Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Don't Like Ben and I Don't Like Vegetable Soup, But That's OK!

You better sit down and get a drink. If it offends you in anyway that I'm an American citizen who has opinions and likes and dislikes, this isn't the blog for you. I recently made a comment that I was Anti-Ben. This spurred on an entire uproar on Facebook. I stated that I like the Steelers because they have Purdue colors, I just don't like Ben. I have to say that if people would get as fired up about Jesus as they do about their sports heroes or whether they were "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob" our world would be a better place. As it is, I, unwittingly, spurred a debate throwing people into an uproar without intending to.

What I know about sports compared to true sports fans could fit into a thimble. That said I am entitled to my opinion, much to the dismay of other people. I do not know Ben Roethlisberger personally. I also do not know Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise, and I think that kid Justin looks better with a haircut. Which is why I don't publicly bash them, even though I don't like them. I also don't like peas, vegetable soup, or the chicken soft taco from Taco Bell I had for dinner Sunday night.

I had no idea that Ben had been accused of rape. I don't like him because I don't like the look in his eye. I also think he should always wear a hat, he can pull off a hat very well. After reading the commentary that went on long after I had left the conversation. I was appalled to read that apparently because I am Anti-Ben I must be "uninformed" and "easily influenced." This, according to the person I considered a friend, I was giving a gentle ribbing to, is due to my upbringing and the fact that I live in a small town. This person by the way graduated with me from high school. (Hello pot, meet the kettle, you are both black!)

So in my quest to be better informed I googled Ben. Apparently he has been accused of rape and more than one time. I see a pattern here. How many football player are perfectly able to get through their careers without this happening to them? Ben is a quarterback with two Super Bowl rings. Ben had to miss four games at the beginning of the season because of a rape charge. I am a college educated woman and I live in a small town. (By choice) I am pretty sure that even an Ivy League graduate who lives in a large city can put two and two together on this one. I should mention that he has never been found guilty in a court of law and has always been able to settle outside of court for a settlement. He is special. Even without knowing all of that I didn't like the guy. Investigating him only made me dislike him more. Not because I find people guilty until proven innocent, but I have yet to read anything about the man that I found remotely appealing. P.S. If this shocks or dismays you in any way, I should also mention that I don't watch Oprah either.

Before you get yourself tied in a knot I made vegetable soup for dinner tonight. I figured I should give it another chance. I believe in second chances. As I tell my children, maybe you didn't like it before but you are older now, you may like it now. I have to say it's still not my favorite. I found I still don't like the way it looks, but if I read something or refuse to look in the bowl, I can eat it. Perhaps when I watch the Super Bowl this year, the only football game I will bring myself to watch on TV every year, (I enjoy the commercials in between also Glee comes back that night so Yay!) I'll just focus on the Purdue colors and not look at Ben.

It saddens me that someone who likes to think of themself as well informed and unbiased, was so quick to come to the rescue of a man he has never met yet quick to slander me. He has no idea how I spend my time, what degrees I hold, who raised me, or how I form my opinions. All things he likely doesn't know about Ben either. Ben has two Super Bowl rings but I have wedding rings and have been able to stay married to my high school sweetheart for over fifteen years.

I don't go on people's pages or my own and speak ill of anyone. It doesn't matter if they have upset me or not. I prefer to talk to them without an audience if something is bothering me. Never would I tell an entire facebook community that a friend was small minded because they didn't agree with what I believed to be true.

But this is my blog. Here is what I believe to be true. I believe that if people would show this much passion for Jesus our world would be a MUCH better place. If instead of jumping to conclusions people would ask what you are referring to, our world would be a MUCH better place. If everyone would pick sports teams based on the color of their uniforms, and not pick a player and put them on a pedestal that they may or may not belong on, our world would be a MUCH better place. If our house furniture had buttons to heat the seats like my car seats do, I would always be warm in the house at winter time.

