Sunday, March 4, 2012

-insert witty title here-

I've decided to try to go back to my natural color... It's still growing on me, but I think it's good.

Well, phase 2 of P90X is done. I’ve lost nearly 9 pounds, and several inches from various parts of my body. I hurt my knee a few weeks back, so I was really taking it easy so as not to injure myself anymore. Tomorrow start phase 3, and I’m ready to BRING IT, with even more intensity, since my knee now feels 100% pain free! YAY!

I finished up Chemistry. I’m proud to say that I passed it with an 84%! That was one freakin’ hard class, y’all! I’m now taking a class on persuasive writing, and have finished week one. Thank goodness this is just a 5.5 week course. My gpa is 3.25, and I'm good with that.

I’m still seeing “that guy”. We’ve been dating for 4 months now, and he has yet to meet Pam and Matt. I’m not sure why not, but they all seem ok with that.  We will be going on a whale watching excursion (just “that guy” and I) next weekend. I’m totally looking forward to it. I’ll (hopefully!) take pictures and post them later.

We went to dinner at a phenomenal sushi place a few weekends back. All I can say is AH-MAZING!

Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice

Some kind of shrimp... I think it was the only actual cooked seafood we had that night.

Halibut with kumquats and tomato

Can't remember the name of this one... it was good, but a bit spicy!

Pan-seared tuna, with spicy mustard.... OMG!!!

Salmon, again. And yes, those are quail eggs!
When our friend asked if they served quail eggs, I thought she was asking about quail *legs*... this is much better than a dripping leg of bird!

I received flowers on Valentine's Day for what I'm pretty sure is the first time (for VDay, that is!) The cool thing? They happen to be one of my favorite flowers. I'm not sure if I'd mentioned that or not, but I'm pretty impressed with how 1) thoughtful it was of him to gift them to me and 2) that if I *had* mentioned that they were my favorites, that he remembered and then picked them out!

So pretty!

How can I not smile when I see this?

Work at the store is plugging along. I was told that I’m getting a raise this pay period. It’ll be nice to see if it actually takes place. Life is just…. Nice and slow. It’s a good thing.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Things that make you go hummmmm

Or, maybe not.

So, I haven't wanted to say much about the choice I made back on January 9th. Pam and Matt started talking about doing P90X for the {third} time, and asked me if I wanted to join them. I could have said "No". But... I didn't. I took the fit test and was "deemed worthy" and so jumped into it not really knowing what to expect. I wont lie, it's been hard. It's a little hard on my joints (knees and wrists, mostly), but then again, many things are hard on my joints. WORK is hard on my joints. But, even after a month I'm feeling better. Less exhausted most days. Less stressed out. And, even though it's only been a month, I can see some changes in my body. Not extreme by any means, but just enough to know that it's worth it. I think I'm going to be buying some new clothes in another 60 days! I'm stronger. I can feel it. Just some of the tasks that I've had to do at work that used to be a struggle because items were heavy, I can lift, carry, do what I need to do. It's pretty cool what a difference a month can make. I'm so glad that Pam and Matt are here, encouraging me to just keep going!

I've just completed week 8 of my chemistry class. Took this week's quiz, and actually made a "B" on it. I've been getting "A's" on my regular assignments, but the quizzes have been hard for me to know just what to study for/take notes on, because sometimes the lecture notes don't match the quiz! Anyway, I'm still making a B in that class. Imagine that, ME, making a B in chemistry. I'm a little proud of myself.

I've been given more responsibility at work lately. Hopefully a raise will follow. We had our corporate inspection happen a couple of weeks ago. I just so happened to be working when the inspector came in. It was quite nice to have him pause, take a *DEEP* breath and comment on how much better it smelled in there. And then to continually talk about how much cleaner the store was, and what an improvement it was. (yup patting myself on the back!)  Also, we scored a 247/250. I'm not sure what our previous scores had been, but I'm pretty sure this was a crazy huge improvement.

Not much else going on. I'm... content right now. School's going good. Work is going well. I'm seeing someone very regularly, and I'm very happy with the status quo. Life is, well, good! {bet you didn't think those words would cross my keyboard!}

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 Year in Review.....

Many things have happened this past year, and I suppose it’s time to tell y’all about them.

