Posted on April 29, 2016
Some of you may have noticed I changed my Blog Title. It is part of my ongoing journey of mid life discovery (aka WHY DON’T I HAVE EVERYTHING FIGURED OUT YET???)
On the surface level….. I feel like I missed the “Wine Is The Most Amazing Thing On Earth” train.
It seems almost everyone around me is constantly expounding the delicious taste of all the various wines. They talk endlessly about different wines and where they found them. They go to wine tastings. They take trips to vineyards. They cook with it. They sip it while listening to Adele and having romantic times with their SO. They make slushies! The day I changed my blog title the grocery checker actually said to me “I just can’t wait to get home, take off these shoes and have a glass of wine”.
How can something that sounds so AWESOME taste so YUCKY???? And I have tried my best to find something I can at least sip and not gag. I have tried reds and whites and blush and everything in between. I have tried ‘dry’ and ‘sweet’ and ‘fruity’ I tried putting it in 7-up and surreptitiously stirring in some Splenda. Yuck. Ditto for all of the above on beer.
YUCK I SAY… A THOUSAND TIMES YUCK!!
Under the surface it is reflective of this time in my life that I am ready to be more chill. And trying really hard to figure out how to do that. I am not naturally ‘chill’. THAT’S WHY I NEED WINE! I am ready to come home from work and not obsess about the house being clean (don’t forget I have a toddler living here). I want to stop feeling guilty when I watch TV and I am not folding laundry or running into the kitchen at commercials to do dishes. I want to relax more and stress less. I want to learn to give myself a break.
I guess I will just have to do that with a nice cup of coffee………..
Posted on April 23, 2016
Stop if you have heard this one before: A Crazy Middle Aged Cat Lady Walks Into Petsmart……………
I haven’t had a chance to introduce you to the newest member of the Furgang: Meet Josie (insert “Josie & The Pussycats” theme song here #earworm)
Josie was trapped in a little tiny parakeet sized box in Petsmart. She was stuck in behind the clearance gerbil toys and she hadn’t eaten in 16 months. She was flea bitten and had mange. She had lost the ability to speak english and all she could say was “Tay In Da Wind….” Okay that isn’t true. She was in a cage at Petsmart but it was a big cage and I found out that she belonged to a childhood friend who was very sad that she had to find a new home for her. So……. TAH DAH!
The thing that really sold me on this little sweetie besides being beautiful and cuddly is that she is Polydactyl
No, not Pterydactal
Or even PolyQuackal
She is Poly Dactyl which means she has more than 4 toes on her paws. She has at least 5 on each foot!
This is awesome because she is able to do all kinds of things that cats without opposable thumbs cannot do.
She can fold laundry
She can open jars of peanut butter
She can clean out her own cat box
Best of all she can give 20% better cat massages than other cats because she has 20% more toes!!
Dear Petsmart: Please ban me from your store. I can get animal food online. I can’t be trusted.
Posted on April 11, 2016
Meet Kimberly! She is from Mineapolis but she hates the cold! She is 46 years old and married 20 years with a 17 year old son By day she works as an executive assistant and as a yoga teacher, blogger, heretic/Jesus lover/skeptic by night! Kimberly and I are members of the Clumsy Blogger Workshop Community which is both an educational course on writing and a group of Bloggers lending encouragement, inspiration and support (both technical and of the constructive criticism variety)
2.) I do miss Christianity sometimes. At Christmas it can be a little painful. Easter some melancholy sneaks in. In Christianity there were always action steps in times of trouble: pray, fast, tithe, believe. So now when life shits on me I simply have to take it. I have to breathe and work it out.
3.) Yet living in the doubt, mystery and uncertainly is much calmer than anything I ever experienced with a God. With God life was volitale. There was so much fear and never “the peace that passes all understanding”. Ever. I always feared what he’d do to me to refine me and strengthen my faith. So many unanswered prayers. So much terror and trauma. The bible’s words of “comfort” never rang true. Saying, “I don’t know – and neither do you.” is my truth. Speaking those words for the first time was the most honest statement of my life.
4.) I was fully a Christian. It’s hurtful and flat out rude when you assume I wasn’t all in when I was in the church. I understand you speak with fear that what happened to my faith could happen to you or someone you love, so you need to find a blaming reason as how it could occur. I know you believe that if you say the Sinner’s Prayer correctly, and with an honest heart, that the Holy Spirit comes into a person and won’t leave. I understand your conclusions, but you’re wrong. I was a Christian by any definition.
