Saturday, December 6, 2014

Left in the Dark

I have been noticing some things my family does quite frequently that I find a bit curious.  
It drives my husband nuts if I am playing the piano or cooking and I don't have the lights on.  You know how it is in the afternoon, as the sun starts to go down, and it's still light enough to see just fine...but it's getting gradually darker?  Well, if I have started doing something in the late afternoon while the sun is still out, chances are I am still doing it when it's starting to fade.
He will come in the room, turn all the lights on and say "How can you stand to work in the dark?!  You make me crazy when you do this!"
I felt the need to share that with you, only because of what he has been doing lately.
He obviously gets up a few hours earlier than I it's no surprise that he is ready to crash earlier in the evening than I am.
For instance, tonight, he went to bed, and I am just starting to write.
Now, if I were going to bed, and someone else in the family was going to stay up for awhile, I would just leave the house as is, and go to my room.
That is never the case here.
Between my husband and my son, they shut off every single light in the house, and leave me sitting here in total darkness, with the exception of the computer screen.
Does that seem odd to you?
It seems really strange to me.  
Who does that?
I have noticed that Mark has started to turn all the lights off whenever he is leaving the room to go do something else too.  This would be fine (I think saving energy is good!) but it is rather annoying when we are still sitting in the room...and would appreciate a little light.
And stranger still, considering this is the man who goes nuts over me not having enough light when I cook or practice piano.
Is he too wrapped up in thought to notice there are still people in the room?
Does he perhaps think we were blessed with night vision?
Does he feel we are not worthy of light?
These are the questions I ponder when I should be doing something else.
I have given up trying to understand.
My cell phone has a flashlight on it.
I use it.  A lot.
If that fails...I will just have to rely on my sparkly personality.
That has disaster written all over it.

So, today marks the beginning of "CRAZY" for me.
As in...."My life will now be super crazy until Christmas."
It's unfortunate that I have been semi-crazy up to this point, because what I haven't accomplished yet is even less likely to get accomplished now.
For instance...Christmas shopping.
I have yet to purchase a single item.
Actually, I have yet to even think about what I should purchase.
To be completely honest...I still have Halloween decorations on my front stoop.
And my pots of summer flowers.
They aren't doing very well, I'm afraid.
Speaking of not doing very well....let's take a brief moment to talk about that whole "can't blame the thyroid" weight gaining disaster, and such.
I have a big problem with my "all or nothing" attitude.
Right now....considering my dismay over the number on my scale, and the fact that I can't blame the increasing number on any medical reason....I have taken on the ever popular "well, screw it then!" attitude.
This is never a good place to be.
It isn't pretty....and in the end, it will just get me that much farther away from a "happy number" on my scale.
(This I type, as I eat one of those damn candy bars Mark brought home.  At 11:30 pm....because I'm sure I will burn those calories off when I go to SLEEP!)

Hopefully, some neurons will crash into each other during the night, and I will awake refreshed, renewed, and ready to take on the world....without the assistance of chocolate and any of the other crap I can pretend isn't going to turn me into a pre-diabetic elephant.

Until then, I have already decided I am going to shop in the maternity department.  Why subject myself to the horrors of shopping in the regular women's section, when I know that I will come home depressed, and hating myself.  And how will I deal with those feelings?  
By raiding that damn box of candy bars.
I forgot about this.
The other day I had another involved my battle with the bulge.
I think one of the issues may be the fact that I do so much of my work from home.  When I am here, I ALWAYS am wearing something comfortable. In other words, everything I wear has an elastic waist.  Jogging pants, pj pants, etc....everything is big and oversized.  If I'm not wearing my jeans on a regular basis, I'm not going to notice a gradual change as weight creeps on.  Instead, what happens is that when I finally get around to having a reason to look semi-human, and I attempt to squeeze into those cute jeans that fit just great during my "year of spectacular and skinny"....well...let's just say, if I had a lyposuction machine in my closet, I would soooooo put it to good use.

