Wednesday, February 25, 2009

the genius of Facebook....

One of my best friends lives in New York City. She talked me into making a page on MySpace years ago. It was a way for us to share information and keep in touch. And then more recently, she talked me again into signing onto Facebook.

I was reluctant at first. Very reluctant. When first online with Facebook, they have SOOOO much information that you can fill in about yourself; all your interests, all your contact information, all the schools or jobs you've ever been associated with. It seemed so invasive....the whole concept of having all this personal information about myself out there really bothered me. In this day and age where every third commercial is about identity theft and computer hacking putting that pertinent information about myself in one venue? How much do I really want people to know? But I succumbed and signed up....but not with much on the page. I wanted to somehow be there, but remain anonymous. I didn't get the point of it. I didn't understand why you would want or possibly need it.

Then I noticed when I would visit the site I would always see at least 3 of my friends almost always online. I stayed the status quo for awhile...kind of watching, to make sure things were safe. And then allowed snippets of more personal information to post. Pictures of myself or my daughter...things that people that I know might want to know to 'catch up'. I am now able to keep in touch in more real time with the exchange student from the Czech Republic that had lived next door for a year. I can also check up on Calamity Kel in her first year down at OU. I can see pictures of friends that used to live in my rental property and find out what's going on in their world. I would view photos or videos of my New York buddy on the subway....which was fun. I was enjoying this semi-voyeuristic view into others lives and connecting with people through this venue.

So I got a little bolder. I put more information up. I started using the 'friend finder'. The other night I searched for a few people from my past that I haven't heard from or thought about in a long time. That is when I truly understood the beauty of Facebook.

There's a girl that used to be part of my 'posse' here in Cleveland that had moved out of town. I have, for the most part, lost contact with her with exception to a Christmas card here or there. She's a newbie on the site, befriended me and had posted a comment the other day on someones wall. She said Facebook was "like a grade school and high school reunion". I was nodding my head as I read it and thought that must be totally hating the Facebook phenomena. Why would you possibly buy a subscription to Classmates when you can find the same people for free? And for that matter...why continue your MySpace page when there is Facebook? Even my ex-husband said that eventually Facebook may really limit regular e-mail....everyone will be connected through that interface instead.

One thing that I hate though is all the invites that I get. At the end of each of the quizzes or questionnaires there is always something for you to accept the terms....and that scares me. There is a point where to continue you must agree to share your profile information and your friends in order for "it to work". Who's collecting that information? Maybe that's why I have been getting so many spam mailings as of late. It's rather frightening. So just in case you are one of my friends on Facebook: note to self, don't send Nancy those invites....I'm not going to answer or do them.

The other night when online I did a search for one of my best friends in high school. I'm not sure why I even did the search. I hadn't thought of these guys in years. Over the years we just 'lost touch' people do. He was one of the "Happy Bunch". His dad dubbed us that. And that's exactly what we were! The Happy Bunch. We were inseparable. I have difficulty finding a memory that didn't involve one or all of us during our high school years. What a joy. How damn amazing. It brought flooding back memories buried for over 20 years. I'm hopeful that the other two members of the Happy Bunch might someday sign onto the madness as well and we can have ourselves a reunion of sorts....but in the meantime I like to share daily quips with my friend and relive the grand years of our youth. The funny thing is that when I did the search for his name, he had only been a member of Facebook for a whole 12 hours. THAT is Kismet.

I now find myself signing on Facebook with more regularity than I ever had before. It's a strange way to keep up to date with people that you know. I've befriended an old boyfriend that now lives in Florida, the Bug King in Cincinnati, several old friends from my high school years. I have since brought my yearbooks home from my parents house...there people that I have to look up their pictures to remember who they are. The names are familiar but I need that photo to give me the "Aha!" and then it all comes rushing back. It might be a side effect of leaving town at 17 never to live there might just be filling up that space with other things over the years that I've deemed more important. I saw that one of my friends on Facebook had listed as a Network their grade school. That is going a little too far back in the time machine for me....ain't gonna do that. Next thing I'll be putting on as a Network my pre-school. Hmmm. Nope. I don't think I even WANT to remember that far back. I've lost alot of those pages in my memory book over the years.

But the technology of Facebook is pretty intriguing. I don't get quite all of it and why we would even want to send Gaelic wishes, a movie request or drinking request online. Why would I want to become a fan of the Cav's or Put-in-Bay on Facebook...some of those things I guess I don't understand.

I have another friend that wanted me to sign up and join the Twitter network. I did, but don't get that at all. Why in God's name would someone want to follow me and find out what I'm doing all the time. Why would I want to post via my mobile where I'm going all the time. Who cares? And why would I want to follow what OTHER people are doing instantaneously as well.....that will have to wait. I can only multitask so much. AND it freaked me out. I canceled my membership into that weird world. And my MySpace page instructs you to go to Facebook or my web site.

So much little time. Yikes.
Gotta go. It's getting late and I need to update my Facebook status....


Saturday, February 21, 2009


I try to always be on time.

I wasn't always this way. I used to be more carefree, more spontaneous. Time...the measurement of time, didn't matter all that much to me. I could take it or leave it. I was on my own schedule.....

And then it changed. I can't quite pinpoint the time when I started to pay attention to the time. How long it takes, what time it is, where I have to be and when, why is my lunch date late......

I own three watches. I have 3 wall clocks. Not to mention the large display on my phone and in my car. ALL are synced together. Not a single one is even one minute faster than the other. I correct people when they quote the time.

