STARTING 4/8/17: Six Word Saturday is now being hosted by the lovely Debbie at Travel With Intent. If you aren't already following Debbie, please visit her blog for Six Word Saturday and her beautiful photos. I'll continue to participate from time to time but please go to Debbie's for the official posts.


If you aren't receiving email replies to your comments, please see this post.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Six Word Saturday


wishing us all joy in 2012

Thank you for joining me for the chaos that was 2011. There was joy, there was disappointment, there was progress, there was regression. Next year at this time, I hope to find myself in a more content state of mind. I wish that for all of you reading as well.



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Tuesday, December 27, 2011

BlogHer Book Club: The Magic Room (Jeffrey Zaslow)

The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters by Jeffrey Zaslow

Many books feature a short title followed by a longer subtitle that gives a hint to the focus of the book. This book is about a Magic Room. It is not, however, a story about the love we wish for our daughters. I tried to come up with a better statement of focus but failed. Fitting, as I felt the book lacked focus overall. The three pieces of this book never quite come together, though each on its own holds potential.

The main focus is Becker's Bridal and the generations of family who have run the store in small-town Fowler, Michigan. Becker's Bridal is also home to the Magic Room, a special space defined by mirrors and lighting where brides-to-be bring their final selection for tears, family bonding, and eventually fittings. The book also features the stories of eight brides who make their way through the sales process at Becker's Bridal from their first visit to their fitting to their wedding day. Zaslow's final focus is on sharing a lot of research and survey information regarding the changes to marriage, societal norms, and the wedding industry over the years. He tries to intersperse these facts into the stories of the Becker family and the brides but it often feels out of place.

Overall, I thought there was a lot of potential but that the book was poorly organized and executed. I could not pinpoint a clear purpose for this book - was it to tell the story of the shop, the Becker family, the brides, or society? Establishing a clear purpose often helps non-fiction works fall into place organizationally and I feel that this book suffered for lack of that definition. Zaslow has applied a very factual presentatation style to stories that begged for more emotion. The stories of the brides were divided into three parts each and scattered throughout the book. I found myself wishing he had kept these tales whole as I frequently forgot each bride's story by the time he returned to it. The trials of a widow remarrying quickly despite friction with her kids and the triumphs of a newly-engaged woman recovering from a horrible accident would've been more compelling told as a whole. Story flow was decreased by facts and figures about everything from divorce rates to sexual promiscuity to bridal shop failures while not providing enough information to be considered a real examination of societal changes. Perhaps organizing the book into three separarate sections - Becker family/shop, Becker brides, relevant research tied back to the stories - would create a more cohesive experience for the reader.

If you're interested in reading The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow, you can purchase it from a retailer such as Amazon. Or, once I'm finished with my BlogHer Book Club duties, I am willing to forward along my copy to an interested reader. For more discussions about this book, check out the conversations at BlogHer.

This post is part of the BlogHer Book Club. I received a small payment and a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion and discussion participation.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Six Word Saturday


enjoying the holiday after much drama



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Greetings

With everything that's happened in the last month, I had to let go of a few ideas I had for making Christmas gifts and decorations. However, sending warm holiday greetings to my friends is always a priority and I made sure to mail out bunches of cards.

And of course, I had to uphold the tradition of creating a special greeting for my bloggy pals.





Whatever holiday you do or don't celebrate this time of year, I thank you all for the kindness you've shown me. Some of you wave in passing, others have become very dear friends. But I'm thankful for each of you and hope you all feel loved.

Monday, December 19, 2011

How I Gave Christmas the Finger

To catch up on the past month or so of my life, it's involved Joe turning down a job, Joe's rebellious appendix, and my stomach virus. The longer version can be found here in this handy post from last week.

My six words this weekend were "busy making up for lost time" - and we were doing an amazing job. Yesterday morning, while Joe went for a massage (I had mine on Saturday), I was finishing up some Christmas gifts for the family. Beautiful ruffled scarves that are so easy to make - cut the fabric, run them through the sewing machine twice (straight lines), then pull the bottom thread.

Except somehow, on scarf #2, it all went very wrong. Feel free to skip the next paragraph if you are the cringe-y type.

CRINGE WARNING: I managed to stick my left index finger under the sewing needle as it was running. The needle went twice through the nail before it broke and I got the machine stopped. Then there was a lot of bleeding and sobbing and swearing. When Joe returned home from his massage, we decided it was best to go to the urgent care because we couldn't find part of the needle and we were afraid it might still be in my finger.

CRINGING OVER!

They did an x-ray to be sure there was no bone fracture and no needle still in my finger (all clear!) and then cleaned things up for me and sent me on my way. My finger is in what they call a "froggy" - it's a metal and foam splint that wraps around your finger, mostly to keep me from smashing it into things. And they wrapped the tip of the finger in a bandaid.





Yes, that IS Daffy Duck. Jealous? The nurse wanted to use that size and that's the only one she had. I'm totally rocking it. Once the nail regrows (no picture of that - it's kinda gross), everything should be just fine.

And that's the story of how I gave Christmas the finger. Or maybe how Christmas gave ME the finger.

P.S. I was so mad at myself that I came home and finished all four scarves. Screw you, sewing machine!

P.P.S. I'm SO over all of this drama.

P.P.P.S. Typing is hard without that finger. I probably won't be commenting on many 6WS posts again this week.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Six Word Saturday


busy making up for lost time



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Where's Cate?

I haven't been blogging much lately and while I don't really feel like I owe an explanation (it's MY blog!), I'm going to give one. Mostly because I need to reflect a bit.

The week before Thanksgiving, we were all wrapped up in Joe's possible job offer. Which he ended up turning down.

The week of Thanksgiving, Joe had an emergency appendectomy.

The week after Thanksgiving, Joe was still recuperating and we were slowly returning to normal.

Last week, I got a nasty stomach virus, which put me in the hospital with dehydration, and then afterwards I was (and still sorta am) dealing with the remnants of the stomach virus.

Which brings us to this week.

