Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things I COULD live without, but don't want to.

Today's post is in appreciation of all those little things that make living a little better or a little easier. I mean, you COULD do without them, but why would you want to?
  • Garbage disposals. Mine has been out for almost six weeks now. I am living without it, but living WITH it makes living less messy. And less frustrating.
  • Long-handled back scratchers. I got my latest one from World Market for $1.89 (although you can find less pretty ones at the Dollar Tree). It has a little Asian girl on it and gets all those itchy, scratchy places on my back that I just can't reach. Sure, I could be like a bear and go scratch my back on a tree, but the neighbors have been frowning on nudity lately. Who can blame them?
  • Bacon. Enough said.
  • A CAR! Living in the largest city in America WITHOUT public transportation blows. Anyhoo, I just got my car back after five weeks of not having it, and, while I haven't actually gotten out of the house, I CAN IF I WANT TO!!!
  • Great Pyreneeses. I don't really NEED seven of these sweet little monkeys, but they sure do make my life interesting. And hairy.
  • Gas grills. My husband says that real men cook with real fire. I guess he's probably right (what with him being an actual MAN and all), but I like the convenience of a gas grill. But I don't have one anyway so it doesn't matter.
  • The Ped Egg. I never knew how much I liked this thing until one of the dogs chewed on it, rendering it practically useless. And while I don't NEED it, I totally WANT this thing. It works great on getting rid of nasty skin on my well-used feets.
  • Hold 'em in underpants. Any woman over age 20 probably needs these things. How nice of them to make these instruments of torture in sizes to fit us voluptuous babes too.

OK, well I gotta go make some bacon... er... breakfast. Thank goodness for my hold 'em in underpants.

Monday, August 25, 2008

You find out who your friends are

Tracy Lawrence sings a song that has always rung true for me called "Find Out Who Your Friends Are" about just who steps up when you have an hour of need. This past week and weekend, I got to find out who some of my friends are. And it's been the coolest thing ever.

Let's talk about what I found out, what I asked God for, and how things got worked out.

The Car Story

As you, dear lone single reader, may have read, Carl blew up the engine on his car. Since he is the only one in the family to have a job right now, I had to give up Buddy, my friendly black Explorer, so he could get to work. This left me trapped in the house (see previous post on going stir crazy). Well, last week, we sold what was left of his car for $1200 - a little on the low side, but the guy who bought it WILL need to get a new engine. Anyhoo, I was talking to God and saying that we really, really needed a cash car that was less than $1000, that looked decent and ran good.

I think that's a pretty tall order.

So I was perusing the Craig's List (love you Craig and your little list too!) and saw an ad for a 1994 Lincoln Town Car - $850. I clicked on the link and saw a very nicely kept car, with just a few minor issues. I contact the owner and waited. And waited. And I waited.

I don't think I ever checked my email so often.

About 8:00 that night, I got an email back with a phone number to call. I immediately answered back and had Carl call this fellow about the car. He set up an appointment to go see the car within the hour - literally right down the street from us.

So he met the owner and drove the car and pronounced it good. He came home, called his master mechanic brother who told him he would be an idiot to not purchase this car - especially at that price.

We set up an appointment the next night to pay for and pick up the car. When I met the couple selling the car, I was immediately at ease. In fact, they got out of their car and came and HUGGED us both - basically complete strangers. Then I really felt that I was supposed to tell them about what I had prayed for. Phyllis, the wife, said that it was so weird because SHE had prayed that the car would go to someone who really NEEDED it. They had gotten SO many responses about the car that this had to really be a God thing - we both believe that.

Is this car perfect? No. It needs window motors and a rear view mirror. But the car is very clean and has obviously been well taken care of. It doesn't look like a 14 year old car.

Some of you might ask "Why get a cash car? Why didn't you trade in Carl's car for something newer?

Well, short and sweet, we simply can't afford a car payment now with me not working. And to tell you the truth, after four years of NOT having one, I kinda don't want one! And even if this car is older, it still gets decent mileage (in fact a little better than the Explorer), so we are saving money still by not having an extra $400 a month car payment.

This short story is still very long, but it demonstrates the faithfulness of God, and just how he sends people to you at the right time, and makes sure that your needs are taken care of. This was one cool experience. The next one is pretty cool too!

The Vacuum Cleaner

I have seven dogs. That's not news to many people, since Carl and I are always rescuing some Great Pyrenees from somewhere. So, I have to vacuum every day. Have to - or everything will be covered in piles of white fur.

