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New Year’s Resolution #1

Back in 2007 I wrote these words on my once-upon-a-time blog.

Words excite me. What words mean and how we use them to get our point across is thrilling to me. The way the right combination of words makes me feel is something I have trouble putting into my own words. I am often at a loss for words. I know this may seem surprising to those of you who’ve heard my unending vomit of the mouth at times…but it’s true. When I’m in that state I feel completely unable to use my brain to form sentences that make sense….like someone has opened my head and is stirring my thoughts with a long-handled spoon…making them go round and round, mixing them up, until you can’t distinguish one from another. That feeling is overwhelming…a word I use a lot. I could say overpowering or mind-boggling, but I like overwhelming. It engulfs me…ooooh…I like that word, too!

I’ve felt that same way a lot lately.  I used to blog daily…sometimes more than once.  At times the blogging slowed down to a couple of times a week, but for the past few years, I’ve barely blogged at all.  I used to need to blog.  It was something I had to do to survive.  I don’t feel that way anymore.  I can survive without it.  But I do love when I can come here and the words flow.  So many times I think about the emotions wrapped up in a story I want to tell, but by the time I can finally sit down at the computer, my words no longer sound pretty. What once seemed poetic now seems Tarzan-ish.  I stare at the computer and then I get so sleepy I can barely keep my eyes open.  The words stop being important and the story doesn’t get told.

Candied Jansen fell in love with my words through the letters we exchanged way back in 2011. When we started dating in 2014, she loved that I wrote on a blog. I hate that I have gotten away from regular writing because I know she misses it. I hope to remedy that this year.  My goal is at least 1 post a week. 

I started this post on Friday which was still in the first week of January. I finally finished it last night…a day late to post it the first week, but I didn’t hit publish because my eyes were crossing and I wanted to proofread it when I wasn’t so tired!! 

So sad!! Half of this short post was copied and pasted from a post written several years ago and I still didn’t make my goal! 

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many things

There are so many things I need to write about here.  So many things I have feelings about.  I just am having a hard time putting those feelings and thoughts into words that make sense.

We bought a house and moved in.  We both love our house.  Candied Jansen said the house already felt like home to her with no adjustment period at all.  I agree.  It feels like we belong here.  We still have boxes in the garage and a few left in the house, but it is coming along.  My goal of being able to park in the garage by the new year doesn’t look like it will be met.  We have some holiday obligations over the next ten days that are gonna keep us from working on it much.  That’s ok.  I look forward to the friend and family time!  Finishing the garage will just have to be a New Year’s Resolution!

My grandmother died last week.  She was my last living grandparent, and it was an emotional day.  My girls and I drove to Arkansas to attend the funeral and see family that I hadn’t seen in over 10 years!  Some of them I’d never met!  It was nice to gather together to celebrate my grandmother’s life.  She had 5 kids, 16 grandkids, 27 great grandkids (with more on the way) and 2 great greats.  Add to that the spouses and there were close to 70 family members down the line from her.  The hardest part was seeing my mom cry.  When she cried, I cried and when I cried, my daughter cried.  We were a blubbering mess.

The day after the funeral, we took a trip to the little town my parents grew up in.  On the way, we drove by the farm that my mom’s parents owned until I was in high school.  The house seemed so small compared to what I remembered.  The old barn was still standing which surprised me because I thought it was so old way back then!  We visited my other grandmother’s grave.  She died in 2008, and I miss her so much.   The cemetery is just down the road from her house, so growing up I visited it every time I was in town.  I liked looking at all the old headstones and markers.  I had several relatives buried there, but I hadn’t ever had the chance to meet any of them.  dsc04235My grandfather died in 1964 and the headstone had his name and birth and death years on it.  It also had my grandmother’s name and her birth year carved in it.  I remember distinctly rubbing my hands over the smooth place where her death year would one day be carved.  I took this picture the day before her funeral.  I wanted to get one last look at the undisturbed spot and headstone I loved as a child.  img_3016This trip was the first time I’d been back since her funeral.  I took one look at her headstone and burst into tears. I hadn’t thought about the reality of her headstone being different from what I knew.  I hate that it took me 8 years to get back here.

