Sunday, November 30, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 93

Things I am grateful for today

1. Thanksgiving went well. Everyone was happy and well fed and Chris got to do some hunting and some resting and it was just a generally good week.

2. Making time to read a book.

3. New beginnings start tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited.

4. Good friends.

5. A job that I (still!) enjoy.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

GIST - The Thanksgiving Edition

Things I am grateful for today

1. A short work shift today. I'm scheduled 12 to 6 and I got here a few minutes early because I despise running late and it's been really quiet so far. I have tomorrow off because I have some business to take care of (nothing related to shopping thank goodness) and after I leave here today, I'll go home and finish cooking and sit down to a Thanksgiving meal with my family.

2. I am grateful for my family. My immediate family and my extended family. I am grateful we have made it through another year together and everyone is reasonably happy and healthy.

3. Friends: new and old. I don't make friends easily so I am grateful for the new friendships that have been cultivated over the past year as well as the long standing friendships and the renewed ones. I am blessed.

4. I am grateful for having enough. I have a roof over my head, food to put in my stomach, heat to keep us warm and an abundance of love. 

5. I am grateful for new beginnings. (More on that soon.)

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

There's no room for silence

I watched the press conference announcing there would be no indictment of Darren Wilson and I cried. I knew this is how it would turn out but I had harbored a vague hope that I would be wrong and the grand jury in Ferguson would do the right thing and indict him. Even I, someone who has no education in aspects of law, know that there was enough evidence to charge him and send this case to trial. I can't wrap my head around how the members of the grand jury couldn't see that as well in spite of the prosecutor. Please, don't even get me started on the prosecutor. He should have recused himself and a special prosecutor should have been appointed and I am aghast that none of these things happened and that Darren Wilson is a free man today.

Facebook and Twitter reactions were swift. I broke the number one rule of the internet by reading the comments on posts and blogs and my faith in humanity dive bombed out the window. The sheer ignorance being displayed made my stomach hurt and my heart shatter.

We have to do better. America in 2014 (almost 2015) should not look anything like America in the 60s but sadly, it looks worse. It's like America as a country is steadily going backwards.

I don't have answers. I have a lot of questions, I have thoughts, I have ideas but I don't have answers as to how to dismantle this privileged system. All I can do, at this point, is keep moving forward, have the difficult conversations with my daughter, keep fighting against the cruel injustices and hope like hell that her generation does a better job with race relations than ours has or the ones before us.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 92

Things I am grateful for today

1. busy nights

2. working property management systems (after this past week, it's a big deal)

3. friends

4. Hijinx the wonder kitten

5. hot coffee and a good book to read

Friday, November 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes # 18

I failed NaBloPoMo because life was insanely crazy Monday through Thursday of this week thanks to the property management system blowing itself up. It went down Sunday night around 1am and we didn't have access to it again until Wednesday at around 3pm. I spent all week working the desk old school and while that was actually fun albeit a bit stressful, I was not amused when we had to input 4 days worth of business into the system after it came back up. Susan & I, however, rocked it in 4 hours which is really good considering we were handling Wednesday's business as it happened at the same time. I really hope I never get this experience again. 

So blog entries didn't get written, I barely looked at Facebook and for most of that time didn't even tweet. My brain was tired ya'll, seriously. I went home at night and fell into the bed and slept. I think I took more than my share of advil during this past week.

Chris is on vacation until the end of the month. Big things are happening and I want to talk about it so bad that I can barely live with myself. It's not time yet though and so I keep zipping my lips. 

I found the prettiest tangerines at the store today and ended up buying half a dozen of them. Then I remembered that I probably shouldn't eat that many tangerines so I reluctantly hid them in the fridge and am rationing them to myself. It's rare to find good looking tangerines here and I only get them this time of year and I really want to eat.all.the.tangerines. 

I fell last night in the kitchen and today my entire body hurts. There's already something wrong with my spinal area and I'm sure this didn't help the situation any.

I am a quarter of the way through Gray Mountain by John Grisham and really loving it. It'll probably take me a few more days to finish it because I only read at work for some reason these days. He did a really good job with this book (as with all of his books.)

Next week is Thanksgiving and I'm not ready. Christmas is not too far off and will seem shorter since Thanksgiving is so late this year and I'm not ready for that either. Could someone slow down time for me just until I get all caught up?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 91

Things I am grateful for today

1. It's my mama's birthday. I got a chance to talk with her which was nice.

2. A freezer full of venison. I could have done without the hefty price tag that it ended up costing because somebody (named Chris) took 3 deer to cold storage at the same time but live and learn. 

