It's official. I am addicting and excellent.

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Robert is addicted to my blog! And who can blame him? Where else can you find all the riveting news on topics such as flatulence and subzero temperatures? Who else do you know that can find chocolate chip cookies inside a clean and folded t-shirt while putting the laundry away and not question it? (Ok, I didn’t actually write about that, but it’s true.) That’s right. You gotta come here for this kind of excitement!

I was really thrilled to hear that Robert is addicted to my blog because I am equally addicted to his. He writes the most amazing poems, describes wild and crazy adventures involving the thievery of his favorite snakeskin boots and is having the time of his life exploring all kinds of new interests and talents after hanging up his truck driving hat. I have to say, he also looks pretty dang good in a kilt!

In addition to Robert’s blog, there are a few blogs that I’ve recently discovered that I’m quickly becoming addicted to. These are written by some very talented, intelligent and funny women!

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And not only did I receive the honor of having my blog labeled as addicting, my buddy Rock Chef deemed my blog to be excellent! Rock Chef is really the one with the excellent blog. He has an eternally positive outlook and a fantastic sense of humor, as evidenced by his guide to Man-Speak. AND he endeared himself to all of his women readers when he took care of his wife after a surgery, took over her role in the household, and then wrote about the appreciation he gained for all she does for the family.

There are so many blogs that I classify as excellent. They are funny, optomistic, thought provoking and powerful. Just to name a few, here are some of the blogs that keep me coming back for more…

Ok then…..

I should wrap this up now….

Don’t you hate when you can’t figure out how to end these things?

I’ll just slip away quietly….. and go look for some more of those chocolate chip cookies in the laundry…..

Signs that you may have become a bit lax in your parenting

Sign #1: 

The kids were watching Dodgeball on t.v. There was a scene in which one of the characters, Kate was delivering drinks to all of her friends. As she passed out the drinks, she handed one to Justin, who is underage, saying, “Here’s your virgin daquiri.”

Jake looked at me and said, “He can’t DRINK! He’s too young!”

I had to explain that a virgin drink means that there’s no alcohol in the drink. I could almost see the gears turning in his brain.

“You mean I could order a virgin beer and they’d serve it to me?”

“Well, that’s called Near-Beer, like Sharps or O’Doul’s, but I’m still not sure they’d actually serve it to you,” I told him.

“What if I asked for a virgin Crown Royal on the rocks?”

I laughed and explained that Crown Royal IS the alcohol. The rocks are the ice. So…. No. That’s not going to happen.

He tried again, “Do they make a virgin Margarita?”

“Yep. That they can do,” I replied.

“OK! Next time I’m in a bar, I’m going to ask for a virgin margarita.”

“Ummm, honey? If you’ve been in a bar already, you’ve got bigger problems than what you plan to order next time.”

(He was joking. I know he was joking. He’s always here. He’s a homebody. Sometimes it’s tempting to tell him to go out and get in some trouble. Just a little trouble. Not big trouble.)

Sign #2:

I was heading down the stairs to the family room. He told me I might want to wait a minute or so… “because I just farted on my way up the stairs.”

He’s going to make some girl so happy one day. I just hope she’s got a thick skin and an abundance of tolerance.

Another successful day in suburbia in which no one gets arrested

Ha! I totally played hooky from work this afternoon (in a totally procedurally approved way, because I’m not nearly as badass as I sometimes pretend to be.) So I was able to be home in time to eat lunch with Brad and talk with him one-on-one for a while before his ride came to pick him up to return to school. You’ll all be proud of me too. I didn’t cry when he left this time. It does get easier. Also, he’ll be back in less than two weeks for his spring break so that helps immensely.

After Brad left for school, I finished up some chores that didn’t get done over the weekend while Mark sent Jake and Kacey out to shovel the driveway and front walk. (This was probably just a ploy to get them to take their bickering outside where he didn’t have to listen, I think.) When they finished shoveling, they pointed out the fact that there was a woman just sitting in a parked Jaguar right across the street. This was odd for a couple of reasons. No one who lives in this neighborhood owns a Jag. There’s one neighbor with a used Beemer, and a lot of higher end SUVs and trucks, but no Jags. This woman just sat in the car and watched as the kids shoveled. When they came in, I kept an eye on her as I continued my cleaning, wondering what she was doing there. Once in a while she’d lean the seat back and appeared as if she was napping. Then she’d raise the seat up again. She stayed for over an hour. And it’s like, five degrees outside.

