Friday, October 15, 2010

It's been a long time...

Sorry it's been so long since I posted anything :( Just haven't been wanting to blog for a while to be honest. Since I've become a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) I've been trying to spend more time on my house and with the kids then on the computer. But I have come to the conclusion that some time on the computer is good!

I get up to date on current events and help keep my mind moving and grooving! Writing things down in coherent and intelligent sentences takes some thought and trial and error, so blogging is a good thing :)

Since I haven't blogged in a long time, this week I'm just going to post some pictures I've taken the last few weeks while the Monarch Butterfly Migration was passing through our town. They were BEAUTIFUL! Hundreds of thousands of butterflies flittering around all over town and roosting in trees overnight in clumps of several thousand butterflies each roost. It was a magnificent sight to see and I was so happy to enjoy it with my family.

Hope you enjoy the pictures and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I admit it!

I am not a housewife. I have worked at some job or other for most of my life since I was 15 years old. There have only been a few times over the years that I haven't had a job and that is when I was waiting the few months until Six Flags re-opened in the spring, or I was on maternity leave, or the few months I wasn't employed shortly after I first moved out here to west Texas. But, during that time, I was still being a full time mom. My daughter was only 2 at the time, so I was running after her, etc., and then during the summer, when my son was out of school, we were running to the pool, park, everywhere. So, it was never just me and the house, ever. Until now.

How do housewives do it?

Maybe it's the ADD, maybe it's just me, I don't know. I have tons of things I could be doing and need to be doing. After almost 5 years of living in this house and with both me and my husband working full time during those 5 years, we have accumulated a lot of clutter. Well, maybe a lot a is a slight understatement, but we won't go there right now. So, along with decluttering on my to-do list, I also have a lot of home improvement projects I want to tackle.

I've done some, like painted my son's bathroom and got it all fixed up. It looks much better and he's actually pretty proud of it himself, which makes me happy too cause he is now taking better care of his bathroom and making him keep it clean is much easier. Thank goodness!

I've also been able to do some yardwork and gardening around the house. And I do mean that literally. I've made raised beds for the empty spots on the front and side of my house and boy does my house look better.

I've planted Elephant Ears and Caladiums in the front boxes and they are coming up nicely and I've got Knock Out Rose Bushes and various annual flowers in the boxes that are on the side of my house. Since it's the south side and gets total, unrelieved, West Texas sunshine ALL day, I hope that since they are supposed to be extremely hardy, they might actually survive out there. Sonya picked out the annual flower seeds that she and her brother planted in the flower beds, so since they are zinnias, nasturtiums, marigolds, cosmos, and sunflowers, hopefully they will survive too.

So, anyway, I was saying that I am not a housewife. I have already done the things I have wanted to do and that really needed to be done, namely the gardening since that needed to be done in the spring and I had bought the paint for Nathan's bathroom a little bit ago, so that had to be done pretty quick as well. Now, I am down to the the icky things that NEED to be done, not HAVE to be done.

How do housewives do it? How do they spend most of the day cleaning, doing laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc. etc.? So far, I haven't had any luck getting those chores done on a regular, scheduled, basis. Like I said, maybe it's me, maybe the ADD, maybe a bit of both.

Hmmm, ya know, I've really had no problem at jobs keeping things clean and doing what needed to be done. In a way I was almost too much of a perfectionist when it came to that sort of thing. Messes and cluttered areas actually bugged me when I was at work, but at home, well, I have kids, pets and a messy hubby, so I have learned to accept a certain amount of "stuff" at home. I guess I have picked up Phyllis Diller's philosophy "Cleaning up after kids when they are still in the house is like shoveling snow during a snowstorm." Throw in the cats and the dog and, well, I think you get the point.

Not much seems to get accomplished in my household cause as soon as I get the floor vacuumed and mopped, the table cleaned off and polished, all the dishes done and the counter wiped, etc., the dog has pooped on the floor or a cat has knocked over something and dumped it on the floor. And as soon as that happens and I start to get that cleaned up, my hubby walks in the door with the kids and well, between the muddy shoes, backpacks, school papers, pens, pencils, homework, well, all my hard work goes down the drain and nobody gets a chance to appreciate it.

