Friday, April 29, 2011

WAIT A FRICKIN' MINUTE wasn't that yesterday?

On my blog sidebar, do you see a photo of Son and Daughter together - first day of college?

Monday I am bringing Daughter home.  She is a sophomore now.

How the hell did that happen?

Where did the year go?

I'm just hoping it hurts a little bit less when they leave me again in the fall.

Because last fall?  Sucked.

I still miss them every single day.  I still can't get used to the quiet in the house at night.  I still walk by their rooms and wish they were in them, even if they were fighting.

I might even miss the dirty dishes in the sink.  Wait.  Nope.

1 week and all will be right with the world.  For a little while.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A New Kind of Pain

When they were 2 weeks old and the doctor gave them their first shots, my heart broke to hear them scream, but I knew it was ultimately "good" for them.  I gave them Tylenol, held them close, and soothed them until the tears stopped.

When they first started toddling and fell down and skinned a knee or bumped their head, my heart hurt a little at their pain, but I knew they were learning and growing in a necessary way.  I kissed the boo-boo and cheered their new accomplishment until they clapped instead of cried.

When Son ran down the slide at 3 years old and broke his femur and spent a month in a hospital in Barcelona, I thought my heart would never recover.  Every pain he felt, I felt.  Every x-ray, every bad hospital meal, every shot, tore at my heart.  I wanted to be the one with the broken leg.  I held him, brought him games and books, and with the huge loving support of family, we made sure he had adult family attention 24/7. 

When they came home from school crying because So-And-So said they were ugly/stupid/dumb/boring and wouldn't play with them, my heart broke at their pain.  I held them and talked to them about how sometimes people say things that aren't nice.  I helped them learn to cope with the rejection and to learn from it so that they could be nice to others and not hurt others like they were hurting.

Through the stitches, the illnesses, the wisdom teeth, the rejections, the braces, the shots, the bumps and bruises, my heart broke a little each time they were hurt.  Usually I could gather them up in my arms, sooth away the pain, and chalk it up to a learning experience.

Little did I know that the first broken heart would break my heart almost in two.

When Daughter called Sunday night in tears over her recent breakup, I felt paralyzed.  She was 550 miles away, it was Sunday night, I had to work the next day, I'd be down there in a week (as previously planned) to bring her home for the summer.

None of that mattered.

What mattered was my Daughter was sobbing, broken-hearted, and alone.  550 long miles away.  And I couldn't get there.

And my heart broke.

I tried to think of the right things to say - to acknowledge the pain, to acknowledge the Boy's mistake, to lift her up reminding her what a FABULOUS person she is, and to tell her that yes, it sucks today, but tomorrow will be a little better.  And the next day a little better than that one.

And when she said, "But what do I DO mom?  How do I handle this?  I wish you could be here right now."  My heart stopped for a second.  I wanted to hop a plane, gather her in my arms, and sooth her aching heart.  Then I remembered, this is part of her growng up.  Just like the skinned knees and the braces.  I congratulated her on her maturity at seeing the breakup for what it was.  I reminded her she's loved beyond all belief.  I told her I'd be there in a week and it would all be good.  I suggested she surround herself with friends, keep busy, eat healthy, and try not to think about him every 37 seconds.

Then I hung up the phone and cried like a baby.  For my baby.

Monday, I sent her flowers reminding her that I love her Bunches and Bunches.

Who knew her heart break would break mine, too?

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Hilarious Father and Dipsticks

My Dad is the most awesome man in my life.  He always has been, always will be.  (Sorry Captain).

My Dad is brilliant in a way that so many people lack.  Aside from being intellectually intelligent, my Dad sees things in a way few others do.

I don't know if any of you remember the comedian George Carlin.  He pointed out things like, "Jumbo Shrimp" and "non-stop flight" [I'd kind of like it to stop somewhere, wouldn't you?!]

My Dad loved George Carlin because my Dad, the most observant man ever, notices things like that all the time.

My Dad has been retired now for 2 years (we dragged him, kicking and screaming, from the office when he was 78.  That's not a typo).

