Archive for September, 2008

I have to face it, it’s called, my bank account

So I have not spent any money but for gas money the last two weeks. I have been eating at our people’s houses or from the left overs from the dinners my mom bought for me over the weekend. But the time has come, I have to check my bank account and come to grips with the real world.

Although, today I talked to several people about becoming employed. They were all great chances and I think that I will like the work more than they pay, but at least I will be working.  I might have 4 jobs but I will be happy.

I am filled with dread. I know that tonight I will cry. Why did I decide that over a year ago I couldn’t cut it at work any longer? Well i really do the answer to that, but there is not enough space on this page to fill with the list of things that I have forgotten.

But the deal is I have to push on. I have to pick up and work hard so I can say that I do not regret leaving the steady income, the bonuses, the free trips, and the overwhelming stress. Nothing really funny tonight… That will have to wait.

You can’t tell me you two didn’t have fun, part one.

My friend today was talking to me about how much more expensive travel has gone up. Which reminded me of the time my sister and I went on our first real vacation. We went on the whole trip for less than 100 dollars a person, including gas. We were broke and had no money, but we did it. Although we didn’t eat much, we stayed on course and we got a really big adventure worth millions.

We headed out from our Tn home and started driving. Several hours later we got to Daytona, Fl. I had always wanted to go to the beach, so I was really excited. Now I have to interrupt my story, and I know that I just got started… My mom will say that she took us to the beach once before. This I foggily remember. I remember traveling in the car a long time and then us going by the beach and there was all this debris and we didn’t even get out. Then they had to change my brother’s diaper in the car (he was 2 and a half years younger than me so I could not have been that old). I also remember us going to a place that had the conch shells lined up. My dad told me that if you raised the shell to your ear that you would be able to hear the ocean. Well, I did and all I got was the ocean in my ear and down my shirt, and into my socks. It was full of water.  ugh… that kind of stuff always happened to me. So, I guess we went to the ocean, but there are no pictures (like always) and I had never been in salt water. So I would say that I have never been to the ocean. Back to the story.

I was super excited. I wanted to run and jump in the water but when we arrived it was dark. We did not have hotel reservations, because we thought that it would be easier to pick up some coupons at the state rest stops. I have to say my sister was a little crazy about having to stop at each one. And she was super excited that they gave out orange juice at Florida’s. (Georgia only gave out peanuts, and they weren’t even roasted.) The coupon that we found was for a nice hotel for $29.99 a night. Great! When we got there the guy at the desk was shocked and didn’t think that we could use it. The night before during the regular season they had charged $150.00 a night. But after he called his manager he gave us a room. We went up and collapsed. We were so tired.

The next morning I got up and ran to the window. The sun was coming up and it was wonderful. The beach looked so clean and neat. I put on my swimsuit all-the-while yelling at my sister to get up. She was a littlesurprised that I was up. I am not known for my early rising skills, now or ten years ago. She got up and we headed down. It was weird how when the waves returned to the ocean, the sand under your feet would move. It creep-ed me out and it took awhile to get used to that. I felt so strange yelping and picking my feet up in the surf.  No one else knew that this was my first time in the ocean, my sister was a little embarrassed. 

There was this moment that we saw some dolphins swimming in the waves and I thought that I could go swim to them. I gave out pretty soon, I was too chicken to go to far from the beach. When I got back to the shore I noticed that my sister was trying, casually, to get the attention of some other beach goers. She wanted them to see the dolphins but she didn’t want to be “weird” and just go up and tell them. (My mom has the way of going up to strangers and telling them all these awkward things, we try and not be like her in anyway possible. You would have to meet my mom to understand.) Looking back on it, we probably appeared to be crazy. After a good deal of fun in the sun, we had to get back to the room because we had to hit the road soon. Our trip was to continue on to Orlando and then Ft. Lauderdale for a cruise.

We went back to the room and my sister jumped into the shower while I called home to tell my crazy-but-mostly-in-the-fun-way Mom all about the fun. Then it was my turn. When I got out my sister was waiting for me by the door, the conversation went as follows:

Sister- Amy, did you do something to play a joke on me?

