Friday, July 29, 2011

How should we spend our bonus?

We are getting a bonus from work this year and I've already spent it like 8 different ways (man, it was fun), but now that the actual date of actual deposit of said bonus into our actual bank account draws near... the discussion of how to actually spend the money has been broached.

Pay Taxes:  Hey, Uncle Sam needs his too!  So the first 50% of any dosh will be sent off to Uncle Sam where my congressmen will spend it frivilously on things I could never get away with in my own personal budget.  sigh.

A Vacation: because my Lord knows I haven't been on one of those in years and years and years!

Cosmetic surgery: (like specifically a tummy suck/tuck -- could they just do my whole body?  Then I wouldn't even have to change my eating habits to lose weight and maintain it.  Except I hear it hurts.  Things ooze.  There are compression bandages involved.  I am already a very physically hot person (as in "I'm hot so don't even think about touching that thermostat unless you want to see some serious skin.")  Plus, my husband would never agree to an elective surgery because all he see's are the little kids starving in Africa.  There's a mood killing image.  My in a nightgown ready for business time and he's not in the mood because every time he looks at me he see's all the starving children we could have helped.  OK, that's out.

Spending Spree:  this kind of doubles as a vacation when you think about it.  I mean, I could do some serious damage at WalMart with a bonus check!  (but then I'll have to deal with the guilt of spending money at WalMart since several friends have explained to me that they are not a "nice" company and take advantage of people all over the world (with apparently the exception of the consumer because WalMart prices rock!). 

Pay of Debt:  OK, nuff said.  (in case you didn't catch it, that was a noooooooo)

Spend Wisely:  Probably what we'll do.  School is almost here which means, supplies, uniforms, backpacks, books, clothes.  There's a huge chunk there.  The hubster and I can update our thread weary closets and maybe I can manage to get a decent camera. 

You know... that bonus wasn't so fun after all.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

annoying habits

We have a big Healthy Lifestyle push at all the time.
I am not really an unhealthy person (2 cups of coffee with cream AND lots of sugar, 1 coke, couple bottles of water thrown in for good measure, pb&j, whatever I want for lunch and a sweet snack in the afternoon.... OK, maybe I am an unhealthy person).  Obviously I am in some denial.  As I've passed the threshold of my 40s things have gone down hill physically.  I've always claimed my body hates me (a claim I stand by today).  I have a list of issues reaching back to puberty that I've just learned to live with.

However, I am noticing that each year further into this decade I have more complaints.

And these complaints are more bothersome.

I was looking at a list of supplements that will help with many issues the average human body deals with and my current plan was to just take all the supplements and keep doing everything else the same.  One of my coworkers was kind enough to point out the fallacy of this approach. She is very good at watching her diet and being smart about what treats she indulges in.  (Hey, maybe I should just pay her to cater my food each day!!)

All this to say I don't want to change and know I need to.  Did you hear me?  I know I need to.  Don't "they" say that acknowledging you have a problem is the first step?  OK, I've made the first step.  Now, where are the M&Ms?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So busy...

Any Christian with children (or a friend who has children) has heard of Veggie Tales.  (If you haven't catch up people, seriously!  Even College students watch Veggie Tales for their catchy songs and poinant life lessons).

One of my all time favorites is one of their first ones (the first?) "Are You My Neighbor".  In the "Tale of Two Cities" (Flibber O Loo) they show the song about the Good Samaritan.  One of the songs that has stuck with me for... well... let's just say a looong time is this one.

I'm Busy, busy, shockingly busy
Much, much too busy for you.
Larry: Oh, I see.
Archibald and Doctor: We're busy, busy, dreadfully busy
You've no idea what we have to do.
Busy, busy, shockingly busy

Much, much too busy for you.
'Cause we're busy, busy, frightfully busy
More than a bumblebee, more than an ant.
Busy, busy, horribly busy
We'd love to help, but we can't!
Archibald: Ta ta!
I think about this in light of the dreadfully busy lives we live.  Especially in Orange County, CA (ok, so this is actually my only real reference for lifestyle since this is where I live and have always lived and worked; so if you live someplace equally as high pressure, feel free to include your city here! _____).

We have our whole "keeping up with Newport Coast" (or Newport Beach, or the other family that seems to have the perfect life and you know you would NEVER invite them to your house without having moved out first and had it professionally cleaned and steralized... but I digress).  This is a culture of high motivation, extremely busy schedules, overcommitment, frustrating traffic and the ever increasing communication and information available on your must have smart phone.  (Gosh that was tiring to even write!)

