Monday, November 2, 2015

You...are OUT!

I know how almost every reality TV star gets kicked off the show.  But when it happens to you, it really hurts.  I know the platitudes about God’s work with doors and windows.  I knew there were always windows open to me…but I’m starting to feel like I live in breezy glass house with all of these open windows in my life.

I didn’t embezzle a bunch of money.  Never got around to harassing the adorable new college grads.  Forgot to get drunk over lunch.  Chose to stick with over the counter medications.  My greatest offense was being a victim of horrible traffic.

The termination was pretty much for ridiculous reasons.  My first day (the first day! Gulp) I underestimated my travel time by about 7 minutes.  Once in the parking garage, I was disoriented and couldn’t figure out where to park, so I pulled into the first “non reserved” spot I found and ran into the lobby.  Where I waited to be “escorted” to the training room.  LATE #1…about 9 minutes.

Day 3 of training I came down with I’ve affectionately named, The Plague. Burning throat, endless coughing, no voice.  Our soon-to-be managers came into the training room and specified how tardiness would in no way be tolerated.  None.  I knew I was doomed, but bolstered my confidence by declaring…this will be my journey. Timely-ness.  How novel.

The Plague stuck to me like glue.  I really was a noisy disgusting mess for many days.  Finally, I coughed so hard one day I completely peed my pants.  Light gray pants. At that point even I had to admit I should probably seek some medical advice for the endless coughing.

At Target clinic, my favorite “urgent care” choice because you can pick out new mascara while your prescription is filled, my blood pressure was deemed to be in the “I believe you should go to the ER” range.  But first I did grab some apples, a bag of Butterfinger cups (have you even tried those?!  Ohmyheavenlygoodness) and some bagels.  I kinda needed a gallon of milk, but figured I shouldn’t be carrying anything that heavy should a stroke or heart attack be near.  You’re following my reasoning here I hope…

An hour later I was wheel-chaired into triage.  I was having shortness of breath, seeing spots and that pesky high blood pressure.  One of my besties met me in the ER waiting room and I had to fight back tears.  I’m way too young for a stroke or heart attack.  I realized how many people count on me…especially those 4 ever-growing bundles of joy I’ve delivered into this world.  I panicked.  Really one of the best choices when trying to lower crazy high BP.  I knew I had made the right choice to be seen.  I’ve heard more than I care to admit stories of my peers who’ve saved their own lives just in the nick of time.

They ran an EKG pretty quick.  I was told, “someone will read this soon.  They will come and get you if they see anything alarming.   We are running about 2 – 2 1/2 hours before we can get you back.”


I was comforted that at least my heart rate would get a quick once over and I’d be considered before the other present “emergencies” that evening.  Bestie and I hunkered in with water and some snacks.  We talked about our days.  How the new jobs were going.  And I let him tell me about the current state of presidential nominees.  For most people, politics get them riled up. My blood pressure went down.  My breathing got normal.  The spots wandered off.

I wanted to go home.  We’d waited over two hours.  I felt better.  I wanted to go home.  Bestie said I had to stay and be seen.  I wanted to go home.  “Look at me!  I’m fine now.”  Bestie can be as stubborn as me.  I considered trying to sneak out.  Then I remembered that I’m an adult and I went there on my own free will.  I went back to the check in desk and let them know I was leaving.  I signed the AMA form and walked out a free woman.

By now it’s past my night owl bedtime, and I made the decision that I’d call in sick (or humiliated because remember, I had wet my pants that day…)  I followed the protocol for reporting an unplanned absence and proceeded to sleep 17 of the next 24 hours.

Back at work the following day, in dry pants and a “diaper”, I was told I was being put on written warning for my first day tardiness and unplanned absence.  Wow.  O-K.

Thankfully the next few weeks were pretty uneventful.  My cough slowly got better.  I embraced my need to prepare for occasional bladder leakage.

Then last Monday happened.  Remember how this story started out about how I got voted off the island?  I’m FINALLY getting back there.

Apparently when a semi falls over on 694, and it blocks 3 lanes of traffic, my commute time goes from 45ish minutes to 1 hour and 17ish minutes.  Not good.  I was called over and reminded that I was currently on written warning for my un-dependable-ity.  They would let this one “go” but next time I was getting asked to pack up my things and go.

