Saturday, July 21, 2012


Any other Princess Bride fans out there? "Mawwaige ... mawwaige is wha' bwings uff togevah, today."  Love that movie.  Love to mimic that marriage ceremony.  Probably be good if no-one ever asked me to get my internet credentials to solemnize their marriage - between my love of bad imitations and my track record with weddings (Sean and I were married by a judge in a pumpkin suit), I'd probably be a risky bet.

Two different people made me think about marriage this week.  Lots of times I take it for granted - being married - and one of my friends commented this week that she had long thought if she just got divorced, then her live would be stress free, and then she realized all the new stresses that would come from being divorced in her current stage of life.  And I thought to myself how easy it is, when you are annoyed with your job or your work or your house or whatever, to just think of that green grass on the other side of the offending fence.  It's deceptive sometimes. 

And then I woke up this morning to several Facebook posts from another friend, announcing her impending move out of the house and divorce, and already scouting for a replacement wife for her husband so he can be happy since she can't seem to make him happy.  Shocking way to start my day.  Those friends are from long ago and I've only seen them once in the past 10+ years, but I was there when the relationship began and was one of two witnesses to their wedding, and it made me sad to think that this is the end after 18 or so years.  Later today was informed that perhaps the end is not as near as it appeared last night.  Perhaps after a night to sleep on it, that green grass didn't appear quite so green, eh?

I was married once before, to my first boyfriend.  We got married when we were 23, after dating for 2 years.  On the day of our wedding, he was just an ass to me that I actually considered calling it off.  I realized then that this was not a marriage that would last and I remember very coldly thinking that I would marry him, have my children, and then dump him - and in that way, I would get my kids and get to keep his family.  I was not "in love" on my wedding day.  We should have broken up.  My parents weren't crazy about him, so they would not have presented any arguments against calling off the wedding, but I didn't tell anyone what was going on in my head.  Thank goodness no children were conceived in that marriage!  I was so bloody naive to think that divorce would have been any kind of solution, post-children.  Marriage ended after 2.5 years when we separated, filled out DIY divorce papers one night over supper at Perkins, and the divorce was final just a month shy of our third anniversary.  One of the best things I ever did - ending that fiasco of a marriage.

When Sean and I met, it was a whirlwind.  I didn't expect to even like him, when our mutual friend fixed us up, and the fact that we even had a 2nd date is a testament to Sean's efforts.  But about a month in, I knew it was a good thing.  The biological clock business started in my head (I was 36). And three months after our blind date, we picked a wedding date in the fall, while out walking the dog.  He hadn't even proposed yet!  I told him, long before he proposed, that I wasn't getting divorced again, and if we got married, it was forever for me.  That still holds true, as we wrap up our first decade of marriage, but I am the first to admit that marriage is hard and certainly not the romantic b.s. that pop culture would have us believe. 

I think divorce has it's place, just as I think there are lots of marriages that never should have happened, but it still makes me sad when good solid people struggle in the trenches of their relationship.  There is no stock answer either - what works for one person, doesn't always work for another.  The reality is that there is green grass, and nasty thorny weeds, and everything in between, on both sides of the fence.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Post #200

And here we are at Post #200 on this little blog o mine. I've been blogging since December 2011 and I think it's largely been a good thing. I toy with whether I should be courting followers, whether I should be trying to ramp up my writing to perhaps work toward a book of some kind, whether I should bare my soul and start writing about everything that is on my mind (see yesterday's post about the things I don't write a about). And then I just keep on with my usual rambling and am grateful for my 26 followers and their comments. I don't have a plan for my blog, other than to keep writing it. I can imagine it may morph over time into something else, but I'm as curious as anyone about what that might be. In the short term, I think I have some gaps in my life story to fill in - I need to go back and review what I've written about so far and see what's missing. I'm writing this on the new keyboard that Sean bought for my iPad. Oddly, it allows me to type off the screen so there are 2 words in each line that I can't see. Otherwise this little keyboard works just fine and is way better for blog writing than the touch screen. Wonder what will happen to those invisible words when I hit "publish"... And that's it for the 200th post. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

No wonder

One of my favorite bloggers, Elan Morgan at schmutzie dot com, posted 25 Things I'm Afraid to Write About here.  Boy did that get me thinking over the past few days.  You know that lack of writing I've been doing (or not doing?), it is directly related to my self-censoring for mostly this very same reason.

