Monday, December 19, 2011

Awful Day at Work. When Will I Learn to Cope?

Sometimes I just don't know what to do about my work life. I work hard, I really do. I rarely visit or chit-chat. I have something I need to accomplish, andI  hit the ground running, trying to do what I'm paid to do.
And I face so many stumbling blocks. Co-workers who won't show me where to find the answers I need to move forward, who won't assist when I run out of time. Who ask me to do them favors, but won't reciprocate when I need a favor.
There are approximately 50% of my coworkers with whom I work well. We understand each other and work to reach the same goals.
It's the other 50%. And I find that those of us who work well together agree on who our problem co-workers are.
So, why do these problem people affect me the way they do? Why do they hold the power over me, the ability to ruin a full day and make me want to quit my job?
Why can't I place the problem people on my mental float boat, and send them off toward the arctic in my mind?
I have to work on this. I can no longer allow the wrong people to dictate my day.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Winter in Middle Georgia

It's early December. And it's Saturday.
When I awoke this morning, I followed my usual routine. I fixed a cup of coffee, fed and watered the cat, then opened up the wooden front door so kitty and I could look outside. We have a good storm door so minimal cold comes in, but even if it wasn't a good door, I would open it anyway. I've always liked to be able to look out windows and doors.
What do I see? Brown...... brown everything.......brown everywhere.
It's winter. And not a thing is growing.
This is a hard time of year for me. I love warm breezes, the sound of wildlife and riotous colors. The sunshine and flowers.
Winter is part of God's design. I know it. I don't easily accept it. But there's a lesson in it, isn't there?
Rebirth, the return of life and hope.
I'll work to be thankful that the Lord has granted me this time and understanding and most of all, acceptance of His grace and love.
Even in this most dismal time of year. Perhaps He wishes me to take the time to turn toward Him by removing those beautiful scenes He grants to us in Spring and Summer.
There's a purpose to it all.
I understand, I think.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

After Thanksgiving shopping

This is going to be a thin Christmas for gift giving. Not that we cannot afford it, but what's the purpose of spending lots of money on stuff?
When asked what I want this year, I came up with this: a gold cross necklace, a couple of books. Really, I couldn't come up with more.
Oh sure, I wouldn't mind an iPad but it's $500 and I have a perfectly serviceable netbook.
So this will be more sedate Christmas. Will get the kids the stuff on their wish lists.
And I will remember the Lord in all this. THAT'S the true meaning of Christmas, and if the truth be told, that's the true meaning of every day, isn't it?
God bless you, everyone!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ick, here comes the cold weather

The furnace how now been turned on. The closet has been emptied of my favorite clothes which have gone into storage, and the bulky cold weather clothing has been hung in their place.
The flip flops are put away. The socks are now being worn.
I know it has to come every year. I've been through enough of these season changes that I know this is coming.
But like everything else I don't enjoy, I know how to pretend it doesn't exist until I'm faced with it. Until I can no longer hide from it.
Here in middle Georgia we rarely see snow. So I don't have to contend with it any more. But I will still find something to dislike about winter.
And what I dislike is how the cold is painful to me.
Attitude check!
God created these seasons. There is a reason for them.
Accept and move on.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Family Drama, or, I'm Glad we Live 1,000 Miles Away

Every family has one high maintenance member, am I right? That member will usually be a needy female. Selfish, immature, a general pain in the rear end.
We have one. She is a user, and feels that the entire human race owes her. She won't hold down a job. She is always on the hunt for a man to support her and validate her. Once she lures one into her web, she treats him like dirt. He cannot escape quickly enough.
She has nearly bankrupted her parents. They have to pay her bills, rescue her from whatever state some man has abandoned her in. She is a nightmare.
She has recently destroyed her parents marriage. And she announced her intent to do so.
Her mother thinks this she-devil can do no wrong, so this monster knew exactly how to manipulate her mother so she could break up the marriage.
Why did she do it? Because her father told her he'd had enough of her foolishness and that the wallet was no longer available to her.
Rather than get off her 36 year old fanny to take on an adult role and learn to fend for herself, she told her mother some lies. She destroyed a nearly 40 year union.
Some people are  the devil incarnate. I don't know how this person lives with herself.
I feel anger and sorrow.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hurt Feelings

Today at work, my day started out well. I've been working hard, trying to meet my own personal goals. Again, selling ads in this economy is a challenge but I'm still attempting to do the best I can and not get frustrated.
I went for a walk on my lunchbreak and it was sunny and warm. There were some black clouds but I wasn't going far and thought I'd be Ok.
Suddenly, a storm arrived with 35mph winds. Totally unexpected.
I was caught at a local business and had to phone my job to ask if someone could come pick me up.
Well, you'd think I'd requested someone's kidney.
Certain coworkers find any type of deviation from their usual day to be either frightening or frustrating. So my little phone call asking for help was a problem.
As I was waiting, a citizen offered me a ride and I was on my way back to work within minutes.
Well, my job had sent a coworker after me but I was already gone. He had to come back and got a little bit wet.
I'm sorry.
I got a call to my desk telling me I owed the coworker who came after me a lunch. Really?
He drove the company car over. So he's not out gas money. He got a few minutes out of the office. A little 3 minute paid break, if you will.
I run errands for coworkers, take proofs over for other people. I use my own vehicle.
So the upshot of this experience was this: I have got to stop being so sensitive. My current place of employment is definitely not the place to be a sensitive person.
I've gotta toughen up, shrug these little moments off and continue to do my work.
And pray. I gotta pray.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Eye surgery for the daughter

In Virginia right now. Leaving my daughter's apartment in approximately 2 hours, taking her to Portsmouth so she can have PRK surgery to correct her nearsightedness.
It's quiet right now, she's laying on the sofa next to me, dozing. I don't think she slept well last night. She's very nervous.
I had Lasik surgery myself in 2000 to correct extreme nearsightedness. It was successful and I'm still thrilled with the results.
Doesn't mean a person won't worry that she will be the one in a million who will be the failure in the chair, and lose her sight permanently.....
Anyway, I'm happy I can be here to help her and baby her (as if she'll allow THAT!)
Pray for God to guide the surgeon's hand, please!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Chilly October morning

