Monday, June 30, 2003

It's been a long weekend. For one thing, I finished the fifth Harry Potter book on Friday night. Very good, but yet again I am dealing with the after effects that I felt after finishing The Goblet of Fire several years ago. I feel a little sad, like I had a nice visit with some old friends and now they have left again. It was a very good book, though. Mostly build up to Book Six. Sigh. Oh well.

My father's ordination was on Saturday, at the church I grew up in. My dad is now a ELCA Lutheran minister. Weird. It was a good service, but very long. I wonder how many times, from childhood til now, I have sat in that church and daydreamed during sermons. The hymnals used to have these multicolored ribbon markers in them that I used to braid when I was a kid. I became very good at braiding. In third grade, I was Mary in the Christmas service, and was so bored, I fell asleep on the Baby Jesus in the manger. And every year, during the choir's Hallelujah Chorus, I would compose miniature novellas in my head. Saturday, I just thought about Harry Potter and tried to figure out what was going to happen in the next book. I guess not much changes in life.

I had a good time with all of my relatives and especially my parents. You know, I think I am overreacting about my mom. I had a good time with her this weekend. She was delighted by our new house, my decorating, my dog...she seemed interested in my life. She's not perfect; nobody is. I should just suck it up. I think things are going to be okay with us.

Yesterday, I had the Animal Shelter. We gave two puppies a bath (what whining!) and pulled about 50 ticks and fleas off of them. This is nasty gross, but there is something satisfying about that popping feeling when you yank off a tick. Plus, it is also satisfying to have a freshly deticked puppy who is finally sleeping exhaustedly because he isn't being sucked dry and eaten alive.

Friday, June 27, 2003

I feel so aching inside right now. My friend, Jeff (wrote about him a few days ago), came over to our house last night with some devastating news. My good friend, Jody, who had been a camp counselor with me for quite a few years, has had to leave camp this summer because some accusations were just brought against him by a CIT (counselor in training). Jeff was very upset and held back tears, while telling me that Jody might also lose his teaching job at the Christian school where he teaching, no matter if the charges are true or not (which I totally believe they ARE NOT.) Jeff has no idea what could have happened, but Jody is a known sleep walker, so we are wondering if that was involved.

It's so hard. I believe you must listen to children and investigate what they say. But at the same time, there is just NO WAY that Jody would have knowingly done something sinister to a child, or a FLY, for that matter. I ended up getting in touch with him today, and he is absolutely brokenhearted. "What am I going to do?" he said. "How will I ever get another job?" I have no idea. I mean, he's a Junior High TEACHER for Pete's sake. He also lives for training staff every summer at our camp. And that is obviously over. He asked me, "If the media gets ahold of this, would you still try to remember who I really am?" I started crying, and said, "I will get on the front page and tell them that you could never ever do something like this." He said, "I just need to know that I will still have a few friends after all of this is over."

I just feel so heartbroken inside. Maybe God has some weird plan for letting Jody go through this trial. I just pray He reveals why soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

I am tired of being weak. Weak in my emotions. Weak in discipline. Weak in my resolve. The thing that's been running through my head lately is, "Suck it up." Just get over it and get on with life. For so long, I've been using the fact that I struggle with depression as a crutch. But for pete's sake, it's totally under control and I am still using the same excuses.

I need to grow up and be a woman.

I need to think about this for awhile longer. I'll write more later.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Harry Potter is going well. I'm surprised how much I've read of it, considering how busy I've been with relatives and such since Friday. I want to slow down, since the next one won't be published til I'm about 32. Sheesh!

Relative Weekend went well. My two sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, and father-in-law visited and we all had a really good time. Worked on the house. Visited Mindy's baby. Kerrie made us martinis that she saw on Emeril's show. Squirrel didn't like anyone, and tried to bite Alice several times. Ugh. I've become an owner of one of those types of chihuahuas.

One thing I admire about Alice is her sense of right and wrong. I wouldn't say she's black and white, but if something is wrong, then it's wrong. It's almost a pure sense of belief that what God says is true. No doubts. It's just true, and there's no changing her mind. My mother-in-law is like that also. And both of them will tell you also, but not obnoxiously. We found out several months ago that Ruth (my mom-in-law) had a serious tumor in her bile duct. We asked her if there was anything we could do for her and she said, "Go to church. It's my dying wish." Great sense of humor, huh? So we did. Then it got removed, and we stopped going. Ha ha.

I just question things so much, which I think is also fine. Part of it has to do with personality types. I am an INFP (Introverted intuitive feeling perceiver). I see blacks and whites, but I also see all the shades of gray in between and I can be easily persuaded to see someone's point of view. Most of my family are J's (judgers) instead of P's. I think the world needs both.