I'm still having some virus-related issues and I'm exhausted.

I'm completely behind on my holiday plans, which involved making a lot of gifts because that's more thoughtful than placing Amazon orders off wish lists. Not that there's anything wrong with that, just that it's not what I wanted to do this year. Only, since I lost the better part of 4 weeks, I'm running out of time. So last night we went shopping at Ten Thousand Villages and took care of most of the gifts we needed to buy. It seemed like a great compromise between buying plastic crap and just making charitable donations in our families' names since they are selfish bitches who want presents, dammit will not get a gift and we've supported fair trade and people in developing countries.

But mostly what I'm dealing with right now is a ridiculous amount of anxiety relating to medical bills. I'm glad we have access to healthcare. I'm glad we have insurance. I'm glad Joe and I are both recovering from our unrelated ailments. I'm glad he's made smart financial decisions that mean we'll be able to set up a payment plan and be okay. Still, realizing how much we might end up owing with both of us being sick within 2 weeks of each other is causing a big huge mental funk. Add to that the usual depression I feel around the holidays and my mind is a bit of a mess.

So where's Cate? I'm here, but I'm struggling. I'm getting through each day the only way I know how - a mix of working furiously through my to-do lists and hiding under the blankets. I haven't been blogging. I didn't visit any 6WS posts this week. I'm having trouble finding the joy of the season.

That's where Cate is right now. On the edge but hanging on with all her might. And talking about herself in the third person.

Why did I share this? It's not that I want a million comments full of pats on the head and sympathy. I just want to serve as a gentle reminder that there are people out there right now who are fighting. Depression this time of year - between the weather, lack of daylight, and holiday expectations - is a big deal. If you're suffering from it, know you are not alone and we WILL get through it. If you're fortunate enough to not be suffering a down time, you can do two things for me: be grateful for your blessings and be kind to those around you because we may not all be feeling so blessed.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Six Word Saturday


three weeks I'll never get back

For the faithful who may have noticed I didn't post at all this week, it was another (almost) complete loss. I ended up first in urgent care and then in the emergency room being treated for severe dehydration caused by a nasty stomach virus. So between Joe's appendix and my stomach, the last three weeks have been almost completely unproductive. I dare not make any predictions or dreams for the future.

Another six words: One day at a time, folks!


Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Saturday, December 03, 2011

Six Word Saturday


starting to prepare for the holidays



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Week Ago, A Year Ago

Yesterday afternoon, I was thinking about the fact that it was almost the last day of November. Obsessed with all things NaNo, I only looked at this as it related to finishing my 50k words.

Then I realized that it was also November 29th. Kind of a big day around here.

A week ago, Joe woke me up in horrible pain and eventually had his appendix out. What a difference a week has made! He's recovering very well, down to one ibuprofen a day, more or less, and he's a lot happier that he's awake and coherent more often. He's still tiring out easily but we're both sleeping better and he continues to improve. I'm so thankful about this!

A year ago, I left my job of 9+ years. My feelings about that are a lot less clear. Absence has not made the heart grow fonder - I don't miss them even the slightest bit. But I have to admit the last 12 months have not gone as planned. We thought Joe would have a new job by now, that possibly we would've relocated. He applies and often gets called for interviews. And then for various reasons, it doesn't work out. He's even turned down several offers. I've started trying to build up some freelancing work, which is going very slowly. I haven't made any progress on my weight loss. I've been doing a lot of writing. I've been doing a lot of crafting. I've been doing a lot of learning. But I'm not where I think I should be considering the last 12 months have been traditional job-free.

And so, a week ago, a year ago, big days. But now, I'm more interested in a week from now, a year from now. Maybe my word for 2012 should be "forward."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sleep and Recovery

Last night, I slept 8 hours straight. Or, if I didn't, at least I don't remember being up. Why is this worth noting? Because it's the first time it's happened in more than a week thanks to Joe's rebellious appendix decided to act out late last Monday night. In fact, once since then I slept for 5 or 6 hours but mostly it's been just 2-3 hours at a time.

And if I sound rambly, it's because even though last night was a lot of awesome sleep, I'm still not completely recovered.

Speaking of recovery, Joe's doing okay despite my occasional urges to strangle him. Friday night he as still in a lot of pain and started freaking out because he was almost out of the heavy duty pain meds the doctor had prescribed. He begged me to call and get a refill. Like a good wife (but not like THE Good Wife because if I had awesome curly hair like Julianna Margulies I would never straighten it like that), I left a message and waited for the on-call doctor to return my call.

Only, apparently this guy was bitter at having to be on-call for Thanksgiving weekend or failed his bedside manner unit in medical school because he was the rudest person I've dealt with during this entire appendix adventure.
Dr. Jerkface: What do you want?
me: My husband had an appendectomy on Tuesday and is still having a lot of pain but he'll be out of pain medicine tomorrow. Can he get a refill?
Dr. Jerkface: Tuesday? It's been four days. He shouldn't be having that much pain.
me: He says he is.
Dr. Jerkface: Yeah, but it's been four days. That much pain isn't normal.
me: Should I be concerned? Does that indicate a problem?
Dr. Jerkface: No.
me: Okay, then what do you suggest?
(he asks and I answer a whole bunch of questions)
Dr. Jerkface: I can call him in something, but I can't call him in the same thing.
me: Ok, thanks.
Dr. Jerkface: I mean, I can, but I won't. Do you have the bottle? What does it say on the bottle?
me: It says "endocet."
Dr. Jerkface: I have no idea what that is.
me: It's generic for percocet.
Dr. Jerkface: Then why didn't you say percocet?
me: Because you asked what it said on the bottle.
Dr. Jerkface: I'll call in something LESS THAN percocet. What pharmacy?
me: It's the hospital pharmacy.
Dr. Jerkface: I don't think they're open. It's a holiday.
me: I was just there Wednesday. They were only going to be closed yesterday for Thanksgiving.
Dr. Jerkface: If they answer, I'll have them fill something.
me: ...
That doesn't even begin to convey how rude this guy was to me. The thing is - I was fine with him calling in something "less than" the original. But he could've delivered the exact same message and left me feeling a lot more confident that Joe's pain at this point didn't mean he was infected or dying or something else horrible. I understand their concerns about addiction and/or recreational narcotics abuse. But I don't understand being so damn rude to a patient.