I am busy.  I love being busy.  I wear my busy-ness like a badge of honor and importance. 

You'll tell me what you are doing this weekend, and without even thinking that I might be committing social suicide in one-upsmanship, I'll reply with the list of things I intend to accomplish this weekend.  Where I'm volunteering, how many kids I'll be taking with me to a theme park or the beach or to do some involved craft...

What comes to mind right now on this very common topic in my life is... what am I missing out on due to my busy-ness?  Have I given God each day and all my plans and asked Him what His plans are for me?  Am I open to the Holy Spirit's leading if one of my kids just needs some face time without all the distractions?  Am I available to reach out to someone in need when I see the opportunity?  More importantly, am I just filling time to avoid being quiet with myself where I might focus on God's will in my life? 

See, that's what a 2x4 girl does.  We do. And do. And do.  I'm often so busy that I don't realize what I'm missing out on.  I'm too busy to really hear and accept the quiet leading of the Holy Spirit and I force God's hand with the 2x4 because I continually ask Him for His will, but I often don't stick around long enough to hear it.

I'm working on this.  I am a continuous work in progress and I have the splinters to show it.
Where are you on this journey?  How can you make some changes today?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I've got nothing

Lots of ideas all day, and now nothing.  Bits and pieces of ideas and nothing I can put together.  I could tell you that we have a new bunny.  She's cute.  Oh, I told you before, she was an attack bunny the 2nd day we had her.  That was funny.  Now she's reasonably nice, but is drunk with freedom.  We let her run around the downstairs (and poo in the corner) and every so often she just jumps up high and wiggles her bum in the air and goes on about her business.  Almost like something scared her mid hop. 

Our cat, Marmalade, is in the house.  He has met the bunny is thus far isn't impressed.  Actually, he's scared of said bunny (who still has no name).  He has always been a "fraidy cat" from the day I rescued him.  He was found at a wee kitten in front of a grocery store, shaking and afraid.  i got him from someone who couldn't have cats and it took me 3 days of holding him before he finally stopped shaking.  Then, he would hide, but with only his head hidden, bum still out.  Which of course made me laugh.  So he's always been afraid.  Now he's big.  Not huge, but big.  The bun was hopping around last night and cornered Marmalade in the kitchen.  I heard him hissing and got up just to make sure the bun was ok.  It didn't occur to me Marmalade might need rescuing.  Zoom, he ran up the stairs and away from the bunny.  I have a feeling they will eventually get along.

So naming the bunny.  I want to name her Fifi or Fiona.  Don't ask me why, I don't know.

Monday, July 18, 2011

learning in steps

I just had a small (but meaningful) "aha" moment.

I've been working at my current job for almost 1.5 years now.  During that time, I have been attempting to provide customer service regarding a database of some pretty detailed and technical information.

If I'm honest, I have been hoping this whole time that said database responsibility would be taken away from me, so I only paid enough attention to get by and do a decent job.  Now that my responsibilities have doubled (vs shrink as I'd hoped) I am taking more ownership and thus, paying a bit more attention.

Mind you, all that I'm doing is Greek to me because I'm dealing with codes and numbers for items that have no relationship for me.  There is one person (I call her the Queen or Goddess) who has been here so long that she can rattle off what something is based on a random part number.  (We should sell tickets!)  OK, maybe not ticket worthy, but when you are the new kid on the block, someone with that level of information in their brain and a willingness to share it is a Godsend!

My a-ha moment was relating a part to the whole and realizing the relationship.  It's one small step for admin-kind, but I have a feeling the additional learning needed to (dare I say it?) master this database will be faster in coming.  It's the kind of learning that grows exponentially. 

God is like this too.  He teaches us what we can comprehend bit by bit stretching us (stretching me) to reach the next point in our relationship.  There are mountaintop experiences where I can look back and see all that God & I have accomplished and appreciate how far I've come.  Where I can drink in God in all His glory through something I've personally experienced.  I LOVE THOSE TIMES!  They are important and necessary because other times I feel like I can barely see my next move.  I'm pressed up against a mountain and while I am currently holding tight, I don't know which arm to reach out with, how far I have to stretch before I grab the rocks above me and pull myself up/forward.  (OK, I've never been mountain climbing and honestly, I'm not wild about sports analogies, but...if I put this in emotional terms we'd be here forever.)

