it seemed.  And I still worry about him being broke or living in a crappy apartment or not having a close group of buddies or a steady someone in his life.  He's 26 1/2.  By that age I had been married for a year and a half.  I know it's unreasonable to compare and my peeps are on their own timetable, and I accept that, but I still worry about their future happiness, as I'm sure all moms do.

We enjoyed our picnic snack of cheese, salami, peppers, salmon dip and crackers out in the leaky double-decker bus, since the picnic tables were sopping wet.

Not as beautiful as the inside of the winery, but but pretty fun to sit up there and listen to the rain.

Then we headed over to Fall Creek Estate Winery for a last minute tasting.

Hidden back there is a beautiful stone building with lush terraced landscaping, fountains, and outdoor patio and wrought iron furniture.  So beautiful.  But I don't think Spencer loves visiting the wineries as much as we do, even as he is learning what kind of wine he enjoys.  And truth be told, it's an expensive visit when you factor in another person.

He actually does smile.  Really.
It occurred to me that maybe we shouldn't be taking him with us every chance we get.  There's a lot to be said for having time as a couple without entertaining your grown kids.  Plus, with Spencer, although I believe he enjoys being with us, how fun can it be to hang out with your middle aged parents just to get a bottle of wine - and it's not like he's a wine lover anyway.  So maybe just every third time from now on.  And I'm still hoping he will craft a life for himself a little apart from us - it's the hardest thing in the world to push your kids a little bit further out.  
But I guess you have to, for their sake.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

More grip loosening in store

On Friday, feeling sorry for my wee boy who goes to band camp all day, I did about 10 loads of laundry, changed his and Dylan's stinky sheets, and ran the vac in their rooms.  Mind you, this was on my day off.  I could just as easily been sipping iced tea spiked with vodka at the neighborhood pool, getting some sun on my fat, old lady legs.  But NO, I was caring for my family and trying to HELP them.  As a co-worker likes to say: "What tha?!..."

Hello, Monday and the room is back in its natural state
As often happens, my idea of helping is more like enabling.  So, I'm thinking, that shit has got to stop.  Coming home from work on Monday I noticed that Grayson had still not put up his laundry.  From Friday.  The boy has no job.  He spent the entire weekend laying around in the a/c, God love him, not reading his AP English class summer reading assignment, nor working on his badge work for scouts, nor putting up his laundry.  So now, I feel a little annoyed.  I was planning on having him drive home each day this week from band camp, then taking him to practice parallel parking then taking him to get his license.  But today that did not happen, and to tell you the truth, it may not happen at all this week.  His failure to organize his clothes, his schoolwork, and his life should not create an emergency (nor a problem) in mine.  The Baja can stay parked in the drive indefinitely, it's no skin off my nose.  And you can strike laundry off the "I'm sorry, let me help make your life easier" short.list, which already doesn't include making his breakfast and his lunch, since I kept seeing half eaten meals thrown away.  {Side note:  as far as I know, HEB isn't comping me on any of the uneaten food} IN ONE YEAR he will be a college student.  IN ONE YEAR he will need to be responsible for his own car insurance.  In LESS THAN ONE YEAR he stops getting allowance so he will need to figure out a way to earn money.  Other wise he will eating his favorite snack, ramen noodles, for his three meals a day.

Actual ramen being eaten by said person
Holy Shit, why is the last one so hard?  I figured with Spencer I had walked through fire, with Chloe I had paid my dues, with Dylan I had dodged a bullet.  God has a wicked sense of humor in store if you go ahead with that fourth one...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tell your stories

I love the posts from Purple Clover.  This one caught my eye recently, so I shared it on Facebook:

And judging from the number of likes it got, it resonated with a few other people I know, too.  Sisters, former co-workers, and old high school friends alike recognizing the truth in those three sentences.  And it fits perfectly with the philosophy of this blog.  I may not always name names, but I will be truthful and honest about my experiences in my life.  I may offend a few, and that's unfortunate, but I think the people who know and love me for me will understand. And I think they will recognize what I'm writing about most of the time - after all, they know me in the day to day.  At least, I like to think so.  In any case, our stories aren't always rainbows and cupcakes, now are they?  If I can't be honest in the telling, I may as well make this a recipe blog.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Plenty to complain about

This week I won't complain in this space.

