Friday, February 27, 2009

I apologize now for my total blog-updating-sucking-ness. I have been in a major funk and just trying to keep it all together....I shall return, soon I hope

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The best/worst Valentines Day gift EVER

Hubby and I got each other the EXACT same thing for Valentines Day this year.....and we will love/hate each other for it for the rest of our lives.
We both quit smoking on Feb 13, making Feb 14th our first official smoke free day.
Amazingly, we made it through the weekend without killing each other, although we did come close a couple of times.....we both reached the height of crankiness yesterday at lunch...sitting beside each our church....not a good scene. I have never bit my tongue so hard as I did for that excrutiating hour.
They say (whoever "they" are) that the withdrawal symptoms peak at 72 hours and subside after that - well we officially passed the 72 hour mark last night. And we are still married. AMAZING.
Anyhow, I am going to walk away from the keyboard now - I can feel the grumpy-bitter-need to hit something setting in. I am going to go take it out on my laundry.
Happy Belated Valentines/Family/Smokefree weekend to you all.

Friday, February 13, 2009

bad case of the SHOULDS

so yesterday, I decided to close up the laptop and take a break from the computer - why? Because I can sit down and tell myself - I'm just gonna check my email, and then I look up and an hour has gone by and the Joker has coloured the cat with permanent marker and there is water running somewhere and I smell something funny (it's like I slip into some crack in the space/time continuum).
Therefore, I have determined that I need to
The world will not fall apart without my input, without my witty comments on Facebook pictures. I will not fall out of the social loop if I do not read some one's 25 Things About Me note, and the blogosphere will not disappear if I do not update my posts for one day - or two.
It was funny....I actually closed my laptop lid - which is something I NEVER do...and then periodically throughout the day I would come over to the computer to sit down, look at the strange contraption on my desk (it is so rare to see it closed that it looks like it doesn't belong any more) and then say, OH, right.....I'm not going on the computer today.
It's amazing how as soon as you say you are not going to use it, that is when you think of a million things to blog about, or 4 people you ABSOLUTELY MUST send an email to TODAY, or desperately need to look up an address or something. And yet here i am today, with full access, not remembering what it was that was so crucial about yesterday.
I did, by the way, dig out the trusty old phone book and actually look something up MANUALLY. I remember when my phone book was used so often we kept it directly UNDER the phone, and it was all worn and dogeared and labelled and marked up with pen....I think we got this one about a year ago and this was the first time I cracked the spine. It was one of those light-bulb know? How you realize that in this age of the computer we put in as little effort as possible?
You may be saying - DUH....and I would be too if I read that last statement, but its one of those things you don't fully realize is possible and normal until it happens to you - like your kids getting headlice....which I am entirely certain WILL happen to me in my lifetime.
(now my head is itchy - nothing like the power of suggestion to wake you up in the morning).
So going back to the not using the computer rule. I realized (another DUH moment) that I enforce a lot of rules on myself. Some people think it is great self determination....I say, its just odd. I set rules up for myself ALL the time - like - I MUST wake up at 2:00 every day from my nap, regardless of when I laid down, I MUST get THESE chores done before I am allowed to do this fun thing...
I wonder if it is a firstborn thing (born into the land of rules...and never even thinking to break them) or if it is an OCD thing. I tend to do things the exact same way every time - and if I don't, it just feels...uncomfortable. I follow the rules to a fault - the speeding limit, the 1-8 items in the grocery lane, etc etc.
The problem is that once you set your mind on following the rules, you realize that there are rules and warnings on EVERYTHING. Did you know that there is a warning on all buckets that tells you about how much water it takes for a baby to drown, should the baby fall headfirst into it? Did you know that I have a warning tag on my curling iron that say not to use it while sleeping? Did you know that my plant food says - not for human consumption? First I ask myself - do we really need to be warned of these things...then I realize that if there is a warning, that means that someone has probably tried just those things and has sued the company due to the results. (I would like to meet the person who thought it a good idea to curl their hair while sleeping though).
Being the little rule follower that I am does have major setbacks. I think when I was growing up, I took cues from things my mom was saying and made them into rules. For example: if she said, "you should have made your bed this morning", I turned it into, "you MUST make your bed every morning". This led to a little problem I like to call the SHOULDS. I SHOULD myself all the time. I should do this, I should do that. And if I ever here someone tell me I should do something, my brain automatically hears : you MUST do that thing.
Every day I am adding more and more to the list of things I MUST do. By the time I am 35, I will have no time to sleep because of all the SHOULDS and MUSTS. And getting all psychological here, I believe this all goes back to an insane need to please my mom. Which I never seem to do. Which I never will, I believe. Okay, enough about that.
I will share one more little problem before I sign off, being that I SHOULD have been off the computer 10 minutes ago: I am currently reading through the Bible (probably because somewhere along the line I heard that I should....sigh). My Bible reading plan requires that I start in the Old Testament. That's okay, I can handle that, in fact I kinda like the history lesson and the tabernacle stuff.....but, if anyone has ever read the OT, they know that this is where God says lots of things like"If you agree to keep my commands....I will bless you and keep you".
Now here is a nation that got a LOT of shoulds from the most important Should-er ever. And even though I am not bound to all their laws, that does not stop me from questioning - should I be abstaining from eating pork (ack! please don't make me give up bacon!) or celebrating Passover, or bringing 10 shekels of grain to my local temple (not that I have the faintest idea of where the local temple is, or what on earth a shekel might be). Maybe God led me to read the OT so that I would see that this whole nation of people who should have done this, or should have done that, was never able to keep up. That is why God sent his Son. He was the only way we would ever be good enough.....through His sacrifice on our behalf. Hmmmm....something to chew on.
Well, that's it, time is REALLY up now. In case you have been in a closet for the last month or so, this is a reminder that tomorrow is Valentines Day. Hug someone you love. Tell your kids that they are great, just the way they are, and no matter whether they do keep up with all the rules or NOT, you still love them. And for goodness sake, stop SHOULDING all over yourself.