I see that while I often want God to lay out His plan for me so I can see all of it; God doesn't do that because I cannot handle it.  I'm not ready because without the experiences of tomorrow and next year I cannot imagine the journey 5 years from now.  God wants my faith.  He wants my trust in Him.  He wants a relationship with me that draws me to Him daily, not just in my times of need.  It is the relationship building that allows me to climb higher, to attain God's plan for me.  He tells me He can do immeasurably more than anything I can ask or imagine. (Eph 3:20)

God builds upon my experiences, upon my faith, each day. 

Which makes me ask myself...what am I asking or imagining from God?
Am I putting the time into my relationship with Him so that I can climb higher?

And I didn't even need a 2x4 for this one!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Quiet Time

I need to start by telling you all that I don't truly know what quiet time is.  I haven't so much as gone to the bathroom by myself for 13 years.  (OK, I do use the loo alone at work, let's not go too far.)  In fact, just recently I became aware of the fact that I was actually in the bathroom alone!  It was kind of a big day for me.  Seriously, the only way I was able to have uninterrupted "quiet time" with my husband was after I told my son what we were doing -- he does not bother us any more, nor does he let his sister knock!  It's great.

So, all that to say that a regular quiet time with God has not been a part of my life for a long time.  I do get times here and there, but they are not regular or daily.  I am currently on a journey to draw yet closer to God.  He is calling me to pursue more of Him and I really want to.  However, I am having a hard time finding the...time.  There is a change in me.  I am less interested by my Netflicks queue and other distractions.  What I want is more of God, more art in my life, more connection.  I think part of my issue is lack of practice.  When I find myself with time to do these things, I don't think to do them.  I need to become more purposeful.  There is a line in a book I'm reading that talks about our children seeing us as radical Christians, sold out to following Jesus.  I so love that idea.  I want my children to know that there is truly no sacrifice too big when it comes to Christ.  I want to give everything to Him -- and right now I'm not giving Him everything.  There is more I can give and I don't want to wait until I'm hit upside the head with that 2x4. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The OC Fair & Sales

My son goes to summer camp tomorrow and I was feeling antsy.  I have plans to go to the fair with a friend and our gaggle of offspring later in the month, but I am often frustrated by the group and trying to herd everyone through the different exhibits (when all they really want is to go on rides).  I found myself missing my Mom today (she now lives in Florida) because the fair is something we did together each year.  Just us two.  We'd look at all the exhibits and eat special things each year (gotta have Terri's Berries and the delicious bratwurst with sour kraut and mustard...and don't forget a cinamon roll when you've finished the Aisle of Products!!)  So, with my son (13) about to leave for a week, I asked if he would go with me.  He changed his plans and off we went.  I'm so glad he did.

We took the shuttle in from a parking lot down the street from South Coast Plaza - a new experience for me.  Arriving at the fair hungry, we stopped and got "normal" food - hamburger (with cheese, bacon, bbq sauce, onion ring) and a chili dog.  (Didn't realize the giant (freakishly giant really) turkey legs were just a bit further down.)  Scarfed that down and off we went.  Crafts first.  I'll be honest, the quilts just don't thrill me.  We were mezmerized by the wood turning as we joined a crowd watching one of the woodworkers strip a bowling pin of it's plastic so he could make something else out of it.  What a fascinating process.  So fun to watch!  I could have stayed till he finished!  

We finally made our way to the mecca of sales...the Aisle of Products!  Who knew there could be so many things you didn't know you need?!  Everything from magic mops to chiropractic and back to life insurance.  We walked up and down the aisles thinking about each item we couldn't do without now that we were aware of the product.  I was tempted by the juicer, the Mink Oil, the special Aloe Vera lotion that penetrates 7 layers of skin and is the same product used by hospitals to treat burn patients.  "If you buy today, I can give you enough lotion to last you two years."  My son is saying, "Mom, you need that!"  I told the salesman I'd think about it (which I am honestly, wondering if it might be a good option for my friends daughter with allergies and eczema).  Next we were drawn in by the Mink Oil which is "the closest thing to your body's own moisture available."  After washing my hand, Kathy (our salesperson) exclaimed, "Look how great your hand looks, it has fewer wrinkles.  Isn't it great?!"  My son piped up "Yes!"  When she finished her sale with all it's available options ("A good eye cream would cost you more than all these products combined.") my son added that while you got enough lotion for 2 years from the Aloe Vera people, you only got lotion.  Here you get so much more!  Good sales person, my boy!  Kathy's eyes sparkled thinking she had us.  I said no.  I really must think about it.  

