Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Replacement of Thought

That -my title for tonight -is exactly what I've been trying to do within myself this evening. Replacing thoughts and hoping for a change of space, mind, attitude, all those things and then some! I've decided that I have to try to do something to change the only person, the only thing, I can change and that would be me, that would be my life as well. Today, on my way back home from my appointment with the psychologist, I picked up a couple inexpensive DVDs on sale at Walmart. Got two movies -"The King's Speech" -which I wanted to see and also, "J. Edgar" that I think sounds like a good movie -the kind I tend to like anyway. I also got a dvd of a large collection of episodes from the old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson along with a dvd of Season 2 from "3rd Rock From the Sun" -which has to be one of the silliest tv sitcoms ever and I was figuring maybe the combo of the TOnight show clips and the 3rd Rock from the Sun would help me to find a little humor to my life tonight. Today's visit with the counselor went quite well, as those things go, that is. It's still very new my seeing this counselor so today I was to turn in some "surveys" he had given me to fill out -about my issues, my thoughts, feelings, etc., etc., -all that happy poppycock, you could say so he could then try to get a bead on what's going on in this mish-mash of thoughts, feelings and attitudes within my pea brain. He quantified my level at being a "37" score and informed me that my own self-diagnosis of being very depressed was very accurate. Wonder how I knew that? Probably because the feelings and thoughts and ideas that have permeated me for several years now have become much deeper seated and very much stronger especially over the past year now. So now, I have a goal for my life -to bring my score down to some single digit number -below 10, ya know! So tonight, I thought since it will be the first time in many, many years that I have spent New Year's Eve totally alone, that I would try to occupy my mind, my fingers a bit too -and work on some simple crochet projects. Well, that wasn't working very well for me as my level of concentration was very unfocused -at least not on anything positive. Ever get the feeling deep in the pit of your stomach that you either are extremely hungry but for what, you can't figure that out, or that you just want to sit and cry but you really don't know what it is you are feeling the need to shed some tear over? That's been my frame of mind tonight. So, I decided to have a little substance that I don't usually indulge in -some Riunite Pink Lambrusco! I'm not really much for wine -except I have been known in my past life to enjoy some really fine wines -under the Boone's Farm Label. Yes, I do like that fine cheap apple wine they made (or still make) or the Strawberry Hill stuff or even Mountain Grape but I'm more of an apple or strawberry wine girl myself! So, glass of wine in hand -which led to my pouring a couple more glasses of the stuff I have here -and responding to a comment a reader had made on a recent post I'd made on my blog and lo and behold, the wine did its thing! It opened up the tear ducts that allowed the tension in the rest of my body then to start to dissipate! No, I'm not advocating alcohol as the end all do all elixer to eliminate stress and problems (usually alcohol tends to illuminate and exaggerate those issues) but for tonight, the fact it loosened me up enough to get rid of most of the feelings I was having that involved the need to just sit and cry -well, that was a good thing in my book. So now, I just polished off another hot dog - no sauerkraut involved tonight though -and have switched over to my normal substance of choice when I do indulge in a drink or too -having a nice big (pounder) can of Busch light beer! Yes, I do have exquisite taste buds when it comes to my favorite alcoholic beverages, don't I? Busch beer, Boone's Farm Wine and hot dogs -hell of a combination that would be. THe Riunite is a very drastic attempt at showing I might actually have a little bit of class left in me -not much, but maybe a smidgen or so, ya know! Oh Hell, who am I trying to kid there! I'm just an old country broad who prefers cheap booze -mainly because I've become accustomed to it simply out of financial necessity! I could however, really go for a nice plate of Oysters Rockefeller and wash that down with either a really good Rob Roy, or a Black Russian or perhaps a really tasty Harvey Wallbanger. Nah! Just keep the beer stocked and thing will eventually all come out in the wash tomorrow along with the tears and strands of hair I pulled out while sitting in a corner drinking and crying in my brew! Much better results for me that way! Peace and have a very Happy New Year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

