Saturday, December 22, 2012

Reflections During the Holidays

It's the most wonderful time of the year...or so the song says.  Although I've worked in retail for more than half my life, and I absolutely abhor commercialism and usually cannot tolerate the general public, I honestly still love the holiday season. Whether one celebrates Christmas like me, or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Ramadan, this time of year always fills me with happiness.

 I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, decorating the Christmas tree, baking cookies with Chloe and attending candlelight church services. I could listen to "Jingle Bells" or "Silent Night" twenty-seven times this week, and still not tire from hearing Christmas carols. Perhaps it is just a continuation of feeling grateful during Thanksgiving last month, but I can't stop thinking about how lucky I am in my life. While I currently work at a job that makes me want to scream because I despise it so much, I always remember that I'm lucky to have a job, and to be employed there for twelve years. I also feel rather fortunate that I make a decent enough pay that I can get away with only working there part time so I can be home with my lovely family more often.

Even though we don't live in a lavish home and my car wasn't made in this century, I'm still thankful to have our little home and my almost twenty year old car, with its 202,000+ miles on it and the fact that it has been payment free for eight years. There are so many people in the world who are not that lucky. I feel so humble to have such amazingly loving and supportive family and friends throughout my life. Most of the time, I wonder how they've put up with me all these years...I figure I must've won them over with my hilarious sense of humor. ;)

The funny thing is that no matter how blessed I feel especially during the holidays, I find it difficult not to feel a bit of melancholy creeping up in my mind. I suppose you can say I feel blessed yet slightly depressed when I begin to think of other people. Particularly in quiet times like these...when it's one o'clock in the morning, and the husband and kids are sleeping soundly, my mind will slowly begin to wander. I find myself enjoying the silence that is absent in the daytime, the quietness being the antithesis of the constant scramble of our daily lives. Then I start thinking about others, strangers all over the world whom I'll never even meet. I think about those living on the streets, people who have lost their jobs and homes, people dealing with mental or terminal illnesses, people who feel alone or desperate. It's surely no coincidence that this sensation of sadness has been enhanced due to the horrific event in Connecticut last week. I can't stop thinking how the families of those precious children and the loved ones of those incredibly heroic women can make it through their utter devastation when just earlier last week, they were probably so excited about enjoying their holiday traditions with their family this upcoming season. It's hard not to wonder why I have been so fortunate throughout my life while millions of people struggle with so many hardships every day.
I just try to remind myself not to take it for granted, because it could all be wiped away in an instant.

Honestly, I didn't mean for this post to end on such a dour note. This season can truly be a beautiful time. It just makes me realize that I want to do....more, for lack of a better word. In fact, I think that will be my New Year's resolution. I want to do more to help those in need. I want to help encourage my children to do the same as they grow up. I want to show Chloe and Charlie ways that we can help by volunteering our time and that giving feels just as good as receiving. While I'm aware that is extremely easy to appear gung ho about changing the world while typing away at a keyboard, I sincerely want to try to make this world a better place for my children. I've always wanted that...and I'm going to try my best, one small step at a time. Wish me luck, friends! :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This is for Willa :o)

I thought that I was safe. I thought that I had taken all the necessary precautions in order to be able to take a Chloe-free shower. I made sure an entertaining, yet educational episode of "Sesame Street" was on the television. She had an array of fun books and favorite stuffed animals all around to distract her. She just had a snack and was finishing up her drink. Surely, I could take a 7 to 10 minute shower without interruption.

As I enjoyed the silence from the living room, I looked out the window from the shower at the beautiful blue sky. Aaah, how peaceful. As I successfully finished rinsing out the conditioner from my hair, I was in the home stretch. One last step--slather on the body wash, quickly rinse it off, hop out of the shower and dive into my towel and robe. I was so close. So close. When I reached for my faithful puff and my bottle of imitation Caress body wash, I heard the little voice. I froze.

Suddenly, the shower curtain violently flew open a la "Psycho" and I looked down to the bathroom floor in front of me. There stood my silly little daughter, sans clothing, and repeatedly saying, "I take shower! I get in shower!!" She wouldn't take "no" for an answer as I cried, "But I'm almost done! Chloe, I'm almost done!"