Walking down another aisle, my son and I talked about selling and the different tactics these people used.  The hard sales of the sneaker cleaning people (I mean, they practically begged me to buy it), to the people who didn't push us at all.  How did they make us feel?  My son starting thinking anybody could sell him anything (which today, they could) and I explained that he has a good heart and on top of believing their claims of greatness (I mean come on, they even demonstrated how great it was!) he didn't want to disappoint them. 

I think back to the "I wants"... I do want a product like the mink oil that will be gentle and keep my skin clean and soft.  That won't need to be reapplied until 6-8 hand washings later.  It sounds so great.  The aloe lotion was so soft.  The sneaker cleaner made me feel like I was helping youth who could have been out doing something far less productive.  I really do need that tempurpedic mattress.  I mean, I could easily justify that particular expenditure!  (still waiting to discuss with the hubster!  I mean, 100 day trial, free delivery, no interest payments for three years! and the most awesomely comfortable bed you've ever sat on!)  sigh... I guess I still have the "I wants" and yet, I came home with only 2 items for my boy and a cup I can take back for refills on my next trip.  (OK, $2.50 refills, but it's 3x the size of the drink they would normally give me for $2.50).  Next trip... I want... friends with us, corn on the cob, more comfortable shoes on my feet and funnel cake.  All sounds do-able.

What do you do at the fair?
What item from there is always a pull on you?

And by the way, I wanted more lotion on my hands by the time we hit the bus for our ride back to the car... so much for ONE handwashing!  (but the baby piggies were SO CUTE and who doesn't want to pet a Llama!)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Depressed anyone?

I am generally very good at avoiding depression.  I lived with a major depressive (mom) and I hate depression with a passion.  A few years back, I put myself through therapy for a year because as good as I am at working out my own crap (with special thanks to good friends!!)  I had hit a wall I couldn't seem to climb.  Digging deeper and deeper into a rut with a need to find a way out.  I turned to therapy.  We did make some major progress and I learned some things I still practice and share with others today.  

(2x4 Moment:  Yes, I made progress in therapy but only after arguing with my therapist for 3 months about how this would be accomplished.  Finally, in what I can only imagine was exasperation, he looked at me and said, "Who has the degree?" (pause) So I let him run things and we started making progress.  Imagine that!)

A friend said something recently that made me stop and think.  Do I discount how much stress I am under and overestimate my ability to deal with it?  I see this in other people, but her comment made me think perhaps I need to see it in myself as well.

She (I'll call her K) commented on my sharing that noise really bothers me.  It never used to.  I can remember being the teeanager with the music blaring and my parents telling me to turn it down.  (talk about hearing your mothers voice come out of your mouth, it's my turn to say this to my kids!)

So, K told me that being bothered by noise is a sign of depression. 

Truth sometimes hits you square upside the head.  There was just truth in that statement.  So now I have to stop and I depressed?

I'm still working out the details of how this might be effecting my life.  I personally have a major fail in the personal caretaking of me category.)

If you're interested:
These are general symptoms of depression:

  • difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions

  • fatigue and decreased energy

  • feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness

  • feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism

  • insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

  • irritability, restlessness

  • loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex

  • overeating or appetite loss

  • persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

  • persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings

  • thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

  • I find a few of these interesting.  Things I have attributed to aging, medication and my own general nuttiness.
    • difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
    • insomnia, early-morning wakefulness (I wish), or excessive sleeping
    • overeating or appetite loss (again, wishful thinking on appetite loss)
    • persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
    See, many of these would pertain to me anyway, so it's easy to write them off.  I'm slowly going down a path to living more healthy.

    I'm wondering if these are also symptoms of stress.  (According to the Mayo Clinic they are.)  Could I be struggling with depression in ways other than the typical mope around the house with a little black rain cloud over me? 
    Guess I need to sit down with God and work on this stress and depression.  Do a little self care, something so many of us are truly bad at.  

    I started today with a pedicure...but I should have spent more time being quiet and still and praying than looking at trashy gossip magazines, I would have felt better.  I don't want to keep seeing "should have" on my list.  I need to make better decisions.  Starting right now, I'm going to do that.  I'm going to shut down and go to bed 1 hour earlier than I have all week.  That sounds like a positive step for now.  