So...This Was Christmas

Just realized it has been 10 days since I posted anything here. Where did the time go? What was I doing anyway? In some respects, I really wasn't doing that much -at least not by comparison to things I have done in the past, that's for sure! For one thing, this year, although I got some Christmas cards and fully had intended to get them ready to mail out, that plan never materialized. Well, I did manage to get one card mailed out to my best friend for the past 40 plus (almost 50 years) now who used to be my supervisor a long, long time ago when I worked in D.C. But that was it. The two boxes of cards are still sitting atop the china cabinet, unopened, ready and waiting for me to sit down, pen in one hand, address book (such as it is -a confusing mess) at my other hand, and start writing the messages in those cards, addressing them and then, getting to the post office to purchase stamps and drop them into the mail box. I have been giving thought -some, anyway -to maybe addressing them now and mailing them out as late comers with mainly a New Year's greeting or, perhaps getting them all ready to go and then letting them sit up on that piece of furniture in wait of next Christmas season and then send them out, hither thither and yon. Surprise people when they get a card early from me, ya know. Then again, I may just sit back and take the really lazy route and do nothing at all with them now -or who knows, maybe never! I had other things to do though that had to be done, that took priority over something like sending Christmas cards. For openers, I had an Avon order to get delivered and that, was something I dreaded doing after my order arrived last week! I didn't have all that big of an order -considering it was the last campaign that would be arriving and could be delivered before Christmas. But if there had been a bit more cooperation on the part of the management, this might have been a decent enough campaign then after all. The problem I was facing with the order was that many items -items that were brand-spanking new on this campaign book -didn't arrive in my order! For whatever reason the company may try to foist on the reps who go out and try to get these orders as to why so many items were short in our orders, you know what? I really don't want to hear it! This has been a very frustrating time for me having just returned to selling these products after a 22 year hiatus and in the short six months since I started doing this again, I have had more shortages on the orders I submitted than I had all during the 18 years I sold this stuff back in the 70s and 80s! Very frustrating indeed! When you submit an order, you try to get a bead on how much you will earn in order to determine which new products you really should purchase then to "demo" the new items and try to entice your customers to purchase those things. But when you think you have an order that will gross you X-amount of money (based on the orders you have received) but only three quarters of the items people have requested get shipped to you, then your profit margin begins to go down the tubes. And if, like me, you like the products you are selling and wish to order some things to be used for your own friends and families gift list, you take a double whammy then on the profitable scene! Let it be known here and now, much as I do like their products and purchase as much as I feasibly can afford (or at least "think" I can afford), I don't do this just to become their number one customer! I actually do this as a job and one that has enough difficulties that come with the turf without the company itself making my life that much harder! I do this to -hopefully -earn enough extra money to keep myself afloat! But with all the shorts in my orders, it is becoming increasingly difficult to do that. I survived this debacle but just barely and no, as you probably have gathered by my words here, I am still not a very happy camper over the way things have gone since I started doing this job again. The upper echelon of management has sent out a video to all the reps and promised, faithfully, that they will improve their style. Great! Do that! Please do that!!! But to be honest, I'm not looking for any major turn-around to happen. Not quickly, at any rate, if in fact they do change their methodology. I can think of a lot of ways they could change things to help the reps to maintain at least a half decent profit margin but I doubt seriously that the management would approve of those thoughts of mine. Nice as it is to get a little pin or some other little "do-dad" type of award for submitting an order in a timely fashion, for getting a little increase in customers or sales, making a better profit from this is what I'd rather see take place! And, if they want to maintain their reputation with their customers, they better get those tail feathers shaking and shake them hard and fast too! If my customers get upset over this type of service I'm being forced to offer, I will take the hit first but sooner or later, the company is going to feel that bit of a crunch too then. And now, I've said my piece -or most of it anyway -and I need to get some sleep tonight after what has been a very hectic time with the holiday, with my "job", with meal preparations, and for the good part of things though, with having the grandkids here at least till this coming Saturday but that might get extended to next Tuesday too -depending on the weather and travel conditions! No, I don't want a bunch of snow and heaven forbid, definitely don't care to see ice and/or freezing rain under any circumstances but the thought of not having the kids have to return to their new home away from here, away from me, well I sure wouldn't mind if they can stay a little longer! It's nice having these two sweethearts here with me to brighten my day more than just a little bit! Kind of helps to mellow my mood with the other things beyond my control that have been working against my mood for the past several days! Peace and hugs to one and all. Hope your Christmas was merry and bright and full of the light that comes from the true reason for this season of the year, that makes it so special. Oh and also -here's wishing one and all a very Happy New Year too!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sometimes You Eat The Bear....

Last week was really one of those weeks when you say to yourself things like "Is this mess ever going to end" or use the line in my title "Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you. And sometimes you both go hungry!"

Translated -it all just means that it was one of the worst weeks of my life, for sure!

I can't go into mega detail here what happened, but suffice it to say, it was very difficult for me -for my son and younger daughter and I -along with a few others too -to deal with.

And it all started with a cat!

A friend of Mandy's had a cat she and her husband had rescued and she was looking for someone to take the cat in permanently. Mandy checked with her older sister and Carrie agreed to take in the cat. So on Monday last week, Carrie came up to meet Mandy's friend's husband and pick up the cat.

