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.