Friday, January 28, 2011

Life is Hard

I wish today's post was something funny or even trivial but it's not. My heart is just not in it.

Several years ago my Dad was diagnosed with a certain type of cancer. He had surgery where they did an implant and we thought, "Okay..that's that. What's the chance it'll return?" He regularly sees a slew of doctors...for his heart and this and several other things. And if you read here often, you know that I love few people more than I love my Momma and Daddy. They would do anything for me and I feel the same way about them. If I could give my left arm to save one of them, I would instead offer my entire torso. I would be nothing without the two of them and the unconditional love they have always surrounded me with growing up.

Daddy had a hard life growing up. Not poverty hard, although sometimes I have wondered because he grew up on a farm. A working farm. He would get up before sunrise to work and then go to school and come home and work until the sun went down. I always knew that he had never exaggerated about working so hard. It has taken a toll on his body. When I was in elementary school he had an accident where he fell and couldn't walk for what felt like months. Shortly after I got married, he suffered a massive heart attack and wasn't expected to survive. He's had two by-pass surgeries, he has a trifibulator, he's suffered a stroke, has an artificial valve in his heart... the list could possibly go on and on. When he was in his fifties, his doctor told him he had the body of a man more in his seventies (if I am remembering correctly). When you read things that make life on a ranch or farm seem romantic, the reality is that it's hard work and eventually takes its toll. Daddy turns 74 in a couple of months.

Right now - I am mad. Or maybe angry. I just don't understand why life has to be so hard as you get older. Why are there so many things that bring us sadness? I know my Daddy - this has got to be consuming his every thought right now. Momma said he doesn't want to talk. This on top of the heart problems that she's having right now - I just wonder sometimes how much are we really supposed to endure? I know that God never gives us more than we can handle... but right now, all of this is simply too much.

So now maybe I don't feel so mad. I am off to have a good cry and some prayer time and some chicken nuggets...in exactly that order.

Monday, January 24, 2011

No sense in complaining

Today I had an epiphany of sorts. It hit me like a load of bricks as I drove back from the court house: There is no sense in complaining. Because who cares? I mean really, is complaining really going to make a situation different? The reason why I thought this was because as I drove home I started thinking about my day and school and started to call my friend when it hit me, would complaining about a situation make anything different?

If I complain about traffic, does it magically get better?
If I complain about taxes, do they lower themselves?
If I complain about how my shoes hurt my feet, does that magically make my shoes become softer?
If people complain about being ignored, does that make anything better?
If people complain about being unloved, does it make you love them more?
If people complain about being hungry, are they instantly full?
If you complain about your weight, does it magically change?

I'm sure you get my drift. And since I'm sure you're now wondering 'why was she at the court house?' I had to go and drop off a certified letter stating that I'm a full-time student taking 14 hours this semester so that I could be excused from jury duty. The funny thing - the form, that i had to sign and they notarized, had 2007 as the date on the back. 2007! That was like, I dunno, 4 years ago! Okay, so I do know because I counted it up (using my fingers...it's been a long day!). There are those tax dollars at work. But that's complaining, right?

Tomorrow we take our truck in for repairs. This means that tonight the truck has to be cleaned out from top to bottom. We've got to call to make sure everything's handled with the rental car that this person's insurance company is providing. Hopefully everything has been taken care of on their end and all we have to do is drop the truck off, get the rental and wait to pick the truck up again. I will be glad when that's all over and done. Not that I'm complaining... :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

She Made All-State...

Got the 'official news' yesterday afternoon when I picked up The Bug that she made All-State Choir. She was excited. I am excited. I did this my seventh and eighth grade school years and had a great time. Way back when there were places called Junior High and dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Or so she likes to tell me...the latter part, that is! So this makes it official - we are not going to the Ski Week with our church and are instead going to play hooky from school (thanks to three snow/ice days right in the middle of the week) and instead are going to find something fun to do until we leave at the end of the week for the event. I feel better knowing we've made the decision and I don't feel at all guilty about letting go of the money that was spent to reserve her spot on the ski trip. I figure it went to the church and that's good enough for me. Next year we'll just know better what we are doing when the time comes up to sign up for any of these events.

