Monday, February 22, 2010

Grey Monday...

It's grey and gloomy out, and I am at loose ends today.  It's partially having too much on my plate and not knowing where to start.  I have postings due today that I MUST get on, but I cannot seem to make myself start them.  Instead, I have finished a novel I was reading, I have started laundry, I bounced the dogs in and out...  I am procrastinating because I just don't know where to start in diving in to the writing.  I think part of it is I am scared--scared of failure, scared of not knowing my stuff (which is silly, because I know it inside and out); scared of not being able to distill it down into it's essence or tell it in my own (professional) voice.  I have paralyzed myself all of a sudden, and it sucks!  I tell myself to do it piece by piece--I know the drill, but I keep backing away like I do when I am told I need to dive into the deep end of the pool--I freeze up and cannot do it!  I think that is why I am blogging at the moment--to work my way through the fear so I can start.  Yesterday I sat with the laptop on my lap, my papers around me, my notes all in front of me, and I froze.  Couldn't do it.  It doesn't feel much better today, except that I have a deadline today of midnight tonight.  I have to do it.  I just feel like I have missing pieces still, things I wish I had concretely in front of me (like physical copies of the questionaires I propose using in my project).  I realize I don't NEED them, I can trust my judgment, but I get caught up in the mintuae of the details.  I am a perfectionist.

Stress is taking it's toll: I have a cold sore/canker sore on my bottom lip and it is swollen like I have been punched.  My nerves are also frayed: Aurora's cat is in heat and I am frustrated with the yowling; the dogs got into the trash last night and strewed things everywhere (KFC boxes and bones, hamburger trays, and other assorted food scraps...); Po is not respecting the gate at the bottom of the stairs and keeps sneaking his way up here...  (I made the executive decision that Midnight once again should be the only dog allowed up here because Po was being destructive in his peeing in the loft especially, probably to counter some of midnight's "sprinkles" due to age...)  Eric is headed back into "mids" as of tonight, and he had class this morning.  He too has homework to complete, and has been stressed about it.  He will need to come home and sleep for a bit when he gets here, then ready for his shift tonight.  

Brie was supposed to start classes today online, but her "stuff didn't go through" and "hopefully she can start in a class that begins next month before her birthday..."  She rolled out of her room around noon, and now is on the computer here in my room.  No word on the job front either.  She just doesn't seem to be terribly motivated to do anything.  She did check about getting medical insurance through the guard for her and the baby (thanks for the suggestion Andrea) and that is an option that IS available to her, for about the price of  her weekend drill pay.  I am encouraging her to get on it ASAP because these all take time to process and she is running out of time on our insurance.

Rei went with the school to Kansas City for the weekend as part of the floor crew and he had a nice time.  It was great to see him involved in something school-related.  I checked on his grades and he is doing okay--two classes need to come up some, but he actually has some A's and B's as well.  Patrick really needs to focus harder on school again; his grades are struggling, and he's been pretty heavily focused on his friend's and hanging out when he isn't at work.  Aurora is headed into the cross country season so she went out with Eric yesterday and got some warmer running gear (it's chilly and rainy here of late).  She starts running today I guess.  

Anyhow, that's what is new around here.  I had hoped writing would help give me some clarity, but of course, Eric called to chat as I was writing this out, so my thoughts are scattering like mercury.  I think when Eric gets home I will take the van, run to the library, and maybe go grab a latte somewhere; I have cabin fever something fierce on top of everything else, and it's not helping that we are still down to one vehicle between Eric and I (the pilot is still at the dealership) so I have to juggle my outings accordingly, based on who needs the van.  Perhaps getting out of the house for a bit will refresh my perspective on things! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just an update:

Brie had her appointment today and we have a due date now: August 20th.  She needs to call and make an appointment for an ultrasound in the next few days to double check measurements, and the date will be adjusted accordingly if need be.  Everything looked good and on track, and we heard the baby's heartbeat, strong, rapid and very vibrant at 160 beats per minute.  She has been told she should gain between 25 and 35 pounds because she is is in good shape and good health, and has been encouraged to remain active for as long as possible.  The bloodwork was all within the normal ranges, so they are not terribly concerned about the sugar in her urine, but she will have an early glucose tolerance test (usually done at 28 weeks) to double check it, with a follow up at 28 weeks.  She is thought to be 13.5 weeks along.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be there with her today and support her, and hearing the heartbeat really validates that this is REAL!  Now to get her enrolled and started in school so she can remain on our insurance....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Something a little different today:

My sister sent this to me, and it really hit home with me, as one of my classmates just lost her husband the day before Valentine's day.  It truly does make one stop and think about just what IS important in life, and how we need to be treating each other.  So I am posting this here, because those of you who read this are very precious to me, and I want to say thank you for "being here" with us as we walk these roads of life together.  I love you all!

