I Can’t Complain. A Kind of Complaint

When my sister texted me sometime ago and asked how I was doing, I replied back “I can’t complain… more than normal.”

I had written that item on my list because when anyone asks my Dad how he is doing, he says “Oh, I can’t complain.” I’ve always liked his response, as it sounds so casual, so laid back and cool. Obviously,  life’s been a bit of a mess for me so I added the “more than normal” for good measure but it didn’t sound read as cool as I thought it would.

Now, this wasn’t my first attempt with using this response; the first time didn’t go very well either and left me a bit dumb founded. I decided to try it out on an older man I used to work with. He is about my Dad’s age and I thought for sure he’d recognize the phrase and be impressed with my maturity.

He didn’t blink an eye and just said without a thought, “What’s the use, no one listens anyway.”

It kind of set me back when he responded, I had never heard anyone say such a thing to my Dad before. In fact, people usually respond to my Dad with something like “good, good, blah blah blah” or something along those lines. I chalked it up as my co-worker was having a rough day but was curious if I should ever use the phrase again. I’d rather not open up a window of negativity, ya know?

Months later, when the chance came to use the phrase again with my sister, her reply was “good, yada ya” and I felt better but wondered if it was because she is used to hearing the phrase? Would other people respond to me the same as she or would they take the older grouchy guy approach? I also wondered if she thought I was a dork or cool like my Dad.

Yes, I wonder aboout these things.

I figured out that there is a 50/50 chance in response and have decided that I will no longer be using that phrase for a few reasons:

    1.  It could potentially trigger a negative response, which is not what I’m looking for
    2.  I have plenty to complain about and anyone who knows me would mark me a liar
    3.  I’m just not cool enough yet to pull that old casual phrase off

My Dad, however, rocks it and should continue to use it as it works well for him.

As for me, I will stick to the old school words of dang, icebox, and my ever favorite, dry up and bust, which always sound cool. 

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Mini-Vacation to Dewey, DE and Ocean City, MD

I figured before the summer is over I had better write about this mini-vacation that the kids and I went on, with Huz, a little over a month ago to Dewey, Delaware and Ocean City, Maryland

It was a last-minute trip that was only supposed to be for one night in Dewey Beach, so Huz could support his brother at a food eating contest he was taking part of.

Yup, food eating.

He’s a professional food eater these days and does pretty well. This particular one was for hot wings and he won. I believe he ate 98 wings in like 20 minutes

Gross.

He won a barrel of money though so I was happy for him.

While Huz was with his brother at the contest the kids and I chilled out on the beach. I read “Tiger Mother” and the kids played in the ocean, buried themselves in the sand and played with the tether ball game near the dunes.

After the day on the beach we went to the Hotel and got washed up. A few hours later we all walked (what was supposed to be 2) 5 blocks to a fancy restaurant.

I wanted to die from the pain so I ordered a shot of tequilla.

It helped. Then I had a few beers.

They helped more.

We all – Huz’s brother, his girlfriend, Huz, the kids and I – ordered tons of super fantastic foods and had a nice time at the fancy restaurant. (Crossing it off the list, Huz was there!) After dinner, we walked back (thank God I drank or I would have had to been carried – Huz even offered) got ice cream at the Dairy Queen then headed back up to the hotel. I grabbed my heating pad and passed out while they stayed up a chatted for some time.

When I woke up a few hours later, Huz was getting up to take the kids deep-sea fishing. I really wanted to go to the outlets in Rehoboth but didn’t have an ounce of energy so I fell back asleep for 2 hours than woke up desperately needing coffee. 

Dewey Beach is beautiful but there are a total lack of coffee shops. I ended up going for a long (2 blocks) walk alone to grab coffee. 

When the kids and Huz got back from fishing we hobbled back to the beach. They played with their boogie boards while I finished up my book and got a tan. We then decided to stay another night and take the kids to the boardwalk in Ocean City the next day. When we were at the boardwalk a big storm came through and my pain put me on my ass. I sat on the benches and did breathing exercises while the kids and Huz played on the bumper carts for hours. Once the weather finally let up and their ride bands ran out we made the decision to stay one more night, this time in Maryland. 

There was no way I’d be able to sit in a car for 3 hours with the stupid pain I was in. 

We then went to our favorite restaurant to eat in Ocean City, Embers, and loaded our plates up with crabs, salad, prime rib and everything else you could want. After eating like pigs a lot of food we drove back to a hotel on the beach and buckled down for the night. The next morning we got up early, showered, did a final pack up and made our way back home.

