A smashing idea…

Lately my technology has been going out more than I have.

This month has been a total technology fail for me. Here is the list of things that went out this month alone:

  • My computer at work
  • My printer
  • My monitor
  • My cell phone

Last month my daughter convinced me to upgrade my iPhone 5 at a Black Friday sale. I was hesitant. I hate updates and upgrades. It makes me feel like an idiot. Just when things work perfectly fine, there is another update that I have to spend 3 hours learning. I had the phone over 3 years and just figured out how to use it. Not to mention that it has been almost impossible getting another phone case for my running belt…Knowing my luck, the phone would probably fall out when I am running breaking my new phone and my leg in the process using the old case.

But my phone was starting to glitch out on me. Sometime it would freeze. The worst thing was that I no longer received my WP notifications…Blogging just wasn’t the same without the WP ping. It made me feel like I was writing on paper with a sore inky south paw hand.

On Black Friday, I upgraded to an iPhone 7. I didn’t spend the extra money on the insurance plan for myself, but did for my kids. Seriously, like adults need to worry about cracked screens or smashed phones??

Last week I smashed my new phone.

I was in a hurry like I always am…running late. I grabbed my phone as I ran out the door. My husband was waiting for me in the truck. As I lifted my leg to get into the truck, my phone must have slipped out of my jacket pocket. Once we got to our destination, I couldn’t find my phone. I thought I must have forgotten it at home. It was kind of like a ‘did I turn off the oven’ back burner thought to me. I thought I took it with but second guessed my memory in the rush to get out the door.

I couldn’t find my phone when I got home. Finally my husband found it frozen in the driveway. It looked fine on the outside. I wrapped it in my arms to warm up. But it was too late. It was dead. I took it in to get fixed. Once they opened it up, it was smashed inside.

I had to buy another phone. I also got a new computer, printer, and monitor at work. Now I even have two monitors so I can read your posts when I am sitting half the day on hold at work. I won’t even mention the internet, software, or phone problems at work…just this month. It’s insane!

I spent so much time this month irritated by technology. I even had the opportunity to hear our IT guy swear for hours on end as I sat helplessly watching. What a waste of time!

I want to take all of these items that failed me into a dark room with a baseball bat. I want to bash the monitor…crack my cell phone…smash the computer to bits…and pummel my printer to paper pulp. I might need a padded room. Not for myself! I don’t want to chip the walls.

I can almost hear the glass shatter in my mind. I love the sound of it.

It is so hard to be gentle towards our fragile devices that cause so much rage.

I’ve always had the fantasy of smashing computers…almost like having the car seat burning party I talked about but never had once I was done with all of that.

It sounds like a smashing idea, doesn’t it??

Its been a few days

Its been a few days since I was able to write. It’s not as if I have writer’s block or ran out of things to write about. I have a long, long list…probably longer than Santa’s…of things to write about. So many things are on my list that I am starting to cross them off not because I completed them either. Who wants to talk about Thanksgiving at Christmas?? The week of parties hasn’t even started yet…Yikes!

I have been very busy…I am standing at the kitchen counter making supper as I write. If I am lucky, I will finish this before I do the dishes and have to pick my daughter up from school. I have to start the spaghetti now.

I try to start a rough draft over my lunch hour at work. Monday at lunch, Paul and I went house hunting. We viewed the house of our dreams. But I will save that for another day. Tuesday at lunch I went to they gym. I am still running pain free!! Yeah!

Yesterday we got our first real snowfall of the season of around 7 inches. We had an employee call in. She totally freaks if there are rumors of snow. So I went home for a quick lunch so I could get back to work right away. I ended up getting stuck in my driveway. The car slid off the pavement and was tearing up the grass.

I just put the spaghetti into boiling water. I hope I don’t forget about it as I type.

So, an hour later, after my husband got my car out of the snow bank he drove me to work. Even though I stayed late, I didn’t get caught up.

Just got a text from my daughter saying that she needed to be picked up earlier. I wonder if she can catch the late bus?

Okay, where was I?