She'll be singing in the treble (all girl) choir. They have the hardest music - everything is in another language except for one song. She's already been learning the melody but now she has to focus on the words and their pronunciations. Songs like Yo Le Canto Todo El Dia, Durme Durme, J'entends le moulin,Laudamus Te, Mangwani Mpulele, and the easiest to pronounce, Manx Lullaby. Can you guess which one is in English? However, it is old English.

So congrats to The Bug! I am so proud of you and your accomplishments!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What Inspires You To Do Better?

I am taking a class that deals with languages and communication sciences. So far this evening I have watched two videos - one about an African parrot named Alex who is learning to talk. The other is Jane Goodall talking about what she does best - lecturing about chimpanzees. Listening to her talk it makes me wonder...what encouraged her to leave the civilization that we are so accustomed to and to travel into the jungle? What would I do if my daughter were determined to do something like this with her life? What if I had ever felt that way?

Right now she's talking about what we have done to hurt our planet. It really makes you think about the damage we have caused our planet, and ourselves, by our decisions to live the way that we do in our comfy homes and our lifestyles with all of our comforts. Don't get me wrong - I'm not willing to sell my house or my car and make a drastic change to my life. I recycle, almost religiously, because I figure doing this is a small step that can make a difference.

If you're curious - check out this one link with Jane Goodall. It's about 28 minutes long but very interesting.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Think I'm Being Punished....

Reported to duty today. At the other local middle school which is a whole other world of teenagers than the one The Bug presently attends. It's funny how, even in the same town, kids can be SO DIFFERENT. Especially in the way they dress. I don't think I've ever seen more colored jeans (pink, yellow, green) on kids than I did today. But I digress...

I think the placement's going to be fine. But this teacher...she teaches Math. MATH I say. A lot of math. Not reading. Or Language Arts. Science - no. And forget about Social Studies. Nix Reading. No Reading...ah that just makes me sad! Because I love reading. Reading is one of my most favorite subjects. Math...not so much. So how did I end up with my first degree in Accounting? Who knows. I think I thought that was the smart route to take at the time. Before Enron.

So I think I've worked out my schedule. Three days a week. Five hours a day. For something like 36 days. I have no idea what I will teach for my observation my videos. There is no telling how I'll be able to complete my reading class assignments - you know - since I don't have ANYTHING to do with teaching reading.

Maybe this is because of my displeasure with not having enough exposure to a math strategies class? Maybe I'm being punished in a round about way....

As a side note - our kiddos will be making up 3 of the 5 snow days - all during our winter break. Which is also the time of Ski Bible at church. And All-state Chorus. It keeps getting more complicated.

The Momster

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What Happened to Tradition?

Do you ever stop and wonder why people stop following traditions? Whether they are holiday traditions or just simple family things that you do year after year... why do people stop?

Case in point: I used to have our Christmas cards ready and we would stop and mail them Thanksgiving night after we would leave my parents house. For weeks I would wait for the post office to get in that year's selection of Christmas stamps and then I'd happily settle down and find the perfect cards and write in them (or some years include a letter updating everyone on what was going on in our family). I think I stopped doing cards two or three years ago. Which is really sad. Because when I was younger, I would love to come in and go through the cards that my parents received from friends and family.

My mother still sends Christmas cards. In fact, they ran out of cards this year and I offered to go through my storage tub of cards (because I used to buy them in bulk!) and took her some so that she could keep up with returning cards to all of their friends who had sent them one after the initial mailing went out. As I was looking for the appropriate cards for them to send, I realized that my stash of cards was really old. I had some cards from when I left Delta - I distinctly remembered buying these blue cards with "All the Best" on the outside and "Always" on the inside that year. (I was very depressed about my decision to leave...so this has always stuck in my mind). I had cards that had Santa sitting at a computer, looking at a print out of the naughty and nice list. Let's face it - Santa's got to stay up with the latest technologies... I figured he'd probably have a smart phone or at the least an Ipod that would do that for me. There were funny cards. Cards for pictures. I'm telling you - I could open my own stationery store for the holiday season.

