Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Year Of Blessings

Still pondering my daughters recent attitude change(she's been as moody as a starving crododile),i find myself struggling to figure out a few things.Most importantly, the question all parents ask: where did i go wrong?
With my daughter , i initially chalked it up to PMS. But it's been going on for more than a few days now. This, in spite of all i've done for her , including the gym membership i ascertained for her yesteday. (Yes, she will have to pay me back, but i did the leg work.)This, after the $300 we gave her for Christmas toward her final tuition payment. This, after making a car payment for her only a 2 weeks ago so they wouldnt repo her jeep.
It's not that she is actually ungrateful. She isnt. It's just the moodiness that upsets me. I sure hope it goes away soon.
And with my son. Same deal. He also received $300 off his debt to us, has been getting rides to work from me, my husband and daughter.He has cable tv in his room.And yet, he actually acts ungrateful. I truly dont think he realizes it either in spite of being disciplined for it over & over.

I guess i gotta just accept that kids dont really appreciate anything for very long, at least until they have their own kids and come to understand all the sacrifice and heartbreak that goes into raising them.
Dont get me wrong, i love my kids to pieces. I'd jump in front of a train to save them.
Someday, when & if i have grandchildren, i know my kids will "get it".
Now, for the promised list of blessings and changes....This past year:

  • my family memebers and friends are all still alive and in good health. I thank God for each and everyone of their lives
  • i have a beautiful home to clean and take care of, that shelters my family and pets
  • i am eating more healthfully than at any other time in my life(with the obvious exception of holiday cookie mania)
  • I have a car that pleases me in every way-from the built in gps, heated seats, and 6 disc cd changer to the gas mileage, leg room and easy to clean interior .Plus the exterior color hardly shows the dirt(i've only washed it twice since May!)
  • our credit card debt is finally below 2 grand. Although it will go up over the next 2 months, all of that will be education related.My husband has done a good job with that. I'm glad i trusted him with it.
  • i've been able to influence others in areas including healthier food choices, exercise, extracurricular activities, and community connectedness.I've also connected with people way more this year and acheived my goal of putting people ahead of things on my importance list. I plan on keeping this a theme in my life.
  • I was finally able to convince my family to have a "no-gift" christmas. Even though we still got gifts, they were low key items. We gave 3 lotto tickets to each person.My goal for the next year is to implement more emphasis on doing things together on birthdays, holidays and in the summer, with way less expense.The ultimate goal would be to spend no money,except perhaps groceries for cookouts, in favor of just spendinga few hours with each other in quality time- cooking together, watching home movies,looking at photo albums. And with friends i like the coffee dates, evenings chatting over wine or a few beers, reading poetry aloud , discussing good books and sharing life experiences.
  • i learned to appreciate some of the finer , free or low-cost things in life. Some were new to me (utilizing online tv shows and free you tube videos, plus Facebook and this blog,)nd some were just forgotten over the years(camping, coffee dates, hikes & picnics).
  • I learned that there is such a thing as too much vacation, as well as a more satisfying vacation for less money

So there it is.For more information on ways i've simplified see my FunFcators and Everyday Adventures included in many of my posts .Tomorrow, i will be posting another list (and then i'll forego lists for awhile) of the top 10 biggest influences in my life.And lest i forget.....

Todays FunFactor: Speaking with a foriegn accent for a day can be really fun, as long as you dont make the people who already know you (like neighbors) think you've gone mad. But come to think of it, that might be just as much fun!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here's to leaving it all Behind!

FunFactor:For anyone who has a fat. lazy cat...please click here:
I like to watch this when i myself am feeling like a lazy bloated calf, which is fairly often. This time of the year is especially hard on us cookie monsters!
So, let us catch up with the events of this blessed month.
1.My daughter is still living with us , thankfully, but she has just enlightened me of her possible future plans to move out before graduation. Why on earth would someone in her position do such a thing is beyond me. She has school til July. Now that her tuition is paid for she could focus on other things like saving for a better car. The one she has stalls & needs a new alternator. If i was staying in a place where all my needs were met for free, and i was going to school, i certainly would milk it as long as possible. Kids!
She's also been doing her fair share of dating & bar hopping. I encourage her to go have fun and enjoy the single life for awhile. But i cant imagine what would happen if she had to pay for an apartment, or share one (again) with a roommate before she graduates.I have a feeling her priorities would change for the worse under the pressure(peer & financial). Most of her friends are barflies and tempt her to go out pretty often.
2.Next : my son....just wrecked another car. We took away the license and are selling his car.He now has to find rides to work until he can pay his debts off , save for another car, and get his own insurance. This will take time, if it ever even happens. But for now, he's juggling two jobs, school and a senior project while still trying to have a girlfriend and some bit of social life. As much as he ticks me off, i feel for him. Life is difficult at best. I wish he wouldnt have screwed up so young.
3.Another subject: My brothers ex is still around and somehow now the stakes are higher. I cant publish the real deal on here, in order to protect his confidence. But at least i did get a sincere apology from the girl (albeit on Facebook).And I still believe in the use of condoms...amen!

4.This month all total there were three car wrecks :besides my son, there was my mothers and a friends. I am still counting my blessings that no one was hurt or killed.Another friends mom attempted suicide , my daughter had unexpected surgery, there was the holidays and my own grappling with the potential loss of half of my husbands current income in the New Year.

(I'm gonna take a brake here and insert my Everyday Adventure .Today after hectic rushing around during rush hour my 2 kids and my sons girlfriend were stuck in traffic for almost an hour. The thing that got us through was a Cd of "the best of the Culture Club". the music is so upbeat and yet familiar, we were all bobbing our heads , singing along and joking instead of griping. In the mist of all the chaos, adventurous merriment was found. )

More, for less.

I think over all i handled this month fairly well. In true human form, i did vent a normal amount. And i thank my freinds for listening.I'm ever so grateful for the love & grace i've been given .

I want to close out this year tomorrow by listing all of my blessings, including the changes i've made to find a more fruitful & simple life.I'm still on my journey, and i'm still a student of the universe. But i fell i've made some progress.
And one thing still rings true.The best things in life are free. You betcha!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dealings with a Neanderthal

Yep!That's me, cutting into a giant sub ring at my moms Christmas eve.For more photos, friends can find me on facebook.

And I wonder why i cant lose these 6 lbs that are driving me insane.

On to another subject I have been discussing with a friend for a few nights-my husbands idiotic attempts to be the "nice guy" at my expense.

For the last several weeks my husband has been acting like the "class clown" at our house to gain the attention and favor of my two kids. This would be fine except that he uses me as the focus of his humor , insisting on pointing out how i am this way or that and "isnt she like that? hahaha!"

In all honesty, i put up with it for a time or two without getting upset because i realized it was his way of "bonding" with my daughter when she first moved in.To this i said to myself "why couldnt you have bonded with her 6 years ago and why cant you choose a less immature way to do it?" oh well.

But lately , he has coralled BOTH of my offspring into the games, thinking that they are "siding" with him against me. Hence, hubs is the 'nice guy', andmom is the 'miserable' one for not joining in on the fun(of making fun of myself-?). I decided tonight to let him in on the fact that they are both just more scared of him than they are of me and that even in the animal kingdom survival necessitates submission to the "big dog".Of course , it's like casting pearls before swine. The cro-magnum understands none of it.

In fact , he insists that my children are now "coming to him" instead of me. The example he used was that my daughter told him about a humorous zit popping issue she witnessed and didnt tell me. Yeah, he's really the new "confidante" alright. Give me strength!

How does one handle these types of situations? I have been letting him target me over allowing it to progress to a new level of resentment towards my kids. I am hoping i can stick it out til next fall when they are both out.

All i can say is that if i should fail and explode at him before hand, i'll be sure to post from another address shortly thereafter. And all i can hope for him is that he will be able to open a can of soup all by himself, lest he starve without his kitchen maid.


Friday, December 26, 2008

A Note of Appreciation

In honor of the holiday , I'd like to share with you all the most priceless & wonderful gift I have ever received.
Here (drum roll) is the only gift my daughter could afford this year, and yet, it is the best one she could have ever given.
A letter to her mom. Enjoy!

Mommy Dearest,

This Christmas I've been down in the dumps reflecting on the fact that i cant afford to buy gifts for all the special people in my life. However, over the past few weeks ,with a lot of great advice from you,i realized that no store-bought item would say what i feel anyway.
You've helped me to experience God & family again, which in turn has allowed me to discover who i am.Thank you for being there for me in the past & not giving up on me.I want to apologize for the hurtful things (i've said) and (the way) I've treated you before. Even though you might not have heard it,I forgive you for the decisions you made concerning visitation when i was 16. I understand why you did it.
This Christmas I am looking forward to truly experiencing the meaning of the holiday-family and love.
Because of your selflessness i have a place to live, food to eat,and the will to continue with school.
Because of your love i have a second opportunity to develop a relationship with my brother.
Because of your determination, i am discovering my independence, confidence and path in life.

