Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Life is strange

Being humbled by my creator , i have come to also understand that despite the difficulties of life on the outer banks, i would still purchase property there if i had the chance. I cannot explain it. but the sirens call has definitely reached me for so many years. I would take the chances, stay during evacuations, and make my home there, despite all. This is also known as "love is blind"...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Smack- Murphy's law meets My Luck!

Well, my wonderful luck strikes again. It appears as though not only will we not be able to go on vacation to our beach house for the 2 weeks sept11th-25th, now we will also be losing the $3,ooo we paid for it because we didnt purchase the optional insurance. Thanks Irene.
So , not only can we not afford to go somewhere else now, but we will not ever see that money again.
I spent half the day looking for free or cheap alternatives to try & salvage some kind of vacation. I looked into volunteering for clean up on Hatteras- no luck- as well as rv rentals, campsites, etc. hoping for something cheap. RV rentals are as expensive as our vacation rental plus we'd have to pay site costs.Camping sites are pretty much booked except for the really awful ones.
Fortunately my daughter & her husband have generously offered for us to stay with them on their vacation in Myrtle beach for the first week free of charge, which is awesome of them. So we will hopefully do that at least. The second week we may just come home and try to take free day trips on the motorcycle, do picnics or something.Unless a miracle happens we will just have to suck it up.
The worst part is we have worked so hard this year, so many overtime hours, not even seeing each other just to get ahead enough so we could finally relax. We compromised on so many things, didnt spend any extra money on ourselves, and kept telling each other we would make up for it on vacation.
I spent more money this year giving to others in tithes, charities, gifts,and my time than i ever have.I had to say no to so many things because of my budget.This is just a huge slap in the face.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Elementary, my dear Watson!

Well, since everyone else is writing about the earthquake, i guess i'll express a little sentiment here.
I was in a conference room area in Chambersburg, pa. testing a nurse on her vent skills. When we emerged, the office staff were murmuring excitedly . Curious, i listened for a few minutes, genuinely confused. I started asking a few questions. One girl says "Wow, didnt you feel the earthquake?"Dumb-founded i say"uh, no...what earthquake?" . The whole room goes silent, looking at me like deer in headlights. So, i shrug and say"i'm from Dillsburg"..a noticeable "Ooohhh" passed over the room and knowing looks ensued.
You see , Dillsburg , pa is the earthquake swarm capital of the world. We are used to vibrating intermittently as we go about our days.We are used to our homes shaking a bit, and the sound of a passing train coming through our living rooms occasionally.And , i say this "collectively".
For, while all around me here in Dillsburg, up to and including the host of persons in other towns, have all actually felt the earth quakes, i personally have not.My husband has , my daughter has, my son in law has.My brother even has.

I am now convinced, I must have some serious equilibrium problems.
It's either that or the size of my superior brain has somehow managed to internally compensate for the unsuitable environmental surroundings occasionally experienced by humans- much like an anti-virus in computers.
Yup, i have genetically engineered anti- earthquake software in there!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Anniversary ANGER!

Oh, soooo...
Here was the lovingly drafted message my husband received yesterday as he arrived home from work. Printed on elegant cardstock with a fading blue heart at the bottom. It read:
"Happy Anniversary ,Darling and welcome to...a night of togetherness.

We will begin our evening with a sumptuous candlelit dinner featuring a seafood medley- crab cakes with shrimp, lemon dill swai fish, with a side of summer squash & broccoli baked with Parmesian & mozzarella cheese.

Next, we will attend a 4:45pm showing of "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes".
After which will return home for a short easy run (to get the endorphins flowing).

Finally we shall retire together in our luxury master suite for a whirlpool bubble bath, followed by a relaxing Swedish massage from your wife with your choice of delightful massage oils.

The evening will end with the union of our bodies, expressing our unending love for each other as husband & wife!

So, here's how it REALLY went down.He comes in..reads it.."I have a Migraine".
I serve the meal."What's in this squash? it has something crunchy in it. I'm not eating anymore of it."i clean up & tell him to change so we can make the movie on time- he does so- grudgingly.
We watch the movie & afterward he says "It didn't have enough action in it." We arrive back home , i go up to change for the run. He says"Right now?" and practically scowls complaining of all kinds of physical ailments, but goes.We get back home. I head up to run the whirlpool & light the candles, start the music.20 minutes later i come down to find him still in the toilet, playing a solitaire handheld game. I tell him i've been waiting for him for 20 minutes. He comes up, all but refuses to get in the tub, but finally gives in. After which i have to coerce him to lie down for a massage.He grumbles about that. Doesn't even wanna take his underwear off.Afterwards, i am about at the end of my rope so, rather than saying something mean, i just lay there and wait for the "union" to be over with.

