Homecoming

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My son, Jessup, and his beautiful date at the Homecoming Dance. 29 September 2012.

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Brain Dump Friday

Today is Red Green Day at both the high school and middle school here in town. No, NOT the guy on PBS (I made that mistake, too-not really). Today is the day on which everyone is supposed to wear red and green. Is it because Christmas is coming? NO. Is it because of Boone Iowa’s rich, Spanish heritage? NO. (shocking) It’s because, at some point in our history, someone decided that those two colors should be the school colors. It really serves a dual-purpose…You can have lots of school spirit, and you can wear your school stuff to Christmas parties and you fit right in! Also…we are the Toreadors. Again…not sure why. Though I am leaning closer to the rich, Spanish heritage thing… I wonder what the official school dance is? Salsa? Maybe that’s the official condiment. Tango? Speaking of tango…the Pampered Chef “hot” color for the season is called Tangerine Tango, and it’s really pretty. I would have called it Coral – something – but I’m not a marketing genius… I can’t think of a dance that starts with “C”. I go to my acting gig job again next week. I’m so excited! I love that job. I had three cups of coffee at the bakery this morning and I’m actually shaking. That’s probably not a good thing. I hope it stops before…well, there’s not really a time today when I can’t be a little shaky, but I hope it stops soon. My fingers are going too fast, and I keep having to correct errors in this post. There’s a person for everyone – sometimes that person is five cats. I wish I could take pictures with my eyeballs. I see so many wonderful and beautiful things, and I can’t seem to capture them just like I see them. Of course, that would make me some sort of cyborg, but that would be one of my suggestions if I could ask God to change something about me. Camera in my eyeballs. Awesome. I would probably need a USB port. That would be a weird thing to have to explain. And then there’s the whole “I can’t get up from my computer right now because I’m charging” thing. Weird. What’s wrong with my brain? My office smells like bacon. I ate bacon flavored popcorn yesterday, and while it was not as impressive as I had hoped it would be (including a weird “filmy” feeling in my mouth), it was edible, and I ate it. Now the empty bag is in my office garbage and so my office smells like bacon. I wonder how long that will last? How long is too long to leave it in there? hmmm… I want to find a shirt that reads “I’m not responsible for grammatical errors before 8am”. Of course, then I would want there to be some gross grammatical error on the shirt, but I can’t think of one that would be funny. Maybe I should try designing the shirt before 8am. OH! Cha-Cha! That’s a dance that starts with “C”. Coral Cha-Cha doesn’t roll off your tongue like Tangerine Tango. Again…NOT a marketing genius. Would it hurt to walk around with bare feet if you lived in a house made of legos? I was just wondering… I think it would be kind of like the whole “bed of nails” thing. It hurts to sit on one nail. but I’ve sat on a chair made of nails before, and that didn’t hurt. Something about science and distribution. Have you ever had one of those moments that you just want to grab hold of and never let go? Someone says something or does something that just melts your heart, and you wish you had it on video and could replay it over and over again? I had one of those moments with Ainsley last Tuesday night. My daughter is just the sweetest girl, and she makes me grateful to be alive more often that I can say. My relationship with her is so, SO different than my relationship was with my mom, and I’m so thankful and blessed. Both of my kids are just the greatest gifts from God. If I were a cyborg, I probably wouldn’t have kids. That would be a devastation beyond what I can bear. I don’t want to be a cyborg. That is all.

