Author Archive

Where did I come from?

This past week I’ve done pretty well with my effort at time management.  It wasn’t perfect, but I’m happy with my efforts this week.  It really left the weekend free and open for me to do what I want without pressure of feeling like I have to get something done.  So………

Adhere to a schedule – check

Enjoy my downtime – check

I also started working on our family tree.  I’m so addicted to the website and I must admit addicted is the understatement of the year.  The whole process is so fascinating and I’m learning so much about my family.  Finding information on my mother’s side is proving to be a bit difficult.  I did recently find out that my great-aunt, whom I’ve met and frequently saw as a child, is still living and is a few hours away.  I’ve been able to find her phone number and I’m planning to contact her and hopefully arrange a visit.  She is 85-years-old and I’m really hoping that she remembers me and can help provide some family history.

Last night while I was at my dad’s he gave me a bunch of old family pictures.  I pretty much have all of my maternal grandmother’s albums so I’m really hoping I can put some faces to the names.   I’m looking forward to scanning them and putting them up on the website.

Work on our family tree…check

The other day I had a job interview.  I think it went really well and I have very mixed feelings about it.  I’m not going to say much more because I don’t want to jinx it.  To work or not to work is the biggest challenge I’m facing right now.

Okay it isn’t the biggest.  I’m doing very well, personally, mentally, but emotionally I have shaky moments.  Or I guess I should say shaky days.  Today is one of them.  I cry easily which I hate.  I have bad dreams that keep me awake.  I’m working on these issues but it’s a slow process. I’m not the most patient person in the world.  I guess it’s as good time as any to learn that lesson.

Hoping next week is better.

I’m not ready to make nice I’m not ready to back down I’m still mad as hell and I don’t have time To go round and round and round

My first day of spring semester kicked my butt.  It’s been a long time since I’ve spent all day at school.  When I arrived home last night around 5:30 I was really feeling my age and asking myself “why am I doing this again?”  Oh yeah, cuz I love it.

I’m actually excited about my anatomy and physiology class.  I decided to take this class, even though I didn’t have to, because I think it would help me if I decide to get my coding certification.  I’m a little less excited about my critical thinking class mostly because there is a lot of writing and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while it’s obvious I’m not a great writer.  What does it say about me that I’m excited we already have a school holiday next Monday?

Even though I’m back in school I am still actively looking for a job.  If I am offered something worth my while I will drop my classes and go back to work.  I can try alternative educational methods rather than traditional classes to get my degree.  The weird thing about this situation is that normally I’m an “either or” kind of person.  It’s not like me to take a sit back and see what happens attitude.  I find it to be a bit refreshing.   I don’t feel uptight or worried about what will happen I just feel that what’s meant to be is meant to be.


I think it helps that over the weekend I let go of some things.  I just had to.  Other issues have come up in my life that won’t be resolved anytime soon and it was time to shift gears and focus on what I could change or handle.  And that’s really all I want to say about that.

Except in the past few days I’ve discovered that there is just no reasoning with crazy and some people are just plain crazy.

Title from Dixie Chicks “Not Ready To Make Nice”

What is that noise….it’s the sweet sound of silence

Tomorrow my winter break ends and my spring semester starts.  Three classes this semester, including a lab, will defintely be keeping me busy.  Monday is the worst day.   All three classes in one day keeps me at school from 9:30 until 5pm.  I am really a student now :)

Einstein is home for one more week and I’m looking forward to the extra time with him.  Tuesday  we have an archery lesson scheduled which should be a lot of fun.  We used to take archery lessons together when we first moved to Long Beach and we both enjoyed it but stopped doing it for a variety of reasons.  A while ago I bought a groupon for archery lessons and thought it was a great opportunity get back into it.

I love groupon for that reason.  More fun stuff on tap for me this year includes horseback riding and more cooking classes.  Time to get started on those resolutions.

On Friday I did something that I’ve never done before.  I took 24 hours for me.  I put the phone on silent, used a groupon I had to stay in a hotel, got a massage and spent a ridiculous amount of time in bed.  I didn’t worry about what wasn’t getting done.  I didn’t check Facebook or Twitter.  I just indulged in some quality time doing what I wanted to do.  And it was possibly the best 24 hours I have had in a very long time.

