Friday, May 30, 2008

Would you like some cheese with your whine

Last week we dug up another100 sq. ft of our back yard to plant more garden…more food (all 4 of our kids are still at home….God love’em) We’re giving up cable and cell phones so we can eat (and yes I know that sounds spoiled...but as useless as both these things are, we are USED to them and they're hard to give up) We are selling our gas-guzzling truck, which we actually USE as a truck…to buy a tiny unsafe cracker-jack 'pre-owned' car so we will not have to take out loans to fill the tank.

Geez, if I had money I would so be designing an electric car….come on Ed, you got money….you and your Hollywood friends need to do something besides asking grandmas in Idaho to contribute to 'American Idol Gives Back' (he actually wasn’t on the show, but a lot of overpaid egomanical hacks were….write a check for goodness sake!)

I hate being poor…ok, middle class…. I hate living paycheck to paycheck…I hate losing sleep over paying the bills

No point...just wanted to vent.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Darn, sometimes I hate the truth.

Found this quote while reading Beach Music...great book by the way... "I had recently become acutely aware that mistranslation, mistakes of emphasis, and inevitability of a flawed interpretation of an experience could lead to an imperfect view of things. " I guess scripture is not the only place to find admonition. My reality is still just my reality and tho I am quite certain it is remarkably close to an honest assessment of fact (and I think the Supreme court would back me up on this :) it remains just one side of the story. Ok, I 'll give you that. And I probably have not made it clear that tho I find it unacceptable to dump ones garbage onto another human being, I do recognize the guilt and torment that this individual must be going thru...I know that their lashing out has much more to do with their own demons than anything I have done. Still hurts, still planning on keeping my distance...but underneath it all, I do empathize.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mirror Mirror

I love this song...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Speaking of Being Thankful

Took Mom to the doctors office in Porterville on Tuesday. We scoped out the office first to make sure we knew where it was...have you ever wondered why google maps, Mapquest, et al seem to make a concerted effort to get you to your destination by the most convoluted route possible? I am always able, on my way home, to delete about 5 streets from their directions, and this was no exception. But I digress. We had some time before the appt. so we drove down the main drag and stumbled onto this restaurant.

Tho it was quite empty, usually not a good sign, it was actually pretty good and I would go back. We both had grilled chicken salads and warm bread with dipping sauce....yum! Afterward, we perused thru Mervyns...looked at clothes I can't buy (daughter to money for mom) and made fun of what people will actually wear public!

Great afternoon, loved seeing my Mom....glad she is still here....much thanks! (see...was that so hard?)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Just whining...again

I was reading over some old bored am I?....and the post on Thankfulness is one I should read daily. I have so much in my life to be thankful for and so few real not living in Myanmar...but I seem to forget that...almost every day. And I'm not talking about stuff so much, just that we always seem to be struggling at this time of the month to buy No one has to tell me that the gas 'crisis' has driven up grocery latest few trips to the market have borne that out. I told the gal at the checkout counter that when my kids leave home, my husband and I are going to Bermuda! But probably we'll just sit on the back deck with a nicer bottle of wine. I don't need much, but there are days when I get tired of saying 'we can't afford it' especially when I'm saying it about a pair of shoes for one of my kids. I worry that my children aren't learning anything valuable about money except what it's like to not have it...or at least much of it. And the weird thing is that Brad was filling out a student loan app. yesterday and Steve's income is embarrassingly high for people who seem to never have any money!!! Where does it all go? And where am I going with this?...nowhere really, just rambling.

I will find joy in the midst...I will take comfort in my maker, and I will find a Doris Day movie on TV somewhere.

Monday, May 19, 2008


We live in the Central Valley, a lot of the food the rest of the country eats is grown here. We have fairly mild winters and long growing seasons. We have very HOT summers....we all know that.

After 35years of living in the Valley I don't expect the weather to change and I will whine about it occasionally, but it's just the way it is.....IN JULY!!!!
According to my calender it is still MAY....and this is just too flippin hot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (27 exclamations - that's serious)

...and I actually watered these in the morning....they are not happy.

Tale of Two Brains

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Words to LiveBy

Unfortunately, sometimes one can't do what one thinks is right without making someone else unhappy.

