Friday, December 31, 2010

Going Out On A High Note

Has it really been six months since my last post?! Well, time does fly!  It seems like just yesterday I was composing my last brilliant little ditty, but then it seems like just yesterday I was celebrating the coming of the new year with my husband and my grandmother, the latter worried that the world just might implode at the stroke of midnight as the year officially became 2000.  But it wasn't yesterday, it was over a decade ago...

Though the last decade of my life has been by far the best of the four (I am forty-ish) it has, of course, had it's ups and it's downs.  Raising nine children, seven of them having other mothers is not easy.  Neither is marriage, especially when it is a third for each of you, even when it (perhaps the marriage, certainly the husband) is by far the best thing that has ever happened to you.

 But it isn't so much the decade for me that is so notable, but the last year.  While 2009 was awful, 2010 couldn't have been better, and I am sad to see it go.

To compare, 2009 was full of illness, discontent and misery.  The loss of my health, the loss of a job, the loss of relationships,  and almost,  loss of myself in the process.

So it's no surprise that I was happy to see 2009 go.  In fact, looking back, I didn't throw a big enough party to escort 2009 on it's merry way and invite 2010 right on in.  I don't even think we stayed up past 9pm.

But I won't be celebrating this New Year.  I'm sad to see the old one go.  In 2010, I received so many blessings, and recognized so many that I had overlooked.  Let's count them.....I have acquainted myself with long forgotten priorities. In the process, I have regained some of my health.

My marriage is stronger than ever....

I have identified and tossed aside false friendships, and prioritized those that are true.  I have made new friends, and I have renewed some old friendships that mean so much to me.  I've (happily) seen good friends recover from serious illness and seriously sick relationships.  I've even been lucky enough to witness a little of "what goes around, come's around" and I'm ashamed to say I've enjoyed it (but not too much, I don't want it coming back around to me:).

I got the wonderful news that (finally) we can expect my niece to be adding to the size of our already huge family with a beautiful baby boy.  I sure don't miss my job and my stress level is lower.  I have more time for my family and friends.  Christmas, an event that usually has me frazzled and stressed,  was wonderful, although with one son too far away, and another so close, but yet still too far, it was still not quite perfect.

It seems I'm no longer Floundering, and my Mojo has been located.  Mission accomplished! I suppose I'll have to revise my profile, and even the title of my blog, and think of something else to blog about.  A new project...

No, I can't say I'm happy to see 2010 go, but I'll remember it fondly, while I welcome 2011, and trust that it will bring happiness as well.  After all, I'm bringing all those blessings from 2010 with me, and we have that new baby to look forward to!

Happy New Year everyone, it's going to be a great one, I can feel it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is it Love or is it Lust?

At first it's just a glance, you're looking around casually, and suddenly your interest is caught.  You stare, you can't help it, trying not to make it too obvious to those around you.  But your pulse quickens.  Maybe you look around to see if anyone notices that your heart is about to pound right out of your chest.

Your palms are sweaty.  You've been noticed. that goodMMMM...It's wonderful being noticed.  But have you been notice for the write right reasons?  Is it because you're making a spectacle of yourself?  Or is it because they are attracted to you?

Their words are like sweet nothings, whispered into your ear on a warm summers evening.  And you just can't get enough.  Even those that are not particularly eloquent are beautiful words because they were meant for you.  They have been whispered in your ear and you will remember them always.

But will they stick around for the long haul, or are they merely toying with your emotions.  Will this turn in to a lasting relationship, or is it to be what-bam-thank-you-mam.  Either way, you're so grateful for their attention, you're like a puppy dog.

So you take the next step and go on over to their place, and if your lucky, you have something in common.  You might even have a few laughs.  Or they might say something that touches your heart.  Sometimes you learn something new.  Sometimes, you realize that the lust you felt upon first sight has worn off, and while you like them well enough, it was not love at first sight, so you don't want to hang around. You don't even think you'll see them again.  And sometimes, (please no) they have made that decision about you.

Ah well, there are other fish in the sea.  You just have to get back out there.

Sound familiar?  Am I talking about blogging, or dating.  That feeling you get when you're checking your email and you notice one or two telling you that a comment has been left on your latest post?  Isn't it just like spotting that cutie in a bar, catching his/her eye?  Wondering if they really like you or just wanna hook up?  Okay, so I don't really remember much about dating.  But it sure seems similar to me!

This post was inspired by today's  fantastic and funny post by KJ at 12 paws and frogs (click here to check it out, you'll love it), and by all the lovely comments and new followers I've been lucky enough to get.  I appreciate all of you, you quicken my heart.  XOXOXO

And to those of you visiting my page, wondering  "should I stay or should I go?, I offer the romantic candlelight, wine, and the following little ditty:

You don't know how you met me
You don't know why, you can't turn around and say good-bye
all you know is when i'm with you I make you free
And swim through your veins like a fish in the sea
I'm singing....

Follow me
Everything is alright
I'll be the one to tuck you in at night
And if you want to leave
I can guarantee
You won't find nobody else like me...
                               (Uncle Kracker) 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Newsflash-Mojo Found!

Okay, as it turns out, I don't think she was ever really lost..... 


Poor girl.  I mean  I'd buried her so far under piles and piles of crap (stress), I can't believe she didn't suffocate. 

There was marital stress.  That was rough.  And we had no idea how to fix it.  Round and round we went, just piling more and more crap on top of each other, on top of my Mojo (his too).

