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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Qotation of the Day...

... from Shelf AWARENESS, September 28, 2012, Volume 2, Issue 1838
Bookstore 'Has to Grab You, then Settle into a Comfortable Place'

"A good bookstore is a lot like the products it sells: It has to grab you, then settle into a comfortable place, all the while building upon itself, opening up new aspects and ideas with each chapter until you're ultimately hooked. It has to envelope you in a world you can get lost in and can't wait to get back to once you've left so you can find out what happens next."

--The Boise Weekly, from its description of the Rediscovered Bookshop, which was the readers' choice for Best Local Bookstore for the fifth straight year.

Blog Your Heart

Okay, just me, my soldier, and our 4 little chicks is one of my favorite blogs.  Stephanie is a military wife, mom to 4 beautiful little girls, and someone with one of the biggest hearts I've seen in the internet world.  She's raising 4 future phenomenal women and she has a strong, faith-filled, love-filled marriage and home, and I love reading her blog.  I found this Blog Your Heart idea on her site. Here's how it works:

1. blog whatever is authentic. whatever is truly on your mind and in your heart.

2. it can be serious, silly, short, long. note:no one said it has to be serious. but it should be authentic.
3. no judging allowed no snarky comments, no making fun, no passive agressive digs.if you are going to read the blogs linked below, don't be mean. nothing here is whining. it's me honestly sharing my feelings. if you feel that it's whining, then you don't have to read. :)...

So here we go...  Sorry if the first few sound like whining and complaining on my part...  But I'm going to get a couple of things off MY chest and out of my heart...

-- I grew up thinking, believing my life would include children.  I would be a mom, no matter what.  Well, life works in mysterious ways and I fell in love with a man who didn't want more kids; he had two from a previous marriage.  Thankfully, I now have two step-children.  I may not have birthed them from my loins, but they are the children of my heart.  And it hurts me that there is someone very important in my life who refuses to acknowledge that I am a mom, a mother, that I have kids even if I didn't give birth to them.  This person does not acknowledge me on Mothers' Day, and it hurts.  And it makes me mad.  I can't understand how this person can totally ignore the fact that I HAVE two children, children who love me, children I helped raise, put through college, support now as adults.  Would it really kill you to wish me a Happy Mothers' Day once a year?

-- We go to two churches, one at home, the parish which both my husband and I attended as young children, and another near our vacation home which we attend 1/2 the year, if not more; we're there almost every weekend.  Lately I've been unhappy with the lake church.  I'm very traditional, and I don't like changes to hymn lyrics to accommodate political correctness ("Let us walk with each other" instead of the original "Let me walk with my brother").  I don't like the new music they're using for the Alleluia before the Gospel.  It sounds like a polka.  Where's the accordian?  And I don't need a tambourine keeping beat while we sing every song or prayer.  It's not presented as a folk music Mass - get rid of that tambourine and stop playing carousel music in church!

-- Okay, let's admit that I don't like change much in any aspect of my life.  I guess it all tracks back to loss of control.  There's so little you can control in your life; why does something have to change all the time?  What happened to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"???

-- I am the luckiest person in the world.  No, I didn't win the PowerBall lottery - that would make all of YOU, my family and friends, very lucky!  I'm lucky because I'm married to the best guy on this earth!  Yea, yea, yea, I know you all think your husbands are the best, but, sorry!  J is awesome!  He has the biggest heart of any man I know.  I have no doubt, not for one second of the day, that he loves me and cares about me.  He loves his children totally and completely.  He will do anything for anyone.  My biggest regret about my marriage is that my Dad isn't here to be father-in-law to this man I married.  That would have been a great relationship to witness - they knew each other superficially, so I draw comfort from the fact that my Dad at least met the man I married, even if it was years before we ever started dating.  And I SO regret that I wasn't able to have a FIL/DIL relationship with my father-in-law, who died after hubby and I got back together but before we got engaged or married.  I had THE BEST mother-in-law; I know my father-in-law would have been equally wonderful.

-- Speaking of my mother-in-law, I miss you, Mom!!!

