Another Year Older & A Trip Around the Sun

I made it another year.  Go me!

I’m two years into my forties. I’m training a woman at work that is old enough to be considered a woman and also old enough to be my daughter. It. Is. So. Weird.  I am technically old enough to be someone’s grandmother without other people doing the math in their head.  I nearly gave a “Thank you” card to someone who claimed that they thought I was still in my twenties.  They were probably kissing my ass, but what a nice thing to say!

The title of this post comes from one of my favorite Jimmy Buffet songs, in collaboration with Martina McBride  “Trip Around the Sun”. The song is a birthday themed ballad where two people contemplate another year gone by as they remember their failed resolutions while wondering if they made the right choices in their lives.  They finally realize that the world will keep on spinning no matter what they do.  They decide to discard the yearly resolutions except for one final one “That I’ll never make another one. Just enjoy this ride on my trip around the sun.”

This is where I finally am. I let it all go.  I have finally come to the conclusion that nothing is in control and that I am doing everything right even when I feel like I’m not. There are things that are just out of my hands.

Do things bother me? Sure. The difference now is that I have learned to let go of a lot of the people, emotions and problems that were stifling me.  There is no reason to mull over or rehash anything that I can’t do anything about or is in the past.

Breathe in, breathe out.

I celebrated the day by traveling to Chicago. I attended a presentation, at the House of Blues, for the podcast of Making A Murderer.  It was a conversation involving Laura Nirider and Steven Drizen about their involvement in the Netflix Documentary while representing Brendan Dassey. The pair are Dassey’s post conviction defense attorneys.  This was a neat experience and I will write about it in a future blog entry.  If you aren’t familiar with Nirider and Drizen, you can read an article about them by clicking here.

We then went to a Chicago Wolves hockey game at the Allstate Arena.  The Wolves played the San Antonio Rampage. The Wolves lost but it was a great game! i enjoyed seats next to the bench and the most entertaining fans ( they couldn’t have been older than 4 years old ) in front of me. It was a great time.

Afterwards, we went home and I was surprised with a birthday cake and knowledge that I was seeing my favorite rock band, Tesla,  in concert at the House Of Blues in February.  I am really looking forward to that!

It was a great birthday full of fun, surprises and happiness.  It has been a few days since my birthday but I am still thinking about how fast time flies and it’s hard to believe that I am this old. I can’t help but contradict myself about life and if I’m making the right decisions or if I’ve spent my time wisely.

I know in all reality, there’s nothing to do but enjoy this ride on my trip around the sun..

Until it’s done..

 

 

A Real Live Author As Opposed To Me, the Barely Blogger

Have you ever come across a person who seems to have a back-handed, left-handed, snide, or otherwise insulting remark for seemingly everything and everyone?  A person who just says things and you can’t help but lower your brow and give them the side eye, smirk combo as you go on about your day?

This likely describes a family member or a co-worker. For me, it describes a person whose opinion mattered, and up until this point, I had a desire to please and cared what they thought of me.

This past July, I reconnected with an old friend. It’s an odd relationship that has an explanation that I should save for another time. I will just say, like I did above, that I really respect this person and what they think of me. I take what they have to say to heart.

So much so,  that this story actually happened just after Thanksgiving and I am still thinking about it. I am also still trying to let it go while I bite holes in my tongue. I am not sure that ever mentioning it would serve any kind of purpose.

Here’s what happened.

I reconnected with an old friend. Over the next few weeks we started to get more familiar and little by little, he started to chip away at my bubble and I started getting more comfortable sharing personal things.

I have always had an interest in writing. I excelled in creative writing in school. I carried the passion into my adult years. I loved to write poetry, short stories and then eventually, blogging became popular so I started a blog.

My current blog, the one you are reading, is probably my fourth blog. I have had these starts and stops mostly because I went through life changes (divorce) and in my transitions ( there were many) I lost my voice. Or at least I thought I did. Or I was worried about my ex husband stalking my space and that gave me stage fright.

On those blogs, I wrote a lot about my experiences  being a mother to a child with Down Syndrome. Then, I wrote about being the single mother to a child with Down Syndrome. I also shared experiences from when I worked for the county police etc.   I wrote a lot about my personal reflections in hopes that I could reach other women and girls who were facing some of the same challenges that I had made it through.

On several occasions, I had women reach out to me through post comments or e-mail to share their stories or say “Thank you,” because reading my posts reminded them that there was hope and that they were not alone.