I flipped the themostat over to the "heat" function when I got up this morning. The temperature read 67  degrees. Too cold for me and as I was the first person out of bed, I felt entitled to warm up the house.
Yesterday, I removed the sleeveless shirts from my closet and put them into storage. Took out most pairs of shorts and stored them as well. I'll keep the workout shorts in place for a bit longer. I think we will warm back into the low 80's as the week progresses. However, I'll be in Norfolk, VA.
Time to study my Sunday School lesson so I have some idea what we're to discuss today.
Then perhaps a walk at the Gordon walking track this afternoon, once the chill outside burns off.
Should be a terrific day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Living the fashionable life via media

I am not what you might consider "fashionable". Well, maybe a tiny spark happens here and there, and I always know when I hit a mark with my outfit. But I don't have the time or energy or, let's be truthful, the funds to make fashion a daily part of my life.
I make do with separates, mostly tops I love, and pants that I can mix and match with all these many tops I have. I accessorize with scarves, necklaces and bracelets. It's all I can manage to do. But I don't look like I dressed in the dark, and I'm cleaned, pressed, and best of all, dressed correctly for the occasion. So that's successful, right?
But here's the deal. I love LOVE The Rachel Zoe Project and Project Runway. It's a terribly guilty pleasure, seeing fabulous, expensive, wonderful clothing and bags and shoes and jewelry. I love to watch the magic of taking all these components and creating a pow! look.
So I live vicariously with the couple of shows I manage to watch each week. My fashion fix. My guilty pleasure.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I returned to church in 2011. I felt the need to reach out to God, and find more meaning in my life.
My friend Diane stopped by my house and invited me to come to her church. She was not pushy at all, and she read me clearly. She knew there was some pain involved in my decision to stop attending church many many years ago, and that made me realise that avoidance of that pain was keeping me hostage.
There was a time in my young teens when church and school were the only safe places for me. My church family and my friends at school were the only family I had during those hard lonely years. My aunt (who my brother and I lived with)was mentally deteriorating and becoming violent toward us, and as  it became obvious that Martin and I were no longer safe there, the decision was made that the aunt would have to be hospitalized and Martin and I would have to be removed from that home and sent back to our mother.
The agony of leaving my church family so abruptly was so difficult for me. That church was truly my sanctuary. I was devastated.
So I didn't attend church for 41 years. I couldn't. I was afraid to commit to possible hurt again. Yes, I did drop into a church here and there over the years, but there seemed to be nothing for me there.
And yet I knew something was missing in my life. I knew it was a relationship with my Lord.
I took 3 weeks or so to consider accepting Diane's invitation. And one Sunday morning, the time was ripe.
I sat in the back of the church and listened carefully to the worship going on around me. It seemed joyful and easy.
Calvary Baptist Church in my little town is small and intimate. There is humor in this congregation and I feel relaxed and comfortable there.
I began attending Sunday School to learn.
And then the desire to be a member of this church manifested itself. I asked to join and was accepted. I was satisfied to attend Sunday School and the worship service every Sunday.
Then I heard the voice telling me that I must be reborn and begin my walk with God in earnest.
So today I was fully immersed and washed of the sadness and sins of the past, to recommit my life to God.
I'm joyful and looking forward to my life in the Lord. I consider myself a baby Christian now, and look forward to learning with all the excitement of a child.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The positive, the negative

You know, life can be tough. Trying to keep control over life is impossible, unless one cuts people, places and things completely out. And we really can't do it so we let ourselves get mired down in the negatives. I've been doing what I can to keep my spirits up, a seemingly impossible task some days.
So let me remind myself of my blessings in life right now:
My new found faith in the Lord. It's a true comfort to me. I have a church family now, and am learning and growing in the Lord.
My darling dear husband. How did I get lucky like this? He's my best friend, he's my heart.
My son and my daughter. They are wonderful young adults. They aren't perfect, but who is? But these are a couple of decent people who will add to the world, and I'm tremendously proud of them both.
My little orange kitty. He's a blast. He makes me laugh and I like to wake up to him cuddled up next to me. I like to have him purring on my lap. He's a very cool cat.
My job. Well, okay, it's frustrating trying to do my job in this economic climate. It's very frustrating. But I have an income coming in and that's a good thing. I figure I have about 6 years of working left to go and I hope that my job lasts until retirement.
Delta Airlines- which is already ready when I am! Gil and I take our little trips- approximately one per month, and it seems to strengthen our bond. Travel together is such a treat for us.
So on the balance, these positive blessings outweigh the negative things that happen in life.
I'll reflect more on this list, and try to place the negatives aside, as best I can.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Visiting the old ladies

Gil & I went to Nebraska for 4 days. There's got to be a reason to go to Nebraska. It's not the scenery or the nightlife. It can only be relatives.
Gil has an aunt, uncle and cousins in Lincoln. They decided it was time for the 1st Annual T____ Family Reunion.
So, we attended. It was short and sweet, no drama, decent food. A nice time was had by all.
While there, we visited my mom and my Aunt Catherine, who live in Omaha. Aunt C. is now 90 years old. She has always been a brilliant woman. Cheap, but brilliant.
She is in an assisted living facility. She is a hoarder. And she was removed from her home for her own good.
But things have gone downhill. She is losing her memory. It's very hard to witness someone you knew as sharp become fuzzy around the edges.
While walking to her room, I naturally looked in the open doors of some apartments as we passed by. And I saw people, mostly women, who looked like they're just waiting to die.
This can shake you to your core.
You wonder, why stress out over life, when this is the end result?
I have some pondering to do......

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It Ain't Going So Well Lately

I'm overwhelmed.
Stressed, unhappy.
I am worried over things I cannot control.
The economy is in the crapper, which I can't do anything about, and yet I worry myself silly over it.
Crime, especially violent or senseless crime, is making me frantic.
I can't seem to sell any advertising. I'm down to 30% of what I was selling 3 years ago. That may seem like it's to be understood, considering all the closed businesses in this town, but that does nothing to make me feel any better.
My kids. My poor kids. What a terrible time for them to be young adults, trying to find their way in this world. They are having problems, human every day problems, and my heart aches for them.
I just opened the front door and my kitty scooted out. He's an indoor cat, why would he do that?
I've newly dedicated myself to God. I need to walk the walk now, and hand all this over and pray. Pray for His peace and comfort.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I did it, I did it!

