My People

My People
My People - Cosette, Austin, Oliver, Cody, me & Ryan. Just think, had I not lived, these people wouldn't be on the planet. They are my whole heart!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday. I think.

I’m debating doing some private posts for awhile. Lots in my head that needs to come out. Yet. Every time I spill my guts, I find that someone else needed to hear what I needed to say and that the process has healed more than just me. I’m not really sure which way to go. I look at the ticker on the side of my blog and I know that my blog isn’t being read exclusively by people who have my best interest at heart and that makes it hard to be as candid as I want to be. It makes me feel like any time I share any self-deprecating humor or vent my frustrations that it will be held against me… that it makes my enemies celebrate. That’s a bitter pill to swallow, knowing that there are those who wish me harm who take joy at my struggles because it validates whatever negative impression they have developed about me. It’s not paranoia… it’s just a sad reality for me. And it makes me want to strike out at them and call them on the carpet for their hypocrisy and hatred… and it also makes me want to never say another public word that they can ever catch a glimpse of. Let them wonder what happened to me. But yet… here I am…

I had a really rushed lunch hour. Things didn’t go like I wanted/expected them to. Kmart is the devil. I needed to get one little stinking money order and I *thought* Kmart would be faster than Walmart. Instead I got stuck behind a little asian man buying a fishing license (I had completely forgotten you needed a license to fish, doubt I’ll ever have one of those!) and then they opened up the other register and instead of helping people on a “who was next?” basis… people just kept wandering up. Finally, I got loud and bold and said, “I don’t mean to be rude but I’ve been waiting longer than anyone else” so the cashier said, “what did you need?” I told her and she said, “oh, our machine is broken”. Goodbye to fifteen minutes of my life that I can’t get back. It took three minutes at the Walmart and there was no line and the girl was competent and sweet.

I’m feeling some pressure – you know, the kind of pressure you feel before vacation – to get everything taken care of. And then last night I remembered a few extra things that I needed to have handled yesterday a week ago and it stressed me out even more. When I get stressed I have a tendency to handle nothing because I can’t decide what to handle first. It makes me so anxious… afraid that I’ll prioritize wrong.

And my chest is stuffed with cotton. I feel like I can’t take a good breath… coughing like crazy… losing my voice. I guess if I’ve got to have a few sick days, I might as well make the most of them.

I am doing so good with the smoothies, though, I think I could just about live on them. Austin made it for me today – he loves making them sooo much that he will even clean the blender as soon as he’s finished. I’ve got a teenager eating fruit, yogurt and skim milk… hard to complain about that. Although, I do need to make a grocery run to restock smoothie materials for the duration. I thought about getting some grab and eat things for Austin but honestly, he eats with the girlfriend every night. I did send over some grocery money with him this morning. They’re such sweet people but they’re not rich. Not that I am… but I’ve saved a fortune with him eating over there. I’ve been sending money every couple of days for him to treat them to lunch or dairy queen or whatever. Anyways… my smoothie this morning was skim milk, strawberries and blueberries. He forgot to add the yogurt… but it was still really good. Definitely the way to go.

Here in the office we’ve been talking about smoothie ingredients. Better talk than our king kong cone lovefest of last week. The question of avocados came up. They are one of those foods that people either love or hate. Like shrimp. Or coconut. Nobody but me likes avocados here. But I like most fruits and veggies. That’s in my favor when it comes to weight loss… especially during the summer.

I think I’ve gotten my ratio of healthy eating to unhealthy eating down to about a 70/30 ratio. I’m on the right track. I’m not stress eating any more. I think a few days of having it be truly painful to eat will help me get a jump start on the weight loss, cure my lumberjack appetite and really make me think about what I’m eating. If it hurts to chew, you don’t want to, right? You’re going to make those bites count.

But I have to admit… Whitney emailed me that Kathy’s office had Mojo’s BBQ for lunch and I could taste the fries. She skipped fries but said the mashed potatoes and collard greens were great. Made me want to go by North Georgia BBQ on my way home and grab a slab of ribs. I won’t. But I thought about it.

It’s been fairly busy here this afternoon. Had a little gabfest with the girls. Theresa’s back from her few days off. She changes the whole spirit of the office… she’s so goofy. The sweet guy who jumped my car off when my battery died a few weeks ago was in here early with his wife and their baby girl. His wife is a pediatrician. The baby is absolutely precious… she’s five months old. They wrote a life policy with Duane and did an ATV policy with me. ATV policies are fun. (not) It’s another one of those policies you write once a year and have to remember every single time what the procedure is.

Just had a call from a lender wanting to know if our mutual client had flood insurance. Nope. She said, “well, the flood zones have just changed… “ Ok. “so they may not be showing flood insurance but they will need it now”. Ok… “so they need to be notified that they need it”… And I said… “I’ll be glad to help them obtain a flood insurance policy but if the requirements of their loan have changed, you guys will need to advise of that”… I think she was new. Sounded like she was reading a word track.

Written on my hand today is Zechariah 7:9, which says: "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.

I didn’t have much time for bible study on lunch, thanks to the demands of my errands and the people at the Kmart. When I got back to the office I had seven minutes left. I said, “Lord, I need to hear from you”… and opened my bible and that verse was underlined. Mercy and compassion. That’s what I’m praying for. That those who want to slander me, to talk about my shortcomings, to make false accusations against me will be able to show mercy and compassion. I’m not who I should be yet, but thank God I’m not who I was. No. Beyond that. Thank God I’m not where I could have been.

Maybe I will talk some more in the private blog. I think what matters right now is that God knows the heart. He is my judge. He loves this broken and imperfect person that I am. He knows how hard I’ve worked, how much I’ve sacrificed, how sincerely I’ve yearned to be – not who man thinks I should be – but who God wants me to be. He knows what happens in the privacy of my home. He knows the integrity that I seek. He knows the wrongs committed against me and He will judge. Here’s the next verse – Zechariah 7:10. I’ll close with this… have a great evening y’all!

Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.

Update:
One more thing I meant to add. Jim and Angie have been awesome to me. There are some others who have bent over backwards to help me too... I didn't mean to exclude them in my effort to emphasize how much Jim and Angie do. My friend Mary and her husband Doug have been an incredible safety net for me... from the goody boxes she sent when I moved in to flowers on my birthday and other acts of incredible generousity... they have really kept me afloat. My friend A.T. sacrificed her time and efforts getting me settled in here. I've had countless friends who follow my blog every day and send emails of encouragement. My friend Linda has shared from her wisdom and experience and been so generous to me as well! And others - countless others. God truly does meet every need!

Sunday in church Pastor Jim talked about having friends in the faith who will hold you accountable and give advice and share wisdom. God laid someone on my heart at that time and I was just too proud to go to her during the invitation time and talk to her... but she is definitely a precious source of encouragement to me and just one more someone special who keeps me going. I will talk with her soon.

That's it for now... love and hugs, y'all!

Monday, June 29, 2009

what matters most

I have some major chest congestion/cough going on. Great timing.

Saw the oral surgeon this afternoon... he is taking six teeth, the wisdom teeth and two others. When I said, "should I be nervous? how bad is this going to be?" He said, "you shouldn't be nervous but it's not going to be easy. This should have been done when you were 15." So I said, "so when I'm miserable this weekend I should blame my parents?" And he said, "it may help if you have someone to blame other than me".

I don't really like my oral surgeon. He wouldn't give me my prescriptions in advance - so Angie will have to go get them after my surgery on Thursday. That hacks me off because I don't want Angie to have to do anything more than she's already doing. Not because she'll mind, because she won't. Not because she'll complain, because she won't. She'll be great about it... which is why I'm so glad it's her taking care of me. She won't make me feel the least bit guilty about being a huge imposition. That's what family is for, right? I am so blessed to have Jim and Angie to take care of me. Honestly, there are times that I feel like without them, I'd be completely alone in this world.

One of my friends from high school just caught her husband cheating ... she caught him because of some pictures his mistress posted on facebook. I'm telling you... it's an epidemic. This girl was (and still is) beautiful, blonde, thin, smart, popular... it doesn't matter. It's like there's this insatiable need that men have to conquer... my heart just breaks for her.

While I was in "civilization" today, I went ahead and bought Austin some new shoes. Any of you who have grown boy children will appreciate the financial impact of new shoes for a teenage boy. And Austin... God love him... is so hard on shoes... I nearly cried while paying for them. But it was easier to buy them without him. I just bought the exact same ones he had before, knowing that he likes things to stay the same. He is leaving for a mission trip on the 11th... and I'm operating under the assumption that I'm not going to feel like going shoe shopping with him between the 2nd and the 11th. Just an odd chance. I added a prayer that he will not need anything else between now and then... but I need to get the list of stuff they need and make sure he's good to go.

There is this sweet young girl in our church who is about the same age as Cody. She always sits with me in church. She is a huge hugger... she has to hug everyone... and she makes a big happy deal about being excited to see you. She's just precious. She's going on a mission trip to Nevada and doesn't have the money she needs for it yet... I told her yesterday that God would provide... and gave her just a few examples of how God has provided for me... today she got the money she needed. God does provide. It's amazing.

Just like Austin... I was really concerned about how he would be spending so much time unsupervised this summer. Then he met Tasha... and her mother doesn't work... and so the two of them have been hanging out at her house all summer. They treat him like one of the family. It's such a blessing to me to know that he's being supervised... and fed!... while I'm away from the house for 10+ hours a day.

