Friday, December 23, 2011

It Doesn't Matter if He Can Tap Dance or Not, Jesus is Still an Awesome Guy

I was at our work Christmas party the other day having a good old time.  The party planning committee (me and my stuffed pig) had accomplished another brilliant feat of festive activities and I was thoroughly enjoying them.  In discussing the holiday with my co-worker, (yes I only have one and the party consists of me and him) I said how I was behind on my Christmas to-do list.  I stated that I didn't even have my stable and nativity up yet and how there just isn't room for it this year.  I thought for a second.  I have room for the six and a half foot tall Christmas tree (barely).  I have room for the snowmen and the penguins, the cute birds with the santa hats who are ice skating and the Mickey and Minnie Mouse in the sleigh.  I even have room for the tap dancing santa, reindeer and elves, but the Christ child - heck no.  No room for him in my inn.  I had to chuckle at myself.  I try so hard to respect the religious beliefs of others that I often forget and turn my back completely on the religious roots to which I will forever be tethered even with all my doubting and questioning.  Whether I believe Jesus was the son of God or not, he was a great man.  We celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and many other great men and women.  But I happened to overlook the celebrating of possibly the most influential and inspiring person in all of history just because he is claimed to be supernatural and I don't know if I agree with that.  Either way, his life should be celebrated and what better way to celebrate it than by celebrating his birth (even if the date was chosen based on numerous other outside influences rather than actual chronology).  Even though I prefer to focus on his life and teachings rather than his birth and death, without a birthday there would be no Jesus.  So Chuy, I will move the parrot's playgym and get out my nativity - complete with santa, reindeer, snowmen, winnie the pooh, squirrels, unicorn, panda bears, rooster and six kings - and make room in my heart as well.  Remember, peace, hope and love is what he proclaimed and it is what I wish you this holiday season!  Happy Whatever-You-Celebrate to You!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thank You God for These . . . Um . . . Well . . . Er . . . Gifts?

Last night we went out to eat (big surprise there) to one of the three local steakhouses.  We were seated in a booth in an empty section.  A large party was quickly seated right next to us.  They had a booth with a small table pulled up next to it and another booth across from that.  There were two more booths behind those ones and there was still room to get around the table so that potentially, they could seat more people there.  The thing that really bugged me is this blond in stiletto boots shows up and she's got a cake and a wrapped gift the size of a small SUV.  Are you kidding me?  She takes the gift and puts it on one of the booths behind them and then puts the cake on the other - thus taking over an entire section of the restaurant.  The hostess even brought people over there to seat them in the gift/cake booths only to find that they were already occupied by the cake and the gift.  My thing is - who the hell did this woman think she was?  I just don't understand people that are that egocentric.  This is a public restaurant.  You have not hired out a banquet room to celebrate a birthday party.  And they brought their own cake!  The restaurant serves dessert.  Why didn't they just buy everyone dessert instead of bringing their own food from home?  I wouldn't go to meet someone for lunch at a restaurant and take a sack lunch with me!  I know it can be hard to find a time and a place to get everyone together for celebratory gatherings but if you want to have a cake from home, here's a thought - HAVE IT AT HOME!  Luckily we were finished with our meal before the gift opening began.  I'm sure they would have wanted our booth to put the ripped up wrapping paper on.  Or better yet, we could have been background for their photos like at the restaurant last week where the woman in the next booth took a flash picture of everything her baby did.  Why do I always get stuck next to "God's gift to the world"?  God, if your listening, I speak for the world.  What is your gift return policy?

Monday, December 12, 2011

12 for 12

My thoughts have been rather scattered lately.  My ADD is in overdrive and with the holiday fast approaching, this is not a good thing.  So today I've decided I'd give you a taste of what goes on in my head.  In honor of 12/12, here are 12 things that have been on my mind.

12.  Why is my house so hot in the daytime?  I'm talking like Jamaica hot.  If we turn the heat down then we are too cold later in the day.  It could just be me but I'm too young to be getting hot flashes.

11.  How did we get so much Christmas stuff?  It seems like Hubby just keeps bringing more and more of it up from the basement.  I have no idea how we have accumulated so much . . . well . . . Christmas crap.  Its festive and I love it.  Its just that there isn't room in our tiny townhouse for it all.

10.  Why is it that every time some little bitty thing goes wrong at our house in the next town over that we are renting out . . . anyway, why do they call property management every time?  Instead of checking the fuses, they just call and say that the indoor garage opener isn't working.  Fine.  Check the fuse and if that's not it then DEAL.  You still have two garage door openers and the keypad on the garage.  Its a one car garage.  Do you really need that many ways to access it?  I swear when I agreed to give these very young boys a chance, I should have realized they were spoiled rotten.  If you asked me right now if I would renew their lease in 2012, the answer would be NO!

9.  I think we may be a mite-free home.  They seem to be gone.  Fingers crossed.  Knock on wood.

8.  I am getting very restless at my job.  I don't know why.  Its not hard.  Its just annoying.  I can't imagine having the commitment of a career and working full-time, but I feel like I want more.  I really should get into this writing a book thing that I keep thinking about.  What harm would it do?  Maybe after the holidays.

7.  My daughter is going to college.  My daughter is going to college.  My daughter is going to college.  Maybe if I say it enough times, I will be ok with it.  She has gotten into the College Down the Street.  She even made it into their honors program.  I know that she will get into others and I am not looking forward to having to help her make this decision.  Choices like which Christmas gift to buy are hard for her because of her OCD.  I can't begin to imagine the drama this decision is going to come with.

6.  Am I blogging just for my own mental health or does reading my blog actually keep people informed on my life and maybe even help them with their problems?  (If nothing else by showing them that we all have problems.)  This blog has quite a few followers but I haven't gotten a new one in quite some time and my other blog only has 5 followers.  It gets more hits than that but only 5 followers is kind of a bummer.  I wonder if I should keep them going?

5.  What am I going to mail my Grandmother's Christmas gift to her in.  I have it wrapped and ready to go in a shirt box.  A typical shirt box.  I wanted to send it Priority Mail so I got one of their mailing boxes.  The one referred to as a shirt box.  The only problem is their shirtbox is about 3/4 of an inch shorter than my shirt box.  Come on people.  A shirt box should be a shirt box.  When will the world get its act together and have uniform standard sizes?

4.  What else can I get my daughter for Christmas?  I have some gifts and some ideas but need more.  If you come up with any, you can comment on this blog.  I just won't post your comment so she doesn't see it.  What would you want if you were a 17 1/2 year old girl?

3.  How come if according to the movie "Fred Claus" when Santa becomes a saint, he and his whole family stop aging and freeze at the age they are at but then in the movie "The Santa Clause 3" he and his wife have a baby how could that happen according to the rules of Santa from "Fred Claus"?  Hubby says they are just movies but I am thinking this is an important thing to kids and what would I say if a random child should ask me?  I think Hollywood should get it together on their Santa lore.

2.  Where am I gonna find the money in our budget to pay for our trip to Hometown between Christmas and New Year's?  I really shouldn't be worrying about this because Hubby took over the budgetting for the year so technically I am giving myself one more month off before I start doing it again but I can't help but worry.  The hotel is like $160 per night.  We are looking at two or three nights.  We don't have that kind of a chunk of change just sitting around.  Besides, if we did I would have already spent it on Christmas.

1.  Is my Grandma ok?  Last week she broke her leg and had to get a rod put in place of the bones between her knee and ankle.  Its times like this when its really hard to live 5 hours away.  I know that my being there wouldn't really do anything except maybe make her smile but I just wish I was.  Calling on the phone just isn't the same.  I miss my Gram.

There you go.  A roller coaster ride through my mind this Christmas season.  I will make my best effort to have my next posting be a more cohesive thought process.  I promise.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Goodness Gracious God All-Mitey

I am caught up in a major catch 22.  See, our middle bird (I call him the middle bird because we got him second out of the three and because he literally sits in the middle between the other birds) has mites.  We believe they are red mites.  Between the interweb and its wonderful wealth of contradicting information and the clueless girl at the vet's office, we are pretty much on our own trying to figure this one out.  We don't want to use any of the over the counter sprays or "traps" because one site said that they have been known to kill birds.  We were told by our local bird experts that they won't transfer from one bird to another without direct contact between the birds, but the chick at the vet's office said "Yeah, your other birds can probably maybe get it I think."  (She was really decisive <insert eye roll here>.)  He did receive a treatment for mites from our local bird experts while he was "vacationing" at their place over Thanksgiving.  The trouble is that they don't seem to be going away.  We clean the cages, perches and toys but the mites are still on the bird.  If we give the bird a treatment, we can't wait till the mites are all gone before we put him back in the cage.  The mites won't all drop dead at the same time because they didn't get the memo that that would be the most convenient procedure for me.  What to do?  What to do?  I should be thankful.  At least they don't transfer to people . . . that I know of.  <furious paranoid scratching>

Personal Postal Purging ------------- (try saying that five times real fast)