January: I got smart and decided that it was time to go back to school. I enrolled in online courses through South University on January 4th, and my first class started January 10th. Since then, I’ve taken 32 credits, and after checking out my gpa, I’ve got a cumulative of 3.2. Not fantastic, but it’ll do. My goal is to get an associates degree in health science, then get into nursing school. Long road with lots of classes, but it will be worth it in the long run.

April: Danielle and Jeremy broke up. He moved out, and the long process of separation begins. There were a few times when I thought they were going to get back together, but it doesn’t look like it. If only they could have met 5 years from now, they would have been perfect for each other. Life got crazy for me after Jeremy left. Danielle got a job, and I started juggling school, work and watching Allie while Danielle worked.

May: Allie turned a year old. Our daily routine consisted of me stumbling into the kitchen to make my coffee, and Allie trotting (crawling, and later walking) into my room as I sipped my coffee and started my homework. I miss our early morning “chats”. On Memorial Day, I decided to take my sister, Pam, up on her offer to live in California while taking classes. I put in my 8 week notice at work and try to figure out what I would take with me, and what I could leave behind.

July: I spent the 4th of July weekend with my sister, Kate, and her family in Virginia Beach. It was a very nice visit, and bittersweet, as I knew it was going to be the last one I would take to see them for a very long time. I brought Allie with me, and Kate’s son, Preston really took a shine to “baby Allie”. Hopefully, Danielle can make an effort to go see them and keep that connection going.

August: THE BIG MOVE! I arrived the day before a mini-family reunion, and it was great to see half the family and also meet my mom’s fiancĂ©e (although THAT didn’t happen until after we met Spencer). I had a two week break from classes, and it was nice to just breathe, look for a job and get settled.

September: Took a quick trip to Idaho, for my mom’s wedding to Spencer. The sisters that ended up in Idaho spent 2 days cooking and setting up our sister, Beth’s home and back yard for an open house. Pam and her husband Matt also left for a 6 week bike ride down the Pacific Coast from the Canadian Border to the Mexican Border. If interested, you can read their trip journal here: Crazy guy on a bike

October: Still had no luck finding a job. I was really starting to get worried! (I did manage to meet a really nice guy though….)

November: Sucked up my pride and went crawling back to Coldstone about mid-month. Was offered a job as a manager at a store about 20 miles from my home, part time, so it works with my classes, and, well, making about the same pay as I was making at my old store. Not much, but it will pay the bills with a little bit extra at the end of the month. Thanksgiving was spent with new friends eating at a very nice Chinese restaurant, watching a movie and then great conversation and wine into the late evening.

December: I’m now working 5 days a week, but still only about 20-25 hours a week. Mainly closings, but I think I’m ok with that. Solstice came and went. I didn’t do much to celebrate the rebirth of the sun, although I did have a new nephew born on that day, how awesome is that?  Christmas Eve was spent making lasagna, playing a new game and watching Fellowship of the Ring. Christmas Day, was spent eating left over lasagna, and finishing up the trilogy. Did I mention all three of them were the extended editions? J Good company, great entertainment. All in all it was a good weekend.

Now, I’m anticipating my birthday. Not sure what I’m going to do, besides work the opening shift. It’s going to be my first year (in about 11!) without my Tansy girl to celebrate with. But really, at 40+ who really celebrates birthdays, anyway?

Well, that’s my 2011 in a very condensed form. Happy New Year, y’all! Hope the next year is more joyful, more peaceful and perhaps even more prosperous for all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Life in California...

I've been here for 3 months now. I'm still in the process of finding a job, and it's totally humiliating that a mature woman can't even get an interview to work at a fast food joint. I do have to admit that I've taken a few days off here and there from scouring Cragislist and hitting up retail websites to give myself a mental break, but all in all, it's been a nearly full time job with out the rewards.

HOWEVER, last week I did what I vowed I WOULDN'T do when I moved. I marched myself down to the closest Ice Cream shop, and told them that I used to be an assistant manager at a store in North Carolina, I was looking for a job, and did they have any openings. Of course the girl at the counter did her job and pretty much shoo-ed me off with the whole "it's the slow season" spiel. As I was trudging to my car, very disappointed mind you, she came running out the store and asked me to come back in and fill out an application, because I had "experience". Ok..

Needless to say, the manager called me this morning and asked me for a contact number for my former manager in North Carolina. I received another call this evening, and I get to go in for an interview tomorrow morning. We shall see if I can WOW him and get a few hours a week in.