Let's see here...if i was to present this to, say, oh about 75% of the HOT ,HOT guys at our gym....i am sure i would have been covered in compliments,thank you's, kisses , and been moaning in pleasure by the end of the night , falling into a deep, satisfied sleep.
Hmmm.....Now, where did i put that wedding ring? Can't seem to find it...oh my...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Singular Problem

Today has been a wash. After two previous weekends with no fun stuff going on, and my husband "conveniently" working, i spent yet another weekend alone.
I get real sick of having to entertain myself every weekend & hardly seeing my so-called husband . We have gone from a married couple , to room mates, to pen pals and i am constantly asking myself why i got married in the first place. Certainly not to spend almost every free moment alone, in anticipation of the 2 weeks of vacation once per year.
And another thing. Why are all my weekends clogged up with chores? housework, groceries, takes the fun out of working monday through friday.I know i should'nt complain. My husband is a good man, and a good provider. And at least i have a job.
There are many blessings.
But sometimes i can't help but thinking i might as well be single.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

woo hoo!

And i have discovered that goldfish make great croutons!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

So Excited!

Well, tomorrow's the big day. I cart my newly framed canvasses to the library to hang them in all their hard earned loveliness.I know this step is going to move me forward. I just had to dive in, and, as they say, believe in myself. My next stop will be a larger library, perhaps, or a restaurant that exhibits original art. The goal is not to sell , but to gain exposure.The selling of this collection, titled "Genesis: The Ocean" includes 7 pieces .They are all 11"X 14" acrylic on canvas.I did include 2 16"x 20" ones as well, but they are only ocean related & not part of the collection. Tonight , i spent time making the labels for them and placing them , gently swaddled , into my car for the morning.
I keep hoping i can get enough confidence to actually approach a Gallery someday.I have been reading about this, and apparently the suggested route is to visit several galleries you are interested in for 6months to a year so as to gain perspective on their usual style.Sounds good.But i have to find ones that won't break my budget.
Anyhoo..we shall see....(holding my breath)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dusting off the old Brewer

Well, this morning i had it with my Keurig Platinum Coffee maker. For several months now, it has been on the fence, wavering between success and failure in the art of brewing >if this thing had a sports contract, it would've been sitting on the "d" list for half a season!Most mornings lately i have had the dread of banging the thing on the side half a dozen times with increasing vigor, raising the lid & re- pushing the brew button about 4 times for 1 cup of coffee.Mind you, this is the replacement brewer purchased in June of 2010, so-not that old. The original Keurig lasted approximately 2.5 -3 years.
So , after the coffee workout and listening to the wretched high-pitched whining for the umpteenth morning, i tried removing the screws on the bottom to look inside for the grinding , squealing parts thinking i could maybe oil them or something.But no, it's a bunch of wires & electronics up in there which do not lend themselves to maintenance by the average Joe.
So i spend 2 hours looking for the receipt to send it back for repairs. Found the box, found the instruction manual- no receipt.
Went out on a mission to price a replacement- both Target & Walmart price them at $119-149 apiece. No thank-you.
I decided to go back to my old fashioned coffee maker with the glass carafe. This made a trip to the store necessary since i had given away my old filters and had no ground coffee.
But, let's put this into perspective. I just spent $7.49 on a bag of Starbuck's premium House Blend. I spent $1.00 on a 100 pk of filters.Gee, $8.49 for approx. 34 cups of coffee. That's like 25 cents a cup!. Keurigs cost $7.49 for 12 cups -totaling 63 cents a cup.So , total savings:
38 cents a cup!!
And , i just noticed that if i turn my empty Starbucks bag in to one of their shops, as long as it's at least 30days before the sell by date i get a FREE 12 0z cup of their awesome brewed coffee- saving another $2.00 or so.Cool.
Now , let me tell you of the rest of this little adventure....
I get the bag of coffee & filters home. I rummage through bins in the basement & find my old brewer.I read the label on the bag and estimate that for 12 cups @ 2tbsp per 6 oz. cup i will need 24 tbsp. But this doesn't seem right after measuring out only 11 tbsp. and filling an entire measuring cup. So i just put the one cup of grounds into the filter, add the water and turn it on.
When it's done i go to empty the filter compartment.I find that the water has overflowed the grounds and now i have a mess. I unplug the machine & carry it to the sink,( griping the whole way)& rinse it out .Next i have this full carafe of coffee that i am not going to drink right now . I decide i should taste a sip anyway- WOW- this is expresso. You cannot even see thru the stuff when held up to sunlight. I decide i am going to store this concoction in the fridge in a covered pitcher after adding another half carafe of water (which improved the flavor tremendously) so...NOW i have about another 6 cups and this reduces my cost to around 20 cents a cup ( i think, the math got really confusing for me).
Overall this will save me approx. 15.00 every 2 weeks on groceries= $390/year!!!!
Here are a few other recent savings:
-bought 2 separate brands of razor handles so i could utilize coupons as they became available on either
-getting prices on bulk canvas from a tarp dealer to save oodles on canvas frames-making my own! and, i found the stretching tool at a 75% discount in a bargain bin- $5.00 instead of $2o. My daughter gave me her "found" old wood window frames to use as the frames=free! Additionally i am buying more paint & paint supplies at Lowes's instead of Micheals because i can get bulk amounts for much cheaper.
-i stopped using sugar packets- now use bulk sugar bags again
-i switched from using pre packed disposable coffee cups with lids to generic plain styrofoam cups without lids. i get 20 for 97 cents instead of 12 for 2.49. Yes, i know i could use a non-disposable cup- but i truly hate them because then i have more dishes to wash .
i could go on & on, but....