I did it!  I did it!  I can't believe I did it!  I finally had the nerve to cut some people off of my Christmas card list!  After sending out 96 cards last year, I decided enough was enough.  I went through my list which was now well over 100 and axed a few non-recipricaters.  Chop! Chop!  I liked sending cards to them and thought they liked receiving them but when you don't hear back from people you just never know.  So I said ado to about ten people.  Yeah, that's right - a whole big ten people.  Chop!  Chop!  I'm ruthless.  What can I say?  Then, I realized I had lost my Christmas card address book.  This was a huge catastrophe in my house.  I looked everywhere and then I started to see the silver lining of this dilemma.  I couldn't find it so I started asking people for their addresses again.  Some responded and some didn't.  Most who didn't respond got the axe.  Chop!  Chop!  They may be great people who were at one point or another cherished friends but if they can't spring for the couple of quarters it takes to buy a stamp.  See ya!  Chop! Chop!  I did manage to find my address book the day after I mailed my cards.  And I have to admit that I did make out a few cards to a few people that I missed.  I even received a card from someone I didn't send one to.  I broke down and sent one to them too.  I was weak and the guilt got to me.  I admit it.  But my number is still below 100 and as Santa is my witness, I will never let my Christmas card list go over 100 cards again. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Angels Don't Just Grow on Trees

While in Hometown for the holiday weekend, we were out shopping.  Yes, it was on Black Friday but surprisingly it wasn't to get any of the Black Friday deals which all actually happened on Thursday night anyway.  So, we go to Wally World and I was thrilled to see that they had an angel tree in the front of the store.  An angel tree, for those that don't know, is a Christmas tree decorated with slips of paper.  Each slip of paper has the name, age and gender of a child in need on it.  You are supposed to pick a slip off of the tree and buy an age and gender appropriate toy for that child.  There are usually collection boxes around the tree.  I love doing the angel tree and it is something they don't really seem to do here in Suburbia.  I love helping those in need especially at Christmas time.  But I also make an attempt to handle my philanthropical giving on my own and not rely on charities, especially when it comes to one group - military families.  Don't get me wrong,  I'm not unpatriotic.  I appreciate all that our service men and women do for me and our country.  I just have a problem because at one point I was part of a needy military family. I even had to do Christmas by myself while my spouse was deployed.  Nobody, I repeat NOBODY, from any charity ever asked if we needed help.  Nobody offered us food or toys for our child.  Nobody even checked to make sure that I was okay handling the holiday alone as a single parent.  Holidays were hard.  Being away from family was difficult.  We managed to scrape by and our child always had presents to open on Christmas morning and there was always a holiday meal to feast on but it was usually the work of creative financial planning and going without other things that made it possible.  Could we have sought out charities and begged for a hand-out?  Yes, but there is this thing called pride that seems to get in the way.  I'm not saying people should not give to charities that benefit the military families.  This is just my personal experience.  What I am saying is to make sure that ANY charity you are giving to is actually doing what you think and they claim they are doing.  Or better yet don't rely on some corporation, even if it is non-profit, to do the work for you.  If you know a family in need, offer them help directly.  Invite them to your holiday meal.  Share your home with them to provide some company.  Take them a bag of food or some toys for their kids.  It may feel ackward and they may claim not to need it but I can guarantee you they will be thankful even if it isn't directly to your face.  If everyone just took care of their friends and neighbors like family, we wouldn't need all these hundreds of charities funneling money in a million different directions and people wouldn't get overlooked and slip through the cracks.  Show your appreciation directly to our military men and women.  Include them in your Christmas card list.  Check on their families while they are deployed.  You may make a world of difference in a person's life but rely on yourself to do it - not some middleman.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pssst . . . Santa . . . It's Room 104

The saying goes "you can't go home again" and I've decided that is true for me and my family.  We will be going to Hometown for Thanksgiving and between Christmas and New Year if weather permits but we will not be going for Christmas proper.  We will be spending Christmas Eve and Day here in our own humble abode.  After chatting at length with Uncle Fantastic, I came to realize that the experience I wanted my daughter to have didn't really exist anymore.  There was no sitting around the table on Christmas Eve.  It is now done buffet style.  Not that that's a huge change but it made me realize that what I experienced as a child was my childhood, not my daughter's.  Her childhood and holiday traditions involved myself and her dad.  Just our little family of three.  We have our own Christmas Eve party where we gorge ourselves on junk food and play games and/or do activities.  (Last year it was a Wii tournament.  This year's activities are craft-centered.  Just what Hubby was hoping for!  Yeah, right!)  We have done this for years.  Why should I deny her the Christmas traditions she knows just to try to relive my past.  I don't know if they even break the small sheets of blessed wafers at my grandparents house anymore and well, she's too old to crawl under the table when she's finished and tickle everybody's feet.  Besides, the dog does that now anyway.  She needs to stay rooted in her norm - our traditions.  Next year, she may be off to college and coming home for Christmas and that home will be here in Suburbia, not back in Hometown.  This IS her Hometown whether I want to accept that or not.  She grew up here.  This is what she knows.  So while I will be sad for a moment missing another Christmas Eve with my family, I will embrace the fact that I will be having Christmas Eve with My Family.  Besides, how does Santa know what hotel room number you're in anyway?  Not a risk I want to take.   :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Child Endangerment: The New Way to a Thinner You

I saw something the other day that made me scowl.  It was a magazine cover.  No, I'm not a Ryan Gosling fan miffed because Bradley Cooper was named the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine - although I do have to say, I whole heartedly agree with People.  It was a cover picture of Mariah Carey.  The text was something about her losing like, oh I don't know, 70 pounds or something after having her babies a few months ago.  Ok everyone.  Calm down.  This is not the feat you think it is.  Glad you have your pre-baby body back Ms. Carey but do you really think this is cover story worthy?  I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm happy for her.  I just don't understand why this is amazing.  She has a personal chef to cook her healthy meals, she has a personal trainer to guide her body sculpting, she probably has a nanny to watch her kids while she does all of this and without a rigorous 9 to 5 job, she has the time to do it all.  What I really want to see is some nobody on the cover of a magazine.  Some mom who has three kids and lost 70 pounds while only finding minimal time to workout and being forced to eat fast food due to time and financial constraints.  Now that would be a story.  Make it real like we women really are.  I tried losing weight after having my baby.  She was approximately 16 months old and I thought kick boxing sounded fun.  So I bought an instructional video because I didn't have the money to join a gym and/or get a personal trainer.  It went well for the first five minutes but without a nanny to watch my little bundle of joy while I was sweating my way to a thinner me, things were bound to go wrong.  My daughter thought this was a fun game and began to run rings around mommy as she kicked.  I had my timing down pretty good, kicking when she was behind me.  Then the tempo on the video switched and let's just say when a toddler receives a swift foot blow to the head, they don't particularly enjoy it.  We didn't have money to go to the ER so I spent the rest of the day cuddling her apologetically and checking her pupils for signs of a concussion.  So, I think magazines should stop making us feel inferior and start reporting on what is real.  Real problems faced by real people.  Then maybe I'd really buy them instead of just flipping through while in the check-out line.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Here Comes the Bride and the Tornadoes

Well, I got my voice back.  Most of it at least.  Just in time to run screaming into my basement away from the tornadoes we are expected to get here today.  Every November, we get one bout of severe weather.  Its like spring in the autumn.  From what the weatherman/woman says - today is our day.  I should be thankful.  With as busy as we have been lately, it is amazing that it is happening on a day where we have nothing going on.  Last week was a college visit.  This past weekend was an out of town wedding.  Tomorrow another college visit.  So I guess if I had to schedule in some severe weather on my calendar, today is a good day.  It is amazing that on Friday it was cold enough to be snowing and now its balmy enough for severe weather.  Then again we were about three or four hours north of Suburbia so I guess that could have something to do with it.  It was a nice trip.  Up on Thursday with a college stop along the way.  Wedding on Friday.  Back to Suburbia on Saturday.  A nice little getaway.  The wedding itself was beautiful.  The service just the right length of time.  The mood just light enough to be humorous yet personal and romantic.  The bride was glowing and the groom was grinning.  I have to admit I almost cried a few times.  Why am I such a sap?  We've only known the bride since she was in high school - possibly younger, I can't really remember life here in Suburbia without knowing her and her family.  So, I want to take this opportunity to say Congratulations to Marion the Librarian and her Music Man.  May you have love, laughter, and happiness through all the days of your life together.  Oh, and you make me feel old.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Oh, There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays

I am in a bit of a spot here.  It involves me, hometown, family and Christmas.  See my family has some big traditions when it comes to Christmas.  From what they eat on which days to who sits where to pass out presents.  My dilemma is I would really like my daughter to get to experience these traditions.  We have never gone to hometown for actual Christmas Day proper.  We always go sometime between Christmas and New Year.  We have always used the "Santa excuse" for not coming on said day.  But I want my daughter who is now 17 to have the opportunity to experience, just once, the kind of Christmas I grew up with.  I know I can't duplicate my childhood for her but giving her a taste of what I endured . . . I mean participated in would mean a lot to me.  Not to mention my mother.  It would totally make her dreams come true to see us on December 24th and 25th.  She may get so excited she may just explode.  I don't want my mother to explode.  What kind of daughter would I be if I wanted that?  Anyway, I also have another concern.  See, my family doesn't like change.  Any kind of change at all.  If we go back for Christmas Eve/Day, this is going to throw them for a loop.  We don't have assigned seats at the table.  We don't have assigned seats in the basement for present distribution.  We just don't belong there.  I can't help feeling this way but it has been held without us for the past 16 years.  Throwing us into the mix is just asking for trouble.  A huge monkey wrench in the holiday plans.  I'm positive if I asked my Grandma she'd be thrilled to have us.  Do doubt in my mind.  My trouble is do I want to do this or not.  I don't want the drama that comes along with a large family gathering even if it is Christmas.  I think maybe I've been away too long.  Maybe I'm just remembering all the good things about Christmas and blocking out all the bad stuff and THAT is what I want my daughter to experience.  A Christmas where nobody is bitter or upset or downright angry.  Just a nice fairytale Christmas where we all sit around singing carols and drinking cocoa.  Yeah, that's not what I'm gonna get.  I guess I just have to make a decision and go with it.  The song says "there's no place like home for the holidays" but I don't know.  I am open to any advice anyone would like to share.  Let the friendly guidance commence . . . now.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sign Language - How I Wish I Knew Thee

