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Friday, October 26, 2012

Things I've learned from hurricanes past....

The perfect storm of absolute crap arriving during a full moon, high tide along side another storm front... whatever it is they're spouting.  I have this mental picture of all the weather guys rubbing their hands together watching their little weather stations going, "oh boy, oh boy, oh boy ... here she comes."
Meh, whatever....

I'm more pissed that this whole storm may mess with Halloween for the kids - AGAIN - second year in a row!

Storm-schmorm.  To me - it's like that giant raccoon going through your garbage.  You know he's there, and you can't get it to leave.  So you stay the heck away until it's done & you know you're going to have a mess to clean up afterward.

I've done this storm bit before...Hurricane Hugo, my brother was home on leave & I was out partying with my friends.  I watched Hurricane Floyd through my window as it rapidly brought down trees and turned my garage / basement into "a river runs through it".  Hurricane Irene kept me out of work for a few days and just made a mess.  It's is what it is!

For those closer to the coastline - well, we're talking a whole lotta trouble.  Be safe!

My words of wisdom are short, sweet and to the point.

Ready for some very blunt Jenn??

1.  Don't be dumb.  Surfing in a hurricane is stupid.

2.  Have cash - enough of it to last at least a week.  If power goes out, the ATM machines WILL be down.  It will be cash and carry if stores are open.

3.  Don't be dumb.  If you live in the northeast and you DON'T have a snow shovel in your garage or milk in your fridge (and you're not just a youngin' starting out) you have issues.  Don't rush the grocery stores!  Just stay home, PLEASE.  Nothing is more irritating than the storm psychos!

4.  Put gas in your vehicle.  YES - fill 'er up!  Pumps run on electricity.  If the electric is out - as their predicting for a few weeks - you won't be able to get gas in your vehicle.  A half tank or quarter tank are not enough.  Go, do it now.

5.  Propane.  If you have an electric stove - you're bummin' for a meal, aren't you??  Bring your grill into someplace WELL VENTILATED (let's not blow up our homes, m'kay?)  If you have an enclosed porch - FABULOUS.  Garage, whatever... put it there.  It'll come in handy if you want to eat.  Micky D's will probably be closed, as will the rest of the planet.

6.  When they tell you EMERGENCY VEHICLES ONLY on the road... please listen!  If it's come to that point, there is usually a good reason to listen.

7.  Candles, flash lights, battery operated lanterns, board games, charge the iPod, iPhone, DS, Kindle, Nook - whatever... Get 'em all ready.  Your kids WILL be bored.  If you want to survive the day, weekend - Just do it!

8.  That handy dandy generator in the garage (hint, hint, honey) that looks really pretty?  Let's hook that bad boy up, shall we??

9.  Oh..and if you hadn't picked up on it earlier... DON'T BE DUMB!

Be prepared for the stupid stuff that you don't really think of.

I hesitate to really start tearing up the storm nuts, because last storm - well, people died & lost their homes and I felt really bad.  I wish no harm on anyone - and wish anyone in this storm's path safety.

I hope my mixture of silliness & genuine advice are helpful to you.

More than anything else, stay safe!

Enjoy the weekend & if it looks bad - just stay in.

Signing out...
~Weather Wench
a.k.a.  Jenn

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now...

One liners really give me something to think about...

Yes, maybe that's a bit more than one line, but between that and another I heard on TV the other night, the mind has really been spinning.  Yes, ignore the smoke & no, don't throw water - I'm OK.

If the title of this blog doesn't ring any bells for you, from the late 60's song "My Back Pages". (as performed by The Byrds in this clip)

Between "I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now." and another line I heard on TV I've really been thinking about life.

I can't quote the TV line exactly - because I just don't remember.  In any case the woman on the show is talking to a guy her age and telling him that she knows he's asking her out because he thinks they're about the same age, but the fact is that she's really about 100 years older than him.

Of course it's a "life experience" thing.
The weight of the world, etc.

In the Bob Dylan song (as I feel it's meant to be interpreted) you're like this snotty know it all teen-ager or 20 something.  You have the bull by the tail, knowing all you need to know about all you need to know - full cup... and all that.  Now, you're this adult - who looks back and laughs at how much you DIDN'T know at all.

For me, it's the mental image of having the weight of the world on my shoulders at such a young age.  I'm definitely "younger than that now."
Although I'm SURE I was a smart ass, know it all 20 something, I had quite a bit of actual life experience & knowledge to back it up.
Stuff I learned way too young.