It's 12:53...I'll be there in 10 minutes."
"No. It's 12:57."
"My clock says 12:53...."
"YOUR clock is wrong."

Trust me. I know these things. (...and I'm thinking to myself, "You're not going to be here in 10 minutes. It isn't physically possible. Unless, of course, you've traded in your car for a Lamborghini and have a police escort.)

My ex-husband was driving my daughter to school the other morning. They always call on the way to school when she spends the night with him on school days. When the phone rang, I looked at the clock even before I answered. I saw that they were running late. 8:10 she has to be in class or it's a tardy. It was 8:06.

"You're running late!"
"It'll be okay...we're almost there."
"You'll have to drop her off back...she's going to need to stop in the office to get a late pass."
"It'll be OKAY....we're almost there!"

Which, I knew, they weren't. They were just getting on Lake Road, which means that they are 2.6 miles from the school. Which also means that they can't possibly travel to the school and allow for walking time/locker time/coat time to get to the classroom by 8:10. Let it inner voice is telling me. It's not that big of a deal. So she's late? So what.

It stresses me out is what.

I called back. 3 times because he wouldn't answer the phone. "Make sure to drop her off out back!", I left as a message. I kept thinking, "They lock the front doors at 8:15 and then SHE'D get stressed out because there is no easy way to get to the back of the building." If she got locked out of the front doors that would eat up another 8 minutes of time, easy.

Let it go. I need to make that my mantra. I need to hear it in my head ALL the time.

"Letitgo, letitgo, letitgo, letitgo, letitgo......"

Fact is, my new-most-favoritist-song-ever has the "Let it Go, Let it Go" in the chorus line. Maybe that's one of the reasons it's my favorite song.

Those of you who know me have heard this story many a time. But it's worth repeating. My dad once said, "Time is your most valuable commodity." I never thought much about that statement. But as I get older when time has become such an issue for makes sense. Perfect sense. I had no idea my dad was that much of a genius. I realize that now.

I could use 48 hours for each day in order to get my "To Do" list done. Actually, modify that...62 hours would be about perfect. But I would need at least 8 of those 5 hour boost drinks to help me through the day. There have been days that I'm SO overloaded with things to do and not enough time to accomplish them....I let time stand still. I do nothing. It's bliss.

But back to my attention to time. My lunch date is late. 24 minutes late to be exact.

It's allowed me enough time to reflect on the time, many times over and write this blog.....
Ah, the wonder of technology. That could be considered using my time wisely. Or depending on the viewpoint, maybe not......


Thursday, February 19, 2009

lessons in responsibility....

Funny this responsibility thing....

My daughter has gotten a few life lessons packed into one week in her 10 year old life recently. She asked me through her tears, "How do you do it?" Boy, if I had answered her question honestly...she might still be hiding under the covers never to see the light of day again.

The first came with her ski club. Thank you God (and AT & T) for her cell phone.

"Mom!...I can't find any of the other kids!"
"Are you in the main building?...okay, face towards the women's bathroom and go all the way to the left to the end of the building....", I replied.
"But, that's the cafeteria!!!"
"No...walk AWAY from the french fries to the other end of the building...."

This began our virtual tour of the rental area where she was able to find her posse. They got separated because my daughter has her own equipment, thanks to Santa and her father. We had actually had a long discussion about responsibility, taking care of your belongings and where to store everything while she was there. Normally when we go skiing, either her father or I take care of the 'stuff'. This was her first time...alone. I had mentioned to the chaperons that she would be by herself this time (recent visits with ski club either her dad, myself or both had driven down just to make sure....). But they have so many other things to worry about with 2 full tour buses of kids from the school...watching out for Boo's stuff isn't high on the priority list.

So she found her friends and had a great night skiing. Loaded with $20.00, I'm sure that they had enough hot chocolate and french fries to last them for awhile. She called when on her way home to tell me about the night. Right before they were to arrive back at school, she called and in tears this time...

"Mom?....don't be mad. I forgot my skis...."
"What? I thought we talked about this!!"
"I know...I just....forgot."

What are you going to do? They've already been left. She feels pretty bad about it. Beat her up more about the responsibility thing? Punish her? She's a pretty sensitive kid....she'll beat herself up plenty on her own. And in her defense, hell...I have a hard time keeping track of my own gear while out on the slopes. Can you imagine a 10 year old? She's even got the helmet to worry about as well! But I'm NOT buying another pair of least she managed to bring her boots and helmet back. Those are more important.

Two days later, she left the door open on her hamster cage. Butterscotch was missing. Again, the responsibility talk...this time with "live animal your job cats dogs waiting to eat it" talk added in. Now that it's not an inanimate object but a real, live, breathing thing. She realizes that the other animals in the house could/will/and probably have already eaten this poor furry thing has brought my daughter to tears large enough to fill a pitcher in a matter of moments.

Now the good news on both of these incidents is that we were able to find the hamster (darn thing practically RAN towards us to get food) and the skis that had gone missing have miraculously reappeared after we filed a police report. Go figure.

My daughters response? "I prayed on it mommy and look what happened!" Wow...and she's been at Catholic School now for only 6 months. Maybe I should place more faith in the prayer chain....

Maybe I could find that diamond earring I lost or that one Burberry shoe that went 'poof'! Maybe that bundle of fifties that I keep looking for might show itself as well.

Ah, if only I could only be so lucky....
I guess I'll just keep looking.