Okay.  Enough with this pathetic pity party.
The bottom line is....I need to address this, or live with it.
But, for now, I will just sleep on it.
Maybe if I'm really lucky, my metabolism will magically turn back on while I slumber, and life can begin anew.
Let's go with that scenario.
Tomorrow....there shall be no talk of flab or flubber.
Maybe I will even write something of substance.
If we are lucky. 

Welcome to the weekend!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Marco Polo

I am going to apologize in advance for today's post.
My mind has been filled with random thoughts all day for some reason, and I'm afraid that is all that I am going to conjure up for your reading pleasure.
Here we go.
My thyroid test results came in today.
Completely normal.  This is the one test I was hoping would be "off the charts" abnormal.  But, of course....I'm just fine.
Now I have to find something else to blame for my fat.
Mark decided to partake in the fundraiser his band is doing.  He came home today with an entire case of candy bars.
I now have 60 bars of temptation (well hidden from our children) screaming my name at any given moment.
I suppose I could blame Mark for my fat.
So, am I losing my mind, or are these "winter finales" all of my favorite shows are having a new thing?
(New, as in the last few years.)
There has always been the "season finale," when they take a break over the summer, and came back in the fall...but what is with this winter finale crap?
I mean, I can see how filming 10-12 shows over the course of what...6 months?... can be utterly exhausting.
And when you are only being paid somewhere between $25,000 and $1,000,000 per episode...I understand how you wouldn't want to overextend yourself.
I mean, really...if that is all you are making, of course you aren't going to work from September through May!!
I think the rest of us working class peeps should get that same schedule.
If we have to watch re-runs....we should get some sort of perk, right?
I think vacation time would work just fine for me. :)
I had this crazy idea a couple weeks ago....remember that one week when I was being healthy?  I thought, " that you are almost healthy (after eating well for three days) maybe you should think about weaning yourself off some of the meds you are on?  Maybe adjusting your diet is all you need to keep you happy and sane....not those pills. You could be naturally blissful and well balanced!  
Well, I tried lowering my dosage slightly.  Then yesterday, I cut it completely in half.
I am starting to think that might be why I was FEELING so know...having all of those EMOTIONS.  
I, of course, didn't realize it at the time.  I was too wrapped up in my FEELING.
And I was listening to so much BEAUTIFUL music!
I tried it again today.  
And then, I got a horrible headache, felt nauseous, and was dizzy.
I came home between my two rehearsals, and Mark had made dinner.
During that 25 minutes, I lost my phone...and while looking desperately for my phone, I lost my cheeseburger.  Once I found my cheeseburger....I couldn't find my water bottle.
Four hours later....I found my phone.
Plugged into the charger.
Tomorrow I will be going back to the full dose.
Why do black seedless grapes have seeds in them?
Three seeds, to be exact.
They are my favorite grape variety....I love that there is no tartness to them...and they are typically very nice and firm.
I like a grape that you can kind of "crunch" into.
I do get annoyed with those damn seeds, though.
Unless one of my kids is nearby, and being annoying.
Then I just spit the seeds in their direction. there anything more fun than pissing off a teenager?
My two little darlings just rolled in about 15 minutes ago.
They had show choir rehearsal, so they were tired.
However, my daughter (who is typically super talkative after rehearsal) just stomped in, all cranky faced, and made her way noisily down the stairs.
Mom:  "What's wrong honey?"
Kid:  "NOTHING."
Mom: "Well, why do are you acting so crabby then?"
Mom: "Good talk, honey...good talk."
I love parenting.
Have you noticed a lack of graphics today?
That is because searching for the perfect pictures adds a good hour to my writing time...and it is late and I am tired!
I will, however leave you with the picture that is sitting on my desk, staring back at me the entire time I am at the computer.
Don't tell Mark....he doesn't know about us!
(You will have to ignore the "crease."  Mark tried to throw him away once.  I made him go and dig him out of the garbage. lol) ;)
We will refer to this beauty as Marco.
That way, my Mark will probably think we are actually talking about him....
excellent plan, right?