Monday, February 9, 2009

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

I have all these little slips of register tape under the corner of my laptop. Scribbled on each one are ideas I had for blogging, while I was busy cleaning toilets at work. You may have thought that one cannot be inspired by toilet cleaning - maybe its the fumes, maybe its my attempt to go to a "Happy Place"....whatever the reason, I come up with a lot of stuff.
Because the past week was not so conducive to blogging, I have a backlog of I am going to go through them really briefly, with the possibility of returning to them later. Or not. Who knows - all I know is that I don't want to throw out all these little nuggets of wisdom/wit/lunacy without writing them down somewhere permanent - so here goes - the CAPS statements are exactly what is written on the paper....may take some time to remember exactly what I meant in my toilet-fume induced haze:
  1. TIME TO PRAY - for those who, like me, struggle in this area of their spiritual life, I heard a very interesting idea. Until it becomes just a part of your life (as it should), what about scheduling it in? Like say, every day at 10:00 am for 15 minutes? And if 15 minutes seems like too long, start with 10 or 5 even - the point is, get started somewhere. Once you start, I am sure that it will develop into longer and longer periods or more often every day. And then once you have decided on the time, what do you pray for? I know there are formulas and setups and techniques all over the place, but this is supposed to be a relationship, not a religion, and I am sure God will take whatever you give Him over nothing at all, right? Why not make a list? Sit there with specific people with specific needs. And pray for specifics, so that you know when He has answered. And if you know He has answered, wouldn't it make sense to thank Him?? Just some thoughts. Anyways - schedule it in, like any other important thing in your day and you won't end up lying in bed at 11:00 pm cursing yourself in the darkness for forgetting.
  2. SORE ARMPITS - I have taken on the 100 Pushups challenge. Yeah, crazy, huh? well here's the thing. I have always been a legs girl - in school, when they would do those fitness test things, I would ROCK anything to do with legs....but when it came to arms or abs - MASSIVE FAIL. The flexed-arm-hang continues to be the topic of many a nightmare. This is the year I change all that - by the time I am done the 6 weeks of training, I should, in theory, be able to do 100 pushups, and 200 situps (yep, another challenge). The only problem with this? Going from flabby spaghetti arms to Kelly Ripa arms (YIKES) is a long arduous journey. That journey involves pain. Unfortunately, the pain is in my armpits. Never knew you could actually say- Man, my armpits are sore. Apparently, you can. And I do - often
  3. WE ARE MORE LIKE TODDLERS THAN WE REALIZE - WE'D RATHER SIT IN OUR OWN STINK THAN PUT DOWN OUR TOYS - My son, the Joker, has this rather frightening ability to sit in his own stink. He has NO PROBLEM sitting in his own poopy diaper for up to an hour if I am not in the vicinity to smell it. And even when I do and I say - oh buddy, it's time to change that bum....put your toys down and come over here for a sec....he immediately screams - NO! and plays on. This got me to thinking - how often we do the same thing. We have some issue plaguing our lives - say laziness or clutter or negativity or an addiction or whatever. We all agree that the issue stinks. And some well-meaning person comes by and says - hey, I see you are in a bit of a mess, how about you come over here and I help you with that - and we yell NO! Sometimes it's easier to just sit in it. Even if it reeks, and we know it.