When I was growing up, I was forced to be older than my years.  Just life stuff that I don't want to dredge up for fear that someone, who's feelings I don't want to hurt, may be reading.  The fact is that at from 7 years old on, I was the main care taker of my younger siblings.  I was washing, feeding and caring for them on a regular basis.  Where ever I went, they went.
I didn't have a real opportunity to participate in organized sports as I'd wanted - or at least not on a regular basis.
I gave up quite a bit.  Things you'd expect to give up as a parent.
I was, truly, old before my time.

In some ways, that was good.  It prepared me for mommy-dom.
On the other hand, I missed out on some really important elements of childhood.  Things you can never get back & some times much of the reason that I act out in totally immature ways now, as an "adult".

I don't plan on changing that - because I have a great time being 12.  Most of my friends enjoy it as well... hubby, well - not so much sometimes, but he does find the humor in it - so I get a pass.

I do feel that I am much more care free now than I ever was at 8, 18 or 22!  I was a fully functioning unit - working, caring for others...Yes, I'm still doing that now - but NOW - I'm enjoying my life.

Living vicariously through my kids - stopping to smell the roses.

Relieved that that weight that was so heavy on my shoulders, from life's crap, has been lifted.

That I've been able to sift out the crap & just live.

I AM younger than that now!

I hope you are too!!

Shed those extra 100 years of stuff and go be 12!

You'll be happy you did!

Big Fat Smoochies!!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reverse Judgement.... I think this way & I'm right - but you're wrong because you think....

You always hear about how judgmental people can be. Don't judge me because I'm....whatever....

Do you hear much about "reverse judgement"?
Mmmm not as much, because no one feels they're guilty of that particular type of judgement...

A judgement much worse because it's fueled by the emotion that comes along with feeling judged, or the need to protect the judged.

Once upon a time, before I went back into the work force, I was involved in some work from home opportunities.  Truth be told, I like to work. Being a stay at home mommy is certainly a job, but I'm cerebral.  I need to be challenged, so I took this on with hubby's full support.

Working from home wasn't exactly easy with a toddler & pre-teen demanding my time.  I scheduled my business around naps and dinner, sporting runs and hubby being home.  Time management became a huge part of my day / business.  I loved that business for the same reason I love blogging - I get to meet new & different people every day.  I even got to personally interact from time to time. 

Now, I am not a person to judge.  I didn't have the best little start out in life.  People looked down their noses at my family when I was younger & probably longer than I care to remember.  I worked hard to move away from all of that.  Most of what surrounded me back then was not MY issue, it was situational and why I was able to break free.  It is also one of the biggest things I keep in my mind when I meet new people.  Nothing is always as it appears.  I don't know their story.

I have mentioned many times that my daddy was very "peace, love and tie dye".  He was down to earth.  He loved everyone & accepted people for who they were.  This is the example he set for me. To look at people & see their hearts, not the surface stuff.

Now I work to be the type of person my dad would be proud of. A person who accepts people for who they are.  Everyone has a story.

That said - let's rewind back to my business days.  I befriended this one girl via phone & really wanted to help her.  She was a single mom, struggling & I really wanted to see her do well.  In that, I worked with her to set up a presentation in her home.  I was venturing out into unknown territory, and didn't think twice about it.  I seldom do.

I dressed in proper business attire & took the 3 hour drive to where she lived, no questions asked.  She wasn't well off.  That was apparent.  I worked with her to make things look nice.  I helped her to set up and sat with her & educated her to the best of my ability to help along her new business.  I brought her much of my own stuff to keep.  I wanted her to succeed.

Her guests began to arrive, and one after another - they looked me over in ways that made me feel very uncomfortable.

If you don't know me personally, when I feel uncomfortable - I turn the "Jenn" up a little higher.  I become - well, just more.  I smiled bigger, I talked more - I "overly friendlied" all over the place.

No one budged.  I could tell that there was no one there even sort of willing to hear me out or give me an inch of courtesy.  I was even "heckled."  It was awful.

At the end of the day, I packed up.  I took the long drive home upset and wondering what set these people off about me.  Why no one cracked a smile - not one.  I felt I'd let this poor girl down & couldn't figure out what I'd done wrong.

When I got back to my house - I called her to see how she thought things went.  She happily stated that after I left people came back & started looking at the items I left with her.  They asked her many questions & she had three people who wanted to join her business.

Of course, I was thrilled for her - but I couldn't help but ask if there were something I'd done to upset anyone.