Every year, I lose my voice.  Usually it is in the dead of winter after I have had bronchitis (an annual event for me).  This year the bronchitis came early and the laryngitis is sticking around.  It has been almost two weeks with this minimal, scratchy, pathetic excuse for a voice and I am fed up.  I can't do anything.  I can't talk to anyone.  This includes asking questions and engaging in poite conversation - even when shopping!  I can't go through a drive-thru because they can't hear my order.  I can't even talk on the phone.  You never quite realize how important something is until its gone and my voice definitely falls into that category.  I never realized just how important the telephone is until I couldn't use it anymore.  I can't do all those little businessy things around the house that need to be done.  I keep sending Hubby to work with a list of places that need called for reservations, cancellations, questions, answers, and all that fun stuff.  He's a good sport but I can tell he's about as fed up with my voice being gone as I am.  When I do speak, it comes out in a squeeky sort of raspy almost non-audible sound.  It is usually accompanied by massive amounts of coughing.  Fun.  I've been drinking tea.  I've had the chicken soup.  I've gone long periods of time without attempting to talk thus letting my voice rest.  I don't really know what else to do.  My mom calls me periodically to check and see if I have my voice back.  Hubby tells her "no" but its killing her that I can't talk.  Oh well, I guess I should relish the silence.  Take advantage of the peace and quiet.  Enjoy the break from my own babbling.  The thing is the little voice in my head doesn't have laryngitis.  It just goes on and on 24 hours a day without stopping.  My frustration is that I can't share anything that I am thinking.  I am stuck in my own little world.  No snarky comments.  No opinionated declarations.  Nothing.  Just me in my head - alone.  I even had to cancel an appointment with my therapist because what good is therapy if you can't talk.  It's more like a lecture and I wasn't paying for that.  So, those of you with a voice - which should be all or most of you - don't take it for granted.  You never know when you'll catch my germs and be mute like me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Great Sugar Rush is Over. Bring on the Dead and the Elves.

Wow!  I totally suck at being a blogonista!  The month of October came and went and I barely shared anything with you guys and gals.  How dare I neglect my peeps like that.  Shame on me!  Happy Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead for those of you who don't speak a lick of Spanish.  We have decided to celebrate this holiday in our house mostly for three reasons - 1) To honor the dead, 2) To have an excuse other than Cinco de Mayo to eat out at a Mexican restaurant, and 3) To create altars to honor the dead and thus (you got it) to have to shop for said materials to make said altars.  We are no way of shape remotely Spanish but any excuse to eat out and shop.  Besides, doesn't it make for a well rounded child to learn about different cultures and their traditions.  Ever though its full of skeletons and such, I like the Day of the Dead much better than Halloween.  But that's ok because Halloween is over and within seconds the Christmas decorations were up in the stores and the Christmas music blaring out of their speakers.  I love Christmas so I don't really mind.  I think that the people who complain "what about Thanksgiving" need to see Thanksgiving for what it really is: Pre-Christmas.  That's right.  It's a time when everyone in the family gets together for a big meal.  Its like practice for Christmas.  Its like a warm fuzzy reminder of all the drama you will have to endure on that holiest of nights and days.  I also think that if you wait until after Thanksgiving to put up your decorations and go all Christmas everywhere, you don't have enough time to enjoy your efforts.  Put up your decorations and do your shopping before Thanksgiving so that come the actual Christmas season, all you have to do is flip a switch and sit back and enjoy your eggnog.  Otherwise, you are rushing to get everything up and everything done and by the time you are finished, it is time to take it all down and pack it all away again.  Totally not worth it!  So I shrug off the fact that we got zero trick-or-treaters this year and pull out my Christmas cards.  I've started my shopping already because its the most wonderful time of the year!  P.S.  Just in case you didn't know, Santa is just like me.  He has OCD too.  He makes a list AND THEN checks it TWICE!  Man, I love Christmas!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Let's Do Lunch

Lunch is such a difficult meal.  Its shoved there in the middle of the day and isn't really designated any importance.  Compared to breakfast, the most important meal of the day, and dinner, the main meal of the day, what is there left to define lunch.  Nothing.  Poor lunch.  It has to be packed up in a sack or prepared in a cafeteria.  There is little hope for it.  I sit here now eating lunch - a cucumber and white cheddar sandwich on a bagel - a holdover from my days spent living in England.  It is yummy but like most lunches I end up with it is the only thing we pretty much had in the kitchen that wasn't breakfast or dinner worthy.  I often times skip breakfast when I am home just so that I can eat breakfast for lunch and make it a bit more exciting.  Breakfast is much more interesting.  You have your hot foods - eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, pancakes, even oatmeal - and then there's the always favorite standby cereal with choices ranging from fiber infused flakes to sugar loaded stars and moons.  Not to mention all of the continental breakfast items.  Dinner is a family staple - meat and potato combos or ethnic cuisine.  Dinner is where we all get together and share what has happened during the day.  Lunch is usually eaten at someone's desk or in the car while on the run.  It is an afterthought - thrown together in the morning or eaten out within ridiculous time restrictions while being accompanied by a side of guilt for spending the money on something you could have brought from home.  Either way, lunch is difficult.  It is the middle child of the meal world.  Overlooked and forgotten.  I wish I could come up with a way to save this long lost dining experience.  A way to make it better but I can't.  I struggle with what to eat for lunch nearly every day.  And now my cucumber and cheese sandwich is done.  That was it.  A cucumber and cheese sandwich.  No chips.  No side items.  Just a lonely cucumber and cheese sandwich.  I think I'm actually still hungry.  Thank goodness dinner is early tonight.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Crouching Tiger, Smiling Fish

Well, I survived another business trip.  Yes, Hubby went away again last week and left me alone with the virally infectious one known as our kid.  I thought between school and color guard rehearsal, I would be facing three days of solitary confinement.  Instead, I had a buddy all the whole time.  She planted herself on the couch and I planted myself in the chair next to it and we sat.  I only went out to get take away food.  It was kind of nice but by the time that Hubby got back I was itching to go somewhere and dying to shop.  So today we went to the Pandora store so I could get my latest addition to my my-husband-goes-away-on-business-and-I-have-to-run-the-show-alone bracelet.  I went with a list of ten possibilities and walked away with number ten on my list.  I always do that.  I think I'm going to get a certain bead and then when I get there those notions go completely out the window and I choose something off the wall that I wasn't really even considering.  Today I walked away happy with "The Happy Fish".  In an effort to get The Kid out of the house for more than ten minutes, we also went to the store to find a top to go with a skirt that I was saving to wear to a friend's wedding next month.  After searching the entire store, I was taking something over to the window to look at it against the skirt in the natural light when I noticed - the skirt had snags on it!  Just my luck!  So I had to scrap that idea and just buy a whole new outfit instead.  Poor me.  I love the outfit I got.  I wish I could wear it tomorrow but they might think I'm a little overdressed for a college admissions visit.  Yes, another Monday, another college.  That's the way we roll in this house these days.  Got to get them all in before Hubby takes his next business trip.  You know.  The trip of which we do not speak.  The trip to Hawaii.  Maybe The Kid can stay healthy for the next trip.  My luck I'll be the one to get sick.  Or maybe it'll be Hubby and he won't be able to go to Hawaii.  Wouldn't that be a shame.  <evil grin>  I guess I shouldn't complain or wish bad things on anyone.  I should just smile and be a Happy Fish.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ahhhhh - Freak Out

Last night, we spent the late evening/night at everyone's favorite place - the local emergency room.  See our daughter has had a fever since Sunday evening and it spiked to 104 degrees.  We called the nurse line through our healthcare plan and she told us what any good healthcare employee would tell us - call the doc on call, then try to find an urgent care, but go to the hospital if absolutely necessary.  After calling the urgent care and having them tell us to go straight to the ER, we obediently went straight to the ER.  Wow.  What a diverse group of people the ER houses in the middle of the night.  There were numerous people who looked "ok" to me only to magically start coughing or limping when its their turn to go back to a room.  Then in walked my favorite patient of the night, an old man who couldn't hear and didn't want to wait his turn.  After trying (actually sobbing) to convince the registration person that all he needed was a breathing treatment, he proclaimed loudly that he was dying.  Yup, that's right, dying.  He was gonna die right there if they didn't help him right away.  He went on and on like this for about ten or fifteen minutes before finally giving up and heading to the waiting room.  But he didn't stop there, no, he proceeded out into the hall just beyond the waiting area and PULLED OUT A CIGARETTE!  He needs a breathing treatment or he's gonna die and when they ask him to wait he goes for a smoke!  I couldn't believe my eyes.  He headed outside to puff away and even missed his name being called for triage.  What are some of these people thinking?  Are they thinking at all?  Turns out the kid is ok.  Just a viral thing but of course there's nothing they can do for her but say "You have a virus.  Go home and rest."  Maybe she got it spinning her flag in the freezing cold on Friday night.  Maybe she got it in the misty cold rain at the zoo on Saturday.  Maybe she got it at school.  Who knows.  All I know is that I like people watching just as much as the next person but the ER in the middle of the night is creeps on parade and should be avoided if at all possible.  And to top it all off when we went to pay, they seemed confused and disoriented.  What?  Someone wants to voluntarily pay thir hospital bill?  Their reaction tells me Smokey the Bear and his freak show friends won't be doing that anytime soon. Why is it only the wackos seem to get sick and injured nocturnally?  I guess I shouldn't talk, I was there too.  Wonder what they thought of me - the freak with the health insurance?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Can I Pay You in Bodily Organs?

