Saturday, July 30, 2005

Secrets and Confessions

Have you ever had a secret you wanted to tell someone but couldn't? Have you ever felt a burden lifted because someone else shared a secret you could relate to?

I don't have a lot of secrets. They are adverse to my garroulous nature. For me keeping a secret of my own is akin to holding my breath for ten minutes. Interesting concept... but it just won't happen.

I can keep other peoples secrets, strangely enough. I don't even blab things in my journal that I have promised to keep close to the vest when I know that nobody else will know who I am talking about.

But my own secrets... well, I am like a sieve and water. It just all comes pouring out.

Which is healthy I am told. There is a saying, "You are only as sick as the secrets you keep". I don't know how true that is, but I feel like fairly healthy individual.

In any case, a friend of mine introduced me to a website, or blog, called Post Secret. People send postcards to this fellow, created by the individual and inscribed somehow with a deep, dark secret they want to let out, and he posts it in his blog. Some of the stuff is sad, horrible, painful, and more. It's like watching a train wreck, you want to look away, but there's a part of you that looks anyway.

Some people have responded that the postcards have echoed a secret they themselves have harbored, and upon reading it, they felt release from as if from a large stone. I have had a gamut of emotions I don't quite know how to catagorize.

It's not a good site, it's not a bad site. It does have a lot of hard honesty on it. And like most journals it is an outlet for thngs someone else needs to share.
If you'd like to see it you can visit it at Post Secret.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

My Boys Are Back!

Whoopie! My kiddos are back. Yeah, and though they like to pretend they didn't miss me, I noticed I got plenty of hugs and kisses yesteday evening without having to beg for them. I took this photo at the airport:

And though the photo isn't a good one, (I was nervous about using the camera at the airport, never know when someone is gonna say something to you about that kinda stuff) I gotta love it. I mean... I missed these two silly birds, ya know?

David is showing off his new book, Harry Potter's sixth installment, for which he stood in line four hours to recieve during his trip to Virginia. Logan is wearing new clothes, of which he is proud and showing off. Both boys seemed to have had a great time. They got to visit with thier sister Danielle, who lives in Houston and went to Virgina with them. They saw the beach, saw the sights, and drove their dad crazy. He got a mini version of what I deal with daily. lol.
My mother decided while the kids were gone that she wanted to take them somewhere on a holiday while they and she were young enough to enjoy the trip together. Afetr some mulling it over she decided to take them to Hawaii, and then decided she needed adult company so I get to go too. (YES!) I went when I was a child, so I know how wonderful this will be. I can't believe she taking us, the trip can't be inexpensive. I could never have afforded to go myself, much less take me and three other people. The trip is in September and we'll be staying here: Sheraton Moana Surfrider Hotel.

Well, I am going back to work. (yeah, I do that too) My work computer is acting nutz and I have to figure out how to fix it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

To be or not to be.... healthy.

I am on a diet. I have been on a diet of some kind or another since I was a teen. Sometimes a weight loss diet, some times a weight gain diet, sometimes a get-myself-healthy-because-I-haven't-been-eating-so-hot diet. Whatever.
I try and pay attention to what I eat, but I happen to love food. I don't much care what kind of food, it all appeals to me if it is done right. I am not largely over weight, but I have been, so I really watch my peas and carrots. At the moment I am trying to drop a few pounds.
My sister is deathly afraid of weight. She looks ill most the time, and we've spent years trying to get her to gain. While she believes us that she looks bad at this weight, she also can't get past the anorexic mentality that won't let her put on five pounds. I'd personally rather be chunky than too skinny.

Though what I truly want to be is healthy, at whatever weight I may be.

