Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

Watch out for the ghosties and goblins. And the and pissed off frog king, and the even less impressed pink bunnies!

He doesn't appreciate the finer things in life.  Like dressing up for Halloween.  Don't worry, I gave him a big bone for posing for the picture.

She got her own bone, and the rest of his too!

Did I ever tell you that my favorite spook was born on Halloween?  Tonight we are having one of his favorite meals and watching John Wayne movies to celebrate his birthday.  

Have a Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Almost Wordless Thursday

You should be appreciative that today is Thursday.  You almost got pictures instead of words.  I'm still a little freaked out, and I really feel like hunkering down somewhere and trying to regain my bearings.

I submitted my application today.

It's too late now.

I'm freaking terrified.

I figured that this wouldn't be a big deal, that they won't reject me.  Yet, as I started to fill out that application, I began to wonder.  What will happen if I don't get in?  Oh crap.

Well THAT thought hadn't ever occurred to me.  But I started to have these racing thoughts, and probably a racing heart and high blood pressure too.  Things like : They will think I'm too old.  I'm too immature (I might have been slightly sarcastic on the 2nd essay).  I put too much info on the essays, I didn't put enough.  I need a margarita.  They will know I need a margarita and think I'm a party girl.  They will tell me that I have to live in the dorm and my husband won't like that. Hell, I won't like that.

Needless to say, today, I simply verified the information, made sure it was correct, didn't even open my essays up and re-read them for the 30th time.  I just paid my money and clicked send.  And held my breath.

I'm pretty sure I'm not breathing right now either.

I'm sure that I'm stressing over nothing, that they are going to send me a letter begging me to join them.  At least I'm hoping that is what happens.

I bet right about now, you are really wishing that I would have kept my freak-out to myself and posted pictures.  Don't worry, when I log in tomorrow to make a post, I'm going to wish the exact same thing, just a day later than you.

Those doubts just made me realize how badly that I want things to work out.  That this is so much more important to me than I first realized.  I just hope that God and I are on the same page and His plans are my plans.  Then again, I'm pretty sure that the saying goes something like, I make plans and God just laughs.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Have a Dream

I took that leap today, one that has me excited, nervous, scared, and hopeful.  I don't remember being this worried when I did this 11 years ago.

I applied to the college, where I am hoping to finish up my bachelor's degree at.

I had to write a few essays, and this one in particular, I thought was fairly good.

Here was my subject, and my following answer:

"The statement of purpose will provide an opportunity to explain any extenuating circumstances that you feel could add value to your application. You may also want to explain unique aspects of your academic background or valued experiences you may have had that relate to your academic discipline. The statement of purpose is not meant to be a listing of accomplishments in high school or a record of your participation in school-related activities. Rather, this is your opportunity to address the admissions committee directly and to let us know more about you as an individual, in a manner that your transcripts and other application information cannot convey."

I don't feel like there are any extenuating circumstances that make me more qualified to attend your school than someone else. I can only say the following, in hopes that you get to know a little about me, and the person that I hope to be.

I went to college right out of high school, but I met the man of my dreams and got married and college was put on hold indefinitely. While most of my friends were studying, I was working and building a life for my new husband and myself. College was always something that I would do "some day". I had begun to believe that day was never going to come.

Last year my father had a heart attack at 51. It was during the weeks that followed that I realized that there was never going to be a "good" time to go back and finish my degree. So I took a leap of faith, and began scouring the Internet looking for options and answers. I finally decided that I would begin my journey with the University of Phoenix. It offered convenience, and it would allow me to continue to work at a job I love and care exclusively for an elderly grandparent.

A few months ago, I began to make sure that the University of Phoenix was still a good fit for me as I began my bachelor's degree. The more research I did, the less comfortable I felt with my decision to stay there and the more I felt that, in order to get a quality education and continue to pursue my dreams, that I needed to go in a different direction. I prayed, I cried, I begged everyone I knew for advice about what to do and where to go. I lay in bed at night and tried to imagine myself as a traditional college student at 31. I tried to imagine myself walking into classrooms with students younger than myself and tried to imagine finding my place at Texas Tech.

Instead of finding my place, I have found possibilities. I have found that I am willing to make sacrifices and let go of things that I enjoy, so that I can pursue this endeavor. The last few weeks as I have let the idea of attending Texas Tech wash over me, I have felt that I understand Dr. Martin Luther King's passion more intently. He too, had a dream, and he was willing to work hard to do what he could to see it through.