Anyhoo, Thursday, I pull out my trusty 14-year old Oreck vacuum, turn it on and it goes "phifttttz kaboom." The motor on it blew.

Ever have something that just sets you over the edge? A straw that breaks your camel's back? This was one of those things. I just sat down and BAWLED - over a VACUUM CLEANER!

So I Twittered about it, and then just sat down to cry some more and ask God just HOW MUCH MORE AM I SUPPOSED TO TAKE? To a lot of people, a vacuum is really just a little thing. You can go to your local Walsmart or Targay and pick one up cheap - no problemo, right?

Except I am trapped without a car and the jobless thing makes purchases like this, necessary as it might be, a thing of the past. In my life today, EVERY little thing has to be budgeted.

Enter my friend Debi. Warm spirited and generous, Debi is like a little breath of fresh air in my life. We met at Pier 1, working on the same team and she is like a long-lost sister. We hit it off immediately and we would literally have lunch every day (and play Qwirkle and Skip-Bo and stuff).

She emailed and said she had an extra vacuum and would I like it - to which I of course, said YES! So my friend Lorrie took me to meet her at her yarn shop on Saturday.

She said the vacuum was old, but I sincerely do not believe her. She gave me a very pretty Hoover - very clean, looked like it had hardly been used, and even a bunch of bags. I was totally shocked! I swear this thing looks brand new!

When I got home, I turned that puppy on and vacuumed and vacuumed. It picked up everything I asked it to and more! Plus it's nice and loud and it makes the dogs MOVE when I get close. The Oreck was pretty quiet and I usually had to vacuum around any sleeping dogs. This way I can get it done right the first time.

And my house is clean again. Well, the floors are anyway (lets not talk about the rest, OK?).

Two major (to me) issues were taken care of in just a very short period of time by friends old and new.

So this fine, sunny Monday morning, after having a night of wonderfully deep, fulfilling sleep, I am grateful to God and to my friends for meeting these two important needs. I was stuck, and you guys pulled me out. So thank you to my old friend Debi, and our new friends Dee and Phyllis.

I hope you know that you can count on us right back.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Websites that I didn't know were real websites (until I checked)

OK, I've been out of a job since May 23, and I've got a LOT of time on my hands (what with being carless and TRAPPED IN MY HOUSE since about that time). So I surf the InterWebs (thank you Al Gore for inventing this) looking for interesting (to me anyhoo) stuff.

So the other day, I was thinking to myself and I said, "Susan - SELL A KIDNEY!" Sure it's a little painful and kind of invasive. Sure, living with only ONE kidney can be risky, but I NEED THE MONEY. So I checked out to see if it was available, and OF COURSE someone has already thought of this idea.


Anyway, on to another of my most favorite subjects - poop. I have seven dogs, and 2.5 of them are puppies, so poop is just a part of my everyday life. It's part of YOUR everyday life too, but you are probably too couth and delicate to talk about it. Anyway, has everything you need to know about poop (they say they are the #1 source for your #2 business). But BE WARNED - the website totally stinks. And it also gives new meaning to the term "Captain's Log." Hahaha - I made a some funnies. About poop.

And then there's this one - Apparently, you don't have to have 900 little packages of jello or boiling water.

I sure wish I would have known this LAST week.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Funny Email Subject Lines

... well, they are funny to me! These are ACTUAL email subject lines of emails I've received in my SPAM box just this morning.
  • Dumb and Poor? Here's a simple way to make money!!!
  • Refresh Your Insides!!!! (see offer for details)
  • Find out why 100k Americans are buying land in Costa Rica!!!!!
  • Would you meet me tonight if I was SPICY or if I was SWEET?
  • Ringworm?
  • Stop embarrassing credit checks!!!!!

I've decided that my insides DEFINITELY need refreshing. I really appreciate this little email reminder. And since I AM apparently both poor AND dumb, I'd better check out that "simple" way to make money. I'm sure it can't include me sending MY money in to some dude in exchange for ... nothing, can it? I mean, if it came DIRECT TO ME via email, it all has to be true, and legit, right?

I suppose if my insides were nice and fresh, I wouldn't have to worry about ringworm OR embarrassing credit checks. And maybe my new spicy or sweet lover would take my poor and dumb self away to our new land in Costa Rica, because we would have LOADS of money from taking surveys over the internets. Apparently, you can make THOUSANDS!