-- I love my neighborhood.  It's the very definition of "neighborhood" - we all know each other and watch out for each other...  I know we're not meant to stay there forever; we're starting to think about relocating after retirement.  We're going to be taking some weekend trips to scout out different states and neighborhoods - DE, MD, VA, FL...  Mom is the dealbreaker, of course - she's either going to have to come with us, or we're not going anywhere for the next 25 years or so, 'cause I plan for her to be around for at least that much longer!!!

-- I want to retire.  I want to take cooking classes, photography classes, I want to take my mom out to lunch, keep my house clean, do my laundry when it's not dark in my basement 'cause the only time we have to do chores like that is at night...

-- Speaking of the lottery...  IF we were every lucky enough to win "the big one," our lives really wouldn't change much.  I wouldn't move, or change houses.  I wouldn't buy a new car.  Admittedly I'd be traveling more, but I'd be coming home to the same house, the same clothes, the same husband...  Oh, I'd have a dog.  But my family?  Ah, THEIR lives would change so very much!  Their mortgages would be paid off, their children would have money to go to college when they're ready, their credit cards would have zero balances and their bank accounts would have a LOT more zeroes before the decimal point!  Okay, my life would change a lot - I'd be able to be much more generous than I am now...  I guess that's a really nice way my life would change, and I'd be so very happy to see that change come my way...

-- I've been lucky in my work life.  For the most part, I've had jobs I loved, or worked with people I love, or been lucky enough in one of my jobs to have it both ways, so I can't say I'm miserable getting up in the morning to go to the office.  I'll admit I wish my day started later - I've recently become less of a morning person than I was before - I've always been a "stay up and watch TV until midnight" kind of girl, but now it's getting harder and harder to get up before 6am to get ready for work.  NO, I'm NOT getting old...  I'm just more tired...

For an unplanned Blog Your Heart post, I've really hit a few big ones...  Well, it's off to work...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Staying Married

I have every intention of staying married forever, and staying HAPPY in my marriage forever.  Now that's not to say that there won't be days that he drives me freakin' NUTS or I drive him up that proverbial wall.  We're not the same person.  Even if we agree on all the big things, which we do, I might think that one day of rain will put me over the edge and he'll be thinking, "Awesome, the yard needs watering."

Here's how I was raised...

My mom taught me that...
...when you're single, you have no one to answer to but God and yourself (and your parents, when you're young)
...when you're married, you have to put your marriage first, your husband second, and yourself last
...when you have children, the children come first, the family second, the marriage third, the husband fourth, and yourself?  Uh-huh, dead last again.  She said if you're not willing to sacrifice it all for your kids (or your husband, depending on where you are in the family scheme of things), DON'T DO IT. 

Now don't get all pissy with me - your husband should be putting the marriage and you ahead of himself, or the kids and the family and the marriage and you ahead of himself - having this same philosophy about love and marriage and children:  that's what makes it work so well.  The kids will always know they come first.  They will always know they are loved and can depend on their parents.  They will always look back at their childhood and remember how much their parents loved them and each other.

Now I'm sure Mom didn't mean at your own or your spouse's expense, not to the black and white definition of that phrase, but you all have to be willing to sacrifice for the good of each other.  Selfishness has no place in a family or a relationship.

Today I was reading Elise Joy's blog and she referred to this article about staying married for 15 years.  Well, she's a newlywed, but J and I just celebrated our 13th year married (and our 22nd together).  So I was curious to see what the article said.  I liked it!  Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jury Duty, Work, Fall...

I was called for jury duty back in April or May.  I filled in my form, mailed it in and promptly forgot about it until it was time to serve.  I told my boss I had jury duty and reported on time to the Paterson Courthouse, only to find that I COULDN'T serve because, they claimed, I hadn't mailed my form in to them.

I had the stub with me, the portion you have to bring that has your juror I.D. on it.  Quite obviously the form was not there.  Wherever in the system it got lost - by the USPS, at the courthouse - I couldn't serve that day because they didn't have my form.  So they told me they'd reschedule me for September 11.