I don't think that there is anything about me that makes me more qualified to attend Texas Tech University than another person. I think that my own perseverance and dedication make me an excellent candidate for a future student and graduate. I think that my age and life experiences allow me to be better prepared to move forward with the next chapter of my life.

Since I began this journey over a year ago, I feel that this is the first time that I have found my niche, and I feel like Texas Tech is exactly where I am meant to be.

Monday, October 25, 2010

When Life Gets in the Way

I had planned on writing on this blog at least on a daily basis Monday through Friday.  Yet, the last (gulp) 2 weeks have seen no new posts.

I would love to tell you that I won the lottery and was busy getting my affairs in order, but that didn't happen.

I would love to tell you that I was just so swamped at work and at school that I just couldn't find the time to write one measly post.  But, I can't.  In fact, I begged my husband for some of his homework, so that I had something to do at least once the past week.  I/He got a 100 on the assingment by the way.

I would love to tell you that Giada from the Food Network called and that I have been busy filming my own TV show, but sadly, not happened.

So instead, let me tell you a few little boring tidbits of what I have done, and catch you up.

1.  I make at least 3000 cookies for a family reunion this past weekend. 
2.  I have written a nutrition paper, an environmetal science paper, and I have done my husband's accounting homework.
3. I have made flowers for potholders, that at this point, I'm wondering if I'm ever going to finish them.
4. I have anxiously awaited the posting of grades so I could apply to the new college in the Spring.
5.  I have watched TV, and otherwise slacked off.
6. I did help assemble a cool deer blind that my grandfather made.  I'll post pictures as soon as my husband emails them to me.  They are on his phone.  Thanks Honey!

See, my life isn't so exciting after all.  I'll try to do better.  I promise.  Besides, it's something to do at work.  : )

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Beauty

Life has thrown us a lot of curve balls here lately.  First the challenges of making a choice about school, then the month of October, my grandmother’s recent trip to the emergency room, and yesterday…  Well yesterday was more like a curve ball and a hard ball all at the same time.  See, my husband’s grandfather, Jerry, has learned that he is in for the fight of his life.  Or maybe for his life.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer yesterday.

Thankfully, his grandfather has chosen to “fight like hell”, to beat this disease, and I hope like hell that he wins.  But, that little voice in my head, the one that makes me think too much, and be realistic tries to give into that “what if”.  He hasn’t been to the oncologist yet, so next week, there could be news that none of this family wants to hear.  I don’t want to be the one who has these negative thoughts, I want to be able to tell my husband and have complete faith in the “it’s all going to be OK.”  Yet realistically, I don’t know that, and frankly there could be another curve ball down the road that we aren’t ready for.

I’m also saddened by the fact that this is the second person that John will have watched struggle with lung cancer, which is believed to have been brought own by their own poor choices.  See, John’s uncle and namesake, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002, and he lost that fight a year later.  While Jerry’s family doctor wasn’t able to tell him that it was specifically caused from being a smoker for 50 years, he was able to tell him that it didn’t help.  Two people, whom we both love, who could have prevented these diseases, and yet, they choose a different path. Then it makes me wonder why people are so lax with their health and their bodies.

Trust me, I’m just as guilty, although I don’t smoke, I don’t eat as well as I should, I’m overweight, I don’t exercise regularly (thanks school), and I don’t handle stress well.  All of those things don’t prove that I will live a long and healthy life either.  Yet I always find it ironic that it takes something like a death or a life changing disease for people to realize and understand how precious life is, and how valuable their own life is.

Yet on one hand, my heart aches.  You see, between John and I we know at least 4-5 more people who have made the same choices, who may face their own experience like this.  It saddens me that as the shock of our grandfather’s own fight wore on, that the fact that these other people in our lives, may be forced to walk down the same path.

Today, as I write this post, and try to find the words that will hopefully bring myself, and perhaps John comfort, I’m reminded of a lot of things.  Things that I hope I can remember in the coming months, as our faith, strength, patience, and understanding are tested.

See, no matter what happens, there is beauty in the midst of this whole situation.  There is still plenty to celebrate, instead of grieving for the what-if – that may never happen.  As odd as it sounds, this is a blessing.  It’s a chance for the family to grow and to be reminded of what’s important in their own lives.  And as unfair as life sometimes is, it’s a chance to mend broken hearts and relationships and to say goodbye.  Because frankly none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, it’s not a matter of if, but when.

Even in the darkest of hours, when you ask – God shows up in the most unlikely of places.  In the midst of this seeming tragedy, there is a blessing.  We just have to see the beauty.

~Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

~ Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.  ~Confucius

~ Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.  ~Leo Buscaglia

~ I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.  I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.  ~Mother Teresa

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This Week's Random Post Brought to You by...

-To finally be getting excited about getting excited about switching schools.  I'm still worried about some changes that will have to be made, but otherwise I'm happy that I have made the switch.

-To be thankful that this block of classes is almost over.  This has been one of the worst blocks of classes I have had since I started.  Only 1 more to go, until I'm a college graduate.

-To dread the fact that I haven't really "started" Christmas shopping yet.  I'm usually close to being finished by now, and I have barely started.

-To wish that I liked to shop so that Christmas shopping didn't suck so bad.

-To wish that I knew what to get the people on my Christmas list this year.  I don't have a clue, and it's worse this year than any year before.

-I'm disappointed that a weekend getaway that my husband and I were trying to plan isn't going to happen.  I could have used the time away to de-stress a little, and spend some time with my husband that didn't involve homework.

-To get really pissed off when companies are making sales calls and I tell them that so and so isn't here, and they hang up on me.  Yeah, he won't buy anything from you now.

-To wish I knew what to fix for dinner that would sound and taste semi appealing.

-I need to work on some homework, but I think I'm going to look for new recipes instead.

-To have found what my parents are giving me for Christmas, they just don't know it yet.

-To be very thankful that tomorrow is Friday and that I can sleep in Saturday. 

-I found my spell check, but I can't figure out why my husband is getting facebook notifications on his phone, when they all appear to be turned off.  Maybe I can fix that soon too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own. They are my thoughts, my beliefs, and my understandings. They are in no way accurate or meant to offend anyone. So please don’t crucify me for the following comments.

We have recently learned that my stepsister is a lesbian. She currently has a girlfriend, and while I’m still a little unclear of the details, until the last few days, I was pretty sure that she was straight. She is after all married to a man, has 2 children, and has never thought about women in that capacity.

Which brings me to my next point, and probably the one that will piss off so many gay people. I believe that gay is a choice. I don’t think that God screwed up and gave you the wrong parts, or the wrong feelings or anything else like that. God doesn’t make mistakes. Period. I also still believe that the bible is accurate and should be used for guidance, if you want to follow in God’s footsteps and get to heaven. I was raised that gay is immoral, and wrong.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with gay people. I have a good friend on facebook who is gay. He is funny, smart, has great taste, interested in some of the same things that I am, but he prefers men to woman, and always has. He is also an atheist, and we both agreed a long time ago to not discuss religion. He thinks that God is capable of making mistakes and that the bible is outdated and unrealistic to use for guidance in today’s world. So we don’t talk about it, I don’t tell him he is going to hell, I just let him have his own opinion, and his own choice, even though I believe, based on my own morals that he is incorrect.

I think that Debbie made a choice. She is still married, and in my opinion, she is committing adultery as well. Which I believe is wrong too. Do I still love her? Absolutely. Do I think that she is making a huge mistake? You bet. Is it my choice? Absolutely not. Do I think that she makes a huge mistake when she feeds her kids junk for dinner instead of vegetables? You bet. But it’s her choice. And whether or not I agree with the choices that she makes or not is beside the point. I’m pretty sure that there are choices that I have made in my own life that she wouldn’t agree with. But she respects me enough to not tell me what an idiot she thinks I am.

I’m not going to shove my religion down her throat; I’m not going to tell her that she is wrong. All I’m going to do is love her. Even though I believe that the choices she is making are bad ones, choices that will put her on a different path spiritually as well as mentally from the rest of the family. I’m sad for the hurt that this choice has inflicted on her children and her husband.

She is family, and whether or not I agree with her choices, I have chosen to respect them. I’ve chosen to remind her children that she loves them and that sometimes, even adults make choices that hurt other people, and that life isn’t always fair. It probably won’t hurt that I’m going to send lots of prayers to her, as she is going to need strength, because no matter what, this isn’t a choice that she can walk away from without changing someone’s life. No matter what, whether I agree or not, she deserves my respect. The Bible tells me so.

~It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. ~Roy Disney

~When one bases his life on principle, 99 percent of his decisions are already made. ~Author Unknown

~The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn. ~David Russell

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Drive to Being a Lesbian

My stepsister Debbie is a Lesbian. This has all recently come about, and I, along with the rest of our family, have experienced a multitude of emotions; everything from anger, hurt, disbelief, betrayal, to sadness, even grief.

First, some background info.

