Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Blog Series: Last Freakin' Day!! (30)

Drum roll, please……. Tah-daaaaaaaaah!! Day thirty. The last day of the month from hell.

Well, it hasn’t been the month from hell, but this daily blogging challenge certainly had its up days and down days. And to think I’m going to follow suit for December (but not daily).

Oh well. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Unless I fall in a vat of molten lava. In that case, I’m gone for sure.

So, what do I have that’s interesting to say today? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Oh, except that I’m typing this with wet nails, which is proving to be quite a difficult task. Mom made potato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches tonight (one of my favorite cold weather food combos). I partook. Only one helping, though. Still being semi-good on my healthy eating trip. Then I soaked in a long, hot bath. I only ran hot water, so it took me about ten minutes to lower myself into it. I still resemble a very large, boiled lobster. And then I gave myself a mani/pedi (coming back to my point).

If I ever have the luxury of obtaining a disposable income, I think I will hire five professionals to live in my household to serve me. They are:

1. A masseuse
2. An esthetician
3. A stylist
4. A chef
5. A housekeeper

So, my friends, I hope your November has been a good month. Brace yourselves, because the holiday chaos is about to go into hyper drive. The commercials started a while back, and now the seasonal programs begin. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was on television tonight. "Frosty the Snowman" is soon to follow. I’m ready for “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” – two films I watch, without fail, every single season.

Speaking of television, I’m about to go catch up on my DVR shows that I missed last week while I was housesitting.

Champagne wishes, and catfish dreams to you all.

Monday, November 29, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 29

Monday. It happened again. On day twenty-nine. One more day to go for my daily blogging exercises, and then begins next month’s writing.

It seems that December has snuck up on us again. I mean, really, where did the summer go? And it seems I was only 21 yesterday. Why is it that once you hit your twenties, time accelerates and before you know it you’re in your thirties wishing you were embarking on your twenties again?

Oh, if I only knew then what I know now. I would’ve taken more time to base my decisions less on impulse, and more on wisdom. I would’ve spent more time with loved ones who have since passed. I would’ve faced obstacles with more maturity and responsibility, instead of competition. I would’ve changed the course of my life, altering where I’ve ended up…not having the friends that I have, made the mistakes I’ve made, cried the tears I’ve cried, shared the laughter and the smiles that have settled in my facial features. I would’ve missed out on a lot a life being cautious.

If I had it to do over again, despite everything I’ve been through, and every wrong turn I’ve made, I’d do it all exactly the same. For it was, is, and shall be part of a bigger plan that God has for me. The strength I’ve developed inside has been nurtured by my faith, though at times it’s fallen to the wayside. Each time it’s weakened, I’ve been presented with a new challenge to renew it. I don’t believe that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. He does. And it is during those times when we are reminded that must lean on Him.

And when we find our footing again, we are comforted with the fact that He stands on all sides of us, protecting and supporting us when our hearts are heavy.

My heart is heavy today. I had to make a tough career decision and I stumbled across some news that felt like betrayal. It left me hurting. But, I am reminded that no one can hurt us unless we allow him/her to. I’ve come too far to allow someone to take away my sense of self. My sense of strength. Or the things inside me learned from invaluable lessons that have shaped my soul.

My heart may not be in its prime anymore, but it has encountered aches, pains, joys and enough love to last a lifetime. Those are the things that I’ve gained. Things my young eyes were not willing to see so many years ago. Things that humble me now, and carry with it a sense of gratitude for every moment I’ve been given.

No matter where I am, I am not alone. I need only to reach out around me to feel the presence of God. I wouldn’t trade that comfort for all of the time or knowledge in the world.

My heart may not be young anymore, but I’m happy being young at heart.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 28

Day twenty-eight. Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

That’s dramatic. I should probably clarify the subtext of that sentence. It should read, “Today is the last day of eating like crap, so the diet begins tomorrow.”

My family had our Thanksgiving meal this evening, since my Mom and sister were both under the weather this past Thursday. We enjoyed fried turkey, mashed potatoes with giblet gravy, corn, spinach, cranberry surprise and rolls. Oh, and brownies with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert. Not the traditional meal, I know, but since there were only six adults and one child, the normal rule of cooking enough to feed an army didn’t apply.

That second helping of mashed potatoes is sitting in my stomach like concrete right about now. How do I always manage to do that? I can honestly say that I’m really looking forward to getting back into a routine of eating healthy, and eating less, beginning tomorrow.

After dinner leaving my parents’ house, I had to slow down to avoid hitting a huge buck in the middle of the road. I saw him in the ditch well ahead of time, and as I came to a stop, he crossed in front of my car and stood directly in the beam of my headlights for one long moment. He was at least a nice 12 or 14 point. It was almost like he was strutting in front of my car. If I had a mean streak, I would’ve hit him and mounted him on my wall. But, my car is still new to me. Not willing to risk that. Plus, no one would ever believe he just happened to cross the road in front of my vehicle. It’s probably much more plausible to imagine me in a Volkswagen Passat, gunning through a barbed wire fence, crashing and bumping through the field to mow down a sprinting buck. Yeah.

In other news, I can now break out the seasonal Christmas music without feeling guilty. Sometimes I have a hankering to listen to it – like on a generic Tuesday afternoon, in the middle of July. And I just love the classics. I don’t really care much for some of the newer remakes that certain divas and boy bands have marred, but it seems you just can’t escape them on the radio. Which is why I love my iPod (and CD player). Some of my favorites include “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” by the Judds, “O Holy Night” by Celine Dion, “That Spirit of Christmas” by Ray Charles, and “The Christmas Song” by Martina McBride. Of course, those are merely a handful of my favorites. I have so many that I could reserve an entire blog just to list them.

Maybe I will. I still have December.

Well, it’s bedtime. Tomorrow is Monday. Lots to get done. Have a busy week ahead of me. Hope you’ve all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break.

Happy dieting.

And don’t worry…you can always blow it again at Christmas. I fully intend to.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 27

Welcome to day twenty-seven. Four days to go (including this one).

Okay, that’s a lie.

Because I’ve decided to keep up this blogging challenge for the entire month of December, too. I must be a glutton for punishment. Although, I’m going to do my best to come up with clever and insightful things to write about during the last month of this year. And I'm not going to force myself to post daily. I have decided to post at least five times a week. That leaves room for my brain to have some "off" days. Basically, be prepared for some posts to be nothing more than a few sentences.

Today was a good day. For the most part. I woke up and went to work, and then my sister and I went to see “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” at the theatre. We bought tickets for the D-Box experience. The seats vibrate and move with specific action sequences during the movie. I knew it was going to be expensive, but I nearly choked up a lung when the clerk said, “twenty-nine dollars” (for two tickets). Sheesh! For that price, you ought to get a waiter to serve you during the movie, and a chauffer to drive you home afterwards!

So, when the previews first started there was sound, but no picture on the screen. This continued for about ten minutes and my sister and I just couldn’t resist the wisecracks. There were only a few in the theatre that actually found us amusing, but the two of us had joked ourselves nearly to the state of tears. I said, “Oh, I didn’t realize you needed special glasses to see the screen, too. Guess that part’s extra. We just get to ‘hear’ it and use our imaginations.” And she would say things like, “Didn’t you know this is one of those really special ‘0-D Invisible’ movie experiences?” The sound would start again, but still no picture, to which I shouted out, “Just kidding?!” We thought we were funny. So did the girls sitting to our left, and the guys sitting behind us. The mean old hags sitting to our right did not.

Finally, they get the movie going and we begin to enjoy the whole ‘picture/sound/movement’ experience…

…until Tweedledee and Tweedledum back up and to our right began to get rambunctious. I’m talking young boys, maybe ages 10-12. They giggled and snorted. Spilled their drinks. Chunked pieces of food down a few rows in front of us. Spilled their popcorn. Ran up and down the side aisle. Spilled their candy.

And after almost 20 minutes of enduring their nonstop noise, I was ready to spill their blood. I kept my cool. I’m real proud of myself for not snatching them up and putting them over my own knee for a serious ass-whoopin’. Of course, I’m not sure who needed it more – them or their moron parents.

Somewhere, out there in the world, was a man who turned to his wife after just having dropped them off at the theatre, and through his missing teeth says, “Maw, I sure am glad we dropped off Junior and Junior Jr. at the movies so we can go get ourselves sum good grub.”

And she would reply, “I’m sure glad, too, Paw,” as she pulls on her leather cycle jacket with a winged skull embroidered on the back, lights a cigarette, and smacks Paw on the butt. “Them’s sum good idears you have lettin’ the folks at that there theatre babysit.”

Then they’d both howl with wicked laughter as Paw gave Maw a nasty, snuff-encrusted kiss and they speed off into oblivion as their old pickup truck backfires and lets out a plume of blue smoke.

Back to reality…or, at least how it happened on my end.

Rather than take matters into my own hands, I did end up going to get the manager. He proceeded to tell me that he’d already had about three complaints.

