wADmM5mNLtOv064mhMCS_CYE3Bc Just Dorothy: November 2010

What to do when you don't know what to do?

Three years ago we moved from Arizona to Nebraska.  So far, I'm not a huge fan.  Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that rush hour now means 5 cars passing by instead sitting in traffic for an hour trying to get home.  I like it that my kids are relatively safer than they would have been in Arizona.  I truly, truly love opening my back door and seeing nearly every star in the sky.  Try getting THAT in the big city.  Can't see ANY stars in Phoenix between all the lights and the pollution.  However, I really, really miss our family.  Now it's just the 4 of us period.  It used to be at least 50 of us sitting around various tables at Thanksgiving, digging into turkey, mashed potatoes, all the good stuff.  Then some of us would either go to the movies or we'd all load up and take a ride around the neighborhoods looking to see if anyone had set up their Christmas lights.  Now, it's literally the 4 of us moping around looking at each other and thinking about all that we are missing out on.  On Christmas Eve, we'd all get together at my parents' house and everyone would be there, Santa would make an appearance and we'd eat great food and just have a really great time.  Now the 4 of us kind of treat it like it's just another day only with gifts.  There seems to be no joy.  No anticipation of seeing family after having breakfast casserole.  It's just very different than what we're used to.  My husbands family never did anything at all so I think he's probably more used to this than I am.  I don't think he likes it though.  He got used to "my" kind of holiday.  Anyway, I'm always wanting/willing to try different things so I search online and try to find something that will appeal to all of us.  So far, I've scored a big fat goose egg on great ideas.  I want to start new traditions, stuff that will keep my boys coming back even after they are married.  Stuff we can pass on to them when they start their own families.  I just haven't been successful yet in finding that one thing, that one, marvelous, magical, halleluja thing that appeals to us.  I'll keep trying though.  I'm even looking for things from different cultures and countries and seeing if something will spark for us.  Any suggestions? 


Have I mentioned that memory loss is a sign of aging and that I have it?  I think I have.  But I can't quite remember.  Anyway.  It is and I have it and it's hereditary apparently because my 14 year old has it too.  So does the 11 year old.  I say, "Ryan, is there anything I need to see, sign or know about for school tomorrow?".  And he'll say, "No, Mom.  I'm good!"  Fast forward to right before bed.  "Mom, I forgot.  You need to sign my progress reports."  Or, "Mom, I have an early practice tomorrow morning and I need to be there by 6."  He tells me this right before I go to bed when I've already done my "hurray!!" for the sleeping in I was going to get to do.  Then Zach.  "Oh yeah, I need a package of cookies for school tomorrow for our pebble party." Really?  It's almost 10 and all the stores close at 10.  I think I'm going to get those little voice recorders for the 3 of us and make us utter everything, everything into those and trade with each other as soon as we get home so we can listen to everything we'd normally forget to tell the other person. 

Black Friday

I don't participate in Black Friday sales.  I always want to after the fact though.  The thought of getting up in the freezing, freezing cold and driving to the nearest store, which is 25 miles away, does not appeal to me.  But then I wake up and think, wow, I really should have gone to Walmart, they have $3 hand mixers!!!  It's like a big let down that I missed the sales.  But then I realize just how dumb that is because I already have a hand mixer that works perfectly and I got it for FREE 16 years ago when I got married!  Maybe one of these days I'll get enough nerve to go and check things out.  But probably not. :)

Baby Jesus Hotdog and Baby Jesus Peanut

Have I told anyone lately how much I love, love, loved the whole preschool/kindergarten experience with my kids?  Both boys went to Trinity preschool and really love the whole experience and their teachers.  I loved hearing all the christian songs and just listening to Ryan recite what he had heard that day, like Jesus being buried in the "tube" and going to heaven.  I didn't have the heart to tell him it was actually called a tomb until a few days later.  I just kept wanting him to retell me the story of the tube!  Anyway, at Christmas time they always made the most adorable ornaments and gifts for their families.  The first year Ryan made an angel out of a teeny tiny picture of his face and a pipe cleaner halo, one white doilie and a gold doilie.  The next year he made what we call the Baby Jesus Hotdog.  It's a piece of pink paper wrapped in a small paper plate to represent the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes.  It looks like a hot dog in a bun.  Then it was Zach's turn a few years later.  He bestowed upon us the baby Jesus peanut.  Yep, a peanut in the shell with 2 little eyes drawn on and a tiny piece of felt tied around it.  It lays in a yarn bed in a toilet paper tube cut in half.  These two things are usually the first put on the tree and the last to be taken off the tree.  I carefully place them in the ornament box so that they don't get damaged.  Someday I want to pass them along to them so they can put them on their own trees! 


I have a lot of really great men in my life.  Men like my Dad, husband, brothers.  Little men like my sons and my nephews.  They all have a few things in common but I'd have to say the one that is the most important and that they ALL share is their love and respect for the women in their lives.  None that I know would ever think to talk down to, belittle, harrass or embarrass women, especially those that they live with.  The women are pretty special in their own right.  They are strong willed women, smart women that can carry on a conversation AND do six other things while having that conversation!  Too often anymore I hear about men (and sometimes witness it myself) that talk about other women with their wives in the room.  And it's not in a good way.  I don't expect my husband to never look at another woman or admire her looks and or personality or find someone attractive.  He's human, not dead!  I'm secure enough in my marriage and with myself that I'm not offenced by it.  But if he told me details on how he'd like to see her naked or something...he'd get an earful and a face full of fist.  Just kidding, I don't hit.  But still, do you get my point?  Mutual respect is huge in relationships.  If you don't have it, get it!