Some of these women were pregnant with babies that were suspected of having Down Syndrome, new moms, recently divorced or whatever their story was. I was getting a lot of positive feedback.

I was published in the Huffington Post online. It was a humorous article that I had written about quirks and the human condition.  While it wasn’t a Pulitzer Prize winning piece of literature, it was published in one of the more popular media sources at the time. Most important, people enjoyed it.

I don’t remember how many hits I got to my blog after that.  I do recall looking at my stats one night and nearly going into a panic over what it was that was driving people to my blog in droves.

Dear God! What did I write?

Keeping in mind what I have explained above, I have always felt pretty good about the majority of the topics that I have written about. While I may not always use proper grammar and punctuation I think that I have always told the story and gotten my point across.

I know that there are those who don’t consider bloggers to be serious writers. That’s likely the majority of us. We do however, serve a purpose. If not to others and only to ourselves. We all started a blog for a reason. In my case, I did it as a means of therapy for myself and to help others. I have accomplished both.

Going  back to the re connection to my old friend, I did mention to him that I enjoyed writing and that over the years I have been hot and cold with blogging and that I was currently revamping my blog. I also told him that I wrote reviews for trails and parks for the Outbound Collective. At one point, he knew that I was out taking pictures so that I could update an entry I made to the Outbound Collective.

I was proud of all of this. He seemed interested so I was comfortable sharing about it a little bit but I admit I didn’t go into full detail or even provide him with the web address for anything. He didn’t ask for it either.

Fast forward to that cold day in November where I reach out to see what he’s up to. I get half assed invited to meet for lunch with him and a reserve police officer and a couple of town officials that happened to pass through.

On my arrival, I was greeted by my old, dear friend, and told that we were being joined by a reserve police officer who “was also a real author, as in, had books published,”

Stab to the chest. It wasn’t just what he said but how he said it. I was taken back a little bit. I tried to decide how he meant this and if his intentions were locked up in the crappy tone that he had. I didn’t ask.

Here’s the thing. I never bragged about writing or having a blog etc. I mentioned it as something that I enjoyed doing. I never mentioned how many followers I had or site visits. I never even revealed the title of the blog or passed on the website address.

It was an awkward lunch. I don’t know if my darling old friend was in a mood or what. I got to meet and have lunch with this real live author. He was really nice and easy to talk to. I enjoyed that.

The Real Live Author gave me the short version of his resume and told me what books he had written and published. They exist. He is the real deal. After talking to him for awhile, it didn’t even seem odd to me, that a man this accomplished,  was moonlighting as a reserve police officer.

I couldn’t help but wonder though, was he self published? What a bitter thought. It wasn’t his fault that my old pal had made the comment about being a “real live author”. Who knew if he meant it to come off that way. I am not going to bring it up.

The point of this blog entry to is to remind myself and others to keep on doing what you’re doing. We are important and serve a purpose in our own way. Don’t forget that a lot of people gather their information online from bloggers like you and I that have experience in whatever it is that they are looking for.

I really can’t afford to have a book published, but I can write article after article about my personal experiences as a single mother raising a child with Down Syndrome. I can go on and on about my battles with the public school system as much as I can about the joys of each milestone.

People all over the globe relate to me in so many ways and they relate to you too!

In closing, and I am not even kidding, my dear sweet friend gave me the “real live authors” book as a Christmas gift.  I wish I could reveal who the author is and the book that I received but I can’t count on anyone not mentioning it in conversation.

And I know how some of you can be *chuckles*

I hope everyone has a great week!

How I Discovered the Pileated Woodpecker

It all started this past week when I discovered damage to the mirror on the passenger side of my car. It looked like someone had either come along and punched it or shot at it with a BB gun. We have a couple of kids in my neighborhood that I suspected of causing the damage, but I never said anything to their parents.  As much as it irked me, I let it go.

I am glad that I didn’t say anything because a few days later, I discovered that no one was responsible for the damage to my mirror. At least not a human being. The culprit was actually surprising.

This is the damage to my mirror. It’s cracked pretty good and even missing pieces. What was more impressive is that the mirror itself was pushed in and down and I had to readjust it back it its original position.

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I am a member of an app called Next Door. Next door is a social networking tool that connects you with people from your own neighborhood. There are several categories or topics to chose from.  Of these many topics, one of them is “Crime”.

