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Balls!

2014, I have unanimously decided, sucks balls. I thought when I lost my dad in 2009, that was the worst year. No. This one has it beat by miles.

The year started off with Yoda moving to the Metroplex. I stayed behind and sold the house and my old car, which I basically drove the doors off of. Then I had to put a fur-baby, Angel, to sleep. I finally found a job a few months later and moved down with Yoda.

I was not a fit for said job and was also injured on the job. It was a two for one special. But to top it off, I became extremely homesick.

As summer came to a head, I lost a best friend, my sis-in-law, to cancer. It was brutal. Shortly thereafter, I quit my job.

This allowed me to come and visit my daughters quite often and I’m very thankful – especially since I have a brand new grandson. But things at their apartment were going fubar because of a newborn and my BIG sheepdoodle, Maverick the Amazing. As a result, he came down to live with us mid-October. By the end of the month, he was sick.

Maverick visited the vets a couple of different times, but it wasn’t until Monday the vet in the Metro said he needed an ultrasound and more tests because he thought he felt a mass. Gads. Already $1700 down and more to come. So I did the logical thing and brought him “home” to my vet tech daughter that night.

Yes, he needed more tests which were done Tuesday. Doc Chase, one of my favorite vets of all time, advised he needed emergency surgery as there was indeed a mass.

A few hours later, I found there was a large mass on his spleen, he had been bleeding internally and there were other masses. He was not going to recover. I had to make the decision to put him down.

Worst. Day. Ever.

I miss him more than mere words could ever say. He was amazing. Simply the best dog I have ever had.

As 2014 starts drawing to an end, I’m most thankful it’s ending. I can’t really take much more of it and 2015 surely must be better. Surely.

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Lost

Currently, I’m sitting in the dark at the new apartment, which still doesn’t feel like “home.” I’m eating an Amy’s TV dinner and listening to Coldplay’s “Magic” while the dog looks out the window wondering if there are squirrels running amok. The weather is not bright and sunny, but sad, almost morbid. It fits my mood. 

After many months, I have finally found a new job and relocated over 350 miles from “home.” This is disconcerting to say the least. For many, this isn’t anything to write about. People pack up and move all the time. But for more than a few decades, I have been in the same city of under 200k located in the middle of nowhere. Now, I’m in a true metropolis and I feel lost. 

My friends and family tell me I should be happy. Maybe I should, but I’m in mourning. I miss my friends and my family left behind – especially my daughters and my mother. Right now I miss my friends at work. I know I’ll make some new friends, but it’s not feeling the same. Maybe it’s not supposed to. I don’t know. 

I’m sorry this first post in a while is so depressing… I promise I’ll shake the mood after I wallow for a bit. Maybe I just need to get out of the darkness that surrounds me and wander around this new city that I now call home. 

All Because of Laundry

“Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

I had a rude awakening tonight (one of several actually) and I thought I would share it with you. I’m not really proud of this revelation, but self-discovery is always interesting – especially when uncovering the baser parts of human nature. Tonight’s discovery concerned “entitlement.” 

When we talk about “entitlement”, generally it’s about the “younger” or “next” generation and  their expectations to make large salaries upon graduation from college – or even high school. Youth today seems to expect to have things handed to them that my generation and back had to work and work hard to achieve. 

So it’s with a grimace I’m sharing with you this experience.

With the move to Dallas, Yoda and I are tapped out financially for a bit.  We’ve been living paycheck to paycheck for a while, but this pretty much takes the cake – having to take on apartment rental on top of a mortgage payment (which will be covered by someone renting the house for the time being, but I digress…) There are extra utilities, two households worth of groceries, extra gasoline for now driving in the Metroplex (as well as back and forth) and many more miles to work … you get the picture.  

And to clarify, tapped out means just that. I have enough money for a tank of gas and about $20 left for groceries until I get paid again. If other bills need to get paid, fuhget’boutit. They will be late. I can accept this as it’s only for a couple of weeks. (I hope.) 

However… I HAD to go to the grocery tonight and get some laundry detergent and fabric softener in order to have clean clothes to wear. Wandering around naked just isn’t an option. No one, save Yoda, wants to see all of this hanging out.

This decision was the beginning of the end.

I don’t buy the big name brands of detergent. I’m a middle of the road kind of gal.  So as a general rule I get the BIG VALUE 150 load bottles of soapy-wonderment for something like 10 bucks. About that. I only had $11 to spend on both tonight. The store I went to carried my normal detergent in a smaller size, but the price was $7.50. Seriously? That’s not helpful. At all. Why spend that much for so much less…? And then not be able to afford anything but the $1.99 fabric softener which smelled like… like… well… I don’t have a good description. There are perfumes that don’t smell that bad. And it was runny. It was so watery… Why even bother? 

So I sat pacing the freakin’ detergent aisle for the longest time and finally bought a small bottle of the store brand of detergent and a decent bottle of fabric softener. I paid $10.20.  