What are the funniest, goofiest, most off-the-wall-iest email subject lines YOU'VE seen? Let's share!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Little irritations and little nice-y-nices...

I know that we all have those little tiny "things" that just bug the heck out of us. I have noticed since by stopping the Zoloft, that there are a lot more little things that bug me. Some of those things are:
  • WHY does my husband have to BREATHE SO LOUD? Is there some sort of breathing competition that I am not aware of? It's bad enough that he snores at like 220 decibels (OK - maybe only 210), but regular old breathing too? Man, it's really been bugging me today.
  • Michael Phelps. I appreciate his accomplishment at this year's Olympics - I really do. But why do you want to push the DVD of his GREATEST OLYMPIC MOMENTS, his MEMOIRS (he's 23 years old! What kind of living could he have done other than that swimming thing?) and Michael's PERSONAL photo album?
  • Alicia Sacramone of the U.S. TOTALLY got screwed on the vault thingy. You give a medal to a girl who FALLS DOWN???
  • Blogger decided to publish this before I was ready. BAD BLOGGER! BAD!!!

Little nice things that are happening that make me... well, happy.

  • My formerly homeless friend in Michigan - Lynne - now has an apartment of her own. YAY LYNNE! I'm so glad God worked this all out for you!!!
  • I've had nine sales in my little etsy shop. Thank you Monica's sister-in-law Rini, Debi the Doodle and everybody else!!!
  • Lorrie and I are going to try to go into business together. This plan just might work!
  • Millie and Henry are turning into TOTAL snugglers. There is nothing like being snuggled by a Great Pyrenees puppy or two.
  • My banana-chocolate chip muffins turned out very well. Excellent even. And they taste SOOOOOOOOO good!

Well, that's about it. I'm kinda tired, a little dizzy. Another little thing that makes me happy is knowing that this too will pass and all my feelers will start getting back to something called "normal" - whatever that is.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The road back to normal...

I am off the Zoloft. It is day five and it is getting better.

Yesterday was a bad day. I had the withdrawal headache all day, tremors, brain "zaps" and more. Nausea and a little vertigo too.

I thought for a long time that Zoloft was a wonder drug - and it sort of WAS a wonder for me. I had been experiencing severe, debilitating migraine headaches when my doctor decided to put me on Zoloft. By severe, I mean winding up in the emergency room, with doctors thinking brain tumor or aneurysm. An eye that literally ran tears and couldn't open or close because the pain was so bad. Sleeping in a closet because it was the darkest room in the house. Cat scans, MRIs, Demerol, morphine - you name it, I went through it. If you've had a migraine that bad, you know where I'm coming from.

So, after taking Zoloft for almost three years, I really decided that I wanted to FEEL things again.

When I was on Zoloft, life was pretty even-keeled. I wasn't worried about too many things. But things were always in neutral. I mean I couldn't cry at funerals or at my own failures or disappointments. I couldn't really celebrate my victories and triumphs either though. I couldn't get in gear, and I couldn't stay parked (a funny car analogy - you are welcome, Carl). I was just stuck.

My doctor, bless his handsome little heart, never told me about the withdrawal symptoms - probably because he had never been on the drug himself. I honestly think that if I had known about them, I never would have gotten on it in the first place.

Here's what you CAN experience when withdrawing from Zoloft. Please note, this list is in no way complete:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Vertigo
  • Excessive thirst
  • REM disorder
  • Brain "zaps"
  • Irritability
  • Joint pain
  • Tingling in extremities
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fatigue

  • Wow - I've been experiencing ALL of these things in the past few days. Today, Friday, is the first day I have wakened without a headache - and I feel almost back to normal.

    By brain is having wonderful, new creative thoughts - something that has actually been difficult in the past. I'm keeping a notebook close by for when these flashes of genius (ha!) happen. They usually occur after a brain zap, which is then followed by a weird sensation of my lungs opening up - like an involuntary deep, deep breath that cleanses out the head. In pops an idea!

    Zoloft has a 50% daily half life. I'm no math whiz, but there after taking 100 mg a day for almost three years, I'm thinking that I will be totally clean in about two weeks, give or take... four to six weeks. LOL.

    What HAS been good about this? I've been able to mourn my friend Jamie's death. I've finally cried about being RIFed from Pier 1. I am feeling sorta romantic toward my husband again (he'll be pretty happy to hear that). Of course, I am also feeling anger, irritability and hopelessness occasionally too - but that's ALL RIGHT. I think that's NORMAL. At least I am FEELING again. And that's the best part.

