Monthly Archives: April 2008

14 Years Ago Yesterday

I woke up at 4:30 having contractions, but calm, cool and collected despite the fact that the hospital was ONE HOUR away. Waited to wake up Greg ’cause I figured we had lots of time. We finally got on the road at 6 am. Got into the room at the hospital at 7. Joel was born 30 minutes later, after only 2 pushes, all 10 pounds, 8 ounces of him. 8 hours later we were heading home with our new little guy. Easy-peasey, lemon-squeezy.

I have a theory that my labor and births correlate with the personality of the child. In Joel’s case (more about the others another time), that is so true. He is an easy-going, happy, laidback guy. Labor and birth were all of those things as well.

What a joy this boy is to us. Thanks be to God for the blessing of Joel!

Doing Things the Hard Way

I have a computer and it has Microsoft Excel on it. I’ll bet that’s a really cool program, but using Excel for a recent project not only led to me doing 6 times the work, but also I made SIX mistakes. Since this project was about crediting people’s tuition accounts, everyone was hoping to get the real amounts. Not only did I make mistakes on SIX accounts, but ONE of them was MINE (shorted myself over $150!). One conscientious person questioned her total and so I redid the project, WITHOUT Excel, and got the right answers. Of course it’s not Excel’s fault that I don’t know how to use it and of course it’s not Microsoft’s fault that the book I checked out of the library on how to use Excel WASN’T FOR THE MAC.

I’ll tell you. Sometimes computers are more trouble than they are worth.

Nascar Fans being hit Hard with Gas Increases

I listen to talk radio while I cook supper. Today a well-meaning tree-hugger called in with an idea: Let’s have the Guv’ment BAN Nascar for 2 years to SAVE ON GAS. The two hosts thought it was a pretty stupid idea, but I think that was mostly because the guy didn’t have any of his ducks in a row. Didn’t know how much gas the cars even use. One of the callers after him said HE had heard them Nascar racecars actually get NEGATIVE gas mileage. Didn’t explain how that was possible, but wow, what a concept!

Interesting idea, but let’s not have the government involved in this, hey? Do we REALLY want to give control of this over to the people who think it’s a good idea to spend $41.8 MILLION dollars on a letter to say, hi, you’ll be getting an economic stimulus payment sometime, maybe, but we’re not going to tell you how much or when. See ya later.

Read more about the woes fans are experiencing here.

Perhaps some of the fans, especially the guy who can’t believe his fuel cost is going to actually exceed his BEER cost, might consider not going to the races cause it’s expensive to drive big ol’ motorhomes that get like 4 mpg.

I admit I’m not a Nascar fan and I wouldn’t drive 1/4 mile to see a race. Probably wouldn’t even go out the back door if the race was right in my backyard, but I am surely not a Nascar Fan. I also am not denigrating Nascar fans in general, but I have to admit some of them say some pretty amazing things. Nascar is probably pretty darn cool if you like that kind of thing, so there’s a place for it.

But, I’d say, let’s let the Nascar teams worry about how much the gas is costing, let the motorhome drivers worry about how much it is going to cost to get to the races, and the rest of us can figure out how in the heck we are going to continue to pay those prices at the pump.

I’m feeling like it’s time to get creative.

Fine Arts Night

Last night, my daughter’s hard work in chorus saw fruition as they performed at the Fine Arts Night program. Students played the violin, piano, electric guitar, harp, flute and several students sang, beautifully. Student artwork was displayed around the room – wow, can some of these students create some beautiful stuff or what. I was proud to be associated with an organization that is dedicated to preserving and displaying beauty in a time when a lot of what we hear and see is not beautiful.

Musings about Ryan Gosling

He stars in a movie called Lars and the Real Girl. LATRG wasn’t bad, exactly. It’s just the second movie I have watched starring Mr. Gosling and I have realized that he must choose his movie scripts based on the following criteria:

1. I don’t have to say many words. As few as possible.
2. I have lots of opportunities to make great facial expressions and express my innermost thoughts just through the contortions of my face.

The other movie was one where he played a teacher who was a drug addict.

So, even though LATRC had some sweet parts and a relatively good story, the acting wasn’t great, the movie was kind of weird, and you had to wait a long, long time to get to the resolution of the movie.

Since I Last Wrote

Well, it’s been a quiet weekend around here. Compared to my friend Carla, who started Saturday morning with a piano recital at 8 am, then headed off to a soccer game for her older son, then got a phone call from the lady at the state competition for piano who informed her that her sons were coming up soon in the program and she should get there asap (she had forgotten about this). Then when they got home, they had company for dinner, and the company stayed late so they didn’t get to make their pinewood derby car so they had to do that Sunday morning. Ugh. I am so glad I don’t have such a schedule.

So, Friday night I attended a concert for which my mom was the accompanist. Saturday night, we attended a Seder dinner at my mom and dad’s house. Sunday, we went to church and out to lunch, then I spent some time with my dear hubby in the afternoon but only after we delved into some v-e-r-y s-c-a-r-y territory where he mentioned that he doesn’t actually like or dislike what I wear; he just accepts it. This revelation came at a time when I am feeling like everything I wear looks terrible on me because I need to lose some serious weight. You have to understand that Greg is not your stereotypical husband who is clueless in many areas, and/or demanding in many areas. He is a kind, loving, caring, thoughtful, supportive guy, pretty much 24/7. So it was a shocker for him to acknowledge that maybe there’s something to be desired in how I dress.