Me- No, what are you talking about?

Sister- This is not funny, I already called Jim and he didn’t do it.

Me- What, what are you talking about?

Sister- Go look at what fell out of my clothes when I went to pick them up.

I went with great caution, the tone in my sister’s voice was serious. She was creeped out. I looked beneath the table that the tv was on, where my sister had placed her luggage. She had a pile of neatly folded clothes on one side and then there IT was on the other…. It was a tiny blue sparkly man thong… EWWWWW. 

Me- EWWW, what are they? How did they get there?  ( I was not so calm. I had never even seen this kind of underwear, but it was plain to see what they were for…and immediately a picture of the guy that would wear them. Gross.)

Sister- I don’t know, I don’t know. ( Now she too was not so calm.)

What happened next, happened fast. We began having fits of laughing and screaming. Usually one of us was laughing at the other screaming. But all the while this was going on we were packing as fast as we could, while looking out for other surprises. At the same time, my sister’s husband called back and wanted to know what was going on and why she was asking about men’s underwear and my mom was calling trying to ask what was going on. We were so creeped out… It all came together when my sister remembered how wierd it was yesterday when we got into the room we noticed an envelope with a tip in it. We assumed that the maids just didn’t take it. I mean the rest of the room looked made up and clean! I tell you what… I don’t think that the guy at the desk saw any two girls move faster. I checked out and realized that the same guy was at the front desk. I almost told him about the unders, but left blushing…

We got back on the road and it made for a good conversation that morning. There would be a lull and then one of us would laugh and the other would know why and join. Then other times, one of us would shake our heads out of degust and the other would bust out laughing. We kept coming up with different theories of why we should not freak out about the stringy nasty thing…

Me- I mean the beds were made which means the sheets were most likely clean.

Sister- Well why didn’t the maids take the money.

Me- They might have missed it, I mean they missed the underwear too.

Sister- I can’t believe that I called JIm…

Me- Why would you think that they were his, wait I don’t want to know. ewww!

Sister- Oh, come on. I thought that it was a joke. Now he thinks that he needs to worry about what we are up too.

Me- Ha, hey when can we stop and get something to eat.

Sister- Let’s just wait til we get to Orlando.

Me- OK, I guess I can wait 4 hours…

The trip gets better but I think that I will wait and save that for another blog. Stay tuned

W.H. Murray

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely comments oneself, then Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “What ever you can do, or dream you can, begin it./ Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

W.H. Murray

I didn’t blow away during Ike

Well I have heard a lot about Ike and today I drove my mom down a street on the way to the airport. It was sad the way the buildings and the ships had merged into heaps of wood. The way the traffic seemed to behave, like they were driving in a funeral procession. It was weird and I told my mom that we had to stop. I felt bad driving through people’s pain…

I got home on Saturday morning at three am. It had been a long trip since I left for Hurricane Ike. Don’t ask when I left. I would have to piece that around others. I know who I talked to around the time and if I cared I would try and think back… Anyways, I left my house and did not pack anything. I really could not think of what I wanted in case my house either drowned or flew across the air in little pieces. I wanted my house to remain.

After my journey to San Antonio and my uneventful almost peaceful time there I can home to find everything in place. And I could not tell if by then if I wanted that to be the case. Nothing had happened… and right now I almost need something to happen, more on that later.

I left the next day, after cleaning out my fridge and getting a little bit of sleep. Why did I leave when I was one of the few people in Houston to have power? I am still wondering that. I left to go home to Tn. Since I do not have a job right now, and my school was going to be closed I decided that I should home to visit. I had just gone home in July, but it was not the best trip (I was in a bad mood, hey it happens when you are stuck in a car for 13 hours after a plane ride and a week entertaining a cute 7 year old neice) and I guess I wanted to prove to my family that they should still miss me. I wrote a blog about some of the trip but was to tired to edit so I haven’t posted it yet. My visit home was nice and I was able to a lot of nice things for the fam. I cooked and cleaned, well they miss me now.