She then stopped by my house to show Katie and me how pretty this cat is. And yes, she is very, very pretty -black and brown with white paws. The black is the predominant color and the brown is just some big blended splotches on her.

Anyway, Carrie asked if I had a pet carrier to put the cat in to make the trip down to her house. Unfortunately, I don't have a pet carrier as we generally borrow one from our neighbors on the few occasions when we have had to take the cat to the vet or otherwise some place away from the house. '

However, I did have an overabundance of big cardboard boxes -from all my Avon orders, ya know -and told Care to put the cat in one of those boxes, close the lid and the cat would ride safely down to her house that way.

She, however, decided she didn't want to do that and insisted the cat would be okay in the backseat of the car. And so, off she went!

She stopped mid-way to her to run in a grocery store there and picked up cat food, kitty litter and a litter box and when she returned to the car and went to place this stuff in the car, the cat -of course -escaped!                                 

Sadly the cat has not turned up since then! Although Carrie put up photos and flyers about the missing cat, no one has contacted her that "Socks" has been found.

Then, last Wednesday night, Carrie decided she wanted to go up to where the cat had gotten away from her and look around some more. In the process of doing that, she went over to the big truckstop restaurant there and was going to go in to use the restroom but she had an accident. She slipped on some ice on the step, fell and broke her left wrist!

And from there throughout the remainder of the weekend -I can't go into more details but the bottom line now is that Carrie is home, out of the hospital and hopefully, beginning to mend!

The weekend was a very full one too as on Sunday evening we had our big event at church -a Vespers service paying homage to St. Lucia -the patron saint of Sweden -and had a beautiful, as well as very delicious pot luck dinner! We had a very good turnout for this event this year -one of the largest we've ever had and the service was especially beautiful as well as quite solemn too!

So, things did end a bit on a better note then with that.

Care was to go to the doctor today to have a cast put on her arm. I'm just hoping and prayer for her that this will heal properly and that she won't end up having a lot of problems down the road with her wrist!

The next week is going to be a very hectic time now too as I will have an Avon order arriving here on this Thursday that I will have to deliver within the time before Christmas Day! Not looking forward to all that much racing and chasing, trying to track customers down plus trying to get a little baking done for the season and also, wrap Christmas presents! My energy levels are definitely not up to par these days!

And I still have to do the job I deplore the most pertaining to Christmas -write out cards and drop them in the mail!

Every year for the past 5-6 years at least, I have told myself I was not going to do Christmas Cards this year but here I am, with two boxes of cards to sign and address and that's no easy task because I haven't updated my address book in several years so have to go on a search and destroy mission then to locate the current address for many of my friends!

Just praying now that things will settle down a bit -actually settle down a whole lot is what I'm praying for, truth be told. But with my kids, my family odds are not in that favor.

I think, at this point in time, I'm in the "Bear eats me" phase of that saying.

Peace to all and to all a good night and please have a safe, but very Merry Christmas with wishes for everyone to have the Happiest of New Years too!

God Jul!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blue Christmas

The past year here has been anything but easy to deal with. From last September (a year ago) until now, it's been filled with all kinds of drama and ups and downs that I've tried, very hard really, to cope with the changes it has brought into my life.

From the first time I got the "news" from my daughter about her plans to leave here, move to the Harrisburg area and of course, take my beloved two grandchildren with her to trying to figure out how in blazes I would be able to live here alone, manage to keep my house, and all the happy crapola that comes with that situation to now, I have been getting some things ironed out gradually.

Tonight though, I got the news from her that she and the grandkids will NOT be coming up for Christmas -at least not for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Weather permitting, they will come up the weekend right after Christmas.

That should really be fine with me, but it's not!

Christmas has always been for me a time spent with family -all of my family if at all possible! And that idea goes way, way back in time for me because growing up here with my Mom and her parents, Christmas meant at least two of my uncles and their children would be here and one year, we actually had all but my Mom's baby sister and her husband here for the holiday. Talk about a packed house, this place was that for sure that year! The only times that there was no one extra here -meaning extended family -was between 1963 and 1966 -but then, I managed to get home so my Mom wouldn't be here alone.

From 1966 until 1972, Christmas was spent with my Uncle and his family in Maryland and 1972, it was my ex-husband, me and my older daughter because my Mom was in western New York that winter helping her older sister and her husband due to some medical issues my aunt had then. Since 1973 though, Christmas has been here -in this house, with my kids and my Mom and my husband then until 1979, after my Mom died. But even then, the kids and I were by that time, living in the old homestead here. One year -1983 -the kids spent Christmas with their Dad and his Wife #2 (he's currently on wife #5 now) at their place in eastern Ohio and I spent that holiday with my then-fiance, his sons and his parents. Talk about a whole different ball game, that year was it, for sure! There was none of the traditional things I was accustomed to - no church service, no familiar friendly faces of my neighbors and fellow parishioners as we worshiped together at the midnight church services at our church. Just strange surroundings and different people and not really feeling at ease at all in their midst.