And with that, have a very happy Friday. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Digging Deep

I am an emotional wreck today.
Do you ever have those days where you are so overcome with "feelings" that you can hardly stand it?
And this time, I am not referring to "stressed out, depressed, 'I am losing it, and about to have a breakdown' feelings."
I am talking about being an emotional wreck because you are so overwhelmed with the beauty of something.
Tis the season of planning Christmas music for me.
I have a couple of my diva girlfriends from college coming to sing at one of the Christmas Eve Masses with me this I have been hunting down 4-part women's music for us.  
(Finding 4-part women's arrangements is a daunting task...who knew?!)
Anyway...I went to the site I typically find most of my music at, and I searched through every Christmas Choral arrangement there was....listed alphabetically.
I ordered a few pieces as I went along....but when I finally hit the "W's".... time stopped.
On this site, you can view the music, and listen to a recording of it.
15 seconds in...I was sobbing.
I should have was written by one of my favorite arrangers.
This guy takes traditional carols (or songs/hymns) that are typically up-tempo, and he slows them down and turns them into these lush, gorgeous arrangements, filled with unexpected harmonies (with lots of suspensions and dissonance, which I LOVE!) and text painting.  
It would sort of be like taking a Sousa march and turning it into a Debussy Suite or Nocturne.

So, I ordered copies, and downloaded a copy as well...because I had to have it. 
I played through it a few times...and continued to sob.  
It is THAT beautiful.
Then, I decided to torture myself further, and listen to some killer arrangements of other Christmas carols on youtube....(Pentatonix, etc.) because that was a good way to regain my composure, and create that "football player in training" look my mascara had accomplished. 
(I DO have to leave the house today...hence the reason for bothering with make-up.)
I pondered for a moment about all of this.
Why do I do this to myself?
It's almost as though I enjoy this kind of self torture.
And then it hit me.
I do!  Because it reminds me that I have a heart...and a soul!
I mean, seriously....I am guessing that those ISIS jerks have never been moved to tears over a piece of music.
And I'm guessing that any #$%&*#& who hurts poor defenseless animals or kids ever watches those sweet videos on Facebook that give people like us renewed faith in humanity.
Maybe that is what all of the heartless, cruel buttheads of the world are missing.
Exposure to good music.
The ability to appreciate beauty.
A heart that is open to feeling...and that is moved by witnessing the good in others.
I am curious.  
What is it that moves you?
I think that most of us are probably moved by those human interest stories.
And I would venture a guess that most of us have also been moved by a piece of music also.  
But what about the music moves you?
I know that it isn't the same for everyone, because I have seen videos with headings that say "Just watching this makes me tear up every time!  SO beautiful!"
And then I watch it.
And I tear up....because it is so NOT beautiful.
In my opinion, of course.
But this is GOOD!
This is what makes us all special and unique.
This is what allows all genres of music and art to exist.
We are not supposed to all like the same thing.
And it is good that I think some people are completely out of their minds for some of the stuff they think is beautiful! ;)

I made myself really think about it.  What is it about music that can just rip my heart right out of me.
It is so many things. It is the subtlety.  The nuances.
The unexpected chord progression that takes a piece to a place I didn't see coming...but once it starts to move in that direction, I grab ahold, and feel every fiber of my being saying "YES!!  This is exactly where it needed to go....YES!!"
It's the rub, the discord that sustains....twisting and it grows....until it finally resolves in glorious it echoes and hangs in the air.
It is each note, perfectly in tune, and the harmonies that literally grab ahold of something inside of me...and won't let go.  It takes me outside of myself, and pulls me into the middle of the sound....completely wraps my mind and soul in complete oneness with the resonance, the vibrations, the swells, the space between the music..the brief moments of silence where we catch our breath, only to once again be taken up on another wave of glorious rapture.
This is what beautiful music does to me.

