About Me

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I am a very lucky woman with a husband and son who are smart, witty and entertaining. Our son, B, attended public school for two years, and then we embarked on a new adventure in the Fall of 2010 - homeschooling. We don't have all the answers, but we know B and this has been the best thing for him. I blog to preserve our stories and our memories, share recipes, vent and ramble on about our crazy, yet blessed, life. Would you care to follow along?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Television Campaign Ads for Anthony Brown & Doug Gansler

Maryland residents will be voting for a new governor this Fall.  I do not live in the state of Maryland so I have no stake in the election nor can I vote in it.  However, I live in the Washington, DC area and see television campaign ads for only two of the candidates - Anthony Brown and Doug Gansler.

Other than what each has stated in their current campaign ads, I know nothing about them as people nor how qualified they may or may not be for the job.  But what I can attest to is that I love their television ads!  These men are putting out the kinds of ads I have always wanted to see from candidates, but rarely do.

Neither man is slinging mud at other candidates.  In fact, I have not seen an ad in which either man even mentions another candidate.  They just talk about themselves.  Who they are, what they've done, what they believe in, what they want to do for the state of Maryland.  It's refreshing, it's intelligent and I hope candidates across the nation take notice.

I do worry that as it gets closer to the election, the mudsling ads will come.  I hope not.  I feel any attacks on or corrections of your opponents character and/or political qualifications should be saved for debates and live interviews.

***UPDATE 6/6/14 - Aaaaaand, it's over.  Yesterday, I started seeing new ads from both Brown and Gansler supporters, throwing mud at the other.  *sigh*

Monday, May 19, 2014

Words Can't Bring Me Down

I'm hosting Bunco tonight and have been cleaning and food prepping this morning.  As I go around the house, I see our cozy home through the eyes of others.  We rent and are limited in what changes and decorating we can do.

The walls need a fresh coat of paint badly!  We actually put in a request last year to repaint ourselves to freshen it up, but our property manager never responded.  Most of the walls ust have the builder's primer paint on them.  So, when I've tried to clean the walls, the paint comes off.  Lots of marks on the walls make it looks run down and like we don't care.

The carpets, which have been here since the house was built 15 years ago, are worn and stained.  Our furniture is stained and chipped.  The decor includes a skeleton made out of stickers, epic faces drawn by B and homemade Math signs to assist B with his homeschool lessons.

The homes of the other ladies in the Bunco group look, to me, like decorating magazines.  These ladies have taste and know how to put things together and match color schemes.  They have themes and collections on display and I love walking through their beautiful, decluttered homes each month.

I'm walking around my 1st floor with a box under my arm, throwing everything that's on a surface into it and will store the box in the basement until after Bunco is over.  The hubs has to unplug the computer and take it up to our bedroom when he comes home from work because I need the desk to serve dinner off of.

As I clean and clear, I'm reciting in my head, "I don't care what they think of my house.  I don't care what they think of my stuff.  I'm sure at least some of them run around the house with a box under their arm before Bunco, too.  They all have kids!"

I decided to turn on some music to drown out the recitation in my head because it's not going to stop. When I turned the radio on, the first words that came out were, "I am beautiful, no matter what they say.  Words can't bring me down."  It was Beautiful by Christina Aguilera and it was exactly what I needed to hear right then.

I was bringing myself down with words in my head.  Nobody else was there looking disgustedly at my house or making comments.

I love the ring stains where B decided to paint with non-washable paint and put no newspaper underneath.  Looking at the chips on the desk where B ran his 1st pair of scissors to test how sharp they were brings a smile to my face, remembering how cute and small he was.  And although it's not pretty to look at old, dried food particles on the wall above the kitchen sink from a garbage disposal explosion a few years ago, the meal we had that night was fantastic.

My home is beautiful, no matter what I say, and I won't bring it down by dishonoring our memories.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It was a simple "Yes" or "No" question!

Frequently, I ask a simple question that only has two answers - "Yes." or "No."  But I rarely receive one of those answers.  *sigh*

Me: Are we going straight home?
The hubs: Why?  Would you like to stop somewhere on the way?  Is there something else you'd like to do?  What would you like to do, babe?  You decide.

Me: Are you hungry for lunch now?
B: (Long pause while he performs a systems check of his body. We're really working hard on paying attention to our body's needs as they happen.  Unfortunately, those needs usually aren't even on his radar until I ask such a question.)  Uhm...I might be getting theeeere...I'm kiiiiinda hungry...buuuut...I don't want to eeeeat right now....maaaaaaybe....maybe laaaaater...check back with me in a while.

