Monthly Archives: October 2010

Unexpected Bounty.

Weird thing about last week, Thursday felt like Friday and Friday felt like a holiday. No one wanted to work on Friday and, shamefully, I admit to being part of that group. All I wanted to do was walk around and look at my co-workers’ festive creativity. Even our legal department went all out, they decorated AND dressed up like Indians — our head counsel being the chief… ha!
Legal Department…

When it got down to the deadline for voting, people were shuffling by my cubicle one right after the other. I was more than willing to give them a tour of my goodies, “Here is my wraith…” and press the button that made it eerily sing. “Here is Boney Barney, on a leash… leash law, you know.” They would nod, and I would press the button that made him talk. Then I would show them my eyeball ball, let them bounce it. Offer them some candy out of my skull cup, and add, “Don’t mind the rat, I don’t think he’s been able to get the wrappers off…” I would point out my pile of pumpkins, and then have them read the Batz Bar sign, ending with “We serve Boos, not Booze.” And then wave my hands about and say expressively, “BOOOOOO!” And as they walked around the corner I would say in a high-pitched voice that carried, “Vote for me!!”
A goofy video I made of my cubicle…

And I won. By two votes. I think it was the interactive tour. Apparently my win upset someone’s 6 or 7 year winning streak. Oopsie.

Cutest moment of the day? Several co-workers brought their spouses and their kids in to see the decorations. The one guy had two little boys and they gathered around Boney Barney and were petting and talking to him like he was a real doggie. For about 10 minutes! Awwww.

When I got home, I opened the back sliding door. The air was so crisp and fresh — fall-like — it beckoned me to go outside and watch the sunset. It was then that I noticed several tomatoes were ripe, and no birds had pecked through their dark orange-red skins. Then I noticed two bell peppers were ready. Thrilled, I checked my blueberry plant and pulled a handful off. By that time, my hands were so overflowing with harvested produce that Tony had to open the door for me so I could come back inside!

It rained this morning, around 6am, pounding down on the roof. I thought for sure I would be swimming in the rain, and later driving in the rain, but when I went swimming around 9am, the streets were all wet, but the clouds were beating a hasty retreat, and the sun was out for the day.

But really, I just love that I won the Halloween Decorating Contest!

I’m fairly certain that if there’d been a costume contest, I would have won that, too, based on the looks of amazement I was given when they realized I was Barbie Doll for the day. Plus, it’s the one day a year I can wear leather pants to work and get away with it.

Happy Halloween!

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Filed under I did something Special, Money Hump Building, We Love to Decorate

Love & Loathe – 10/28/10

Loathe:

* Fish drama. I know, for such “quiet” pets, there’s always something going on in those tanks. This past Monday, I arrived home from work to discover one of the large rock ornaments in the big tank (the tank that freaks me right out if something goes awry in it) had been knocked over. Presumably by the murdering male. One of the female’s eyes was injured… now I’m doing extra water changes to hopefully keep an infection from setting in. I swear, if it’s not one thing, it’s another with those fish. (sigh)
Her eye is supposed to be black…

* Orly nail polish. I bought this nail polish and was all excited because I loved the color. So, I put it on and it dried super fast, I thought that was pretty cool, and I still loved the color. Then I woke up the next morning, and the polish had fallen off! Weirdest polish I’ve ever used. Total waste of money. But… a pretty color.

Love:

My cubicle at work is coming right along. This is what it looked like this morning. I added some more stuff before I left tonight, but I was in such a hurry to get out the door that I didn’t take a picture of the changes. My competition is pretty fierce, so I’m pulling out the stops tomorrow — we’re bringing Boney Barney in. On a leash, of course, California has a leash law.

* York Peppermint Pretzel Sandwiches. Yum.

* Gettin’ sh*t done kind of days. Today was one of those, and there ain’t nothing like feeling as if you’re checking stuff off your to-do list.

* Finding stuff I thought I lost.

* My community has continued heating the pool I swim in to 82°F until November 1st. They said they were going to stop heating them on October 1st, but I guess they extended the time to November 1st instead. I’m so thankful for that. I love swimming outside, with my pool bunnies, beautiful trees, scents of plant life, etc., so very much.

One Last Thing:

Every chance I get, I remind myself to do an “in the moment” check — basically reminding myself that tomorrow will take care of itself, and to use the grace alloted to me for the day for the day I’m presently living. It doesn’t always work, but it helps.