FYI....the hamsters have gone missing, again. Yikes. Still have the skis.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

happy little trees

I had my boyfriend; correction. EX-boyfriend, read some of my early writing.

"It's good. Keep it up."

I wanted his approval. It felt good to hear his compliment. He didn't give them that often. He never gave compliments on how you looked, what you were wearing, anything really. Sometimes he would comment on my cooking. "That tastes good", or "somethings smells delicious". But that was about it. He thought food was just to feed the's nothing special. Nice restaurants? Forget it. They make him uncomfortable. Find him a space at the bar that serves decent food, has a TV and he's good. Which is fine, don't get me wrong...but sometimes a girl likes to go someplace other than the local pub that serves wings.

He's been giving compliments as of late...I'm not sure if he really means them or not, but they are nice to hear. Maybe he's read something that says, "give compliments...sure way to make her happy". We watched a movie the other night, Eagle Eye with Shia LeBeouf, and he was playing cards with his friends in the beginning. He was giving his one friend advice with this girl the guy liked. "Take her someplace nice, with Red Lobster or Olive Garden...and I guarantee you'll get a" I need to complete that sentence? I think not.
Everyone likes a little validation at times. It's nice to know that the time you spend grooming might make a difference in how people perceive you. One of my best friends in New York gave me the ultimate compliment the other day while I was talking to her on the phone. She told me that one day she'd like to emulate me. ME! She said I always had my sh*t together and looked like I did as well. "Polished", she said.
Now, I do try to take care when I dress....but not overly so. I'm not perfect by any means. But I try to be 'presentable'. I won't mow my lawn without mascara or lipstick. And those super broken in comfy sweats that are ugly as sin? I throw them out. My mother once told me (and it stuck) you never, ever, ever know whom you might run into doing the most of mundane things. And she's right! There have been times when I've been out doing yard work and I'll get a honk and someone pulls into the driveway, "Nancy?! I thought that was you!" Well had I not been moderately put together, I would have been mortified. So that clean underwear thing? Take it one step further darlin'....
But I don't find myself to be perfectionist. Far from it. I always have one button that threatens to come off, or a thread or a moth hole or a crease. There always seems to be something that keeps me from being 'fresh and ready for print'. But the compliment? That will last me for days. Months, maybe. Wow. Someone wants to emulate ME.....that poor girl. She must be delusional. :-)
I recently went to a trade show with my girlfriend in Columbus. We used to work together and she's a fashionista, so I wanted to look good. It was early and he was still in bed planning on going into work a little later than usual. I was getting ready to leave and stopped to give him a kiss good-bye, bring him a mug of coffee, let him know I was leaving and what time I'd be back.

"You look nice. I like your coat."
"Really? Thanks."

I was a little perplexed at that comment since about a month earlier I went to wear the same coat and was spouting about the great deal I got on it on eBay. A new Cinzia Rocca coat, black baby llama with tags. A $1495 it for $300. I thought it was the steal of the century!

"You should sell it.", he said.
"Sell it? But why? I like it!"
"I'm not going out with anyone wearing a $1500 coat."
"But no one knows that but ME, besides I didn't pay $1500 for it."
"You should make money on it. Sell it for more than you paid."

So I put it back in the closet. But decided to pull it out for this trip. Fuck it. I like it, I'm wearing it.

He's a writer by profession, although not published as of yet. I mean, yes, he's had a few poems and a story published in a collection work...but he's not been paid for any of his writing. He's talented. Very talented. Extremely talented. But dark. He hasn't gotten his break yet. He's floundering. Wondering if this is really what he should be doing. I've tried to be supportive, I even suggested he quit his job that pays his bills and take a year off. "Concentrate on your writing, I'll take care of the expenses." He turned me down. He hasn't yet found his 'tone'.

I showed him the latest blog I wrote...

"What do you think?"
"It's good...if you like Happy Little Trees."
"Happy Little Trees?"
"Yeah, you know - fluff."

Happy Little Trees. Hmmm.

That sounds like a Connecticut compliment. You'd look so nice in that dress if it didn't make your ass look so large - kind of compliment. Bob Ross coined the phrase , "Let's paint some happy little trees here" from his television show, The Joy of know, the guy with the Afro that would show you how to paint in the afternoons. He was a big hit with the stay at home mom's in the 80's. His other phrase was "beat the devil out of it" when cleaning a brush.

Sometimes his negativity would get to me, really get under my, being the ultimate optimist I am. But I figured that it balanced things out. Him:down, me:up.But at times his viewpoint could just bring you down. I have to admit I would feel joy if I could make him laugh. I would TRY to make him smile. He's a very serious, pensive person by nature. But I love him. I did. I do.

He said one morning that my writing reminded him of that movie with Chevy Chase, Funny Farm. Where the New York couple move to the country so he can write his blockbuster book and it turns out the wife becomes the published author? Not that that is going to happen, but
I'm just an 'artistic by nature' person. I've been doing visual displays for various companies for years, I ran a catering company because cooking and displaying food is an art form as well. I enjoy music, plays and fine art. I look at everything with the eye of a photographer. So writing comes naturally to me. I can hear it in my head. I like to read a good story. I like to hear a good story. I like to tell good stories.

There's a ton of publishing and editing skills that I don't possess. Fact is, I don't consider myself to be a writer...this is just something that I find entertaining. (and hopefully you do as well...) But I never aspired or claimed to have them. Happy Little Trees? That's seems such a put down. I'm beginning to really resent that comment. I don't understand it. Where did it come from? and Why?