Another blog I read had a post some time ago about how she isn't as troubled as she might sound at times, because she uses her blog to vent and doesn't write about the other, perhaps mundane but certainly more stable/pleasant, parts of her life.  That also got me thinking. 

So here we are:

Things I Don't Write About Because This Is Not A Private Journal:

1.  My work
2.  My friends and the negative parts of my relationships with them
3.  My family and the negative parts of my relationships with them
4.  Personal information about my friends and family
5.  Sex
6.  Politics and/or social issues and the politics around them

Well hell - what does that leave me really?  When my head is full of thoughts on those topics, no freakin' wonder I find no words flying out into blog posts. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Watch out world, I'm on an iPad now!

Test run of posting from my new ipad. Some months ago Sean bought an ipad and when I learned from the kids of this, I was told he bought it for me. Never tried it much but the kids adored it. Then a few weekends ago I thought I'd bring it along on a trip - and managed to not only crack the crystal but also smashed in the corner. Felt so stupid. So when Sean went to have it fixed, he got a replacement for the original iPad and got me one just for me! With freakin steel armor. My laptop is full of bugs and crashes routinely, so he's hoping I can transition from a pc to an Apple and we can ditch the laptop ... We shall see. But change is hard and transitions are not my forte particularly when PMS is upon me, so that's all I'm going to say about that!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Careful what you wish for...

For a while now I've been struggling with work burn-out and I've truly varied between extreme frustration and extreme boredom, with occasional periods of peace along the way.  And it has occurred to me that I should be careful or someone would find something to keep me busy. 

About a month ago, one of my co-workers left for greener pastures.  Guess where his caseload ended up?  And now, as of last week, I am significantly busier than I have been in years.  Granted, the new stuff is stuff that I have no interest in, but I can't say I'm sorry to have it.  I thought it would be a nice diversion for a couple months, only to learn that the powers that be (county board, not my department head) put the request to fill the position on hold pending initial budget/levee stuff in September.  So likely this past week will be my reality until sometime in October or November. 

I'm annoyed with "the system" on principle I guess, though not particularly annoyed with the daily reality.  What concerns me more is that I totally think I will absorb the second caseload with little problem, which will not bode well for convincing the powers that be that we need another person.  So do I step it up and do what needs to be done, like the efficient worker-bee I am, or do I whine and pretend to be overwhelmed and swamped, so that we can fill the position?  That is more of a dilemma for me than actually managing the double workload, since it triggers two of my most strongly-held habits:  truthfulness and work pride.  What in the world will come of this?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

That's some high water!

Hey, look at me, embedding a photo into a blog post!  That's a first!

We were hanging around St. Cloud, MN yesterday and happened to go down to the dam, where the Mighty Mississippi is still showing the effects of all the flooding in northern Minnesota over the past three weeks.  The Mississippi is still really high in Brainerd and the neighboring counties, including where I work, were declared a federal disaster last week, so it's apparent that flooding was significant this year.  It was interesting to see how high and wild the water was still running here, many miles downriver.

It was a gorgeous day.  I went to college for two years right across the river from where we were, and yet had never been to the dam, or anywhere on the south side of the bridge.  We walked to the north side of the bridge and through the Munsinger gardens and enjoyed some beautiful flowers and really friendly ducks.  Wish we'd had some bread for them. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I don't cook...