Because I had to get home and my Mom wanted to, she made the trip with me. It was fine and nothing major happened. On saturday I went to a fabulous party of a four year old. I was excitied and made sure that I was going to home for it. I thought too, that it was a dress up party and that everyone would be dressed up. So I actual went to Target to get a cowboy hat, the great thing is I found one for 3 dollars. I knew that was going to be a good sign and besides me being late it was. I made an entrance and discovered that I was the most dressed up person besides the Birthday girl. But hey it was worth it, I had a wonderful time.

When I got home, I went to the mail box for the first time in I guess 2 and a half weeks. Guess what was waiting for me… oh why even act like you don’t know. It was bills. First my phone bill, and it was for $260. Then my electric bill $125 (which is high for me) and a note from my Homeowners saying rates were going up, then another saying I was past due on $70 of month to month ( I always pay it on time so I don’t know what’s up with that) then I got a letter that said the HOA insurance was not going to be totally covered and that they would be asking for a per unit expense thing that should be covered by your insurance if you have that coverage. ( which I didn’t know about til now Thank you, it would have only cost me $10 a year!). Then I opened another letter from Carmax that said last month’s car note was not paid. ( Double Damn, not only did I think that I had paid that, but that means that my bank account should be $400 lower than it was…and well its low enough.) As I was started sayng oh no louder and louder from the rest room, my mom eventually decided that she should check on me. “Amy, what it is?” You know, now that I think about it…I don’t think she cared. She knew it wasn’t going to be some illness, and she knew it was something that didn’t really effect her. How?…  I don’t know, aren’t all mom’s that way. Well she made me stop reading the mail and said that she would treat me to dinner. Ok, food makes things better.

But while I was sitting there starting to feel sorry for my have-no-job and should-be-looking-a-lot-harder butt, I realized that not only was there all the above, but that I was also fat.

On the road again…

I live in Houston and of course you all know by now that Ike made a huge impact. Well I went to San Antonio with a friend and stayed in her families nice new home. Too bad for us they did not even have cable Tv, so we could not watch the storm coverage.  However we were able to gather around the computers and piggyback off of the neighbor’s internet. When the storm had come and gone we headed back home. My condo did not have any damage, but some of my neighbors got a lot. I was very lucky. Since I found out that school would be closed for the rest of that week I decided to head to Tn to see my family.

I packed up and head back out of Houston as other rolled in. I felt guilty because I left my house while others had no power and wanted to go home. Also since there was not power everywhere the gas stations with power were running out. The gas shortage was a big deal and I thought that it would be a good idea to get some before I left. There is a station by my house that it seems that others forget about because it is off the main road. The line was actually not that bad. The station had thought ahead and had blocked one entrance there was one way in and only one way out. When I found out they had gas I called a couple of my friends and let them know. Then ten minutes passed and they ran out!  What, that made me more mad that I was only three cars away, I mean if only I had left before 11am. Lazy butt with now half a tank… I know what you are thinking if you had half a tank why were you worried about getting gas, but I think that was what I heard more horror stories about was not getting gas when you needed it. I just thought then that it would be easier to get gas along the journey out of town.

 I went up 59N and there was damage up almost the whole way, and the gas lines were long long long. It looked like the people who had the least of things to worry about were the ones who were lining up. I made to Little Rock by 8pm with no gas problems and went to stay with my great uncle. Very cool guy and he wined and dined me.

I got up the next morning and headed to Jackson, Tn where my grandparents live, both of my parents grew up there and their familes still live there. Actually I think that almost all of my family lives spread out among Tn, except me and my great uncle, that I mentioned before, and his family. I got to my Dad’s parents house and had what they would like to call “a good visit” the topic of converstation was of course the hurricane and the what had happened. I even brought out my camera with the pictures of all the damage by my place. Then after only two hours I had to leave to meet my Mom’s mother. We had to go to Cracker Barrel to meet up with her group of lady friends who call themselves the Golden Girls. While the name of the group is not orginal you can not say that about the ladies themselves. I felt bad about leaving my dad’s parents so early but they are really not talkers. When I talk to them on the phone the conversation is really only a few minutes. They are happy with a quick visit. I saw them for only a short time but you have to understand that for the longest time my grandmother has been doing the talking for the both of them. My grandfather has a hearing aid and since a long time ago the technology was not as grand as it is today, he had trouble with the ringing whenever he would talk on the phone or hug someone. So MamaSara does all the talking for the both of them, both in person and on the phone. Actually while on the phone when I ask DaddyThomas a question I have to ask her to ask him and then he will tell her and then she will tell me the answer… It’s strange but that is how it works around there. ( Side story one day I called thier house and MamaSara was on the cell phone talking to my cousin so he answered and he had no trouble talking and hearing me on the phone. In fact I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.)

