Friday, January 28, 2011

5 Question Friday

This week has been full of insanity, sleep deprivation, and lots of homework.  I'm still alive, still sane, well sorta.  I'm ready for the weekend.  Although no big plans, just writing papers, and reading, and business calculus homework.  And wait, it gets better - grocery shopping.  Must have food.  I can almost list on one hand the stuff to eat in our fridge.  I could use several if I counted the stuff that was in various stages of science experiments.  I keep hoping that I will find a groove and can get things a little less hectic.  Right now it's not too bad, but unfortunately, tests and quizzes are fixing to get added to the mix, so the fun is just beginning.

So let's start the fun off with a rousing round of 5 Question Friday!  WooHoo!!

1. If you had $1,000 to donate to a charity, which would you choose?

Probably Susan G. Komen.  My grandmother, and an Aunt have both had breast cancer.  Unfortunately with the odds, someone else in my family will suffer from this disease in my lifetime.  Unless those odds change.  The next charity that I would donate to is one that helps families who can't afford to adopt a child on their own, pay for some of the legal expenses involved, so that they can have the child that they so desperately desire.
Or if you feel the need, you can send the money to me, for the Real Name college fund.  Remember I'm anonymous, but my college tuition sure isn't.

2. Snow days: Do you welcome them happily or are they a pain in your butt?

I usually love them.  It's a day at home that means I can get stuff done around the house that usually attempts to get done on the weekend, and usually fails miserably.  Now that I have gone back to school, absolutely.  I would love a day off, no new homework, and an extra day to catch up. 

3. What talent did you wish you had and why?

I have two.  I have always wanted to be able to paint.  I don't want to be the next Van Gogh, mostly because I'm a girl, but I have no desire to be famous, just capable of painting.  I can draw sadistic little cartoons.  That often need explanations so that you know what they are.  My most recent cartoon character is the Homework Eliminator.  He kicks homework's butt and takes names.  Armed with a pocket protector and a laptop he fights evil homework and makes the world a less smart place.

I also would love to be able to sing.  Once again, not professionally, just a decent voice.  One that wouldn't embarrass me to sing in front of others, if I would puke first.
4. Are you a news, politics or celebrity gossip junkie?

D. None of the above.  I get on a news watching kick.  I'm not to crazy about politics, they mostly bite, and celebrities, are just ding-bats with money.  I don't care what they are doing or how they are getting thrown in jail, or about Snookie.  Just for the record - who is Snookie?  They were talking about her on the bus this morning.  And just for the record, I don't know who Justin Beiber (spelling??) is either. 

5. What is your favorite "cocktail"? (Are you a beer person, a kiddie cocktail junkie, or perhaps your more the "Cosmo" kind?! Anything flies...doesn't hafta be alcoholic!)

Margaritas.  And Strawberry daiquiri's.  I've also been trying out different wines and trying to find one of those that I like.  I'm not too crazy if it has an "alcohol" taste.  I'm not too crazy about beer.  I won't drink an entire one by myself, but I will have a few swigs of my husband's because you never know what you will find that you like.

Thanks Mama!  Have a fantastic weekend!  Can you believe that January is almost over?!?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Abby's State of the Union

I figured that since Mr. President can get on TV and tell lies that I could get on my blog and, well not tell lies.  So here is the state of my union.

1. I promise that I will attempt to blog more.  More good posts, less school posts.  Give me some time for the new to wear off, and then I won't think it's so awesome.

2.  Just found out a guy I work with has Mono.  Oh joy!  Now they think that I'm crazy because I'm using disinfectant on everything.  Must avoid him at all costs.

3.  I have lost 7.4 pounds in 3 weeks.  I bought 2 pair of jeans before I started school, and they are bigger than I would like for them to be.  All that walking around in sub-zero temperatures is apparently paying off.

4.  I'm not feeling stressed, not feeling overwhelmed, I'm just feeling good.  I'm happy, and I feel so much better than I have about so many things in my life than I have in months.  I debated about whether or not Tech and traditional college was the route I needed to take, and now, I know that it was. 

