Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday on the road

I had a good day today.

It was beautiful and chilly and bright. Dalt and I drove halfway to Dallas to pick up Natthan, my stepson, and then we went to Humble to pick up Savannah and Joseph.

I took big, deep breaths and relaxed and let myself feel good about things. We sang along with the radio and laughed, held hands and talked about stuff.

It was a good day.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Cautionary Tale

If, by chance, you ever find yourself basking in the afterglow of exquisitely satisfying conjugal coital bliss, and in that fuzzy, warm state of mind decide you would like a piece of pie, please, please, please, for the sake of yourself and all that is holy, heed the suggestion of your practical, all-knowing partner and just go to sleep without it.

However -

If your very wise and eerily intuitive partner gets toned to a First Responder call while you're still basking, and because he has to leave anyway you decide you may as well go ahead and get up and have that piece of pie, and while you're standing at the open refrigerator door, the Thanksgiving Day leftovers start to sound pretty darn good instead, whatever else on earth you may ever do, in this instance, just say no.

But if you don't -

And then rationalize to yourself that it won't be so bad because you're just going to get one tiny spoonful of each delicious, Thanksgiving-y morsel, but then it turns out that you have to even out your plate for aesthetic purposes, so you end up with a pile of food that would choke a horse, and then you have to choose between milk or a beer for your drink, please trust me in this, you will absolutely want to choose the milk.

Because -

Later on, when you're sitting on the couch with your empty plate of leftovers, your belly already starting to bloat from the gorging, and the radio goes off again with another tone so you know you're wonderful, lone-voice-of-reason spouse is not going to be home for at least another half hour to save you from yourself, you will use your previous beverage choice as an excuse to go ahead and have that piece of pie you wanted earlier so you have something to wash down with milk, and then you will have that piece of pie and glass of milk. And you will suffer.

Oh yes, you WILL suffer.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm a poet

Tra-la-la Boom-dee-ay
I had to work today
Stand on my feet all day
That's all I have to say

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wishing all of it could last longer

Okay, okay, I missed yesterday. I had to work from 8 to 3, skipped lunch so I could get home and start cooking, then was mortified when I realized that I forgot to blog. Until I checked Nicole's and she missed TUESDAY. So, technically, I win.

Now, about Thanksgiving. I have decided it's way too much work for a 15-minute gorge fest. I mean, I was cooking from about 6 yesterday evening until 11 last night, got up at 6:15 this morning and was at it until the final dish was washed at about 3. And that doesn't included shuffling leftovers. I made approximately 10 times the amount of food we actually ate, and then it was over.


On the upside, it was my first Thanksgiving with my honey. We cooked together and cleaned together, his parents came over and were nice. My sister Terri came last night and helped cook and chop stuff (thank GOD), and that was fun. We had a great time and my house still smells wonderful.

It was a good day and I'm very thankful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A few of my favorite things

This every day thing is getting hard. I'm just not that interesting. Really.

Okay. In keeping with the Thanksgiving Day spirit (Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday), I am going to attempt to be more positive by focusing on things I enjoy. Here goes:

I like coffee. It's hot and rich and smells good, and it makes me feel better about mornings.

I like it when my kids hug me.

I like music and dancing. My favorite lately is R & B.

I like to read entertaining books and Woman's World magazine.

I like cuddling with my husband and talking with him when we're alone in our room.

I like having friends over for dinner.

I like watching good movies and a few tv shows. Especially watching football and Life and True Blood with Dalt.

I like talking with my friends on the phone when I can't be with them in person.

I like going out to lunch or dinner with friends or family. Especially family dinners out with the kids.

I like sleeping in and lazy days in my pajamas with no place to go and nothing to do.

I like playing cards and/or dominoes at family gatherings.

I like pizza and beer.

So there.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Whole thing

Well, NaNoWriMo has been a complete bust for me. (Sorry, E.) I have 219 words. Pathetic.

I've been worrying a little about Christmas this year. On top of the usual money crunch, I've been thinking a lot about past Christmases and feeling guilty for breaking up what my kids could only have perceived as a happy family. I was a stay-at-home-mom and I had lots of time to decorate and bake and all that stuff. It's easy to sit on this side of the fence and glamorize what used to be.

But here's the thing. When I was a SAHM, I did everything for everybody. It wasn't fun, it was exhausting. That's what I thought I was supposed to do. I didn't include the kids in the kitchen or the chores or spend time with them or play. I did everything and ended up frazzled and unhappy. And frankly, I don't think getting a ton of presents at Christmas was very satisfying for them either.

So, with help from my honey, I have begun to see the error of my ways. Dalt has shown me it's okay to put the kids to work. I may not be able to get them a ton of presents, but I am determined to include them in my life, let them help me in the kitchen, play cards, watch a movie together, shop for each other.

I have been so used to shutting everyone out, I didn't even realize I was doing it. I don't know when that happened. Truthfully, it's probably because I make myself responsible for everybody else's happiness. If everybody else is happy, that's all that matters. Which doesn't leave much time or energy for anything else.

I'm trying to do things differently now. Having a partner who wants to know what I want, who really listens to me and understands when I have to do the hard work of saying out loud what I need, who helps put things into perspective, has helped me start to see what a TRULY happy family can be.

It's not one person doing everything for everybody. It's everybody making a contribution to the whole.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My funk

I had to work today, yet I am still posting 'cause I said I would... every day... hmmm... I wonder if Nicole got over her Red Raider funk enough to keep up? We'll see.

I hate my job.

The holidays are coming up and I'm not going to get to spend hardly any time with the kids.

I have too much time to think.

So there.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Some things should never be seen

I am sitting on the couch with my honey and our dog, covered up in a blanket, watching That Metal Show on VH1Classic.

