Friday, April 29, 2011


I am always surprised when adults act like children. When they lose their temper, or throw tantrums, or act selfishly with no regard to how or who it might affect around them. Sometimes adults allow themselves to go so far that they lose control of their thought processes, their reasoning, and their actions.
I am always surprised when adults don't understand that their out of control actions hurt people. And hurt relationships. And hurt careers. And hurt themselves in many ways.
I know we all occasionally get frustrated, say things we regret, hurt people without thinking... that's normal, that's human. That's not what I am talking about. To not be able to control your rage and your actions in your rage? To be so blinded by your rage that you hurt and destroy your property, relationships, or loved ones beyond repair? To lose control and start acting in a manner aimed specifically at hurting someone? I am worried about those people. I am saddened by those people.
And I am a little surprised by it whenever I see it. You are an adult. Stop acting out of childish, selfish, anger. Put in the work to learn self control and love, and let that rule your actions. Nope, it's not really a simple task, but it is is necessary. It doesn't mean that you will never feel angry again. It does mean that when you are angry you can act without destroying your property, your relationships, your loved ones, and even ultimately, yourself.
It's time to grow up.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just another day at work.

I have told you before that the people I work with are kinda crazy. I mean, I think everyone's boss and coworkers are crazy... but mine are sitcom level crazy. Sometimes I am so absolutely bewildered and frustrated trying to communicate with them all I can do is shake my head and walk away. Today is one of those days.
This is an actual conversation with my boss. On a normal day, I will have at least 4-6 conversations with similar structure and outcome. It basically boils down to this issue: My boss doesn't listen to me. When I talk  he stares at me blankly then guesses what he thinks I might have said, and goes with that. Like today:

Me: Boss, I just talked to them and the ABC account is scheduled to pay on the 30th of this month.
Boss: Okay, hold on. Let me look that up.
(he proceeds to start clicking stuff on his screen for about 3 minutes. At one point I start to leave because I only came back to tell him that one thing, and he says-- no wait this what you were asking about, I almost got it. So I wait.)
Boss: Well they haven't made a payment since Feb 5th.
Me: Who hasn't pad since Feb?
Boss: XYZ account.
Me: Okay, well I just came back to tell you that ABC account will pay on the 30th.
Boss: Oh, well why did you have me look up XYZ?
Me: I didn't.  I said ABC is scheduled to pay on the 30th of this month
Boss: Oh, I thought you said we received payment from XYZ last month, and I don't know why you had me look that up, because you can look it up just like I can.
Me: I didn't ask you to look up anything. I told you ABC is scheduled to pay April 30th.
Boss: Oh, April 30th. I thought you meant February. Well, sorry you got confused about that.

Um... what was that conversation even about? How many times did I say ABC account was paying on April 30th? Why was he thinking February? Is he aware there is no such thing as the 30th of February? Did he walk away from this conversation with any more knowledge than he started it with? I don't think so.
Like I said, though, I will have probably 4 or 5 more like this today.
I think my favorite part of the whole interchange is always the last part where he in some way blames me for the confusion.
Yes. I was quite unclear.
My apologies.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Oh death, where is your sting?
Oh grave, where is your victory?

Happy Easter. :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

I should...

...clean my house.
After all, the renovations are finally done, the plumbers, tilers, and sheetrockers have all left. The bathroom is whole again and the kitchen is holey no longer. But the contents of my pantry are still on my kitchen table. Dishes are everywhere waiting to be washed and put away, and the immense energy required to complete this task has me exhausted just thinking about it.  So I think I shall cease.

...finish my Easter projects.
Remember that dress? Yeah, I got mad about the fit and tore the bodice apart and haven't made time to put it back together yet. (I almost said haven't HAD time, but the truth is I have the time if i choose to.) Also I am making some Easter accessories for a friend and we are getting down to the wire and I cannot for the life of me make a hairbow  I am content with. They all look too... something. Anyway. I need to get those done and delivered, like, now. some laundry.
Let's not lie when it's just us: We all wear our jeans four or five times without washing them as long as we don't spill something gross on them and they don't smell, right? I can smell the jeans I have on. They smell like dirt, and the 1400 dogs I have rubbing against my legs every day. Gross. I have been grossed out by it all day. (I didn't realize I smelled gross til i was in the car on the way to work.  I shower. Really.) Apparently not grossed out enough to take them off and wash them because I am lounging and blogging and not doing laundry.