I don't remember how much I blogged about my weekend... it was really just a restful weekend. I probably should have done some more things than I did and I'm feeling a slight bit of pressure now, thinking about what needs to get done while I'm well. I will say this... hands down, the best part of my weekend was picking up the girls from children's church and the nursery yesterday. From having the teachers announce, "Aunt Heather's here to get you" and hearing Sarabeth scream, "Aunt HEATHER!!!" and then run over to show me her new skirt and her papers... and then having Jamie have this big goofy grin spread all over her face and come running out for a hug...

No matter what else has gone wrong in my life... these two girls... they always make me feel like I am somebody special. And their opinion is the one that matters the most to me.

Have a great evening y'all!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

my lazy Saturday

Cap and trade = crap and trade. I don't want to talk political but it's just insane. Make it more difficult for manufacturing in America and/or charge additional tariffs to goods manufactured outside of Amercia, either way, it's a blow to the working poor. Like me. Thank you, America, for voting for change... because by the time Obama's one term is over, all I'll have left is change.

It's been another pj Saturday for me and I am LOVIN' it! I made my normal runs to the farm stand for produce, the grocery store for a few staples and the amish bakery for some fresh bread - the bakery also sells Boars Head deli meat, which they DON'T sell at the local grocery store.

Austin, my child who has no boundaries, has gotten ahold of the fly spray and I think he's going to poison us all. If I had a dollar for the number times in the past fifteen years I've uttered the words, "Austin - that's enough" or "Austin, stop..." then I could retire now.

I bought a blender today... a super cheap one... not the cheapest model that walmart sells, but the next to the cheapest. I figured that once the teeth come out on Thursday and I'm on mush for a few days, having a blender so I can make smoothies would help enormously. Purple Michael's boyfriend Ross is a nutritionist (or in the process of becoming... I forget what the educational status is at this moment... suffice to say, he knows a little sumptin') ... Anyways... Ross gave me a recipe for a carrot cake smoothie... made out of frozen carrots and pineapple with the same spices as carrot cake. Carrot cake is my FAVORITE... so I'm excited to try that. I bought frozen mango, strawberries, blueberries... a big tub of fat free yogurt... skim milk... I debated on protein powder but it was super expensive and I think that I'll get enough protein from the milk and yogurt. And anyways... it should just be a few days.

I had a complete carb fest yesterday... I'll expound on that on my weight loss blog... but I did lose my one pound for this week, reversing the pound I gained last week. It's just a lifelong journey. I did much better today. Ok... well, I had salad for both lunch and dinner today. I had a smoothie for a snack, testing out the new blender... but I did have some fresh baked pecan rolls from the amish bakery AND... a piece of a savory scone from the bakery. They had two scones for 49cents! That's what austin and I had for breakfast... a scone a piece! I thought that was a great bargain.

They had a big firework tent set up at the walmart today. It made me sorta sad. There will be a lot of things coming up in the next few months that remind me of Michael. Last year he spent $600 on fireworks and it caused a huge fight between us (because we couldn't "afford" for me to go to Vegas with him on our anniversary) and we had a huge 4th of July party at his brother's house... a party that he invited his mistress and her family to. Their first kiss (according to the letter his boss confiscated) was on July 7th. Our wedding anniversary was July 15th. I am not depressed. I'm not bitter. I just remember things sometimes and some of those memories are painful. Forgiveness doesn't take away the hurt of the deception and disappointment. There are certain things that for me, will always be associated with Michael. The 4th of July and fireworks... for instance...

Michael Jackson's death has also stirred up some memories for me. When I first started dating Michael, my iPod crashed on me. Michael took it to the apple store and got it fixed... and then loaded a bunch of his music on it.... which included a lot of Michael Jackson stuff. Other stuff too but I remember laughing with my kids about the Michael Jackson stuff... I mean... my iPod was full of showtunes and workout music.

Incidentally - Barry was a Michael Jackson fan too. I wouldn't call myself a fan. I feel like where there's smoke there's fire. I think it's entirely likely that at least some of the allegations against him were true. Yet... he seemed to live such an empty and tragic life. The news reports of the drugs he was on... it makes me sad.

I'm watching Walk The Line for about the tenth time. I really love this movie. Reese Witherspoon is adorable... that's my exciting Saturday.

Have a great evening! Love and hugs y'all!

Friday, June 26, 2009

I defy you to define me

I just had the strangest and most frustrating meeting with a client that I have had in a very long time. This will serve as a reinforcement of the rule to never discuss religion or politics in business. My client relocated here last summer from Austin, Texas. She is single. She moved here to be closer to family – in her case her ailing mother and her brother.

She indicated that she felt ostracized and unaccepted in what she called our narrow minded, small town environment. I replied that my experiences here had been quite different – that I felt more a part of this community than anywhere else I had ever lived.

I told her that I also moved here to be near family. That I arrived basically homeless and penniless and that by the grace of God and the generosity of the community, I had been able to settle and find a great sense of belonging.

She talked about being rejected by the church and how the churches here are established just as a social club and don’t care anything about the people in their community. I told her how precious my church had been to me, how loving, accepting… she insisted that my acceptance was based on nepotism, that if not for my brother that I would be ostracized too. I disagreed.

She said that the church only served those who look and believe just like them. I disagreed there too… my church has embraced the task of missions in our community, our country and our world… everything from holding carnivals in Helen to building churches in Nevada to holding Vacation Bible School in Kenya.

She said that our only reason for missions is to try to force people to believe what we believe. That if we really cared about people that we would go into their world and try to learn what we can from them. I have never been out into the mission field in the sense of going into deepest darkest Africa but I have faced my own mission field and I can only speak from my heart. I share what I believe because I believe it’s life for a dying world. I feel like the whole world has a cancer and I have the only cure. I share because it would be selfish not to. If you truly believe what you believe, how can you not share?

And I have always learned from every person I’ve ever tried to reach out to. I learn by observation. I learn by listening. I learn by loving. I learn by sharing my experiences and having others share theirs. I don’t think I know more, I just know what works for me. I don’t try to save the world. I just try to put bandaids on whatever booboos show up in my playground.

She said that she has learned to “lay it on the line” from the very beginning… that she immediately tells people that she’s not from around here and offers to move on if they can’t deal with that. I also tell people that I’m not from around here but I never assume that is a bad thing. I’ve gotten the occasional, “who are your people” inquiry but I find that charming and quaint. I am not threatened by it. I certainly don’t throw down the gauntlet of “take me or leave me” in the first conversation. Who wants to be bothered under such demands?

She said, “people instantly judge me because I’m not from around here” and I said, “you instantly judged me and my church… to think that because my brother being pastor is the only reason they accepted me.” She agreed. I said, “what if people just accepted me because I’m nice. Or friendly. Or engaging. Or what if they accepted me because they’re friendly, compassionate people?”

I accept a few truths – one, that many churches are elitist and that in many cases organized religion does more to harm the cause of Christ than the devil ever could. I know it’s hard to walk into a church and make yourself vulnerable and hope for acceptance. I know that many of the people who need church most are too broken to walk in alone – whether it’s a brother or a sister-in-law or a friend – I know that having someone with you helps immensely.

I also know that usually the world is a mirror. People give back the attitude you put out there. Nobody wants to befriend a surly and bitter person.

Prejudice means prejudging – it’s not specific to color or sexual orientation. Many times prejudice is narrowing your own world by the assumption that others have a narrow view themselves. I’m a twice divorced, Evangelical Christian who leans to the political right. I listen to Rush Limbaugh and believe in God and think that big government is big trouble. I love showtunes and old hymns and contemporary Christian music. My best friend is a gay man. I’m the best aunt ever. I’m lousy at correspondence. I never pay my bills on time. I don’t make enough money. I drive a five year old car that’s not yet paid for and I live in a rented place. I attend a First Baptist church in a small town and I sit on the second row every week in the same spot right next to my sister in law and my pastor’s daughter who happens to have downs syndrome. She sings off key and so do I. I am short and overweight and have long naturally curly hair. I have strong beliefs but I don’t fit any stereotype and I defy you to define me.

I get really aggravated at people who think themselves liberal and open minded yet they have the belief that if you don’t believe like them that you’re wrong. Open minded means accepting my views of the world too.

I thanked her for the conversation, invited her to come to church with me and wished her luck.

weekend countdown, abbreviated version

It’s the weekend countdown edition of my blog! I know you guys absolutely love these entries since I typically get between zero and one comment every time I do one. Ha! But they entertain me and that’s what it’s all about, right? Nobody thinks I’m as funny as I do.

Eight hours and fifteen minutes until the weekend.

I am having ridiculous jaw/tooth/ear pain today. For the past couple of weeks it’s been more like a 2-3. Today is an eight. I don’t care what my quack oral surgeon says… I am not stressed. I’m completely chill. I’ve thought about calling to see if they’ll call me in something for pain but I have an appointment on Monday. I can ibuprofen it out until then, I think.

My parents are headed to NYC today for a ten day vacation. Since I hardly ever see them, it won’t be any different for me but it means the Codester is on his own down in Clayton county taking care of the animals at the grandparents’ house. They have good neighbors and Cody’s supremely independent so I’m sure he’ll be fine. I wish he could be with me when I have the wisdom teeth surgery because he’s always been my most compassionate child. (sorry Ryan… you have other gifts!) But I think Angie will make a great nurse. I’m hoping to just stay zonked out for a couple of days. My stepson tells me they give good drugs…

This morning I stopped off at the waffle house for scrambled eggs and grits and I thought… “hmmm… I could live on scrambled eggs and grits…” and then I thought… “hmmm… I hope I don’t have to live on scrambled eggs and grits”. They are cheap, though. Me and chewing aren’t besties right now.

My little friend Stasha who is Sarabeth and Jamie’s sometime babysitter is having some wisdom teeth issues right now and isn’t insured so she’s having to hold off on doing anything. Austin’s girlfriend Tasha is supposed to have hers out at the end of July if the insurance approves it…. So I’m not alone in this… but I’m twice the age of everyone I know who is dealing with it.

