Saturday, October 30, 2010

Technology Challenged

You know those people that don't know how to set their VCR clock, so it flashes 12:00 for eternity? That's me! And please tell me I'm not the only one on the planet that still owns a VCR. I love technology, I really do. But learning how to use most of it is lost on me.

Our cell phone contract is up and it's time to choose new phones. Although I don't have a trac phone or anything quite that basic, I do have a simple flip phone with a camera and a music player (that I don't use). I want a touch screen phone but I'm scared to death that I won't know how to use it.  I can sign up for lessons right? RIGHT?! I don't get how anyone between the ages of 8 and 30 can pick up a phone and use it like it's an appendage that they were born with. Even after reading instruction booklets I can't figure them out. Clearly, I am technology handicapped.

I also think I may want a Kindle. I love to read and it looks pretty and shiny and awesome. I'd have to download A LOT of book to make it worth what I'd pay for it. Books that I can get free from the library. I'm a little afraid that if I get one it may be as useful as my Wii Fit. I searched for weeks for a Wii Fit.I finally found one and used it a grand total of ONCE. Now its collecting dust next to my VCR that is flashing 12:00.

I have a laptop. That makes me technology savvy, doesn't it?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

For A Reason

Every now and then someone drops into my life that makes me realize I can be a better me.

A teacher, a friend, a boss.

Mostly they aren't a huge part of my life. But still influential enough to make me think about why things like change don't settle well with me. The relationships aren't generally even noticed much until they are over.

That very thing happened today.  Someone I worked with moved on to much bigger things, leaving me with the thoughts about where I'm left. In a few short weeks I'll be leaving work that's familiar to me. I'll be learning new skills and hopefully building a new familiar. Opportunities are already being offered that weren't possible before.

I'm only changing work locations. She is changing EVERYTHING and she's excited about it! I've decided that I'm going to be excited about my changes too. I'm going to make the most of it. I still have a good job when so many people don't.  I've kinda taken that for granted lately as I whine about what changes are being offered to me. And it really is an offer; no one is forcing me to go there. I can be a better me there! I'm excited about that.

People are put into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Someone who I'll miss told me that today.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ummm, No Thanks

A couple times a week I have advertisements left tied to my mail box. I can appreciate that area small businesses are trying to increase their client base but I'm getting a little paranoid. It's like they're screaming "everything at your house is a mess". LOUDLY.

Sometimes it's a "Gloria's Green Thumb" like business. You know pretty much mocking me about how in need of yard work our garden (I use that term very loosely) is. Maybe I like my weeds masquerading as flowers.

A couple days ago it was "Polly's Pressure Washing"( I'm pretty sure that's not the real name of anyone that works there). If they took a close look at the house they would realize that pressure washing would probably strip the paint right off. So, I'm gonna pass on their 30% off discount offer.

Occasionally "Chloe's Cleaning Service" wants to clean our windows or carpets for a discounted rate. Seriously, it's like they are looking in our windows and giggling about how messy we are. I hope their not peering in during a clothing optional time cause that could do some serious damage to someones poor, unsuspecting retinas.

Yesterday I found an offer for holiday services. Starting at just $55.00 "Happy Harvey's Holiday Helper" will set up a Christmas tree or iron a tablecloth and napkins  Really?! Who has table clothes that need ironed? Don't they know that ironing plastic will melt it? There was also an offer to prepare holiday meals IN MY HOME. That is just creepy!

I gotta admit I'm sorta freaked out that these companies know a little too much about my cleaning and cooking issues. Really people STOP LOOKING IN MY WINDOWS!

Monday, October 25, 2010

His Day

He says it's just another day. It's not.

I'm convinced that he was born on this day 13 years before me to be exactly where we are today. To complete each other and to share our life together. We both made mistakes that we learned from so that we could be perfect for each other when the time was right.

I wish I could give him all the things he deserves. I'd create the perfect day in the perfect place. But life rarely allows perfect anything. Jobs get in the way. Obligations and responsibilities. For now, brief kisses and short phone calls between jobs will have to suffice. Later, maybe chocolate cake. He deserves so much more!

Happy Birthday Sweetie! I love you!

