Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Observation

At my new job, I've been learning a million and forty new things at once. It's exciting and challenging and I'm completely unqualified! I'm so thankful for my last 12 years of home schooling or I would feel like a complete idiot.

Dentistry is so interesting when I really get down to the nitty-gritty. I've had so many proceedures done on my own teeth that I almost know the steps and can follow along.

Oh. So that's what that was that made my head buzz like I just put it on a belt sander!

The team at the office do everything they can to make a patient feel welcomed and relaxed. Let's face it - there are those who are pretty nervous when it comes to dentistry. There's even people in my own house who feel this way.

Sometimes, patients will be given nitrous oxide to help calm their nerves before a shot or a proceedure. In fact, there's someone in my own house who requests this each time, though I won't give out any names.

The observation I've made on the nitrous oxide is pretty astute. The only people I've seen request it, so far,

are grown men.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Great Day

Ok, I can't say that I'm standing in a hole this time because we're on pavement.

Darcy really is that tall! I've always been the short one.

I've had such a great time reconnecting with her! We've scored an invitation to her home in CO and I hope to go there some day. Her husband, Mike, would like some ski partners and I feel up to the task!

Ty and I met them at Epcot, went on Soarin'and Test Track with them, then left them to their Epcot adventure. We then headed to Hollywood because I wanted him to experience Rockin' rollercoaster and he convinced me to ride Tower of Terror. I'm so glad he did!

When we were approaching Tower of Terror, I was saying that I didn't trust the ride to be safe.

"Ok, Mom. We're both going to practice trust here. You're going to trust that theme parks make safe rides, and I'm going to trust that I'll get a phone call with a job offer today."

I didn't die on the ride.

He got a phone call on the way home with the job offer.

Then Himself brought Kelly and a girl from her unit, Abby, home for the weekend.

What a great birthday!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hey Mom! Look!

It's Darcy!

I think I may be standing in a hole here. I also have an iced tea stain on my shirt because she made me laugh so hard I spewed the tea!

We had a great visit, and I talked her and her husband Mike into going to Epcot tomorrow.

Then I talked Tyler into coming with us. I had to pull the "It's My Birthday" card to do it.

He won't let me get a birthday button.

And we have to leave by 1:00 to make it back for my 2:30 American Literature class. But it will be fun!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Beachward Bound!

Himself may be glad to know he's probably not the one who wakes me at 4:00 am.

Can't blame a guy who's stuck in Miami.

Tonight, I'll be heading off to an interesting adventure. I'm driving to Daytona to meet an old friend and her husband!

For protection, I'm bringing Glenna.

Darcy was the first girl I met when we moved to San Marcos, back when I was entering the 3rd grade. I was exploring my new neighborhood and she came out of her house and invited me to roller skate with her on the sidewalk (she had a sidewalk, I didn't). When her family moved onto the property of her grandparents, which was connected to our property, we were practically inseparable for the next 6 years. I even joined her family on vacations to Mexico!

Anyway, because we were friends for so long at such a young age, she is naturally part of several childhood hangups I have such as not liking it when people put their feet on me.

Darcy and I never wore shoes. This means that our feet were always very, very dirty. We would sit and watch TV and Darcy would start pushing on my leg (white pants!) with her dirty feet. I was constantly trying to brush the dirt off my leg and she would laugh and laugh! I couldn't stand for people to have their feet near me until I had children, because baby feet are just precious. (Still, I would make sure they were very, very clean first!)

Root beer. It took me years to be able to drink the stuff again. Whenever we went anywhere with Darcy's mother, she would ask her if we could share a soda. Darcy always insisted on root beer, so I had to go through this rebellious stage where I would refuse anything rootbeerish. Did I mention how young I was when I met her?

Anyway, as I said, I'm driving to Daytona to meet her and her husband. It will be interesting to see what has changed and what remains the same, like her voice. She left a message on my voice mail and I about flipped! Darcy was on the phone! It was the exact same voice from my childhood. It made me want to change out of white pants and order a 7-up.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

From Ordinary to Extraordinary

Friday night, Himself had gone to the movie store while Glenna and I finished the dinner dishes. Our agenda that evening was to wash the dogs. Tyler had driven to visit Kelly and we weren't sure what time he was going to be back.

