Saturday, December 20, 2014

Puppies and Prozac

I believe I can name Friday, December 19th as my
official "holiday meltdown day."
You of those days when you wake up, teetering on the edge of sanity, just waiting for something to push you over.
By 9am, I was taking a nose dive.
Everything was making me weepy.
I would get a text, and rather than just take it at face value, I would analyze every word, and read way too much into it.
And start to weep again.
It was completely ridiculous.
So, I did what any inconsolable woman would do.
I went to Target.

I figured that I might be more motivated to file those piles of music that have been cluttering up my house for the past month if I bought some cute little file boxes to put them in.
Not that I like cute office supplies or anything.

I got a start on it....but I am far from finished.  
Cute boxes though, right?
I now need to figure out where to store the cute boxes once I get them all filled.
As you can see, my music cabinet is almost at capacity.

What I really need is Sam's room.
I don't understand why the kid is being so selfish, and keeping it all to himself, rather than letting his poor mother have it, so I can finally have a cool office.
Anyway, I spent a good hour moping around Target, looking at lots of things I didn't need.  I'm kicking myself for not picking up some fun snacks.  I would be enjoying them right about now had I been thinking straight.
The only thing I have here to snack on is a bag of cough drops. 
After my shopping ordeal, I came home and decided to start getting some Christmas cards/letters ready to send out.
(They finally arrived yesterday from the print shop.)
I got the first batch addressed and stamped...all I needed was those cute return address labels I had ordered last year, but never used.
Here is some advice I would like to share.
If you ever decide to turn your little office into a second laundry room....and in the process, empty out the desk that was in there to give to your daughter, make sure to keep track of all of the drawer contents.
There really is nothing quite as frustrating as knowing exactly where something is located....and going to get it...only to realize that that piece of furniture is no longer there.
I spent the next 45 minutes searching every logical (and illogical) place I could have possibly put the darn no avail.
I am sure I will find them 5 minutes after the last card is sent out.
I had to run to a rehearsal (after my fruitless search) and on my way back home, I decided to try to find the UPS building in the industrial park, so I could drop off a pair of boots I needed to return.  I drove in circles for awhile, and finally located the darn place.  (The industrial park is a strange and confusing area.  And not very aesthetically pleasing.)  I was so happy I wouldn't have to schlep all the way downtown to send this package out.  However, once I made it to the door, I realized the hours of operation that were posted.  10-11:30 am.  4:30-6pm.  It was 2:00.
Wow.  Very accommodating. Ugh.
So, I drove around and found the "drop box."
Which told me my package was too large.
(My husband likes me to tell him that too.  And that is the only humor you are getting from me today.) ;)
I still have those damn boots in my car.
I was still feeling blue, and now I was also feeling tired.
I decided a nap was in order.
I got home, changed into comfy clothes, and set my alarm.
I had just hoisted the dogs up onto the bed, when my phone rang.
"Mom...can you pick us up at school?"
I will not share my reply with you....because it does not fall within my PG rating parameters.
I will say that I was not thrilled.
The kids had told me they were going to a theater party thing of some sort after school.  I was SO looking forward to an hour of quiet.
So much for that.
I got the dogs in the car, and we headed out.
(We cried some "I feel sorry for myself" tears on the way.)
Cooper was sitting in the passenger seat.  He is having the same metabolism problems I have been dealing with. (aka: we are both getting fat.)
The seat belt sensor kept beeping, because he was heavy enough to register as a person sitting on the seat.
I buckled Mr. Chunky in, and all was well.
Luckily, the day was salvaged by an evening music rehearsal with a girlfriend.  We did some singing, and lots of talking.
Now, I have a quiet house, a chilled bottle of wine in the fridge, and lots of shows on my DVR to choose from.
I think we might even get a Christmas tree tomorrow.

Mark said he is going to do some shopping I think I will put this on my list.