But I digress. So the moral of this story I guess is this: Before slandering someone you consider a friend for being "ill-informed" perhaps you should be better informed about your friend. Also never get into a battle of wits with an unarmed man. As currently I'm reminded why I don't have many male friends and I married the pick of the litter.

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Mother, A Story of Getting to the Other Side

There was a lightning storm the night she went to be with Jesus. The day had been sunny and bright. The pool was used, and the laughter that day from outside was wonderful. Inside I was tired. I was tired a lot in those days. Everyone was outside and I got the baby down for a nap. I took a quick peek into her room and saw her sleeping. I went and laid down on the couch for a nap. The baby asleep in the play pen. I heard the sliding glass door open and someone come in. Then, I felt the hand on my arm to wake me. Then I looked into the sad eyes and knew that rest would not come for a long time.
Phone calls were made and the children sent home with grandma. A meal was brought to the house. I didn’t need to be convinced to eat, for food was my comfort. Eating was easy; the rest was hard. My uncle came, my husband tried to comfort me while feeling helpless at the same time. Her best friend came and the night wore on. There is nothing you can do, go on home I said to my uncle. I am fine just get some sleep I said to my husband. One look at the best friend told me she wasn’t moving. I on one side and her on the other, we kept our vigil. And the night wore on. I have always been afraid of storms. Yet on this night I couldn’t keep from looking out the window at the head of the bed where the lightning show played outside. She never awakened. The war was going on inside. One look would tell you that she was standing firm and was losing her battle. She wasn’t ready to go. She wasn’t going to go, yet there she was… going.
I spent my time praying. Talking to her and telling her what I thought she needed to hear.
I don't know if she heard any of my words: She had done her job. I would be OK. My husband and our children would be there for me. My mother-in-law had promised her she would take care of me. It’s OK to go, she would be better. The pain would end. The suffering would end. I love you mom. It will be OK, God will make it OK.
I’m not sure how I knew, other than the overwhelming sense of presence. I knew it was time. Take her hand I told her friend. She looked at me questioningly. It’s time I said. She’s leaving. I believe He stood at the end of the bed, I looked but felt more than I saw. Then she seemed to get up and walk from her body and into His arms and take her leave. She was gone… forever. I went upstairs and told my husband she was gone. The nurse was called and when she came, she instructed that I be taken from the room. I didn’t want to see what would happen next.
My house which had been full of people coming and going would fill up only a couple more times. Then this journey that had begun the summer before would be coming to an end. The diagnosis of Lung Cancer was horrible to hear, but it had already spread and is in her brain too. They only gave her six to eight months. I hope to give her a good season the doctor said. Had it really been almost a full year?
She is to wear white because angels wear white, and that is what she is now I said. I wore a yellow sweater. It was her favorite color. After the funeral, I walked into her room and collapsed. Surrounded by funeral flowers, I wept. That was the beginning of the darkness. The darkness would embrace me into it’s folds and hold me tight for quite some time. I would go through the motions of living without every really living. I would be numb. I would refuse to feel. There would be days when I would sit and not do anything at all. I wouldn’t get dressed; I wouldn’t clean; I wouldn’t shower. I would only exist. In that existence, I spent my time blaming myself, God, and the doctors for her death. It seemed all had been incompetent--unable to do what I thought to be a simple her. Mostly, I blamed myself.
The accusing voices rang in my ears telling me what I felt I already knew to be truth: I had done this; I had given up; I had let her die! It had been my job alone to save her, and I had failed. She had asked me only to fight and not give up. What had I done? I had failed, always failing.
Instead of holding onto the God who had come to take her home and make her well again, the One who had given me peace that night that He was here, I ran away from Him and hid. Again, the accusing voices rang, "Unworthy. Helpless. Worthless." Having this overwhelming sense of failure, I honestly felt that I didn’t belong in His arms and was deserving of the hell I had place upon myself willingly.
It would be at least two years before the sun would shine again. If you were to ask my mother-in-law about that time in my life, she would tell you she thought they had lost me too. I believe they did for awhile. Only through God’s grace did I make my way back. Only God could save me and take the burden from me. At this point, I can’t remember how He pulled me out of it and brought me out. I do know that I did slip back in briefly one other time since. He saved me and pulled me out that time too. I know now that the only way I can get through this life is to hold onto Him with all my might and not let go. God loves me, and if I fall, He will pick me back up again.
I have often wondered what the lesson I was to learn was. I’m still not finished learning the lessons from that painful journey. I do know that we learn through our experiences and perhaps someone else can learn from mine. Perhaps as an example of how "Not to Get Through a Tragedy". Nevertheless, I’ve grown. Not all the way to where I’m intended to go, as I fight daily with my fears. It's only now, almost seven years later, I am able to live in my house without sadness. I know He has a plan, and I’m happy to be along for the ride--even on the bumpy roads.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Adventures In... Cooking?