    How do you take care of yourself? 

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    which would you choose?

    warning:  the following links contain sophomoric (read: liberal use of expletives) language and upsetting information.  Read on at your own risk.

    When upset with your husband do you...

    A:   Giant Metal Chicken
    B:  Say "he deserved it"
    C:  Scream & Fight
    D:  Other

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    bunny responsibilities

    (warning:  the links in this post may --ok they DO-- have bad language and passive agressive tendancies.  These are not my own, but I thought you might like to know.  The post itself if cursing free)

    My female offspring recently purchased a bunny.  She negotiated the deal with someone on Craigslist and managed to get a discount.  I'm very proud of how well she handled it all.  

    Getting her to take care of said bunny is something different.  It's always her brother's turn to  change the cage (OK, it's only been 1 day) (in all fairness, she did change it yesterday, but today already they've agreed to share the bunny and now it's his turn.  I decided to give her this task for the next month to teach her some responsibility. 

    Additionally, last night this bunny was quite nice and cuddly.  Today he is demon rabbit.  Open the cage and he...growls at you.  (did you even know that bunny's made noise?)  He literally growls, then jumps at you and tries to scratch you with his paws, comes over and bites you, then runs back into his cage!  He's not even that big!

    I sat down tonight and let the bunny come to me.  He growled again when I tried to pet him/her (who knows) and then ran back into his cage, but he came out frequently to frighten me (not attacking, but now I was expecting it).  I also explained to said offspring that the bunny is a little traumatized because he was taken from his home sharing a run with a chicken (yes, you read that right, a live chicken though, not a metal one), drove in a car with new people and then deposited into a home that to a bunny, just smells like PREDATOR!  (we have 2 cats, who live primarily outside or in said offspring's room.)  Give the poor bun a chance to adjust!

    By the way... names currently under consideration:
    cupcake (this is mine, the offspring are so not going for it)
    frosting (also mine, the offspring just looked at me funny)
    breakfast (I looked at them funny)
    lunch (another odd look from Mom)
    snowbunny (you guessed it, bunny is white)

    There were many other names bandied about, but for some reason these stuck.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    my own private torture

    So, being a Mom of two, there are certain things that come with the territory.  The joy that comes with a smile or an "I love you, Mom."  The conflicting feelings I have because my daughter loves her Daddy so much, we aren't even on the same "list" (he has a list all to himself!).  The pride when your child does something well and on their own; knowing you've taught them well.

    And then there is the torture.
    The torture of offspring fighting with each even after you've told them to stop -- and stop again.
    The torture of never having a moment alone again until after the kids have left for college.  (Seriously, not even the bathroom.  Maybe I have boundary issues.  Maybe my offspring have boundary issues?!)

    Then there is a special torture of having only 1 verse of a Justin Bieber song stuck in your head, but not even a verse, just part of a chorus, and you don't really know the words, so you can't even really sing it with the idea that one could satisfy the desire to hear the song.

    However, this was made worse yesterday when I realized the song was finally gone...only to be replaced by something equally as bad.  However, this one I knew the words to.  The theme song to the tv show "H20" (Australian kid/tween show abourt mermaids).  It's soooooo corny that I don't find it charming.  The song might have made it, but it went past cute and over the line of acceptable on my corny-meter. 

    Today, the two are fighting for dominance.

    Maybe I should start humming "Small World" from Disneyland? 

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Fun Office Pics

    I thought you might enjoy some funs pics I found at the office.

    What office would be complete without a red stapler?
    OK, I know it's not a sign, but it is an essential. 

    We had a printer die.  As in, unrepairable die.  This sign appeared.
    After months of the printer sitting there, dead, the following sign appeared.
    I think perhaps we have some Monty Python fans (or dead parrot fans)

    Here's one from the women's bathroom.

    Here's a great pic from someone's desk

    This might have been from accounting...
    Probably from around month end (or year end!)

    This should probably be in everyone's office!

    And I think we'll finish with some serious patriotism!

    Do you have any cool office pictures to share?

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    I WANT

    I go through periods where I JUST WANT!

    Right now... I want a new house to live in.  (When I say new, I don't mean brand new...gosh, I don't even know what I'd do with a brand new house!  I've only lived in roughly used homes!  Besides, I think we kind of feel like we don't "deserve" a brand new house because we don't really clean enough to do it justice.  Maybe I want need a maid too!)

