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!

Friday, October 30, 2009

weekend countdown! yay!

It’s a misty, grey Friday here in the beautiful Northeast Georgia mountains! Getting ready for the weekend… and the big game between Georgia and Florida tomorrow afternoon. We’re a man short again today… I guess we have five staff members so that we will have four working. I don’t know if that made sense or not but… we are a bunch of broken down workers! This is the most “mature” staff I’ve ever been on… and it shows… we’ve got all kinds of assorted ailments. As much as I whine, moan and complain, I’m not even the sickest of the bunch. Go figure. For the most part, our absentees are legitimately unwell. And for the most part, we’re more accustomed to working shorthanded than we are at working with a full staff.

The church sent out a request that people NOT come to church sick – which I think is a great idea. People carry so much guilt about not being there every time the doors are open. I think it’s better to be absent than to go and get a bunch of folks sick – especially those who are old, pregnant, little kids, people with compromised immune systems… of course… I’m always torn between my love for the Lord and desire to see the people I love and my need for rest.

I’m planning on doing some hardcore marketing today… I need to drum up some commission if I’m going to be able to give my kids anything for Christmas beyond a peppermint stick. Gonna keep my nose to the grindstone and see what I can turn up. Something has got to give… I can’t keep living at a deficit. I’m wondering if I should start looking for a cheaper place to live. I love my little duplex but it’s getting hard to keep up the rent. There are cheaper places around here but they may not come with appliances / may be more isolated / etc. I’m gonna pray about it. It’s a pain to move but I have to do something to bring my “outgo” more in line with my income.

Just had a client come in who had been hit by someone driving a rental car. Helen Police did a horrible job of obtaining information. They included the information on the rental car company (Alamo) but apparently, the person driving the car wasn’t the one listed on the lease agreement. I had to do a little Nancy Drew work to hunt down the driver but I found her (thank you, www.whitepages.com) and she was incredibly sweet and apologetic. They had been trying to locate our driver too. I was able to determine the insurance carrier and helped the client file a claim. The adjuster was in Tampa and is a huge Gator fan…. So we bonded… my client left happy and now there’s only seven more hours until YDD (yabba dabba doo!)

Been busy for the last hour… just popping back into my entry to say, “HA! Six more hours!”

Big discussion in our office right now about whether damage caused by a pothole or road debris falls under comprehensive or collision. Looks to me like collision… but it made me think of that commercial by *the lizard company* with the pothole that talks… LOVE that commercial!

Customer Amnesia: “Have you had any accidents or tickets in the last three years?” “not that I can remember…” so I check their claims record and BOOM! Accident with $75,000 worth of bodily injury paid out… that means he hurt someone to the tune of $75,000 in medical bills and/or pain and suffering. “Can you remember a little accident where someone got hurt pretty badly?” “Oh… yeah… there was that one….”

Dance break… Car Wash is playing on the radio… nobody’s looking so I need to get up and groove!

It’s weird to me that so many people my age are grandparents already. As much as I love babies… thank you boys for realizing that you’re not ready to be parents yet. I want my grandma name to be Mimi but Cody says that sounds like a dog’s name.

It’s been a fairly hectic day so far. I type fast. Gonna go ahead and post this… just a little over 5 hours to go! Hope you all have a great weekend! Love and hugs!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

thankful thursday

Living paycheck to paycheck takes a toll on you… I try to keep it all under control, make sure I’m keeping all the balls in the air… stick to a budget, not waste money… but it does get tight there at the end of the pay period. We got an email today that payday was going to be change from the last day of the month to the first day of the month. I had a mini-panic. I mean, God has always provided. I trust Him to provide no matter what the circumstances are… but I did let D know that this would be a hardship on me as I truly DO live paycheck to paycheck. Moving payday from Friday to Monday? Are you kidding? He agreed to let the new pay schedule begin with the next payday. *whew*

Of course, that means that I’ve got to stretch this paycheck a little further and I’m already in the hole. *sigh* It all works out. Less of a cushion, less ability to rely on money… more necessity to rely on God. So this is definitely Thankful Thursday!

We started a new bible study course last night - The Power of A Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian… I’m excited about it! it was a good class… our dear leader is recovered from back surgery and was back with us. It was back to “Hen Party” as usual and I needed that. I love my girls! Afterwards we had “trunk or treat” in the parking lot. If you’ve never done one of these – it’s like tailgating with trick or treat candy – people decorate the back of their vehicle and give out candy as the kids walk around. I loved it! Speed trick-or-treating! I got some great pictures… posted on my facebook… will put a few up here soon. Sarabeth was a bee and Jamie was a ladybug… soooo cute!

Highlight of the evening – Jamie stuck her face into her basket and said, “MMMMM! I love the smell of chocolate!” She’s definitely MY niece!

I’ve figured out (I think) what’s hurting my shoulder… I keep catching myself slouching at my desk, leaning on my right elbow… so I’m working at sitting up straight, which will also help tighten my core muscles, something I’m determined to do. Really. I am.

Austin and the new girl are already broken up. That was a fast one. She said he’s “not what she’s looking for”. Hmmm. Not sure how to take that…. But then again, if she’s a girl who’s outdoorsy and sporty – Austin is the polar opposite of that.

A customer who has been a pain in everyone’s tukas decided that I was “his girl” and now he will only deal with me. He called just now to make a payment and didn’t identify himself – assuming I would recognize his voice. I didn’t. But when he said he owed a $12 balance on his boat policy, I knew who it was. Crazy. I was able to confirm that it was him by reminding him that a car he owned was coming due for payment in a few weeks. Never once did he say his name. To me, that’s the epitomy of narcissism. Glad I was able to be quick on my feet… he was happy. Happy clients mean easier life for me.

It’s Thankful Thursday so I’m gonna make a stab at it…
1. Cute kids in cute costumes
2. Kind adults willing to distribute candy.
3. Facebook – my social networking addiction
4. Superpoke Pets- my gaming addiction
5. Cool weather
6. Gorgeous leaves… the mountains look like a patchwork quilt!
7. Football! Go Gators!
8. Comments on my blog (hint, hint)
9. The Power of a Praying Woman – both the book and the reality
10. Health insurance.

Have a great Thursday, y’all!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

we amuse ourselves

Here's a peak at what insurance agents do to amuse themselves...

As I mentioned before, we gave my co-worker painted wooden letters that spell out his baby-to-be's name - Raleigh. We had the letters arranged on the counter in the kitchen around his gift basket... Theresa thought it would be funny to rearrange the letters to make a word... and since then, every time someone goes through the kitchen, they make a new word from the letters of Raleigh's name.

Maybe you have to be here to appreciate how funny it is... my life is average.

NOT Whiny Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! The week is flying by and I’m sooo looking forward to the weekend. Go Gators!

The sun is shining today. The fog we had earlier has burned off and it’s looking to be a Chamber of Commerce type day.

We had a small shower for the guy in our office whose wife is having a baby. She’s almost 34 weeks… it’s their first baby after several losses and they’re both in their 40’s… quite a miracle baby and all the mother hens here were clucking this morning! Imagine four “mature” women with digital cameras trying to vie for the best camera angle as the new daddy came in.

My job was to paint wooden letters spelling out the baby’s name “Raleigh”. His room will be purple and sage so I did purple letters. In typical Heather fashion, I waited until the last minute to paint them so there was a bit of anxiety last night about getting enough coats of paint and making sure I didn’t miss any spots… but they look good and other than a little purple paint under my nails, I’m no worse for the wear.

As I mentioned yesterday, Austin went home with his new little girlfriend after school yesterday and I was to pick him up after work. I don’t know what I was thinking… I don’t see well after dark and although it wasn’t yet dark… it was raining hard and really grey out. His girlfriend lives in the northern part of the county, in a heavily wooded area. The narrow, dirt road leading to her home is shaded by trees, making it darker than it already was… and I passed a road sign indicating the danger of bears in the area. This was no joke! I could hear the music from Deliverance in the background. Truly, it was a beautiful drive and had it not been pouring rain and growing dark and a completely uncharted path for me, I would have rather enjoyed it. And of course, the added stress of knowing I had the letters to paint when I got home.

