Thursday, September 23, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
This is a basic $5 skort. So boring.
This is after we added $5 of fabric to it (she wasn't home when it was finished, thus no model):
Then my older two daughters wanted their own. Nothing says YES! quite like having your 16 and 20 year old daughters asking for something homemade. Although Daughter #1 did hers in pinks, as 10 year olds are prone to do, Daughter #2 wanted tans and blacks:
The 20 year old wanted a "rockabilly" feel to hers (although she's borrowed the tan and black one from her sister a few times already). I love the Elvis aqua print in the middle!
So 3 skirts, all unique to each girl, and each only costing a total of $10 each and an afternoon of sewing.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
A couple of nights ago, I finished my skirt. I'm so thrilled at how it turned out. It's really full, so if you spin, it'll twirl around. It's a perfect fit and first clothes I've made myself since I was 13 and Mom first taught me how to sew. I'm SO happy with how it turned out. Here's a pic:
Then today, Wednesday, was a day for heart issues. I went to let the 5 dogs back inside, and no dogs to be found. The gate was opened. My heart dropped. I yelled and two of our big dogs returned immediately. I walked around the front, still yelling, and turned around to see Casanova, the basset, who I was really worried about because he's so skittish, but he darted right in. So two to go: Keiko the Akita, and Oliver, the little black pug.
So I go back inside, tell Rick, and we load up in the van to drive and look. Nothing. After several times around the neighborhood, there was Keiko in the yard. No Oliver.
Now I'm seriously concerned because Oliver was out on his own. We decide to take Sassy and Keiko out on leashes, thinking (hoping) they'd lead us to Oliver if he was hurt. We walked around and nothing.
Shandie and Sydney load up in her car. I post on Facebook to see if someone knows something. We'd asked everyone we passed and nothing. I knew he wasn't ran over because we'd covered all the streets already. My greatest fear was someone took him, and would keep him. He's so outgoing and cute and funny and well-trained. We would never get him back.
And all the time, Carly was at work, having no idea this turmoil was happening. I had no idea what I'd tell her. Oliver is hers, and they are inseparable. He's like her child, and I'd have to tell her he was gone. Of all the five dogs, THAT one was missing and there was nothing Mommy could do to make it okay again.
Rick asks if I want to drive around in his truck with him, looking. I felt there was no need -- we'd covered everywhere. He. Was. Gone. But I loaded up, and we drove.
Peering into shadows, driving in areas we knew he couldn't be. We kept going. And that's when fear and sadness sank in and I made my bargain with God: Let me find this dog, LEAD me to wherever he is, and I promise I will be in church TONIGHT.
And I opened my eyes, and there he was in a driveway. Rick hadn't even seen him and I said: There he is!
Rick still didn't see him but stopped the truck and I jumped down and grabbed Oliver up and I twirled, holding that fat little black dog so hard.
We got home and he darted into the backyard, and Casanova, his best buddy, danced around him. Then Oliver jumped in the dog pool and plopped his bottom down to cool off while lapping up the water around him, so hot and tired from his adventures.
I don't know if it was coincidence. I can't swear it was something divine. I just know neither of us saw him just a few feet down from that spot. I just know I opened my eyes after my desperate prayer and there he suddenly stood. And I cried with such relief.
My daughter's heart would not be broken.
And guess where I'll be tonight.
Saying "thank you".
Friday, June 11, 2010
I know, it's been awhile. Bad, bad Brenda. But now I'm back, and today's Friday Five are
Five Things That Made Me Happy This Week:
1) Okay, I know I'm SEVERAL years behind here, but I just started watching Sex in the City on DVD (the series) starting with the first year. This week has been SO funny watching these. Gotta love me some Netflix to bring me all the series tv shows I've missed over the years, eh?
2) My hibiscus in the front flowerbed now has HUGE hot pink flowers on it. They're simply gorgeous.
3) Over at my favorite blog, Lucy March, all the Betties, as we like to call ourselves, are putting up their personal blogs so our Bettiness can grow and expand. Watch here for a Betty Blog Section to be built soon. Swear.
4) Finishing a certain book last night, which I won't name, but it was painful to get through. It wasn't quite bad enough for me to give up on all together, but it so hard to muster through it. Finally I finished it last night. Usually with a book, I'm sad when it's over and often times read it again in the near future, but this one? This ending brought relief. Just goes to show that not every New York Times Bestseller should BE a NYT Best Seller.
5) Dad called yesterday to tell me that the children then grandchildren will be going to Granny's to divide up her stuff, so if I wanted anything, I needed to be up there Sunday afternoon. No, there's nothing I need. Several years ago, I received her coo-coo clock. Dad had actually bought it overseas decades ago and gave it to Gran as a gift, and so it has double special meaning to me -- Dad picked it out and Granny owned it forever. I already have that, and I'm glad it's here safe and sound. I still need to hang it up. I didn't hang it up for years and years because Sydney and Cooper were little and I didn't want to fight over them messing with the parts that hang low, but now they're older so it'll be okay. And a coo-coo clock? Are you kidding me?!
It'll fit right in.
Monday, May 10, 2010
I truly love this song. Although they say you can't go home again, you can. If some things are so constant, you really can go home, even if you yourself have changed. Yesterday, Rick took the kids and me to my parents, and we drove by Tracy's -- well, where her house used to be before the city wiped it away -- and there's part of the fence that surrounded her backyard pool, and I desperately want to go and get a section and bring it to my own house and keep it, and in keeping it, keep the memories of her house that's now gone, and of us swimming in her backyard. But to do that, I think I'd need a blow torch or something to break the wrought iron free enough for me to snag it and then run.