Really?

Really???

And why didn’t you march their little butts straight out of the theatre after the first two? Did I really just pay nearly $15 to be at the mercy of an overweight, pimple-faced, teenage manager to act as a terrifying authority figure to two uncontrollable boys so that I could attempt to enjoy the movie?

There went another year off my life from elevated blood pressure.

After the movie (and, yes, it was good), my sister and I did a tiny bit of shopping at the local beauty store. Then we went to eat at our favorite Mexican food restaurant. It was crowded, but not so crowded that we deserved the poor service we received tonight. I swear it took us almost 15 minutes, and a couple of requests to even get drink refills and the queso we ordered (as an appetizer, mind you). When we were finally served our meal it was good, but there’s just something about bad service that puts a damper on what should be an enjoyable eating experience.

Despite it all, it was still a good day. Tomorrow is Sunday, and then…Monday! **loud, piercing shriek of dread** No need to panic. We all knew it was coming. Without fail it keeps repeating.

Without fail it keeps repeating.

Hey, there’s an echo in here.

Now, I’m going to enjoy a movie sans the theatre. I’m gonna turn the volume real low. At a level not intended for humans.

And fall comfortably and blissfully asleep on the couch. As I strain to hear the dialogue. Eyelids fighting to stay open…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Friday, November 26, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 26

Friday. Day twenty-six. Fridays are usually good days. And today was among them.

Thankfully.

I went to work this morning, got off a little after 2pm, and then ran a few errands and paid a bill. My sister and I took my niece to see “Tangled” at the movie theatre. It was A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!! It’s honestly one of the cutest movies I’ve seen in a long time. Lots of laughs and even a few tugs on the ol’ heart strings.

After the movie, we went to eat at On the Border. Not our first choice, but since our favorite hole-in-the-wall was closed for the holiday, it was the second best selection closest to the mall. Yes, I ventured there. Even after I swore I wouldn’t. But, it was actually tolerable. By the time we got there at 8pm, most of the crowds had thinned down to a light trickle in and out of the stores, so there was plenty of room to move about. I bought a down filled, fur-trimmed winter vest, a brown tweed newsboy cap, some hand sanitizer (holiday scents) and all of us got a cookie. And here’s the best part…I didn’t even break $40. Now that’s my kind of shoppin’! Granted, combined with the $200+ pair of boots I treated myself to the other night, the expenses incurred will wash out more evenly. But, still…

And of course we couldn’t leave without taking a few rides up and down the escalator at Macy’s. At my niece’s request.

As I made my way back from dropping my sister and niece at their house, I had to stop at the end of the driveway, in the dark, to enjoy the scenery. There are few things more beautiful than a sky full of stars on a clear night. No street-, porch-, or headlights to interfere. Just miniscule shining bursts of beauty scattered amongst a veil of midnight. God, in His infinite wisdom, knew what He was doing when He painted the night sky.

Sitting there, star gazing, made me think of the bad day I had yesterday. Today left it in the dust. I love how something so simple as a hug from my niece, a shared laugh with my sister, or a tiny twinkling object millions of miles away, can make me remember to count my blessings…and smile at life.

Among other interesting news I have to share, I’m pleased to tell you that The Sarcasm Divinity now has a page on Facebook. Feel free to become a fan at: The Sarcasm Divinity. If you prefer shorter blurbs, you can follow me on Twitter (username: SarcasmDivinity). I’ll be posting links to my updated blogs, as well as a few upcoming projects I have up my sleeve. One of them involves getting my fans involved, which I think will be lots of fun.

Well, friends, I’m off. Work tomorrow. Then my sister and I are going to see “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”…in the D-Box seats (they move and vibrate with the action sequences in the movie – so freakin’ cool!), and maybe do a little more shopping before the work week sneaks up on us.

Wishing you all a sky full of shooting stars…and wishes that come true.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 25

Day twenty-five. Happy Thanksgiving!

Mine wasn’t a happy one, though I have more than plenty for which to be thankful. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and have pretty much been in a pissy mood all day.

The first time I woke up was shortly after 7am, and I stayed up until about 8:30am. I fed the dog and put her outside, then trudged upstairs to crawl back into bed. What should have been a nice, peaceful sleep in a quite house was not. The neighbors were obviously hosting an all-day music fest next door, because the boom boom boom drifting up the stairs did not make for a restful lullaby. Suffice it to say, I did manage to finally go to sleep and woke up again at 1:43pm. There went my day.

My family’s dinner was cancelled, due the fact that my poor mom and sister ended up getting the crud that I had last weekend. And, my dad managed to twist his knee pretty badly, so he was mostly confined to his chair. He will have to go in for an MRI next week if it’s not better, so I’m hoping the pain meds work for him and it heals quickly. It’s no fun being immobile. I know.

So, continuing in my state of irritation, I reheated some leftovers and watched a movie, read a magazine and a little more of my book, then – you guessed it – took a nap. Mind you, I hadn’t been up for even two hours before I went back to bed at 3:27pm. I slept until 5:30pm, when the dog nudged my hand to let me know she wanted to go outside. By this time, at least, the cold front had arrived.

I left to go over to my parents’ house to watch the Aggies vs. Longhorns, and on the way had to go by the grocery store to pick up some milk and corn chips (for turkey chili frito pie). It was closed. I zipped into a convenience store and ended up paying twice as much. **sigh** Then, some idiot who wasn’t paying attention cut me off, nearly running me off the road. Further encouraging my crappy demeanor. And, traveling the dark, damp roads to my parents’ I found myself getting angry at the drivers in front of me because they were too close for me to use my high beams to see better. Like they had a right to be there. Don’t they know the world revolves around me sometimes? The nerve!

Turkey chili frito pie was good. The game was not. Oh, the Aggies won, but it was honestly one of the worst games I think I’ve seen them play. I lost count of the incomplete passes, fumbles, turnovers, and penalties. And the ball was coated in Crisco, ‘cause none of them could seem to hold on to it. At one point, after the first touchdown was made, my father – who is nearly unable to walk at present – got out of his chair and came over to the couch to give me a hug. I think I took a few years off my life with my elevated blood pressure this evening. I’m still stewing.

To top it all off, I feel absolutely miserable from all of the junk I’ve consumed in the last few days. Starting tomorrow, I’m going on a three-day fast. Seriously. I do not like feeling like this. I know that part of my bad mood is because I haven’t been eating healthy.

I’m calling it a night. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day. I sincerely hope that all of you enjoyed spending time with your families, and that you never run out of blessings in your lives.

Good luck to those of you brave enough to venture out on Black Friday. I’d rather put a bullet in my brain.

Now, where’s my chocolate milk?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 24

Day twenty-four. Turkey Day Eve.

I’m sitting here, in my camo t-shirt and pink and fuchsia Mickey & Minnie Mouse pajama bottoms, watching a movie on Netflix. Typing.

I’m debating on whether or not I should be good and eat a healthy salad before the smorgasbord of food tomorrow. But a large, pan crust pizza with black olives, mushrooms, Canadian bacon and gobs of cheese sounds sooooo good.

I will probably cave. I’m weak.

Although, I was good last night. I didn’t succumb to the chocolate milk craving. Yet. Still have a long night ahead of me.

And where is the cold weather that was supposed to be here? Weatherman says the cold front won’t be moving into the area until sometime between 1 and 5pm tomorrow. So basically, I can leave my house in the morning wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and by late afternoon I may very well need a parka, a scarf and some fabulous boots.

Ooooh, boots. I need some new ones.

Back on course. The sporadic weather doesn’t surprise me. This is Texas. And you know what ‘they’ say about Texas weather – “If you don’t like it, just wait a minute.” True.

I’m also looking forward to the football game tomorrow. I must pace myself accordingly. Wake up. Eat a huge meal at lunch. Take a walk (ha – yeah right!). Take a nap (a long one). Wake up in time to eat leftovers (an interesting magic trick). Cheer on the Aggies! WHOOP!!!

Well, I’d love to tell you I have some deep, insightful, witty and sarcastic subject planned for the remainder of this blog. But I’d be lying.

Continuing my lazy streak.

Have a great evening, friends. Buh-bye.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 23

Day twenty-three. Two days until Turkey Day. Mmmm-mmm!

I cannot wait until I blissfully slip into that promised turkey coma. Of course, I’ll have to stay awake, and coherent, long enough to scream for the Aggies as they Beat The Hell Outta TU!!! (That’s University of Texas to those of you who've been living in a cave.)

As I type this, I’m sitting here watching a fantastic cheesy 80s movie – “For Keeps”. I just love cheesy 80s movies. Who doesn’t? Great, mindless entertainment with bad special effects and even worse acting (usually). And addicting all the same. After this one is over, I’ve made a deal with a friend to endure “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”. I’m told it will be a worthwhile movie of laughs...we shall see.

