Archive for January, 2008

How Quickly A Year Flies!

It never even occurred to me until about 5 minutes ago, that exactly 1 year ago today, at approximately 1:30PM I graduated from cosmetology college. Okay, don’t laugh, I really did get a degree in cosmetology. If you want to know what I’m doing with it besides telling you that I graduated a year ago, the truth is not much. I cut my son, daughter, husband, brother and mother’s hair. I’ve cut P’s grandpa’s hair. I give my mom perms and colors. Other than that, I haven’t done a thing. But, anyway, so a year ago today I was blissfully happy to have graduated, and ready to go out there and get myself a job doing just about anything. Little did I know that I wouldn’t take my state boards, would decide to never use the degree I’d worked so hard for a year to earn and move on with life almost as if school had never happened. Strange how life moves you forward in a series of events that you only notice upon reflection. I am however a strong supporter of my school and I still go there for my own haircuts.

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An Afternoon Off

My mom came and picked up L for an afternoon of grammy & grandkid fun (she’s also taking my newphew for a few hours). With an entire afternoon kid-free I’m really not sure what to do with myself.

Hobby Lobby was the first thing that came to mind, am I totally bad for admitting it? Shopping for scrapbooking supplies seemed the most awesome and productive way to spend a kid-free afternoon!

Second thing was clean the house really well, but who really wants to do that? I wouldn’t finish it all anyway, so why start, right?

I could spend some time reading one of the two books I have started.

I might start working on that rummage sale I am DEFINITELY having this spring. (And don’t let me slack on that one!)

I could eat all the candy in the house, or at least the chocolate stuff.

I could take an nice hot relaxing uninterrupted bath or even a shower!

I could finally have time to practice the funky yoga moves on my new video I purchased, but have never started using…..

I could drive over and check out the new music store here in town and see how much it would cost to rent the flute I’m wanting. I really, really want to start playing again even if I haven’t played since the 6th grade. And, they are much smaller than the baby grand piano’s I like and probably a whole hell of a lot cheaper on the pocket book.

I could do just about anything, the possibilities seem almost endless, but I’m sitting here instead…blogging about what I could do with a full afternoon kid-free instead of doing something. Pathetic, yes…yes I am.

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Still Smoke-Free

It’s now been 28 days since I quit smoking. I can hardly believe I’ve lasted this long. I have had little puffs here and there, plus that one bad day smoke, but otherwise I’m not doing too poorly. Unlike others who quit, I’m not forcing myself not to smoke. If I feel like having a little puff, I have one. It seems to be working for me, so I don’t think I’ll throw that idea out the window anytime soon. I don’t know that I necessarily feel any better than I did while I was smoking, but here are some things I have noticed:

  • I love chocolate. All kinds of any variety or portion. In total I ate about three four five boxes of Little Debbie snacks last week alone. Yes, 5 boxes. I’m not proud of that. That doesn’t include the one two 12 packs of pudding I polished off before the kids could touch any. I did however leave the vanilla! (See what a good mommy I am?)
  • Food, in forms other than chocolate, are my new best friend. If the freshman 15 is what happens in college, I’m getting the cigarette 30. I didn’t gain 15 pounds in college, and I’m making up for it now.
  • I have a lot more time on my hands. I never realized how much time in a day you could take up smoking cigarettes. If it’s 5 minutes to a smoke, that was about an hour of my day towards the end and over 2 hours a day in my prime. I spent 2 hours a day just smoking! Now I don’t have anything to do with those two hours and I find boredom strikes quite often.
  • Spending time on activities has gotten easier. I’m not always worried about when my last cigarette was, or when my next one will be. This would come in very handy if I was working. It’s also made visiting with others a lot more pleasant.
  • Given that I get bored more easily because I have those two extra hours, I find I’m in bed a lot earlier. This means I’m getting more sleep, waking up earlier, and not quite so crabby. I used to stay up just so I could have one last cigarette.
  • I no longer carry the scent of cigarettes on my person. That being said, the smell of someone who has just had a cigarette is now both pleasing and disgusting. I get a slight pang of longing at the scent and sort of nauseous at the same time. It’s a strange love/hate relationship now.