I forgot to take my blood pressure medication today and I can totally feel it.  My poor fingers don't want to bend.   Speaking of bending appendages...I have never understood it when people say the weather is changing based on what body part is creaking, popping or hurting.  Your knee hurts?  Take an umbrella because that means it's gonna rain.  Ankles are swollen?  1 to 2 inches of snow.  Elbow popping?  Be prepared for tornadic activity.  By the way, I love that word, tornadic.  Just try to say it without feeling like a smarty pants.  Tornadic.  ToRnAdIc.  TORNADIC!!  Anyway, I haven't experienced any of these things yet so I can't swear to the scientific validity of them but still....


Comfort Zone

I'm always amazed at how things turn out.  Several weeks ago I was "invited" to attend a conference for work.  And by invited I mean I was told I had to go.  Now this is a conference I've been to before, just last year, in fact.  With my company we have to share a room with someone.  This is waaaaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone.  For weeks last year I stressed hard core about rooming with someone.  Sharing a room with a stranger and having to get ready for your day in front of them is really uncomfortable.  It's all those routine morning and evening things that no one other than my husband and family should really be privy to.  Like how I brush my teeth.  Or how my face is all red and blotchy when I get out of the shower.  Or how I snore.  Last year, my roomie turned out to be an older lady that was just as new as I was.  We ended up having a nice time.  We had dinner together and even went out shopping one evening.  I was still not very comfortable but in the end I just figured it was life and something I had to do and regardless of how I felt, or how much I wanted it, I was not going to get my own room.  This year was a little different.  I found out I'd be rooming with a girl that I am a little familiar with due to a few other meetings but nothing like this.  We arrived separately and went into the meeting room.  I was really nervous because, again, unfamiliar with her.  Long story short, we got through the meeting, sat in the bar and had a few drinks with co workers, went back to the room and stayed up til 2 in the morning just talking and getting to know each other.  It was a little weird to get ready this morning with someone other than my husband in the room, but it turned out ok. I'm hoping I don't have to do this kind of thing anymore, sharing a room.  But if I just relax a little and take it for what it is, I'm finding that I'm pleasantly surprised!

Why I love that Ryan kid...

My boy Ryan is funny.  And I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom.  Sometimes he's funny on purpose and almost always knows how to crack me up.  But when he's funny by accident, just that random funny that happens...I love that the most.  Yesterday we were sitting next to each other at Pizza Hut.  Of course we're talking sports.  And all of a sudden this look comes over his face, like the light bulb went on and he turns to me and says in all seriousness, "Hey, I wonder if I could be in the Special Olympics since I'm in resource!?  I could run by all the other people and be like, "Hi", and get gold medals!"  He's also the kid that asked his dad if he wanted a "pumpkin sandwich" instead of knuckle sandwich.  Of course we still tease him about that!  I love Ryan. 

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We've won the lottery!

Yep, it's true, you read it right.  Steve and I have won the lottery.  A million times.  In our minds.  And we've spent it a million different ways in our minds, too.  We think of what we would do first and what we would never do.  Some of our ideas are the same and some are different.  We pretty much agree on charitable organizations to donate to.  The Humane Society, St. Judes, Thousand Pines are just a few that I can think of off the top of my head.  There are police and firefighter funds we'd donate to also.  Something for veterans.  All noble causes.  We've agreed that we would find or build a house that is absolutely perfect for us, complete with a "movie room".  Plush leather seating, popcorn machine, projector, etc.  Wouldn't mind having a bowling alley in the house.  Just because I could.  But we've agreed that we would never buy stupid stuff like suits of armor or $15,000 chandeliers because that's just crazy.  It's fun spending the money over and over again in a million different ways.  What would you spend it on?

Don't tell my sister....

but I'm googling how to write a bridesmaid toast.  I have to give one at her wedding in July and I have no clue how to begin.  I know what I should say, what I'm supposed to say.  But I have no idea what I'm actually going to say.  How do you toast someone that is so uniquely special and kind and compassionate?  How do you do it without tears?  How do you not put a little sidebar comment in there and tell her new marine husband you know 100 ways to kill him with your pinky if he doesn't make her happy??  I've got time so I will figure it out.  Maybe I'll just go with a nice Irish quote, something about having the wind at your back and blah, blah, blah.  Then again, maybe I'll just stick to the pinky thing and call it good.

What the.....

I'm really not sure when or how it happened.  I don't know if it's something I did or didn't do.  All I know is I can't stop it.  I'm aging!  The first sign?  My vision.  Can't see anything anymore without a magnifying glass, I swear!!  I feel like my dad. And I'm not even 40 yet.  The second sign?  Digestion.  Can't eat what or how I used to.  That's probably not such a bad thing though.  I just don't have the stomach I used to.  In more ways than one.  *Sigh*  The third sign?  Memory loss.  I can't remember what I was doing right in the middle of doing it.  I'm not liking this but the alternative isn't so great either! 


He's amazing.  And I love him very much.