The Season to Give

I love this time of year. No, not for the weather. (I **HATE** it) Not for the rushing around, or the depleted bank account, or deciding which event to go to, or finding something for my parents for their Christmas gift (which is damn near impossible to do). 

I do love seeing snow fall (as long as I’m inside and don’t have to go anywhere), and peppermint mocha lattes from Starbucks (which can only be purchased AFTER Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition). I love seeing the decorations, and the baking. I love the sense of closure the end of the year brings where I can categorize and metaphorically put the bad stuff behind me and move on with the good. Reassess my own life, make changes. It’s a good thing.

But more important than that, this is the season to give. I give all year long in some form. I like to do it. It doesn’t have to be giving of money. Giving of time, giving of excess, giving of self. That’s the best kind of giving. And this time of year puts the focus on the needs of many, even though their needs are constant all year long.

I’m knitting scarves for our church to give to homeless people. I’m not very good at it, but I can do it enough to resemble a scarf. It gives me practice and them a warm swath of cotton for their head or neck. I hope they forgive me if I have a dropped stitch or it’s the wrong color. I’m doing my best.

As I have mentioned before, my family is heavily involved with The Salvation Army. Today is our family Ringing of the Bell. We do it every year the day before Thanksgiving. We all take shifts. I bring mini candy canes to give to the kids who sheepishly walk up and drop a quarter in the bucket. (Adults can have them too! Who am I to deny a candy cane at Christmas time?) And we smile, and thank those who walk by, whether they give folding money, or change, or nothing at all. I wish them a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas. It costs me nothing but my time. It helps countless people.

We also help with a program through the SA called the Christmas Cheer program, where we pass out food and presents to those who need help this year. We’ve done it for years and years and years. The lines have grown so much in the past 3-5 years that just looking at the line will break your heart. Looking at the those who are desperate for a meal and a toy, who walk by with tears in their eyes because they are so full of gratitude, it can bring the strongest, most cynical among us to their knees. It is one of my favorite days of the year, and again, it costs me nothing but my time.

Every one reading this blog did one thing, just one thing, to help their community just think of how that could change our world. It can change an outlook, it could give hope, and it can make you appreciate what your blessings are in a world shouting that you need more. Helping those around me is the best gift I can give. 

Let’s Get Physical

Today was the day of the dreaded physical. I am NOT a fan. My doctors office actually called me to schedule this and let me know I was past due for just about every test known to the medical profession and I needed to come in. MIchael was due also and she would be happy to schedule us together. Then she reminded us that we could have nothing after midnight, and no deodorant for me for the mammogram.

So today was the day. No coffee when I get up at 5:30 is excruciating and cruel. I mean honestly. They need to develop a test that can be taken with coffee (including the requisite pink packets and a shot of creamer) without skewing the results. I mean, we can cure polio but we can’t develop a blood test to be taken after coffee?? WHERE ARE THE PRIORITIES PEOPLE?????

And no deodorant. What’s up with that? I feel bad for those nurses dealing with patients towards the end of the day. I mean….whew!!!!

So when we arrived on time and cranky and yawning, they actually put us in the same room. When she said she would schedule us together, I didn’t think she meant “together”. We sat there in the same room looking at each other, kinda shrugging our shoulders like, well, THIS is weird! Good thing is, my blood pressure is way better than his and so is my pulse. HA! Take THAT! Our blood oxygen was a tie, so even though I shouldn’t claim victory, I am. Since i won the other 2, it really goes without saying that it gives me the edge on the 3rd category, so I win all three. I spend a few seconds feeling like I should jump up and say “In your FACE buddy!” but I didn’t think the nurse would appreciate my misplaced sense of superiority. 

After the doc comes in and he gives me a little once over, listens to my heart, lungs, blah, blah, blah, he says, well, we need to see your weight come down a bit more. Flashes of a million things go through my mind, but I just stare at him. I want to say “No kidding!?”. I want to say “I know, but it’s COLD outside Doc, and you know with my thyroid PLUS the general strong dislike I have for winter weather, some things aren’t going to get done.” I want to say, “But I’ve been eating salad and not pizza! I’ve been eating organic and not as much processed!!” (I can’t claim NO processed because you don’t want to lie to your doctor!!) But I just sit there staring at him. I want to list off the exercise I am getting, my devotion to my yoga class, my weights, my running the stairs, my new exercise ball!!!! But I didn’t. I just sat and stared.

He throws me a bone to tell me he’s glad I lost so much weight in the past few years, and to keep it up!! Then he glances at me and says “Do you have a treadmill at home?” I shake my head no. We used to have one til it broke. “Well, a treadmill is a great investment and you and Michael can both use it on cold or rainy days. And this is a great time of year to find a deal on one.” I half expect him to pull a brochure for Dick’s Sporting Goods with the latest treadmill circled in pink highlighter for me.