So many more things to say, but I’m so tired.  They will wait…

Home Sweet Home

When Candied Jansen and I moved in together in together in July of 2015, we had very specific terms about where we could live.  We needed to be in the same school district as my kids and someplace in between where my kids and her son go to school.  We planned to rent for 2 years until my kids were out of school.  During the house hunting process, we found a house for sale that we liked.  Even though we knew we wouldn’t be there long term, but we made an offer and it was accepted.  Then came the inspection.  There were several things that weren’t great, but the biggest deterrent at that point was the mold found all over the AC unit in the attic.  It looked like the air filters hadn’t ever been changed and the inspector said the air ducts were likely filled with mold as well.  He wouldn’t even turn the heater on to see if it worked because he felt it would send mold spores all over the house.  We decided it was more than we wanted to deal with since it wasn’t going to be a place we lived for longer than 2-3 years and dropped our offer.

Today, I am so glad we did!  On Tuesday, Candied Jansen and I are set to close on our first house together.  It has been somewhat of a whirlwind adventure.  We knew we needed to start looking seriously after the first of the year, but every once in a while we would pull up the houses that matched our criteria on the internet.  We wanted a pool and there were never more than 5 houses in the area we wanted to live with a pool and most of the time, they were ok, but nothing special.  Then a house showed up that was beautiful so we asked our realtor to make an appointment to see it.  We looked at it, decided it was perfect, and hurriedly went through the pre-approval process with our bank.  Two days later, when we made our offer, we found out that the homeowners had already accepted an offer made the previous day.  Ugh!  We decided we should keep looking since bank pre-approval only lasts  a short time instead of waiting until the new year.  After some looking, we found another house with an amazing backyard and it officially becomes ours on Tuesday!  We met the current homeowners and found out they have been the only owners of the house.  They’ve kept immaculate records of all services and upgrades on the house, and it had a fairly clean inspection.  The only things flagged in the inspection were things that weren’t code when the house was built, and none of those things were big deals.  In our offer, we asked them to leave the wine fridge in the kitchen, the pool table in the gameroom, the outdoor furniture, and a rug in the entryway AND THEY AGREED!  Not only will we have a pool in the backyard, we will have a pool table in the house!  OMG!!  The house also came with a refrigerator and washer and dryer.  We already had those things, but now we can have an extra fridge in the garage (something we’ve gotten used to in the rental house we’ve been in!), and we can choose between our current washer and dryer and the ones left!

We are moving some ourselves on Wednesday, feeding 11 people on Thanksgiving at the sparsely furnished new house on Thursday, and have movers coming on Friday.  It’s going to be a crazy week!

around and around

Today I read about christian blogger Glennon Doyle Melton coming out, and I saw pictures of her with her girlfriend, soccer star, Abby Wambach.  Of course, I was interested because she is a christian and anytime a well known christian comes out, it pikes my curiosity.  As I read about her, I saw that Eat, Pray, Love author, Elizabeth Gilbert, came out a couple of months ago.  This surprised me.  I remember reading her book when I lived in Turkey, and it made me want to run away and find myself.  I remember wishing I could go to Italy just so I could eat pizza at Pizzaria de Michele.  Tonight, I was telling Candied Jansen about how much I loved that book and that description of pizza.  I opened up the blog I wrote way back then and typed the word pizza in the search box.  The first post that showed up was the one I was looking for.  Notice the date.

Monday, November 12, 2007
Pizza
I am reading a book that has a description of pizza that I can’t get out of my head. It’s not so much the description of the pizza but the description of where to find the pizza. In the book the author is visiting Italy. While in Italy someone tells her to visit a certain pizzeria in Naples. He claims it’s the best pizza in Naples. The author then goes on to explain that the best pizza in the world is found in Italy. The best pizza in Italy is found in Naples, and the best pizza in Naples is found at this certain pizzeria. That makes the pizza she is about to experience the best pizza in the world! She tries it and has this to say about it.

“So Sofie and I have come to Pizzeria de Michele, and these pies we have just ordered – one for each of us- are making us lose our minds. I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return. I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair. Meanwhile, Sofie is practically in tears over hers, she’s having a metaphysical crisis about it, she’s begging me, “Why do they even bother trying to make pizza in Stockholm? Why do we even bother eating food at all in Stockholm?”

Nine years ago, I was in the middle of an emotional online affair with a woman.  I was in a Christian ministry position and feeling stuck and not sure what to do about it.  I read a book about a woman who basically ran away from her life to figure out who she was.  I had 4 kids and a family I couldn’t just check out of.  Thank goodness!  I lived vicariously through this woman’s story, and I wrote about pizza.  2 years later, I left my husband and came out.  I dated some and then married the most amazing woman.  I rediscovered that post about pizza today because a Christian blogger came out.  And the woman who described that pizza…she’s out now, too.  It feels like it’s come full circle!

