Friday, October 28, 2011

Motivation

Every now and again I look on the Coldwell Banker web site and take home tours of new listings.
Of course, I don't look at the $150,000 listings. That would just be a waste of my time.

But last night, I actually found one that motivated me enough to fill out the pre-approval application through my Credit Union just to see what they had to say.

Well, I am guessing I ought to be saving a lot more money and wait patiently, because in doing my research, I not only need a 5% down payment, but also $2000 in closing costs, $2000 to pre-pay taxes, and of course, enough to hire Two Men and a Dumpster!

So, I'll be adding to my Christmas Club as often as possible, and continually rolling that over so that I can build up savings without the temptation to touch it.

I have also found that I am completely off the radar. I have a credit score of Zero. I don't buy anything unless I can pay cash. I don't have a car payment. Paid cash for my appliances.... So I need to start obtaining documentation that I pay my bills on time.

Crazy thing is, there is nothing that I need or want to purchase right now that would help me build a credit score. Nothing. I'm simple folk. I don't want for much.

But it would be nice to buy my own home while Jerry is still young enough to have the luxury of having a home of our own to grow up in.

The thought of a 30 year loan is a bit frightening as well. Kripes! I'll be almost 80 by the time it's paid off - if I live that long!

The Realtor was a real snot about it though! I wanted to look at a house that is assessed at $105,000 but is selling as a HUD house for $25,000. IDEAL!!!!!! It had gorgeous built-in features, but the kitchen and bathroom look like they need to be completely gutted and re-done. That doesn't scare me if it is my own home (No way in hell I am doing that here in THIS house, cuz although it does need to be done, it's NOT MY HOUSE!!!). But I asked the Realtor if I could see the place today and she said "All bids have to be in by midnight tonight. Are you prepared to make a bid on this place? Because if not, I don't have time to show it to you." NICE!!!! And then after being such a bitch, because I contacted her via E-mail, now I'm getting E-mails from her about other listings that are way out of my price range. Lovely!

But, even though this whole ordeal leaves me feeling a bit disappointed, it DOES motivate me to purge stuff around here. I'm not taking it all with me when I go! 5 bags and counting! Now THAT is motivation!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Drama

I have learned that life throws you enough things to deal with. There is no need to pretend that life has thrown you a new very complicated situation to deal with. In most cases, said Drama is something that could be completely avoided if you simply do not allow others to treat you with disrespect, dumping their garbage onto you.

I get so tired of reading or hearing about people crying over problems that have such obvious solutions. Some people you just can't change. Some people you just can't fix. No matter how intertwined their lives may seem to be with yours, you DO have the option to say "I'm done. You are too mentally ill to be in my life. I already have too much to handle without your drama. When you grow up in about 10 years, give me a call."

And people who blame all of their problems on someone else - now THAT REALLY bugs the crap out of me. It makes that person appear helpless and stupid and it angers me because I KNOW that person CAN'T be that helpless and stupid! So why play the part of the victim?

I am often surrounded by people who just can't seem to get on the right road in life. I love them, but I am finding more and more that I just need to put some distance between myself and them for the sake of my own sanity. I don't need the drama, and I know they wouldn't take my advice any way. So why bother?

Life is too short to deal with all of these fools. I want to enjoy the time I have on earth. I want to share good times with my loved ones. I want to move forward and be happy. Why can't everybody share that common goal?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Occupy Facebook is more like it.....

I'm growing very tired of this Occupy Wall Street stuff.
Although there is some merit to the things people are protesting, I feel they are protesting the wrong branch. They ought to be protesting congress. Protesting the Presidential Cabinet. Protesting Local Government for mishandling funds and making it more difficult for the little man to survive.

HOWEVER.... most of the people I see protesting on facebook can't even articulate what it is that has them so angry. They want everybody to jump on their Happy Bus, but they can't give me any real reasons to do so! If you can't explain it, then you're just a sheep in my opinion. And instead of debating me, they just get angry and say I'm part of the problem. No, I am not part of the problem. I have a skilled job and I am able to feed my family and keep a roof over our heads and still have a little left over to put into savings.

And I think most of them are really just angry at themselves because they have spent the last 10 years just coasting instead of actually preparing for a future. And now that the enconomy has tightened its belt, their free ride is over, and they are terrified. They don't want to own up to their own laziness, so they are pointing fingers at Wall Street.

I say this without fear of criticism because I am able to defend my stance. I started with nothing. Hell, I started with LESS than Nothing! I was a single mother at age 20 with zero skills and a high school diploma. I knew I had to figure out how to survive in this world, so I got busy. I gained skills, I got an education, and I looked for jobs that I would enjoy and surrounded myself with wonderful people throughout all of my working life. I never let anyone tell me I couldn't learn how to do something. And if they did, I proved them wrong!

Somehow I was raised to have a Can-Do attitude that has lead me in many exciting directions. I have been the Lead Singer in a Band, a Waitress, A Secretary, A Store Manager, An Artist, A Machine Repair Representative, a Salesperson, A Receptionist, A Motivational Speaker, An Events Planner, a Care Giver, A Furniture Re-finisher, A Jewelry Maker, A Quilter, A Custom Picture Framer, A Tiler, A Decorator, a Computer Specialist, a Resume Critic.... the list goes on and on. I love that I am so packed with diversity and am able to apply all of those skills to whatever I do and impress any employer I have ever had. And it all starts with attitude. Not once did I give up. I keep moving forward. And I am STILL moving forward. I am on the look-out for the prefect job. When I find it, I will jump into yet another challenging career. And, no, I don't expect to get rich. I still haven't found that Holy Shit Idea just yet.... but I am on the verge of finding it.

I can debate you because I have always been the bread winner in my family. I didn't wait for a man to come save me. I married for love because I knew I had what it takes to survive without a rich man supporting me. And we endured many pit-falls along the way as well as family crises, and we kept on going. And now that I'm a widow, I STILL keep going. I haven't given up. I still have a life to live and a child to support both financially and emotionally, and I want him to be a survivor as well. Like a Phoenyx, we will always rise up through the ashes because we have a lot of fight inside of us and no one is going to keep us down. We don't need to surround ourselves with a bunch of protestors to do so. We don't have to do it loudly or in a flashy manner. That's not God's plan any way.

So if you don't like the way your life is right now, change your attitude. Be grateful for what you have, and if you want something, take steps to aim toward it and don't give up!

If you want to cry about how crappy your life is, you will always find some loser who will listen and sob right beside you. But if you want someone to cheer as you get up off your lazy ass and make something out of yourself, then I'm there!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yes, He is definitely my son!

I'm on the bus this morning going to work. There is a regular passenger who has quite a speech impediment. Today, she had a very elderly gentleman with her and they were holding a conversation that nobody else on the bus could understand. But the elderly fella was so animated in his conversation that I couldn't help but think of Christopher Walken.

I sent my #1 son a text saying : "Hey! I think Christopher Walken's Father is on the bus with me! I can't stop laughing as I listen to him talk!"

#1 son sent me a response later in the day: "Did he walk like he had a Gold Watch up his butt?"

I couldn't stop laughing! I love you, Andy!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Sweetest Day Sentiment

For those of you sitting home alone feeling sorry for yourselves, here is an E-card that pretty much sums it up....
Not that I am actually doing that. Hell, I'm sassy enough these days!

But I am in the process of coming up with my own collection of sassy Refrigerator Magnets that I plan to print up and start selling one of these days. I'm having a lot of fun with it.

And if it takes off, I may just start selling them on Etsy or Zazzle as well! Magnets are easy to mail and cost next to nothing to ship! It's a win-win for everyone!

Monday, August 29, 2011

20 Questions.... or more!

So this 20 questions game on Facebook is quite fun - especially if you answer YES to all the questions! Why, just the other day, it asked if I thought my brother ought to come out of the closet! Ha ha ha!
But in looking at the answers some have given regarding me, well, some are quite incorrect!