I guess you could probably safely say that I’m a “non-smoker” even if I am cheating on occasion yet.  I have a feeling within the next month I’ll probably be done with the cheating as it’s happening less and less often.  In fact, it’s generally five or six days in between small puffs.  28 days down, 337 to go!

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    Thoughts for Monday

    1. I can’t stay mad at my husband as long as I’d like to sometimes. Which almost makes me as mad as what originally made me mad in the first place. It’s certainly not fair that he can be a jerk and I can give up on the silent treatment long before he could. UGH!

    2. I’m actually looking forward to having a pop up camper this summer. Despite the fact that it’s terribly fugly on the interior. It’ll be fun to take the kids out and not have to worry about getting rain. Not to mention, the ability to wash dishes and just hang out inside. I’m not sure I’m keen about sleeping in those wings though….what if they fall? *shudder*

    This isn’t our camper, but it’s one I found online that’s the same make/model/year.

    3. I dislike being the disciplinarian. Really, really, really dislike it. It seems no matter how I handle it I always feel like I could have done something better. Which, maybe that’s the problem with discipline, there is always a better way. It could be too that my son had a “case of the Monday’s”.

    4. Cramps should be outlawed! I see no reason why I should feel like curling up into the fetal position for 90% of the day; especially since it’s Monday. I had my own “case of the Monday’s” and don’t feel I should be tortured just because I happened to have been born a female. The fact that I just went through this 28 days ago should count for something, shouldn’t it?

    5. While the laundromat is exceedingly quick for large sums of laundry (6 loads to be exact), I’d still rather have my own washer and dryer at home. It just feels so gross to wash my clothes where hundreds of others have. You do what you have to do, but I don’t know…it’s just not right.

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    Figure Skating

    I’m watching the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championship right now. I’ve always been in love with figure skating. It’s such a graceful and beautiful sport. I grew up watching Nancy Kerrigan, Michelle Kwan and the like. It has always amazed me how they leap off the ice and twist and twirl and spin like swans on a large frozen lake.

    But tonight, I’m watching and these “women” are like 14 years old and I can’t imagine the stress they are under professionally and personally to win and get that medal. I know it’s not the Olympics, but in figure skating every medal matters. Every competition part of the road to the Olympics, and every little girls’ dream of standing on that podium with a gold medal around her neck. At the ripe old age of 18 one is considered a veteran in this sport. By 25 most skaters are retired or have gone pro. I wonder what they’ve all given up? I wonder what the grueling practices, the tutors, the travel, the lack of personal time have done to them in their adult lives. I wonder if they’d change anything, or do it even a little bit differently. Would they still sacrifice everything for a 4-minute long program they’ve worked on for over a year?

    The young girl, Caroline Zhang, who inspired this blog just finished a beautiful program to the sounds of Ava Maria and has captured a standing ovation from the crowd. I can see the absolute joy in her face at skating such a beautiful program and it honestly made me smile to see her face look so radiant at now being in first place. But I wonder what she’s given up for that?

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    -949.16

    Bank account totals
    Negative balance frightens
    Better get fixed fast!

    So, I went online to check out how my bank account was doing. I love online banking, but I usually dread seeing how little is actually available in my account. I knew I had two checks outstanding and figured I had about $15 to spare.

    I get logged in and the first thought that entered my mind was, “What the fuck happened?”. (I know I’m usually more censored, I apologize) Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saintly, I’ve certainly over drafted my account, and even by a couple hundred dollars in worse years, but when I saw -949.16 I almost peed in my pants. I quickly clicked for account information fearing I’d absentmindedly forgotten about some large check floating out there. We just paid property taxes so it would do us in to have a big boo-boo like that.

    My child support check bounced.