Brain Dump Friday

I’ve had a lot to say this week, but no place to start. I need a place to start. The happiest and nicest thing I’ve heard all week was when I walked into a room unexpectedly (to the person in that room) and they said, “I was just thinking about you and your polka dot mixer. Really, not even ten minutes ago.”. What a delightful greeting! I think I’m going to tell people more often when I think about them. It’s nice to be thought of. I’m working on my book again, but only in my head. I named the main characters Mitch and Aimee. I couldn’t figure out why I chose those names, they just came to me, and I thought that was some sort of proof that I should write. You know, like a sign. It’s not a sign. It’s my subconscious. “Mitch and Amy” is a book I read in the third grade. Sigh. Someone asked me why I obsess over things. That’s like asking me why my hair is brown. I don’t like to think of it as “obsessing”. Instead, I like to think of it as “preparedness”. What if I do have a tumor in my right arm? Well, when the doctor says it’s nothing, that’s awesome. If the doctor says it’s a tumor, then I’m prepared. What if it’s a tracking device? I doubt anyone cares enough to want to know my every move, but in my head I’m quite awesome and popular, so…maybe. (I will say…they must be pretty bored) What if I wake up one day and every single hair on my head had turned gray overnight? Well, it probably won’t, but if it does, I won’t be shocked. You see, there’s a difference between prepared and obsessed. I prefer to think that I’m not crazy, so I call it prepared. (I do have a weird bump under the skin on the inside of my right wrist, and I’m really, really “prepared” about it) I will say this obsession, I mean preparation, skill that I have does actually prepare me for bad news. It’s that thing where everyone thinks I’m cool and collected and calm, when inside I’m totally freaking out, but outside I look unaffected. That’s preparation. It’s how the doctor can say words like “Your mom has cancer”, and I’m still able to function…you know, the walking and talking and remembering to breathe? I had thought of everything I could think of that he might say, and then when he said what he said, I was as ready as I could be for it. So, call it obsessed if you like, but I will keep doing it. It’s who I am. It’s how I deal with life. (And now I’ve done it too much with this topic) Probably the biggest pet peeve I have is license plate stickers. People who put them around the plate like some sort of collection. They all go in the same place. One on top of the last. I almost get turrets when I see that. I will, literally, yell out “Idiot!” at whomever has done this. Really, you need a new license plate. You’ve ruined this one. I love having Riesens on my desk. You know, the chocolate carmel candies in the brown wrappers? I giggle every time someone comes in and asks for one. And then I come up with an awesome reason…bahahahaha! It’s just a play on words, but I love it. Currently, I’m all out of Riesens. Maybe this means I can do anything I want with no need for justification. Yeah, let’s go with that. :/  I’ve been melancholy most of the week. Not sure exactly why. Probably mostly stress. (See what I did there? Two -LY words. Because I wanted to) I won’t get into all the things that are stressing me out…I just need to learn to let go again. I think the stress comes into play when I’m holding on too tightly. Regret is stressful. Frustration is stressful. Worry is stressful. I’ve been upset because things that mean something to me meant nothing to someone else, and they were left behind in order to “save” things that turn out to be nearly worthless. The things that were saved, were saved because they were thought to be so valuable. But really they’re not. Not to me. Not to anyone else. The things that were lost, that are now wasting away at the bottom of a landfill somewhere, those things were more valuable and meaningful to me than anything else. They are lost forever. I have had a hard time letting that go this week. This has made me sad. I have lost my focus this week. I will work very hard to get it back. I need it. I need to have a plan, and to have lists, and it’s when I lose sight of those things, the little steps that get me through the day, that my world turns gray. I need to stay in the bright and shiny places. Maybe it’s because there’s currently no dessert in our house. That must be it. That is all.

Brain Dump Friday – Starbucks Edition

I wish I had my headphones. I don’t like the songs playing here at Starbucks. That’s right folks, I’ve taken this show on the road. I have some time to kill between my super awesome temporary non-job and my next thing, so I’m at Starbucks. I usually like their music. Today’s selections are from the 50-70’s and I’m just not feeling it. It’s too much work to find another place with wi-fi and move my stuff. I’ve also made friends with the persistent fly that keeps bothering my stuff. At least he’s not drinking my coffee. Then I would have to kill him. By the way, if you’re a fan of the tiramasu cake pop, you should get them while you can. They are not going to have them anymore. I just ate the last one for today…maybe forever. We’ll never know. Well, we could find out tomorrow, I suppose. There’s a man here writing in a book. A regular book. A novel actually. He should be hanged for his crimes. He also moves his head back and forth like he’s at a tennis match when he reads. I’m definitely going to have to move to another table where I cannot see him. The guy who made my coffee was really slow, but it’s the best coffee I’ve had for a long time, so I forgive him. The fly just made a move for my coffee. I’m going to call him Frank. Why do they put a cake pop on a plate? I nearly dropped it several times because it was rolling around so much. I finally pushed it down a little so it was flat on one side. But then it was flat on one side. ugh. I want a green apron, but I don’t want to work here. hmmm. Frank is about to die. Three attempts at my coffee. My table is too small. Does your hair actually turn gray, or does it only grow in that way? I found a really long gray hair today and when I was done crying about it I plucked it out. I’m sure I would have noticed it by now. Maybe it just TURNED gray. I’m sure that’s it. I have no plans on dying my hair, but what if I wake up one day and they’ve all turned against me? The guy next to me is really friendly. He asked me what I am writing (probably thinking it’s some kind of genius novel, and he’s going to have met me “back when”) and when I told him it was nonsense for my blog, he looked right at me and then said, “I wish I could just right nonsense. I always think everything I write has to have a purpose. What a gift you have!” I’m going to call the ambulance…I’m sure there’s something very wrong with this man to think I’m doing anything important. I just told him what I wrote about him, and he said, “Now I’m famous”. His name is Joe. Now Joe is famous! (to the 4 people who read this) Frank is now dead. I warned him. It is MY coffee. I’m now babysitting a subway sandwich for someone who went into the bathroom. I must not look very hungry. Book Writer just smiled at me. I didn’t move to a new table. Jessup says I should do a brain dump before bed each night. He says it might help me sleep to get all the “stuff” out and then go lay down. (Don’t tell him I said/wrote this, but I think he might be a genius) I’ve only been getting about three hours of sleep a night and it’s not been great sleep at that. Book Writer is wearing socks (argyle-with a hole in the toe) and sandals. Why do people make it so hard to try not to judge them? Well, this is longer than I though it would be. I didn’t realize I would think so much at Starbucks. I don’t actually cry over gray hairs. It’s a part of life, and I don’t care about them being gray. I do like the brown though…I will miss it. Joe wanted my number. I gave him Barry’s business card. Goodbye Joe. R.I.P. Frank. That is all.