Do you think that Brenda cried while watching the Titanic? Someone said yes. Truth be told, I have never actually sat through this excruciatingly long movie!
Do you want to poke Brenda ? Someone said no. Wah!
Do you think that Brenda has bad breath? Someone said no. Well, unless you consider coffee breath to be bad....
Would you lend Brenda $100? Someone said no. NO!?!?! Well, I don't need your stinking money anyway! LOL!
Do you think that Brenda has ever had a crush on you? Someone said no. Yeah, you're probably right about that.
Do you think Brenda secretly likes to dance in front of a mirror? Someone said no, but someone else said yes.
Sweet Baby Jesus! If I actually saw how dorkey I look dancing, I would NEVER dance!
Do you think that Brenda has a bad haircut? Some one said no. Damn skippy, Baby! I'm keeping my hair just the way it is!
Do you think that Brenda would bail you out of jail? Someone said no. Who said that? It depends on what you were arrested for, really!
Do you think that Brenda would ever do community service voluntarily? Someone said yes. Indeed I have and likely will again!
Do you think that Brenda has ever used steroids? no. What a stupid question!
Would Brenda ever dress up in a mascot outfit and run around? yes. Well, only if the head wasn't smelly.
Is Brenda smarter than Oprah? Someone said yes. Oh God! I WISH! If I were, I'd have her millions!
Do you think that Brenda swears like a sailor? Someone said yes. Fuck yeah, I do!
Do you think Brenda was a Dork in high school? Someone said no. Sure. That's cuz you were probably an even bigger dork than I was!
Do you think that Brenda is materialistic? Someone answered no. Unless it's something shiny!
Do you think that Brenda has ever skinny dipped? Someone said no. Wrong! I was once young and cute and without my suit! LOL!
Do you think that Brenda has ever gone to a strip club? Someone said yes. Was that you, Sandy? Ha ha ha!
Do you think that Brenda is cuter than Brad Pitt? Someone said no. Well, do they mean YOUNG Brad Pitt or OLD Brad Pitt?
Do you think that Brenda is a good friend? Well, someone said yes. So hopefully I'm doing something right!
Do you think that Brenda has good credit? Someone said yes. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Do you think that Brenda is a good driver? Someone said yes. They've obviously never ridden with me! Ha!
Do you think that Brenda is lazy? Someone said no. I think I'll respond to that tomorrow....
Do you think that Brenda has ever pranked call someone? Well, someone knows the answer to that is HELL YES!
Do you think that Brenda has a deep dark secret? Someone said yes.Doesn't everybody?
Do you think that Brenda should do laundry more often? Someone has obviously never been in my basement!
Do you think that Brenda is a pervert? Someone said no. LOL!
Do you think that Brenda is hot? Somebody said yes. Huggles to you!
Does Brenda sing in the shower? Someone said no. You shower alone now, pal!
Do you think that Brenda has ever gone hunting? Someone said NO and someone said YES. Does Bargain Hunting count?
Do you think that Brenda is cute? Lori B said yes
Do you think that Brenda would secretly fart in public? Mara W. said YES. She's never gone shopping with me! Is she psychic
Would Brenda make a good spouse? Someone said YES. So how YOU doin'?
Do you think that Brenda has ever played strip poker? Mara W. said no. Oh, Mara! I've played all kinds of poker in my life
Do you think that Brenda knows what a fist pound is? Bob K. said no. Bob, Bob! I'm one hip mamma!
Do you think that Brenda would turn you in to the FBI if they asked? Alex M said yes. Alex, WHAT are you DOING?
Do you think that Brenda is a freak? Someone said no. In the words of Rick James..... I'm a Superfreak! Superfreak! I'm super Freakeh!
Do you think that Brenda would go bungee jumping? Karen B. said yes. Hang Gliding, YES! Bungee Jumping? No.
Do you think that Brenda likes chick flicks? If John Cusack is in them, I'm there!
And last but not least....Do you think that Brenda is a virgin? Someone said yes. Well, if it grows back......

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Well, THAT is crossed off my list!

We finished up on the school shopping this morning.

I know I'm not alone in cutting corners this year. Many moms that I have talked to are doing the same. Our kids don't use up half the stuff on those lists. At the end of school last year, I threw everything the child brought home into a box. Most of it still brand new, and on this years list. So That old stuff went into his backpack and was crossed off the list. And STILL it cost us $60 to buy all the remaining crap! AMAZING! They think we're made of money or something! We are in a recession, people!

And I asked The Child to try on his Gym Shoes from last year. He said it didn't matter if they fit or not because he never wears them anyway. So WHY spend an additional $30? I just got his a good pair of street shoes for the year. He's fine with that. I have the coolest kid on earth!

And the money we saved, allowed us to spend $8 on Lego for him! Score!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bad Timing

I picked a bad time to go off my meds.
I've worked with Candy for 4 years now, and we've become good friends. On Tuesday, she announced that she is going to be a stay at home mom. With so many changes going on at work, this shouldn't be such a surprise. She has been hinting at it for some time. But it's gonna suck! Well, not for her. For us. It's depressing!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Let it Rain

I've been weening myself off of my Anti-anxiety meds... against doctor's wishes..... and it got to a point where the dose was so low, it didn't matter, so last Sunday, I stopped taking them altogether. So I've been feeling the effects of withdrawal, and I am also FEELING EVERYTHING! This is a double-edged sword. I had thought "Life is slowing down right now, and Drama is at it's minimum right now, so I'm just gonna jump in and quit the meds."

Yeah. And then one of my favorite patients passes away on Thursday, and I turn into a weeping mess! And today, I'm cleaning the house because I have a babysitter coming. And I know that last weekend, I was digging through some boxes and I asked myself "Why am I keeping this stuff? I need to PURGE!" Sure. Then I start purging today, and I run into Jim's discharge papers from St Lukes, and I'm a complete WRECK! Damn it! Running across this stuff brings me right back to that very day and how I felt with all of my fears and pain. St Luke's was the eye of the storm for me. When everything came to a head and started spinning faster and faster. It was like being trapped inside the worst horror story ever without the opportunity to write a different ending.

So I had an hour long cry this morning. I stood there hugging Jim's sweaters and crying so hard I was trembling. God I miss him!!!! And you know what? I'm not ready to throw out his things, no matter how ratty and musty they're getting.

And then on the other side of the coin, I'm thinking "How the hell are we supposed to move out of this crappy old house if I can't throw this stuff away?" Argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Darling Jerry has been such a love this week. I came home Thursday and told him I was sad because I lost a wonderful patient. And he said "You can sit on the couch and hug me while you cry if you want, Mom. You're not alone." What a doll he is!!!! I couldn't ask for a more precious son to raise!


My Bro-in-law's band is playing in Eureka tonight. He is also celebrating his 40th birthday tonight (Monday is his Birthday). I'll be surrounded by loved ones, and it's sure to be a fun night. No Drama. No issues. Just good music and good people!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Second Annual

They say all things happen for a reason. I guess the Copperleaf lost my reservations for a reason. The reason being that we needed to see the difference between The Copperleaf and The Paper Valley for ourselves. HUGE difference!

The Copperleaf wins hands down for personality, comfort and customer service. The Paper Valley is so impersonal, and their walls are so thin, I thought I would go mad from all the maid carts rolling around in the halls!

Things The Paper Valley offers that I really liked were the free internet kiosks in the lobby, and their bathroom layout is much nicer with more towels and their fridge is bigger.

The Copperleaf wins in every other category. Better maintained elevators, much cleaner hotel, more curteous and attentive staff, semi-private spa-pool, a livingroom with a pull-out couch/bed that is adjoining the bedroom. Free breakfast (we paid $18 for a Paper Valley brunch that left me with food poisoning!), Free Gourmet Coffee, more comfortable beds, and more water pressure in the shower (very important to me!).

Next year, I am going to make reservations 3 months in advance, and I am going to call them every other week to be sure they have kept that reservation!

As for entertainment, we started out at Good Company for dinner Friday night, which is always yummy. Although Bonnie had an "Episode" there that still concerns me. I think the gal really needed this down time!

Barb and I walked down College Ave for a bit while we let Bonnie get a good nap in. We found a place called Mill Creek that boasted "5 Decades of Music Videos". We were the only ones there, and the bar tender makes a very good drink. She told us to come back when it is more crowded and louder. We assured her that we would!

Then, we went and joined our Aunt Shirley at BJ Clancy's for Karaoke. I was dubious at first. There was an awful lot of country music fans and elderly folks mixed in with a few younger folks. They twisted my arm and got me up to sing a few songs, which was fun.

Bonnie and I were joking about how we would be sharing a bed like we did as children, when a nice looking guy in his mid 30's got up and sang "I'll Be". I asked Bonnie if he could come back to our room and sing that to me all night. And then I said "Hey! We could make a Sister Sandwich!" which lead to many many more sandwich jokes throughout the weekend.

Bonnie and I drank a shot of Bailey's in honour of our Mommy. 25 years have passed, and she is still in our hearts and in our minds.

After we left Karaoke, we walked back down to Mill Creek. Holy CRAP! What a transformation! The place was just THUMPING! Everybody was dancing and singing at the top of their lungs and having a great time! We joined right in and had a blast!

We were back to our room by 1AM, and in the hot tub by 1:30. Only trouble with that was that the hot tub was VERY hot, which heated up my own core temp, and brought on a night long hot flash, so I didn't sleep very well.

On Saturday, after breakfast at Perkins (We couldn't get it together in time to do the free breakfast down stairs by 10AM) Bonnie had to head back to Oshkosh for the afternoon to handle an obligation regarding son Jeremy.

We booked a suite at the Paper Valley since The Copperleaf didn't have and rooms available for Saturday. The main problem with that was we had to wait 3 hours for check-in time. Barb and I wandered up and down College Avenue, enjoying The Farmer's Market, and exploring the stores and museums. It would have been more fun if we weren't both dying for a nap!!!

We checked in to The Paper Valley and tried to take a nap, but there was so darned much noise going on, I only got about 15 minutes.

Bonnie returned at about 4:30, and we brought all of our belongings up stairs to our room. She needed to unwind a bit, and then we went to KFC for dinner. I know many of my readers are saying "Really? KFC?" Well, we don't have a KFC in Oshkosh, so this was a real treat for us!