Anyways, back to the part where I have the urge to strangle my dear recovering husband. I tell him what the doctor said. He decides at that point that he doesn't need to take as many pills as often and starts cutting back drastically. Saturday, he only takes one of the new meds (the doctor called in Vicodin, which surprised me because I totally expected him to prescribe gummy bears after that conversation) and decides he doesn't like it so Sunday he's all good on just an ibuprofen or two.

Seriously?

But that's okay because I'd rather go through all of it - the cranky doctor, chasing after meds, even the entire emergency/surgery situation - then have him in pain. Or worse.

And with that, I think it may be time for my nap.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Six Word Saturday


Last week's Six Words apply again.

Last Saturday, I said that it had been a rough week and I needed to recover. And I did. Then life laughed at me (see yesterday's post) and now last week's words apply again.


Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).





Friday, November 25, 2011

Where'd the NaBloPoMo Go?

Other than skipping an occasional Sunday, I was doing okay with my NaBloPoMo of Gratitude. Until this week.

Remember how on Monday, I posted about my Wonderful Weekend? I believe my exact words were "I'm ready to tackle this week and it's going to be a great week. Or else I'll punch it in the face."

The universe decided to play a bit of a trick on me. If you follow me on Twitter, you already know what happened. The very abbreviated version for the rest of you? Joe woke me up in the very early hours of Tuesday so that we could go to the emergency room and eventually have his appendix removed. He came home Wednesday and life had been lived in 4-hour increments between pain med doses ever since.

Still, this post is not to say that I ran out of gratitude. No, I simply ran out of time to blog about it. I'm not sure I've ever felt more grateful. He listened to his body and the doctor caught the appendicitis early. Surgery was performed successfully, nurses kept him very comfortable, and I brought him home the next day. Sure, I'm tired and achy from caring for him. And I couldn't be happier about it.

And so I think I'm concluding my NaBloPoMo, which turned into more of a NaBloPoSo(metimes). Back next week with "regular" content. I hope. After this past Monday's post, I'm not making such bold declarations any more.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wonderful Weekend

This weekend was exactly what I needed it to be. We had some fun (a couple of movies, good food, good friends) and we did some work. I was productive in taking care of some things that prepared me for a great week. Joe was able to participate in an interesting running event and that gave me some time to write. We bought groceries at Trader Joe's without a crowd-induced breakdown from me despite the nearness of turkey-day.

I'm ready to tackle this week and it's going to be a great week. Or else I'll punch it in the face.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Really tough week. Need to recover.



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Fragmented Gratitude

Thankful for friends. You guys are the best.

Thankful to be (hopefully?) coming out of the funk that has gripped me the past day or so. It came on suddenly and I think it's departing quickly as well.

Thankful that we made the right decision, even if it was a tough decision - he turned the job offer down. We're both grieving a bit for what we thought was going to happen but we're thankful that he is still employed and that we're doing fine.

Thankful it's Friday.

Thankful for so many little things, including the fact that the sun is shining today. My spirit needed that brightness.

Thankful this is my blog and nobody expects me to make a whole lot of sense.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm Aware

I think this morning I need to be thankful for self-awareness.

I'm in a really foul mood, to be honest. Why? Because 24 hours ago, we were pretty sure that if my husband got the job offer he was expecting, he would accept and we'd be moving to a new location. Scary, yes. But I was excited for him to have the new opportunity and excited for me to feel like we could be out of limbo.

He got the offer yesterday and now we're more uncertain of the future than before. How is that possible? The offer isn't very good. I'm not sure if Joe talked up the position because he's so frustrated where he is now or if I heard what I wanted/needed because of wishful thinking, but the offer and position don't seem to be at all worth relocating for. He's going to try to negotiate a better deal. I honestly don't even know if it's worth it because of the job itself.

We had a lot of discussions last night. My feelings were really hurt over something he said. The most positive thing to come out of that was that I didn't fall apart. Instead, I addressed it very directly - why it was hurtful and why I didn't appreciate it. I understand why he said it but it wasn't cool.

Back to self-awareness. I'm very aware that tensions are high, that my husband hates his current job, and that he reacts certain ways to that kind of stress. I'm aware that I'm also very on edge with the situation and trying hard to convince myself that it's all good. I'm aware that the position might not be dreamy and might not be the one.

Mostly, I'm aware that I'm not in a very good place mentally this morning and so I'm going to give myself a day off from people as much as possible. I don't intend to wallow - I believe wallowing is for people who are unable or unwilling to make an effort to turn things around. I am neither of those things. But until I get a grip on my attitude, I'm not going to assault anyone else with it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Patience

I'm grateful for patience.

Hahaha, don't you know me at all? There's no patience here. There's also no focus.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Perspective

Today, I am grateful for Gabby Giffords. Did anyone catch the Diane Sawyer interview last night with Congresswoman Giffords and her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly? What I loved most about the show was that it wasn't so much about the congresswoman and astronaut part. They are two amazing people with strong spirits and deep love for each other.

It occurred to me that so much of getting through the tough times in life involves who you have by your side. Mark knew that Gabby loved having goals and deadlines so he put her sneakers in a chair next to her bed and told her that she had two weeks to get them on. He bargained with God that if Gabby would just talk, he didn't care if she never walked another step.

Gabby's progress has been astounding. She DOES walk, though slowly. She DOES talk, though her vocabulary is still very limited. But the important thing is that she's working hard and still making progress.

There were a few examples during the hour of times when you could tell Gabby was cognitively aware and just unable to find the proper words to express herself. On a much smaller scale, I've experienced that with my migraines. I know what I mean and I just can't retrieve the words I need to convey it to anyone around me. I agree with Mark's sentiment - I'd rather than be immobile than unable to communicate.

