Jazz hands…

2012 was supposed to be the year that I spent time on myself. I was going to eat better, exercise, lose the weight that’s been creeping up and up every year. I was going to rededicate myself to my writing and finally do the rewrites on my finished NaNo project from 2009. I even started this blog on January 1st so I could keep track along the way.

The year turned out to be not so good, but there was some good stuff, in between the bad. I wrote over 200 blog posts, I made some in roads personally and I cut down my Dr Pepper intake to 12 ounces or less a day.

Overall, though, I am looking forward to 2012 being over. I’ll even be nice and wave goodbye with Jazz hands.

Come on, 2013. Let’s do this!


Lights and loss…

All year I’ve been reading the Re-inventing Fabulous blog, written by author Anne Stuart.  She actually goes by Krissie, Anne Stuart being a family/pen name.  This past year those of us that have followed this blog have been there sharing all of our experiences since last January.  

As we move towards the end of the year, Krissie has been working on wrapping up 2012.  Today, she was dealing with sorrow.

“So today let’s put lights up for those we’ve lost, people we loved who lit our lives and then moved on, leaving the warmth of their love behind.”

Here is my addition…

I am putting up lights for…

My paternal grandmother who was grand and adventurous, she organized a group of older ladies from her church every year on trips to different locales, Egypt, Italy, Ireland.

My mother who died when I was 35, she taught me not to let anyone push you around. She was 4’11″, everybody loved her and no one messed with her.

My father who died 16 months after my mom, he was a high school teacher and football coach. A renaissance man who made me believe I could do anything I wanted to do.

My father in law who told anyone and everyone that I had truly became his daughter when I married his son.

I miss them all terribly, but I feel so blessed to have known and loved them.


How do you know…

This morning I find myself in the middle of an uncertain situation.  It’s our first Thanksgiving without Sully’s father.  We are determined to make the best of it but there’s no denying that we’ve each had our tough moments.  Sully, in particular, has had some moments that I feel have demonstrated how he has been affected by the loss.  Periodically, he is suddenly and inexplicably angry about something minor or even somewhat imaginary.  Luckily the moment passes quickly and we are able to talk and move on.  

The main issue today though, has to do with Sully’s mom.  Without a doubt, she is bearing the biggest brunt of grief.  We are trying to stay engaged with her without smothering her or making her feel like we are just going through the motions.  Boo and I have kept up our tradition of meeting with Gramma for lunch every Friday and then Sully  joining us all for dinner.  We had a lovely Thanksgiving at her house but I worry about her being alone during the long weekend.  Every other year it was a long weekend that she and Papa would have enjoyed together.  I mentioned coming over on Sunday to help her get her holiday boxes out.  She seemed neutral on the idea, not really for it and not really against it.

How do you know?  How do you know when to leave someone alone?  Or when to intervene?  It makes me crazy.  I want to help but I certainly don’t want to upset her in my attempt to make it better.  

I talked to Sully this morning and he was neutral about all of it too.  I tried not to be frustrated since I know he is trying to process things.  I mentioned that it was a long weekend to be all alone and he immediately agreed that we should try to get together with her.  

Finally, in early afternoon I sent Gramma a text suggesting we come over to her house to have a movie watching afternoon.  She had mentioned on Thanksgiving some movies that she had been wanting to watch.   I was relieved to get a positive answer.  Lunch and movies with Gramma tomorrow afternoon.  Yay!

My holiday thought…

My focus for the holidays will be Sully and Boo.  I want them to have holidays that are happy and fun.  We’ve had so many years where the holidays have taken a back seat to worry and stress.  This will not happen this year.  Fun and happiness, damn it!


Rack ’em up…

I’ve got my costumes hung and bagged but I don’t have any place to put them.  I’ve looked at inexpensive garment racks but I’d rather not spend a lot of money on anything until I know what I really need and where I am going to put the rack.  I looked around online and read several different suggestions for garment racks.  There was the usual plans for building out of wood, metal pipe, PVC pipe as well as a temporary solution using ladders.