I am blessed to be able to get away and visit family and friends, but even then I’m not really “relaxing.”  Although I admit I am having a lot of fun.  It’s hard to explain but I just needed some “quiet” time.   I feel horribly guilty for admitting this.  I suppose for some reason I don’t feel justified in needing this time.  I’m not really going to spend a lot of time evaluating why I feel like this.  I am seriously considering doing this at least one every two months.  A personal tune-up so to speak.  However it is a way of being successful with one of my resolutions – relaxing.

It seems very indulgent.  There goes the guilt again.


Whether you’re late for church or you’re stuck in jail Hey words gonna get around Everybody dies famous in a small town

Blogging before bed seems to becoming a habit, well I’ve done it three times, but still that counts for something.

Tomorrow I return home to the LBC.  I’ve been in Northern California since Saturday and I’m finding it very hard to get on the plane tomorrow.  In fact if it wasn’t for the fact that Beav is in school and there are a few people near and dear to my heart I probably wouldn’t.  Tonight I mentioned to a friend that I’m a different person when I’m at home.   And I am.  I’m more relaxed, more comfortable in my own skin.  I suppose the easiest way to say it is that I feel that I belong.  I love cities, but would rather visit than live in one.   I’m happiest in an environment where I can walk outside and not see tall buildings.  I prefer looking outside my window and seeing trees, fields, animals….and not the inside of my neighbor’s house.  I love taking Sunday drives on back roads.

You get the idea.

When I moved almost ten years ago I felt it was time to go.  The downside, and there is more than one, of a small town is that EVERYONE knows you and your business.  At times that can be comforting but it can also be limiting.  When people know you to be a certain way it’s impossible to try to change.  And when I left I needed to change.  It was time to grow and I was having a hard time with the people around me actually letting me do that.

But now I find myself needing that familiarity.   Right now I crave that ability to exhale slowly.  The last two times I’ve been here I’ve had a hard time returning to the LBC.  I have a feeling it’s just going to get harder.

Eventually I’m going to have to figure out what to do about that.

Title from Miranda Lambert’s “Famous In A Small Town”

2012 Resolutions

I originally started this post in the early morning of 1/1/2012.

I am a half hour into 2012 and I can’t help but find myself reflecting on the past year and what I hope to change and/or accomplish in the next twelve months.

I’ve never been a big fan of resolutions.  Isn’t the joke that they are made to be broken?   But I can’t deny there are things that I must resolve to accomplish.

Overall 2011 wasn’t a bad year.  I quit my job, went back to school, traveled to Europe…just to name a few things.  However, the last month of 2011 sucked in so many ways.   My best friend quit speaking to me, new issues with Beav came up, and events that have only recently occurred in the past few days have caused me to wonder where life is going to take me next.

A few short months ago I would have told you that I was happier than I’ve ever been.  I would have told you that I was in a place of light and love and I was often overwhelmed by my new ability to love others more easily.  I was in a place where I trusted others.  Unfortunately now I find myself in a different place and I’m not sure what is going to happen next.

I’ve always prided myself on being brutally honest in my blog.  I’ve always been willing to share the ugly truth and have never tried to blog in a way that makes my life (or me) look any different than it really is.  However, there have been events that have occurred in my life during the past year and specifically the past week that I can’t discuss here.  I hope that any readers understand and respect this limitation.

What does any of this really have to do with resolutions?  Not a lot I guess except that depending on what life has in store for me some of these resolutions might be impossible if not unrealistic.

So here goes –

The first two will seem a little bit contradictory but just hang in there.

Adhere to a schedule – since leaving my job and returning to school you would think I would have more time to get things done.  However, it seems like I never do.  I have a list a mile long of things I want to do or take care of and I never make a dent in it.  I think this is because I have not been good at time management.   This week I sat down and worked out a schedule that included time for homework, time to exercise, time to work on some of my goals, etc.  It’s fairly structured but I do well with structure.  I’m hoping this helps me accomplish a lot this year.

Enjoy my downtime – I always feel like I’m playing catch up.  If I can stick with my first resolution then I should be able to enjoy the time I haven’t scheduled.  With the exception of kickboxing I’ve left my weekends and evenings free to just relax and enjoy time with my family, loved ones, and friends.

