Monday, July 28, 2008

I guess I should before he dies.

My mom called me at work last Friday. I was away fixing a computer, so I didn't get the message until it was about time to go home.

Here's the gist of the message she left.

"You'll never believe who just showed up at the house! Your father!! We spent about two hours talking. He says he wants to talk to you. I didn't give him your number, but instead took his and said I would give it to you. Talk to you later. Bye!"

I'm at a loss to explain how I feel about this, but two words come to mind:

Nausea & Anxiety

The nausea is caused by the anxiety. The anxiety is caused by many things. Here are a few for your reading displeasure.

- THE BEGINNING! My father slept through my birth. Not at home in bed, but in the hospital room where my mother was. He grabbed a chair, went across the room, kicked back and slept! No, this shouldn't bother me, but mixed in with the rest of it, it cheeses me off to no end.

- My father was never around physically. As far as I know, he worked horrendous hours that kept him away from home during prime dad time (after school - bedtime). I know plenty of dads who work long hours and aren't able to see their kids as much as they like, but when they have time off, they spend it with their kids. If my dad had time off, I never knew about it.

- He didn't stay at any one job for very long. My dad wasn't very good at taking orders or constructive criticism. A supervisor would ask/tell him to do something and if he didn't want to do it, he would quit. (positive note: he never went long before finding another job)

- We moved a lot because of his job hopping. I can remember 11 moves by the time I was in 5th grade. I didn't do to well with all the moves. I would experience a lot of anxiety and for the first few months in our new home, I wet the bed. I was about 9 when I finally was able to stop doing that. My anxiety showed in other ways. I bit my nails until they bled and I was painfully shy. I know a lot of you won't believe that, but up until I went through boot camp, I was deathly afraid of speaking to anyone. Ask my mom, I wouldn’t even talk to her.

- I don’t know that he meant to be mean, but it definitely came across that way to me. It’ll probably sound trivial to you, but I hated it, hated it, hated it!!! If you sat next to him on the couch, instead of putting his hands on the couch to help push himself up, he would put his hands on our thighs, squeeze VERY hard and push himself up. It would leave bruises, he squeezed so hard. Amidst our cries of pain, he would laugh. I really want to believe that he didn’t understand just how much it did hurt.

- Next on the list is something I hope my father wasn't conscious of. From the time I was very small (my first memory of it I was around 3) my father would make friends in our new ward and we would go over and visit. The adults would gather in one room and send us kids off to play in another. More times than I care to admit, there was pornography. As an adult looking back, I assume it was the parent’s (LDS mind you!!!) and that the kids had found it. Was this a case of like attracting like? Later, when my parents split up, we kids lived with dad for the first few months. That was hell on earth. He stocked the fridge with beer, the VCR with porn and his bedroom with magazines. He made no effort to hide it from us or make us leave if he had it on while we were there. Obviously he was conscious of his actions then! I will own up to being seriously screwed up because of this.

I don’t hate him or wish him ill, but I’ve never gotten around to forgiving him. I’m closer than I was 15 years ago, but I still dislike him. I seriously don’t want to be around him, but another part of me doesn’t want his funeral to be the next time I see him.

I also found out from my mom that he is going back to church. He lives close by and I had to think for a second and reassure myself that he isn’t in my stake. Holy crap, that would have been weird.

What if he decides to REALLY become active, gets his temple recommend back and I bump into him while I'm working one Wednesday?!?!?

I know I need to talk to him and forgive him, I just need to get up the guts to do it. Anyone want to volunteer to go with me? You wouldn’t have to do anything except be there. I see it as being in the dark. It’s scary and lonely, but if you have a friend along, your courage somehow kicks in and things aren’t quite as scary as when you were alone.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Warranty

I'm starting to wonder if my body has a limited warranty like cars.

Here's my theory:

New cars have warranties that are good for so many miles or so many years.

For the most part, my experience has been that the car runs great until the warranty runs out. Its as though the car has some internal *kill* switch within the computer that tells it when you've exceeded your warranty.

BOOM!