I really don't cook.  I am not a foodie by any definition.  I can cook - I even made a pork tenderloin once using a recipe of Giada's from Food Network and it turned out well - but I am so not interested in cooking (except when certain people visit me and the kitchen then becomes my hideout and a method of avoiding contact, without being obvious - and thus the pork tenderloin event).  As a general rule, my favorite food is anything prepared by someone else.  What is really weird is that my favorite TV channel is Food Network.  I'll watch almost anything on Food Network, except those competitions where people yell at each other - I am not a fan of yelling, which is why I watch so few family-based sitcoms.  Have you ever paid attention to how often people are yelling and talking sharply to each other on sitcoms?  I hate it!  But I digress...

I was just watching Iron Chef America tonight and realized that almost all of what I know about food I learned from Food Network - I know about uni (sea urchin roe) and langosteins (some shrimp-like kind of critter) and creme freche (heavy cream with a yogurt type consistency I think).  One of my dreams in life is to be a judge on Iron Chef one day.  I'd be a horrible judge since I really have no kind of discerning palate and when they say that something is "unctuous" as if that is a good thing (it makes me think of something slimy) but I'd love to try it just as the "hey let's have some regular joe on to judge whether it's good or not good, rather than all this fancy-word judging stuff!" 

I admire the folks I see on Chopped and Next Food Network Star and the various Iron Chef incarnations ... how you can take random ingredients and make them into something edible is magic as far as I'm concerned.  I have friends who play Chopped at home - their spouse or kids pick out 3-4 random things from the cupboard and make them try to cook with them.  Wow.  So not happening here.

Random thoughts on a Saturday

Since I can't seem to formulate a post topic, I decided to engage in one of the ever-popular "random thoughts" posts instead:

I have reached the end of my rope with my 7 year old yelling at me every ever-lovin minute of the day.  I think much of her behavior is related to autism spectrum issues - her brain does not work and process interpersonal interactions like the rest of us, and then her frustration flares when we don't see eye to eye.  Her ASD effects are entirely on the social side of things and, genetically, she comes by the traits of smarts and obstinance naturally.  As a result of everything that she is, Brooke hates being told "no", she hates being redirected, she hates being interrupted, and she hates being told what to do.  I doubt we go more than five minutes in each other's presence without her yelling at me and starting a tantrum.  It is hard hard work to keep my tone soft, to keep my face neutral, and not to engage in the battle.  All the while, trying to teach her what she might say instead (i.e. asking for help instead of throwing a tantrum when she can't find something).  I'm exhausted. 

I can tell that I'm at the end of my rope with my life as a mother and a wife when I dream about my Toyota - and I had that dream about a week ago.  For some reason, in my dreams, that Toyota symbolizes freedom and indepedence to me.  It was purchased new shortly after I married my first husband - he picked the red one over my objection.  It was a five speed 1989 Celica and I always loved it (except for the color).  A couple years later, I got that car, which was paid off, in our divorce - I pointed it west and drove to Seattle.  It was such a "break for freedom" for me, and that car was part of it.  So, throughout my Seattle years, the Toyota and I did what we wanted and went where we wanted.  I loved that car.  It brought me back to Minnesota, saw me through law school, and my fisrt house, and my white boxer puppy came home in the Toyota.  It was still with me when I met my husband.  It was still with me when I was pregnant with Jordan and I had my first thoughts that perhaps it was time to get a new vehicle (oh my hips hurt!) ... and then, when I was about six months pregnant, someone crushed the back corner in an icy parking lot and it was totalled.  It was 13-14 years old by that time, after all.  I cried when I left it parked on the street, as I headed off to work, knowing the insurance company would pick it up before I got home that night.  And when my life now overwhelms me, I dream about that car. 

Interestingly enough, the dreams go something like this - I get the car back and I am so happy!  I leap in and start driving down the road just smiling and so so happy.  But soon I have some struggles - the gear shift might be sticky, or I realize sitting so low I can't see as well as I do in my minivan, or the steering doesn't handle so well.  So my happiness is tempered.  After my dream recently I realized what my dream is telling me is that while I miss and remember fondly those days of freedom, those sunshine days had their issues too.  Oddly enough, that dream did help me find the strength to live through another day with my daughter, and my life full of obligations.  Thanks to my Toyota.  I loved that car.