Sunday, December 30, 2007

I spun out.....

I pulled out of the driveway, and did a 360 degree turn in the cul-de-sac. It was so icy.

We were arguing about something stupid at the time. And after it happened, all we could do was laugh hysterically.

Sometimes all you need, is to go full circle and then it becomes very clear.

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This time of year is so busy for me. As an accountant, I put all of my energy into the ends of the month, and most importantly, the ends of each year.

This year is no different.

Tomorrow is inventory. Something I secretly look forward to. A time to right the errors of our proverbial ways. Just like a New Year. It's a time to reckon with ourselves, and start anew. I look forward to this time. Even though it is stressful, it's a time of starting over. Of replenishment.

With that said, Happy New Year to you all!!!

Think of something great to do in 2008, and do it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ready and Waiting

"I can't wait to have a little boy. But, knowing our luck, we will have all girls."

"That's okay," I replied.

(long pause) and then he melted my heart with this:

"I just want ONE. It doesn't matter which kind."

*****************************************

This was the conversation that we had after chasing each other around Toys R' Us shopping for our niece, Lily. I knew that I had to include him in this journey to Toys R' Us, because he loves that place. Just like a 7 year-old, he grabs everything he sees, and yells "COOL!"

I guess it's nice to know he is going to make one amazing Father.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Favorite Dive

When I was a kid, we used to frequent a local dive. It was close to our house growing up, it had good food, and it was cheap. We would usually go with my Mom's side of the family, for family gatherings, nights out, or just simply to grab a quick bite to eat. I will call it The Inn.

After my mom passed away, we abruptly stopped going to this place. I guess my Dad must have never been a big fan, I don't know. But, we just never went there anymore. I would pass by it on the way to the grocery store when I was in high school and think to myself, "Does anyone still eat there?" I never heard of anyone really frequenting this place anymore, but somehow it still remained open.

I went away to college, moved to the other side of town after college, and sort of forgot about this place. When we recently moved back to my old stomping grounds, The Inn sort of caught my eye again. There it stands on the same corner it's been on for as long as I can remember. It's a bustling corner now, and The Inn just remains there. Recently, we decided to head back for a famous "Inn Burger" and I just sort of wanted to see what this place was like now.

We walk inside, and nothing looks like it has moved since 1985. There are still the cheesy dwarf figurines on the ledges, the chairs and tables are still the same, the Maroon awning is still there. Back in the bar area, the sports memorabilia is outdated, the booths are falling apart, and it smells of stale smoke. I swear, I even recognized one of the waitresses. I was hesitant to even eat there, but this place has always been famous for it's good eats.

After we finished our meal and our beer, I knew why this place was still standing. There is history there. There are regulars that you see every night. The food is still the same; fantastic and cheap. The service is friendly and timely. Even as run-down as this place is, it still delivers the same thing it has been doing for 20+ years.

For me, it was like walking back into 1985. Seeing myself and my sisters tromp in there fighting over who was going to hold Mom's hand. Remembering the good times that were had there. The birthday celebrations, the laughter; all centered around good food and good atmosphere.

And with that said, The Inn has made it back on the Top 10 Places to Eat list. Not because the burgers are still good, but because of everything else that it brings to the table.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Speak your mind, Even if your voice shakes."

This quote, is one that I have repeated in my head over and over today. And then the moment finally came where I had to speak. And my voice shook, and trembled, and I almost started to cry.

But, I held it together, and I said what I had to say. And now, it is more evident than ever that it is time for me to start looking for a new job.

I have said for a long time, that I don't feel respected, or worth it here. That my views and viewpoints go unrecognized. In one ear, and out the other. Why am I here? Why would you want me here, if only to ignore me? It has now turned to borderline harassment and I need to do something about it. The constant stress, the feelings of never doing anything right (even though I am the one with the accounting degree!); the notion that there is "no way that she could be right." Being unappreciated is no fun. In my world, things are cut and dry. And it's time to take my integrity back.

Speaking my mind just isn't cutting it anymore.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Every Friday, I gather up the laundry from upstairs and bring it down to the laundry room for our weekly ritual. Laundry is a weekend duty in our house. It usually gets done on Friday night and Saturday and we reserve the folding for Sunday. I say "we" because I have an amazing husband who not only does the heavy lifting of the baskets, but he also folds clothes. Yep, he FOLDS CLOTHES.

