Saturday, December 3, 2016

It's a wonderful life

Yesterday morning after Dave went down to get us coffee, he came back up and asked if I had spilled something on the floor the night before. I had not. He said the kitchen floor was wet...
We both went down to investigate.
Oh man. It was worse than we thought. Pools of water on the kitchen floor, in the dining room, in the bathroom and the hall. You could SEE water in the walls. (Look under the counter next to Dave in this photo....)
What's amazing is how calm we were.
What's truly incredible is how WELL Dave and I work as a team--effortlessly now.
We both went to work and in the mean time, I made the phone calls, Dave shortened up his day at work and he was home in time to meet the plumber who confirmed it was a slab leak. He capped off a pipe in the bathroom after cutting a 3 foot hole in the wall...and told us someone would follow up this morning.
As weird as today was in our home, the experience of how well we work together was a joy to behold.  We knew the 'water damage' company guys were coming around 10 so Dave went to Costco and I stayed home doing laundry and Christmas cards while waiting for them.
Dave came home and we traded places. I ran to the bank and the market while he stayed with the guys, folded laundry and called to let me know that our kitchen would be out of service for a while and that he'd called in a Pick up Stix order for us. I ran in to pick it up then headed home where Dave had set up TV trays and paper plates (and a bottle of wine) for us in the TV room.
I should know this is how life is now, but it truly still amazes me. A team mate who doesn't get mad about the inconveniences of life! A partner who honestly makes life easier and far more enjoyable.

The guys cut open our walls, ripped out baseboards and worked until nearly 6pm while we finished our Christmas cards and watched old movies and actually LAUGHED at the amount of drilling and sawing going on down stairs...!
Once they were (finally) gone Dave posed for the photo above. Yep, smiling and laughing and not knowing how long this will go on. (The blowers have to run until AT LEAST 4pm Monday...)
Instead of being even the slightest bit angry, Dave grabbed the shrimp he'd bought at Costco, a couple of more paper plates and a bottle of water and headed back up to our TV trays.
And put on "It's a Wonderful Life."
We sobbed! You see George? You really have a wonderful life!
We both know--despite all the crazy in our world--how very fortunate we are to have found each other. 
I am so very grateful for him and I'm the first to admit that I really do have a wonderful life.
...of course the kitchen is another story.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cinnamon Toast and Tacos por favor!

And a new little ornament for our tree. 

For the past couple of months, I have been seriously thinking about going back to see my counselor. I have not had an appointment with her over the last couple of years (chalking up the sadness and grief to my mom's death, Dave's dad's death...and menopause...) but lately I have felt like I cannot shake the 'what's it all about, Alfie?'-type feelings.
I emailed my counselor, who is semi-retired now, and she said she could could certainly work me in. The cost? $200/50 minutes. I am sure that's the going rate these days as I paid $150/50 minutes 10 years ago. But still!!
Dave said he had a better idea...Two tickets to Disneyland!
I have to admit, I was a bit reluctant at first (ask Dave about my mood that morning...) but, honestly, the one day admission for two--with a Starbucks and a pumpkin scone!--
came in RIGHT AT $200. For EIGHT hours. 
We immediately ran into Mary and Burt. Dave's favorites!

I have to was just what the doctor ordered. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Weight a minute!!

March 17, 2016

October 25, 2016

It's been a VERY long, hard road to get back under 150
Throughout my 40s, I was 130 pounds. If I got up to 134 or so, I would just watch it for a few days and be back down without much stress. 
Not any more. I will never understand this.
Next stop...breaking 140
PS I'm hungry all day, every day. 
If I could get back into my size 6 would be worth it.