Debbie and I have never been close, we were both "grown" up when our dad married my mother. I was 17 and she was 18. I had spent the better part of my childhood as an only child, and she had grown up with a half brother and half sister. So adding a stepsister to my list of family wasn't exactly something I was thrilled about. She was a kid and made a lot of mistakes the time she spent with our family and that caused her to be absent for several years of our lives.

She met and married her husband David, days after I did. I got married on the 18th, and she married her husband the 20th. The following August, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. And that baby girl was what reunited her to our family. My niece who was approximately 18 months old at the time gave us the opportunity to get to know Debbie and her husband.

Debbie had a different childhood than I did. She dealt with things that I never had to and vise versa, I was always mature, and my father-on-paper walking out on us when I was 16, required that I grow up and become an adult a lot quicker than I should have. Debbie on the other hand, at least as far as my opinion, and others in the family had yet to "grow" up. Sure she was an adult, but she still did so many things that the rest of us didn't understand.

She didn't bathe regularly, she didn't wear "nice"* clothes when she went out. She wasn't concerned with her kids being bathed regularly either. She was bad about making messes and not cleaning them up, which is a big no-no, especially at my mom's house. We all, (myself, my husband, her/my father, my mother, our grandparents, our aunt) criticized and told her over and over that she needed to take baths, use deodorant, care about her appearance. *She often wore clothing that was stained, holey, things that most of us wear to clean or do yard work, but not stuff that we wear out in public. And, yes, as a matter of fact, I have my own drawer of holey, stained clothing.

To a certain extent, I feel somewhat responsible for the situation that her husband, kids and her choice (more on this tomorrow) to be a lesbian. I think that we all are.

I know that right now your thinking I'm crazy, and that I'm weirded out by gays, I'm not. Just stick with me.

Often in my own marriage, I take John for granted. I don't tell him he looks nice, or that he smells good, or that I appreciate him loading the dishwasher. I think that he knows that I do. While I hope that it does, sometimes it's nice to hear it. It's nice to hear things like you look nice, that's awesome, I'm proud of you, you look amazing; instead of hearing ---. Silence.

I have my days when I'm feeling particularly fat and unattractive, and the comment from a stranger just flows over me. I know my husband loves me and finds me attractive, but it's nice to here it, especially from other people. And instead of finding something to praise Debbie about, or even trying to find out why she did some of the things she did, we judged, and we criticized, and we didn't bother to find out why.

So last night as I was talking to my husband, wondering how things would work out for Debbie and her girlfriend Sue, David, her husband, and her two kids, I wondered if this was always her choice. Or if for the first time in her life, someone accepted Debbie for Debbie, the good and the bad. Because there are days that the right person saying the right thing would cause me to do things that I would never dream of doing. Not because I don't love my husband, but because it's kindness from someone who isn't "required" to say stuff like that.

So now, as we all move forward, some of the family is weirded out, and some are hurt, and some are angry, and I'm sad. Sad that it took Debbie's marriage falling apart to realize that her entire family (at least on this side of the gene pool) is responsible. While the choice to choose another woman may have been something that she struggled with for a while, none of us really knows. Maybe, Sue was the first person who saw Debbie as Debbie instead of the rest of us trying to mold her into our version of Debbie.

No matter what happens from here, I only hope that Debbie is willing to forgive us for the horrible ways that we have treated her and give me a second chance to get to know the real her. Maybe I'll find the sister I never knew I always wanted.

~If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child. ~Linda Sunshine

~I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at. ~Maya Angelou

~Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. ~Winston Churchill

Monday, October 4, 2010

Why I blog Anonymously

As I left work on Friday and headed home, I had a fleeting crazy moment.  One where I briefly considered starting yet another blog.  One where I'm not anonymous.  One where I can use our first names, and I don't have to make up names to protect the innocent, or the not so innocent.  I could send this blog to all of my family, and my friends, and my facebook groupies. But then I got to thinking about it, and I realized that I would have to plagiarize stuff off of this blog and post on that would, and wouldn't that defeat the purpose of anonymous?  Wouldn't it also be illegal?  Even though I wrote it to start with, but technically Abby wrote it.  Hmm...that could get really dicey. 

I like the anonymity that this blog gives me.  I can tell the world what a schmuck my boss is, and he doesn't know that I am specifically the one doing it.  I can talk bad about my in-laws (they don't know I write a blog), I can't talk bad about my own parents, they are 2 of my 3 readers.  I can't tell the world how irritating my husband is, becuase guess what?  He makes up reader number 3. 

