Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The last day

I have appreciated the opportunity this past month to reflect on the things that I am grateful for. Today, I must admit that November is nearly done.

I have learned quite a bit about myself this month. There is a lot to be grateful for. I plan on coming back to this month's postings when life starts to drag me down. I may need these reminders from time to time that life doesn't totally suck.

Every day is full of little joys and little annoyances. Some days bring big joys or big annoyances. If it was all of one, you wouldn't appreciate or recognize the other.

I contributed to an insightful bit of banter today that has little to do with 'gratitude' other than I was grateful to have participated:

"Common sense is over rated and over stated."

Count your blessings that you are beyond common!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A good morning

It's Monday. My teen is not a morning person. He couldn't figure out how to use the new shower knob (probably because it actually worked correctly, unlike the one that it replaced).

However, he did everything he was supposed to do this morning AND put up the new holiday tree too.

It's the little things that make a day bearable.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tools and skills

The faucet on our shower broke yesterday. It was nearly impossible to turn the water on, or to a proper temperature. Part of me wanted to panic. Plumbing?!?!?! Of course it would happen on a Saturday. Oh dear. What were we going to do without a shower/bath until sometime Monday or Tuesday. Panic. Panic.


I decided to see if I could figure out what was wrong. I got a screwdriver and removed the handle from the faucet. The circular portion inside that surrounded the mechanism to manage the water flow had broken, so that it couldn't grip the mechanism fully any longer. I wondered if I could get a replacement handle, or if I would have to get a whole new assembly. If I could get a new handle that would work, I could avoid a plumber encounter.

I went to Home Depot with the broken part in my pocket. I saw a few shower faucet assemblies before I found the aisle with the replacement bits. There were boatloads to choose from. Fortunately, the packaging is such that you can open it up and see if you're getting the right part before you buy it. I looked at a few before deciding on the one that seemed the most likely replacement part for my broken handle.

I didn't go straight home. I ran some other errands while I was out. Then, I forgot about it when I first got home. A few hours later I remembered. I was pretty nervous when I entered the bathroom with the part in my hand. If this didn't work, we were pretty screwed for a few days.

I was impressed when the part seemed to fit perfectly. I put the handle back together, and then I tested the assembly out. Victory! Not only did it work, it seemed to fit more snugly than the last handle had.

With my new found confidence, I decided to mount a hook in my closet today with my (relatively) new drill. I hadn't used it myself yet. I had gotten K to use it yesterday to install a hook and eye assembly for me. Using the drill myself turned out to be wicked easy too!

I can hardly wait to buy the Dremel tool I've been eying for the last few days. This whole "Tool Time" theme could get addictive!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Got stood up!

Yes, and that is what I am grateful for.

I was going to meet a friend at a free concert in Nashua this evening. Nashua had closed the streets of downtown to vehicular traffic. They do this every year. It's called "The Holiday Stroll". Merchants stay open on Saturday night. There are concerts and street food. The streets are pretty crowded with pedestrians. I've never gone before. Since this is the year of exploration, I decided that I would give this event a try, especially since I live just a mile or two from downtown Nashua.

A new friend of mine suggested that we meet at one of the concert venues at 5:30. I have been fighting a headache all day. But, I decided to push through it to meet her. Parking was insane, but I figured it out. The venue was incredibly difficult to find (if you have seen "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist", it was like trying to find Where's Fuzzy). I got there a few minutes late, but my friend wasn't there. I sat down and enjoyed the concert all the same. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if she had showed up. At 6:15 the concert ended. I looked around one more time and then started wandering downtown Nashua with the rest of the throng. It was fun.

Had my friend showed up, I would have not necessarily gone into all the places that I went into. Or, I may not have skipped some of the places that I had. However, the biggest point is, had we not had the date to meet up at 5:30 I may not have gone at all because of the headache.

So, all things happen the way they should.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The un-black Friday

Since I didn't have a car at my disposal until early afternoon, and I really think that I have internalized that I am pretty broke, I resisted the urge to run out to a large shopping establishment and wait in line for hourse to save $20 on something.