And the award for best wife ever goes to…

Candied Jansen!!

August 11 was my first official day of work at the new school.  I had been up there for several days before that getting my room ready.  I spent well over 8 hours a day working on it and so much money buying new things because it had been a while since I had a fresh start.  I left work last Friday so exhausted from all my prep work getting ready for the first week of school.  When I got home I was surprised with a spotless house.  Candied Jansen had taken care of much of the cleaning herself and then hired someone to come do the deep cleaning.  She knew I was starting to get busy and she knew it would show love to me.  I was so surprised and happy at her thoughtfulness!  She had also done some organizing of closets and bought me an amazing shoe rack because she knew I was complaining of having so many of my shoes encroaching on the open floor space in my closet.  She’s also given me amazing foot rubs since I’ve been back at work because she sees me limping around from being on my feet all day.  AND she even painted my toenails for me one evening!  I seriously have the best wife ever!

And speaking of my wife, I mentioned her job was on the line the last time I wrote.  Well, we are happy to report that she was given a position on the first day positions were being offered!  I was so excited and happy for her!  I know she loves the company she works for and is an extremely loyal employee.  I was so glad that they saw that part of her as well and knew she would do a good job for them!  Hopefully there won’t be any more layoffs any time soon!  They are way too stressful!!

And did I mention what an awesome wife I have?? I love that she misses me when I’m gone and shows me that she needs me.  I love that we work well together and that we are always laughing.  I love that she is inappropriate and irreverent at times.  I love that those who are lucky to be called her friends know just how much they mean to her.  I love her!  We’ve been married for 6 1/2 months and together for 2 1/2 years and I am more in love with her every day!

#myhashtagsaretoolongbutidontcare

This is most definitely a blah day!  So many things have gotten to me today.

  1.  The violence against people in this country!  I am horrified over the events of the last week.  I have been frustrated over it all, but for some reason this week got to me.  I haven’t watched any of the videos of the men being shot or the aftermath of them being shot.  I didn’t need to.  They were shot!  That’s what is crazy.  They weren’t having a shootout with the police.  They were shot.  I wasn’t horrified over Sandra Bland.  I took my cue on how to feel then from my black coworkers in Prairie View/Waller where the Sandra Bland event happened.  I took my cue from a friend who is black police officer from the area.  They all felt for Sandra and her family, but they didn’t believe that it was a case of police brutality.  They didn’t speak up on social media about the racial unfairness of it all.  But this is different.  This is scary for my friends.  They are all talking and that makes me stand up and take notice and accept responsibility for my whiteness.  And then the snipers in Dallas shooting at police.  OMG people, get yourselves together.  It makes me want to run away to a deserted island which is the exact wrong thing to do.
  2. FACEBOOK!  I mostly hate it.  I love being able to catch up with people, but I absolutely hate everything on it that blames Obama, Bush, Trump, Clinton, Cheney for the wrong in this country.  And so many stupid people sharing these ideas.  I just read one that said, “Someone kill this waste of fucking flesh.  He’s breathing in American air.  He doesn’t deserve that right.  #fuckObama #fuckliberals #fuckisis #fuckHillary.”  Come on people!  We need to stand together!  #thatdesertedislandlooksevenbetternow!
  3. The results of the state assessment STAAR test came in and my kids did terrible!  And I feel terrible!  I wasn’t given exact numbers on any group other than my own, but I was told that only 57% of my third graders passed the reading test.  I was told that the other schools in the district all passed with 80% or more.  The 4th and 5th graders at my school had a higher passing rate as well.  I can’t actually look at the scores since I’ve resigned from the district and have been removed from the system so I don’t know if all those numbers are accurate.  I just hate that I left with a crap year on my record.  It won’t affect my new job, but I KNOW that it was a bad year.  It was my hardest year and I was overwhelmed so much of the time.  I felt like I was being picked on which was so different from how I had been treated the previous 5 years.  I can’t decide if I my teaching got worse so the scores were low because of all that was going on in 3rd grade or if their treatment of me was justified.  I didn’t want to teach 3rd grade and had been begging for a Kindergarten position since the year before so I wonder if I subconsciously sabotaged myself.  I’ll never know.  (I am thankful for my new job teaching kindergarten in another district so all I can do is move forward and embrace new beginnings…but UGH!) #desertedislandsdontneedschools!
  4. Candied Jansen’s job is on the line again.  This is the third round of layoffs at her place of employment since we started dating in Feb. of 2014.  She made it through the first two rounds with flying colors, but this one feels different somehow.  The way they are going about it is different this time around so we are both feeling the fear of the unknown.  We really need oil and gas prices to go up!  #noneedformoneyorjobsonadesertedisland
  5. I haven’t had a Diet Coke in a whole day and I have a slight headache.  While that’s not a huge big deal in the grand scheme of life, I really want one!  Alas, we have none in the house and I’m trying to quit/cut back.  Sigh. #desertedislandsdonthavedietcoke  #buttheyalsodonthavestupidpeoplesoitsworthit