And we got to my parents' house, and the huge live oak from the front yard is gone thanks to the Snow Day of 2010, but it's the same. Mom and Dad are at the door, ushering us in with hugs, and food is everywhere -- brisket and pecan pie -- it's the same. And you go out in the backyard and see their flowers growing better and bigger than a commercial ever could and even though he's not doing it right then, the picture of my dad in his overalls watering the backyard is the same -- the same it has been for so long that it's etched in my mind forever. Like Granny Souder and the hoe and her garden in the front yard, even though she's been gone for 15 years, the memory is the same, branded in our minds, and anyone who knew Granny or remembers any time at my house at all with Dad knows exactly what memories and pictures in the mind that I mean.
But it's not just me that was built with that house. I think anyone close to me growing up as a memory -- a STRONG memory -- of my parents' house. We had the pool table and the ping-pong table and the basketball hoop and a yard full of kids sometimes. Or going to my parents' house just to raid the fridge and cabinets, because it was always stocked. The memories there aren't just memories for me, but memories for so many people, this constant never changing world of The Bobo House. When people ask about my parents, I say, "They're great -- they're just the same" and people know instantly what I mean, transported to their own memory of the home my parents created.
I've moved 17 times since leaving that house. Even for my own kids, their house is the "home", the constant, the safe place. The idea of them moving, or the house belonging to anyone outside of the family leaves me mentally crippled. My mind can't grasp the idea. That wouldn't be a good change. Life needs certain guarantees and that's one of them.
Now that Rick and I are together and building our new future, with our new house and our gardens and our own holidays, I can only hope I'm able to create a home that builds up others the way my parents' house built us, even if I'm 20 years late getting started. If I can give others a fraction the memories my parents gave me and so many others out there, I know I'll have accomplished something spectacular.
I just hope my parents know how significant they are as well as the house they loved and nurtured, and what their home has meant: It's the House the Built So Many.
I love you, Mom & Dad!
Monday, May 03, 2010
It's been flooding in Nashville, and the Gaylord Hotel is where the RWA National Conference is schedule to be held. According to the emails I've received today, we're apparently in a wait-and-see, although one email did suggest that the Gaylord and RWA are working on finding an alternative location. Makes the most sense because I cannot fathom they'd have all of the mess from the video fixed by July. However, after such devastation, I'm sure they hope to fix it in time because it would generate a lot of cash after being closed. Such a horrible situation. I hope everyone is safe.
I know the Board of RWA does the scouting and locations of our national conference years in advance. They put in such long hours and hard work. I hate to imagine them scrambling around now trying to find a solution but I know it has to be done.
Rick had suggested we get married in Nashville. I guess I should tell him about the flooding and possible/probable rescheduling. He'll think he's off the hook.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Brett, my brother, and I had just a day apart from our birthdays. Well, 2 years and 363 days. I'm October 11th, and he's October 13th, and man oh man, there hath no sin committed by my mother greater than forcing Brenda to share a party with Brett. Well, at least until I grew up and saw the convenience of it. When he and I were little, it made even more sense; it's not like we went to school yet, so all of our friends were from church, and therefore, friends with both of us. Yet I hated it all the same. I specially remember one birthday in particular. It was a rare birthday in which my parents bought a store-made cake (Mom usually made our cakes) and it was split right down the middle, decorated in two themes, one for him... one for me.
He played peewee football, so his side had little football players all over it with goal posts and everything. Made sense... he was a little football player.
My side was done in Halloween, with witches. Made sense, right... since I was a little... wait a minute!! *indignant pause inserted here*
I don't remember many shared birthdays after that, and please do not get me wrong here, in fact, if I'd been Mom, I'd forced shared birthdays forever.
I can say that because I find myself in the same situation, but instead of just three years apart, my two are SIX YEARS apart. And well... (sighs) Okay, I admit it: it's my fault their birthdays are only separated by one day.
Little Miss Carly Victoria was born five days late, induced on April 29th, 1994. YAY! Pizza anyone? (Inside story). Then, six years later, I was in the most horrific pregnancy ever, and having 5 pregnancies, I can say that. So the doctor gave me two dates in which to induce Baby #3: April 27th, or May 5th.
Well... in hindsight, being the Beast that hindsight IS, I should have held out for May 5th, but the pain got the best of me, so on April 27th, 2000, Sydney Elizabeth burst forth into the world.
So April 28th is the Day Between.
I've tried pretty hard since Syd was born not to "share" the birthdays. Unfortunately, Syd came home from the hospital on Carly's 6th birthday, and of course, people in their sweetness and ignorance told Carly she got a new baby sister for her birthday. Well Carly didn't ASK for a new baby sister -- she just wanted a Barney video or Barbie or cash to hide in her room (another inside story). So after that, I did my best to keep the birthdays as individual as the girls themselves.
Then this year came.
My goal is to always give the weekend before the birthdays to Sydney, and the weekend afterward to Carly. For traveling family (like Mom and Dad, plus friends, like Margaret and company) this doesn't always mean you get the visit ON the birthday because it's a bit to travel two weekends in a row. But this year is unique. The weekend after the birthdays, on Friday, Carly and Sydney and me and a few girl scouts all head to Girl Scout Camp at Texlake in Austin to camp in treehouses, so there's no way to party the weekend after.
So we partied the weekend before. Combined.
We had about 25 people here. Shandie came up from Texas State (a 2 hours drive), Mom and Dad and Margaret and Charlie and Cari all came down from Ft Worth (a 2.5 hours drive). Neighbors came over for the cookout (about a 20 second drive in Cameron), and Sydney had NO. IDEA. AT. ALL.
I'd told her last year that from now on, all birthdays were family only. No more friends invited who never show up and never RSVP (so irksome). So she thought there was NOTHING. In fact, her father told me the following:
Sydney to her dad: Can we buy me some party favors?