Just as I mentioned it clearing off the fog has rolled in around us… it’s still beautiful.

I’m having muscle spasms in my right arm… this is the same shoulder that I saw the doctor about last week. It’s not painful but is rather annoying. I have not yet consulted Dr. Google to figure out what it could be. But will in a minute. *later* Dr. Google says I’m gonna live.

Insurance tip of the day: most companies give “multiple line discount”… think of it like shopping at Costco…. If you buy in bulk, the price per unit is cheaper. A lot of my clients are able to get life and auto or renters insurance and auto for the same cost as auto alone would be. Make sure you ask your insurance company if they offer multi-line discounts!

Austin’s girlfriend’s home is lovely… it’s a log cabin – all wood inside – neat and clean with a friendly tabby cat. I didn’t get the grand tour but I went in far enough to see a stuffed boar / razorback / whatever you call it in the living room. I commented to Austin on the way home that it looked like her dad is a hunter. He is… but Austin said that the boar was killed by the girlfriend… with a bow and arrow.

…..

….


…..

Yeah. I had to pause a little bit on that one too. “Son, are you sure you want to date a girl who is that accurate with a deadly weapon?”

At any rate… been a busy day and it’s half over… then church tonight. Yes, Stasha, I am DEFINITELY planning on being at church tonight. Hope you all have a Wonderful, not a whiny Wednesday. Love and hugs.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

lunchtime update

The H1N1 hysteria feels like Y2K all over again. “The sky is falling!”

An insurance tip – most companies will give youthful drivers the “over 25” rate if they have a child.

The big rivalry game between Georgia and Florida is this weekend. They used to call it “The World’s Largest Cocktail Party”. After several alcohol related deaths, they’ve tried to dial down the party aspect of it. It’s still a huge party. My “girl on the scene” Whitney will be there. She and her fellow alum are driving a school bus and a uHaul with living room furniture for their tailgate party. Sounds like a really good time! Other than the day after…

It’s hard living in Bulldog country and being a Gator fan – but yesterday, quite by accident, I discovered that our auto underwriter at the State Farm Regional office in Duluth, GA is a HUGE Gator fan! We professed our cougar crushes on Tim Tebow and admitted that we have a hard time watching the game around people who are not Gator fans. People either love Timmy or hate him. There’s no in between.

Down three people in the office again today. Glad we’re overstaffed so that when we’re at half-staff we can still keep the office going. @@ And we have two people who are always cold so they have to run the heat on max… while my sinuses become painfully dry. (sorry for the whine – this isn’t supposed to be an early whiny Wednesday post)

I left early yesterday. I was having one of those days where I just felt emotionally overwhelmed. I’d call it PMS if that whole process still worked for me. I just was feeling disconnected (as I described before, walking in mud) and then a co-worker got mad at me… and she spent the rest of the afternoon whispering with everyone else about me… and I just couldn’t deal. It was too much. It’s sort of like that old “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” but in my case it’s, “don’t hate me because I’m better at this job than you are”.

Taking a business insurance class… zzzzzzz. Actually we have made some upgrades to our quoting system which makes it WAY more easier than it has been. What cracks me up, though, is that they play old television theme music prior to the class… and in this particular class they gave us 5 minutes to work up a quote on a condominium association… and while we were deep in thought trying to use this new system with a bunch of data… they played the PeeWee’s Playhouse them. Not conducive to concentration! Totally cracked me up!

I’m having a bad hair day. It’s not my fault, it’s raining.

That’s all for now. Love and hugs.

quick update

Just a quick post before time to start work...

Austin and Devin discovered my blog. Joy. Austin said he definitely will hold a fundraiser to come up with the funds it would take to legally change my last name after the divorce instead of during the divorce proceedings. As I mentioned previously, the only way I can do it during the divorce is to appear in Duval County court. Can't afford (financially and emotionally) a trip to Jacksonville right now.

I was a busy bee this morning and ran all my normally lunch time errands before work so I can spend my lunchtime in bible study. I'm hungry. I just need to immerse myself in the Word. I'm tired, I'm discouraged, I feel myself slipping back into that world of "walking in mud" and the only antidote I know is the power of God. So that's what I'm doing.

The Racetrack gas station has a decent Pumpkin Spice Latte. It's not Starbucks but it's only 1.19.

I'm having an apple and oatmeal for breakfast. Trying to eat right. And ignore the candy all around me.

Austin is going home with his girlfriend after school - riding her bus. And I'll pick him up when I get off work. The directions were typical for this area, "go to the end of the paved road" and "you'll see a fence with birdhouses on it" and "you go like you're going into Mountain Lakes subdivision but you don't". My goal is to get there before dark. Don't want to be lost in the mountains after dark. Without a cellphone.

My cellphone is out of minutes and I can't buy more until payday. It's not a huge deal. I rarely use it. But it is sort of a safety net.

Time to get started here.... prayers appreciated! Love and hugs!

Monday, October 26, 2009

feeling green... and it's not what you think!

The views here in my little corner of Georgia are always beautiful but there’s no time more scenic here than the fall. I sat in the Sonic drive-in on lunch gazing out on some gorgeous color and I had an epiphany. During the summer, the trees all look the same… at least they’re all in the same basic palette…. But always, underneath, lies that beautiful, different, unique and glorious color below the green. Their true beauty – their greatest beauty – lies hidden until the time in which God decides to reveal their splendor.

Do I need to make the practical application for you or can you make that leap on your own? Who you are, your greatest beauty, lies within. If you’re feeling lost in the crowd of “green leaves” just hang on… for soon autumn will come.

I’ve been in a quiet, reflective, nesting sort of place lately. I’m not unhappy. I feel tired and spread a little too thin. Some of the things that I battled a year ago, I’m still battling and that gets tedious. There are times I wonder if this is as good as it gets. And other times I am so grateful that it’s this good when I couldn’t have imagined this kind of independence just a little over a year ago. And there are times that I’m frustrated in thinking that I SHOULD be satisfied in what God has done in my life… and times that I want so much more. Is it a sin to want more? Is it wrong to just want to sit and soak for a bit? I’m not sure.

Either way, I’ve just felt like being alone for a bit, as selfish as that sounds. I don’t want to make small talk. I don’t have the energy for deep, thought provoking debate. For so many heartbreaking months in Jacksonville, God just kept speaking to my heart and saying, “Be still”…. And when I argued with Him that He didn’t understand how miserable I was and He said, “be still and know that I am God”. And I think He’s giving me the same advice now… that it’s ok to be where I am for a little bit. It’s ok to not have huge ambition or long term plans. It’s ok to rejoice in being green… because in the right time, autumn will come.

Friday, October 23, 2009

weekend countdown

Days like today I’m glad I don’t live in the Atlanta metro area… and that I’m not having to deal with a commute, other than the little bit of traffic that backs up at the four way stop sometimes when folks are selling boiled peanuts. For the most part, it’s me, the cows and the big open sky. Today that sky is really dark and grey, but that’s ok. I love the mountains! Still!

I fell asleep on lunch… in my car… parked in the Walmart parking lot… after eating a totally unappetizing and nutrient devoid taco supreme. My diet is horrible. I’m definitely going to have to do better. Plan better. I just crashed… I was so sleepy and the rain was falling softly and the temperature was mild without being cold. Great sleeping weather!

Today (so far) has been really quiet. We have a full house staff-wise, other than D – who is out until Wednesday. We usually get a little hectic on Friday afternoons when folks get their paychecks and come to settle their bills… so that rush may happen soon… but right now it’s slow. Mind-numbingly slow.

(thirty minutes later) I’ll take back that last sentence. I just spoke with a client who had damage to her home that was, in large part, not covered by insurance because it was wear and tear on the home. She wanted someone to vent her frustration on and I was the unlucky sucker who answered the phone. I want to be empathetic. I understand that people are conditioned to believe that they are being ripped off… and that they believe that if they just yell at the right person they’ll get more money… but when I have someone tell me that they make $150 an hour and that I’m wasting their time by *making* them have to deal with a situation… in their own home… that’s not covered by their insurance policy because it’s pure maintenance… I want to say, “If I made $150 an hour then I wouldn’t be on the phone arguing with a insurance rep about something that will cost less than a day’s salary to repair”.