I did end up buyng a 32" TV for the exercise room, and I bought some jeans and undies. All accomplished from the comfort of my desk chair.

The best part of today was going over to one of my gaming friend's house to play games for hours on end. I am so glad that I found a group of gamers that I get along with, who have relatively good guest manners, while be totally approachable. Thank goodness I haven't encounter anyone 'out there' thus far.

Now I just need to figure out how to do more of the activities that the user arrange.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Not from a big crazy family

It's Thanksgiving, and I'm spending it completely by myself. Do not feel sorry for me in the least. K went to his girlfriend's house in Maine. While I do miss him, I could have gone with him. I just wasn't up for putting on my 'social' face for an entire day.

I think one of the most stressful Thanksgivings I ever spent was when I was in grad school and I went home with my (then) boyfriend. His mother was not a happy person and she didn't like the looks of me from the get go. I had to make conversation or feign interest in various things all day and night long.

I grew up an only child to a relatively asocial single parent. I think my mom's preference for 'alone time' rubbed off on me.

Don't get me wrong. I have a lot of good friends that I care loads about. I also have a half brother and a step brother who I adore. And I love seeing everyone under casual circumstances. But 'holidays' are not casual circumstances. When you don't see folks very often, you're supposed to be on your best behavior for a 'holiday'.

I am really enjoying lounging around my house watching movies, eating what I feel like eating, and drinking my bottle of wine (slowly over the course of the evening).

I hope that all of my loved ones are having fun and relaxing days. I look forward to seeing all of them on some 'non holiday' occasion.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stop the "go"

My son left for Maine around 3 this afternoon. He won't be back until around 3 on Friday afternoon. Since he took my car, I'm kind of stuck in my house since there's not much to do within walking distance. Plus, with tomorrow being a holiday, there's nothing even open if I could get anywhere.

This is not a bad thing. I'm just so used to having the freedom to "go". Not only that, I often feel compelled to "go" somewhere all the time, even when I have no real need to "go" anywhere in particular.

I have plenty to do here in my home. I have lots of projects that I could work on. I also have lots of movies I could watch, thereby being unproductive.

I actually like my house. I just need to get over this absurd need to "go". I am thankful for the opportunity to overcome that compulsion, if only for a couple of days.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Flowers in winter

OK. I know it's not winter yet. However, it is no longer 'flower season'.

I stopped by the grocery store on the way home to pick up a few last minute things for my Thanksgiving. One of the things that I snagged was a bouquet of flowers for my table.

For years I didn't bring flowers into the house, and I discouraged my X from bringing me any. Any time we had flowers in the house, the cats would knock over the vase and attempt to eat the things.

Fortunately, the cats do not seem to be that interested in flowers any more.

I am grateful that I can have flowers, off season, on my table to cheer me.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Where would I be without the Internet?

I moved hundreds of miles away from my dearest friends. I have only a few friends where I ended up. Without the amazing Internet, I would be like a ship adrift at sea.

I am grateful to all of those people and organizations that have supported the Internet since the 70's. Without the Internet, I would feel pretty alone up here in the great white New England north. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mixed day

Took K to church with me and then on to the church's Thanksgiving potluck. K was a surly teen (I "forced him" to go). We eventually made a peace of sorts walking amongst the horses at the farm where the feast was held.

I am still grateful for the wonderful church community that I belong too.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A great day and a bit more distance from the past

I had an absolutely fabulous day!

I did my normal Saturday morning laze about, followed by exercise and such (laundry, kitchen stuff). Then, I spent most of the day at my Church's holiday faire, including luxuriating with an hour massage.

Afterwards, I went shopping for a new holiday tree. We currently have a 6-7' monster of a tree that is hard for me to carry by myself. Since it's just K and I now, I am thinking that a 4-5' tree is more practical. I haven't decided on one, but I'm close.

