Monday, November 17, 2008

A Weekend of Change

Hello blog,

Sorry for being offline for the past few days. Lots has happened and I am still taking it all in. I am feeling so many different emotions right now....

First, on Friday, I was forced to take sweet Katara back to the SPCA. She had been chewing as you know. Furniture, rugs, socks, toys, you name it - nothing was safe. The worst thing is, she was starting to chew people. She had nipped since I got her, but I thought it would subside. It did not. In fact, she became more insistent each time she put her teeth on someone. It was more a beg for attention, I understand that. But I can't have her knocking little kids over and grabbing their clothes. She was getting worse, and I was unable to take the time needed to train her properly. I admit it, I bit off more than I can chew with this one. When I took her back on Friday, I was met with open disdain and attitude. But, I knew I was doing the right thing. I just cried all the way to dinner....

Friday night, J and I went out to dinner with his work friend. It was a fab restaurant in South Philly. How amazing that food was! We then moved to a local bar for drinks. Unfortunately, the rain and stuff kept people away and it was a little "dead". Further, I was sooooo tired having been up since 4:30 a.m. and the emotional turmoil of taking the dog back. I had to beg off the festivities early. We just missed AG (who I was hoping to hang with) by about 15 minutes. Sorry AG!

Saturday, I test drove cars to replace my falling apart Xterra. I found a great car at a dealership and was given permission to drive it for the day. J and I took it into Philly for our lunch aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia (a lunch cruise). The lunch was good, but the cruise was better. We stood outside for a bit and just enjoyed being in each other's arms. It was so romantic! We then took the car back and I had to decide - buy the car now, or wait until after my trip to Disney? I decided if the numbers were right, I would take it now. After all, I needed a car and it was a sweet ride. The numbers worked out (sort of, but more on that later) and I drove off with the sweetest car I have ever owned. Now I find that at looking at the paperwork that the price the salesman gave me is not what made it to the sales slip. I have to call them this morning, or I may have to return the car....

Yesterday, J and I had to do some things and I had to catch up my laundry. I am in Dallas for 3 days this week and then I come home and leave for Disney on Saturday morning. I am not sure if I can get it all done! I have to pack Dino for staying with his dad and pack both of us for our trip to Sunny Florida. Luckily, the two will have different clothing requirements so I can get both done at the same time :)

So, that's it in a nutshell. Lots to do this morning, but I am sure I will get it all done. Hope that you had a great weekend, too! Not sure if I'll be posting much (if at all) from now until Thanksgiving, so hope that your holiday is one filled with Family, Friends, and Fun!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Meh

Feeling a little strange today. Not exactly bad, just....meh. Not sure why. Dino and I played Dino-opoly last night - it's a dinosaur version of Monopoly. It was fun, but of course, Dino whupped my butt. He's quite the mogul, my little guy!

Didn't really get to talk to J last night, either. He was able to get his kids and they were in need of some "dad time". I am so happy he got to have them for the night. Hopefully, that will be a regular occurrence for them. He's such a good dad, I can't imagine them not wanting to be with him. Except that his ex is on the "wobbly" side and doesn't appear to do much by way of encouraging them to be with him. In any case, we tried to be on the phone, but they interrupted often and loudly, so it was pretty obvious that they wanted and needed his attention. So, it was short lived.

I also realized that I have to get my itinerary to the ex today for my trips to Dallas and Disney. Should have that done today. It's a strange thing...

I hurt my pinkie on Monday. Not sure what is wrong with it, but I had jammed it into the dryer door. Do you know how hard it is not to type with your left pinkie? I put a little splint on it to keep from bending it and it is a weird thing not to use it. I keep messing up this post! Arrrgh!

Also, been looking at cars. My transmission slipped again a bit this morning. While I am in Disney, I am having my BIL check out my car to see what it may need, but I am pretty sure it is on it's last legs. I DON'T need another bill right now, but I gotta do what I gotta do. I've been looking at used cars and will be going out this weekend at some point to perhaps test drive a couple. I really like the Dodge Caliber, and it's good on gas. I was looking at the Prius, but even used ones are prohibitively expensive! One with 20K miles on it was selling for 23K. Sheesh!