    OK, back to the house.  I want a house!  I currently live in a 3 bedroom condo with a very full garage (that was always supposed to be my craft room, but that so didn't happen).  I never really wanted to live where we do.  I mean, it was a major step up from where we were (2 bedroom apartment, no garage, no washer/dryer)... so really... I'm in a better place.  But we NEED a 4 bedroom (we really do), but a bit more space (and maybe some cabinetry that isn't peeling and falling apart?) would be so super!

    Not actual photo.  I'm not that mean.
    However, we also need to pay off debt.  Debt from life, not from living large.  (OK, there may have been a small amount of manic spending in there, but it is a small percentage.  "Don't judge me!")  Like many people we've have some issues.  Like having to replace the engine in a car I lent to a friend who kept driving when the car started making strange noises.  (She did stop when the car was beyond reparairable because well... it was making REALLY loud noises by then and she kind of had to.  And before you ask... yes, there is blond mixed in there somewhere.)

    Then, there is the cat my husband doesn't like (and I love) who was attacked by not one, but two coyotes early one morning.  The hubster saved said kitty by fighting the mean ol coyotes off with a hose then was calling for the cat to come to him when I finally woke up.  The cat won't come to me when I call and I love him... he was so not coming to my hubster after being mauled by large animals with death on their breath.  (He totally lived by the way, not even a scar!  9 lives down to 6 I'd say.  1-being rescued in the first place, 2&3- 1 for each coyote).  Emergency vets and overnight stays... not cheap.

    There's plenty more reasons why we have debt, but I will oh so kindly spare you additional details.  Back to what I WANT.

    You know when you kind of know you can't have or do something, but you haven't emotionally reconciled yourself to it just yet?  Well, I will continue to mull over said issue (moving to an actual house) trying to problem solve and come up with a way to do it.

    Maybe if... I use my bonus from work (which Uncle Sam will take half of, so it may not even be enough.)

    Maybe if... I negotiate with the landlord to let us pay a deposit over the first few months (because if you haven't moved recently, it requires cold hard cash baby!)  We won't actually receive our deposit (if we actually get anything back) until a month after we've moved.  Can't count on that cash.  We'd need first month rent (OK that could be a wash) and deposit money, and in our case, cat/pet deposit money.  (I mean hey, we just spend several thousand dollars to fix a kitty, he's coming with!)

    Maybe if... I find an incredible deal in the neighborhood I want because I've just timed this all so well and God decided it's time for us to move.

    Oh wait.
    That's right... I shouldn't be problem solving and maybe if'ing...I should be praying.

    Not quite a 2x4, more like a dowell.

    Is this where God wants us?
    Are we supposed to move?  (and I can so totally hear me saying... "Yes, Yes God!  We are supposed to move!  Give us a great new place we can praise you for!)

    Sigh... I guess this is where patience and obedience comes in.  Perhaps... (just perhaps) I should spend more time praying and seeking God's will than scouring the internet for a free site listing what is available in Irvine.  I SO do not trust the sites they want me to pay for  the address.  I know that as soon as I do that, the properties I'm interested in will suddenly be "leased."  I mean, what landlord who wants to list his home for lease and keep it full limits his lease listings to pay only sites?  I don't think so.

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    Women's Bathrooms -- not the new Men's Bathroom

    OK ladies...
    Could someone please explain to me why some of you think I want to sit in your pee? 

    I mean really.  I work at a big, corporate company.  A large percentage of people have a college degree.  All of them passed "are you a psycho" personality tests to even be hired on.  Still, some of these women still pee on toilet seats or don't flush after themselves.  We literally have signs up in the bathroom reminding such women to flush.

    This is not Europe.  We have those great little seat liners that for the few moments you are sitting down really do a pretty good job of keeping you away from the germs.  In fact, I bet the bathrooms in our office are cleaner than the home ones we use because it's cleaned daily.  (No, I do not clean my bathroom daily other than to rinse out the toothpaste in the sink.)

    I just don't understand this.  Did I miss the revolution where women decided we too need to stand while we pee?  Are we competing for ickiest bathroom with the men now (trust me women, we'll never win that one.  Have you been inside a public men's room?)?

    Please, if this is you... STOP IT ALREADY!

