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!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday.

Trying to type a blog entry but there's this sweet little kitty who keeps tapping me on the arm with his little paw begging for treats. He has the tiniest little *mew* instead of a bold meow. I can barely resist him. He even charmed Pop into giving him the lid off the can of salmon from dinner the other night (salmon croquettes... one of my favorite Pop dishes).

I made english muffin pizzas last night... just a very thin ground beef patty on an english muffin, topped with half of a stewed tomato and some strips of bell pepper, drizzled with olive oil and topped with parmesan cheese. It's one of mine and Austin's favorite meals.

The weather this week has been bizarre... howling winds, a sudden drop in temperatures....it's 38 degrees outside right now. We're hundreds and hundreds of miles away from the storm but the wind has been stiff all week. Austin and I went out for groceries yesterday morning and he went in shorts and a polo shirt. He left his hoodie and any other warmish clothes at the mountain house. He said he was fine. On the way home from the store he asked if we could stop at the thrift store to pick him up something. We did... for $1.75 we got him a fleece jacket.

I've only been to Newark (on the way to NYC)... never actually visited New Jersey... but all my genealogy research has shown that I'm about 1/2 Jersey Girl... and it breaks my heart to see the devastation there. Not just there but throughout the Northeast. I think this is what makes me particularly well suited for the work I do... I am a huge empath... I take it personally. Many generations of Gants called Monmouth County, New Jersey home and my heart breaks for my ancestors' home place but even without the family connection, there's a human connection that I can't escape.

Yesterday was a day off for me... worked Monday, off Tuesday, work Wednesday thru Friday... I know y'all are sick of hearing this but *I LOVE MY JOB!* In November I am taking a class that lasts 8 hours two days in a row. It will hurt like heck but the reward for me is that out of the eleven days following that class, I will be off for 9. Five day weekend... work two days... four day Thanksgiving weekend. It's a rough life. Actually, sometimes it IS still rough. I never dreamed that *prior to* age 45, I would struggle to work a part-time job. I'm grateful for every paycheck, every opportunity to do for myself.

I'm so ready for this election to be over. People are so bitterly divided. Four years ago, even though I didn't vote for him, I had high hopes that Obama could be a uniter. He's not. I can't remember a time in my lifetime when people have been on such completely opposite sides of issues. Good people, nice people, law abiding citizens who have made your political beliefs into a statement about about your character. I was so deeply stung by a comment that a friend made on facebook last week that I had to remove her from my news feed... I didn't unfriend her... I hope that things will simmer down after the election... but being accused of putting money (the economic strength of our country by electing a successful businessman) ahead of people's rights (gay marriage - which I don't believe either candidate truly supports... I mean, if Obama saw it as a priority, why didn't he shove it through like he did Obamacare?)  was more than I could swallow. We've been down the rabbit hole here lately and I don't like this glimpse of insanity that our nation is displaying.

Well... once again my blogging time has been interrupted by the zoo... Lily has to go out... Lily has to come in... Lady has to go out... Lady has to come in... All in the space of five minutes. Oscar is up and down with me and it takes a few minutes to get him resettled every time I get up and sit back down... by the time I get rearranged I've lost my train of thought. My power cord on my laptop has become so positional that every time I get up and down I have to rearrange things... and this time I can't get it to work. Ugh. Guess I better post before the battery dies and hope that I can get it to work again later. I've got to get a new laptop... the power cord connection itself is broken.

Anyways... time to put on a happy face and get a shower and glam. Time to go to work. Happy Wednesday.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Reasons to Love Monday

Auntie Em! Auntie Em!
We're hundreds of miles away from the eye of Hurricane Sandy and yet, here in the southern suburbs of Atlanta, we are experiencing strong winds. God bless all y'all in a more direct path! Praying God's protection and provision for you during the next few days.

It may not feel like it if you're in a part of the world that is hunkered down to prepare for the Frankenstorm, but here in Georgia it's Monday... and I'm determined to find Reasons to Love it!

1. Wall to wall storm coverage on the tv. I love it. I'm a catastrophe junkie. I was destined to be in the insurance industry because I have such a tender heart for those who are suffering. I'm a great commiserater. If that's a word.