This whole thing brings me back to “entitlement.” 

I would like to think at my age I would have learned my lesson and saved for the rainy day, paid off all the freakin’ credit cards (which in the overall scheme of things are completely unnecesary and just a bunch of BS) and actually achieved something more than living paycheck to paycheck.  However, I apparently didn’t learn it and as a result I sat in the grocery store thinking that I should be able to get any damned laundry detergent I wanted because I’m old enough by George.  (Insert foot-stomp here.)

George had nothing to do with it. 
I’m not entitled to my favorite detergent. 
I’m just a girl who is starting over in life… in the middle of life. 

What I have learned from this is that we all get second chances to get things right and to make things better.  I have a feeling 2014 will see a lot more change than I have already experienced and will also see me humbling myself and admitting that just because I’m older, doesn’t mean I’m wiser… not just yet. 

Christmas Tidings

“Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food and beer…. Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?” 
~Bill Watterson – The Essential Calvin and Hobbes~




I’m sitting in my bedroom blogging this evening as my husband spends a few hours with his parents and his sister. Because my sister in law is going through some serious health issues of her own, I have been temporarilly banned from the house. Stupid flu. 

This has NOT been a “normal” family Christmas. Daughter #1 worked today and is now crumpled up in bed feeling crummy. Daughter #2 has taken some Christmas food to my mother and gone to see her boyfriend and his family. They are getting older and I’m reminded of how my parents must have felt as my sister and I moved on with our lives. It’s bizarre and saddens me some. 

I was starkly reminded of the first Christmases Yoda and I spent together – days when we barely had a couple of dimes to rub together, not much else than that. Those were rough, but good days. Because of the move, cash is at a premium so we drew names for gifts. This was hard because as “mom” or “dad” you want to give your kids everything. This was the first year we had to really limit ourselves so Yoda would have gas money to get back to Dallas and some grocery and laundry money as well. The gifts we exchanged were small, but from the heart. I think this is the way it should be. Forget quantity… quality is a much better thing. 

(Sigh)

As I have been grounded today, I have spent some time working on my Smash Book. It’s a non-traditional scrapbook by K&C Company that my daughters got me hooked on earlier this summer. I added a few things from a couple of my trips to New York City, San Francisco, Inn of the Mountain Gods, St. Louis, and Dallas, TX. (I think I’ve been a few places, eh?) If you are wanting something a little different for a scrapbook, but don’t want to invest the time and energy in a full-blown big one, I highly recommend a Smash Book. Awesome stuff right there.  For me, each page is a reminder of how blessed I truly am. 

And speaking of blessings… I pray for you and yours a Merry Christmas filled with Christ’s love, faith, hope and truth. (Whether you believe in Him or not.) 
I’ll see you again on the flip side. 

Moving Reflections

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
~Walt Disney~ 


A week ago today, Yoda and I set forth on a new journey to Dallas, Texas.  We packed up our belongings… Wait. Let me rephrase that. We packed up most of our belongings – enough to get the apartment in Dallas stocked and ready for Darling to live. The movers came, loaded everything we had ready to go and we travelled the 350+ miles to our new city. 

The next morning (Thursday) we frantically took possession of the keys to our new place. At that time, quasi-misery sunk in. I feeling heartsick and anxious because we were signing paperwork mere minutes before the moving van was to arrive AND I was, at that time, showing the first symptoms of influenza.  Within a couple of hours, the moving van had departed and we were already unpacking boxes. 

Now… I think it really needs to be noted that when someone is moving into a new place there is a specific item that cannot be forgotten and needs to be unpacked first. 
Toilet paper. 
I can honestly say I went out to eat lunch primarily because I needed to use the facilities more than I needed sustinance. My word how I just wanted to pee.  It felt like releasing Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. My bladder stood and applauded. Then I had to go and drink like two or three glasses of tea thereby doing a “lather, rinse and repeat” type of moment.  Just for the record, La Hacineda on Highway 121 has a nice ladies restroom. 

While we were there for the initial move, I wasn’t in much of a condition to drive. I didn’t even care if I drove.  In hindsight this may be a problem.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to get lost at some point, but thankfully I have a GPS and GoogleMaps.  I figure when the time comes, I’ll just blow through a tank or two of gas learning the area and figure it out from there. I bring this up because we had to go shopping and Yoda needed to learn his way around.  Not only did we need the aforementioned toilet paper, but we also needed food, as we didn’t bring much from the house. We also needed silly things that people take for granted such as shower curtains and that type of thing. However, I think as Darling was learning his way around, we drove down the same street like 50 times. At this moment, I can’t even remember the NAME of the stupid street. 

For the next couple of days we unpacked pretty much the entire apartment and as we did, the flu got worse. Yoda, the tape-dispensing Jedi Master, is also a master of the box-cutter.  (Though I’m not too shabby with the blade.) He tore down almost every last box he’d so painstakingly put together, just so we could bring them back home and load up some more stuff – “my” stuff to be exact. I’m really hoping to find a job soon and be back with Yoda before I know it. 

