Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Now that I’m back…

And back after such a long period of silence, I feel that I should offer a brief snapshot of various and sundry things that have happened over the past year.  So, let’s catch up. And yes, for my conservative friends, I’m probably going to say a few things to upset you. So, y’all are excused. If you need something else to do, go check the Olympic medal count. Or go watch the curling coverage. (Or just skip the first three items.)

Here goes:

• I’m still not eating Chick fil a. Don’t miss it. At all.

• His Holy Hairness (Texas Governor Rick Perry) tried to run for President, made a damn fool of himself while on the campaign trail, dropped out of the race, then much to my delight and wonder, decided he would finally do what is best for Texas and not run for governor again.

• Pope Benedict decided he had had enough of people like me complaining about what he didn’t do to protect innocent children from predatory priests and decided to step down saying he was too tired to go on. (Yes, that would be my personal theory on why he quit the job.) Much to my surprise and delight, the College of Cardinals decided to elect a Pope who I actually like! Miracles do happen and I love that Pope Francis is shaking up the Vatican by insisting that those pampered clerics in the Curia and elsewhere stop living like kings and start serving the poor. 

• My daughter Emily graduated from the University of St. Edward’s Magna Cum Laude. She was also named a Presidential Award recipient. Which means that if you are in the St. Ed’s student center anytime until the end of April or so, you can take a look at a picture of her w/ her bio and an account of just why my darling child merited this honor. Am I proud? Why yes. I am.

• My sister Mary Claire and I went up to Connecticut last summer and visited out sister Jane together. First time MC and I had ever taken a trip out of state together. Or taken a trip together at all. We all had a blast and topped off our trip by meeting up with our sister Julia in NYC for lunch the day we left for home. How cool is that?

• My other daughter Sara, after definitely paying some dues by working at a small grocery store in Austin, was rewarded for her great attitude at said job by one of her customers telling her she was going to recommend that Sara be her replacement at the job the customer was leaving. Said job being a legal assistant to a local Austin attorney, that paid full salary and has fabulous benefits: Proof that being nice to people, even when you are having a rotten day, will be rewarded. And yes, I am proud of her. She had her dream of working and living in Austin and she did what it took to make it happen.

• My son Michael is going to grad school, pursuing his masters in school administration. And he’s doing extremely well. All while teaching 4th grade English, working on the side when he can, and being a husband and father, and father to be. (Yes, he and his wife have another child on the way! Yippee!) Am I proud of him and them? Well, yes. I am. 

• After what seems like over a year of growing out my hair, while claiming I was ‘rocking the ombre look' (I wasn't), I finally got my hair long enough to cut off the old dead dyed stuff and go completely gray. Am I happy with it? Yes. Extremely so. It’s great no longer having to touch up the damn roots and my hair is in the best condition it’s been in for years and years. Basically ever since I started dying it to hide the gray.  Quite honestly, I should have done this ages ago. So, go ahead. Embrace the gray people. It’s fabulous.

I think that covers all the major events since I left off. So onward y’all. I'll be back soon.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Good Riddance

January 2014 has not been kind to me. It was a rough month, starting off with the death of my best friend from childhood and ending w/ the death of my Aunt Edna (at 96 after a very full life). And there was a lot of other stuff too. Towards the end of the month, I started calling it 'Bitch Slap January.' 

But I’m tired of feeling like a victim. So, to counter all the negative emotions I have been feeling, I think it’s time to make a little list of good things and put my focus on them.

So here goes:

Yes, I lost Sara Gray. But at least I was lucky enough to have her as a friend. If I want to feel close to her, I am fortunate that I have the emails she sent me over the last few years. Those emails have made me feel better this past month and I am so thankful that in recent years we did conduct the majority of our conversations via the written word. Reading what she wrote to me makes me feel closer to her.

My son and daughter-in-law are expecting their second child in July. How terrific is that? I think it’s wonderful and I can’t wait for this new little human to join our family. 

My granddaughter Luci. Even when she’s saying no every chance she gets. It’s hard to be down when Luci is near.

My sister Mary Claire. Yes, we had a bit of tough month. But we also got to spend a lot of time together. Yes, I would have preferred that some of it hadn’t been spent in an emergency room. But what a gift it has been to me being able to help her through all she is going through.

Our neighbors, Sue and Andy, who, when called when MC was having an issue one afternoon, immediately went over and took care of her. Everyone should have someone like those two living next door.

My upcoming trip to NOLA with my sisters. Seriously. All four of us together in New Orleans. How cool is that? I cannot wait. Antiquing and shopping. Eating great food. The French Quarter. Museums. And of course, a few slot machines. This is something we’ve never done and I’m still a bit amazed that it is actually happening.  

My recent weight loss. Oh, I’m still fat. And I have a long way to go. But I’m not as fat. And I feel so much better. Amazing what just losing 10 lbs or so can do to make you feel better, more energetic. 

My plans for our living and dining room. Starting with the new windows going in today that will replace the truly ugly original 1960 era aluminum windows that we currently have. A few of the panes in our current windows are being held in by tape. Seriously. Once we get the windows replaced, I’m going to get rid of the wallpaper in those rooms, paint everything a fresh pale minty blue green and then, hopefully, finally get rid of the old dead carpeting and have laminate floors put in. Nothing like a new project around the house to take your mind off all the other stuff. 

Larry. Who has been there as I dealt with the past month. He truly cares and worries about MC. He is as committed as I am to doing whatever it takes for her. When I was in the first throes of grief over my friend Sara, and he asked what he could do to help, I answered that I wanted Sara back. Trust me to ask the poor man to do the impossible. Because to tell the absolute truth, I am not, on an average day, an easy person to live with. So he deserves much praise for putting up with me this past month and helping me through it just by being there.

My daughter Sara, who is happy living and working in Austin. Since switching jobs in the fall, she has gained so much confidence and experience. I am extremely proud of her for doing what it took to be able to stay where she loves in Austin.

And finally, among the wonderful people who keep me going is my youngest daughter Emily, who turns 23 today. Emily is sweet, hardworking, thoughtful, stubborn, caring, loving, smart and a bit of a piece of work. And I love her beyond all telling.  Happy birthday darling child and thank you for being one of the reasons I am emerging from this bit of darkness.