2. On Saturday I predicted that Obama would use Sandy as an excuse/reason for him to not be re-elected and/or, I predict that he will not relinquish the Presidency, even if voted out of office based on the process being unfair since the location being targeted is a big liberal leaning area. I heard the first talking point yesterday from a Democratic Strategist who stated, "Republicans will use this as an opportunity to disenfranchise Democratic voters". Give me a freakin' break! It's an act of nature! What did Republicans do to cause it? And wouldn't it disenfranchise equally? Ugh.

3. I stumbled across this today and thought it was interesting... 218 Reasons NOT to vote for Obama . If you're a google addict like me, you can just google "Reasons not to vote for Obama" and you'll find hundreds of similar essays.

4. Austin gets his iphone4 today. He's had a rough past few months. It's hard to strike out on your own, especially if you're not really ready for it. He's really, very much been a pleasure to be around since he's been back with us. Mama and daddy's house in Riverdale is small... four bedrooms but they're all packed to capacity... there's only one bathroom... Austin is sleeping on a massage table in the computer room and he's really just rolled with the flow. There's tons of room in the mountain house but none of us can be there full time yet and he doesn't drive or have a car available so we can't leave him there alone. He's been really, very, incredibly cooperative. I can't emphasize enough how helpful he's been around here. He doesn't have a job yet but he's hesitant. It's very different here than it is in the mountains. He needs a little pick me up and his mawmaw, who spoils all her grandkids when given the chance, indulged him in a new phone. He's thrilled because it's much newer technology than he had before. I'm thrilled because it's cheaper than what I've been paying for his phone (which, for now, I'm doing). Happy kid = happy mommy and happy mawmaw.

5. I had a great night's sleep last night. I was feeling really icky yesterday... headache came back... earache came back... my eye was really weak (and it still is, not as bad, though)... so I went to bed early and slept great. I got up once to pee and little kitty was offended that I was moving the warm blankets so he snagged my thumb with his claw. It hurt really bad. Other than that, it was a great night's sleep.

6. I'm working today, off tomorrow, working the next three days, off for two days... I mean... for a girl who battles chronic pain and fatigue and needs "recovery" days... this is a perfect job. And have I mentioned how much I love my job? Love it.

7. My co-worker Nancy is having lapband surgery today. She has worked sooooo hard sticking to her liquid diet to prepare for it. She wants to be healthy and I'm so proud of her! Praying that everything goes well for her and she's back at work soon. She is on the other side of my office and there is a window between us so we exchange eyerolls and shrugs and giggles all day. I can't wait to see her transition into skinny wench!

8. It's gonna be cool all day so I can wear my cute boots and tights and warm long skirt and I just love it!

Time to get ready for work... hope you all have a great day and stay safe! *hugs*

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sarabeth's Tenth Birthday party

We had a quick trip to the mountains this weekend for Sarabeth's birthday party. She's ten! How is my girl ten? 

I had a migraine on Friday and I was worried about my ability to drive... it's a hundred miles... so, not terrible... but it COULD be quite miserable if the headache struck again. It hasn't. My left eye is weak and keeps watering so I drove home today like a pirate... but there was no traffic so it wasn't bad. Austin gave me a little back up on changing lanes and so forth and I was eager to get back home and in the nest so I could start my obsessive pending doom watch with the Hurricane taking aim at the U.S. 

S.B. had a great party... a Georgia Bulldogs *eyeroll* party... which, I suppose, was inevitable. Her mama went to Georgia... and Sarabeth's nursery was decorated in a UGA theme so she's been surrounded by that...um... influence... all her life. In this picture she's wearing the shirt I gave her for her birthday... I drug Cody, Ryan and Marquee to five different stores searching for the exact style I wanted for her... I wanted something that LOOKED like a girl's shirt and this  one was from the Alyssa Milano collection at J C Penneys. (the cash came from Mawmaw and Pop, not from me). (And, by the way, doesn't my sister-in-law look gorgeous in this picture? Love her so much!)

