Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Thank You Letter to Past Roses

Dear Past Roses,

Thank you for getting enrolled in college and starting us on the path to get that Bachelor's degree.
I know you wish you had done it sooner, but the important point is that you *did* it.  Thank you for doing that and not leaving it for me to take care of.

I appreciate how hard it was for you to get it done, too.
The online application process sucked eggs.
The vague communications that the school sent were frustrating and confusing.
I watched you weep on the phone while you tried to decide whether to sign up late for orientation or just wait one more semester to start.  Either choice would have been okay, honey, but you sucked it up and made the bold decision to just go for it.  (I admire you for that, by the way.  I am now more willing to step outside my comfort zone in order to move ahead.  Because *you've* done it, I know I can do it, too.)
It was also very good of you to refrain from smacking the snarky chick in orientation who made remarks about how your new campus email address was "right there" in that one confusing and frustrating letter.

The learning curve was steep.  You dug in and overcame it.

These were all small steps, but they added up to a big move forward.

I can't tell you just how grateful I am to you for getting me where I am today.
I have such a long way to go, yet, but if you hadn't done the hard work when you did, I'd have even farther to go from here.

Thank you, Past Roses.
You inspire me to do good things for Future Roses.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"I don't know" is not a dirty word.

Dear board president,

It's okay to say, "I don't know."
In fact, many of us would rather you simply say, "I don't know" rather than take 12 minutes to explain all the reasons why you don't have an answer.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It's Okay to Use Me

It bothers me a great deal to see so many people SO confused about when to use the word "me" that they choose to use "I" incorrectly instead.

"We're selling our truck.  Contact Mike or I."
No, contact ME.

"This is Jimmy and I at the beach."
No, this is ME at the beach.

Remove the other people you are grouped with, and the correct pronoun is more obvious.

Does this bother you, too?
Or, is it just... ME?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Midnight Snack

I do not want to be awake.
I do not like it, for goodness sake.
I've already been to bed.
Too many thoughts running through my head.

I've been to bed two times tonight.
Things left unfinished, things just not right.
I finished some homework, talked with my son.
Made things settled, a little more done.

Shall I try bed again?  Third time's the charm?
What's there to lose?  Really, no harm.

Wish me luck. I'm gonna need it.
When the brain stirs at night, can't help but feed it.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Two Word Movie Review - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Here are your two words:

War Movie

This is a good movie.
But it's not your typical Tina Fey comedy.  It's not really a comedy at all.  It's a war movie. 
Based on the book  The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" stars Tina Fey as a 40+ aged broadcast journalist sent to Afghanistan in 2003.  It's based on real people and actual events.

The comedy in this movie isn't set up/punchline humor.  It's naturally occurring humor, and if you go into the movie expecting that, you will like this movie.  If you expect slapstick, laugh-track-worthy jokes, you will be disappointed.

My first words to The Husband as the closing credits started to roll were, "I think this movie was too smart for me."  It could be that it was a little too true for me.
You see, I felt a special bond with Tina Fey's character.  Throughout the movie, I asked myself, "If The Husband didn't exist, and I was this 40+ year old broadcast journalist, what would I do?  In a parallel universe, this could have been me."
This may be why I liked this movie as much as I did.
But The Husband liked it, too.  In fact, he laughed much more often than I did.

I am pretty sure this movie spoke to Ms. Fey in a very special way because the dedication at the end was to someone whose last name was Fey.

To me, the true mark of a good movie is that it makes me want to read the book that it's based on.
First thing I did when we got home from the theater was put myself on my library's waiting list for this book.

Read disclosures here.
Read all the Two Word Reviews.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Garbage Brain

Me:  I should take the garbage out tonight, but I don't want to.  But I also don't want to have to get up early to beat the truck tomorrow either.

He:  I wouldn't worry about it, because One, there's not a lot of garbage in the can this week...

Me:  True.

He:  ...and Two, tomorrow's not garbage day.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

How Heavy Was It?

When I walked into the employee break room, two co-workers were talking about moving furniture.  Specifically, they were talking about how awkward to carry and how heavy sleeper sofas are.