Time to layer my spaghetti lasagna. Great, I found a ride home from the late bus for my daughter so I can finish blogging supper. Supper is in the oven.

Maybe I will be able to go to choir practice tonight.

What was I talking to you about again??

Maybe I should just start folding laundry and forget about blogging for another day.

**Maybe I should let my followers know that I am alright. It has been a whole 5 days since my last post.**

Maybe tomorrow I will have the time to think about my thoughts. Now I have even more ideas to add to my list…

Running update

Good news! I was able to go for a 10 mile run today without pain!!

I think that cutting back in my running helped my body heal physically.

But it was not good for my mind.

I was starting to get depressed. I felt like life was meaningless. I felt like I had no purpose or reason to get up in the morning. I struggled to keep the tears from my eyes. I was edgy…moody…irritated. I felt like there wasn’t one person in the world that cared about me.

I know that those feelings are not real. My life is actually going pretty good. I’ve surrounded myself with so many people that care.

Not running does strange things to my mind…so it is good to be back on my feet again.

Thanks for your thoughts, comments, and prayers. I really appreciate that you take the time to follow the winding story of my crazy life.

Wow! See? I’m feeling better already!

Thanksgiving leftovers

The day before Thanksgiving, I spoke to my mom on the phone. She told me that my dad was going to drive 8 hours round trip to drop something off at my brother Mark’s house, but he wasn’t going to come over to my house for Thanksgiving.

I said, “Let me get this straight, dad is going to drive 4 hours to see Mark but he won’t drive 20 minutes to come over and eat a meal that he doesn’t have to prepare?”

My dad showed up for Thanksgiving. Then after the meal, he left without saying good-bye.

Later in the day, we were playing Loaded Questions and everyone had to guess my response to the question asking who I always wondered if they liked me or not. Some people said Aunt Grace or my sister-in-laws. No one guessed that I put my dad down as my answer. It’s sad that I feel unsure if my dad likes me.

It seems ironic that Paul never had a dad and I always wondered if my dad likes me while we were surrounded this Thanksgiving with men that had estranged relationships with their children.

Paul’s step-dad Darryl and my Uncle Rick were guests in our house this Thanksgiving. They weren’t invited anywhere else. Their stories are similar.

Darryl was previously married to a woman that he had two children with. When his children were little, his wife left and took the boys with her several states away. Ever since I’ve known Darryl, he has wanted a relationship with his sons that was not reciprocated. The only time that they called him regularly was when they were incarcerated. Darryl was the man that stood patiently by his wife’s side as she was dying of cancer. Darryl loves to spend time with his step-grandchildren, my kids. Darryl married my mother-in-law when Paul was in his upper 20’s, so he never thought of Darryl as a dad.

My Uncle Rick has a similar story. He is recently divorced not of his choosing. His adult children all decided to side with their mother instead of him. They also cut themselves off from all of his family. My Uncle Rick is one of those nice guys that women seem to walk over. He wears his heart on his sleeve but would give the shirt off of his back. He brought a ‘F off’ letter that his daughter wrote to him for us to read at our house.

 

Paul and I would’ve given anything to have a dad like Darryl or Rick, yet their kids want nothing to do with them. They are wonderful men. I’ve known them long enough to know that. I just don’t get it.

I find it heartbreaking when kids feel like they have to pick sides when their parents divorce. Why can’t they have both parents in their lives??

Maybe someday their kids will come around.

Until then, we are thankful for your broken, discarded, leftover dads.

 

Grandma’s rocking chair

My eye hurts really bad. It feels like it is on fire as the tears roll down my face.

Matt is screaming again. He poked me in the eye on purpose. We are both screaming now.

I told Grandma that I hate Matt.

She didn’t tell me that I should feel lucky that I am normal. Nor did she say that I shouldn’t be upset since Matt can’t help it. She didn’t tell me that Matt has it harder either. Those were the things that Mommy and Aunt Grace said.

She didn’t push me away to comfort Matt.

Instead, Grandma picked me up and rocked me in her gentle arms. She sang me beautiful songs until my tears dried and I fell asleep.