When I took in a huge amount of outgrown jeans and t-shirts that had been The Bug's, I decided to load the box full of cards into the back of the van as well. I hope that somewhere, someone will benefit from the cards. At the same time... it made me really sad. When we were first married, we'd decorate the archway from our family room to the kitchen with garland and the cards that we received that year. That was our tradition until we moved here and then we'd display our cards on the mantel with the stockings and garland.

I guess what I am wondering is when do we decide things are too much trouble and decide to give up the traditions that meant so much to us at one time?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday

Wake up and head out to church.
Had a great time with the girls in my class talking about loyalty and disloyalty and how it all plays in with being a Christian.
The Bug went home with a friend and their family.
Came home and Hubs and I went to the store and to Ruby Tuesdays for a less than eventful lunch. But time together is valuable to us both and we had a great time.
Picked The Bug up and came home to watch the beginning of "Space Cowboys".
Eyebrows done - even though it took forever at the salon.
The cat is napping at my feet.
My professor went off the deep end with this email about last semester - that still has me puzzled and wondering what on earth is going on. I think someone threw us all 'under the bus".
This may prove to be a more difficult semester than I had originally thought. See above for explanation.
The Farmer's Almanac is showing this is to be a colder winter with more snow and ice. They are usually right - afterall, they pegged the snow we had last week.
Tomorrow is a holiday - then life gets busy all over again.
Praying for God's guidance.
Heard tonight on tv and wrote this in my notebook, "Let it go and God will fight your battles."

Letting go now...
The Momster

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Where Did The Week Go?

Usually that's how I feel about the weekends around here. Wisk! Bam! Boom! ...it's like an action sequence from the old Batman shows... and they are gone! But this week we (unbelievably) had another week off of school due to the snow/ice that we received Sunday and Monday. Let me tell you - it has been YEARS since school was closed for a week here due to the weather. Every afternoon we'd sit and play the anticipation game.... will there be school or won't there be school? Now the anticipation involves when and/or if the students will be required to make up this time. I can remember losing spring breaks and even attending school on Saturday to make up for bad weather days when I was a young girl. Only time will tell.

My classes have resumed. The online ones at least. I have my placement for the next semester and will be working at a local middle school, although not the one that The Bug attends. I am waiting to hear from my assigned teacher to find out when she would like for me to report and to get an idea of what I'm in store for this semester. Then... finally....student teaching in the fall! My other classes shouldn't be too difficult this semester but just time consuming. If I can ever remember HOW to do school then I might actually be able to start getting my assignments out of the way. That's what I'm supposed to be doing right now...but instead... the computer called my name! Well that and the Buffalo Style Chicken Pizza that's just finishing up in the oven. Sometimes it's good to be home alone. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

What I did on my snow day staycation...

Count this as day one of at least a two day snow day staycation. What did we do? Well let's see...

Absolutely nothing. We didn't get snow - instead we've gotten a lot of ice. It looks pretty - until you decide to head outside and try to walk across the driveway. In fact, a funny story. Tonight I went to take something outside ...and managed to slide across the driveway. Thank goodness there was a vehicle there to stop me!

School has already been cancelled for tomorrow. I can envision another day of video games and movies. These snow days can keep it up if it means that I don't have to report to my new placement for the semester until next week. This snow would be ideal if my books had already arrived though so that I could work ahead on all of my work.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Will it Snow?

We are expecting snow. That has been the forecast for the past few days - a big storm is moving in that should be here sometime tonight. They are forecasting snow and icy conditions until tomorrow afternoon. Cold temperatures (at least for those of us here in the south). We are expecting rain to start around 5, with it becoming icy and then snowing around 10 tonight. This should continue until Tuesday and I am sure you can imagine that all of the kids (and teachers) are hoping for snow. There's no telling the number of people who will be sleeping with their pajamas inside out tonight with the hopes that school will be canceled.

