Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Currently

I am totally taking this idea from Katy, and linking up to siddathornton.

So... Currently I am...


American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  I'm hooked.  It's very dark, fits in nicely with my love for Stephen King and Dean Koontz.  I'm also reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  It's giving me tons of ideas for changes to implement in my own life.  I might write more about it later.  Needless to say two EXTREMELY  different books.  One dark/one light.  One fiction/one non-fiction.  It works, though.  Normally I can't read two books at once and keep them straight.  =)


Ummm..  a grocery list is about the extent of my creativity lately.


This week hasn't been very musical for me, and my usual hard angry rock isn't doing it for me.  I listened to Jason Mraz earlier this week.  I'm digging Justin Timberlake, which is very odd for me.  And that Daft Punk song, that Isabelle loves, and is NOT appropriate for her to listen to but she has no idea was "getting lucky" is, so I let it slide because I'm just begging for her teacher to call me in three weeks when school starts to discuss what Isabelle is singing in class.


I need to get focused again.  The past few weeks have been just me turning into my self and avoiding everything.  I have to stop it.


Smoke.  I had migraines this week and I always smell smoke (when there is no smoke around) for days before I get one.  Luckily they were fairly painless migraines, but they left me wiped out nonetheless.  


That I didn't have to deal with change at work.  I do like the new girl we hired, but I miss my old coworker.  =(


To wake up and snap back into my usual routine, instead of feeling sluggish and bored with everything.  I need to get back to my workouts, to tracking calories, to being excited again.


I decided this summer that I was tired of always wearing tshirts all the time, so I've bought other tops here and there.  And apparently I gravitate towards shirts that are a little low cut.  I mean, looking straight on, it's decent, but from my vantage point, I look down and all I see are my boobs.  


Our Roku.  Except for the fact that the girls have discovered Bratz movies.  NOT loving that at all.


To spend the rest of summer at home.


To be more "present."  Reading sucks me in and I tend to ignore the world, which is why I hadn't been reading much.  I need to strike a balance.


Like a slug.  Not working out is not working out ;)


I know this is to talk about fun/interesting websites, but I've been bored with the internet this week, so you get pictures.... clicking my camera.  Yeah!


July's Aleda's Challenge picture.  I almost forgot to take it.  See my low cut shirt...  LOL


My baby Dodo, looking too grown.


I showed Olivia pictures of people with extreme lazy eye.  She has worn her glasses every day without nagging ever since.


This is my favorite hairstyle for Isabelle.  I think all three of my girls are gorgeous, but certain pictures, like this one, make me fear for the teenage years when all the boys come calling.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


About a month ago, I decided I needed to test my mommy material, and I planned a day stacked with various doctor's appointments for the girls.  A dentist appointment, a check up, and two eye exams.  This was yesterday.  As you can tell, I survived.  Somewhat intact.

The Dodo had a cavity to be filled, and that was first thing in the morning.  In and out in no time.

Then Isabelle had her 7 year check up (just 3 months late, I'm getting better! LOL).  Checking in was an ordeal.  They couldn't find her on the schedule.  As it turned out, someone had either changed her appointment without telling me or she got switcharoo-ed with someone else.... different doctor, different time (we were actually late to the "new" appointment), and instead of a wellness exam, they had her scheduled for an ADHD evaluation.  I straightened all that out, and then they asked me for money I had given them two weeks ago!  They searched their receipt books, found it and we finally got to see the doctor.  She's perfectly healthy, tall for her age, and a good weight for her height.  At least I have one that is a normal weight.  Over, under, normal... we have a variety.  =p

We then went to lunch, where things started going awry.  I looked at my phone and it was hard to see the screen.  My eyes started feeling funny and after a minute I realized what was happening... a migraine aura.  I have only had two previously.  I worried for a while that I wouldn't be able to drive home, with all these zig zagging lights in my vision, but it cleared up by the time we finished eating.  I took an Imitrex... it made me feel really crappy though.  Never got a headache.

We had a few hours before the eye exams, so I took us home and I had to go lay down for a while.  I felt better after that.

Off to the eye doctor, where we learned that Isabelle has great eyes, Zoe - not so much.  Just like Olivia, she has a lazy eye and she's farsighted.  And that means glasses.


Not only did Isabelle not get glasses, she had her eyes dilated, which she was NOT enjoying at all.

The girls were barely containing themselves at the eye doctor, and they just went nuts at home.  Screaming, fighting, running, jumping.  Good grief.

We went to pick up The Dodo's specs this afternoon.


I had them adjust Olivia's glasses - the optician didn't fit them to her head at all last time.  As the optician went to try to bend the earpiece, she broke it.  Luckily they had more of those frames in stock.  This is her third pair.  I think we picked the wrong frames.  But at least this pair fits her head.

Isabelle was really upset that she is now the only person in our house without glasses.  She felt very left out.  So I told her I could fix that.


Just a pair of cheap drug store reading glasses.  It took a hammer, pliers, and a screwdriver, but I somehow got the lenses out.  


And now she can be nerdy with the other two.