I am really enjoying house-sitting for my friends. Just me, Netflix and Bella (the dog). So far, I’ve eaten Mexican food (yesterday), wings (made two meals out of them today), drank four Cokes and eaten about three giant chocolate chip cookies. And a handful of almonds. Had to throw something in there that’s healthy. I can totally see why people gain weight over the holidays. Everything’s too easy. Especially living near the convenience of town. Accessibility is the devil. With giant horns made of funnel cake, Ding Dongs for eyes, and cheese puffs for fingers. I’m going to be a saint (as far as dieting goes) for the next few meals until Thursday, and then resume healthy habits again as soon as Friday rolls around. Or Monday. It’s okay to embrace a little caloric relaxation over the weekend. But, alas, I shall be good.

And is it just me, or does a giant glass of cold, frothy chocolate milk sound divine right now?

Let’s give a round of applause for deniability and justification. Hooray!

Don’t really have much to say today. I’ve mostly just been a lazy sloth. It’s nice to let my brain rot every once in a while. Things are about to get pretty busy, so I should appreciate the down time while I have the opportunity.

I’m going to head upstairs later, soak in a nice hot bath. Read my book. Maybe paint my toenails. Catch up on “The Vampire Diaries” (what? I only watch it for Ian Somerhalder). Then bed. In a quite house.

Seize the day, if you will.

I’m seizing lethargy. Or is that an oxymoron?

Monday, November 22, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 22

Monday. Day twenty-two.

Why does Monday have to happen every week? Without fail, it always manages to show up. However, when considering the alternative of not seeing another Monday, I’ll be lenient with my complaint.

Today is kind of blah. I love overcast, cold, breezy days, and looking out the window from where I currently am, it seems like it should be one of those days. Not so much. The gray thunderclouds and breeze are present, but no dip in temperature. Instead, Texas weather rears its ugly head again, and brings us the muggy humidity with which to ruin our hair. Boo. But…the forecast for the end of the week calls for below freezing temperatures. Yay! The holidays just aren’t the same without cold weather. And seriously, can you imagine trying to take a nice nap after stuffing yourself miserable with Thanksgiving food – in warm weather? Nah. Not the same.

I am sincerely enjoying the scenery, though. Autumn is such a lovely time of year. Everything is so picturesque with the splashes of red, orange and yellow landscape filtering through the backgrounds. The colors seem to pop against even the dreariest of buildings and settings. Especially when mirrored on still waters. Such tranquility. The trees are stretching their branches, swaying, sleepily yawning…preparing for their winter snooze.

The months when so much of the world goes to sleep, seems to be when the rest of the human race wakes up. Or, at least I do. The hustle and bustle of the holidays approaches, with the anticipation of things to come. Getting to spend time with family. Extra sparkles in the eyes of our kids. The electricity of excitement in the air. Making lists to start fresh in the New Year. All of these things, coupled with the crisp, cold air filling up my lungs makes me feel alive.

And speaking of starting fresh, I made a decision regarding “option one” today. I decided not to take it. I am extremely flattered to even be considered, and I know my talents would’ve served me well in the position. However, having some time to think about it over this past weekend, I realize it didn’t quite feel right. I would have been pursuing it for the wrong reasons. In the long run, I would be disappointed in myself for having made such a major decision based on something I didn’t feel 100% about. My inner voice was telling me to hold back. In this case, I chose obedience to my conscience, rather than impulse. Strangely enough, I feel relieved about it. A small weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I face my remaining options with a new sense of exhilaration and confidence.

I feel empowered. It’s nice to be able to sit back and evaluate things from a mature point of view. What a wonderful peace of mind to trust in myself. And knowing that God approves.

Knowing is half the battle. So, I draw my sword, adjust my shield and sit securely in the saddle as I face the next epic adventure of my life.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 21

Day twenty-one. Bleck.

I’ve been tossing and turning since a little before 4:00am this morning. Mainly, because I couldn’t breathe very well. And spent most of the night choking on my own snot and getting sick at my stomach from inadvertently swallowing it.

Lovely description, I know. Part of writing is being able to speak the brutal truth though. Mission accomplished.

I hate being sick. Despise it. Loathe it. Detest it. Is there a stronger word to describe it? Not sure, but I’d love to come up with a more colorful phrase to properly damnify this abominating state I’m in.

Why why why can’t people please just stay the hell at home when they’re sick? And wash their hands? No one wants your crap! Especially me! I know some of you don’t have the benefits of sick leave (myself included), but when you go to work (or out in public), you stand the risk of infecting others with your nasty germs. Then they get sick, and so on. It becomes a vicious cycle of disgust, thus affecting the fluctuation of the economy.

So, in essence, the state of the economy depends on you. Stay home.

I have to conjure up the strength to pack some bags later, as I am house/dog-sitting for some friends of mine starting tomorrow until the end of the month. They are flying to New York to visit family for the holidays. I am seriously looking forward to getting out of my current surroundings. And enjoying some peace and quiet. Hope to get some writing done. Lounge around in my pajamas. Order take-out. You see, I live in a rural area (which I LOVE), but often I go without the simple conveniences of living closer to civilization – such as a pizza delivery.

I also can’t wait to start reading my new book, “Decision Points” by George W. Bush (a gift from a friend). I can read until all hours of the morning if I want, and then blissfully, and lazily, sleep as long as I want the next day. Ahhhhh, the little joys in life.

About to go load up on meds to help be breathe.

Maybe overdose on ibuprofen and slip into a nice little coma.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 20

Day twenty. Ten more days.

And let me just say that those corn-fed Nebraska boys don’t got nothin’ on the Aggies! Talk about a nail biter of a game! Wow! Final score 9-6, and between the Wrecking Crew and Nebraska’s defense, field goals seemed to be the only possible means of getting numbers on the board.

AND, Texas A&M set the record of having the largest stadium crowd in history at tonight’s game! This past week, on November 18th, was the eleven-year anniversary of the fateful Bonfire collapse. Twelve students lost their lives, but it was evident tonight that their spirits were with us on the field, lifting us to new heights. Once again victorious, the rush of courage was fervent as silent hands clasped tangible ones, urging their brothers onward...together in unity...holding steadfast to the faith and strength in the hearts of thousands of Aggies...past, present and future.

“There’s a spirit that can ne’er be told.”

Farmers Fight! WHOOOOOOOP!!!

Next week, we’re gonna Beat The Hell Outta TU!! Can ya hear the grill, Bevo? It’s ready for ya to sizzle!

So, winding down a glorious evening of football victory, I am just about beat. I spent the morning and early afternoon with a wonderful friend as we grabbed brunch at Cracker Barrel and then perused the Texas Rangers Museum in Waco. Got a few painting estimates done for some faux finishing (I do it for fun now, and usually only for close friends and family). Took a nice two-hour nap after I got home this afternoon. Woke up and spent some time with my niece. Went to Chili’s with my sister and niece and spent more time yelling at the A&M vs. Nebraska game on the television than eating our meal. Trekked to the mall and treated myself to a new sweater and some sterling silver hoops. Waved at Santa Claus. Checked Twitter and Facebook for score updates. Bought my niece a giant lollipop from the candy store. Came seriously close to stealing two of the cutest Boston Terrier puppies I’ve ever seen at The Puppy Store (large purses rock!). Went to Cold Stone for ice cream. Listened to the game broadcast on the radio on the drive home. Then watched the last five minutes of it on television, jumping up and down, screaming, at my sister’s house. Now, I’m typing my blog because I realize that in about 45 minutes, the day will be over. I’m on a roll and I haven’t missed a day yet.

What a great way to wind down a fantastic day! And now I must pay homage to my pillow.

Don’t really have much more to say, except, “good night, friends.”

Oh, wait...and, "Gig 'Em!"

Friday, November 19, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 19

Friday. Whoo-hoo! Day nineteen.

Option one meeting went well. I am now sitting in the hotel room watching “Tremors”. Terrible blast from the past. Then again, most of the movies I watched back then are cheesy as all get out. And as an adult, I realize that watching them as a child, I had absolutely no clue what the storyline was actually about.

So, reflecting on my blog from a couple of days ago, when I likely confused all of you with all my talk of “options”, I would now like to add two more to the list.

Yes, that is correct. There are now five options in the near future before me. A couple of them are still extremely premature, but appealing nonetheless. We shall see.

Boom.

Boom!

BOOM!!

It’s nice to get hit with so many opportunities, but I’m starting to feel like the universe may be playing a trick on me. I just know there must be a third party on the line each time I get a phone call, covering their mouth to keep the snorting muffled as they listen to me get my hopes up. The phone conversation ends, and this “person” turns to a room full of friends who all burst into laughter at my expense saying, “Sucka!”

Yeah, I’m warped. No need to remind me.

But, really, it’s a pleasant dilemma to be in. I know there are others who are far less fortunate than I, for they are absorbed in the arduous task of job searching with little feedback.

And let’s face it, I am banking on a windfall in the future – like, in the form of a winning lotto ticket – but until that day comes, bills still need to be paid.

