Tuesday, November 30, 2010
~ There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it.
~ It is a simple task to make things complex, but a complex task to make them simple.
No, you can't have two days off with two days' notice.
Yes, if you're sick, you can have time off to go to the doctor.
Yes, I will require a doctor's note if you want to be paid for it.
Yes, you have to follow the rules laid out by the Department of Transportation.
No, I don't have the authority to tell you you can ignore the rules laid out by the Department of Transportation.
Yes, if you continue to play games I will adjust your schedule so that you are only transporting the least critical orders .
Yes, that will probably result in your loss of approximately 30 hours per week.
Yes, I will hire someone to be waiting in the wings just in case you find other employment.
Yes, I will terminate your employment if you continue to make my job more difficult than it needs to be.
Any additional questions?
Monday, November 29, 2010
Kindness begets kindness.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I get why people find solace, comfort, in religion. Especially the Latter-Day Saints; I mean, the promise of joining up with your Mom and Dad and brothers and sisters and grandparents and your husband and your babies too!, to live happily ever after with a loving Heavenly Father? Heck yeah! I want that!
I wanted so desperately to believe the Church was true, to have that promise of Salvation, to know that no matter what, I'd see those people I love most even after they were lost from me in this world. I wanted to bask in that warm glowy feeling I had when I prayed with the missionaries. I wanted that security, that promise.
The problem is, I don't believe Joseph Smith was a Prophet. I don't believe his first vision story, either version. I don't believe an angel stood over him with a sword of fire and threatened to kill him if he didn't take a second wife, just as I don't believe he was acting in accordance with God's Will when he later married a 14 year old girl, just like I don't believe God told him to marry women who were already married to other men.
If I can't believe in Joseph Smith, the Church, for me, can't be true. And the Celestial Kingdom, where I could live for time and all eternity with Heavenly Father and my family...well, it can't be true, either, can it?
But there's got to be something more. The Christianity thing, as a whole, doesn't really jive for me. So much killing and horribleness and nastiness, all in the name of a loving God? Nope. Not really my cup of tea.
Buddhism is more my speed. Treat others kindly because that's the right thing to do. Don't hurt anyone, anything, any place. Give generously of yourself and the things you are blessed to have at your disposal. Try to live without attachment; to things, to memories, to expectations. Live for today, and do the best you can to be the best person you can be and try to do right by everyone you touch every day.
Plus, when was the last time a Buddhist got snooty over some chick wearing pants to church?
I like the idea of an eternal spirit, too; one that grows and learns with each incarnation, each new plane of existence. I wish there was some promise, some way I could know for sure that I'll get to meet up with the spirits I love most in this incarnation...I console myself with the fact that whatever will be, will be. I'll live my every day as best I can; I'll love my hardest, I'll give what I'm able, I'll help where I can. I'll cherish every day I've got here, and I'll not worry about what comes next.
And then, when I'm 98 years old, nearly blind, mostly deaf, without much of an appetite, with a brood of much-loved great-grandbabies and BFFs surrounding me, I'll start to get nervous about the end and I'll convert. Just to be safe.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
~ Baked two frozen pies (one pumpkin, one pecan)
~ Made a coconut cream pie, from scratch, for my Momma's birthday tomorrow
~ prepped and started the fresh green beans and the wassail
~ Got the turkey fire going and turned the brined bird into a beautiful golden dinner
~ Cut and prepped the taters for roastin'
~ prepped the cornbread dressing
All of that, plus keeping the kitchen manageable, getting the floor swept and semi-mopped, hanging an 8' rod above the windows in the dining room for the hanging plants...
We're exhausted already.
I'm having a beer and a blog before I go shower and get myself pretty.
And now company is here early. So much for the showering.
Friday, November 26, 2010
We're hosting a meal for our BFFs tomorrow - a brined and smoked turkey, my Momma's cornbread dressing, roasted potatoes, fresh green beans, cranberry-orange gelatin, pumpkin and pecan pies, Hawaiian rolls. I love having people over. I love having a house full of good smells and laughter and happiness and our favorite people. I'm not crazy about the clean-up before/after any gathering, but that's why God made dishwashers and boyfriends, right?