Run off

Today I had my first run after taking a week off. I ran 5 miles wearing an ankle brace. It wasn’t totally pain free, but it was feeling better than before. At this time, I decided to keep my leg in watch mode. I hate being in watch and see what happens mode. I want answers. I want solutions. I hate uncertainty.

I was doing some reading online about stress fractures. It said that women in their 40’s were more likely to get stress fractures from running due to brittle bones. Milk was a rarity in our house growing up, so I do worry about it.

Over the week I’ve had off of running, I could feel my mood plummet. There was one morning I woke up crying. I’ve wanted to withdraw from people and write my stories. I seem to feel the need to tell you the dreary and sad stories. But I don’t want to make you feel sad when reading them. It is a conundrum.

I’ve also felt edgy and irritable at times. I have to work extra hard to make sure my filter is on before I speak.

I got into arguments with my kids this morning which is unusual. I think it was justified.

I got into Arabella’s case for getting up 5 minutes before the bus came to pick her up. She didn’t even have time to take a shower.

I got into an argument with Alex too. Arabella and Alex are staying after school for after school activities. I asked Alex to bring Arabella home. He said that he didn’t want to wait for her since his activity let out before hers did. Now I have to pick her up.

I don’t ask a lot from my kids. But when I do ask, I expect them to do it. I usually don’t give them chores over the school year like I do in the summer. I feel very conflicted about this.

As children, my brothers and I had a long list of chores. At first, I worked outside with my brothers until I almost hurt myself carrying a really huge log to impress my parents. After that, I was no longer allowed to do outdoor work. As soon as I was tall enough to reach the clothes line, I was in charge of the family laundry. I also had to help my mother make meals…grating carrots, washing and cutting vegetables..simple boring stuff, and I was in charge of cleaning the kitchen.

There is a part of me that wants my kids to be children. I want them to have something I didn’t have, a childhood. There will be enough to do around the house when they are adults. They will figure it out.

Plus I am always fighting myself with wanting things to be done right. No one else knows how to do things right like I do. I really don’t know why I need to feel some sort of control over things that probably don’t matter. Who cares if the towels are folded wrong?? Or if the Teflon pan ends up in the dishwasher?? Apparently I do!

All I ask of my children is to keep a clean room and pick up after themselves a little. This is certainly not done up to my standards.

When I do ask for help, I expect a gracious response. Of course, I will help you mother. After all, I pay for my son’s gas for the car I bought for him to use. Although that may be coming to an end soon.

I tried to give my children everything I didn’t have and probably ended up spoiling them.

My son also said unkind words about his sister. He is now going out with a popular girl. He does not want to be seen with his unpopular sister. He said that he didn’t want to do her any favors, but I told him that it would be me he was helping. I have no sympathy for his embarrassment.

When I was his age, my brother was exposing himself to my friends. He also attacked my best friend which basically resulted in the end of our friendship.

What did you say about being embarrassed by your sister again?? Maybe I’ll throw that one in his face during our next argument.

I really need to get back into running hard core. I am starting to feel the bat $#!+ crazy coming on….!

 

 

Who I was..who I am..

Is distrust bad? Why does it have such a negative connotation?

When I was about 12, I went on a trip to South Dakota with my Aunt Grace, mom, dad, and one of my brothers. Aunt Grace wanted to go there for a church conference. Although she didn’t have hotel reservations, she had my dad as a driver. We loaded all 5 of us into her little 2 door Cutlass and we were on our way.

There wasn’t a hotel room to be found in the city of the conference. But I don’t think it mattered as Grace only stayed long enough to pick up her registration bag from what I remember.

I saw an ad for an indoor water park. I begged my Aunt Grace to allow us to go. I’d never been to a water park before. Aunt Grace said ‘yes’. So once again we loaded up the car and my dad drove 2 hours to get to the water park. I could barely contain my excitement as I grabbed my swimming suit and ran indoors. We took a tour of the water park. I saw kids climbing on ropes, going down slides, and swimming in the water. I couldn’t wait to get in the water.

After the tour, Aunt Grace said that it was time to go. Wait! What??