**sigh** Another day, another dollar. And all that jazz.

However, I’m not complaining. I have a roof over my head. My ribs most definitely are not sticking out. I have a vehicle. Great friends. A loving family. My faith. Oh yes, let’s not forget a closet full of fabulous shoes! I am surrounded by a plethora of good things.

So, I pose the question: why is everything coming together so easily now? I don’t feel like I’ve deserved a leg up any more than the next person. There are countless people who have struggled through far more dire circumstances than me, and certainly they deserve to have a few diamonds fall at their feet, too. Part of the ride in life is dealing with the unexpected, thus taking a few wrong turns and learning the roads, but sometimes I would really like to know what this is all adding up to. I’m just an ordinary person. Nothing particularly exceptional. Common. But, I have a whole lotta heart.

And maybe that’s what turns the average into the extraordinary. Everyday people, doing their best to make ends meet and go about the daily grind, until something unusual comes along to propel them to greatness.

I can live with that.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 18

Day eighteen. I’m exactly one month older from when I celebrated my “non-birthday” on this day last month. But, you know what ‘they’ say…“age is just a number.”

If that’s true, I don’t feel a day over eighteen. I’m proud to be young at heart, and hope I always embrace that concept.

Tomorrow is quickly approaching, and though I’m still feeling overwhelmed about the decision-making I will face (option one), I’m feeling much more positive than I have in the past week. I have a good strategy in mind, and hope to assert myself in a confident and professional manner. And not cave. Or backtrack.

Keep the faith.

And speaking of faith, I am so humbled to be supported by an incredible network of family and friends who have never lost their faith in me. And of course, I must thank the Almighty Father. He’s had my back all along, too. He has never failed me. I know when the time comes, I am armed with the intelligence and experience to make the best choices that He has selected for me. That is a comfort.

It seems that so much is falling into place… my job prospects are lining up, I have a new car, a new attitude, a new trust in myself...I am happy. Genuinely happy. Are there things about myself that I want changed? Physically, yes (all women do). Emotionally, no. I have endured the things in my life for a specific purpose; all of which have led me to this phase of my life.

Charging forward into my future, I face the unknown. And though the road has been tough at times, every ache, every scar, and every smile has made a breathtaking impact of permanence on my heart. It is all a part of the woman I am – through and through.

My time is now. Going forward, I realize that I’m in the prime of my life. There is nothing holding me back. There has never been a more opportune time for me to start over and leave the past behind. Not forgotten, but forgiven.

Since we are not guaranteed the promise of tomorrow, I want to get a little sentimental for a moment…

Words cannot express the gratitude to those of you who have believed in me, rooted for me, prayed for me, encouraged me, supported me, lifted me up and never doubted my strength or abilities. Even when I did. “Love” is not an adequate enough word to describe how deeply I feel for all of you. Each of you holds a cherished place in my soul and I will forever be grateful that God made you a part of my life.

I am beyond blessed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 17

Day seventeen.

Don’t really have much to say today. My brain is busy analyzing the decisions I will soon have to make. Decisions that concern my career.

Option one gives me stability and structure, and less money (likely).

Option two gives me a greater amount of freedom and flexibility, and more money. But less stability.

Hmmm…

I’m torn between the two, AND a third option that’s on the near horizon (concerning my writing). It’s wonderful to be hit with so many opportunities, especially in this economy. BUT, it’s also very overwhelming. I’m doing my best not to over-think things and weigh my preferences according to what feels right.

Though, I’m not quite sure what feels right at this point. I will have to wait until the weekend, when I will be forced to contend with the specific circumstances that surround option one.

And if I choose option one, will I blow my chances with option two?

Will option two still be available if I take option one and then decide I made the wrong decision?

What if I choose option two and then it falls through and I wish I would’ve chosen option one?

Does option three render options one and two pointless?

I suddenly feel like I’m in the middle of a terrible math-solving riddle.

AAARRRRGGGHHH!

“God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

“Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time; 

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 

Taking, as He did, this sinful world
 as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right 
if I surrender to His will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life 
and supremely happy with Him 
Forever in the next.
”

- Reinhold Niebuhr

Amen.

I hate to be a wuss, but my brain has nearly fried from an abundance of assessing. Need to put it on my pillow before the fuses start blowing from all of the circuits firing at once.

Stay tuned…

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 16

Tuesday. Day sixteen. This day is draaaaaaaggiiinnng.

Sitting here staring at the screen. Have I mentioned how much of a pain in the butt this is? I’m bored out of my mind today. Waiting on some other things to come together before I complete some pending projects. **sigh** I hate waiting. I’m impatient! I demand instant gratification!

Yeah, dream on.

I mean, c’mon! I’m even sitting in my home away from home (coffee house)! I blame the aroma. It’s making me loopy instead of inspiring me to write. Though honestly, I’m at a standstill with my writing until I know which way the story is headed. I’ve completely betrayed my outline. It now exists for my entertainment only. I look at it from time to time so it doesn’t feel lonely intermixed with all of the completed chapters.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah…

That’s about all that’s in my head at the moment.

I am, however, enjoying the interesting pitch and cadence of “valley girl speak” by a couple of girls near me. I’ve completely lost count of the “totallys” and “likes”.

Like, totally.

Speaking of ‘dumb’, did you know that the majority of college students nowadays don’t even know how to write in cursive? WTF? Not kidding. What is America coming to that its young people don’t even know how to write their signatures? Evidently, the art of cursive writing is being rendered obsolete. And since everything in the mainstream has been reduced to sound bites and blurbs, I guess it makes sense that basic grammar and writing skills are being affected.

Like, OMG!

Ey’thg is GR8, tho! So much cooler 2 type this way! IDK. Not! MMWTBMFBO!

(Confused? Thought you might be. That last one is the representation for ‘makes me want to blow my freakin’ brains out’)

Know what I wanna do right now? Stand up in the middle of this place and suddenly let out a loud, blood-curdling scream at the top of my lungs. Think that would get anyone’s attention? The management may or may not find it amusing…while they call the authorities…who then proceed to load me up and take to the psych ward.

I may just go willingly. Might find some things to blog about.

I shouldn’t joke about things like that. Some days I feel like I have a few screws loose. Today is one of them. I’m restless. Anxious. Feeling the pressure about some decisions looming in the near future. Like, at the end of this week. I think my mind and body must be preparing for the stress I know is going to seep in.

My adrenaline is literally surging superfast through my veins. My hands are nearly shaking as I type this (not to mention I’m typing much faster than usual). I feel like I could sprint up and down the freeway and not lose any physical momentum. What’s up with that, Pike? I’ve only had one tall latte (with a shot of white mocha, of course).

Think I’ll go for a drive in my new car. I know there must be some roads in this county that I haven’t driven in the last five days.

Geez, I’m reaching. Blowing this popsicle stand before I lose it any further.

Talk 2 u L8R, peeps.

Like, for reals!

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 15

Day fifteen. Halfway there.

I have a new way to spell “lazy”. It’s K-E-L-L-I-E. Because it’s pretty much what I’ve been all day. A big, lazy slug. I didn’t manage to accomplish much of anything besides occupy extra space on the planet. Oh, and I breathed in and out, too.

I both cherish and despise days like this.

Cherish because sometimes it’s wonderful to just do nothing. It was the perfect day for it – overcast, wet, cold. There’s nothing like crawling back into a warm bed after you’ve decided that it’s a much better place than being awake in the living room.

Despise because I don’t like feeling unproductive. Not doing something makes me feel stale, like an old cracker. Stale days make me feel like I’ve wasted time. Wasted time makes me feel like I’m falling behind.

The cycle begins.

Consequently, I will no doubt think of things tomorrow that I should have taken the time to do today. And I’ll be mad at myself for procrastinating. I tend to do that on occasion.

However…

There are advantages to procrastination and laziness. Sooner or later, you (in general) get so fed up with yourself that you have no other choice but to do something exceptional to get out of your funk. Before you know it, you’re charging full steam ahead. At least, that’s how it happens for me. This especially applies to my writing. Once I’ve ignored it for a while (sometimes not on purpose – writer’s block), it’s easier to come back to. Something will strike a creative nerve of inspiration, and I become a writing machine once again.

I must be patient, though.

Well…?

Obviously I’m not inspired today. It’s taking every ounce of effort I can muster to type this. As I’m sure you can tell.

Think I’ll continue my streak of laziness and quit early. I want to watch “House” that recorded earlier on the DVR, and eat a piece of leftover cake from my parents’ party this past Friday evening. Then I might soak in a hot tub of water, read and go to bed.

And if I’m going to achieve the pinnacle of extreme laziness, it makes sense that I won’t even exert the effort to finish typing this sente…

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 14

Good evening, friends. It’s day fourteen. Sixteen days to go. (And only 11 until Thanksgiving!)