I had another migraine aura early this morning.  I took another Imitrex, felt like crap all day long.  But only a slight headache.  Then yet another aura this evening.  I didn't have any Imitrex this time.  I just took a few ibuprofen, and so far no headache, and I don't feel like crawling in a hole to die.  I'm not sure what's going on, and I'm sure I should make a doctor's appointment.  Hopefully it's just weather related or some other reasonably benign cause.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rise above this

Long distance day... 7 miles.  I knew as soon as I woke up this morning that I wasn't going to run it.  I walked it all.  I felt like gravity had way too much of a hold on me today.  It's mental, I know.  I've felt very weighed down this week.  I knew I needed the time to think, and I don't really think much when I run.  Which isn't bad, sometimes I need to not think.  But I wanted to think today.

Plus, I haven't run since last Sunday and I knew I'd be sooooo sore tomorrow if I did run today.  I really need to stop my summer slacker routine.

It was a good walk, up until the last mile and a half when the sun was just beating down on me.  I took one of my favorite routes, and a good part of it is wooded, and it felt awesome in the woods.  It rained last night, so it was cool and damp.  But walking back across the bridge, I felt like I was baking.  Summer.  Blech.

I took a nap when I got home.  I had to sneak that in.  It seems like every Sunday, I go to take a nap and my husband follows me in the room to harass me (good-natured harassment) and then HE falls asleep.  So, today, after he got up from HIS nap, I disappeared very quietly and took my own nap for once.  Weird dreams, though.  Very weird.  I've been having a lot of weird dreams lately.  I went through a long spell of not remembering my dreams, but lately, they're back with a vengeance.

When I got up, I went to work on my project for the day.  I had this urge to bake bread the other day.  But I didn't have any flour in the house and I didn't have a loaf pan.  So I bought both yesterday.  I used this recipe. Isabelle helped me knead it, and she thought it was so amazing how big it got when it was rising.  


I must say that I'm impressed with myself.  That's the first loaf of bread I've ever baked.  And it's perfect.  I toasted a slice earlier and put butter and strawberry preserves on it.  So good.

So, this past week, I got a message from a friend I haven't been on speaking terms with.  I've really struggled with this.  As time passed, I felt like our friendship had been so fake, like I had just been a toy for him to play mind games with, and I felt totally justified in cutting him out of my life.  But, after our brief conversation, I wonder if I just painted my version of events that color to justify my feelings.  It's probably more accurate to say that both are true.  He didn't exactly reach out to me to try to regain the friendship, but it did stoke that part of me that really misses our friendship.  He always seemed to "get" me, I felt totally comfortable spilling my guts to him, something that's always been really rare for me.  But I'm still wary of how genuine all that was.  I feel like I did a year ago - confused, hurt, angry...  I don't know what to do, if I should do anything at all.  He doesn't expect anything from me, so that's all I've done so far.  Nothing.

I'm on a Seether kick because of it.  It just fits my mood.  I'll figure it all out, calm my head, be happy.  I refuse to spend months in a funk over it again.  "I'll mend myself before it gets me."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I want to move...

My younger sister and brother-in-law live 4 houses down from us.  In a few months (no date set), they're going to be moving into his parents' house after they move out.  I want their house.

I can't number the times my husband and I have said we hate this house.  It's almost identical to the house I grew up in, and I've really had trouble understanding how a family of the same size didn't kill each other.  I can't imagine how bad it will be when the girls are teenagers (not that I want to still live here then...).  When I mentioned this to my dad, he laughed at me.  He said this house is a much smaller version.  That explains it.  The living room is OK, but has always been a challenge to fit our furniture in it.  The kitchen is plenty big enough, but most of it is just empty space... there is minimal counter space, minimal cabinets.  Our pantry is only half a pantry because the water heater is in there.  The bathroom is hideous and too narrow with no storage space at all.  The bedrooms are OK, but the paint in the girls' bedrooms is atrocious and we can't paint them.  No carpet, which I didn't mind when the girls were smaller, but they aren't so messy anymore and I don't like walking on the bare floors.

What's better about my sister's house?

Well, the kitchen is enormous.  About triple the number of cabinets, far more counter space, plenty of room for an island (maybe they'll leave theirs...?).  There's a dishwasher.  I don't think it works, but crap, I'd be willing to buy a new one even if I was just renting the place.  I'm sick of hand washing dishes.  We don't even have anywhere they could put a dishwasher in this kitchen.  There is a full pantry.  And room for a table and chairs and then some. 

The living room is about twice the size of ours, with a fireplace.  And carpet. 

There is a garage.  Bill's always talking about how he wants a garage.  Not to put our cars in, but to have a place to put all his stuff and escape.  We could take all of our stuff out of storage, as well.  

Bill doesn't want to move though.  He'd rather stay put until we save up the money to buy a house.  I'd rather be somewhere I liked better in the meantime.

The are a few minor down sides.  There's only one bathroom.  The need for both of ours doesn't arise all that often here, but it does happen.  It will be more expensive, probably around $100 a month more.  But we'd be saving $50 in storage rent, and we could afford it without it being a strain.

And of course, moving just sucks.  Even if it's just down the road.  

I'm dog sitting for them this weekend, which got me thinking about it again.  Bill shot it down before, but I think I'll give it another go.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Going back to the beginning

Lately, I've been slipping.  Well, at first it was slipping but lately it's felt more like a full head over heels tumble downhill.

We'll just say the scale and I aren't on friendly terms.