When I was in high school there was a movie called Adventures in Babysitting. I loved that movie. It was great fun and I always wondered how it would be to have such adventures. Well I'm getting a taste of one kind of adventure as we are experiencing Adventures in Cooking. Those of you who know me will know that my kitchen and I do not have a great working relationship. There is a sign in my kitchen window that says "My next house won't have a kitchen only vending machines". I know how to make a handful of things well and that's about it. One of those being lasagna and I make that only once a year. I'm not necessarily opposed to cooking per se it's that I'm more opposed to the cleaning up. Why mess up a perfectly clean kitchen when there are plenty of qualified people in restaurants who will prepare the meal better and clean it up? That has always been my philosophy. When my girls were little and messy eaters we would eat out for the sole purpose of not having to clean it up. Yes I know that's rude, but listen I always tried to clean it up a little and I'm a good tipper. Think of it as my way of helping the economy.

As you may know from a previous post, my husband and I are having a "total money makeover". Dave Ramsey is our friend, in the loosest sense of the word as we have never actually met him. The main thing I know about him is that A. He is helping us tremendously financially and B. He likes to wear blue shirts. My husband thinks he's a genius. Dave recommends E-mealz, so we are now doing E-mealz. If you do not know what this is, it's a website that will plan your dinners for you and give you a shopping list so you know what you will need to prepare each meal. E-mealz means I have been cooking... a lot.

I have been grocery shopping frequently and eating in much more frequently than ever before. Perhaps this is good financially and also more healthy, but before you decide let me give you some of the meals that have been introduced to my children. Orange pancakes were last nights meal. This was good but not perhaps as orange filled as one would think as it called for orange zest. Do I own an orange zester? No I do not. Do I have one clue how to go about zesting an orange? No I do not. I did however, give it a good old college try using what I had around. There was not the amount of orange zest in the pancakes but they were tasty and well consumed nonetheless.

I thought I would start with one that got rave reviews so you wouldn't think I was a total ninny. Now I will tell you about some of the lesser meals that although tasty for my sophisticated palate were not some of the high points in my kids top ten of favorite meals.

Quick Italian Wedding Soup was the first meal we tried. I thought it was tasty, the kids not so much. They seem to have trouble getting past what things look like. If I were to blind fold them at meal time, I'm convinced they would always eat what I prepare.

As it was something new and I was sure that no one would believe that I had created such a thing in my kitchen, I took a picture of it. It doesn't look too frightening correct? Now below you will see an image of another not so popular with the children meal. I thought is was quite good. Greek Chicken Casserole.

After begging with them to try the asparagus and refusing to let them leave the table until they took one bite, I tried one I was sure they would love. They did love it. The oldest was a little leery of the sweet potatoes and I had to convince her that she does love them, she merely forgot. She thought this meal was her favorite. I will admit that I have never before cooked sweet potatoes and had to call a friend to ask her how to cook them. So below you will see a picture of pan seared smoke sausage with steamed corn, baked sweet potatoes and applesauce.

