30 Posts in 30 Days – Ooops

Well, I might still get 30 posts in in 30 days but it won’t be 30 days of posts. Subtle differences but difference nonetheless.

Thursday I left work after a 3 p.m. meeting to pick Maggie up from Athens. The drive isn’t terrible and can be pretty. Some of the trees are past their prime in color but others were just lovely. I love spending this time alone with her. I don’t have to share her with anyone and we can just talk. I miss her. She is doing well. Involved in lots of activities and seems to be having fun. What we all want for our children.

Friday, she had a Botox appointment and we went to Spinoza’s for dinner and to hear the Troubadours of Divine Bliss play. One of Maggie’s friends met us there and they were so excited to see each other.

I took a few minutes to check my email on Friday even though I took a vacation day and discovered that the my contact in the training department had reached out to me. We exchanged a few emails and I am cautiously optimistic that getting moved to the training department might actually happen. She was going to go with her co-worker to their manager and plead my case and see about getting me soon. They really want me in place by the first of the year. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Fall Back or How Drivers are Extra Crazy

I hate the time change. There is no one who has known me for any length of time that doesn’t know that. I prefer to just keep what we have. Pick a time and stick with it. Frankly, I like “real” time, better known as Standard Time. I don’t like the switching at all. It used be that the dates for switching kept it 6 months standard, 6 months DST. Not so much now. I actually don’t get it anymore. Enough already. But this post isn’t about that.

I forget how much the fall back influences the crazy drivers. I only work 3 miles from home, when I actually go into the office so I don’t have to deal with the crazy much. I remember hating it in Houston. I mean, we all drive at night. We all know how (most of us anyway). The first week after the fall back, most everyone seems to forget how to drive. Going the speed limit? Forget it. Not coming to complete stop on a green light when you are making a right hand turn? Forget about it. No cars coming the parking lot with a clear view but still slamming on your brakes after starting to go? Forget abou And we have a winner! Thankfully, they were stupid enough pulling away from the gas pump and pulling out of the gas station lot at Costco I was already giving them a wide berth and didn’t expect anything less than what happened.

I just don’t get it. I mean, it just got darker an hour earlier it is not like nuclear winter has fallen upon us and we will never see the light again. Just pretend it is 6 p.m. and not 5 p.m.

Another Kind of Moving

Maggie and her roommate are very different from each other. Different is not always bad and doesn’t always mean you are incompatible with someone. Sometimes it does. The roommate (TR) is a year or so older than Maggie, a junior, and on her third university. She went to Notre Dame, a more local to her hometown (Cleveland) and now OU. She has lived a sheltered (and very privileged) life. She has a brother just a couple of months older than she is and he is also going to OU. The brother was in their dorm almost all the time for the first few weeks. Maggie just hated to go home in case he was there. He is a bit immature and doesn’t have much common sense/awareness.

Maggie has had enough. She has decided to switch rooms. She is coming home tomorrow as she has Friday off … and has Botox. On Sunday, we will go back to Athens, hit up the UU church (she will be babysitting during service), grab a bite to eat, then go pack up her dorm room. She doesn’t expect there to be problems but she doesn’t want to show her hand until she is ready to pack up and move. Hopefully she will be able to round up a few friends to help with the actually moving of her stuff.


I need to move. I don’t mean pack my shit and find a new house to live in. I mean move my body. My overweight body. My achy body. My stiff body. My body that creaks. My body that cracks.

We all know moving is good for us. Many of just don’t like exercising despite knowing we have to do it. And far too many of us just don’t do it. 2014 was a pivotal year for me. My braces were removed (here’s the story of why I needed them as an adult after wearing them as a teen). The very next morning, my mom died suddenly, even if it was not totally unexpected. A few months later I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s – an autoimmune disease that left me with achy joints. Oh, three weeks before mom died in early March, I started a new job that had an inconsistent schedule, with OT jumping up and slapping you in the face whenever it felt like it – I mean, one can’t just leave in the middle of a call or if the queue was blowing up (oh wait … though the current state of affairs is a post for some other time – or not, as the case may be).