How could anyone who experiences such ecstasy and joy ever reduce themselves to feelings of cruelty or hate?
Wouldn't it be interesting to know if the people in the world who 
live lives of darkness and evil were simply deprived of beauty and music.
If they were never allowed or encouraged to open their souls and FEEL.
If they were never given a chance to experience love and compassion as a child.
I have always felt so much compassion toward animals and people...especially those who were struggling in life, or the less fortunate. 
I have been called "too emotional" as if it were a bad thing.
You often hear that women shouldn't be in leadership roles, or political roles, or, God forbid, the day a women is elected President, because we are too emotional.
Let me refer once again to those animal and child abusers, or terrorists, or the ISIS #$(*&(*#...etc.
I would consider all of these "types" to have NO emotion.
I think I will stick with "too emotional," thank you very much.

I will admit that these emotions of mine do get the best of me sometimes.
Let's just say there are things that I am very passionate about...(aka; stubborn as hell) and my ability to stay level headed is challenged.
As I get older, I am finding that the things that seem to stir up the "wrath of Beth" are changing.
It used to be a lot less controlled.  My insecurity took over, and I constantly felt like the world and everyone in it was out to get me.
Now, I don't worry about the trivial things.  If anyone has a problem with me...they need to address it with me.  If they aren't capable of discussing it face to face, then it's not worth my time or energy to worry about.

I find that this is what feeds that fiery emotional reaction in me.  When people expect to be coddled and assume that you are a mind reader....and they get upset when you don't fulfill their expectations.  However, it is impossible to do so, because they never bother to communicate what their needs or wants actually are.
More and more I am blown away by the number of adults that seem to live in their own little bubble, and never step back and look at the bigger picture.  
This is very common in the music world.  Working with a group of people is always an interesting dynamic.  I always find it quite baffling how I can be working with a group for months to prepare for an event, and then a week or two before the event occurs, someone will finally start to show up to rehearsal, and act like I need to cater to them, because they don't know what's going on.
Umm....sorry folks.  That ship has sailed!

I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day about how we have changed over the years.  The twenty years of our friendship has seen A LOT of changes...and I would say that we are much happier with who we are now.
It feels good to not be holding on to old anger and pain.  It feels good to no longer worry or care about what other people think about us.

We also talked about how we approach things differently.
For me, I have made huge changes in how I prepare for things.  I used to love that crazy adrenaline rush of doing everything at the last minute.  I also never really worried if I wasn't completely prepared when it came to a performance situation.  (I quite frequently have dreams that I am in a show, but never went to any of the rehearsals, so I have no idea what my lines are or what the blocking is...and it's opening night.  Obviously my subconscious is telling me NOT to do that!  I wake up totally stressed out!)
I now feel the need to be completely prepared for whatever I have coming up.
I don't want to leave anything to chance, and I want to feel good about everything I why risk it?

I have also learned that leaving things to the last minute turns me into a complete and utter psycho bitch...and no one needs to deal with that either.
~ is what I think....
Take the time to really FEEL.
What is it that really moves you?  What grabs ahold of you from the inside, and won't let you go?  What turns you inside out...and takes your heart in the process?
Whatever that need to immerse yourself in it!
Then, take all of those FEELINGS....(the good ones!) you know...the ones that make you feel like you are in love with the world....take those and just spread them everywhere!  Throw it in the faces of all of the non-feeling crabby-patties out there....don't give them the chance to stink up our happy land.
We need to teach everyone how to spread this goodness....this kindness....this compassion....spread it everywhere.
Set that example.  Don't let the eye rollers and the whisperers, and the meanies and the "I'm too cool for you" jerks dissuade you.
They have always been the ones that intimidated me....but I just keep reminding myself....the reason they act like such idiots is because they are 
SO SELF CONSCIOUS themselves, and so uncomfortable in their own skin.
Show them how to FEEL.
Show them how to be KIND and COMPASSIONATE.
Show them how to LOVE.

