Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day has come and gone, I know I usually talk about my own fantastic mother, however, I thought I would tell a little bit about the people that enable me to have that title.

First and foremost I am so beyond grateful to God that He gave me the ones he did, I seriously cannot imagine life without them. I don’t want to, the thought is unimaginable. I wish I could take credit for their personalities, quirks and genuine awesomeness.

Jeffrey is the most caring father, I love seeing him with Tessa, guiding her, sharing a sense of humor with her and loving her. He builds Legos with her on the floor and plays petshop as well, he really is an amazing father this this wonderful little girl. I could not be prouder of the man he has become, I wish I could take credit, however, I can’t. Jeffrey has a quiet strength, a quiet sense of humor; don’t mistake his quietness for weakness. He is one of the strongest people I know, I am so happy that God entrusted him to me.

Elizabeth is the most capable person I have ever met in my entire life, whatever needs to be done, she does it. Watching her with her four-legged children, and two legged, her birds only have two legs, I should have said fur and feathered children, is a revelation. She has always been good with animals, from the hamsters, birds, chinchilla, dog, cats and everything in-between, you can see what kind of person she truly is. Animals and children love her, she reminds me so much of my grandfather in that respect, animals and children flocked to him as well. She is now engaged to a man who comes with a child, she tells me that is her contribution to my grandmotherhood. I’ll take it. Her sense of humor is well developed and she has a knack for firing off zingers. Once again I cannot believe I was chosen to be her mother, incredible.

Alex is the baby, and in my eyes he will always be the baby, he has gone through a lot to find the path to manhood. I am incredibly proud of the way he has gone through certain things at a young age that would fell adults. He is turning into the man I always knew he would, thoughtful, sensitive and intuitive. I am in awe of his fortitude, I know he will continue to grow and thrive in spite of the adversities that have been thrown his way.

All three have a wicked sense of humor and when we are all together the zingers fly around the room at a pace that is hard to follow for a lot of people. We once had a guest for dinner that likened us to the Adams family, I’m not sure that is an apt description. We don’t moonbath, nor do we have wilted roses as centerpieces, I think this particular person had a hard time following the humor. There is nothing that gives me greater joy than having them all here with me. Listening to them regress into childhood insults, then flying forward to adult concerns is such an awesome thing to watch.

These are the people responsible for me being able to celebrate Mother’s Day; I celebrate them on that day. Their awesomeness, their humor, their caring spirits and their ability to make their mother still feel like she needed.

Funeral Planning

Am I really the only one that wonders what people will say at their funeral? I wonder that a lot, what words will be spoken when I am gone? What stories will be told of my life?

I asked the Irishman last night what he would say at my funeral, he said he would not be able to speak at all, as he would be too upset. Then he said he didn’t want to talk about it, he doesn’t like to think about death. I think about it all the time, one of my hobbies is planning my funeral. You have to prepare for these things, I have been to a lot of funerals and you cannot leave things to the living.

If you want something done, then you have to do it yourself, why would you leave your final act up to someone else to plan? I would not do that; you never know what people are going to do with you.

I am not one of those people that say things like oh just put me in a pine box and throw me in a ditch. Yes, I have actually heard people say that, horrifying, why would you want that? A funeral is actually for the people left, a chance for them to have closure, to say goodbye and see you later. It is their opportunity to reflect and be happy that you’re free, free of earthly constraints, free of aches and pains, free of heartache. You have made it, you are going home, this is a celebration!

I do wonder though, what will my children say about me? What will Tessa say? Will Elizabeth tell stories of my clumsiness? Will Jeffrey tell about the time I took him to a Rangers game? Will Alex talk about our lunches? Will Tess tell about the times I took her to the park or Old McDonalds? Will they know how much I loved them? That they were my entire world?

A funeral is not for the empty shell left behind, so plan well my friends, this is your last opportunity to plan a great party that will allow the people you leave behind an opportunity to say goodbye. To begin their life without you in it, a pine box and a ditch is not comforting. It is ridiculous to say things like that, and thoughtless to the ones left planning it, do your own planning.

