I had a dinner party this past weekend. It turned out really good and I think everyone had a great time. The best part? I was the only woman! Way to increase my odds! heh heh
Seriously, everyone knows I have some really great girlfriends (most of them live somewhere else, but I have a few who live close) – but I tend to make friends with guys (they are way easier and take less time to get ready). It’s been that way my entire life and I haven’t quite yet figured it out. I’m sure some of my girlfriends know the answer. Anyway, I’m not complaining, in fact, I like that I can hang with guys and be comfortable and relaxed.
Brody loves to entertain. That kid is going to be an event planner! He loves the idea of people coming over and loves to help. He doesn’t like to help with actual work, but he will “help” with entertaining. On Saturday night he made everyone sit in their chairs so he could show them rocks he’d collected. A big hit with the guys!
It’s been hard adjusting to single life – there are parts that are very easy. Then there are parts that totally suck. Preparing for a dinner party on your own is one of the sucky parts. Fortunately for me, one of my friends ROCKS in the kitchen and he whipped up some amazing appy’s. We had delicious fresh oysters with some concoction Louisiana Joe whipped up as a topping to the oysters (a BIG shout out to Joe for shuckin em too!), Bryan made some delicious cheesy garlic bread (fortunately he made too much so I had it for lunch the next day) and the best salad I have ever eaten. I made ricotta stuffed manicotti and a pork roast. Oh and did I mention the margaritas? Yowzers!! I did a bottle count the next day and those boys could drink some beers!
Seriously, one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time. It was great to sit around the firepit in the backyard and talk shit. I’m still trying to convince Jason to learn this (NSFW) so he can teach me and we can be the oldest white people on the planet doing the crip walk.
Does anyone say that anymore? Goings on… huh
It rained last night, it was raining this morning when I woke up. I had big plans for the day – the boys and I were going to get out of dodge. We were going to go sea shell searching (say that 5 times fast). When I heard the rain, I knew our plans were done for. You see, where we live, you need a parka at the beach in August. Add rain to that mess and you’ll have a better time in the arctic – it’d be warmer too.
Both boys have settled into school. I wish I could say I’ve settled into the commute but I have not been able to get this together. I drop Brody off at Michael’s house in the morning and then I take Evan to school. The ride home is brutal. I get off the train, go get Evan and then drive 20-25 minutes to get Brody. Then I get to drive 35 minutes home. It’s a nightmare. By the time we get home we are usually famished. With this comes grumpy and horrible and unruly behavior. Not to mention what the boys are experiencing.
They are growing like WEEDS! Brody lost another tooth and he said there is another one loose. I don’t think the tooth fairy can keep up!
School has been going well, I am at the end of Week 2 – only 7 more to go! These are the last two classes until I receive my associate’s degree. I’ll start my bachelor program in November and tuck in for another two years of intensive classes.
My mom and dad are going to come down in November and help me with the house. Home ownership is overrated! I feel completely overwhelmed by the amount of work that goes into keeping a house and especially keeping a yard. I think it will be different when I am finished with school, but in the meantime, I am struggling. I thought about a landscaping company to come in and keep the yard clean for me, but they wanted $80 a month and I just can’t swing that right now. Plus, I’m going to ask my dad to help me get quotes for eaves (gutters). Michael, as he does, ripped them down but never replaced them. Quotes to women are famous for being over priced and I don’t have the first clue of what to look for in eavestroughs. They are also going to help me plan the backyard. It’s sort of ok right now, but there are some areas that I am stuck with. My mom has a lot of vision when it comes to landscaping and knows tons about plants. She’s got green thumbs, fingers and toes. I’ll post before/after photos.
I’ve been spending most of my free time cultivating relationships with new friends. Suzanne and I have been spending every Wednesday together – it’s been an absolute joy getting to know her better. Together, we have been meeting a lot of people and have formed new friendships with other people in Benicia. They are a group of people who I trust and truly enjoy spending time with. We laugh, we talk, we give advice, we take advice and most importantly – we have fun! So much fun! Ever since the shenanigans with Michael, I have had a hard time trusting people. Especially men. I don’t trust their intentions, I don’t trust what they say. It is definitely something I am working on – but I realize it’s going to take time. In the meantime, I have a great group of friends to help me figure things out. I have a great group of friends to bounce ideas off of. I have a great group of friends to play beer pong (Wii style).