...walk the dogs.
Or do something active. But I SO enjoy veg time after work. I know you think my job is not strenuous, why do I need veg time? Your job is strenuous and then you have to come home and be a full time parent and you don't get veg time. And it's not fair. So why do I need veg time? Let me tell you a secret of the universe that you must embrace and internalize and understand or you will live a sad frustrated existence: (are you ready? Here it is: ) Life isn't fair.
Ohhhhhhh... so do you understand now?

....say something profound about the day.
It's Good Friday. It's almost Easter. I have been bouncing off the padded walls for weeks in my excitement for this weekend. I have worked myself into a feverish craze of business and preparation and excitement and I am exhausted now. I am still exhausted. But i feel like i should say something in regard to the significance of this day... and I don't know what to say. Other than this: (that i just thought of) Today's exhaustion, frustration, confusion, pain, heartache, suffering, evil and death... is not the end. Today is not the end of the story.
And that's all.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Z got the job.
Well, unofficially right now.
I say unofficially because they told him he has the job, but they haven't given him the offer letter yet. But he did have to go in to pee in a cup for a drug test. But he doesn't know when his official start date is for the the new job and more hours and more pay. But he did for sure get the job.
Which is awesome.
Just really awesome.
Awesome timing.
Too awesome to be coincidence only.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us over the past month (or months) about this job. This means good things for our family. We feel blessed.

Other good news in the Job front: Our friend Donnie was offered a position with TFA last week. Z's dad found out that his teaching position is secure for next year. My BFF Becca was offered a shiny new position at a new company after being laid of over a month ago!
Good news for all our friends and family in job limbo. God is taking care of us. We are blessed.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bigger and Better

On Monday my Brother in law was taking a shower upstairs and I was in the basement sewing. Once out of the shower he came down to the kitchen and called me up there to take a look at a 'leak' there was shower water running down the walls of the kitchen. Awesome.
We have a burst/broken pipe of some sort. So we cleaned up the water and the maintenance guy comes over to check out the situation (it is nearly impossible to get a maintenance guy at your townhome where we live... so it was amazing when he showed up within 10 minutes!) He look one look at the tub and said-- well, there's a rotted hole in the side of your tub, it needs to be replaced. Yes, well, you knew about the hole-- i told them about it when i moved in, they said we weren't getting a new tub, deal with it. Whatever, the hole is near the top of the tub though, and not the cause for gallons and gallons of water in my kitchen, in my opinion, but they say the tub needs to go... so the tub is going.
And while he was there... we have this sink that we have been trying to get someone out there to look at for about a month. It doesn't drain. Like at all. We've tried chemicals and snakes and everything, won't budge. The guy says, yeah... I can fix that in the morning when I come back to tear out the tub.
We won't have a shower for a few days. I reminded the guy that this is our only bathroom in the house and our only shower... and we really enjoy showering regularly. Ugh. But we can deal, showering at my parents. Even still...
This is a BIG mess.
The guy comes back the next day to try to unplug our sink, no luck. They try to use a big high pressure something or other to blow out the lines... and blow out the seals instead. whatever is clogging the sink is stuck GOOD, and now that they have blown all the seals (and blown smelly, chemical, crusty water all over the room) they are going to have to tear out and replace the entire vanity and sink.
Oh, and also because our bathroom is completely tiled, they would have to tear all the tile out and re-tile the whole room.
They never got to the tub that day... so a few more days without a shower and...
The mess gets BIGGER.
We clean every item out of the bathroom. The shower curtain, the towels, the shelf, and every last hair product, cotton swab, and bobby pin. Empty bathrooms are loud, by the way. They come the next day to remove the vanity... only they can't remove it, so they break it in half to rip it off the wall. Awesome, right? Once the vanity is out they try again to clear whatever it is clogging the sink up... no luck. And the 60 yr old pipes are crumbling as they try to proceed. Okay, maintenance man decides they are just going to have to replace all the plumbing. ALL of it. They didn't get around to tearing out the tub again (which if you are adding like I am you are realizing that 'shower in my own house date' is just getting pushed further and further back...) I asked Z if he stressed that this is our only bathroom and we really enjoy showering. He said he did, but... ???
And now we need to clean out our pantry, and all our kitchen cabinets along that wall in the main level below the bathroom... as well as the spare bedroom next to the bathroom (where we had been storing all the bathroom stuff we removed from that room. When removing our dishes last night, we found many of them wet or holding dirty mildewy water from the leak on Monday. I didn't realize water had made it into the cabinets, but once empty, you could definitely see water damage, and lots of it in the cabinets in the kitchen. I am just praying... PRAYING that they don't have to tear out cabinets and the kitchen as well. But... after this thing is over we have to wash EVERY SINGLE DISH IN OUR KITCHEN.
This thing just keeps getting bigger and BIGGER.
Last night during the kitchen emptying experience I about lost it. This thing feels impossible. It's frustrating and it keeps getting worse every day. We have such a small house that every room seems to be affected by it. I can't keep living with every room in my home torn up and in disarray. I am overwhelmed and losing it.
My husband (sensitive to the subtle nuances of my emotions as he is...) realized I was at a breaking point when I snapped at him and then collapsed on the couch sobbing about my ruined kitchen. He tried to reassure me that when it all was finished we would have pretty much a completely remodeled bathroom and maybe a kitchen. And at someone else's expense. One of the pros of renting is things like this are someone else's financial responsibility. The major con is they work on their schedule. But Z assured me that it will all be taken care of, and when it is... Everything will be BETTER.
So it will be at least the weekend before we have a bathroom again. And maybe a kitchen. I am considering moving in with my parents for a few days so I am not there to witness the further heartbreaking destruction of my home... You know, that and I really enjoy showering. By next week our house should be back and then we are going to have a massive dish washing party (ugh, remember how much I loathe dishes???) that you are welcome to attend should you feel so inclined. By then things should be better.
Right now, I just hope the mess doesn't get any BIGGER before it gets BETTER.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Observations: General and Personal