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Fighting with the hubster (put the knife down woman)

    I must confess I love a good fight.  I do not mind confrontation and thoroughly enjoy winning them when the opportunity arises.  I actually got money back from the Irvine Company when we moved out of one of their apartments.  If you don't live in Orange County (or even Southern California) this will have little meaning to you; so to offer context... it's up there with arguing to get money back from the IRS because you disagree with their findings.  (Actually, I'm quite proud of that particular altercation and am delighted when given the opportunity to recount it.  But that's not why we are here today.)

    For the first, oh, say, 10 years of my marriage, I gave my husband to "The Irvine Company Treatment" in the fight department.  I think it would be fair to say I kind of ground him into dust.  Not that I won every argument - though my pride so wants that to be true because then, I'm, you know, justified.  I remember the exact moment I realized I was ruining our relationship with this behavior.  Sparing you the voluminous details I'm capable of, my husbter turned to me and said, "When we fight, it doesn't matter what I say, it doesn't even matter if I'm right.  I know in the end you have to be right or it will never stop."

    2x4 in action.

    That was a whack upside the head.  God used that one small statement in the midst of a fight and I've tried very hard to change from that moment on.  I don't think my husband has any idea how hard I try to change because I know some of my dreck leaks out.  Seriously, there are days where I shouldn't be in the kitchen because there are weapons of mass destruction in there that in the heat of battle, I may be tempted to use.

    Fast forward to my best friend moving away.  Insert period of appropriate mourning.  OK, we can talk about it again...

    She and her husband were having a discussion about getting a new bed.  His comment to her was they would get a new bed when she lost weight.  Now, before you go all nuclear about this (like I did) listen to her response.  She laughed!  She knew it wasn't true so why should it bother her. 

    Could it really be THAT easy?  Not letting what's not true bother me?

    So I tried that on for a while.  Tested it out.  You know what?  IT'S POWERFUL!  It's FREEDOM!  It's revolutionary!  It actually kind of changed my life.

    But I forgot all that last night.
    My husband and I had what ended up being conflicting plans last night.
    I intended to bring the offspring with me to a movie and he intended (as he intends each Thursday) to have quiet time.  Being a 9 on the Myers Briggs Introvert scale, he requires such things at regular intervals to function at a basic level.  When we got home... no offspring.

    No note.
    No cell phones (both are currently lost -- so not replacing those).
    My offspring really are not old enough for this kind of behavior. 

    So I called around looking for them without success until I'm ready to walk out the door to my movie & other friends (those other people being the reason I couldn't just cancel my plans, which I so would have done).  My husband was NOT HAPPY!  We had a few words because now I'm feeling bad about his unhappiness.  I am now unhappy with him for "making" me feel bad for not cancelling my plans.  He just wants his down time.  I just want to see friends.  Really, neither of us want something bad. 

    I'm late, so I leave. 

    But I'm not done.

    I call him and try to talk it out.  I get his go to response, "I have nothing to say.  We will have to agree to disagree."

    Except that I have an emotional response to this and it is icky and I want him to take that away so I can enjoy my evening.  I want him to make me feel better and tell me, "it's OK, go enjoy your evening."  We go back and forth.  He keeps saying the "agree to disagree" thing and I'm having visions on sharp instruments but am determined not to devolve into a screaming banshee (though I do a really good screaming banshee, just so you know).  Ultimately, nothing is resolved.

    I sit in my car and cry until I can pull myself together then I walk in to see my friends.
    I don't share that I just fought with the hubster.
    We talk and I try to enjoy myself, but I wonder if the guilt I feel for taking the evening away from the hubster is showing.

    Walking up to the movie theater, I get a flash of brilliance.  Called home and offered to have the hubster drop the offspring off to see the movie with me.  He shockingly says NO!
    The movie was really good and I cried through most of it which left me emotionally exhausted.  Went home to the usual offspring waiting for me, where have you been all night, now let's smother Mom greeting and we all go to bed.

    Fast forward to this morning.
    The hubster comes in and gives me a big hug.

    And now the ick is gone and I'm ready to tackle another Friday.
    (but I really shouldn't have eaten that half a donut.  ICK)

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Different Perspective

    So, it's been a while, I want to blog, I love blogs, I love the whole idea of it...but time is not always my friend.  No home computer for many moons...I'm back at it... let's go!

    So, re-reading my last few posts and being in a different frame of mind (a bit anyway)...
    The first thing that came to mind was "what would my husband think upon reading this?"
    I think he would say "ditto" a lot.  He is probably feeling much the same way.  That is a very interesting perspective shift.

    I think part of making relationships work is being able to see things from the other person's side.