Saturday, May 14, 2016


If, at nearly 53 years old, I have one glaring 'fault', it is that I am admittedly, impatient. I don't like to wait--but I'm not talking about waiting at line at Target or the movies. Actually I don't mind that at all!
I'm talking about getting things done. I am EXACTLY the second definition above...'restlessly eager.'
Relentlessly would be even more appropriate.
I want to get things finished! Mark it off the list. Done. Complete.
I have always believed that this is why I was such a good waitress. (I really was.) I loved to be given a task (guests' order) and to meticulously gather the necessary items (ketchup, Tabasco, jelly) to have everything ready for the food to arrive. Coffees filled and orders delivered, I would drop the check and be finished. Of course I went back 20 more times to assure coffee cups were never empty, but I took GREAT delight in accomplishing perfection in serving. There were MANY days when the main dining room of the restaurant was empty and there was a wait for my section, the counter and five side booths. The other waitresses SWORE that I was giving away food. Nope, just giving away good service. Restlessly eager to finish and make each person satisfied.
I do the same in my home. If there is a task that needs to be done, I am unable to do anything else until it's finished. Why wait? When we moved into this home nine months ago, we DID NOT SIT DOWN until walls were painted, pictures were hung, appliances were updated...well, you get it. Within a month, the house looked like we had been here for 10 years. And, it's often been told to me, it looks like a model home.
Why would we WAIT to do what we wanted to do? People would say, why don't you relax this weekend? Sit down, read a book...!
Nope, I'm relentlessly eager to get it done.
Amazon Prime was created for me. For people like me for sure. I need decaf coffee, a new hose nozzle and a tube of red face paint for the Angels game next week. From my phone I can arrange next-day delivery of ALL of these items--to my front door!--in about two minutes. I don't want to go to Ralphs, Lowes and Party City--three different stores for three different things--I just want what I need--now!
Today we are working in our back yard. Sure, it looks 'fine.' We are going to scrub the bricks and plant some more flowers and vegetables and clean off the patio furniture--we've planned this day all week.
However, I got off work early on Thursday and came straight home. I spray painted pots and re potted plants and hosed off the patio and raked up the pine needles...
I couldn't wait!
But why would I?
Is that impatience or determination?
Restlessness or dedication?
The ONLY time I enjoy sitting down is when the house is immaculate, the laundry is all caught up and birthday gifts for the month are wrapped and ready to go.
Thankfully, because of my persistence, conviction and tenacity (not impatience...) all of that happens... OFTEN!
Yep, I want to have things done. My name is Julie and I am impatient.
Impatient to be productive and efficient.
It works for me.
It makes me happy.
Impatient? Possibly.
Restlessly eager?
That sounds much more like me...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Internal Monologue

I never stop thinking. Never. NEVER.
I make a list all day long of what to do at work--things to mail, people to call, cards that need to go to IRD...and more. That list sits next to my 'personal' things to do list--call Zac, get a card for Dave's Godmother's 100th birthday, unsubscribe to every single store/shop/ad email that I receive...
Then there's the middle of the night. I wake up around 3am and start the monologues.
This is nothing new. I honestly remember doing this when I was 5 or 6. Wishing I could get up in the middle of the night and be productive.  Instead I would make 'lists' of what I would do when I wake up. The thinking about what I should do or WISH I could do NEVER stops. In between I sing songs. Let me clarify--my brain sings one line of a song OVER AND OVER AND OVER. I have not ever been able to control that. It's painful, honestly, the combination of the song and the thinking and wishing...It goes something like this. (Note, it's 4am...I finally conceded to the voices.)
"I have to start those envelopes the minute I get into work. Marina is out now the rest of the week. I will have to do her approvals and flowers. Sarah was supposed to see the financial guy yesterday. I will have to find out how that went. I wish I could help her. I should put a note on Facebook to see if anyone has a car for her. I wish I could go out there and clean her house for her. I wonder if Lisa moved yet. I can't believe she sold everything she owns at a garage sale. I wish she was closer. I am glad that Thea has an Instagram--she's a good photographer. I have to have Zac send his songs. My iPod needs to be synced up. Shoot, I didn't charge it. Where is that external charger for my phone. I can charge it at work this afternoon so that it doesn't run out while I'm at dinner with Lu. I'm not going to have a drink. Just water. My stomach hurts so much. I guess I AM allergic to avocados. That, or the ulcer really is back. I wish I could see my dad more. I miss Logan. Everything has changed so much since mom died. Snow in Big Bear. I don't have anything warm to wear. 153 pounds. I can't lose weight at all any more. WTF? Why? Am I really emotionally holding on to it? OK, today I'll get 10,000 steps. Shoot, I need to charge the fitbit. Is the charger thing still in my laptop? Dang, I should have plugged that in before I went to bed. Where is it? I think I left it on the dresser. I can plug it in when I wake up and charge the iPod and fitbit at the same time. I wonder why my Facebook link doesn't work anymore. Do I have boots to wear in the snow? Did I get my winter coat back from Cynthia. Oh man, Cynthia. Shoot, she wants me to come over in the morning before work. Ok, I'll get up at 5 and, well, I don't want to wake Dave. Do I need to wash my hair today? Yes. No. Wait, I washed it on Saturday, so not on Sunday, washed it Monday, so not Tuesday, YES, I need to wash it today so I will get up at 5:15. I need to send a Get Well card to Mike Johsz. And a congrats card to Sunny for her great performance. ("Blow Gabriel Blow" is pounding in my head the whole time--one line of the song--over and over and over!) I should send Sunny some money to put toward her Prom dress. She should just borrow one. Allison always borrowed dresses for the dances. I don't think I ever bough even one! Zac went to a couple of dances. Cost more for boys to go no matter what people say. I should print out my blog. The geraniums are not doing very well. More water or less? I wonder why the Fat Free creamer is no longer available? I need to look that up when I get up. I'll get up, go get a birthday card for Tim and put it in my purse. Dang, I need to get the DVD and mail it back. I should just start getting it out the minute the movie is over and put it in the envelope and put it in my purse. Maybe I should sign up for the 2 disc deal. Then, we'd always have a movie. But we need to have a couple of nights with NO TV. We were so good about going to the gym for a while. OK, I'll go to the gym tonight. No, I am meeting Lu tonight. Was I supposed to bring anything for the reunion. What else am I supposed to put on that Facebook page. When I get up I will check to see if people joined. If I don't put anything on, no one will like the page. I have to delete the NUTS page. I will do that when I get up.
Yeah...I just need to get up now or I'll never be able to do all I need to do before I go to work. Oh, I have to leave early too to go to Cynthia's.
Getting up now.
It's 4am
I never EVER stop thinking....