Finally, I am looking to consolidate my debt on my credit cards. Now that I am on my own, I am finding it hard NOT to use them. Especially with Christmas around the corner. So, I am looking for deal where I can transfer the balances for no fee and a low APR. Any ideas are welcome.

Gotta get back to work. Later gators! Hope you have a better day than Meh.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What to do?

Ok, y'all, I have a problem and I am not sure how to handle it. Woke up this morning to find that my lovely demon dog had chewed the WOOD part of the arm of a chair in the play room. On the one hand, the chairs belonged to my ex-mother-in-law and I shouldn't feel too badly about them being destroyed. After all, it's just furniture. On the other hand, they are antiques from over 70 years ago and I had hoped to one day have them redone to make them my own. I really like them. So, naturally, I freaked when I saw what the evil mutt had done.

Add to the chewing, the need to knock over any small child and nip at their clothes. Then, there is the constant nipping at my feet. And the stealing socks and chewing them to bits. And the spastic behavior whenever J is over. It's getting old and I am getting really frustrated and tired of her act.

I'm in a conundrum. What do I do? I know that owning a dog is work. I'm not so stupid as to realize that she is not going to stop this stuff without some sort of intervention. Here's the issue though: time. I don't have a great deal of it as it is being a single parent. Training is during the week - where I have less time than on weekends. I thought of putting a muzzle on her while people are over (and I may pursue this). But what to do when she is left alone? I can't (ok, WON'T) cage her as that is not fair to her. She's a dog for crying out loud.

And, despite her destructive behavior, I love her.

Sigh. Ok, thoughts and comments are welcome!

On a different note, I have one week until I go to Dallas and then turn around and go to Disney. I am boarding the Hound from Hell for the three days I am in Dallas. Then my darling (and quite brave) sister, DG, offered to watch her while I am in Disney. Disney in only a week and a half away! YIKES! So much to do before now and then! I have to make sure I have bags packed for Dino since he will be with his dad for the three days I am in Dallas. I also have to have a separate bag for Disney. I am starting to spaz a little myself.

But, it will all work out. I can't wait to go away with Dino and see him in Disney. I have wanted to do this for so long now. It's going to be an awesome time! Count down has begun....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Playing Hookey

Good morning, y'all!

Quite a busy weekend! First, went to a baby shower for my brother's girlfriend (or soon-to-be fiance, whatevs!). It was fun, hectic, and sweet. She is such a wonderful person, and seeing her with her family and friends really just struck me how lovely she is. Her mom had a slide show of baby pictures on the wall, and it was just so sweet to see her and my brother's pics together. Their baby is bound to be GORGEOUS. Yes, I am biased.

After, J came by and he hung out. Spending time with J is awesome and I savor every moment. I did some quick clean up of the house since I was having family over on Sunday....

Second, had Dino's 7th birthday party on Sunday at the karate studio. J helped keep everything running smooth and even ran back to the house for my phone because I left it there like a wacko. We had run around all morning getting stuff and he was a HUGE help to me. After, we went back to the house and had family over. That was utter chaos. And, even better, J did not run screaming from the house. It was the best introduction to our family gatherings that I could possibly ask for - kids were occupied, dog was spastic, parents were co-herent for once, and sisters were just plain chatty. J seemed to enjoy it, but we both totally crashed after.

Yesterday, I was so beat and "hung over" from all the activity, that I took a day off of work. I had a couple of other things to do, and J had some errands, so we spent the day getting things done. It was nice, though, because we didn't rush, and didn't try to stick to a schedule (except when we had to pick up Dino from school). It was a good day, and capped off a great weekend.

Back to work today. Not too much going on, so hopefully I can get some things done for the week that are due and just get myself back on track. I am getting excited about our trip to Disney in a week and a half. I also have that trip to Dallas through work, so I have to find a kennel for my dog for those couple of days. She is really spastic and hopefully will not have too much trouble.

Gotta jet. Tons to do. TTFN!

Friday, November 7, 2008

In Which She Discovers Something

Last night, J came over for dinner. I heart me my J! :)

I tried an old favorite that I had not had in a long time, chicken breast cutlets lightly seasoned with provolone cheese melted on top. Easy, quick, and oh so tasty! I was turned on to the Trader Joe's bag of chicken breast cutlets by the one and only Domestic Goddess. I had not been to TJ's in a while and when J and I went there this past weekend, I loaded up. Salmon, tilapia, and chicken. I had not tried the chicken on my own before, but I had them at DG's. They are awesome! If you have the chance, grab a bag. The cutlets are individually frozen and are the perfect portion for a single meal. Totally awesome.