Achy joints and depression made me just not care and just not want to do any form of exercise, which becomes a vicious cycle and now it is 3 1/2 years later and it is worse than it has ever been. I creak. I crack. I sit all day.

A friend mentioned on Facebook last week that she uses Amazon Prime videos for yoga at home. Eureka! I currently work from home more days than I go into the office. And I can do it every day without ever going into the office if that is what I want (though that doesn’t help my introverted tendencies but certainly saves on gas). I checked it out – there are a few seated yoga videos on Prime. I just added a few to my Watchlist and plan to start tomorrow during my lunchtime by watching one. There is even a Sit and Be Fit series on Prime. One of the episodes is for diabetes with tips on eating healthy (I may have a hard time not throwing things at the tv if they talk about how wonderful carbs are for diabetics!)

Another thing I really need to do better on – drinking water. I have gotten away from it. I know in the long run it will help with my swelling in my feet (so will compression socks which I haven’t gone to get yet).

I could probably use a partner in crime to help hold me accountable. Are you game?

Thoughts and Prayers

When someone tells me that I am in their thoughts and prayers, I take this in the spirit it is intended: they want me to know they are thinking of me at this time, which usually happens when I am in a tough spot or just need some good vibes. I am not so magnanimous when I hear it relation to massacres. They don’t help.

They do nothing for the victims in Vegas or in Paris or in Sutherland Springs or Columbine or in Sandy Hook or Orlando or or or. Fuck it all. When will enough be enough? When we will care more about human life than the ability to tote guns around wherever we want and buy whatever gun we want? When will conservative politicians care more about human lives outside of the womb than they do about guns? When will conservatives hate on white men with guns as much as they do brown men, whether those brown men are actually a threat to them or not.

I dare them to actually vote against sensible regulations and then pick up the phone and call the pastor of the church that lost his 14 year old daughter today – as well as other members of his church, including children. I am sure some already have.

Put some action in your words. Call email. Write. Demand tougher laws and regulations. Demand they do something to stop the bloodshed.

Be angry. Be pissed. Cry. Rage. Rant. Just do SOMETHING other than give lip service. Thousands of family members a year need for all of us to help stop the madness.

Faith. Communities

Tree of Life is my community. It is filled with my people. Even when I don’t get see all my people all the time, they are still my people.

This weekend is the kickoff for our biggest fundraiser. It brings in thousands of dollars and it takes hundreds of hours to pull it off. We all pull together, doing whatever needs to be done. And we make the toffee. We score and break the candy. We weigh and pack the candy. Then we sell the candy. People we done see often come and help. Some people have been making the candy for 10 or 15 or 20 or even 35 years. Others: this is their first year.

I am always filled with love after making toffee. We talk. We laugh. We argue. We even cry. We have it down to an art. The science of candymaking is such a beautiful art.

this is what community is all about.  I love these faces



It’s Friday!

Well, as you can see, if you have read the previous two posts, I have done a little housekeeping around here. I am not totally thrilled with the theme I am using – what IS with that blank space at the top of the page anyway?!? That said, I can live with the theme for now. I exported the data from my site, installed a new version of WP, imported the exported file, and viola! here we are. Don’t be surprised, however, if you visit again soon and find a new coat of paint. I will be tweaking things as the days progress, I am sure.

This is going to be a very busy weekend. It’s toffee making time! If you want to ORDER some toffee, feel free! Trust me, it is the best toffee you will ever eat. If you are local to me, I will deliver or you can pick it up. If you are not, we will ship (you pay shipping, of course). I will be babysitting for a while on Sunday. Three year olds are such a delight! I bought my own car seat to make transportation of said child so much easier.

