Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Memory Game

I just finished morning training at the other waitressing job. I have to memorize the entire breakfast and lunch menu. I have to use codes, like 2 om-sm saus-hb-tst. That's one over medium egg, smoked sausage, hashbrowns and toast. I have to memorize all the prices too. Remember the game Memory when you were a kid? I used to be good at that game. I hope my childhood skills will help.

So, I'm trying to think of the best way to memorize all the prices and codes. Any ideas? I was thinking about flash cards. Maybe write the code on the front of the card and price on back? Any better suggestions? Anyone want to play order up? :)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Just Checking In

I'm at the public library in the internet lounge, I can blog after all! I will be starting a second waitressing job tomorrow morning. The job at the steak house is going just great, I made some great money on Friday night.

I'm all moved into the apartment, I finished unpacking everything yesterday. I have a sense of freedom and independence now that keeps me upbeat and positive. My apartment isn't much, just one bedroom. The bathroom is so small that you could shit, shower and shave at the same time. I love it though because it's mine.

I need to go because Mom is here with me. We had lunch together and I'm taking her to see my apartment now. I'll check back when I can, I love the library. I haven't visited it for almost ten years. Thanks for all the kind and encouraging words, it means a lot that people who don't even know me personally care. xoxoxox

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Finding Myself

The dreary black uniform for waitressing wasn't so bad after all. I even had people compliment me. The restaurant owner said she loved my pants and I thought black pants were just boring old black pants. My training went well, they offered me six night shifts for next week. Waitressing on the main floor, banquets and hostessing. I filled out another job application before I went to training for daytime waitressing. This owner was very excited too, I go back Friday. I'm surprised how easy it was to get a job. I doubted myself, that I was competent enough to get hired. I'll get more into that in a minute.

Therapy didn't go as well. The therapist didn't bullshit around and said that at this time, we cannot get marriage counseling. It would be more helpful if we got therapy individually because right now, our goals are not the same. I did learn a bit about myself and take responsibility for my personal issues that hurt my marriage. The therapist told me I have lost my autonomy. Autonomy is the inherent drive for self-determination, self-actualization and self-fulfillment. Movement from dependency to autonomy is inherently a dynamic of self-actualization, self-determination and self-efficacy. I have nobody to blame but myself. People have told me I am so strong and I may be strong in some ways. I guess I started telling and doing things I thought people wanted to me to say and do. I kind of lost myself.

This didn't happen overnight, some of it probably goes back to childhood. Without the emotional nourishment from warm feelings from parents, a person's emotional system is not fed and is not strong enough to feel good about being independent. Suppressed negative feelings tie up a great deal of energy which might otherwise be used for growth. The release of frustrations or the resolution of conflict allow the ego to be free to grow. Unresolved emotional hurts are probably the greatest road block to developing the proper amount of autonomy.

I will not go into how I lost autonomy in my marriage specifically. I am moving out today though. The therapist did say that this could possibly make our relationship better. The reason being that I am taking steps to bring back my autonomy. I am making the moves to become independent, I will start believing in myself. Last night, when I was driving home from work, I actually felt a little proud. I know I'll have a hard road ahead of me but each journey must begin with a single step.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New Day, New Year, New Beginning

I hate to leave on such a sad and depressing note. I actually hated writing what I did yesterday because it makes me feel like a failure. It is the truth though and this blog has always been real. I got a job yesterday afternoon, waiting tables. I'll start training tonight. I have to go buy some black pants, black blouse and black comfortable shoes. Kind of fitting, all black like dressing for a funeral. I woke up and saw the beautiful sunrise this morning though, bright pink and blue. It was full of cheer and hope.

My Mom loved reading all the stories I wrote while we were on the airplane together. We were laughing so hard sometimes that we woke up the sleeping passengers. She also cried reading the post I wrote about BOB but thanked me for writing something so kind.

These pictures are the way I'd like to be remembered. Happy and with a big smile. I'll try to still blog, I know I'll have some great stories from waitressing. Remember, Mom always said I was like Lucy Ricardo and she's Ethel. Just imagine Lucy waitressing!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hardest Week Ever

I had a wonderful time in Puerto Rico but my heart is so heavy now, it's hard to believe I left paradise last Friday. I'll cut to the chase, my marriage is in real trouble. I spent the morning filling out job applications and looking at places to rent. I cannot tell you exactly when things started to go wrong in our relationship. It just has been many small things that built up and were never dealt with, our mole hills turned into a raging volcano.