Friday, October 22, 2010


I hate when I get things I've heard mixed up. Like tips on surviving wild animal attacks.

Today seemed like a good day for a walk at lunch. I knew a departure from my normal nap was not a good idea but I did it anyway. I shoulda known I was just asking for trouble.

There is A LOT of water and nature-y, weedy areas near the building where I work. I'm careful to scan the grass for critters when I'm walking next to it on the sidewalk. Every now and then frogs and such jump to the sidewalk. Kinda cute. NOT today!

All was good; I was enjoying my little walk until I saw it. A GIANT BLACK SNAKE! It was practically on the sidewalk. It was coiled up in a ball about the size of....I can't even tell you. It was BIG and its head was all perked up with its tongue flicking all around.  They smell with their tongues, don't they? I'm sure I smelled like grade A prime rib! I knew it was important to know what it looked like in case it bit me. You know, so the coroner could tell everyone what kind of snake bite I died from. I was afraid to look at it. Do I make eye contact? What animal is it that you don't look right in the eyes? Would that be a sign of aggression causing him to spit poisonous junk in my eye? It totally could have been a spitting cobra! Or maybe I was thinking of Medusa and her snake hair. It's hard to concentrate when you're about to be eaten by a snake. My brain was screaming RUN, but what if it chased me? They do chase prey, right? Or was I supposed to stand there and pretend I was dead so it would slither away? Now that I'm safely FAR away from the snake I remember it's a bear you're supposed to play dead for.

What I really wanted was for a knight in shining armor with a shovel to rescue me and fling the killer snake into the water. I waited for about 2.3 seconds but no one showed up so I RAN FAST.  It's hard to think clearly when standing in the face of death but looking back it may not have been that big, but it was a SNAKE and that's all that matters!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just a Swingin

I have...oh...lets call them mood swings.

If hurricane force winds can be called a breeze.

I feel them coming on, I usually know when to expect them.

But sometimes, out of no where...CRASH...right down in the middle of my day.

Anyone from the Midwest know the sound of a tornado warning. It would only be fair to everyone around me if they were afforded this same luxury right before this CRASH happens.

I like to say I'm fussy. Really? I'm hateful and short tempered.

I spend a lot of time saying I'm sorry. I REALLY AM SORRY!

People who are the center of my world live with this unknown everyday. Saying I'm sorry doesn't begin to scratch the surface.

Today, I had to tell my sweetie that I was sorry. He said "for what". Really! He tries to make me believe he really doesn't notice that I'm one electro-shock therapy treatment away from losing my mind.

For now, I need to keep thinking that.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yea for Fall, Y'all

Without looking at a calender it's kinda hard to tell when it's Fall in Florida.

There are subtle hints like the weather. Instead of 90 degrees it's a cool 82.

There is a quiet whisper from the mall to rush in and buy sweaters, long sleeves and jeans. What? We have air conditioning and it gets cool inside (and if it's not cool enough I turn the temperature down). Shhhhh, don't tell my husband he has no clue why our electric bill is 300.00 dollars a month. Seriously, Old Navy has the cutest sweaters!

There are pumpkin patches everywhere. Okay, so they're not really patches exactly, more like small mounds at the grocery store. Yeah, I guess they're really gourds but they could totally grow up to be pumpkins. You know if they were still attached to the vine. And rooted in the dirt. Or maybe I was looking at squash and zucchini. Produce confuses me but I could so make a really cool jack o lantern out of one of those.

Oh, and caramel apples! Beware though, they're VERY dangerous.  I bought some pre-sliced granny smith apples. I'm no dummy, I know many people who have cut off fingers cutting up apples. Well, maybe not exactly cut them off but you get the point. Anyway, I knew I had some caramel dip in the fridge (nevermind that it was "best sold by" July 2009. It's sugar how "bad" can it go?)  I transferred a couple scoops to a little tupperware container (read: Glad reusable container, tupperware is overrated and expensive) and took it to work. It was a little thick when I tried to eat it with my apples so I put it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so. It boiled a tiny bit so I stirred it with an apple slice and stuck it in mouth. OH EM GEE! I burned off about 3/4ths of my taste buds! After the tears stopped I put my little container in the fridge to cool. Guess what? Even if the container feels cool, when you stir the caramel again IT. IS. STILL. HOT! I know this because I stuck my finger in it and was quickly reminded of when I lost my fingerprint to the evil hot glue gun.

