Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just to get back into the swing...

Step one of getting back into the practice of blogging. Make a freaking post! Done.

I'd have to go read my last posts, to know where I left off here. Life's too short, daybreak will be here far too early, so you get it straight from the hip. Life has been what it is, on a fairly regular basis. Getting by, some days better than others. Only lately, have I begun to feel quite overwhelmed by the "crap" that creeps in around the edges of my otherwise pleasant & ordinary days.

Some of my friends know I helped my son out a couple of years ago, using one of my credit cards to do so. Bear in mind, I had paid off all the cards after Alfred died, in order to be able to get by without having to work full time. I nearly maxed out that card, in the process of helping same son. He'd promised to get a job & pay me back. Long story short, I have been paying on that card ever since, whilst my resentments toward my son were growing & growing. It was getting to a point where I was finding myself feeling quite angry & sick inside, because I wanted to be able to love my son without expectations or disappointments.

I knew the only way I'd be free of the hurt, disappointment, resentments and anger was to forgive the debt, even though I had no idea how I'd manage to pay it off. After over two years of making the payments, which were not in my meager budget, even though I'd returned to full time work, I found myself needing to meet my own needs (groceries & fuel/maintenance on vehicle) by using yet another credit card. It turned into an ugly cycle that had spiraled out of control.

It has been frustrating, daunting even, to try to get by without using any of the plastic. Told the son to forget about paying me back, so if he does, then great - that would be a huge help. If he doesn't, then I can continue to love him (but no more "loans"!) without reservation, resentment, anger or expectations. It freed me from the turmoil and allowed me to accept responsibility for making the choice to use my credit to help him out. Using tough love has never been my strong suit & I suppose I needed to relearn the lesson.

So, now I find myself working as often as possible, to the point of exhaustion, trying to eek out the payments & get my debt back under control. I've got a strong faith that the God I understand will provide my needs & a belief that things will be okay. There's a lesson here I needed to relearn & in my experience, when I don't "get" the lesson well enough the first time, the tests get a little harder with each subsequent "do over".

Am still wanting to sell the farm, move to town or where ever it is I'm supposed to move. Once in awhile, a little voice in my committee suggests I apply for a passport & take a trip across a pond or two. Will it happen? I hope so, but not until the plastic is back in its' cage.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pssst! Hey Teacher!!

"Your slip is showing, Mrs. T!"

Had any students or staff at the high school where I substitute teach had been in the hallway, as the secretary was escorting me to the 3rd period classroom I would be teaching in, they might have easily hollered just such a thing. They would be uttering truth, but not in the way most folks might imagine. No, in this case, it was far worse and uber humiliating.

My morning started out nicely enough. I got plenty of sleep last night, after putting in a full day of work yesterday, both as a sub. teacher and a cashier at the grocery store. By quitting time yesterday, I was very ready to kick off the shoes, put on some comfy clothing and inhale a pizza. I did that, too. :) Anyway, I was scheduled to work at the school today, but not as early as I actually went in. When the phone rang this morning, with the secretary calling to see if I might come in early, to help cover another teacher who just learned of a death in the family, I had been trying to decide with skirt I wanted to wear for the day. There were two of them, both nice skirts, comfy and pretty, but tucked away for a long time. In fact, I hadn't seen these skirts since we'd lived in Montana! The container I'd been storing them in was in the basement & I only recently came across it. Yippee! "new" clothes! What I failed to remember was that the container held clothing that was on either swing of the size pendulum... stuff that was either from my skinny days or my beached whale days. Right now, I am kind of in the middle, whilst trying to get back down to my skinnyminny wardrobe.

So, after I got off the phone with the secretary, I quickly showered and got dressed for the day. First problem, the stockings I wore fit really well, until I got them to the hips/butt region. The packaging stated the hosiery was in my size, so I failed to understand why the gluteous region would not stay up. WTF??? Then I dug through the container and found one of my half-slips and it fit well. I figured if need be, I could always pin the pantyhose up to my overbeckies or the half-slip, right? Nuh-uh. I put on my big girl panties, but they decided to be holy rollers today. Damn things would NOT stay up. Maybe it's time to chuck those bad girls and invest in some fresh elastic? hmmmm? Anyhoo, I sucked in my gut, pulled everything back up to my waist and then stepped into my skirt. It was a teensy bit loose, but I thought it would be fine for the day. Yeah. Right. Sure.