Anyways… I watched Oprah’s special on how women around the world live. It was interesting to me that in all the cultures they examined, women did not work – and if they did work – there was extended family to assist with the children and the chores. I have a good life… but I don’t believe that God intended for women to work and be fully responsible for a home and family. I comfort myself with this knowledge… the things that I don’t manage to do are things that I was not created to do.

The other day I thought about what a driving force GUILT is in my life… and how much guilt I feel for not being able to be all things to all people. I don’t visit my grandmother like I should. I don’t pay my bills on time (partly because of lack of funds). I miss work too often. I don’t take care of myself like I should. My house is always a mess. My floors need mopping. My car needs a tune up. I have clean laundry that needs to be hung. I don’t go to church every time the doors are open. From the moment I became a mother I have been conditioned by society to feel guilty for the things I DON’T do, instead of being able to celebrate my victories.

About three more hours to go in my work day. Then I have to go by the store and pick up snacks for the Auggie/Devin takeover. Then it’s me, the remote, the laptop and the recliner for the rest of the evening… hope you all have a great weekend! Love and hugs!

early Friday

So the issue with my shoulder is thought to be bursitis / arthritis. The dr could tell that there was swelling in the joint... and weakness in that arm. I knew it was hard for me to lift it for things like turning the radio station and such. The muscles were all in spasm across my shoulders... it's possible that this is from that car wreck I had back in 2005 where I had problems with my shoulder. She gave me a shot of toradol to relax the muscles and prescribed anti-inflammatory stuff and muscle relaxers.

She also gave me a prescription for an appetite suppressant and agreed that we need to get me off some of the meds I'm on (specifically the steroids) as soon as possible.

I went home and chilled hard core for the evening. Working today... and tomorrow morning. Devin is spending the night with Austin... it's gray and rainy and the leaves here are beautiful! I think it might be peak weekend for the leaves. Either this weekend or next. this paragraph contained three different topics. Good Morning A.D.D!

Gonna start work and the working weekend countdown... nine hours until yabbadabbadoo!
Love and hugs!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday

There is trick-or-treat candy throughout the office. I am trying to be strong but Mary Jane is calling my name. And butter rum toffee caramel.

I’ve been working on auto, life and health insurance for one of Ryan’s friends. I’ve been so busy that time is flying by! Looks like it’s going to be a good deal for both of us.

Yesterday my shoulder was KILLING me! It is better today. I still wonder if I should call the doctor to have her look at it but honestly… ibuprofen works pretty well and there’s no bruising or swelling or anything dramatic. I think I’ll give it another 24 hours before I do anything.

We found a baby snake on the carport last night. I’ve never seen such a tiny, perfectly formed snake. It still freaked me out. It freaks me out more knowing that wherever there’s a baby, there’s gotta be a mama snake. I literally FLEW the five feet from my carport door to the car this morning and then had a panic attack thinking that maybe the snakes were in my car. Paranoid, maybe but… *shudder*

We’re fully staffed today. Had one come in late due to “physical therapy”. She was going to physical therapy and they promoted her to a regular gym to do exercises on her own. But for some reason, she still has to “schedule appointments” during office hours. I’m skeptical. But… that’s her deal. There have been thirty-eleven times that I’ve sucked it up and stayed here when I felt horrible because I didn’t want to leave an unfair burden on my co-workers. And thirty-d0zen times that I just couldn’t hang. Who am I to judge?

Kevin’s wife is still in the hospital, still pregnant and doing some better. She’s almost 33 weeks. They’re getting close. Theresa is over her cough/cold thing. Me… I’m still congested. Same bat time, same bat channel.

Austin has invited Devin over to the spend the night tomorrow night. I keep telling him that they need to take a turn but they don’t and Austin wants to spend time with Devin, so I suck it up and deal. I don’t know how it is that our Devin weekends always coincide with me being broke and having to work on Saturday. This means that I’ll be grumpy on Saturday afternoon. Austin thinks it’s totally fair since Devin’s mother is a full time college student and his dad works Saturdays that me – single working mother – should always play host to their noisy spend the night parties. Why do I have to be the Koolaid house?

I spoke with someone from the Duval County Family Court today and she indicated that it looks like all of our paperwork is done. She has to get the complete file – which takes about a week – and then they’ll set a date for the hearing. I do NOT have to be present for the hearing (praise God!) unless I decide that I want to use this opportunity to change my name. Frankly, it’s cheaper and easier just to pay the $50 it would cost here in Georgia (I think) to do the name change – if I decide to do that. My kids all definitely want my name changed and honestly, I’ve almost decided to do that. The website shows that Michael’s brother Tim provided an affidavit of some sort – that’s why I called. I wanted to know what was being said about me. According to the court, it was just to prove Michael’s residency for the six months preceding the divorce. (which is not really true – as I could easily show him living in Miami and Phoenix based on the phone records and credit card bills that have come to my house- but I won’t! I want it over!) I was afraid it was something to the effect of testifying about our marriage… which would greatly hurt me, if Tim was doing that. Tim is a man’s man – a total chauvinist – but I liked him and I truly believe that he liked me and appreciated the role I played in their family. Many times Tim was the only one who I felt (other than Stephen) who really understood how hard it was for me to live with Michael.

I talked to the nurse at my doctors office. She thinks I have tendinitis and suggested that I go ahead and come in today. I figure… everyone else is here today and who knows who’ll be here tomorrow… so I better make hay while the sun shines. Gonna wrap things up so I can leave at two. Good times. So… happy Thursday, y’all! Love and hugs!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

comments

Some of my favorite commenters (:waves at Mr. Drake:) have been unable to post comments lately for some reason that I can't figure out. Or haven't really tried to figure out. So I opened the comments section back up to all comers - hopefully this won't result in an avalanche of nasty comments from the bitter stalker people (:waves to the stalkers:) So... if you haven't been able to comment in awhile, give it a shot. Keep it nice!

the inevitable Whiny Wednesday post

Shorthanded again. It’s not been too busy so far today, although I’ve quoted two households already. Getting more opportunity since there are fewer people here. None of that has translated into any extra cha-ching yet – but it could. Theresa is still sick with whatever she has (flu-ish symptoms) and Kevin’s very pregnant wife is still sick with a cough that won’t go away (sound familiar?) and they’ve spent another night in the ER trying to get things under control. I definitely understand why they can’t be here… life happens, despite our greatest intentions. I have certainly missed more than my share of work due to random uncontrollable things. Regrettably.

It’s still a short day for me, though, just like any normal Wednesday. D and I chatted about it and he feels like the remaining staff can make it without me for an hour and a half. So I’m outta here at 4 and can still go to church as usual. Or as usually intended. This means I’ll probably either not take lunch or take a short lunch – both of which are fine with me. I have a lean cuisine in the freezer so I won’t starve. Breakfast this morning was most of a pimento cheese sandwich while driving to work.

Monday morning it was 32 degrees as I drove through Cleveland. Yesterday morning it was 33 degrees. This morning it was 37 – warming trend? We’re expecting temps between the 40’s and 70’s for the next few days. Rain on Friday. Weather wise, not much to complain about. It’s that time of year that I can save a bit on power bills. Hopefully.

Of course, I always think that people discuss the weather when they have nothing else to talk about. Surely there’s something more?

Whiny Wednesday complaints: I’m almost out of coffee and will need to make a stop for some, although I really don’t want to go shopping. My right shoulder is bothering me. Not sure what I did but it may be partly from the earthquake of my victory jump during the Florida game on Friday night. Gravity, as I mentioned previously, is not my friend. Gravity sucks. My left heel is also kinda sore. I drank too much coffee this morning (maybe the reason we’re almost out?) and I’ve gone to the bathroom thirty dozen times this morning. (I exaggerate, of course). My hair ended up in a weird place between straight and fluffy today. It’s still cute… just different. I caught a glimpse of my reflection and thought I looked like Meredith from The Office. I still have a little bit of a lingering sinus headache. Not enough to shut me down… just enough to be a bit of an aggravation. I’m still congested but not enough that I sound funny… just enough that I want to do a check for low hangers before I meet with anyone. Having a perky, turned up nose means folks can see clear to your brain.