When I ask one of those simple questions and the response starts with, "Weeeeeelllll..." I think, Oh, boy.  Buckle up; this is gonna take a while.  Sometimes I don't even hear the monologue response because I'm screaming in my head, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, IT WAS A SIMPLE YES OR NO QUESTION!!!!!

Once in a while, I think I'm screaming that in my head but it actually comes out of my mouth.  B, however, thinks I am joking and being funny anytime my yelling begins with, "FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY/GOD/MY SANITY/PETE    FILL IN THE BLANK   ", so he laughs and doesn't take me seriously.

It's so freaking frustrating!  The hubs finds it ironic that I get upset about this because, according to him, I am incapable of  being short, sweet and to the point.  He says I can't carry on a normal conversation; I talk in stories.  Actually he says I'm an "atmospheric" talker where as he's a bottom-line guy.  He just wants the facts or the end of the story but I have to set the entire scene, describe everything in detail and repeat everything that everyone said, complete with tones of voices and facial expressions.

It is true that we reap what we sow because B is an atmospheric talker, too.  Now I understand what a saint my mom was, sitting there and listening to me recount entire movies to her when I got home from the theater or every, single thing that happened at school that day.

So, I guess the next time someone asks me a "Yes." or "No." question, I need to think long and hard before I answer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Survival Skills

The above picture is one of our living room windows with cat throw up on the sill and the window itself.  I've kindly added an arrow to point out the bit on the window for you.  You're welcome.  The hubs gave me permission to tell this story with picture as long as I promised not to tell y'all how long this has been there, so I can't tell you that piece of information.
Anywho, cleaning up animal accidents is the hubs job, not mine.  The morning B and I woke to find this, the hubs had already left for work so I unhappily gathered a ton of paper towels and wiped up what I could.  It must have happened right after we fell asleep the night before, because what you see now was already dried that morning.
B cannot stand to hear certain words - vomit, spit, phlegm, etc. - and seeing such items is even worse!  He wanted it cleaned up and he wanted it done before he awoke that morning.  This conversation happened Saturday morning in the room that was the scene of the crime:
B: Can someone please clean the rest of that off the window sill, today?
The hubs: What are you going to do when you're starving and there's no food in the house?
B: I'll go outside and eat the wood pulp from the tree!
Once the hubs knew his boy was resourceful enough to not need regurgitated cat food, he cleaned it up.  Thankfully.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Third Time's a Charm

Third Time's a Charm

The first man
I fell in love with
broke my heart
when he left me.

The second man
I fell in love with
broke my spirit
when he abused me.

The third man 
I fell in love with
broke my walls
when he came back for me.

Friday, May 9, 2014

PJ Friday - Whoop, Whoop!

It's PJ FRIDAY in our house - whoop, whoop!  A day when B and I go no where and do nothing, including getting dressed - unless we want to. After our socializing- and errand-filled week, we are pooped and just stay comfy.  We love it!

Every Friday afternoon the hubs comes home to find us in our PJs.  He hates it!  LOL  He has all these rules of an appropriate life and one of the many, many (illogical to me) ones is that all persons should get dress and be ready to leave the house or receive guests, at the very least in the AM, but preferably within 2 hours of waking.

He's also very distasteful of the fact that I don't necessarily shower every day.  If I take a shower at night before going to bed because I'm feeling dirty and/or sweaty from the work I've done that day, I don't feel the need to take another shower the next day!  Unless, of course, I get dirty or sweaty that day, too.  I hate climbing into my bed all dirty and sweaty.

Weekdays he doesn't necessarily know if I've showered or not, but on the weekends he's all over me.  Once I've eaten breakfast, the question comes: "You going up to take a shower now?"  If I don't smell, my hair isn't greasy and I have plans to do sweaty work that day, I'm not showering until after the work is done.  Showering is not my fav thing to do so there is no way I would subject myself to two showers in one day.

But the questions still comes.  "You going up to take a shower now?"  "You going up to take a shower now?"  "You going up to take a shower now?"  Until he can no longer stand the suspense and has to ask, "Are you going to take a shower today at all?"  If we don't have any plans and are just going to stay home all day, sometimes I'll just torture him by not showering.  That's called "tough love".

IDK why my personal hygiene is any of his business unless he wants a little sumpin'-sumpin'.  And when that's the case, all he has to do is tell me that and I'd be all over a shower like white on rice!

