Monday, July 28, 2008

How Oprah Changed My Life....

One day many moons ago, I was sitting on my couch watching Oprah when she had Jamie Lee Curtis on talking about a book or movie or something. Ms. Curtis informed the audience that she had had a revelation that had changed her outlook on life. I, of course, was riveted because I think she is just so cool (love her hair!). Anway, moving on. She changed the way she thought of things from "I have to" to "I get to". I thought to myself that that was indeed profound and decided to try it out on myself and the other guinea pigs that live in my home.

How did it work you ask? It changed our way of thinking. Instead of dragging ourselves out of bed every morning and being all down in the mouth and saying "I HAVE to go to school/work", I became a Pollyanna and said "No, you GET to go to school/work". This reminds us all that these things are blessings that some do not get to share. Now I'm not telling you that it works perfectly because some days are just like that, but most of the time it works. So now, we GET to go to school/work, GET to go to visit family, GET to do service projects, GET to go grocery shopping (this is a constant source of pain for Kiersten and I), GET to work in the yard, GET to do the dishes (Kiersten disagrees with me about that one), and so many other things.

People have been telling me that my brother's family HAS to move to Oklahoma. I look at it as they GET to move to Oklahoma. I've never lived out of the state, I think it would be an adventure. They get to meet new people, establish new traditions, yada yada yada. You never know, there may be someone in Oklahoma that needs their family.

Anywho, that's the way Oprah changed my life for the better. It's now not quite so painful to get out of bed to go to work (although Mondays are still rough), and it's a phrase that constantly goes through my head: You don't HAVE to, you GET to.

Love to all and hope you have a great week!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A few gripes

This is just not my week. I did finally end up with a Pepsi and all was well in my corner of the world. I've been floating along until today. I don't know if I'm just grumpy or people are actually trying to dance up my last nerve but I've gotten some pretty fussy people on the phone already. Now, let me explain. I work for a state agency dealing with the public a good bit. I answer the phone in the General Counsel's office so I get all sorts of interesting folks (usually angry by the time they get to me). I try my hardest to be pleasant and helpful to everyone at all times but there are a few things that just drive me nuts.

1. Don't threaten me by saying you're going to call the Governor. I don't care. The only person that scares me at work is my boss in a bad mood.

2. Same goes for local TV stations. I'll give you the number for our public relations people. Your people can call my people.

3. Don't treat me like I'm an idiot just because I'm not an attorney. I've been here a while now and pick up on a lot of stuff and legalese. Big words don't scare me.

4. Please read the notices that you get from our office. We don't like killing trees unless we have to.

5. 10 days is 10 days is 10 days. Calendar days people! Not business days from whenever you receive something. We don't know when you receive it. It's calendar days from the date that we mail it.

6. Other attorneys don't frighten me either. My attorneys know more than your attorneys about this particular type of law.

7. Yes, you're going to get the same answer from all of us because we actually FOLLOW THE RULES!

8. I am not the switchboard for the agency. General Counsel/Legal Dept. does not mean "please let me to direct your call". There's an information line for that.

9. If you call me, turn your radio, tv, children down. It's kind of hard to hear you and concentrate on you when there's a bunch of loud background noise.

10. Don't have your mommy call. We can't talk to her, we need to talk to you.

11. You don't have a permanent record after you graduate from school. Someone firing you is not going "to go on your permanent record". It may go on youre resume, but there's no file on you floating around.

I am generally nice to all and sundry who call because I know that they are frustrated and in a bad situation. However, I'm going to be more willing to stay nice if people are nice to me.

I feel better already. Thank you and have a lovely day. What are some of your gripes about where you work?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My day so far...

Today has so far been not the best of days. I had a hard time waking up this morning and am still draggin' at whatever time it is-10ish a.m.

I got to work and ended up going downstairs to get a little pick me up (good morning Pepsi) and somehow I ended up with a Canadian quarter. Pesky pepsi machine wouldn't take said foreign currency so back upstairs I went to get another quarter. I end up getting accosted on the elevator by a co-worker's perfume and conversation (She's not my favorite person and after the happenings, it takes everything in me to not tell her to shut her yap, I haven't had my morning can of happiness-but my home training prevails).

Back down again with a US quarter and even the Pepsi machine is having a hard time waking up this morning! I thought I was going to have to kick it, beat on it and shake it to get my drink out (it's not a pretty picture believe me but you really don't want to get between me and the cold Pepsi), but it finally came down. Happiness reigns in my little world for about 20 steps, can slips out of my hand and proceeds to explode. After saying a few choice words (my mother would be so pleased!), picked up can and walked it quickly into the ladies room grumbling all the way.

I have now figured the better part of valor would be to stay at my desk with my bottle of water, somewhat bleary eyed until later in the day. But wait-we get an email saying that the water in our building will be cut off which automatically throws all the bladders into overdrive and there's a mad dash to the bathroom. I think there are heel marks embedded in my flesh.

So right now I'm listening to my music on Itunes and trying not to think about having to go to the potty. The day will get better-it has to.

Monday, July 21, 2008

We are Family...

I've been thinking a good bit about family the last week and what is family. With Ben and Anita and the kiddies moving to Oklahoma in about 2 weeks, it's really struck me that our family has always been together and now we're going to be half a country apart. However, I will not cry, I'll just miss them a bunch, but since Anita's got her nifty new blog, we can "see" what's going on.