From there, we went to Walmart for yummys. By the time we came out, the sky was angry and dark. We got to the Paper Valley Parking structure just in time before it started pouring. The perfect atmosphere to try to take a REAL nap! So we all crashed out for an hour as it rained cats and dogs.

By the time we were ready to hit the pubs, the rain was ending. We started off at the Durty Leprechaun for a few drinks, and Bonnie's daughter had decided to meet up with us as well for a bit.

Well, who could resist? We had to go back to Mill Creek to see if they were doing anything different. And on the way there, we were saying "I'm surprised they didn't play any Michael Jackson last night." Just as we got our drinks, a Michael Jackson video came on and the crowd went insane with approval! That was followed by Prince. Mister VeeJay really knows what this old lady wants to hear!

We turned in a little early on Saturday, and went back to our room to play Catch Phrase while unwinding with wine coolers. To our shock, there was a knock on the door, and it was The Consierge asking us to quiet down! REALLY?

This morning, I ran down to the Starbucks for coffee and tea for all of us, and after we all showered, we went down for the brunch. My guts are still rolling!

We were home by noon today. Oh it feels so good to be home! I missed my boys. I missed my kitties. I missed my BED!!!

I almost wish I had taken tomorrow off work just so I can recoup! I am one tired lady! But it was worth every minute!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Anticipation

Today marks the 25th Anniversary of my mother's passing. It's hard to believe it's been that long. I can still picture her sitting at the kitchen table playing 500 rummy with me. Although, sadly, I can't quite conjure up her voice in my memory.

Last year, my sisters and I had gone on what we call a "Sisters Weekend". And this weekend will be our second annual "Sisters Weekend". It's been an emotional roller-coaster trying to organize this. After all, one doesn't just show up at The Copperleaf. They lost my reservations that I had made a month ago. My oldest son tried to back out of his agreement to watch my younger child. Well, I absolutely blew up at that one. Some might think I over-reacted, but I don't think so. I don't ask a whole lot of friends and family. And when I do, it's important stuff. And after all that I have done for #1 son, when I ask for a favor in return, he'd best play the part of my Wise Guy!

I'm still not done packing. I just can't decide what I'm wearing!
And I absolutely MUST change the cat litter before I leave. Yuck!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What it's like to work with ME!

One of the gals that I work with was having a bad day today, and was awfully grumpy. I asked her why she was so grumpy today and she just shrugged her shoulders.
So then I asked "Do you need a parade to cheer you up?" She shrugged her shoulders again and said grumpily "Maybe...."
So during a short lull in work, I created some little signs on colored paper that said "Cheer Up, Butter Cup!", "Smile Already!" and "THIS is YOUR Parade!" and taped them to tongue depressers
Then, three of us went marching past her desk humming the circus theme song, throwing chocolate kisses at her. It totally made her day! =)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tales of Yore

Gather round, Kids! I'm gonna tell you a story of yesteryear!
Back when I was young, Jukeboxes were really big and flashy, and were the focal point of most taverns. You could put in a quarter and get three songs! This, of course was a dilemma for us, since I have three siblings, so two of us had to agree on one song instead of all of us getting to pick out our own favorite.

But you got a whole THREE songs for a quarter!

If you went to the local K-Mart to buy a 45 record, it would cost you 75 cents to a dollar to purchase that record. And if you wanted to buy the album, it cost about 5 dollars.

Now, when you play the Jukebox, a computerized little box that is mounted on the wall that is touch sensitive, it costs you a dollar per song. The same amount as if you went to ITunes and purchased that song for your own collection. What the heck? I am merely playing the song, not buying it for a life time. How do they achieve this pricing structure?

I suppose it makes up for internet theft. But I feel dirty paying that much just to hear a song! Especially when the machine decides to play a different song instead of the one I selected!

I guess I wasn't meant to hang out in pubs.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Interesting Reading

In an effort to understand the psyche of Casey Anthony, Investigation Discovery enrolled the help of Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, a renowned criminal profiler who has over 20 years experience in profiling everything from serial murders to aberrant sex crimes. In 1999, Dr. Schurman-Kauflin profiled the BTK serial killer. Years later, when Dennis Rader was arrested for the crimes, the profile proved to be a shockingly accurate reflection of the killer.

According to Dr. Schurman-Kauflin, Casey Anthony is a "dark damsel" who is seemingly ignoring the disappearance of her 2-year-old child, Caylee Anthony.

"The hallmark of a good predator is that she constantly tells lies. If you clutter the truth with enough of what's false, no one can tell what is real," Dr. Schurman-Kauflin said. "This is why the female offender keeps everyone guessing with deception. Keep people chasing their tails, and they don't have the time to fight you. You will often find female offenders are remarkably good at making people do what they want. They are especially skilled at manipulating men. Women know there is more than one way to make a man wild. She can seduce him. She can lead him in circles. When that fails, she can kill. Seduce-circle-kill."

By examining Anthony's behavioral patterns, Dr. Schurman-Kauflin said that her true self will become visible and it will become easier to predict her actions.

"In her eyes, those close to her are mere things that can be tossed in the trash when they get in the way. Follow her men, and you will follow her thinking. What that means is female predators are especially driven by their need to feel sexual and appealing. They need their men more than they need their families. Male attention is exciting, while family is judgmental. Men build her ego, but their children tear it down. What feeds her ego? If you figure this out, you figure her out. Seduce-circle-kill."

In regards to the trail of lies surrounding the case, Dr. Schurman-Kauflin said that they suggest Anthony is desperate for attention.

"She went toward excitement and lied when it suited her," she said, adding, "Lies surround her. Truth looks very hard to find here."

Unfortunately, determining what happened to Caylee is not as clear-cut.

"It is unclear at this point what happened to Caylee. However, what is clear is that Ms. Anthony did not put Caylee first when the child disappeared," Dr. Schurman-Kauflin said. "She did not do her best to help police find the responsibility [child] that had taken so much of her life. There have been rumors that she partied while her child faded into the night. Finally, she comes across as angry that people care more for her missing child than her. Her pattern comes across very clear. She put herself first, at least when it came to her disappearing baby."

In summary, Dr. Schurman-Kauflin said that if Anthony's patter of behaviors is followed, the truth behind Caylee's disappearance will be revealed.



Hmmmmm. This concerns me greatly. I know people who fit this profile.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Isn't Summer Awesome?

Been meaning to blog, but I've just been too busy living these days! After all, it IS summer!

This past week was emotionally charged, knowing that Hubby's Birthday was on the 29th. But we got through it with positive thoughts. I am still working through a lot of things in my mind. It's a constant process. All of the "What If's" and they "Why did they do it that way?" thoughts, and of course, there will probably always be flashbacks of The Journey. It's a lot like having PTSD. But then on the flip side, I also have so many wonderful memories of our life together, and keeping those close to my heart helps me to move forward and want to find even more to enjoy in life.

It's the July 4th Weekend, and ours is action packed!
Friday Night, I had dinner and cocktails with my sister Barb, which is always a great way to start a weekend. We stopped at the Dollar Tree and I got a little crazy cuz I hadn't been there in a while. EVERYTHING is just a DOLLAR, Y'all! How can you pass this stuff up? Ha ha ha! The Child even found some fireworks there, which we lit off last night.

Yesterday morning, I woke to a very hot and humid day. I took my shower and realized that there was no way my hair was going to behave in such humidity. so I got out my Mini Hair Clips and just started putting my hair up. It ended up looking pretty cool!

Yesterday, we went to Sawdust Days. Last year, we discovered the band Purgatory Hill there, and I think they are just such an amazing duo! Click on the link, enter their site, and be prepared for something uniquely Magical! Pat plays a Cigar Box Guitar and gets the craziest sounds out of that thing! And Melanie Jane drives in the back beat with a fierceness you'd never expect from such a tiny, beautiful little lady. You have to catch their act to truly appreciate it.

They were playing again at Sawdust Days yesterday, and I was so happy to find that I had enough spare cash to buy one of their CD's. And as Myke was handing over cash to buy his own, he asked Melanie Jane if they would consider autographing one, and she graciously obliged! So now we both have Autographed Copies of their CD! How awesome is that!

We also stopped at The Karaoke Tent to see what was happening there, and caught a band called The Bench Warmers. They were pretty good as well! I sure Miss Marty!!!

Then, last night, Norm stopped over to help Andy jump his car, and then invited us over for a cook out, a fire, and some late night fishing. Who could say no to that! Norm and Nikki live right on the edge of Sawyer Creek in a cute little house with a huge yard.

Norm regularly fishes off their dock, and has been getting teased by a nice sized bass on a regular basis. It pops up, sees him, and quickly swims away.

Jerry cast his pole into the creek, didn't even get his line set, and BAM! That bass was on his line! Norm helped him bring it in, and made sure to get a good picture before releasing him back into the water to taunt him further.I just LOVE that picture!!!

Today, we are going to our friend Trina's for a relaxing afternoon of swimming, good conversation and a cook out! I am really looking forward to that! Speaking of which, I need to finish making the potato salad! (I make it just like my Grandma Kappell used to. Gawd how I LOVE that stuff!).

Tomorrow will be out traditional Family Day in Omro. That is always a fun time as well.

