Monthly Archives: November 2012

Restocking My Bookcase or My Soul

Hello, Friend!  I am working, but soon to be on my lunch break and I wanted to come for a visit.  I don’t have any pictures today, just some words, so I hope you can hang with me for a bit.  I don’t think today’s story will be that uplifting, but I want to share any way.  Don’t judge me too harshly!

Let’s start off with the books and see if I can pull it all together.  You see, I used to have a lot of books.  I love books and most people can tell you that it isn’t often that I am without something I am currently reading.  I used to have a bunch of books, all over the place in fact.  My books can never usually have just one home because the cup runneth over so to speak.  Well, when I was in my last residence we had an incident which resulted in the worst thing a book lover would ever have to go through – throw out all the books.  It was heartbreaking, really.  I like to reread my books, they are almost like friends and to have to pile them all away and throw them out was one of the harder things I have had to do.  I managed to save a couple, but it was still a loss.

I have been bulking back up again when I can.  I like to go to The Book Barn, the most magical of all places, to get more books.  I feel at home there, peaceful almost, and it really is my most favorite of places.  Barns upon barns and buildings and shacks and carts of books.  Cats wandering around and quirky staff that I adore.  Oh and they have free coffee.  FREE COFFEE!  It helps my soul almost as much as a day at the ocean (and I may have to grab the bestie soon for both – since The Book Barn is pretty much at the ocean I can have a total soul cleansing day).

This has been a pretty testy week for me.  I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am pretty high stress.  Most things that people would just be mellow about, I tend to run around like someone who has had 14 cups of coffee chased by 5 Mountain Dews.  I can’t help it, it’s just who I am.  I am waiting for some news and I think I have placed things on hold depending on the outcome.  I thought I would have all the answers last week, but I didn’t, and here we are Wednesday of this week and still no answer.  I don’t deal well with this, and clearly I need to put patience high on my Christmas dream wish.

So, what does this all have to do with a book collection?  Let me tie it in for you!  On Monday, I started to get a little negative.  You know the phrase no news is good news?  I pretty much spun that around and made it seem like the apocalypse was coming.  I was moody and cranky, and looking to unleash it somewhere, anywhere.  I took it out on the wrong person (and anyone other than me would have been the wrong person).  I realized what I was doing and tried to stop it and even apologize, but somehow I made it a little worse.  I tried to push away and just close off.  My words hurt, I know because I was told that and that’s when it really came full circle.  What’s a girl to do when they know they are being an absolute pain and needs to get her head on straight?  That’s right, shop for books.  I also picked up Christmas gifts.  I love the mall during high stress times.

The point of this post is so I can be a little real, not just with you, but with myself.  I am not perfect.  I may be making a lot of life changes, crafting, focusing on what is really important, but I am still me.  I make mistakes.  I say bad things.  I sometimes snap at people who really don’t deserve it.  I place higher values on things, like job interviews, to a point where I start to feel like my future is dependent upon it.  I have too much pride, way too much.  If anything will ever stop me from moving forward, it is that.

I did learn though that forgiveness is one of the best things you can give someone.  I have been forgiven for my day of meanness.  It’s a beautiful thing to forgive and also to allow yourself to be forgiven.  We all fall sometimes.  Don’t have so much pride that you won’t allow yourself to be helped back up.  I love you, friends.

 

**UPDATE** I didn’t get the job.  I found out today, later on.  Sure, I am sad, but I will and can be okay.  I have the most wonderful people supporting me (even if I don’t always deserve it).  Thank you for being with me friends, and tomorrow we will get up and fight together.

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Would a wolverine stay in bed and cry?  Hell no!  A wolverine would get out there and attack some daylight!

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Holiday Cheer or I Am Not Buying Into Commercial This Year

Oh, friend.  You picked a good day to visit because look at my table!  It is crafting day here at Casa Jaime.  No, really.  Look!

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Good luck finding a spot but I have faith in you.  It’s like a craft store made sweet love to my table.

This was my day today.  It started early with a trip to the craft store to pick up supplies that we needed for today.  On the agenda was reindeer, trees, painted bulbs, cinnamon dough ornaments and popsicle stick snowflakes.  We got to everything but the reindeer and snowflakes.  It was quite a productive day!  Trees!

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You know you want one.

I wish I could tell you that this was normal circumstance here around the holidays, but it’s not.  I’m not usually this crafty but this year the crafting bug has really hit me.  I have the holiday decorations, the blanket making, the future plans of popcorn/cranberry stringing.  There is a whole lot of crafting.  I wouldn’t say I am in my element though I am having a blast doing it.