My  husband and I each lost a parent.  More crap (that pile just gets bigger and bigger on top of my Mojo)....

We had struggles with our children.  I mean, you have nine children from your previous marriages, you're gonna have struggles, and they don't politely take turns, several of them are gonna give you some kind of headache at once.  Mojo keeps getting buried....

Financial struggles (see above, nine children, thank God some are grown!).  Just pile more crap onto my Mojo...

Then there is my poor aging grandmother, who needed me to care for her after her hospitalization, while I was working and taking care of my family full time, but in her home, not mine.  Not that I didn't want to (I did want to, and I did it, but it was wasn't easy),   C'mon,  more crap for Mojo please....

And poor health, my own health was suffering too!  And you can't take time off work to take care of your own health..... OMG did you see that big pile of crap that just fell on Mojo!

Which brings me to the biggest pile of stress and lots of it.  A word of advice, not that you asked, if you are thinking of going into law, be it as support staff, or law school, and are considering family law.....RUN!!!!      

Pick something else.  Like, ANYTHING ELSE.  Sure, you might think you're gonna be able to help those people through their hard, emotionally trying times, and you might be able to help a little bit, but it will take it's toll on your Mojo.  And if you happen to be the "support staff" to a family law attorney...well, I'm sorry,  you're Mojo may still be alive down there, but you'll have to start digging her (or him) out.  Hurry!

So anyway, that's the story of how my Mojo got buried.  But you know what, I'm lucky.  Because I've had the time, and the support of my friends and family, and the positive comments of everyone that has visited my blog.  And because of that, slowly but surely, over the past few months I've been doing some excavating, and Mojo has been uncovered!

Hallelujah!  I've figured out that it's not so bad, not so sad, I like my life, my age, my body for what it can do for me (and I forgive it for what it can't).  I don't have to work a crappy job that I hate,  I can figure out something else (if you have any ideas I'd love to hear them please). My marriage ROCKS instead of being "rocky".  Grandma is back on her feet.  The kids...well, they're still kids but with less stress, a good marriage and my Mojo back I can cope.  Now I'm not going to say that every day is wine and roses (roses are expensive, some days it's just wine), or that I'm whistling Dixie out of my hoo-hoo every moment of the day, but all in all, life is pretty damn good.

I appreciate all of you that supported me this past several months, thank you.  Thank you Zinfandel, Cabernet, Sirah and Shiraz.  Gracias my fabulous Malbec, I do love you and appreciate you.  In all seriousness, thank you to to my friends, and to my kids, those that helped me through this, I know it's not easy having a mommy that's sick and stressed out and the last few years have been hard.  Thank you Ashley for being there and listening, being the oldest child isn't easy.    But I especially want to thank my husband, for loving me and for helping dig out my Mojo, especially when it was such hard work.  I love you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You're HOW old?

So I was trolling the net the other day, in search of ideas for a blog post.  Or maybe its one word blogpost.  Hmmm...I'll go with that, I like it.  Blogpost.  Okay, so I found many interesting, funny and inspiring blogposts, but just couldn't think of anything to post myself.  Frustrated and just about at the point where I need to either give up and go home (or clean said home and ugh, don't wanna do that) or plagiarize from another blogger (alabastercow, I'm looking at you, or maybe grandmasbriefs?) I spy my favorite magazine More, several months worth of which are sprinkled around my cluttered home.  More magazine is filled with inspiring stories about successful, remarkable women, living remarkable lives, many of them revamping their lives after turning forty to do the things that they really love to do rather than the things they are just accustomed to doing.  I've liked More Magazine for years, since I was about 30 or so I think.  I would occasionally buy and issue, and enjoy it every time but I refused to subscribe until I was old enough, which meant forty.  The tag line for the magazine back then used to be something like " for women over forty", so even though I love the content of the magazine, I wouldn't allow myself to subscribe until I turned the dreaded four-oh.  Now that I have turned forty the magazine is "for women of style and substance" so I'm safe either way and I now have a subscription.  I've moved on from magazines like Fitness and Shape, Mademoiselle, that focus on  "perfect" bodies and fashions of twenty/thirty-somethings to mags like More and Oxygen, that are geared toward women my age.

Ugh!  That phrase "my age".  I have always been proud to say that I have never really cared much about getting older.  My best friend had a very hard time when she turned 30.  My mother always had a hard time getting older, I remember her 30th birthday as sad instead of a celebration. I couldn't have cared less even though I have always joked about having unbirthdays.  I have always said (jokingly right?) that every year I got older, was another year I got closer to the freedom of my kids turning 18 and moving out on their own (sorry kids, Mommy loves you xoxoxo).  I really didn't think it would ever be an issue for me, I have a husband that loves me, and truly, we have nine kids (yes you read that right) so as we all get older, a little peace and quiet here and there will not be unappreciated.

But then, I turned thirty-nine, forty was the next stop, and that all changed. All of a sudden I was unhappy with my age.  I was tired, unmotivated, getting gray hair and even a couple of age spots on my hands.  WTF?!!   I went out for girls night and my friend's son and his friends were there.  Twenty somethings.  One of the little bastards guessed my age and called me middle-aged.  I don't even remember why because I immediately slammed back another shot of Patron.  I surely didn't say lets play twenty-questions, how friggin old do you think I am!  Then came my fortieth birthday, which was great, my friends and family made it special, but I was still not convinced.  Being forty was not going to be fun.  Forty stole my Mojo and I was not prepared to deal with that.

