Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Clap along with the Dutchies Being Happy

I know it's been a long, long time since I've been on the blog..., but I just ran across this video and it is great.  Happy people dancing to Happy in Amsterdam.  I love it.  Btw, you don't have to watch all of it in one sitting.  I mean, even though I'm still out of work and have nothing BUT time I didn't watch it all at one time, but I listened to it while I was on the treadmill.

Have a HAPPY day and clap along.  :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Got Insurance?

OMG!  I'm sure we have all heard about the fiasco called the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare).  Probably the one thing you absolutely know about this law is that the website for it doesn't work.  Yep, evidently the creators of the site were surprised and overwhelmed with the numbers of people checking into the site.  (I loved the SNL Weekend Update bit comparing it to the site being surprised and overwhelmed by volume on Valentine's day.)  I watched the speeches from our president assuring those of use that have been paying for and using our own, chosen health care insurance provider, that we will not be required to give up our private insurance provider.  As millions of Americans received cancellation letters from their insurance provider, the president did stutter a bit in his "explanation."  This blatant lie to the American people will be discussed again and again.

My favorite part of this dramedy playing out before the world is the complete disregard and non-interest displayed by the people expected to pay for this law.  Every time the president would parade an American that was able to get through the website and actually sign up for "affordable care," it would be an aging Baby Boomer.  Attention ladies and gentlemen!  These are not the folks that are going to be paying for this insurance.  These are the people that will be using the insurance.  The PAYERS are you millenials out there.  Every time a reporter asks one of them what they think of Obamacare they typically respond with a blank stare.  If, by chance, the reporter is lucky enough to encounter a millenial that actually participate in life outside of their video game or texting or playlist, the typical answer is, "I'll just pay the $95 fine for not enrolling and deal with it later."  Awesome.

Evidently the government (thru a Colorado non-profit) has noticed that their cash cows are not engaged.  They have come up with some clever marketing to get their attention.  (hopefully you are not eating)  Enjoy.  (oh yeah, these are real ads.  They're known as brosurance and ho-surance.  wonderful.)

This one makes me the sickest
Yep, these guys are gonna get jobs someday
Making insurance sexy..., not
Do you think Mr. Gosling approved this ad?
Colorado, you must be so proud

557.  Having many more productive days
558.  Finding things to do
559.  Getting them done
560.  Seeing smiles on my husband and son's faces again
561.  Getting out and about (this is the ticket to energy)
562.  Praying for missionaries in the middle East
563.  Winter greens (I just love them)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The day you have to say good-bye to your dog

It's a much more difficult day than you ever thought it would be.

This is the same dog that has been trying to kill me by tripping me on the stairs.  This is the same dog that emits odor that can clear a room.  This dog has been constantly under foot.  But, even I loved this dog.

I remember the day my husband and son convinced me to get a dog.  I finally said, "sure, we can have a dog, but it has to be a Jack Russell Terrier."  I said that because the show, Frazier, was very popular and it had a cute dog on it.  I thought that dog would be difficult to find.  They found a dog and bought it and brought it home within four hours.

Then we had a dog.  (this was the first and only dog I have ever had in my whole life.)

Jack Russell's aren't the calmest of dogs.  This dog kept us prisoners in our own home for years.  The second our dog, Chet (the jet), would hear someone walking towards the door he would anticipate that door opening and streak out the door and run.  And run and run and run.  That dog could run.  One day my husband was chatting with a neighbor.  The neighbor, Warren, said that one day he saw a deer running through the back yard.  Right on the heels of the deer was Chet.  Warren asked my husband what he thought that Chet would do with that deer when he caught it?  Chet had no fear.  None.  He was a little dog with the soul of a lion.

Another trait of the Jack Russell is their ability to jump.  Chet could jump.  Until recently, there was never a time we could have a guest in our home that Chet wouldn't jump and jump and jump.  We just couldn't train it out of him.

Chet was pretty bright, for a dog.  He could do tricks to earn his dinner.  He could sit up and stay.  He could play dead after you said "bang".  And he could roll over.  He wasn't much of a fetcher.  He would chase the ball, get it, but he'd never bring it back.  That's just the kind of dog he was.

When I think back of all the things I loved about Chet, I smile.  I remember that pink spot on his nose from where he wore the black off from pushing the basketball around and around the yard.  I remember having to thaw meet in the microwave instead of on the counter.  I didn't have to turn the microwave on, I just had to have it behind a locked door because Chet would jump up on the counter and eat the thawing meat right out of the package.  I remember learning not to leave the leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass on the counter because Chet would jump up and grab it for an after dinner snack.  I remember the look of pride in his eyes when he would drop off a dead bird on my doorstep (ducks included).  I remember how my husband would give him a voice and tell me all the things that Chet was thinking.  I remember how my son would smile and feel the love of a dog when finding friends at school was tougher than it should have been.