Today I was grateful to have a half hour at lunch where I didn’t have errands to run or things to do, so I sat in my car with my devotional book and just relaxed. Sometimes I close my eyes and mentally digest what I’m reading, other times I watch the clouds puff by on the wind. Today I glanced at the side mirror on my car and was struck by how beautifully the mirror framed the scenery.

It was a nice moment.

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Love & Loathe — 10/21/10

Loathe:

* Antibiotics, or rather, what antibiotics do to me. I had a procedure done this week where I had to pre-treat with an antibiotic. I think I dreaded the pre-treatment more than I did the procedure.

* Our gym is switching over to the fingerprint identification system. Not sure if or when they’ll make it mandatory, but I’m being a rebel and declining to change over. For some reason the whole fingerprint identification system really creeps me out. Maybe it’s because I associate it with “criminal” identification? Creepy. Big brotherish creepy.

Love:

* The statement on prescription advisory sheets, after listing all the possible side effects, like — oh, say heart attacks, or kidney malfunction — that reads, “This medication has been prescribed for you because your doctor believes the benefits outweigh the risks.”

* I use a calling card when I call my mom overseas, and I finally took the time to figure out how to insert a pause in the auto-dial feature of my cell phone. This is important because I have to dial an access number and then the overseas number, totaling 21 numbers. Now I press two buttons, listen to 21 beeps, and then I’m patiently waiting for my mom to pick up the phone.

* Swimming in the rain — it’s just glorious. Also, I usually have the pool all to myself (except for the kid who wanted to try his remote control boat, but that didn’t work too well for him since my swimming made the water all choppy)!

* Down time and/or sleeping. Also, naps. Naps are wonderful.

* This cat, feetie jammies and the green chair.

* Being greeted by this when I get home from work


One Last Thing:

My company is having a Halloween decorating contest. Needless to say, I pulled out all my “work decorations” and went to town on my cubicle. Spider webs, spiders, fun-scary things.

Yesterday I was refreshing my makeup in my powder compact and in that tiny little compact mirror I noticed that my hair appeared to be standing on end. In that split second I thought to myself, “What the hell is going on with my hair? It’s been raining, I shouldn’t have static electricity!”

I looked again and realized it was an optical illusion.

Talk about scaring myself silly!

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Love & Loathe – 10/14/10

Loathe:

* That poor little fishy. That’s what we called him. All our goldfish died over the last couple of days. We just weren’t able to eradicate the parasite that infected them. We tried and tried and tried. Sadly, one of them suffered longer than he should have. We kept thinking he’d get better, but he didn’t. It was really sad and we kept calling him That Poor Little Fishy.

* People who are just plain mean and somehow ended up in a supervisory role. The thing about the specific person of whom I’m thinking is, he’s usually right, but he goes about his “rightness” with an attitude of ballistic anger and calling people stupid, which isn’t conducive to inspiring loyalty in those who report to him. It’s truly chilling to watch.

Love:

* Glide dental floss. I ran out a couple months ago, so was using my back-up dental floss, Oral B’s version, I think. Have to say, Glide has no comparisons.

* Green salads. I love me a great big plate of lettuce, arugula, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchinis, red cabbage, radishes, and any other veggie that strikes my fancy that I can pile on top. A dab of zesty Italian dressing and I’m in salad heaven!

* Persimmon and pomegranate season has arrived. Yum!

* The Angel Trumpet trees in my back yard are finally blooming. Oh! They are so beautiful!

* I am excused from jury duty. Again. Until next time.

One Last Thing:

This past Saturday, I flew back and visited my aunt and uncle, who graciously allowed me to spend 3 nights with them, or as I’ve affectionately termed their home, “Sleep Boot Camp.” See, when I’m home, my sleep schedule gets all messed up. But they maintain a very strict schedule. So it’s kind of like pressing the reset button to my sleep schedule.

Some of the highlights included attending their church — it’s truly a beautiful church, it’s even listed on the historical buildings list, and I love going with them. And brunch afterward is always delicious.

We walked across the recently completed “walking bridge” that hovers over the Missouri river, bridging Iowa and Nebraska. It made for a nice morning walk, and a visit to a year-round holiday store in Old Town Omaha, and then lunch after.