Something disturbed me the day after Thanksgiving.  We all hear the stories of Black Friday horror stories.  People tend to go a little crazy with whatever sales happen to be going on.  I don’t even look at the flyers.  So, I was on Facebook and saw this video that was posted of a Walmart in Georgia.  There was a pay as you go cell phone discounted and people were going mad.  I mean, like really mad.  There was pushing, shoving, screaming, biting.  Yes, friend, biting.  I was sad watching this. I guarantee these are probably normal people every other day of the year.  This wasn’t a crisis, it wasn’t for food. It was just a pay as you go cell phone.

It’s not okay.

It’s not okay to push people.  It’s not okay to yell profanities at them.  It is definitely not okay to bite them.  I am sure this scene that was recorded played out in many other stores all over the country.  The disgusting part to me is that these items that people are willing to maim over are gifts for people who they love, on a holiday that is meant to bring peace on Earth.  During World War I, German and British troops put forth a Christmas Truce on the battlefield of Flanders in 1914.  They met halfway, shook hands, played soccer.  Christmas is meant to bring us together, celebrate peace, and make memories.  There are the religious aspects as well, and I am well aware of other religions, but growing up Catholic, Christmas is it.

I usually stress every year.  How am I going to buy gifts for everyone on my list?  Did I get enough for all the children?  Do they all have an even number of presents?  Should I get extra things in the event that someone is around I wasn’t expecting?  Why do teenagers want really expensive things? OMG I forgot the tree!  I forget the beauty.  I forget the smells, the sights, the smiles.  The focus is entirely on the gifts.

Not this year, friend.

I felt the anxiety, it was building and I was buying into it.  I saw that video and it got me thinking:  What do I remember about my prior Christmas days?  Let me tell you!  

Making foam ball ornaments with my mom.  We used foam balls and pipe cleaners.

Watching my mom make fudge that we would put in tins and I would give them to my teachers.

Stringing popcorn and cranberry to put on the tree.

Watching Christmas specials on TV with my mom.

You see what’s not there?  Gifts.  Sure, I got presents.  I am sure I got lots of presents.  I do remember being really excited about my Alvin stuffed toy when I was probably around 7.  I remember my Nintendo.  Yes, the 8bit.  But I don’t remember every gift, and I certainly don’t have all my Christmas memories focused around that.  So this year I told the kids it isn’t going to be a heavy gift giving year.  I asked them to make me a list, I will pick maybe one or two things off of it.  I will get some other things that I want to get them (no one wants to know exactly what they will get).  We are going to celebrate each other this year.  We will make things and spend time together.  We will make things to give to others.  Armed with determination to make some magical mother f’in memories, I hit the craft store with a vengeance.

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You see this?  MAGIC IS HAPPENING!

We spent hours making things, all kinds of things.  I can’t wait to put up my tree this year because other then the lights, everything else will be handmade.  I want my children to look back and remember these moments and just being together.  As it gets closer and I accumulate more, my door will be open to anyone who wants to join us.  I can’t buy into the happiness is going to come from a store.  I will not grunt at my fellow men for items that may not even be remembered in 10 years time.  

You are always more than welcome to join me.  Make spaghetti ornaments, get your hands full of glue and glitter.  My table is open and we will always find a space for you.  My holiday season wish for you is just pure happiness.  I have found the peace and love that is heard about in every song at Christmas.  I can’t wait to put my baskets together, to get my holiday package out to FFAC.  I want to share this with everyone.  I’m not going to stress.  I’m not swearing off the stores; if I can’t find the things I want for people, it’s okay.  I’ll find something else.  

I’m so optimistic about this.  My goal is when Girl 1, 2, and Boy have their own families they will be making spaghetti ornaments, reindeer, or just sharing memories.  If I can do that then maybe their children will one day do the same.  I don’t expect to change the world, or how the world is during the Christmas holiday shopping season.  I will leave you with this:

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I made the world!  I also got paint in my mouth trying to mix the blue and white but we won’t talk about that.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ~ Dr. Suess

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The Day of Thanks

Oh happy day!  I am so so so happy you are here!  Guess what I got today?  A new dishwasher!  That’s right, friend, I no longer need to do dishes by hand!  Well some of them maybe, sure, but overall I can give up the sponge.  Give up the sponge.  I like this, and I may file it away for later use.

So, I didn’t mean to start off with something as mundane as a dishwasher.  I’ll take your things and you know the drill by now.  Coffee, tea, cocoa – it’s all up for grabs.  I’ll grab the cards, because I feel like a little Rummy today, and let me fill you in (and for the record, I have no huge announcements like my last post.  My life can’t be that exciting all the time).  