As I’m typing this, my cousin, Blake, and I are flipping back and forth between the channels, trying to watch the Cowboys vs. Giants and the Seahawks vs. Cardinals simultaneously. There is a healthy little competition going. We have wagered a whole dollar (cheap!). He’s betting against the Cowboys and I’m betting against the Seahawks. Right now, the Cowboys are actually ahead (33-20) AND Kitna is playing (against Manning). This could turn out to be a monumental evening.

And speaking of football, the Aggies tore it up last night against Baylor! Yeah, baby! The Wrecking Crew rocked! I called it low, so it figures that it would be a high scoring game. I’m not that great with keeping up with statistics and estimating the outcome, but I do a fantastic job at screaming loudly at the television and jumping up and down with enthusiasm (it helps – I swear it does). Baylor’s offense is not to be underestimated. They kept us on our toes. Especially when Griffin gets his legs going. He’s like a freakin’ gazelle! Of course, Tannehill and Gray led the team in some of the best defensive plays I’ve seen yet out of the Aggies. The final score was 42-30, and though I’m certain the Aggies could’ve gotten one last touchdown with a minute left in the fourth, the game was called. Mike Sherman has more class than to further rub salt in the wound.

Today is my niece’s birthday. There are a slew of people standing outside around the campfire, and I can smell wafts of roasting hotdogs each time someone opens the back door. Between that and the aroma of the homemade chili cooking in the crockpot, my mouth is sufficiently watering. The kids have just about worn themselves out on the inflated bouncer and the shrieks and shrills of their laughter are such a joyous noise. Can’t wait for cake and presents. How very blessed are we to celebrate another year with my niece (and extended family).

Yesterday evening, we didn’t get to have our “big kids” night out as planned. All of us were too engrossed in the football game. So, we’re shooting for it tonight. The kids (little ones) will get all sugared up and left with the grandfolks, and the big’uns will head out soon for some bowling, laser tag, pool and arcade games. Thank goodness I’m off tomorrow. I’m gonna take full advantage of sleeping in…with the cold, overcast weather outside...snuggled under the covers…ahhhhh…ya just gotta love the simple things in life.

Have a busy week ahead of me. Lots of things happening, and some major decisions to be made. Cutting this one short so I can go spend time with my family. Some of them are leaving to head back to Seattle in the morning, while the rest of them get to stay until the end of the week. It’s been such a privilege to be able to spend time with them. I so love them.

Better go get some chili before it gets cold. Have a splendid evening, friends. Don’t forget to enjoy the brisk fall weather. And hug your loved ones close.

Sending out a very Happy Birthday wish to my niece, Aislynn. Aunt Kellie loves you so much. You are a precious and wonderful gift from God.

And go Cowboys!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 13

Day thirteen. I’m gonna blow off some steam…

People are disgusting. Know why? Because of dirty diapers, aluminum cans, broken bottles, empty snuff cans, soggy paper towel remnants, candy paper, cigarette butts, oily rags, mangled wire coat hangers, empty beer bottles, old shoes, gum rappers, lotto ticket stubs, old newspapers, sandpaper, machine parts, the remains of a cardboard box, a half-empty jar of peanut butter, hair barrettes, Legos, stuffed unicorn toys, marbles, plastic dishes, used condoms, tube of toothpaste, egg cartons, Snickers wrapper, three empty cases of Dr. Pepper, bottle caps, twine, tape, a used diaphragm (not kidding), set of drumsticks, empty box of fried chicken (complete with gnawed-on bones), baby socks and someone’s dentures…

…are just a few of the things I’ve spent the last couple of hours picking up outside. (Helping some friends pick up trash from around the buildings they own in town.)

Now, I will be the first to tell you that I do my best to stay optimistic about the human race, but after this morning’s trash montage adventures, I have a nice big flaw in my theory that people are basically good.

I’m now banking on lazy.

Really? I mean, how much effort does it actually take to walk to a trashcan (or dumpster), open the lid and discard your crap?

Thank goodness I had on industrial strength gloves!

And what the heck are these Richard Craniums doing to result in that kind of trash in a public area???

I place partial blame on the convenience store next door. Evidently, the staff doesn’t ever bother to come outside to tidy up the property. Go figure. So when careless idiots toss trash out of their car windows, or they can’t find that great big, green bin labeled “GARBAGE CAN”, it leaves it available to blow all over my friends’ property with the slightest breeze.

The rest of the blame I place on society as a whole. People drift through life with a sense of entitlement, because society has convinced them that it’s not necessary to exert any effort into anything. Don’t have a job? That’s okay. I’ll keep busting MY ass so that MY tax dollars will pay for you to sit around. Can’t afford to eat? That’s okay. You just keep on driving that BMW and collecting food stamps. I mean, heaven forbid you not look cool, even if your kids are starving. Don’t want to throw away your trash? Well, that’s okay, too. Because I guarantee you there’s someone who takes enough value in the appearance of his or her property to go out and pick it up for you.

Why is society perpetuating this concept of appealing to the lowest common denominator? Why are we dumbing down America so that those who truly put in their time and hard work are left holding the bag? Why are we allowing this lazy, negligent attitude of carelessness and disrespect for others? When did it become acceptable to stop taking responsibility for our actions and lose all consideration for our neighbors?

I believe in helping people. Not handing out to people.

Empower them.

Don’t enable them.

I know I kind of went off the deep end there, but it all ties together. It’s the little things – like the simple task of not littering – that make me sit and stew about the bigger things. It just frustrates and disappoints me that people have such little respect for others.

**sigh**

On a happier note, my parents’ party was a success last night. My feet still hurt from dancing. Lots of family and friends were there. There was so much love in that room last night. It just warms my insides thinking of each smiling face that’s been a part of our lives. Most of them have known my sister and me since we were just knee-high to a grasshopper. What a glorious milestone for my parents to celebrate 60 years on earth, and 40 of them spent together. I am so honored to have been raised by the two greatest people a woman could ever ask for. They have been incredible, loving Christian examples to me. And no matter how proud they may be of me, I am proudest to be their daughter.

Continuing on with the good vibes, I am really looking forward to this evening. Along with the Aggies whipping the fire, hell and brimstone out of the Bears, my family has a “big kids” night out planned at Grand Station. It will be great to cut up and let loose a little. **smiles**

Headed out for today. Gotta go buy some stuff to spoil my niece with (her birthday is Sunday). Think I’ll see if any clinics are open, too. Might have to get a hepatitis shot after this morning.

Farmers Fight! WHOOP!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 12

Good morning! Welcome to day twelve. It’s a beautiful Friday. There’s air in my lungs, a smile on my face, a new car in my driveway, party tonight, football and fun tomorrow…wow! What a great way to kick off the weekend!

Since my night will undoubtedly be busy laughing, mingling, eating fajitas and dancing, I am posting early today. Don’t worry, though. I have a few ideas for some interesting topics next week.

So, last night after the majority of the crowd left my parents’ house, there were six of us sitting in the living room, talking and watching “Grey’s Anatomy”. The DVR interrupted football, but my dad was a good sport about it. Daddy sat in his recliner, Jackie sat in the other recliner, Blake stretched out on the loveseat (feet hanging off because he’s so tall) and Aunt Phyllis sat in the rocking chair. I was curled up at the opposite end of the couch from Mom, and was glued to my laptop getting ready to post my blog.

I will try to reiterate the following conversation as accurately as possible…

Daddy (referring to me): “What are you on over there?”
Jackie (jokingly): “Drugs?”
**a round of laughter from everyone**
Me: “Working on posting my blog.”
Daddy: “What is a blog?”
Me: “It’s kind of like a short story, or daily account of life and events. For fun. You know, I just write and tell.”
**Daddy gets a puzzled look on his face**
Daddy: “Well, who are you tellin’?”
**Blake about falls off the loveseat from laughing so hard**
Me (laughing, too): “Whoever reads it. My public.”
**discussion about the invention of blogging ensues**
Blake: “Are you on Twitter?”
Me: “Yes, but really only for my business.”
Daddy: “What is a Twitter?”
Mom: “A brief version of a blog.”
**Daddy looks confused, and mildly amused**
Blake: “Do you tweet about blogging?”
Me: “Sometimes.”
**discussion about the different venues of social media begins**
Me (again): “You ‘blurb’ on Twitter. Kind of like Facebook.”
Daddy: “Wouldn’t you call that a ‘twit’?”
Mom (to my dad): “Not a twit, dear, a ‘tweet’.”
**Daddy shakes his head, smiling**

I can’t recall the rest of the conversation. It was hard to concentrate while laughing so hard. Of course, for the remainder of the evening all of us made wisecracks about the new terms my dad had learned. Like, when a “suggestive” scene began to take place, someone would interject, “Uh oh, looks like someone’s gonna start ‘blogging’.” Or, when a cute commercial would come on, someone would say, “Awww, isn’t that ‘tweet’?”