There was restaurant across the street from the water park that she wanted to go to. I refused to eat. I wanted to go to the water park!  I begged my mom to convince Aunt Grace, but she refused. Aunt Grace is paying for the trip so we will do what she wants. I was angry, frustrated, and started to cry. Aunt Grace yelled at me for being an ungrateful child. She wouldn’t stop so I told her to shut up which to her was like screaming obscenities. She never liked me after that day..

I don’t look back on this in anger. I really don’t think that Aunt Grace even intended to be cruel. In her mind, I think she believed that she was gracious enough to take me to the water park.

I learned a few valuable lessons on that day..

First, never trust anything that anybody says. Second, don’t trust anyone until they prove to be trustworthy. Third, don’t get too excited about things that might never happen.

If I trust you, it is the highest honor I could give you.

Do you think that distrust is a negative quality to have?

I would argue that someone needs to question, doubt, test, discern, and protect oneself and others from blindly trusting. I am that person.

My childhood was difficult…and my adult years have been easy in comparison. There is a part of me that feels if I let go of my past, then I will give up my grit and toughness that came from it which makes me who I am. I am afraid of that..I am afraid of losing who I was..who I am..

 

Getting malled

This morning…like really early this morning before I woke up…I received 2 emails from a large online company saying that they had a technical error and couldn’t send me an item I ordered on cyber Monday. I try to avoid the mall if at all possible. I’ve never even been black Friday shopping. Maybe I should go next year if I can’t run a marathon…it might give me the same feeling…waiting in line and then running as fast as you can towards the prize. Although I probably wouldn’t get the ‘free’ banana. I’ll have to rethink that..

Anyway…as I was saying, this company couldn’t complete my order but they didn’t tell me what item(s) out of the 25,000 that I ordered they weren’t sending…I tried to contact customer service, but didn’t see the option to choose that I received an email saying they couldn’t fulfill my order. I got a reply right away when I emailed them under the category of fraudulent email. It didn’t seem legit to me anyway. Two emails sent in the middle of the night with an order number and no product description. They sent a quick reply stating that they couldn’t send me an immersible blender. (Although I do still see it for sale on their website at 4 times the price I paid).

The immersible blender is the one item that my mom said that she wanted from me for Christmas. An immersible blender?? What??

This weekend I will be heading to the mall with half the population of Wisconsin to try to find an immersible blender. Did I mention that I HATE SHOPPING!! But before you start to picture me in your mind limping around…there is hope. I will go to the mall during the Packer game. Hopefully the mall will be packed only with pissed off sales clerks that will be missing the game. Fingers crossed on that one!

I feel really blessed to live around a large population of Packer fans when I don’t care about football. Please don’t let the word get out…I get a little nervous if I accidentally wear the opposing team’s colors to church as I am surround by people in Packer jerseys. It is almost like a cult.

Wish me luck on finding an immersible blender without getting mauled by a zillion Christmas shopping mall goers this weekend..

Yeah, good luck with that! I’ll let you know how it goes..

Back to the past

Over Thanksgiving we played the game Loaded Questions. It is a great group get to know each other kind of game. Perfect Christmas gift idea. You’re welcome!

The main object of the game is to ask a question in a category and try to guess who wrote what response. Every player gets a chance to be a judge.

When I was a judge, I asked the question…If you could live in a past time period, when would it be?? Paul said it was taking him awhile to write a response because he was having a hard time spelling his answer..

Here were the answers:

1960’s

1970’s

1970’s

1980’s

1980’s

The Renaissance period (obviously Paul’s answer)

An hour ago so I wouldn’t have to play this lame game (obviously my son)

I found the answers interesting. My mom and Darryl wanted to go back to their teenage/young adult years…but what I really found interesting was that 3 out of 4 teens wanted to live in the time period that I grew up in…I was shocked..

But, but, but, but…there was no internet back then.

The teens said that they didn’t care.

I asked my daughter Angel about it later…Why did you pick that you wanted to live in the time I grew up in??

