Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gratitude Moments

You know I am a lover of parties. Birthday parties, dinner parties, New Years Eve, even the occasional pity party.

I've been a little down lately so this morning while I was out for my morning run I thought about something a friend of mine recently talked about. She spoke of being grateful and giving thanks for every moment of everyday and finding the gratitude in EVERYTHING. Even not so great things. Especially the not so great things. Super hot day? Be grateful for the sunshine. Pouring rain? Be grateful for the plants.

I was about a 1/4 of the way into my run and noticed a blister on my heel was acting up - despite a band-aid, sock and different shoes. Darn! It stung with every step. How do I find a moment of gratitude in a painful blister?

Thoughts of my oldest son suddenly filled my mind. He is on a 10 day field training exercise while gone for a month (and I miss him terribly) at an ROTC Army Leadership course in Washington. He has been thru basic training and has done many a ruck hike (this means carrying your 50 lb ruck sack in full basic uniform and combat boots) that left his feet blistered, bleeding and sore. Once he had to do 12 miles in less than 3 hours. Suddenly, I was filled with gratitude for my teensy tiny blister. It made me realize a bit what he goes thru. And while I miss him so much, it made me feel a little closer to him even though he is 1500 miles away.

By the time I got home the blister had stopped hurting. I was grateful for that too.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The New Baby

My firstborn brought me a dog. It was the dog that he went to the pound (against my wishes and advice "You are in college, you should not get a dog!") and picked out. He says he fell in love with her immediately. He named her Athena.

Being a good mom, I nagged, who will watch her when you go away for your ROTC training for a month this summer? What about when you move into the "No Dogs Allowed" apartment in August? I was told it was all taken care of. The girlfriend was "sharing" in the care and feeding of this youngster.

That's a great plan. Until you break up with the girlfriend. My parents were visiting and my mother being ever helpful (sarcasm inserted here) says "It could be worse, it could be a REAL baby." Thanks mom. My mother is the type that would say after your leg was cut off my a raging lawnmower, "Be thankful it wasn't BOTH legs."

Luckily, I love her (the dog - yes, my mother too!!). We call her Attie now and she is adorable. Here she is at her first dog party. What? Do you all not go to dog parties? Well, we do. Attie is the one on the right. Looking a wee bit shy about her party hat and wondering if it is going to cause her to have hat hair (no wait - that was me). My friend who is 10 was the hostess and there was a cake and even goodie bags for all the dogs.

What is Attie? Goodness knows. She is a mix of a mix of a mix but she is 100% sweet.

Monday, July 07, 2008

And God created the Weekend

I am thankful that He did.

Its been a bitch of a week. Okay, not as bad as some but not as great as others. For one thing, I am in my summer doldrum period. Its freakishly hot and humid and just to top it off every afternoon a giant gusher of a thunderstorm dumps on us. Steam comes off the roads. Your sunglasses fog up when you go outside.

Its always this time of the summer that I wonder why I am not in the mountains somewhere or at least on a beach.

Back to my week and how I behaved like a total bee-otch (but I blame the humidity):

Monday I needed to go and have the gas guzzler's oil changed. I went to the Stealership, I mean, Dealership, since it is still under warranty. In fact, they sent me a lovely little coupon. One oil change and tire rotation for $39.95.

Little do they know they will lose money on me because I will raid their little snack bar blind. They have an awesome coffee machine that gives me endless cups of French Vanilla Lattes and frothy cappuccinos, donuts and even a soda machine to wash all that down with. I love to watch the morning news on the 50" big screen from my comfy leather chair in the lounge area, surrounded by Southern Living, Good Housekeeping and Real Simple magazines. I truly don't mind spending an hour in this place.

I happily trotted over to my special person/helper guy to let him write my ticket. I give him the coupon. He says, "you need the 30,000 mile check up blah, blah, blah, $399.95 and a free loaner car?" WTF???

"I wasn't planning on spending 10 times the amount of my coupon," my tone was edgy and dangerous. My children would have known immediately to get the hell out of my way. This naive man trudged on oblivous to the bitch he had disturbed.

After I handed him his head on a platter he finally got the message that I was spending $40 that day and not $400. It was his approach that hit me wrong. Instead of gently saying, "We recommend that you do blah, blah, blah," he just jumps in like "all the cool kids are spending $400 today so we know you want to." NO. I DON'T. Just move and give me my free frickin' coffee.

I went home and wondered when my appliance repair guy might show up. I won't name the national department store but it rhymes with Beers. I made an appointment on the internet on Sunday since my washer decided it liked filling but then didn't want to drain any water. And, this after one child has arrived home from lacrosse camp with a duffel bag full of sh...dirty, stinky, nasty clothes. These things are lethal weapons. In fact, instead of buying a gun, I may just hurl son's socks at bad guys.

I call the Beer's toll free line. To find out that no appointment was ever made. My internal bitch meter starts rising.

me:"So, I have wasted half a day for no appointment?"

customer service dude: "We can make an appointment right now. It will be $75 for a serviceman to come to your house, but you can purchase warranty insurance right now for $214.95!"

me: "You send him right along and if it looks like my bill is going to be over that amount then I will buy it."

C.S. dude: "no, ma'm, you have to buy it right now."

me: "so you are asking me to gamble? What if it doesn't cost that much?"

C.S. dude: "Ma'm, I don't make these decisions."

me: "Why don't you tell me right now how fast you can get someone out here and then I will decide if I want your rip off insurance!"

He told me someone could be out there the next morning. By noon, I called to find out THERE WAS NO APPT LISTED. I was furious. I called back and the C.S. person I got was named Apple (yes, there are two - its not just Gwenyth who liked that name). She is apologetic but tells me it will be Friday afternoon. I told her she could shove her appt. and then I called a local place and they told me it would be Friday. Sigh.

The really fun part started. I toted my laundry around the neighborhood to friends houses. The plus side? I got some quality visiting done. My neighbor sews draperies so she was thrilled to have the company while she sewed. My other friend's dogs were excited to see me since I petted them and brought treats.

Tomorrow is Friday and I am ready to get my washer back. Otherwise I will get very agitated (get it? Washer humor is completely underrated).