Sunday, February 28, 2010

Forever & For Always

Just hit my writing goal for the day and still going strong but working on my play list and basically, Happily Ever After is summed up in this song. And although I've always loved this song of Shania Twain's, mixing it with Allison Kraus is just breathless, so I thought I'd share a musical Happily Ever After with you today as I celebrate hitting today's goal.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday's Five

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

Trashy Karma

What a long, long day today. Man oh man! Today was the last day of my first year of Girl Scout cookie-ing and I can honestly say: WHEW! FINISHED! And of course, now that we're done, we have people wanting more. It's like Black Friday -- you don't want a particular item until you see the frenzy of others getting what's left so you go to grab it to make sure it's YOURS YOURS YOURS and oh crud -- it's gone.

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.

See? Different.

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

Guts, Gore & The Quest for the Magical Solution

In an attempt to blog daily, I have to dig around my real life to find something of any significance and put it out there for the world, unless, of course, I want my blog to resort back to fluff and videos and things of no depth. No thanks.

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

Puppy Love and other Bodily Fluids

With all great things comes a bit of ewwy. I think that's what keeps us grounded in reality as opposed to the fantasies we all wish our lives were, at least to some extend (there's a REASON why romance sells so well, people, even in recessions.) And with those big, big puppy eyes comes little surprises from the other end.

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.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Times Are a'Changin'

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.