You Know What It's Like

Unbelievable! Everyday happenings!

Archive for the month “November, 2011”

Please Don’t Turn That Page…. a.k.a. (What Will Become of Dewey Decimal?)

So, there is this little thing called the Kindle, also many other applications that you can get for your Iphone, your PC and just about any other device that hooks up with the internet!  I think this is an amazing service an awesome concept. There are so many books at your fingertips, you don’t have to leave the house, in fact you can access pretty much any book from any location.  Nice, I guess…. Well I mean, I did just get the  Kindle app for my pc but… I LOVE THE PUBLIC LIBRARY!!!

I hope that we don’t see the day that the library closes its doors for good.  But I fear that this is the direction we are heading.  Recently, I had the opportunity to vote on a city referendum that would help to fund our city’s libraries.  I happily voted “yes”, funding something that my family and I have enjoyed so much over the years seems like a good way to spend my tax dollars.

Where can you go and borrow something so priceless for numerous weeks with no strings attached? Besides books, you can check out music, movies, periodicals, maps, why you can even check out artwork (WHAT?) that’s right, artwork. And if you need them for a longer period of time you can renew them!  I love it and I am always in awe that I can just walk out with a pile of books. The librarian is willing to cheerfully wish me well, as I make off with maybe hundreds of dollars worth of books and other items that aren’t mine, as long as I return them!

We have “branch” libraries where I live so if I want an item but it is at the “main” library I can just get on the computer and request the item, if it is available they will truck it over to the branch library that is most convenient to me. They will even let me know when it arrives! When my children were small we attended free shows at the library.  They hosted a variety of performers such as  singers,  storytellers, puppeteers, jugglers so many fun things, we enjoyed.

Technology is a wonderful thing, we all make use of it, how else could I be writing this blog that will make its way all over the world!  That  is awesome! However, I hope that I don’t see the day technology replaces the actually bricks and mortar of the library.  I believe that it is an institution that is worth keeping around for the generations.  I just can’t see myself as a grandma cuddling up with my grandkids and my Kindle to look at a picture book together or read a classic bit of literature. I think I will always enjoy turning an actual paper page more than flicking the computer screen. Please don’t turn that page in history and let libraries become obsolete!

Tell me what do you like about the library? Or do you enjoy reading on a device?

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

 

 

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Who’s That Stranger Looking At Me? (a reality pill worth swallowing)

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am really not that young anymore.  I am not saying I am old, in fact I can never complain about age in my family because I am the youngest of four. My oldest sister being ten years my senior!  Ha, ha, my senior now she would think I was calling her old.  Even my husband is older than my oldest sister so, well I can’t really complain about it to him either!  Everybody else hit their “milestone” birthdays before me so when I turned 30 and 40 well the best they could do is to remind me how much younger I am then they, so quit bitching!

One time I was the “young associate” in the office!  Later I was the” young bride”, ah newly wed!  Eventually I was the “young mother”, love those darlings! Thankfully, I will always be my Mom’s youngest daughter, her baby!  When I was a child she always introduced me in this way “and here is my baby, Jane”, oh I hated it back then, but have grown to love it very much!  Thank you Mom, you forever make me young.

But back to this pondering, how did I get to this reflection in my bathroom mirror?  The things I saw happening maybe five years ago, i.e. a little crease between my brows, a couple extra pounds (oh I can’t eat whatever I want anymore), and an ache here and there.  I think I should have been happier then because now it is five years later and that crease, well it is deeper, the couple of extra pounds are probably ten, some of the aches and pains don’t go away after moving around anymore. And what is this, a frown line now too?  You may have noticed I didn’t mention grey hair and that is only because I inherited my premature greying from my Mom and have been coloring my hair for a good twenty years (shhh).

When I was in my 20’s – 40’s I wasn’t happy with how I looked, I wanted to  be in better shape.  Although I worked out regularly I never got to “the look” that I thought would make me more acceptable. More, happy.  Well you know what? I wish I looked half as good as I looked then, why was I all in a dither?   Why didn’t I enjoy my svelte figure more?

There were other things, I despised my teeth I had a gap, my weak chin, my one eye seemed to be smaller than the other, my ears, my complexion the list could go on and on. I am starting to understand how unrealistically I viewed myself.  Truly I am an attractive enough person and am pretty sure people don’t view me the same way that I view myself.

I am going to try and make a conscious effort to like who I am “now” because in a few years I will have changed in ways I don’t even know yet.  So I have a few more wrinkles, weigh a couple of extra pounds, and have an ache or pain and you know I am going to embrace this and enjoy the physical me that I have become.  I have wasted too many days “becoming”, only to find out that I can’t get to whatever that “ideal” is and then missing out on enjoying the moment.