So how’s the weather where you are? Hope you have a great day… love and hugs!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No Whiny Wednesday preview, I promise

Man plans and God laughs, right?

Both Kevin and Theresa ended up leaving today so I stayed. Duane is golfing today... so it's been just me, Ginger and Shirley (who is back from a two week vacation) today. It's been quiet. Not stressful at all. Unfortunately, I was mentally prepared for a short day so I have been less productive than normal. Fortunately, though, I've been able to keep the "between the eyes" headache at bay with ibuprofen. I don't FEEL bad. I feel pretty good, actually. But the sun is shining...

Instead of my usual "Whiny Wednesday a day early" post... I've decided to do a list of my favorite things - the office edition...

1. my four lip balms that sit at the base of my computer monitor... carmex, banana boat aloe vera, goats milk and aquafor (which is not a lip balm at all but I use it for that)

2. My three drinks... styrofoam cup of ice water from lunch, cup of (formerly) hot green tea from mid morning and bottle of water that I've been dragging around since this morning.

3. My germ-x. I'm nowhere near as germphobic as my co-workers but I do sanitize after touching cash.

4. My lysol disinfectant spray. Some people stink. I have a lovely office with big bright windows... but when the door is closed and someone has been smoking or working or just particularly "unfresh"... I have to give the room a little burst of disinfectant when they leave.

5. my cool coffee mug from Royal Plus Restoration specialists in Jacksonville. When the liquid inside the cup is hot - flames appear on the side of the mug. I love it!

6. My other coffee mug that is used to store my assorted sharpies, pencils and cheap pens that I hand to clients to use. I have given up on keeping a decent pen in the office because they grow legs and walk away. Instead I have cheap bic pens that nobody wants and I either write in pencil or sharpie. Ha! Beat the system!

7. My letters of encouragement from when I was sick... cards from the folks at church and letters with quarters in them from my blog/facebook friends. I kept the quarters attached. I can get a taco for 89 cents - I know as long as I keep those quarters there, I'll always have lunch money!

8. An envelope that came with cash inside that says on the outside, "Heather, God laid it on my heart to send this to you. Hope it helps you!" I've had the opportunity recently to share my testimony of how God continually provides for me. I shared the story of my quarters and cash that came when I was sick...

9. My 3-hole punch. I keep up with the office bank deposits - every day I have a printout of our deposit that goes into a little notebook.

My long day is almost over... I made it!

bummer!

Man down! Theresa went home sick so I'm going to work the whole day. I always try to get a little break whenever I've got a Saturday coming up... but it won't be today. Now I've got to change my mindset to be here three hours longer than I expected to...

And my head hurts! UGH! Being a team player is no kinda fun!

random Tuesday

Yesterday one of my clients kept calling his Mitsubishi a “mitchy-bitchy”. It was hard not to laugh.

Then I had two ladies come in together and even Ginger – who has NO gay-dar – said, “are they together?” I said, “I couldn’t tell”. My money is on yes. I invited them to church.

I’ve had a sinus pressure headache off and on since Friday/Saturday. It’s no fun. Feels like someone has kicked me between the eyes. I’m refusing to get sick, feel sick, act sick, give in… but I did spend Sunday in my pajamas. I woke up around 6am with that nasty headache and took a Tylenol pm instead of ibuprofen (they’re in the same type of bottle and it was dark). I slept until it was too late to go to church… and even if I had woke up… I was still a little foggy. I have since started keeping the ibuprofen in a different location. I woke up at midnight last night with incredible pain… took the ibuprofen, watched Nancy Grace and went back to sleep. Sunday night I woke up at 4am with my nose pouring blood. Good times. I had another nosebleed yesterday while I was getting ready for work. Had one Sunday afternoon. But… when I called the ENT dr, he seemed to think that it’s just a viral sinus infection and nothing to worry about. He prescribed a THIRD nose spray and told me to increase my zinc intake. Oh-kay. My nose is bleeding so I’ll stick more stuff up in it? – that defies the laws of motherhood. I am currently ignoring doctors orders on that third spray.

During the Florida game Saturday night (which was WAY too close for comfort for me!) I was standing in the kitchen making chili (cooking!) and Florida scored a touchdown. I jumped up into one of my old cheerleader jumps but... guess what? Gravity is no longer my friend! I came down faster and harder than I expected.

Yesterday was a long day – I guess because of the 4am bloody start. I was falling asleep at 8pm. I missed the ending of Accidentally on Purpose (the new sitcom with Jenna Elfman) and woke up halfway through the recap of Kate and the “little girls” in the butterfly house… promptly rolled over and went back to sleep. I still love the show – Jon and Kate Plus 8. I hate what a creep he turned out to be.

Have we talked about the balloon boy? Crazy. How could they possibly think that people wouldn’t figure out it was a scam? Narcissism. Men who think they live above the rules of everyone else – are smarter than everyone else – who need constant recognition for their amazing accomplishments – are typically abusive to their families, dishonest, always trying to scam people because they think other people are too dumb to figure out their scam. I speak from experience. *shoutout to Scottsdale, Arizona!* Keep coming back for more, why dontcha? This blog is my therapy. I’m glad to share my insights and revelations.

Today my plan is to work six hours and then take two hours of the time I’m working Saturday and one hour of my lunch and leave the office three hours early today. Austin had turned my house into the Koolaid Hut yesterday and I’m wanting to pull a surprise inspection on him and his friends. I like that he has friends. They seem to be nice kids (except the one I don’t like that I’ve mentioned before) although I know they’re doing the sketchy things that masses of kids will tend to do. I need to let them know that I will be dropping in randomly. They all think they have my schedule figured out. Hmmm. Duane was worried about me leaving today because Theresa is sick which makes her iffy for all day (although she said she plans to work the entire day) and Kevin’s wife was in the ER last night with a really bad cough (she is 32 weeks pregnant). If anyone else has to go, I’ll stay the whole day. Or… I volunteered to use the time as overtime – I could surely use the extra money. No response on that one. Go figure.
Anyways… lots to do in the next five hours… hope you have a great Tuesday! Pray for my BooBoo who is trying to quit smoking again and is about a week smoke free.

Friday, October 16, 2009

life is funny

Life is funny.

I got a “notice of motion to set final hearing for simplified dissolution of marriage” in the mail today at my office. The envelope was addressed by Michael and I didn’t even recognize his handwriting. “Ouser, you have the handwriting of a serial killer”. (that’s from Steel Magnolias) Looks like we’re on our way finally to a conclusion of this nightmare. It was postmarked from Jacksonville so I guess he was in Jax for a bit. Maybe he’s still carrying on his dalliance with her long distance. Guess he left his sons to fend for themselves back in Arizona. All I know is that I hadn’t had any blog traffic from Arizona for the past day or two and today I did. I don’t know why he wants to read my blog. It’s sad, if you think about it. He’s the one who wanted me to leave him alone… yet he stalks my little blog.

In other news… I set a goal for myself of talking to one hundred people about life insurance today. I’m at 44 and the day is about half over. Maybe I’ll get there. I just want to bring in a little extra cha-ching. I have been too busy/distracted/tired/sick to do much in the way of marketing lately. But today… I’m up to the challenge.

I’m feeling good. I’m coughing a little bit but not bad and I FEEEEEEL good! I slept great last night. I left the window in my room open and the chill from outside was just enough to make that soft, fuzzy blanket feel that much better! We’re having temps in the 40’s and 50’s this weekend. It’s crisp but not too cold. The leaves are gorgeous. The sun is bright. No rain. I’m almost free. Life is good!

