Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What kind of blogger am I?

Apparently, I am THIS kind:

You Are a Life Blogger!
Your blog is the story of your life - a living diary.
If it happens, you blog it. And you make it as entertaining as possible.
You may be guilty of over-sharing a bit on your blog, but you can't help it.
Your life is truly an open book. Or in this case, an open blog!
What Kind of Blogger Are You?

Monday, September 22, 2008

How my Really Hard Head saved me from seven years of bad luck

Yesterday I had an accident. An accident in the home, where apparently MOST accidents actually happen. Actually, I had THREE accidents yesterday in the home. It's a strange and weird thing that so many accidents happen at home, but home is where there are a lot of dangerous things, like forks and ice cubes and heavy mirrors from The Bombay Company.

So yesterday was not the best day for me, in terms of hanging out at home and being safe. In fact, I probably would have had a much better time if I had gone swimming with sharks, laid on a bed of nails, ran with the bulls in Pamplona or was played with the big boys in the Cowboys game.

Weird accident #1: So I am vacuuming the floor as company is supposed to be coming over for a breakfast date, when I step on a fork that is STICKING UP FROM UNDER MY FLOOR RUG. What the???? Come to find out that it was my husband's fork from his little snack the night before that he had "given to the dog to clean so I don't have to wash it before I put it in the dishwasher." While I truly appreciate that, not picking UP the fork after the dog was done, and leaving the fork UNDER the carpet was probably a pretty dumb thing. So I stepped on the fork and the four tines went right into my right heel. And since I couldn't see what I was stepping on, I STEPPED ON IT AGAIN!! Twice. On the same foot. But not in the same place.

So I've got my foot bleeding all over the place in two places. I guess that's what I get for vacuuming barefoot and trusting my husband with kitchen utensils. Gimme a little peroxide and I'll be fine. Lets go have pancakes!

Weird accident #2: Our dogs like ice cubes. They are like the Haagen Daas of dog treats for them, don't ask me why. It's just frozen water to me, but to them, they are little treats from heaven. Anyhoo, I was walking across the hardwoods in the den after giving the dogs an ice cube treat, when I slid on a piece of ice and smashed headlong into the loveseat, twisting my left knee in the process. Again, I was barefoot, but at least my carpets were vacuumed and the floor was swept. So I sat down and decided to check my email. I mean - COME ON - certainly nothing can happen to me while I am SITTING ON THE COUCH, right???

Weird accident #3: So I've got my right heel all nasty with eight little fork holes in it and my left knee is twisted from the stinking ice cube. Email seems so harmless - and actually, the email was. I was just about finished when the dogs come running in chasing each other. Henry, my little gay pyr (bless his heart) jumps up on me as I am setting the laptop on top of the bookshelf. The SAME bookshelf where a large, heavy mirror from The Bombay Company (my former employer - thanks for going out of business and leaving me broke and brokenhearted) is just LEANING against the wall - because it's way stylish that way and I am too lazy to hang it. (Was that a really long run on sentence? Sorry.) So I apparently pushed the laptop back too far and the mirror comes CRASHING down ON TOP OF MY HEAD.

So I sit there for a few seconds - with a scared dog in one arm and a heavy mirror ON TOP OF MY HEAD when I realize - hey - THAT'S BLOOD! So I yell for my husband who is out in the garage doing secret manly things that can only be done secretly by a man in a garage, and he (eventually) comes in to see what I am screaming about.

Bless his heart, he lifts the heavy heavy mirror off my head and says, "Hey, you're bleeding - don't get any of that stuff on the couch! And hey look - the mirror ISN'T EVEN BROKEN! Good thing for you, woman - that's seven years of no sex, or bad luck or somesuch."

While part of me is glad that the mirror isn't damaged, I'm not quite as happy about the state of my head. I grab a towel and wipe up some of the blood that has landed on the Rich Corinthian Leather of our Man Room furniture, and head to the kitchen to see where the heck all this runny stuff is coming from.