    Monday, August 11, 2008

    On Life Not Turning Out As Planned

    Has your life turned out as planned? Are you doing all the things you imagined you'd do? Have you traveled the world, given birth to the most intelligent and beautiful children, are you living in a five-bedroom house with a pool and a tennis court? Did you marry the football player hunk? Are you a gazillionaire and sharing the wealth? Are you as HAPPY as you thought you'd be?

    The Pioneer Woman posed this question on her website: "How does your life compare to the plans, dreams, and expectations you had ten, twenty years ago?" The responses have made for fascinating reading, and have caused me to ponder just what the heck happened to MY life. It sure didn't turn out as planned.

    When I was a kid, I always thought that I would get married and have three or four kids that would love me and be affectionate - totally NOT the way I grew up. I mean, I knew my parents loved me, but showing it was another story. Anyway, my kids would have been brilliant, outgoing, athletic, funny - a lot of the things I am not. I would be married to a successful man who took good care of me, met my every whim, gave me the opportunity to grow and develop myself. He would be gorgeous and have rock-hard abs. I would be a size six princess with long strawberry blonde hair. My Polish nose would have been "fixed" a long time ago.

    Funny how real life is never what you expect. Dreams die, or change. You realize the perfection you chased is never going to materialize.

    Maybe you just grow up. Maybe you were deluding yourself all along.

    I sure didn't picture myself unemployed at age 45, childless, mortgaged to the hilt, bankrupt, married to a man that I love, but who can't support me, always having to work so hard for everything... If I had foreseen THIS future, I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago.

    So, life is a struggle. One thing after another. There is no bed of roses for me to lie on, no smart and beautiful children to take care of me in my old age, no nice nest egg in the bank.

    Maybe I am just freaking out because I am off the Zoloft and can really FEEL things again. I was telling a friend earlier that I've just been bawling today because I am finally able to do so. I'm not a fan of this feeling stuff. I kind of liked it when I was zoned out and things didn't bother me and I wasn't worried about the future and what's coming around the bend.

    Dang that Pioneer Woman for making me all thinky, freaking out-y and melancholy.

    Anyhow, blog reader (all one of you), has YOUR life turned out the way you thought it would? Tell me about it.

    Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    All the maybes...

    Ever have blogger's block?

    I think I've got it.

    I have a lot of stuff in my head, it just wants to stay there. Weird.

    Maybe I am just getting lazy. Maybe I am just tired. Maybe I just can't combine the thoughts and words together into sentences that make any sense.

    Maybe it's because I am weaning myself off the Zoloft since I can't afford it anymore. Maybe that's causing my fatigue.

    Maybe I have been trapped in the house too long (17 days and counting).

    Maybe I should take a shower and wash my hair.

    Maybe I should just take a nap.


    Friday, August 1, 2008

    Silly me... they're SIMILES not METAPHORS

    I have been without a car now for almost two weeks. Actually it's only been 12 days (who's counting?) but it SEEMS like longer.

    Anyhoo, in my intense boredom (there's only so much laundry one can do, and so much junk food one can eat and only so many channels one can surf), I decided to come up with a fun list of similes for being trapped. Hey, it beats cleaning the carpet.

    Feel free to add to this list at any time.

    • Trapped like a rat in a maze.
    • Trapped like a fly in a jar (with no holes).
    • Trapped like bears in a pit.
    • Trapped like roaches in a MOTEL (get it?).
    • Trapped like a mouse under a bowl.
    • Trapped like dinner in a cannibal's cauldron.
    • Trapped like a cricket in a shoebox (with no holes).
    • Trapped like a fly between the screen door and the storm door.
    • Trapped like a medieval prisioner in an Iron Maiden. (ummm.... OUCH!)
    • Trapped like hairs in a drainpipe.
    • Trapped like a bear in ... well, a trap.
    • Trapped like a butterfly in a net.
    • Trapped like a rock between two hard places.
    • Trapped like a skinny dude between two fat people on an airplane.
    • Trapped like boobs in a brassiere.
    • Trapped like a fish in a net.
    • Trapped like a bird in a cage.
    • Trapped like that dude in "Groundhog's Day".
    • Trapped like an ant in a farm (break the glass! break the glass!).
    • Trapped like a lobster in a pot of boiling water (mmmm... them's good eats).

    Well, I'm all tapped out, like a keg at a frat party.