People with small children cancel on social obligations frequently due to sick children.
If/when I have children someday... I am going to have a hard time adjusting to someone/something else dictating my schedule that much.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Those neighbors...

We live in a town house. So we are physically very close to our neighbors. We share walls on both sides. We share fences for our tiny patios. We share airspace, and light, and sound.
I moved into our current residence a little over a year and a half ago. Winston moved in with me. The following May the household expanded to four of us, Myself, my husband, and our two dogs, Winston and Charlie. The four of us live cozily in our little town house.
We don't really know our neighbors. When we first moved in we introduced ourselves to the neighbors on one side. Hi... We just moved in here, we're your new neighbors! And the response was a blank stare and a-- "...and so what?" Okay then. No one seemed to be interested in being neighborly. We know the names of the people a couple houses down, we'll smile and wave if we both happen to be walking to the car at the same time, and Z works with a guy who lives around the block, but that's about it.
Zachary came home from work the other day and there was a lady he didn't recognize lurking around our front door. He walked in the front door and she watched him and went next door and was knocking on our neighbors door. He got a really uncomfortable feeling about her, so a few minutes later when we heard knocking on our front door we opted not to answer. I was home, and there had been knocking on the door that morning, but as a rule, when I am home alone and not expecting anyone, I don't answer the door. (You call it paranoid-- I call it no rapists in my house)
Anyway, we didn't put much thought to it, but later that evening when we returned from errands we received a rather strongly worded letter from one of our neighbors complaining about our dogs barking too much.
Initially we were like-- uh, yeah, our dogs do bark a lot. We didn't realize it was a problem, but we'll more closely monitor the situation, our neighbors have a right to peace and quiet, and there are a lot of dogs in the neighborhood that yip all day long-- it probably gets annoying if you are not a dog person.
But the letter went on to say that she had talked with all the neighbors on our block and all of our neighbors were very upset with us about the loud constant barking coming from our house and that we had done nothing to stop it.
As previously mentioned... we have lived in the house 1.5 years. We have made attempts in that time to create relationships with our neighbors, who never seemed interested in talking to us. Regardless, this is the FIRST TIME we have heard any complaint from any of our neighbors about our dogs. So the statement that all of our neighbors are very upset with us seems really strange. After a few days of observation Zachary determined that the author of the letter (who included her address) is the same lady who was lurking about our house that day when he got home... In our opinion, when you have an issue with the neighbors dog-- step one is you have a neighborly conversation (maybe when you happen to walk by them as the are getting home???) and say-- hey would you try to keep the barking to a minimum in the evenings? (to which we would have said-- hey, we're sorry, we'll definitely do that) But talking to all the neighbors and writing a snarky letter telling us everyone is upset with us? That seemed a little out of place to us. Especially given the number of dogs in the neighborhood... I am not denying our dogs bark, but surely we are not the only dogs in the neighborhood that bark, right?
Anyhow, we have been closely monitoring the dogs, especially in the yard for the past few days and they have done very little barking, but the barking that has occurred has been quickly stopped. We would have corrected the situation much sooner, had we known it was an issue for those around us. They have been really good boys. We are so proud...
Then yesterday I was in the backyard with the boys and I notice something on the fence. It was a small white electronic device similar in size to a remote. It was attached to our side of the fence so I went over to check it out... It had an on/off switch and a low/high switch on one side. A very small hole that looked like a speaker or a nozzle or some kind and it said "STOPBARK" across the front. It was turned on high. Well, that's interesting because I know we didn't put that there, it appears our neighbors surreptitiously installed this device on our side of the fence. I think it's one of those things that emits a high frequency sound that dongs don't like... or maybe it spews radiation or toxic waste in our yard. I don't really know for sure. But I find it interesting that rather than being a good neighbor and saying "Hey, we have an issue with your dogs barking, so you think you could address that issue?" They chose a much more passive aggressive (and expensive for them) route of installing an electronic device they believed would quiet our dogs.
Let me re-iterate. NO ONE HAS EVER BEFORE COMPLAINED OR CONTACTED US IN ANYWAY REGARDING THE NOISE OUR DOGS MAKE. Also, to my knowledge none of the other dog owners in the neighborhood have received complaints or requests to quiet their dogs...
So I guess the actions of our neighbors seem really odd and not at all 'neighborly' to me. At the very least, writing a snarky letter or sneakily installing devices on your neighbor's fence doesn't seem like the first or most effective step one might take in trying to resolve such an issue.
But that's just me.
Is it just me though? Do I have an unrealistic expectation of courtesy and neighborly-ness???