That's the true answer, isn't it? To be able to get out of your chair without groaning, and stand without hearing your knees pop like firecrackers. To not be malnourished, anemic, and prone to every virus and bacteria that wafts by. To know you can eat things that taste good and satisfy you, and at the same time know you are eating things that promote health and long life.
My father used to say he didn't want to live past 55. He's well past 60 now, and not saying that anymore. I don't think he ever meant he didn't want to live a long life. I think he just meant that he didn't want to grow old, if growing old means things like respirators, chronic pain, and the inability to enjoy the life he is living. When you're young you have no idea how short life starts looking when you get up in years. And it isn't necessarily that you don't have that many years left to live... it' how many healthy and productive years do you have left? I might live until I am eighty, but how great is that if my least 20 years is spent hurting so bad I am not happy living it?

I used to drink a lot. Partied with the best of them in my Navy days. Woke up damn near every weekend and lots of week days with a hangover. Eventually I began to rethink my ideas on "fun" and lowered my alcohol intake so that the next day wasn't so painful. Started drinking more water, eating before I went out, going to bed before the sun could rise. Not that I am not still capable of staying out and getting ripped like the rest of 'em, it just doesn't appeal to me anymore. The next day isn't worth the pain of instant gratification.

I guess what I am saying is that I treat all of life that way now. Except that instead of fearing the morning after I am watching out for the years after. Trying to give myself the ability to enjoy my golden years, should I be lucky enough to have any.

Long walks, lots of smiles, and healthy food when I can manage it.

And of course, I still enjoy the not so healthy stuff once in awhile.

Can't save all the fun for when I am eighty now, can I?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Marraige and Taxes

So, there's an article I read on AOL, (From USA Today) and the title read: AOL News - Divorce Drops, Along With Marriage The article caught my eye, because I am not married.
Brian and I have been "co-habitating" for about three years. My two boys and his two boys and one girl live with us. We've considered marraige, quite seriously, off and on since we moved in togehter. We both strongly believe in marraige, and want to be married. The report says that we fall in the 40% of couples who have kids and live together, part of a growing trend that suggests that the divore rate is dropping, but mostly because people are simply chosing to live together rather than marry at all.

The article doesn't go into why, perhaps, marraige is in the decline and cohabitation is on the upswing. It does mention that it's not a good thing for the kids, which I can believe.
For Brian and I the reason we haven't married is simple economics.
We both live so close to the cusp of "getting by" that every dollar counts. And we frankly can't afford the tax penalties of marraige. What we'd lose, in both taxes and benefits for our kids through the school system and the state, is not worth making it legal.

We went to an accountant a year or so ago and had him help us calculate what we'd lose, gain, and break even in. Getting married would cost Brian and I almost $5000 a year (rounding it off) and for a family our size with our income, that's devastating.

Sad, isn't it? We have a government and an administration that supposedly supports marraige and morality, families and children, and ecomomic growth. But the marraige penalities and costs of the same make it difficult if not impossible to hang on to what you have if you decide to "make it legal".

Our family is okay. Brian and I share so much love, and the committment is there even if the document isn't. Our kids know it, and so they have the security of a family, whatever the legal letter says about us. I'd like to think we were a better model for them, I'd like my children to marry rather than live together. But perhaps if they lear to commit, and stay committed, it is enough.

I don't see tax law changing any time soon, and I suspect, as the article says, that co-habitation is here to stay.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Crazy ...Crazy for feeling so Lonely....

Well, since my last dramatic entry my kids made it to Virginia.

We had to pay an extra $50 fee for David because he is only 10 and technically they won't let Logan be responsible for him, because he is 17. Their sister, Danielle, was supposed to meet them on a connecting plane (they are all flying together to see their Dad in Virginia) and Danielle is 18 so able to be responsible for David. The problem was that they didn't tell me they wanted Danielle to meet the boys at the plane when it landed, so she was at another terminal where the plane they were headed out on was waiting .

Logan called me from the airplane which had just recently landed and notified me that the attendants were telling him that he and his brother could not go to thier connecting flight and they wouldn't take David to meet Danielle. Logan wanted to know what he was supposed to do. I basically told they attendants thier options were to get david to Danielle, or take him home for dinner since I was in Albuquerque and could see no other options.