Complete Projects – There are some projects that I’ve wanted to take care of involving my home and my family that are always on the back burner.  Three specific ones I want to tackle and take care of in the first six months of the year:

  1.  Work on our family tree
  2. Create a recipe database for all of my recipes that I’ve collected and accumulated.
  3. Organize the chaos contained in the boxes under my desk (this is all work related material I brought home when I left my job, still in boxes.  FOUR OF THEM).
  4. Organize the china – three boxes of three different patterns, enough said.

Get my Nonprofit up and running – I haven’t discussed here what this is about.  Planning on spending the first few months of the year doing research and background on my concept.  Would like to see me obtain nonprofit status by this time next year.

Travel – Last summer I took advantage of my downtime and took a road trip to Canada.  This year I would like to do more of the same, including weekend trips to cities I want to see again such as Portland and Seattle.

Stay in School – Even if I end up going back to work I want to be sure I don’t quit school.  Even if it means I take one night, weekend, or online class a semester I want to keep at it.  By this time next year I should have transferred to a four year university.

Learn/try new things – Maybe not new, maybe I should relabel this as revisit.  On the agenda – cooking classes, horseback riding, archery.

Continue to be a good friend– More lunches, dinners, and thoughtful gestures.

Get back to volunteering – I miss volunteer work.  I would like to be active again in a volunteer based organization.

This is just a short list of what I want to accomplish this year.  I’m sure I’ll add more to it.  I think it’s a good start.


What is the probability that I succeed?

I’ve been a bad blogger lately.  It’s been a weird couple of weeks.  My emotions have been in high gear and I have no idea why.  To some extent I am still dealing with it.  Maybe I need to spend more time at the dojo…take my frustrations and emotions out on a heavy bag.

I have (finally) made the decision to leave the job I took in August.  To put it simply, I hate it.  I’m not sure why and there are a few possibilities I have considered.  The most likely culprit is that I am having a tough time going from being the boss to being someone’s employee.  Doesn’t that sound horrible?  And egotistical?  I hate even admitting it.  Even though I’m technically an independent contractor with them it’s just not working out.  Not to mention between work and school and with hubby working nights, I’m not getting anything done anywhere else.  In two weeks I start a second nine week class on Tuesdays and Thursdays which will just make things more difficult.  Considering the new class and my overwhelming dislike for the job I gave notice.

And to be honest after seeing how some other things are going there I think I made a good decision.  My last day is Friday.

I have taken on another independent job on the side.

With my former employer.

I’ll just let that sink in for a moment.

My former employer called me to ask if I would help out with an issue.  I can’t go into details because it is possibly a criminal/legal issue but I did start the process before I left and I’m basically the only one that knows where the bodies are buried.  I did agree to do this and have already talked to the management company about when I would spend time in the office doing the necessary research.  At this point it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and get a business license for my consulting business since this is technically my second client.  I just have no idea what will happen once I’m done with this project.  And I’m worried that everything will dry up after this.  But….who knows.

Hubby keeps saying that I just need to work on something I want to do.  I’ve been thinking about that a lot.  I’ve always wanted to have a non-profit.  Something that is community based and helpful to those in need.  I’ve done a ton of volunteer work in the past twenty-two years and I am sure that is where this passion comes from.  Lately I’ve been feeling a real pull to move forward with this.  I don’t want to be specific about the purpose of what I want to create just yet.  I am still doing a lot of research on whether there is a need, objectives, etc.   For now I’m just going to refer to it as the NON-PROFIT.

School, or I should say specifically statistics, is kicking my ass. This is the hardest class I’ve ever had and I’m really struggling to stay on top of it.  I’m really not used to feeling this challenged in school and it is more than a little intimidating.  I pretty much bombed my first exam (I got a C) and am so apprehensive about the next one.  I’ve noticed she’s throwing more quizzes in the mix so I’m starting to wonder if the class, overall, did poorly.  Or maybe I’m the only that totally sucks at it.    Either way I need to bring my A game to the next exam.

Since its Wednesday it is date night and as much as I’d like to continue boring you here….I’ve got to try to look presentable.   Stay tuned for more posts about how completely indecisive I am about my future.  Mid-life crisis anyone?




Last week I posted about an event I had been invited to.  Wine/chocolate pairing to raise awareness for breast cancer.  Wine? Chocolate?  A good cause?  How could I say no?  Plus I was invited by one of my good twitter pals Oakley


It was also being held at one of my favorite places, District Wine. Mark and Angela are the owners and I can’t say enough awesome things about them and their staff.  Here is Mark explaining one of the wines-

There were so many interesting twitter peeps there.  I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to know more of them better, but I did get to sit next the lovely Melissa Keyes, who shared her own story about being a breast cancer survivor.  You can see her story on this page.   We paired four different chocolates with wine and in my case stout (since I’m not a port fan).

