Monday, September 27, 2010

Norma Jean and Evelyn

Six gazillion years ago, before my daughter Brandilyn was born, I worked in an office where I met my prince, got married and lived happily ever after (I think that's how it went).

Well, anyway, while I was working at said company, I was in charge of hiring and managing the receptionists. I interviewed what seemed like two thousand perspective candidates and settled on this middle aged woman (I was like in my late 20's at the time) named Norma (I called her Norma Jean cuz that was her middle name and I thought it was way cool - it's a Jody thing, sorry). I thought Norma Jean would be perfect for the job . . . then she started working there.

Norma Jean had this "thing" about wanting to change up things. I'm kind of one of those people that sets stuff up the way I think works well and really doesn't dig peeps rearranging my turf. There were other weird quirks about her (I can't remember them right now) but Norma Jean kind of drove me nuts. I don't think I was very nice to her. Needless to say Norma Jean didn't last long.

Then, one day Norma Jean was gone and I hired Evelyn (I called her Evie cuz I'm cool like that). Evie was a grandma sort of woman and I just adored her. She just plugged along and everyone got along with her. Whatever I asked of her, she just found a way to do it. I remember one time we got a really complicated phone system put in our new office and I thought she was going to have a serious meltdown the first time she answered a call. She even said to me, "Oh, I don't think I'm going to be able to do this job anymore." I assured her that she would be fine and that I would help her learn the new system. She somehow overcame her "flusteredness" and ended up doing wonderful (like I knew she would). I couldn't have given Evie enough praise if I tried. I think Evie was still working there when I quit to stay home and have my baby girl.

Okay, the point of all of this? Yeah, there is one. So now the tables are turned. Here's me out looking for a simple office type of job. You know, answering phones, light filing, getting coffee for the boss etc., etc., etc. Please, oh please God, let the person that hires me be kind. Let me be the Evie of the company and not the Norma Jean. I'm a little nervous about re-entering the "office" world. I still remember how to behave but so much has changed. Please let me have a mentor that is patient (like I was with Evie) and not annoyed (like I was with Norma Jean) with my lack of experience with modern technology.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


One of the coolest things I have gotten myself into would be the Diablo Ladies Drill Team. My sister always said that she wanted to join a drill team and I always kind of rolled my eyes at the ridiculousness of the notion. Ha! Well I guess she knew what I'm now finding out. This is super fun!!
So, this weekend we performed at a rodeo in Boonville. Where? Yeah, that's what I said. It's this little one horse (well, a lot more but you know what I mean) town in Mendocino County between Ukiah and Fort Bragg. Super duper cute. They had the fair and the rodeo all set up on the same grounds and both ran simultaneously. Who woulda thunk it?
Saturday night we performed in our more formal attire and today we performed in our costumes - a 70's kind of disco looking affair. Yesterday we sucked. It was the worst performance EVER and I went back to our motel feeling pretty discouraged. Today? Well, we frickin nailed it! Best performance we've done this season! I was so proud of my team and felt privileged to be a member on the team.
My bonus? Yup, that would be him up there in the top photo. My own personal ground crew. He's hot, he chauffers me, he can tack up a horse, untack a horse, hose down a horse, muck out a stall and even showed us he can assemble a set of spurs with straps in record time!! Furthermore? He's MINE!! Me? Well, with my man around I pretty much just had to hop on and ride like the wind! Not bad.
Here's the link to a performance that we did at the Gay Rodeo a few weeks ago that Brandilyn posted. I'm one of the ones on a paint horse. I'll let you figure out which one. Lol

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Starfish Story

The following story is a favorite of mine. Ever since I heard it I have really strived to live my life by making a difference to just one person at a time. Sometimes it's just as simple as allowing someone to get in front of you at the check-out counter at the grocery store or maybe a more complex act such as adopting a child. At any rate, the story has made a HUGE impact on my life . . .

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

And so now I find myself at the crossroads of yet another opportunity to hopefully make a difference in someone else's life. I know that my family sometimes (often) pays a price for these acts of mine but I hope that someday they will all look back and have a desire to "pay it forward."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Best Birthday!