It's almost as if someone has died. In reality, maybe our marriage did die. It's so hard to say goodbye to everything we have built and created together during the last ten years. It's even harder to say goodbye to our future plans and dreams. I cannot continue to live in unhappiness though, I know my husband isn't happy either and he deserves better. We cannot communicate without arguing. I feel like we just struggle, two live wires that create friction. I'm tired of fighting, I just need some peace.

We are still good friends, we still have a love and respect for one another. The past three nights, we have been able to talk about how we have hurt each other and the mistakes we have made. We are able to cry and hug each other for comfort. I do not want that to change, I want to leave on a positive note. We have had many good times, I want to remember those too.

Tomorrow, I turn thirty and I will see a marriage counselor with Don. Not the way I envisioned my 30th birthday. I know that life is full of surprises though, I shouldn't expect anything. I probably will be moved out by the end of the week. This is one of the hardest parts, packing up my clothes and toiletries. There is such a finality to it. I want Don to stay here, I couldn't support the farm and I don't want to have to move the Dobermans when they are so old. We'll probably sell the goaties, I already took Falcor to the bike shop to be sold.

I have to admit that I am scared. I have depended on Don for so many years, I will have to learn to take care of myself. I'm a survivor though and I know deep down I will be okay. I wanted to say good-bye to my loyal bloggers wouldn't worry. I'll try to check in and hope everyone has a great season! Run-bike-swim hard!

Love is like grass. If you fall on it, it may leave a stain and some temporary pain. But you'll get over the pain, it will eventually stop hurting. Now maybe the stain ruined your favorite pair of jeans, or maybe it was nothing special that was ruined, but either way the stain remains there. And with time it will begin to fade, but it will always be there, a permanent reminder that you, too, once fell.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Two Tickets to Paradise

Last night, I spent some time printing out some stories I have written. I think I killed an entire forest of trees. I cannot believe how much I've written! I only printed out the stories which I talked about my family or Mom too. I have almost an entire three ring binder filled for my Mom's reading pleasure during the flight. I'll ask her to write a comment for the stories because you know there are two sides to every story. She'll probably remind me of some things I left out.

Mom called last night and she's is so excited. I'm funny about things like this, I don't get real excited until I'm boarding the plane. Mom keeps wanting to make sure we'll have everything we need and we don't get robbed. She says when we get together, we are like Lucy and Ethel. That I probably will try to get our baggage off the carousel and get taken for a ride 'round and 'round.(Actually that sounds like fun) Don keeps telling me I shouldn't jog, he thinks I should use the treadmill. He thinks I'll get abducted like that poor Natalie in Aruba. I'll miss him, it will be the longest time we have ever been apart.

I got to plan this vacation. I made the flight reservations and everything! I chose this place, Paradisus of Puerto Rico. It's an all inclusive resort, we have the royal service garden villa. The pool picture alone almost made me fall out of my desk chair. My Mom loves to play golf, she's the lady's champion at the golf course in her development. The course looked great. Anyway, I hope I chose a good vacation, that it's as nice as the pictures.

Well, I better get this day started. Got to swing by and get my TB test checked by hospice before I leave. I know I passed, my arm has no mark. I'll get my last lifting done for an entire week, today's back and quads. I think I'll pound out some single leg hack squats today that will leave me walking like Frankenstein when I board the plane tomorrow! Gonna burn them up and put on my ugly face.

Have a great week. Mojo's outtie!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bonker No More and Learning How to Listen

Saturday was beautiful and our normal long cycling day. You may have recalled my post about "the biking fool" and his inability to judge mileage. He was there on Saturday so I finally took my husbands' and fellow bloggers' advice. I brought a five dollar bill with me.

Hallefuckingullah! I have seen the light. I cannot go longer than one hour and fifteen minutes without calories anymore. Our ride was at 1pm and I had already consumed a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, four egg whites w/one whole egg, a tuna sandwich on whole wheat with a small salad but I'm telling you, I am an eating machine. Around mile twenty, we stopped at the gas station and I refilled my water and bought a "Zone Perfect" bar. I really wanted a banana and some trail mix but they didn't have any fruit.

Eating half way into the forty mile ride made all the difference. I think I have been a victim of Bonk in the past. When I didn't eat on long rides, the last 8 miles were pure hell. I would watch each tenth of the mile slowly go by, my legs would burn and feel like lead. I wanted to bite someone's head off like Kitty tortures the mammoth mouse when Bonk invaded my body. This Zone Bar kept me fresh and peppy and I was zipping down US 1 at the very end of the ride at 23mph. I will no longer be a victim of bonk, I will end each ride bright eyed and bushy tailed from now on!