And, whenever someone tries to take that bliss that you found inside yourself....through your music or your art or your animals or whatever it was...when they try to take that beautiful feeling just take yourself right back to your place of happiness.
You figure out where that is....and make it YOURS.
And anytime you feel your happiness run to that place, and fill yourself back up....because there is no end to your supply.
It just keeps growing...which enables you to continue to keep spreading it all around.
This world is falling apart.
People have forgotten how to interact.
Community has become just a word.
It is all about "me" rather than "we."
It can only get better if people want to make it better.
I'm ready to try.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Deck the Halls

Our cars have been in the shop for 8 days.
(In an attempt to remedy Lexie's handiwork) 
As of Sunday, they hadn't even begun to work on mine.
Why they had us drop them off a week ago is a mystery to me.
Wouldn't you think that scheduling a repair would typically mean
"We are prepared to repair your car.  The parts we need will be here at the appointed date, and your car will be ready in a timely manner."
Silly, silly me.
Luckily, we have two loaner cars.
And they are nice.
And they match.
I have named them Sasha and Tasha, and they look very attractive parked next to each other in our garage.
The one downside (only one??) is that you have to be 21 to drive
Sasha or Tasha.  
I just barely made the cut.
Lexie, of course, is only 16.
This means we have been hauling teenage butts everywhere for the past 
There is nothing I love more than the sound of the door closing behind my darlings as they leave for school in the morning.
There is nothing I love LESS than hearing that same door open 3-5 minutes later, followed by "MOM! We missed the bus!"
You do not need to be a rocket scientist to catch the bus.
Apparently you have to be a Lakmann to miss the bus this consistently.
There is nothing better than crawling out of a warm, doggie filled bed, and into a freezing cold car to schlep your teenagers to school.
I especially enjoy it when they get out of the car, and go on their merry way, without uttering one word of thanks.
This is when I find pleasure in opening the windows and screaming 
"YOU'RE WELCOME!!!" at the top of my lungs, so all of the little darlings being dropped off can hear my pretty voice.

I pondered going back to bed when I returned home...but decided to follow that rule I had set a few weeks ago, (the one I keep forgetting about) and ban myself from the bed until after 7pm.
I gathered up my Spark, the paper, a couple magazines, the remote, and my favorite guys...and we hit the couch instead.
Soon after, I got a text from my husband, saying he tried to activate his new debit card, but someone had already done it (gee...I wonder who?!) and that there was a charge from kwik trip, and a $100 ATM withdrawal on it...and did I know anything about that?  Was our card compromised?!

Okay.  He was in the room with me the night before when I activated the stupid cards.
AND, I spent a good chunk of time letting him know that I had gone to all of our auto pay accounts, and updated our information, so we shouldn't have any problems with bills not being paid because of the change.
He somehow seemed to miss all of this.

Shocking, I know.
So, I went online to check our account.  I had filled the car up at kwik trip the night before, so I knew that charge was legit.
There was only one $100 transaction registered in the past week or two....a TJMAXX payment.
I am guessing the brain surgeon on the other end of the phone got confused and thought those letters meant ATM?? (I'm sorry....I just imagined the conversation that must have ensued between this woman and Mark.  I really hope it was recorded so someone can get a good laugh someday.)
Good Lord.
Well, I decided today I would allow a little Christmas to seep into my space.
I was not prepared to haul heavy totes upstairs (because that would involve having to haul totes back downstairs afterward) so, I just grabbed what I could carry, and threw some things together.
It must not look all that great, as it took Mark a couple hours to even realize that there were any decorations out.
I shall now share with you the exciting beginning of the Christmas transformation.  And yes...exciting is the word to describe it.

The orange candles have been replaced with white and red.
And I shoved Christmas-y stuff in with them.  Ta-da!