My life has been wonderfully.. slow. Taking a class at a time (granted, they are INTENSE!) and that's about it. I've met a few people here, some I'm really thankful that I did, others, well,.. I'll reserve judgment on.

So, I'm wondering... since my life seems oh-so-boring, should I even bother with this blog anymore? OR, should I tell everyone about the mostly boring life of a 40+ woman, trying to go to school, find herself, meet a man who will respect her, and start a new life on the opposite coast? The ups and downs of dating as a "mature" woman can be hilarious, but the question is, do I want to expose myself that way? I've been wondering, since I seem to be the "black sheep of the family" do I revel in that post, and try to maintain it on purpose? That's a question that has been asked of me this past week. Do I tell my family (or the world at large) things about my life to scandalize and tantilize, or because I want them to enjoy my life? It's an interesting thought.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I fell in love.......

(Second essay in my Comp class, and I think it's rather good.... I had to share.... Now to find out what my grade is.)

I met her on my eighteenth birthday. I was young, naive, and fell instantly in love. Her big brown-gray eyes, her soft dark hair and her cute button nose clenched the deal. The moment the nurse placed that beautiful, little bit of a thing in my arms I felt utterly at peace for the first time in several months. And although that peace was short lived, for at least a few moments I caught a glimpse of the future. As I put my child to my breast and felt her suckle, as the oxytocin flowed, we fell in love. I felt at peace, content, and I knew from that moment on, my life would NEVER be the same again. I felt a connection to women all over the world, and knew that there was nothing I couldn’t do, and nothing I wouldn’t do for my child. And now, 22 years later, a new bond has formed one that has taken me entirely by surprise.

Nobody had prepared me for the utter joy and contentment that motherhood could bring. The first time I truly understood how amazing a newborn could be was when my mother brought home my baby sister. I was 4 at the time, and I remember my mom sitting for hours, rocking Beth in a wooden rocking chair crooning the lullabies that she used to sing to me to that tiny blonde baby, and she would look so content. I would imitate my mother, and rock my baby dolls and sing to them, try to nurse them like my mother would do my baby sister. But a baby doll is a poor substitute for an infant, and the emotional reactions that happen when you hold a baby don’t happen when you hold a doll. There are things that can’t be taught, you have to learn through experience. Motherhood is one of those things.

As I held my first born, I suddenly understood the beaming Madonna in portraits. Before this moment, I never understood why she looked so happy, so ecstatic. As a mother, I felt initiated into a secret society of women. I felt that this was the meaning of life: to give life, and to nurture life. This was what I was meant to do. All those years playing with my dolls, then later babysitting the neighbor kids was just the prelude, I was finally stepping on stage for the opening act. Seeing those big brown-gray eyes looking back at me as my child took nourishment from me for the first time was the single most awe-inspiring moment of my life.

Later, as my child grew bigger, the awe inspiring moments were fewer and further between. Nevertheless, at certain moments, the oxytocin would kick in, and the peace and contentment would reign supreme in my soul. If I was feeling stressed out, I would snuggle her into me and sing those lullabies that my mother would sing to me, and I would feel contentment, joy, at peace. These scenes of joy and difficulty would repeat themselves as I grew as a mother and my child grew into a strong-willed individual.

My life took on a whole new dimension as a few short months ago as another beautiful child was laid in my arms. Looking down into her gray-blue eyes as she stared back up at me, gave me such a feeling of contentment that I hadn’t felt in nearly 18 years. Holding my first grandchild in my arms for the first time was a reawakening of my soul. Feeling her tiny fingers clasp around my pinky, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the world is a much better place because she is here. Suddenly, the same feelings that I felt all those years ago while holding my first born were renewed, but with a depth that I never knew existed.

It’s amazing how my life has come full circle. As I was holding my newborn, I didn’t think I would ever feel so at peace with the world. Now, nearly twenty two years later, I find that I can get back that intoxicating feeling. I cannot imagine anything else that can bring me to that

level of contentment, apart from for watching my children, and then my grandchildren, grow up and have families of their own. If I can see my progeny have even half as much joy in their lives through sharing them with the ones they love, then I will consider my life well lived.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In case you're curious

Four months. Really? Four whole months? Not a whole lot has happened, I don’t think, but I guess I should be nice and post “something”.

That “nice guy” I was seeing the last time I posted? Still a nice guy, just not MY nice guy. We parted ways in early December. We still talk about once a week, but really wasn’t my cup of tea. Sorry Luigi!