I have some organizing I want to do at home. I have some journaling and scrapbooking I want to get started on while the craft table is mostly clear. I need to make room for toys for my granddaughter. I want to bring out the children’s books I kept so maybe we can read something other than Stellaluna at bedtime (though, I love that book and she loves seeing the moon on the back cover when we turn the page). On a funny note, she told me last night that R.J. is not a good reader of Stellaluna. I asked her a question about it with a lot of negatives so I re-worded it to see if I was right. “Did you like how R.J. read it?” The answer was a resounding, “NO!” He needs to work on not being monotone when reading to children.

Nothing profound to say today – just mundane life events. Nothing wrong with that!

Technology is not Always My Friend

So, now I remember why I stopped working on my blog. As much as I love my host, Bluehost, I really don’t love calling them for tech support. I can’t get any plugins to install in this instance of my websites. I don’t have the time to call Bluehost. I don’t have the time to figure out how to make it work. Sometimes, I know enough just to be dangerous in figuring some things out. One idea I have, creating a subdomain, making sure I can install plugins, then exporting my site and adding it to the subdomain then promoting the subdomain. But that really sounds like work. I want fun. Not work.

Another thought is just exporting my site. Deleting my instance of WordPress and reinstalling it. I would be holding my breath the whole time making sure it worked without losing my posts. I have done that before … lost posts. It always makes me sad when I lose everything I have written. Somewhere, I have my old blog posts. They are on this computer. It is always fun to find them and read them. One day, I might add them here. If I can get it working like it should.

Oh, comments are off because I can’t stop spam comments because plugins don’t work.

Today, I read my “This Day in Facebook” posts. They were filled with laughter and sadness. The first one made me cry. I related a dream I had about Anne that was so real, when I woke up from my dream, I was crying. I cried again. She would love her grand nieces and nephews so very much. I think she would have loved the internet. She would be 58 right now and would be packing up all of her Halloween decorations. She loved the holidays (except Thanksgiving, she wasn’t into the foodie portion of it all). I am sad that RJ doesn’t remember her. He might have a vague memory of feeding the ducks off the dock until a gator was killed in the neighboring yard. After that, Anne was afraid a gator would grab him from the dock and gobble him up.

Today, I am grateful that Anne got to be there when RJ was born. Mom went home before the big event and made Anne promise to be there. She wasn’t thrilled – she wasn’t a mom herself yet (and never would be, sadly) – and wasn’t sure she wanted to do that. She did. And she loved it. And RJ.

Long Time – No Post – 30 Days of Gratitude and other stories

I like reading: books, blogs, Facebook, emails. I like writing: blogs, Facebook, emails, websites.

I don’t do it nearly often enough. I keep saying, “I will blog”. When I sit down to blog, I find half-finished, unpublished posts. The worst thing about that? Some of them had really good points and thoughts that I just hadn’t quite finished yet. I was close and I was on my way there but then I got distracted and didn’t finish. I thought, “I will get back to it” but then I didn’t in any sort of timely manner and lost it. That is how I am with writing. I can’t get those thoughts back once I lose them.

I always think I will blog for a whole month. And then I never do. I saw Reticula’s post about 30 days of blogging and thought, ‘I will do it this time’. I came out to my blog and got mad and angry all over again. Not because Soul-utions Plumbing was the first blog post I saw. Not because I haven’t blogged in three years. Because in the Spring, all my sites got hit … and hard. My fault … I was using a very outdated theme. So, I killed the themes, paid way too much $$ to a company who didn’t fully clean all my sites THEN I found a better solution for a tiny fraction of the cost. Since then, I just haven’t made the time to come out and pick a theme and fix my blog. It is daunting and overwhelming.

Today, I am grateful for my technical skills. Sure, everyone starts their 30 days of gratefulness out with their family. That’s so yesterday (or tomorrow, as the case may be). I need to make my blog pretty again. The first thing I did was look for my header image I created for my blog. I couldn’t find it. I started searching for what I thought it might be named on my computer. I searched in the media folder in WordPress. Finally, I started digging around on my host, looking in all the folders. BINGO! I have uploaded a few variations. They all have a clear background so I can choose what color the background of the site will be and just lay this on top.