OK, I took another leap into the 21st century today by upgrading to the Droid Incredible 2 phone. It was slightly unplanned, but I was ready to move forward.
I picked this up after noon today and am working on learning how to navigate the phone.
I really want to get the airline app loaded on the phone so I can keep an eye on the gate agents. We've already learned from another couple at the gate when we were going to New Mexico the last time, that we nearly got passed over for seats. I've learned not to take what those gate agents say as gospel. So this phone will help us keep an eye on our non-rev status. They won't try to fool us again!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Self-Preservation, or Naivete?

One may have already gotten the impression that I grew up a little "rough". No adult caring enough about my brother & I to give us security and safety.
I can remember the day that I made the decision on my life's philosophy, the credo by which I would operate.
I was 15 years old, living with an abusive aunt and drunk uncle in rural Georgia. While riding on the school bus one afternoon, on the way back home, dreading being back on the farm and in the chaos, I saw my reflection in the window of the bus.
I was surprised that there was a reflection to see. This may have been the first time that I acknowledged to myself that there was a "self". And I realized it was time to figure out who I was.
I remember knowing that this was a turning point for me, an important crossroads. Who am I, and who do I want to be? Who would the forever person be, what type of human being?
Certainly, I didn't want to model myself after those persons who had been in charge of Martin's & my own welfare up to this point.....
And my decision was this: I would not become a hardened person, I would not allow myself to view people with mistrust, that it would be too easy for me to hate, and I didn't want that.
So I stepped way back, and made a conscious decision to judge each person as who I see when I meet her/him at the moment of our meeting.
You can tell me whatever you wish about a person, I will make up my own mind.
Does this mean I face disappointment? Do I get fooled?
Oh, yes.
But this is the choice I made many years ago. I think I'm a much better person for my choice.
You may see me as naive. I see myself as kind.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Back Home & Not so Anxious for the Next Trip

I got home last night from Virginia. Here's what finally happened....
On Saturday, Jenna tried flight after flight, both from the Norfolk Airport and from the Newport News airport. Flight after flight was full.
So at the end of Saturday night, she called to announce she was giving up and going home, and she asked me to come stay with her in Norfolk for a couple of days.
My family knows that going to Denver doesn't thrill me much- my brother is no longer there and it hurts me to face the fact. So going to Norfolk instead was a great alternative.
On Saturday morning, Gil was able to catch his flight to Denver- yay! Much easier for 1 non-rev to catch a plane than for 3 to do so.
And on Monday morning, I took myself to the airport and got on a plane.
Jenn picked me up and we went to AJ Gators to eat. Had a nice lunch then went to her apt. to move in my little suitcase full of stuff.
Took a little nap on the floor over there, and then we went out to eat (again) this time at a terrible Mexican food restaurant since the one we were hoping for was closed for renovations.
Next day, she and I went out to the fancy mall so I could buy some mascara and I bought her a couple of outfits.
That night I met Nico, the young man she's dating, and she cooked dinner for us both.
Oh, I was the dishwasher while I was staying there.
Then yesterday morning, she took me back to the airport where the 1st flight was full. My S2 status allowed me to make the 2nd flight out. In Atlanta, a thunderstorm forced our airplane to circle for 45 minutes until we were able to land.
I was home by 7:30 pm.
Slept like a baby last night.
It was a nice little visit with my daughter, just the right amount of time and the price was right.
Gil is still fishing in Colorado and is due home some time tomorrow (Friday).
It's hot and dreadfully humid here in Georgia. Nasty.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Oh, The Travails of Travel. Part Deux.

Today we're flying to Denver. OR ARE WE?
That's right, the planes are full again.
Last night at 10 p.m., there were 34 open seats, this morning at 5 a.m., there are more than 50 people overbooked on the flight.
Does a person just wake up in the middle of the night to decide "I have GOT to go to Denver tomorrow morning!"- is this what's happening? If it is, what a great way to live your life.
Me? I have to plan at least 2 days in advance before hopping on a plane to go somewhere. I like to line up a hotel and rental car, kind of scope out the attractions that the place has to offer, you know?
So now the plan is to go to the airport and hope for a flight later this morning. We have a BBQ out in Brighton CO to attend tonight.
Gil will be heading to the mountains for several days of fishing with his brother, Jenn & I plan to stay in a hotel in Westminster- somewhat centrally located in relation to various family members so we can slingshot out in all directions to visit. I do like to stay in a hotel rather than with family members.
So, we will leave for the airport shortly and begin the "gate shuffle" where we are prepared to move from gate to gate and hope to get on a flight.
But for all this complaining, remember this: WE FLY FOR FREE!

The lake at Washington Park in Denver

The difficulty comes in to this whole scenario because first our daughter flies in from Norfolk VA, we meet her at the airport here in Atlanta and we all then fly from here to Denver together. And now we're seeing that we can't get her on a plane from Norfolk.
It's 5pm, and our daughter had to go out to Newport News to try the airport there. At this point she just got the very last seat. So if this pans out, she will get here to Georgia tonight.
So Gil will drive up to the Atlanta Airport to bring her home tonight, and then we will go to the airport early tomorrow morning and start trying to get out on the 1st flight to Denver.
But still, as I said, WE FLY FOR FREE!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

It's too humid outside- I hate it.

I'm an outdoors lover. I like the feel of the sun on my skin. I like to listen to the birds. I like to wander my yard and look at the flowers, pull a few weeds, enjoy a light breeze.
A small slice of Heaven, in my world.
But here we are in middle Georgia, where the temperature is in the high 90's, and the humidity tries it's best to match that number.
By 10 am, it's difficult to be outside for long. It's just too stifling.
So, I have to return indoors and cool down and dry off.
And I look out my windows at the beautiful sunshine, and wish I could spend the entire day out there soaking it up.
Stupid Georgia summers.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ready to fly! Dammit!

