Posted in daily life

When you wish real life was a fantasy

When you have nothing to write about

lost-in-a-book-2You know, I wanted to write something significant today. Something that would make people say, “yeah,” or “wow,” or make people think. Something to elicit an emotional reaction.

I wanted to write something about writing. I mean, I’m a writer after all. You’d think I’d have more to say about the craft of writing than I do. But no. All I can say there is practice, listen and learn from the experts, and have fun. That’s about the sum of my writing advice.

I wanted to write about something I read. It’s been a while since I critiqued a book. Unfortunately, I haven’t really read anything different–though my husband just finished reading Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books. All of them. Now, watching that was fun! But plenty of people have read and critiqued his books, and he doesn’t need me to do it again.

So where does that leave me? With what’s been going on with me?

Well, let’s start with Jim Butcher, shall we?

You watch someone else read books

My husband is not a big reader. At all. He’s a computer guy. Would much rather play computer games.

However, he is into big, ridiculous plots, grandiose characters, and puns. Harry Dresden has all of that.

So I managed to convince him to read the series. He did.

And it was so much fun watching him read a series of books I’d always loved and enjoyed. He’d read them when he was supposed to be working. He’d stay up to two AM to finish reading one. Every twenty minutes he’d laugh at something Harry said or did, and come running down stairs to tell me about it. He acted like a cross between a kid in a candy story and a kid at a comic convention. It was great to watch. For his birthday, I got him a Dresden t-shirt. Polka never dies.

And that got me to thinking.

And you wish your life was a fantasy

My knees hurt. Have been for months. Don’t know why because I can be a stubborn lady and haven’t gone to the doctor yet. I’ve been working out at the gym. Trying to lose weight. Succeeding, to my surprise. Lost 20 pounds. Legs still hurt.

It’s not the only things in my life that hurt. We’ve been trying to get some land. Bank approved our loan. We were all ready to sign the dotted line, when the appraisal came in and said, “land’s not worth that much. You’re going to pay too much.” So we’re back at what feels like square -20, waiting for the appraisal to go through. So the bank knows how much to lend us. So the seller knows how much he can sell it for. So we know what the price is going to be. And we’re stuck with no one talking to each other and no one knowing what is going on. And our contract has been extended twice and I can’t help but think, “we’re going to lose the land through no fault of our own!” And we have no idea what’s going to happen.

Through all this, my husband and I decided we want to have kids. Been trying for a year. No baby. We’re telling each other, “it’s okay. You got time. There’s nothing wrong with you.” But we look around and all we can see are kids. Cute kids, pudgy kids, screaming kids. Kids playing baseball. Kids in Halloween costumes. And they’re all so cute and precious . . . and not one of them is ours.

And this is why

If our lives were a fantasy, then our problems could be solved overnight. I could get bitten by a radioactive spider and be gifted with super-powers. Overnight I’d get buff and healthy and my legs would stop hurting. If I ever did hurt, it’s because I decided to go out and be a punching bag for someone.

Insta-heal. Insta-health. It’s the superpower everyone wants. Too bad it’s a fantasy.

If our lives were a fantasy, I could go to a mystic or psychic or the local wise woman, and she’d be able to tell me exactly why it’s taking so long for us to buy our land.  She could also give me a glimpse into the future, tell me exactly when we’ll sign the dotted line, when the wait will be over.

Speaking of waiting. While she’s giving us predictions, she could tell me about my future kids. Will I have them? How many? Boys or girls? One, two, five or ten? And if her answer is no, then I could ask why? Is it not in God’s will for me to have kids? Is there something with me? My husband? Is it a problem that could be fixed?

And because my life is a fantasy, of course the problem could be fixed–maybe with a magical healing potion. Or maybe with a deal with a crooked fairy or something. And then I’d only get my kid at the expense of half my soul or something horrible like that.

Which is why life isn’t a fantasy. And why fantasy isn’t life. Real life is worse–and better–than fantasy. Because real life has God in it. God is the ultimate problem solver. I just gotta remember that.

So never ask God to give you patience. He just might give you a bushel of trouble instead.

Posted in daily life

Things only adults do

Have you noticed there are certain things you do that feel very ‘adult’?

Your First Real Job

And I’m not talking about your summer/weekend job you had as a teen. I’m talking about that full-time job you work all year long. The one you’ll either love and do for the rest of your life, or the one you’ll hate but endure because something has to pay don't want to workthe bills.