3. Chili made with some of that venison. He made the chili and it was all gone tonight. The only thing he did different was not use so much spice. It was really really good.

4. Heat (because it's cold outside and only supposed to get worse.)

5. A hot cup of coffee and a good book. I'm going back to both now. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

......

Today has been busy and hard and so many adjectives that basically all describe "suck".

I am so ready for 11pm to be here so I can go home, climb into my pajamas and go to sleep. I don't work tomorrow so I have an entire 24 hours to unwind and de-stress (if that's even possible.)

I'm tired of being tired.

Friday, November 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes # 17

Things are still rather up in the air about a variety of issues that I'm not currently free to discuss which has me censoring a lot of the things I am writing about/talking about/posting on various social media accounts. I'm hoping that it will be something that is resolved and that I can discuss in the next couple of weeks. I am working my way through the uncertainty by taking deep breaths and reminding myself that everything happens for a reason, even when I'm not clear on what the reason is or what is exactly happening.

You ever see something happening in someone else's life and knowing it is a train wreck waiting to happen but you can't say anything about it because a) it would be unappreciated, b) it's not technically any of your business and c) the person you would say something to about it is very very dear to you and hurting them is the last thing you want to do even though you know their situation is about to hurt them? Doing that now with my sister. I think my tongue has permanent tooth marks in it.

My mother's birthday is on Sunday. I wanted to throw her a party but she wouldn't let me. Instead, I'm going to invite them to dinner. I decided not to do any kind of a "surprise" thing because I don't want to accidentally scare her to death on her birthday. That wouldn't be good at all.

I have had several fascinating conversations over the past week with various people. I sometimes forget that people as a whole are fascinating. (It's easy to forget when people are being jerks.)  

I read the story of the New Jersey who successfully sued her parents to have them pay her college tuition. I have so many thoughts on that but the main one is this: I paid my own way through college by working and getting scholarships and financial aid. I would never be so entitled to assume that my parents "owed" me anything towards a college education. I really think it sets a bad precedent and I hope the appeal for the parents is successful. Because that young woman sounds like an entitled brat. 

My plan to not eat after 9pm is going really good much to my surprise. The only drawback is having to remind myself to eat dinner in the evening before 9 rolls around.

The holidays are approaching and I have done zero shopping for holiday meals or presents. I may need to start thinking about that here in the next day or two. I think Amazon is going to be friend this year because the thought of braving a bunch of people to shop gives me heart palpitations. Now if only my daughter would tell me what she would like for Christmas, I'd be all set.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

frustrated

I am frustrated with a variety of things about which I can not write.

Plus there is some anxiety going on for reasons related to the things about which I can not write.

Basically today sucks and tomorrow isn't looking much better.

I'm a bundle of sunshine aren't I?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesdays are usually wordless but I have stuff to say

I don't watch a lot of tv but I listen to a lot of news. The television at work is always on in the breakfast room and it's always programmed to a news station. You can't help but listen to it even if you can't actively watch the screen. And I listen to a lot of NPR because well, I'm strange like that. I've noticed a conspicuous absence of news as it relates to what is unfolding in Ferguson.

 I catch links on Facebook that have been cleverly disguised because the people I pay attention to have figured out that Facebook is pretty much burying any mention of Ferguson and Mike Brown and the impending verdict of the grand jury. Several groups thought the verdict would come yesterday while the country was busy honoring veterans. Others think the verdict will be released on a Friday evening when it can be effectively buried by other news items and when government offices have closed for the weekend. Thanksgiving is coming up and that would be an ideal time for the verdict to be released. Wednesday evening just after 5 pm. The police have been training for crowd control and riots and something shady is going on in the St. Louis/Ferguson area. Just watch. People really need to be paying attention.

