Why I'm here....

Since I've always been quick with an opinion an old friend once lost and again found suggested that perhaps I should share with more people my commentary. Never being one to pass on a challenge I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Got An Asphalt Driveway?

If you've got an asphalt driveway then you are probably starting to see the door to door people coming around to see if they can seal it for you. Am I right? Well, you could go with them, but you may pay more and get less than you would get with my friend Ken and his partner. They will do you a righteous job at a good price. I personally will vouch for Ken's integrity and would love to see my friends get treated right. Call them for a free estimate at 260-693-4117 today.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Use To Think I was Invisible.

Through most of my life I have felt invisible, almost as of I am nothing more than a thread of existence that dwindles in the air. It always amazes me to find out someone thought of me or wondered about me or brought me up in conversation. All my life I’ve felt as if I didn’t really matter that much to most people. I know my brother loves me and my mom and dad and some aunts and some other family and friends, but I have most often felt like it wouldn’t matter if I weren’t here. I try to fight that feeling most of the time because I do enjoy life, but sometimes someone says or does something that knocks one back into a memory that brings them full circle. This week has been that kind of week for me. A memory that ran through my mind so clearly was the first death that meant anything to me. I am lucky I suppose to say that didn’t occur until I was sixteen years old, but then are we lucky to know the sting of death at any age? Perhaps it would have been easier had I known more about it and been prepared. My grandmother Lula, my dad’s mom, died on November 27, 1983. I was sixteen years of age and I felt like my entire world had fallen apart. I remember that Thanksgiving being somber because my grandmother was in the hospital. We had planned to leave the day after to go and see her. My dad didn’t think it wise to try to drive on the holiday itself. The drive to the hospital in Kentucky, I believe it was Lexington (if memory serves), was a quiet one. We arrived late evening and walked into the Cardio ICU waiting lounge where my uncle announced that my grandmother was gone. Not completely though. She had no brain activity and the hospital had to wait for her blood pressure to drop to be able to take her off life support. I stood back from everyone else and watched as they hugged and cried and talked. I don’t know how long went by. I remember my aunt trying over and over again to get me to go see my grandmother to say good bye. I remember thinking so many things. One being that God could not be so cruel as to take her away before I had a chance to marry and give her grand children, or even to know of my graduation. What was there to say good bye too went through my mind as well? If she was brain dead she wasn’t there. I didn’t’ want to. Saturday afternoon I let them talk me into it though. It was the worst mistake of my life and I have regretted it to this day. I went in to find a shell of a woman. She was very thin, not the plump figure of a woman I remembered. There were tubes everywhere. Her eyes twitched and a tear was in the corner of one eye. Her fingers moved. It was extremely confusing in my mind to reconcile that all this was caused by the machines that kept her body warm. We had been told that it could be a week or better before they could remove her from life support so we left for home the next day on Sunday. It was storming outside which suited my mood. We got home to a phone call saying they had removed her so the next day on Monday we made the journey all the way back. We got there late evening. I had never been to a funeral home that I recalled until that day. We walked in to find it full of family and friends and again I kept to myself for the most part. People were laughing and talking and I was just getting angrier by the moment. How could they be laughing when my grandmother lay so lifeless and still in a coffin. It took me a couple of years to realize that they were actually honoring her memory with their laughter and conversation. As is with our custom my grandmother was moved to the church the next night for church services and the following day after that there were church services for her funeral as well. Both days I sat by myself and watched as each person had someone to comfort them and help them through, yet I sat alone and tried to remain strong. I felt invisible. I felt as if I was expected to show some decorum of strength. It's haunted me to my very core to this day and it started a long path of my trying to always appear to be strong and never weak. As of late my more human side has been showing though. I remember back to my grandmothers funeral. I believe that was the only time I ever remember to this day seeing my dad cry. I don't feel quiet invisible anymore though there are days I wish I did. I guess life's lessons just have something else in store for me right now because I feel more like I can't ever get out of the site of people right now than that I am invisible. So which is better? Good question.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Makes A Friend A Friend?