The Next Right Thing

As I told you in the previous post, Blogging Again, I'm currently reading Glennon Melton's book Carry On, Warrior, The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life.  And, boy howdy, is mine messy!

Glennon says she has three prayers to Jesus: "Please!", "Thank You!" and "WTF???"  I stopped praying, stopped talking to God sometime over the last few months and I don't even know why.  But that snowballed into my old Catholic guilt mentality - I can't turn to Him when I haven't been in touch for so long.  What do I say to Him now?  (Side note: I was raised Catholic and have received all my sacraments.  The hubs and I were married in the Catholic church and B was baptized Catholic.  I no longer practice Catholicism because it's a religion and I don't believe in religions; I believe in God.  Religions are people who get in the way of me and God with their rules and condemnation.  But I will blog my God story in the future.)

But then Glennon said "Please!", "Thank You!" or "WTF???"  So this week I've been praying thank yous.  Folding the hubs laundry, all by myself in the basement yesterday, I even prayed thank yous.  I had an overwhelming incident yesterday full of loud noises, kids running around, wall climbing, battling each other in which I now see I should have prayed WTF??? to calm my overwhelminess.  Yes, I am declaring overwhelminess a new word.  Deal.

Glennon also says that we can get overwhelmed with everything there is to do and maintain and keep track of that we panic.  Life itself can be so overwhelming that we can't handle it all and get stuck or escape into something unhealthy.  That's me; I get overwhelmed very easily!

She advised all I need to focus on is doing the next right thing.  That's it!  She likened it to driving home at night on a country road with no street lights.  Your headlights only allow you to see the next 10 feet in front of you.  It's scary, yes.  I worry about what else is out there in the dark, lurking, waiting to jump out in front of my car.  But it's alright; I can get all the way home, safely, just those 10 feet at a time.

So I've been focusing on the next best thing.  That's it.  The next best thing yesterday got me to walk out of a situation before my overwhelminess came out of me in front of children.  And last night, I added please to my thank you prayers.  I went to bed last night and woke up this morning without any worry or anxiety pressing on me.  (Wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that it's PJ FRIDAY in our house - whoop, whoop!)

This morning I weighed myself.  I told you in Blogging Again that I weighed 176lbs.  This morning I am 172.5lbs.  Lightening my mental and spiritual burden had a side effect of lightning my physical one, too.  ;o)  But I know I won't always make good choices and I'll fall off the wagon many more times, I'm sure.  But it's OK.  God gives me as many do-overs as I need.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Blogging Again

I went to see Glennon Melton of Momastery speak Sunday night.  I was so excited and happy to see her in person that I went completely out of my mind and didn't bring any tissues with me!  "Luckily", I had brought a fleece cardigan incase it was cold in the church and after crying for 45 minutes I finally started wiping my face with the cardigan.  Not very comfortable, nor pretty, though.
She spoke right to the place where I was in that moment.  Without even knowing she was doing this, she answered questions and calmed doubts I've been having about myself and my blogging for quite sometime.  What she was saying about life, marriage, parenting, friendship, Jesus and blogging were all how I felt, too.  She inspired me to start blogging again and blog for me - not worry about who's reading or what they do or do not want to hear - but blog to purge my mind and soul of what is pressing on it and let everything else just fall where it may.
As part of our admission, we all got a paperback copy of Glennon's (I call her Glennon, not Mrs. Melton, because she's my sister now, see.)  book, Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life.  I love books and especially love owning a copy of a book!  There are different ways in which people love their books.  Some people love hardcovers more than paperbacks and vice versa.  Some people love their books with reverence and feel they are precious collections to be cared for gently.  They are carful not to break the spines, they do not write in their books and they use bookmarks instead of folding down pages.
I love my books differently.  If I am lucky enough to own a book, I don't care if it's new or used, hardcover or paperback, pristine or stained and ripped.  I love them all the same.  I read with a highlighter and a pen handy, highlighting things that resonate with me, words that cause those Oprah "A-HA" moments, and write notes in the margins about why something spoke to me or what in my life is an example of those words.  Sometimes when I get wrapped up in a library book, I find myself reaching for the highlighter.  Thankfully I come to my senses before I I use it!
There is so much highlighting in the 1st 37 pages of Carry On, Warrior that instead of highlighting the sentences, I started circling whole paragraphs.  In those 1st 37 pages, she is writing about me.  She describes herself, her feelings, needs, fears and even coping mechanisms and they were or are all mine at some point.  I'm keeping a notebook with me while I read her book and started writing my thoughts down in it when they wouldn't fit in the margins.  I realized I was writing down blogs posts.