As a child I remember his occasional letters to the Editor with his observations.  He lives in a big small town - or is it a small big town?  Any way, there are a lot of people population wise but everyone seems to know everyone, or at least they know my Dad.  And my Dad knows everyone, like the guy who runs the editorial page of the local paper - who is also the organist at my Dad's church.  Now that Dad's retired, he writes letters to the Editor with a vengence.

This one is my personal all-time favorite:  (ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MY DAD):
We're wondering why we still rely on foreign oil and we're running low.
Well, there might be a very simple answer.  Nobody bothered to check the oil and we just didn't know we were getting low.  The reason might be purely geographical.  "Our" oil is located in Alaska, California, coastal Florida and Louisiana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas.  Unfortunately, our "dipsticks" are all in Washington, D.C!
I have posted his letter on my bulletin board at work and giggle every time I read it and remember Dad.  Some day I hope to be as smart as my Dad.

Love you Dad!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Farewell to Shoes ...

Changes are coming in my life.  It's time to tighten the financial belt and stop the incessant spending that has taken over.

Ever since Independence Day (September 1, 2007) I have enjoyed my financial freedom along with the freedom to wear what I want, cook what I want, listen to music when I want...the list is endless.

Now, however, I find myself facing some big changes.  I am selling the house and moving (still not sure where yet - first I have to sell the house!).  I am downsizing.

I am also shedding 90% of all my old furniture.  It is full of baggage I don't care to carry with me any longer.

Obviously I will need some new things when I land.  And I will have some expenses in the moving.

And so?  I have declared myself on a Strict Financial Diet.  let's hope this is more successful than my other diets... 

Step one of the diet?

No More New Shoes.

These, then, were my Farewell to Shoes...even though I didn't know it at the time...

Alas New Shoes, I knew you well....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Finally An Answer to that Burning Question

When I talk about the Captain, people often ask me, "Is Ex dating?"

Why? Why do they ask? And why do they think I know the answer? And why do they think I care?

Usually I say, "I don't know - but I hope so. I hope he can find someone who can tolerate his curmudgeony ass find someone to enjoy life with him. "

Last Saturday Son had a college rugby game nearby. Of course I went - so did Ex and his Dad and Uncle. Dad and Uncle still like me, still talk to me. There was some girl? woman? Walking around with them. Eventually I got an up-close look and realized she was older than I thought. She was dressed nicely. Too nicely for Rugby.

Then it dawned on me.

That's his DATE! And they later went to dinner (Son told me - no I didn't ask!!)

So all you curious people who want to know?? YES HE IS DATING! Girlfriend? I don't know.

But her car was not in the driveway when I got home from the piano bar at midnight.

Just sayin'

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bob Vila does NOT live here....

Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to sell her house (and yes the blog title might need to change...). She had a realtor come by and he suggested she redo/paint the bathroom, the foyer, the downstairs bathroom, and fix the seams and paint the office. He said he would give her the number of a good painting crew. Before she got that number, however, she talked to her friend Rob who is pretty much a Bob Vila. He said, "you can paint right over the wallpaper - just spackle the seams, prime and paint. It's easy!"

Easy. Accomplishment. I am woman hear me roar.

So Girl Next Door went to Home Depot and bought $200 worth of paint and prime and spackle and "stuff."

Then Girl Next Door remembered Rob also said, "If there's any loose wallpaper, just tear it off or cut it out and spackle that." Girl Next Door assessed the wallpaper and saw many spots where it was coming down. So she grabbed a corner and started pulling...and was left with this... So she spackled like Rob told her and it looked like this...

And then she taped everything and thought she was ready to paint.
But when she primed where the wallpaper but not the sticky backing peeled off the wall, the paper bubbled. So she spackled again. And sanded again. and primed again. This pretty much went on for 5 days in a row. Finally on the 6th or was it the 7th? day..she finished.

But she needed new light fixtures. As part of her initial Home Depot run, she picked up what she thought were the same lights so that she could switch them out. But they weren't. And because they weren't, this would involve removing the original bases, drilling new holes, measuring, blah blah blah. Translation: No Frickin' Way...