Guess that's why I like gardening. After I've done all that hard work, I have something to show for it and to show off to the neighborhood. Makes me feel good seeing all my hard work bloom and to have neighbors say how nice everything looks. Now if only I could make myself feel that way about the inside of my house, but no one comes to visit. Well, shouldn't say that, the Avon lady comes by every other week to drop off my order, but other then that, well, the Jehovah's witnesses come by every Monday or Tuesday, really guess that's about it. Pretty sad I guess cause I have a nice big home that's perfect for entertaining. Oh well. Maybe someday.

Until then, I've got to find a way to make myself work on my house and I think I've come to a solution. It dawned on me a little while back that for most of my employed life, I have had to wear uniforms to work. Maybe not a literal uniform, like what I had to wear when I worked at Six Flags, but something that I put on showing that I was "working". Like the bright orange t-shirt I had to wear when I worked at Garden Ridge, or the smock I wore when I was a floral designer. That sort of thing.

So, when I went into Hancock's the other day, they were having a sale on patterns. Well, I was looking for a sweater or t-shirt pattern for Oscar since he gets a little chilly while laying on my legs and the fan is blowing on him (thin skinned little wiener dog, hehehe) when I came across some patterns for some really cute aprons. Ding! The little light bulb went off in my head and I realized that that might actually be what I need. I mean, I worked at TGI Fridays and we all had to wear aprons, so I already have the habit of wearing an apron while working in a kitchen so my idea was if I had a cute apron to put on when it is time for me to "work" maybe I will actually work.

Hey, it's worth a shot and since I got the pattern for just a couple bucks and found some cute fabric on the dollar table, at least I'm not spending a lot of money on something that may or may not work. But to be honest, I really think it will. My mind is already programmed in a way by almost all the jobs I've worked over the last 20-something years of my life to go into "work" mode when I put on the "uniform" so if I use the apron as my uniform to go to work around my house, maybe I will get more accomplished.

I have already learned that I can't have the TV on if I want to get anything done, but I also can't work when it's absolutely quiet. I have to have on the radio or music to really get anything done. I learned that when I was trying to do homework back during my school days. That is part of my ADD, if it's too quiet, I focus on all the little noises I hear and don't work, but music kind of lets me tune everything else out and focus just on my work. Maybe the apron might do kind of the same thing, make my brain think "she's got on her uniform, gotta focus on work".

So, I've got a little while before everyone gets home to work on making my apron, should be able to have it done by this weekend and I'll give it the test, so that maybe, just maybe, I can get some of my more unpleasant chores done and finally actually feel like a housewife instead of just someone shoveling snow during a snowstorm. I'll keep y'all posted and have my hubby take a picture of me in my cute apron. Hmmm, maybe if it ends up looking really cute and it's not to hard to make, maybe I can make more of them and sell them on eBay? Something else to think about!

Til later!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I quit!

Seriously, I did. I quit my job. I know, how could I just quit my job. Well, it wasn't a decision that I made on a whim, believe me. Back in September I had tried to turn in my letter of resignation, but I allowed my boss to talk me out of it. But this time, with the stunt my boss pulled on Friday, it was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I worked for an elected official and she is up for re-election. Well, one of my co-workers is her opponent, so as you can well imagine, the last few months have been extremely tense. Not to mention that there are another 15+ people on the ballot for other various elected positions. So, tension, on top of stress and then all the pressure, well, I think you get the idea of how bad it has been up there.

So, another co-worker (not the one on the ballot) and I have been doing everything possible to maintain the legality and integrity of this election. I had been in constant contact with the Party Chairperson and the Secretary of State's Election Division to make sure that everything our office was doing was by the book correct, that way there wouldn't be any doubt whether proper procedures were followed and there wouldn't be any chance that a disgruntled candidate could come back and sue the county for any perceived irregularities.

Well, I guess on Friday my boss got it into her head that she didn't care about all that anymore. She took the Early Voting ballot box out of the office and disappeared for about 45 minutes. My co-worker and I looked everywhere for her and the box and couldn't find them. Who knows what she was doing to the box and those ballots during that time? We certainly didn't!