The first was my favorite.

Ghirardelli® Intense Dark™ Evening Dream: 60% Cacao.  District Wine’s Pick: Frogmore Creek Iced Riesling, Tasmania. Food – Dried Apricot.   OMG I loved this wine.  I normally shy away from iced wines because they’re sweeter, but this was simply amazing.  I had to buy two bottles.  The apricots really added to the flavor of the wine too.

Second –

Ghirardelli® Intense Dark™ Twilight Delight : 72% Cacao. District Wine’s Pick: Taft Street Zinfandel, Russian River Valley.  It was suggested that this wine could be paired with raspberries but Oakley forgot them.  (That’s ok, we love her anyway).  I am normally a pretty intense wine drinker.  The bolder, the drier, the better.  This was pretty dry and I would enjoy this on a cold day with perhaps a nice roast, but on a warm summer day, not so much.  It wasn’t horrible and I would drink it again, but just not on a hot day. The wine did taste yummy with the chocolate though.

Third – Ghirardelli® Intense Dark™ Midnight Reverie: 86%. District Wine’s Pick: Layer Cake Malbec, Argentina Food: Nuts and cheese, especially parmesan. [Oakley’s note: Try prosciutto.]  If you’re a Malbec fan and haven’t tried the Layer Cake, you are missing out.  It is one of the wines I frequently order by the glass when I’m at District Wine.  Simply delicious.  The parmesan was a huge hit and in fact we had to request extra because someone at our table had already started eating it (okay it was me, but I was hungry).

Fourth –

Ghirardelli® Intense Dark™ Toffee Interlude: Toffee bits and caramelized almonds.  District Wine’s Pick: Taylor Fladgate 20 Years Tawny, Portugal, OR Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. Food:  Marshmallows . [Oakley’s note: Try bacon. I’m serious.]  First off, TOFFEE!!!   My favorite candy.  I’m not a port fan so I requested the stout and was not dissapointed.  Chocolate toffee and stout is a winning combination.  And then there were the marshmallows.  Oakley bought them at Fresh & Easy.  They’re called Plush Puffs Vanilla Beans Marshmallows.  WOW.  We had to request more of those too.  But this time it wasn’t my fault.  Annette just couldn’t help herself :) .

What a fabulous afternoon.  I was able to enjoy some great chocolates, delicious wine, raise awareness for breast cancer, AND meet some new wonderful women.

Suggestions for the food and wine pairings came from Thirsty Girl.  If you’re interested in hosting your own pairing party check out this website for more information.

Pictures from the event were taken by Jennifer and can be found on here.

Here are a few random pics I took. 

mmmmm, the marshmallows

Thanks again Oakley!


While all of my links are working, some of the words aren’t highlighted.  I’m working on this issue.

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I want to fight for my right to…..

One of the blogs I read regularly is StayAtHomeBabe.  Every Sunday she does a 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post.  I’ve been thinking of giving it a try and today seems like as good of a time as any.

Tonight hubby starts working nights.  I’m a bit apprehensive about how it’s going to go and what changes it means for Beav and me.  Family dinners have always been so important to me, but for now it will just be Beav and me, and that’s okay.  My plan is to make dinner as usual and pack it in a lunch for the hubby to take to work.  Today I supplied him with a sleep mask, ear plugs, and melatonin.  Let’s hope it goes well.

On the plus side I get to spend some more one on one time with Beav and I think that will be pretty awesome.  I’m looking forward to hanging out with him more.

Last night I went to our semi-annual fight night at the dojo.  All of the fights were excellent and it’s always fun to hang out with my dojo peeps.  This is the second fight that I haven’t participated in since my fight and this time I didn’t feel that pang of ‘I wish I were fighting.”  A few people asked if I would consider it again and I’m just really not sure.  On one hand I loved what all that training does to my body and muscle tone but on the other hand it is a LOT of training.  Six to seven days a week and when I trained for my fight my entire life was work or dojo for about four to six weeks.  It’s pretty exhausting.