It was a short vacation but it was a lot of fun for all of us. We all got along well and I’m glad I decided at the last-minute it would be a good idea to go. 

Tension has risen between Huz and I since the trip and I don’t really see us getting back together but that was a very nice trip to have as a family memory, especially if it’s the last. 


 

New Area Rug for the New Family Room

On my list of 365 Resolutions I had written “new rug for front door” but when I bought one it turned out it wasn’t the right size. I ended up not being happy with it. At all. 

Since I am awful at return things I decided to use it in the kitchen and keep my eye open for something larger.

Then, while in the midst of my reconfiguration project, I decided to scratch that resolution and totally bump it up a notch. Continue reading

Eleven Lazy (Drive Your Mama Crazy) Summer Days Left, oh darn.

The babes go back to school in eleven days. That totally sucks for them. It’s kind of good for me.

Kind of? Why aren’t I singing and dancing? Well, I don’t really do either of those things very well and people usually ask me to stop. Also, Isaac is pretty difficult (to put it nicely) so here begins the daily phone calls, emails, charts, conferences, etc. Unless a miracle occurs and he behaves this year.

Yeah. Right.

I bought school supplies today, (before September 1st, thank you very much) you know, for when they decide to do some work this year.

Just kidding.

This year is destined for greatness! I can feel it in my blood! Good things are bubbling in the air, maybe Ms. Irene is dropping lots of good luck rain and blowing happy living wind my way. I think it’s a possibility! 

Be safe everyone!

Get Your Umbrella’s and Nerves Ready, East Coast

I know Hurricane Irene hasn’t even hit the east coast yet but here in Philadelphia it’s been raining all morning long.

It made me realize that I have yet to cross off use an umbrella from my list so when I had to run hobble an errand I figured I might as well get my underused umbrella out and break him in.

I expect to spoil him with attention for the better part of the next four days as I’ve a lot of things necessary to do outside of the house, including my sister’s baby shower this Sunday, if Irene allows. I just hope he will stand up to the 100 mph wind they are calling for which, after realizing how flimsy he is, I somehow doubt.

Please don’t think I am complaining because things could be so much worse.

I know there is a strong possibility that things are going to be so much worse for some of you. So, to all of my east coast friends, and those of you in North Carolina, more specifically, please be very proactive and stay safe.

I will be thinking of and praying for all of you and your families during the mega storm expected to hit the coastline sometime Saturday morning. I really hope that she changes her path and won’t unleash her epic anger in your neighborhoods.

I wish you all the very best in sanity, safety and pray that your homes are left undamaged.

Storage Solutions: Use What You Have to Get What You Want

Months ago when I packed up Huz’s clothes and took over his drawers, I also took the time to dedicate two drawers just for my extra bedding. Up until that point, I was storing extra linens in under bed storage containers, that were not only small and unable to hold a lot, but the dang things were a pain in the ass to pull out as they would always get stuck on my low to the ground bed frame. 

I thought about getting risers for the frame, but as my cousin pointed out, they sell them in packs of 4 and my bed, like hers, would need 5. I didn’t want to buy 2 packs of them because what the heck would I do with the other three. Not to mention they are kind of ugly. With me not having a real bedskirt, they would pose as a total eyesore, plus I am a bit of a clutz and no doubt I’d break a few toes in a matter of months.

So, I had the kids yank, push and pull the stupid, stuck under the bed plastic containers out and I sorted and purged all of the sheets.

I am not sure how many sets of sheets for each room are too many but I do know I had them. I decided it would be a safe bet to keep four sets per bed.

Is four too many?

Well, if they were all the same type, probably.

Mine aren’t though, I have cotton sets for the spring/summer and flannel sets for the fall/summer. Makes sense right? I actually think 2 per season is a brilliant number, that way if I don’t finish washing the set I took off all in the same day there is no panic. I just take one set off, put the new set on and have a week to get the dirty ones cleaned.

The drawers, of course, wouldn’t fit all 9 sets of clean sheets (mine and the kids) so I still was left with a problem. It was an easy solution really, once I figured it out. I used my highest drawer for my winter sets and the one below for the back ups of our summer sheets. Then we used the underbed storage containers for their winter sheets and slid them under Natalie’s bed, which has a much higher frame. When it gets cold enough I will just rotate the order 🙂

Simple and easy, no more fighting with my bed every week and they are still out if sight which equals less stress for me!

Of course, I lost two drawers that could be used for out of season clothing, but I did gain a ton of drawer/closet space when I removed Huz’s things, so I figured it was the most practical solution. I haven’t quite perfected my out of season clothing storage yet, (everything is actually, shoved, jammed and overflowing 3 drawers now) but when I start to pull out the cooler weather stuff I am confident that I will figure out the perfect solution then.