Ok, that was not what this post is about. The post is about my boyfriend. Since he reads this blog, I will not say tooooo much. But this blog is also my journal, and I would be amiss if I didn't stay true to my need to get my thoughts and emotions out in the written word. 'Sides, I can't help but share my happiness.

I haven't been happy in a long time. DG will attest to the fact that when I was younger (MUCH younger these days...) I was a wacky, happy-go-lucky person without too much consternation. I had a severe self-image issue, but other than that, I was generally pleasant to be around.

As I grew, I found that my inner happiness was continually compromised by my desire to be accepted. I kept giving others the power to "make" me happy or miserable. It soon became a habit and before I knew it, it was standard practice for me to look to others to affect my mood or self-image. Thankfully, I didn't have any wild inclinations at the time, or I would have ended up in dire straits....

Well, I sort of did. I latched on to specific types of people. One of them was my ex. Someone that seemed to have it all together, were a commanding presence, could be in control (since I had lost control). At the same time, I did little to improve my self-image. I gained weight at an extraordinary pace. I used my fat as my "security blanket". I wanted to keep people at a certain distance so they wouldn't hurt me, and I felt that the weight would do that. Until I met my ex, I didn't think any man would want to be with me. I had some minor relationships, one of which was quite abusive. So the ex seemed like a breath of fresh air. A bit of a dork, but someone that seemed to have it all together.

After spending 10 years with the man, I realized how my lack of confidence and my penchant for giving away my control led to my own misery. Between my sisters' advice and a self-improvement course I took at work, I found that I WAS strong and I HAD confidence. I wanted more. I needed to find my fun side again. I desperately clawed my way out of the abyss.

I fought for my right to be happy, but it didn't seem like MFE wanted to fight it with me. So I ended the marriage that had been such a source of pain and anguish. I decided that I would no longer be controlled. I would no longer give someone else the power to make me happy or sad. I would no longer wait for good things to come my way. I would no longer use my weight as an excuse to not take risks. This was going to be MY time. And it has been.

In the past several months, I have grown by leaps and bounds. I didn't know what the future held. It was scary, yes, but enthralling as well. Finally, I was in a really good place, mentally and emotionally. I actually believe in myself and my abilities. I truly feel strong and worthy.

Enter J.

What started as a good friendship has turned into a great relationship. J is a man that is honorable, attentive, and kind. He is someone that doesn't make me feel like anything - he complements me. He doesn't try to control or be influential. He gives me the best gift of himself. J doesn't try to change me, he encourages me. We are interconnected in a way that I never had before. Why? Because I was never in the right place with myself. I seriously feel like J completes me. How awesome is that?

I am falling for him. Hard. But not blindly this time. Not stupidly, like I did before with others. I have my eyes wide open on this one. We both have things to work on in our lives, so we made a conscience decision to not rush things. We know that the time is right for us, and we know that there are better things to come.

And, I like his butt. Just sayin'.

So my discovery was that I held myself back. I was in my own way when it came to happiness. Now that I have let go of the pain of the past, I can move forward into the light with a man that will be a real partner. Someone that will allow me to make my mistakes, but hold me up to help me fix them. Someone that makes me WANT to be a better person.

<3 J!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

For The Love Of One Man

Hey y'all...

GC is a little tired this morning. Overslept after trying to get caught up last night from my sleeplessness the night before. I don't regret a thing! I still believe that I was priviledged to witness what I think will be a defining moment in American history. Anyway, I still managed to get to work on time, thanks in part to erratic and frantic driving...kidding!

So, from the title of this post, I bet you think I will be blogging about my sweetie, J. Well, sorry to disappoint you. No, this blog is about my father. The man that set the standard, as it were. I have long admired him, but really didn't "connect" with him. Recently, I have come to realize that my distance from him emotionally and physically were not doing me or my son any good. So, without further ado, here is my story...

As I was growing up, my father always set the standard for living truly and without prejudice in a world wrought with hatred. His acceptance of others in our society have always been my benchmark for my own treatment of people. He always taught me that people were people. They didn't have red, black, yellow, or white skin. They didn't give anyone cooties. They were flesh and blood.