She had two answers. First, everything today is fake. She said that she knows of an ultra thin uTuber that spent hours posing with an ice cream cone that she never ate. She said that although she is a normal weight that it made her feel fat. Also, people only post good things about their life…which makes her feel like her life is boring or that she is not happy enough. (At this point, I should’ve shared with her about all of the personal posts here on WP but I missed the opportunity to tell her that other people’s lives do suck sometimes).

While we were in conversation, she took my picture with her a couple of times for snapchat. People were sending selfies back with little comments on it. She said I should join. Why would I want to send pictures of myself back and forth to people all day?? I don’t understand.

Second, my daughter said that all of her social contacts are on her phone. I guess that means instead of hanging out with friends in person, they send pictures back and forth all day or play games. She said that putting her phone away for a short time would mean that her social interaction is gone. She talked about a challenge at college that included giving up a phone for one day. Teens become a slave to their phones. Funny thing is…I never see them use their phone as a phone.

This is what it was like growing up in the 80’s…

 

The weekends always held a sense of adventure. After watching the Saturday morning cartoons, the neighborhood kids would ride around on bikes without helmets. Sometimes our chains would fall off or we would fall off our bike miles from home. We had to work together as a team to figure out how to fix problems. No one ever knew where we were.

I really loved the monthly trips into town to go to the library. Sometimes I could read a book a day. I would drool over the new releases that could only be rented for a few days. I couldn’t wait until that book was out on the shelves. I always checked the return pile for coveted books. I loved the silence and the smell of musty old books. Sadly, I haven’t been to a library in years.

It was exciting to hear a new song on the radio. I would listen for hours just to get the chance to pop a cassette tape in and record the song. Of course, I rarely got the whole song on tape. I had a weekly date with America’s Top 40. The weekly countdown was big excitement.

In the evenings, we would go on walks to visit with our grandparents or great aunt and uncle. I think I miss this the most…just walking in as if expected…unannounced visits. People just would stop in and talk for hours. People would drop whatever they were doing and listen. There was never a ‘let me check my schedule’.

We loved playing outside making forts out of wood or in the snow. We were never in a hurry. I loved going to the post office to see if I got a letter in the mail. We would pretend to ‘smoke’ candy cigarettes. We played in the sprinkler and drank water out of the hose. We ate raw cookie dough and ate homemade meals every night. We only had our picture taken on special events. I loved the big poofy hair and the big boxy cars.

We had a computer at home that I learned how to make my name scroll across the screen. It was exciting! Sometimes I would even change the color of my name. I loved to play Donkey Kong. We had an Atari and a VCR. I had a Michael Jackson record player from when he was still black. I spent hours playing with Barbie and Ken. I could spend hours watching a slinky go down the steps. I loved the game of Life. We never heard bad world news, unless things were really bad the adults didn’t tell us.

The strange thing is, although you might say that there was nothing to do, I can’t remember ever being bored.

I would challenge the young folks to spend a weekend without their phone to see what kind of adventures are out there..

What were your favorite memories growing up in pre internet era??

 

 

 

 

Running out

After our nice talk yesterday, I was feeling optimistic. Maybe it was the sunshine, warm weather, or all of the endorphins kicking in from being outside running in such nice weather. I don’t know..

I got home from my run yesterday and I felt different…almost what you could describe as happy. That has worn off now. All that is left is the dull throbbing ache of my ankle. Yes, it still hurts!

So I came up with a plan. I am going to stop running for one whole week. Then I am going to go for a run. If I am not in pain…Great! Problem solved. If it still hurts after one week, then I will call the doctor.

Please remind me to call the doctor when I show resistance. I am counting on you to appeal to the small sliver of my mind reserved to rational thinking.

Other than that, I really am sick of talking about it…I have 2 other posts swirling around my mind from last week yet that I have been itching to write. So, I will give you an update next Tuesday after I go for a run.

I hope and pray that my ankle is okay!

Oh my…I just had a rational thought…You have never seen me without running for an extended period of time, have you??  I’ll sum it up for you with a quote from one of my favorite running shirts.

You say I’m crazy for running. You should see me when I don’t run.

Things might get a little bat $#!+ around here. Ha ha ha ha ha…