This week isn’t over yet, but it has already become one of my busiest weeks.  I had two job interviews, one on Monday, the other on Tuesday.  In true me fashion one went smashingly well and the other was the worst interview I have ever had in my entire life.  First I’ll fill you in on the good one!  It was mostly all the routine interview questions you can expect, and I think I nailed it pretty well.  Thankfully, I did, because my brain always likes to throw a curve ball.  You see, I have been crafting (more on this later), and I found a way to sneak that into the interview.  In my mind, crafting = stability.  I mean, who doesn’t picture someone sitting in a chair free of laundry, crocheting a blanket and NOT think, “Wow, this person is incredibly stable and I would like them to work for me.”  I am waiting to hear back on that, so wish me luck!  

Interview two was not so good, and by not so good I mean I wanted to crawl under a rock upon it’s completion.  The posting I saw really seemed to be very similar to what I do now, just a different segment.  A different segment would mean I could learn new things.  I liked the idea of this.  So I applied and spoke to the HR rep.  She pretty much asked me normal run of the mill questions that applied to my current role.  I was passed onto the second stage and then it all fell apart.  About 10 minutes into my interview they told me everything I thought about the position was wrong.  Really, really, wrong.  Towards the end, I just had to laugh a bit because it went so badly it was almost out of a sitcom.  You know who laughs at the wrong times in interviews?  Unstable people.  I should have balanced it out with my blanket making.

Which brings me to….

CRAFTING!

I am now a crafter!  One of my besties taught me how to crochet over the weekend and I decided to work on a blanket.  I think I finally found my crafting niche.  I am someone who is not really artistic, so you know on Pintrest or magazines when you see something and think, “Oh, that looks easy!  I can totally do that!” and then you attempt it and it looks like a 4 year old threw up crayons on paper (or whatever medium you chose)?  Yeah, that’s me.  I am always so jealous of people who can craft, because I REALLY want to be able to.  My think tank is always trying to convince me that I can do pretty things, but no.  No, I cannot.  But friend, I can crochet.  I will crochet you socks one day.  So here is how it looked on Saturday:

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Look!  It’s a line!

And here is how it looked on Tuesday:

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Sweet Mother, look at that work.

And because I want you all to see my handiwork, here is another of it close up!

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I see an Etsy store in my future!

I am so proud of me.  You should be too, and I will make you those socks.

Does any of this have to do with Thanksgiving?  No.  I intended to write one of those sappy lists that I see plastered all over Facebook about things that I am thankful for.  I don’t think I can though.  It’s not because I am unthankful (I made that word up I think); in fact, it’s just the opposite.  I am very thankful for everything I have in my life.  I am so lucky, friend, and in so many ways.  I don’t have everything, but I do have the most important things.  I have love, friendship, health, family.  I have a job, a car, a 2012 limited edition Derpy Hooves.  I have great plans for 2013 (I’m not buying into the end of the world thing, so I’ll just keep planning.  Let’s hope the joke isn’t on me).  I am thankful for you.  That you can read my words, and you inspire and encourage me.  So there is my list.  Eat well tomorrow and enjoy your family.  I’ll leave you with this picture of a turkey from my backyard. Actually, I won’t because I deleted them off of my phone.  Instead I will leave you with this picture of a gift from the same bestie who taught me to craft (and who never told me my attempts at other things were bad, bless her soul):

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Happy Thanksgiving!  

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It’s Raining Men. Actually it isn’t.

I want to scream.  I had this whole post typed out, I hit a wrong button and I somehow manage to lose it all.  I want to cry a little, but alas, I shall start again.  Egads!  Come on in, I won’t scream in your face and I promise to try and fill you in (again) on my happenings this week.  For me, it is the weekend, so let us rejoice for Fridays off!

I started with me, because well, I like me.  At least sometimes.  I am going to speed this up because well, I actually have more important things to talk about.  I had two first interviews today which resulted in two second interviews next week.  One is a jump up in the same segment I currently work in, the other is a lateral move to a different division.  There are lots of thinks going on in my think tank right now because I like to be a girl with a plan.  I don’t like to make rash quick decisions, and I want to make sure I make the right one.  Right now, I am leaning more towards the one that is up a bit more in my current division because I can always move laterally later.  Laterally later.  I really like that phrase.  Wish me lots of luck in my upcoming week, friend!

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Yes, that me with a scarf tied around my head.  I don’t know why, I just felt like doing it.  Most importantly is I am sitting in my chair.

