Monday, December 31, 2007
TH and I were chatting yesterday about how fast time flies. We can't believe 2007 is on its way out the door!
I was talking with my sister-in-law about how tired I was of grieving. There have been 6 losses in the last 6 years, in my life. Grieving is a mixed bag. It feels unbearable when you're in the midst of it. If you let it, it softens you. If you let it, it hardens and embitters you. It messes with my brain and changes how I think, literally and metaphorically. And yet, loss is inevitable and part of life. I know my experiences all add to my character. (But isn't there an easier way??)
I'll be starting work as a Deacon at my church this year. It's a three-year commitment. I dreamed about it last night, and feel completely unequipped for this ministry.
My second "grandchild" will be born this spring. (TH is 12 years older than I am, and his kids are young adults, so this really isn't as weird as it may sound.) I don't feel like a grandmother, yet a part of me yearns for the generational connection.
I'll be facing some challenges at work this spring - I know of one already that will seem like a repeat of last spring. Fun.
Settling into our home continues. There are still plenty of projects to keep us busy! I'm learning to live with incompletion.
All in all, I believe I am moving from a season of winter into a season of spring, in my life. New growth, new beginnings. I feel hopeful and anticipatory. I hope the ashes of loss will fertilize the soil that has laid fallow, making the way for some beautiful new sprouts. What is the season of your life? What will the new year bring you?
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Among the highlights of last night:
- Undercooked bean soup (told you I'm not Martha!)
- Wonderful aromas from hot cider, cinnamon candles, and the real pine tree
- Lots of yummy potluck food
- The aforementioned candles catching a napkin on fire, causing smoke alarms on all three floors to go off simultaneously.
- Gift exchange, where at least three people brought movie/video store gift cards. Do we all work together and think alike, or what?!
May your holiday gatherings be as festive, fun, and full as ours have been!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
1) The faith which sustains me; a God who is powerful and merciful, intimate and otherworldly.
2) My husband: my life partner, best friend, emotional rock, confidante, lover, biggest cheerleader, fellow traveler, and personal jester. He's the best.
3) My family. My stepdaughters and their blossoming families. My big brother, my sister-in-law (who is more sister than in-law), my nieces, my parents, my aunts and uncles, my cousins, and those who have gone before. I'm grateful for what each has given and taught me.
4) My job. I. Love. My. Job.
4a) My coworkers. The neatest, coolest group of dedicated, caring, knowledgable, fun folks.
4b) My boss. She is the best boss I've ever had.
5) My house. Sigh.
6) My cat. Lovey-boy.
7) My friends. Near or far, I am surrounded by people who appreciate me for who I am.
"In this world of sin and sorrow, there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." -- Henry Louis Mencken **
** With all due respect to my Republican friends and family!! hee, hee
Monday, November 19, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Tonight's inaugural recipe: Double Banana Pound Cake, from Cooking Light magazine (several issues ago). I had the overripe bananas on hand, and wanted to do something other than banana bread. This sounded good. The double-banana part is because the recipe calls for mashed bananas AND banana liqueur. Being short of the liqueur, I chose to use rum instead. I'm pretty sure this is a valid substitution; we'll see. If you want the recipe, let me know!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
1. Click on the "[#] Comments" at the bottom of the post.
2. Write your comment in the box.
3. Choose which option best fits you: Google Blogger/Other/Anonymous. Click on the circle next to the one you choose.
3a. If you do not have a blog site with google, choose "Other."
3b. If you choose "Other" and you don't have a website, that's OK. Just put your name, and leave website blank.
4. Click on the "Publish" button.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
But the work continues as we unpack, sort, and - yes, still - move items from the old place to the new. Today I moved our clothes. Although I am a bit of a clothes-horse, I really didn't think I had that many items of clothing. I was wrong. So wrong. So now that all the clothes are here, I need to go and organize our closet. Ah, home sweet home.
I'll try to get some pictures up soon. (I found my camera, so that's good...now if I can find my cd's, I'll have music to unpack to.)
Sunday, September 30, 2007
However, the paint colors are gorgeous. Pictures to follow, when I can find my camera again.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
1) All the mature trees outside our windows. It's so nice to see green - I feel like I live in a treehouse.