How crazy was that story of the boy in the balloon? I caught it on cnn.com yesterday afternoon and had to share with my co-workers. Then the balloon came down without the boy and it was sort of morbid thinking that he had been tossed out somewhere over Colorado. All the while he was in the attic. Having raised a child who is prone to disappearing, I can empathize with the parents. It does seem a bit sketchy though. Then this morning… when the poor kid started puking on the Today show… well, I have to admit that I laughed myself silly just because the whole thing is soooo ridiculous!

Like I said, life is funny.

My new syndicated show addiction is The Office. I’m really bad about not catching shows in their initial run and then watching them obsessively in syndication. The Nanny. Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. And so forth. The Office is really funny in an “observation of human nature” kind of way. Each character is so uniquely evolved to be “that person” you’ve worked with at one time or another.

I’m still loving my new hairdo. Honestly, I think it’s the best cut I’ve ever had. It looks a little different every day, depending on the weather and whatever amount of effort I put into it. The length is perfect for me. Wish I’d done this makeover a year ago… but I’m glad I did it now.

In my first week here I took a picture of a beautiful old country church with two trees that were in full fall color on either side of the church. It’s the quintessential fall in the country scene. When I passed by that old church yesterday, the leaves had turned. I teared up… I’ve completed a full cycle… a full year… here in my little mountain home. How blessed I am!

Yesterday was Dean’s birthday. I don’t think he and I had really started talking at this point last year because I don’t remember his birthday. Of course, I was oblivious to a lot at that point. Theresa asked me yesterday if I was going to have an emotional breakdown when the divorce is final – like what I had on our wedding anniversary over the summer. I don’t think so. When I got the paperwork in the mail today I did a fist pump in the air. It feels good. It’s liberating. I’m ready to be done.

And tomorrow is Sarabeth’s birthday party. It’s a fall festival theme… hayrides, facepainting, decorating pumpkins… it will be fun. Angie’s sister Mandy (Aunt Mimi) will be here tonight. I’m always happy for Aunt Mimi when she gets to spend time with the girls because I know she loves them like I love them. She lives a few hours away. When I prompt the girls to say “who’s the best aunt EVER?” And they answer “Aunt Heather” I always add “and Aunt Mimi”.

Time for lunch. Four and a half hours until my weekend starts! God is good!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Whiny Wednesday leftovers with a little Thankful Thursday mixed in

I’m coughing today. It makes me angry.
My cuticles are a mess.
I just spent an hour quoting an RV policy – including doing research on the internet and talking with an auto service specialist to try to nail down an MSRP as we don’t have one in our system yet. And the insured wants to shop it around. Chasing rabbits.
The weather is cool and misty. We’re expecting it to clear up and be cooler for the weekend – highs in the 50’s. I’ll take it!
I’m having lunch at Sarabeth’s school today. That makes for a long afternoon so I brought yogurt for a snack for later. I have half of a milky way midnight dark in my desk drawer too. Just in case.
I’m going to restart the weight loss blog that has been sitting dormant since July when I was put on steroids. I’m still on a steroid nose spray but my energy level is better so I think I’ll be able to get things going in the right direction again. This morning I felt good enough to fold two loads of laundry before work. That’s new.
I talked to Ryan yesterday about spending Thanksgiving with him in Pennsylvania. Plane tickets round trip would be around $600 for the two of us. I’d have to have a big commission or two to justify the expense. I’m leaving it to God – if I’m supposed to go, we’ll have the money. If I’m not, we won’t. Plain and simple.
Looks like there’s some movement on the divorce. The latest online update shows “motion to set for hearing” as of yesterday. I’m not real sure what that means but… it’s new at least. The last update was in July. Maybe he decided that he didn’t want to waste the money he’s spent toward this divorce by not signing what he’s supposed to sign. I just hope and pray I don’t have to actually GO to Jacksonville to go to court. If I do, maybe I can stay at Dean’s apartment…
Last night at church was – well, boring. Our leader for our bible study group had back surgery and I guess they just haven’t thought about getting someone to lead the class. I haven’t been there for most of the study so I really can’t do much toward wrapping things up. We had two new ladies last night and I was a little embarrassed that things were disorganized. We had a good time chatting… which is nice… I need a little social interaction from time to time… but I also need the bible study. There was a committee that met in our classroom and they didn’t get out until late so there was a group of us standing in the hall not really sure where to go or what to do. A little awkward. But I enjoyed being with the girls.
Sarabeth got a birthday card from a boy… he went to a lot of trouble to draw her a picture inside the card. Her cheeks got red as she read it… and she pulled it out a few times and re-read it. It was cute! Jamie was having a bad case of “it’s not my birthday” blues. Poor girl! She and sister do everything together. I guess it’s hard not to birthday together.
It’s 3 hours later. Time is dragging today. Had lunch with Sarabeth and Angie at Sarabeth’s school. Chicken strips and potato wedges. It actually wasn’t that bad. And cupcakes! The kids were all keyed up. Sarabeth has this quiet wisdom about her… she watches all the craziness but remains above the fray.
It’s raining hard now. I can’t believe there are still four hours left in my work day. It feels like I’ve been here 8 hours already. I have spent the day doing complicated but unprofitable things. I’m going to have to close my door and just start calling people… gotta make some money somehow. My paycheck today was disappointing and I really only missed one day.
Today is my one year anniversary here.
Back to work. Have a great Thursday, y’all.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

seven years ago

Seven years ago everything changed.

I started work at my uncle’s State Farm office and began a career path that would afford me a decent wage and opportunity to continue working, even as my misguided romantic life lead me to living in 5 different homes and working in four different offices in 3 years. Seven years ago I started learning job skills and earned certification that will allow me to support myself as long as I need to… and on the same day...

Seven years ago today my legacy was born.

I don’t mean my career. Since 1968 there had been only boys born into the Gant family. We were blessed enough to add wives for my brothers and two little girls who became part of our family during their childhood. But no girls born a Gant… from 1968 until 2002.

Then… on this day in 2002… my precious little legacy, Sarabeth Leah Gant came into the world and promptly wrapped me around her tiny little finger. She’s had me in her grip ever since. From the time she was tee-tiny any time I was around her, my troubles melted away. She is wise beyond her years yet incredibly innocent. We have the BEST conversations! She has a childlike faith but understanding of God that few adults comprehend. She remembers everything. She can read better than some high school kids. She could count to fifty in Spanish when she was only 3. She memorized more bible verses last year than any other kindergardener in the church. She is tall and lean and graceful. She has incredibly beautiful red hair and adorable freckles and freakishly long toes. She loves flipflops and lip gloss and glitter and books and singing and dancing. She is shy when she first meets you or when she’s introduced to a new environment but once she warms up, she’s a little chatterbox! She is a good big sister… a daddy’s girl… she loves her mommy… she (just like her Aunt Heather) loves to be around people but also needs alone time to regroup.

She is seven. My sweet little Sarabeth is seven. I was a little misty driving into work this morning thinking about how fast the time is passing. I don’t want to keep her little because I want her to enjoy all that life has to offer as she grows up. She’s in a great community, with a loving and supportive church family and has parents who make her a priority. She has everything she needs to grow into an amazing person. I’m so blessed to be able to watch her grow!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

last man standing...

Out of six people in our office... two are on vacation... one went home with a migraine... one had to leave to take his pregnant wife some medicine (and will hopefully be back)... one is stuck in the bathroom with an upset stomach... and that leaves me... oy vey.

Fabulousity Weekend

It’s Tuesday and I’m still feeling the effects of the weekend. I’m sleepy, my feet hurt… but I had a great time. It’s fun to see this place where I live through the eyes of someone who doesn’t live here. It’s all too easy to take for granted this incredibly beautiful part of the world that I’m fortunate enough to call home.

It seems like every minute from the time I picked Candice up from the airport to the time I took her back was filled. Thursday we tried to pack in as much time as possible with Purple Michael. He had other commitments – his reason for coming was to sing at a friend’s wedding so he had lots of wedding related stuff to do. It took awhile to find a place to eat… and then the service was horribly slow. We were only with him a few hours and then had to drop him off… and tackle the Atlanta afternoon traffic. It was after 8 when I got home that night.