I’ve been blessed in my life to have some of the most wonderful friends, who not only care for me, but will go above and beyond for me. They are in essence my family of my own making. I have family members that I love and care a lot about, but I am not close with very many of them. Some of this is due to distance and some of it is due to busy lives and never taking the time. Then I suppose there are those that just don’t give a damn about me. Blood makes us family by blood. We can choose to grow that bond strong, as my brother and I have, or we can choose to just see it as what it is, blood. To me though family is someone who is in your heart and on your mind and they are the people you want to see happy and healthy. Not that you don’t want everyone happy and healthy, but your self imposed family is one that you worry about. So what makes a friend a friend? I believe a true friend is one that won’t say things intentionally to hurt your feelings, but won’t lie to you if asked a direct question. I believe they are there for you if your car breaks down or if they can’t be they call around until someone is or call you a cab and send it your way, but they make sure they are there for you. I believe a friend is someone you laugh with and someone you cry with. I believe they are a person who will give advice yet respect your decision not to listen to it. They will love you even when they know you are dating the world’s biggest loser and rejoice when you are dating a saint. They will watch you melt down and go insane yet will stay steady by your side. (True they may put you in a straight jacket, but hey…) A true friend will not betray you intentionally. (We all slip from time to time) They will not get angry at your other friend choices even if they don’t agree you should be friends with them. They will not judge you, even when they think you’re nuts. They will bail you out if they can and if they can’t they will visit you in jail. (Hopefully I never have to test that one.) A friend sits with you when you’re sick and makes you chicken soup. They try to make you laugh when you’re sad and they are always sympathetic to your mood even when they want to slap you silly. I am blessed because most people are lucky I they ever find one fiend this way. I have several. You all mean the world to me. Your cheering me on during my weight loss and listening to my ramblings as I am getting ready to start my third year of blogging have meant the world to me. I started this blog on July 14, 2008 at the suggestion of one of these very special friends. I have received an over whelming amount of emails and comments and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I’m glad I didn’t ignore his advice on that one. I am honest so there is nothing I have put in my blog I would ever hide, even though I probably don’t want my parents reading it. They have a hard enough time understanding me and accepting how different from them I am. So again I thank my friends and my readers and I welcome all emails or comments. If I don’t always post your comments sometimes I find them very personal and am selfish and don’t share. So what makes a friend a friend to you?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Judge Not...

I am the queen of over thinking things. Lately my hormones (due to medications) have been a raging mess. I cry at the drop of a hat. Commercials make me cry. Now if you know anything about me you know I am not the type to cry easy so this is really screwing with my head. Then with the fact that my mind is constantly going you know I’m bound to make mistakes. Oh, well. I have always tried not to judge other people and let them live their lives. I let them make their mistakes without my imputing my two cents to make them feel worse when it falls apart, but I am human and as a human we judge things all the time. We judge people by how they walk, how they speak, how they dress and even who they date or hang out with. We make pre-conceived opinions based on stereo types that society has set in place. We judge foods, and jobs as well as books and movies and music. The bible tells us not to judge unless we want to be judged, well I have found the last few times I’ve been judgmental about anything it has come back to bite me in the ass. My biggest problem I have with judging people is I have a tendency to expect people to react like people from my past. I know everyone has been hurt, but I carry scars that appear to cause me to keep making the same mistakes. I expect people to let me down eventually. I look for it. I wait for it. It shocks me when they don’t or when I assume they have and I find out they haven’t. It’s a learning experience I suppose. Hopefully it’s one that doesn’t keep happening and doesn’t cost me happiness. Recently someone asked me what I want out of life and out of a relationship with a man. It’s easy really. Out of life I want enough money to pay my bills, a place to rest my head and for my body to be in shape and healthy. Out of a relationship I want my best friend. I want someone who is willing to share everything with me whether it’s their heartbreak and tears or their laughter and smiles. I want someone who even when they aren’t in the mood will still give me a reassuring hug or touch. I want someone I can depend on and someone who depends on me. I want honesty. I think honesty is the key to everything and yet sometimes I forget to open my mouth and offer it. I want someone I don’t have fear with. I want someone I can be proud of and someone who is proud of me. I want someone I could see being a good dad and a good lover. I want someone who can give me guidance and advice and can do it lovingly. I guess you could say I want it all. Hey don’t judge me. Doesn’t everyone want it all? So I’ll keep trying to judge not I suppose. What about you?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We Survived...