Holy Hell ! ! !  I just did the handy-dandy financial estimation calculator for a university my daughter wants to attend next year!  What the hell ! ! !  I understand what the EFC is but when I saw it I couldn't believe my eyes!  Our EFC (estimated family contribution) is $15,000!  Yeah you read that right - FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS ! ! !  Now I know college costs a lot of money but there is a school up the road where she can go for approximately $10,000 total!  Problem is they don't have what she wants to be when she grows up!  We probably should have saved more for her future but I didn't know we were supposed to be saving nearly $100 a month since the day she was BORN!  Hell, back then we only MADE $100 a month.  We were po' folk to say the least.  We have worked hard to get ourselves out of debt, gather an emergency fund and get Hubby a job that pays well.  Great!  We did all that.  The problem now is I feel like we are being punished for it.  On the questionaire it asks for how much we have in our savings and checking.  Ok.  I answered truthfully.  The thing is even with my truthful answer, our checking and savings combined does not equal what they are expecting us to contribute for ONE year.  That's right.  That $15,000 is just for one year.  And as for my hubby having a good job, you better hope you're on unemployment when your kids apply because here was our breakdown:  Federal Gift Aid - ZERO, State Gift Aid - ZERO, Institutional Gift Aid - ZERO.  I'm seeing a trend here.  The problem is even if we do give them everything we have and then some for her freshman year, then we will have a big fat ZERO.  How does this happen?  Are we really supposed to be homeless so that our daughter can attend college?  And as for scholarships?  She isn't athlete, musically inclined, or anything else that might get her a scholarship.  She is an average, middle-class, white kid which means she gets no help at all.  Nothing.  Anybody wanna buy a kidney?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Deep Thoughts on Shallow Thinking

Today I am at a loss for words so I will simply say this:
When you feel you have been wronged, stop and think.  What if the shoe was on the other foot?  What if you were the one doing the wrong and not even realizing it?  Thinking that you are right.  I am a firm believer in the statement "you don't know until you've walked a mile in someone else's shoes".  People who cannot understand this saying frustrate me most of all.  They can only see things their way which in their opinion is the right way.  Everyone has opinions.  Everyone has free will.  It is our greatest gift from God (if you believe in God which I personally do).  But what happens when your free will inflicts pain on others.  This is why we have laws and rules.  So there is not chaos and mayhem.  Imagine a world where everyone just does as they please.  Not taking anyone else into account.  Your free will is yours but you must choose to use it responsibly.  There are choices that are not necessarily socially acceptable.  Therefore, we must think of others.  We must use our free will to the greater good not necessarily the greater power of ourselves.  I am usually the first person to stand up for what I believe in but I try to do so in a way that doesn't instigate arguement.  I try to include and not exclude.  I try to be accepting and not rejecting.  I try to be positive and not negative.  I try my best.  It doesn't always work but I try.  Its when I see people not willing to try that I become aggitated.  Everyone has free will.  Everyone.  And if your choice is to isolate and distance others with it then so be it but remember, their shoes may not be as comfortable as your own.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

You Want Christmas Lights ? ? ? ? ? I'll Give You Christmas Lights!

We have renters!  Yay!  You all knew that though.  But what you didn't know is that we have renters!  Boo!  They say for every dark cloud there is a silver lining.  Well, for every silver lining make sure you remember there is a dark cloud lurking somewhere close behind.  The renters moved in and we had some plumbing issues.  No fault of theirs.  We paid to have them fixed and then first few months rental income will  go straight to the plumber.  No worries.  Then on Friday, we get a list of move-in conditions from the property management company (who I thought was on our side, by the way, but I am starting to doubt this).  The list includes about six or seven things that the property management company would like to see fixed.  Ok fine.  The catch here is these are some ridiculous things.  A few we knew and they are valid but some don't even apply to our house.  The closet doors in the basement don't work.  Ok, that's probably because there are no closet doors in the basement.  The handrail on the outside stairs isn't secure.  I can see that being a problem since there is not handrail outside.  Actually, there are no stairs outside.  The back door is in bad condition.  Yes, we know this.  But the key here is when you go to look at an apartment or other rental, you have to assume that what you see is what you get.  You don't move in and immediately demand that new doors be put on the house.  I know these guys have never rented before but we thought having a property management company as a middle man would reduce the amount of crap we'd have to deal with.  Apparently, it just means we pay them 10% a month to merely pass on all the crap that's given to them.  Actually, I'm not even sure who is making these demands, the renter boys or the property management people.  Whatever.  The kitchen sink drips when you turn it off.  Hmmmm . . . never did that before but ok.  Ever hear of a washer.  I know you're renting but come on guys.  At this rate, I'm pretty sure they'll call to have someone come and replace a lightbulb when it burns out.  Maybe this rental thing wasn't such a good idea.  Come November, I'll be waiting for the e-mail requesting that they would like Christmas lights put up at our expense.  Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What??? I'm Tall????? Thank You. No One Told Me.

Ok.  Here's the dealio people.  Just because I'm very tall doesn't mean that I am invisible.  If I stand somewhere for half an hour to see something like . . . oh, I don't know . . . my daughter perform with the color guard, I would like to be able to actually see it.  Just because I'm tall doesn't mean that you can come late and stand directly in front of me.  You are not necessarily as short as you think.  I many be tall but I cannot always see over top of everyone.  I stood there and waited, bored out of my mind, but I waited.  Why?  Because I cared enough about seeing said performance to come early enough to get a front row spot.  Just because you are shorter than me does not give you the right to push in front of me and stand there.  Come early and wait your turn if you want that spot.  Oh, and when I don't readily move for you to come in front of me, don't talk about me loudly behind my back.  It's rude.  I don't care if you can't get the perfect shot with your camera and a video camera is no free ticket to trespass in my area either.  I don't care if you, or your kid for that matter, can't see.  If you wanted your kid to see the penguins get fed at the zoo, plan better and be here early.  Or better yet, you and your kid are shorter than me.  Bend down and look between people's legs to see what you can.  That's what you expect me to do with people's heads.  Oh, and don't tell me I'm tall.  I know that.  Thanks for the enlightening heads up.  I forget that every couple seconds so it helps that you are there to remind me.  Do you realize that nobody comes over to you and asks just how short you are?  But me, I'm free game.  Stare all you want.  I have no feelings.  I am simply here to hold your place in the front row until you get there.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New! Improved! Glee Duct Tape!

I have noticed something and I think it may just be the cause for the downturn in the economy - celebrities.  I believe that celebrities are personally responsible for the unemployment rate in this country.  I have no problem with an actor who is an actor, or an athlete who is an athlete.  My problem is with the jack-of-all-trades celebrities.  They aren't content to make millions of dollars doing the one thing they do best.  They have to then branch out and add other occupations to their resumes.  They are now also designing clothes and writing books and developing scents (really, who wants to smell like Sarah Jessica Parker?).  They are taking up jobs that could be held by other people.  If you thought it was difficult to break into the field of writing children's books before, good luck now that Kathie Lee Gifford, Tori Spelling and Jamie Lee Curtis are publishing their prose for tots.  And that Maria Sharapova (I know I spelled THAT wrong!)  She is designing clothes.  Alright, ok, maybe they're clothes for playing tennis.  Yeah, if you want to play tennis in five inch stiletto boots.  Nothing athletic about those duds.  I have news for some of you celebrities - People are just buying your junk because your name is on it.  You are not necessarily talented in that field.  I mean if Lea Michelle were to make her own brand of duct tape, I'm sure tweens everywhere would be snatching it up, whether it actually sticks or not.  Oh, and the singing.  Don't get me started.  Just because we like to see your face on a screen does not mean you have a voice good enough to make music.  Just sayin'.  Anyway, to all the wanna-be musicians, designers, writers and those in other celebrity infested professions, I wish you much luck in the pursuit of your dreams.  Celebrities, all I can say is - stop hogging up all the jobs!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Crafty Pricing

I previously limited my blog postings to one per day, but all that is gonna change.  From this point on I am gonna blog when I feel like it and right now do I feel like it.  See, since I'm going to be the girl with all the necklaces and I can't go to Charming Charlie's every single day, I thought I would try to make myself some necklaces.  I managed to convince my husband to go to Michael's craft store.  I got sidetracked by the stickers for a moment (I only bought one pack) and headed to the bead section.  I felt a little lost at first but managed to find my way.  I chose a pendant and an already assembled cord for a necklace as well as some stretchy string and two lengths of beads for a bracelet.  The bead section was marked with signs all over it saying 2/$5 and the pendant was hanging from a hook with two other identical pendants that were marked $2.99 Clearance.  Great deals I thought.  When I went to the register, the pendant rang up as $5.99.  Ok.  I explain to the cashier that it was marked $2.99 Clearance.  She asked me to show her where.  I took her to the exact spot and showed her the price as well as the other identical pendants hanging there for $2.99 each.  She looked at it and said "No.  These are $5.99."  I asked why they were marked $2.99 and pointed out that they were not in the wrong place because there were two other ones right there.  "They're $5.99," she said.  Why did you make me show you where it says $2.99 if you're gonna argue with me?  I gave up and said "Fine" at which point she left the other two hanging right there next to what apparently was the wrong price and walked back up to the register.  I followed explaining that I would have to alter my purchase which she let me do.  Ok.  That left another pendant for $4, stretchy string for $2.49, stickers for $1.29, and the two lengths of beads at 2 for $5.  The grand total  - $23.51.  WHAT?!?!?  Turns out that even though the entire bead section is marked 2/$5, only certain beads are on sale.  I did the mental math as Hubby swiped his debit card through the machine and just when I questioned the price of the beads, the cashier handed me my receipt and told me it was too late - my transaction was complete.  Great.  I just bought two lengths of beads for $8 and $6.  I could have bought two already made necklaces at Charming Charlie's for that much.  Apparently, I am not supposed to be the girl who makes her own jewelry.  Instead, I am the girl who overpays for craft supplies.  Thanks Michael's.