I saw a post made by a neighbor about vandalism to his vehicle. He posted a photograph of his own side mirror that had been damaged and he wanted to know if anyone else had their vehicles vandalized.  The damage to his mirror looked very similar to mine.

Someone else piped up and said that they had witnessed a Pileated Woodpecker attacking its own image in the side mirror of their truck. They went outside and chased it away but it was too late, they too had damage.  They explained that the birds were aggressive towards other males during mating season, which was now. The bird believed it was fighting another male.

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The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker that lives in our area of northern Indiana. They measure roughly 16  inches from head to tail and have a wingspan of almost 29 inches. They are usually recognized by the flaming red crest on their head. The Pileated Woodpecker is the second largest woodpecker in North America, second to the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, which is nearly extinct.

The Ivory Billed Woodpecker species is listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The American Birding Association lists the Ivory Billed Woodpecker as a class 6 species, a category it defines as “definitely or probably extinct”

I’m an optimist.

As the day went on more and more neighbors were popping in with their own experience. They had either seen the bird or had damage to their own vehicle too.  Neighbors in the know suggested putting grocery bags over the mirrors or fold them in to avoid attacks.

Later in the week, the St. Joseph County Parks had posted a photo to their Facebook of a tree that had been pecked pretty good by a Pileated Woodpecker. They explained that they will excavate deep into the wood of dead trees to eat nests of carpenter ants.

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Photo courtesy of Audubon.com

Quite honestly, as much as I love nature, animals and the outdoors, I had never paid much attention to the woodpeckers and the  different varieties. What an interesting way for me to discover them.

While I haven’t been lucky enough to actually see the one that’s terrorizing local vehicle owners, I have heard him. He’s been hanging out somewhere nearby as I’ve heard him several times in the mornings.

They really are beautiful. To learn more about the Pileated Woodpecker, visit Adubon.com

 

I’m Giving Up My Smart Phone- Sort Of

I am so sick of my cell phone.

I am sick of looking at it.

I am sick of looking for it because I’ve reached that point where I’m convinced that I need to have it close by 24/7/365.

I am sick of listening to it.

I am so sick of listening to it and looking at it that I have  it set up to tell me who is calling when it rings. I have also designated special text tones for my close friends.  Chalisa is “meditation bell” while Kate is “bird whistle” and any supervisor from work is “telegraph”.  The list goes on. If you’re not a close friend, also known as the mystery messenger, then you’re the generic “ding” and I will get to you when I get to you.

Sadly, the mystery of the unknown “ding” text notification is often so overwhelming that I will go see who, outside of the tribe, has dared to send me a text message.  Thus, shattering the whole point of giving those close to me a special sound when they reach out.

It’s not just the phone calls, the notifications and the text notifications. It’s the multiple alarms that I set to wake me up every morning. I go into a blind rage at 5:45 in the morning, every morning, when the alarm goes off on my cell phone. I also have an alarm clock.

A cell phone was meant to be a tool, not to swallow your entire existence. I depend on my iPhone way too much. It’s my alarm clock, my calendar, my jukebox and camera. It has literally become this tool that I cannot live without.

I am old enough to remember life before cell phones. As an adult during that time, I never sat and stared at my phone waiting for it to ring. I was perfectly fine with leaving the house for the day and allowing anyone who called me to leave a message on my answering machine.  Sometimes, for days!

Back then, coming home to a message waiting for me was like a delightful surprise, depending on who it was from, but there was no stress over it. If someone called me then they called me.

There was no expectation from anyone to get a call back in 2.5 seconds either.

I miss the good ol’ days before all of this nonsense. Life truly was better back then. It’s great having the conveniences that come with cell phone/smart phones, but I miss the way we behaved back then. We didn’t expect people to drop everything to talk, text etc.

Seriously, I know people who will send an e-mail, then send a text that they sent an e-mail and if you don’t respond to that text quick enough to suit them, they’ll call. What is the point of all of that and why does anyone feel that entitled?

I am a mother, friend, girlfriend etc not the President Of the United States.

I am also over being annoyed at friends, relatives and the boyfriend being on their phone while we are spending time together. Nothing reminds me of how unimportant I am to the other person like watching them scroll through social media and text while we are having dinner.