Also, the trees. I mean, you know about my obsession affection for trees. Trees that look like they’re on fire because they’re all covered with red and orange and yellow leaves — be still my heart! I’m pretty sure that I came back with, like, 500 pictures of trees and 5 pictures of people!

We visited my dad’s grave, as well as my grandmother’s, and I always treasure hearing the stories of my dad, his parents and all the other relatives that I never really had a chance to know. Although, I always leave feeling as if there’s one story that’s been left untold.

Plus, there’s always someone’s headstone in the cemetery that begs a good-natured joke — even an unintentional one.

We were leaving the cemetery, and I noticed an enormous monument. I read the name, pointed and said, “There’s the Bone family over there…” Then noticed all the smaller headstones surrounding the monument and revised my statement, “Ummm, wow, there’s a whole lot of Bones over there…” Then realized what I’d said and we started laughing together.

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Love & Loathe — 10/07/10

Loathe:

* Driving in the rain. First rains of the seasons fell this week and all the yahoos in the world were on the freeway at the same time I was. Ugh. Also nice to think that I was someone else’s yahoo, right? It was one of those weeks when I remembered with fondness those mornings of unemployment, listening to rain fall on the roof and having nothing on the agenda but to curl up with my cat and read a book with a soft blanket around my shoulders and give thanks that I wasn’t on the freeways.

* When our field sales people come in the office. They sit in the cubicles next to me, and they clearly are not used to living in cubicleville. They play music loudly on their computers, use their speakerphones when making calls, yell (truly, they yell) across at each other and are just generally oblivious to everyone outside of their happy, boisterous sales bubble. But hey, at least I don’t have to try and focus on writing the company newsletter while listening to all their noise. Yay for small miracles.

* When my bosses travel which, truth be told, they do quite often. My life is so much more hectic when they’re out of the office, which is the opposite of the way most people think it would be.

Love:

* Number nerd alert — 10/10/10 is coming up — I love synchronized dates like that.

* Search engine hits. The “search hits” area telling me what people searched for to land on my blog is on the front page of my admin area, so I can’t help but see it. Tonight I opened my admin area to respond to comments and saw that someone had searched for “swim cap blow job.” That just set me off to giggling and I couldn’t seem to stop. Whew. So if that was you, thank you, I needed that.

* My signature scents. During the summer, depending on my mood and the weather, I switch around on my shower gel and lotion scents — I love doing that. But during the fall and winter seasons, I generally find that I revert back to my “signature” scents of Night Blooming Jasmine and Camille. If only for a moment when I use them, or get a whiff of them, they make me feel safe and content. I’ll take whatever moments like those that I can get!

* My plumeria plant in my back yard. It has yielded so many beautiful bouquets of flowers this summer, and it just keeps blooming. Even now, it’s blooming.

* Each of you. Thank you for being supportive and true friends through the rough spots — life is not easy, but there are times when friendships and love can act as a balm to chafed emotions. You guys are the best emotional Chapstick EVER!

One Last Thing:

Earlier this year, my sister-in-law declared that she was going to do a Summer of No Pants. You can read about it here: LINK I was inspired! Summer of No Pants — how creative!

So I quietly made my own declaration. I would have a Summer of No Top! I decided I wasn’t going to put the top up on my car all summer long — hey, it’s California and convertibles should have their top down!

I mean, I did have my top down when I drove places, but … well, let me explain.

See, when I bought my Miata in March of 2002, I installed a 4-point roll bar and had the boot (the leather cover that goes over the folded down top and window) modified so it would fit around the roll bar. Yet, after the money I spent on that, I had only used the boot a couple of times over those 8 years of ownership. Putting the boot on is a commitment of snaps and straps, stretching here and tucking there. It looks nice and protects the folded down top when driving somewhere, but it’s time consuming to take the boot off and put it on every single time I raise and lower the top. So, I had taken to just lowering the top when I drove somewhere and raising the top every time I parked. Which causes lots of wear and tear and sun damage to my top.

Part of my strategy of the Summer of No Top was to order what is called a “cockpit cover.” It’s like a mini car cover that covers the windshield, seating area and deck, secured by four straps that reach into the wheel wells. My goal was to use it as a temporary top when parked, and then the boot cover would protect my top when driving. My other option was a tonneau cover, but that was a lot more expensive.

I was a bit concerned about the security of my belongings, so I made sure to lock the glove box and center box, and take anything of value inside with me. The exceptions to the Summer of No Top was if it were raining (not misting, but truly raining), or if I parked in an unsafe area.