Co-worker One remarked, "...because they're heavy as sh!t."

I nonchalantly snapped ice cubes out of a tray while they continued with the furniture talk, but as soon as there was a pause, I spoke up.
"My biggest concern is the weight of One's sh!t if it is, indeed, as heavy as a sleeper sofa."

Several moments passed while the two of them processed what I had said.
And tried to wrap their heads around the fact that the lady as old as their mother had said it.

I nonchalantly dropped the ice cubes into my Thermos as I waited.

When they finally spoke, it was rapid fire.
"It's not the weight so much as it's the shock wave when it lands."
"Like a T-Rex."
"You see the vibration in your water glass."
"Holy cow!  Was that an earthquake?"
"I'm pretty sure I was the cause of a reactor meltdown once."
"I think you're also responsible for a tsunami or two."

I may regret setting this kind of precedent.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Not this month, either, I guess.

I use an app to write myself notes and to send me reminders to do things.

One of the reminders I have scheduled tells me to send a "Hey, how you doing? I'm fine," email to my siblings. This reminder pings me once a month.
I set it up sometime after Mom died when I sadly realized that most of what I knew about my siblings' comings and goings I knew because Mom had told me about them. I didn't actually talk to my siblings myself for years because Mom always kept me up to date. This wasn't a bad thing; it was just a thing that had evolved.
After Mom died, I heard from no one at all.
To be fair, no one heard from me, either.
So, I decided I'd make the effort.  I would start the conversation.  I'd send a family update once a month and call my dad once a month too because he didn't have email.  And it worked fine for a good long time.

Sometime in the fall of 2014, Dad had health issues, and it seemed weird to send a "Hey, how you doing? I'm fine" email in the middle of everyone worrying about Dad.  So I skipped that month.
But Dad had complications, and that one month turned into two, then three.  I still called my dad every month, but each month seemed to bring a new issue that made it awkward to send a "Hey, how you doing?" to everyone else.
There just always seemed to be something that would come up.

Then Dad died.
And siblings got stupid.
But for the first time ever there were more texts and emails and phone calls than I'd ever wanted.
And I wished they'd STOP emailing and calling and texting me.

When things would quiet down and I'd just start to think the worst was over, something new and completely unexpected would come up again.

I haven't sent a "Hey, how you doing?" since the fall of 2014.
Meanwhile, the monthly app reminders continue to ping.

Mom and Dad's house sold last month, and all of the contents of it have been claimed or sold. A week or two ago, the final steps toward settling the estate began.
It's been quiet.

The Husband and I have been planning to travel through Michigan for a nice long road trip, just the two of us. I hadn't wanted to plot a route through my family's hometown, but I know we should. I had told the Husband how the mere thought of being near it filled me with dread.
But since it had been quiet, I had started to think maybe it will be okay after all.


Around 4:30 today, my phone buzzed with an incoming text. Before I could read it, a second buzzed in.  Then a third.
By the time I got home at 5:30, the entire angry text conversation had flamed and died off.
I just sat and watched it happen. I didn't respond to any of it.

And I sit here tonight staring at my app reminder telling me it's time to email my siblings a "Hey, how you doing? I'm fine."

Not this month either, I guess.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I saved another worm today

Earthworm found its way into the house. 
Now the cat says, "Save it, Momma."

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I saved a worm today.

We'd had a hard rain yesterday, and a few worms that had been flooded out of the ground were still wandering around on pavement a little dazed today.
I was walking across campus minding my own business when I spotted one of these dudes on the sidewalk in front of me.  My intent was to side-step it, but then it moved. It was still alive, but not by much.

And this small boy voice in my head begged, "Save it, momma."

The sticky cold thing was between my fingers before I even realized I was going to pick it up.
"Here you go, buddy."  I actually said it out loud as I dropped the worm into the grass.

I saved a worm today.
Not because I necessarily wanted to or even intended to.

It's the person my children turned me into, and that person saves worms.
No questions asked.

When I got home, I hugged both of my adult children and thanked them for giving me such lovely memories of being their mom.