TOMORROW is NEVER Promised...

One day a woman's husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't "anymore". No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just one minute." Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye, say "I love you."

So while we have it, it's best we love it, care for it, fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick. This is true for marriage.....And old cars... And children with bad report cards, and dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep -- like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce. There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what.

Life is important, like people we know who are special.. And so, we keep them close!

I received this from someone who thought I was a 'keeper'! Then I sent it to the people I think of in the same way... Now it's your turn to send this to all those people who are "keepers" in your life, including the person who sent it, if you feel that way. Suppose one morning you never wake up, do all your friends know you love them?

I was thinking...I could die today, tomorrow or next week, and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that needed rekindling or three words needing to be said.

Let every one of your friends know you love them. Even if you think they don't love you back, you would be amazed at what those three little words and a smile J can do. And just in case I'm gone tomorrow….


Live today because tomorrow is not promised.

I am not sure who wrote this, and I have seen it around in a few different forms, but today it had meaning for me. 

Liisa is in Virginia this week, visiting a "childhood" friend--Jesse B.  He is an air force officer, stationed in VA for the time being, but we have known him since she was 12 or 13, when he was our next door neighbor ("Bernie")'s grandson.  He had been visiting with his dad, and was sitting on the stoop by her back door, watching with interest and longing as the kids all played at my house in the back yard.  Liisa invited him over to meet everyone and see the kittens that had been born under my bed on the 4th of July, and a beautiful long-distance friendship developed.  Jesse recently had some heartache: his dad was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, and has moved back to Minneapolis to be by family (his mom and brother); and Liisa of course, is still trying to figure out where she is at now that her and Jesse C. are no longer a couple.  So they are spending some time together, supporting each other, and it is so neat to see.  Their friendship has lasted for at least 12 years (and I am thinking closer to 13), and they have always stayed in touch with each other.  That has been the story of their friendship--they have been there for each other through thick and thin. (For those of you who remember, she flew to Seattle for his senior prom, and she flew to Colorado Springs for his Ring Dance at the air force academy; each time he was between girlfriends and she too was single, so she went with him to those events).  Good friends are a blessing!

Brie has to run back to the lab today for a follow up--she had some sugar in her urine, so they want to do a few more tests before her appointment tomorrow.  I am off, so I will go with her to the clinic.  Eric had a mishap in the pilot on Sunday night coming home in the bad weather.  He was turning onto the entrance ramp and the car slid into a curb, hitting it hard enough that it knocked the alignment out.  We took it in to the dealership yesterday and they said that he did more than knock the alignment out--the tire itself was ONLY attached to the vehicle by a cotter pin...  Wow.  He drove home 30 miles, on the freeway on that, AND he drove the freeway to get it to the dealership (with me following in the van).  The mechanic said he wouldn't allow us to take it to drive on and suggested we contact our insurance company; we did so and they are sending an adjuster out to look at it today.  Man!  Always something!  We did complete the paperwork to get the house refinanced yesterday as well, and that is a relief.  If everything goes as it appears to, we should be halving our interest rate and that will be wonderful! Every bit of savings helps!

Rei got to take his girlfriend to the movies yesterday for a belated Valentine's date; I had pulled the plug on driving them Sunday because of the weather, but then her parents said they would drive.  Once they got on the road though, they too changed their minds, so they had to postpone their date til yesterday.  Her parents dropped the kids off and I picked them up from the theater.  They saw the movie "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief" (I may have the title wrong--close, but wrong).  Rei said it was amazing!  He loves Greek mythology (had been a hard-core Hercules and Zena fan) and found the moving fascinating.  Looked good in the previews I have seen.

Looking at the time, I think I need to get moving on stuff.  For whatever reason I am in a chatty mood today!  Oh, I talked to the grandbabies yesterday on the phone (Tony and Andrea too for that matter--they are all doing fine) and Justin told me I needed to come and stay at his house for "Fifteen days!" Wow.  And Alexis told me "I need you Gramma Reina.  I need you to come to my house!"  I told her I missed her too.  I have to make a trip home soon--haven't been there since October!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Today is Valentine's Day

Happy birthday to two dear friends, Sunny, and Ron.  You both are in my thoughts today and I hope you have wonderful birthdays!