All in all it has been an interesting experience. We are all trying new things and stepping outside our comfort zones as they say in the area of food. After all, instead of eating a frozen pizza or spaghetti with Ragu tonight the poor little darlings are going to be subjected to "Old-Fashioned Pot Roast and Veggies" with dinner rolls. This should go a little better than the Spicy Sausage and Cauliflower soup they received earlier in the week. So the question is no longer, What's for dinner? or "Where do you want to go to eat?" It's more of a "What new "real" food are we trying tonight?"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sharks Don't Swim In My Pool

If you jump into the ocean, you need to be aware of the sharks. This is the thought that occurs to me as I sit in my pajamas and consider the twists and turns of life. Several years ago I thought it would be a good idea for me to enter the work force. I went to work in a bank briefly then left to get my real estate license. I took a two week course and passed the test the first time. I'm not sure that that is a big accomplishment or not, but it did unnerve my mother as she was taking a longer course to get her license also. I was a real estate agent for about five minutes. Turns out I couldn't keep my head above water with the sharks circling.

My problem being that I'm not competitive. OK I take that back I'm competitive to an extent. If I'm playing Boggle will I let the kids see my paper or help them win? No. Will I play certain games and not stop until I finally win? Absolutely. This however, does not always carry over into other aspects of my life. When watching a sporting event I sometimes cheer for the opposing team. I forget I'm not supposed to do that. Real estate however, is a very competitive sport. One I got out of before I was either eaten by or made a part of the pack that was circling the waters.

In a small town there aren't enough properties to go around for everyone to play nice. I choose to play nice. So I stay home and watch my cats bathe and fight for Alpha rights. I think it's OK to be competitive to an extent but I think it should be based on kindness and hard work. I have met some on both ends of the spectrum. My mother was a real estate agent until cancer took it away from her. She had a lot more patience than I did when it came to these things. She would go about her business and try her best for those who trusted her. She didn't care if she was a multimillion dollar producer as long as the clients in question ended up with a home. She ran herself ragged.

As I look around I'm thankful for the experience. I appreciate my life more because of it. I prefer to be able to see the bottom of the waters I swim in and the only stroke I know well is the doggy paddle. Swimming with sharks isn't for me. My home, with these people who I laugh with, cry with, and have the best times with, is where I belong. Besides my "work" wardrobe cannot be beat. And the sharks? Well sharks don't swim in my pool, which I can use any time as one of the perks of my job.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow, Miis, and Ice Cream

Before you start giving me a hard time about my opinions here, let me start by say that yes snow is pretty. The snow arrived this week. If you ask anyone other than me, they will tell you that it was only three to five inches and does not constitute a blizzard. If you ask me however, I would tell you that the snow was coming down in huge flakes and in my mind making roads too slick to drive on so the world as we know it should just take a few days off. In this line of logic that I use here, business' would shut down so no one would have to go to work. The kids would stay home from school and everyone one would have a much needed family day courtesy of God and his wonder of snow. Those who enjoy playing in the cold white stuff would build snow men and forts and such. The likes of which the neighborhoods had yet to see. Judging would take place and a prize given to the best effort. Perhaps this is a fantasy built on watching too many children's shows or perhaps it's built on the fact I just don't like driving in it and don't think anyone else should either. Either way it does sound nice you have to admit.

I haven't seen any snowmen in the neighborhood yet. You won't find them in my yard. My children and I are not much for the cold stuff. We look outside and we are cold. So it's into the kitchen we go for hot cocoa. I have had more coffee drinks, hot cocoas, and hot tea this year than I can ever remember having. All in my quest to warm up. At the rate I'm going one of two things is bound to happen. Either I will have to move into the restroom because of all the fluids, or I'm going to gain so much weight from all the cappuccinos and cocoas I won't have to worry about keeping warm I'll be having hot flashes.