I've been struggling for a while with my diet.  The more I'd struggle, the more I'd try to immerse myself in Paleo and "real food" blogs and information.  And I think I've just hit an information overload.  Man, I don't want to feel like every time I put something in my mouth that I'm poisoning myself.  Eat this, don't eat that, holy crap, that's going to kill you!  I'm not saying that I don't buy into any of that anymore, but there's just a point where the stress you create trying to be healthy is worse than the stuff you're trying to avoid, you know?  I'd sit down to make a menu for the week and couldn't think of a single thing I wanted to eat.  Food, in general, had become the enemy and that's just not how it should be.

I haven't been to the rec center in weeks.  My Fitbit is chronically pissed at me.  I've been doing my long run/walks, though, so at least I'm not completely sedentary, but I know from experience that when I get into longer distances that not being active during the week is going to make those hurt.  

I really wanted to get into strength training, too.  Good grief, that's boring stuff.  I just find no enjoyment in it.

So, there it is.  And it sucks. 

I had a little epiphany last week.  I read a book.  What book doesn't matter, just that I actually read a book.  I haven't taken the time to sit down and enjoy a book in months.  Once I went all hardcore with the weight loss, I just didn't have time.  And that's the problem...

While I enjoy working out (most of the time...), there are other things in life that I also enjoy and I've neglected them.  I hardly crochet, I hadn't sewn in forever, I wasn't reading.  It was 100% fitness.  And I justified that because it's important.  But so are the other things, because they make me happy, too.

I'm a very all or nothing person, unfortunately.  But I'm going to try to work on balance.

And I'm going to do things that make me happy.  

I'm going to eat things that make me happy.  I love hummus in pita bread, but I had avoided it for so long.... No grains!  No legumes!  Oh, shut up.  Yes, I'm still going to eat healthy, but I'm tired of trying to figure out "the rules."  I know what makes me happy and what is reasonably healthy and I'm going to eat it.  

And I'm going to go back to the very thing that started me off on this whole journey.  Yoga.  Yoga is great for strength...  why I thought I need to do Romanian deadlifts is beyond me.  This occurred to me the other day when my favorite online yoga instructor put out a yoga for strength training series on her membership site.  It was a definite "duh!" moment.  I love yoga, but I always let everything else get in the way.  

Yoga and running and walking.  But I'm not even going to stress about the running, though.  I do like running, I do like the feeling I get during and after, but if I can't run a billion miles, well - a lot of other people can't, either.  I love walking.  I love long-distance walking.  So mixing the two is good for me.  It makes me happy.

So.  There's that.  And it doesn't suck, I think.  It actually puts me in a much better frame of mind and doesn't make me want to go act like a vacuum in the pantry.

Now, since I've yoga-ed, and purged my brain, if you'll excuse me, Dean Koontz is calling my name.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Wow, I suck.

Time for another edition of Family Fun Day!

First, Bill wanted to go to the Zoo.  But the zoo closes at 5pm and it just seemed like too much money for too little time.  Even though we probably wouldn't have stayed any longer, but it's the principle, you know.

The girls suggested the Museum of Discovery, but it's closed on Mondays.  Bummer.  It's expensive anyway.

Then Bill decided on mini golf.  We drove all the way out there, to discover they are closed on Mondays.  What is up with everything being closed on Mondays?

So, instead, we went bowling.

Funny, partly related story first...

Yesterday, I saw a sign for soccer sign ups.  So I asked Bill if he thought we should sign the girls up for soccer.  He asked them and texted me back:  "They say the only sports they want to play are cheerleading, air hockey, and bowling."

Needless to say, they were happy to go bowl, as it's one of their preferred sports.


They got ramps.  And later in the game, bumpers, once the lady came by to show us how to set the computer to put them up.  ;)  I probably shouldn't admit that half the game was played without bumpers for them.  You'll understand later.

The scoreboard kept scrolling a message about a Kids' Summer Bowling Camp.  Two weeks on Tuesday and Thursdays, from 3-4pm.  It starts tomorrow.  I went up to the counter to ask about it and found out that as long as we have coupons from Kids Bowl Free, the camp is free (with the exception of shoe rental).  Zoe's not actually old enough (it was 6-12), but since they weren't full, they decided it would be OK to make an exception for her.  They'll learn to throw the ball and by the end should be playing without bumpers.  


Isabelle tried throwing the ball instead of using the ramp.  It was hilarious, but surprisingly (and with the help of the bumpers), she did pretty well.  She would fall down every time, she put so much into it.  I wish I had a video of it.

Equally hilarious was how badly I was bowling.


I wish I could say I was just trying to make sure none of the girls were in last place.  I suck at bowling.  However, towards the end, I did get 2 strikes, pushing me past Olivia.  Her final score was 60... mine was 66.  Pathetic.

The girls are excited about Bowling Camp.  Hopefully they'll have fun.  I could probably use Bowling Camp myself, but I'm past the age limit.  ;)


They didn't have any cheerleading activities, but they got to play their other favorite sport, too. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Way to go, Ding Dong.

I've made it an unofficial goal to do a 5k each month.  It's a bit of a struggle lining up races during the summer, because it's a slow race season here in the South.  Too hot.  But I managed to find one in August... the Ranch Run.  It's put on by the same charity that is doing my half-marathon in October and I thought it would be a really neat chance to see part of the race course.  I've just been waiting to have the spare funds to register for it.

