Friday, April 25, 2008

Grab Your Holy Hand Grenades of Antioch Again

The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog is making appearance number two in my blog!

I actually started laughing out loud when I saw this picture. Although technically, I don't believe that Arthur ever goes in to fight the Killer Rabbit, so it would actually be Sir Bors, Sir Gawain, or Sir Ector who took the picture... All three met their demise at the paw of the Killer Rabbit.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April Showers...

For the second, or is it third, week in a row, we're having lovely springtime thunderstorms in North Texas. Hail and heavy rain with the threat of tornadic activity makes me very, very nervous. Basically, I pace. (You know, if I were really productive I'd get on the Air Walker and get my 10,000 steps in.)

The good news is, it looks like the worst of the storm is going to pass me by... whew! Just lots of wind and rain my way, but no hail or anything like that.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Meltdown has Ended

I'm better today. I think I have successfully picked all my balls up and I'm juggling like mad again.

I didn't have to work full shifts at the photo job this weekend because we were slow, so I was able to get the practice hours I needed before 11:59 tonight (the latest I can turn in assignments for the week.) I won't get full paychecks, but I did get my school work done. It's a catch-22, but in the end, the school work is most important.

Tonight I am relaxing by watching a hockey playoff game (Go Stars!!) if you can call hockey playoffs relaxing. The house is still a total and complete wreck, the dishes and laundry are still piled up and I'm not really okay with it, but I'm too tired and lazy tonight to do anything about it. I guess I'll just look really nice at work next week because all of my normal work clothes are dirty.

Next week will be more of the same. Hopefully I'll be able to better manage my time so I can get my school work done and maybe have a day off. A girl can dream, can't she.

Friday, April 18, 2008

In which I show my weaker side

I always know my stress level is way too high when I can't stop myself from crying and then can't stop once I've started. So, today when I got back to the office after the meetings this week, I sat down at my desk and suddenly burst into tears... no warning and no stopping it.

It felt suddenly like all of the balls I so carefully struggle to keep in the air all fell at once. The worst part is, as I sat alone (thank goodness) in my office, Boss picked that exact moment to call. As much as I tried NOT to sound like I was upset, Boss has known me for eight years. So he asked what was wrong and if it was work stuff or personal stuff. I choked out "personal stuff" and he didn't pry.

So, what was the breaking point? My part-time job now wants me to learn to open and close the store so I can have more flexibility in when I can work. I don't want, and can't really handle, any more things to be responsible for. I start the more responsibilty on Sunday when I have to open the store by myself which means I will now have a key to the store.

I am currently doing my very best to juggle my full-time job, my part-time job and my now full-time school hours. Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day and for some reason, sleep is a necessity in my life. Right now, my schedule is M-F work 8:00-4:30. I get home about 5:00, eat, and try to relax for a tiny bit and do stuff around my house like laundry and cleaning. School 6:00-9:00 or 9:30.

Weekends are generally work 10:00-6:30 Saturday and 11:00 to 7:00 on Sunday. This past Saturday, I worked on school until around midnight to finish it up because we had a meeting Sunday after the store closed and I knew I wouldn't be home until around 9:00. After wrangling the little germ monkeys all day at the photo job, I'm just exhausted, but I still have 10 or so hours left of school to finish. I plan to try to do school work before work on Sunday from say 7:00 to 9:00.

Something has to give and I don't know what it can be. I have to have both jobs in order to do the extra things like go to the dentist and go to the eye doctor (both of which need to be done and soon and will be about $200 or so each). I also need to find an extra 25 hours in the week to go to school. My house is a wreck to the point that if anyone saw it, I'd be mortified. I'm running out of clean clothes and the laundry is piling up beside the hamper since the hamper is full.

I am sure it will all work out, it always does. But for now, I'm going to cry.

Edited to add: Boss is sweet. He was worried about me so he just had the only other female who works in the area call me to make sure that I'm okay. I told her to assure him I am fine, I'm just a girl and girls sometimes cry for reasons men will never understand. (He has three daughters, you'd think he'd understand that!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The rumors of my demise have been greatly exagerated

Okay, so maybe there haven't really been rumors to that effect, but it did make for a great title. And, since it's been a while since I posted...and well, I just have an odd sense of humor sometimes.

So, I'll start with the haircut. I'm such a chicken. I did get it recut, but I didn't go back to the same person (or even the same salon). I just went to Great Clips because I'd already paid for one expensive haircut and I figured whomever cut it couldn't do anything worse unless she shaved my head. I explained to the lady what my original "vision" had been for my hair. She looked at it and with disbelief said, "Hon, it's not even close to that." So, we cut about 2 inches off of the length to shorten the longest layer, she totally had to re-layer the entire back because I had a straight line across the back of my head where the shortest layer was. She blended the layers to make it look good and blended the back layers into the front. So, it is not at all what I orginally wanted, but it does look much, much better. And, it will grow.