Well, in August I got my paperwork again, and THIS time they told me to complete the form online.  (It's like they didn't trust me to mail it in again...)  And THIS time my time to serve was THREE DAYS, not one.  They're punishing me because they lost my paperwork?!?!?

But I went to jury duty like a good citizen.  And on that very first day, THEY PICKED ME FOR A JURY.  The catch to this is it's "3 days or 1 trial."  If chosen for the jury, the judge said, they expected the trial itself to last 3-5 weeks, 3 days a week.  They picked 65 of us from the jury pool, and we went up to Judge G's courtroom.  They asked if anyone needed to be excused for hardship reasons, or if they had a vacation paid and scheduled within the next 3-5 weeks.  FIFTY of the 65 people said yes, so we spent two days going through those 50 people in private interviews.  There were 19 of us left after all the excused were excused.  So they chose 14 to go into the jury box.  I was juror #9.

The NEXT week we went back on Wednesday, and they had more people in the courtroom and they started our individual interviews and THAT took two days.  Eventually they excused me, the defense attorney did.  There was a police officer on the jury with me.  During our breaks, he was explaining how excusing jurors is just like a big chess game.  Of course there are probably myriad reasons they didn't want me or the others they excused:  relatives who are in law enforcement, our likely politics based on how we get our news, whether we can understand and consider the evidence without allowing personal feelings or opinions to influence our findings, the TV shows we watch, etc.  It was really fascinating...

Considering I was only out of the office two days each week, I really feel like I'm behind at work.  Summer was so S L O W that when things went back to "normal" at the start of September, I felt (and feel) overwhelmed!  And while there's no more work than I've done before, but the summer was really slow and it FEELS like more...  And my hours have changed, which I know contributes to my feeling that there aren't enough hours in the day.  I used to drive in with J and would be at work 7:30am, and he'd drive me home, picking me up no earlier than 5:45pm.  Now, I'm in for 7:30am, but I'm leaving at 3:30pm.  If of course, I need more hours, I'll stay and take the train home, but 7:30-3:30 is a full day.  Who knew that those extra two hours a day I was putting in really made that much of a difference?!?  I thought I spent most of them surfing the net and reading personal email and FB and Twitter...  Apparently, I was working part of that time!!!

And I decided that the other day, a day I took off as a vacation day, would be the ideal day to bring fall clothes down and put summer clothes away. 


I'm going shopping this weekend, but will only allow myself a pair of BROWN pants, jeans, and/or a few colored tops.  I really need to take a picture of my closet - I'll try to remember to do that tonight or tomorrow and post it here.  It's very black... and gray...

Well, it's 8:52pm and I have to shut down and go upstairs and get ready for my favorite show's season premiere:  Criminal Minds.  See you guys in a couple of days...  In the meantime, a few images from the last couple of weeks...

Took Mom and my baby sister to Wendy's for dinner, then my nephew (literally) sped there from work and met us for some food.  Here's my sister and me...  Pardon my double chin!

Here's Mom sitting on our porch swing one night when she came for dinner.  We've figured out the trick to getting her to come:  J asks her, early in the day, before she can claim she already put dinner in the microwave...  She finds it too easy to say no to me, but she doesn't say no to him, at least not too often...

Here's a shot of a building next to the Paterson Courthouse.  It really is beautiful, isn't it?

I'm hooked on Instagram.  There's a photographer there who takes some awesome shots of rusty metal anythings...  So I thought I'd try to "see" the way she does.  That's my biggest complaint about my not-so-mad photography skills.  I just don't see things the way a "real" photographer does, and I would like to think I might be able to learn...

This is my nephew...  cute, no?!?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Found at Lafayette Village antique store

So many treasures, not enough money!

Beautiful wooden drawers
Old Kodak camera
Black and white painted cement floor
More doors
Remember shoe stretchers? (Betcha $5 there's a set in Mom's closet!)
Loved this cabinet but it was full of mold spores in the drawers
Rotary phone, anyone? Party line? Pilgrim 3-7407...