I do want to tell you about my Mimi’s group of friends. Most of the women are widows and they all meet at the local CrackerBarrel for dinner. But they like to go at 4:30 to beat the crowds. I am afraid that if they went any earlier than they would meet the lunch goers. These women though, meet everyday. They have a standing meeting time, so there is no need for them to call each other and say wether or not they will show that day. Sometimes the group is small and sometimes the group reaches over 8. I have eaten with them once before and I get to hear about them when I talk to my grandmother on the phone. I have gotten to hear about the story “that one of them has gone to this special doctor. He actually sticks these needles in her face and she has lost like 20 pounds. Now, he also has her on this diet thing but she doesn’t have cravings or anything, but when she does have one all she has to do is rub her ear and they go away…” Well lets just say that I have heard the story a few times, but when it is your grandmother you play along. I have wanted to write a story for her about all the ladies and some of there advetures. I think that it would make the neatest book to start wih them all around the table and then each chapter be dedicated to what lead them there. They of course collectivly have had almost everything happen to them. From the depression, deaths, births, a loss of husbands- I think one women has lost three. There are too many stories to tell but these ladies have found that the meeting everyday gives them great joy. They know that someone will be there and if somehow they didn’t show for more than two days someone would miss them. My favorite lady is named Nancy. My grandmother introduced me and said “We went to school together since gradeschool, and graduated together.” Nancy response was “Yeah, but she’s older.” She had me laughing all thru dinner. Well her and the others. One thing that I picked up on was that whenever the ladies would refer to a group that they did not want to associate themselves with they would add the word THE in front of it. Like The Gays, The Blacks, The Mexicans… It reminds me of how much time has passed. None of my friends refer to people in groups in terms of race, orgin, etc… Of course that has been taught to us that doing so would be wrong and hateful, but these ladies don’t hate, it is just how they see the world. Strange how during their time money did not define who you were, it was more about your character then your income. I have to say that I am glad that I don’t see the world as “black or white” this is one reason why I LOVE leaving in houston. You can go to a Denny’s late at night and there be five groups there and five different languages being spoken. Well I am getting way of the subject.

After the cracker barrel dinner, see I really was way off the subject. Mimi and I went to visit my cousins and my new second cousin. I believe that is right. My cousin’s son, oh it doesn’t matter. We had fun, but I must say that most of my family is back woods country, but I like that about them too. After that Mimi and I went to her house and we got to laughing and having fun. I taught her how to send her first text message. I thought that it was cool that at 75 she was still into learning new things. Then I found out that she had not learned how to check her voicemail. She could not remember her pin. I guessed that it was the last four digits in her phone number and I was right. We started listening to them together and they started in Dec of last year. They were mostly from my mom but we came across one that was from her brother.  It was from Febuary, one of his childhood friends had died. Her reaction was “oh lousy, Fred has died” then she got “tickled” and we both couldn’t stop laughing. Not at the fact that he had died but that she was just finding out about it. After we deleted her 13 messages, I convinced her that she should record a outgoing message.  We talked about what she should say and I hit the # key, held it up to her and she froze. So we tried again this time she got out a few words and lost her train of thought. The more times we tried the funnier it got til I was laughing so hard that I got dizzy. We decided that it would be best if we used a generic one where she only said her name. That worked but it was still funny, after she says her name you can hear her givng the phone back to me saying “ok now stop it.”  I dont know if everyone has as much fun as I do with my grandmother, but they should.