Last weekend, I halfway planned to go to Amarillo on Saturday to see Granny B since she had been diagnosed the previous week with an aortic anneurism and was not doing well. I spoke with Moma about it and she said it wasn't really necessary, so I just kind-of lounged and enjoyed my Saturday with nothing to do -- a rarity in my life. Sunday morning, however, I got a phone call from her requesting that I come up. A couple of phone calls (one to cancel plans I'd made for Sunday and one to Boss to say that I'd not be in on Monday), a few things tossed in a backpack for me, the kitties stuff packed and them harnessed and leashed into the back seat, and we were on our way to Amarillo.

I unloaded the kitties at Uncle J's house, got them settled and went to Granny's. When I got there, the family had gathered, and as is Southern custom, there was lots and lots of food provided by Aunt C's church. I saw Granny and was a little taken aback by how frail she looked lying in the bed. I hugged her and we visited for a moment. She, at that moment to me just looked tired and done. She was visiting with a friend, so I hugged her again and told her I'd see her later. I hung around with the family for a while longer and then went to Sis A's house to see the kiddos (you thought I was going to go to Amarillo and NOT see the kiddos? Ha!!). I spoke with Moma on the way to Sis A's house and she said I should go back in the morning because Granny is better of a morning.

The next morning I got up, visited with Grandmother and Granddaddy B (who happened to be at Uncle J's because they had doctor's appointments that week) and went to see Granny. Moma was so right. She was up and around and we chatted about nothing over a cup of coffee and an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. A Bit of normalcy in an anything but normal situation. Still, she had the same look in her eyes I saw so many times when I worked at the nursing home... that tired, finished look.

After an hour or so, she was tired and wanted to rest and I had promised Miss A a game of Pretty Pretty Princess, so I hugged everyone goodbye and headed to Sis A's house. (I went back to Uncle J's loaded the cats into the back seat with a litter box, water, and a blanket to hide under.) We (Sis A, Little B, Miss A, and me)played our game and Miss A won, of course. Then we went to lunch with BIL D. (my car was parked in the garage, so the kitties were fine.)

The drive home was relatively uneventful. As I left Amarillo, I noticed a thunderstorm building in the distance. Since it's spring, I didn't think too much of it. I think I even commented to Moma on the phone that I was heading toward a thunderstorm, but didn't think it would amount to much. Yeah, well, I was wrong. I stopped in Chillicothe (Chill - uh - coth - ee) because Maxie was getting restless and I needed to stop. I gave him a snack and then got on the road again. About Quanah, I needed to stop, so I stopped at the Safety Rest Stop (TXDoT program that's pretty cool, actually that has Wi-Fi access, play grounds, inside bathrooms, etc.) to go potty.

As I got back in the car, I heard a Thunderstorm Warning issued for Willbarger County and Wichita County. Yep, that's right where I was headed. Not five minutes later, a Tornado Warning was issued for Willbarger County, specifically Elektra. Yep, that's the next town I was going to be in. It was still a few minutes away, so I figured I was okay and kept driving. A little further up the highway, I hit the rain. Not bad rain, but thunderstorm rain. No big deal, really. That is, until I started noticing the hailstones along the roadside and then the ones hitting my (relatively) new car. They got bigger and I got scared, so I called my Mommy.

Bless her heart, she calmed me down and told me to keep driving I would be okay as golf ball to baseball sized hail bounced off my car and the highway and I screamed that I was scared and when they hit the car. I was afraid they were going to come through the windshield or at least break it. When I thought I couldn't go any further, she told me it was okay to stop, so I looked over my right shoulder to move to the right lane and then to the right shoulder to stop. That plan was short-lived, however when I noticed the funnel cloud that had been rotating in the clouds was now picking up debris on the ground pretty much right beside my car. Moma's comment? "Well, keep driving, then." So, I did.

I stopped again a bit later to calm down and relax my shoulders and to look back at this HUGE thunderstorm I'd just driven through. I got a couple (four to be exact) of dents from the hailstones, but otherwise came through unscathed. The rest of the trip was boring in comparison, thank goodness.

Then on Tuesday, I started back to school. This quarter, I'm back to full-time and I'm doing it online. I'm not so sure I really did anything right as far as reporting my hours last week, but hopefully it will get easier and I'll be qualified for the State Exam soon. The only problem with online is that I really now have no free time. I just keep telling myself it is a means to an end and it is what I really want to be doing. And it is.