I managed to get the Jeep out of the garage, toss the outside doggies a few treats, close the garage door and drive all the way to town in this outfit. My outfit was smart, comfortable and even flattering, in some ways. I drove to school, walked into the building, then to the office. Visited with the secretary, while she filled me in on my responsibilities for the day, with no problems. Everything was staying in place & I was feeling quite confident about what I was wearing. We, the sec. & I left the office and began our trek toward the two classrooms I would be handling today when it happened.

No sooner had we gotten just down the hallway, past the window that students visit when they need to speak to the secretary, when my entire skirt began a slow, slinky decent to my knees. The waistband chose that moment to no longer be elastic. Fortunately, my half-slip decided to stay in place, so here I was, clicking down the hallway in my sensible heels, with the waistband of my skirt around my knees & my scantily clad rear end showing off a pretty beige undergarment! It was also, at that exact moment, when my pantyhose decided the best thing they could do would be to roll the waistband down, all on their own accord, to my crotch area. "What the hell," cried my big girl panties. "Let's roll with 'em!".

Imagine my horror, when I realized my skirt was lengthening itself, leaving my derriere somewhat exposed, albeit slightly shimmery through the slip and a lovely thick waistband that surrounded my groin area. Talk about unsightly panty lines!!! *blush* I caught up my skirt and we returned to the office. A couple of safety pins were scrounged up, attached to the faulty waistlines of skirt & slip, and I was on my way back to the classroom. It was so embarrassing, but hilarious, as well. I am just so glad there wasn't anyone else in the hallway, except the secretary! LOL

Got to love a decent wardrobe malfunction once in a while. Helps me keep from getting too fat-headed. If I word the morning at school tomorrow, before I have to do my afternoon shift at the store, I think I'll go with slacks. Yeah, that just might be a really good idea! ;)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Who dunnit?

For the record, I did NOT make the recent changes to this blog! Don't have a clue as to what happened to my background or who altered the colors of my fonts & such. Where my "banner" went is beyond me, too. Darn it all anyway.

*grumbles about boring appearance of blog*

Workin' it!

A couple of months ago, right after school began again, I signed up to be a substitute teacher. There were a few snafoos with the FBI background search, but all is finally cleared. Yesterday morning, I was called by the school secretary & offered a class to cover, since the regular teacher was feeling kind of pukish. So, I accepted the challenge, gleefully, and hopped into the shower. No sooner did I get out of the shower, when the phone rang and my old job as cashier at the grocery store was being offered to me. So, I arranged to meet with the boss after I finished at the school for the day & went into town for a fun day of social interaction & adult mentoring.

I have a completely new-found respect for teachers!!! The class I taught was in the 5th grade and what a great group of children! They taught me some things and were, for the most part, very helpful. Yes, there were some challenging kids, but I adored each child for his/her uniqueness. *contented sigh*

After school was over for the day, I went to the old job & spoke with the boss. He is willing to work with my schedule at the school, but can also offer me all the hours I want. I let him know that I won't be able to do the floor mopping in the future, because of how hard & painful that is for my back & he was willing to work around that. It would be nice if he were able to pay me more, but I do know there are some benefits offered to employees, after a length of orientation. What I shall save on fuel costs, by working close to home & the benefits should help offset the shameful wages the store pays. Plus, I will be able to go home to let Chikki & Muffin out to go potty, either during my shifts at the school/store &/or between jobs, if I happen to work both jobs in one day.

Yeah, it's well passed time for me to rejoin the planet, on a local level & get back to work. Who knows, with the extra income, I just might be able to purchase little extras each month... like groceries! :)

Home baked goodness!

A couple of days ago, I finally found my beloved recipe for biscotti and made a batch. Oh yummness galore! A couple of friends requested the recipe, so here goes... and don't blame the calories on me! ;) I made some changes to the original recipe & have noted them in italics for the reader.