Last night, I got to see some of my favorite people in the world! I was a camp counselor for years, and my two favorite campers were these boys named Ben and Jeff. I met them when they were 12 and singing all the words to Willy Wonka as a dinnertime show. They sat at my table for meals and the three of us just clicked. Ben has always been an "old soul" and wise beyond his years. Like a thirty year old, trapped in a 14 year old boy's body. Jeff is very sensitive and kind, but both of them have a wicked sense of humor. It's a very very strange thing when you have soul mates that are eight years younger than you. Very strange, and most people look at it as a little odd, so I look forward to them finally being adults, so it's not so weird. I've watched them grow up for eight or nine years now, and I am so thankful that they are turning out to be very quality individuals. For a couple of summers, my sister and I drove down to Texas to visit them.

I saw them last night and both are having girl problems. They are both college sophomores now, and I remember going through that crap at that age. I sat there and looked at Jeff, confused about two different girls, trying to make the right choice. And I knew he'd make the right choice, and I wanted to be at his wedding someday, and see his future children, and just plain thankful that God had put them in my life. I am so thankful that the Lord gives you people to love on this earth. That He creates people who march to the same drumbeat, and laugh at the same stuff, and understand each other's eyerolls and snorts.

I'm just thankful.

Friday, June 20, 2003

I am so TOTALLY STOKED about Harry Potter! I'm giggly and bouncy. I can't work!!!
Harry Potter. Tonight. 12:01 am.

We are pet-sitting a coworker's dog for the next week. A long-haired, male dachsund with the unfortunate name of Fifi. I feel like an idiot, standing at the back door, yelling, "Fifi! Fifi! Where are you, boy?" He's a very sweet dog, though, and he entertains Squirrel, so that gives me a break from a needy little chihuahua in the evening. I think I know why people have more than one child. I don't know how many times a day I say, "No, go play with your toys."

I've been feeling really happy lately. Lots of external things seem to be right in place-- my marriage, my house, my job, my friends. But it's more than that. I just feel better in my own skin than I have in a long time.

For instance, a friend from high school called me out of the blue last night to get some information for the high school reunion that she is helping plan (which I am not sure I can bear to attend yet, long story. Short story=high school: bleh.) But she ended up telling me about our rich friend from high school (father owns big chicken corporation in our small Arkansas town) who is getting married in a month to a rich New York lawyer. In the past, I have secretly been ickily jealous of this friend. She's always had everything handed to her on a beautifully manicured silver platter. She attended an expensive Southern private university, graduated, then decided she really wanted to do fashion design school in New York. Her parents bought her an apartment there, and flew up every month or so in their private plane to see her. Now she's finished with school, and apparently, she decided she really didn't want to work, so she's just hanging out and planning her wedding, etc. etc.

Anyway, first of all, I can now admit to myself that this is NOT FAIR and I am INSANELY JEALOUS. But I can also admit that life is not fair, but that God has been pretty darn good to me in my own life. He gave me the life I need, not the life I thought I wanted. Besides, if I had nothing to do all day, I would be so self-consumed and depressed! Who needs a big beautiful, black tie New York wedding to a rich lawyer, anyway? Not me!

Okay, so maybe I'm not totally over this, but I can at least stick out my tongue and go "Thhhhpt."

Thursday, June 19, 2003

I am feeling fat lately. The thing is, I'm not fat. I am actually thin to normal. But my body is changing. I'm not the size I was three years ago. Lately, I have to jump up and down to get my pants on, and the size larger than I usually am is starting to feel much more comfortable. I don't really exercise, so that is part of the problem. But then, I NEVER did. I think that this is another side effect of being a late twenty-something. Mother issues and blossoming thighs. My metabolism isn't kicking in like it used to. I think the thigh issue isn't bothering me as much as the realization that I'm getting older and alot of things are over. I will never have my mom tuck me in to bed and read me a book. I will never "fall in love" again (I mean, hopefully I won't. I don't want my husband to die or divorce me or whatever.) I will never be that young funky college girl again (Even if I did go back for more school, I'd probably be serious and study. Yuck.) I will never be the hot young single living in New York, wearing black and drinking cappucino (I never actually did that, but it's not going to happen now.)

I mean I think I chose the right path, or the right path was thrust upon me. I love my husband, my animals, my friends, my job (sometimes), my house... the future possibility of children. But then sometimes, I get so wistful for other lives.