5.  I'm talking to strangers.  I don't do that.  It's not me.  I have talked to at least 1 person I don't know everyday all week.  At least thus far.  I haven't been to school yet today, but I plan on doing it again today.

6.  I have managed to "let go" of things a little better.  Thankfully my husband cleans the house up to my standards, so I'm not feeling like I need to re-do that.  However at work, things are different.  Our temp has a different way of doing things, and it makes me crazy.  Different isn't bad, it's just different.  And apparently I'm a control freak.  I guess after the talking to strangers, I'll work on being less of a control freak. 

7.  I'm so annoyed with whatever is giving me grief on logging into the websites that allow me access to my homework.  I spent over an hour last night trying to get in to one, about 10 minutes before bedtime, it let me in.  I am switching to a different Internet provider, and hoping that will help.

8. There was serious speculation from my friends that I was addicted to Facebook and Farmville.  They will be proud to know that I'm lucky if I log in most days, and I'm not really missing it.  The only time I miss it is when I'm at work.

9.  I like all my classes but 1.  Out of 5 that's not a bad deal.  The nerd in me is loving this.  I could seriously get paid to take classes. 

10.  I'm trying to stay on top of things, and keep my husband on top of things too.  That is hard to do, I wanted him to help pick up the slack, but he has the memory of a goldfish.  I have went through and wrote all the pay bills on date in my planner.  Just don't trust him to remember to pay them yet, mostly because I'm the one who has done it for the 11.2 years we have been married.

11.  I signed up for Twitter, and I can't get it to work on my phone.  I'm apparently a control freak, and technologically challenged as well.

12.  I signed up for a Facebook page for this blog, but haven't finished designing my button (mostly because I don't know how).  I apparently need to call my 13 year old nephew and have him explain it all to me again.

Hmm, I wonder if Mr. President learned anything about himself when he did the State of the Union address.  I learned that I'm a control freak and technologically challenged.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When do you become an adult?

As I have started college, I have been amazed by the behaviors, and things that I have seen take place on a college campus.  Things that would be more at home in a high school or often a junior high school, rather than at a college.

For example, my Economics class is considered a "basic" class.  For the most part, regardless of your major, you must take so many Economics classes, so most of the people in these classes are Freshmen and Sophomores.  Assuming that most of the ages of the majority of the people are between 17-20, would you think that you would find sticking gum to he underside of the desk amusing?

So my question is this, at what point do you become an adult?

Some would say that going off to college and being responsible for your own actions would be a good place to start, yet, the gum under the desks has me questioning otherwise.

As I sit in these classes and look around the room at the students who are approximately 10 - 12 years younger than I am and I wonder what state businesses and our country will be in, once they begin to move out into the world.  It also makes me wonder at what point parents thought that it was "wrong" to teach their children about responsibility and "acting" appropriately. 

We were allowed food and drinks in the classroom in my high school.  Sure, there were a few classes, because of the days activities that had days when you weren't allowed.  You could chew gum, drink a coke, and eat a Snickers, yet I'm pretty sure that I don't recall any gum stuck under the desks.  The bad thing is that most of the gum is "fresh" because I sit in the exact same seat everyday.  The first day of class - no gum.  Yet on Thursday, my 3rd day in that classroom, there were 3 pieces of gum stuck to the underside.

Apparently going off to college doesn't make people an adult.  Obviously it has little to do with age either.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Age Discrimination

I was worried about starting college at 31.  I figured that I would be the oldest student in my classes, and that only the professors would be older than I am.  I wasn't far off. 

I have 2 classes where the instructor is older than myself.
I have 2 classes in which the instructor is close to my age, but won't actually give us a number, but based on certain aspects of their personality and mentality, I would say that one is probably older and the other younger than myself.
I have one class, where my instructor is 28 and working towards her PH.D.  Out of the 5 classes that I am taking, I only have 1 fellow student who is older than me.  Ouch.  Thankfully no one has asked me where my walker or depends were.

On the other hand, I have quickly learned that colleges discriminate.  They assume that all of their students will fit into this mold, and then they are shocked when they don't.