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It's a Wonderful Life

Easter with Allison and my Dad
Elijah sees 'Uncle Dentist' for cleaning, fixing and life lessons...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Happy Birthday Grandma Mel

 My Grandma Mel, my mom's mother, was born on March 15, 1921 which means, of course, that she would have been 95 today. She's the one on the right above...the woman on the left is HER mother, born in1899. Crazy.
I figure if she were alive today, (well, I guess five years from now...) it would look something like this.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Getting older...

When I left my marriage, I was 41. After 24 years of trying to make someone else happy, I surrendered that lofty goal and began the journey to make myself happy. I will never forget going to see my 91 year old grandmother, my Nana, shortly after leaving. She was elated. Elated! She said (and I quote!), "You are 41! Your whole LIFE is ahead of you!" 
She herself was in a 'less than happy' SIXTY SEVEN YEAR marriage to my Grandpa and, by 91, she was ready to admit that unhappiness. She went on to tell me that she WISHED she would have been able to leave the marriage when she was 41...OH the things she would have done.
I'll always remember the 18 months she had after my Grandfather died. Probably the happiest I had ever seen her. She could do what she wanted, SAY what she wanted...THINK what she wanted. She could have PEACH jelly and not have someone tell her how stupid she was for liking peach.
She died just days before her 95th birthday.
ALL that to say, I think about my Nana all the time...and I never EVER feel old.
NEVER. I LOVE where I am and, honestly, I believe I have already BEEN an old lady!
I was an old lady when I was 21 with two babies and a man who told me I was fat and stupid. I was an old lady as I waited tables for 15 years while running to classes at Cal State Fullerton and doing homework with my little kids as laundry was running, dinner was cooking...and life was ticking by. Hell, I was an old lady when I was 15 and had four little sisters, the youngest in diapers, all needing help with something...and a mother telling me to bring her an Oreo as she sat and watched 'As the World Turns.'
Life started over for me in 2005. After that first (extremely) rough year, life got REALLY good. I was young for the first time in my whole life. I was able to SAY what I wanted and THINK what I wanted and have peach jelly all day long! The following 11 years have been full of TRUE adventure and international travel and deepening friendships and baseball games and rendezvous (the plural of rendezvous is the same word--and there were MANY!) and OH so much JOY!
So, when my friends begin to say that they are 'old' I quite literally get angry. I cannot stand it! I know that I've done old and this is not it! I believe I am aging gracefully and quite happily. And enjoying every morsel of life while I'm at it.
I like who I am right now. LOVE my life right now. And am OH so grateful for Nana's words of encouragement 11 years ago. She was right. My whole life is ahead of me.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pity vs. Self Pity

I've been reading, "The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth" by Dr. John C. Maxwell and THIS jumped off the page for me this morning. I have never been one to really feel sorry for myself, but OH when I have--I have suffered.
This is why.
I thought it might help you, too.

Pity is one of the noblest emotions available to human beings;
self-pity is possibly the most ignoble.
Pity is the capacity to enter into the pain of another in order to do something about it;
self-pity is an incapacity, a crippling emotional disease that severely distorts our perception of reality.
Pity discovers the need in others for love and healing and then fashions speech and action that bring strength;
self-pity reduces the universe to a personal wound that is displayed as proof of significance.
Pity is adrenaline for acts of mercy;
self-pity is a narcotic that leaves its addicts wasted and derelict.

Wow, huh?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Our stories are not over yet...

Amazing group of people here. 
Three of us were pregnant before we were married.
Four have never been married and never had kids.
Nine of us have gone through divorce.
Five of us have lost a parent in the last few years. One has recently lost a younger brother...
One has been married over 20 years.
One has been married for more than 30 years.
There are TWO grandparents in the group. And one more will join those ranks in a few months.
All have realized that life goes on and that we lived through it...whatever that may be.
We are open and honest and share our strengths and weaknesses...and encourage one another to keep on keeping on.
And we laugh a lot.
Our stories are not over yet.