I've checked out the website a few times.  It said the race started at 6:30.  And it's about a 45 minute drive from my house.  So I had to really consider whether or not I was willing to wake up that early on a Saturday to do a race.  But I thought that considering the fact that it's usually 146* here in August (give or take 50 degrees), racing that early in the morning is probably a good thing.  And I'd be able to get home in plenty of time to make lunch and send Bill off to work.

So I just registered last night.

Then I, for some reason, started scrolling through their Facebook page, which I had pulled up to get the website to register.

I noticed someone commenting on how early the race was.  The race people responded, "No!  It's not 6:30 in the morning, it's at night!"

Say what?

Oh no!

In all the times I've looked at the race info, it never once registered that the time was 6:30 P.M., not a.m.

Bill works Saturday nights.  I can leave the girls home with him for a Saturday morning race, but I can't leave them home for a Saturday evening race.

Now I have to line up a babysitter for the evening.  Hopefully my sister can watch them since she wasn't planning on doing the race (because she thought it was in the morning, too, and wasn't willing to get up that early).

And I'll probably have a heat stroke running at 6:30 at night... it's still hot out then!

I swear....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sir Monkeyshines Funkybutt

About a year ago, my older sister asked me to make her a blue sock monkey, which I did.  She loved him and hugged him and named him Sir Monkeyshines Funkybutt, or Shiney Hiney for short.  Being a dork runs in the family.

Well, I'm not the world's greatest at hand sewing, so she had to give him back for some arm surgery.  She also gave me about 1/4 of a yard of this gold fabric and requested a pair of pants for Shiney Hiney.  She moved off to Oklahoma, I forgot about my sewing machine for months upon months, and Shiney Hiney took up residence in a dark corner of my neglected sewing shelf in the closet.

My sister is in Arkansas for a few days and asked me about Shiney Hiney.  I admitted to forgetting all about fixing him and making his pants.  So, this morning, I set about taking care of it before we went out there to visit.  I dug out the gold fabric and made a quick draft of a pair of tiny gold pants.  It's a good thing he's a stuffed toy, or else I would have never sqeezed him into his new skin-tight pants, but I did.


I was just so amused with myself and this monkey.  I posted a picture on Facebook for her and mentioned that I thought he needed some chest hair.  Just joking.  But then... oh, but then I remembered this black furry fabric I have had laying around.  I couldn't help myself.  I snipped a corner off of the fabric and this happened...


I thought I'd never stop laughing.  That's about the time Bill woke up and he just gave me that "Did I really marry you?" look and poured a cup of coffee.

The gold around his neck was supposed to be a gold chain, but it looked stupid.  However, the little piece of fabric I cut it from just happened to look just like a cape after I had cut the little circle out and Isabelle slipped it over his head.  I don't have a good picture of that, but it just perfected it.  The gold pants, the gold cape, the chest hair.  Sir Monkeyshines Funkybutt was complete (oh, and I sewed his arm back on).  

I did actually do a little sewing over the past week, so I'll show that off as well.


Isabelle is modelling a red dragonfly paper bag-waisted skirt.  I added a drawstring belt so that Olivia The Skinny can cinch it up a little more should she want to wear it.


Zoe is modelling a purple dragonfly halter dress.  It reminds me of an apron.  If I make another one, I will adjust the neckline so that it's a little less apron-like.


And, finally, Isabelle is modelling a very rock-and-roll looking maxi sundress.  This was made for Olivia, but she declined to wear it.  We actually ended up taking the front ties and tying them in a halter fashion and tucking the back straps into the dress.  I thought it looked better.  

Isabelle has picked out more fabric wanting another dress, but I really am not sure when I'll get around to it.  We'll just have to wait and see.  I need to really focus on keeping the house tidy this week, getting back into the workout groove again, and eating better.  Those are my priorities.  If anything else happens, it's a bonus.

Friday, July 12, 2013

End of vacation blues (and more)

I'm feeling really "blah" tonight.  This week has been just so crazy and hectic, and knowing I have to go back to work in 2 days just has me a little down.  I'm really not looking forward to going back to work.  I have barely thought about it at all this week, until realizing today is Friday and my week off is winding down quickly.  And knowing that in a week and a half, I'm going to be working with 2 people I really don't know very well makes me really anxious.  And for the first time since I was made Office Manager over 7 years ago (which was honestly just to justify my pay, if you ask me), I will actually be looked upon as the Office Manager.  Before, the girls I worked with had everything under control.  They knew their jobs better than I did and did a good job without any intervention on my part.  Now I'll have 2 newbies who will be looking at me for guidance.  Plus, I just don't like my job anyway.  We know this.

So.  This week.  The vacation I really need a vacation to recover from.  Seriously.

Monday.  Well, you know my Grandfather passed away Monday.  In addition to that, our dryer broke and the laundry went into hyper reproduction mode.  I swear, my hallway looks like all our closets and dressers barfed.

Tuesday.  I honestly don't remember much of anything about Tuesday.  I know I went to the laundromat.  But Tuesday pretty much seems to have fallen into some abyss.  I'd like it back, please.  

Wednesday.  Our impromptu Fun Day.  My back is itching from the sunburn I didn't realize I had.

Thursday.  I woke up to this...