Watching Gabby and Mark last night made me think a lot about perspective. I lose my words sometimes. Gabby has been working to recover hers for months and still has a long path ahead. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed at the things going on in my life - but I can walk to the mailbox without giving it any thought at all. Seeing Gabby's determination and Mark's support gave me an overwhelming feeling of if they can do that, I can certainly do this.

Starting today, I'm going to try doing a lot more of this with a much better attitude. Thank you, Gabby and Mark for the important lesson. I hope she will continue to defy the odds and find those words she's so desperately seeking.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Juggling

And if that means today I'm grateful that I chose to take yesterday off from PoMo'ing to enjoy other things, then so be it!

So, yesterday's post would've read something like "I'm grateful I'm having too much fun away from the computer to bother blogging about it."

Today, I'm grateful that I was able to fit so much fun into yesterday. i'm grateful to be facing big decisions because though scary, they also indicate possible progress. I'm grateful to have such a full life that I sometimes stress about being able to juggle such vastly different activities. And I'm grateful for coffee because I have a LOT to do today.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Unpopular? Leaf blowers should be illegal

Just a random autumn thought.


Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans

I don't always understand the wars. I don't always agree with the things I understand about the wars.

But I'm always grateful for our veterans and their families. Thank you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Breaking From My Rut

I may have mentioned previously that my husband sometimes refers to me as "rut girl". That's because I love my ruts. Routine is comforting. For awhile, I couldn't break from routine even in the simplest of ways without coming completely unglued. Medication Therapy My amazing coping skills have made things a lot better but I'm still more often to make a choice to stay in the rut most of the time.

So yesterday, I ventured outside of my rut. I went to the library to meet up with complete strangers and write. When I arrived, it turns out the other faceless names from the internet were men. We barricaded ourselves in a tiny room with no windows and spent two hours barely speaking, just working on our respective projects. After typing up a couple thousand words, I then drove home.

To most of you, this is no big deal. To me? A big deal.

I left home without really needing to do so. I met two strangers, who happened to be men, without feeling at all anxious and without stuttering or stupidity. I was crammed in a tiny enclosed space for two hours without claustrophobia. And then I drove home after dark despite my night blindness.

Today, I'm grateful for progress. A few weeks ago, while Joe was out of town, I met a friend (really, she's more of his friend if you want to get technical) for dinner one evening. All of these things are outside my rut. I pushed myself to make the harder (for me) choice. And it went well.

I can't help but feel a little proud about that.

Now? I'm off to the bookstore. Look at me go!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Proof He's Human

My husband... He's many things. Brilliant. Driven. Compassionate. Financial Wizard. Master Spider Killer and Mouse Whisperer.

So I'm grateful today for that occasional reminder that he's also human.
Joe: I can't find my belt anywhere! I can't go to work without a belt!
me: Where did you have it last?
Joe: I wore it yesterday!
me: Okay, where are the pants you wore yesterday?
Joe: I have no idea! I can't find them anywhere! I can't go to work without a belt!
me: Do you remember where you took those pants off last night?
Joe: No! I've looked everywhere! I even looked in my gym bag from yesterday!
me: Well, do you have an emergency back-up belt you can wear?
Joe: No! I need my belt! I can't go to work without a belt!
This whole time, we are both tearing the house apart, looking for his pants in even the most unlikely of places. Like the laundry basket. And the washing machine.
me: Found them!
Joe: Where were they?
me: Under the gym bag you looked through twice.
Joe: But I looked in that bag!
me: UNDER the bag. You need to move things!!!
Joe: Oh.
me: I should maybe whip you with this belt so you'll keep better track of it next time.
Joe: That's not funny.Give me my belt - I'm late for work.

Ah, yes. The other many things that my husband is - Human. Abuser of Exclamation Points. Addicted to Belts.

No wonder I love him.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Random Llamas

When we set off for our weekend of awesomeness, I had a few ideas what we might do. I knew we were going to a concert. I envisioned a little sight-seeing, some wine-tasting, some amazing food.

In my wildest dreams, I was not expecting llamas.

And yet, there they were. Llamas at one of the wineries we visited. We watched them run around all crazy like llamas do. One of them looked like he had dreadlocks. A couple were saddled up for a trail excursion.

Sometimes life hands you lemons, and sometimes life hands you llamas.

I'm grateful for the ability to be occasionally silly with my often-too-serious husband and to find joy and fun in random things.

Like llamas.

P.S. Llamas is just a funny word. The more I type it, the more I giggle. Try saying it out loud without smiling. Llamas. Bwahahaha!

Monday, November 07, 2011

In-House Laundry

Today, I'm doing laundry. Such a boring chore. But I remember when it was not only boring but also time-consuming.

Our first apartment meant loading the clothes in the car and driving to the laundromat. Cold, boring, and quarters.

Then there was our second apartment, which had a washer and dryer in the basement. This meant caring the laundry down two flights of stairs, outside, around to the front of the building, down another flight of stairs, into a dark and creepy basement. And quarters.

Our third apartment had on-site laundry across the parking lot so again, down two flights of stairs and then outside.

But that apartment also had a washer and dryer hookup inside. And from the day we moved in, I dreamed of a day when we could afford to do laundry inside our apartment. When that day finally came, I almost kissed the delivery man. Instead, I settled for washing our sheets and towels and told myself I would never take the ability to do laundry in my home for granted.

So that's why today, I'm remembering to be thankful for my washer and dryer that allow me to do laundry while writing quietly in the comfort of my own home. No driving, no quarters, no fighting for machines, no wasting entire afternoons in noisy cold places with strangers.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Lovely Weekend

The weekend isn't over yet but so far it's been really great. It's been so long since Joe and I were able to spend a whole weekend just sorta wandering around without a schedule, enjoying being together.

I'm off to find more weekend things to be grateful for - the day is young!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Enjoying a weekend that I instigated!!

Other people usually determine my weekends - Joe, visitors, etc - but THIS weekend is all mine. We went out last night and will come home sometime today. And then there shall be activities and movies of my choosing. Booyah!




Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday!

Sometimes, it's enough just to be thankful that it's Friday, right?

I hope so, because my Friday is a busy one (of my choosing) and I got off to a late start so that's all you're getting for a post today!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Take Your Pictures!

I'm thankful for the time I was able to spend recently with my little niece and nephew. Collin and Caley are at perfectly adorable ages. They are active, articulate, and affectionate. And they love Cate and Uncle Joe. (Why he's Uncle but I'm not Aunt, no idea.)

Spending time with them has added entirely new phrases to our home.

Heeeeeeeeeeeey.... This is said whenever something doesn't go your way. Caley takes your toy? Heeeeeeeeeeey!!!! You don't get a cookie? Heeeeeeeeeeeey!!!

Take your pictures?!? At first we thought this meant "I would like to temporarily hold your phone in order to capture your photo" but we quickly learned that this meant Collin wanted to take our pictures, as in the phone goes into his little hands and we never see it again.

Check your emails! By emails, he means text messages or anything else that will cause your phone to come out of your pocket so he can then "take your pictures."

We also spent some quality time "texting" the ABCs. "Where's the F?" "Right here!!!" "Good, Collin, now where's the G?" "In the refrigerator!" Ok, sure...

We learned the wonders of gummies, french fries, and pizza. We learned that all cakes are birthday cakes. And we learned that the best way to get a hug from either kid was to bribe them with just about anything.

My favorite new phrase from the kids? "See you soon, Cate!" Yes, probably in the Spring. Just stay cute and I'll be back for more.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

My Own Bed

Today, I am grateful for sleeping in my own bed.

While we were away the past few days, we stayed with friends. Their guest bed is very firm. The pillow wasn't quite pillow-y enough. The blankets were warm enough but still not quite right. You know how it is - it may be the nicest bed in the world but it's just not yours.

Last night, I slid under the blankets of my own bed and it felt like home. My down comforter immediately started to warm my body. The familiar weight of my sheets and blankets made me feel safe and relaxed. My pillow was exactly right under my head - supportive of my neck but still soft. Our two cats would never admit they missed us yet they both curled up by our feet last night, adding an extra layer of warmth and a comforting hum of purring. I felt very Goldilocks about it all - this bed was just right.

This afternoon, I found myself feeling sleepy again and indulged in a nap with Tonya and Rusty. Best treat ever.

And now, nap completed, I'm grateful for a clear mind with which to blog and start (finally) my NaNoWriMo commitment.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

NaBloPoMo of Gratitude

Last year at this time, I was busy (REALLY busy) with my graduate classes around this time. There was no way I could handle NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). This year, I am doing NaNoWriMo but I've also decided to bring back the NaBloPoMo of Gratitude.

What's it mean?

For the next 30 days, I will post something I am grateful for every day. That's 30 days of expressing thankfulness about something happening in my life. In addition, there will some other posts about some other things. Maybe. We'll see what happens.

November is going to be a very busy month and I wondered if it was a good idea to commit to 30 days of posts here with everything else going on. The truth is that the more craziness happening, the more I need to take a moment to reflect on the good things going on in my life.

This post is very late because we were traveling this weekend. We've spent the last five days back "home" - this means parents, in-laws, bitter grammas, BILs with other priorities, small children, snow, teeny tiny planes. And while there may be a longer post on that later, overall I'm grateful for a safe trip with not too much attitude.

More thankfulness to come. Hope you can handle all the warm fuzzies that are going to be happening up in here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Time for niece and nephew snuggles!



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Living With Me

Here's an exchange this morning between me and my amazingly patient husband, Joe.
me: can you pick-up the tix on the way home pls?
Joe: y
me: thanks!
(a long pause while Joe is busy doing his actual work)
Joe: yw
me: Also, I totally just made fire and didn't burn the house down!
(pause)
me: yw!
(another pause)
Joe: I really don't want to know.
In a related story, if you're wondering if your tweets are going through or if people are just ignoring you, you can tweet something like "is this thing on?" but that's rather dull. Instead, try tweeting "woohoo, nobody told me sewing involved fire!" because you're sure to get immediate responses to that.

Unless people are ignoring you.

P.S. I was just melting the ends of satin ribbon over a flame so they won't fray.
P.P.S No cats were harmed in the making of this post OR the fire.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Six Word Saturday

my calendar is about to explode



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Last weekend, my parents came for a visit. I've been trying to recover from process it since then.

First, The Good:

It was nice that they made it a point to visit. This is Dad's busy time of year for his business so for him to let someone else run the shop over the weekend because it was a priority to visit was a nice thing. I think it was "one last visit" before we potentially move, not that there's any progress to report on the job situation.

The Bad:

Dad started feeling sick not long after they started to long drive to our place. His throat was bothering him so he could barely talk, which makes it hard to visit. Also, I could tell he just wasn't feeling well.

And, finally, The Ugly:

The close-mindedness and paranoia exhibited by my family makes me sad. No, sick to my stomach. No, it makes me angry.

My mother asked if my FIL is stuck doing a lot of yardwork at the house he rents. I explained that his neighbors help him a lot and that he had me take them a gift basket he had won to say thank you. I said I felt kinda weird taking it to them when it had been obviously opened, but he had wanted to take out the wine because "they're good Christian people."

me: I just thought that was odd. Not all Christians have an issue with alcohol. Plus, FIL is a Catholic and Catholics definitely aren't -"
my mother: Christians.
me: I was going to go with "aren't strictly anti-alcohol."
my mother: Oh. That too.

Because, as my mother has told me for years, she believes that Catholics aren't really Christians. In her opinion esteemed fact-based all-knowingness, ALL Catholics are only about tradition and going through the motions. And yes, she believes that all Catholics are going to hell because they're doing it wrong.

Seriously.

The Uglier:

my mother: I'd like to get the spare room cleaned up and a bed in there so you can stay with us when your grandmother dies.