Most of our trees don't change color in the fall but every now and then a dry, brown leaf will blow across my path and I thank my lucky stars that I don't have to rake all those pretty colored leaves.

Autumn is awesome. No matter where you live.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What page is this on in the parental handbook?

It's report card time. I'm afraid to look.

Nick asked if he could spend the night with a friend tonight. I had to say no and it hurts. He was so disappointed. When people tell their kids "this hurts me more than it hurts you", it's really very true. I'm not even sure this tactic is effective. Is he really going to remember in 2 weeks during an extra boring class when his mind drifts that I told him he couldn't stay the night with a friend because of his grades?

I've caved. I let him watch TV and occasionally play on the computer. He got a 97 percent on a book report! He was so proud of himself when he brought the grade home. I was elated and crazy happy that his teacher recognized how hard he worked on his report and those clay bananas. It really was very cute. He understood what he read, he CAN do this. He just doesn't do it consistently.

When the boys were babies I couldn't wait til they slept through the night and I didn't have to wake up every 2 hours ALL. NIGHT. LONG. I was silly enough to think that that was the hard part of being a parent.

This weekend he'll stay with his father. I'll feel bad for making him go. What am I really accomplishing?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Well, it happened. I showed my ass.

As my mom and my husband will attest, I keep clothes FOREVER! It's not that I'm opposed to spending money on new clothes. God knows I am the queen of retail therapy! If my clothes could talk there would be conversations from high school to today (yes, I bought clothes today). I have clothes with tags still on them ( I know, that's a symptom of hoarding. Lets pretend it's not, K?).

My uniform for work consists of khaki pants and button down oxford shirts with company logos on them. I have 5 pair of pants that are carefully rotated (to be worn evenly) by my super awesome laundry lady (thanks, Mom). Don't be all judge-y that I have a laundry lady, I pay her. Not as much s she's worth though, she deserves a raise. That's a post for later.

I started out with 5 pair of the exact same pants and over the last year or so I've weeded them out and replaced them with new.  Mostly because I tend to stain ALL of my clothes pretty much like a 2 year old. I do have one pair of my original pants left. They are softly worn and pretty comfy.

Today I wore those.

I tend to go out to my car at lunch to decompress. I strolled across the parking lot to my car and opened the door. Side note: my car looks like a homeless person lives in it.  Candy wrappers, bank receipts, straw wrappers, pretty much anything that will fit into the compartment on the bottom of the door. When I opened the door some of my junk spilled out onto the parking lot. I bent down to pick it up and it happened.  I felt the fabric split and a breeze caressed my heiny.

My first thought was to drive home and NEVER go back to work but that isn't really practical so I got into the car and drove to Target.  I waited until there wasn't a soul in the parking lot to see my not-so-perky behind peeking out of my pants. When the coast was clear, I walked quickly (with my purse strategically placed) into the store. I kept my back to the walls and walked the whole perimeter of the store to save my self what dignity I had left. I grabbed the first pair of khaki pants in my size and sashayed to the checkout. Praying under my breath that no one got behind me. With a quick swipe of my debit card I was out of there and sprinting to my car. I made it with my pride mostly intact. After a quick change I was back to work.

On my way out to my car after work I stopped to tinkle. As I unfastened my new pants the button fell off and bounced across the bathroom floor directly towards the drain in the floor. I practically dove on it to keep it from being lost forever.

The bright side is that I have two new pair of pants for work. I am also very closely examining my remaining pairs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Hands fascinate me.

Baby hands with tiny dimpled knuckles. Finding feet that are ever so elusive.

Hands of my grandma that would inadvertently fold creases into her pants leg as she talked or confidently complete crossword puzzles in ink.

I distinctly remember touching my grandparents hands for the last time.

The hands of the elderly couple that easily find each others walking in the park. Conveying a lifetime of comfort and love.

I watched a woman today at the surgery center as her husband handed her his wedding ring when he was lead off by a nurse for whatever procedure he was having.  She lovingly put the ring on her index finger and spent the next couple of hours absently caressing it. I could see her counting the seconds until she could return his ring to the rightful place that it obviously belonged.

