Bullet Journaling

Yo. You still reading here? Hoping I’ll show up with a scintillating and informative blog post? Yeah, me too. I have all these thoughts running around my brain but I just can’t pin them down. I haven’t had a lot of time lately- work is busy, chickens need tending to (I’m officially a “chicken tender”, lol), grandkids need playing with and I’m up to my neck in crocheting and sewing projects. All good things, granted. But from time to time those pesky thoughts buzzing around my head need to be set free and memorialized on my tiny little blog.

For awhile, relying on Facebook or Timehop was ueseful to jog my memories. That is, until I had to delete Timehop because my stupid iPhone was always out of memory- exactly like it’s owner. Facebook has become a sea of stupidity, so I “peace’d out” and deleted the app from my phone as well. Now that I bought a new phone (buh-bye iPhone. My Google Pixel 2 is the bomb.com!) I may load back Timehop. Since November, however, I’ve gone old school. What I’ve been using to journal my day lately is an old notebook from one of our furniture vendors. I draw out the week in a two-page spread with a small monthly calendar in the corner. Each day had the week’s cleaning task written in green and any appointments I had for the day written in blue. Each week I had 5 goals. Each month, another five goals. Before I go to bed, I was supposed to write a short blurb about what happened that day. Uh huh. Riight. Every Monday, I had a blast writing out the dates in fancy, artistic numbers and then filling in the cleaning task and goals for the week. Then I started following all these bullet journal Instagram accounts. I was envious of all the creative, beautiful layouts, the colorful pens and the wonderful lists they made. I started feeling very inferior and the thought of opening my journal made me crazy. I wanted to put so much down but I lost my journal mojo. So little by little, I stopped updating and every week, by Wednesday, the book was in the bottom of my bag and an hour was wasted drawing numbers and filling in the blanks. Doing this over and over every week and forgetting to look at it by the end of the week was depressing.

I realized I hadn’t even started February. It’s the 20th and February ceased to exist.

Fuck that. I deleted all those bullet journal accounts and I put my journal on the shelf in my office and ordered a cute weekly planner/journal from Amazon. This one– it has the layout I want, small month in the weekly view and an overall monthly view. Small enough to fit in my bag and on my night stand. No more wasting time drawing out the week- if I need to be creative, they have places on the pages for doodling and coloring. Who the hell has all that time to draw out freaking life goals? Or cleaning tasks with cherry blossom branches adorning the list? Or a full page of hearts spelling out “February”? I can’t make my living drawing in a book, so I bought it instead. It was cheap enough not to break my budget and I even bought a set of fine tip pens as a treat.

Let’s see how long this will last.

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Bye Bye 2017

There were many goodbyes in 2017. Goodbye to my life long belief. Goodbye to high school and all the drama, both student and parent. Goodbye to weekend soccer games. Goodbye to high school softball games. Goodbye to our honey bees. Goodbye to loved ones who have left this world. Goodbye to friends who have moved away. Goodbye to fake friends.

Some sad, some happy, some very much anticipated. Goodbyes are often hard- my grandson won’t suffer goodbyes. He likes hellos much better.

The past year held many joyous hellos for our family. Hello college. Hello to the feathered additions to our family. Hello to a new engagement and the start of wedding plans. Hello to our cute new Jeep. Hello to new friendships and renewed friendships. Hello to many new clients. Hello to Lions and the ones they serve. Hello to a new attitude.

Happy 2018.

Karma, I’m The Chameleon

I’m not sure when it happened, when I stopped believing.  No, not really stopped believing, more like not feeling it, not feeling the entity known as “God”.  It’s been awhile now, I was just afraid to put it down in writing, to actually get outside of my head and acknowledge it.  Afraid of repercussions, perhaps?  Afraid of that bolt of lightning coming down from the sky?  Afraid to admit to my family and friends that this life-long Lutheran, this zealous church-goer/church-dragger no longer believes in a higher entity? Yeah, that last one is pretty much spot on.

It started with my break from the church we were currently attending.  I was super-involved in the church life- Sunday School, Youth Group, Council, Book Club- even heading up the major redesign and renovations to the interior sanctuary.  Throughout my life, I’ve always been involved in church stuff, mostly with kids.  My parents were involved, therefore I got involved.  Not so much my kids, but that’s their decision- I brought them up in the church from Baptism through Confirmation, after that they were on their own.  And not one of them looked back.  In retrospect, I should have taken their lead.

Anyway, yeah, I was super involved.  After attending for almost 16 years,  I got close to the Pastor and to some extent, his wife.  I babysat their birds (one of which died almost immediately when they brought it home, oops), I redesigned their kitchen (pro-bono, of course), we acted in plays together, we travelled to Youth Events across the country together, he commandeered my mother’s funeral.  I confided in my spiritual advisor on many occasions and I thought we should have been considered friends, or at least close in the service of the Lord.