Friday (as I mentioned before) was a comedy of errors for me – but thankfully, a restful and relaxing day for Candice. She got to spend some quality time with Sarabeth and Jamie – painting fingernails, playing – I had a ridiculously busy day at work with a few personal issues that popped up. I was doing a very stressful juggling act that day but I was soooo thankful for the diversion that evening, being able to spend time with family. Angie had her own comedy of errors that day trying to make it back home from a conference with a co-worker with appendicitis. Me, Jim, Candice and the girls went to North Georgia BBQ for a twilight picnic dinner – it was perfect weather and perfect scenery and good food! We went back to Jim and Angie's house and Angie made it home finally - exhausted - Austin and Jim played Wii and we all just hung out.

Saturday we maxed it out… did the tourist thing in Helen – shopping until I dropped, had a nice lunch (again, with really bad service), went to the local winery for a wine tasting, visited with Angie and the girls. (Jim had gone to a funeral in Atlanta). I crashed and burned around dinner time and left Candice in Angie’s capable hands…

*sidebar* I said to Jamie, “If I go home will you take care of Aunt Candice for me?” Jamie said, “isn’t she a grownup?” Jamie is such a funny kid!

I only made it through the first quarter of the Florida / LSU game before I fell asleep. Go Gators!

Sunday I went to church… then went out to lunch at La Cabana (our favorite little Mexican place) with Candice and Austin… went to the peanut shack… Betty’s grocery (it’s a little grocery store with lots of treasures like RC cola, hard to find “old” candy, etc) we did more of the tourist shops in Helen… drove through the countryside, went to a big farm market… took Candice back to Jim and Angie’s for a few minutes while we went home to “freshen up” (throw in a load of laundry, take out the trash, have a cup of coffee) … then it was back to the church to drop Austin off and pick Candice up. She and I went to the Nacoochee Pizza Tavern for a nice leisurely meal (again, outside… we did a lot of al fresco dining this weekend as the weather was perfect!) Austin went with the church youth group to dinner and to the Corn Maze. Candice and I met them at the corn maze. If you haven’t done a corn maze in the dark – you haven’t lived! Actually… we didn’t go through the maze… we sat by a nice campfire and just enjoyed the atmosphere and the people. I had a hard time winding down to sleep afterwards…

Monday I was up at 5am to pick Candice up from Jim and Angie’s for the drive back to the airport. The weather was horrible… it poured rain on us almost the entire way… but traffic was manageable since it was Columbus Day and a lot of people were off work. I heard that it was the most rain ever recorded in one day at the Atlanta airport… definitely not good travel weather… but we survived! I made the four hour round trip drive, grabbed a frappucino and was at work by 11am. I worked straight through without lunch and left work a few minutes early (which I made up this morning) because I was sooo sleepy. I made biscuits for dinner and was asleep around 9pm but I could have slept another nine hours, I think.

Candice’s trip was to take her mind off of the anniversary of her grandmother’s death. I think it worked. She was able to use my secret weapon – the Gant girls – to ward off unhappy thoughts. You seriously can NOT be around Sarabeth and Jamie and feel doom and gloom! They are simply too sweet, too funny, too full of life… and although Candice isn’t really a “kid person”… she really enjoyed the girls. Of course, she made the same observation that I always have – they are really well behaved. It makes a difference. Jamie had a bit of birthday envy when Aunt Candice bought SB a beautiful ballerina music box… but that happens. There is strength in sisterhood… and although I grew up in a home with no sisters, I definitely had sisters of the heart then… and have lots of sisters now. Someone took a picture of me, Angie, Candice and Jamie on Sunday night and I said, “this is almost all of the Gant girls…” and then I realized that there are actually ELEVEN Gant girls now! Mom, me, Angie, Mechelle, Candice, Katherine, Tiffany, Elizabeth, Madie, Sarabeth and Jamie! Candice enjoyed getting to know Bryan’s family without the stress and chaos of a holiday… and we enjoyed having her around, getting to share the simple life that we have here.

After months of feeling bad and being tired and doing only the things I HAD to do, it was nice to get out of my comfort (lazy) zone and spend some time with the three dimensional people. There is so much more I wanted to show Candice and so much more I wanted to do with Michael. Cody was hurt that I wasn’t able to spend time with him in the few short hours I was in Atlanta on Thursday. I’ve learned to just accept what you have and not mourn what you don’t. for my entire adult life I’ve had limited resources of time, money, energy but I’ve always managed to make memories. I don’t want to not do anything at all because I can’t do it all and sometimes lately, that’s how I’ve lived – in fear of using up resources and then having to do without. Sometimes you have to cast caution to the wind and live the best life you can.
Hope you all have a great day! The sun is shining here!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

pictures for my non-facebook readers...
















A few pictures of the past week... before haircut, after haircut... me with Purple Michael at "our" theatre.
It's been a busy past few days but it's happy busy. Thursday was incredible - getting to spend time with PM and Candice. Friday was a comedy of errors - if it could go wrong, it did -from the latch on the trunk of my car breaking (once again, thank you Michael Darby from hitting me from behind and refusing to allow me to repair my car)... to the power being out at our house... Austin and I ended up crashing at Jim and Angie's Friday night. Saturday was a great day - perfect weather, we did the touristy thing in Helen and that was great fun. I've walked more in the past few days than in the past month! I've also lost 5 pounds in the past few days, so it's been good for me.
Today I'm heading to church for worship service (skipping sunday school... I needed a little downtime this morning!) and then Candice and I are going to the Peanut Stand - to the soap store - to the little country grocery store - and that sort of thing. We may end up at the corn maze tonight with the kids from the youth group... then tomorrow... I drive her back to the airport... *sigh*... it's been a good visit and she has enjoyed being Aunt Candice and getting to know Bryan's family in a way that is impossible in the hustle and chaos of a holiday gathering. This has been a good visit for all of us!
Gotta finish getting ready for church! Love and hugs and happy fall, y'all!

Friday, October 9, 2009

People are nasty today. I even checked to see if there's a full moon. There isn't. I've been yelled at a dozen times and it's still not lunch time.

The best so far was the lady who was mad that her policy includes coverage for driving her car in the United States and Canada and up to fifty miles in Mexico. She doesn't go to Mexico so she wanted me to take that coverage off and charge her less. I told her it was just the terms of the policy - we don't charge per rule. Oy.

weekend countdown

Weekend countdown! Although I feel like the weekend started yesterday and my body can’t figure out what I’m doing here… I left home without my makeup this morning and had to turn around and go back and get it… when I texted Theresa to let her know I’d be a few minutes late, she texted back that I had an appointment scheduled for 8:30 (information that would have been helpful to have prior to then)… so I rushed in the house, grabbed my makeup bag and didn’t even notice that I was missing half of the items that are normally in it because I did my makeup at home yesterday morning and didn’t put things back where they go. ARGH! So I’m sorta makeupless. Not cute. I also decided to try my new ‘do curly today and … I’m not loving it curly. Add that to the fact that I no longer have any jeans that fit…I am NOT feeling cute today… really, it shoulda been the weekend already!

Yesterday was fabulous, though! Candice’s plane was early, Michael’s was a little late.. I had a good time people watching in the airport. We tried to go eat Mexican and it was a bit of an adventure as traffic was backed up and we had to go a circuitous route… and then the place we planned to go was closed down (who knew?). We were close to the performing arts center where Michael and I had put on a few fabulous shows together so we HAD to go in and revisit our old haunt. We ran into our favorite techie – an old hippie lady who was just always a joy to be around. She was excited to see Michael and I – still together after all these years – and we had a group hug! We didn’t get as warm of a reception for the lady who now runs the PAC… not really surprising… we were part of the old administration. Things have changed in Clayton County, Georgia and we’re not part of that world any more.

We went for lunch at Longhorn – the one my brother used to work at – which is being remodeled and was practically empty, smelled of wood and the service was incredibly slow. We had time to linger… otherwise it might have been frustrating. Michael and Candice got along great- I knew they would – they have similar likes and dislikes. Once we finished eating we needed to take Michael to his sister’s work so that he could borrow her car for the weekend.