My dad has only recently become accustomed to the internet. He, Google and eBay have become the Three Amigos. I’ve loaded iTunes on his computer for him, along with lots and lots of songs for his entertainment, but I still think he feels overwhelmed. Slowly, he is learning about the vast outreaches of cyberspace. It’s made for some interesting topics of conversation. Ya just gotta love my dad, though. If I have anything to do with it, I will eventually get him on Facebook. The world might cease to turn, but mark my words – it will happen.

That is all for today, friends. Have fun with all of the blurbing, blogging tweeting and posting!

Until next time…

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 11

Day eleven. Second day into the double digits.

As I’m sitting here typing this, I am listening to the pitch of the laughter and rambunctiousness swirling around the living room and kitchen. It has been a wonderfully chaotic day, and even with all of the crowded noise, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My heart feels full.

And so does my belly. Mercy! Earlier this evening, there were 20 people in the house, including four very lively children (all under the age of four). Between the two giant briskets my dad cooked today, the five racks of ribs (uncle), potato salad, cole slaw, ranch potatoes (for those that don’t like potato salad), baked beans, homemade rolls, apple crisp and banana pudding…wait…did I miss anything?...nope…we are all sufficiently, blissfully and miserably stuffed sick. Although, my cousins Jared and Blake, stole the show with how much food they consumed. I feel like ralphing just thinking about it. Not surprising though. Both of them are about the size of two NFL linebackers, so it makes sense that they need a substantial amount of food for their bodies to function. I think they have extra hidden compartments in their legs, and when they stand up from the table they just give their bodies a good shimmy and shake and then, poof, more room.

After dinner, the men folk retreated to watch football, while the women folk bathed the children. How does stuff always manage to end up encrusted in the hair? But, forty-five minutes later, we ended up with four clean kids snug in their jammies, five towels, half a dozen bath toys in various places of the bathroom and hallway, and one very soaked bathroom floor. Smiles.

I am also the proud owner of a new car! At least, it’s new to me. It’s a dark silver Volkswagen Passat. It’s cool. And I love the turbo-charged engine. Boy, does it zing! Wheeeeeeeee! Lots of fun around the curves. What? I had to test out its maneuverability and steering capabilities. For safety reasons. Wanted to make sure I was buying a car that was fun…um…I mean, safe, to drive and easy to handle.

And, oh my word! I had no idea car insurance was so expensive! Granted, I haven’t owned a car in three years (don’t ask how I managed – it was next to impossible), but between yesterday and today, I have a big chunk of money missing from my savings. It’s totally worth it! There’s just something about having your own vehicle that adds to your independence. More smiles.

Tomorrow evening is my parents’ party. We still have to finish the wine bottles and the music playlist. And my cousin Jackie and I are still conspiring to sneak in some Poison and BeyoncĂ©. We will prevail…when most of the “riper aged crowd” begins to matriculate out the door.

Gotta go for the evening. Lots to get done before I get to check my eyelids for light leaks. My ears might be ringing from the constant buzz of noise today, but that buzzing will graduate to a very large chainsaw once I hit my pillow.

Nighty night, friends. May your life be blessed enough to fall asleep and wake up every day with a smile.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 10

Day ten. Only twenty more days to go until my daily blog writing challenge is completed. I have half a mind to attempt this again in a few months to try and keep myself focused.

The Seattle hoard arrives this evening, and I am soooo excited! And my parents’ party is just two days away! Mom and I estimated around 90+ that are planning to show. That’s a lot of fajita fixin’s! Tonight, my sister and I have to finish “breaking” the scored wine bottles for the hurricane candle lamps. Lots of work going into those, but the end result will be well worth it. We also have to finish up our playlist. Lots of fun 50s and 60s tunes, as well as some classic country. My bro-in-law has insisted we bass to Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” during the meal, but since we won’t have any EMTs on hand, we might have to nix that idea.

If I have anything to with it, we WILL throw in some AC/DC. “Shook Me All Night Long” is always a crowd pleaser. It’s amazing how many people shake it to that song – even with artificial hips and walkers (just kidding). Hell, maybe I’ll go all out and throw in some Marvin Gaye! That would expend just about any shred of sanity I have left. But, it might be fun to test that theory. All hail groovin’ with the Baby Boomers!

On that note, if my parents’ generation is known as the Baby Boomers, does that make my generation known as the “Baby Boomer Boomers”? Or the “Baby Baby Boomers”? We’ll just trim it down the to “Triple Bs”.

Word up, Triple Bs?

Pain meds are great. Can’t you tell?

Anyway, still have lots to do before Friday evening’s festivities take place. Should be a great time, though. Saturday, we are planning a “date” night of sorts. We are planning “big kids” night out at Koppe Bridge (best burgers on the planet!) and bowling, pool, laser tag and games at Grand Station. Only problem is that I don’t have a date. Typical. It will be three couples and me. By myself. I will be the seventh wheel (if there is such a thing). **sigh**

I’d really like to be at the Baylor vs. A&M game, but since I don’t get to see my Seattle family very often, I am really looking forward to spending time with them. Plus, I already know the Aggies are going to beat the fuzzy bear britches off the Bears, so there’s no point in enduring any embarrassment for the other team. WHOOP!

Sunday is my niece’s birthday party. She is going to be three! I swear that kid is three going on 13. Her vocabulary and comprehension absolutely amazes me! We are going to roast hot dogs around a campfire, and enjoy some s’mores. Maybe play some 42 and Spades. And of course, I’m looking forward to seeing whatever antics my cousins and uncle will have up their sleeves when faced with the temptation of anything relating to pyromania. The smallest event usually turns into something highly entertaining when my family is involved. We are cool like that.

Well, my friends, I’m signing off early again today. Lots to do this afternoon. Heading out in a while to go take a look at a car I may buy. Kind of excited about that. Ready to trade in Robert Redford (an old farm truck, it’s red and it’s a Ford – get it? Hahaha! I kill me…), for something a little newer and more economical.

Lots of good things on the horizon, but I’ll save those for another day. Need to leave myself some options to write about in the near future.

Word to ya muthas!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 9

Day nine.

Fear.

Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. Some psychologists such as John B. Watson, Robert Plutchik, and Paul Ekman have suggested that fear belongs to a small set of basic or innate emotions. This set also includes such emotions as joy, sadness, and anger. Fear should be distinguished from the related emotional state of anxiety, which typically occurs without any external threat. Additionally, fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is the result of threats, which are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable. Worth noting is that fear almost always relates to future events, such as worsening of a situation, or continuation of a situation that is unacceptable. Fear could also be an instant reaction to something presently happening.” – as defined by Wikipedia

Yep. I think I experienced just about every form of the aforementioned reactions associated with “fear” today. Mix in a good rounded dose of “anxiety” and that just about sums up my day.

Without getting overly personal, I’ll just tell you that, medically, it’s been a rough couple of days. Amazingly enough, I’ve remained of sound mind. Which surprises me. (I have a tendency to worry on occasion.) I know I’ve been in good Hands.

Know what the scary part is? The not knowing. And then finding out that what you (and the doctors) thought they knew is, in fact, not it at all. And that it could be something else. Or nothing at all. If that makes any sense. But, this too, shall pass. And passing it is.

Cutting my blog short tonight. I know I cheated a little bit, but since I wrote two yesterday, I figure they’ve contributed a substantial effort to make up for today’s written shortcomings.

I’ll leave you with a poem that a treasured friend sent me a while back…

This Too Shall Pass

If I can endure for this minute

Whatever is happening to me,

No matter how heavy my heart is

Or how dark the moment may be



If I can remain calm and quiet

With all the world crashing about me,

Secure in the knowledge God loves me

When everyone else seems to doubt me



If I can but keep on believing

What I know in my heart to be true
That darkness will fade with the morning

And that this will pass away, too



Then nothing in life can defeat me

For as long as this knowledge remains

I can suffer whatever is happening

For I know God will break all of the chains



That are binding me tight in the darkness

And trying to fill me with fear

For there is no night without dawning

And I know that my morning is near

- Helen Steiner Rice

To my wonderful prayer warriors… My deepest gratitude goes out to you. You are loved.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dream Again

I remember reading somewhere that dreams are the subconscious wishes of our heart to achieve what our brain deems to be the impossible. On that same note, why do we feel our hearts break a little when our dreams don’t come true?

When we allow ourselves to feel things deeply, it transforms us. Changes us. Sure, we might look the same on the outside, but inside we are lifted to a level that is higher than what we though ourselves capable. We view the world, and the people in it, with new eyes. Eyes that refuse to see fault. Eyes that gaze upon the objects of our affection with a poetic sense of wonder and perfection – be it a person, a goal, an obstacle to overcome, or a dream we keep inside us. We are buzzing with the energy of inspiration, and that feeling of euphoria propels us further, frees our imaginations, and helps us to focus on what we thought to be unattainable.