Friday, April 8, 2011


I heart sonic ice. Those little crumbly ice pellets are amazing for crunching.
I like getting sonic when Z is not around so I can crunch amazing crumbly ice pellets without his eye of judgement upon me.

Waiting game today. Z filled out all the stuff. Has gotten some positive feedback... but now we just wait to see if they offer him the job. Obviously, we believe he is the best candidate for the job. If you are reading this, please say a quick prayer that the sr. managers also believe him to be the best candidate for the job! ;) we are hopeful that he could receive the offer as early as this evening.

Remember how i love tracking packages? I've been tracking my easter shoes and they arrived today ahead of schedule. Yay. I can't wait to try them on with my dress...
Oh, the dress. I am dying to finish it! It just seems like sewing goes a lot slower than i usually intend for it to... but i think tonight will be the night. It's a friday so i can stay up til the break of dawn.
Also I may have ordered a vintage buckle for the dress today. It's pink. Like my shoes.
Actually my shoes are 'blush'.
Yeah. They are that uptight.
I have a friend who is a photographer I asked to do a 'fashion shoot' for me once it is complete. We might do an exchange of goods and services... I want a photographer and she wants easter accesories for her family... hmmm...
I might make a pillbox hat with russian netting to style it for the fashion shoot.
I think I will at least make a lovely easter bouquet of pink tulips.
Blush tulips.

Are you excited for Easter?!?!?! Easter is my favorite thing all year, I think. Rightfully so. I have been enjoying the Lenten season.  Is one supposed to enjoy Lent? What with the preparation and self-denial? Or whatever. I have been enjoying it. Lent brought about some intentional and positive changes in my life. Cool. EASTER is coming!!! Best day of the year! Are you ready?

Z took me out for icecream last night. Icecream at HIS suggestion! Can you even believe it? He loves me so much. I love ice cream so much.
I also love Z so much.
I really hope he gets this job.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Something good.