Eric and I are not doing anything for the holiday (unless he has something in mind I am unaware of) as we are both working today, he until 6 and me until 8.  It really doesn't bother me though, as for us, Valentine's day sentiments are an everyday thing.  I was reflecting on the fact that we have been married for a year and a half now, and we are still so very content with each other.  The "honeymoon" is still going fairly strong.  Not that we don't have our moments of frustration with each other, or with the kids--this is real life after all--but we are in it together, for the long haul, and because of that we can deal with things as they come up.  We each have our own unique strengths and attributes that complement the other, and between us we make a fairly solid team.  We are both very pleased with how our families have blended too, and we smile when the kids come to us individually from each other's family for support, encouragement, or advice.  It is such a good feeling to see things blending and swirling together, like a parfait or a fancy dessert rather than a muddy mess--so that the individual strands complement and enhance the other.

Happy Valentine's day my love!  I am so grateful to have you in my life!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A normal Saturday around here.

This is just a quick note as I am trying to get ready for work.  We have snow forecasted for tonight and tomorrow.  The kids (well, Aurora and Rei; Patrick spent the night at a friend's house) had bowling this morning, and then there were chores to accomplish...

Eric said his interview seemed to go well, and we should hear something in the near future.  Now we just need to get back on track with homework and household stuff.  Brie has a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, after which we should have better info on things like a due date and so forth.  Things are status quo with her.  The kids are otherwise doing fine. 

I sure would love a simple day home with no obligations and no priorities...  I miss it!  But the clock is ticking and I have to head out shortly.  We were up way too late last night watching the Olympic ceremonies, and I have it on in the background as I do my thing.  I wish they would show more of the events and less of the interviews.  I hate talking heads...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I have been boycotting the computer the last few days...

because Liisa has been in town.  I worked Sunday during the super bowl (which I was also boycotting anyway, /grin) and came home to find she had made excellant time getting here--was here in just under 10 hours, even driving the "long way" and taking multiple breaks with the pupkins!  We ate pizza and watched tv on Sunday night (anyone else enjoy "Undercover Boss"?  We sure did!).  Then it was a fairly early night to bed.  Eric had his long week this week, so was up at 4 most mornings to be to work by 6 am...

Monday Liisa, Brie, and I went to the BX to get a few necessities; next we went to the commisary and we restocked the pantry.  Then Liisa and I ran to Kohls where she got some clothes and I got a new bread machine (my old one was about 12-15 years old and no longer works).  We also did the pedicure thing and got our eyebrows waxed.  Mine hadn't been done since October, and the little Asian lady who took care of me shook her head in dismay, clucked her tongue and said repeatedly "too much hair! Too much hair".  When she was finished she chuckled at me and said "so much better now!  You come back and see us soon!"  It is definitely better now!  We were under winter weather advisories all day Monday and Tuesday and Liisa just laughed at how panicked everyone was over a measly 3-5 inches of forecasted snow.  We came home, made enchiladas for dinner, and drank margaritas, along with watching some tv and visiting.

Tuesday morning the kids were quite disappointed that school had NOT been cancelled, so off they went.  I had to work, so Liisa drove me to Joann's and dropped me off.  Work was slow (primarily because of the weather), and I had a class to teach after my shift at the cutting table, so Liisa came back to attend my class and pick me up.  She audited my class, and she shopped, and we had lots of fun.  Tuesday night we made a simple meal of Chicken, Rice, Corn, and Homemade Bread!  The kids were enamored with the bread, and I was thrilled to have a functional bread machine.  Now to figure out what I am doing wrong as the crown rises, but then falls again.  Hmmmm.  Liisa had bought a bunch of embroidery/craft floss and the kids all made bracelets in the livingroom as we ate dinner, then watched tv as a family. Liisa then went out with Cliff for awhile to see his new apartment and just visit while the rest of us went to bed.

Wednesday, Liisa and I ran to the mall (in all her visits down here this was her first time at our "little" mall--compared to MOA anything is second rate, heeheehee).  We stocked up on a couple of NEEDS, and ended up leaving fast before spending more money (I got Rei some much needed jeans, on clearance, I got Eric a new winter coat--he had thrown his 25+year old one away cuz it was just too small), and Liisa and I got matching sweatshirts (also on clearance). We swung by Jackman's to look at embroidery pattern kits for my machine (we didn't buy any), then came home and embroidered!  Liisa had a huge pile of things she wanted to personalize and we spent the afternoon doing that.  I made an Italian herb loaf of bread and Lasagna for dinner (I made a point of making some of Liisa's favorite meals while she was here), then Brie dropped us at the bowling alley where we hung out with Eric and drank some beer.  After getting home, Liisa went out to shoot pool with Cliff and some of his friends, while the rest of us went to bed, and this morning she and I loaded up her truck and she headed for home at 10 am. 