Chatting and singing during this chore, we suddenly realized we were hearing Ty at the door. We had to replace the knob and lock a few months ago and I still needed to make him a key. Glenna went over to let him in.

"You're back!" I heard her say.


Glenna came back into the kitchen and said, "Your son is home." (Perhaps she got her conversational skills from me; Obvious Mom.)I heard him come in but looking around, I didn't see him yet.

"Oh is he? Well, I don't see my son."

I looked to my right and suddenly, my world exploded. Peering around the corner was not the face of my son, but the beautiful face of my Kelly!

I screamed and ran to her and couldn't stop crying and hugging her. They decided to surprise me! I don't know why I didn't think of her just coming home for the weekend, but you could have knocked me over with a feather.

Hugs went to Glenna and then I opened my arms as wide as I could. My children came to me and I was holding all three at once, laughing and crying and thanking God. OH, did anything ever feel so good?

We had to wait for Himself to get home and then the surprise happened all over again. The five of us sat in the living room and talked and talked until Himself turned into a pumpkinhead and went to bed.

I went upstairs to make sure Kelly had everything she needed. The sight was so beautiful - Glenna sitting on her sister's bed and the two of them chatting together while listening to music. Tyler was in his room playing with one of the balloons we had used to decorate his room (he was trying to keep it off the floor by bouncing it with his head). All three turned to me and smiled at my happiness.

How does one adequately thank God for a moment like that?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Eggs and the Devil

I know we're not supposed to compare ourselves to others. I know that each of us are in a different place in our spiritual walk.

I know this.

There's one woman at church who has my complete envy.

I'm not even sure, exactly, what her name is. I have my suspicions, but it's still kind of a mystery. Whoever she is, there's a skill she possesses that I simply cannot duplicate.

She makes absolutely perfect deviled eggs.

Everything about them is symmetry exemplified. They're perfectly shaped, perfectly filled, perfectly clean, and perfectly sprinkled with paprika. The yolk mixture is a lovely, bright yellow without a hint of grayishness that I've seen in my own eggs.

Most church covered dish suppers will have a plate of them and I always take more than one. Himself will only eat eggs scrambled (or hidden in foods, like cake) so it's a rare treat for me to get deviled eggs.

It's especially rare to eat deviled eggs so beautiful.

Today, since I had a plethora of eggs from my friend Mr. G, I decided to make both deviled eggs and egg salad. Himself has been traveling quite a bit and I wasn't worried about him in the house and having to watch the process.

I tried.

I really, really tried.

Deviled eggs are so labor intesive that it really hurts when they come out wrong. I tried to do everything I remembered from my Mom's deviled eggs and thought I was doing pretty well. I peeled and washed the eggs. I put the yolks in a bowl and rinsed the whites. I added mayo and dill pickle relish. I took a taste.

What I had was egg flavored mayo.

Way too much mayo.

I mean, YUCK.

I determined to keep going with the egg salad.

No celery.

I had a productive day regardless. After all, I am in a different place than Perfect Deviled Egg Woman.

That's just where I'm supposed to be right now.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


The Countdown Ticker is completed and my son is indeed home.

Oh, Happiness!

His stuff is everywhere and that's so beautiful. It's everywhere because it's no longer in Tennessee. He's been busy with job interviews, helping his sister with her school work, visiting his Brown-eyed Girl, and trying to figure out why his new phone is so horrible, so we've extended him grace on the clutter.

I don't care. It means he's HOME!

He's shared with me many things, like the fact that his last instructor charged a quarter for every time someone would say the granddaddy of all swear words. At the end of the 20 day class, the person with the highest grade point average would win the money.

Ty won with his 93.7 (the .7 earned it for him).

He went up to collect his prize and his instructor said, "Wait a minute! You've never had to pay anything!"

"I know. Pure profit."


But he neglected to share with me other things and I discovered them for myself, like the fact that he was given the Honors Award for Academic Excellence because of his GPA. Humble man (and not so humble mom)! That one's for his grandma to read.

On his last blog post, he mentioned that he won't miss eating out of a box anymore. That one hurt my mama-heart! He won't have to.

Not if I can help it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tips from the Mouse

I've been realizing that there are things I've learned at Disney that will serve me for the rest of my life. Here are just a few:

* A smile really is the best defense. A smile that is genuine (and not condescending), will instantly put people at ease. This applies to all ages.