So how did you spend your three day weekend?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Horoscope

My Horoscope for today says:

"You might not be able to rationalize your optimism today, for your uplifting mood doesn't necessarily correspond to anything specific in your life at this time. Nevertheless, your thoughts have more power than usual, enabling you to use them to positively impact your future. Just be careful that you're not avoiding an issue that must be faced. Exerting control over your life is a smart idea as long as you aren't trying to escape from the truth."

Sort of sounds like Lucy telling Snoopy that he'd best be careful cuz he is in for a "Happiness Let-Down".

It's not so much that I'm optimistic. I just know that the sun is going to rise each day with or without me. So I may as well be present to enjoy it best I can.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Bowling Ball


I started a project.... It began as a Bowling Ball sitting atop of a Jello Mold that I found at a thrift store.
It sat on my porch for the longest time. I would walk past it often, even sit beside it as each day it would ask "Is it time yet?' "No," I would say, "Today is not the day."

But then, Sunday, it rained. And it rained some more. And I said "This is a good day for a Rainy Day Project!" So I brought in the bowling ball and the other necessary items to begin this project. I started with Tile Glue and a broken mirror. It was fun breaking the mirror, and it didn't create nearly as many slivers as I had feared. I glued the mirror pieces to the ball, mixing in some blue stone for interest.



After letting that dry, I decided that I wanted it to be purple. So I mixed paint in with the grout.
When the glue was dry, I grouted the ball. I wasn't happy with the texture or color of the grout once I got it on the ball. So I got out a paint brush and I painted the grout a deeper purple.




It looks okay. I like it. It will look good in the front yard garden. But maybe I should have left the background white? Ah, too late now! But I can always keep an eye out for spare balls to do more in the future.

Right now, I have a protective poly coating drying on it. Then, I'll give it one more coating, let it dry, and set it free in my front yard.

My friend Toni said I ought to take it to the bowling alley and see how long it takes to freak out the manager! Ha ha! Great idea!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Don't Rain on My Parade!

I am feeling quite hopeful lately. The tides are churning and I think things are starting to flow in my direction.

I am getting a clearer vision of how I want my life to be. After all, it IS my life! And it is mine to mold as I see necessary.

I don't let rainy days get me down. I embrace them. I start a cool project. I think happy thoughts. I make my own sunshine!

Of course, I am ever mindful that this is Hubby's month. He would have been 46 on June 29. And yes, that sucks. But you know what? He doesn't want me sitting idle pining away for him. He wants me to move forward and be the strong woman I have been all of my life - only even better.

I'm making lists and starting plans. I am going to reach for my dreams.

To some, who are too afraid to reach for theirs, this may seem as though I am out of control. But in reality, I am simply continuing to produce magic in my universe. Get over it!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hooray for weekends!

I tell myself all week that come Saturday, I can sleep in. So Saturday comes around, and, oh boy! I slept in a whole 30 extra minutes! Of course, it doesn't help that my little girl kitty decided she wanted to cuddle at 6AM and promptly decided to fart when I was snuggling her! NOT a good way to start a Saturday!

SO, I have my dishes washed, and my shower is scrubbed. I'm thinking I may get myself together and head on down to the Farmer's Market. I need to stop at the hardware store again any way!

While at the Art Show last week, my sis fell in love with these little bird houses that a vendor had. They are for decorative puropses only. I said "Why would you spend $30 on something that I can make you for free?" So.... I am obtaining supplies and getting ready to start manufacturing decorative bird houses. But first.... I must complete my other pending project!

I work with a gal named Anna who is purely magical! She only works part time with us because her REAL job is that she is an Artist. And a fabulous one at that!

She knows I love doing mosaics and such, and had mentioned a while back that a gal in the booth next to her at an art show was taking old bowling balls and broken mirror bits and was mosaicing the bowling balls as yard ornaments! What a brilliant idea! It'll look just "Trailer" enough to work in my yard, and will annoy the neighbors!

My only dilemma is breaking the mirror. If you break one by accident, you get 7 years bad luck. What happens if you intentionally smash one? Hmmmm.

Monday, June 13, 2011

May the Heavens Rejoice!

One of the hardest things about my job is that I get SO attached to my patients.
I walk their journey with them, and most times, the outcome is good. And then, sometimes, the coin is flipped.

Barbara would come in twice a week on the pretense of having her blood pressure taken - when in actuality, she just really loved coming in to see all of us. And she really brightened our day when she came in. When Jim was walking his journey, she was my cheer-leader, always sending up a prayer and ready with a hug any time I needed one. I am sure she knows how much she helped me get through that most difficult time.

I have on my work desk a little praying bear whose name is Hope. And when the time came when management told us we could only keep one personal item at our workspace, I insisted on keeping two - my current picture of Jerry, and Hope the Bear because it was a heart-felt gift from Barbara when she knew I was at my lowest threshold of strength.

Barbara was SO amazing! She became ill not long after my Jimmy passed away, and was eventually diagnosed with Lymphoma. And she fought a very brave fight right up to the end. At one point, we thought she was winning this battle, even though the statistical odds were so stacked up against her. She was feeling well enough to come in like old times for a blood pressure check and was smothered with hugs from all of us.

Some of our patients need love, while others share their love. Barbara was such a beautiful lady with the purest of hearts. And I really hate that I received this news on a Monday - the busiest of days, when I am forced to keep going and pretend I am cheerful, when inside, I really just want to lock myself in a restroom and cry for my loss.

My last conversation with her was on June 2. She called to say she wasn't doing so well, and was going to spend some time in the ICU. And instead of dwelling on her own issues, she asked me how my baby is doing. And when I told her that he is doing very well these days, she sounded so happy to hear that. And then she said "Can I ask you a question? You don't have to answer if you don't want to, if it's too hard for you"

I said "Of course you can ask me a question, Barbara."

"We're coming up on the one year anniversary of losing Jim, aren't we? How are YOU doing?"
My response was "Well, we've just passed that anniversary at the end of March. But we got through it. I have wonderful friends and family, and I am very blessed."

She apologized for missing the date, and I said she had her own battles to fight, and I would never feel slighted if she forgot such things. And I told her to hang in there and to know that I love her.

The hard thing is, I had Friday off, and thought "Hey! I could go visit Barbara today!" But it just never happened.

And just yesterday, I FINALLY found the perfect gift at the Art Fair to give to her - it is a beautiful poem:



But she does know that she was and will always be in my heart and in my thoughts. I am very blessed to have had my life touched by such a wonderful lady. And I can just imagine, once she is finished hugging all of the loved ones she knows up in heaven, that she is going to stop and say "So now which of you Angels is my Brenda's Jim? I need a hug from you too, Buster!"


Friday, June 10, 2011

Pandora

I'm a bit late in jumping on this train. I always knew it was out there, but Hubby was always so afraid of web sites like this, fearing that it was loaded with spam and viruses. But, DANG! I really wish we had downloaded this when he was still around.

We shared many a night listening to Jazz music and drinking wine and talking about whatever was on our minds. And I loved those nights - except when he would play Ole What's His Face Experimental Jazz Dude's stuff.... his name escapes me right now....

But with Pandora, all you have to do is choose a few artists and genres, and it grabs others like it to compliment the set. And I have a pretty groovy Jazz Channel going at the moment. I started out with George Benson - whom I adore, and Sting.... and Pandora added David Sandborn, Quincy Jones and many others. Jim would have loved this!

And although this makes me miss him, it also helps me to remember the good times we shared. And that makes it all worth the trip.

Is it REALLY summer?

As it turned out, I needed to take the day off work for The Child's first day of summer vacation. DARN!

He had said over a week ago that he wanted me to make him French Toast for breakfast for his first official day of summer. I said "No can do!" But as it turned out, he got his wish!

It's too cold and rainy today to be out working in my yard, so I have been plugging away at random housework tasks as the day goes on. The house is nowhere near clean, but looks MUCH better than it did when I woke up this morning!

For motivation, I turned on Pandora Radio. It's fun! Not every song is one I would have chosen, but many are old favourites.

I did some shopping on Overstock.com last weekend and most of my shipment came in. This is the first time that I am really not happy with my purchases and will likely return them. Wow. What was I thinking?

Any way, I now have a camera that works, so I am able to post pictures of my front yard landscape job. I wish I had taken a Before Picture, because it really looked like hell!
Note there is a new rose bush off to the left. There has always been one on the right side of the house and has always looked unbalanced. So now, there are two. Hopefully, they will bloom at different times each year. The original one usually blooms in the fall. The new one was blooming gorgeous yellow roses when I bought it. It has to establish itself yet. We shall see how it fares in its new home.


I created a little walking path so that I can water my potted plants without trampling all of the ground plants. Of course the hyacinth plants were all done blooming and ready to go away by the time I got to start this project, so even though they are all in the ground, they look quite peaked. But next year, it will look quite lovely. I was able to break up the larger bulb groups and spread them among the other plants. I hope I have random blooming plants all through spring, summer and fall.

So there you have it! Now, any hot young Blog Stalkers who worship my blog can simply search my city for this awesome landscaping job and drop by to worship me in person. Um.... yeah. That'll happen.