From Now On, Just Call Me Becky

Wow.  Last month was my weakest month for views of this blog.  Its my fault because I just didn't have enough postings but I've been preoccupied with lots of things.  Hopefully, I will be able to post more this month.  Fingers crossed.  It also made me wonder if people out there in interweb land are actually interested in what I have to say?  Who am I to think that people are actually interested in my opinions and feelings?  Oh well,  I guess its the depression talking again.  I hate when it rears its ugly head - especially when I don't realize it.  But there is something that I have recently discovered that overrides my depression.  Of course, its shopping, but it is a particular store called Charming Charlie.  It is an accessory store with thousands of necklaces, bracelets, rings, scarves, wallets, purses, watches - you name it, they've got it!  I feel like a kid in a candy store when I go there.  Everything is reasonably priced which is great.  The problem lies in that there is so much stuff you're bound to find numerous things in one trip taking your total well beyond where you want it to be.  After my first visit, where I was shopping for a gift, I made it a rule that I can only buy one thing for myself each time I go there.  The funny thing is that I don't even really wear accessories.  But while in the store, I decided I will start.  I will wear necklaces and then I will be known as the girl who wears the cool necklaces.  It was at that moment that I realized "Omg!  I am Becky Bloomwood from the Shopaholic books."  I was literally rationalizing my shopping the exact same way she does.  (If you've read the books, you'll know exactly what I mean.  If you haven't read the books, run out and get a copy right now.  Its ok.  I allow you to spend the money.)  My shopping habit has led me to unconciously lead the life of a fictious character.  Wonderful.  Just what I always wanted.  To become so ridiculous that I equate to something that someone else has invented in their imagination.  Pretty sad I know.  Makes me feel kind of depressed.  Maybe I need another trip to Charming Charlie.  Maybe I'll get a bracelet this time.  Ooo . . . then I could be know as the girl who wears matching necklaces and bracelets.  <grin>

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Attention Motorists

There are some things that really get my goat.  I'm sure many of you who read this on a regular basis know that . . . well . . . a lot of things get my goat.  But still, I encountered this three times this morning so I have to say something. 

To all you drivers out there:
If you would like to turn left or right and there is a turning lane available, please use it . . . all of it.  Do not pull your car halfway into the turning lane leaving two wheels in my lane so that I have to either wait on you or risk my brand new car trying to squeeze around you.  If you are turning, COMMIT.  That's all I'm asking.  Pick a lane and stick with it.  This goes for cars and buses as well.  This means you Mr Bus Driver.  The turning lane has been put there for you to use and use correctly.  So please, try your best to use the turning lane in the manner for which it is intended.  I know it is difficult to grasp the concept of a lane just for turning - especially when there are schmucks out there who insist on driving in this lane - but I have faith in your ability.  You can do it.  Also, once in the turning lane do not swing back out into my lane in order to make said turn.  If you do, I will hit you.  That is all.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Aloha Envy

Well, it was a great weekend with my parents.  Watching them play on the Wii was priceless.  Now its back to life.  Back to reality.  The kid is sick today.  School starts tomorrow.  Don't exactly know how that's going to work out.  That would stink if she had to miss the first few days of her senior year.  But lets focus on what's really  important here - Hubby going to Hawaii without me.  He's gone on trips before and yes I have been jealous but this time the green-eyed monster lurks deep in my soul and is often making appearances at the surface.  He says "Its for work" and "I don't even like the people I'm going with".  Hello!  Its still Hawaii!  There's really nothing that can dampen a trip to Hawaii other than a major hurricane (or is it called a typhoon in the Pacific?).  He says "Its no fun going all of these places without you".  But somehow, I think its got to be more fun to be the person who goes to all of those places than it is to be the person sitting at home dealing with normal, everyday life waiting for the other person to get back.  I want to walk on the white, sandy beaches.  I want to sneeze when they put a lei around my neck when I arrive.  I want to meet Dog the Bounty Hunter.  The one time that I REALLY want to go with him, I can't.  It wouldn't be worth it.  Our daughter has a major color guard competition that she can't miss (but my husband will) on that Sunday.  So we'd have to travel Monday.  We have a wedding that Friday (that he swears he will be back for) so we'd have to come back Thursday.  Which would leave us two days.  Two days in paradise and that's all.  Not worth the price of airfare.  Especially when everything at the house we are renting out keeps breaking so we probably won't see an actual rent check until 2013.  Oh well, at least I'll get a pretty postcard.  They say "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned".  I think they meant to say "hell hath no fury like a woman whose husband goes to Hawaii without her".  Boy guy, he"ll have to deal with Hurricane Me!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Guessing Game

Today I am waiting for my parents to get here.  Yes, I know!  They are actually coming out here to Suburbia!  They usually make their annual trip around this time of year - for my daughter's birthday.  I shouldn't whine or complain but it is hard that they only come out here once a year - twice if we're really lucky.  I know its a tough trip for them but it still makes me sad.  Its difficult when my mom wanders around my house saying "Oh, look at that" and "I don't remember you having this".  I just want to say you don't remember it because you haven't been here in a year.  But I bite my tongue and smile.  It takes them about six hours or so to get here from Hometown.  I asked my mom to call me when they got into our state thinking she'd call when they crossed over the border.  She did call.  She said they were in our state but she didn't seem to know where or how long ago they entered the state.  There are approximately five hours of their trip within our state.  So I have no idea what time they will get here.  She said they would call again when they got closer.  Problem there is I don't know if closer to her means the state capitol which is an hour away or the mall up the street which is five minutes away.  My daughter wants to go to dinner and then play Wii with them.  She has a cold.  They really seem to want to take her somewhere to do something but they want her to choose and she just wants to stay home.  So it should be an interesting weekend.  Meanwhile, we sit and wait.  Till when, who knows?  Is my house clean enough?  Who knows?  What will we end up doing?  Who knows?  How long are they staying tomorrow?  Who knows?  I am a planner.  I like to have somewhat of a plan.  But that's how I plan when they are coming.  I just plan not to know anything.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Drop It Like Its Hot

We have renters ! ! !  After a five year long quest, we have finally found someone to rent our house in the next town over!  I don't know if I should be getting this excited because it is a group of four college-age boys.  But I look at it this way, rent is rent no matter who it comes from.  We are currently going through our checklist of "Things that need to be done before 'The Boys' move in".  We have done quite a bit and paid quite a bit for people to do the things we couldn't.  Trim the trees out front - check.  Mow and edge the yard - check.  Have the carpets cleaned - check.  Schedule the exterminator to come check it out (at the recommendation of our property manager) - check.  Rehang the door at the bottom of the stairs - check.  Get our crap out of the garage - half a check.  We still have some minor stuff to do.  Mostly getting our crap back here with all our other crap.  We called our insurance company to tell them that we would need to change our policy now that there were renters going to be living in the house and then - WHAM! - they are dropping us.  Its a local insurance agency and they mostly function as the middleman between obscure agencies that actually carry the policies and schmucks like us.  They claim they cannot find anyone to carry our policy because we don't have our auto and renters insurance with them.  What a load of bull!  If we can't have all your business, we don't want any of it.  How juvenile can you get?  They told us to try to go through the people who hold our auto policy and to have a nice day.  Thanks.  So now we are left on our quest for insurance coverage yet again.  We have our policy with a big national company that operates mostly over the internet.  We had a problem with them just the other day.  See, we bought a new car (because Waldo was dying) and had to swap out the cars on our policy.  When Hubby went on-line to do that, their system was in the process of a back-up so even though the change was made, it wouldn't show up in their system until after the next back-up.  They told Hubby this when he called but when he asked for a quote of what our annual payment would be, he was told that they couldn't get that information because the system was performing another back-up.  Why they are doing their system back-ups from 7 - 10 p.m. is beyond me.  Why not do them from 3 - 6 a.m.?  Even the people on the west coast should be sleeping or otherwise involved at that point and their car insurance should be the furthest thing from their mind.  So I don't have insurance on the house I am renting as of Monday, I do have insurance on my new car but I don't how much it is going to cost me, and with my luck the exterminator who is coming out today will find some big-ass bugs that will cost about a million dollars to get rid of.  They say when it rains it pours.  Oh well, I'll be out in Houdini (my new car) smelling that new car smell and relishing the fact that in the insurance world I am hot because everybody's dropping me.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Imminent Demise of Waldo