I should have known better.  I never learn.  I’ve thought the same of half a dozen people in my life and the end result was never good.

There were little things that started to piss me off- things we (the Youth Group) would do that would be ignored, or forgotten.  Attempts to pin down dates or plan trips or events would never be acknowledged.  Things would be done behind my back, planned with someone else.  Look, I can take a hint- I’m incredibly perceptive- if one doesn’t want my help just sit me down and talk to me.  Don’t go behind my back in front of my face.

And don’t…do not…insult my child.  Do not insinuate that she did not work on her Confirmation project.  If you know me, or know my family you would understand our work ethic.  We do not do things to get over, or take short cuts.  We give our all and if you asked us to do something and gave my daughter permission to use it as a project you don’t get to speculate whether or not she did it.  And you should not speculate or insinuate in front of the other Confirmands and their families at the official dinner the lack of my daughter’s role in her project.

Yes, I understood he was sick and maybe not himself.  I tried to cut him some slack, I really did.  But right after she was Confirmed, I stopped going to church.

I was hurt, but this next part was truly the icing on the butthurt cake…

I stopped going to church and not one person- not the pastor, not the secretary, not the council, not my neighbors, not my friends who also go to that church- not one of them called me up and asked my why.  Not one of them said “Hey, we miss you.  Come on back.”  Not one of them texted, emailed or Facebooked me.  Months went by and my tithing amount was being taken out of my account.  I emailed the secretary (also my friend) and asked for the form to stop donating.  Not one word was said when the form was sent.  Still, no outreach.  After all that time, after all I did, I felt that no one cared enough to want me back.

Was I hurt? Beyond belief.  Was I mad? Oh, hell yes. Did I get over it?  After many years, yes.  Only two people knew why I drifted off and now I’m finally able to type it out without alternating crying with cursing. Time heals sadness and anger.

I’ve been to a few churches since then, trying them on, see if they and I were a good fit.  Warily, I sang the songs and listened to the sermons and tried not to read the brochures where they were looking for volunteers.  I liked the Holy Roller/Rock Music church I went with my friend to a few times but the last time I went I felt something else other than the LOVE they were fervently preaching.  It took about a year for me to realize it was disbelief.

Agnostic? Atheist? Neither of these actually describe what I think I believe.  I do believe we’re all connected some way.  There are too many instances of Synchronicity in my life to argue otherwise.  And there may be a force at the center of that big web of inter-connectedness, but I don’t feel we should be worshipping it, or praying to it (and why are we still saying “God Bless You” when someone sneezes?  It’s an expulsion of  body fluids!)  I believe in Jesus Christ- the person- and I believe he did die for “our” sins and because he loved “us”.  His message to me is to be kind to my fellow persons, live a clean, good life and do good works.  Do I need a god-figure to tell me to do that?  Do I need a preacher to remind me of that?  Karma plays a big role in my belief these days- rattle that web between you and I and what goes out will definitely come back.  Good and/or bad.

Maybe I’m Buddhist, I don’t know.  Let me meditate on that.

From State to Sandwich

Poor Utah.  She works Customer Service for an insurance billing company, making doctor appointments for insurance claim customers (as near as I can figure out).  She speaks to dozens of people each day and every day she has a story.  Usually it’s how people butcher her name.

We didn’t give her an exotic name.  She was named after my brother, who passed away while I was pregnant with her.  It’s a form of Robert and the name of a bird.  With a “Y”.  Don’t make me say it, lol!

Anyway, it’s not hard to understand when spoken and at the very least the spelling could be off by that “Y”. She introduces herself and the company and trust me, she enunciates when speaking. So why do people have such a hard time with her name?  Some of the names people respond back to her are;

Allen

Jessica

Autumn

Ruben

Goblin

Goblin? WTF people?  Even if you didn’t hear her correctly, who names their kid Goblin?  And she is definitely a woman, where do the guy names come from?  People are morons.

I’m changing her name on the blog to Ruben.  I actually laughed out loud when she posted that one on Facebook.  I never liked “Utah” anyway.  Still confused about why she wants to go there…

Countdown is Over and We’re Free!

I neglected keeping up with the countdown and posting the events of Prom Night.  Thankfully, nothing happened to the kids.  They left early, before dessert, so they could meet his friends out at the beach house.  They said they had a good time, the place was pretty and the food and music were okay.

Thanks goodness.  I got no sleep that night until she texted me that they were at the house.  Phew.