Paying Bills

Speaking of. You didn’t do this when you were a kid, did you?

Leaving Home

Ah yes. The ultimate sign that your an adult. Leaving home to make it on your own in the big, wide world. You now have a job, a house, and maybe the hand-me-down car. You are now able and qualified to live on your own. Congratulations. Now the real adult things start.

Getting Married

cabin 2There’s nothing much more adult than hitching yourself up to another person for the rest of your life. It’s takes a lot of maturity and work to make a marriage last. It’s a shame people don’t take it seriously. I wish I could put Sex and Kids on this list, but let’s face it–if there’s something people take less seriously than marriage, it’s sex and kids. That won’t change your life, but getting married will?

Buying Insurance

Now here’s one you won’t see coming. For the entirety of your life, you’ve been on your parents’ plans. Now you’ve outgrown them and have to get some of your own. Who do you get? Do you go with what your job provides. Hopefully they do, and hopefully it’s good. If so, congratulations, the pain is done once you’ve filled out the appropriate forms. If not, then maybe you’ll go with what your parents used. If not . . . then I’m sorry. Now you’ve got to shop around and see what’s best for your family. And heaven forbid you make the wrong decision, but in today’s world of Obamacare, trust me–you won’t be able to switch easily. Even if you wanted to.

Doing Your Taxes

What’s more painful than handing your hard-earned money to someone else to use/misuse? Having kids? Passing kidney stones? Dying? I’m not sure. Let me know if you think of anything.

Shopping for Doctors

doctor-shoppingIf there’s something worse than shopping for insurance, it’s shopping for doctors. At least with insurance, you’re limited to a handful of companies, depending on what kind of insurance you need. That’s not the case with doctors. If you’re lucky, you’ll just use the same doctor your family has used for generations. Or maybe you live in a region isolated enough that you only have one or two choices when it comes to choosing who you go when your sick. But if you move to a big city where you literally have hundreds of options, all taking your insurance? Personally, I found it easier to plan my own wedding than choose who I want to be our family doctor. Totaling my own car was less painful. How do you make a decision? Chose the closest one to you, and the first on the list? Go with what everyone recommends? Go with the one with the most medals and credentials to his name? Go with the one in the private clinic because he’ll spend more time with you than the one in the hospital? Gah, just shoot me now. I’ll endure my bum knee for the rest of my life, thank you very much.

Setting up your own doctors appointments

Now that you got your own doctors, you have to call in your own appointments. Tooth hurts? Guess what, your mom’s not going to call it in. You are! Welcome to adulthood, where you have to do all your own dirty work yourself.

Posted in daily life, Loosing Weight

People You See at the Gym

golds-gym-logoI joined Gold’s Gym about two months ago, not sure whether or not I’d like it. In my experience, gyms tend to be hot places with not enough air flow. I sweat and get hot when I exercise. But this one was brand spanking new. I hoped it would be different.

It was.

I’ll go ahead and get the glowing review out of the way. The people who work there are pleasant, fun, and encouraging. They have programs for every level of fitness–from the “I’ve never exercised a day in my life” people to “I could bench press cars” fanatics. I wouldn’t have lost the weight I have without them.

But that’s not why I’m writing this post.

I’m writing this post to tell you about the kind of people you see at the gym.

All kinds of people go to gyms. All kinds. A lot go in the hopes they’ll look buff and lose weight in just a day or two with minimal effort. There are people, I’m sure, who could do that. Yahoo for them.

But the ones who are there every day? They are the real interesting ones. The kind that might get immortalized in one of my books one day.

The Fashion-Challenged Exerciser

We’ve all seen this person. Could be guy or girl. Any level of fitness. But they seem to go out of the way to wear the most unfashionable outfit possible. And this is saying something, considering people at gyms tend to wear whatever is comfortable. I mean, they aren’t there to win beauty pageants–they’re there to get sweaty.

There’s this one guy my husband calls “Shorty Shorts Guy.” I haven’t seen him, but apparently, not only are his shorts short, but they bulge two inches past his waist, like he’s stuffed them with Styrofoam or something. And no, I’m not talking about the crotch area. I’m talking about his thighs. Why would anyone want to wear poofy shorts? And tuck their shirt in to boot?