On the third day of my blog I received 54 page impressions. I thought that was outstanding. When I posted "the text of infidelity" - I received 286 page impressions. Yesterday the site was up to 400 hits. I hope it keeps coming. I'm really enjoying this creative outlet.

But Happy Little Trees? C'mon, pleaze. If that's meant to be some sort of compliment he should keep it to himself.
Beat the devil out of this one............cha.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

all's right with the world....

My day could end right now...and I'd be satisfied.

I went to bed last night so completely exhausted I couldn't hardly think straight. Too many nights in a row with irregular sleep patterns, not getting the proper nutrition, the never ending nagging of responsibility beyond my capabilities....all these things PLUS the added personal stresses of dealing with my mother in the hospital and my recent change in relationship status. It's the proverbial 'burning the candle at both ends'. I'm beat. Wiped out. Nothing left.

And I can feel myself starting to get sick.

I don't get sick all that often. But when I do....I DO. I don't like being sick. Not that anyone does...but I'm the caregiver. So if I get sick...there isn't anyone to care for me. AND just because I'M sick doesn't alleviate the household responsibilities. Who will feed the two dogs, the two cats, the two hamsters and the fish while I'm laid up in bed. Who will make sure that my daughter gets fed and cared for. We won't even go into the other daily routines that HAVE to be done in order for the house to run.

When I get's usually for days. So I try very hard to NOT get sick. But I am SOOOOO tired, I can feel it coming on. And I'm dreading it......

So I drag myself into bed last night. I normally fall asleep pretty quickly. But when you are this tired you yearn for sleep, which of course, makes it not happen quite so easily. I turned on my heating pad, which always helps and I can feel I'm on the verge of sleep. Right then my next door neighbors pull raucously into the driveway. When they opened their car door I could have sworn that my own stereo was on and set at level 8 of 10....

My street is composed of mostly single family homes. However there are a few stuck in here and there that are multiple family homes. Unfortunately, there are some people that live in these rental units that don't have that sense of ownership...they just live here. They just don't care. My neighbors may be nice enough people, but over the last year that they have lived in the house no one has ever spoken with them. We are a pretty close knit neighborhood...we have block parties and go Christmas caroling on Christmas Eve. There is a group of us that get together at Halloween for a pumpkin carving day/barbecue. We do bonfires and Fourth of July parades. So for people to live on our street and no one has talked with them?'s not the ordinary.

When out doing yard work, they have pulled into their drive and I've waved. Once or twice I've gotten a slight wave back. But that's about it. They drive in, get out of their car and go inside. When they come outside, they get in their car and drive away. The girl that owns the house is never there. I've seen her maybe 6 times in the last the upper unit is basically uninhabited. I'm not sure what the couple that live downstairs do for work...but one of them leaves at 5am every morning. When they go out at night, they usually return around 2 or 3...with the music blaring. Then they go inside and start whatever it is they do. Sometimes it's watching movies in surround sound or playing the same song over and over at high decibels. Last night it was plinking away at their guitar. It was horrible....until about 3am.

I thought, "You have got to be kidding me.........".

I thought about walking over there last night knocking on the door and showing them the dark circles under my eyes to prove that I needed some sleep. I thought maybe I could cough on them to show them that I was starting to get a cold. I thought I should call the non-emergency police number and have THEM go over to tell them to 'step away from the guitar'. But I didn't do any of those. For some reason my anger at them is what comforted me into this deep deep sleep.....

And when I awoke this morning I had both dogs on the bed with me, one cat on my pillow and the other over by the stairs. My daughter had crawled into bed with me at some point during the night and it was lightly snowing outside making everything look clean and fresh.

I'm not quite as rested as I'd like to be. I'm already planning a nap sometime during the day. But right now? Everything is right with the world. My day is complete.

I should pull out my chainsaw this morning and give my neighbors a helping of 'inconsiderate neighborly behaviour', or perhaps my leaf blower whining insistently would ease them from their slumber. I could borrow another neighbors chipper/shredder that makes such a racket to wake the dead. That would be rather poetic.

Maybe I should break in and steal that damn guitar while they are currently sleeping....

That might help in getting some future nights well deserved rest.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

disposable society...

As I see it, I'm disappointed that we've become a, a World that has become such a disposable society. Everyone is looking for the quick fix, the easy way, the fast cash, the one step up without the work. Have a toaster that burns? Buy a new one, throw the old one away. Car that doesn't quite show the world who you are? Trade it in. Need new curbside appeal digs so everyone thinks you're successful? Become house poor because it's more than you can afford. Have a girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband that doesn't fit your needs or lifestyle any longer? Get rid of them and suit up with someone else...who will be oh so much better. Yeah, right.

Does any of this sound familiar? Has it happened to you personally? Do you KNOW someone who got caught in that same quagmire of bullshit?

I do.

No no, not ME, but I have known some people that have done ALL the above. Living beyond their means to prove to the world how great they are doing...all the while hoping the ATM machine will fork out at least a twenty the next time they try to get cash.

My parents didn't raise a fool. (keep you opinions on that to yourselves, thanks) I was taught the value of money at a very tender young age. My dad owned real estate...quite a bit of it. I remember growing up we always had a 'nice' car and a regular one. In our case, usually the nice car was a Cadillac and the other a Pontiac or Ford. I remember one particular Caddy we had that was gold, with an landau roof and cream leather interior. It was laid out. Superfly, if you will. It was the late 70's and it was as large as a small boat. When my mother would drive you couldn't see her head above the head rests if you were behind her. I have memories of roller skating after school and my mom would come to pick me up when I called.