Brain Dump Friday

THIS is the blog post that people read. The nonsense. The one that has no purpose, except that every time I think about stopping, someone says how much they love it, and I am compelled to keep it going.

Once again I neglected to jot down the little things I think about throughout the week for this. I have recipe card sitting on my desk for a PC Show at the end of this month and I’m dying to try the recipe. My son has a date to the Homecoming Dance, and I’m so excited for him. I adore the girl he’s asked. I’ve known her since they were in the third grade. She’s a smart, beautiful, strong young woman. McDonald’s has really yummy iced tea. I forgot about that. I have a gnome sitting on my desk. And two owls. (They aren’t speaking to each other right now. Apparently there was an issue with a pointy hat.) My desk has too much paperwork. I tried to get it organized, and I feel like I did very little tossing/shredding, and a lot of shuffling. I don’t like the glossy page protectors because they have such a bad glare, but I can’t use the matte page protectors because they stick together. I need them to slide and have little/no glare. I think, once again, I want the impossible. C’mon Staples…fix my problem! There’s so much thunder outside right now that it sounds like they are bowling in heaven. I used to over-think things when I was a kid, too. I would think the weirdest things. Someday I will have to write a blog post about the things I thought when I was younger. You will probably feel bad for my parents. I am trying out Scentsy for the first time. I can’t wait to get my warmer and my Mochadoodle scent. I want my whole office to smell like a bakery. I love trees. I love to draw them, and look at them, but I hate climbing them. Weird. I think it’s because I also hate falling out of them. Everyone should have a Smash* book. I worked in mine today. If you don’t know what it is, ask me. I will tell you all about how I will never scrapbook again. I am a perfectionist, and this Smash* book is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me…except for 80’s GLAM Sharpies. Who doesn’t love Leg-warmer Orange, Banana Clip Yellow, and Valley Girl Violet? Am I right? I now have a small notebook for notes and lists. And yet, no list for BDF…hmm. #BDFfail??? I think so. I have a script to memorize for a job I’m doing sporadically throughout the Fall. It’s the closest thing I’ll ever get to a paid acting gig. (I should call it that) I love pretending. I have to pretend to like (even love) dogs. I’ve been told I’m very convincing. The instructor even said I did a really good job. The scentsy warmer has a tree on it…that’s how I went from bakery to trees. If you were wondering… You probably weren’t. I cannot wait for Parenthood to come back on the TV. That is my hour. My snuggle on the couch and do nothing else but be with Barry time. I have really missed it. Someone told me I should write a column of some sort with this nonsense in it. I’ll tell you what…If you can find some newspaper, local magazine, or someone who’d even give me the time of day and a chance, I’d write whatever they wanted. As long as it is this. This is light and fun. This involves only my over-active brain. No feelings or emotions here, and I’m good with that. So, if someone wants it, I will write. Until then, it’s all for you. And you. And that guy over there in the corner who will swear later that he was never here. I saw you. ;) That is all. #BrainDumpFriday (Thumbs up to everyone who likes this on Facebook after they’ve read it here. I’m really curious how many of you there are. I think there are about five to seven of you. Prove me wrong…or right.)

Friends, Choices, And The Miracle Of Life

We all become friends because we have things in common. A choice we have made at some point in our lives has brought us together. Through that commonality, we have discovered these things, and gotten to know one another. Can you imagine how many times we’ve decided NOT to do something that would bring us to know even more people, and how many people we might have commonalities with are wandering around whom we have yet to meet? Every time you don’t go out, you might be missing out. Every choice we make has unintended consequences. By making a (sometimes) very quick choice, we can meet people who will change our lives forever, people we will love forever, people who will change us, and people who will help us grow in ways we cannot even imagine. The miracle of this life (one of them) is that there are always more people to meet. There are always more people out there who will challenge you, and forever change who you are right now.