This was a lot of work.
I hung a stocking.
I actually made the stocking I guess maybe it was a lot of work?

I killed the plant that was originally in that I stuck a Christmas tree in it instead.  Don't's fake, so there will be no death on Christmas Eve.
I also cleverly disguised the fact that Clara (the reindeer) broke her neck last year. (She has seasonal depression. We don't want to get into the details.)
I tied a pretty bow around her "problem areas" and angled her cute little reindeer butt out.  She likes a good view of the TV anyway.

And here is some stuff on a table.
Aaahh...the joy of Christmas.

And a puppy in Christmas jammies.
In a shoebox.

If only I could share the true joy of Christmas with you.
You would have to come over to my house to experience it, though.
I have had the profound pleasure of luxuriating in it not once, but TWO times this evening already!
Oh yes...there is nothing like the soothing sounds of the trombone....
(never actually playing a melody.)
Oh no!  Rather, just the long, overwhelming tones of low drones.....
reminiscent of a ship coming into harbor on a foggy night.
Over, and over, and over, and over.......
My own little Christmas miracle...come true.

And with that, I shall bid you adieu.
Perhaps tomorrow I shall "deck some more halls"....but that is highly unlikely.
I think my work here is done.
For this week, at least.
I've got Christmas music to plan.
And recital music to learn.
OOOH...and Mark just opened the wine!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Weigh TOO Much!!

Here we are, my friends....officially into December, and one with the frozen tundra.
I have to tell Monday was not my typical start to the week.
I usually cherish my Mondays.
The family is gone...out of the house before I even gain consciousness.
I intentionally schedule nothing for this day.
I work every weekend...I need a day of rest.
Well...forget that this week.
As we all know, I had a table full of canned goods to sort through.
I knew I needed to get to it today, or it would become the extent of our Christmas decor this year.
But first...I had some shows to catch up on.
I always play this game with myself.
When I know I have to be ready by a certain time...but I also know that there are some really good shows that I NEED to catch up on, just calling my name from the DVR....I start to plot.
"If I watch just one...I can still take a shower and have two hours to work on the pantry before my rehearsal."
"BUT....if I watch two..and shower really quickly...I can get the pantry done in an hour for sure...and still be ready to go in time."
I chose option B.
And I am happy to say, it was a success.

AND, all of the canned goods are arranged according to expiration date.
Because I'm fancy like that.  And I should probably own a grocery store.
Or go back to working at one like I did in college.
I really do love playing with the cash register.
And I am a people person.
Most of the time.
I was on a I figured I would keep going.  Lord knows if I didn't clean up the kitchen it would still be a mess I decided to be uber productive.
Look!  You can actually see the island for a change!
It is important to document these rare events.
I was flying high on my productiveness....and my rehearsal that followed was good as well.
Then, things started to go downhill.
I had to go to a Dr. appointment.
One that I had been putting off for quite some time.
Yep.  One of THOSE Dr. appointments.
I actually think I had to cancel and reschedule like 3 times...but all for legitimate people dying.
I DO play for funerals, you know.
Well....I decided I should just go and get it over with.

As always, the first thing they do is weigh you.
Now, I knew this wasn't going to be pretty....but was BEYOND not pretty!
Then, when we get to the exam room, the nurse pulled out this little laminated, handmade book thingy, and asks me to answer question 1.
1. Have you been feeling down or depressed in the past week or two?