So, when she finally reappeared, I asked her where the box was, she said she had it. What? Umm, according to the attorney I spoke with at the Election Division of the Secretary of State's Office, she shouldn't be touching the box, let alone the ballots, it's just not proper procedure for someone who is a candidate on the ballot. So, I reminded her of that fact and she just blew me off and went and made a phone call. WTF?!

I stomped back down to the office to wait and see what she was going to do and didn't have long to wait until she appeared with a Tax Office employee and a Sheriff's Deputy and demanded to know where the key was for the box. I told her I had it and why did she need it, she is a candidate and shouldn't be touching the ballots, ballot box, etc. or it could put doubt regarding the legality of the election into the minds of the voters and all those other candidates. Well, she said she didn't care and that "I AM THE BOSS AND WHAT I SAY GOES!" Oooook! Fine! I gave her the key and she and her entourage left.

Wow! I couldn't believe that she would jeopardize the election like that after my co-worker and I had worked so hard to keep it fair and equal for all the candidates involved. And then bringing a Sheriff's Deputy in there with her as backup was uncalled for. If she had just called us in her office, talked to us like the grown adults we are instead of treating us worse then the inmates in the jail, well, I don't think I would have gotten so upset and decided, that's it.

Now as I said before, it wasn't a last minute decision. I'll be honest here, if she was re-elected on March 2nd, I was going to take her the election results and a letter of resignation that was going to be effective as soon as I walked out of the courthouse that night. Just the thought of continuing to work for her for another 4 years makes me physically sick, seriously, my stomach is turning even now as I type this.

My husband and I had had MANY discussions regarding my job and how long I should stay there and I lucked out that on Friday my hubby was already waiting for me at the local restaurant with lunch ready after the big fiasco so that I was able to tell him everything that happened and that I wanted to quit right then and that I couldn't wait another 2 weeks. And after he had heard everything, he tried to call her and chew her up one side and down the other. Good thing for her she wasn't in her office at that moment, but I still took his phone away from him before he could talk to her anyway. It wasn't his fight to fight, it was mine, but he helped me make my final decision.

I promptly went back up to work. My boss was walking across the parking lot for some reason and I stopped her and said I needed to speak to her in her office NOW. Well, she mumbled something about having to finish doing something mumbmlme... "Ok, then", I said, "I quit. Here's my keys." She said something about if I needed help...personal affects .. mumble.. mumble.. mumble. I said don't worry about it, I'll take care of it and stomped off.

Now, if she had actually come back in and we had sat down and had a nice adult woman to adult woman conversation could she have talked me out of quitting, hmmm, we'll never know I guess because she has never been one to have any real work conversations with any of us lowly employees.

All I can ask anyone now, is to do what I'm doing for my former co-workers, pray. Pray that things up there will get better for them. Pray that maybe my former boss will finally realize that you can't treat people the way you have been treating them without there being some kind of consequences.

As the Golden Rule states, treat others the way you would have them treat you. That has always been how I have tried to live my life. I showed her all the respect and courtesy that her position dictated, but when she treated me and my co-workers as if we were worse then criminals, I lost all respect for her and decided I just can't work for someone that I don't respect because doing so would cause me to lose all respect for myself too.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Well, I'm getting there...

First, I haven't gotten my food from NutriSystem yet and am starting to get a little frustrated. I ordered my food on Friday, January 15, and received an email stating it shipped on the 19th. Well, the link in the email to track the package went to UPS, but for several days it never updated to show that there was actually a package on the way.

When I went on their site to check the status, the tracking button on their site would take me to FedEx. And still no information about any package being sent, everything was unknown. So, I called them on Wednesday and they said something along the lines of yes it's on it's way, yes it is with UPS and it will be delivered to your post office. HUH!? UPS delivering to the post office? Oooook. Well, they also took my work address for my new mailing address and said if I hadn't received my order by Wednesday, give them a call.

Now, since this is my first shipment from NutriSystem, I don't know everything that's going to be in it, but I know that there should be some frozen food in it. So, how does frozen food stay frozen without any type of freezer thing for over a week? I don't know about you but that frozen food better be frozen when I get it or it's going back. Yuck!