The next fight night is six months away so I have some time to think about it.  We’ll see what happens.  For now, I’m just enjoying getting back to a regular training routine.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere.

In the middle of the night

It’s not cool to talk about God, or your faith, or that you go to church….is it?

Maybe it’s just me, but I see a definite trend on twitter and facebook that mocks/ridicules people of faith.  And I understand part of this.  There are fanatics and judgmental people, IN ALL ARENAS, that are trying to represent Christianity, but they don’t represent me.

I’ve talked about my faith before.  I was raised in church.  Full blown Pentecostal church.  My father was a children’s pastor.  I practically grew up in church.  And I do consider myself a Christian because for me it’s all about the personal relationship I have with God.  I go to church, although not as often as I’d like, and I try to live the way I feel I should.  Are there things in my life that God probably would have an issue with.  Yes.  Would God have an issue with certain aspects of my lifestyle.  Yes.

This doesn’t make me a bad person.  I am imperfect.  There are those that would say because of those things I’m not a Christian.  But….that’s not their call to make.

The reason I bring this up is because I’ve been recently I’ve been trying to attend church more.  I really do enjoy our pastor’s sermons and the fellowship with others is always nice.  I think for a long time that because I’m not “perfect” I didn’t feel I deserved to be at church.  This is a bit ironic because really that is why I should be there.  In a way, I’ve been dipping my toe in the water.

However the other night I found myself in a rough place.  I was very concerned about someone I love and care about.  Concerned to the point that I was worried harm could come to this person or this person’s family, or members of this person’s family (I’m trying to be vague sorry).   I was lying in bed and thinking about it and I found myself praying.  And you know what?  It felt good.  It brought me peace.

It’s the first time I’ve prayed in a long time.  And I mean really pray.  Not “please God, I hope that cop isn’t going to give me a ticket” kind of prayer :) .  There was a time I prayed a lot.  I kept a list of people I prayed for in my Bible.  I took it seriously.  And then I stopped.

When my mom died I stopped.  I stopped believing that God could be in charge of anything.  I felt God caused the pain I was feeling by taking my mom away.  Surely if God cared about me and my siblings, my mom would still be here.

Over three years later this still makes me cry.  Ugh.

To some extent, I still am angry at God. And that’s okay.

Some people would call me silly or stupid for believing that there is a God.  But I do.  And all I ask is that others respect that.  I respect the rights of people who don’t believe what I believe.  I don’t call them stupid or foolish.  I don’t judge them or tell them they’re making a mistake.  I don’t preach or lecture.

I just know that if something brings me peace…..and it doesn’t cause harm to anyone around me, well then, I’m going to keep doing it.



Off we go…

I kind of cringed when I signed onto my google reader today.  Was concerned about the number of 9/11 posts there would be.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  Only a few, and the ones I read were very well written.  It’s not that I didn’t want to read about it. I just think everyone tends to overdo it a bit.  I don’t need a reminder.  I think about that day everyday.

We are starting to slowly settle down into a schedule here in the Diva Household.  I’m learning to appreciate my new job and I’m also realizing that with or without the job, there would never be enough time to get everything done.  Hubby starts his new night hours this coming Sunday and that will be a challenge, but we’re confident we will find away to adapt.  After all, we really don’t have much choice do we?

Beav is back at school.  I’m trying to be optimistic about this school year, but I admit it’s difficult.  His homework coach is working with him again this year, so I’m hoping that starting him off that way will help set up good habits for the year.  Of course I made the mistake of checking school loop and according to that he’s already missing two assignments.  Perhaps, it’s an oversight?  I’ll find out soon enough when he gets home.  Normally the homework coach helps with this stuff but I want to stay on top of it too.

Plus, I’m procrastinating doing my own homework.  Apple fall far from the tree anyone?

On Wednesday I have my first stats exam and I have worked myself into a frenzy about it.  Sometimes I feel like I understand what is being taught and other times I feel like I have no idea what the heck the instructor is talking about.  Never mind, she’s 29 and has her doctorate.  I’m 43 and finishing up my sophomore year in college.

Next on my to do list is getting back to a regular work out schedule. It’s seriously fallen through the cracks and I feel like a big fat slob.  And I’m up ten pounds since the beginning of the year and that just isn’t acceptable.

Besides, I need to lose weight before I see a doctor about having a tummy tuck.

But I’ll talk more about that later :)