I admit that I have been guilty of looking at my phone when I probably shouldn’t have. I’ve noticed that it usually encourages the person that I am with to also check their phone but that’s no excuse and it isn’t polite. It shouldn’t be the new normal. I also admit that when someone else has checked their phone when I wasn’t, I felt a little crappy because of it.

What am I going to do about it?

I have decided to challenge myself over the next month.  I am going to stop looking at my phone as often. I am going to delete the majority of the apps that I have that seem to constantly distract me from more important things.  I honestly don’t get that much out of them in the first place.

I am going to set the phone on my night stand vs allowing it to be on the bed while I sleep. If it rings or goes off during the night, I will still check it.  Main reason being, I work in public safety and am subject to last minute mandates into work and also,  my boyfriend is a police officer who works midnights.

I really don’t need to be on Instagram at 3am. Or checking Facebook.

I am just sick of feeling like I have to be connected at all times. I’m done. I am wasting too much time just mindlessly scrolling.  I am not missing anything that can’t wait until a specific time of day. The thought of breaking free from my phone feels like freedom.

We will see how long this lasts.

 

 

7 Day Black & White Photo Challenge

A lot of my friends were tagging each other on Facebook to encourage them to participate in the “7 Day Black & White Photo Challenge”.  The idea was to post a random black and white photo to their Facebook timeline every day for seven days. The catch was that it couldn’t include people or an explanation as to what the photo was about.

Quite a few people were annoyed by it and ignored the challenge. When a friend finally included me, I was delighted and couldn’t wait to get started. My inner photography nerd was beating its chest and rearing to go.

I’m a big liar. I took my seven photographs but they were hardly random. I already knew what I wanted to capture and share to my Facebook. Then I spent probably fifteen minutes on each photo carefully crafting the right shades of black and white in Photoshop Express on my iPhone.

I blame it on that inner photography nerd that was beating its chest. It was a total out of body experience and I have no control over that guy or gal. Whatever that inner photography nerd identifies with. Believe me, I just rolled my eyes as hard as you did.

The challenge is still active on social media. If you get tagged to participate, I hope that you’ll embrace the idea and take part. I thought it was a lot of fun.  If you’re friends are lame and won’t tag you or are ignoring the challenge, then I challenge you.

My submissions are below. They are set to appear in random order so they are not in order.  I didn’t add any explanations but I will gladly explain if anyone has a question in the comments.

I’m considering having prints made.  *looks away*

 

 

 

 

 

Skunk! Lu Gets Sprayed

In case you weren’t aware, skunks literally live everywhere. EVERYWHERE!

Even in the city.

About three years ago, I was enjoying an evening outside in one of my Adirondack chairs in the front yard. I was sitting in the dark just enjoying the weather when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye.

I sat in silent horror as the biggest skunk I had ever seen in my life, waddled across the yard in front of me. I do not know if it knew that I was there. I would assume that it did, but I did not introduce myself.

I tried to stay perfectly still, and not breathe, as I watched the skunk sniff around at the bushes before it made its way across the yard and then disappear into the night.  I was mildly horrified, but at least I pulled through unscathed.

Dingo Lu was not so lucky.

Recently, I got home from work late and let her out to poddy. I went upstairs to change my clothes and the skunk odor came through the bathroom window and into my bedroom. My heart sank because I just knew that Lu had been sprayed.

I rushed downstairs and confirmed the hunch as I slid open the patio door and in came a very sorry little Australian Cattle Dog. She was immediately ushered back outside.  Poor Lu took a direct hit to her face. Her eyes were watering and I have never seen a dog drool like that.

It was as awful as it sounds.

Skunk funk, as I have come to call it, doesn’t smell like you think it would either. It’s more of a burning tires and hot piss kind of smell.  Or, if you’ve ever walked into a Starbucks.  It’s terrible.

I quickly took to the internet to find a real remedy vs what I have heard through the channels of Old Wivers tales.  Who has the time  to mess around in this situation?  Not I. I quickly made a list of necessary supplies and sped to Wal Mart.  Thank God for 24 hour super centers.

I obtained everything that I needed for the task at hand. Then I sat in my car in the parking lot and ate an ice cream bar while contemplating running away from home. No really.  I was at least mentally preparing for the endeavor.  The process was as awful as you imagine. It was also cold and raining and I had to do all of this outside because there was no way I was putting her in the car to take her to the dog wash across town.

In the end, I got it done.  The method I used worked.  I will share this with you below in the event that you end up in this situation yourself. .