Sydney: Because Mom said no more parties, but if I can buy some favors, at least it'll FEEL like my birthday.
Guilt much, Sydney? Geeze, child.
Thankfully, Brian knew of the plans already made and did not give in to the favors.
Instead, Sydney walked into the backyard to hear everyone say SURPRISE and get showered with gifts and love. It was also for Carly, but she knew about it, and didn't seem to mind sharing it with Sydney.
At least this one time...
So Happy Decade Old for Sydney Elizabeth and Happy Sweet Sixteen to Carly Victoria. I love you both more than you will ever realize until you're blessed with your own beautiful daughters. (In 30 years or so, of course.)
As for Brenda, Happy April 28th -- my day of nothingness.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Sally Albright: Which one am I?
Harry Burns: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
Sally Albright: I don't see that.
I’m fascinated by this idea. Unfortunately, I’m apparently like Sally Albright, because it appears that even though I don’t view myself as High Maintenance, others DO. I’m not sure why, but they do. So… I did some research.
On Facebook, I put it in my status, asking others what they thought High Maintenance meant to them. Several said the way I view it: Perfect hair and make-up, designer clothing, wanting only the best of material things, blah blah blah.
One friend said when he and I dated, I was pretty laid back. Which is funny, since I was only 19 at the time and 19 in general is a living, breathing hell, but given who his girlfriend was before me, that may be why he viewed me a “laid back”. I just know I wasn’t going to argue since he’s apparently one of the very few who think of me as low maintenance.
A few years ago, in fact, it was 2007 because I remember it vividly, it dawned on me that there is emotional high maintenance so very different from how I’d viewed high maintenance in materialistic ways. Needing reassurance, mental stimulation, the spark and connection. I could see me high maintenance that way. Of course, it was also pointed out to me by someone else that those things weren’t high maintenance in their opinion, but just basic human necessities to feel needed and wanted and loved, and if those things were not being fulfilled and thus creating the high maintenance fallout, that was on the other person to not provide as promised. Which makes sense; I’ve always claimed Love is a verb, an action, so if those actions aren’t made and the love isn’t evident, then yeah, the questions and insecurities would definitely flair up. Anyone can say they love someone else. But showing love – that’s worth much more than diluted words someone may utter just to float by in life to maintain a status quo.
Anyway, back to topic:
Another friend said: It’s like a high performance car. If you want the best out of it, you have feed the best into it. (paraphrased)
A third friend said I’m a drama magnet, which used to be very true. But note the magnet – it somehow finds me, but isn’t generated by me. That was good news. And I think it’s the Libran in me attempting to fix and balance others and then getting dragged into it, but… (shrugs) That friend also said that the good thing about my brand of high maintenance is that it’s never boring.
Um. Thanks. I think.
I know I’m definitely not the materialistic high maintenance. I like to shop as much as the next person, but I really like finding good deals, etc, and name brands are not my thing. But the emotional high maintenance, I think if it’s being nurtured and fed and reinforced, that’s not high maintenance at all: That’s what I call Happily Ever After.
Friday, April 16, 2010
1) Self-confidence boarding arrogance but not crossing the line.
2) Intelligence. Most definitely.
3) A scorching look.
4) Barely contained passion toward everything important to him.
5) A innate need to protect what he deems is "HIS".
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Most everyone – aside from Rick, apparently – knows the movie The Princess Bride and tons of the movie quotes, including “TruuuUUUUe Love”. But before that particular quote, there’s another one regarding the real-deal True Love. At the beginning of the movie, when Buttercup is speaking of her love’s assumed death, she states:
“I died that day.”
And I think this is true. If one has loved, truly loved, and it dies a shocking, violent end without consent and closure, we all die a little. We’re not remotely the person we were before. We are jaded. We are scarred. The scars may fade in time, the jaded outlook may calm, but part of us will never be the same again. Ever. The innocence of that purity of love is forever gone. You know now there’s a fantastically bitter alternative that you hadn’t experienced before. You are forever changed. Part of you has, indeed, died.
And it’s my personal belief that if you were to see that person again (as in a break-up, obviously not as in death situations), that part of you will emotionally fling back to that pain. Instantly. You may have memory jolts of the extreme love and happiness, but I promise you’ll also have shards of the pain pressing against the tender scars.
But…here’s the real question circling around my brain today: what happens while the wound is still fresh, blood is still leaking out around your hasty bandage, and someone else comes along? It’s pretty natural, at least to me, to find someone quickly to help dull the pain, to justify that you’re worthy enough to be with someone else, etc. And there’s a name for that: rebound.
And we all know how rebound relationships go, right?
But, just for “what if”, let’s say it’s NOT a rebound, or at least it’s claimed not to be a rebound. That this is IT, The One. (cue Snow White’s chirping birds here)
Is it possible to have BELIEVED you truly loved when in fact, you hadn’t? Is it possible to claim that your future only seemed bright with that first person, only to find that the level of brightness isn’t comparable to the newly neon shine of the latter love? Any proclamations made to the first may have been true at the time, but then a couple of weeks or so later, another person stumbles into your life and suddenly, the first doesn’t have the glow you once thought? At the time, you thought you’d never eat again, sleep again, smile again – your life and the future you’d planned on having with that person is gone gone gone with no hope of renewal but a month later, your head is spinning with love and happiness and the future dawns bright again.
In my world, that doesn’t make sense at ALL but really, I have no idea of these answers and the more I think about it, the more questions I end up asking myself. This is one of the reasons I hate hypothetical questions. I can’t pinpoint the validity of the answer, especially if I’m not the one living it.