2) The swimming pool.
3) The weight room.
4) Friendly neighbors.
5) Being able to call management when the drains are clogged, filters need changing, etc.
6) The green common area with barbecues and picnic tables.
Well, we gave it our best shot!
Friday, September 21, 2007
1) It's old. Things keep breaking down or not working. Yes, I realize this could happen in a new home, too, but...there's been 30 years of home-building technology since our apartments were built. That's gotta count for something.
2) Doing laundry in the laundry room.
3) Cheap carpet.
4) Sharing walls with the breezeway, and hearing everyone walk or run by.
5) Parking garage.
6) Slow elevator (see also #1).
7) Doing laundry in the laundry room.
8) Revelers who decide to party on Thursday at 3 am.
9) Smokers whose cigarette smoke wafts in regularly, every day, at half hour increments. We've identified at least 3 different smokers by their scents.
10) A crappy oven.
11) Popcorn ceiling.
12) Shower doors and the yucky stuff that grows in the door runners.
13) Metal mini-blinds.
14) The lack of trick-or-treaters. Although the complex has lots of families, no one goes trick-or-treating. It's very sad.
15) Kids who pee in the pool.
16a) Paying rent.
16b) Rent increases every year.
17) Doing laundry in the laundry room.
18) One toilet.
19) Hearing our neighbors. Um, enough said.
20) Dealing with apartment management.
And did we mention doing laundry in the laundry room??
Thursday, September 20, 2007
It's official - we signed our lives away on Tuesday. We finished our mortgage paperwork and loan documents. And then Wednesday, the interest rates drop. Figures.
But, our place is beautiful!! We went over there last weekend and the carpet is in. It's so soft and clean...not like our current worn apartment stuff. One week till escrow closes and we get our keys! I feel alternately excited and sick. Meanwhile, we keep packing. Still throwing out a bunch of stuff, recycling old papers, and putting stuff in the freecycle pile. I'm so sick of sorting, and packing.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Little gems you may have forgotten.
By the Editors of Men's Health
1. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Even when there's not a prize in the bottom of the box.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Any tips for making a smooth transition? I'll take all the help I can get. Oh, and if anyone's free to help paint, let me know!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
1. pg. 52. "we need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that - sometimes - we're better off that way."
2. pg. 71. "...people are ignorant of the things that affect their actions, yet they rarely feel ignorant. We need to accept our ignorance and say 'I don't know' more often." This one had me thinking for days. So many times I'm afraid to look ignorant or stupid if I say 'I don't know,' yet I think I've probably been most comfortable with myself when I admit ignorance - because then I've opened my brain to learning.
3. pg. 208. "We think of the face as the residue of emotion...[but] the process works in the opposite direction as well. Emotion can also start on the face." What this means is that if we want to change our emotions, we can do so by changing our facial expressions. Wow! This is something to try next time I get frustrated at work - let's see if I can alter my thoughts by changing my expressions. I'll let you know how it goes.
Go get this book. Good stuff.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The first employee I approach (must have been 15 years old), I ask very politely, "Is there anything that can be done about the child who's throwing a fit? It's affecting our enjoyment of our meal." She says "I don't think we can do anything." Silence. Ohh--kayy. I ask to speak to the manager. She gets her supervisor, who was about 18 years old. He says "We can't really ask them to leave." Oh really? I ask, "Don't you have the right to refuse service to anyone?" He shrugs. I say, "So what you're telling me is that even though one person is ruining the restaurant environment for everyone else, there's nothing you can do about it?!" He says, "Yeah." I'm like, ooooooh - UH-UH. Meanwhile the tantrum has still been going on - so it's not like they couldn't hear what I was talking about - for a total of 15 minutes of straight meltdown (I gotta hand it to the kid for sheer endurance - wow). So I ask him if I can speak to his boss. He says, OK. He comes back with a business card, "He must have stepped out for a minute, but you can call him." You betcha.