That's not the Super Moon.  That's my husband's new neon Snap On clock, which resides above our computer in the kitchen (yes, my computer is in the kitchen).  Whenever I have my back to it, the neon reflects against my glasses and freaks me out.  I think I'm having a migraine aura.  I turn the stupid thing off, someone turns it back on.  I hate it and I don't even know what my husband had to purchase to get it.  His dealer told Bill he is going to need a garage before I start stalking him on Facebook and castrate him.  Bill said, "You?  You and me both."  No lie.

Then, when I was getting the girls up for Day Camp, I found out that Isabelle got up in the night and her ear was bleeding.  Really?  Are we ever going to be done with ear issues?  So, I called to make her a doctor's appointment.  They gave me an 8:40 appointment, which meant that I couldn't take her to that and drop the other two off at Day Camp so Bill had to get up and deal with Day Camp.

After the doctor telling me she really couldn't tell what was causing the bleeding (tubes are still intact, no apparent ear infection), and more discussion with Bill, I believe what happened was that Isabelle woke up with swimmer's ear in the middle of the night and tried to clean her ear out with a Q-tip.  She scratched the eardrum in the process, and it bled.  I guess.  There was still dried blood in her ear tonight, which seemed odd - I would have thought it would have stopped by now - but we're doing antibiotic drops for a week.

I got home and immediately had to leave for Hot Springs with my sister.  Bill needed the van, obviously, to deal with picking the girls up from Day Camp, and I didn't want to drive the truck because the AC doesn't work.  We had lunch with my parents in the retirement village dining room and I got a text from Bill...

"Where is the van key?"


I was an hour away, with the only van key.  Even if I had asked for someone to run me back home, there was not enough time for me to do that and get back in time for the memorial service.  Bill was super cool about it... I totally expected him to be all kinds of ticked off at me.  He made it work.  I am not saying it was entirely safe or legal, but he made it work.  He also managed to overdose the kids on sugar via a Triple Fudge Meltdown at Applebees (Apiece.  Really.  What was he thinking?)


I woke up late to take the girls to Day Camp.  Any other day of the year, they're up at the butt crack of dawn, but today they sleep in and drag getting ready out to epically frustrating proportions.  

And Isabelle had puked in the middle of the night and didn't notify anyone.  She mentioned coughing, so I think she just coughed until she threw up, because she wasn't sickly at all this morning.  Bill cleaned up the puke.  He's been a good man this week.  I really hope she just sleeps tonight, because I don't need another surprise out of her in the morning.

Today I read a book.  A whole book.  Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander M.D.  He's a neurosurgeon who went into a coma after contracting an impossible case of E. coli meningitis and miraculously recovered fully after having a near-death experience.  I'm not saying it is a bad book, I read the whole thing in one day, so it was definitely interesting.  But it just wasn't entirely what I wanted it to be.  I don't talk about religion much, but I'll just say that I'm searching for what I believe.  Last summer I really got back into going to church and felt really good about it, but then I just felt crushed with uncertainty again and was content with just not knowing anymore.  If that makes sense.  But now I feel that need to have some sort of answers again.  I don't know if I should go back to church, because I just don't know if that's what I believe anymore.  

My Grandfather was not a Christian.  He was a deeply spiritual man, I do know that, but he found his peace in nature and meditation.  I really wish I had taken the time to really talk to him about it, but, of course, it's too late.  I do know that something happened right before he died, though.  His caretaker said the last few days he was alive, he spent most of his time awake staring into the corner of his room.  And just a few hours before he passed, he gasped and had the biggest smile on his face.  He drifted off to sleep and died a little while later.  The book I read today was his book, and he gave it to my mom.  I saw it at her house after the memorial service and took it when she told me it was Grandpa's book.  I guess I hoped it would help me, but it really was more of the author trying to explain that it was scientifically impossible for his experience to just be some hallucination (which of course, many scientists and doctors are debating his reasons for saying that) than a book about what he actually experienced and learned.  He did get into that somewhat, but not to the extent I was searching for, I guess.  

Maybe I was hoping it would tell me something profound, something that just would make me go "Aha! That's what I needed!"  Maybe I thought this book was there for me to find right at this moment because I really need to know something, something that does not make sense to me right now.

See, I was raised believing someone like my Grandfather wouldn't go to Heaven.  And I just can't believe that.  And I really can't believe that based on what his caretaker said.  Unless at some point in the past few months he had professed his faith in something he had always previously denied and no one told me...  Unless it was just some chemical euphoric reaction...  Even so, I just have a hard time believing that someone as kind and honest and just plain GOOD as my Grandfather would be eternally damned.  I'm not just being biased because he's my Grandfather, he was honestly and truly one of the best people you could ever meet.  If he couldn't go to Heaven and someone who is just a terrible person, yet had become a Christian at some early point in his life, can... I just can't reconcile that.  I just have so much trouble believing in this version of God I was raised with, one with all these strict rules, one who would punish so many people with Hell because they were raised to believe a different way.  In my mind, He loves everyone.  Unconditionally.  No matter your religious "flavor".  God is Allah, God is The Universe, God is Buddha.  God just wants us to love Him, love ourselves, love each other.  Period.  But I was raised being told, "No.  Oh, no, no, no.  That's wrong.  There is only ONE WAY.  The others are wrong, they're all going to Hell."  Why create such a vast world, and condemn so much of it?