To that - she merely stated that I was over dressed & that her people didn't take to my fancy schmancy ways.  I was shocked!  I am not a "fancy schmancy" type.  I'm fairly down to earth & as I always say - non-judgemental, mostly.

I bring up this point - because I know many folks - not just one, MANY - who will say they are non-judgemental.  They accept this, that and the other thing and they don't judge you either - unless, of course - you don't agree with their point of view.  Then you're wrong.

That, my friends - is reverse judgement.

I don't particularly care if you are a Demo-public-Chri-ish-lum-tant-bi-heter-esbia-hom-afro-nese-cauc-polar-exi-rican!  People are people are people!  Suck it up and deal with it!

We are ALL different!  If we were all meant to be the same, we'd all be named "Bob" and look exactly alike.  We're different.  Plain and simple.

No one thinks exactly the same - no one has the exact same beliefs.

You not liking someone because they don't agree with - say, the Democrats - doesn't make them better for you not liking you because they're Republican.  It's all the same.  No matter how you dress it up, it's judgement, baby....

Do I think I can "teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony" (click on the link, it's very Kumbaya) hold hands around a camp fire & share a Coke -- Oh sheeesh... Pepsi, OK :)  Mmmm - No, I don't.

I'm not perfect.  I can definitely have opinions that other people don't like - but that's my problem.  By the same token, I'm not going to trash you for not agreeing completely with my point of view.

Think about it...

I just did.

Have a fabulous day!!


Monday, October 22, 2012

OK, so you don't like me....let me get a tissue.

Once upon a time, that used to freak me out.

The whole... they don't like me.  Oooh, Ooh, let me jump through hoops!  Do they like me now??  How about now??  Now??  Hmmm.... Let me try harder.  Do they like me yet?  Why not?  Why, Why, Why, WHY???

Now....I'm over that crap.

Of course I want people to like me - who doesn't?

Truth be told... I'm not everyone's cup of tea.  I'm blunt.  If I have something to say, I say it.  I don't sugar coat it.  Though everyone knows where they stand with me, not everyone appreciates it.  Hmpf. Let me go get an invisible tissue to wipe away my non-existent tears.

I know that sounds very harsh and unfeeling.  I'm not that way at all.
If you've been following me both on here & on my page, you know that I'm a big ol mush!

I've come to a point in my life where I understand that not everyone is going to think I'm all that & a bag of chips.  Shocking, right??

You don't like me?  :(
My fault, I know it and I own it. I'm impulsive.   Sometimes it bugs the crap out of me, other times - it's the perfect way to weed out those folks who aren't really invested in the friendship.

I have taken friendship breaks from some folks from time to time.  Not necessarily ending the friendship - but taking a step back out of it.  Seeing what things really are.

Relationships change, people change.  Sometimes it's for the better, other's not.

Maybe it's that I've gotten older & have a lower tolerance for b/s.  Maybe I'm wiser?  Who knows.  I feel I've come to a place that when it comes to me & mine I don't put up with any nonsense.

Truth - people come into your life at different times for different reasons.

Just because they walk out at one time doesn't necessarily mean they won't walk back in at another, nor are they guaranteed to ever walk back in. That's OK too.

While I am a "pleaser" by nature, I know it's not my direct responsibility to cater to each and every individual on the planet.  Nor do I need to jump through hoops to make someone like me.  Either they do or the don't.  Their loss if the don't.

Yeah...  I know - that's a bit self promoting, but I'd rather have a positive, loving self image than a reflection of something I'm not proud of because I'm trying to fit into someone else's perfect little mold.

What it really comes down to is that you can't please all the people all the time.  All you can do is do right by others & right by yourself.
Give and expect respect.

Give for the joy of giving and you'll never be disappointed.  If you give expecting something in return, you may not achieve your desired results.

I don't expect the world to bow down at my feet.

I am who I am, and I'm good with me.

Are you good with you?

Lots of love & hugs!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Have you met Saint Mommy??

Apparently, that's my alter ego.

I'm the mother of a grown son, who looks at me as if I am the embodiment of all that is perfect and right in this world - moon beams shoot from my head & stars are in my eyes as I breathe in flowers and exhale butterflies.

Um... Not quite, and no he really doesn't.
Well, OK, maybe he sort of does.

I, in no way shape or form, have ever claimed or tried to be perfect.  I do all I can to set the proper examples, while just being me.

Is my mouth always clean and proper?  Meh, not really.  Do I occasionally say the s-word in front of my short ones?  Um, guilty - but I also reinforce that these are trash words & mommy sounds like an absolute beast saying these things.  Be better than mommy, I say.

