Giving Thanks

My parents separated and divorced when I was very young.  When I was a kid, sometimes my friends would ask me for advice after their parents divorced, but I had no advice to give.  It was the only life I had ever known, which was probably to my advantage, because I didn’t know what I was missing out on.

Of course, now that I’m older and have my own family (and having gone through a divorce too), and I have a better concept on what a traditional nuclear family is like and the advantages of that.  However, I also have a better understanding of the benefits of  blended family.  For example, you get exposed to many more things and can become a more rounded person.  My mom taught me to garden. My dad introduced me to computers.  My stepmother showed me the importance of cooking and family meals.  Without these three people, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

And neither would Chris.  Like most people in relationships, I’ve shared with him the things that I love and feel passionately about, and after learning about them, he often feels the same way.  One particular thing that we both love is Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce.  Crystal is a brand of hot sauces manufactured in southern Louisiana, where my stepmother has roots.  She introduced me to it when I was young, and I introduced Chris when we started dating.  Recently, much to my horror, my local grocery store stopped carrying it.  Luckily, we were already planning to go to New Orleans about a week after we ran out.  Instead of checking other markets in my area, I decided I’d just stock up while down in the bayou.  It wasn’t until I went searching that I discovered that Crystal makes an Extra Hot Hot Sauce, which is most definitely not available in the Nashville Metro Area, and at $.75 a piece at the Slidell Walmart, we stocked up.

All this to say, thank you, Crystals for making the best hot sauce ever.  And thank you, Deborah, for bringing it into my life.

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Sourpuss

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These past few weeks I’ve been struggling with negativity, not my own but from people around me. I don’t believe in karma and auras, but there is something contagious about foul moods and I’m easily influences. Normally I would just avoid contact with these folks, but unfortunately they’re in circles of friends and family that I enjoy. To cut them out means that I would no longer see people who lift me up and encourage me. I’m not really sure what to do.

In the beginning, I tried to support the negative Nancys and Debbie downers. I listened to their complaints. I sympathized with their problems. I offered suggestions. Despite this, it never seemed to help. Their negativity came with a sense of despair and unwillingness to find possible solutions. It’s as if their only perfect solution was impossible and no other solution, albeit not perfect, would be suffice.

Now I can acknowledge that apoplectic situations do exist. Personally, I think they’re pretty rare, but when they do come along, I think it’s best to accept it and move forward.  Bemoaning the situation never helps, and besides, dwelling on the unpleasantries of life is, well, unpleasant. We can’t avoid all unpalatable events, but we shouldn’t prolong them. Plus I live by the motto, “Fake it until you feel it.” Sometimes it’s important to vent your feelings to a trusted confidant; often it helps to share your emotions. However, constantly spewing your tribulations to everyone every day gets to be burdensome. I think it’s good to pretend you’re in high spirits. After all, spending the day upbeat and smiling won’t leave you feeling heavy and downtrodden, even during the most difficult hardships.

Despite my approach to difficult situations, I still have to interact with negative individuals, and I’m not exactly sure what to do. I suppose I could follow my own advice and fake feelings of warmth and concern until I feel that towards them. However, I’m afraid their influence will leave me in a gloomy mood for several hours after speaking with them. How do you deal with these types of folks? What do you advise?

It’s come to my attention that several readers are upset about this post.  Let me clear a few misunderstandings.  This about folks that run in my circles of friends and family but are not within my inner circles.  To the best of my knowledge, these individuals do not read my blog.  I would not use this site as a means to attack those that I’m close to.  I’m very upfront with those I care about, almost to my detriment.  If I had a problem with a close friend or loved one, I would talk to them directly.  

Thankful

I have a dentist appointment today so this morning I was giving my teeth and gums a good flossing and brushing.  While standing in the bathroom, he heard the garbage truck on the street (I have bat-like hearing, but that’s for another post), and I checked to see if Chris took the bin to the curb because I didn’t remember seeing him go outside this morning.  Yep, like always, he remembered.  I’m so thankful for a husband that always remembers that Tuesday is trash day and faithful wheels the receptacle to the street.

Indomitable Birthday

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Happy 33rd birthday, Chris! I’m sorry I didn’t order a gift for you until Friday at 4:30 am when I was up feeding our daughter. I’m also sorry that I didn’t tell you, “Happy Birthday,” until I managed to shake my sleep deprived stupor at 1pm today. Though my priorities have recently rearranged, you are still the most important man in my life and my true love. I look forward to the many laughter-filled years in front of us. There is not a single day that goes by that I do not thank God for your presence in my life. I love you very much! Happy birthday!

Unimpressed

“I finally got that pimple on my back to pop.”

“Good. I was worried.  I wrote about it in my diary.”

“Ass.”

Silent but Deadly

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There are some aspects of my job that I love and others that I loathe. I am very thankful to be able to help the Parkinson’s community, but at times, I struggle with working for a non-profit and the neutral position I must take on some issues. Today, however, was not one of those days. When speaking with a woman about the recent work of scientists to convert skin cells to cells that mimic embryonic stem cells,  I told her that one of the scientists behind this research, James Thomson, credits his work with embryonic stem cells for his recent discovery and that he continues to support the controversial area of study. She promptly told me that she was glad that there was another avenue for those with a Christian conscience and that maybe those people who’ve had an abortion or know someone that has can be okay with killing babies.

I am so thankful that my job requires me to have a mute position. Otherwise I might have ripped her a new one as a pregnant Christian that supports embryonic stem cell research. Since the research is still a decade or more away from any breakthroughs, I’m sure she’ll be dead by then. (She’s old and, by the way, did not have PD.) Maybe my Christian conscience should stop me from saying that, but I’m too busy killing babies to be worried about dying old people…

A Fond Farewell

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For the last three days, the indomitable and I haven’t spoken. We spent the weekend sitting in the living room with the TV off and the laptops stowed away, never making eye contact. An outsider would think that we’re in the middle of a spat, but at closer look you would see the little white cords streaming from our ears. The last Harry Potter book came out, and we’ve been enjoying the delectable readings of Jim Dale, the Harry Potter audiobook narrator. We’ve finished it today, and though I’m saddened by the series ending, the last book does not disappoint.

Wielding His Tools

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One of the first things that attracted me to the indomitable was his skills: computers skills, political knowledge skills, debating skills. He continues to impress me with skills: plumbing skills, yard care skills, hosta roping skills.

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Indomitable Wooing

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“We never parked and made out. We should do that more often.”

In-Loves

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Today the indomitable and I attended our first pre-marital counseling session. The state of Tennessee gives you a $60 discount on your marriage licenses if you attend 6 hours of counseling. Of course, if you pay $85 per session, you realize that it doesn’t really save you any money, except for the cost of divorce lawyers. Our visit confirmed that the indomitable has a wonderful family. I’ve decide that, if he ever leaves me, I’m suing him for custody of his parents.