Archive for the 'Random Bits' Category

Help Thy Neighbor

Occasionally, there is such a thing as being too helpful.

A while back, I had a wonderful friend and neighbor.  Mrs. Neighbor lived with Mr. Husband in a house that was always full of teenagers (some of them were even  hers).  Well, one weekend, Mr. Husband took the teenagers on a camping trip and left Mrs. Neighbor with the house completely to herself.  This had never happened before.  There was much rejoicing on the part of Mrs. Neighbor, but secretly I was was worried about her being in that big house all alone.  I immediately decided to be a nosey neighbor put myself on guard duty for the weekend.

The very first night, I noticed that her car  wasn’t in the driveway when I went to bed.  This was a bit strange, considering she was always home and in bed before me. 

When I woke up the next morning, her car still wasn’t in the driveway.  I started to become concerned.  I called Mrs. Neighbor’s cell right away… no answer.  I sent her a text.  WHERE ARE YOU? ARE YOU OKAY?  A couple minutes later, there was still no response.  Mrs. Neighbor always responds quickly to my text messages, so I knew right away something was very wrong.  What if she was in the hospital?  What if she had gotten in a car wreck?  Who should I call?  Mr. Husband was completely unreachable, out exploring the wilderness.  I called and texted Mrs. Neighbor repeatedly while trying to think of what to do next.

And then the thought hit me–oh, my god.  Her dogs!  They were always in their kennels when no one was home.  Had they been let out?  Had they been fed? Were they alive?   

By now I had worked myself into quite the panic over the whereabouts of Mrs. Neighbor.  Always cool under pressure, I sprang into action.  I would do the one thing I could–I would make sure the animals were taken care of.  I marched myself into her house, let the dogs out of their kennels, and began hunting for the dog food.  I searched closets, cupboards, nooks, and crannies.  Finally I found a can of wet food and divided it between the two dogs, who were very grateful.  Satisfied I had done my very best to keep her animals alive, I returned them to their kennels.

Actually, I only managed to get one of them back in.  The other, a grumpy wiener dog named Max, was not so eager to return to confinement. Good will forgotten, he barked and snipped at me while I tried everything I could think of to convince him to cooperate.  I used treats.  I used my  nice happy voice.  I used my firm no-nonsense voice (which was really my irritated voice).  I tried chasing him around the house with a laundry basket, hoping to trap him underneath. 

And this was the point when Mrs. Neighbor returned home to find me in my pajamas, wielding a laundry basket over my  head while I chased her dog around the house calling him unpleasant names.

There was some awkwardness while I tried to explain my concern for her safety, and that of her animals.  Where were you?, I asked, fully expecting some sort of mishap that had kept her away all night.

Turns out she was at the grocery store.  The dogs had only been alone for an hour when I barged in to rescue them.


Always the good sport, Mrs. Neighbor simply thanked me for feeding her dogs cat food, took the laundry basket from me, and sent me home.  

I learned a valuable lesson that day, one I thought I’d share during this season of giving and helping our neighbors.  It is always good to lend a helping hand… just make sure your help is actually wanted.

And as a bonus, here’s another tip:  if you’re going to break into your neighbors’ house to rescue their dogs, be sure to put some pants on first.

Have you ever been overly helpful? I’d love to hear about it!


Attitude Adjustment

I have been thinking a lot lately about the impact attitude can have on a person’s life.

There was a time for me when everything was pretty… chaotic, to say the least.  It seemed like every time I turned around, something bad was happening.  I had health issues that put me in the hospital.  Someone broke into my car.  My cat ran away.  I was in a car wreck.  Someone pulled a gun on me while I was at work (ever have to go around booting people’s cars to pay the bills? Not. Fun.)  The house I was subletting caught on fire.  I lost my hearing aid somewhere in Canada.  (No, I’m not making any of that up.)

On and on the list went.  It seemed like every time things started looking up, something else would happen and my life would spin out of control again.  I tried making a fresh start.  I tried looking on the bright side of things.  I kept picking myself up and moving on, but things just kept getting worse. 

Finally, I realized that the problem wasn’t what was happening to me, the problem was me.  The more chaotic and negative I was, the more out of control my life was.  Oh, sure, some of the things were beyond my control, but almost everything could be linked back to me and the choices I was making.  The problem was my attitude.  You see, I expected bad things to happen.  Every time disaster struck, I mentally nodded my head and thought, “See?  Life is hard.”   

The day I changed my attitude was the day I changed my life.  I was sitting in the dark eating ice cream and crying and I thought, enough.  I made a list of my goals, and then began taking steps to achieve them.  I started taking better care of myself.  I went back to school.  Got a decent job.  One by one, things started to fall into place.  Everything stopped being about damage control and started being about living.  It’s amazing how much things changed once I started expecting good things to happen.  There were no more fires, for one thing.  I became truly happy, for another.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because this month marks an important anniversary for me.  One year ago I left an abusive relationship.  I took only the clothes that would fit in my sister’s car and my newborn son and moved back home.  This last year has been about starting over and dealing with the fact that I am now raising J on my own.  It’s been a reminder of how important it is to stay positive. 

It certainly hasn’t been an easy year, but it hasn’t been bad either.  I have an amazing support system. I was able to find a job that allows me to bring J along.  I recently received an internship doing what I love. I have a happy, healthy boy who lights up my days.   And slowly but surely, I am rebuilding my life. 