Madam Marathon Runner

I can’t tell you how many older ladies–and gentlemen–I’ve seen exercising at the gym. Most, I will admit, are just trying to stay healthy. But there’s always one or two there who look like they could bench press their teen-age grandchildren. Then go run a marathon. You know, just by looking at them, that they’re just as serious about what they eat as they are about exercising.

I’ll admit these old ladies really impress the heck out of me. They’re in better shape than I could ever hope to be. I’ve seen them do pull-ups. Pull-ups, people. If I could do half of what they do, I’d be ecstatic. But let’s face it–I’m too lazy and like to eat too much to put that much energy into being that healthy.

Mr. I Can Bench Press Cars

There’s this one guy I see all the time. Don’t know his name. But I’m pretty sure he lives at the gym. He doesn’t work there, but he could probably teach any class. If he doesn’t, I’d be seriously surprised.

This man, he looks like he’s in his late 50s, and his hair used to be blond. His muscles are bulging and sculpted, and he wears tight fitting clothes. This morning, I saw this man doing pull-ups like it was no big deal–then pause in the middle of a pull-up, point his toes, and then lift his feet over his head. He pointed his feet to one side of his head, then the other. This lasted for like thirty seconds.

I have no idea what that exercise is called, but it’s got to be the hardest, most impressive thing I’ve ever seen a person doing at a gym.

Mr. Strange

Every now and then you see someone that, for whatever reason, just looks weird. It could be what they’re wearing or some other feature, but you look at them and think, “what?”

There’s this guy who, I swear, looks like a black version of Bane, the super-villain from Batman. He’s big, he’s buff, and he wears a mask that covers half his face. He sounds like Darth Vader when he breathes. I haven’t seen him cart an oxygen tank or a funky backpack with tubes coming from it–but it’s the kind of mask that looks like it should. I have no idea what it does, but I would really like to know.

Posted in daily life

How to keep the peace when you’re husband is a know-it-all

Mornings with my husband

This past week, my husband and I took the opportunity to talk about what we planned to do this week. “So what?” you’re thinking. “What’s so special about this?”

Well, anyone who knows my husband knows he is physically incapable of saying or doing anything normally. So naturally, such an every day, normal conversation wouldn’t go as planned.

  • Him: So, what do you have planned today?
  • Me: Well, I gotta sign the contract and call the bank. We got that guy coming to clean the computer later today. I got dishes to do, blogs to write–oh, and I got to do something with my hair. It’s one giant knot.

(cue uncontrollable laughter)

  • Me: What’s so funny?

Apparently, my husband finds my train of thought hilarious. And sure, I can see the humor of it. But he’s not the one who wakes up with a giant rat’s nest attached to his head every morning. It don’t matter if I sleep with it up, down, or in a braid. It don’t matter if I go to bed with it dry or wet–I’m gonna wake up with knots in my hair. It’s the curse of having long, curly hair.

So, after he finishes making fun of me, the conversation continues.

  • Him: So, what are you going to write about?
  • Me: I don’t know. Haven’t really thought about it.
  • Him: Why don’t you write about wifely duties? The Bible has more to say about wives than it does husbands.
  • Me: (Tries to hit him. Doesn’t work. Tries to tickle him. Doesn’t work.)

Yes, that was an insulting comment, but in all fairness, he was only saying it to make fun of feminism and overbearing husbands . . . because his mind just works that way at 7:58 in the morning. It doesn’t help that he, of course, is right about the Bible verses (though I plan to double check, just to make sure). Or about most everything else.

So my husband can be a know it all–I’m okay with that. Mostly.

It can be kind of frustrating–never winning an argument or discussion because my husband usually knows the answer. Oh, not the important things. We try to come to an agreement on that. It’s the little things, the little competitions, I can never win.

His mind is so much quicker and more agile than mine. If I let my competitive self out too much, I’ll get disappointed when I inevitably lose. And when I lose too much, I get disappointed. And when I get disappointed, I get jealous. And jealousy is such a nasty thing.

My solution? Learn to become a gracious loser. So much easier and takes a whole lot less energy.

Besides, my husband likes to debate with me. And I like sparing with him back. Who am I to mess that up?