I missed Brother yesterday. I kept thinking about him, wondering what he'd had to eat, knowing he wasn't having seconds or thirds or watching The Godfather with Daddy or playing LRC with Momma and Pam and Sheila and the kids. Kristin asked about him a few times. Momma told Sheila the truth about where he was spending his holiday. She found out that if he's not able to get shock probation next month, he's not eligible for parole until April 2011. Mom handled it well not having her baby home on Thanksgiving; I don't think she'd manage Christmas quite as easily, certainly not without tears. I'm torn between wanting him to come home (for Momma, for his comfort) and wanting them to make sure to keep him long enough to convince him that he never wants to go back there again. I don't want anything bad to happen to him, but I want it to sink in with him that the shit he's been doing is no way to live, and that prison or death are very real options if he doesn't make some serious changes in his life.
Meanwhile, Jimi's preparing the brine, Jason's on his way over, I'm doing laundry. Life goes on.
Jimi and I shopped earlier; Kroger was the only plan, and it was easy. Black Friday apparently doesn't apply to grocery stores. Well, at least not at noon. As we were loading our foods into the trunk, Jimi said we needed to go to Wal-Mart so he could get some hardwood for the smoker tomorrow. Wal-Mart, he said. On Black Friday. Of course, my reaction was O FUCK NO. But we went anyhow, and it wasn't really bad, either. There were not-too-far parking spaces, and the aisles weren't as full as I'd expected. It wasn't as bad as a typical shopping trip there on a Saturday afternoon, in fact. The huge gaylord boxes full of holiday special sale items created more of a traffic hassle than the shoppers. I was surprised and pleased.
I was chatting with my internet British friend, and he was bitching about all the hullabaloo surrounding the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Apparently it's all royal wedding all the time on his side of the pond and he's sick of it. Guess he wouldn't be interested in knowing that my parents also married on April 29th, eh? :)
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Thanksgiving day at my Momma's house, then the Sunday after at Acton, at Grandma Edwards' celebration. Maxine was there with her guitar; Maxine played while Granny sang "I'll Fly Away". I sang with her.
I saw "O Brother Where Art Thou" a few months after Granny died. My ex-husband and I bought the soundtrack; "I'll Fly Away" always brought me back to that day in that church meeting hall, singing the song with my Granny that I grew up listening to her sing.
I had no idea that day would be the last time I'd hug her, kiss her cheek, feel her hand in mine. I didn't know it would be the last time I'd hear her sing. I didn't know it would be the last time we'd have a face-to-face conversation; I don't remember a thing we talked about that day.
I remember talking to her when we knew she was dying. I asked her if she was afraid. She wasn't. I was.
Thanksgiving isn't the same without her. It's still full of good food, loving family, laughter, singing, smiles, happiness.
But it's not like it was when Granny was here.
Everything. I'm thankful for everything. I have so much, so many blessings, so much fortune. And I'm thankful for it all.
We're having Christmas dinner here; Jimi's family and mine. I'm so happy that we're going to make this happen finally.
I love this time of year. I love the magic in it, the hope, the happiness, the love, the optimism, the good will, the generosity, the kindness. And it gives me hope for the next year; a chance to get excited about what 2011 could bring. A baby for Stacy, I hope? Maybe one for me, too?
Tis the season, yo. Anything could happen.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The last few days have, collectively, made up one of the happiest Thanksgivings in memory.
Wednesday after work, we began rearranging furniture. Nix the dining room that wasn't a functional use of space, turning it into a "theater" - or, more commonly, the room with the TV. The former living room became the "library" - the room with the bookcases, big comfy chairs to curl up in, the art box, the tree. It's a great room for hanging out with friends, when you want to sit around and talk. It was a lot more work than I think either of us had planned on (the feet on the couch had to be removed to get it through the doorway from the library to the theater), but it was completely worth it.