So I am not giving into aging just embracing it.  I will continue to work out (so what if the body needs and extra day to recover) that pain simply means I’ve done something and something is better than nothing!  Eat healthy, move around, quit judging myself by unrealistic standards. Start giving myself a reality check about expectations.

Okay, so this will be a challenge, it is hard to change a very ingrained thought pattern.  However, now that I can look at it and maybe see it for what it is I can remind myself as often as needed to stay realistic.  Live in the moment and quit thinking “when I get to this or that” I will be…. I think I will just be now! If you are curious my birthday is in February and I will be 45.  See, I told you, I really am not “that young” and I am really not “that old” either.  🙂

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

“Blog, Blah, Blues”

So before the day started, while I was lying in bed, I had all the details for my latest blog.  Complete with the perfect opener and the right tags!  Wow, and then I woke up I guess and it was gone. errr!

Why is it that the best ideas come when you are in some state of half consciousness?  I would bet that the greatest inventions and cures have been a light bulb moment when someone is about to become  unconsciouse or conscious for the day.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be plugged into a reader that could print out your dreams and ideas while you were still out of it?  Of course equally as wonderful would be an erase button and maybe an escape key.  You could just rid yourself of bothersome thoughts and file away the wonderful things. Well I guess until that day gets here I will just have to try in vain to remember my best thoughts and write them down upon awaking!

Monday tomorrow, the first day of being unemployed, again! So most of tomorrow will be spent perusing the classified ads, and surfing the internet for jobs.  Not looking forward to that.  But  I’m like  so many other people in the same boat.

Well, I don’t think this is going anywhere else today so I will try to regain my memory  and write something tomorrow.  A new week so a new start think I will go make some goals maybe I will write about that tomorrow if I don’t remember my “perfect blog” idea!

“Got the Blog, Blah, Bluessssssss!”

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

So, What Makes Your Life Easier?

I was going about my daily routine and I thought about how we each have our own little shortcuts, rituals, products that make our days easier.  So I decided to share a few of my favorites with you and I hope that you will each share a couple as well. I think that is some good use of blog space!

  1. This tip is probably more for the ladies or maybe men who enjoy a more hairless existence.  Next time you are out of shave cream try some hair conditioner instead.  Use the inexpensive drugstore or store brand kind and you will discover a wonderful shaving experience.  Not only are your legs shaved closely but they’re smooth and soft as well.  In fact, if you are in a hurry you can actually get away without that after shower moisturizer!
  2. Here is another tip for your personal hygiene.  I am a coffee and tea drinker and although I get my teeth cleaned regularly by the hygienist I still tend to develop teeth stains in between cleanings.  Recently, however I discovered the “magic eraser”. You may have used these wonders to clean around your home and definitely they are magic.  When I open a new box now, I cut off a corner or two and keep them in the medicine cabinet for coffee stain remover on my teeth.  Rinse and brush afterwards, it works great! I buy the storebrand ones.
  3. On to the laundry.  Many of you may own a front loading washer as I do.  I love it because it cleans the clothes well and uses less water.  But after you have these washers they develop an odor.  I don’t care how much you wipe them dry or keep the door ajar they smell eventually.  I know that they have products for cleaning your washer and I have used them but they are costly and they don’t keep it fresh for long.  So I have started adding about 1/2 cup borax (which is a laundry booster) to all of my wash.  Yes, put in your liquid he detergent and then sprinkle the borax on top of the liquid.  The odor is gone and by the way borax is really inexpensive! Voila’!
  4. Another unpleasant odor area may be your microwave.  If you are like me, you don’t wash it out after every single use and well it gets gunky (have you ever check the inside top) eww!  So an easy way to clean it.  I use one cup water mixed with 3 TBLS. baking soda.  Put this in a microwave safe cup (of course) and heat for 2 mins. You can just wipe the inside down easily removing everything.  Just make sure you clean when the time is up, because once it is cooled, well, you’ll have to reheat it!
  5. Here is the best streak free window wash.  Take one gallon of water mix one drop of Dawn dishwashing liquid. I know one drop, right?  This works well especially if you use a squeegee, one sponge side the other rubber.  Yay, you have sparkly windows!

These are  some things that make my life easier.  I hope you will find something here that helps you out in your daily living.  Please share your helpful tips with me.  After all “necessity is the mother of invention” so don’t keep those useful tips to yourselves any longer!  Thanks!