The good news about the surgery is that since it’s been rescheduled to Thursday, I will really only miss one day of work as Friday is a paid holiday and then *hopefully* I’ll be recovered enough to go in to work on Monday. I have a hospital income policy that will replace one day’s income… plus the car loan bonus to help defray the out of pocket cost for the surgery (which, thankfully, is not nearly what it COULD be without insurance!). It’s a delicate balance but God provides.

I talked to Angie last night. They are having sort of a rough vacation. Jamie is sick with this upper respiratory crud that landed them in urgent care on the first day of the trip… she needed breathing treatments and was close to pneumonia… they put her on a steroid and any parent that’s every had a kid on steroids knows how it changes even the most precious, calm child into a crazed person. Crazed, sick child in the close quarters of a pop up camper… use your imagination! But as I reminded her… a bad day at the beach is better than a good day at home. Well, in theory, anyways.

Time for a major life insurance sales push… gotta get focused… hope you all have a fabulous Friday! Love and hugs!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

lessons from dying

What a strange day! We knew Farrah was terminal but it's a shock that Michael Jackson has died. It's like James Dean. Marilyn Monroe. JFK. Princess Di. Anna Nicole. Heath Ledger. Old age is never a guarantee. I still think daily about my stepson's mother dying suddenly at 35 years old. We just never know... so here is my philosophy of life:

1. Know where you're going. There is life after death and there is death after life. As far as I'm concerned, my time here on earth is just a dress rehearsal for eternity. I intend to live my life in such a way that I never have to fear what happens after death. And if I should get to the end of my life and find that all I've believed in isn't true... well, I'll be dead, so it won't matter.

2. Don't leave any unfinished business. I say "I love you" at the end of every conversation with every person that has earned it. I say it often. I say it sincerely. I want people to know what they meant to me while we're both here to talk about it. I may have some things that are out of my control. I may not have achieved everything I hoped to in this life but I have no regrets.

3. Leave a legacy. If I died tomorrow, my nieces would have a treasure chest full of memories and a couple thousand pictures of us together. Without conceit, I can tell you that I know I've left footprints on the hearts of a few people in my orbit. I know that I've left lots of great memories for the people in my life. I know that my kids are who they are because of who their mommy has been. I know that there are people who would mourn my death. I know that my life has not been lived in vain.

4. Don't wait. Eat dessert (not every day, but eat it). Go on that vacation. Read that book you've been meaning to read. Learn french. Enjoy life - you aren't guaranteed a hundred years - enjoy the ones you have. Happiness is the journey, not a destination. Live while you can.

5. Take nothing for granted. I start my day thanking God for a car that runs and air in my tires and gas in my tank and a job to go to and for my daily bread. It was less than a year ago that my heart was shattered to the point that I thought I'd never be able to recover. It was less than a year ago that I didn't even have a bed to sleep on - trust me, 40 is too old to sleep on an air mattress on the floor! It was a week ago that I had a major financial crisis. There is no sure thing. Wealth and health can disappear in the blink of an eye. I have what I have only by the grace of God. There are many beautiful vessels of His grace in my life. God is good.

6. A few words to embrace: compassion. mercy. grace. patience. kindness. gentleness. honor. devotion. loyalty. generousity. sacrifice. encouragement. truth. I want these to be the adjectives that define my life.

Love and hugs, y'all.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

ding dong, get a king kong

Ding dong get a king kong! Ok. That’s one of those lame inside jokes in my office. Whenever we sell a commissionable product we “ring the bell” – meaning, that we send a mass email to boast of our conquest saying, “ring the bell” or “ding dong” or whatever lame term we give it. Theresa confessed to having a weekend pig out on king kong cones (they’re like drumsticks, I think). She had 24 over the course of the weekend. Twenty four! What I love about her confession is that it’s totally something I would do… like eating a whole sour cream poundcake in a week… or eating a whole pie over the course of two days… MOST of you can relate to that sort of out of control eating. I told Duane (via facebook) that instead of ringing the email bell, that the ice cream man should ring his bell when we sell something. It is summer, after all, and apparently, some of us really enjoy ice cream. Today I did a car loan and Theresa did a life policy… so… ding dong get a king kong. That probably doesn’t read as funny as it is in my head, but I tried.

I watched the reunion episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey last night. I wanted to like those women. I mean, I like Kate Gosselin, so I’m apparently really easy. I just can’t. They’re mean. They’re self-absorbed. They’re trash.

I’m in some major pain today with the whole jaw/tooth/ear picture. I work until 4pm so I’m toughing it out – or as Theresa says, “woman up”. She had injections in her head and came back to work afterwards. I was stupid/greedy/gluttonous/lazy – whatever negative adjective you want to assign to it – and went and ate Mexican on lunch. Bad for the retaining water. Bad for my stomach which has been sort of iffy today. Bad for the jaw with the chips. I’m feeling it now. I feel totally ick.

I will go feed Princess the Amazing Feral Feline after work. I usually go on lunch to feed the cat but today I really wanted to just go have some quiet time. Instead… there was this incredibly LOUD woman on a cellphone at the table beside me who was practically yelling what should have been a private workplace conversation. She was a home health worker and she was discussing personnel issues and patient issues with what seemed to be her supervisor… while enjoying a margarita. Her next stop was a patient’s house. I know this because she named the patient and what she needed to do. Personally, I would prefer not to have my health care provider under the influence while they’re tending to me… but maybe I’m picky.

At any rate… there’s a produce stand on the way home from Jim and Angie’s and I’d like to stop there after work. I’m thinking I need a veggie dinner after my lunchtime pigout. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. The food wasn’t good. It was too expensive. It didn’t make me feel good – as a matter of fact, it hurt at the time and hurts now after eating it. I got to watch thirty minutes of Fox news but I could check the website here if I needed to… besides, what am I missing? IranhealthcaremissingSouthCarolinagovernorrecessioneconomymurderedfootballcoach… I can catch it all later. My knowing won’t change it, will it? Princess is such a sad little outside cat. Angie’s had her forever. She’s mean and surly. You can’t touch her. Jamie announces to all visitors, “don’t touch the cat – she’s mean”. She’s always glad to see me but her interest wanes as soon as the food and water are in her bowl. I think I’ll leave her extra water today. It’s really hot out.

Stubby the 3legged Toilet Drinking Wondercat has become quite the pig. I gave him a little canned food while Austin was gone as a means of comfort. Now he’s expecting the canned food twice a day PLUS gobbling up dry food. I’m putting Stubby on a diet. Let him suffer along with me. Not that I’m suffering, apparently. Mexican food for lunch. What was I thinking?

Austin and I got a good bit done at the house yesterday afternoon. We rearranged my bedroom to take out the bookshelves. I moved those into Austin’s mostly unused bedroom. He always sleeps on the couch. His room holds the litter box and his clothes and those things that are specific to Austin. I moved my bed to the side of the room so I have a larger area – more of a den of sorts – for my little nest – since I have the big pink recliner to chill in. I still need a dresser… but it’s home. I love my little home, especially my nest.

Today Austin and Tasha were going to walk up to the square in Cleveland to get him a haircut and maybe get a latte at the Java Sun – the combination coffee shop and tanning salon. We’re not far from the square since we live “in town” such as it is.

Gosh. I’m really feeling icky. 4pm can’t get here fast enough. I’ve been really busy today – doing lots of new homeowners policies- which is great for the local economy and great for our policy counts but does absolutely NOTHING for my paycheck. Homes are selling, though, they have to be if I’m doing so many homeowners policies. Shirley’s had a bunch this week too.

Ok. Back to work now. Love and hugs y’all.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

tuesday brain mush

It’s Tuesday afternoon and I’m experiencing a bad case of brain mush which is entirely different from burnout. It’s been a pleasant day – despite the blinding bright sunshine and the heat – I mean, our office is air conditioned to the point that you could hang meat in here so the weather outside only bothers me when I go outside. I’m doing Ginger’s job again as she’s out of work again. It’s not particularly painful but it’s not commissionable and I do count on commissions. Of course, God continues to provide for us, so who am I to worry? And, of course, I am wasting time typing up a blog entry, so who am I to complain? I do things faster than the average bear. I type faster. I complete tasks faster. It comes from being lazy. Lazy people always devise the best shortcuts… er… most productive methods. But I am juggling a bit.

Anyways… the brain mush… I’ve got this sinus/allergy thing lurking and I’ve been taking allegra or whatever that stuff is called, the prescription strength, and it works wonderfully, keeping my ears from being fluidy (no, that’s not a real word) and keeping my nose from running. I can tell the allegra is keeping it at bay because when it wears off, I’m fluidy and runny. But the allegra is sort of a stimulant and when it starts to taper off, about this time of the day, I’m super sleepy and the brain mush begins. And, of course, not that I’m complaining, but juggling my agent responsibilities with the receptionist responsibilities creates a bit of mush as well. Asking too much of the gray matter.

Of course, if I emptied the gray matter of inconsequential things like how much the cat should be eating and what the latest on Jon and Kate is and how long until the end of the day, I could probably focus more on the day. It’s just an A.D.D. “there goes a squirrel” kind of disconnected day for me. Written on the top of my right hand – my thought for the day – is “greeting cards”. We have some super lame ones here at the office. I have a big box of them at home. I’m going to donate mine. It’s embarrassing signing my name to these that we have here. Also… I always remember occasions that are card-worthy while I’m sitting here at my desk having my squirrel chasing moments and completely blank out at home. Which is why, Mary, that your birthday card may arrive sometime around labor day at the rate I’m going. I’m lousy at correspondence. Thank goodness for blogger and facebook – otherwise I’d be operating in a complete vacuum. Smoke signals – “I’m alive”. The occasional text message. A random email, if I’m feeling chatty. Once in a blue moon I’ll chat online. Most of the time – I just don’t wanna. It’s not that I’m unsociable. It’s that I’m either multi-tasking or anti-tasking. Most evenings I’m anti-tasking.

