The summer of 40

On July 5, 2011, in It's a All About me, by elisabet

Where have I been? There is an easy answer to that question, I’ve been stuck in the chaos that is my life. School finished in early May, then work has just gone bonkers. It hasn’t been calm in the cube farm for weeks. I made a quick trip to Raleigh to take care of my sister after she broke her foot. It was nice to get away but after about two days with my sister I’m ready to leave. Home life has just been cruising along. I made a list of all the things I wanted to get done before school starts back up, so far I can only mark off one project. But the important thing is that I FINISHED one project! I really don’t like being this busy. It leaves me no time to do creative stuff like quilting and scrapbooking. I’m happy but I would be much happier if I could find time to sew or be crafty.

This whole being an adult thing really stinks sometimes. We have been working on some home improvement projects this year. We got the pool remodeled and the roof re-shingled. All things that I knew were needed but I could have had much more fun spending that cash on a new computer or a new couch. But this is what being a responsible adult is all about right? By getting these big ticket improvements done I am saving myself from future expenses which could have easily doubled. Ugh! I hated writing those checks. But now that summer is here I am so happy we got the pool done. It’s nice to come home to a sparkling clean blue pool after a long day at work. And with monsoon season starting I don’t have to worry about my roof blowing off.

The countdown is speeding to the big 4-0. I’m not normally the girl that stresses or makes a fuss over their birthday but dude this birthday is really freaking me out. I just thought my life would be different at this point. I thought my life would feel less like it did when I was in my twenties, it really hasn’t changed much. I thought I would have a house full of kids running around, that hasn’t happened. That’s probably the biggest shock for me. I really envisioned having kids, someone to leave my legacy to after I’m gone. I still haven’t completely warmed up to the reality that I will never have kids. The hopelessness is roughly 75% and then there is that 25% that believes it will happen. Everyone always asks if we have thought about adoption. I’ve thought about it but I really don’t think that is in our plan. It scares me. I hear stories all the time about how a couple patiently waits for their baby only to have it yanked away the moment the child is born because the birth parent changed their minds. I don’t think I could live through that. Fostering children would also be tough. I don’t think I could let the kids go back to their birth parents. This is why I don’t foster dogs. Can’t bear to part with them. So where does that leave us? Unless we magically win the lottery I don’t hear the pitter patter of little feet in our future. I think turning 40 is going to be a pretty big thing for me. Trying to put things into perspective and keeping myself moving forward is going to be a big challenge. Looks like I won’t be quitting my meds anytime soon.

It has been a horribly hot weekend. I could barely muster up any energy to get stuff done around the house. I can feel it now, it’s going to be a crazy work week. Meeting with the boss at 8am tomorrow. I’m off to bed.

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So I’m down to the last two weeks of this semester. I am so happy for all the madness to end. Seriously, I feel like I have been running non-stop since January and last month has just been insanely busy. I don’t have anything crafty to share because I haven’t been able to make anything. This is how my days have been going:

4:00am: First alarm goes off, fumble for the snooze bar
4:15am: Alarm goes off again, nudge Courtney to get up; go back to sleep
5:30am: CRAP! Push Courtney out of bed and into the shower
5:45am: Time for me to actually get my ass out of bed
6:30am: Mumble to myself that I wanted to leave the house by now but I barely have myself put together at this point
7:00am: Run around the house; plug iphone, ipad, headphones, etc to sync and charge
7:06am: All the dogs scurry around me as I get their breakfast ready
7:10am: Make sure Phoebe didn’t bully Winston into giving up his food; checkout garden, water plants, and bitch about how the tomato seeds aren’t sprouting yet
7:15am: WTF! My podcasts didn’t sync yet!
7:30am: Yes, that’s how long it took for everything to sync; curse Qwest DSL
7:32am: Finally out the door
In my beige cube getting ready for a crazy day
9:00am: Finished first scan of new emails; Already pissed and wishing I could kick people in the teeth.
11:00am: IM work friend for lunch; I want salad, she wants Taco Hell, we go our separate ways for lunch
1:00pm: Thankful that I had salad for lunch; No afternoon ‘I ate the whole thing’ food coma
3:23pm: The PM that I was to have a meeting with at 2pm wants to meet now when I have 7 minutes before I need to leave for school; Meeting DECLINED sucker!
4:00pm: School; Wonders why all the teachers sound like the adults from a Charlie Brown episode
8:45pm: Scrounge around for something semi-healthy for dinner but wishing I had stopped at Jack in the Box on the
10:30pm: way home
10:35pm: Start watching Conan monalogue
10:36pm: I’m out

And then it’s the same crap all over again. I think my problem is that I have all these things that I need to do like work, school and house cleaning and all the fun stuff gets put off until the weekend. By that point I am dead tired and have no motivation to do anything that involves me moving more than a foot away from the couch.

I did manage to get tickets to see Mumford & Sons in Tempe tomorrow. So excited about that show! We didn’t go to Coachella this year and part of me was sad about that but the pushing 40 yr old me is happy to not have rub icy hot on my legs because I spent the entire weekend standing.

Two more weeks. I can make it. Then I’m totally scheduling a couple of late night scrapbooking crops and/or quilting classes.

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Technology is fabulous!