If you plan your own funeral it takes all of the guess work out of it for the ones left, they don’t have to make decisions, they can just reflect, smile, laugh and cry without the stress of picking out a casket, songs they think you would like and a service. If you do this for them you lift a burden from their shoulders, it is your final gift to the ones left behind.

It is not only my hobby planning my own funeral; it is my final gift to my children and granddaughter. I am taking everything out of their hands so they are stress free and can actually begin their grieving process unburdened by decision-making.

So, what would you say about me at my funeral?

Busy, Busy, Busy

This has been a very busy, fun filled weekend indeed; I hardly know where to start. Let’s start with Friday, Tessa’s class was singing for the school Friday afternoon, so off I went. She did so good, I am so proud of her, she actually had a big part and she just got out there, in front of everyone and sang her little heart out.

There was no Friday night dinner, as the Irishman’s girls had a dance review happening. Instead we decided to make it Saturday, the Irishman had chosen the menu, only fair he should be there to partake.

Saturday, Tessa’s class was preforming for the Onion Festival, so off we go to that, we were all there, she did beautifully once again. This time in front of more people, she did not inherit the shy gene.

Then it was lunch, steak, corn on the cob, grilled asparagus and Caesar salad, we got a new grill. Jeffrey put together the grill, Jeffrey also cooked the steaks, he seasoned them perfectly. Everything was so good, Tessa got to play with the girls, we all got to eat. Good food, good conversation, fun times with Jeffrey, Elizabeth, Alex and the rest.

I am exhausted from all the prep work; shopping and cleaning up, I do believe today will be spent relaxing. By relaxing I do mean doing laundry, I need to get caught up today is the day.

Tomorrow is another fun filled day at work; I am hoping to hear good news, like more co-workers got new jobs. So far 7 people that I know of have been offered new jobs. That makes me happy and hopeful for the rest that are affected by this round of layoffs. Make no mistake, my job is not safe, the rest of us will be gone by November. I am actively looking for a job within the company; think good thoughts for me people.

I am thinking good thoughts for all of those that are under the gun so to speak right now. The majority are good people and good workers, I am not going to name names, there is one that I do not have an ounce of pity for. He/She has treated his/her co-workers horribly, so much so that if anyone there does not like them on a personal level.

Sometimes you cannot like how someone does business, and still like him or her on a personal level. This person is not to be trusted with anything, it’s sad really, when you think about it. We are all on this earth for such a short amount of time, 110 years really isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things. Why make everyone around you miserable just for your own enjoyment? That is the question I find myself asking, with no answer in sight.

Oh well, I hope everyone has a great day and keep looking up cause that’s where it all is! (Yes, I quoted Kidd Kraddick)

What a Weekend

Where do I start with everything has happened this past weekend? Let’s start with Thursday since it is my Friday, so I was driving, like I usually do and did not see the motorcycle cop waiting for me. He clocked me doing 71 in a 50, there was no way he could let me off with a warning. A ticket I did receive, the big question here is will I learn my lesson and slow down. I think we all know the answer to that so I shall not dignify the question here.

Since it was my Friday, Starbucks was in order, and it was good, the next day I did wake up a little congested. I do believe it is because of the barometric pressure, later in the day I felt fine.

I got Tessa from school, life was good, then I cooked dinner for my two sons, Tess and the Irishman. It was meatloaf; Elizabeth doesn’t like meatloaf so I didn’t tell her about it. I had to tweak the recipe for the meatloaf; I used gluten free breadcrumbs instead of crackers. It was a huge success, everyone kept eating more and more, oh, I also made fresh green beans (which I snapped, thankyouverymuch) with new potatoes, macaroni and cheese and homemade gluten free bread. All in all the meal was a huge success due to the face everyone kept eating.

I will be cooking again this Friday, asking Elizabeth and Jeffrey what they would like as Alex chose the meatloaf.