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I did three things recently that I think are going to make a major difference for me, personally. The first one was to make a concerted effort to not eat after 9pm. This is odd (for me) because I typically was waiting until I got off work at 11 to eat dinner and I realized this was not doing me a bit of good. So for the past few weeks, I have been carving out time between guest interactions to eat dinner and I've been packing it myself from things cooked at home rather than grabbing a fast food item or a quick microwavable item or ordering something from one of the few places that delivers. I've not been snacking at all at work. I stopped doing that a long time ago because I came to the realization that I wasn't eating because I was actually hungry but because I was bored. Now I read or write or walk around the lobby and act silly. :) 

The second thing I did was program my phone to not allow wifi or mobile data after 1am. I get home from work anywhere between 11:30 and 12 depending on how late the night auditor is on any given evening and I was staying up until 2 or 3 am every day. So a few days ago, I decided to basically force myself to go to bed by 1. Making my phone inaccessible is a perfect way to remind myself "hey, you need to sleep." Obviously it's something I can undo at any time if I *absolutely* need to but so far, I've had no reason to do that. My phone gives me a warning at 12:50 that it's going to hibernate at 1am and I take it as my cue to go crawl into my cozy bed and close my eyeballs.

The third thing: I removed most of the games, email, and Facebook from my phone. I'm not quitting Facebook; I'm still capable of accessing it through my mobile browser or the tablet but having the app on my phone was a continuous time killer for me. I would find myself checking Facebook out of habit and not really because I wanted to check it if that makes any sense. I removed my email form my phone too. I couldn't figure out how to disable the stupid thing in a way where it would check it only when I asked it to and so I finally I just took all email off it. I spent the better part of 2 months unsubscribing from some really random junk that I never remember subscribing to in the first place and really, my email just became a big time suck. I check it twice a day and anything in between those two times can wait. 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I stopped by the library today and once again, proved that I can't go to the library without leaving with a book (or 11). Or half the library. Maybe I should just start my own (which Chris swears I could do with all the books I happen to own.) 

People are starting to actually need things from me so I'd better stop typing and put my smile back on. ;-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A picture for Tuesday

Hijinx the wonder kitten likes to sit on my shoulder & go to sleep.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Randomness is all I'm capable of right now.

A sign on one of the churches I pass on my way to work reads:

Those who are thankful
for little
Enjoy much.

I have read it every day for the past week and I think they left out a word. Either that or the meaning of the sign is deeper than I have to capacity to extrapolate.


I took Dylan home today before work. He's been at our house since Thursday evening. He wanted to go home yesterday but he & Nick slept until after I left for work and I guess his parents couldn't be bothered to make the 45 minute drive to get him. More likely, he didn't ask them to come get him knowing that I would take him home before I went to work.


Chris cooked last night and so I have a dinner plate for tonight. A pork chop, some macaroni and cheese and field peas. I offered to let him have the plate to carry to work with him tonight but he refused and I didn't offer a second time. I was being nice and would have let him have it if he had said yes but I'm no fool and that man can cook so I have yumminess to fill my stomach with tonight. (Also, apparantly "yumminess" is not a real word.)


I have a day off tomorrow and Elizabeth is out of school for Veteran's Day so I plan to spend the day with her, cleaning and baking and being silly. We do a good job of being silly.


I stopped by the library today to return some books and made the mistake of going inside since I still had 45 minutes before I had to be at work and I left with 6 new books. I don't have the capacity to go to the library very often and NOT check out books. On the rare occasion that I go and don't get anything, I'm always really surprised. I put a couple of books on hold too and probably won't get them until next year (seriously) because I'm like #59 for one book and #82 for the other. 


I very rarely watch television even though it is on at work all the time. Last night, I turned it to CBS where I thought the football game was being played and then got enthralled in an episode of Madam Secretary. Now I want to check to see if I can find it streaming somewhere because it was really good and I'd like to see the previous episodes.


Right now though, I seriously want a nap. I can't have one but it sounds really good.



Sunday, November 9, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 90

Things I am grateful for today

1. The sun came out after a gray, depressing morning. It was only out for about an hour before it started to get dark outside but still, the sunshine was a boost that I really needed today.

2. Elizabeth asked me if she could have some money to go get chicken soup from the grocery store because she really wanted some chicken soup. She comes back with a can of chicken soup and a miniature coconut pie for me because she remembered that I said (almost 2 weeks ago!) that I really wanted a slice of coconut pie. I brought it to work with me to have after I eat my supper.

3. Turtle earrings. They have just enough whimsy to make me smile and I've already had a couple of people make nice comments about them. I will probably give them back to Elizabeth (they were her earrings and I gave her a pair of mine for them but I'll probably still give them back to her after tonight.)