Skunk funk. What is it?

Skunks have two glands; one on each side of the anus. These glands produce the skunk’s spray, which is a mixture of sulfer-containing chemicals such as thiols (traditionally called mercaptans), which have an offensive and nauseating odors. I can attest to this.  A skunk’s spray is powerful enough to ward off bears and other potential attackers, like little nosy cattle dogs.

It’s important to know that the chemical spray from a skunk is oily and you will also want to take care to avoid getting it on your hands and clothing. Don’t worry if you do, I have a tried and true method to remove the smell from your pet and from yourself.

You will need:

  1. Rubber gloves that come up to your elbows.  You can find these next to the cleaning supplies at the store.  Trust me on the gloves. Buy the gloves.
  2. Depending on the size of your animal you will at least want to start out with two medium size boxes of baking soda.  I used Arm & Hammer.
  3. Hydrogen Peroxide
  4. Dawn dishsoap
  5.  A large bowl
  6. Water
  7. Oatmeal Shampoo

 

In the bowl mix the following:

1 box of baking soda

1 quart of 3 % Hydrogen Peroxide

2 tablespoons of Dawn Dishsoap

Mix these ingredients together to create a paste.

Wet your animal in warm water. Then apply the mixture to the entire body, be careful around their eyes. Let the paste sit on the hair coat for 10 minutes. Rinse.  Then do the process again.

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Lu soaking in her paste. Poor unhappy Dingo!

I did this three times. It got most of the odor out. Her face was still a bit stinky.   I then used the oatmeal shampoo to soothe her skin and it helped to have a little bit of extra fragrance.

While this method cleared up 99.9% of the odor, there was still a faint odor. I noticed it more when she was wet or if I got really close to her face.  I decided to see if there was anything else that I could try.

I did some research and reached out to friends who all recommended that I follow up with a product called Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover.  You can find this product at PetsMart.  I got the big bottle that retailed at $19.99. It’s lavender scented.

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I gave Lu another bath using this product and it was highly effective. It smelled really good.  I poured the product into a large bowl and then soaked the collar she was wearing at the time of the incident, the collar she used when I gave her the baths, and also the leash that I used to hang onto her.  It worked great.

The smell has finally disappeared and life has returned to normal. Though, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little paranoid at night when I open the door to let Lu outside to do her business. I never want to go through that again.

At least I know what to do next time in the event it does. Also, my silver lining is that it happened at home and not out on the trail where I would be forced to put her into the car and transport her to get her cleaned up. I cringe at the thought!!

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I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

Motivational Posters: Keeping Your Sense Of Humor

Somehow, while gripping on to my sanity, I have also managed to keep my sense of humor. I think that is one of the most important things to be able to do in life. I admit, I can be fairly twisted too. I think a lot of inappropriate things are funny. It comes with my territory.  I have to laugh or I will cry.

Due to staffing issues, we have been forced to work a lot of overtime. How much? Just a hair under being an obscene amount of overtime. Enough that I am behind in laundry, my dogs are mad at me and I stopped shaving my legs every day.

We are a tired and weary group of people.  A friend and I do our best through out our shifts to text funny pictures or what not back and forth.  Anything that we can do to distract us from our current state of being held hostage by work. Yay work!

*disclaimer*  I am not complaining. I am tired though.

I received a new “free app of the week” notification for an app called “ReType” that allows you to add text and edit photographs. They also provide several free stock photo’s for you to play with. It has everything from landscapes, the sky and even objects.

I took a short break and while I did so, I played with ReType app little bit and the urge to be silly swept over me. It could have been the lack or sleep or that I have been cooped up for too long making me so loopy.

While perusing the app, I came across a picture of a  kitten struggling to hang onto a rope, the first thought that came to mind was “Hang in there you little asshole,” I know right, perfectly reasonable response to something so adorable.

Then one thing led to another and then following was born:

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I texted the image to a few friends who thought it was a riot.  Then that led to a post on Facebook which led to people somehow thinking that the image was my own intellectual property ( it isn’t entirely ) and begged for permission to use it.

Then of course, I had to make prints of it. Admit it, it’s funny and you want to hang it above your desk at work, home office or locker.  They actually turned out really nice. I used the Walgreen’s photo app on my phone and use the versions that I had saved to Instagram.  They’re 3×5 and full of awesome.

 

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Oh yes, there’s more!