I chose the temporary solution.  Here’s a picture of a cozy and stylish version.

The nice clean wooden ladders look pretty.  The clothes rod appears to be a metal pipe.  A wooden closet rod could also be used.

Mine is much less cozy and stylish.  I am using two utility type ladders that look more like this one.  Even better, I have one green ladder and one orange ladder which adds to the lack of cozy.  I am also using a plain 2″x 2″ that is 8 feet long.  

I would add a picture of my rack (I can hear Sully snickering, a picture of the garment rack.  Sheesh!).  Anyway, no picture, my garage is a mess and I don’t want photographic proof.

I set up the ladders and they take up a fair amount of room but that’s not an issue  at this point.  I used zip ties to secure the 2×2 board to the tops of the ladders.  the hangers hung well on the square rod, they don’t slide but I don’t need that right now.  I’ve hung our costumes from this year, our vampire year, most of Boo’s dance recital costumes and the costumes I decorated with.  There might be a few more in the storage box that can be hung but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Today, I am thankful for the internet.  I enjoy researching projects and getting fifty different ideas on how to do it.  It’s fun to look at everything and then come up with my own version.  I am also thankful that today was a pretty stress free day.  I needed one of those.  🙂


Better than ever…

So, Monday I was talking about following Peyton Manning through his football career at Tennessee.  I didn’t see all of the games but I definitely kept up with scores and stats.

I watched the NFL draft drama play out between Peyton and Ryan Leaf.  Peyton proved his work ethic when he showed up to the combine in shape and ready to play.  In contrast, Ryan Leaf showed up “out of shape and overweight”*  Leaf weighed in at the combine at 20 pounds over his playing weight, causing many experts to question Leaf’s pro-readiness.

As we all know, the Colts chose Peyton as their first pick and Leaf went to the San Diego Chargers.  I followed Peyton and the Colts although we didn’t see a lot of games here in Arizona for the first few years.  As the Colts played better, their games started being shown on TV in our area.  It didn’t take long before I had become a huge Colts fan.  I cried when they beat the Patriots to make it to the Superbowl in 2007.   I spent the second half of SuperBowl XLI pacing behind the couch and of course, I cried when I realized they were going to win it.  Then I grumbled when not more than 30 minutes after winning the game the commentators made the point of saying that he wouldn’t repeat.  You’d think they’d give him more than 30 minutes to savor the victory before they started hacking on him but whatever.

Fast forward to last year, horror of horrors, Peyton is injured and can’t play.  The NFL being on strike delayed treatment and surgery and we missed the whole season.  Well, we missed seeing Peyton for the entire season.  It was hard to watch and we didn’t get many of the games on TV.

Then in the off season Irsay cleaned house and I lost all of my favorite players including Peyton.  Dallas Clark went to Tampa Bay, Jeff Saturday is with the Packers, Pierre Garcon is in D.C. with the Redskins.  There are a few players that stayed like Freeney and Vinatieri but for the most part the team I’ve cheered for is gone.  I know that it’s part of the game, it’s just business.

Here’s what I realized, I am a fan of the players.  I am cheering for the players every week not the front office or the owner.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not stupid I realize that tough decisions need to be made to keep the team successful on and off of the field.  I just think that the Colts dropped the ball on this one.  (Pun may have been intended but I am not sure.)  The team relied on Peyton for so many years and then cut him loose when things got tight.  He restructured his contract twice over the years to help them keep other players.  Ugh, I could rant about this all night.  

Jump to now, and Peyton is with the Broncos.  I think it was a good pick, we all figured he would stay AFC to avoid direct competition with Eli and it seems  like a good fit between Peyton and the coaches.