I've gotten my eldest child, who has given me the biggest run for my money to date, raised into adulthood - relatively unscathed.
Pfft, who am I kidding?  He's amazing!!  I'm so proud I could do back flips!!!   Well, if I actually COULD still do a back flip.  You get the idea.   All in all, I've done a pretty damn good job and am continuing to doing a pretty good job with the short ones.

I truly do have a split persona.  The person I am with my friends - the wild and crazy Jenn with the broken filter who may spout naughty words after a glass or four of wine.  I may embarrass myself on many levels in the spirit of fun and folly - but send a kid in the room.  Screeeeeeeeeech (that's me slamming on the breaks) and out comes Saint Mommy.  Appropriate (for me) smiling, doing whatever my child - or whatever child walks in may need.  Truly.
One short person calling me to an activity will take me away from big people fun & have me sitting on the floor playing Pokemon on DS...  Just go ask my 9 year old boyfriend.  He'll tell ya!

Someone once guffawed at my reference to my being "Mother Theresa" around my kids.
At the time, that really hurt my feelings.  Then I realized that person clearly only saw what they wanted to see,  never spent much alone time with me and my kids - and well, clearly just didn't care to know my real life.

My life as....Saint Mommy!

While my son was home on leave, he brought my Facebook page to my attention, or the content I should be more clear to say.  I have two pages; my personal page limited to actual friends and family & my "Pages" page open to the world for this blog and general silliness.
My son, a "LIKER" of my page was shocked and appalled that his momma would have the audacity to post a half naked picture of David Beckham on the Facebook Page for others to browse.
I call it a "soccer appreciation moment" for the ladies.  He called it porn.  Really?  Porn?

My son was completely horrified that I actually might like to look at a very hot shirtless man.  I giggle as I type, because he was adamant about keeping my reputation intact.  It was very cute, actually - because if you've been to my page - I don't swear there, I don't allow or share any adult content, I don't post political or controversial stuff...
I just have fun & maybe post a little eye candy every now and then.  Really hardly ever... but apparently, that's porn, lol.

Ahhhh, my child.  Trying to keep momma on the straight and narrow.  Because, ya know - my day of working, shuffling kids around & passing out from exhaustion by 10 pm is entirely too wild and crazy.

For now, and the next I don't know 100 something years I'll be "Saint Mommy" patron saint of the closet hell raisers, like myself.

Thank you for reading my blog!


PS.  If you've been missing my "soccer appreciation moments" on my page, I've stopped out of respect to my son's wishes....

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Don't look a gift horse...

Remember the post I took down last week?  The one I replaced with "I am" and I shook off the funk?  Well here it is all cleaned up.  No funk for now... I smiling like it's my job.

I guess we all go through the funk from time to time, right??

As I've mentioned (many, many times) in the past, every year during the month of August, (really July, August & September) I was going through the ick.  That, for me, is time of year that all of the sad stuff in my life is highlighted by "anniversary dates" and culminates into this giant ball of ick that drops on my head.  Sort of like the green goop from that TV show my son used to watch on Nickelodeon when he was little.

Somehow, this year's ick seemed to manifest itself in ways I didn't expect and other people's ick somehow splashed itself all over me!  Eww!

Some of the stuff I could brush it off and say - "hey, hey now...  This isn't mine, it's yours - you take it.  I don't want it."  Other stuff... well, life lessons.

What's up with all of these life lessons??  Not for nothing - but I'm getting pretty old here.  I could really do without all these extra little life lessons.  I guess that's what happens when you don't learn.

This is my fault, I know...

Genuinely, I'm naive.
My daddy raised his daughter to see the best in people, no matter how crappy they may be.  Ya know, sort of like Shallow Hal's vision in the movie of the same name - or "Beer Goggles" for a more familiar term.

When I look at people, I do my best to see beyond the flaming a'hole they may be & search for the good.  This has gotten me in trouble more than once, I might add.  While it's true that most people are inherently good somewhere inside, I'm not sure it always needs to be a project to find the good - or that it needs to be MY project.

My current issue - opportunists...
I'm a giver.  I like to take care of people.  I like to know people are happy and have what they need.  If someone wants or needs something that I can provide it - I try to do that.  If it makes someone else's life easier or helps in some way, great.

I don't do things so people will like me better or praise the almighty Jenn...That would actually make me really uncomfortable!

I'm not someone who puts on a facade
of who I want people to think I am 
& then turn out to be someone else.  
I am a genuine, but terribly flawed human being.  I know this.
I'm just me and I do things because I LIKE to.
Because that's who I am.
End of story!
I'm good with that.