Allie, November 2010

Allie, November 2010

Allie had her first Christmas. It was a blast watching her play with the paper. We survived quite a few days of snow down here in the South, and the December/January was fairly brutally cold. This former Idahoan has thin blood and can’t stand the cold. I’m ready for Spring already!

Christmas Morning, 2010

Our little snow angel, December 26, 2010


I became a mother-in-law for the second time. Tansy and David tied the knot December 29th, 2010. They had a ceremony down at the courthouse and a dinner at David’s mom’s house to celebrate. They are planning a “party” at some point in the summer (maybe?) to celebrate with family and friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Perlman, December 29, 2010

Yup, still at Coldstone.....

I started taking online classes this January. I finished my first class already; I received an “A” in it. Right now, in class #2, I’m maintaining an “A” average. I take a class at a time, and they last 5.5 weeks. It’s a little intimidating, but I’m getting into the swing of things.

Danielle and I took a trip up to Virginia Beach the last week of February. We got to meet Kate’s newest baby, and Mom and Pam were out visiting at the same time, so they all got to meet Allie. Unfortunately, the Lineberrys got sick while we were there! We did, however, manage to get a 4 generation picture taken! Thanks Pam!

Allie as the "Pumpkin Fairy" February 2011

Kate and Parleigh, February, 2011

Four Generations: Allie, Danielle, Gwen

Allie is now crawling all over the place, and has figured out how to go up a step. We just don’t live anywhere that let’s her explore multiple steps. I think I’ll have to bring her over to my friend Kelly’s house to explore the staircase. J She is also pulling herself to a standing position and trying to “cruise”. She’s growing up WAY too fast!

Did you see those mad skillz?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Life has been, interesting to say the least. I’m not even sure where to begin. I guess I’ll start with the least interesting.

Work. I’m now working a grand total of 3 nights a week, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for it, but I feel like I get the crap hours, with too much to do, not enough experience to do it. I thought I was *GREAT* at mulit-tasking, but when I’m there, I really SUCK at it.

Take last night for example. BUSY Saturday night. The 2 “kids” that worked the front did great! There was pretty much a constant line, and they never once asked me to come help. I stayed in the back and tried to get stuff accomplished. Up and down ladders, making ice cream, trying to wash dishes, and yet, I was still behind all night. I couldn’t seem to catch up.

It didn’t help that there was a cake to be decorated, and so the other asst. manager came in to do it on her day off. I don’t do decorating, and it really really intimidates me. Anyway, instead of showing me the techniques and letting me try, she kept showing me, then saying, “you know how to do it, you’ll remember”. I need to do and do and do, and then maybe I’ll get it. So, she was leaving me to do the border, which, yeah, I can do, but for some reason I got really really intimidated and started crying about it. Yup, Gwen had a breakdown at work. BAD NIGHT! Got the border done, added a few sprinkles, and it looks ok, but maybe Cakewrecks worthy. UGGG. So, I asked the kids to let me work in the back, and I started to work on ice cream. I froze up 2 batches of ice cream last night. NOT GOOD. I was able to salvage most of it, but the night just really sucked. But, it didn’t kill me, and now I know that I can handle some crisis at work.

Allie… what can I say? She is growing like a weed. I think I’m the luckiest grandma in the world. Perhaps I’m biased? She’s just amazing! I get to wake up to her squeals daily, watch her wiggle and giggle and squirm all the time, and see her grow. Yup, I’m lucky! Danielle sent me a text while I was at work last night and said she rolled over from her back to her tummy. Yay, Allie!

Isn't she the cute-ist??

Men? Let’s see. I’ve met a very interestingly nice man. His name is Robert, he grew up in Pittsburg, is Italian, works in the restaurant industry. We keep saying we’ll take it slow and not see each other for a day or something, and what do you know, we end up seeing each other. We made it “Facebook official” the other day. Cause you know it's not "official until it's Facebook Official".

He has met Danielle and Allie, and thinks they are pretty awesome. And, I think he’s got their seal of approval. We (me & Robert, Danielle and Allie) took a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the leaves one day this past week, and he handled Allie not liking her carseat at the end of the day rather well. That’s a good thing. He actually had his first picnic that day…. Can you imagine? That blows my mind, actually!

The sun was shining and the wind was blowing... it was chilly. But we had a good time!