*Children are great to talk to and appreciate when others show interest in them. (I've always know this, but it was reinforced.) A child is much more willing to wait patiently for adults to finish a conversation if they have already been acknowledged with their own conversation.

*Talking to complete strangers doesn't have to be scary. There are rules of safety that apply here, of course. At my new job, I have no qualms with talking to patients or anyone else. This came in handy when calling for appointment confirmations.

*Showing true interest in someone can make their day magical.

* Always look eye. (Said in Karate Kid accent.)

*Don't interrupt. (What am I, seven? Why do I still struggle with this? Arrrgggh!) Even if you could finish their sentence for them, just let them finish.

* Sometimes your silence is much more important and golden than your clever/intelligent remarks. (See above.)

* Don't take someone's anger or impatience personally. You don't know the full story of their life, so you have no idea what they have been through or where they're coming from today. Extend grace for the unknown elements. (This may or may not apply to road rage. You decide!)

* Be playful. Again, make sure your timing is appropriate! (At Disney, it was almost always appropriate, especially with guests!)

* Safety first.

* Sometimes people don't want their problems solved. Sometimes, they just want to know someone is listening and understands.

And, straight from the Bible (but I personally learned so much about this through my Disney experience) . . .

*Love conquers all. When in doubt, choose to love.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Night in Infamy

The day was planned for months and months!

Glenna stubbornly stood by her plan to attend Night of Joy when most of her friends decided to attend Rock the Universe, held on the same night. The reason was one group only - Family Force Five. She loves them!

Her friend Rachel, recently relocated to Tennessee, made plans to fly in for the concert. They planned outfits and accessories and considered it a double birthday celebration; Glenna's in July, Rachel's in August. At last, the big day arrived and we picked Rachel up from the airport! Himself and I were all set to get our groove on; from the back in the parent parking, of course. Glenna and Rachel joined their friends who decided at the last minute to come anyway.

Just before the concert started, the stage crew began to cover up the equipment. Clouds were definitely approaching, but we were hopeful that they would bypass us or miss us all together. The Park has an excellent weather system, so when they began to cover up the equipment, we dug out our ponchos.

It rained.

There was lightning.

We stood in a downpour for over an hour.

We kept getting reassuring messages (spiel!) that the concert was merely delayed. Eventually, however, we were disappointed by a force much stronger than the weather.

The Schedule.

Family Force Five came out on stage, covered in rain ponchos, and apologized for not being able to perform for us.

Glenna was crushed!

She enjoyed the rest of the evening with all of her friends, but it was still a pretty hard blow.

By the way, did you know that Night of Joy is the most hated theme night among cast members? Here are some facebook quotes from them:

"Night of Joy? You mean Night of Doom!"

"I'd rather work Grad Nite for 6 weeks straight than Night of Joy."

"I hate them. I'm ready to kill all of them."

"They're obnoxious as hell."

Yes, these are descriptions of a Christian event, and we were able to witness some of this while we were there. It's so heartbreaking that it has that reputation, but there it is.

I have glimmers of hope that I will not be behind in everything forever. Glenna and Rachel helped me attack the dishes that had been on the counter for days. Laundry is mostly done. I'm just trying to figure out my new "normal." I'm thankful to be home at night, but between work and Glenna's classes, I haven't seen a lot of home time yet. Still, last week was more unusual because of the holiday, our Rachel, and Night of Joy.

What will be the reasons next week?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Another Thank You Note

I hope I'm remembering things correctly. If not, maybe Mom will help me out and I'll edit.

Yesterday, I tried on this lab coat that I purchased.

Have I mentioned how thankful I am to be wearing scrubs? I'm especially thankful first thing in the morning, before coffee.

I put on this lab coat and I had a flashback to my childhood, maybe even my preschool days, and realized that I have become my mother.

If you've ever met my mother, you'll know that's a very, very good thing.

My mom used to rise early in the morning and go to work. She would prepare her lunch and ours, and then leave while it was still dark outside. She did this for 21 years with the same company, though the prepared lunches eventually were replaced by a few dollars.

