Day 69 – Birthday Wishes

March 19, 1971, was a Friday. Headline stories in the morning papers around the country include an antiwar protest in Boston outside a hotel yesterday, where Vice-President Spiro Agnew gave a fiery anti-media speech at a Republican fundraiser. A crowd estimated at 3,500 clashed with a group of hard-hats before being pushed back by police. Today, the prime interest rate is adjusted down, from 5.38 percent to 5.25 percent. (It will go back up in April.) In Texas, Amarillo Air Force Base closes. In the current edition of Life, TV critic John Leonard eviscerates the CBS-TV series All in the Family, which premiered in January, calling it “a wretched program” and “insulting.” The cover story, written by Norman Mailer, is about the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight of March 8, won by Frazier. Ali is also on the cover of the current Rolling Stone.

On this date in history… it was 40 years ago today at High Plains Baptist Hospital that my darling hubby took his first breath. Happy birthday honey… you are amazing!

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Day 68 – A Piece of History

Everyone in life has a passion. They are passionate about something or someone, even if no one else knows what that passion is. It’s one of God’s more interesting gifts to us. I have a few things I could consider passions – my DH and my two darlings I am very passionate about, I’m passionate about helping others. I’m also passionate about writing. But one of the other things that I am truly passionate about is a story that started 99 years ago. As the anniversary draws near each year, I always find myself reading, contemplating and wondering about a cold, moonless night on calm seas where 1,517 people perished because of a set of circumstances that spiraled out of control.

I segue here because I will write more on the tragedy in April. I wanted to actually tell you about something I own – a piece of the Titanic.

When I was in New York City a couple of years ago, the TITANIC exhibition was there and my brother-in-law, my sister, my DH and I went to it. I can’t really describe it to you, it HAS to be experienced and if you EVER have the chance… GO!!!

You will find at the end of the exhibition, you have the opportunity to buy books and tapes and all sorts of things that are pretty cool. Of COURSE I was going to buy something, but the question was what. I looked around high and low and dodged people right and left. I fell in love with a few of the books and some replicas of some of the instruments used on board and that type of thing. Then I found the one thing that WAS Titanic.

Before Titanic left port, there were 5,892 tons of coal loaded for the journey and much of that came from other ships who had to relinquish their loads because of a coal miner’s strike that was going on at the time. Titanic burned almost 700 tons of coal a day and as she was just a couple of days into the trip when she sank, thousands of tons were scattered across the debris field.

The exhibition had custom made necklaces with some of the coal recovered from the sea floor inside. My daughters have matching glass hearts filled with coal and I have a cross filled with the same. I wear it proudly, though for a very long time I was afraid to. I was afraid of it breaking or me losing it or something like that. However, I realized if we all live our lives in fear, we wouldn’t have a life worth living. That necklace is a pretty good reminder to me to live fearlessly. And that’s what I try to do.

If you want to see a permanent exhibition, Branson,MO has one and here’s the link for you. http://www.titanicbranson.com/

Like I said… I will write more in April on Titanic… but in case you are wondering how this “lady” became a passion of mine. It all started in 6th grade at St. Joseph’s Elementary School and a dreaded report. I don’t remember exactly what the assignment was, but I do remember I couldn’t think of a darned thing to write. I looked all over the house for some inspiration – everything from my father’s Yankees baseball contract to flipping through pages in the encyclopedia (A big set of expensive books that quickly became outdated.) I remember sitting in the living room going through a book of old newspaper articles and found this…..

My heart was touched and I sat in the living room crying as I read and reread the article many times over. Yes, I did make an A on the paper, but I learned more than Mrs. Akeroyd anticipated.

Day 67 – A Day for the Irish or the Tired

Happy St. Patrick’s day to one and all. I hope this day has found you blessed beyond measure and full of joy and if not joy… beer. This has been one of the longest days or rather, it has felt like one of the longest days. It’s 9:30pm and I’m in my jammies already tucked in bed because my level of exhaustion is through the roof. I am hoping a blessed sleep comes quickly. However, I did want to try to jot a few thoughts before I drifted off in the Land of Nod.

My cousin-in-law’s wife, her sister and the FIVE children are in town visiting. I have decided a few things after this visit that are crystal clear and really have nothing to do with any of them.

1) I am not a little people person. I never have been a little people person. Even when my own children were small, I can say I was not a huge fan. Yes, I loved them more than life itself (and I still do.) However, I have to say that as they have gotten older, I really do find them a lot more interesting. I love listening to what they have to say and I love watching their thought processes. My girls have changed immensely from six to sixteen and now they are starting to know who they are and they express themselves in a way that I can truly appreciate. I know there are millions of women who loooooooove babies and the little ones. I have to say, with the rare exception (my nephew Erik for one), I’ll take a teenager any day of the week. I’m sure there are many who will claim sacrilege. I say, “honest.”