If one dream fails, perhaps it means that it was never supposed to be ours to begin with. And still we find the renewed strength within us to reach above and beyond our own perceived limitations. The ache in our heart heals, making us stronger and more confident for the next bout of trials. We tell ourselves that if we survived a failure once, we will surely bear it again, and recognize the signs when we’re on the wrong path.

Giving of our whole heart leaves us vulnerable, open to deeper wounds. And deeper disappointment. Yet, we find our capacity to feel has broadened. With each hardship we gain new knowledge and wisdom. With each mistake we grow. We find courage in our struggles to overcome the odds against us, for the devil knows no greater joy than seeing us fall. And fall we refuse.

The heart retains so much of who we are. Our brains are analytical, black and white. It processes facts, information and intellect. It distributes the necessary impulses to make us function. But our hearts...our hearts are a deep abyss of pure emotion. Love, hate, longing, hope. Every sentiment we experience might begin in the brain, but it is felt in the heart. Residually, it breaks when we fail. When we lose a loved one. When we are betrayed. And it seems to swell to twice its size when we practice patience. Endure hope. Feel a sense of pride. Fall in love. Accomplish greatness.

Dare we dream big at the risk of coming up empty handed? Things worth having rarely come easily, and rarely come without risk. There is profound beauty in the moments we sacrifice everything and put our hearts on the line, because we stand to lose it all. Our ability to hurt is coupled with our ability to love. One cannot exist without the other. Dreams cannot exist without the heart.

We remain still unwilling to deny our hearts the opportunity to start over, to burn with the flames of a new wish. And so we wipe away our tears and begin again. Stronger this time.

Breaking a heart isn’t depriving it of love or hope, but rather, taking away its dream. When it is denied what it so achingly desires, it is left void. It beats no longer with the energy invested in longing for the one thing that makes it powerful with emotion. Its valiant rhythm is interrupted, broken.

Until another inspiration comes along and awakens it to dream again.

November Blog Series: Day 8

Monday. Day eight. The start of a new week. Oh boy. Bring it.

Sometimes I feel like I’m throwing effort after foolishness. Like all of the advances I’m trying to make are pointless and worthless. Like I’m chasing something that doesn’t want to be pursued. And I’m going to end up hitting a dead end or with a broken heart. Or worse, both.

I can already feel the tiny fissures opening up along the exterior of my heart.

Have you ever put your emotions into something that doesn’t necessarily reciprocate? Have you ever put yourself out there over and over again, only to walk away feeling used? Have you ever had your time and your feelings treated so casually that you feel a little like you don’t exist? I have. More than I care to mention lately. What makes it even harder to deal with was that this particular “situation” seemed at first to be on the same page. Guess not. Stupid me.

Kellie = doormat

I recently convinced myself that I would no longer let drama invade my life. I made a promise to myself that I would wash my hands of any useless crap and do my best not to let things bring me down. I’ve done pretty well so far, but some days I would just like to ball up in a fetal position and cry for a while. I guess it was ridiculous of me to think that I could shield myself from letting anything negative affect me. We all have down days.

I am worn out from putting myself out there and getting nothing in return. It hurts. Why can’t people just follow through with promises, and things they say they’re going to do? Is that really too much to ask? I hate this roller coaster ride I’m on. Up with hope, down with disappointment. I should be used to this by now.

I’m not a saint, and I know I have my faults. But I’m a good person. I know how big my heart is. Just for once, I would like for it not to be stepped on and abused. That’s all I’m asking.

This sucks. Time to make some more changes in my life. I am sick of being a doormat. I am tired of playing the fool. I’m not going to allow myself, anymore, to be convinced that I am less valuable or not worth someone else’s time. When it’s important, they’ll make time. Until then, I’m not holding my breath. And I may not be around when the light bulb finally comes on.

I have more self worth than that. Eff ‘em. Time for me to concentrate on number one.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 7

Good morning, friends! Day seven (also my lucky number) has started out to be a lovely, crisp autumn day. Note the maroon color on the image to the right…

That’s ‘cause the Wrecking Crew is back! WHOOP!! My boys brought it to last night’s game, beating No. 8 ranked OU 33-19! Yeah, baby! I’m proud to be an Aggie every day, but this morning I’m just a little more smug than usual. This coming weekend, we face the leaders of the Big 12 – the Baylor Bears. Between Baylor’s offense and A&M’s defense, it should make for a pretty competitive game. Then again, A&M has only lost to Baylor, like, twice in the last two decades. Still...

And just in case you wanna see for yourself just how great the Aggies are, check out the video highlights of the OU game from Aggie Athletics on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10100435624926034 (You'll have to copy and paste it, since my html doesn't seem to be working to support the link.) Did you happen to catch that 100 yard touchdown??? Greatness! I love being ranked!

I also love waking up in a good mood. I attribute that to several factors:

a) Aggie victory
b) Exciting things on the horizon
c) Had a huge bowl of guacamole dip and cheesy beef fajita enchiladas for dinner last night
d) Extra hour of sleep, in addition to the induced coma brought about by said Mexican food
e) Great dreams last night (the kind from which you don’t want to wake)

This week, my family from Seattle is flying here to spend time with us Texans. My aunt (who is also my godmother), her boys, their wives and three grandchildren, will be arriving this coming Wednesday, and I can hardly wait to throw my arms around them. I haven’t seen them in over two years. We can get pretty loud and rowdy when all of us are together (especially where football is concerned). By the end of their stay, I figure I should drop a healthy five pounds or so – just from laughing so hard.

Among the excitement on the horizon, this coming Friday evening, my sister and I are hosting a celebration for my parents. Originally, we were labeling it a “Century Party” due to the fact that both of my parents are turning 60, and this year marks their 40th wedding anniversary (60 + 40 = 100). Now we’re just calling it a “celebration” since it includes Dad’s retirement, too. Good times! There’s lots to do this week to get prepared. Going to have to get busy later today and start compiling music for the occasion. And cut the bottoms of the wine bottles for the hurricane candle lamps. And pick up supplies this week. And get a final head count for the caterer by Tuesday. And…

Wow. How blessed are we.

Well, it’s a beautiful, sunny day outside. Don’t want to waste any of it sitting indoors at the computer. Headed to campus later with my sister to take some photographs.

Good luck to you hunters. Don’t shoot anything that ‘moos’ or ‘barks’ (or stands on two legs).

And one more thing…Farmers Fight! WHOOOOOOOP!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 6

Day six finds me in a state of confusion.

A happy state of confusion, though. I feel a little like I’ve approached an intersection with six different directions mapped out in front of me. And each road is paved in gold, with the potential for a happy ending. So begins the next chapter in the book of my life.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not knocking my blessings by any means. I am both grateful and humbled to be forced to contend with some of the decisions I will soon be asked to make. I know there are countless others who are struggling to deal with even the simplest strides in life. This fact reminds me to not to take things, or people, for granted. Every aspect included in my story is all a part of the bigger picture. Each step forward is a new experience. Each sentence is a description of measure that is inevitably building and shaping my character. Each page I turn is progressing up to a pivotal moment in my life. That moment will change me from the plain woman I was born, and transform me into the extraordinary creature God wants me to be.

My personal life is looking up. That decision is an easy one, for I know that God has His hand in it. I’m enjoying this little feeling of butterflies that’s stirring around inside me, and there’s a certain peace of mind knowing it was/is/shall be all written by Him. I feel extremely lucky and content.

On the other hand, my professional life is where the confusion is brewing. It’s not a secret to most of you now that I am a divorcee. That chapter in my life is in the past, and I’ve overcome some pretty surmounting odds in the past year. Little did I know that while everything bad was falling away, I would be showered with a culmination of positive things to counterbalance the negative. I feel like I’m on the flip side of a coin. The tail side (my past) is now lying face down in the dirt. While heads (my future) is lying face up on the sidewalk of possibilities, shiny with the reflection from the overhead sun. Do I risk disturbing the reflection and pick it up to toss it again? Will it land silver side up? Is that part of the story already there and I accidentally read over it?

No matter which road I take, I know it will lead me back in the direction that God wants me to eventually go. I am a little uncertain of the unknown. And while the prospect of starting over in life has a few disadvantages, I am elated with the beautiful chaos of “new” and “exciting” advantages that lie before me. Then again, it should feel like familiar territory. I’ve been “staring over” for a while now. It’s almost like I’ve reread the same paragraph on a page several times, because I allowed something to distract me, momentarily allowing my focus to be compromised. Regardless, even though some parts of the story are not as engrossing as others, I must lumber on through the structure and facts to establish a foundation. Only then, can I start to appreciate how the events develop with a sense of unusual and amazing flair. Each chapter retains a certain worth. Each one is imperative to the story line. Although some are dark and complex, they belong in the same book as the happier ones, for they have helped to create my identity.

So, which way do I go? I don’t know. I just need to pray for God’s advice, and for Him to take away the opportunities He doesn’t want me to seek. My path will be revealed, and I anticipate that I will get lost and make mistakes from time to time. It is all part of my growth in the story. And even if I try my hand at traveling down every route, I take comfort that the roads will merge somewhere up ahead, or loop back around to point me in the right direction. I cannot get lost with God in charge of the navigation.