I can just sit and stare. I think I sighed. I seem to remember hearing an audible sigh escaping my lips. I’m screaming in my head…”Tell him about your yoga class!! Tell him how hard you work and how much you sweat!! Tell him that you’ve gotten better, even if marginally so! Tell him you’re trying!” But I don’t. Cuz I know he’s right.

I have come a long way, but I need to do better. I can do better. And if anyone has a treadmill they’re using as a coatrack, I have a swap I’ll be happy to make with you.  

GNO

Going out tonight and I can not wait! There is nothing better than going out with friends, surrounded by love and laughter and catching up. It’s so hard to do sometimes when everyone is so busy with family and kids schedules and dates with husbands. And let’s be honest, sometimes by the time Friday rolls around we’re just too exhausted to go out anywhere. Nights like those are best spent in sweatpants with a good movie and some popcorn.

I think I have mentioned before some women have the luxury of going out every week with their peeps. That’s awesome if you can get away. Maybe doing it weekly is a great way to get away from the house, have some girl time, have a few brews and be back home by midnight. I just don’t have that kind of energy! When my alarm goes off at 5:30, I could cry as it is, let alone after being out drinking the night before. I don’t begrudge anyone who does it, more power to you! I just can’t even imagine. My head hurts thinking about it.  

Getting together with a core group of women for dinner and/or drinks once a month is awesome for my schedule and doesn’t leave me feeling guilty for going out. And sometimes after something has happened in one of our lives, the best thing to do is get together with a group, talk it out, know you have the love and support of your friends, have some major laugh-til-ya-cry rounds and walk out with a better perspective. Isn’t that part of the appeal of a GNO? Laughing, talking, bonding, supporting, and lifting UP. Always up, never down. And with a group, there are more shoulders to stack on one another to lift even the worst week possible out of the pit of despair. It’s a fabulous thing. 

I’m so glad to be going out tonight and supporting these women. Tomorrow at yoga I might be telling a different story……..

Last blog post

I deleted my last blog post, because I seem to have offended someone who thought it might have been about them. I will only state that if you thought it was about you, you’re wrong, because the person I wrote about knew I was going to write it. She personally knew I would write about her.
But the post was honestly more about thinking about love and marriage.

I’m also sorry I upset someone who I don’t even know. Truly. This is an apology.

I hate November

I think I’m a rare breed. I keep seeing all these posts about how everyone loves autumn and the falling leaves, and crisp night air, hot chocolate, on and on and on. I like fall too. In October. By November I’m over it. But it just gets worse. 

I don’t mind a little cool down from the heat of summer. September usually starts a little bit, then October brings enough to make me shiver. I hate shivering. It makes even my freshly shaven legs feel like I have stubble and I truly hate that. And once that shivering starts, it doesn’t usually subside until May. Maybe April, but that’s pushing it. You would think with all the shivering I do, I would be much skinnier. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way on my body. 

I also don’t mind October because it’s the boys birthday month, and it’s Halloween and pumpkin everything. I do love pumpkin everything. And that’s awesome…..for a month. 

By November I’m so over it. It’s just getting colder and colder. Reports of snow start creeping into the weather reports. S-n-o-w. That is a four letter word in my book. The nights get colder and colder. Last night as we were watching a movie, I realized my feet were so cold that I thought they were frozen. I put on a pair of warm fuzzy socks that were so cute, and they helped….a little. I kept calling my dog over to lay on my feet but even he didn’t want those cold things touching him. And he has FUR!!! 

And November is supposed to be the month of thankfulness and it IS my Mom’s birthday month, so I always feel guilty when I start to be unpleasant in this month. I truly AM thankful for the change of seasons, the beautiful colorful leaves on trees, wrapping my hands around a hot cup of coffee or hot cocoa. Add some mini marshmallows and you have a winner! Pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dessert. Pumpkin Roll that I make just for Michael because he doesn’t like to share it and I figure he can be selfish with that one thing. I can always make more for those who request my baking services. (Cheesecakes and pumpkin rolls… hit me up peeps!)

And flannel sheets get put on the bed, the down comforter comes out of storage. Fuzzy socks and warm mittens get moved to easy access shelves and drawers. Homemade scarves and Ugg boots stay by the front door. But my flip flops stay in the closet. It’s just wrong to put them in the basement waiting for spring to arrive. They would be sad and lonely!

It makes it so difficult for me to go out and run or walk. It hurts me to the core of my bones. Feels like they could snap any second. And the pain from that takes hours to heal. So I tend to NOT do it. And then when spring does roll around, it’s pretty damn evident that I haven’t gone outside, lived in sweatpants and comfort food. 