My inner adolescent is pleased.

Apparently others were satisfied also because several people asked me to make them a copy  so that they could have one.  I personally have the kitten hanging in my locker at work.

Personally, I adore this one although many people hate the C-word.

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Seriously.. Just don’t.

 

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And lastly, since I don’t want to clog up your data plan..

Often times when you’re overwhelmed at life and feeling totally bogged down, it’s hard to not feel like you’re wasting your life or even that the good days have passed you by..

So, with that said.  Remember, your dreams have died, just like the star you wished upon.

 

They're gone man..

They’re gone man..

 

I am easily amused sometimes. Albeit childish to use profanity or even laugh at this stuff,  we still  laughed and that’s what is important. For a lot of us, life is rough. We’re tired, we’re weary and we just want to make it to days off.  And payday.

 

I hope that everyone has a great Monday and an even better week!!

 

 

Just Because You Knock On My Door- The Blind, Deaf, Mute Story

Tell me if you think I am rude.

I was really busy this morning. My son and I were up and out the door by 9:30 to run some errands and go to the grocery store. I set a land speed record because I managed to go to the bank, drive to a different city, stop by a grocery store and make it back to my house in just over an hour.

We get home, he takes off to go and do his thing and I start some chores. I say some because I am  one of those people who starts about five different tasks and takes turns completing them all. For example, I was doing dishes and folding the laundry. While the sink was filling, I was changing around the washer and dryer.

I had to work today so time was limited. Needless to say, I was rushing myself to get things done. What else is new, right? My goal was to be in the shower by noon so I could leave by 1. Somewhere in there I needed to make lunch for my son and get his bag ready for his afternoon with his grandma.

By 11:30 I was sitting on the couch, eating a sandwich, folding my socks and watching an episode of Ghost Adventures. I told you, I can multi-task. I have stacks of clothing on my coffee table and a basket piling up.

My couch is near the front door.  I have my front door standing open and the screen open on the storm door. It was a really nice morning and the fresh air was amazing. I was actually enjoying myself. I even thought to myself, this is really nice.

Until.

A woman who had to be at least 80 years old came ambling up my walk and up onto my porch. I can see that she’s holding a stack of literature in her hands because I see “Watch Tower” in big letters. She’s a Jehovah’s Witness.

She starts knocking on the door. I am sitting on my couch in pretty much plain view. There is no way that this woman can’t see me. A moment later a much younger male dressed in a very nice suit appears next to her on the porch. There is no way that he can’t see me sitting on the couch.

I am staring at them.

My mind is having several thoughts at once.

I don’t feel like talking.   I don’t have time for this. I want to watch my show. I’m trying to relax before work. What do I even say to make these people leave?

Also, I can’t tell this woman that I am not interested in hearing what she has to say to me about her version of God. She’s adorable and really old.  I’m truly not interested as I am already set in my own beliefs and a transfer at this point in my life would just be silly.

They continue to knock harder. I continue to ignore.

There is no way they can’t see me but they aren’t saying anything about it.

While all of this is happening, in the back ground, the crew of Ghost Adventures is discussing how employees of an old cement factory turned Halloween attraction, discovered a satanic bible in one of the sections in the building. At once point, they were doing a reenactment and beeping out the entire segment as to avoid any adverse reactions for viewers. I believe the episode is called “Fear Factory”

Laugh all you want to but that’s what they were doing. And all of that was going down while the Jehovah’s Witnesses were standing at my door.  I didn’t make a move, say hello or even an attempt to acknowledge these people.

I knew they could see me.  They just looked at each other, turned around and walked down the steps to a car that was waiting in the street.  I thought that was odd, but this woman was really old. Maybe they are planning a heist, who knows, time will tell.

As they walked towards the street they leaned in to speak to each other.  I couldn’t hear what they were saying to each other but I bet that they were planning to say an extra prayer for that poor woman who lives in this house as she is clearly a blind and deaf mute.

Saving Money Apps And the Accidental Mood Swing

A co worker mentioned an app that he came across called Digit. You link your bank account with Digit and it assists you in saving money by using algorithms to discover how you spend money.  It pulls money from your account and places it into a savings account in denominations that you won’t miss.

Sometimes it takes out $2.00 and sometimes it will take $20.

When I signed up for the program, I opted to receive updates from the software. It will notify you of your daily balance and also how much you have saved so far. Every now and then it will notify you of updates. Sometimes, these updates annoy me, especially if I am having “one of those days”.