As usual, we had her party on their front porch... the weather was gorgeous... we had a good turn out, lots of sweet little girls and a bunch of family and friends. I'm always excited to see the little girls that have been a part of Sarabeth's life for most of her life like Jessalyn (whose dad went to church with us when we were kids) and Jorjanne (who I always factor in when buying surprises for the girls, I buy in threes, usually!) and it's fun to find out who Sarabeth is hanging out with at school. Her sweet friend Camden gave her a necklace... they match and say something like "best friends forever" or one of those sweet sayings that little girls should always have when they're about that age. 
And we love seeing my sister-in-law's family... here is Sarabeth's cousin Hannah, who just gets prettier and prettier every time we see her. Notice those "circle -G" tattoos on everyone's face? That was my job. And proof that I love my girls more than football rivalries, which, in the south is a pretty big deal. Yesterday was the annual showdown between the University of Georgia and the University of Florida. Although I don't take things as personally as I did back when Tim Tebow was quarterback... I'm still a Gators fan. I tried telling the kids that the tattoos would come out better if they would say, "Go Gators" while I pressed them on. No takers. And the Gators lost. 
My Jamie doll went from this.....












to this... by the end of the day. This quilt was one of several they had made out of Gramps' old shirts. This was our first birthday party without Gramps, who passed away this past Spring. We missed him but I know he's watching over these girls still. 








I love this picture of Sarabeth and Jorjanne (who is wearing a Georgia Tech shirt, not because she's a Tech fan but because she's an instigator and I love that she's growing up with that sense of humor!)











 We played (they played) some games... and it was just a really good day. A good day to be ten. And then we went back to the mountain house and had dinner... and then early bed time for me... the Pirate drive home and I've been tucked in the nest resting up for the week ahead.
 Happy Birthday Sarabeth!



Stay safe, y'all!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thoughts on a Poll

Yesterday morning I posted the following Facebook status:

  1. Without starting a political debate... I'd like to take an unofficial poll of my facebook friends about the upcoming Presidential Election. Out of registered voters - people who have already voted or are certain that they will vote, who is your choice for President? If you don't mind sharing... will you also give your age and the State where you live? Just those three things, no commentary or explanation... I'm interested to see how my friends, acquaintances, family members, blogger babes, game buddies, etc are voting. Thanks!
    Like ·  · 


   By last night
   I had 62 responses.
   51 voted for Romney
  1 voted for Johnson
  1 is leaning Johnson
  8 are voting for Obama
  1 is voting for Carter (Jimmy, I presume.)

  Out of my responders
  46 live in Georgia
  2 live in Pennsylvania
  1 lives in Ohio
  1 lives in Massachusetts
  1 lives in New Jersey
  1 lives in Maryland
  1 lives in Virginia
  2 live in Tennessee
  2 live in Mississippi
   1 lives in Louisiana
   1 lives in Florida
   3 live in California
 
Yes, my demographic is white, middle aged, somewhat conservative and Southern. So certainly, my facebook friends would fall along those lines. I do have a lot of friends who are much more diverse and much more liberal and I'm surprised that more of them didn't stand up to be counted... especially in the requested format of no debate, no commentary, no explanation.

Realistically, I knew that there were gonna be a few who colored outside the lines and that's ok. The only comment that was really abrasive to me came from someone who is a friend of a friend, who I don't know a thing about - and who likewise, doesn't know a thing about me. Or Southerners.

I believe the State of Georgia WILL go to Romney this year but I believe the Atlanta area will not. Atlanta is typically solidly Democratic, regardless of the candidate.

I love that my friend Christy pointed out that she votes based on candidate, not party. I wish that more people examined the individual and voted on their strengths and weaknesses in line with what our country needs.  Do we need a Community Organizer / Law Professor or do we need a businessman? For me, that's the bottom line.

I disagree with Obama's socialized policies, primarily Obamacare. Yes, as a partially disabled, single female without health insurance, I need help taking care of my medical expenses. You know how I handle it? I pay them myself. Fortunately I'm in a position where my living expenses are mostly covered and I know that few people have that luxury, however, I have had to pick and choose what kind of medications I can afford to take, what kind of treatment I can afford to use, etc because of the limitations of my budget. Mandated health insurance, putting demands and requirements on businesses, putting out a program that our country cannot afford is not the answer for me and others who are in the same (or worse) circumstances. The audacity of "pass the bill and then you can find out what's in it" didn't sit well for me.