As far as the thighs thing goes, I think a part of the problem was watching "Charlie's Angels" the other night. Drew Barrymore and the gals are MY age, for pete's sake. I'm looking at their butts and thinking, "What the hell?" But then, last night I was watching All Access on VH1 and they did a show on Hollywood "surgeries." You know, all those celebrities just whisk themselves over to get liposuction and enhancements at a moment's notice. It's not fair for the rest of us to think that they just look that way normally. So I decided, screw them, I'll just keep my jiggly thighs.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Two more days until my friends return! I have been waiting anxiously for Harry, Ron and Hermione to return for three years now. Hooray!

I am not a freak, I promise. But after I finished the last Harry Potter three years, I really got sad! I felt like my friends were gone. I felt the same way after reading the Bridget Jones books. Like this endearing, drunken woman had just left my life.

I will probably not deal well with "Friends" going off the air a year from now. I might need some consoling around that time.

My sister-in-law, Alice (cool name, huh?) and my father-in-law, Ray (not as cool a name), are coming for the weekend. I am looking forward to it. When Alice comes, we usually sit around in our pajamas all morning and sip on hot chocolate and talk about babies. (Neither of us has one.) Maybe we'll try to get Mindy to come over with The Baby so we actually have one to pick at.

Alice is one of those Loud People in life. Her favorite word (said in a booming voice), is "AWE-SOME!!!!" Said in two distinct syllables. The funny thing she doesn't look like she'd be one of the Loud People. She is cute, blonde and perky. But she was raised with three boys, so I guess that would turn anybody Loud.

Well, I'd better return to my game of Solitaire.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

I am addicted to computer solitaire. I don't really sit there for a long time and play it, just for five minutes here and there. It's embarrassing because I've always prided myself on being a pretty good worker. You know, good Protestant work ethic. I've never gotten in trouble for playing it, but it just hangs over my head. Yes, I am now one of those types of people. I steal work time. I waste my employer's valuable time and money. I am a SLACKER.

I've never really had a job before this one where I could truly waste time. All my other jobs-- office registrar, preschool teacher, tanning bed operator, waitress, medical receptionist, whatever-- I was busy pretty much the minute I got there to the minute I left. The time wasting thing never really came up. But now...well, I have the easiest job in the planet and I still find ways to piddle around actually doing it.

Monday, June 16, 2003

I work at the animal shelter in our town every other Sunday. I am a pet-aholic, owning three beloved cats and a dog. I really enjoy my experience there, and haven't really had the urge to quit (I am also a quit-aholic, quitting most everything I join.) I work with the cats. I feed, water, scoop poop, scour cages... whatever needs to be done. I even helped a kitty mom give birth once ("helping" is a strong word. I really just petted her and cleaned up the yuck afterwards.) And I've been okay with the fact that half of the animals that I am taking care of are going to be put to sleep. You can't do everything, you only do what you can... that's been my thoughts. I can't save them all, but I can give them an extra helping of food and pick their fleas off and give them some much needed love during their last days.

Anyway, lately, it's been alot more difficult for me. Maybe because it's kitten season. I could just take all of them home with me. Also, a Persian that I really liked was put to sleep a few weeks ago, and I adore Persians. No one wanted her. After that, I was like, "Did I truly not have enough room in my life for that one small cat?" But I have to be respectful of my husband. He's being generous enough to let me have the ones that I have. It's just so hard sometimes. The more you give, the more you get your heart broken.

I had a cat, Nouwen, several years ago that died in a really nasty accident. He jumped into the dryer while my husband was doing laundry. I found him after searching the whole house for him. It was really awful. It's still really horrible for me to think about. Not just that he died, but that he died in such an awful way and that it was our fault. It really took me a very long time to get over it-- by "over it" I mean not crying when I think about it. I'll never really be over it. When you love something like that, I don't think you can ever truly be over it. But my only consolations about it are that he was a very loved cat and had a good life and brought at least one person much joy. And also, I know that in some way that I certainly don't understand, there was a purpose for it. His life, as small and insignificant as it was, was worth something.

So that's why I work at the animal shelter. It's a small thing to do, for some very pathetic little creatures, but maybe that little bit of caring will be worth something in the long run.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I collect small stuffed pigs.

This began, as most collections do, in college, when I was looking at my dresser and realized that I had three small stuffed pigs that people had given me. Thus, a "collection," if you will. In college, you have alot of time to sit and stare and think about crap that probably is not worth thinking about. I started thinking, "Hey, they are a gang." No, not just a gang. A posse! The Pork Posse.