Today went to get the a/c fixed on my car (aka Waldo).  Since Hubby's car (aka Kermit) is still without a/c we figured one of the two should be tolerable.  We dropped it off.  They charged it up.  We paid our $80 bill and drove off into the sunset (ok, so it was lunchtime, whatever).  But the car only got about two blocks away when it started to seize and make a funny noise.  Great.  We made a u-turn straight back to the garage.  They said it was the compressor - that the a/c charge actually set it off.  This is the same car that had to have a new compressor three times last summer.  Here we were faced with having to get a new compressor yet again - the underlying problem of what was killing the compressors still unresolved.  So we opted out of the new compressor and set out this afternoon to find a new or new-to-us-at-least car.  Three hours, 44 oz. of Diet Pepsi and a pretty severe sunburn later, I still have the car that has seizures and a fully-charged non-working a/c.  We shook hands and took business cards and smiled while the salesmen demonstarted the highlights of the vehicle but we were still so in shock that we were in this predicament in the first place, we didn't want to rush into anything.  The thing I found amazing is how they seemed to gravitate to my husband.  Yeah, their focus turned to me when they talked about color and interior upholstery, but when it came to all of the important stuff, it was Hubby in the spotlight.  Although this tendency upsets me, we use it to our advantage.  I let them talk to Hubby but when we find what we want they have to deal with me.  I am the negotiator.  I am the tough chick.  I am the one who does the wheeling and dealing and that seems to throw them off of their game.  So now, I am on-line shopping for better deals using the knowledge of trade-ins and rebates and financing that I learned at today's dealership to try to get a better deal at tomorrow's dealership.  Meanwhile, Hubby and the kid play Wacky Racers on the Wii.  Wacky racers.  At least those cars work.  They are about the only ones around here that do.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm Mister Green Christmas. I'm Mister Sun. I'm Mister Heat Blister. I'm Mister Hundred and One.

Man is it hot outside!  I don't know about where you live but here it is pretty sweltering.  On the news they keep talking about record breaking heat and when we will get a break but then I blink and miss the one day where it is around 90 degrees and BAM! we're back up around 95!  Then today, my car a/c runs out of juice.  Great!  Hubby's car is already out of juice with a price tag of $1000 to fix.  That means that the score of cars without a/c to cars with a/c in our house in a big fat 2 to 0!  I shouldn't complain though because we do have an air conditioned house to hide out in.  I remember back when I was a child.  (Here is where I morph into an old person once again.)  Back in my day, we didn't have air conditioning in our house.  Not central air.  Not even a window unit.  And my parents had a strict policy of your windows only being open for an inch or so at the top while you slept.  Confusing because we slept on the second floor.  Oh and did I mention that they didn't allow us to sleep with fans on.  I do vaguely remember some sort of window fan thing but I don't recall it being on all night.  We would fall asleep every night listening to the trains across the street and wonder if we would drown in pools of our own sweat.  I remember one night as I slept the candlesticks I had in my room melted and bent completely over.  Can you believe that?  Its true.  I sweat . . . I mean swear.  Anyway, Hubby is back in from trying to fix my car's a/c and well, no such luck.  Which is why everyone should have a good doctor, lawyer, contractor AND mechanic in their nearby family and friends.  Or you could just have my dad.  He can fix anything.  It just happens to come out a shade of light blue in the end.  See, my parents painted their bedroom when we were little and apparently had some left over paint because everything that my dad fixed after that turned out blue.  Even the playhouse he made for us was light blue inside and out.  I guess I could drive my car the 5 hours to have my dad fix it.  It is already blue.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lo Siento

I decided that I needed one more post in the month of July.  My postings have been few and far between recently as I try to figure out who I am and where I am going.  Without much response to my request for goals, I am toying around with some ideas of my own.  Hopefully, the prospective tenants we have lined up to rent our house in the next town over will come through and one of my new goals can be saving money.  Rental tenants will also mean that I will have a source to fund said goals once I have finalized them.  The prospective tenants are four college-age boys.  Not the ideal, no, but they are people who are willing to pay rent.  Their credit is good and combined they make enough that the rent is affordable to them.  The only thing that made us think twice was their lack of credit - some of them have none.  But when I really thought about it, the thing that was really making us think twice was their age.  But if we got a family in there to rent the place in their twenties with young kids and no credit, we would think that was great.  So why not these boys?  We can't legally discriminate based on age and that's what we would be doing if we turned them down.  So, we wait on our packet from the property management people and hope that we have some rental income soon.  My hubby thinks we are going to be "fat cat landlords".  I have reminded him that in order to qualify for the "fat cat" status, one cannot still be paying rent to someone else.  At least in my opinion.  So "plain old landlords" we will be.  Hopefully this will help relieve some financial stress around here as well as allow us to do some more saving for our daughter's college fund.  We were kind of worried that when they saw my hubby's salary, they would expect a ginormous family contribution not acknowledging that we are paying our rent and an additional monthly mortgage.  It'll be nice not to panic when we do the budget each month.  Hmmmm . . .  I'll have to find something new to worry about.

P.S.  If you don't know, "lo siento" means "I'm sorry" in Spanish.  Which, I must point out to my daughter who is fed up with me using random Spanish words where they don't apply, is totally applicable in this situation.  Gracias!  Lo siento!  Burrito!  Amigo!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fourth and Goal

I recently realized that once upon a time, I had goals in my life.  I wanted to get a piece of paper from a college or university by the year 2000 and I did it (it was an associate's but that counts right?).  I wanted to do certain shows in the world of community theatre and I managed to direct and/or choreograph quite a few of them.  I wanted to raise a happy healthy child and . . . well . . . she turns seventeen next month.  But that was all in the past.  I have come to realize that I currently have a lack of focus beyond my normal ADD.  Sure, I have things to do day to day but I want some goals people.  I'm hoping you can help me.  Some of you don't know me any more than what you have read on here.  Some of you know me personally.  Either way, I'd like your help.  I'm hoping that your suggestions will lead to some wonderful future adventures for me.  Thank everyone!

Large or small
Realized I have no goals to work toward
All replies appreciated
Comment below with your suggestions

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Close a Door and Open a Window . . . or a Book!

Ok, you know that book review blog that I was writing book reviews for?  Well, I quit.  Now, before you get all up in my grill (that's what the kids say) about quitting, allow me to explain.  My decision was made for two main reasons: 1) There were a lot of ads on the blog.  I didn't like how cluttered it was and I also realized that the woman coordinating things was probably making money off of those ads and 2) Everyone who wrote a book review for the blog totally loved the book they read.  It was a bit much.  I mean, come on, can you adore everything that you read.  I was doing a scale of one to ten and I had everything from a ten to a seven.  In fact, one of the books I am currently reading will be getting a two unless something amazing happens.  I would have felt strange putting that review on there though.  I just wasn't getting the "highly recommend" thing for each and every book.  The lady who ran the blog was nice enough when I resigned.  She was looking for people to promote the blog and I just didn't feel really right about that.  But, don't fear fair citizens of Cyberville!  I will still be reading and voicing my opinions.  Only now I will be doing it on my own book review blog.  It is called "Cover to Cover Uncovered" (pretty catchy, huh?) and can be found at  I hope you will all take a moment to check it out and maybe even become a follower.  I really appreciate all of your support as I try out this new adventure.  Thanks!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Shop . . . Craft . . . Stop . . . Repeat

I love projects.  I love coming up with the idea.  I love the listing of the required materials.  I love shopping for said materials.  I love choosing.  I love creating.  I love seeing the progress I have made.  The problem with me lies in the finishing.  I can't seem to finish a project.  I have half finished crochet blankets.  I have half finished cross-stitch pictures.  I have half finished scrapbooks and drawings.  I even have half painted ceramics.  There are a few projects over the years that I have finished and I take great pride in those.  I don't really know why I have such trouble finishing a project.  Maybe its my ADD.  Maybe I lose interest in the project once I get so far into it.  That could be it.  Maybe its my OCD.  That desire for everything to be perfect.  I know that there are mistakes in my projects so they can never be perfect so why try to finish them.  They'll always be incomplete because they're not perfect.  Either way, I don't know why I do it but I do.  I start a project and then just kind of . . . stop.  I think about them.  I think about how I really should finish them but I just don't.  Maybe its not so much the creating as it is the shopping.  Maybe I justify shopping for materials by starting a new project.  Then I get to make a trip to the local craft store and load up my cart.  Oh my God, I am a shopaholic!  I am justifying my need to purchase things.  I am using my projects as an excuse.  I am making another trip to Michael's today.  Shhhhhh!  Nobody tell Hubby!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Learning Your Colors