I suppose a lot of my childhood was just like anyone else’s. I mean my brother and I would stay out until the sun went down either riding our bikes or playing baseball, basketball or cowboys and Indians. My brother and I were extremely close growing up and we still are. For that I am very grateful. I remember very well the carefree days of youth. There were no bills and for the most part no drama. Well, if there was drama we weren’t the wiser for it. I remember making mud pies, literally. I think my mom still has a donut I made out of mud. It hardened and she kept it. My mom is the best on every level. She’s the most caring and kind woman you will ever meet and I could never come close to holding a candle to her compassion and sincerity in her love of people. There are so many fond memories I could share of growing up. I really did have a good childhood. I remember in the summer sleeping until about eight in the morning, getting up and lying in bed and watching “Big Valley” and then after eating a bite of breakfast going out to start the day. Every day was an adventure. We would climb trees, build forts, and play in the bushes. Spies were everywhere and whether it was just my brother and I or a whole gang of kids we never seemed to get bored as today’s children claim to. We were outside until lunch and then inside only long enough to eat. Let me tell you that food was predictable at our house based on the day of the week. If it was Friday for lunch you were most likely having soup and for dinner frozen pizza and pizza rolls. Sunday was a bucket of KFC. Wednesday was McDonalds and so was Saturday on occasion. My dad was really big into routine. He still is. I love my dad and on so many levels he’s a good guy, but I never quiet fit up to his standards in anything. Lord knows I use to try. I gave up. After lunch my brother and I would head back out for more adventure and we would always welcome the mailman. Our neighborhood mailman loved kids and often had candy and would spend time talking to us. He was a good guy. It was sad when he died when I was about eighteen. We would gather the mail and give it to mom then off for more adventure. I’m sure knowing our mom she checked on us, but if she did we weren’t aware of it. As far as we knew she didn’t see us unless we checked in with her. At dinner we went in again to eat and then off again until the sun went down. Life as a child was an all day adventure. Bored? We didn’t know what that was because we knew how to pretend. Today’s children need that too, but most often I fear they are stuck in front of computers, televisions or game systems. Now there is nothing wrong with any of those in moderation but I think it would be sad to miss out on a life of fun and playing because of them. Today’s government probably wonders how we all survived until adulthood. I mean we didn’t have curfews, we played all over the neighborhood and no one had constant view of where we were. Amazing isn’t it how much time has changed. Each generation see’s those types of changes I suppose though. We did get our fair share of bruises and cuts though. I remember once stepping on a board that had a nail sticking out of it. I froze and wouldn’t move and lift my foot off of it so my brother went and got my dad. Funny but I’ve stepped on nails twice in my life… aren’t I lucky? There was another time we were playing touch football and my uncle (whose only 1 year older than me) dived for the football and took out my lower leg. I didn’t break it but it sure swelled up really badly. Then there was also the time I was pitching and my brother was batting and he beamed me in the eye with a baseball. Yeah we had our share of bruises, but it probably just made us tough. I feel sad that I don’t think a lot of children these days are experiencing those things. I have good memories throughout my life, but some of the best are from childhood. What memories do you have that you would share?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Right’s and Wrong’s of Idiocy