5.) I’m still open to everything. If a deity exists then I’m welcome for it to come to me. I’m curious as to where my journey will take me. Nothing is off limits. But admittedly…I can’t imagine going back.
Note From LeAnn: I always admire and support people who have the courage to live their truth. I know, dear readers, that my shift from the silly and the funny on to some deeper topics might be jarring for you and I hope you will follow along. There is much to learn from each other about different perspectives and lives that take a different path from our own. I am fascinated with learning about the greater world around me. I feel a greater affinity with all people as I understand that everyone has their unique and beautiful and painful story. There is so much to learn about life and love when we accept those around us and expand our own horizons. More often than not I find, as I have with Kimberly’s story, that I have more in common with her point of view than I would have expected.
Updated on April 2, 2016
There are a couple of really dynamic “F” words.
The most obvious one, the one spelled “#&@%”, is just an expression. A giant, irritated sigh, with no real power. That is not the one I am talking about.
The real scary one is “FEAR”
Thank Heaven there is an antidote to Fear….. “COURAGE”
It is a simple explanation really but also one of those things that kinda stops you cold and take a second look for the first time.( I heard this the other day from a wise sage but I do not know her name to quote her. Let’s just call her Sage. )
We all do things every day that do not include that element of fear. Those are just things that we do. They do not require any courage.
And there are times that we run up against that big, high, thick wall of fear and back…. Slowly…away. Or not so slowly… possibly run like heck! Nothing courageous about that. But when you see that wall and you really want to run but you get over it by sheer force of will: that is courage. Be it pushing through the pain or charging through danger. That is bravery.
Myself—I run the gamut of all those things. My biggest regrets are rooted in times that I ran in fear. The times that I esteemed myself involved getting past that wall. Sometimes it looms up right in front of me and though I have every intention of challenging The Fear…. I walk away. Sometimes I drag myself up and over. It is a frequent companion. Unwanted, but always kinda hanging around anyhow.
I can see, in hindsight, that a small investment of discomfort would have yielded a wealth of experience and success. I try to remind myself of this when I waiver. Ugh—highsight is a bitch, right?
My trip last year to New York City was a time that I jumped the wall and took on the Fear Monster: Fear of screwing up the plan reservations. Fear of missing work and screwing up my job. Fear of getting lost or mugged or any number of horrible touristy nightmares. There was a load of fear all along the way. And sure, I brought my sister with me… but we accomplished countless acts of courage: We made all our flights. We took the subway many times. We ate at a fancy restaurant and ordered weird food without making fools of ourselves. We jumped out in traffic and hailed a taxi. We walked through Times Square to Broadway and saw a play. When I get up in the morning and make myself go to work, lately there is a lot of fear of how the day will go and though sometimes I have to throw up on the way there, I go anyhow. I little courage boost there. Here is a deep dark secret. Brace yourselves. Sometimes when I write and I post here I am a little scared. Will anyone read it? Will they think I am stupid? Will I become an internet sensation for being ignorant or offensive or just stupid? What will happen to me if I go out on a limb tonight and hit “PUBLISH”?
Maybe nothing. Maybe something….. one thing for sure…. If I take the chance and live to tell the tale….
I am courageous.
Updated on March 14, 2016
And now I present today’s Haiku………
Tuesday, March 14th
It is “True Confessions Day”
What shall I confess?
I confess that I
Have a crush on Starbucks kid
Who flirts with coffee
I confess that I
Look forward to cereal
If I wake by One
I confess that I
Forget to get the dog food
Dog eats the cat food
I confess that I
Am still jealous of my ex
And his cooler life
I confess that I
Already have 5 felines
Kinda still want more
Ta Dah! There it is!
Aren’t you glad that I subscribe
To National “Days”?
Your Turn!!! Come on….. “I Confess That I…”
Updated on March 12, 2016
I finished another phase of my house renovations! YAY!
For those of you who are newer to my blog, please feel free to check out prior posts but in a nutshell here is the story. Both my parents passed away in 2014 and my sister and I inherited our childhood home. Neither one of us wanted it at first and it was ready to go on the market when I came across this post on the patio where my mother had measured the heights of all the kids and grandkids and something inside of me just said “ARE YOU CRAZY YOU COULD HAVE A HOUSE WITH NO MORTGAGE“. Actually I do have a very small heart and it was touched. If you want to read the full version click here Why I Decided To Keep This House So I called the realtor who was ready to list the house that very weekend and told her that we were not going to sell.