I have never been very good at doing the laundry. I don't know what setting you are supposed to wash your whites in to get them extra white. I panic when I see a stain, because I haven't a clue how to get it out. I fumble around in the laundry room, and when I leave, I wonder if I left a red sock in with that batch of whites.

When we moved into our house, I searched for a washer and dryer that did all the work for me. With today's technology in laundry machines, this was not a problem. We ended up with this unit. It has a USB cable that hooks into the dryer and it automatically drys your clothes based on the washing cycle. Absolutely a dream for a laundro-phobe like me.

A couple of weeks ago, Curtis got a new pair of jeans from Banana Republic. It was a big deal for him, because this was the first time he spent more than $29.99 on a pair of jeans. These are his new favorite pants to wear. Subconsciously, I had noticed that I hadn't washed them. In fact, I haven't washed them in weeks. I don't think I have EVER washed them. Last night, I asked him why those pants hadn't been washed and he kindly reminded me of the Carmex situation that happened last week. Yep, I left my Carmex in my pants pocket. I opened the dryer to a topless Carmex tube, oozing with the remnants of it's insides. I couldn't believe what I had done. As I slowly started to bring each piece of laundry out, I had realized that this was the worst laundry disaster I had ever seen. Almost every piece of clothing needed to be thrown out. Not even the Stain Inspector on my trusty GE washer could get those grease stains out.

Moral of the story:
If you want a guy to do the laundry, you just need to ruin a load first. And then go buy him a pair of his favorite jeans.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You can call me Ebenezer...

I am feeling so out of the Christmas spirit....or at least in terms of what society calls "The Christmas Spirit"

Our tree is not up, although the house is decorated. The lit mini-trees are out on the front porch, the stockings are hung, some presents are bought. But, all I can think about this year is how much we lose the real meaning of Christmas within what is society's definition of the "Christmas Spirit." You know, buying gifts, getting together with family, eating; lots of eating. Society has pushed us into forgetting the real meaning behind this very special holiday. Marketing campaigns, economic numbers, Black Friday....blah blah blah.

For some reason, this year, the traditional 'stuff' just doesn't feel right. The giving of gifts; while it's fun, it reminds me of the ultimate gift that we all received on Christmas day. The gift of a Savior. A Savior!! And when I think about that, my daunting list of gifts to buy seems so insignificant. The wreaths, the lights, the trees. Everyone hustling around, quiet in their own minds, reflecting on all that needs to be done. I wish there to be a Christmas where we really ponder the gift that we receive on that day. Not the fruitcake from Aunt Louise, but the true gift of Christmas. Right now, all I can seem to think about is that darn Christmas tree not being up yet, and then I get frustrated with myself for losing sight of what is the most important thing about this time of year.

I know that the trees, the lights, the gifts, the food; they are all a part of this time of year. But, in piling on the tasks, and feeling the need to get it all done, I can't help but feel all of us losing out on what we should be focused on. At least, I can see it happening in our house.

My challenge to you today, is to take a few minutes and really think about what this time of year is all about. Think about the gift that we received on that very special day when Christ was born. Remember that the giving of gifts, the gathering of family, the extra 'stuff' is all in the spirit of the holiday. This holiday where we celebrate the birth of a Savior. For me, that is all that it took, to put me right back in the REAL spirit of this holiday.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:11

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I would love to have a conversation with Brandon Flowers on what this song means. I can't seem to stop listening to it. The first time I heard the new album, I popped in the disc, put it on song #1 and this is what I heard. I was skeptical at first, but now I can't stop being totally fascinated with the lyrics and the song in general.

If you haven't checked it out yet, Sawdust is one more fantastic album care of The Killers.

Does anyone feel like taking a guess on what this song is all about?