My dryer died, so Saturday Jeffrey came over to see if it was a fixable problem or completely dead. While he and Tess were there, Alex dropped by, then Elizabeth came with her fiancé’ Guy. He bought a new motorcycle and wanted to show everyone, it is a beauty, I can tell you that. It looks like something Batman would ride, so cool!

That night, went online to buy a new dryer, ordered it from Home Depot, then woke up the next morning to what looked like a price reduction. Called the 800 number, spoke to a representative who said, um it looks like you paid the sale price, I said then why is my total this. Then I started laughing and said oh, I also bought the power cord and a new tube thingy, never mind. She burst out laughing, I explained I had only had 3 cups of coffee; she said oh, nothing counts until after the 4th cup. It was a fun exchange and I was happy to have made a call center person’s day a little brighter.

Late lunch, early dinner with the Irishman made the weekend complete, a lovely meal, a great waitress at the Texas Roadhouse was a much needed respite. The Walking Dead Sunday night was awesome, no spoilers, I will just say I was not disappointed and very happy with the outcome. The season finale is next week and I want it to air NOW! However I will have to wait like everyone else.

I know yesterday I was a bit of a downer, however, thanks to some very kinds words from a couple of people I am back to normal. That plus the fact it is very difficult for me to stay down for any amount of time here I sit ready to tackle what this Monday has to offer.

As my mom would say, see ya in the funny papers!

The Things I learn

I have a confession to make, every morning while I am getting ready for work I watch old episodes of the Andy Griffith show. I have always loved that show, especially the older ones, the ones in black and white. I appreciate the gentle humor, a story told in 30 minutes, a lesson learned. There is always a lesson to learn, whether Andy is getting his hat handed to him by the women of the town or watching him parent Opie and admitting to a little boy when he, the parent, has made a mistake and must own up to it.

One can learn a lot from watching this classic television show, I think, in today’s hectic society, that this show is exactly what people need. A chance to see life in a slower pace, appreciating those around you and taking the time to interact with others.

With the advent of smart phones, tablets, computers everywhere, we are losing our ability to interact in a personal way. This is my belief, I find myself being drawn in, I carry my smart phone with me, ever connected to the world at large, but not interacting in person. Alex tells me he hates the computer, I am beginning to agree with him, he rarely texts me, instead he calls. We talk person to person and I like it, you can convey so much more voice to voice than you can in text messaging.

Elizabeth also calls me, now she and I text a lot, but that is because for 11 hours a day, 4 days a week, I am at work and not able to take calls. So she and I communicate a lot via text and twitter.  Jeffrey is more of a face-to-face kind of child, he prefers communicating in person. I enjoy that as well.

I am going to preface the next thought with I am not Catholic, however, it is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Typically, if one is Catholic, they give something up for Lent, for 40 days they sacrifice something they love. At least this was my understanding, until I asked my BBFF about it, going the route of what are you giving up. He said nothing, he hadn’t practiced this in years, I said I was very disappointed as he was my go to Catholic. This was his response:

“Actually, giving up stuff for Lent has been out of favor for a decade or so. It is the THOUGHT behind the giving up, namely sacrificing to prepare yourself for the Death of Jesus, that is important. While giving up is not bad, doing a more “positive” sacrifice is better.”

I thought this was a perfect response and gave me a better understanding of his belief system. Yes even after all of these years I can still learn something about my BBFF. You see we never stop learning about others, there is always something new to learn, something to discover.

So, here is my challenge to you, go out and have an actual conversation with someone, face to face, voice to voice. Learn something about someone you have known for years. Please report back.