Okay, ready for the next piece?  This was the twist for the week (I always have a twist of the week).  Tuesday morning I got a text from Girl1.  It started with her telling me she was in the best mood ever.  It made me nervous because whenever Girl1 tells me she is in the best mood ever she usually means the worst mood ever.  I asked her why and cringed inside waiting for all the rage to come pouring in.  Instead I got this:

Girl1: The person I like likes me back!

Me: Who?  I have kinda been hoping she would like one her friends that I am fond of.  

Girl1: Insert girl name.

Me: What? Are you being serious? And you are telling me over text? Now keep in mind, Girl1 likes to mess with me.  

Girl1: You never asked if I liked girls.  To be fair, I have never asked anyone which gender they prefer.

Me: Ok.

Now, I needed some time to process.  I can’t say that I wasn’t a tiny bit sad.  Not because I don’t believe in LGBT rights.  Anyone who knows me knows that is not the case at all.  I don’t believe that anyone has any right to deny people rights because of who they love, or what gender they are attracted to.  I can’t say I didn’t have my own preconceived notions of what my children’s lives will be like, and I didn’t quite have that in the picture, but that didn’t make sad.  I was sad because I knew my child would have a slightly harder life because of who she decides to love.  That some people would say that she is wrong, or that she could be “cured” like she has some sort of disease.  That she could be denied the same rights in many parts of my country that I have because I am heterosexual.

We talked that night.  I got home from work, and we talked.  I asked her, wanting to know if this was just a curiosity thing for her.  That was actually my favorite part of the whole thing.

Me: “So, is this just a curiosity thing for you?”

Girl1: “Since 6th grade?  No.” Insert eye roll

I did notice that she never seemed to be as boy crazy as I was at that age, but I thought that it was maybe because she just wasn’t there yet.  I don’t think my choice of Peter as her dating partner is going to work out.  That night, I watched my daughter who normally seemed so awkward when dating things come up, blossom.  She is so confidant, she looks so happy.  I believe she is happy.  I am so proud of her, so proud she is comfortable enough with herself to not be afraid and to not hide who she is.  I wish I could have been there for her as she was figuring out who she is, but some things you need to do on your own.  She did a good job.  My baby girl is still my baby girl.  She is no different than she was last week.  She is amazing and strong, and I will stand by her every step of the way.  I am so thankful that the relationship I have with her is one that she didn’t feel she couldn’t come to me, or that she had to hide.  I love her so damn much, and I know she knows this.  Stand tall, Girl1, and be proud.  Never feel that your feelings are wrong, or that you are less than anyone else because of who you love, or what you are attracted to.  I am going to buy the hell out of some rainbow gear.

I did get her permission to write about this.  She doesn’t care who knows and I am nothing but proud.  She plans on dropping it to the rest of the extended family over Thanksgiving and it is going to be so. much. fun.  

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Pride Motherf’ers!

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The Joys of Simplicity

Two posts in two days!  It may be a new record for me and maybe I will break the internets.  It’s good to be back, though, and I have missed you so much!  I like company, so it’s always good when you come for a visit.  Today I am going to tell you about the lesson I learned and how it helped me throughout the day.

Girl 2 has had a bit of a cold.  I was sick a bit last week, normal run of the mill stuff at the turn of the season. Yesterday and last night she was coughing a lot and I had to give her some medicine in the middle of the night.  This morning I woke her up for school (yes, her school had school today) and debated on whether to send her to school.  Sick + other children usually isn’t so good.  She, however, was not having it.  Today was her Show and Tell day, and no cough was going to keep her down.  I weighed the options while I listened to her being told that she should bring in the scarf that she got from India.  It came from somewhere else!  It was special.  No.  She was bringing her small stuffed penguin.  It came from a plastic bag.  She left with the penguin.

At Grandma’s she was told that she should bring her camel that she got from Afghanistan.  It too came from somewhere else.  It was special and she could tell a story about it!  Nope.  She was bringing her penguin.  It came from a plastic bag.  The other adults couldn’t understand it, but I could.  It didn’t matter about  where it came from, or what story was behind.  Her 4 year old mind just decided on the penguin for no other reason then she liked it.  Her plan to tell the class was that it had a hood that you could push down.  Brilliant and simple.

Today, while I was at work, I found out from the house that the USB ports on the laptop stopped working.  The laptop is my baby, so much so that for the longest time no one else could BREATHE in it’s general direction.  I use it to game, to communicate, pretty much all of my computing needs.  I don’t usually touch the desktop and resigned that to the rest of the house.  I started to stress out because I am not the most computer literate.  I turn to FFAC for those types of things.  I felt myself doing the familiar panic thing.  What was I going to do?  How could I function?  I don’t know how to fix USB ports!  I started to tell FFAC about it later in the day and then I realized something. Something huge.  Ready for this?  It would be ok.   The world wouldn’t end if the motherboard was broken.  It wouldn’t end if I couldn’t fix it.  Even if it was  rendered totally useless, I would continue to breathe.  So with this new found idea, I googled.  I came up with some different options.  I got home from work and tried them out.  Guess what, friend?  I am typing this on the laptop that I fixed.  I did it.  Sure, with the help of Google, but I did it.  It was awesome.  