Yea, I’m not a fan of November. It’s the beginning of a vicious cycle. 

BUT………

This year, I’m going to try my hardest to fix what I can fix. I can’t stop the cold (I do live in Central Ohio after all), but I can work out inside. I’m going to try to find a gym that allows low month to month memberships and perhaps join for 6 months. I’m going to keep going to yoga, even though its pitch dark in the evenings and I might not want to leave my comfy warm couch. I’m making a pledge to myself to go. I’ll dig out the softest warmest blanket and claim it as my own. I’ll indulge in that hot cocoa when my insides are quivering, but I’ll savor it and enjoy it. I’ll look forward to what is to come instead of looking at what is over. 

And I’ll be thankful I can look outside at the leaves changing and falling from the warmth of my couch. 

Abstinence is unrealistic and old fashioned

The Matt Walsh Blog

From my inbox, an email from a high school student named Jeremy:

“Dear Matt, first I want to say I really like your blog. One of my teachers actually mentioned it in class once after you wrote something (she didn’t mention it in a good way lol) and I went and looked you up so I’ve been following you ever since. I know you get so much email so I don’t expect you to see this but in case you do I wanted to get your opinion about something. You write a lot about relationships and everything so I’m wondering if you think abstinence should be encouraged in school?

Reason I’m asking is because we are doing our sex ed lessons in health class now and the topic has come up. Yesterday my health teacher was talking about safe sex and someone mentioned abstinence and she said it wasn’t realistic…

View original post 1,794 more words

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

On a cloudy, windy crappy November day, with not enough sleep, and a house that needs cleaning, what a better time to pour a cup of hot coffee and turn on the Season premiere of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I mean, seriously, nothing beats that. Right?

If you watch the show and have not yet seen it,… ::WARNING:: Do not read any further. That was your chance. Now let’s get to it. 

This is one of my favorite of all the RH franchises. To recap, I only watch (and I say “only” as tongue in cheek as I can) NY, NJ, OC, and BH. I do not watch Atlanta or Miami. Out of the four I do watch, BH is full on sickening rich people doing sickeningly rich things with other sickeningly rich people. When 16 year olds not only get a car for their birthday, but it’s GOT to be a Benz. I mean, really? Don’t ALL 16 year olds get a Mercedes? They do in Beverly Hills. 

I think Kim looks AMAZING!!! She is sober, healthy and has never looked better on the show, in my opinion. I’m very happy for her because I really think her death was not far off if she had continued the way she was.

Kyle is looking well, as usual, but there’s something behind her eyes that seems off. Worry about the cheating rumors from Mauricio? Worry about getting older? Worry about her friendship with Lisa being as superficial as possible and still be talking to each other? I don’t know, but I think we’ll find out. 

Lisa is looking great as always and it really shows that she was dancing. Her body had definitely changed and WOW was her dance partner something?? Yowza!!! I’m not sure I liked or appreciated how the show just rolled right into Vanderpump Rules. My DVR recorded 2 hours as RHoBH, not an hour and then an hour of VR. Really? Is that because they NEED the DVRs to merge the shows or was it just a shameless attempt to garner more ratings?

Yolanda and her beautiful daughter Gigi are classy and they know it. With Yolanda battling Lyme Disease and her daughter following in her super model footsteps, I think she shows poise and character. Kyle can make fun of her all she wants, but I think Kyle is a tad bit jealous of her. They are just two completely different people and lead totally different lives. Kyle is the party girl, Yolanda is the girl to go shopping with and have elegant tea luncheons.

Brandi is something else. I’m glad to see her kind of get out of her own way and live a better life than she was last season. With her book, her new boyfriend, new house, and new money, she seems to be more comfortable and not competing with everyone. She doesn’t look as insecure. But at the same time, that train wreck Brandi is there. Oh she’s there. And she’s only a tequila shot or two away from bringing her out in the open.

There are two new girls this season. I heard one was a witch!! I find that totally exciting especially with my deep obsession with AHS: Coven. So this could be kind of cool to watch and see what she does. A hex on someone?? Hmmmm….. But I don’t know how I feel about either one of them. Too soon and not enough air time in the hour it was on.

I still think we could totally have a Real Housewives of Genoa Township. The drama that goes on around here never stops, the cattiness, the backstabbing, the affairs, the divorces, the flaunting of money, oh yea, we have it all. Now if I could just get Andy Cohen to give me an allowance so I could go shopping……..   

The previews of the whole season look amazing. So buckle up ladies, it’s going to be fun, mindless escape for 1 hour a week. Set your DVRs now.