Grateful Friday

I forgot something important, Sunday I got to have lunch with 4 of my ultimate favorite people. Jeffrey, Elizabeth, Alex and Tessa, it was my birthday lunch; this was Alex’s birthday present to me. Lunch with the 4 of them, it was awesome!
Of course it was Mexican food, if it’s a lunch for me it’s Mexican food, the food was good, the company was great, the conversation was awesome.
Nothing makes me more at peace than spending time with the four of them, it was such a treat.
This week has been a challenge, however I am keeping my attitude positive, and teaching my supervisor a few things as well. Every day we have a meeting, called a huddle, in the past this time has been filled with everything negative. There has not been one positive thing said during these times. I told him please tell us one thing that we do correctly, just one. He stared at me, I said, you praise to success, one does not beat employees to succeed. You need to figure out the good things we are doing and tell us those, because this time is a beating.
Well, Tuesday he started doing just that, it was a revelation, I felt better as did my teammates. It’s amazing what happens when you give praise instead of negativity, I imagine this is what happens when we go to God and thank Him for all the great things that He does in our lives. Instead of complaining about all that He doesn’t do for us, or about all of the things we perceive as wrong, we just say thank you for our daily miracles.
There are many, the very breath we take is a miracle, the way our bodies work, the way we interact with all species. The world at large is a miracle, look at the way it works, the very way the earth sits in the galaxy. What an awesome world we have, let’s take a moment and say thank you to the great creator.
Today is Friday and I will make this a great day, I woke up, I have a nice place to live, in a great neighborhood, I have someone in my life who thinks I hung the moon, I have awesome children, I have Tessa and I have Stormie. I also have the most incredible friends, who remind me every day that there is something to be grateful for.

I Wanna Talk About Me

Yesterday Elizabeth took me out for my birthday; she bought me a present I didn’t really ever think I would actually want. Let alone go through with, she bought me a tattoo. Yes, for my 50th birthday I got a tattoo.
I will not be showing it to people, it is for me and in a place, my ribcage, that I will not be hiking up my shirt and showing anyone. I thought long and hard about where to get one, I don’t want my mom to see it when I die. She will never see it there, neither will anyone else.
I have thought about this for years, at one time I thought about getting the superman symbol, however all that color would hurt. This is permanent, so I didn’t want anything embarrassing as I grow older. Also there is the sagging and wrinkle conundrum, you don’t want anything anyone will see all distorted and wrinkled.
So my ribcage it was, there you have it folks, it’s not earth shattering, but it is news in my world. Angie World.
I have decided that my birthday will be a national holiday in Angie World; being in Angie World it should be the actual world. I do believe I will start a grass roots campaign to get my birthday declared a national holiday. I thought I would start this by becoming a Chief Steward in the Union, I will run on the platform of honesty. Interesting concept in the Union these days, I will tell people a vote for me is well for me. This is all about me, what I can do for me and not anyone else; this is what the majority of them do now, so why not run an honest campaign.
I can name on one hand the Chief Stewards that are there for the people, that want to make a difference, that fight the good fight. It’s a shame really, Unions are the reason workers have off Memorial Day, Labor Day, the Fourth of July, Christmas, two days at Thanksgiving and countless other little things we take for granted. The 40-hour workweek, we can thank them, fair wages, benefits for workers. I could go on however I shan’t, I will leave it alone. For now.
Back to me, which, let’s be honest, is my favorite subject, next to my children and Tessa. Elizabeth and I rounded the day out with shopping, where I spent money on her and lunch at Taco Bueno, which she bought. All in all a good day celebrating both of our birthdays.