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

 

“Man Charged With Sexual Assault of Young Girl”

I know this is a harsh title but it is how my day began today.

“What? No not this, not this family!”  Dumbfounded, that really is all you can feel when you read that a man who you know, in fact you know the whole family has committed the unthinkable!

I first meant this family about four and a half years ago.  The sudden parents of eight kids ranging from six months to about 15 years. A young couple who discovered that they couldn’t have children of their own had decided to adopt a whole family, an almost unheard of feat. The adoption was unusual because of the number of children, because it crossed state lines, and because all of the children have some “damage” from their past,  both physical and mental difficulties.

It was through an educational situation that I was introduced to this family.  They wanted there youngest to have a good preschool experience.  That coupled with the fact that my agency has a lot of connections to help families with a plethora of needs is how we ended up having a close relationship with them.  We supported them through their year-long adoption process, various health problems, and assessments, lost jobs and financial difficulties.  We celebrated their final paper signing, four years of birthdays, educational and emotional milestones with them.

This man this “father” not just accused of sexual assault, but also admitting to it. The details are not known yet.  Was it one of his own, a neighbor, someone from their church?  I don’t know.  The paper stated that “after the act he apologized to the girl and then they prayed about it so it wouldn’t happen again.” But obviously it did “happen again”.  How could it happen once, let alone again?

I understand that you can’t possibly pick out the depraved, simply by their looks, and yet,” not this, and not this family”.  That is all that I kept thinking this has sickened me so.  These children who needed stability, love and a second chance left with what, an even worse view of the world, even more mistrust of the people who should love them, protect them?  Why, why, why?

How can someone take the innocence of a child in this way? Could there be any greater sin? Could there be any sicker individual? Why couldn’t we have seen something? Done something? My eyes have wept many tears of sorrow in the past few days and my heart is heavy with sadness…

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

Daylight Saving And A Day Late!

Okay, so it was daylight saving in my piece of the world technically until Sunday morning! So Fall back not Spring ahead. Yes, check, got that right. I even set all of my clocks the evening before so I could fool myself into thinking that there had been no time change.

I know you are thinking, well an extra hour of sleep or an extra hour in the day. Well it sounds good on paper but it leaves me tired and out of it for a few days. Plus the sun is a bit different and I don’t know it just doesn’t do this body good.

I took my usual steps of planning and things went off with out a hitch! Yay! Not so fast, actually for some reason my alarm clock decided to make its own adjustment back by one hour but instead of it being at 2:00 am Sunday I guess it was 2:00 am on Monday! So that’s right, I got up one hour late on Monday morning, for pete’s sake, and since I am the family alarm clock,so did everyone else in the household!

Yikes! And on a Monday morning so yes, it was one big rush and I have been extremely tired ever since. It would be nice just to follow this standard time all year-round!

Thanks to technology i.e.(the clock being able to fall back itself) I was nearly late to work! Since technology is fallable i.e. (the clock falling back a day too late) well I am a little scarred. Drat you technology, please don’t fail me again, I depend on you way too much!

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

Don’t Make Someone Your Priority If You Are Only Their Option!

What can one say when their oldest daughter is “in love” for the first time?  It has been exciting at times, who doesn’t enjoy seeing that happy contentedness that comes with being in a relationship?  Most of the summer Mariah was off in her own world, their own world, I suppose.  Filled  with trips to the beach, laughter, movie nights, sushi,  late nights and just enjoying each others company.

Mariah and I are very close so I have the luxury of chatting with her about so many things in her life, this being one of them.  It has made me ecstatic to see her happy and having fun.  Maybe I have lived a little vicariously through her, because lets face it your relationships only stays in that ecstatic period for a time and then settles into something else which hopefully good but less frantic.

So the boy, MJ?  Well he is what I would call the “perfect boyfriend” in many ways.  He is handsome, clean-cut (good hygiene), a scholar, in fact he has been accepted into West Point in the fall, witty, polite and just enough awkwardness to keep him charming.  His family is far from the poor house and has instilled good values in him about money.  He gets basically no freebies from them.  So he does seem perfect.

But now it has been about six months and I see him orchestrating the relationship.  Although they do spend a lot of time together it wouldn’t be unlikely for him to  suddenly leave Mariah out of the loop. Obviously, they can’t and don’t need to spend ever moment together, but I think the rules for him have changed, before the rules for her.  Friend time is hitting the top of the priority list.