If anything can take away the winter blues...I am thinking this little guy can.
A puppy with a side of prozac.
That would be the Christmas of my dreams! 

I won't hold my breath.
But....I WILL strive for a better day tomorrow.
(And there is an extra bottle of wine....if it comes to that.)

Have a super Saturday!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Running on Empty

So, here is the deal.
We are one week away from Christmas.  Actually...6 days, to be exact.
We still don't have a tree.
My son brought that fact up in conversation last night.
I said "at this point, is it really worth going through the trouble of getting one?
We will just have to take it down in a week or two."
His reply: "MOM! This isn't a decision we need to make.  Getting a tree is a NECESSITY!  I don't even care if it's fake....but we ARE getting a tree!"
Well, okay then.  I guess we are getting a tree.
Where on earth we will put it, well, that is a conversation for another day.
Here is my issue.
This is currently what my house looks like.

A complete disaster area. 
Piles of music everywhere. (I am STILL working on final details for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Not to mention the 4 bazillion other pieces that just need to be filed.)
Then, let's just take all of the stuff we bring into the house (boxes that arrive, gift wrapping supplies, mail, whatever) and pile it on TOP of the piles that were already there...waiting to be dealt with.
If there is a flat surface in this place, you can be sure it is currently covered in crap.
This is doing NOTHING to help my level of stress and anxiety, by the way.
What I need is for my house to look like this:

Obviously, the only answer is for me to move.
I need to go out and find a cool studio apartment (just for me) where I can house all of my favorite things, and NOTHING else.
Clean, clutter free, and calm.
Oh, and kick-ass!
Dear Santa,
I want THAT!!! 
And, of course, this:

But you already knew that.
I am just reminding you. ;)
What I know for sure is that I need a WHOLE day to just get caught up.
Next Monday is looking like it might be the only possibility....but that is cutting it pretty darn close.
I am, however, going to do everything in my power to keep that day as obligation free as possible.
(So...if you suddenly feel the need to call me over to paint your bathroom walls or something crazy and spontaneous like that....I highly suggest you don't do it on Monday.  I might not be very friendly that day.)
Speaking of....I have SO noticed this bitchy little monster trying to take over my entire being lately.
I can really tell when I am just not having it with people these days.
I have especially noticed it in situations where I have had a lot of things to get done, and am trying to accommodate others, but they are obviously not putting any effort into what they are doing.  (In other words...they were just wasting my time.)  This, of course, is annoying anytime...but when you have a gazillion things to get done and only small pockets of time to do them in....every second counts.  
I was reminded why I do not teach anymore several times in the last couple of weeks.  Being forced to manage a classroom of kids when I am stressed, and have tons to do just makes me crazy.  
Perhaps I have an unrealistic idea of how a kid should be able to manage their own behavior, and control themselves...but I'm pretty sure my expectations are not above what your average child can handle.
The fact that the "average child" rarely chooses to control themselves, and maintain what I could consider acceptable behavior at all times is what drove me nuts.  (And yes, to me "acceptable behavior" meant "sit down, shut up, and do what you are supposed to do without having to be asked twice.")
Funny how difficult this was for most kids. 
Put them in a group....and their I.Q. levels plummet dramatically.
~ I teach them individually. Usually, this is a much more enjoyable scenario.  However, there are still days when I wonder if my patience will run out.  Typically....I rather surprise myself with the level of calm endurance I have when it comes to dealing with situations that might drive your average human completely insane.
Then, I remember who I live with, and I realize that I have been practicing the art of temperance and restraint everyday for the past 19 years.
Or, I could go a step further, and just take it all the way back to day one, and say I have had 42 long years of practice.
No wonder I am so damn tolerant.
I have lived in crazy-land since the day I was born.
I can handle anything.
But when I am tired, hungry, and stressed fuse is much shorter.
Which brings us back to now.

So, I am going to grab a bottle of wine, throw on some pj's and crawl into bed.
Maybe when I wake up the cleaning fairies will have stopped by and my house will be lovely once again.
Maybe I should drink some more wine.