Time it tells living in my home town,
Wedding bells they begin easy
Live it down, baby don't talk that much,
Baby knows, but baby don't tease me.
In the park we could go walking,
Drown in the dark or we could go sailing
On the sea

Always here, always on time
Close call, was it love or was it just easy
Money talks when people need shoes and socks,
Steady boys, I'm thinking she needs me

I was just sipping on something sweet
I don't need political process

I got this feeling that they're gonna break down the door
I got this feeling they they're gonna come back for more
See I was thinking that I lost my mind
But it's been getting to me all this time
And it don't stop dragging me down

Silently reflection turns my world to stone
Patiently correction leaves us all alone
And sometimes I'm a travel man
But tonight this engine's failing

I still hear the children playing

Kick the can, kick the can, skip and blackjack
Steal a car and ring a round-rosey,
Rock and roll, candyland, boogeyman,
Run away and give me your sneakers

Acid rain, when Abel looked up at Cain
We began the weeping and wailing
A hurried high from pestilence, pills and pride,
It's a shame, we could of gone sailing
But heaven knows,
Heaven knows everything
Tranquilize

I got this feeling that they're gonna break down the door
I got this feeling they they're gonna come back for more
See I was thinking that I lost my mind
But it's been getting to me all this time
And it don't stop dragging me down

Silently reflection turns my world to stone
Patiently correction leaves us all alone
And sometimes I'm travel man
But tonight this engine's failing

I still hear the children playing
Dead beat dancers come to us and stay

Cause I don't care where you've been
And I don't care what you've seen
We're the ones who still believe
And we're looking for a page
In that lifeless book of hope
Where a dream might help you cope
With the Bushes and the bombs
A-re, Tranquilized.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Naughty Kitty

I was thinking last night, that I have never talked about my furry children here.

We have 3 of them, and we have had as many as 4 at once. Living. In our house.

Some people have coined me as the crazy cat lady. You know, because I am only slightly obsessed with these furry creatures. They have always fascinated me.

It all started when I was about 3 years old. We went to the pet shop and I had the chance to pick out any cat that I wanted. I was drawn to the furriest one in the whole place. We called him Smokey, and he lived until he was 16. He was the coolest cat ever. He would just lay on his back and let you rub him with your feet. He loved my sisters and I. Cats know when you are 'good people'. We went on to have many more cats; Buddy, Peanut, Muffin---

When I was in college, I decided that it was time to add another cat to my life. This time, it would be my companion only. A pet that I was solely responsible for. Off to the humane society I went and so came Cleo into my life.

Cleo is the naughtiest kitty of all. She is close to 10 now, and starting to act out a little bit. She liked being the only cat in our household, and she is eternally punishing us for breaking that code. She jumps on the bed in the morning, purposely waking us up. She needs to constantly be touching you, which in turn means you are likely to get tripped by her in the hallway. She weaves in and out of your legs, and meows incessantly. She really does know how to push our buttons. But, she is also so very sweet at times. She loves children, even though I fear for the day that we have one of our own. She loves people in general. Maybe she just loves the attention, I don't know. But she is a lover of sorts. Always on her terms, though. She also knows how to pose for the camera, as evidenced above.

We decided together, when I was living in my first apartment out of college, that we needed an addition to the cat family. Curtis wanted a cat that had energy! spunk! and overall craziness! I wanted a more mellow soul, someone that I knew would get along with Cleo. So, we went to the pet store and found an adorable cat named Max. Max had everything that Curtis wanted in a cat, but I have to be honest and say I wasn't totally sold on a male cat. Before we went to the pet store, we had made a trip to Target. I had left something in the cart in the parking lot, and Curtis scurried off to retrieve it, while I started the paperwork on Max. 2 minutes after he left, the adoption assistant comes and tells me that someone is already in the process of adopting Max, and that I needed to choose another cat. Without Curtis there to help me, I browsed the cages, in a bit of a panic, because I knew how much he wanted Max. Then I saw this little black furball in the corner of the cage. She meowed right at me, walked over, and stuck her tongue out to lick my finger. I immediately fell in love. We called her Sylvia.

Sylvie is a sweet soul. She is a total cuddle bug and reminds me so much of old Smokey. She has his demeanor, his long, black hair, and some days I think she is Smokey reincarnated. She loves to sleep right next to my head and she is very mischievous. We often find her causing the most trouble, discreetly. She very seldom gets caught being naughty and when she does she is so stealth about it. Like 'hey, what did I do?' She meows and talks back to you when you talk to her. She eats people food more than the other two. Eggs and french fries are her preferred cuisine.I hate picking favorites, but she is my self-professed favorite of the bunch.