A few minutes later, after the kid mercifully shuts up (still at no direction from his parents, who we had been observing), the manager starts walking around the restaurant. He's dressed in denim shorts and a T-shirt that says STUD and doesn't even identify the restaurant. He's asking everyone, "how you doin?" Well, fine, I love screaming with my onion rings, thanks...So when he gets to our table, I speak up. (Oh crap - I'm turning into my mother.) I very calmly mention that our lunch was disrupted by the tantrum, and how when I discussed this with his staff, I was told there was nothing to be done. I explained that this whole scenario bothered me on two levels: 1), what if the child were in danger, and making a ruckus? Would the restaurant say "nope, sorry, nothing we can do." And, 2) as a patron, it did not make me feel respected when the staff told me they couldn't help out. I then suggested that the manager (who turns out to be the owner) train the staff on different responses, so they can respond to complaints and disturbances appropriately. He totally blew me off.
He says, "Well ma'am, this is a kid-friendly restaurant, and so we expect there to be a certain amount of noise. If a child is in danger, we're limited by laws but would probably call the police. Otherwise, we can't do anything." I pointed out that the child was quite obviously not having good clean kid-friendly fun. He said, "I only just stepped out for five minutes, and I don't hear anything now. I'm a parent, and my kids have had tantrums in restaurants, you just do the best you can. In the thirty years I've worked in restaurants, I've never asked anyone to leave, and I never will." Wow. This guy's a winner. I reiterated that our meal was ruined, as were many other diners'. I asked him the same question as I asked his lackey - "so, you're going to sacrifice the comfort and experience of the whole restaurant because you don't want to step in to correct one person?" He said that's the way it was, and said he was sorry but there was nothing else he could tell me. No offer to pay for lunch, no apology for the negative experience. No placating, no nuthin'. I was so angry at this point I was shaking, but I managed to say, "I completely disagree with how you've handled this." We got up and left.
Now, I don't need someone to kiss my tushie, but in my opinion, this is how NOT to provide customer service. TH, after having worked in restaurant management himself, was also appalled - and he is tough to ruffle. When did kids' tantrums become normal behavior? When did people stop enforcing appropriate restaurant behavior for the common comfort of their patrons? My god, I feel like I stepped into bizarro world.
ps. Don't go to Fuddrucker's on Sunrise Ave in Citrus Heights. Ever. I'm telling everyone. And I'm toying with calling HQ on his ass.
pps. It occurs to me that I've been ranting a lot on my blog lately, so I will try to bring back some love tomorrow. I've got a great book I want to share with you.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I naturally feel most comfortable with how I was raised, but sometimes I wonder...what would it be like to have very structured ideas about what each gender "does?" Is there comfort in that? Is there confusion when all people can be all things? I guess this issue will keep coming up as long as there are still arenas in which women and men are not equally represented (hello, US Presidency and politics in general).
It's interesting to hear what people say on this topic (hint hint). Also, I think that culture plays a huge role in how gender roles are defined. And generation, and religion, and on and on... So I guess another question is, is it possible to separate the concept of gender role identity from that of culture and generation and family environment, or are these strings of identity eternally intertwined?
Monday, August 20, 2007
Flash forward to the next day, when I try to take said apple butter home. TH and I only packed one bag between us, and it was carry-on. We mosey through security at 5:00 am and get stopped at the x-ray. The TSA guy opens up our bag and starts going through everything. He pulls out the jar of apple butter (sealed, mind you), and says, "You can't take this." I argue that the bottle is obviously unopened, and not really a liquid. Like the fine down-home government employee he is, he doesn't budge. Kindly, he states that it's not allowed. Miffed, I tell him I hope he enjoys my apple butter since I won't be able to. Hmph.
So there you are folks. The friendly skies are safe, once again.
ps. I really don't have a problem with enhanced security, but come on. Apple butter for cryin' out loud!!
Friday, August 17, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
It's that time of year again...time for school supplies!! I love school supplies - paper, notebooks, pencils, pens, folders, scissors, glue sticks, binders, backpacks. Love them all. Loved getting ready for school, putting binders together, labelling notebooks, loading up my backpack, the whole enchilada. In my life, one of the great tragedies of being a grown-up is that I'm done with school, ergo no more back-to-school shopping trips. I miss school.
Yep, I'm a nerd. Any other nerds out there??
Thursday, August 9, 2007
There's a lot I need to learn from this plant.