Right then the car begins to break down.

I think the warranty on my body expired on my 35th birthday.

It feels like everything that used to work, decided to start malfunctioning.
Nothing serious, just minor things.

Immune system - I've had more colds this year than I think I've had in the past ten years combined. That's not counting my propensity for bronchitis.

Allergies - I grew up here for goodness sake. Why do I now have allergies??

Gross bodily functions - We all have them, mine just don't work as efficiently as they used to. You don't even want to know!!! It ain't pleasant!

Eyesight - I've worn glasses since I was 5 and had to get new prescriptions each year up until my early 20's. By then things had leveled off and I could go a few years between new glasses. Seems I'm back on the downhill slope again. Sadly I won't be getting new glasses each year. I can't afford spending $400 a year for them.

Back problems - I went 35 years doing the same movement I did last Sunday, but that day was special. That day I pinched a nerve. Highly unrecommended!

Plantar fasciitis - thankfully this lovely little ailment has cleared itself up.

Pimples - Even during the height of puberty, I don't remember having this many zits.

I think it's time to start signing up for the HSA plans my company offers. I have a feeling my health is going to start costing me a bit of money.

Or maybe not. I rarely go to the doctor even if I'm really sick. I'll die at a fairly young age, thus leaving my family no medical bills that need to be paid! LOL

Just kidding!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pioneer Day

I was in my 20's before I had ever heard of Pioneer Day. July 24th was just another hot day in Texas; no different than the 23rd; no different than the 25th.

When I did begin to understand the significance of the day, I didn't think it applied to me. I wasn't from Utah; my ancestors didn't make the trek west. The day had nothing to do with me.

Rewind a few years: July 9, 1997

I was 24 years old and had been out of the Navy a sum total of 34 days. Two days prior I had flown into Salt Lake to take in a few sights before driving to Provo, pinning my name tag on and dedicating the next 18 months to the Lord.

I hadn't been at the MTC long when it was announced that we, the Missionaries at the MTC, would be participating in part of the Sesquicentennial celebrations of the first pioneers entering the valley.

I don't really know all the details of the festivities that night, but I do remember this. The program was held in the stadium where the BYU Cougars play. The plan was that we were to march from the MTC down to the stadium, enter the stadium singing Called To Serve and then join with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in singing a new song that had just been written a few months earlier by K. Newel Dayley called Faith in Every Footstep (lyrics).

I'm feeling the spirit just thinking about it. It was an awesome experience and one that I'll never forget.

I served in Salt Lake and for the rest of that year I remember the church highlighting different things about the pioneers and their trek west. I don't know if it was church wide or if I just saw and heard it so much because I was there in Utah.

I still don't quite identify my heritage with that of LDS people whose ancestors trekked west, but I do believe we are all "pioneers" of some sort.

- Some are first generation LDS, paving the way for past a future generations to enjoy the fruits of the gospel.

- Some are the first to attend college in their family.

- Some are able to break negative cycles within their families and go on to lead healthy and productive lives.

It'll sound corny, but what goes through my mind when I think of being a pioneer is the primary song, To Be A Pioneer, Children’s Songbook, p218-219.

You don’t have to push a handcart,
Leave your fam’ly dear,
Or walk a thousand miles or more
To be a pioneer!

You do need to have great courage,
Faith to conquer fear,
And work with might for a cause that’s right
To be a pioneer!


I've been singing it in my head and whistling it all day today. My coworkers already think I'm a bit nuts, this just reinforces it!

I had an idea of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to say with this entry, but I feel like it kinda wandered off course. Hopefully it made a bit of sense to you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm sorry, how much!?!?

For the past little while I've known that my car has an oil leak. I can smell it once the car heats up and burns up whats leaked onto the engine.

I finally took it to a shop just around the corner to have them diagnose how bad the situation was. According to them it was $2365 worth of bad.

OUCH!!

In case you're wondering (I'm sure you were), this is what, according to this one shop, needs to be done.