It goes without saying that I'd prefer to be making sand castles. Until I go to look on the internet as to how the weather is in other more tropical climates. Guess what? It's cold there too. Orlando was having highs in the sixties this week. I don't thaw out till at least eighty. Perhaps it's my age creeping up on me or maybe I just have a cold heart. I'd prefer to think that it's the fact that the high today was 26 degrees and with the wind chill it felt about 0. At least to me as I'm sitting in a cold car waiting in the school parking lot till time to walk up to the school and stand outside waiting for my child to come out so we can leave, that's what it felt like. Fortunately for me I have a friend who teaches my child piano so she had a nice steaming cup of cappuccino (hello cappuccino have you met my thighs?) waiting for me and a blanket in a chair by the fire to sit in and thaw while my daughter had her lesson.

In my quest to fend off the repercussions that are sure to haunt me with all of these full of fat drinks I have been consuming, I have started up on the wii fit. The wii fit hates me. If it is at all possible for an inanimate object to hate someone, it hates me. I was informed when I started this that it had been roughly 587 days since I had last used it. A reminder of my inability to stick with any single method to stay in shape. It also informed me I was up thirteen pounds since I had last used it. Which reminded me that I had worked my rear tail off a few years back to lose 60 lbs and swore that I would never go back and now I'm up 13. When I step on the thing it groans, furthering it's point. It has asked me if I have trouble walking and not running into things as I'm unbalanced. My center of gravity is off. Who wants to hear that? From a machine? It's one thing to go to a gym, OK I don't go to a gym but one time I did watch The Biggest Loser on TV and those trainers are tough but if you work hard they give you props. My wii fit has a two minute run. I will run my little heart out. I'm approaching the heart attack zone and because I don't swing the little controller enough I can't get past one star. My "mii" as they call it just drops her little head and pounds on the ground in frustration at my inability to succeed. It's not really encouraging. The only thing keeping me going is that the jeans are getting tight. I may have to resort to just warming up some water and drinking it plain with a sprinkle of Splenda to get warm.

In my twisted way of thinking, I think that at least if I had a human trainer I could visualize a target for my aggression. I could fantasize about hitting that person while doing the boxing session. These mii's are like cartoons. You can't have that kind of fantasy with a cartoon, it doesn't work. It would be like kicking a Spongebob. While amusing after having to endure watching it with my son, it just doesn't do the trick. Spongebob is more suited to cleaning my bathroom than taking out my aggression. Those miis could be characters in a cartoon based on the fitness of my family.

The snow while pretty is partly to blame here. It's cold and wet and makes the roads slick. While it's enjoyable to look out the window while sitting by the fire, I have no desire to go out and walk my three miles I could be walking if it were warmer. I have a theory that you lose more if you walk when it's warm because you get hot faster, thereby making you sweat more, thus losing more weight. I am sure that's not how it works, but it is my excuse none the less. Of course I am the same person who reasons that if you have fruit in your ice cream it's less fattening. Without you are asking for trouble, with you have just covered the fruit part of your nutrition scale turning the ice cream to full on dairy and no longer the sugars you don't want. So my reasoning skills may be a bit off.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Getting Ready

Perhaps I should start this with a positive so you will not think that I am a complete failure. My children get up for school every day with alarm clocks. The alarm clocks are set strategically to giving at least fifteen minutes between each one so that there aren't fights for the bathroom. They are able to get up get ready for school, get downstairs for breakfast (which they know how to make for themselves) and out the door in time for the bus. This makes my life significantly easier as I get a little more sleep, then go down to talk to them and see them off. So that we are clear, Monday through Friday they are able to get ready to leave the house in a timely manner.

I am a college educated individual. However, I do understand my strengths and weaknesses and understand the depth of knowledge I am able to accumulate without spending every waking moment worrying about things I either have no control over, or wouldn't be able to fix anyway. I do not watch the news. I do not get the news paper. The only time I watch the news is to get the weather. While I cannot control the weather I can at least know how to dress for the day. I understand that apparently there are some birds that are apparently dropping dead and no one knows why. I know that there are bad things that are happening everywhere. I also know that I am not a scientist, a police officer, a government official, or anyone else with power to solve the problems. I can pray for all of the issues and the people who are in positions to help. All of these things are worthy of my time and energy to research and occupy my thoughts and time but they are not the things that plague me.