But recently I've discovered that I not only don't mind being forty, I like it.  I even L-O-V-E it.  At twenty or thirty, we have so many choices, but so many things that hold us back.  What will our parents think, our friends?  We are looking for a spouse.  Our babies are little, or we are working on having a family, building a career, getting an education.   At forty, there are so many things I don't have to worry about anymore.  I don't worry about what my parents or my friends think.  I'm not building my family or my career.  I don't worry about measuring up physically to a twenty or thirty-something in a magazine.  Instead, I admire women like Tosca Reno, who at forty years old, weight in at 204lbs, and finding herself in the middle of a divorce, pulled herself up by the bootstraps and is now not only as buff as any woman can be, but totally and successfully reinvented her whole life!  I admire actresses like Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Jamie Lee Curtis, all of whom seem to be who they are, and appear (at least to me) to have avoided all of the plastic surgery on their faces making other actresses look like scary blow up dolls. I don't worry if I have to run out to the store without make up, or even in sweats.  I have made some major life changes recently, and am in the process of reinventing myself in the professional sense, and I'm more excited about it than I am scared.  At forty, as opposed to twenty or thirty, I have the wisdom now to know that I don't have to say everything that comes to mind, but I have the courage to say it if I want to.  And the best part, I'm Grandma to some beautiful babies!  What fun!

So from now on,  when people ask me how old I am, I will proudly say FORTY! instead of  quietly with and eye-roll and dread in my voice, because really, being forty is fantastic. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Post About Moi

Okay, I'm a little late, but here's to "Mia Monday" for Kimberly at Terra Del Sol.  The assignment, should you choose to accept, is to post five photos of you, from any time in your life.  Those of you that know me, know it ain't that easy to find five pictures of me (hee hee) let alone five pictures that I'm willing to share with the rest of the world, but I searched hi and low and found only a few (that didn't need photo shopping, and who has the time), so here is what turned up:




So there you are, five photos of me :)  Took me until FRIDAY to finish and assignment given for MONDAY because for SOME reason, putting in the pics was not working, as you can see, the borders around the pics are all screwy.  I have never had such a problem inserting random pics from the net, soooo, this just proves to me that I have been right all along, I WAS NOT MEANT TO HAVE PHOTOS TAKEN OF ME.  I didn't break the camera, but apparently I broke the photo linky link on Blogger :(

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Body as a Work of Art? Say What?

So, I was working on another post this morning, and I stumbled across an article on the More Magazine website entitled "My Body as a Work of Art".  I had read a letter to the editor about this article some time before and was sorry to have missed the actual article, because this is just the kind of article I dig, just like Calendar Girls is one of my favorite movies.  There is just something about getting older, and not having to look perfect, and loving your body just the same, or more even, that just appeals to me (this is actually kind of what the post I was working on was about, not the body issue but the age issue).  Anyway, when I read the letter to the editor, I meant to look the article up online, but you know, good intentions pave the road to you know where, so I never did see it, until this morning.

And when I did, it really hit home.  Here I am, 40 years old, 41 in exactly one month, and not technically in the greatest shape of my life.  Sure, I've lost a ton of weight lately, so I'm thin, but I'm not in good shape.  I can't really exercise, so when I check out the rear view, lets just say, the backs of my knees steal the show.  And without a cute push up bra, well...a nice belt buckle is the perfect accessory for the twins (boobs, breasts, ta-tas).  My weight has fluctuated from 112lbs to 170lbs in my adult life ( I don't think I've ever put that in writing, certainly not on my drivers license).  My husband knew when I was 112, but I would have died before admitting to 170, even though he could see it (he is a smart man though, he would never guess over 125).

And why do these numbers matter so much?  I grew up in Weight Watchers meetings.  Not because I had a weight problem, but because my mother did.  She was a single mom, and took me with her to the meetings.  At the time, you weighed and measured all of your food, there was no points system.  I was an expert at it, I prepared and measured many of my mother's meals.  She struggled with her weight my whole life.  And as a result, I went on my first diet at 11 years old, all on my own, even though I only weighed about 98lbs.  I don't think my mother even noticed because she was so used to me preparing her diet meals.  

My mother struggled with weight most of her life.  I don't think she was actually really very heavy until the last few years of her life, but she grew up "in the fat club".  My grandmother ran "the fat club" in our family.  To be a member, you just had to "lose a few pounds"  and she would reward you with a new dress, a cruise, a new pair of shoes, you get the picture.  Grandma is old school, she was pin-up girl pretty and her father raised her to believe that was VERY important, so she passed it on to her daughters.  Both rebelled, of course, my aunt continues to struggle with her weight.  I actually joined "the fat club" at about 145lbs when my second son was 10 months old and my grandma was taking me on a cruise.  She offered to buy me a cruise wardrobe if I lost 10lbs.  Of course I wanted those clothes so I lost those 10lbs, but that was the first time I really knew what it was like for my mom and my aunt growing up.  I was in my early 20s, and had never been over 120lbs before, but even before joining "the fat club"  (not that 145 is fat in ANY way) I was never comfortable in my body.  