4. The influx of children with the pilgrimage is over. They all went home today. They were very well behaved this year but as with any large group of children/teenagers, it gets loud when they are all together and moving about. The younger ones (about Beth's age) all amused me because they haven't yet reached the point where they are anything but unfailingly polite when asking for something. I'm sure they give their mamas some attitude when they are at home but here, they were on their very best behavior. 

5. Thanksgiving is coming up really soon. I still have to get all the necessary things to make dinner that night but I am so looking forward to it. I'm off the day before and after Thanksgiving and am working a 6 hour shift Thanksgiving day. I can hardly wait for it.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

floundering

The last few weeks have been hard. I can't really pinpoint any one specific reason even though everyone I have mentioned this to has all asked the question "why?" So I stopped mentioning it and I stopped being truthful when someone asks me how I'm doing. "Fine" has become the new patent response even though things are far from fine.

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Tonight has been an exercise in biting my tongue. All of the hotels in the area are full because of the pilgrimage and people who are traveling through without having the foresight to make reservations somewhere have been incredibly rude. I have made reservations in 3 states tonight for people to make sure they have  a place to put their head and only one person has had the decency to say thank you. Making reservations in other states is not part of what I normally have to do so I am actually going out of my way to be extra helpful. A little gratitude would make things better. I almost told someone earlier, after he cursed at me, that his failure to plan was not an emergency for me but instead I bit the inside of my cheek and found him a room. 

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I cooked before going to work tonight so I would have something to eat and then haven't made time to eat it. I really need to get back on track with making real meals and eating real meals. I can't remember the last time I ate breakfast or lunch. I typically only eat dinner and a small pack of crackers. This has to change but I seem to be stuck in a rut of not being hungry at all and by the time I remember that I need to eat, it's late at night and I don't feel like eating much of anything that has any nutritional value.

************************

I don't even know what I'm doing here anymore.

Friday, November 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes - # 16

Big changes are on the horizon for our family, none of which I am allowed to discuss in detail just yet. Know that I am both scared and excited at the same time (and no, it has nothing to do with babies.)

It is the Methodist Youth Group Pilgrimage weekend this weekend and if you can imagine 200+ children running through the hotel without having a nervous breakdown then I need to borrow your strong will for the next 48 hours. I am searching for headache medicine now.

People have been looking at me like I was crazy when I would tell them, as they are standing across the counter from me, that we are sold out for the weekend. And when I went outside to get a breath of fresh air, I realized why. There were 3 cars in the parking lot. Mine was one of them.

I am disappointed with the way the elections turned out but am watching to see what happens next. I don't have the highest of hopes just yet.

I am on a soup kick here recently. Tonight will be clam chowder with pretzel chips. Sounds disgusting but I promise it is so very good.

I really want to take some pictures but I never seem to find the time to do so. Maybe on one of my days off next week, I will take my dslr and go to the woods.

It's suddenly quiet here again. I think I'm going to go read a book until the next group comes.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

phoning it in (sort of)

You ever have a day so busy at work that you can't take 6 minutes to breath let alone write? That's how my day/night has been. Then I had to pick up Dylan which means I'll get home some time tomorrow.

Real post tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

election day & other things

I'm glad today is election day for no reason other than I am so sick of the advertisements. They are on the radio, the television, in the mail box. And none of them are pleasant. I really wish the money that all the candidates spend to get elected was put to a better use.

I went and cast my vote before going to work today. The campaign workers were all milling about just beyond the yellow caution tape that was put up with the sign that read: "No electioneering beyond this point." I really wonder why they bother to come out on the day of the vote because I would assume most people already know for whom they are voting before they approach the building. At least, I always know but then I do my homework and pay attention. The only thing that ever gets me is when there is a constitutional amendment on the ballot. No matter how much I study the proposed amendment, it's always worded in a way that makes me second guess for a minute whether I was going to vote for or against it. They really should word them better.

The time change is not being nice to me. I keep thinking it's later than it actually is in the evenings and I haven't managed to wake up and stay up before 11am yet. I was up for a few minutes this morning while Elizabeth was getting ready for school and she fussed at me for reminding her of the time. I had to laugh afterwards because she was absolutely correct and I should have just stayed in bed and let her do her thing.

She got her report card yesterday and minus a conversation that I need to have with her teacher about math, the report card was really good.

The news is on in the breakfast room at work and all they are talking about is the election. I'm sure that will be their subject matter all evening. I'm tempted to just go turn it off. I'd rather listen to silence than to the FOX news cohosts (which is where we HAVE to leave the tv.)