This Christmas i am learning to be grateful for what i have rather than what i dont.I am learning to trust my life to God's hands. I am learning that it is ok to ask for help.I am learning the ways to be a better person, a selfless friend, and a confident woman. This Christmas my gift to you is a sincere "thank-you!"
I appreciate everything you've done, everything you do, & everything you will do.
I want to give you a giant "I love you!"
You are my hero, and I am proud to be your daughter. Merry Christmas, Mercedes

Now, what mamma would'nt want to brag about a letter like that?It's wonderful to feel so loved ,and to actually be told you're appreciated once in awhile.

Happy Christmas, God bless you, one & all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Down Home Christmas

Just sitting here listening to the sickening repetitions of a zillion christmas songs on the radio. It's officially Christmas Eve and I sit here at work, while my family sleeps away at home.
Tomorrow promises to be a day full of Adventure!We will all be going over to my mom's for a sub ring, soup, and chips. Maybe we'll even watch a movie!And chat!. My son & i will stay over & have Christmas morning breakfast. Yup, i'm livin' large!
Merry Christmas Everyone..& remember your FunFactors:
1. Eat everything you can, calories do not count on Holidays.
2.wear the loudest , most obnoxious, and outdated Christmas sweatshirt you can find. Those pics will be such a source of good times for your future generations
3.take pictures of others eating. they will thank you later when you show them to prospective dates, employers , and clients.
4.If you are serving dinner at your home, this is the time to celebrate summertime with lots of fresh tropical fruits, punch,ice cream ,etc. be sure to use paper plates for authenticity.ask guest to wear bathing suits and grass skirts.
5.when gift wrapping use lots of layersof newspaper and duct tape.notify everyone of your desire to use only recycled items for gifts as well. Green is in.Tell everyone donations will be accepted on their way out.
Have a good one!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Questions & Answers

I feel better tonight.But i was a real bear when i woke up today .
I was still stewing in the juices of the past few days events.
The weird thing was, not only was i bitchy, my whole self seemed to be "off" somehow. I was hyper, not reacting or responding well to things and very uncoordinated physically.
I mean ,like, seriously clutzy.I couldnt even grasp handles well or keep a hold of things. I kept dropping stuff, losing my balance and i just didnt seem to even be hearing that well!Talk about senior moments!
I totally felt like i had either parkinsons or was going through a radical overnite menopause.
When i arrived at work, my clients mom confirmed what i thought. It is definitely hormone related.
Somehow, there are just days when our body makes or doesnt make the right amount of stuff it's supposed to, reguardless of whether we have an actual disease or not.
But it was when i went to Yoga that i knew i wasnt imagining things. I just couldnt seem to get into many of the usual poses and was not following directions well. Everything seemed backwards and i was out of sync.I kept trying to get it right, not only with my body but getting my head in the right place, to no avail.After class, i skulked out, dejected , bewildered and inadequate.

To me, this was all proof positive that whether we believe it or not, we cannot always escape from the things life throws at us. No matter how much we try to "transcend" or meditate them away. Even in the life -giving , spiritual practice of Yoga....even with a constant mantra to relax...even when i didnt realize what the problem actually body as well as my ego reacted to it.They both "knew" something was wrong , and wouldnt allow me to overcome it or block it out or blow it off.

i will say , however,that it was only during my practice that i was able to break down my "junk" into small blocks and work on each one that came up individually. For instance, i would say to myself" why did i (do or say)..." and "what was behind all that? what did i really mean or want out of it?"
And each time , with each answer i was prompted with a new question. With every new question and answer, i became increasingly more honest with myself.
Here's a real example. why did i react to my sister-in-law's email the way i did? this prompted "how did i react?"Answer: bitter, defensive, and angry. This prompted and answer for each reaction: I am bitter that she felt like she is a better parent than me.I am defensive because she attacked my personal space by telling me her version of how i should've handled the situation.I am angry because she was not supportive or empathetic.The next cascade down was:"what was the intent of her actions/words", and so on.
By the time i got back home, while i was still feeling beaten down, i at least knew why to some extent.
I am hoping to have answers to more of life's questions as i go along.Some are easy, some , not so easy. But i know that each answer will only lead to the next question. And i gotta wonder if thats any clue to the biggest question of all:What is the meaning of (our)Life?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Crash Test

So my son wrecks yet another car last night. Not just his car, his girlfriends car. One that his girlfriend told me he had her parents ok to drive. But she lied.
Picture the scene in your own home. Then add in the stepfather who's already not been happy with my son ( for many, various reasons).I am put in the middle .
I realize my son has made a very, very bad choice. This may be something that comes back on us in so many ways. And I myself am beyond livid with the situation.But my husband was able to state that he wouldnt even be able to "see" him that night without losing control. So i sent him off with a friend(thank you, friend) in order to protect him.
Of course, my night off...not to mention Christmas ,was ruined.My nerves were shot..and overall i am drained. When i first found out, i had no idea how to react, what to do, who to call. I knew my husband would be savage about it (& he was when i called him later to tell him).
So the one side of me is the mamma bear protecting her cub, and the other side is completely empathetic to my husbands anger.
The emotional outburst are over now. I had called my mom first, talked to the friend who took my son in, and then wrote a quick post to the sister -in-law on myspace. I needed to get it out. Unfortunately on that last score i just got her response today.She is just in no way a very nice person. i gave her a second chance to be a friend to me after an incident 2 years ago.Her cold and unsupportive response is why she will never be invited to read my blog.I have truly tried with this girl. I had forgiven her(whilst gritting my teeth)for the old incident and have tried to look past it all. I suppose it's my fault for even telling her. I knew better.Her whole statement was about as warm & fuzzy as a well-diggers ass which she tried to sugar coat with "i love you"s after the fact.
This was my crash test. And it was a crash, and burn.
On the other hand , my daughter asked to go to church with me this morning again. I am delighted with this. She also spent time tryimg to help her brother with his situation. Even knowing she would probably get disappointed in the end, at least she tried.
I know this hasnt been a very enlightening, or even upbeat post. But this is the real world. This is the stuff that happens to real people. And it's not always pretty, happy or shiney.
But , for me, it's always a learning process.
And "that which does not kill us makes us stronger"- Conan the Barbarian


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Still Sucking Face & taking up Space

These are my Lovely Kids in front of our Christmas trees

I have been spending oodles of time on Facebook at night, as well as myspace. Is this where the bad seed begins to germinate? I would swear to that since i spent about 3 hours chatting with an old freind on "face" & "space"...i can totally see how people get sucked in!But I do believe i'll grow out of it!

At any rate, it seems to at least be a place to reconnect with people and it's kinda fun changing the themes, backgrounds, etc and editing your profile. My problem(aside from the time consumption) is that it truly takes you deeper into your ego.

What i mean by this is that in order to spend so much time in these places, it's necessary to be focusing on yourself & your own needs- at least when it comes to putting up info about yourself & creating artful pages.I guess the same could be said of blogs. And those places kind of have their own blog space.

All of this space to just talk about yourself , especially in cyberspace, cant be good.And it sure is addictive.

Now- i know, i know.Some would point out that there are many blogs not focused on the author- like self-help stuff . This just turns the tables. Then the reader is focusing on the self!Anyone into Ashtanga Yoga philosophy can see where i'm going with this.

Maybe at some future date i'll be able to more precisely express these concerns in a better language for those who read this. But for now, let me just say....

I will be spending a bit of time in these places, in hopes of figuring out the reason behind the desire .

I will be attempting to understand my own rationale for having a blog and two cyberspace pages.

I will be going through some growth & change.


Hopefully ,when i am done with this personal research and analysis, i'll have something better to bring to the table .