My sweet husband has to advise me (from across the room) that it's from a nice two-inch gash on my head. Then he reminds me that other people's blood makes him nauseous. So while I want to cry and scream (my head FREAKING HURTS HERE PEOPLE!!!), I try to remain calm because I don't want my sweet love bug to hork - that's just ONE MORE THING that might send me over the edge.

After about a half an hour, the bleeding sorta stops. Man - heads REALLY bleed! Since I am uninsured, I decide NOT to make the trip to the ER and just buck up. They would probably just Super Glue my head closed anyway.

So I decided that probably the BEST thing for me to do would be to just go to bed. There IS a mirror over the bed, but it's hung pretty well, so I feel semi-safe. So at 7:13 PM on a Sunday evening, I am in bed, my pillows swathed with towels to catch any random bleeding from my head, my left foot in a sock to keep the fork tine holes clean, and my right knee on ice to keep the swelling down.

You know, I am REALLY glad I didn't decide to rewire that table lamp yesterday. It could have been a disaster.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Remembering Grandpa Harry

This morning I was up bright and early, Twittering, reading email and catching up on some blogs that I follow. A friend-that-I-have-never-met, Rini, had a link on her blog to the writings of Adrian Plass. I was intrigued and began reading.

First off, I thought that I had found a kindred spirit (but that's another post). Then I read one of his pieces called "First Harvest," and I find myself with happy tears, remembering my time with Grandpa Harry.

Grandpa Harry was my mom's dad. Very tall, heavy and deep-voiced, he always appeared to be a gruff kind of man to me, especially when I was very small. However, Grandpa was terrifically funny and we had this totally goofball relationship. He would listen to my jokes and funny stories, and then I would laugh while he played the invisible piano, or when he would poke his false teeth out at Grandma while her back was turned. I really think it was Grandpa Harry's gift to me - my offbeat sense of humor and the ability to make people laugh.

Grandpa also kept a garden in the back. It was large and neat. There were rows of tomatoes, zucchini, beans, onions and more.

And there was kohlrabi.

I remember one warm pre-fall afternoon I was hanging out with Grandpa. We were farting around in the garden, picking some of the late tomatoes and zucchini. I got to feed the turkeys which was fun.

Grandpa called me over to the back porch and showed me this odd looking root vegetable and said, "Let's have ourselves a little snack here, chuckle head." I got the hose out and we rinsed off this odd looking vegetable. Then Grandpa took out his pocket knife and gave me my first ever slice of kohlrabi. I remember that the first bite was crisp, and it tasted all peppery and clean. It was so crunchy and was totally delightful.

We sat on the porch and shared that little kohlrabi together until it was gone. Just us. And the turkeys.

That day had to have happened almost 40 years ago, but it feels like just yesterday.

Grandpa Harry has been gone a good long time now. I miss him a lot. I miss his silly jokes, and his pretend swatting of Grandma's behind. I miss how even when I was all grown up and living on my own, his bear hugs made me feel tiny and small and oh-so loved.

And I miss his invisible meat sandwiches too, but again, that's another post in itself. :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Am I waiting for the other shoe to fall or is it really a turnaround?

Since I wrote about being discouraged last week, things have really been happening. Changing, mostly for the better.

I am cautiously optimistic. I am liking this change.

Which is not to say that there still aren't rotten things going on. My A/C unit, which happens to be upstairs in a little closet, is leaking and coming through my kitchen ceiling (which I just had fixed). I throw out a couple of the 5-gallon buckets of water every day. This is exasperating, because we just spent a little over $11,000 to get everything fixed and back to normal. Now that whole rigmarole will be starting again.

But, things are actually better and I am not freaking out about this mess (like I probably think I maybe should be).

On the job front, Carl was moved to a much better store. Sure it's further away and it's in Dallas, but he has much better people to work with and his salary will double because this store actually does business. It's in the Oak Lawn area of town and people there have disposable income and can pay for repairs on their cars. He works with another manager who appreciates his people skills and they work well as a team. Even Carl is happier in the mornings to go to work.