    This has never happened before. My ex-husband is actually very punctual and quite good-humored about the money he has to fork over for our two adorable little munchkins. I won’t say the exact amount he pays, but you can probably guess by the figure above that it’s a substantial sum every two weeks.

    I immediately got on the phone to call him and shockingly enough got him right away. It’s the workday so sometimes I get left trying to leave a message when his voicemail is full…this would not be the time for that. I get right to the point and let him know he owes me $949.16. He’s puzzled (obviously) and asks me what the deal is and the following conversation ensues:

    Me: It bounced!

    Him: That’s not possible. (He starts pulling up his online banking.)

    Me: Well, it says right here ‘Returned for NSF’. It was the 2nd try.

    Him: There’s enough in my account to cover it.

    Me: Regardless, you owe me $949.16.

    So, you get the point, we kind of went back and forth on that dollar amount and the fact that his check had indeed bounced for a few minutes. He immediately offers to overnight me a check via FedEx (not cheap) to which I initially agree and we get off the phone.

    Almost immediately I call my husband who asks me what fees the bank is going to charge me, and if the 25 or so transactions that went through on that bounced check are going to be…gasp…NSF’d now too. I freak again and recall the ex-husband about this. He’s not sure either, so he offers to Western Union the money before 4PM when my bank goes on next business day.

    Okay, so I’m kinda cool now, but I call the bank. This is the bank I worked at earlier in 2007 and I ask for my old super cause she pretty much knows everything. She looks at the account and probably almost pees her pants at my negative balance and tells me she doesn’t see anything. Then she says she’ll have Barb take a look for me just in case something has tried to go through.

    Alright, fine, feeling better. The ex-husband calls and needs address information; which for the record he should have because I swear I’ve given it to him 1000 times, but I think he’s too lazy to use his fancy phone/palm pilot/camera/MP3 player to look it up. Then he asks for my account number and I want to know what’s going on. Turns out it’s almost $93 to Western Union such a sum of money so he’s doing a wire transfer. To which I freak because I know this bank has a huge fee on transfers; alright not huge, but more than I can cover. So, he says he’ll add a bit more to the original amount just to cover any fees I might incur.

    Transaction finished I keep tabs on my account and finally around 2PM I again had a positive checking balance. Phew. I could breathe again. The bank called back too and there weren’t any NSF’s going through on my account so I wouldn’t get any other huge fees tacked on.

    I’m thankful for the end result and that my ex-husband is on top of his support of our children. If I’d been stuck with some dead beat I could have been in a real fight to get that money back or to ever get that sort of fee paid off in time for that last check or two to clear.

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    Hitting the Books

    After a conversation with my father-in-law last night I realized how strongly I’d like to go back to school. I graduated a year ago (on January 31st) from cosmetology school. I decided not to pursue the career field for many reasons. Now, a year later, I’ve discovered there are plenty of other things I’m much more interested in, but didn’t realize it because I just hadn’t gotten there yet. You know how some life experiences happen and then you realize you really would enjoy something you hadn’t thought of before.

    Well, anyway, last night was one of those moments and now I’m wondering how to pull it off. I know I can get a deferrment on my loans; even though some interest will still accrue. I just don’t know if our family would qualify for financial aid like I did a year ago. The whole life situation has changed in such a short time…it’s a “maybe” sort of scenario. Then it’s the whole run of testing and getting into the program. This isn’t something I can decide I don’t want to do when I’m finished, this is something I must find field work in after I graduate to start earning money to pay back loans.

    Now, my other option is to get a certification in something. It’s not as solid as a degree, but there are two options there, neither of which I’m absolutely certain is what I’d want a career in, but would potentially lead to at-home employment which is definitely a goal for me so that I can continue to cater to my children while they are at home and avoid some of the costs of working outside the home.

    So, I’ve really got to sit down and weigh out the options of the different fields I’m considering, talk with my husband about how realistic it would be for me to pursue something and about how long we can afford to have me out there getting an education based on the cost of it and then go from there. I suppose I could maybe be back in school by fall of 2008 if things play out right! Wish me luck!

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