Tomorrow is the third annual Aurora 5K Walk/Run for Cancer. I love that they always choose a date somewhere around the anniversary of my Father's death. It makes it a bit more meaningful for all of us as we do the walk. Our group is smaller this year, but that's okay. It's not an easy trek.

Sunday is the Art Fair at South Park! Yay! I love that! And the really nice thing about this, is that I was stressing on the dilemma that I should really be making arrangements to go visit my #1 son on Sunday. But I saw him today instead, so all is well..... well..... okay, they could be better, but I can't fix all of his problems. He is a grown man after all.

I swear I have the attention span of a gerbil these days. I need to get back on task! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend as well!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekends just end far too soon!

This was such a nice weekend!
Friday night, I finished up my landscaping, and had a nice relaxing evening.
Saturday morning, my sis and I went to the Farmer's market in the morning where we found a guy who makes metal flowers. I just had to buy four of them for my new landscaping.

Saturday afternoon, The Child and I went shopping. We were both low on summer clothes.

Then, Saturday evening, we went to Gallery Walk. Or was that Pub Walk? We didn't see much art, but it was an adventure! And after that, we went to the home of my sister's friends for a fire.

Yesterday was a fairly lazy day spent beading and doing light housework. And then my friend Rick texted me and said he was really in the mood for whiskey. So he came over for a few cocktails and we watched the movie Christine! I haven't seen that in forever! We topped it off with dinner from Niko's Gyros which is always spectacular.

Alas, it is now Monday. Sigh.

Friday, June 3, 2011

If only my camera worked!

The front yard landscaping is COMPLETED!!!!!!
I just love it!
It took 12 bags of lava rock and 83 bricks and I don't even want to think about how much I spent on plants, but it looks very nice at the moment! My new rose bush is adapting to its new home and flowering once again, as are the clamatis shrubs! YAY!!!!!

Rebooting solves everything!

At work the other day, our computers kept crashing.
I notified Tiff in I.T. that we were having issues, and she said to try re-starting our computers and see if that solves our problems.
I messaged her that Candy was in the process of doing just that, and I will keep her posted.

A moment later, I sent her this message: Re-booting seems to have solved all of Candy's problems! Her hair has never been shinier, she has received an increase in pay, her kids have never been more behaved, and her co-workers are now off fetching her chocolate! I have GOT to TRY this!

So I re-booted as well, and then sent her another message: Rebooting has also solved all of MY problems! Our Troops are on their way home, and Brad Pitt just proposed!

Her response: Yeah, Brad called me too!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! =)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Meanwhile.... out in the front yard...

I am making great progress on the front yard. It really looks nice!
Of course, I didn't buy enough materials to finish the entire job. First, I ran out of sand for beneath the bricks (Thank you, Tania for running for more for me!!!) , and now, I am out of Lava Rock. I need about six more bags.

So, I'm out there, bent over with my ass to the road, and some guy drives by and yells: "Yeah, Baby!" Is it any wonder I don't like spending a great deal of time out in my front yard?

But all of the bricks are laid, and the flowers are planted, and it is really taking shape! Jim would be proud!

Lif is just too crazy to believe sometimes

Had an old friend find me on facebook today. We haven't talked in 25 years. I don't even know how he found me on there since I have no mention of my maiden name whatsoever.

Way back in the day, we used to go to open mic's together and cheer each other on, and occasionally get together and do some writing. My gawd, that feels like an entire lifetime ago.
But today, he found me, and we got to talking, which then turned into a phone call. He said he has been trying to find me for forever because he really wanted me to hear what he has been doing with my songs throughout the years.

It turns out, he did some professional recording in New Orleans some years back with a top notch band who really understood what these songs were meant to be. Holy crap! I am absolutely floored at what they have done with my lyrics. It's flattering to know that someone thought so much of my talent to develop it so thoroughly.

Almost makes me want to get out the recording equipment and start over again... I may be old and chubby, and no one wants to watch an old chubby gal belt out some blues on stage... unless it's Aretha or Bonnie Raitt. But..... I could resume writing and pass on my lyrics on the off chance they land in the right hands and actually make some money. It would be so cool to hear something I wrote playing on the radio some day.

Thank you, Dean! You put a spring in my step today! I needed that!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Like Charlie Sheen, I'm Winning, but for different reasons

Tomorrow is my sister's Birthday, so we went out tonight for dinner and cocktails. It was nice.
But they weren't able to stay for a bonfire after-wards. Bummer. I have a bottle of Strawberry Wine with their names on it.

So.... it was just me in the back yard with a fire.... too nice of a night to let it pass without a fire.
After all, I had the shell of an old wooden planter from our yard in the fire pit ready to torch.

So what do I do when I have a fire in the back yard and it's just me and my lonesome? Well, I talk to Hubby. After all, he did promise me that every time I have a fire in the fire pit he would be there.

So, I talked to him a bit. Sang to him a bit. I sang him some of the original songs I had written just for him. And then I sang some of my favourite songs that we did back in our band days.... which lead to the song Diamonds and Rust. Wow. Joan Baiez was so prolific. And it struck me how timely that song is for me right here right now.

I know I need to move on. I so badly want to move on. Because all memories give me is diamonds and rust. I need to move forward still further and get beyond that.

I'm sick of being alone. It sucks trying to maintain everything. I don't mind being in charge, but, dang! Some things I would rather let anybody else handle.

I have been working on the front yard all this week because I have some brick work coming on Monday. I am SO SICK of weeding and fighting Mother Nature when it comes to my yard. I have NEVER been an outdoors kind of person. I HATE bugs and weeds. And why the hell have they suddenly decided to take over? They never did in years past. Or perhaps Hubby did much more with the yard than I gave him credit? I dunno. I just know that I am an indoors kind of gal and I need to put "Adores Yard-work" on my checklist for a future potential mate.


Today was such a beautiful day. I was in good spirits, and the weather was amazing. And it is lovely having the windows open and hearing St Vinnie's Clock ringing each hour. It brings comfort to me and reminds me of better days. But you know what? It is up to ME to bring my OWN BETTER DAYS right here, right now. I am building a pretty cool life here for me and my boys. We have walked through the ashes and we need to get beyond that and make it all worth it. THAT is why GOD put us on this earth.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Landscaping...

Why do I do this to myself?
I really dislike yard work, landscaping and gardening. And yet I love the flowers.
One of my favourite places is The Healing Garden at work. It is so amazing to see everything bloom, each plant in its own time. It starts out purple, and then goes red, and then blue and then gold as the seasons progress. Gorgeous.

I could only hope to be able to create such an ecosystem. Especially with my lack of knowledge.

But at the moment, I am working toward the goal of not having to weed that vast dirt hump in my front yard. My patio block comes on Monday. So I have much to do to prepare. I need to dig up my Hyacinth plants and hastas and put them in a tub for now, so that they don't get trampled as I work on that area.

I know what I HOPE it will look like when completed. This will be a true test of patience.
I want it done and I want it done NOW. But if I want it to look nice, I need to take my time - an hour each evening, to get it right.

I just wish Mother Nature didn't provide so many bugs and slugs! Yuck!

Why do I do this to myself? Yes, I do know the answer to that. I am finishing one of Hubby's goals. He wanted the front yard to look professionally landscaped. He didn't get the chance to do it. I have the opportunity, and I am taking it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oh, but he has no idea!

My darling child just came home and DEMANDED that I order him Chicken Nuggets and Fries for Dinner from Player's because he is ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that I don't want him to STARVE TO DEATH!

WOW! This, after I had already made dinner for us both earlier, and he turned his nose up to it. I told him that I was not going to make him something different. He made himself a peanut butter sandwich and then left to play with his buddy.

These sort of tactics may work for his buddy when dealing with his buddy's mother. But I have never been the classic dictionary definition of ANYTHING! Why would Motherhood be any different? I don't run on guilt. I run on HUGS!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Anxiety

I have an Anxiety Disorder. I went to my doctor on the last leg of Hubby's Journey to get help. It was all too much for me to try to do it on my own. And here we are, over a year later, and I still feel the need to be on Anxiety Meds. In spite of how far I have come and how strong I have been, there are moments when I still feel like I am just spinning my wheels.

The crazy thing is, I hadn't really given much thought to my own diagnosis in the past year. It was only at my last appointment that I was informed that I suffer from an Anxiety Disorder and Borderline Depression. I find that a bit absurd since never once did I tell my doctor that I suffer from depression. It's 90% anxiety and maybe 5% Depression. Somehow in growing up, I was given the excellent tools to deal with depression and to hold onto all of the beautiful things that come to me in life.

A few months ago, I had it in my mind that maybe it was time to say goodbye to the medication. But then as the date for my checkup neared, all hell broke loose again in my life, and I decided that maybe I ought to just continue for a while. Doctor agrees with me.

Since then, I have been monitoring how I am feeling much more closely. And still, it's not so much depression. But I do still get a LOT of Mini-Anxiety Attacks. I hate it! Mostly because I know that if I discuss it with my doctor, he is going to try to add more drugs to my regimen. And what I want is LESS, not more! And at one point, he did try to add another Depression medication on top of the Anxiety meds I already take. The result? Sweet Baby Jesus! I found myself so deep in depression I couldn't stand myself! Fortunately, I was smart enough to see that it was the medications causing me to feel that way and not ME!!!