Aging metal fans are not pretty.

Which leads me to a new top ten list (since I haven't done one in a while):

Top 10 Things that should never be seen

1. Your mother in her underwear.

2. The inside of the human nose.

3. Hair Band music videos from the 80's.

4. Naked obese people.

5. Me without makeup.

6. Vomit.

7. Old people having sex. (I didn't say they shouldn't do it - it just shouldn't be seen.)

8. The contents of your bathroom sink's clogged up pipe.

9. Any of the "Saw" movies.

10. The Democratic National Convention.

Friday, November 21, 2008

When duty calls

Have I mentioned my new husband is a firefighter?

In addition to being a high school world history and BCIS (business computer integration systems) teacher, my honey is the first assistant chief of our local VFD (volunteer fire department), and a certified ECA (emergency care attendant), which means he is also a First Responder. Not only does he fight fires, he's first on the scene at MVA's (motor vehicular accidents), downed power lines or trees across the road, and anytime someone calls an ambulance.

Now, this is a volunteer position. Not only does he NOT get paid for any of this, he's on call 24 hours a day, except when he's at his day job. It's his hobby. He loves it, and it's one of the things I love and admire about him the most.

This morning, his pager went off a little after 3 a.m. (I'm sure he knows the exact time, forgive me if I'm fuzzy.) It's not the first time this has happened, it won't be the last, it just comes with the territory. But, wow.

He jumped up, threw on the clothes he keeps ready on top of the chest of drawers for just such an occasion, kissed me and flew out the door. I was left alone with a house full of sleeping kids, the dog and the pager. The kids never woke up, the dog kept me warm, the pager kept me apprised of what was going on with the call.

It was a structure fire in a partially completed house, venting through the roof and threatening nearby woods. The second assistant chief arrived first and took command of the scene, Dalt went in route with a tanker truck from Station 2 (the one nearest our house), followed by crews on the engine and tanker from Station 1. Another nearby VFD was called to assist with their tanker. The county fire marshall was called in but couldn't make it, so a county arson investigator was contacted. Dalt had to refill his tanker twice, a stop was put on the fire before it got to the woods, and by the time our alarm went of at 6:15, everybody was going back in service (which means things are wrapped up and ready for another call if needed.)

I slept for about two-and-a-half minutes.

The worst thing about all of this is that I used to get to go on these calls, too - as a reporter. Dalton and I met when I was covering a brush fire story. I know what it's like to feel the rush of running to a fire scene, not knowing what you're going to find when you get there, the camaraderie between emergency workers. Now I'm relegated to armchair quarterback.

Dalt came home, soaked in a hot bath I drew for him, drank some coffee and left for work.

Maybe armchair quarterback ain't so bad after all.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Holidays

I have to meet my challenge and I have to be at work by 3, so here goes:

I'm pretty tired of whining about my job, and there's not much happening by way of my home life (that I have time to delve into - teenagers suck.) So what to write about?

Thanksgiving. My first with the new family.

My mother decided a few weeks ago that I wasn't going to be home for Thanksgiving, so she made plans to go to my Uncle Johnny's. It turns out I am going to be home, and Savannah has dreamed up a vision of Thanksgiving dinner that would make Martha Stewart weep. Which leaves me cooking. No pressure there. Plus, it's almost a given that my new in-laws are going to be coming over for the big event, with all that entails. The hardest part about that is their family tradition is eating early, like by noon. Which means I'll have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to put my bird in the oven.

Have I mentioned that mornings are not my best time of day?

Never fear, this ain't my first rodeo. Fortunately (I never dreamed I'd be saying this), I'm over 40 and I have more than a few successful Thanksgiving dinners under my belt. When I was younger this entire situation would have had me tied up in knots. Instead, I'm going to gird myself with self confidence, traditional recipes, and the grim determination not to be intimidated by a critical mother-in-law.

Is 7 a.m. too early to start drinking?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On your mark, get set...

Okay, a gauntlet has been thrown. Nic has vowed to write in her blog every day, even if it's just a sentence. I told her I'd do it if she did, so now I have to meet the challenge. Here goes day one:

I'm newly married. On November 12th, 2008, two worlds collided, two families united, two halves became whole, etc. ad nauseum. It was really a beautiful service and exactly what I wanted, relaxed, fun and happy.

Aren't we cute? In spite of my freakishly shiny face and pregnant appearance, I love this picture. Can you say "overexfoliation?"

This is us praying that cameras would stop flashing long enough for us to be able to see again. (Which is not a critique of our photographers - thank you all for taking pics. Without you, there would be no pictoral evidence of this event.)

And here are all the kids. Natthan, Savannah, Zach, Joseph, Ali and Katie.

I'm so proud they didn't set any fires, destroy anything, or tell dirty jokes during the service. And thank you, Joe, for not farting in the courtroom.

Or did you???

Friday, November 07, 2008

Me and Dorothy Parker

I applied for the management trainee program with Walgreens. It feels like I'm selling a piece of my soul, but it will be twice the money. If I have to spend so much time away from home, it may as well be for more money. Hence the selling my soul feeling.

I joined the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge this year. It's an annual writing event where aspiring writers and non-so-aspiring writers share a goal of finishing a crappy fifty thousand-word first draft of a novel, or book, or anything they want. The goal is to write, write, write. Anything. Just get it down on paper (or computer), and worry about quality later - fifty thousand words from November 1st to November 30th. I participated a few years ago and decided to try again.

This a very affirming exercise for me. I nitpick crap to death and never finish anything in the process. The nanowrimo balls-to-the-walls writing approach is very liberating. It also helps to realize I'm not the only procrastinating, self-doubt filled writer in the world. In fact, self doubt and procrastination seem to be prerequisites to genius.

Just call me Einstein.