She climbed in the tub and giggled maniacally as the water soaked her completely. Oh well. Who really wants time to themselves anyway?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I love this picture of Floyd and Chloe. We took this photo in the fall at the Apple Blossom Farm next to the train because Chloe is obsessed with "choo-choos", as she calls them.
The longer I look at this picture, the more I crack up. I love his silly, slack-jawed face and Chloe looks like a monkey. I've always gotten a kick out of the size difference between them ..Floyd being 6'5" and Chloe is about an inch shy of three feet tall. The best part to me is the train behind them. That is proof that I married a husband is bigger than a locomotive.
(Chloe doesn't have to worry about being struck by a train if she's walking along the tracks. As long as Daddy is behind her, he will crush it with his giantosity. )

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My voting experience

**NOTE: For this post, my two year old daughter wanted to share her "voting" experience today on Election Day. Enjoy.

Hello. My name is Chloe and today was my first experience going to polls to place my vote. Now, I know what you may be thinking: What the heck does a two year old know about voting or world affairs in general? Well, allow me to elaborate. Even though I am young, I do like to keep up on current events. I may not know what certain terms mean, such as "tax revenue" or "electoral college" or "lipstick on a pitbull", but I've been known to glance through the newspaper and Momma and Dada's Newsweek or Time magazines. To be honest, my political knowledge and connections started early. When I was born, my dada was a political science major at Western Illinois University and he would read political books to me as I lived in Momma's womb. When Momma was in the hospital waiting for me to arrive into the world, the television was showing nothing but coverage about President Gerald Ford's passing. Eerily enough, I was born on December 30, 2006--the day Saddam Hussein was hanged. I also attended a couple of Joe Biden Presidential rallies last year, and I even got my picture taken with him! So, truthfully, I've been interested in political affairs before I was even born.

In America, I've learned that there are Republicans and Democrats. Elephants and donkeys. I know and love people who are associated with both parties. One of my grandfathers (who I lovingly call "Pa") is a Republican. In fact, my momma was raised a Republican. As she got older, she felt she related more to Democrats so she's affliliated with them now. My other Pa is Democratic, too, as well as his wife (one of my Grammas) and Dada is too. I think my uncle Pauly is more Green or Independant, and that's okay too. All I know is that it's important to vote and I've been looking forward to November 4th for a long time now (atleast half my life). When I hear Momma say that there was a time in the past when women or men who were not white couldn't vote, I was appalled! So I feel it is very important to have my voice heard, and in sixteen years, I'll be at the polls bright and early. I will do it because of those who years before fought for women's rights and civil rights and because I think that if one does not vote, one cannot complain about the ways of the world if they are not "up to one's standards."

Anyway, today was a good day. My dada is an election judge at one of the precincts here in town and he voted for Obama/Biden on the first day of early voting. He's been really excited this voting season, and I'm proud of him for volunteering to be a judge at the polling place. After Momma and I dropped lunch off to Dada, it was time to go to our precinct to place our vote. I proudly wore my "Little Democrat" T-shirt, which we later found out was a "no-no" when you go to the polls. Evidently, they don't want you to wear buttons, stickers, clothing, etc. that could be considered campaigning paraphernalia. But frankly, I didn't care. I feel that I was exercising my right of freedom of speech. (and honestly, the Democratic election judges liked my shirt). Anyhoo, my first voting experience was wonderful. And I'm sure there are many people out there who think that I just went to the polls in order to get my "I voted electronically" sticker. Although, I must admit that was a major bonus (I LOVE stickers!!), I went to vote for Obama and my old buddy, Joe (since we go way back) and because I wanted to perform my right as an American. Yeah!! Go USA!! Go Obama/Biden '08! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Oh Jesus..

Disclaimer: Do not read if you have a weak stomach.

You know, when I was pregnant, I read up on a few pregnancy and parenting books and magazines, just to give me an "idea" of what to expect. I must admit, I didn't read half the material that Floyd did. In fact, there were many times he would jokingly scold me that I should do a little more studying on the baby subject, especially since we were going to be first time parents. It was a great suggestion, since we all know that babies don't arrive into the world with individual instruction manuals. So I read my magazines and books and I felt like a had a decent idea of what to expect.

Boy, was I wrong.

When it comes to having a child, so many things can happen in just a five to seven minute time span in your life. And I don't think those bastards who write material about babies tell you this. One moment, my sweet child is happily drawing on her big pad of paper. Then I catch a whiff of something foul emanating from her diaper. I get up and proclaim, "Chloe, let's change your diaper. Want a new diaper?" So as I walk across the room to her diaper bag, I hear a sound that stops me dead in my tracks. The sound of Velcro. I turn around. "Crap, she's taking off her diaper!!" I say. "Chloe, stop! STOP!!"

Chloe has undone only one side of her diaper and she sprints like a cheetah across the living room until she's cornered between the front door and her angry mommy. She has her hands up on the front door like she's about to be frisked and she's laughing maniacally. I quickly remove her diaper and realize it is a rabbit pebble texture and I try to locate any missing pebbles. Ah, gross..there's three of them on the floor. I..*uuuugggh*..pick them up and pitch them and the diaper in the trash. Then Chloe hands another pebble to me. *Shudder* So, now not only do I have to sanitize my hands, I have to sanitize my daughter's hands as well. (Actually, I'm just glad she didn't eat it.)