Of course, there really is no medication that is going to fully remove all of the anxiety I have. I need to cope with it and try to keep moving forward. Forward is just a really fucked up place at the moment. I am having a difficult time picturing what it needs to be.

I need to get out more. I need to be out amongst my loved ones and have more FUN!!! Life is just too damned serious these days! I need more silly. Bring it on!

Monday, April 25, 2011

No Stress, No Mess!

This is the best Monday I have had in such a long time! I am so glad I am on vacation!
I have a To Do list that I made last week, and I keep adding to it, and keep chipping away at it a little each day. It feels so good to be accomplishing all of the tasks that have been stressing me out for ages.

I finally got out in my yard and cleaned up all the mess and debris from last fall, and hacked up all the dead brush. Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking, and didn't take any allergy meds first.... which lead to an asthma attack from inhaling all that pollen and mildew. Live and learn.

I wish I were more organized. I seem to be taking the ADD approach to cleaning. But I DID get 8 bags of trash filled to put on the curb tonight. I feel good about that!

The Child wants to have a fire tonight. I think I'm gonna burn the brush I chopped up today, as well as last years grape vines.

One mysterious thing I am wondering about, though.... it looks like somebody trimmed down my rose bush. I know that I did not trim it. So who the heck did? That's just odd!

I'm starting to get excited and frustrated about my front yard. I have some really cool ideas on what to do with that big area where the bushes used to be. I don't want it to become over-run with weeds again this year, and I want to lay brick-work over it, and still allow my Hyacinth Plants to sprout through, and have a ton of potted plants out there. I can picture it in my mind. All I need is my tax refund. It can't get here soon enough. I know what I want to do, and I want it done yesterday and not next month! But that's what I get for procrastinating on my taxes....

I had 2 step-stools on my porch that I took out back and stained the same color as the front steps. I want to set those out front as well, and put pots on them. I think that will look rustically cute!

I also started painting my bathroom on Saturday. I had chosen a color for the woodwork way back in December, and had been putting off painting. And now, as I started covering up that ugly green trim that I never really liked, I found that the color I was aiming for and the color I chose are quite different. I was aiming for burgundy, but I bought a berry color instead. But the more I paint, the more I really like the color. It's happy and bold! Hubby would HATE HATE HATE it! It is quite girlie. We are supposed to get some rainy days this week. I will get back to my painting on those days. It was far too nice outside today to spend it locked in a tiny bathroom!

Well, time to get dinner going, and then a fire! Have a great Monday Evening, everyone!

Oh! And Happy Belated Birthday to our "Little" Cracker! He turned one yesterday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Peace

I haven't been posting much lately. I have been too busy trying to bring continued harmony to my own home. I think it's working. The Child is going on 5 full weeks of school with no drama! FIVE WEEKS!!!! That is FANTABULOUS!!!!!

He has come a long way in this past year, given all of the hurdles he has had to climb. I am so proud of him!

My Number One Son has been working through his own obstacles these days as well. I know it will not be an easy road. I know there will be changes we as a family will have to make in support of his health and well-being too. Family Christmas may need to become a dry event at least for this year so that he can know that we are behind him and want him to succeed.

This is going to be a hard one for us to work with. My son has a problem with alcohol. I happen to enjoy getting the occasional chance to consume some myself. And it is not me who has the problem. So why do I feel guilty about wanting to get out and party? It is quite a crux to contend with.

Work has been quite stressful lately. My guts are just rolling by the time I leave that building each day. I love my co-workers, and I love my patients. But the job itself is so non-stop go go go that it batters my energy level into the ground. I hate that. I need all the energy I can get to keep this house going.

I got my taxes filed and sent in on time. That in itself was quite a challenge. Yet another mountain to climb as a widow. I procrastinated this duty way longer than I should have because I just didn't want to face all of the research it took to do it correctly. If you're married, make it a point to die first, because then you won't have to deal with all of this official bullshit. I had to file Married Filing Jointly and then sign on Jim's dotted line as Surviving Spouse. There were other areas I had to research as well, such as funeral deductions, medical expenses, credits and my eligibility.... no easy task. And because I had to actually sign on the dotted line, I couldn't file electronically. Noooo! I had to do it the old fashioned way. Which means I will probably have to wait longer for my refund. But at least I am getting a refund! I won't complain!

I also had to figure Number 1 Son's taxes as he is indisposed at the moment. That was interesting. Hell, if I can get through filing both my own unique tax situation and my oldest Son's tax situation, maybe I ought to consider getting an accounting degree this year and think about doing people's taxes for them for a fee. It would be a great cushion to get us through tough times to come. Something to seriously consider....

I had asked off for Easter vacation some time ago, and to my surprise, I actually was granted 10 luxurious days at home with The Child. I am SO looking forward to that! Even if it is supposed to rain for most of that time, I can get my house back in order, purge more bags of stuff, and paint my bathroom while trying to come up with something fun and interesting to do with The Child. We are also going to get together with Marcia and Jake at least once while on vacation. Marcia and I are twins separated at birth, and it would be very cool if our kids got to know each other better and maybe found that they too are twins separated at birth. Oh what fun we could have taking over the world!

So! Just one more stressful day of work tomorrow. I think I can handle that.

We had a doozie of a snow storm yesterday. I don't know if the National Weather Service named this one, But I took it upon myself to name it. I called it Tom Jones. Everyone kept saying "It's not supposed to snow in April!" But my answer was: "It's Not Unusual!" Ba Dump Dum!

It was a beautiful storm in spite of its timing. I hope my Hyacinth plants recover. I haven't gotten to smell their heavenly scent yet! This storm, as most everything else, reminded me of Hubby. I was telling Billy on the bus the other day that Prince wrote a song that suits this snow storm......

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mental Health Day

I deserve it. This has been the week from hell.
Tuesday, The anniversary of Hubby's passing was spent caring for my oldest son. Friends and family helped to make the day much better as it went along.

Wednesday I was too tired to accomplish much or even feel much for that matter. And #1 Son had finally set his mind to checking himself into a treatment center. I truly hope they are good at their job and are able to make him see that no one is going to fix things for him. He has a lot of work ahead of him, but he can do it if he sets his mind to it.

Thursday, I got to visit with my beautiful Grandson.

Friday, April Fools Day, is the anniversary of Hubby's funeral service. And it is also the day I received message that Hubby's Aunt had passed away.
The Child was supposed to have a sleep over last night, and I was SO hoping he would do that, because I really could have used a night out on the town. But, alas, it was not meant to be.

So today, I went to the video store and I rented two movies.
Knocked Up had me laughing out loud through most of it. It was a well-written story, and the actors were amazing! And, of course, I needed the tissues after that.

Sadly, after the week I have had, once I started crying, it was difficult to stop. I needed that.

Movie number two, which I watched this evening was The Notebook. Oh yeah. Now THAT was a tear- jerker if I ever saw one!

It is therapeutic for me. It allows my mind to contemplate all of the things that I just keep pushing to the back of my mind, and work out how I really feel about everything.

Thing is, #1 Son checked himself in this week saying it is a 90 day program, and for the first 30 days, there would be no contact with the outside world. Lo and behold, I received a phone call from him Friday informing me that Sunday is visitor day and could I come bringing him a list of stuff he needs? What the hell? I had plans for Sunday!!!!!!!! Visiting hours are right at the time I planned to go grocery shopping! And I don't drive! So figuring out how to get to Fond du Lac posed yet another challenge, especially on such short notice.

I want to give him moral support during this important step in his life, but I am running out of ME to share!!!! I am tired of having to be at the ready for all the added bullshit that comes flying in my direction. I personally live a low-key simple life, and I LOVE it that way!!!! If people would let it STAY that way, I could accomplish more, and would be able to heal much faster! When too much crap comes flying my way, I tend to shut down. That doesn't help me either.

And truth be told, I have a lot of hurt and anger inside of me toward #1 Son. No son should EVER treat their mother the way he has in this past year, and especially in these past few months. And I know it is addiction I have been seeing. But Still, I have my guard up. WAY up. It is going to take a LOT to mend this rift he has caused. He has lost my trust. And that is not an easy thing to earn back, parent or no parent.

So, yes! I NEEDED this day of purging and thinking and reflecting. I will be a stronger person tomorrow for it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Miles and Miles before I sleep

We have reached a milestone today. It has been one year since Hubby left us for the great beyond. And what a year it has been. I have accomplished so much and yet so little.
As Bruce Springsteen puts it, "One Step Up and Two Steps Back".

I'm not the same person I was a year ago. I do know that. I see things much differently now.
I am very blessed to have so many wonderful loved ones willing to help out or even just listen to me as I purge my angst. But ultimately, all decisions rest on my shoulders. That has been the most difficult part. I didn't choose to be a single parent. I didn't choose this path. I LOVED being married. I loved having a partner to help face all of the challenges that life brings. And now, I face it alone.