This leads me to the meat of the blog today. What is family? A family is usually made up of mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparents, and all those folk. However, I've added people to my family and I cherish those relationships just as much or more than my "blood" family. People like Crystal (BFF, fellow ESAL and the first "adopted" kid), Heather (my sister of Jewish extraction), Steph (she actually is a cousin of sorts but more of a Western sister), Connie (crazy fun auntie) and a whole bunch of others that would take me days and days to name. Most times my "put together" family knows more about what is going on in my life than my other family members. Added to that are all of Kiersten's family members, who feel like offshoots of my own. Not to be left out of course are the families that have "married in", the Chesleys and Branhams that came with Mike and the Crews(es?) that came with Anita.

I wonder sometimes is it a Southern thing, to have the regular family tree, then a whole bunch of offshoots and twists and turns. I don't know. However, I know that I'm blessed to have ALL of my family, blood, adopted, married in and tacked on.

By the way, for all of you that are wondering, I'm doing fine driving Mike's car and we sold my van on Saturday. The whole driving thing is a topic for another day.

Happy week to all!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Farewell old friend

Last night I returned home from a jewelry party only to find my house empty, no boys watching outdoor channel. Turns out that they were in the camper with our older dog, Monty, who was not doing so well. I ended up putting Jared to bed and then Mike and I sat with Monty for a few hours, just petting and talking to him. He ended up passing this morning. Mike and I got him when we were just married and bought our house, so he's been with us a while. He was a sweet dog who provided endless hours of entertainment, served as a guard for Kiersten when she was little and stood watch over Jared as he tried to chop down trees. Mike is torn up and Jared is not much better. I'm sad but grateful he's now in a place where he can run and chase squirrels to his heart's delight. So Monty, here's to you old friend, you were a great dog and we'll miss you.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's Up Buttercup?

Well dear readers, my life has been full of joy, sadness, trepidation (isn't that the coolest word?) and downright fear the last few days since my last post.

We had a annual 4th of July gathering at mom and dad's last Friday, it was lovely. Fireworks were great, no one was injured (always a blessing) and a good time was had by all. The boys went to Charleston fishing on Saturday so Kiersten and I went to get haircuts and just hang out which is always fun. I love bonding time with her because I know eventually I'll be stupid mom and so uncool she won't dare be seen with me. Sunday was good even though Jared and I missed church. I think the sun, 11 honeybuns and little sleep don't mix really well with a certain young man. He was feeling "off" and I kept him home and he ended up sleeping until 11 a.m. We also had Olivia's baptism on Sunday evening and it was really nice. Kiersten said Olivia looked like a princess, which she did.

Monday I got in my car to go to work, the engine light was flashing and it made the kerplump noise that's never good so off to the mechanic it went. Tuesday we found out that the car had a cracked head gasket (whatever that is), and would end up costing $2000 to fix. Apparently if you have to do engine work on my van you have to take the engine out (bad). This is where the trepidation comes it-wait for it, so, Mike and I made the decision that instead of having another car payment, I would learn to drive his car (it's a stick) and he would drive his truck to and fro work.

Here's where the downright fear comes in now-I'm scared to death of driving Mike's car. All I can see is me in downtown Cola town in the middle of a massive pileup and it just gets uglier from there. However, last night we went practicing because I am determined to do this and I will not let a car get the better of me. I must say that I did pretty well although by the time we got back to the house my feet were cramping and I think I had bleached my knuckles white from gripping the steering wheel so hard and I think I actually sweated. Mike said I did great ( this was actually the 3rd time I had driven his car but it's serious now), we even practiced starting out on a hill. I drove from Lugoff to Camden and then back home. I'm still scared pale but I'll get it.

By the way, I was thinking last night about feet. I know, this is a crazy topic but work with me here. Aren't feet a wonder? The skin on your feet has to be tough enough to walk on rough surfaces but sensitive enough to be ticklish. Also, your feet have hundreds of pounds of pressure on them every day and generally don't complain. I wonder if it's because of the way feet are shaped, the pressure is distributed. Don't know, a topic for internet research. If you have any thoughts, let me know. It's just one of those random thoughts that came up.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Independence Day thoughts

As we come up on the 4th of July on Friday, I've been thinking about what the holiday means. To Mike and Jared, it means setting stuff on fire and watching it explode into pretty colors. Always pretty and entertaining and may have some deeper meaning in connection to our nation's independence but not what I'm writing about today. What does our independence really mean ?

It means

-We can worship who, what and where we want to. Our country is a mixture of all religions, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Wiccan, you name it we've probably got it and usually we get along pretty well.

-We can own guns (a personal favorite of my DH). For better or worse, you can get a gun pretty easily. It's also a constant source of conversation in our home about whether someone actually NEEDS an assault rifle to hunt deer v. the right that we all have to protect our property.

-We can speak out against the powers that be without fear of being jailed, tortured or killed. I was reading about the recent "elections" in Zimbabwe where people were being forced to the polls, harassed and if they didn't vote they would be in trouble. How wonderful it is to know that in November, we'll be able to vote for the leader of our country. If we don't want to vote, fine. If we vote, fine.

-Pretty much everyone has the right to vote. There's no more white men only type voting, so if you're a citizen you can vote. Sometimes we take this for granted but it's the way we can have some sort of say in the way our country is led.

-We can pretty much do whatever we want as long as we stay within the laws and don't hurt anybody. Sounds silly, but it's true. In some Middle Eastern countries, women can't drive, vote or be seen outside without a man.

That's just a short list. So, on Friday when we're all having a grand time grillin' and chillin', watching the fireworks and spending time with our friends and family, take a little time to think about what Independence Day actually means to you. Have a safe and happy weekend!