Thursday morning came a little too early for my liking, and I was slow at getting the day started. (I suppose i probably shouldn't have drank that whole 1.5 L bottle of Jew wine the night before.) I finally managed a shower and dressing, and we were off to a day of feast and family. Jimi's Uncle Joe is a sweet old man, with a shock of white hair and a vocabulary that was at least partially formed by his Navy days. His daughter, Laura Jo, is one of Jimi's dearest relatives, and with her warm, welcoming personality, I can see why. We bonded over our mutual dislike of peas. :) Laura Jo's son is just a few years younger than I, and had a great story about recently being kicked out of Canada (not really - he just isn't allowed into the country until 2016). He seemed genuinely interested in my descriptions of the different people I'd encountered in the different cities I'd lived; people-watching is a passion of his. We visited with them for a few hours after dinner, and then it was off to my family gathering. This year it was the same delicious food, followed by our own version of The Newlywed Game, Wii bowling, and plenty of adult beverages.
And I wrote differently back then, didn't I? It sounds like a different voice.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
If you're wondering about my brother, he's in jail. I don't know how long he's going to be there, but he won't be at Thanksgiving dinner this week. When you ask my mom where he is, she's going to say, "He's at a friends house" or "he eating somewhere else" or "I don't think he's going to make an appearance today". She won't say "he's in jail". He's embarrassed. She's embarrassed. It's all a vicious cycle.
He's had problems for years, and he's never been able to handle them well, and a lot of his bad choices are starting to catch up with him. Sometimes, I think he's a really bad person. When he's fucked up, which is just about all the time, he is a bad person. I try to remind myself that it's the drugs; it's not my brother that steals and lies and cheats. But I have a hard time liking him when I spend too much time thinking about the things he's done.
And my parents. Oh my goodness, my poor parents. They've given every ounce of everything they have to try to help him. They've paid for therapy and attorneys and rehab...and still, here we are; there he is. Their hearts have been broken so many times I sometimes wonder if they'll ever fully recover from the damage the last 5 years have done. Momma is so sad. Daddy is heartbroken. I know they're doing what I do; they're picturing that adorable little redhead that strummed an invisible guitar and tapped his little foot every time someone started singing "doo doo doo doo doodle doo doo, dooo doo dooodle doodle doodle doodle doo!". They're wondering how that little boy became this "man" who can't tell the truth and would prefer to take what you've got rather than ask you for it. This "man" with a drug habit to support.
How did we get here? I don't know, and at this point, it doesn't matter. Reality is catching up with my little brother, and my parents, my mother especially, are afraid the world is going to point a big fat accusatory finger at them and scream YOU DID THIS!!! YOU FUCKED UP!!!
If you see my mom, don't ask about my brother. If you must ask about him to be polite, accept her explanation with the comfort of knowing she's carefully considered her answer to make sure she's not lying to you, even if she's not exactly telling the truth.
Don't blame her; this is not her fault. Don't blame my dad; he didn't cause this either. They both have been nothing more than loving and supportive, and everything they've done has been only with the intention of helping my brother become a man, a good person, a productive member of society. If that hasn't happened yet, it's not due to lack of effort on their part.
Don't badmouth my brother. Yes, this is his fault, but you pointing it out isn't going to make it any easier on anyone, and it'll hurt my parents even more.
Let's just not talk about him, okay? Let them get through this with minimal trauma; it's pretty fucking traumatic without having to rehash it all with everyone, you know?
Sunday, November 21, 2010
...a good time to watch a bunch of documentaries from Netflix.
...a good day to quit cigarettes.
...the right time to do some laundry.
...a day made for baking.
...bathtime for Finn-dog.
...happy. Love. Bliss.
...a good day.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Jimi and I had Mexican food for breakfast at almost 1 o'clock this afternoon, then spent over an hour wandering around Sam's Club for important items like toilet paper and part of Stacy's birthday gift. (And cranberry orange goat cheese. Holy smokes, i can't wait to try that!) We got home and cleaned part of our nasty house, including vacuuming the bedrooms, which required emptying the canister no fewer than 3 times per room because of all the freakin' pet hair that was hiding the carpet. His brother will be here shortly, and Indian food is on the agenda for dinner. Exciting Saturday, eh?