One particular business class that I am taking is helping to prepare students to enter the workforce.  I'm 30 years old, I have been there, entered that, several years ago.  I have had two separate careers, without a college degree.  When I was first out of high school, I worked for a crop insurance company.  I started out doing data entry, and then moved up to an underwriter.  I worked for several different companies over the course of a few years, and loved it.  More than likely I would still be there if things had worked out differently at the last company I worked for. 

The second career is my current one.  I have worked in the bookkeeping, accounting field for the last 4 years.  This is what I am going back to college for.  I have had jobs, I have been offered jobs, I have gone to job fairs and career fairs.  I don't really need a refresher on how to behave.

Yet this class has told me that I have to participate.  I have to skip one of my other classes in order to go to a career fair and talk to recruiters.  Wow.  I haven't had to do that in a few years.  I guess right after I lost my job at the crop insurance company.  So I'm not really looking forward to do this again.

I understand that the majority of the students in that class need to learn these skills, I fully grasp that.  But to someone who has "been there, done that" it is a big waste of time, and I feel that I'm not learning anything from this class.

It also makes me wonder how many other things out there the discriminate against age. 

I'm sure, that before I'm through at Tech, I will run into this problem again.  But in this current economy, there are so many people going back to school, so that they will have a degree to give them an edge, I feel for them all.  Because at 30, I'm a minority because of my age and my life experiences.  I was married by the point that most of my classmates where in their lives.  I have witnessed my grandfather fight hallucinations and other aspects of Alzheimer's, I have seen my father, who seemed perfectly healthy have two heart attacks, I have fought with doctor's and specialists, so that I might have a child of my own.  Things that the rest of my classmates can't even imagine going through. 

Perhaps, colleges as well as other businesses need to re-evaluate their practices and adjust, because there are a few of the 18 year old's out there that have "been there, done that" too.

I'm not saying that I deserve special treatment, but perhaps colleges should realize that they need to adjust their way of thinking and gear programs and classes towards older students as well.  There would be a lot less hostility and a lot better odds of people completing their degree programs too.

Friday, January 21, 2011

5 Question Friday

Yes, I know, shocker right.  All the sporadic posts since school has started, and here I am managing to do a 5 question Friday.  Blame it on going to bed at 9:40 last night.  I was exhausted, but today, I feel human again.  I'm pretty sure I won't be drooling in my business calculus class in a few hours from now.

Even though I'm am crazy busy, I'm also crazy happy, and having fun.  I'm also only slightly less sane than I was a week ago. So that should count for something.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.  Hopefully I will find a groove soon and get back to pre-writing most of my posts, so that things can return to normal, well at least around here.

1. Where did you meet your spouse and did you instantly know it was love?

I was dating my husband's best friend.  Now, before you go being all judgemental, let me explain.  We will call this friend Brandon.  I met Brandon, and he promptly took me to meet my husband John.  Every date, everything that Brandon and I did, John had to accompany us.  At first it wasn't by my choice, but then, he kinda grew on me.  He was cute, he was funny, he liked so many of the things that I did, music, movies, foods.  So it was only natural that we became friends.

Well, after a few weeks of this, I was trying to talk Brandon into taking me to a Country and Western bar so that we could go dancing.  He wanted to take me to a different place, where country music wasn't played.  I'm a farm girl, I like country.  I know how to two-step, waltz, and all the other required country dances.  Well, John saw his opportunity and said that he would go with me.  And, as they say, the rest is history.  We spent the evening together, we had tons of fun, talked, laughed, flirted.  I didn't know that he was the man I was going to marry, until a few weeks later, when he wanted to make plans with me on a Friday night, and I told him that I had a standing date on Friday nights, with my grandparents.  He simply told me that was awesome, and was Saturday night OK instead.  We were married 6 months later.  This year, we will celebrate our 12th anniversary.
2. What is your favorite room in your house?

Probably the laundry room.  It's usually always clean.  Ha!