Do you have problems with storing things in your home or are you lucky enough to have a linen closet? If you are short on space and have to get creative with storage solutions I’d love to hear what you’ve done!

 

 

Where I Used to Skip, I Now Watch Clouds

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.  ~G.K. Chesterton

Today when I was in my doctor’s office the reality of my condition finally hit my like a ton of bricks. I am disabled. This isn’t going away. Sure, I am fairly positive for the most part (though you may disagree as I’ve written of a few break downs here already) but there are some moments of depression that come over me that feel so heavy it’s as if they are pushing me to the ground.

I’ve been daydreaming a lot lately, more than normal even, trying to romanticize this tragedy that my life has turned into in a short few months. I’ve been telling myself I’ll be a writer, I’ll make some money and be happy doing something I love. I fantasize I will win a huge jackpot from the lottery, because my horoscope tells me that things are going to change. I pretend that I will fall in love again, this time with a man who will appreciate and nurture my creative and free spirit. I give myself pep talks that the kids will suddenly stop giving me a hard time and that Huz and I will be able to be friends.

I haven’t been very realistic and for what ever reason something in me snapped to and the reality hit me today.

I can’t go on daydreaming like this, can I? How can I keep telling myself everything is just going to work itself out. I have no idea what I am going to do with my life now and the daydreams I mentioned above only happen in the movies. I’m pretty sure that my Mom is worrying that I am daydreaming too much also. No matter how many times I tell her I will be fine and things will work out and that I am working on my plan I can see that she doesn’t believe in me.

Why would it all work out though?

Before I was injured and was able, I skipped around quite a bit. Through parking lots, up my driveway, down the sidewalk. The act of skipping immediately brought a smile to my face every time. I loved skipping for that feeling of the little bounce in your stomach, the heat of your heart beating a little faster and the sight of everything in your view coming a little faster towards you. I loved that minute or so that I felt carefree, the memory the action brought back of feeling like a child.

Now, when I sit on my back steps I look up at the sky and watch the clouds. I search for resemblances of familiar objects, hoping to see a sign that my future is going to be beautiful. I get lost in the watching, caught up in the searching and can feel my spirit lighten. My heart beats a bit steadier and my breathing slows down as I gaze for answers in the sky. Watching the clouds now reminds me a bit of the skipping I loved to do. It takes me back to my memories of laying in the grass as a child with my brother and giggling. Just for the a few moments a day I escape now I get to feel carefree and lighthearted.

Maybe it’s good that I am  a daydreamer, I always thought I would meet higher goals if I had bigger dreams. Daydreaming alone isn’t going to change my life though and that is the reality that hit me in the examination room and stuck with me this afternoon when I last stared at the sky.

I understand that no one can give me the answers or tell me what the future holds but today I am feeling so desperate to know. What am I going to do with this new life of mine that is suddenly so limited? How can I make a difference in the world when I am struggling so hard to re-learn how to just function in mine? How do you make your dreams come true?

Simple Organizing

I don’t know about you but I love the IDEA of using coupons.

The problem is, even though I collect them, I never use them. Hmm. Some people really do great with extreme couponing and save a ton of money, like seriously TONS of money using them. Someday, I do hope to be like them but I think it takes a lot of practice and time so it could be forever a while until I join the ranks of penny pinchers. In the meantime, I finally made a file for my coupons to put in my desk drawer. It’s really nothing fancy, just a folder with coupons, so no picture but it makes me feel good to know where they are and specifically, that is, not all over my counters, shoved in drawers, on the floor, hiding in baskets, etc.

I also decided that instead of making a file for organizing my decorating ideas I’d just take advantage of my Pinterest account. The less paper in my life the better!  I think pretty much everyone knows what Pinterest is, but if not,  basically it is a way to save and organize images you like or find inspiring, etc. It’s pretty much a virtual bulletin board, the idea is somewhat brilliant actually. It’s really easy and fun to use and I have 6 invites if anyone out there wants one just let me know and I’ll send it your way!

If you happen to be interested in seeing what my Pintrest looks like I’ve added a link on the bottom right column of this page, feel free to check it out. I’m getting all fancy with these links… Now if I could just get on the ball with my super-duper long blog roll page, we’d be in good shape 🙂

Okay, so for today, I’m crossing those two items off of my list, I know they are boring and dull items to cross off, but they needed to be done and they were just perfect for this stormy achy Sunday.

2 more down and only 225 to go!