I met with the hospice coordinator yesterday for three hours of training. He had three stacks of papers stating they couldn't find any dirt on me- driving, criminal and credit. I have have never had a traffic ticket in my entire life. Now, that is something I'm proud of. I'm not saying I don't speed, I just haven't got caught! We went over things I can and cannot do as a volunteer. I cannot give any medication, I cannot move a patient, I cannot take patients or family members in my van, I cannot change diapers and I cannot except gifts.

The most important thing I took away with me from yesterday's meeting was how to be a good listener. I think my most important role as a volunteer is to be the best listener possible. I need to let people share their feelings of anger, depression, fear and frustration without offering an opinion or advice. When someone is terminally ill, you can't say "everything will be okay" or "I understand". Every situation is different and although I am a cancer survivor, my experience will be very different from an 80 year old man dying of colon cancer. I must actively listen with no judgments or ideas of my own. Quite frankly, the only words I think I'll have to offer when someone tells me their story will be, "I'm sorry you are going through this, can I help?" and "Thank you for sharing with me."

My Mom and I are leaving for Puerto Rico on Friday for a week. It will be our first mother/daughter vacation. I am going to print out some stories I have written about her from this blog to read during the flight. She's never seen this blog before. I am looking forward to spending some time just with my Mom. Mom is paying for the entire trip, she says she wants to enjoy a nice vacation with me before she dies. It kind of shocked me when she made that comment, it seemed so dramatic. She acts young but when I started thinking about it, Mom is almost 70. I know we will have a wonderful time, we always laugh together and I know we'll create great memories. I'll also practice using my newly acquired listening skills.
"So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it." ~Jiddu Krishnamurti

Friday, January 05, 2007

Remembering the Simple Pleasures

My state of mind has changed in the last few months. For some reason last year, everything seem rushed. I always felt like I was under some sort of pressure, like fighting against life. I have a hard time putting it into words. I was so busy trying to become someone or something that I lost myself. I stopped being grateful.

I now have peace of mind. I can't really tell you how it happened. There was no defining moment when I light bulb went off and I said, "Ah-HA! This is what I have needed." I'm finally happy with just being myself and I no longer have the need to prove anything to anyone. Because I wasn't happy myself, it was hard to be kind to others. I find myself smiling, complimenting and chatting with strangers now. Just last night, I wrote a letter to the owner of the gym I use raving about an employee that is a hard worker. I doubt I would have done that a year ago, I would have been too busy thinking about myself.

Last year, I forgot about the small things that made me happy. When we first moved to the farm, I used to take the goats of a walk or spend time handing out treats every evening. Last week, I started this evening ritual once again and I forgot how good it made me feel.

Don has started coming out with me every evening too. Not only do the goats enjoy this bonding time but Monty, Missy and the kitties love it too.

It's almost if they put on a show for us. The goats jump around doing Vanilla Ice moves, the kitties run through the pasture like a bat out of hell, Monty rolls around in the grass with a big grin.

Away from the TV, computer, telephone and radio I am able to just enjoy nature and the animals. I now realize how lucky I truly am.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.
~Melody Beattie

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Harder To Get Into Than Fort Knox

I went to the local hospice office yesterday to pick up the paper work for volunteering. There is a lot more to becoming a volunteer than I expected. Background checks, driving history check, references, training and possibly vaccinations. At first, I was taken by surprise. All this just to volunteer? As I was filling out paper work, I started to understand why they require it.

I don't think my Mom would have wanted to leave Bob with any old Tom, Dick or Harry. I think if you are a hospice volunteer, it's an honor. People are trusting you to come in their lives and help during a very venerable, needy time. You don't want some crazy in your home stealing things or someone that's had three DUI's driving you to a doctor's appointment.

Some questions on the application. What skills/interests do you have? Guess which ones I checked? Computer, I am a notary and the best one they had on there? Pet therapy! Couldn't you see me bringing a baby goat to see someone? Or my Beloved Bed Hog Boy? That's right up my alley! Maybe if someone had a mouse problem, I could bring the murderous kitty with me. She could show off her hunting talents to the public!

For areas of interest, keep your britches on because I checked a lot of options and added an "other". One on one visits, shopping for patient, community outreach, monthly volunteer newsletter, providing respite care. My favorite one listed, cooking and baking! Oh yes, I could be Betty Crocker for someone else. I love to cook. And one I listed under "other", housekeeping! I could have my cleaning binges in a new home. Something about cleaning is so great, after I'm done I feel such a sense of accomplishment. I have toyed with the idea of being a house cleaning lady. Now, I could fulfill that need on a volunteer level. The box I did not check for areas of interest, child care and gardening.