Not because there isn't enough subject matter.  But rather, the opposite.  There is PLENTY to complain about.  However, if I don't start paddling to stay above water pretty soon, the sads will overcome me, I will start to feel poopy and procrastinate about things I want to accomplish, people's opinions will matter more to me, then a vicious cycle will begin, and that will be a mess I don't want to deal with.  So.  Just a Bob Ross meme this week.  (There are so many of them that make me laugh out loud.)  My sign should say "Keep Calm and get back to getting shit done".  No time for wallowing or complaining.  Not this week at least.  Probably maybe next week.  We'll see...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

So many changes

Seems like only yesterday...
People spout that phrase a lot.  And it's true (or seems to be) that while we are busy living our lives and making it from one sunrise to the next sunset we are caught up in daily life and before you know it, a whole slew of days has gone by.  A few weeks.  Months.  Years.  And after a while you might look up and think  "How did all this change occur?  Where was I when it was happening?  I'm not sure I'm on board with it."  I've said before, change is hard.  But that's a simplistic understatement that doesn't comfort anyone.
Struggle is optional, and I get that, but it's almost impossible not to struggle against things you don't want.  They're going to happen anyway, and you know it, but by struggling a little I think we all think we can slow the process.  What happens is, we make the process even harder to bear.
Things I didn't want to change this year, but they damn well did anyway:
My cat dying.
Friends at work leaving for different shifts, or just leaving altogether.
My role at my job.
My weight going up.
My hair falling out.
My kids moving away from me.
My husband hating his a job, then getting a new job, then being unhappy at the new job.
I guess I could continue listing shit I'm not happy about.  But that wouldn't make me feel better, and that's a little like struggling helplessly instead of finding ways to improve things.  I'm going to continue working on The Plan for Living, because its giving some order to my life right now.  Plus, it helps distract me, a little, in a more positive direction.  And also, I feel like I need to pull back from some of the people and things that are adding to the stress of the change. Its either that, or speak my mind to them and offend them forever.  I wish I could find a way to be authentic without creating more stress or problems for myself.  Maybe I will work on that next...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


About a month ago I had an expensive and drawn out experience in the ER.  And while I would like to say it was a colossal waste of time and money, it did rule out Big Bad Things.  Like stroke.  And heart attack.  But I felt a little foolish the entire time, as I was in a pediatric facility...

You can't pick and choose when and where you are going to need medical help.  Had I been at home, I would have opted for a family member to take me to the nearest adult ER, and give me a ride there and back, not rely on my overburdened co-workers to check in on me and bring me my stuff.  And, I would have chosen a bit more anonymity instead of everyone at work knowing I was in the ER.  It just so happens I had already scheduled an appointment with my regular doc the following Monday. 
She took one look at my medical record and said  "Well, looks like you had the Million Dollar Work-up".  And that was true - they ordered everything under the sun.  But I was in no position to refuse care.  As my nurse said,  "you're already here and you made us pretty nervous." 
Of course, my doc was not concerned with my symptoms.  So, now I have head and eye exercises, as well as "habituation exercise" to do daily, an incidental referral to an ortho doc for my tennis elbow, and I guess a little more piece of mind, with no extra pills to swallow.  But I'm sure when the bills roll in, I will feel a little ill all over again...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Life-changing magic

I read this book lately, as a gift from a friend.  And, as the book suggests, I made lists.  Wanna see them?  Sure you do.

Things I may or may not give a fuck about:
Keeping my house clean
Reading the paper or watching the news
A healthy diet
My weight
Trying new foods
Other people's opinions
Getting a pet
The state of our backyard
My blogs
Watching TV

People I may or may not give a fuck about:
My immediate family
The rest of my siblings
Neighbors (except for Joe and Carol)
Scout parents
Strangers at the store or pool
The bimbo who works the register at Old Navy
Donald and Hillary

Work-related stuff I may or may not give a fuck about:
The position I applied for (what was I thinking?)
Office gossip
People calling out
Departmental meetings
"Meeting our numbers"
Other people's drama

Family stuff I may or may not give a fuck about:
chopping down our own Christmas tree every Friday after Thanksgiving
The yearly family photo
Stressing over holiday cooking
The kids' tree
Scout obligations
Going to church on holidays, or any day
Anything related to my siblings or half-siblings 
Spending time with my kids and Hubby
Planning vacations
Helping my kids to learn to be independent


That was a fairly interesting exercise, and since I have read that book, I find myself asking the question more often  "Do I really give a fuck about this?" before wasting a lot of unnecessary mental energy.  It's definitely a work in progress.