From another one of my All Time Favorite Movies, EVER AFTER:
Prince Henry: Do you really think there is only one perfect mate?
Leonardo da Vinci: As a matter of fact, I do.
Prince Henry: Well then how can you be certain to find them? And if you do find them, I mean really the one for you, or do you only think they are, then what happens if the person you're supposed to be with never appears, or she does but you're too distracted to notice?
Leonardo da Vinci: You learn to pay attention.
Prince Henry: And let's say... God pus 2 people on earth and they are lucky enough to find one another, but one of them gets hit by lightening, well then what, is that it? Or perchance you meet someone new and marry all over again, is that the lady you're supposed to be with, or was it the first? And if so, when the 2 of them are walking side by side, were they both the one for you and you just happened to meet the first one first, or was the second one supposed to be first? And is everything chance? Or are some things meant to be?
Leonardo da Vinci: You cannot leave everything to fate, boy. She's got a lot to do, sometimes you must give her a hand.
Okay, taking Prince Henry’s rambling thoughts to mind, let’s say you’re foolish enough to fall in love again – and your gut tells you that it’s real FOR REAL this time. Should it end yet again and the future is gone gone gone yet again, will the pain be as blindingly horrific as the last time, or, because you’ve experienced it already, the pain is muted, even if just a little, because scars cover the previous wounds. The most pain now would be an itching against that scar, a reminder of what you’ve already survived and acknowledgement that you could – if you had to – survive a great loss again. And, because of that survival, because of the jaded past that now defines the new you, are you that much more willing to toss away love and futures and walk away because you know you can survive it? If you begged that first relationship to not be over, but on the newer one you tend to think of ending it more often, what, exactly, does that mean? Is it a gut reaction to stave off pain like you barely survived, and is an acidic “I don’t even care as much as I used to” type situation? What makes someone change the core of who they are so completely? What makes them go from begging one person, then the second person they supposedly “really truly” love they don’t cling to it just as strongly? Ugh, so many questions!
OR! Maybe this is all a male vs. female thing. Maybe men do recover from lost love faster than women do. I don’t think this is the answer, but it could be. For my hero and heroine, this is what they’re telling me, but it just poses a lot more questions of their past and their personalities to figure out their future.
Because you know me: I have to have my Happily Ever After. There’s no alternative for that in Brenda’s World.
Friday, April 09, 2010
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Saturday, April 03, 2010
1) Nonsensical -- noun
- words or language having little or no sense or meaning.
- conduct, action, etc., that is senseless, foolish, or absurd: to have tolerated enough nonsense.
- impudent, insubordinate, or otherwise objectionable behavior: He doesn't have to take that nonsense from you.
- something absurd or fatuous: the utter nonsense of such a suggestion.
- anything of trifling importance or of little or no use.
2) Thwart -- verb (used with object)
- to oppose successfully; prevent from accomplishing a purpose.
- to frustrate or baffle (a plan, purpose, etc.).
3) Happenstance -- noun
- a chance happening or event.
4) flummox [fluhm-uh ks] -- verb (used with object)
- to bewilder; confound; confuse.
5) Glib -- adjective,glib·ber, glib·best.
- readily fluent, often thoughtlessly, superficially, or insincerely so: a glib talker; glib answers.
Side note: glibber is an awesome word -- never heard that one before!
So, any you wish would come back into language style?
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
So this is the collage for BARELY THERE. I started collaging after hearing Jennifer Crusie and Lucy March aka Lani Diane Rich have such success with it. So I thought what the heck, I have nothing to lose.
And it really does work. I went to type something about the stapler and instead of just saying STAPLER, I said, "plain black office stapler" and everyone under the sun now knows exactly what I mean when I say "stapler". And I only have that description because I have the storyboard for this right there in my face the entire time I'm typing. In fact, yesterday I could only manage 300 miserable, horrible, where's-the-delete-key-words and I think it may have been because I didn't have my collage right in my face talking to me as I typed.
So this is the full thing: I bought a tri-fold presentation in black and cut it in half horizontally because I didn't think I needed that much space. So okay -- the black tri-fold board is then covered in sheer black meshing with glittery dots then topped with black satin tied with black and red plaid bows. I used a hole puncher to work those ribbons through. Then I started to abuse the printer...
Whenever we read a book, we create our own visuals of what characters and settings look like based on the information the writer has given us to work with. And of course, everyone mostly visualizes something different, and I think that's why a lot of times people think books are better than movies; the visuals in the movies don't match up to the visuals in the mind (although I think an excellent example against that are the first two Harry Potter movies -- everyone always said it was just as they imagined it. Then, of course, they had to go and get a new director and muck it all up, but I digress...)
So, on that idea, the "characters" on my board are more like the IDEA of the book character more than what they really look like. Delaney Dupree, heroine extraordinaire, is sassy and has crazy red hair -- so of course, Debra Messing came to mind instantly. If you notice there's the bigger photo of her -- I printed that off and used a mat around her and put the name above it. Her favorite drink is a mango margarita, so I glued one of those on as well. Then TIME and STAPLERS are important, so I found ones to be hers, and ones to be his. HIS, being Mitch Parker, womanizer to the extreme and sporting that "everyone loves me" flash of a grin. Who better than Michael Weatherly to give me that on both counts. So... he's framed with a mat as well, he gets his version of stapler and clock, and then I glued his scotch on his hand, and the small photo under him is a spreadout of women -- to represent his womanizing ways.
Okay, then. They both crave landing the VP seat of their advertising agency, so I printed off an executive looking office and put it between them. Right under that is some lingerie, since they kind of battle it out for this new client, so it's also "between" them.