And now there is a tiny grave in the back yard.  I know I'll feel better about this in the days to come.  I know it was his time and we didn't steal one day of his life by making this decision.  He died with dignity.  But, I'll miss him.  (and there are a lot of people that will be surprised by that)

Jack (my son) and Chet

Bill (my husband), Jack, and Chet  (last pic of Chet)

552.  I can exhale
553.  We could hug each other and support each other over the loss of this pet
554.  I know my son and husband will find joy in life again
555.  Rotisserie chickens will always remind me of Chet
556.  Tomorrow will be a better day

Thursday, October 31, 2013

For better or worse, but not for lunch

There is a saying (and I think there are even books with the title) I married you for better or worse, but not for lunch.  This is something I've heard said in my association with my friends that are reaching retirement age.

Retirement, they say, can be rough on a marriage.

In my experience... they are right.

I remember back, waaaaay back (in December 2011), I saw a facebook status of a young mother claiming she wished her husband didn't have to go to work, EVER!  I took a few rough comments on this blog post, as well as getting blocked on facebook by the woman that posted the facebook status.  Well, let me tell you, it's not as great as you think it will be. 

First of all, believe it or not, your spouse is living their own life.  They are not hanging on a hook waiting to see what you would like them to do.  I only mention this because I think this would have been news to the woman that posted the facebook status. 

In my experience my husband left his job a year and a half before I lost my job.  He no longer calls himself a retired person.  He now calls himself a full-time student.  Anyway, the point is that he was home, by himself, quite a while before I was home, all day, with him.  He had settled into a nice little routine.  When I started being home, all day, with him he didn't adjust to the disruption of his schedule very well.  Sure, the first few weeks were fine.  I'd even go so far as to call them fun.  I applied for unemployment.  He didn't think I would qualify.  I did qualify.  He was surprised.  That gave us something to talk about for a week or two.  We interacted.  He spent a little time with me.

Then..., he wanted to get back to his routine.  And..., he wanted me to get a routine.

And I didn't have one yet.

On Monday my husband told me my vacation was OVER and I needed to start DOING something.  Hilarious.  He said a bunch of other equally hilarious things that weren't very nice, but meant to motivate me.

I think he forgot that, just like him, I'm living my own life.  Unfortunately for him, my life includes spending time blogging, reading blogs, working on the bible study I'm putting together for my small group, and... sometimes watching Real Housewives.  I think it was the housewives that put him over the edge.  I try to watch more CNBC than Housewives, but sometimes I just gotta have me some Housewives.  The other thing, I think, he has an issue with is my development of a sedentary lifestyle.  He wants me to exercise.  So, as I said on Monday, I broke through that barrier and started walking around the neighborhood.  It's a start.

For better or worse, I love my husband.  We will learn to spend our days together in the same house.  I know we can do it.  I don't need to talk to him all day.  I don't need him to help me do the things I need to do each week, like look for a job.  I don't need him to shame me into exercising.  My friends that have retired have told me that it's important to watch out for weight gain.  Being home all day can allow someone to be a little too close to the refrigerator.  Dangerous.

So, for better or worse, I will learn to be home all day with my husband.  I will look for two jobs each week, and I will go for walks around the neighborhood 4 (or 3) times each week.  I can do this thing.

For better or worse
547.  Working in the garden
548.  Going to lunch with a friend
549.  Hot tea when I feel the sniffles coming on
550.  Having a husband who loves me enough to accept me for who I am
551.  Looking forward to trick or treaters

Monday, October 28, 2013

Breaking through my barriers

I was going to write "fears" instead of barriers.  I think the two things I finally did today weren't things I was afraid of doing, rather, they were things I'd used as barriers to keep from moving forward in this new stage of my life.  Maybe now that I've done each of these things once, I'll have an easier time doing them again and again.

The first thing I did for the first time today was to apply for work through the MWE job search site.  I've mentioned before that since I am collecting unemployment benefits I need to apply for at least two jobs each week.  Up until today I did this the "old fashioned" way.  I looked for jobs in the local on-line newspaper or I asked people I knew about possible employment opportunities.  Those were working just fine for me.  But on Friday I received a letter from the DLLR informing me I was required to attend a seminar for the JobSource program this week.  I knew the state wanted me to use their job service to hunt for work.  It allows them to keep track of how I'm looking for work and not just relying on me to keep my own records.  So, today I updated my resume' and applied for work through the website.  I applied for two jobs.  Check.

The second thing I did today was to go for a walk around the neighborhood during working hours.  I had delayed this endeavor for more than a couple reasons.  I had excuse after excuse after excuse.  I'm lazy.  I'm fat.  I don't have good music on my phone.  I couldn't find my earbuds.  I didn't want to see anyone from the neighborhood.  My feet hurt.  It's cold.  It's hot.  It's windy.  It's not.  Yeah, I had a few excuses.  Today my husband shamed me into going for the walk.  And I lived.  And I DID see people from the neighborhood.  And the music on my phone was crappy.  And it did hurt.  But it was a nice day and, who knows, maybe it will be good for me.  Check check.

And, more importantly, maybe I'll do theses things again tomorrow.

541.  A nice neighborhood for walking just outside my front door
542.  Friendly neighbors
543.  A perfect fall day
544.  The feeling of accomplishment
545.  My son got a new roommate
546.  Looking forward to my bible study small group