Rear Main Seal on the engine - This is the most expensive procedure since they have to take the transmission out to get to it. ($900 labor/$50 part)

Valve Cover Gaskets - This one isn't too bad, but what chaps me the most is that I just had these replaced less than 6 months ago!! GRRR! I get seriously pissed off when I figure out I've been taken advantage of because I'm a chick. ($293 labor/$60 part)

Transmission pan gasket - This is another thorn in my feminist side!! The same time I had the valve cover gaskets done, they also did a transmission overhaul which included this gasket!! What in the name of all that is good and holy did this shop actually do for the $450 I gave them??? ($175 parts and labor)

It took me about an hour to recover from the shock and begin to look for places to get a second opinion, but once I did, I was on the phone with several shops that specialized in my make of car.

I tried calling West Houston VW, but all they wanted to do was keep me on hold for 10 minutes.

GOODBYE!

From word of mouth, I found two shops that specialize in German made cars. I called both; one gave me a quote over the phone, the other said they'd call me back. Never heard back, so I'm going with the shop that gave me the quote (Swiss Garage - Swiss because the guys that run it are from Switzerland).

For those of you who can add in your head or actually pulled out a calculator, you will note that the amounts I quoted above do not add up to $2365. The amounts above are what were quoted to me over the phone. Granted, there's always "extra" charges and tax to add onto that, but even so, it's a darn sight less than my original quote.

Yesterday on the way home I stopped to buy a quart of oil to put in my car to tide it over until the work could be done.

$4 FOR A QUART OF OIL!!

I'm sorry, how much?!?!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pictures of Me

Here's how it works...for each question, look up the answer on Google image search. Then choose your favorite image from the FIRST PAGE OF RESULTS ONLY. If you want to do this (which I would love it if you did) please post in my comments that you completed it so I can view yours.

Caution: Googling for images can bring up some nasty results; especially when searching your name. You can filter what you see by going to Google and next to the text box, click on Preferences. Under Safe Search Filtering, choose your level of protection.

Got this from Heather's blog.

MY AGE:

A PLACE I'D LIKE TO VISIT: (AMALFI COAST, ITALY)


MY FAVORITE PLACE: (CLIFFS OF MOHER, CO CLARE, IRELAND)
MY FAVORITE OBJECT: (Stole this from Stacey. I couldn't think of any ONE object that was my favorite, but when I saw hers I was like, duh! If I didn't have glasses I'd never be able to see any of my favorite things.) MY FAVORITE FOOD: (LUPE'S CARNE ASADA - YUM!)
MY FAVORITE ANIMAL:

MY FAVORITE COLOR:

WHERE I WAS BORN: (FT. WAYNE, IN - HOME OF DAN QUAYLE - LOL)
WHERE I LIVE:
A PAST PET:

A PAST LOVE:

BEST FRIENDS NICKNAME:

MY SCREEN NAME: (I stretched this one - it's blarneygirl)

MY FIRST NAME:

MY MIDDLE NAME:

MY LAST NAME:

ONE OF MY BAD HABITS: (one of many!!)
MY FIRST JOB:
MY GRANDMOTHER'S NAME:

MY COLLEGE DEGREE:WHAT I'M DOING RIGHT NOW:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Butt massage

Yep, you read that right. My butt got massged today.

My followup appointment with the chiropractor was this morning and the first thing they did was massage my back with this huge vibrating *thing*. A lot of the massage was directed to my lower back because that's where I hurt it, but she got seriously personal and massaged my butt and upper thighs.

I'll own up to it! I enjoyed it!

I was also treated to The Chair. It's one of those massage chairs that goes up and down your back and also massages your legs. I was in heaven!

Two thumbs up for this visit to the chiropractor.

My back feels waaaay better and I'll be back at work tomorrow. I won't be bending or lifting anything, but there's tons to do that doesn't involve that.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Brought to you by: Advil

Too bad it isn't working.

Yesterday as I was getting ready for church, I reached around to my right and something in my back popped. It felt weird, but it didn't hurt bad. I took a couple of Advil, finished getting ready and off I went to church.