Under Delaney, you'll see a photo of her best friend, Jodi Todd. I describe Jodi as cool and calm with a sleek blonde bob, so I printed out pics of that to represent her. Jack Kincaid, over there under Mitch, is known for his laid back style and basically a good guy.
On the left, most of that represents the dreams that seem to connect Mitch and Delaney. The bottom photo on the left is Delaney's apartment.
On the right side of the board, there's a photo overlooking a downtown office area and over it reads "Little Miss Double D" -- Mitch's nickname for Delaney. Next to that is a photo of Mitch that says "Mitch the Bitch", Delaney's nickname for Mitch. A lot of the book takes place in their offices, and between their offices is the Cubicle Arena, so I printed out a photo of that. On top of the "Instant Ad Exec Just Add Coffee" coffee mug is a small print of a standard office break room. And another red stapler, because staplers are big in this book.
Below that is a photo of Mitch's apartment. On the lower right are photos of the inside of clubs that represent Duke's Bar from the book.
Whew. I'm tired now!
At the top center of the board is a photo between the words BARELY and THERE (which have white and silver glitter on them for a magical visual appeal) and that photo is the core of it all -- a connection, the sensuality, the need, the trust.
The perfect embrace.
Hope you enjoy seeing the creative process and I hope it doesn't bore you to tears! As I stated, this is my first time with working a storyboard collage, and I really, really enjoyed it a lot.
There are a couple of close-up shots:
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
1) Flowers -- especially the bluebonnets growing wild on the side of the road, or driving by a store and seeing the sparkling array of flowers in all colors for sale.
2) Sunshine -- although I really dislike daylight savings time, I do like that the kids get longer periods of outside play on school days.
3) Rebirth -- nothing beats seeing the grass start to turn green again, and watching the trees bloom after months of emptiness on the branches.
4) Frolicking -- the dogs seem to come to life with everything else, finding sticks to play with, hopping through the grass, rolling around thinking, "I'm a happy dog! I'm a happy dog!" I loooove it.
5) Flipflops!!! Although occasionally, I'm still a child of the 80s and call them thongs, much to the snickering of my children.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
"I don't think that there's anything worse than being ordinary."
I think this is a universal truth in us all, even though very few of us would admit it. We may say we want "the American dream" or "just an ordinary life" but that's not only lying to the world, it's lying to ourselves. Is it the need to feel humble? Who said we had to be humble when it comes to our lives? I don't get this mentality at all and I definitely believe that it is a great unspoken fear, this fear of being ordinary, but we just don't have the guts to state it for whatever personal reasons we may think we have. And, in craving it, I have no doubt that people turn to the darker side of it, the entire "negative attention is better than no attention at all" or those people who kick others on the ladder in an attempt to make themselves appear higher, even if just to themselves. But aside from the obvious negatives, I don't think there's a single thing wrong with loudly exclaiming we want more.
We all want to stand out, to get acclamations, to rise above. No one would want a review stating it was "an ordinary performance" or "an ordinary book". So why would any one state that they want the ordinary? I don't want an ordinary love -- I want a spectacular love, defying odds, a love that others re-tell, the one books are written about and for which movies are made. And our lives, from memories to the future of our personal bucket lists -- does any one have "pay the mortgage" or "take out the trash" on their lists? Of course not. They have swimming with dolphins and climbing mountains and other SO out of the ordinary goals listed and for a reason -- we don't want to die having been ordinary.
I crave the extraordinary, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. We shouldn't settle for less, and we shouldn't think we deserve less than extraordinary. The ordinary becomes acceptable when we all lower our expectations and settle.
The only settling I want to do is to settle into my extraordinary bed with my extraordinary Rick with my amazingly extraordinary kids dreaming their personal dreams down the hall and keep living our extraordinary life and making extraordinary memories.
Also -- don't say ordinary a lot. It starts to sound really weird. Don't believe me? Try it. Say it aloud like 20 times. Just don't accept it.
Same for extraordinary. That one, well, you're allowed to accept that. Aren't you glad I gave you permission for something you didn't even know you needed?
Friday, March 19, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
And looking their direction.
Then this last Christmas, as I was making my dad a wishing well for his present, I found some bulbs on sale. I picked up some beautiful blood-red tulips and we put them in the ground and guess what?? Apparently if you ignore that patch of ground for a few months, MAGIC happens.
My tulip first presented signs of red two days ago. Today, though, it stood proudly in full glory, so I thought I'd share it with you. Ya know, so you can see it before I somehow destroy it with my mere presence. Maybe I'll keep ignoring it, now that I have a photo as proof.
Stay tuned for our next part of this love story and we'll see if it has a Happily Ever After or ya know, more of a Romeo & Juliet kind of ending.
Wish me luck!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Just a couple of months after Rick and I started dating, I realized I'd started to change a little and said so to Rick and he said, "Well, that's no good." (Direct quote.) But it was good: I was smoking less -- a LOT less -- and making better dinners and keeping house better, but I was definitely changing. And he totally lied with the "That's no good" because over a year later and knowing him so much better, he really does have issues with housework and smoking, so I'm pretty sure "changing Brenda's certain behaviors" was actually pretty high on his Brenda List of Necessary Requirements.
But like I said, they were POSITIVE changes, so I can't really complain about them. Well, I can, and sometimes DO, but I digress...
And then there are those who really, really hate it when you change. They can't comprehend who are you now verses who you were then. They refuse to accept it, and in denying it, they cut all ties. I would understand if I'd become addicted to heroin or dating abusive men: yeah -- cut those ties if she won't help herself because then you're just enabling. But that's the far end spectrum, and it's also on the far negative side as well. When the changes are overall a positive thing, I can't comprehend what is so absolutely horrible that they'd just. . . POOF.