Now what does a Pork Posse do? So I sat around and thought about that for a long time (I was an art major-- lots of time.) Well, obviously, if you are part of a posse, you cause trouble. Thus, the infamous Pork Posse was born. They harrassed my apartment-mate's little rat lovie toy that she had had since childhood. She'd come home to find her beloved Mousie being fried in a skillet, or drinking beer with that carousing posse in the bathroom. She really started to get pissed off after awhile.

The thing about collections is that once people figure out that you have a collection, they start wanting to contribute. Before long, I was swimming in small stuffed pigs. I probably have fifty now. They hang out in a big Rubbermaid tub when they aren't out carousing. Although most are pink, they are integrated. I have a black pig or two in the mix. One is a Christian pig, picked up at a Christian camp that I worked at. He's been trying to convert the others, but as I said earlier, they are a rowdy bunch, not prone to giving up their ways. One pig is very skinny, and some of the others have been considering an intervention concerning her obvious anorexia. One other pig has very long legs and has been dubbed the nickname, "The Long Arms of the Law." He gets after the others when things get a little too wild. I have a little bear who is wearing a pig outfit. The group is not too bright and have yet to figure out that there is an imposter in their midst. And then there is Napoleon. He is actually a "Babe" toy that I retrieved from a McDonald's Happy Meal. He is the ruthless tyrant of the bunch. He leads his troops with a brutal hoof. I am convinced that if he were removed, the rest would probably turn from their shady doings. But please. There is no removing of Napoleon.

Although most people have given up contributing to the Pork Posse, my mother still delights in bringing new ones to me. The latest one was wearing a blue "Spam" shirt that she got at the Spam museum somewhere in Minnesota. I say that I don't need any more of them, but I secretly love getting new ones. And every pig that I see in a store, I am instinctively drawn to, even though I forget why after awhile. My husband just rolls his eyes, and says, "You don't need that."

I know. At least, Mom will still get it for me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

I keep waiting for my life to settle down a little bit. I have had like 20 wedding and baby showers in the past month or two. I have a rehearsal dinner, wedding and two wedding receptions this weekend, followed by what I believe is my last baby shower of the season next weekend. Enough already! At least it's good for my ego to be invited to events. Hopefully, all my little parties will be finished and everything will be in it's place in my house by the 21st, when Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is released so I can just sit back and read for the weekend.

I have been having such a good time this weekend, working on the house. I read through another home decorating magazine last night and came up with a bunch of new ideas. I'm thinking, maybe we should wait a bit longer before starting the whole family thing. It's sort of nice being able to decorate the house the way I want and know that we have the money for it. And I want a new purse and by golly, I think I am going to go buy a new one. I know that all ends once the babies arrive. Materialism is not a good reason for putting off starting a family, I know, so maybe part of it is fear of losing my independence. I watched my friend this weekend, strapped to Caleb the whole time. Lots of crying and whipping boobies out to stop the crying. Around 6pm, she handed Caleb to me and just left to go walk around the neighborhood by herself. I know motherhood is worth it, but the closer I get to it, the scarier it seems.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

I'm moved into my house! Hooray! I am really excited and really really tired. The place is a mess right now. An utter mess. We had some good help- the Grusings, Karen (my sister) and her new beaujoy, Bill. So everything is officially in the house, pets included. Squirrel wore himself out running around inspecting everything, so he is now asleep in a pile of clothes. The cats are adjusting. Atticus just about hyperventilated, as usual. He doesn't handle change well at all. After freaking out, he retreated back to his cat carrier and stayed there the rest of the day, thinking, "This is not happening. This is not happening." Lizzie and Schaeffer are stealthily creeping around the whole house, jumping at any little noise. Worlds are rocked very easily when you are a very pampered Persian.

I can't believe I'm a house owner! It's our house and can paint it however I want! First things first, no more sage green! I might even go funky.

I spent all day with my friend, Mindy, who is a new mom (10 week old child.) She seems so tired, but she is still such a trooper. She packed up my kitchen in no time flat, between feedings. I was very impressed.

I can't believe Jewel went techno-pop. I'm willing to give it a chance, since I like that "Intuition" single on the radio.

This has been a pretty lame entry, today, but I tired.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Now my comment engine works!

I am the WOMAN! Hear me roar! ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

somebody please send me a comment
Well, I can't seem to figure out how to do the "comments" thing yet. And now that I'm officially a blogger, I have been looking around at other people's cool sites and I feel sorely inadequate. "Secret Agent Josephine" is my favorite so far, but I also like the simplicity of "Rebecky." My husband knows how to do this website stuff, so I am going to utilize his resources. By golly, I'm going to have a spiffy blog yet!!