"Mom, can you come get me? We're done skating."
"Sure thing, honey, I'll be right there."
"Hey, Mom?"
"Can you drive the blue car today?"

I didn't want my friends to see my mom drive up in this 70's pimped out car. Some of my roller skating buddies families didn't have Cadillacs. They were regular folks, blue collar families. And this gold Cadillac was dreamt up by someone all hyped up on something up there in Detroit. It screamed for you to carry a cane and wear a fur hat. My dad bought his cars in cash. And I remember him saying, "I got a very good deal on it....". I bet.

One of the properties that my dad owned was a trailer park near downtown Toledo. I don't remember how many trailers there were at that time, but it was full. I took my savings and bought one of the smaller trailers and rented it out. I collected $60 a month for it, saved that money and bought another larger trailer which I received $85 a month rent. I was an landlord and I was collecting $145 a month rental income, putting that in the bank and watching my savings grow. I was 11 years old.

When I turned 16, many of my friends were given cars for their birthdays. The benefit of growing up in an affluent suburb. I didn't get one for my 16th, I bought my own car. My first car was actually a hammy down from my brother Charles', who I'm sure charged me an inflated price. The gas tank gauge didn't work, so you had to carry a Ball jar full of gas so just in case it ran out of fuel on the way somewhere. You could pour that into the carburetor and it would buy you enough mileage to get to a station. One time I had forgotten to fill the jar back up and ran out of gas on my way to school...some of my friends stopped and pushed it the rest of the way. Could have carried the darn thing, it didn't weigh much. It was a small 2 door Fiat Sport Spider. An attractive shade of yellow with a black convertible top and burgundy interior. With the top up it looked like a overweight bumble bee. With the top down....well, I was just too damn cool in it to care what it looked like. When it broke down, I fixed it. I finally gave it up when the engine seized and then it was just a shell of an old, once very cool car not worth much since there was no way to make it go.

But the lesson was....this car was mine. I paid for it, I fixed it, I loved it. It lasted many years beyond it's normal life expectancy because of that. If only people would apply the same to everything in their lives, the world would be a better place and there would be less landfills.

Not everything should be disposable. It's nice when traveling to have disposable razors and such. But we've carried our need for replacement beyond where it was intended to be. There's always something better, greener, more fulfilling on the other side of the fence. But once you get there you realize that it was just the way the light was shining on's not better at all. You just landed yourself in a new pile of shit when you could have just cleaned it up in your own backyard. Sometimes it's even worse than where you came from, but by then you can't get back over the fence again.. You were fooled by nifty lighting, illusionists tricks with smoke and mirrors, egged on by the feeling you get when you have a new toy. Only to find out that it isn't made all that well and breaks within the first month of ownership.

This idea of replacement extends even into the political arena. Now, I don't really want to talk politics...people get SO angry and personal about it. But I have a friend that feels Barack Obama is like the next coming of Camelot. That would be great if someone were to walk into Washington and fix everything with a magic wand. But it ain't gonna happen. Do you know why? Because we have become a disposable society....

As soon as he fails to live up to what he's promised to bring, people will start thinking that this bright shiny new toy isn't any better than the last toy. And the thought of replacing it with someone else who WILL make everything all right will begin once again.

I have some simple guidelines that I live by. Let me share them with you.

  • Live within your means.

I know, this is tough for most people. I had to explain it to a friend the other day in terms she would understand. Don't buy those boots if you can't afford to pay for them in cash or pay off the credit card when the bill comes. You think you are getting a good deal because they are 25% off. But if you put them on a credit card, pay 18% interest over a 4 month period, you've actually paid more for them than if you had paid full price. Doesn't make much sense.

  • Learn to love what you have, not want what you don't.

There's always going to be someone who has an nicer car, a nicer house, a better looking boyfriend, a more expensive vacation getaway. It doesn't matter! If you start with the comparison thing you are going to make yourself very unhappy. Look around you! YOU are probably better off than loads of other people. They would love to step in your enjoy what you have. Forget about what you don't. It's nice to have goals...but don't let them run your life.

  • Appreciate those around you...and tell them.

Pretty simple thing, yet so many people don't do it. Tell those around you on a daily basis how much you care for them. How much they are appreciated in your everyday life. You might not get the opportunity to do so tomorrow and that would just suck.

  • Be grateful.

I try to make a mental list everyday about what I'm grateful for. I've been fortunate to live a gracious life thus far. I've traveled extensively and had many fabulous experiences bestowed upon me. There are some days and events that I would have preferred not to have experienced firsthand, but it has made me who I am today. My dad always said that in everything there is a lesson. As long as the lesson is learned, it's okay. It's when you continue to choose the same paths expecting different outcomes that you mess up. I'm grateful for where I am, who am I and all that I am.

  • Don't rush through life.

You only get one. Each day is a new opportunity. Sometimes we get so caught up in the routine and responsibility that we forget to live. I've been guilty of that in the past....not anymore.

  • Take a little time for yourself.
I'd tell you how to do that, but I haven't figured it out yet. :-) Still working on this one. Newly single again, I have more time to devote to myself. Its been empowering. Instead of looking at the break-up with remorse, I'm now looking at it in a positive fashion. I can do anything I want and don't have to answer to anyone but me! How fun is that! Talk to anyone successful and they all mention that they have their own 'zen' time to reboot.