Besides attending school for 35 hours a week, Mariah has had a full 30 hour a week work schedule.  When she isn’t working she would prefer to spend her little bit of time with him.  That seems reasonable.  He doesn’t work so he has the free time to spend with friends when she is busy working.

There is this little thing called being cheap also that seems, well, cheap!  On numerous occasions they have planned to go out for a bit, but it never materializes, and they stay in for the evening.  Yet the next night he will go out with his friends.  When she told me he spent $30 on some recreational substance that is not part of their relationship, but is something used with his friends, she was hurt.  Now that is probably the biggest offense against me  the Mom, hurting my child in some way, is not going to win you any brownie points.  I don’t care at this point how witty you are or how clean you keep your fingernails.

Then there are the flowers that have never arrived.  “I want to get you some flowers, but I don’t have a way to the florist.”  Yes, that is right, Mariah, although she is one year younger is the sole license holder between the two of them.  She has chauffeured him all over the place,  of course she didn’t mind it at the time, either did I but I might mind now. So no flowers!  He talked about getting her some jewelry, “yes, he would like to, but probably couldn’t pick something out!”  What? Really? They went to the local mall the other evening and she was purchasing a sweater and she told me, “well MJ offered to buy it for me, but he only had $7.00 with him.” Seriously? Well, that was a convenient time to make an offer that couldn’t work out?! (but at least he offered) Yeah, I don’t think so. Huh?

I am trying to give him a break because they are both young, however,  I am also trying to tell Mariah that this is her relationship too.  It is okay to have some demands, and that she has the right to feel a bit dejected. And he should really get no points for pretending to do something glorious.

Oh, how I wish that it was not “that serious”.  But it is and now I dread the fallout that may be coming down the turnpike.  It is too bad that the clock can’t be rewound in relationships.  As fun is it is to have your head in the clouds during those early days I think learning to have your own voice would  serve a person more appropriately.

In the end I have told her don’t make someone your priority if you are only their option.  She is pondering this and in the end I hope that it is her decision if she decides to opt out of this.  I will probably give an updated post in the future on these matters of the heart! Oh the things that make a Mom’s heart ache!

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

Oh Friday How I Love Thee! (even more this week)

Friday, oh how I love thee!  That is definitely how I am feeling today.  Fridays are always good because currently I have Friday to myself and can catch up around the homestead, run some errands and perhaps squander some time blogging.

The arrival of Friday was a bit sweeter this week because it has just been one of those frustrating weeks that you keep repeating to yourself, “What? Really?”.  Oh well now is now and I hope to have time to finish this blog before the rest of my family arrives home.

Sunday – Woke up to so much neck pain.  Now, I would like to say that it was just due to plain old hard labor, but no, just the restless nights of a worrier!  Well that is swell isn’t it?  No one to blame but myself. However,  I do have some things to be concerned with i.e. soon to be unemployed, I am well aware that worrying doesn’t do a lick of good. Coupled with that, I haven’t been running and working out like I should to help with the stress, well there you have it, sore neck and back and it’s my own fault! Hmmm….

Monday – Upon arriving home from work  I was trying to get a handle on the weekend clutter and nurse my sore neck, when a LOUD alarm sounded in my house! I knew that it wasn’t the fire alarm and was horrified to discovered it was my CO detector.  Then I saw the number.  What? 250 plus, I tried resetting it, opened a few windows, and checked our pet cats. Things seemed fine but it warranted a call to the local fire station to have them come and check out the levels for us.

By the time they arrived which really wasn’t more than 10 minutes I was convinced that, maybe I was showing signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.  I was tired, my head did hurt, and was I slightly dizzy now too!!  The cats, well um, they are sleeping.  I wonder if they shouldn’t be awake? Of course they do sleep 23 of 24 hours so it’s hard to know.  Well, in  the end it was all alright no CO was present, I wasn’t really exhibiting any signs for anything other then paranoia and well the cats, they speak for themselves.  Time to replace the CO detector! Whew! (dodged a bullet there) We took care of that on Tuesday.

Tuesday and Wednesday – Come home from work , hot compresses, cold compresses, light a lavender candle, try to relax! Oh, what a pain in the neck! Listened to the umpteenth night of horrible screaming noises in the neighborhood.  Not human, but something blood curdling!

Thursday – Well my neck was feeling better.  I promised myself to run on Friday to relieve stress and stave off future neck and back problems.  It was my Friday, so to speak, on Thursday so that felt good until that phone call from my Mom.  “Just wanted to let you know that there have been three sightings of a cougar out in your neighborhood.”   What? Is that what all that awful screaming has been?  My conclusion is, yes I believe that to be the truth.  So it doesn’t look like I am going to be running anywhere by my house on Friday.  Err! And to top of the evening, I discovered I had lost one of my earrings that a dear friend had given me as a gift.  I looked in vain and found nothing.  Oh, dear.  Well at least tomorrow is Friday.