My sweetie and I have been holding hands since almost the day we met. In the car. Sitting on the couch watching TV. Anytime we walk next to each other. Always! We are gonna be that elderly couple. I find much comfort in holding hands and touching his fingers. 

Monday, October 11, 2010


You know those old people that you don't dare ask how they feel, cause they will tell you? You'll hear about every bowel movement, every bunion, every ache of every arthritic joint. You might even get a first class tour of the medicine cabinet with salves (that word is just weird), ointments and pills of miscellaneous shapes and sizes.

I'm becoming that person! Only not as old and not as free with the spewing of the details of what hurts when.


Several months ago my right arm started hurting, like from my shoulder to my elbow. After some xrays I found out I have degenerative disc disease and bone spurs on the vertebra in my neck. Imagine little daggers being thrust into a nerve with every movement. Yep, that about sums it up. After some therapy and a couple of massages it got better. Yea! I woke up with a crick (I don't think that a real medical term but maybe) in my neck. As the day wore on my left arm started to hurt. Again from my shoulder to my elbow. I guess my spurs are equal opportunity ouchies. I don't have time for more therapy or massages so it's just gonna have to get better on its own.

I'll spare you the details of my creaking knees and popping hips. Getting old is not for the faint of heart!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I have the most awesome therapist.

I never have to make an appointment.

My insurance doesn't pay her. But she doesn't mind.

She has an endless supply of hugs. Sometimes that's all it takes to feel better, sometimes not.

She lets me cry and supplies tissues.

She gives her opinion but never judges me. She freely gives suggestions but understands if I don't use them.

I feel safe there. Almost in control.

But if I lose it and meltdown she lets me.

She listens until I've run out of tears and find my smile again.

She's only a phone call away ALWAYS.

She just gets me and understands when I don't make any sense. Like saying my kitchen is overwhelming because there are too many empty spaces and I don't know where to put things (that doesn't even make sense to me!).

I don't tell her enough how awesome she is and how much I appreciate her.

She is my mom!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dare I say I'm Disappointed?

Staying up until the wee hours of this morning preparing the kitchen for the debut of our fabulous new cabinets was, well, exhausting.

I expected nothing less than to come home from work today and have cabinets that were at least equal to unicorns eating cupcakes and pooping rainbows. There was no hallelujah chorus. No beams of brilliant lights from the heavens. No singing choir of angels. Just plain 'ol cupboards. I don't know what I expected but whatever it was it didn't happen. Spoiled much? Maybe because there are no lights. There is no back splash and no range hood so maybe my anticipation was premature.

But they do have pretty knobs and pulls. Like jewelry for cabinets.

Ohhhhhh! Ahhhhhh!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dust to Dust

I am completely, totally and seriously OVER all the drywall dust in my house.

I don't usually mind dust, as long as it coats everything evenly. Mostly I don't even notice it's there until someone (cough*Nick*cough) runs their finger through it, disturbing the even-ness (that is totally a word).  Even then I just grab the swiffer duster (LOVE THOSE) and wand it over the dust. It sticks to it like a magnet and VOILA no dust.

But since the kitchen renovation from hell (and I say that with total love cause it is gonna look awesome someday) I am living, sleeping and breathing dust. We're probably even eating some cause my husband thinks it's okay to cook in a kitchen that is dismantled. Whatever!

In his infinite wisdom he suggested that I might sand the mortar left behind by the tile that we carefully removed. I wanted to just bang on it with a hammer like they do on TV but he wanted as few chunks taken out of the drywall as possible. Get this, to cut down on the sanding! Yeah, right!

I tried to get Nick to do it. He did. For about 20 seconds. The electric sander is heavy and his arms hurt. Wimp!

Next it was my turn to try. I figured I could make the walls as smooth as silk in short order. I know all about the safety equipment so I put on my snorkel goggles because my sweeties big head stretched out the safety goggles that we bought. I also didn't want to inhale anymore dust that I already have so I borrowed a surgical mask from work (you know the kind that prevents the spread of swine and bird flu). It does however NOT prevent the inhalation of drywall dust. And it also didn't fit with my swim goggles. I decided to forgo the mask. It was working until I realized that I was breathing through my nose into the goggles and I couldn't see because my breath fogged them all up. If I had been able to see, I would have also noticed that I sanded the sand paper right off the electric sander and was pretty much just vibrating a piece of equipment against the wall and was removing NOTHING!