Work has been difficult (to say the least). I thought I was getting more comfortable in my position, understanding more and more about the work I am supposed to – and then I’ll get thrown a fastball. All of a sudden, I’m right back at square one. I like the challenge, I love my boss, I love my company – so I guess it’s not a bad thing. I would just like to be able to participate in meetings and not feel like an idiot. 🙂
June came and went – kicking my butt in the process. I started two new classes, dropped my kids off in Canada with their suckers… err grandparents and had an amazing visit with friends and family while I was at it. Coming home was a different story.
During the trip home I managed to see Mom, Dad, Bob, Kristy, Auntie Di, Uncle John, Grandma Z, Grandma M, her boyfriend John, Jennifer, Riley, Harper, Tammy, Trevor, Tylynn (sp?), Taylor, a distant cousin of my mom’s and her two grandkids, Bernadette, David, Michaela (SP?), Ericka, Anastasia, SAM, SAM’s family, Robin, Jenae, Richard, Tracey, Matt, Carter, Brad, Anita, Anat, Raffi, Noah, Eva, and last but NOT least Maya. Sorry if I didn’t get to see you – it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I had an action packed week full of beautiful people! And it made me more homesick than I usually am.
I have an entire summer (give or take) to get the house in order and that is EXACTLY what I am going to do. First and foremost, I need to clean up the horrible clutter and crap that has magically accumulated since moving in in 2001. I want to clean the garage, do some planting in the backyard (or at least plan for the fall), and I want to touch up the paint. I want to hang out with friends and meet new people.
The past couple of weeks have been hard – not only was I physically exhausted, I was mentally pooped as well. Minnie and her babies have been exhausting (I just sighed while saying that). I have 2 kittens adopted out already and am hoping to get the other two into awesome homes as well. They are big now… and fluffy. Fluffy and big.
I was very overwhelmed in June, but things have calmed down. I have decided to make some changes in my life – big Big BIG changes. Those of you who know me – know when I am serious about something and I am SERIOUS about these changes. I need to get my life back on track for my sake and the sake of my boys. I’m going to do what Franklin Covey told me to do, make long term goals and break them up into short term, achievable goals. Then, I’m going to paste those goals on the fridge so they slap me in my face every single day. I love lists, I usually make them – then the list gets a stain from a glass (or beer), it gets soiled when drops of food fall onto it and serves as scratch paper when I’m trying to find out if the pen still works. This way, by pinning the list up ONTO something, it will stay protected. I might even laminate it.
So, as most of you know – I have been trying to make new friends. As a 30 something single parent, this is not an easy task. I’m awkward in social situations and am so desperate for friends that I think I may smell like desperation. I know what you’re thinking… “how could a totally awesome person have such a hard time finding people to hang out with?” The truth is, I don’t really know.
I’m pretty simple – laid back – funny – smart. All I meet are losers! I thought I met some girls (potential friends) a few weeks ago, but they turned out to be ridiculous (and so very high school)! I get along better with guys, but all the guys I’ve met want me to sleep with them. Not going there. It’s really difficult to meet genuine people who are truthful and fun.
So here I am… on this quest to figure out who I am and on a quest to find some people to hang out with. Wish me luck.
Alright, I think I’m finally ready to update this blog on a regular basis. The last two months of the year really proved to be the hardest in my life. But – with the new year brings change and I am really starting to feel more like myself. More like the person I was prior to being married. I had a great Christmas break, no school and a visit home to see family and friends was exactly what I needed. I start school on Monday and am looking forward to getting this year over (it’s half over so far).
I bought new tiles for the kitchen and a new faucet yesterday. It was an awesome feeling! I’m going to have new countertops put in (hence the tiles). I’ve been busy deep cleaning the house before school starts, I spent 3 hours in the bathroom. Yes, 3! It needed a deep clean, scrubbing and polishing really helps me work through some aggressions! I even recaulked the bathtub! Today, the new faucet will go in and I’m having a friend help me get a quote for new countertops.