I don't really have a favorite.  Some days the kitchen is full of awesome, and other days the bedroom is full of awesome.  It just depends on the mood I'm in.  When I get to decorate my dream house, they will all be my favorite. 
3. Can you wiggle your ears?

See the sarcastic person in me wants to say 'yes', then proceed to reach up with my hands and wiggle my ears.  Although, I'm pretty sure that wasn't the answer that you were looking for. 

But I'm too sarcastic to just let this go at that, so Yes, I can wiggle my ears. 

4. What is your evening ritual?

I usually fix dinner, clean up the kitchen, then settle in for a relaxing,entertaining, boring evening of doing homework.  At least that has been my new ritual.  Usually, about 10:20, after the local weather is over, we head to the kitchen to let the dogs out, wash any cups that we have been drinking out of, and then we do the whole, brush teeth, wash face, let dogs back in thing.  Then it's off to bed we go.  Since I have been doing homework, we usually lay in bed and talk about our day for a while, then we go to sleep.  My life is just so glamorous.

5. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?

That depends.  I can go a few days without getting 7+ hours.  But after a few long, active days, I need 8-10 hours of sleep, or I get physically sick.  I wake up, I barf, I'm fine.  I guess it's my bodies way of getting my attention.  I aim for around 8.  Last night I ended up with 9, but I was asleep before 10pm.  This morning, I feel human, I can function, I'm not clumsy, and goofy.  The less sleep I have the goofier I get.  The less patience I have, and the more things irritate me. 

So I try, mostly for my husband's sake, to get in 7+ hours most nights.  Otherwise, I'm pretty sure that he would divorce me, just for being so grouchy.

Thanks Mama!  I've missed you!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


There are a variety of forms of motivation.  Depends on the situation but it can be anything from smaller jeans, to a college degree, to living a longer, healthier life.  You just have to find it.

The last few weeks, I find myself saddened, by the poor choices that my father makes in regards to his health.  Almost 2 years ago he had 2 heart attacks within weeks of each other.  He tried to make the changes that were necessary for his health and well being, but unfortunately, that was easier said than done.  He is a cheeseburger-aholic and slightly allergic to most vegetables, unless large quantities of ranch dressing are involved.

The last few weeks, my mother and I have watched him and wondered how much longer he is going to be around.  When he finally caved and went to the doctor, he couldn't get shoes on because his feet were so badly swollen from the extra fluid that his body was carrying.  The fluid was up in his stomach and causing him difficulty breathing.  The doctor estimated that he was carrying around an additional 40-60 pounds of fluid.  My mom had to go buy him new pants so he could go to the doctor, because his regular sweats wouldn't go on.

This past weekend we were at there house installing a new light fixture in the kitchen, and I was amazed at his lack of thoughtfulness into his diet and efforts into getting the fluid off.  I realize that people who suffer from certain diseases, such as Congestive Heart Failure, and Diabetics are prone to their feet swelling.  As of this time he hasn't be diagnosed with either one of those conditions.

It saddens me, because I look at him, and wonder if he realizes that his stubbornness is going to cause so much hurt when he is gone.  Which, without some major lifestyle changes, might be sooner than we want it to be.  I'm sad that he doesn't realize that those choices are robbing his two grandchildren of their "Bop-pop".  I'm sad that more than likely he won't be around to see me graduate from Tech, or his grand-children graduate from high school.  I'm sad that he can't see the stress that this is putting on my mother, his mother, his father, his sister, my husband, his grandkids and even on myself. 

I realize that giving up salt and fried foods and the other junk that he eats is hard.  I realize that following a diet sucks.  But when it's a life or death situation what do you do?  I could stand to lose a few pounds too, but for the most part, my diet is healthy, and since I've started at Tech, I get more exercise in a day that I probably was getting in a week.  So too a certain extent, I'm preaching to the choir.

I wish that there was something profound that I could do or say, or that I could wave my magic wand and make him better.  Or at least make him want to get better.  Instead I think that he has given up on doing anything to make the situation better.  It broke my heart when we left on Saturday and I wondered on the way home, if it was the last time I would see him.  That's not a thought I want to have every time I walk out of their house.