P.S. In keeping with a frugal mindset, i've decided i will be buying Starbucks gift cards this season. They're cheap (5-10 bucks a pop) and almost everyone can use 'em...even if they dont drink coffee. Ha!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Purposeless Piercing

Today the high school nurse left a cute little message on our answering machine(not) - which my husband heard & i am sure to get the third degree about. Apparently my son decided to pierce his arm. Right on the deltoid no less, with a thick "barbell" type rod.I just dont understand the whole mentality of kids these days. Why would an otherwise healthy child risk a serious infection by trying to do something so stupid?Now, i have to remember to monitor this, as if i needed to add to my already complex life.
Later , my son calls me (10 minutes before curfew time) to tell me his car is seriously overheating & he may not be home on time. Mind you, i'm getting ready to leave for work in 5 minutes or so. So he pulls into the driveway at the last second and rushes in to look for a flashlight. He has the hood of the car up.
Let me just state here that my son is no mechanic, so what purpose he sees in looking there i cant guess.But i had to leave, with a statement to the effect of him having to deal with this on his own and how we cannot afford to bail him out this time.We're just tapped out. After all he's been running the thing into the ground- going to the mall, back & forth to school, work, running to friends houses, etc. We DID warn him .
I am still maintaining- in the eye of the storm.
FunFactor: move like a ballerina for a day, or even for an hour.It's quite fun and a bit challenging to attempt to be so graceful in all you do. If you're a dude- so much the more!
Tonight , as i was spinning in the world of fatiguing stress in which i lie, i decided some medicine was in order- so i popped in a cassette( you read that right- i still have about a hundred of them i refuse to part with) of my old favorites , the"Spin Doctors", I used to use these guys to ward off all kinds off mental illness, and quite a bit of depression!It was neat to hear them again.Medicinal Music, if you will.
Overall , I am still enchanted by the power of certain things i'd have scoffed at a few years ago. I thought at some point (back then) that i'd "gotten over" all that new age hooey and moved on to a more sensible me. But now & again , this past year, i have revisited the plain & simple things that once made me happy with excellent & unexpected results. I'm talking herbal teas, yoga, music, and a myriad of little amusements that cost nothing.
It still rings true that the best things in life are free, a philosophy I once lived by and had somehow forgotten.Guess i was lost in the Mists of Avalon......or

Is that where I am right now? I hope so. Namaste.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Money is'nt Everything

It snowed here today.Alot, and it was totally unexpected. I had checked weather last night & it stated "rain". So, imagine my suprise.
First, i rescheduled my tanning appointment. I hope tomorrow will be better weather. Then i sat around debating whether i should go to the gym. I decided against that also.
Eventually, as it got thicker, i started pondering the idea of calling off work. Not because of the snow, but the sleet and ice they are calling for in the A.M.
I decided to head out into it tonight, basically because my husband is still flipping out about how we're going to have "a rough road ahead" and we need to sell stuff and get rid of this & that expense.
He does this kind of thing...initially.I have confidence that this will die out. But only because i know, sadly, that i will have to step in and save the day. Yes, i will have to take back the bill-paying.
I say this because i know inside that i am more upset over my spouses emotional -tantrums-to come than i am about giving up stuff.
And the biggest problem is going to come for me when & if i have to start working 7 days a week. I mean, after all the time & energy i put into lecturing him on why we shouldnt just spend, spend , spend...after all the discipline i've shown over the years only to be egged on to get more stuff, this is what i get for succumbing to his whims in moments of weakness .
My only goal was to cut back to 5 days a week and now i feel like i've put in that extra time for nothing.I knew it was going to end up spiting me , somehow, someway.
But rather than allowing anger to rule, i will throw myself to the task again. I will give up my blonde highlights, my tanning packages, my vacations (all of these things were for him anyway).I will look into ways to get out of my cell phone contracts and cut down his cable bill. But i will not give up my internet.
There are many ways we can cut back if we even actually need to come the New Year.
But for now, i'll just sit back & keep on keepin' on.....Peace out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yoga Bliss

Pic-The Cookie Marathon(my daughter & I)-all packaged in gift bags, no less!
FunFactor:Pulling that just-done sweatshirt out of the dryer -all warm and soft and putting it on right away....sweet.

Tonight at Yoga i felt something new inside. It was a feeling of "inner independence".The class was less full than usual and i felt able to breathe, and a freedom not to look at my face in the mirror, but at my form and to close my eyes more ,relishing the goodness in my body. I felt healthier in the class than i had in weeks.

During Sun Salutation , my body stretched easily and fluidly, lengthening more than ever before . My breath was even and unfettered by the usual sinus problems. I was energized, and yet, relaxed.

This doesnt happen often to me. And it was no spiritual enlightenment. Just a new focus, and much appreciated in both body & mind.I walked out feeling...... different.

It didnt hurt that today's weather(in the 60's!)was so spring-like and unexpected. Nor did it hurt that i'd had the house all to myself most of the evening, efficiently getting many loose ends tied up. Over all my night had gone well.

When I left the gym , i got a message from my mom that she'd been in a bad accident. She was doing ok, and was at home. Just bruised. I was glad to hear that.

What got me was that ,once again, Yoga had the effect of keeping me calm in the storm.

This year has been a whirlwind of chaos and sadness and upheaval for me. But i've been able to weather it unusually well. Besides the credit i give to my faith, yoga has had more of an effect than i had anticipated. And it's been dramatically subtle.If there is such a thing.

I guess it's all it's cracked up to be, at least for some of us.

And , so, into the holiday season i coast. Renewed, refreshed, and awed.Namaste.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What's Really Important

My daughter & i spent the weekend making cookies, watching "Fred Clause", drinking a daquiri together, and went to church together .She even helped me clean. (although she complained that my son needs to do more around the house, too.I agree).
Now this is what i call quality time to gether. My son was even home Sat. night and he stayed there watching a movie with his girlfriend. The wekedn couldnt have been better in my eyes.
Until this morning when my husband came home from a double and left a curious note about "something bad at work". Turns out they're utting back. No more weekends , means no more overtime.
Financially , this is a disaster.
We just took my daughter in . And i'd never give that up. Plus, it's christmas. How could any business do this right now?
Knowing that my sinking feeling was actually related to having to deal with my husbands depression, i also realized i was relieved.
My prayers were finally being answered. I have been wanting less.Desiring to scale back on the things we have, and getting back to the soul of our marriage & family. Additionally , i had asked God to give me more time with my family and to get my husband back to church. God is amazing.If this all goes through, my husband will be home with me on weekends, not working doubles. And that also means he can attend church with me again.
No excuses.
I know this post might not appeal to some, in the sense of Christian values. But I must give credit where it is due. Hallelujah & amen.
All this brings me to the point of what's truly important. Not only at Christmas but all the time.
Family.That's right...FAMILY.
Not presents, or big ticket items , or having more money.All of that just means more problems.
I can do without the headaches, and least for a while, have my family back.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Meet the Parents

so, tonight i hosted the dinner for my daughter's new"friend"- they are certainly not serious yet.And to that i say- amen.
You know the type that comes out of the gate raring to go, then fizzles out quickly?
This one was a great greeter and had the "what a beautiful house " comments all lined up , but quickly proceeded to chat on his cell phone , once even taking it outside for about 10 minutes- leaving my daughter & i to wonder.We know it was a guy and a friend-so no emergency, or business call. That is what i call just plain rude.
And so he had a second wind when my husband came in to meet him, shaking his hand and repeating the above line....then fizzled again.
While we were playing Trivial Pursuit , the guy sat there sighing and looking around like he was bored and/or couldnt wait to leave! He had told my daughter he LOVED playing this game, otherwise we wouldnt have planned on it.The nerve.
Then on his way out he shook hands(i give hugs ,though) and didnt even thank us for the meal or evening!
I guess i'm just old-fashioned, but i felt totally disrespected. Of course i wont tell all this to my daughter unless she asks my oppinion. But i really hope she dates other guys.Unless i seriously misread him, i have to wonder- if this is how little respect he showed to us, how much will he show my daughter?
I know, maybe it's a mom thing. But I'm usually right. Example? tonight right after she left i told my husband i wish she would have dressed in something warmer (than a miniskirt , boots and a sleeveless top with a long sweater for a jacket). My husband says "why?"."in case she would break down-- it's below freezing out there".
Can you guess what the text i got @ 12:45 am said?
I am a prophet i tell you!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Another Day, Another Night

When it rains, it pours.
About a month or so ago our family was informed by my brother that he was going to have a twins with a girl exactly half his age .It was a pretty decent scandal.But low & behold , the devil has come out of her dungeon. Turns out she never was pregnant & has been stringing him along all these 3 months, including our family in the deal.Our mom's pretty upset.Not to mention my brother.hmph...i'll get you my pretty!!Just kiddin!
Tonight I am at a case i was switched to and the baby has been a tyrant all night long! Sleeping for 3-5 mins then awake for an hour. I am ready to go insane! He's not sick...just been sleeping all day. Yeah, when i got here he was asleep. So was mom, on the couch. Gee, cant imagine why some of these kids get their nights & days mixed up!
I havent been able to study at all. I spent 3 hours repositioning, venting(g-tube),suctioning, doing CPT,changing diapers, patting his butt, rocking name it. I know it's my job,but please!He's not sick. And i work night shift for a reason. When these parents have a few days without nursing & wanna sleep, they're going to be in for a rude awakening.
Man, i cant wait for my night off.
My daughter & I went grocery shopping in the pouring down rain tonight so we could fix a decent meal for dinner tomorrow. She is bringing home the guy she's been recently dating. Cant wait to meet him. Sounds sweet. Has a job.But he has no car. Hmmm...
Saturday afternoon her & i will be baking tons & tons of christmas cookies. This is the wonderful trade off for buying her food to feed the "guest "of honor.(tee-hee).Or should i say..
ha...hahahaaaa(evil laugh).