Pretty simple, huh? It's about not replacing...but working with what you have. Enjoying those who are around you. Working smarter, not harder. Living life. Pay it forward. Reap what you sow. Don't expect handouts. Wow. What positive changes we could make. What positive changes we CAN make. And how much happier we could all be....


Sunday, February 8, 2009


Here I am, sitting at my mother's beside at the hospital. Yesterday she suffered yet another stroke, seemingly while she was sleeping Thursday night. She awoke without her faculties of speech.

It was just two weeks ago that I had made the pilgrimage home to spend a weekend night with my folks. Both are getting on the older side, well into their eighties. My father is in great health and to look at him you'd think he's a man in 10-15 years younger than he is. My mother hasn't been as fortunate. She suffered her first stroke that left her hospitalized for several months. I remember when I first saw her at the hospital, she was strapped into a chair. I asked one of the nurses at the nursing station some questions about her medication and miscellaneous trifles about her behaviour. I could tell that my mom was squirmy because her inner program told her to get home. Her stay there was comprised of her being confined in high back rolling chairs, restraints and she slept in a mesh tent that zipped closed from the outside so she couldn't escape in the middle of the night. Horribly demeaning for someone so gracious. One of the nurses I'm assuming was having a bad day. She maybe had had a bad morning with her kids, a fight with her husband, a disagreement with one of the could have been anything, snapped at me. "The way she is now is the way she's going to be. Period." She then went into a diatribe about how the brain doesn't regenerate after there has been vascular damage. "That part of her brain is dead." Not a very upbeat notion for a family member at a hospital.

Of course, that was an unacceptable answer. And God bless her, my mother went on to prove them all wrong by recovering the majority of her previous physical and mental capabilities. We even baked the nurses some cupcakes and brought them to all the nurses that had cared for her. That put a little sweet mud in their faces!

She still would have memory lapses since that first big stroke, but that is fine by me. I'm told that she has had several 'mini strokes' since then. The small vascular membranes in her brain have begun to deteriorate, so the lack of blood flow causes these problems to happen. The fact that she never recovered her ability to discern blue from red didn't matter to us. The fact that she could no longer on her own prepare family meals didn't matter either. What we most cared about is that she was comfortable, free of pain and had moments of joy.

What brings my mother the most joy is to have her family around her. Her face lights up when my brother, my daughter and I come to visit. So you can imagine my sorrow for her and for me that she doesn't know who I am. My dad said that he didn't think she recognized him as well. My brother hasn't had the opportunity to be here yet so he is spared that, for now. But she is responding to commands by the nurses to squeeze this or push against there is cognitive recognition. So there is hope.

She did it before...fought against the odds of recovery. She does seem quite frail lying in this hospital bed with tubes and bags and monitors. She presently is sleeping peacefully. The sound of the beeping, the view of the monitor scanning her brain wave's pretty surreal. Like something out on a movie set. I believe that she will wake and have the fight to live, so there is that chance that she will do it again. If anyone would like to say a prayer for her....that would be more than welcome. We all could do with a little extra help right now.

My mom's name is Thelma...she's the sweetest woman in the world. I'd love to have her around for a few more years if God is willing. Her presence in this world brings me joy.

As I was getting ready to leave for the night, she awoke and there was recognition in her eyes. I hugged and kissed her and let her know that we all love her deeply. Tears formed in her eyes as she gently hugged me back. She was trying to say something, but I didn't know what it was she was trying to express. Knowing my mother, being the kind, generous, giving person she is...she was wishing me a safe trip home. Always thinking of others. She's quite an amazing woman.

Having people like my mom in this world gives me hope that everything will be okay. God Bless You mom...I love you.

Friday, February 6, 2009


So with blogging there all these sites to help direct traffic to your blog, manage your blog, track your blog....just TONS of stuff. It could fill your whole day looking at it and sometimes does.

It's fascinating. It's addicting. It's time consuming. There will soon be a Twelve Step program for bloggers with meetings in every church basement...

"Hi, I'm Nancy. I'm a blogger." (everyone claps)

You get addicted to see how many hits you have, whose added you as a friend on BlogCatalog, FuelMyBlog or BlogSpot. Your constantly editing your site because you saw something on someone else's page that gave you an idea for improvement. You check to see if anyone has uploaded any of the Google ads that would put a quarter in your pocket...

But the neatest software is an invisible tracker that can show where people came from. It's meant to help you find out the keywords that drive traffic to your website. It's a little 'Big Brother' ish...but it really sucks you in.

I saw that last night while I slept there were some people on the other side of the world that looked at my page. It brings the entire world just one step smaller.

My mother grew up on a farm in the middle of farmland country in Ohio; just north of Columbus. It's still considered a rural town...the house address's don't have street names, but rural routes. My mother and her brother went to college in Columbus and left the farm. They were the first of the family to do that. In that day and age, you did exactly what your parents did...followed the tradition. Some people never left town. My grandfather never left Ohio, even on vacation. It boggles the mind how fast, connected and small the world has become since our parents and grandparents generations. The Internet has opened the world and delivered it to our doorsteps. My daughter tries to show my dad tricks and shortcuts on the computer each time we visit. My mother didn't even try to learn. I have weekly conversations with my dad about computer issues.