You won’t see this blog post right now because my house is a mess and I can’t let you in, it’s just too embarrassing. I mean, you might stumble on by or you might be wondering if I am even home and decide to drop by. That’s okay. I will let you in but I can’t invite you over until the paint is dry. It might take me a day or two to get a fresh coat of paint up and rearrange the furniture. That’s okay. You can visit in a few days. I will still be here.

I have a lot of things I want to do this month. I want to make a 30 Days of Gratefulness book. I want to blog for 30 days. I want to find and organize the toys in my garage for the 3 year old in my life. I want polish my resume and get it sent over to someone in particular. I want to blog. Let’s see how this month unfolds and what all I can get accomplished. I think I have enough PTO days still to burn that I might be able to take a few days to myself to do whatever it is on my November bucket list.



Soul-utions Plumbing — Stay Away From Them

I have a tale of woe. It is partially my fault. I should have told Alex to stay away from any company that had a religious sounding name (not because I hate religion but because we had a bad experience with them before). Since I was too late for that, I should have told him to cancel their appointment and get someone else to come out. I didn’t. You see, we have a home warranty. The first year, the previous owners of the house paid for it. After that, we did. The first two years, our “deductible” was $50. It is now $100 — a fact I somehow missed when I renewed it.

Alex woke up a week and a half ago on a Wednesday and realized we had no hot water. He called 2-10 home warranty and they gave us Soul-utions Plumbing. An interesting side note in things that make you go hmm: we have called them three times for plumbing issues and all three times, this was the first company we were given all three times. Soul-utions Plumbing called him fairly quickly and set up an appointment to come out and check it out. They came out and declared it dead. They collected their 100 dollar service fee and told us that they would turn it in to the warranty company but it might take 2-10 a day or two to approve it.

Soul-utions Plumbing did not even turn it in until Thursday. We heard from 2-10 with “uncovered expenses”. 65 x 3 for a pan, for a union and to dispose it. 200 to reroute some plumbing. We declined the the disposal fee. Soul-utions Plumbing told us if 2-10 chose Ferguson’s for the wholesaler, we could have it installed on Friday. Still longer than we wanted to be without hot water but we could handle it. Ferguson’s was the chosen wholesaler. Alex called them at least twice on Friday to see when he could set it up. They never called him back.

Friday night, I sent them an email. They called us Saturday morning, stating, “If they are open today, we will install”. Excuse me … if you are a contractor, you know if your supplier is open on Saturday or not, right? So, the location in Middletown was closed but the one in Dayton was open. They waited a few minutes and called back to tell us they were closed in Middletown. My spouse called Dayton, who had it in stock. We then called them back immediately and told them this. But we got their voicemail. They didn’t call back until it was too late for them to get to the Dayton location to pick it up. I picked it up myself and it was sitting in my living room long before they called my spouse back. My husband asked for our 100 bucks back and he was told, “Good luck. Go to 2-10”.

At this point, I called 2-10 to tell them what happened. I was on hold for a very long time. They called the Soul-utions Plumbing. They told 2-10 that we were not on the schedule until Monday and totally denied ignoring our calls and the calls my spouse made to them (have they not heard of call history). 2-10 would not hear my out and told me I was out of luck. They were totally dismissive of my frustration and told me I would have to wait until Soul-utions Plumbing came out on Monday to install the water heater. They knew it was in my living room and knew I was having someone else do it.

Christian from Soul-utions called me on Monday, twice right in a row. The second time he did leave a voicemail asking me to call him back about the water heater. I assume he was at Ferguson’s trying to pick it up. I still haven’t returned his call. Alex was dealing with James, who knew we were not letting them back into our house. Soul-utions Plumbing doesn’t do business with integrity.

I am also canceling our home warranty. I never want to be in a position again of not being able to get something done in a timely manner. It is not worth it anymore. If you want a home warranty, I suggest checking them out online before choosing one as some of them are really  horrible.public agent teen