Jake was really put off by the fact that she had the nerve to watch him shovel snow. I asked him why he didn’t go knock on the window and ask if he could help her. He told me, “No WAY! She’s like eighty years old and she might be a stalker. What if she had a gun?”

I told him if she was an eighty year old stalker interested in him, I’d give it serious consideration if she wanted to support him and his high dollar dreams and that way he wouldn’t have to worry about his grades. He didn’t find that funny. I guess I can find comfort in the fact that my kid’s got higher standards than just looking for a sugar-mama.

I tried to imagine what I might say if a call to the police was determined to be necessary. “Yes, officer. There’s a stranger sitting in a very nice, high quality vehicle parked in front of my house. Threatening? Yes, she’s somewhat threatening in a stalkerly, grandmotherly sort of way. But she’s parked in FRONT of my MAILBOX. The mailman won’t deliver if there are vehicles parked within twenty feet of my mailbox. Yes, I know it’s a federal holiday and there’s no mail delivery today. Suspicious behavior? Yes, I consider taking a nap in a vehicle when the outside temperatures are in the single digits to be suspicious. Don’t you? Ok, ok, maybe it is simply ODD behavior. Yes, I understand napping isn’t a criminal offense. Yes sir, I’ll go get a life now.”

In reality, I figured it might be a social worker keeping an eye on the goings-on at a neighbors’ house where the husband was recently asked by his wife to move out and visits with the kids are to be supervised. (This is not as ominous as it sounds. It’s a very sad situation, actually.) But on second thought, if social workers are making the kind of money that allows them to drive luxury vehicles, I’m in the wrong line of work.

My other thought was that she was a realtor, as the neighbor next door just put her house on the market this past weekend. But again, with the subprime mortgage crisis and stale housing market, it again seems unlikely that someone in that field is driving a Jag right now.

In the end, whoever she was, she was just waiting for someone who came out of another neighbor’s house. Now I just feel like Mrs. Kravitz, the nosy neighbor with nothing better to do. It’s just another peacefully uneventful day here in suburbia, except for the very un-peaceful bickering of two bored teenagers.

I guess no one’s getting arrested today so I think I’ll go catch up on what I missed in the blog world this weekend.

Where did the weekend go?

Things have been just slightly crazy around here this weekend.

Brad came home Friday evening. I got to see him for a few minutes before Mark took him away to go watch a basketball game. I stayed home to try and get some cleaning done, knowing there’d be no time for chores the rest of the weekend.  After returning from the game, Brad stayed home for about twenty minutes before he took off to go hang out with his friends, returning long after I had fallen asleep.

Kacey’s volleyball team played in the annual Presidents’ Day tournament this weekend, which meant Saturday AND Sunday games. Brad got up early and joined us for the Saturday games, so at least I got to spend a good chunk of time (5 hours) with him, while we watched the girls stinking up the court.

After the Saturday games we went to my brother’s house for my nephew’s birthday party. Matthew is seven years old now. He planned his own party, requesting Nanna’s spaghetti for dinner and no bakery cake. He wanted his mom to make his cake, and he was very specific about what kind of cake he wanted. There were two round cakes, each with a layer of chocolate cake and a layer of confetti cake. One was frosted in chocolate and the other in vanilla. The food was all delicious! The house was filled with balloons and the other nephews and niece had a blast beating everyone over the head with them. Matthew’s best friend Antonia and her mom, Jill also came to the party. Jill brought a Valentine’s gift for the dog, Coda; some little frosted doggie cookies. Coda was feeling a little overwhelmed, what with all the visitors and his phobia of balloons, so Jill sat herself down on the kitchen floor and offered Coda one of his doggie cookie treats. When he refused to eat it, Jill talked to him and told him they were yummy and that she would prove it to him. And then she took a nice big bite of doggie cookie. Turns out they were a little dry and tasteless but not altogether horrible. No, Jill is not a blood relative, but she fits right in at our family gatherings.

After the party, we were off to the neighbors’ house. They wanted to see Brad and just spend some time together. We played a few rounds of sequence, and when the kids got tired of hanging with the adults, we continued the game without them, had a few beers and some fun conversation.