In all reality, I knew my fate was sealed.  I had committed to giving myself an hour to make the 19 mile commute.  This allowed me to get 3 out of 4 of my kids off to school.  A reliable nanny (*waves*) got the 4th on the bus just before she started her own work day.  It was a good set up, but I also knew what happened as soon as 6 snowflakes fell from the sky.  Traffic would turn to a standstill and my one hour allowance would barely get me half way there.  I had hoped to make it to Christmas.

Nope.  I made it only 2 more days.  Morning news warned me that Highway 100 was closed due to police activity.  I kissed #3 goodbye and gave myself 10 extra minutes.  I had learned a back way in and crossed my fingers that I’d make it.

I was so close.  I was 4 minutes late to my desk.  6 minutes late to logging in and getting on the phone.  Doomed.

To make this already too long story shorter, I was declared the weakest link and escorted from the building.

So, back to closed doors and sunny windows.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Newest Friend

I met the main character of my soon-to-be started novel #3 this morning.  I rolled out of bed and she met me in the kitchen with a fresh cup of French Roast coffee.  She told me all about her past, her fantastic children and the divorce she just survived.  She loves donuts and coffee, hates to exercise or clean her house.

Sound familiar?  I know.  Sometimes it’s easiest to write what you know.

Of course her life will be different than mine in many ways.  She only has 3 kids, but I’m trying to talk her into “adopting” a bonus child.  Perhaps a niece or nephew or a classmate of one of children’s.  She also has people setting her up on blind dates, along with having an online account on “Cupid’s Arrow”.  I think she mentioned that she weighs roughly 130, loves to cook and has very manageable hair.  I’m going to try not to be jealous.

“NaNoWriMo is an annual (November) novel writing project that brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world.”  (According to Goggle)

The hard core rules are that you will write 50,000 words in the month of November, pretty much starting and finishing a whole book that month.  Doing the math, that means 1,666 2/3 words every day.  Without fail.  There is opportunity for short falls and getting ahead, but basically that’s your daily goal.

I know a number of my friends have gotten a solid “sloppy copy” turned out during a NaNo.  Most published stories end up closer to the 70k mark, so there is plenty of room to expand and chop, over and over.

Since my word count for 2015 is only equal to he number of words posted on Facebook, I’m probably no where even near a single day goal expectation for NaNo.  And I’ll whine about the fact that I am still only 4 weeks “new” at my job (and heading back for another round of training 11/10ish).  Girlfriend weekend falls somewhere in the middle of the month.  And I have the kids for Thanksgiving this year. And…And…And.  Well, I think a goal of half a NaNo feels a little more reasonable.  Writing 25,000 new words would be AMAZING.  And would certainly kick this story off in the right direction.

If anyone is interested in setting an “un-official” goal and being part of mini group, let me know.  Misery loves company.  And if you’re just curious enough about NaNo, check out the website; I know a few of you have toyed with the idea of writing your own story.  Heck, maybe our characters could be friends.

By the way…it’s good to be back with my blog.  I started a new page on my FB account to allow me to connect with fellow bloggers and have a place to look for all of my posts in one spot.  Go ahead and like it.  I’ll cross my fingers that you receive notifications.  Thanks for coming back.  I’ve missed you folks!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Loved and Lost

If my last post had me smiling from the top of the IDS building, this one has me relating with sea creatures at the base of the coral reef.  No, don't pass the Kleenex.  My nose is too chapped.  I don't want the pity smile either, that just makes me squirmy.  Just hang with me.

About a month ago, I started to realize that the job of my dreams was making me toss and turn at night.  The qualities that made me feel like a Rock Star Barista, made me feel like a frat boy who's off his ADHD meds.  I just wasn't built to interface with a computer screen for the bulk of my day.  And, *accidently* throwing an extra pump of marshmallow syrup in a Campfire Mocha did not have the same result as a misplaced number on a spreadsheet.  I'm much more about the forest than the trees. was a tearful goodbye while I packed up my baskets, pencils, lip balm, Rolaids, Advil and my snacks.  Sigh.

It gave me a few extra days to gear up for Christmas.  I was sad, but had plenty of *happy, happy* going on around to hide in.  Facebook peeps have seen the pics.  Christmas was full of fun.  The week between Christmas and New Years is always a hoot.  And I got my New Year's Eve kiss.