The only thing that bothered me filling out all these forms was the hepatitis B vaccine. I have a problem with vaccinations because I my body tends to react to them poorly. Last year, I cut my hand on a knife and had to get stitches and a tetanus shot. The next day, I had the most awful neck and jaw pain and a temperature of 103. It lasted only 12 hours but I had some sort of reaction. I couldn't lift my arm for days either. Hopefully, I can sign some sort of waiver declining the vaccine.

Now, I need to meet with the coordinator and they will do some screening and call my references. Hopefully, all will go well and I'll be good enough to become a volunteer. I feel really excited about this new door opening in my life. I think it will bring me a lot of fulfillment. Hopefully, I will be able to touch the lives of others in a positive way.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Messy Murderer

I've been on a house cleaning binge. I recently purchased a can of Lysol and was excited about all the uses. I sprayed shower curtains, stripped the beds and sprayed mattresses, disinfected telephones and light switches. It will never replace my love for Clorox Clean-Up though. I have many pants and shirts ruined because I get a little Clorox Clean-Up crazy. My latest cleaning binge consisted of scrubbing all the floors with Clorox Clean-Up, especially corners of the room, the nooks n' crannies. The bathrooms and kitchen were sparkling and the fumes of bleach could give you a head rush.

I feel like I need to disinfect the house because we live on the farm and you wouldn't believe the poor creatures the cat drags in. Kitty is the ultimate predator. I think she is even starting to look like a murderer.

Just look at those glowing eye slits! For some reason, every poor creature she catches, she feels the need to bring it inside. We have a dog door for the Dobermans and Kitty knows how to use it. I thought it was endearing when she brought in her first little field mouse. "Good Kitty!" Or when she caught the house mouse after patiently sitting in front of the fridge like a statue for four hours. "Smart Kitty!" I even opened a can of Fancy Feast when she was killing flies in the house during the summer.

Her killing rampages have gotten completely out of control. She isn't bringing in little mice anymore, she's bringing in quarter pound mutant mice that squeal real loud. She'll proceed to eat them in front of me. At first, I was in shock. The mouse was still squeaking while she chomped down on it's head and continued on down. What really churned my stomach was the crunching noises of bones breaking as she slowly ate the mammoth mouse. You'd think we were starving her but she obviously has a taste for warm blood. She has an unlimited supply of Meow Mix available at all times, enough to make Baxter jealous.

The most disturbing kills are the birds. We have a lot of birds around the farm. The birds are especially fond of "Redneck Rooster", a chicken scratch blend I throw on the ground for the free range chickens. It contains millet and sunflower seeds, the songbirds love the grains and seeds. When you drive into our town, a sign says, "Now entering a bird sanctuary". Kitty is making this place a mortuary. At least twice a week, she'll drag in a bird. If I catch her, I will take the bird away because most of the time they are still alive. She has become wiser and now, she'll only bring in bird kills during the middle of the night when I am sleeping.

What did I wake up to yesterday morning? A big fucking mess of feathers in my freshly Cloroxed bathroom. The only positive thing I can say about kitty's kills is that she doesn't waste food. It makes me livid when I hear about hunters shooting deer but not using the meat. Kitty doesn't waste a morsel. The only thing remaining is a mountain of feathers and two little tooth pick legs.

Usually, when I see this mess when I first wake up, I decide to clean it up later. I just don't want to start my day cleaning up kitty kill. It will continue to piss me off though every time I walk into the bathroom. Yesterday, I decided to do things differently. Before I had any coffee, with sleep still crusted in the corners of my eyes, I cleaned up the mess. I felt a lot better. "The wise man does at once what the fool does finally." ~ Baltasar Gracian

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Guess how I rang in the New Year?

Did I throw a huge party?
Nope, I'm the more private type.

Did my husband and I go out for a romantic dinner?
No, I'm still recovering from the flu, food isn't a top priority right now.

Did I drink myself silly at home?
Nah, Nyquil and alcohol don't mix.

Did I watch the ball drop in NY?
I was fast asleep at 12am.

So, what did I do? I delivered a baby goat! One of our young does went into labor last night. She was a first time Mom and gave birth to a healthy baby boy. This boy wanted to be born in 2006 not 2007. Mama went into labor around 7:30pm. I let her push for over an hour but she wasn't making much progress. The baby was in the correct "dive" position but he is BIG. She couldn't clear the shoulders so I had to help. When she'd have a contraction, I'd pull one leg then the other to help his shoulders clear the cervix.

Mama and baby and doing very well, he was trying to walk two minutes after delivery. They are locked in the upper part of the barn because it was wet and rainy last night and more rain today. When it dries up, I'll let them out into the pasture for a real photo shoot. A great, healthy, sober surprise to end the year!