Well, I do know why, if I really, really think about it. I'm a needy person in general, but having Rick who defines FIXER, well, we balance, and in that balancing, I don't "need" certain aspects that were originally part of certain relationships. And I guess in some people's viewpoints, that's a huge negative. I get it, I just refuse to accept it because I find it selfish and foot-stomping-taking-my-ball-and-leaving childish behavior.
So if you have a friend (and I'll let you define "friend" in your own way) and you see him or her changing their life in a positive way -- she's happier, her kids are happier, she's almost found SOLICE -- celebrate with her and still love her. You may have to change your roles in the relationship a little, maybe a lot, but if that relationship meant anything at all to you, if you truly had a selfless love and concern, you don't just up and walk away. You reshape, you redefine, but you still care, you still suppport.
You still love.
But in the end, the change is for yourself and not to try to please another person out there. Swear.
Friday, March 05, 2010
Scooter was a force of All Things Doggy, including the need to be the biggest and baddest there is (he got that from Rick). Unfortunately for Scooter, our other dog, Ambush (note the name?!) is bigger and badder, a mixed breed of what looks like German Shepard and Big Goofy Dog -- 99% of the time, Ambush is simply a big goofy dog who really reminds you of Scooby Do. Most of the time, due to Scooter's need to prove himself, they were kept in separate yards, with the occasional inter-mixing. Then one day, on a rush out of the house to take the heathens somewhere, I saw that Scooter wasn't moving. He was on the ground with the other dogs simply looking down at him.
I yelled for Rick, and after shoo'ing the kids back inside, we took Scooter to the garage to assess his condition. It wasn't good. Mud caked his tongue from when he'd laid on the ground, his breathing was simply gasps, and I suspected a punctured lung. We wrapped him around with plastic wrap and his breathing eased. A sucking lung wound at the age of 12 for a dog? Not good. And when Rick had lifted him up, he said he could FEEL the broken parts of his ribs and back.
Then Scooter tried to stand up.
Have I mentioned the tenacity of this dog yet?
Now, Scooter picked a fight with Ambush two years or so ago, and lost then too, and after four days in the hospital and endless drain tubes, he healed. Amazingly. But now he's 12 years old, so old for a dog, and his body has endured so much. And in the midst of our anguish, decisions must be made.
Rick decided to take him to a local vet, and as of right now, the only vet in our country area. We take him in, and I try to speak for Rick, I try to be the Devil's Stupid Advocate. If the machine needs to be turned off, I have to step up with my emotions off and say this is what's best. He hasn't been MY personal dog for 12 years. I don't have the memories of him as a puppy. It was 5:30pm and the vet is closing for the day, but they all go into Critical Mode as we rush in.
And as this lady is looking him over, I say those words: Is it in this dog's best interest with these wounds and his age to simply relieve him of the pain and put him down?
The vet cleans him up, starts an IV, starts antibiotics, and the worst of it, she gave Rick hope. I had to leave to pick up the kids and while I'm gone, they've shaved his fur and even the vet said you could see the broken, damaged bones of Scooter even more so. Scooter fought every inch of the way, so they sedated him to SHAVE HIM.
So now he's on the ventilator, he's on pain meds, he's on antibiotics. They tell us he'll either pull through over night or not, but there's no way to really determine. We take turns petting him and ruffling his ears and telling him he's the bravest, dumbest, cutest thing ever and kiss him g'night with promises to see him in the morning.
The call came in just after midnight: Scooter died.
I had a flannel blanket with dogs all over it and we took it up there, and the vet gave us Scooter all wrapped up so we couldn't really see him. We went to the receptionist and she chirped up with, "Your total is $400."
Well now I'm just angry. Rick is standing there, prepared for around $100 or so, holding his dead dog on this birthday, and these people who I attempted to talk to the night before on what was best for Scooter are now asking for more money than it took to save Scooter before (at a different hospital -- and with a four day stay!) Rick pays the $100 he'd brought with him, and they happily -- yes, I said HAPPILY -- agree to let him pay out the rest.
So now we see a reminder every month in the mail when a statement comes reminding us how much we owe because the vet did not make the best decision for our dog. Granted, I'm not a vet, but I've been around animals my entire life, and the odds for a 12 year old dog with such huge, huge injuries to make it all, to go through the pain meds and the antibiotics and oxygen cage and blah blah blah -- did you really do what you thought was best for Scooter, or what you thought was best for YOU, Dear Vet, in a tanking economy? In all honesty, my anger knows no bounds and we will never, ever use that business again, and even suggest to others not to as well. Again, not knowing a lot about vets but I have to wonder: Do they not have an oath as well? Is it not their MORAL POSITION to do what's best for the pet, not what's best for the people, the owners or the vet, but to be an ADVOCATE for our creatures who can't speak for themselves?
One of the saddest -- sad to the bone, heart-breaking-standing-there kind of sad -- things I have ever, ever witnessed is a grown man crying as he digs the grave for his dog, on his own birthday, no less.
Less than three months later, Elly, Scooter's "wife", died at the age of 13, under our coffee table surrounded by us all. She's buried next to Scooter, where I'm sure he's taking turns frolicking with her while growling at other dogs to know their place on the totem pole - because even in Dog Heaven, he's still Top Dog.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
A few disclaimers:
1) My R key keeps sticking. That's just irritating, and so is the word IRRITATING because it has 2 Rs. So if you see mistakes due to an R missing, it's 100% the keyboard's fault. Forget the fact that I originally typed "keyword", k? Thanks.