I felt ok during Sacrament meeting, but when it came time to stand up and leave, that's when it became apparent I had done more than just pop my back.

It hurts to walk, bend in any direction, sit or stand. Basically it hurts all the time, but thankfully some positions are better than others. Oddly enough, one of them is leaning back in my computer chair with my feet propped up. Hence my ability to write this entry at this time.

Anyway, according to the chiropractor I saw this morning, I have a pinched nerve with inflamation.

LOVELY!

I wasn't nervous about seeing the chriopractor, but I have to admit I was a bit worried about how he was going to do all his "stuff" while I was in pain and not cause more pain. Don't know how or why, but everything he did didn't hurt. The machine he put me on is another story all together.

He had me lay down on this machine that looked flat, but when you lay down and turn it on, it has a roller that comes up and rolls up and down your spine from top to bottom. While laying there it began to feel good, but when I tried to get up, I was in a lot of pain. More than at any time up to that point. I seriously couldn't move it hurt so bad. Little by little it eased off enough for me to stand, but that began a whole new level of hurt.

The doc didn't say he was worried, but up until that point he was pretty darn upbeat about everything he was saying and doing to me. When he came in and found that I couldn't stand up, he looked worried and after a minute put me in a back brace.

From there I kinda did a painful sorta shuffle to the front desk where I paid my $35 co-pay, $45 for the brace and was told I needed to make an appointment for tomorrow.

Yeah, I'm a little nervous now, but I keep thinking about the blessing I got last night and that I'll be healed. I know I'll be healed; I just need the faith to work through how long it will take to get to that point. I want it right now!! :)

Neither will probably read this, but thank you Wendell and Jim for coming over so late last night and giving me a wonderful blessing. It means a lot to me to have such wonderful friends who are also righteous priesthood holders.

(Some of you may know the doc - Kurt Juergens. He's on the Katy Stk HC. I really like him.)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Whisper or Shout?

For the past 36 days I've waffled back and forth trying to determine how much to say and what to keep private. I mean, heck, it's my life and part of me wants to tell everyone!!!

But I have this bigger part of me that wants to keep my personal life my own; especially with something this new happening in it.

I also want to respect the privacy of the other person involved. He's mentioned conversations he's had with others, but I don't know how much he has shared.

So, here I am wanting to tell you that Wendell and I have been dating since the end of May, but afraid that I may jinx it all by saying too much.

But here is the crux of it all: How much is too much? How much of my telling you my side of the story begins to infringe upon his privacy? Or am I over thinking it and shouldn't be worried about it?

He’s the one who marched right into Arlene’s house the night of our first date with a huge bouquet of flowers. Everyone there saw them and ooh’d and aww’d over them; Arlene, Amber, the dog, the cats. I mean seriously, who’s going to keep the cats from spreading it around the neighborhood???

Here’s what I will say: I like Wendell A LOT! I have for quite a while and I’m as excited as excited can be about the whole thing!!

One day I will SHOUT it, but today it’s only a few whispers that may clue you in on why I’ve had a goofy grin on my face lately.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Room With A View

As much as I LOVE the movie "A Room With A View", this isn't going to be about Lucy Honeychurch, George Emerson or Mr. Beebe. If you have not seen this movie and you like Merchant Ivory films (Howards End, The Remains of the Day, etc.), this is the movie for you!! You may also like this 2008 PBS Masterpiece version. (viewer discretion advised for both versions)

But on to the real reason for my post.

I have friends who find this part of the world a little on the ugly side. I don't happen to agree with them, but if I listen to what they say, I can see what they are seeing.

Houston is a concrete jungle. The westside, where I live and work, has seen major growth in the past 5 years; tons of houses, tons of new stores. To make way for this growth, lots and lots of concrete has been poored. There doesn't seem to be much room for anything green.

Or is there?

When driving down I-10, you only see concrete, but from my vantage point on the 11th floor of the Westlake II tower, I see tons of green.



Granted, it's hot, humid and flat, but there is some green!

Now we just need to tackle the trash problem. Anyone want to get together and pick up trash?