Reasons this is ugly? Let me count the ways.
  1. It's my father's mother, and she said this in front of him.
  2. My mother hates my father's mother and has forbidden him from having any contact with her.
  3. My grandmother is 81 but she is not sick in some way that indicates her death will be any time soon.

The Ugliest:

my mother: Homosexuals and pedophiles are the same thing. They both choose amoral alternative lifestyles.
me: You don't see a difference between two consenting adults and an adult preying on a minor?
my mother: Same thing. Both going to hell.
me: I see a huge difference.

Jaw dropped. No words. Part of me feels like it's good to remember that this kind of attitude exists in the world and that we need to keep fighting against it. Part of me wants to cry to see it displayed by my own parents. I've tried so hard to overcome the ignorance I grew up with but it's so jarring to be reminded that it's still happening.

And so, with all of that, I now report that (long story omitted and this is already too long) we will likely be leaving next Friday, the 28th, for a visit home. Mostly so Joe can see help his Dad prepare for winter. I'm not even recovered from their visit here and now we're going to go visit there.

I plan to focus on my sister, niece, and nephew. I plan to focus on staying with a couple of dear friends.

I plan to refill my xanax prescription.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Six Word Saturday

a week of running amok awaits
or
the husband is away on business



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday again and no post all week. Awesome. So consider this my take on whatever random or fragments meme you're familiar with because I plan on just dumping out a bunch of random thoughts and updates.

1. Tonya's Dental Appointment - She did well on Tuesday, though she had to have a couple of teeth removed. This means two items of immediate concern. First, she now needs two meds twice a day. The one is pain medication and lasts only four days. The second is antibiotics that last seven days. One is liquid in a dropper, the other is gel in an oral syringe. It's going... okay. I mean, not only is she a cat, but she's also Tonya, so it's not going to be hassle-free. The second concern was the bill, which ended up being completely atrocious. It was high enough before the extractions and related meds. Which leads me to thought #2...

2. Jobs = Cash - For a million reasons, like everyone else on the planet, more cash would be good. We're doing okay since I left my job late last year and haven't touched our savings, but some of these expenses (Tonya's teeth, a trip we should take home, Christmas etc) are stressing me out. I'm desperately applying for all kinds of freelancing jobs, hoping to avoid the anxiety that seasonal retail is sure to cause.

3. My Parents - They were here roughly 48 hours. Dad wasn't feeling well but my mother was completely on her game. By which I mean she kept me a complete mess the entire time. I feel a post brewing about delighting in ignorance and being close-minded.

4. I'm Angry and Depressed and Anxious - Maybe I should've started with this one. The perfect storm of events have occurred this week to have me on edge. It's been a long time since I've felt such prolonged anxiety. I'm finding myself frustrated and angry, except when I'm feeling too depressed to give a damn about much of anything. There have been a few bright spots (I had a good time last night at a writing class) but mostly I'm feeling low and pointless. This isn't exactly what I had in mind when I said "October 1st: serious awesomeness starts today."

In a related story, it is now October 13th and those goals that I started working towards almost two weeks ago are barely moving, if I've gotten them off the ground at all. I'm hoping to break this funk and start making some serious progress.

I'll be okay. I tried to end this on a more positive note but I can't seem to get there. The most positive thing I can say is that I know from previous experience that this down feeling doesn't last forever. In the meantime, I'll keep making a conscious effort to see the good around me until it comes a bit more naturally again.

If you've made it this far and feel inclined to leave a comment, how about leaving me a funny joke, silly story, or a link to something that will make me laugh and/or feel good about the world? I could use some of that.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blogging Elsewhere About Blogging

Today, I'm featured over at Brenda Youngerman's blog for her Tuesday Spotlight. I enjoyed answering her questions about blogging and she even managed to ask a question nobody has asked before - where I came up with the name "Show My Face."

In other not really news, my parents have come and gone. Tonya is at the vet's office right now for her dental cleaning. I have several posts to share from the weekend but I haven't written them yet because I'm playing catch-up on a million other things. I'm hoping to be back to "normal" starting tomorrow.

But in the meantime, hop over to Brenda's to see me blog about blogging. Thanks, Brenda, for the opportunity!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Six Word Saturday

"Invasion of the Parents" now playing



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).



Thursday, October 06, 2011

First Fursday: Quality Time

Long time no blog, humans! This here is Tonya and I'm going to tell you about this craptastic idea my long-haired human had yesterday called "quality time". Yeah, low quality.

I woke up thinking it would be no different from any other day. Long-haired human was yammering on about us spending some "quality time" together that afternoon, which to me signals a lovely nap. Don't tell the humans, but I kinda like sharing my bed with them for a mid-day snooze.

Around noon, long-haired human said we were going to get our nails done! Hmm, this sounded vaguely suspicious even if she did try to make it sound like an exciting thing. Still, she rattled the treat bag so I ran to her, ready for yummies. Instead, she scooped me up and cut off my nails. What?!? I've been working on growing those out for two weeks! It's going to take a lot of carpet-clawing to make them nice and sharp again.

Then she rattled the treat bag again so I went running to her again. Hey, I'm not above accepting a tuna-flavored apology! This time, she herded me into my cage and closed the door behind me. Uh oh. This can't be good...

I was loaded into the car, long-haired human singing about a road trip to see some friends. Unless you're new here, you know that I don't have friends. I don't need friends. Nobody else is as awesome as me. Before long, we were pulling up at the kitty-doctor's office. HALP!!!

I put up a good fight, clinging to my cage even when they tipped it on its side. Then they completely invaded my privacy by taking off the top! I hissed and rawred, showing my fangs. The vet techs hauled me to the back and stabbed me, taking some blood for some kind of "tests". Then I was back in my cage, and after a brief stop at the front desk where long-haired human swiped that plastic money thing-y and made an appointment for next week (must be for Rusty, right?), we were back in the car and back home.

Where I promptly ran upstairs and hid under the bed for the rest of the day.

Quality time sucks. Especially since Rusty was allowed to sleep through all of it.