W. Somerset Maugham

I found this quote years ago while reading The Razors Edge.....I remember printing it out and taping it to the was up there for years. It came to me last night while I was mourning the latest crap in my life. I need to remember that it is as true today as when I first read it....when you have strong opinions, you're going to piss people off (not quite as eloquent, but same message :)

Friday, May 16, 2008


For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit, neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Luke 6:43

Am I the good tree or the corrupt tree? Is it possible to read a nasty email and just toss it aside? Do I regard it as the irrational rantings of a delusional personality or do I internalize what has been said and let it eat me up? How can someone be so totally off base, and if she’s not…then I am. Who’s right here, who’s wrong? How can I doubt what I know in my heart to be true? And yet I do… I sit here sick to my stomach from reading vicious lies…or are they? Does it mean I have no confidence in my reality….one of us has to be off….way off….and though I think it’s not me...maybe my feeling like crap is guilt or maybe it’s just that it hurts to have someone hate me so much. Why is that? Why do I care? Why does it bother me that she doesn’t like me? I know I am not this person she despises….for heavens sake, even I wouldn’t like the creature she has conjured up in her mind. I’m so tired of getting beat up and I’m tired of doing the right thing (and sometimes the wrong thing). I don’t have the strength . What is going on here? What is the lesson?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Something to think about...

Possibly our self worth and internal peace is determined by the conflict of who we actually are vs. what we respect or admire.

I just found this quote on a blog I discovered recently....such wisdom in so very few words. Thanks to Jame for sharing this.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Graduation Dress

My unbelievably generous friend Nancy spent Saturday morning with DD and I, helping us pick out material for her graduation dress. Annie had fun looking thru the pattern books and even more fun finding the brightest hot pink in the entire store....if not the world!
Nancy will be making the one in the lower right corner (tho longer :) can check on the dress progress here ....and check out the cool yellow top she also made for me. I am so gonna owe her some photos!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Cutting someone out of your life, even someone you absolutely know is toxic to you and your family, is so much harder in reality than in theory. Add to that the fact that this person is family and the difficulty is compounded.

For the past few months Steve and I have been struggling with a family member who's behavior has made her unsafe to be around. I've written a few times about my concerns and my own guilt at not being able to work this out with another adult....just giving up here doesn't seem to be the solution. I so want to fix things, make this right (or right-ER) talk it out, work it out....but when someone refuses to see their flaws, refuses to admit to any wrongdoing, won't even talk about it (and actually wants YOU to apologize)....eek! When this person goes out of their way to make you feel small and worthless and horrible....and feigns surprise that you are upset by this...then it's time to take a break.

My biggest concern is for my husband...he is not the target of said individuals wrath, but because he has taken my side (duh) he is collateral damage and the hurt is just as real. It pains me to be the cause of that hurt, however unintentional. He is such a kind man, a peacemaker, and to be honest, he is married to a bit of a hothead. I am, 'black and white in a grey world' and sometimes it gets me in trouble....but I am NOT unkind. I would never kick someone when they are down or knowingly hurt them, not even someone I despised. As soon as the tears start flowing I can barely scold my kids...I am at the core, a wimp. I do my best ranting on this blog or when I'm dealing with Verizon or Bank of America...real people intimidate me...mostly.

For years I've made a genuine effort to ingratiate myself into my husbands family. I remain slightly out of my comfort zone whenever we go to family functions (tho to give me some credit, we are ALL fairly uncomfortable at these get-togethers, even my husband) but over the years that feeling has decreased to the point where I don't spend the night before thinking up lame excuses to avoid the festivities. I have come to appreciate his family and wanted my children to have a relationship with the 'other' side. I still do...for the most part. But the time has come for a respite from the drama and mayhem of this individual. Maybe just a pause in the proceedings will calm everyone down to the point of being able to work things out...but to be honest, I doubt it. When someone says they've "moved on"....they've finished slashing you to pieces and want to simply walk away, wondering why you can't just "let it go" ...I find it difficult to believe they will ever see the error of their ways.

I can forgive just about anything, even without an apology, but I draw the line at intentional cruelty and pathological lying.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

A little girl asked her mother, 'How did the human race appear?'

The mother answered, 'God made Adam and Eve and they had children and so was all mankind made.'

Two days later the girl asked her father the same question.

The father answered, 'Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved.'

The confused girl returned to her mother and said, 'Mom, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God, and Dad said they developed from monkeys?'

The mother answered, 'Well, dear, it is very simple. I told you about my side of the family and your father told you about his.'

...glad that's not my husband!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Self-Pity is not Attractive...