I firmly believe that the good things that have happened and the opportunities that have come my way are due, at least in part, to having a positive attitude.  I could have stayed angry.  I could have focused on the negative things.  I could have bought into the belief that from now on, life was going to be a struggle.  If I had let myself think that way, I probably would have been right.

You get back from life what you put in.  If you are someone who is very negative, you’re going to be surrounded by similar people.  You will miss out on opportunities because you are focused on the things that are going wrong.  And you can’t be happy while you’re holding on to your bad attitude. 

Do you know people who are miserable with their lives?  I know I do.  Maybe they hate their job, or where they live, or they are stuck in a dead-end relationship.  Something always seems to be going wrong.  They complain.  They may wish for things to be different, but nothing ever changes. 

That’s because they haven’t changed.   

In order for things to get better, first you have to want things to change.  You have to believe that life can be good.  And you have to be willing to work to make changes happen in your life.

What are you going to do to make your life better today?

Only two days left-don’t forget to vote!  Thank you!!

Giving Thanks

Gluten-Free Rolls: One of the many things I am thankful for.

Thanksgiving is over, and in the aftermath of turkey and family my head is full of jumbled thoughts and half-formed posts.  I’m running on little sleep and too much coffee, but I wanted to get something written while I have access to a computer and my sister has the boy occupied.

It has been a wonderful holiday, one of the best I can remember.  My brother and his fiance drove down from Seattle, and having our family together in one place was something we were all grateful for.  The smell of good food and the (sometimes noisy) sounds of a house full of teasing and laughter brought back memories of childhood and loved ones now gone, making it feel as though they were sharing the day with us.  It was truly a day to be thankful for.

As the day went on, I kept thinking about how important family is.  This is what life is about, I thought.  It is the people you love, and who love you back.  It’s enjoying the moments you have together.  It’s the nights of board games and talking and laughter.  It’s handing down traditions to the new generation, and sharing memories together.  It’s all the little things that make up our relationships.  Everything else is just background noise.

Thanksgiving is over, but the time to be thankful is not.  Take a moment today to listen to the important sounds in your life.  Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.  Laugh.  Don’t let the important moments of your life pass you by.

10 Things to be Thankful For

My friend at Mediocre Mama wrote a post today about being thankful for all the little every day things, and it inspired me to take a look at my day today and give thanks.  As I’ve said before, I am thankful for my wonderful friends and family, but I wanted to take some time today to be thankful for the little things in life.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, and in no particular order, this is what I’m thankful for today:

  1. The block button on Twitter.
  2. When Jayden tried to “kiss” my nose this morning, he did not, in fact, bite it off as I had originally feared.
  3. My hands-free thingy, because without it I wouldn’t hear a damn thing anyone said to me on the phone. Ever.
  4. Gluten-free spaghetti noodles.
  5. The artwork Jayden shared on my boss’ wall was not permanent.
  6. Hot cocoa
  7. I will not be cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
  8. I get to eat amazing things on Thanksgiving.  (Can I start now?  I’m hungry.)
  9. It did not snow today. 
  10. The random people who are voting for me to get the Sam-e gig.

What are you thankful for?

(ETA: One last thing I’m thankful for today… that the shock I received from trying to get my phone charger out of the outlet today did not do permanent damage, only hurt like crazy.  And left a burn.  Never a dull day in the life of me!)

(Completely) Over the Top

I’m excited to say that I have been nominated for my second blog award!  Woo!  (The first is the Divine Caroline Love this Blog 2009 award, which you can help me get by visiting the link and voting for my blog!)  The incredibly funny Suzanne from Bebehblog gave me the Over the Top award, which makes me feel incredibly validated and special!  (Thanks for the blog love, Suzanne!)


Here are the rules:
1. You can only use one word!
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers.
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
4. Have Fun!

The Survey
1. Where is your cell phone? Hand

2. Your hair? Washed

3. Your mother?Loved

4. Your father? Absent

5. Your favorite food? Cheese

6. Your dream last night? Strange

7. Your favorite drink? Water

8. Your dream/goal? Stability

9. What room are you in? Office

10. Your hobby? Many.

11. Your fear? Failure

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Alive

13. Where were you last night? Sleeping

14. Something that you aren’t? Athletic

15. Muffins? Allergic

16. Wish list item? Laptop

17. Where did you grow up? Montana

18. Last thing you did? Paperwork

19. What are you wearing? Clothes

20. Your TV? None

21. Your pets? Missed

22. Friends? Inspiring

23. Your life? Evolving

24. Your mood? Hopeful

25. Missing someone? Always

6. Vehicle? Subaru

27. Something you’re not wearing? Watch

28. Your favorite store? Powel’s

29. Your favorite color? Green

30. When was the last time you laughed? Today

31. Last time you cried? Unsure

32. Your best friend? Missed

33. One place that I go to over and over? Bed

34. One person who e-mails me regularly? Cassie

35. Favorite place to eat? Home


I am passing the award on to Mediocre Mama, Funnyguurl, Mommy Words, Sleepless Nights, Not Another Mummy Blog,  and Muddy Boots Blog (and apparently it’s time for me to update my blogroll!).  You are under no obligation to participate, just know that you are loved! (And let me know if you do post this on your blog, I’d love to read it!)

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