Still at my crossroads, I am nonetheless confused, but happily overwhelmed. My hesitation is accompanied with the peace in knowing that I have learned to trust myself again to make the best choices for me. Each direction is representative of a specific purpose in my life. A purpose graced with ability, gifted by God. Ability made of certain significance, so that I can use it to its highest capacity to exemplify the talents with which I am honored to be chosen to share.

Stepping forth I realize that every lesson learned has guided and strengthened me for the next phase of my journey. I’ve come to the end of the chapters that were prewritten for me.

It’s time to write my own.

Friday, November 5, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 5

Hello, day five. I love the fact that not only are you an odd, prime number, but you’re also a Friday as well. Brownie points all around. **golf clap**

I’m not sure if this qualifies as cheating or not, but seeing as there were never any established ground rules for my daily writing challenge, and it’s now after midnight (making it officially the fifth day), I think this substantially meets the requirement for posting at least once within a 24-hour period.

Man, that was a long sentence!

My topic for the day is already picked out. It has to do with something very embarrassing. And embarrassing is just the tip of a considerably large iceberg.

The topic to which I’m referring involves sex. Specifically, the humiliation that two parents can unknowingly, undoubtedly, and sometimes purposely, flaunt upon their spawn.

Now, I have never been one to be easily embarrassed. My family members have tried just about everything imaginable to disprove this. I’ve been performing in front of people since the early age of three, so I'm not easily rattled. Not a lot unnerves me. However, my one exclusion is parental sex and/or innuendos.

**shudder** Ew.

Case in point. Earlier this evening – or rather, yesterday evening (it’s still dark out so they’re kind of blended together into one long stretch of time), I sat down to watch a movie with my parents. My dear dad, in his efforts to record whatever movie title his satellite program may have suggested to him, picked a real humdinger. I could tell immediately by the look and sound of the opening credits that it was going to end up being some soft-core porn B flick.

I was right.

On both accounts.

Within the first five minutes, there was a man in a speedo, “wooing” a topless woman. I use the word “wooing” loosely. Insert your own expletive here. Suffice it to say, the speedo came off quickly, and the “wooing” started to escalate. I don’t want to see breast meat and pork sausage on the television! Much less with my parents sitting just mere feet away from me in the same room!! I politely got up and excused myself to the kitchen to get a glass of tea.

I swear to you, it took every single ounce of calm I could muster not to squeeze my eyes shut, cover my ears, and run from the room. Not even kidding.

My parents thought this to be highly entertaining.

I know about the birds and bees. I’m in my thirties. I’ve experienced some things for myself. In fact, I actually learned all about it a fairly young age. My sister is roughly four years younger than I, so being a curious three-year-old, I wasn’t satisfied with only the vague information meant to tide me over until I knew exactly how my sister got in my mom’s tummy. Mom and Dad were never kitschy or silly about educating me. I asked. They explained. I don’t really remember this, but Mom does. Evidently, not long before my sister was born, we happened to be in a grocery store behind another pregnant lady. Mom says I first told the lady I liked her hair, and then asked her if she was going to have a baby, too. I then proceeded to tell her just exactly how that baby got in there. Mom says she’d never seen anyone’s eyes get so big, so quickly. I think maybe even the kid behind the counter got a biology lesson that day.

Kids are more observant than we give them credit for, naturally. And they do manage to say the darnedest things.

I’m not living in a cave. I know my parents have sex. I know for sure they’ve had it at least twice. My sister and I came into the world after all. I just don’t want to think about my parents doing some of the things I’ve done. Gives me the heebie jeebies. And I really really really do not want to hear them gettin’ busy. **gag** I mean, they’re nearly 60! They should be spending their days bird watching and shopping estate/antique sales. Not jivin’ to Marvin Gaye.

I can’t exactly put my finger on what it is about it that embarrasses me. It’s like being on a first date with someone – at a movie – and trying to watch a flamboyant sex scene with an air of nonchalance. I have a hard time doing it. Thank goodness the theatre is dark, so he can’t see the nice shade of ruby my face resembles. Maybe it’s the element of having my comfort level forced to spontaneously broaden. I don’t know. I’ve just never been a sexually explicit person (publicly). I think some things should stay behind closed doors. Again, I’ll refer to a previous blog about PDA.

I know human beings are sexual creatures. It is our innate need to procreate and spread our seed. I get it. And when the hormones are surging and you’re caught up in the moment of lust, pleasure and passion…well, you get the idea. The notion of others being affected or not by this is perversely intriguing to me. It’s not like I sit and think about it, but once it’s in my head, it’s stuck! I equivocate it to placing a double-layered hunk of chocolate cake in front of a dieter and then telling him not to eat it. The age-old concept of reverse psychological temptation and determent. Look, but don’t touch. Touch, but don’t taste. Taste but don’t swallow. See a porn flick with the folks and don’t think about where the amorous mood will lead afterwards.

**cringe**

Gonna wind this down now. I’m only going to further embarrass myself by continuing to write about it. The point was to blog about something on a daily basis, and I have effectively managed to accomplish that.

I’m sure one day I’ll embarrass my own children in some way or another. I hope when I’m in my golden years that I’m still kickin’ my heels up, too. In every sense of the word.

Oh yeah... So, how did the movie end? Don’t know. Wasn’t brave enough to watch it. And I’m kinda hoping my parents didn’t finish watching it either. Ick.

I just know I’m going to hear “Sexual Healing” flowing through my brain tonight as I try to go to sleep. Damn you, Marvin! There is just no way to remove the scarring mental image now burned in my brain.

Hold me.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November Blog Series: Day 4

Good afternoon, my peeps. It is day four. I’m jammin’ to Def Leppard as I type this. I just love great 80s tunes!

And I’m not sure how “Hysteria” progressed into the thought of food, but I’m already thinking about Cajun-flavored fried turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, rolls, pies, cakes, cookies… Ahhhh! Make it stop! We still have about 20 days to go. Have a feeling I might be crawling away from the table when that day comes. I really hope it’s cold outside on Thanksgiving Day. There are few feelings as gratifying as stuffing oneself sick with yummy food, then retreating to a dark lair to curl up under a blanket for a lazy afternoon snooze with a brisk chill in the air outside the window.

I know patience is supposed to be a virtue, but for all of the instant gratification we find ourselves hungering for (no pun intended), it surprises me that a working time machine hasn’t been invented yet.

And since I will likely save my list of things for which I’m thankful to blog about on the actual day we celebrate, I have generated another list. This one is just as important, and reminds me to appreciate even the smallest, simplest wonders in life. There are 30 on my list, though I can think of hundreds. I figured 30 was a safe number, seeing as there are as many days in this month.

Things That Make Me Smile

1. The sight of a rainbow
2. Children’s laughter
3. Catching a glimpse of a shooting star
4. When my niece tells me, “I love you, Kellie. You’re my best friend.”
5. The permeating smell of baking chocolate chip cookies
6. Seeing the decrease in the numbers on my bathroom scale
7. Getting lost while driving, and accidently finding a more scenic route in the process (and then figuring out where I am, of course)
8. Skipping rocks on a summer pond
9. Whistling at my horse and have her come running up to see me (even though I know she just wants sweet feed)
10. Crying at a movie’s happy ending
11. Feeling overwhelmed with emotion at a friend’s wedding when the groom gets to kiss his new wife for the first time
12. 80s music – especially cheesy, old-school 80s music (and love ballads, and classic rock, and…)
13. When my dogs jump all over my legs, tails wagging, because they’ve missed me all day long
14. A smile from a stranger
15. The lingering embrace from a family member/friend when I haven’t seen them in a long time
16. Dancing in the living room with my dad
17. The way my parents still look at each other, even after 40 years of marriage
18. Singing along with a great song on the radio, windows rolled down, wind whipping through the car
19. Sitting on the front porch on a nice evening, listening to the cicadas and the gentle breeze
20. Bowing my head, taking my family’s hands and giving thanks at dinner, with the tiny voice of my niece chiming in amidst all of us
21. Finding a great pair of shoes – on sale!
22. Laughing until my stomach hurts
23. Jogging a little further than I was able to the week before
24. Finishing a good book, and wishing it hadn’t ended
25. Reflecting on a deep, meaningful life experience that made me stronger
26. Sharing an inside joke, movie quote, or eye-rolling moment with my sister
27. Winning the lottery (okay, this has never happened to me, but it would sure make me smile)
28. Doing something – anything – that makes me feel like a kid at heart
29. Knowing I have my family’s unconditional love and encouragement
30. Knowing wherever I go, or whatever I face, God is both in front of and behind me

Well, there you have it. Just a few of the things that make me smile. I bid you all adieu for the afternoon. More tomorrow. I hope you find plenty of things to smile about on this beautiful Thursday, too.

Peace out, dudes!