"Nance...can you help me get my e-mail?"
"Sure dad. Is the computer on? Hit the big blue 'E'...I've programmed that to go directly to your e-mail, then just put in your password if it asks you." (I've made the computer save all his passwords because he'll forget which ones are which.)
" it.", he'll reply. "Now, how do I read them?"

You get the picture....

But the really neat thing about this counter software is that you can tell that someone in Singapore read your blog at 1:23:42 am, someone is Spain read it at 8:48:47 am, or that someone in France read it as well at 4:36:01 am. My new blogger friend in El Paso jumped on and read the latest post yesterday evening at 8:22:32 pm. Each one is listed as a 'Unique' visitor, but it knows if they've returned and when. It also shows the link that referred them. Whether it be from the discussion page on BlogCatalog or the from someone sending the link via e-mail.

The creepy thing about it is that the 'SWIBFAZ' that was trying to sex up my boyfriend is lurking my page daily. (see earlier post 'Text of Infidelity' in January for the details) I can see the referring link she came from...sometimes from his WordPress page; most times just from typing it in herself. I mean, I had texted the webpage link to her phone when I posted that message so she would know that I was onto her shenanigans. I furthermore asked her to not contact my boyfriend or myself...which she politely agreed to. And yet since that agreement, she has still called him repeatedly. And now I can see that she's lurking my page...and his. Ick.

Pick yourself up girl! Try to focus and pay attention to your husband and two kids! Stop fantasizing. Use you energy to improve your own life. Stop lurking.....

I love sharing my stories...and I'm glad that people enjoy reading my stuff. I love that someone in Singapore, the Philippines and Germany linked up. That I have friends now in Texas and California seeing what I've posted last. But to have the girl that was calling and texting my boyfriend "I could make you happy and enjoy life" a followerer of my blog?...I would prefer she step off.

Maybe her husband needs the link to my page. That might enlighten her a little. I could do it. I haven't, but I could if I wanted to. I have his name, his address and his phone number.
Now that is the true beauty of the Internet....bringing the world a little closer, one click at a time.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

oh, how they grow...

I don't remember having two hours of homework each and every evening when I was in fourth grade. I don't remember having to participate in science fairs. I don't even remember having to learn French or Spanish until I was in seventh grade and she's now been learning Spanish since first.

My daughter is in the fourth grade at a local private school. This is her first year there. Before that, she was at a Montessori School for six years. The current requirement of uniforms makes morning dressing easy, but the homework this year....OMG! It's killing me! (and her too, I'm sure)

She has been very fortunate to have always attended private schools. Nothing against the public school system, but she has had opportunities within the private education system that the kids in public school just don't have. With her school she's attended symphonies, museums and art studios. They made a point to have a field trip once a month. She's was in the Montessori School preprimary program since she was three and stayed until third grade. I have more money wrapped up in her education to this point than my entire college funding.

In the elementary program there she participated in the science fair every year. I think my first memory of a science fair project was....well, never. I didn't participate in school talent shows. I didn't have band practice when I was in elementary school. I think I remember picking up the violin in sixth grade....not fourth. I didn't get to be in ski club until I was in high school. And my first school team sport was soccer in eighth grade; and I only did that because we had this cute German exchange student that played soccer.

When I was in high school I did get involved in sports; track & field mostly. Cross Country was a trip...but I was a member of that for the social aspect. I'm not a long distance runner. I was a sprinter; 400m to be exact.

But all the things that they have available for the kids now days is really great. On the flip side it's no wonder all the kids are growing up much faster than we did at the same age. I had a conversation the other day with our 16 year old next door neighbor. He was telling me that they want all the kids in high school to figure out their career goals when they are sophomores. I'm still not sure what my career goal is and I've been out of high school for....well, I'm not sharing that number with you. I'd have to kill you then, and it's just not worth it.

They say the kids are starting to develop earlier as well due to the hormones in our food sources. I also read that young girls are entering puberty earlier if they no longer live with their biological father. How weird is that. And how many families are still together when the child gets to puberty age anyway is less than those that are together any more.

I like to try to keep my daughter as protected as possible from the outside world. I want her to remain fresh and young. Although I've never spoken to her as a child...if she asks a question, I explained it best terms possible for her, but never speak down to her. Her vocabulary is exceptional for someone her young age. Her sense of style is outstanding. Heck, even her choices for movies and music is pretty sophisticated for someone her junior age.

I'm still on the fence about her joining the ski club this year. There's just so much stuff to keep track of. This is the girl that calls for my help if she's missing her remote in her room. (Usually tucked under a pillow or fallen beside the bed) I mean, if she can't find her remote, how is she going to keep track of all her ski gear? So the last few times her dad and I have followed the bus down. Good parenting? Maybe. Over protective? Not so much...but maybe. Wanting her to stay young and needing her parents? Perhaps.

So as I struggle to get her to finish up her homework yet another evening; I need to keep telling myself, "she's growing up and won't need your help soon"...that should buy me another half hour of patience. I hope.

Because this homework is killing me....

Monday, February 2, 2009

passwords and such....

So I have to ask you...with the ease of cheating; emotionally or otherwise on the it ethical to check you spouse's or significant others cell phone or e-mail account?

This is a BIG question nowadays. There's a trust issue. But if that trust has been breached, does it allow the spouse to check periodically to make sure their significant other is being true? Or is it a probe into their 'personal space'.

I believe in full disclosure. I'm an open book. You want to read my e-mails, texting history or Facebook friends comments?....go for it. It's not all that interesting. You want my passcode for my e-mail or bank card? No more person I can ask if I have a brain fart and can't remember.