2) My children are now old enough that when I was asked to buy 3T-4T pull-ups tonight, I was actually confused. I purchase bras and panties for my girls and haven’t even looked at a pull-up in many a moon (slight pun intended.) I was so grateful I didn’t have to regularly shop at Babies R Us or Toys R Us or anything like that any more. I was instantly grateful that I no longer had to worry about breast feeding or formula or baby cereal or food or diaper bags or toys or pacifiers or bottles or sippy cups. The relief was instantaneous and I made eldest DD carry the pull-ups to the register so I wouldn’t have to. And really… even though we went through our fair share of pull-ups, I still wonder what all the fuss is about because truthfully, kids know how to undo their own diapers at that age. Seriously wonder if you could throw a poise pad in a pair of panties and have better results. Oh well… until grandchildren many moons from now – my days are done.

3) My final thought on the children thing is noise. Oh mother. My girls can make more noise than the Texas Jam sometimes and my head can ring for quite awhile. However, because they are older, the noise level is usually not this piercing “shriek” that can be heard by dogs 23 miles away. Multiply that shriek by four and add in a newborn baby’s subtle cry (not the “feed me now lest I kill you in your sleep” cry) it was LOUD. And don’t tell me you don’t know the shrieking I’m talking about because ever since the first dogs looked at Adam and Eve’s kids, they had that moment where they looked at each other and said, “Seriously? That’s annoying and it hurts our little ears.” Piece together the shrieks of the little ones with the fact American Idol was on and the fact that I had a long day at work and am rather cranky…. you can imagine my relief when my eldest advised me she had to go to Barnes and Noble to get a book for school.

I know I have been rambling and I’m sure I have much more to say, but will work on it later. Huggies and Goodnights…

Day 66 – The Power of the Horse

There is nothing as powerful in the world as the horse on a young girl’s dreams. I can’t say that every little girl wants a horse, but there’s something magical about them.

When I was young I saw the most magical of all the horses in the world in a show – – – the Lipizzaners. Talk about a fluidity and grace that words can’t begin to define. I remember that first show like I saw it yesterday. Tonight, my mother took me, my DH and my 2 darlings to see them perform in front of a pitifully small audience. The five of us sat in amazement as the enchantment wound it’s spell around our hearts. I love these horses. These horses have the ability to make me want to dream, if only for one night in time. With that said… I think that is what I shall do – go dream. G’Night.

Day 65 – More Randomness

There’s really nothing better in the world than BFF Time. It’s capitalized because it’s that important to my (our) sanity. Decompression and de-stressing is the name of the game and I got to have a little bit of that time this weekend. Pretty happy about that. I wish my BFF didn’t live 250 miles away, but we can’t help these things and we do what we can to stay in touch.

I’m not really feeling in touch with my dinner however. I’m sitting here eating a TV dinner and I’ve forgotten I’m not a big fan of pesto. So… I think I shall eat the cherry crisp dessert and skip the rest which has left a very weird taste in my mouth. I must remember not to buy this one again. Blech.

Speaking of gagging… I hate parental guilt trips. My mother called yesterday and left a message. I felt like poop so I didn’t call her back and then she called today and guilted me into calling her back tonight. I am hoping that I will have this mysterious power over my children as I get older and if not, I won’t lose any sleep over it. I’ll be happy they are talking to me 🙂

There are a lot of things that intrigue me, but I have a question. How does one sleep in a round bed? For me that would be a bed for one because I couldn’t share that kind of space with another individual. I think I would feel a little disoriented not knowing exactly where the “edges” are. And how would one actually make the bed? You couldn’t possibly get those crisp military corners, could you? On the plus side of the matter, it would be like sleeping on a cookie every night and that couldn’t be a bad thing.

Life Lesson #65

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

“To put it all in simple terms, there are two things that you must do. The first thing you must do is to learn the rules of the game that you’re playing. It doesn’t sound exciting, but it’s vital. Secondly, you must commit to play the game better than anyone else. If you can do these two things, success will be yours!”

Health & Fitness #65 Camomile tea contains a compound called apigenin that works on the same part of the brain as anti-anxiety drugs. So when you are stressed out, this old-fashioned remedy is bliss. In fact, as I’m still on the phone with mother while I’ve been writing this, I may have to indulge in some chamomile tea because I need some bliss.

Day 62 – Ramblings About Time

Yesterday was eldest’s 17th birthday. It’s hard to believe how quickly 17 years goes by because it seems like it was just a few months ago. I can’t say it “seems like yesterday” as many memories have faded into the nothing, but it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s approaching the two decade marker.

And side note, it just occurred to me that I’m just a couple of years out from my 25th high school reunion. Why is it when we are young that seems more than a lifetime away, but now that it’s approaching, it feels not that long ago? My dad had a theory that the older we get, the faster time passes. I’m beginning to believe he was absolutely correct. I think this quickening of the passage of time is not so much in terms of absolute scientific principle, but in terms of mental status. I can’t explain it really, but I do believe it exists. It’s kind of like God, only with less BAM! I can’t prove God exists, but I believe He is there all around us and He does things only He understands.