Daddy stayed in Amarillo with Granny and his family into last week. Hospice care and a hospice nurse comes and helps with the medications, etc. Come to find out, Granny's COPD medications were not being administered correctly. By the time he left, she was feeling better and was up and eating more again. So, I don't know what is going to happen there in the short term. Hopefully, nothing.

That is my life for the past week. Basically, it's as boring as ever punctuated by moments of high excitement. And, wow, if you've made it this far, I'm impressed.

Finally, I want to say a special Hello and Thank you to my Sis A. She happened to be the 1500th visitor to my little piece of the internet!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What we have is a failure to communicate

I got my hair cut yesterday. I always know it is time for a haircut when I wear my hair up in a ponytail or clip more than I wear it down. I found a cute picture of how I wanted it to look and discussed it with my hairdresser, Ethel. (No, seriously, that is her name!) We talked about the texture of my hair and we agreed that it would be a cute cut on me and my hair would, indeed, do like the picture.

See, this is what I wanted. Long layers, side-swept bangs. Super cute cut! Good for fine hair, at least according to the magazine where I found the cut. It is something like how Nicole Richie wears/wore her hair.

She set to work on my hair and I watched large hunks of hair fall to the floor. Now, I was getting it re-layered, so large chunks didn't alarm me. I couldn't see the mirror because I was wearing my glasses yesterday and had taken them off for the cut. I trust her. She did a great job last time. I foresaw no problems. (Does anyone begin to see the error in my judgment?)

Somehow from picture to finished product I ended up with a shag haircut a la Carol Brady circa 1974. Not the look I wanted or even truly understand. Even Rachel's 1995 Friend's haircut would have been better and actually very similar to the cut I wanted. It is just so not what got. It was just supposed to be long layers!

Mine looks more like this guy. It's poufy on top with it clinging to my neck. So not the look I was going for. The top layer is too short by about a month or two of growth.

I just wonder what part of LONG layers she missed?

So, now the dilemma is do I just live with it and let it grow out, because it is after all only hair and I am blessed with hair that grows relatively fast. OR do I go back in and have her fix it knowing that the only way to fix it is to cut the length off and I'll still not like it? My third option is just to pull it up in a ponytail and pretend it is fine for a month or two until it actually grows out closer to the cut I want THEN go back in and have her shape it up.

Honestly, I'll probably do option three. I'll wait for two reasons...(1) I hate to tell hairdressers they've done something I don't like because I don't want to hurt their feelings and have them "retaliate" by giving me a worse haircut and (2) I'm lazy. So, if you see me in the next couple of months, I'll likely have my hair in a ponytail or clip and look all messy like I didn't fix my hair because the front is really too short to pull back... ::::sigh:::: I hate when I have bad hair.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy April Fools' Day!

Actually, this post won't have anything to do with April Fools'. I'm catching up on the weekend and the post I planned to write yesterday, but just didn't get done.

My sister C came to visit over the weekend. I think it's safe to say that a fun time was had by all. We visited friends, ate, visited with more friends, shopped, visited with friends, ate... well, you get the idea. It was a two-day shopping, eating, and visiting extravaganza.

Let's see, on Friday we met an artist friend of C's. She is super nice and after looking at her website, super, super talented. Then we shopped downtown Grapevine and went for pedicures.

Saturday we went to Ft. Worth to visit friends, then to lunch at the Magic Time Machine with S, S & Little H. I can't believe how fast Little H is growing. He's nearly 2! We bonded over Giant Crayons and "more lights" while C and S&S visited. Then, after lunch, we shopped some more at Southlake Town Square. I even bought a super-cute new linen skirt for spring and summer.

Finally, we went to dinner with R, A and their daughter, A at Babe's Chicken in Roanoke. It's the original and, in my opinion, the best of the Babe's Restaurants. Last year, the four adults stood in the street in front of Babe's and did the Hokey Pokey (a tradition at the restaurant) while R&A's daughter looked on (at the age of 4) with embarrased horror. She claimed this year to not remember it. Fortunately/unfortunately, it didn't play while we were there this year, but there was a baloon guy there who made A a little pink poodle from a balloon.

I always enjoy when C comes to visit. We get to chat and catch up on things, but I also get to see her friends. It's funny, but I'm only acquainted with these folks because C comes to visit them, and generally, I only see them once a year, but it's fun to watch their kiddos grow up and change. There's even one couple that I've "known" since their wedding day to now having a *gasp* six-year-old! I do really enjoy these folks and a couple of them really wish I got to see more often. Then again, I wish I could see C more often too!

So, now I just have to figure out how to get A & D and their two down here... let's see. There are two zoos in the area. There are amusement parks and water parks. We have a mediocre baseball team, but games are still fun. (Hey, A, I know you're reading this... hint, hint!)