I circled the entire 2nd paragraph on page 25.  It begins, "If, anywhere in your soul, you feel the desire to write, please write.  Write as a gift to yourself and others...Writing is not about creating tidy paragraphs that sound lovely or choosing the "right" words.  It's just about noticing who you are and noticing life and sharing what you notice."
OK, I told myself, here is the sign and the help you prayed for.  I had a talk with the hubs about all my worries and doubts and lack of love for blogging recently and what I really wanted to blog about and he told me to go find my smile (anyone seen City Slickers?)  So, here goes...
I weighed myself yesterday morning and I am 176lbs.  My weight this past year has not been this high since I was pregnant with B.  I gained 44lbs with B and topped at 187.  However, when I left the hospital after delivering him, I only weighed 10lbs more than I was before the pregnancy - yeah!  But it took me 10 months to take those 10lbs off - boo!  I gave birth to an 8lb 1oz baby boy and lost 26lbs of retained water during our 4 day stay in the hospital.
I've been bigger than I want to be most of my life and it's always bothered me.  I've rarely been comfortable in my skin.  That is, until I turned 40, 2 years ago.  I had always bought clothes that were mostly comfortable when I was standing but pretty uncomfortable, read: tight when I sat down.  I was over my mom's house and lamenting over my weight and clothes and she brought out some capri pants that no longer fit her (they were too big for her to wear) for me to try.
I scoffed in my head, because every bottom my mom owns is elastic waist - no buttons, snaps nor zippers for her.  That was old lady-ish to me.  Oh, how the judging comes back to bite us in the ass every time!  I tried some things on and they felt nice.  I sat down in them and they felt nicer.  I couldn't believe it!
I took 2 pairs of capri pants home with me and something wonderful happened when I wore them - I was completely unaware of my clothes for the 1st time in decades!  I hadn't really been uncomfortable in my skin all that time, I was merely uncomfortable in my clothes.  I was constantly aware of how my clothes felt and was constantly pulling, tugging, adjusting, stretching them away from me.
Without focusing on my clothes I didn't think about my appearance at all.  Well, at least not until I looked at myself in a mirror.  *sigh*  But that was OK!  I only looked at myself in a mirror while washing my hands after using the bathroom.  The rest of the day I was free - literally and figuratively.  I might not be the size I want to be, but I was finally comfortable wearing the size that I was.  The mental freedom from that was enough.
Then my hair started going kaput after turing 40 and no matter what I did or what I used on it it looked terrible!  No more volume, hardly any curl, and it only had 2 looks - dry and frizzy or dirty and greasy.  I even tried the baking soda and vinegar method of washing my hair from April 2013 - January 2014.  It took over 2 months to get the right formula for me and for my hair to adjust, but my hair looked good all Summer and Fall.  Then it just died on me.
So, for the past couple of months, I've been using Salma Hayek's Curls & Waves hair products.  I saw her demonstrate her skin, hair and makeup products on a talk show last year.  She and I have similar hair but I refused to try it then because I'm cheap; I've bought Suave and V-05 for decades because it's $1 or less.  But I had to step out of my box if I wanted to my hair too look better, just like I'd stepped out of the box with the clothes.  I'm so glad I did!
Then B and the hubs helped me pick out some liquid foundation at the drug store in March (never worn it before) and I've been doing my hair and makeup most days.  An amazing thing happens when I do my hair and makeup - when I look in the mirror, I can't take my eyes of my face.  I think I am pretty.  I'm proud when I look in the mirror and I don't even think to look below my chin at the rest of me.  As long as my clothes are comfortable, I don't even think about my body.  Most of the time.
When it's shower time, I'm painfully aware of how big I am in that mirror that starts over the double sink vanity and stretches to the ceiling in the bathroom.  But I'm not beating myself up about it.  I know what I'm doing to stay this way and I know what I have to do to change.  And when I'm ready to do something about it, I will.  The hubs wants me to be healthier and he wants me to be happy with myself.  Now I know how he felt all those years I wanted him to quit smoking.  Ain't nothin' nobody can say to get you to want to change and sometimes you dig your heels in deeper just to spite someone else.
But I'm learning from Glennon that the holes in me cannot be filled with food and I can't escape them in a bottle.  Years and years have proven that to myself, but it's still hard to let them go.  However, I need to try.