On the way home, I swung by a jewelry store and did something I've been wanting to do for months. I had them cut my wedding and engagement rings off my left ring finger. I have put on a lot of weight since I got married. I had hoped to be well on the road to losing the weight by now so that I could take the rings off by myself. But that hasn't happened. I need to get rid of a bunch more karmic baggage before I can attack my weight issue. And, one thing that I knew would make me feel better was getting those rings off my hand.

Wow! I felt years younger and instantly happier when the jeweler pull the cut rings away from my finger. I sold the gold to him for next to nothing, and kept the stone from the engagement ring. It's small and pear shaped, so the market for it is kind of limited. Maybe I'll do something with it someday. For now, I'm just happy to have those reminders of my marriage off my hand. My hand feels strange right now, but in a good way.

I'm grateful for the wonderful day that I had, especially checking off a huge item on my "to do" list!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tried not to be the Material Girl, but...

When it comes to getting in touch with my 'gratitude', I was hoping to steer clear of anything materially oriented. You know: no 'stuff'. However, there are a few modern conveniences that I am overwhelmingly grateful for.

Let me first express my deep felt thanks to Apple for developing the iPod. I had two different MP3 players before I had an iPod. They were fine things, as were the various and sundry other portable entertainment devices (CD Player, tape player, radio, etc.) However, the integration of the iPod with all the content available via iTunes got me hooked.

I love podcasts. I love audiobooks (which I was addicted to before I had an iPod). I love the ease of making playlists and downloading and ripping music.

That is not to say that I haven't experienced a few frustrations here and there with both my iPod and iTunes.

Overall, I really cannot imagine my life without my iPod. If the end of civilization comes, I hope I have a solar charger for my iPod.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My health is not that bad

I suffer from chronic pain issues. I have trouble sleeping. I'm wicked overweight. And, I suffer from terrible hot flashes due to menopause. Still, I am grateful for my health.

Today, as I walked through the cafeteria I noticed a young man who I have encountered in the elevators a number of times. He gets around in a pretty serious looking wheelchair. Someone was sitting next to him. My curiosity got me to look in that direction for a few more seconds. The woman sitting next to him had a spoonful of food hovering mid-air.

I admire how forward this young man lives his life. He needs assistance with eating and has no problem doing so in a large busy cafeteria. I cannot imagine how many difficulties he has to live with.

I am grateful for the health that I have.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Parental patience

For the last week, K has been whining that his hair needs cut. Normally it's me whining at him to get it cut. It really wasn't bothering me.

Tonight, when I got home, I offered to take him to get it cut. He barely hesitated before going to get his shoes on. When I asked him a few minutes later how much he planned to get cut off, he said about an inch, which was exactly what I would have gone for.

So, I am grateful that I am now able to not be bothered by the length of his hair AND that he and I agree as to what length is manageable. Only another 6742 issues left to resolve! :D

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


It typically takes me an hour to get to work each day, and then an hour to get home. I don't let this bother me. I've accepted it as part of my existence. However, I hate to give over ten hours of my week to simple 'driving'. So, over the years I have become an audiobook addict. A good book makes the time go by wonderfully. When I'm listening to a great book, I actually hate for the ride to be over!

Currently I am listening to Anthony Bourdain's "Medium Raw".

I am grateful for audiobooks!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Didn't sleep hardly at all last night. Just started to nod off in front of the television. I love it when that happens, since it usually guarantees a good night of sleep.

Grateful for sleepiness

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I'm working on a little painting project. I'm converting my X's old office into a television and exercise room. I decided to paint two of the walls with sunset colors. The first coat of paint was a very bright yellow. This afternoon I added some bright orange sponging and spatters. Lastly, I'll be adding some red sponging.

Not only do I really like the colors, but there's a bit of a 'revenge factor' going. Yes, it's small of me. But, let me harvest what little pleasures I can. The X did not appreciate color on walls until just a few years ago, and that was after much prodding on my part. He definitely would not have agreed to bright colors, especially multiple abstract bright colors. So, doing this little experiment in his former office is kind of a blast for me.