So I bought out my sister and kept it. The house was in good shape but very outdated (plus I wanted it to feel like my house, not like sleeping over in my old bedroom) so I started the renovation process. I would be completely done if not for a really bad paint job (Note: always hire a licensed contractor. It cost more up front but not as much as having to do it all over again) but that has to wait for now. One of the very last projects was the living room.
So, here is the Before picture. I hated this fireplace. It looks like poop. I almost painted it but the stone is so porous I was sure it would be a disaster.
To the right of the fireplace is a weird area which we think was originally the back porch and my parents closed it in. But they left the window opening and had those wood turnings. There was also a silk plant in a macrame hanging pot in the center. I didn’t like this area either so I closed this in.
Living room renovation mid stream.
And here……….. Drumroll please…. the final project all finished. Major Kudos to my wonderful contractor, Travis Andrus who spearheaded the whole entire process and personally crafted this build in. I think he is down in the Newport Beach area now, but if you need a great finish carpenter let me know.
I LOVE IT! I love that the TV is up out of the way. My sister painted the walls on either side a dark gray so the white really pops. (Thanks Sis!) The fireplace is still there but mostly covered up and still usable which is good by me. In a perfect world I would have torn it out but we saved a lot of money covering it up and it looks fine with just some brick and not a whole wall of it. If you look closely I do have popcorn ceilings. WITH SPARKLES! You know what? I LOVE THAT! I don’t know what all the fuss about popcorn ceilings is all about– maybe it is because I have nice memories of my parents showing the sparkles to the grandkids and how much the kids loved that!
What do you think? Do you have home renovation stories??? Can you tell me why people hate those popcorn ceilings so much??
Leave a comment– I ALWAYS want to hear YOUR story!
Posted on March 5, 2016
For the last several years I have struggled with my Faith. I blame my parents (of course), because in my family it was all about the math.
The FAITH MATH
Try to follow me here:
Where Being A ‘Good Christian’ = GC H = Heathen on Way To Hell Good Life = GL Bad Life = BL
If you were a Good Christian (ie: Doing Good Christian Things) You had a Good Life GC = GL
If you were not a Christian (Heathen) You had Bad Things Happen To You H = BL
Conversly- and logically– If something bad happened to you, then you were not a ‘Good Christian’ (ie: you have hidden sin)
BECAUSE ‘GC’ CAN NEVER EQUAL ‘BL’
And if you had a Good Life and you were not a Christian….well….umm… whatever!
The Faith Math doesn’t lie; there must be another explanation. Perhaps the NC (non-Christian) doesn’t really have a good life, it just looks that way. If all else fails you have to default to Eternal Security (maybe you said the Sinner’s Prayer in Sunday School when you were 4)
This logic, which I was taught from birth, worked out pretty well for me for the first 34 years of my life.
Until my marriage ended.
That was the first time I really questioned God and my faith was really tested. I knew that GC just cannot equal BL so there had to be a reason that I deserved to have Something Bad happen. And I felt as if God owed me an explanation. I reasoned with God that if He would just explain to me why He let this Bad Thing Happen (which then must surely be in His Will because I can do the God’s Will Math too) then I could continue to trust in my own faith. Of course I know God doesn’t owe me anything and I never got that explanation.
I told myself lots of things to explain why the math didn’t work: There is the “Ex-Hub Has His Own Free Will & You Are Just Collateral Damage” Theorem. There is “Everything That Happens In This Life Is Just Preparation For The Next Life So There Is No Math” Postulation. Mostly there was the “You Did Something Bad And God Did The Math” Conjecture and many other sleepless nights trying to make sense of this breakdown of this Logic Puzzle that never, ever ends.
Do you do the ‘Faith Math’? I would really love to finally get the Right Answer!
Posted on February 28, 2016
Hello and welcome to my blog re-boot!
I realized that I had lost focus and I didn’t feel like my site reflected who I am and so now I have a new format and my content is going to change a little. Getting around is going to be a little different and some of the catagories have changed: Stories about Cats & Dogs Living Together and creating Chaos has merged into “Animal Adventures”. Posts about parenting and grandparenting has become “Land of the Littles” Mostly everything else has been merged into “Miscellany” And there is one brand new catagory which is going to scratch an itch I have been avoiding for a very long time; “Fumbling Faith” where I am going to really go out onto a limb and explore the condition of my spirit.