The husband and I are flying to Santa Fe for 4 days. Santa Fe is one of my favorite destinations. It has that quirky vibe and "live and let live" mentality that I love. Like Denver used to be, before it grew too big and filled up with transplanted Californians.
So, the husband works for Delta Airlines which means we fly FOR FREE! Can you imagine how great it is to fly FOR FREE? Yeah? Well guess what? It's even better than that.
BUT.... since the airline industry has had to cut back just like everyone else, Delta has cut the number of flights so the planes are flying full. And for us freebies, that means sometimes we don't get on the flight we'd hoped for.
And that happened this morning. At the last minute, our intended flight filled up, and we now have to wait 6 hours for the next flight to Albuquerque. No biggie, right?
Except, I'm ready to get out to "The City Different". I'm ready for fab Mexican food with green chile, margaritas, beer, Native American artwork, the sound of Spanish voices, and clear blue skies and dry air.
So right now I'm mentally adjusting to arriving in Santa Fe at night instead of in the early afternoon. I won't be going to the Flamenco Club for dinner and a drink while the dancers work their magic.
I will have to start my exploration of my favorite American city tomorrow morning instead of this afternoon.
But with the money we save on airfare, perhaps an Acoman pot for my fireplace mantle will make up for 6 lost hours in The City Different.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Search for inner peace

I have been on a search for as long as I can remember.
As a child, the chaos of my so-called family made me alternately lash out or curl up within myself.
As a teen, I honestly wondered if living was even worth the heartache it caused me.
As a young 20 something, I spent some time escaping reality, although I have always had a strong sense of self-preservation and did my best to be in control and to be safe.
Then along came my husband and children, who took me out of myself and gave me a purpose. Maybe that is what I was lacking the entire time- a way to get my mind off myself.
Now the kids are launched and again, I'm looking for the answer, the WHY? of my existence.
Now I go to church every Sunday morning if I can, and read a bit of the Bible every day and pray in the morning.
My prayer is clunky and not at all eloquent. After all, who can be good at something that's new to her?
But I hope God knows my intention, and I hope He cuts me some slack for at least trying.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


"Sister Wives". Although I have never seen the show, I think I understand the premise. So, if polygamy is illegal, why would this family invite a television crew in to film their story and show it to the masses on TV? Are they really surprised that they are having to move now because attention has been called to their lifestyle?

"Project Runway". Why is it that I decided when I was 15 that I would never sew my clothing out of chicken feed sacks ever again and that I would only own store bought clothes? And now that I see these designers making these fabulous one-of-a-kind and beautifully tailored clothes, I wish I could sew my own clothing again?

"Cops". Why do people take their drugs out for a ride in the car and risk getting caught and arrested for possession of narcotics? Keep your drugs at home. They don't really want to go for a ride in the car.

"Clean House". How on Earth does your house get into such a state? How can you not be terribly embarrassed to have the entire country looking at your mess? Why do you have such a hard time giving up crap you're not even using and that is in the way and is hampering your ability to use your house in an enjoyable manner?

"Braves baseball". How much chew can Chipper Jones fit into his mouth? Is his life insurance up to date? Has he made out his will?

So. This is what happens when I spend a day with the television on.

Friday, May 6, 2011

bin Laden is dead!

This week, that monster Osama bin Laden was located in Pakistan and killed when an elite team of Navy SEALS helicoptered in to his million dollar compound and killed him.
He was the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in which over 3,000 Americans were murdered by a few of his radical extremist nutjob followers.
I like to think I'm a Christian woman. But I'm glad he's dead.
Apparently he was in the planning stages of an attack on the train system in America.
I know he has followers who will try to carry on his work, and wreak havoc on us and our way of life.
But I hope that we Americans stand together and stand strong.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, my darling daughter!

24 years ago today, I gave birth to my 9 lb. tubby baby daughter. She of the smiling eyes and bright personality. She was truly a gift from the moment I laid eyes on her.
She joined her 2 year old brother in our home, and I knew that God smiled down on me and blessed me.
I knew that all the hardships of childhood and my teenage years were in preparation for the love and happiness that would become my adulthood.
Jenn is now a sailor, serving our country proudly in the U.S. Navy. I may be a little on the prejudiced side, but I think the Navy is better for having her on their team.
So, happy birthday, you wonderful child. I thank God that He chose you to fit into my arms 24 years ago.
Love you dearly, Sweet Pea!
Your ultra proud Mom.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


We're all faced with them, right?
Here's mine:
I can only walk for exercise now. Well, that & ride my NEW BIKE, but whatever I choose, I may pay a price with my right knee in terrible pain afterwards.
Yesterday on my (late) lunch break, I walked 2.4 miles, all over town. ALLLLL over town.
My knee, the one I had surgery on in October, is paying a price for that exercise.
But when I exercise like that, I sleep so well. And as a lifelong lousy sleeper, it's such a treat for me to sleep soundly.
And I generally feel so much better after a good bout of exercise.
Here's the question: Do I go ahead and push myself, knowing that uncooperative knee is going to give me a problem, or do I become a sloth and do nothing for fear of the pain?
Ha! I think I know my answer, and if you know me at all, you know my choice as well.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I have a bicycle!