...on me anyway :)

Well, I guess I overreacted (what're the odds?). I talked to the Editor of the newspaper and he said there was a problem with their email and they didn't get my swim meet story till after the printer deadline, so they are going to run the story in next weeks paper. I'll add info from this weekends Division II meet to make it pseudo relevant. I should probably go to the meet to get pics, but it's in Bakersfield and I only go thru Bakersfield on my way to Southern CA...and I avoid that trip as much as possible. Actually, Annie and I are graduation dress shopping tomorrow. Or rather we are shopping for material for her graduation dress. My good friend and fantastic seamstress Nancy, has kindly offered to make my finicky daughter a dress for her 8th grade, 'we don't do hoopla, not a big deal, we actually just expect our kids to make it to High School'...... ceremony and dance. I love watching kids show up to their 8th grade graduation in a Limo....goes right along with my 'trophies to the fifth place team' rant. Geez, is there nothing our kids do today that we don't want in the Who's Who...great job emptying the dishwasher....give that kid a medal!

Is is just me or am I beginning to sound like a crotchety old man? ....eek!

Things you find out when you have Sons

(or things you remember from growing up with brothers!)

1.) A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. Ft. House 4 inches deep.

2.) If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3.) A 3-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4.) If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. Room.

5.) You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6.) The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7.) When you hear the toilet flush and the words 'uh oh', it's already too late.

8.) Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9.) A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even! though a 36-year old Man says they can only do it in the movies.

10.) Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old Boy.

11.) Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12.) Super glue is forever.

13.) No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

14.) Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15.) VCR's do not eject 'PB & J' sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16.) Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17.) Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18.) You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.

19.) Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

20.) The fire department in Austin , TX has a 5-minute response time.

21.) The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22.) It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23.) Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24.) 80% of Women will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.

25.) 80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

ps. I did not take the above photo....but I could have:)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Every Wednesday I excitedly rush down the street to buy an Exeter Sun newspaper (officially it's the Foothill Sun-Gazette, but we all still call it by it's old name). And every week I am slightly disappointed in what has been done to my stories. Sometimes it's not much, a word added or a paragraph out of order but it's disconcerting, to say the least. When I write on baseball, I put the preceeding weeks 2 games in one article. The paper likes the story to read with the victory first, if one of the games was a loss. I write my stories chronologically because there is a sense of 'going into the game, the Monarchs......' I just feel the games should be described in the order they were played. When the editor does this he sometimes replaces my well-thought out, much fretted over, opening sentence with some rushed drivel...ok it's not always that bad, it's just not MY words. This week it was.... "The Monarchs first game of the week started off well, but didn't end that well' ....UGH!!! My goodness, a fifth grader could have come up with something better! I agonize over every sentence and try to make my stories someone besides the kids' parents. And I repeat....MY name is on this....and I don't appreciate looking like a simpleton.

This week though, was the biggest slap of all; 2 of my 4 stories were cut, one of them the league swim meet. I worked very hard on these stories. For the swim meet I got quotes from the coaches (ok, one of them is my son but it was still a good quote) spent time on the internet to get results and info on the upcoming division II meet and had taken some good pics to accompany the story. We have an All-American swimmer on the Exeter team; she set a league record at the meet and I got a photo of her swimming in that race....and it's the backstroke so you can even see her face. Why was that story cut and all 5 (count 'em 5) of the other temporary guys stuff (ALL Softball stories) left in? Now, this gentleman is not a bad writer, a bit wordy, but he's not a great writer either...not by a long shot. And it doesn't help that the guy looks like an auto mechanic....and by that I mean he shows up looking like he just crawled out from underneath a car....he's a bit of a slob....nice guy, but a slob. (yeah, I know, that's just mean...sorry)
I guess maybe the 'writing is on the wall', excuse my pun. Maybe it's their not-so-subtle way of telling me that he will be the one to get the job if they end up hiring another writer. It's frustrating, disappointing, and not very good for my fragile ego....seriously. I never started out wanting to write, they approached me, so what wonderful lesson am I supposed to learn here? What was the point?

.....maybe tomorrow I will have wisdom, today I'm just going to whine.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Two games left in the season for JV baseball (and possibly for Varsity as well, unless they can pull off an upset and win both of their remaining games) and because of my 'job' I have missed several of Wilson's games when I was assigned to cover other it's softball. I guess that's the downside of making the big bucks
(ok, gas money).

Saturday, May 3, 2008

View from our Dining room Window

We replaced an old, much smaller, window last Winter and never realized the view that we had been missing all these years. (and apparently I need to wash windows one of these days:)