While I was gone I took a writing course (which I have never actually done before) and learned a lot about myself as well as a few new tricks to share.
I really hope that those of you who read will also comment and share. I hope you will join the GeeezBlog Community Facebook page and ‘Like’ that and pass it along.
Meanwhile, here is my new “About Me” post. A little less shallow. A little more accurate. A lot more real.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Greetings & Salutations~
We all have a story.
My name is LeAnn and I am 53 years old. I live in the Mojave Desert of Southern California. I have two grown children (B & L) a daughter in law (J) and a grandson (Bubba) who is 3 years old. By day I am a Corporate Controller. I have several pets. This, in a nutshell, are my statistics.
It is not, however, who I am. Nor is that my story.
To pay the rent I work with data and numbers and scads of paperwork. But when I am off the clock I love to spend time with my family (especially Bubba who is the most amazing Little ever!) and play with photography and watch TV and read. And I love to write. All of these things create my story. My story is fluid and meandering. It takes odd twists and turns and many side trips down many paths. Occasionally it takes a trip down a rabbit hole. Sometimes my story is deep and insightful. Sometimes it is funny and glib. It may be brutally honest. Sometimes it is written while I struggle with my weight or with depression. Sometimes it is filled with silly stories about my cats. While in the past this blog has mainly been about things that are funny; now it will include all things honest and vulnerable and true and even ugly.
This blog- This place- is where I want to incite thought and muse and bravery. I want to incite laughter and joy and connection. I want to incite you, Dear Readers, to tell Your Story and to find Your ‘Thing’: that place that you go where you lose track of time and space and boundaries that tell you that whatever it is isn’t valuable or noteworthy or of interest to anyone else in the world. And I want to hear about it!
Writing is my ‘Thing’. This blog is one place where it can be read and shared. This is where it gets out of my head and becomes tangible.
I am so glad that you have joined me. I hope you are moved by what you find here: Moved to thought or action or dreams or goals. Maybe something will touch a sore spot and incite healing or anger or motivation. I hope that, by putting this out there, some connection might happen that comes from the realization of shared experience. I want to both have and give that validation that comes when you believed you were all alone and you realize that you are not.
Sometimes convincing you is convincing myself. Inciting you will be inciting myself. Motivating you will motivate myself.
Of course, if I can make it funny- I most certainly will.
Updated on February 27, 2016
(Disclaimer: You probably know this already but I will remind you here– I write Observational Humor. This means I look at the world around me and try to put a funny spin on it. It may be possible that I occasionally enhance the truth for comedic effect. I may possibly paint an extra colorful picture or exaggerate a tad. You must take this into account when you read my posts. If you really need to find something to be offended about please don’t look for it here. There are plenty of other things to worry over. I promise: No toddlers were harmed in the name of creating a story)
A wise old sage once said:
You can lead a toddler to the potty
But you cannot make him pee.
And at no time in my life have I been more aware of this adage than tonight.
Come with me as I take you on a journey. A potty training journey.
5:00pm Home from work. Long hard day. Tired. Irritated. Toddler is naked and sitting on ONE of his potty chairs. (Note: He currently has two potty chairs and a toddler urinal in one small bathroom.) Apparently has been on said potty for some time already.
5:15 Ask Mr. P if he needs to go potty. Receive negative reply on peepee status. Mr P. is still sitting on Mickey Mouse potty playing on a tablet. Give him juice.
5:30 Ask Mr P about update on PP status. Still negatory. Juice box has been drained. PeePee has not yet been drained.
5:45 Take Mr P to bathroom and try other potty. This is a Sesame Street potty. We discuss the lack of Hot Wheels stickers on the Potty chart stuck to the wall. He says he likes the stickers. He says he wants more stickers. Looks dismayed when I reiterate that stickers must be earned with successful potty. Cannot produce peepee regardless of desire for additional stickers. Move on to M & M Jar full of yummy M & Ms. Subject accedes fondness for M & Ms but is not willing to part with PeePee to get one.
6:15 Subject leaves bathroom to gather Potty books for reading while on potty. He has many potty books. He has “P is for Potty”. He has “Potty”. He has “Potty Superhero” He has “Once Upon A Potty” He has “Potty Time With Elmo” And those are just the ones he can find right away. We read them. All of them. And when I say “we” I mean I read upside down and he makes color commentary. All this while he makes a concerted effort NOT to go potty.