I find if I just close the door....I can pretend everything on the other side is perfectly pristine.
And that is what I am going to do right now.

Have a lovely Friday!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Drama Cycle

Some days are just not meant to be blissful.
Yesterday was one of those days.
It started out well enough.
I got an early morning text from my daughter, telling me to tune into 580 AM radio, because the orchestra was about to perform, and she was going to be singing.  (She sounded lovely, I must say.)
After being serenaded with "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" I went back to bed for awhile. was until around 10:30.
I'm not sure what my problem is these days, but I am sleeping later and later.
I have been staying up a bit later...but not that late.
Anyway...the night before my hubby had been acting a little "off."
Like something was bothering him.  
I asked repeatedly if something was up.
He just kept saying "I'm just tired, and this cold I have is getting to me."
I knew he was lying.
SO....I left him a note in his computer bag.
Because that's what you do when you are in 5th grade, and want to know why your boyfriend is acting weird.
Or, when you are 42, and want to know what's up with your husband.
In the morning I followed up with a reply. hour or two later....he replied.
And yep...something was up.
It was something he had made an assumption about...(an incorrect assumption) that led to opening old wounds about a past argument.
You of those stupid things.
Which, of course, resulted in several texts back and forth throughout the day.
Here is my problem.
I HATE "talking about it."
I suck at "talking."
I always feel like I can't really say what I'm feeling (I worry about hurting the other person's feelings.) or I am not sure how to say what I'm feeling.
It is SO much easier for me to write it out.
I have been like this forever.
Even as a kid...I would write letters to my mom when we were fighting.
I get WAY too emotional, and it is hard to be and effective "fighter" when you are sobbing, and snot is dripping down your face, and your mascara is running.
It just really reduces the likelihood of you keeping the upper hand.
So, I typed texts until my thumbs cramped up.
Then I did what any respectable adult would do.
I didn't come home.
I went shopping instead....because I knew if I went home, he would want to "talk."
Also...I am the queen of drama, so I figured I would let him sit on his hands and watch the clock for awhile. (Since I had the pleasure of doing that all morning while waiting for his text.) I was a total biatch, and didn't bother to let anyone know I wouldn't be coming home after work.  
It heightened the level of drama.
(I have a feeling right now you are doing one of two things:
1. Nodding your head, thinking "That is totally what I would do."
2. Thinking "I am SO glad I didn't marry that evil woman."
I finally did come home....and he followed me into the bathroom as I washed off my make-up.  (No need to leave on any mascara that could potentially ruin my "upper hand.")
He asked if I wanted "to talk."  
Are there any two words that a person could dread more?
I suppose only if it was stated differently:
"I need to talk to you."
That is definitely worse.
I replied with a very mature "FINE."
(props needed: box of kleenex)
An hour later....after "discussing" our miscommunication/misunderstanding/dredging up "old crap that is best left buried...but what fun is that when you can make each other miserable for old time sake?"  I was all cried out...and he (I think) was wishing he had never brought any of this stuff up in the first place.
(Men.  Will they ever learn?)
He then asked me if I was going to bed.
I, of course, had not written today's blog I replied "no."
He said "why don't you just write it in the morning?"
Ha ha ha ha ha! 
Like that would EVER happen.
It would be posted around....oh, one or two o'clock.
Of course, I hadn't come up with a topic what else was I going to write about, but the drama from the evening?!
I don't know about you....but I have found that our marriage is on a drama cycle.
I should probably actually chart it out, so I could get a better timeline...but I would estimate that around every 3-4 months, we have a big blow out.
You know, one of those "HELLO! Do you know that I still live here?" kind of rows.  The quarrels that start because one or the other is feeling neglected or thinks the other is acting "distant."
Then, there is the month of "Wow!  We are getting along SO well!  Our marriage is so great.  We are going to be awesome empty nesters.  We rock!"