Today was a good day. It was my . . . ahem . . . 35th-ish birthday. I was over the top busy (not good) but enjoyed about 60% of the activities I did. I zoned two clients (good), went to lunch with Brian, Nan and Pattie (really good), went on a walk with Jasmine (really good), did Activity Days (okay . . .), went to Back to School Night (not so good), got in a rippin argument with my son (horrible).

One birthday, several years ago, however, was the BEST birthday EVERRRR!!! My husband took the day off of his busy life and announced to me in the morning of my birthday that today was my day and we were going to do whatever I wanted. What??? Did I hear you right??? Well, I said that I wanted to go on a trail ride with him (pretty sure he would wiggle out of that one). He conceded and we went out for a few hours (after the kids were taken to school). We then went out to lunch. It was magical.

Later that evening, we had a super family dinner (that my husband cooked) and the whole family was here. Everyone got along (one of my two wishes ALWAYS) and there was no contention. My two wishes? 1. A happy family. 2. A clean house.

I love that memory and I reflect on it often. This year was busy, busy, busy. My husband is away out of town working and my older kids prefer their friends to me. I guess I should be grateful that they remembered to say "Happy Birthday" to their mom. Yee!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

11 Rules

I saw this on a friend's Facebook status yesterday and LOVED it! I just had to put it here:

Bill Gates speech: 11 rules your kids did not and will not learn in school

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

And THAT, my dear children, is what I've been trying to tell you all along. Maybe, just maybe, because someone rich and famous said it it will suddenly make sense to you!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Family Work Day

I feel often that Courtney and Jacob are my second chance (or third) at parenthood. Obviously, Heavenly Father thinks I suck at it so he keeps giving me the task to do over and over and over and over again. Gasp.
Okay, in the past I have always spoiled my rotten kids to death. Cell phones? Check. Cars? Check. No chores? Check. Yup, they got everything they wanted, did nothing and complained that they couldn't have and couldn't do more. My boys appear to be lazy, sleep till all hours of the day and are not too motivated to get jobs (I know, I've vented about this before).
Court and Jake are a whole different story. Courtney has been hammering on me for like about two years for a cell phone. NOT!!!! Probably NOT EVER!! When it comes time for them to need/have cell phones, they will definitely earn that privilege. Cars? Nope. They have to get their own, pay for their own gas, insurance and upkeep.
Another thing that really eats at me about my older children is the fact that they, for some odd reason, don't feel they need to contribute to the household. Chores? Yeah, those are for mom to do and dad, when he's home from busting his ass at work all week earning money so that we can blow it like there's no tomorrow, to do. Courtney and Jacob? Different story again. They actually are EXPECTED to do chores. What's more? They don't complain!!! They were out there today right beside their dad and I shoveling horse poop, sweeping the driveway, stacking wood, washing the car etc., etc., etc.
So in like 10-15 years I'm looking forward to seeing the difference between these two and the teenage boys who are so "entitled".

Friday, September 3, 2010

We've Been Smudged!

So just check this out, would ya??? This is a smudge stick. It's a blend of herbs but mostly desert sage all wound VERY tight in this bundle that looks like a big fat dube. You light it with a candle (because it takes frickin forever to light and the lighter about burned my finger off) and, when it's smoldering, you walk around the room and allow the smoke to just permeate the room
Why would one do this you ask? Good question. Seriously, though, it is an old Native American ritual to rid the space of negative energy.
I bought this originally with the intent of smudging the teenage boys room. 1. The room just plain stinks of teenage boys and I wanted it to smell like something, well anything, else and 2. I thought if any room in our house needed smudging it would be that room.
Well, Courtney was the only one home with me at the time and she was very excited to be included in the ritual. We danced and chanted weird stuff and had a lot of fun. I'm sure if anyone had been a fly on the wall at the time, they would have supposed that there was much much more than desert sage in this fat roll of herbs.
At any rate, our entire home has been smudged. We are now rid of all negative energy in our home and everything in our life is perfect. Everyone just smiles and is polite. The kids just dive in and do their chores without being asked. My teenagers are initiating FHE, family prayer and scripture study. Everyone is happy. How did I not know about this magical wonder before???
Right . . . are you SURE that that's only desert sage???