After we dropped Michael off at his sister’s… Candice and I tackled Atlanta traffic. We had a good time chatting and we took advantage of the HOV (carpool) lane but it was still pretty slow going through town. She was shocked to realize that we were the ONLY ones in the HOV lane… few carpoolers in Atlanta’s commuters. I don’t know why… but that’s the case. We stopped for gas and coffee… stopped by my office so she could see the cute little house where I work… and then headed toward the setting sun toward Jim and Angie’s. Jim and the girls had walked down the bumpity bump road (the gravel road) to the little cafĂ© near their house… I didn’t know what was up because his truck was in the driveway but they were nowhere to be found! We sat on the front porch in rocking chairs and waited for them to come home – and they came running up the driveway within a few minutes. I loved on the girls a bit, made sure Candice was settled into the Highway 17 Hilton (Jim and Angie’s) and headed home. It was a long day but well worth it!

Today I’m working (boohiss! I would much rather be playing!) and will head to Jim and Angie’s after work to do dinner and whatever. Seven and a half hours to go. Ugh!

I will never again respect the Nobel prizes since they gave one to Obama based on… what? Empty, unfulfilled promises? He hasn’t done anything! Certainly not for world peace! Good grief! Has this world gone mad?

It must be a full moon… I’ve been dealing with a lot of crazy today. Gonna post this and keep my nose to the grindstone… shaping up to be quite a Friday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

not WHINY Wednesday

I had to laugh… a client of mine picked up a police report from the local city police department. There was only a first name on the outside of the envelope. Last names aren’t needed here, apparently.

Still loving my hair! The humidity was high this morning so I was worried that I’d look like a dirty q-tip… or something… but it worked pretty well. And I could tell that it’s going to look cute curly too. It’s amazing how good a new hairdo can make you feel! I thought that short hair would make me look older… I think it makes me look younger… and more hip… I thought I’d miss tossing my long hair back – Cher style – but it’s ok. I can toss my head and my hair just bounces!

The minister of music from the church I grew up in passed away yesterday. His youngest daughter is due to have her first child in a few weeks… so sad he won’t get to meet her. Through the magic of facebook I’m able to keep in touch with former church members and it was nice to know that people who haven’t been around this family in twenty years – still extending their condolences IMMEDIATELY. Say what you will about social networking, I think it gives us a great opportunity to participate in people’s lives.

Tomorrow is the big day! I’ve been emailing back and forth with Candice and Purple Michael all morning. LOVE them! So excited about seeing them!

I woke up to the sound of rain this morning… made me want to stay in bed. Lately I’m awake until nearly midnight and have a hard time dragging myself out of bed before 7am. It’s a weird schedule for me. We have another month until we “fall back” … so I guess I’ll be going to sleep at ten and waking up at 5am again soon. I dread driving home from work in the dark. The days seem so much shorter here in the mountains once time changes. We fall back an hour and it seems like we lose two hours.

Oh well. Planning – determined – to go to church tonight. I’ve been absent on Wednesday nights for the past month. I’m determined to participate. My nose is still icky and my cough is worse today… but I feel stronger. I don’t have that feeling of complete and absolute exhaustion that I had for awhile there.

Gotta get on the phone and get some appointments scheduled… hope y’all have a great day! And I’m not Whiny! No Whiny Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I did it!

Well. I did it. I cut off all my hair. Ok, not ALL but a significant amount - over a foot! It’s about chin length and super cute! I have pictures but can’t post them from work. Stasha went with me… so she got good pictures. Too good… they’re definitely inspiration for dieting.

Other than that… it’s been a quiet day. I’ve seen a few clients. Have a sinus headache (it’s aggravating but completely manageable). Had lean cuisine for lunch. Fruit and yogurt parfait for breakfast. I’m sleepy. Totally uninspired and undermotivated. I’ve been pondering earth shattering topics such as “will Tim Tebow be cleared to play this weekend?” and “how should we fix the girls’ hair for Crazy Hair Night in AWANAs tomorrow night?”

I shaved my legs this morning. I went to bed early last night. I still think Jon Gosselin is a loser for clearing out their joint bank account. I need to put on some lipstick. I made a suggestion about recycling unused payment return envelopes that clients bring in with their payments. It’s been that kind of interesting day. Aren’t you glad you’re reading my blog?

We’re down to counting hours instead of days until Purple Michael and Candice arrive Atlanta. I checked the leaf watcher report and everything in Georgia is still pretty much green. There is an actual leaf report on the Georgia State Parks website. But there’s still plenty to do – or not do. The girl cutting my hair today (whose name is also Candice) said, “you have to take her to Fred’s Peanuts”. I will. Candice has never had boiled peanuts. Everyone must try them at least once. I love ‘em. But then again, I love a lot of culinary treats from around here. And we’re going to the winery. And to Stasha’s parents’ jewelry store in Helen. Good times!

My co-worker asked how I was going to be able to drive without putting my hair in a ponytail. I can’t remember the last time my hair was too short for a ponytail. I guess I’ll be able to ride with the windows down without having hair in my eyes. Weird.

I would mention that I think David Letterman is a creep but honestly, I think it’s the times we’re living in… anything goes. People seem to have no concept of fidelity. There are a lot of creeps out there. You know who you are.

I wonder if I’ll be able to fix my hair myself. I’m nervous. It’s supposed to be cut in such a way that I can still wear it curly. Think of the money I’ll save in conditioner! Candice (the stylist) suggested that I should get my hair colored now. I don’t know. I’ll have to let this look settle in a bit first. My hair is definitely darker!

I just mentioned that we need a dance break this afternoon and “Car wash” came on the radio… I got up and danced beside my desk. Two more hours, I need to wake up!

So that’s the haps… hope you have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 5, 2009

I think I need a Deliverance Divorce...

Blanche Truelove – that’s her name. First and middle, anyways. She was with her husband from the time she was 18 until his death just recently. She is 92. Seventy four years. And still in love… she said he was still her sweetheart after all of these years. She said she was so sad without him… I said, “oh, Miss Blanche… what I wouldn’t give to have the love of one man for my whole life” and she thanked me for reminding her of that. She is blessed.

Goodbye is never easy… even when they’re not worth grieving. But to lose someone that you’ve loved your whole life… that has to be hard. She sounded strong, though. She was taking care of business. Capable. A Steel Magnolia. There are a lot of those around here. She said it’s harder on gray days, like today. It’s a cool, wet fall day. The temperature is hovering around sixty. I guess that would be balmy for some of you. It’s chilly after a long hot Georgia summer. Especially the first time it turns cool.

I have been feeling stronger myself. Coughing less. Finally starting to feel like this creeping crud that’s had me in it’s claws for three months is moving out (like the mucinex commercial). I just remembered that I’m supposed to be taking mucinex. Oops. I have been feeling better, though. I got a little wheezy during lunch today and once I start coughing it seems to escalate. I’m not feeling exhausted and weak any more, though. I’ve been dancing around a bit… feeling more energy. Now I have to work on undoing the effects of three months of steroids.

My day didn’t start out so great… nothing tragic… just realized I had forgotten to forward the phones back to the answering service when I left on Saturday so calls went to our voicemail . Had filled out the bank deposit wrong on Friday… having to fix the collateral damage from those things. I wasn’t exactly employee of the month material over the past month. I tried. I kept going… if it had been up to me, I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed for a month. My house looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in months. I need to scrub floors…

I guess, ultimately, though, you have to get through life by just getting up every day and giving it the best you’ve got, whatever that is… and forgive yourself for your shortcomings… and try harder when you can…

At least, with all my marital failings, I didn’t have the misfortune of marrying Jon Gosselin. He is demonstrating the ultimate in bad ex behavior… taking all the money out of a joint account.