Month two comes along, and the honeymoon stage starts to wane....but we don't really notice, or care.  Things fall back into a routine again, and we just go about our day as usual.  I suppose it is at the end of this month that we start getting all wrapped up in our own stuff, and stop paying attention to the other's happenings, and this is where the drama starts to stir up, and the cycle of ugly begins again!
You should probably tell me if we are the only ones who experience this...
I'm guessing I should contact our therapist immediately if that is the case.
Or not.  She makes us talk.  And listen.
Remember...I prefer to just write.
Well, I have no idea how you are feeling, but I feel SO much better now that I have gotten all that off my chest!
Yes, I suppose it is time I admit that I pretend this blog is for your entertainment...but in reality, it is my daily therapy.'s my exercise in attempting to remain sane.
Someday, I will write a song about that.
How to remain sane.
Or Sane I Remain.
I like that better.
(It sort of sounds like a Dr. Seuss book.)

Have a lovely, drama free Thursday!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To tree, or not to tree?

I just looked at my calendar.
And I am in trouble.
I am quickly running out of time to get all of these "Christmas things" done.
Luckily, some of the gifts I ordered arrived today.
If I remember where I hid them, and then remember to wrap them...I will be set for Christmas morning.
I think my mantel is the only part of the house that is going to get decorated this year.  I mean, if it's not done yet, why bother, right?
And then there is the tree.
I feel like I should get one...just because I would really suck as a mom to not provide my children with memories of a Christmas with a beautiful tree, and all of the other traditions that I am supposed to be sharing with them.
I really do have to wonder what they will think when they look back on their childhood.  
For me, there were definite holiday traditions.
St. Nicholas always came on December 7th. (I think that's the right date?)  Obviously, he usually forgets to stop by here...because some people in this house can never remember what day that "holiday" actually falls on.

We ALWAYS had a Christmas tree....and we always hung all of our mismatched ornaments, and handmade baubles that we had crafted at school over the years on the tree.
Yeah...that doesn't happen here.  If my kids want to hang ugly stuff on a tree...they can do it in their bedrooms.  The big tree can only contain beautiful ornaments that coordinate with that year's color scheme.
No yarn and glue projects on mama's tree.
(I know...I'm a horrible parent.)

Every year, we would hang our homemade stockings up in their special spots.
Here, we all have very nice homemade stockings...but the ones that "make the cut" for the fireplace mantel once again have to coordinate with the color scheme.
Our actual stockings are usually hung somewhere over by the tree. 
When we were kids, I vividly remember how every Christmas Eve we would head to church at around 9:30pm after our family gathering (which sucked, because we were the only ones who had to leave early.) We would get there early, because mom and dad were in the choir, and had to sing all of that prelude music before Mass started.
Afterward, around midnight or so, we would change into our pj's, and crawl into the back of the station wagon, cover up with blankets, and sleep while dad drove us to Red Wing for Christmas with mom's side of the family.
I really remember being cold, tired, and a little nervous that Santa was going to get confused because we wouldn't be at our house Christmas morning.
Somehow...he always figured it out.
Even if he didn't bring the stuff I asked for.
One year, all I wanted was baby alive.  She was the cutest doll ever.  She looked like a real baby, and you could feed her, and her mouth would move, and then she would crap all of her doll food out, and you could change her diaper.
Who wouldn't want baby alive??!!
Santa thought he could fool me...and brought me this great big, ugly doll with the nastiest hair ever.  She was as far from a cute little baby as you could get.
She looked like a 2 year old who was strung out on meth.  Not the baby of my dreams.  
My disappointment must have shown...because he stepped up and brought the REAL baby alive the following year.
I don't remember how I figured out Santa wasn't real...but I certainly do remember when my kids did.
My husband, being the brilliant man he is, decided to hide the Easter baskets in his bathroom closet one year.  One of the kids went to grab a towel or something, and all of the Easter stuff fell out on their head.  Very subtle.
We all just went about our day without saying a word.
A few weeks later, the kids and I were out eating somewhere, and I could tell they wanted to talk about something.  I finally just said "Spill it, you two."
One of them said " obviously we have figured out that you are the Easter bunny.  But what we really need to know is.....are you Santa too?"
I asked them what they thought.  They replied "Yes...but we are afraid to stop believing in him, because then he might stop coming."
I thought that was pretty cute.
Santa didn't stop coming to visit me until I was around 23. 
He still puts stuff in my stocking. :)
Part of me feels like a failure for not creating a more magical holiday season for my kids.  It's hard when the big holidays are the most stressful and busiest times of the year for me, as far as my work goes.
I wish I had taken more time to create traditions for our family.  
However, as they are getting older, it's hard to get them to participate anyway.
We have always gone out to the tree farm to cut down a tree.  Two years ago, Mark and I just went by ourselves, because the kids didn't want to go.