Mommy can be persuaaaasive.Namaste!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jingle Fart

I have been reading "eat this, not that" ... a great book to tag along with you in the car, in case you actually HAVE to eat out at a chain restaurant. It also has a section for the grocery store. I like it. And i usually dont like diet type books because they're all the same. Of course, i may get bored with it, too.
I am having some major difficulties in my life right now. First....I am having a major farting problem.Do you know how it feels to have one rip loose in Yoga class without warning while doing down-dog?It was all i could do to not walk out in shame! so i did the next best thing and acted like i stubbed my toenail across my mat...

PPPHHHHTTT...(quick look around) "umm....oooww! that really hurt!"(while grabbing my big toe.)

Good thing I don't turn red when i blush!But if I least it's a dimly lit room.
So, I think they hardly noticed. Even if it was only 5 of us in the room.hmm...

Secondly, i am so sucked up into Facebook & Myspace since I signed on, it's taking me, like 2-3 hours to get to my real joy in life...this wonderful blog!

I do so love my blog!Celestial Stranger, you will uncover even deeper joys with time!

Third...after vowing to buy no gifts this year for christmas, i find that i may just do it anyway. There's just way too much fun to be lost with the shopping deficit! However, i promise to be frugal....and still make it priceless!

Today's FunFactor:pitching those unwanted dum dum's flavors with wild abandon! finally i am longer an anal retentive prisoner of the belief that i have to save everything.
Today's Everyday Adventure: Ummm...geeze, re-read the Yoga drama(above). Now, if that's not an adventure, i dont know what is!

Signing off......your flatulent friend

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nursing Banter

Yeah! my coffee date friend just started his first blog! I am so proud of you!

Tonight i am at work as usual. It's pretty laid back ,considering . The family is VERY involved in the baby's care and almost to the point of being too overinvolved. I would never normally say this but i read a note to the nurses that read"Listen carefully to ----'s lung sounds. He can hold "junk" in the bases, and several times people have mistaken clear lung sounds for a lack of air movement". Hmmm......i wonder which "people" they are refering to.

But , so far i like the case. Twice i've had to cover shifts at the last moment.The family is nice, it's clean and theres a sofa to sit on, not a hard chair.So, i cant complain.

On another note, i am still trying to stay motivated to study for my clinicals. I met with a colleague over the weekend and we decided we need to practice together. That should help. I told her that between my A.D.D. and her O.C.D. we should compliment each other!
As I read through the five hundred and some page manual, i'm getting totally bugged and nervous, where as she says she was nervous before reading it, but now feels better. She was going to try to get a part time job like me to practice, but now says she doesnt think she will. On the other hand, i feel even more pressured to do so.well ,they say opposites attract.

So, for all you non-nurses, i'm sure this is pretty dull. So i guess i'll close....

Monday, December 8, 2008

How I've Failed This Year

With Christmas upon us & New Years right on it's tails, i came to think upon my resolutions a bit earlier than usual this time . I'm not sure what made me think about it, but as I did, i began to do some major self -loathing.
It may have come from disgust with myself over : lack of self-control with my diet. I really need to re-think my plan if i am going to succeed with any type of diet goal next year. My pattern seems to be "on "task 1-2 days, then off 2-3 days, each time feeling defeated. It's hard , even for us thinner types. Not just with losing weight or keeping it off, but with taming the sugarbug and making healthy choices. It has gotten much worse for me with age,too.
2.I spent way too much $ on vacations this year. Especially the two weeks in June. Although it was not so bad in November, we still could have economized a little better.I just didnt plan as well as i could have. Additionally, I've had way too much time away from home this year.Never thought I'd hear myself say"too much vacation".
3.I have spent too much time gossiping, and venting negativity, and making others feel bad, not better about themselves. I'm not sure if it makes me feel better about myself temporarily, or if it's just become such a habit I cant even stop myself or am unaware at the time. I just know looking back, sometimes as soon as i've done it, i feel terrible about it.
4. I have been unable to give up terribly expensive hair care. I did get low lights the last 2 times with intentions of going back to my original color, but I am having a hard time letting go of the "blonde"me.
5.I am still drinking bottled water and not even , nearly enough of it. I have only been getting less than a 1/2 a bottle a day on average and have actually been pretty dehydrated. I havent increased the coffee(still at avg. of 2-3 cups when I get up) but have added herbal teas.

Now, here's what went right this year:
1. I have used a lot less MaryKay products, saving about $30.00/month.Maybe even more. It was gradual.
2.I havent given over to driving much more since gas prices dropped. my one indulgence has been extra trips to the gym,since combining Yoga & weightlifting nights was actually doing more harm and taking away from my practice, But shouldnt they cancel each other out?
3.I did actually make money at a Yard sale this year. I have never done that before.
4.I finished all my nursing classes as planned!I am now waiting & studying for my clinical date! 21/2 years ago i would've never though i'd see this day, but i stuck with it!
5.I kept up with Yoga , Coffee dates w/ a friend, and have successfully kept Mr. Scale in the closet most of the time since I said I would. Plus, I am still only wearing my watch at work and very little outside of that---very little.

What I've enjoyed more:
  • talking to people
  • spending time with my mom & daughter
  • not adding a bunch of senseless ads to my blog
  • learning to cook new foods
  • listening to more music

When i started these lists tonight i went back to some old blogs to see how far I've come or not come. I wanted to see how far I've veered from my original intent, because i felt like i was a bit off.

I'm glad I did.

This will now be the foundation from which i will have to work come the new year. No lofty ideals, just some good, common sense based on research.

Ahhh...the purpose has come full circle. Amen.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Just a quick one

Todays's FunFactor: whip cream in my coffees & teas! a delightful change for the season! Also fun: decorating continues- we now have the outdoors lights done & all the indoor trees are lit! Beautiful! Our neighborhood is lit up..... & so sparkly!
Everyday Adventure: I've decided to make one day a week a Fun day- this will be a day where i don't have any "have to's". I get to bake, play games with the family, watch a movie snuggled up with hubby, or just for loafing. I'll be posting later on how this works out!
I am sooo anxious for SNOW! I love all that weather(from indoors- sucks to drive in) and it makes the holiday feel right. I truly hate the green Christmas's we usually have. I remember , though, not too long ago when we had a beautious White Christmas.
I have just gotten back to checking some other blogs & i gotta tell ya- nothing I can say right now can compete with these lovelies "Towards a Greener Ham" "the danger of virtually living" "HOW YOU CAN SAVE TIMMY'S LIFE" "Is hunting/fishing a Good way to Feed your Family?"

Quite inspiring and thought provoking. I am also considering again deleting some of my blog posts. After signing up for Facebook and Myspace pages a few days ago, i am reconsidering what I want to remain "out there".
I have a few "friends" in those places who might be very offended if they were to run across certain posts.
anyhoo, nothing more of note tonight...Buenos noche!(spelling?)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Disciplinary Diva

As a non-political minded person, this year had been a real bender for me. I am still in awe of the cult like obsession with our president.It's not that I dont like him. I am just scared for him. Anyway, i found this site purely accidentally (stumbled it) and was so thrilled and entranced by the views and oppinions here. Now this is the way politics should play...with equal comments on both sides and some in between...without rhetoric or sensationalism or advertisements. Hallelujah. Check it out. I was even so inclined as to comment myself.
Todays Funfactor:getting a Facebook page . And realizing again that in spite of it all everyday IS an adventure. With my kids, my husband and my very busy life. No one can tell me different. And if you arent married and dont have kids...well, so sorry'll have to find your own adventures, and they won't be nearly as wonderful.
Even when all is chaos, i am the eye of the storm.
Tonight, I got accused by a friend of taking my husbands side against my son. Let me explain that this week alone, we have found cigarettes in his car, he has broken curfew twice , and was late for his first training day on a new job(this inspite of the fact that he owes us hundreds of $ for car repairs). Then he got sarcastic and raised his voice to my husband who was in the process of trying to help him get his cable tv fixed. And the cherry on the top is the fact that he now has 2 "F"'s in school.
Now, overall my son is not a bad kid. He doesnt do drugs , drink, vandalize, skip school , steal, curse (in front of us),etc. He does hold a job, and is trying to get a better one.He really hasnt given us a lot of trouble in the past two years, except for laziness. But since his recent break up with a girlfriend of two 1/2 years...he's been teetering on the edge, and making some bad choices.
In order to reign in the chaos, we have to discipline. This is what keeps him from going further into a downward spiral.My husband just loses his cool at times. He yells, and gets overly dramatic..... and hence, i was accused of giving my husband "permission" to act /speak/ discipline the way he does.Not true. I really wish for someone to walk a mile in our shoes at times.
Oh, well, all is well anyhow at the moment. I just take one day at a time. And when the winds finally die down, i try to catch my breath....
And get ready for the next bout of bad weather.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oh rejection!