If I decide that I don't like it, I can always repaint it at some point. I love color and I love experimenting with it.

Fair well boring white and earth tones. Let the colors shine through!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


This afternoon I was planning on going to a movie. Before I left, I decided to check on the sermon topic of the local church. (I belong to a church far away of the same denomination.) I noted that they had something going on at the church this very evening. My goodness, a concert by a folk singer that I actually know. Only $20. Sold.

I went to the concert and ran into 10 people from MY CHURCH! Two of them had actually switched and started going to the church closer to me. Guess I'll see them tomorrow.

I'm really glad that I decided to go to the concert (after the movie). It's rare that I give into spur of the moment ideas. It turned out great!

Friday, November 12, 2010

College interview

K and I went out to Worcester today so that he could interview at WPI (his #1 college choice). We were a bit worried about his erratic grades over the last year. He is co-captain of his FIRST robotics team and he's done moderately well on his SATs.

The interviewer was pretty impressed with him. She said that having the interview helps, but that he has a lot going for him. Plus, having him explain that his grade fluctuations are partially due to our stressful home life this last year also will give the admissions folks a clearer picture of K.

K walked away feeling like it was time well spent and that he has a good shot at getting in. Yippee! (Now, ... about that $52k/yr cost of going there ...)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I personally know several serving military. I also know a couple of former military. I am constantly impressed with their service oriented attitude. They all carry their own opinions about how our government is run, but none of them question the value of their service to their fellow citizens.

I am grateful that there are folks willing to serve our country.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I took a 2 hour nap this afternoon. I feared that it might be too much of a good thing when I wanted to go to sleep tonight. However, I am thoroughly exhausted so I shouldn't have too much trouble falling over in a bit. Had I given into the urge to sleep even longer this afternoon, I may have been in trouble now.

I don't feel the need for a nap every day. However, I feel the pull more often than I can actually give into it. So, I am truly grateful when I can give in.

Hooray for naps!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Alone time

Actually, I'm NOT feeling very grateful this evening. My son and I had a HUGE blow up this evening. I actually do not regret a single thing word that came out of my mouth. He lied to me repeatedly. Though it was over something minor, I gave him ample opportunity to correct his mistake and he knows how much I hate being lied to. Then, when I called him on it he merely glared at me and asked "Why are we still talking about this?" That, on top of a little stunt he pulled last night (and gave me attitude about it this morning) really set me off.

I really do bend over backwards to accommodate my son. Whenever he asks for something I usually agree. I also try to anticipate when he might need something or some-doing, and I try to take care of it before he asks. So, the attitude made me feel very disrespected.

My response was to take back my agreement that his girlfriend could come down from Maine Wednesday night and stay until Thursday evening. I really do like L. She's a good influence on K. However, I have to draw the line somewhere.

He was angry with my pronouncement. He accused me of hurting somebody else because I was angry at him. I don't see it that way. Having his girlfriend spend the night when he's being disrespectful to me means that he gets to have a privilege while he's treating me horribly. WRONG!

He came to me a while later and asked if he could spend the night at a friend's house tonight because he "needs some space." I thought about it for a minute and then agreed. I need some space too.

So, I'm grateful for some alone time!

Monday, November 08, 2010

In honor of my mother

My mother passed away in 1997. She and I had a rocky relationship, to say the least. I think we would get along better now if she were still alive. Now that I have a teenager to deal with and a failed marriage, I think I understand a lot of what formed who she was.

I wish I could talk to her about all that has happened in the last couple of years. I'm sure she'd have something insightful to say. She was really good at giving advice, in my opinion.

I'm grateful that I had my mom for as long as I did. She showed me how to be unapologetically myself. She showed me how to be strong and independent and to actually relish the idea of living alone (or at least not with a sexual partner, since we both had/have teenagers to deal with).