n. pl. id·i·o·cies
1. Extreme folly or stupidity.
2. A foolish or stupid utterance or deed.
3. Psychologically: Idiocy is the state or condition of being an idiot; profound mental retardation.”

Yes, you do have the right to be wrong. I will never argue that point with anyone for any reason. You have the right to be a lot of things, which perhaps you really don’t want to be. So what has me on this topic? Service and work in America. When did it become baby-sitting and non-caring and cold? I have tons of examples of what I am talking about so sit back because we could be here all day. Now granted I am not the calmest of people. I can be excitable so my first tale of woe is not out of character for me, but I was sleep deprived or I probably would not have been quiet so mean. At a local restaurant on Sunday night I met some friends. I really wanted to see them, but knew I was exhausted so I probably should have passed. I ordered two stuffed peppers (they are small), a side of lettuce, side of tomatoes and a side of fries. (No I shouldn’t have had fries). Now I understand the peppers are normally an appetizer, but everyone else was ordering food. I waited tables for 18 years part time and I can tell you I would have asked me if I wanted them brought out right away or with everyone’s dinner. Now I could have forgave the bringing it all out to me as an appetizer, but the guy shows up with two peppers. No lettuce, no tomatoes, no fries. Ignorance is a sore spot with me. Mistakes I can handle but ignorance, not so much. To me, and I know this is only my opinion and I do have the right to be wrong lets not forget, it’s common sense that I at least didn’t order a side of tomatoes and lettuce to go with my French fries. I am just saying. OK, so we are not training kids to think these days either. We are raising a bunch of lazy and ignorant kids. (NO NOT ALL OF THEM) I happen to know a few young people that are very smart and work, but it’s few. A lady at the gym yesterday asked me if I had noticed the under thirty crowd didn’t seem to want to work in the work place I was like – uh, yeah. Again I am not talking about all of them. True story: A couple of years ago I went through Rally’s drive thru. My bill was $4.85. I gave the kid a $5 bill. His computer went down. He hands me 42 cents back. I then explained to him the error of his way and he had me wait while he went and got his supervisor, who then stood there and used a calculator to figure out the difference in $5 and $4.85. No apologies for my wait, although I’m sure the look on my face was priceless. We can’t tell our children in school that they are doing wrong or that they are incorrect. What kind of horse manure is that? Our kids shouldn’t be treated shabby, but they need to learn the reality of the real world. Telling them they are doing well at something but perhaps they should try it this way when they totally mucked it up is stupid. Whoever decided that needs my booted foot to meet their… Anyhow, I suppose I should get off what’s wrong with American dance, this is about idiots and their rights. I really don’t want to stray that far off topic. I remember when working in the work place was good. Yes I am old enough to remember that. I remember wanting to do a great job and wanting to make sure my supervisor succeeded just as much as the company and I did. I worked hard and it felt good. In those days companies gave you an assignment and then let you run with getting the task accomplished. I’m here to tell you that anyone out there working today knows this isn’t true. First of all most supervisors have forgotten that their success comes from making sure you succeed and that having smart people below you and listening to them makes you succeed all the more. Ask Donald Trump and he will probably tell you that he got to where he is today because he had great people behind him. The person who forgets or tries to walk on those below them often fails. If I were to guess I would also guess that Donald Trump doesn’t micro manage the hell out of everything. A good manager or supervisor will hire people they can depend on and then turn them loose to run with it and only come to me if you have to type basis. Most supervisors today loose so much precious time and energy because they have to know every little thing going on below their supervisors. They have to put in their style and taste and heaven forbid the supervisors under them do anything they don’t like. Most I managers I have seen are unapproachable (We do have a really good director where I work who is very approachable, we are lucky in that respect) and even if they say they have an open door policy they make you feel subservient and unwelcome. Not to mention that whatever you throw out there you can almost feel their inability to really hear it because it isn’t the way they feel things should be. A lot of your management these days has the book smarts; they just don’t have the people skills or common sense to