And my body was just fine.  If I could write a letter to me, that is one of the first things I would say, you are fine the way you are.  Beautiful even.  Be comfortable.  Because if you ask me if I have any regrets about my life, that would be it.  All the time I wasted being uncomfortable in my body, obsessing over weight, size, proportion.  Not appreciating when my ass was two inches higher just because it was a little bigger, or my boobs were perkier, just because they weren't as big as I wanted them to be, or my stomach was flatter just because I had stretch marks.

So, ya, today,  I am 40 fabulous years old.  And with all my physical woes, my body IS a work of friggin art. Trust me when I tell you I was unprepared  for this little revelation, but there it is.  My birthday is a month away, and even thought I hate cameras, maybe I'll treat myself to a professional nude photo session to celebrate being fabulous 41.

Here's the article that inspired me today, check it out, I think you'll like it;

Five women describe the experience of posing as classic nudes
View >>

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Making the Cut or: Hair There and Everywhere Part II

Okay I did it.....I got it all chopped off.  After my last post, Hair There and Everywhere, I felt freer. Like a big weight had been lifted off my chest.  And such positive feedback from family and friends (from people I didn’t even know too! How cool is that? ) just made me feel so much better.  I wasn’t even really worried about the hair anymore.  It felt like I had been to therapy, spilled my guts, had my spiritual boo-boos kissed and could run outside and play again. 

I was so pleasantly surprised and excited when a few visitors from the Lady Bloggers Society visited my Blog and left sweet comments that I told my husband about it.  Okay, several times.  I was like Rainman “Judge Wapner is on at three o’clock” "three o'clock, time for Judge Wapner"  “I got three comments from other bloggers on my post” "three bloggers from Lady Bloggers Society commented on my post", over and over again,  until he finally had to read it.   I sat next to him while he silently read it on my Iphone.  I don’t recommend that.  I got so nervous my palms were sweating.  He didn’t make any comment , for the longest time........except to say that his ex-wife cut her hair really short once.  AAAAGGGHH!  Still reading.....still reading.....palms still sweating.......until he got to the Dolly Parton picture, then he laughed out loud!  And picked the cut that he liked best.  Whew!  Third picture, redhead BTW.  I had been waffling between that and the third from the last, blonde pixie. 

Anywoo, it seemed I had all the support I needed to go ahead and be a little creative in the expression of my identity and cut off the proverbial offending arm as it were, so, with the pressure off I didn’t need to obsess about it anymore.  Then my local hair dresser returned the call I made the week before.  Uh-oh.  Of course she could help camouflage the thinning of my hair, and she just happened to have an opening this afternoon.  Only I wasn’t ready (chicken little is my name), so we made and appointment for next Tuesday. 

Then I got in the shower.  And several strands came out in my hands as I shampooed.  So that was it, the deal was sealed.  I was not gonna cry, not after the miles long blog post, not after all the support I got, and certainly not after the gift and support I got from my husband, who truly is the most wonderful husband on earth.  So I finished my shower in record time, made arrangements to switch afternoon car pool, and took that afternoon appointment after all. 

And I have to say, I feel free!  I even took a picture of myself (if you know me, you know that is a huge deal!)

And when the Hubs got home, he told me I was beautiful, not cute :) I love you honey XOXOXO

(PS Post)  When I showered this morning, NO hair fell out, I pulled, curled, straightened, and pulled some more, and NOT ONE STRAND CAME OUT.  WTF?  But I'm not gonna push my luck, only gentle loving hair care from now on ;)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hair There and Everywhere!

Only God, my dear, 
Could love you for yourself alone 
And not your yellow hair.
~W.B. Yeats

I never really gave it a whole lotta thought until lately,  and lately it's been on my mind constantly, but my hair is a big part of my identity.  I suppose it always has been.   When I was little, it was down to my butt, and shiny and blonde.  When I was nine years old, my mom cut it into the then popular Dorothy Hammel  wedge cut (basically a bowl cut) which meant that she took off about 9 inches!   Devastation is the only word to describe how I felt.

 Then came the Eighties,  and I was all about the New Wave Eighties hair movement.

 From then on, MY hair, was how I expressed MY individuality.  MY identity.  I have been every length,  cut and color you could imagine.  I have been, long,  short  ,

  (okay, not this short, but close), and in between.   Believe it or not, I even rocked a bright pink and blue Mohawk!

By nature, I am dirty blonde but I have been strawberry blonde, copper penny red, blue-black, and light brown.   I have even been Paula Deen white. 

I have had many an unfortunate accident that resulted in pee yellow, icky green or cal-works orange until I could arrange for my savior (hair stylist extraordinaire)  to save me from myself and correct the color I never seem to get right when I do it myself from the box, and yet....I never seem to learn.  I always fall prey to the do-it-yourself hair color aisle and all of the shiny boxes with their promises that this box will deliver the prettiest, longest lasting most luminous blonde, red, something in between hair color for the low low price of $9.99. 

A good hair day, can make the worst of days tolerable.  A bad hair day can make the happiest of days drag by.  This is not news.  A good hairstylist is like gold.  Feeling bad about yourself?  Feeling fat?  Ugly?  Stupid?  Got a big zit?   Been dumped?  Get a new haircut!  Change your hair color!  It is that simple.  

But be careful....a love affair with hair can break your heart.  I was unprepared for this heartbreak.  

A year or so ago, I cut my long hair short.  After years of having short hair in many colors, I married my husband, and my long blonde hair.  My husband loves long blonde hair and I love my husband.  And it was a great big ego stroke that he looked at me adoringly and told me I was beautiful several times a day, so it was not a big hardship.   There was no discussion, he never said,  "grow your hair long or I won't like it" , in fact, my hair was only slightly more than chin length at the time, I just knew he liked long hair, so I grew it.  