I tell you all that to share with you this. After church, Hubs and I went to Walmart to pick up some tortillas so that we could experiment with the quesadilla maker that The Bug got in the white elephant gift exchange at my parents' house on Christmas. We stopped to pick up some apples, marveled at all of the people in the place and the proceeded to the bread aisle. There was no bread to be found - anywhere. Because there were no 10" tortillas we walked over to the frozen foods section where they have the cheeses, etc...and discovered that there were NO EGGS. I don't even think there was any egg substitute on the shelf. We laughed a little to ourselves because we had already gotten our bread and milk on Friday... just in case.

As for me, I am hopeful for a snow day only because The Bug will have another day to recover from being sick. The downside is - we don't know what Hubs will do - right now he is working on the other side of town and they are expecting the worst of the weather all together.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Getting Things Done...

One good thing that is accomplished when your child is sick: You clean. I've managed to clean out the kitchen (again). I am finally caught up on the laundry around the house as well. Today I am cleaning out the dining room and preparing to shampoo the carpet in there before she and I settle in to watch a movie.

Obviously she missed her audition this morning. I called the school yesterday and spoke to the choral director - she told me that we could request a make-up audition. All we needed to do is let her know before 9 this morning and to provide a doctor's excuse. I called her back last night and we eventually talked it through and decided a postponement was in order. So today she has spent most of the day in the bed, listening to music and snuggling under her warm blankets.

My word for the year is prepare and I've definitely been doing that. The house is coming together. I managed to sneak out this morning to Macy's to do some holiday returns that I had been avoiding and paid off my account as well. I am not only preparing myself at home, but financially as well. I found out last night that I have been assigned my placement next week at a local middle school. I need to contact the teacher and see when it would be a good time to meet and formalize my schedule. At least this will work out with my current routine with The Bug. Classes officially begin Monday. I'm taking the GACE in March. Things are about to get busy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cooties

The cooties have arrived. In the 5'6" variety of a 13 year old girl. Who is at home today with her Momma after having visited the doctor's office this morning for some meds and some Chickfila and cuddle time while watching movies in her room under her comfy quilts. She has been instructed to rest at home for the next two days, so that means no school until Monday. Hopefully this will let her mend enough for her audition Saturday morning.

Funny thing when one has the cooties is trying to prevent everyone else (meaning the Momster) from catching the cooties as well. We came in and she took her medicine. I took my vitamins. And a claritin for good measure. The other funny thing is that I find myself CLEANING more when the cooties are involved. Laundry is getting done. The kitchen counters are all nice and clean. Things smell a little like pine....

Now where did I put my latest ....circle, circle, dot, dot, dot...it's okay I got my cooties shot :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dilemmas

You know how you try to plan for things and get all your ducks in a row so that everything is taken care of early on and you don't have to worry about things? I love it when a plan comes together... but this is one case where the plan is not coming together well at all.

Back in October The Bug auditioned for All-State Choir. She was sick at the time, we did not have the scoring results and she didn't feel as though she had done a good job considering she was under a doctor's care and her voice just wasn't 100%. Well, fast forward a few weeks. Our church had its annual sign-up for a youth retreat that takes place the same week in February. The money was due at the time of sign up. And rather than waiting it out to find out about All-State, we went ahead and signed her up and paid the fees. Well... guess who got the highest score in the first audition? Even though she was sick ... and her Mom got her to the audition a measly 5 minutes before time to perform? (I thought I'd mention that now...but this nice director guy let her wait for the next group that went to do their thing.) My daughter.