We cancelled the Blockbuster subscription earlier this week and switched to Netflix. Half the price, and with our Blu-ray player, we can watch movies instantly. This should dramatically cut down on those mystery discs that show up weeks after I've put on a good drunk and spent my evening throwing random shit into the queue; now I'll be able to watch the weird stuff right away, when I'm in the mood for it and have some idea of why I want to watch it. Win!
Friday, November 19, 2010
Let's talk about you.
Who are you?
Where do you live?
How old are you?
Do you have children? A spouse or partner?
What's your job?
What's been the best part of your week so far?
If you had to pick just one thing about you that you'd want everyone to know, what would it be?
Humor me, would ya? If you've got the time, drop me a little note. Comments make me happy.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
But maybe that's not completely true. I read blogs written by gay Mormon men (MoHo's - who doesn't want to read a blog written by someone who describes themselves as a "MoHo"?!). I read blogs written by women whose husbands are in the military, deployed overseas, and several written by women whose husbands were injured overseas or killed in action. I read blogs written by people who have left the Mormon church; I read blogs written by people who adore the Mormon church.
But the blogs I read most often, the ones I'm the most invested in, the ones I log onto the internet to check if there's been an update posted - those are mostly written by moms, pregnant women, and infertile women trying to get pregnant.
And I realized last night that at least 5 of the blogs I'm following right now are written by women who found out they're expecting right about the same time I found out I was expecting. Except I'm not expecting anymore and they still are. And watching their progress? It kinda sucks. It sorta hurts my heart.
I hate their baby tickers. I hate their "bump" pics.
I keep reading though, because I'm invested and I'm fascinated and I want to see what stories they tell next. I try not to imagine myself in their shoes when they talk about moving out of the first trimester, ultrasounds, listening to heartbeats. I try to skip the posts that are ALL PREGNANCY, ALL THE TIME.
Last night, a mommy-blogger that I read posted something along the lines of "Can it be my turn, universe?" She wants to have another baby; she feels like she's surrounded by babies. She says the next step is to see a doctor, but she's afraid that taking that step will lead her down a path she's not emotionally ready for...hold on, I'm just going to copy the exact text...
"As I discussed my feelings today, I realised that the next step is to see a doctor. But I can't bring myself to take that step. It is an enormous step to take. A step that will take me down a path that I am not sure I am emotionally ready for. So I sit and wait in having-a-baby limbo land. Waiting for my miracle."
This is exactly why I'm afraid to "try". If we're just going along, doing our thing, and we happen to make a baby...AWESOME!!! I can even handle going so far as to try to make sure we're "doing our thing" on certain days of the month to hopefully increase our chances of making a baby. But you start talking about body temperatures and charting and ovulation kits...oh hell, I can't take it. And what if I did do all that, and we still weren't able to make a baby? Doctors visits and needles and pills and tests and...it's too much. Too much. My delicate psyche can't handle the pressure and stress.
Mostly, I can't even allow myself to try to picture a world where someone tells me I'll never have a baby of my own on my own. I know a couple of things to be fact: adoption isn't an option for us; in vitro and all those other invasive medical miracles they can do to make babies other than the old fashioned way - those also aren't an option for us. So instead of seeing a doctor and being told that to have a child we'll have to do something more than just "it", I'd rather pretend we're still up in the air about whether or not an addition to our family is something we REALLY desire and then pretend that it's no big deal if it doesn't happen.
Only I'll know that my heart would be broken.
So yeah, maybe it's a little fucked up that I spend minutes of my day reading pregnancy posts and mommy talk and tales of infertility struggles. But we're only just to the point where we can start trying to get pregnant after the miscarriage; if we're not successful, my blog watch list may find itself trimmed in the best interest of my emotional well-being.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Stacy introduced me to Ben Harper in 2001, and a love affair was begun. Through the craziest periods of my life - the courtship with my ex-husband, my marriage, my loneliness during my marriage, my divorce, my return to Kentucky, the emergence of my new life - his music has been my soundtrack. It can't be coincidence that I found this song on Jimi's laptop one of those first nights at his apartment; it has to be something more than chance that this song, one I'd never heard before, was there in his playlist, discovered in those first days when we were still new and learning about each other.
He's gold to me. This is the song I think of when I think of us, of happy, of the light and joy and love and beauty he's brought to my world.