Todays Funfactor:Spending some time showing my daughter exercises tonight and also steppin outside my box to ride the cardio train at the gym! Not done that in over 6 months!

After another painful (perceived) rejection, i decided to look up the ugly monster and here is what i found:
Wikipedia says:

1."The experience of being rejected is subjective for the recipeint and it can be perceived when it is not actually present."

2."...the majority of human anxieties appear to reflect concerns over social exclusion."

3."Our need for affiliation and social interaction appears to be particularly strong when we are under stress."

4."Suprisingly, people feel rejected even when they know they are only playing against (a) computer"

5.In one study , men disengaged more quickly and showed more face-saving techniques, such as pretending to be uninterested .VERY interesting.Women tend to seek approval more often.

6.There is a phenomenon called "falling upward" which means that people tend to desire someone higher than themselves in status or attractiveness, which increases the chances for rejection.(wow...pretty depressing to know someone is rejecting you because they think they are better than you!)

7. And finally, there is such a thing as "rejection sensitivity" - which is basically just being more sensitive to rejection than most.(me)

There were some other sites but not much worth quoting.Most of them were selling something. Go figure. Especially when it is pretty common knowledge that those who fee chronically rejected are especially gullible . But I guess it's the same way with those who are overweight or who feel unattarctive. Some people just leech off the insecurities of others.

I, for one,have been rejected on many, many, many occasions. But overall, after the sting subsides , I HAVE BECOME A LITTLE STRONGER INSIDE each time.

Just check out that smile in the pic!(with my brother on Thanksgiving).


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

CPNE studying!

This is my daughter with the cake we made together from scratch this weekend....delicious!

We also went to Yoga together tonight . I know I am sore & my daughter said she was, too. Thats what i get for slackin' off!

I've been studying my brains out tonight & watching demo videos online for my lab stations.I'm pretty amazed at all i am learning. I just hope i can get to my workshops and get a job in a place to practice much needed clinical skills. I will start looking in the paper tomorrow when my friend brings me the sunday paper.

At this point i'm looking for a place to practice IV's.I am fortunate this month to be able to practice IM injections....although I am sad for my patient to have to receive them!

This whole month in our household is tight for $. I'm a bit concerned about cash for the workshops , kits, and books i still need. But , in the spirit of wanting less, I have decided to check on some sites like ebay so i can get at least the kits & other resource materials at a discount.I priced a new diagnosis guide tonight & it was $40.00!!!

So , in light of this, i need to bid you adieu. The auction awaits!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

What are the REAL issues?

After perusing the web tonight, checking out a few blogs,looking at breaking news items, I am prompted to ask the following question:
"What are the issues?"
They seem to be:
  • The terrorist attack in India on two luxury hotels
  • The cheap gas prices
  • Black Friday sales

But...What are the REAL issues?

I believe the most important, life-affecting issues are getting lost:

  • The # of starving children in the world
  • Countries without areas to farm due to beef cattle grazing and;
  • Land raped for growing paper trees
  • Third world water shortages
  • AIDS , and the rise of Tuberculosis
  • How about the slow death of our oceans and the increase of all pollution?
  • And have we forgotten about Global Warming?
  • What is getting done about the continuing sex slave trade?

Going back in time? NO! These issues are still very much alive, why don't they make headlines until they are resolved?

Is'nt there a real issue with the need for the newest, most exciting news?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Traditions & Holiday shame....

The holiday proved to be very docile and passed with little fanfaire despite the expectations. My brothers' very, very young pregnant -with -twins girlfriend was sick with the flu and did not attend. We all had so looked forward to getting to know her.I had met her once awhile back when they first began dating. It caused quite a scandal(well.... with my mom) when it was revealed she was with child. But she seems nice enough, albeit a little naive.
My daughter is now actually moved in. She is feeling better and went to the gym(mostly observing)and to get groceries this week. She has also helped out a bit (lightwork) around the house. I must say, though, having her there sure puts a new spin on things.We were actually able to play a family game board last night!
Which makes me remember her childhood, which in turn brings me to thought about traditions.

1.In some families, it seems to be traditional at Thanksgiving to go 'round the table saying what you're thankful for. We never really did this at my moms, although we do it at my husbands parents.After dinner, the guys watch football, and this year the girls watched "It's a Wonderful Life" colorized in another room. This may become a tradition.
2.At my in-laws, the mom, sister & cousin helped serve dinner & put away dishes. I , for some reason, was excluded. But after a few attempts to help & being sent off to be with the guys, i figured it out. It was their "tradition".
3.When my kids were little, i moved around between boyfriends & lovers fairly often & we experienced a wide range of family traditions. Not only at thanksgiving, but year round.
Christmas Where would I begin?
4.Some have the family over Christmas eve. Others Christmas day. Some open all the gifts on the eve. We always only opened one. And when my brother & I were seemed our christmas eve gift was always pajamas(hmm...wonder who planned that!)In the morning, stockings were first.
5.When I was under ten we went around to different homes all day on Christmas Day. It was wonderful and we felt like we had 5 or 6 Christmas's!Now, it's just not practical to do this since some of the family is on the outs, others live too far away and there have been numerous divorces. Not to mention the economy & gas prices.
Speaking of which, how bout these gas prices??! At BJ's near us, it's only $1.65. Now, i know the financial players are saying this is BAD for our economy in the long run. But as long as i have no control over the prices, i'm not going to complain. It has really been a blessing since it comes at a time when i had a lot of unplanned excursions to the hospital.
So , i truly am grateful.
What I am NOT grateful for is hearing about the Walmart employee in Long Island.Shame on those people.What in the world has become of us as a civilization if we trample people to death in our greedy attempts to get a sale price at Walmart??Totally insane. We are not even as civilized as some third world countries . I am embarrased to be a human today.And to ignore emergency workers trying to help this poor employee???Every single shopper in that store should go to trial.
Enough said.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

First Things

Brought my daughter home from the hospital today. At age twenty three, she had to have her tonsils out. This was a weekend of a lot of "firsts" for her, as she pointed out. First surgery, first time under anesthesia,first overnight stay at a hospital....etc. We talked a bit about how "firsts" are a good thing. Otherwise we wouldnt be alive...
We need that"first breath"
We need those "first steps"
We need those "first words"
This is the kind of thing one doesnt usually think about daily, but their importance cannot be overlooked. Rather than sounding off like a typical self help blog. I'd like to share a few of my "firsts" and maybe get you reminiscing about your own.
  • Can you remember the first time you saw fireworks? I remember watching them at local carnivals with my cousins growing up. We ate funnel cakes and sat on blankets.
  • How about the first time you went on an airplane?I was on a 4 seater Cessna with my two kids belonging to a pilot i was dating. My son was so excited i thought he was just gonna die! As a bonus, we just happened to be flying over several places setting off fireworks.
  • Do you remember your first cotton candy? I was about five and thought my grandmom was tricking me into eating took me about 10 minutes before i gave in, fully expecting to be made a fool of!We were at a circus and ,weirdly, i only remember that and not any of the acts.
  • Speaking with my daughter, i had to think back to my own first overnight at the hospital. It was for the same reason...tonsils out.I was 11.
All these firsts made me really first jeans, my first love, first kiss, first boat ride, even my first computer!
At any made for a great FunFactor tonight. I think it will be lovely having my daughter with me.Will be posting on her moving back in with me.This oughtta be interesting!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Check out The Sneeze

Ok, in spite of myself, I have decided , in fact, to blog tonight.Briefly.
In spite of doing battle with my spouse for 3 days straight. And just having a week worthy of being featured in LifeSucks Magazine.