I think I use my childhood as an example of how things are "supposed" to be done.  We got together with everyone in the family...all of the aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents...for all of the holidays, each year.  

My dad would build us an ice rink in the backyard each winter, and we would stick our tape recorder (yep...that's what we used) with Michael Jackson's "Thriller" cassette tape in the bathroom window, and skate to that.  Of course, my sister Kris and I would fight over who was going to marry Michael.  (He was a total hottie back then.)  I also prayed every night before I went to bed that I would wake up and be black...and have an amazing voice.
I also kissed my Michael Jackson poster before I went to bed each night.
These are important things when you are a fifth grader in the 80's.
Our holidays now tend to be more work than play.  Mark is usually playing trombone at the Cathedral, and I, of course, am playing for all of the Masses at my church.  The rest of our day is usually nice and quiet...just the four of us.  And I kind of love that.  I spent years traveling for every holiday, or going from work to spending the day with huge groups of people.
Being able to just go home and spend it with my little family is kind of wonderful.  Making a nice meal, sitting by the fire, watching a is so relaxing and stress free.
I think I will quit worrying about all of the things I'm NOT doing...and just focus on all of the things I AM doing.
I have a feeling that my kids probably have tons of great memories of things we have done that I've long forgotten.
In fact, I think I will let them take the lead this year...and decide what they would like to do to make this holiday special.
Like, for we need to go get a tree?
Then I can focus on everything else I need to get done!

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas, Cauliflower, and Car-ma

Strange things are happening.
I wrote my "Christmas Letter" today.
And now I am making copies of it.
I also ordered card/picture things too. 
(Well, I order them every year...I just haven't sent them out for the past 3-4 years.  Money well spent, eh?)
I figure there are probably a good 20 people out there who don't know every detail of my I will catch them up.
And yes, the letter is epic.
As in...."There is no way this is all going to fit on one, neatly typed page...and yes, it is going to scare people when they open it up, because they will have to actually look through their calendars to block out a chunk of time to read the novelette they have just received."
I can't help it.  
There are only a couple of things that I can be VERY brief at.
*Shopping for fishing lures.
*Talking about trombones.
*Being anywhere in the vicinity of stinky things.
*Dealing with rude, snobby, mean, or generally yucky people.

You get the picture.
If it is something I enjoy...I tend to linger a bit.
Today I will share with you some things I know for sure.

1.  By December 15th, your leftovers from Thanksgiving are most definitely past their prime, and should be thrown away.
And yes, they will smell bad.  Very bad.

2.  Speaking of "smelling bad"....cauliflower is not a vegetable that you want to let rot in your refrigerator.
The raw OR the cooked kind.
I decided to experiment with both.

3.  When cleaning out the refrigerator....if you decide to throw all of the stinky, rotten food in the garbage can, it is best to not get distracted and move on to other chores.  The smell does NOT get better as the day goes on.

