Life

I Rarely Shut Up …

… so when I don’t post one, two, three (!) articles for the day, something must be wrong, right?

Wrong. Even when I’m feeling conflicted, or have a lot on my mind, I’ll write about it. Why? Because that’s simply who I am. It helps me work through things by writing about them. A lot of times, you’ll be privy to my thoughts, other times, I’ll write a private post because whatever is going on in my life is just too private to share with the rest of the world.

But once in a while, once in a blue moon, there will be times I simply do not have anything to say. There will be times that I sit down at the computer, my fingers poised above the smooth, worn keys, and … nothing happens. I will sit there and watch the dreaded cursor tease and taunt me with every hateful blink.

Like yesterday, for example.

I tried, on several occasions, to write something. The morning steadily ticked by and try as I might, I simply could not make myself type anything. I was completely blank, absolutely spent, I simply could not tear one word from my convoluted soul.

It was a very strange feeling. Normally, the only way to shut me up is to plaster duct tape over my mouth. But yesterday … nothing. Silence.

I got up, did some household chores, thought of something to talk about, sat back down, pulled out my keyboard and …

nothing.

I got back up, put some laundry in, checked on the boys (they were off for President’s Day), thought of something funny to share with you, sat back down, pulled out my keyboard and …

nothing.

All the while, the minutes were ticking by. Soon, the morning was gone and I began to sweat. How could I NOT post something? What was wrong with me?

It’s very frustrating to WANT to write but you simply CAN’T write.

Finally, around one o’clock, I simply gave up. Screw it, I thought. Is it really the end of the world if I DON’T post something? Sheesh. Get over yourself, I thought to myself.

So, I did. And instead, I Twittered bits and pieces of my day. And it felt GREAT to simply step back and breathe a bit.

My unintentional day off was very much needed. I think I’ll start doing that more often.

I have a lot of little things on my mind right now …

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The dog issue. *sigh* I know. You’re getting sick of hearing about it, I’m getting sick of typing about it, but it’s a pretty serious issue with us right now so …

Let’s back track a bit …

Kevin is really busy at work right now. For those that don’t know, he’s the CFO for a company and the beginning of the year is always crazy busy for him because of year-end paperwork and new year projections. To make sure he’s staying on top of his game, he tends to work the weekends this time of year.

So, he’s working this past weekend. On Valentine’s Day. Yes, it sucks. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

And being the good wife that I am, I met him for lunch. We ate at Panera Bread. I had the “You pick Two”: Bacon Turkey Bravo and Potato Soup. My two favorite dishes.

But that’s neither here nor there.

After lunch, we had a little time to kill before he needed to go back so we went to an animal shelter. Care Rescue, to be exact, to look at the dogs.

Before we even walked into the door, Kevin warned me, “Now, it’s going to stink. So, you know, prepare yourself.”

“I’m not stupid,” I responded, though not unkindly. I knew what he was doing – he was trying to mentally prepare me for not only the overwhelming stench of the enclosed animals, but for the sheer stench of desperation that permeates every nook and cranny at animals shelters such as these.

I hadn’t been in a shelter for oh gosh, years. And I can’t even tell you WHY I was in the last one – the memory is so fuzzy. But I sort of knew what to expect, so I grit my teeth and trudged forward.

I was prepared for the smell, however, I was NOT prepared for the sheer sadness of these animals.

The guy at the front desk was very friendly. He told us that their “stock” was pretty low, that most of their animals had been adopted and most of their cages were empty.

I was very happy to hear this. Not because I thought Great! We probably won’t be bringing home an animal today, but rather, Great! That means the animals had found forever families and that they were being care for.

This thought only served to magnify the pitiful state of the remaining animals. These animals were left behind.

It is so hard to try and describe what I was feeling as I walked past the mostly empty cages. The lonely animals they had left simply didn’t have the desire to even look at us as we walked past. They just laid on the floor of their dirty cages, their heads on their skinny paws and sighed. They simply did not have any hope left. Their spirits had been broken. I could feel a compassionate lump forming in the back of my throat. These poor, poor, unwanted animals.

I blinked back tears, but I held my ground. It didn’t take us long to walk through since there were so few dogs left. Most of them were way too big for us, or they were the wrong breed (judging by the mixture), so I was disappointed, but not surprised.

We were walking out, and I was clearing my throat, desperately trying to keep my emotions in check when we happened upon the last dog. He was sitting bolt upright and he was looking right at us. His expression was so hopeful, my brave, I’m-not-going-to-cry facade simply disintegrated. My heart ripped open and when I saw a cheerful, yellow card tacked to his cage that said, “LOOK at me! I’ve been here the longest” and the dog’s pitiful, begging expression, I lost it.