But as time went on I was working full time, and (although I didn't realize it at the time) getting ill, and taking care of my long hair was becoming tiresome.  I had such fond memories of my short colorful past and made several comments.  I was most likely very annoying.  It was extremely hot at the time as I recall, and we were watching Wife Swap, and one of the wives had a cute funky haircut. I commented about it, and to my surprise, my husband said "ya, it's cute, why don't you cut your hair like that?".   Well that's all I needed!   The very next day we were off to my mother in law's in Santa Maria (110 degrees that day!) and I had me a Short Hair magazine, that I poured through the whole four hour trip, and an appointment (thanks to my niece)  with a fantastic hair stylist (Scottie Moore, Santa Maria California).  When my niece and I walked in with the picture of the cut that we (the Hubs and I) had finally settled on, a very short, very rock star cut, Scottie looked like he was either gonna pass out, or run away screaming.  Here is an (almost) 40 year old woman, with very conservative long hair, wanting to cut it all off  and go rock star (and I admit, my niece did have to bring me a thermos of wine, I did after all have my long locks for 12 years)!  But after another 4 grueling hours in the hottest (both senses of the word, remember, 110 degrees) I was rocking the cutest cut I have ever had.  I went back to the Casa with butterflies in my stomach and aside from a huge outburst from my mother-in-law (gotta love her, she speaks her mind) and a new nick name from my nephew (Uncle Bob/George), the reviews were good overall.  Better than expected.   However......

I was downgraded from beautiful to cute.  Cute is not so bad, but let's face it, once you've been "beautiful", "cute" is a downgrade.  It was gradual, and I didn't notice at first.  I loved my new look.  It was freeing.  It was funky.  It was easy, and cool in the heat.  I felt like a rock star.  I felt lighter.  And for a while I thought my husband finally liked short hair.  And then I started to notice the downgrade.  And it became and issue.  I think he took it personally, my wanting to look different than I knew he liked.  And to be fair to him, he didn't know the me that played with my hair (except for color, he is very familiar with her).  To him it must have seemed like I moved out and another woman moved in.  And I took the downgrade personally, like he did it on purpose.  And even though he still told me I was beautiful occasionally, I couldn't help thinking it was only because I complained.  It was a little heartbreaking.  We had many discussions, some not so civil.   But then, the upkeep of short hair began to wear on me, you have to go more often for the trims, etc., and the pictures of my former self in long blonde hair made me nostalgic.  And he is the one I want looking at me, thinking I'm beautiful after all .  Nothing makes me happier actually.  So I decided to grow my hair.   And hear is where the love affair with hair breaks your heart.

I've been growing my hair out for about a year.  But instead of growing out, She's falling out, traitorous bitch.  Not just a little bit, not like "everyone loses 100 strands a day" kind of falling out.  She won't grow, she falls out in the shower, reducing me to tears.  Great sobbing tears.  I know why, I have Lupus, and I take a medication for it.  Both make your hair fall out.  So I've stopped blow drying, started using special shampoo and taking special vitamins.  But my identity if falling out of my head! AHHHH!  My poor Hubby has not known what to say but has been wonderful and supportive.  It has become painfully obvious over the last few weeks that growing my hair is not going to be an option, but neither one of us has really admitted it.  Until now.

The other night,  the Hubs told me to get a rock star hair cut.  My response was childish.  I said " I'm not gonna be downgraded again!  No way!"   He said, "if you cut it, you won't have to worry so much about it falling out, you won't be so stressed about it".   Still pouty, I said, "I'm not gonna cut it until I have no choice".  But I'm already at that point.  I can't keep bawling in the shower because I just got a big ole' handful of hair.  I'm crushed to know that I have to cut my hair.  It's only hair, but god damnit!  I don't want to cut it unless I want to cut it.  But my husband was giving me a gift, telling me that he loves me and will love me even with short hair.  I will be gracious and accept that gift, and I hope if he reads this, he will read the apology between the lines for not being exactly gracious at the moment in which he gave the gift.    I just hope he remembers that if the time ever comes that I need a Dolly Patron wig,  he's gonna have to get me some Dolly Parton boobs too.

Now, I'm gonna need some help picking out that cut:  

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why I Play the Lottery

I was driving around town the other day, listening to Dr. Laura (that's whole 'nother blog) and I heard a preview for another show.  I'm not sure who it was, I think maybe Sean Hannity?  I don't really know who he is or anything about him though so I can't say for sure, all I know is it sounded like some opinionated blow hard like Rush Limbaugh (hate) or John and Ken (love).  The guy was saying something about some statistic that the higher a person's income, the less likely they were to play the lottery.  Okay, I guess I buy that.  I don't know whether this is an actual factual statistic or something he made up.  Then he said something obnoxious along the lines of  "because people higher incomes are too intelligent to waste their time/money playing lottery hoping to get rich".  I wish I could remember the exact line because it was really obnoxious.  I understood the point he was trying to make, and he was probably right, people with higher incomes (I believe he was using $100k per year as the standard, but I don't really even remember that) probably don't stop and pick up a lottery ticket every week. But his delivery sucks.

And it got me thinking, why, do play the lottery.  Do I wanna win?  Duh!  Do I think I'm going to win? Probably not (don't read that Universe! Of course I am!) so why waste the money?