2) Cooper and Sydney got in an argument on the way home after school yesterday over polygons. Not even kidding. Cooper, the 3rd grader, got it in his head that the sides had to be equal (don't even ask what that shape would be -- I am not smarter than a 3rd grader, especially not THAT 3rd grader) whereas Sydney (the 4th grader) said it's a closed shape, regardless of equal sides. I piped up with: Look it up but I'm pretty sure in the grand scheme of things, a POLYGON isn't going to make or break your day, and they must have agreed because I don't think either looked it up because I didn't hear a word about it once we got home.
3) I looked it up. Not only images, but the "real" definition as well. According to dictionary.com:
pol·y·gon /ˈpɒliˌgɒn/ Show Spelled[pol-ee-gon]
a figure, esp. a closed plane figure, having three or more, usually straight, sides.
How's THAT for vague?
Where ya goin' with this, Bren? Well, I'll tell you: Having a lot of writers on Facebook as friends shows you the speed (and sometimes not such speed) in which they're working and cranking out books. Granted, I just started back up and to see my own silver lining, I'm just under 13K on this novel, but still...
I think back when I first found this world of writers and how some had started around the same time I had back then and holy smokes -- look where they are now. Nine books later, twelve books later. It can be so intimidating. And I'm plunging back into the writing world I used to be so familiar with and there are loops and forums and blogs out the wah-zoo and you try to be out there, amongst them, trying to wriggle into the different "communities" set up and then I stop and think:
I'm a square peg trying to fit a round hole.
Then that didn't feel right and suddenly I'm reminded of Syd and Cooper's polygon discussion yesterday and I'm like great -- I'm a polygon in a round world. Now isn't that just a bright, sunshiny feeling or what? Ugh.
And I try not to make comparisons with others, truly. I'm here to do what I can, and they're there doing what they do, and we don't even write the same sub-genres so why am I comparing anyway? At least, after a horrific five year struggle, at least I'm back, right? Right.
So WHAT if I haven't sold yet -- I'm just now really trying. So WHAT if I can't seem to flitter into well-established online communities, at least I'm THERE.
I really hate being my own cheeleader but hey -- you take what you can get and work with it.
Now I have the visual of polygons with pompoms. It's gonna be a long day.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
I'm hoping to post every week a FRIDAY'S FIVE -- 5 things that make me happy!
1) Hearing from an old friend after years and years and feeling that instant connection again.
2) Casanova's sighs when he finds his spot on the bed at night.
3) Cooper's enthusiasm of "I made a 110 on my spelling test today!"
4) The anticipation of a writers meeting to renew my own energy.
5) The hope when cracking open a new book I haven't yet read.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Now keep in mind, this is the first time in decades that Girl Scouts have been in Cameron. So this isn't just MY first year as leader or in cookies, but most of us here in town. Our troop alone sold over 800 boxes. I have no idea what the Cameron troops combined sold, but it's impressive. Carly and Sydney were out front on our street holding up LAST DAY signs and it worked down to the last delicious box -- I'm SO proud.
But it's been a... well... a different kind of day.
It started earlier today. Every day after I do the morning school run, I go to the convenience store down the road and get me a big ol' honkin' fountain drink of Diet Coke, and today was no exception. As I'm walking back to the truck, one of the ladies who work there bent over and picked up some trash. As she grew closer to me, I noticed it was a thrown-out scratch off lottery ticket. So I ask her about it as she proceeds to dig through the trash can right outside the door looking for more.
Apparently she's won over $100 in the last two weeks on tickets people assumed they'd lost on when they just hadn't read it well enough. Can you even imagine?? She said she used to buy the occasional scratch off but stopped when she realized she could win without spending a thing! I told her she must have a lot of good karma out there that she's literally cashing in on. *gobsmack moment*
Then, tonight, a lady stopped to buy some cookies. We didn't have the ones she wanted, but she stayed around and asked a lot about the scouts and when we moved here, etc. She moved here about a year ago, and amazingly enough, she and her husband bought a house that Rick and I had looked at a couple of blocks away before we found this one. And it was one of those times where you meet someone and feel like you've known them ALWAYS. She has no children and surprisingly, my herd of heathens didn't deter her at all! (Hmm... maybe I need to requestion her mentality!) She and her husband ended up staying over for homemade pizza and hugs all around when they went to their own house. It was very weird in the grand scheme of things, but felt very natural in the moment. And all because two of my daughters were selling cookies at the curb.
Have I mentioned yet how scouting has changed MY life?
Oh, and the convenience worker who checked tickets there while talking to me? Well, she didn't win a thing today.But I still think about her karma being repaid, and then I think about my new friend made today, and perhaps that's my OWN karma being repaid as well.
And I like it.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Today I spent most of it on the phone. In a world of technology as we have it, it was like this flashback to the 90s and a phone to my ear all day. After countless issues with my website -- thankfully it wasn't me, the user (who designed it) but an issue with the hosting site -- and after continuing to talk for about two hours, we came to the conclusion that what I want cannot be done, at least by them. So they refer me to another blogging site which supposedly CAN do what I want. Great. So I scurry my fingertips over there and fiddle around for two hours just to realize that it's not as easy as blogger and I'm not sure I really care all that much for the time and energy it's already taken out of my life especially given that the "five minute download" didn't even seem to take.
So I stop and think: Is what I want so important to me that I'm willing to make myself insane to get it, read a gazillion things and hope it works out, invest unlimited number of hours to make it look like I want (assuming I ever get that far anyway!!!) when I've already invested so much time and energy and love into the blog and website I have. The answer is no.
Disclaimer: If someone can help me easily figure this out, rock on. Otherwise, I'm done with the idea until I sell some books and can hire someone to magically do what I want.
So that's the bottom line: What do I want and what am I willing to do/not do to get it?