But as for my other Resolutions, well I've decided to add something else to my list and that is to try to spend 10 minutes during each day organizing, or cleaning, or something else along those lines. Ya know, doing some of those chores that I just hate doing. So far I thing I've done pretty good! Thursday I spent some time before work and some time during lunch pulling some old clothes out of my closet and putting them in a bag so that I can take them to a donation bin in Midland next weekend. They aren't ugly clothes or very old clothes, just clothes that I don't really like any more or that once they got washed, they shrank so bad that now they just don't look good on me. I figure instead of taking up space in my closet, they can get put to good use to someone who needs it.

And I mentioned last post about my garden boxes. Well, they were parked in the side yard by the carport where they were left after I put them together. So, today me and the kids cleaned up (well actually we just moved the pile of stuff that we cleaned out of the storage shed a while back that needs to go to the town dump) the area where my Square Foot Vegetable Garden is going to go and moved the boxes into place.

I'm still going to need to rake the area a little better, put down the landscape fabric and fill the boxes with Mel's mix, and probably would have done a better job with getting them situated, but the wind was so bad this morning, just did the minimum. I'll try again later this week to get my garden area all cleaned up. Wish I had one pretty day off so I could get caught up with the yard work, but that probably won't happen for a while. Oh well, maybe sometime soon!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Let's get this year started

Well, I have finally gotten a few things accomplished towards my New Year's Resolutions! YEA!

First of all, if you remember from my last post, I said I was going to try to get healthy and lose weight. Well, I went to Sam's Club and got my first NutriSystem 35 day card! YEA times 2!! So, sometime this week I should be getting my first shipment from NutriSystem and you can be sure I'll be letting everyone know how I enjoy or don't enjoy the foods. I'm not really a picky eater, I think that's part of why I'm needing to lose weight to begin with, but there are some things I just DON'T like, take brussel sprouts, please! Yuck! But I'm encouraged by what I've read on their website so I think I'll be able to stick with this and get a big jumpstart to my healthier living resolution. So, wish me luck!

Now for Resolution number 2, not waiting anymore. Well, I took a step towards that this weekend too. I was able to go to Lowe's, buy 6 pieces of 2"x8"x8' lumber, some 3 1/2" deck screws and then turn them into my first raised garden beds for my Square Foot Garden! I'm so excited! I was able to make the first three of nine 4'x4' boxes for my vegetable garden. I'm also going to have two 3'x5' boxes in the vegetable garden too, but those boxes are going to be 12" high so I can grow potatoes, onions, and garlic. Any time a get a chance, I'll get a few more pieces of lumber, make them into boxes until I have all the boxes I want and/or need. No more waiting on someone to make them for me.

So, where am I learning about Square Foot Gardening you may ask? Well, I first learned about it from my Dad who showed me his raised beds at Thanksgiving last year and had a good harvest this year from the sound of it. So, since I got a Barnes and Nobles gift card for Christmas from a co-worker, I bought the All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.

I'm very excited about trying this new way of gardening since I have had NO luck so far in the soil around my new house. I usually have a pretty good green thumb, but almost everything I've tried so far just hasn't done very well. I say almost because I have some Rosemary growing next to my carport that has done OK, but hasn't really flourished. Maybe next year it will do a little better.

So, using Mel's method, I should be able to grow just about anything I like, I hope. I love using fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions, and a little garlic with just a squirt of lime for some AWESOME salsa. And I LOVE basil pesto! Basil pesto mixed into a little alfredo sauce on grilled chicken and fettucine or pesto tossed on zuccini, red bell peppers, and squash and roasted in the oven just til it's all tender, oh man, I'm making myself hungry!

Well, at least there are some unlimited vegetables on the NutriSystem diet that I can grow in my garden, thank goodness! Using NutriSystem to learn what and how much I should be eating and then making my garden boxes and doing all the work getting them set up, planting the seeds or plants, etc. should get me well on my way towards fulfilling my New Year's Resolutions. At least that's the plan and I'll keep everyone informed on how everything's going. Oh and once I get my first boxes set up I'll have to post some pictures! Til next time!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Years Resolutions

Well, it's a new year and it's that time again for resolutions. This year the ones I've decided on are probably some of the most difficult ones I've ever decided on.