So it makes me wonder...
Why would someone want to tear me down for doing something nice for no damn good reason?  I don't get it.  Am I really THAT naive?

Let me step back to clarify.  I am naive - not stupid.  I know when I'm being taken advantage of and when to put on the brakes.  How about you?  Do you know when to put on the brakes?  Are you the giver or the taker?  Ahhh, something to think about...

There comes a point when no matter how much someone loves you & cares for you, they will step back when they've had enough.

I was blindsided.  I'd have never seen this coming in a million years - which is why the funk.

Is there someone in your life that may be feeling a little taken advantage of?   Someone who gives to you with their whole heart that maybe you've not told that you loved or appreciated lately?

Please go ahead and do that.

You never know what a difference that could make in your day, their day or even in your relationship.

Have a wonderful day & thank you for reading my blog!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Longing for simple.... While fighting the "I Want it NOW Beast"

There, I've said it - I want it and I want it NOW!

I'm impulsive - very, very, very - IMPULSIVE.  I don't want to wait, I want it NOW....  Do you feel an Oompa Loompa song coming on??  Yes, I'm feeling very Varuka Salt these days.  Who am I kidding, always - I've always been a spoiled rotten little brat.

The only difference between your average spoiled brat & me, is that I don't rely on someone else to get me what I want.  I do it myself!
My hubby, whom I rely on to reel me in is no better.
We both like "stuff."

I've got quite a bit of that STUFF!  Too much actually.  I recently switched over my wardrobe from summer to fall/winter.  This was the first of my shocking realities.  My point of, "Oh my gosh!  What have I become?"

In pulling out the bins, one outfit after another I noted that some items had never been worn & the sales tags were still on.  Sadly, I don't even like some of the outfits.  I don't even know why I made the purchase.  Oh yeah, impulse buy.  That's it.

As I went through my items, one by one I started to bag them - by size, by season for those who have nothing.

Then I tackled the girls' rooms.  Again, excess.  I swear my girls each have about 8-10 pairs of shoes each.  No you may not look in my closet.

This was not always my life.  We struggled growing up.  I know we had very little.  This was blaringly obvious to me, because some of my friends had so much more than we did and I was often embarrassed.  I didn't want to be there again, ever!

At this point in my life -
I know that I am, indeed, very lucky. Incredibly and abundantly blessed that in an economy such as we are in today, we not only have everything we need, but excess.  It makes me feel ashamed on some level that we just keep on buying more & more stuff.

We have taken a step back.  All of us.  Through church and school, there have been many opportunities to give back to those who have very little - or nothing at all.  To those, I will donate the clothes that will help someone.

This is the easy part, truly.

The not so easy part and perfect example; Our camper was just totaled by the insurance company.
A damn shame really, because it was beautiful & in great shape - but a little water got in somewhere & the floors rotted out and well, the insurance company wasn't prepared to shell out the $14 grand it would cost to repair it.

They took it away and days later, we ran right out to buy another.

As the momma, main caretaker of children & one responsible to pack the unit prior to all trips - I know what we "need" in an RV.
We went to the RV Show to look around and lo & behold, there she was!  Exactly what we "need."
A separate room for the kids with a door,  everything done with just a touch of a button for hubby's benefit, lots of storage & just squirting wonder & adventure. 
All to the tune of about $30K.  We sat down, filled out the paperwork & left beaming from ear to ear - delighting in the new toy we just bought.

Then it hit me - this is not simplifying.  A new RV is not a "need."  We don't even have a proper vehicle to pull the new toy.  That would have been a separate purchase.  What the heck?

The following Monday, we cancelled the deal.

The I want it an I want it now beast is not an easy one to tame.  The line is so incredibly fine between could and should.  Yes, we could get this beautiful new toy. Yes, we would have a great time & make many more memories, but should we?


Don't I get any brownie points at all for not booking a trip to Fiji? Because I really want that too!

Have you taken a step back & looked at this type of thing?  From the outside looking in?  From the mentality of someone who is struggling?  I'm not sure I want to know what that looks like.  How spoiled I must look.

For now, we are working on dealing with the stuff we need to focus on.  The actual "needs."

We are working to simplify & be happy with what we've got.  To take care of that "stuff" & teach our kids the same.

To be thankful that we are NOT struggling.  We have more than we need and that we should be thankful and gracious every single day.

Not just Wanting it & Wanting it NOW... Varuka!

Have an amazing & wonderful day!!