The thing that keeps me up nights, invading my thoughts and occupying my time is as follows. How on earth do I get the kids up and ready to leave the house on the weekend? On Saturday's my son plays basketball. On the night before we will discuss what we have the next day. I will tell them in depth that they need to set their alarms or do anything they need to do to make sure they are ready to leave the house at a specific time. On Sundays we have church. They all know that we have to be there at a certain time and on one Sunday a month we have to be there earlier because I have nursery duty. These are not surprises. These are nothing away from the norm. Yet every single Saturday and Sunday at five or ten minutes after the time I said we were going to leave I am yelling at them that it is time to go. I realize there are worse things to worry about. I realize that, truly I do. But the thing is, is that I'm certain I can solve this problem. There is something I am missing. This is something I CAN fix. I just know it. I just can't figure out how.

We have all heard the jokes about how long it takes women to get ready. I think this is a joke made up by a man who obviously doesn't have children, or perhaps doesn't realize that the woman has to not only get herself ready then everyone else. When my children were younger I would get them all ready then get myself ready. Giving the illusion that it took me longer to get ready. My children are now fourteen, thirteen, and eight. All of ages that they can get themselves ready unassisted as they prove every week day. I timed myself yesterday to see how long it took me to get ready if I have no interruptions. From start to finish with shower, dressing, makeup and hair it took me twenty five minutes. If I have to share the sink with my husband give me an additional ten. I think this is a pretty good time.

Today it took my children well over an hour to get ready. That is without a shower. What they do on weekends is as follows. They wake up and stare at the TV. Then when I realize they are up and not moving I get started telling them to get ready. Then they think about it. Maybe they will shower. If they do then you may as well figure in thirty minutes per child in the shower. Then they think about getting dressed and getting ready. It takes them another fifteen minutes to figure out what to wear. Nevertheless they doddle. The poke. They drift around the house as if in a daze not knowing what to do. Five days a week they are a well oiled machine then on day six they run out of oil. You cannot begin to understand the level of frustration this causes me. I tell them in advance. If they would only plan ahead like they do for school. We wouldn't have the arguments. We wouldn't be late. But you see don't you? They are out of oil. So how do I keep it filled up? This is what plagues me. What will keep me up thinking. If I could just figure this one out, my life would be complete. I would have accomplished one of the great mysteries of my life. This may seem trivial to you in the greater scheme of things. Perhaps it is. But I lead a pretty simple life. I will not cure cancer. I will not be president or fight crime. I am even less likely to get the kids to eat asparagus. But you see THIS I am sure can be solved. Right?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chocolate cake, Dave Ramsey, and Me

Wake me if I'm dreaming. Or perhaps I should stay asleep, for the dream is too good. I am feeling a bit light on my feet even though I've been adding more weight for them to bare. Note to self: Yes German Chocolate Cake is good, no you don't need to eat half of it by yourself to fully appreciate it's perfection. I am coming off of a bit of a hiatus if you will. Perhaps I've had nothing to say. Perhaps sometimes contentedness cannot be put into words. For that is what I am after all, content. This Christmas was unlike all others in the fact that I am not holding my breath waiting for the aftermath to hit. The dreaded bills that always came after Christmas,yelling to be heard year after year. Don't get excited about that coming tax check kid, you still have Christmas to pay for. This year the other shoe is not waiting to drop. The shoes walked together and this year Christmas was officially over on Christmas as this year we paid cash.

It's an interesting feeling really. In our society we are taught that everyone has debt. It would be unnatural to not have credit card bills or car payments. Everyone has them, it's just a part of life. Well perhaps it is but for this next section or season of my life I've or I should say we've decided to be unnatural. "Weird" if you will. A couple months ago we were introduced to a book called The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. To tell you that reading it has changed our lives would be an understatement. How do you describe the lifted of a weight from your shoulders? How do you describe to your family and friends that all this time you've only been playing grown up? Two college educated individuals have only been pretending that they knew what they were doing.