I decided tonight to give you one of my great StumbleUpon finds!(Secrets- you already got it first ,you lucky devil!)
I laughed so hard i just wet myself(figuratively) when i came upon this one & got sucked in for FOUR HOURS! Check it out: sure you scroll down the right sidebar to "Steve, Dont eat it!"(if you get routed to the main page )---thats the best!! But also i cried (tears of joy)over "Cheap-as Cereals" and some of the thoughts on the Tree Brain.
This is my kinda guy!
I also have found some new blogs i like and have been into lately, although not for humor. I've posted them on my sidebar under "Other Original Thinkers".These are more for inspiration,etc.
Also, i was finally able to download & transfer all of my pics to a disc & have freed up some space on my computer. So i now have to take new pics and have no images to post really.
You'll all just have to suffer.
Sorry so short, but time marches on!
Peace out.....

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dont ya just love My New Look?

I 've been called a shrimp before, but this is ridiculous!lol...
I'm at a fairly new case tonight, one that i was switched to without being asked first. And of course,Murphy's Law being prevalent in my life, an adult is sleeping on the floor in the room in which I must stay with the child.Joy.
This...after another Blow up with my husband right before i left tonight for work....again.
Reader, please tell me how is it I can get blamed for something my son does when I am not even around to witness or prevent it?I'm not talkin about bad manners, or having a messy room, or some life lesson-type stuff that i should have taught him but didnt.
I'm talking about this, for instance....My son decided to drive his car while i slept. My husband says "why did you let him drive?". When i say i was asleep..."you should have taken his keys".Mind you, he is not grounded or being punished, so he didnt drive without permission.He just was told not to drive in inclement me, twice this day.My thought- why didnt he take the keys????
When my son wrecked the other car, i was at home..asleep.( I sleep during the day - since i work at night .)..Yet, I was blamed because i "coddled"him too much.Where does that even come into the picture, i ask you?
For some unknowable reason , my husband always blames me for my sons choices, whether it's his schoolwork issues, whatever girl he is seeing or dating, why he does or doesnt go to work, it has no end.
Yeah, I guess now I have officially crossed over into venting. Sorry. I am just so darned frustrated ......

Friday, November 21, 2008

This year -The Real Gift!

I must confess.
I was reading blogs tonight before i posted, despite striving to come forth in virgin blogger mode.
But i have a valid excuse. I was trying to deflate my anger somewhat before posting so that the incredible amount of negativity I was holding did not spew forth. So I read a few posts concerning marital arguements , the economy, and a few "real" blogs (where i got some relief realizing that others out there still struggle with real-life issues).
Prior to this I had calmed myself in two ways. The first was healthy. I went to the gym and put on my prize-fighter attitude, beating my anger up with the free-weights. This always makes for a satisfying lactic-acid producing hangover! I felt sooo much better afterwards.Almost back to the serene being I prided myself on last night. Until I got back home, and again got into Battle Royale with my husband.
After that,I didnt even realize I was "stress-eating" till I was halfway through my candy stash. Even then, I knew I was going to need to continue, until I was sated emotionally.
Well, maybe this will give me some insight into the reasons some people are overweight.Seriously.
But, I digress....
As Thanksgiving is upon us, I will share what I am grateful for now.I am grateful that I got 2 CD's out of the above events. Since I was so angry, I bought a CD with most of the money in our savings, thereby preventing someone from getting into it and spending it again. My second CD was a music CD from a fellow Gym Rat who'd promised to burn some tunes for me after we spontaneously traded shuffles for our work-outs one night(ooo!a FunFactor!).So, I not only invested money, but also saved money. Sometimes, good comes out of bad.
On another Holiday note, one of the blogs i went to (my third stress relieving endeavor) made me think about choices for Christmas this year.Last year i decided I would start a tradition of staying over my moms Christmas Eve every year so we would both know & look forward to spending the Holiday as a family.No more decisions about who goes where.
This year, we are not exchanging gifts at all. Hallelujah! Goal accomplished.I have wanted this for years, believing it should be enough to spend time together as a family. That is a gift, a gift from God.(Goes along well with "wanting less, having more",huh?)
Many, many people in this world do not have this luxury.
We are still getting gifts for the kids. But hopefully someday future generations will see the blessing of family, not gift wrap-tearing, as Christmas.But ......this is a start!
And the yeast works through the whole batch of dough........

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Leany,Meany Yogini

I am back to my Yoga class tonight.
After a week on vacation , i had skipped 4 sessions and boy did my hamstrings feel it!
While i did spend some time in practice while at the sound, as well as a few bike rides & walks, my body knew...deep down ...that i was being pretty lazy. Tonight was payback!
Additionally, i ate like a pig whilst on my sabbatical, but amazingly i gained no weight.
Yup, let me say it again.
I stop watching what i eat, stopped looking at a scale daily, and didnt exercise and (gasp!) the world did not end.
So now, i can put it all in perspective.
I realize fully that I am getting bored.
My new plan is to continue Yoga at the gym , where it is free, for the time being twice per week. But instead of burning my self out before loving my mat, i'm gonna lift weights on 2 or 3 of the other nights so that i can really focus on the intent of each session.
In the future, i will be gathering some info. on local Yoga studios. I know they cost more, so i will be chewing on the pros & cons for awhile before jumping in.
Some strangeness has come into my life these past 2 weeks with odd illnesses in the family, and many unexpected and sad events. A freinds mother attempted suicide. My daughters father might have a brain tumor, another freind had a car accident, and an estranged friend left a message on my cell.A whole lot of other minor clamor has also ensued .
Seems like its all"swirling" around me.
It's in times like these I realize how much calmer I've become in dealing with the stressors. I cant help but believe that , on some level, even the short amount of time i have spent incorporating Yoga into my life has helped make this difference.
Whenever these moments strike, the initial drama/emotion has become shorter in duration and then comes a floating, serene-like way of handling it. In the moment.
Not dreamy, or laid-back, or care-free. Just different, and hmmm....easier.
I'm gonna bask in this as long as possible!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Homesick? Staycation!

Just got home yesterday from vacation. Spent time unpacking and pondering on the events i left behind. It's interesting how a week away from home makes you realize some of the stuff you miss!
#1...i really missed my Keurig coffee! i have apparently gotten so spoiled by that perfect cup from the coffee "pods"that the regular coffee maker (by the carafe) tasted sort of like muddy water while i was here, even with the bottled water we used. Yes, we sort of had to use bottled water since the place had no water filter.

#2....i also missed my pets. While walking the neighborhood we encountered so many friendly dogs, saw a few cats and even a horse! Talking with one of the locals about how she uses only holistic treatments for her 5 dogs (accupuncture, herbal/supplement injections) made me think about my own pets at home.

#3...i missed the smell of my clean , fresh linens. There's nothing more welcoming than coming home and sliding into cool fresh, just from the dryer sheets. Next time i will make SURE to check the bed size in the master bedroom at the beach house we rent before leaving. We spent the nights on a mattress pad since it was a king size bed, and i only brought queen sheets!

#4....i really missed my son , who stayed behind this time to go to school. My mom stayed over with him to keep an eye on him. I always miss him when i'm away,but this was our 1st vacation without him in 4 years. It felt weird!

There's alot to be said for "staycations" now and my husband and i are considering one or two for next year. Honestly, i kinda feel like i've had too much vacation this year. Staying at home may be our best bet and a real savings.The idea has been to research the outer banks for a future move there (5-10 years). So far the job market and weather are the two biggest negatives. We need to keep the purpose in sight.
After all, why move to the beach if you are going to live in an overpopulated area just to be near your job, and why work endless hours at a job you might hate just to live close to the beach? these are just some of the considerations.
But grandchildren will certainly factor in, if that happens in the next 5 years...will keep ya'll posted!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Wanted: A Frugal Mindset

Hundreds of Pine Cones in the trees!
A strange , eerie shape in the sand....

Waiting for ferry to Ocracoke

Spending less on a vacation with a less-than-thrifty mate can be exasperating. I want to just stay in or walk the beach & shell, or ride bikes,etc.While fishing was acceptable to me , we still had to spend $ on a reel/rod because my husband didnt bring one from home,planning to buy a surf rod for surf fishing. When we got here, he didnt "wanna go to the ocean by myself".I really am not patient enough to sit in chilly, windy, weather for a few hours at the crack of dawn watching him fish. I had planned on some actual alone time at the house reading , doing crosswords and surfing the web.Anyway, now we will have 2 (hardly used) fishing rods at home.

Additionally, now he is talking about buying all the gear for surf fishing, which , at best, will be used once a year on vacation.