I finally got my dream bicycle! It's an Electra Townie 7 speed ladies bicycle- with a wicker basket on the front. So cute!
I have been desiring this particular bike for so long and now it's mine! Yesterday, I took several short rides, just in the immediate neighborhood. Feeling as poorly as I do lately, I don't know how far I can get before I get into trouble & can't get home. So I kept those trips local.
What fun- I'm so excited!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Empty Nest

Raising children is wonderful, it is difficult. The truth of the matter is probably this: if you care enough to give parenthood your best effort, it's probably the best thing you've ever done and the hardest thing you've ever done.
You literally give your heart, soul, and every ounce of love and energy to this job. And if you're a parent, you know that sometimes the children take your love and fling it right back at your feet.
But then....... they are grown and gone. The house becomes yours again, the only messes to clean up are the minimal messes you create for yourself, the electricity bill drops by more than 50%, and if you're a lucky parent, you have a couple of decent human beings out there, making their way in this world.
It took years to get my son and daughter raised, and yet, it went by so quickly.
The fact is, out of everything, good and not so good, that I've accomplished in more than half a century on this planet, the raising of my 2 kids is the job of which I'm most proud.
I am now, and I will always be, Mom. And that's quite an achievement.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Stupid headaches

I've had headaches ever since I can remember, even as a child walking home from elementary school, I hurt so badly I wasn't sure I would make it home.
50 years later, and I'm dealing with a 2 day (thus far) doozy. They are exhausting. I hate hurting like this.
I'm bad company and easily upset when I'm in this much pain.
I left work an hour early just so I could come home to hide out and sit quietly.
I just want to feel better. Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Job Market

My son is getting ready to start a driving job with a new company. This one does not have a terminal in Atlanta and so he seems a bit negative about it. Where will he park his rig when he comes in on home time? When will they assign his truck?
These seem like very small things. I told him that sometimes- and goodness knows I have had my fair share of jobs- the job that starts out looking like it will be the worst one, much to one's surprise, goes down in one's history as being a favorite job. I hope that will be true in this case, for my son.
My online friend D. began a new job too. She's been out of the job force for a period of time. The landing of a job has been a trial because as we all know, this period of time in this country is a particularly tough one for job hunters. But she found the type of medical front office job she has been looking for.
Then I saw  former coworker C. in church this morning. She has changed jobs again and is working at a social services department job in Williamson. This young lady can seem to land a job in a heartbeat, bad economy or no.
So the jobs are out there, they may not be the "job-dream-come-true" but the good news is, it's not as dire as the doomsayers would have us believe.
I have hope for our future.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Sun!

We've had a couple of rainy days and nights here in middle Georgia. Dismal, hard to accomplish the daily tasks I have set for myself, gray days.
Late this afternoon the sun finally came out.
Isn't it amazing, the emotional lift a person can get from seeing the sun?
I'm feeling more positive about life already!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


At about the age of 30, I suddenly developed a collecting bug. I have no idea why this happened.
I had very little as a child. So possessions were not all that important to me.
Anyway, I went into a teddy bear store in a mall close to my home and noticed stuffed artist teddy bears and toys. It wasn't the bears that intrigued me, it was stuffed bunnies. I suppose they appealed to the kid in me. Or the kid I never got to be, which is probably the case.
I began with the less expensive bunnies, in the $30 range. Just like most collections, the interest grew into the more expensive mohair bunnies by the premier artists.
Then I bought my first alpaca teddy bear. I still have that bear nearly 25 years later.
The bear obsession grew. Artist bears, Steiff bears, then limited edition Steiff bears. The collection grew and grew.
Then the interest shifted to, of all the damn things, purses.
That happened when Jenna and I walked into the Louis Vuitton store in the Lenox Mall in Atlanta.
That obsession took off. I aquired at least 20 LV handbags.
I began to sell off the teddy bears. Not all of them. I still have quite a few and plan to take some of them into retirement with me.
Then came my first Chanel handbag. Then I got obsessed with Chanel.
I sold off most of my LV bags. Then I sold off many of my Chanel bags.
I got an Hermes bag. No, it's not the Birkin, I don't know if I will ever have a Birkin. But it is an Hermes.
I worked through 2009 and 2010 to cull the collection, and only keep what really appealed to me.
So by the end of 2011 I will have 4 LV, 4 Chanel, and 1 Hermes.
That seems like a collection that isn't overwhelming, but is interesting.
I'm happy with it.
For now anyway.......

Monday, March 21, 2011

What, am I- 4 years old?

I recently had a cold. Got over it.
I thought.....
I woke up during the night Saturday with a very swollen sore throat. I have a high pain tolerance, but the fact that this hurt meant I should see a doctor.
This morning I went into work for an hour and a half then walked across the street to see the doctor.
I have strep throat. Aren't I too old for this?
Anyway, I was sent home. I started a Z Pack of antibiotics, and should be able to return to work later in the morning tomorrow.
I should rest today so I'm better tomorrow.
This is slightly embarrassing.
Hope I didn't infect anyone at home or at work.....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Past

These thoughts woke me up during the night. I answered a couple of questions my son  asked about my youth and I suppose the discussion embedded in my head, hence the thoughts.
My mother chose multiple marriages and the man of the hour over her children many times. My father never engaged with my brother and I, and when we were being shipped off yet again  because possible husband material didn't want children, my father wasn't interested in us. Grandparents? I know my Italian grandfather was very kind to my brother and I but we couldn't understand him when he spoke to us. My maternal grandmother- I don't even think she noticed us. My paternal grandmother was deep into her Alzheimer's when we met her and she had no idea who we were. We were all told the paternal grandfather had been dead for years. (That turned out to be false but by the time everyone, including his own children found out he'd been alive all along, it was too late.)
So, it was my brother Martin and I. We were like 2 young sailors, holding onto a chunk of driftwood in a sea of neglect.
He made me laugh, he made me continue to care enough to stay alert and alive, knowing the hell in which we  lived would eventually end, and we would be able to take the reins of our own destinies at some point  if we could just get through the Here-and-Now.
And we did reach adulthood, and that particular Hell did end for us.
Martin chose his life, I chose mine.
Mistakes were made. I turned down some wrong paths, but didn't go too far down a bad alley since I had honed that instinct for self-preservation for years.
Little did I know, my darling brother put his salvation into the hands of others, instead of relying first and foremost on himself for strength.
And when he was let down, he ended his life. His most precious gift, he threw away.
I still have moments of despair, times when I wonder if I can continue to forge ahead each day. But those moments are few and far between now.
I have a dear husband, and pretty darn great kids. None of us are perfect, but we are decent enough folks I guess.
I think I want to say this:
This is it. This is the hand we were dealt. It may not be the best hand, but it's what you're holding.
If you don't like it, take steps to fix or change it. You have more cards to choose from, you know.
Don't be at the end of your life, wondering why you didn't make other choices. Don't let your destiny be in someone else's hands. You have more power than you think you do.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Going West