Yes, turning it off to save my sanity.

Monday, November 3, 2014

It was definitely a (Monday) morning

I woke up not feeling all that great; a combination of the cold front that is sweeping through and made it 29 degrees this morning (and we didn't have the heat on in our bedroom) and not sleeping well. I won't blame the not sleeping well on any one thing in particular because I've never really slept like most people do but last night was an endless night of tossing and turning and fragmented dreams so when I woke, it was as if I would have been better off to not sleep at all.

I decided to make coffee (not really much of a decision since I do this every.single.day that someone hasn't already done it for me) and the crock pot that Chris filled last night before bed was sitting on the counter: cold and not bubbling. We have taken to making things in the crock pot overnight since we are both working 3 to 11 and then they are done in the early morning hours and we have plates to take for work. Last night, he filled the pot and turned it on and we both went to bed. This morning, I assumed that the pot was broken and I cried because hello? This crock pot is my lifesaver at times. I unplugged it and plugged it into another receptacle and flipped the switch all around and cried some more because even if I could, miraculously, make it come on the food in it was trash after having sat in there not cooking all night long. And then, I realized the plug I was frantically unplugging and replugging belonged to the toaster. The crock pot plug: sitting behind the pot, not plugged in at all.

The coffee pot beeped to signal it was done and I got out a cup and poured the coffee and realized that I didn't have a bit of sweetener in the house. And I cried again. (I have been overly emotional the past few days/weeks) So I through a couple of teaspoons of sugar in my coffee, something I have not done since 2007 and I drank it and the world did not stop spinning on its axis.

I sat down on the sofa with my sugar sweetened coffee and picked up my phone to scroll through facebook and the internet was sporadically working. The cable modem was working; all the necessary lights were up and lit. I re-set the router and was able to tinker on my phone for a few minutes before it stopped working again. I figured it was my phone because it acts wonky sometimes but Nick told me earlier that it's not working very well on any of the devices and he thinks we probably need to get a new wireless router. (The only reason I didn't cry at that was because I was at work and people were standing in front of me.) I had him do a hard reset and he said it didn't help so I'm thinking that he is probably correct and I just need to go buy one soon.

My day really hasn't gotten any better. I'm holding onto the fact that I have one more day of work after tonight and then I'll have a day off, that tomorrow is election day so there will be no more negative ads on the tv or the radio, and the day after is the 5th of November. I intend to watch V for Vendetta (only fitting I think) and do nothing much more than carry Nick to school and cook a meal.

I really need a break.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 89

Things I am grateful for today

1. The ability to not say what I am thinking sometimes because this past weekend would have been littered with dead bodies from my sharp tongue if I didn't have a good handle on things. People can be so rude and irritating and I think I may have permanent puncture marks in my cheek.

2. Coffee. Without which I would not be standing here with somewhat of a smile on my face.

3. Good books. I read a few of them in October and enjoyed everything I managed to finish reading.

4. It is definitely autumn. The trees outside are a mix of red, yellow, orange and gold. It is gorgeous and I smile every time I see the brilliant colors.

5. My new sweater. It's been getting cold outside which means it's pretty cold inside my house to me and my sweater is warm and toasty. I haven't owned a sweater in years and this one is perfect.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Let's do this

So.... it's that time of year again (also known as November) where I attempt to write on this blog every day for a solid month (NaBloPoMo) and attempt to write a novel (NaNoWriMo). This is not my first go round with either endeavor. I have actually completed NaBloPoMo on more than one occasion (even in months not named November) and this will my 6th or 7th time doing NaNoWriMo.

Yes, I am crazy. In addition to all of that, I have a full time job where I am averaging 6 days a week for now and I have a ton of reading to get done before the library revokes my card for overdue fees (none yet but I imagine I am well on my way to forgetting a due date) and someone pleaded with me to do a photo a day challenge.

I am passing on the photo a day challenge for the month of November because let's face it: I have to have time to do things like eat and sleep. And I'm not the greatest at deadlines and challenges.

Also let's not forget that Thanksgiving is coming up and so is my mom's birthday and my sister's birthday and suddenly I need a full size calendar to keep track of everything.

I have a feeling, by the end of 30 days, I'm going to be sick of myself.

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 175

It's been awhile since I have done one of these although my offline gratitude practice remains on point. In no particular order, here ar...