This morning we were up bright and early again for another day of volleyball. The girls were in much better form today which made the ELEVEN hours we spent at the tournament a lot more enjoyable. The great thing is, win or lose, these girls have fun. They really enjoy each other and they have a fantastic coach who is extremely patient and encouraging. When they mess up, he tells them to shake it off and explains how to do it better the next time. They ended up in the lower brackets, but really proved to themselves that they can pull it together and play well. They left with second place medals in their bracket.

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I’m not sure how it’s possible to feel exhausted after simply sitting and watching games all day, but I am wiped out! When we got home, Mark left to pick up KFC for dinner. While he was gone, I called my parents in Arizona and caught up on everything that’s going on with them. I felt bad because my mom had called while we were gone today and talked to Jake, telling him she was just calling to see if I was still alive. I think it’s been a little too long since I’ve called my parents! Anyway, everything is going fairly well with my mom and dad. They are looking forward to coming home in early April so my dad and I can move on with all the necessary tests to see if we can go through with the kidney donation and transplant.

So that’s about it. I can’t believe tomorrow’s Monday already. I think I’m going to try to play hooky after half a day at work. I need some down time!

Panic Moment

I returned to my desk after my lunch break and saw there were some voice messages waiting on my phone. I listened to the first, from a customer, jotted down a few notes, then proceeded to the second message.

“Terri! It’s Bob! Are you coming to the meeting? We’re all here! We’re waiting for you! See you soon!”

My thoughts began to race. “Meeting? What meeting? I remember there being talk of a meeting but I didn’t get a meeting invitation. Do I remember seeing a meeting invitation? Holy CRAP… I get a hundred emails a day. I probably deleted it. I’m such an idiot. Quick! Check the Outlook calendar…… There’s nothing there! Of course there’s nothing there, moron! If it were there, the automatic meeting reminder for disorganized people would have popped up. Oh sh*t. How did I miss this. Just grab a pen and paper. RUN!”

As I rode the elevator up to the floor where the meeting was taking place, I was mentally trying to figure out an excuse and berating myself for being disorganized. How could I let this happen?

I slipped into the meeting, a few minutes late, and most of the others in attendance politely ignored my late entrance. But not Bob. Bob leaned back in his chair, speaking behind the woman next to him and whispered, smiling, “Where were you?”

I just gave him a vague smile and waved him off, trying to indicate I’d explain later, after the meeting organizer was done talking (and when I could come up with a decent excuse.) But Bob wasn’t playing nice. He repeated, “Where were you?”

So I gave him a sarcastic smile and whispered back, “Partying.”

The exchange didn’t escape the attention of my boss, sitting next to me. She looked at me and asked, “What’s going on?”

Now I knew I was busted, so I told her I had just returned from my lunch break when I found Bob’s voicemail and rushed upstairs as quick as I could, but that I had no meeting on my schedule. I REALLY, REALLY did NOT want to admit that to her. I was hoping everyone would just assume I had been delayed by very important business, but there was no hope of that now. She promised to double check her invitation for the list of attendees when we finished at the meeting.

Now I was REALLY panicking, thinking if I had just messed up and failed to respond to the invitation, or worse, DELETED it, (because, trust me on this… that is something I would likely do) then I was really going to look bad in her eyes. I could barely focus on the meeting because I was so sure I had really done something stupid. I am really not comfortable with feeling embarassed and stupid and I was now soaking in embarassment and stupidity.

After the meeting, my boss again promised to look at her invitation and see if my name had been included. I ran to my desk and scoured my inbox and deleted messages. I could NOT find anything, but was still sure I had messed up. I figured if I could find it first, I might stand a chance of creating some logical, albeit lame excuse for not living up to her standards. (Ummmm…..yeah, it looks like I DID get it, but I was so tied up in a very important….. ummmm…….. uh…. My computer has this weird glitch and it’s been randomly deleting…..  ummmm….. You know all those spam emails we get? Well it seems not only are they making sure we’re well informed about our male-enhancement options, but they’re stealing meeting invitations too…… ummm……The dog ate my meeting invitation???)

In the meantime, my boss called me. I held my breath and it seemed like hours before I heard the words, “I just opened up my invitation and I can see you were not included in the list of attendees. I’ll try to make sure I check that from now on to make sure everyone is included.”