I went to Jim and Angie’s on lunch to feed the cat. They’re at the beach – Myrtle Beach! I heated up my lean cuisine lasagna and sat and had a peaceful, quiet lunch. I also had a yogurt and fruit but I didn’t have time to eat it so I stored it in their fridge for my next trip to feed the cat. I store all my important reminders in my outlook calendar here at the office. We all open everyone’s calendars so that we can set appointments for others, know who’s in the office when. Duane had some clients in the office this morning who were looking over his shoulder at what they thought was his calendar and they asked, “who is princess and why do you have to feed her?” At least if I disappear, people have an idea of where I was heading on lunch.

One of our church members stopped by this morning regarding her insurance. She’s an older widowed woman, precious and sweet. She loves my brother. She thinks Angie is the best worship leader we’ve ever had and wonders why the church just doesn’t hire her (because she is also a college professor and mother of two small children and can’t take on another full time job, that’s why) and she went on to talk about what songs she likes singing in church and which she doesn’t. What I love about older people is that they usually say what everyone else is thinking but is too polite to say.

I just had a loan approved and the client wants to accept it which will pay for one of the days that I miss work due to my wisdom teeth! Yeehaw! God is good.

My co-worker, Kevin’s wife is pregnant. She has had many miscarriages, the last one was earlier this year at about 8 weeks. She’s now 15 weeks with this pregnancy. She went to the doctor today and things are looking really good. I’m anxious for them, I know they really want this baby. They’re on my morning prayer list, that God would let that baby just stay put for now! Nine more weeks to some measure of viability. It’s going to be a long summer for them. They’re both in their 40’s… have been trying for awhile… this would be their first baby. Pretty amazing.

I know there are a lot of Kate-haters out there but my heart really broke for Kate Gosselin last night. She may have – in Jon’s words – “ruled the roost” – too much but he let her! I don’t agree with taking anyone for granted but – nobody is perfect. For every single one of Michael’s stupid complaints about me, I had a dozen about him, but you know what? I loved him. I would have remained faithful to him for the rest of my life. I would have made sure his shirts were on the right kind of mommy dearest hangars, facing the right way in the closet until death we did part. I think that’s all part of being in a grown up, committed relationship, accepting each other’s shortcomings, encouraging one another, bearing each other’s burdens. I get so torqued about men – or anyone – who walks away when things get difficult. Work on things. Love each other enough to make some effort.

There’s a situation close to me right now where someone I care very much about is going through some of the same icky things that I did… finding an incriminating cellphone bill… the hurtful words… the abandonment… the fear of the future… where will she live, where will she work, who will be there to help her when the toilet is stopped up or the car won’t start… I just literally ache watching her go through it. It’s like reliving my own stuff. Yet, in a way, it’s a yardstick. I can measure how far I’ve come. I still go through moments of insecurity. Ok, hours maybe. I don’t feel alone though. I’m not bitter. There are times the whole rejection piece of things stings but for the most part, I can look at it as his loss. After all, we know that I am a GREAT girl!

Our auto quoting system is not working right today. I’m working around it… it’s just not giving me credit reports or motor vehicle reports. The solution I came up with is submitting applications non-bound, meaning there’s no exchange of money and therefore no exchange of promise. It’s sort of a free look. That way… I can hopefully get an answer tomorrow and bind coverage. I’m closing my loan in the morning.

And time is ticking by this afternoon. Have to email my underwriter and tell her what I’m doing. She’s great.

Wondering what’s on tv tonight that’s worth watching and thinking that my butt is getting sore. Better get up and walk around a bit. Have a great afternoon. Love and hugs, y’all!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Not Me Monday -with general observations

Barbara Walters is really showing her age in her neck in that way that women do.

Who is glued to the tv for the Jon and Kate plus 8 big news tonight? Not me.

Who gave up on sleep at 3am this morning and alternated between "The Nanny" and the movie "Airport". Why, that couldn't POSSIBLY be me!

I didn't tell the cat to shut up at 6am this morning when he was "yelling" at me wanting canned food. I would never do that.

I didn't contemplate taking a "sick of it" day this morning. Nope. I got right up and went to work. Oy. I went but I wasn't happy about it at first. It wasn't a bad day.

Who is counting the days until Big Brother comes on? Not me!

Is it just me or has "Chaz" Bono gained about two hundred pounds since making the sex change announcement?

Who has been sitting here for an hour trying to decide whether to go with a salad or a lean cuisine for dinner? Not me.

Who would almost rather go without dinner than have to exercise? Not me. Ok. Maybe just a little bit me.

Who thinks Perez Hilton is ridiculous and is glad he got his bell rung? Not me!

Who is addicted to facebook, twitter, blogger and freecell? Couldn't be me! No way!

Who can't go more than an hour at a time without checking the Drudge Report? Nobody I know!

I'm having some jaw issues today. I can't close my mouth. Seriously. I'd be flipping out about it if I wasn't scheduled for the whole wisdom tooth extraction in nine short days. I called the oral surgeon today. I'm going in for another consultation next Monday to make sure there's nothing more/less/different that needs to be done. I'm going to also ask for my pain pill prescriptions then so I can fill in advance and not have to visit the pharmacy post surgery and/or have to ask someone to go for me. My parents will be in NYC when I have my surgery and Cody will have to stay at my parents' house to keep their dogs... Angie is planning to stay the first night with me. Everyone is telling me it will be no big deal. I say that it's all relative... no big deal if it's your mouth, very big deal if it's mine! Ha!

Linda! Your mail came today! Thank you!

Austin's home... time for me to interact with my child. Have a great evening! Love and hugs, y'all!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

my weekend

This has been a delightfully uneventful weekend! I needed one just like this! I've been online and watching tv almost nonstop. It feels so luxurious and wasteful! I love it!

Austin has been with his girlfriend, Tasha. They played out in the hose yesterday and he got a pretty good sunburn. Dummy... if he hasn't learned yet about sunscreen, I don't know what to do for him!

I got out in the heat yesterday long enough to pick up some fresh produce and bread from the amish bakery. I got out in the heat long enough today to go to church. Other than that... it's just me, the laptop, the remote control and the a/c!

I've seen some good movies this weekend - Friday night I watched "Under the Tuscan Sun" which is a great movie about rebuilding your life after divorce. Last night I watched "Little Miss Sunshine" - a great movie about putting the fun in dysfunctional families. Right now I'm watching Gigi... it's a really sweet musical about a girl who is being raised to be a "courtisan". Gigi has some classical songs that you probably know, without knowing the origin... such as "the night they invented champagne" and "thank Heaven for little girls"...

Next up this afternoon is The Long, Long Trailer with Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. It's another great one - a couple honeymooning with an RV. Then The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Father of the Bride (the original one) and the sequel, Father's Little Dividend. All without commercials! I love TCM!

Apart from watching movies... I've been following the situation in Iran. A sweet young girl that I worked with in Jacksonville is Iranian and has family still in Tehran. I asked her last night if she had family in Iran that she was concerned about and she answered, rightly, "they are all my people and I am concerned about them all". But she does have an aunt, uncle and cousins who are in the midst of it all. Her name is Shirin.

Also, through the magic of the internet, I've been keeping up with my friend Tammy who was bitten by a copperhead on Thursday. She is doing fine, they administered the anti-venom and kept her in the hospital for two days but she's home now. She was taking her daughter's friend home and parked her car in a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood and when she stepped out of her car the snake bit her! It wasn't like she was traipsing through the woods!

Time to get back to my movies... hope you're all having a wonderful weekend! Love and hugs!



Friday, June 19, 2009

weekend countdown part two!

Now it’s down to a little over three hours in my fabulous weekend countdown! La-la-la-la-loving life! I had lunch with Jim and Angie and the girls. The girls had sweaty feet from their soccer cleats so Angie asked if I had any spare flipflops in my car. Does a fly love honey? Of course! Actually… I was wearing a pair and had a pair in the trunk but I also had two other pair of shoes floating around in the car – one being my cute little sketchers flats that Sarabeth loves for me to wear. It’s always, “wear the closed toed brown ones”… my little fashionista! So although my flipflops were a bit too big for the girls, they were better than sweaty cleats. I looked a little funny walking into the restaurant carrying two pair of flipflops but… you’re gonna have that sometimes.

We had a nice lunch at Gusbens-I know, again! It’s quick, it’s nicer than fast food, has a great salad bar and I feel like we’re making a contribution to the Hames family who own it! And isn’t that the fun of living in a small town – knowing who owns the places where you shop? Sarabeth’s little friend’s daddy owns the small local grocery store. (not the Ingles) I had salad bar again. Three times in the past week. So much for variety.

I AM eating way more produce lately and I’m proud of that. My protein is mostly coming from beans and dairy, which is also good. Tonight I’m thinking black beans and brown rice with some fresh cilantro and onion and tomato. Doesn’t that sound yummy? Rome wasn’t built in a day but I’m definitely feeling like I’m nutritionally on a better track. The less junk you eat, the less junk you want. I’ll get some of the bugs worked out like… not eating the pasta from the salad bar and eating fat free dressings and such but for now, I’m glad to be getting healthier stuff in my system.

Three hours to go!