Friday – I really was going to back out of my plan to run today because well I was in no mood for tangle with an angry cougar.  But in the end I decided to drive about five miles out and then run in the opposite direction and was able to put in three miles.  It was decent I think I even ran faster.  They say cougars can have a several mile radius so that alone put extra pep in my step!  Later while vacuuming I saw, my earring!  Now it would be a nice way to end this, saying I picked it up and reunited it with its mate.  Yes that would be nice, but in reality, I saw it just as I was pushing the vacuum over it.  It was instantaneous, hey there’s my earring! Nooooooooooooo!!! I just couldn’t stop in time!  But I did fish it out of the bag somehow.  It is definitely worse for wear though and it looks like that will be a weekend project.

But I survived until Friday and things are looking up!  I will be reading and replying to my blogging friends in the morning! Cheers!

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

 

Tell Me Something Good…….

I was thinking how after you get to know someone, you don’t really see them any longer. You may wake up to them everyday, send them off to school, or work with them but you don’t necessarily look at them.

When visiting with my daughter, Mariah, after she worked last night I asked her about her boyfriend, MJ, and what he was up to in school. She smiled and said “well he said I looked pretty today, and after that I really don’t know what was going on with the day.” I thought this was sweet he had made her day by reminding her that he thought she was pretty!

So, I challenge myself and anybody else reading this to take the time to look at your friends, spouse, family and tell them something nice. Really look and make them know that you actually saw them today!

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

The Story of Feelings

The name of this blog is actually the name of a book by Laurie Berkner.  It is a children’s book that talks about feelings and gives children a description of what they may be feeling, when I cry I am sad and crying makes me feel better.  Laughing makes me feel better, when I am happy, yelling when I am angry is okay and makes me feel better.

I am fortunate to work with preschoolers on a daily basis!  I know some of you will find it hard to believe that I truly adore these three to five-year olds so much.  There is probably not an age that is nearly this honest, this inquisitive,  or this innocent in so many ways.  Trust me I have meant a few kiddos who seem to be a bit too precocious for their wee years, yet even in that, it is usually due to exposure out of their control and I feel that still spotlights their innocence in the matter.

The Story of Feelings is a book that we use in our classroom along with a cd that has an awesome calming song that soothes even our toughest three-foot clients.  Today while singing along to this with the children it spurned me on to think of how disingenuous we become as adults about our true feelings.  It is funny because when we are children we are taught the importance of honesty.  If you lie you are probably a bad child, you will have some unpleasant consequences, maybe you will even go to a bad place. But, little Johnny or Suzie, “honesty is the best policy”. Really?  Of course, we don’t want our children to be anything but truthful. Really?

“Young children can be blatantly honest. With statements and questions such as these. ” They are reallllly old!” “You can’t sing!” “They look like this >.< (furrows eyebrows)  and so I don’t want to play with them!” “Your skin is black.” “They are a boy/girl and I don’t want to play with them!””You’ve got a big butt!””They are a boy so they have a penis, right?” “I don’t like you.” “You look wrong.” You have this or that or you don’t have this or that.  So many honest comments.

In time,  kids discover that you can’t really be honest about things, least of all your feelings.  Of course we all need to teach our children the social graces of when it is okay to say things or ask things. But it isn’t long before we teach them to stifle how they feel as well.  Have you ever seen someone punish their child and then tell them  not to cry about it? Wow!

In our classroom we discuss feelings a lot.  A daily question is “how are you feeling today?” Well how do you answer that question?  Nine times out of ten you say “fine”. That is the prescribed answer isn’t it?  That is what we say and that is what people hope to hear because then they can say they are fine too and move on with their day. We all do it, our children hear it.  They learn it.  So our children become conditioned to answer in the same manner. “I am fine.”

This is so ingrained that I don’t know how much we can change, but I do think that I am going to make a conscious effort to think before I answer this question the next time I am asked it.  Well at the very least maybe I can come up with a different adjective that means fine. It sound like this, “Hi, how are you?” ” Satisfactory, thank you.”

Okay my writing is digressing, my teenage daughters are discussing their day and well, I don’t want to miss out.  Maybe I will ask them how they are and see what they answer!   Also I will try to link the “feeling song” before I post this.

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

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