This afternoon, he emailed me this, forwarded from a co-worker of his:
I took a compliment call on Jimi ... Member name is (name removed) from (a city far far away). She wanted me to write this down word for word and send to all...
"Talking to Jim is like talking to Jesus, he made me understand with what I was struggling with. From the bottom of my heart I love me some Jim, "I LOVE ME SOME JIM". There were so many issue I was having with my doctors, referral's, that was causing me so much stress. Then Jim said don't worry let me take care of that for you. There were things that I was not aware of he took all his time and patients in helping me understand what I needed to know to take my stress away. Thank you Jim for lifting all my stress of my shoulders. I Thank God for Jim."
"If there is anyone working with him that does not have the same sprite as Jim, I will pray that it jumps into them so they can be just as Loving, Kind, Patient, Caring, Uplifting, and compassionate as Jim is."
Jim your parents have done a beautiful job in rasing you. I am sure they are so proud of you just as I am in you. You are my new BFF...
I demand, I command along with recommending that Jim gets a Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthday Bonus. And do not forget his pay increase of 5 dollars more a pay check. Keep up the good work.
Love you much (name removed).
See? I'm not the only one who thinks he's golden. He's a hell of a guy.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I love you more when I don't have a deadline looming and have to use you to catch up and prepare, but I know that's not your fault.
I love you more when I don't have to spend part of you doing yard work and cleaning gutters, too. But that's not your fault, either.
I'm still glad you're here. Stay a while, would ya?
Friday, November 12, 2010
I was in my footie PJs by 6:17 tonight.
Jimi got home about 20 minutes later, took a look at my ensemble and said, "Guess you're not interested in leaving the house tonight, huh?"
So he made a man-date with his bromance Steve to go do dinner and movie. I'm sitting here with a beer, the internets, and a night chock-full of wedding shows on TLC. WIN!
How are you spending this lovely Friday evening?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
~ The faster things get, the more impatient we become.
~ It is when you trip over your own shoes that you start picking up shoes. (On that note - I picked up the clothes and receipts and shoes and luggage that covered our bedroom yesterday. Holy Shit! We have a floor! Well, I assume it's a floor, under all the dog/cat hair. AND I found exactly $1,756,983.42 in change.)
~ Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution. (That one's more applicable to Jimi. I'd marry him this afternoon if he asked.)
~ When in doubt, go with your first instinct. Get that mistake out of the way.
Yeah, me too. I'd never thought of it before, but when he said that, there was no question that it also applied to me.
With that said, I'm a failure. I suck at setting goals and reaching them. Wait - that's not true; I'm really good at setting goals, but I give up and quit long before they've been reached.
I can do hard things, but i don't like to. If there's a hard way to do something, but there's also an easier way that may not have exactly the same results but will be close enough, I'll always pick the easier option. And if a goal was set that only affects me - like, say, when I decided about this time last year that I was going to lose 40 pounds before my 30th birthday - well, it's really easy to give up on something if no one other than me is counting on the results.
So we went grocery shopping this weekend, and bought all sorts of noodle bowls for our lunches this week. One for each day, a different flavor each day, under $2.50 a piece. A great way to save money and not pump myself full of greasy fast-food, right?
Right. Until I realized I don't like the noodle bowls I picked out. Monday, I gave the sesame teriyaki to Kim. I hated it; she loved it. Tuesday, realizing maybe I just don't like microwave cheap teriyaki, I gave the last teriyaki flavored one to Kim, and fixed the Mushroom soup, thinking it was going to be the yummiest of the group. I ate half; didn't like it, either.
So today, day 3 of the "No Fast Food" week-long experiment, I'm having Wendy's for lunch. A half of their chicken apple pecan salad and a plain baked potato.
It's no noodle bowl.
It's fast food.
It's not fried.
And, with their Pick 2 deal they've got going on right now, it was $5.
Eff you, guilty conscience.
So yeah, I'm a failure. But it's nothing new. I'm used to it by now.