My to do list for this weekend includes: catch up on laundry, get my bedroom rearranged, church on Sunday and that’s about it! Groceries are bought already… no errands to run!... I might have a full blown pajama Saturday tomorrow! How fun would that be? It’s too hot to do much of anything outdoors unless it involves water. Austin has been dying for us to go tubing and if I’m ever gonna do it, it’s gonna be when it’s super hot outside because that river water never heats up! My problem with tubing is that I’m always afraid I’m going to catch some kind of infection from the river water… and that my butt will drag the bottom of the river because I’m too heavy. I don’t know… it would be good to get out and enjoy the sunshine… but I also think it might be more fun for Austin if we did it on a weekday instead of being caught in the weekend crowd. I’ll bet it will be crowded in Helen this weekend…

2:45 means 2 hours and 45 minutes to go!

Misti’s last facebook update indicated that Josiah has started losing weight again. He’s at 13 pounds – which is better than he was – but he is 6 months old so that is still really tiny. He’s spitting up a lot again which is a really bad sign. I know she has to be exhausted.

I think just about everyone who reads blogs has read Stellan’s mommy’s blog. Stellan is back in the hospital with the SVT (it’s like a crazy fast heartbeat). Last hospitalization was ridiculously long – like – two months – and she has three other small children. http://www.mycharmingkids.net/ I’ve been the young mommy of a sick baby with other children to worry about and it’s something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy… your heart aches for the little one that hurts and your heart aches to be with your other babies and to give them a normal life and you can’t sleep in your own bed – even if you COULD sleep and it’s just super miserable. It’s such a huge unknown for them.

There are a couple of other people that my heart is really burdened for right now. Life just sometimes stinks and sometimes the troubles you face are overwhelming and steal your joy. I praise God that TODAY is not one of those sometimes for me. I had a phone call from someone special yesterday… you know the kind of people who – after you talk to them – you just FEEEEEL better? This someone special always leaves me with a smile. That’s good stuff. I want to be one of those someone specials that leaves people with joy and encouragement and a smile.

Two and a half more hours. I’m sorta dragging my feet because I need to finish up a homeowners application for a closing for next Friday. (yes, Mary, I deal with real estate closings too!) I’m waiting for the lender to send me the appraisal. I have everything spread out ready to go because our client said, “they’re sending it in just a few minutes” and I want to get everything wrapped up and get the declarations page ready to go and know that OUR part is done. Tick. Tick. Tick. Not here yet.

I had a client ask me for a “decorations page” yesterday. I also had someone ask what the deductible is on their comprehensible coverage. (that would be – declarations page and comprehensive coverage).

Alright… gonna post… you won’t hear from me again until the weekend has begun. Love and hugs, y’all!

weekend countdown - part one

Weekend countdown! Does anybody really read this? Comments on my blog have dwindled to nothing… which either means that I leave you speechless… or I’m the only one reading this… or everyone that reads it is a hardcore lurker… Ultimately I write mostly to entertain myself and I am entertained! A little validation here and there wouldn’t hurt my feelings, though!

The other night Austin was changing light bulbs in my bathroom. I have the big vanity type lighting over the sink that requires the bigger light bulbs. He dropped one – and I said – “be sure you clean all of that up or I’ll end up being the one who gets cut.” Guess what happened last night? I impaled myself on a shard of light bulb glass. It hurt so bad! I stood like an obese flamingo dripping blood all over the bathroom floor. To his credit… Austin ran in with a paper towel and even cleaned up the blood… but wow! That stung! Pulling it out was the worst part!

Nine hours to go until the weekend! It’s supposed to be a scorcher here in Georgia today. June in Georgia, this is to be expected, but I hate it! I hate the hot, muggy weather. The summer that Michael and I got married (two years ago) was hotter than usual (I guess the closer you get to hell, the hotter it is, right?) and that summer I was working for Tommy in a brand new office building. It was so hot that you could see the heat rising off that newly poured blacktop. Whenever I think of hot… I think of that new office. And I think of Las Vegas in July… who does that? It was 118… that kind of heat just saps the life out of you.

*deep sigh from co-worker* You know how I feel about negativity, right? To me… the deep sigh is just a passive aggressive way of saying, “pay attention to me…. Ask me what’s wrong… pity me…” and it’s not that I’m lacking in compassion. It’s just never ending “woe is me”. Life is hard, I know. Sometimes you gotta just pull your face out of the ick far enough to let the sun shine on it. When you keep your face buried in the mud, you miss out on a lot of blessings and you miss out on the opportunity to be a blessing to someone else. Whatever your thorn in the flesh… the world is watching us as Christians to see how we handle it. I hope I’m handling most of mine with humor.

I’m the girl who complains about the complainers. Ha!

Having lunch again today with the red-headed soccer players! They want to treat me to lunch. I’m always available for a free lunch! That lean cuisine lasagna can be dinner. Good times!

Austin is working a car wash with Tasha’s youth group today. They’re raising money for a missions trip. I don’t know that Austin will be able to GO on the trip with them but the money can go towards Tasha’s part of the trip. I love that they’re both actively involved in church. This is good. Austin will go on a mission trip to Myrtle Beach in July for a week.

I’m toying with the idea of a lunchtime bible study. Our office has a great conference room that would accommodate ten people comfortably. I don’t know how many women I know that are in this area during lunch but it would be worth a shot. I’m ready to do more than just sit and soak. Sometimes you gotta squeeze a little bit of yourself out. For a time, when my kids were little, a group of us mommies would get together at the park for bible study… we’d do it right beside the playground… the kids could play while we talked. It worked well.

8 hours to go! I made a grocery run yesterday. My friend Pam works as a checker at the Ingles. She’s a precious lady and I’m always glad to have the opportunity to chat with her. Her divorce story is similar to mine only she was married to a pastor… and they have two children together… I can’t even imagine what disappointment that brought into her life. My life with Michael was always on shaky ground. From the very beginning I knew he was hiding things from me – so to unearth another woman was no great surprise – a great disappointment but not surprise. But to think that you’re married to a Godly man and find out that he’s dishonoring you, your family, his God… how devastating! Pam and I always have a fun conversation while she’s checking my groceries. She commented that Austin must be home… since I was actually buying more than $25 worth of food. I still bought really healthy stuff… just as I wanted… lots of fresh produce, whole grains, fish, beans, skim milk, yogurt… I’m also trying to make sure we’re eating at home and brown bagging to work… I always do this, I just don’t talk about it much. I’m really good at stretching a grocery dollar.

I’m drinking my water today and it’s working like gangbusters… I was UP in my weight this morning which was aggravating but I did have a bit of a pig out last night. Never mind… back on task today… not going to let one night of the munchies lead to another ten pounds… just surrounding myself with healthy options and trying to keep my eyes on the goals I have for a healthy lifestyle. I can do this.

Today’s not been busy. It’s been one of those days that I have ONE issue that I’m having to deal with that takes all my energy, effort and expertise. I enjoy it… learning new things. I also had an issue with a home whose mortgage is through a bank that was taken over by the FDIC. There is a delay in issuing payment for the homeowners insurance through escrow and people have had to pay their own premium, despite there being money in the escrow account. Yet one more example of why BIG GOVERNMENT equals less help for the people instead of more help. I also had an issue *deep sigh* with a co-worker who cannot seem to go the extra inch – forget the extra mile. And her moaning, groaning and *deep sighs* make for a real negative work environment.

Anybody getting the idea that I hate negativity?

Closing in on the 6 ½ hour mark until the weekend. I would consider working tomorrow but I’m not even considering working tomorrow. I’m just operating too close to burn out.

I found a solution, with Duane’s help, for the ONE issue that was consuming my time this morning. This is where it helps to work for an agent who is available and approachable. All the product knowledge in the world doesn’t give me the authority to do certain things. I love when we can go out on a limb and handle things in a way that is still within our guidelines but just makes life easier for the customer. That’s my job. That’s where going the extra inch / foot / mile makes a difference and that’s why it frustrates me when others don’t. it’s well worth it. Happy customers don’t leave. Lots of customers means lots of business and lots of business means jobs. It’s so simple.

I had a great email last night about some of my economic woes from a wise, older mother hen. Her suggestion made me laugh because it’s so simple yet so true – essentially I need to make more and spend less. Just like to lose weight I need to eat less and move more. Maybe all the problems in our lives boil down to these simple types of formulas… love more / hate less, trust God/resist the devil… have more faith/worry less - you get the idea. So for now... I'm going to focus on work more and blog less... hope you have a great afternoon!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

thankful thursday

It’s the burnout hour. I’m just at the point of not being able to focus any more today. I have a “to-do” stack on my desk and an email in box that is full and I haven’t done any marketing today and I have a few more things to do on Ginger’s work (since she called in sick today) but I’m just mentally worn out!

I even tried to make a grocery list and got stuck there. I am craving fresh fruit and veggies but the two farm stands that I like are closed by the time I leave work in the afternoons. Beyond fruit and veggies – I can’t think of anything I want to eat. My “bad food censor” is in overdrive. I had a great salad today at Gusben’s in Cornelia. Their salad bar is top notch, totally fresh stuff and it’s fairly cheap. There's a great salad bar at the Ingles in Cleveland. I'm just going to try to drag myself there this evening and make the whole grocery shopping trip happen.

Phone ringing. Thank you, Kevin, for picking up the phone this time. I’m tired of talking to people. Theresa’s already marked out for tomorrow, I’m not expecting Ginger to come… Is it too early to start the weekend countdown? Twenty five hours and something… These girls have legitimate illnesses - strep throat and back problems - but it does weigh on the rest of us when folks are out.