On March 15, 2011, in It's a All About me, by elisabet

When I was in the sixth grade my dad came up with a reward system for good grades. For every ‘A’ my sister and I would get $5, every ‘B’ $2 and ‘C’ was $1. I wasn’t a great student but that year I worked my ass off and by the fall of 1982 I had $40 saved. I had started buying 45’s a few years back, my music tastes were growing so naturally I had to spend my report card money on the number one album in the world, Thriller. I had heard the song on Solid Gold (yes, I’m that old) and I was driving my family nuts, begging my dad to buy it for me. Now this was when my dad developed his signature catch phrase, “when you get your own money and your own house, you can buy anything you want”. I hated hearing that, it sent flames shooting out my ears! But I had $40 of my own now, he can’t tell me what I could or could not buy. I went to the local department store focused on buying the Thriller album. When I got to the record section there were no more records, great now what? The sales clerk saw my disappointment and told me that they had the album on cassette tape. “Do I play that on my record player?” I asked. The clerk told me I had to buy a tape player which was $29.99. That barely left me enough money to buy the album. I’ll buy it! I had to have the album no matter the cost. I had the first cassette player/recorder amongst my small group of friends. For once I was cool.

The cassette player was one of those long bulky machines with a handle on one end. At the time it was state of the art technology. I played that Michael Jackson tape over and over, until I discovered Duran Duran and Depeche Mode a few months later. By that time Sony had come out with the Walkman and I had to have one of those. Then the CD and so on. That cassette player turned me into the gadget geek that I am today. Now as I wait three hours in line for the new iPad, I can hear my dad’s catch phrase and silently I respond “hell yes, it’s my money and I have my own house, I’m buying it!”.

I’m typing this post from my new iPad 2. I love this thing! It’s barely left my side since Friday. My poor MacBook is totally being ignored. It got me thinking, what will the latest and greatest be when the twins and Maggie are teenagers? I started saving bits of old technology and pop culture stuff, kinda like a time capsule for them. Maybe the ancient artifacts of my past will inspire them to create the next big thing. If anything they can laugh at us for thinking that we were once high tech.


Rough start to the new year

On February 25, 2011, in It's a All About me, by elisabet

Man has it been a long time!

The holidays were great and very calm. It helped that Reilly was totally sick and barely moved off the couch, it made for a very peaceful Christmas day. Like many aunts and uncles we spoiled the twins and Maggie. I also hand made scarves and napkins for the rest of the family. Overall it was a great holiday.

Now time for the not so great news. Courtney’s Granny Fern passed away very suddenly in January. She had been here for a visit with the family and all was great. I actually thought she looked better than ever. The moment she got back to Taos she became very ill. Courtney’s aunt had been taking care of her and when she went to check on her, she had stopped breathing. She was rushed to the hospital, the docs found fluid in her lungs. They were able to get that under control but Granny never woke up.

We’re all pretty shaken up. I knew that she was going to need to leave us soon, I just wasn’t ready for it to be right then. I honestly felt that she would always be around. Granny was 92 years young and she lived a VERY full life. I am so grateful to have been a part of her life, she was more my Granny than my Nana. She saw the good in people and in life. I will miss her so much.

I just wanted to get that out. I’ll write more this evening.

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On December 24, 2010, in It's a All About me, by elisabet

My first memory of Christmas was when I was four. I remember being so upset on Christmas eve with my Nana. She had brought over this jar that looked like Santa filled with peppermint candies and I was not allowed to open it. For like an hour it jar was on the coffee table, taunting me, calling me to open it. Finally I couldn’t take it, the tantrum started. No matter how many tears came streaming down, my Nana didn’t give in and let me open it. After dinner I could open it and I remember being so excited, so happy in that simple moment.

As I got older Christmas became less exciting. The hassle of shopping, fighting for a parking space at the mall, and not having money to spend, it just wears you down. I’m very much the type of person that prefers to give presents than to receive them. Seeing the people that I love happy, that’s my present, that’s all I need. This year we bought the kids presents and every one else is getting a handmade gift. Either I made it or I found someone locally to make it. I think my family is going to really enjoy the presents. Buying locally helps keep the money in my community and I like knowing that something I bought locally helps someone else to have a merry Christmas.

There was a great article in the AZ Republic about buying locally, 42% of what we spend at local businesses stays in the community compared to only 13% from a chain retailer. This is a huge passion for me. There is a movement happening, Shift Arizona, move 10% of your spending to local businesses and keep your money in your community. Its actually easy to do. I started small, only eating at local restaurants, then that moved on to other things. I discovered that my I could use my medical insurance to buy prescriptions at a local pharmacy, no more CVS! I may drive a few more miles and I give up 24/7 service but when I walk into that pharmacy, they know me by name and they take a extra few minutes to ask me how my day is going. And if I time things right I can pick up the doggies food next door at another local retailer. If I can’t make it to the pet store I can have the food delivered for FREE from another local business. I remember growing up and going to the butcher to get all of meats and getting veggies and fruit from the roadside stand. Trips to Winn-Dixie were minimal back then. Granted we don’t have roadside fruit stands but we have several amazing farmer’s markets. I still have times where I need to make a target or costco run but I would say that 70% of my spending is at local retailers. As we move into 2011 take a moment to think about where you spend your hard earned money and look for opportunities to buy those items at a local retailer. The impact of those small changes are huge!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! Merry Christmas!

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