In my preschool memory, I remember this blue lab coat that she would wear at work. It was either light blue or light green, or maybe it was tanish yellow? At any rate it had these deep pockets. I remember searching through the pockets because I would always find a treasure or two:

A paperclip

An opened roll of Lifesavers

A half-stick of Juicyfruit gum


A rubberband

A bobby pin

I think I also remember her name badge, clipped either on the lapel or pocket. She couldn't get into the building without it (shhh. . . .super hush hush workplace where . . . shhhh. . . CASH REGISTERS were made).

I looked at myself in the mirror wearing my lab coat, and I repeated the phrase I have stated whenever I look in the mirror, ever since I turned 30.

Hello, Mom.

Everything at that moment was my mom.

Up before sunrise, the lab coat, a sleeping child left at home, a bit of breakfast, trying to remember a thousand details; Mom did all of that every day that I can recall of my childhood and teen years until I married Himself. While I know this is a different season of my life, this was her reality. This is the reality of so many single moms today, many of whom I've met at The Park, my church, or my new job.

I'm not a single mom. I do have help, and yet I find it difficult to balance the duality of this life.

Thanks, Mom.

Thank you for everything.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Leave a Tender Moment Alone

As I stated previously, saying goodbye to Kelly was difficult. I smiled as I saw her hug Glenna and speak with her.

On the way home, Glenna told us what Kelly said:

"I love you. Don't wear my clothes."

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day

I check my blog, not because I forget what my life is like, but because I want to see the countdown ticker.

I love that the number is in single digits.

So, I have roughly 185 pounds of motivation to get my house clean, and this morning I only had one hour of energy.

Misery, thy name is migraine. Himself worked today.

I have been eating all the wrong foods and need to detox again. Now is not the time! I start a new job tomorrow! Ty's coming home!

I guess I'll have to schedule it.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

A Saturday Evening Post

I worked my last shift at The Park last night, at least for a while. I ended up closing Grouper, which isn't my favorite position to close. For some reason, at that hour no one stands where they're placed or WANTS to stand where they're placed.

Forty minutes before closing the ride cascaded and the lights went on. I reassured the guests that it probably wouldn't take too long. One young boy was sadly staring at the ground (he was only one group away from boarding, after all!) so I began to play with him and my laser pointer. I'd direct the beam around his feet and he'd stare at it, then look up at the adult next to him and try to get their attention. The beam would of course be gone and the adult would be distracted. He'd look carefully around to see if anyone else had seen it, then we'd repeat the whole thing. Sometimes, he'd try to step on it. Other times, he'd try to grab it with his hands. He was so cute!

While we were down, everyone I had grouped (including the little boy's party) was grumbling and complaining. I tried talking to them and distracting them. The man waiting next in line was especially irate and loud about his dissatisfaction, but I soon had him laughing. He said to me, "This must be a great job!"

"It really is a GREAT job."

"I mean, you get to meet all these people and they're all so happy to be here."

At this point I stared him right in the eye (because he had really been a royal pain not ten seconds earlier) and said, "YES. Everyone is so HAPPY."

He stared back at me for a second, then he burst out laughing.


The one fun thing about closing grouper is that after the last guest has boarded, we're allowed to hop on the ride with them if there's a seat available. My friend Adam was on his break and we hopped on together! What a fun way to head to the break room.

The new audio does enhance the ride, but it sounds too much like disco music to me and disco is my least favorite genre. There are parts where it sounds like something is whizzing past and that's really cool. All in all, I like it!

Busy week ahead, then Saturday is Night of Joy!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Sleepy Saturday

I had such a wonderful day with Glenna yesterday! She finished her school work early and we headed for Epcot. I'll have photos later (as soon as we use up the disposable camera and I get the pictures on disc).

Last night at 3 am, I heard her calling me. She had been throwing up.

Drat. Rotten ending to a beautiful day.

Today is laundry, then probably my last Saturday at Space for a while!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Is It True?

Can it honestly be only TWO WEEKS until my son walks back through our door?

Friday was his official commencement, though he's finishing his last module now. I encouraged him to go because I didn't want crickets to be the only answer when his name was called, but he chose to sleep in, for the first time in months, instead.

"Tyler! I would be there if I could! You have to go!"

"It's because you can't be here that I'm not going."

How could I argue with that?

Just so you know, Tyler, your acheivement was celebrated here throughout the day!

I'll be starting a new job on Tuesday so I know time will fly by. At least, I PRAY time will fly by!


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