And let's be honest; a salad and a baked potato is SUCH a much better lunch than a noodle bowl. Seriously.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
My Momma has told me often that she doesn't have to be my friend, because she's my mother. She doesn't mean that in a hateful way; she means that in a way that says, "I love you unconditionally, and I'll always do what's best for you, but you don't have to know everything about me or who I was before you were born." I get it. I don't like it, and I'll continue to push her, saying things like "Fine, but I'm going to be your friend. You don't have to be my friend, but I want to be yours," but I get it.
But Daddy, he's different. He still loves me the way a father loves a child, but he's cool with being my friend, too. He tells me the good with the bad.
I'm so blessed. I'm so fortunate. I'm so loved.
His phone call came on the heels of an evening where Jimi worked late. When I got home tonight, I started laundry and picked up the clothes in our room that can never seem to find a hamper. I was ready to sit down and call it a night when I realized Jimi's working late, and was probably going to be hungry when he got home. So I threw together a tuna casserole and some jello with fruit, planning that it'd be ready about the time he got home. It was, but he was carrying a bag full of Taco Bell. He knew I'd be doing laundry and cleaning, and he figured I wouldn't feel like cooking. We were each trying to do the right thing for the other. It's small, but it's huge.
I'm so blessed. I'm so fortunate. I'm so loved.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
2. Sarah and I spent the evening catching up and eating Friday night, and took a little trip down memory lane that led us to Jock's. It's still the same, but now with live music. The same people, the same drinks, the same shitty pool tables, the same awesome friend enjoying it all with me. :)
3. Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy grocery shopping? I love it.
4. Jimi's brother came over last night and joined us for a sort of Mojo Reunion at the AmVets Post where Danny Mac's Pizza has taken up residence. The drinks were stupid cheap and ridiculously strong, the karaoke was bad and awesome, the people watching was off the hook. And the friends; well, there aren't enough words.
5. I fell asleep listening to Jimi and Jason playing their guitars in the basement, singing along with the tunes they were strumming. That was pretty fantastic.
6. Breakfast is bacon and eggs and cinnamon rolls and coffee with peppermint mocha creamer.
7. I love life. I have so much good fortune and so many blessing. I'm the luckiest girl in the world.
8. I want to write about that one thing, but Momma asked me not to, and so I won't because I'm unsure of my audience at this point. Bittersweet frustration.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Corinne was telling us about the Christmas Carnival thing coming up at her kids’ school. Her daughter’s classroom is auctioning off a Kindle book reader. This information, of course, sent me off on a rant about how those things are the devil and how a book is supposed to have pages and a certain smell and feel and you can take it anywhere and you don’t need batteries to enjoy it. Corinne agreed – there’s just something about a book.
Kim listened to us, but didn’t chime in. She’s not a reader; maybe she doesn’t have an opinion either way. But after Corinne walked back down the hall, Kim yelled over to me from her office next door:
Kim: You know, I suggested that to Jimi as a Christmas gift for you last year.
Me: Oh. (I’m thinking, “I’m glad he didn’t get me one; I like books.” But it’s a super thoughtful suggestion on Kimmie’s part.)
Kim: He said, “She likes books.” He knows you.
Can we say WARM FUZZIES, boys and girls?!
Love that man.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
~ If you say something bad about someone, you will discover that the same criticism applies to you.
~ The only faults that bother us in others are the faults we share.
~ The human mind treats a new idea the way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.
~ People are divided into two groups - the righteous and the unrighteous - and the righteous do the dividing.
~ Disorder expands proportionately to the tolerance for it.
Monday, November 1, 2010
...my Republican boss is out of the country and can't vote. He thought his vote would cancel mine out, but now my side will be ahead by one!
...it's my freakin' responsibility as an American Citizen. Duh.
...I want to bitch about the shitty job our elected leaders are doing for the next 2 years. If you don't vote, you can't bitch.
...one vote really can make a difference.
...I'm scared of the direction in which we're heading and I want to do my part to help restore some sanity.
...people DIE trying to cast their ballot in other parts of the world, and here I get to do it safely simply because I was fortunate enough to be born in this country.
...I want one of those "I Voted" stickers to wear all day. And then I'll put it on the fridge.
...gets me out of the office for half an hour.
Whatever your reasoning, whomever your candidates, VOTE.