So the dilemma is this. If she makes the second audition, which is this weekend, and by the way..she isn't feeling good AGAIN... we have to decide what to do because both events are the same week. That's right. The Youth trip is Tuesday through Friday. All-State is Thursday through Saturday. In two different states. About 360ish miles apart. There is a no refund option with the youth group at church so she either goes a few days or doesn't go at all. She really wants to go to All-State. I think both will allow her individual growth in both areas of her life that she loves...music and her Lord. But I am thinking... do I really want to drive 4+ hours to pick her up and turn around and drive to the other location? Is that practical? Won't I be completely worn out as well?

Why is it we often times find ourselves in dilemmas when we are trying to do something good rather than something bad?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Feeling Blah....

You know, that feeling you have the first day when everybody goes back to school and work following the festivities of celebrating Christmas and New Year's? I am officially calling them 'the blahs' this year. Really, it might be better if I didn't like The Bug and Hubs as much as I do... at least the cat has been here to keep me company.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life though right? Time to get up and get something done. Instead I need to run to Lowe's (because I broke something in The Bug's bathroom about 30 minutes ago...and I want to have it fixed before everyone starts returning home) and to grocery store (to pick up those juicy fruits and yummy veggies that are going to help me succeed at obtaining my goals this year regarding health and wellness)!

Then it's going to be back home to clean up the kitchen and tidy up the rest of the house before the family gets home. So that I can hear all about their day since today I have the blahs and miss them. Maybe tomorrow morning I'll make myself go to the lake to walk before coming back home. Because I know in a week's time (when I am back in school myself) I will miss this quiet time where I sit and 'sigh'.....

Monday, January 3, 2011

Prepare

Yes, that's it - my word to encompass all that I hope 2011 will be for me and my family. I plan on being prepared. I am preparing for great things. Prepare.

I am preparing to be healthier this year. No more accepting what the scales (and my clothes) have been telling me. When did it become acceptable to go out and buy bigger things? Instead, I am preparing to become more active and part of that includes pushing myself away from the table and getting up and getting active. One step at a time.

I am preparing for my new career. I am preparing to return for another fun-filled semester of collegiate learning.

I am preparing to be a better wife, mother, friend, daughter.

I am preparing my family budget for this year so that we can do more, enjoy doing things together and getting into better shape financially.

I want to get things in order here at home so that I am prepared when those last minute things come along that usually make me crazy don't seem to have the same effect on my life as they have had in the past.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Can You Choose a Simple Word?

I have been giving some thought to the idea about choosing one word to embody what I want for this next year. One word? I'm a little OCD so just choosing one word...well it throws me into the place where I find myself constantly searching out new words. Like the ones that follow:

Faithful - Faithful to my family, my friends, my faith, my goals and commitments.

Prepared - Prepared for where this life is taking me. Student teaching in the fall. Graduating in December. Preparing for a new life and a new career - although I feel like my entire life has been one step after another to lead me to this goal.

Organized - Things in order; everything in its place. In a lot of ways, this comes into play with the idea of being prepared. Being organized enough so that changes at the last minute won't throw me for a loophole and that I can cope and accommodate.

Confident - Assured about where life is taking me. Comfortable in my own skin and taking ownership of the goals and objectives that I am setting for myself for the new year.

Dream - Allow myself to look into my soul and see what I really want out of life. To enjoy life. My family and friends. I had a quote put in The Bug's fifth grade year book about dreaming from Walt Disney. About always taking the time to dream.

Believe - In myself. My family. My friends. Faith. My mother always tells me that there was nothing that I have ever wanted that I have not been able to accomplish. Because I believe in myself.

Grow - Growth in mind, body and spirit. Well a reverse growth in my body. But changes. Good changes and good growth.

Persistence - Pushing myself to reach my goals, whatever they may be.

Individuality - Choosing to be ME all of the time rather than conforming to being the person that I think people want me to be. And enjoying living in my own skin.

So today while I clean the house and spend time with my family, I am going to reflect on these words and others that come to mind. Setting goals for the year. Keeping them realistic so that they are obtainable. Why do I like the idea of New Year's Resolutions? Because it makes me look at myself, on every level, and think of ways that I would like to change.


Happy New Year blogosphere and here's to a brand new me (and us)....