The fact that I cried about these things today doesn’t help the lack of caffeine headache I have.  Sigh.

Renewal Time!

Back in 2014 I posted about Earning My Lesbian Card here on the ol’ blog.  On Monday, that darn card came up for renewal!

For some reason our dryer stopped working last week.  It finished drying a load and then when the next load was put in, it just wouldn’t start at all.  It was a complete mystery!  I went out and flipped the breaker and unplugged and replugged it back in to no avail.  It wasn’t going to work.  I grabbed the handy dandy drying rack that I bought in 2010 and hung the clothes to dry.  I knew that I had a very busy last two days of school and a graduation and celebration for my 3rd child so the dryer wasn’t going to be fixed until I survived all of that.  On Sunday evening I signed in to chat with someone from Sears about getting it fixed.  I bought it at Sears and it’s a Kenmore so that’s what I went with.  They set me up with an appointment the next morning!  Yay!

The repairman showed up and went about his routine of checking it out.  He discovered that 3 parts were bad…something that surprised him.  He said it was probably from an electrical surge, lightning strike, or something.  Considering all the storms we’ve had and how many times the power has gone out recently, this isn’t a big surprise.  The problem was that he had 2 of the parts, but the third part is no longer in their inventory, because it isn’t used on newer Kenmore models.  I was frustrated with this because my dryer was purchased in 2012 so it’s not like it’s very old and a newer model won’t be breaking down anytime soon hopefully.  It’s the older models that will need to be fixed!  Unfortunately, because he didn’t have all the parts, he wasn’t allowed to fix any of the dryer at all.  They offer a 90 day warranty after they fix it, but since he couldn’t guarantee it would work I was out of luck!  The most frustrating part was that I had to pay $89 for a service call even though he couldn’t do anything to help me.  Now, I know that I could have found someone else who probably could have actually fixed the thing, but I went with Sears because that’s all my overly stimulated brain could think of at the time.

Because the repairman could sense my frustration, he showed me all three parts that needed to be replaced.  He told me that I could get all of them at an appliance parts store for about $150 and have my husband fix it for me.  Little did he know that there isn’t a husband around these parts, but I chose not to bewilder him with that information.  He showed me where things unscrew and unplug and how the parts were like puzzle pieces to fit back into place.  He gave me the part numbers and wished me well.  I got online and found an appliance parts place not too far away.  I was going to have to be the butch lesbian this time because Candied Jansen was out of town for a few days.  I decided I should take the broken parts with me just in case something was messed up on the part numbers so I proceeded to unscrew and unplug them from the dryer.  When I arrived at the parts store, I handed my part numbers to the clerk who took about 15 seconds to round them up.  Wow!  No old parts needed!  I paid $133 and headed home.

Now to fix the dryer!  Several pieces fit right in just like the repairman said, but there was this one new piece that apparently took the place of the old piece.  Thankfully the package had a picture of the old and new pieces and directions explaining how to attach the new piece to the old place.  Some of the instructions were repair jargon to me and I had no idea what they were talking about, but there were diagrams and I can do that!  After about 20 minutes of actual work, I set the dryer upright, turned it on, and by golly the thing worked!  I turned it off and flipped it back over and reattached the back of the dryer which took longer than the actual repair due to the millions of tiny screws used.  I cautiously kept turning it off and on because I could see the glow from the heating element inside the dryer and I wasn’t sure if that was supposed to happen!  After a few minutes it stopped glowing and functioned normally.  I figured all the dust that dislodged from me turning the dryer over was burning off or something.

We’ve used the dryer several times since then, and it works like a charm!  I told Candied Jansen that the next time we need a butch lesbian, it was her turn!