I remember when my daughter was in first grade.  She came home from school one winter day and told me she had some big, important news.  She told me I probably should sit down for this.  I obeyed not knowing what to expect.  She sat down on the couch next to me and very seriously said, "Mom, there are black people and there are white people."  I stifled a giggle and then the irritation grew within me.  We had done so much hard work to raise our child color-blind when it came to people's skin.  We always lived in very multi-ethnic communities.  We never addressed people by the color of their skin.  It was always "The boy in the blue shirt" or "The woman with the baby".  We went to great effort to raise her to see people as people - not as colors.  Then she went to school.  First grade.  They were celebrating black history month and that's where my daughter learned about color.  (She probably would have learned it in Kindergarten but we had moved from another country during black history month of her Kindergarten year so she missed quite a bit.)  It is amazing how something with such good intentions can corrupt such wonderful innocence.  I have to say that that one moment was probably my most proud moment as a parent.  We had done it.  We had raised her color-blind - even if it was for only the first six years of her life.  Thanks American school system.  Thanks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Coming Soon: An Original Remake

I happen to like my childhood and the entertainment it included so please, Hollywood, leave the seventies and eighties alone.  Try coming up with some new ideas and making those into movies instead or digging up things that are dead and burried for regurgitation into something that is similar to the original but from some alternate universe where things suck.  The latest to fall victim to this horrible happening are the poor unfortunate smurfs.  Have you seen the advertisements for this movie?  The smurfs have been all CGed up to look like scary little freaks.  They have even appeared to add more updated smurfs to the pack.  Who had the great idea to add a "Gutsy Smurf"?  These are classics.  They are called that for a reason.  They don't need remade.  Just because we have new technology doesn't mean we should update "The Wizard of Oz" does it.  That tornado sceene is so fake compared to what we could do today.  Now, I'm not putting the smurfs on the same level of iconic as "The Wizard of Oz" but you get my drift.  I love these things the way they are and think they should be left as such.  If you want to bring them back, bring them back in their original form.  Put the classic smurf cartoons back on Saturday mornings.  I'm sure there are many children who would enjoy it, as well as parents who would love to relive their childhoods through their own children.  I guess that is the market they are going for by remaking . . . well . . . everything but remaking it takes the nostalgia factor out of it.  And what is the track record for this remaking of everything?  Can anyone say "Flintstones the movie"?  How about "Garfield the movie?  How many of you saw that one and thoroughly enjoyed it?  Hollywood take my advice and leave well enough alone and stop messing with my memories!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Postal Preparedness

Dear People of America -
I have a request.  When you wish to send someone a gift for their birthday, by all means feel free to do so.  Buy them something nice.  Wrap it up in pretty paper and tie a bow on top.  At this point in the process, whatever you do, DO NOT PROCEED TO THE POST OFFICE WITH NOTHING BUT THE WRAPPED GIFT!  It is not the responsiblity of the postal employee to find you a box or other package in which to mail said gift.  Nor is it their job to find you tape and scissors with which to continue the wrapping process.  Borrowing a pen is bad enough but let's come a little prepared here people.  And let me just say that if you do come to the post office - totally unprepared - and expect the postal worker to do your job - just to be told that you need to do things for yourself - and you leave the line with your gift to package it up properly -  DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO SKIP BACK TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE!  The rest of us came prepared and had to wait while you were given all the packing materials you needed that you should have USED AT HOME!  Get in the back of the line and wait your turn again!  You've already caused enough trouble.  True story.  I'm just sayin'.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Reality: The Great Wake-up Call

The other day my Grandma fell and broke three ribs.  A horrible thing for anyone but especially horrible to a lady in her eighties.  She is quite bruised up from what I understand.  But she is one stubborn Polish chick.  She fell at about 3 am and didn't tell anyone until 10 am.  Seven whole hours she sat there in pain!  Now I know where I get my stubborn streak from.  But this latest fall got me to thinking about just how fragile life is and with that thought came the wonderful "cloud of depression" settling over me.  I kind of think this time it is descending over the entire family.  We have watched as a family as those elderly pillars of strength have become weaker and weaker but there was always a sense of "they've always been there and always will be".  They have beat the odds numerous time, but now I think we are facing the fact that there is no way "always being there" is possible.  Things need looked at in the light of reality and not through rose-colored glasses.  While they cherish their independence is it indeed in their best interest.  I hope these subjects are being broached by those with more authority than me.  I am but a mere grandchild and would quickly be given the evil eye if I were to bring it up to the family.  Plus I am not there - geographically.  So I sit here and brood because I am so far away that I hardly ever get to see them anymore.  Its a fact that I can't really help but it stills hurts.  My visits have always been marked with the passing notion of "I wonder when I'll see everyone again".  Now, that will be followed by "if I ever see them again".  My own mortality is settling around me and making me solemn.  Everyone that we have in our lives is a gift.  Every moment we have in our lives is a joy.  Make the most of it.  Write a letter, make a phone call, go for a visit, but let those you love know that you love them.  You don't know when that moment may slip right out of your hands.

Friday, June 24, 2011

This is the Story of a Girl who Cried a River and Drowned the Whole World

Today was one of the hardest days of my entire life.  See Monday, the social worker in Far Away was supposed to tell Frontrunner that we would not be adopting her.  Wednesday she still didn't know.  Thursday she still didn't know.  Today when she was chatting with me on the computer, she still didn't know.  I felt like I was lying by omission.  It sucked.  I had not idea when the social worker was actually going to tell her and I thought it cruel not to so I told her.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life.  I spent the entire time blubbering and sobbing.  Our decision was multi-faceted but the main reason were her family ties.  Her family ties were from our point of view much stronger than we were led to believe.  Not that we wouldn’t allow a child to have any family bonds, its just that we didn’t feel right moving her over a thousand miles away from those family ties.  We don’t feel that the adjustment to a new community and school that is tremendously larger than the community and school she currently is a part of was going to go smoothly at all.  She would miss out on the personal attention that she receives in that environment.  She also had a ton of freedom and control in her current situation.  Freedom and control she would have lost by coming to live with us and our rules.  It would have felt like a prison.  It was a heart-wrenching decision but we felt it was in her best interest.  I reassured her that we love her and we really do.  I will always love her.  I am just afraid that she hates me.  Hates us.  I still want to be there for her as a support in her life but fear she will shut us out completely.  I am grieving this loss and have no interest in looking for another child to adopt.  I feel like a mean, heartless monster.  I just hope some day she can forgive me.  Great, I’m crying again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blessed Be the Tithe that Binds

We got a letter some time ago from the catholic church of which we are official registered non-attending members.  Basically, it said this:  Their campaign to increase their members' giving has been successful and their incoming finances are better than expected so please, give more.  Yup, that's right they have extra money and they still want even more.  I just don't get it.  Yesterday, we got two phone calls solicating money for police forces.  Two in one day!  One was for the local sheriff and the other for the state police.  I'm sorry but I thought that was what I paid taxes for but now you want to call my house asking for more?  Then there are the weekly calls we get from the vietnam veterans, the lupus foundation and many other organizations asking if we have anything to donate to their cause.  They of course take items as donation but don't they think calling every week is a bit obsessive.  Oh, and my favorite, the college that my husband attended calls about once a week to ask for "alumni support".  Are you kidding?  First off, he went to school on-line so he didn't really experience your campus which coincidentally could use many new, improved buildings and lots of other expensive crap.  Second, we had to pay the huge price tag for his education.  Why would we continue to fork over more cash?  Shortly after receiving our well worded begging from St. Down the Street's, we got yet another request in the mail.  This time from the regional catholic diocese asking for money for their fundraising campaign.  It seems to me that when it comes to these organizations the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing because both hands are open and asking for cash.  Working at a church, I type the hymn titles into the weekly bulletin for the parishoners.  I always chuckle when I type the hymn "Blessed Be The Tie that Binds".  I can't help but think to myself the more appropriate title would be "Blessed Be the Tithe that Binds".  Hee hee!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lost and Found

Why is it that when you need something you can never find it?  Or maybe its everything you lost is something you need?  Because if it was lost and you didn't need it, would you even realize it was lost?  Either way, we had to make an emergency shopping trip today to get an orange shirt.  See, my daughter's senior pictures are tomorrow.  One of the outfits we had planned was black pants and an orange top (her school colors) to be worn in the picture with her color guard flag.  So of course, we couldn't find it.  We looked in the laundry room, the laundry itself, her closet, her floor (she is a teenager) and even my closet.  That orange shirt was not to be found.  I know when it will turn up.  About dinner time tomorrow.  After the photo session.  I have to admit, I am extremely nervous about this photo session.  More nervous than if I were the one getting my picture taken.  That's because I'm the one that has to pay for the pictures.  That part I am not looking forward to.  $60 for an 8x10.  And we need three 8x10's to begin with.  That's a lot in my book.  So I'm nervous that these pictures won't turn out perfect because if I'm gonna pay that much for pictures, they need to be perfect.  We are supposed to take about eight or nine outfits of which the photographer will pick the four best ones (for photographic purposes.)  They said no white, no pastels, no short sleeves.  That ruled out over half of her closet.  I have news for him, we are bringing clothes that are short sleeved and - gasp! - even some prints.  We had to go out and get some pieces to complete a few outfits and ended up spending over $100 easy - and that was before the pictures!  Then we had to think about jewelry and shoes and hair and make up and then she got sunburned last Thursday so we're hoping her nose isn't peeling tomorrow.  Jeez!  Oh well, I guess that's the price you pay for having a teenaged daughter!  Wouldn't trade her for the world though - unless of course you hold the secret to where all my missing things have gone.  Then we'll need to talk :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Do You Want the Good News or the Bad News?