Eric too had to be out the door this morning, despite it being his "day off": he had a job interview at 10 for a supervisor position at the hospital.  He was dressed in his uniform to the nines--polished boots, and even a tie!  I am eagerly awaiting hearing from him how it went.  Now it's time to get back on track with life--catching up on homework and farmville harvesting, reading emails, cleaning my room...  Reimond may be going to Nashville TN this weekend on a school outing.  His friends are part of the honor guard/drill team at school and he was asked by the supervisor if he would be willing to travel with them as a part of their "floor crew"--setting up the tarp they perform on before their performance, then rolling it back up after they are done.  He said he would be interested in helping, so he's getting the info from the school today--they are planning to leave at 1:30 tomorrow afternoon (thus missing 7th hour).  I am thrilled with the idea of his participating in school functions and seeing as he has a couple of friends who participate, it should be fun for all of them!

Not much else to say on the home front.  Things are pretty status quo.  Aurora didn't bowl as well as she had hoped in sectionals, and the team took 4th place.  Only one girl conditionally qualified for the state tournament individually, dependent on numbers.  Aurora came home and went straight to bed for a few hours.  She was quite disappointed.  She'll be a senior next year, and we pointed out to her, this year they had a new coach, they were a really "young" team (they graduated most of their team members last year and had 3 that were experienced at the start of this season).  They did well!

Anyhow, it was a wonderful week with Liisa here, and I am sad to see her go.  The dogs all got along for the most part, although it was chaotic to have 5 of them here (and six or seven when Ryan brought over a puppy or two from his house).  It'll be nice to have things settle down some and get back to normal, but I am gonna miss my girl.  We laughed, we chatted, and it was so nice to have her here by me.  Now, I guess I need to get my stuff going to get back on track with homework etc.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Feeling a little stressed out...

So today is sectionals for girl's bowling, and rather than being at the bowling alley, I am home with a few things on my agenda.  I realized in reviewing my calendar that I have to have the rough draft of my intro and literature review written and posted for monday, then I have my assignments due on Tuesday; I have some catching up to do that I hadn't realized were due (hadn't looked ahead at the posted Feb. calendar online for the class).  We are also still in the process of getting the house ready for Liisa and the puppies to come, and I am frustrated to say that the main floor carpets still are not done.  Eric started them, but ran out of steam (apparently) and didn't get them finished.  He has promised to finish them tonight.  I just had hoped they would have more time to dry than they are going to have.

My goal for today is to finish up on the marathon laundry we have left (Aurora cleaned the loft and did an amazing job), which includes lots of bedding (not sure where all of that came from!), getting the rough draft at least in rough form, and finishing up on cleaning the kitchen.  Liis won't be here til tomorrow late afternoon/early evening, but I work tomorrow from 3 to 8 pm so I have to budget my time accordingly.  We have had some snow (maybe an inch-inch and a half) and the roads aren't bad.  Apparently we are supposed to get more on Monday.  Part of my thoughts are with Aurora at the bowling alley--she has worked so hard this season and I hope she does well.  Brie and Eric are there with her.  Patrick spent the night at a friend's last night, and is supposed to be home around 11 to help me with chores, and Rei is here helping until he needs to take off to go to a school-related "guard" event (the flag guard from school) that his friends are on the team for.  Busy day, all the way around!

Ok, time to get moving onto plan A...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Just a quick note...

This is just a quick update to say we are doing fine here. Just been really busy between getting ready for Liisa's visit this weekend, getting Aurora ready for sectionals (bowling) which take place this Saturday at our bowling alley on base (the girl's team is the conference champions!), working, and school stuff.  We had been hearing threats of bad weather for days, but we ended up with just rain (perhaps a little snow later today/tonight) but nothing that will hamper Liisa coming down that we know of.

I went to my first Embroidery club meeting yesterday and it was very interesting and informative, however I was definitely in the minority--I think I was the youngest person there! (at least one of the youngest).  I felt guilty going in some regards because I had/have so much to do, but it was really nice to go, the ladies were friendly, and I will plan to go again next month.  I also got a lovely surprise from the kids last night.  I had put a pot roast in the crockpot early in the day, and was getting frustrated that every time I got settled into my homework I needed to drive one or another of the kids somewhere (pickups/drop-offs) and had vented to Rei and Aurora about it; when I got my homework done (finally) and went down to finish putting dinner together (peel potatoes, etc) I saw that the table had been cleared and set!  We had a sit-down family dinner, with everyone together, and it was very nice!  It was Reimond's idea, and Aurora helped him, and it made me smile.

Okay, time to finish checking my emails, then on to chores.