I'm unsure what happened here but it is cold and wet in Georgia.
After hearing that the temperature in Phoenix was 89 degrees today, I decided I would like to be warm and dry for a couple of days.
Gil & I will take off work early tomorrow, pack a suitcase and fly to Phoenix for the weekend.
I plan to drink a margarita or "dos", eat some Mexican food, play some card games with the in-laws, and ride a bike in the sunshine. Beats staying home avoiding the rain, I think.
Life can ge grand sometimes!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In the Valley

Without going in to great detail, since I don't really like to put my personal business out there, let me just say I am now slightly "in the valley". This is from a sermon today concerning our lives being full of peaks and valleys.
While I have not been deep in the valley since I was young and had no control over my destiny, a situation has occurred here in life which is slightly valley-ish.
This will be a challenge for me.
I can either (A) trust in God to handle this for me, or (B) I can take deep breaths and allow it to work itself out, or (C) I can do a combination of both.
I choose option C.
Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Back to the gym.

My spouse and I rejoined the local gym and began dropping in every night after work beginning this Monday evening.
I wake up sore every morning- I may be the only person I know who likes this- and I have to stretch in order to move without looking like Dorothy's Tin Man before the oil can.
The side effect I had forgotten about are the vivid dreams I have when I exercise regularly.
In many cases I think this is a good thing since perhaps it means I'm getting more restful sleep.
However, I did wake up about 2:30 this morning having a terrible dream. And it took me a while to shake off that dream. Once I processed what it meant, I went back to sleep.
I am feeling more cheerful and strong after only 3 evenings at the gym.
If there is ever any advice I believe is true- exercise is good for what ails you.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Tribulations of my friend- how to fix this?

My very dear friend J. is a stay-at-home-mom. This has been what she's wanted all her life.
She married a very kind man, had 2 adorable sons, has a lovely house in a nice neighborhood. Everything she'd dreamed of in life.
And it's gone horribly awry.
Her husband went to Iraq to serve our country. He was injured while there and he's probably seen and maybe participated in some actions that would be incomprehensible to us. (War is hell, I have no problem with what may have been done. Goodness knows, some terrorists have no problems beheading Americans on camera.)
But, he's no longer the man she married. Through a combination of factors, he is closed off and inaccessible to her and the boys. He has health problems and may not be taking the right tack toward addressing them.
Her boys are at a critical age, an age when they could use their Daddy's influence, and J. could use her husband to help her present a united front when disciplining 2 young sons.
And recently her husband lost his job. I won't go into too many details about this part of the story except to say he performs a job that is dwindling in our workforce. In other words, there aren't really many options for him if he wants to do the exact same job.
My friend J. never envisioned her life turning out this way.
We all run into hard times on the road of life, but this seems excessive, this run of bad luck.
I would wave a wand and fix all this if I could.
All I can do is be here for her and listen. And pray.

UPDATE: J.'s husband has landed a job. My hope is that it is everything he hopes for in a job. Does anyone get a great job anymore? Anyway.... congrats to the family and all my well wishes for your family!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Have you ever been caught up in a dream? You walk around thinking "This is unbelieveable, this can't be real!"
That was my trip to St. Thomas this past week.
Pastel buildings and homes, lush tropical foliage, the islanders speaking with that singsong lilt, warm and sunny every day.
The only decisions I faced were "where shall I eat?" and "which rum drink should I have?"
I probably appreciated this so much more since I live the typical American life, rushing here and there, always pushing myself to accomplish more.
So, this entire little 4 day mini-vacation with my daughter (she of the terrible attitude just prior to this trip) was a dream come true- probably more so because the St. Thomas lifestyle is so opposite to my own.
And while I can certainly appreciate the utter relaxation I just experienced, it's time to return to my regular life, stress, frustration and all.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Daughter has returned

My daughter joined the Navy 3 years ago, just before her 21st birthday. Her Dad & I were quite thrilled, since we raised our children to leave us.
She has seen so many things, been so many places, had so many adventures. Beats her staying here in town, marrying too young, having children then ending up divorced and living at home with us again.
She just returned from her 2nd deployment. We flew up to greet her ship as it came in.
So, here's the problem:
Since my expectations were so high, I could only be disappointed with the homecoming. She has been obnoxious, and abrasive since her return.
She went out with her gays the night before we were to catch a plane back to Georgia, made a terrible drunk mess out of herself, and we had to try to locate her to bring her back to her apartment to clean up and get to the airport. We missed the flight we wanted to catch but did catch the next one.
So, there you have it.
This is what happens when expectations are too high. One can only be disappointed.
Tomorrow the daughter and I fly off to St. Thomas for 4 days of sun and sand.
No expectations on my part.
Perhaps this will be restful and fun.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Selling advertising in 2011

And not just any advertising..... PRINT advertising.
Can you begin to wrap your head around this?
I'm of two minds. I am relatively good at it, I don't know why. I suspect I gain trust with my clients because I truly want to do what is best for their business. I won't try to sell ad space to them solely to pad my paycheck. My conscience simply won't allow it. So I do this job since I can, and since my job is close to home. I'm there less than 5 minutes after I pull my car out of the garage.
There is a certain amount of freedom open to me as an outside sales rep. Getting too tense at work? Oh, I have to go see Melanie, I haven't stopped in to see her in a while- I'll be back.
That's a lifesaver.
There are no other jobs out there. I'm serious. Nothing that will pay worth a darn anyway. So, I have a job that pays a decent wage.
I have 6 years and 2 months left until I can draw retirement at the earliest age. And I think I will probably go ahead and begin to pull the social security then.
All I have to do is wake up approximately 18,050 more times and get dressed and drive on in to work, and then I'm free.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another year older.....

And...... now it's my birthday. I'm strangely disconnected from that fact right now.
Thinking about what I need to do at work, and how to best accomplish my goals there.
So, no time to freak out.
I think the weather will at least be cooperative today. I will be in & out of my car many times in the course of my workday, and I can at least pop out into sunshine. This always makes me happy.
I have a very kind and sweet husband.
Later this week, my trucker son will be home and I can see him for a few days.
Next week, my Navy daughter will return from her 6 months deployment.
And the week after that she & I will fly to the U.S. Virgin Islands for 4 days of R&R, just us two.
I think my life is one long celebration, don't you?
Looka here- I just talked (typed) myself into a little celebratory mood.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, my Son!