On another note, today i just decided to get some courage and i spoke with the library about exhibiting my canvasses. I am so glad i did. They were wonderful and are allowing me to exhibit from this tues. til Labor day! This prompted me to take my coupons to Micheals to get the rest of the frames- i got everything to the counter & was told i can't use them til tomorrow-i was really upset- but, God works in lovely ways. They are holding my order in the back until tomorrow and guess what! The frames actually go on sale (half-off) tomorrow and i can still use the coupons for 25% off the total order!i I just saved 75%...

I .am. on. a. roll.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Moping in the Morning

Gotta love 'em.
When i was young i remember hardly being able to contain myself, bouncing outta bed at 5 or 6 am excited to watch cartoons and play with my friends. Anticipating eating my favorite cereal (Life) and digging out the "prize".Sneaking cookies & other goodies into my room and arguing with my mom about taking a bath ("One day you will want to take a bath"-i didn't believe her!).
When i started middle school , i recall having to start getting up earlier to catch the bus. The first year wasn't bad.I had more independence, an a la carte line in the cafeteria, and started wearing mascara.But then i think the next one was where my decline in excitement about mornings began.
Setting my alarm, dragging myself out of bed, standing in the cold or rain at the bus stop somehow made it lose it's charm.Of course, i still had things to look forward to- school dances, my first boyfriend, experimenting with fashion, and gossiping with my 3 best friends.
Then , moving on to high school.
At first, this wasnt so bad either. As a freshman, i was one of the "freshmeat" for the cool high school boys, which by now was pretty great since i was already boy crazy.Plus, i was still bigger than my younger brothers and could still boss them around a bit.
Then , with newer friends, i started being invited to parties, working my first after school job, and had a telephone in my bedroom.I wore high heels sometimes, went to football games, and
had my first heartbreak.
Going into my twenties seems like life was still fresh almost.I worked a fulltime job, went out with friends, moved around alot,went to concerts, went through a slew of relationships, raised 2 children and filed bankruptcy.
In my thirties is where i believe the beginning of mornings demise began.After a longtime love & i split up, i went into a period of mourning, regrets, drinking binges, meaningless sex, and depression.By the time i had met my current husband the exuberant energy was almost depleted. Sure, i had a few good years in the late 30's-doing yoga, still working out, exploring my newfound internet world and finding my life's career in nursing. But the zip was dwindling.
These days, mornings are routine, boring and sometimes downright mean. I feel every ache from going to the gym the night before, my eyes water for hours while i sneeze and sniff with allergy symptoms, and work out the stresses of the upcoming day in my head.
I look in my closet at the same clothes i've had for 5-10 years, bathe,drink my coffee & fight with the coffee maker's little idiosynchosies,pack my lunch , pet my cats, and leave for work.
When life is losing it's luster, what does one do?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If I had a Hammer......

I'd use it on the person who constantly frustrates my efforts to do my job.
Yes, once again, the same woman has me boiling.
I submitted 2 in-services for her approval in July. One was a required in service for August for the HHA's . Since she has ignored them and yesterday left for vacation, despite promises to HR that she would look at them and send her recommendations or approval by monday morning.
I sat at our one office branch yesterday and watched 3 employee's come in to get the in service -made a special trip in just to get it, and have to be turned away.
This is complete crap!
I work very hard on these things , and i can't stand her lack of consideration. I realize that she is exceeeeeedingly busy.But, as i have suggested several times, why can't she simply assign someone else to proofread these things.
It's unfair to our employees . Not just the aides & nurses, but the case managers who request certain topics to be addressed due to an issue they are having with field employees. I do the research, put it together and submit it.Then it goes to "congress" and just sits there waiting.
reminds me of the Schoolhouse Rock clip about Congressional Bills."I'm just a Bill, yes i'm only a Bill..and I'm sitting here on Capital Hill..."
I wonder what would happen if i just neglected my duties and went on vacation. I wonder if i'd have a job when i returned.
There's a thing called delegation, Mrs. Apathetic. Use it.