go with it. I’m talking all companies that I have observed too. I watch these places like fast food restaurants and department stores and it’s easy to see even if you don’t work there. That is what sucks for them even more is that the eye that isn’t there every day, the customer can see it. I went to McDonald’s a few weeks ago to meet my dad and brother for breakfast. The store manager was running the register because they were short staffed. Now, I as well as anyone can understand being short staffed, but she looked up at me and said nothing then turned and walked away. I stood at the register a good five minutes before she ever returned and then I spoke to her. She goes uh sorry we are really busy so many people called off. One) I don’t care. I feel for you but as the customer I don’t need to know your people called off and I’m not stupid if you were staffed as a manager you would not be taking orders. Two) Acknowledge me with a good morning I’ll be with you in a moment and it might save pissing off a customer and I might be a little more understanding of your situation. I am just saying…. Another thing I HATE and don’t necessarily agree with when a supervisor says it: “Well we can’t make everyone happy.” I might agree that everyone is not going to be happy all the time, but I’m guessing most people will settle for content and it really shouldn’t be that happy to at least aim for pleasing the majority of your staff so that they feel like working for you. OOOOOHHHH and here’s one for you that is just too funny… “You do such a good job at it and I know you won’t complain even though you don’t like doing it.” OK, so I hate it and I have never complained about having to do it periodically because I am a team player so you put me there on that task for three weeks. Gees maybe I should start complaining and not work so hard at it? No that isn’t me I will still work hard at it, but it won’t get me a warm and fuzzy feeling towards management. It’s kind of like the dog going outside to pee instead of on your rug and you beat it anyway, after a while the dog will pee on the rug. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS ONE – “I really know personally I don’t do well at that job”… so lets stick me in that job, because after all you have the right to be wrong and you really didn’t want it done well anyway did you? You want me to act like an adult and do my job? OK, how many times have we heard supervisors in all walks of life say that? Then why do they treat you like children at recess? People will act the way you treat them. If you tell a child over and over again that they have problems or are a bad child, guess what, it’s not rocket science that they will start to believe it and act that way. Same thing goes with good employees. If they get lumped into the evil employee category sooner or later they will be bad employees. It is going to happen. I have another lovely example of ignorance in the working world for you. Come on, you knew I did. When working second I got to I would go to Meijer when I needed something instead of Wal-Mart. Now usually I could find it cheaper and get it for less at Wal-Mart so it doesn’t make sense to pay more when one can get it for less in only a shorter distance does it? Let me explain why I did then. Wal-Mart employees will not help you at night if you need something that is down an isle they have closed off for sweeping. You can’t maneuver around the store because they have crap out everywhere and again they won’t help you. They have one lane open with what is usually the world’s slowest check out person who ever existed. I responded with some thoughts on this to them on a survey and their local supervisor of the West Jefferson Wal-Mart’s called me and talked to me. No apologies for my troubles, no thanks for the feedback, but what he did say: Well late night is the best time to do that stuff that puts our customers out and they only have so much time to get it done so they don’t have time to get stuff for customers and it has to be done at some time. Now how does Meijer approach it? They are actually smiling at one in the morning. The employees who are stocking ask you if they can help you and if an isle is closed own they go under the tape and go get whatever it is you need. If you forget something and are at the register they will send someone back for it. The isles are not as cluttered, and they seem to get it stocked in the allotted time. They apologize for being in your way. It’s a different experience and one to me that is with the small financial difference. I go where I get treated well. Simply put the management probably doesn’t beat their employees down and they realize the customer has needs that need to be met. It really isn’t rocket science. There are rights and wrongs of idiocy and most often companies big and small just have them wrong. Of course that is their right.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Believe In Yourself --- You CAN Do It!