I had a professor in college who started every class with "Two people tell me something good." And we would raise our hands and people would share everything from, "The sun is shining" and "I got a 15 minute power nap right before lunch" to "I got a new job" and "I'm engaged!" There was no stipulation about how significant the 'good thing' had to be, he just asked us to share something good. He always started class this way, and used it during transition times as well.
As an education major, I easily recognized this as a very effective form or classroom management. And the first thing I did during my student teaching each class was ask my students to share 'something good'. The first couple times, they looked at me like I was an idiot. So did my cooperating teacher. But after a few times, they got used to hearing it, and started to respond. Particularly my Jr.High students loved the 30 seconds they got to share about themselves. They started looking forward to those times when I would say, "While you are getting out your book two more people share something good with the class..." I was always surprised at how intently they would listen to each other and how excited they were to share.
I also always loved that it gave me an opportunity to adjust my brain before starting class. I mean, college and student teaching was not necessarily a pretty time in my life. I was stressed, I was sick, I was dealing with some intense emotional drama... but starting a class by adjusting my thoughts to something good-- no matter how insignificant-- was an intentional and effective exercise that got me through the bad days, and allowed me to change the focus of my energy.
I haven't actually thought about this in a long time. I don't exactly know what brought it up today, other than I feel simultaneously anxious and exhausted, and I don't want to feel like this all the time. I suddenly remembered my professor's trademark, and I want that reminder to be a part of my life again.
Here are two good things I started my day with:

Yesterday they cut the grass outside my office window for the first time this spring. After it's manicure the grass looks exceptionally green and lush, and I enjoy the color when I look up from my work.

When people affirm my husband, I feel as though I have been affirmed as well. (is that weird?) While waiting for this job situation to work out he has been talking with his managers a lot, who have given him very kind compliments and thanked him for his work ethic. I am so proud of him.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Moving on...

Have you ever been stuck in the waiting game...? Like there is something just... just within your reach but you are waiting for this to begin, or that to end. Or this person to make a decision, and that situation to resolve. Just one more week, and we'll know. Okay, just a few more days and we'll know for sure. Okay, these results are not clear, wait another week, and we'll try again. Give us more time, and we'll make a definite decision...
I feel like I am always a week away from greatness. A week away from knowledge. A week away from that next step. A week away from security. Why do these weeks never end? Why am I always just a week away, by the end of next week?
I've been waiting 'a week' for the answer for the past couple months. I am over the waiting game. I can't keep holding my breath (I might pass out...). How does one exist in a constant state of anticipation, and still live their life?  I don't want to miss out on what's happening now in anticipation for what will happen next... but how do I become comfortable and content living in the present when so much is waiting to be determined?

Friday, April 1, 2011


I read an article a couple weeks ago in a reputable magazine (okay, it was Rachel Ray) about couples in the kitchen. It said couples that cook and prepare meals together are something like 80% more likely to view their relationship in a positive manner and rate their relationship highly or something. (you can tell i paid close attention) I am not really sure how those statistics work, or how they were derived. But I did get this from it: Cooking together is good for your relationship. I read the article to Z at the time, and he just rolled his eyes.
But the more i think about it, the more i agree with it. I think it could be very productive for us in several ways.
First, Z is picky. We don't skirt the issue anymore, we just call it like it is. He is a pain in the butt to feed. However, he tends to do better if he sees something being prepared. He likes to know EVERYTHING that goes in a dish, so there are no surprises and he is fully informed of problem areas. I have tried to hide veggies and whatnot a la Jessica Seinfeld, but he demands to know everything in a dish before he eats it, and will not even try the offending dish if it has green stuff lurking about. So you can see how having him in the kitchen  as the meal is being prepared would be beneficial. Less recipe monologue and debate across the table about whether or not a meal is 'Zacahry Kosher' would be awesome.
Second... we have limited time together. It is sad but true. Our work schedules are pretty much opposite so the precious hour or two we have together each day I want to make the most of. It's frustrating to me to be stuck in the kitchen by myself making food when I could be spending that time with my husband. If Z were there working with me, we would not only have that time to spend together but food prep itself would go faster, allowing us more 'free time' together.
And last... we need to hone our skills. Z doesn't have much experience in the kitchen. But I do. I love to cook. I love teaching people new things. At some point in his life Z might need to know how to make more than Lipton Sides Microwaveable Rice Packets. He has already learned the fine art of grilled cheese, and boiling pasta. It can only be beneficial to him to gain more skill and expand his cooking horizons. It's fun for me to teach him new things...
And I really like working side by side with my husband. It makes me feel really good. And supported and valued. And happy.
Last night Z made us dinner. Okay... he dumped the frozen contents of a bag in a dish and threw it in the oven while I made garlic knots (that i burned, HA!) but it was pretty good. Not only did I enjoy not being solely responsible for the meal, but I enjoyed the time with my husband. Also he was extra loving last night... and I am not sure if that was a product of the situation or just a coincidence, but either way I call it a win.
I don't really have him entirely convinced of the cooking together thing... but I'll keep working on it. I want to be one of those 80% couples from the RR magazine. Or something.