P.S. When Joe took the kitties for their annual appointment in August, they said Tonya's teeth need another cleaning. We've been trying to juggle it a bit due to finances (yay me still not working because Joe's still job hunting) but decided it was time. Especially since Tonya seems to be having trouble eating her crunchies (hard food). We've been giving her mushies (canned food) the past few days and the vet said to keep doing that until a couple of days after her procedure. She's lost three pounds in less than two months, which is almost 25% of her body weight. My poor girl... We'll get her blood work results today, which will show if there's something else going on or if she was just having trouble eating the crunchies because of her teeth, and her cleaning is scheduled for Tuesday. She wasn't a happy girl yesterday and she won't be happy on Tuesday either but we're trying to take care of her. Other than trouble chewing, she's feisty as ever. Go Team Tonya!

P.P.S. I just got the call from the vet and all of her blood work came back normal. I'm so relieved for my girl!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Six Word Saturday

October 1st: serious awesomeness starts today



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Importance of Clarification

Not a fun or silly post today - looking for a little input (as well as doing a little venting). I apologize in advance for the length - I did my best to keep it reasonable.

Yesterday, the tree guys came to clean up the land I mentioned last week.

First, the guy showed up early to give us the estimate. Early as in before Joe had arrived home for the appointment, leaving me to deal with it. I showed him the land, explained what we wanted done, and he gave me an estimate, which we were quite pleased with. The estimate included 3-4 hours of "dead trees, understorage trees, ground debris" and we decided to go ahead with the work. He said it would be either last Friday or this Monday and that he'd call to confirm.

On Saturday, he left a message and Joe said he'd be here on Wednesday. But on Monday morning, Joe listened back and realized the guy had said Monday at noon. Great - Joe couldn't be here that afternoon but I said I'd handle it. When he called back to confirm, the guy said he had misspoken in the message, saying Monday when he meant Wednesday, which was tomorrow because today was Tuesday. Only it wasn't Tuesday. Huh? Finally, we straightened it out for Wednesday afternoon and Joe cleared his schedule accordingly.

Except yesterday morning (actual Tuesday), tree guy left a message saying he'd had a cancellation and would be here in 15 minutes. Awesome, since Joe had just moved all of his Wednesday meetings to Tuesday and now he couldn't be here. Again.

Anyways, the guy showed up with a crew of 5 guys, showed them what to he wanted done, told me he'd send one of them to the house for the check when they were done in approximately 2 hours, and he left. The crew worked for one hour and was done.

Except, were they done? (click for larger)

Photobucket

I had specifically mentioned the decades of leaves on the ground, as well as glass bottles and plastic (which you can't see in this pic) as being things we wanted removed and he had said okay. When Joe called him this morning to ask about the work done, tree guy said that it was a miscommunication because they don't pick up garbage, just limbs/branches/trees. Joe made it clear that what remained was a mixture so tree guy will come back today to check it.

My definition of ground debris:
removal of natural and foreign objects on the ground, not cleared to perfection, but at least a cursory removal (maybe a once-over with the bobcat?) to the point that we could handle the remaining without special equipment

Tree guy's definition of ground debris:
removal of most of the existing downed trees and branches, plus removal of any materials they cut down

I don't know - were our expectations wrong? The lot condition is greatly improved but we were expecting more. And while I get that it's more efficient to have 5 guys working (in theory) for a shorter amount of time, does 5 guys for 1 hour = 3 or 4 guys for 3 or 4 hours?

So we're frustrated, made worse by the fact that the head tree guy didn't follow-up at all with a call to see if we were happy with the work and didn't come by to look at the finished job himself until Joe contacted him this morning. How far would you push this? It wasn't a lot of money, but the ground debris was a really important factor in clearing the lot (it can't just be raked away - it's too deep and dense) so we may not have been so pleased with the quote if we had realized we would still have to pay to have our definition of ground debris removed.

I feel like this is my fault since I had to handle everything on this project because they kept changing times and somehow Joe wouldn't have screwed it up if he had been here.

If you made it this far, thanks. If you have any ideas/opinions/advice, thanks even more.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Six Words Were a Lie

Sorry, folks. I accidentally lied to you with my Six Word Saturday entry this week. Let me explain. Not because I have to explain but because I have 9245727 things to do today and I'm procrastinating easing myself into the week.

I scheduled my six words (In NYC, wishing for better weather) on Friday night. I always schedule my Six Words on Friday night so they can go live early in the morning. At that point, the forecast was for a rainy miserable Saturday and a slightly less but still rainy Sunday. I figured that by the time most people saw my words, I would indeed be "In NYC, wishing for better weather."

However, we never saw more than a sprinkle. It was actually a little warmer than I found to be ideal and Sunday, the sun was out for most of the day. We were prepared with umbrellas but never had to take them out of the bag.

So based on the information I had at the time, I forecast my future when I wrote my Six Words. An unintentional lie. Oops. Maybe next time I'll skip the weather man and listen to a Weather Hamster instead.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Six Word Saturday

In NYC, wishing for better weather



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Recently Overheard

My Memoir Writing class wraps up this week. One of our assignments over the last ten weeks was to eavesdrop on conversations in public, then rewrite them. Below are some of the things I overheard in public over the past weekend.

OH: (on the bike path) Suuuuuuuuuuuper slow passing on your left!

OH: (at the grocery store) I'm not trying to be difficult. I just want you to read my mind and tell me what I want to hear!

OH: (at the home improvement store) Does the "multiple installation discount" apply to toilets? Even if they're all in separate bathrooms?

What, they still count as "overheard" if I'm the one that said them, right?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sure Sign of Adulthood Part 2

Yesterday I shared how we saved 10% on our car insurance almost $1000 on replacing three toilets in our home. Today, part two where I share what fun and exciting thing we'll be using that money for since a couple of people have asked.

Prepare to be jealous.

First, know that we never would've spent that much on replacing toilets. We would've done the job ourselves and hoped for the best. It would've taken longer but the installer didn't have any problems so we probably could've handled it. We've actually had to unseat and reinstall a toilet once before when I Tonya knocked something into the toilet and we couldn't get it out without dismantling things. In fact, we had gone to scope out buying them at our nearby big box man store and saw that their installation was super-reasonable so we went for it.