Then new trouble started ringing my doorbell.  A warm cozy snuggle with my sweetie started giving me a deep heartache.  The electric charge of our kisses took a motherly turn. I wanted to watch TV by myself and didn't want to talk about my day.  SUCKS!!

We used to laugh all the time.  We went fun places, did fun things, hung out with fun people.  Suddenly white noise surrounded us when we were together.  One thing led to another and we found ourselves having the *I can't do this anymore* talk.

Face to face.  We cried.  We hugged.  We talked about the gifts that came from the relationship.  Not the new sweater, necklace, or some-people-are-worth-melting-for Olaf.  The healing balm that only love can provide.  Ours was a "better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved" kind of relationship.

The pain of loss has had way too much prime real estate in my heart. To the point that every time I experience it, all the past losses get to parade by and slap me upside the head.  Then pile into a Quarterback sack kind of heap.   It seems like I just can't trade them in for other emotions.  Loss is tricky like that.

So now I have time.  Lots of time.  Can't promise I'll get the basement clean or catch the dust bunnies running loose in my living room. I'll be taking the time to catch up with my next footprints, instead of trying to run ahead of them.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Let's talk about this enormous GRIN on my face

Whew!  What a rush life has been the past month.  Truly.  Big changes. Little changes.  New emotions and honoring the past.  Big stuff.

So, Amy...tell us what's new?  Grab a beverage a pull up a chair and I'll fill ya in.

First...y'all have seen the posts of me and my gentleman caller. 

You may have heard me bellyache about the lack of courting in relationships these days.  Dating has become a "hey how are ya can i suck on your face" kind of routine.  I wondered if anyone really cared to get to know me before sticking their tongue down my throat.  Right?  The Earth is shaking a bit right now from all the single ladies nodding in unity.

With no idea how to remedy this, I thought I'd give the whole dating thing a break for a bit.  And maybe, just maybe I'd get my house clean and organized.

Then I remembered a fellow I'd been chatting with before Christmas.  And how I'd literally LOL by his messages.  And how we seemed to communicate on a different level.  Maybe he'd go on a date once or twice, so I don't have to feel like a total loser...benched by the dating game.

Very quickly it was determined that we'd like to meet for a "pint" and face to face chat.  Three hours into the date, I had a vibe that I was digging this guy.  He walked me to my car.  I drove him to his.  I got out to hug him goodbye and wondered if I'd like his goodnight kiss.

Except...he didn't kiss me.  Odd.  I got what I later described is an affectionate Grandma hug.  You know the one where someone squeezes ya good while rubbing your shoulder blade in a circle pattern and ending with a couple of tap...taps.


Three. Four. Five dates later, the hugs were tighter and longer.  The tap...taps disappeared.  I'd pull away and give him the eye lock.  Send my lips in his direction.  Only to have his head dive back to my shoulder and be pulled tighter.

Holy crap.  I was being courted.  We were getting to know each other.  Laughing hysterically about anything and everything.  Our dialog energized the other into more dialog...more laughing...more getting to know each other.  We met for dinner.  Took long walks eating ice cream.  Sang karaoke.   Played at the park with #3.  Went swing dancing. Sent about a thousand texts.  Talked for hours.

It was the most precious start of a relationship that I could ever imagine.  And finally.  Finally.  Finally on date 7, fueled by Merlot...I grabbed his sweet face and planted a lip lock on him that made my bar stool feel like a magic carpet.  That good.  Of course he kissed me back.  Again and again.  Right there in the middle of a crowded bar of of which was singing a bad rendition of "Bad Medicine".

The bar closed and two hours later, we were still in the parking lot, smooching outside my Mom-mobile.

I love being courted.  Probably a dozen dates later, photos were posted on Facebook.  His name was promoted from gentleman caller to boyfriend.  There are others I might want to use, but my Dad reads this and he has lots of guns and...ya know.

Then...just about the time I thought life couldn't get much better...I got an email from my divorce lawyer asking if I was still interested in talking about a job in her firm.  It had been a casual conversation in the past year or so...


She and her friend have each opened their own law firms and needed a support person. Phone maiden.  Scheduler. Copy machine operator.  Mail expert.  Everything in my life made me competent for all of those tasks...and then some.

Set my own schedule (up to 30 hours/week). Leave anytime the kids need me. Come in after they are on the bus.  Stay home when they are sick. Take long (unpaid) lunches. And all three of us have Costco Memberships.  What more could a girl ask for?