I hope he realizes that you only get so many chances to make things right.  Once you have polluted and worn out your body, there isn't much more that you can do.  God only gives you so many chances, and sometimes one is all you get.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

College and The Old

Last week I started my first week at Tech.  I was really amazed at how much younger everyone was than me, including a few of my instructors. 

I realize that most people tend to go to college right out of high school and don't wait to get a clue until they are 30, but still.  To a certain extent, colleges cater to the young.  Trust me, I wish that I had done this at 18. 

I fully plan on having the college experience that I missed out on by not going at 18.  No, I'm not going to go out and party and sleep around like the people who typically go to this university are known for.  My husband might not approve.  I am going to try to get involved, and do things that I typically wouldn't do.  Isn't that what college is about too?  Not just getting an education, but experiences.  Am I going to be the oldest one there?  Probably so.  As long as no one mistakes me for their mother, then I'm good.

I'm amazed at how few people I see over the age of 22.  I have two instructors who are older than me.  One who is only older by 2 years, the other has kids around 18.  On one hand I think it's discriminating, on the other hand I think it's sad.

Why shouldn't people, irregardless of age not go back to school?  Is it intimidating?  Absolutely.  Especially for someone like me who doesn't like to talk to strangers.  I don't do well with people I don't know.  I don't do well speaking in front of large groups of people I don't know.  Heck, I don't even do well if I do know them.  In some of my smaller classes, I will probably warm up enough to them to be comfortable with talking to a few of them by the time the class is done.  Yet, here I am. 

I've also decided that I'm going to set a goal for every week.  Something that won't kill me, even though I'm sure it will, yet something that will get me out of my comfort zone.  I need to get over this fear that what I have to say isn't important, because in a sense, I'm saying that I'm not important.  And we all know that isn't true.  My opinions are just as important as the person sitting next to me, and the one across the room.  None of us wants to sound stupid.  So this week, I'm going to voluntarily participate in a discussion.  If you don't see another post then, apparently my comment about it not killing me wasn't as accurate as I had hoped.  I may be older than all of the people in my classes, but I have wisdom that comes with age, and my own life experiences.  They can learn something from me, just like I can learn something from them.

Even if I am old.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First Day of School

Well, I survived.  Barely.  There were definite hits taken. 

As I was walking from my parking space to the bus stop, I was concerned, because several rows away from my truck was a prairie dog that was slightly flattened.  I hoped it wasn't a bad omen for the day.

I made it to the bus stop, boarded the bus and began my tour of campus.  All the while praying that I wouldn't forget where to get off at, and that I could find the building that my first class was located in.  Thankfully, I didn't screw that up, although I did arrive about 45 minutes before my class started.  Oops.  Thankfully my husband didn't have anything to do and we sent text messages back and forth.  That really helped to calm my nerves.  It was normal, just like any other day, except instead of sitting at my desk, I was sitting in a hallway, in a building, on Tech campus.

I set through my first class, had lunch with my husband, got lost looking for the building for my next class.  Almost thought about crying, but didn't.  Finally found the right building, and class.  Overall, it wasn't a bad day.  I get to do it all over again tomorrow.

It's funny, I really thought I would miss all the time I spent on facebook, but so far so good, but it's only been three days.  How long does it take for withdrawals to set it?  Is it immediately or does it take a few days?

Orientation - From the eyes of a 30 year old

Monday I was oriented with Tech.  More like fed a whole bunch of info and walked about 12.2 miles in the frigid temperatures for several very long hours.

I'll admit, the closer I got to campus the more nervous I got.  I'm 31 years old.  Most people go to college at 18ish.  Obviously I didn't get the memo.  But holy cow batman.  I went it, and picked up my paperwork, got all my goodies, got a ton of information on parking, financial aid, extra activities, and more.  I had wandered around, about all that I cared too, and I decided to walk out the nearest door.  It just happened to be the door that the parents who came with their student checked in at.  As I walked out, I had someone ask me if I was looking for my student.  Jerk.  My husband was amazed that I didn't club the guy.  I probably should have, but after I assured him that I wasn't 40 or 50 (made a mental note to buy better anti-aging cream).  I managed to talk to a complete stranger, for a good portion of the morning.  And I didn't stick my foot in my mouth, and I didn't puke, so it was a win-win all around.