 

Posted in daily life

How to move with your sanity intact

How to Move with Your Sanity Intact

Now, I’m not expert. I haven’t moved a gazillion times in my life. I’m not a military brat or a gypsy. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve moved. But I think I’ve learned a few things these past few weeks about surviving a move. In addition to boxes, packing tape and paper to protect your valuables, you need a few other things.

Coffee

coffeeCoffee, coke, tea–it doesn’t matter what you use, as long as it’s a source of caffeine. Packing up all your stuff takes a lot of energy, and you will need every scrap of energy you have just to pack up all your stuff. Might I suggest using the biggest coffee mug you have? Or perhaps bully your friends into getting you several Starbucks gift cards. Whichever works for you.

Free Boxes

Nothing’s worse than going shopping for boxes. Now, I didn’t mind buying boxes, but let’s face it. You’re moving out of a house. I’m moving out of an apartment. Boxes get expensive. If you can borrow boxes from your friends, do so. Getting free boxes isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds.

Trash Cans

Take it from me: the less stuff you have to take with you, the better. So don’t be afraid to throw things away. Throw them in the trash, give it to Goodwill, pawn it or abandon it at your friend’s house–if you don’t use it, lose it.

For those of you who are pack rats, I’m sorry. You might need some anxiety medication.

Start Early

clockIf you don’t have access to convenient babysitters, then I recommend you find the nearest Temporal Anomaly and bolt it to your house. If you can figure out some way to give yourself an endless supply of time during your move, please do so. And then tell the rest of us where you got it. We don’t have access to futuristic gizmos. We just have to start early.

Baby Sitter

Unless your kids are old enough to help you pack, leave them at grandma’s. Or a babysitter. Or your best friend. Or whoever you can beg or bribe to watch your kids. You need as much time to pack as you possibly can, and trying to pack around kids is not easy.

Emergency Get-away

At some point during the moving process, you will need to get away from the mess. As a reader, I found myself a new series of books and indulged. I spent time at the library. Maybe you should schedule time to go watch a movie. Or go bowling. Or bake cookies. But don’t go shopping–you don’t want to move more stuff, do you? Maybe you could just walk around and look at stuff instead. Window shop. Yeah, maybe that will work . . . .

Tall Person

Everyone needs to rent a tall person to reach those things on the top shelf that you haven’t touched in ten years. Or those photos your father hung on the wall when you were a kid. You know, the ones with an inch of gunk caked on it. Then, once that tall person done getting all the things you can’t reach, you can have him (or her) help you carry boxes to the Uhaul you just rented. Free labor!

If you’re already a tall person, good for you. I’m not tall. My tall person is my husband. And you can’t have him.

Gas Mask

gas maskI was going to say dust mask, but no, you’ll need a gas mask–for cleaning out your fridge, if nothing else. Or taking out the trash. Or cleaning out your husbands office. Or cleaning out your kids’ rooms. Or the living room couch. Or–you get the idea. Stinky trash is everywhere. So is dust, dirt and yucky things. A gas mask will will help you keep breathing. And latex gloves will protect your hands. Make sure to wear gloves. And buy Windex. And paper towels. And lots of trash bags.


Hope you enjoyed the post! Got any other tips? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

Posted in daily life

I love our new bed

The Saga of a Full Size Bed

Here in a few days, my husband and I will be celebrating our second anniversary (yeah!). For the entirety of those two years, we have been sleeping on a bed that is much too small for us. How small? Well, my husband is six foot two inches. I am five foot two inches. Here is a picture from Christmas last year to help give you an idea of our height difference. It’s a good thing I don’t like heals, because no amount of heals would help equalize our height differences. Maybe if I wore stilts . . . .BLUELAGOON - WIN_20141213_151048

 

Well, as you can see, my husband is a big man, and for the  entire time we’ve been married, we’ve slept in a–wait for it–a full size bed. Yes, you heard me correctly. We slept in a full size bed, the same bed he’s been sleeping in since before college. At first we were fine with it. After all, we liked to cuddle. And that newlywed glow? Let me tell you, it’s a real thing. But it didn’t last long.

Cuddling aside, us both sleeping on it is kind of laughable. My husband sleeping on it by himself was laughable. He simply did not fit. There was really only one way for him to sleep on it without his feet hanging off it–diagonally. That, as you can imagine, took up a lot of room. Then you add me, and unless I lay on top of him, my only option is to lay all curled up on my side. I rarely had enough room to sleep flat without one shoulder either hanging off the edge of the bed or the other cramped against my hubby.