And then there's my beautiful and brilliant daughter who is in that god-awful age of truly still-a-kid-but-really-an-adult in college crisis. She wants this, but fears that. She needs this, but is told that. She's spinning. All I can do is stick my hand out and attempt to slow down the speeding merry-go-round she can't seem to get off of and hope that my slowing it down is enough so she can jump off and get back on track to the future that's waiting out there. But part of her issues are what others say, what others think, and granted, they are significant in their stance in her life "as others". Their words and opinions carry a great, great weight. But in the end, it's her life. It's her future. The decisions she makes are hers alone.
I'm thrilled when she calls for my opinion, and I'm even thrilled when she calls The Others for theirs. But I'm not thrilled when she calls me even more confused than she had been after I'd slowed the spinning, even temporarily. Nor do I like the sound of defeat and indifference in her voice when she hits the "I really don't care anymore, I'll do whatever." When she loses her passion, it ups mine to feverish degrees. As her mother, I have to verbally cattle-prod her into believing these dreams are still viable, to transfer some of MY tenacity back into HER passion.
But at the end of the day, her choices with school -- although much, much grander and heavier than my webpage ones -- are the same: Where's your bottom line? What do you refuse to compromise on? What must you have and what are you willing to give up? Every path we wander down, whether creating a webpage for a hopeful future or deciding college choices for a hopeful future -- well, they're ours. We have to claim them, own them, nourish them, so we have to make sure the details are worth the pain and gore to get to the magical solution of The End.
Whether The End of a novel or The End of the college education, it's a bumping, gory road, but the pain will so be worth it.
I promise, baby girl. It will be.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Somewhere in this six month old puppy's life, he was abused. I'm definitely not saying it was the owners right before us -- they'd had him a short time, from my understanding. I'm just stating with absolute fact that some human out there -- beyond any inkling of a doubt -- abused this precious animal. He's horribly afraid of feet. If we move, he ducks, although NOW he ducks with his tail wagging. So someone has kicked him. And his first night home, Rick went to hand me some papers and Casanova tried to climb into my head to get away from the source, so someone has hit him with papers.
There's a special, horrific circle of hell for animal abusers.
But he's made such huge strides. Oliver, the black pug, is teaching him how to be a PUPPY and not a quivering mass of nervousness. He pounces now, jogs after Oliver, tries to wrestle away toys. Oliver, being just one year old, is still a lot of puppy himself, but instead of jealousy, he's taken his role of big brother and is taking Casanova and showing him how it's done, what it's like to live in a house where being a puppy is okay, even with occasional accidents, where you're cuddled to pieces and coo'ed at until you wish those long, long hound dogs ears had an OFF switch. It's been just four days, but to see the changes in this animal feel like so much more. And just think: Only 12 more years or so for us to drown out the violent months of his life and replace them with more love then one dog could ever hope for.
He's snuggled down on the couch next to Rick while big, fat, wet cotton snowflakes fall outside our window and it looks like a postcard as I sit here and watch.
Then I realize it is: It's a post card of my new life.
WISH YOU WERE HERE!
Monday, February 22, 2010
So let's see -- it's been since September since I updated my blog. I could easily blame this on Facebook. I mean, let's admit, those tiny and not-so-tiny details of your life, including photos, are so easy to put there and everyone from grandma to your first friend at five years old to writing buddies and online friends can see it instantly. Makes updating this a little less -- well, frankly, necessary. But, having said that, I'm doing it anyway.
First change, of course, for those who noticed: NEW BLOG LAYOUT! I wanted it to match the website a little better but also, I needed a change of all things from attitude to life in general to even how my blog looks. Don't knock the small stuff.
So what's happened since September? Well, the divorce was completed at long last, and remember that post I made in January 2009 about watching the world through the windows and how I have to make changes to my entire life to fix that little issue? Oh man oh man, have I made those changes.
I have no doubt in my mind at all that there are a few toxic individuals I've had the displeasure of knowing who still come here to see what I'm saying (one of the reasons I haven't posted in so long -- don't feed the hyenas) but then I realized they really have zero to do with me and my new life anymore, and that includes releasing any power they think they had/have by doing what I want, when I want, INSPITE of their constant presence. To those people, I hope one day you can find your own peace without it being at the expense of someone else. You truly do not have to lie, manipulate, and lose all morality in order to be "better". Promise.
Now that those issues have been addressed, where was I? Oh right -- January '09 Watching Life Through the Window Thingy. Right after I'd typed that post, I met an amazing individual named Rick Sanders, and despite my huge, huge issues and my huge, huge amount of offspring, something insane inside him decided to love me anyway. He moved to Cameron (can you even believe it?!) and we bought a house and now we're working on our own happily-ever-after, and over a year later we're doing a damn fine good job of it. Then, in September, Syd Vicious joined Girl Scouts -- first time in like 20 years GS have been in our town -- and lo' and behold -- I'm the Junior Leader, and I have to tell you, I LOVE IT. It has changed my life beyond words, and only those who truly knew me could appreciate how much of an impact these two things -- Rick and Girl Scouts with Sydney and Carly -- have changed me as an individual and mostly as a mother.
And now that so much of my personal life is finally obtaining serenity (did we EVER think this day would come?!), I'm writing again. *gasp*shock*omg-you're-lying!* Nope, it's true, and just recently even entered a contest again. And Rick is determined I make it to Nationals again having missed the last couple of years. AND, in the manner of support-his-woman that he is, he's going to drive me to Nashville himself. Now my goal is to write on my blog as much as possible, even if it's not all sunshine and rainbows, and to be ME. And if there are those out there who support me and what I write here, FANTASTIC! And if not, there's an X at the top of the screen. Feel free to click it.
And for those who ever read 100 random things about me, Rick just fulfilled another one off my list: I now own a basset hound puppy.
And I named him Casanova.