What I can do is think about stuff, things that I wouldn't dream of publishing if I wasn't Abby.  This anonymity lets me talk about stuff that I would rather not discuss with the general public at large.  It lets me send my thoughts out there for the world to see.  Of course, that means that there are going to be this people who disagree with me, and people who think that I'm a few crayons short of a full box, which is ok too, because if I knew them, I would probably think that they were nuts too. 

This past weekend, a person that I thought I knew has thrown me for a loop, and probably much to her and her husband's chagrin, I'm going to write a post tomorrow with my thoughts.  Thoughts that are very contriversal, thoughts that, if I had a large following of readers, would probably piss quite a few off.  Just because of the nature of the post, I'm thankful, that at least to the crazies on the internet, tomorrow, I can be anonymous. 

I'm also thankful that I can bribe my husband with a great home cooked meal and --- (you're welcome, mom and dad) for the irritating comment.  You aren't irritating honey.  In fact without you, my parents would be the only ones who would read my blog, and that just makes me look lame.  Or friendless.  But I'll be a on campus college student next semester, and I'm going to make a friend, even if it kills me.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lessons in Randomness

I have tried to write a post for today, for well over an hour. I have started 3 separate posts, all, which I thought, would end up going somewhere, and after 2-3 paragraphs, they just sort of fizzled out. One of them died before I even got my introduction typed. There are so many things that have happened in the last week, that I’m not sure where to start, or even how to vocalize them. So this post is probably going to be a lesson in randomness.

I read several other blogs that I follow this morning, and I always feel like my life is so much more boring and less noteworthy than there lives are. I don’t know why I feel the need to judge myself, and my life on the fact that I don’t have kids who I can use for blogging material. My life this week has revolved around Friends and crocheting flowers for a set of potholders that was in my UFO (un-finished object) basket. Oh, and a presentation for my Environmental Science class that is due today, that I still haven’t finished.

I finally had a good heart to heart conversation with my husband about school. The sad thing is that the majority of this conversation took place while we walked around Walmart and picked up a few groceries and a prescription. I still have my moments where I freak out about the choice that I have made, but on the other hand, I found myself getting slightly excited about the new direction that my life is heading. It’s definitely been a leap of faith into the unknown, and I was feeling really good about my decision after a conversation with my boss yesterday. Then this morning my husband mentions he told his mom the direction that I was headed, and she seemed surprised/disappointed (my impression from him) so know I have my doubts again. I really need a crystal ball. Maybe I’ll put that on my Christmas wish list.

Christmas is 2.5 months away, and I’m nowhere near finished with my shopping. I’m not even close. I’m usually at least halfway done by my birthday, and this year, I have 3 people completely marked off my list. There are approximately 25 people. That doesn’t include the plans I had for the guys I work with, or the guys my husband manages. Although the worker bees were just getting homemade food. Cookies, candy, yadda, yadda. They are all guys, most of whom are single, or they are married and their wives can’t cook to save their life. They all love me when I do this, plus I get to cook, I don’t see anything wrong with this picture. I think about this every few days and freak out, because I don’t even have a clue what to get most of these people for Christmas. This year may be remembered as “The Year of the Gift Cards”.

I spent most of Thursday wishing I could either barf, or that my stomach would have magically felt normal. I’m not sure what the deal was, but several times yesterday I thought dying would have to feel better. I’ve wondered, and after taking dairy digestive supplements that help people with lactose intolerance, I’m wondering if I haven’t developed sensitivity to it. Milk makes my stomach ache like I have been punched, and other things produce unpleasant side effects. I know that I really need to talk to my doctor about it, and I will, when I go see her, in November. But until then, I’m not eating cheese stick chicken and a milk shake for dessert a few hours later again.

Our living situation and plans have changed, and they will remain “unknown” until I actually start school the end of January. I’m hoping that we can work things out and that things will go a certain direction, but we are still moving forward with our new furniture purchases. We are having our new couch and chairs delivered in a few weeks. We still need bedroom furniture, and tables for our living room, but I’m excited that progress is being made.

This weekend we are going to a local “Harvest Festival” and do a little shopping at an antique store for a specific gift. Plus they always have Precious Moments Figurines, and a girl can never have too many of those. My aunt and her boys will be in town too, and I'm looking forward to spending time with them as well.  I’m looking forward to a slow weekend for a change, one that involves lots of rest and lots of work on potholders. Oh, and finding the tax return so I can apply and get things rolling for school. That will make it official, and won’t allow me to chicken out anymore.  I also have managed to squeek by and not having homework to work on, which will do wonders for my sanity.

Have a beautiful 1st weekend of October.  In my world, it's officially time for fall now. 


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