Someday I may find someone new to walk this road with. But prospects are slim, and I've much work to accomplish before that time. It has only been recently that I have the heart to start weeding through things and truly start purging. I would love to get out of this house and start fresh somewhere. But I cannot do that with so much stuff. I need to lighten the load considerably, both physically and mentally.

I talk to Hubby often. I know he is listening. He does leave me signs now and again to let me know that he is watching over us. That is a great comfort.

I have the day off work today. This was supposed to be a "Me" day. But, alas, I have others to care for instead. What's a gal to do? This is life.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Progress!

A week ago, I went on a tryrade about dieting. I have been at this since Early February and haven't dropped much since the second week. So this past week, I have been naughty. I stopped being so strict with myself. If I want a Pepsi, I have a little Pepsi. If someone brings in a yummy treat to work, I'm gonna freaking have that yummy treat!

Well, guess what!? I am FINALLY down 11 pounds instead of that previously noted nine pounds!
Go ME!!!!

Of course, I don't go overboard. And if I DO have something naughty, that means I will be having just a salad for dinner. But you know what? As tired of saladsas I am, a salad feels better when I know I am inching my way to a milestone. And I like that!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

An What of That Goal of Being Positive in 2011?

My dear friend Myke Miller turned me on to Sass Jordan many years ago, and it has become a beautiful thing to watch her musical journey through the years.

I stumbled upon this song the other day....


It suits my feelings about my own life these days, but it also suits #1 Son's journey as well.
I hope some day he gets his feet back on the ground.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I'm done

In this past month, I have witnessed my oldest son hit rock bottom. He has lost everything.
And still he fails to realize that he is his own worse enemy. Or rather ALCOHOL is his worser enemy.

His drinking has caused him to lose his family, his drivers license, his truck, his home, his job. It has caused him to steal from his own mother. And still he feels he isn't ready to check himself in and get the help he needs.

I have a ten year old boy here in my home who is a handful all by himself. We are still on a journey of healing and working through our grief in losing my husband a year ago this month.

I do not need the extra added drama, lies, lip service and financial burden that my oldest son brings with him. I will not have him laying around on my couch all day feeling sorry for himself. I just won't do it! I'm not helping him by doing so.

And I can talk until I am blue in the face, but he never hears a word I have to say. He just nods and agrees because it may buy him more time to lay around and feel sorry for himself.
He's not going to get help until he finally sees that getting that help is the only real solution.

Will I stop worrying about him until he reaches that point? Of course I will! I want the world for my son! I want him to succeed in life! I want him to get it together and be the best he can possibly be! I don't want to find his body under a bridge or in a horrible car wreck. I don't want him to end up as a vegetable for the rest of his life because of some poor choice he makes while drinking.

But I also know that he can be a violent person when he is drinking. And I know that I cannot afford to expose my younger son to that. The poor kid has enough to deal with. Alcoholism makes the entire family sick. Not just the drinker.

We all have a breaking point. And I am reaching mine. I feel like I am being held hostage by all of the drama that surrounds my oldest son. I love my grandson. He is such a beautiful little boy. And I want my son to be able to appreciate fatherhood. I want him to be there for Liam, and he can only do that if he is sober for life. He needs to understand that. And until he does, I don't know what else I can do.

My heart is breaking. I have too much pain and sorrow in my life already. I just can't bear the intensity of the heartbreak I feel watching a young man savetage everything that means anything to him.

This isn't tough love. We just need to do this. Just when the young child and I start moving forward, more drama gets poured onto our lives and drags us two steps back. We can't afford to be dragged two steps back every few months. We need to get to where we need to be. We need peace and sanity. To word it better, with all that we have endured these past few years, we DESERVE the opportunity to move forward with peace and sanity!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Parenting

The Child sent me a text while I was at work asking if he can go to his friend's house.
My response was "No. You are grounded.
Moments later, his next text says "Please can I go?"
My response: "No. You are grounded."
His next response surprised me: "What can I do to make you say yes?"
I thought about it for a minute and answered back "Build a time machine and travel back to last week and tell yourself to be really really good or he will be grounded."
His response: "I was thinking more like do homework."
My response: "Well, that is a good idea. Math will help you with Quantum Physics, and you need to be a very good speller if you travel into the past."
His response: "Time travel is not real."

I am crestfallen!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Finally Friday!

I am keeping my promise to myself.
I allow myself one sinful meal each week, and today, that was at lunch. I had Fish and Chips.
The chips were much more yummy than the Cod Nuggets.
But they also had Mini Taco's in the lunch room today. I ADORE Mini Taco's!

So because I allowed myself to enjoy that fabulously high fat meal, tonight, I worked out to not one, but 2 of my DVD's. I kick ass!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Progress Report

Stepped on the scale today. Down Nine Pounds!!!! YES!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pounds of Steele

So I ordered the "Of Steele" DVD set because of all of the videos that I have tried to exercise to throughout the years, these seem to be the less dangerous of them all. Why? Because Leisa Hart is always mindful of how easy it is to pull just the wrong muscle, discouraging the would-be exerciser for life.

Of course, I am too chubby and out of shape to be able to do every single exercise they show me (and she is always saying "Be mindful of your exercise level, don't over-do it"), but what I AM able to do will be most helpful. As with any and every exercise video, I feel a bit dorky and lacking in grace trying to do a lot of the moves. I never took ballet when I was a kid, and she incorporates a lot of ballet and yoga into her routines. But the good thing is there are no sudden jerky movements that shift all of your weight onto your core or hips, and she is continually pointing out that you don't want to strain your knees, hips or joints. You always want to try to counter-balance the stress. I like that! And the bonus is that I am strengthening my lower back with all of these routines. My back has been so unpredictable these days, and I know I really need to start working those muscles more.

I know I am going to be sore tomorrow after tonight's work out (Legs of Steele). I was a little sore after last night's work out (Abs of Steele). But it was nothing that I couldn't shake off if I kept moving. I have a long way to go, but at least I have a start!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dream Pockets

I had a dream this morning.
Jim and I were in some public place, standing at a counter and I was drawing something very important. I was almost done with the drawing when someone interrupted me, crowding in to use the counter we were using, so I asked Jim to hold on to the drawing for a moment while I collected up all my drawing pencils so we could move to another area of the counter.

I then asked him for the drawing so that I could finish it, and he gave me that "Oh Crap" look and started digging in his inside coat pocket for it, and was unable to fish it out easily.

I started yelling at him" "You folded it and put it in your pocket? How could you do that!?" I was extremely angry at him and really started berating him (which is odd because I never did that in life!).

I grabbed his lapel and started digging through his inner pocket, rummaging for the drawing, and found that there was so much stuff in his pocket that it was difficult to find it. The pocket seemed to be endless and loaded full of objects.

"What the hell is all of this stuff anyway?" I asked him in anger.

"It's everything you ever asked me to hold for you."

Maybe that's why I was so bitchy towards him. My heart was also in his pocket.
Needless to say, I woke up crying. Damn it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Quick Thinking

The other day I walked through the house, avoiding lego bits and yelled at The Child.
"Pick up all these legos! A person can't even walk through the house without stepping on legos!"
So The Child starts collecting up all the lego bits, and when he is almost done, he yells "And by the way, a person COULD walk through the house without stepping on legos unless they were blind or something!"
My response: "Well maybe I invited some blind people over for dinner tonight!"

I RULE!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

POSITIVE Videos of the day

I was surfing Youtube last night and found some good ones.

I have been a fan of Paolo Nutini for a few years now, but never actually saw what he looked like. He is a CUTIE! And he's from Paisley, Scotland! Talk to me, baby! =)



Just listen to that accent!



And then I stumbled onto a Michael Buble video. I love his classic stuff, and this is a bit of a break-out tune for him. VERY sweet! (Embedding disabled, sorry!)
I Just Haven't Met You Yet

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Where is that New Year Positivity?

I would be a fool to think that this new year would sneak by without any challenges.
The Child is in the Dog House once again, and fails to understand just how disappointed I am in his actions. I have continually fought for his rights and defended his actions over and over, only to have him go to school yesterday and put a kid in a headlock - which earned him yet another suspension. Nice slap in the face for Mommy. Grrrrr!

Of course this drama comes on a weekend where I am already feeling a bit fragile. Valentines Day is Monday. Valentines Day last year had to be the hardest ever. I spent an hour at the card store looking through cards and trying not to burst into tears. There were so many cards saying "I want to spend the rest of my life with you" and "The future will be even better than today" and I just couldn't bring myself to burden Jim with emotion with all that he was going through. So I opted for funny instead. Although by the time I got to the humour section, my sense of humour was long gone.

I try not to dwell on such things too much. If I did, I would go crazy.

For now, I am nursing a cold, and not accomplishing much around Kuhrsville. Although I did get my shower caulked today. THAT is an accomplishment! The dishes can wait.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Conversation with my oldest son

We were at the grocery store the other night and I saw "Mom's Meatloaf" for sale and suggested we each get one and see how it is.
Well, there was NO LOVE in that meatloaf. No one from MY FAMILY made that crap! It was like a brick of unknown meat substance!

Son: So I made that meatloaf last night. Not good.
Me: Yes, it was quite disgusting!
Son: Yeah! And what's worse is that I can feel it working through to my colon. Can't even describe that feeling!
Me: It's like.... smuggling a cell phone into a prison!
Son: EXACTLY!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I do love cats, but.....