Hazelnut-Almond Biscotti

Almond-Macadamia-Coconut Biscotti

1 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds *I used a small bag of almond slivers*
1/2 cup Hazelnuts *I used a small bag of macadmia nuts*
*1 cup sweet, flake coconut*
4 cups flour *make it 5 cups, to accomodate the extra ingr. of the altered recipe*
2 teaspoons baking powder *3 teaspoons*
1teaspoon cinammon *1/2 teaspn. cinammon, 1/3 allspice, & 1/3 ground ginger*
5 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted & cooled
2 cups sugar
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or almond extract, if desired*

Preheat oven to 375*F. *preheat to 350*F if you are using the cheaters recipe!*
Toast almonds until lightly golden. Cool. Grind 1/2 cup of the almonds fine. Toast the hazelnuts & rub off skin, coursely chop. *or cheat, like me & buy the nuts already skinned! Ground 1/2 of the almonds & 1/2 of the macadamia nuts finely, then coursely chop/grind the remaining nuts & coconut. When all is ground & chopped, you should have 3 cups total of the nuts & coconut. Feel free to fudge these ingredients as far as quantities, as long as the end result is the 3 cups total.*

Reduce oven temp. to 350*F. *you know... ;)*
Butter cookie sheets. *butter flavored spray works just dandy & is less harmful to the hips! I lightly sprayed the sheet & then spread with a paper towel. This helps to eliminate excessive burning on the bottom of the biscotti*

Combine flour, baking powder, spice(s). Add nuts. *and other goodies, as long as it's 3 cups combined total* Whisk eggs until frothy, add melted butter & sugar, mixing until combined. Add to flour/nut mixture. Dough should be mixed thoroughly & just slightly sticky to the touch when just right. Adjust the amount of flour to achieve this consistency for your altitude.

Shape four (4) 12" long X 2 1/2" wide X 1" high logs. Place 4" apart on cookie sheets, smoothing tops. Bake 25 minutes or until firm when pressed in center. (I sometimes use the toothpick to determine how done the loaf is.) Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly. Cut loaves diagonally into 1/2" slices. Stand pieces upright on cookie sheets. Bake an additional 20 minutes longer, or until sides of biscotti are a light golden brown. Remove from oven & allow to cool COMPLETELY before storing in cookie jar or ziplock bags.

Enjoy with a lovely cup of tea or coffee! BTW, this recipe makes a LOT of biscotti, so it's a great way to fill a void on the holiday gift list. It travels well, too, so you can mail it to friends & family!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Beloved...

September 5th is/was our wedding anniversary. This shall be my first without him. I know that July 4th was a rather rough holiday for me, as that was the day he proposed to me. That, and every Independence Day after, he would ask me again, to be his wife. I'd made plans to go hang with the neighbors that evening, but wound up not being able to speak to anyone without bursting out in gut wrenching sobs that night. Yeah, for some odd reason, it hit me hard, when I really never expected it. How will I handle tomorrow, the 5th? Only time will tell.

Have been uber busy here, done a bit of traveling and enjoyed a wonderful garden this past summer. I've been neglecting my blog(s), but then, my muse has been overwhelmed by all the goings on here on the farm. The critters, my sheep, goats, geese, doggies & kitties are all thriving. The garden is near done, except for the squashes (yellow, acorn & butternut) & brussel sprouts I planted. I did some canning the past couple of weeks, too, taking advantage of the good crop of crabapples, yellow squash, green onions, apples & green beans that I have had this summer. Made some delicious crabapples jelly, cinnamon applesauce, zucchini jelly (kind of like a relish), zuc/yellow squash Italiano (sooo yummy!) and spicy "dilly" beans. There's a crate in the mudroom with several squashes, too, that I will have to find a cool place for, so I can use them over the winter. :D Yep, I've been domestic lately.