My son was born 26 years ago on Feb. 2nd. Tomorrow is his birthday.
In this crappy economy, he drives an 18 wheeler. This is a job that seems to be immune from layoff. And just in case he does get laid off from Company A, there are 26 other companies ready to hire a trucker. That is what he does.
This is who he is-
Michael is my heart. He is my firstborn. He was born with asthma and nocturnal epilepsy. We nearly lost him to pneumonia when he was 10 months old.
Needless to say, through all the sickness and earthquakes and turmoils of childhood and his teenage years, my son has always held my heart in the palm of his hand.
Really, until you become a mother, you will never understand the concept of "I would lay down my life for you."
That is how I feel about my soon-to-be-26 year old son.
(I have a daughter as well, but she deserves her own little story, to come later.)
So... Happy Birthday, Michael. I will love you forever and beyond, my big son.
Love, Mom

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My previous place of employment, or is it wrong to bomb the place?

My previous place of employment barely deserves the space and time I'm devoting to it here, but I have some residual anger to spew.
My ex-boss, let's call her Stupid Lady, has a very bad managerial style. The more work you handle, the more she throws your way. If she cannot handle a terrible employee, she will talk about that employee behind his back, but take no steps to address the situation.
What does Stupid Lady wind up with? Lousy employees, and a huge ulcer (I can only hope).
My replacement complained to me in whispers yesterday via a phone call.
The Office Slug, who was listening outside the door,  ran in and told Stupid Lady about the phone call.
So my replacement got a verbal reprimand, and was told she cannot furnish some materials to me, unless I pay for the material.
In our industry, it's common for us to send and share materials all the time, free of charge....
I'm stewing in my own juices, and feeling terrible for my replacement.
Stupid Lady - I despise you. And that's not something I say lightly.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fallout from Knee Surgery

For many years, I took a hard step aerobics/ kickboxing class. I even took a kettlebells class. Exercise became very important to me since I have a chronic health condition and my doctor told me, and I quote, "You need to get off your dead ass and exercise". Really, he said that to me.
So, I listened. I took this class for at least 12 years, 3 times weekly. I slimmed down, got healthy and felt good. When the instructor got pregnant, I even taught the class. I was good at it.
More than a year ago, I sat down on top of my step box prior to class starting, and felt something in my right knee go "sproingggggg!". I literally heard it and felt it. I was shocked. When class started and my right leg stepped up on the box, the pain was intense. Yep, I musta broke or snapped something.
I left class. Took the next 2 classes off. Went back. Again, too painful to step up on the box.
I went down to the smallest box, what I called "the weenie box". I could do the exercises but it just wasn't the same. And it was still painful for me, just less painful.
I had to give up the class. I had been a part of that class for so long, that if I wasn't there, other people stopped coming and the class disappeared. And I'm not saying I'm Miss Personality, what I'm saying is that many of the younger ladies saw how strong and slim I was at my age and were inspired. And they kept coming in order to become strong like me.
Back to the story.
I gave in and had knee surgery in October. The doctor got in there, said there was more osteoarthritic damage than he'd expected, more than he'd seen on the MRI, so he cleaned up a bit, and just closed me up. He said, "You're looking at knee replacement down the road."
So I have tried walking on my lunch break, doing situps and leg lifts at home, and I'm losing my battle.
I can just fit into my work clothes now, and I'm uncomfortable in them. I've gained about 9 lbs. I'm short so every lb. counts on my frame.
What do I do now?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Don't touch that thermostat!

Woke up at 3 a.m., chilly. I had to get out of bed to turn up the thermostat. It being dark out got me to thinking:
"They" suggest you keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees in winter and 78 degrees in summer.
Well, no matter how you look at this, somebody in the house is going to be upset for about half the year.
I'm a person who hates to be cold. I HATE it!
I lived in Denver for 25 years. Every winter I had the same thought- "why on Earth do I live here?" Every year.
Every summer I thought "Oh, yeah, THIS is why I live here." Hot, dry summers.
Back to the subject.
I am miserable in the winter with the thermostat at 68. I can layer but what happens with my hands? I can't walk around the house in gloves. I want to be comfortable.
Every year, I'm just marking time, paying way too much attention to the weather forecast on my laptop.
Summer? Aaah, summer! It can almost never get too hot for me.
However, here in the Deep South, we have humidity. I don't understand why, either. We're pretty far from the ocean. So confusing to me.
Anyway, so we have to use the air conditioner during the summer. And AC has an icky clammy feeling to me.
No problem keeping the AC at 78. As a matter of fact, I'm more comfortable with the AC at 80, and I will turn it on grudgingly because sweat is running down my husband's face. And I love him and want him to be happy.
The Battle of the Thermostat- do you wage this war in your home?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back to work- I'm an idiot.

That didn't even last for one month.
I seem to lack an identity if I don't have a job. I've been working for 40 years. Apparently it's all I know how to do.
I like having a paycheck with my name on it. I like knowing I'm a partner in my marriage. Mind you, not an equal partner since my husband make 4 times what I make. But it's better than nothing.
I enjoy spending money. And if I'm going to spend it, I feel like I better earn some of it.
So there we go.
I'm back to work and I hope I manage to keep a calm demeanor. I must remember that what I am doing today really won't matter 100 years from now.
Wish me luck.