OK, that got deep.  

I'm tired.  I'm blue-sy over having to go to work.  I'm thrown into philosophical and spiritual confusion.  Sorry.  I don't mean to be a bummer.  I'll leave you with my husband's pet lint roller to cheer you up..


And you thought I was joking.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Memorial Service

Today was my Grandpa's memorial service.  I actually had never been to a memorial service before, just funerals, and there is a huge difference.  I far prefer memorial services.  I really enjoyed hearing everyone's memories of my Grandpa. 

There were people there from his woodcarving group.  One man told how in order to be a Master Carver officially with the National Woodcarvers Association (or whatever they're called) there are several things you have to do, and my grandfather was never interested in the title or notoriety of being one.  But they all know he definitely was a Master Carver and could have won award after award for his work.  

There were people there from the Audubon Society, talking about what joy he always took in bird watching and how, even if he never got to see a bird while he was out, he just was so at peace in nature and loved every minute of it.

They talked of his patience, something both of his big hobbies required.  His carvings were all so intricate... he'd have to sit and wait for hours to see birds.  

His caretakers that were with him at the end were there, and I was so amazed by how genuine they were about their affection for him.  They believed he deserved to be treated like royalty in his last days, and went to great lengths to provide him every comfort they could.  They would refuse his meals if the dining room prepared him something he wouldn't eat or even if they gave him a larger portion than he could eat, because he would feel bad about wasting the food.  They demanded perfection for him.  They also made it very evident how much they cared for my parents, and one of them made my mother a prayer candle to help bring her peace.

My mother is doing great, by the way.  It's been tough for her because they were very close, but she's relieved that he's no longer suffering.  Even before his cancer caused him any pain, just the fact that he could no longer be as active as he was used to was difficult for him to take.  But he's at peace now, and she's grateful.

The part of the service that really touched me the most was a man named Charles.  When my grandparents used to travel a lot, they would stop at Indian Reservations and buy turquoise jewelry.  They had a very large collection.  At one point, they decided to sell most of it and contacted Charles to help them.  They didn't sell all of it, I actually have a few of the pieces, because I'm a December baby (like my Grandpa) and turquoise is my birthstone.  I adore them, and part of me wishes they hadn't sold any of it because I'd wear it all.  =) I wore one of the rings today.  Charles said that my Grandpa could tell him where they got each piece and the story of how they got it, what they paid for it.  They continued to be really good friends afterwards.  He then said that the last time he saw my Grandpa was just a few months ago.  My Grandpa had always told him about his carvings, but he hadn't seen them.  So my Grandpa took him the book of photographs of his carvings that I had made for this past Christmas.  I was so touched to know that he was so proud of something I did and that he was able to do a little showing-off (which is something he RARELY did).  My parents gave Charles the cane that my Grandfather carved and used every day.  It was hard to see him walk away with that cane, but my parents said he was just thrilled to have it.

Earlier this year, my parents moved my Grandpa to a retirement village, and they ended up moving into it as well a few months later.  We had lunch with them today in the dining room, and I was just blown away by how everyone knew my parents and loved them so much.  I was just so happy to see that they're somewhere where they're cared for by so many people and have things to do all the time.  It's still a little odd, because they're definitely one of the younger people there, but it eases that worry that I have had since my older sister moved away (she lived near them, my other sister and I live an hour away) about them not having anyone close by.

It's been an emotional, but very wonderful day, even given the circumstances.  My Grandpa would not want any of us to be sad about him being gone.  I do miss him, terribly, but I'm just so very glad that he was MY grandfather. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Earlier this summer, Bill and I had made a tentative plan for both of us to take some time off work together and for us to do a lot of fun things, as a family.  Then I ended up rushing my vacation in order to just be able to take it, and, well, this week has just not gone as planned.

Obviously we were not going to be spending all week doing things because Bill can't get time off on such short notice.  So, I decided I would spend the week cleaning and organizing and decluttering the house.  Well, of course, on Monday... after deciding over the weekend to not do my marathon laundry session since I had all week to do it... our dryer quit tumbling.  I swear, the laundry basket barfed at that moment and there was not one clean towel, the kids' closet was a wasteland of empty hangers, and I now had no way to do laundry at home.  Bill tore apart the dryer, diagnosed a broken belt, and we crossed our fingers that we could just pick one up somewhere on Tuesday and be back in business.

No such luck.  Our dryer is ancient and not a big name brand.... so we had to order the belt and it won't be in until Friday.  I toted a few loads of laundry to the laundromat, gasped at how much it cost to use their machines ($2 to wash, $1 to dry!), but otherwise enjoyed an hour or so of absolute solitude.

Today I got up with a long list of things to do.  Gather up clothes that need to be taken to Goodwill, mop, find the floor of my bedroom, etc., etc....  I felt a little twinge of guilt that we hadn't taken the girls out for any fun on my vacation yet, but I told myself we could do it on Friday.

Then I remembered they have Day Camp on Friday, which I've already paid for.  And tomorrow is out of the question because I'll be in Hot Springs with my family for my grandfather's memorial service.  (We decided not to take the girls, and Bill's cousin happens to be passing through town so he'll take them to see her instead)

So I scrapped my plans for the day, told the girls to get their swim suits on and headed to Splash Zone.