All I have to show for my effort is dry cuticles and broken finger nails. I didn't even create any dust. I give up!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It Is What It Is

I got my hair cut today. I sat patiently in the salon waiting for it to be my turn. In that same small space there was a little boy who resembled a 2 or 3 year old ball of pure electricity. He fidgeted and touched EVERYTHING. There was not one second that he stopped moving. Next to him was a mother with her little girl who was about 4 or so. She sat there so quietly watching the entergetic little boy. She sat next to her mom just waiting for her turn to have a beauticians undivided attention. Yeah, some on their behaviors are learned but some just have to be a boy being a boy and a girl being a girl.

Some things just are.

I will never be a perfect parent, wife, friend, sister or daughter. I will have moments that are pretty good though. I'll most likely always be my own worse critic. I might say things that I regret only moments later but I hope to never have any regret that I didn't say something when it needed to be said. Although I never plan to hurt anyone on purpose, feelings will be hurt and things taken out of context or misinterpreted . I can't help those things. I probably will always struggle with some form of the blues. It runs in my family. I'll likely continue to want things I can't have and not fully appreciate what I do have.

Some things just are. It is what it is.

Monday, October 4, 2010


I always thought of family as a bunch of people that you're born related to. Over the course of my 40-ish years I now know that there are people that are loved as much as family that don't necessarily share any genetic link. I have 3 daughters that share my husbands genes and that I didn't give birth to but that I love with all my heart. I have step-parents that own pieces of my heart. I'm not sure where the term "step" parents or "step" sibling came from. There really is no "step" involved in the love that we share. I have friends who were there when I needed them most and they are as important as my family.

On the flip side, I have family that I know very little about. In a sad twist, divorce causes distance between people. Children are left with emptiness on entire sides of their family tree.  Regretfully, I caused this very thing to happen to my own children. They have relatives that they may never know and for that I wish I could turn back the clock and keep those distances from happening.  I resemble my dads family and have relatives that share my bone structures and eye color but who I don't know very well. Still, the genes that we share make it easy to love them as if we were never separated. My boys have cousins and aunts and uncles that I wish they knew but hindsight is 20/20 and they will need to decide if they want any of these relationships to bloom.

In these days of social media maybe fewer of these situations will occur. Maybe distances won't matter and relationships will naturally occur. I'm not sure that  it's true that chance makes us family but choice makes us friends. I think there is a little chance and choice in all relationships.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Consistently Inconsistent

Punishing a child is hard! It seems like taking away something they enjoy doing would work to get the point across that whatever they did is unacceptable. Almost like a "time out" from whatever they enjoy. But what is an appropriate time to withhold the activity? And what happens when you run out of things to take away?

I'm good at saying "no computer" then kinda forgetting about it for a while. Suddenly I think Nick would like this game. "Hey Nick, wanna play The Price is Right on the computer?" Sure he does! And because mom asked him obviously the punishment is over. But its not and I feel like I suck at parenting. Maybe he takes advantage a little too because the next day, there he is on the computer.

I take his cell phone away but then remind him to take his phone with him to his fathers (mostly so I don't have to talk to Randy when I call for Nick). That doesn't even make sense to me! How is it ever going to make sense to him?

Like this morning, I wanted to tell him he could watch TV until his dad got out of bed. But last night I told him no TV. I was thinking forever but that's not realistic. I found him drawing in his room instead. He was probably drawing pictures of me with flaming swords being shoved under my eye lids! I didn't ask.

When my kids were little punishment was easy. SIT ON THIS CHAIR FOR AS MANY MINUTES AS THE YEARS YOU ARE OLD! Three years, 3 minutes. Usually it worked but it's not that easy any more. 13 minutes of no TV is not gonna teach anybody anything. Accept maybe that you don't miss much of the show because there are at least 13 minutes of commercials on every show.

I guess I'll wait for that magic age when I can look back and say I must have done it right sometimes.

When is that by the way?