To hear my daughter tonight, you would think that every year of her early childhood and teen age years, her Christmases were all ruined because they (she and her siblings) were forced to go spend Christmas with their Dad! One year that happened. One frigging year and she makes it sound like it was all her life, wasted like that and she isn't going to put her children through that kind of turmoil. Sheesh! Their Dad only ever asked for that one time since we divorced and I felt sorry for him and allowed that to happen then! And now, I'm apparently the wicked mother of 1982 for having done that to allow him some time with his children!

From 1979 until 1996, my kids and I had -with the exception of that one holiday -spent Christmas together here -well, allowing for the 2 years my son was stationed overseas in Germany and Hungary that is -and during that time span, my kids and I went every Thanksgiving and Christmas too up to my Dad's homestead to share those two special days with my youngest aunt and her handicapped daughter. From 1979 until about 2000, my aunt fixed most of the meal for those occasions but the last 8-10 years of her life, I tried to fix as much as I could here and take it to her house then for our dinners. The last 5 years then, I fixed the entire meal here and the kids and I would take everything then up to my aunt's so she and her daughter wouldn't have to spend those holidays alone.

I know I am just indulging myself right now in a mountain of self-pity -the stupid "poor me" syndrome, ya know -and I need to get cracking and move that aspect, those feelings aside. Pull up my big girl panties, as that saying goes and move on. Can't expect kids to honor ones old traditions forever ya know. But, in my head right now, the only song I can hear -playing over and over like a damned broken record right now -is The King singing Blue Christmas! And yes, no matter how much I try to overcome all of these bad feelings and vibes I'm experiencing right now, without my grandkids here, it is going to be more than a bit of a Blue Christmas for me, without them. A first and one I never wanted to experience either, I might add.

I'm not sure how I'm going to manage to deal with all these emotions and make it through Christmas Eve, Christmas Day too, without having the kids especially here. But I know that's the way it is going to be and I'm going to have to get my act together and find ways to compensate, somehow, for the emptiness my heart will have at that time. My blogger friend, Terri of These Are Days, had a post tonight that really hit home with me. The title of her post was simply "Breathe" and in it she was addressing the feelings of dissent and anger and the damage it can and will do to one's system if you don't work on getting rid of that stuff and do it as quickly as you possibly can too!

So, right now, I'm nursing a big, big cup of eggnog, heavily laced with Bacardi's 151 Rum and trying to relax and ease up on the self-pity routine that is currently playing in my mind. Get used to it! Grow up. Get a life too, while you're at it!

I should have tried to prepare myself for this kind of scenario to take place in my life a long, long time ago but, you know how it is. Old habits die very, very hard and this is not just an old habit but it is an old tradition of my life and I never wanted it to end back in 1963 after my Grandmother died, nor after my Mom passed or any other time either for that matter.

But -and boy, my mind is filled with various lines from this song or that one about dealing with changes in one's life and not being able to go on forever the way we may think we want things to be, but my apologies for this tonight, that's where my mind is at the moment.

To quote another song "We'll muddle through, some how" and yes, that's probably exactly what I'll be doing over the next 2-3 weeks -just muddling through, getting by, somehow.

I've done it time and time again before so there's really no reason I can do it again this year, this time. NOW!

Is there?

Might not be easy to do, but by gosh, by golly, I'm going to knock myself out if I have to and going to try my level best, my damnedest to be, if nothing else, jolly!

There's things I still have to get done. Avon deliveries for one thing will be keeping me running. Gifts to wrap. Still a few other gifts I need to figure out what corner of a certain body part I might be able to find some resources to purchase those last couple of gifts for some people in my life. Getting harder and harder to find any crevices there that have any extra cash (or credit) available right now ya know!

It is what it is and what will be will be. That's for sure!

But I do need to begin working on this -starting yesterday now -and get my mind straight, my head screwed back on in place and concentrate on finding ways to change my traditions if need be and make the holiday what it should be -a time of peace and love, giving in whatever way I can to help others not feel that this time of year is a Blue time but much, much different.

Stay tuned -more songs may just enter my mind and give me other, better, healthier ways to approach this change my life has taken.

Peace, love, hugs and only the best wishes possible to you -my special online, blogger friends for a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years too!

Thursday, December 05, 2013


Today is going to be really on overload for me with respect  -I suspect  -to my uttering that word "EGADS!"