When we were first starting out as a newly married couple we were so excited about the future. What we found out eventually is that the future? Is now and it's hard. It's also perhaps not as difficult as we had made it. My husband has a good job for we have been blessed in that area. So good that I am able to stay home to raise our children. Yeah, they don't tell you this but kids are expensive. They also don't tell you that bored housewives enjoy spending money. Or perhaps they do and we just didn't listen. After all we were college educated we knew it all. Right? We, as well as everyone who knows us have lived under that illusion that because my husband has a good job and we have a nice house that we must have money. What I have tried to explain to some degree is that he would, had he not married me.

As a child growing up with my mother I knew a few things for certain. Groceries should only be bought with coupons or if they are on sale. Never buy anything retail. But buying whatever you want as long as it's on sale is OK. Also when buying things for yourself it's important to hide it in your closet and eliminate all evidence so your husband doesn't get mad at you for spending money. That is how my mother lived her life. I might add that for much of my childhood she was the only one in her marriage working. New clothes and shoes are OK, food is secondary. Now as a married woman who isn't married to a crazy person, I have no need to hide my purchases. Food is first and foremost and clothing a close second. While I do love clothes and accessories, I love to eat even more. I especially love to eat out and the prettier the food the better.

What I have learned from Dave Ramsey is that all those things are OK. But you have to pay cash for them. No cash? No pretty food or pretty clothes and shoes. You have to tell your money where to go. Ours always told us where it was going and it would see us (or not) on the other side. Now we tell it where to go. I still go out for a nice meal once in a while but we pay cash. I go grocery shopping with cash. My new buddy is Cash. Which is interesting as it's a new relationship. We are still getting to know each other. It hurts me to be separated from her. My best friend used to be my debit card. We still get along. But my old friends Visa and Discover and I have had a falling out. I got tired of having to work for the friendship. They always wanted something from me and never gave me anything in return. If they did give me something I had to earn it. Who wants friends like that?

If I want to go to lunch with a friend, I prefer that they truly want to go and spend time with me. Rather than I have to earn the time with them by paying them off on time. Would you pay a friend to have lunch with you? That's not a friendship I want to keep. As I get older I am learning to enjoy my own company more, so I don't mind so much being alone. So if my friends are unavailable I will be just fine by myself. I don't need Visa and Discover to keep me company.

This Christmas as I looked around at all God has blessed me with, the hotty hubby, the three beautiful kids and the comfortable home, I realized that this is all I really need. Sure I look forward to the day when I can walk on the grass and know that I fully own it. Sure I want to take a vacation to Disney that doesn't follow me home, but I'm OK waiting for those things. The best things in life are worth waiting for, saving for, and enjoying guilt free.

Yesterday I went to the dentist. A girl that works there asked me if I was working anywhere. I said no that I was staying at home because I don't work well and play well with others. At least not on a regular basis. Usually that is a joke I like to use as a reason for staying home. Do I think I would enjoy working in a place where everyone got along and enjoyed their job? Absolutely but I suppose I don't believe it's a reality in most cases. I prefer to work alone, that way the only person I upset is myself. I get my humor. This same girl was disappointed when she found out that I didn't get up to cook breakfast for my family. I suppose in that regard I'm just not that kind of mom. I'm lucky to get a dinner prepared in the evening that everyone will eat. Why on earth would I torture them with breakfast too? So while I'm not "that" kind of mom. I think I'm doing alright. The kids are fed and they are fine. My house is clean and at least once a week my cats are entertained with music and dancing by yours truly.

Maybe I don't have a monetary income. But as Dave would say I am a gazelle and I am intense. My husband and I are a team and we are working together to change our family tree. He goes out and works, I am learning to cook at home and finding ways to save money on the things we need. I am also getting quite fond of my new friend, Cash. She has a lot to offer and she never fails me as long as I treat her properly and with respect.