Today, I got one of these updates to notify me of the creation of an app I can put on my iPhone. I was feeling smarmy so I responded to the text, totally expecting it to either do nothing or give me an error message.  Below is a screen shot from my cell phone of my text exchange from the Digits software.

Except in real life, they’re animated.

 

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I can’t lie. I literally laughed at loud.

Digit is a great resource if you’re looking for a method to assist you in saving money. The service is free to you. You can even control how often it takes out money and you can pause the service and set when you want to turn it back on etc. Also, you can make withdrawals and put the money back into your account. It usually only takes a day.

I don’t generally advertise products or services but, this is a good one.

Still laughing over this.

Easter Weekend Part Two: The (Former) Mother In Law

Im already exhausted and I haven’t even started writing this blog post yet.

The first thing that you need to know is that my (former) mother in law, we’ll call her Sharon, is 1. An introvert and 2. The reigning passive-aggressive-knock-out- champion-of-the-universe.

Okay, that’s technically two things but they go together. These are the key points that you have to remember any time I tell a story about her. Just remember. We are referring to her as “Sharon” and she’s difficult.  Just thinking about everything I have dealt with, with this woman, I often wonder why I even bother.

I respect her as Dominic’s grandmother. Since her son decided to make other choices, she has really stepped up to help me raise Dominic. However, this has come with a price. I have to submit to the jabs and harassment from the ex husband. It’s him that she’s really mad at, but I often get the backlash. She will say and do things to him that he will turn around and take out on me.

All of that drama is an entire separate blog post.  With that said, there have been times when she hasn’t been so pleasant to me for whatever reason either. Up until this year, I’ve tried to include her in things and treat her as if she was some kind of matriarch. She sort of is I suppose.  It has bitten me in the ass more than once.

She pulls stunts. I won’t go into all of it now but don’t worry my dear readers, something will come up. Probably soon because she’s been fairly well behaved recently. Just one example is the time she kept the invitation for Grandparents Day at Dom’s school for herself and never told  me about it nor did she send the information home. Since I didn’t know about it, my mother missed out on Grandparents Day at school.

We’ve had some rocky times in the past year because I’ve grown tired of her. I’ve ran my mouth a few times and I didn’t used to or probably shouldn’t have. It just gets old and I’m only human. I shouldn’t have to listen to it but she is Dom’s grandmother and she does help me out a lot.

I decided to try to be more thoughtful or at least mindful of holidays and her birthday. So on Valentine’s Day, I made a batch of cupcakes and cake pops that I decorated. They were really cute. I also got a basket of wild flowers that was really beautiful. I put it all together and helped Dom make a card to give to her. The. We went and gave it to her.

She seemed really surprised and appreciative of the gesture.

Fast forward.

Things haven’t been so great. For some reason she stopped talking to me. When ask she says nothing is wrong and everything is just fine. Ugh. She’s the passive-aggressive-knock out-champ, if you recall. Fine. Be that way.

So, when I decided to put together an Easter basket for Dom to give to her, I should have known I was setting myself up to have her suck the winds right out of my sails and boy she sure didn’t disappoint.  I called her on Saturday night to make sure she would be home. I told her Dom had a gift for her.

We go to deliver the Easter basket and she was less than enthused and was just like “thanks”. We were at her house for less than five minutes. While I certainly didn’t expect her to break out into dance and do cartwheels, she could’ve at least expressed some gratitude.  Dom seems to be picking up on these things too. He was like “Bye grandma,”

I have my moments when I allow myself to get upset over “my circumstances”. I certainly didn’t sign up for things to be this way but I’m doing the best that I can. I’m not going to apologize for going to work every day and making a living. My hours aren’t the best but it is what it is right now.  She was a single mother too, you would think that she would cut me some slack.

I’m sure I’m not alone in dealing with people who behave like this. She’s technically not my family but she’s Dom’s family. Up until now, she was the only reason I was staying in the area. I try to keep an eye on her.  She literally has nothing and she seems to alienate everyone on my ex husbands side of the family also.

Sigh.

Below is a photo of her basket before it was finished. That little planter is adorable and I almost bought one for myself. I’m not going to lie,  I considered saying “to hell with her” about forty times and thought about keeping it all for myself.

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I totally should’ve just kept it for myself.