If you don't believe in yourself why should anyone else believe in you? I'm very familiar with weight issues and the enormous amount of self doubt and self loathing that can accompany the extra pounds. I'm really familiar with the pain associated with the aching joints when one is carrying around extra weight and trying to walk. I remember very well walking around Meijer in agony and even on occasion having to sit half way through the store on one of the benches to rest before I continued. I remember thinking there was no way I could ever lose the weight. It wasn't possible. I wasn't in good enough health. My knees were bad. My back had problems. I couldn't breath right. I had a million reason's not to exercise. By the way I no longer have any of those problems. I didn't believe in myself. I didn't like myself and I really could think of no reason to try to change. I was depressed and lonely. I had withdrawn from my life except for work and family. I know you've heard the story before. It really does come down to believing in yourself and wanting it so badly you can taste it. I believe this is pretty much true of anything you want to do. If you believe in yourself and surround yourself with a good support team you can do it. I buy clothes now that are a little snug. They remind me to not eat so much. I force myself to go to places that use to be a tight fit as a reminder that I need to keep working at it. I don't always eat what I should, but I do try. I love exercising now. I love that I can hop in and out of the car and quickly go into the store and grab what I need and I don't have to worry about the pain and the problems I use to. I love that I get attention and not for the same reasons I use to. So if you're wanting to stop smoking or lose weight or anything else. Just ask yourself how badly you want it. Remind yourself you are capable of anything and then believe it. I believe in you, so now you just need to believe in yourself. You really can do it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Age Old Question...

When did we as a society stop respecting age? I mean I know that no one wants to grow older, but I am proud of my age. Hell I’m proud that after all the stupid mistakes I’ve made in my life and illness I’ve had in my life that I’ve lived as long as I have. With age comes wisdom, uh, most of the time anyway. Now I admit to having some vanity. I mean I do cover the gray hair, although it’s more I don’t like the way it looks than the fact that I care about it being a sign of age. I would rather not have any wrinkles. I would rather the girls were perky. I would rather not have the aches and pains that come with time, but I am proud of my age. I also think I don’t look my age, which is a good thing. I have a hard time understanding when people are upset by their age to the point that they lie about it or try to hide it. I suppose society has driven them to it, especially if they are women. I mean it’s perfectly ok for a man to age, he is called distinguished. A woman is just called old. A man with a much younger woman is considered OK and lucky. A woman with a much younger man is considered a cougar. A woman can have children into her early fifties usually, while a man can have them up to the day he dies. Somehow all these things just are not right. Statistically a woman will outlive her mate if the same age by about ten years. I find that fascinating on so many levels. A person’s age and dating is its own beast of burden. Do you want someone older or younger or would you prefer them to be your age. Some people think it makes a big difference, I really don’t. My grand parents on my mom’s side were sixteen years apart as well as I have an aunt and uncle about the same and several cousins who have married someone well their senior. They all seem to be happy. I think when you’re looking for a mate that it should be about compatibility. You need to find someone who you can enjoy time with, someone who likes things you like. As I told someone yesterday though if you are not in love with a person I don’t think you should ever marry them. True love, does it exist? Yeah I think it does. Even if we are not talking relationships though and are just talking age in general I find it sad that the American people have forgotten to wonder and marvel at their elders. I miss the days of sitting on a porch and listening to the old timers telling stories. I miss my neighbor Mr. Wall with all his adventures. People for the most part anymore want to just put the elderly in a retirement home and forget them. At least it appears that way to me. A few years back I did some volunteer work and sat with some elderly to keep them company at a nursing facility and I found it sad that some of the people there the nurses said their families never visit. A lot of cultures out there do respect their elders and take care of them in their own homes. For whatever reason though here in the good old United States of America we have forgotten that they were once young, they were once us, and they deserve to be respected for all they have given. Heck even the government is letting them down with the faltering Medicare and Social security benefits that are way past needing an over haul. I find beauty in seeing an older couple walking and holding hands. I for one don’t find age repulsive and I know personally when you get to know someone the beauty on the inside can make them very attractive regardless (notice I did not type irregardless as it is not a word per a very good friend of mine.) of the packaging on the outside. Vanity reigns high in most people’s lives though. I find nothing wrong with trying to look your best and be your best, but age should not be something we cower from. Every day we live is another day of wisdom and in my book another day of respect we should have earned. I aspire to be Crabby Roads by the way… So how do you feel about the age old question?