I stumbled back to the front, gave the guy a watery smile and a weak wave, and as soon as I stepped out of the door, my face crumbled and I simply started crying. My God, it was so, so, SO sad; I just couldn’t take it. My heart literally hurt – that poor, sweet dog.

It took me a moment to regain control of my emotions. Kevin had gotten into the car with me and when I glanced over at him, he had tears in his eyes, too. We didn’t speak for long moments but when I could finally find my voice again I said, “I can’t do that again. I just can’t handle that. It breaks me.”

He sadly nodded in agreement. That night, I prayed that that lonely, sad dog would find a loving home.

The guy did tell us that every weekend, Pet Smart hosted rescue dogs, so we went over to Pet Smart to look at more dogs. This time, I was able to handle it because the dogs were just being … dogs. We didn’t see anything we liked (that sounds so cruel to reduce animals to nothing more than merchandise, doesn’t it?) and left.

Sunday, our doorbell rang and one of the fence guys that Kevin called came by to give us an estimate on how much it would cost to fence in our backyard – $4,300.00. Kevin about had a coronary. He’s now thinking he’s not willing to pay that much to fence in our yard and perhaps we should forget all about this dog thing.

And just as I was getting used to the idea of this dog thing.

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We were eating Nachos Supreme at dinner last night when GD suggested we get the Table Conversation cards out.

For those that don’t know, Table Conversation cards are just that – they are cards with questions on them designed to start a conversation.

And our boys love them.

It’s really hard to find a common ground with your children when they reach their teenage years. So having something like these cards on hand are really handy because it gives everyone a chance to, well, talk. And you know they MUST be cool whenever your 16-year old son ASKS for them, right?

So, we got them out last night and we started talking. It’s so cool to hear the boys verbalize their thoughts and feelings about things. I mean, they’re boys, so they don’t really elaborate, but we’ve certainly learned more about them from these cards than we ever have by simply having a regular interrogation conversation cold turkey.

One of the questions, “What would you like to change about your relationship with your family?” was a real eye-opener for me.

Kevin said, “I’d like to work less and spend more time with my family.”

Aww.

GD said, “I wish mom would stop yelling at me so much.”

And MK said, “I wish mom would stop cursing. It REALLY BUGS me when she does that.”

Ouch.

I was not surprised by their answers. I was not hurt by their answers, for what they said was absolutely true – I DO yell at GD too much and I DO curse like a bitter whore when I’m upset and/or ticked off.

I was, however, sick to my stomach by what they were saying. There is nothing like a huge slice of humble pie to ground a person, let me tell you.

I apologized to the boys, again. I explained that I’m only human, though that’s really no excuse. I was trying, really hard, to chill out about things and I hope I was making progress.

To my utter relief, they agreed.

These Table Conversation cards have been a catalyst to some pretty interesting, and heart-felt conversations in our house. And even though they are a bit expensive, they have been worth every penny.

In fact, I just ordered the Teen Edition and in fact, I’ll probably go ahead and order the Family Edition, too.

IN FACT, I think I’ll even give some Table Conversation cards away on this blog because that’s how much I love you guys. Stick around. 🙂

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This morning was a pretty good morning. Considering the kids had to go back to school after having yesterday off because of President’s Day – they were both in pretty good moods. AND the fact that they both got their hair cut yesterday, as well. (They are usually pretty cranky for a few days after a hair cut because they’re all like, “I look like an idiot! It’s so freaking short!” And “OMG, this totally blows!”)

GD checked his grades before we took off this morning. And he was BEAMING. He was GLOWING. He couldn’t stop smiling!! Which is really weird for a moody 16-year old boy at 7:00 o’clock in the morning and on his way to school after a three-day weekend.

He found out how he did on his Geometry test: 87%.

EIGHTY-SEVEN percent!!!!! On a MATH TEST!!!!!! That’s a HIGH B, folks!!

I was soooo proud of him!! And he was soooo proud of himself! And Kevin was soooo proud of him!! This was a big deal. And OMG, the boy needed this shot of confidence. He held his head up high and he actually didn’t hesitate to get out of the car and walk into school today.

GOD IS WONDERFUL, PEOPLE!!! GD prayed and handed over his anxieties to God and he worked and studied and did his very best on the test and guess what, he did very well.

This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but math has been GD’s Achilles’ heel all throughout his scholastic career. He’s struggled, he’s yelled, he’s been angry, he’s cried all over this subject. So, to see him do so well on HARD MATERIAL (because even my accountant husband is like scratching his head on some of this stuff), he did it. ON. HIS. OWN.

I’m bursting with pride, can you tell? 😀

I told GD that if he got a B on his math test, I would buy him a funky hat like his brother’s (he hadn’t gotten one for himself because he was unwilling to pay the $10, which is half the price of the hat, of his own money). I can not WAIT to buy him that hat.

And I’m done. And I think you’re caught up now and wow, did I not TELL you that I rarely shut up? *grin*

karen1