I heard from Dean over the weekend. Those of you who are his facebook friends – he posted a new picture of him and the kids. They look great! All of them! I’m so proud of him. And me. We’re survivors. We had some really nasty conspiratorial stuff done to us… in the words of my *husband* “She helped me get out of my marriage and I helped her get out of hers”. Of course, the flaw in that is that he’s still not out of his… by his own fault… but maybe that’s his own way of keeping himself from ever having to commit again. He drags me along for the rest of his life and can date whatever kind of women he wants without having to make a commitment… of course, that won’t work… I’ll file for divorce up here and have a Deliverance Divorce done my way and add to his long list of creditors by filing for court costs… which should be fairly easy to have awarded up in these parts… where judges don’t take kindly to men who abandon their wives… and cheat on their wives… and refuse to take care of business… and maybe I’ll throw in a little spousal support and personal injury and whatever else I can tack on… and since it’s on my turf and not in some big metropolis, get a little monetary award – at least on paper.

Monday is ticking by. Hope you all are having a great one… Happy Fall, y’all!

Friday, October 2, 2009

weekend countdown

Wow! You know it’s been a busy Friday when I don’t even start my weekend countdown until after 3!

My day started with a trip to a consignment sale. There is a group that does two consignment sales a year… and I had been given a $50 gift certificate… so I was there when they opened the doors at 8 this morning. I scheduled myself to be at work a little late so I could take my time but it was really neat and well organized. I was able to go right up to the area that had stuff in my size and LOAD UP! I don’t even know how many outfits I got… I’ll count and tell ya later. I would say at least ten outfits for work, a thick hoodie, a couple of nice shirts and a skirt. I got Austin three shirts and a brand new (labels still on them) pair of jeans. I even got a costume princess dress for Sarabeth and Jamie’s dress-up closet. All of that for only $6 of my own money! Woohoo! I did NOT find any jeans for me and I really need jeans. If I had known about this sale a few weeks ago, I would have put my own stuff in it… I have so much practically new stuff that doesn’t fit me… I could have made enough money to buy a few things… oh, well. I’ll get in the spring sale. Or lose weight so I can wear my stuff and sell the big stuff… anyways…. I was in and out in less than fifteen minutes… and I was only about 8 minutes late for work. Not a bad deal!

When I started working through my budget yesterday afternoon I realized that I was in a big old world of hurt and was going to have to postpone a payment or two… and then… I got home and had a nice child support check waiting for me! Right. On. Time! Austin headed out for the mailbox and I said, “buddy, you better pray that your daddy comes through for us!” and Austin came back with it… excited! He knows how much we live on prayer… I wish his childhood hadn’t involved so much struggle… but I’m glad he’s learned to have faith.

He told me last night that one of his friends at school is having stepdad trouble. He said the stepdad gave the kid a bloody lip. Austin was really concerned. I wish that Austin had never lived through a situation that would make him empathetic to a kid in that situation… but I’m proud of him for having the courage to talk to the kid. Austin’s a mess… literally… he’s the messiest kid you could ever imagine… but he’s got such a huge heart. You can’t help but love him.

We’re under two hours to go until the weekend! I’m working tomorrow… like, ONE HUNDRED percent definitely working because I need the hours so I can enjoy my time with Candice and Purple Michael next week…. And I have appointments scheduled so I really have to come in. The time goes by fast. And besides, it’s a bye week for florida so I won’t be missing the Tim Tebow show. I haven’t even checked to see what games are televised tomorrow. I’ll do that tonight.

I set an appointment for a haircut for myself… but I might not wait that long… I might go ahead. Or I might chicken out. I practiced different lengths in the mirror last night. I decided that I’m cute enough to carry a really short hair cut but I would miss playing with my hair. *laugh*

You know… I’m really starting to perk up. Not feeling the same overwhelming weakness that I had for so long. I’ve still got a cough but it’s better. I am starting to feel like I’m going to be well one day!
Ok… hour and a half… it’s ticking away! Have a great weekend, y’all!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

my life is average

I was marveling at how cool it is that I can twist my hair into a bun and hold it in place by sticking a pencil through the bun - something I think is a really neat trick... and five seconds later I was frantically searching my desk for my pencil. My life is average.

I had chicken soup at a mexican restaurant for lunch. It was perfect... hot and just barely spicy... opened up my sinuses for a bit. Now I'm clogged back up but it was cool while it lasted.

I've been chatting with Whitney a lot this week. I miss her. Whitney and the beach are probably the only two things I miss about Jacksonville... I lie, I miss the stepped-on-sons. I miss hearing Rocky the chihuahua bark his fool head off in greeting from his porch downstairs. I miss Michael's nephews... but I really miss my all day banter with Whitney. I still have it to some degree through the magic of email...

In the same way that I can still "chat" with Amy at my uncle's office during the day. I love my State Farm girls!

Remember Hottie Heath who worked for my uncle? He was the one who was so incredibly beautiful .... breathtakingly beautiful... who turned out to be a really amazing friend to me and helped me for hours on end while I was moving my stuff from my trailer to storage so that I could move in with Michael. (Clue number one, Heather - if the man won't help you move... he probably isn't worth moving in with... I'm just sayin'!) Anyways... Heath has stayed employed by my uncle all this time... but tomorrow is his last day because he's going to become a FIREMAN!

If that don't get your blood pumpin' - nothing will! I think they hired him just so they can put him in one of those hot firemen calendars! Ha! anyways... I emailed him today and wished him luck (and wished him to get a facebook page... he won't).

Today went by fast until the last hour... then it started to drag. I actually feel less tired than I've been feeling... sharp pain still in my right side... clogged sinuses... but no headache for the most part... the cough has been better...

Gotta do the bank deposit! Love and hugs, y'all!

I'm so thankful!

I need a new attitude.
Not that I’m Debbie Downer or anything. I just need to wake up in the morning ready to thrive, not just praying to survive. I need to complain less and praise more. I am so blessed and have been brought through so much! It’s Thankful Thursday, y’all!
1. My co-worker Shirley discovered that the peach candies that we had tucked away in our sugar packet canister at the office will dissolve in hot tea and make it peach flavored! It’s awesome! What a treat! She’s a genius!
2. My co-worker Kevin’s wife is still hanging tight with their first baby… he’s 47, she’s 42 and they’ve been trying for years. Ten weeks to go until little Raleigh makes his appearance.
3. The weather here is incredible! Perfect weather! It’s the temperature we set our inside thermostat to and it feels wonderful!
4. We’re at full staff today. That rarely happens.
5. I had a great dream the other night about Mr. Drake – thank you for visiting me in my sleep!
6. Shirley is about to take a two week vacation to Niagara Falls. I’m excited for her! They love to travel. I do too, I just can’t afford to right now.
7. I’m thankful for the new meds that I got – they weren’t cheap – but health insurance paid a huge part of the cost. I’m hoping they start working SOON!
8. I had a hard time going to sleep last night… and I woke up early because Stubby the 3Legged Rooster/Cat thought that it was HIGH time for me to get up and fill his bowls. I kept trying to push him away but he kept licking my face. Eventually I just got up.
9. Thursdays are the BEST day on Superpoke Pets because they put new inventory out that you can buy for your pet. I had spent $30k coins before 7am. (It’s not real money – it’s money you earn playing the game). When I get home tonight I can decorate new habitats! Yay!
10. I’m thankful for halls cough drops and tissues. Still.
11. I still really love my keurig single cup coffee maker, especially since I figured out how much cheaper it was to use the “do it yourself” basket and buy espresso blend coffee to serve in it.
12. For that matter, if nothing else, being married to Michael earned us a great coffee maker, a big tv and a Wii. That doesn’t make things even but it softens the blow.
13. Reality tv. Love it. Amazing Race, Hell’s Kitchen, Survivor, The Duggars, Kate plus 8 (yes, I still love them!), Toddlers and Tiaras… I love it all!
14. Leads and lists… it’s where my extra money comes from… chasing down leads.
15. Taco Bell. Cheap lunches!
16. Living off the bounty of the pantry… it’s amazing how long we can go between grocery visits!

Not a bad list, right? I had a nasty sinus headache yesterday and by the end of the day felt like someone had kicked me right in the bridge of the nose! The pressure was UNREAL! I fought it all night and had trouble going to sleep because of it. My cough is less frequent but thicker… I’m not as tired as I was before I started the new meds but my head is more congested. Go figure.

I’m working on marketing today… hitting it hard. Need to start putting money away for Santa and Cody’s wedding.