They weren't too thrilled when I made them reapply sunscreen.  =)  We spent 3 hours there.  

We went home to change and then went to have a late lunch.


This child likes to dip apple slices in ketchup.  Like McDonald's apple slices aren't nasty enough alone.


Then we went to wander the mall, half-heartedly looking for some shoes for me.  I hate shopping for myself.  I really need some sandals, because my flip flops hurt the foot where I broke my baby toe last year and I just don't want to wear sneakers 24/7.  But I couldn't find any I liked or was willing to pay for.  

Good grief, I just sounded way too practical in that paragraph.

We then splurged and went to see Despicable Me 2.  I normally won't take the girls to anything but the dollar movie theater.  $30 for all of us to see a movie is stupid, in my opinion.  I'll gladly fork over $6, but I'm cheap.  I had never been to the new theater in the mall, and it made me feel stupid.  I couldn't figure out how to get the arm rest down.  I never did figure it out, either.  The movie was cute, though.

By then, it was 7pm.

A full day of fun: accomplished!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Even the birds are mourning

My Grandfather passed away last night.  It was expected... he's been suffering from bladder cancer.  All the same, the world now has a shortage of awesome and I'm sad.  He's been one of the biggest inspirations in my life.  Intelligent, hard-working, creative, kind.  He was career Navy, a WWII vet, an avid bird-watcher, was pulling tree stumps in his late 60s (maybe 70s, I'm terrible with ages), and used to grow tomato plants taller than him.  I wrote a whole post on what an awesome carver he was, go take a look and be amazed.

I'll miss you, Grandpa 'Let.  I hope Heaven has more birds than you can name. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

You're going to want to sit down.

I want to sew.

I know, I know.  I haven't touched my machine in probably close to a year.  But I cleaned Isabelle's room and decided before she trashes it again, I need to use my sewing machine.  So I excavated some fabric and washed it.  Picked out a few tutorial/patterns.  After they go to bed, I'm going to cut the fabric and get it ready to sew tomorrow (can't sew after they go to bed until/unless I move my machine since it's in Isabelle's room).  

I had to take new measurements for the girls, obviously.  A lot has changed over the past year.  Last year, they could pretty much all wear the same size, with the only difference being that things were longer on Zoe because she's shorter.  Now, they're all three very different sizes.  I'm so used to being able to just make one dress and letting them fight over it.  Now, if I make something to fit Olivia, no one else can wear it, because she's the smallest.  The sizes actually go in reverse of their ages.  Zoe is the biggest (which is depressing, because she's still the shortest).  If I want something that will last through all three of them, I have to make it her size and her big sisters will have to grow into it.  That really concerns me, but that's a whole other blog post.  If I make something to fit Olivia, neither of her sisters will ever wear it.

I'm trying to figure out ways to make things fit all three of them.  Mainly because they're fighting over the fabric I pulled out.  Fun times.

I'm going to make a paper bag waist skirt, and two sundresses.  The challenge will be making a skirt that will fit both Olivia and Zoe.  There is a SIX inch difference between their waist measurements.  

*cracking my knuckles*

Let's do this.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Firecracker Fast 5k 2013

This morning was the Firecracker Fast 5k that is held by the running store where I bought my shoes, Fleet Feet Easy Runner.  I was nervous about registering for it, because it was described as a mostly downhill course.  I've always heard it's easier to injure yourself running downhill.  Plus, being a "fast" race, I was worried about having some amazing PR that I'll never beat.  But I wanted to run a race and pickings are slim this time of year.  

Since it's July, and usually disgustingly hot, the race started at 7:30am.  However, the weather has been really mild this week.  I opened the door this morning and it was actually chilly outside.  Awesome!  It was a bit warmer by the time we got there, just perfect.  Not warm, not cold.

Off topic, but I realized today that my collar bones are starting to become visible.  So freaking awesome!  I don't remember the last time I saw those things.

As usual, my sister joined me.  She almost didn't, though.  She had a car accident a few weeks ago, and had some bruised ribs.  She's had a hard time running since, but she decided to give it a go.  She was worried about being the only one walking parts of the course, but she had nothing to worry about.  Even a "fast" 5k has walkers.  She told me not to hold myself back to keep pace with her and I didn't.  We were together until the first real downhill part and I left her behind then.

I haven't had a whole lot of experience running downhill.  But this is what I have learned:  It's kind of like riding a motorcycle, you have to lean into the curves (or the hill in this case).  You want to right yourself when you start to tilt, but you just need to embrace the tilt.  My first reaction to running downhill is to lean back a little, because I feel like I'm pitching forward and afraid I'll fall on my face if I go to fast.  It makes the footfalls feel really jarring to me.  But if I just let myself lean forward like my body wants to, I don't feel so jarred and it's a lot more fun.  

There were some pretty steep downhill parts.  But they forgot to mention that most of the last half mile is uphill.  I got halfway up and had a stitch in my side and a pain in my upper right chest.  I thought "Oh crap!  I joked about this race killing me because I've been such a slacker, and now I'm really going to die!"  But walking for a few minutes helped and I was able to actually run to the finish.  I think it was a breathing thing, not a heart thing... I never felt BAD, and it went away as soon as my breathing slowed.