So she went back to Home Depot but they didn't have the right size. Thinking about what new lights in a new size meant (no frickin' way) she searched Home and found the right lights - miracle!!! And Ordered them - free shipping bonus!! Saturday she unpacked the lights....and one was BROKEN. noooooooo. One was not, so she killed the electricity, put up the new light, put on the electricity (each killing of electricity requires a trip to the basement 2 floors below...), and....No Light. So she ran to the basement, killed the electricity, ran upstairs, she took it apart, saw that she didn't wrap the wires carefully, rewrapped, reran to the basement, AND - LIGHT! Woot!

GND decided one new light was enough. Son came home for the weekend and said, "you're kidding right?" Ok ok, back to next week.

Then Girl Next Door thought - "If I try to do this myself I won't get the house on the market until NEXT May...." By then Realtor had sent her the phone number of Painters. Painters came, gave her the most reasonable estimate ever....they showed up the next day...and in ONE DAY the painters removed wallpaper from foyer, spackled entire foyer, painted foyer and trim, painted living room ceiling, spackled and painted small bathroom, painted front and back doors, fixed the seams in the office and painted the ceiling AND the walls. In One Day. For $1300. Remember how Girl Next Door spent $200 for Home Depot supplies? Plus 6 days of labor?


(You can't see the ugly textured wall paper in the photos above & below that is peeling off in places....)

Bathroom. What WERE we thinking??!!

Back door....

Office (above) the seams were all coming apart.

It's not fancy. It's boring. The entire house is beige and white - the perfect canvas on which someone else can paint their dreams.

At least, I hope so!

Oh and Home Depot being so awesome, Girl Next Door took back: 1 can of prime, 1 can front door paint, various brushes, rollers, trim painters, 1 tub spackle, 3 light fixtures (1 broken 2 didn't fit). She got a refund on all that, plus a $20 credit because the cashier felt bad that the light arrived broken. I bought 4 flats of flowers that were on 1/2 price sale, 2 bags of grass seed 1/2 price sale, weed killer 1/2 price sale, other necessities, (yes girls can find necessities at Home Depot! Stop smirking!) and spent only $38. Gardening - Yeah this Girl Next Door KNOWS how to Garden!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Daring to Love

When I was 18 I met a man I thought I loved. I thought he loved me. We spent time together. We wrote to each other because we lived apart and cell phones weren't yet invented.

Obviously that little thing didn't work out. (although I did get 2 perfect children out of the deal).

Then I met another man. Patient. Thoughtful. Attentive. Communicative. Funny. Creative. Scary....

Too far away, other commitments, financial issues, family commitments - all these things combined led me to run. Twice.

Have I mentioned he's Patient?

My first "run" was about creating distance to evaluate my feelings. Did I want to move to Florida because of him? (this scared me) or did I want to move to Florida because I like Florida? I didn't want to make a Life Decision because of someone else - I wanted to make that decision because of ME. I decided I wanted to move because of ME. One issue solved.

My second "run" was about creating distance to evaluate my feelings. Wait - didn't I do that already? Right - but this time it was about evaluating how I felt about things going on in His life and whether I was equipped to deal with them. I also had to evaluate my life - am I comfortable being M.E./me or do I need to be a we?

While I was evaluating my feelings, He was evaluating his and making changes in his life. He tells me always that in everything we experience there is a lesson to be learned. Sometimes we do not learn the lesson, so Our Father sends us more experiences until we learn the lesson and evolve. Although I'm not sure we totally agree on this all the time, I think there is truth to this statement.

And so the ever-patient Man went on with his lessons while I went on with mine.

And one day I called him - it was more than missing "we" it was missing him - missing our friendship, missing our sharing, missing our caring. Was he ready to take a risk with me?

I'm not sure I've really evolved. I'm still scared - and not sure if I will ever lose that. I am still unsure of some things. Not sure if I will ever lose that. I am not sure he's too smart taking a risk on me - I'm not sure I would if I were him.

But I have talked to him and to Him and decided that I will Dare to Love. I'm not sure I'm very good at it. I think I still have a lot to learn when it comes to loving another adult in a "relationship." I'm pretty good at loving my kids and loving my family. But relationships? Not so good.

And so, I am putting it all out there - daring to love, making changes, living with the uncomfortable, and mostly, enjoying the wonderful Gift that is The Captain.