How does this relate to Girl 2 and a penguin?  Well, I guess it really doesn’t.  It was just special today, watching her hold her own with her decision.  Pressure coming from different angles, trying to convince her that her decision wasn’t as awesome as theirs.  That a scarf or a camel was more interesting because it came from somewhere else or something that was more special.  It was her Show and Tell and she was the one calling the shots.  I hope she holds onto that and my promise to her is that I will help her know that her opinion always will matter.  She taught me a lesson today, you see.  Things don’t have to have stories.  They don’t have to come from far off places to be interesting.  You can make a decision that may  not be popular with others, but if it’s your decision own it and don’t back down.

I asked today when picking her up how her Show and Tell was.  Come to find out she didn’t bring the penguin after all.  She brought a book.  She got it from Barnes and Noble.  It was from the movie “Brave” and after the presentation was over, the teacher read the class the book.  She taught me yet another lesson today.  Sometimes you can make a decision and then decide to do something totally different.  What a wise girl she is.  I hope I can be more like her when I grow up.  Until next time, friend!  

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I Am Such a Slacker

Yeah, it’s been a little while.  Grandiose ideas that I will update on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays go the way of the Oxford comma for most people.  The blog gets dusty, the dishes pile up, and I find myself in a corner somewhere trying to dig myself out.  I dug out, friends.  I dug out at least enough to post an update.  Lots of things have happened and gone on in my time off.  Grab some coffee (or tea, or maybe cocoa).  Have a seat at the table,but be prepared to play some cards.  There has been a lot of card playing lately.

I’ll start with D&D news.  We have some new players with us and let me tell you, it has been wonderful!  They both meld in really well, and are both very patient with Girl1 and Boy.  I am sure my lovely DM has enjoyed maybe getting a break from our countless questions and we can now direct them at our experienced adventuring partners.  We have started a new campaign and albeit we may not get a lot of fighting done in our playtime, it sure is a lot of fun!

FFAC came to visit us for three weeks!  It was meant to be a few days shorter but Sandy decided to change his travel plans.  It was so much fun having him here and I wish he didn’t have to leave.  We did lots of things like D&D (he stayed with us for a day but then decided apparently to sneak off in the middle of the night), took the kids out to eat, went to an arcade (where I busted my knee during laser tag – oh battle wounds!), went to the Ren faire.  It was a very productive trip and I missed him the minute he left.  I debated tying him up in the basement to stop him from going home but I found out that it’s illegal.  Thank goodness I looked that up first.

I guess the biggest thing is within my own self.  I am trying to dig myself out of a hole that I have been in for a long time.  A very long time.  It’s hard.  It’s hard to recognize the hole and then sometimes it’s harder to see a way out.  We all want to do the right thing, and we can even convince ourselves that we have to keep ourselves down in order to do the right thing for everyone else.  It’s hard to ask for help, to admit that you can’t do it alone, or that you just aren’t strong enough.  I’ve told myself to look for the beauty in things every day but lately I have been having a hard time finding it.  We all go through it, those periods that just seem grey.  Here is what I have learned:

  • Asking for help is beautiful.  It’s saying I am not a superhero.  It’s saying I will let you in and you will see my vulnerable side because I love you enough to let you see it.
  • We all have it in us not only to ask for help, but to give help.  It’s what we are meant to do.  Yes, even you, when you think you have nothing else to give will find some reserve if needed.
  • Life is hard.  Life is not always fair.  If it was, we would never understand gifts we receive and just how much we should appreciate them.
  • When everything else fails, have a cup of coffee.
  • I’m really not alone, even when I think I am.

Things aren’t going to be easy and in fact I am sure they will get harder.  That’s ok.  I have learned from a wonderful blog (Momastery – I wish I knew how to link it) that we can do hard things.  We do remarkably hard things all the time and we keep going.  No matter how long we try to ignore our issues, they will come up and slap us in the face until we are forced to flee or fight.  Protip – fleeing doesn’t work.  I’m a fighter.  I believe you are a fighter, too.  We’ll go through this together, step by step, side by side.  I think at the end it will be absolutely beautiful.  So gear up, and finish your coffee.  We have a long road ahead together, friend, and we have to start it sometime.  

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