  4. IDEAS TO FOLLOW UP ON: Once a month cooking (sounds like MY type of cooking!!!), 10 best decisions any parent can make by the Farrells, How to become a student of your child, Emily Barnes on how to clean up your life in 15 min/day. Common Traits of Gen X'ers, Common Traits of a Firstborn child
  5. FRUIT FINDERS, NOT FAULT FINDERS: If we all spent more time searching out other people's fruits rather than their faults, we would be a formidable force to be reckoned with. Why do we immediately look for the faults? How horribly we can treat each other should be in the forefront of our brains at all time. Look for the FRUIT, and you will be a blessing to everyone you meet.
  6. LET THE GOAT STARVE - In the book of Leviticus (yes, I am reading OT) there is a section on the origin of the day of Atonement. In it, they discuss the "scapegoat". The scapegoat was an actual goat, onto which all the sins of Israel were placed. The goat was then led out of the camp, into the desert, and left there alone. When discussing this later, I came to the realization that not only was the sin placed on this goat's head, but also the guilt for that sin. And then the sin was removed from their presence. Guilt, however, takes time to die....just as the goat was not led out and slaughtered - it withered, it remained for days....and then slowly, when starved, it would die. Our guilt must be treated like the goat (once sufficient confession and repentance have been made) - we must take it out in the open, not hide it away. We must stop feeding and tending to it. And of course, we have to wait patiently for the thing to die. Slowly....but yes, it does die. And once it is dead, for heaven's sakes, don't go digging up the GOAT!
  7. SQUIRRELS - I hate squirrels, with a passion. They dug up all my flower beds and stole all my bulbs. And no matter how much repellent or cat hair or whatever I put on the garden, they keep on coming back. Someone in this neighbourhood is feeding the squirrels. I am sure they think they are doing a good thing, but seriously, stop it - cause your tree-rat friends are burying their whole peanuts all over my yard. I am reminded of Caddy shack and the chase of the gopher.
  8. THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATION - what does it mean in the Bible when they say that God will punish to the 3rd and 4th generation? I mean I come from a family of atheists. I am a 1st generation Christian. But does this reference mean that I will suffer for the sins of my parents? Does anyone know?
  9. GOD MIGHT HAVE CHOSEN YOU - funny thing when you talk about Election as a doctrine, it makes people uncomfortable. Why? because if God chose some, that means he did not chose others. And the Bible says that we seek Him because he chose us first. SO I also believe that when we seek Him, we will find him, Those he has not chosen do not seek him. SO here is a thought - for those so adamantly against God, what if they were one of the chosen? And they refuse out of stubborn will. Does God choose some who never seek him? MAN my mind is spinning now.....such big concepts to think about.

Well folks, that sums up all my little lists - interesting, eh? Who knew cleaning could be so thought provoking.

I need to wrap it up here, the kids are starting to conspire and plan a mass attack while my back is turned - I can see them whispering and pointing, this is NEVER a good thing.