My cold

I came home early yesterday because I was tired and just didn't feel well.
Next thing I know, my throat is super sore and my head is aching. I went to bed early.
Today, I have a full blown cold.
You know how sometimes you wish you could get a cold so you could take a day off work? And then you catch one and you're totally miserable?
That's me and then some.
I live daily with a rather serious medical condition. I had knee surgery in October and went back to work one week after the surgery. On crutches and with a knee the size of a football, but I was back to work.
I consider myself a pretty tough old broad. But this cold is about to make me teary-eyed.
I want to go to sleep and not awaken until I'm well again.
Where's my blankie?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Auto accident

I had an appointment to get my hair cut today. I got a call from my stylist's coworker saying that Stacy would be unavailable to cut my hair. Since that's so unusual, I asked if Stacy was sick today, and Emily told me that Stacy's sister had been in a terrible auto accident.
Let me mention, I live in a very small town. I knew immediately who Stacy's sister was, it was all over our local news source's website last night.
Nancy is Stacy's sister. Eve is Stacy's niece and she is only 9 years old.
This is so terribly heartbreaking.
The word at this point, on our small town website, is that Nancy is in very serious condition, and perhaps Eve will not survive, and some are speculating online that Eve has already passed.
How can a mother survive news like this?
Of course, I hope against hope that this is a terrible mistake and that the rumor mill is horribly wrong.
Please pray for Nancy and her 9 year old daughter Eve.
Prayers work. God willing.

Update 1-20-11
Eve didn't make it. Her family kept her on life support in order to make her a viable organ donor. I hope that Eve's donations to others will give some measure of relief to the family.
But however one looks at this tragedy, it's a terrible loss.
My condolences to the Wilson family. May God hold you close during this difficult time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Betty White!

Since my blog is titled "Half a Century Already...", it seems only fitting to wish Betty White " ¡Feliz cumpleaƱos!" today. It's her 89th birthday.
And don't you wish you know how I got those upside down exclamation points in there? Not to mention the squiggle over the "n"?
Well I'm not telling.....
Anyway, Betty White gives me great hope for the future.
The woman is bright, vibrant, funny, seems healthy and happy. This is what 89 should look like, am I right?
Not like some broke down old woman, just waiting to die.
I'm going to name Betty White as my role model today. I want to be spunky and adorable like she is, and I want people to be happy and excited to see me when I'm her age.
Happy birthday, Ms. Betty!
And many more......

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Makeup Counter, or Am I on Another Planet?

I may have mentioned that if you were to try to categorize me, you might think of me as an aging hippie. While I came of age after the apex of the hippie movement, I DID live in Denver, which held onto the movement for another decade and a half after California had moved on to it's next incarnation.
My hippie-ness translates itself thusly:
I don't have a hairstyle to speak of and my hair is probably too long for my years.
I don't dress very well. I do NOT own a pair of heels. I love cotton clothing.
And, the makeup counter at any store is incomprehensible to me. I have no clue what most of that stuff is, and do not know how to wear it. I own no eye shadow. When I got married, a friend of mine came over and put eye shadow on me. She stated "You have great eyelids!" Whatever that means.
I can not abide the feeling of foundation on my face. The best I can do is that powder stuff and that's only for a short period of time, until I get home and can wash it off.
I have very light eyebrows and I know most women would like me to use eyebrow pencil.
One time, I allowed someone to put makeup on me. I think it may have been at the Lancome counter. That was about 15 years ago.
I thought I looked like a clown. Was that lady making fun of me? Or did she really mean to make me look that way? I'm still unsure and even if I could locate her after all these years, I don't think she would tell me the truth anyway.
Do I need a makeup intervention? Shall we ambush me on "What Not to Wear" and give me the works?
Is there any help for me?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My hero- Judge Judy

If you had told me when I was a young lady, drinking and carousing my way across Denver, that there would come a time in life when I would idolize a lady who rips the tonsils out of people who scoff at the rules, I would have called you a liar.
What is so compelling about this woman? Is it that she gets paid millions of dollars to scream at and humiliate idiots, something I wish I was brave enough to do for free?
That's got to be it.
I have low tolerance for human failing. I feel my jaw tighten and my teeth start to slowly grind when faced with idiotic remarks, rudeness, liars, or fools.
But I am unable to voice my feelings so I clamp my lips closed and grind away. I suppose this was a good thing when my children were young. We know parenthood- there are times, many times, that you just cannot say exactly what is in your mind. A small psyche could be damaged badly.
So while I'm "between jobs", I will clear my head living vicariously through my favorite Judge, the Honorable Judith Sheindlin.
Thanks for being there for me, Your Honor!

Touching hamburger- blech!

I'm going to make stuffed bell peppers for the spouse today.
I'm mostly vegetarian, but you can put bacon bits on my loaded cheese fries and I won't scrape it off.
Back to the bell peppers.
I don't mind the preparation, except for the touching the meat part. See, here's the problem. That stuff is cow flesh. Ground up cow flesh. Have you ever owned a cow? Many years ago, when I lived in The South (this is the only time I'm going to tell you that it's "The South"- don't even question it), we had a herd of cows. Not cattle. Cows. These beasts served no purpose that I could see. They did follow along when I took off into the woods to escape the Evil Aunt whom my darling brother and I depended on for a home. (That's another story.)
Cows are disgusting. They slobber.  They can stick their tongues clear up their nostrils. And they do. They don't care where they crap, as long as it's right in your foot path. So really, what's the point of them? I guess it's so I have to wear those thin gloves to handle the meat when I make something using hamburger.
I don't even know what hamburger tastes like. I like Morningstar Farms Grillers. And anyone who eats hamburgers tells me my grillers are nasty.
I digress.
Because I have to mentally prepare myself for the smell of the ground beef and the cold of said ground beef leaching thru my thin latex gloves.....
Here I go.

5:20 a.m. E.S.T.- why am I up already?

So, here I am. I'm between jobs right now, my choice. I'm at leisure to sleep in as late as I want, my day is mine to do with as I will. And I'm awake for no good reason. Weird....
I left my last job on December 20th. This was my Christmas gift to myself, with my dear husband's blessing. My grown children were on the bandwagon as well.
I've been working since the age of 15 (that was in 1970, for those of you who are keeping track, or who are "50 youngs" as am I) and I have a character flaw that causes me to become way too emotionally invested in jobs that probably don't require any heavy investment.
After years of hearing me kvetch and nearly tear my hair out, I finally have taken the plunge and gone jobless.
Here's the trick though:
I do have another job lined up. So, I don't really leap without making sure I have a net below, do I?
I really haven't made a life change at all, have I?