I guess it's because I'm not just buying a chance to win the Jackpot, I'm buying a little bit of hope, and you can never have too much hope.  I'm also getting myself a tiny bit of imagination, and keeping up a positive attitude.

When I buy my ticket, or tickets (the most I ever bought was $7, and that was hard because I am cheap) I usually go to the same store, the Bootlegger II on Avenue K and Division Street, and buy them from the same clerk.  I say the same thing, or just about, " give me (however many) quick pick tickets, and make at least one the winning one!" and she always says "okay, I'll try to get the right one this time!".  I make sure when I buy them to think that one is the winner, and I make sure to believe I have a winner right up until I see that I don't, just in case the Universe is paying attention.  I might spend a few seconds thinking about what I would do with the big bucks if I win.

But that's about it, I don't bet my life on winning the lottery, I don't get disappointed when I don't (okay, except that last really big Mega Millions, I was kinda depressed then) and I don't think people that play the lottery do so because we are lower on the food chain.

So far my system hasn't really worked for us, we are not yet millionaires, so today I picked  my lucky numbers: 3 for the number of grandchildren I have (and marriages, third time is the charm!), 28 for my anniversary date, 11 for the number of years I've been married, 9 for the number of children we have, 40 for my age, which really is fabulous, and 41 for the Mega because I will be that fabulous in a few months.  Wish me luck!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fish Out of Water

Recently I've had some health issues causing me to see a  Rhuemetologist, who recommends that  yoga and swimming are the only acceptable forms of exercise.  As my health has declined, I have been unable to exercise, yet have lost about 30 pounds (man what I would have given to do that at other times in my life!). But I miss the chance to shake my money maker so I've asked him if I can lift weights, use the elliptical, recumbent bike, etc. Apparently, I can do whatever I can handle that doesn't hurt me or tire me excessively, but he prefers that I stick to yoga and swimming.  I prefer to try my regular exercise routine but it turns out that those things all hurt me, especially my hips, and at my next appointment I complain to him that I have actually had to stop exercising altogether and am in fact experiencing new pain.

After bending me like a pretzel, this way and that, into positions I don't think I could have gotten into when I was twenty, much less now that I'm (gasp) 40 and falling apart, he recommends big long needle in my hip (not happening) and he would like me to swim.  I can try yoga because I need to work on my flexibility (ouch, thanks, you really know how to hurt a girl), but he really wants me to swim two or three times a week and come back in a month.

He hands me an address to an indoor pool ( I am supposed to stay away from the sun like a vampire, I sparkle in the sun's rays) and off I go.  Now, I am not the least bit interested in yoga, but  I really don't like to swim at all.  Never have.  Not even as a child.  I like to float in the pool.  In fact, I prefer a blow up pool in the back yard to a big in ground pool.  When my kids were little, every summer we put up the blow up Dough Boy pool.  I played a great game of "see who can swim under mommy on the floaty thing the most times or the fastest"  (yes beer in hand like any good mommy, and no, we don't live in a double-wide) .  I  am not a good swimmer.  If its possible to be a clumsy swimmer, that's me.  My Grandma loves to tell anyone who will listen that when she put the pool in when I was a small child, she taught every child in the neighborhood to swim.....except for me, no matter how hard she tried.  In fact, if any of you have met my grandmother, I'm sure you've heard her tell it, over and over again.  It's really good for my self-esteem by the way, and no, I never thought about drowning on purpose while listening to her tell it while I was in the pool trying to do the breast stroke while everyone was watching me.

But it isn't just that I don't like to swim, he was sending me to a public pool.  Umm yuck.  I mean, I have visions of the public pools of my childhood at the park, crowded with smelly, snot nosed kids gulping pool water all day long and never getting out to pee (come on, you know you never got out to pee either), babies in diapers in the water, and who knows how often they clean the pool or check the chemicals, aaahhh!!   And aside from the yuck factor, how the hell am I going to swim in public with my Grandma right there in my head telling everyone that no matter how hard she tried she just couldn't teach me how to swim?  Will they open early enough for me to get there and swim before everyone else?  And will I be motivated enough to get up that early to swim? Doubtful.

Well,  I have to do it right?  Right.  So, off I go, looking for the yucky indoor public pool.  I think I know where it is because I have passed it before, only... I can't find it.  Doc only gave me the address on a Post-it note, no name or anything.  In addition to just plain being directionally challenged, I get easily confused these days due to what ails me, so after finally finding the address, which is a strip mall, housing several businesses identified by suite numbers, one of which is my husband's former ortho doctor, I throw in the towel in frustration and decide to go back the next day now that I've found the address.  At this point I'm just about to decide that all these little problems are signs that I shouldn't be doing this, I was not meant to swim and that  my only salvation is a bottle of wine, when my husband tells me that he remembers the physical therapist there has an indoor pool.  This is awesome news!  That means no public pool for me!!  Yay, no cooties!   No clumsy breast stroke in front of a crowd of onlookers!  Okay!  I can do this!  So.... I'll go tomorrow no problem.