Speaking of friends, (man this post is all over today) I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for. I feel so fortunate to have such awesome people in my life.
Okay, Christmas recap – over the break I went to Canada with the boys for Christmas. My brother had been yakking about Rockband since his birthday so I was anxious to give it a whirl. I have never had so MUCH FUN with a video game! I think I might have Carpel Tunnel from playing the guitar on “medium” rather than “easy.” I even sang and played the drums! Mom gave him an extra guitar for Christmas – so that becomes the bass guitar and I played that too! I don’t want to brag… but I did really well! I kept thinking “i could never buy Rockband – my homework would suffer!” Plus, if any of you have seen my house, it’s a little tiny bird’s nest – where would I keep the gear? We bought my brother the 2 guitar stand, he got a mic stand – we went on tour! He and his girlfriend are seasoned professionals at rockband – which was helpful!
The boys had a great time in Canada. It was fricken freezing! The day we got there it was -25 (without the windchill) and hovered around that temp until a couple days before we left. The warmest it got was -11 or so. The weather didn’t stop them from getting bundled up and helping their grandpa around the yard. I was encouraged to “get outside” but I’m a Canadian, I know what it feels like to get outside for an hour in the snow. Ya, no thanks! I was very happy to be inside reading or knitting.
I saw some friends while I was there, I had high hopes for seeing everyone – but it just didn’t work out. I was feeling a tad overwhelmed and unmotivated at times. I needed to veg out and relax. I’m going to try and plan another trip out when it’s warmer (because seriously, holy shit!) and have a big get together with EVERYONE.
I have a lot of plans for the first quarter of 2009. I’m heading to Vancouver to see a girlfriend in January then spending the first weekend of February with a girlfriend in Vegas. I might have plans to return to Vegas at the end of Feb, but I’ll have to see. I do want to head some place warm – but again, I’ll have to see. I’m hoping to use my work bonus for a proper vacation to a spot with sun. Anyone interested in coming with?
In general, my life is getting better. I’ve been eating on a regular basis again (thanks Mom!) and have thought about attending yoga on a regular basis (the last class I took kicked my ASS). I have positive thoughts for the future and am looking forward to the future. so YAY!!
I am not, however, looking forward to going back to work on Monday after being off for the past two weeks. ACK!
I have friends who are in Argentina for a month (lucky ducks!) while they have some dental issues taken care of. Today’s post is hilarious and worth the read! Here they are.
All my life, I feel I have struggled with making friends. I’ve always been shy and insecure and never thought I had anything to offer other people. Plus, for me, coming out of that shell was really difficult. I never had issues around my family, but new friends… my throat closes just thinking about it.
We moved from a small town to a larger town when I was in grade ten. I wasn’t actually that upset, there wasn’t anything I could do about it – so my perception is that I went along with it. My mom might have a different perception about how things went down. This time, we’ll go with my perceptions.
I started grade 10, then moved 2 months later. To a new school – in the middle of a semester. I was the kid that walked in during the lesson, followed by the principal or vice-principal – OR I had to walk in on my own (GAG). I remember not really meeting anyone at all. There were kids on my school bus that I could talk to, lots of boys and such. In fact, I’m better friends with one of those girls NOW than I ever was during high school.
Not only was I shy, but I didn’t play sports and the thought of any organized group made my palms sweat. I also lived in a different town than my high school was in – so after school stuff was out of the question because I took the bus home. I always seemed to have friends, but I remember those friends changing every year. Also, the other person had to make the move – there was no way I was confident enough or lonely enough to offer myself up as a valuable friend. One year my best friend was Samantha, then Shannon, then Laura, then Lori. I’m still friends with Laura and Lori. I count myself lucky to have the friends that I do. I cherish my memories, I cherish the people.