4.  If you impose a shopping hiatus on yourself for a good chunk of time, you may, indeed, be sucked in by the overwhelming amount of enticement oozing out of your inbox everyday. is hard to resist the lure of the "Great Christmas Deal."  Especially when there are shoes involved.
I may or may not have ordered three pairs of boots in the past week.
It's best not to talk about it.

5.  In addition to one's shoe addiction, there are other items that may have fallen into your online "shopping basket."  If this should occur, and then if your husband comes to you and says "What do you want for Christmas?" it is probably just best to say "Umm...I've got it covered, honey."
And run.

6.  My teenage daughter does not quite meet my level of excitement/awe/wonder when it comes to certain chord progressions, harmonies, and melody lines in the music I am forcing upon her.
When I start to throw myself off the piano bench as a reaction to a gorgeous harmony....she just looks at me.  I then ask her "ISN'T THAT FRICKING GLORIOUS!!!???"  To which she rolls her eyes and replies "It's ok."
This bothers me.

7.  I am pretty sure that I will never find a place to file all of this music....and there is an equally large pile on top of the piano.  I may have to work "big plastic table covered in crap" into my decor.

8.  I took care of shopping for my husband, son AND father-in-law today.
Pretty impressive, right?
Okay....well, Mark had already put everything in the "basket" at I hit the ORDER button...and the PAY FOR ALL THIS STUFF button.  So, it was pretty much all me.

9. One of those pairs of boots I bought are Fergalicious.  You know what that means, right?  That I am going to be Fergalicious when I wear them.
Oh YEAH baby.

10.  I'm not far from Fergalicious on a typical it really won't be that much different than my normal, super stylish self.
I even look smashing when I write.  Well...I guess I have worn this all day guess I look great when I do everything.

11.  My hair looks equally as fabulicious.  Every. Day.

12.  Mark and I went to Red Lobster last night (to celebrate our end of "crazy week" and because I felt the need to consume a ridiculous amount of greasy calories.)
I had to chuckle when they brought out my salad.
One might think that perhaps they have reduced the portions of the healthy stuff....slightly.

It almost filled the bowl.  And don't was equal parts dressing and iceberg lettuce. 

13.  THIS is exciting news.  My car is DONE!  It's only been THREE weeks since we brought it to the shop.  I guess the nice thing is that I got to use the loaner for my nightly commute to I didn't have to put all those miles on my car.  Would you call that good Car-ma?
Oh good Lord.  I have turned into my husband.
The worst joke teller on the planet.
(But he thinks he is REALLY funny.)
Well, my Christmas letter writing took a lot out of me.
I should probably have some ice cream.

Have a terrific Tuesday!
I can't wait to find out what I know (for sure) tomorrow!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Connecting....and Cleaning

I made it through super crazy week! YAY!!
Now, onto super almost Christmas week!
Time to get everything solidified for all of my church lady duties.
(In other words, make sure all my ducks are in a row, as far as music for the Christmas Masses goes.)
I should probably start thinking about my Christmas shopping at some point too.
And maybe a tree.
The first thing that needs to happen today, however, is a major overhaul on this house.
You can tell that Mark and I have been gone every night this week.
This place is an absolute disaster.
We have all been here just enough to make a big mess...but no one has been around enough to actually clean the mess up.
Guess who is home all day today.
Lucky me.

Anyway.  I have some thoughts.
They will probably be brief
First, let's get the rough stuff out of the way.