I was privy to a lot of complaints about limos and after-prom parties that my kids were not involved in.  Again, she dodged a bullet.  A few of the moms I connected with a couple of days afterwards were not happy campers.  Zombiegirl didn’t go in with the other girls on the limousine (she took our new toy to the prom.)  It was four and a half miles away- they drove last year, they drove this year.  It was a good thing, too.  I heard the limo driver was an asshat, and some of the moms were too.  I am so glad we’re done with this crap!

Graduation was wonderful.  I was literally giddy thinking that I didn’t have to see the majority of these people ever again.  And neither did my daughter.  She had her “exit buddy” and her “soul mate” and she was happy it was over.  All of my in-laws and nieces and nephew came down to see her and we took tons of pictures and went for Indian food at Santoor, Queens.  Sharing good food with your loved ones (minus John- he watched the babies) and knowing that this phase of our lives is over was marvelous.  Hearing that Z-girl was awarded a scholarship from my brother-in-law’s Masonic Temple made it even sweeter.  Thanks, Uncle Ick!

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The next day was spent at the dining room table putting together Zombiegirl’s school scrapbook.  From preschool to high school, I pasted awards, pictures, playbills and report cards.  I sent tons of pictures to be developed so I could include them in her memory book.  This brought tears several times during the day, more so than any other time in the last six months.  She was so cute, so little.  She’s so smart, so grown up, so beautiful.

The dining room table was out of commission for two weeks while I finished up Beena’s and Utah’s scrapbooks as well.  Huge, bulging books full of memories.  In hindsight, I wish I would have been more organized- I’m missing Utah’s first grade class picture and most of Beena’s high school papers.  It was also hard figuring out what went where, that’s why it took me almost two weeks.  Need a tip?  Date everything that comes home (if you’re keeping it) and put your kid in their first day of school outfit for picture day.  And if you have two kids, take a separate picture on the first day of school.  I’ve had to make copies because the two oldest girls were in the pictures together.

I cleaned out two bins and three file folders from my office!  Most of my scrapbooking supplies were also used, so that bin is a lot lighter.  And the dining room table has been reclaimed.  I feel lighter, happier and ready to live again.

Pre-Prom and The Countdown Is Almost Complete.

If I make it through this night, it will be a minor miracle.

WHHS Senior Prom is tonight at Jericho Terrace.  Pre-Prom was at Zombiegirl’s best friend’s house (H).  I was on high alert while I snapped pictures and spoke to parents I haven’t seen in ages.  We all marveled how beautiful everyone was and how grown up they are.

As I spoke to these parents I constantly checked over their shoulders to make sure my kid and the boyfriend were okay.  I feel like I missed a lot of what they were saying…

We found out a few days ago that her boyfriend (Ken) was being threatened.  They heard through the grapevine that he was going to be “jumped” at Prom.  Not because he’s a bad kid, or a troublemaker (there are girls in the high school dating MS-13 members- THOSE parents have major problems, if they’re even clued in, which I am sure they’re not), on the contrary, he’s so good to my daughter and he treats her like gold.  The problem is the other boys who have a crush on Z-girl and will do anything (and they’ve proved that they will do anything) to get with her.  And it seems that anything includes beating up her boyfriend.

So what does a parent do in this case?  Did these kids forget Z-girl hunts and is handy with a rifle?  Does MR go sit in the parking lot to make sure our kids are safe?  Do I call the school?

It helps to have friends in the school system.  Just talk to one of them and they’re on the case.  These little hoodlums better watch their asses.  F*CK You, you little cretins.

Add insult to injury, one of H’s friends asked if he could come to Pre-Prom.  Seems they were all on a group chat and only those on the chat were invited.  This guy wasn’t, but he was a good friend of H.  I’ll give you one guess as to who he was taking to Prom.  Yes, the twat. Are you kidding?  This kid has the nerve to ask if he can bring this little troublemaker to my daughter’s best friend’s house?  H is a great kid- she told him to take a hike after he said he wouldn’t speak with her again.  Whatever- tonight, Graduation and she never has to see him again.  I gave her a hug and thanked her for looking out for my kid.  And a big F*CK You to the twat.  I better never find out where you live.

High school is a fucking soap opera.  A damn reality show- a really bad one- because these kids are utterly ridiculous.  I don’t live in the city where all the school kids are street wise, I live in the fucking suburbs.  Middle class all the way.  Yet we have to deal with this stupid gangsta attitude that all the kids appropriate.  As we walked around the backyard, Utah and I marveled at who we could and couldn’t talk to.  The drama and ever changing dynamics of teenagers is a fine line one doesn’t dare cross.

I’ll say it once again.  I’m done.  Three more days and we’re over this shit. I’m going to pour myself a drink and go through the 300 pictures I just took.  I’ll post the good stuff tomorrow.