The answering machine thing also reminds me of how funny MamaSara’s is. On theirs it has the whole.. You have reached Thomas and Sara and we are not right now… it is normal until the end when you hear her say. Now where is that button. Oh here it … and then it cuts off. Grandparents are so funny. I just wonder what the generation after the next generation will say about us.

I headed home the next day and my family was glad to see me. They had thought that I would be home the day before.  The whole time I thought that it was fun not having definte plans and that I would get there when I got there. Since arriving home I have made a couple of projects for myself to keep me busy. I have never been one to go way out of their way to find things but I have been this week. I cleaned out Lily’s (my niece) closet major undertaking, then painted her room, then the trim, which I hate, doors and windows. When I was done with that in two and a half days I did laundry and dishes and cooked dinner and cookies. I did a fair good amount, but forgot that my car needed to be washed and the oil changed. Now I am having to get ready to go home and I am worn out. I also have been sleeping on the couch because I had been sleeping in Lily’s room but since it is all cool she needs to be able to enjoy it. I couldn’t sleep there now. So I have been sleeping on the couch. It is leather and I dont even get a pillow.. I tell you what sometimes I get tired thinking about how wierd my family is. Can’t a girl get an airmattress. I wonder why I had no energy left.

My mom and I head for Tn on Thursday and I can’t wait to get home. I hope that crazy energy I had the other days stays with me. I would love to get my house in order. Well I better get to sleep, it is late and I have to get my car things done and meet someone for lunch then meet another friend by two, and then be home to cook dinner… Hummm why do I think that I need to brag about things when other people do real things like work.

Kickboxing for fatness, I mean fitness.

  Today was the first day of one of my college course. I only need three credits before I get my associates degree. Two of those will be Chemistry and the other is physical education. Because I was looking for a friday class at night I had two options camping and kickboxing. I love to camp but I need to get into shape, so I chose the kickboxing.

I went to class and I needed my day to get better…weird day, but I dont want to get into that right now. After a few minutes a looked around and noticed that I was out numbered in guys but under numbered in both pounds and age. Everyone in there was all athletic and pretty. At this point I was like great!!! just what I needed today.

  The teacher told us about the class and before I knew it, they were all talking about battles, ultimate fighting championship, and pulling out the mat. What!!!! I thought that this was going to be some sort of jump around kick in the air and work up a good sweat…but no, Gloves, Wraps, Hand breaking and Towels for the BLOOD was mentioned all in about two minutes. I had signed up for kickboxing, and not kickboxing for fitness (the aerobic kind).How do I get myself into these things. Why didn’t I sign up for smores! WHY?!

So, after we talked more about what we needed for class the teacher said “ok folks, let’s work up a little sweat.” Things were ok, and I was having some fun, until I got a side ache. That has never happened to me… I have vomited after doing some heavy workout but I didn’t like this. I was embarassed, am I going to be able to keep up? Did I mention that this was the first day and he was going easy on us. People I am scared.

Real scared, so I went home after he let us off early and went swimming. I have to get into shape. This class is not going to kill me. I have some pride. I will go and read up on my health thru the magazine that randomly showed up in my mail box! Yeah, thats right somehow the word has spread that I am fat all the way to where-ever they publish the thing. And I will watch what I eat…(I know what you are all thinking- that joke about, yea watch it as it goes into my mouth) I am serious this time.

Mainly because next week..is..measurement week..dundun dunnn. Something to look forward to. HA!!

Thank goodness for Handicap Rails

This is a story from my normal rotation. It is from a work trip to LA.  I was able to tell it to the ladies at dinner on Wednesday night.  We were all laughing and having a great time, so the timing could have been what offset the humor of the story.  Someone asked Norma, my room mate for the training, how crazy was it to room with me.  She said fine…I  interrupted and said how well I had been behaving all week. (And really I was trying to calm it down for her, she was quiet).  She agreed, but then said that she would rather not room with someone who laughs at themselves while in the bathroom.  Of course this brought out a couple of giggles and some questioning faces. So anyone who knows me knows that I have to defend my character and explain… 

It started because on Monday night when we got to the hotel, they said that they did not have any rooms with two bed left.  We had just met each other and were very tired.  We did not want to share a bed, that night or actually any nights for that matter. So we said that would not work and after a lot of typing he found a room on “floor 2”.  Thats what he kept sayng “floor 2”, “floor 2” and kept asking if that was ok. How I am supost to know, he is the one that works there. So, we in return would ask why, what was special about floor 2?“.  After too many exchanges on this matter he finally told us that floor 2 was the Smoking Floor.  So we had a decision to make, smoking room or a pull out bed. 