I was angry at God, and a friend made me make a promise, and because I made that promise and kept it, I’ve been married for 17 1/2 years. Where would I be if I’d just kept driving and ignored that promise? What would I be like if it weren’t for that moment in time when I said I would try something new? What kind of person would I be if I weren’t who I am? If I weren’t married to him, would I be a different person? Would I be in a different place? Where would I live? What would my job be? Who would my children be? I didn’t intentionally cut him off on the freeway that day. I decided to keep a promise. And here I am.

Honesty Is The Best Policy

ALWAYS!

Honesty is always the best policy.

Even a little bit of a twist, and it’s no longer honesty.

Everyone should be perfectly honest. We all make excuses and justifications for not being totally honest all the time. I do it. You do it. Everyone does it.

“Yes, doctor, I’m eating properly and exercising a few times a week.” No you’re not. You ate a banana on Monday (no time for Starbucks) and had to walk twenty spaces at Target rather than the five you wanted to walk because the parking lot was full.

“Yes, dentist, I’m flossing.” No you’re not. Do you even know where the floss is? When they did it at your last check-up doesn’t count.

“Yes, honey, you look amazing in that dress.” Maybe in high school or college. Right now you should just resign yourself to khakis and a sweater set and call it even.

We ALL do it.

We don’t mean to. We don’t want to. We don’t like it when people do it to us.

So what happens when you’re told to be dishonest? Who’s to blame? You’re innocent. You’re only doing what you were told to do, right?

Wrong.

You are responsible for your actions. Whether they are right or wrong…that’s on you.

Wrong is wrong. Dishonest is dishonest.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your spouse, your children, your best friend, someone who’s got a broken heart, or a bit of a shattered image, or your business.

Honesty. Always.

My dad was a wonderful man. He taught me many things that I’ve carried with me throughout my life. He taught me to face hard times and walk through them, not around them. The first time I had a broken heart and I didn’t want to go to church because I knew he would be there, my dad forced me to get up and go to church. I thought I was going to die. I did. That is not an exaggeration. He looked right at me and said, “You’re never going to be strong and learn to stand up on your own two feet if you don’t face this. Walk in. Stand tall. Stop whining. You will survive this.” And you know what? I did it. I survived that day, and every Sunday after that until it stopped hurting so much. That made me stronger. It prepared me for the next time I broke up with someone and I had to go to church and see them. That was a pain far worse than the first. And I made it.

My dad taught me many good things.

(Watch out. This is where I burst the bubble that you probably live in wherein my dad was nominated for sainthood)

He taught me a few bad things as well. Like the time someone called him at home, and he didn’t want to talk to them. He stepped outside the front door and told me to tell them he wasn’t in the house. Well, no, he wasn’t in the house, but he was home.

That was a lie.

Like it or not. It was a lie.

I learned to be “technical” as he called it. “Technically” he was not in the house, so I wasn’t lying, right?

Wrong.

Don’t get me wrong…he was a wonderful. hands-on, always there for me, dedicated father. But he was human. He had faults. Technicalities were among them.

Because of this “gray area”, I can justify a lot of things. I can get away with things because technically I’m not lying. But I’m still lying.

The greatest damage we do by lying is to ourselves. We hurt those around us, but we damage ourselves by diminishing others’ ability to believe us. Without trust, how can you have any true relationships? How can you have a meaningful conversation, a marriage, or run a business? How can you prove that you are an honest person if you cannot be believed in every thing?

You can’t.

I found myself caught up in a “technicality” recently, and I have since asked forgiveness and restored the relationship.

All is well.

But I’m not happy with myself. I was told that this thing would be ok, and when it wasn’t, and it didn’t work out like it should have, I was disappointed. Not only in the fact that it didn’t work out, but in the way I tried to make it happen. While I didn’t technically do anything wrong, I still did something that was wrong by not being strong enough to stand up and say NO. By letting someone talk me into something, I was wrong.

I have admitted to my kids that I’m very good with technicalities. Since they were both very young, there have been times when I would help them to see the three sides of every issue, and let them decide which way they would go. Thankfully, they are bright, honest young people, and they choose right far more often than they choose wrong. And far more often than they choose to use technicalities.

This makes me happy. I’m proud to say this.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes find a bag of garbage waiting right outside the back door, and the excuse of “Technically it’s outside, like I said it was. I was just waiting until the next time I really go out to take it to the garbage can.”

They are right, but still…when they said it was “taken out”, they know I’m assuming it’s in the garbage can.

This has been on my mind a lot. Thankfully this situation in my life has been dealt with and is over. I have learned a lot from it.

And now, so have you.