There has been far too much of it in the last few days.
Perhaps if I was in Nantucket, listening to foghorns from my lighthouse, I would enjoy it a bit more...but I am not.
Driving in it at night on roads that do not have freshly painted lines on them (one of my pet peeves) is scary.  My taxes are HIGH.  Buy some damn paint and make sure I can see where the heck the edge of the road is.  
Thank you.
Next item in the "rough" area.
I think a new law should be put into place called the "Eye For an Eye" law.
Anyone caught and convicted of abusing an animal or a child should be subjected to the same abuse as they inflicted.
No second chances.
No "I have money, and can hire a high powered attorney to get me out of this."
Nope.  You hurt a defenseless, innocent pay.
(I realize there are lots of variables here...but let's just keep it simple for today.)
(And yes, I've been reading too many sad animal stories again.)
I will stop here.
You know that show Mark and I have been doing in Winona this past week?
Well...we finished up with a Sunday matinee, which went well.
However, on Saturday night, we recorded it for a "live radio Broadcast."
I guess it won't actually be "live"....but it will kind of be live, because there were no "re-takes" or "do-overs."  This is most unfortunate, because for some reason, my brain decided that Saturday would be a good night to completely zone out.
There were a couple of minor mishaps.  In the first act, I hardly play at I typically just play with my phone, text people, hang out on Facebook, etc.
 When I would try and figure out where the heck we were in the script, I would set my phone on my lap, where it would inevitably start to slide off.
At one point, it did slide off, and go flying into my big water bottle thingy...which fell over and hit the bottom of the piano. 
None of this was quiet, by the way.  At all.
(The radio recorder guy was sitting like three feet from me.  He was not smiling.)
At another point, I was supposed to play some "filler" music while the lights went down....but once again, I was too busy screwing around with my phone (I was checking to see if the video of Lexie singing at her concert...that I was missing....had been posted yet.) I totally missed my cue, and the actors entered in silence.  Oops.
The very best part, however, was when I was singing my big number.
I was doing a rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" where I start unaccompanied...singing the oft unheard intro "When all the clouds darken up the skyway, there's a rainbow highway to be found...leading from your window pane.  Just a step...beyond the rain"...and then the piano/bass/drums kick in.
It is typically quite lovely.
But my head was up in those dark clouds, because I jumped up to the high note a word too early....and did NOT recover well.
I sounded like a drunken dipstick swooping her way around....trying to figure out what the hell she was doing.
I am just so thrilled that will be broadcast for the world to hear.
And no, I don't know when, or on what station.
And I wouldn't tell you if I did.
Sometimes, you've just gotta

In happier news, I have had little angels showing up in unexpected places lately.
I came home to a sweet, home made surprise the other day, that one angel had dropped off.
Another had left a wonderful surprise for me on my desk at work.
At church today....I looked up, and an angel I haven't seen for far too long suddenly appeared before my eyes.....such a welcome surprise.
(And that angel and I need to have a coffee date this know who you are!! ;))
The older I get, the more I realize how blessed I am by all the people in my life.
A lot of times, I find myself looking at all of the pictures people post on Facebook....the pictures of these big groups of friends who get together on a regular basis.  Or a bunch of couples who meet every couple weeks.  Or the women who have girls night every Friday night.  Or the families who vacation together.  Things like that.  I don't have that.  We really don't have any regular "groups" that we go out and do things with.  We don't have a night of the week or month that is set aside for some social activity.  Sometimes I wonder if we even have friends!  We have turned into such homebodies!
But then I take a step back, and realize that just because we aren't out doing social things, or being a part of a "group" doesn't mean that we are missing out on something.  It just means that we are like so many other people....we are busy, and when we do have some time, we just want to relax at home.  It's not because we don't have anyone to do things with.
When I look around me....I am never alone.  
Sure, I have friends whom I have known much longer than others, and friends that I tend to do more social things with.  However, there are so darn many people out there whom I truly consider friends.....people who I really care about, and am so happy to have in my life.  
Even if we have never gone out to dinner or had a chance to really get to know each other well yet....I love each interaction that I have with all of the people in my life...because every time we talk or see each other, it adds another layer to our bond.
Isn't that what life is about?  Creating connections with other people?  
Isn't that why we try new things, or get involved in something that interests us?  Because we know that it increases our chances of meeting others who have similar interests....and increases our chances of making new connections.
I don't know about you...but for me, that is one of the very best parts of life.  
I think that is one of the reasons I am so dedicated to this blog.
I feel like it is a great way to make connections.
It's a way to sort of "put myself out there" and see who it brings in.