Job hunting, too, There's no more insurance $ left, since my son needed my help with a couple of "issues". He's planning on moving up here, as soon as he gets those "issues" completed, to help me with the farm. He was here for a couple of weeks in July & he fixed the leaking roof. Then he chose to return to Oklahoma, to face his issues & take responsibility for his choices. I hated to see him go, but it's better that he deal with that stuff, so he'll be able to start with a clean slate, once he does get moved up here permanently. It will be such a relief to have him here & I am really proud of how hard he is trying to straighten up and settle down. Finally, the kid is wanting to grow up & as long as he keeps that attitude, I'll use every resource I can to help him make better choices. Plus, once he gets settled in here, I'll feel more comfortable about returning to the doc to discuss that biopsy and treatment, if it's needed. Yeah, after watching my Spouse endure 6 years of various protocols of treatment, I'm not about to try doing that living by myself!

My daughter is entering her second trimester of pregnancy! I was hesitant to mention anything, because her first pregnancy didn't go so well. This time mom & baby are doing splendid, so I'm thrilled to announce that I shall soon be a grandmother again! *happy dances* My daughter & her hubby are so excited, as they have been trying for the past couple of years for this special bundle! After all of the losses they have endured over the past year, it's terrific to have some good news to focus on. :)

Back to the job search topic: I applied with the local school district for a substitute teacher position. Had to go through the fingerprinting/background check, in order to even be considered. Did that about a month ago. Went in to the school yesterday, to find out if I'd been giving a clear pass, only to learn the FBI rejected my prints! Not sure what "low characteristics" means, but am guessing the first guy used a tad tooooo much ink, so the prints were too smeared. Got my prints redone, via a different sheriff at the courthouse & hopefully the FBI will be happier. At least, I know the Feds aren't out hanging my photo up at the post office! LOL Speaking of the post office, our local one has had a sign hanging for over a month, seeking someone who will bid on the cleaning of the town office. What the heck - just six hours a week, easy, honest money, so I put in my bid. Wish me luck on that. That & the sub-teaching job. :)

Another note - a couple of months ago, I sent my darling Ingo to another breeder in Wisconsin. She (the breeder) had been here in the Spring, so her beautiful Jura could "court" my Ingo. Well, for some reason, it didn't happen... darn slick floors?! Soooo - I sent Ingo to her, hoping that he & Jura would eventually be able to get their acts together. Plus, Ingo would be an indoor doggy if he lived with them. I couldn't let him be an indoor doggy here, because he & Muffin kept doing that "pissin' match" thing when I tried here. *ugh* Anyways... Jura just had her Autumn heat & Ingo went to the "doggy love doctors" that are near where the other breeder lives. The docs are specialists in the AI department & were able to successfully get 3 "collections" from Ingo. According to the specialists, this is Ingo's LAST HURRAH. The other breeder & I are dearly hoping there will be at least 2 healthy puppies from this union. If so, & assuming one will be a female, I shall be getting the pick of the litter female & will be able to return to breeding my beautiful Entlebuchers. It's been awhile since there have been puppies here & I am excited, again, about the prospect of being a responsible & ethical breeder, once more. That and puppy-breath kisses. Yeah. :D

Definitely seeking intense prayers & positive thoughts for the success of the breeding between Jura & Ingo. Ingo has the most marvelous temperament, OFA rated Excellent hips and is a stunning representative of the breed standard. Jura is beautiful, is such a sweet nut and she does NOT carry the gene for PRA. This means none of their pups would have the gene for PRA, too! So, if they inherit their daddy's hips, we're looking at some pups with potential to better the breed. Maybe some of that info whooshed right over your heads, so trust me when I say that's all good stuff. :)

So, my friends... that's the summer in a nutshell. Feel free to send me some positive energy & thoughts, that I'll be able to get through tomorrow a bit better than I did on the 4th of July. I'm going to work on maintaining an attitude of gratitude, for the blessings that come from a decade of incredible memories (the good ones, ya know) and the understanding that the God of my understanding isn't about to desert me or my needs. And yeah, I'll work on blogging when I can, more often. *hugs to all*

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Had it!

Okay - I am now in the process of transferring all of my old posts from that derelict blog home into this blog home. Ya, I have a Vox blog, but it's reserved for when I get off my rear end & start writing stories again. So, this is for my personal stuff & the Vox is for my creative fiction stuff. As soon as I get the rest of my old posts moved over to here, I'll resume posting randomly & neglectfully, as per my most recent behaviors. Let me know where you're blogging, my friends, so I don't lose track of ya - PLEASE!! :)