Temperatures were below freezing, it was windy, and generally miserable.  We walked from one building to another building - let me note that I use walked lightly.  For someone who is 5'4" tall walk wasn't what I was doing to keep up.  I was more or less jogging.  I wasn't prepared to job and my asthma didn't go for that.  It took about 4 puffs on an inhaler to get my breathing back to normal.  But after that little jog, I made sure that I allowed plenty of time to walk back and forth between the buildings.

I'm registered.  I'm official and in a few hours, I will be sitting in my first class.  Wish me luck - and pray that I don't puke from all the nerves.

Give me a few days, and we will hopefully get back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Extended Vacation

It all started out innocently enough.  I was simply going to take a week off.  Then one week led to two and that led on into week 3. 

So much has been going on, and yet at the same time so little.  I think that mentally I have been trying to gear up for the changes that are coming.  For the changes that I really can't prepare for.  Sure, I know that starting school will change things with my job, and with my home life, but even though I have tried to anticipate those changes, I haven't really been able to do so.  I haven't been able to do much - other than try not to panic.

There have been so many unanswered questions - and then more questions.  I was worried about my job - turns out I didn't need to be.  I am worried about how these changes are going to effect things around my house.  I would bet that they will all work out just fine.

As ready as I thought I was, I find myself doubting my own abilities.  I'm so afraid that I'm going to fail.  I'm so afraid that I'm going to disappoint someone.  Ok, I'm more afraid that I'm going to disappoint myself.  I'm so afraid that I'm going to graduate and get a job and discover that this wasn't really what I wanted or even worse - that I suck at it.

Either way, I have to suck it up and just live with it, and try to make the best out of it.  Because ready or not, tomorrow at 12:00pm, central standard time, I will be sitting in my first class at Tech.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Believing hear, what you deserve to hear:
Your birthday as my own to me is dear...
But yours gives most; for mine did only lend
Me to the world; yours gave to me a friend.

Cue cheesy Friends intro.

Sorry, with a title like that I just had to do it. Besides, when your crying later you will appreciate the gesture.

My friend Andrea lost her childhood friend Leslie last Wednesday. The day before Thanksgiving. Andrea is a year or so older than I am and they had been friends since they were just little tykes.

I can relate. I have a friend that I have known since kindergarten. We have been friends for 27 years. I can't imagine her not being a part of my life. Andrea is having to find out the hard way how to do that.

My husband lost both of his grandfathers this year, within just months of each other. Both had health problems, when it came down to it, one was inevitable, the other was a surprise. Both hurt him tremendously.

Unfortunately in life there is no owners manual that tells you how to deal with a problem like this. There is no manual that tells you it's ok to grieve and for how long, and that it's ok to have a breakdown in the middle of Tar-get on a Tuesday night. Or in the middle of Wally world when you see a display of chocolate covered cherries.

I would like to tell my husband and Andrea that contrary to popular belief and the way that they feel at that exact moment goes away. That sharp pain because dull, and then after a while it throbs less and less frequently. The bad news is, it never completely goes away. Contrary to what other people tell you. That was the hard part for me to understand.

I thought that by now, knowing that my grandfather has been gone for 8 years that I wouldn't tear up when I saw that display of chocolate covered cherries. I would love to say that my heart doesn't ache when I work on rebuilding his navy scrapbook, I would love to say that I can look at his picture on my dresser from our wedding day and not wish that he was still around. How I would love to be able to talk to him about some of the things that I hear at school and about some of the things that I see at work. Yet, I'm going to have to wait until I get a trip to heaven to accomplish that.

As I think about Andrea dealing with the loss of her friend, I'm comforted by the fact that she know has a beautiful guardian angel who is saving her a seat in heaven, for when they get to meet again. I hope that she can find some comfort in that.


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