OR
Liz Attempts Yard Work As It Is Spring and Her Grass (read: WEEDS) Is Beginning To Grow

OR
A Wheel Pin and a Pin Wheel Are Two Entirely Different Things, No Matter What You Might Think

OR
My Dad Is Terrific But We’re Both Unobservant As Heck

OR
Yard Work Is Just as Crappy As I Thought It Would Be, and I Will Continue To Avoid It If At All Possible

Ok, I think that I’ve sufficiently titled this piece. It should be known from the start that I loathe yard work, despite rather enjoying being outdoors when it’s nice weather. It is entirely possible my loathing of yard work stems from only on the rarest of occasions being asked to participate in that activity during my formative years, and witnessing the sweaty, exhausted mess my dad always looked upon completion of these tasks.

In the last year, however, I’ve had to put in a little effort to make the outside of my house (halfway) presentable. I can now confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that yard work does indeed suck and I tend to look much like my father looks after spending much time at it.

It should also be known that my dad is an amazing man who is making up for his failure (just joshin’, Dad) to teach me about how to take care of one’s property as a youth by making the two-hour trip down from Birmingham to help me with the disaster the Ex and I created over the last three years in this home. He’s had a few month reprieve with the wintry weather, but spring has officially sprung and my weeds are again thriving and in need of a trim. So Dad drove down to teach me how to use my riding lawn mower on Saturday.

Some things you should know about this mower:

  • It is about nine years old.
  • the Ex was formerly jumping off the battery and pumping up two of the tires before each use.
  • Neither Dad nor I have any idea how to use it.
  • It has had nothing but the most basic maintenance paid to it since the Ex and I obtained it seven years ago.

Dad had excellent intentions at the outset: get the tires patched so we don’t have to pump them up before every use. Last time he was kind enough to replace the battery, a generally successful venture. Saturday, it was to be the tires. And they were! Oh, those poor tires were beautifully whole again, and the only expense was $30 and a couple of trips to the tire shop.

And the tires went back on the mower with a fair amount of ease. And we filled the gas tank. And we cranked it up. And we engaged the wheels. Aaaaaand… nothing. The mower did not move. Dad and I, not being small-engine savvy, were a bit stumped. But as I say, my father is something of a genius, and after we found the owner’s manual online, Dad did a little hunting and discovered that the problem was probably a missing Wheel Pin.

Ten minutes and removal of both back wheels proved that this theory was correct. When the back tire was removed, the wheel pin (a little rectangular metal pin that fits into a groove on the axle) had fallen out. Fine and dandy, just search the driveway and it shouldn’t be too hard to miss, right?

Wrong. I have a gravel driveway, if you recall. Once lost, one might as well be hunting one’s teenaged daughter at a Justin Bieber concert. Or perhaps an autographed copy of the Bible. It just isn’t likely to happen unless you are extremely, extremely lucky. And of course, Dad and I are not known for our abilities to find needles in haystacks (or even boxes of cereal in small pantries), so our efforts (long though they may have been) were for naught. No wheel pin was located. And sadly, it was really too late in the day to acquire a new one.

And so, my weeds live to grow another week. Or two. Or ya know, until someone complains, which in my neighborhood, isn’t likely to happen until August, if ever. Viva la Weeds!

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Almost a Hugh Grant movie, right?

This weekend was one of the more emotionally turbulent of my existence. Rarely have I experienced such desperate lows and such jubilant highs all in one day.

My grandmother’s funeral was on Saturday.

That was tough.

She was an inspiring woman I will never ever forget. I can’t imagine one situation in my future that wouldn’t be improved by her being around for it. Not one. I don’t want to think about her being in a better place, though I know she is. I want to think that this place was better for her being in it, and my own selfish heartbreak over the whole thing is clearly paramount to all.

The service was in one of her favorite places, Wilson Chapel in Roebuck. She helped make that church what it is today and every element of the environment honored her. It was also evident that she was loved in the community. She moved to Columbus, Georgia about four years ago and STILL so many people from her life in Birmingham took the time to come to her visitation and funeral.

Needless to say, this comprised the lower parts of the day. Of course I got to see my extended family for the first time together since Christmas, and there were also celebrations to be had. Two of my cousins have recently proposed to their (then) girlfriends. Congratulations all around! Best wishes to all! These lovely ladies are most welcome to the family. And the best part is, it was really nice to have something to be happy about at this occasion. Very nice indeed.

From the graveside, we returned to my parents’ house for food and more family time. Emotions were elevating by this point. We shared stores of Miss M, of our years so far, etc, etc… it was fun and relaxed.

I went from there to a dear high school friend’s wedding and reception. Beautiful in every respect, and really good fun. The band amazed me, and it was the first wedding I’ve attended where people actually danced. A lot. With wild abandon. And I danced! With some of my favorite people from high school. Gosh it was fun. I got to let go for a little while, which was nice considering my life as a whole at the moment.

All I needed was a dashing British man showing up at each of these functions being flippant and witty and forward. Meh. I think I did alright with out him 🙂

The ol’ laptop had a meltdown this week, and so did I. The two were closely related.

Bright and early Monday morning (read: around 10AM) I discovered the backlight on my laptop monitor was not functioning. Meaning, I could not see what was going on on my computer screen. Meaning, I could get no work done. Fortunately email is universal and I could check that on my parents-in-law’s computer, but many of my absolutely essential daily files were unreachable on my pitiful computer. And my p-i-l’s (hahahahha, sorry that could become a very widely used pun — parents-in-law = pills? hehe! not that I think of mine that way at all, but I’ve definitely heard the horror stories) computer barely has internet. I’m not trying to be snippy or anything, they just don’t use those programs which are essential to my work: excel and word. So they don’t have them. And that limited my ability to get things done.