He also taught me to respect myself and to take pride in anything I do. He always taught me that anything worth doing, was worth doing so well that I would WANT to admit that I did it in the first place. He was a great influence on my job ethic. Be the first to get there and the last to leave - that was his motto. Set an example. Be a role model.

So why the strain on our relationship? Well, let me 'splain....

My dad and I are SO similar, we butted heads all the time. When he would challenge me to do better (even if I got freakin' honors, y'all!) I would take it as an insult that he wasn't proud of what I did accomplish. I only saw the negative when he would push me to finish what I started. As an aside, I believe I had ADD growing up and that this was a source of frustration for him when I couldn't stay on task. In any case, he would push, and I would push back. Hard. I felt like I was never good enough because all I heard was "you can do better" and not the "I'm proud of you for doing this, but..." .

He was also VERY strict as I was growing up. No makeup, boys, or late nights for me and my older sis. No, we had RULES. I have always hated rules. Still do. As the younger siblings grew, the rules changed and they were given a bit (ok, a TON) more feedom. Why? Don't really know. Not important. What is mportant is the fact that I resented it. I felt that I wasn't trusted and that meant that I didn't meet his standards....

The funny thing is, my dad was my hero and I don't really know that he knows it. Even during the angst ridden teenage years where being a rebel meant that I put makeup on BEFORE I left the house, just to get his goat. Even when I made stupid choices or did things I knew that he would not approve of, just because. Dad was always there for me and always trying to make me see the value of being a better person.

Don't get me wrong. Dad has his faults like any other human. He is stubborn, hotheaded, and sometimes doesn't see the forest for the trees. Hmmmm, sounds awfully like some red-head I know and see in the mirror each day, but I digress. He also gives in to my mom WAAAAY too often and tends to keep his head in the sand when it comes to her. That alone can be another post, so I won't go into it now. But something changed after I was married. My dad and I pulled away from each other. I believe it was because of my treatment of my mom. I distanced myself from her because of her insanity (yes, she is nutty, but I am referring to the drama she creates). This may have led to him thinking I was "ostracizing" her, mainly because I am pretty sure she was telling him this. Suddenly, it was a different relationship. When MFE threw a tantrum and threatened me, Dad really just disappeared. I felt like they were leaving me to my own devices. It hurt, and I began to understand that I was on my own when it came to really tough situations. Mom did the same thing. She suddenly stopped calling. She would stop asking me about my life when she did call, and instead started to update me on the constant actions of my siblings. I lost the desire to even talk to them.

I did stay in touch with them, though. At least until I had my etopic pregnancy. Mom threw me into a tizzy with a very strange, crazy, and upsetting phone call. Dad didn't call at all. I made only the feabilist attempts at staying in contact and only had sporadic visits. As my marriage was disinigrating, I sunk deeper and deeper into my own world. It was a tough time for me, but I tried to put on a brave face and pretend everything was ok. It wasn't. I knew in my heart that my parents HATED the treatment I received from my then-spouse, but they wouldn't say it. MFE would openly berate me in front of them, and they still kept silent. Then, my ex-FIL passed on and all hell broke loose in my life. MFE became even more abusive (fueled by depression) and I withdrew even more. It was my sisters that pulled me up and forced me to see what was going on. Without them, I would be in misery still.

Once I decided on divorce, I called my dad to let him know. He wasn't surprised. He said he would pray for me. That was it. For some reason, I felt so alone and couldn't reach out to him to have him help hold me up. I didn't want to burden him with my issues. He had enough to worry about with my crazy mom doing stupid things and basically freaking everyone out. I felt like my issues shouldn't be his priority at that moment.

Still, I wanted and craved his guidance. What should have been a time to bring us closer together only served to force a wedge deeper to widen the chasm. What COULD have been the perfect opportunity for me to reach out was lost. I chose not to. I also thought that by trying to get closer to him again would only open the path to the insanity of my mom and what she did to my psyche.

My brother's recent issues with his life and marriage led him to share with me the fact that he has forged a new bond with our father. I started to look at my own relationship and realized that I need to do the same. Thanks to my brother, who showed me that Dad is an honorable and respectful man who just didn't want to meddle in my affairs. He was just waiting for me to reach out again. Patiently waiting.