You know how people always ask if you want he good news or the bad news first?  How about no news.  That would be good.  I would love to have no news at the moment.  See, the appliance repairman has come and gone, the car is at the garage, and in an hour the birds have to make the hour and a half trip to the avian vet.  My credit card is about ready to self-destruct!  I'm not sure how I'm going to pay for everything.  All I know is that I have until the Visa bill gets here to come up with a plan.  But for every bit of good news today has brought, there has been even worse bad news.  First, there was the clothes dryer:

Good News - It is no longer squeaking. 
Bad News - The guy said it is the motor and when that goes we will need to get a new dryer.

Then there was the auto mechanic:

Good News - The brakes on Hubby's car will be fixed for a reasonable price of $450. 
Bad News - It will still be very, VERY hot in his car since it would have been $1000 to fix the a/c whos-a-ma-whats-it and thing-a-ma-jig (new tires needed but not included in that price).

I'm not sure I want to hear the good news and the subsequent bad news from the vet!  I don't want to say "what else could possibly go wrong" because today, it will.  It's just one of those days.  But I will be here smiling, running my clothes dryer to death and braking Hubby's car every ten feet all while most likely force feeding the birds some sort of bird medication!  Why?  Because I can.  Oh, and so that you all don't feel left out:

Good News:  I blogged today.
Bad News:  It's a pretty boring blog where I just complain.

Monday, June 13, 2011

More Adventures of Clueless Me

Well, I did it again.  This morning I took my daughter to the dentist for a cleaning.  Everything went fine and we don't even have to worry about the dreaded wisdom teeth.  At least not yet.  We said good-bye to the receptionist, walked out the door, got in the car and nothing.  The car wouldn't start and it was completely my fault.  You may ask how this was my fault.  Allow me to explain.  See when I pulled in the parking space I had to turn the steering wheel and I didn't straighten the steering wheel back out before putting it in park and cutting the ignition.  For some unknown reason, doing this renders the car completely useless.  I tried turning the steering wheel to the right to straighten out the wheels but with the car turned off that was next to impossible.  I tried hanging on the steering wheel to the right.  I tried using my legs and my arms to turn it to the right.  I had my daughter help me try to turn it to the right.  There was no way to straighten out the wheels and get the car to start.  Of all places to be stuck on a chilly, now raining morning.  I mean, I like my dentist but not enough to just hang around the office for the heck of it.  I reluctantly surrendered and called my hubby who works five minutes down the road to come to my rescue.  While waiting for him to arrive, we tried again and again to straighten those wheels by turning the steering wheel to the right to no avail.  We discussed how there was no solution to the problem other than lifting the front of the car off of the ground so we could straighten the wheels.  But neither of us having Herculean strength, that was not really an option.  Hubby arrived with a smile on his face, hopped in the car and started it.  That's right it started right up!  I was thrilled.  I was in awe.  I was severely embarrassed when he explained to me that he had turned the wheel to the left.  Sometimes I amaze myself with my lack of common sense.  :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Unicorns Save the Day - Again!

I tend to overreact.  I admit it.  When I hear something my mind immediately goes to the worst case scenerio.  Upon hearing news, I pick up the glass that was half empty and dump the rest of it out.  Prepare for the worst.  That's my motto.  If your standards are so low, then you are most likely to be pleasantly surprised when things go even slightly better than awful.  My hubby calls it being paranoid.  I prefer to call it being preparanoid.  Because of my outlook, I am usually able to handle whatever life throws at me.  Like today when my daughter called at 8:00 am and told me that we still owed the band/colorguard program at the school $100 and they would be putting an academic hold on her grades until we sorted things out.  Great I thought!  What could be worse than finding this out on the last day of school!  I, the queen of the disorganized, had no idea where the check carbons were or even where the bank statements were!  How was I ever going to prove my being a proper parent and paying the outrageous fee?  Leave it to my hubby to fix everything.  In the land of lollipops, unicorns and rainbows there is not such thing as a crisis.  To my pessimistic surprise, everything was rectified by noon and we were on our way to have lunch with our senior.  Yeah, today our daughter officially became a senior.  She was delighted and petrified at the same time.  Thrilled to be a senior, she has repeatedly expressed her desire not to grow up.  I love my little Peter Pan and assured her that she has some time before she has to grow up.  Because honestly, she's not the only one who isn't ready for it.  I just hope before the time comes for her to enter the real world,  that I have joined my husband and his ability to expect the best.  Look out unicorns, here I come.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What Now?

So I don't quite know what's going on with me.  Since I have come to a final decision about what was eating up 95% of my thought process, I don't really know what to do with myself.  It feels good to be free of the constant internal stuggle but at the same time, I am not quite sure where my place and what my purpose is now.  My mind is free.  I have time on my hands.  I should be glad.  Instead, I am overwhelmed with possibilities and don't quite know where to start.  So many options I don't know where to focus now.  But I will find my way.  I will once again find a healthy balance.  Being a mom to my daughter and helping her transition into adulthood.  Being a wife to my hubby and finding comfort in his companionship.  Being me.  I think that's where the problem lies.  I have been so busy thinking and waiting and wondering that now I am able to get back to me.  The thing is - who am I?  That is the position I was in a year and a half ago when this whole thing started.  I don't quite know yet but I am slowly finding my way.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my friends and family for their support through this recent confusing time for me.  I will be back to my old self soon.  I have had one interesting devleopment recently.  I have been asked to be a book reviewer for a review blog.  You should check it out.  You can find it at  Look for the reviews posted by quirkyme.  I have done two reviews for them thus far and I love it.  It is so refreshing to do something you enjoy.  I figure this expression of my opinions in the literary world may once again free up my voice in life in general.  Hopefully I will back to myself in no time.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I feel energized.  This is the first morning in a long, long time I have felt excited about facing the day.  I almost feel nesty - like cleaning and organizing.  What is up with that?  There is no more conflict.  This is the first day in what feels like forever that I don't have an internal struggle brewing and looming.  I know what I have to do.  I know that this is kind of cryptic but I want to make sure it is done before I give away all the details.  I can't help but love the freedom that I feel.  I am me again.  Its like the fog of depression has been lifted.  I even had an affirmation last night that the decision I've come to is the right one.  There are some things that just aren't cool and I can't be fighting against them for the rest of my life.  I've learned a lot.  I know more now than I did when I started.  More about my wants and my needs - more about myself in general.  I am not superwoman.  There are things I can't handle.  There are things I can't change.  While that saddens me, I accept it.  I wanted to make a difference.  Instead, I am just different.  There is no way to quite describe the weight that has been lifted off of me.  I feel as though I'm alive again.  But I am seeing things through entirely new eyes.  Grateful for having figured things out. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Me, Myself, and I

I have come to a major revelation recently.  I need to be selfish.  I am always so worried about others and the effect the things I do and say will have on others that I have honestly lost sight of myself.  I am considering everyone else's feeling and denying my own.  I know that I have touched on this in previous posts but it is something that I myself need to be reminded of again and again.  I need to take a step back and look at situations from an outsider point of view.  What is best for me?  How can I make things better for myself?  Are there ways for me to make things easier on myself?  What advice would I give myself if I wasn't the one in this situation?  I need to think of my sanity.  I need to think of myself first.  Then begin looking outside of me in waves of importance.  Family comes next.  Then everyone else.  The only way I can be a healthy, happy human being is to make sure that I am a healthy, happy human being.  No one else is going to do that for me.  If I don't put myself first, how are I supposed to be able to give the best of myself to others.  It may mean making some unpopular choices.  It may mean pissing some people off.  It may mean feeling like a failure for the time being but in the long run, its the only choice I can make.  The choice that is best for me.  Maybe its time to pick myself up and dust myself off and start over again.  Who knows who I will be if I be more true to me?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm Melting . . . I'm Melting . . . Oh, What a World.

The air conditioning in my office is broken again.  Big surprise.  It breaks about three times a summer and I guess its just getting an early start this year.  It was 82 degrees when I left about 15 minutes early because I just couldn't take it anymore.  I don't mind my job.  I only work two days a week for four hours a day so its more of a chance to get out of the house than it is work but it is also one of the hardest jobs in the world.  See, I work for a church.  You would think that would make it one of the most enjoyable places to work.  You'd think.  My boss - well, the pastor, he says not to call him the boss - is a cool guy and we get along like peas and carrots but overall, the job has really opened my eyes to what people are really like.  <screeching halt>  I was about to go on and on about my job but in today's world where people are fired for voicing their opinions, I figured it is better to zip my lips than to share all the gritty details.  There are quite a few things that I would love to share but the popularity of this blog makes me hesitate.  Am I really incognito on here?  Can all this be traced back to me?  I know some of you know exactly who I am but some of you do not and I kind of like it that way.  But in this world of interconnected cyber-being, can you ever really be sure that what you are saying is not going to be taken the wrong way by the wrong people.  Is it worth risking relationships just to be able to voice my opinions?  Should I continue to vent at the risk of offending those reading or worse yet being written about?  I just don't know.  Remember what it was like before all of this big brother cyber-snooping?  Back when you got into college for what you did and didn't get rejected because of what was on your facebook page?  I was taking a walk down memory lane the other day with my mom and she was talking about when her family would go to a local amusement park and when her dad was done working, he would come down and meet them.  I was baffled.  I couldn't understand how that happened without cell phones.  Too bad we can't get back to a simpler way of life.  While our techno-abilities are great, I can't help but long for those days gone by.  I think this is it.  I knew it would happen one day.  I'm getting old.  Either that or I have heat stroke - which is very, very possible.