I’m here to report, I successfully completed the Summer of No Top — the top only went up 2 times over the last three months due to rain — and I absolutely loved every second of it.

Summer of No Top — Epic Success!

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Processing a Miscarriage

I’ve written and re-written this post… because the message I want to convey isn’t an easy one to summarize. The flow of it, it’s like a kaleidoscope, so many ways to look at it, and it all depends on perspective and where I am in the time line.

There were the days when I wrote it, and all I seemed to be able to express was bitterness and anger over the fact that God seemingly didn’t deem us worthy of being parents to our Miracle.

There were the months that I tweaked it while I struggled to understand why something that seems to come so easily and naturally to everybody else is such an unattainable dream for us.

I deleted portions and re-wrote them during those weeks, months, when we were going to the birthday parties of children who had successfully turned a year older — and I was joyful for them, life is to be celebrated, after all — but sometimes it felt like a gut punch because our baby didn’t live to see his or her first birthday.

And then, a week ago, I deleted and re-wrote it in its entirety from where I am now.

I’ve intentionally chosen not to keep our loss a secret, but by doing so, I’ve opened myself up to the hurt inflicted by well-meaning, but misguided people who think that by sharing their stories of being “fertile Myrtle” and “I had 4 kids in 5 years” or “my friend didn’t mean to get pregnant so she had an abortion” is somehow appropriate. Or, even those who tell me “I struggled with infertility but after two years ended up pregnant and it must have all been stress related,” or “Having kids is stressful, you should feel blessed you have none,” or “There are too many souls in this world as it is.” I am not making these up — I couldn’t possibly.

By remaining open about my experience, I find that yes, it’s hurtful at times, but then there are times when I’m able to educate those who don’t know or understand. I’m breaking the silence! And even more remarkable, I’ve come across people — both men and women — who have suffered a miscarriage or baby born still. People who have remained a silent member of a club they never wanted to be in. These people, they tell me in near whispers, of their losses — birth stories without a happy ending — as if they are ashamed it happened to them. As if it were something they could even control.

So, please, if you’re stumbling across this post because you’re trying to figure out how to console someone who has had a miscarriage or a baby loss — just tell them simply, “I’m so sorry…” and then stop. That’s enough. Truly, it is. Don’t go on to share birth stories, abortion stories, successfully pregnant after managing stress stories, someone you know is pregnant, kid’s birthday party stories, suggestions of trying again or adopting, or whatever… just don’t. When people have done that to me, it makes me feel as if they’re belittling the death of my baby, as if it were nothing… a “nothing” that was life-altering to me.

The baby I lost may not seem real to anyone else, but I can assure you, as someone who spent the first three months of this year peeing on a pregnancy test every day and then watching in amazement as it turned positive, hoping and praying that we would finally have a healthy baby, and then spent 10 days miscarrying our baby, with hours and hours of cramps and contractions, sitting on the toilet passing enormous blood clots the size and thickness of my hand? And then, finally, when I held the very beginnings of human life in my hands? Even though it wasn’t alive, that baby became very, very real to me.

Yet through it all — through the worry, fear of the unknown, and emotional torment, the nights and mornings when I sobbed my heart out because the baby wasn’t viable, and physical pain, those times when I was on my knees trying to remember to breathe through the pain — I couldn’t help but be awed by it all. All those blood clots I passed? Those were intended to act as insulation to protect my baby from any harm that may come to it from outside of me. Those contractions, if they had come 6 months later, would have brought a live baby into the world. Even the fact that we had even miraculously managed to get pregnant, when all the odds were against us, made my brain whirl. My body did what it was supposed to do, even though it wasn’t the result we so desperately wanted.

For a short time, that seemed such a long time, we were parents. And for that I can’t help but feel grateful for the experience. Our baby was too small to warrant its own marked grave, but I believe that God wove our baby together and I believe that God is taking care of Miracle today. I have to believe that.

This day is so painful to me, and I don’t plan to memorialize it every year, but today I will. Because I will never forget. Anyone who has had a miscarriage or a stillborn baby never forgets. No matter how many children someone has, if they’ve ever lost one, there will always be one more who is silently counted in their parents’ minds.

Every day, a thousand times a day, I think about our Miracle… today especially, because today was Miracle’s due date.

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Filed under Kid Quest, Sometimes Thinking Exhausts Me, Who I am