Last night Austin’s girlfriend Tasha went to church with us. She’s a sweet girl. Shy. Like all of the girls my children have dated, I scared her. I don’t see myself as being intimidating but apparently I am. At least to the girlfriends. At least initially. I think she got comfortable because she was chattering the whole way home.

Church last night was a little different. I’m sooo missing my Wednesday night hen parties – since our leader, Alisa is in Kenya (still! She is spending a whole month there!) and Michelle and Misti have moved away. Every time I come across one of the other “hens” we just cling to each other and say, “I miss our class sooo much!”. It’s good to have girlfriends.

Since we stopped having class, I’ve been going to the youth worship service. It’s super casual, my brother speaks… Austin doesn’t mind me being around… so it’s a good time. Last night, though, there was a group from the North American Mission Board Families on Mission that has been using our church as home base while they were here on mission trip this week – last night was their wrap up – so we got to share in their service.

Initially I thought *yawn* … I don’t know these people… they have all these inside jokes and it’s their mission trip and their deal and it’s going to be blah. BUT… it was amazing to see – through the eyes of people who don’t live here - the missions opportunity in my backyard. Our church is such a missions minded church, sending folks to Africa and Thailand and Timbuktu, but to know that Wicca is prevalent here… and that there are children who are unsupervised during the day as their parents work… and that there are people who feel unwelcome in churches because of their tattoos or whatever… it was important for me to know these things.

I may never be able to travel to “deepest, darkest Africa” but there are people who need to know the love of God right where I live.

Today is Thankful Thursday…
1. I had a major crisis that has been resolved in the past 24 hours. God is good.
2. Glitter – my backseat is full of glitter from when I had the girls on Sunday. How can you not love glitter?
3. Fresh fruit and veggies – losing weight ( and I am, losing weight, really slowly but in a healthy way just like I did before and I’m proud to be traveling that journey with sincerity again!)
4. A job to be burned out on
5. Air conditioning
6. A car that runs – with a brand new battery! Yee haw!
7. Having the empty spaces in my life filled – sisters and daughters where I had none.

Gotta run... angry customer on the phone. I love my job!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

my tuesday

I had class today in Braselton - a town about an hour from where I live. The cool thing is that I get paid for mileage... and I got some continuing education credits toward my insurance license. Yeehaw! It was actually a good class. I usually hate these things but it was not boring at all and I learned a few things.

I was in class from 8:30 to 12:30 and then had to drive back to the office so the day went by quickly. I also got to drive thru Chickfila for lunch because there was one in Commerce on the way back to work. Woohoo!

I had breakfast (an egg mcmuffin) and lunch (a chickfila sandwich) in the car. I had fruit at the class (they also had krispy kreme donuts and I had one fourth of a donut!) and I had a side salad from chickfila for dinner (bought it with my lunch and saved it for dinner). It's been a weird food day.

Austin got up early, didn't do his chores and went to Tasha's house. He spent the day with her - even went to the orthodontist with her. Her mom doesn't work so he just hangs out with them, which is way better than him being home unsupervised all day. Yesterday he got into my sharpies. I found the remnants of a sharpie discarded in the driveway. Seriously. You don't mess with my sharpies!

I think Spencer Pratt is disgusting. The statements he makes are just unbelieveable.

I have laundry on my bed waiting for me to fold it. Ugh. Why does there have to be laundry?

Austin has a redecorating project that he was supposed to do on monday that hasn't happened yet. I'm pushing my sad little double bed up against the wall like my little daybed used to be so I have more space in my bedroom. There is no one living in the duplex next to us so it will be fine for now. I'm moving the two bookshelves in my room into Austin's room (aka "the spare bedroom") since he never sleeps on his bed. He always falls asleep on the couch.

I was emailing back and forth with my buddy Whitney in Jacksonville today. We were "talking" about how different my life is here from what it was in Jax. She said, "I wish I could have known who you really are when you lived here". It made me sad. Whitney was truly the best friend I had in Jacksonville... probably the only friend I had there... and her sweet, funny personality kept me going. We had some good times, good conversations... the sorority girl and the unhappy wife... it was such a crazy time of my life... but I treasure her. I'm glad I can still keep in touch with her. I still keep in touch with Amy from my uncle's office too - not as much because she got in trouble for emailing with me.

I have an earache tonight. *eyeroll* It is NOT stress because I am not the least bit stressed. I am incredibly chilled out and watching the new show "Wedding Day".

Hope you have a great evening... love and hugs!

Monday, June 15, 2009

some drama and some life lessons

This post is for my sister-in-law Candice... who mused today that it's not as much fun reading my blog when we've talked during the day because she already knows everything that's going on - including the things I don't blog about.

It wasn't really that much of a Monday today. I wasn't that tired. Work wasn't that stressful but it also wasn't so slow as to be boring. I have some good leads for commissionable products. Everyone was pleasant. A few minor irritations but for the most part, work was fine.

So we leave the office at 5:29 and a half... Shirley pulls off. Kevin pulls off. I'm always the last to pull out... just because that's the order we always go in and it's a small parking lot so it's easier to just do what you always do than risk bumping into each other. It was hot as blazes outside. June in Georgia hot. I got situated in the car and turned the key and... nothing. Not a click. Nothing. *sigh*

This time I didn't cry.

When my car wouldn't start a month or so ago - and Ginger's husband came and jumped it off - he said, "you probably need to budget for a battery". And I said, "ok" and ... yes, budgeting for extra things is a great idea unless you don't have enough money to even pay the things you have to pay. So I haven't.

I sent Angie an S.O.S. text. She was grocery shopping but was going to come if needed. I was hoping it would just be a matter of jumping it off again but... had a gut feeling that it wouldn't. The landscaping guy was finishing up cutting the grass so I asked if he had jumper cables.... he did... and was a total sweetheart about jumping the car off... and it took forever... and wasn't holding a charge well so he said, "I think you probably need a new battery".

The battery was original to the car which is five years old... and has over 100k miles on it. It held up well. So I drove STRAIGHT to the auto parts place and got a new battery and the nice young guy at the auto parts place put it in for me. Money I wasn't planning to spend... but it had to be done.

I left out the fifteen texts back and forth to Angie and the "be on standby" phone call to my brother...sometimes it's just a matter of knowing you've got backup. Ultimately, though, it was resolved with only a 45 minute delay getting home. It could have been much worse.

I guess the important thing here is that God is always on time. If this had happened while Jim was in Africa, Angie and I would have been flying without a net. If this had happened YESTERDAY... I would have been 45 minutes from home alone with the girls. Tomorrow I have a class in Braselton (about an hour away). It happened on payday. It happened in a safe place. There was help nearby. Now I just need new tires...

So there you go, Candice, some real news!

I had a real philosophical post all ready to share with y'all today and there's no graceful way to seque into it. I'll just say this... life can be hard... you never know what people in your life are facing... you can't always change their circumstances but you can make sure that you are not a discouragement to them. A lot of people are at the end of their resources of time, money, energy and even courage. For me, having fought back from such deep depression, having to find the will to live - and that's a fight I still fight somedays, it doesn't just disappear - most days I'm fine but there are days that it's a struggle. There are days that it takes all of my strength to continue to function... and I am really good at keeping that information to myself. For me... the smallest bit of encouragement goes a really long way... and the slightest slight can be crippling. I can only speak for myself but I know if I feel this way that there have to be others that walk this same tightrope of survival. Let your words be gentle. Let them be kind. It costs you nothing to give encouragement. If you find yourself at the point of saying something negative, give a second of thought to what damage that might do.

Purple Michael taught me a lot of things but one thing that always stuck with me... if someone wants to relate some bit of gossip or repeat something negative that someone said about you... before you consider whether or not that's true, before you think about how to settle things with the person who's talking about you... consider the motivation of the one who is sharing this information. What purpose do they have for repeating something that obviously will hurt you or cause you distress? If what they're telling you is going to damage your relationship with someone, how can it possibly be constructive? Wouldn't it be better to answer the person who is speaking against you with concilliatory words? Why even be a participant in the negativity?

I'm sharing this because I think sometimes people don't know how to talk to people in their lives who have gone through some of the stuff I've gone through. Here's a clue: just be nice. That's all I need - a kind word. Last week when I posted the headache pictures a really sweet friend answered simply, "you are beautiful". The compliment cost him nothing. The boost to my self-esteem was priceless. I don't need to know if anyone is upset with me. I don't need to hear any criticism of how I spend my time or money or energy. I'm doing the best I can. I'm breathing. Some days that's all I've got.

Hello Dolly is on... time for me to lose myself in the fabulousity of a musical. Love and hugs, y'all.

PS... Candice... next time let's just go for boring, ok?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

things that make me smile

Just got a facebook message from Sarabeth and Jamie's babysitter, Stasha. She said Sarabeth had to show her ALL the pictures I have of them on facebook. My girl knows she's famous! I love that she loves her pictures! I certainly love taking them.

Another funny - Stubby the 3legged Wondercat always wants to bond with me in the litter box... in other words... when I'm in the bathroom, he wants to be in the bathroom too. He has gotten pretty good about understanding when I say, "NO!" that means to stop what he's doing. So this evening he started to come into the bathroom and I said "NO" and he waited patiently outside the door so I rewarded him with a little treat. Since then... every time I've been to the bathroom he has assumed that same "patient kitty" position hoping to be rewarded. Crazy cat!

I'm watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey. I love that my brother's girlfriend refers to the "other woman" in my marriage as "Dirty Jersey". I know that this show is not an accurate depiction of the women of that state... any more than the Real Housewives of Atlanta has anything to do with Georgia girls. But it made me laugh watching those women and thinking of it in that context.