As for me, I had a good interview yesterday with a potential employer. This place would be perfect for me because it would be utilizing all my skills and it's only 3 miles from home. I can wear my jammies to work if I want - don't have to see anyone at all. It's all internet and phone. The money is a lot less, but I wouldn't have to spend money on gas or clothing or lunches - I could go home and see my puppies every day.

After months of waiting for our gas lease money to come through, we will finally be getting it this Thursday. We are one of the last families to get this bonus, because I bought my house before I married, and there were some issues there (my name had changed and Carl is not on the deed, etc.). But the good news is that this Thursday, we will get our bonus and will be able to get caught up on everything that has been hanging.

I believe I am finally clean of all Zoloft that had been in my system. I can't tell you how good I feel. I can sleep at night without grinding my teeth, and I sleep all the way through. No wake ups. I can cry when I feel sad, and I can totally belly laugh now when something strikes me as silly. I am a little sad that I missed out on FEELING things for almost three years, but I am happier that I am off the pills. And even with all the stress lately, I have not had a migraine. I hope I am not tempting fate, but I really have been feeling good.

There have been lots of prayers prayed for Carl and I, and I want to thank those of you who thought about us and lifted us up. Thank you to friends who have been there for us in thick and (really really) thin.

We believe that winds of change are blowing... where will it take us?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On being discouraged

There. I've said it. I am discouraged.

I have been putting on a brave face for the last few months regarding my job situation and life in general. I gotta admit - it's been hard. Very hard. Money is very tight. There's a lot of tension in the air. I feel cut off from my friends and I'm generally just not as happy-go-lucky as I usually am. I can't seem to find a job in my field to save my life.

And then the news, in their daring quest to keep the world informed of the most depressing things possible, puts out this little article titled "People Who Lose Jobs Become Hermits." Um... ya think?

This article enlightens you to the fact that the world's social butterflies who involuntarily lose their jobs are 35% less likely to be involved in their communities than their employed counterparts.

Well heck - I could have told them that!

Shockingly, "Workers who got flung out of their jobs during their peak earning years, between the ages of 35 and 53, were the most likely to withdraw from the social buzz throughout their lives."

I've got to admit, my circle of friends has gotten considerably smaller since my recent job loss. Sure, there are some that are concerned about me, but I think there are far more who feign interest and those who really, in the big scheme of things, don't give a poop one way or the other.

I am happy (or trying to be) for my friends who have good jobs, lots of family support and a cushion to fall back on. But honestly, as most of these friends/acquaintances go on about their daily lives, people like me aren't given a single thought. We can't help them anymore. Believe me, it's difficult for me to NOT give of myself, my things or my money. And both Carl and I have noticed that since we no longer have the "means," many of our friends no longer have the "way" to reach out to us. It's then that we realize these people may not have truly been friends - but probably just hangers-on. And then it turns to bitterness and regret.

And then I wonder: Am I just a poor judge of people?

Believe me, I truly cherish those who have stuck with me and reached out to me during the last few months, when times have been the hardest. There have been two dear friends who have totally stuck by me, helped me through the most difficult, agonizing times, listened to me talk or was patient while I typed my IMs. I am so thankful to you two women (and you know who you are).

You know what the funniest part of this is? These two women aren't even "believers" in the commonest sense. One claims to be an agnostic (I believe) and the other, though she grew up Catholic, claims to be an atheist (although she herself was deeply injured by the religion and the inherent guilt heaped upon the heads of those trying to be faithful).

How wonderful is it that these two wonderful women are much closer to me than many of my Christian sisters! How wonderful that they will see a need and meet it, when others will turn a blind eye or walk away. How wonderful that they are literally putting feet to God's words without even believing them.

So this morning, I will cry a little, blog a little and pray a lot. Actually, these tears streaming down my face right now feel so cleansing.

And I know that in just a little while, BOTH of these dear women will contact me to check on me. They will remind me that it's not so bad. They will encourage me to NOT become the hermit I want to be.

I love you guys. Thanks for making me feel a lot less alone.