I try to explain that it is wasteful and ridiculous to buy all that stuff for use once a year, kinda like buying kayaks. It would be easier and less costly to borrow them.

So, what is a Frugal Diva to do?I suppose i will continue with the following:

1. Frequenting thrift shops- i did actually convince hubby to take us to one yesterday where we spent $2.14 on a winter cap (for him to wear fishing on the dock in the rain & wind) and a Trivial Pursuit game(wahoo!-we played for 4 hours! and, of course, i won each time).My fav game.

2.Buying stuff at the $ store when i can- for instance, these places are great for gift wrapping stuff!!!

3.Using what i have , for as long as i can- clothing,etc. I make sure my pantry is all but empty before i shop for groceries and plan the next 2 weText Coloreks menu using up what' s still there. I buy classic clothing that wears well- like turtle neck sweaters, etc. I have a houndstooth jacket i've had & refurbished for about 20 years!

4.Making new aquaintances- yes, this too is a great help. Lending & borrowing, useful referrals to the best businesses, and invites to parties- all reap savings . Good deeds exchanged and helpful advice create good neighbors to lean to in rough patches as well.

5. Less impulse buying- hard to curb at times, but waiting usually yeilds better prospects and saves $ for better, more fullfilling things later on.

6.Watching our 401k's over the next 6 months- the market promises to remain volatile. a hawkeye will be beneficial. I say, follow your instincts and dont trust advisors, the government,etc. The people who will sink if you stop sinking $ into their funds.

So, those are some of the things i plan on doing. In spite of my spendy-spendy mate..i will do my best.P.S. Posting some more vacation pics......Having a great time overall!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More Vacation Speak

This morning i am cleaning the oven here...yes, on vacation i am cleaning...i hate it! But someone left a spill in the bottom and it's been making me sick smelling it burn this week so i had to. also we have a slight ant problem which i am calling the rental company about today since we cant get it under control. oh's the only 2 negatives here.
Yesterday we did go on the ferry to Ocracoke. The weather was so great, we also took a long bike ride right before we left.
Today it's raining (we expected that) but the temp is really mild so we can actually use the screened in porch!Hubby has been fishing off our little dock but so far hasnt caught anything. Good thing we dont rely on the Hunter/ Gatherer theory....we'd starve!(p.s. yes, i know this is a behavioral psychological theory but what i mean is, if we were cave people and he had to hunt for our food...we'd be eating my berries ......)
I am compling a list of our expenses while we are here so as to compare with the June vacation. We have hardly spent anything....just food, gas and a fishing rod/reel.I had put back a $100 budget for books(secretly saved up at home for about 6 weeks)and so far have only used $11.34!!I love books....sometimes i just cant get enough!
This morning since it is raining i plan on spending sometime with my Yoga mat. I've been doing sporadic Surya Namaskar and some Balasana/Savasana. Also a great deal of back & forward stretch poses. But not any sustained practice.
I'm posting a few pics later today or tomorrow. I've been doing things differently while on vacation...posting in the a.m. ,watching a lot of movies with hubby, eating quite differently and i have hardly even picked up a pen this week!If you know me at all, this is HUGE! because i live & die by "the Lists " that i make everyday at home...
So, while hubby is still in bed and the oven cleans , i am going to go take an A.M. bath...ahhh....solitude!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vacation Relations

First...I get to wear these most of vacation! weeeee!
A large tropical tree...a palm, i guess, in neighbors yard

A beautious sunset on the sound last night.

Me ...all bundled up by the seashore.....still very cold down here (just like home!)
We talked with a nieghbor on a walk yesterday for about an hour . He was a very nice man, an old "hippie" who had moved down here with his wife in '84. We learned alot, some we didnt like .
We talked about things like the weather(the worst part of living here) and the devastating effects it can bring.
This wise man says" If you live here, you cant get attached to your things". It really made me think hard about a life where all of my stuff could be gone in an instant.There are lots of hurricanes, tropical storms and floods here.But, of course, this saying should be true no matter where you live.
But on the positive side, there is community here in this little town of Frisco. The people are friendly,and you sure cant beat the sunsets!
Everyday Adventure:Today i believe we might take the ferry to Ocracoke. There's something about a place where you can do that...everyday if you want(for free).And there's something about looking out the window and seeing boats and palm trees and cacti and a big , gorgeous , never- ending ocean.....right outside your door!
My FunFactor today: Checking out all the cute misc. coffee mugs left in the beach house cabinets for us to use. Some have funny little sayings, others are neat ,offbeat pics of beachlife, and still others are plain , but with different shapes, colors and textures.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Sound

the bike ride
the herons

the waterfront(our "back yard")

This is a picture of the beautiful water front where we are staying. Mostly we've spent lots of hours sleeping and laying around watching movies because i was sick the first 2 days(it figures).But the plan was to have a less extravagant vacation where we just enjoyed the relaxation time...

Still, i've taken 2 bike rides in spite of being sick because i needed some fresh air. There are awesome sunsets on the sound side of the outer banks in Pamlico Bay..
I've also included a pic of our boat dock where these two beautiful herons(?) like to land and watch the world, right outside our window...

Friday, November 7, 2008

A very boring post

Last evening I spent two hours with my mom & daughter at Disney on Ice (ice capades). Although the show was wonderful, it sucked that we got stuck being seated by persons taller than us & had to move a row back so we could stand to see.

Today, more preparations for vacation. We leave sunday morning at 3 am - i think.Maybe earlier. It's unclear as to whether I'll have decent internet service so i may or may not blog for a week. Besides, I figure I must be so radical in my views on things no one can take me for long anyway.
No worries. I'm not scared of being myself...or trying new things either.Most people are.
Like , for instance, i seem to be the only person around who isnt into Obama. But I think I'll have the last laugh on that one.

So there!!

More importantly...what a great week weather-wise! We've had our traditional "Indian Summer" in these parts and have had 70 degree days! I can only hope the weather at the beach is this mild.I did download the pics of my house , as promised earlier , for the before(left) & after(right). My mom, whom I have never been able to get approval from on anything, asked me if I was cleaning, and said "is that why the furniture's away from the walls?" Ugh.

I have also included a pic of one of my two cats. This is Precious, the skinny one.

I have nothing of value to blog on right now, but you cant be a genius! Just kiddin'! ----Peace & Love

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Extreme Mental Makeover

Once upon a time I was in a very bad relationship. I was completely convinced the person had total control over everything I did, said, or felt.I would spend my days covering all my tracks so that I wouldnt screw up and bring some unfortunate event upon myself.
There was a point where i even used a copy machine & typewriter to alter a phone bill containing calls made to my mother and my best friend because my spouse was opposed to me having any contact with them (or with anyone besides himself, as a matter of fact). Talk about crazy.
I was brain-washed and living in disconnect from my very soul. I was in emotional limbo , just trying to get by.
Then , i chose freedom.
And one fine day, I left.
What it took to get to that day physically is a pretty mundane story, oft repeated in TV movie
themes, and fabled in the mainstream movie "Sleeping with the Enemy".
But what it took mentally is the real story.
Most of us go about our days with a certain mindset. We believe what we are as soon as we wake up (we're really sleeping, but we don't know it).If we are a housewife with 3 kids , this is our identity and we add little attachments to our lives to support this - such as soccer schedules, playdates, doctor & dental appointments,etc.By the end of the day we are what we started out as and we go to bed , numb to our deepest feelings and desires.
If we are a single , young person we do what that usually entails- maybe start a career, go out to the clubs on weekends, buy a new car. And at night , we go to bed, smug with our superficial little identities.
But .....what will that person ( whoever you claim to be in your mind most days) do when a real crisis occurs in your life?When you are forced to accept something your mind was unprepared for .
This is what it takes to have an extreme mental makeover.
If you are the housewife(as above) and one day you come home early from soccer practice to find your hubby of 15 years in bed with your best friend, that flash of blind rage, seeing red and your gut churning....these are just the symptoms of the illness that has plagued you all your life. You just didnt know it.
See, most of us can live everyday going through the motions, occasionally reading a self-help book, or taking a class to feel"real" and validated. We have no idea what we are truly capable of.The connection with our most fascinating self has been unexplored, ignored, or just too hard to get to. Like Antarctica, that doesnt mean it doesnt exist.
And it takes a searing wake up call ,a willingness to be constantly humbled and an melting ego with a boxers mentality to calim your prize.
  • Step 1:
Take all the stuff you currently have in your attic and/or basement and just look at it. What does it say about your past, present & future? Do you identify with it-is it your true identity? Or is it what you have allowed yourself to see yourself as?Get rid of it.
  • Step 2:
After you've gotten rid of all that junk ( not the really valuable stuff- keep the things that you never used, they are the key to changing your habits), start to enjoy the new found space you've created. What can you do with it? Who can you be?
  • Step 3:
After you've made those decisions, take a vacation. Yup. Dont look at any of it for at least a
week.Did you have trouble deciding where to go? While you're there speak to at least 10 people you'd never be caught dead associating with.
  • Step 4:
Once you're back home,seriously consider what your job contributes to your life besides an income.This may be the hardest step because only honesty here will help you get a clue. And most people are unable to complete this step.In all of its uncomfortable, non-materialistic enlightened truth.
  • Step 5:
Create drama in your life.How can you do this? ha! Following the steps above should have given you a great foundation.....From here you could: Quit your job. Move to an exotic location and befriend unusual people .Rent your home out and go sailing for a long,long time. Dye your hair the opposite color of your natural one and begin to create a new identity(it's important that you physically SEE yourself different in the mirror first).Add your own ingredients for a complete overhaul.