The first one, well, I try to do it every year, but somewhere down the line, I just don't keep going and that's lose weight and get healthier. I did lose a little weight last year, but towards the end of the year, well, I quit exercising, ate what I wanted and the weight came back. I guess I just have to keep trying, that's the point of resolutions isn't it? Whenever you get off track you get back on track and keep trying until it becomes a habit and you don't have to think about doing it anymore. I need to keep exercising until it's a daily habit, until taking the dog for a walk becomes normal and until riding my bicycle becomes fun and not a chore. Until choosing to eat healthier foods is enjoyable and I don't grab food just because it's quick to fix or that it's something that I can get the kids to eat. They need to learn to eat healthier too and I need to set a good example for them. That's resolution number one.

Resolution number two, well, it's a little more complex, but I've decided I'm not going to wait anymore. Now I know you're wondering what that means, it just means that I'm not waiting on anyone anymore. I've spent a lot of time the last year being told to "wait until I'm off", or "wait until I'm feeling better", or "wait and see", that sort of thing. I've missed out on a lot of stuff because someone wanted to wait until it was his weekend off and I'm done waiting.

I'm not going to wait anymore for someone to be off so that the yardwork can get done, it may totally exhaust me and give me a heartattack, but I'm not going to wait on something that never gets done because something usually happens to prevent someone from doing what he said he would do anyway.

I'm not going to wait anymore for someone to figure out how to cut a hole in the wall, install a window and move the window a/c unit because "I need to do a little research first on it". I'm sorry, but DIY Network has all the step by step info. on their site on how to install a window, it' doesn't look that difficult, we have all the tools on hand and I've used a jig saw, a hammer, nails, screws and a screwdriver, what is the problem? So, no more waiting on that either.

I'm not waiting on someone to offer to do anything either, because I've been waiting on that for years now and it's not going to happen. Also I'm not going to tell someone to do things ever again. He calls it "nagging" even if I only ask twice, once to say what needs to be done and then again as a reminder on the day he is off when he said he would do it and it's 1/2 way through the day and he hasn't even started yet.

I know, I sound mean and awful, but there are times that I've put off doing things with just me and the kids because I thought that this certain someone would want to spend time with me and the kids doing some of the various things I've asked him to do. Take raking leaves and putting out Christmas decorations for example.

I had asked him to do it the week after Thanksgiving when he was off, I used the time to go do Chrismas shopping so I was gone for at least 3 hours, plenty of time for them to do some good yardwork and have fun putting out the Christmas decorations. Well, I was "nagging" again, so he only did a 1/2 assed job, left piles of leaves on the yard, only put up 2 strings of lights around 2 of our 5 trees, didn't check the bulbs on the ones he strung along the sidewalk and, from what the kids said, complained the whole 30 minutes or so he was out there. When I came home, he was sitting on his butt in front of his computer, the kids had made a mess throughout the rest of the house and I was heartbroken cause he had missed out on what I would consider a fun time playing outside with the kids.

It breaks my heart seeing that my husband doesn't seem to want to spend any time with our children, doesn't want to spend time with me, doesn't want to help make our house into the home that I know it can be turned into, doesn't seem to want to do much of anything but sit on his ass in front of his computer.

So like I said I've decided not to wait anymore, I'm not waiting anymore on my husband. This morning the kids and I went outside, raked the leaves, put them in the compost pile and had fun! My husband did not join us, I don't know what he did, but I decided I wasn't waiting on him to join us, if he wanted to, he could have, but he didn't. It hurts me deeply not knowing what to do to get my husband more involved with us on his 6 days off a month, but he sees things differently then I do.

Raking leaves and being outside with the kids to me is something that not only makes the house look nice, but also is a chance to have fun with the kids, to him, it's all a chore. To me going for a walk with the kids and dog is a chance to talk with the kids, play with the dog and have fun, for him, it's a chore. For me working on the house and making it look nice is a chance to spend time with my husband as partners working toward a common goal, for him, it's a chore.

So, since everything is a chore for him, well, I just won't give him anymore chores. I'll do everything, I guess, like I said, no more waiting on things to get done. If I want something done, I'll do it when I want it done, no more waiting on someone else to do it, especially if I can do it myself. It will take some work on my part not to ask if he would like to do this, or do that, or if he can help me with this or that. In the end I think I'll be the one getting the better deal, I'll be the one spending more time with the kids and making our house into my home. Oh well, his loss my gain!

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