So...yesterday I was taken to my office (SQUEE!)...given two new email addresses...a in the fridge for my snacks...and a welcome to being part of something that is going to be wonderful.

It will be a gradual transition as there are a few things I need to learn.  I can answer a phone, but not one with two extensions and voice mail boxes.  I'll learn.  I'm good at opening mail, but not necessarily sure how to scan it into the right e-file.  I'll learn.  I've learned how to do schedules, but not while juggling two busy lawyer's calendars. I'll learn.  I'm highly skilled at connecting with people, but Judges and opposing counsel sound kinda intimidating.  I'll learn.

And if you're a worried Caribou friend...I'm sticking around for the time being.  Caribou has a piece of my heart.  I'll still be whipping up Turtle Mocha's for a bit.

If you're still reading.  Go get a cookie.  Seriously.  You deserve a reward for sticking with this.  But I felt like I needed to tell everyone why I have such a ridiculous smile plastered on my face these days.

Life is Good.  Especially if you take it One Day at a Time...odaat...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Giving my kids back to the Village (People)

I can't help but get a little sentimental every new start of a school year.  It is such a marker of the growth of our kids.  Physical, emotional, and brain power.  So many subtle changes happen each day that it takes the passage of a whole year to notice.

These first few days usually leave me a little emotionally bruised.  Was I paying enough attention as they evolved into their own beings?  Did my input even matter?  Can I trust all of the other influences coming at them all day long?

The toughest part of parenting is letting go.  (I'll pause for a bit so you can sing a little "Frozen") Letting your kids go explore the world on their own.  Allowing other adults to teach them what they feel is important to learn.  Encouraging them to seek their own interests...which are usually the direct opposite of our own.  It's exhausting.

I vividly remember #1-4's first day of school.  Patting their head.  Squeezing them tight. And knowing I'd be opening the floodgates of outside influences.  I'd kiss their noses and pray for blessed interactions.

And for the most part...all has been good.

Not perfect.  Not everyday.  But life is about learning to cope with *less than perfect conditions*.  The fancy term i've heard is "resilience".  How do kids bend and flex and twist themselves into shape to succeed in each situation? Can they bounce back from disappointment and try again?  Will they adapt?

I feel like I've given my kids more than a few chances to test drive their resiliency.  I've watched the struggle and then the triumph of success.  I've witnessed the struggle and then defeat.  I've proudly seen them dust themselves off and try again.  Even when deep down, I want to's ok to give up.  But I don't.  And they keep going.

Tough stuff.

And I know I have an entire village to thank for helping to raise my kids.  No joke.  Teachers. Coaches. Paras. Volunteers.  Maybe even a doctor, police officer, construction worker and dancing Native American. At school and church and any activity I drop them off at...and run for coffee.  Deepest gratitude and love.

Thanks for being part of my village...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Promises, promises

We've all made them. We've all kept them.  And we've all broken a few.  I'm assuming.  Getting divorced feels like the ultimate broken promise.  I mean...we stood there in front of family and gobs of friends...and God.  Blah, blah, blah...forever and ever. Amen.

But life takes turns we never expect.  Changes happen slowly.  I love the analogy of the frog in a pot of water as it gets set on the stove. The frog doesn't feel the water getting warmer until it says *holy crap...this water is boiling and i gotta get out*.  And if it's lucky enough, it finds a way out.

But now another frog has jumped into the pot.  The water is cooled.  Burner turned off.  She's hanging her clothes on my side of the closet.  Washing dishes in the sink where I used to make morning coffee.  Spending every other week *step-moming* my kids, relearning algebra and Spanish. Whew.

I 'm learning to say that I'm sad about this.  Even though it was the right decision for me.  Even though I know my life is on track for awesome.  It's sad to admit that even after investing time, energy and resources, our marriage couldn't be fixed.  And not to mention that it took less than two years to find a replacement for me.

Please don't hear this as a cry for help.  It is part of my growth.  Make room for sad when it hits.  Snuggle in and welcome it.  Then kiss it good bye when it disappears for a bit.  It always does.

In the meantime...I celebrated his re-marriage day by trading my wedding ring in for a new sparkly band.  An emancipation ring.  A commitment-to-me ring. A *gosh I deserve pretty things* ring.  So refreshing to let that last little bit of *us* go.  Whew.