That's not the jealous part. I wanted to let the suspense build.

We're using the money we "saved" to clear the piece of property behind our house. After almost ten years of trying, we were finally able to purchase this little tenth of an acre that will square off our property and extend the backyard. The price of the land was low but since it hasn't been touched in literally decades (if ever), it needs some serious help.

The whole "buying and clearing land" thing makes me feel very Laura Ingalls and since our oxes (oxen?) are broken (much love to the first person to comment and name THAT reference), we'll be using the money we "saved" to hire a crew for half a day to take out dead trees, clear shrubby stuff, and level the little plot of land.

I know, definitely living the glamorous life! But, truthfully, it was such a hassle to purchase that silly chunk of land that I'm just in awe that it's ours and we have the right to clear it. So although we aren't doing anything exotic or extravagant with the money we never would've spent on toilets, I'm still happy with recent spends.

Yep, very adult of me. Guess you can't call me Half-Pint anymore!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sure Sign of Adulthood

Many people have their own definition of what it means to be an adult. 18? 21? Maybe it's becoming a parent or financial independence. Maybe it's a frame of mind. My buddies at Merriam-Webster define adult as:

Main Entry: a·dult
Pronunciation: \ˈa-ˌdəlt\
Function: noun

1. one that is adult; especially : a human being after an age (as 21) specified by law

I, however, have my own definition.

adult: one who is excited over the installation of three eco-friendly toilets at a price approximately $1000 less than the quote received last week

Welcome to my world.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Six Word Saturday

oh to be a spoiled kitty



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).



Friday, September 16, 2011

A Bad Day

Yesterday was not a very good day. So many little things happened, none of them a big deal on their own, but the entirety of it all became "too much." You know those days - I think we have to admit that we all have them from time to time.

I'm disappointed in myself though that I let My Bad Day Of Little Things get to me. I try hard not to let that happen. I try to keep my reactions in check and not make things worse by allowing it to snowball. I didn't do a very good job with that yesterday.

Eventually, I put myself in timeout. If I can't hold myself together, the least I can do is not drag anyone else down with me. Ever notice how much negativity there is online? Twitter especially seems just full of 140-character complaints. They don't do the complainer any good because most of the time the offending party will never see the issue to do anything about it. I'm not above it, by any means. But I try to remember how all of those negative messages can bring others down and that's reduced my groaning somewhat.

By the end of the night I was feeling better. I stepped back and gave myself room to settle down. I ended up on my beloved porch, in the dark, in the rain, and it was the perfect ending to an otherwise not-so-good day.

Today is Friday (Friday!) and I'm glad to see this week coming to a close. It's been very busy, mostly with great things that I didn't take the time to blog about. There have also been a lot of inconvenient things that are necessary (things like home appraisals for refinancing and estimates from plumbers and calls to the gas company over a potential gas leak in the 'hood).

I guess if this post has any point at all, it's just that we should consider the energy we bring to a place, whether it's our office, our home, or online. I know I'm going to make a stronger effort.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Six Word Saturday

some may say I'm a dreamer



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Thursday, September 08, 2011

Slow Love by Dominique Browning (Book Review)

The invitation to review Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness, a memoir by Dominique Browning, mentioned comparisons to Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. They shared moments of self-indulgence but the similarities ended there. Gilbert's story inspired me to embrace meditation and explore more of the world. Browning, on the other hand, umm, well, she inspired me to buy fresh mint to add to my drinking water.

The book is a short read and Browning spends most of it in her pajamas, eating cookies and feeling sorry for herself after she loses her job as a magazine editor. In her 50s, establishing a new “normal” is quite overwhelming.

It’s understandable that she would experience a period of shock and even mourning. In addition to the loss of her job, she also spends an inordinate amount of time dwelling on her last relationship with an unavailable (aka still legally married) man. She makes only cursory attempts to improve her circumstances until finally she gets her act together in the closing pages.

There are lovely vignettes but the prolonged look into the dark days only served to bring me down with her. It also made me want to shake her a bit and yell “you’re worth more than that, get it together!” Browning does have a story worth sharing, but the balance felt off if her intention was to inspire others to find their way out, rather than just recount her own despair.

This is a sponsored (but honest) review for BlogHer Book Club. I received a copy of the book (which I'm willing to pass along if you're interested in reading it - just leave a comment below), as well as a small stipend as compensation. For further discussion about Slow Love visit the BlogHer Book Club.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Great Week

Last week, I had a really great week. My husband was away at a conference, also having a really great week, while I stayed home and focused on reading, writing, and recharging.

I'm pleased with what I accomplished. I (mostly) turned off the tv, shut down twitter, and neglected my email. I finished reading four books, making my goal of 30 for the year, and started two more. I'll finish one of those today or tomorrow. I also painted and made major progress on my book idea. There was also some exercise, meditating, and blogging.

What's this mean? It means, among other things, that I'm going to repeat my little digital vacation from time to time. It also means I'm going to be more in-tune with creating what I want, when I want. As far as what that means for this blog, I'm not sure. It might end up meaning I blog more. It might mean less. It might mean twice on Monday and nothing for the rest of the week. (Six Word Saturdays will remain unchanged.) I might start blogging crazy (-ier than usual) stuff. Or more serious stuff.

I have no idea. The intent for the week wasn't to come out of it with a schedule. It was to really focus on the things I wanted to do, which I did, and which I plan to keep doing.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Six Word Saturday

sorry husband but... Best Week EVER!!!



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).



Monday, August 29, 2011

Rules of Civility and Getting Ahead in Polite Society

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to read and review Rules of Civility, the debut author from Amor Towles. The book is a beautifuly written story about polite society in 1930's Manhattan. If that sounds like your kind of thing, feel free to click through to my review on BlogHer and leave a comment.

Note: I received a free copy of this book for my Kindle and a small amount of compensation for an honest review.