My official time was 40:05.  That is almost 5 minutes faster than my last 5k.  I don't think it's fast enough to discourage me - I'm not thinking "Oh no!  I'll never beat that PR!"  I think with enough work, I could beat it eventually on a normal race.  It will take some time, but I can do it.  It gives me a good goal.

My sister did really well, too.  She was only a few minutes behind me, which is awesome, all things considered.

The race was a point-to-point race, instead of a loop.  So we could either walk back to the start where we parked, or take a trolley.  We decided walking uphill 3.1 miles back to the start was too much, so we waited for the trolley.  


We didn't make it on the first round, and started to wait for the second round.  After 20 minutes, we decided to just walk.  It was just taking way too long and I, personally, had no desire to be packed like that into a trolley with that many sweaty people.

We used the GPS on the phone to shortcut through a neighborhood, so we actually only had to walk 1.6 miles back to the van.  =)  Uphill, yes, but only about half the distance.

Oh, and they posted a finish line video on their Facebook feed today.  Yeah, I didn't need that confirmation of how ridiculous I look running....

Next up will probably be the Ranch Run 5k on August 3, and I don't think my sister is doing that.  Not only is it about a 45 minute drive away, it starts at 6am.  Yeah.  6am.  I haven't registered yet, but I do plan on it.  I have to work these things into the budget.  Being a runner isn't cheap.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spontaneous vacation

How's summer treating you?  I know I've been fairly quiet... just not a lot to say.  Summer is icky to me, as usual.  Stressful, hot, lazy.  Ugh.  I tend to get really "blah" in the summer, and this summer is no exception.  I'm trying, but I can't shake it.  

We had Olivia all registered for her summer program that she went to last summer.  It's for gifted children, and we had to apply and provide recommendations and test scores.  So it's a fairly big deal to get accepted.  But she refused to go.  After weeks of her getting upset whenever we brought it up and several days of soul searching, I declined her spot.  I'm disappointed, but I can't force her to do something that upsets her.  It's an anxiety thing, I know... she is frightened of going all alone into a school full of people she doesn't know.  I just didn't feel right making her go.

Since we had the money saved up for that, and we had saved up a little more to put Isabelle in a different summer camp at the same time, we decided to take that money and put all three of them in a day camp 2 days a week for the rest of the summer.  The only problem with it is that the older two get to go off campus a few times to do fun field trips, and Zoe won't get to go because she's too young.  This Friday they're going to Jump Zone, so I anticipate a very ticked off 5 year old when she figures it out.  I haven't told any of them about the field trip.  However, I am hoping that getting them away from the house for 2 days a week will help with the boredom going on with them.

They have been fairly good this summer... up until this week.  This week, the boredom finally really settled in and they have been into EVERYTHING.  It's like the whole house has been turned upside down.  I'm not the world's greatest housekeeper, I will freely admit that.  But even I am just appalled right now.  I can't walk into Isabelle's room to kiss her goodnight, there is just so much junk on the floor.  They've gotten into craft supplies... glitter all over the other bedroom.  My bedroom is trashed and my blankets scattered all over the room every day.  The living room looks like a frat house.

Make them clean it up!  I TRY.  I came up with the ultimate reward for the week.  When we visited my friend last weekend, her daughter had a lot of make up (she's in dance) and they've been begging me for make up ever since.  So I said, "For every day you clean the living room, you will earn one item for a makeup box."  They were screaming, they were so excited.  How many have they earned, as of today (Wednesday)?  None.  I cannot find a reward that works.  I've tried going the negative route... lose the TV and computer for the rest of the day if you don't clean.  They're perfectly content playing without them.  It's really frustrating.

But I am truly sick of living in a pig sty.

Anyway, this morning, my coworker came in to work and announced that she's accepted another job.  :::sigh:::

We have 3 people who work in the front office.  Me, Coworker, and The New Girl.  The New Girl has been there about a month, and it took us over 3 months to find her after The Other Girl quit.  It was a horrible, excruciating 3 months of bizarre interviews and two other New Girls that lasted a week or 2.  It was awful.   Coworker and I have worked together for 8 years now.  I like her.  We get along great.  I hate that she's going.  But... Coworker is the Boss's daughter and working together has taken a huge toll on their relationship and causes a lot of stress at work in itself.  So I fully understand and support her.

I just don't want to spend months trying to find a replacement.  And I definitely don't want to do her job.  Period.  Scheduling.  Just shoot me.  Please.

We do already have an interview lined up, so fingers crossed....

When we were discussing when Coworker's last day will be, I made the decision that the week of vacation that I had yet to plan the dates for needed to happen before she leaves or else I just won't get to take it.  I was going to have a 4 day weekend this week.... today would have been my last day this week.  But I'm not finished with June's billing.  So I'll go in Friday (we're closed so it will be nice and peaceful), finish up the billing, and then I'm taking next week off.

And I'm going to clean.  Purge, organize, clean, clean, clean.  I know it's going to be like shoveling snow in a blizzard, but I'll duct tape the kids to the ceiling if I have to (joking.  maybe.) to get it done.

I'd rather go somewhere and not have to look at the mess for a week, but it's not in the budget to take a real vacation this year.  So I guess I'll be an adult and deal with the mess.  =)

I'm running a 5k in the morning.  I've been Super Slacker this week (or two) exercise-wise (um, diet-wise, too, maybe.  Definitely), so it might kill me.  If you don't hear from me, you'll know why.


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