We were supposed to come back Saturday, but I felt so miserable we came back Sunday. I don’t know that made any difference other than I got some more sleep. But Yoda Darling was a good sport and drove the entire way while I was doped up on Nyquil. As an aside: We also had kicked in the two month trial on SiriusXM satellite radio. It made more a much more enjoyable trip down and back. I’m STILL going through all the channels and have yet to find my favorites, but it’s really nice to have options. This will make the commute times in Dallas so much easier.  

What channels do you listen to? Why? 
(Need suggestions here.)


Monday I went to the doctor. I indeed have the flu and a sinus infection. I’m not a fan of this. I got a shot in the butt and two prescriptions; however, no Tamiflu for me. It was past the 24-48 hour window. The reality: I should have just found a clinic in Dallas. Hindsight I suppose. I knew what it was, but toughed it out. Now I’m still a sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-headed, feverish (still!) and need to rest mess. Thank God for Nyquil (though why they reformulated it I will never know.)

Anywhoo… just catching up on a few things. I’ll see you on the flip side.

I Love Tape and Star Wars… and tape…

I don’t see how the Empire could be powerful enough to control the galaxy and still lose to an army of teddy bears   :confused:

The Empire did not lose to a bunch of teddy bears. They lost because of the damned wookie.



For the past few days I have slept some. I have eaten some. And I have packed more boxes than I ever care to again.  I know good and well I will more than likely be repeating the process again in 2014 twice – once to finish this move and another to hopefully move from the apartment into a more permanent residence. I. AM. NOT. AMUSED.  Okay, I’m better. Just had to get that out. Phew.  

What is tickling my “not so funny bone” during this weird adventure is “tape.” 

Since the first time I encountered the wonderfully sticky substance and wrapped my first present using GOBS of it, tape has been my friend. It’s versitile, handy and my “go-to” adhesive for many things.  Let’s face it, without duct tape the world would be in sorry shape. Who needs the force? I am Obi Wan with duct tape. 

But packing tape is an entirely different story. 

It’s not like duct tape, electrical tape, scotch tape, strapping tape, etc. It has it’s own handled dispenser which my husband handles as if he were Luke Skywalker brandishing his light saber against Darth Vader in the Battle of Endor.  I operate it like an Ewok trying to fly a sky rider while a storm trooper is after me.  It’s a bloody mess. My husband is a Packing Tape Jedi Knight. Yoda is he. In awe am I. 

Yoda stated earlier to me he was tired of going to war with the Boxes.  He said, “After days of battle, I’m tired and sore. And if I have to hear the sound of tape again…”

I tuned out the Jedi Master. 

With all of the tape I have ever wielded, I have never once given thought to the sound it makes coming off the roll.  We battled another box and it yielded it the tape. Each strip held a sound different from the last as it howled its battle cry. 
As we sealed the last box for part one of the journey, Yoda was exhausted, but victorious. He never wants to hear the tape emit any sound as long as he lives. He deserves a long, winter’s nap. Personally, I want to know if packing tape would have finished building the other half of the Death Star (or maybe that’s really the job of packing tape’s big brother duct tape.) I think I’m going to have to find a Wookie and ask… 

Metamorphosis

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” 
~ Eric Roth~
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Screenplay)
 
 
I’ve lived in one city my entire life. I’ve lived within five miles of the house I grew up in, though I have moved several times. For all practical purposes, this place has been my cocoon, even though I have very much wanted to “escape” to other places or sometimes drifted away mentally and felt as though I was living my own “Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” 
 
Today is the last day that “officially” my family will really be together.  My husband is being transferred to Dallas and we have found an apartment in the spanning metroplex 350 miles away.  Tomorrow the movers come and we will be transporting much of the household to another place “far, far away.” Some of our belongings will stay here while I’m still here searching for a new job, another story all together.  Then move #2 will happen. (Please insert sarcastic sounding joyful giddyness here.) 
 
It’s the genesis of an empty nest. My kids are of the age where they are branching out, trying new things and becoming individuals I am proud of. But it’s also a scary thing too. I’m ready, but not ready.  
 
While going through things and packing up a lifetime of belongings, it’s amazing the things I have kept. I know why I have kept much of it – I’m a sentimental fool. But moving this stuff, I just want to say, “F-it. Throw the lot of it out. I’m done.” But then emotion tugs at me and I just can’t do it. I’m a sentimental fool. 
 
The moving truck arrives in the morning and all I can do is hope things arrive in one piece… or arrive at all. This whole thing though explains why I haven’t blogged in a while. However, as my darling husband is in the land of Far, Far Away, I’m sure I’ll have some food for thought as I go about a season of change… rather like the butterflies who have to emerge from the safety and comfort of their cocoons if they want to fly.  (BTW…The blue ones are my favorite.)