BIG. SIGH. OF. RELIEF. I hadn’t screwed up. The meeting organizer, TRISH screwed up! Even better is the fact that Trish sent out a small recap of one of the points of discussion, specifically noting her apologies to me for neglecting to add my name to the list. So take that BOB! Nyahhhhh!

I feel so much better. Except now I wish I knew what the heck was discussed in that meeting!

I should get a heads-up if the rules are going to change!

Guess what I got for Valentines Day! I mean besides four inches of this:

 

Someone broke the rules and bought me a Valentine’s Day gift. We don’t DO Valentine’s Day gifts. At least we’re not supposed to. But like I said, someone broke the rules. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

I knew he had gone out and bought a card. Last night, we were sitting in the family room eating Dairy Queen treats. (Because eating frozen concoctions when you haven’t been able to achieve body heat in weeks makes SO much sense!) He looked over at me and said, “Do you want your Valentine’s card?”

I shot him a look over my Peanut Buster Parfait. “You bought me a card? You weren’t supposed to buy me a card. I didn’t buy YOU a card!”

“So what?” he said. “Do you want it now or not?” (He can NEVER wait until THE day to give his gifts. But I won’t complain because this shows that he is thinking – and shopping – ahead, which is not a characteristic that men are commonly known to possess.)

I told him, “Nope. It’s not Valentine’s Day yet. I’ll wait until tomorrow.”

“Ohhhh Kayyyy,” he replied in that sing-songish, you totally don’t know what you’re missing kind of way.

So we went to bed last night and I didn’t give it another thought. In fact, when I woke up this morning I had completely forgotten the conversation. I saw the kids out the door, showered, and did a few chores. In the meantime, Mark got up. He knew I would be heading into the bathroom to do my hair and when I did, I found a Valentine’s gift bag and card sitting on the vanity. I went to sit with him and jokingly scolded him about the fact that he said he got me a CARD and that he absolutely was not supposed to give me a GIFT. Again, I was given the so what, so sue me attitude.

Guess what I found when I removed the tissue from the bag!

No, he didn’t give me a BIRD. He gave me a filter for my camera! God bless him, he’s found an idea that he can’t go wrong with! (And not to overlook the romantic aspect of the day, he included a little box of Godiva chocolates too!)

I am a little gah-gah over my camera, so of course I was THRILLED! I immediately grabbed my camera and started placing the filter on the lens (only after thanking him with a few thank-you kisses) while he talked to me about where he got it and how he got a business card from the saleswoman in case I had any questions. He told me he thought the saleswoman had the hots for him. If he was trying to make me jealous, it didn’t work because I was too busy playing with my camera.

Mark has this habit (not sure if it’s good or bad) of underestimating numbers; like when he’s anouncing the time. If it’s 4:39, he’ll say it’s 4:30. He does this with prices too. So as I’m fumbling around with the filter, trying to make sure it was secured on the lens, he told me it wasn’t one of the higher-end filters. (Which is ok because I still have to figure out the new lens and I’m not sure how ready I am for equipment that is too sophisticated.) He told me this filter “was around sixty bucks.”

“No it wasn’t,” I said without looking up.

There was a slight pause, then a sigh as he asked, “I left the price tag on it, didn’t I?”

“Honey, it’s damn near as big as the filter case! Yeah. You left the price tag on.”

He had grossly underestimated by twenty dollars, but I’m not complaining. I am thrilled that he did this for me and feeling really kind of guilty that I did nothing for him.

I really wanted to take the camera out and go find someplace to shoot pictures, but we had things to get done. We recently replaced the kids’ car and had to take the old one to Courage Center to donate it. (Such an easy way to get rid of it! If you ever have a car so old it’s not worth selling but still in running condition, this is a great way to get rid of it. Also…. TAX deduction! Cha-ching!) The whole process took about ten minutes; just long enough to fill out some paperwork and drop it in a drop box and that’s it. Done!