I live a million miles away from these girlfriends and don’t get to see them as often as I used to. Lori and I were inseparable for many many years. She is an amazing person and I don’t have to try very hard to be her friend. We are so used to each other that we can go months without talking – then pick up the phone and fall right back into the ease of our friendship. She was the other daughter at my house. In fact, I’m sure there were times when mom would have switched her for me if she could have.
My brother has a great friend, Brad, and he’s my other brother. Literally. I swear, he spent more time at our house than he did at his own house. I couldn’t tell you what his sister’s name is, or what she looks like. I can’t remember his mom’s name – but I can tell you that Brad is a part of our family.
People like Lori and Brad really don’t come along that often. Since I’ve been in California, I’ve had a really hard time keeping girlfriends. They are either too flakey or too fake and that doesn’t JIVE with me. Or we get along for a little while – then we split apart. I did manage to make some really good friends at work and through Michael – which has been really helpful. I tease that Cindy (my last work partner) is my second longest relationship. We worked together for 3 years – that’s a long time for me.
I spent this past week fighting with my best friend. And I mean fighting. The f-word was dropped, guilt ensued, lives changed. Hopefully, it changed our relationship for the better. AJ could be my sister. Her parents are almost exactly like my parents (age, situation, relationship etc.). I look more like her sister than her sister’s do! We both have red hair, fair skin and freckles. Our tans come out of a bottle, freckles are cheap and plentiful. Our kids are similar ages, in fact, our youngest kids are a month apart. It was really hard fighting with her… but if she knew my history with friends and how a lot of people have let me down or couldn’t live up to my expectations – she’d understand why i reacted the way I did. Why I took things as far as they went.
When feelings are hurt and hearts are broken… it’s really hard to get passed that. It’s hard to be completely honest with someone that you feel has let you down. It’s hard to let it go and get back to being friends again. I cried almost everyday over this fight. I’m sure I made michael’s life miserable. Not only did I cry, but I was spitting mad – that is a horrible combination by the way. I emailed a few good friends and said “am I being unreasonable? am I being stupid?” I love these women for telling me the truth. For having the guts to be honest when I needed them to be.
Then, I cooled down a bit. I thought of what my life would be without AJ. What my kids’ life would be without her family in our lives. I knew it would totally suck and that I couldn’t live without her in my life (so dramatic!). This post is for AJ. Thank you for being my girlfriend, my sister.
I drove to work today because a co-worker was leaving and I promised I’d make heather’s grandmother’s lemon pound cake. I did NOT feel like lugging a 10 lb cake on BART (i know it says pound cake – for some reason it’s a 10 lb cake.) I do not like driving Michael’s truck, it’s enormous. The parking garages around work are for tiny hybrids – NOT big monstrous 4×4 trucks.
On the way in I heard a song by Brad Paisley called “out in the parking lot.” Now, if Brad were Canadian it would have been “ooot in the …” no I’m just kidding. Anyway, it reminded me of a weekend I’d spent with my girl Stacey a LONG time ago. We decided to spend the weekend at her mom’s house (in rural alberta). On a whim, we decided to stay in the actual house that her step-dad had grown up in. Once we arrived, her mom told us of a town dance a few kilometers away – so we decided to head over. The details are quite sketchy.
Here we were… two city girls – dressed to the 9’s and smokin hot – walkin in to this hicktown dance. I mean HICKtown. Those little cowboys didn’t know what hit em. We hadn’t even made it inside the hall and had already been offered some unknown alcoholic concoction out in the parkin’ lot. Stacey grimaced as I accepted a drink from a thermos and actually touched my lips to it! She was a real lady, letting em pour it right into her mouth (without touching her lips to anything.) I admit it, Stacey was more sophisticated than I was. After all, I grew up in a town of about 75 or so – what did I care about germs?
As I said, I don’t remember a lot from that night. I do remember that most small town dances only offer the absolute worst and cheapest hooch they can get their mitts on. I also remember not buying a drink OR sitting down the entire night. Stacey was a much better dancer than I was, she was in a Ukranian folk dance group and had practice dancing and “spotting” so that she didn’t get dizzy. She could also handle her licquor better – especially cheap hooch. It was Stacey that drove the back roads to get us home, it was me that had my head out the door the entire time – telling her to “slow down for christ’s sake.” Meanwhile, we were probably only doing 10 kms.