I looked at her and said "I have been feeling extremely down and depressed in the past MINUTE OR TWO!!!"
We then discussed (well, I discussed, she listened) how convenient it was that I have now stored up enough fat to make it through the entire winter.
So, all I have to do now is find a nice cave, and hibernate!
Then, the Dr. comes in, and asks if I have any concerns.
Why yes!  Yes I DO!
I have gained 15 pounds....though I hardly eat.  I enjoyed my one year of thinness...and I would like it back.  Thank you very much!
I then got a 10 minute lecture on diet and exercise.
Seriously people.
I have every book that has ever been written on diet and exercise.
I am not dumb.
I am lazy.
There is a distinct difference.
Luckily, her back was to me, (because she was typing all of my info into the computer as we (she) talked) I could roll my eyes, and act in all manner of "teenage girl" while I sat neatly wrapped in my pretty hospital gown, and almost-full-coverage- paper sheet, and she told me everything I ever wanted to know about fruits, vegetables and protein.
Do you ever wonder what they write about you in your chart?  I have been able to catch pieces of it a few times when the screen was at a good angle for me to see....but that's all.  It would probably make for some pretty good reading though....don't you think?!!

....."Elizabeth is a 42 year old female who struggles with reality.  She does not realize that the reason she is gaining weight is because she is reaching middle age, and  the wonderful world of peri-menopause, and her metabolism has crashed and died.  I will recommend she give up her diet of cupcakes and bon bons, and start introducing fiber...lots and lots of fiber into her daily menu.
She shows little interest in exercise, so I have suggested she start buying her baking ingredients in bulk, so she will at least get in a bit of weight training each time she has to hoist her 20lb bag of hersheys morsels onto the counter."
I suggested perhaps my thyroid was defective.
It would just be soooo much easier if I could have something wrong with me.  Something that was causing me to gain weight and be tired.
Something that didn't involve having to exercise and give up cupcakes and bon bons.
She sent me to the lab.
My fingers are crossed.
I should probably mention that the 10 minute diet and exercise lecture was much worse than the actual exam. 
Remind me to keep my mouth shut next time.
Maybe if I would just follow my own advice (keep.mouth.shut)
I wouldn't be complaining about gaining weight at all!
It's hard to get fat with your mouth shut!
(I certainly have no desire to inhale a liquid diet through my nostrils.)
Anyway.  I sent a text to Mark right away.  Telling him that I was now heavy enough to smother him in his sleep if I landed on him just right.
He asked if I'd like to bike to work with him.
I won't share my comments here.  This is a family show.
I did, however, find something things that he should probably get me to make me feel better.
Totally in love with this.  If anyone is bored and knows how to crochet....and wants to make me this for will be my BFF forever.
And not only is it gorgeous, and like wearing a beautiful blanket all covers up all of the bon bon fluff I am obviously carrying on me.

Madly in love with this ring.  And my hands still look nice, so I don't have to worry about finding it in a "plus" size.  Yet.

OMG....I need this sweet face in my life!  Can you imagine waking up to this fluffy cuddle bug everyday?!!  
And seriously....can't you totally see me wearing the gorgeous poncho, flashing that spectacular ring, while out walking this sweet dog?!
It has to happen.
Mark will never read I need an elf to help a girl out here. 

And then, one more fun and exciting addition to my day of wonder:
We got new debit cards in the mail.
Along with a letter that said "Your account may have been compromised, so we are canceling your cards, and issuing new ones."
(They did this after the big Target scare a year or two ago also.)

Fabulous!  Considering I do just about everything, once again, I get to go and change my account information on every site I purchase things regularly, or auto pay at.  
My FAVORITE part of that, is that I can never remember my user name or password (because why would I keep track of that??) so I get to spend an hour at each site trying to reset everything.
But, all is not lost.  For a small miracle is occurring as I type.
My darling son is making us dinner.
All by himself.
He just about set the kitchen on fire with bacon grease....but he managed to come out of that one unscathed.
Every once in awhile....the stars align, and there is peace on earth.
Have a terrific Tuesday!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Not In the Mood

Welcome to December.
I have to admit, I've been listening to Christmas music for a good month now.
Heck,  I've been rehearsing Christmas music with my choir since October.
But, for some reason...I haven't quite gotten in the Christmas mood yet.
This is pretty unusual for me. that I think about it, I have noticed a gradual change over the past few years.
I used to go all out for the holidays.
Our last house even ended up on the "Christmas home tour."
Talk about Christmas coming out of your ears.
It was a holly, jolly hideaway.  There wasn't a room that didn't have Christmas (in coordinating colors, of course) thrown up all over it.
I can't believe I didn't take pictures of all of that.
I was so ambitious back then.  
And so dumb not to make sure I had evidence of it.
I think this is one of the only pictures I have from that year.