Taking away the freedom of religious groups to determine that they don't want to cover birth control for their employees when it is against their moral beliefs to me, is a slipperly slope to taking away religious freedom. If you go to work for an employer who YOU KNOW is against birth control then, in my opinion, you have made the choice that if you want and need birth control, you're going to pay for it yourself.

For that matter, I don't think birth control should be a part of Obamacare, just like for years it was not covered under most health insurance plans. What you do with your reproductive freedom is your business and your responsibility, in my opinion. As a young married woman, it was up to me and my husband to determine if and when we had children.

I think government assistance is out of control. My kid lived for a few months with people who don't work and live off of the government... so the first thing they did was get Austin signed up for food stamps. His money came in this week and the first thing he did was go to the convenience store and get a red bull. Seriously. I believe in a hand up, not a hand out. I think food stamps should cover real, honest nutrition - not stimulants.

I think taxation is out of control. I think the small percentage of people who actually pay taxes are carrying a burden that is too heavy. I think raising taxes "on the rich" won't be enough to take care of our current debts and certainly not enough to cover this socialized medicine debacle. I think there are too many people who are able to avoid paying taxes. I think there should be a nationalized sales tax instead of income tax. That way everyone in this country, regardless of how they got here and how long they're staying will have a hand in building roads, bridges, providing national defense, paying for nationalized healthcare, etc.

I don't appreciate the mentality that if you're not for Obama you're racist, homophobic, "Southern" or any other such pigeon hole. There are a lot of things about Mitt Romney that I'm not crazy about but I feel like he is the better equipped candidate when it comes to sorting out the mess that Obama "inherited". I feel like over the past four years Obama has bellyached and whined and complained about how things were so much worse than he thought. He was a Senator. He was involved in the budget process. When he campaigned for President four years ago, it was incumbent on him to be aware of the job requirements and challenges. If he didn't know how bad things were, then that tells me he didn't do his homework, therefore, he doesn't deserve four more years.

And as far as I'm concerned (and I'm no economist) a huge part of the major economic fail that happened at the end of the Bush administration was the result of the mortgage crisis which was the result of laws that were put into place in the Clinton administration. And regardless of who caused it, we need a shrewd businessman to step in and right the sinking ship that our country has become. At some point it stops being about who caused it and starts being about who can fix it.

So... that's my hardcore, political rant for today. I understand and respect that people disagree with me. I can only vote my choice and my conscience and I hope that you will all do the same.

IN OTHER NEWS... I'm pretty sure I have an ear infection, having had several over the past few years and being familiar with the symptoms. My left ear is clogged up and mega painful. I've made it through work all week (I say "all week" like that's been a big hairy ordeal - I've worked ten hours so far this week) but I have come home and tucked into the nest and really, really felt rotten. I feel rottener this morning. And yes, I know that rottener isn't a word. I don't miss work, though, because it's just a couple of hours and I really do enjoy being there.

I came into work yesterday to find a lumbar support cushion in my desk chair. It came from my boss. His chiropractor thought it would help me. It's the little things like that that make the difference for me. Instead of being vilified for physical limitations, I'm getting a lot of encouragement, understanding and support, both figurative and literal. That makes me feel like part of the team. As a matter of fact... that was what I was told last week, "you may be part-time but you're still part of the team". My contributions are valuable and validated and that helps give me the extra push when I'm not feeling 100%. It helps me go the extra mile with each and every customer because as a valued member of a team, I want to do everything I can to strengthen our team. I love my job.

Early in my tenure with this job,  I was asked to type a letter for the boss. He dictated, I typed and made small, slight suggestions on wording. The next time he needed a letter, he dictated to my direct supervisor and had her bring the information to me to transcribe. Yesterday he gave me the points he wanted to make and had me actually write the letter. That's what I love about my office... not everyone has the same gifts and abilities. The mark of a good leader is being aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your team and using them in a way that strengthens the team as a whole. It's so simple but such a morale boost for an office when everyone knows that what they do matters.

Anyways... I have a later schedule today and I think that will help me get my ducks in a row before I go to work. I hope you have a great day and that wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whether by voting or working or just being a citizen of your community, that you will feel valuable and valued. *hugs*