Needless to say, David got to Danielle and to Virgina with his siblings intact.

I am relieved.

The kids have called since to say they are having a blast, a fact for which I am so glad. Thier dad loves them, and it's an opportunity for bonding they all need.

I am alone at home these days, since the boys have gone Brian's kids are with thier mom for the week, and he is out of town working. I should be grateful for the peace, but I find myslef unprepared and lonely. Irrated with myself for not being the independant person I think of myself as being.

I am capable of hanging out with myself, just not thrilled at the prospect. I work all day in an office alone, rarely seeing another breathing body, drive home alone on a thirty minute ride that both soothes and rests me, and when I get home I am usually accustomed to having a modicum of human companionship.

In lieu of people, the past two nights I left my back door open so my five kitties could slip in and sleep with me.

I am quite sure I looked like the crazy old cat lady, draped with kittens while I slept on the couch. Alas, I fear I doomed to be just that if I react to being alone this way when I am older.
Geez. I need to get out and get a life.

::grins:: Ah well, I suspect the image of "crazy ole cat lady" will suit me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Mood Swings

What a life I live. Balanced somewhere between sweet joy and never ending frustrations. I have something to be thankful for in that I have the balance anyway. My ex-husband used to keep a journal of sorts, almost a poetry book. He wrote one or two liners that used to express his feelings at the moment.

One of my favorites was:
"I am angry with my friend today.
At least I have a friend to get mad at."

I feel that way alot these days. Had a huge fall-out with my sister on my birthday and it's not a pretty scene these days Fighting with both of my kids school's over their IEP's and other issues. Car problems, hormonal problems, house is absolutely disgusting, and I am too tired to clean it, or care.


This morning I put my two boys on a plane to Virginia to see their Dad. My youngest, David, was scared to fly because he is afraid of terrorists. I worked to calm and reassure him and not show my own echoing fear of the same. I can't change the way the world is, and I don't want my kids to be trapped by fear.

This is where I do the big sigh thing and grin kinda crooked.

On the other hand I have this great new camera, a Canon Digital Rebel XT, which I absolutely love. Got a nice package with it, including the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens, a wide angle lens, three filters, a soft carrying case and a hard body case, a tripod, an extra battery, and a great extended warranty. I've taken over 1500 photos in the last few days, and over 600 of them were keepers. I am, as I have said before, obssessed.

Also, while I will miss and worry about my kiddos, I am glad to see them go somewhere. David has no memory of the ocean, and I want him to get out and see the world a little. Tonight they are going to this great seafood buffet in Virginia Beach that I used to love. Lemme tell ya, that's somethng for a mom to smile about.

Today the electric was shut off at work, so I have an excuse to go online at my mum's office, (hurray!) and enjoy myself a little.

There are reasons to have joy everywhere, I just have to stop for a bit and see em. :)
This is Kalikai, a sweet little girl who is affectionate beyond words:

Monday, July 11, 2005

Shutter-buggin' :)

Well, got my camera the day before my birthday (July 8th... I am now a grand ole 40 years old) and not a moment too soon! My sister and I had a luau/beach party themed bithday bash for the two of us (her birthday is right before mine) and I wanted the camera to have memories... and oua-la!

I am still digging through the photos of the party, so will share those later. For now I am gonna post a few of my new shots, (I am still getting used the the new camera, so it'll take awhile to get up to speed.... ) I can't tell you what a good time I have been having!

As always, insects find thier way into my lens. The fly was fascinting, and the Black Widow, while creepy, was lovely. I had a hard time letting Brian squish her, but my heebie-jeebies won out.
I have about 600 new photos, some which I am sure I'll share eventually, but for now I am gonna go looking at everyone elses journals. It's a workday, but I am gonna take an hour or so and just browse. Yup, yup, yup!