It will be my daily reminder to Love. Forgive. Grow.  To breath in the fresh air that surrounds me.  To be thankful for the years of staying home with my kids so my expectations of them are seared into their brains...even when I'm not around to give them "the look".  Breathing...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Why can't I get anything done?

Sitting with my bowl of cereal this morning, I spied a jar of protein whey i bought for #1 to drink while doing football practice.  Reading the back *builds and repairs body tissue*.  My tissue needs repair!  Maybe this will help my shoulder heal?!  Can't hurt.

"Mix in Blender or Shake with ice".  I have a nice Oskar blender that i adopted from Mom.  Great chance to justify the real estate it takes up on my counter.

But first i need to move the crock pot that sits in front of it.  I've been wanting to find a better permanent home for this guy for awhile.  So i drag a chair over to the fridge.  Maybe it could just hand out there?  Toss the Christmas tins in the garage sale box.  Find my birthday cake.  Hey!  I forgot i had any of that left.  Ponder having a piece, but it really doesn't look that good.  Anyway my shake will be chocolate flavor.  Toss out cake.  Pat self on the back.

Heck.  There's cupboard space back there?!  Open to find the box that holds #4's dino magnets.  Hop down to put in his room.  Glance at the mess.  Open the window for fresh air...and hopefully let in a magic cleaning fairy.  Close door and run.

Back above fridge, get crock pot tucked safely next to cookie cutters and ice bucket.  Hopefully I'll remember to throw a Christmas cookie/pulled pork/cocktail party in December so i have a reason to visit these 3 things again.  Put away kid paint brushes.  Everyone keeps those above the fridge when you don't want your kids to ask if they can paint. Right?

Back to Blender.  Find shampoo/conditioner that has been awaiting return due to itchy scalp after using.  Reach under sink for a bag.  Spot dishwasher tabs.  Did i run the dishwasher like i meant to?  Yep.  Unload dishes.

Let dogs out.  Let dogs in.

Back to Blender sitting next to an empty fishbowl.  Flashback to Scout's Goldfish Regatta and our deceased fish friends.  Remember that i promised to think about a pet hedgehog.  Google *hedgehogs as pets*. Realize they don't have much memory and don't bond as well as other pets.  And let's not even imagine how the dogs would feel.

Let dogs out.

Look at Facebook (i deserve a break?)  Laugh at a few crazy cat videos.  Move over to okCupid.  Get a little depressed realizing I'm only catching green card seekers.  How do I know?  Their messages say, "How is you doing lady".  My reply.  "I is good".  It's amazing how many men continue to respond to that and figure they really have a live one.  All of their dreams are about to come true.  Good luck guys.

Let dogs in.

Back to Blender.  Put away electric knife, apple corer/slicer/and suction cup hangers.  What?  They don't hang together at your house?  Pity for them.  Also see Thanksgiving magnet with #4's picture that never made it to the refrigerator door.  Find Elmer's glue on another counter with vitamins, calcuim chewies, flashlights, unopened McD's toy and sharks teeth my dad brought over from our 1988 trip to Florida.  Again?  You say you don't group these things together at your house.  How would i be expected to find anything if i visited your house?

Admire the dust free oval the glue leaves on the counter.  Decide not to clean counter today...but soon.  Turn on iPod.  Dance to ABBA's Voulez-Vous.  Heading to hit replay see the nearby plant needs water.  So do all of my other plants.

Potty break which always includes a chat with the dogs.  Really?  You go to the bathroom by yourself?  Weird.  While in bathroom take meds.  Grab phone to call in prescription for BP meds and make a note to pick up fish oil at Costco.

Let dogs out.

Back to Blender.  Whew.  Dusty.  Pull from corner and find a stray chocolate chip.  Ponder eating it, but think back to the cake and the chocolate shake I may just get to.  Look around.  Can't find where I put the Chocolate Protein Powder after moving it from the table. Oh...not far from the blender.  By the toaster oven, next to the gingerbread ziplock bags from Christmas.

Open blender and wonder *why the heck am I making a blended drink on my day off?*  One scoop of powder, handful of ice cubes and 8oz of cold press coffee, cuz it seems like i could use more caffeine, eh?

Let dogs in.

Blend. Pour. Scowl.  Not exactly a Caribou milk chocolate cooler...but it'll do.  Sit down to enjoy my drink and write this blog and wonder if I'll ever make another one?