Daisy came next. See below.

And then came Sadie. Actually, Sadie was a part of a 2-for-1 special at the local cat shelter. The vet that runs the place said we could take two if we felt we could handle it. I was all about having two more cats, while Curtis was a bit skeptical. We ended up bringing home Sadie along with another cat, Jipsee. (see below) Sadie is the independent one. When she came to us, she was very skinny. She is a meek kitty, who I am sure got pushed around a lot by the cats at the shelter. She immediately started to take charge in our house. She is always the first to be fed
(and it shows!! She has gained 10 lbs living with us.), and she takes no shit from her sisters. She is also the Daddy's girl of the bunch. Whenever Curtis leaves a room, Sadie follows him. When the alarm goes off in the morning, she is next to him in bed. Her favorite spot is nestled next to him in the corner of the couch. She also has the tiniest of meows for being such a large kitty. It's so minute, you can barely hear her. We have aptly nicknamed her 'squeak' because that is what she sounds like! She also lays on the heat vents in the Winter. She sprawls all 20 lbs of her fat belly over the vent, so she can suck up all that heat. Hey, she likes to be warm, I guess.

There were two other kitties that we only had a short time with. Our cat, Daisy, a brown and black tortie was such a sweet thing. She got along so well with Cleo and Sylvia. We were devastated when we had to put her down 1 week before our wedding in 2004. Daisy's passing is what spurred the adoption of Jipsee and Sadie.

Then tragedy struck again. Jipsee, our runt...the gray cat of the bunch, with lungs that you could hear from so far away. She was such a sweet little thing. Always catching a ray of sunshine on the porch. She came down with the same symptoms that had plagued Daisy. We found out that we had coronavirus in our house. One of our older cats is likely the culprit, and it remains dormant in them, while it infects younger cats. It was devastating news, but we were so glad that they were no longer suffering. This also leaves us unable to adopt another cat until the others are gone. Which Curtis is so thankful for. I honestly think I could have 10 cats, all at once. See, I am the crazy cat lady.

When we were in Key West a few weeks ago, I actually insisted that we return to the Hemingway house for a second time so that I could hang out with the cats. Sometimes they make us crazy. Crazy in love, or just plain crazy, I don't know. But, they are like my children. I love them so much, and they bring continuous joy to our household. Forever will I be the crazy cat lady!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A good cry, a cup of tea and some chocolate

Sometimes, all we need is a good cry. And now I feel so much better.

Work has been insane; this blog stuff has me losing my mind....and I just felt like I needed to get it all out. The emotions are running high in the King household lately.

The second I left work, I could feel the cold air brush my cheeks, and bam! I was crying like a baby.

I came home, grabbed a nice, hot cup of tea, and took a long bath. Then I came downstairs to make dinner and the chocolate covered cherries filled my stomach instead.

Wow. Amazing how a little "Em therapy" can do the body good.

The weight loss battle continues.....

I haven't chatted much about my weight loss lately. So, here it goes!!

I stopped journaling a little bit before we left for Florida. That would be about a month ago. I hadn't really stepped on the scale either, out of obvious fear!! And the exercise? Non-existent.

On Sunday, I decided it was time that I face the music, and I jumped on the scale. Guess what? I lost 1 pound since my last weigh-in in November. Very interesting! I guess that if I were in maintenance mode, this would be a great thing!

So, I am back on the wagon. I plan to hit up the gym tonight, and I am going to cook the first meal since Thanksgiving.

This journey is so weird sometimes, because I could have sworn I had gained a ton of that weight back. It's nice to be pleasantly surprised during this weight-loss trek. Heck, I'll take what I can get.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Hallelujah!

Last night, we attended a concert we have been wanting to see for some time now.
The Calvin Oratorio Society puts on "Handel's Messiah" every year. This year, we sat 1st row for this amazing event.

My favorite verses:

"And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." (Isaiah 40:5)

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10, 11)

"Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. King of kings, and Lord of lords. Hallelujah!" (Revelations 19:6, 11:15, 19:16)

and my all-time favorite:

"I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first-fruits of them that sleep" (Job 19:25, 26; 1 Corinthians 15:20)