Yes, I am back on the Diet Wagon. I figure I have allowed myself enough time with comfort food and stress eating. It is time to get back to where I ought to be. And although it is only week one, I am kicking ass! 3 pounds so far. I know I have a long way to go, since I am at my all time heaviest. I have earned every pound, though. And I will also earn every pound lost as well.

Today, I saw a lady with a sweater on and it reminded me why I wear either prints or solids.... no scenes or critters. Why? Well, the bottom of this lady's sweater was lounging cats. And although it was a cute sweater, her butt was round enough to fit eight lounging full size cat images around it. EIGHT! Not for me, people!

So wish me luck. I would like to get back to a healthy size 10 again. I have done it before, and I know that I can get there again. I am motivated. I WILL get healthy again. I just can't wait for the snow to melt so that I can start walking outside again. I need that. I will surely miss my walking partner Marty this time, but I know if I talk to him as I walk, he will be listening.

This has been a difficult week for me, emotion-wise. Just when I think I am doing well, I will see something that will make me think of Hubby, and WHAM! I am right back to where we were a year ago. I don't want to go back to that moment in time. I want to remember Hubby as a healthy, wonderful person that I loved to be around. I really hate that our journey lead us down the path it did.

I had a dream last night that it was spring, and my Dad was outside with a friend and was suddenly stung by a bee. He and his friend were discussing what the proper cure for bee stings were, and they headed for my house. Dad said "Let's ask Miss Computer Genius to look up the answer." Such an odd dream! But the wonderful thing was, bee sting aside, he looked wonderful and healthy. So if I am able to get beyond the image of my father in his last days, then hopefully in a few years I will be able to get beyond picturing Hubby in his last days as well and remember him the way I want to.

So that's what is new around Kuhrsville this week. How is your week going?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Join the Movement!

There MUST be a cure!
It is a terrible affliction that happens to all of us at least once a year. Some may even be completely unaware that they have been crippled with this affliction.
We call it Hanger Nipples. Those awful bumps that appear when that beloved sweater has spent more time on a hanger than on your body.

We must fight to end this disease. Don't wait another moment. Join forces to find a cure today. Because nothing says "Loser" more loudly than ridiculous bumps - especially on that beloved Cosby Sweater that you have kept fresh and sassy for so many years.

Please. Spread the word. Re-post this on your blog. Put it up as your facebook status.
Do everything within your power to help stamp out sweater nipples for good!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Utensils

The #1 son was over for dinner last night.
We were all loading up our plates when I realized that I had forgotten to get us each a knife to cut our pork chops.

#1 son said "Yeah, it would be kinda hard to cut up pork chops with just a fork."

Me: "Well, if we could, then they'd be called Fork Chops, now wouldn't they?"

=)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Always thinking

Drats! I finally took the time to look through my latest issue of Traditional Home Magazine.
I really love this magazine because they have such fresh ideas and color schemes that really appeal to my brain.

But then I came across a La-Z-Boy ad that I hadn't seen before:

And the colors all match my living room so well! Normally, I absolutely LOATHE floral fabric of any kind, but I really think these chairs would pop in my Lime Green Living Room.

In the magazine, the sofa looks much more orange than it does on the internet ad. And I am sure I have mentioned that I will forever be pining for that 1962 Orange Sofa that I had years back. I really LOVED that retro sofa. And it was made when I was made! It was so cool! But I parted with it for noble reasons, so I know I shouldn't complain too loudly. But the shape of this sofa echoes the clean squarish lines of that 1962 sofa.

No, I am not going to use my tax refund to buy all new living room furniture. Even though the furniture I have is only 4 years old and already looks like it has been through a war .... come to think of it, my furniture HAS seen much more wear and tear than the average family's would. But I chose it for the good bones, and not so much for the cheap fabric. I chose it because I know I can get some mileage out of this furniture. It will be very easy to re-upholster. And I am thinking a nice Coffee Brown to go against the Lime Green. With multiple shades of orange and purple pillows. Does that sound crazy and loud to you? To me, it just screams SEXY!!!

But, alas, my attention span isn't what it used to be. So I will ponder this for a spell. If it sticks in my mind, then I will certainly do it. But if not, then it wasn't meant to be.

For now, I am just thrilled to know that my shower is no longer leaking. It has grown increasingly worse through these past few years. And thanks to my Sis-in-Law Tania and her trusty Housemate Bill, and less than $20 worth of parts, it is dry and happy again! I can feel the savings accumulating by the day! Can you believe it? I am actually looking forward to seeing my next water bill!

I have also spent a great deal of my weekend watching some good shows on A&E.com. I started with Hoarders, and went on to Storage Wars, and then to American Pickers, and it has motivated me to start eliminating the needless things, and pricing up the oddities that I have sitting around. I think come this spring, I will be ready to actually hold a rummage sale and part with a great deal of things. I know some of it will be difficult to haggle over and part with. And there are, of course, many things that I must hang on to. But I do know the difference between sentimental attachment and things that are just infringing on our lifestyle. We're getting there one step at a time.

And speaking of one step at a time, The Child made a monumental step last night! He actually slept over at his friend's house! I know to many that may sound silly, but this kid has been attached to my hip for years now and suffers from a form of separation anxiety. And to actually agree to sleep at a friend's house is a giant leap forward! He is making such wonderful progress these past few months. He has been more helpful around the house, and not complaining about the additional duties that I have assigned to him. He is adapting well to a life of change, and I am so glad to see that because although I have a vision of where I want to be, and I know what steps it takes to get there, we always run into curves and detours along the way. It is a comfort to know that The Child is able to just go with it! Me? Not always so much!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I guess I'm not The Big Lebowski

I'm a substitute bowler. Last night, I rolled with my sister's team.
My average was 69. LMAO!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Sky is Indeed Falling!

What the Heck?
It seems like everyone around me is enduring a major crisis at the moment!
Just what is going on? Did God forget to turn on his Turbulence Subsiding Machine?
Hang in there, my loved ones!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Heart is So Heavy

A friend of mine lost her husband nearly six months after I lost mine.
We have both been walking this long dark road, trying so hard to hold on to the good things and to not let the bad things break us in half.

It is a maddening road, this journey. If you've never walked it, you could never understand.
We are forced to try and remain strong, because that is all that is left to us aside from the memories left behind.

There are so many days when it would be so easy to just give up and let everything crumble around us. Some days we feel "What's the use? We climb and we climb and we climb, only to have the rug pulled out from under us." But then, along comes a good day, or a good moment, or a good person, and suddenly, we're back on track again.

I am just SO BLESSED to have such a supportive family and the most beautiful and loving friends a person could ever ask for. And it just breaks my heart to see my friend, this kindered spirit, going through such unnecessary pain and frustration simply because things have become blown out of proportion.

Neither of us had perfect husbands. They were human as the day is long, with faults and irritations and shortcomings. But they both had such a great love for life, and a great love for US. It made up for all of the bad stuff.

To see a family stoning this wonderful woman is just heartbreaking. They fail to see that she doesn't want - NEVER wanted your pity. But she DOES want - even NEEDS the support of family to continue walking this road.

Like our husbands, we too are imperfect. We're going to make mistakes on this journey that you will not always approve of or understand. Why? Because when you have lost the one person that you confide in when making all decisions, the choices get a little fuzzy sometimes. And even though you would be more than willing to be there and talk things through and help them make the decision that you feel is the right one, well, it may not be the right one for us. You see, that isn't the kind of support we need. The kind of support we really need is for you to help us make new memories to make life worth living.

And as we try to move forward in our lives, we are going to move on and there will be other men in our lives. Will they ever be as wonderful as our husbands? That is quite doubtful, but we can always hope.

One of the hardest slaps in the face that I have felt in these past ten months is hearing the words in a movie or in a book, or at a wedding "Till death do you part." Because it doesn't end when one of us dies. There is still a journey, and we are left trying to meld past present and future together to make it all worthwhile.

Don't be so quick to judge unless you've walked in our shoes. We are both dealing with very different issues, but many are similar. And I can't stand by and watch a family that can be so beautiful and strong and loving simply turn on a person who is hurting. I know you all are hurting too. I've never lost a sibling. And I pray that I won't see that day for some time to come. And I know it will tear me apart. I HAVE lost both of my parents, and I know that is a very tough journey as well. But to lose a spouse is an entirely different animal. It breaks you in ways you never thought possible.

So please! Stop the hating and the judging. You all have a lot of love in your hearts. Love isn't like a light switch. You can't just flip it from love to hate. You need to be patient. Because even though this is the worst journey ever, we will come out of it stronger and more reflective and more compassionate in the future. We just have to get through this tunnel of grief first.

Lets all move forward and feel good about all of the blessings we have. Anger won't get us anywhere. But love and hope will take us to the moon and beyond.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pardon my poor grammar....

The day started out with a small success, but it's been all down hill since that moment.
I want to scream to the heavens and rip my hair out right now.

The one person I could always talk things over with that I could always count on a good perspective from has been taken from me.

I no longer like this day. Go away, Day!