Just when I think all is well now and everything and everyone is cleaned up, another sound gets my attention, followed by her notorious catchphrase--"Uh-oh!!" I glance into the living room and sigh. She has dumped an almost full canister of sweet potato puffs onto the floor. It was just opened yesterday. I use one of Floyd's beloved Presidents of the United States placemats and scoop up the hundreds of puffs piled on the floor and return to the garbage.

Calgon, take me away and serve me a White Russian!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I am Cornholio!!!

I've never really been a fan of coffee. I love the smell, but hate the taste. My husband likes to stop by Starbucks every now and then, and in the past, I've always decided on hot chocolate. (Boring.) Recently, I've discovered that if I order a Frappucino with a flavor that has chocolate to it, it seems to mask the coffee flavor and I've learned to enjoy coffee drinks. I've found that on occasion, I even find myself craving Starbucks.(Whaaat? A non-coffee lover fiending for that bittersweet caffeinated elixir?) So tonight, about ten minutes to 10, we drove past two Starbucks on the way home. Floyd does a u-turn on University and says, "Let's get a Starbucks.." My face lights up because he read my mind. I order my secret love, a 9,700 calorie grande Mint Mocha Chip Frappucino. MmMMm..chocolate and mint is pure bliss in my opinion. I don't even care if it has that pesky coffee in it. Whether I order that, or my second secret love, a Double Chocolate Chip Frappucino, it doesn't matter. Oh my Jesus, I'm in heaven. And it was good to last drop...unfortunately, I didn't take into account the possibility that drinking this liquid crack late at night would be problematic. What could possibly be the problem?? Well, my conundrum is that it's 3:48 am and I can't fucking sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am wide awake. I went to bed and got under the sheets about 1:15. Floyd was snoozing happily and rather softly while I couldn't shut my mind off. I kept thinking about the most inane things, such as, 'What's Chloe going to be for Halloween? Gee, I hope someone is having a Halloween party..Floyd and I can "dress up" as Peter and Lois from "Family Guy". I wonder if he has any green pants to complete the "costume"? Hmm..maybe I should get up and mop the kitchen floor..I feel like I should finish reading my book before book club on Sunday..'

Damn it, this is so aggravating. Not being a coffee drinker, I didn't think about the caffeine keeping me awake all damn night. I truly feel like I'm the incarnation of Beavis' alter ego, Cornholio...
(UPDATE: Well, I finally did get some shut-eye...after 7 am. Then I said goodbye to Floyd as he left for work around 8ish, and Chloe's crying woke me about 10:30. I feel so well rested. Sigh...)

Monday, June 30, 2008

I wonder if Quentin ever belts out, "Thank You For Being a Friend" from time to time...

So, the other night, Floyd and I were watching "The Golden Girls." Yes, "The Golden Girls." I was a fan of it when it was first on the air, and still love it twenty years later. I can only hope I can emulate Dorothy's sarcastic wit thirty years from now, and be able to deliver Sophia's smartass one-liners fifty years from now.

Anyway, we were watching the first of a two part episode called "Sophia's Wedding," in which Sophia marries her beloved deceased husband Sal's old business partner, Max, whom she hadn't seen in forty years. The side story is Rose and Blanche's Elvis unauthorized fan club, in which they promptly kick Dorothy out of after the first meeting, due to her "offending" all the other members because of her sarcastic wit I'm such a fan of. Rose and Blanche decide to get an Elvis impersonator, in order to spice up the next meeting. Somehow, with Sophia's rapidly approaching nuptials (was a "shotgun" wedding necessary? was there a "bun in the oven"??) and the search for an Elvis impersonator, Rose mixes up the invitations (what a shocker!) , and when it comes time for the wedding, they realize there are atleast twenty Elvises (or is it "Elvii" for the plural form??) in the living room, waiting to witness the union of two octogenarians in holy matrimony.

They all begin to break out into typical Elvis gyrations, and in the back row, Floyd points out one of the "skinny" Elvises and jokingly says, "Heh, heh. There's Quentin Tarantino in the back." Sure enough, it was him. We looked at the credits to make sure. Oh, that crazy Quentin. I guess we all have to start somewhere, even big time directors. I wonder if he still stays in touch with the girls. Maybe they meet once a month for brunch...

On a side note, today is my sweet Chloe's 18 month birthday. Happy year and a half birthday, Chloe Grace!! :o)