But tomorrow comes, and  here is the problem, I have no referral from my doctor.  "But" I say "I have a Post-it. With the address on it.  For an indoor pool, in which I am supposed to swim".  For some reason, this does not seem reasonable to the front desk staff.  Hmmmm....well, it takes a couple of weeks to get a referral, but I am welcome to join the water aerobics class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday if I like.  Crap!  It is a sign, I am NOT supposed to swim. But okay, I'll ask the Doc (who is on vacation right now, imagine!) for a DAMN referral if he thinks this is what I should do and take the class in the meantime.   I have worked damn hard to follow doctors orders, and to get over my aversion to swimming and  to making an ass of myself in public and I am not gonna backslide now baby!

So I show up bright and early Friday morning in my tasteful little two piece suit with the halter style top and skirt on the bottom, which covers all my sins (which are admittedly the product of too many Zins) yet is still stylish, pay my seven bucks and walk the green mile back to the pool area, right smack into the Senior Citizens Club.

Now, I am not an ageist.  I love the elderly.  God willing, I'm gonna be elderly one day.  But both my primary care physician's and my specialist's main clientele are the elderly, and I recently spent quite a bit of time and effort convincing my primary care physician that I AM NOT AN 80 YEAR OLD WOMAN, SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG WITH THE WAY I'M FEELING DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT DAMN IT!!  Not to mention the fact that I was looking around for my Grandma to see if she was there to tell everyone that I could never be taught how to swim (she doesn't belong the the Senior Citizens Club, but you can see why I might be concerned, no?).  So I was nonplussed to say the least.  But there I was, might as make the best of it.  I was sure I wasn't gonna get much of a workout but what the hell, at least the water was warm.

Holy cow!  Those old ladies kicked my ass!  There wasn't even any actual swimming.  There was a whole lot of ass kickin goin on!  I was the youngest woman there by about 30 years, and I was the only one out of breath, the least flexible, and the least coordinated.  In order to cover up my discomfort, I regressed back to high school and cracked joke after joke, cracking myself up.  Unfortunately, those old biddies take their water fitness seriously and barely gave me a courtesy laugh.

After about twenty humiliating minutes I shut my pie hole and finished the class in awkward silence, except the occasional demonstration of several moves from a woman who, on land, I was sure I could run circles around (okay, now I'm not so sure).

Anyway, pride wounded, I went home wondering if I would in fact go back to the class, for a number of reasons.  Because I was so uncomfortable, I didn't think I had gotten much out of the class.  But good God!  That night I was so sore you would think I'd run a marathon!  I was sure I would not be able to go again!  I could not believe I couldn't handle a senior citizens water aerobics class!  After I got over (drowned) my pride, I decided to give it another try.  I'm not usually that proud, and I really, really need some form of exercise, and hey, if these ladies can kick my ass at their ripe old age, there must be something to this water aerobics thing, so I'm gonna go back.  And I did go back, a week later.  This time there were fewer people, but I knew some of the moves, felt more confident and when I walked in, they new my name.  It was like walking into Cheers!  Hey, Norm!  Hey, Mindi!  We were worried that you were sore last week!  Great!  I'm the wuss in the senior class.  But, like a champ, I worked hard, and I kept up with the old broads.  My Grandma would have been proud of me, I didn't swallow any water.  And I was a little sore afterward, but not much, a good sore.  So I went back again, this time only two days later.  Hey, Norm!  There were 10 women there today!  One was even close to my age, and nobody kick my ass or had to show me how to do one move.  They even laughed at my jokes ( I did swallow water this time,  don't you dare tell my Grandma)!  So I'm part of the senior crowd, I just don't get the discount.

I finally got my physical therapy referral and it's not even for the same place.  I start next week because the water aerobics isn't really doing much for my hip, even if I think my thighs and core are getting firmer.

But you know what?  I went way out of my comfort zone, and learned a little something about myself, and about someone else in the process (old chicks kick ass!).  And I think I found a little of my Mojo in the process, so  I'm still gonna go work out with my Calendar Girls :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lucky Lady

I am a lucky lady. Yeah, yeah, I'm still trying to get my Mojo back, but in the meantime, I realize that I am one lucky woman, missing Mojo and all. Because.......I have the world's best husband.

Sorry ladies, I do, and he's mine, all mine, you can't have him he's mine. Let me tell you why, or at least give you the cliff notes because I'm saving the juicy deets for myself.

My husband loves me enough to let me be crazy and just go along with it. And I am crazy, make no mistake.

He works his butt off all week, and comes home hoping to relax, or go for a ride, or you know, do something he wants to do, or do nothing at all and uh oh......I get an idea. You might think this would be no big deal, but you would be wrong.

When I get an idea, it usually has to do with building something, painting, digging, planting, moving something, assembling something, taking something apart, and then probably moving it back to where it was, putting it back together, taking it back down, you get the picture. Our home is one big undone project because I come up with great ideas that he puts into action, then change my mind in the process, or stop at picking a paint color, or get sidetracked by a new idea and he has to start on that one. Or..... I might have a really good idea for a clean healthy recipe, like all natural homemade veggie burgers! YUM! Okay, I didn't make him eat those, but he would have, and he has had enough brown rice to last a lifetime because I think it's healthier, and he doesn't like brown rice.