Here is a picture of our old bed, just so you know how small it was. As you can see, it was laundry day and our cat was . . . um, helping out. And she didn’t particularly like me interfering with her job, either.laundry on bed

Two years into this, we decided enough was enough. Neither of us were getting a proper night sleep on the thing. Also, my shoulders and hands ached more days than not from sleeping in positions they weren’t meant to stay in for eight hours straight. So we went down to the local Denver mattress store, lay on half a dozen beds (Okay, I was the one trying out all the beds. Michael was more interested in talking to the sales person) before we settled on a brand new, $900, King Size mattress. It took three weeks for the silly thing to come in, but the wait was worth it. The thing is huge!king size bed

As you can see from the pic, there is literally no place I could stand in the bedroom where I could get the entire bed and both dressers in the frame. It is almost twice the size of our old bed. The first thing we did when it arrived was, of course, lay on the thing. This thing is so big we can literally lay on the edges, stretch out our arms and not touch each other. Not to mention we can both roll over and still have plenty of room to ourselves. My husband can lay on the bed properly now, and his feet do not dangle off the edge. In fact, he has about four inches to spare. Four inches!

And did you know that when you buy a brand new bed, you are supposed to jump on it? It’s true. The sales person said that we needed to walk on the mattress for five minutes every night before you sleep in order to break it in. For at least a month. I’m wearing a silly grin on my face just thinking about it. I haven’t jumped on a bed in years, and here I am doing it for a month straight.

My husband is very upset at the fact that he cannot share in the fun. He can barely stand on the bed without conking his head on the ceiling fan. Oh, the woes of being tall! Poor baby. That’s ok–more jumping for me.

But do you know the worst–or maybe the best–thing about having a brand new mattress? Having to get out of it in the morning. It’s been four days since we’ve gotten the mattress, and we’ve yet to drag ourselves out of it before 8AM. That may not sound bad to you, but my husband has to work in the mornings. Sure, he works from home, but he still has to get out of bed first!

And just so you know, the pain in my hands and my shoulders are clearing up. I’m hoping the pain continues to go and stays away. Fingers crossed!

Posted in daily life

My Flee Bitten Day

Never Ask for Something to Do

If there was one word to describe this week, it would be “hurry.” I’m anxious for next week to hurry up and get here. There’s so many things going on next week and nothing this week. I can’t tell you how many times I walked around the apartment saying/thinking, “I’m bored! There’s nothing to do!”

I really should have known better than to say that.

No sooner did I finish the book I was reading and also the last thing on my “prepare for next week” list than something happened. Flees. Gah. I hate flees. I thought I had killed them two weeks ago. I hadn’t. Like the cat they had infested, they had multiple lives.

Death to All Flees!

Now, I’d lived through flees before. I knew the stuff at the grocery store was no good. Placebos worked better. So I went to the vet to arm myself with some serious flee-killing weaponry: a can of spray, and drops. Unlike the stuff you buy over the counter, these actually kills the flees and their eggs.

Thus, armed with my weapons of choice, I went home and anointed my cat with the drops of poison. Then I sprayed the vile can of mist onto all my carpet, mattresses and cushions until I could spray no more. The mists permeated my apartment–it nearly drove me out (the stuff stinks) so the stuff had better work.

Poisons placed, I then pretended like I was Cinderella and cleaned my apartment from top to bottom. I did my laundry, swept and mopped, and vacuumed every carpeted surface. But had I gotten all the flees? There was only one way to find out.

The Black Light of Doom

My sister told me this secret to killing flees. If I wanted to get rid of flees fast, I needed two things: a container of soapy water, and a black light. That was it. So I obtained a black light, got my soapy water, waited for night to fall, and then sprung my trap. I set the black light over the water, turned it on, and turned all the other lights out.

The next morning, I had four dead flees floating in the water. Yes, you heard me. Four. Laugh if you want, but you know as well as I that four flees can quickly become four hundred. I knew those drops worked–the cat started shedding dead flees while I was still cleaning–but I wasn’t sure about the spray. Thus the water. And black lights are infinitely cheaper than flee poison.

I’m going to be keeping that black light on for the next few nights, just to make sure I got them all.