Enter the meltdown: I have no money with which to get my computer fixed. And I have fleas in my house that also cost money to be rid of. Must I choose between being able to do my job efficiently (or at all) and having a flea-free home? It’s an impossible decision. So I chose both. And (fingers crossed) I will just make some fantabulous sales this week. No problem!!

A woman can only be strong for so long. Sometimes she just has to have a little meltdown. This was my week of wallowing in frustration and near-fury. And depression and delicious food.

No need to feel sorry for me: my computer is well again, and the fleas are doomed to their destiny of chemical induceddeath tomorrow at 1pm. It’s under control, and I am mostly under control. I woke up at 6:15 this morning (heaven knows why, but I’ll take it), have my second load of laundry washing, put sheets on the bed, sent in orders I got earlier this week, washed myself and my ridiculously long hair (which, by the by, will be significantly shorter around 2:15 today), and I’m all dressed and ready for my 10:30 appointment, which doesn’t start for another hour. I’m on top of things, for once, so I’m going to keep up the momentum by posting here and then doing my  makeup before I scoot out the door.

Ta ta for now!

I’ve had a remarkable number of security scares this year. One at my parents’ house and the other at my parents’-in-law’s house. Now my iffy-luck has struck again… and this time it wasn’t just a scare. My sister-in-law’s house was broken into on Tuesday night while they were at the beach. Thank God they weren’t at home at the time, but I will say that these crooks seem to have been incredibly narrow minded.

Now, criminals are not all known for their intelligence, but I guess if you manage to get away and never get caught, you’re ahead of the game. But this/these guy/guys/girl/girls was/were (wow…just…wow) very focused in their thievery. They skipped the multitudes of firearms and electronics available and went for the sentimental jewelry and prescription meds. Whoever did this makes me think they were in it for the drugs and anything they could pawn for drug money. I know my sister-in-law and her family are all very relieved that this is all the burglars took, but I find the whole situation very sad.

The younger of S-i-L’s two children has informed me multiple times since the incident ocurred that there’s a ‘hole in my house.’ S-i-L had some jewelry that was very meaningful to her stolen, and when she cries about the loss, it really isn’t about the financial aspect of it. It just hurts. Not to mention how violated they must all feel. Someone has been in their home who was not invited and been through many of their p0ssessions. At least the thief was narrowly focused on what he/she/they wanted, but I’m certain that (unless the burglar was a friend who knew their home well) they had to search for what they wanted, at least a little bit. Creepy.

And in some ways, I have a hard time ‘hating’ the thief. To me, they seem totally desperate, as if whatever drug they’re on was dictating how they behave. People make such bad choices when they are addicted to drugs. And I can’t say for certain that this wasn’t an unplanned attack (I mean, S-i-L and family haven’t spent a night away from home since April that I’m aware of), but it has that feel. Now, if any of this had happened to my home, I’m certain I wouldn’t feel even remotely sorry for the thief. But looking at it from the outside, I do have pity on anyone in a situation where they feel they must steal from others to get by.

I wonder what would get me to that point? How much lower would I have to fall before I’d be willing to steal? Just asking myself those questions helps me to see how incredibly fortunate I am. I may not have much money in the bank. I may be in desperate need of a job. My hubby may be having issues with his schooling and may not be able to work. But I’ve got a roof over my head, I’ve never once gone hungry, and I have an incredible network of family that is helping keep us supported and afloat. And thank God I’m not syphoning all of the money I have into any form of addiction. And on the other side of that coin, I’ve never been robbed (knock on wood — such superstition not two sentences from thanking God… shameful) and I don’t have children to worry about taking care of just yet.

But for S-i-L and family, this wasn’t just a security scare, this was a violation, and I hope the police find whoever did this and gets them help (and gets her jewelry back!!)!

I’ve been a busy girl the past few weeks, which is always good. Lots of appointments last week, more than half of which did not result in any on-the-spot sales, but I think interest was high and they’ll get back to me with orders in the next couple of weeks.

So far today, I’ve been following up on several such meetings that took place over the past few months. I’m not in love with this concept. Following up usually involves getting on the phone. As my blog followers will know, I hate the phone.

However, I’ve been listening to this audio book called Goals by Brian Tracy and it’s got me thinking about how self defeating it is to worry about phone calls. Apparently, worrying is a form of negative visualization that gets your super-consciousness (or some other such nonsensical word) preparing to fail. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophesy. I think I’ve said something to this effect before, but basically as long as you think you’re going to fail, you probably will. If you think you will succeed, you have a better chance of doing so. So I’m working on changing my mindset. We’ll see how it goes – I’ll keep you updated on that!

This past weekend Hubby and I spent with our families, with is always very nice. As I’m not always home to cook meals, it’s actually really quite nice to have a “home cooked meal.” We’ve had several so far this weekend! Shout out to our Moms! Love you, ladies!

And last night I had dessert with Dear, Funky and Fabulous Friends – Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Fun! I am feeling fairly sickly today and was last night as well, so I was probably not nearly as hysterically funny as usual. However, there were a few moments of funny:

  • A bug flew down the back of my shirt (as we were outside) and I basically flipped out.
  • Dear Friend is contemplating naming some future/as yet unconceived daughter Lucy. Completelyunintentionally, I used the phrase “I Love Lucy.” And then I laughed, in a rather goofy manner, which was probably funnier than the original Freudian slip.
  • I think that’s it, but 2 bullet points just look lonesome. 🙂

And now, I’m going to go kick some follow-up’s butts. Au revoir!