Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jack Daniels

In the summer of 1994, I was walking past an empty cage in a pet store when I somehow managed to catch my sleeve on it.  When I turned to untangle myself, I found myself the victim of a pouncing from a small ball of fluff who apparently had been ghosting around the cage.  It was love at first sight and since I had apparently been chosen, my mom and I both agreed I had to take this cute little guy home.

As soon as I got him settled I noticed what appeared to be a problem.  He cried every time he used the litter.  He came with a certificate to see a vet so the next day I took him down to find out what was wrong with my new little guy.  I was surprised to find the vet had seen him already the week before.  Apparently he was purchased and returned to the pet store because of this same issue.  The vet assured me, as she had assured them, that he was healthy.  He just wanted everyone to know he was taking care of his business and he'd either grow out of it, or not.  So I took him back home and he's been with me ever since. (He did eventually grow out of the need to let everyone know he was taking care of his business).

My little man eventually grew into a big game hunter bringing me mice, lizards, frogs and birds - even a parrot once after we moved down to So Cal. He managed to survive countless cat brawls, mixing it up with a coyote - he almost died that time, and as many of you know last year after shattering his front leg, an amputation.  And he did it all on his terms, while still ruling our house and being like most cats, part arrogant and part love.

Now, I believe everything happens for a reason.  That this little kitten and I were meant to be.  He's been with me for the last 18 years.  And while he was MY pet and I took care of him, fed him, and kept him safe, I was HIS person and I can guarantee after divorcing, moving, remarrying, step-parenting, crazy bosses and a few kids, he saved me more than I ever saved him.

In the last few weeks he stopped eating completely and was having more and more trouble getting around our small house.  After a lot of conversations, tears and soul searching I realized I couldn't make him better, but I could help him sleep, so I did.

So if there is a God and heaven and justice in the world, then my sweet old guy is sitting on my sister's lap about now and they'll keeping each other company for a while.


Monday, February 25, 2013

No Pressure

So, today is the first day of The Hubs new job and I must say, he looks GOOD.  Is there any man that doesn't look amazing in a good suit?

He wasn't too thrilled about me taking this first day photo,

but I won him over with my charm. :)

I know he'll be amazing today and knock their socks off reassuring them they've hired the right man for the job.  He'll have to, because I think we have plans for his first 6 or 7 paychecks already!  Good luck baby!  No pressure!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Just Call Me Charlie Brown

You need to watch this.  Go ahead.. it's only 3 minutes long.. and then we'll talk.

Here's a few things I know.
I know that if money were no object, The Hubs would SCUBA dive every day for the rest of his life and be a very happy man.

I know that because money is important, he continued on with his degree in Computer Information Systems instead of Physical Anthropology (specifically human evolution) which he found once he started college, fell in love with, but left behind because he ultimately needed a degree that would provide a job which could support our family.

I know we teach our children from a very young age that they can be anything they want when they grow up.  But as they grow up, we teach them to trade dreams for stability.

I know that society and the media teaches us to keep up.  Keep up with the neighbors, keep up with the latest tech, keep up with the fast paced world around us no matter what the cost.  We are told we need this latest thing to make our lives "easier" but are forced to work a little harder and a little longer in order to afford it.

I know we place so much of our personal value on our financial and professional success and not by the level of happiness in our lives or how content we are with who we are.

I can see why some people run, (not walk) from the rat race screaming about the joys of a simpler and slower lifestyle. Of course, that doesn't mean a slower/simpler lifestyle is a better one.  I'm sure there are plenty of people in rural or low income areas that would laugh at the mere idea of their lives being "better".  I think it's just a matter of trading one set of problems for another, but I can see how if you're doing something you love, even if you're not making tons of money, you might be fundamentally happier than if you're working in a high stress job you hate.

I also know, that there are many mornings when I look at myself in the mirror and wonder if this is all there is.  Is this all my life is going to be?  It's not that I'm so horribly unhappy with it all, but I guess, I just thought there would be .. more.  More time with my family.  More highs, less lows.  More days of laughter and less stress.  Oh that's a big one.  I'd love a life with about half the stress I have now.  I know that part of this is because we're in a place of transition, and have been for the last few years while The Hubs wraps up his degree.  I day dream happily of dual incomes even though it does mean less time with him selfishly because it means less stress and work for me.

I also know if money were no object, I don't have one single thing I am passionate enough about to want to do.  Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of things I like to do.  I like to write.  I like to take photos.  A long time ago in what feels like another life, I liked to paint.   But I don't consider any of these things a passion.  I feel so wishy washy.  So very Charlie Brown, but there it is.   And if you measured my life in terms of happiness or contentedness, you'd only get "good", and I really want it to be "great".   I don't know how to get there.  I see no clear path, no step by step instructions, and honestly without even a goal more concise than "I want it to be great" I don't see myself getting there any time soon.

What about you guys?  If money was no object, what would you be?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Empty Rooms

GG's room over the last week has slowly but consistently been emptied of all it's possessions.  Some are going into boxes in the attic.  Some are going into bags to be donated.  A lot of things are just being thrown out altogether.  And some things are being packed up to go with her.  She's moving onto campus this weekend and slowly watching the progression of her character filled room turn back into just four walls is a little bitter sweet.