God Bless!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Taking the reins

I think it is time for me to take control of the blog and do some homework - I am going to get a book (a book!) on web design stuff and see if I can't create for myself the blog of my dreams....I mean, 14 year old girls can do it, I can too. Mind you, 14 year old girls can do backflips and I can't, but this is typing codes in and coming up with something pretty - should be relatively easy, no?
Anyone know of any good resources?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

the entry that took 2 days to publish

When it rains it pours. Have you ever had one of those weeks - where everything just seems to slowly pile up and up and up until you are buried under a mountain and you have no idea how it all happened? This is where I am right now.

I would like to think that I am relatively cool under pressure - that is, I can handle pretty much anything that befalls our family, so long as it all happens at nice, spread out intervals. It is those times when the stars align or whatever it is that causes these things to happen, and all the little things happen at once that I begin to get overwhelmed.

Hubby is still having his migraines, nearly every other day, and on medication that makes him either tired, dizzy, nauseous, or all 3 combined. When given a choice between searing head pain and overwhelming tiredness and nausea, it is a tough call. Add to that the sickness that took over the 2 littlest ones, and the nastiness that always follows it*. Then, lo and behold, the Momma gets sick too. My reserves are low, my patience has run thin, and I am running on empty right now.

* anyone with kids knows that their sickness-induced calm and inertia is only followed by 3 times as many days of insanity - it is as if they are making up for lost time, with interest. NASTY
I guess it is my own fault - I believe it was me that bragged about how my life is a well oiled machine, how I don't have time to get sick, and so here is how God is set to prove me wrong!

Now this part of this post was actually written on a different day from the first - I guess I hit save instead of publish and so it landed somewhere in cyberspace....

Yesterday was a difficult day for me - as you see above, all the circumstances of life are kind of weighing me down. I have, in the past, suffered intense periods of depression. I have been blessed with over a year depression free, and so when I start to feel down and out, I begin to worry. Worry that any moment the flood will come, the clouds roll in and I will spiral down. It takes incredible amounts of strength to swim against that tide, and sometimes your whole body, even your brain tells you to stop swimming and just let yourself float. But I know that you don't just float - you sink....and you drown.

For me personally, the fastest way to drown is to dwell. For this reason, call it avoidance, I reign myself to just not think about the things that make me sad. Just keep swimming.

And now for something completely different, I offer to you : TALES OF A SMELLY CAT
I have a 14 year old cat named Jazmin. I have had Jazz longer than any of my kids, or my husband, and yes, longer than any of my friends. I bought her from a pet store when I was 20 (and knew everything) and she was a mere 6 weeks old. I carried her home in the pocket of my acid washed jean jacket (hey, it was 1990) and she has been mine ever since.
Now Jazz, while lovable, is becoming strange in her old age. She refuses to drink room temp water (it has to be cold), her cat food dish must be FULL in order for her to eat from it, she meows ALL night for no apparent reason and she will not use her litter box if it is too dirty (meaning not cleaned out THAT day) or too clean. Yep - she would rather pee in the laundry room than on a freshly cleaned cat litter box.
She has baaaaad breath, and likes to lick your arm when you are not paying attention. This is how she acquired her name. Add to that the fact that she seems to have lost interest in cleaning herself - she has just become old, lazy and smelly.
HOWEVER - like I said, she has been with me the longest. She has seen me through marriage, divorce, many many moves, 3 kids, 1 devastating layoff, a housefire, depression and alcoholism. She has just always been there. For all her annoying quirks, I just don't know what I would do if she weren't here. She is the first to greet me in the morning, and the one who keeps my feet warm at night. NO matter how mad I may get at her at times, she always comes back for a snuggle in my lap. Plus, she has put up with more tail-pulling than any cat should have to endure.
SO here's to you, Smelly Cat, in all your stinky quirkiness. May all your bowls be full and your litter be clean. Meow.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

yes I have not been here in days....there is a germ whirlwind going around my house. UGH.
By the way, while I am up here on my soap-box, I just want to let everyone know that I am sick of winter. Seriously. Enough now. This is just getting annoying.