I don't know how I would have handled this last couple of years had I not been raised by the mother I was raised by. Thank you, Mom, for giving me the proper tools to master an intolerable season as best as I could.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A very pleasantly long Sunday

I purposefully stayed up past midnight last night in an attempt to help adjust to the extra hour we got last night when the clocks changed. I still got up around 07:30 (adjusted new time). The day drifted along slowly. I didn't get as much done as I would have liked. However, I did get some laundry in and the grocery shopping. K came along so I picked up some of the heavier items that I hate to get when I'm on my own.

After we got everything home, I tried to take a nap. I really was quite tired, but mostly I just laid there with my eyes closed for an hour.

I spent about an hour trying to catch up on some stuff for work. Again, I didn't get as much done as I'd wanted to.

Then I made dinner and watched a movie. I got K to give the kitchen trash can a shower (this was a huge accomplishment).

It's nearly 9pm, but it feels to early to go to bed. Though, by yesterday's yard stick it's actually nearly 10pm.

Normally, I end up hating Sundays. But, with the confusion of the extra hour, I really did like this one. I think I need to figure out how to like Sundays more in general. After all, it is still a weekend day, right?

Happy Sunday. Thanks for the extra hour!

Saturday, November 06, 2010


While I know that it would be harder to function in this world without my sight than without my hearing, I sometimes think that if I had to lose one of the two senses I'd choose to go without my sight.

I love music. I cannot imagine a life without music. Music can boost my mood (as in improve it). Or music can enhance and deepen a mood that I'm already in (even if I'm a little angry or a little depressed, the right music can carry me into 'very' angry or 'very' depressed).

Music helps engage my mind or distract me from situations that I would rather not contemplate (traffic, standing in a queue, exercising).

I enjoy all kinds of musical genres depending on my mood.

So, color me grateful for music!

Friday, November 05, 2010

It's not just a job

I have been pretty lucky in my career choices. For the last four years I have been doing something that is never boring with people who I enjoy for pretty fabulous money in a relatively laid back environment. It's not a perfect situation. After all it is still "work". However, this is probably the best job I've ever had. Also, for the last two and a half years I have worked for the best boss that I've ever had. The only downside is the 31 mile commute. Fortunately, I can work from home on occasion!

So, I am grateful that I have a fulfilling career in a situation that is pretty darn good.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

New friends

I have made some new friends this last year, in spite of my over-sharing about the ins and outs of my divorce. These intrepid souls listened even when they barely knew me and didn't run screaming in the other direction. Now that I'm just about through to the other side of this dark period of my life, they are still there.

So thank you to my various and sundry meetup.com buddies. Now we can just be silly without the threat of invasion by random melodrama.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A quiet day

Today I am grateful for the quiet and darkness in our office. Over half of our team were out for various reasons. Those of us who were left to hold down the fort prefer the lights out. So, we worked under pleasantly dim conditions today. We also took the opportunity to listen to music together, instead of all diving into our own little headphoned worlds. We decided to listen to the complete catalog of Trans Siberian Orchestra. It was wonderful.

I had no meetings. Several things I was working on went right for a change. My gym time was a pleasant break.

Ah ... the quiet. It is a rare and wonderful thing.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Old friends

I am grateful that my old college friends are still in my life, albeit remotely. Facebook reinvigorated our relationship. And, none too soon, I might add.

I do not know how I would have handled the disintegration of my marriage without the patient ears and words of comfort from my long time college friends. Facebook even inspired me to get on a plane and spend some quality face-to-face time with my support system.

Thanks folks for being there!

Monday, November 01, 2010

A month of gratitude

In honor of National Blog Posting Month, I've decided to blog each day about something that I'm grateful for. The postings may not be long, but I am committed to doing them to remind myself that there is a lot to be grateful for in my life.

Today, I am grateful for so many things. Let me start with my son. K is a bright seventeen year old. He has been a real trooper this last year as we've weathered a very stressful home situation. He and I have become closer because of the divorce. While we don't see eye to eye on everything, I think we have a pretty good relationship.

I am blessed to have a son like K.