It makes me sad that I let so much time go by. So much wasted time. But I am awake now. I see him in a new light, and also my poor mom, who can't help her mental instability. I am trying to make a new connection. I called him last night. He immediately handed the phone to my mom. I think he is hurt, and who wouldn't be? I ignored him long enough to cause pain. But I intend to do something about it. Hopefully, I can repair the rift quickly. After all, time is not on our side.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

On a High and Mighty Horse

Alrighty, let me just state for the record that I am NOT about pushing beliefs off on others. Nor do I feel the need to defend myself in any forum for what I think, feel, or otherwise subscribe to. Therefore, I WILL NOT, read that America - WILL NOT - be baited into a political debate about my choice in candidates. Especially since the election is OVER PEOPLE. Get on with your life now. If your candidate didn't win, try to understand why. Don't push hate around. Don't use my FaceBook page for your scrod vomit (that was for you, J-babe) drivel about how my candidate lied, or about how much money he spent on his campaign. Don't feel the need to send me yet another email about how our country is about to go into ruin. I don't wanna hear it. It's not that I don't respect your opinion, or your right to one. Just go the freak away....or better yet, next time get involved and do something. This is America. You have that right. But you know the saying...People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones....

I have witnessed a truly historic event. I will always remember where I was when Obama was elected. I was sitting on the couch watching the results, with J running commentary over the phone. I was so excited, I couldn't sleep! Caught up in the moment, as it were. Then it happened. And I actually got chills. Not because the first African-American was voted into the White House. But because the country for once pulled together to really affect change on our government. How's that for democracy? Not too shabby.

I was even impressed with McCain's concession speech. He was gracious and seemed to be sincere. I hope so. We need everyone to get this country to where it should be.

Finally, I am REALLY tired. I stayed up through the acceptance speech, too thrilled to sleep. But now I am paying the price. Ah well, I'll get some sleep tonight I hope. Thanks for voting, y'all. We'll get where we need to be.

Monday, November 3, 2008

#30 - The end of the experiment!

Ok, so here is the final post on The Importance of Being Positive. My experiment is "over", but it really is just beginning to sink in that my new frame of mind brings so many benefits. And I feel much better about myself, my life, and my situation. I feel like I can handle what I have right now. That is soooo important to me.

There are so many good things in my life right now. The weekend was Incredible, time with J just makes me so happy. Even though Dino was with his dad this weekend and missed Halloween at our house, I didn't have a lot of time to think about that. Except for Sunday morning breakfast. J and I were sitting in the diner when I hear, "Hi Mom!" I turned and found Tony, Dino, and the GF and her daughter standing there waiting on a table. I introduced J to them, and then Dino came over and started to talk to us. He wanted to sit with us, too, but I told him he had to go with his dad. I did get to observe the GF with Dino, and for some reason it really made me happy that he could be at ease with her. No jealousy on my part. Weird?

It was odd, and a little awkward, but not horrible. And I felt that J didn't get freaked out like I thought he would. So, all is good.

In other news, my VP scheduled a trip to Dallas for the teams that report up to him. The trip is scheduled for November 18th to the 20th. The issue is that I will have to then turn around and fly to Disney on the 22nd. I haven't decided if the Dallas trip will happen. How in the world will I get all the packing done and be ready for Disney? I have until noon today to decide. I will have to talk to my manager to find out if he is going to insist that I go. Otherwise, I will elect to stay behind in favor of going on vacation....

This coming weekend is Dino's 7th birthday. Hard to believe he will be 7 already! There is a baby shower for my brother's girlfriend to attend and then Dino's karate birthday party to host. Fun for all! Which reminds me, I better order that cake....

Finally, Dino and I have only 3 weeks left to be ready for Disney! I will have to be sure that I am ready, one way or another :) I am really looking forward to taking him and seeing the parks through his eyes...

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it's off to work I go! LOL Later, gators!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

#29 - J Time

Sing it with me now....

da nanana, da na, da na, J time!
da nanana, da na, da na, J time!

Yes, it is FINALLY here! J time this weekend. This every two weeks thing is hard, but it makes the time we are together so much sweeter. So Geek Chick will be offline the rest of the weekend. Enjoying a lovely time with my honey, going to a party, and generally just enjoying myself. Hope you can enjoy your weekend too! Later gators!