As far as diet and exercise have gone the past week, I have thought about it and that’s a far as the process has gone. I’ve been trying to sort out this thing called life and my personal health has taken a back seat to trying to tame the mental animals running amuck in my head. There are really too many things going on lately and I haven’t been sleeping well or anything else. Frustrating.

Time change is tonight. I hate this stupid, freakin’, daylight savings time crap. (Speaking of not sleeping well lately.) I don’t know why we still do it. It’s not all that important to have daylight at 10pm. I seriously would be pleased if they would fix it. I found a quote that sums up my feelings rather nicely.

A writer in 1947 noted, “I don’t really care how time is reckoned so long as there is some agreement about it, but I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind. I even object to the implication that I am wasting something valuable if I stay in bed after the sun has risen. As an admirer of moonlight I resent the bossy insistence of those who want to reduce my time for enjoying it. At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves.” (Robertson Davies, The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks, 1947, XIX, Sunday.)

Well, I think I need to get some real rest. Got to get up early (as it were) to take Maverick to the groomers for the summer shave. I know it’s not summer, but he smells like dog. Love the boy, but dog smell is blah. Time to get him less canine and more fru-fru…. LOL!

Ciao Bella…

Day 59 – Trying to Sort It All Out

Disasters can come in every shape and form under Heaven and they definitely test our faith. Things have been going a little rough lately at the casa while I don’t truly know if I can classify the situation as a disaster, I can quantify it as “suckage” and massive amounts of it. At this point, I’m not making the overtime I was freakin’ MANDATED to work at the AECC so my paychecks have been smaller than they used to be by quite a bit and this has been going on for the past 6 months. Kyle’s business has slowed down to a snail’s pace (complete with the goo left behind…) and recovery from that slowdown may or may not happen. In the meanwhile, we can’t wait to see if it will turn around so Kyle has been sending out resumes and looking at jobs elsewhere.

I’m hoping something comes through soon on Kyle’s Great Job Hunt of 2011, but I know we also need to get many more resumes out there to make that happen. There are 2 jobs he’s applied for that sound pretty awesome. One is in Dallas and one is in Lake Mary, Florida – just northeast of Orlando by a few minutes. I’ve never pictured myself living in Florida, but stranger things have happened.

Kyle is pretty particular with what he wants to do and I’m not in his head so it’s a little hard to understand sometimes. I guess I have just done so many things workwise that I don’t have a clear understanding of only working less than a handful of jobs in a lifetime and only really feeling comfortable just doing one thing or something closely related to the one thing. I remember the days of working 2 and 3 jobs at a time in order to “survive” and have the feeling I’m at that point again.

Life Lesson #59 Credit cards are EVIL and all kids should stay well clear of them and be taught how in the hell to use them. I will be the first to admit we have our own fair share of debt that we are struggling like hell to repay because we were not taught good fiscal principles by the parental units. I can manage millions of dollars in a business, but can’t seem to manage my own freaking spending. (Not that I’m entirely to blame in this fiasco.) But it is definitely much easier to handle before losing about 3K a month.

And as a side note, I think we finally have the kids diapers, formula and baby clothes paid off. Most of this ever-accumulating debt (interest) has been the result of necessary purchases. Sure, some of the things we have charged over the years weren’t “necessary,” but trust me when I say, “Come look at my house and tell me we have an overabundance of luxury items.” A couple of years when the kids were young, I couldn’t work because the girls were sick all the time. It get’s interesting when I look back at the income taxes during that time because we survived on the credit cards we had. Anyhoooooo….

Seeing as I’m kind of tired of non-paying career choices, I’m having to look at going back into media. I’m not a big fan of that. However, I have found several jobs in New York City that pay well over 100K and with that kind of money, I could find a small place there and in all honesty, we could have 95% of all of our bills paid off in 6-8 months. If I were a little more conservative thinking time-wise because I know stuff happens, I would say 10 months. But everything paid in under a year is completely doable. This would free up a lot of tension financially, but cause a few more problems along the way… the question I have to find an answer for is which of the problems is the worst? God knows I don’t want to live away from my family for a year, but I also know that those guys in the military that go away for a year or a two at a time have family units that somehow survive. Is this that kind of situation and how to look at it? Is it “war?” I’m thinking it might be and I’m going to have to fight to keep my family in a most unorthodox manner.

Ahhhhhhh it’s too late at night to be going round and round on this matter, but I really needed to vent for a few. All of this stuff in my head is just kind of a swirling mass of confusion and maybe just being able to get some of it out is good. I’m going to try to crash and burn now. Hopefully a good night’s sleep will bring some clarity. Bon nuit.