Getting lots of good pj time today, despite the long drive to get Austin. I'm well rested... and about to go to sleep. Have a good evening!

my sweet romantic sons

My boys are all involved in sweet young romances. *sigh* I'm proud to say that they are all great boyfriends...

Ryan has the Amazing Marie down in Alabama. She's smart, she's talented, she's in college... she's willing to put up with a long distance relationship. Love her!

Cody has Marvelous Marquee... (ok, that sounds cheesy but I gave Marie an adjective so Marquee needed one too). Cody and Marquee are planning to get married next May. Today I went and visited with her parents for a few minutes. That's a bit uncomfortable for me. They're a little older. They're girl parents. Marquee is an only child. They've been married for a long time. I'm the slightly crazy divorcee boy mama.

We went to lunch at Cody's favorite place and then went to Men's Wearhouse to look at the tuxedos that Cody has picked out for the wedding. Cody and Marquee really want me to be involved in the wedding planning. I see it as sort of a "girl mama" thing. Marquee mentioned eloping in Vegas and I gave her a high five. Instead they're doing sort of a garden wedding in her grandparents' backyard. Creatively I don't know that I have anything constructive to contribute. I told them that I wasn't in the position to do the traditional rehearsal dinner. I wish I could. I would love to... but the reality is that I'm too broke for that sort of thing.

Marquee's mom is super creative and talented. She's making save the date cards and wedding favors and maybe the invitations. I suggested that they call Purple Michael for tips and suggestions. I did suggest Sarabeth and Jamie as flower girls and Caleb as a ring bearer. Or, Tommy the cat as ringbearer. The colors are sort of an aqua and canary yellow.

So there's lots of romance with Cody and Marquee.

Austin has spent two weeks away from home and I knew he would be anxious to get back to his little girlfriend, Tasha Marie. (So that would be Marie, Marquee and Tasha Marie... ) Tasha planned a big welcome home dinner for Austin. She even went and had her hair done... planned a special outfit... made ribs... and Austin, to his credit, had a little stuffed monkey to give her and even made a little chair out of reclaimed wood for the monkey to sit on. He made a little lamp for her that had the letters "I" "L" "U" scratched into it. He asked me to drop him off at her house on our way in. *eyeroll* It was just over the top sappy sweetness. I gave him a little later curfew (normally it's 8pm, I gave him until 10pm tonight. He's 15)

Austin had been a little homesick, it seemed. When we got off the interstate at the Gainesville exit he asked if we could roll down the windows so he could "smell the mountain air". So we did.

I'm not sure if I'm losing my three boys or gaining three daughters... but it's certain that we are at a completely different stage of life now.

At any rate... Austin's back - he hasn't made it all the way home yet but at least he's back in Cleveland.

My headache held off for most of the day, which is great since I had about four hours of driving to do. It hit me over the past hour and I've taken the first migraine meds since the imitrex makes me feel so sick. If my head still hurts on Monday, I'll call the doctor to see what we can do differently. I'm keeping track of my food and stuff so we can see if that has anything to do with it. I'm just sick of being hampered with this nonsense.

Time to settle in with the tv... hope you have a great evening. Love & hugs!

Friday, June 12, 2009

weekend countdown

Weekend countdown… and what a week it was! This week I have learned the following:

1. Imitrex is a mean, vile drug that will make you feel like you just participated in a kegger.
2. My sweet little red haired girls love hidden pictures and dot to dot books.
3. My cat loves canned cat food and makes a huge mess when eating it. Do you think the messy eating has anything to do with his missing leg?
4. I can unclog a toilet with an auger.
5. I learned what an auger is.
6. Not every blog you read is true.
7. 80’s hair band rock stars and flying scenery on the Broadway stage don’t make good bedfellows.
8. Vacation Bible School is awesome
9. Big things happen when husbands go on mission trips… Misti’s husband is in Thailand and her mother is being buried today. I know Jerry wishes he was with her but I also have no doubt that Jerry is where God meant for him to be. Divine Design. I also believe that Misti will be loved and taken care of in Jerry’s absence.
10. Sometimes headaches just won’t go away. It’s still there. Not as bad as it has been at times but it’s there.

I had lunch with Theresa today. We went to a place in Cornelia called Gusben’s. It’s owned by the parents of my former co-worker (the guy with five kids) Gus. We just got salad to go. They have a nice salad bar. I’m not sure that it was low calorie… my salad had lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, celery, sunflower seeds, French fried onions, croutons, potato salad, pasta salad, ranch dressing, chickpeas, beets… yum, yum, yum! I’m so stuffed! We brought our salads back to the office to eat since Duane and Ginger are both off today – just in case things got busy and we were needed. They weren’t and we weren’t.

There are less than five hours to go until the weekend!

Right now I’m leaning toward NOT working tomorrow. This weeklong headache has really taken a toll on me and I feel like if I could get one long night of uninterrupted rest that I would be ok. I’ll wake up when I wake up and spend the day as a tumbleweed, not operating under a schedule. I think that would help a lot. Then I’ll be refreshed for Sunday. After church the girls are coming home with me so their mommy can go pick their daddy up at the airport. I’m thinking we may do a picnic if the weather isn’t too hot. I'm excited to have them over!

I love how everyone is guessing about the big news I mentioned! No, I’m not pregnant… anyone who reads my blogs should know that I’m single, sterile and celibate*. (more on this in a minute) There’s not even so much as a blip on the radar screen romantically… nor do I want there to be. Nobody else in my world is pregnant (that I know of) except my sister-in-law Katherine and since I still haven’t seen the last baby she birthed, nearly two years ago, except in pictures (and she is precious!) so my excitement about this baby is limited to the knowledge that it will probably not be a tangible presence in my life.

My divorce is not the big surprise… the case is still pending, as far as I can tell. I don’t understand what’s happening in that process and the last three emails I’ve sent to Michael to ask him about it have gone unanswered. Ultimately, as long as it’s done by the end of the year, I don’t care (refer to earlier statement about lack of romance).

The big news is something really sweet… and I will tell you after my brother gets back from Kenya.

*I’ve made a commitment to God. I’m not a nun but I do believe very strongly that staying in His will for my life is a great way to spare myself heartache. I really believe that if there is ever to be another man in my life (yes, I said “IF”) that he will love the Lord like I do and I believe that his commitment will be the same as mine. I believe that it is entirely possible that God has intended for me to be here, in this place, to rest, to refresh myself, to raise Austin through the rest of school, to be here to help with my nieces, to grow and to get healthy. I believe that it is entirely possible that God’s plans for me do not include a man and I am. Fine. With. That. Period. Exclamation point. I am one hundred percent certain that now is not the time for me to be involved with anyone. My conviction is still that I am married. I have been faithful to Michael from the day I met him and I fully intend to be faithful to him until the papers are signed and the ink is dry. His lack of commitment only strengthens my resolve. I CAN DO THIS! In our marriage I was painted into the role of the sketchy one – the flighty one – the butterfly – the one lacking self-control and ultimately, I have been the one to demonstrate the greatest stability and determination. There is a great victory for me in that, in knowing that the accusations he made against my character were really him looking into a mirror and describing his own character deficiencies.

In the meantime, I’m happy, I’m stable, I’m in a great place emotionally. I KNOW that I am not yet healed to the point of being able to weather a bad relationship. Unfortunately, we don’t always know from day one that it’s going to be a bad relationship. I know that it is very possible that I may never feel healed enough to risk it. I am blessed to have a very full and very happy life and I have confidence that I will have whatever I need whenever I need it. I can’t see a purpose for bringing potential heartache into my life again.

I believe in our generation that marriages are under attack. I believe that the foundation of marriage is honesty and integrity and that these values have eroded to the extent that it is rare to find two humans who both have a comprehension of a covenant commitment. There’s no way to get fidelity insurance for a marriage. There’s no way to guarantee that a marriage will last forever. And I’m just not sure that I want to ever face the end of a marriage again. I’d rather spend the rest of my life in the glory of the confidence and independence I feel now than ever risk feeling compromised and vulnerable and miserable as I was with Michael.

God has been bringing me into a position of counseling women who are facing the end of their marriages… or at the very least, counseling women who are in unhappy situations in their marriage. I think it’s incredibly important for me to be able to say, “I know you can do it because I have done it… and if there was ever anyone who was without resources to survive the end of a marriage, it was me!”. I also am excited about the possibilities for me as a single empty nester. Austin graduates, Lord willing, in three years. What if the next three years are just about me, about ministering to other women who are facing what I’ve survived? That’s my motivation right now – to be as healthy as I can to be able to do whatever God has for me to do. After then... we'll see.

That’s also my fidelity insurance. Knowing that if I’m where God wants me to be that He is going to guard my heart. How cool is that?

And I’m now down to about 3 ½ hours until the weekend. Not that it took me that long to type the above commentary – just that I kept getting interrupted. By work. *laugh*

Gonna post this … more later if I have time… love and hugs!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bruce Springsteen

My little dish satellite that I pay for has really paid off this week. Ovation channel has been doing a lot of broadway / movie musicals, which I love. Tonight FUSE is playing a Bruce Springsteen concert.

I just wish I didn't have this bittersweet connotation of Bruce. One of the absolute best times that Michael and I had during our brief married life was the night that we went to see Bruce Springsteen in concert with our friends Andrea and Dean. Yes, I was stupidly excited to have couple friends. I had a great time. Andrea and I laughed together all night. Michael was super sweet and loving and affectionate. Dean got drunk - but he's a funny drunk. It was an incredible concert.

Only... Michael and Andrea had already been involved with each other at this point for at least two months... and the whole concert was just their way of being able to spend time together. It makes me feel so used. Cheat on your wife if you have to... just don't con your wife into being friends with your mistress. Don't trick your wife by pretending to have a good time with her and share a special evening with her, when the evening isn't about your wife or your marriage at all. It's just sad.