Saying Goodbye

The day I have been dreading, that we have all been dreading, happened yesterday, Nocona went home. The Irishman found her when he got home, he said he thought she was sleeping. She had climbed into a little chair we have and simply went to sleep.
Alex came and said goodbye to his friend and then we took her to Elizabeth’s farm and laid her to rest. She loved the farm so much, it is where she got the chance to do what she was born to do. Round up cattle. Jeff and Elizabeth dug the grave and the four of us said our goodbyes.
I still remember the day she came into our lives, you see I had promised the kids when we got back into a house with a yard we could have a dog. We had two cats, Mickey and Arthur and I seriously thought they would forget about the dog promise. Chewie would come to visit occasionally, I foolishly thought that was enough.
Elizabeth called me one Sunday and said Mom, remember that dog promise, I said vaguely. She said well we found a dog at the lake house and we are bringing her home. I said um what.
Well they brought in the dog, that they had aptly named Nocona, after the place the found her and soon she found her way into everyones heart. She was funny, sweet, loving, territorial, crazy and well, a complete Barsi.
She was the family dog, going with the kids to Jeff’s house on the weekends they were there, when my mom passed away, Nocona stayed with Jeff.
it is fitting he was there to say goodbye to our friend, our companion, family member, you name it she was it.
When I started dating the Irishman and introduced him to her, he fell in love with her as well, it’s hard not to.
She has stayed with all of us, with Jeffrey when I would go out of town if Elizabeth wasn’t able to keep her, with Jeff, Elizabeth and Alex.
The only time she has been parted from us was the 9 hours she was in the vets office without one of us. I know she was scared, wondering if her family had left her. I know in my heart that when I came back for her that was when her stress was relieved.
She lived longer than the vet said she would, yesterday morning she gave no indication she would be leaving. She followed me around, took her medications, ate, drank and went outside.
Now she has no more pain, and as my friend Jan said, Michael is getting his opportunity to be with the Barsi family pet. I know Nocona will take good care of him for me.

Happy Birthday Michael

Well here we are, the day that brings me so many memories. The memories of the day are joyous, my heart still sings with the memory of Michael being born. Hearing his cry, holding him, counting his fingers and toes, looking at his beautiful face.
There is a scene in the Buffy episode The Body, where Buffy imagines what it would have been like if she had just gotten there in time. If her mother had lived.
I have those thoughts of Michael, what would he have been like as an adult. Knowing Jeffrey, Elizabeth and Alex, I believe I get a glimpse of what his humor would have been like. His demeanor, his looks, his closeness to his siblings.
I do wonder, would he have worked in the same field as his brothers or would he be more like me. Would he have gotten married and had children by now.
In an instant I imagine the what if, I think we all do it, we who are left behind.
I know where he is, I know my mom and grandma are taking care of him, taking my place until I can be his mother once more.

Birthday Synopsis

Well, my birthday weekend is over, the month continues, in the immortal words of Tracy Lawrence, Time Marches On. I had the best birthday this year, not just due to the presents but due to the fact I got to have lunch with Jeffrey, Elizabeth and Alex. It was not only enjoyable but fun, I have really funny kids, they have the most amazing humor. So happy I was chosen to be their mom, the only missing element was Tessa.
Let’s see, I know you want to know what I got, so I shall go down the list in order of birth, from Jeffrey I got a Starbucks gift card, he told me he knows how much I love my “Friday” coffee treats. Very thoughtful!
From Elizabeth a new Coach purse, all three of my Coach purses have come from her; this one is the trademark brown, only with purple trim! It is so pretty! I immediately had to empty the old one and put everything in the new one!
Alex gave me the gift of pampering; he got me a gift certificate for a mani/pedi at a salon called the Beverly Hills Salon! I get to be a movie star! How cool is that? I can go in with my coffee treat, holding my purse and get the star treatment.
The Irishman, I know you are all wondering about him, well, he gave me the gift of communication. I got the new IPhone 5, at first I was like, my IPhone 4 works fine, but then we got to the Apple store and I fell in love with the white one. Then Siri talked to me! OMG I think I am in love with Siri! It was a very cool and thoughtful gift.
He and I had a combination of lunch and dinner, at the Londoner in Allen, it was nice, it was a really nice day.
Next year I don’t know if I want to acknowledge my birthday as it will be a huge one, a really huge one. I don’t even want to say the number, I don’t feel this number, I feel like I am maybe 25, however I know my body is going to start betraying me, that I will eventually just cave. I really don’t want to get osteoporosis, which really terrifies me. My grandmother had it and her spine curved, I know it caused her a lot of pain, she never complained about it, but I know it was not fun. I remember the doctors wanted her to wear a metal contraption that would help straighten her spine, but that was more painful than the actual curvature, so she quit wearing it.
On that note I will say goodbye and go eat my yogurt for the calcium!