Here I sit at my office/cubicle. I was supposed to be signing closing papers on our house this morning, but the bank isn't done with the underwriting paperwork. Grrrrrrrr. I get so disappointed so easily. I've been this way since I was a kid. Not being able to go to the zoo would ruin my entire world. Now my closing on the house is put back a day. What is wrong with the universe?!

Another chick in my office is pregnant. People are so weird. My friend Beck and I (both baby insane) found out from this lady's ecstatic husband. We ventured over to her cubbie the next day and said, "Congratulations! Are you totally stoked?!" (sorry. 80's word there) She kind of half-smiled and said, "Oh, my husband's more excited about telling people than I am." She kind of looked humorless and a bit sour. Beck and I felt uncomfortable and left. I guess everyone reacts differently. I've just never been made to feel like I was making "too big a deal" about someone's good news.

Of course, my therapist husband would say, "Nobody can make you feel anything. How you feel is up to you." He's such a man. He's such a man who's been through three years of school getting his masters in counseling. He even has a book called, How You Feel is Up to You, which he regularly quotes from.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Mother issues. This is another thing that I am dealing with, here in the bog that is my twenties. It was really bothering me for awhile, but then I looked around and every woman my age in my life is having the same problem. So I guess maybe it's a normal thing to go through. The issues are different with all my friends and their moms. One of my problems is that I have no idea what my issues really are about-- but yet, there they loom.

Part of me is panicked that I am going to turn into my mother. ("Oh no, not that!") But the other part wishes that she would call more and tell me what to do and think and what direction to go. My parents live really far away, but are planning to move much closer in the next month or so. Again, I'm torn. Part of me is like, help me Lord. The other part is saying, Yippee! My mommy is coming back to take care of me! I guess I really did feel abandoned when they moved, which is stupid because I was 24 years old. When I call to talk to her, we either have really good conversations (rare) or the usual "Yes, Mom. Okay, Mom. I'll do that, Mom. I have to go, Mom. I really have to go, Mom. Okay, Mom. Bye, Mom. Bye, Mom. Bye, Mom. BYE, MOM!!!" Click. It's so frustrating. I guess I don't really help matters. I want her in my life, but for fear of her lecture/advice giving sessions, I don't really give her much to work with.

I wonder if that's part of my desire to have a baby. A baby! Now that would give us something to bond over! Maybe then she'd be interested in my life! I know. That's stupid. NOTHING gets easier after having a baby. I don't know why we always kid ourselves about that.

I just wish I could have a mother who could read my mind (you know, the non-dirty stuff.) She could be my best friend when I need a friend. But be my mommy when I need a mommy. She could not call when I don't need her, but instinctively know the right moment to call when I want her to. Also, she would send me little care packages every week with new cute panties that she bought for me at Target. She'd want to go see movies with me (she has never wanted to go to the movies with me) and take me shopping to buy stuff (it doesn't matter what stuff) and finally teach me how to cook (we ate spaghetti four times a week.) All of this she would do without nagging or second-guessing me.

Maybe someday.

Monday, June 02, 2003

We're buying a house. We're planning on moving into it next weekend. This weekend we packed up our rent house....or rather, my very orderly husband packed up our rent house and I wandered around listlessly, groaning softly. Why do I turn into such a big child during times like this? Packing. Cleaning. Organizing. How hard can that be? It just seems impossible. I get so overwhelmed looking at it all. Books and linens are the only thing I can pack. They are easily stackable and you know you probably don't need them until you are safely at your new abode. I also can take picures down off of walls. This drives my husband crazy. "Why bother with that?! There are a ton of other things you could be doing!" Which is true, but taking pictures off of walls feels like the ONLY thing I know how to do. Actually, everything I did this weekend drove my husband crazy. He's trying to pack and I'm wandering around holding empty boxes, watching "E!" True Hollywood Stories and "Cribs" on MTV. The worst point was when I was standing there, watching the end of "Rosemary's Baby" on the SciFi channel, and he walked in and flicked it off. I was like, "Hey! That was important!" He stomped off, muttering about his lazy good-for-nothing wife. I feel like a kid who's just gotten in trouble.

The thing is, I'm very good at other stuff. In emergencies, for instance, when someone has whacked his or her thumb off-- I'm the gal you want. I have a very level head during such times, whereas my husband is Mr. FreakOut Man. Or directions and maps. I am a very good person to have along when you are travelling. I'm good at entertaining babies, picking ticks off of dogs, having patience with boring or insane people... I just wish my husband would remember these things when I am taking the fifth nap of the day, just to avoid cleaning the toilet.