But if someone is repeatedly changing codes? It seems to me that it's because they are hiding something.

Maybe that something isn't all that big...but to hide it, change it? that action alone MAKES it into something big, something hidden, something secretive.

I read something not too long ago that struck a chord. It is as follows:
"At the end if the day, we all just want to be with someone who loves us - someone who makes us happy, makes us feel needed, gives us the attention we deserve and someone who we can trust without having to think twice."

I love that. I wish that were my life. Recently, as you may know...I happened upon a series of text messages that sent some big change into my bubble of a world that I live in. On one hand; I would've preferred to continue on my gleeful path of ignorance on the subject. On the other; I'm glad that I have that information and can make educated, logical decisions once knowing the truth.

I was the proverbial lamb with the wool pulled over my eyes...three times in the past. Yes, three! I am too trusting, too giving, too gullible. I vowed after each of these incidents that I would never allow myself to be duped into that place again. Along comes bachelor #2 and Wham!; here we go again. Let's not even mention #3, #4 or #5. Fact is, if I'm completely truthful with myself...5 of the 7 serious relationships that I've ever been involved in have ended with them being unfaithful. I hope I have enough in my savings account for the amount of therapy that it might take to resolve.

Now this has given me much food for thought over the it me? Is there some intricate flaw that I possess? Is there some invisible script written on my forehead, "Take advantage of me!" With the added bonus of a tattoo on my ass that reads, "Don't worry, she'll never know. She won't find out. You can do whatever the f**k you want. Don't worry about her, who cares about her and her feelings." Seriously. How in the world do I keep getting involved with these guys that feel that I would think it's 'okay' for them to wander outside of monogamy.

I hate to become a's really not my nature. Nor is cynicism or negativism. But this has got to stop. I can't keep going through the same things over and over and over. Each time I hear the "It's not you." But it has to be. How could this possibly NOT be MY problem. Too coincidental for it to keep being repeated. I had a friend who was such a complete bitch to all those she dated that they were clamoring at our door to get her attention. I never could quite figure that whole scenario out...

"Don't call me again", she'd say.
"But don't you need my car? I have an extra one you can drive."
"I don't want your extra car. Leave me alone."
"Okay. You don't have to drive the extra can drive my Saab."

and then the doorbell would ring with a floral delivery guy holding keys and two dozen roses. Unbelievable.

I really thought this last one was it. I mean he KNEW everything. He KNEW my past and my how sensitive I was having been through that mill several times. I never thought he would do that. I really believed that he would have spared me that anguish. But, I was wrong. I'm not often this is something to write down in the books.

But would YOU do it? Would you look if you had a suspicion? Would you want to know?

Do YOU have a good therapist?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

my night stand convienence store...

This morning while reaching for a bottle of water on my nightstand, I knocked something over. So I logically, picked it up to place it back in it's 'spot'. I had to take a moment of pause then and LOOKED at my nightstand. Here is the inventory as I see it:

  • 3 bottles of water in varying stages of fullness.
  • 1 can of unopened sparkling water.
  • a bottle of aspirin.
  • a bottle of vitamins.
  • 7 books.
  • 3 magazines.
  • 1 reading lamp.
  • 2 house phones.
  • 1 cell phone.
  • 2 little statues, gifts from my daughter.
  • a pad of paper.
  • 2 pens.
  • 3 remotes.
  • 1 alarm clock.

Now I think that is quite a bit of stuff to fill a nightstand. We won't even go into the stuff in the drawers...more books, lotions and a ball peen hammer. Why do I have a ball peen hammer in my nightstand drawer? I really don't know.

I thought about getting one of those dorm room refrigerators and converting it into a nightstand. How great would that be to just reach over and grab a COLD bottle of water instead of a room temperature one. Maybe even put my coffee maker up there and wake to the smell of brewing joe. Now that would be convenient.

My bed is pretty darn comfortable. Loaded with down comforters and super fluffy pillows. I have tried to recreate one of the beds at the Ritz Carlton where I remember getting one of the best night's sleep ever. Maybe that is the reason I have everything I could possibly need within arms reach. Maybe that's the reason I don't want to get up and leave my bed. My bed is a haven for me. It takes me mere moments to (normally) fall asleep. Step 1: Get in bed. Step 2: Put head on pillow. Step 3: 2 minutes and I'm off to wonderland....

I like to watch movies or TV in bed. It's comfortable and cozy. I have a friend whose husband doesn't believe in having a television in the bedroom. He feels that a bed should be for sleep and, well, you know. And that's it. Reading in bed? He's a degree. But that's what his bedroom is for and he sticks by that notion.

The TV in my bedroom is one that used to be in the living room downstairs. When I bought one of the new flat screens for that room, I brought this one upstairs. It's pretty big so you get that "the actors are in the room with you" kind of feeling. It's also good because you can see it when on the treadmill, which is also in the bedroom. I was thinking about whether I would replace it once it starts to go. My conversation with my friend about her husband's beliefs on the "no TV in the bedroom" got me to thinking that perhaps he is right. That maybe I should make my room less 'convenience' driven and more sanctuary.

I might have to give that some more deep thought. He might be on to something. But for now I'm going to reach for my remote, try not to knock anything else over, turn on the TV and finish the movie I started to watch last night and cuddle into my blankets. For now I'm content to have all my conveniences at hand.

Now if I can just figure out which remote works what...I'll have it made.