I just finished submitting my lovely Avon order and gee, it only took me from about 10 p.m. last night until about 4:30 this morning to get it done! Mainly, because after I got through figuring out my percentages of expenses pertaining to my order and then, with adding in some of the items I wanted to order for my own use and for a couple Christmas gifts, etc., I was really upset because there were several items that came up on my order after I submitted it that are either totally out of stock or won't be back to me until the next campaign! Sheesh! Had to go and reconfigure my profit margins all over again after I discovered that little gem of information!

Then there's this thing too called the weather forecast for the next couple of days and that was really depressing to hear what the forecasters are saying is gonna be coming our way -rain later today/tonight, changing over to snow or a "wintry mix" (which to me means simply sleet or potential for freezing rain) and I really hate to think about that falling all over here!

I'm pretty much dreading the winter weather this year as my little car doesn't have 4-wheel drive, ya know. One thing about my little old jeep I had for about 4 years -until it burst into flames while I was driving it down the highway back in January -and even though it was the 4-wheel drive that caused it to burn up, I still wish I had that buggy!

At least with the jeep, when it came to pulling through the snow, I stood the chance of being the person that someone having problems navigating would need my jeep and these and I could be the one doing the helping out and not the one needing the help, ya know!

Oh well, guess I'll just have to make darned sure the road crews have come through town and plowed and salted the hills around here very heavily!

I am thinking now too of having sort of a little "get-together" sometime before Christmas where I will invite my Avon customers to come to my house for a little bit of Christmas snacks (cookies with coffee and/or tea) and I will have all the stuff I've accumulated over the past 5 months since I started doing the Avon sales thing. I used to do this years back when I sold Avon before -a great way to clean out some of the demonstrator products I purchased plus some other things I try to acquire too when the company has stuff I know my customers use on sale at really good LOW prices and then, I would sell stuff to folks at below those prices -a little extra favor to them for their support and patronizing me as their Avon Rep! (Helps me get a little extra cash then too that way!)

I just have to figure out what day before Christmas would be a reasonably good time to do that and then, figure out how much time I'd need too beforehand to get the extra baking done! Ah yes -I do bake the items for this event myself and might even do up little containers of cookies to give to those folks who show up here if/when I do follow through and do this!

Decisions, decisions and please, could I get some days that have more than 24 hours in 'em too!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Gone - But Where?

I have -for many years now -had problems with putting things in places so I would know where I have them and then, promptly forgotten where those places are, what items I put there too.

Yes, it's a frustrating thing to deal with especially when the memory isn't exactly up to the par level it used to be -that's using the assumption there (very liberally) that it was EVER up to a par level to begin with!

Anyway, the latest things to be among the missing items I've been searching all over the house for are a cloth shopping bag that contains the embroider patterns for items/kits I have completed and has any left over floss from those kits in the plastic bag the kit came in. That's been missing for a couple of months apparently but I didn't know it was missing until last week when I went in search of it to locate a tabletopper bag with a whole spool of gold filigree thread in that bag! Yes, that was a very valuable commodity that I really could use that spool of thread now to enable me to complete an identical tabletopper to the one that came in that plastic bag! (I had bought a kit with a nordic Christmas design and it came with a spoon -a fairly large spool -of gold filigree thread in which the whole tabletopper was to be embroidered with that thread. However, at the time, I didn't like the way the thread was difficult to work with so I didn't use it and instead, embroidered that piece all with white floss. However, I had also purchased an identical kit to that -same thread, yes -and recently decided to risk my sanity by doing this other tabletopper using the gold filigree thread. Well there's not enough of the thread to complete the tableopper so I happened to think of the other project bag in which I had the other spool of gold filigree thread that I had opted not to use before and that would solve my dilemma now if I could just find that one stinking bag with those directions and extra, left-over floss in it!)

Now, the next item that has gone missing here is a container holding a whole bunch of cd's -favorites -music by solo artists, by groups, and a whole lot of Christmas music too! I also had another plastic container that held the many and varied tape cassettes I had accumulated and that were still in working order too -also, a lot of Christmas music in that box too!

And of course, neither container can be found!

Today now, the most recent missing items -clothes basket!

Yeah, now where in blazes did they go anyway?

Missing at least 2 baskets -one is white, rectangular, plastic with the handle part on one end of it split and the other is a very nice, sturdy oval shaped wicker basket!

Now how could clothes baskets be hidden anyway?

And trust me -I was not the person who used them last -which was just over the past weekend!!! So don't blame me for putting these baskets in a place where I'll know where I have 'em and have forgotten where that place is because I didn't do that -not this time, anyway!