6:30 More juice. Still no potty. Try to remind subject of how much fun it is to make the yellow spinning wheel go around in his new Frog Urinal which kept falling off the wall until I finally used my Handy Dandy hot glue gun and stuck the damn thing to the wall permanently. It had already pulled the paint off anyhow. (See: Crappy Paint Job Blog Posts for background). Explain to Mr. P that he is super lucky to get to have such a cool urinal.
6:42 Returned to Mickey Mouse potty in living room begin running through repertoire of Potty Songs. Begin with the classic Family song: Potty Time written and originally performed by Mr. P’s great grandma Emily M. Rittel After several versions performed inquires on current potty status. Ziltch. Move on to Potty rendition of popular Disney songs. Please feel free to sing along
From “The Little Mermaid” You’ve gotta pee. You’ve gotta pee. Darlin it’s better when you’re not wetter take it from me.
From “Frozen” Let it go Let it go Don’t hold it back anymore Let it go Let it go In the Pot and not on the floor. You can stand cuz you’re a man. Let it go. Let it flow. Let er go!!
From “Lion King” I think it’s time for a little heart to heart. Kings don’t need advise from Old Nahnahs to start. Have another cup of milk or juice or tea! Oh I JUST CAN’T WAIT TO GO PEE!”
Finally, from “Toy Story” You’ve really got to pee. You’ve REALLY GOT TO PEE You got troubles, I got some too. Think pee is bad? Just wait for POO! I can’t relax till it comes out of you! Cuz, YOU’VE REALLY GOT TO PEEEEEE!!!
Subject is amused but not inspired.
6:57 Realize that have now moved from Potty encouragement to Potty Quest. Rapidly losing ability to remain positive and non-judgemental as well as taunting subject by making my own pee pees and rewarding myself with M & Ms. And stickers. Thinking of making my own chart but decline once realizing that anyone who can make a peepee just by laughing doesn’t really need a chart. Have lost perspective. Eat several more candies. Berate myself for self comforting emotional stress with food. Again. Wonder if using candy reward for natural bodily function is setting subject up for bad coping behavior.
7:15 Score: 2-Juice boxes 0-Peepees 3 Hours
7:17 Begin giggling and telling True To Life story about how the PeePees need to come out so they can get flushed to their homes in the toilet where all their family and friends live. PeePees are lonely for their friends. Isn’t it CRUEL to keep them from their MOMMIES???? Do you really want to be the PeePee dictator. Giggle at using the word ‘dictator’ when referring to PeePee. Assume emotional meltdown is imminent. And Subject is getting worn out also.
7:30 Write Haiku about my life and text to family and friends:
Potty Pee Potty
Do You Have To Go Potty?
Pee Pee Pee Pee Pee
(Snort while laughing at myself– not a good sign)
8:00 Have been at this for hours with zero pee pees evacuated. Decide to give up for the night. Put on the jammies. And a diaper. Brush the teeth. Subject gathers Mr Penguin, Capt America, Big Owl AND Little Owl and a Fafa (pacifier) and crawls into bed to watch Blue’s Clues. My bed. Snuggles ensue.
He has won the battle but not the war. I brush the hair from his tired eyes and tell him I love him.
And I don’t say the ‘P’ word.
But live to potty train another day………
Posted on January 17, 2016
“You are still in love with him……”
Like a lit match thrown carelessly into kindling, someone tosses this little tidbit into the discussion.
Interesting thought. Does it look that way to you? Does it feel that way to me?
Is it nostalgia. Or an echo? Isn’t it mourning and grieving that just never ends, like dancing with a ghost in a dank, dusty room in the farthest end of the hallway? Is it pulling out a very old picture that is fading with time, of holding hands of little ones long since grown or of affection long grown cold.
Is that love?
Is the melancholy that comes of wishes and dreams that passed away before their time, love? Can hopes for a life that were never fulfilled ever be erased or that hollow space filled with something other than ache?
If I sometimes yet sit and recall memories of times that feel so sweet even now have to mean that I love the person still or may it be that I still love the memory? If I daydream of family gathered, of weddings attended of births celebrated or travels together that will never happen, is that yet love?
Lingering and unrequited. Wishes have their time and if not, then they are not. Dreams can meander and flirt along the edges because they are made of hope– but as the Good Book says, ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick’
Surely not love