When each of the older girls got old enough to start thinking about college, I told them about my experiences.  I told them about living in the dorms.  Making sleds out of cafeteria trays.  About seeing the "Grade D Meat Suitable For Human Consumption" boxes on the loading docks and eating baked potatoes and cereal the whole rest of the semester.  I told them about dropping classes because I couldn't understand the professor.  About TA's who made me crazy.  I told them about the professor who gave me an F on his final in his words because "I obviously have no idea what I'm doing" and in my opinion because he doesn't give A's in his class and failing my final was the only way I was not going to have an A in his class.  I told them about my roommates, frat parties and delivering margaritas in the shower.  I also told them about professors and classes I loved.  About projects that took me weeks to get right, and about late night study sessions at The Pantry - the only 24 hour coffee place that would let us poor college students stay as long as we liked as long as we purchased one bottomless cup of coffee.  And I told them about the amazing friends I'd made, friends I still have today (you know who you are!).

When LW went off to college, she had to do the same thing.  Clean out her room.  I had similar feelings then about watching her room slowly empty of all its character.  I think in a different house, I might have let each of the girls keep their rooms and all their old things just as they left them.  But maybe not.  Cleaning out all your childhood stuff I think is a rite of passage.  Giving yourself permission to let go of that life and fully embrace the new experiences ahead of you might be just as important as the experiences themselves.  At any rate, in our tiny three bedroom 1200 SF house, space is at a premium and LW had to clean out her room to make way for GG, and now GG is cleaning out her room to make way for Bunny.  It's tradition now, I guess.

I've described GG's entrance into the collegiate world as an adventure before, because that's truly how I see it.  New people, new places, new experiences.  Moving on campus with its semi-independence is another huge step into adulthood.  And I am at the same time excited for her, sad to see her go and a teeny tiny bit jealous of the journey she's about to go on.  College was for me, one of the very best times of my life and I know to the bottom of my heart, that she will love it as much as I did.

Seriously.. Thoughts?


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hiccup, Toothless & Astrid

Santa thought we'd been good, so he gifted us with 6 tickets..

to How To Train Your Dragon A Live Spectacular.

Where we got to see Hiccup and Toothless meet for the firs time.

See the gang learn about dragons.

Saw Astrid and Hiccup fall in love.

And watched the most amazing flying fight scene against the big dragon who enslaved the other dragons.

Best. Christmas. Gift. EVER.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, January 21, 2013

When Friends Become Family

As a family, we've been part of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) for over ten years now.  We were invited one event to come out and camp for the weekend and we loved it.  Quite honestly, what's not to love?  Dressing up in historical(ish) clothes, getting to do arts and crafts, and camping plus shopping for things that have no place in the ordinary world but are still super cool like daggers, swords, armor, and all things dragons, fairies and fantasy.

But it's the people that have kept us going back year after year, event after event.  We camp with an amazing group of people every year.  We started out as a bunch of single people out having drunken revelries, then we got married, started bringing LW and GG (who the whole clan adored and immediately adopted), then more little kids (our Tweedles included) started popping up and we've moved from the party encampments to the quieter ones with quiet hours.  The experience when we go has changed over the years, but we keep going back because we love the people.  And after 10+ years, they've become family.

Last weekend we had the anniversary event of our clan - the Scottish kind, not the KKK kind.  Just a weekend to spend with people we only get to see a few times a year, to catch up, and be amazed at how the kids have grown.  Be excited for good news, commiserate with bad news and do what families do best.. EAT.  We had an amazing feast with turkey and all the trimmings, drinks, laughter, good fun and friends.  The best kind of weekend.

The best kind of weekend that was made just a tiny bit better by a hysterical and completely inappropriate game GG found.  It's called Cards Against Humanity and again I can't emphasize enough how inappropriate this game is.  It's a simple game, similar to Apples to Apples, where a black card is read and everyone has 10 pre-written white card to choose from to give the funniest answer.  The funniest answer wins the black card and at the end of the night, the one with the most black cards wins.

For example: the black card may read: What is my anti-drug?  The white cards could read: Santa Claus or Passive Aggressive Post-It Notes.  This is an adult game as some of the answers are much more raunchy than than my examples (this is a family blog after all).  So we waited until all the kids were put to bed to play and the game went on until the wee hours of the morning with so much laughter, our stomachs were sore. They were out of stock of the game last weekend, so we simply downloaded the pdf and had the cards printed at staples for under $10.  Doesn't get any better than that!

I didn't take any photos from our event. I brought my camera, but was having so much fun, I forgot to use it.  Maybe next time.  Meanwhile, we went all of last year without doing a single SCA event and this year, I think this year we're ready to get back in the game and do events again.  So, expect more pictures to come!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Anyone Else Feeling Safer?

Right before the holidays, Bug and Bunny took their Yellow Belt test.  On the way into the test, we had a lot of talks about how we would behave if one or both didn't pass the test and had to stay a white belt.  We decided that if one of them made it and the other didn't, we'd be happy for the one who did, and the one who didn't wouldn't cry. We talked about how neither of them would cry if they both didn't make it.  They would focus on the fact that they had done their best.  They would focus on working harder and paying attention so that when the test came up again, they would pass the next time.  We talked a lot about how this isn't a competition, it's enough that we're trying hard and learning each move exactly how it's supposed to be done.  And it's enough that we have fun.  We only take this class once a week after all.  Last night, before going back into class for the first time since break, to learn if they passed or not, we reviewed everything we'd discussed, promised to happy for whoever made it, and not be sad if they both stayed white belts.

I shouldn't have wasted my breath..

Anyone else feeling safer?

Or is that just me?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

I had such plans.  I had LW go pick up some poppers, confetti and funny hats as a surprise for the kids for New Year's Eve.  They both said they could make it, and I believed them.

Bug made it until 8:30..

Bunny lasted until 11:00..

The Hubs and I tucked them both into bed by 11:30 and quietly rung in the new year together.

Here's To 2013.

Seriously.. Thoughts?