One thing I know for sure is this:
Today is a good day if I am able to connect with

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Random Thoughts...with Beth

I need to make a confession.
I had two beers last night.
On an empty stomach.
Needless to say, I provided mindless entertainment for those around me.
I even woke up in the middle of the night with a headache, and felt sick.
Kind of like in college...only back then I would have consumed more like a pitcher of beer, and a few cocktails.
This is what I have become.
A cheap drunk.
I wish I had taken some pictures of the fun.
I only took two....of Mark and Colin.
Here they are...being a bit anti social.  They were perfectly content with each other's company and a beer though.
And Colin.  Fitting right in with the men of old...hanging on the wall of the Masonic Theater.
(Colin is playing bass for the show we are doing, by the way.)
I just found the PERFECT quote (and graphic) to use right here...
and it's really funny....but completely inappropriate.
For some reason, I just can't go there.  
I feel a strong need to stay at a PG rating.
That just made me laugh. (The PG rating)
When we lived in Bloomington, there was the cutest couple who lived across the street.
Vic and Shirley.
They must have been in their 70's.
Both of their spouses had died years earlier...and these two were "shacking up."
Vic always sat at the kitchen table, or in the living room in his recliner, watching TV.  He wore a blue, short sleeved button down shirt, jeans and suspenders.  Every single day. 
And he had a strong German accent.
Shirley was a chain smoker who probably weighed about 90 pounds, and she died her hair a dark black.
She sounded like she had been swallowing sandpaper for the last 40 years when she spoke.  She would have been an excellent candidate for
Her skin was super wrinkly, and Sam's favorite thing to do was pinch the skin on her knees. (He was 1.)
Shirley was Lexie's best friend.  She adored her.
One might think a three year old would be a little timid around a wrinkled skeleton of a woman who sounded like a gravelly old trucker when she spoke....but not my kid.
She LOVED Shirley.
And Shirley loved her.
She would bring presents over for every birthday and holiday.
Plates of cookies and candy (that smelled like cigarettes....just like everything else in Shirley's house) ;)
It was adorable.
Why I bring them up is because my PG rating reminded me of them.
Right before Mark and I left for his band trip to Hawaii, Shirley yelled out her front door, (in her gravelly, Shirley voice, of course)
"Have a great trip!  And don't get PG!!!"
Thanks Shirley.  I will try to stay without child. lol.
Even after we moved to Wisconsin, she would still send cards and gifts for every birthday and holiday.  They even drove their little camper here to visit once.
Shirley put on her cute little pink nightie at bedtime, and slept in Lexie's room.
"Come on Lexie.  It's time for Shirley to go to bed."  
Vic slept in the camper.
One year, the cards stopped.....and I knew something was wrong.
She never missed a birthday.  Ever.
We stopped by their house on our next trip through the cities.
Shirley had died of cancer.
We never even knew she was sick.
It was heartbreaking.
She was a tiny little, chain smoking angel in our lives.
I still miss her.
I spent some time today perusing the Craigslist "Pet" ads.
Just because there isn't anything better than wasting time by looking at cute animals.
And then I fell in love.
Look at this face!!  

Apparently, he is also a dog trainer.
And those cute little white fluffy feet.

I, of course, would have to get rid of my husband, since he is horribly allergic to cats...but OMG...this little guy is so stinking cute.
And he is currently living in a GARAGE.
Seriously.....that just makes me so sad.
I tuck my dogs in at night to make sure they are warm my BED...and I still worry "are they comfortable?  Are they warm?  Do they have enough leg room?  Anyone need a glass of water?"
If only I were rich.
I would have an animal sanctuary.
And then all of the animals of the world would be warm, well fed and cared for...and most of all, LOVED.

Lexie bought me some red lipstick today.
Watch out world.

the end.