When we arrived at the house her dad grew up in, we were surprised to find out that we needed to figure out how to heat the place, etc. It was a great weekend even though we froze. That was the weekend I discovered “Mary Margaret O’Hara” and found out what great artists her parents were. I love Stacey, always have. When I first met her, she intimated the heck out of me. She has long gorgeous (natually curly) hair. Her makeup is always perfect and she has beautiful skin. How can you not be intimated? For more years than I can remember – she was my best friend. We lived together, we drank and danced together, we braved cold Canadian nights to see bands. I could tell her anything, she treated me like her sister (neither of us had a sister… but I think we really did well in figuring it out). We really did share the best times together. We always laughed, she was way more serious and responsible than I was. I loved hanging out with her friends, I spent so many winters at the Ukranian hall eating pierogies and drinking vodka. I can’t tell you how many nights we spent at the Strathcona hotel ordering “tables of beer.” She helped shape me as a young woman. We’ve supported each other through the loss of family members, lovers and other friends. She is the type of friend that you may not speak to in a few months, but you both fall easily back into a rhythm and it’s like you’ve talked to each other every day.
It’s amazing how music can bring a person right back to a moment. Brad’s song wasn’t out at the time, but hearing that song brought me right back to that hicktown dance 15 years ago. With that memory came all the memories of my friendship with Stacey. I love music.
Two of my girlfriends lost people very important to them this week. People that were instrumental in shaping them into the people I love today. I have been a big chicken shit and haven’t spoken to either of them to tell them how sad I am for their loss – a BIG chicken shit. I remember how hard it was for me after losing both of my grandfathers – that I can’t even imagine either of them wanting to talk on the phone. One of the songs that really helped me deal with the death of both of my grandpas is Life Without You by Stevie Ray Vaughan. It’s a beautiful song, sung by an amazing artist.
Life Without You
Oo oo now baby….tell me how have you been
We all have missed you….and the way you grin
The day is necessary….every now and then
For souls to move on….givin life back again, and again
Fly on fly on….fly on my friend
Go on….live again….love again
Day after day….night after night
Sittin here singin every minute….as the years go passing by….by, by, by
Long look in the mirror….weve come face to face
Wishin all the love we took for granted….love we have today
Life without you….all the love you passed my way
The angels have waited for so long….now they have their way
Take your place….
Oh man, we had an amazing weekend! We took the boys to the snow and had a celebration for Evan’s birthday. We were multi-tasking.
I can’t believe Evan is 4! It doesn’t seem like yesterday since he was born… but he seems so…. big. He still wants me to do lots of things for him, but he loves to do things “his own self.” He likes when I help him get dressed, but I think this is out of sheer laziness. Plus, he really loves his momma. 🙂
Anyway, back to the weekend shenanigans! We had an amazing time with the hippies. We relaxed, we went sledding, we played pool, we played cards, I baked a cake (OMG! it was amazing), we ate and ate and ate… I ate so much this weekend that I am still full. Both the children and the adults played nice – so it was good!
We went to Big Trees State Park and enjoyed the giant sequoias. I have uploaded photos to my flickr account, so if you have access – head on over to look at pretty pictures. I ended up carrying Evan for a long long time because “him legs were tired.” I can totally understand that because my legs were tired. The trails were covered in hard packed snow, so you really had to watch where you were going. We took pictures of the boys at the trail markers, Evan at the 4 and Brody and Gavin at the 5. They are super cute pictures! As with all hiking, Michael had the time of his life. He wore shorts for goodness sakes! I’m betting he won’t do that again because his boots were rubbing and irritating his leg.
This weekend really motivated us to eliminate some things from our lives. We no longer need to have STUFF. Stuff is killing us and cluttering our home. It has motivated us to eliminate our debt and maybe think about taking more weekend trips. Being away from the house and responsibilities was good for our family, good for our friendship with the hippies, and good for our relationship.