I used to dress nicely. I used to have a lot more places where it was the norm to dress nicely. But since we have been going to an ultra-casual church for 5 1/2 years and I don’t work outside our home, most of my dressy clothes have gone by the wayside for one reason or another. Finally, it got to the place where I had only one nice outfit for colder weather, and no nice outfits for warmer weather.

Coincidental to all of this, I realized that taking care of my appearance is one of the things I have relegated to the back burner, as I have gradually done away with more and more things that really take care of me, or things that I enjoy. That realization came last week and I went right out the next day and bought some things that are not t-shirts, not jeans, and actually could be considered pretty. Went out again Saturday and bought a couple more things. So when I went to church Sunday morning (at the new place) I chose to wear a skirt. I felt better about myself, having taken time to choose something pretty to wear.

The other big trauma from the weekend was clothes shopping with Val, my 15-year-old. Perhaps because of my example, she dresses very casually almost all the time. And with few to no occasions that require anything dressy, her wardrobe is very casual. Her choir will be singing next week and she needed a black outfit. So off we went to get her one. We did great on the top and skirt part, but things got very grim when we went shoe shopping. I was determined to buy something inexpensive because I have bought several items that have been worn once or even nonce and I know she does not like to wear dress shoes. I had something specific in mind, and felt like I chose a pair that was a reasonable compromise between what she would like to have and what I felt like was appropriate. I am not pushy when it comes to clothes. I was getting tired though and wanted to be done with shoe shopping especially because I could see we probably were not going to come to agreement. I declared that THESE were the ones we were going to buy.

Her reply was . . .

“You can buy them, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to wear them.”

This did not sit well with me, and more words were exchanged between the two of us, and then silence ensued. I did not buy them. I pouted in silence for a couple of hours until I finally calmed down enough to realize that the amount of trouble she gives me is miniscule and the amount of pleasure and joy she brings is vast and I was wrong to be holding on to my anger.

The next morning she and I were walking on the trails at the park, playing our “what If” game where we ask each other hypothetical questions. One question came up which gave both of us the opportunity to acknowledge that we would like to take back what we said around and about the shoes issue, and forgiveness was offered on both sides.

So, we are back on track. She has black shoes to wear Friday night (some I already had), and I am reminded of what a joy she is to me.

Today, instead of my fat jeans/loose t-shirt outfit I have been wearing incessantly, I put on a pretty shirt, and a pretty pair of pants, and NOT running shoes. I even put on earrings, and felt like an impostor adult for a little white. Amazing what clothes can do for you.

When I Relax, I Feel Guilty

That’s the title of a book written sometime in the last 20 or 30 years. I’ve never read beyond the title, but the concept resonates with me.

More than 3 people have told me that they don’t understand why I am so hard on myself about reading novels. They look at me with confused faces and ask what could be so bad about reading a novel? Indeed.

Well. IF you have a to-do list that ain’t to-done, and IF you have a special needs child that will do well with one hour of personal attention from mom in a day and even BETTER with two or three or four hours, and IF you homeschool four students, and IF you are a stay-at-home mom who never is caught up on laundry, meal planning, cleaning, or decluttering, I SUPPOSE a case could be made that you don’t really have time to relax.

But I SUPPOSE a case might also be able to be made that ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES SIOUXSIE A DULL BOY. Not to mention a FAT BOY, a STRESSED-OUT BOY, and an UNHAPPY BOY.

And we know that if MAMA ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Eh? Full of pithy sayings this a.m.

Well, MAMA ain’t happy.

In a big-picture sense, I have an appreciation for the blessings I experience every day — my cool husband, my great kids, my comfortable home, my excellent health, music, sunshine, sweet memories, and many more too numerous to mention. In a day-to-day sense, though, I see that embracing the idea that I SHOULD feel guilty when I relax really sucks (sorry mom if you read this). REALLY. sucks.

I made a list last night of things I have enjoyed over the years, such as singing in a band, working out and lifting weights, spending time in the wilderness, wearing clothes I really like, making things, playing games, and others. I found that many of the items on that list are not things I am making time for right now. Why? Is it because I don’t want to be happy, as a friend suggested yesterday? Is it because I am afraid that I am doing something wrong if I don’t have my Responsibility Meter in the red zone? Is it because I don’t think I deserve to do things that I enjoy? Is it because it’s a lot easier to choose things that provide momentary pleasure, such as ice cream, and really only take a minute or two, and can be stuffed into a responsibility-driven day?

I’m just back from a walk. I feel great. I’m listening to my blog music — all songs I really love. Walking is relaxing. Listening to my music is relaxing. Blogging is relaxing. There’s a little nagging feeling in there that says I BETTER get moving since I’m supposed to be somewhere at 10, actually two places, or even three, but I’m only planning to go to the one place.

Today the step I will take to treat myself nicer is to send my ipod, which currently is in a coma, to iRescue to see if it can be fixed. The music on my ipod makes me smile. And I think smiling is something I want to do a whole lot more of.

Enjoy your day. Take good care of yourself. Love yourself and the people who are in your life. I will if you will.


That is the sound of a whip. Pretty good, eh?

Have come to an important realization today that when I was a little bitty thing I got this idea that I should not have fun because I needed to be very responsible for many things in the life of my family. Actually, I already knew that. What I realized today is that I have, in a sense, put myself into that same place through decisions made as an adult. More later. I just didn’t want to forget this idea because changes are necessary. (That’s not what the whip is about. I’m just usually feeling behind and guilty and the whip keeps me in line. Sort of.)