As we left Courage Center, there was an elderly couple approaching the doors. The woman was using a walker and the sidewalk had been shoveled but was still a little wet from last night’s snow. As they approached the doors, Mark said to them, “Here, let me get this door for you,” which is a JOKE because they were automatic doors. He does this ALL the time and the older folks think it’s SO funny. (It actually is pretty funny and he gets a smile and a laugh out of them.) The woman made her way through, thanking Mark, even though he didn’t actually DO anything. The old guy stops on his way through the door, places his hand on Mark’s shoulder and says, “Is there a charge for this, young man?” Mark laughed with him and told him it was a lot of work, but his services were free.

OK, so he’s  a little corny sometimes, but he has his humorous moments!

Then we made our way over to Sam’s Club to pick up one item I really needed and left the store $172.00 poorer. You know how that goes when you get inside Sam’s Club. There end up being things you forgot you needed and things you just can’t pass up and next thing you know you’ve spent a bundle. But at least now, I don’t have to go to the grocery store and we got the kids their Valentine’s Day presents at the same time – a case of Sobe Life Water, a jumbo box of cinnamon sprinkled french toast sticks, Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches, a gargantuan box of Oreo Cakesters and new heads for the electric toothbrushes.

Ok, ok…. those aren’t really presents, but this is how we operate here. We’re usually really bad about celebrating things like Valentine’s Day, but everything we bought (except the toothbrush heads) are things that the kids are excited about…. so good enough. We probably could put a bigger effort into this and make it a special day for everyone, but we’re all happy. For us, nothing says “I love you” like camera equipment and economy sized packages of preservative-laden foods.

Woman-speak

Reggie claims that we women have a language all our own and that life would be so much easier if there were some sort of translator to help the men figure out what the women are talking about.In an effort to promote gender harmony, I have decided to outline some common words and phrases used by women to clear up the confusion for the men.

  • Does this look ok? We really only want to hear the word “yes.” Any inclination on your part to express dislike for the item of clothing in question should be kept to yourself. The correct answer is, “You look great, honey! That color is perfect for you.”
  • How do you like my new haircut? Again, the only correct answer is one that shows approval and admiration. Haircuts can not be undone. Any expression of dislike for said haircut will result in weeks of pouting at your expense.
  • What should we have for dinner? This means you should come up with real and plausible dinner-type food suggestions. “I don’t care” and “Whatever you want” are not acceptable answers. We are not asking if you care what we have for dinner. We are telling you we need suggestions. Give some. If we knew what we wanted for dinner, we would not ask this question to begin with.  We would already be cooking something without having consulted with you first. Failure to offer ideas will result in a Pop-Tarts dinner.
  • Whatever! We have now reached the point of exasperation. Any further attempt at conversation or discussion is pointless and dangerous. You should now go away, preferably somewhere away from the house. A cooling off period is necessary and when you return, proceed with caution.
  • I’m really tired tonight. This means we are really tired. Stay on your own side of the bed. Don’t sling your legs over ours. Don’t pretend you’re just going to rub our backs because we KNOW in the back of your mind you’re holding on to that little glimmer of hope. Don’t think that the tired can be undone. It can’t. You’ll have to wait for another night.
  • Would you mind…..? We are not really asking if you mind doing something. We are telling you we NEED you to do something. Telling us that you DO mind is not an option unless you are ready for a good dose of exasperation and the martyr act.
  • I have PMS. This means we have cramps, we are moody and we will cry over the fact that you didn’t put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher. We are ready to rip someone’s head off their neck. Run! Do not attempt to confront us and do not attempt to make us happy. This has been proven impossible time and again. Give it a few days and your regularly scheduled wife/girlfriend/significant other will return. Until 28 days later, that is.

Additionally, here are a few other commonly used words and phrases that have been floating around the internet for quite a while, but these are worthy of repeating:

  • Fine - This is the word women use to end an argument when they feel they are right and you need to shut up… Nevery use “fine to describe how a woman looks. This will cause you to have one of those arguments.
  • Five Minutes- This is half an hour. It is equivalent to the five minutes that your football game is going to last before you take out the trash, so it’s an even trade. 
  • Nothing - This means “something,” and you should be on your toes. “Nothing” is usually used to describe the feeling a woman has of wanting to turn you inside out, upside down, and backwards. “Nothing” usually signifies an argument that will last “Five Minutes” and end with “Fine.” 
  • Go Ahead (With Raised Eyebrows! ) - This is a dare. One that will result in a woman getting upset over “Nothing” and will end with the word “Fine.” 
  • Go Ahead (Normal Eyebrows) - This means “I give up” or “do what you want because I don’t care” You will get a “Raised Eyebrow Go Ahead” in just a few minutes, followed by “Nothing” and “Fine” and she will talk to you in about “Five Minutes” when she cools off. 
  • Loud sigh- This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A “Loud Sigh” means she thinks you are an idiot at that moment, and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over “Nothing” 
  • Soft sigh- Again, not a word, but a non-verbal statement. “Soft Sighs” mean that she is content. Your best bet is to not move or breathe, and she will stay content. 
  • That’s OK- This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. “That’s Okay” means that she wants to think long and hard before paying you back for whatever it is that you have done. “That’s Okay” is often used with the word “Fine” and in conjunction with a “Raised Eyebrow.” 
  • Go Ahead! At some point in the near future, you are going to be in some mighty big trouble. 
  • Please do- This is not a statement, it is an offer. A woman is giving you the chance to come up with whatever excuse or reason you have for doing whatever it is that you have done. You have a fair chance with the truth, so be careful and you shouldn’t get a “That’s Okay.”
  • Thanks - A woman is thanking you. Do not! faint. Just say “You’re welcome.”
  • Thanks a lot – This is much different from “Thanks.” A woman will say, “Thanks A Lot” when she is really ticked off at you. It signifies that you have offended her in some callous way, and will be followed by the “Loud Sigh.” Be careful not to ask what is wrong after the “Loud Sigh,” as she will only tell you “Nothing”

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Reg, I hope this makes your life easier or at least gives you a heads up as to when it is a good time to make yourself scarce. Yes, I know it makes no sense. Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. We will never come together, but we may be able to live together peacefully if we understand each other a little better. Good luck. 

Simple Pleasures

  • Having a good hair day
  • Jergens Cherry-Almond scented lotion. I found it at Target last night and added it to my purchases. It reminds me of my mom, who always kept a bottle of it on her dresser.
  • Getting a head start on the day because I didn’t have to wake up the kids before I left. Wednesdays are late-start days at school!
  • Not having to make a lunch before I leave in the morning because Mark is coming downtown to take me to lunch.
  • Light traffic
  • Treating myself to a Caribou Coffee Hazelnut Latte. I don’t like to make a habit of spending $4.00 for one cup of coffee, but once in a while….. Mmmmmm!
  • Finding another author who writes books I can’t put down:

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  • Knowing that tomorrow is my DAY OFF!

Not whining

I almost wrote a different post tonight. I was so tempted to complain about feeling down because of the weather, because I feel like I’m alone half the time and of lacking any kind of motivation or direction. It’s just selfishness or cabin fever or winter blues or whatever you want to call it, but it’s been hanging around for about a week and I’m SICK of it.

I wrote it all out and couldn’t stand the sight of my words, because deep down, I knew I was just whining. And when I looked at the flip side of all that selfishness, I realized it’s all so petty and all I need to do is look at how much good there is in my life.

I have great kids that make me proud and allow me to sleep peacefully at night. They work hard. They stay out of trouble. They make good impressions on other people. They make me laugh and they like to spend time with me. (God only knows why, sometimes.) Sometimes they drive me crazy too, but that’s all part of the package.

I have a husband who works too much and drives me crazy because when he’s not working, he’s working on something else, at someone else’s house, just because they asked him to help with some project but he puts up with whatever attitude I throw at him. And trust me, there’s a lot of attitude. And once in a while he cooks too.

All I have to do is think of the homeless people I see on my way in to work each morning to remember I have a warm house to sleep in at night. I have a bed with warm blankets and soft pillows. There is food in the cupboards and I don’t have to worry where my next meal is coming from.

I have a job where I feel valued and appreciated. It’s a job that I enjoy and that allows me to pay my bills, leaving a little extra for fun spending each month.

I have family, and though some of them are not around as much as I’d like, I know at some point they WILL be around and no matter how far away they are, they are always there for me when I need them.

I have friendships in which I can give and I can receive. I have friends who are sensitive to my needs and who remind me what is important. I have friends with whom I can share laughter, tears, silliness, and worries. I have friends with whom I can vent, friends who are willing to share their faith, and friends who are simply there when I need them.

I guess things aren’t so bad after all. Thanks, blessed1 for reminding me to count my blessings.