You should see results immediately after all steps are completed.
Then, you can blog about it.
P.S. This isnt for wussies, you need a backbone and 100% dedication to living in your new state of superior mental health.
Blessings!And Buona Fortuna.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Minority Wins

I am not an obama fan. I deleted a huge paragraph i had originally posted because it comes across as rude & offensive. So let me now continue with what i need to say.
I am not predjudiced against any one group of persons. I DO believe racism should be over with. So let's stop having these "special" groups and privileges for minorities (scholarships, funds,etc)If we are to truly become"ONE" NATION UNDER GOD, then stop segregating us.Why should we have to even check a box on a form stating which race we are?Why must we prove we are a certain race to get land, an education, or a job?
I DO believe that homosexuals should have the same rights as everyone else. But a marraige is a religious arrangement by definition. And those religions should have the right to preserve their beliefs as we honor "freedom of religion " in this country.A civil union can be had by any person reguardless of religious beliefs or otherwise. I am not Jewish, so i don't expect a Bar Mitzvah.I am not Catholic, so i don't take Confirmation.I am not a Muslim, a Hindu, or a Har Krishna- so i don't expect to celebrate or devalue their traditions by insisting they "do it my way now".It is wrong and disrespectful to everything freedom stands for.
I truly want change. I want a world where every person treats every other person with respect and dignity.Not just the white race. Not just men, or women. Not just heterosexuals.

EVERYONE!!!!-ya know, we can still be individuals, and express ourselves without stepping on each others toes.

In order to do that , we all have to participate. Stop taking advantage of the things offered only to specific races, genders or sexual preferences. Stop with the KKK rallies, Gay Pride parades, Women's Lib(it had it's place, but now let's just BE equal ),scholarships for only a specific race,etc. Do away with those old labels.
Lets' see real equality movement, and then maybe we will see real freedom , and real change.
P.s.- I am a white Christian woman , by the way. So if you have any gripes, comments, insults, etc.- here i am- have at it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Economics 101

Many people around me have been complaining.

Like "everybody" , they are concerned about the state of our nation , especially as it relates to their household budget.Some days (when i am at my most negative) i join in on the banter.

But mostly, i am just sick of hearing about it.

Geeze.....when are the elections gonna be over already?

Then i can start griping about football. LOL!

Never mind, i have the perfect solution. I've been collecting these wonderful gems in my favorites- just waiting for the right moment to unleash them here.

  1. i was able to state my "pledges " this year to #'s 1,2,3,5,6,9, & 10.Although i originally wrote a detailed list explaining each, i figured--what the hay? you're gonna have to figure out your own, anyway!

  2. now i know who posts on "dumpster diving" as a hobby

  3. few reminders for all of us. I especially like #'s 8,11,15,16, & 18. they sort of resonate with me in general.

  4. site is especially close to my heart. If you think we have a crisis in the United States note this quote specifically:

  • "Together, unclean water and poor sanitation are a leading cause of child mortality: an estimated 5,000 children die daily from severe diarrhea, which is spread through poor sanitation and hygiene. A baby born in Africa is over 500 times more likely to die from diarrhea than a child born in Europe or the United States.

  • On average, women in the developing world walk six kilometers each day to collect water, time which could be spent in school or at work. In total, the World Health Organization estimates that 40 billion working hours are spent collecting water each year in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Studies show that more than half of girls who drop out of primary school in sub-Saharan Africa do so because of a lack of separate toilets and easy access to safe water. "

Now, i know that if you do go to each of these sites and actually read , understand and reflect deeply on the message each is trying to give us, you'll probably be feeling a little woozy. I usually feel a bit superficial, materialistic, and ungrateful ( being a "recovering" serial consumer-still with many issues). So i MUST also include the following:

  1.! only 71 cups til my untimely death!

  2. oh please click on every single short clip! they are absolutely hilariousOk,so there ya have it. My "list " of the day.

Hope you have a nice one!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Personal Values

So, the visit to the microbrewery was pretty fun. Lots of great costumes and cute guys!My friend got a tad too toasted so it wasnt all good. But for the most part i enjoyed the night out .
I wish i had taken a camera though. There was this one count dracula costume with a blow up doll sewn on the crotch area to look as though she was "using her oral skills"....what a hoot!
I hope that everyone had a Happy Halloween and is looking forward to a wonderful turkey day like i am.
But, anyway.....
What are they? how are they different from goals or morals or ethics or mission statements?
Yup, there sure are a lot of ays in which we express ourselves.
To quote Wikipedia: "Personal values evolve from situations with the external world and can change over time. His Integrity in the application of values refers to its continuity; persons have integrity if they apply their values appropriately regardless of arguments or negative reinforcement from others. Values are applied appropriately when they are applied in the right area. For example, it would be appropriate to apply religious values in times of happiness as well as in times of despair."
Another definition On Changing :"..Values are, in fact powerful drivers of how we think and behave"...."we use different values when we are under stress." says"A value is a belief, a mission or a philosophy that is meaningful".
Even knowing or reading all of this it may still be difficult to list or define ones own personal values.It's not always easy to sit down & come up with a a basic list that applies solely to our unique selves.
Here's how i start: I figure my values are , bottom-line, how i chose to live my life. They are what guides most of my decisions - good or bad. When i am faced with a decision i will chose A or B, according to what I think is right,what is meaningful to me ,what gives me purpose.The reasons i chose the things i do might relate to my childhood or adulthood , but they are based mainly on experiences.
I am at a store. The clerk gives me too much change. I , personally, would bring this to the clerks attention. I didnt use to be that way. When i was a teenager i thought"woohoo! free money! hehe!"But after getting ripped off myself a few times in business, i learned that it's not fun to lose hard earned dinero.
On the other hand, this value (honesty) didnt necessarily come only from experiences. When i became a cChristian a few years ago, many of my values changed. I became aware of how my actions affected others and thus make every effort to keep this in focus.I dont always succeed however.
Now for a confession, another example: I am at an all-you -can -eat -buffet(I dont go to these anymore, but i used to). I stand in line behind a morbidly obese person, waiting impatiently for them to stop filling up their plate.Instead of looking the other way, i will stand there rudely rolling my eyes, sighing and tapping my foot while thinking nasty thoughts about their food addiction.
Why would i behave this way? Especially proclaiming to be a better person these days?Off the top of my head i could say that i have a great fear of becoming fat. And that i have been treated rudely by such people myself, as if i should be penalized for being small or thin.Or maybe i'm just vain.But i think deep down it has more to do with values.

I value a healthy body.

In fact i worked very hard to obtain it and even harder to keep it.
Much like those who value holding a job tend to feel towards people on welfare. And they tend to react rudely towards someone cashing a welfare check or using food stamps or begging on the streets for money .The reason this person is is their situation cannot be known in these cases.
But our values are automatic - even if it is only in our thoughts.Even if we mean to behave differently.The value is applied reguardless.
This doesnt mean values cannot change. Any number of stressors or experiences can change our values.If we are in a life or death situation , or have a near death experience, or watch a loved one go through an addiction.I might , say, be absolutely against doing illegal drugs- but if someone put a gun to my head and said "smoke this pot or die"i would of course chose to live.....or if my son developed a crack addiction and i helped him through rehab, i might have more empathy for addicts in general. You just never know.
Overall i think to find your own values it comes down to asking yourself a few questions in any situation :
  • What kind of choices do i have?
  • How is my choice going to make me feel tomorrow?
  • Why am i choosing A over B?
  • If I am uncomfortable with a long held value, why? and
  • What does my choice say about me to others?

Enough said.

That outta keep ya busy for awhile! Peace!