But... I really like Bruce Springsteen. I think he gives a great show. I love that he has such a diverse and loyal audience. I'm watching...

My headache is somewhat better. I was able to get a lot more done today. I've been alternating today between sick/dizzy headaches and stabbing pain.

Stubby the 3legged butt licking toilet drinking Wondercat vomitted up a hair ball right in the middle of my new issue of Good Housekeeping... right over the faces of the Jonas Brothers. Think he was trying to send some sort of message?

Going to bed early, hope it helps shake the headaches once and for all...

love and hugs, y'all!

my thursday stuff

I have this great inspiration picture taken of me and four of our boys (all but Bobby) at Six Flags in June, 2006… I’m about a size ten… it’s on my desk so I can remember why I’m working at losing weight. I liked being that size.

My headache is changing. It was a stabbing pain and then it went to a dizzy, sick feeling and now it’s back to pain again. It’s been way better today. I am going to have another night of EBT (early bedtime) and hopefully that will get me back on track.

I’d like to feel well enough to go to the Vacation Bible School commencement tomorrow night. We’ll see. I was so proud to make it through the day today.

It’s storming outside. I stepped outside long enough to take out the trash and it felt great out there! I would have loved to stand out in the rain. My hair is curly already, can’t mess it up.

I’m glad I took those headache pictures yesterday… I think it’s cool to be 41 and not look horrible when I’m feeling horrible and not wearing makeup. Maybe that’s vain. I don’t know. I will just say that I’m not embarrassed of how I look and I love that my head is healing up where I had that surgery last year. I thought I was going to look like Frankenstein forever.

Duane’s sweet little girl was in the office all day today. She’s ten… outgoing… smart… really enjoyable. She had her dog with her too. Her mama is out of town for the weekend. It’s been a busy day at work, I can tell the economy is picking up. I was emailing back and forth with Whitney about it. Love her! Miss her too! I could almost stand to go to Jacksonville to be able to see my girl… almost. It’s a long way – eight hours.

I think long road trips are out of the question until I get my tires replaced. I’m a little nervous about my road trip to get Austin but it has to be done. God has protected me so far.

I talked to Austin’s dad today. It’s weird how I have zero sadness about our marriage ending and so incredibly much sadness about my relationship with Michael ending, considering that Robert and I had far more to lose and spent far longer together. You can freud through that for a bit. I guess the point is that my relationship with Robert ending was after a long time of trying to make something work that was just never going to work with someone who I really didn’t like any more- didn’t affect me as deeply as losing something when the attempts had never really been made to salvage things with someone I genuinely enjoyed, except when I didn’t. In the first divorce there was no love lost. I may not have appreciated the things that Michael was doing but I didn’t stop loving him. My prayer for him lately has been that he would somehow understand how much I loved him – because he really didn’t get it. Understanding what it means to be loved is a great first step in being able to love back, I think. And I so greatly want him to be able to have a lifetime commitment with someone… who can be a mommy to Bobby.

How did I chase that rabbit? The headache is getting to me. I’ve been really proud of the fact this week, that despite feeling really icky, that I haven’t been depressed or discouraged about it. It just is what it is. I’ve been incredibly calm. It would have – in the past – been a time for me to have a great big pity party being “sick and alone”. But I just don’t feel alone any more. How do you like that? All of a sudden (or, after many months of working at it) I have confidence in being enough all by myself.

Fixing the toilet by myself helped. It’s amazing how those little victories really change your perspective.

Time is ticking by. We have big news in our family this week… I can’t share it yet…

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

this is what my headache looks like - and I have a lot of hair







some sad news

Redundant post ahead.
My head hurts.
The doctor called me in something different... imitrex... which made me really super ridiculously dizzy... I feel totally spun out...
This is just stupid.

In other news that's not totally self-absorbed...
My sweet friend Misti - the one who has baby Josiah who was so tiny? The great news is that Josiah has gained a pound over the last week. The really sad news is that Misti's mom died this morning. Misti's husband Jerry is on a mission trip to Thailand... Misti is in Louisiana... how much do I wish I was independently wealthy and mobile to be there with her?

Theresa was better today. She made it longer than me.

I've actually got several friends who are going through tough times... I spent my lunch hour just praying.

The thought occurred to me that sometimes our hearts are broken in a way that they can never completely mend. Our lives are forever changed. For me, it has meant being able to be tender hearted to others in a way that I never could before. It's a club I never meant to join... but since I did... I'm glad that God gave me that sensitivity. It's a honor to be able to take the needs of others before the throne of God. I have a seriousness and a serenity I never had before. Not sadness, really. Just a realization that people can hurt in a way that takes their breath away. That sometimes people need someone to remind them to breathe.

Sorry... it's the drugs.

My oldest son had a review at work today that went really well. I'm so proud of him!

I'm having lunch with Cody and Marquee on Saturday... can't wait to see them.

And Austin! I can't wait to have my Austin back home! I miss him so much!

Anyways... mainly I just wanted to blog about Misti's mom passing away... keep her in your prayers!

Early bedtime again for me tonight!
love and hugs!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

blogging under the influence

Random news from off the top of my head...

I went to work and my head just hurt too stinking bad... so I left around lunch time.

My co-worker Theresa is really struggling with the paralysis of her face... not sure if I blogged about this here or in my other blog but please remember her in prayer. She has a condition called - let me get this right - antiphospholipid antibody syndrome - and she took about 10 months off of work to deal with her disease. She just started back to work in mid-April and is really struggling with this paralysis. She's been all over the country looking for treatment and answers and it's just not working. Theresa tried to work today too and didn't make it... we're a hearty bunch, aren't we?

I went to see the doctor this afternoon because I knew that this was not an ordinary headache. He agreed. He did the neuro stuff to make sure I wasn't stroking out. I'm not. (or as he put it, "let's make sure there's not a loose wire there"... ummmm... I'm thinking we can't rule that out!) After an extended discussion we determined/decided/figured out that the changes I've been making with diet have led to the headache. I've cut out sweet tea and soda... and I've pretty much cut out sweets... and I had been packing in a lot of sugar... so it looks like this is a detox sort of migraine. He gave me something called maxalt that is supposed to be better than imitrex and had samples at the office so I didn't have to take my aching head through the pharmacy. You think about these things when you don't have anyone to run to the drug store for you. Not that Michael ever did... but Stephen was good to run errands when I needed. Michael did get prescriptions filled for me once, I think... at any rate... I've been really sick to my stomach and dizzy all day... so I was glad to get in to see the doctor and glad to get something to help with the headache.

So I'm blogging under the influence a bit. Sorry for any typos.

The downside of leaving early today is that I won't be able to go in late on Thursday as I had planned. I was going to go by VBS at the church... but now I can't afford missing the time. Sometimes it sucks to be broke and beholden... but I knew today I needed to see a doctor. I'm glad I did and AS ALWAYS... I'm so grateful for health insurance!

That's it... the drugs are kickin' in... hope you have a great evening! love and hugs!

early tuesday morning

I unstopped Austin's toilet! I did it! I did it all by myself! I didn't have to call a plumber! I didn't need one of my kids to do it! I did it! It was hard work... it was stinky, nasty, work... but I did it!

I'm so proud of that toilet that it was the first thing I did this morning - I went into the bathroom and flushed the toilet to make sure it was still unstopped. It makes me feel like I can handle anything. I don't need a man!

I went to bed super early last night - was asleep before 8! I woke up this morning at 2am with a horrible earache... took an advil... woke up at 4am with a horrible migraine... took more advil... I can't afford to miss work so the advil is going to have to work it's magic. No time off for me!

I am still leaving early on Wednesdays even though I don't have Austin... last week I helped Angie with the girls on Wednesday night. This week I may just enjoy having an hour off. I'm also going in late on Thursday morning because I wanted to spend a little bit of time at Vacation Bible School. In exchange - I'm working Saturday morning - then heading down to my parents' house to pick up Austin and bring him home. I'm ready for him to be back. It's lonely without him. I'm planning to spend a little time with Cody and Marquee while I'm on the southside of town so Saturday will be a long day...

Sunday we have church and then Angie heads down to the airport to pick up Jim and our friend Natalie from the airport. The girls are going to spend the afternoon with me. Initially Angie was going to take the girls with her but that's a lot of time in the car for them... and that's a lot of people/luggage in the car on the way back... so they're just going to play with me.

You know you're The Best Aunt Ever if:
1. You have two extra pair of sunglasses in your backseat ready for little girls to wear if they need them.
2. You have more pictures of your nieces on facebook than you do of your own kids.
3. You know the theme song to the Backyardigans.
4. You know what time the Backyardigans come on.
5. You've missed work because of illness you caught babysitting your niece.
6. You always have gum
7. You always carry your digital camera in case there's a "Kodak Moment"
8. Your home and work are strategically placed for access to your nieces.
9. You know your niece's teacher's name for the upcoming school year.
10. People who are completely unrelated to you refer to you as "Aunt Heather"

My headache is not better yet. I'll need to leave for work in two hours. I'm going to give it another hour and then try something else for the headache. I'm concerned that Theresa won't be at work today... I'm so concerned about her facial paralysis. I researched her disorder and it's characterized by blood clots - this is what causes the paralysis and migraines that she has. The problem is that they can't figure out what triggers the paralysis - whether it's stress or that the medication isn't at a good level or what. It really breaks my heart for her. I want to fix it.

I think I'll make another cup of coffee. Caffeine seems to help migraines for some reason.

Gonna check my emails and blog entries from overnight. Hope y'all have a great day! Love and hugs, y'all!