This weekend, was a long weekend for us, I wasn't feeling well, and he stayed home a couple of days with me. I'm not working right now so I have alot of time on my hands. ALOT of time to think, come up with GREAT ideas. For instance, we got an ad in the mail for those medical exams, where they take ultrasounds of your main arteries to see if you are at risk for strokes or heart attack. They happened to be giving these exams (for a fee of course) at a local church on a day he was home. I should note here that the week before, we lost a friend at the age of 49 years due to an unexpected stroke. Just went outside to feed the dogs, and had a stroke and died. Sooo.... I gave my husband the ad, and asked him to go for the exam. I could see he didn't want to really, I'm sure he thinks I am overreacting because he usually does (maybe I usually do, but don't tell him I admitted it), but he just said, okay, if you want me to. That's it! No argument, no discussion, I didn't even have to give my prepared speech (of course I prepared a LONG one, which was wasted and I will now have to archive it for future use!). He just knew I needed him to do it, and he loves me enough so he did it. We went, and he has had it done and I'm happy. I feel better. You would think his good deed was over for at least the weekend but you would be wrong again....

Good idea #2. Let's get rid of the bed in the spare room and really turn that in to the exercise room. Should only take a few minutes and I can help, right?? Ha! Not only am I useless as I possess no physical strength or mechanical ability, did you know it takes quite a bit of time to take apart a bed, move a computer and set it up in another room (if you want it connected to the internet via a cable in the wall), set up a television in a wall bracket and arrange exercise equipment (which btw, I can't even use right now but that's another story) to fit in the room?? Yup, quite a bit of time.... Oh well, he can relax now, right??

Wrong!! Hey! I Know! Let's plant a vegetable garden! It'll be easy cuz last weekend we were at my mother in law's house, and she gave me some ice-plant clippings and a cactus. I do not have anything like a green thumb so when she said just stick it in the ground and it will grow, and I stuck it in the ground and it didn't wither and die, I decided to pull a few weeds. That wasn't so bad, so maybe we should plant those veggies I've been wanting.....just a few, I know I can help with that! Well, SEVERAL hours later, we have a huge vegetable garden, probably about 100 sq ft, maybe more, soil all dug up and properly fertilized, complete with new sprinkler, several types of tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, a couple rows of lettuce, spinach, green beans, green onions, cantaloupe, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. My contribution? Picking out the veggies, and planting some basil, and some little cactus (cacti?) in pots on the patio. Oh, and pulling some weeds, I don't want my beautiful new vegetable garden taken over by weeds.

And later, when my wonderful husband told me that tomorrow he just wanted to take it easy, and have a lazy day, I said "yeah, I know, I'm kinda sore and tired and feeling icky from pulling all those weeds". And my husband, just kissed me and said "poor baby". And he wasn't even being sarcastic.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I have never been well prepared. For anything. As a child, I was never prepared for tests, or for what to tell my mom when I got caught doing something I knew I shouldn't. I could know all day long that I was gonna need a story when she got home from work and yet, I never had one. I once climbed down a sheet ladder I made from a second story window, like they teach you to do during in fire safety week in the 3rd grade. Once I got down, I realized that A: The front door was locked and I didn't have a key; and B: I ditched school so I couldn't get the spare from the neighbor for about 4 hours yet; and C: I was not prepared to climb back up that sheet to get back into my apartment.

I have 4 children of my own, 3 of them happy surprises, if you can believe a full grown woman can be surprised by such a blessing. Actually it wasn't really a surprise I suppose, I was aware of the possibility, but due to my commitment to unpreparedness.... you get the picture. And twins!!! Who is prepared for twins?? Even the first which was planned, I was still totally unprepared for as I was but a child myself.

I was unprepared to fall in love with my husband, and even less prepared for him to love me back! Holy smokes who could see that coming!!! And lets not even pretend you can prepare to be step-mom to 5 children. You can be a lot of things (like lucky) but prepared is not one of them.

So it's no surprise that I find myself unprepared for my current situation. I am a 40 year old woman, (still) raising adolescent children, just gone through and extremely difficult time in my marriage, and still going through dramatic lifestyle changes such as chronic illness, loss of employment due to the illness, loss of social life, and believe it or not, the beginning of empty nest syndrome.

Yes, empty nest syndrome. 4 of our children are grown and out of the house, one with a family of her own! My 18 year old has moved out twice in the last few months, each time on bad terms. I didn't expect a miraculous exit from home to college, or to great paying job and house of his own as in my fantasies, but I expected a little planning (who was I kidding) and an easier, pleasant transition that did not include him being ripped away from me (or sprinting away actually) followed by a painful silent treatment. So even though I still have some birdies in the nest, they are but a few blinks away from flying the coop themselves, and are wanting more independence from me, and I am (gasp) unprepared for this.

In essence, I think I lost part of myself (I'll call her Mojo, even though it's overused, it fits) in recent years, due to my own lack of preparation for these events. I've heard about it, read about it, and seen friends go through it. But I didn't prepare myself for it.

My Mojo was great. She was FUN. She was pretty. She was thin but not skinny. She was healthy. She liked to dance, ride the Harley, loved to cook great food, play poker, play video games with the kids, spend tons of time with friends. She was a fun lover, and loved sex, and would often propose a quickie to her husband. She was funny and loved to laugh. She could be quiet and loved to read, and was never bored.

Without her, I am anxious, attractive enough but not pretty, skinny, always ill, too tired to dance, to tired and sore to ride the Harley cook only what is fast and healthy (like chicken breast and brown rice EVERY DAY, rarely play at all, hardly see the friends. Sex is still good but never spontaneous. I often laugh but am not often the comedian, and I am often bored and distracted. Which means I'm a drag, for others as well as myself.

So, I have to find her, and I am committing to doing so. I'll start here and I'm prepared for anything. If you see her, tell her I'm looking for her.