The Steelers vs. Broncos game was the featured Sunday night game on the opening weekend of the regular season.  The Broncos had a slow start but Peyton had a blazing second half.  There were a few passes that were so perfect, so textbook, so vintage Peyton, it was breathtaking.  (Well, breathtaking to me.)  There was a lot of talk about how he would perform, he had neck surgery, he’d been away for a year, he’s old, you name it, they were talking about it.  His stats were good, completing 19-of-26 passes (73.1 percent) for 253 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 129.2 passer rating during the 31–19 win over the Steelers..  A 71-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas was his 400th of his career, moving him to third place behind Dan Marino and Brett Favre.

It was a good night, back to normal and seriously…

Better than ever!

*Big Lead Sports article from March 20th, 2012

**Sports Illustrated article from April 13, 1998


Letting go…

Today was one of those weird days that was a combination of a less than desirable situation and really good company.  

I can’t really go into details and yes, it’s kind of rude for me to bring it up if I can’t really talk about it.  It’s not completely my story to tell so I feel it’s best to go gently but I will try really hard not to be completely vague about things.

So, first the situation, there was some physical household type activity involved it was dusty and dirty and free of air conditioning as well as yard work type of stuff on a humid 101 degree day.  It’s wasn’t super hard work but it wasn’t fun work either, although some of the yard work stuff was a a bit rough.  

And the company, I’ve been close to one of these people for many years but contact has been kind of spotty over time and only we have only reconnected in recent years.  The other person I had never really gotten a chance to get close to but in the last two years I’ve been pleasantly surprised.  

Yesterday, while we were working I was able to discuss some stuff that had been bugging me since my parents passed a few years ago.  It was nice to get it out and find out I wasn’t out of line or nuts for thinking some of the stuff.  

The best part was going to lunch after we were done working, Boo and Sully met us there.  We talked for quite a while and had a good time.  I am very grateful for that time and it seriously reaffirmed to me that families are who and what you make of them not only the DNA, blood or documents that say that you are.

Here is a great blog post about making your family, on the Lucy March blog A Year and Change.




No rest for the wicked…

It’s weird, I have had days that were worse and of course, days that have been better.  Tonight, I just feel worn out.

It could be some of my late night’s over the weekend coming back to haunt me.  One of those nights I was up until 4:00 in the morning because one of the old dogs wasn’t sure what it wanted to do.    The other nights though, I was up until 1:00 or 2:00, watching movies or reading.  Not writing though, which is said, but not part of what I am talking about tonight.  It was a holiday weekend and we wanted to have a nice weekend to catch up on movies and TV shows that we missed last year.

I am sure that most of it is a result of the late night over the weekend compounded by several short nights since then.  It doesn’t make it better knowing that but there you go.

Under the tired though is growing frustration, which is most likely fueled by the lack of sleep.  Regardless, I am frustrated and overwhelmed, and it sucks.  There’s so much to do and most of the time I just feel like I have no idea where to start.  There’s a ton of little things I could do but I’ve gotten to the point where I even struggle on which of those things I should I do first.  My house is a mess.  It’s not so far gone that if we got a call that someone was coming over in an hour that we couldn’t get it mostly presentable for our surprise guests.  That sort of cleaning though would essentially be what Faith refers to as ‘rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic’.  I just keep moving things from surface to surface not really finding a permanent place for anything.  It’s about to drive me batty.

The last three weeks have been mostly about getting Boo’s school stuff straightened out and being prepared for class.  Our third week is almost over and we seem to be falling into a pretty good routine.  This week I have been able to work on the crafty plans for the couch cushions while we watch TV.  It’s good that I am getting that part done but it’s not getting my house any cleaner.  

Well, in a way it would help because the new foam cushions are taking up space in the hallway.  Of course there are 52 other things in the hallway that need to be dealt with but who’s counting, right?  The problem with the hall is that I am in the middle of organizing stuff in the hobby/craft room.  It’s gotten to the point that the work I’ve done in there now involves two other rooms.  I am not ready to rip up another room (or two) so we have the stuff in limbo, hanging in the hallway.  

Ok, so here’s my plan…

Go to bed and get some sleep.  Then tomorrow I will try to tackle some small things and not worry about the other stuff.