We said that we would try the smoking floor…We get off the elevator and enter the thick smell of set-in tobacco smoke.  Me, being the optimist, said “We should go into the room first it will be better.”…I mean he did say that they clean the room very well after each guest…. Well we open the door and I was surprised that the room itself was not filled with smoke. As I entered the room I wasn’t sure if I needed to get on my hands and knees and calmly seek the nearest unblocked exit. People, it was pretty bad.  So we hadn’t even set our bags down when Norma started to sneeze.  I then said “Well this isnt going to work, I’m patient we’ll get this changed.” 

So down the stairs we went and to my great relief there was another at the counter.  She looked like she just might be able to help.  So Norma went to call her hubby and watched from afar.  I told the lady what had happened.  She, after typing for an exgaurated time period, said that there was a Handicap room on the third floor, and asked “Is that was alright?”  Again, how I am to know if that would be alright. Is that some sort of training response, like when you say “Thank You” at Chick fil a they have to say “My Pleasure”. I figured it would be alright, but asked her what was the difference.  She said that there were only a few differences but mainly there were more rails and some assistant items to assit the disabled.  I took it, that was easy. But while she was typing and doing what she had to do, I was still talking and moving my arms around. Of course, I wanted Norma to think that I was working hard to get us an upgrade. 

Well, we journeyed to our new room and I was a little worried, remember at this point I didnt know what training was going to be like and would have rather been at home.  Some of you know me and how my mind can get carried away.  I had envisioned the room and had the idea that the beds were the ones that tilt to meet you. That the walls would be covered by bars and everything would be lowered. 

The door opened and I cautiously walked in to find that it was normal.  Where were the wheel chair tracks?  OH and the smell, heavenly. Well as good as a hotel room can smell.  The only place that you could tell that the room was for the handicapped was in the bathroom. All along the walls and the bathtubs there were ton of rails and handlebars. It was crazy how many different angles and different placements these bars were.

Now at this point you may be wondering what the point of this story was or is.  Calm down I am getting there. Ok, so the room was nice and great. We had many laughs about the room mixups and I even made Norma go outside and ring the special doorbell so I would know what it did. If you are curious then I will let you know… the lights flashes and the ring was more of a pulsing tone.

Nothing special had happened until Wendesday morning when I was taking a shower.  As I went to get out I slipped,  time slowed down, but my mind raced…I just knew that I would be lying on the ground, dripping, naked-as-a-jaybird and unconscious. But in the moment I reached out and what did I find… You guessed it…   Handicap Rails!  I would have fallen if it weren’t for those beautiful handles that were in perfect spot.  As I grabbed the bar I thought  “Thank goodness for handicap rails”. And the truth is if it wasn’t for those rails, then I myself might have become handicapped!!!  As these thoughts went through my head, I found the humor and started laughing.  But I thought no more of this til later that night, when in front of everyone, my roommate calls me out!! She never said anything that morning. Why would someone so sweet do that to me?

That is one of my favorite travel stories but I have more where that came from. Including one from the same trip. It’s called Zig and Zag. Keep a look out. Who but me names their own stories?!

For the love of my Craft!

So I have been making ornaments for almost a year. I grow so attached to them that I do not want to sell them. But as of late I haven’t ad to part with any because I haven’t sold any. I would love to be able to at least get some income from them but I guess that might not happen.

So please if you want to let me know what you think about them… and then let me know what I could do to make them more likely to be purchased that would be great!!!

www.a0m0y7.etsy.com