Anyway, our first Christmas in our current house also became a winter wonderland.  I even risked death, and climbed up on our ledges (that are a good 12 feet off the floor) and decorated those.  This was kind of necessity, considering Bennett-the-wonder-dog was still living with us at this time.  There was no guarantee that anything below counter height would live to see the light of day.

Look at the bottom left.  He is there...just waiting until the time is right to knock that big ole' tree over, and turn those ornaments into his own personal chew toys.

What I had started to notice was that it took some convincing for me to drag the totes out, and start decorating.
The second year in our house, I didn't even want to get a tree.
I knew that the dogs would just get confused and think they were outside, and pee on the damn thing anyway.
Finally, on Christmas Eve, Mark couldn't take it he drove to Home Depot to buy a tree.
There were two left.  Both horrible and pathetic looking.
He walked in the house with the god forsaken thing, and I immediately  banished it to the basement.
He and the kids decorated it, and I made them take it out two days later.
I was FULL of Christmas Spirit!!!! 

The year after, we got a tree.  One that I approved of.
It did, however, sit in the house, completely unadorned for a couple of weeks, until my son finally said "SERIOUSLY MOM!  Can we decorate the tree?!!!"
Once I started, I couldn't stop.  I literally went around the house, and anything I found that was gold went on that tree.  It was spectacular.
Santa even brought me just what I wished for that year.

And his "presentation" was outstanding!!
(This ^^ is what I actually woke up to!)
THEN I felt motivated to decorate. 

Well done, Santa.  Well done.
Well, once feet are dragging.
It might have something to do with the fact that my week is starting out with this mess to deal with.

As you may recall...yesterday was the "Great Pantry Clean-Out."
Well...Mark managed to throw out the expired food, however, everything that needs to go back in the pantry is still all over the kitchen.
I guess that will be MY project tomorrow.
Because I had NOTHING else scheduled. 
It is probably for the best, because we all know that had someone else put it all away, I most likely would have been unhappy with the organizational method (or lack thereof) that was used.
So, I will whistle while I work. :)
I will admit, I am a little out of sorts this evening.  
I always write either during the day, or in the evening, so it's ready to post right away in the morning.
My daughter was on the computer tonight, working on homework, so I thought I would just go watch TV for awhile until she was done.
Well, since I didn't get around to taking my Sunday siesta, I wound up falling asleep.
Now, one would think that her family might realize that a nap at 7pm might not be conducive to a good night's sleep.
One might also think that her family might bother to wake her for dinner.
One would be wrong.
At 9:30, I finally woke up.
My loved ones were kind enough to leave a pan of cold taco meat on the stove for me.  (Although, I'm pretty sure it would have still been there in the morning, had I decided to forgo the taco we will just let that linger in our minds for a bit.)
They also left all of their dishes in the sink, because they know that dishwashing is so very therapeutic for me.
And, (this is my favorite part) when I finally sat down to eat my very very sad, pathetic, and grease laden taco,(which literally consisted of that oh-so-fresh-meat, shredded cheese, and some western dressing...just for fun!) my darling husband began turning off the lights, because he was going to bed.
He was kind enough to leave one light on in the kitchen, so if I squinted just right, I could almost see the words on the paper I was reading.
This is how I knew I was truly and passionately loved.
And so, as this month of magic begins...may we all find such joy and bliss.
For it truly is the little things in life that make it worth living.
And if nothing else, it gives us excellent fodder with which to write about.
And for that, my friends, I am ever grateful.
For with the deck in which I've been dealt, there will never be a shortage of subject matter. 
Alleluia, Amen.

Happy Monday!